Eureka Stockade:Inspector Evans reports on the preludes to the attack on the Stockade

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Eureka Stockade:Inspector Evans reports on the preludes to the attack on the Stockade is associated with Ballarat, Victoria located at these coordinates -37.5621071, 143.8561493


Description:
This series of documents ranging from 26 November to 12 December 1854, from Inspector Gordon Evans to Chief Commissioner of Police, Captain Charles MacMahon, presents the events of the week leading up to the Stockade from the police point of view.

The documents highlight the police’s firm belief that the diggers were intending to attack the Camp and release the prisoners McIntyre, Fletcher and Westerby by force.

In sequence, these documents give a good account of the unrest that existed in the days before the Stockade.

The documents illustrate the importance played by detectives and other informants in providing the government with news of the diggers’ intentions, even if these proved to be misguided.

There is also the rather extraordinary account of a sighting of Frederick Vern dressed as a woman and fleeing for the hills of Bunninyong!


Record Citation: VPRS 937/P Unit 10, Item 1
Record URL: http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewUnit&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Unit%20Details&entityId=4000747873
Agency: VA 724 Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police)
Agency URL: http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&entityId=724
Date: 26/11/1854
Record Type: Report
Event Type: Riot
Language: en
Copyright URL: http://prov.vic.gov.au/copyright
Related Resource URL: https://public-record-office-victoria.culturalspot.org/exhibit/-QJCUdqSRYv-JA?position=33%3A0
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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-001.jpg Police Department

Inspectors Office Ballarat 26th November 1854

Sir, I have the honor to report that Mr.Lane the Asst.Colonial Engineer has this moment told me, that he has been informed by a man named “Big George” who came out in the same ship with him and is well known to Mr. Molesworth, the Solicitor General, that the object of the meeting of the Diggers on Wednesday next is to burn the licenses, and


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-001v.jpg in the event of the Prisoners Macintyre, Fletcher and Westerby not being released, to march up to the camp in a body and demand that three officers be given up to them two of whom Messrs. Rede and Johnston were mentioned.

Should this not be complied with and resistance offered it is their intention to use force.

Three thousand men are expected from Creswicks Creek and the men attending the meeting are all to wear a red ribbon as a badge.

It is evident from what I


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-002.jpg learn from various other sources that some very serious disturbances may be anticipated.

I have therefore the honor to request you will with the utmost possible despatch send me reinforcements as will ensure the safety of the Government Camp and afford protection to the orderly and well disposed persons. I have the honor to be Sir, your obedient servant Gordon Evans Inspector


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-003.jpg Confidential Police Department

Inspector’s Office Ballarat 27th November 1854

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 26th Inst. and in reply beg to state that I shall in the event of an attack defend the Government camp to the last extremity with the force which may be at my disposal. In the meantime, I have the honor to report the following information supplied to me by Mr. Sub. Inspector Furnell who has been on detective duty on the diggings throughout the day


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-003v.jpg Mr Furnell states that from several persons who have formerly given him correct information it appears “there will be a strong demonstration on Wednesday next the 29th Inst”

Mr Furnell further states he called upon Mr.Smith the Roman Catholic Clergyman whom he has known at the Ovens District for nearly two years past, and that Gentleman immediately on his duty informed him that he was just about proceeding to the Govt. Camp to report that matters were assuming a more serious aspect, so much so that he had written to his own Bishop for instructions


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-004.jpg how to act in the approaching crisis.

Mr. Smith says that about a thousand men can be brought together at a given point in one day and that a few days since nine hundred men actually did assemble who were all armed with rifles. The plan to be adopted by the agitators is to burn the Licenses, or in some way to place the Government in such a position as to make them apparently the aggressors. The agitators I am further informed by Mr. Smith are not the English part of the community.

I beg to inform you, at the request of Mr Rede the


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-004v.jpg Lieut.Kossack 2 Sergts

5 Actg Sergts 19 Troopers

Sub.Major Langley 1 Supert 3 Actg Sergts 7 Troopers

Sub Insp Moore 6 Troopers

Resident Commissioner I have written to Mr. Foster the Inspector of Police requesting he would immediately send me such mounted men as he could spare from his district at Castlemaine.

