Colony of Victoria
Commanders and leaders
J. W. Thomas
Peter Lalor (WIA)
Henry Ross (WIA) (POW)
Casualties and losses
22–60 killed (estimated)
Rebellion was a rebellion in 1854, instigated by gold
miners in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, who revolted against the
colonial authority of the United Kingdom. It culminated in the Battle
of the Eureka Stockade, which was fought between miners and the
colonial forces of Australia on 3 December 1854 at Eureka Lead and
named for the stockade structure built by miners during the
conflict. The rebellion resulted in the deaths of at least 27
people, the majority of whom were rebels.
The rebellion was the culmination of a period of civil disobedience in
Ballarat region during the
Victorian gold rush
Victorian gold rush with miners
objecting to the expense of a miner's licence, taxation via the
licence without representation, and the actions of the government, the
police and military. The local rebellion grew from a Ballarat
Reform League movement and culminated in the erection by the rebels of
a crude battlement and a swift and deadly siege by colonial forces.
Mass public support for the captured rebels in the colony's capital of
Melbourne when they were placed on trial resulted in the introduction
of the Electoral Act 1856, which mandated suffrage for male colonists
in the lower house in the Victorian parliament. This is considered the
second instituted act of political democracy in Australia. Female
colonists of South Australia were awarded suffrage 5 years later on
condition of owning property, much in the way men did not have full
suffrage in the absence of property ownership. As such, the Eureka
Rebellion is controversially identified with the birth of democracy in
Australia and interpreted by some as a political revolt.
1.1 Protests on the Goldfields: 1851–1854
1.2 Murder of
James Scobie and the burning of Bentley's Hotel
1.3 Further unrest
Ballarat Reform League
2 Battle of the Eureka Stockade
2.1 Paramilitary mobilisation and swearing allegiance to the Southern
2.1.1 "Remember Vinegar Hill": Irish dimension factors in dwindling
numbers at stockade
2.1.2 Departing detachment of Independent Californian Rangers leaves
small garrison behind
2.3 Siege of the Eureka Stockade
2.3.1 Estimates of the death toll
3.1 Trials for sedition and high treason
3.2 Commission of Enquiry
3.3 Peter Lalor
4 Political legacy
7 Popular culture
7.2 Film and television
8 See also
11 External links
Protests on the Goldfields: 1851–1854
Forest Creek Monster Meeting of December 1851
Hiscock's gold rush began on 12 August 1851 following the publication
Geelong Advertiser of Thomas Hiscock's gold findings at
Hiscock's, 3 kilometres west of
Buninyong (now Magpie, approximately
10 kilometres south of Eureka). Just days later on 16 August 1851,
Lieutenant-Governor Latrobe proclaimed in the Government Gazette crown
rights for all mining proceeds and a licence fee of 30 shillings per
month effective from 1 September 1851.
On 26 August, a rally of 40–50 miners opposing the fee was held at
Hiscock's gully – the first of many such protests in the colony.
The miners opposed government policies of oppression including the
licence fee and demanded rights to vote and to buy land. This
first meeting was followed by dissent across the colony's mining
In December the government announced that it intended to triple the
licence fee from £1 to £3 a month, from 1 January 1852. This
move incited protests around the colony, including the Forest Creek
Monster Meeting of December 1851. In Ballarat, as historian Weston
Bate noted, diggers became so agitated that they began to gather
arms. The government hastily repealed its plans due to the reaction.
Nevertheless, the oppressive licence hunts continued and increased in
frequency causing general dissent among the diggers. In addition,
Weston Bate noted that the
Ballarat diggings were in strong opposition
to the strict liquor licensing laws imposed by the
Changes to the Goldfields Act in 1853 allowed licence searches to
occur at any time which further incensed the diggers. In
Anti-Gold Licence Association was formed and the miners were
apparently on the brink of an armed clash with authorities. Again in
Bendigo miners responded to an increase in the frequency of
twice weekly licence hunts with threats of armed rebellion.
James Scobie and the burning of Bentley's Hotel
Main article: James Scobie
Burning of Bentley's Hotel sketched by Charles Doudiet
On 7 October 1854, Scottish miner
James Scobie was murdered at
Bentley's Eureka Hotel. Ten days later, on 17 October 1854,
between 1,000 and 10,000 miners gathered at the hotel to protest the
acquittal of James Bentley, the hotel proprietor and prime suspect in
Scobie's murder, by an allegedly corrupt magistrate.
The miners rioted and Bentley and his wife Catherine fled for their
lives as the hotel was burnt down by the angry mob. A small group of
soldiers were unable to suppress the riot.
On 22 October 1854,
Ballarat Catholics met to protest the treatment of
Father Smyth. The next day, the arrests of miners McIntyre and
Fletcher for the Eureka Hotel fire provoked a mass meeting which
attracted 4,000 miners. The meeting resolved to establish a
'Digger's Rights Society', to protect their rights. On 1 November
1854, 10,000 miners met once again at Bakery Hill. They were
addressed by Thomas Kennedy, Henry Holyoake, George Black and Henry
Ross. The diggers were further angered by the arrest of another
seven of their number for the Eureka Hotel fire.
