The Eureka Stockade
Part 3 out of 4
the carnage; but is dead since, from the wounds. R---- has effected
his escape. [ Johnny Robertson, who had a striking resemblance to me,
not so much in size as in complexion and colour of the beard especially:
Poor Johnny was shot down dead on the stockade; and was the identical body
which Mr. Binney mistook for me. Hence the belief by many, that I was dead.]
V---- is reported to be amongst the wounded [Oh! no his legs were too long
even for a Minie rifle ]. One man was seen yesterday trailing along the road:
he said he could not last much longer, and that his brother was shot
along-side of him. All whom I spoke to were of one opinion, that it was
a cowardly massacre. There were only about one hundred and seventy diggers,
and they were opposed to nearly six hundred military. I hope all is over;
but I fear not: or amongst many, the feeling is not of intimidation,
but a cry for vengeance, and an opportunity to meet the soldiers
with equal numbers. There is an awful list of casualties yet to come in;
and when uncertainty is made certain, and relatives and friends know the worst,
there will be gaps that cannot be filled up. I have little knowledge
of the gold-fields; but I fear that the massacre at Eureka is only a skirmish.
I bid farewell to the gold-fields, and if what I have seen is a specimen
of the government of Victoria, the sooner I am out of it the better for myself
and family. Sir, I am horrified at what I witnessed, and I did not see
the worst of it. I could not breathe the blood-tainted air of the diggings,
and I have left them for ever.
You may rely upon this simple statement, and submit it if you approve of it,
to your readers.
I am, Sir.
Ab Initio Usque Ad Finem Horribile Dictu.
Avanit Il Tuo Cospetto, Dio Potente! Grida Vendetta Il Sangue Innocente.
As I want to be believed, so I transcribed the following document
from 'The Argus' of Friday, December 15th, 1854.--Gordon Evans,
one of H.M. Captains in the Eureka massacre, now acts in the capacity
DEPOSITION OF HENRY POWELL.
The deceased deposed to the following effect:--My name
is Henry Powell, I am a digger residing at Creswick-creek.
I left Creswick-creek about noon on Saturday, December 2nd.
I said to my mates, 'You'll get the slabs ready. I will
just go over to see Cox and his family at Ballaarat.'
I arrived at Ballaarat about half-past four, or thereabouts.
I saw armed men walking about in parties of twenty or
thirty; went to Cox's tent; put on another pair of
trousers, and walked down the diggings. Looked in the
ring (the stockade). After that, went home, went to bed
in the tent at the back of Cox's tent, about half-past
nine. On Sunday morning about four or half-past,
was awoke by the noise of firing. Got up soon after,
and walked about twenty yards, when some trooper rode
up to me. The foremost one was a young man whom I knew
as the Clerk of the Peace. He was of a light, fair
complexion, with reddish hair. He told me to "stand in
the Queen's name! You are my prisoner." I said "Very good,
Sir." Up came more troopers. I cannot say how many.
Believe about twenty or thirty. I said, "Very well,
gentlemen (!) don't be in a hurry, there are plenty of
you," and then the young man struck me on the head with
a crooked knife, about three feet and a half long,
in a sheath. I fell to the ground. They then fired
at me, and rode over me several times. I never had
any hand in the disturbance. There, that's all.
Ballaarat, Dec. 11, 1854.
FIRST CASE of an inquest which has taken place since
the massacre of the memorable 3rd. The evidence as to
the murder of Powell (writes 'The Argus' express
correspondent) is but a specimen of the recitals heard
on every hand of the reckless brutality of the troopers
VERDICT OF THE JURY.
The death of deceased, Henry Powell, gold-digger, was
caused by sabre cuts and gun shot wounds, wilfully
and feloniously, and of their malice aforethought
inflicted and fired by ARTHUR PURCELL AKEHURST, Clerk
of the Peace, Ballaarat bench, and other persons unknown.
The jury return a verdict of Wilful Murder against
A. P. Akehurst and other persons unknown.
The jury express their condemnation of the conduct of
Captain Evans, in not swearing deceased at the time
of taking his statement after having been cautioned
by Dr. Wills of his immediate danger. The jury
view with extreme horror the brutal conduct of the
mounted police in firing at and cutting down unarmed
and innocent persons of both sexes, at a distance from
the scene of disturbance, on December 3rd, 1854.
Mind, good reader, the above is a legal document.
After my trial, on my way to Ballaarat, I met in Geelong the identical
Akehurst, cracking some nuts with (I mean, speaking to) some young ladies.
I DESPAIR OF THIS COLONY.
May it please HER MAJESTY to cause inquiry to be made into the character
of such that have branded the miners of Ballaarat as disloyal to their QUEEN.
The following documents are put in here as evidence of 'our times.'
THE STATEMENT OF FRANK ARTHUR HASLEHAM.
(Now lying wounded at Ballaarat.)
"Whereas I, Frank Arthur Hasleham, a native of the good town of Bedford,
and son of a military officer, to wit, William Gale Hasleham, who bore
His Majesty's commission in the 48th Foot at Talavera, and afterwards
retired from the 6th veteran battallion:
"Whereas I, the aforesaid, having, in my capacity of newspaper correspondent
at Ballaarat, shown, on all proper occasions in general, so especially
during the late insurrectionary movement here, a strong instinctive leaning
to the side of law, authority, and loyalty, was, on the morning of the
3rd instant, fired at and wounded at a time when the affray was over,
and the forces with their prisoners were on the point of returning to the camp,
and in a place whence the scene of action was invisible, and when
no other bloodshed had taken place;
"On these considerations I desire to make on oath the following statements
of facts as they occurred, and as witnessed by others:-
"Shortly after daybreak in the morning mentioned, my three mates and myself
were aroused from sleep by the fire of musketry, a great proportion
of the balls whistling over our tents. The tent is pitched on a rising ground
about 500 yards south of the stockade; the tent and stockade, each situated
on an eminence, are separated by a large gully running east and west,
and comprising in its breadth nearly the whole of the distance above specified.
Considerably alarmed at the continuance of the firing, we at last got up
and went outside, thinking to find a place of shelter of comparative security.
After I had gone outside the firing gradually fell off, the stockade
was unoccupied, the insurgents' flag was struck, and whatever fighting
was then going on was confined to the further slope of the hill on which
the stockade was situated. As some desultory firing was still going on,
I advanced about fifty yards down the gully, in order to insure safety
by getting upon lower ground; by this time, with the exception of
an occasional cheer from the military or police, everything was perfectly
quiet, and from where I stood neither soldier nor trooper was to be seen.
A few minutes after a small detachment of mounted police made its appearance
on the hill, and drew up in a line on the either side of the stockade,
the officer in command appeared to be haranguing them. I was standing
about three hundred yards from them, several other people being near at hand.
I saw three troopers leave the ranks and advance towards me; when one of them
who rode considerably ahead of the other two arrived within hailing distance,
he hailed me as a friend. Having no reason to think otherwise of him,
I walked forward to meet him. After he had lured me within safe distance,
namely about four paces, he levelled his holster pistol at my breast
and shot me. Previous to this, and while advancing towards each other,
he asked me if I wished to join his force; I told him I was unarmed,
and in a weak state of health, which must have been plain to him at the time,
but added that I hoped this madness on the part of the diggers would soon
be over; upon that he fired."
The trooper be d----d; but I congratulate poor Frank, of the good town
of Bedford, for 'this madness on the part of the diggers' procuring him 400
pounds sterling from Toorak; so that he can afford to spare me the trouble
of encroaching any further into his 'statement.' Great works!
III. Document more important, by far.
On the 28th November, when some military and ammunition came on the ground,
the detachment was set on at Eureka, near the site of the stockade,
and in the hubbub consequent the troops were somewhat at fault,
and the officer in command called at the London Hotel to inquire the way
to the Camp. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Hassall, on being asked,
came out of his establishment to point out the way to the officer in command
of the detachment, while so doing he received a ball in his leg, and was
for a while laid up by the wound. After a long time of suffering,
and a great loss of money directly and indirectly, he applied
for compensation--with what success may be seen from the following letter
just come to hand:-
Colonial Secretary's Office,
Melbourne, 26th October, 1855.
Gentlemen.--The memorial of the miners on behalf of Mr. B. S. Hassall,
wounded during the disturbances at Ballaarat, having been by the governor's
directions referred to the board appointed to investigate such claims,
the board reported, that from the evidence, it appears impossible Mr. Hassall
could have received his wound from the military, and that they could not see
anything to justify their recommending any compensation for him.
His Excellency cannot therefore entertain the petition as he has not power
to award compensation except on the recommendation of the board.
I have the honour to be, gentlemen,
Your most obedient servant,
J. MOORE, A.C.S.
(To) SAMUEL IRWIN, and
A. C. BRUNNING, Esqrs.
'Great works' this time at Toorak, eh! oh! dear.
So far so good, for the present; because spy 'Goodenough' wants me
in the next chapter.
Et Scias Quia Nihil Impium Fecerim.
It was now between eight and nine o'clock. A patrol of troopers and traps
stopped before the London Hotel.
Spy Goodenough, entered panting, a cocked pistol in his hand, looking as wild
as a raven. He instantly pounced on me as his prey, and poking the pistol
at my face, said in his rage, "I want you."
"None of your d----d nonsense, or I shoot you down like a rat."
