Journal 1

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Date: 1 May 1856
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Journal 1

Journals Index
J.H. Watmuff Profile
1 1856-05-01 (Bendigo, Dunolly, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Loddon , (Mt. Hope Fiasco), Ararat, Chinamans Flat, Moonlight Flat, Mt William (trek with Aboriginal guide), Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Melbourne).
2 Bendigo Melbourne 1862 Otago N.Z. (1859-07-17)
3 Otago (1862-09-11)
4 Otago (1863-07-26) to Melbourne 1865
5 Melbourne 1865-11-12
6 Melbourne 1866-03-04
7 Melbourne 1869-03-28
8 Melbourne 1870-06-12 to April 1876
9 Melbourne 1876-06 to 1880-09-07
10 Dribs & Drabs 1881-02-16 to 1882-06
11 Sydney & Misc. 1884
12 Lusitania Voyage 1887-05-27
13 Lusitania Voyage 1887-05-30
14 Lusitania Voyage 1887-06-26
15 Lusitania Voyage 1887-07-01
16 and 17 England, letters and Journal 1887-07-14
18 Garonne return Voyage 1887-09-27
19 Resignations 1888-08-28 to 1892 Nov.
20 (Journal 19) Mildura 1893-05-06
21 Genealogies from 1738 to 1889
22 New Zealand Essays]
23 (Spare)]
24 (Spare)]
25 (Spare)]
J.H. & Bessie Watmuff's Photos
Olive Watmuff's Photos)

Journal One


Pinchgut Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-01



Long Gully


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-01

John H W
J H Watmuff
H Hawkins
C Vickerman
H Vickerman


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-01

Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll}
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul}

Journal Kept by

Jno Hy Watmuff
from the

1st May 1856 to the 11th.July 1859



Sandy Creek



Chinamans Flat

Moonlight Flat

Mt William

Pleasent Creek



Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-01

Recipe for C C
1 drachm of Tannin
mixed with 6 oz Red Wine
Injest 3 times a day



Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-01

Long Gully, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia 1856
1st May. Formed the idea of keeping a journal to day so lose no time in commencing. I am at present living in Long Gully, Bendigo, with Uncle Chas. Vickerman (my mothers brother, tho in every respect a very different person) I have been with him some two years more or less, working with him, we quarrel very often & leave each other but generally manage to come together again, his great weakness is a fondness for drink, his love for it has distroyed the best part of his nature, there are times when he rises above the surface of his degraded state, then I like him, at other times he is frightfully degraded & low both in his manner & ideas — we are working in a small gully branching off L.G. which we call IKs Gully tho better known as "Pinch Gut gully" the day has been a beautiful one, we went to work very early this morning, are obliged to do so for the ground we are working in, yields but little gold. We made between us to day, 9 dwts of gold, better than usual.
2nd Been a fine day, only got 3 dwts to day we intended to go to the races at Epsom to day, but we were sinking a hole & did not like to leave it till we had bottomed. There has only been one lot of races on Bendigo until these —


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-03

May – 1856
3rd May. Been a warm day. Made 8 dwts to day and knocked off at 3. pm. being Saturday — on weighing up our weeks work, we find we have made 1 oz. 17 dwts about ₤3.10.0 each for the weeks work I took a walk into the township (Sandhurst) distant about 3 miles – received a letter from Mother contg family matters which I shant allude to, things look busy in town as they usually do on Saturday afternoons, gold is ₤3.17.0 per oz got home by dark found Uncle had been busy washing up our dirty clothes. I feel tired having carried from the town a good many stores for the coming week. I'm the caterer but we take day about to cook & keep the tent in order —

4th. May. Sunday. A day of rest, rose about 7 am borrowed a wheelbarrow & went out the ranges & brought home several loads of firewood to last us during the coming week. After dinner I went to the Library, called so because a storekeeper has about 100 novels & lends them out 6d a book Called on an acquaintance, “Ross” & had a time on my old flutina an instrument I sold him – I dont think he'll ever play, on leaving him I went to find Gordon, who borrowed Goldsmiths History of England from me some 4 months ago he has shifted his tent & I could not ascertain where he has gone to. I heard he lived in California Gully. I went there, but could hear no tidings of him. I came home by the


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-05 Monday

crossing place, got home in time for tea and spent the evening reading
5th.May. very hot to day, but towards evening had a thunder storm & I think its set in for a wet night. We made 10 dwts to day not so bad if we could do so well every day. My old chum Tom Rudd came up from town to day having seen Mrs Lee his sister on board a ship for Tasmania — I ought to write something about Tom, he is about 2 years older than myself, born in Van Diemans Land & like all natives is vastly conceited but very good natured he is a regular devil, never happy but when hes in a row & I dont think he is very particular what he does to gain his own ends tho much younger Ive great influence over him — we have had many a lark together & got into many a scrape & out again, sometimes not very creditable to ourselves —
6. May Been a nice day after the rain, we made 8¼ dwts to day. I went to Charly Watkinsons this evening, he is a chap Ive known many years he is an “experience” having been sent out as he says for the benefit of his country. I was with him about 2 hours & for the first time since I knew him was communicative he told me his life — god forbid mine should resemble his, on my road home I called on T.Rudd but his tent was closed & he was out

[1856-05-07 Wednesday] 7th. As an old mate of mine used to say, we have had a peruvian dew falling all day (I should think a scotch mist) didnt go to work until 11.am, we might as well stopped at


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-08 Thursday

home for we only made about 1 dwt of gold & worked very hard, there is a great sameness in our life on the diggins, just done supper & tea and now for bed
8th. May. Been another wet miserable day, done about half a days work, sank 2 holes, they are ready to have their bottoms took off them in the morning. We washed 1 tub of dirt about 4 Buckets it yielded nearly 1 dwt. rather poor but we hope it will get better. In the evening I went to Toms had some singing, & we knocked the top of the table off and placed it on the ground to dance a hornpiper upon, there was one or two chaps we knew there, good dancers (hornpipe) kept it up till about 11. Pm when I came home, read a few chapters in Frank Hilton a stunning story & so passed the day & now for the blankets [1856-05-09-Friday] 9th. Been a lovely day, washed the whole of the bottom of one of our holes, nothing in it, about a ½ dwt. We got 6 dwts out of the other, went to Ironbark Gully this evening to the “snobs” to get a pair of Wellingtons soled or ½ soled / 10s/d-/ Im to be charged, to be done on Sunday Im going now to write to mother for I intend going into Sandhurst tomorrow, when I can post it — [1856-05-10-Saturday] 10th May. Cloudy to day. Made 4 dwt, thus making 1 oz 10 dwt in spite of the lost time through bad weather I left work about 4 Pm & went into Sandhurst to get a few necessaries for the tent. I posted a letter to mother in which I enclosed a Pound Stg. I sold some gold rather low this week only ₤3.15.6 per oz I met Tom Rudd hardup lent him a pound which Im sure Ill never see again. I went to his tent in the evening


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-11 Sunday

took my concertina. C.Watkinson came in he is a good singer we passed a pleasent evening, came home & finished my book [1856-05-11-Sunday] 11th May. Fine day, got up about 7, after breakfast went away for wood, went to California Gully town ship & bought half a sheep & a lot of provisions brought my purchases home in a barrow. Uncle cooking & washing Etc. In the afternoon went to the Library got a book, met Tom Rudd passed the afternoon with him & some other chaps larking about. Some of them got drunk and I left them asleep under a bush. I dont envy them their couch [1856-05-12 Monday] 12th. May Lovely day. Only got 3½ dwt to day & I think if there is such a thing as luck we havent much of it, but never mind as the song says Theres a good time coming so we'll hope on – I went to Pauls for my boots, but like all snobs he is not to his word he's been drunk for several days, my boots are where I left them. Called at Jacks tent stayed about half an hour with him came home, I see we have some neighbours pitched their tent close to ours, the nearest neighbours we've had this 2 years

[1856-05-13-Tuesday] 13 Nice day, got 5 dwt to day. Washed 72 Buckets of dirt for that, got my books this evening I went to Toms, Bill Brown a prize fighter was there, he is mates with Tom, Ive known him a long time he is a rank scoundrel but has many times been kind to me, got me, out of more than one scrape, he has been working in One Eye Gully, called after him


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-14 Wednesday

he lost an eye fighting, he has been very lucky but he's now hardup he spent about ₤100 about 3 weeks ago in 2 days spreeing about
14 May. Beautiful day. We washed 65 buckets to day for 5 dwt of gold. Im afraid we wont make wages this week. I think Ill get a job of old Pigott, he offered me ₤4 aweek to work for him to day. I like being my own master best. Passed the evening at Toms, Brown was there, theyve got a set of gloves, we had a set to with them Bill too much for me I knock Tom about as I like tho he has had a deal of practice. I never did practice much with them, but what I lack in science I make up in activity Bill is very down in the mouth, they cant make a living where they are at work.
[1856-05-15-Thursday] 15th. Nice day, washed 68 Buckets of dirt & got 8 dwts out of it. The ground is very poor but there is a deal of wash dirt & one man can keep another constantly washing, so its quantity and not quality I went to the library for a book this evening for Uncle
[1856-05-16-Friday] 16 May. Lovely day, only 4½ dwts to day very poor but there are many not doing so well so thats consoling, spent the evening at Black Jacks. Tom and Young Merritt was there, had a row about a


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-17 Sunday

trifle. Black Jack struck me. I returned the compliment. I got a black eye, but I couldnt give him one in return, we were sperated & had a good laugh over the trifling circumstance [1856-05-17-Sunday] 17 May. only made 1 oz 10 dwt this week about £2.15. each, getting worse & worse every week, but I wont work for a master while I can make even that aweek, for a digger always has a chance of getting a good lift at once, dont know the day we may drop onto a nugget as big as my head. I knocked off work & went into Bendigo for some things we needed called at the P.O received couple of Newspapers came home & had tea then went into Bendigo again visited the Theatre saw G.V.Brooke in Richard 3rd, I have been but very seldom to a Theatre & have seen very little acting but his impersonation of the tyrant surpassed anything I could conceive of the sort my attention became so rapt I could not or would not allow my mind to wander on any other subject I saw him once before in Melbourne about four months ago in the play of Brutus —
[1856-05-18] 18th. May Sunday fine day, got in my stock of wood for the coming week. Went to the township for provisions after dinner went to Toms from there we went to his sisters (Mrs Bostocks) she is very pretty


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-19 Monday

and exactly my age Ive known her a long time, she is married to a man about 40 years of age & one of the ugliest specimens of humanity I ever looked upon, she was 15 years of age when she was married & has two children now. I spent the afternoon there, had tea, returned to Toms tent. I wrote a letter to his father for him he not being able to write Im always ready to oblige my friends & I get lots of such like jobs
[1856-05-19-Monday] 19th. May. Beautiful weather. I wonder whatever mother would say if they had such weather in Adelaide. She is always railing against Australia & talking about English weather Etc. It must be a fine country if it surpasses this for its climate. We washed 60 buckets of dirt, & got 6½ dwts “none so dusty” as Tom says — If we dont do worse I dont care In the evening I went to Toms for some tools he has. Uncle is putting in a tub bottom our old tubs for puddling are worn out in the sides by using the devil against them (a devil is a kind of a shovel with two blades & a set of spikes used for puddling clay in tubs so as to seperate the gold from the dirt, when I got home I found Uncle yarning with one of our neighbours, who turns out to be a Yorkshire man from Holmfirth, not far from where I was born (Halifax) I had a tune on my “Hurdy Gurdy” as I call it & now for bed


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-20 Tuesday

[1856-05-20 Tuesday] 20th. May Been a wet miserable day rained hard all day could not work. Been hard at work repairing our tools Etc. Its a wretched life is a gold diggers in wet weather, cooped up in a small tent about 8 by 10 ft live & sleep and do everything in it, use is second nature I feel lost when I enter a house I often wonder if I shall always be a digger, our neighbours have been spending the evening with us, their tent is swamped, having no fireplace or stretchers attached to their tent

[1856-05-21 Wednesday] 21st. Been a nice day after the wet, the air is beautiful & clear & mild, we got 5½ dwts out of 80 buckets of dirt, it all came out of about 20 buckets, the rest yielding not the color In the evening I went to Franciss store for some stores, then went to Toms with the tools I borrowed, Brown was there had a set to with the gloves, afterwards read aloud to them. The Farmer of J.Forest.
[1856-05-22 Thursday] 22nd.May. Kind of Scotch mist falling all day cleared up towards evening, but went to work tho far from pleasent, coming home wet through & every thing so wet & wretched the firewood wet couldnt get the Billy to boil till late, washed 64 Buckets of dirt turning out 7¼ dwts, we shall have to look precious sharp to make anything this week In the evening I went to Tom's, for some purpose I was Boxing with Brown without the gloves I struck my hand against the slabs that


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-23 Friday

form the sides of the hut, a splinter ran into my left hand, I nearly fainted in taking it out they cut my finger open to the bone to get it out. Its frightfully painful. It will be long ere it is well, washed 64 Buckets yield 7½ dwts [1856-05-23-Friday] 23rd. Been showery to day, 64 buckets for 4 dwts, my hand very sore —

[1856-05-24-Saturday] 24 Weather similar to yesterday, couldnt get to work till 8. am. I had to change jobs with Uncle to day owing to my finger being so sore, I dont think all the splinter is out. Uncle puddles & I get the stuff & carry it to the tub. I use snobs wax to my finger, got 4 dwts to day making 1 oz 7 dwts this week the weather has been so against us or else we would have done better. Went into Sandhurst, called at the PO nothing for me, gold £3.16.s0d per oz. horribly dirty & dull everything looked, met Merritt & his Brother, went home with them to their tent, he has just come from town fetched up a wife, but I dont think she is, she is a lovely little girl about 17. I wonder how the deuce he picked up with her. It was late when I got home


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-25 Sunday

25th.May. Sunday, weather unsettled, rained hard in the night, made it very dirty out to day went to the Library for a Book, been a good boy! stopped at home & read, one of our neighbours dropped in & bored us with his yarns about the Tataara country where he has been living the last 12 years.

[1856-05-26 Monday] 26th Weather still the same sometimes fine & at others showery. We sank a hole in the morning & got & washed 50 Buckets of dirt out of it, in the afternoon which yielded 5 dwt, not much for that quantity of dirt as it is very thick On arriving at our hut this evening we found Piggotts pigs had made sad havoc in our tent it was nearly down & blown away, they had knawed all round the bottom, and when they found their way inside they distroyed every thing that came in their path, eat our provisions. Uncle spoke to the owner about it but he took no notice of it, but Ill make it a warning to them if I only catch them about our tent again, my bed is in a nice mess. Our Scotch neighbour spent the evening with us after we had repaired & put our tent into something like order only just got finished in time, for the rain it came down in torrents our tent floor is 6 in deep in water we are compelled to sit on our stretchers which are about 2 ft from the ground, very pleasent I must say, but whats the odds so long as one's happy

27th. Been a lovely day after the rain — we found our holes full of water, took us till dinner time to get things in working order. Washed about 60 Buckets for 3½ dwts in the afternoon, we intend sinking another hole, the ground is very shallow, about 5 ft deep & about 1 ft thick of wash dirt, that is dirt supposed to be auriferous In the evening I went to Toms, read aloud to him for about 3 hours. Brown was there & listened with attention. Its rather cold to night, a little frosty


Long Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-05-28 Wednesday

28th.May. Been a lovely day. Washed 66 Buckets for 3 dwts very poor, I would leave & try somewhere else but Uncle dont care so long as he can knock out a living, there is very little enterprise in his nature. He can conceive but seldom executes — the ground is too regular I dont think there are any good deposits in the gully or else we would have come across something ere now, for we have turned over a large piece of ground. Went to the C.G.C. place for stores this evening — then to Toms & read aloud to them, poor devils, neither of them can read, Ive offered to teach Tom, but he seems to have no application —
29th. Been a wretched day, been very showery, couldnt do much work, got about 1 dwt up to 5 pm when I turned in another direction & got 8 Buckets of dirt which yielded 4¼ dwts not so bad, put us in better spirits I hope it is not a patch but will continue. Went to the Blacksmith with some picks to lay & steel — spent the evening in our own tent. Scotchman came in, his tent is blown away, came home from his work & found he had no home we helped him to build it up & lent him a pair of my blankets his own being wet & muddy. I wonder what city bred chaps would say did they have the hardships that we have to contend against in gold digging, it came on to rain hard

30th. Been a nice day, but foggy. In the morning we could scarcely see a yard in front of us, our hole did not turn so well as the sample we washed last night, the ground is very changeable. I washed 6 Buckets & it turned out nearly 7 dwt not so bad — if it will continue. After tea went to Toms, I read for them some two hours. Merritt & him have fell out, Tom & Brown have joined mates —
[1856-05-31-Saturday] 31st Been a nice day, only got 3 dwts making a total for the week 1 oz. 6 dwts about ₤2.10.0



Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-01 Sunday

each, worse & worse. Ill try it another week, & if with no better success Ill leave it & try somewhere else. I went to Bendigo this afternoon to sell some gold £3.16.0 per oz I bought Uncle a pair of Boots, he is afraid to go into the town for he is such a fool, he is sure to get drunk. I purchased a pair of Blankets & some good worsted socks — Went to Toms & finished the Book — he is going to remove his tent in the morning nearer to his work, came home & read a little & now for bed

1st June. A lovely day & being Sunday made it pleasent after breakfast, whilst Uncle was washing a few shirts & things I went to the Crossing place & bought some “tucker” for the coming week. Went to Toms, find he dont shift till tomorrow the drayman that was to remove him got drunk & wouldnt work on Sunday, the first time I ever heard of a man getting moral, when drunk — Tom & I took a strool to Jackass Flat for some things he left there passed a jolly evening together & bid him good luck —

2nd — Been a fine day, but looks cloudy — I went into Sandhurst for Uncle this morning. I was astonished to find all the mechanics knocked off work, having commenced a new era, in their occupations, the 8 hours movement. I like the idea tho I work 12 hours a day & have done for years, but were I a tradesman I should be an advocate for the principle, got home or to work by 9, washed some 35 Buckets of dirt & got 6 dwts — In the evening I went to the library, changed a book for Uncle, our neighbour the Holmfirth man came here drunk, he got the sack from where he was working, he half killed his “boss” for telling him to do something he didnt care about doing , commencing to rain.

[1856-06-03 Tuesday] 3rd. Been a dull day. Came on a heavy shower about 11 Am got wet through felt anything but comfortable the rest of the day. Washed 45 buckets & only got 3 dwts. If it dont change or mend, Im afraid my “pile” will be long coming. Holmfirth & [as] we call him came in looking down enough, on losing his billet of £4.10.0 aweek at a puddling mill


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-04 Wednesday

June 1856
4th. June- Been showery, we got sick of the gully we've worked in the last 5 weeks. I came & sunk a hole near our tent (close to where we did so well last year) but it turned out a duffer. I went back to the old place & got 4 dwts out of 22 Buckets, from a hole Uncle sank I sank a hole close to his & out of 6 Buckets got 2½ dwt a better ending to the day than I anticipated from a bad beginning. Went to the store & Butcher shop in the evening our neighbour came in, chatting away as usual —

5th. Been a nice day, but foggy, done very well to day. Washed 50 Buckets turned out 18 dwt of gold Im afraid it wont last, the last tub was very poor, I went to Jessie Silwoods the Blacksmith to get some tools tinkered up our neighbours dropped in as usual I wish they would go. Im going to turn into bed, so they can take the hint if they like

6th Wet day, couldnt do much work in consequence 45 Buckets yielded nearly 6 dwts, our neighbours here again — Ive been busy all the evening mending my shirts & patching my trousers, how theyd laugh at home if they saw me

7th Been a fine day, washed 25 Buckets for 2 dwts very poor, we made 2 oz. 1 dwt this week about ₤4 each, Its best weeks work Ive had since I left Adelaide or since I came back just 9 weeks to day. I went to Sandhurst in the evening got a letter from mother, in which she states that they are thinking of coming to Melbourne. I dont much like the idea of them leaving they are pretty comfortably settled & I fancy may get on in time. In one sense I should like them in this colony we shall be much nearer each other. It costs a deal of money going & coming from Adelaide. Things seem busy in Sandhurst


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-08 Sunday

gold is the same price as last week. Holmfirth spent the evening with us, he has, got a job for Monday £4 aweek

8th. Been very showery, went to the Crossing place to make some purchases (not the thing exactly dealing on the Sabbath, but is so customary, just like a market on Sunday morning in the gully townships, tho in Sandhurst things are getting more settled Churches & Chapels are getting erected & people begin to wear polished boots & that sort of thing, for years my plan has been to give mine a good coat of grease once aweek. I suppose in a few years things will have a more civilized appearance on the diggins – I wrote a letter to Mother, Scoty posted it for me this afternoon. I have been to Toms, he lives some three miles from here, he hasnt done much as yet been busy erecting his hut & making it comfortable came away about 4 pm & paid his sister a visit, who lives near Sydenham Gardens, stayed tea & left Tom there, came home early & have been reading ever since — 9th June. Nice day. We sank a hole each this morning, the bottom of Uncles we washed & got 5¼ dwts out of it. My finger is still very bad. I got the splinter out to day (the portion that was left in.) It has began to gather & Im afraid it will turn into a witlow, heaven forbid Ive had one once & I shall never forget the pain I suffered

10th. Cloudy day. My hole was a duffer, but I sank another one & out of 30 Buckets of dirt we got 6 dwts of gold, my finger is worse & is very painful Ive a good mind to knock off work for a short time until it heals up. Ive had a plaster of soap & sugar upon it a diggers usual remedy for anything like a gathering, raining heavy —


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-11 Wednesday

June 1856
11st. Been a miserable day. Only could work for about an hour, got 1½ dwt out of a tub of dirt. Uncle bet me there was that quantity, on weighing it he was right, so I lost 2/6. My finger is a little easier to day, it rained all night & I think its set in again for another wet night

12th Been a fine day, washed 42 Buckets, got 8 dwts out of the hole I thought was a duffer, we tried it again to day. I commenced another hole just before leaving work. I lost another 1/- over the weight of our gold with Uncle. I shall bet no more with him, he always wins, my finger is a little better.

13th. A nice day, frosty in the morning, washed 48 Buckets for 9 dwts. I would not grumble if we could always do as well —

14th — Fine day, washed 40 Buckets for 4¼ dwts thus making 1 oz 14 dwt this week, if it had been fine weather we should have done pretty well this week better than ₤3 each. This evening our neighbours & myself walked into Bendigo, visited the Shamrock Concert Room, heard splendid singers, Md Sara Flowers & several others, no charge for admittance. I believe such places are called Free & Easys in England, the proprietor always procures the best talent he can get in the colony Melbourne never could boast of such singers in one company as is to be found on Bendigo at the Shamrock I liked Rohler on his Concertina, Cornopean & flageolet is about 2 am Sunday morning now, walked home beautiful moonlight night

[1856-06-15-Sunday] 15th. June. Cloudy day, got in a stock of firewood for the week. After dinner went to Ross's & took him his book back, & borrowed another. In the afternoon I helped our neighbours to put up their hut


Pinch Gut Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-16-Monday

June 1856 16th June — Lovely day, sank a hole each, neither much a/c, washed 36 Buckets for 3½ dwts. In the evening I went to the store & to the blacksmiths – My finger nail came off to day but being a little one it dont much matter

[1856-06-17-Tuesday] 17 June. Weather unsettled, cold & showery, washed 50 Buckets for 3¼ dwt, wretchedly poor work this, we have got off the run. We intend sinking to morrow & try & get onto it again, spent the evening reading James “Whim & its consequences”

[1856-06-18-Wednesday] 18th Nice day, 36 buckets we washed for 2½ dwts finished reading my book like it much. Holmfirth called in to night says there is some rushes in the neighbourhood of Eaglehawk. I think Ill go & have a look at them

[1856-06-19-Thursday] 19th Been a miserable wet day, didnt get to work till late, bottomed a hole, but like all the dirt we have washed lately not much account, washed 35 Buckets for 3 dwts. There is a little rush to some ground near our tent some parties I heard were doing well I took up a claim near to them & sank a hole about 5 ft deep & very hard. I shall know to morrow whether its any good or not. After dinner I went to the library to get another book for Uncle & in the evening we had both our old neighbours in here, they are thinking of going to a new rush at Sydney Flat. Two friends of mine made £200 each last week, they are the lucky ones.!

[1856-06-20-Friday] 20th Been a lovely day. Uncle has been working in the same place, got & washed 24 Buckets for 1½ dwts. I bottomed my hole this morning a rank shicer. I didnt feel satisfied but turned to & sank another about 8 ft deep, just bottomed it by sun- down & tried a dish of dirt out of it, it yielded ¼ dwt


Near Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-21-Saturday

June 1856
which is considered a payable prospect. Ill give it a good trial in the morning — Ive been reading one of Shakespeares plays, the first I ever read “Hamlet” [1856-06-21-Saturday] 21st Been a fine day, my yesterdays prospect looks cloudy, to day I washed 30 Buckets out of it turned out only 1½ dwts — I intend trying another hole, the claim bordering mine is paying well I cant see why some portion of my ground should not turn out well, we only made 15¼ dwts this week between us very poor, the poorest week Ive had since Ive been up this time, I went into the town this afternoon, got some newspapers but no letters, the rain has made the streets fearfully dirty & miserable [1856-06-22-Sunday] 22nd Cloudy day. This day Ive spent in roaming about visited two new rushes but dont think much of them, feel tired, went to the library got a Book & spent the evening reading

[1856-06-23-Monday] 23rd Been a nice day. My hole like the others was a shicer or a duffer. I dont know but what Ill try another in the morning, there are some doing well alongside of the same ground. Been spending the evening playing my Concertina & reading Dr Warrens “Diary of a Physician” a work that has made a great impression on my mind, & trust I will profit by it. There is one portion relating to the fast life of a young nobleman that shocked me, but Ive witnessed scenes ten times worse on the diggins but amongst a different class —

[1856-06-24-Tuesday] 24 Been foggy but fine. Uncle & I sank a hole each his was a duffer mine I think will pay us to work, we have gone back to


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-25-Wednesday

PinchGut Gully again. Im sorry we left it — we have sank 6 holes between us at the other places & didnt get 2 dwts. out of the lot. I left work early & went to the Library. Spent the evening in reading the “Comedy of Errors” —

[1856-06-25-Wednesday] 25th Nice day but cloudy, washed 40 Buckets & got 4½ dwts. Went to the store & Blacksmiths our neighbours dropped in & spent the evening with us, after they left I read two acts of King Lear. A friend made me a present of 22 plays mostly Shakespeares, quite novelties to me, who has read so little & heard so much about them. I cannot conceive anything more beautiful & pathetic than some portions of his plays that Ive read —

[1856-06-26-Thursday] 26th Cloudy day. I went into Uncles hole this morning, he being disgusted with it. I tried 50 Buckets of dirt & they turned out 8 dwt not so bad. Uncle has been clearing ground in front of the tent for a start, went to the library for Uncle — I finished King Lear tonight

[1856-06-27-Friday] 27th Been a lovely day washed 4 tubs out of which we got 4 dwt. Our neighbours came in in a great state, they have had there tent robbed, 2 other tents ditto, lost their blankets & clothes & a little money, very pleasent! I suppose ours will be the next — wont be the first time — Jim Hall an acquaintance came in to say he has been struck up & robbed of a watch & clothes — he was in bed & was awoke by feeling something cool in his ear that turned out to be the muzzle of a pistol poor Jim he is a new chum & seems terribly frightened


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-28-Saturday

Uncle is thinking of going to Adelaide he went into Sandhurst for some things he requires he sank a hole to day, dont know what its like, we have a tub full in soak. Ive been reading Henry 8th tonight

[1856-06-28-Saturday] 28th Lovely day, washed 42 Buckets, turned out 5½ dwts, making 1 oz 3 dwts for the weeks work. In the afternoon I went into Bendigo no letters at the P.O for Im surprised, I expected one to day, things look lively gold ₤3.15.3 oz I came home with Holmfirth he has got the sack dont suit, I think he is a lazy devil. I remaind at the Shamrock, they have a new comic singer called Thatcher a great favourite with the public about 2. am Sunday rather early.

[1856-06-29-Sunday] 29th Lovely day didnt get up till late spent the best of the day at Gypsy Polls a woman that lives opposite, sometimes does little jobs for me, she is about 30 years old but has led a very dissolute life, she must have been a beautiful girl, her life is a strange one such scenes, she commenced life, as a draw in a hell in London & owing to a murder being committed in the place she got mixed up in it & was sent out to Australia for the benefit of her health, she led a fast life on arriving here & sunk very low, fond of drink & gambling – Ive known her win sometimes more than £100 on a Sunday afternoon & near starving ere the week was over she is always borrowing 2/6d from me. I get her to make me my flannel shirts Etc. on leaving her I went


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-06-30-Monday

to Ike Kets he was falling a tree close to his tent the fool let it fall on it & crushed it & distroyd nearly everything in it. I helped him an hour or two in putting things square again, in the evening I read another play

[1856-06-30-Monday] 30th Wet day Couldnt work, wretched life.

[1856-07-01-Tuesday] 1st Scotch mist all day. I was in the hole driving underground so did not feel it much Uncle got the benefit of it, washing at the tub, washed 9 tubs or 60 Buckets turned out 9 dwts one of our neighbours came bothering us he was drunk on the strength of a job he has got at £4.15.0 aweek & the 8 hours dodge I wished him to the devil, went to the store, after work, been reading a novel —

[1856-07-02-Wednesday] 2nd July. Nice day, but we had one or two smart showers — washed about 10 tubs of dirt turning out 12 dwt, not so bad if it will con- -tinue, reading the “Stepmother” by James [1856-07-03-Thursday] 3rd Lovely day, washed 50 Buckets — turned out 15 dwt not so dusty. After work went to the store & blacksmiths — finished my Book

[1856-07-04-Friday] 4th Weather unsettled, washed 60 Buckets yielded 6 dwts, a falling off since yesterday Several people imagine we are doing well, so this morning there was quite a rush near us but none of them struck any gold so I dont think they will bother any more about us. Scoty dropped in yarning about the old story, of his wife leaving him


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-05 Saturday

July 1856
5th. Fine day but very cold — washed 24 Buckets for 1¼ dwts, made £4.9S0d each this week — In the afternoon I went to Sandhurst, received no letter, things are busy, streets are dirty, what a disgrace to the corporation (for they have one now) I bought some clothing, called at the P O got a letter for Scoty, he is going shearing in the Portland Bay district, wants me to go with him. Bought a paper with the account of peace with Russia & so ends the Crimean War

[1856-07-06-Sunday] 6th Very windy day. Been helping Uncle to pack up his swag, he leaves me, for Adelaide in the morning, settled up & find that Ive better than 5 oz gold in hand & a few pounds, so I shall be a hatter, as a digger is called that is without a mate, I dont suppose he will be away more than two months. I have been helping Jim Hall to rig up his tent, he lives near us now he is a jolly little fellow.

[1856-07-07-Monday] 7th A nice day, but frosty in the morning ¼ of an inch of ice on the water I have been in the colony nearly 7 years & never saw the like before. Uncle started early this morning. Scoty our neighbour, Ive allowed to sleep in our tent he will be company for me but I dont much like him. I went to work & washed 24 dwts & got nearly 4 dwts not so bad for me, Ive no one to share it with —

[1856-07-08-Tuesday] 8th Lovely day — Washed 25 Buckets & got 3 dwt I must sink a hole tomorrow. I passed a pleasent evening, reading


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-09 Wednesday

Ive been a great reader lately, Ive took quite a fancy for reading a short time ago I could not read anything but novels & very seldom even them [1856-07-09-Wednesday] 9 July — Lovely weather. I bottomed a hole to day & washed 2 tubs out of it, no gold at all in it – I went into an old hole in the afternoon & tried 4 Buckets which turned out 1½ dwts of gold not so bad, I will try it again tomorrow. In the evening I went to the store & blacksmiths had a yarn with the Gypsy [1856-07-10-Thursday] 10th Been a nice day — washed 30 Buckets & it turned out 2½ dwts. In the evening Scoty & I went to Toms, spent a jolly time of it, he is not doing much

[1856-07-11-Friday] 11th Wet & miserable washed 25 Buckets & got 4½ dwts out of it. I was annoyed to find that, somebody this morning had stolen my pick & shovel. I had paid 3/- to get it steeled the night before. Curse them I wish it was down their throats who ever stole them — I paid 7/6 for the shovel but a week ago

[1856-07-12-Saturday] 12th Been a nice day, drove out & washed 4 Tubs of dirt, got 2½ dwts of gold, this making about £3.5.0 this week, not so bad considering how Im situated. Scoty left to day for the Tataara country, somewhere on the overland route to Adelaide, he made me a present of his tent and tools so Im alone, Tom called this evening & is going to stop all night with me, after spending the evening pleasently together, my reading aloud to him —


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-13 Sunday

[1856-07-13-Sunday] 14th [13th] I find Ive taken a day in my date too much for last month.[1] Been cloudy & windy this morning, I went with Tom to the P O to post a letter, took a long strool together about the White Hills, called at his sisters then, went to his tent had a late dinner. Tom came home with me & helped me to put a fly over my tent. J.Hall called & spent the evening with us. Jim is staying the night with me

[1856-07-14-Monday] 15th Nice day, sank a hole 5 ft deep this morning washed the bottom turned out 3 dwt I think Ill do better tomorrow. I went to Toms but he was out, called into C.Watkinsons hut his mate Harry Hawkins is a nice chap stayed there 2 hours came home, found Tom at my tent very comfortably asleep on my bed, I soon roused him up —

[1856-07-15-Tuesday] 16th Lovely day drove out & washed 4 tubs turned out 7¼ dwts not so bad nearly 27s/d- a lot of acquaintances called in, this evening had some music & singing, tho I was hard at work making a pick handle

[1856-07-16-Wednesday] 17th Been a nice day, didnt feel well to day left work at 4. pm & washed 20 Buckets turned out 5¼ dwt, nothing to grumble at £1 day not so bad, its raining, I dont think Tom will come to night

[1856-07-17-Thursday] 18th Been a lovely day. Ive done very well to day I washed 24 Buckets got 6½ dwt.


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-18-Friday

July 1856
Ive been very busy, since I came home, been putting up a brush fence round the tent to break the wind. Charly Watkinson came in with his concertina, spent a pleasent evening

[1856-07-18-Friday] 19th Lovely day, done first rate to day got 12¼ dwts out of 3 tubs, 8 of which I got out of 1 tub. Tom came to night & is going to stop all night. I have been working at the Breakwind nearly finished

[1856-07-19-Saturday] 20th Been a nice day. Ive been lucky again to day washed 2 tubs of dirt which realized 12½ dwts, making for the week 2 oz 7 dwts, the best weeks work Ive had for a long time. I hope Ill do as well next week. Tom stayed & helped me a little this morning, went into Ben in the afternoon. In the evening Tom & I went to Mrs Bostocks. Tom left early. I remained till about daylight, keeping her company her husband being away. Tom has left Brown & is going to work by himself. Ive allowed him to grub along with me, until he gets onto something

[1856-07-20-Sunday] Sunday 21st Cloudy day, didnt get up till 10 am Borrowed a crosscut saw & sawed up a tree near my tent for firewood cleaned ourselves & went to Bostocks had dinner, after which came home & made a table, better than the old box have had so long, went to Charlies in the evening, very jolly


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-21-Monday

July 1856
[1856-07-21-Monday] 22nd Cloudy day. I bottomed my hole towards evening & had time to wash a tub. I got 2 dwts out of it, a good prospect. The men in the next claim are driving onto my ground so I went this evening & worked very hard till after 10 pm to cut them off If I didnt I might lose a portion of my ground & I may be a long time before I get such another piece of ground. I feel very tired, just been writing a letter for Tom to his other sister.

