Article: The Gold Rush to Lamplough 1859-1860



by Denis Strangman

[The writer is a member of the Avoca and District Historical Society (ADHS). His great grandfather, William Downing Strangman, came from Co. Cork to Victoria in 1853, was married at Ararat in 1859 and moved to Lamplough during the rush in 1860, where he operated a puddling machine for several years. The family remained in the Avoca district for eighteen years before moving to New South Wales.]


In 1986 a woman who was undertaking family history research in England came across the name “Lamplough”, Victoria, Australia, on an ancestor’s birth certificate. Hoping to obtain some further information about this place she sent a letter addressed to the “Postmaster, Lamplough”. Her letter was not delivered to the Postmaster because the Lamplough Post Office had closed its doors about fifty years ago and all that remains of it today are a few wooden stumps in the ground. Fortunately, her letter found its way to officials of the Avoca and District Historical Society (ADHS) and they were able to send her some background information about Lamplough.

What a contrast with the Lamplough of 1860 when anxious gold miners, most of whom had come to Australia from Europe with the great tide of gold seekers in the early 1850’s, jostled and fought for their letters from England and elsewhere at a small window of the Post Office. In that year 91,296 letters and 21,203 newspapers passed through the Lamplough Post Office. (1)

The Lamplough gold rush has somehow escaped the history books. In his comprehensive study of this period of the history of Victoria Geoffrey Serle acknowledges that “the later alluvial rushes to the western fields have never received their due” and identifies the rush to Lamplough in late 1859 as merely one of the “chief minor rushes in which ten thousand or more took part”, compared with the “stampedes” to Fiery Creek, Dunolly, Ararat, Pleasant Creek (Stawell) and Back Creek (Talbot) which attracted “as many as fifty thousand perhaps”.(2)

This essay is an attempt to redress the balance and is based on a wider local history research project in which the course of the rush has been recreated from contemporary sources. This research has led to the construction of a data base of the names of more than 3,000 people who had some contact, however fleeting, with Lamplough in the gold rush days and complements an impressive card index system of at least 20,000 names relevant to the early history of the Avoca district, which is maintained by the ADHS . (3)

In recreating the details of the rush it has been possible to draw on the contemporary reports of the correspondents for the various provincial newspapers, including the principal newspaper for the district, the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (MADA), the Ballarat Star (BS), the Ballarat Times (BT), the Mount Ararat Advertiser (MAA), and the North Western Chronicle (NWC). As well, there were references to the progress of mining at Lamplough in thirty-two consecutive editions of the weekly “Mining Report” in the Melbourne Age newspaper, covering the period from 8 December 1859 until 26 July 1860, and further frequent references until 13 December 1860. Similarly, references to Lamplough featured in the weekly “Mining Intelligence” column in the Melbourne Argus newspaper almost continuously from 7 December 1859 until 27 December 1860 when it was displaced by the reports from a new rush in the Avoca district at Mountain Creek (Moonambel).(4) Unfortunately, there are no known surviving copies in Australian public libraries of the nearest local newspaper existing at the time, the Amherst and Back Creek Advertiser (BCA), whose correspondents were among the first to report the rush. However, their reporting was so good that the reports were often reproduced in other newspapers which, fortuitously, have survived.


The rush to Lamplough commenced during the weekend of 26-27 November 1859 and followed the discovery of payable ground by two Welsh brothers, John and Daniel Owens, who had been prospecting “for some time past” in various parts of a flat leading from the Avoca township which was about three miles to the north. Their find was officially reported on Saturday, 26 November 1859.(5) The Avoca area had been the scene of an earlier large rush in September 1853, initially to an area with the curious name of “Donkeywoman’s Gully” which was in the direction of Lamplough. Indeed, even earlier, in 1849, Tommy Chapman, who was a shepherd on the nearby Glenmona property had found some gold in the district but declined to reveal the exact location. Chapman’s find was among the first discoveries of gold in Victoria .(6)

Around the time that the Owens brothers were securing their prospecting claim, William Stanley Jevons, who was later to achieve fame as a logician and the economist who expounded the marginal utility theory of value, was telling an audience of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester that based on his observations of the gold fields in Australia “. . . Not much, perhaps, is to be hoped from the future discovery of alluvial gold. The chief diggings of Victoria have, during the past eight years, been so vigorously undermined and turned up by small parties of miners that scarcely a square yard of untouched auriferous ground is left”, he said.(7) As if to prove Jevons completely wrong, in the same month (November) that gold was discovered at Lamplough there were also major discoveries at (New) Inglewood in Victoria and at Kiandra (Snowy River) in New South Wales. The Lamplough area had already been subjected to the scrutiny mentioned by Jevons but the various prospectors had missed any evidence of a lead and even though some had sunk holes two or three years previously to a depth of 70 and 75 feet, water had come in and swamped them out. But the gold was there, waiting for the Owens brothers and their colleagues.(8)

In some early reports the diggings were identified as the “Clare Castle diggings”, after a hotel of that name run by a George Cartwright which was located on the main road between Avoca and Burn Bank (Lexton), eleven miles to the south. Burn Bank was one of the earliest provisioning centres to be established in the district. It was suggested that the owner of the “Clare Castle” had backed the prospectors. This was quite likely – gold attracted miners who had a mighty thirst after a hard day’s digging and a large gold mining population was good for business. The “Clare Castle” hotel at this time was an unpretentious structure of about 24 feet by 10 feet, with slab walls 6 feet in height, and a canvas roof.(9)

Prior to the discovery of gold Lamplough virtually consisted of Cartwright’s Hotel and nothing more except perhaps for some miners in tents on nearby Rutherford’s Creek, a tributary of the Avoca river. This creek had been named after Andrew Rutherford who was the occupant of the Lamplough property during 1851-53. However, he was not the original owner, for the property had been established in 1840-41, just four years after the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell had opened up this territory to the white man. At the time of the rush the nominal owner was John Matheson but he was absent in England during 1860 and the property was managed by William Macoboy Wise.

On the Sunday following the discovery there were 500 diggers at Lamplough. The news must have raced around the district because on the following day, Monday 28 November 1859, there was an estimated 3,000 people on the field. They had come during the night, wending their way through the bush from nearby diggings at Back Creek (Talbot), Kangaroo, Mountain Hut, Amphitheatre, and other places.(10)

By Wednesday every road leading to the district was “. . . thronged with parties eager to reach the scene of action”. According to one correspondent: “. . . People are not entering, they are literally pouring in. Every conceivable avenue leading to the flat swarms with people. Tents are going up as if by magic. You gaze on a clear spot one

moment, turn your attention for a short half-hour to another, then twist round and look at the spot, and find where before was no sound save the neighing of horses or the response of cattle, a small canvas town stands, erected in the short space of time before mentioned. Along the roads leading to our El Dorado, streams of wagons, drays, equestrians, and pedestrians, travel along in one continuous line . . . “. (11)

