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Victoria, 1858 – the gold rush was on and the Government had just passed the Act for Preventing the Careless Use of Fire. Section 4 of this Act established that even in those circumstances where no death occurred, any damage or destruction caused by fire could be investigated by the Coroner, provided the Coroner received written notification and a fee of five guineas was paid.

Over five years (1865-1869) there were twenty eight inquests held into fires across the Central Goldfields area including Adelaide Lead, Amherst, Bealiba, Bet Bet, Bromley, Dunolly, Majorca, Maryborough, Newtown, Talbot and White Hills. No inquests were held in the area from 1869 onwards which may have been due to the combination of a significant increase in the fee for such investigations in 1869, and the winding down of the gold rush in the area.

The incidents investigated in the Central goldfields include destruction and damage to various hotels, farms, fences, houses, haystacks and even the London Chartered Bank in Dunolly.



This project aims to digitise all twenty eight inquest deposition files identified for the Central Goldfields area (see listing below) and donate the records to the historical groups in the area to further their research into their region’s history.

Henry HIBBINS premises at Adelaide Lead
Frederick FALKNER hay stacks at Adelaide Lead
TWEEDALES High St Amherst
John COOK International Hotel at Bealiba
George EVANS house, barn and hay stacks at Bealiba
John SUTTON wheat stacks at Bealiba
COATTs Bros property and fence at Bealiba
George EVANS George premises at Bealiba
William COLES (Blacksmith) hay stack at Bealiba
Owen and Michael ROGAN farm at Bet Bet
John RAMSDEN Burnt Creek Hotel at Bromley
Peter PETERSON property at South Dunolly
London Chartered Bank at Dunolly
George CHARPISH premises at Commercial Rd, Dunolly
Robert O’SHEA premises at Majorca
Adolphe PETERS premises on Talbot St, Majorca
Charles WERNER house at Maryborough
Julia JONES Chinamen Flat Road, Maryborough
Joseph NOWELL at Adelaide Lead
Mr FEW at Skene St, Newtown
Mrs S NOTMAN at Cumberland St, Newtown
Mr ESPINASSE premises at Newtown
Liverpool Arms Hotel Maryborough Rd Talbot
William KIRK premises at Talbot
Mr DARCY’s Shamrock Hotel and two buildings at Talbot
Charles YOUNG Ballarat Hill, Talbot
Curtis STEIN BACH Scandinavian Cr, Talbot
Alfred RICHARDS house at White Hills

Some Of My Previous Work

This is my third digitisation project on Pozible (see the fist here and the second here) and I look forward to this endeavour being as successful as those! I'm also an 'old hand' at digitising records at the Public Record Office of Victoria - see my other work and what I'm all about at www.archivalaccessvictoria.com.

The Challenges

No risks identified with this project as yet - but if any do pop up a project update will be released to outline the issues & obstacles.
Portal Closed
Unsuccessful in meeting the target on 10th Nov 2013 at 12:00pm.
A$10 +A thank you from me via email and a shout out on my Twitter and Facebook pages and a digital copy of your choice of one of the listed fire inquests.
0 Chosen | 20 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2013
A$25 +A big thankyou email from me, a shout out on my Twitter and Facebook page and a DVD with all of the digitised fire inquest records.
3 Chosen | 17 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2013
A$50 +A big thankyou email, a shout out on my Twitter and Facebook page, a DVD with the digitised fire inquest records and your choice of three records from my Records Store.
1 Chosen | 19 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2013
A$75 +A shout out on my Twitter and Facebook page, a DVD with the digitised fire inquest records and an hours research on me at PROV.
0 Chosen | 2 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2013