Patrick Curtain

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Patrick Curtain was born in 1810 at County Limerick, Ireland. He married Anne Carey at St Francis' Church, Melbourne on 18 June 1846. Patrick Curtain died on 17 July 1885 at Ballarat. Anne Curtain died on 28 November 1898 at Ballarat.

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Patrick Curtain was an innkeeper at Eureka. He sought compensation for losses during the Eureka riots.

Ballaarat, 27th August, 1855. MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY- I do myself the honor of bringing under your Excellency's notice the, fact that some time "after the late disturbances at Ballaarat, Mr. Patrick Curtain, at that time a licensed storekeeper at Eureka, represented to the Commission appointed by your Excellency to enquire into that affair, that he had suffered very severe losses, by having his store enclosed within the stockade erected by the insurgents against his inclination, and which store, with all its contents, was burnt dowh by the military and police after the capture of the place, the loss sustained by Mr Curtain amounting to between £1200 and £1300.

Some time afterwards, Mr. Curtain forwarded "to your Excellency a Petition, stating his claims. The Petition was numerously and most respectably signed. Amongst other signatures were those of Mr Sherard, Resident Warden, and of Mr. Green, The Resident Gold Commis­sioner. To that Petition 1Hr. Curtain has not hitherto been honored with an answer, and has requested me to bring the subject again under, the notice of your Excellency.. I have most respectfully, and at the same time most earnestly, to represent to your Exc61­ lency, that a few weeks previous to the outbreak, Mr. Curtain had made-up his mind to return home, and had determined to sell off his stock-in-trade, and realize his other interests; and, to shew the poverty and hardships upon himself and family by the destruction of his property at Eureka, I may further state that some months previously he had purchased some land in the suburbs of Ballaarat, and had paid more than one-half the purchase money, giving a bill at six months date for the balance of the price, but when the acceptance arrived at maturity, from his being reduced to poverty, be 'vas unable to retire it. Judgment was obtained against him, execution was taken, and the parties from whom he purchased the land, Dr. Silverman and Mr Wynne, bought it in themselves. Mr Curtain has. thus indirectly suffered from the burning of his property, but of course has not made any claim for compensation on that account~ Curtain and family have, since the outbreak, suffered very great privations, but he has full confidence that your Excellency's favorable. consideration of the justice of his claim will shortly result. I trust your Excellency will not consider it out of place for me to mention that I myself am the party alluded to in the Ballaarat Times; of the 2nd December last, as having been some­ what roughly handled at the meeting held on Bakery Hill, on Wednesday, 29th November, which meeting I twice attempted to address, in opposition to two of the resolutions then brought for­ .ward; but, to prevent all misunderstanding as to my motives in mentioning the circumstance, I may state that I am at present engaged in mining operations, and that should my conduct on the occasion alluded to be deemed by your Excellency deserving of approval, however much I might feel flattered by such distinguished approbation, I shall never attempt to found upon it any application for your Excellency'S patronage on my own behalf; and this emboldens me the more freely and earnestly to beg and urge, both as an act of gracious consideration and of strict justice, that your Excellency will take a most generous view of the hardships sustained' by the innocent sufferers, and more particularly of tho!3e of my friend Mr. Curtain, who is very much respected amongst the general and mining community here, and on whose behalf I am alone empowered to address your Excellency. His case is one of peculiar hardship. In conclusion, I have now the honor of respectfully requesting that your Excellency will be pleased to cause a communication to. be made to me, stating what determination your Excellency may have come to regarding Mr. Curtain's Petition. Waiting your Excellency's commands,

I have the honor to be, Most. respectfully, Your Excellency's, &0., (Signed) ALEXR, FRASER, Scottish Attorney.

P.S, My address is at Fisher and Miller's Bute and Arran Store, Specimen Hill Eallaarat." As there are other parties of the same name on Ballarat, I have respectfully to beg; , that your Excellency will cause particular attention to pe paid to the address

Post 1854 Experiences

The Petition of Patrick Curtain to HIS EXCELLENCY SIR CHARLES HOTHAM, Knight Commander

Ballaarat, 21st February, 1855


I, Patrick Curtain, beg most respectfully to lay before your Excellency the great and ruinous loss occasioned to me, in the entire destruction of my property on the morning of the Brd December last, hoping your Excellency will be pleased to take into consideration a loss so calamitous to myself and family, and grant me a fair recompense. I beg to state I have been a storekeeper on the Eureka, and that I have regularly paid the license for permission to keep a store. In the unhappy disturbances of December last, the stockade was thrown tip by the diggers close to my store (a eireumstance which r could not possibly prevent), ~nd was burned to the ground on tbe morning of the Srd. I was in the act of removing my family to a distance at the time, when, on returning, I found my store burned to the ground. Your Excellency will please to observe that, in the fright and hurry with which myself and family left our store, we left all our property, to the dress we wore, behind us, little expecting the military would destroy the store with its contents. We are in consequence ruined, as all our industrial savings for years of hard labor were consumed.

I already submitted to the Commission of Enquiry appointed by your Excellency a statement of the loss I had sustained, which amounted to One thousand two hundred and sixty seven pounds seven shillings and two-pence. Of the above amount, Eight hundred pounds were due to creditors, who have, I believe, sent in a statement of the same to the Board of Enquiry. As I feel assured the Commission of Enquiry will satisfy your Excellency of the justice of my petition, I have every hope your Excellency will see the justice of indemnifying me for my ruined loss. And I, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.


In the News

See also

Patrick M. Curtain of County Clare, Ireland.

Further Reading

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


External links