In the reports of the early days of the rush there are two common features commented on by all the correspondents: the grog and the dust. This was the middle of the Australian summer. There were scorching hot winds and many people preferred to travel by night when “the tread of men, the clinking of tin billys, and the rumbling of drays” denoted the great numbers on the outlying roads. But when they reached Lamplough there was dust everywhere: “. . . such a place for dust is not to be described. For minutes after the passing of a wagon or a horse, you cannot see a yard beyond you, and every puff of wind – as I said before it is not to be described – is horrible beyond words; and in the midst of this plague bread and meat is openly exposed, not an effort of any kind made to secure either from an increase of their weight by the adhesion of this horror, and to lay the account that would be a task heavier than any laid on the Israelites by the Egyptians”.(12)

In one of the few non-journalistic accounts, written thirty-three years later by a former carrier, John Chandler, who had taken supplies from Melbourne to Lamplough and other rushes in the ‘fifties, the three things that remained in his memory about Lamplough after all those years were the dust, the grog, and the wickedness. The dust was half way to the axle of his cart, he could only buy a glass of sour beer which cost a shilling and, “. . . every man was a law unto himself, and the weakest had to go to the wall . . . this was a very hell for every sort of wickedness and vice . . .”, he wrote. Chandler’s recollection is confirmed, to some extent, by a contemporary letter written to a friend at nearby St. Arnaud by one of the people on the rush who referred to the “violence, drunken brawling, crime and debauchery” at Lamplough.(13)

The town appears to have settled down when the Superintendent of the Detective Police in Melbourne sent Detective Thomas Evans of Back Creek on a reconnaissance to Lamplough. In the written report of his visit made during 5-8 December, which was included among some documents only recently catalogued at the Victorian Public Records Office, Detective Evans wrote: “There is about 300 of the Criminal Class. 250 men and 50 Women on the above diggins. There is a great number of stores and immense number of Grog Shantys. One Theatre in course of erection and 7 dancing Rooms and one Sparring Booth … the Criminal Class are walking about and they seem very dissatisfied with the diggins. When the Theatre and Dancing Rooms are finished they may begin to work . . .”(14)

Detective Evans was correct about the immense number of grog shanties. One newspaper correspondent referred to a street “. . . more than half a mile long, the structures on either side being shanties, and there is nothing but grog! grog!!”. Another correspondent said that Lamplough had been christened the’Shanty Rush’: “The great trade of the place is in grog, and the principal supporters of the liquor vendors appear to be the visitors who, finding themselves in a strange place, roam about from shanty to shanty in search of acquaintances”.(15)

Still they came: from Amphitheatre, Mountain Hut, Back Creek, Pleasant Creek, Ararat, Dunolly, Epsom, Forest Creek, Amherst, Maryborough, Inkerman, Bendigo, Ballarat, and Castlemaine. Special coaches were put on to transport the miners. Even Cobb & Co. organised special services. The largest initial influx of people appears to have come from Back Creek (later named Talbot) only 10-11 miles away. The road from Back Creek was lined “by a grand motley caravan”. John Bennett, JP., one of the magistrates at Back Creek and later the proprietor of the Lamplough Theatre Royal, seized on a novel way of promoting the population flow between the two towns: at the Back Creek Police Court on 3 December he released Margaret Westcott, who was charged with habitual drunkenness, on her promise to go to the new rush.(16)

Ararat was another town to be affected by the Lamplough discoveries, even though it was forty miles distant. A four-horse coach undertook the journey between the two towns and the fare was twenty shillings but many of the miners probably walked the distance. The effect on Ararat trade was illustrated two months later when William Watt, a coffee dealer at Ararat, became insolvent. One of the causes he cited was that all his Ararat customers had gone to Lamplough. Other more enterprising Ararat shopkeepers either followed their customers and transferred to Lamplough or opened branch establishments there.(17)

On 3 December 1859 the Inspector of Police at nearby Avoca, Hugh Ross Barclay, had estimated the population of Lamplough at between 10-12,000 people. In mid December the District Surveyor, Richard English, estimated a figure of 12,000 but added a qualifying comment that not more than 5,000 were bona tide miners. Already there were suggestions that the area was “over-rushed”.(18)

The original diggings, which had been relatively shallow at between 6 to 14 feet, had been concentrated on an area near the Owens’s prospecting claim, but on Saturday 17 December – a day when it was 110 degrees in the afternoon shade – a party had bottomed a shaft at 33 feet, about three-quarters of a mile from the old diggings, on the Amphitheatre road. This prompted a second rush and the estimated population on 31 December had grown to 16,000. The population of Victoria at the time was 529,933 which included a total gold-fields population of 201,422 people. Lamplough, with 16,000 people, had by far the greater number of people of any of the 214 gold fields listed in the Registrar-General’s return. During the Christmas and New Year of 1859-1860 it was the place to be for the Victorian gold seekers and the opportunistic storekeepers who followed the rushes.(19)

The town itself was changing: the main street, Commercial street, was quickly assuming a settled appearance, the National Bank had opened an office, the dust nuisance had been reduced by the spreading of gravel, there was a better feeling in business and more confidence among the tradesmen. “The rush, indeed, is losing the shifty and unsettled character that earned for it the sobriquet of the ‘shanty rush”‘, one correspondent wrote.(20) For the moment there was cause for cautious optimism. Charles Lawrence, originally from Coleraine, wrote to his sister in Ireland on 27 December advising her of his transfer to this new location and stating that the Lamplough field was a new field “not yet fairly tried”.(21)

Following the discovery of the new ground, the miners were in exuberant spirits during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. On Monday 2 January 1860 “Christmas Sports” were held on the ground behind the Clare Castle Hotel. According to one correspondent: “There were platforms erected for the dancers of various classes, six detachments of musicians; and everything calculated to make the assembled miners feel ‘glorious o’er all the ills of life victorious.’ The pig was there as usual, and our cousins from Cornwall tumbled one another much to our amusement. There were at least four thousand miners on the ground, and the sports were to be continued this day (Tuesday 3 January) and tomorrow”. Another correspondent added that there were wrestling, racing, dancing, and shooting prizes. The pig referred to above was part of the fun, to be chased by the crowd but evidently a large dog, and not a “biped pork-chaser”, caught it.(22) The “cousins from Cornwall” were the Cornish miners who had found their way to the Avoca district, via South Australia, where they had worked in the copper mines at Burra Burra.

As Lamplough came into the New Year it could boast of a police camp, a Warden’s office, surveyed streets, a Post Office, and even its own newspaper, the “Lamplough Advertiser” (LA). The LA was more of an advertising sheet than a proper newspaper. As with the BCA, no copies appear to have survived or to have found their way into any public library in Australia. However, in that year Victorians posted 552,853 copies of newspapers to Great Britain and other foreign parts. Who knows? Individual copies of the BCA, LA, and other missing Australian newspapers might very well be hidden in family and library collections in the U.K. and elsewhere.The LA was established by the firm of Nuthall and Gearing who specialised in sending one or other of the partners to a new rush to launch an “advertising sheet” which usually contained lists of unclaimed Post Office letters and other useful information and was distributed gratis. The manager was Robert Clark, a Scotsman who had once set type for Charles Gavan Duffy on The Freeman in Dublin. The journalist was probably Edward Bateman who, at the end of 1860, purchased the North Western Chronicle (NWC), which was published at Back Creek, from J.H. Gearing (Nuthall had died in Brisbane in October).(23)

