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What do I need to know?

  • Names of individuals involved (for example, Edward, Kelly, or Edward Kelly - legal documents rarely referred to Kelly by the name Ned).
  • Crimes that were committed you would like to read about
  • Year the activity took place 
  • Keywords likely to be used in file description

How do I search?

Type in a keyword and year 

About these records

This series consists of Crown Law Department records. The main records in this series are:

  • the contents of the two criminal trial briefs for the murder charges faced by Edward Kelly in 1880
  • the criminal trial brief for the 1878 prosecution of Ellen Kelly, William Williamson and Thomas Skillion, and
  • the capital case file of Edward Kelly

Other records relating to the preparation for the trial of Edward Kelly can be found in the Kelly Historical Collection part 5.

Who created these records?

Attorney-General's Department (previously known as the Law Department) (VA 2825)

Next Steps

Due to the historical value of the records, access to the hardcopy originals is closed. Click on the item in the catalogue and download a digital copy. 

What are in these records?

This series consists mostly of the criminal trial briefs for the cases:
•    Queen v Edward Kelly (1880) for the wilful murder of Thomas Lonigan
•    Queen v Edward Kelly (1880) for the wilful murder of Michael Scanlan (trial not conducted)
•    Queen v Ellen Kelly, William Williamson and Thomas Skillion (1878) for aiding and abetting Edward Kelly in an attempt to murder Constable Fitzpatrick.
Records associated with these criminal trial briefs include police reports, witness statements and depositions and other documents associated with the crown cases against the defendants.

This series also includes the capital case file for Edward Kelly, which documents actions taken after his trial to determine whether his mandatory death sentence should be commuted to life imprisonment. This file includes trial judge Redmond Barry’s notes of the trial, and the letters dictated by Kelly at Pentridge Prison seeking the Governor’s mercy. A portion of attorney Gaunson’s petition to save Kelly kept with the capital case file is also included.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples