1858, April – Tambaroora diggers re employment of constables and Chinese miners

The Petition:

58/1028 – 7 April /58

The Commissioner in charge of the Western Gold Fields to the Hon. The Secretary for Lands and Public Works respecting the employment of Special Constables

Gold Commissioner’s Office, Sofala, 30 April 1858


I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter No. 31 of the 29th Ultimo. With reference to the amount of remuneration to be allowed to persons employed as Special Constables in the event of collisions between the European and Chinese Miners. I have to observe that the trading community would have chiefly to be counted on to fill the office in question. This class of persons would not consider themselves to be remunerated for leaving their places of business at a time of riot by any amount that would be authorised – certainly not be less than 20/- per diem. On the other hand, it may be considered that, on an emergency requiring the services of Special Constable, the rendering of such services is held to be the unconditional duty of every member of society; and I believe that the services required would be given as willingly by the Class referred to, without remuneration, as with an allowance which, at no reasonable cost, would then not compensate the member probably to be employed.

2. Should future occasion arise the assistance of Special Constables, where it can be made available, will be resorted to, but the circumstances of the occasion may in all probability be such as to necessitate a promptitude and expedition of Police intervention quite inconsistent with the appointing, collecting, swearing in, and moving on foot to some distant part of the Gold Field, of a body of Special Constables.

3. I am happy however to be able to report that the measures adopted after the threatened out-break at Tambaroora, and the Regulations made with regard to the location and management of the Chinese, seem to have had the affect of diminishing to a great degree the prospect of actual collision. But the carrying out of the Regulations referred to will involve much additional Police Supervision.

4. I would with to observe that it was not my intention to propose the maintenance of a standing body of Police to meet emergencies of the nature alluded to, but rather to moot the question of augmenting the present Police Establishment in some proportion to the greatly increased and rapidly increasing requirements of the Western Gold Fields, both as regards general Police protection, and collection of Revenue, having also in main the prevention of a State of things trading to such emergencies.

I have the honor to be
Sir, Your most obedient servant

Harold Maclean

Petition from Diggers, Tambaroora

Instruct Mr. Commissioner Maclean to inform the Petitioner that so far as regards the alleged waste and water of the Chinese, instructions have been given already to the Asst. Commissioner in charge of the various diggings to locate the Chinese as far as possible in a position, where they will not be likely to come into contact with the Europeans and also to prevent the use for mining purposes of the water place, where it may be necessary to retain if for domestic use.

Add, that as yet the Govt. is not in the receipt of any official information to justify the belief that the Chinese are infected with contagious diseases.

Police Magistrate – 29th March (signature)
It appears that the European population at the gold fields abuse the Chinese of wasting the water by their mode of working and also that they are affected with disease and ???? diseases. Mr McLean to some extend ???? in the first asserting and has ?????? to ???? it, as much as possible to arranging for their working away from the Europeans. With ref to the second Mr McLean does not believe it to be true.

Mr McLean has also provided that where water should be preserved for domestic purposes a notice shall be put up to that effect and that no ???? shall for the future be done to it.

58/930 – 27 Mar

The Acting Gold Commissioner for the Western Districts to the Hon. The Secretary for Lands & Public Works, forwarding a Petition from Residents at Tambaroora on the subject of Chinese Immigration

(58/38 – submitted)

Gold Commissioners Office, Sofala, 22nd March 1858.


I have the honor to transmit herewith a memorial from certain Residents at Tambaroora, addressed to His Excellency the Governor-General and the Executive Council, on the subject of the present Chinese Immigration to these Gold Fields. In forwarding this memorial I deem it proper to offer any remarks which have occurred to me, taking the paragraphs [one by one].

2. The varying progress of all Gold Fields renders it almost impossible to speculate as to the population which any one gold field can support. I am not prepared to concur in the opinion that Tambaroora is unable to support a population even greater than that now located there. The Chinese population at present on that Field I do not estimate to exceed 500 or at most 600.

3. The additional population undoubtedly [influences] the scarcity of water, which, in any case, at this reason would be severely felt. Where no special right exists to the use of water for gold washing purposes, it is impossible effectually to regulate the consumption by the Public.

4. No official notification of the existence among the Chinese of the diseases referred to has reached me. I believe the fears on that subject to be unfounded.