In those days journalistic by-lines were rare and while the dispatches from the various newspaper correspondents at Lamplough are an invaluable source in recreating the events of 1859 and 1860, the authors are mostly unknown. It is almost certain, however, that the author of the eighty-five reports from Lamplough which appeared in the BS between 3 January 1860 and 19 December 1860 was George Humphreys who had come with the miners from Back Creek in the first few weeks and after the Lamplough rush had been supplanted by a new rush to Mountain Creek (Moonambel) in December 1860, and again accompanied the miners to their new location from where he also sent reports to the BS. Humphreys trailed his coat sufficiently so as to be identifiable more than a century later. The authors of other correspondents’ reports might have been Godfrey Morgan (who had been associated with the Mount Ararat Advertiser), his business partner Henry J. Cope who later went to Inglewood, and another journalist known to be at Lamplough at the time, Thomas McHugh, who was later the sole proprietor and editor of the Avoca Free Press newspaper.(24)


The correspondents, not unlike their modern counterparts, appear to have been given free admission tickets to the various public entertainments and so they have left us with useful descriptions of these events. Initially there were two major theatres, the Theatre Royal and the Garrick Theatre. The Theatre Royal, which was a building of 150 by 50 feet, opened on Saturday, 10 December, 1859, and performances were staged by Henry Neil Warner and the Back Creek Company whose previous venue at Back Creek had closed down as a consequence of the Lamplough rush. Competition between the two was fierce and by the first week of February the Garrick had closed and its proprietor, James Rich Bunn, was insolvent. (25)

The performer who probably decided the issue in favour of the Theatre Royal was the American-born actress, Miss Avonia Jones, who appeared between 9-21 January 1860. Her first performance in “Medea” on 9 January attracted “. . . by far the largest audience that has been seen in Lamplough. Every part of the house was densely packed with people, and all appeared highly pleased. It was very gratifying to witness dignified talent overawing the vulgar whistlers and brawlers who ever attended a theatre, and are popularly known as the Gods. During every speech delivered by Miss Jones, the most illiterate seemed to hold their breath . . . “. On the following night the audience also held its breath when the Theatre “. . . was filled to suffocation and the audience was immeasurably delighted”. An audience estimated at 1,800 attended when she played “Lucretia Borgia”.(26)

Miss Jones was followed a week later at the Theatre Royal by her future husband, the famous tragedian Gustavus Vaughan Brooke. Brooke had been touring the provincial theatre circuit and at some venues was either very noticeably under the influence of drink or simply failed to turn up for the performance, but his visit to Lamplough was a resounding success. At Lamplough Brooke played the role of O’Callaghan in “His Last Legs”, Matthew Elsmore in “Love’s Sacrifice”, and Iago in “Othello”. For Brooke’s Iago, there were 1,200 people crammed into the theatre and they were even perched on the cross pieces holding the sides of the building together .(27)

Henry Burton’s Circus was the next major attraction. Two miners who had prior knowledge of Burton’s proposed site proceeded to sink a shaft near two essential pegs for the circus tent. The Warden suggested they shift, which they did – to another crucial spot, which they only left after a satisfactory pecuniary arrangement had been made? (28) Other performers at Lamplough were Mr and Mrs Robert Heir (nee Fanny Cathcart), Mr and Mrs Vinson (nee Kate Warde), Mr C. Warde, the Wiseman family, H.N. Warner, Miss Glyndon, Mr Bruton, Mr Furrian, Miss Melville, Miss Evadne Evans, and Mr and Mrs R. B. Dale. The plays performed at Lamplough included “The Hunchback”, “Honeymoon”, “Fraud and Its Victims”, “Stranger”, “The Marble HearC, “The Lady of Lyons”, “My Precious Betsy”, “The Cricket on the Hearth”, and “The Iron Chest, most of which would now be familiar only to a student of 19th century theatre.

In April the Theatre Royal was transferred from Royal street, near the Police Camp, to Commercial street, two doors from the “Clare Castle” Hotel. The first performer in the new premises was John Drew, the “delineator of Irish character” whose “Hibernian eccentricities” at the Parthenon Theatre in Melbourne during March had

been described as “. . . racy to the last degree and a perfect antidote to ennui”. At

Lamplough he performed in “Handy Andy”, the “Irish Attorney”, and the “Irish

Immigrant”. Drew left Australia several months later for England and Ireland where it is believed he made a favourable impression.(29) Another theatrical visitor was the comical singer Charles Thatcher who was very popular with the miners. He made a return visit in September.

The theatrical scene was rather quiet during winter. The first major amusement in spring was the Klaer Brothers and their performing dogs and monkeys which drew a crowd of 1,000. The brothers were Jean, Louis, and Rudolf, described as: “Professors of the Parisian and Turin Verein Schools of the Gymna with their Troupe of Educated Dogs (13) and French Monkey Artistes … This novel and pleasing exhibition is visited by persons of every denomination and shows the mastery of man over the Canine and Simian Races”.(30)

In the nineteenth century magicians, hypnotists, and various other entertainers adopted the title of “Professor”. In September “Professor” James Eagle demonstrated to his audience the inexhaustible bottle trick in which he was able to fill 100 glasses with drinks of the audience’s choice. Prior to coming to Lamplough, “Professor” Eagle had a run-in at the Inglewood gold field with a “Professor” William Montague who stole his apparatus (specially crafted in Birmingham ten years beforehand) and conducted rival shows. The law caught up with “Professor” Montague and he received a sentence of twelve months imprisonment with hard labour.(31)

In late September “Worrell and Gardiner’s North American (Circus) Company” performed on the ground behind the Shamrock Hotel. William Worrell was a celebrated American clown and his partner at the time, Charles Gardiner, was also from America. There were “astounding feats” by Herr Christophe. This was the pseudonym of George Christopher, “one of England’s famous tight rope dancers”.(32)

In October “Professor” L. Bushell’s “Wonder Striking Entertainments in Electro-Biology” (ie hypnotism) turned out to be a failure. For some “inexplicable reason” he was unable to exercise his power. He was advertised as returning soon to California and his dissatisfied audience hastened him on his way.33 Lamplough was about to be hit by the effects of a new rush and, as if in anticipation, the Theatre Royal wound down its activities.


Another aspect of the rush which was well chronicled were the proceedings of the Lamplough Police Court, or “Petty Sessions”. Its first meeting was held on 27 January 1860 in a room provided by John Mylrea, landlord of the “Lexton HoteV. It usually met on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Between January and December 1860 the highlights of ninety-three sitting days were chronicled, at first in the MADA and later, when it was established, in the NWC. The Avoca Police Magistrate, Francis Knox Orme, who had been appointed to the area as early as August 1854, sat in the Court on sixty-nine of the ninety-three days reported in the newspapers and the Resident Warden, William Templeton, who had been appointed as a Police Magistrate and Warden at Avoca on 1 July 1855, sat on the Bench on at least twenty-one occasions. Not all defendants had legal representation, but four barristers, Messrs Samuel Boyle, Maurice Travers MeDonough, Charles Truwhitt, and Leonard Worsley, undertook most of the Court work during 1860. Serious cases were referred to the Carisbrook General Sessions.

