Eureka Hotel

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Site of Bentley's Hotel, Eureka, University of Ballarat Historical Collection

On 18 November 1854, James Bentley, Thomas Farrell and William Hance were convicted of the manslaughter of James Scobie, a Scottish miner who had been found dead near James Bentley’s Eureka Hotel on 7 October 1854. Bentley, and his employees Farrell and Hance, had been tried and acquitted previously for this murder, but due to the outcry on the Ballarat Diggings, the insinuation of police corruption, and the subsequent riot and burning of the Eureka Hotel on 17 October 1854, there had been cause for a new trial. [1]

The men accused of destroying the Eureka Hotel, Henry Westerby, Thomas Fletcher and Andrew McIntyre, were convicted and sentenced to gaol on 20 November 1854. J.B. Humffray, Black and Kennedy, representing the Ballarat Reform League demanded the release of these prisoners on 27 November. It was a fatal mistake, as the use of the word “demand” strengthened Governor Hotham’s resolve for control.[2]


In the News

BALLAARAT RIOTS – Bentley’s Hotel - Mr Humffray moved, pursuant to notice, That a select Committee be appointed to enquire into the claims for compensation arising out of the losses alleged to have been sustained at the time of or in connection with the destruction of Bentley’s Hotel, on Ballaarat, with power to take evidence and examine all books, petitions, reports, or other documents relating thereto, now in the hands of the Government, and that the following gentlemen be appointed to act on the Committee – Mr Haines, Mr Greeves, Mr Stawell, Mr Pyke, Mr Michie, Mr Horne, Mr Grant, Mr Brooke, Mr Sargood, and the Mover. [3]

Also See

James Bentley

Catherine Bentley

James Scobie

References

  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  3. Victorian Votes & Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 2 December 1856