[1856-07-22-Tuesday] 23rd Nice day, but looks rainy just now I washed 30 Buckets & got 8 dwts, not so bad In the evening I went with Tom to his sisters calling at Charlies on our way. I bought his concertina. Late when I got home

[1856-07-23-Wednesday] 24th Been a lovely day, washed 4 tubs out of which I got 3 dwts, rather poor but Ive better stuff in the hole that I know of. Went to Toms sisters stayed with her till near 10 a.m called at Charlies on my way home, playing & Boxing

[1856-07-24-Thursday] 25th Been a lovely day, washed 4 tubs of dirt turned out 4 dwts, a little better – Tom got a little gold to day, he wants to join me but I cant see the force of it, he is too lazy. I like a good working chap for a mate. Im one that works hard & sticks to it, the ground that Im in, has


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-25 Friday

July 1856
been tried & left many times, all complaining it was too hard to pay. There are two men in the next claim & they can only get 5 & sometimes 4 tubs that quantity between them while I alone get out & wash 4 tubs & never less than 3 – I went to Bostocks stayed there about 2 hours & called at Charlies on my way home. Ive been think very seriously to day of going to New England there is a great rush there, many acquaintances of mine have gone & many are going, its on the Sydney side some 1200 miles from here. If I was doing nothing I would not hesitate a day Ive had a longing for a ramble for some time

[1856-07-25-Friday] 26. The weather very unsettled. I sank a hole to day & got 2 tubs of the bottom which turned me out 8¼ dwts. Tom got a nugget out of the ground I gave him weighing 3 dwts. I bought it off him — we remained at home to night wrote a letter for Tom & another for a neighbour

[1856-07-26-Saturday] 27th Nice day. Washed 3 tubs of which I got 5¼ dwts, making this week 1 oz 10 dwts very good. I went into Bendigo, received a letter from mother, from Melbourne, they have all come over from Adelaide & are living in Wellington St. Collingwood. I got two letters for Uncle & shall keep them until he returns or I hear from him. I put my gold into the Bank for safety to day (9 oz). I bought some clothes for Sunday. Im getting ashamed to


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-27 Sunday

July 1856
wear my dirty muleskin trousers on a Sabbath day people are throwing off their old notions & are beginning to get more refined in their ideas of dress & manners than formerly. I bought some medicine for Mrs Bostock, she is very ill, I went to see her this evening, there is a girl living in the next tent to her Ive met her very often she is very pretty, we took a walk together on the ranges to night

[1856-07-27-Sunday] 28th Nice day. After breakfast H.Hawkins came in & Tom Seymour, stayed till noon I went to Bostocks she is much better I stayed dinner, afterwards went to some friends that live in the White Hills, (Sullivans) his wife has come back & is keeping very steady I could never imagine she was such a character as I hear she is I trust she is quite reformed had tea with them, came home early, met T Seymour, lent him a pound, I dont suppose Ill get it back in a hurry

[1856-07-28-Monday] 29th Beautiful day. I wish it would rain for Ive a long way to carry my dirt to wash, washed 24 Buckets or 4 tubs out of which I got 13½ dwts the best days work Ive done for many a day. J.Hall called in the evening, He is a jolly chap. Ive been busy sewing a piece of calico all round the bottom of my tent


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-07-29 Tuesday

[1856-07-29-Tuesday] 30th Nice day, but cold, washed 5 tubs out of which I got 6½ dwts, considerably less than yesterday, left work at 5 pm & went into Sandhurst with Tom, poor fellow he has suffered from a bad tooth. I went with him to get it pulled out, it was fun to hear him hollow — & in coming home I think he got cold in it for he is in an awful way about it, spent the evening reading

[1856-07-30-Wednesday] 30st Weather unsettled, washed 4 tubs & got 7 dwts out of it, not so bad, I got one bit, 1 dwt. I gave it this evening to Mrs. Bostock Tom & I went down there, & from there to Dennys rather late when I got home, & turned to & made a new slide for my cradle. Very late now

31st Lovely day, done firstrate to day, washed 18 Buckets & got 14 dwts; I didnt feel very well to day got a bad cold Etc. I sent Tom into Sandhurst to see if there were any letters for me I fully expected to hear from Uncle, he has been gone nearly a month now. In the evening Tom & I went to Bostocks. Roby lives next tent to them I always pay her a visit. I forgot to mention a surprise I got the other day, I was under the impression she lived with her brother I found out he is no relative but a man who seduced her in town & she left home to come on the diggins with him, living as


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-01 Friday

August 1856
man & wife. He is very unprincipled, & wants her to prostitute herself & give him the proceeds. I nevr could understand his plausible manner to me, she told me all this herself I believe she likes me, but my money shall never benifit him by such means. I offered her a present the other day but she refused it

1st August. Cloudy day. I hope we may have rain, we are getting short of water only got 3½ dwts to day. In the evening I went to the store for vituals. stayed at home & passed the rest of the evening reading

2nd Nice day, but cold. Im afraid my claim is worked out, got very little to day, only got about 1 dwt, making for the weeks work 2 oz 5 dwt. nearly £9.0.0 not bad Ill try it again on Monday but Im afraid its done — I went into Sandhurst & sold all my gold for £40.0.0 deposited it in the bank for safety, met Bostock went home with him, met Tom, had tea, after which we went to Sydnam gds there is a small Theatre in the centre & every Saturday night great numbers meet there & drink, & very few women are found there, we had a dance & got into a row about a girl (Roby). I fought a fellow till we got seperated, came home with her, but after seeing her home, I left & got to my own tent


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-03 Sunday

3rd A miserable day, windy & showery. After breakfast Tom & I went to his sisters, & we all went according to promise to D.Sullivan (7th White Hill) to dinner we spent the afternoon with them, & after tea all returned to Bostocks — got home by 8.Pm been reading the last two hours

4th Just such weather as yesterday but more raining, couldnt go to work till 4 pm too late to do any good, been very unwell got a stomach ache I went to a new rush along with Tom, sank a hole each, I got down 7 ft, I think it will go about 14ft to the bottom, too deep for one man to work alone so if it is any good we shall have to go mates together, There are a lot of Chinese who have got the ground around us, & I believe are doing well Remained at home to night, reading aloud for Tom, a tale called “Jack Bragg” —

5th Beautiful day, but came on wet at 4 pm had to leave work in consequence I bottomed my hole & washed 2 tubs of the bottom & didnt get the color of gold out of it, we left it, & now we are going to bottom Toms hole. C.W. & his mate Harry Hawkins spent the evening with us, went home with them & passed a jolly night in their hut, its near 1 oclock

6th Fine day, bottomed our hole 14 ft deep, a regular duffer like the other one left it & cleaned out an old hole & washed 3 tubs out of it, no good. I go to my old


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-07 Thursday

August 1856
hole again in the morning. In the evening I went down to, see Roby, H. was away we took a walk among the hills for about two hours – then called at Bostocks for my washing —

7th Very cold day, washed 5 tubs & got 2 dwts out of it. I took a walk in the afternoon to Tarry Bills Shiars Gully. Im thinking of trying some ground there. Spent the evening at Tom Doboys hut he is an old playmate of mine years ago in Adelaide, he sings, & plays the flutina very well, we spent a very pleasent evening with him came home & have been reading a little since

8th Miserable day. We went to the hole we were in yesterday & got out 4 tubs turnd out but 1½ dwt. We left it & began to sink a new hole higher up the gully. Some man, a Scotchman, wanted to bounc us out of the ground but we wouldnt have his cheek at any price but intend to stick to it. Ive been busy making an axe handle & another handle for a pick, finished the evening reading the "White Slave"

9th Been a wet day, couldnt go to work, managed between the showers to get 4 Barrows of wood. I also went to the store for some necessarys & sold the gold we got this week, 7/. apiece a smart weeks work for two men. After tea I went to Sandhurst no letters. When I came home I wrote a letter to mother. Went to Bostocks in the evening, didnt stay long, Roby walking a piece of the way back with me. Called at Charlies met Tom


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-10 Sunday

August 1856
came home, have been reading since. — [1856-08-10-Sunday] 10th Nice day but cold. After breakfast Tom & I went to Bostocks & helped him to shift his tent, near us, had dinner with them in my tent. Charlie & Harry was here also, I roasted ½ a sheep & boiled nearly a Bucket of potatoes so we had plenty to eat after, putting up their tent, which took us till dark. I then went to see Roby stopped with her till 9 pm. came home called at J.Halls, met several I knew at his tent, spent a jolly night, .11 pm

11th Unsettled weather., found on going to our claim this morning that a Cornishman had jumped it, or taken possession of it. I went to the commissioner & laid a charge against him, which cost me £2.0.0 on my return I found him willing to leave it if I would forgo the charge & he would pay half the expense of fetching the Comms, (who always has £2 quartered him before he will settle any dispute). The claim is not much a/c but still we know there is good ground near by, he had sunk a hole — we have been driving it along the boundary line so has to stop the man in the next claim who is encroaching After we went to work, Jim Hall lent us a hand we drove about 15ft altogether. I guess our neighbour will stare in the morning, when he comes to work

12th Cloudy day. Went to work early hoping to do well to day, having so much wash dirt stripped, but we were doomed to disappointment we washed several tubs & got about 11 dwts. Our


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-13 Wednesday

August 1856
neighbour was in a passion this morning on finding how we had cut him off, greedy beggar he holds 4 mens ground to his own cheek more than he is legally entitled too, he swears he'll fetch the commissioner (or warden) to us, I think he wont this afternoon, but he has a great many cases on hand & cant come to settle our dispute for a few days. If the ground dont turn out better tomorrow than to day he can have the lot. Been reading all the evening

13th, Been a lovely day, washed 6 tubs for 2 dwts, so we left the claim & went to a rush at the bottom of Eagle Hawk gully, near the Iron Stone Hills & marked out a claim, its 3 miles from here a long way to go to work, called at Charlies & had tea with him, Doby came in & he sang a few songs, he has a splendid voice Ive heard several good judges say, he has an extraordinary organ

14th Lovely day. went to Ironstone & began our hole its frightfully hard, being cement, we shall have to blast every inch of it, some people are doing very well, our claim is situated in a favourite spot, the lead of gold is supposed to come near by our claim, if it does I shall make my fortune, we called at Bostocks on our way home from work & had tea, I was surpid on getting home to hear that the person who has the next claim to us, where we worked before we went to Ironstone, had kept his word & had brought the warden out, we not being present (as we had no notice of his arriving


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-15 Friday

and didnt think anything more of the ground after abandoning it) of course was misconstrued, & the Warden without a hearing, settled the case against us, the man had to pay the £2 & he called on us to recover it (as is the custom) we wouldnt give it to him, he threatens to summons us, on us refusing to recognise the case — the opinion is that we left the ground on purpose, (what an absurdity) to avoid the trial

15th Nice day, left the tent at break of day for work, it is a good hours walk — 8 miles a day is no joke & have to do a days work, when we bottom & find it will pay We will shift our tent there, spent the evening reading —

16th Lovely day, rather warm, left work early about noon, having used all our powder (had dinner at Bostocks, where we are partially boarding) & went into Bendigo with Tom, got a letter from mother. In the evening Jim Hall called in & we went into town visited the Theatre, then went to the “Shamrock” heard some splendid singing & music, rather late when we got home —

17th A miserable day, reading in the morning in the afternoon went to Charlies, had tea & spent the evening at Bostocks

18th Another wet day, couldnt go to work — I went in Sandhurst & drew ₤30 out of the bank which I sent to Mr Hall in Adelaide to invest for me, he is the Mayor there


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-19 Tuesday

and a very old friend of the family. He has now ₤50.0.0 of mine in hand. I recd a letter from mother, all well — Came home & helpd Bostock to do some jobs. Denny Sullivan had been here during my absence, & him & Tom have gone to Piggotts Hotel drinking he shant live with me if he carries on so – Im a staunch teatoteller myself & never drink, our friend the Scotchman called for his £2 I did not give it to him — [1856-08-19-Tuesday] 19th Nice day, very late when we got to work through Tom getting drunk last night found our hole full of water, ran in during the night, bailed it out we made a windlass, which took up the whole of the day so our hole is no deeper, we will get at it in good earnest, tomorrow passed a pleasent evening reading & playing my Concertina till Denny came in drunk, poor fellow, his wife has turned out again & run away, he found one of his children at a strange place, he brought it to Bostocks, Faith ) Mrs B is taking care of it, got him to Bostocks & they made him a shakedown on the floor [1856-08-22-Friday] 22nd Some days since I continued my journal owing to some unpleasent events that have transpired
Wednesday evening on our return from work we found Mr Gillies, the man that we had the dispute with, had got a warrant out for us, & that he with two policemen had been to our tent & not finding us had gone, we spent the evening at Bostocks & was just leaving them, when in walked 2


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-22

policemen, who read out a warrant to us, for using abusive language & maliciously injuring his claim by driving upon it, (whilst he actually had no right to) however we couldnt get out of it, Tom, he sat down on the floor & Said hed be d — d if he would walk to the watchhouse that night. I couldnt help laughing at Tom coolness, they lifted him on his feet but down he dropped again, they thought theyd get a cart but it was no use; they put the handcuffs on him at last & on promise of a drink on passing the hotel, they got him started. I was spared the indignity of being hand cuffed — we were taken to the E.Hawk watch- house, a place some 12 ft square made of rough IronBark logs, the spaces being wide enough to pass an arm through, there was a pool of water in the centre, & around the sides, a log to sit upon, rose from the ground about a foot, we had not been long there when a drunken man & woman was pushed in, they were disgusting, I tried to sleep on one of the logs, but it was so cold, I couldnt (the wind was rushing in through the gaps) — Tom & the woman kicked up an awful row, he insisted upon her undressing & going to bed like a Christian, until she pulled off her dress which he took possession of & wrapped himself up in & was soon asleep. I was amused, however day broke at last & I was agreeably surprised to hear H.Hawkins voice outside the Logs, "Holloa my hearty how are you" (he has been a sailor) he had brought a billy of coffee (which he had warmed at a diggers fire in the neighbourhood) & some sandwiches, he pushed them through the chinks to us the sentry saying nothing. I shant forget Harrys kindness, about 8.am two policemen took us out & marched us into Bendigo like two criminals


Harry Hawkins, “Bendigo Mack” Sandhurst Logs, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-22-Friday

a distance of four miles I never felt so ashamed in my life. On our arrival in Sandhurst we were put into the “Logs” again (a similar place to the one we spent the night in but larger & surrounded by a very high palisading. About 12 am we were ushered into the courthouse (saw many faces I knew.) before the Magistrate “Old Mac” as he is called (McLauglin) & in his stern manner inquired our names. I told him mine & answered some other questions relating to my family, he did the same to Tommy who was very impertinent to him, “Mac” got into a passion & said we were two young vagabonds, he had no doubt & remanded us till the following day before ever he heard what we were indicted for, on entering the Pigsty (on a large scale) we found ourselves in the company of the most wretched looking specimens of humanity I ever looked upon, 18 in all, crowded in a place measg 14 x 20 ft. in one corner was a bucket of water & a shelf, in another corner a tub for the convenience of the prisoners, we had a pair of Blankets given us each & a loaf of bread between us for the day. I thought it was best to put a good face on the matter & soon got to know my associates there were four Chinamen for petty thieving, 1 man for a rape on his step daughter, the fellow told me all about it, said he was drunk & went into what he thought his wifes bed, & remembers no more there was also a gang of cattle stealers, one of them I knew years ago, saw him steal a horse very cleverly about 3 years ago or better. There was a nice young fellow, for murdering a Chinese at the Back creek. Towards evening Mrs Bostock fetched us a meat pie & some biscuits, whilst I


Sandhurst Logs, Harry Hawkins, “Bendigo Mack”, 1856-08-22-Friday

was looking for a chip of wood to spread some butter on one, the other prisoners rushed my pie. Tom had a piece of it, but I didnt get a smell of it. Old Piggott came to bail me out but because he wouldnt bail Tom out, I would not agree — At 8. pm we were told to retire to our bed, the floor of the place was made of rough logs & it was like sleeping on a gridiron, however I slept very soundly, Tom on one side & a Chinaman on the other, the following morning at 10. am we were marched up to the Courthouse, when Mr. Gilles gave his evidence, which amused the court The Magistrate jumped up & said it was not a criminal case & should not have been brought before him, but to the Wardens court, he stated that Gilles had made himself liable for a charge against him for false imprisonment. The Warden (on our acquittal) & a lawyer that we engaged (Cutten) at once came out of Sandhurst to Long Gully to go over the case again on the ground, a jury was selected from the crowd & on going into the case it was proved that we had not encroached on his ground at all. A great many were present & gave such a cheer, & then hisses for the other party & to serve him out, some men took from him the ground which he held too much —

The lawyer wouldnt take his fee from me, but he advised us to prosecute for false imprisonment & he conduct the case. The case wont come off for some two months & God knows where we may be or Gilles by that time). We all adjourned to Piggotts & had something to drink, had dinner at Bostocks nearly all our acquaintance made it a holiday & more than one got drunk in consequence spent the evening at Charlies very pleasently came home early, & so passed two of the most momentous days of my life in one sense — as yet


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-23 Saturday

August 1856
[1856-08-23-Saturday] 22nd Lovely day. Found 5ft of water in our hole this morning. I had to leave work early having to go into Bendigo, on coming home I cut my heel on a piece of quartz, its very sore, spent the night at Bostocks, the usual lot of neighbours being there

[1856-08-24-Sunday] 23rd Very windy. Been busy during the morning in doing up our tent. We went to Charlies & had dinner, Denny & J.Hall was there. In the afternoon we went to Sydnam Gardens, it is a regular rendezvous for friends to meet on a Sunday plenty of sport, swings & gymnastic arrangements all over the grounds, and nice little summer houses & waiters running about, spent the evening at Bostocks, just been doctoring up my heel, very sore [1856-08-25-Monday] 24th Warm day, went to work early, we expect to bottom our hole in a day or two, the men in the next claim bottomed & got 5 dwts to the dish of dirt, the lead runs through their claim & I am afraid we shant be on the run, feel very tired, shall go to bed [1856-08-26-Tuesday] 25 Lovely day, work early, found our hole a little softer, got down quicker than we thought & bottomed just before we left work. I tried a dish full & didnt get the “color” of gold out of it, makes me feel very downhearted. Im having bad luck, this is the hardest hole I ever sank in my life, spent the evening at Bostocks, several there — [1856-08-28-Thursday] 27 Weather very unsettled rained in the morning couldnt get to work till late, 10. am. I left Tom at home he promised to come in 1/2 an hour but after waiting 2 hours & no signs of him I came home & found he had just gone. I wasnt


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-08-29-Friday

going after him, I went into Sandhurst, knocking about, passed the Courthouse & stayed there some time hearing the trial of the young chap that was in for murdering the Chinaman, of course I felt interested in him & stayed till dark the case being remanded, found Tom at home ill pleased at my not coming after him to work, we had some words, but I soon shut him up, been reading all the evening, didnt write yesterday log [1856-08-29-Friday] 29th Beautiful day. Went to our claim & drove it for 10 ft, couldnt find anything to pay us my heel is very sore, having to walk so far every day keeps it from healing. Tom & Denny have been away to the White Hills, looking for the latters wife, she took all Dennys money with her, & he is out of work, poor devil I pity him [1856-08-30-Saturday] 29th Warm day. Came home from work at noon, as usual on a Saturday, did not go to Sandhurst to day, feeling very tired. been busy clearing up the tent & repairing our tools, In the evening J.Hall came in for a while. Been reading since he left I intend writing to mother [1856-08-31-Sunday] 30 Lovely day, cleaned myself early & read during the morning, being alone, I was just commencing dinner when Dennys wife made her appearance looking most dissolute & half drunk, she wanted her children, I sent Faith away with them to a neighbours, & she abused me & the rest of us shamefully. Denny came up at the time & there was such a row, he would have killed her if I hadnt stopped him, she went away at last. Denny is in an awful way, poor fellow he has had a deal to


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-09-01-Monday

put up with her, she was very young when he married her, (in Sydney) he had plenty of money at the time he owned an hotel on Bathurst & a Bakers shop & was clearing £100 per week, she acquired a taste for drink, & used to be very extravagant he sent her to Sydney, but there she was worse than ever squandering money like smoke – at length she ruined him, but he is one of those chaps that could do well anywhere, he came to Bendigo & began business & was doing well when she broke out worse than ever, drinking & prostituting herself seemed to satisfy her. Denny is only a wreck of what he was when I knew him first, he was always very steady, but having no home, he is sinking very low, he is to be pitied. Passed the evening reading — [1856-09-01-Monday] 31st Weather unsettled, drove our hole in another direction, but no use cant find anything to pay I dont think Ill try it again, left work early & went into Sandhurst, posted a letter to mother, spent the evening reading — [1856-09-02 Tuesday] 1st Sept Cloudy day, went to work with the determination if we could not get any gold to do no more in the hole tried 3 tubs & didnt get 3d of gold out of them In the evening had a look round for a place to set in tomorrow, didnt decide on any place, reading during the evening — Im half asleep. [1856-09-03-Wednesday] 2nd Went down an old hole near our tent, & tried 7 tubs out of it, got 19 dwts, very good. I hope it may continue so for a while. I want to get a few pounds Im getting very short of money, having sent


Pinch Gut Gully, Bendigo, Campbell’s Creek (now Marong), Victoria Australia, 1856-09-04-Thursday

September 1856
my money to Mr Hall. There is a large rush at a place called Donolly about 40 miles in a N W direction from Bendigo. I know several that have gone & Ive heard since are doing very well, it is one of the largest rushes ever took place I have quite made up my mind to go and see the place, it wont cost me more than £2 to go up and down, I can walk it in a day & a half, carry my blankets, spent the evening at Bostocks

[1856-09-04-Thursday] 3rd [4th] Been a nice day, 7 tubs for 4 dwts very poor, got disgusted with it so we intend to start for the new rush in the morning we can only muster £2.2s.6d between us, we intend only taking our blankets & a pick & shovel & if we think anything of the place to return & shift the tent & tools etc, who knows! , we may be lucky, faint heart never won a fair lady, I wrote a letter to Mother, Been to see Charlies & Hall, bid them goodbye.

[1856-09-11-Thursday; Pinchgut Gully-Bendigo]
11th Better than a week since I last wrote, have seen a deal during that time. I kept a journal in pencil in my Pocket Book, I got home last night [1856-09-11-Thursday?] about 9 oclock after walking 40 miles in one day, & carrying a swag, something to boast about, we left here on Friday [1856-09-05] morning & thought of taking a near cut from Myers Flat to Campbells Creek. I had the direction but Tom who professed to know all about the road persisted in saying we were wrong. I, like a


Campbell’s Creek (now Marong), Jones’s Creek, Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1856-09-07 Sunday

fool allowed myself to be led by him, after losing our selves & wandering in a forest till near 3 pm we found ourselves close to where we started from. I insisted on having my way & after an hours walk made Campbells Creek. Tom wanted to camp but I would go on to the Lagoon about 4 miles further, it was quite dark when we camped, we had a small calico tent with us, which we soon pitched, boiled our billy, & cooked our supper, there were hundreds of people on the road all bound for the new rush, every discription of vehicle, men with their families tramping along, I pitied many. What an infatuation there is in gold digging, when men will sacrifice everything & all thats dear to them, position friends & the comforts of civilized life in the pursuit, we gathered some dry leaves to sleep upon & slept soundly, [1856-09-06-Saturday] rose at break of day, had breakfast & was soon on the road again the road laid over about 15 miles of stony plain & hardly a drop of water to be found, then made the Loddon, called a river, surprised to find a fine Bridge over it camped & had dinner, after it was over, we walked for about 8 miles further over a low rough hilly country, till we came to the Jones Creek diggings where we camped felt very tired & footsore, some fellows camped near us who were returning from the rush they told us they thought it was a good rush but it was very deep sinking, & cost some money to sink. [1856-09-07-Sunday-Dunolly] We walked into Donolly rush at the head of the lead the next


Dunolly, Sandy Creek (now Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1856-09-08

Sept 1856
morning (Sunday) found hundreds of tents in every direction & thousands of men knocking about, we pitched our tent the first thing, & walked down the lead, (which commences in a narrow gully then widens out onto a flat) until we came to a large calico township with stores & public houses & Restaurants on each side of a street near a mile in length I never saw such a scene in my life, thousands knocking about, I saw many I knew, we went to a Restaurant & paid 2/. for a dinner the best I ever had on the diggins & the cheapest for a Restaurant, not four weeks ago all the place had been a forest with hardly a soul for miles & now there is a lead averaging 6 claims wide for nearly 2 miles in length, to the uninitiated it must appear wonderful I was soon convinced it was no place for a man without money all the shallow ground was taken up, the lead is now in deep wet sinking & requires a lot of money. I wish Id gone when I first heard of it – 3 weeks ago — we packed up our tent on Monday [1856-09-08] morning & startd home but hearing of a rush near Sandy Creek & being but a few miles out of the road we thought we would go & see it, found the place about dinner time, camped & began to sink a hole but it struck a spring of water & couldnt bottom it. There were nearly 8000 people on the ground. I could hear of no body


Dunolly, Old Dunolly (now Goldsborough), Victoria Australia, 1856-9-10-Wednesday

getting any gold, so we, next morning [1856-09-09] Tuesday, packed up & started again for Bendigo after walking about 4 miles, being then 10 from Donolly, I thought we had better go back again & give it a trial, (I mean to Donolly) Tom wasnt agreeable for a time, but I thought it looked so foolish after coming such a distance & never trying the place — He at length agreed made there about dark the same night – pitched our tent, in the evening, we went to the township, found everything very busy, public houses, free & easys & lots dancing rooms crowded. We went into several places, visited Tom Currans Boxing Saloon put on the gloves with some fellow who got very quarrelsome, had to leave quick or we would have been half murdered. We had a dance & left about 12 oclock missed our way & got somewhere about 4 miles from our tent wandering about near old Donolly. We lit a fire & got a few bushes together & made a Break- wind & slept out for the night. [1856-9-10-Wednesday; Goldsborough & Dunolly] At break of day, we woke up perishing with cold & quite wet with dew. On looking round we found that in the dark we had come up a wrong gully, however we soon made for our tent & cooked some breakfast felt all right — we started away to look at the digging went down several deserted holes (shallow ones) but couldnt find anything to pay, we bought a rope & went down a 50 foot hole & drove a few feet putting our mullock into an old drive. We washed a good prospect out of one or two dishes of dirt, but not having a windlass to work it, or tub & cradle to wash the stuff & no money to buy them


Dunolly, Pinch Gut Gully, Victoria Australia, 1856-09-11-Thursday

& we couldnt borrow any, we were compelled to make up our minds to return to Bendigo, so the next morning [1856-09-11-Thursday; Dunolly] at peep o day we made a start, being a lovely morning we enjoyed the first few miles, it was really beautiful, to see the dew on the ground like diamonds & hear the birds chirping & singing in every direction but when we got onto the plains in the middle of the day & got tired & thirsty, every thing like pleasurable emotions vanished – two poor miserable wretches we appeared to be on our arrival here last night.

[1856-09-11-Thursday — continued.] To day we have been making arrangements to go to the rush again Bostock, Charlie Watkinson, & H. Hawkins, & a man that works with Bostock, called Mucksom & myself are all going mates. We intend hiring a dray to take up our tools Mrs B & family, she is to cook for us, we purpose leaving here on Monday. Ive sold my tent for £2, & Tom Seymour promised to give me the £1 he borrowed & I have about ₤1 by me so I shall manage. Im as well off as the rest of my mates – Tom Rudd not having any money took a job this morning at a puddling mill for a fortnight till he gets a few pounds & then he will follow us. I went to the Post Of recd a letter from mother. I knocked about a great deal to day, bidding people good bye, saw Roby, she swears she'll come after me, she is leading a miserable life, I advised her to go to Melbourne & offered to pay her fare she got into an awful way at the idea, said shed sooner die than disgrace her family by her presence, poor thing – what a good wife she would have made, if she hadnt commited herself, very warmhearted & affectionate & very industrious, she makes a deal of money working with her needle


Pinch Gut Gully: Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1856-09-12 Friday

12th.Sept 1856. Very warm day, went & got my tools done up at the Blacksmith & went fossicking about went into an old hole & took out a pillar, 2 tubs & got 1½ dwts out of them. Knocked off early & made 2 pickhandles, Jim Hall came in the evening I gave him several Books & things that I cant sell or take with me. I wrote a letter to Mother —

[1856-09-13-Saturday] 13 Beautiful day. I went & got 2 tubs & washed ½ dwt out of it, got disgusted, took my Boots to mend & went into Sandhurst, wrote a note to Uncle, Bought a few things I require, came home early saw Seymour he cant pay me the pound, but let me have a watch for the money. I would rather have the money just now It was 12 oclock when I left Bostocks to night several acquaintances was there – I dont think I will write my journal until I arrive at our journeys end – wherever I may be. "Sandy Creek"

[1856-09-16-Tuesday; Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla)] 15th. We left Bendigo on [1856-09-14] Sunday about dinner time & made the “Log Inn” the first night, where we camped came on wet, made it very miserable, sleeping out Mrs B & youngsters slept under the cart with a tarpaulin over them, we made a large fire – we made Sandy Creek last night, 9 miles from Donolly, & hearing that its not turning out very well & not being very flush of money, we thought we had better settle down here & try the summer, its a very central place & we shall always be within a convenient distance if any rush that may break out, we have been very busy to day, getting poles out of the bush for our tents & to erect Bunks to sleep upon, very primitive arrangements they are. It appears to be a very quiet place not many people, there are two public houses


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1856-09-17 Wednesday

one called the Rising Sun, the other the Sandy Creek hotel & some three or four stores. We are told the ground in the neighbourhood is very patchy, they think nothing of working weeks after weeks in a hole for nothing, but then they may come upon a nugget that will pay them for a 12 months bad luck, a man told me this afternoon he worked for 6 months & didnt make half enough to keep him, was in debt everywhere, but at last he came on a piece 12 lbs weight, worth between 500 & 600 pounds Stg. I hope we may fall on such a piece [1856-09-17-Wednesday] 16th. Nice day. First thing this morning Jim & I went about to find a place to set into work, left the others at home, making a windlasses & doing jobs about our encampment, we tried a place called Doctors Creek but could get nothing to pay. In the evening I wrote to Tom & informed him of our change of plans

[1856-09-18-Thursday] 17th. Been a wet day. Tried several old holes but could get nothing to pay. I suppose we shall in time I & Harry have been reading aloud to the rest of the party, now for Bed

[1856-09-19-Friday] 18th. Been a nice day, working very hard, got no gold. Spent the evening reading – [1856-09-20-Saturday] 19th. Been very hot, we all took a walk this morn to Donolly to have a look at the place, a great many have left it, we saw no inducement to go there, it is astonishing the change that has taken place, arrived home tired enough, about 5.pm spent the evening reading & playing my concertina. [1856-09-21-Sunday] 19th. Sultry day, Sunday, Charlie & I took a long walk in the Bush. Killed a large black snake, we saw plenty of Kangaroos & K.rats, but not having any dogs or guns, we


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1856-09-22 Monday

could not catch them, spent the evening reading [1856-09-22-Monday] 20th. Warm day, sunk 2 holes one of them was a duffer the other we washed 6 tubs out of it & got 6 dwts, not much between 5 of us. Spent the evening reading

[1856-09-23-Tuesday] 21st. Wet day, miserable working, found 6 ft of water in our hole, bailed it out & got 14 dwts of gold out of it, a little better, there was 1 piece 2½ dwts amongst it. In the evening Tom Doboy & his father called on us, there are going to Donolly, but will stop the night — with us, we felled a tree close to our tent after leaving work, & split a lot of props & caps for our hole, spent the evening pleasently singing & playing Etc [1856-09-24-Wednesday] 22 Warm day, we all set to & sank a paddock or a hole on a large scale about 10 ft x 12 – bottomed it about 4 pm & washed 3½ dwts out of it I think it will pay us, been learning a game called Cribbage this evening, the only game of cards that I fancy is worth learning, making a good counter [1856-09-25-Thursday] 23rd. Windy day. Washed 20 tubs & got 19 dwts out of them, amongst it was a nugget weighing 4 dwts. Spent my evening as usual [1856-09-26-Friday] 24 Warm day. We made 10 dwt to day, making for the week 2 oz 12 dwt between us. Tom Doby returned from Donolly to night, going back to Bendg Charlie & I intend returning with him for some things we left behind us. We start in the morning — [1856-09-29-Monday-written Sandy Creek] 27th. Back home again. I left here last Saturday [1856-09-27] morning & got into Bendigo by 2 pm 30 miles in 8½ hours is not bad walking, had dinner at Tom Dobys tent. Jim & I went into Sandhurst,


Bendigo, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1856-10-01 Wednesday

called at the P.O. no letters. I met Tom Rudd & Denny I wanted them to return back with me, but they dont feel inclined, things seems very busy. I had tea in a Restaurant & meeting some folks I know we all agred to go to the Shamrock Concert Hall. We enjoyed ourselves very well, they have some fresh singers since I left Mdm Carandina, Sara Flowers, Mrs & Mr Hancock, Howson & Thatcher the comic singer, after it was over we went to a pie shop and eat an anormous quantity of pies it got late, we went to the hotel they wanted 4/. each for a bed, wouldnt give it, went to another place & got one for 2/6 — & better bed into the bargain. Sunday [1856-09-28-Long Gully] morning I went to Long gully & spent the day in Halls hut, Doboy was playing his flutina & we read & sang & altogether passed a jolly day In the evening I went to see Roby she was so glad to see me. I stayed with her about two hours, she wanted me to take her back with me. I slept at Halls all night. This morning, Monday, we left Bendigo about 8. am, got home about 8 P.m very tired and fatigued, for I had to carry a good load up with me

[1856-10-01-Wednesday] 28th. Cold day, got 12½ dwts to day spent the evening as usual

[1856-10-02-Wednesday; Sandy Creek] 29th. Been a hot day. Commenced another big hole to day, not bottomed yet, we got 3 dwts to day out of some stuff left from yesterday. Been reading [1856-10-03-Friday; Sandy Creek] 30th Sept 1856. Nice day, bottomed our hole, & got 12 dwts. & a nugget 3½ dwts. Tom & Denny arrived from Bendigo this evening, they are going to Donolly will take a spell for a day or two with us, before they go

[1856-10-04-Saturday; Sandy Creek] 1st October Nice day. Harry & I are the washers the next week in the claim, we washed 21 tubs of dirt which realized 12 dwts, poor work for 5 men, but this place is not like Bendigo for


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1856-10-05 Sunday

October 1856
there it runs regular, but here it lies in patches for instance to day we washed nearly 21 tubs & hardly got 1 dwts out of them, then the last tub turned out more than 10 dwts or ½ oz. Went to the Frenchmans store at dinner time found he has a library, got a Book from him. Been reading during the evening & playing cribbage Been a miserable day, couldnt get to work, we made 2 oz between us for the week, only just enough to pay for our Board & washing, we bought a Weekly Herald & paid 2/6 for it, an awful price for a paper, we could get the same on Bendigo for 1/. spent the day in reading Etc I went to the store for Faithey, Tom & Denny dont go till tomorrow

[1856-10-05-Sunday] Beautiful day, Sunday. we spent the day running & jumping, wrestling & other gymnastic sports, went out shooting in the woods, for a few hours in the afternoon In the evening I wrote to Mother, informing where I was & what I was doing. I went to the Frenchmans store, the P.O. is attached to it, I posted my letter. I was playing cricket for a a short time & fell & hurt myself nearly put my wrist out, served me right for breaking the Sabbath. Tom & Denny are still here

[1856-10-06-Monday] 6th. Warm day, my wrist pained me very much. I sunk a hole but was a long while about it, the others have been sinking but got on to nothing – Tom & Denny left us this morning, spent the evening reading


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla) & somewhere in the bush, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-08 Wednesday

7th. Warm day, worked hard but got no gold — Tom Doboy & his father returned from Donolly they are going back to Bendigo to work in Epson near Sandhurst, passed the evening reading aloud

8th. Nice day, didnt bottom our paddock, Tom & Denny returned from Donolly to day having got sick of it. Tom intends going to Bendigo with Doby Denny has a sore foot & will remain with us for a spell, till its better, they say that while in Donolly they heard there was a letter there for me at the P.O. I suppose mother thinking I was on Donolly sent it there — the worst of it, the P.O. is 5 miles from the township nearly 15 miles from here to go across the Bush — Ill go go on Sunday for it if its fine

9th. Nice day, bottomed our paddock washed 20 tubs & only got 10 dwts out of it. Bad work – Ive been reading "Euguen Aram" this evening

10th. Warm day, washed 17 tubs for 12 dwts left work early, passed the evening as usual

11th. Nice day, worked very hard, but couldnt get anything till Harry went into an old hole & knocked out a few tubs, out of which we got 17 dwts, but unfortunately there is no more left, making for the week 2 oz 7 dwts, which just cleared our expenses In the evening sold our gold & bought stores for the coming week

[1856-10-12-Sunday; Sandy Creek & somewhere in the bush] 12th. Nice day cleaned myself early – Charlie & I took a strool on a voyage of


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla) and somewhere in the bush, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-13 Monday

discovery, to try & find some better place to set into work – met a man with whom we got into conversation with, he told us of a place some miles in the bush, where he heard some men where working on the quiet, he was going & we went with him, found the place after a deal of trouble, liked the look of it I think will try a hole there to morrow spent the evening as usual

[1856-10-13-Monday-somewhere in the bush] 13th. Sultry day. We all went to the place we visited yesterday, I sank 3 holes, it was late when we got to the bottom of them, & Im sorry to say they were all duffers, how very mortifying, got home late & felt tired, spent the evening reading

[1856-10-14-Tuesday; Sandy Creek] 14th. Cloudy. scatterd about, trying different places, got 3 dwts between us, passed the evening as usual

[1856-10-15-Wednesday] 15. Cold windy day. Worked very hard got no gold, intend to try the old spot in the morning but the other 3 got 7 dwt, how unfortunate we are. I never had such bad luck in my life before. Been reading one of Bulwers novels, he is a favourite author of mine

[1856-10-16-Thursday] 16th. Unsettled weather. sank a hole each to day., only bottomed one, a duffer. In the evening I wrote a long letter for Charlie to his mother in England, he left home 12 years ago, & has never heard a word of them since nor has he ever wrote to them.

[1856-10-17-Friday] 17th. Lovely day. bottomed our hole, got about 1 dwt amongst us, we shall have to get credit from the storekeeper if we dont


Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-18-Saturday

do better, & I dont like the idea. Been reading & writing all the evening

[1856-10-18-Saturday; Sandy Creek] 18th. Windy day. we got out of a hole Bostock sank. About 1 oz of gold, the rest of us got nothing making for the weeks work 1 oz 17 dwts or ₤1.6.6 each just enough to pay our expenses I went to the P.O. & got a letter from mother, in- forming me that Uncle had returnd from Adelaide & intended coming to Bendigo, his son my couzin Henry is with him, I went to the Library & got a Book called the “Prime Minister” which I like exceedingly

[1856-10-19-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 19th. Sultry day. I left here early this morning for Donolly, cut across the Bush, went there & Back in 8 hours, 30 miles, got the letter I alluded to last week, found my last one from mother of a later date, it was frightfully hot in the bush, I found the sandflies & mosquitoes very troublesome my face is like a person that has had the small pox. I came through Jones Creek I feel very tired, shall soon get to bed (Sunday)

[1856-10-20-Monday; Sandy Creek] 20th Nice day. bad luck again, got 1½ dwts between us, spent the evening playing the Concertina & reading. I went to the Store & posted a letter to mother, had a yarn with Jim by the fire

[1856-10-21-Tuesday] 21st Very hot day. got 5 dwts between us. In the evening I went to see a little rush near the store there is only one hole bottomed & it is paying I marked out a claim, & intend to sink a hole upon it in the morning

[1856-10-22-Wednesday; Sandy Creek] 22nd. Windy day. went to the rush, it was very shallow ground sunk several holes, got about 1 dwts. Charlie & Jim went down to the Rising Sun & got drunk I carried Charlie home on my back & got him to bed, but


Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-23-Thursday

Jim began to kick up a row, we left him in his tent & went to the store Harry & Bostock having gone to a neighbours Faithey was left alone & the infernal sweep during our absence tried to take libertys with Faith. I got home just in time to catch him insulting her. I hit him between the eyes which rather astonished him, he got up bullying & rushed me, but I was too smart for him & didnt I walk into him, the wretch, to think how we took him in & helped him when he was starving. It was one day on Bendigo. Faith saw a man sitting under a Bush, she took him food & allowed him to stay in the tent, & got him a job so that he got a few pounds together. I never liked the fellow, he was transported (for killing a man in a fight at Plymouth) for 14 years he & I are tent mates, he is in bed just opposite me not 2 foot, he is asleep now & a more hidious face I never looked upon, covered with blood from my blow. Im afraid Ill have a Black eye in the morning where he managed to hit me, I dont like the idea of sleeping in the same tent with him he is such a nasty treacherous fellow, well God forgive him if he injures me

[1856-10-23-Thursday; Sandy Creek] 23rd Been a wet day. Could not work, stayed in the tent nearly all day, its miserable being in a tent during wet weather

[1856-10-24-Friday; Sandy Creek] 24th Nice day. bottomed one hole & got 3 dwts we have another nearly down, we are in great hopes /, it is between 2 others claims that are paying well, spent the evening read aloud one of Coopers novels —


Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-25-Saturday

October 1856 Sandy Creek
[1856-10-25-Saturday; Sandy Creek] 25th. Warm day. Our hole was a duffer but we intend to drive it, we got 1½ dwts to day making for the week 19 dwt, worse & worse – Bostock & I left work early felled a large tree got about 4 loads of firewood to the tent. went to the P.O this evening. Borrowed Volney "Rise & fall of Empires". I have read a little of it & am greatly interested Im very partial to history —

[1856-10-26-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 26th. Hot day. After Breakfast I took a bag & went into the bush & cut a lot of grass to make a mattress with, cleaned out my tent & other little jobs Etc. took a strool in the afternoon among the hills Im fond of going out alone climbing over hills & drag gings opossom out of hollow trees & looking for snakes, this nei ghbourhood is the worst place I ever was in Australia for snakes & lizards of every variety There is a strange old fellow lives near us, who has a very large collection of such like, he cures & stuffs them, & then sends them home to England I often go to see him, he is a Christian & I believe an excellent scholar, & from some remarks he made to me, has *for some portion of his life mixed in first class society he got quite excited on my asking him to relate some portion of his history, he stopped me at once by the most chilling reserve & didnt speak to me for some days, I was very sorry for I always feel improved after being in his company – I spent the rest of the day in reading, Volney –

[1856-10-27-Monday; Sandy Creek] 27th. Lovely day. got about 1½ dwts to day drove our hole some 15 ft, havn't knocked down our wash dirt. We are getting downhearted on our luck if I had £2 I would put my swag on my back & take to the roads & try my fortune in some other neighbourhood


Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-28-Tuesday

October 1856. Sandy Creek
[1856-10-28-Tuesday; Sandy Creek] 28th. Sultry day. drove our hole 6 ft further, could not get the color of gold, out of several tubs we washed, the other 3 got 5 dwt out of another hole. Charlie & I began 2 holes among the old ground in the gully, one of them went through into an old drive, so that was a call – spent the night as usual

[1856-10-29-Wednesday; Sandy Creek] 29th. Very hot, sank 2 duffers to day 10 ft deep each, we got between us about 4 dwts. I think we are going to have a thunder storm to night the wind is howling through the trees. I hope our tent wont be blown away.

