John Foster

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John Foster is associated with Ballarat, Victoria located at these coordinates -37.5621071, 143.85614929999997

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User Tags: john foster, charles hotham, eureka

Born in Dublin to a Tory Member of Parliament, Foster studied at Trinity College, and emigrated to Australia in 1841. Here he farmed for several years, together with a cousin, before returning to Ireland to be married in 1850. Three years later he returned to Melbourne as Colonial Secretary under La Trobe, serving as Acting Governor between La Trobe's departure and Hotham's arrival in June 1854. Foster's role was to advise Hotham during the Eureka crisis, and the advice he gave was informed by his fear of violence. Despite the fact that he and Hotham did not get along, as a dutiful young man Foster stood up for Hotham in public and took much of the criticism over the government's handling of the matter. For reasons that still remain unclear, the young Colonial Secretary resigned a week after Eureka and left for England a few years later. We are unsure of Foster's exact opinions about Eureka, but we do know he had little influence over his superior throughout their time together. This, as much as anything else, is likely to have prompted his resignation.

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