There was always a lengthy Civil List and the impression remains that a number of people waited until they received a summons before giving any thought to paying their bills. One unlucky person who attempted to operate in this way was restaurant keeper James Francis Bentley who had played a key part in the events at Ballarat in 1854 leading to the Eureka Stockade affair. Originally transported to Australia in 1843 from the Lancashire Assizes for a conviction of forgery he was pardoned and later ran a successful hotel in Ballarat. Following a derisory sentence on a manslaughter charge he was re-tried after agitation by the diggers and received a three year sentence. After obtaining his ticket of leave he came to Lamplough from Ararat. At Lamplough he ran up various debts, including one of sixteen pounds to a butcher who obtained a summons against him. Bentley skipped Lamplough and went to Melbourne where he was offered a job of managing a station 500 miles distant. Meanwhile, his personal description and notice of a warrant for his arrest had been published in the Victorian Police Gazette. While on his way to the new job one of his children became dangerously ill. Leaving his wife and family camped near their bullock dray he ventured to a nearby town for medicine where he was recognised by a policeman and arrested. He was conveyed the 500 miles back to Lamplough where the butcher reduced the debt from sixteen to eleven pounds. However, Bentley was unable to pay and was sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment. The only bright spot for him was that he did manage to convince his escort to detour past his family so that he could leave the medicine there and tell them what had happened but they were unable to follow him and remained camped beside the bullock dray. It took sixteen days to cover the 500 miles journey. The episode was publicised in other districts and was no doubt pointed to as an example of the “long arm of the law”. As a footnote to history, the insertion of the notice in the Police Gazette was initiated by Inspector Hussey Malone Chomley, the recently appointed Inspector of Police at amplough. Chomley, who went on to become the Chief Commissioner of Police in Victoria, was a nephew of Sir Richard Griffith in Ireland – a name well known to genealogists and historians, by virtue of “Griffith’s Valuation”. (34)

Many of the other, less-newsworthy cases at the Court involved charges of stealing, vagrancy, drunkenness, or obscene language. The kind of sentences handed down by the Magistrate were: Drunk and disorderly (40 shillings or 48 hours imprisonment); Insulting and obscene language (3 pounds or 24 hours); Lying in the street (one pound or 48 hours); Vagrancy (3 months); Receiving two stolen blankets (3 months); Sheep stealing (6 months and hard labour); Stealing two loaves of bread worth one shilling (one month, hard labour); No business licence (one pound).(35)

The Assistant Clerk at the Lamplough Police Court during 1860 was Reynell Eveleigh Johns. He kept a daily diary for fifty-five years of his life, including the eleven months he was at Lamplough. His diaries are held in the Australian Manuscripts Collection of the State Library of Victoria and, while they give an interesting insight into the routine of office work and the pastimes of a young and single middle-class civil servant on the Lamplough gold field, he seemed to be careful to avoid direct comment on the proceedings of the Court. For example, even when the Lamplough correspondent of the BS alleged that perjury of the “blackest dye” was indulged in to an “indescribable extent” at the Lamplough Court, and this allegation was repeated in the Melbourne Age, there was not even one passing reference to it in the Johns’s diaries.(36)

Johns was friendly with two of the barristers who appeared in the Court, Samuel Boyle and Lconard Worsley. Boyle was an “Ararat man” and Johns spent occasional evenings chatting and “liquoring” with him and Father Richard Fennelly, the Carisbrook-based Catholic priest who ministered at Lamplough. Later, when Worsley came to live at Lamplough, Johns and his younger brother Louis always seemed to be presenting dead or captured possums as a gift to Mrs Worsley, which makes one suspect that either she had a secret passion for the otherwise unpalatable, eucalyptus-flavoured meat of the possum, or skinned them to make possum coats or rugs.(37)

In one of the few personal references in his diary R. E. Johns showed his dislike of another of the Lamplough barristers, M.T. McDonough, by describing him as a “drunken hound”, but McDonough had his supporters. In March 1860 he had given an amateur performance of the part of Dr O’Toole in the “Irish Tutor” at the Theatre Royal and when he walked on the stage had been greeted by applause which reportedly lasted for three minutes. Reports of a similar performance a few days later appeared in newspapers in Ballarat, Castlemaine (where he had once practised), and Melbourne .(38) McDonough had come from Back Creek to Lamplough to reside but later returned to Back Creek where he died, age thirty-five years, on 5 May 1861, following an attack of delirium tremens. Although he was already a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, it was claimed in 1853 that he was the first colonial law student to complete the prescribed course of study for admission to the Bar in Victoria, an historical “first” which has been seemingly overlooked in the two standard texts of the history of the Victorian Bar.(39)

During January 1860 there were several reports in Melbourne newspapers of a population of between 20-30,000 at Lamplough. Many (including the criminal element) were quickly attracted to the Inglewood diggings, which by March had an estimated population of between 25-30,000.(40) January and February were characterised in mining affairs by unsuccessful attempts to find a “main lead” and the absence of a plentiful supply of water for “washing up” purposes. There were numerous arguments over disputed claims. The 375 disputes adjudicated on by Warden Templeton on the Lamplough diggings in January were the highest number for that month on any gold field in Victoria, including the longer established fields of Sandhurst/Bendigo (241) and Ballarat (60).(41)

Armed with their Miner’s Rights the diggers on 3 February advanced on William Macoboy Wise’s carefully cultivated garden which contained vines and apple trees and turned it upside down in the search for a good patch of gold. Wise was the manager of the Lamplough Station and the adjoining Woodstock Station which often seemed to be conducted as a joint concern. However, the miners did leave standing a willow which had been nurtured from a cutting said to have been taken from a willow overhanging Napoleon’s grave on St. Helena .(42)

There were hundreds of “paddocks” of excavated dirt unable to be washed because of a critical lack of water but on 29 February the rain fell in torrents which “saved us from almost destitution”, according to one correspondent.(43) By April a kind of “lead” had been established and came to be known as the “Deep Lead” because of the depth of sinking which was, in some instances, as much as 80 feet.

In early May the Chinese diggers arrived. They had been in the Avoca district once before, after the 1853-54 rush. Their method was to rework the old ground. On this occasion there were reports of between 300-500 Chinese miners at Lamplough. They established their own village near the Police Camp but the Warden, William Templeton, encouraged them to move to another site. They must have kept to themselves because there are only a few references to their activities, one exception being a curious court case in October involving the unlawful interception of a consignment of opium addressed to Barrister Boyle. Presumably it was thought that a valuable package of this nature, addressed to a respectable barrister, but intended for the Chinese community, would not attract the attention of potential thieves.(44)

During the Australian winter and spring of 1860 there appears to have been a concentration of mining activity on the Deep Lead and small rushes to other locations within a radius of about six miles of Lamplough, including such places as -Linger and Die”, “Green Hill Flat”, “Mosquito Gully”, “Fiddler’s Hill”, “OneSpeck Gully”, “Barber’s Gully”, and “Woodstock”. The largest of these secondary rushes was to -Four-Mile Flat, east of Avoca, which attracted 5-6,000 miners. Warden Templeton christened it “Homebush” and the location was actually surveyed as a town. These unusual but descriptive names caught the attention of English authoress Clara Aspinall who wrote a book entitled Three Years in Melbourne, which has been described as “a vivacious and very feminine account of her visit to Australia”. She visited Avoca and Lamplough in October and informed her readers of the amusing names of “Linger and Die” and “Donkey woman flat” which she had encountered.(45)

