Joe Byrne was born in
November 1857 to Irish immigrant parents.
was sent to prison with Aaron Sherritt for six months for the crime of unlawful
possession of meat, apart from this he was a law abiding man.
was most likely present when Fitzpatrick called at the Kelly house, and happened
to be at Stringybark Creek, causing him to become a member of the Kelly Gang.
(there was no gang prior to the shootings)
family lived close to the gold workings of The Woolshed Valley and Joe got to
know the Chinese well, even learning the language.
The Chinese miners of the area and of Australia at the time were not very
popular with miners from the rest of the world. There were anti-Chinese Leagues
and much of the animosity stemmed from the fact that the Chinese would work the
areas no one else wanted, areas thought worked out and when they found gold they
would send the proceeds back to China. The rest of the miners would spend their
gold on booze and other 'wasteful' pursuits of happiness. Joe however got
on well with the Chinese. He spoke their language and smoked their pipes, opium
pipes. Police telegraphic correspondence reported his purchase of opium in 1878.
In 1879 Police reports mention Chinese names said to be assisting the gang,
they lived in Sebastapol, Woolshed Valley. It is believed that the
involvement with the Chinese miners gave Joe the skills to mine the gold fields
at Bullock's Creek with friends of the Kelly's.
In 1879 Police reports mention Chinese names said to be assisting the gang, they lived in Sebastapol, Woolshed Valley. It is believed that the involvement with the Chinese miners gave Joe the skills to mine the gold fields at Bullock's Creek with friends of the Kelly's.
was Ned Kelly's second in command and worked with Ned on the strategies planned
by the gang.
penned the Jerilderie letter with Ned Kelly and worked on the other letters such
as the Cameron one.
was something of a 'ladies man' who took great risks to visit his favourite
drinking holes as well as visiting his mothers home despite the police watch
was camera shy and police had great trouble trying to find his 'likeness' In
fact they never did get an image of him until a photo was taken of his stiffened
corpse after the Glenrowan Siege.
was an excellent horseman and marksman.
his death at Glenrowan Joe was buried at the cemetery in Benalla where his grave
can be seen today.
Byrne was a native of Beechworth, and of the members of
Like Ned Kelly, he was an expert marksman, a good horseman,
fact that the police never intercepted him was due either
J.J. Kenneally.'The Inner History of
the Kelly Gang' 1969 edit.
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