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A rare photo of Ned Kelly not seen by the public in 138 years has resurfaced

A RARE photo of outlaw bushranger Ned Kelly not seen by the public for 138 years went under the hammer at auction in February 2016. The photo has only previously been seen by a select few when Lawsons auction house sold it in 1988. The photo formerly belonged to descendants of William Turner, the 1878-9 Mayor of Launceston in Tasmania and since its 1988 sale it has been kept in a private Sydney collection. It has now resurfaced and will go under the hammer once again. The photo taken in December 1878 shows a relaxed Ned Kelly, centre, standing with his brother Dan Kelly on the left and gang member Steve Hart on the right. The photo was signed by all three men but the signatures were written by Joe Byrne, a Kelly Gang member, as none of the other men could read or write. Tom Tompson, a publisher and specialist for auction houses, told News Corp Australia the photo was taken in the town of Euroa on the day the Kelly Gang robbed the local bank. This was the Kelly’s first bank robbery and a means to support themselves while in hiding from authorities. Tompson said the photo was taken as an attempt for the men to gain support from sympathisers. “Ned was compiling letters, which Joe Byrne actually wrote for him, and these were put to newspapers who in the main would not publish them because the Victorian police were coming down hard on anything that looked like sympathetic treatment of outlaws,” Tompson said. Tompson said the photo shows the three men deliberately portraying a different image of themselves having gotten rid of their old clothing. “You can see a larrikin streak which is obviously there, they’ve got their new duds (clothes), they’re making their mark and it’s a very likeable shot of the Kellys instead of the dour, dark and troubling ones that exist,” he said. The photo has been pasted on a Tasmanian photographer’s card, then glued to 1920s Kodak paper. The photo has now been published in the new edition of George Wilson Hall’s book The Kelly Gang, Or, Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges. Tompson said there is huge historic value to the photo. “The Kellys are very much part of a mythical Australia,” he said. “At the time the Irish were being treated incredibly badly, they weren’t allowed to have schooling or own horses. “They bought out the Irish police to create the Victorian police force to keep a form of class distinction,” he said. The Kelly Gang became a Robin Hood-type myth for a lot of people who were struggling with their life in Australia, he added. Tompson said photos such as this one were traded between sympathisers and photographers for years. Lawsons auction house expects the photo to sell for between $10,000 and $15,000 but Thompson predicts it could go for much more. The photo was taken just over a year before the Kelly Gang’s last stand with police at the siege at Glenrowan where Ned and others wore their homemade metal armour. Ned Kelly was the only one of his gang to survive the siege and was hung at Melbourne Gaol in 1880 where he uttered “such is life” before he was hung.

 

Mona Vale mansion, at Ross in Tasmania, was built in 1868 for the wealthy land owner and Tasmanian Parliamentarian Robert Quayle Kermode and he entertained the Duke of Edinburgh there shortly after it was completed. The stained glass windows were created by the Ferguson & Urie stained glass company of North Melbourne and were selected by the architect of Mona Vale, Henry Hunter, during a visit to Victoria in 1867.

Has 365 windows – for each day of the year
Has 7 entrances – for each day of the week
Has 12 chimneys – for each month of the year
Has 52 rooms – for each week of the year

 

From one moral extreme to another, ‘Gentleman Bushranger’ Martin Cash was easily one of Australia’s most considerate criminals. Cash was originally sent to Sydney from Ireland in 1827 for shooting a rival suitor in the buttocks. After serving seven years, he left for Tasmania as a free man only to be charged shortly after with theft and sentenced to a further seven years at the Port Arthur Penal Settlement.

During one escape attempt, Cash joined forces with experienced bushrangers George Jones and Lawrence Kavanagh to form a gang called ‘Cash & Co.’. Together, they stole from wealthy settlers and inns without violence, earning them the title of ‘Gentlemen Bushrangers’. Cash died in his bed at age 69.