Evidence of the restlessness of the digging population was the number attracted in October to the Londonderry rush near Ararat. Doubtless there were also some, including the Chinese, who were attracted to the Kiandra or Snowy River diggings in New South Wales, but not in the volume forecast by one Lamplough miner who wrote to the Age newspaper in June suggesting that if there was good news in Spring, one third of the Victorian miners would leave for the Snowy. The emergency of Four-Mile Flat helped to keep the diggers attracted to the Avoca district.(46)


Life on the diggings was fairly primitive compared to city life but the prices for basic goods were not always as exhorbitant as one might expect. The enterprising storekeepers who followed the rushes competed with each other and this kept prices down. If washing up was delayed by lack of water or the lead was lost, then business suffered. After the numbers had thinned out the remaining miners at Lamplough obtained sufficient to earn a “competency” but there were also cases of poverty.(47)

Gold was bought for £3-17-6 an oz., either by the gold-buying storekeepers or one of the three banks with branches at Lamplough, viz the London Chartered, the National, and the Victoria. (In one very lucky case, 108 ozs. were obtained from only five loads of washdirt.) Henderson’s the bootmakers advertised that they would make a pair of boots to order for 20 shillings. This was also the price of a seat on the coach between Lamplough and Ararat (a distance of 40 miles). Teeth could be extracted at Avoca for 5 shillings. The “four pound” loaf of bread cost one shilling but quite often weighed less than four pounds. A letter weighing under half an oz. could be posted anywhere in Victoria for 4d. Boxes at the circus were four shillings and 2/6d in the “pits”. Beef and mutton fluctuated in price. At nearby Back Creek in October each was 6d per pound and when a price war broke out at Lamplough in the same month the price fell to 2d per pound .(48)

The civil servants had less of a worry about an adequate income but, as R.E. Johns recorded in his diary, they were not often paid on time. Warden Templeton received a salary of £950 per annum. The Police Magistrate, F. K. Orme, received £800. Inspector Barclay received £350 and R. E. Johns, the Assistant Clerk at the Police Court, received £250, which was £50 more than that paid to the Postmaster, Daniel F. O’Connor.(49)

As far as their accommodation was concerned, most of the miners lived in tents or slab buts. If ever a fire broke out the close proximity of the tents and their inflammable nature meant that whole streets or blocks were at risk. Fires were stopped by dismantling those properties in their path. Naptha was burnt for illumination and the “new light” Kerosene was introduced into Avoca during July and presumably also to Lamplough around the same tirne.(50)

A seemingly unrelated incident in Melbourne in March provides an insight into what was regarded as neat casual clothes at the time. Three miners from Lamplough visited the Public Library in Melbourne but were asked to leave because they were not suitably attired, being in jumpers (i.e. pullovers, or overshirts). An indignant observer of this incident wrote to the Argus newspaper contrasting their appearance with that of another visitor in tattered clothing “who was in the embraces of Morpheus” and snoring loudly in the “philological department” of the Library. The “unsuitably attired” Lamplough miners were dressed in white moleskin trousers, with a crimson silk sash in place of a belt, new fine-woolled grey American jumpers, straw hats and good shoes (one with American knee boots) .(51)

Relationships with the pastoralists were two-edged. On the one hand the miners were good customers for supplies of meat. On the other hand, their very numbers interfered with sheep and cattle grazing and the sheep tended to fall down the miners’ holes! Also, many of the miners kept dogs as pets and they used to chase sheep and worry them. A group of the miners from Lamplough used to hunt kangaroos with the help of their dogs on a nearby property. The owner objected and laid poisonous baits for the miners’ dogs, some of which died. The miners retaliated by facilitating the escape of 160 of the squatter’s sheep.(52)

There were two circulating libraries in the town and several of the hotels encouraged custom by providing books and magazines for the use of their customers. Apart from pasting items in his scrap books, the pastimes of R.E. Johns, as recorded in his diary,

included walking (50 minutes to reach Avoca), whittling, carving, shooting practice, hunting possums, and playing interminable games of chess and cards – ecarte, whist, and piquet – with his friend, R. H. Jenkyns the chemist, who in September also became the Deputy Registrar of Births and Deaths at Lamplough.

In August Mr Joseph Bolderstone had a grand opening of his “Pleasure Gardens” on the banks of the Bet Bet Creek, about three miles from Lamplough. It was apparently not as bacchanalian as it sounded but consisted of a bowling green (“that can well view in construction with most witnessed in the mother country”), fruit trees, and summer houses. It was described as being near Samuel Scrase’s brewery. The area is now known as Lillicur and no evidence of either the brewery or the garden remains.(53)

There were many more men than women on the rushes but there were also some family groups. Sadly there were cases of wife desertion and child neglect. Several of the coronial inquests held during 1860 were on the bodies of very young children who had wandered away from their parents and drowned in waterholes. The Avoca Cemetery Register illustrates the whirlwind nature of the rush. In 1859 there were three entries for interments of Lamplough residents. In 1860 there were 152, and in 1861, only four entries, with an average of less than one per year for the next nine years. The major causes of death were dysentery or diarrhea (39), consumption or infection of the lungs (18), and teething or convulsions (13) .(54)

Doctors who practised in the area included the district coroner, Dr F.M. Laidman, Dr Alvara Lofthouse Slater, who in February lost his own daughter aged seven months, Dr Trenery, who specialised in “diseases of a secret nature” and was charged with malpractice in 1861, and Drs Robert Carr, Richard Close, and Edward Dehane.

The nearest hospital was at Amherst and had been opened in January. There was a larger and longer established hospital at Maryborough, sixteen miles distant, but admission was not guaranteed at either place, however serious the injury or illness. Take the case of Robert Kearney, who had come to Australia from County Down. He was working on the Deep Lead when a drive fell in, breaking his spine and several ribs and dislocating his shoulder. Warden Templeton recommended his admission to the Amherst Hospital. He was taken the eight miles in a springless. cart but was refused admission because Templeton was not a subscriber. So, back they went to Lamplough and travelled an additional sixteen miles to Maryborough where he died an hour and a half after admission. Similarly, Charles Winch, a restaurant keeper who had been burnt in an explosion, was transported to Maryborough but was refused admission because the hospital was full. He was conveyed back to Lamplough, arriving at 3 a.m. after an eight-hour trip, and died that night. Owen Owens, a brother of the prospectors, was another victim of a cave-in when fifteen tons of earth fell on him and a mining companion George Juby. Juby died instantly but Owens, with a fractured spine and several broken ribs and internal injuries, lingered for another fourteen hours.(55)


The only surviving evidence of any religious activities at the rush in the very early days is an item in the published diary of an itinerant preacher, the Rev. J.J. Westwood, who visited Lamplough during 5-7 January 1860 in between relieving duties at the Scotch Church in Ararat. At Lamplough he preached to a crowd of nearly 1,000 miners. There was also a passing reference to a “disciple of that celebrated English fanatic Spurgeon (a famous nineteenth century Calvinist preacher) who spoke in front of the Warden’s office. On Tuesday 27 December an unnamed “Israelite with a serious cast of countenance” preached from opposite the United States Hotel but his audience of some hundreds deserted him when a foot race started nearby. (56)

