The Kelly home at Beveridge
The Kelly home at Beveridge
The inside of the Beveridge Kelly house
The inside of the Beveridge Kelly house
Ned Kelly History - Beveridge Stories

December 1840

John Kelly steals two pigs from Jamey Cooney of Bellaysheehan, valued at £6 and so begins the journey that will bring him to Wallan Wallan and Beveridge.

John Kelly, an Irish gamekeeper, stole two pigs from Jamey Cooney of Bellaysheehan, Ireland valued at £6 in December 1840. The punishment for the offence was 7 years transportation and so begins the Kelly legend.

John Kelly was kept in jail until 31st July 1841 when he was placed aboard the convict ship 'The Prince Regent' in the port of Dublin.

On the 7th August 'The Prince Regent' sailed from Dublin with 182 convicts aboard her.

There was one port of call, Cape Town, after she left South Africa the next stop was Derwent River, Van Diemens Land, now Tasmania, on 2nd January 1842.

By this time John Kelly had already served one year of his sentence ..... the next six years were spent at the penal colony in Tasmania.

He was finally given his ticket of leave on 11th July 1845, on the 11th January 1848 he was granted his Certificate of Freedom.

Sometime during 1848/49 John 'Red' Kelly crossed the Bass Strait to Port Philip Colony, now Melbourne. He travelled inland along the old Sydney road and worked as a carpenter around Donnybrook and Kilmore, an area with many Irish settlers.

In 1850 he met his future wife, Ellen Quinn, the eldest daughter of a bounty hunter called James Quinn. The family had come out from Ballymena, County Antrim as a family whilst Ellen was a young girl..

The Quinns had no criminal history and did not savour the relationship which had developed between their daughter and ex-con Kelly.

The couple eventually eloped on horseback and were married in Melbourne on November 18th 1850 in St. Francis' Church by Father. Gerald Ward. They returned to Beveridge and started their family.

For the next fourteen years or so John Kelly made a living from horse dealing, dairy farming and gold mining earning enough money to buy land in Beveridge, some 41 acres. He also bought a small town block on Spring Street (reputedly for £615), seven years later he bought another 21 acres for £70 and built the house which stands today. (Pictures to the left).

During this time seven children were born, including Edward, their first son who came into the world in December 1854. The date of his birth can only be suggested, but historians appear to agree that the date we give here is the correct one. The documentation which confirms Edward Kelly's birth has long since vanished.

Ned was the eldest out of a family of three sons and four daughters in an environment riddled with thieves and murderers, many angered and twisted by the harsh realities of imprisonment and the brutal regime under which they had endured their years of incarceration. They plundered and pillaged the countryside making these very dangerous times indeed. Many had been involved with the Gold Rush and had found nothing, others had taken advantage of the situation and were roaming the area to rob their unsuspecting victims of whatever they could lay their hands on.

Jimmy Quinn, Ned's uncle was arrested for allegedly stealing cattle, an experience which left him resentful and bitter even though he was acquitted without charge.

Not long after his brother Jack was charged with being in possession of a stolen horse and in quick succession another cattle stealing charge was brought against the Quinns.

None of the charges were held up in court, which caused the local police force to become more and more determined to arrest one of the Quinns.

Their determination eventually paid off and Jimmy was arrested for illegally using a horse belonging to a neighbour and subsequently being involved in a fight at the local pub.

The charges stuck, Jimmy became the recipient of the first of 34 convictions out of 57 charges within the family and was sent to prison for six weeks. Over 25 years the police would do their best to persecute the families of the Kellys' and the Quinns.

For the most part the Kelly's time in Beveridge was happy, but happiness eventually waned and John Kelly began to hit the bottle. The family as a result of John's drinking fell into debt and the family were eventually left with no alternative but to sell the farm and half of their town house block and move into a small house on the remaining half.

In the end that property was sold too and with the paltry return for their investment the family travelled north up the Old Sydney Road to Avenel.

Ned Kelly History - Beveridge Timeline

December 1840
John Kelly steals two pigs from Jamey Cooney of Bellaysheehan, valued at £6 and so begins the journey that will bring him to Wallan Wallan and Beveridge.

The Quinn family move to Wallan and settle there.

15 November 1850
John Red Kelly meets and marries Ellen Quinn. Ellen had come out from Ballymena, County Antrim, with her family as a young girl. John and Ellen married on 18th November 1850 in St. Francis' Church, Melbourne by Father. Gerald Ward

25 February 1851
Mary Jane Kelly born at Wallan in Victoria. Sadly, she died before her first birthday. John Red Kelly explores Gold prospecting with a reasonable amount of success. John converts enough gold into pounds to buy a plot of land in Spring Street, Beveridge.

November 1853
Anne Kelly is born at Beveridge, Victoria.

December 1854
Edward 'Ned' Kelly is born in Beveridge. The first son of John and Ellen Kelly....

15 June 1857
Margaret Mildred Kelly, known as Maggie is born at Beveridge.

Thomas Peter Lloyd, the son of John Lloyd and Catherine, nee Quinn born in Wallan Wallan. Thomas Lloyd was regarded as the fifth Kelly Gang member and was the second husband of Maggie Kelly. The excerpt below is taken from the Ned Kelly's world website at: An excellent horseman, a tough and courageous man, he was above all a true and loyal friend and cousin of Ned, and an indispensible ally to the Kelly gang. He was their scout and protector. Without his help and support the Kelly gang wouldn't have enjoyed their freedom as long as they did. Many Kelly historians tell about Tom being imprisoned with many others as a Kelly sympathiser in 1879, and ascribe to him sending the telegram home from the Beechworth prison: "Turn the four bullocks out of the paddock." (Obviously a warning message that concerned the Kelly gang). In fact, Tom Lloyd was not arrested as a sympathiser until after the telegram was sent, being taken in to custody on 10-3-1879 and released on 22-4-1879. It was his uncle, Thomas Lloyd (senior) who had sent the telegram. Margaret and Tom were in constant attendance at Ned's trial, and were in Melbourne right up to the end. They desperately tried to help obtain a reprieve for Ned after his sentence, but their efforts were to no avail and all they could do in the end was bid him a last farewell.

31 July 1858
James 'Jim' Kelly is born at Beveridge.

Ned Kelly begins his school years at Beveridge at the local Catholic School.

August 1865
Thomas Lloyd is acquitted of slaughtering a bull belonging to John Chisholm. The Lloyd family then move to Greta.

Kelly Trail - Beveridge

1.Beveridge Catholic School

2. The Kelly House

Places to visit in Beveridge

The Ned Kelly Trail - Beveridge

The Ned Kelly Trail Stop 1

It is here that Ned Kelly was born and went to school. The house remains and is surrounded by a wire fence.

The house is well worth a visit before travelling north up the Hume Freeway to Avenel.

Ned Kelly History in Beveridge

Beveridge School
Ned attended Beveridge Catholic School with his siblings Annie and Maggie until the family moved to Greta.

Kelly House
Ned Kelly's early childhood home.