11 November

Kelly’s attempt to derail and ambush a police train failed in June 1880. He and his gang, dressed in home-made suits of metal armour, engaged in a final violent confrontation with the Victoria Police at Glenrowan on 28 June 1880. All were killed except Kelly, who was severely wounded by police fire and captured. Despite significant support for his reprieve, Kelly was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging.

He was hanged on this day in 1880 at the Melbourne Gaol. The Argus reported that Mr. Castieau, the governor of the gaol, informed the condemned man that the hour of execution had been fixed at ten o’clock. Kelly simply replied “Such is life.” His leg-irons were removed, and after a short time he was marched out. He was submissive on the way, and when passing the gaol’s flower beds, he remarked “what a nice little garden”, but said nothing further until reaching the Press room, where he remained until the arrival of chaplain Dean Donaghy. The Argus also reported that Kelly intended to make a speech, but he merely said, “Ah, well, I suppose it has come to this”, as the rope was being placed round his neck.