Petition for reprieve Petition for reprieve

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

Once the Executive Council had set the date for Ned Kellys execution, brothers David and William Gaunson (the latter Kellys defence attorney) set about organising a petition to the Governor for a reprieve from the sentence. The words below were printed at the head of folded broadsheet papers, which were then distributed at watering holes, race meetings and other congregations of people about town. One such fold has been reproduced here. It has been estimated that over 30, 000 signatures were collected for the petition, although if this is the case, not all the sheets collected have made it into PROVs holdings. It was not, however, entirely unusual for a signature campaign to succeed so well. A petition organised in 1891 by Victorian women in support of womens suffrage collected 31,000 signatures. The petition was formally tabled before the Governor-in-Council on the 8th of November, but the request was not granted.


  • Title: Petition for reprieve Petition for reprieve
  • Creator: Public Record Office Victoria, Public Record Office Victoria
  • Date Created: 1880-11-08
  • Provenance: VPRS 4966 P0 UNIT 3 ITEM 1 RECORD 1, VPRS 4966 P0 UNIT 3 ITEM 1 RECORD 1
  • Transcript:
    Robert Moyle Lonsdale St East Thomas MacMaon Colby St Mrs Stafford Griffins St Kilda From E. Davntd? Sth Coast New Zealand [not readable] St Kilda E.A Hiley [not readable] Andrew Dyson Lonsdale St Patrick F[not readable] Thomas Francis bates Melbourne D.J Molan Koroit ? Ths McGrath Belfast Mrs Hill off Lonsdale St [not readable] Melbourne [not readable] John Nhaime? [not readable] Miss Aamie? Melbourne Daniel E? St Arnaud John Quinn from New Zealand Robert Finivan from New Zealand Michael Guerin St Arnaud Patt Hasset farmer St Arnaud Robert Guerin from N. Zealand William Ginivan from Queensland
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