Frank Hasleham

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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.

Background

Frank Arthur Haselham died in 1862 at Ramsgate, Kent, England.[1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Frank A. Hasleham, the reporter for the Geelong Advertiser and the Melbourne Herald was camping more than three hundred metres from the Eureka Stockade when it was stormed. He was shot through the shoulder by a mounted policeman and was left handcuffed, bleeding on the ground for over two hours.[2] The Geelong paper reported that: Mr F. Halezleham is progressing favourably ; the ball has not yet been extracted: on his recovery, he will have to go to the Camp, and prove that he had no connection with the "insurgents;" the fact of his being wounded being presumptive evidence of his criminality'. [3]

Frank Hasleham was camped on the adjacent hill to the Eureka Stockade and stated:

The tent is pitched on rising ground about 500 yards south of the Stockade; the tent and the stockade, each situated on an eminence, are separated by a large gully running east and west ... [4]

Post 1854 Experiences

ONE OF THE OLD EUREKA VICTIMS
We are sorry to record the death of Mr Arthur Hasleham, formerly reporter to the Daily News, and afterwards attached to the staff of the Geelong Advertiser. This melancholy event took place at Ramsgate, Kent, on the 17th day of December last. The deceased will be remembered in connection with the massacre at the Eureka Stockade, he having received some half dozen bullets in the shoulder from some chance shots while engaged in taking notes of the affray for the Melbourne Herald. Mr Hasleham’s claim upon the colony received favourable consideration on two separate occasions, the parliament having voted him no later than last year the sum of L500, and a like amount about 7 years since. The deceased left this colony for England in the Lincolnshire, and had only landed in England about a week before he died - the cause of deaths being the wounds he received in the great Ballarat riots of 1854. Mr Hasleham was one of the best theatrical critics in the colony, and his profound knowledge of Shakespeare was something wonderful. He died at his brother’s residence at Ramsgate, as before stated, aged 34 years. - Chronicle.[5]

In the News

Unknown maker (Australia), The flag of the Southern Cross (Eureka Flag), 1854, wool, cotton.
Art Gallery of Ballarat Collection. Gift of the King family, 2001
BALLARAT. THE STATEMENT OF FRANK ARTHUR HASLEHAM. (Now lying wounded at Ballarat.) "Whereas I, Frank Arthur Hasleham, a native of the good town of Bedford, and son of a military officer to wit, William Gale Hasleham, who bore his Majesty's commission in the 48th Foot at Talavera, and afterwards retired from the 6th veteran battalion. "Whereas I, the aforesaid, having, in my capacity of newspaper correspondent at Ballarat, shown, on all proper occasions in general, so especially during the late insurrectionary movement here, a strong instinctive leaning to the side of law. authority and loyalty, was, on the morning of the 3rd instant, fired at and wounded at a time when the affray was over, and the forces with their prisoners were on the point of returning to the Camp, and in a place whence the scene of action was invisible, and when no other bloodshed had taken place. " On these considerations I desire to make on oath the following statements of facts, as they occurred, and as witnessed by others: "Shortly after daybreak in the morning mentioned, my three mates and myself were aroused from sleep by the fire of musketry, a great proportion of the balls whistling over our tents. The tent is pitched on a rising ground about 500 yards south of the stockade; the tent and stockade, each situated on an eminence, are separated by a large gully running east and west, and comprising in its breadth nearly the whole of the distance above specified. Considerably alarmed at the continuance of the firing, we at last got up, and went outside, thinking to find a place of shelter or comparative security. After I had gone outside the firing gradually fell off, the stockade was unoccupied, the insurgents' flag was struck, and whatever fighting was then going on was confined to the further slope of the hill on which the stockade was situated. As some desultory firing was still going on. I advanced about 50 yards down the gully, in order to insure safety by getting upon lower ground; by this time, with the exception of an occasional cheer from the military or police, everything was perfectly quiet, and from where I stood neither soldier nor trooper was to he seen. A few minutes after a small detachment of mounted police made its appearance on the hill, and drew up in a line on the either side of the stockade, the officer in command appeared to be haranguing them. I was standing about three hundred yards from them, several other people being near at hand. I saw three troopers leave the ranks and advance towards me, when one of them who rode considerably ahead of the other two arrived within hailing distance; he hailed me as a friend, Having no reason to think otherwise of him, I walked forward to meet him. After he had lured me within safe distance, namely about four paces, he leveled his holster pistol at my breast and shot me. Previous to this, and while advancing towards each other, he asked me if I wished to join his force; I told him I was unarmed, and in a weak state of health, which must have been plain to him at the time, but added that I hoped this madness on the part of the diggers would soon be over; upon that he fired. "I told him who and what I was; that he had made a grievous mistake; that he had killed me, but I forgave him. To do the man justice, he appeared much perplexed and conscious of having done wrong, but his comrades who had posted themselves in the rear, coming galloping up, threatening me with sword and pistol. He seemed to stifle his feeling of the moment and became as blustering as they; they then drove me between them towards the detachment before-mentioned, threatening to cut me down every time I halted or staggered from exhaustion. Before we reached the detachment two other troopers rode out to meet us, one of them presenting a long pistol wished to fire at me but was prevented. I was then searched for firearms, but need scarcely say this was done to no purpose. I was then handcuffed, and ordered to keep up with the troops, who set forth at a trot to join the main forces at the other side of the stockade. I ran with them some twenty or thirty yards, my wound bleeding profusely, when I began to feel myself failing, and seeing nothing but certain death in some shape or another in store for me, unless I could make my escape, I took the advantage of a sharp turn, and finally succeeded in eluding pursuit. " Eureka, Ballarat, December 22, 1854.[6]

See also

Further Reading

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

References

  1. Mount Alexander Mail, 04 July 1862.
  2. http://www.peacebus.com/Eureka/111128ToscanoMedia.html
  3. Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, Tuesday 12 December 1854
  4. Harvey, Jack, Eureka Rediscovered, University of Ballarat, 1994.
  5. Mount Alexander Mail, 04 July 1862.
  6. Geelong Advertiser, 28 December 1854.

External links