On the 10th of July 1879, two children coming home from Reid’s Creek School met two of the Kelly gang, on the road halfway between the school and the Sherritt selection. The two gang members offered the children some bread, which the youngsters took and ate appreciatively. As Joe was usually spotted alone around the … Continue reading Breaking Bread
After the Euroa and Jerilderie bank robberies, the Byrne family had something they had not had before, money. This money was spent paying off long standing debts, new clothing, and purchasing general household items. On one occasion, when Enoch Downes the school inspector, made a visit to the Byrne selection, he paid particular notice to … Continue reading Money for Drapery
On the 6th of November 1879, finding Joe has failed to meet him at Thompson’s farm, Jack mounts his horse and begins his ride back through the Warby Ranges. As he comes to the foot of a hilly track, the rustle of scrub sounds from behind him. Turning in the saddle, he spots Joe, standing … Continue reading A Meeting in the Ranges
Telegram from December 1878 informing of Joe’s recent purchase of opium in the Woolshed, it reads: “Detective Eason reports information obtained to Joe Byrne bought opium to which he is addicted last week at Woolshed and requests services of Fook Sing (Chinese detective) for a day or so.” Telegram from the Public Records Office Victoria.
‘Detective Ward indeed made things very warm for the gang in the Beechworth district, and the gang vowed vengeance against him. Ward was continually receiving letters from them in Joe Byrne’s handwriting threatening his life. On one occasion he was informed in this way that if they could lay their hands on him they would … Continue reading Detective Ward
One morning while looking for some cows that had strayed, Anne Sherritt passed an unoccupied hut, ‘about six or seven miles from Beechworth’ and saw Joe getting on Music. She asked him what he was doing there and Joe replied that he was “looking for Hare, to shoot him.” After further conversation with Joe, Anne … Continue reading A Search for Stray Cows
If life as an outlaw wasn’t hard enough, on top of this were the health issues Ned was also dealing with. While being far removed from the comforts of life inside the law, Ned was suffering from sciatica, a chronic condition caused by damage to the sciatic nerve, which would have left him with considerable … Continue reading The Health of Ned Kelly
The term bushranger is defined as being ‘an outlaw living in the bush’, or in America, ‘a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive,’ with both of these definitions relevant to Joe’s situation. Living outside the law, Joe had been stripped of the right to live … Continue reading The Bushranger
“It is now known for a certainty that Byrne often slept on the premises of a man who lives within two miles of Beechworth. This man, on hearing of the destruction of the gang and the death of Byrne, absolutely shed tears." The man may have been Dick Murphy, a Sebastopol local who was a … Continue reading A Hut in the Woolshed
The following description of Joe was made after the raid at Jerilderie. “Byrne stands nearly six feet high, long features, fair complexion and an effeminate cast of countenance, and of a nervous disposition; his manner is quiet and he appears to a casual observer an inoffensive man.” From the Bendigo Advertiser, 19 February 1879.