Timothy Doyle

From eurekapedia
Revision as of 20:37, 30 December 2017 by Cgervaso (talk | contribs) (Background)
Jump to: navigation, search
Samuel Thomas Gill, Provident diggers in Melbourne, c1854, watercolour and gum arabic on paper.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, gift of Mr. Tony Hamilton and Miss. S.E. Hamilton, 1967.
Walter E. Pidgeon, Illustration from The Eureka Stockade by Raffaello Carboni, Sunnybrook Press, 1942, offset print.
Art Gallery of Ballarat, purchased 1994.


Dr Timothy Doyle was born at Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1825. Dr Doyle received his Bachelor of Medicine in July 1852, and came to Australia on the Lorena as it's surgeon, arriving at Melbourne on 03 February 1853 Four months after landing he marrried Rosetta Scott, a fellow passenger on the Lorena, at Eureka, Ballarat. He was registered as a doctor in Victoria in 1854. He practised medicine at Golden Point.[1] He is said to have named the Eureka Lead. [2]

At the age of 1933 Dr Timothy Doyle died of pneumonia on 12 January 1858.[3]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Timothy Doyle was one of the doctors who amputated Peter Lalor's Arm in Fr Patrick Smyth's tent.[4]

Pre-Eureka Incident - 28 November 1854
“The onslaught upon the troops appears to have been unprovoked and savage, and it excited general disgust in the minds of the colonists everywhere out of Ballarat.” Walter Bramwell Withers in his History of Ballarat was referring to an incident on the 28 November, 1854. The publican of the London Hotel, Benden Sherritt Hassell was shot in the leg. During the same fracas the drummer boy of the 12th Regiment, John Egan, was shot in the thigh and George Young, who owned the waggons, was also injured. Raffaello Carboni described it as a “cowardly attack” by the miners. They had thrown stones and bottles at the troops on their way into Ballarat between nine and ten o’clock on this dark November evening and allegedly had fired shots into the crowd.
Assistant surgeon of the 12th Regiment, George Arden reported, that “as soon as we got into the diggings a mob of diggers collected and assailed us with cries of Joe! Joe!” “We were pelted with large stones and bottles. … One of the carts was capsized, the driver and two men were severely injured, the men were turned out and ordered to load. We found two men missing and a party went back to find them. They were laying [sic] off the road badly wounded. When the soldiers turned out and loaded the crowd dispersed. … We were shortly after joined by the 40th men from the Camp. During the disturbance several shots were fired by the diggers, but the military never returned the fire. … Our Drummer boy was shot in the leg.”
Lance Corporal George Sharpe, also of the 12th Regiment corroborating the evidence of the assistant surgeon said, “ I was with the third cart from the rear when the mob attacked us, with stones, sticks and bottles. I heard some shots fired by the diggers; some shots were fired at us. I am quite certain that none of the soldiers fired a shot. I never heard any Officer ask the road to the camp. The drivers appeared to know the way.”
One of the main arguments for compensation for Mr Benden Hassell was that the drivers asked him the way to the camp. This subsequently was the reason that he was shot in the leg, because he was in the middle of the road, and in the firing line. It was argued therefore that it was the government who should be responsible for compensating him for his injuries. However the witnesses deposed that the shots were fired by the insurgents and that the military had loaded, but not fired a shot.
The reasons for the Military proceeding through a hostile area late on a dark night were dubious. They had left Melbourne at 5 o’clock on the previous evening, and arrived at the Ballarat Diggings “around 9 or 10 o’clock” the next night. This was usually a three day march, so the troops arriving at the Eureka Lead were “jaded” and “marching very slowly.”
The Melbourne Argus reported that “a portion of the military force despatched from town on Monday had arrived, [at Ballarat] and that in passing through the diggings the soldiers were pelted with broken glass and other missiles by some diggers. The military received this manifestation of feeling in the best possible temper, and did not attempt to irritate the mob by indulging in gestures or movements which might be interpreted to mean other than a friendly inclination to them.” … “a poor drummer was shot through the leg – are these deeds which will enlist the sympathy of an intelligent people? Is the maiming of a drummer boy a worthy triumph for a large mass of a British population who wish to occupy a creditable position in the eyes of the world? Surely not!”
Nothing was written about the injury to Benden Sherritt Hassell, although he also was shot during the same incident as the drummer boy and George Young, the carter. Hassell and his partner, Robert Monckton, were co-owners of the London Hotel. Later some of the wounded sheltered at the London Hotel after the Eureka massacre.
Benden Hassell applied to the government for compensation in 1855, stating that “at night on the 28th of November, 1854, a detachment of soldiers with military stores arrived on Ballaarat, and as they were passing over that part of the diggings known as the Eureka – along the road leading by the London Hotel, the Officer in command enquired … the way to the Government Camp, on Ballaarat, and he [Mr. Hassell] went out into the road and gave the Officer the information desired … As he [Mr. Hassall] was returning into the Hotel after pointing out the way to the Officer he was shot in the leg.”
Timothy Doyle, surgeon on the Eureka Lead gave evidence that Mr. Benden Hassell was under his care “for a period of four months, labouring under the effect of a gunshot wound of the left leg, …, which severely incapacitated him from following his usual business; from the severe nature of this wound” he had not recovered. … “That the bullet” had “not yet been extracted from the limb; and from present appearances it is very probable that Mr. Hassall will have to undergo a severe surgical operation before there is any chance of his recovering [if at all], the active use of the wounded limb, or be freed from frequent attacks of excruciating pain.”
Mr. Hassell was “well known as a peaceable and loyal British subject, and in no way countenanced or aided in any manner the unfortunate disturbances which took place on the Eureka, either at the time he received the wound or on any subsequent occasion.”
Four hundred and eighty-six men signed the petition urging the government to consider compensation for such a worthy case. The Board, however, in determining the judgement, made a suggestion that a “small donation from each of the individuals” who had signed the petition would “demonstrate their sympathy with the petitioner [Hassall] in a much more intelligible form, and more advantageous to his interests”.[5]