"My good fellow don't you see? I am assisting Dr. Carr to dress the wounds
of my friends!"--I was actually helping to bandage the thigh of an American
digger, whose name, if I recollected it, I should now write down with pleasure,
because he was a brave fellow. He had on his body at least half-a-dozen shots,
all in front, an evident proof, he had stood his ground like a man.
Spy Goodenough would not listen to me. Dr. Carr. spoke not a word
in my behalf, though I naturally enough had appealed to him, who knew me
these two years, to do so. This circumstance, and his being the very first
to enter the stockade, after the military job was over, though he had
never before been on the Eureka during the agitation, his appointment
to attend the wounded diggers that were brought up to the Camp, and especially
his absence at my trial, were and are still a mystery to me.
I was instantly dragged out, and hobbled to a dozen more of prisoners outside,
and we were marched to the Camp. The main road was clear, and the diggers
crawled among the holes at the simple bidding of any of the troopers
who rode at our side.
Sic Sinuerunt Fata.
On reaching the Camp, I recognized there the identical American Kenworthy.
I gave him a fearful look. I suspected my doom to be sealed.
The soldiers were drinking 'ad libitum' from a pannikin which they dipped
into a pail-bucket full of brandy. I shall not prostitute my hand,
and write down the vile exultations of a mob of drunkards. It was of the
ordinary colonial sort, whenever in a fight the 'ring' is over.
Inspector Foster, commanded us to strip to the bare shirt. They did not
know how to spell my name. I pulled out a little bag containing some
Eureka gold-dust, and my licence; Mr. Foster took care of my bag, and just
as my name was copied from my licence; a fresh batch of prisoners
had arrived, and Mr. Foster was called outside the room where I was
stripping. Now, some accursed trooper pretended to recognize me as one
of the 'spouts' at the monster meeting. I wanted to keep my waistcoat
on account of some money, and papers I had in the breast pocket;
my clothes were literally torn into rags. I attempted to remonstrate,
but I was kicked for my pains, knocked down in the bargain, and thrown
naked and senseless into the lock-up.
The prison was crammed to suffocation. We had not space enough to lie
down, and so it was taken in turns to stand or lie down. Some kind friend
sent me some clothes, and my good angel had directed him to bury
my hand-writings he had found in my tent, under a tent in Gravel-pits.
Fleas, lice, horse-stealers, and low thieves soon introduced themselves
to my notice. This vermin, and the heat of the season, and the stench
of the place, and the horror at my situation, had rendered life
intolerable to me. Towards midnight of that Sunday I was delirious.
Our growls and howling reached Commissioner Rede, and about two o'clock
in the morning the doors were opened, and all the prisoners from
the Eureka stockade, were removed between two files of soldiers
to the Camp store-house a spacious room, well ventilated and clean.
Commissioner Rede came in person to visit us. Far from any air of
exultation, he appeared to me to feel for our situation. As he passed
before me, I addressed him in French, to call his attention to my misery.
He answered very kindly, and concluded thus:-
"'Je ne manquerai pas de parler au Docteur Carr, et si ce que vous venez
de me dire e trouve vrai, je veux bien m'interesser pour vous.'
"'Vous etez bien bon, Monsieur le Commissionaire, repondis-je.'
"'Il faut donc que j'aie eu des ennemis bien cruels au Camp! Avaient-ils
soif de mon sang, ou etaient-ils de mercenaires? Voila bien un secret,
et je donnerai de coeur ma vie pour le percer. Dieu leur pardonne, moi,
je le voudrais bien! mais je ne saurai les pardonner jamais.'"
On Monday morning, the fresh air had restored me a little strength.
We had an important arrival among us. It was the Editor of 'The Times'
newspaper, arrested for sedition. All silver and gold lace, blue and red
coats in the Camp rushed in to gaze on this wild elephant, whose trunk
it was supposed, had stirred up the hell on Ballaarat.
Henry Seekamp is a short, thick, rare sort of man, of quick and precise
movements, sardonic countenance; and one look from his sharp round set
of eyes, tells you at once that you must not trifle with him. Of a temper
that must have cost him some pains to keep under control, he hates humbug
and all sort of yabber-yabber. His round head of tolerable size,
is of German mould, for the earnestness of his forehead is corrected
by the fullness of his cheeks, and a set of moustachios is the padlock
of his mouth, whose key is kept safe in his head, and his heart is the
turn-key. When his breast is full, and he must make it clean, its gall
will burn wherever it falls, and set the place a blazing. To keep friends
with such a cast of mind, whose motto is Nelson's, you must do your duty;
never mind if you sink a shicer, bottom your shaft any how. You are
his enemy if you are or play the flunky; he will call you a 'thing,'
and has a decided contempt for 'incapables.' Hence, his energy was never
abated, though the whole legion of Victorian red-tape wanted to dry
his inkstand, and smother his lamp in gaol. That there are too many fools
at large, he knows, because he has travelled half the world, what he can
not put up with, is their royal cant, religious bosh, Toorak small-beer,
and first and foremost, their money-grubbing expertness. Hence, now
and then, his ink turns sour, and thereby its vitriol burns stronger.
'The Times', of which he is the founder, is the Overseer of Ballaarat,
and the 'Dolce far niente' will not prosper.
Our literary prisoner was literally insulted, and could not look with
enough contempt on all those accursed asses braying (at him)
'The Times!' 'The Times!'
I felt for him very much, and joined conversation with him in French.
I state it as a matter of fact, that there and then I had the presentiment
that all the spies pointed me out there, and only there and then as his
accomplice. Towards ten o'clock we were ordered to fall in, in four rows.
Now the Camp officials and their myrmidons were in their glory.
They came to number their prey, and mark out a score of heads to make
an 'example' of, for the better conduct of future generations.
Unfortunately for my red hair, fizzing red beard, and fizzing red
moustachios, my name was taken down after the armed ruffian and the
anonymous scribbler, and followed by that of the nigger-rebel.
It was odious to see honourable, honest, hard-working men made the gazing
stock of a parcel of pampered perverted fools, for the fun of `a change'
to gratify their contempt for the blue-shirt and thick boots who had
dared, mucky and muddy, to come out of their deep wet holes to hamper
these gods of the land in their dog's game of licence-hunting!
Then the following document was shown for our edification:-
VICTORIA GOVERNMENT GAZETTE EXTRAORDINARY.
(Published by Authority.)
DECLARED IN THE DISTRICT OF BUNINYONG
By his Excellency Sir Charles Hotham, Knight-Commander of the Most
Honourable Military Order of the Bath Lieutenant--Governor
of Victoria, &c., &c., &c.
WHEREAS bodies of armed men have arrayed themselves against Her Majesty's
forces and the constituted authorities, and have committed acts of open
rebellion: and whereas, for the effectual suppression thereof it is
imperatively necessary that Martial Law should be administered and
executed within the limits hereinafter described; now I,
the Lieutenant-Governor of the said Colony with the advice of the
Executive Council thereof, do hereby command and Proclaim that
MARTIAL LAW from and after twelve of the clock at noon on Wednesday,
the sixth day of December instant, shall and may be administered against
every person and persons within the said limits, who shall at any time
after the said hour commit any act of rebellion, any treason, treasonable
or seditious practices, or other outrage or misdemeanor whatsoever within
the following limits, that is to say: arrowee...Lal Lal...Moorabool...
Ran Rip...Yarrowee aforesaid. And I do hereby, with the advice
aforesaid, order and authorize all officers commanding Her Majesty's
forces to employ them with the utmost vigour and decision for the
immediate suppression of the said rebellion and offences, and to proceed
against and punish every person and persons acting, aiding, or in any
manner assisting in the said rebellion and offences, according to
Martial Law, as to them shall seem expedient for the punishment of all
such persons: And I do hereby especially declare and proclaim, that no
sentence of death shall be carried into execution against any such person
without my express consent thereto: ['Great works!'] And I do hereby
with the advice aforesaid, notify this my Proclamation to all subjects
of Her Majesty in the Colony of Victoria.
Given under my Hand and the Seal of the Colony, at Melbourne, this fourth
day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-four, and in the eighteenth year of Her Majesty's Reign.
(L.S.) CHARLES HOTHAM,
By His Excellency's Command,
God save the Queen!
Ecce Amaritudo Mea Amarissima.
We were frightened by the report that a gang of red-coats were sinking
a large pit in the Camp.
"Are they going to bury us alive without any flogging? That's not half
so merciful as Haynau's rule in Austria;" was my observation to a mate
prisoner--a shrewd Irishman.
"Where did you read in history that the British Lion was ever merciful
to a fallen foe?" was his sorrowfully earnest reply.
Oh! days and nights of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th of December, 1854,
your remembrance will not end, no, not even in my grave.
They were happy days in my youth, when I thought with Rousseau, that
the heart of man is from nature good. It was a sad fatality now that
compelled me to feel the truth from the prophet Isaiah, that the heart
of man is desperately wicked.
I was really thunderstruck at the savage eagerness with which spies and
red-coats sprang out of their ranks to point me out. Though a British
soldier was not ashamed to swear and confess his cowardice of running away
from before my pike, which I never had on the stockade, where the fellow
never could have seen me; I shall not prostitute my intelligence and
comment on the 'evidence' against me from a gang of bloodthirsty mercenary
spies. The printer will copy my trial from the public newspaper,
Condemn The Wicked, And Bring His Way Upon His Head, Oh,
Lord God Of Israel!
