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From: Ballarat, VIC
Joined: 16 March 2015
Posts: 11
17 March 2015 08:26 pm

Hi there,
Just saw a nice insight into mid 1800's everyday life... worth a read for the visual pictures in paints... from The Courier, Ballarat

SATURDAY JULY 14GOT home to tent where I found a great "lark'' being carried on by our next neighbour - the newly married lady.An old fellow, having proposed to ward off with her (she being only married about a fortnight) and, to have some sporty, she consented and made up a plan which was that he was to get from her a box containing her husband's gold and money and to start for Melbourne today, she being to follow.The old bloke called, and her neighbour and herself, having filled a box with filth of all sorts scented with lavender water, as soon as he came this was given to him.When she told him that, as all her money was therein, he would require to stump up her passage money by the coach to Melbourne, he did so giving her three pound, a watch guard, a seal and a ring.He then went away seemingly well pleased but, having smelt a rat, had opened the box and found the mistake and returned to claim back his money etc.I arrived just as he came up the gully, and when she saw him coming back she ran into the tent screamingdreadfully.I went to see what was wrong, when she rushed out, appealed to me for protection, took me into another tent and told me the whole yarn.The old fellow went without getting back his money or valuables.The good lady produced a bottle of gin in which we drank to his discomfiture. She was very tipsy. God pity her poor husband.MONDAY JULY 16HAD supper and went down to work to the hole. Put down about 9 o'clock; found Jack Thom and the Snob there.Sometime after Tom Gibson and Jack Walton arrived, and we went to work to bale. After baling for sometime we got the water down to broken buckets and left it to drain. Commenced again and some slabs fell in. Tom Gibson went down and reported the state of matters, and sent up a set of slabs.Tom came up, and after some discussion it was agreed nothing should be done until the dayshift would come. Got home about two hours before daylight. The weather during the day and night was dry and agreeable, and the night air very warm.Heard today of a butcher being shot by mistake for another person, near the Creek last night. A wife and husband affair.The butcher was shot through the heart in his tent, his shadow being taken for that of the intended person who was in the tent lighting his pipe. The murderer got off.MONDAY JULY 30WAKENED about sunrise. Cough very violent, Roused Joe and Harry, who got up, kindled fire, and cooked and dispatched their breakfast. Joe advised me strongly to go and see Dr Doyle today.He went down to work for me. Got up about 9 o'clock; dressed, no appetite. Went along and called on Dr Doyle. Found him in and told him I wished him to prescribe for me. He sat down by the parlour fire and made me strip, where up he sounded my bones and told me that although they were good yet they were exceedingly delicate and that Ballarat Gold Field, with the wet work and night work, was not at all fitted for me and the sooner I cut my acquaintance with the Diggings the better for me. He gave me a box of ointment, with which I was to rub my breast nightly and a bottle of liquid stuff which I was to take 4 or 5 times daily. His fee was 10 shillings and he made me promise to call again when my medicine was done.FRIDAY AUGUST 10JOE reports seeing Forbes today and being up at Court with him and his case of driving by the Frenchmen.He also tells us that while the Bengal Tiger kept at the Montezuma was being taken along on a cart in a strong box (the wood thereof being 2 inches thick) the cart capsized and the box split in two pieces and out sprang the Bengal gent.This was just at the foot of Bakery Hill a little past Coe the Bakers, and opposite Hopkins store.The tiger sprang into the store and went through the shop into the kitchen where it found a leg of mutton which it seized and commenced devouring it.The storekeeper was behind the counter at the time and vanished into a box.A large crowd collected round about but Joe did not wait to see how they would manage to take him.All the stores about were shut and people on the tops of buildings round about to see the sport.He is allowed to be the largest sized tiger ever exhibited and he certainly looked a noble but savage animal in the cage.His howling at nights used to be the signal for parties at their holes answering with yells and howls.FRIDAY AUGUST 17Knocked off shortly before sunset and went along to Moses, Gold Broker, to sell some gold. The cursed Jew tried to cheat me and, when I detected him, he got into a funk and was trying to make me believe I had insulted his feelings.This would not do, as I made him give me back my gold. I sent him to h-ll and left the wretch's shop. I returned home and roused out Joe. Kindled fire and put on kettle. Went down to Butchers to get dog's meat. Retd, found Harry home and drying his gold with Peter to weigh it. They washed 20 tubs today and got, with 2 nice little nuggets, 4 1/3 oz.Had ham for supper, and after which Joe left for work. The weather today has been first rate and new moon tonight makes a lovely clear evening. Wrote a letter to Mr Whyte tonight and afterwards turned in.SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 23HARRY told me of a melancholy accident which befell two men yesterday afternoon, one of whom was working for me at our claim on Wednesday last, and his mate was working for Gamble yesterday afternoon.The accident arose from foul air. One of the men having went down the shaft and the air having caught him when about 60 feet from bottom he dropped out of the bucket and was killed.This lad who was working for me t'other day then jumped into the bucket and sd. lower away cheerily boys to we see what's up.Poor fellow, he got served out the same way and was awfully smashed.Then a man was lashed to the rope and sent down and pulled up again insensible, so they got on avengers and went down and shut up the two bodies.SATURDAY DECEMBER 1WAS awakened about 9 or 10 o'clock by Jack Paterson. A lovely day, sun shining brightly; but, oh! Heaven, my poor head! I am now paying the penalty of my folly and that smartly, but I must not give in to it. So up, and got washed and dressed in white ducks and white shirt.Joe and I left to go into Ballarat with Mr Morrison to find out John Forbe's whereabouts. Had drink of ginger beer at the White Horse and felt better a little. Got into Ballarat by the Red Streak where we beheld the scene of last night's fire. The American Hotel, the Adams Express premises and a clothing establishment next to it, and all along to the Charlie Napier which God knows, had escaped.Several Stores on the opposite side of the street had caught and were burned down.Report says eleven lives have been lost.The proprietor, Nicholls, was awakened by the noise and left his room. When he got into the lobby he recollected having left his pocket book with 90 pound below his pillow and returned to get it, but his delay cost him his life for he got so severely burned that he died about 9 o'clock this morning.It is rumoured that there were eight young girls recently arrived from town to accommodate gentlemen and that six of them are missing, so it is probably the poor things have been burnt.It was a miracle that more damage was not done. The soldiers are keeping watch over the goods.MONDAY DECEMBER 17TURNED out about 7 o'clock. A lovely morning and no signs in the heavens of the late tempest but early bare witness.The bowling alley of the Star Hotel was lifted from its position alongside the Hotel and landed in the middle of the street, several other small houses were shifted, windlasses and logs were swept off holes and slabs buckets and swept away.We lost 15 slabs and a dirt buckets. I set to work to clean up tent, everything being about 3 inches thick with mud I was obliged to lift the bark floor and wash it all (and all) the clothes and tools, in fact everything in the tent.We then got some tucker and was just preparing to go over and bale the hole when another storm burst and lasted for two hours, but it was more violent than the one yesterday, the hail being as large as marbles.After it cleared up Jack Paterson and I started off to Magpie as there was no accommodation for four to sleep in the tent.Afterwards went and changed my drawers and socks, having got up to the knees on our way out.Split some firewood and made a fire, then roused Harry and his friend. They got up, but were not able to get across the creek to go to work so they came back and had supper and while partaking of same, our attention was drawn to the sky which presented the most fearful appearance as I ever witnessed. It is great weather entirely.Turned in with Harry and slept soundly. Hear of several lives being lost out here at Magpie.THURSDAY DECEMBER 20JAMIE came in to have a talk with McLymont and reports McLymont making very favorable overtures to him should he accept the situation.While he was talking to Jim and I, I was making pegs and, in looking up at Jamie when he asked something directed to me for answer, I struck the forefinger of my left hand with the tomahawk and cut it into the bone at the middle joint very nigh carrying it away. I immediately caught hold of it and closed the cut, but the blood squirted out.Jim Young got a bit of cloth and dipped it in sap and water and bandaged it tightly.It felt painful, and does so still, and I am afraid it will fester by its palpitating tonight.