Post 1854 Experiences

Dr Doyle continued to practise on Golden Point and was elected to the staff of the Ballarat Hospital when it opened in 1856.[6]

Doyle was a member of the Freemasonic fraternity. A Catholic by religion, Doyle had a Masonic funeral.

In the News

While the victors of Eureka were removing the dead, the wounded, and the captured from the stockade, Peter Lalor, the diggers' leader lay under the pile of slabs in which he had been hidden, bleeding from the wound in his arm. A musket-ball had shattered the bone close to the shoulder, and the few who knew where he was lying saw the blood trickling from beneath the pile of slabs even while the soldiers, keen to capture him, were still in the stockade. When the last of them had gone Lalor was helped from his hiding-place, put upon a white horse, and rode away through the bush towards Warrenheip. There he claimed shelter at the hut of a man he knew. The digger was absent, and his wife went to look for him. Lalor, however, doubted her genuineness, and believing that she had gone to communicate with the police, he took to the bush again for shelter. All that night he wandered about, with his crushed arm still swinging useless and unattended. He was greatly weakened from loss of blood, and only his indomitable pluck kept him up. Towards morning he determined to seek assistance from Stephen Cummins, an old friend whom he could trust, and who lived with his wife on Pennyweight Hill.
It was on the early morning of the Monday following the fight that Mrs. Cummins drew her husband's attention to a man walking slowly between the holes on the flat, and said, "That is Peter Lalor; I feel sure of it." "As I ran down to help him,"
Steve Cummins told a friend, "his face was grey and worried. He looked like a frail old man rather than a powerful young one, so greatly had pain and loss of blood during the 24 hours weakened him. I helped him into the hut, where as well as we could my wife and I bandaged the wounded arm. I knew that my hut was no place for him. A reward of £200 had been offered for his arrest, and there were many mean spirits keen to earn it. Our friendship was well known, and I felt sure that sooner or later my place would be searched by the Police. I ran at once across the gully to the Roman Catholic Presbytery and told Father Smyth that Lalor was in my tent badly wounded and in need of surgical assistance. I told him my fears as to the police visiting us, and Father Smyth said, 'He will be safer here, I think. Bring him over after dark.' so that night we took him across to the presbytery, meeting, fortunately, not a soul upon the road."
Steve Cummins's intuition had served him well, for next night the police searched his hut, just at the time when he was watching Drs. Doyle and Stewart amputating Peter Lalor's arm, for the severity of the wound and the delay in treating it precluded any possibility of the arm being saved. Through the ordeal of amputation, as in every other emergency of life, he showed that fine courage which nothing could shake. He was a stalwart who knew no fatigue, as it was ordinarily understood, and long before he became a prominent man in Ballarat it was frequently his custom to walk to Geelong to see his sweetheart, and then walk back to his work again.
A man employed about the Presbytery took the severed arm away as soon as the operation was over, and threw it down an abandoned shaft, but by Father Smyth's orders it was recoved later and properly buried. The first operation was not complete. A portion of the bullet remained lodged in the stump of the arm, and it was only after a second operation at Geelong that the wound healed properly. When the wounded leader had sufficiently recovered to move about he and Hayes, one of the fire-eating orators of the Diggers' Reform League meetings, were taken to a store near Brown's Hill, where they were safely sheltered until a chance of getting clear away from Ballarat should present itself.
Anastasia Hayes, A Eureka Heroin. Australian Town and Country Journal, 18 June 1892