 

On this day …….. 27th of July 1836

Kangaroo Island is a protected and unspoilt island off the coast of South Australia. Australia’s third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Islands, it is 112 km southwest of the state capital, Adelaide. The first European to land on the island was Matthew Flinders, doing so in 1802, and it was he who named it, after his starving crew was saved by the abundance of kangaroos they found there. The island narrowly missed becoming a French colony, as Nicolas Baudin arrived shortly after Flinders departed, and named the island L’Isle Decres. From 1803, Kangaroo Island was frequently used as a base by sealers and whalers. Escaped convicts and ship deserters also made the island their home. While farmers and other settlers established themselves on Kangaroo Island from around 1819, these were not official settlements. The South Australia Act, enabling the founding of the colony of South Australia, was passed by British Parliament in 1834. In 1835, Scottish businessman and wealthy landowner, George Fife Angas, formed the South Australian Company to assist settlers to the new colony. The first emigrants bound for South Australia left in February 1836. On the 27th of July 1836, the first of the South Australian Company’s ships, the Duke of York, arrived at Reeves Point on Kangaroo Island’s north coast. The first ‘official’ settler to step foot on the island was two-year-old Elizabeth Beare.

 

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”

A list of Australia’s mass shootings

1628 – 1899
Shipwreck of the Batavia in – 1628 (Western Australia) 110 Dutch
Cape Grim massacre – 10 February 1828 (Tasmania) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Convincing Ground – 1833 Portland (Victoria) – 200 Indigenous Australians
Pinjarra – 28 October 1834, Pinjarra (Western Australia ) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Waterloo Creek – 1838 (New South Wales) – 70 Indigenous Australians
Myall Creek – 10 June 1838 (New South Wales) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Murdering Gully – 1839, Camperdown (Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Campaspe Plains – June 1839 (Central Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Gippsland massacres – 1840-1850 (Victoria) – 1000 Indigenous Australians
Cullin-La-Ringo – 17 October 1861 (Central Queensland) – 19 Indigenous Australians
Flying Foam – 1868 Flying Foam (Western Aust)150 – Indigenous Australians
Palmer massacre – 1878 Palmer River (Queensland) – 150 Chine against each other

1900 – 1999
Ching family murders – 16 November 1911 Mackay (Queensland) – 6
Broken Hill – 1 January 1915 Broken Hill (New South Wales) – 4 shooting spree
Mowla Bluff massacre – 1916 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 400 Indigenous Australians
Forrest River massacre – 1926 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 11 Indigenous Australians
Coniston massacre – 1928 (Northern Territory) – 170 Indigenous Australians
Hope Forest massacre – 6 September 1971 (Sth Aust) – 10 Rampage killing
Campsie murders – 24 September 1981 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Wahroonga murders – 1 June 1984 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Milperra – 2 Sept 1984 (New South Wales) – 7 Shootout between two rival gangs
Top End Shootings – 1987 (Northern Territory) – 5 Spree killing
Hoddle Street massacre – 1987 Clifton Hill (Victoria) – 7 Spree shooting
Canley Vale murders – 1987 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Queen Street massacre – 1987 Melbourne (Victoria) – 8 Spree shooting
Oenpelli shootings – 1988 (Northern Territory) – 6 Rampage killing
Surry Hills shootings – 1990 (New South Wales) – 5 Spree shooting
Strathfield massacre – 1991 (New South Wales) – 7 Spree shooting
Central Coast massacre – 1992 Terrigal (New South Wales) 6 – Spree shooting
Cangai siege – 1993 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Hillcrest Murders – 1996 Hillcrest (Queensland) – 6 Rampage killing
Port Arthur massacre – 1996 (Tasmania) – 35 Spree shooting

2000 – 2014
Monash University Shooting – 2002 Melbourne (Victoria) – 2 Shooting spree
Hectorville siege – 2011 (South Australia) – 3 Shooting
Hunt family murder – 2014 Lockhart (New South Wales) – 5 Shooting spree
Logan shooting – 2014 Logan (Victoria) – 3 Shooting spree

Photo from 1997, piles of guns in Australia are moved after a landmark law that resulted from a mass shooting. Now, Australians are saying the US could learn their lesson.