Ballarat Reform League
Ballarat Reform League
Ballarat Reform League sought to negotiate with Commissioner
Robert Rede and the Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham
On Saturday, 11 November 1854 a crowd estimated at more than 10,000
miners gathered at Bakery Hill, directly opposite the government
encampment. At this meeting, the
Ballarat Reform League was created,
under the chairmanship of Chartist John Basson Humffray. Several other
Reform League leaders, including Kennedy and Holyoake, had been
involved with the Chartist movement in England. Many of the miners had
past involvement in the Chartist movement and the social upheavals in
Britain, Ireland, and continental Europe during the 1840s.[citation
In setting its goals, the
Ballarat Reform League  used the first
five of the British Chartist movement's principles as set out in the
People's Charter of 1838. They did not adopt or agitate for the
Chartist's sixth principle, secret ballots. The meeting passed a
resolution "that it is the inalienable right of every citizen to have
a voice in making the laws he is called on to obey, that taxation
without representation is tyranny." The meeting also resolved to
secede from the
United Kingdom if the situation did not improve.
Throughout the following weeks, the League sought to negotiate with
Commissioner Robert Rede and the Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles
Hotham, both on the specific matters relating to Bentley and the
Scobie's death, and the men being tried for the burning of the Eureka
Hotel, and on the broader issues of abolition of the licence, suffrage
and democratic representation of the gold fields, and disbanding of
the Gold Commission. On 16 November 1854 Governor Hotham appointed a
Royal Commission on the goldfields' problems and grievances. However,
Commissioner Rede, rather than hear miners' grievances, increased the
police presence in the goldfields and summoned reinforcements from
Melbourne. Many historians (most notably Manning Clark) attribute this
to his belief in his right to exert authority over the
On 28 November 1854, the reinforcements marching from
attacked by a crowd of miners. A number were injured. A rumour of the
death of a drummer boy began, and there was even a memorial erected to
Ballarat Cemetery for many years, although historical research
has shown that the boy, John Egan, continued military service until
dying in 1860.
At a meeting of about 12,000 'diggers' on the following day, (29
November), the Reform League delegation relayed its failure to achieve
any success in negotiations with the authorities. The miners resolved
on open resistance to the authorities and to burn the hated
Rede responded by ordering police to conduct a licence search on 30
November. Eight defaulters were arrested, and most of the military
resources available had to be summoned to extricate the arresting
officers from the angry mob that had assembled.
This raid prompted a change in the leadership of the Reform League, to
people who argued in favour of 'physical force' rather than the 'moral
force' championed by Humffray and the old leadership.
Battle of the Eureka Stockade
Paramilitary mobilisation and swearing allegiance to the Southern
Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross, watercolour by Charles
Doudiet, Art Gallery of Ballarat
The surviving remnant of the
Eureka Flag at the Art Gallery of
Modern version of the
Southern Cross constellation flag similar to the
original used by the miner rebels at the Eureka Stockade
In the rising tide of anger and resentment amongst the miners, a more
militant leader, Peter Lalor, was elected. In swift fashion, a
military structure was assembled. Brigades were formed, and captains
were appointed. Licences were burned, and on 1 December at Bakery
Hill, "The disaffected miners... held a meeting where at the
Australian flag of independence was solemnly consecrated and vows
proffered for its defence.", with the 'Eureka oath' being sworn by
Peter Lalor to the affirmation of his fellow demonstrators, who
encamped themselves around the flag to resist further licence hunts
and harassment by the authorities: "We swear by the
Southern Cross to
stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and
The white and blue Eureka Flag, said to be designed by a Canadian
miner, Captain Henry Ross, and bearing nothing but the Southern Cross,
was then flown for the first (recorded) occasion; according to the
Ballarat Times, which first mentioned the flag a week earlier on 24
November 1854, at "about eleven o'clock the 'Southern Cross' was
hoisted, and its maiden appearance was a fascinating object to
behold." The flag was believed to have been sewn by Anastasia Hayes.
Reportedly influenced by earlier designs such as the Australian
Federation Flag, as a gesture of defiance, it
deliberately excluded the British Union Flag, which is included in the
official flag of Australia. The Eureka flag was commonly referred to
at the time as the Australian flag, and as the Southern Cross, with
The Age variously reporting, on 28 November: "The Australian flag
shall triumphantly wave in the sunshine of its own blue and peerless
sky, over thousands of Australia's adopted sons"; the day after
the battle: "They assembled round the Australian flag, which has now a
permanent flag-staff"; and during the 1855 Eureka trials, that it
was sworn that the Eureka flag was also known as the "digger's flag"
and also as "the Southern Cross".
"Remember Vinegar Hill": Irish dimension factors in dwindling numbers
The Argus newspaper of 4 December 1854 reported that the Union Jack
"had" to be hoisted underneath the Eureka flag at the stockade, and
that both flags were by then in the possession of the foot
Some have questioned whether this sole contemporaneous report of the
otherwise unaccounted for Union Jack being present is accurate. In
defence of this alternative scenario it has been stressed that the
investigating journalist may have had available eyewitness reports of
the two flags having been seized, and that it was possibly an 11th
hour response to the divided loyalties among the heterogeneous rebel
force which was in the process of melting away (at one stage 1,500 of
17,280 men in
Ballarat were present, with only 150 taking part in the
battle), with Lalor's choice of password for the night of 2 December
– "Vinegar Hill" – causing support for the
rebellion to fall away among those who were otherwise disposed to
resist the military, as word spread that the question of Irish home
rule had become involved.
Gregory Black, military historian and author of Eureka Stockade: A
Ferocious and Bloody Battle, concedes two flags may have been flown on
the day of the battle, as the miners were claiming to be defending
their British rights, with a further article in The Argus on 9
December 1854, reporting that Constable Hugh King had found a Union
Jack like flag being carried by a prisoner; and, according to The
Eureka Encyclopedia, Sergeant John McNeil at the time shredded a flag
at the Spencer Street Barracks in Melbourne, which was said to be the
Eureka flag, but which may well have been a Union Jack.
