Eureka Hotel

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Charles A. Doudiet, watercolour on paper, 1854, watercolour, on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, purchased by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery with the assistance of many donors, 1996.


On 18 November 1854, James Bentley, Thomas Farrell and William Hance were convicted of the manslaughter of James Scobie, a Scottish miner who had been found dead near James Bentley’s Eureka Hotel on 7 October 1854. Bentley, and his employees Farrell and Hance, had been tried and acquitted previously for this murder, but due to the outcry on the Ballarat Diggings, the insinuation of police corruption, and the subsequent riot and burning of the Eureka Hotel on 17 October 1854, there had been cause for a new trial. [1]

Maurice Ximenes, a Sub-inspector of police who commanded the Foot Police at Ballarat, was present at the burning of Bentley’s Eureka Hotel when 30,000 angry miners conducted a protest meeting. Ximenes had a number of police under his control hiding inside Bentley’s Eureka Hotel before the encounter, which led to the hotel’s destruction. Ximenes lent his horse to James Bentley so he could escape the crowd outside the hotel. The pregnant Mrs Catherine Bentley was left inside the hotel.[2]


After the burning of James Bentley’s Eureka Hotel ten men were arrested on 27 October 1854, but later the charge was dismissed against seven. They were John Balderston, Manestra Flatow, Butler, Hurd, McIntosh, Stewart and John van Der Byl.[3] Henry Westerby, Thomas Fletcher and Andrew McIntyre, were tried, convicted and sentenced to gaol on 20 November 1854. J.B. Humffray, Black and Kennedy, representing the Ballarat Reform League demanded the release of these prisoners on 27 November. It was a fatal mistake, as the use of the word “demand” strengthened Governor Hotham’s resolve for control.[4]

S.T. Gill, Site of Bentley's Hotel - Eureka Ballaarat, 1855, lithograph, Art Gallery of Ballarat Collection, Purchased, 1977.

Claims for Losses at the Eureka Hotel

Samuel Thomas Gill, Detail of Musicians from Subscription Ball, 1854, watercolour and gum arabic on paper.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Purchased 1961.
The following is a list of the claims made to the Government for compensation in connection with the burning of Bentley's Hotel, on the 17th October, 1854. The total amount is £40,418 ls 2d, of which only £150 is recommended by the select committee to be paid, - viz., 30/ to Messrs D. & W. Wallace, and £120 to Mr Michael Walsh. A sum of £150 is also recommended to be given to Dr Carr, who is at present in the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum; but this amount is on account of a claim for professional services

to the wounded after the outbreak on the 3rd of December, and cannot properly be said to have come under the cognizance of the committee.

List of Claims for Compensation for Losses Sustained through the Ballarat Riot, on 7th October, 1854
George Waterson, clothing and working tools, £22 ; Augustus Miell, gold, bank notes, musical instruments and music books, goldrings, and two boxes of clothing, £87 ; D. and W. Wallace, tents and clothing, £30. Samuel Waldock, livery stable keeper, saddles, harness, carts, hay, corn, horses, &c. &c, £766; Henry Harris, merchandise stored in the yard of Bentley's Hotel, £45 ls.; E. F. West, clothing, musical instruments, and music books, £53 ; Chas. Smith, clothing and working tools, £20; Michael Walsh, tent, household goods, clothing of self and family, and injury sustained by his wife, £175 10s.; Chas. Dyte, merchandise stored in the building attached to the hotel, £416 ls; G. C. Smith, two boxes and their contents, which were stored in the hotel, stated value, £343 18s ; Isaac Rigby, chest of tools and clothing, £20 ; total, £1977 10s.
List of Creditors on Bentley's Estate
The Bank of New South Wales, overdrawn banking account, £2,000 : the Union Bank, dishonored, bills, £1,600 ; Thomas Bath, Ballarat, dishonored bill, £192 10s; F. B Beaver, Esq., M.L.A., goods sold and delivered, £2,492 8s 5d; Mark Folk and Isaac Lazarus, goods sold and delivered. £106 11s ; John Ettershank, Stephen Holgate, William Eaglestone, dishonored bills, £87 2s6d; John Rutherford, James Tingeman, goods sold and delivered, £516 16s 8d; John McGuinnes, goods sold and delivered, £96 2s 4d; Charles Morgan, goods sold and delivered, £26 3s 3d ; Patricias Wm Welch, goods sold and delivered, £506 7s ; Dr Carr, for professional services, £124. Total, £7,648 1s 2d.
Servants' Wages, and Moneys due on Building Contracts
Patrick Hanlon, carpenter's contract work, £95; Michael McDermott, do. £125; Donald Ross, do, £150; J. Donnelly, do, £98 ; Roderick Ross, do, £160; Charles Smith, baker, balance for wages, about £110; George Waterson, balance for wages, £22, and £92 10s; Isaac Rigby, money due on contract for building, £200. Total, £1,042 10s.
Bentley's Claim
"Claim by J. F. Bentley and wife, for the sum of £29,750, it being the ascertained value of the hotel, outbuildings, and stock in-trade, all of which were destroyed in the riot.[5]

