James T. Smith

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Special Constables Poster
Courtesy Ballarat Heritage Services.

Background

James Thomas Smith was born on 28 May 1816 in Sydney, the son of Scottish shoemaker John Smith. James Smith became a storekeeper in Melbourne in 1837. He married Ellen Pender, daughter of an Irish publican, and in 1841 Smith became landlord of the Adelphi Hotel in Melbourne's Flinders Lane. [1]

Elected to the Melbourne City Council in 1842, Smith was Mayor five times, including in 1854, at the time of the Eureka Stockade. In 1851 James T. Smith was elected to the Legislative Assembly and was member for Creswick until 1861, and for West Bourke until April 1870.[2]

He died on 30 January 1879 at Felmington, and was buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Fearing insurrection John Smith enrolled special constables to protect the city. He called a public meeting to show support of Governor Charles Hotham, but it was overwhelmed with support for the diggers.[4]


Was Melbourne in Peril?— Those were days of leisurely news-carrying. The Stockade was taken by assault at daybreak on Sunday, December 3, 1854, and the news reached Melbourne just too late to appear in the morning papers on Monday. For a day or two before it hac been rumoured that an army of infuriated diggers was about to descend on the capital. All troops available had been sent to Bal larat, and the leading shopkeepers cla moured for the enrolment of a rifle bri gade and the swearing-in of all respectable people as special constables. lt was a great chance for The Age, then just established. This democratic infant declared that the civil war was 'not against the Crown but against the pollutions and abomi nations covered by its sanction." Ad ditional troops were brought in from Tasmania; and, with the news of the complete crumpling up of the Stockade and of the rebel movement, a quick reaction set in. Strong anti-Government speeches were made at a great meeting where the Cathedral now stands-by some of the city's most representative men. Then came on the trials for high treason.[5]

Post 1854 Experiences

See also

Melbourne

Further Reading

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

References

  1. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  2. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  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. Adelaide Registrer, 29 March 1913.

External links



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Caption, Reference.