Elizabeth Amies

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Katholisch Kapelle aus den Gravel Pit Lunis 3u Ballarat Januav 1854 by Eugene von Guerard. State Library of Victoria Collection (H12532)


Elizabeth Ann Amies born 6 June 1853, Ballarat. Her parents were John and Emma Amies, her grandparents being John Amies (senior) and Mary Ann Child.[1]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Elizabeth Amies was a small child and living with her family in a tent within the Eureka Stockade. She wrote later, that they put flour bags against the walls of the tent to stop bullets hitting her.

Post 1854 Experiences

Mary Ellen Murray used to tell the story of, and point to, where the Murray humpy was on the Eureka Diggings. She was born there on 19 June 1853. She told where the Morning Star mine was in Eureka Street and pointed out where her very dear friend Elizabeth Ann Amies was born on 6 June 1853. According to Mary Ellen Murray she was born on Eureka, and her friend Elizabeth Amies was born on the next field (the next gold diggings) to Eureka. They were born only 12 or so days apart. They were great friends for many years. Mary Murray was one of the sponsors at the baptism of the son of Catherine (Quinn) and John Small, Thomas Small, who was baptised at St Alipius on 7 February 1856.

“Mrs J. Benjamin 12 Eddy Street writes: - I have read in Saturday’s courier that Mrs Jones of Burnbank St says that she was born in 1853 and was 11 months old at the time of the riot. I was born in June 1853 and was 18 months old at the time of the riot, so I think I can claim to be the oldest female born in Ballarat. I have lived here continuously all my life.”[2]


Elizabeth Amies married Joseph Benjamin.

The children of Elizabeth and Joseph Nemjamin were:

1. David Benjamin (born 4 March 1878, died 14 August 1944)

2. John Amies Benjamin (married Minnie May Descore_

3. Alice Benjamin {born on 4 December 1883, christened on 24 August 1887 with her sister Rachel)

4. Rachel Jane Benjamin (born 26 August 1886, christened 24 August 1887)

5. Florence May Benjamin (born 13 February 1894}

See also


  1. Dorothy Wickham, Visiting Fellow HGRC, Of All the Wild Schemes - This Seems to be the Wildest, Presentation, Queensland State Archives, for Harry Gentle Resource Centre, 20 October 2022; Family history notes and information Peter Berlyn, Ballarat, Rae Ryan, Warwick, Queensland
  2. Ballarat Courier

Further Reading

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

Dorothy Wickham, Women in 'Ballarat' 1851-1871: A Case Study in Agency, PhD. School of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Ballarat, March 2008.

Dorothy Wickham, Blood, Sweat and Tears: Women of Eureka in Journal of Australian Colonial History, 10, No, 1, 2008, pp. 99-115.

Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, BHSPublishing, 2009.


Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Text Publishing, 2013.

Dorothy Wickham, Not just a Pretty Face: Women on the Goldfields, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 25-36.

External links