This Day in History ( June 28 )

In the dock, Melbourne Court.

The Outlaw Ned Kelly and his gang are finally captured!

Born: June 1854/55? unknown
Died: 11th November 1880
Aged: 25 years

In June 1880, after years of successfully eluding police, the Kelly Gang deliberately staged a final confrontation at Glenrowan in Victoria. Kelly had hoped this confrontation would stir up a rebellion of citizens against what he saw as an unjust legal system. The gang took over the Glenrowan railway station, but Kelly was careful not to damage the telegraph, so the station master could alert the police.

The gang moved the railway staff to the Glenrowan Inn where they also took the guests as hostages. Because many of them were Kelly sympathisers, the night was spent in song and merriment as they waited for police to arrive. Eventually, a local school teacher (who was released by Kelly to check on his family) alerted police to the gang's whereabouts. Police and railway staff surrounded the inn, ready to fire at any of the gang members who left the building.
Wood engraving - Australian News 17/7/1880

At around dawn (on the 28th), Ned Kelly appeared in his armour outside the hotel. Emerging like a ghostly apparition from the trees that surrounded the hotel, his appearance horrified the authorities. According to a railway station guard:

...I heard the thud of a bullet where I was, on looking back I saw what seemed a tremendous black fellow with something like a blanket on him this would be about 6.45am and the morning being hazy or else the smoke from the guns hanging about made him look a deal bigger than he was... the strange figure still advanced on us... I saw Sergeant Steele run from a tree close behind Kelly, as he shot at me, and fired twice very low, I saw Kelly fall ... – Glenrowan Railway Station goods guard

When the rough armour was removed, Ned was found to have some 28 bullets in his body. 
Tony Robinson - DVD

The police started a fire in the hotel to smoke out the remaining gang members. They shot Joe Byrne as he came out of the side of the burning hotel, while the two other gang members – Steve Hart and Dan Kelly – died in the fire. Ned Kelly himself was the only gang member to survive. He was tried by Judge Redmond Barry and sentenced to death. At Ned's request, his picture was taken and he was granted farewell interviews with family members. His mother's last words to Ned were reported to be 'Mind you die like a Kelly'. (they sure bred them tough back then!)
Ned's famous last words were 'Such is Life'

Although photography was quite new in 1880, a number of photographers helped record the dramatic events at Glenrowan as they unfolded.

Source: Dowsett, J 1973, 'The capture of Ned Kelly' [manuscript ca. 1880], La Trobe Journal, No. 11 April.