Ned Kelly – Becoming a Bushranger – Extra History – #1

Ned Kelly – Becoming a Bushranger – Extra History – #1


Dead of night, Glenrowan, Australia, constable Hugh Bracken lies tossing in bed. Fever runs through him. He begins to drift off, when a sudden banging jars him awake. Somebody’s at the door. He can barely think straight,
but he stumbles slowly to unlock it. The second he does, the door slams open. A giant man in metal armor
pushes through, and puts a gun
to the police officer’s head. A voice echoes from inside
the tall helmet: “I’m Ned Kelly. Bail up, or you’re a dead man.” ♪ “I am Ned Kelly.” For years, those words struck fear into the hearts of everybody living in the Australian colony of Victoria. Fear, and a little excitement. Newspapers filled up
with shocking details about his crimes, eager gossip
from those who met him, and abject scorn for the police force which failed to catch so much as a glimpse
of him over a multi-year manhunt, that cost the government’s thousands
of pounds and manpower and equipment. Rogue or hero, murderer or angel of vengeance, He was then, and still is today, a divisive figure in the Australian landscape. To some,
he was a brave warrior, standing up to a corrupt police force that served only to protect a rigged financial system. To others, he was
no more than a murderer, who endangered the lives of innocence
in his reckless quest for revenge. As for Ned Kelly, he wanted people to listen
to his story, and judge for themselves. He said: “I do not pretend to have led a blameless life, or that one fault justifies another, but the public in judging a case like mine should remember, that the darkest life may have a bright side.” So, let’s hear his story. May of 1865, six children huddled next to their mother, and watched the police constable
clap handcuffs on to their father, John Kelly before leading him away. The biting winds that swept
across their barren farm soon forced the family
to retreat inside for warmth. All except the eldest boy, Ned. He stayed and watched
until the policeman led his father out of sight. Ned loved his father, he was proud of him as only
a child can be. He saw the good John Kelly, whom everybody called “Red”, for obvious reasons. Red had stolen pigs to feed
his brothers and sisters back in Ireland, and for his crime,
he’d been transported to Australia. He had served his time in an Australian labor camp, married a vivacious Irish girl named Ellen, and did his best to scratch out a living for his ever-growing young family. But Red’s best was never good enough. His business ventures fell through, his farmland proved rocky and untenable, and the city that he’d staked his hopes on became a ghost town as the Australian Gold Rush left it behind. Faced with the same pressure that had driven him to steal food for his family back in Ireland, Red did it again, and was caught again. That was the day Ned watched his father walk away in handcuffs. A few days later, Red was sentenced to six months hard labor. And so, at 11 years old, Ned suddenly became the man of the house. He dropped out of school, and took on the role with vigor, determined to make his father proud. He looked after his pregnant mother, he tended the farm and the house as best he could. One day, on his way to town to pick up a few things, disaster nearly strikes. A seven-year-old boy, daydreaming on his way to school, drops his hat into the recently flooded river. When he reaches down to retrieve it, he falls. The river sweeps him away, and the only other person in sight, is Ned Kelly. Ned doesn’t lose a second, he races down to the river and jumps in. He barely knows how to swim, but he’s big for his age, made strong by his work on the farm, and he throws himself into the current. Through sheer determination, Ned catches the boy. He pulls him back to shore, then he leads him, soaked and shivering, back home. The boy’s parents shower Ned with gratitude. They even arrange a small ceremony where they present him with a broad green silk sash with shining gold tassels, the colors of Ireland. It is the finest piece of cloth Ned has ever touched. And when they drape it over his shoulders and call him a hero, he nearly bursts with pride. Ned would wear his trophy for weeks, inviting everybody he knew to touch it, and hear the story of how brave he’d been. And best of all, wouldn’t his father be proud? Red Kelly was proud. Proud, but no longer the man he had once been. The spark of determination had faded from his eyes. When he finally returned from his sentence of hard labor, he was a broken man, who could only get through his days by drinking. Over the next year, Ned watched his father rot away. And finally died from a failing liver in 1866, living just long enough to spend one final Christmas with his family, only to die before the new year. It was then that Ellen Kelly, Ned’s mother, took matters into her own hands. Now a widow with seven children, she had no family nearby, except for a quarrelsome sister-in-law. But to the northeast, she had two sisters of her own, that also needed someone to lean on. Both of their husbands still lived, but had been imprisoned for cattle stealing. So Ellen joined forces with them in the small town of Greta. Bit by bit, she saved up enough to rent her family a new house. It went cheap, because nobody else wanted it, but to the dirt-poor Kelly family, anything would do. Ned threw all of his energy into making a real farm out of it, but all he got for his trouble was blistered and tired. The only money he could squeeze out of it was chopping up trees for firewood and selling them in town, …and not for very much. His family depended on him, and didn’t know what he could do. Enter Harry Power. Harry Power was a bushranger, the last of a dying breed of Australian outlaws and highwayman, whose adventures always seemed so grand and romantic, up until the moment they got caught. Power had escaped from the same prison where Ned’s uncles, the cattle thieves, had been locked up, and it was on their recommendation that he made his way to Greta, and met Ned Kelly. What stories he told! He’d swept his way northeast on a whirlwind of robberies, rolling up as much as 87 pounds in a single day. Ned had never seen that much money in his life. He shook hands with Power, and agreed to become his apprentice. Unfortunately, Power’s grand criminal stories were a wee-bit exaggerated. Oh he had robbed his way through the north, sure enough, but he neglected to mention that he was actually pretty new at this bushranging thing himself. The prison sentence that he’d escaped had been for horse thieving, not for robbing real live people. And once he’d made his escape, a few months before they would have let him out anyway, Harry Power had looked around and thought: “Welp, I’m hanged if they catch me now, might as well go bushrager I guess.” Thus began Harry Power’s story career. He proceeded to rob people by shouting loudly and waving his gun around, but he never actually shot anyone. In fact, two of his would-be victims had actually captured him, but Power convinced them to let him go. Not exactly a master criminal. So it’s not much surprised that his first scheme, stealing fresh horses from one of the richest and the most powerful men in the area, doesn’t go quite as planned. Or maybe it’s more like the planning itself doesn’t go well. Power leads his new apprentice to a rocky bluff that overlooks the rich man’s paddock, and they survey the land in preparation for a raid. One tiny problem: they’re in plain sight, and they get seen. While they lie there, planning to steal them some horses, the owner saddles one of the horses they aren’t watching, sneaks up around them, and fires a warning shot at Ned. The bullet drives into the ground inches in front of Ned’s nose, sending a spray of gravel into the boy’s face. He screams, flattening himself like a pancake, and starts gibbering about a surrender. Ned is not exactly a master criminal either at this point. But Harry Power refuses to leave him behind. If he lets anything happen to that boy, Ellen Kelly will straight-up murder him. Cursing and hitting, he hauls Ned back on his feet, and pulls him away before their pursuer can load and fire again. They run back to the horses they brought with them, not as good as the horses they were planning to steal, but, good enough if you’re desperate, and willing to ride at breakneck speed… which they are. They gallop across rough and rocky territory that would’ve killed any lesser horseman. But whatever their shortcomings, neither of them is a lesser horseman. Ned races all the way home, leaps off his horse, and vows never to go bushranging again. Join us next time as Ned goes bushranging again.