In the News

The exciting events of the last few days have been of such nature as to deserve special attention in your columns, embracing, in the short space of two days, one of the most daring and extensive robberies that has yet occurred in these colonies, and the most deliberate and most deter- mined expression of public resentment against in- justice that has yet graced or disgraced the annals of Australia.
One James Scobie was brutally murdered on the morning of the 7th inst., near Bentley's Eureka Hotel. The evidence adduced at the inquest bore strongly against some of the members of Bentley's establishment, and, in consequence, Bentley and two others were arrested on the Monday following, and admitted to bail of £1000 each. On Thursday, the 12th inst., they were examined before the police magistrate, Mr. Dewes, and the commissioners, Messrs. Rede and Johnston. The evidence against them was pretty strong, and the general expectation was, that they would be committed. However, the decision of the magistrates was, that there was not the shadow of a case against Mr. Bentley, and that he, as well as the others, were honorably discharged. The decision was received with groans and hisses, and it was evident that great dissatisfaction existed in the public mind. Rumors prejudicial to the character of the Bench, and which we forbear to mention, spread abroad, and it was evident that the matter was not to be allowed to rest without further investigation. A public meeting was announced to be held on Tuesday, near the spot where Scobie was murdered. It is necessary to mention that Bentley's hotel had acquired a very bad name throughout the diggings, numerous robberies having occurred in it since its establishment; and complaints were general, that though a favorite resort of thieves and Vandemonians, the establishment seemed to be under the protection of some of the Camp authorities, as no notice was taken of its well-known irregularities. This explanation will, in some measure, account for the spirit evinced at its destruction.
The business of the meeting was to commence at twelve o'clock, and long before that hour an immense number of people were on the spot. A strong body of foot-police, under Sub-Inspector Ximenes, was posted in the hotel, and the mounted troopers, under Captain Evans, were stationed in an adjacent hollow. When the chair was taken, about 3000 people were present, which increased to 5000 before the termination of the meeting.
The following is a correct copy of the resolutions moved at the meeting, which throughout was conducted in a temperate, judicious, and creditable manner: —
1. Moved by Mr. William Corkhill, seconded by Mr. James R. Thomson —
That this meeting, not feeling satisfied with the manner in which the proceedings connected with the death of the late James Scobie have been conducted, either by the magistrates or by the coroner, pledges itself to use every lawful means to have the case brought before other and more competent authorities; and to effect this object do forward a petition embodying the facts of the case for the consideration of the Lieutenant Governor.
Carried unanimously.
2. Moved by Mr. Alexander M. P. Grant, seconded by Mr. Archibald Carmichael
That this meeting views with mingled feelings of indignation and surprise the address in favor of Mr. Bentley, which appeared in the Ballaarat Times of Saturday last, and begs to express its total dissent from the sentiments therein conveyed.
Carried without a dissentient voice.
3. Moved by Mr. Thomas Kennedy, seconded by Mr. Angus Sutherland
That this meeting deems it necessary to collect subscriptions for the purpose of offering a reward for the conviction of the murderer or murderers and defraying all other expenses connected with the prosecution of the case.
Mr. Kennedy, in moving this resolution, made an eloquent and powerful speech. The motion was also carried without one dissentient voice.
Number four, moved by Mr. Stephen Cumming, seconded by Mr. Blair —
That a committee of seven be appointed, to carry out the views of the meeting, as embodied in the foregoing resolutions, and that Peter Lalor, James R. Thomson, John W. Gray, Thomas D. Wanliss, William Corkhill, Alexander M. P. Grant and Archibald Carmichael form said committee, with power to add to their number. Three to form a quorum.
Carried unanimously.
Riot at Bentley's Hotel
It is impossible to exaggerate the unanimity displayed by the meeting: the vast assemblage seemed animated by one desired. After the meeting was dissolved a number proceeded towards Bentley's hotel, and were immediately followed by the Commissioners and some mounted troopers. It is a matter of speculation whether the meeting would not have dispersed peaceably had this course not been taken by the authorities. When the horsemen were seen to proceed towards the hotel, numbers that were then on their way home arrested their steps to see what "was up." The police being very unpopular on account of their late numerous license "raids," came in for the first share of public wrath. They were "joeyed" most perseveringly. The first proceedings against the hotel were of a very simple nature, gravel being "chucked" at the windows; but after a few panes of glass were broken the appetite for destruction seemed to increase, and a continued shower of stones, bottle, and billets of wood, was kept up on the building till every window was broken. About twenty minutes after the commencement of the fray Bentley, without hat or coat, escaped on horseback from the back yard, galloped to the Camp at a great rate, pursued by the execrations of the multitude. About this time an additional body of troopers was ordered up by Captain Evans, who exercised great discretion at this critical period, and several orderlies were despatched to the Camp to hasten the arrival of the Military. Meanwhile the work of destruction went on rapidly, and it became evident that the total destruction of the building was determined on. The mob got inside and began to destroy the furniture. On the arrival of the military a strong party was stationed in the bowling-alley, behind the main building, but the mob were so daring and determined as completely to defy them.