5. The grievances set forth in paragraph 5 are correctly stated. There can be no question but that the interests noted in the improvements mentioned are much predicted by the location in ill-watered ???? of large numbers of Chinese, or other persons.

By my letter of the 16th instant No. 32, you have been appraised of the steps taken to remove, as far as can equitably be done, the costs complained of.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant

Harold Maclean
Acting Commission
In the Western Districts
To His Excellency the Governor General and The Honorable Executive Council
The Petition of the undersigned resident Miners of Tambaroora, Western District

Humbly Showeth,

That the recent extensive and alarming Immigration of Chinese to these Gold Fields seriously affects the Interests and welfare of your Petitioners and together with the scarcity of Water and prevailing Drought threaten your Petitioners with absolute starvation and ruin –

Your Petitioners humbly submit to your Excellency and Honorable Council the following statement of their case.

2. That these Gold Fields when Water is abundant cannot sustain a Population of more than Seven Hundred “700” – while the Chinese at present raise it to nearly Two Thousand “2000” –

3. That owing to the scarcity of Water and large influx of Chinese many of your Petitioners are presented following their occupation and are consequently in a state of destitution.

That the Chinese consume and spoil large quantities of Water by their mode of Working – washing indiscriminately ????? to thus destroying large quantities of Water to obtain only small quantities of Gold.

4. That your Petitioners have good cause to believe that the Chinese are infected with loathsome and contagious diseases.

5. That your Petitioners, are for the most part, married and have Families dependant on them for support and have been to great trouble and expense in Building Houses and Huts, Fencing and Planting Gardens, which should these Diggings become exhausted will be valueless to them – also that your Petitioners are greatly alarmed that owing to the over population, the drinking Water will become soon exhausted, as it is only with great difficulty that the smallest supply can now be obtained. The nearest next place being the Macquarie River, distant Twelve “12” miles.

6. Under these circumstances your Petitioners humbly pray that your Excellency and Honorable Council will be pleased to enact such measures as the urgency of their case demands.

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray –

The Petitioners:

?asherand, M C
Adams, James
Allbridge, Henry Herman
Allcock, Fredrick
Allen, James
Allerban, John
Amery, Alfred
Anderson, James
Andrews, Henry
Andringa, R
Armitage, Tom
Armstrong, M
Askew, Thomas
Austin (Acusters), Thomas
Badman, Samuel
Bagger, T
Baldwin, William
Bannister, William
Baraby, Thomas Owen
Barber, Edward
Barlow, James
Barnard, John
Barnett, E
Barns, David
Barrett, Edward
Barsfield, William
Bartlett, William
Baskerville, Joseph
Beasley, John
Bell, Moses
Bennette, A A??????
Blewitt, Francis
Board, James
Boden, G A
Bouldsbrige,? Fred
Brand, Robert
Brawy, James
Brown, James
Brown, Samuel
Brown, William
Browne, Henry Gylest?
Browne, John
Bryden, W
Bull, John
Burgess Thomas
Burns, James
Butman, Steven
Caggett, William
Cairns, James
Camble, John
Cannans, John
Carbis, James
Carr, Gorge
Carty, Martin
Casedy, Neil
Cassidy, Michael Junr
Champan, John
Chapman, J S
Cheder,? Thomas
Chipchase, G H
Christie, James
Clark, Edward
Clifton, David
Clothier, George
Cluted,? James
Clyne, Alex
Cochrane, Michael
Cole, George
Coley, Thomas
Collum, John
Colville, John
Contary, Cornesh
Cook, John
Cooper, T J
Cormick, C
Corner, Andrew
Cowell, James G
Cox, Edward
Crook, Thomas
Cusick, Tim
Cuth, H
Cutts, James
Daniel, Thomas
Darrell, James
Davenport, C T G
Dawson, George
Day, Ewen
Dean, Samuel
Deland, Wm
Devlin, P
Dewding, G
Dixon, Joseph
Dodds, John
Donnolly, Matthew
Doyle, M
Draydy, Owen
Dryden, Robert
Duncan, Thomas
Dunn, William
Eagle, Richard
Easter, John
Edger, David
Edward, William (X his mark)
Edwards, W
Edwards, William
Ellis, Sam
Ellis, Thomas
Evans, Charles
Farrington, Redmond
Ferguson, Archibald
Ferrin,? Davis
Field, George
Field, George
Finley, James
Fisher, William
Fitzgerald, John
Flannaghan, Mathew
Fletcher, George
Flint, William
Fowler, John
Fowler, Michael
Foyle, Benjamin
Francis, Hayes
Frogley, Charles
Gain, Geo S
Gallagher, James
Gardner, George
Garton, Frank
Garton, George
Garton, James
Garton, John
Gaynon, John
Gee, James
Gee, W???
Giles, Henry
Giles, John
Gillen, John
Gillett, Walter
Gillett,? Oliver
Ginman, Thomas
Golding, John
Golding, Joseph
Goodwin, Enoch
Gramary,? Mathew M
Grant, John
Granville, Peter
Gray, William
Gray, William
Green, James
Green, John
Griffin, John
Gudgeon, Frances
Gudgeon, John
Gugeon, Thomas
Haines, Thomas
Hancock, John
Handshaw, Samuel
Hanly, James
Hanshaw, John
Hardie, John
Harford, James
Hargreaves, Henry
Harris, Elon
Harris, William
Hart, Thomas
Harvey, Wm Thomas
Hasland, Richard
Headrick, William
Henshaw, John
Herbert, Charles
Herbert, Charles P
Herd, William
Heywood, William
Hidley, Thomas
Hoare, Patrick
Hodge, John
Holl, George
Hollarde, Henry
Holston, Henry
Hook, Thomas
Howard, Henry
Huding,? Samuel
Hudson, George
Hughes, Wm E
Hurt, Richard
Hutchison, James
Hutchison, James
Innes, Francis
Innes, Walter
Jackson, Wm
Jamieson, William
Janer, Wm Ley
Jenkins, James
Jenkins, John
Johnson, Archibald
Johnson, David B
Johnson, Heli
Johnson, James
Jones, David
Jones, Theopalus
Jones, William
Junter (Junten), Henry
Junter, Joseph Catts
Kearn, Peter
Kennedy, William
Kenrow, William
King (Cling), Nicholby
King, David
Kissell, William
Knight, J B  M.D.
Kyle, Robert
Lacky, Squire
Lambert, Richard
Lambert, Saml
Landers, Samuel
Lane, Harry
Lane, John
Lane, Joseph
Lanely, Robt
Langpan, Fred
Larkins, George
Larkman, Charles James
Lashbard, David
Leaden, J H
Lee, Matthew
Lemke, Ludwig
Lewis, Thomas
Limberb, Jno
Loyd, Joseph
Luder, William
Lyle, George
Lynch, John
Lynch, John
Lynch, Morris
Lynch, Peter
Lynn, George
Macdonald, Frederick
Manamy, M
Manning, York?
McAppion, Nelson
Marceet, George
Marsh, Thomas
Marshall, J W
Martin, John
Matthews, William
May, Henry Geo
Mayhew,? Thomas
McDonald, Ach.
McDormas, Patrick
McGrath, Michaell
McKern, John
McMenamen, John
McWilliams, William
Megminly,? G G
Mekrete, John
Mennane, Alfred
Mentiblay,? Michl
Merass, Charles
Meredith, Leslie
Meyers, Jacob
Mills, Thos Edwd
Misgrave, Thomas
Molony, Ed
Moonaghan, Mathew
Morgan, John Price
Morris, E
Morrison, William
Morrow, Hugh
Murey, J
Murphy, C
Murphy, Thomas
Murray, Thomas
Murray, William
Murrey, William
Murry, Nicholass
Newman, W T
Newton, Edward
Nicholls, Thomas
Nichols, Thos
Noble, Arthur
Noble, Arthur Junr
Noonan, William
O?ley, Henery
O’Brien, Ewan
O’Brien, John
O’Brien, John
O’Brien, Patrick
O’Brien, William
O’Brien, William
O’Malley, John
O’Rourke, John
Pain, Samuel
Palmer, John
Paradise, John
Parker, George
Parker, Thomas
Parkers, Peter
Parry, John
Paten, Thomas
Patunue,? Medor
Paxter, John
Paxton, J B
Pearced, Henry
Peisly, Benjaman
Pennoyer, Edgar
Phillips, Bernard
Phillips, J A
Phillips, James
Piccup, John
Pidding, George S H
Pidding, J T
Pidding, Thomas
Playfeard, William
Poole, Joseph
Power, Thomas
Preston, David
Pucklasly,? S
Rattray, William
Renshall, John
Renshall, John
Rice, Thomas
Richards, Richard
Right, James
Riley, Edward
Ring (King), N D?
Ritchards, John
Riverb, Elijah
Roach, John
Roberts, J
Robison, John
Roche, Thomas
Ross, Alexander
Ross, James
Ross, James
Ross, William
Rowley, F M
Rowley, W
Rusell, James
Russell, Paul
Salkeld, Luke
Saxby, George
Sayers, Paul
Scailes, Joseph
Shanley, John
Shaw, David
Shaw, William
Short, David
Simpson, Alexr
Slack, Joseph T
Slack, W T Jun
Slack, William James, Postmaster
Smith, James
Smith, John F
Smith, T M
Smith, William
Smithson, Robert
Smyth, H K
Smyth, James
Spencer, Daniel
Spencer, W W
Standen, John
Standen, Samuel
Stanley, Joseph
Steman,? Gerard
Stephens, Maurice
Stephens, William
Stuart, J M A
Talbot, John
Tarn,? William
Tee, William
Terry, John
Thew, William
Thomas, Henry
Thompson, Joseph
Thopson, Thomas
Tierney, James
Tonip,? Charles
Trengove, Samuel
Try/Fry, Thomas
Try/Fry, William
Turnbull, W
Tweedy, William
Wade, Robert
Wade, William Senr.
Walker, William
Walpole, Joseph
Warren, Henry
Webber, William
Webley, Joseph
Webster, William
Wells, Joseph
West, Rt
White, Francis
Wigget, James
Wilkins, William
Williams, John, G
Williams, Owen
Wills, George
Wilson, Jno
Wine, Ambrose
Wingfield, F
Winslett, Richard
Woolf, Henry
Wythes, Thos