I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obedient Servant Gordon Evans Inspector


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-005.jpg Lieut. Kossak

2 Sergts 5 X Sergts 19 Troopers

Sub Insptr. Langley 1 Sergt 3 Actg Sergt 7 troopers Sub Insp Moore 6 troopers

Inspector’s Office

Ballarat ½ part ½ night 28 November 1854

Sir, I have the honour to inform you that reinforcements as per margin have arrived. The men which I requested Mr. Foster to send me have not arrived as I understand from Mr. Moore, he will be not permit any men to leave his district without an order from you.

On the arrival of the several detachments they were very much hooted and pelted with stones. About 10 o’clock Mr. McCulloch rode up and


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-005v.jpg Informed Captain Thomas that the Detachment of the 12th Regt. had been mobbed, about a mile from the Camp, that one of their Carts had been upset by the mob and some of the men severely hurt, “one of whom I am informed by Captain Thomas is now dangerously ill in Hospital.”

I immediately despatched two Detachments of Mounted Police to the spot and on our way we were hooted at and stones thrown and Revolvers fired. An attempt was made to check the advance of our mounted men, but


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-006.jpg without the necessity of having the riot act read, we pushed through them and reached the Detachment of the 12th Regt.

Several of our men have been rather seriously injured but not dangerously from the stones and bottles thrown at them, though some have been struck from the effects of firearms.

I can not conclude without mentioning with extreme pleasure the steadiness and good temper of the men who had to endure the assaults herein mentioned, and I have every confidence in them


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-006v.jpg should they be called upon to act in a serious encounter.

Captain Thomas desires me to acquaint you that he is highly pleased with the very exemplary manner in which the Police under my orders turned out and behaved on the occasion refered to.

I have the honor to be Sir Your Obdt Servant Gordon Evans Inspector

P.S Everything is now quiet but it is probable a collision may take place tomorrow again. G.E


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-007.jpg Police Department

Inspector’s Office Ballarat 29th November 1854

Sir, I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 28th Inst. The meeting which took place this day of the miners and others upon this Gold Field has passed off very quietly, but I am informed that about one hundred licences have been destroyed, and I believe it is the intention of Mr.Rede the Resident Commission to call upon


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-007v.jpg the Police to search for unlicensed miners tomorrow.

I do not now however anticipate the slightest disturbance in consequence , as from the tenor of the speeches delivered at the meeting, which was not attended by more than two thousand person, their intention apparently is to petition His Excellency in a constitutional manner for the liberation of the three Prisoners lately convicted.

I am decidedly of


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-008.jpg opinion that the appearance of so many troops upon this Gold Field so suddenly has created a panic amongst the ill disposed and given confidence in the Government to the respectable persons.

I must not omit to mention that having ordered a mounted Patrol this evening upon the main line of road throughout the Diggings, they were very much hooted by a very disorderly mob of persons some of whom fired at the Police; the Patrol returned slowly to Camp and reported


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-008v.jpg the circumstance, it was moonlight at the time ;about half past 10o’clock,

I reported he circumstance to the Resident Commissioner and Captain Thomas, who contrary to my wishes, would not permit the Police to patrol in that direction again.

I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient Servant Gordon Evans Inspector


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-009.jpg Police Department

Inspector’s Office Ballarat 30th November 1854

Sir, I have the honor to report that the Police went this morning accompanied by Mr Commissioner Johnston to the Gravel Pits in search of unlicenced miners.

The party consisted of Sub Inspector Xiemenes, ten mounted and fifteen Foot Police.

Immediately on their entering the Gravel Pits and demanding licences the people hooted the Police and stoned them out of the place.

At the request of the Officer and Commissioner I despatched


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-009v.jpg a reinforcement of mounted men to their assistance.

The mob congregated in lump numbers and a few shots were fired but without injuring any of our men.

The disturbance increased to such an extent that Mr. Rede was sent for, who after endeavouring to disperse the mob by quietly haranguing them, thought it necessary to read the Riot Act.

The military were called out and with their support I advanced to search for unlicenced miners and succeeded in apprehending


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-010.jpg eight prisoners some of them are charged with firing with an intent to kill, and a few for violently assaulting and resisting the Police in the execution of their duty.

I have brought the Prisoners before the Police Magistrate this afternoon and he has committed them to take their trial for riot at Melbourne on the 15th December.

It is my intention to forward these prisoners tonight to Geelong for further transmission to Melbourne as I am informed the mob contemplate making an attempt at rescue.

Every thing is now quiet but I think it probable that


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-010v.jpg fresh disturbances may take place before the morning as I hear that at a meeting just held, they stated their determination of releasing the prisoners and were arming and being drilled.

