Eureka Stockade:Captain Pasley's Report

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Eureka Stockade:Captain Pasley's Report is associated with Ballarat, Victoria located at these coordinates -37.5621071, 143.8561493

In this letter, Captain Charles Pasley, new to Ballarat, analyses the military and political situation at Ballarat on 29 November 1854. Pasley describes the movement of troops and the meetings of diggers from afar; he argues that 'some steps should be taken to bring the matter to a crisis' and recommends a course of brinkmanship by sending out licence hunters backed by a display of military force.

Record Citation: VPRS 1189/P Unit 92, K/5413511
Record URL:
Agency: VA 856 Colonial Secretary's Office
Agency URL:
Date: 29 November 1854
Record Type: Letter
Event Type: Trial
Language: en
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Related Resource URL:
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User Tags: sedition

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01189-p0000-000092-0590-010-001.jpg Date 29th Nov

Regis 4th Dec 1854 K54/13.511

Capt Pasley - Ballaarat Report relative to the riot at that place

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01189-p0000-000092-0590-010-002.jpg The Honourable the Colonial Secretary K54/13.511 Camp Ballaarat

29th November 1854 12pm Sir, I have the honour to report for the information of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, that I arrived at this camp about ½ past 2 o’ clock yesterday afternoon. Everything was then quiet-the reinforcements had not arrived, but Captain Thomas 40th regiment was here, and had taken command of the troops. I accordingly placed myself under his orders. At 6pm 106 men of the 40th Regiment under the command of Captain Wise, together with a party of Mounted Police arrived from Geelong. They were much hooted by the populace, and stones were thrown at them, but no serious attack was made. Soon after Lieut. Gardyne with the mounted troops from Melbourne and Gisborne reached the camp and met with the same reception, and some attempt was made to stop them, but they passed through at a canter and without drawing their swords. Lieutenant Hall, with the mounted men from Castlemaine, and police from Sawpit Gully arrived without molestation, having come by Creswick’s Creek. About 9 o’ clock, a report reached the camp that a company of the 12th Regiment had been attacked and that some of the men were in the hands of the diggers. A party of cavalry and a detachment

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01189-p0000-000092-0590-010-002v.jpg of the 40th were immediately despatched to their assistance, and the whole returned together. Some of the men were hurt one of them seriously. No disturbances occurred during the night. The meeting which was advertised for today took place at about 2 o’ clock a magistrate and two other officers being present. The whole of the troops and Police in Jamieson were under arms, and at their ports, during the afternoon.

The arrangement made by Captain Thomas for the defence of the camp and also for offensive operations should they be required, were not judicious and I am fully of opinion that with the force now at his disposal, the camp is not only quite secure but that the meeting which took place today might have been dispersed by force, had the conduct of the persons present here such as to call for interference. The place of meeting was within sight of the camp, distant about ¾ of a mile, and in a portion convenient for military operations; but should His Excellency think proper to authorise active interference. On the part of the authorities, with all seditious meetings, Captain Thomas thinks and I quite concur with him in opinion that further reinforcements will be desirable. The meeting passed off very quietly, and the speeches were not as inflammatory as they have recently been on similar occasions. I am convinced that the presence of the troops is the only cause to which this altercation is to be attributed, and that if the force were

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01189-p0000-000092-0590-010-003.jpg materially reduced, the agitation would break but again in full force. I believe that no attack will be made upon the camp, while the present force is here, but that it would not secure with the usual garrison. It is therefore; I think clearly necessary that some steps should be taken to bring the matter to a crisis, and to teach those persons (forming no doubt that great majority of the mining population) who are not seditiously disposed, that it is their interest to give practical proof of their allegiance not only in not giving encouragement to the rebellious movement of the minority, but actively interfering to prevent them.

Taking this view of the case, the Resident Commissioner proposed (with the full approval of the principal officers of Government now here) to send the police for licences tomorrow, with the intention of supporting them (should any rescue be attempted)by a strong body of troops. It is possible that serious resistance may be made, but in my opinion the step is a very necessary and judicious one. I would beg leave to suggest to His Excellency that the suppression of the agitation on this Gold Field would be rendered very much easier were authority given to the Magistrate to arrest and send to Melbourne the Editor of the Ballaarat Times, and any other persons who may write or speak sedition. I have no doubt that such a step together with the exhibition of a firm front on the part of the Government would produce the desired effect. For one of two things must happen :- either the disaffected persons

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01189-p0000-000092-0590-010-003v.jpg will be led in arms against the Government, or their leaders will be forced to confess their weakness, and thus lose at once the influence they have gained over the minds of the population. In either case a short time will probably decide the matter and I have no doubts of the results.

As I believe that the difficulty has only been postponed for a few days, by the quietude of the meeting of this day, I propose the remain here until something decisive occurs, or until I receive His Excellency’s instructions. As an instance of the disorderly state of a portion of the population of this Goldfield, I may mention, that a shot was fired at a Police Patrol, near the camp about, two hours since.

I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient servant

C. Pasley Capt. R. Sage (?) L. Colonial Engineer

Facts about "Eureka Stockade:Captain Pasley's Report"RDF feed
Has agency url +
Has coordinates37° 33' 44" S, 143° 51' 22" ELatitude: -37.5621071
Longitude: 143.8561493
+Google maps
Has date29 November 1854 +
Has event typeTrial +
Has form nameTranscribed Record Form +
Has image +, +, +, + and +
Has keywordssedition +
Has languageen +
Has record agencyVA 856 Colonial Secretary's Office +
Has record citationVPRS 1189/P Unit 92, K/5413511 +
Has record typeLetter +
Has record url +
Has related resource +
Has rights +
Latitude-37.562 +
Located inBallarat, Victoria +
Longitude143.856 +
Page has default formThis property is a special property in this wiki.Transcribed Record Form +
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