James Regan

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Background

James Regan was born at Limerick, Ireland. He arrived in Australia in 1838 aged 13. James Regan died on 18 April 1905 at Newcastle, and is buried in Sandgate Cemetery, Newcastle.

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Between 21 and 24 August 1851 James Regan and his partner James Dunlop were the first to find gold at Poverty Point, Ballarat.

Ballarat Historical Society does not agree that the basalt obelisk in Barkly Street, Ballarat, marks the spot where payable gold was discovered on the field in 1851. The obelisk is described as "misleading and meaningless in a pamphlet issued by the president of the society (Mr N. F. Spielvogel) .

According to the finding of a society committee, "John Dunlop and James Regan, between August 21 and 24, 1851, washed gold in a little creek at the foot of Poverty Point, and this led to the establishment of the Ballarat gold-field." The society suggested to Ballarat Council that the obelisk should be moved to Poverty Point, but the Golden Mount Progress Society objected and this was not done. The society also tried to have the inscription altered, but the move failed. Mr Spielvogel says that in 1888 the obelisk was placed on the site of the Eureka Stockade battle, but Mr Martin Loughlan gave funds for a bigger monument to mark the stockade and the obelisk was used to commemorate the discovery of gold. In spite of many protests Ballarat East Council decided the "most appropriate" site was in Barkly Street, and the obelisk was placed there without ceremony. Evidence, on which the society bases its finding, was given before the select committee of the Legislative Council in 1853, to apportion the reward of £10.000 to the finder of gold in payable quantities in Victoria. Dunlop said that, with Regan, he found gold between August 21 and 24 at Ballarat at Poverty Point. He also found it at Golden Point, but in smaller quantities. There had not previously been white men at the district Thomas Hiscock earlier discovered gold at Buninyong, The committee voted £1000 to Hiscock, and found that the discovery of gold at Ballarat was the natural consequence of Hiscock's discovery at Buninyong.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

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