It is certain that Irish born people were strongly represented at the
Eureka Stockade. Eureka historians have discovered that as well as
comprising most of the miners inside the stockade at the finish, the
area where the defensive position was established was overwhelmingly
populated by the Irish to begin with. Professor Geoffrey Blainey
has advanced the view, that the white cross behind the stars on the
Eureka flag "really [is] an
Irish cross rather than being [a]
configuration of the Southern Cross".
Departing detachment of Independent Californian Rangers leaves small
During 2 December, the peak rebel force trained in and around the
stockade. A further two hundred Americans, the Independent Californian
Rangers, under the leadership of James McGill, arrived about 4pm. The
Americans were armed with revolvers and Mexican knives and possessed
horses. In a fateful decision, McGill decided to take most of the
Californian Rangers away from the stockade to intercept rumoured
British reinforcements coming from Melbourne. Rede's spies observed
these actions. That night many of the miners went back to their own
tents after the traditional Saturday night carousing, with the
assumption that the Queen's military forces would not be sent to
attack on the Sabbath (Sunday). A small contingent of miners remained
at the stockade overnight, which the spies reported to Rede.
The stockade itself was a ramshackle affair which was hastily
constructed over the following days from timber and overturned carts.
The structure was never meant to be a military stockade or fortress.
In the words of Lalor: "it was nothing more than an enclosure to keep
our own men together, and was never erected with an eye to military
defence". Lalor had already outlined a plan whereby, "if the
government forces come to attack us, we should meet them on the Gravel
Pits, and if compelled, we should retreat by the heights to the old
Canadian Gully, and there we shall make our final stand".
Siege of the Eureka Stockade
Map of the stockade and opposing forces
By the beginning of December, the police contingent at
been joined and surpassed in number by soldiers from British Army
garrisons in Victoria, including detachments from the 12th (East
Suffolk) Regiment of Foot and 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of
At 3 am on Sunday, 3 December, a party of 276 soldiers and
police, under the command of Captain John W. Thomas approached the
Stockade and a battle ensued.
Melbourne march towards Ballarat
Battle of the Eureka Stockade
There is no agreement as to which side fired first, but the battle was
fierce, brief, and terribly one-sided. The ramshackle army of miners
was hopelessly outclassed by a military regiment and was routed in
about 10 minutes. During the height of the battle, Lalor was shot in
his left arm, took refuge under some timber and was smuggled out of
the stockade and hidden. His arm was later amputated.
Stories tell how women ran forward and threw themselves over the
injured to prevent further indiscriminate killing. The Commission of
Inquiry would later say that it was "a needless as well as a ruthless
sacrifice of human life indiscriminate of innocent or guilty, and
after all resistance had disappeared." Early in the
Henry Ross was shot dead.
According to Lalor's report, fourteen miners (mostly Irish) died
inside the stockade and an additional eight died later from injuries
they sustained. A further dozen were wounded but recovered. Three
months after the Eureka Stockade,
Peter Lalor wrote: "As the inhuman
brutalities practised by the troops are so well known, it is
unnecessary for me to repeat them. There were 34 digger casualties of
which 22 died. The unusual proportion of the killed to the wounded, is
owing to the butchery of the military and troopers after the
During the battle, trooper John King the police constable, took down
the Eureka flag. By 8 am, Captain Charles Pasley, the second in
command of the British forces, sickened by the carnage, saved a group
of prisoners from being bayoneted and threatened to shoot any police
or soldiers who continued with the slaughter. Pasley's valuable
assistance was acknowledged in despatches printed and laid before the
Victorian Legislative Council.
One hundred and fourteen diggers, some wounded, were marched off to
the Government camp about two kilometres away, where they were kept in
an overcrowded lock-up, before being moved to a more spacious barn on
Monday morning.
Estimates of the death toll
Of the soldiers and police, six were killed, including Captain Wise.
Martial law was imposed, and all armed resistance collapsed. News of
the battle spread quickly to
Melbourne and other gold field regions,
turning a perceived Government military victory in repressing a minor
insurrection into a public relations disaster. Thousands of people in
Melbourne turned out to condemn the authorities, in defiance of their
mayor and some Legislative Councillors, who tried to rally support for
the government. In Ballarat, only one man responded to the call
for special constables, although in
Melbourne 1500 were sworn in
and armed with batons. Many people voiced their support for the
diggers' requested reforms.
Exact numbers of deaths and injuries and persons are difficult to
determine as many miners "fled to the surrounding bush and it is
likely a good many more died a lonely death or suffered the agony of
their wounds, hidden from the authorities for fear of repercussions."
according to Eureka researcher and author Dorothy Wickham. The
official register of deaths in the
Ballarat District Register shows 27
names associated with the stockade battle at Eureka.
Clare Wright quotes one source, Thomas Pierson, who noted in
the margin to his diary time has proved that near 60 have died of the
diggers in all. According to Wright, Captain Thomas estimated that 30
diggers died on the spot and many more died of their wounds
subsequently. Even the
Geelong Advertiser on 8 December 1854 stated
that deaths were more numerous than originally supposed.
While it has been thought all the deaths at Eureka were men, research
Clare Wright details that at least one woman lost her
life in the massacre. Wright's research details the important role of
women on the goldfields and in the reform movement. Her book Forgotten
Rebels of Eureka details how Charles Evans' diary describes a funeral
for a woman who was mercilessly butchered by a mounted trooper while
pleading for the life of her husband during the Eureka massacre. Her
name and the fate and identity of her husband remain unknown.
Geoffrey Blainey has commented, "Every government in the
world would probably have counter-attacked in the face of the building
of the stockade." For a few weeks it appeared that the status quo
had been restored, and Rede ruled the camps with an iron fist.