Lalor's escape was greatly aided by a carrier named Michael Carroll, who died at Geelong within the last few months, and whose son is still living in Ballarat. They used to bring up loads of goods and hawk them on the diggings. "One day," says the younger Mr. Carroll, who was then but a boy, "we stopped at the hut of an old friend of my father's, Michael Hayes (not the orator, Timothy), and yarned about old times. There was a piece of green baize hanging at one end of the hut, but I did not guess then that there was anyone behind it. As soon as we left the house it seems Lalor, knowing that my father had come from Geelong, asked if we could be trusted. Mrs. Hayes told him that we could, and we were called back to the hut. On going in we saw that the baize partition had been drawn back, and Lalor was sitting on a stretcher. 'Do you know who I am?' he asked. 'Yes,' my father said, 'you are Peter Lalor.' He asked us to take a letter down to Geelong to Miss Dunn, the school-mistress, the lady whom he afterwards married, and it was arranged that we should take Lalor himself down on the succeeding trip. I remember the great secrecy that was observed, for there were troopers up and down the roads every day, and all over the country, most of them alert for any trace of the Eureka leaders. Nearly every dray on the roads had a small tent fixed upon it, so we cut some whipsticks, and formed a tilt on one of our drays over which we hung a tarpaulin. One Sunday morning I took the tilted cart down to Hayes's tent, and with several men on the watch, in case of surprise, we took Lalor down by Eureka, and across towards Warrenheip, stopping for for a while at Steve Cummins's tent. We went away out by the Green Hills, having determined to take the back track all the way to Geelong, to travel by night only and camp in the bush during the day.
"Lalor walked most of the way, keeping a bit out from the track in the bush, so that in the event of meeting any mounted troopers suddenly he should not be taken by surprise. It has been said that we met police on the road, who asked us about Lalor, and could have seen him sitting in the dray had they been curious enough to lift the flap of the tarpaulin. That is not so, for the only adventure we had was on the second morning of the journey.
"Lalor was not yet quite recovered from his wound, and had been supplied with some wine for use on the road. As the weather was very hot the wine was finished by the time we reached Lethbridge — then known as the Muddy Water Holes. In the early morning, therefore, my father went across to the Separation Hotel and roused up the landlord to get some more wine. As he was returning to the drays he met two men who had been camped under a tree rolling up their swags, and one of them, named Burns, whom we knew, asked for a 'lift' into Geelong. My father put him off with the excuse that he intended to load up with some wood a little further on, but as they passed the dray in which Lalor sat, Burn's mate caught a glimpse of him. 'Did you notice who was under that tarpaulin?' he asked, 'It was Lalor, the Eureka man. Now, there's a big reward offered for him, so I intend to follow the drays quietly to Geelong, put the police on to him, and get the reward.'
"Burns was a genuine fellow, with no taste for such dirty work, so he determined to baulk his mate, and to do it the more effectually he pretended acquiescence. 'It's a good thing,' he agreed; 'don't say a word about it. We'll go and have a drink on the strength of it.' They got a bottle of whisky, and Burns gave his mate such good measure that he was soon hopelessly drunk. Leaving him at the hotel Burns ran across to where we were camped, and said to my father. 'For God's sake get Lalor away as quickly as you can. My mate has recognised him, and he's going to lay the police on to you. I'll keep him drunk until you get away.' We were rather anxious after that, especially when going down the main road, but we landed Lalor at Miss Dunn's place at about one in the morning, and he was afterwards taken to the Queen's Head Hotel in South Geelong.
"Lalor chatted frequently with my father about the Eureka fight on the way down. It was not easy, indeed, to avoid the subject, for nearly every second tree trunk had the proclamation offering a reward for his capture. I heard him say that on the morning of the riot they would have beaten back the soldiers if the diggers had been able to get into anything like proper formation. He tried to get them into order — those with rifles in the front rank for the long range fighting, the revolver corps next for closer work, and the pike men in reserve for a hand to hand struggle. The men, however, rushed pell-mell from the tents when alarm was given, and were all mixed up together."