About half-past two or three o'clock in the afternoon, and when the crowd had increased to about 8000 or 10,000, a man carried an armful of paper and rags to the windward end of the bowling-alley, and placing them under the calico covering, deliberately struck a match and fired the building, in the presence of the Military. The cool and resolute manner in which every-thing was carried on, resembled more the proceedings of the "Porteus mob" than of anything of the kind that has occurred since. When the building was fired, they immediately upset the water-cask, to prevent it from being used in extinguishing the flames. Some having rolled out a cask of porter with the intention of drinking it, others staved it in, and spilled the contents on the ground. A blackfellow being detected stealing a ball belonging to the bowling-alley was severely punished, and the ball thrown into the flames.
The horses were taken out of the stable, and the sheep and pigs out of the yard. The stable was then fired. Meanwhile, in the main building the furniture was being completely destroyed. Several members of the establishment endeavored to save some of the articles, by throwing them out of the window, and carrying them aside, but they were all afterwards destroyed by the fire. The property of the servants was, however, respected and carried to a place of safety. The instruments of the musicians, including a pianoforte, were saved. The liquor in the bar was run off and wasted, without any attempt to use it. One fellow got hold of Mrs. Bentley's jewel-box, and with an exclamation about the box, pitched it into the flames. When the main building was nearly consumed, a striking sight was presented. The weather-boarding and shingles of the roof, being thin and perishable, disappeared first, leaving the joists and ridge-pole glowing vividly in the sky. To the onlookers at a distance it seemed for a few moments like ribs of fire supporting a fiery keel.
"Several tents and stores on the opposite side of the road caught fire, and were consumed. A fine new ballroom, running at right angles to the main building of the hotel, also caught fire, and burned slowly, the flames in this case creeping against the wind. While the ruins of the other buildings were smouldering, the mob tore up the fence, and threw it into the flames. A dray and shay-cart were also run into the flames. It being stated that the latter did not belong to Mr. Bentley, it was at some risk rescued; but on further enquiry it was ascertained to be his property, and immediately run into the burning mass and totally consumed.
Charles A. Doudiet, The Old Tent - BALLARAT (Specimen Hill (Tents), circa 1854, watercolour, pen and ink on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, purchased by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery with the assistance of many donors, 1996.
About three hours after the commencement of the proceedings, and about two hours after the first application of fire, there remained nothing of the once only too famous Eureka Hotel but the glowing embers and the dismantled chimneys.
When all the property of the obnoxious Bentley had been destroyed, the cool, determined spirit of vengeance which had hitherto marked the proceedings gave way to the drunken revelry of the rabble. The hot ashes were ransacked for bottles of ale and spirits with as much eagerness as could have been displayed on another Golden Point or Specimen Hill.
There was only one man taken by the police, and he was rescued on the way to the Camp. Great excitement prevailed in the Camp last night. Several reports came, to the effect that the diggers were coming in great strength to take Mr. Bentley, and there was a force under arms all night.
The administration of justice, it is apparent, has received a severe blow in this district; and it is entirely to be attributed to the inconsistent, and, to the public, insulting decision of the Bench on Thursday last. With the evidence brought before them, and aware, moreover, of the well-known character of Mr. Bentley's establishment, to decide "that there was not the shadow of a case against him, and that he was honorably discharged," seemed to the public so inconsistent with facts, and so contrary to justice, as to excite a universal feeling of indignation, which found vent in the terrible outburst of yesterday.
A petition to His Excellency Sir Charles Hotham, requesting him to institute another investigation into the case, is about to be sent round for signature. I enclose a copy.
The late James Scobie, whose unfortunate death has given rise to all these proceedings, was a native of Scotland, and was much respected throughout these diggings. I understand that he was related, being either first or second cousin to Captain Hall, who was so well known in the Chinese war, and who has lately been distinguishing himself so much by his gallantry in the Baltic.
To His Excellency Sir Charles Hotham, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of Victoria, &c, &c, &c, &c. The petition of the undersigned inhabitants of Ballaarat humbly sheweth, —
That your petitioners feeling dissatisfied with the manner in which justice has been administered in regard to the death of one James Scobie, who was brutally murdered near Bentley's Eureka Hotel on the morning of the 7th inst., feel bound to lay some of the principal features of the case before your Excellency.
