Richard Laney

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Goldfields Involvement, 1854

When Richard Laney wrote back to his family in England some months after he had landed at Point Henry, Geelong, in 1852, he was planning to go to the Ballarat diggings when the weather was warmer. [1]

Post 1854 Experiences

Laney was residing at Ballarat when he signed the Benden Hassell Petition in 1856. [2] He was also a witness at this court case [3] POLICE COURT. Tuesday, 14th April (Before C. W. Sherard, Esq., J.P., and S. Irwin, Esq., J. P.)

William Burrell and Robert Watson were charged with stealing a silver watch and chain, a riding whip, a pair of gloves, a cheque on the Bank of New South Wales for £46, a cheque on the Colonial Bank of Australasia for £100, a cheque on the London Chartered Bank for £8, and £80 in bank notes, the property of Walter Barclay.....

Richard Laney—Is a digger, and lives in Ballarat. Knows the prosecutor ; and knows Burrell's tent. Saw prosecutor about half past ten o'clock. Burrell called him up, and said Mr Barclay had been robbed. I went with him to the Native Youth, where I saw the prosecutor and the two prisoners, they said we know the man who robbed you. They proposed to go up to the hotel to look for Evans. In going up saw a horse, which after some trouble witness caught ; it was saddled and bridled, and was Mr Barclay's. This was about 120 yards from Burrells tent. We went up and asked for Evans, who was in bed ; he put on his clothes and came out. Prisoners were present, and said to me they had seen Evans with Barclay going in the direction of the Native Youth about six or half-past six. Evans said he had gone with Mr Barclay over the ford. Evans proposed to go and look for the things ; and a young man of the name of King, and two others. We searched all the way to the place where we found the horse, but found nothing. Evans and the others then went back ; witness, the prosecutor, and the prisoners going on towards the Native Youth. After leaving the Native Youth, and when near the Prince of Wales, Burrell lay down, and Watson could not get him to get up and go home. Watson said " If you had not acted on the square with me in this business I'd have knocked your — brains out." Watson called Burrell's wife to help to get him away, and in reply to something he said to her, she answered—" Barclay ? Why he has not so much money of Barclay's on him." He heard nothing further.

To the Bench — The prisoners were not sober when they left the Native Youth the second time. The prisoners declined to question this witness. [4]

Richard Laney is the great grandfather of Kevin Ryan.[5]

See also

Benden Sherritt Hassell Compensation Case

Further Reading

Wickham, Dorothy, Shot in the Dark: Being the Petition for the Compensation Case of Benden S. Hassell, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1998.


  1. Joy Powney, notes
  2. Wickham, Dorothy, Shot in the Dark: Being the Petition for the Compensation Case of Benden S. Hassell, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1998.
  3. 'The Star on Wednesday 15 April 1857 p. 2.
  4. Joy Powney, notes
  5. Notes from Kevin Ryan 2005

External links

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Caption, Reference.