Peter Lalor remained in hiding at Geelong until it was seen that no jury would convict the Eureka rioters, and he then communicated with the Attorney-General, who told him that he was free to go as he pleased. He returned immediately to Ballarat, where he was enthusiastically welcomed, and the diggers, headed by Steve Cummins, collected £1,000 to start him in business.
It is said, indeed, that Lalor went back to Ballarat while the reward for his apprehension, dead or alive, was still in force, and many thought him greatly daring in doing so. He even attended a public land sale to bid for some allotments, and when the land officer asked "What name, sir?" believing a fictitious one would be given, the rebel of Eureka, in a voice that was of itself a challenge said "Peter Lalor." He looked up his former mate, John Phelan, and the two bought a farm at Coghill's Creek, where he remained until the miners of Ballarat elected him a member of the Legislature. Then began the political career which had its climax in his being six times chosen as Speaker of the Assembly of Victoria.
The flight and hiding of Frederick Vern for whom the Government, believing him to be the real commander-in-chief at Eureka, offered a reward of £500 — was characteristic of the man. He was given shelter by some miners far out in the ranges. On going to work in the morning they used to leave him in the tent, lacing it up outside so as to give the impression that it was unoccupied. Vern hardly knew whether to be pleased or scared by the fact that £500 was offered for his arrest, and only £200 a-piece for the other leaders of the outbreak. It flattered his vanity that he should be singled out for special notice, but alarmed him lest it should lead to his apprehension. Vern, as described in the proclamation, must have een a somewhat peculiar person - 5ft. 10in, long light hair, falling heavily on the side of his head; little whisker, a large flat face, eyes light grey or green, and very wide asunder; speaks with a strong foreign accent."
While Vern was in hiding in the diggers' hut they persuaded him to write a farewell to Victoria, as though addressed from Port Phillip Heads, and with the idea of suggesting to the authorities that he had escaped from Victoria. The plan was pleasing to his self-conceit, and its execution a supreme specimen of what Raffaello called "sky blathering." "Farewell, my comrades," he said; "would to heaven I had died with you." "No fear," retorted the Italian, with a juster appreciation of his comrade's weaknesses than his own; "the length of your legs saved you."
An incident that well nigh cost Vern his life, from fright, closed his occupancy of the digger's tent. On day four troopers were seen riding up to the place. Vern, in a terrible funk, was hustled under the bunk, and the "possum" rug was pulled down so as to conceal him from view. The troopers stayed chatting for some time, and then left. When they had disappeared Vern was helped out. His face was ashy pale, he trembled violently in every limb, and it was some time before he could speak. Vern afterwards got three months in gaol for inciting miners to riot on the Black Lead, at Egerton, and was finally blotted out of publicity by a footnote to one of his own letters in the "Ballarat Star." Mr. J.B. Humffray and Mr. Thos. Loader were contesting Ballarat East, and Vern sought to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. When his game was exposed he accused Mr. Loader's "myrmidons" of forgery. His letters were compared, their genuineness made manifest, and the editor closed some cutting observations on the incident with "Mr. Vern's courage has become proverbial, his truthfulness is now deserving of an equally honourable distinction."