The deceased James Scobie, in company with one Peter Martin, seeing a light in the Eureka Hotel when passing about one o'clock on the above morning, sought for admission in order to have something to drink. In doing so a portion of a window was broken. Not obtaining admittance, they proceeded towards the tent of the deceased. When about eighty yards from the hotel they heard a noise behind them, and turning back to see the cause of it, Martin states they met two or three men and one woman. That one of the men had in his hand a weapon, which he supposed to be a battle-axe. The individual holding this weapon he believed to be Bentley, the landlord of the Eureka Hotel. He also heard the woman say, referring to Scobie, the deceased, "This is the man that broke the window." At this time, Martin was knocked down and rendered insensible. On recovering, he went up to deceased, whom he found unable to speak, and on assistance being brought, he was found to be quite dead.
It may be necessary to inform your Excellency that the night was perfectly clear and moonlight.
Between the Eureka Hotel and the spot where Scobie was murdered, and within about twenty- five yards of and almost directly opposite to a back entrance of the hotel, lives a woman and her son named Walshe. The boy is about ten years old, and remarkably intelligent. He deposed that having heard two men pass the tent, he very shortly afterwards heard two or three men and a woman follow, apparently coming from the hotel, or some place near to it. Looking through a hole in the tent, he saw two men, one much stouter than the other; the stouter man he believed to be Bentley. That he heard one of the party lift something, which he susposed to be a spade, from a corner of the tent. Shortly afterwards he heard a voice say, "How dare you break my window?" or to that effect. Then he heard a scuffle, and a blow given. He swears to the best of his knowledge and belief, that the voice was that of Bentley's wife. The parties returning towards the Eureka Hotel dropped the supposed spade. He then saw them proceed towards a back door of the Eureka Hotel. The boy's mother swears distinctly that she heard a voice say, "How dare you break my window?" and to the best of her belief this was the voice of Bentley's wife. In every other particular she corroborates the evidence of her son.
The evidence of these three witnesses was given with great reserve and caution, and therefore in the opinion of your petitioners is entitled to particular weight and consideration.
Your petitioners consider that the evident tendency of these impartial depositions is to implicate Bentley, his wife, and some person or persons connected with the Eureka Hotel.
The only evidence brought forward to exonerate them was that of the men named George Bassar, Everett Gud, and Henry Green.
George Bassar is a butcher, living near Bentley's hotel. The value of this witness's evidence may be known by the fact of his positively swearing "that no person could leave the hotel without his seeing them." Yet, on cross-examination, he was obliged to confess that persons could go in and out of the back door without his knowledge.
Everett Gud, the second witness, is the reputed brother-in-law of Bentley, manager of his bar and bowling alley, and lives in the hotel, and of course liable to suspicion, as one concerned in the murder.
The third witness, Henry Green, has for a considerable time been an inmate of the hotel, and was there on the night of the murder, and of course equally liable to suspicion.
The coroner's inquest was held on the day of the murder. Your petitioners being dissatisfied with the proceedings at that inquest, a number of them waited upon the authorities the following day, in order to have a further inquiry. On the following morning, Bentley and two other members of his establishment were arrested, admitted to bail, and the case remanded for three days. During this period, the accused parties and their witnesses had every opportunity of communicating with each other. The decision of the Bench of Magistrates was, that "There is not the shadow of a case against Mr. Bentley, and that he was honorably discharged."
The other accused were also discharged at same time.
Your petitioners are strongly of opinion, that instead of the magistrates dismissing the case, it should have been sent before a jury. Your petitioners are borne out in this view of the case by the authority of Lord Denman, (Magistrates' Manual, page 21,) who states, "if witnesses for the defence contradict those for the prosecution in material points, then the case would be properly sent to a jury to ascertain the truth of the statements of each party."
Your petitioners beg to state, that not only the decision, but also the manner in which the case was conducted, both by the magistrates, and the coroner, has strongly tended to destroy the confidence hitherto placed in them by the public.
Your petitioners humbly trust that your Excellency will direct the necessary measures to be taken, to have a further and more satisfactory investigation of the case, and at the same time, beg to express a hope, that in order to elicit the truth, and further the ends of justice, your Excellency will direct a suitable reward to be offered for the conviction of the murderers.
Trusting that your Excellency will be pleased to attribute the object of your petitioners to its real motive, namely a love of order and justice, and that your Excellency will graciously grant their request.
Your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.[6]
"Depositions of witnesses - McEvoy, October 1854, p.1, PROV, VPRS5527/P0 Unit 1, Item 80

