Charles Faulkner

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The immigrant ship Artemisia, The Illustrated London News, 12 August 1848, State Library of Queensland


Charles Faulkner was born around 1821 in Frampton, Lincolnshire, England to Richard and Elizabeth Faulkner. He emigrated on the Artemisia, the first vessel carrying free emigrants to Moreton Bay (now Brisbane). His wife died from stomach cancer on 4 September 1848 on the voyage to Australia. Her burial at sea is described in the journal of Robert Inglis. [1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Charles was reportedly at Eureka Stockade and a personal friend of Peter Lalor. [2]

Post 1854 Experiences

He went to California possibly in 1855, returning to Maryborough, Queensland, to become a farmer and sugar plantation owner in Bundaberg. [3]


At the ripe age of ninety-one years, Mr Charles Faulkner, of Woodlands Woongarra, passed away at midday on Saturday. A sturdy enterprising resourceful man, Mr Faulkner did his full share during his sixty years of residence in Australia to make the country much more inviting to those who came after him than he found it, and he passed away after a most strenuously lived life, enjoying the respect, indeed the veneration of a very large circle of friends and acquaintances. With his widow, and the members of his family, all of whom are won up and prosperously settled in this district the deepest sympathy will be felt in their bereavement. While Bundaberg has lost a most estimable citizen, Queensland has also lost a fine enterprising colonist, whose period of activity embraced almost the earliest beginnings of settlement as well as the fine record of development that has since taken place in the State.

The late Mr Faulkner was a native of Lincolnshire, and like so many others who figured largely in early Australian history he was attracted to this country by the sensational gold finds of Ballarat. Of the stormy days of that early period the late Mr Faulkner retained a vivid recollection, and to speak to him was to get first-hand information of all the stirring incidents of the tumult, determination, and popular outburst against restrictive conditions in mining, which obtained in those days. He was a personal friend of Peter Lalor, whose character he always spoke of interns of deep admiration, though not always in agreement with the methods he adopted. Of the Eureka Stockade - Australia's workers' first feint rising against a rasping note in central authority - he was able to give a clear, indeed, a graphic description, and he always closed with the remark that the rising was responsible for procuring the miners greatly improved conditions for the following of their calling. Speaking of the incidents of this stirring times he stated that the administration of Mr J.V.F. Forster, who succeeded Mr Latrobe, was anything but satisfactory to the miners in particular and the population generally. The new Governor's rule indeed, was most unpopular. The real cause of the Ballarat riots was, as is known, the increased taxes demanded of the "diggers" as they were called, and the vexatious manner of their collection. Determined to resist this arbitrary exercise of authority, as it was deemed, the miners fortified themselves within an enclosure which afterwards came to be known as the Eureka Stockade. This fortified centre, however was taken by storm on the 3rd of December 1854 by Captain Thomas, of the 40th regiment, though not until a considerable quantity of blood had been shed on both sides. The practical result of the uprising, however, was the almost immediate abolition of the obnoxious taxes - thus placing the victory and the vindication on the side of the miners. These and other stirring incidents of the early days of settlement were shared in actively by the late Mr Faulkner and considering the advanced age to which he lived it was little short of remarkable how vivid was his recollection of even the merest details of the happenings.

He saw many of those who arrived on the Ballarat fields with him from the old country make fortunes for themselves very rapidly out of the phenomenally rich fields, but his own share of success was strictly limited in quantity. At this time, the gold finds of California were stirring the adventurous spirits of the world, and with the fever still running high in his blood, Mr Faulkner made up his mind to seek on the California fields the good fortune which had failed him at Ballarat. ... [4]

See also



Further Reading


  1. Researched by Dr Dorothy Wickham from Robert Inglis Journal M1241 Box 3820, John Oxley Library, Brisbane.
  2. Researched by Dr Dorothy Wickham from Morland Smith, Charles Faulkner: A Queensland Pioneer, 2008
  3. Morland Smith, Charles Faulkner: A Queensland Pioneer, 2008
  4. Obituary published 6 November 1911. Transcribed by Dorothy Wickham

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