Trials for sedition and high treason
Engraving published in The Age of some of the rebels on trial
The first trial relating to the rebellion was a charge of sedition
Henry Seekamp of the
Ballarat Times. Seekamp was arrested in
his newspaper office on 4 December 1854, for a series of articles that
appeared in the
Ballarat Times. Many of these articles were written by
George Lang, the son of the prominent republican and Presbyterian
Minister of Sydney, the Reverend John Dunmore Lang. He was tried and
convicted of seditious libel by a
Melbourne jury on 23 January 1855
and, after a series of appeals, sentenced to six months imprisonment
on 23 March. He was released from prison on 28 June 1855, precisely
three months early. While he was in jail, Henry Seekamp's de facto
Clara Seekamp took over the business, and became the first
female editor of an Australian newspaper.
Of the approximately 120 'diggers' detained after the rebellion,
thirteen were brought to trial. They were:
Timothy Hayes, Chairman of the
Ballarat Reform League, from Ireland
James McFie Campbell, a black man from Kingston, Jamaica
Raffaello Carboni, an Italian and trusted lieutenant who was in charge
of the European diggers as he spoke a few European languages. Carboni
self-published his account of the Eureka
Stockade a year after the
Stockade, the only comprehensive eyewitness account
Jacob Sorenson, a Jew from Scotland
John Manning, a
Ballarat Times journalist, from Ireland
John Phelan, a friend and business partner of Peter Lalor, from
Thomas Dignum, born in Sydney
John Joseph, a black American from New York City or Baltimore, United
James Beattie, from Ireland
William Molloy, from Ireland
Jan Vennick, from the Netherlands
Michael Tuohy, from Ireland
Henry Reid, from Ireland
Melbourne residents celebrated the acquittal of the
rebels, and paraded them through the streets upon their release from
the Victorian Supreme Court.
The first trial started on 22 February 1855, with defendants being
brought before the court on charges of high treason. Joseph was one of
three Americans arrested at the stockade, with the United States
Consul intervening for the release of the other two Americans. The
prosecution was handled by Attorney-General William Stawell
representing the Crown before Chief Justice William à Beckett.
The jury deliberated for about half an hour before returning a verdict
of "not guilty". "A sudden burst of applause arose in the court"
reported The Argus, but was instantly checked by court officers. The
Chief Justice condemned this as an attempt to influence the jury; he
sentenced two men identified by the Crown Solicitor as having
applauded to a week in prison for contempt. Over 10,000 people had
come to hear the jury's verdict. John Joseph was
carried around the streets of
Melbourne in a chair in triumph,
according to the
Ballarat newspaper The Star.
Under the auspices of Victorian Chief Justice Redmond Barry, all the
other 13 accused men were rapidly acquitted to great public acclaim.
The trials have on several occasions been called a farce. Rede
himself was quietly removed from the camps and reassigned to an
insignificant position in rural Victoria.
Commission of Enquiry
When Hotham's Royal Commission report, initiated before the conflict,
was finally handed down it was scathing in its assessment of all
aspects of the administration of the gold fields, and particularly the
Stockade affair. According to Blainey, "It was perhaps the most
generous concession offered by a governor to a major opponent in the
history of Australia up to that time. The members of the commission
were appointed before Eureka...they were men who were likely to be
sympathetic to the diggers."
The report made several major recommendations, one of which was to
restrict Chinese immigration. Its recommendations were only put into
effect after the Stockade. The gold licences were then abolished, and
replaced by an annual miner's right and an export fee based on the
value of the gold. Mining wardens replaced the gold commissioners, and
police numbers were cut drastically. The Legislative Council was
expanded to allow representation to the major goldfields. Peter Lalor
John Basson Humffray were elected for Ballarat, although there
were property qualifications with regards to eligibility to vote in
upper house elections in Victoria until the 1950s. After 12 months,
all but one of the demands of the
Ballarat Reform League had been
granted. Lalor and Humffray both enjoyed distinguished careers as
politicians, with Lalor later elected as Speaker of the Legislative
Assembly of Victoria.
Main article: Peter Lalor
Peter Lalor in later life as Speaker of the House in the
Legislative Assembly of Victoria. Only his right arm is visible, as
his left arm was amputated as a result of the battle at Eureka.
Following the battle, rebel leader,
Irish Australian Peter Lalor,
wrote in a statement to the colonists of Victoria, "There are two
things connected with the late outbreak (Eureka) which I deeply
regret. The first is, that we shouldn't have been forced to take up
arms at all; and the second is, that when we were compelled to take
the field in our own defence, we were unable (through want of arms,
ammunition and a little organisation) to inflict on the real authors
of the outbreak the punishment they so richly deserved."
Lalor stood for Ballaarat in the 1855 elections and was elected
During a speech in the Legislative Council in 1856 he said, "I would
ask these gentlemen what they mean by the term 'democracy'. Do they
Chartism or Republicanism? If so, I never was, I am not now, nor
do I ever intend to be a democrat. But if a democrat means opposition
to a tyrannical press, a tyrannical people, or a tyrannical
government, then I have been, I am still, and will ever remain a
The actual significance of Eureka upon Australia's politics is not
decisive. It has been variously interpreted as a revolt of free men
against imperial tyranny, of independent free enterprise against
burdensome taxation, of labour against a privileged ruling class, or
as an expression of republicanism. In his 1897 travel book Following
the Equator, American writer
Mark Twain wrote of the Eureka
... I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history.
It was a revolution—small in size; but great politically; it was a
strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against
injustice and oppression. ... It is another instance of a victory won
by a lost battle. It adds an honorable page to history; the people
know it and are proud of it. They keep green the memory of the men who
fell at the Eureka stockade, and
Peter Lalor has his monument.