And this deponent John McEvoy on his oath saith I am color Sergeant of the fortieth regiment . I was present at the riot on the seventeenth Inst. At the Eureka Hotel. Immediately my party were drawn up I saw McIntyre in a window convenient to Mr. Rede the Commissioner He seemed to be endeavouring to excite the people by advising them to take the law into their own hands my detachment was afterwards marched round to the bowling alley In this building I should
"Depositions of witnesses - McEvoy, October 1854, p.2, PROV, VPRS5527/P0 Unit 1, Item 80

say there were twenty five people. We were ordered by Mr. Rede to clear the people out. At the front of the building where I entered I came in contact with the Prisoner He was in a stooping posture in the act of taking a board from the panel I gently pushed my fire lock against him and ordered him out which he did quietly I saw him again in about half an hour after that He seemed to be saving some property – I believe it was a bass viola.
"Depositions of witnesses - McEvoy, October 1854, p.3, PROV, VPRS5527/P0 Unit 1, Item 80

By Prisoners Attorney – I could hear one or two words when he was addressing the people I heard him say let us take law after that I was not paying attention to what he said. John McEvoy Sergeant 40th Regiment Sworn before us at Ballarat this (signatures George illegible) 21st October 1854

BALLAARAT RIOTS – Bentley’s Hotel - Mr Humffray moved, pursuant to notice, That a select Committee be appointed to enquire into the claims for compensation arising out of the losses alleged to have been sustained at the time of or in connection with the destruction of Bentley’s Hotel, on Ballaarat, with power to take evidence and examine all books, petitions, reports, or other documents relating thereto, now in the hands of the Government, and that the following gentlemen be appointed to act on the Committee – Mr Haines, Mr Greeves, Mr Stawell, Mr Pyke, Mr Michie, Mr Horne, Mr Grant, Mr Brooke, Mr Sargood, and the Mover. [7]