 

On this day …….. 7th of June 1824

Matthew Brady and 13 other convicts escaped from the notorious penal Settlement on Sarah Island, Tasmania by boat on this day in 1824. They remained at large for the best part of two years and became increasingly daring as time passed. When Governor Arthur increased the reward fir Brady’s capture in April 1825, the bushranger coolly posted the following notice on the door of the Royal Oak Inn at Cross March.

Mountain Home, April 20, 1825
It has caused Matthew Brady much concern that
such a person known as Sir George Arthur is at large.
Twenty gallons of rum will be given to any
person that will deliver his person unto me.
I also caution John Priest that I will hang him for
his ill-treatment to Mrs Blackwell, at Newtown
M.BRADY

On this day …….. 7th of June 1825

Tasmania was first discovered by Abel Tasman on 24 November 1642. Tasman discovered the previously unknown island on his voyage past the “Great South Land”, or “New Holland”, as the Dutch called Australia. He named it “Antony Van Diemen’s Land” in honour of the High Magistrate, or Governor-General of Batavia.
When the First Fleet arrived in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip claimed the entire eastern coast for the British Empire, including Tasmania, though it was not yet proven to be separate from the mainland. In January 1799 Bass and Flinders completed their circumnavigation of Tasmania, proving it to be an island. Tasmania was settled as a separate colony in 1803, but continued to be administered by the Governor of New South Wales. On 7 June 1825, Van Diemen’s Land was separated administratively from New South Wales, and Hobart Town was declared the capital of the colony. As the actual founding documents have not been located, there remains some conflict regarding the date, as some sources state this as occurring on 14 June 1825.

Between 1852 and 2011, at least 951 people were killed by floods, another 1326 were injured, and the cost of damage reached an estimated $4.76 billion dollars.

1. June 1852 – Gundagai, NSW

89 deaths, entire settlement of 250 people destroyed

There’s little doubt that the 2010/2011 Queensland floods were Australia’s most devastating in terms of damage to infrastructure and cost, but the worst loss of life happened in June 1852 when massive flooding on the Murrumbidgee River swept away most of the town of Gundagai, leaving just three houses standing. Eighty-nine people were killed, more than third of the population. The town was later rebuilt on higher ground.
2. Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 – Brisbane and SE QLD

35 confirmed deaths, $2.38 billion in damage

With more than 200,000 people affected state-wide, the economic damage from this flood was estimated at $2.38 billion. Beginning with rains in September and then culminating with Category 1 Cyclone Tasha crossing the Far North Queensland coast on 24 December 2011, this was probably the most notorious flood in Australian history. In Brisbane, the river peaked at 4.46m on 13 January, flooding more than 28,000 homes and leaving 100,000 without power. Cyclone Yasi, which hit 3 Feburary, caused further damage to already sodden towns.
3. Dec 27, 1916 – Clermont and Peak Downs, QLD

65 deaths, 10 homes destroyed, 50 buildings damaged and 10,000 livestock killed

A cyclone swept the coast along the Whitsunday Passage, bringing heavy rainfall to Clermont, Sapphire and Peak Downs. This usually flood-savvy town forgot to counter for the runoff from nearby catchments and creeks and the debris it carried with it at crushing speeds. The torrent smashed through houses and caused widespread damage. The lower part of Clermont was submerged, so the town was rebuilt on higher ground.
4. Nov 29, 1934 – Melbourne, VIC