The first witness against me was such a rum sort of old colonial bird of
the jackass tribe, and made such a fool of himself for Her Majesty's dear
sake, about the monster meeting, where as it appeared, he had volunteered
as reporter of the Camp; that now God has given him his reward. He is a
gouty cripple, still on 'Her Majesty's fodder' at the Camp, Ballaarat.
Who will sharpen my quill and poison my inkstand, that I may put to
confusion the horrible brood of red-tape that ruled on Ballaarat at the
time. To administer justice in the sacred name of Her Most Gracious
Majesty, they squandered the sweat of self-over-working diggers, on a set
of devils, such that they actually competed with one another, in vomiting
like sick dogs! Their multitude was taken as a test of their veracity,
on the Mosaical ground, that 'out of the mouth of two witnesses shall the
guilty be condemned;' and yet, with the exception of spy Goodenough,
and spy Peters, none other to my knowledge ever did see my face before.
I assert and declare as an honest man and a Christian, that my eyes never
did see the witnesses against me, before I was under arrest at the Camp.
My soul was drowned in an ocean of bitterness when of that brood of Satan,
one did swear he had run from before my pike; another had fired at me,
but his pistol 'snapped;' a third made me prisoner within the stockade;
a fourth took me up chained to other prisoners who had surrendered,
from the stockade to the Camp.
Such, then, is the perversity of the human heart! In vain did I point out
to the sitting magistrate the absurdness of their evidence, and the fact
that Sub-inspector Carter and Dr. Carr could prove the contradiction.
I was so embittered and broken-hearted at the wickedness of so many
infuriated mercenary rascals, that had made up their mind to sell the
blood of an honest man, in as much as I had repeatedly told each and all
of them, when they came to 'recognize' in our prison, that they must
mistake me for another as I was not within the stockade that Sunday
morning; that I...but it is too humiliating to say any more.
Mr. Sturt, with an odious face, whose plumpness told me at once he was no
friend to fasting, strutted to the magisterial chair, and committeed me
and the nigger-rebel, to whom I was kindly hobbled, to take our trial
for high treason!
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
In the course of the day (December 7th), in spite of all the bayonets and
blunderbusses, the report reached us that the Melbourne people had had
a Monster Meeting of their own, equal to ours of November 29th, and that
Mr. Foster, the 'Jesuit,' had been dismissed from office.
The tragical act on Ballaarat was over; the scenery changed; and the
comedy now proceeded to end in the farce of the State Trials in Melbourne.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, all the 160 prisoners were liberated,
with the necessary exception of thirteen, reserved to confirm the title
of this book.
I do not wish to omit one significant circumstance. On Tuesday night,
December 5th, I was hobbled for the night to young Fergusson, an American,
and shared with him his blankets. I felt very much for this young man,
for he suffered from consumption; and as I do respect him, so I shall not
disclose our private conversation. This, however, is to the purpose.
He was among us, and with us at four o'clock on Saturday, at one and the
same time when spy Peters was within the stockade.
No spy, no trap, no trooper appeared against young Fergusson. Doctor
Kenworthy, his countryman, had the management of getting him off. I was
glad at his obtaining his liberty, because he was a brave, kind-hearted,
republican-minded young American, and I intend to keep his blue blankets
he left to me in prison for my comfort, in his remembrance.
Audi Alteram Partem.
As I wish to be believed, so I transcribe the following from 'The Argus',
Friday, December 15, 1854;
MAINTENANCE OF LAW AND ORDER.
The Lieutenant-Governor received a deputation from, with an address signed
by, five hundred bankers, merchants, and other classes resident in
Melbourne, placing themselves, their services, and their influence
unreservedly at His Excellency's disposal, for the maintenance or order
and upholding of the paramount authority of existing (!) law.
His Excellency listened with marked attention to the address, to which he
gave the following answer:--
"...It is necessary to look its (the Colony's) difficulty full in the face.
"Here we have persons from all parts of the globe,--men who come to look
for gold and gold alone; men of adventurous spirit, of resolution, and of
firm purpose to carry out the principles which actuate them. If gold
fails, or the season is unfavourable, we must expect such outbreaks and
such dangers as have given rise to the most loyal and valuable address
which you present to me. ['Pardon, Monsiegneur, apres lecture des versets
28, 29, du chap. I., et versets 17, 18, 19, du chap. III., de la Genese,
favorisez s'il vous plait l'exploitation de l'activite de tous ces
gaillards la, par la Charrue: l n'y a pas mal de terres ici, et bien
pour tout le monde. Audaces fortuna juvat.']
"I desire to govern by the people, and through the people: and by the
people I mean through the intelligence of the people. ['Elle est fameuse,
Monseigneur l'intelligence de ceux, qui vous ont conseille l'affaire de
Ballaarat! surtout in farce odieuse de haute-trahison!']
"In Ballaarat it was not a particular law, against which objection was
raised, nor was there a particular complaint made. ['Oh, pardon,
Monseigneur: ou l'on vous a toujours mal informe; ou l'on vous a souvent
cache la verite: alheureusement, cela n'a pas beaucoup change meme
aujourd'hui'.' Vide 'The Times', Ballaarat, Saturday, September 29, 1855,
and Saturday, November 10th--Local Court.]
"...It was not exactly the licence fee, that caused the outbreak, though
that was made the 'nom de guerre,' the 'cheval de bataille,' this was not
the real cause. I consider that the masses were urged on by designing men
who had ulterior views, and who hoped to profit by anarchy and confusion.
['Comment se fait il Monseigneur que vous mettez le prix de 500 pounds
sur la tete du chef de ces blagueurs du Star Hotel, a Ballaarat; et puis
vous lassiez courir le malin a son aise! Avez-vous, oui ou non,
Monseigneur, accorde votre pardon a M`Gill? et les autres Americains
"Then we have active, designing, intriguing foreigners, who also desire
to bring about disorder and confusion." ['Cependant, moi, bon garcon apres
tout, et d'une ancienne famille Romaine, j'ai ete VOLE sous arret au
Camp de Ballaarat par VOS gens et avec impunite, Monseigneur. Vous me
faites l'honneur d'avouer par votre lettre la chose, mais vous n'avez
point fait de restitution. Ce n'est pas comme cela que j'entends le vieux
mot Anglais, Fair-play.']"
Hence, I had better address myself to the five hundred gentlemen, who
belong to the brave Melbourne people after all.
Five hundred copies of this work, which costs me an immense labour,
for the sake of the cause of truth, will be left with
MESSRS. MUIR, BROTHERS AND CO.,
Merchants, Flinders-lane, Melbourne--
of the same firm much respected on Ballaarat, to whom I am personally
known long ago, having been their neighbour on the Massacre-hill, Eureka.
Ten shillings is my price for each copy: and, as Messrs. Muir render this
service to me gratuitously, so I hereby authorise them to keep
half-a-crown from each ten shillings, and in the spirit of St. Matthew,
verses 1, 2, 3, 4, chap. vi.,share said halfcrowns in the following
proportion: one shilling to the Benevolent Asylum; one shilling to the
Melbourne Hospital, and sixpence to the Miners' Hospital, Ballaarat.
I hope thus to understand 'Fair-play' better than Toorak.
I have not yet done with His Excellency's answer.
"The part which the bankers, merchants, tradesmen and others in Melbourne
and in Geelong ['pas a Ballaarat, Monseigneur'], have taken in coming
forward to support me, I shall be careful to represent properly at home,
where perhaps these occurrences may attract more attention than they
deserve. ['Pour votre bonheur, Monseigneur, Sebastopol leur donne assez
d'occupation pour le moment.']
"I shall declare my opinion that the mass of the community does not
sympathise with these violators of the law." ['Est-ce donc un reve,
Monseigneur, que votre gouvernment en voulait a ma tete, aussi, bien
qu'a celle de douze autres prisonnier, d'etat, et que le peuple nous
a acquitte glorieusement par'
SEVEN BRITISH JURIES!]
'Mon ardent desir, mon tourment presque, c'est d'avoir vite l'honneur
de parler, encore une fois sur la terre, a SA MAJESTE LA REINE VICTORIA.'
The State Prisoners.
I Beg to say at once, that with the exception of Hayes and Manning, of the
remaining ten, seven were perfect strangers to me; three I had simply met
at work on the gold-fields; and I won't say anything further.
Yes, though, MICHAEL TUHEY was the stoutest heart among us, an Irishman
in word and deed, young, healthy, good-hearted chap, that hates all the
ways of John Bull, he had been misled by honest George Black countenancing
the two demagogues at Creswick-creek, and had hastened with his
double-barrelled guns to Ballaarat, and stood his ground like an Irishman,
against the red-coats. He never was sorry for it. His brother paid some
forty pounds to a certain solicitor for his defence, but when Mic was
tried for his neck, the Hog was not there. GOD SAVE THE PEOPLE!
THOMAS DIGNAM, a serious-looking, short, tight-built young chap, a native
of Sydney, who hated all sort of rogues, because he was honest in heart.
