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Michael Kennedy (1842–1878)

from Argus

A general feeling of regret was expressed throughout the city yesterday afternoon when it became known that any hopes which had been entertained with regard to the safety of the missing Sergeant [Michael] Kennedy had been dispelled by the discovery of the dead body of the unfortunate officer. The melancholy intelligence was brought into Mansfield between 1 and 2 o'clock yesterday, by a search party under the direction of Inspector Pewtress and Mr. Tomkins, the president of the shire. Many conjectures had been made as to the probable fate of the missing sergeant, but while a general impression appeared to gain ground amongst the people in the locality that Edward Kelly and his band of marauders had taken Kennedy with them to the King River, scarcely anybody ventured to do more than hope that the gallant officer, who appears to have been ruthlessly shot, had not been murdered. The worst fears, however, have at length been realised, and the desperadoes have added another diabolical deed to their atrocious crimes. From the particulars telegraphed by our correspondent it appears that the search party, consisting of 10 volunteers and five constables, arrived at Stringy-bark Creek at half-past 7 o'clock on Thursday morning, and renewed the search. Shortly afterwards their labours were rewarded by one of the volunteers named Henry Sparrow, an overseer at the Mount Battery Station, finding Sergeant Kennedy's body within half a mile of the camp where Constables Scanlan and Lonergan received their death wounds. The body presented a frightful spectacle, and from the manner in which it had been mutilated was scarcely recognisable. The unfortunate sergeant had evidently attempted to escape from his murderers by the same track as that taken by Constable McIntyre when he jumped upon Kennedy's horse and rode off, as bullet marks were visible on some of the trees in the line of the track. He had been shot through the side of the head, the bullet coming out in front, and carrying away part of the face, while several other bullet wounds were found on his body, one of which had penetrated the lungs. His jacket was singed is if a bullet had been fired into his body from very close quarters, probably after the unfortunate man had fallen. The remains were placed upon horseback, and conveyed into the township, where the excitement over the deeds of the outlaws appears to be increasing. Sergeant Kennedy was a vigilant officer and generally well liked, and much sympathy is expressed for his widow and five children, who, however, are believed to be in tolerably good circumstances.

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Citation details

'Kennedy, Michael (1842–1878)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Westmeath, Ireland


26 October, 1878 (aged ~ 36)
Mansfield, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.