Raffaello Carboni, who was present at the Stockade, wrote that
"amongst the foreigners ... there was no democratic feeling, but
merely a spirit of resistance to the licence fee"; and he also
disputes the accusations "that have branded the miners of
disloyal to their QUEEN" (emphasis as in the original). The affair
continues to raise echoes in Australian politics to the present day,
and from time to time one group or another calls for the existing
Australian flag to be replaced by the Eureka Flag.
Some historians believe that the prominence of the event in the public
record has come about because Australian history does not include a
major armed rebellion phase equivalent to the French Revolution, the
English Civil War, or the American War of Independence, making the
Eureka story inflated well beyond its real significance. Others,
however, maintain that Eureka was a seminal event and that it marked a
major change in the course of Australian history.
In 1980, historian
Geoffrey Blainey drew attention to the fact that
many miners were temporary migrants from Britain and the United
States, who did not intend to settle permanently in Australia. He
Nowadays it is common to see the noble Eureka flag and the rebellion
of 1854 as the symbol of Australian independence, of freedom from
foreign domination; but many saw the rebellion in 1854 as an uprising
by outsiders who were exploiting the country's resources and refusing
to pay their fair share of taxes. So we make history do its
In 1999, the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, dismissed the
Stockade as a "protest without consequence". Deputy Prime
Minister John Anderson made the Eureka flag a federal election
campaign issue in 2004 saying "I think people have tried to make too
much of the Eureka Stockade...trying to give it a credibility and
standing that it probably doesn't enjoy."
In 2004, the Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, delivered an opening
address at the Eureka 150 Democracy Conference stating "that
Eureka was about the struggle for basic democratic rights. It was not
about a riot – it was about rights."
The Eureka Monument in Ballarat, erected in 1884
The materials used to build the stockade were rapidly removed to be
used for the mines, and the entire area around the site was so
extensively worked that the original landscape became unrecognisable,
so identifying the exact location of the stockade is now virtually
A diggers' memorial was erected in the
Ballarat Cemetery on 22 March
1856 near marked graves. Sculpted in stone from the
Barrabool Hills by
James Leggatt in Geelong it features a pillar bearing the names of the
deceased miners and bearing the inscription "Sacred to the memory of
those who fell on the memorable 3rd of December, 1854, in resisting
the unconstitutional proceedings of the Victorian Government."
A soldiers' memorial was erected many years later in 1876 and is an
obelisk constructed of limestone sourced from
Waurn Ponds with the
words "Victoria" and "Duty" carved in its north and south faces
respectively. In 1879 a cast iron fence was added to the memorials and
Over the next thirty years, press interest in the events that had
taken place at the Eureka
Stockade dwindled, but Eureka was kept alive
at the campfires and in the pubs, and in memorial events in Ballarat.
In addition, key figures such as Lalor and Humfray were still in the
Eureka had not been forgotten: it was readily remembered.[citation
needed] Similar flags have been flown at rebellions since including a
flag similar [clarification needed] to the Eureka flag which was flown
above the Barcaldine strike camp in the 1891 Australian shearers'
Melbourne businessmen employed renowned American cyclorama
artist Thaddeus Welch, who teamed up with local artist Izett Watson to
paint 1,000 square feet (93 m2) of canvas of the Eureka Stockade,
wrapped around a wooden structure. When it opened in Melbourne, the
exhibition was an instant hit. The Age reported in 1891 that "it
afforded a very good opportunity for people to see what it might have
been like at Eureka". The Australasian wrote "that many persons
familiar with the incidents depicted, were able to testify to the
fidelity of the painted scene". The people of
Melbourne flocked to the
cyclorama, paid up and had their picture taken before it. It was
eventually dismantled and disappeared from sight.
Memorials to soldiers and miners are located in the Ballaarat Old
Cemetery and the Eureka
Stockade Memorial is located within the
Stockade Gardens and is listed on the Australian National
In 1954, the centenary of the event was officially celebrated;
according to Geoffrey Blainey, who was in attendance, no one, apart
from a small group of communists, was there. Plays commemorating
the events were held at major theatres.
150th anniversary official commemoration at the Eureka Centre, 3
A purpose built
Interpretation centre was erected in 1998 in suburb of
Eureka near the site of the stockade. Designed to be a new landmark
for Ballarat, the building featured an enormous sail emblazoned with
the Eureka Flag. Before its development there was considerable
debate over whether a replica or reconstruction of wooden structures
was appropriate, however it was eventually decided against and this is
seen by many as a reason for the apparent failure of the centre to
draw significant tourist numbers. Due primarily to falling visitor
numbers the centre was redeveloped between 2009 and 2011.
Sovereign Hill commenced a commemorative son et lumière
known as "Blood Under the Southern Cross" which became a tourist
drawcard and was revised and expanded from 2003. In 2004, the
150th anniversary was celebrated. An Australian postage stamp
Eureka Flag was released along with a set of
commemorative coins. A ceremony in
Ballarat known as the lantern walk
was held at dawn. However, Prime Minister
John Howard did not attend
any commemorative events, and refused to allow the flag to fly over
In November 2004 then Premier of Victoria
Steve Bracks announced that
Ballarat V/Line rail service would be renamed the Eureka Line to
mark the 150th anniversary to take effect from late 2005 at the same
time as a renaming of Spencer Street station to Southern Cross,
however the proposal was criticised by community groups including the
Public Transport Users Association. Renaming of the line did not
go ahead, however Spencer Street (railway) Station did become Southern
Cross Station on 13 December 2005 with Bracks stating the name would
resonate with Victorians because it "stands for democracy and freedom
because it flew over the Eureka Stockade".