[1856-10-30-Thursday; Sandy Creek] 30th. Been a beautiful day, but last night was awful, Bostock tent being the largest was blown down Faith & the children were in the rain which fell in torrents, nearly naked, we arose & dressed ourselves & they spent the rest of the night in my tent whilst us men put up their tent again, miserable work, drenched to the skin & the wind howling, we could scarcely see what we were doing it was so dark, we had to take advantag of the flashes of lightning, however the storm blew over by daylight & we soon got things to right the bedding we got dried to day. there was a large gum tree about 5 ft in diameter about 100 yards from the tent was struck with the lightning & shivered into splinters & scattered some pieces 200 yards away. I never heard such a noise in my life & or witnessed such a scene — it was late when we got to work, got 6 dwts between us, I received a letter from mother with a deal of consolation in it Etc which was very acceptable, she dont know what gold digging is, she informed me that Uncle had left town & had gone to Bendigo — I suppose he is there now.


Sandy Creek, Nuggety or near Nuggety Gully and Half Way Diggins, Victoria Australia, 1856-10-31-Friday

31st Oct. 1856. Hot day, a friend of ours told us this morning of some men at work on the sly in the Bush I accompanied him & after a deal of trouble came upon a nice little likely looking gully in which we found 8 men at work, of course they looked surprised on seeing us, were anything but civil, however I sank 2 holes, being very shallow but couldnt get anything to pay out of them I tried another & got a payable prospect from a dish of dirt, so Ill try it again to morrow

1st November 1856. Sultry day, went out with Jim to the place we where [sic] at yesterday. Jim sank a duffer I tried my hole & washed 1 dwt out of 4 dishes of dirt, it would pay us well if there was any water but there is none so we were compelled to abandon it — unfortunately the road is too rough to cart the stuff could not get a horse within miles of the place. I found a lot of *muscisa & eat a lot of native cherries made us both sick, we made 1 oz of gold this week, sick of commenting upon our bad luck — Been reading Night & Morning one of Bulwers work —

2nd. Hot day. cleaned my tent & greased my Boots Etc, then took a long strool with the others to look at some gullies in the ranges where some men are at work on the sly, we took a dish with us & tried several places but could find nothing to pay, we struck across the Bush & came on to another gully, being Sunday nobody was there, we went down the holes found the tools, also a tub of dirt in soak which we washed & found 1 dwts of gold, we filled the tub with some stuff that was lying near & put the gold back again so the men that belongs to it will not be any the wiser for our searching We intend to return in the morning & try the place, its half way between Sandy Creek & Newbridge on the Loddon.


Sandy Creek, Nuggety or near Nuggety Gully and Half Way Diggins, 1856-11-03-Monday

November 1856. Sandy Creek-
3rd Warm day. rose early Jim & I getting our things ready, while the others got the tools done up, got to the place which we call the Half way diggins, we took a tent & blankets & tossed up who should remain out there it fell on Jim Mucksom & I, we got here by 8 oclock put up the tent & got everything ready for work, in about an hours time, we sank one or two holes bottomed rather late in the afternoon, we washed 5½ dwts, not so bad a beginning considering the last time *we *had I like remaining here, for its a long way to walk nights & morning from Sandy Creek. Jim & I cut a lot of grass & spread it over the floor of our tent to sleep upon, we eat outside in the open air. The others are to fetch our vituals to us every morning. In the evening we took a strool in the Bush, caught an opossum we found we had brought no candles, but finding an old sardine Box by the road side, I converted it into what a Bushman calls a slush lamp, filled it half full with clay, & filled it up with grease & stuck a wick into it made of a bit of calico twisted round a bit of stick, to keep it perpendicular — not a very pleasent smell attached to it, but having long used them I am accustomed to it.

4th Warm day. this is a fearful place for mosquitoes never saw any thing to equal it they are in myriads we had to gather cattle dung this morning & burn it in the tent when having filled with smoke we intend to turn into Bed, anything but agreeable, we workd very hard to day, got 11 dwts to day, a good many diggers paid us a visit some stopped & sunk hole but I dont know they were much account so they left – left work early, spent the evening reading a Book Harry got for me from the Library, Homers Iliad Ive taken quite a liking for poetry since I read Shakespeares plays. I can scarcely comprehend this work, having no knowledge of mythology & knowing very little of ancient history, but what gathered from Volneys work


Half Way Diggins, Blackfellow’s Camp Newbridge, Victoria Australia, 1856-11-05-Wednesday

5th Windy day. got 8½ dwts between us. In the evening Jim & I took a long strool in the Bush didnt get Back till late visited a Blackfellows encampment, found them by a little creek that runs in to the Loddon, their cursed dogs bit my leg. We caught a young possum but it got away again —

6th Lovely day. got 15 dwts to day, sank several holes & worked very hard. In the evening Jim & I went into the Bush — for some long poles to make whips for hoisting up the dirt out of our holes

7th Hot day. hard work working in the boiling sun, the thermometer at about 100º in the shade I am sure — we got 12 dwts to day, the ground is very poor, but we wash a great quantity of dirt In the evening we gathered a lot of firewood — its very lonely being stuck out here we dont see a soul scarcely from morning till night, but our selves, sometimes an odd traveller going along the road

8th Cloudy day, but Sultry we got 9 dwts to day left work at dinner time, being Saturday. Jim & I went to Sandy Creek along with the rest making about 3 oz for the week, I shall stay on Sandy Creek to night. I want to write a letter & one for Faithey, I do the writing for all hands Harry is the only other mate I have that can read & write — so as to be under -stood. I took a walk about the quartz ranges & fancy there will be some rich reefs discovered here sometime, but it will take some Capital to work it —

[1856-11-09-Sunday] 9th Been raining nearly all day, not sorry for we are beginning to be very short of water. I went to the P.O. this morning & received a letter from Mother in which was enclosed ₤3 for me In my last to her I begged she would send me


Half Way Diggins, Newbridge, Victoria Australia, 1856-11-10-Tuesday

money for I was very short. It is the first time I ever received money from other sources than my own, I got a letter from Uncle saying he was hardup, I wrote to him & sent him ₤l
I got a Book from the Library this afternoon after which Jim & I started for the Halfway – found our tent & tools all right. We had two very unpleasent visitors towards evening, on horseback they were half drunk or pretended to be there has been several highway robberies on the roads in this neighbourhood, & I was sure from the discription I have heard of the robbers that these fellows are the identicals, they lit their pipes & asked us a number of questions, & begged some tea from us to which we gave them. I had been cleaning my gun which is a very good one & it was loaded one of the chaps wanted to see it, but I excused & after some banter they rode away, much to our relief, for one of them Gypsy Smith, as he is called is a bloodthirsty wretch & thinks no more of shooting a man than I would of a possum If I was positive of them I could have brought him down nicely, as he was riding away There is ₤200 reward for him & ₤100 for his mate — my mate Jim knew the other fellow, was in the same gang of convicts once with him in Tasmania, but he didnt recognise him. I fancy he is an awful coward, what strange companions one gets on the diggins [1856-11-10-Monday; Half Way Diggins] 10th Nice day, got 4 dwts, very poor, passed the evening reading. Harry brought my concertina down this morning, so it helps to murder time

[1856-11-11-Tuesday; Half Way Diggins] 11th Lovely day. got 4 dwts to day, heard of a rush in the hills so 3 went away to find the place returned in the evening without finding it, their clothes torn & as black as sweeps through pushing their way through the scrub


Half Way Diggins Tarnagulla and rush near Nuggety 1856-11-12 Wednesday

Nov 1856 Sandy Creek
12th Nice day, but a poor one for us, only got 7 dwts, we could do better but we are short of water for washing — Lovely evening, our tent is under a large shady tree in such a pretty, spot, I like to lay full length on the grass after supper & listen to Birds singing & whistling away, before returning to rest, what a lesson we may learn from them. I wonder how people could live in a town, where they are no Forests & Birds, where you can roam about at will & none to control you, perfectly independent, as regards appearance I fancy I should feel lost were I ever to live in a town, Im sure I should always be pining for the Bush again — Been reading Homer under difficulties, swarms of sandflies in the tent.

[1856-11-13-Thursday] 13th Nice day. got about 12 dwts to day Spent my evening as usual reading

[1856-11-14-Friday; Half Way Diggins] 14 Hot day, got 5 dwt very poor, spent the evening playing cribbage with Jim he beat me hollow he is a very good player – I would sooner have read, but it looks so bad, Jim cant read & he sits with no one to yarn with while Im enjoying myself & he dont understand or care what I like in the shape of literature.

[1856-11-15-Saturday; Half Way Diggins & rush near Nuggety] 15th Frightfully hot, working in the sun, Im covered with sun burns, if Ive a little hole in my flannel Im sure to be burnt — got no gold to day. Some Germans told us of a rush near Nuggety Gully some 3 miles from this, near to where Jim & I went to a fortnight ago we went to see the place found a large number of people there there are some doing very well. I receivd a letter from Tom Rudd, he is still on Bendigo doing very badly, he tells me Uncle is at work in Pinch Gut again, & thinks he is doing well


Half Way Diggins; Sandy Creek, Nuggety & Jim Crow, 1856-11-16

Nov 1856. Sandy Creek
some more news of no importance — spent the evening reading & playing crib, we made 1 oz 13 dwts this week, wretched work

16th Hot Sultry day, Jim & I went to the tents on our camp at Sandy Creek this morning, had Breakfast. I went to the P.O. got a long affectionate letter from Mother, which I answered, we all took a walk to Nuggety Gully & from there to Jim Crow gully, saw two men I used to know in Bendigo, they have done very well in the place but not lately, they are thinking of leaving spent the afternoon with Faith, wrote a letter for her to her father in Tasmania, poor Faith this hard life is making changes in her, when I knew her first some 4 years ago she was just married & about 15 years old, a lovely girl but quite uncul tivated having been born in the Bush & never lived in a town, she is the best tempered & good natured creature that ever lived, she thinks she can never do enough for one, her husband is nearly 40 & so different from her, she & I are the same age born on the same day. After tea Jim & I returned home — I fancy there is no sleep for us to night the mosquitoes are keeping up such a row.

17th Another smoker, had a thunder storm in the afternoon that cleared the atmosphere very little rain, the lightning was fearful it struck a tree near our tent & shivered off the limbs as neat as possible. 2 of our party went to Nuggety this morning, the 3 of us got 5½ dwts — in the evening Jim & I collected some dung to smoke mosquitoes out of our tent


Half Way Diggins, Victoria Australia, 1856-11-18 Tuesday

18th Lovely day. lost 2 hours through another thunder storm, but no rain unfortunately. We are getting very short of water, got 12½ dwts to day just after dark 2 men called at our tent, I suppose the light attracted them, they were drunk having been to Sandy Creek & losing their way in the dark couldnt find their tent which is situated about a mile from here, in some thick scrub they are splitters & have a saw pit in the Bush we allowed them to sleep with us on the ground under the shelter of our tent, they didnt require Blankets being so warm — I hate drunken men, being a teatotellar from principle

19th Nice day. our tent mates left us this morning after Breakfast, they were very grateful to us, got 10 dwts to day, sank 2 holes no good — passed the evening as usual —

20th Nice day. sunk 2 duffers to day — we managed to get 7½ dwts out of another hole —

21st Beautiful day. we got 15¼ dwts to day, our water is nearly done, if we have no rain will have to try some other place where there is some — spent the evening as usual

[Saturday] 22nd Nice day. worked until 12 oclock went into Sandy Creek, & squared up our week work which amounted to ₤2.3.0. a man, owing to some dispute arising about our Board, we have been paying 3/- per week to Mrs Bostock, & we think we can board ourselves more reasonably, so Harry & Charlie as they have a tent to themselves will board together. Jim & I will do the same. I wouldnt have left her, but we are doing so poorly that we sometimes cant pay our Board, & we know she has to get


Half Way Diggins, Tarnagulla, 1856-11-23-Sunday

things on credit so, it would not be fair to let her be liable for our sakes. In the evening I went to the store for rations, & got a Book at the time

23rd Warm day. I went up to Sandy Creek early this morning. Tom Rudd came here from Bendigo this morning, he is going to work along with us, he states that Uncle has been doing very well lately, but he has been drinking & spreeing awfully, he wants me to keep him in order, my tent mate Jim met an acquaintance & they went to the public house I suppose they will get drunk, what a fool he has but £1 in the world. I swear I wont keep him if he spends it. I returned home alone —

24th Hot day. my mates came to work this morning without Jim, He had just come to the tent when they left, drunk! we got 11¼ dwt to day. Im left alone to night again, rather lonely, it is a very solitary place. I took a strool in the Bush & visited the blacks to night

25th Another hot day. we got 14½ dwts to day. Jim is not going to work any more with us, Im very glad. Harry is going to stay with me to night, we played cribbage & read, I like him better than any of my other mates. Ive taken quite a dislike to Tom he is so low. Im afraid he will never be anything, he got mixed up with a bad lot on Bendigo & I dont think he left it very honorably. Im trying to change my opinions about a good many


Half Way Diggins, Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-11-26 Wednesday

Nov 1856 Sandy Creek
old acquaintances, & my ideas on many different subjects than I formerly had — Ive read a deal lately a different class of works than I used to be fond of —

26th Hot day, we made 13½ dwts, Tom is going to stay to night with me Harry couldnt stand the mosquitoes. In the evening Tom & I went on to the road & had a foot race, he used to be a good runner, but Im as good, my other mate Charlie used to be a professional runner, & he has given me good practice lately. I can beat every one I tried yet in walking, but Ive no taste for running. We afterwards went into the Bush & caught Opossums.

27th Warm day, had a shower about 4 Pm that gave us a little water, we only got 2 dwt to day Jim Mucksom called this evening for his Blankets he is going on the tramp, he is hard-up hasnt a penny or a crust. I gave him 5/. all the money I was possessed of In the evening Tom & I went out pigeon shooting got a nice couple, lit a fire & cooked them “a la black fellows” on the coals they were firstrate, read a little aloud

28th Nice day, got 2 dwts. In the evening Tom & I went out shooting but it was too late spent the evening reading the “Last of the Barons” all about Kings & Queens, Dukes & Lords Etc I like it the least of any I have read of Bulwers —

[Saturday] 29th Fine day, we got about 8 dwts, making for the week 2 oz 14 dwt left work at 12 came to Sandy Creek through the scrub saw 3 kangaroos & a little joey, sold our gold my mates except Bostock & I got drunk at Stubbs “Rising Sun”. I slept all night at Bs


Sandy Creek Half Way Diggins, Victoria Australia, 1856-11-30 Sunday

Nov 1856 Sandy Creek
30th Cold miserable day. in the morning 3 of us went to the new rush at the bottom of Sandy Creek – I like the look of the place — we found 2 possum in a hollow tree, which I sold to a Chinaman for 3/. on passing Stubbs we went in to spend the morning, & found Charley there drunk Bostock & I carried him home But Harry remained & he got drunk, He came home & fell asleep & after an hour or so got up all right Tom & I went to the P.O. I got a letter from Mother & one from my sister Mary the first ever she wrote me, they want me to come home at X mas, but Im afraid if I do no better than I am at present, I shant. Tom & I went this evening & helped ourselves to a Bucket & a shovel out of a hole, we were in want of them & couldnt buy any —

[1856-12-01-Monday; Half Way Diggins] 1st December 1856. Nice day. got 4½ dwts I wrote a letter to my brother Edward who lives on a station at Fiery Creek, some 40 or 50 miles from here. We went out opossum hunting. Been reading a little

2nd Cloudy day. got 10 dwts, Harry stayd here to night. We went out possum hunting got two. I wrote to Mother this evening —

3rd Pleasent day, got 2½ dwts, very poor but at the close of the day we dropped onto a little patch of 14¼ dwts out of 1 tubs, not a bad days work for 3 men & our other two mates got disgusted with the hole they sank on Sandy Creek & came & joined us at the close of the day, they are going to look for another place in the morning for water is nearly done here. If no rain falls we


Half Way Diggins, Tarnagulla/Newbridge, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-04-Thursday

shall have to leave this next week. Harry has gone home, we spent the evening as usual

4th Very hot day, got 3 dwts — I came home to night, left Harry in my place (Bostock & Charley, have set in at Jim Crow Gully not bottomed yet In the evening I went to the store for rations with Charlie — I spent the rest of the evening reading the Insurgent Chief aloud

[1856-12-05-Friday; Half Way Diggins (packing up) & Sandy Creek] 5th Sultry day thunder storm this afternoon but very little rain, got 1 dwt of gold, where disgusted with the place & have agreed to leave it altogether, we brought home a load of things intend fetching the rest in the morning passed the evening reading —

[1856-12-06-Saturday; left Half Way]

6th Hot day, we made 1 oz 13 dwts this week. Went down & brought up the rest of our things, got a lift in a Bullock dray. sold our gold just 25/. each. In the afternoon I went to store for rations for next week, then felled a tree & got a lot of firewood to the tent passed the evening reading.

[1856-12-07-Sunday; Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla)] 7th Nice day went to the P.O. no letters. I went to the store & bought a pair of Boots & a handkerchief, just spent a guinea -, we went for a walk to see where to set in to tomorrow, we are thinking of going to Nuggety Flat & some of us are going to start in Mother Chisholm Gully, (what a name) if Bostock dont get onto anything, passed the evening reading — I forgot to mention that on our road home we met a man named Hammersly a friend of Bostocks he has a broken arm, he is going to live at Bostocks, Charley got on the spree Tom & I went down to fetch him home, but he was so stubborn we were obliged to leave him there — curse the drink I say


Mother Chisholm’s, Spain and Stubb’s Gullies, Tarnagulla. 1856-12-08-Monday

[1856-12-08-Monday; Mother Chisholms Flat] 8th Cloudy day. Been sinking holes all day didnt bottom any. Charley has been lushing all day, he came home looking very seedy. Been reading all the evening —

[1856-12-09-Tuesday; Mother Chisholms Flat] 9th Windy day. bottomed one of our holes, no good, we intend driving it tomorrow. Been reading & playing cribbage Etc

[1856-12-10; Mother Chisholms Flat] 10th Nice day, worked very hard, but couldnt get any gold, driving the holes we bottomed yesterday [1856-12-11-Thursday; Mother Chisholms Gully] 11th Cold windy day. Been driving our holes but could not get onto anything, we intend to cart a load down to the creek & try it tomorrow [1856-12-12-Friday; Mother Chisholms Flat] 12th Nice day. got to work early, & paid 5/- for the cartage of a load of dirt, which turned out 4½ dwts, which so disgusted us of the "Flat" that we dont intend to try it again, we took a strool round in the afternoon, on the lookout for a place to set in we intend trying a gully near the tent, called Spain Gully, spent the evening as usual

[1856-12-13-Saturday; Stubbs Gully] 13th Sank 2 holes to day but didnt bottom, left early, as usual on Saturday. I received a letter from mother, all well, informs me of the departure for England of Mrs & Miss Hall of Adelaide. the Boys, Joe & Willy went home sometime ago. Mr H. will feel lonely. I wish my mother could go home, she cant reconcile herself to this colony

[1856-12-14-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 14th Sultry day. Never left the tent to day until evening when I went to Kennedys the storekeeper to ask him to give us credit next week. I have no money & heavens only knows when I shall have any. Its the first time I ever got credit from a storekeeper. I remember some years ago on Fryers Creek living a week on dry Biscuit & water. I couldnt get


Stubb’s Gully, Doctor’s Creek, Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-15-Monday

get trust those days) A week afterwards I made more than £30 & I was only 13 years of age such is the uncertainty of gold digging. Ive read a great deal to day – Sunday —

[1856-12-15-Monday; Stubbs Gully] 15th Been very hot — we got 6 dwts to day after doing an unusually hard days work sunk a hole each about 9 ft deep & washed nearly 20 tubs of dirt, we are all very downhearted at our ill-luck & wish ourselves away I posted a letter to day for Faith & one for myself spent the evening as usual

[1856-12-16-Tuesday; Stubbs Gully] 16th Very hot, got 2 dwt between us – we left Stubbs Gully, we are going to try Doctors Creek tomorrow, our mate Charlie got sick of Sandy Creek, he intends going to Bendigo again in a day or two. Im sorry he is going but I dont blame him, Been reading “Susan Hoply or the Adventures of a Servant Girl”

[1856-12-17-Wednesday; Doctors Creek] 17th Little cooler to day, Bostock & I sank a hole in Doctors Creek 10 ft deep not the color of gold in it Harry & Tom sank one 9 ft deep, no better — another profitless day — spent the evening reading

[1856-12-18-Thursday; Doctors Creek (gully)] 18th Cloudy & windy — Charlie left us this morning for Bendigo I accompanied him a short distance on the road, I wish Id gone with him — B & I sank a hole 10 ft deep no good Harry & Tom sank another & dropped through into an old drive, he (Tom) was nearly drowned — I went to the store (Browns) & got some stores on "tick," came home & played cards & read a little [1856-12-19-Friday; Doctors Creek then Stubbs Gully?] 19th Hot sultry day. we sank 2 more holes this morning, no good so we left Doctors & set into the spot we began first at in the gully


Stubb’s Gully, Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-20-Saturday

Been busy clearing off the ground, got 2 holes nearly down, In the evening I took a strool with Jack Hammersly. Ive been reading since. Its very sultry I think we are going to have a thunder storm, the mosquitoes are in myriads, we call them the beauties of Sandy Creek

[1856-12-20-Saturday; Stubbs Gully?] 20th Little cooler to day, we got 1 dwt to day making for the week about 10½ dwts or 10/. a man there is only four of us now left work early & went to the P.O. & also to the store payed what I owed & got a few things for next week. I wrote a note to Uncle this evening, Bostock is going to leave us in the morning, he is a stonemason by trade & thinks it best to try & get work at his trade we have promised to look after his wife & little ones until he sends for them — I think it is the best thing he could do for its very untow[ard] to see young children & a woman only half fed & just existing — we have been unlucky poor Faith, she is the gayest of the lot to all appearances

[1856-12-21-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 21st Very hot to day. Bostock left this morn In the morning I went & got in a lot of wood & carried up to the tent nearly a load of water (water is very scarce). I spent the afternoon in a neighbours tent there are three of them, decent young fellows, but hardup like our- selves. In the evening I went to the store & got some Bread & Butter on "tick" for Faith I suppose theyll be paid for some time


Stubb’s Gully,Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-22 Monday

December 1856. Sandy Creek
22nd Been very hot. We worked in Stubbs Gully to day washed about 8 tubs & got 1 dwt enough to break a mans heart, toiling away, & living as we do for such poor pay — Spent the evening reading one of Marryats Novels “Percival Keene”, a lively story

[1856-12-23-Tuesday] 23rd Still hot, I sunk a hole 6ft deep & washed several tubs & got ¼ dwt so I left it, my other mates got about 1 dwt. Been reading my Book aloud this evening, for the benefit of the others —

[1856-12-24-Wednesday] 24th Been very hot. got a few pennyweights of gold sufficient to clear off our account at the store Spent the evening in reading —

[1856-12-25-Thursday] 25th Christmas day. Went to the hole I sunk yesterday in the hope of getting a bit of gold to spend at the sports tomorrow, got about 5 dwts about 7/- each — left work early & went to the store for some rations Faithey made a fine pudding. Our neighbours, Bill Nuttal & Dick Yoe found a nugget they sold for £6. to day the[y] insisted upon sharing it, as we were helping another at work, they are bent upon having as much fun as possible during the X mas — We all went to Stubbs, & have been dancing & singing & playing Skittles Its now about 1 oclock I left them there about 10 pm & came home & sat with Faithey —

[1856-12-26-Friday] 26 Been very hot to day or yesterday I should say for its about 4. am. After Breakfast we all went down to Stubbs, to witness & take part in sports, the large room was cleared & made into a dancing saloon, so we had plenty of dancing, the most amusing thing was to see so few women. I only saw four. I stuck to Miss


Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-27 Saturday

Stubbs all day. I think she got too much wine to drink or I got too much ginger beer into my head, for we've agreed to bolt away together next week, she got quite spoony. I won a pound & a bottle of gin climbing the greasy pole Dick Yoa won £2 a second prize in a wrestling match, he also won ₤1 for being the best hornpipe dancer, that com- -peted for the prize. Tom Rudd won 12/. came in 2nd in a running match — I met an old playmate of mine that hasnt seen me for 5 years, J.Pascoe, he heard my name & accosted me, I was glad to see him, we spent a good deal of time together talking about old times Etc. My mates, of course, got drunk & between us we spent all our money.

[1856-12-27-Saturday] 27th Very late when I got up, I found my mates had got a 30 oz Cask of B.Beer by the tent, I dont know where they got it from, but Im under the impression they stole it, for they burnt the cask. We spent the day at Stubbs rose the wind by Jack Hammersly borrowing £2 on his watch which we spent, I sticking to my Ginger Beer but I lost a few games of skittles & cards & of course had to stump up. I won at one time £6 but managed to lose it again. I left my mates at Stubbs, & came home by 7 pm had a good wash & have been reading to Faithey since.

[1856-12-28-Sunday] 28th Been cold & windy. late when we rose after Breakfast. Harry & I went to the hills & brought in a lot of firewood. Our neighbours came in with a Bottle of Brandy. Tom drank the most of it, got quarrelsome & gave me a bit of his mind as he calls it, accused me of cohabiting with his sister Faith. I soon shut


Jim Crow & Nuggety Gullies, Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-29 Monday

him up, by a smack in the mouth which he attempted to return, but he is a rank coward & funked on it. they got him to bed, he rose a little while since & came into me palavering & wishing to make it up — I know him to be very treacherous so Ill be on my guard with him for the future.

[1856-12-29-Monday; Sandy Creek] 29th Hot wind blowing to day, far from being agreeable. Not having any place to go to work in took a cruise about the hills & gullies on the look, about, Jim Crow, Nuggety Gully & Stony Creek, there are plenty of places that would pay us to work if there was only water, but it is scarce this time of the year, we worked in the afternoon in a gully near the tent, got 1 dwt. Spent the evening as usual yarning & reading Etc

[1856-12-30-Tuesday; Sandy Creek] 30th Just such another day as yesterday — I find Ive got a severe cold & sore throat, the effects of X mas work. Our neighbours came in this morning. We joined mates with them, thus making our party 6 in all, they are a good sort of a set. Bill Nuttal came from Manchester D.Yoe is a Plymouth chap, Been a Man of Wars man, was in the China War, & has a medal for gallant conduct there & one for saving a ships passengers & crew on the coast of Africa, by swimming from the shore with a line to the vesel whilst on the rocks, he has been captain of a smuggler in the East Indies, & came here 2 years ago as 1st mate of a large ship & was induced to leave by the alluring prospect of making a fortune by gold digging, he is a reckless dare devil sort of a chap, fond of his grog & fond of


Prospecting, Tarnagulla, Victoria Australia, 1856-12-31-Wednesday

everything in the way of athletic sports the other chap, Jack (I dont know his other name) is a simple kind of a slow coach (for a native) but a good workman — I hope they may change our luck. We set in this afternoon together & sank three holes & took out some old pillars but got no gold. Spent the evening reading —

[1856-12-31-Wednesday; Sandy Creek] 31st Cloudy day, with a few light showers – Harry & Dick heard of a new rush in the bush & spent nearly all day looking for it, but came back knocked up, nearly dead for a drink of water, & could not find the place. I think its a hoax. The rest of us got 12 dwts to day, not before it was wanted for the storekeeper has determined to give us no more credit, some man left the place yesterday in his debt — In the evening we went to the P.O. no letter for me we sold our gold for £2.10.0 Faith got a letter from her husband, contg a ₤1.0.0. he hasnt got into constant work yet, but hopes to do so next week, when he will send for her, he stated in his letter he often sees my Uncle, who is shocked to hear that I have become such a drunkard, me that has never tasted anythg stronger than water, this last 6 years & dont know the taste of Ale or spirits. I wonder who could have been so kind as to spread such a report about me — We paid our debts at the store to day. Been reading Paradise Lost.


Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-01-Thursday

1st.January 1857. Sandy Creek -
News years day, but we have been compelled to work upon it. I trust I shall have better luck this year than last, tho I didnt do so bad for the first nine months of it. I went to Adelaide which cost me over ₤25. & left 20 pounds with Mr Hall & have since sent home £30, making ₤50 to my credit now in his hands — We got 14 dwts to day, 4 of us the other 2 went to the halfway diggins & sank a hole but not having a tub were unable to try it they got a good prospect out of a dish of dirt 1 dwts, theyll try it tomorrow. Bill & I went to the Store and sold our gold in the evening

2nd Nice day. We worked very hard to day but got something for it, made 1 oz 6 dwt the best six days work weve had since we came onto Sandy Creek. Tom had a row with his sister Faith, about a trifle, was going to strike her but Harry stopped him, he packed up his swag & came to me for his share of the days work (Im cashier) which I gave him, I dont think he went far for he came back about 9. pm looking black as thunder, he wanted to quarrel with me. Harry & Dick got up this morning about 4 am & went to Catos Station to find another rush, another hoax they came back about 3 pm tired enough having walked better than 30 miles

3rd Cloudy day, but we had a slight thunder storm in the evening, but unfortunately no rain, we got 16 dwts to day, making for the week 3 oz. 10 dwts the best week work


Stubb’s Gully, Tarnagulla, Mt. Hope Rumours, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-04-Sunday

weve had since we came on the cursed place – We left work early & did a lot of jobs about the place. I went to the Snobs for a pair of Boots, not done of course, no dependence to be placed in them. My mates brought a bottle of Cognac in this evening, been playing cards Etc & been pretty jolly

[1857-01-04-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 4th Warm day. Johnnie Pascoe came here to see me before I was up, he stayed with me all day In the afternoon Tom & he & I went to Stubbs had some Ginger Beer (he is a tetoteller) & sigars went to see a lot of other young chaps, a regular rowdy lot, spent the afternoon playing single stick & Boxing, running & jumping Etc. Tom & I saw Johnni home he lives more than 2 miles from here. I went to the store on my return home for rations We heard of a rush to a place called Mount Hope, about 100 miles from here, where they are digging out gold like potatoes of course its exaggerated, Its in a locality where no gold has been found before a great many have passed through this way from the Western diggins to it I was speaking to some men this evening that are camped by us, they are from Chinamans Flat. They dont know where the place is, but that its somewhere near the junction of the Loddon & Murray Rivers we are thinking of letting 2 of our lot go to see the place & if its any good to send


Stubb’s Gully, Tarnagulla, Newbridge, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-05-Monday

for the rest, but none of them like the idea of going £1 is all the money we have & its fearful work travelling over plains this time of the year, no water, & the weather so scorching hot. Ive been about the track some years ago in search of horses, & know the kind of country it is, large level plains, about 10 miles across & then a belt of timber & so on & very little water Ive offered to go if one of the others will start – well see what morning will bring forth —

[1857-01-05-Monday; Sandy Creek] Monday morning 5.am. 5th Jan. Bill Nuttal & I are going to Mount Hope, we start directly

[1857-01-11; Sunday; back at Sandy Creek] 11th Jany 1857 A week since I continued my journal — I will try & remember how the time was spent, though there are portions that can never be blotted from memory

[1857-01-05-Monday-Continued; Sandy Creek, Newbridge, Cato’s Station] [The following narative appears to be 7 days, but it was only 5 days] We left Sandy Creek last Monday morning following in the wake of some others, bound like ourselves to Mount Hope. After a sharp walk of better than an hour, we made Newbridge (Loddon) where we found some 3000 people — all bound for the rush, on making enquiries, nobody appeared to have any idea which way to go, no one had heard any positive news concerning the place, with the exception of those from Chinamans Flat, who stated that a Storekeeper called Page, spread the


Newbridge; Cato's Station; Serpentine, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-06-Tuesday

report that he had received a letter from an old friend stating that he had found gold in great quantities near Mount Hope, & begged him to go up at once & take with him, as many stores as he could, he pulled down his store & hired 6 Bullock Teams & loaded them with stores & grog.- well! We didnt leave Newbridge till about 3.Pm, when Pages son came up, & read to us the direction, we [were] to follow the Loddon for about 30 miles until we came to the Serpentine Hotel (a small bush inn on the road from Bendigo to Mount Kerang) from there to strike across the plains to Mount Hope. well! On the strength of this nearly all made a move — Bill & I pushed on for about 10 miles as far as Catos Station – where we camped amidst about 200 others, several of whom we knew, we passed a merry night, being moonlight we hunted possums, [1857-01-06-Tuesday; Serpentine] we started first thing next morning, being frightfully hot, one blessing there was not want of water. We reached the Serpentine by about 4 pm, found by night a vast assemblage of people — Bill & I camped & made enquiries about continuing our journey, but found that every body was beginning to think it was a hoax. Page came up at dark & camped & began to sell his stores at a most exorbitant rate, flour 2/6 lb & a nobbler 1/6. I bought 4 lb of flour of him though we had bread in our swag to last us another day, but nothing else, we bought ½ lb of Butter which was like oil, through the heat & put it in a Bottle, had nothing to eat but Bread & Butter that day & was sparing with it


Serpentine, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-07-Wednesday

next morning Wednesday, we thought of starting on the plains in the direction we were told Mt Hope was situated, when just as we were starting a party that had gone the day before returned with the body of a man that had perished for want of water, the weather being so hot, it made us reflect, so we remained all day at our camp, living on Bread about 1 lb between us, we bought a small Box of Sardines for which we paid Mr Page 3/. & 5/. for 2 lb or pannikins of flour. We made up our minds to start in the morning, & chance it at daybreak. [1857-01-08-Thursday?; Serpentine] We folded up our swag, leaving our tent & some other things we thought we could do without, buried under some stones while Bill was engaged in the task I turned tea & mixing some of our flour with water, baked some cakes on the ashes, filled our “Billy” with water & started, we were afraid to drink any of it till noon, we found it half empty & the rest was so hot, it made me sick to drink it. We saw some timber a few miles ahead, where we thought we’d find some water but we were doomed to disappointment, it was nearly dark when we camped having walked we supposed 25 miles, tired & footsore & fearfully thirsty. Bill chews tobacco, which excites the saliva for a while. I was bad enough but Im sure he was worse, however we slept soundly but Bill said his throat was on fire. [1857-01-09-Friday?] In the morning we started again but couldnt eat anything, we found after


Attempted Trek to Mt. Hope, via Serpentine, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-08 Circa

walking till 10. am a distance of about 7 or 8 miles a dry creek, but not a drop of water to be seen, the creek didnt run in the direction we were going, but we had abandoned our intention of going forward & only wished to get back poor Bill sat down & cried, it was the first time he ever was in such a strait & had never been much left to his own resources — All his fortitude deserted him, I felt strong in his weakness & after a deal of persuading I got him up again we followed the creek further down some 2 more miles & found no water, I felt ready to drop it was so hot But Bill sat down & I couldnt get him up. I lost my temper & kicked him till I got him up again it was now about 3.Pm we pushed on down the creek. I at last saw a kangaroo track. It put new life in me, for I was sure there must be water about. We walked on (Bill half dead) & at length saw some recent kangaroo steps followed them a short distance, they led us to what had once been a water hole, but owing to the heat of the weather & long drought, there was scarcely any left in it, not above 6 Buckets full, & such water!, quite blue, through the gum leaves that was in it, however we drank it, as if t'were nectar. We met several others like ourselves, but had not been so long without water we had been 30 hours & not tasted water walking over plains under a broiling sun (about 100º in the shade). We got a handkerchief & strained some of the water into our "Billy" & made a little tea & camped for the night. I fell asleep as soon as I had


Plains of Serpentine, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-09Circa

finished feeling hot & feverish. [1857-01-10 Saturday?] I awoke & found the sun about an hour high, & regular hot day it turned out to be. Bill & I felt very weak & faint, tho we had slept sound we hadnt taken of our clothes but laid down on the grass with our heads on our swags We didnt know where we were but I was sure the creek must lead into the Loddon, so we followed it & found my conjecture right, reached the River by about 1 Pm & oh! didnt we feel the blessing of good water we had a bath, which refreshed us, for the skin on our arms, faces & necks was all in ridges, where the sun had scorched us, we soon found the road to the Serpentine Hotel, we arrived there about 4 pm. found a great number of people still there. We noticed a great crowd of people together, on nearing them, we found the crowd in a very excited state, they had erected a stage on a Bullock dray, under the limb of a tree & upon it was Mr Page, he had been found guilty by judge Lynch, & a jury of everybody, of grossly deceiving the public, by spreading a report that had no foundation & had led to most disastrous consequences (3 Bodies had been brought in from the plains dead.). I saw 1 swollen up an awful size) he was sentenced to be hung & while the mob were fixing the rope Young Page rushed through the crowd with a revolver in his hand & leading a horse, which his father lost no time in mounting & riding aft upon. It saved his life for the mob were in an awful state, however everything he left behind became public property, & then ensued such a scene as I never witnessed before nor do I hope to see again, everybody wanted the drink & such fighting & scrambling. I saw a man hit another