He brunted courageously the mob fury on Tuesday evening, November 28th,
on the Eureka, and actually saved at the risk of his own life, the life
of a soldier of the 12th regiment on its way to Ballaarat; he took up
arms in the cause of the diggers in Thursday's licence-hunt, was
subsequently under drill at the stockade; fought like a tiger on Sunday
morning; repented not of having put on stretchers a couple of red-coats;
was always cheerful, contented and kind-hearted during the four months
in gaol; paid his last farthing out of the honest sweat of his brow,
to Stephens his solicitor for the defence (above thirty pounds) and when
put in the dock to take his trial for high-treason, lo! there was no
charge against him; the prosecution was dropped. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
We are however still in chokey at Ballaarat. We were put under the
officious care of Sergeant Harris, who condescended to show some affection
for Joseph, to prove that his Christian love could extend even to niggers;
but the red-coat wanted to draw worms from the black rebel. We were nigh
bursting for laughter, when Joseph during his two days' trial came into
our yard for his meals, and related to us with such eye-twinklings,
widening of nostrils, trumping up the lips, scratching all the while his
black wool so desperately, and the doodle music of his unearthly whistle!
"how old chappyman and a tother smart 'un of spin-all did fix that there
mob of traps; 'specially that godammed hirpocrit of sergeant, I guess."
JOHN JOSEPH, a native of New York, under a dark skin possessed a warm,
good, honest, kind, cheerful heart; a sober, plain-matter-of-fact
contented mind; and that is more than what can be said of some
half-a-dozen grumbling, shirking, snarling, dog-natured state prisoners.
Sergeant Harris took it into his head to humble Hayes--humility is also a
Christian virtue--and so honoured him with the perfumery job of clearing
the tub at the corner, full of urine and solids. Hayes, for the lark did
it once, but found it against his principles to practise on said tub
again, and thus got into disgrace with our overkind sergeant.
To be serious: Timothy Hayes, our chairman at the monster meeting,
aristocratically dressed among us, had like the rest his plump body
literally bloated with lice from the lock-up. Poor Manning was the worst.
Myself, I was plagued with that disgusting vermin, all through those
ignominious four months in gaol.
It were odious to say many, many other things.
Is There A Mortal Eye That Never Wept?
On Sunday afternoon, we witnessed a solemn scene, which must be recorded
with a tear wherever this book may find a reader.
The sun was far towards the west. All had felt severely the heat of the
day. The red-coats themselves, that were of the watch, felt their ardour
flagging. Of twelve prisoners, some gazed as in 'a fix,' and were
stationary; others, 'acursing,' swept up and down the prison; the rest,
cast down, desponding, doing violence to themselves, to dam their flooded
eyes. I was among the broken-hearted.
Mrs. Hayes, who in the days of her youth must have made many young Irish
hearts ache 'for something,' had brought now a bundle of clean clothing,
and a stock of provisions, to make her husband's journey to Melbourne as
comfortable as possible. There she was, holding her baby sucking at her
breast; her eyes full on her husband, which spoke that she passionately
loved him. Six children, neatly dressed, and the image of their father,
were around. Timothy Hayes forced himself to appear as cheerful as his
honourable heart and proud mind would allow. He pressed his little
daughter, who wanted to climb his shoulder; he pronounced his blessing
on the younger of his sons. The eldest (twelve years old) was kissing
his father's left hand, bathing it all the while with such big tears,
that dropped down so one by one, and so after the other!
Good boy, your sorrows have begun soon enough for your sensible heart!
Strengthen it by time with Christian courage, or else you will smother it
with grief, long before your hair has turned grey! There are too many
troubles to go through in this world. Take courage; there is a God,
and therefore learn by heart the Psalm, 'Beatus vir qui timet Dominum.'
My head has still the red hair of my youth, and yet I am a living witness
of many truths in that Psalm; meditate, therefore, especially on the last
verse, ending 'Desiderium peccatorum peribit.'
Had I in younger years cultivated painting, I feel satisfied that I could
produce now such a tableau as to match any of my countryman, Raffaelle;
so much an all-wise Providence has been pleased, perhaps for the trial of
my heart, to endow me with a cast of mind that, on similar occasions as
the solemn one above, whenever my electric fluid is called into action,
it is actually a daguerreotype.
At four o'clock on Tuesday morning, we were commanded to fall in, dressed
and hobbled as we were. Captain Thomas, with the tone and voice of a
country parson, read to us his 'Order of the day,' to the effect that we
were now under his charge for our transit to Melbourne; that if any of us
stirred a finger, or moved a lip--especially across the diggings--his
orders were that the transgressor should be shot on the spot. This
arrangement, so Austrian-like, and therefore unworthy of a British officer,
did not frighten us, and I cried, loud enough, "God save the Queen!"
Inspector Foster sprang up to me with his hopping leg, put on me tighter
darbies, and together with the mulatto-rebel put us in front of the cart,
giving strict orders to shoot us both down if we attempted to turn our
heads. 'Veritatem dico, non mentior'; and so Messrs, Haynau, Jellachich,
and Co., from that morning my hatred for you is on the decline.
They rode us through the main road as fast is it was safe for the
preservation of our necks--the only thing they wanted to preserve
inviolate for head-quarters.
Though it was clear daylight, yet I did see only one digger on the whole
of the main road.
On passing through the Eureka, I got a glance of my snug little tent,
where I had passed so many happy hours, and was sacred to me on a Sunday.
There it lay deserted, uncared for! My eyes were choked with tears,
and at forty years of age a man does not cry for little.
Della Vita Lo Spello Dal Mondo Sciolto,
Al Mondo Vivo Perche Non Son Sepolto.
We were soon in Ballan. Good reader, please enter now within my mind.
The lesson, if read, learned, and inwardly digested, will be of good use
for the future. The troubles of this colony have begun.
It is eight o'clock of a fine morning; the spring season is in its full:
the sun in his splendour is all there on the blue sky. Nature all around
is life. The landscape is superb. It reminded me 'della Bella Cara
Itallia'. The bush around was crammed with parrots, crows, and other
chattering birds of the south. They were not prevented from singing
praises each in its own language to the Creator, and all was joy and
happiness with them. Unfortunately those lands lay uncultivated by the
hand of man; but were not left idle by nature. Lively, pretty little
flowers of the finest blue, teemed here, there, and everywhere, through
the splendid grass, wafed to and fro by a gentle wind.
Look now at the foot of the picture.
There were thirteen of us all healthy, honest, able-bodied men, chained
together on three carts. A dozen of dragoons, strong, sound-looking men,
were riding on horseback as sharp-shooters, in all directions, before our
carts in the bush. Their horses were really splendid animals. A score
of troopers of the accursed stamp we had then on Ballaarat, sword
unsheathed, carbines cocked, kept so close to our carts that one of these
Vandemonians was half jammed on riding by a large gum-tree; was thrown
from his horse, and disabled, but not killed. We are at last in Ballan,
for change of horses. Captain Thomas and a stout healthy-looking man,
with a pair of the finest black whiskers I ever saw, in the garb of a
digger, who gave such orders to the coachman, as were always attended to,
with the usual colonial oaths as a matter of course, were regaling
themselves with bottled porter on a stump of a tree outside the
public-house. The dragoons and troopers had biscuit, cheese, and ale
served to them, though paid for by themselves, before our teeth.
There was no breakfast for the poor state prisoners, in chains, and lying
on the bare ground. They had some trouble before they could obtain from
the red-coats watching over them, and blowing heaps of smoke from stump
pipes, a drop of cold water--I mean actually a drop of cold water.
Good reader, you know WHOM I did bless, whom I did curse.
Petite, Sed Non Accipietis, Quia Petistis.
The following document, which does honour and justice to its writer,
J. Basson Humffray, to 4500 of our fellow-miners of Ballaarat, who signed
it, to the state prisoners themselves, is now here transcribed as
necessary to the purpose of this book.
THE BALLAARAT DELEGATES, AND THEIR INTERVIEW WITH
HIS EXCELLENCY SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, K.C.B., &c
The public has already seen the written reply of His
Excellency to the petition from Ballaarat, signed by
nearly 4500 of the inhabitants of that important, but
'officially' ridden place.
We deem it our duty to the public, and especially to
those whose delegates we are, to state the main reasons
urged by us for a general amnesty, and to make some general
remarks thereon, and also upon the reply. We have delayed
doing this, as we expected to have returned immediately
to Ballaarat, and we did not wish to forestall our intended
statement at a public meeting, which would have been held
on our return; but as circumstances interfere with this
arrangement, we now give our report.
We were very kindly and respectfully received by His
We thought it right to state that we repudiated physical
force as a means of obtaining constitutional redress,
believing that the British constitution had sufficient
natural elasticity to adapt itself to the wants of the
age, and would yield under proper pressure. But the
arming of the diggers of Ballaarat, however reprehensible
it might have been in itself, claims to be judged on
special grounds, inasmuch as they had special provocation.
The diggers of Ballaarat were attacked by a military
body under the command of civil (!) officers, for the
production of licence-papers, and, if they refused to
be arrested, deliberately shot at. The diggers did not
take up arms, properly speaking, against the government,
but to defend themselves against the bayonets, bullets,
and swords of the insolent officials in their unconstitutional
attack, who were a class that would disgrace any government,
by their mal-administration of the law.
