Tag Archives: Eureka

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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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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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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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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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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Moderate reformers lose control

On Wednesday 29 November, a poster printed at the Ballarat Times office appeared around the diggings and the township, advertising another ‘Monster Meeting’ at Bakery Hill at 2.00 pm. [1] It advised diggers to ‘bring your licenses, they may be … Continue reading

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Arresting the arsonists

The burning of the Eureka Hotel marked a precipitous deterioration in the relationship between the Ballarat diggers and the authorities and the unplanned riot showed diggers just how effective their numerical superiority could be. Rede ordered the arrest of the … Continue reading

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Burning Bentley’s hotel

  Johnston believed that an injustice had occurred in the Scobie case and had forwarded a copy of the depositions to William Stawell, the Attorney-General in Melbourne. But even before any official action could be taken, the diggers dealt with … Continue reading

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Murder and assault

On the evening of Friday 6 October, James Scobie, a Scot in his late teens and his friend Peter Martin were returning to Eureka after an evening celebrating their reunion. In the early hours of the following morning, they saw … Continue reading

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The beginnings of rebellion

It is not fines, imprisonments, taxation and bayonets that is required to keep a people tranquil and content. It is attention to their wants and their just rights alone that will make the miners content. [1] Ballarat had not played … Continue reading

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1852: a faltering administration

In the first half of 1852, La Trobe became more confident as his government gradually established its authority. The Legislative Council, which ended its first session in January, was not summoned again until June. [1] The Government concentrated on recruiting … Continue reading

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Eureka and memory

In the immediate aftermath of the rebellion, two alternative views of Eureka emerged. Many Australian were reluctant to recognise the importance of events in Ballarat. By the early 1860s, there were few diggers left; mining was now the preserve of … Continue reading

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Forgotten and whispered memories: Eureka and its contemporary sources

The precise nature of violent events is often problematic. What was said or written about them is not always what occurred. Society’s interpretation of violent events changes over time and differs across different sections of society. Low economic status, ethnic … Continue reading

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