Serpentine; Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1857-01-09

on the head with a bottle, he dropped insensible with a piece of glass sticking in his head (I heard this evening that the man died) numbers got drunk others running about with Butter on shovels & some trying on Boots & trousers. I found a revolver which I stuck to & 2 or 3 pairs of socks. Bill got a bottle of
of gin & along with some other fellow got pretty drunk nearly every body packed up & started homewards or backwards for 9/l0ths had their homes on their backs All our provisions were done & we 30 miles from home & half dead from exhaustion the effects of the last 2 days exertions, the night was fine, and after getting our things we had planted I insisted upon starting on our road home. Bill wouldnt budge, but I threatened to leave him, which had the effect of getting him up we left the place about 8 pm & trudged on till about 11. Pm when we laid down on the grass making our swags into a pillow & slept soundly till about 6 Friday morning, went to the river & had a bath & continued our journey, there were hundreds of people returning we gave our last shilling to a man for a biscuit which we divided, that only whet our appetites, we reached Newbridge about noon, & got home about 2 pm & so passed five of the most trying days in my life we hadnt tasted anything but Bread since we left & the last 3 days, not 3 lb between us. Bill weighed himself to day, he has lost 20 lb in weight & I have lost 14 lb. I was 10 stone last Sunday & to day I could hardly draw 9- didnt we eat! when we got back yesterday & to day, we didnt go to work to day, but in the afternoon I went with Jack Hammersly to Nuggety Gully, where his wife is living, she ran away from him about 2 months ago & has been living with a mulatto, she took a lot of money & some other


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1857-01-11 (written)

valuables with her, which he wanted to recover — we had such fun (or I had) we hid ourselves in the Bushes near their hut & ascertained that the "darkie" wasnt home. I went up to the hut & told her a person wanted to see her, & pointed out the place where Jack was, she went to see him, & I popped into the hut & knowing what things were Jacks I soon wrapped them up, a gold watch & chain & a broach & several other nick knacks. I wasnt 5 minutes in the place, before I was out again & by going a round in the bush she didnt observe me. I soon met Jack & gave him the things he didnt remain long but packed up his swag & started for Bendigo this evening taking, with him a letter for Bostock from Faith stating her desire to join him as soon as possible — My mates got 4 oz 3 dwt for the week which they divided of course — I am going to continue my journal from this date weekly, for the future —

1857-01-18-Sunday; Sandy Creek] 18th Weather very hot. Been at work at the same place my mates were at last week, but only got 2 oz. 19 dwts between us, not much for 6 men – There has been a rush on the Flat near the place we were at before X mas. We sank a hole, but no good – Mrs. B. got a letter from her husband. Charlie & him are working in a quarry on Bendigo, he is going to send for her next week — J.Pascoe called to day staid tea. Tom & I went home with him, & on our way home Tom met an old lady that he knew & I left him with her. Spent the evening reading —

[1857-01-23-Friday; Sandy Creek; the Flat] 23rd Weather very warm. My reason in writing my log to night, Friday) is that I am going to Bendigo in the morning. Tom went there on Wednesday & returned with a dray he'd borrowed to take his sister & her traps down — Bostock is in a job £4.10.0 aweek, which is better than digging


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla); Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1857-02-01

Jany 1857. Sandy Creek Harry & I are going with them & help him as much as possible, we will get down in a day. We have been working on the Flat this week, but only got 14 dwts. But Harry hurt his hand & was not able to work, he was taking a walk yesterday & looking over a heap of dirt he found a nugget, weighing 1 oz 16 dwts — lucky- it helped to make up the weeks work, water is very scarce, I wish we had some rain —

[1857-02-01-Sunday; Sandy Creek, Ironbark (Bendigo)] 1st February. 9 days since I continued my journal we left here for Bendigo yesterday week & got there the same night. We camped in Ironbark Gully where we met Bostock, (he was very Cool to me. It appears Jack Hammersly who we kept for 2 months told him, a pack of lies concerning Faith & I. If I see the fellow again Ill give him something to talk about) we helped them to put up their tent for the night. I went into Sandhurst, about 9.Pm visited the Concert Room, heard some good singing met many old friends. I got a bed in the Shamrock Hotel (4/-) got out to Bostocks next morning for Breakfast, spent the forenoon in erecting their tent In the afternoon Harry & I went over to Long Gully saw J.Hall, & Grundy, & several others old friends they were very glad to see us, we called to see my Uncle, found him half drunk & my cousin Harry (the lame boy) very miserable on his account they told me they had been very lucky, But Uncle spent it as fast as they got it, he gave me the £1.0.0 back I sent to him some weeks back — I didnt remain long with them, had tea at Bostocks, after which we went back to Piggotts Cambridgeshire Arms & stayed there all night In the morning [1857-01-26-Monday ] I went to see Uncle again


Bendigo; Sandy Creek, Victoria Australia, 1857-01-26-Monday

Feby 1857 Sandy Creek
he told me about Mary Ann eloping with Pete & a lot more of his affairs not worth alluding too On leaving them I met Harry, we thought of starting for home, but as we wanted a few things we went into Sandhurst, bought some Boots, met Tom Doby & being very hot we made up our minds not to return until Tuesday, we spent the day playing Billiards & lounging about smoking Etc In the afternoon we went to see D.Sullivan, his wife has returned to him again & they are living very comfortable together. We promised to spend the evening with them , we left & had tea at Bostocks, after which we left the night was fearfully dark & in crossing IronBark Gully Harry fell into a sludge hole, up to his neck. I in trying to get him out fell in also & if it had not been for a man passing & hearing us, who ran at once to some tents close by we would have lost our lives, sludge is not like water you cant keep yourself afloat, but it seems to suck one down — Nice objects we appeared on going back to Bostocks, we had to strip off everything & wash our clothes, we made a large fire & by about 2 am next morning had them dry again we left about 7.Pm, & got back here by dark without meeting anything to interest us much on the road, a few miles the other side of Newbridge there are two graves in the bush, near the road side, I always thought they belonged to some one that had died on a station near by, but on having some conversation with a Shephard (we met near the spot) he told us a long story, about them. It appears they Sheppard & his wife that were murdered by the Blacks many years ago — In my rambles through Australia Ive often come across the graves of many that have died, a few logs thrown up in the form of a fence, to mark the spot, many


Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Victoria Australia, 1857-02-07 Saturday

whose names are not known. We found our mates all right, glad to see us back got to work next morning, made 21 dwts, Thursday 17 dwts, Friday 1 oz Saturday we only worked about 2 hours & got 2 dwts or about 10 dwt each for the 4 days we worked better than nothing, for we had spent what little money we had on Bendigo. I received a letter from Mother yesterday, she advises me to join Uncle on Bendigo, but I saw enough of him when there I wrote to Mother to day, & also to Faith —

[1857-02-07-Saturday; Sandy Creek] 7th Feby 1857. Been very hot. I was 18 years of age on the 2nd of this month – Tom & Big Jack left us last Monday for Daisy Hill, reducing our party to four — we made 2 oz between us, which has disgusted us with the place, so we have made up our minds to leave Sandy Creek for good. Two friends of Nuttals called to day to see him, they live at Donolly & have been doing pretty well, they are staying with us all night & are going to help to carry some of our things for us, in the morning, so to day we have been making & mending our tents, & doing up our tools & a variety of little jobs. Im not sorry we going for Im heartily sick of the place. Went to see Miss Stubbs to day, she hadnt spoke to me for a long time because I didnt keep my word with her at X mas, after a good laugh, we parted good friends — went to bid goodbye to several others during the evening —


Dunolly (moved to), Victoria Australia, 1857-02-15 Sunday

Donolly. Feby 1857-
15th February — We left Sandy Creek last Sunday each carrying a swag weighing nearly 100 wt a good swag to carry 12 miles in the broiling sun it took us all day. We are camped on the bank of the creek near the Township of Donolly we stayed in Old Sam & Little Jacks tent (the 2 men we came with) the first night — the next day we pitched our tents & rigged up our stretchers & made our camp all snug on Wednesday morning, a young chap named Maguire (an old mate of Bill Nuttals) called & persuaded Bill to join him in sinking a hole at Chinamans Flat — 10 miles from here — he has not left us for good, we are still [mates] & share whatever we get. Yoa joined a man to sink a hole, a very wet one it will be, they got 11 dwts out of it Dick getting 5½ dwts for his share which of course we’ll share. Harry & I went up the old lead & got out a load of dirt, it only turned out 3 dwt & it cost us 3/- to cart it to the creek (The ground here is very different to work than Sandy Creek & Bendigo, Being very hard & deep.) we left it & have gone into another hole – I shall write to mother to night — 3 men I hear found a nugget on Burnt Creek 3 miles from here last week, nice lift – Donolly is a very different place to what it was when I visited it last, not one quarter of the people here.

[1857-02-22-Sunday] 22 Feby. Worked very hard this week. Dick left the man he went with, they couldnt agree so we worked together, drove on to hole we went into & got 3 oz out of it, for


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-03-01 Sunday

for the weeks work. Last Saturday night (last night) we went down the town, spent the evening very pleasently — visited the concert rooms & Dancing Saloons, didnt get home till 2 am this morning we were expecting Bill up to day, but no sign of him

[1857-03-01-Sunday] 27th. Been hot this week. We have been working in the same hole this as last week, but we only got 1 oz, very poor, & we went to the trouble of cutting a lot of timber & propping it — I dont think we'll do any more in it — I was greatly shocked last Monday. Dick & I went to the P.O. found it closed (being 12 oclock) we went into a Public House to wait, & I took up the Argus & seeing a column in mourning, made me look I found it contained the account of the death of our friend [Hall-56542|Mr. Hall], late Mayor of Adelaide he appears to have fell over a balcony & broke his neck. Im very sorry for he had been a good friend to our family, his wife & family are in England, only left a short time before his death, they will hear of his death as soon as they land. I must see I get my money back I wrote at once to mother & begged her to send for it, she has his receipt for it I enclosed a pound in the letter, We went down the street this evening & when we got home we found Bill Nuttall & Tom Maguire, they have bottomed one hole no good. Bill joined some other party & is making another hole it is down 98 feet & very wet, has to be slabbed all the way down, they expect to


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-03-08

bottom next week. Maguire is going to stay with us, & try Donolly, he is a nice young chap, been well brought up

March 8th Weather still hot. we went into several holes the first 3 days of the week, but only got about 5 dwts of gold. A rush took place on Thursday at a place called Inkerman Nr.Mount Moligul, Dick & I went to see it & sunk 2 holes, 1 of them we couldnt bottom being so wet, the other was dry, but its not much good, go about ½ dwt to the tub, they are getting plenty of gold alongside of us We got into a nice row on Friday with a lot of Tipperary men, Id marked out a claim on Thursday night & sank it about 2 feet & stuck my pegs in, on Friday *morn we found a party of Irishmen had taken possession of it, on my remonstrating with them they were very insulting & threatened to brain me with a pick. I would have my claim, & I began to shovel dirt onto them, they all 4 set on me Dick was away at the time, I challenged to fight any one of them fairly, so I rolled into one, & was giving him a good licking when I got a crack on the head from one of the others, they all fell on me & kicked me most unmercifully, two of my teeth they loosened, & my face is covered with bruises & my body is blue with the ill usage I got it all happened in about 10 minutes. Dick came up in time (or they would have killed me.) with one & two others who very quickly drove them off, Ive not been able to work since, Tom left us on Friday, His brother came from Chinamans Flat for him, he is a


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-03-15

fine handsome fellow, keeps a store there. Happens he has a share in the claim Bill is in & they have bottomed & believe it will pay. Tom is to go & work in it. Harry, Dick & I took a ramble across the street last night, we went to Tom Currans Saloon saw 2 or 3 prize fighters, Boxing. I wrote to Uncle to day

15th March. Fine weather. Harry heard of a rush about 6 miles from here on the Bet Bet Creek (40 feet deep) last Sunday night, he went to see it, got back by day light, having marked out a claim. We went out carrying a tent & a pair of Blankets with us, we had no money & only had 2 loaves of Bread between 3 of us, we sank our hole & bottomed on Thursday night, having had nothing to eat since Wednesday night, no joke, to do a days work like ours on an empty belly — our hole was a duffer & so was every ones else, we got home late next morning, got some vituals on credit I dont know what we should do if we hadnt

We went on Friday & Saturday to Inkerman & sank 2 duffers. It was very unfortunate us going & leaving the claim I sank last week for some party went into & drove it 2 feet further when they got a nugget 11 lbs weight about £500 — our usual luck! we didnt get any gold & the storekeepers wont trust us any longer. Old Sam lent us 10/. last night – We expect Bill & Tom to day. I went down the street last night — not a 6d about me, but I visited the Dancing Saloons & danced away till 10 pm left & went to the Pick & Shovel Concert Hall, heard Miss Chalker & Mrs Ellis


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-03-22

& Madame Vitelli singing; the 2 latter are beautiful singers. I dont much like the former, Hackett the Bass has a good voice & Cox is a good comic singer. I got into a row after leaving. I saw an old chum of mine getting his pockets picked he was a little the worse for drink — It was only after a few hard blows we got away clear

22nd Cloudy weather. The first three days of the week we tried several holes, & by Wednesday night we only had got 2 dwts, lived on Bread & water, on Thursday morning we went into an old hole & we'd not been in it an hour when we found two bits of gold weighing 12½ dwts, which we sold & bought some meat & Tea & sugar we drove a load out & washed it yesterday got 18 dwts out of it, which cleared our account at the Store, (so if we get short next week our credit is good then). I received a letter from Mother all well, she is going to lend my money to a person named Delbridge, he is to allow me 12½ Per cent for it, better than letting it lay idle Bill & Tom have never been up yet, they have quite forgotten us, in their prosperity very shabby of them!. Its raining very hard the water is rising in the creek. If it rises much more we shall have to shift our tent

29th The weather has been very unsettled, we worked very hard this week & drove out & washed 2 loads of dirt which only turned out 17 dwts but we intend to try the same hole again next week. We are very downhearted at our continued ill fortune, We went down the street last night & enjoyed ourselves in the most reckless manner we hadnt 6d between us, yet we visited every place of amusement. I have read a great deal this week, Vicar of Wakefield, & a History of Cathagena


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-04-05

April 1857. Donolly
5th.April 1857. Lovely weather, getting cold in the morning Monday we went into our hole & got out a load, it only turned out 2½ dwts, left it, & tried several other holes but no good — On Thursday we set to & bailed out a wet hole, it was Friday night when we got all the water out. Saturday we got 4 dwts out of it, not earned half of our expenses this fortnight passed, so we are in debt at the Store I got a letter from Mother, she hasnt got my money yet. I have to send an order to Mr Waterhouse, Mr Halls Executor. We went down the township last night. Ive finished my history — & I am now reading Byrons Works, some parts are beautiful. I never read anything I liked better. my mates abuse me jocuely on being taken up with reading so much lately

12th April — Weather unsettled. A little more fortunate this week, we got 2 oz 10 dwts — It took the lot to pay what we owed & get a few necessaries we required. I got a pound of it & bought a pair of Blankets with it, winter is coming on & I shall require them. Nuttall & Maguire came up last night, the hole they sank pay’d them well, but unfortunately a flood came after they had bottomed about a week & swamped them out, so they had to sink a new shaft — they have been 3 weeks sinking it & are now down 96 ft — they expect to bottom next week. We all went down the street last night & knocked about. — To day we took a walk to Inkerman, from there we went to Jordan & Jericho about 15 miles from here


Dunolly, Chinaman’s Flat, Victoria Australia, 1857-04-19

It was nice walking through the bush, the rain had made everything look green & fresh, we took the dogs with us & killed a fine kangaroo, we didnt think much of the rush on the Jordan It was late when we arrived here, & we were very tired. Tom & Bill are going to stay to night – Been reading during the week, Abercrombies Intellectual Powers, there is a very good library here. I got acquainted with man that owns it – & seeing I have a taste for reading, he does not charge me anything, knowing how Im situated, pecuniary

19th The weather is still unsettled Harry & I accompanied Bill & Tom to Chinamans Flat, a miserable looking place, we went to the Theatre, saw Clarence Holt in the Corsican Brothers. The moon rising when it was over, Harry & I left for here again (as we wanted to see the prize fight that took place, on Tuesday between Bill Melody & Joe Kitchen) we lost our way in the bush & after walking till daylight we found ourselves near the Ring we slept under a bush till near 9 am, when the people began to muster. There was supposed to be Ten thousand present, there was a Grand Stand erected all round the Ring, 2/6 ahead was charged for a seat the fight commenced at 1 Pm & lasted 40 minutes. Kitchen being the victor, tho the smallest man It was 4 pm when we arrived home feeling anything but comfortable, we spent our last shilling to go to the Theatre with the night before so we had nothing to eat, since 5 pm Monday until Tuesday 5 pm we worked hard the


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-04-26

rest of the week but didnt get the color of gold so we had nothing left but to get tick again I went to the township last night, knocked about the place of amusement & mixed with a variety of company

26th April 1857. Worked very hard this week cleaned out several old holes & sank a deep one about 30 ft & all we got was 4½ dwt that between 3 men is good work. I dont know what we are going to do for food next week, the storekeepers have refused us credit But I fancy the Baker will let us have bread so we wont starve, if he will — I recd a letter from Fred & one from Mother which I cannot afford to answer. We have lived upon Bread & Tea (without sugar) the last 2 days. If I get fat on such fare, it will be from the intellectual food Ive swallowed Ive read a great deal during the week

3rd May. Rough weather during the week wet & cold. We went up the old lead on Monday morning & sank 2 holes bottomed on Thursday night & didnt get the color of gold. We had been living on Bread & water & were very downhearted working hard & half-starved in the bargain. Dick funked on it, & what I called sneaked off, on Friday at daylight, for Chinamans Flat, thinks he'll get a belly full at Maguires – As luck would have it, Harry & I went into an old hole on Friday morning, & found a drive that the wash dirt had not been stripped [from]


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-05-09

May 1857. Donolly
on knocking it down, we found ½ dwt — by dinner time, which we sold, & got some tea & sugar, which we enjoyed, In the afternoon we got 1 oz of gold picked it out of the stuff, we worked nearly all night & got out a load of dirt which we washed yesterday, it turned out 2 oz so we made 3 oz for the two days work never was anything more acceptable, we first paid our debts, & bought some Boots & a new pair of trousers each, which we wanted very badly In the evening we went down the street & enjoyed ourselves very well visited the Concert Room & heard some good singing We dont intend to share with Dick tho we have paid his share of the money owing There is a large rush at a place called Jordan Harry & I started at daylight this morning kangarooing, we had several hunts but did not catch any, our dogs not being the sort — we enjoyed ourselves very well but we are very tired, we must have travelled 40 miles to day

9th May 1857. Weather very cloudy, Dick came back on Tuesday night, made an excuse that he had left something he required, but when he found we had got a little gold he stay’d altogether, we got 2 loads out, they only turned out 1 oz 16 dwt we are not going to do any more in the hole, being worked out. On Tuesday I received a letter from Charlie Watkinson, he &


Dunolly, Half Way, Diggins - Tarnagulla; Newbridge, Victoria Australia, 1857-05-17 Sunday

Tom Rudd & Big Jack are mates, it appears the two latter after rambling about the country & not finding anything to suit them, they found their way to Bendigo, where they joined Charlies & they made up a party to prospect in the neigbourhood of Sandy Creek, they are living at the Half Way Diggings. We are going to see them in the morning. This evening Harry & I went to hear Little Barlow the vocal & instrumentalist, he is without exception the cleverest fellow in his line that ever appd in Australia.

[Sunday, 17 May 1857] 15th May 1857. Lovely weather, but cold & frosty in the morning — Harry & I went to Sandy Creek last Sunday, after a sharp walk of 14 miles we got there. Found Charlie, we were very glad to see each other. We were disappointed at not finding Tom, he left about ½ an hour before our arrival, for Bendigo. Charlie ran as far as Newbridge but couldnt o’ertake him – they are camped in a pretty little gully near where we used to live — they have found a little gold, but nothing extra, but enough to keep them in vituals, He told us the Bendigo news, Mr & Mrs Bostock are well, my old flame Roby S. is dead, poor Roby, she was very fond of me, & I liked her very well, we liked each other too well & there was the crime that led to a most shocking termination. S. used to illuse her, & she ran away from him & took a situation at Kynton, S. found her & stabbed her in one of his brutal passions – she lingered a few days & died, poor Roby may she rest in peace. Her life was a


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-05-24

Donolly 1857. May short one & a wretched one. I shall never forgive myself for being the first cause of his jealousy He got away, but the police are sure to get on his track — I had a miniature of hers but I lost it, on my first trip from Bendigo here it was so like her. I feel very sad in thinking upon the subject, since I heard about it I have thought of nothing else, night & day, her spirit seems ever present — (I forgot to state that Dick left us last week for Chinamans Flat, but not agreeing with Bill he returned this week to us, he tells us they are hard up down there, we sent them a pound Stg on Thursday.) Harry & I got back on Monday, & went to work on Tuesday morning in the hole we worked before & took a pillar out which turned us out 1 oz 5 dwt & amongst it was a nugget 14 dwt. I received a letter from Mother this week, all well, she got my money all right & has invested it – We went to Jim Hughes Benifit last night Been reading some Essays by various authors —

May 24th 1857 The weather has been very un settled — We knocked about the old lead on Monday but could find no gold, so we com menced a hole on Tuesday which we bot- tomed on Friday 30 ft deep & 4 ft of cement to go through, it was no good, didnt get the colour of gold out of it. We tryd some old holes on the Hard Hills but could get no gold we got a lot of firewood yesterday. Being very stormy & wet we were compelled to remain home. I spent the time in reading & crib playing


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-05-31

May 1857. (Donolly
31st Beautiful weather. We went into our old hole again on Monday, & drove it all day, but couldnt get any gold, so we left it. Tuesday we went into an old hole & drove it all day, but couldnt get the color of gold out of it. Wednesday, we tried it again but with the same success. Thursday we went into it again. I hardly know what induced us to go into it again, but in the evening, on leaving it we had our tools all ready to send up when it came on to rain & we returned into the drive again when Harry knocked out a large stone for fun, when just at the back of it he saw a bit of gold, which, on pulling it out, turned out to be an 8 oz nugget, we sold it for better than £30 we worked in the hole up to late last night without getting any more, when just at the last minute we got another nugget 1 oz 16 dwt, making a good weeks work, after paying our debts we had £10 each left — so we are quite well off – We all went down the street last night & bought some clothing we required, & visited the Concert Room & the Dancing Saloon spent a pleasent evening, but my mates got drunk & I had an awful job to look after them & get them home

7th June 1857. Fine weather. Last Monday I went to see the prize fight between Bourke & F.Smith — they only fought one round; Bourke giving Smith a foul blow;- so it was not worth going to see, they fought at the Bet Bet Creek about halfway between Donolly & Chinamans Flat. It was nearly dark when I got home, found my mates both on


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-06-14

the spree at Lucy Wilsons, they didnt get to work until Wedy tho I went into the hole on Tuesday to keep it from being jumped. We got to work at last, but to no purpose, we didnt get the color of gold. Last night we went to hear Rayners Serenaders, they are very good, one of them W.White — is the best tenor I ever heard, I received an affectionate letter from my brother Fred all well at home, My mates have turned Teetotallers, (for a short time, they have spent every fraction of their money) [Sunday, 14 June 1857] 13th June 1857. Lovely weather. Im afraid we are going to have a very dry winter we have not had a good shower as yet. We went into our hole & drove it nearly 50 ft. up to Friday night – without seeing the color of gold we left the hole in disgust & tried another, but could get no gold so on Saturday we went into the old one to finish the week. we had not drove it a foot further when I found a nugget 4 oz. 1 dwt which we sold for £15.13.0. It is the strangest ground ever I worked in, there is no fine gold so we intend to give it another weeks trial for the sake of the nuggets which are like Angels visits, few & far between. I received a letter from Mother, wants me to come home next month, my Brother Edward who is working on a Station at Fiery Creek will be down. If Ive any luck Ill go. We spent a pleasent evening, hearing Barlow, have just returned — I wrote a letter last night to Mother & another to day to Fred.


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-06-21

June 1857. Donolly
21st June — The weather has been very unsettled, but no rain of any consequence. Last Sunday, Harry & I went to Sandy Creek to see Charlie, found him well, he had found a little gold & asked us to try the gully for a week on speck We returned the same night & on Monday, Harry & I packed up our swags & some tools, & have spent the week at the Halfway but we only got about 3 dwts between us, the ground would pay wages, if there was plenty of water, we returned this evening, found Dick during our absence had done no better than us two

There is a new rush about 90 miles from here near Mount Ararat, a great number of diggers have gone the reports from there are very encouraging. I want my mates to start away at once, while we have the means of going, but no, they must wait until they hear further. I believe in going to a rush at the first, then one has a chance of getting on the best ground.
[Sunday, 28 June 1857]
27th Unsettled weather. Monday we got in a stock of firewood from the bush. Big Jack an old mate of ours paid us a visit, he was hard up, I gave him a pound, he left us on Tuesday. I recevd a long affectionate letter from Mother, they have had a letter from England, informing them that my Uncle Joseph has met with an accident & is not expected to live. We worked in several holes during the week but could get no gold. There has been some large meetings held this week, to consider the New Bill, that compels a man to take out a License, for erecting a tent, falling timber or drawing water on Crown Lands. Its preposterous A petition has gone in to the Assembly, & Im sure if the Bill passes there will be some riots on the diggins


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-07-05 Sunday

July 1857. Donolly.
[Sunday, 5 July 1857] 4th [5th] Wet & cold all the week. We went into an old hole, it was very hard driving, we couldnt get more than 4 tubs a day out of it, & it went about 1 dwt to the tub, on Friday night we only had 17 dwt, yesterday we went at it again & dropped on to a bit weighing 1 oz. 12 dwts that set us up again, we had been a fortnight without getting any gold to speak about, we made 2 oz. 10 dwt for the week. Charlie & his mate paid us a visit on Saturday night, we all went down the town & had some fun, visited the dance Rooms, Charlie is a Ventriloquist, he frightened several in places we visited, he & Harry got drunk & on our way home, they would go into the National Hotel, which on entering we found to be in a frightful uproar, fighting every part of the house, we saw several we knew getting murdered, we helped them of course & very soon I found myself kicked into the street by a mob of wretches, my clothes in ribbons. Dick & Charlie got away somehow the latter came home this morning in a way that was highly amusing, there was a dense fog, & I got up & was lighting the fire in front of the tent, I could only see a few yards, when I saw something I couldnt make out, it appeared to be a woman for whoever it was had a parasol over them, I gradually came nearer & turned out to be Charlie, but such an object, it appears, in the row last night, he was kicked & robbed of everything but his shirt & trousers, & seeing a tent, he entered it, its occupant being, Ive learnt


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-07-05 cont.

since, a prostitute, but absent at the time, he at once set too & put on a flannel petticoat & an old stuff dress, in the pockets of which was a bundle of letters written in French & dated some 7 years ago, a Frenchman that lives in the next tent has been translating them for us they are most beautiful compositions, & appear love letters, from their contents, we learnt that a girl had been seduced & to hide her shame had fled her home & came to Australia & was now on the Turf — we soon stripped Charlie of his finery & to night, I intend, if possible to slip them into the womans tent again if I can get the opportunity without being observed I know the woman well, have met her in places Dick got nearly killed in the fight, his head is covered with bruises, he passed the night in a Chemist shop, he pushed his way through the door (calico) & slept on the counter, the owner on finding him there this morning was very wrath & had an idea of sending for the police. But Dick explained matters to him, & he like a good Samaritan bound up his wounds & gave him a dose of physic. Dick is fond of Cognac – they are all sound asleep, so now for my little job — I left here two hours ago & with my bundle I set out, the place is not 5 minutes walk from this, found the woman at home, however I didnt hesitate but telling her I found the Bundle I gave it up, she was so overjoyed at getting them back (the letters) on finding all right, she put very care- fully in her breast, & thanked me. I had some supper with her


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-07-12

July 1857 Donelly

[Sunday, 12 July 1857] 11th [12th] The weather still unsettled, the fore part being most wretched, continually drizzling & damp. Monday we spent in erecting a sod chimney against the tent, that makes it more comfortable, it is miserable work cooking our vituals in the open air, during the wet weather. Dick & I went to work on Tuesday Harry going away to see a rush at a place near Cochranes Station on the Avoca road, 12 miles from here, he returned the next day not thinking much of the place. I sent £6 at the beginning of the week to Mother & after buying myself a pair of Boots I found I had only by me £1. We only made 4 dwts all the week, so my pound had to go for my weeks vituals. Im sorry now I left myself so short, for the accounts from Ararat are so encouraging, that I am induced to think seriously of going, tho rather late my mates, like myself have no money It costs us 30/ aweek each to live & that on the very commonest fare we pay 3/. & 3/6 for the 4 lb loaf, 6d & 8d for potatoes I rcvd a letter from Uncle, quite well but not doing much. Harry & I & the Slaughter house man Joe. Holmes went out kangarooing at daylight this morning, we caught a little one near Mount Ugly they took to the ranges – & the dogs had no chance —


Dunolly, Victoria Australia, 1857-07-19 Sunday

July 1857. Donelly
[1857-07-19 Sunday] 18th.[19th] Weather still miserable. We worked very hard from Monday until Thursday, without getting any gold, so we jibbed at it & swore we wouldnt work any more on Donelly, but pack up our swags & tramp to Ararat, we hadnt a shilling between us, so on Friday I walked down to see Charlie to tell him we were off. I tried hard to induce him to come with us, but he thinks hes had enough of roughing it on short allowance he wished us every success & gave me all the money he had 10/. I came home last night (we'll have it on our backs tomorrow) I sold my concertina for 2/6, so to day we got everything ready for a start our swags will be heavy ones. The Butcher is going up with his cart & has promised to take up our tub & cradle, so if we can manage to live on the road we shall be alright on our arrival I received a letter from Mother, all well, she got the £6, I wish I had a couple of it, I spent the afternoon bidding acquaintances good bye Etc & Im looking for a man that owes me a pound I found him at last in Whites Gambling Hell I never witnessed such a scene as met my eyes there was about 30 people present among the numbers a lot of women all gambling, there was a roulette table over which Ive lost money more than once. My friend told me if Id come an hour sooner he would have given me £20. but since that time he had lost every halfpenny he possessed. I saw him stake his watch, & lost a ring belonging to his wife what a cursed fatality there is in the passion


Crabb’s Station; Avoca Cemetary; Amphitheatre. 1857-08-02

Hard up Diggers on the Tramp

Hard up Diggers on the
Tramp to a New Rush
From Dunolly to Ararat

[Sunday, 2 August 1857] August 1st [2nd] Nr Mount Ararat

It is a fortnight since I continued my journal I must try & remember how I spent the time – we left Dunolly on the morning of the [1857-07-20]19th ultimo with very heavy swags on our backs, & 1/6 in our pockets between 3 of us, we had 2 loaves of Bread & a small piece of Beef, however we were in excellent spirits & trudged along merrily, beguiling the time by relating past adventures to each other, until dinner time when we camped (and polished 1 of the loaves) at Crabtree Station, after travelling over a nice tract of country we made the Avoca township about dark, having walked about 25 miles for the day, we might have come a nearer way, by coming through the Alma diggins but we didnt know until it was too late, we were very tired when we camped, the best place was the Cemetary situated in a very pretty spot, we pitched our tent between two gravestones, or head boards for they were merely rough slabs, with the name daubed on by some amateur painter, after finishing the rest of our vituals, we turned in & slept as sound as if we were on feathers, without being disturbed by anything in the shape of spirits (tho my mates wished they could make the acquaintance of some in the shape of Bdy). We arose early & proceeded on our journey, having only a small crust of Bread between us for Breakfast, crossed the Avoca River, & walked on for some 10 miles, our swags began to feel heavy & we were hungry. I went into a little refreshment tent, & asked the price of a loaf, 5/. I had only 1/6 & after a deal of per -suasion she cut off a slice & gave it for my money. It only was a mouthful each & just served to whet our appetites. We reached a place called the Amphitheatre, a small diggins,


Hard up Diggers on the Road, Amphitheatre, Victoria 1857-07-dd

where we camped supperless for the night we pitched our tent by a creek & in the night it came on to rain very hard, our tent was flooded, we rolled up our blankets about 2 Am stood up the rest of the night to keep them dry, towards morning the storm passed over, & we got started about 8 on Wednesday morning, feeling wretched after our nights entertainment, our swags were much heavier the tent being soaking wet we trudged along hungry enough, till we came to a place where we found a man yoking up his bullocks we gave him a help with them, & asked him for a piece of damper which he said he couldnt give for he had none made, his wife was sitting by the camp fire & we asked her but she was so deaf she didnt understand us. I saw a Billy of Tea standing by the fire, which I helped myself to, my mates making a finish of its contents, after some banter such as being called loafers, frying pan, bushrangers etc, we left them, the first time I was ever refused a bit of Bread in the Bush in my life, after another walk of a couple of hours, we fell in with a party of chaps just camped for dinner, we tossed up who should cadge it fell to Dick. On asking them for some damper, they told him to be off, there were too many of his sort on the road — they were New Chums, so we pitied them, & left them but not before Dick took a chew of tobacco out of his mouth & shied it at the fellows face. Dick threatened to give him something else that he wouldnt relish so well if he wasnt satisfied, we had a shower of imprecations sent after us — about 4 oclock we fell in with some chaps to whom Dick sold his jumper, or thick outside shirt to for 5/., we bought a small loaf of Bread for which we paid 4/. for


Hard up Diggers on the Road, Pyrenees, 1857-07-06

it was the sweetest morsel I ever tasted, we hadnt a crumb of it left in 10 minutes, we camped at the River Wimmera that night, the road was in an awful state mud up to the knees, drays bogged, dead horses & bullocks lying along the road in every direction I never saw such queer ground in my life as about that neighbourhood, the surface appears quite hard but it is a thin crust, which upon breaking you sink down into, quicksand, we passed lots of horses dying that couldnt be got out. In the night Harry took very ill with cramps in his stomach he suffered fearful agony. Dick, with the 1/. got up & walked back to where we bought the bread, & after a deal of trouble roused the people up, to give him some Brandy. I got up & lit a fire, & burnt the Bdy, it did him a deal of good. I think it was from the effects of our last nights rest that caused it, we remained all day there. Harry not been able to travel & of course we wasnt going to leave him. Dick & I walked about the road in hopes of seeing some body we knew but no such luck, about dinner time, a dray got bogged, Dick & I got out our shovels & went to the mans assistance, & in an hours time got him all his team all right; he gave us 2 pounds of flour, which we soon cooked on the coals, we were very hungry not having eat anything like a meal for more than two or three days. Friday morning we got under weigh again & after travelling over a very rough hilly country, called the Pynnies until 4 Pm without tasting food, we noticed a man by the roadside resting, we were walking one behind the other, he looked very hard at me on passing, Harry was some distance behind, the man stopped him & enquired if we came from Bendigo. Harry told him we used to live there


Blue Peter, a Debt Repaid, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-07-24

He called out to me, upon my returning, he asked if I didnt remember him. I really did not at the time, he turned out to be a man that once called at my tent in Long Gully, hard up. I allowed him to sleep in my tent & on his departure in the morning I gave him 10s/-d this was two years ago, & I had forgotten the circumstance until he recalled it to memory since that time he had been fortunate on the “Alma” & had been to look at Ararat, & was returning. Upon my informing him that we were starving, he gave us all the vituals he had, (a damper & some mutton) my word! didnt we walk into it! we camped there for the night, along with him, his horse, was lame & he had been giving him a spell for a day or two. In the morning he gave me a £1 note & told me if ever I was short I could come to the “Alma” & enquire for “Blue Peter” the only name I knew him by, he would always share what he had with me. Who says there is no such thing as providence we cast our Bread upon the waters Etc — after a pleasent adieu with our purple friend we tramped along in better spirits — there we had been for some time. we arrived within a few miles of Ararat that night could see the Mount in the distance. I dont know if it bears any resemblance to its namesake of Sacred Memory. It appears a fine neighbourhood good land & well watered. The next day Sunday we made the outskirts of the diggings, camped & in the morning (Monday) entered them, found the diggings extended over a large space of ground being principally on a level plain with small gullys running into it, from some very high ranges that surrounds the place, gives it the appearance of a horse-shoe. We pitched our tent &


Ararat], Victoria Australia, 1857-08-02

Ararat. August 1st.[2nd] 1857

took a look around, saw a few faces we knew, spoke to some, I never witnessed anything like it before the sinking is deep, the bottom is pipeclay & the whole place looks like a field of snow with the white heaps around, there seems to be no regularity in the leads, patches of holes in every direction — We did nothing the first day, the next however we spent in trying to find out if McKensie had arrived for we could not get to work without our tub & cradle, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack for it is supposed there are 50,000 people on the ground tents are as thick as possible, life & bustle in every direction, we had a job to find our tent again I heard our old mates Nuttal & Maguires are here but could find nothing of them, until two days afterwards, I spent two or three evenings visiting the places of amusement (on the cheap) thinking I should see them. We fell in with McKensie the next day & got our things, we are to give him 30/. for fetching them up (when we get it.) We helped them to put up their tent. Mrs Mc giving us a good dinner & tea. We met a man in the evening that told us where to find our old mates, we found their tent at last, they were glad to see us & so were we for our money was done & didnt know where to get the next meal from we shifted our tent on Saturday (yesterday) alongside of theirs, they have had one good hole but there were 11 of them in the party so it did not amount to much among so many, their party has been broken up — We are living with them after a manner, so muddled, & miserable – I trust we wont be long before we get some gold, for Im one that dont care about being under a compliment to anyone, tho' I oughtnt to feel it one from them


Petticoat, Black Horse, Petticoat, Victoria Australia 1857-08-09 Sunday

8th [9th] August 1857 Fine weather, water is very scarce we pay 6d & sometimes 1/. for a Bucket of drinking water. Monday we tried an old hole in Petticoat Gully drove it 'till Tuesday night but could get no gold Wednesday a rush took place near the tent, called Black horse Lead, we sank a hole bottomed on Friday night — a rank duffer (No 1 for Ararat) Saturday we went back to Petticoat Gully & tried an old hole got 3 tubs out of it that yielded us 3 dwts so we shall try it again on Monday. We went down the town last night, the excitement surpassed anything ever has been seen on the diggins before places of amusement in every direction Concert Rooms, Dancing Rooms, of course nothing but prostitutes, in the shape of women visit them Billiard Rooms & Gambling houses seem to be the favourite places, drunken men in every direction, fighting, swearing, & drinking pervade everywhere, nearly all the fighting men Victoria can boast of are here, some of them have got what is termed a "Gymnasium" or a place for Boxing Tom Curran, & Joe Kitchens are the favourite place I wrote to Charlie to day & also to Joe Holms Spent to day reading, jumping, running, & Boxing & playing single stick, there is a fellow named Ned Hopkins working with Bill, we call him the possum, he was educated at Oxford College, but has been a sad reprobate & left home in disgrace, he can lick-us all at athletic sports at least Boxing & fencing But Dick is the best general man among the lot, he can do anything in Gymnastics


