Timothy Hayes

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State Trial Prisoners, Mount Alexander Mail, 02 March 1855.
State Prisoners from The Revolt at Eureka’ by R. Wenban. Schools Publishing House, 1959.
Henry Winkles, Untitled [inside view of tent], 1850s, watercolour, pencil on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, Purchased with funds from the Colin Hicks Caldwell Bequest, 2004.


Timothy Hayes was born at Kilkenny, Ireland. He married Anastasia Butler, and they later sailed to Melbourne in 1852 with their five chldren on the Mobile. [1]

Timothy and Anastasia Hayes lived close the the Eureka Diggings. The site of their tent was in King Street close to Victoria Street. [2]

Timothy Hayes died on at Melbourne on 31 August 1873.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Described as 6 foot tall Timothy Hayes was the leader and Chairman of Bakery Hill Meeting 29 November 1854. He was elected Chairman of the Ballarat Reform League after a unanimous vote. According to John Lynch Hayes was always voted to the Chair at important occasions. Hayes worked with Peter Lalor at Eureka, and the couple were living at St Alipius by 1854 where Anastasia Hayes was teaching.[4]

Hayes signed the Catholic Petition complaining about the treatment of the priest’s servant, Gregorius. He was arrested on 3 December 1854, around 100 yards from the Stockade, and tried during the Treason Trials on 19 March at which time he was acquitted. The witness against Hayes was Trooper Goodenough. Hayes’ counsel was Richard Ireland, assisted by Thomas Cope. [5]

Collins St West
15 January 1855
The Queen V Hayes
I do myself the honor to request permission for the bearer Mr Woolcott my clerk to wait upon His Excellency to serve him a copy Subpoena as a witness on the trial of this cause. I trust His Excellency will not consider this proceeding in any way disrespectful towards him, as I am acting entirely under the advice of Counsel who consider his evidence most material to the Prisoners defence.
I am
Your most obedient humble servant
(J.W.?) Grant
To Captain Kaye, Private Secretary, Government House. [6]

Treason Trial

Timothy hayes was the third person tried for High Treason. A new list of 178 potential jurors, 6 small businessmen, 3 tradesmen, 1 gardener and 2 farmers were chosen to judge Timothy Hayes, a man who all of Victoria believed was one of the ringleaders behind the Eureka rebellion.[7]

Timothy Hayes was defended by Richard Ireland, the judge was Redmond Barry, the same Redmond Barry who 20 years later sent Ned Kelly to the gallows. The scene was set for an interesting trial. Timothy Hayes was Peter Lalor's mining partner. He had been the chairman of the final mass meeting at Bakery Hill on the 29th November 1854. He had stood up and whipped up the crowd into a frenzy by calling out "your liberties, will you die for them!!" The crowd roared its approval and burnt their licenses.[8]

Henry Goodenough and Andrew Peters, the two police spies gave their evidence. Henry Goodenough told the court he heard Hayes ask the crowd to fight for their liberties. On cross examination he agreed he had asked other miners to do the same thing. Father Patrick Smyth the Catholic priest swore that Hayes had gone to the Catholic chapel during the attack at the stockade. Henry Foster the Inspector who arrested Hayes told the jury he arrested him 300 yards from the Eureka Stockade and he had a current miner's license on him. Fortunately for Timothy Hayes, the jury liked what they heard and acquitted him of the charge within thirty minutes of sitting down to consider their verdict. Once again another prisoner who has escaped execution, was carried through the streets of Melbourne.[9]

During the Treason Trials the issue of taking oaths to a flag which was not the flag of Great Britain became a point of legal argument. Timothy Hayes was charged with acting under a rebellious flag which was treasonable to Queen Victoria. His defence lawyer pointed out that the Prosecutor, William Stawell, the Colony of Victoria's Attorney general, had acted under the Anti-Transportation League banner flown in Melbourne in 1851. This legal argument helped secure the acquittal of Timothy Hayes. [10]

Post 1854 Experiences

Timothy Hayes supported Peter Lalor’s electoral nomination.

Hayes later became the Town Inspector for Ballarat East and was appointed a special constable in 1862. He and his wife Anastasia Hayes parted company in 1862, he went overseas to Chile, Brazil and the United States returning in 1866. Anastasia Hayes was left to look after their five children Edward, May, Nanno, William and Anne on her meagre school mistresses salary. Timothy Hayes returned to Melbourne in 1866 and worked on the Melbourne Railways till he died.[11]

Hayes attended the 2nd anniversary of Eureka. He was later the Town Inspector for Ballarat East, and was an authority on military engineering. Hayes left Anastasia, travelled to to California, then returned to Australia working on the Railways in Melbourne.