The diggers did not take up arms against British rule,
but against the mis-rule of those who were paid to administer
the law properly; and however foolish their conduct might
be, it was an ungenerous libel on the part of one of the
military officers to designate outraged British subjects
as 'foreign anarchists and armed ruffians.'
The diggers were goaded on to take the stand they did
by the 'digger-hunt,' of the 30th November, which, we
are sustained in saying, was a base piece of gold and
silver lace revenge. Facts will no doubt appear by-and-bye,
elucidating and confirming this statement.
We reminded His Excellency of the fact, that the public
had asked for or sanctioned a general amnesty; and although
we were prepared to admit that it was unbecoming the
dignity of any government to give way to what was termed
'popular clamour,' yet, in this case, the good and the
wise amongst all classes, forming a very large proportion
of the inhabitants, had asked for it, and we thought the
general wish should not be lightly treated. His Excellency
observed, "Certainly not." We argued that an amnesty would
restore general confidence, and secure support to the
government in any emergency; and, even supposing there
was any one in the movement who sought to overturn the
government, instead of overturning corruption, and establishing
a better system of administration, a general amnesty would
silence such, as the great majority of the diggers were
content to live under British law, if properly administered;
and every one knows there has been much to condemn in
the administration of the laws, on the Ballaarat gold-fields
especially; and we endeavoured to impress upon the mind
of the Lieutenant-Governor, that it was equally true
that the majority of those who were proud of being British
subjects, were growing tired of waiting for simple justice.
And if the executive wish to secure their confidence
and support, they must give better evidence of their
good intentions of making better laws, or laws better
suited to the wants of the people, and securing 'equal
justice to all.' Their recent conduct has created disaffection
amongst the ranks of the best disposed; in fact, those
who disapproved of the resort to arms on the part of
the diggers, condemn in the most unqualified manner the
conduct of the Ballaarat officials in collecting a tax
(obnoxious at the best) at the bayonet's point, and of
the late Colonial Secretary, who could unblushingly write
to Commissioner Rede (who superintended the digger-hunt
on the 30th November, and, no doubt, counselled the Sunday
morning's butchery), thanking him for his conduct on those
occasions! And that if His Excellency would allow us to
strip the matter of its official colouring, he would see
things in a very different light than they had been officially
That an amnesty would not only secure the confidence of
the people in the Governor, but it would show the confidence
of the Governor in the people--it would be looked upon as
a proof of the strength and vigour of the British constitution,
instead of weakness in those that administer the laws under
That His Excellency could well afford to be generous.
That, in asking for an amnesty, we were aware it was asking
for much, and what a statesman should not do without due
deliberation. But at the same time, we submitted we did
not ask anything inconsistent with the true interests of
the colony, or derogatory to the dignity and honour of
the throne itself.
That a general amnesty to the state prisoners would tend
much to consolidate the power of the British government
in this colony, and show that the representative of Majesty
here can afford to be just--to be generous; with the full
confidence that such an act would meet with the full
concurrence of the Queen of England, and the approbation
of the whole British empire. That in this he would act
wiser far in listening to the voice of the people than
to the short-sighted counsel of the law-advisers of the
Crown. Humanity has higher claims than the mere demands
and formalities of human law.
We forbear saying all that might be said as to the spies
being sent from the Camp to enrol themselves amongst the
insurgents, and who, report says, urged them to attack
the Camp, which was repudiated by the diggers--they
saying they would act upon the defensive.
That we believed the enforcement of the law in this case
would have the most pernicious effect, not only upon the
commerce of the colony, but would retard, if not prevent,
the accomplishment of those schemes of reform that His
Excellency had promised.
That if he valued the good opinions of the people--the
peace and prosperity of the colony, he would be giving
the best evidence of it by granting the amnesty we prayed
for; but that, if His Excellency punished these men, it
would be calling into existence an agitation which would,
we feared, end in civil commotion, if not in the disseverance
of the colony from the mother country.
That we thought there were reasons sufficiently important
to justify an amnesty, on the grounds of state policy alone.
But even supposing there were no legitimate grounds for
an amnesty, and that the government have been right in
all that they have done--which would be saying what facts
do not warrant--surely the slaughter of some fifty people
is blood enough to expiate far greater crimes than the
diggers of Ballaarat have been guilty of, without seeking
the lives of thirteen more victims. The government would
act wisely in not pursuing so suicidal a course.
His Excellency states, in his written reply, that the
diggers, notwithstanding his promise of inquiry into all
their grievances, had forestalled all inquiry.
On this head, we would wish to remark, that the fault
lies at the door of the government, in prostituting the
military, by making them tax collectors, and placing them
at the disposal of a few vain officials, who were not
over-stocked with brains, and ignorant of the functions
of constitutional government. But one fact they seemed
fully sensible of, viz.: That 'Othello' occupation would
indeed soon 'be gone,' and they were determined to 'crush
the scoundrels' who dared to question the policy, or even
justice, or a government keeping up such an expensive army
of La Trobian idlers as strut about in borrowed plumes
with all the insolence of office; who, in fact, have proved
themselves, with a few honourable exceptions, fit for
little else than bringing the colony into debt; creating
disaffection amongst the people, and stamping indelible
disgrace upon any government that would uphold the system
that tolerates them. One of these 'retiring' gentlemen
stated on the morning of the famed 'digger-hunt' of the
30th November, in reply to one of the refractory diggers:
"If you do not pay your licences, how are we to be supported
at the Camp?" and further, "There are some disaffected
scoundrels I am determine to arrest!" To crush! for what?
For daring to refuse to pay taxes except they had a voice
in the expending of them for the public weal; public taxes
are public property. Some of these 'gentlemanly' officials
made use of language on the occasion alluded to, that not
only gave evidence of considerable malignity, but of a
vulgarity that a gentleman would scorn to use; and we think
it not an unfair inference to draw from the foregoing facts,
that the digger-hunt of the 30th of November, and the cruel
slaughter of the 3rd December, were unmistakable acts of
petty official revenge; and, therefore, instead of the
diggers forestalling the Commission of Inquiry, appointed
by His Excellency, we advisedly say it was Commissioner
Rede and Co. who forestalled the inquiry by endeavouring
to crush the '500 scoundrels' he complained of--a scoundrel
in that gentleman's estimation seems to be one who thinks
that some 12 pounds per head per annum is rather too heavy
a tax for an Englishman to pay, especially if used in
supporting men so unfit for office as he has proved himself
to be. This gentleman was the arch-rioter of the 30th
November; in this we are confirmed (if confirmation of
well-known facts were needed) by the verdict of acquittal
of the so called 'Ballaarat Rioters,' partially on the
evidence of Mr. Rede himself.
In the latter part of His Excellency's reply, he very
properly lays it down as 'the duty of government to administer
equal justice to all;' which is no doubt the noblest principle
of the English constitution, and we certainly have no fears
for the peace of even colonial society, with all its supposed
discordant elements, so long as that principle is practically
carried out; but we are under well founded apprehension
if the reverse is to be the order of the day.
There is a paragraph in our petition to the effect, that
if 'His Excellency had found sufficient extenuation in
the conduct of American citizens,' we thought there were
equally good grounds for extending similar clemency to
all, irrespective of nationality; and that it was unbecoming
the dignity of any government to make such exceptions;
and if such have been done (and that something tantamount
to it has been done, there is ample proof), it is a violation
of the very principle enunciated by His Excellency in his
report viz., 'That it is the duty of a government to
administer equal justice to all.' What we contend for is
this:--If it be just to grant an amnesty to a citizen of
one country, 'equal justice' claims an amnesty for all.
We wish it to be distinctly understood by our American
friends, that we do not for a moment find fault with His
Excellency for allowing their countrymen to go free, but
we do complain, in sorrow, that he does not display the
same liberality to others--that he does not wisely and
magnanimously comply with the prayer of our petition by
granting a general amnesty.
But it is stated further in the reply, that 'no exception
had been made in favour of any person against whom a charge
was preferred.' With all becoming deference to His Excellency,
we think this does not meet the point. If the gentleman
were innocent, why guarantee him against arrest? And if
his friends (and we give them credit for good tact) anticipated
the 'preferment of a charge,' it does not create any special
grounds for an amnesty in contradistinction to a general amnesty.
Again, upon whom lies the onus of 'preferring charge?'
500 pounds was offered for Vern, 'DEAD OR ALIVE' and
400 pounds for Lalor and Black; and yet we presume there
was no charge, or charges, 'preferred' against them any
more than the gentleman alluded to. We yet trust that
the same good feeling that induced His Excellency to give
James M`Gill his liberty will increase sufficiently strong
to unbar the prison-doors, and set the state captives free,
that they may be restored to their homes, their sorrowing
families, and sympathising countrymen. By such an act,
the Lieutenant-Governor will secure the peace of society,
and the respect and support of the people, and be carrying
out the glorious principle he has proclaimed of 'Equal
Justice to All.'
J. BASSON HUMFFRAY,
C. F. NICHOLLS,
Melbourne, 23rd January, 1855.
Quid Sum Miser, Nunc Dicturus.
At Bacchus Marsh we were thrown into a dark lockup, by far cleaner than
the lousy one of Ballaarat. Captain Thomas, who must have acknowledged
that we had behaved as men, sent us a gallon of porter, and plenty of
damper; he had no occasion to shoot down any of us. I write now this his
kindness with thanks.