Of the major denominations, there are intermittent references only to the subsequent activities of the Catholics, Church of England, and Wesleyans. The Rev. T.B. Garlick of the Church of England was responsible for both the Avoca and Amherst areas and although there was a report in February that arrangements had been made to provide a service once in the fortnight at Lamplough, one suspects that the Lamplough adherents were encouraged instead to go to Avoca where the Rev. Garlick had average Sunday congregations of 170 people during 1860. Despite a report of a meeting at Lamplough in July to get something started it seems that nothing much happened until November when Archdeacon Archibald Crawford of Castlemaine reported that a lay reader had been provided who officiated every Sunday and a Sabbath-school had been established. Bishop Charles Perry from Melbourne visited Avoca on 20 April 1860 but did not apparently divert to Lamplough.(57)

By contrast the Wesleyans were very active on the goldfields at this time. In 1859 they had more churches in Victoria than either the Catholic Church or the Church of England. At Lamplough during 1860 the Wesleyans outgrew their accommodation in May and again in July. The Rev J.C. Symons of Amherst preached on Sunday 20 May when the new Wesleyan Church was opened, Rev Symons had originally been sent from Adelaide for six months to minister to the former South Australian residents who had followed the rushes but he ended up spending thirty-four years in Victoria. Before coming to Australia he had helped to establish the Y.M.C.A. in London and was the first secretary. Funds were soon pledged for the Lamplough building which was of iron with a canvas roof. There was a report that on one particular Sunday 120 children attended the Sunday School. By July the building was not big enough and an old store in Amphitheatre street was purchased. The Rev William S. Worth was the Minister of the Circuit.(58)

The Catholics were the first to obtain a chapel at Lamplough and it was opened on 4 March 1860. It was an iron building of 60 feet by 30 feet with a canvas roof. Mass was celebrated by Father R.F.X. Fennelly who had pioneered the Catholic mission at Carisbrook where he was now based. He was a Tipperary man who had been ordained from All Hallows, Dublin, in 1855.(59)

There are references in the R.E. Johns diaries to Father Fennelly visiting Lamplough regularly at least during February to July. It is unlikely, however, that he visited weekly because in May there was a case in which Sgt. McDonald fined Constable Patrick Burke £1 for disobeying an order not to go to the Catholic chapel in plain clothes and in the course of Burke’s appeal against the penalty he mentioned that the Catholic clergy attended only once a fortnight or three weeks.(60)

The Catholic chapel was blessed by Bishop Goold during a retreat he conducted at Lamplough between 10-12 August 1860. In his diary he reported that people came from Avoca, Back Creek, and Amphitheatre. There were 100 communicants on the Sunday, when he also confirmed four people .(61)


In early December 1860, a little over one year after the Lamplough rush had helped to temporarily depopulate Back Creek, a new rush to Mountain Creek (later called Moonambel, meaning “hole in the mountain”) had an even more significant and lasting effect on Lamplough. The new diggings were at the northern extremity of the Pyrenees ranges, twelve miles west of Avoca and fifteen miles from Lamplough, on McKinnon’s property.

On Sunday 9 December 1860 the sound of hammers rang through Lamplough as stores and shanties were taken down for removal to the new rush. The Catholic chapel, which doubled as a school, and the Wesleyan chapel, built of galvanised iron, both found their way to Mountain Creek. Even George Cartwright of the “Clare Castle” hotel followed the miners to their new location and attempted to establish another “Clare Castle” there. “Carts loaded with tents, stores, wives, and children, passed through Commercial street almost every quarter of an hour during the day …”, one correspondent wrote of the Sunday exodus.(62)

Other rushes to Navarre (Barkly), Hines, and Redbank, around the same time, sealed Lamplough’s fate. Even the Avoca District Surveyor Richard English, who was generally conservative in his estimates reported a population of 35,000 at Mountain Creek in his December report to the Board of Science. The removal of buildings from Lamplough had turned the town “in to an emblem of a graveyard”, according to the Lamplough correspondent of the BS “. . . the mining Israelites have in a body left Egyptian Lamplough, and gone to happy Mountain Creek Canaan . . . “, he wrote and, indeed, within a fortnight he had transferred there himself.(63)

By the time of the Census on 7 April 1861 there were 469 people remaining on the Lamplough goldworkings, 110 people in the village itself, and a further 53 people living nearby – a total of about 600, compared to the thousands twelve months previously. The population of nearby centres included: Avoca township (518), Amphitheatre goldworkings (370), Inglewood town and gold areas (4,584), Navarre (875), Hines (2,401), Amherst and Back Creek areas (4,080). Mountain Creek and Redbank had a total of over 11,000 inhabitants.(64) The population of Lamplough hovered around 100 for the remainder of the century and dwindled to about 50 by 1905. Today there is only one family living on the site of the old town.

Ironically, just as the miners were preparing to desert Lamplough in December 1860 a tender notice appeared in the newspapers for the construction of a water reservoir. In February 1860, when water had been very scarce, 1,500 miners had crowded into a meeting at the Theatre Royal to petition the Government for a share of the money which had been set aside for water supplies to the gold fields. In this they were successful. A site was approved in October and by April 1861 a reservoir of six acres with a capacity of nine million gallons had been constructed at a cost of £1,232. This prompted the Back Creek-based NWC newspaper (jealous at its less favoured treatment) to suggest that it was “. . . an outlay of money neither warranted by the resources of the locality nor the number of its population . . .”(65)

The reservoir still stands and is shaded by some large and attractive Australian native trees. It, the mullock heaps along the course of the lead, and a few rusted implements occasionally turned up by farmers, are the only material evidence that this was once the site of a busy rush on which the hopes and expectations of thousands of miners rested. Despite an appeal in the Newsletter of the ADHS, there are no known surviving photographs or pictorial sketches of any aspect of the Lamplough rush and so we have had to rely almost entirely on the chronicles of those mostly anonymous newspaper correspondents.

There has been the recent welcome appearance of a published history of the early days in Avoca, a history of Barkly, the story of Glenpatrick and Nowhere Creek, and a history of the adjoining Shire of Lexton.(66) There is plenty of room for further detailed studies of the gold rushes in the North Western region of Victoria. This particular essay about Lamplough illustrates the interrelationship between the rushes to Back Creek (Talbot), Lamplough, and Mountain Creek (Moonambel). One day we will be able to weave these and similar stories together until they reveal the way in which the great tide of humanity which followed the rushes went from one part of Victoria to another, and even crossed into New South Wales, and also to New Zealand as they followed the gold, leaving small settlements in their wake, some to flourish and others, like Lamplough, eventually to perish and remain merely as a location sign on the main highway or a name on an ancestor’s birth or death certificate.

