Category Archives: Australia

Reform

On 27 March 1855, the Royal Commission released its report largely written by William Westgarth and John O’Shanassy. [1] In its three months of work, it had asked over 6,000 questions of elected representatives, diggers and camp officials. Though it … Continue reading

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New review

Richard Brown, Famine, Fenians and Freedom, 1830-1882, Authoring History, second edition, 2017, £20.37, paperback, ISBN 978-1540352231; Richard Brown, Three Rebellions: Canada, South Wales and Australia, Authoring History, second edition, 2016, £19.72, paperback, ISBN 978-1539455707 The opportunity to revise and update … Continue reading

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Acquittal

On Tuesday 12 December, the prisoners were quickly removed from Ballarat to Melbourne under heavy escort, to await trial in the Supreme Court. [1] They held at the Melbourne Gaol, where the cramped conditions and harsh treatment were, if anything … Continue reading

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Preparing for trial

Anxiety was especially expressed about whether the uprising was caused by ‘foreigners’. It is never specified how or why these foreigners stirred up unrest, but it widely believed that they had been involved. Hotham was happy to subscribe to this; … Continue reading

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Trial without Retribution

The attack on the Eureka Stockade marked the dénouement of digger protests that began with the first protest meeting at Buninyong on 25 August 1851 when news arrived of a license fee being levied on all miners. The Geelong Advertiser’s … Continue reading

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Three Rebellions…a second edition

There have been important change in the Rebellion Trilogy, a series of books that were written between 2004 and 2010 and published in 2010, 2011 and 2013.  The series will become a Quartet with the addition of a fourth volume … Continue reading

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Women on the goldfields

As early as 1851, there were women who worked with their husbands searching for gold. There were about twenty women, for instance, at the Mount Alexander diggings in early November 1851.[1] By May 1852, a visitor to the diggings was … Continue reading

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Women and Eureka

By the 1850s, immigration to Canada was a far more attractive in the eyes of respectable women than to Australia that was still haunted by its convict origins. [1] Women were outnumbered by roughly six to one in the convict … Continue reading

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From victory to defeat

News of the successful attack on the Stockade finally reached Melbourne in the early hours of Monday 4 December but it only partially relieved Hotham’s anxiety. The immediate danger may have been removed but it was possible that Eureka was … Continue reading

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Defending the Stockade

Heavy and continuous fire between the rebels and soldiers lasted for about ten minutes during which the men of the 40th wavered. At this point several of the men held in reserve, who appeared to think the attack had stalled, … Continue reading

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Deploying the troops

Around 2.30 am, Rede mobilised nearly 300 police and soldiers, more than double the number of miners left in the Stockade. There were 77 men of the 40th under Captain Wise and 65 men of the 12th Regiment under Captain … Continue reading

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Planning the attack

The attack on the Eureka Stockade in the early hours of Sunday 3 December 1854 demonstrated the superiority of regular military forces against rebels. [1] By early December, there were 450 men in the Government Camp including 150 mounted men … Continue reading

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A false dawn

Rumours were rife in Melbourne. The goldfield was said to be in rebel hands and people became uncomfortably aware that the diggers could form an army tens of thousands strong and be on their way to pillage their defenceless town. … Continue reading

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More negotiations: Friday 1 December

For Charles Evans and many others, the night of 30 November was spent in sleepless dread of an impending confrontation: …a fearful thunder storm the most violent I have witnessed since I have been on the diggings, broke over our … Continue reading

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The Stockade

The precise function of the Stockade is also a matter of dispute. [1] The authorities clearly saw its construction and the swearing of oaths to a flag not of the sovereign country as dangerous acts of rebellion. Their view was … Continue reading

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