Reward in the KellyGang story

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The Victorian Government offered a reward of £1000 after the Fitzpatrick incident in 1878. see also (FH)

That was increased to £2000 (£500 per person ) for information leading to the capture of the KellyGang soon after the Mansfield Murders.(Age31/10/78)

After the Euroa robbery the reward was again increased, this time to £1000 per person (Argus14/12/78) (Argus14/12/78) (SMH14/12/78) (JJK)

Ass Com Nicolson assured the press that the reward would not be paid to the police (Argus17/12/78)

There were a number of private bounty hunters who wanted to get the reward. (Argus31/12/78)

After the Jerilderie robbery the Governments of Victoria and New South Wales, together with the banks, offered an additional reward of 1000 for the apprehension of each of the outlaws,
Half of the amount of 8000 was offered by the New South Wales Ministry. It is understood that 2000 of the New South Wales reward was subscribed by the banking institutions of that colony, the Government promised the remainder. (Argus18/2/79) (Argus19/2/79) (OMA20/2/1879) (Alexandra22/2/1879) (Argus27/2/79) (SMH9/4/79) (Age1/7/80) see also (Age29/6/80)

The decision to withdraw the reward (Argus27/4/80)

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The Kelly Reward Board


The Premier of the colony of New South Wales was asked to express his views as to the composition of the board. (Age 1/7/80) (OMA1/7/80)
The Kelly Reward Board consisted of Mr Robert Murray Smith, MLA, Sir James MacBain MLA (the chairman), and the Hon J MacBain, MLC. (Argus16/4/81)

It started its work on 19/7/1880.

The Board called for applications (Argus27/11/80)
Many said that they distributed the money only, with a few exceptions, on the basis of time spent at the Genrowan siege. The rate for the aboriginal trackers was of course lower than for the others. Almost all the money went to the police.

Robert Ramsey gave evidence before the Police Reward Board (RC16308)

Sups Sadleir and Hare produced a report for the reward board that recommended a number of policemen for a reward. (RC5837)

How was the money was to be distributed. What principles did they apply? (Argus16/3/81) (Argus22/4/81)
Report sent to the Governor (Argus14/4/81)
Details of the Board's report (Argus16/4/81)


It was recommended that the following recieved a part of the reward


Sup Hare
Thomas Curnow
SConst Kelly
Sgt Steele
Const Bracken
Sup Sadleir
Jesse Dowsett
Sgt Whelan
Const Canny
Const Gascoigne
Const Phillips
Const Barry
Const Arthur
C C Rawlins
Const Kirkham
SConst Smyth
Const P Kelly
Const Dixon
Const Dwyer
Const Wilson
Const Milne
Const Stillard
Const Ryan
Const Reilly
Const Graham
Const Hewitt
Const Wallace
Const Walsh
Const Montifort
Const Cawsey
Const Healey
Const Moore


£800 00 00
550 00 00
377 11 08
290 13 09
275 13 09
237 15 00
175 13 09
165 13 09
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
137 11 08
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09
115 13 09


Det Ward
SConst Johnston
SConst Mullane
Sherritt John
Const Glenny
Const McColl
Const Magor
Const Armstrong
Const Dowling
Const Duross
Const Alexander
Const McHugh
Const Wickham
John Sherritt
Const Dwyer
Const Stone
Const McDonald
Mr Cheshire
Mr Osborne


£104 04 06
104 04 06
104 04 06
100 00 00
97 15 09
84 04 06
84 04 06
84 04 06
68 03 04
68 03 04
47 15 09
47 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
42 15 09
50 00 00
50 00 00
50 00 00
50 00 00
50 00 00
50 00 00
50 00 00
25 00 00
25 00 00

Rev Gibney did not want a reward (RC12335)
Anne Sherritt applied for part of the reward but did not get anything. (RC5523)
Others who applied unsuccessfully included: Const Faulkiner,


The following appled for part of the reward but got nothing

Constable JW Brown
Constable Robert Bunker
Constable J Burton
Constable John Coghlan
Constable Faulkiner
Constable Robert Griffin
Lawrence Kirwin x
Constable McIntyre
Mr Laing, SM Wangaratta x
Constable W Parker
ex-Constable Perkins
Richard Rule

Mr Saxe, PM, Benalla
Senior constable Shanahan
Anne Sherritt
Ellen Sherritt
Constable Thomas Skehan
George Stephens x
Mr Stephen, SM, Benalla x
Constable Hugh Stewart
Senior constable Patrick Walsh,
Constable Thomas Walsh
Wicks Anton
BC Williams (police spy)

Those marked with an 'x' were recommended by the Reward Board as worthy of special recognition for services rendered during the period of the search for the outlaws.
The Reward Board stated in its report: - "Some rewards have also been recommended for the individual service of certain claimants whose names will be found in Schedule “D”; but beyond these the Board have not thought in within their province to distinguish further between members of a force, all of whom appear to have done their duty.” This list included See also (Argus26/4/81)

Constable Bracken
Thomas Curnow
Mr Jesse Dowsett,
Senior constable Johnston
Senior constable Kelly
Sergeant Steele



A number of people recieved compensation payments

Mrs Jones was to be given 265 but this was later reduced Mr Irving
Mr Piazzi 40 compensation for horses
Mrs Sherritt; rejected (Argus2/8/80)

See also (Argus26/4/81)
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Reaction to the Board's Recommendations

The Argus was critical of the Board's decision, particularly as it related to Mrs Sherritt, Sup Hare and Mr Curnow. (Argus22/4/81) (Argus3/4/81) (Argus4/4/81) (Argus5/5/81)

Mr Berry decided not to act on the report until the Royal Commission had reported. (Argus4/5/81)

The New South Wales and Queensland Governments objected to the Reward Board's recommendations. (Argus9/5/81)

The reward board effectively resigned (Argus1/6/81)

The Royal Commission recieved submissions about rewards, but the matter had not been referred to the Commission. (Argus1/6/81)

Const Faulkiner, Messrs Stevens and Laing recieved payments (Argus11/4/83)