The SANDS OF TIME Collection – 13. Wanted

13. Wanted
Redmond Barry & Edward Kelly — 870 x 685 mm
© Robert Morgan


Redmond Barry was born on 7 June 1813 at Ballyclough, County Cork, Ireland, the third son of Major-General Henry Green Barry and his wife Phoebe, née Drought.  Brought up an Anglican, he was educated first at ‘Old Curtain’s’ private academy on the shores of Cork Harbour. At 12 he was sent to a boarding school at Bexley, Kent, which specialised in preparing boys for the army. In 1829 he returned to Ireland hopeful of a commission but, despite many efforts over ten years, none was to be had. He graduated from Trinity College, Dublin (B.A., 1837), was admitted to the Irish Bar in 1838, and attended at Lincoln’s Inn, from which he received a testimonium in August 1838.

He sailed from London in the Calcutta on 27 April 1839 and arrived in Sydney on 1 September.  He was admitted to the Bar there on 19 October. After seeking positions in New South Wales and writing to inquire about vacancies in Van Diemen’s Land, he sailed for the new Port Phillip settlement in the Parkfield on 30 October but did not land there until 13 November, so foul was the weather. From that day Melbourne was his home.

In the early years of Melbourne Barry became unofficial standing counsel for the Aboriginals.  He laboured as hard and as earnestly upon their cases, often capital matters, as he did upon his other briefs, though he rarely, if ever, received a fee for such services. His interest in the Aboriginals was general and lasted all his life.  Though he accomplished for them little of practical value, his open-minded and unprejudiced approach was in advance of that of many even of the most liberal of his contemporaries.

On 2 January 1843 Governor Sir George Gipps sealed Barry’s appointment to a minor judicial post, commissioner of the Court of Requests.  In 1851, when the Port Phillip District was separated from New South Wales as the colony of Victoria, Barry was appointed its first solicitor-general, a position which he held briefly, for he was elevated to the new bench of the Supreme Court of Victoria in January 1852. He was the first puisne judge of that court and, after the appointment of (Sir) Edward Williams as a second puisne judge in July 1852, Barry held the appointment of senior puisne judge until his death.

After a very short illness he died in East Melbourne on 23 November 1880, only twelve days after the execution of Ned Kelly.

EDWARD (NED) KELLY (1855-1880)

Born at Beveridge, Victoria in June 1855, Ned Kelly attended school at Avenel until the age of eleven when, upon the death of his father, he was compelled to work to help with family’s very limited funds.  When he was only fourteen Kelly was arrested for attacking a Chinaman and when he was fifteen he was arrested and charged with being bushranger Harry Power’s accomplice.  Both charges were dismissed but in 1870 Kelly was gaoled for three years for receiving a stolen horse.  Upon his release he continued to steal horses.

In April 1878 the events which would make Ned Kelly legendary began.  Under strange circumstances a trooper named Fitzpatrick was shot by Ned.  A reward of £100 for his capture forced Ned to flee to the Wombat Ranges where he was joined by his brother Dan and Joe Byrne and Steve Hart.  In October 1878 four troopers – Kennedy, Lonigan, Scanlon and McIntyre – were sent to capture the Kelly gang but Ned surprised them and shot Kennedy, Lonigan and Scanlon.  On 15 November 1878 the reward money was raised to £500.  In December the Kelly gang took twenty-two captives at a sheep station near Euroa and robbed the Euroa bank of £2000.

The final showdown between Kelly and the police occurred at Glenrowan.  Kelly, in spite of his 45 kilograms of armour and his helmet, was shot and captured.  The rest of the gang were killed.  Kelly was tried for murder on 28-29 October 1880 and hanged at Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.

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