Charles Rich

From eurekapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Samuel Thomas Gill, Deep Sinking, Bakery Hill, Ballarat - 1853, handcoloured lithograph.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ronald Wrigley Estate, 1979.


Charles Rich was a gold digger in Ballarat in the 1850s who dug graves for Eureka Stockade victims[1]

James Hilton Rich was born on 17 October 1854 at Ballarat registration #395 to a Charles Rich, a miner, aged 36 who had been born in London, and his wife Elizabeth Roscow, aged 25 years, who was born in Liverpool, England. They had been married in March 1852 at Stepney, London. [2]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Charles Rich, a digger, recounted, 'While sitting at dinner one lovely Sunday afternoon I received notice from Mr Watkins, the Government contractor, to join another young Welshman in sinking an excavation to make a grave for the diggers slain at the Stockade in the morning. We commenced digging the grave and had been at it for some three or four hours. As it was a very large one we worked very hard, but before we had nearly finished the mournful cavalcade arrived. In consequence of the coffins being place in two tiers, one above the other, they reached to within a foot of the surface, four at the bottom and three on top, but we managed to cover them up by well backing the earth above them. Whether they were afterwards displaced I never heard. The coffins were very rudely made of half inch weatherboards, the covers roughly nailed on, so that the bodies were plainly discernible through the joints in the lids, and the limbs appeared contracted and quite discoloured by smoke and fire, for the tents were burnt by the military who, when they captured the Stockade, fired the encampments with hand grenades. Whilst interring these unfortunates another procession entered the cemetery conveying the body of a digger, a Welshman named Rowlands, who had been shot by a trooper whilst entering his tent after returning from work. The trooper called on him to stand, and as he paid no attention shot him dead in his tracks. The body was buried at no great distance from those of the insurgents.’

Post 1854 Experiences

See also

Llewellyn Rowlands

Further Reading

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


  1. accessed 15 March 2013.
  2. Research by Dorothy Wickham, Sep 2019 from the original birth certificate.

External links