Ararat, Petticoat, Victoria Australia, 1857-08-16 Sunday

Ararat August 1857 16th The weather has been very miserable this week, kind of Scotch mist falling We went into our hole on Monday, & got & washed 4 tubs out of it which yielded us 1 oz of gold very good, we set to & drove out two loads about (90 Buckets), which we washed yesterday, turning out 2 oz. 15 dwts making 3 oz 14 dwts for the weeks work, giving us quite a start, we paid what we owed. We took in another mate on Friday a friend of Dicks, we call him George, he is a married man & a good working chap, of course he dont live with us. We went down the town last night, visited what is called a Theatre & I saw a little girl performing, at least reading from Shakespeare, Julia Matthews, she seems quite at home either in Tragedy or Comedy but I think the latter will be her forte I enjoyed myself very much, late when I got to the tent I wrote to Mother this afternoon I feel very anxious to hear about those at home – we worked hard to day, washing our clothes & getting in a stock of firewood Etc —

23rd Weather unsettled but no rain. We went into our hole on Monday, drove it till Wednesday & only got 10 dwts so we left it, went into another hole, got 1 dwt out of a dish of dirt thought we were going to get something drove a load out, it only turned out 7 dwts, & we had to pay 5/. for the carting of it. Harry & Dick tried another hole on Friday they got a load out they intend washing it on Monday. Harry & I went last night to a


Ararat, Petticoat, Victoria Australia, 1857-08-30 Sunday

New Theatre, to see “William Tell” play’d, such a farce I never witnessed, the principal actor Cox, after playing two acts refused to appear again unless the manager paid him his salary that was due, we waited half an hour between the acts, when Cox was introduced to our notice in a new character. The manager & him quarrelled & came to blows on the stage & “William Tell” came bounding off the stage with a knockdown blow given him by the Manager, how I laughed & the audience hooted, when the manager appeared & explained how things stood, they gave us back our tickets (but no money,) & invited us to be present on Monday night to see it out. I think I'll go for fun

30th Weather cold & wretched living in a tent. George & I went into our old hole & got out a load which we washed on Wednesday, turned out 6 dwts, too poor for a 50 ft hole. Harry & Dick got 13 dwt out of their lead, but there was no more ground in the hole, so they went prospecting, got about 3 dwts. George & I, the latter part of the week tried some old holes, the last we went into yesterday we got 1½ dwts out of 4 Buckets so we intend trying it next week. On Friday night Louis Weller, a young Polish chap, & I went down the street, went into a place next door to the “National Theatre” kept by a young lady an old acquaintance of mine she had a slit cut in the side of her tent through which there was free access into


Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-08-30 Sunday

into the Theatre, of course we took advantage of it, & went in, saw Kate O.Reilly & Cox in the Stranger, they playd it well (the place where the occurrence happened I alluded to a fortnight ago was closed from that date) I went to see Nelly again last night & through her means got into the Theatre free, saw the “Lady of Lyons” for the first time, it is a splendid piece & suits Kate O.R. she is considered the best Melo Dramatic actress ever appeared in the colonies — after yarning with Nelly for a while (who I became acquainted with on Bendigo 18 months ago through poor Roby) she is very kind to me Louis is in love with her, but she is fooling him, he has a few pounds & thinks of winning her by spending it on her. (Nellys father was well off in Melbourne but speculated & lost all his wealth, he died shortly after, & she had to turn to & work, she chose a strange life keeping a Restaurant — I dont know how she preserves her reputation. Ive heard her spoken lightly of but I never saw anything wrong about her, she is very beautiful which makes her place very attractive — I received a long epistle from Charlie, he is still at Sandy Creek not doing much, but like ourselves living in hopes of getting into a rich hole that will pay for all our trial & hardships Spent a very intellectual afternoon, J.Maguire & Ned commenced an argument which brought out their knowledge. They are both clever the former finished at Dublin University & the latter at Oxford


Ararat, Buried Old Sam, Victoria Australia, 1857-09-06 Sunday

— Ararat Sept 1857. – 7th [6th] Sept. Weather unsettled, mud & dirt everywhere George & I went into our hole on Monday, & after working very hard & only getting 3 dwt we left it, we tried several other holes during the week but only got 5 dwt., Harry & Dick got 1 oz. 15 dwt between them so it helped to make up — I was barefoot & nearly naked, we want a new tent ours is very old & during the late heavy weather in rags, Louis, Nuttal, Tom & I have knocked about the town nearly every night the former playing Billiards, I in visiting the Concert Rooms & other free places of amusement learning several new accomplishments, such as Boxing & Dancing, last night I & Tom went to see the Play of the "Hunchback" I liked it well, Kate O.R. was glorious as Julia — Poor old Sam died yesterday, he was living near us on Donelly & also here, he was too old for the rough life of a digger, we dug a grave for him to day, in a nice little gully up in the ranges, after a deal of bother we got a Wesleyan parson to pray over his grave, we buried him this afternoon, no one knowing his name or his connections, it seems very melancholy to die & be buried by strangers His mate Joe died in “Delirium Tremens” the week before we left Donelly, he was raving mad & hid into the Bush, he was found under a Bush quite dead, the Coroners Verdict was, died of Exhaustion — so ends two more mortals


Buried Alive, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-09-13 Sunday

14th [13th] Weather very changeable, George & I went to work where my other mates are at work, we worked very hard & made between us 4 oz 10 dwts, not so bad if we could always do as well, the ground is very dangerous, we are taking out props & pillars we have to use a deal of timber, & I have had many narrow escapes, I was at the far end of a drive on Thursday when the hole fell in my candle went out, my mates made sure I was killed, but they got assistance & by 10pm after being in the drive upwards of eight hours they got me out, I was nearly exhausted, for want of air. It was a good job I blew my candle out for it must have consumed some of the air. I soon got round & went to work as usual next morning – We pay’d off our debts, some that we contracted on Donolly. I went to the Theatre last night its the only place of amusement I care or in fact that is worth frequenting here – the other places, being the resort of the vilest of characters — Ive been very unwell during the week, had a severe cold accompanied by a dreadful headache —

20th Beautiful weather, We are in great need of water, all of the creeks are dried up, & summer will be soon here. we got & washed 10 loads of dirt this week, that turned out 7 oz 5 dwt or about £7.0.0 a man, not so bad when compared with the ill luck we have had lately, the ground we are working in is what has been left by parties either frightened or unable to timber it, what is commonly called Block & pillaring, we put in


Prospecting near Grampians, Blackstone Lead Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-09-27 Sunday

nearly 100 props averaging 9 in in diameter, we get the timber from the bush, two of us go out for a couple of days & fall trees & split them up, pay 2/6 a load for bringing them to the workings. Ive been in the township nearly every night during the week, went to see the Poses Plastiques twice & once to hear Tottens Serenaders. My mates Harry & Dick got on the spree last night, Harry is all right, But Dick is still away, he has broken the pledge he made on Donelly to abstain from drink for 12 months, there are some people if they have a pound it burns a hole in their pockets until its spent, he is one of that sort – I recd a long kind letter from mother only such a one as a mother can write, no news of any importance, all well

27th Sept. Nice weather, only made 25/. aman this week. I've been away prospecting about 30 miles from here, came home about noon yesterday. I left on Tuesday in the direction of the Grampians, camped on a creek near some natives, they were very kind to me. I sank 2 holes next day but could find no indications of gold. I left the following day in company with a little half caste native girl about 16 years of age, walked through a lovely country, like a gentlemans park in England. I camped in a beautiful gully somewhere near Sir John Mitchells track where he first traversed through Victoria from Swan Hill on his memorable expedition. I sank a hole the same day about 4 ft deep, no gold, the next day I tried several [likely] looking surface hills & sank another


Prospecting with a Native Girl, Victoria Australia, 1857-09-27

hole, but I could not find anything to pay, tho Im perfectly convinced there will be found payable ground in the neighbourhood, my companion in the meantime spent her time hunting Birds & possums, & Bathing. Friday night I packed my swag as my provisions were done & started by moonlight back made our old camp about 12 oclock, felt very tired, I boiled my Billy on a Blackfellows fire & made some tea, & eat a piece of an opossum for the first time in my life. I didnt much care about it, being very strong & had a gummy taste. One of the Blacks an old sour looking savage who turned out to be the betrothed of my companion, was very wrath with me. I felt very timid at remaining all night with them, so while his back was turned I wrapped my Blanket round me & walked into the scrub, Nelly following. I had a job to get rid of her. I had a copy of Moores Lalla Rook with me & it had a frontispiece which I gave her, & she plastered it on her breast. I laid down under a bush for the rest of the night, & started about 6 am yesterday morning, got home in the afternoon, very tired & weary after my journey. I felt all right after 3 hours rest & went to the Duchess of Kent Theatre in the evening & saw the German brothers (2 acrobats) go through their wonderful performances, there was also some good singers Kate Ward, Hackett & one or two others


Gypsy SmithArarat, Bill Gray, Victoria Australia, 1857-10-04 Sunday

My mates are rather “down in the mouth” on there bad luck, there has been several good holes bottomed near the tent during the week the ground is very hard, being 20 ft of cement to go through so it takes a deal of time & money to sink one — I met an old Bendigo friend of mine, its over 2 years since I saw him last “Cockney Bill” I dont know his right name, he used to live next tent to me in Pegleg Gully, when I worked with Stevens & Symonds at the Puddling Mill there – “ah those were the times for gold diggers” —

Oct 4th 1857. Weather hot & sultry, sure sign of the coming summer. We joined 2 more mates last Monday, both married men, W.Gray, & A.Alexander, 2 old mates of Harrys in days gone by the former is a smart young chap, he has been very un lucky lately, about 3 months ago he was living on the Adelaide Lead & going up a deserted gully, he saw a man washing him self on going up to him without being observed he recognised him as being the noted bushranger & murderer, that had defied all laws human & divine “Gypsy Smith” there was £400 reward for his capture Gray didnt show any mistrust but got into conversation with the fellow got him to give him a light of his pipe Etc.


Capture of Gypsy Smith (October 1856), Ararat Victoria Australia, 1857-10-04

he sauntered back home after hiding & seeing him go into a little hut among some scrub he at once started for Maryborough some 10 miles, & getting a pistol & the assistance of 2 troopers returned, & bursting in the hut after a desperate resistance captured him, but not before he fired a shot at Bill which went through his hat & grazed his head (rather a narrow escape) Bill, of course wanted his money, he was referred to Melbourne & had to employ a lawyer, he was humbugged for upwards of 2 months & at length got £130, 70 of which he had to pay his lawyer then he had his own expenses to meet & his family had to get their necessaries on credit so after all was settled he found he was in debt £10.0.0. what a disgrace to the Government to give a poor man such bother after risking his life in the capture of one of the greatest wretches that ever existed. We have been sinking holes this week near our tent, at the rush we bottomed 3 but they were duffers, we have 2 more holes nearly down. I trust they will turn out something, for we havent got 10/. between the 3 of us. I dont think our other mates are any better off & they have young children to support. I like a fool lent Dick £4.0.0 last week to pay some debts he owed, but he told me a falsehood to get


Near Blackhorse? Lead Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-October-dd

it, there was a share in a claim for sale & he thought we'd buy it for £5.0.0. Dick knew the party & I gave him the money on *a/c of the company, & it appears Dick went to the men & they wouldnt sell, instead of him returning with my money, he went away & paid some drinking debts, & came home drunk with £1.0.0 left, he says he'll pay me it me back, but a man so totally destitute of principle as he is, there is no dependence to be placed upon. Ive hardly been civil to him since. I received a letter from Mother she has not been well. Ned is in town he cannot get employment. Father is sinking into his usual lethargic habits, & appears to care very little whether his family lives or starves, he goes away with the idea that because he is a Christian, the Lord will provide for his family. God helps them that helps themselves in this world – I often think we are an unlucky family none of us ever seem to be successful in any thing we undertake. I wish I knew the secret of our failure in my case 11th October Nice weather, we bottomed our holes on Tuesday one of them was a rank duffer the other one we washed one load of it which yielded 1 oz. 3 dwts. so we intend to try it further, we washed another



Ararat – October 1857 -
load out of a hole we went into it turned out 6 dwts wont pay after paying 2/6 for the carting & burning a pound of Candles in getting it out There has been a large rush at Campbells Station some 15 miles from here, not having any money we could not go to try it. I hear its no great thing, Ive read a great deal this week. History of the Roman Republic. Spent to day in anything but a proper manner, gymnastics, & washing our clothes & mending Etc

18th Heavy rains this week, no scarcity of water now, we all worked in the hole we got the gold out of last week, we got 3 oz. 10 dwts between us poor work for 6 men, however it paid off all the debts we had contracted during the past week at the store. I went down town last night, met an old acquaintance, Bill Merrit that once was mates with Brown & Rudd in Long Gully he informs me that Tom is on Pleasent Creek, some diggins about 25 miles further Westward than these — I should like to see him again, he was within a few miles of Ararat on Friday. It appears he never rejoined Charlie at Sandy Creek, but went to Bendigo & got into a scrape & had to hook it, he has not been very fortunate I knocked about with Merrit till 12 oclock I think Ill write to Mother this evening


Moonlight Gully, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-10-26

27th [26th] Oct 1857. Weather very unsettled, we have shifted our quarters since I last wrote The brothers Maguires & Nuttall & their party came here a fortnight ago & are getting a little gold, the ground is shallow & there is plenty of water & one of the prettiest places ever I was camped at so we thought we'd follow suit, we packed up our traps & came here last Tuesday — its 7 miles from Ararat, in the direction of Mount William, the highest hill in Victoria, forming the S end of the Grampian the gully we commenced work in seems a likely one for gold, we sank 3 hole 15 feet deep 2 of them were duffers, mine is payable we washed 2 loads out of it that yielded 2 oz. 5 dwts, amongst it a nugget weighing 1 oz. Its very lonely out here, no company but my mates & the Maguires party however we are all very jolly, we hunt opossum & kangaroo & emus during our spare time & fish for crayfish in the Creek, they are very good eating, but small - we shoot a good many Cockatoos & pigeons there are thousands of the former located on the trees around the tent. I killed a Carpet Snake on Saturday that measured 5 ft 6 ins in length, they are very dangerous


Moonlight Gully, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-11-02

being certain death if bit by one, they are the only things Im afraid of. I once witnessed the death of a friend of mine many years ago in the Bush that was bitten by one I shall never forget the sight he presented, he only lived 10 hours afterwards, & was fearfully swollen & turned nearly black poor Morris — I went into Ararat yesterday (Sunday) staid all night at Nellys Restaurant, she was glad to see me we had a long yarn, about poor Roby I got home this morning after a delightful walk over the ranges – We have Christened the place we are living at Moonlight Gully

2nd [1st] November.- Been a wretched week nothing but rain & wind, the consequence being that we have done very poor, not been able to do a fair days work for the week, we sank several holes but nothing in them to pay we only got 18 dwts between us. Bad luck its hard enough for us single chaps, but what must our married mates think they come out here from Ararat on Monday morning & go home on Saturday night, I pity a married digger with a family, if he’s getting no gold, its hard work for a woman to live on the diggins while they are in such an



Moonlight Gully Nov 1857
unsettled state, they have so many hard ships to contend with — I took a long walk on the ranges to day & nearly met with a mishap. I was walking along a little pathway when I saw a lizard it seemed rooted to the spot. Knowing them to be, very timid & generally on ones approach to run away, I thought it very strange. I had a stick in my hand & touchd it, when I, heard a hissing noise & before I could see what it was, a large Carpet Snake sprang at the lizard. I never jumped so far before, but on recovering my presence of mind, I got a small stick & flung it at the reptile & before it could recover itself I st[r]uck it on the head with my stick & killed it It gave me a start I feel now, on finding myself so near the thing. I brought it home & laid it just at the tent door, my mates were out. Jacob Maguire was the first to come to the tent & nearly trod upon it & not knowing it was dead, gave a yell & tumbled backward, he was a long time before he recovered from his fright. It was very wrong I must say to have done such a trick. I did it for fun, for he is always boasting of his nerve & presence of mind It measd 5 ft 3 in. the one I killed the other day


Moonlight Gully, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-11-08

I found asleep or basking in the sun on a rock & had no difficulty in killing Ive killed a good many in Australia but was never being so nearly bitten before Ive read 2 Books through this week that I borrowed while on Ararat, Last of the Tribes & a fine story by Disraeli called Sybil – quite an intellectual treat —

8th Nov Been very hot. There was quite a rush set in at a small in gully half a mile from here, we sank 5 holes, 2 of them turned out a little gold 11 dwts out of 5 loads of dirt- wretchedly poor, our married mates dont intend coming out again, they can do as well on Ararat as here, & not be compelled to be absent from their family, so we have dissolved partnerships & think we will do better by ourselves. I dont believe in large parties except in deep wet ground. I went to Ararat yesterday, & received a long letter from Mother all well, she informs me that Ned has left home & taken to the Bush, she thinks he has gone to Bendigo, I hope he will find Uncle & set in mates along him & Henry —

15th Weather very hot. We have been at work in the same gully as last week & Im happy to state with better success, we sank 3 paddocks & got out 5 loads of dirt that turned us out 2 oz 15 dwts, quite put us on our feet again. Harry went into the township on Saturday to sell the gold & get some things we required he saw our old mates, they have not


Moonlight Gully, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-11-22

earned a shilling since they left us. Harry got a glass too much & didnt leave the town until late & when about halfway home on the high range 2 men rushed upon him & knocked him on the head with a stick, he laid insensible for two hours & when he came all right he found he hadnt a penny left they had robbed him of better than £7.10.0 he had spent nearly his own share of the gold on some clothes which he had put on so he is no loser, Dick & I are the suffererss. Im very annoyed he ought to have left earlier, the crack on his head will teach him a lesson nothing but ill luck seems to attend me I was doubtful about the story at first, but I found out to day that an acquaintance of mine who met Harry & seeing him rather full, accompanied him some two miles on the road past any place where he could have spent the money, we have been living on short allowance the past week & I suppose will have to do so the next week the only thing he brought Back was a Book he got cheap for me, an edition of Byrons Works

22nd Very indifferent weather, but hot & sultry generally attended by several thunder storms we worked very hard this week, & only got 9 dwts, not enough to keep us in flour A rush took place a mile from here, we got a claim next to the prospectors which we intend to sink a hole in next week if we can get tick


Moonlight Gully, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-11-22

for vituals, the ground is very hard being all cement I went into Ararat yesterday & borrowed a pair of gads & a hammer, to work with, we shall commence it to morrow I hope it will pay us but Im not sanguine about it — I received a letter from Mother yesterday, she has recd a long letter from Aunt Hartley (Halifax) who informs us that J. & W. Hall have had to leave school in consequence of their fathers death who it appears died in anything but independent circumstances as was supposed. Joe is coming to Adelaide & Bill is going to be a middy. There is also an allusion to my lamentable ignorance. I think it very wrong & it galls me much, to have reflection cast upon me for what I cannot avoid, leaving home so young & never mixing in society & having no one that could take an interest in me, living with the very vilest characters at times in my occupation as a gold digger, however I intend to improve myself in the future & endeavour to make myself passible in society should I ever be thrown in any, my mates & companions say that Im greatly changed the last 12 months since I took to studying as they call it. On Donolly I bought a grammer & an arithmetic which I have studied since. I understand "Practice" & "Rule of Three" well so Im getting on. Jacob Maguire & Hopkin who live in the next tent are both good scholars & have mixed in good society, & are well bred Etc. I endeavour to make examples of



Moonlight Gully. Nov 1857-
them, & light my candle from their lamp, they are very kind & always appear to give me any information I require willingly Edward is once more in Melbourne having travelled some hundreds of miles in the bush without finding employment, except a few days work he got on the Mount Alexr Road, poor fellow he is beginning to have his troubles. My father is greatly to blame for the paltry proud spirit he has shown in bringing up his boys without trades or educations. It was always my wish for Edward to be educated. I once sent mother ₤5.0.0. for the purpose & would have offered to pay his school fees & his clothes — which I would endeavoured to have done, but its useless regretting now the money was put to another purpose & there it ended

30th [29th] Last Monday it rained so hard that we could not work. passed the day reading & writing Tuesday there was a prize fight, at the back of Mount Ararat some 5 miles from here, between Joe Kitchen & Bob Fee for £200.0.0 aside It was a fine fight lasted over 2 hours, Kitchen coming off the victor. I never saw so much ill feeling displayed by the spectators in my life. I saw 20 fights during the day. It was like a fair Booths & Grandstands forming a Circus of the place we were very hungry when we got home, not had a 1/. between us. Wednesday we commenced


Moonlight Gully & Emu Creek, Victoria Australia, 1857-11-29

our hole & bottomed it on Saturday a duffer like every other hole turned out on the hill, the prospectors are the only ones that can get any gold, they bottomed on a gutter where a little gold lodged Dick worked in a little gully near the tent we call Emu Creek, because we killed one there during the week, he got 5 dwts of gold, so we had to go into debt for Grub, we have had some fearful fires in the neighbourhood owing to the heat of the weather the grass & trees are very dry & the least thing set it on fire. We burnt the grass on Wednesday for 100 yards round the tent, a most fortunate thing for a fire occurred the following day that consumed everything it met with. We were coming home from work & had to run for our lives, in crossing a flat where the grass was up to our knees, kangaroos & Emus, lizards & snakes, wild cattle Etc rushed by in great numbers — & took to the waterhole A sad calamity nearly happened, being my day to cook I left work earlier than the others to get tea ready. I found Mrs Howard (a person that lived about a quarter of a mile from our tent) trying to beat out the flames that were raging around her tent with a large green bush, poor woman! she was nearly exhausted. I rushed to help her when the flames caught the tent, her Baby she had left on the bed & a little Boy was clinging to his mothers dress which was pretty well scorched. I pushed my way with an old sack around my head & got hold of the Baby, & dragged it out & got it into


Moonlight Gully & Emu Creek, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-12-06

into a place of safety behind the fire, Mrs H fainted, but soon came round, she was sure her baby was burnt, but the little beggar began to cry which soon relieved her of her fears — the fire was far away in a few minutes, but they were without a home, her husband was at work at the time but seeing the fire at a distance came home but he was too late to be of any assistance, my mates & the others turned to & got a lot of Bushes & erected a large Mia Mia & spreading a lot of dry leaves left them. Ive not been able to work since, from the burns I received in saving the child, my hair is all singed & being only in my flannel shirt at the time my neck & shoulders are burnt, my left shoulder is very bad & sore, all the skin being off. I got some Emu fat & rubbed on it so I dont think it will be long before its well Howard was very profuse in the acknowledgement of his gratitude, he has a little money in the Bank at Ararat & has purchased another tent Mrs. H. is very ill, poor woman she has been well brought up & not accustomed to a hard life, they intend leaving the diggins for good the end of the summer.

December 6th 1857. Fine weather but very hot Been at work in Emu Gully & Im happy to state with better success than last week we made 3 oz between us, sufficient to pay our debts & leave us a pound or two which I consider mine, my mates being in my debt. I Went



151 1857-12-20

Moonlight. Dec 1857 -
into Ararat yesterday & bought a pick & shovel & also some clothing I required, for I was nearly naked. I went to see Old George, he is at work on Campbells, doing very poorly. I called on Bill Greys, he is hard-up, his wife & 2 children look miserable. I gave him a pound Stg. which he spent at once on food. I told him to come out to us next week & try a hole near our claim he can live with us for the week. I trust he will do something, he is a steady chap & works hard but is very unfortunate. Ararat looks miserable I dont think there are 4,000 people on it & not 4 months ago there were 50,000, nearly everyone has left this place. If I can save £5 the next fortnight Ill go to town & see all at home its nearly two years since I saw them last in Adelaide

13th. Weather dreadfully hot. Worked in Emu Gully this week, made 2 oz 10 dwt, better than nothing. Bill Gray poor devil only made 3 dwts not enough to pay his share of the rations, but we would not take it from him. Dick & I went into Ararat. I called at the P.O. no letters I dont think Uncle could have received the letter I wrote to him, I fancy the letter I sent to mother never was posted, I gave it a man & I hear he got drunk on the road & has never been near the township since

20th Fearfully hot all the week, could not work the first 2 days of the week in consequence. The Bush having been on fire again, we killed


Moonlight Gully & Emu Creek, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1857-12-24

two fine kangaroos that were fleeing from the fire & caught a beautiful Bird called a Native Companion. Harry & Dick got on the spree last Monday & Tuesday, got to work on Wednesday made nearly 2 oz for the week. I went into Ararat yesterday, no letters, on my way home I made up my mind to go to Melbourne for a change I should have started to day, but Bill Nuttall is going in a few days so I shall wait until he's ready. I think we'll start on X mas day.

24th Dec 1857. I intend starting for town in the morning. The weather is very hot, the bush was on fire at the beginning of the week, burnt several tents in the neighbouring gullies — we have made 1 oz for the 4 days work. I think I shall return to this place in about a month Nuttall has a little money in Geelong & I think Ill draw mine, & we intend purchasing a puddling mill in Opossum Gully about 3 miles from this, I think when winter sets in it will pay us very well, it will cost us about £100.0.0 I leave my share of the tent & tools to Harry & Dick until my return — Ive washed & mended my clothes this afternoon so I am quite ready. My mates & Maguires & their party are all merry (drunk) being X mas eve. I hope Nuttall wont take too much for I want to push along pretty smart tomorrow



Melbourne Jany 1858
We left Moonlight Gully, Christmas morning, about 10 am. reached Ararat at 12, had our dinner (the best Ive had for years) got onto the road struck across the plain & made the Ballarat road made a Public House with a most unpronounceable native name, it might be a Gailic one for it was kept by an Highlander, we had a good supper & bed & by daylight we got onto the road again, our journey took us through the finest country Ive travelled for many years, we passed through Fiery Creek (Raglan) about 10. am, made Lake Burrumbeet about 6 pm where we had tea it is the most beautiful neighbourhood I traveled in Australia fine land & a deal of it under cultivation, near the Lake, which is about 10 miles long & in some places 1 mile broad so I was informed, there is a small township that contains a store & two Public Houses, Nuttall wanted to remain there all night, but I was determined to reach Ballarat some 12 miles further after some remonstrance I got him to try it. I was sorry I did not remain, it came on dark & the road was a lonely one & having walked better than 30 miles we were completely knocked up, when we reached Ballarat we could not find a place where we could get a bed, however we managed by paying 2/- each at a place called the Bridge Hotel[2] to get a shakedown on the table of a Taproom, there were about 20 others to sleep in the room mostly drunk, the landlord took the candle out about 1 oclock, but one fellow had a


Bridge Hotel Ballarat; Stony Rises; Meredith; Muddy Water Holes; Geelong; Melbourne, Victoria Australia, 1857-12-26 to 28

piece in his swag which he lit, to my annoyance for I wanted to get asleep. I blew it out as soon as he lit, he kicked up a row & swore he had been robbed of 2 £l notes, & he accused me of taking them & in the dark got hold of me, with a deal of trouble I got rid of him by hitting him the landlord hearing the disturbance came in & throw a light on the subject, it appeared he was one of a gang of blaguards that had been hanging about the place all day, a policeman at last came in (drunk) I showed him my money all new notes, the man descrbd his as being old ones, him & his mates got kicked out by the other occupants of the room. I soon fell asleep & the first thing in the morning [27th] we got started again, had breakfast at a decent place just outside the town, on the Geelong Road, we made a place called the Stony Rises where we had dinner, our road from this place took us through a pretty place called Meredith, we soon began to get tired, having over exerted ourselves the day before (walked 47 miles) we camped for the night at an Hotel, near a place called the Muddy Water holes, where we spent a different night than the one before, we rose early [28th] & got into Geelong by dinner time (15 miles) after a Bath & a good dinner, I started by the Railway to Melbourne, leaving Bill behind he wanted to find out his brother who lives there. I got home all right on Monday [28th] night the 28th. I found my Father & mother quite well my sister Mary is growing a nice little



Wellinton St. Collingwood, Victoria Australia, 1858-01-03 Sunday

girl, Bessie, Charlie & Fred are all well & were very glad to see me.
Jany 3rd 1858. A new year, I wonder what its going to produce. It has been the hardest (the past one) that ever I experienced, earned but little money & suffered a great many hardships & privations – last Tuesday [29th] I rambled about town I saw a great deal to amuse & interest me I bought some decent clothes, & went out with mother. Wednesday, Nuttall made his appearance & we made up our minds to enjoy ourselves as much as possible for we didnt know when we should be in town again, we walked to a place about 3 miles from here called Prahran, to deliver a letter to a young man named Burchell, a couzin of Maguires, he made us very welcome, & promised to meet us again. In the evening we went to the Theatre to see the Pantomime of Whittingtons & Cat staid out all night knocking about the town met several Ararat chaps — we went on Thursday [31st] morn to St. Kilda, had a bathe in the sea took a boat & went out into the Bay, came home early, Father looked blue at me at not being home since the day before — but Ive been my own master & had to rely on my own resources so many years, that I never think of being controlled in my actions, so I was rather astonished but soon got amused when he made his enquiries I wouldnt like to have told him where I had been — we went to the Princess Theatre in the evening & saw the Miss Gougenheims in the Extravaganza of Fortunia. I liked it well we went home all right that night —


26 Wellington St. Collingwood, Victoria Australia, ~1858-01-01

& the next morning Bill & I took mother & the children down to St Kilda, made quite a little picnic of it — & I think we all enjoyed our selves very [well], got home early & after tea Bill & I went to the Cremorne Gardens, the finest place in the colony for a nights amusement & being New Years night,[3] it was extra grand all sorts being [there] the most respectable & the most abandoned, there was dancing & music tight rope dancing, gymnastics & acrobats, fire works, & various other display Bill & I paired up with 2 girls, had a little flirtation with them, they seemed like decent girls that had stole from home for fun, they had been dancing & had got some wine in them, we left them at last quarrelling & met Burchell with a young lady a Miss Marie Willis to whom he introduced us, after a dance with her & a long pleasent chat with them we parted but not before promising to see us again- I never spent such a night before or ever had so much rollicking fun — nearly daylight when we got home tired enough, Bill went back to Geelong yesterday I stayd home all day till evening, went to the Theatre with Fred. I went to Prahran to day, had dinner with Burchell, after which we went for Miss Willis (she is a pretty young lady a housekeeper to some gentleman) she introduced me to a pretty girl, who Im sure had many a quiet laugh at my manner, but few think, that dont know me, that Im a digger I appear to throw off that rough manner


26 Wellington St. Collingwood, Moonlight Gully Ararat Victoria Australia, 1859-01-11

that a Bushman has, I feel a kind of intuitive instinct that refines me at once when I enter ladies society that often amazes myself how it was acquired I fancy itsin some natures — We enjoyed ourselves well, went to St. Kilda, the beach is quite a fasionable resort. B & I had a Bathe left the ladies with some friends of theirs we called upon we returned in the evening to Miss W. place her master is out of Melbourne she served up a beautiful tea, took possession of the best drawing Room where there was a piano Miss W. & Miss Mace (my young lady) both play the latter sings well, after an hour or two we adjourned into the garden one of the finest round Melbourne. We had raspberries & grapes in abundance, sat in a summer house till near 12 oclock, when we went inside & had a nice supper. B & I left at 1 oclock, walked into Prahran, there fell in with a cab & rode into Melbourne nearly daylight this morning when I got home & so passed one of the pleasentest week of my existence —

11th Once more at Moonlight Gully — we arrived here this afternoon. I will endeavour to continue my journal from where I left off before. Last Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday I spent in town knocking about pleasuring & enjoying myself. Nuttall came for me on Wednesday. I drew £6.0.0 to take me up so on Thursday morning we rolled


[Melb, Geelong, Muddy W. H. Ballarat, Trawalla, a Rush, Waterloo Flat Fiery Creek (Raglan) 1858-01-11

Moonlight Gully Jany 1858 up our swags & after an affectionate adieu from those at home, we started got to Geelong in the train by dinner time, we at once commenced our journey, made the Muddy Water holes where we passed the night. In the morning the coach came by we got 2 seats 30/. each to take us to Ballarat where we arrived by 12 oclock, we reached a place called Trawalla by night — 20 miles from Ballarat near Simpsons Station when there we heard there was a rush about 8 miles away in the Bush, so we thought we would go & see it, we struck across the Bush & after walking about 20 miles we found the place — it is about halfway between Fiery Creek & Burn Bank, 2 holes had been bottomed & not much account, & we did not like the look of the place so we did not remain but started at once for Ararat again, we made a place called Waterloo Flat, where we camped rose early in the morning & got into the township of Fiery Creek (Raglan) where we had Breakfast. I was astonished at the quantity of parrots we saw where we camped, there was one tree close to our camp we saw literally green with them we killed 60 in 5 shots, they were small & close together. We gave them to the


Fiery Creek, Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1858-01-11

people we breakfasted with, we tramped along the day being hot, & were knocked up by 4 oclock when we camped near a pretty creek about 9 miles from Ararat, having only walked about 27 miles for the day, the next day we reached Ararat early, this morning, found nearly everybody packing up & bound for the great Rush at Pleasent Creek — we met Harry Hawkins & Jacob Maguire in the township, they returned with us here, my mates are thinking of going to the rush, they have done nothing since I left them nor do they think there is any prospect of doing any thing. The mill that Bill & I thought about buying is sold Im blessed if I would have ever come in this neighbourhood again if I had known of it before I left Melbourne. I have not much money left, some £2.0.0 & my mates have not £1.0.0. so there is not a very pleasent prospect before us & going onto a strange place where the ground is deep & hard, but I hear there are a great number of good holes bottomed during the last week the rush is only 20 miles from here, there is a man that has a team of Bullocks & is going to take all our things for a pound, he will start in a day or two. Nuttalls party is going also, so we are thinking of throwing in together. They were very glad to see us back, had any amount of questions to answer


Ararat, Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Victoria Australia, 1858-01-17

17th Jany 1858 Pleasent Creek — The weather has been fearful hot. We did not leave M.G. until Friday the man lost his bullocks & we would not start without our tools & it was impossible to carry them along with our tent and Blankets we got up here yesterday and pitched our tent on a Flat, what little Ive seen of the place does not please me. I never saw such a wretched scraggy looking country in all my travels, the ground is composed of granite sand, the hills are covered with short thick scrub & stunted timber, the leads where the gold is supposed to run dont lie as most leads Eastward do they here run in any diretn which makes it difficult to trace the ground the holes are sunk in, is very hard, being cement, & requires blasting. I dont know how we are going to get on we havnt the price of powder it will take to sink a hole, however lucks all — theres many a silver lining to a dark cloud or, dark cloud with a silver lining —

24th. The weather has been very hot. Monday morning we held a meeting to decide on what course to adopt in our present circumstances we agreed that 4 of us should try the old ground & endeavour to make enough to keep us in vituals while the others are to prospect & sink holes on the rush, we


Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Victoria Australia, 1858-01-24

first had a look around & marked out two holes – which we intend to shepherd, (that is to remain on the ground and do as little as possible while the next claim is bottomed & if its any good to sink ours, if a duffer to give it up) for we are not in a position to sink a hole – We found there are not many holes bottomed & what is are very much exaggerated with regards to the yields, there are supposed to be 20,000 people on the rush, there is a township formed, full of life & bustle & the street crowded with loafers & newcomers, being a kind of rendezvous for them, the public houses and Restaurant & Billiard Rooms being full. – The party that went prospecting didnt do much, only got 2 dwts for their weeks work, the shepherds, did nothing of course, the next party not being bottomed yet. There is a deal of timber around the claims so we felled some trees & made a pit & burnt a lot of charcoal thinking of making some money by selling it to the Blacksmiths, but we only sold £1 worth, there are too many at the game the supply is greater than the demand. It takes a deal of money to keep us in vituals.


Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Victoria Australia, 1858-01-31

Bread is 4/. a four lb loaf, and its principaly bread a digger lives upon. Mutton tea & damper is the usual fare from year end to year end, never dream of vegetables I dont think much of this rush tho I dare say if a man had capital to hang out he might drop across a good hole in the long run but its a place I would never expend much upon. I should have written to mother to day but I couldnt for a good reason, why I havnt got a shilling to pay the postage

31st. The hottest weather I ever experienced in Victoria, the thermometer being 110º in the shade nearly every day at 1 pm, we arranged our work as last week, several of us fossicking they got 10 dwts not enough to keep 2 us in Bread, (we tasted nothing else this week) & tea without sugar, hard times — Harry & I sank a hole, it was very hard, turned out a duffer. Dick funked on the approach of hard times & packed up his swag & left us to our fate. I think he has gone to “Moonlight" I wish Id the money he owes me. Ive been down the township several times in hopes of meeting some old friends, there has been another rush about a mile from here called 50 ft hill we marked out a claim which we intend to shepherd next week on spec Ive been reading two Books I brought from Melbourne in my swag Michelets History of Rome & Ovids Metamorphorses, the latter amuses us amazingly



Pleasent Creek Feby 1858
7th February Still very hot. We sank two holes this week, both duffers, we got 19 dwt out of an old hole that helped to keep us alive we bought a Bullocks head to day & had a good feed, its the first meat we have tasted for a fortnight — we are running in debt fast with the Baker he is the only one that will give us credit, he wont trust us any longer, he is afraid we are an unlucky set & wont see his money again, the way we manage for powder & fuse is, we get it from a store on credit & he charges us 50 per cent above the usual price & if we dont get gold out of the hole, he has little chance of being paid, if the hole is a duffer Ive visited the township very often during the week, in the evenings, visited the free Concert Rooms & Dancing Saloons Etc cheap pleasuring, & I believe I enjoy my- self as well as those that spend money My Birthday was last Monday, I am 19 years of age now, & look 26 so every one says — the hard life Ive led would age anybody. Ive not posted my letter yet cant spare a shilling for the postage

14 Feby Been very warm all the week. I shepherded our claim two days, when Jacob M. & I commenced to sink it, we worked very hard sometimes till 10 pm, being anxious to bottom which we did yesterday, a pure duffer, we were greatly disappointed & very much disheartened


Pleasant Creek (Stawell), Victoria Australia, 1858-02-21

at our ill success living on dry Bread & not enough of that, is sufficient to dishearten anybody Harry & Jim Massey bottomed another hole, no good, our other mates have been prospecting & trying about, but with the like results – Thursday we had nothing to eat at all, the Baker not coming his usual round, & yesterday all we had was a loaf between the 8 of us, a stranger would have laughed to have seen us divide it, we were each afraid to be thought greedy & had some fun about the affair It was amusing to witness us playing cards last night who should pay for a good meal for the lot of us. We all adjourned to an intellectual treat instead, a public meeting something about the Monarchy Clause Politics, didnt interest me much, a good meal would be more in my line at present I met a man I knew last night in the township, he insisted upon me having a drink for which he had to pay a 1/- I would liked to have had the money, it would pay the postage of my letter that has been written nearly 3 weeks —

21st Feby 1858, We had nothing but thunder storms the past week, it has made the weather more pleasent Harry & his mate have been driving the hole they sank last week but could get onto nothing payable. Jacob & I have been at work in the hole we sank, we



Pleasent Creek Feby 1858 -
_ could get no gold until Friday when I picked out a nugget 5 dwts & 6 dwts of fine gold out of 4 tubs so we intend trying it again next week. I posted my letter yesterday. Ive been suffering severely from a bad headache, caused by the want of proper food Etc. my mates are similarly affected, from the same cause. There has been several holes bottomed during the week, very good, but I think they are only patches, they have caused a rush a great many have arrived from other diggings heaven help them, if they are unlucky like our selves — Dick Yoa & his mate came to see us last Tuesday, they are working on Moonlight but only making "Tucker" they returned the next day.