The press of Police duty prevents my further entering into details at the present moment but I would respectfully suggest that a few more Police both mounted and foot may be sent here if they can be spared, and with the least possible delay.

It is with feelings of pride and pleasure I have the honor to submit to your notice the enclosed letter


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-011.jpg from Captain Thomas relative to the manner in which the Police have done their duty this day.

I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient servant Gorson Evans Inspector

P.S I have just been told that the different roads in this neighborhood will be blocked up by the Rioters this night and


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-011v.jpg that their hour of attack upon the Camp will be between four and five o’clock tomorrow morning.

Gordon Evans Insp.


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-012.jpg Balaarat Nov 30th 1854

Capt. Evans will be good enough to convey to the Officers and men of the Police force, the thanks of the Officer in command of the Garrison for their discipline and steadiness throughout the whole of the movements which took place this day. Capt. Thomas will be glad if this sense of conduct of the Police is reported to the Chief Commissoner.

Mr Thomas Capt. Balaarat


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-012v.jpg O.H.M.S

Captain Evans in charge of Police Balaarat


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-013.jpg Police Department

Inspector’s Office Ballarat 6th December 1854

Sir I have the honor to report that everything appears to be very tranquil here at present. Hundreds of Diggers have returned to their work and taken out Licenses this morning. I am informed that a number of men who are well armed and some of them mounted are encamped in the ranges near Warreneep and that a man named “Vern” whose description I forwarded to you yesterday together with a warrant for his apprehension is the leader of them. I must here


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-013v.jpg observe that this information was obtained from a man in Mr. Bacchus’s employ some days past. Mr. Inspector Foster who is at present at Ballarat with a party of his men “Mounted” from Castlemaine has organised a small body of Detectives and is scouring the ranges for the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of the report above mentioned.

I have sent the Police belonging to Bald Hill and Creswick’s Creek back to their stations and I have to request you will inform me if I may after consulting with Mr. Rede and the officer commanding


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-014.jpg the Military, order the remainder of the Mounted Police to return to their respective stations when I think their services are no longer required here.

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

Captain MacMahon Chief Commr.Of Police Ballarat


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-015.jpg Frederick Vern Police Department

Inspector’s Office Ballarat 9/12/54

Sir, I have the honor to inform you that the man named in the margin for whose apprehension a warrant has been issued, was seen yesterday in Bunninyong, disguised in female attire viz;- Black drawn Silk bonnet, Light Shawl and Light Cotton gown, (He took the direction of the Forest and as I have a number of Police in all directions on detective duty. I have some hopes that he will be taken.

I have also the honor to report that this Gold Field is perfectly quiet. I have the honor to be Sir, Your most obedient servant Gordon Evans Inspector


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-016.jpg Camp Ballarat Dec 12 1854

Sir, Having expresssed to the Major General Commanding my appreciation of the services of the Police Force generally during the late disturbances, I think it right to bring to your favorable notice, the assistance I received from particular individuals connected with the Detective duty, in the performance of which no slight danger was incurred by them.

In mentioning therefore the following names to your consideration, I


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00937-p0000-000010-0010-010-016v.jpg am desirous of noticing especially that of Trooper Goodenough whose information was always valuable and correct, and which information was obtained at much personal risk.


Name Supt. Nelson (?)

`` Nolan

Trooper Goodenough Constable Quigley Trooper Peters `` Thomson

I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedt. Servant

E.W Thomas Capt. 40th Regt.

The Chief Commissioner of Police Melbourne

Facts about "Eureka Stockade:Inspector Evans reports on the preludes to the attack on the Stockade"RDF feed
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Has coordinates37° 33' 44" S, 143° 51' 22" ELatitude: -37.5621071
Longitude: 143.8561493
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Has date12 December 1854 + and 26 November 1854 +
Has event typeRiot +
Has form nameTranscribed Record Form +
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Has languageen +
Has record agencyVA 724 Victoria Police (including Office of the Chief Commissioner of Police) +
Has record citationVPRS 937/P Unit 10, Item 1 +
Has record typeReport +
Has record urlhttp://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewUnit&breadcrumbPath=Home/Access%20the%20Collection/Browse%20The%20Collection/Unit%20Details&entityId=4000747873 +
Has related resourcehttps://public-record-office-victoria.culturalspot.org/exhibit/-QJCUdqSRYv-JA?position=33%3A0 +
Has rightshttp://prov.vic.gov.au/copyright +
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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