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kellys called on to surrender kellys called on to surrender

Public Record Office Victoria

Public Record Office Victoria (State Archives of Victoria, Australia)

Public Record Office Victoria (State Archives of Victoria, Australia)
North Melbourne, Australia

The Felons Apprehension Act mentioned in this formal notice was hastily passed by Parliament on 31 October 1878 upon hearing the news of the Stringy Bark Creek murders five days earlier. The act introduced the concept of outlawry to Australia. Anyone who had a warrant issued against them under this act had the normal protection of law removed. They could be apprehended or shot by any person at any time, and any person offering assistance to them could be gaoled. This latter provision was used to round up numbers of people suspected of sympathising with the Kelly Gang. It is generally felt that the policy backfired, the heavy-handed tactics of the police creating resentment among the small-farming community in the north-east. The following advertisement is a file copy accompanied by a memo which requests that Sub-Inpector Pewtress of the Mansfield station make himself available in the event that the outlaws did appear to surrender themselves. They did not, and the four members of the gang were declared outlaws on 15 November. The unprecedented nature of this measure is something Kelly was to turn around in the Jerilderie letter. His final phrase in this letter for I am a widows son outlawed and my orders must be obeyed offers the outlawry as a bravura badge of status.

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  • Title: kellys called on to surrender kellys called on to surrender
  • Creator: Public Record Office Victoria, Public Record Office Victoria
  • Date Created: circa. November 1878
  • Provenance: VPRS 4969 P0 UNIT 1 ITEM 61 RECORD 2, VPRS 4969 P0 UNIT 1 ITEM 61 RECORD 2
  • Transcript: A4175/78 ? Mansfield [Kelly Gang Called on to Surrender 14.11.78] Police Department, Superintendents Office, Benalla Nov 8-1878Memo I have to direct that a member of the police force may be in attendance. Sub Inspector Pewtress himself if practicable from 9am to 4 pm o 12th inst. at the Court house at Mansfield to accept the surrender if offered, of any of the offenders named or described in the accompanying notices there must be no intermissions of attendance during the interval It will be desirable also to make arrangements for the attendance of a magistrate & any (?) when required during the day.(signature unreadable) Supt

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