28th Fine weather during the week. Monday Tom Maguire & I drove out a load of washdirt & only got 3½ dwt out of it. Thursday, Harry & I went into it & drove it & found 2 bits that weighed 11 dwts, we could not get the colour out of the hole afterwards so we have left it – I marked out a claim on a new rush at a place called 90 ft hill, there is one good hole bottomed. I intend to shepherd it next week I received a letter from Mother yesterday they are all well at home but like my self are very short of money & are in want of common necessaries. I wrote to her to day & told her to draw £5.0.0 of my money. Its no use in laying idle or nearly


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-02-07

so & they perhaps going with hungry bellies though I wouldnt draw any for myself. I think if my mates can knock along I can. Edward has left his situation at Castlemaine, that he went to at X mas, I should not be surprised to see him up here on the look out for me. I dont want him to come on the diggins, I would sooner he tried anything else than digging. I have had quite enough of it, to do for all our family —

7th March The weather has been beautiful, my mates have been sinking & driving holes all the week, but could get no gold Ned Hopkin & I have been at work in the hole we were at last week the washdirt is very thin however we got out a load & washed it yesterday, it turned out 1 oz 5 dwts which we gave to our Baker, so will be all right for Bread next week & perhaps we may get another load as good, & our mates may drop into a golden hole. We bought a Bullocks head to day & made a splendid dinner, the best Ive had for some time Harry marked out a claim yesterday on 90 ft hill, it stands a good show, being in a direct line with several golden holes. It will take a fortnight to sink it. I hope it wont deceive us. Bob Maguire (the younger Brother) has been very ill with dysentry, poor fellow he has only been in the colony a few months, he is commencing his fortune under anything but favorable auspices he has received a good education & been brought


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-14

up in the midst of luxury, he must feel his present life a wretched one, laid up unable to move from exhaustion & without the very com- monest necessaries of life, there is a doctor located here that was acquainted with the family at home who sometimes visits him & there is a poor woman that lives near us that sometimes brings him a basin of soup or gruel. God bless her. I went down the township last night, visited nearly every place of amusement of course free from all charge. I had several dances, met many acquaintances, went into the Gymnasium kept by a fighting man, had the Gloves on with Hardy & also with Joe Kitchen who nearly broke my neck, he struck me & I staggered back against a post. It was only in fun, Im paying for my learning by such practices – I had a long walk in the Bush to day went to Mount William, saw Sir T.Mitchells old encampment, when on his road to Portland 20 years ago, if he could see things now in Victoria, he would be surprised at the changes that have taken place

14th March 1858 Weather very unsettled we had a fearful storm on Friday night, scores of tents blown away, trees uprooted Etc. & the rain, in the course of my life I never witnessed anything to equal it, it came down like a sheet of water & lasted about an hour, the place looked like a large lake, our tents were flooded, the


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-14

Blankets got drenched and every rag of clothes we had. Ive not had a dry thing on since until this evening, we made an immense fire & erected a rail all round it to hang our clothes to dry It looked like a laundry. Harry & his mate are about 30 ft deep with their hole. Ned Hopkins & I worked hard & only got 7 dwts between us, so we are still on short allowance as usual. I hardly know how we keep our health under such circumstances. Bob is much better I am happy to state & will be able to get to work next week. Bill & Jacob are sinking I think its very foolish in our position to go sinking deep, hard holes on speculation, getting into debt & seeing no prospect of ever being able to pay If Harrys hole is a duffer. I dont think Ill stay long on this place, Pleasent Creek, as it is called. We were offered £25.0.0 for the claim, but we would not sell it, it wouldnt be much divided among 7 of us, & perhaps may be a golden hole that will turn us out a few hundreds each. Castles in the air, says Bob - I received an affectionate letter from Mother, containing advice & bidding me hope on & quoting several old proverbs, very good in their way mother, but hard pills to swallow on an empty stomach like mine is at times



March 1858 Pleasent Creek 21st. Lovely weather, but rather cold in the night & living in a tent without a fly one feels it, our tent is only 8 ft x 9 & 3 of us live in it so we have no room to erect stretchers, we sleep together on the ground, at least on some leaves spread for a floor, commonly called Bush feathers Nothing but disappointment & ill luck on this accursed place. Harrys hole we bottomed on Wednesday night, after working at it night & day shifts, the last fortnight, we could not get the color of gold off the bottom we drove it in the pipeclay, two ways 20 ft without seeing gold, it appears we bottomed on a rise the gutter where the lead of gold is in, runs just outside our claim, the people that own the next claim sank it in poor spirits they had made up their minds it was to be a duffer they have had two golden holes since they have been here cleared about £400.0.0 aman out of them, its purely a matter of chance is gold digging. Im getting very careless now & dis- heartened working hard & half starved in the bargain is enough to break a mans heart Im sure this week Ive not had 2 meals a day & that only of dry bread one of my mates has an awful amount of "cheek" or confidence he went into every Butchers shop on the place


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-21

to try & get some mutton on credit. If I can get any powder & lead Ill get the loan of Sams gun & if I dont shoot a bullock or a sheep next week Ill suffer hanging. I know a place about 15 miles from here where there is a lot of wild cattle not branded. Harry is the only one that has any pluck Jacob Maguire dont live with his brothers & us, he used to have a store & is well known by the business men here, he lives with some friends we quite envy him, he comes to work & we enquire what he's had for Breakfast Etc. & have quite a treat in listening to his bill of fare

There is another rush beyond 90 ft hill, where the sinking is only about 30 ft but very hard we have a claim that stands a good show I think we'll shepherd it, perhaps sink it – we intend shifting our tent to the place on Monday. Bob Maguire is ill again with dysentry. I advise him to cut the diggins if he ever gets better, poor fellow he little thought on leaving Britain, what a life was before him he thought he was coming to a land flowing with milk & honey, never imagined there was such a thing as hunger known in Australia where the trees are evergreen, where life is ever young, a kind of Eden, as it is discribed by the Emigration Agents & Lecturers in Europe


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-28

Though after all is said & done its a fine country if it was only better governed, the great curse of Victoria has been the want of a liberal land bill, there is too much Monopoly in it for a young Country ever to be prosperous. Ive known many men that have made a few hundred Stg that actually did not know what to do with it, possessing no knowledge of business, no education they knew not how to invest it, land they could not buy at any thing like a reasonable price the consequence was they spent it in debauchery I have known thousands of instances of the case, & people that know no better cry them down, call diggers, extravagant, fools Etc for spending their hard earned money foolishly Im sure they never gave the question any thing like fair consideration or they would not form such erroneous conclusions —

28th Weather fine — We broke up our party last Monday Harry & I of course sticking to – -gether, for better or worse, the Maguires & Nuttall with Hopkins are still mates, the latter has been on the spree all the week, he is the only son of a rich Welsh gentleman that possesses an income from property of about £5000.0.0 a year. Ned was sent to College & a deal of money spent upon him, when he was 18 years of age his mother died & left him £16000, of which he spent before he was 22 years of age


01 158 172
Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-28

he married a young lady in Bristol, she had £5,000. for a dowry, he gambled & squandered the whole of it away, his father cut him, & Ned went to London where he forged his fathers name for £200. which money he spent, his father would have punished him could he have been caught, he was nearly at his wits ends, nearly starving in London having actually at one time pawned his coat & bought a guitar & sang songs in the streets of London in the evening under the very windows of houses where he had formerly visited) for a living, he at length got a passage on a ship for Australia working as a supernumerary, on his arrival he tried to get employment in Melbourne but there were too many of his sort there to be successful, he was not fit for it, so he came on the diggins, & when first I met him he was working in a quarry near Donelly – There are a great many Welsh men here who knew his father at home, some of whom were born on his estates, they treat Ned as if he was a Lord, & if he wasnt, too proud (he is not in one sense, or he wouldnt lessen his dignity by the life he leads here, drink is his ruling passion) they would, in fact have offered to send him to England, his father has adver tised for him in every paper in Australia he could get a £1000 if he wanted it by


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-03-28

applying at some Bank in Melbourne, Im afraid he has sunk too low, ever to be reclaimed its a great pity for he is still very young not more than 28 years of age, his father allows his wife £300.0.0 a year to live upon, she has 2 children by him, she is to be pitied — Bill Merritt & a mate of his came up from Ararat last Tuesday, they are like ourselves hardup we have joined mates, & are living to- -gether, we have partly joined another man a Yankee named Alick Alexander, he had a claim that stood a good show, he couldnt sink it him self so Harry is helping him for a share in it. I have been working in an old hole, my mates washing & hauling up the dirt, we only got 5 dwt. not enough to supply one in Bread I wrote to Mother to day. Ive been down the township several times, there are still great numbers arriving attracted here by the exaggerated reports — the township looks busy tho I dont think there is much doing in the way of business the storekeepers have to give so much credit. The Maguires bottomed a hole last night, they only washed one bucket which turned out 10 dwts. I trust its not a patch, but that the rest of the claim will turn out as good, poor devils they want some gold bad enough



Pleasent Creek, April 1858
April 4th Lovely weather during the week Im regularly sick & weary at our ill luck. I feel disgusted at having to relate our continued mis- -fortunes. The Maguires wanted one of us to help them fence in their claim, that is to take a *claim round the boundary of their ground, we were to have a share of the proceeds. So Harry went, on Monday, I taking his place in Alicks claim which we bottomed, another duffer, Harry met with an accident on Thursday Jacob Maguire was at the Windlass, & Harry was below sending up stuff, when through some carelessness Jacob let a Bucket fall down the hole which struck Harry upon the head cutting the scull open some 5 inches in length it paralized one side for several hours rendering him insensible, with a deal of trouble they hauled him out of the hole & took him to the doctors, & got him round they shaved his head & patched the wound, through the kindness of a drayman he was brought to the tent, he has not been out of bed since until this evening he is very weak, but having a good hardy Constitution I dont think hell be long ere he is at work again It is very unfortunate this should happen in our circumstances. I bought a shin of Beef yesterday & made some stew or


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-04-04

broth. Bill Merritt marked out a claim next to a golden hole on Friday, we intend to sink it tomorrow. Ive been doomed to so much disapointment lately that I am not at all sanguine about it — Alick & I left the tent last night, took with us a pair of Blankets each & a gun, it was a fine night & we had made up our minds to make for a station & try & find a stray sheep or a Bullock without a brand, (or without, we didnt much care) we walked about 10 miles & camped under some rocks & prowled about a sheep pen or fold for hours but no stray one made its appearance they are guarded too well, by dogs & 2 shepherds. I found I was observed having gone too close, so I walked up to the men & told them I was looking for stray horses & had lost my way, they believed my story & insisted upon me going to their hut which I did & finding a lot of cooked meat I eat of it pretty freely & managed to slip a piece into my jumper & also a piece of damper. I wished them good by, or good morning, for it was 2 am this morning one of them showed me a path that would lead me within a short distance of where we lived, after he left me I had to march back to where I had left Alick, had a good laugh & fell asleep


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-04-11

for a few hours, we started at daylight & hunted through a tract of rough bush & scrub, but could find nothing like what we were in search off, came back here by about 4 pm tired & weary after our beef -less adventure. I know another neighbourhood near the Black Ranges where I intend going some day next week

11th April. Weather fine but cold. Harry a good deal better, he tried to work on Friday hoisting up stuff. Our baker refused to give us any more credit on Thursday. But fortunately we went into an old hole & got about 12s/.d. worth of gold out of it. We commenced our hole last Tuesday, got it down about 10 ft in the cement, we intend to double back next week, 2 of us work by day & the other 2 by night so as to bottom quickly Bill & I went out kangarooing Friday night did not get home until this morning, we did not catch any, but I managed to shoot my dog through the head. I aimed at the kangaroo the dog was running alongside not having been broke in for the work. I was very sorry for the dog was one of a rare breed & I could have disposed of him for a good sum. We managed by a little stratagem to get hold of a sheep, nearly 20 miles from here


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-04-18

we found 2 or 3 stragglers I suppose had got seperated from the flock they belonged to, we soon killed it & hid the skin & the offal in some scrub, we cooked a portion of the loin on the ashes, & brought away about the best half of it home, we gave Alick some of it, we had a regular blue out this afternoon, invited the Maguires & their mates, a neighbour brought a bottle a scnaps in, I dont drink, but my share was drunk to my health by the rest that did.

18th The weather getting very cold especially in the evening & mornings. Harry & I took the night shift, that is sleep in the day & work at night, we all worked very hard & bottomed our hole by Friday morning 80 feet deep (we got through the cement last week) we did not get the color of gold on the bottom, at night Harry & I drove it in the pipeclay about 10 feet, but could see no gold we tried several tubs next morning but could find nothing to pay us, our other mates drove it 12 feet in another direction but with no better success we got out a load of dirt & washed it in the afternoon it turned out 3½ dwts & so finishes another hopeful hole, what


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia, 1858-06 April-May-June

the deuce we shall do unless, to use the words of poor Micawber, something turns up, I know not. I received a long affectionate letter from mother & enclosed in it was a £1. I bought a pair of boots with the money being barefooted the last month or next thing to it. I also received a letter from my sister Mary, very affectionate & sisterly. Its the only pleasure I enjoy here is the letters I receive from home, tho they dont always contain the most pleasent news


last days at “Pleasent Creek"

The last days at “Pleasent Creek”, my departure for Melb’ & adventures on the Road
[178 continued]

[Saturday, 12 June 1858] June 19th 1858. It is better than 2 months since I continued my journal, that I hardly know how to arrange my subject so as to be a continuation of where I left of however I’ll make the attempt. My reason firstly for not writing was that I got quite sick of continually compiling a catalogue of miseries I got disgusted with the weekly ritual. For about a month after I last wrote we did nothing but fossick about on the 90 foot hill scarcely earning sufficient to keep us alive Bill Merritt & his mate left us along with Ned Hopkins we had a loaf of Bread which we divided, I believe they went to a place called Anustary Ive not seen or heard anything of them since, but I trust they will be more for tunate there than they were here, the


1858-06 May, June

Pleasent Creek June 1858
week after they left, we went into an old hole & drove out some old blocks rather dangerous work, we got about 30/. each out of it. I went down the township & called at Samuels Agency Office where the P.O. is & I saw a notice stuck up that stated if this should meet the eyes of J H Watmuff he will hear of his brother Edward by enquiring inside, whilst perusing it who should come up but Ned he hardly knew me I was so wretched & ragged looking I was glad to see him in one sense, he has grown very tall, he is only 16 years old I had a poor place to offer him to come to, he had but a few shillings after his journey from Castlemaine, where he had [been] at work, his master failed & left him in for 4 months salary, he has been at work since along with Harry & I, it is his first attempt at gold digging, so he is not much of a hand at it yet, but will be a good workman soon, being very willing to do his best, we have been at work near the tent in some ground about 20 feet deep since, getting a little gold just enough to keep us in vituals. I received a long letter from mother about a week ago in which she states that


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia 1858 May, June

the railway from Melbourne to Bendigo is to commence on the 1st July & she thinks it would be better if we were to come down & endeavour to get employment on the line a great many labourers being required So I made up my mind that if I could raise money enough to pay my way down I would go. Fortune seemed to approve of my determination, but only under great difficulties, we went into an old hole last Monday that we knew had some good ground left in it but no body would venture into, being so very dangerous in consequence of the rottenness of the ground, my mates advised me not to attempt it, but circumstances & the life Ive led lately had rendered me callous & reckless & I was determined to get a load out. I inspected it minutely & got Ned to keep a lookout & let me know if any of the cracks in the ground opened, he was out of danger of course, being fastened by a rope while I went into the drive & got out the block & carried the dirt out into the shaft. Harry & Alick was on top hoisting it up I managed to get a load out & send it up & had my foot in the rope & was just at the top when the ground gave way scores of tons of earth falling in, filling


1858 May, June

Pleasent Creek June 1858
up the shaft nearly half way, the narrowest escape I ever had in my life, what a death if I had remained in the hole another minute I saw the cracks opening & has it was we lost a pick & shovel, they could never have got my body out, the load turned out better than 2 oz & altogether we made nearly £4.0.0 each I bought myself a new rough woolen shirt & a pair of moleskin trousers, washed up things (Ive not many) yesterday so Im already now to start my journey to town nearly 200 miles. I leave in the morning thank God, I could cry for joy, for God knows Ive known but the most miserable & hard times that ever fell to my lot to bear. Ive not known what a good meal was since I came here, there was nearly 4 months that I only tasted Butchers meat but 4 times. I never heard of a party of men so unfortunate since I came on the diggings for so long a spell. If we had not striven & worked hard there would have been an excuse, but there has not been a rush or a chance that we have neglected since we came here — I went to bid the Maguires good bye to day, poor Bob, I fear his goose is cooked! He is very ill, quite frightened me, he looks


Pleasant Creek, Victoria Australia 1858 May, June

looks so miserably thin and attenuated so very different from the stout fresh looking young chap he was 6 months ago. I hope he will recover, but there is little chance, what with bad food & want of medical attendance Burchell (his couzin) sent him a few pounds a little while ago or Im sure he would be in his grave ere now, how thankful I ought to be that I possess such a fine constitution that has carried me through so many hardships & privations & yet Im the first a stranger would say would sink being very slightly formed, but Im very strong & wiry for my size. Ive seen many fine strong looking chaps fag & weary alongside of me, both at work & on the tramp I think it is owing to my having com menced a hard life when young, that my system has become enured to such a life, whereas a man brought up amidst luxury & always enjoyed the comforts of a house & all that sort of thing, on the approach of hardship soon sink & their constitution soon breaks up. Ned is going to remain with Harry & Alick until I write & let him know if there is a chance of him getting on in Melbourne Im sorry at parting with him & Harry, the latter I like well, I suppose its being so much together


Pleasant Creek; Armstrong Diggings Ararat, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-20 Sunday

21st.[20th] June 1858. — Melbourne —
nce more at home, after nearly 6 months absence. I left Pleasent Creek (heaven forgive the man that called it so) last Sunday. Harry & Ned accompanied me for a mile or so on my journey. I sat down & gazed back on the spot where I had known so much misery. In looking over my journal I find that I have not alluded to many painful circumstances that happened to me there, such as the scheming, dodging & the petty shifts we were so often put to Etc. I was half inclined to knock the dust from my boots on leaving the place. I walked until dinner time when I made "Armstrongs" diggings & met an old mate of mine Bill Gray, he had been living there some time, not doing much, & was on the point of leaving it for Melbourne on the same footing as myself to get work on the Railroad, he had everything packed up I remained in his place all night & in the morning I helped to get his things on a waggon bound for town it was dinner time when we got started. I accompanied them some 12 miles where we camped for the night, 5 miles this side of Ararat It caused me some delay, however I wanted to push on so Tuesday morning at daylight I did up my swag & bid Mrs G. & Bill adieu


Ararat, Fiery Creek, Trawalla, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-15

& left them promising to meet him in town & try & get a contract or something on the Rly works to do. (he told me Dick Yeo had been to see him some 3 weeks ago he was enroute for the Goulbourn diggings, as far East as he was West before) the morning was lovely I left them, the dew on the leaves & every blade of grass sparkled in the sun like glistening diamonds. Birds in thousands in most beautiful plumage whistled & chirped in every direction. I reached Fiery Creek about 5.pm & bought some food there, fell in with another traveller bound like myself for town I wanted to reach “Trawalla” that night but he got footsore & stayed all night at a refreshment tent on the way. I pushed on & camped on a hill side, where there wasn't much wood, nothing but green sheoak, with a deal of trouble I lit a fire & boiled my billy I was very tired having walked nearly 40 miles I laid down with my clothes on, just wrapped my blanket round me. I slept with my boots on & on awaking next morning & looking round a strange sight presented itself as far as the eye could see everything was white with a hoar frost. I found myself benumbed & stiff with the cold & on trying to rise I found I couldnt stand, my feet had swollen in my boots & I was compelled to cut them off with a knife. I with


Burrumbeet Lake, Ballarat, Geelong,, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-16

great difficulty crawled on my hands & knees to the creek where I gathered some dry leaves & twigs & managed to light a fire & get some water in a similar manner & boiled it, & after bathing my feet with it I felt a little easier & was able to crawl along, & by dinner time I reached Burrumbeet Lake when a man with an empty cart gave me a lift into Ballarat. I was too late for the coach so I remained all night there, went to the Theatre & heard the Opera of “La Sonambula” Julia Harland & Sherwin with Jno Craig being the principal vocalists they didnt please me at all. I heard K.Hayes in the same Opera with Langlaise some time back in Melbourne & ! oh how different. I chose my quarters with more discretion for the night than I did on my last visit, had a good nights rest, applied some lotion to my feet, felt all right in the morning. Took my passage in the coach for Geelong the fare being only s5/-d cheap travelling the distance being 52 miles. I happened to be there during an opposition, or else the usual fare is £2.0.0. we should have arrived in town (Geelong) by 2pm & so caught the 2.30. train, but owing to the horses jibbing & the roads being bad, we


Geelong, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-18

had to get out and walk for 5 miles it was 5 pm when we got into town too late to think of going to Melbourne so I took up my quarters in a cheap lodging house near the water side & after a bathe & a decent tea I thought I'd visit the Theatre which I did, the price being a shilling in the pit. I never was so astonished & pleased in my life than what I witnessed there An actress had arrived that day, something out of the common Miss Emma Stanley her entertainment is a wonderful one her versatility is surprising. She is a beautiful singer, a charming actress & an accomplished musician, I never witnessed such enthusiasm as was displayed by the audience. I got back to my quarters about 11 pm & found the place in an uproar, it appeared some lucky digger was living & spending his money freely, he & I had gone out to gether but had parted company near the Theatre, just before, I came back the fellow was found nearly strangled, insensible, alongside of the fence & every shilling with his watch, ring & some other things of value taken from him, no one had observed him & I go out together & I


Geelong, 117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-19

was not fool enough to say we had done so for it would have been hard work for me to have sworn an "alibi", appearances looked so bad against me, he was taken to the hospital, I dont think he will die. I believe it is some of the lodgers doings, it appears to be a very low place. I arose early & took a strool about the town, its a dull place grass actually growing in the market place & in some of the principal streets, I left by the 9.30 am train & arrived here in Melbourne all right, safe & sound on Friday noon. My mother & father & family were glad to see me. Ive not had time to look around me yet, scarcely been out of the house (117 Kerr St., Fitzroy) I intend trying to get some employment tomorrow if possible, Im not particular what it is in an office, or driving a dray, sinking a well, or a cellar Etc. I went to chapel to day the first Ive been in for years I feel very strange in town, at least in the house Ive got to behave myself be more particular in my language & manners
28th [Sunday 27th] June 1858. The weather has been very disagreable during the week, making the streets dirty & any thing but pleasent



Melbourne June 1858
Last Monday and Tuesday I went to the works at Footscray, found several thousand men looking for employment, the wages are very low but I think they have an object in it, for there are so many men that dont know what work is, in fact that never had a tool in their hands & they cannot make a distinction. I was offered work but I would not take it at the wage 7/. a day, it is too far to walk to work & on making enquiries I found I could not get board under 30/ aweek and at this time of the year a man couldnt average more than four or five days work a week, so it would only be like working for ones vituals. I could not board myself for the work is situated on the Keilor Plains there being not a stick of wood growing within miles of the place, the people that are located there pay £2.0.0 a load for firewood I think in a few weeks time things will get more settled & there will be a better chance so I shall endeavour to get a job in town in the meantime. Wednesday I went to Prahran with a letter I had for Burchell from his couzin Bob Maguire. I did not


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Victoria Australia, 1858-06-24

find him at home so I left the letter promising to call again Thursday I went to see my old friend Nelly whom I knew on Bendigo & Ararat, she is as beautiful as ever, but so changed — I never alluded to the change in her circumstances before It appears her mother had some wealthy relations in England & dying left them a considerable income. Nelly left her Restaurant & came at once to Melbourne & has been at a Boarding School at St Kilda she has greatly improved, but is very grand they were very kind to me (they could not be otherwise for what I had done for them) but there was a certain something in their manner that didnt please me, something I cant discribe, it seemed as if they did not care about encouraging the acquaintance when I called upon them they were on the point of dressing for the dress circle of the Theatre. I did not remain long they thought if I would call again they might hear of something for me to do, talked about their interest Etc. I told them I know nothing of mercentile habits, thanked them & left feeling as proud of my dignity as if I was in the possession of £1,000 a year


01 176 190
117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Victoria Australia, 1858-07-04

I dont think Ill trouble them again. I have not wrote to Ned or to any of my old mates yet nor do I intend until I have something interesting to write about

July 4th 1858. Weather fine all the week, but it has been raining very hard to day. I intended paying Burchell a visit to day but owing to the rain I defered doing so until next week I paid him a visit last Tuesday, he was very glad to see me. Thursday I went to the Grand Temperance Soiree, it was crowded to excess. I managed to enjoy myself — there was some good singing Miss O.Hamilton & Mons Coulan being the principal vocalists. Saturday night I went to the Princess Theatre to see Miss Provost in the play of “Camilla”, she is a fine actress, I never witnessed such emotion displayed by an audience before, many being in tears during the dying scenes I have answered several advertisements for billet, but was not fortunate enough to get any thing, there are great numbers in town like myself out of employment, however I dont intend to be disheartened. Ill try a few weeks longer & if I'm not fortunate in getting a job I can but try the diggings again, tho I have no desire to do so if I can avoid it


1858-08-08 July-August

Melbourne August 1858
August 8th It is five weeks since I last continued my journal so I must tax my memory & endeavour to recollect how time has passed by. Ive been living at home of course, very comfortably & I had fondly hoped I should not be under the necessity of leaving it again. I have answered scores of advertise- -ments but without success. I went after several jobs in Grocers & Drapers. I know nothing of the trade & was told they did not want apprentices. I tried several wholesale places, but I had no references, at some places I was not old enough, or big enough, or too old, & too big, — I got a job to drive a dray but the man sold it next day I helped to discharge a lime lighter 2 days, it was fearful hard work carrying bags of lime from a ships hold, I could fill a volume with an account of the adventures I met with in search after work. I'm fairly sick & disheartened with it. Bill Gray I could hear nothing about, I dont think he ever reached town or I would have heard about him, I have made up my mind if nothing turns up in a few days to roll up my blankets & take to the bush again, I think Ill go


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy, Victoria Australia, 1858-08-15

try old Bendigo again, I met an old acquaintance the other day from there who states that Uncle has been doing well lately & several others I know. Im very loath to leave for I have made several pleasent acquaintances here, among the number a very beautiful girl a Miss Somers, an orphan, her father (tho I dont think it is) has a contract on the railway Mary & Jane & I went to the waxworks last night, we have been out to places very often & enjoyed ourselves well. My father is not doing much in the way of business, nor do I ever think he will, he appears to have no energy, being anything but pushing -

15th August 1858. The weather has been very unsettled during the week. Im still in Melbourne. Mr Somers (Janes father) has a contract on the Railway. I saw him on Monday morning & he asked to work for him at 10/ aday, he has about 30 men at work & only 1 or 2 that know how to blast he only gave the others 9/. aday, well I thought Id try it, so I went to the place it was on the Keilor Plains 14 miles from home. I got up there by 12 & commenced work by 1 Pm, came on to rain, no place to shelter, not a tree or bush for miles


Keilor Plains Railroad, Victoria Australia, 1858-08-15

was wet through by knock off time, we all boarded in a large calico tent kept by a a Jew. We had to pay 30/- aweek for our board & had the privilege of sleeping in the place. I & the rest were wet through, after supper we made our beds on the floor or ground, it was quite muddy & wet. I laid my coat under me for a mattress. I wrapped myself up in my blankets & was soon asleep, but in the morning I was so stiff, I could hardly rise, four of the others were unable to rise, if a man had an iron constitution it would break in no time. I would not have cared if I could have got some leaves or straw to lie upon however next morning I went to work most of the men left, couldnt stand it the weather was against us, nothing but showers, got wet through & dry again two or three times during the day, on knocking off & swallowing my tea I went to bed, it was too soft to please me, next day it rained hard couldnt go to work at all, so on Thursday morning I cut it altogether, about 4 days in the week seem to be a good average for a weeks work. I would have remained


Keilor Plains Railroad, 117 Kerr St. Fitzroy,, Victoria Australia, 1858-08-15

longer if I could have been better lodged Somers took up a stretcher & a mattress along with him, but I didnt think it worth while for the job would only last about 3 weeks. I never saw men working under so much difficulty in my life before, in the depth of a wet winter & on plains cold & miserable at anytime, without fire wood & sleeping on damp marshy ground is too much for any man to stand -. I arrived home about dinner time not a penny the better for 3½ days misery but a severe cold that I wont get rid of for some time & stiff bones from my soft couch, Friday I knocked about answered two advertisements for a steady responsible young man Etc. but no luck. In the evening Jane & I took a pleasent walk together, went to the Theatre, but came out after the first act, & walked until near 12 oclock. Saturday I spent similar to the day before in the evening I went to the Theatre Royal took my sister & Jane to see the Unequal Match. I would have prefered a nice strool with Jane instead Went to church (St. Peters) to day, & spent



Melbourne August 1858
a portion of the day reading one of Dickens work, father objects to such Sunday lit- -erature, I had quite a job to get him to allow Mary to go to the Theatre, he gives me long lectures, but I feel that they dont do me much good. I intend leaving this for Bendigo next week. I ordered a pair of heavy boots yesterday, & I drew from Mr Delbridge £15.0.0 I shall require to get a few necessaries. I feel rather low spirited at the idea of leaving. I have formed so many nice acquaintances, & I had fondly hoped I should have been able to have got something like a decent job of some sort, & perhaps in time when I had improved myself sufficiently, to have made an effort for position, however the dream is over for a while but if Im any way fortunate I have made up my mind to return & go to school for a while, for Im quite sick of the life Ive led the last 7 or 8 years. I feel very bitterly the neglect my father has brought us up in not one of us boys with a trade, or an education, but I intend to study hard for the future



117 Kerr St. Fitzroy; Pinch Gut Gully, Victoria Australia, 1858-08-22

Long Gully Bendigo 1858
22nd August Once more at the old spot being very methodical both in my ideas & habits, I shall commence by continuing from where I last left off. Last Monday, Mother & I went to town purchased some things I needed, & visited the Eldreds, spent the rest of the day with them, there are two Miss E very beautiful girls. It was 10 pm when we left & very loath I was to leave them, I dont much care about the old folks, they are too sanctimonious for my taste, I was introduced to a Mr & Mrs White, another saint is Mr W- Mrs W told me very confidentially she quite longed to have a dance, but she couldnt think of such a thing now. Tuesday, Fred Mary & I went to see Anderson (the Wizard of the North) play RobRoy. The house was crowded to excess, he plays the part of the outlaw well, Fanny Young & Madam Carandina played well, their singing was beautiful. I gave my Brother & sister the slip on our way home & I went to see a girl, a companion to an old lady, who allows no followers, we have met


117 Kerr St. Fitzroy; Diggers Rest, 1858-08-22

several times secretly after the old lady has gone to bed. I was getting in the house in the parlour window & was caught by a policeman in the act, who suspecting I had burglarious intentions was going to walk me off to the station, but the girl with my own assistance convinced him he was mistaken, so with a deal of trouble I managed to get away, a good job too a pretty kettle of fish I was near into – Wednesday I made my adieus & in the evening we had quite a party at our house Mrs & the two Miss Eldreds, a Mr Lincoln & one or two others, we had singing Etc & we managed to spend a very pleasent evening I went home with them they live in Russell St. Thursday morning about 11.am I bid farewell to all at home, once again & started for Bendigo, my swag was rather heavy, having 2 pairs of Blankets & a suit of clothes, also a few books, altogether 45 pounds weight, a good swag to carry 100 miles I crossed the plains the first day, & camped for the night at the Diggers Rest an hotel 20 miles from Melbourne, where I got a good supper & bed for 5/. Friday morning rising


Gap Inn, Ravenswood, Ironbark Gully, 1858-08-22

early I walked to the Gap Inn where I had my Breakfast, the weather was lovely & I enjoyed my walk until dinner time when I began to get weary, however I made Kyneton where I remained for the night, having walked 35 miles for the day, the next day (yesterday) I made Ravenswood where I stopped for the night. I started early this morning & was in Bostocks tent Iron Bark Gully by 10.am, so I did my journey in about 3 days not bad work for 100 miles & carrying a swag in the bargain, Mr & Mrs B were very glad to see me, they have had an addition to their family since I saw them last, they have been very unfortunate Bostock has been ill & what with doctors Bills & being out of employment has reduced them very much. I stayd dinner with them, after which I came over to Long Gully found Uncle & Harry well, they have not been doing very well lately, they inform me that Mary Ann is living in Launceston Lizzie is with her, & Martha was married on the 11 inst to a man named Smith – I intend joining Uncle & Harry in the morning, & I trust we may be fortunate the old gully looks the same as ever, very little change having taken place. It was an unlucky day when I left it, just 2 years & not a penny the better, perhaps a shade wiser



Bendigo Long Gully 1858 29th Lovely weather Commenced work last Monday morning with a good will, along with Uncle & Harry, we made £3 each for the weeks work, not so bad for a start, a little better than the Railway. I wrote to Mother yesterday & sent her a pound for Marys schooling. Thursday night I went to Bostocks all well, found Tom there he has had some knocking about like my -self since we last saw each other, he left Pleasent Creek the same day I went onto it he has grown a great drunkard lately & is mixed up with the same bad lot as usual he had a week in jail for something very dishonorable. Im very sorry for him but I think he’s too far gone to think of reclaiming him. I shall avoid him as much as possible & he can see by my manner that Im altered since the old days we used to knock about together Ive mixed with a different set since & Im beginning to have a little more self respect than formerly. Ive met a great many old friends & acquaintances since my arrival Jim Hall is the only one that Ive visited Ive been to his tent several times during the week my leisure hours Ive spent in reading.



Bendigo. Sept 1858. 5th Sept The weather has been very unsettled during the week a deal of rain, affecting us in our work, & to make things worse my Uncle went on the spree for 4 days. I gave him to understand that I would not stand it & in squaring up our accounts for the week I deducted the gold Harry & I got the time he was away, nothing but right, but still rather unusual amongst diggers, but I have suffered so much from drunken mates that I dont intend submitting to it any longer. I feel perfectly justified in doing what I did. I made for my own share £3.1s.0d not so bad, I received a letter from Mother yesterday all well, Jane is living with her, having given up the store on Sunbury, they had, she had a letter from Ned, he is living in Opossum Gully near Ararat along with Harry Hawkins, they are just making a living. Nuttall has left the Maguires. Bob has quite recovered from his illness Im glad to state. I went into Sandhurst yesterday, bought a concertina much to Uncles annoyance. Went to the Shamrock Concert Room heard some good singing met several I knew, didnt get home until about 1.pm



01 187 201
Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-09-27

12th Sept, Weather very beautiful, We have been at work in Pinch Gut Gully (the old spot) we have got it to ourselves. We made £3.0.0 each pretty regular work. I dont care if we never do worse I received a long letter from mother, all well, enclosed was the one Ned sent her, I wrote to him & Harry to day giving them everything in the shape of news I thought would interest them. Tom Rudd paid me a visit yesterday, he wanted to borrow some money, but he owes me too much on old scores for to lend him anymore, he seemed very annoyed, & left me in anything but an amicable manner. I heard to day he has run away to Donolly taking with him another mans wife, a young woman Ive known for years, but never dreamt she was one that could have committed such a thing, I believe it was amusing to witness them taking their departure, Tom & his mate with the lady carrying their swags his mate returned this evening having quarrelled on the road, at Charlės Watkinson tent, Sandy Creek. Charlie sent a note by him to me he is still living on the Halfway diggins but up to this time has only been able to make a living, he had just bottomed a hole & got 5 dwts out of 9 Buckets


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-09-19

a good prospect I trust poor fellow he may do well, the letter contained an account of the death of an old mate of ours Big Jack we used to call him, he died in the bush with brain fever our other old mate Jack is at work with Charlie. I went to Bostocks on Wednesday night, spent my leisure time in improving my mind, reading & arithmetic. I got a volume of Macauleys Essays, also Popes Homers Odyssey.

