Ned Kelly's Parents

Harsh times in Ireland during the 1840's
Forced many people to commit crimes
Just to feed their families meat
Tipperary was not immune from this poverty
John Kelly a ranger for Lord Ormonde
Was discovered with two pigs that weren't his

The 20 year old was headed for Tasmania
Seven years at Port Arthur his fate
A sentence normal for it's time
Port Arthur was the harshest prison
In the British Empire icy cold and windy
On Tasmania's face to the South Pole

James Quinn was looking for greener pastures
In 1841 he loaded his family of seven kids
On a ship bound for Australia
Disembarking in the fledgling colony
Port Phillip was but six years old
Far cry from County Antrim Ireland

Settling in Brunswick before moving north
To Broadmeadows and later Wallan
A dairy farm their home
Daughter Ellen grew into a young woman
By 1849 she was a desirable 19 year old
Attracting her share of attention

1848 was the year John Kelly was released
After seven years at Port Arthur
Ready for a new life headed to Melbourne
A free man and hard worker
Post splitting he met a fellow Irishman
James Quinn invited Kelly to his home

The visit changed Kelly's life
Quinn's daughter Ellen the attraction
Kelly became a constant visitor at Quinns
Ellen and John fell in love
18th November they eloped to Melbourne
They were married at St Francis Church

John was called Red because of his hair
Over the next 15 years he fathered eight kids
Worked hard for 15 years raising his kids
In 1865 he was fined 25 pound for having
Unlawful possession of a hide
Not having the money he was locked away

Gaol wasn't kind to Red he wasn't well
When he was released and he hit the bottle
Which didn't help his health or his family
The day before his eldest son's 12th birthday
He passed away making Ned the man of the house
He lies in the Avenel cemetery in Victoria

In 1869 bushranger Harry Power needed an apprentice
His old gaol mate Jack Lloyd suggested his nephew
15 year old Ned Kelly was seduced by thoughts of riches
May 1869 they intended to steal Dr Rowe's horses
As their first job together but they were spotted
On the Mt Battery Station and made good their escape

Ellen's family moved to Geta in Victoria's north east
Six months after Red's death she took her brood north
Her 88 acre selection was poor but was their home
The boys were mixing their uncles and cousins
Which saw the law visiting often harrassing the boys
Ned came to their attention from the age of 12

With 10 year old Dan he spent two days in gaol
Before the charges were dismissed as were Ellen's
The constant police attention culminated with Ned
Charged and released on aiding Power and assault
Within months 15 year old Ned received six months
Hard labour for assault and indecent behavior

Three weeks after his release he was in trouble again
Unbeknown to Kelly he was riding a stolen horse
Three years hard labour at Pentridge hardened him
Returning he found the police had stolen his horses
Shortly after Ned's release Ellen married George King
Californian with whom she had three more kids