Another of the leaders who escaped was James McGill, a young American. After the diggers had been scattered on the summit of Eureka he started through the bush for Creswick, and, according to his own statement, went with the idea of seizing two field guns which were believed to be on Captain Hepburn's estate at Smeaton. He soon learned that not only had the last shot been fired in the diggers' insurrection, but that all his ingenuity would be needed to save himself from capture. Disguised in woman's clothes lent him at The Springs, he travelled by coach to Melbourne on the Tuesday after the fight, meeting on the road the military reinforcements under Sir Robert Nickle marching to Ballarat. George Francis Train, the weird American, who, though now an old man, still keeps himself under public notice by the wide distribution of his addresses and ideas, was then the Melbourne agent for the famous White Star line, and he sent M'Gill on board the Arabian disguised in the dress of an officer, and kept him there for some time. Train interviewed Sir Charles Hotham in M'Gill's interest, and took the young American out to Toorak to see the Governor, who, surprised at his youth, told him to go about his business and behave himself better in future. The only condition was that he should leave the colony at once, and Train, who had a weakness for dramatic effects, got him smuggled as an invalid to the sanitary station at the Heads, where he pondered by the sad sea waves and netted crayfish till the aquittal of the Eureka prisoners left him at liberty to make a fresh start.
Geelong appears to have been the haven of refuge for which nearly all the fugitives from Eureka made. Esmond was there for some time, as well as Lalor, and it is asserted that the police could have laid hands on both without much difficulty, but they had good friends in the town, and were not molested. Two others of the Reform League leaders for whom a reward was offered — Black and Kennedy — started for Geelong, keeping away from all the recognised tracks. Kennedy, as we have shown in a former sketch, was a Gascon— by impulse. Self-assertive even as a fugitive, he declared that he could find his way to Geelong via the Mount Misery Ranges. Before starting they disguised themselves, each cutting the other's beard off. On the evening of the first day's tramp the self-confidence of Kennedy had reduced itself merely to the conviction that they were lost in the bush. After tramping for some time they blundered upon an out-camp of Ballarat rowdies, where Kennedy wished to be mysterious, but Black told the diggers frankly that they had had a row with the authorities, and were flying for their lives. Soon afterwards they separated, Kennedy going bullock-driving, while Black managed to reach Melbourne, where he was for some time concealed by his friends.
It is interesting to compare the actual state of things — these solitary escapees trudging nervously through the gloom of the great gum forests, intent only on their own safety, and the state of affairs which distance rumour, or imagination had created in Melbourne. For some time it was rumoured that Vern and his associates were building another stockade in the Warrenheip Ranges. It was even declared that hordes of dangerous and bloodthirsty diggers were marching upon Melbourne, intent only on sack and pillage. Meetings were held in the city, and special police sworn in for its defence. There could be no greater contrast than between the rumoured and the real.
It is a singular thing that many of the men who took a leading part in the Eureka riot made a bad end. One was subsequently convicted of felony; one was killed by a fall of ground in a mine; a third fell from his horse near Kingston, and broke his neck; a fourth died in the Melbourne Hospital; a fifth in the Inglewood Hospital; a sixth in the lunatic asylum at Kew; while another committed suicide.[7]

See also

Peter Lalor

James Stewart

Further Reading

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


  1. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  2. Wickham, Dorothy, A rich vein of golden history IN Ballarat Courier, 06 November 2004.
  3. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  4. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  5. http://www.ballaratheritage.com.au/pre-eureka-incident.html, accessed 21 September 2016.
  6. Gervasoni, Clare and Ford, Tina, Eureka Stockade centre Hall of Debate Kit, 1998.
  7. The Argus, 1 July 1899.

External links

File:File name.jpg
Caption, Reference.