Victorian prisons were quick to use the still-new technology of photography to create records of those who passed through their doors. The prison record featured here carries copies of two photographs of Ned Kelly, both probably taken by Charles Nettleton who worked on contract to Pentridge prison until the early 1880s. The first was taken in June 1873, five months after Kelly’s transfer to Pentridge from Beechworth prison, and half-way through his sentence for receiving a stolen horse. The second photograph was taken a week before Kelly’s release on 2 February 1874.
Documents like this were created by prisons to be forwarded to the police at the time of the prisoner’s release. The police referred to these pages for the person’s criminal history. This particular record was forwarded to the Penal and Gaols Branch of the Chief Secretary’s Department on 11 March 1874.
In 1880 the record was forwarded to the Prosecution for Kelly’s trial, with instructions that the photographs were to be returned to Chief Commissioner Nicolson.
Kelly’s own version of the events that led to the various convictions recorded here can be found in the Jerilderie letter.
|No.10926  Name, Edward Kelly [74/1648]
Native Place, Victoria
Year of Birth, 1856
Religion, R. Catholic
Particular Marks, Scar top of head, 2 scars crown of do, scar front of head, eyebrows meeting, 2 natural marks between shoulder blades, 2 freckles lower left arm scar back of left thumb, scar back of right hand, scar left thumb
When and where convicted,
(above photo left: No. 925 Date, 24 1 74)
Criminal History and Remarks-
[To be returned to Detectives Office Melbourne]
Robt Gardiner Superintendant
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