Maggie and Kate are the legendary sisters of Ned Kelly who, like the rest of the family, were exceptional horsewomen. Following the sentence of their mother, the Kelly girls took the responsibility for looking after the children and for maintaining their mother’s selection. They also helped to look after their brothers, who were by then outlawed because of the shooting of the police at Stringybark Creek, in the Wombat Ranges.
Kate with her sister Maggie, Tom Lloyd and Joseph Ryan travelled to Melbourne to obtain the cartridges for the weapons the Kelly gang were using. The police always kept a pretty close watch upon the movements of the family, nevertheless, they managed to purchase what they needed. Kate was carrying a large portmanteau and on their return journey two detectives accosted them at Winton railway siding and took the portmanteau away to search it. It contained only ladies clothes, but no sooner had they gone, Kate opened the window on the other side of the carriage and whistling to the man waiting on the platform she slipped him a parcel containing the ammunition. Nobody noticed it and the man quickly disappeared into the bush, while Kate returned to her seat, and remained absolutely calm as if nothing had happened.
Maggie feared nothing. She rode frequently to their hiding places, be it day or night and with the skill of a daring horsewoman riding her horse “Lightfoot” through the rough and difficult country to reach them. The police watched the Kelly house constantly, and also tried to follow Margaret whenever she rode out. She led them on many a wild goose chase till they were absolutely exhausted. Maggie and Kate were prepared to do everything possible to help their outlawed brothers and were completely committed to their cause. They supplied them with food and clothes, ammunition and news that were very important for their survival and safety. Without the assistance of their sisters, the outlaws couldn’t have remained at large for as long as they did.
Gary J Dean, F.A.I.H.A.
Image Size: 61 x 46cm
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Beautifully finished in a gold frame
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