In the News

… Mr Timothy Hayes of Eureka Stockade and State Trial notoriety, and one time an officer of Ballarat East, was also supposed to be defunct, but has recently returned from a tour through parts of South America and California, and seems as stout and jolly, and good tempered as ever, walking down Collins Street, looking very much alive to passing events, and enjoying the joke of being supposed dead. [12]
Charlie Napier Hotel, 10th October, 1856
(To the Editor of of the Star)
Sir, - In the report of Mr Humffray’s speech, delivered by him at the Charlie Napier on Thursday, he is stated to have made use of language so derogatory to my character, that at my request a friend waited upon him to ascertain whether of not the report was correct.
He denies the accuracy of the report, and utterly disclaims all intention of imputing the charge to me, May I request that you will, as a matter of justice to me, give insertion to his letter in contradiction to the report in the paper.
I am, Sir,
Yours obediently,
TO MR. T. HAYES (Per favor of the Star)
Dear Sir, - My attention has been called to a report in the Miner of this morning; wherein I am reported to have said - “Hayes’ charge that he (Mr Humffray, J.B.) had refused to attend and give evidence or advice in his favor was a wicked and cruel lie.” This report is not correct, inasmuch as my words applied to the attorney or those on his behalf who had made the statement to you to the effect that I had refused to give evidence on your behalf, and I now utterly disclaim all intention of for one moment applying the charge to you.

I am, Yours, &c., J.B. Humffray.[14]