36 deaths, 6000 homeless and 400+ buildings damaged

In late November 140mm of rain fell in Melbourne over a 48-hour period. To the east of Melbourne, in South Gippsland, 350mm fell over the same two-day period. The downpour resulted in landslides, evacuations and many submerged roads. Eighteen people drowned, with a further 18 killed by collapsing buildings and other dangers. More than 400 buildings were damaged in Melbourne and 6000 people were left homeless.
5. Feb 15, 1893 – Ipswich, QLD

35 deaths, 300 people injured and two bridges destroyed

Often referred to as the Black February Flood, the extreme weather conditions and heavy rain were brought about by tropical Cyclone Bundinyong. The Crohamhurst weather station recorded 914mm of rain in a 24-hour period and another gauge recorded almost 889mm of rainfall in Brisbane’s water catchments. Both the Victoria Bridge and the Indooroopilly railway bridge collapsed, with 35 people killed and 300 injured.
6. Feb 1927 – Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, QLD

47 deaths, 16 homes destroyed, an estimated £300,000 in damages

A tropical cyclone hit north of Cairns, causing major rainfall through Queensland, reaching as far as Toowoomba. The torrential rain, which fell from 9-17 February, led to the deaths of 47 people, damaged roads, railways, bridges and buildings – and completely destroyed 16 houses. There was also widespread loss of livestock. The estimated costs reported at the time were in the region of £300,000.
7. Apr 1929 – Northern Tasmania

22 deaths, 1000 homes damaged, 25 bridges destroyed

The area of Northern Tasmania is prone to heavy rainfall over short periods and up to 500mm of rain fell over three days. The floodwater carved a path across the region, destroying everything in its path, including vehicles, buildings and railroad tracks. It inflicted huge stock losses, the evacuation of 3500 people, while damaging 35 bridges and 1000 homes.

8. Feb 1955 – Hunter Valley, NSW

24 deaths, 59 homes destroyed, 5200 homes flooded and 40,000+ people evacuated

The majority of deaths were around Singleton and Maitland, but most other river systems in the state were also in flood. These floods in the Hunter Valley have become symbolic in the Australian psyche of the dramatic nature of flood damage and rescue. About 15,000 people were evacuated from around these two towns, with more than 40,000 people being evacuated from a total of 40 towns. Five of the lives lost were due to electrocution during rescue operations.
9. Jan – Apr 1974 – Brisbane, QLD

14 deaths, 300 injured, 56 homes destroyed, an estimated $68 million in damages

After a particularly wet year in 1973, Brisbane was inundated with water when tropical cyclone Wanda hit the north of the city on 25 January 1974. By 29 January the Brisbane area had recorded 900mm of rain, with 314mm of rain falling in a 24-hour period. In the coming months the torrential rain swept down the east coast, causing floods in parts of NSW and Tasmania. The floods killed 14 people and injured 300 more, as well as destroying 56 homes and damaging 6000 others. In all, an estimated $68 million worth of damages occurred.
10. Aug 1986 – Hawkesbury and Georges River Flood, NSW

6 dead, 10,000 homes damaged, an estimated $35M in damages.

With the rainfall reaching 327.6mm in 24 hours, this day has been dubbed Sydney’s wettest day ever. The torrential rain created chaos, with flooded roads prompting many motorists to abandon their cars. Bus services were severely disrupted in the city and trains were halted due to flooded tunnels.

 

