Andrew Lister

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Andrew was born 1826 in North Shields, Northumberland, England. He was the elder son of Master Mariner Andrew Lister and Elizabeth Benson. Andrew followed his father into seafaring and became a ship's carpenter. Lured by the tales of easy gold, he "jumped ship" in California and headed to the diggings in the late 1840's, where he contacted and almost died from typhoid. He returned to the sea but gold fever gripped once again and he jumped ship in Australia and made his way to the diggings at Ballarat. [1]

Andrew died in Ballarat in March 1899 (aged 73) and Ellen died in 1912, having survived six of her children. [2] Andrew was a miner living at Mt Clear when he died. Lister was buried at Ballaarat New Cemetery on 24 March 1899. (WG ¾ 43).[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Lister was a participant in Eureka battle.

Post 1854 Experiences

In 1934, Emily Lister, the daughter of Andrew Lister wrote a letter briefly describing her parents experiences in colonial times. Emily concluded her letter with:

The family (the Holden/ings) arrived in Geelong but did not stay long as the news of the gold diggings at Ballarat attracted them and they went on there where my mother met my father, Mr. A. Lister. They were there during the [Eureka Stockade] battle, my father being in the battle, and I have heard him say he was next to the late Peter Lawlor [sic] when he was shot in the arm which he lost eventually. My father also witnessed the burning of Bentley's Hotel. They all lived in tents for some considerable time in and around Ballarat in the early fifties.[4]

Andrew and Ellen Lister remained in Ballarat and had a family of five boys and five girls, eight of whom survived infancy. According to family lore Andrew owned the Magpie and British Queen mines in Ballarat in the early years from which he made a considerable amount of money. He travelled to New Zealand during the hey-day of the gold rush there and lost it all in failed gold mining ventures, returning home "a broken man". [5]


Death Of Mr Thomas Lester
By the death of Mr Thomas Lester at the home of his son-in-law and daughter (Mr and Mrs J. Whitehead' on Thursday night at the ripe old age of 92, removes an honoured name in the mining history of Queensland. Born in London on July 14, 1852, he came tn Australia with his mother in tile sailing ship Flora Macdonald in I855. The trip lasted 110 days. His father, a seafaring man, was in Australia at the time, his crew having deserted and gone to file goldfields. The skippers of fully a dozen oilier ships were in the same position. Seeing no hope of manning his ship, and being fired with the tales of miners re turning from Ballarat. Captain Lester also departed for the field. He took part in the Eureka Stock-ade and when the rout came es-caped by hiding in a shaft.
The Lester family did not stay long in Ballarat. Following the rush to Creswick Creek they lived there for seven years. Their next move was to Blanket Flat (now known as Egan's Town), 14 miles From Creswick. With his oldest brother Tom Lester joined a party Swiss and Italians and agreed to drive a tunnel from Deep Creek to an alluvial lead running through Smeaton Plains. Their wages were 25/- a week each, from which they had to pay a share of the seneral expense. He worked at Deep Creek for about nine years. He then left Victoria, and in July, 1880, came to Queensland in company with two brothers named Roberts. Seth Roberts, now dead, was later a shift boss for the Mt Morgan Gold Mining Company. The three men went to Charters Towers and secured employment as miners in the Day Dawn P.C. Mr Lester worked for this company for 21 years, being successively mine carpenter, boss of the shift, manager, and then general manager of the mine, crushing mill, and cyanide works. In January, 1901, he accented the general managership of the Pun iom Gold Mining Company, Malay Peninsula. On completion of three years' work in Malay, he returned to Charters Towers, with the intention of enjoying six months' holidays, hut he was requested to take over the duties of Mr TC. W. Miles, mining engineer. who had been severely injured by lightning. Later he was asked by Mr J. Millican to work at the Queen Cross Mill assisting the manager (Mr J. McLaren). His next move was hack to Malay Peninsula. On his previous trip Mr A. V. Watson, who owned the K????? Gold Minee, had requested him to take charge of his property for 12 months, and, as he had given an assurance that he would come back, a severe bout of malaria compelled him to return to Australia. On the voyage his life was despaired. The captain desired to put him ashore at Cook-town, but was advised to keep him aboard by the doctor, who said he would be dead before morning. He falsified this prediction and recovered at Townsville. Resuming mining he worked on the Day Dream Reserve and then be-came manager of Stockholm No. 1 owned by a Townsville company. Mr Lester then came to Mount Morgan, being commissioned by the late Thomas Mills to take charge of the Mt Morgan Exten-sion Gold Mining Company Ltd, which was endeavouring to pick up the rich Mt Morgan lode. A shaft was started at a point 372 ft below the original summit and sunk to a depth of 1620 ft. At 2,926 ft, the bore entered a coarse, horn blend granite, dipping at a very sharp angle towards the Mt Monran lode. Altogether 4000 ft of diamond drilling was done, and a few thousand feet of levels, cross cuts and rises put in but no quantity of payable ore was found. Every foot of the sub-stantial shaft was bricked. An enormous amount of capital was sunk in the venture, and the result was keen disappointment to all connected with the venture.
His wife predeceased him many years aso, also his son and daugh ftr. He leaves two daughters Mesdames Templeton (Towns ville, and Mrs J. Whitehead (M Morgan). The funeral on Friday afternoon was a represeiitativie one. The chairman of the Shire (Mr A. E. Holt) and many of his old-time friends were amongst the gathering. The Rev. Canon A Fellows. Church of England, read the prayers at the graveside.[6]

See also

Further Reading

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


  1. Email from J. Lister to Ballarat Heritage Service, 26/11/2004.
  2. Email from J. Lister to Ballarat Heritage Service, 26/11/2004.
  3. Email from J. Lister to Ballarat Heritage Service, 26/11/2004.
  4. Email from J. Lister to Ballarat Heritage Service, 26/11/2004.
  5. Email from J. Lister to Ballarat Heritage Service, 26/11/2004.
  6. Rockhampton orning Bulletin, 05 April 1944.

External links

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Caption, Reference.