Waterloo Coffee House

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Thomas Allen examined during the Treason Trials[1] “This witness was so very deaf that the Attorney-General had actually to bawl out (oh! pity the lungs!) the questions necessary to his examination. He stated, he kept the Waterloo coffee-house and store at the Eureka. He had just returned from Melbourne on the Saturday, December 2nd. He heard inside the stockade the word to “fall in” for drill. Saw them go through several military evolutions. They did not exactly go through them in a military manner, but in the way in which what call an “awkward squad” might do. — (I believe you, Old Waterloo; go a-head). He had been at the battle of Waterloo, and knew what military evolutions were. Saw one squad with pikes and another with rifles. He heard one of them say, “Shoulder poles,” then he said, “Order poles,” “Ground arms,” “Stand at ease,” “Pick up poles,” “Shoulder arms,” “Right face,” “Quick march,” “Right counter march,” and they were then marched for more than two hours. After that he saw them “fall in three deep,” and were then told (by Captain Hanrahan) to prepare to “receive cavalry,” and “charge cavalry” — Poke your pike into the guts of the horse, and draw it out from under their tail. “After that, in the evening, he saw the man who was in command again form his men around him, and he seemed to be reading a general order for the night. After it got night, one of them came up to him and said, “Now, Old Waterloo, you must come and join us,” and he threw down a pike which he told him to take. He said, “No; it is such a d——d ugly one, I’ll have nothing to do with it.” Another came, and witness asked what bounty he gave, saying £50 was little enough for an old Waterloo man. Because he would not join them he was taken into custody by them, and was guarded by three men with pikes at his door. (Great works!) All this was on Saturday. His tent was the second inside the stockade. His tent and all his property was destroyed by fire, it all amounted to £200. He believed it was set fire to by the police.” (And so it was, old Waterloo-no-bolter, good-hearted old man as ever lived in the world. If you wish call for a copy of this book; do.) [2]


  1. The Age, February 24th, 1855.
  2. Raffaello Carboni, The Eureka Stockade, 1855.