19th Sept 1858 Fine weather, We did very poor this week only made 2 oz between us, Ive been out every night this week either at Bostocks or Halls tent, the latter place being a kind of rendezvous for several young men, Lachlan Frazer (or Lockey) we call him & Jim & I went last night to see Mary Provost & Neil Warner in Macbeth they are fine actors, but the piece was spoilt through the wretched scenery – Ive read very little this week, I took a long walk to day, in the morning I went to Cape Clear (the head of Long gully) some 3 miles from here. In the afternoon I went to Sydenham Gardens in company with Hall & Frazer, how different they are now to what they used to be


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1859-09-26

Long Gully 25th [26th] Sept 1858
Wretched weather hardly a day without rain tending seriously to affect our work we only made £1.0.0 each for the week. Harry & I have been humbugged considerably by Uncle, he has been on the spree again what a shame for a man like him to debase himself by such practices. Ive been to Halls several times met several acquaints some of whom are strange characters, there is a fine young fellow named D.Anderson well educated & well connected, he was in a large mercantile house in Glasgow got into a scrape & was sent to their branch house in Canada, didnt like the place & did not like to return to Britain, so he chose Australia for his goal, attracted by the brilliant accounts of its richness, a delusion as many more have found it, he has a splendid tenor voice that has been Cultivated by the best masters at home, he has one great failing, he worships the rosy god too much, & Im afraid he is past redemption There is another rowdy reckless devil, an Irishman named Hy.Innes, his father is a barrister & well to do but this fellow is


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-09-26

the black sheep of the family, a genius in his way, but a most perverted one he is never happy but when in a row, he is the terror of every one in the shape of a bully his weakness seems to be continually quoting Latin & passages from Shakespeare, he can recite the language of the principal characters of all his plays, there is another young man a mate of his named W.Donovan an intelligent well-informed man. It seems a pity that such beings should waste their existence in such an occupation as they now follow, what a number of young men will have cause to curse the diggins hereafter, what with deceased bodies & demoralised minds, its shocking to contemplate, it is a life that a few years quite unfits one, unless possessed of a strong energetic mind, for anything like social conformity Locky Frazer & I went into Sandhurst yesterday afternoon, he introduced me to his Uncle & Aunt (a well to do Baker,) a very respectable family they have a son named Locky, rather a nice young fellow we had tea with them, & a pleasent chat afterwards, on leaving we took


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

a strool about “Pall Mall” the only part of Sandhurst at all lively, its nearly impassable on a Saturday night, crowds of people frequent it from all the surrounding gullies, we met several acquaintances, but at length went into the New Theatre called the Lyceum a neat pretty little place. Thatcher, Mad Vitelli, & Mrs Oakey were the vocalists, we spent a very pleasent night there, arrived home about 1.am this morning, late when I rose, after dinner I took a long walk to the Cemetary, from there visited Sydenham Gardens, called at Bostock I received two letters yesterday one from Fred & the other from mother, Mrs Harken just been confined of a little girl. Old Somers got his hand nearly blown off by powder while blasting very unfortunate
[1858-10-03 Sunday]
October 2nd [3rd] Fine weather, We made about £2.10.0 each this week, we should have done better but I met with a misfortune on Thursday night, that has rendered me unable to work since I went up to Halls tent, several were there, as usual we commenced to have some fun. Jim & I a set too with our open hands, there was a double edged dagger on the table & he in fun, though some think he meant it because he couldnt hit me as often as I did him


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

(however I'll be charitable I think he did not mean it) took it up & in rather an impulsive manner cried stand back I thought he was joking I was poking him in the belly with the points of my finger & in drawing back my hand the point of the dagger struck my finger ripping off all the flesh along with it, the pain was fearful. I did not feel it at the time, but rather maddened by the circumstance I rushed upon him & if we had not been seperated Im sure I would have strangled him, however I fainted afterwards through pain & loss of blood I got home & had it doctored up, very fortunately its my left hand, so I will soon be at work again. I wrote a letter to Mother on Tuesday & enclosed a pound for my sisters schooling I went to the Theatre last night to see Warner in Hamlet, my favourite play of Shakespeare & to day Lockey called for me to go with to Church a place that I have not been in for many years except on one or two occasions while in Melbourne, we went but the sermon was nearly over, but we got a long one from Lockeys Uncle who is a member of Mr Nishs Presbyterian Church. I told him candidly It was the first place of worship Id been in since I lived on Bendigo nearly 8 years, he was


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

rather surprised & made me promise to come oftener. There is great excitement just now in Victoria, in consequence of the report of a New Rush, some 600 miles North of Sydney near "Port Curtis" a great many vessels are laid on for there in Melbourne thousands are going, but I can hear nothing definate about the yields from there, so I'll be cautious ere I move a step. Ill wait until I hear some authentic report before I go, Ive had quite enough of rushes the last 2 years – I went to see some men this afternoon that are going to start for there in the morning
[Sunday, 10 October 1858]
October 9th [10th] 1858, The weather is very hot. Owing to my bad hand I was unable to get to work. I tried to do some on Friday, but had to give up the attempt I went to Bendigo on Tuesday, met Mrs Bostock went home & spent the day with her, I visited Sandhurst also on Friday received a long letter from mother, informing me that my Father & Fred are thinking of going to Port Curtis a bright pair heaven help them. I wonder how he thinks his family are to live during his absence a consideration that dont affect him


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

much, having left them on more occasions than one, in the hands of providence — as he terms it, enclosed in the letter was a nice little note from my sister Mary, she is greatly improving in her writing & dictation she is on a visit with Jane Somers at Sunbury 24 miles from Melbourne, I went to Lockey Frazers, sisters wedding on Friday, they had a grand party for the diggins, any amount of good things, there was upwards of 40 folks there & amongst the number a very pretty girl Ive long wish to be introduced to, a Miss Hooper,) she lives about 200 yards from my tent. I have seen her daily but have never been able to make her acquaintance she seldom goes out & I fancy the young chaps about the gully & not the sort she cares about, she is very cool & distant in her manner, to strangers, but Im sure from what Ive seen of her she is very impetuous & impassioned in her nature to those she takes an interest in,) there was several young girls there, very envious of the the attention that was paid her, one or two of them sang & were very importunate for Miss H. to sing also, thinking she


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

could not, they pressed her very much, I was seated next to her & could see she was annoyed I offered to sing for her instead, she seemed very grateful — I did so, sang “Remember me”. I was in excellent voice & rather astonished the company, who did not know that singing was one of mine accomplishments (the only natural one I am endowed with) I got no rest afterwards, but had to sing repeatedly until there mirth got too bois -terous to please, that is the old folks got rather noisy over their glasses, so a lot of us went outside & being a lovely moonlight night, we enjoyed ourselves, playing Kiss in the Ring & dancing Etc, Miss H – thanked me for my attention, & a good understanding soon sprang up between us – about 3.am the bride left us an hour or so afterwards Lockey & I took the groom home to his cottage across the gully, we found the place locked however we got in at the window & struck a light & went into the Bedroom & were rather astonished on finding 3 girls in the room they had put Mrs Duncan to bed & she was rolled up, the girls, Lockey & I marched off with, & so left them, Willie Duncan I think would have a job to undress himself


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-03

he had imbibed a little too much for a bridegroom I saw Miss Hooper home, & returned & with Lockey we took Miss Bella Bryce home – the sun was up by this time, & wretched beings we must have looked, after our nights pleasure, I went to bed & did not rise until 1.pm. I went over to Bostocks yesterday afternoon, was surprised to hear that Tom Rudd had returned from Donolly with his lady love, I dont care about him. I hope he will never thrust himself in my way. Ive turned over a new leaf lately & intend to be very particular who I for the future associate with or make companions of — Lockey & I went into Church last night, heard Mr Nish preach an excellent sermon, on what seemed to me a popular lecture “On Ninevah”, I derived a deal of information & many good ideas from it. On leaving, Lockey & I went to see his Grandmother who lives in a little cottage next to her son the Baker, she is very old but a very intelligent nice old woman – we chatted together for about an hour & after a pleasent walk arrived here by about 10.pm. Ive read a great deal lately.



] Long Gully Oct 1858
16th Oct [17th] Beautiful weather but very hot in the middle of the day — Uncle took a sudden fit, last Monday morning & made up his mind to go to Adelaide, he had not money enough to pay his passage to Melbourne so he borrowed £7.10s.0d from me. We have agreed to meet him in Melbourne in three weeks from this date (that is Harry & I) if the news are favorable from Port Curtis, when we intend going, great numbers still continue to leave here, I think it very foolish to go to such an outlandish place, where no inhabitants are, until some definate news comes to hand, for up to this time I can hear of no actual “finds” being made, nothing but rumours of a most fabulous description Im glad to state my finger has healed up, rather too quickly some think, it is very tender & I think will never be as strong as it was, Harry & I are mates, we didnt begin work until Wednesday & for the 3 days we worked we got 17 dwt — we have set into some outside ground in the main gully, it is poor ground but easily worked we can get over a deal of ground in the course of the week. Ive spent nearly


01 198 212
Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-24

every evening of this week at home reading & endeavouring to improve myself. I purchased a spelling book & grammar & also an English History. Ive read a portion of Dickens, N.Nicolby I went into Sandhurst yesterday, things are lively as ever, met several acquaintances spent the evening at Halls, the first time Ive been there since I had my finger hurt, I think he is very sorry, he was pleased to hear I bore him no malice, how little he knows me, a feeling I never had for those that have most injured me, I went this evening with Lockey into Sandhurst, heard Mr Nish preach an excellent sermon, we had tea at Lockeys Mothers before going – some time since I had a meal cooked by a woman before except at a hotel, or at my mothers how I long to know the pleasures of a home & to be settled into something permanent -

23 [24th] Oct 1858 — Beautiful weather — Been at work in the same spot, but with poor success, only made £2.0.0 each for the week, I received a letter from mother yesterday, all well, she informs me that Uncle arrived in town on Thursday & started for Adelaide the following morning I answered it to day & enclosed £l.0.0 for


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1859-10-24

my sisters schooling, though I think it goes for other purposes, on Tuesday evening Mr Frazer (baker) gave a party at his house on Sandhurst — I was invited, there were 8 of us from the Gully, Miss Hooper was invited & I was requested to bring her. I did so, so we made a party in ourselves 4 girls & 4 boys, we spent a very pleasent jolly night nearly 3.am Wednesday when we arrived home. I enjoyed my tete tete with Miss H & got very familiar, Ive met her several times since I was introduced, but have scarcely spoken however we are on a good footing now, tho not a very enviable one, she has a very melancholy manner, which I couldnt account for, until last night (I was at her mothers, a nice old lady, but rather strange & very proud but Im sure is very good natured they have been in very good circumstances & feel rather acutely their present condition) when she told me she was engaged to be married to a man named Hickey, a man she could never love, he is in a tolerable good position for a digger & her father & mother intend she shall marry him & she poor girl is too obedient or too weak minded to resist, its a great pity for she is a dear nice girl & has such winning manners


Pinchgut Gully Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-10-31

everybody likes & not a young man in the gully but not in love with her, she is the first respectable girl ever I was connected with except when in town & there is none there I ever was intimate with, & I fancy from her manner towards me last night Im not indifferent to her, what a contrast is a nice pure minded innocent girl to the vile polluted beings its been my lot, so far, to be thrown amongst. This afternoon I went to Frazers, had tea there, afterwards Lockey & I went to Church, heard a continuation of last Sunday nights sermon by Nish.
30th [31] Oct 1858. Weather very unsettled, a deal of rain having fallen, not been able to do much work in consequence, made about £l.2s.0d for my week works. I intend trying some other place next week. I received a letter from Uncle on Tuesday he had just arrived in Adelaide when he wrote (no particulars I was in Sandhurst on Tuesday with L Frazer we met an acquaintance James Hamilton a nice young fellow, a regular wild merry dare devil, but possessing none of the vices peculiar to such characters. We knocked about the town until late, had tea at the Bakers) left there early, & had some fine fun, did not get home until 2.am Wednesday



- Long Gully Oct 1858 -
I went into Sandhurst yesterday met a great many people I knew, had tea at a Restaurant & went to the Theatre in the evening got up very late this morning did not go to Church this evening, as usual. Hamilton & Frazer called & spent the afternoon & night with me, the former lent me some books which I have been reading with pleasure during my spare hours, among them was Scotts Lady of the lake, a beautiful poem, I like it as well as any of Byrons Jim has read a great deal & is well informed I enjoy his company very much – I have seen Minnie Hooper several times in the evening, she goes to the Crossing place in the evening for things & I generally manage to meet her & we usually extend our rambles, I expect I will get into a row about it. I think Im falling in love I know I feel a sensation towards her I never experienced for a girl before Im sure she likes me or she would never permit me to be so constantly in her company — but she is a being anyone would like & love, she has such a nice quiet way with her, & is well-informed & right minded



Long Gully Nov. 1858 –
Nov 7th Been beautiful weather; we set into the old gully on Monday & met with better success than we lately have done, my share for the week being £3.5s.0d, I received a letter from Mother yesterday, Father is still at home dawdling away his time as usual, mother states that they are greatly in debt, owe the landlord for some weeks rent, from the tenor of her letter she expects or my father does that I will pay it, but I shall not do any such thing. I intend sending for my money, if I dont it will vanish — It is a shame he dont exert himself more & endeavour to support his family properly but he has grown so very proud & reserved in his nature lately that I fancy he thinks it would be a degradation to accept a situation & I think it all humbug with his talents & knowledge of business to be situated as he is – No news of my brother Ned, mother is very uneasy about him — I had a letter from Fred the other day full of an account about a concert & tea meeting & news about some lady acquaintances. Ive not been


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-11-07

very well during the week had a severe cold attended with a violent headache. Im much better Im happy to state, Ive seen my dear little Minnie several times clandestinely of course, I never spent such happy hours in my life as when Im with her, but on leaving her I feel certain qualms of conscience concerning my conduct towards her. I feel at times, sorry, I ever knew her, but there is something so very irresistible about her that I cannot forego the pleasure I enjoy in her society. We take such delightful walks on the hills & when we sit down, she seems to have so much confidence in me, that she quite abandons herself to anything like restraint, her parents dont know of our going on, they are very kind to me, that I feel ashamed of my weakness in continuing to encourage a feeling that can lead to anything but pleasent results. Hamilton who is a very honourable fellow advises me to knock it off, but Im so irresolute on the subject. I hear Port Curtis is turning out a regular hoax, thousands that are able are returning, I hear the Government intends bringing back those that are unable to do so themselves



Nov 1858
Nov 14th. Been very hot this week, we are still at work in the same place as last week but better luck than usual my share for the week was £5.5s.0d not so bad as times are I hope I may do the same for a few weeks I could save some money. I received a short note from my brother Edward on Friday he is doing nothing on Ararat, he has left my old mate Hawkins & is working for himself. I wrote to him to day & wished him to leave that neighbourhood & come to Bendigo I went into Sandhurst yesterday, to be in the fashion met L.Frazer & Hamilton we went to Old Mrs Frazers & had tea with her, after which we adjourned to the Shamrock Concert Room & passed a pleasent evening listening to the San Francisco Minstrels, I spent the fore part of to day reading In the evening I went to hear Mr Nish preach, I met Mr F. (Baker) went home with him & had supper, got home here by 11.pm, time now for bed – Ive seen Minnie but twice this week but I sure we enjoyed each others company the more, I have to be very cautious —

Nov 21st Still very hot, Done very poorly this week, only made £1.15.0 for my share


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-11-21

but we only worked about 4 days, the place we were living in when Uncle left us, was like a Natives Mia Mia, half built with Bark & Bushes & when it rained we used to be flooded so on Monday Harry & I agreed to put up a good tent. I went into Sandhurst & bought a lot of Calico & some soft pine, & commenced & by Tuesday night, we had it up & everything snug & comfortable. Im quite proud of our new home it has cost us about £7.0s.0d — I used to be ashamed of our old place, it was a disgrace to see young men living in such a hovel – I received a long letter from Mother full of grievances, they are lingering on in same style Father doing less than ever. Mary has been promoted at school, she is a pupil teacher & in the receipt of 5/. weekly — I wrote to Mother to day & sent her a Pound Stg —

I joined a singing class at the School Room of the Presbyterian church on Friday night, the precentor Mr Hardy is our instructor he wishes to get up a choir & will teach us gratis I dont intend to neglect the opportunity. Hamilton & Lockey joined also, I did not feel well to day so remained at home reading until the evening I went to Hoopers to see what kind of a chap Hickey is (Minnies future husband) I dont much like him, he has a miserable mean look with him, he would have stared if he had seen Minnie & I making our adieus


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia

28th November, Weather very hot, we had a change to day in the shape of a thunder storm accompanied by plenty of rain. We did very bad this week only made £1.1.0 hardly enough to pay for our vituals, I was getting short of money But on Thursday I received a letter from my Uncle enclosed in it was a cheque for £10.0.0 which I gave to Harry, he was instructed to pay me the money his father owed me which he did, so it put me on my feet again. I bought some things in the way of clothing I required that made a Considerable hole in the amount, we bought a bolt of Calico to make an outside covering or fly for our tent, which we put up yesterday

Wednesday night, Harry & I went to the Circus (a travelling one) in California Gully. Friday night went to the singing class, after it was over we had some fine fun with a lot of girls that are members of the choir, Hamilton & 1 or 2 more of us went to the Sandhurst Hotel where a Quadrille party is held every Friday they were principally Germans there, but being known by most of them we got admittance & my word Im sure they thought us mad


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1858-12-05

we went on at such a rate, one German got awful jealous of me, & on leaving the place at 1.am he waylaid me in the passage & thought of giving me a hit on the sly, but I was put up to it, I saw him coming, he tried to lay hold of me but I was too smart for him & gave him a hit in the face that sent him sprawling. We had to slope in a hurry or we would have had the lot upon us, the police were not about, or else Im thinking we should have had a lodging in the watch house for that night, Ive seen Minnie several times, I cannot give her up — in fact, she wont let me.

5th December 1858 — The weather very unsettled had several storms during the week a job we had a good tent, the old one would have been blown away — Done very poor again this week only made about £1.0.0 – Ill try somewhere else next week. Ive been into Sandhurst three times this week. Bought a suit of Sunday clothes cost me about £5.10.0 –

Friday I went to the Singing Class took Miss Hooper with me, but I had only just left them with her, when Belle Bryce came running after us, bother her. I didnt bargain for her, I dont like her, tho' Im obliged to be civil, for she is a companion of Minnies & is very useful at times, she is the only one that is aware of our amour, it came on to rain


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo. 1859-month-dd

on our return home, making it anything but pleasent, on leaving Minnie I had to see Belle home, a mile further, Mrs H has taken quite a fancy to see, she is always inviting me up & is very kind to me, she takes no notice of Minnie & I going out into the garden & sitting in the summer house Etc for an hour or two but she is continually harping about the wedding & is making preparations for it. Mr. H. is very deaf & takes no notice of us, poor girl she is very miserable at the idea of her marriage I wish my mother & family were better sit- uated, I would not hesitate about bringing matters to a close — I feel Im acting anything but an honorable part, I like her very well but I think it arises more from our peculiar position than anything else, for I dont feel that deep passion I fancy Im capable of entertaining for one I could love with my whole heart & soul — there are times when I am as cold & distant towards her that she sometimes accuses me of being cruel, I was up at her place to night, Hickey was there he has taken quite an antipathy against me, & not without cause, if he knew all – Bella was there to tea I have just returned from seeing her home, she is to be Minnies brides- -maid but she hopes Ill run away with her before the time comes-



Long Gully 1858
6th Decr. Nice day, washed 20 Buckets for 3 dwts of gold. I went up to Hoopers at Dinner time, hearing they were in difficulties & had appealed to Hickey in vain, he is very parsimonious – I offered Mrs Hooper £5.0.0 which after many scruples she accepted — In the evening I met Minnie going to the Crossing Place I joined & have just returned from taking a nice walk together

7th Lovely day. We got 4 dwts to day. In the evening McCaffrey (Hoopers mate) & I went to look at a quartz claim on Windmill Hill that tenders are invited to sink a shaft upon it — we put saw the specifications & put in a tender but it wasnt accepted — so we had our work for nothing, had several visitors at our tent, they have just gone

8th Nice day. Only got 2 dwts to day, we are working some old ground in the gully, very dangerous work & not very profitable, half the week gone & not earned our food. I went into Sandhurst towards evening, received a long letter from mother, she will send my money up next week. Lockey called in the evening didnt remain long. I went up to Hoopers & took Mrs & Miss out for a walk visited Bella Bryces parents. Bella is a dressmaker & has a large tent to herself a little distance from the fathers, many a bit of fun Ive had there when they are all in bed, they


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo. 1858-12-09

allow her to go where she likes & she is very gay. I dont much like her as a companion for Minnie, but the latter is one that could never be led into anything like gay company she dont care for places of amusements such as dance rooms, Theatres Etc, she is more inclined to be serious & is not far from being in my opinion a good Christian) I returned home with them had a long chat, 12 oclock now time for bed Im thinking —

[1858-12-09] 9th Lovely day. Sank a hole 12 ft deep first thing this morning, came onto some solid ground got 12 Buckets out, turned us in 17 dwts not a bad days work. Harry gets what is called 2/3d of a share, or I have £4 out of every £7. we made, he is only a boy, but a very hard working one, he is lame been so from his infancy. I like him very well, he is a great reader & has excellent judgement but he has one fault, he is terribly sarcastic & bitter to everybody, that makes him anything but popular — I went up to Hoopers to night & arrange with Minnie how we are to get rid of Bella to morrow, we couldnt hit upon anything feasible so we intend taking our chance —

10th Beautiful day, but very hot working in the sun, Im burnt nearly black —


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-11

done very well to day, washed 8 tubs of dirt that turned us out 1 oz 12 dwts about £6.0.0 worth not so bad for one days work, in fact its the best Ive had this year I went this evening to the Singing Class took Minnie, met (Bella bother her) in Iron- Bark Gully, she turned & went with us I in- -troduced her to a friend of mine & he taking the hint marched her ahead, but I had to bring her home, after leaving Minnie, I stayd with her till near 12 oclock, so now for Morpheus’s acquaintance

[1858-12-11 Saturday] 11th Very hot but I fancy there is going to be a change to night, we got 5 dwt to day making 3 oz 2 dwts for the weeks work not so bad, I went into Sandhurst this afternoon sold our gold came home & squared up our accounts for the week. After tea I went out again visited the Haymarket Theatre to hear the Opera of the “Bohemian Girl” Ive heard very few Operas but this is one of the most charming Ive heard, there is some beautiful Music in it, Sherwin, Greg Harland, Hancock, & Coulon were the principal vocalists, there was one Act of Norma also Harry & Lockey came home with me – I was up the hill for a short time this afternoon —

[1858-12-12] 12th Dec Sunday. Nice day, havnt felt


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-13

Long Gully 1858
felt well, been reading a great deal, I wrote to mother during the afternoon & enclosed a pound Stg in the letter, Mrs Hooper sent Bob (her son a lad about 15) down to ask me to tea, I went tho' against my inclination Hickey was there it is the only day he ever calls to see her living 5 miles from here in Myers Flat. I have just come home, he wat[ched] us like a lynx, hadnt a chance for a parting kiss as usual. I heard him telling her he wished she payd as much attention to him as she did to me, & she answered him in a manner, that if he had the spirit of a mouse he would have ceased his visits for the future, the man knows her worth & thinks when he gets her hell make her please him —

[Monday, 13 December 1858] 14th [13th] Dec Miserable day, hot winds blowing We made 1 oz 2 dwts to day, not a bad beginning for the week. Spent a jolly evening at Hoopers. Bella & Jim Hall was there we had some fun & a lot of singing. Minnie & I saw Bella home & had such a delightful walk home together, talking all manner of nonsense, 12 oclock [Tuesday, 14 December 1858] 15th [14th] Hot winds again. We made 1 oz 3 dwts to day, very good nearly £3 for my share, McCaffrey or Scoty he is


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-15

more generally called & Lockey spent the evening with us reading & playing cards. Im suffering from a severe cold [Wednesday, 15 December 1858] 16th. [15th] Lovely day, got 15 dwts to day, but Im sorry to state that our ground is done shall have to look out for some other place After tea I met Minnie we took a long walk together, the night was beautiful & we en- joyed ourselves — near 12 oclock now time for bed — [1858-12-16 Thursday] 17th. Very warm day. Sank a hole to day & got 4 dwts out of it. I went to Sandhurst this afternoon, no letters. Harry & I went to Hoopers this evening, spent 2 pleasent hours [1858-12-17 Friday] 18th. Very sultry during the day, but had a change towards evening, raining just now, got 5 dwts to day. I had quite a treat to day or night, I took Minnie & Bella to hear the Opera of Norma, some part of it was beautifully rendered, it came on to Thunder & lightning on its conclusion, but no rain fortunately for the ladies until I had got them home. I sat with Bella for the last two hours — [1858-12-18 Saturday] 19th. Been cold, wet & miserable to day unable to do any work in Consequence we made 3 oz 8 dwts for the week not so bad about £7.10.0 for my share — I went


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-19

into Sandhurst with Harry this afternoon, had tea at a Restaurant, & in the evening, we went to hear the Opera of the Daughter of the Regiment & also the Beggars Opera. I liked the former very well, there are so many beautiful airs in it — [Sunday, 19 December 1858] 20th.[19th] Another wet day. Spent the morning reading & writing. In the afternoon we had our usual visitor Lockey. Scoty & Bob Hooper, passed it in anything but a proper manner. In the evening I went to Hoopers. Mrs H. was very cool towards me & didnt forget to remind me that a wedding was coming off soon & that it didnt look well for engaged young ladies to be continually walking out together Etc but I fancy what riled her most, was us going to the Theatre the other night, contrary to her knowledge, she was under the impression that we were at the Singing Class — People are beginning to talk a great deal about us, I must give it up. I have a good mind to go to Melbourne next week for a while so as to break it off [Monday, 20 December 1858] 21st.[20th] Rained nearly all day, could not go to work turned out a lovely night. I went to Sandhurst in the afternoon, no letters. In the evening I met Minny, took a long walk together visited Bellas

21 Wet again could not work I never saw Long Gully in such a state before, literally swamped, & it will be some time before its fit to work. Went to Bellas this afternoon. Minnie


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-22

was there, passed a very pleasent afternoon to gether, I read a portion of “Lallah Rook” to them, “The Fire Worshippers” stayd tea with them & then brought Minnie home. Im very undecided about going to Melbourne I think Ill start in the morning

22nd Very hot to day, we set into work the first thing this morning sank a hole 9 ft deep & washed 8 tubs & got 8 dwts out of them. Up the hill a little while

23rd Been very hot, we went to work in the morning but not getting any gold, we dont intend doing anymore till X mas is over. I went into Sandhurst this afternoon & received a long letter from Father, the first I ever recvd from him. I can scarcely understand it, at least some portions, he informs me that he has £400.0.0 coming to him, through the death of his brother, & if I want to buy land or anything, he will endorse Bills for the amount of £200.0.0 very kind rather unusually so of him, I dont care about trying the experiment, however, if I see a chance Ill embrace it. I wish he had the money in reality, it would be a Godsend for the family my mother & sisters have to put up with



Long Gully Decr.1858
many privations, & if I was making money & could send some to mother, my father would not work at all, had several visitors this after[noon,] Dave Anderson, & Lockey. We went into a raffle this evening for some geese at Mrs. Knights – neither of us were fortunate enough to win one I fancy we were geese to imagine we should

24th Very hot to day, but we are going to have a thunder storm to night, spent the morning along with Harry Ennis & Donovan & Dave larking, Boxing Etc — In the afternoon I read In the evening Miss Hooper & I took a walk about Sandhurst. I never saw so many people there in my life before, being X mas eve nearly everybody came into the township, public houses teemed with drunken men, the stores were crowded, we got home about 11 pm, met Mrs Hooper on Sandhurst came home together

25th Dec 1858. Christmas Day. Been a wet wretched day. Read a little in the morning, had dinner at Hoopers, Hickey was there with a spring cart & horse. Minnie & I with Mrs. Hooper & him went to Myers Flat to see the cottage he has built. We adjourned to a Mrs Kidminsters store, where a fine desert & afterwards tea


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-26

provided, we enjoyed ourselves very much, tho Im sure Minnies hilarity was forced, & Im sure Hickey observed it. I was compelled to be cheerful we got back about 7.pm & found a deal of rain had fallen during our absence, there was one shower we were told by several very old colonists to be the heaviest that had ever fell! the gully had the appearance of a vast Lake — very strange we were only 5 miles away, & with the exception of a slight shower, had no rain I remained at Hoopers ‘till 10 pm. I shall be glad when Minnie is married. Im getting sick of the underhand manner we have been acting lately. It was very wrong of me encouraging or commencing an amour like what ours is

26th Been a nice day. Lockey & Anderson called in the morning. I got some dinner ready & told them I was invited to Hoopers for dinner they went away offended. Im sorry they were so foolish, for I like them very well — I had dinner & tea at Hoopers & spent the day very pleasently came home early & have been reading for about two hours

27th Very hot, to day has been kept by the pleasure seekers as Boxing Day, Sports of all sorts being the order of the day everywhere Lockey & I, in the morning, went into Sandhurst & called at his Uncles, had some


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-28

lunch there saw some running & jumping in the Camp Reserve, the sports being too slow for us, we left & went to Sydenham Gardens the principal place of attraction. We met numbers of acquaintances, saw some fine Athletic Sports in the shape of Running, Jumping Wrestling, Boxing Etc, had plenty to eat & drink on the ground for which we had to pay rather high — we returned into Sandhurst, went to the Theatre, & saw a boy named Pole (a youthful prodigy) playing "Hamlet", he is a good reader, for one so young & I should imagine is the makings of a good actor. I got home about 11.p.m. its very late now –

28th Very warm day. I went into Bendigo this morning & had my likeness taken, Knocked about the rest of the day. In the evening I went up to Hoopers, Hickey was there, he & I had a few words, some kind friend has been stuffing his head with a pack of lies, however, he is very jealous. I left early. If I find out the author of the base calumny on Minnies fair name (for mine I care not) Ill give them something to speak about Minnie is the purest minded girl I ever met with, & the only fault I know her ever commit, was her affection for me, & Im


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-29

quite unworthy of it. If I could like her with the intensity she loves me, Hickey should never have her, whatever the consequences may be. Minnie accuses me often with coldness Etc

29th Been very hot. Went to work to day I had begun to forget there was such a thing, we sank 2 holes in the Gully 10 ft deep both duffers — I wrote a letter & a enclosed a pound Stg in it, to Mother this afternoon. In the evening I went to Hoopers, Minnie was just going out. I didnt like to offer my escort I am, or was, determined to cut her, her mother asked me, so I couldnt refuse Im sorry I went, we took a walk about the ranges (after doing her business) sat down, we spoke about her approaching wedding, she got very excited & cried in my arms, I was very much affected, she thinks shell go mad if she marries Hickey — I told her how I was situated & that it was impossible for me to think of marrying her in my present position, its very cruel of her father to force her to the step — I had some high words with him on the subject reasoned with him, but to no purpose I have been sorely tempted to run away with her, the only thing that deters me is the unsettled state of my family affairs


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1858-12-30

I will do the best can in a fair & honourable manner, to stop the marriage Im sorry I ever saw her, been the cause of much anxiety on my part.

30th Hot day. Worked hard to day, got 2 dwts, miserable work. Went to Hoopers in the evening, talked to old Mrs H. like a father, discovered she has no love for her future soninlaw, soon got her my way of thinking, the father is an obstinate selfwilled man, is very deaf & converses but little, one may as well speak to a stone-

31st Last day of the year 1858. I like to refer to the various events occurring in my life during it. Ive read the whole of my journal for 1858, & find Ive had some hard times both mental & physical to contend with, especially the first 6 months, the memory of which will never be effaced. I took a walk this afternoon with some stranger evidently a gentleman I fancy from the enquiries he made that he is an author in search of material I went to his Hotel (The Shamrock) & had tea with him, he gave me his card, Mr Southwith) I fancy it is a ficticious patronym


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, Victoria Australia, 1859-01-01

On leaving him I returned to the gully & met Minnie, went into a raffle at Mrs Sanders, did not win, took a quiet walk together. I left her at 9.pm met Anderson went with him to Rileys plenty of company there, had some fun singing, dancing Etc lots of girls there, a row got up at last between some jealous swains, I left early


1st January 1859. News Years Day. The hottest day Ive experienced this summer. No work again to day, every body pleasure seeking. In the morning I went to Halls tent met several young men there, we had plenty of gymnastics, Boxing, Running Jumping Etc. Hall & I were invited to Dinner at Hoopers spent the afternoon with them. I We left about 6 pm & went into Sandhurst, visited the Shamrock Concert Room, heard some good singing left about 11.pm, time now for bed —

2nd Sunday. Very hot 110º in the shade havnt been away from home to day spent the morning reading. In the afternoon about the most intellectual of my friends called, in, spent a few hours very rationally together, after tea a different set dropped in & so passed the day, in a varied style



Long Gully Jany 1859
3rd January. Very hot. Sank a hole 10 ft deep & very hard, got 1½ dwts out of 6 tubs, so we left it. In the evening I met Minnie took a long walk, got home by 10 pm, been reading since

4th Another smoker, a good job Im thin I dont know what fat people do with themselves We started in Pinch Gut Gully again this morning, sank 2 holes, got 3½ dwts, poor work. Went to Hoopers for an hour in the evening spent the last few hours reading a work – Cassells "Pathway" there are some excellent articles in it

5th Very hot, 100º in the shade, we got & washed 9 tubs for 8 dwts. Recd a letter from Uncle he is still very unsettled with regard to the future, he cannot get settled up with his tenants I took a long walk with Minnie & Belle Bryce. I got a blowing up from the latter, through not paying my promised visit to her last week. I soon got her in good spirits again, saw her home Minnie & I spent a pleasent hour alone, together I had a visit from Piggott, he thinks Ive been encroaching on his roadway & threatened to bring the Warden, however I settled matters at last, but not before a deal of abuse had passed between us —

6th 1859. Another scorcher, 105º in the shade We got 5 dwts to day. I went into Sandhurst


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-01-07

this afternoon, had my likeness taken by Gladstone, remained at home during the evening reading, Lockey here as usual

7th Hot day, got 4 dwts, went to Hoopers for a short time, been reading the last few hours

8th A change in the weather at last, we have had a most terrific thunder storm, couldnt go to work in consequence, spent the evening at Hoopers, Bella there saw her home, near midnight now Ive made about £2.5.0. for my weeks work. 9th Sunday. Weather very unsettled. I went to the P.0. this morning, & recd a long letter from Mother & enclosed in it was my money. Lockey called & stayd dinner, we took a long walk in the afternoon to Sydenham Gardens, had tea at his Mothers, called at I.Kets on our way home, stayd till 10 pm there – yarning about old times

10th Monday. Very disagreeable weather didnt do much work, sank a hole 7 ft deep, not bottomed yet. I went into Sandhurst in the evening to execute a commission for a connection of ours in Melbourne it was to recover a debt. I was not fortunate enough to get it —


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-01-11

I called at Bostocks on my road home Ive not been there for 7 weeks, they thought Id forgotten them. B is out of work & they are hard up as usual — I lent them a trifle, which Ill never get again Im sure, they owe me a deal of money – I went to Hoopers for a short time

11th Tuesday. Weather improving. We bottomed our hole this morning & got & washed 5 tubs out of it, for 10 dwts not so bad if it will continue. In the evening I went to a Soiree paid 3/. for a ticket & got no tea for it. Dave & I sang 2 pieces of music we adjourned to the New Scotch Church, the finest specimen of Ecclesiastical architecture in Bendigo Its not quite finished yet, but will be when they can raise the funds

12th Very hot, got & washed 12 tubs for 11 dwts. I wrote to mother to day & posted it. I also put my money in the Bank. I took a long walk with Minnie in the evening, it was a lovely night & we enjoyed ourselves. I got home by 10.pm & spent an hour in reading

13th Very hot, got & washed 9 tubs of dirt turned out 12 dwts


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-01-14

I met Minnie by chance, took a long walk with her. I did not go home with her. I (or we) have to be very cautious in our arrangements, what cursed folly on my part to carry on in this manner Im disgusted with myself at my weakness Im sure its not love. Ive analysed my feelings on the subject. Im bewitched with her when in her company.

14th Still very hot, got 12½ dwts to day not a bad days work. I went to Hoopers stayd there till 9 pm, on leaving there I paid a visit to Halls & Gregorys place didnt stop long long, met Lockey, got here by 11 pm, now for bed

15th January 1859. Change in the weather been very close, but cloudy, worked for a short time, got 2 dwts making for the weeks work 2 oz. 7 dwts. £8.15.0. worth, nearly £5.0.0. for my share. Harry & I went into Sandhurst in the afternoon, had our portraits exchanged didnt suit us, had tea, & met Lockey, we went to the Theatre, to see the play of the Serious Family, after seeing the first 2 acts, we then adjourned to the Shamrock heard Thatcher sing some local comic songs paid the Waterloo Dance Room [a visit], had a a dance after 12 when I got home – got wet through coming home



Long Gully Jany 1859
16th Sunday. Miserable wet day, didnt go out, but for a little while in the afternoon to Hoopers. Had several visitors who remained to tea & spent the evening with us. I have read a great deal to day, I subscribe to 2 libraries

17th Wet in the morning, cleared up in the afternoon. Been cleaning out an old hole to day, not had time to try it yet. I went to Bendigo for a while in the afternoon In the evening I went to Hoopers for a short time.

18th Lovely day, washed 9 tubs of dirt & got 8 dwts. After tea I paid D.Anderson a visit, he is a nice chap but Colonial Beer is playing the deuce with, he sang several beautiful songs, & whistled some overture of an Opera, he is a fine whistler, quite a treat to listen to him, home by 9.30 pm been reading Cassells Pathway. Its rather a religious work, but contains a deal of useful Scriptural & religious subjects

19th Nice day, got 5¼ dwts. to day I went to Bendigo in the afternoon got a letter from mother, all well, but still knocking on in the same miserable way Father doing nothing to speak of no news from Ned. I must write to him


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-01-20

I took a long walk with Minnie & Bella saw the latter [home], met a Miss Scott had a chat with her, saw Minnie home, we are getting cooler towards each other, she is to be married on the 10th February

20th Been a lovely day, got 5 dwts to day Lockey came in after tea, been playing cards & reading during the evening -

21st Been very hot, got 6 dwts to day I accompanied Mrs & Miss Hooper to Long Gully Township this evening, had a nice walk, 10 pm when I got home, they paid me a visit & remained to coffee – I intend to drop the daily journal for the future & keep a weekly one instead, too much sameness about it, not like when I used to be travelling about & meeting with continual adventure

22th Been very hot, 110º in the shade Being Saturday we only worked half the day we got 7½ dwts out of 4 tubs, making for the week 1oz. 12 dwts. I wrote to mother this afternoon & enclosed £1.0.0 in it, went into Sandhurst & took a strool about the Mall had a Galvanic shock, what a strange sensation my first experience — I came home & had tea afterwards fell in with several neighbours & went to the Theatre. Lockey & I between the Acts


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-01-23

went into the Lyceum Concert Room, heard Madame Vitelli sing several songs, she has a lovely voice I must spend an evening there next week 1 oclock when we arrived home —

23rd Sunday. Thunder storm in the forenoon & very sultry the rest of the day. Went to Frazers for a little while in the afternoon, came home at 4 pm found several friends here, passed the evening reading & writing —

24th Very hot. Washed 9 tubs for 4 dwts very poor. We commenced to sink another hole In the evening Bella & Minnie called at my tent on their way to the formers home, I accompanied them, after leaving Bella, we took a pleasent walk until 11 pm. Mrs Hooper looked blue at us just civil & that was all.

25th Wet day, no work, turned out fine at sundown. Harry & I went to the Lyceum heard a band of seranaders. I was disappointed Vitelli & Thatcher having left for a while —

26th Raining all day, cleared up in the evening Spent my time my time in learning my lessons, reading Etc. I spent the evening with Bella Bryce very pleasently, carrying on a conversation in whispers, she has a large tent of her own but if we speak out very loud, her parents can hear us & they object to any young


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-01-27

gentlemen paying nocturnal visits. I dont much care for her, being very light & frivolous in her manner & has a great weakness for male society. I wonder Minnie associates with her.