ON THIS DAY……31st October 1889

Fredrick “Josh” Clark and Christopher “Christie” Farrell were both ex convicts transported from England to Van Demons Land. Once both men had received their tickets of leave they sailed to Victoria, arriving at the beginning of the Victorian gold rush. Both men found there way back to the lives thy once lived in England, preying upon those returning from the gold fields. By 1889 both Clark and Farrell were in there early to late 60’s and were serving 14 year sentences in Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne. Farrell was charged with the attempted murder of a police man during his arrest at Fitzroy in 1887 and Clark for being a systematic malingering. Due to the prisoners age and behaviour both prisoners were transferring Geelong Gaol. About midnight on Monday a warder named Cain commenced his shift at the Geelong gaol. At two minutes to 2am he hard a knocking, from cell 13 occupied by a prisoner named Frederick “Josh”Clarke. Cain unlocked the trap in the door and Clarke asked for a drink of water. The warder brought the water, and was handing it through the hole when he was seised from behind by Farrell. Clarke then came from his cell and seized Cain who saw that the other man was a prisoner named Christopher “Christie”Farrell who was holding a large stone in his hand. He threatened to beat out the warder’s brains if he uttered a single word. Clark had cleverly made a skeleton key, by melting coin into the shape of the key. Clark worked as a blacksmith in the confinements of the gaol. Once the warder opened the trapdoor and walked of to get a glass of water for the prisoner. Clark then simply reached his arm though the opening in the door and let him escape. Once free he quickly unlocked Farrell’s cell before returning to his own and waiting for Cain to return. The men gagged Cain and tied his hands and feet, and took off his boots and carried him to the cook’s house, and tied him to the table, and left him there. He was found just before 6am by the chief warder, who raised the alarm. The two prisoners had meanwhile scaled the gaol wall. Immediately the alarm was given the police who scoured the country in all directions without finding any trace of the escaped prisoners. Farrell was found first on the 16th of October and Clark four days later, both men were heading north to NSW. Warder Cain was confined to his bed, owing to the injuries he received. Four His throat was greatly Swollen, and he is only able to speak with difficulty. An inquiry into the escape was held on 31st October, 1889 which saw the governor of the gaol reprimanded and the warders on duty demoted – this despite Farrell’s saying that the warder Cain had fought like a lion and should not be punished for is failure to prevent their escape. In 1923 a large brass key which proved to be a master key from the era of Clark and Farrell’s escape was found when grounds west of the Geelong Supreme Court were being cleared. Its rough-cut appearance suggested that it was an illegal copy and it was widely believed that this was the key used by Clark and Farrell in their escape. A version of events described in the gaol display has an elderly Clark claiming that he threw the key into the grounds on his way to court however, it seems highly unlikely that having been found in possession of such a key, Clark would have been allowed to keep it. A report in the paper a few days after his arrest indicated that he was found with a skeleton key on his person which had been cut from a penny. At the time the authorities were quick to point out that the make of the key was not such as could have been made in the gaol. Clark died in Geelong Gaol on 4th August, 1904, at the age of 104. Clark had arrived in Tasmania in 1847 at the age of 18, he would go on to send a total of 85 years and 7 months in gaol, over half is life behind bars. Farrell also died in the gaol at the age of 70 on 1st September, 1895. Farrell was also transported to Tasmania, arriving in 1848 and by 1851 he was in Victoria” and joined up with the “Suffolk Gang” as the convict poet. The gang would held up several mail coaches and miners alike. Farrell spent 48 years in prisoned in Australia and 46 of those years were in iron changes.

 

On this day …….. 24th of October 1937

Joseph Lyons 5th Prime Minster of Australia, on this day in 1937, knocked down and slightly injured a cyclist in High-street, Launceston, Tasmania. Mr Lyons offered to drive the man home, but he refused, saying, that the Prime Minister had a lot ahead that day. However the man accepted Mr. Lyons’s offer to pay for the repairing to his bike.

 

On this day …….. 21st of October 1978

The Valentich Disappearance occurred on the 21st of October 1978, when 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared while piloting a small Cessna 182 aircraft over Bass Strait to King Island (Tasmania) after reporting a strange craft flying nearby. The disappearance generated significant press attention, both throughout Australia and internationally. No trace of Valentich or his Cessna has been found, and his description of a large, unusual object has earned his vanishing a place in UFO lore. A Department of Transport aircraft accident investigation concluded the reason for the disappearance could not be determined. His last words were “My intentions are to go to King Island… That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft. Delta Sierra Juliet, Melbourne”.