Eureka 2, 1856

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A meeting was held to discuss erecting a monument to the men who fell at the stockade. Nothing eventuated. [1]

An advertisement in the local papers calls on "Old Pioneers and other interested in the erection of a memorial on the historic site of the Eureka Stockade ... to attend a meeting at Bath's Hotel at 8pm on 10th instant". A. T. Morrison: Convenor. 24 people attended the meeting, a committee was formed and a subscription began. A series of letters to the paper stated that the Affair at Eureka was a 'blot on the good name of Ballarat and the sooner it is forgotten the better'. Morrison replied that they simply wanted to raise a monument to mark an historic spot, without partisanship. [2]

John Lynch was joined by around 200 people when he mounted a stump and read an oration to the diggers that died as a result of the Eureka Stockade.

ANNIVERSARY OF THE EUREKA STOCKADE. — A meeting of about 200 miners was held on Monday on Esmond's Lead, Mr W. Ryan occupying the chair. Mr J. T. Ryan proposed, and Mr A. Lessman seconded the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted : — "That next Wednesday, the 3rd December, being the anniversary of the massacre of the Ballaarat Patriots, be observed as a general holiday in commemoration of the men who so nobly sacrificed their lives in resisting injustice and tyranny, and we humbly invite the co-operation of the miners of the various leads to meet on the site of the Stockade, at 2 o'clock p.m. to march from thence in solemn procession to the Cemetery." Mr Downing proposed, and Mr Allan seconded — "That a committee be formed to meet at the Prince Albert Hotel, at 5 o'clock, this (Monday) evening, 1st December, for the purpose of carrying out the object of the above resolution." [3]


The Miner & Weekly Star dated 5 December 1856 stated that: The people of Ballarat cannot if they would, and ought not if they could, forget the anniversary of the 3rd of December.[4]

The procession organised by the miners at Esmond's Lead then Prince Albert Hotel advertised in the Ballarat Times and reported on Thursday 4 December 1856, p. 2, headed "The Memory of the Dead". The procession, leaving the Eureka Stockade moved slowly and on coming in from Old Kaiser Hotel ... they journeyed to the Old Cemetery where the oration was read by Captain John Lynch. [5]

Yesterday was the second anniversary of the fatal encounter between the troops and the holders of the Stockade, and the memorable and melancholy event was commemorated by a procession and the delivery of addresses.
Two o'clock was the time appointed for the rendezvous on the site of the stockade, and by three there were assembled about 200 persons, amongst-whom we noticed Messrs Seekamp, Hambrook, Nicholls, O'Meara, Hayes, M'Gill, Lessman, Lynch, and others. At three o'clock, Mr Lynch mounted a stump on the ground, close to the Stockade, and read the following address to the multitude : -
FELLOW CITIZENS,-Sensible of the debt of gratitude we owe to the memories of the brave men who fell victims on the fatal 3rd December, '54, in their efforts to resist the oppression and tyranny of the then-existing government, we meet here to-day, the second anniversary of that disastrous day, in solemn procession, to pay to their manes the only tribute in our power the celebrating with due solemnity the sad commemoration of their martyrdom.
The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones; is unfortunately a postulate which the history of ages has almost invariably verified, but let it be a matter of congratulation, that in the instance before as there is a happy inversion. The good lives after them-the cause for, which they bled has signally, triumphed, and we "may date the eventful morning of their martyrdom "as the incipient dawn of a new and hopeful era in our political condition.
In every straggle for freedom which history; records, where the event has not realized success, the upholders of despotism, have sedulously endeavored to consign to obloquy the names and reputation of the men who had the moral fortitude to. attempt the expulsion of slavery and proclaim the. rights of man, by stigmatizing them with all the odious epithets language could supply, in order to exculpate themselves by the disparagement of their adversaries, and the almost invariable success which has attended this sinister artifice being too-palpable to be, overlooked, our colonial despots seized upon it with the avidity of men conscious of their misdeeds and of the evils they entailed, yet nevertheless desirous of justifying them by expedients utterly dishonest and pusillanimous.
The state trials afford ample illustration the invidious attempt I have adverted to and its signal failure ; and we are assembled here to signify by this demonstration that we revere their memories, and that we shall ever consider it a duty incumbent upon us to use every legitimate exertion to bequeath to posterity, as the noblest of. all inheritances, the desire of cherishing the patriotism that animated them.
It is needless, on my party to remind you of the causes which effected that deplorable massacre-they are, I believe, too indelibly engraven on your memories to be eradicated by time or place ; I will therefore desist from invoking unpleasant reminiscences which could have no -other tendency than to excite embittered feelings and associations. I will even entreat of you to forgive the imprudent authors of the catastrophe, and thus manifest to the world that whilst you appreciate in its widest extent, and most unqualified extent, the exalted sense of liberty which animated . the departed-you have the noble magnanimity to let all acrimonious recollections cease with the causes that generated them.
Let us then earnestly hope that we snail never again see repeated in our adopted land such scenes as characterised the ominous past, and that whilst we resolutely maintain our determination not to ignore one iota of our rights as free citizens, we shall never be wanting in our obedience to the laws, whilst they are the safeguard of our liberties, and not, as in bygone days, -he instrument of our enslavement.
Nor is the task of exonerating them from the charge of indiscretion, which obtained undue currency, more difficult of accomplishment, when it is remembered that forbearance under the most ignominious treatment had been patiently observed, until it assumed too humiliating an aspect ; and that it was not until repeated appeals for redress had failed that ulterior measures had been resorted to; after which the very identical demands for which they were immolated, had been speedily conceded ; thus, tacitly acknowledging their justice, and adding another incontrovertible proof that the little relaxation from oppression we now enjoy has been purchased by their blood, and wrenched from the reluctant grasp of our begrudging rulers.
Oh! That future legislation would justify but this ardent anticipation, and, that the welfare of the country would inspire the governing powers to concede with becoming grace our unalienable rights-what a prodigy of grandeur would not this country exhibit-boundless in all the elements of prosperity and greatness essential to its high destiny, but sadly deficient, through the intervention of an evil policy in the principal feature of dignity that constitutes the strength of empires, by the attachment which emanates from an individual interest in its aggrandisement. ...[6]

Also See


Adolphus Lessman

John Lynch

James McGill

Prince Albert Hotel

Old Kaiser Hotel


  1. 9 February 1856
  2. 5 April 1856
  3. Ballarat Star, 03 December 1856.
  4. The Miner & Weekly Star, 5 December 1856.
  5. Keith Rash, notes; Ballarat Star, 12 November 1856
  6. Ballarat Star, 4 December 1856.

External links

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Caption, Reference.