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{In previous posts such as Introduction to Archives of Sin we looked at several criminals from New York City. Now we turn our gaze on Australia.}

I am Ned,

or rather,

I was Ned,

Instead,

I am dead,

Minus my head.

Sorry about that. I should know better than to make an attempt at poetry.

My strong suit is INTIMIDATION and understatement laced with a bit of sarcasm.

Of course this auto-poetry calls for a great explanation. Allow me to start in the present.

Wikipedia says things about me that may or may not be true:

“Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly (June 1854/June 1855 – 11 November 1880) was an Australian Bushranger.”

OK, OK.  I know I am already breaking up the story; but you Yanks probably have no idea what an Australian Bushranger is.

In the United States you would guess that it may be an Officer of the Law enforcing the rules of the Fish and Game Commission.

Oh drats! Now I have committed a double fault. There are no longer, Fish and Game Commissions in the USA. They are now “Departments of Environmental Conservation.” Ahem, pardon me and all that!

The term Bushrangers originally referred to runaway convicts. In the early years of the British settlement of Australia, Tasmania was what I called “The Isle of Jail.”

British Isles criminals were banished to Tasmania. Some escaped and had the skills necessary to use the Australian bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities.

Then they chose not to stay in Tasmania; they saw new horizons on the main island.

The term “bushranger” changed. It soon referred to anyone who abandoned society to engage in “robbery under arms.” We “supposedly” lived in the bush of Australia and only emerged to rob, pillage and cause consternation to the ruling authorities.

If bushrangers lived in Brittan we would be called “highwaymen.” In American we would be called “road agents” unless we lived in the Old West where they were called “Horse Thieves”, “Stage Coach Hold-up Men”, “Railroad Bandits” or “Bank Robbers.”

Oh yes, throw in “Hornswoggles” from time to time. That may refer to “Rustlers” which I admit to being very good at.

But let’s get back to specifics!

I, Ned Kelly, to some, appear to be a cold-blooded killer. Others consider me to be a folk hero.

The ink-mongers use me. I do not like to be used.

They turned me into a symbol of Irish-Australian resistance. Against who?

Against the Anglo-Australian ruling class is what they say.

More than 2000 of us bushrangers are said to have existed. We besieged the Australian back roads and small towns. Our favorite pastime was holding a group of people hostage while we pillaged.

See how cute they look all tied up nice and neat. That’s me with the red shirt. My brother Dan is dressed all in brown while Byrne looks for coins. That’s pretty boy Hart with the white shirt on.

Ausstralian Bandits

We were made up of escaped convicts and others not interested in the current version of Australian Society.

Where are my manners? What am I thinking of? I should introduce you to a few of my fellow bushrangers.

I don’t have any of them handy because most of them fell on hard times and died. Gunshot wounds, knives, died in jail or what-not. One or two even repented. Or at least that is what they told the authorities.

So once again I have to refer to Wikipedia who holds their spirits in high regard, or low regard, depending on your viewpoint.

Bushranger Power

Bushranger Scott aka Captain Moonlight

Frederick Wordsworth Scott

Bushranger Gardiner

Bushranger Gilbert

Bushranger Fuller

Bushranger Cash

Fine specimens of manhood; every one of them.

However, the count dwindled after my last shootout at Glenrowan.

Ah yes – – – Glenrowan. It rolls off the tongue of current news people as well as it did to the newsmen of the 1880’s. What is Glenrowan?

Come back for the next post and we can talk about that.

The next time I promise to show a picture of me. It .is very, very nice.

NO! That is not me below. That is another one of those ink-mongers that use me. I don’t much care for him.