John Balderston

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Balderston was born on 16 June 1831 at Kirkaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland,[1] and was descended from four generations of bakers. In 1851, arriving in Australia he proceeded to the Ballarat Diggings. He built the bakery on Bakery Hill.[2] He built a bakery near St Paul's in the location now known as Bakery Hill.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

After the burning of James Bentley’s Eureka Hotel John Balderston was arrested on 27 October 1854, but later the charge was dismissed. Seven others were arrested as well and their charges were dismissed. They were Manestra Flatow, Butler, Hurd, McIntosh, Stewart and John van Der Byl.[4]

Names of persons arrested in connection of having been connected in the riot at Eureka (being the burning of Bentley's Hotel).
Date of Arrest Name How disposed of
Oct 21, Andrew McIntyre , Committed for trial Geelong 26 Nov.
Oct 21, Thomas Fletcher, Committed for trial Geelong, 26 Nov.
Oct 26, Henry Westerby, Committed for trial Melbourne, 15th Nov.
Oct 26, Manestra Flatow, discharged
Oct 26, Samuel Butler, discharged
Oct 26, Albert Hurd, Committed for trial Melbourne 15th Nov. On bail
Oct 27, John Balderston, discharged
Oct 27, George McIntosh, discharged
Oct 27, Charles Stewart, discharged
Oct 27, John van Der Byl, discharged[5]
Reinforcements - Troops Arriving from Melbourne, Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection.

Balderston signed a petition supporting the Benden Sherritt Hassell Compensation Case which was delivered by J.B. Humffray on 21 February 1856. Hassell was shot in the thigh during the arrival of the 12th Regiment at Ballarat on 28 November 1854.[6] Hassell was unable to follow his usual business for over 4 months, and medical advice stated he would never recover perfect use and strength in the limb. Balderston was a baker at Ballarat in February 1856. He remained in Ballarat until 1895, when he moved to Gippsland.[7]

Post 1854 Experiences

John Balderston was living at Glen Alvie near Loch at the time of his death.[8]


St Paul's Ballarat, University of Ballarat Historical Collection.
A very old colonist Mr. John Balderston, died on Tuesday. Born at Kirkaldy, Fifeshire, in 1831, he engaged in 1851 as a station hand with Philip Russell, of Carngham, but hearing at the Cape of the discovery of gold at Port Phillip, he and his companions started for the goldfields on their arrival in Hobson's Bay.
He built the first bakery in Ballarat, near the present St. Paul's Church, since known as Bakery Hill. Some years ago he purchased a property at Glenalvie, near Loch, where he died at the age of 77 years.[9]

See also

Bakery Hill

Benden Sherritt Hassell Compensation Case

Further Reading

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


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Research by B.Gow.
  3. The Argus, 28 December 1908.
  4. Research by B.Gow.
  5. PROV, VPRS 1189, Unit 153, File J54 12-469.
  6. Dorothy Wickham, Shot in the Dark:Compensation Case Benden Sherritt Hassell, 1996
  7. Research by B.Gow.
  8. The Argus, 28 December 1908.
  9. The Argus, 28 December 1908.

External links

Citation Details

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