'You might as well be yourself because everyone else is taken.'

14 users like this post: grubstake, Big Nugget, Sandta, Bacchus, Oldfella, Chewy, spatch, dwt, yobskin, SCROUNGER, numpty, Rockhound, silver, Billy


From: Ballarat, VIC
Joined: 16 March 2015
Posts: 11
17 March 2015 08:29 pm

1855 Ballarat Miner's diary, that is. wink Can't post the link as I'm under 10 posts.

'You might as well be yourself because everyone else is taken.'

2 users like this post: Wally69, dwt


From: Perth, WA
Joined: 20 October 2014
Posts: 2,102
18 March 2015 01:02 pm

What an amazing saga and whenever you think things couldn't get worse... they do!

Where it is, there it is.


Big Nugget
From: Mulwala, NSW
Joined: 20 July 2014
Posts: 239
18 March 2015 06:13 pm

nice one HHD wink … ers-diary/

GPZ7000 (PMAV & NAPFA member)


Joined: 19 December 2013
Posts: 15,444
18 March 2015 09:24 pm

A cut or a scratch could fester and take your life back then.

What a great day ! ,... " I'll see you in the field ".

1 user likes this post: grubstake


From: North East , VIC
Joined: 06 September 2013
Posts: 607
22 December 2015 08:12 pm

great read thanks hhd


From: Central Vic'ish, VIC
Joined: 20 April 2013
Posts: 1,816
13 January 2016 05:32 am

Top read mate, thanks for posting cool

swing it..dig it...wash it...pan it...LOVE IT..


From: Mackay, QLD
Joined: 03 May 2017
Posts: 1
03 May 2017 04:07 pm

Great read thanks for posting

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