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Grigg, Joseph (Joe) (1852–1934)

A link with the bushranging past was snapped recently, when Mr. Joseph Grigg, the unwilling maker of the armour worn by Ned Kelly in the Glenrowan battle of June, 1880, died in the Sydney Hospital.

The deceased was 82 at the time of his demise, and was an uncle of the well-known George Grigg, of Rockingham, and Ernest, contractor, of Perth.

The story of how Ned Kelly invaded the smithy of Joe Grigg in the Glenrowan district and compelled him to make the armour to be worn later in the bushrangers v. police battle at Mrs. Jones' Glenrowan Hotel, is not generally known, as even in the long years that followed the wiping out of the gang, it was dangerous to talk too much of the ways and means by which the Kellys lived and avoided their pursuers.

While Joe Grigg made the armour from parts of ploughs and harvesting machines, Ned Kelly kept him under lock and key and strict watch, Dan Kelly coming along at intervals to relieve while the latter slept. When the job was finished Ned Kelly paid for it, and paid for it well in good golden sovereigns, the origin of which Joe Grigg could only guess, but as he immediately told the authorities all about it at a very confidential meeting, he was told to keep the cash as he had honestly earned it.

The late Joe Grigg was the partner of the one-time well-known coach building firm of A. A and J. Grigg, City Road, South Melbourne.

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Citation details

'Grigg, Joseph (Joe) (1852–1934)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/grigg-joseph-joe-13559/text24281, accessed 25 November 2017.

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