The design of Melbourne's
Eureka Tower references the Eureka
Rebellion, with its use of blue glass and white stripes to symbolise
Eureka Flag and a surveyor's measuring staff, and a crown of
gold glass with a red stripe to represent the blood spilled on the
Eureka Tower, completed in 2006 is named in honour of the event and
features symbolic aspects in its design including an architectural red
stripe representing the blood spilled during the battle.
The site of the Eureka
Ballarat is currently being
redeveloped with the support of grants from the City of
the Victorian and Federal Governments. It will feature the new Museum
of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) that will draw on the
touchstone of Eureka and its newly restored flag, and put the Eureka
Stockade into the context of 260 years of democracy.
M.A.D.E.'s highly interactive exhibition, based on the premise of
People + Power = Democracy, is expected to open in early 2013,
followed by a national rollout of public onsite and online programs.
Deputy Premier, the Hon. Peter Ryan, told the Legislative Assembly,
Ballarat in 2012, that M.A.D.E. would be "a magnificent
tribute to the events" of the Eureka Stockade.
The Museum's M.A.D.E. You Look booklet says M.A.D.E will be 'an online
platform and immersive museum with a refreshing approach to culture,
civics, history and citizenship. M.A.D.E puts the past into a
contemporary context, celebrates Australia's achievements and inspires
new ways of thinking about issues like equality, freedom of speech,
parliamentary representation and the rule of law'. The museum 'will
ignite debate about what it means to be an effective Australian in the
Deaths at Eureka by Dorothy Wickham,
The Eureka Encyclopaedia by Justin Corfield, Clare Gervasoni and
The Eureka Flag: Our Starry Banner by Dorothy Wickham, Clare
Gervasoni, Val D’Angri.
Ballarat & Some
Ballarat Reminiscences, by W.D. Withers
Outbreak at Ballarat: Eureka from the
Mount Alexander Mail by Clare
Shot in the Dark: A Pre-Eureka Incident by Dorothy Wickham
The Story of Eureka by John Lynch – in 1895 Lynch, one of Lalor's
Captains at Eureka, wrote an account of the epic days at
Women of the Diggings:
Ballarat 1854 by Dorothy Wickham.
"What happened to the Eureka Jack?" Flag Breaking News, Australian
Stockade by Raffaello Carboni.
Stockade is referenced in several poems by Henry Lawson
including "Flag of the Southern Cross" (1887), "Eureka (A Fragment)"
(1889), "The Fight at Eureka Stockade" (1890), and "Freedom on the
The original version of Marcus Clarke's classic novel, His Natural
Life, serialised in the Australian Journal between 1870 and 1872,
includes a fictionalised account of the Eureka rebellion.
Film and television
Chips Rafferty portrays
Peter Lalor in the 1949 film
Stockade (1907), directed by Arthur and
George Cornwell and
produced by the Australasian Cinematograph Company, was the second
feature film made in Australia (the first being the 1906 production,
The Story of the Kelly Gang). The film was first screened on 19
October 1907 at the
Melbourne Athenaeum. The film impressed critics of
the time and was found to be a stirring portrayal of the events
surrounding the Eureka Stockade, but failed to connect with audiences
during the two weeks it was screened. The surviving seven-minute
fragment (stored at the National Film and Sound Archive) shows street
scenes of Ballarat. Other scenes in the lost reels of the film were
believed to have included gold seekers leaving London, issuing of
licences, licence hunting, diggers chained to logs and rescued by
mates, diggers burning Bentley's Hotel, the Rebellion, building the
stockade, troops storming the stockade and the stockade in ruins.
The Loyal Rebel, also known as Eureka Stockade, is an Australian
silent film made in 1915. Directed by Alfred Rolfe, it starred Maisie
Carte, Wynn Davies, Reynolds Denniston, Charles Villiers, Percy
Walshe, Jena Williams, and Leslie Victor as Peter Lalor. It is
considered a lost film.
A 1949 British film, titled Eureka
Stockade (released in the United
States as Massacre Hill), was shot in Australia. The film starred
Chips Rafferty as Peter Lalor, and
Peter Illing as Raffaello Carboni.
It was directed by Harry Watt, produced by Leslie Norman and written
by Walter Greenwood,
Ralph Smart and Harry Watt.
Stockade, a 1971 Australian musical film featuring
Rod Mullinar as
Peter Lalor, was directed by Hans Pomeranz and Ross McGregor. The film
was written by Kenneth Cook, adapted from his musical play.
Stockade was a two-part television mini-series which aired on
the Seven Network in 1984. starring
Bryan Brown as Peter Lalor.
Directed by Rod Hardy, produced by Henry Crawford and written by Tom
Hegarty. The cast included Carol Burns, Bill Hunter and Brett
Riot or Revolution: Eureka
Stockade 1854, an Australian documentary
from 2006, directed by Don Parham. The film focuses mainly on Governor
Charles Hotham (played by Brian Lipson),
Raffaello Carboni (Barry
Kay), and Douglas Huyghue (Tim Robertson). The accounts of these
eyewitnesses are the main source for the monologues directly aimed at
the audience, and, as the caption at the start of the film says: "the
lines spoken by actors in this film are the documented words of the
historical characters." The cast also included
Julia Zemiro as Celeste
de Chabrillan and Andrew Larkins as Peter Lalor. It was filmed in
Ballarat and Toorac House in Melbourne.
Stockade, a musical play by
Kenneth Cook and Patricia Cook, was first
performed at Sydney's
Independent Theatre in 1971. It was the basis
for the film Stockade.