27. Lovely day. Bottomed our hole & got 9 dwts out of it. I went to Hoopers after tea. Minnie & I spent a couple of hours in their summer house together, the father went to bed early, the mother made no objections, in fact I fancy lately she encourages me. I know Hickey is no favorite of hers, rather dangerous for a young man of a susceptible nature that I like Minnie I must admit, & if I had not formed a resolution some time back not to fall in love I should have been deep enough in it now

28 Fine day. we made 13 dwts to day not so bad, I was agreeably surprised this evening by a visit from my friend Jms. Hamilton, he informs me that since he came up from town, he has called 3 times & I have been out, poor chap he has been very unwell had to undergo an operation, his mates have struck the reef (Sophia) & I hear its very


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-01-29

rich. Im glad for he is deserving of being fortunate, being a jolly good fellow & one of the very few men I ever took a sincere liking for, a feeling I think Ill ever entertain for him. I accompanied him home after spending the evening together

29th Lovely day. worked only half the day got 3 dwts, making for the week 1 oz 10 dwts not bad for 4 days work. In the afternoon I went to the P.O. no letters, in the evening I accompanied Mrs & Miss H into Sandhurst assisted them in their shopping, on our arrival home, we made a nice supper left them about 11 pm —

30th Very hot. Rose at 7 am, spent the forenoon reading the Corsair, Hamilton called for me & I accompanied him to his brother in laws, a Mr Bruce, a well to do Quartz Crusher, very nice people had dinner & tea there, on leaving there we called at Bostocks, stayd a short time, went to see one of Jims mates, who showed us some fine golden specimens out of their claim — here I left him when I called at Halls met Lockey, who came home with me he has just left I intend reading for an hour & then to bed


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-month-dd

31st Lovely day, got 6 dwts to day. Lockey called in the evening, but Minnie passing by at the time as per agreement, I left him in charge, while I took a long walk, left their place after seeing her home, at 10 pm came home & found Lockey asleep in my bed, I soon roused him up & started him home

February 1st 1859. Very warm, 100º in the shade at 1.pm., got 8 dwts out of 9 tubs In the afternoon I went to Sandhurst, no letters, Hamilton came in the evening, we went to California Crossing place, had a few games of Bagatelle, bought some fruit, met several acquaintances, we went down to Harry Inniss with a letter then accompanied Jim home, borrowed a Book from him

2nd Very hot, My birthday, 20 to day Im getting on. We got 9 dwts out of 10 tubs to day. I went to Hoopers in the evening Mrs & Miss & Hamilton with self took a walk to Bellas, she wasnt at home so after seeing them home, I went a little way home with Jim —

3rd Very warm day. Been hard at work, a hole burst into the one we are [[Aae-43.jpg|align=r|size=1000|caption=1/231}}

Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-month-dd

working, & it took us nearly all day to clean it out & get it into working order again – Hamilton, Lockey & I went to C G township Jim playd Billiards, Lockey & I being but spectators, bought fruit, cigars & lemonade & spent a jolly night together, saw Jim home, so now for bed

4th Very hot, got 4½ dwts to day. M just at twilight came by the tent & giving the usual signal I soon joined her. Being the last time I suppose we shall ever meet again alone, we did not part until very late. On reaching her place, we found Bella there, I saw her home. I was not in very good spirits Bella teased & annoyed me, by her frivolity she hoped Id run away with Minnie & what a lark there would be, she says. Mr & Mrs H. would break their hearts. Hickey is vindictive enough to "cook my goose," along with Minnie Etc Etc — comforting sympathy. I trust she’ll soon forget me, tho I shall always remember Minnie, with lively interest, for she is a good pure minded virtuous girl —

5th Very hot. got 3 dwts to day, making for the week 1 oz. 9 dwts. went into Sandhurst this afternoon, recvd a letter from Mother, all well, Father not doing much, or ever will in my


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-02-03

opinion. In the evening I met Minnie, & once more we took a long walk in our favorite neighbourhood for the last time Im thinking she is to be married on the 9th inst.

6th Sunday. fearful hot weather 100 in the shade did not leave the tent, spent the day reading

7th Nice day. 8 dwts out of 11 tubs, was up at Hoopers this evening looking over the wedding things. Hickey was there looking as malignant as possible. I saw Bella Bryce home, spent 2 hours with her —

8th Nice day, got 4 dwts, This evening I went to Hoopers, did not go inside but hid in the fence, (our trysting place). Minnie joined me she was very frightened, at being seen however we spent an hour together anything but pleasently, we parted & from this out we are to be as strangers. Im never to allude to our acquaintance or “amour” under any circumstance — poor Minnie, I wish Id known you under more favourable auspices, she is to be married to morrow

9th I did not go work to day, strange to state I accepted an invitation to spend the day & join in the festivities attending Mrs Hickeys wedding, for so she is now, they were married this morning


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-02-10

by Mr Croxon of Sandhurst. I had dinner with them & there is a large party assembled. I have just left (11 pm) but intend returning in a few minutes. Minnie hasnt spoke scarcely since her return from Church, on one occasion she addressed me & called me Mr W- in such a cold icy manner that seem to chill me, I am sorry I went, but yesterday she begged me to come so that I could see how she would conduct herself I thought it a strange whim, but she thought me an eyesore to day, poor girl I trust she is [going] to [be] happy, her father seems pleased — they are calling out for me I must go I suppose. Im sure they think me mad. Bella swears she thought I would have run away with her, (Minnie).

10th Arrived home about 6.am after seeing Bella home. I feel very seedy, I only rose about 6.pm. Lockey called & made some tea & then we went to find Hamilton, we heard he was ill, we found he had shifted his tent Im very sorry

11th Been very hot Got 10 tubs, turned out 6 dwts. Had several visitors this evening, been reading

12th Been cloudy & showery, got 3 dwts for the day, making for the week 1 oz. 1 dwt only worked 3½ days. This evening Lockey & I went to see [[Hamilton-27562|J.Hamilton], he met with an accident the other day, while working in their claim a lot of rock fell, nearly killing


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-02-15

him, more with fright than anything else I think he will soon recover. They had 17 tons of quartz crushed yesterday turned out 97 oz something like gold digging for one week *worth On leaving him we fell in with an acquaintance named Howard (a clever young fellow) went to the Theatre, saw Devany & Professor Risley & his son going through their gymnastic per- -formance, 1.am, Sunday now time for bed

13th Sunday Lovely day. I & Hamilton took a long walk this morning being a good deal better. In the afternoon I went to Hoopers to tea, found Mr & Mrs Hickey there, Im sure she felt anything but comfortable though she was as cool & betrayed not the slightest emotion Ive pretty good command over my own feelings but hers surpass everything I ever witnessed Im glad she is settled if things had gone on much longer, I might have been tempted to do something that could have embittered my future life —

21st Began a weekly journal again Fine weather during the past few days, we got 1 oz during the past week, poor work. I spent 3 evenings at H. Enniss, as usual larking, 2 nights with Hamilton Harry met an accident, he had the Boxing gloves on with Bob Hooper, & being lame he is not very active, he fell & broke his arm, this occurred on Thursday night, he


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-02-22

thought it was only a sprain & treated it accordingly, he could not go to work, so to day (Monday) I took him into Sandhurst to consult a doctor, who informed him that his arm was broke, poor lad he is cut up about it, he wont be able to work for some time I recvd a letter from Mother on Saturday & enclosed in it was one from Mary, all well, Mary is a pupil teacher at a school but it was burnt down some days back – I wrote to Mother yesterday & enclosed £1.0.0 in the letter. I went to Hoopers this evening Mrs Hickey was there, she accompanied me down to see Harry, addressed me by my old name, she informed me she is as happy as ever she expected to be, it is the last time she will be familiar with me, under any circumstance I was surprised to see her melt once more [1859-02-22] 22 February 1859 Nice day, I worked alone to day, it will be some time before Harry is all right. Sank a hole & drove out of it a load of dirt. Ive not washed it yet. Spent the evening reading Moores Life of Byron in several volumes I borrowed them from a Mr Anderson of California Gully. [1859-02-23]23rd Rather squally I washed my load, it turned out 10 dwts. not so bad for 2 days work, but of course I shall divide what I get with my couzin until he is better. Dave Anderson is going to work with me in the morning, the ground



Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-02-24
being too deep for one man, alone — Dave spent the evening with me [1859-02-24] 24th Nice day Dave & I drove out a load of dirt, which we intend washing tomorrow, we went into Sandhurst at 4 pm, & I bought some clothes I was in need off, we called at Hamiltons spent an hour with him, then came to my tent together & spent an agreeable evening together [1859-02-25] 25 Beautiful day, got out another load to day which we intend washing tomorrow. I had promised to go & see Bella this evening but on my way I called into some friends place & I heard she has been causing a deal of mischief in reference to my amour with Mrs. Hickey — so I didnt go, she must accept my apology as she has done before. I went to Daves tent, quite a crowd of young men there, we had some singing Harry Enniss recited Shakespeare — & being moonlight we had some fun playing at single stick, & the Boxing Gloves. Eniss is the best in the gully at the latter, but I can beat them all at the former — [1859-02-26] 26th Been a lovely day, we washed our dirt & Im sorry to state it only turned out 10 dwts half of which was my share, & I had again with Harry, we went to Brophys tent (a young Catholic that was educated for a priest) but turning out rather wild, did not like to disgrace the cloth by becoming one we all adjourned to Piggotts, & danced & sang till 12 oClock, when we had to make for home



Bendigo. Long Gully February 1859
[1859-02-27] 27th Nice day. Spent the day in reading a variety of literature from the most sacred & the most profane authors, had our usual visitors L.Frazer Etc. In the evening I went to Hoopers Mr & Mrs Hickey had just left. Mrs H. informs me that Hickey has heard about Minnie & I going so much together & is very cross Etc [1859-03-06] March 6th 1859 A week since I last wrote up my journal, a very poor one for me been very unlucky didnt make £1.0.0 each my evenings have been passed between Hamiltons, Brophys & Hoopers places. I went into Sandhurst last night, alone & saw the Fat Boy (Abernathy) he is 10 years old & weighs 19 stone, & I believe is very healthy On leaving there I went to the Shamrock saw the Ballet Dances, adjourned to Browns & had a dance. I met Tom Rudd, poor devil he is looking so very low & miserable that woman he had been cohabiting with, has quite ruined him. I came home with Eniss I recvd a letter from Mother, all well. Mary is on a visit at Sunbury with Jane Summers Father is going on as usual [1859-03-13] 13th March 1859 Nice weather during the week, did very poorly only made 16/. each. Dave got on the spree at the beginning


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo 1859-03-13

of the week, so I got another mate, I received a letter from Mother yesterday that has caused me much anxiety & surprise, she informs me that my Father has left home & has gone to England, went away without bidding them good bye. It appears, he borrowed the money from his religious friends, he went on board at night the ship was to sail at daylight his conscience, if he has one, smote him & he returned on the night & bade farewell, but Mother thinks his object in returning was to get the copy of his fathers will he had left behind him, however it was a paltry way of deserting his wife & family, it is not the first time he has done it, & he a pious professing Christian. I cannot think of it – my mother is in an awful way about it, she has no means of supporting her family Fred only earns what keeps him Mary & Bessie & Charlie are but children while I am only earning a precarious existence gold digging, unfitted for anything else thanks to my father, not one of us know a trade or have received an education that would fit us for an office. Its cruel in a head of a family to bring us children in such a manner, we are what I call outsides of society — Ive not courage to try & look for employment in Melbourne I wont forget the 3 months I spent there


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-month-dd

in making the attempt before — Im fairly bewildered, theres nearly £18.0.0 owing for rent & also other debts, mother is afraid the creditors will sell her off unless its paid

Friday night Dave & I went into Sandhurst I got him to sign the pledge, but he is so weak minded Ive little hope of him keeping it long. We adjourned to several places of amusement didnt get home until very late, we fell in with Hamilton at Frazers, who came home with us – I met Mrs Hickey on Monday in town had a long walk with her to her mothers I was at Hoopers to day, had tea, they were there H was gloomy & sullen as usual to me. I would not have gone if I had known they were there.

[1859-03-21 Monday] 23 [21] March 1859 8 days since I continued my journal. Last Monday I drew £20.0.0 out of the Bank & sent mother £15.0.0 of it — that will keep them going for a while, until something turns up. Ive suffered severely from a toothache, I had one stuffed last Tuesday, & it was badly done & ached worse than ever, could not work so I went on Thursday & paid another man to unstuff it, it still ached, so I at last on Friday had the tooth drawn after costing me more than 30/. altogether I hope I wont suffer so again, in a hurry


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-03-27

I was four nights & never closed my eyes We got 3/. each this week (poor work) But 3 days we spent at a rush in the Camp Reserve. Hamilton joined us & we sank 3 holes (all duffers so we returned to the old gully again. We made about £1.0.0 each. Sunday I remaind at home reading until 6 pm then went to Church, heard Mr Nish preach an excellent sermon, at the close of the service I met the Frazers went home with them & left about 10 pm in company with Hamilton Last Thursday night I went to a concert given by Pollards, Amateur singers, some of them very good. To day (Monday) Anderson, Barkley, Hamilton & I went to the rush in the Camp Reserve to give the place another trial, we sank a large paddock & got 7 dwts out of it, so we intend [to stay.]

[1859-03-27] 27 March 1859 Lovely weather. Been hard at work in the Reserve, only made £2.0.0 apiece, we feel very tired after our work, being 3 miles from the tent & to walk that distance morning & night is no joke & do a hard days work in the bargain. I recvd a letter from Mother thanking me for the money I sent her they intend shifting into a smaller house I recvd a letter from Uncle quite well, but cannot get his business settled for some time I went to Hoopers last night, Minnie was there. I remained until 10 p.m on leaving I went to Piggots, spent 2 hours dancing


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-04-03

early this morning when I got home very late when I arose this day, had our usual visitors this afternoon. In the evening my couzin Harry & I went to Church met Dave Anderson, came home together [1859-04-03] April 3, 1859 Fine weather during the week. We made £3.3.0 aman this week Hamilton is going to leave us, for the Rush at Daisy Hill. Im very sorry for we are much attached to each other. Spent last night together larking & dancing about one place & another. Spent to day reading Homers Odyssey. I like it better than the Iliad Went to Church this evening, met Lockey & Hamilton, came home together [1859-04-10] 10 April 1859 Nice weather, still at work in the Reserve, only made £2.10.0 each for the week, Monday night I spent at Hoopers Minnie there. Wednesday morning, Hamilton went to Daisy Hill I hope he will do well he still keeps his share in the quartz claim by paying a man to work in his place, it is paying very well, he came back to day, for his things, he has joined a photographer there he learnt the art in England — Barkly is going along with him, intends working at his trade being a carpenter. Last night, Dave & I with others wild young chaps, visited several


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-04-17

places of amusement, some of which are any- -thing but respectable, more to our disgrace for having visited such places I made some purchases, bought a Concertina & some clothing I went into Sandhurst early this morning & brought them home, it being 12 when I got home last night. Been raining nearly all day couldnt go out, read a great deal.

[1859-04-17]17th April 1859. Cold miserable weather could not do much work & the consequence was or is that we got very little gold made £1.8 0 each. Monday night I went to Frazers (Sandhurst) & had some fine fun with a lot of girls there Hamilton is still in Sandhurst, we spent a jolly day yesterday had tea at Frazers, got a long lecture from Old Frazer about our wild capers Etc we adjourned from there to a Dancing Room amongst some vile company late when we got home — I recvd a letter from Mother on Friday, all well, I wrote to her to day & enclosed £3.0.0 in the letter. I went to Church this evening, met a stranger on the way home, had a long argument with him on a variety of questions, or subjects he had some strange notions, but I found him well informed & apparently had read a great deal, we did not part until late


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-04-24

Long Gully April 1859
[1859-04-24] 24th Nice weather during the week. Hamilton went away on Monday. Barkley returned on Friday, couldnt do anything up there. Dave & I have been filling up the ground (as per agreement) so we did not make much gold only 13/. aman, very poor, I would not return to work in Long Gully if we had some rain so has to fill the waterholes. Im sick of the Camp Reserve

Monday night I went to hear a T. Lecture Tuesday night went to Pollards Sg Class did a little bawling in the Messiah, Friday night I joined Mr Hardy's singing class he will teach us gratuitously, if we will sing in the choir of the Church (Mr Nishs I thought it too good an opportunity to neglect it, for Im very fond of music — I visited Sandhurst as usual last night, entered several places of amusement, but did not stay long. I went to Church this evening. Read a great deal in the morn & afternoon [1859-05-01] May 1st Weather very unsettled, but no rain. Barkley is working with us again. Still in the Reserve, we made £2.5.0. each. I went to my singing Tuesday & Friday night, got Dave to join — Monday I heard one of Goughs lectures read (on Temperance), I was much


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-05-08

pleased with it, so different from some of the trash Ive heard on the subject, hitherto. I received a long letter from Mother, all well thank God, I went with Barkly & Lockey to Browns Casino. Im getting sick of the place, nothing but a resort for the vilest characters. Im getting too well known through frequenting such places. I dont intend visiting it again, we were in the Victoria Concert Room for an hour, heard some tolerable songs sung. Been reading this afternoon. Went to church this morn Lockey & I went in the evening, Its a long way to there, nearly 3 miles, so Ive walked nearly 12 miles to day. I went to the funeral of Lockeys sister one day during the week — I wrote a letter to day to Mother & sent her all the money I had which was only £1.0.0 — [1859-05-08] May 8th Nice weather, done very poorly only made 19/. each, we dont intend working in the Reserve any more, it will take us two days of next week to fill up. Monday night Dave & I went to Ballantynes, house (Schoolmaster in company with several others acquaintances to rehearse our pieces for the Soiree given in honor of Mr Vallentine (Manager of the Bank of Victoria, Sandhurst) which came off on Wednesday night, it was well attended & passed off firstrate


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-05-08

our vocalization was considered very creditable Dave sang his solo well & was encored, the presentation of a Gold Watch & Chain to Mr V – was held in the church where the meeting adjournd several gentlemen spoke or addressed the meeting I fancy there has been some ill feeling created by a remark the Revd Mr Fletcher made, to the effect that he had had a peep behind the curtain of many families in Sandhurst, but found very few where private life would bear comparison with Mr. V.'s. Shakespeare says suspicion haunts the guilty mind so in this case, the remark of Mr F's told upon some present, & the consequence is several letters have appeared in the “Advertiser” abusing Mr F shamefully, however he has many friends who have taken up his cause in earnest. Thursday I was very ill, Id bought some acid drops the night before & I believe they contained poison for they nearly killed me. I was not the only sufferer by them. I was all right next day but very weak. I remained at home last night reading. Went to Church this morning & heard a Missionary preach (Mr Buzzocott) who has been engaged in his “Masters” work for 30 years among the Islands of Oceania — he gave a very animated description of the places he had visited manners & customs of the people Etc – & the gradual spread of Christianity since his sojourn there. I have spent the rest of the day reading


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1858-05-15

15th Weather very unsettled, was blessed by a heavy fall of rain on Thursday, did not come before it was wanted by us poor diggers – We left the Reserve on Wednesday, been knocking about since looking out for a place to set in to work, have [not] settled anywhere yet. Monday night I went to hear Mr Buzacott lecture on the South Seas Islands & its Inhabitants, very inter- - esting, after it was over I adjourned to the Shamrock & heard some singing & saw some good dancing — Tuesday I went to my singing Class, had some fine fun with the girls, came home with one Jessie Mollison, a pretty little Scotch girl, a companion of Mrs Vallentines, my friend, David Anderson is in love with her, but she is engaged, so David must smother his passion, she has a young lady friend she sadly wants to palm on me, but I cant see it. – I met them both yesterday & had a long walk with them & in the evening I went to the Theatre, enjoyed myself well, I recvd a kind & affectionate letter from mother, all well, but very short of money. Im getting very uneasy concerning home. I dont see how they are to live decently, not having any thing to depend upon for support. I wrote to her to day & enclosed a pound Stg I went to Church this morning spent the rest of the day reading & learning my lessons, spelling & arithmetic



Bendigo Long Gully May 1859
23rd [22nd Sunday] May. Miserable weather all the week. I am working with my Couzin Harry in “Butcher Gully” this week, but owing to the state of the weather, could do very little work, made 14/. each — Monday night went into Sandhurst, visited the TH. Meeting heard another of Goughs Lectures read, after it, I went to the Concert Room & heard the usual lot. Tuesday I went to my singing Class, accompanied Jessie home Thursday went to Barklys, he & I took a ramble about Pall Mall, I left him & having a solitary 6d I went into the Shamrock Concert Room & had a Sixpenny intellectual treat. Yesterday In the afternoon I went into Sandhurst had a long strool about met many faces & friends I knew had tea at Barklys, afterwards took a -nother ramble & for a short time visited the Shamrock. Went to Church twice to day spent the afternoon at Harry Enniss, not in a very rational manner, Im sorry to state [1859-05-29] 29th Fine weather for a change. Came back into “PinchGut” again, got out a lot of dirt, have only washed a portion of it, we had £1.0.0 each to draw, poor work Im getting thoroughly disgusted with my continued ill luck, at the very time Im so in need of money to assist those in Melbourne. Im sure


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-05-29

no one could try or work harder than we do but to no purpose. Monday I went to the Tm.Society heard Mrs Warne deliver an able Lecture on Temperance she is a very clever woman, some people object to women speaking in public. I think if they are possessed of talents & abilities suitable for the subjects they speak upon that they have a right to exert them in a good cause. Christ at his resurrection told Mary to go & tell his disciples & surely if he thought her worthy of such a mission, we should not despise knowledge & wisdom from female sources, under any circumstances, there has been quite a controversy on the subject on Bendigo

Tuesday I went to the Singing Class, saw Liz & Jessie home. Wednesday spent the evening at my books, Thursday went to Pollards Singing Class came home with Watson. (he was drowned in the R.Charter) I went into Sandhurst yesterday received a long letter from Mother all well. Miss Eldred is still living with them, I met Jessie, had a long chat with her. I spent the evening with her & her friend at Vallentines, left at 11.30 pm. went to the Shamrock to find someone going my my way home, found a lot of neighbours homeward bound, some of them not very sober managed to get into a row on our way & fortunately getting clear off with one or two slight bruises, a lot of wild Irishmen that live in IronBark Gully nearly always molest us whenever we gave them a chance


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-06-05

I went to Church twice to day. In the evening I met Liz & Jessie, John Nevin (Jessies Beau) & I saw them home spent a couple of hours very agreeably with them, anything but pleasent leaving a nice comfortable house & going into the rain & having nearly 3 miles to walk home along a rough lonely road.

[1859-06-05] June 5th 1859. Weather very unsettled. Monday afternoon I went into Sandhurst & drew £5.0.0 out of the Bank to send to my Mother, my little hoard is waxing less I also Bought a few necessaries I required – Im rather downhearted at my continued bad luck. I dont intend to work with Dave again cant get on with him, this week has been passed in looking about for some payable place to set into, a friend of mine Hugh Campbell & I put a tender in to sink a shaft 200 ft deep but someone had another in at 6d a foot less so we lost it — Monday night Lockey, Dave & I went to hear one of Goughs Orations read after it was over, we met some friends who had just come out of the Theatre & did not care about going in again, we went in with their checks & saw the Great Irish Comedian Hudson, in the “Happy Man”, he is very happy in the character, Kate Warde was playing with him, an old favorite of mine on leaving the Theatre we went to the Shamk for a short time, met in with neighbours came home together, pretty jolly —


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-06-05

Tuesday night went to the Singing Class, saw little Jessie for the last time, she went to Melbourne the next morning to live with her parents there. John Nevin is quite distracted at her leaving, what a peculiar sensation love must be, to create such an alteration in ones manner in a man like Nevin — Im sure Ive never seen a girl yet that ever I felt any emotion over Minnie Hooper, I liked, but I never experienced for her what Ive seen displayed in others & what poets & authors love to dilate upon Etc.

Wednesday & Thursday night remained at the tent reading Etc. Friday went to my singing – Saturday night went into Sandhurst, met Young Lockey went home with him had tea at their house, left about 8 pm & went to the Theatre to see Parker the Swordsman, he playd with several Bendigo “shin crackers” but he was a match for all of them at a time Im thinking he does some wonderful feats with a sword – We saw some good “Ballet Dancers" – “& Pose plastiques” Went to church twice to day, in the evening I took a walk with Liz, she introduced me to her sister & brother. I went to see Faithey Bostock this morning she does my washing & mending, they are very poor Bostock being sick & when well unable to get employment. I am very sorry for them Faith works very hard to keep things square Tom Rudd her brother I think is in Gaol



Long Gully June 1859 Bendigo
[1859-06-12] 12th June. Wretched weather, bitter cold, any thing but pleasent living in a calico tent in such weather. I suppose I should grumble if I lived in a house. Im so very dissatisfied in my nature, Monday night went to the usual Temperance Meeting. Tuesday went to my Singing Class, after it was over, we all (that is the members both girls & boys) went to a quiet place, & having a concertina & flutina we got up a lot of dancing. Kept it up till late, being moonlight. Im sure the folks in the tents about thought we were a lot of maniacs just let loose from some Asylum Wednesday I was a good boy, remained at home by a good fire & read a good book & had a good supper, & then turned into a good bed which was a good deal better than being abroad. Thursday night went to the S. Class repeated our Dancing by moonlight again until 11 pm. Friday night I went to see Barkly. I lent him (like a fool) £5.0.0 some time back when the Bailiffs were in his house, he has promised it me many times since. Im sadly in want of money & asked him for a portion of it, but got some abuse instead. I was nearly inclined to take it out of his hide. I went to the Frazers (the Bakers) spent a couple of hours very jolly with Margery Frazer & Joanna — Lockey


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-06-12

was trying to Mesmerise the latter, & she acted so well that he thought hed succeeded, we had such fun — on leaving there I went to the Shamrock Room, sat alongside of one of the loveliest women I ever saw in my life, we got very friendly, & some fellow sitting on the other side of her making free with her, I checked him he seemed quarrelsome & was going to strike me but hit her instead, she astonished me by pulling out a short dagger, which instantaneously she struck at him with going through his coat & slightly cutting his side, he thought he was murdered & made a great noise. I managed to get her out before the police came, she wanted me to go home with her, I did but did not remain long with her, she was an Italian, & told me her husband is a surveyor & has been away some weeks from her in the Bush & being inclined for some amusement she had ventured out – I formed my opinion of her, having heard of her by repute, she is a kept mistress of one of the Camp Officials. I had an invitation to come & see her whenever I liked, she plays a guitar & finding I could sing was delighted, how the deuce such a woman came on Sandhurst is a mystery, my acquaintances, the male portion who have heard of the circumstance quite envy me my adventure that led to such an acquaintance(Z) Saturday night being on Bendigo & coming on to rain I went to see


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-06-19

Liz Marshall, spent a few hours pleasently together she is a nice clever girl & would make some man a good wife — on leaving her I went to the Shamrock for a short time, met Lockey & Dave, came home together. I received a letter from Mother, she is very unwell. The Mail from England brought out £50.10.0 for me from my Uncle Henry to commence some business with or do something else than dig, if I had got it 4 months ago, It could have done me some good, but Father going away & being obliged to break into my own money to help to keep Mothers home together, & I hear Father owes so much money in town that by the time Mothers get some necessaries for herself & children I wont get much of it she wants me to go to town so I Intend starting on Tuesday. I went to Church this evening & bid my fellow choristers good bye. In the afternoon I went to Hoopers saw Mrs. Hickey had tea with them. I recvd two letters from Hamilton yesterday, they have been lying in the P.O. Long Gully for some weeks. Im sorry Id not got them before, he is still on Daisy Hill, he says he heard about my brother Ned that he is hardup on Ararat I shall write to them both on my arrival in Melbourne

[1859-06-19 Sunday] 20th [19th] June 1859. At home, sweet home, once more, would I could never leave thee. I like


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo and 117 Kerr St, Fitzroy 1859-06-19

method, so I will commence where I left off. Last Monday I got a few things ready for my journey, went to see Faithey, & bid goodbye to my neighbours, went into Sandhurst in the evening called at Barkleys, & squeezed a pound Stg out of him, stayd tea with him, after which I went to the TH Meeting as usual. Mr Frazer is the president He insisted upon me staying at his house the night, his kind offer I accepted had a very comfortable bed, (for a house) he called me early in the morning & made breakfast for me, the Coach left Sandhurst at 6 am Tuesday morning came on to rain, & what with being crowded & a couple of babies squalling, I had anything but a pleasent journey & to crown all a man in Delirium Tremens, who had an epileptic fit, one old lady got so frightened & being near the door of the Coach she jumped out, & put her ankle out of joint, it was dark when I got into Melbourne tired & stiff found all well

Wednesday I spent in roaming about the town to see all the sights & in the evening my sister Mary & I went to the Princess Theatre Thursday I knocked about & visited several people Im acquainted with & in the evening in company with Fred went to the Circus Friday afternoon Mother & I went out visiting & shopping. I bought a poncho some shirts & other necessaries. In the evening we went to see


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-06-19

poor Mrs Harken, found her very ill in bed since her husbands death, she has existed entirely upon charity, what a position for a young & beautiful woman, well educated accomplished & brought up in the midst of luxury. I feel very much for her, we left her about 11 pm Saturday I wandered about, gazing in shop windows & looking at the pretty girls (and there are some in Melbourne) In the evening Fred & I went to the Market (Paddys) he to meet some girls, I to look at them, we dropped into a Free & Easy on our road home, & had our ears tortured by some wretched music both vocal & instrumental. Sunday. This afternoon I went with Mother to see a Mrs Crapper (who lives on Emerald Hill) she is a nice homely Yorkshire woman, that in my infantile days was in my mother's service, as nurse to this child, & a fine character I heard of the various vicious propensities I used to indulge in during my tender years. We went to see the Chinese Joss House, a most gorgeous sight, inside what with ugly Idols, & beautiful ornaments the Silk Banners Etc Etc it was a very interesting place to visit, we left early & in the evening my sister Mary & I went to St Peters Church heard some grand singing. I saw the girl I got into a scrape about, the last time I was in Melbourne. I spoke to her, she wants to see me tomorrow. I didnt promise her I could gratify her.


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy,

Melbourne June 1859 —
26th Miserable wet weather, still in town Been enjoying myself right well, all the week, one way or another. Been introduced to several young ladies flirted about with them, Wednesday night, Mary & I went to the Olympic Theatre to see “Extremes or Men of the Day” performed. Thursday I paid the Eldreds a visit, my family & theirs are not on friendly terms through some cause or another however they did not display anything like coolness towards me. I have been to see Mrs Harken several times, she is getting very emaciated looking. I did a little commission for her which cost me £.1.5.0 I dont suppose Ill ever see it again. Yesterday afternoon I went to see my old acquaintance John.C.Burchell at Prahran he was very glad to see me. I invited him to dinner to day, he came & in the afternoon we took a walk to the Cemetary & saw the funeral of Ellen Mortyn, she was a most charming Actress & is much lamented, the last time I saw her was on Bendigo when she playd “Desdemona” to G.V.Brookes “Othello”, he was & the same *again in a *more *noted *musical the chief mourner. In the evening we went to St. Peters Church, we sat up in the galery & owing to young persons running out & making a noise the doors were locked & we found that the sexton had locked us in, some 30 of us including the mem- -bers of the choir, the gas was turned off. I ran my back against the door & burst the lock off it


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-07-04

& thus got our liberty. Fred & I accompanied Burchell a part of the way home & got wet through coming home. I received a long letter from Lockey Frazer (the younger) they have had a fine T. Meeting since my absence well attended a debating Society is being formed, & he is one of the Committee. I wrote to Hy Vickerman one day last week, & also to Hamilton & Frazer & Joe Dean. Im getting sick of my present inactive life, another week more & then Higho for the diggins, hard work, hard living Etc, its like going to the devil from Paradise the idea of leaving Melbourne & its pleasures. I dont suppose there is a city in the world that has so many temptations as this town or where so much sin in every shape prevails, what with women & places of amusement Etc. Im sure if Id plenty of money I would soon be ruined & come to grief body & soul

[1859-07-04 Monday] July 4th 1859 Oh dear, 8 days since I last continued my journal. Still in Melbourne been trying to get some employment, but was not fortunate enough. Last Monday night I took Mary & Miss Hobbs to the Royal Theatre turned out very wet, however there were plenty of cars to be had so we rode home I took them both to the Annual Tpa Soiree at the Exhibition Building, we were dressed well & every body else there was, every thing was first rate, we sat at the Eldreds table, my


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-07-04

friend Burchell was there also, after tea there was a lot of “spouting” Rd. Heales in the chair however we didnt care for it, we went onto the Balcony & one young chap had brought a pipe with him, I was along with Annie Eldred & was just commencing to dance with her when Mr Harmer (the Secretary) put a stop to it. I objected to his interference & had some words. I felt inclined to punch his head, for I dislike the man he was one of the canting lot that persuaded & aided my father in leaving us — he didnt know who I was, so I wasnt very particular what I said to him — he is the intended husband of the younger Miss Eldred (Louisa) & is old enough to be her father, there were several of the clique there & I felt anything but comfortable in their company — however I forgive them.

My pretty friend Jane Summers came down from Sunbury on Saturday, looking so charming & beautiful, she is one of the prettiest girl I ever met & Im sure Im in love with her, she has any quantity of admirers. I admired her the last time I was in town & had the pleasure of seeing her, but now Im bewitched & have been doing the agreeable & making love ever since, there is some fellow, always following her named Sutherland, Saturday night, Mary & her & myself went into town & met him, we could not get rid of him so at length we proposed going into the Theatre, he paid for 4 Dress Circle tickets. “Azrael the Prodigal” was playd R Heir playd the prodigal, while G.V.Brooke the father


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-07-04

& well being one of the grandest things ever brought out in the colony — but I was highly amused at our friend Sutherland, who during one of the intervals went out & brought back with him 4 Bottles of Ginger Beer & a tumbler, also a pocket full of large green pudding apples — I told the girls for heavens sake not to appear to know him, he was quite annoyd, & thought us destitute of taste, the girls were disgusted, & every glass was upon us, for my part I didnt care, but was convulsed with laughter, he knew no better, after it was over, we adjourned to the Cafe de France & had a splendid supper, Roast fowl Etc I stuck to Jane & my sister would not walk with him, yet he is a goodnatured fool, for fool he is, in some respects. Sunday morning I went with her to hear Mr New preach & on getting home we found Sutherland here, he had called during our absence & my mother for fun invited him to dinner, we had seen him coming & had cleared out at the back door while he was at the front. After dinner he had to go away to catch the Sunbury train he had a cab & Jane & Mary & self accompanied him, but as soon as we saw him off we found our way to Princess Bridge, where we hired a sailing boat & went to the Botanical Gardens, a lovely place & being a nice day was crowded by pleasure seekers, we met many we knew, came home by Railway & after tea went to Church, heard some fine


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-07-04

singing. In the evening had several visitors some friends of Janes knowing she was down from the country came to see her, my old nurse Mrs Crapper & McDougall were here also – This morning I accompanied Jane for a strool went into town & had our portraits taken which we exchanged with vows of unchanging love, (vows (Im sure that have nothing but a transitory impulse for a foundation) I could never centre my whole thoughts & feelings on one that I feel is a coquette, tho I dont think would ever be a heartless one) that she likes me & the feeling is reciprocal Im sure for the present, yet it will be many months ere I see her again & in that time surrounded by flatterers & admirers she will soon cease to think of me. If not Ill idol ize her! for she will be a woman in a million I feel now Im sick of town, this time next week Ill be on Bendigo pondering on to day, she took my dear little Brother Charlie with her, he is not well & the country air I trust will do him good [1859-07-10 Sunday] July 11th 1859 On old Bendigo once more in my tent, 10 ft x 12 ft how limited, & yet how comfortable. I think the less we can do with in this world the greater will be our happiness in it, but it is not possible to be satisfied human nature grumbles against the principle. I have been quite low spirited since my return here


117 Kerr St, Fitzroy, 1859-07-10

everything appears to be so dull & present such a different aspect to what it did before, how has time passed. Last Tuesday, I went to Richmond called on some friends of J.Nevins – Came home by the train, called to see Mrs Harken & bade her adieu. In the afternoon I took Mary to have her likeness taken, but were too late, we went to a Mrs Simpsons & Mary playd on the piano for me the first time I ever heard her. I think with practice she will make a fine performer I went to the Hobbs that evening. I had not been there since the night I took Miss H. to the Soiree they were rather cool. I fancy because I took the girl out once or twice that I was in honour bound to enter into an engagement with her, they hinted as much, however I soon undeceived in that respect. I called on the Eldreds bid them good bye, came home early & went into a Mrs Finlys (a neighbour) who introduced me to some friends of hers present. I remained until 10.30 saw a Miss Jaffys home — my usual job if any ladies call at our house. Im always looked upon to do the amicable. I packed up my things & on Wednesday morning at 6 am bid all at home good bye once more. I came by Rail to the Diggers Rest 21 miles from town, then took the Coach arrived on Sandhurst at 7. pm after a wretched journey, having rained all day & the coach being


Pinchgut Gully, Bendigo, 1859-07-10

over crowded. I met Bill Donovan & Enniss, we came out to the Gully together, found my couzin Harry well & glad to see me — Thursday I went to Bostocks from there into Bendigo, called at Frazers in the evening, met, Lockey, spent a pleasent evening there — I bought a pair of strong Boots & a pair of Blankets — Friday morning, hearing there was a rush at the Sheepwash Creek I went- , in company with Bill Donovan & Yorkey Tom – the day was warm, but being a pleasent road we enjoyed ourselves — we found the rush situated among some rough little hills, about 200 people there, none of whom are getting much gold — so I dont intend going there again, after tea I went to the Singing Class, they were all glad to see me back I went to the “Shamrock” for a little while. Saturday morning I spent writing letters to Hamilton & my mother, went into Sandhurst in the afternoon & posted them. I met an acquaintance, who wanted me to go & work for him on the Hustlers Reef £3.0.0 per week its only a short job, unless they strike the Reef, its better than being idle until something else turns up. I met Lockey & we went to the Shamrock, late when we got home, I met Eliza Marshall — she was glad to see me, I also saw my foreign lady friend who was so nearly putting a stop to someones existence a short time back. I went to Church this morning heard a good sermon, either it or the long walk gave me a good appetite for my dinner. I had several old acquaintances here during the afternoon. I heard to day that my Prahran friend J.Burchell intends trying his luck on Bendigo & will be here tomorrow


(blank page)



John Hy Watmuff






[rear end board]




  1. No! On 1 July he wrote 31 June but the 2 July entry was correct, so today, the 13th he wrongly changed the date to the 14th and continued the error to the 29th actual. On 30 July (actual), the error ended because he has two days as 30 July.
  2. 26thDec. Bridge Hotel, somewhere near the bridge on Bridge St
  3. (This account has 8 day week)

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