11 November 1880

The Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol for his murder of several policeman.


The bushranger Ned Kelly is one of Australia’s greatest folk heroes. He has been memorialised by painters, writers, musicians and filmmakers alike. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang than any other group of Australian historical figures.Bushranging was said to have ended with the shooting of the Kelly Gang in 1880 which allowed outlawed bushrangers to be shot, rather than arrested and sent to trial.

Even before his execution, Kelly had become a legendary figure in Australia. Historian Geoffrey Serle called Kelly and his gang “the last expression of the lawless frontier in what was becoming a highly organised and educated society, the last protest of the mighty bush now tethered with iron rails to Melbourne and the world.

Ned’s real troubles with the police began when his mother, Ellen Kelly, was arrested for aiding and abetting in the attempted murder of Constable Arthur Fitzpatrick on the 15th of April. As a result of the subsequent brawl, Ned and Dan fled to the bush where they were joined by Joe Byrne and Steve Hart. They became the Kelly gang.While Ned Kelly did not try to break into Beechworth gaol to rescue his mother as planned, he offered an ultimatum to the government of the day.