Ballarat Local Court
- On the 14th of July, 1855, James Ryce, Robert Donald, Carboni Raffaello, John Yates, William Greene, Edward Milligan, John Wall, Thomas Chidlow, and Henry R. Nicholls were chosen—at a meeting of the diggers near Lalor's stump, the old trysting place daring the previous year's agitation—to serve in the first Local Court granted under the reformed regime. These courts were the first fruits of the reform movement. They were presided over by war dens of the gold-fields,—the Gold commissioners with a new name and smaller powers,—and the members and electors of the courts were men holding miner's-rights, documents issued annually in lieu of the old license. The Local Courts had power, not only to make local regulations, but to sit as absolute and unappealable courts of judicature upon cases brought under the regulations they framed. This was a fatal error in constitution, and in the course of time the defect became generally apparent, and led eventually to the abolition of the Local Courts and the creation of the Mining Boards as at present existing. The first sitting of the first Ballarat Local Court was on the 20th July, 1855, and the last sitting of the last court was on the 30 th April, 1857. Mr Warden Sherard being the first chairman. To him soon succeeded Mr Warden Daly, who filled the office as long as the court existed.
Members of the Ballarat Local Court