(Melbourne Morning Herald, October 20.)
The readers of the Herald are already aware of the perpetration of a foul and mysterious murder some few nights ago, near the Eureka Hotel, Ballarat, of which James F. Bentley, a reputed wealthy man, is the land-lord. The moment the circumstances at tending the tragedy became known a strong suspicion was created in the minds of a large number of the diggers that Bentley, his wife and the barman (Mooney), were more or less implicated in it, and a long report of a Police Office investigation, in which the suspected parties were acquitted by the presiding Justices, appeared in our yesterday's publication. At the date of our correspondent's last letter (Monday afternoon), the mining population seemed both discontented and dissatisfied at the magisterial verdict, and there were all the premonitory symptoms of an approaching storm. We now regret to say, that the worst has come at last, that the diggers have risen by thousands, set law and order at defiance, and resolved upon sacrificing Bentley, and being disappointed in their intentions, set fire to his hotel, reducing it and all it contained to a heap of ashes The intelligence was received in town, per Government Express, at an early hour yesterday morning, and in order to guard against any renewed outrage, a number of mounted troopers from Richmond, and some twenty- five or thirty of the city police, received orders to set out instanter for the scene of action. The facts, as far as we have been able to ascertain, are thus : — After the result of the enquiry became known, the diggers decided upon holding a monster meeting on the spot where, the body of the murdered man was found ; and accordingly this gathering came off on Tuesday, when strong addresses were delivered, and the supposed authors of the bloody deed denounced. The meeting, after adopting several resolutions, broke up, but any observant spectator might easily guess that a deep feeling of vengeance still lingered in the minds of the multitude. The aspect of things, however, appeared to clear up a little, and nothing farther happened until alter nightfall; when an immense concourse of persons (estimated at between 8000, and 10,000) surrounded the Eureka Hotel, resolved, in the first instance, if they could lay hold of the execrated Bentley to hang him without judge or jury. So far they were doomed to disappointment, for Bentley very discreetly succeeded in escaping to the Commissioner's, camp, and by that means was saved from destruction. The infuriated mob, determined upon having some satisfaction, commenced an attack upon the house, which was soon enveloped in flames and finally destroyed, As a matter of course all the resources available at the Camp were brought into requisition to keep the peace, but to no purpose — for Commissioners, J.Ps., inspectors, Military, and policemen could do nothing against such overwhelming numbers, and were therefore compelled to act the part of passive spectators of the extraordinary doings before their eyes. The Commissioners remonstrated several times with the attacking parties, and were very coolly told to mind themselves, and interfere no further ; that they (the diggers) did not wish to molest or come into collision with the authorities provided they were allowed to pursue their own course. Still, in order to leave no possible means of persuasion untried, when the house was in flames, Mr. Commissioner Rede might be seen addressing the people from one of its windows, and in his blazing rostrum beseeching them (in vain) to desist in their infuriated career. Mr. Commissioner Amos also very praiseworthily exerted himself to a similar purpose, but all their warnings and admonitions were in vain. Even when the mob were found bent on the annihilation of the hotel, the police and Camp followers succeeded in removing the furniture and some other articles of property beyond the reach of the fire, but the moment they did so, the moveables were piled in a heap, ignited and very soon converted into cinders. Having at length to some extent appeased their resentment, the thousands dispersed, and nothing of further note happened up to Wednesday afternoon. Such are all the particulars of which we are as yet aware. The narrative of the lamentable occurrence is probably to a certain extent deficient in many minor particulars, but no doubt to-day or tomorrow will place us in possession of ampler details.[8]
Day's Eureka Hotel, 1888. This hotel was built after the burning of Bentley's Eureka Hotel in 1854. Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection

Location of the Eureka Hotel

Ballarat's Oldest Residents
One question asked at a meeting of Ballarat Historical Society was: "Who is the oldest living miner in Ballarat?"
Mr. N. F. Spielvogel (president) said that he was Mr. Joseph Oringe, Ligar street, who was 97 years of age. As a lad he was employed as a whim boy at Post Office mine, Ballarat East.
Another question sought the identity of the oldest industry in Ballarat. This was stated to be Foord's bacon works, founded by John Foord in 1856 on its present site in Eureka street, opposite where Bentley's Hotel stood. That hotel was burned in sensational circumstances prior to Eureka.
The second oldest firm was stated to bee that of John Hollway, tinsmith, Armstrong street, established in 1857.[9]

