Henry Foster

From eurekapedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Henry Foster was the Chief Colonial Secretary of Victoria. [1]

Henry Foster was a witness at the Inquest into the death of William Hardie on 04 December 1854.[2]

... Witness – Henry Foster of Ballarat
I am Inspector of Police. On Monday evening Dec 4th somewhere about 8 o’clock. I was in the mess room on the camp. We had just finished dinner when I heard 2 shots fired. I got up directly and went out and went towards my post which is in the ravine between the camp and the comp of the 12th whilst going there a sharp running fire was going on, by the time I got to my post the firing had ceased. I heard an officer cry out cease firing. I got in my house and visited the vidittes which were 4 or 500 yards among the tents they pointed out 2 tents in particular from which they had seen shots fired one under the Black Hill and the other over the bridge 3 or 400 yards down the road. I heard no shots fired after the order to cease firing was given – no shot was fired in the rear of the camp.
A shot was fired from the flat and struck a candle stick in a tent belonging to the 12th Regt.
I have seen marks of bullets on different houses on the camp. The first firing emanated from the camp of the 12th Regiment on the other side the ravine and was occasioned by the shot being fired into one of their tents.
Some of the sentries told me that bullets had come very near them. I searched the tent from which the firing proceeded. There was no one in it.
Henry Foster[3]

Post 1854 Experiences

THE EUREKA VICTIMS – On Thursday morning, about 7 o’clock, the bodies of Captain Ross, James Brown, Thonen, the lemonade seller, and Tom the blacksmith, who fell at the Eureka Stockade, and had been buried apart from the others, were removed fro the grave from the others, were removed from the grave and placed in they containing the bodies of the others who lost their lives on the memorable 3rd of December. The removal took place in the presence of Mr Superintendent Foster, Mr Salmon, trustees of the cemetery, and Mr Lessman. The coffins were in excellent preservation. We understand that no procession will take place on Thursday next, the anniversary of the Eureka affair, but the grave of the fallen will be decorated with chaplets and flowers.[4]


The will of the late Wm. Hy. Foster, late of Ballarat, police magistrate, has been filed for probate. The real estate is valued at £20 and the personal at £ll2l. The estate is to be sold, one-third divided amongst deceased’s daughters, one-third amongst his sons, and one-third to be in vested and income paid to his wife during her life, and at her death to be divided equally amongst all the children.[5]

In The News

The principal Government officer at Ballarat was Fenwick, the resident commissioner. He was not a success. Neither was J. M. Clow, sometimes spoken of as Ole Clo' who shortly relieved him, and he in turn was retraced by Colonel (Cockey) Rede, afterwards sheriff of Melbourne, who still survives, looking hale and well. Rede continued to hold office up to the time of the Eureka riots in December, 1854.
The assistant gold commissioners, the equivalents of the wardens of the present day, were Bury, Sherard, Amos (lost in the London), Brackenbury (one of the most amusing and clever of scapegraces), Le Couterer, Johnston (for many years after judge sioners). Webster, who still kicks the beam at something about. 24st., is spending the evening of his days at Greensborough, in the pleasant pursuit of fowl farming.
John D'Ewes succeeded Eyre as police magistrate, and held office until the riots, when he fell into grievous disrepute in connection with the affair of Bentiey's Hotel.
The police department was represented at various times by Superintendent Henry (Tony) Foster and Gordon Evans. Foster had put in some years as a medical student, and his kindness to the sick and injured may-be said to have been the founder, few subsequently removed to Carlsruhe. Captain (afterwards Sir Charles MacMahon was Chief Commissioner at the time. Evans reported on of his junior officers for same breach of duty. This officer, retaliated by charging him with some offence of an earlier date, which, on being proved, led to Evans's retirement. The matters charged against the junior officer were not of much importance, or were not proved, but seeing that this officer had known of the misconduct of his senior long before he reported it, Captain MacMahon insisted on his removal also from the service. This was a severe but most proper exercise of discipline.
The junior officers of police were De Courcey Hamilton, afterwards chief con stable of Devonshire; Arnold, killed in 1859, in a coach accident near Kilmore; Carter, the first, during the Eureka fight, to reach the drill tent of the insurgents; Ximenes, who had served with distinction under Sir De Lacy Evans, Taylor, Greene, Chomley (now Chief Commissioner of Police), and myself. Colonel Russell and Lieutenant Baylis, the officers in charge of a company of army pensioners, represented the military. There were, besides, a gold receiver, a commissariat officer, an archi tect, a surgeon, a surveyor, not to mention a number of clerks, police cadets, sergeants, and constables.
It has been the general impression that the camp officials as a body were responsible for the dissatisfaction that culminated in the Eureka outbreak. Nothing could be more erroneous, for, excepting one or two individuals, I can bear testimony to the high sense of duty that prevailed amongst all the higher officers. More than this, it was within my own knowledge that these officers repeatedly represented to Government the expediency of relaxing the regulations that pressed so hard on the mining and business community. ... [6]

See also

Ballaarat Old Cemetery

William Hardie


John Sadlier

Further Reading

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


  1. Blake, Gregory, To Pierce the Tyrant's Heart, Australian Military History Publications, 2009, p.222.
  2. PROV, VPRS24/p, Box 24, Unit 23.
  3. PROV, VPRS24/p, Box 24, Unit 23.
  4. The Star, 2 December 1857.
  5. Ballarat Star, 01 May 1894.
  6. The Australasian, 19 February 1898.

External links