At last, after a long, long day, smothered with dust, burning with thirst,
such that the man in the garb of a digger had compassion on us, and
shouted a welcome glass of ale to all of us--we arrived before the
Melbourne gaol at eight o'clock at night.
From the tender mercies of our troopers, we were given up to the gentle
grasp of the turnkeys. The man in the garb of a digger introduced us to
the governor, giving such a good account of us all, that said governor,
on hearing we had had nothing to eat since mid-day, was moved to let us
have some bread and cheese.
We were commanded to strip to the bare shirt--the usual ignomy to begin a
prison life with--and then we were shown our cell--a board to lie down on,
a blanket--and the heavy door was bolted on us.
Within the darkness of our cell, we now gave vent to our grief, each in
his own way.
Sleep is not a friend to prisoners, and so my mind naturally wandered back
to the old spot on the Eureka.
Requiescant In Pace.
Lalor's Report of the Killed and Wounded at the Eureka Massacre, on the
morning of the memorable Third of December, 1854:-
The following lists are as complete as I can make them. The numbers are
well known, but there is a want of names. I trust that the friends or
acquaintances of these parties may forward particulars to 'The Times'
office, Ballaarat, to be made available in a more lengthened narrative.
1 JOHN HYNES, County Clare, Ireland.
2 PATRICK GITTINS, Kilkenny, do.
3---- MULLINS, Kilkenny, Limerick, Ireland.
4 SAMUEL GREEN, England.
5 JOHN ROBERTSON, Scotland.
6 EDWARD THONEN (lemonade man), Elbertfeldt, Prussia.
7 JOHN HAFELE, Wurtemberg.
8 JOHN DIAMOND, County Clare, Ireland.
9 THOMAS O'NEIL, Kilkenny, do.
10 GEORGE DONAGHEY, Muff, County Donegal, do.
11 EDWARD QUIN, County Cavan, do.
12 WILLIAM QUINLAN, Goulbourn, N.S.W.
13 and 14 Names unknown. One was usually known on Eureka as 'Happy Jack.'
WOUNDED AND SINCE DEAD.
1 LIEUTENANT ROSS, Canada.
2 THADDEUS MOORE, County Clare, Ireland.
3 JAMES BROWN, Newry, do.
4 ROBERT JULIEN, Nova Scotia.
5 ----CROWE, unknown.
6 ----FENTON, do.
7 EDWARD M`GLYN, Ireland.
8 No particulars.
WOUNDED AND SINCE RECOVERED.
1 PETER LALOR, Queen's County, Ireland.
2 Name unknown, England.
3 PATRICK HANAFIN, County Kerry, Ireland.
4 MICHAEL HANLY, County Tipperary, do.
5 MICHAL O'NEIL, County Clare, do.
6 THOMAS CALLANAN, do. do.
7 PATRICK CALLANAN, do. do.
8 FRANK SYMMONs, England.
9 JAMES WARNER, County Cork, Ireland.
10 LUKE SHEEHAN, County Galway, do.
11 MICHAEL MORRISON, County Galway, do.
12 DENNIS DYNAN, County Clare, do.
(Signed) PETER LALOR,
What has become of GEORGE BLACK, was, and is still, a MYSTERY to me.
I lost sight of him since his leaving for Creswick-creek, on
December 1, 1854.
Homo Natus De Muliere, Brevi Vivens Tempore Repletur Multis Miseriis.
Qui Quasi Flos Conterritur Et Egreditur; Postea Velut Umbra Disperditur.
It is not the purpose of this book, to begin a lamentation about my four
long, long months in the gaol. My health was ruined for ever: if that be
a consolation to any one; let him enjoy it. To say more is disgusting to
me and would prove so to any one, whose motto is 'Fair-play.'
A dish of 'hominy' (Indian meal), now and then fattened with grubs,
was my breakfast.
A dish of scalding water, with half a dozen grains of rice, called soup,
a morsel of dry bullock's flesh, now and then high-flavoured, a bit of
bread eternally sour--any how the cause of my suffering so much of
dysentery, and a couple of black murphies were my dinner.
For tea, a similar dish of hominy as in the morning, with the privilege
of having now and then a bushranger or a horse-stealer for my mess-mate,
and often I enjoyed the company of the famous robbers of the Victoria Bank.
But the Sunday! Oh the Sunday! was the most trying day. The turnkeys,
of course, must enjoy the benefit of the sabbath cant, let the prisoners
pray or curse in their cells. I was let out along with the catholics,
to hear mass. I really felt the want of Christian consolation. Our
priest was always in a hurry, twice did not come, once said half the mass
without any assistant; never could I hear two words together out of his
short sermon. Not once ever came to see us prisoners.
After mass, I returned to my cell, and was let out again for half an hour
among all sorts of criminals, some convicted, some waiting their trial,
in the large yard, to eat our dinner, and again shut up in the cell till
the following Monday.
'Souvenirs' De Melbourne.
Five things I wish to register: the first for shame; the second for
encouragement; the third for duty; the fourth for information; the fifth
1. We were one afternoon taken by surprise by the whole gang of turnkeys,
ordered to strip, and subjected to an ignominious search. The very
private parts were discovered and touched. 'Veritatem dico, non mentior.'
2. Manning felt very much the want of a chew of tobacco. He and Tuhey
would make me strike up some favourite piece out of the Italian opera,
and the charm succeeded. A gentle tap at the door of our cell was the
signal to get from a crack below a stick of tobacco, and then we were all
jolly. We decreed and proclaimed that even in hell there must be some
3. Mr. Wintle, the governor, inclining to the John Bull in corporation,
had preserved even in a Melbourne gaol, crammed as it is at the end of
each month with the worst class of confirmed criminals, his good, kind
heart. With us state prisoners, without relaxing discipline, he used no
cruelty--spoke always kindly to us--was sorry at our position, and wished
us well. He had regard for me, on account of my bad health; that I shall
4. Some day in January we received a New-Year's Present--that is a copy
of the indictment. I protest at once against recording it here: it is
the coarsest fustian ever spun by Toorak Spiders. I solemnly declare that
to my knowledge the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty was never mentioned
in any way, shape, or form whatever, during the whole of the late
transactions on Ballaarat. I devoured the whole of the indictment with
both my eyes, expecting to meet with some count charging us with riot.
The disappointment was welcome, and I considered myself safe. Not so,
however, by a parcel of shabby solicitors. They said it would go hard
with any one if found guilty. The government meant to make an example of
some of of us, as a lesson to the ill-affected, in the shape of some
fifteen years in the hulks. They had learned from Lynn of Ballaarat that
there were no funds collected from the diggers for the defence. 'Cetera
quando rursum scribam'--and thus they won some 200 pounds out of the
frightened state prisoners, who possessed ready cash.
"What will be the end of us, Joe?" was my question to the nigger-rebel.
"Why, if the jury lets us go, I guess we'll jump our holes again on the
diggings. If the jury won't let us go, then"--and bowing his head over
the left shoulder, poking his thumb between the windpipe and the
collarbone, opened wide his eyes, and gave such an unearthly whistle,
that I understood perfectly well what he meant.
The State Prisoners.
(From 'The Age', February 14th, 1855.)
The following is the copy of a letter addressed by the state prisoners now
awaiting their trial in the Melbourne Gaol, to the Sheriff, complaining
of the treatment they have received:-
Her Majesty's Gaol, Melbourne,
February 6th, 1855.
To the Sheriff of the Colony of Victoria:-
Sir--As the chief officer of the government, regulating
prison discipline in Victoria, we, the undersigned Ballaarat
state prisoners, respectfully beg to acquaint you with
the mode of our treatment since our imprisonment in this
gaol, in the hope that you will be pleased to make some
alteration for the better.
At seven o'clock in the morning we are led into a small
yard of about thirty yards long and eight wide, where
we must either stand, walk or seat ourselves upon the
cold earth (no seats or benches being afforded us), and
which at meal times serves as chair, table, etc., with
the additional consequence of having our food saturated
with sand, dust, and with every kind of disgusting filth
which the wind may happen to stir up within the yard.
We are locked in, about three o'clock in the afternoon,
four or five of us together, in a cell whose dimensions
are three feet by twelve, being thus debarred from the
free air of heaven for sixteen hours out of the twenty-four.
The food is of the very worst description ever used by
civilized beings. We are debarred the use of writing
materials, except for purposes of pressing necessity; are
never permitted to see a newspaper; and strictly prohibited
the use of tobacco and snuff. We have been subjected to
the annoyance of being stripped naked, a dozen men together,
when a process of 'searching' takes place that is debasing
to any human being, but perfectly revolting to men whose
sensibilities have never been blunted by familiarity with
crime--an ordeal of examination, and the coarse audacity
with which it is perpetrated, as would make manhood blush,
and which it would assuredly resent, as an outrage upon
common decency, in any other place than a prison. And again,
when the visiting justice makes his rounds, we are made
to stand bareheaded before him, as if--etc.
We give the government the credit of believing that it is
not its wish we should be treated with such apparent malignity
and apparent malice; and also believe that if you, sir,
the representative of government in this department, had
been previously made acquainted with this mode of treatment,
you would have caused it to be altered. But we have hitherto
refrained from troubling the government on the subject,
in expectation of a speedy trial, which now appears to be
postponed sine die.