58/847 – 19 Mar /58

The Acting Gold Commissioner for the Western District to the Hon. The Secretary for Lands & Public Works, respecting measures taken to remove causes of collision with the Chinese.

Gold Commissioners Office, Sofala, 16th March 1858,


With reference to my letter of the 14th instant, I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a letter which I have addressed to the ?eacial Apt. Commissioner by which you will be apprised of the measure to be taken on the Western Gold Fields to remove, as far as within the power of the Commissioner to do so, causes likely to leas to collision between the European and Chinese Miners.

I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient Servant

Harold Maclean
Acting Commissioner
Western District


Gold Commissioners Office,
Sofala, 16th March 1858


With a view to remove as far as possible any causes which may lead to a collision between the European and Chinese Miners, I have to advise the adoption by you, in respect to the district under your charge, of the following suggestions.

2. I think it very desirable that, where practicable, the large encampments of Chinese should be fixed in position so as to bring the Chinese as little as can be in contact with the Europeans. To assist you to this end, I will endeavour to have prepared notices in Chinese, of which copies will be sent to you, requiring these people to obtain the approval of the Commissioner to the Sites of their encampments. In fixing the sites for these encampments you will be guided by a desire to divert them from any localities, where, at the present season, water, especially for domestic purposes, is scarce, and Europeans have already built huts, and settled with their families and also to direct the operations of the Chinese, as far as can equitably be done, so as not to be likely to interfere with the operations of the Europeans, previously commenced –

3. In localities where the water must be available to both races, I would advise the adoption of the following rules: viz

1. Any water hole which you may see fit to reserve for domestic purposes to be protected by written notice.

2. Where one or more persons shall, in your opinion, establish a right to the exclusive use of the water for domestic purposes, by having formed the reservoir or otherwise, such right to be reserved by notice.

This privilege of course to extend to both races.

4. The Chinese can be made aware that a written notice reserves the water for domestic purposes, but where there are exclusive rights, it will o course be necessary that complaints should be made to the Commissioner by the persons interested in any case of misunderstanding.

5. I would further counsel that the most prompt attention to be paid at all times to any matter of complaint between the Europeans and Chinese.

I have the honor to be
Your Most Obedient Servant
(signed) Harold Maclean
Actg. G C W D

The Acting Gold Commissioner,