James Oddie begs to inform the public, that having obtained an Auctioneer's License, he is, from his long and extensive knowledge of the Ballarat district, its buisiness and mining population favorably situated for the Sale of Land, and every other description of property, trusts, that by attention and puncuality to his orders, to merit pubilc patronage. Place of business for the present, at his late Store, near Bentley's Eureka Hotel.[10]

Report from the Select Committee Upon Ballaarat [i.e. Ballarat] riots - Bentley's Hotel : together with the proceedings of Committee and minutes of evidence

On 23rd Dec. 1857 Mr. Humffray moved that the Select Committee on the Ballaarat Riots be re-appointed to inquire into claims for compensation arising out of losses allegedly sustained in connection with the destruction of Bentley's Hotel Ballaarat - with power to take evidence and examine all books, petitions, reports or other documents in the custody of the Government Committee comprised: John Humffray (Chairman), William Haines, Archibald Michie, Charles Ebden, Augustus Greeves, George Horne, John O'Shannassy, George Harker, Daniel Campbell, John Dennistoun Wood and Dr John Downes Owens. Witnesses examined: Robert Rede (Resident Commissioner Gold Fields Ballarat Oct. 1854), Gilbert Andrew Amos, Charles Jeffreys [i.e. Jeffries] Carter (former sub-inspector of police), George Crossley Smith, Agnes Smith, Maurice Frederick Ximenes (former sup-inspector of police), Gordon Evans (inspector in charge of police Ballaarat district at time of riot) and Charles Dyte (auctioneer & commission agent Ballaarat) Schedule A comprises a list of 11 claims for compensation for losses sustained in the Ballaarat Riot on 17th October 1854 from George Waterson, Augustus Miell, D[avid] and W. Wallace, Samuel Waldock, Henry Harris, E. F. [i.e. Edward Alexander] West, Charles Smith, Michael Walsh, Charles Dyte, G[eorge] C[rossley] Smith and Isaac Rigby Schedule B comprises a list of creditors on Bentley's estate including the Bank of New South Wales, the Union Bank, Thomas Bath, F. E. Beaver MLA, Mark Folk and Isaac Lazarus, John Ettershank, Stephen Holgate, William Jaglestone, John Rutherford, James Tingeman, Charles Morgan, Patricius William Welch and Dr. Carr Schedule E comprises a list of 8 servants' wages and moneys due on building contracts including Patrick Hanlon [i.e. Hanlan], Michael McDermott, Donald Ross, James Donnelly, Roderick Ross, Charles Smith, George Waterson and Isaac Rigby. Shedule D comprises claim by J. F. Bentley and wife for the sum of £29,750, being the ascertained value of the hotel, outbuildings and stock in trade, all of which were destroyed in the riot. The Committee recommended payment or part payment of the claims of D. and W. Wallace and Michael Walsh only and opined that most remaining claims be disallowed. It did award £150.00 to Dr. Alfred Yates Carr (who had claimed £126 and 1000 guineas for professional services rendered by him to the wounded at the time of the Eureka Stockade riot and who subsequently himself came under the care of Robert Bowie, Surgeon Superintendent of the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum, who petitioned the Government on his behalf in September 1857).</ref>, accessed 09 February 2016.</ref>

Also See

Gilbert Amos

James Bentley

Catherine Bentley

Alfred Carr

Charles Dyte


Fleury's Band

Archibald Michie

Thomas Mooney

Robert Rede

James Scobie

Charles Smith

Maurice Ximenes

James Scobie

Scobie's Murder

For Forms, Evidence and Depositions in relation to the James Scobie trial click the following link Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 5527 Official Forms, Evidence and Depositions, October 1854


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  3. Research by B.Gow.
  4. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  5. Ballarat Star, 09 June 1858.
  6. The Argus, 23 October 1854.
  7. Victorian Votes & Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 2 December 1856
  8. Freeman's Journal, 28 October 1854.
  9. Port Pirrie Recorder, 21 October 1939.
  10. Ballarat Times, 21 October 1854.

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