We, each of us, can look back with laudable pride upon
our lives, and not a page in the record of the past can
unfold a single transgression which would degrade us before
man, or for which we would be condemned before our Maker.
And we naturally ask why we should be treated as if our
lives had been one succession of crime, or as if society
breathed freely once more at being rid of our dangerous
and demoralising presence. Even the Sunday, that to all
men in Christendom is a day of relaxation and comparative
enjoyment, to us is one of gloom and weariness, being locked
up in a dreary cell from three o'clock Saturday evening
till seven on Monday morning (except for about an hour
and a half on Sunday); thus locked up in a narrow dungeon
for forty consecutive hours! We appeal to you, and ask,
was there ever worse treatment, in the worst days of the
Roman inquisition, for men whose reputation had never
been sullied with crime?
We therefore humbly submit, that, as the state looks only
at present to our being well secured, we ought to be treated
with every liberality consistent with our safe custody;
and that any unnecessary harshness, or arrogant display
of power, is nothing more or less than wanton cruelty.
Some of us, for instance, could wile away several hours
each day in writing, an occupation which, while it would
fill up the dreary vacuum of a prison life, as would the
moderate use of snuff and tobacco cheer it, and soothe
that mental irritation consequent upon seclusion. But that
system of discipline which would paralyse the mind and
debilitate the body--that would destroy intellectual as
well as physical energy and vigour, cannot certainly be
of human origin.
Trusting you will remove these sources of annoyance and
We beg to subscribe ourselves,
Your obedient servants.
[Here follow the names.]
Sheriff CLAUDE FARIE, Inspector PRICE, Turnkey HACKETT, they will praise
your names in hell!
Quem Patronem Rogaturus.
The brave people of Melbourne remembered the state prisoners, forgotten by
the Ballaarat diggers, who now that the storm was over, considered
themselves luckily cunning to have got off safe; and therefore could
afford to 'joe' again; the red-streak near Golden-point, having put every
one in the good old spirits of the good old times.
Yourself devoting to the public cause,
You ask the people if they be 'there' to die:
Yes, yes hurrah the thund'ring applause,
Too soon, alas! you find out the lie!
Cast in a gaol, at best you are thought a fool,
Red hot grows your foe; your friend too cool.
An angel, however, was sent to the undefended state prisoners. Hayes and
myself were the first, who since our being in trouble, did grasp the hand
of a gentleman, volunteering to be our friend.
JAMES MACPHERSON GRANT, solicitor, is a Scotchman of middle-size,
middle-height; and the whole makes the man, an active man of business,
a shrewd lawyer, and up to all the dodges of his profession. His forehead
announces that all is sound within; his benevolent countenance assures
that his heart is for man or woman in trouble. He hates oppression; so
say his eyes. He scorns humbug; so says his nose. His manners declare
that he was born a gentleman.
I very soon gave him hints for my defence, quite in accordance with what
I have been stating above, and his clerk took the whole down in short-hand.
He encouraged me to be of good cheer, "You need not fear," said he,
"you will soon be out, all of you."
God bless you, Mr. Grant! For the sake of you and Mr. Aspinall, the
barrister, I smother now my bitterness, and pass over all that I suffered
on account of so many postponements.
Timothy Hayes, when we returned broken-hearted for the FIFTH(!) time to
our gaol, did we not curse the lawyers!
A wild turn of mind now launched my soul to the old beloved spot on the
Eureka, and there I struck out the following anthem.
Victoria's 'Southern Cross'.
Tune--The 'Standard Bearer'
WHEN Ballaarat unfurled the 'Southern Cross,'
Of joy a shout ascended to the heavens;
The bearer was Toronto's Captain Ross;
And frightened into fits red-taped ravens.
Chorus. For brave Lalor--
Was found 'all there,'
With dauntless dare:
His men inspiring:
To wolf or bear,
He made them swear--
Be faithful to the Standard, for victory or death. (Bis.)
Blood-hounds were soon let loose, with grog imbued,
And murder stained that Sunday! Sunday morning;
The Southern Cross in digger's gore imbrued,
Was torn away, and left the diggers mourning!
Victoria men, to scare, stifle, or tame,
Ye quarter-deck monsters are too impotent;
The Southern Cross will float again the same,
UNITED Britons, ye are OMNIPOTENT.
Thus I had spanned the strings of my harp, but the strain broke them
asunder in the gaol.
Initium Sapientie Est Timor Domini.
There are circumstances in life, so inexplicable for the understanding;
so intricate for the counsel; so overwhelming for the judgment; so
tempting for the soul; so clashing with common sense; so bewildering for
the mind; so crushing for the heart; that even the honest man cannot help
at moments to believe in FATE. Hence the 'sic sinuerunt Fata,' will dash
the fatalist ahead, and embolden him to knock down friend or foe, so as
to carry out his conceit. If successful, he is a Caesar; if unsuccessful,
ignominy and a violent grave are the reward of his worry.
If this be true, as far as it goes, whilst
Through living hosts and changing scenes we rove,
The mart, the court, the sea, the battle-plain,
As passions sway, or accident may move;
it holds not true in a gaol. There you must meet yourself, and you find
that you are not your God. Hence these new strings in my harp.
TO THE POINT.
Gay is the early bloom of life's first dawn,
But darker colours tinge maturer years;
Our days as they advance grow more forlorn,
Hope's brightest dreams dissolve away in tears
Which were the best, to be or not to have been?
The question may be asked, no answer can be seen.
On earth we live, within our thoughts--the slaves,
Of our conceptions in each varied mood,
Gay or melancholy;--it is the waves
Of our imaginings, become the food
The spirit preys upon; and laughs or raves
With madness or with pleasure, as it would
If drunk with liquids. WE EXIST AND DWELL
AS THE MIND MAY DISPOSE, IN HEAVEN OR IN HELL.
Death which we dread so much, is but a name.
He who never did eat his bread in tears;
Who never passed a dreary bitter night,
And in his bed of sorrow, the hard fight
Of pending troubles saw, with anxious fears:
Who never an exile forlorn for years,
And never wept with Israel 'at the sight
Of the waters of Babylon' (Psalm 137), the might
Of Heaven's word is unknown to his ears.
IS THERE A MORTAL EYE THAT NEVER WEPT?
WITH tears the child begins his wants to show
In tears the man out of the earth is swept.
Whether we bless or grumble here below,
HIM who ever in His hand the world has kept
In dark affliction's school we learn to know.
(Of course my original is in Italian.)
Judica Me Deus, Et Discarne Causam Meam De Gente Non Sancta;
Ab Homine Iniquo Et Doloso Erue Me.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Felix,
Wednesday, March 21st, 1855.
(Before his Honour Mr. Justice Barry.)
MY STATE TRIAL His HONOUR took his seat shortly after ten o'clock.
The prisoner, that is myself, was placed in the dock, and the following
Jury sworn (after the usual challenging):-
PHILLIP BRAGG, Gore-street, Farmer,
ALEXANDER BARTHOLOMEW, Brighton-road, Joiner,
JAMES BLACK, Greville-street, Butcher,
CHARLES BUTT, Lennox-street, Carpenter,
THOMAS BELL, Lennox-street, Carpenter,
FREDERICK BAINES, Richmond-road, Painter,
CHARLES BELFORD, Kew, Gardener,
WILLIAM BROADHURST, Wellington-street, Grocer,
JOSEPH BERRY, Hawthorne, Farmer,
DAVID BOYLE, Kew, Gardener,
WILLIAM BARNETT, Heidelberg, Gardener,
JOHN BATES, Rowena-street, Baker.
'Brava gente. Dio vi benedica. Mio Fratello desidera veder ciascuno
di Voi, nella nostra Bella Itallia.'
For the first time in my life (37 years old), I was placed in a felon's
dock, and before a British jury.
The first glance I gave to the foreman made me all serene. I was sure
that the right man was in the right place.
JAMES MACPHERSON GRANT, my attorney for the defence, was 'all there.'
RICHARD DAVIS IRELAND, barrister, my counsel, was heavy with thunder.
Thick, sound, robust, round-headed as he is, the glance of his eyes is
irresistible. A pair of bushy whiskers frame in such a shrewd forehead,
astute nose, thundering mouth; that one had better keep at a respectful
distance from drakes. His whole head and strong-built frame tell that he
is ready to settle at once with anybody; either with the tongue or with
the fist. His eloquence savours pretty strongly of Daniel O'Connell,
and is flavoured with colonial pepper; hence Mr. Ireland will always
exercise a potent spell over a jury. If he were the Attorney-General,
the colony would breath freer from knaves, rogues, and vagabonds. The
'sweeps,' especially, could not possibly prosper with Ireland's pepper.
According to promise, another lawyer, a man of flesh, had to be present:
but, as he was not there, so he is not here.
Mr. ASPINALL, barrister, totally unknown to me before, volunteered his
services as my counsel to assist Mr. Ireland.
'In memoria eterna manet amicus' BUTLER COLE ASPINALL. The print of
generous frankness in your forehead, of benevolence in your eyes, of
having no-two-ways in your nose, of sincere boldness in your mouth;
your height, fine complexion, noble deportment, indicate in you the
gentleman and the scholar. If now and then you fumble among papers,
whilst addressing the jury, that is perhaps for fear it should be observed
that you have no beard; in order that proper attention may be paid to your
learning, which is that of a grey-headed man; and though it may be said,
that the Eureka Stockade was hoggledy enough, yet your pop, pop, pop, was
You know a tree by its fruits; and so you may know, if you like, the
Attorney-General by his High-Treason Indictment. I have not the patience
to go through it a second time. There are too many Fosters, fostering and
festering in this Victorian land.
