The Criterion Auction Mart was opened by Samuel Lazarus on Commissioner's Flat, Ballarat. They also had rooms on Main Road, Ballarat East. The Ballarat Star newspaper dated 12 July 1856 included an advertisement which stated that Lazarus and co. will sell by auction at their room situated on the Main Road, “ A snug little cottage with brick chimney and built of pine timber, and canvassed and papered thoughout, situated on the gravel pits hill adjoining the Jewish Synagogue and the Wesleyan Chapel."
Goldfields Involvement, 1854
Samuel Lazarus with Phillip Phillipson and Abraham Alman emigrated from Bristol on the Lady Fitzherbert on 25 October 1852. One of the party Phillip Phillipson of Goodman's field London begged to inform his friends and public that his residence of Assenbein at 14 LaTrobe Street, Melbourne and with purchase and disposal of and any property to any amount, to parties proceeding to the Diggings.They reportedly dug for gold at Ballarat in a site called the Jeweller's Shops because of the richness of the claims.
Samuel Lazarus was reported to be a friend of Thomas Fletcher. Lazarus was not allowed to visit Fletcher in the lock-up after he was arrested for destroying the Eureka Hotel. Henry Westerby, Thomas Fletcher and Andrew McIntyre, were convicted and sentenced to four months imprisonment in November 1854, although accounts have him no where near the Eureka Hotel. J.B. Humffray, Black and Thomas Kennedy, representing the Ballarat Reform League demanded the release of these prisoners on 27 November 1854. It was a fatal mistake, as the use of the word “demand” strengthened Governor Charles Hotham’s resolve for control.
Fletcher printed 100 posters calling for diggers to meet on Bakery Hill.
Post 1854 Experiences
According to the land sales of the second day in Bridge and Main Streets on 9 December 1856, as on the first day "the excitement was very intense; whenever a brisk bidding took place the victor was either cheered or hissed, according to the view taken of his conduct in 'the business". Almost invariably the sales at the upset price were to the occupiers in every day's sale, as at that time the premises were valuable, and the occupiers, as a rule, preferred rather to buy the freeholds than accept the heavy valuations from speculators. Allot 13 of H 6 perches; upset 45 pound; val., 350 pounds, Sander [sic] Lazarus, upset. Lazarus bought Allot 6 of P on the fifth day Friday 12 December 1856 at the upset price. 
Lazarus A & Co were auctioneers in Main Road, Ballarat East, according to the Ballarat, Ballarat East and Buninyong Directory of 1857, suggesting that there was a family of the name Lazarus in Main Road, Ballarat East.
The name S. Lazarus also appears on the 1860 Testimonial to James Daly Esquire, Police Magistrate for Ballarat East and Warden of the Goldfields.
Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
- Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
- Argus, 3 November 1852.
- Wayne Phillipson, The Phillipson Family in Bristol, Journal of the Bristol & Avon Family History Society, Volume 73, September, 1993, p. 22.; Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2009
- William Bramwell Withers, History of Ballarat and Some Ballarat Reminiscences, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999, pp 192, 194.