[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”. Chapter 61 (“Ab Initio Usque Ad Finem Horribile Dictu”) was mislabeled as “LXII” (62); to avoid confusion, the chapter number has been corrected here to “LXI” (61).]
Ab initio usque ad finem horribile dictu.
Avanti il tuo cospetto, Dio potente! Grida vendetta il sangue innocente.
As I want to be believed, so I transcribed the following document from The Argus of Friday, December 15th, 1854. — Gordon Evans, one of H.M. Captains in the Eureka massacre, now acts in the capacity of magistrate! —
DEPOSITION OF HENRY POWELL.
“The deceased deposed to the following effect:— My name is Henry Powell. I am a digger residing at Creswick-creek. I left Creswick-creek about noon on Saturday, December 2nd. I said to my mates, ‘You’ll get the slabs ready. I will just go over to see Cox and his family at Ballaarat.’ I arrived at Ballaarat about half-past four, or thereabouts. I saw armed men walking about in parties of twenty or thirty; went to Cox’s tent; put on another pair of trowsers, and walked down the diggings. Looked in the ring (the stockade). After that, went home, went to bed in the tent at the back of Cox’s tent, about half-past nine. On Sunday morning, about four, or half-past, was awoke by the noise of firing. Got up soon after, and walked about twenty yards, when some trooper rode up to me. The foremost one was a young man whom I knew as the Clerk of the Peace. He was of a light, fair complexion, with reddish hair. He told me to ‘stand in the Queen’s name! You are my prisoner’ I said, ‘Very good, Sir.’ Up came more troopers. I cannot say how many. Believe about twenty or thirty. I said, ‘Very well, gentlemen (!) don’t be in a hurry, there are plenty of you,’ and then the young man struck me on the head with a crooked knife, about three feet and a half long, in a sheath. I fell to the ground. They then fired at me, and rode over me several times. I never had any hand in the disturbance. There, that’s all.
Ballaarat, Dec. 11, 1854.
First case of an inquest which has taken place since the massacre of the memorable 3rd. The evidence as to the murder of Powell (writes The Argus express correspondent) is but a specimen of the recitals heard on every hand of the reckless brutality of the troopers that morning.
VERDICT OF THE JURY.
The death of deceased, Henry Powell, gold-digger, was caused by sabre cuts and gun shot wounds, wilfully and feloniously, and of their malice aforethought inflicted and fired by ARTHUR PURCELL AKEHURST, Clerk of the Peace, Ballaarat bench, and other persons unknown.
The jury return a verdict of Wilful Murder against A. P. Akehurst and other persons unknown.
The jury express their condemnation of the conduct of Captain Evans, in not swearing deceased at the time of taking his statement after having been cautioned by Dr. Wills of his immediate danger. The jury view with extreme horror the brutal conduct of the mounted police in firing at and cutting down unarmed and innocent persons of both sexes, at a distance from the scene of disturbance, on December 3rd, 1854.
Mind, good reader, the above is a legal document.
After my trial, on my way to Ballaarat, I met in Geelong the identical Akehurst, cracking some nuts with (I mean, speaking to) some young ladies.
I DESPAIR OF THIS COLONY.
May it please Her Majesty to cause inquiry to be made into the character of such that have branded the miners of Ballaarat as disloyal to their QUEEN.
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 78-79
ab initio usque ad finem horribile dictu = (Latin) “from the beginning to the end, horrible to say”; “ab initio usque ad finem” may have been taken from Ecclesiastes 3:11 in the Latin Bible (“est Deus ab initio usque ad finem”, “which God has made from the beginning to the end”) or from Deuteronomy 13:7 in the Latin Bible (“ab initio usque ad finem terrae”, “from one end of the earth to the other”) [the same text from Deuteronomy may be referred to in Bibles as Deuteronomy 13:7 or 13:8, due to a slight variation in how the numbering is applied]; “horribile dictu” (also rendered as “horribile dictum”) is a Latin phrase, meaning “horrible to say” or “horrible to relate”
*avanti il tuo cospetto, dio potente! grida vendetta il sangue innocente = (Italian) “bring forward your presence, mighty God! innocent blood cries out for vengeance” (*rough translation)
trowsers = old spelling of “trousers”
[Editor: Chapter 61 (LXI. Ab Initio Usque Ad Finem Horribile Dictu.) was mislabeled as “LXII” (62); to avoid confusion, the chapter number has been corrected here to “LXI”. Corrected “Avanit” to “Avanti”.]
ab initio usque ad finem:
“Ecclesiastes 3”, New Advent (accessed 9 January 2013)
“Ecclesiastes 3:11”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
“Ecclesiastes 3:11 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
ab initio usque ad finem terrae:
Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Nicolaum Pezzana [Nicolas Pezzana], Venetiis [Venice, Italy], 1669, page 136”, (accessed 27 January 2013)
“Deuteronomy 13”, New Advent [see: Deuteronomy 13:8] (accessed 9 January 2013)
“Deuteronomy 13:7”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
“Deuteronomy 13:7 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
“horribile dictu”, Merriam-Webster Online (accessed 9 January 2013)