Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Kelly in the Guard's Van en route to Beechworth (from The Australasian Sketcher, 17 July 1880)

Tom Carrington and The Australasian Sketcher (publisher)

wood-engraving (sheet: 41.0 cm x 28.3 cm, image: 16.5 cm x 21.5 cm)

The 'siege of Glenrowan' on 28 June 1880 left Ned Kelly with bullet and shrapnel wounds to his right shinbone and foot, and his left elbow. He was taken to Benalla, then to the hospital at Melbourne Gaol, where he recuperated over the month of July. At 8.30am on Sunday 1 August he was removed from his cell and taken by wagonette to Newmarket Station to await a special train. According to contemporary newspaper reports,

'The train for his conveyance to Beechworth started from Spencer-street railway station at half-past 9 o’clock. It consisted only of an engine, carriage, and guard’s van. Not a soul knew at the station what the mission of this train was. The only persons who left the station in it were Mr. Labertouche (secretary for railways), Mr. Anderson (the traffic manager), and three policemen, Constables Moore, Docharty, and Mathieson.

Sergeant Steele’s party and the prisoner were picked up of course at Newmarket, and the train went bowling along with out stopping at any station, except Seymour and Benalla. The prisoner, it should be stated, was taken into the guard’s van, where seats had been provided in the form of platform chairs. His right leg being still unable to bear him, he sat most of the time; occasionally, however, he desired to look out at the window, and was allowed to do so. When passing Donnybrook he pointed out the spot where he first drew breath; and when he came in sight of the Strathbogie Ranges, he exclaimed, "There they are; shall I ever be there again?" He gazed intently at Glenrowan, said that a good man (Byrne) had fallen there, and pointed out the tree where he himself fell. There were no spectators at any of the intermediate stations except Wangaratta, and there only a very few were found on the platform.

During the journey Kelly argued that he was illegally in custody, as he had never seen any warrant, and that he could never be hanged. Pointing to Constable Bracken, he said, "There is a man I did not have the heart to shoot;" and the time passed in conversation of that kind. The train arrived at Beechworth at half-past 3 o’clock. Superintendent Sadleir now took charge, and saw Kelly safely lodged in gaol.'

At his committal trial in Beechworth, Kelly was charged with murdering constables Lonigan and Scanlan at Stringybark Creek on 26 October 1878. He was taken back to Melbourne, where he was tried on 28-29 October 1880. He was hanged in Melbourne Gaol on 11 November.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2017

Accession number: 2017.107

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Tom Carrington (age 38 in 1880)

The Australasian Sketcher

Ned Kelly (age 25 in 1880)

Subject professions

Law and justice

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'

Portrait story

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw
Bee Miles, 1976 Roderick Shaw

Good, bad and the ugly

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2007

Michael Desmond explores what makes a portrait subject significant.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.