Charles Nicholls

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Henry Winkles, Untitled [inside view of tent], 1850s, watercolour, pencil on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, Purchased with funds from the Colin Hicks Caldwell Bequest, 2004.


The brother of Henry Nicholls, Charles F. Nicholls moved to Ballarat in November 1854, becoming part of an expatriate Chartist fraternity that played an important role in the early phases of the movement that led to the Eureka Stockade.[1] Charles Nicholls was the editor of the Political Examiner. [2]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Charles Nicholls was the editor of the Political Examiner. [3] He spoke at a meeting on Bakery Hill held to discuss the Gold Field Committion.[4]

Post 1854 Experiences


BALLARAT. (From our own Correspondent.) July 14. The adjourned meeting for the election of members of the Local Court, was held this day, at 12 o'clock, on Bakery Hill. The miners assembled in considerable numbers. At one stage of the proceedings there were about 2,000 persons present. Mr Warden Sherard opened the meeting by reading his appointment as chairman, and explaining that there was a mistake abroad regarding the payment of tile members who might be elected. There was no provision by which any fee could be given in exchange for the loss of time. Mr Sherard, at his own expense, had a platform erected, and arrangements made so as to divide the meeting when a poll should be demanded for any of the candidates. The following is the result of the election, the several candidates having been briefly proposed and seconded by persons holding miner's right:
1 James Rice - elected unanimously.
2 Robert Donald
3 Carboni Raffallo
4 John Yates
5 William Green
6 Edward Milligan - majority of 287 votes.
7 John Wall — 240
8 Thomas Chidlow — 187
9 H. R. Nicholls — 103
10 C. F. Nicholls — 144
11 David Patterson — 141
12 J. G. Johnson — 135
13 J. B. Cusack — 120
14 R. M. Sergeant — 45
15 Alexander Frazer — 40
16 William Statton — 11
17 Jeremiah Haunlin — 10
Several other candidates were proposed, but they were in a minority. Mr Sherard then announced the first nine to be duly elected as members of the Local Court. During the election Messrs. Victor, Bradshaw, Binney, and Irvin, acted as tellers, and Mr J Bowker as clerk. During the polling, one or two little fracas occurred, which, for the moment, threatened to disturb the harmony of the meeting. A drunken man obtained a tomahawk, and rushed here and there through the crowd, striking right and left. He was quieted, and to save time and annoyance, persuaded to sit on the platform. He remained quiet for some time, till he saw some one voting contrary to his notions of right and wrong. He then jumped off the platform, and had a set-to, which was joined in by a goodly number. The plat-form was rushed, to secure a view of the proceedings, and, from the unlooked-for pressure, gave way. After peace had been obtained, and the platform mended, the election went on as before. It had been originally intended to bring the subject of a Miners' Hospital before the meet-ing, but the arrangement had been altered, and a meeting is to be held on Wednesday next, at two o'clock, p.m., at the Montezuma Hotel, main road, when this matter will be taken into consideration. Messrs. Sherard and Bowker announced the new arrangement, the latter briefly, but pertinently urging the importance of such an institution, and Mr Sherard notifying that the afternoon of Wednesday would be observed as holiday and no jumping of claims allowed. Signor Raffaelo, (one of the state prisoners, and a successful candidate to-day) then came forward and called upon thte meeting to acknowledge the uniform kindness of the wardens present (Sherard and Daly). The appeal was responded to most heartily from all parts of the meeting ; another cheer was called for, for Mr Templeton, though he is no longer among us ; this was equally well received. This reception of the present officials contrasts strongly with the yellings which formerly greeted even the incidental naming of the "outbreak" Commissioners. It shows that even a Ballarat "mob" can appreciate as well as condemn, and that gold-field officials have nothing to fear while they honestly and fearlessly discharge their duties. Just as the meeting was about to disperse, Mr. J. D. Bouran, a delegate from some of the up-country "Mutual Protection Societies" came forward, though cautioned otherwise, to explain the rules and objects of these bodies, and to solicit co-operation. For a time Mr. Bouran was patiently, even interestedly listened to, but at length he unfortunately attempted to answer objections which no one had raised, and used the words "a mob" which he should not mention, in too close proximity to "bushrangers, &c," for the patience of some hot-blooded Irishmen, who were present." A rush was made to the platform, and had it not been for the speedy return of Mr Daly, and the exertions of Messrs. J. Campbell, T. Hayes, and others, it would have fared badly with Mr. Bouran. As it was Mr. Bouran escorted by Mr. Daly and others, came off the platform, and was getting off quietly amidst the excitement; having become entangled in the tented portion of Bakery Hill, Mr Bouran became separated from his guardians, and was again set on. He made a run for it, when a shower of missiles fell around him. He took refuge in a tent — an Irishman's as it happened, and was soon in a more critical position than ever. After about a half hour's confusion, the old peacemakers, joined by others similarly disposed, succeeded in getting the crowd away by persuasion and cries of home, home. Whatever may be the merits of the Amherst Mutual Protection Society, it certainly did not succeed well on Ballarat : the truth is, there was a somewhat similar society in existence here months ago, but it has long since gone to pieces — though under the auspices of the government. Volunteering in maters where men may be at any hour called on to discharge a disagreeable duty, and a duty, too, which does not legitimately belong to any but the Government, cannot hope to carry on. [5]

See also

Ballarat Local Court

James Baker

Raffaello Carboni

John Campbell

John Daly

Timothy Hayes

Henry Nicholls

Robert Serjeant


Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.


  2. Paul Pickering, Gold, p. 46
  3. Paul Pickering, Gold, p. 46
  4. The Age, 9 January 1855
  5. Geelong Advertiser, 18 July 1855.

External links

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Caption, Reference.