Chapter 62 [The Eureka Stockade, by Raffaello Carboni, 1855]

[Editor: This is a chapter from The Eureka Stockade by Raffaello Carboni. A glossary has been provided to explain various words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to modern readers.]
[Editor: Chapter LXI (61) contains “I. Document”; Chapter LXII (62) has “II. Document” and “III. Document”.]

LXII.

Tempora nostra.

The following documents are put in here as evidence of “our times.”

II. Document.

BALLAARAT.

THE STATEMENT OF FRANK ARTHUR HASLEHAM.

(Now lying wounded at Ballaarat.)

“Whereas I, Frank Arthur Hasleham, a native of the good town of Bedford, and son of a military officer, to wit, William Gale Hasleham, who bore His Majesty’s commission in the 48th Foot at Talavera, and afterwards retired from the 6th veteran battallion:

“Whereas I, the aforesaid, having, in my capacity of newspaper correspondent at Ballaarat, shown, on all proper occasions in general, so especially during the late insurrectionary movement here, a strong instinctive leaning to the side of law, authority, and loyalty, was, on the morning of the 3rd instant, fired at and wounded at a time when the affray was over, and the forces with their prisoners were on the point of returning to the Camp, and in a place whence the scene of action was invisible, and when no other bloodshed had taken place;

“On these considerations I desire to make on oath the following statements of facts as they occurred, and as witnessed by others:—

“Shortly after daybreak in the morning mentioned, my three mates and myself were aroused from sleep by the fire of musketry, a great proportion of the balls whistling over our tents. The tent is pitched on a rising ground about 500 yards south of the stockade; the tent and stockade, each situated on an eminence, are separated by a large gully running east and west, and comprising in its breadth nearly the whole of the distance above specified. Considerably alarmed at the continuance of the firing, we at last got up and went outside, thinking to find a place of shelter of comparative security. After I had gone outside the firing gradually fell off, the stockade was unoccupied, the insurgents’ flag was struck, and whatever fighting was then going on was confined to the further slope of the hill on which the stockade was situated. As some desultory firing was still going on, I advanced about fifty yards down the gully, in order to insure safety by getting upon lower ground; by this time, with the exception of an occasional cheer from the military or police, everything was perfectly quiet, and from where I stood neither soldier nor trooper was to be seen. A few minutes after a small detachment of mounted police made its appearance on the hill, and drew up in a line on the either side of the stockade, the officer in command appeared to be haranguing them. I was standing about three hundred yards from them, several other people being near at hand. I saw three troopers leave the ranks and advance towards me; when one of them who rode considerably a-head of the other two arrived within hailing distance, he hailed me as a friend. Having no reason to think otherwise of him, I walked forward to meet him. After he had lured me within safe distance, namely about four paces, he levelled his holster pistol at my breast and shot me. Previous to this, and while advancing towards each other, he asked me if I wished to join his force; I told him I was unarmed, and in a weak state of health, which must have been plain to him at the time, but added that I hoped this madness on the part of the diggers would soon be over; upon that he fired.”

The trooper be d——d; but I congratulate poor Frank, of the good town of Bedford, for “this madness on the part of the diggers” procuring him £400 sterling from Toorak; so that he can afford to spare me the trouble of encroaching any further into his “statement.” Great works!

III. Document more important, by far.

On the 28th November, when some military and ammunition came on the ground, the detachment was set on at Eureka, near the site of the stockade, and in the hubbub consequent the troops were somewhat at fault, and the officer in command called at the London Hotel to inquire the way to the Camp. The owner of the hotel, Mr. Hassall, on being asked, came out of his establishment to point out the way to the officer in command of the detachment, while so doing he received a ball in his leg, and was for a while laid up by the wound. After a long time of suffering, and a great loss of money directly and indirectly, he applied for compensation — with what success may be seen from the following letter just come to hand:—

———

“Colonial Secretary’s Office,
“Melbourne, 26th October, 1855.

Gentlemen.— The memorial of the miners on behalf of Mr. B. S. Hassall, wounded during the disturbances at Ballaarat, having been by the governor’s directions referred to the board appointed to investigate such claims, the board reported, that from the evidence, it appears impossible Mr. Hassall could have received his wound from the military, and that they could not see anything to justify their recommending any compensation for him. His Excellency cannot therefore entertain the petition as he has not power to award compensation except on the recommendation of the board.

I have the honour to be, gentlemen,
Your most obedient servant,
J. Moore, A.C.S.

“Samuel Irwin, and
A. C. Brunning, Esqrs.

“Great works” this time at Toorak, eh! oh! dear.

So far so good, for the present; because spy “Goodenough” wants me in the next chapter.



Source:
Raffaello Carboni. The Eureka Stockade: The Consequence of Some Pirates Wanting on Quarter-Deck a Rebellion, Public Library of South Australia, Adelaide, 1962 [facsimile of the 1855 edition], pages 80-81

Editor’s notes:
d——d = damned

tempora nostra = (Latin) “our times”

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