William Kishere

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William John Shann Kishere was born in September 1830 at Mortlake, Surrey, England. He was the son of William Kishere and Mary Ann. He left London and sailed for Australia on the Countess of Elgin, arriving on 02 January 1853. William Kishere married Jane Clydesdale and they had five children. He died on 10 December 1871 at Herne Hill, and was buried on 11 December at Geelong Western Cemetery (CofE 1 902).[1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Post 1854 Experiences

William Kishere was a butcher in Main Road. He tried to rescue people trapped with the United States Hotel burnt down in 1855.[2]

By 1859 William Kishere had moved to Fyansford, west of Geelong.[3]


Early on Sunday morning the inhabitants of Herne Hill were startled by the announcement that a frightful tragedy had occurred in that neighbourhood. On enquiry it was ascertained that a well-known resident named William John Kishere, who for many years kept the Balmoral Hotel at Fyansford, but had recently retired from business, had committed suicide and attempted to murder his wife. The scene where the tragedy occurred is a neat white painted brick cottage, situated on the top of the hill, on the west side of the road leading to the Western Cemetery. Kishere having retired from business as a publican purchased this residence about five or six weeks ago. It contains five rooms besides the kitchen constructed of wood, which is at the rear. In the front of the building are three apartments. Two of these were occupied by Kishere and his wife and family as bed-rooms, and in the centre was the sitting room. It is stated that for a long time past Kishere, who was much addicted to drink, had been suffering from its effects, and frequently appeared to be mentally deranged. Beyond this there is no motive or cause ascribed for the rash act. At an early hour on Sunday morning Mrs Kishere was awakened by her husband calling out to her, and on getting up she perceived that he had been attempting to drown himself in a tank of water. She assisted him, and, as he appeared quiet, went back to bed and fell asleep. About half-past 7; however, she was again aroused, and this time felt that she had been stabbed in the back. Her husband stood over her with his throat evidently cut, holding a butcher's knife in one hand and a tomahawk in the other. She sprang from the bed, and he then felled her with the tomahawk, striking her several blows with the back of the weapon over the back of the head and neck. Immediately after this he seems to have gone towards the room where his three children slept, but the door was locked, and suffering from the loss of blood, he sank on the floor. The children were the first to give the alarm, and procured the assistance of some neighbours, who reside close at hand. On their arrival, they found Kishere laying lifeless on the floor of the sitting-room, his throat was cut from ear to ear, the whole of the arteries and the wind-pipe being severed. The knife with which the bloody deed had been perpetrated, lay at his side, and there was a large pool of blood in the passage, near the door of the kitchen, showing where he must have cut his throat before going to the bedroom, where his wife was asleep. Dr. William Shaw was at once sent for and speedily arrived on the spot. On examination, Mrs Kishere's injuries, although severe, were found to be not so serious as was as at first conjectured. The wound in the back, which was inflicted with the knife, did not seem to have penetrated beyond the flesh, and there is every reason to believe that she will speedily recover. Her left thumb was likewise severely cut, and there was blood on the pillow and bed clothes. Some time afterwards, Dr. Reid arrived, but by this .time all that was necessary had been done for the sufferer. The deceased, although of late years addicted to habits of intemperance, was much esteemed in the neighbourhood of which he was an old resident. It is stated that he settled in Geelong upwards of twenty years ago. After the diggings broke out he went np the country and was very successful on the goldfields. During a short period he kept a butchery at Ballarat. About nine years since he took a lease of the Ballarat Hotel at Fyansford, where he remained till about five years ago. At times he was accustomed to drink very hard, and on several occasions he threatened to destroy himself. It is said that once or twice he attempted to drown himself, and had to be taken out of the river. Signs of imbecility have not been wanting, and for some months past he has been under medical treatment. He was the owner of some property in town, and it is only a few months ago that he purchased the Galatea Hotel in Moorabool-street for £1200. His age would be about 41. Although-various rumours have been afloat, it is believed that he lived on the happiest terms with his wife. Of-his mental condition there can be little doubt; for it is only a few weeks ago that Dr Creelman.expressed an opinion that he should be placed under restraint. In all probability the inquest will be commenced to-day.[4]


THE FIRE AT BALLARAT. ... William Kishere Sworn - I was working on the gumtree flat last night, when I saw a fire near the United States Hotel, when I went there, the fire was in the United States, Little Wonder Store, and American Express, when we arrived there was a cry of a body burning at the time, we went in and got it out and threw water over it, in doing so we were ourselves severely burnt, as the flames were all around; we found the second body lying near some galvanized iron or zinc roofing, we also brought it out to the Charlie Napier ; there was no dress on the body, when we touched it it went to pieces, the head was much charred, we could not say whether it was male or female. The United States hotel has been completely burnt down.[5]

See also

Further Reading

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


  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. Geelong Advertiser, 11 December 1871.
  5. Geelong Advertiser, 4 December 1855.

External links

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Caption, Reference.