Eureka Stockade:Rede's account of the attack on the 12th Regiment

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Eureka Stockade:Rede's account of the attack on the 12th Regiment is associated with Ballarat, Victoria located at these coordinates -37.5621071, 143.8561493

Addressed to the Chief Commissioner of the Gold Fields, this letter, dated 30 November 1854, gives Resident Gold Fields Commissioner Robert Rede’s account of the attack on the 12th Regiment which occurred as they were passing through the Eureka flats to reinforce the Government Camp. Rede also enquires into the exact legal position of the Crown in dealing with sedition, lest he 'overstep the exact line'.

Record Citation: VPRS 1189/P Unit 92, J54/14460
Record URL:
Agency: VA 856 Colonial Secretary's Office
Agency URL:
Date: 30 November 1854
Record Type: Report
Event Type: Sedition
Language: en
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Related Resource URL:
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User Tags: sedition

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
01189-p0000-000092-0880-010-001.jpg 1 Off Royal Engineers

2 Off 80 men 12th Regt

3 Off 106 men 40” do

2 Off 32 men 40 mounted

2 off 37 men-mounted police









November 30th 1854

52/251 54 J14460

Resident Commissioner reporting the arrival of the Military and Police and Stating what steps he proposes taking at the meeting. Nov 28th /54 I have the honor to state the officers and men as per margin have arrived today. I regret to state that when the Detachment of the of the 12th Regiment passed through the diggings near the Eureka they were attacked by a mob who upset one of the hindermost carts and maltreated the men who were thrown out taking one of their firelocks and also some ammunition shows support both of Cavalry and Infantry were sent out from Camp and

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
01189-p0000-000092-0880-010-001v.jpg returned in a body. They were assailed with stones and & bottles and some of the soldiers and police were much hurt, two shots were fired the balls passing close to the heads of Mr. Sub Inspector Furnell and Mr. Langley, the crowd did not attempt to follow them beyond the bridge heading to the camp. The meeting to which I have alluded in former despatches takes place tomorrow and I have decided on the following mode of action, a magistrate accompanied by persons on whom I can depend will attend they will report to one immediately if anything seditious is said or if any advice should be given to the miners to commit an illegal act. Immediately

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
01189-p0000-000092-0880-010-002.jpg on receiving such report I shall proceed accompanied by the whole of the force I can take without endangering the safety of the camp and shall call on the people to disperse, should they refuse I will read the riot act and then order the police to disperse the meeting. Should a shot be fired or the police roughly handled, I will call on the military to act, I will arrest the speakers on the spot if possible or if not as soon as they can be found. I am so convinced that active measures must be employed to maintain order and give confidence to the well disposed that I am determining to act in the most energetic manner. I will endeavour in every respect to act in strict

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
01189-p0000-000092-0880-010-002v.jpg conformity to the law but I hope that under the very peculiar and pressing circumstances in which I now find myself placed that should I overstep the exact line I may confidently look for the support of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor.- It would have been a great assurance to me had I received some instructions or the opinion of the law offices of the crown on the exact extent to which I am legally empowered to go in a case of sedition. I cannot too strongly urge that the editor of the Ballarat Times should be arrested and sent to Melbourne for his seditious article in the copy I sent down. The soldiers & police I am happy to state show the very best dispositions .

I have the honor to be Sir Your most obedient servant Robert Rede Resd. Commr.

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