Cornelius Peters

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Cornelius (or Charles) Peters was born c1827-1828 at Heemstede, Netherlands,[1] the son of Dirk Pieters & Petronella Nieuwenhoff.[2] He married Jane Canavan at Ballarat, and they had seven children. Cornelius Peters died at Scarsdale in June 1891, and was buried at Smythesdale Cemetery on 09 June 1891.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Peters was arrested on 03 December, after the Eureka Stockade battle. He was later released without being charged.[4]

... At the Police Court on Saturday, Michael Kennedy, William Develin, John Pardy, Patrick Kennedy, James Sexton, Daniel Macartney, James Ashburn, John Leadow, Herman Steinman, William Wickley, William Somerville, Jeremiah Hogan, William Avondale, Samuel Penny, Patrick Hickey, Joseph Walker, John Kelly, Cornelius Peters, William Stafford, Carl Anderson (a Swede), Patrick Meade, and Michael Gleeson, were discharged. In some of these cases there was either no evidence against the prisoners, or they were only proved guilty of living in the neighborhood of the stockade, and giving no information as to its erection. Edmund Bohen, Michael Meagher, William Galloway, James Barclay, Michael Butler, John Lynch; and Chas Doolan, were defended by Mr Dunne, and discharged. ... [5]

Cornelius Peters gave evidence in support of Jan Vennik at the State Treason Trials.[6]

Post 1854 Experiences

Cornelius Peters married Jane Canavan in 1856. It is probable that she was in Ballarat before this date and possible that she was at Eureka.

Jane’s husband to be, Cornelius Peters, was one of the miners arrested at Eureka and was subsequently released. At the time of the storming of the Stockade Cornelius Peters who was from Heemsted, Holland, a Corsican named Romeo, and Jan Vennik from Holland shared a tent. They were only 300 yards from the action. Bloemb a German was working near them. Giving evidence for Vennik at the State Treason Trials, Cornelius Peters said he was a mate of Vennick and they had worked on Saturday (so that he could not have been drilling with the squads of miners before Eureka). Vennik, Romeo and Peters were awoken by a man named Bloemb calling out that something was up.

Peters recalled that:

bullets were flying over the tent in all directions. We had no firearms in our tent. We were called out by the horse police, saying if we did not come out they would shoot us where we were. Vennik went out in his red drawers and held a horse for the police. I am a Dutchman and so is the prisoner. We all wear red trousers. There are a good many Dutchmen at Ballaarat. We then came out, and were handcuffed. A policeman, after he was handcuffed, struck Vennik with his sword on the ear and nearly cut it off, and then struck him two or three times on the head with the sword. The prisoner was in our tent all night. I was discharged afterwards, but Vennik was kept. The prisoner was struck with the drawn sword after he had been handcuffed.

Jane Canavan and Cornelius Peters produced eight children, six being born at Smythesdale. They were: Theodore born around 1857, died 1862 aged five years. Born at Smythesdale were: Catherine Mary Ann b. 1859; Leonard b. 1861; Petronella b. 1863; Jane b. 1865 and Cornelius John b. 1868. Michael James was born at Sebastopol in 1870; and Martha b. 1872 at Smythesdale.[7]

Cornelius Peters was living at Scarsdale at the time of his death.[8]


Dirk Pieters married Petribella Nieuwenhoff.

1. Cornelieus Pieters (D. 09.06.1891, Scarsdale, Victoria)


Deaths. ... Peters —At his residence, Scarsdale, on the 7th June, Cornelius Peters; aged 63 years.[9]
The Friends of the late CORNELIUS PETERS are respectfully invited to follow the remains to the Local Cemetery. The cortege will leave his late residence. Scarsdale, on Tuesday, at 3 p.m. ANDREW VEITCH Undertaker Smythesdale.[10]
Our Smythesdale correspondent writes: — “The funeral of the late Mr Cornelius Peters took place on Tuesday, and was largely attended, thus testifying to the respect entertained for the deceased. The remains were interred in the local cemetery, and the religious service at the grave was conducted by the Rev. F. Barrett, according to the ritual prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church. Mr Andrew Veitch at tended to the mortuary arrangements.” [11]

See also

Jan Vennik

Further Reading

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


  1. Corfield, J., Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  2. Research by Noel Peters, Great Great Grandson of Cornelius Peters and Jane Canavan.
  3. Corfield, J., Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  4. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  5. The Argus, 12 December 1854.
  6. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  7. Dorothy Wickham, notes 2009; Wickham, Gervasoni, Phillipson, Eureka Research Directory, 1998.
  8. Ballarat Star, 08 June 1891.
  9. Ballarat Star, 08 June 1891.
  10. Ballarat Star, 08 June 1891.
  11. Ballarat Star, 11 June 1891.

External links

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Caption, Reference.