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  1. "I am Ned Kelly. Bail up, or you are a dead man!" Learn the tale of Australia's most notorious outlaw!

    Support Extra History on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ExtraCredits

  2. Young Ned’s hair keeps on changing color. Sometimes it was blonde, brown, and sometimes black.

  3. Apparently my great great or great great great grandma is related to the judge that sentenced ned kelly
    You dont need to believe me

  4. When I was in Beachworth (Victoria/Australia) I went to the prison that Ned was locked up ( Beachworth Gaol ), I definitely recommend going!

  5. I’m living in Victoria currently and we have a bakery called Beechworth Bakery and they have a couple things named after Ned Kelly (There’s a pie called β€˜Ned Kelly’) And they’re really good. The specials board have little Ned Kelly faces beside them, some people in ballarat etc would know, I haven’t been in beachworth before.

  6. My great great great grandma was related to tge judge that sentenced ned
    You dont need to believe me

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  8. Vows to never go bushranging again.
    Join us next time when Ned goes bushranging again πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  9. Never forget that all wealth comes from the exploitation of natural resources and if you want some your either going to have to take it, or do whatever someone tells you to get it, and so you decide what kind of person your going to be. An asker, or a taker. They both have pitfalls. One of the chief ways to prevent a possible taker to take from you is; convince them of bodily harm should they try.

  10. not sure if these guys mentions it so ill just say for the record the British were very harsh on the Irish and though born Australian ned kelly was unmistakably Irish a scary cross between Irish and Australian.

  11. I love this series and rewatched it so many times. I love the biography’s in general. My first video I’ve ever watched from extra credits was cathrine the grade

  12. On a school camp actually around when this was uploaded I went to the old Melbourne jail and I saw where he was hanged and like a clay face of his it was cool, but scary..

  13. It is truly a great tragedy how many men, like red, who only stole for subsistence, and whose souls were broken by hard labor. Their name is legion.

  14. β€œAnd married a vivacious Irish woman named Ellen.”
    Say what you want about the penal colonies, but you can’t say you lacked for bodacious women to marry.

  15. Subtitle mistake: "who endangered the lives of innocents " Instead of "who endangered the lives of innocence "

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