Okay, so let me explain...
Ned Kelly is one of Australia's folk heroes, and in keeping with Australia's convict beginnings, he was actually a criminal and outlaw.
He has been ...
memorialised by painters, writers, musicians and filmmakers alike. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang than any other group of Australian historical figures.
You can read his life story here.
He died at the gallows in Melbourne Gaol, on 11 November 1880, his famous last words were "Such is Life"
Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on the morning of 11 November 1880. Immediately after his body was taken down from the gallows, his hair and beard were shaved off and a mould taken of his head by Maximilien Kreitmayer. The mask is a unique three-dimensional representation of one of Australia's better-known historical figures, created shortly after his death.
Death masks were common in Australia from the early 1800s. They were mostly of criminals, including convict absconders and bushrangers, and were used both for exhibition purposes and for phrenological analysis. The collection of 85 life and death masks displayed in JW Beattie's Port Arthur Museum included masks of executed criminals dating from 1826 to 1904. The Old Melbourne Gaol's collection of death masks numbers 36 and includes Frederick Bayley Deeming (suspected of being 'Jack the Ripper'), Frances Knorre ('the baby farmer') and James Williams who was hanged in 1904.
The mould of Ned Kelly's skull taken by Maximilien Kreitmayer was used to produce a desk mask that was on display in Kreitmayer's Bourke Street waxworks the day after Kelly's execution. Phrenologist AS Hamilton used the mask as source material for a detailed phrenological analysis of Kelly that was published in the (Melbourne) Herald of 18 November 1880. Hamilton had previously been declined permission to directly study Kelly's skull before he was executed. In part, he concluded '... there are few heads amongst the worst that would risk so much for the love of power as is evinced in the head of Kelly from his enormous self esteem'.