Postscript: In the course of undertaking this research two interesting features of genealogical interest have emerged – the almost exclusively European origin, and the relative youthfulness, of those who were associated with Lamplough, however fleetingly. Scarcely any were over fifty years of age. Examples of the origin and age of some of these people in 1860 (some of whom are mentioned in this essay) are as follows: John Mitchell Barr, Miner, Paisley, Scotland, 24 years; Edward John Bateman, Journalist, Hatton Garden, London, 28 years; James Francis Bentley, Restaurant keeper, Surrey, England, 42 years; G.V. Brooke, Actor, Dublin, 42 years; Robert Clark, Printer, Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, 34 years; John Cooke, Editor, MADA, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, 39 years; Dr E.F. Dehane, Devon, 54 years; Rev R.F.X. Fennelly, Catholic priest, Tipperary, 40 years; James Hugh Gearing, Newspaper proprietor, Brompton, Kent, England, 39 years; Mrs R. Heir, Actress, England, 27 years; R.E. Johns, Assistant Clerk, Police Court, Crediton, Devon, England, 26 years; Avonia Jones, Actress, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A., 21 years; Dr F.M. Laidman, District Coroner, Exeter, 28 years; Frederick Lowe, Storekeeper, Nottinghamshire, England; M.T. McDonough, Barrister, Parsonstown, Ireland, 34 years; Thomas McHugh, Journalist, Castlederg, Co. Tyrone; John McPhee, Coach driver, Fort William, Scotland; John Matheson, Landowner and banker, Lairg, Sutherlandshire, Scotland, 39 years; Godfrey Morgan, Newsagent, Bath, Somerset, England, 23 years; Francis Knox Orme, Police Magistrate, Ireland, 47 years; Owen Owens, (Brother of prospectors), Holyhead, Wales, 39 years; W.H. Puddicombe, Newsagent, Dartmouth, Devon; Samuel Scarse, Brewer, Sussex, 47 years; Dr Alvara Lofthouse Slater, London, 37 years; Rev J.C. Symons,Wesleyan Minister, Cornwall, 40 years; William Templeton, Gold fields Warden, Glasgow, 32 years; William Macoboy Wise, Property manager, Tulla, Co. Clare, 45 years.


1. Votes and Proceedings (V&P), Victorian Legislative Assembly, 1860-1861, Vol. 1 Paper A 35. Reply to question by Mr Hadley. Of the 306 post offices in Victoria in 1860, Lamplough rated number eighteen in terms of volume of letters.

2. Geoffrey Serle. The Golden Age. A History of the Colony of Victoria 1851-1861. Page 217.

3. The Avoca and District Historical Society (ADHS) publishes a monthly newsletter. The annual membership fee is $14 (Aust.) See more complete information in the introduction page to the Index.

4. Microfilm copies of the Age and the Argus newspapers for this period are held at the National Library of Australia (NLA) where much of the research for this article was undertaken. Only a limited run of hard copies of the other major Melbourne daily newspaper, the Herald, were available for perusal but it also carried similar references to Lamplough. The writer wishes to thank Margaret Brennan and Bill Tully and their colleagues in the Newspaper Reading Room of the NLA for their assistance.

5. Ballarat Star (BS). 6 August 1860. Report from the Board Appointed to Consider Applications for Rewards for the Discovery of New Gold Fields. (Rept. Bd.). 1864., xvi. Extracts from the Mining Surveyors’ Reports (MSR) for November 1859. No. 7. Published 19 December 1859. Board of Science, Melbourne. Maryborough Mining District, Avoca Division. Page 13. V&P. 1862-63. Paper D 33. Report from the Select Committee on Gold Prospectors. Appendix. Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Select Committee During Session 1861-62.

6. Margaret Oulton. A Valley of the Finest Description – A History of the Shire of Lexton. 1985. Page 337. James Flett, “Gold Discoveries in Victoria Before 1851”. Mining and Geological Journal. Vol. 6 No. 4 1959-1960.

7. W.S. Jevons. “Remarks on the Australian Goldfields.” Read 15 November 1859. In the First Volume of the Third Series of Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. Session 1859-1860. Manchester. 1861. Pps.1-16.

8. Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (MADA). 1 December 1857. Argus. 30 January 1860.

9. Ballarat Times (BT). 5 December 1859.

10. Report from Back Creek Advertiser (BCA) reproduced in the Bendigo Advertiser (BA). 1 December 1859.

11. MADA 2 December 1859. BCA report reproduced in the Mount Ararat Advertiser (MAA) 6 December 1859.

12. BT. 7 December 1859. MADA. 12 December 1859.

13. J. Chandler. Forty Years in the Wilderness. 1893. See also A.J. Hopton, “John Chandler Gold fields Courier” in Victorian Historical Magazine (VHM). Royal Historical Society of Victoria Vol XXIV. May 1951. Pps.92-117. Information supplied by Yvonne S. Palmer to Jessie M Cameron, Hon. Secretary, St. Arnaud and District Historical Society Inc. in reply to inquiry from writer, 23 December 1985.

14. Report. Thomas Evans. December 8,1859. VPRS 937. Unit 6. Victorian Public Records Office VPRO.

15. BT. 7 December 1859. MADA. 7 December 1859.

16. BT. 5 December 1859. MADA. 7 December 1859.

17. Argus. 15 February 1860.

18. Telegram. Barclay to Chief Commissioner, Police. 3 December 1859. VPRS 937. Unit 6. VPRO. MADA. 28 December 1859.

19. BCA in BA. 30 December 1859. Victorian Government Gazette (VGG). No 45. 11 April 1860. Page 651. Return of the Distribution of the Population Within the Various Mining Districts of the Colony of Victoria on 31st December 1859 published in the Argus. 24 October 1860.

20. MADA. 30 December 1859.

21. Copy of letter kindly supplied by Dr Brian Trainor, Director of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. D 955188. The Lawrence correspondence is also quoted in: Patrick O’Farrell. Letters from Irish Australia 1825-1929. NSWUP Pps.46, 225. 22. MADA. 4 January 1860. MAA. 6 January 1860.

23. Victorian Parliamentary Papers (VPP). 1862-63. Paper No. 33. Report of the Post Office Department, Victoria, 30 September 1862. Lorna Banfield. Colonists of the Early Fifties.. J. W. and S. A. Banfield. 1972. Page 31. LW. Banfield. Reminiscences of an Incident at Dunolly Goldrush and of Coming to Australia in 1852. MS 1765 (Handwritten). Same, MS 1723 (Typed). NLA. Also published in MAA. 30 December 1893. LW Banfield was an early partner of Nuthall and Gearing. “RobertClark, J.P.”. Ballarat and Vicinity. Ed. W.H. Kimberly. Ballarat. 1894. Pps.64-66. -Obituary. The Late E.J. Bateman”. TheAustralasian Typographical Journal. No274. April 1893. Pps.2356-2357. Identified in Biographical file La Trobe Library, Melbourne.

24. Godfrey Morgan: Alexander Sutherland and others. Victoria and Its Metropolis (VIM). Vol 2. 1888. Page 116; and Margery and Betty Beavis. Avoca – The Early Years. 1986. Pps.64,21 1. (1 am indebted to the Beavis sisters for alerting me to the existence of the diaries of R. E. Johns.) Thomas McHugh: Summary of obituary in Avoca Free Press (AFP). 30 January 1905. Held by ADHS; and Miss Annie Mitchell. Back to Avoca, 1921. A Brief History. M. 3255. Australian Manuscripts Collection. State Library of Victoria (SV). Page 16. (A copy is also held in the local history pamphlets collection of the NLA). Cited also in Beavis, op. cit, page 63.

25. BT. 13 December 1859. BS. 6 February 1860.

26. MADA. 11 January 1860. BS. 12, 17 January 1860.

27. Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle (BL). 4 February 1860. MA DA. 6 February 1860.