Scene.—The horse parade in Armstrong street. Time.—Saturday, loth September, 1888. They were old mates—three of them.
They had not met since I856 —fine stalwart young fellows then; old grey beards now of 50 and upwards. “Charley, old man, is that yourself? Hullo; is that you, Mick?” They grip, aud hold on, while giving forcible ex pression to their surprise and pleasure of meeting. “Come and have a drink.” One of them had just come down from Northern Queensland, the other was farming in the north-eastern district up beyond St Arnaud. The drinks were just tabled when a rousing whack on each of their shoulders faced them round to discover a third old mate. Bill, now a retired cattle salesman from the Western district. More hand-gripping and more drinks, followed by loud talking about old times and the beautiful fools we used to be when Ballarat was young. Let’s go down to the " Old Charlie” and have a general look round was voted unanimous. But the “ Old Charlie” was gone; John Chinaman was in possession. Shades of Thatcher; don’t we remember how he used to sing— “ John Chinaman my Joe John, You're coming precious fast, And every ship from Shanghai Brings an increase on the last; And you’ve got a butcher's shop, John, At your encampment down below, And you likes your cutlets now and then, John Chinaman my Joe.” John o’ Groats had disappeared; the Union Tent was no more; here the comic Morris brought down the house nightly with double success, while Miska Hauser's sweet music failed to reach the fancy of the noisy majority, fiddle he never so divinely. Herr Ralim, the great Tyrolese minstrel, decorated in highly fantastic costume, fared but little better. The double gum tree, where Big Larry lauded Lady Hotham across the diggers’ holes, has gone to decay; the House of Blazes is no more, and the old Duchess of Kent—oh where, and oh where is she gone? Every night her sweet tenor contralto wound up the ball with the declara tion that For bonnie Annie Laurie I’d lay me down and dee. That was the signal to shut up shop. Well, take her for all in all as times weut, she wasn’t a bad old sort; let’s go and driuk her health. Up Eureka way they light upon the Free Trade hotel and call for nobblers round. They move on; here’s the spot the traps dropped on us for our licenses. We made a run for it right across the gully, and you, Charley, got bogged going round over there by O’Connor’s T store—two great T’s, one black and one green. Yes, and you blessed fellows kept shy while me and a lot more was herded in that blessed Camp waiting for Cocky Reid to wash down his grub with some poor devil’s forfeited sly grog before he would condescend to come out and fine us for leaving our licenses in the tent in the other trousers pocket. Lucky for me Terrier Jack had notes enough about him to pay for both. Talking about Terrier Jack, do you mind when he was sitting down on the top of the shaft in front of Mrs Denny’s saloon he slipped off and dropped into the well 80 feet, got into the bucket, and shouted to wind up. Didn’t he swear, though. Jack was a plucky little chap. When the tiger got away from the travelling menagerie and took shelter in the crockery shop there was a commotion and no mistake. Jack got up on the ridgepole and lassoed Mr Tiger in quick sticks. The showman gave him 10 notes. We had a grand carouse that night—oh, what jolly old fools we were in those days. Let’s move on, and here’s where Bentley’s was— don’t some of us remember the pretty barmaid—eh, Bill, old man? You was a bit gone there—now, don’t deny it. I was sweet on that lot myself, but didn’t care to run an old friend too close; things used to go pretty-high at Bentley’s. Black Ferry, Flash Bourke, Tip M’Grath, and that crowd; aud there was Bob M’Laren and Mat. Hardy, and old Emery’s bowling saloon—oh Lord, what games we used to cut here in the old times! Hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels Put life and mettle in our heels. And the noble art wasn’t neglected. I thought we was in for it that night when Mick knocked Black Ferry over three times running. The nigger did not understand the Cornish tip of the toe close under his ankle bone, but he came up smiling, aud a liberal call on the waiter made things pleasant. Well, Bentley made a fine bonfire, and none too soon, for it was the devil’s own shop. The acquittal of Bentley, “ without a stain upon his character,” by Police-Magistrate Dewes, for the murder of Scobie, created tremendous indignation, and little Kennedy kept stirring the fire until the authorities ordered a new trial, and Bentley was committed for manslaughter. Ah, well, Scobie was no hero, only the martyr of his own folly. And here is the Stockade of the 4th of December, 1854. It is a long time since we were here boys, but to my mind this monument is too far up the hill. Look, yonder is where Captain Wise came on with the 40th, and around here the troopers dashed through the slabs, and soon made short work of it. Little Thoneman, the lemonade man, was shot, bayonetted, and sabred here on the right of the gully, and over there on the left lay the German blacksmith who made the pikes, with the top of his skull hanging by the scalp, and still living, his little terrier dog lying on his breast aud refusing to leave his master. It was a sorry sight that blackened the hillside on that bright Sabbath morn, with the bodies of 30 stalwart, mostly mis guided, men. Where are the patriots to-day who goaded them on — Kennedy, who declared there was no argument equal to a “lick under the lug,” was not to be found in the stockade when the licking had to be done; poor fellow, he was killed by a fall from his horse at Kingston. George Black, the chief’s aide-de-camp, died in the Melbourne Hospital; his brother Alfred, secretary for War, was killed by a fall of ground at Staffordshire Reef; Tim Hayes died in the Lunatic Asylum at Kew; Mulholland served the Government for some time against his will; Jim M’Gill fills a pauper’s grave at Inglewood; Lalor and Humffray are still with us; let them speak for themselves, and say if they are satisfied with the past and content with the present; but we move on across the Red Hill to the place where once stood the Sir Charles Hotham hotel and the arena where Bill Hodge and Tom Cawse, Jack Botherras, and Collie Bray and other notable athletes contended for the belt —no Greco-Roman strangling hammerlock brutality, but scientific heel and toe play, with Doctor Gibson up as referee; back through the Canadian, Prince Regent, and the jeweller’s shop, down the Red Streak to the Gum Tree Flat and Navvy Jacks, through the lane between old Grimley and the Gasworks the approach Yale’s corner, where Mick raised the cry of “Joe, Joe,” and “Traps, traps,” “Look out boys, here they come,” but it was only a squad of Oldham’s State school cadets going home from drill. Decent lads these, said Charley, not ashamed to take off their shirts or turn up their trousers; no tatooing on their back or bracelet souvenirs on their ankles. The squatting nominee Government of the old days have a multit ude of sins to answer for, but their reign has passed away, the working man is our god to-day, aud he is a hard task-master in his Newcastle. Up the Camp Hill to Bath’s, they call for nobblers round three times. Good-bye, hic—good-bye, old fe-fella; who can tell when we three shall meet again ?[15]


See also

Ballarat Reform League Members


Richard Ireland


Treason Trials

Further Reading

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

Riot at Ballarat appointed to enquire into circumstances connected with the late disturbance at Ballarat together with the evidence taken by the board laid upon the Council table by the Colonial Secretary, by Command of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor and ordered by the Council to be printed 21st November, 1854.


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. The Eureka Trails publicity brochure, undated.
  3. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  4. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  5. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  6. VPRS 1189 Box 95 M55/76511
  7. http://www.takver.com/history/eureka.htm, sighted 07 May 2013.
  8. http://www.takver.com/history/eureka.htm, sighted 07 May 2013.
  9. http://www.takver.com/history/eureka.htm, sighted 07 May 2013.
  10. Beggs Sunter, Anne, Eureka the First Republic?, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, 1997.
  11. http://www.takver.com/history/eureka.htm, sighted 07 May 2013.
  12. Daylesford Express, 1 May 1866.
  13. Ballarat Star 10 October 1856.
  14. Ballarat Star 10 October 1856.
  15. Ballarat Star, 22 September 1888.

External links