Carboni is a dramatisation by
John Romeril of Raffaello Carboni's
eyewitness account of the Eureka Rebellion. It was first performed in
1980 by the
Australian Performing Group at the Pram Factory in
Bruce Spence in the title role.
Eureka Stockade, a three-act opera with music by Roberto Hazon and a
libretto by John Picton-Warlow and Carlo Stransky, was completed in
The musical Eureka premiered in
Melbourne in 2004 at Her Majesty's
Theatre. With music by Michael Maurice Harvey, book and lyrics by Gale
Edwards and John Senczuk and original book and lyrics by Maggie May
Gordon, Eureka was nominated for the Helpmann Award for Best Musical
Flag of Australia
History of Victoria
Butler Cole Aspinall, one of the defence counsel
^ a b Wright, Clare, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (2013) Text
Melbourne ISBN 9781922147370, pp 428
^ Wendy Lewis, Simon Balderstone and John Bowan (2006). Events That
Shaped Australia. New Holand. ISBN 978-1-74110-492-9.
^ a b "The government was forced to abandon the licence substitute it
with a cheaper miner's right which also conferred on men the right to
vote" The Victorians: Arriving; Richard Broome, 1984. P.92.
^ Withers, WB History of
Ballarat and some
Facsimile Edition Published by
Ballarat Heritage Services 1999, First
Published 1800, Pp 63–64.
Archived 29 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
^ 'Dr. H.V. Evatt, leader of the ALP, wrote that "The Eureka Stockade
was of crucial importance in the making of Australian democracy";
Robert Menzies, later Liberal Prime Minister, said that "the Eureka
revolution was an earnest attempt at democratic government"; Ben
Chifley, former ALP Prime Minister, wrote that "Eureka was more than
an incident or passing phase. It was greater in significance than the
short-lived revolt against tyrannical authority would suggest. The
permanency of Eureka in its impact on our development was that it was
the first real affirmation of our determination to be masters of our
own political destiny." (from "The Eureka Rebellion". National
Republicans. Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. ,
quoting Historical Studies: Eureka Supplement,
Press, Carlton, Vic., 1965, pages 125–6)
^ Sunter, Anne Beggs (2003). "Contested Memories of Eureka: Museum
Interpretations of the Eureka Stockade". Labour History. History
Cooperative. Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. Retrieved 22
Geoffrey Blainey commented in 1963 that "Eureka became a legend, a
battlecry for nationalists. republicans, liberals, radicals, or
communists, each creed finding in the rebellion the lessons they liked
to see." ..."In fact the new colonies' political constitutions were
not affected by Eureka, but the first Parliament that met under
Victoria's new constitution was alert to the democratic spirit of the
goldfields, and passed laws enabling each adult man in Victoria to
vote at elections, to vote by secret ballot, to stand for the
Legislative Assembly." Blainey, Geoffrey (1963). The Rush That Never
Melbourne University Press. pp. 56–7.
^ Charles La Trobe, Victoria's Separation & Gold Tax – 'turning
a wild colonial country into a civilised one' Archived 11 April 2013
at the Wayback Machine. Roy Morgan Research
^ a b GOLD. Pg 2. The Argus. 30 August 1851
^ pg. 24. Bate, Weston. Lucky City
^ Bate, W 1978, Lucky City: The First Generation at Ballarat
Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, p. 67.
^ pg. 55. Bate, Weston. Lucky City
^ Murder of James Scobie[dead link]
^ a b "RIOTS AT BALLARAT".
Mount Alexander Mail (26). Victoria. 27
October 1854. p. 5. Retrieved 19 April 2016 – via National
Library of Australia.
^ Molony, John N. (1984). Eureka. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.
p. 69. ISBN 0670800856. OCLC 13869758.
^ Molony, John N. (1984). Eureka. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.
p. 89. ISBN 0670800856. OCLC 13869758.
^ Molony, John N. (1984). Eureka. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.
p. 99. ISBN 0670800856. OCLC 13869758.
^ Molony, John N. (1984). Eureka. Ringwood, Victoria: Viking.
pp. 91, 96. ISBN 0670800856. OCLC 13869758.
Ballarat Reform League Charter". Australian Memory of the World
Program. Australian National Commission for UNESCO. Archived from the
original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
^ "The People's Charter 1838". The British Library: Learning: History.
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January 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
^ MacDougal, Ian (2006). "29 November and the Birth of Australian
Democracy". Webdiary. Archived from the original on 2 September 2007.
Retrieved 17 January 2007.
^ Drummer Boy John Egan (Regiment No. 3059) Eureka's first Military
Casualty Archived 5 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 29
^ "Rede's account of the Gravel Pits riots and call for Martial Law to
be proclaimed". Eureka on Trial. Public record Office of Victoria.
2003. Archived from the original on 9 April 2007. Retrieved 20
^ Reclaiming the Radical Spirit of the Eureka
Rebellion in 1854
Archived 27 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 29
^ Three Despatches From Sir Charles Hotham, Public Record Office,
^ "Escalating Tensions: The Southern Cross". Eureka on Trial. Public
record Office of Victoria. 2003. Archived from the original on 9 April
2007. Retrieved 20 February 2007.
^ John Christian Vaughan (August 2009). "Flags under the Southern
Cross and the Eureka myth" (PDF). Australian National Flag Association
Newsletter. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2012.
Retrieved 9 June 2013.
Ballarat Times, cited in The Age, 28 November 1854, p. 5.
^ The Age, 4 December 1854, p. 5.
^ The Age, 24 February 1855, p. 5
^ "ergo Research, resources and essay writing". Slv.vic.gov.au.
