History of Australia
Ned Kelly

What happened to Ned Kelly at the end of his life?

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November 08, 2011 7:36PM

During the siege at Glenrowan, Ned Kelly was shot 28 times in his legs, which were the only unprotected part of his body (Kelly was famous for his home-made body armour).

Ned Kelly was hung in Old Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880 after being sentenced to death by Irish Judge Redmond Barry on on 29 October 1880, who found him guilty of multiple counts of murder. It is said that he uttered "Such is life" moments before he was hung, but there is actually no real evidence to substantiate this. He was either 25 or 26 years old (his actual date of birth is uncertain).

As was common with executed criminals in those days, a "death mask" was made of Kelly's head, in order for phrenological analysis. This involved the study of bumps on his heads in order to hopefully gain an insight into the mind of criminals. After he was hanged, Kelly was then decapitated, dissected and buried in a non-consecrated yard at the Melbourne Gaol.

In November 2011, his family was finally granted permission to bury his remains near his mother and some of his brothers and sisters in the Greta church yard, south of Glenrowan.