JUDGE BARRY presided; a man of the old-gentleman John Bull's stamp.
Nothing in his face of the cast of a Jefferies. He can manage his temper,
even among the vexations of law.
His Honour addressed me always with kindness. If he shampooed his
summing-up, with parson's solemnity, indicating not little
self-congratulation, His Honour had reason to be proud of the following
remarks, which I here record for that purpose:-
"They had been told (said His Honour to the jury), that the
prisoner in the dock had come sixteen thousand miles to
get off from the Austrian rule--from the land of tyranny
to that of liberty; and so he had, in the truest sense of
the word, and that liberty which he enjoyed imposed upon
him a local respect for Her Majesty, and a respect for her
laws. He had the privilege of being tried by a jury, who
would form their verdict solely from the facts adduced
on the trial."
A fair hint; equal to saying, that under the British flag I was not going
to be tried before the Holy (read, Infernal) Inquisition.
Sunt Miserie In Vita Hominus, Viro Probo Dolosis Circumdari!
Nulla Miseria Pejor.
MY TRIAL proceeded, before the British Jury aforesaid.
HENRY GOODENOUGH, Spy-Major.
ANDREW PETERS, Sub-Spy.
As an honest man, I scorn to say anything of either of you; but address
myself to my God, the Lord God of Israel, in the words of Solomon:-
'If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him
to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:
'Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the
wicked to bring his way upon his head.'--(1 Kings viii. 31, 32.)
GEORGE WEBSTER examined:-
"I attended the meeting at Bakery-hill on the afternoon of the 29th
November, Mr. Hayes was chairman, and the prisoner was on the platform.
He made a speech to the effect, that he had come 16,000 miles to escape
tyranny, and they (THE DIGGERS) should put down the tyrants here (POINTING
TO THE CAMP). PRISONER ALSO TORE UP HIS LICENCE and threw it towards the
fire recommending the others to do as he did."
N.B.--At the next state trial of Jamas Beattie, and Michael Tuhey, said
witness George Webster, on his oath, was cross examined by Mr. Ireland,
"Mr. RAFFAELLO, was at the meeting on the 29th November.--(A gold licence
was here handed to the witness.)--This licence is in the name of
CARBONI RAFFAELLO, and the date covers the period at which the licences
were burned."--(Sensation in the Court!)
I was present in person, and a free man. 'AB UNO DISCE OMNES: JAM SATIS
DIXI.' I hereby assert that I did not burn any paper or anything at all
at the monster meeting; I challenge contradiction from any bona fide
miner, who was present at said meeting. I paid two pounds for my licence
on the 15th of October, 1854, to Commissioner Amos, and I have it still
in my possession.*
[* The original document of the following Gold-license, as well as the
documents from Davis Burwash, Esq., the eminent notary-public, of
4, Castlecourt, Birchin-lane, City, London; and Signor Carboni Raffaello's
College Diploma, and Certificate as sworn interpreter in said City of
London; together with the Originals of all other Documents, especially
the letters from C Raffaello to H. W. Archer, inserted in this book,
are now in the hands of J MacPherson Grant, Esq., M.L.C., Solicitor,
and will remain in his office, Collins-street, Melbourne, till Christmas
for inspection.--The Printers]
Printed by John Ferres at the Government Printing Office
GOLD LICENSE.--THREE MONTHS.
No. 134. 17th October 1854.
The Bearer, Carboni Raffaello, having paid the Sum of TWO
Pounds on account of the General Revenue of the Colony,
I hereby License him to mine or dig for Gold, reside at,
or carry on, or follow any trade or calling, except that
of Storekeeper, on such Crown Lands within the Colony of
Victoria as shall be assigned to him for these purposes
by any one duly authorized in that behalf.
This License to be in force for THREE Months ending 16th
January, and no longer.
G. A. Amos.
REGULATIONS TO BE OBSERVED BY THE PERSONS DIGGING FOR GOLD
OR OTHERWISE EMPLOYED AT THE GOLD FIELDS.
1. This License is to be carried on the person, to be
produced whenever demanded by any Commissioner, Peace
Officer, or other duly authorised person.
2. It is especially to be observed that this License is
not transferable, and that the holder of a transferred
Licence is liable to the penalty for a misdemeanour.
3. No Mining will be permitted where it would be destructive
of any line of road which it is necessary to maintain,
and which shall be determined by any Commissioner, nor
within such distance round any more as it may be necessary
to reserve for access to it.
4. It is enjoined that all persons on the Gold Fields
maintain a due and proper observance of Sundays.
5. The extent of claim allowed to each Licensed Miner
is twelve foot square, or 144 square &c.,&c.,&c.,
Examination of this gold-laced witness continued:--'The prisoner was the
most violent speaker at the meeting.'
Good reader, see my speech at the monster meeting. I am sick of this
witness and I will make no further comments.
Coglione, Il Lazzarone In Paragone.
CHARLES HENRY HACKETT, police magistrate, cross examined by Mr. Ireland:-
"There was a deputation admitted to an interview with Mr. Rede, on
Thursday night, November 30th. The prisoner was one of the deputation.
I think Black was the principal party in the deputation. The deputatation
as well as I remember, said, that they thought in case Mr. Rede would give
an assurance that he would not go out again with the police and military
to collect licences, they could undertake that no disturbance would take
place. Mr. Rede replied, that as threats were held out to the effect,
that in case of refusal, the bloodshed would be on their (the authorities')
own heads, he could not make any such engagement at the time, nor had he
the power of refraining from collecting the licence fee."
By the prisoner:
"I recollect Commissioner Rede saying, that the word 'licences' was merely
a cloak used by the diggers, and that this movement was in reality a
democratic one. You (prisoner) assured him that amongst the foreigners
whom you conversed with there was no democratic feeling, but merely a
spirit of resistance to the licence fee."
Mr. C. H. HACKETT you are a lover of truth: God bless you!
JAMES GORE, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I am a private in the 40th, I was in the attack on the Eureka stockade.
The prisoner and two other men followed me when I entered the stockade,
and compelled me to go out. Prisoner was armed with a pike."
Cross examined by Mr. Ireland:--
"It was day-light at the time, but not broad day-light; I had fired my
musket but not used my bayonet. I ran because there were three against
me. I was one of the first men in the stockade. There was no other
soldier or policeman near me when the prisoner and the other men
PATRICK SYNOTT, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I am a private in the 40th regiment, I saw the prisoner and two other men
pursuing Gore from the stockade on the morning of the attack. It was
almost as lightsome at the time as it is now. I could distinguish a man
at fifty yards off, and the prisoner was not fifteen yards from me. He
was six or seven minutes in my sight."
JOHN CONCRITT, examined by the Attorney-General:--
This witness was a mounted policeman and corroborated in all particulars
the evidence of the previous witnesses.
Cross examined by Mr. Ireland:--
"I fired my pistol at the prisoner. It was very good daylight. From what
I saw of the soldier that morning, I should have known him again, for he
stood with me for some minutes afterwards."
JOHN DONNELLY, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I am a private of the 40th regiment. I was at the stockade on the
3rd December; I saw the prisoner there. I had a distinct opportunity
Cross examined by Mr. Ireland:-
"I saw him for about a minute at first, and I saw him again in about ten
minutes afterwards. I also saw him at the Camp the following day."
JOHN BADCOCK, trooper, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I was at the stockade on the morning of the 3rd December. I was on foot.
I snapped my musket at the prisoner, and it missed fire. I was quite
close to him. I saw him again at the lock-up next day."
JOHN DOGHERTY, trooper, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I was at the attack on the stockade. I saw the prisoner there. I knew
him personally before. I have no doubt that he is the man. I saw the
prisoner run towards the guard tent, and in a few minutes after, I saw him
again brought back as a prisoner."
Sergeant HAGARTEY, examined by the Attorney-General:--
"I am a sergeant in the 40th. I was in the attack on the stockade.
I was beside Captain Wise when he was shot. He (Captain Wise) was shot
from the stockade. I saw the prisoner at the stockade. I was in the
guard which took him to the Camp. The prisoner did not get away, I know.
I saw him a prisoner in the Camp about five o'clock."
Cross examined by Mr. Ireland:--
"I do not know that the prisoner did not escape on his way from the
stockade to the lock-up."
ROBERT TULLY, sworn and examined:--
"He was inside the stockade on the Sunday morning: saw the prisoner there
armed with a pike; he was in the act of running away; saw him twice in the
stockade; was sure the prisoner is the man."
Cross examined by Mr. Ireland:--
"Never saw the man before this; he was running in company with two other
men; it was very early in the morning; it was some time after the stockade
was taken that he was arrested; the firing then had not wholly ceased."
Private DON-SYN-GORE, drilled by sergeant HAG.
Trooper CON(S)CRIT-BAD-DOG, mobbed by Bob-tulip.
The pair of you are far below the ebb of our Neopolitan Lazzaroni!
Why did you not consult with spy Goodenough?
This having closed the case for the Crown, the Court adjourned at
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