Nancy Kinnane

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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.
Peter Lalor. Melbourne Leader, 17 May 1862.


Ann (Nancy) Quinane/Kinnane was baptised on 06 June 1830 at Upperchurch or Borrisoleigh, Tipperary, Ireland. It is probable that she married Matthew Ryan at Liverpool, and they sailed to Australia on the Phoebe Dunbar in 1852. Nancy and Matthew Ryan lived on the Eureka Lead. Matthew filed for compensation for his tent being burnt down during the Eureka Riots. The tent was inside the Eureka Stockade.[1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Nancy, also known as Eureka Nancy, was present during the Eureka Stockade battle, and was said to have looked after the children. She is credited with assisting the amputation of Peter Lalor's Arm. The tent was inside the Eureka Stockade when it was stormed by the military on 03 December 1954, and the Ryan's claimed for compensation for goods lost during the destruction of the Stockade.[2]

There was a National School tent within the stockade with an enrolment of 40 children, Nancy is said to have looked after the children during the battle.

Post 1854 Experiences

After their tent was burnt inside the Eureka Stockade Nancy and Matthew Ryan moved to Learmonth where they ran the Camp Hotel for many years. Matthew became the Mayor of Learmonth. After his death in 1870 Nancy managed the hotel for many years. She met and married Archibald McAuley. Ann McAuley (Ryan/Kinnane/Quinane) died in 1901 at Learmonth's Camp Hotel aged 68 years, and is buried in Grave 32 at Dowling Forest Cemetery.

I NANCY RYAN, of Learmonth, widow, do hereby give notice, that it is my intention to apply to the justices sitting in a Court of Petty Ses sions to be holden at Learmonth, on the 31st day of December, next, for a certificate authorising the issue of a publican's license for a house situated in Learmonth, at present licensed and known by the sign of the Camp Hotel.
The 13th December A.D. 1866

Transfer— The license of Nancy Ryan for the Camp hotel, Learmonth, was transferred to Charles Stannton Knowles. The court then adjourned.[4]


McAULEY. — The friends of the late Mrs McAuley are respectfully invited to follow her remains to their last resting place, the Miners’ Rest Cemetery. The funeral cortege is appointed to leave her late residence, Camp hotel, Learmonth, an Friday, at 2 p.m. STEPHEN WELLINGTON, Undertaker and Certificated Embalmer, 144 Sturt street. Tel. 226. 266.[5]


Another old identity has passed away at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr James Hart, Hill street, Ballarat, in the person of Mrs Harrington relict of Mr Timothy Harrington, of Yendon, at the advanced age of 87. The deceased lady, was a teacher in the first National school in Ballarat, which position she afterwards resigned to be come head teacher of St Alipius Roman Catholic school. To the last she had a vivid recollection of the stirring days of the early fifties. She went through the Eureka Stockade on the morning of the riot with the late Rev. Father Smythe and the late Mrs MacCauley, of Learmonth, to succor the wounded. The deceased, who was of a kindly, charitable disposition, and much respected, leaves a family of four. The remains were interred in the Buninyong Cemetery."[6]


Nancy Kinnane's parents were John Kinnane and Mary Fogarty, and her brother was Patrick Quinane.

The Children of Nancy and Matthew Ryan

1. Anastasia Ryan (baptised at St Alipius, Ballarat on 16 September 1855. The sponsors were Patrick Quinane (Kinnane) and Mary Quinane.)

2. John Ryan

FUNERAL NOTICES. RYAN.— The Friends of the late Mr JOHN RYAN, eldest son of Mrs McAuley, of the Camp Hotel, Learmonth, and brother of Messrs P. and M. Ryan, Farmers, are respectfully invited to follow his remains to their last resting place, the Dowling Forest Cemetery. The funeral will leave Mr Daniel Ryan’s Farmers’ Hotel, Doveton street north, at 2 o’clock on Friday afternoon next, and arrive at cemetery at quarter to 4 p.m. STEPHEN WELLINGTON, Undertaker, 144 Sturt street (one door from Dawson street, and opposite Adelphi Hotel) Note address. No branches.[7]

IN MEMORIAM. Our Learmonth correspondent writes:— “ The funeral of the late Mr John Ryan, formerly of Learmonth, who met his death at a mine in Broken Hill on the 14th inst., took took place on Friday last. The procession, which was a very large one, consisting of some 50 vehicles, besides a number of horsemen, left Ballarat at about 4 o’clock for the Dowling Forest Cemetery, where the remains were interred. The burial service was conducted in a very impressive manner by the Rev. Father McElligot, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr Stephen Wellington. The coffin bearers were Messrs P. Donovan, Martin Ryan, W. Casey, and R. Direen, and the pall-bearers Messrs E. Murphy, M.L.A., D. Brophy, J. Noonan, J. Walker, R. L. Nichol, and M. Riordan. Deceased, who is related to the well-known families of McAuley and Ryan, Learmonth, met his death through burns received whilst he was engaged at the chloridising works connected with the Broken Hill Proprietary mine on the 14th. He was removed to the Broken Hill Hospital, and ex-pired the following day.”[8]

3. P. Ryan

4. Martin Ryan

See also

Patrick Quinane

Women of Eureka

External Sites

Further Reading

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

Dorothy Wickham, Women in 'Ballarat' 1851-1871: A Case Study in Agency, PhD. School of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Ballarat, March 2008.

Dorothy Wickham, Blood, Sweat and Tears: Women of Eureka in Journal of Australian Colonial History, 10, No, 1, 2008, pp. 99-115.

Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, BHSPublishing, 2009.,_Sweat_and_Tears:_Women_at_Eureka

Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Text Publishing, 2013.

Dorothy Wickham, Not just a Pretty Face: Women on the Goldfields, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 25-36.


  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. Ballarat Star, 17 December 1866.
  4. Ballarat Courier, 23 February 1870.
  5. Ballarat Star, 06 September 1901.
  6. Ballarat Star, 03 November 1906.
  7. Ballarat Star, 06/04/2019.
  8. Ballarat Star, 23 April 1894.

External links