Archived from the original on 28 March 2011. Retrieved 29 November
^ "The Revolt at Eureka", Pictorial Social Studies, Vol 16, pp.
^ "By Express. Fatal Collision at Ballaarat". The Argus. Melbourne. 4
December 1854. p. 5. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
^ M. Clark. Sources of Australian History, Oxford University Press,
Melbourne, 1966, pp. 278,301.
^ Desmond O'Grady. Raffaello! Raffaello!: A Biography of Raffaello
Carboni, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1985, pp. 155.
^ H.R. Nicholls. "Reminiscences of the Eureka Stockade", The
Centennial Magazine: An Australian Monthly, (May 1890) (available in
an annual compilation; Vol. II: August 1889 to July 1890), pp. 749.
^ Raffaello Carboni. The Eureka Stockade, Currey O'Neil, Blackburn,
Vic., 1980, pp. 90.
^ William Bramwell Withers. The History of Ballarat, From the First
Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time, (facsimile of the second
edition of 1887), Queensberry Hill Press, Carlton, Vic., 1980, pp.
^ One writer has stated that "the collapse of the rising at Ballarat
may be regarded as mainly attributable to the password given by Lalor
on the night before the assault. Asked by one of the subordinate
leaders of the revolt for the "night pass", he gave "Vinegar Hill"...
Many at Ballaarat, who were disposed before that to resist the
military, now quietly withdrew from the movement... when the news
circulated that Irish independence had crept into it" (also known as
the Castle Hill uprising, Vinegar Hill was the site of an 1804
rebellion by convicts in the colony of New South Wales, involving
mainly Irish transportees). C.H. Currey. The Irish at Eureka, Angus
and Robertson, Sydney, 1954, pp. 93.
^ a b Nigel Morris (3 December 2013). "Book Review: "Ray Wenban and
what happened to the Eureka Jack?"" (PDF). Flag Breaking News. 1 (1).
Australian Flag Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25
^ According to Constable Hugh King's testimony: "...three or four
hundred yards a heavy fire from the stockade was opened on the troops
and me. When the fire was opened on us we received orders to fire. I
saw some of the 40th wounded lying on the ground but I cannot say that
it was before the fire on both sides. I think some of the men in the
stockade should-they had a flag flying in the stockade; it was a white
cross of five stars on a blue ground. – flag was afterwards taken
from one of the prisoners like a union jack – we fired and advanced
on the stockade, when we jumped over, we were ordered to take all we
could prisoners..." mos
^ C.H. Curry, 'The Irish at Eureka', Angus & Robertson, 1954
^ a b "Lateline – 7/5/2001: Historians discuss Eureka legend.
Australian Broadcasting Corp". Abc.net.au. Archived from the original
on 9 November 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
^ Benwell, Phillip. "EUREKA". The Australian Monarchist League Inc.
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Stockade history, Part 2: Peter Lalor's Statement in The
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^ "The Eureka Rebellion". home.alphalink.com.au. Archived from the
original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
^ Turner, Ian. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of
Biography, Australian National University. Archived from the original
on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017 – via Australian
Dictionary of Biography.
^ Joseph Toscano, The Killing Times Archived 27 October 2011 at the
Wayback Machine. Reclaiming the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion
in 1854, (2004) Accessed 20 October 2008
^ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Vetch, Robert Hamilton (1895). "Pasley, Charles
(1824–1890)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 43.
London: Smith, Elder & Co.
^ a b Weston Bate. "The Eureka Stockade: Gateway to Democracy".
Ballarat Reform League. Archived from the original on 9 September
2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
^ Mary Proctor: Convict, Pioneer and Settler By Jeff Atkinson
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Wayback Machine. an extract from her book "Deaths at Eureka", 64pp,
1996 ISBN 0-646-30283-3
^ Wright, Clare, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (2013) Text
Melbourne ISBN 9781922147370, pp 429
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^ Francis, Charles (1976). "Stawell, Sir William Foster
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^ The Argus, 24 February 1885
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^ "Eureka? An answer to that Jack in the corner gets a little bit
warmer". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 8
^ "Eminent Australians rally around as call goes out for a new flag".
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^ Geoffrey Blainey, A Land Half Won, Melbourne: Sun Books, 1983 (first
printed in 1980), ISBN 0-7251-0411-2, p.158
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^ See Marcus Clarke, His Natural Life, Book VI, chapters 9 to 17.
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The Loyal Rebel at
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Prize for History
Ballarat Heritage Services.
Massacre at Eureka – The Untold Story, Bob O'Brien,
Eureka, John Molony, ISBN 0-522-84962-8
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka,
Clare Wright (2013) Text Publishing,
Melbourne ISBN 9781922147370
Raffaello Carboni (1855). Title from Project
Samuel Lazarus Diary of the Eureka uprising
Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Life on the Goldfields: Eureka Stockade
150th Anniversary of the Eureka Stockade
The Australian Gold Rush
"Time to reclaim this legend as our driving force" by Macgregor
Duncan, Andrew Leigh, David Madden, Peter Tynan, Sydney Morning
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Strange, Ballarat, 1973.
Weston Bate, Lucky City: The First Generation at
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Stockade Saga 1854–2007 Injustice for James and Catherine
Catholics at the
Stockade Father Smythe urged the miners to go home
and attend mass the next day
The 150th anniversary of Eureka
Stockade A large police presence on
Characters at the Eureka
Stockade A review of feminist revisionist
history Clare Wright's The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
Tuohy Not Guilty of Treason One of 13 miners acquitted of treason
Michael Hanrahan from Ireland to
Ballarat 1854 Irish Pikemen leader at
Clipper ships 92 days to Australia 1854 Emigration on Clipper Ships 92
days at sea
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