Hugh McPhillimy

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Samuel Thomas Gill, Deep Sinking, Bakery Hill, Ballarat - 1853, handcoloured lithograph.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ronald Wrigley Estate, 1979.


Born in County Tyrone, Ireland, Hugh McPhillimy was the son of Hugh McPhiillimy and Margaret Noble. He married Mary Hearn in 1852 at Christ Church, Geelong in 1852. [1]

McPhillimy had a store with Noble at Eureka in 1853. He was one of the discoverers of the Lady Hotham Nugget at Dalton’s Flat, Ballarat on 8 September 1854. The nugget was 1177 ounces with 2640 ounces of smaller nuggets. [2]

Hugh McPhillimy died on 15 March 1871.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Hugh McPhillimy was arrested on 05 December 1854 and accused of being a rebel. [4]

Post 1854 Experiences


McPHILLIMY.—On the 15th March, at Melbourne, Hugh McPhillimy, of Ballarat, Merchant, aged 47 years.[5]
McPHILLIMY. — On the 3rd December, at Victoria street, Ballarat East, Margaret, beloved and eldest daughter of the late Hugh McPhillimy; aged twenty-four years.[6]

In the News

BALLARAT. LADY HOTHAM NUGGET. 98lbs. 9ozs. SEPTEMBER 10TH. By favor of Mr George Noble, I am enabled to anticipate Monday's post and inform you, that another Nugget 'has been found! The old Canadian is well nigh done, but it has, even in its death throes, shown of what metal it was made. On Friday evening this line produced a specimen, or nugget, weighing 98 lbs. 9 ozs. It is unnecessary to italicise the figures; they speak: for themselves. Yesterday afternoon, I proceeded to the claim from which this splendid nugget was taken, and in about half-an-hour saw 25 lbs. of gold washed from two small buckets of washing-stuff. The gold which has been taken from this claim in nuggets-alone, independent of washing-off, exceeds 200 lbs. With such facts staring the alarmists in the face, it is difficult to imagine how they can assert that our Ballarat field is falling off. The fact is, that in its palmiest days, overlooking the nugget, Ballarat never gave promise of such greatness as at the present moment. All the lines, Eureka, Red Hill, Canadian and Gravel Pits, are doing well; and ere long some of our escorts will show that the good old times of the jewellers' shops were but future tastes of what was to come. Eureka is said to be equal to the Red Hill in point of yield, and Red Hill to the Gravel Pits, on which line the very reefers as paying from £1000, to £1500 a man. But of the nugget, it was found on Canadian, mid-way between Dalton's Flat and Red Hill. As I before informed you, the old Canadian was being worked at both ends, the claim which has yielded the 98 lbs. 9 oz. nugget is one of those which was sunk ahead of the line after its junction with the red line was made out. The shaft to which I refer is 133 feet deep and the dip from which the nugget has been taken is about three feet lower. This claim had a vast quantity of water, as have had all those in the neighbourhood: but singular to say, while most of the claims around will not pay the expenses of sinking, this one has yielded the nugget, and a large quantity of small gold. The party has already nuggeted upwards of 200 lbs., and, unless one claim abutting, there is hardly an ounce obtainable around. The gold is generally large, from half an ounce to three and a half pounds, and in having any small gold differs from the immediate neighbourhood of all the other nuggets. The party has called this the " Lady Hotham Nugget," in honor of her Ladyship's visit to Ballarat. What a pity his Excellency's visit had not been a fortnight later, he would have have been there in time. Some time since you said that Melbourne and Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat respectively should he pitted against each other. Well now, let Bendigo just try, we are ready. If we had not an insolvent government this nugget might be bought and sent to the Paris exhibition and tell what Vic- toria really is. It is estimated that there is from seventy-five pounds to eighty pounds of pure gold, after deducting the quartz, making this specimen the second in point of value that has ever been found. As you will probably soon see the nugget, further description is unnecessary. Tne names of the lucky vagabonds are Hugh Macdonald, Glasgow; Wm. Cock, London; Edw. Cock, do.; Abm. Bryant, do.; Wm. Irwin, do.; Thos. Day, do. Amos Radcliff, Liverpool; Jas. Lyons do.; and, J. McPhillimy, Londonderry. The last named is brother of Mr McPhillimy, of the firm of McPhillimy and Baird, Geelong.[7]

See Also

Abraham Bryant

Edward Cock

William Cock

Thomas Day

William Irwin

Jason Lyon

Hugh McDonald

Amos Radcliff

Further Reading

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


  1. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  2. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  3. Ballarat Star, 20 March 1871.
  4. Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.
  5. Ballarat Star, 20 March 1871.
  6. Ballarat Courier, 04 December 1877.
  7. Geelong Advertiser and Intelligencer, 12 September 1854.

External links

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Caption, Reference.