28. MADA. 6 February 1860.

29. MADA. 9, 11, 14,16 April 1860. Age. 1 June 1860.

30. BS. 6 September 1860. MADA. 30 July 1860.

31. MADA. 8 August 1860.

32. Mark St. Leon. Spangles and Sawdust: The Circus in Australia. 1983. Pps.31,41-42. MADA. 1 October 1860.

33. North Western Chronicle (NWC). 18, 25 October 1860. MADA. 26, 31 October 1860.

34. BS 31 March and 2 April 1860. Report from Mount Alexander Mail (MAM) in MADA. 4 April 1860. Table Talk. 30 September 1892.

35. Ms Helen Harris, Hon. Secretary of The ADHS, kindly itemised for me all the offences committed at Lamplough which were notified in the Victorian Police Gazette (VPG) between November 1859 and 25 April 1861. The major offences were: robbery of the person (35), robbery from tent or dwelling place (31), horse stealing (29), robbery from store (13).

36. R. E. Johns Diary (REJ) and associated papers. MS 10075. Australian Manuscripts Collection. State Library of Victoria. See also: Carol Cooper. “Reynell Eveleigh Johns: A Rediscovered Victorian”. La Trobe Library Journal. Vol 5. No 20. October 1977. Pps.90-96. Cooper suggests (note 5) that Johns could have had a museum at Lamplough, but his diary seems to suggest it was only a sitting room (REJ. 24, 25 October 1860). Carol Patricia Cooper. The Beechworth Collection of Aboriginal Artefacts. B.A.(Hons.) Thesis. Australian National University (ANU). 1975. BS. 7 June 1860. Age 8 June 1860.

37. the Australian natives used to hunt and roast the possum. Mrs Isabel Massary (Elizabeth P. Ramsay-Laye) was offered a taste of roasted possum by members of the Avoca tribe when she viisted the area in the early 1850s but found it to be “very tough” with a disagreeable flavour. Social Life and Manners in Australia, 1861. Pps 55-68. (The tribe had been virtually wiped out by the time of the rush.)

38. REJ. 21 October 1860. MADA, 2 April 1860. BS, 3 April 1860, MAM 4 April 1860, Age 5 April 1860.

39. Argus. 29 October 1853. Both LL. Forde and Sir Arthur Dean claim that Henry Lawes in 1859 was the first ‘colonial barrister’ to be admitted. J. L. Forde. The Story of the Bar in Victoria. 1913. Page 235. Arthur Dean. A Multitude of Counsellors. A History of the Bar of Victoria. 1968. Page 26. The Librarian of the Victorian Supreme Court Library was unable to verify the accuracy of the MeDonough claim. Letter to writer, 24 November 1986.

40. Herald. 18 January 1860. Age. 24 January 1860. Argus. 30 January 1860. Argus. 20 March 1860. Inglewood correspondent of the MAM. 24 February 1860.

41. VPP. 1860-1861. Disputes on the Gold Fields. Reply to a Ouestion put by Mr Brodie. 30 August 1860. By June 1860 there was a greater number of disputes at Homebush (51) than at Lamplough (32).

42. Argus. 30 January 1860. MAA. 7 February 1860. BS. 7 February 1860. Herald. 9 February 1860.

43. BS. 6 March 1860.

44. MADA. 4,7,9 May 1860. Argus. 9 May 1860. BS. 10 May 1860. NWC. 11 October 1860.

45. Clara Aspinall. Three Years in Melbourne. London. 1872. Chapter X11. Entry for Butler Cole Aspinall (Clara’s brother). Australian Dictionary of Biography (ADB). Vol. 3. A-C. 1851-1890.

46. Age. 12 June 1860. BS. 16 June 1860.

47. The Lamplough correspondent of the BS reported that “… At Green Hill Flat I noticed many a poor fellow eating for his dinner nothing but dry bread, and the quantity so small that a child three years of age could manage double as much if accompanied with a slight snack of butter.” BS. 25 June 1860.

48. R. Brough Smyth. The Gold Fields and Mineral Districts of Victoria. 1869. Reprinted. Queensberry Hill Press. 1980. Page 100. MADA. 3 October 1860. NWC. 14 October 1860.

49. VPP. 1859-1860. Paper No 78. Statistics of the Colony of Victoria for the Year 1859. VPP. 1862-1863. Paper No. 9 Statistics of the Colony of Victoria for the Year 1861. (Johns and O’Connor).

50. MADA. 11 July 1860.

51. Argus. 4 April 1860.

52. MADA. 28 May 1860.

53. BS. 6 September 1860. NWC. 6 September 1860.

54. Analysis of Lamplough interments undertaken by Ms Helen Harris, Hon. Secretary of the ADHS, during transcription of names from Avoca Cemetery Register to ADHS card index.

55. BS. 10 May 1860. Age. 11 May 1860. BS. 6, 9 August 1860.

56. J.J. Westwood. Journal of 8 Years Itineracy in Australia as a Minister of the Gospel. 1865. Page 90. BCA report in Age. 12 January 1860. MAA. 3 January 1860.

57. The Church of England Record for the Diocese of Melbourne (Ch. Rec.). No. XLI. May 1860.

58. The Christian Times and Australasian Weekly News (CT). Vol. Ill. No. 4. 27 October 1860. Official return of the number of Churches etc: C of E (163), RCC (69), Presbyterian (74), Wesleyan (179). CT. Vol. 11. No. 92.7 July 1860. “A Century of Victorian Methodism”. Ed. Rev C. Irving Benson. 1935. Page 98. BS. 20 July 1860.

59. MADA. 2 March 1860. From Abel to Zundolovich. Comp. by Father T.J. Linane. Page 45. Rev WalterEbsworth. Pioneer Catholic Victoria. Melb. 1973. Pps.233-234,428,441-442,445-448, 481, 497-498.

60. REL 27 February, 2,3 March (Fr. Fenelly: “… the best fellow here…”), 13,21 April, 5 May, 16 June, 7, 28 July 1860. Report. Constable Burke to Inspector Barclay. 8 May 1860. VPRS 937. Unit 6. VPRO.

61. The Diaries of Archbishop Goold. Graphic Books. 1979. Page 78. This book appears to paraphrase the full entries. Slightly more detail of the Lamplough visit was contained in a transcription from the original Goold Diaries supplied by Mr Les McCarthy of the Diocesan Historical Commission Melbourne. Letter to writer, 21 June 1986.

62. Ebsworth. Op. cit. Page 428. Benson. Op. cit. Page 452. The Pioneer and Mountain Creek Advertiser. No. 11. 16 February 1861. Sale notice for Moonambel “Clare Castle”. (Only surviving issue reprinted by ADHS).

63. BS. 15 December 1860.

64. Victorian Census 1861. VPP. 1862-1863. Paper No. 1.

65. NWC. 20 December 1860. MAA. 21 February 1860. MADA. 26 October 1860. V&P. 18621863. Paper No. C 21. Reservoirs on the Gold Fields. Return. Legislative Assembly. 5 March 1863, “Lamplough. This place is deserted and the Reservoir remains only useful for pastoral purposes”.

66. Beavis. Op. cit. E. Driscoll. The Barkly Story 1859-1985. Isabel Armer. Ghosts of the Glen. A History of Glenpatrick and Nowhere Creek. Oulton. Op. cit.