Gold Diggers from South Australia

1852 to 1853

Maureen M Leadbeater
surname * given name

Gold diggers from South Australia who brought or sent their gold home from the Victorian goldfields including those who deposited gold at the SA Gold Assay Office in February 1852, the consignors and consignees associated with the first three mounted police escorts, and those who lost their receipts or failed to claim their gold by 29 October 1853. The gold was consigned to "self" unless otherwise stated. Records of the later gold escorts have not survived.

Gold in South Australia's early days

Abstract: Some gold was found in South Australia in small mines dotted across the landscape. But the majority of the colony's gold came over the border from the Victorian goldfields, some by ship, some with mounted police escorts.

From the earliest days of the colony men including Johannes Menge, the geologist with the South Australian Company, had been seeking gold. "... armed with miner's pick, numberless explorers are to be found prying into the depths of the valleys or climbing the mountain tops. No place is too remote ..." In January 1846 the first recognised find in the colony was at Castambul, north-east of Adelaide, by Mr Tyrrell, the captain of the Montacute Copper Mine. This predates the New South Wales discovery of gold by John Lister and the Tom brothers in 1851 for which Hargraves received a reward.

The Castambul discovery was the first goldmine worked in Australia. Some of the gold was made into a brooch sent to Queen Victoria and samples were displayed at the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in 1851. The site on Batchelor Road is now heritage-listed.

Gold was found in California in 1849. The South Australian Immigration Agent reported that 588 men had sailed for California in the first three months of 1850 and several vessels planned to sail. (In the same period 377 immigrants had arrived from Germany.) Advertisements appeared in the Register newspaper for ships sailing to "San Francisco, the new Gold Country." One so-called roomy brig had cabins for £30 and steerage £12 with berths six feet square for four adults or 6' x 3'6" for married couples. Once these gold diggers returned they began searching for gold in Australia.

The discovery of NSW gold renewed the eagerness of South Australians to seek gold in their own colony. The newspapers of the day recorded find after find, boast after boast. Many finds amounted to nothing or little. Some of the gold had been planted to entice the unwary. In the papers in August 1851, amongst the news of the wreck of the Marion on Troubridge Shoal, the Great Exhibition in London and the Yatala Election, were "Hints to Gold Seekers" and advertisements of shipping to Sydney for the "Ophir Diggings."

Then small announcements began appearing in the newspaper that gold was found in Victoria. Some reports were favourable, others cautious. "Great undivided successes occurring side by side with very numerous cases of ill fortune, amounting to ruin," said one. There were advertisements for ships sailing to Victoria and offers for sale of washing sieves, water pails, cooking kettles, tents, serge shirts, guernseys, kerseys, blankets, and kiln-dried biscuits.

All this had a huge impact on South Australia. Men walked off farms and there were too few to harvest the crops. Shepherds abandoned their flocks. Crews deserted the ships in harbour. Shop-keepers and merchants closed their doors. Government employees were dismissed. The police force was reduced. Newspapers closed. The Kapunda and Burra copper mines were forced to reduce the number of their workers. Kapunda kept only four men maintaining the pumps to prevent the mine from flooding. The Burra mine workforce fell from 1,000 to 100.

With men heading to Victoria by ship, horse, dray or on foot, those with money in the bank each withdrew £10-£12 to purchase supplies of food, tents, shovels, picks and other mining equipment. They would also have to pay the licence fee of 30/- per month. The average wages had been 6/- a day for blacksmiths and bricklayers, 4/- a day for labourers, but by the end of the year labourers at Port Adelaide were earning 10/-.

Some men raised money by selling their goods. Family residences and public houses were to let. An advertisement: "... Arthur Fox is instructed to sell a large quantity of furniture, blankets, wearing apparel, clocks, books, culinary utensils, carpenters' tools, crockery, etc, etc, the property of different persons shipping for Melbourne."
And another: "... off to the Glittering Regions, in consequence S Bottomley has received peremptory instructions from Mr H Tingay to sell on the premises Eliza Street, back of the Theatre, the dwelling house, shop and land there situate. After which, a roan mare four year old, first rate in saddle and harness with spring cart and good set of harness."

Frederick Sinnett wrote in his account of the colony of South Australia "Shipload after shipload of male emigrants continued to leave the Port ... while thousands more walked or drove their teams overland." Extra police were stationed at Wellington to intercept horses stolen by men taking an easy way to the diggings. Vehicles offered to carry baggage at 10/- per person. The usual cost of a ship's passage to Melbourne was £5 cabin or £2/10/- steerage. However a second class cabin to Melbourne on the steamship Cleopatra, commanded by Francis Cadell and the fastest ship to have arrived from England, cost £9/14/-.

The Bullion Act

In just a few months South Australia was in financial trouble. The colony's supply of coin was depleted. Even if returning miners brought their gold back, they could not sell it or buy goods in shops. After a request from the manager of the Bank of SA, George Tinline, and much discussion, the government passed the Bullion Act in January 1852. This allowed uncoined gold to be assayed by the government, reduced to ingots and stamped to denote weight and quality. These ingots could then be received by the banks at a set price as legal tender. An Assay Office was set up in Adelaide in February and the price set at £3/11/- per ounce, higher than the Melbourne price of £2/15/-. Those who took the risk of selling their gold in England were paid £3/17/10½. Over 2,910 ounces of gold were deposited in the Adelaide Assay Office on 10 February 1852.

The Police Commissioner, Alexander Tolmer, was a flamboyant character. Born in England of French refugee parents, he fought with the cavalry in Portugal and was decorated. He has been described as "A good leader, capable of inspiring great devotion, he was also hasty tempered, petty and suspicious, especially under criticism." He was often involved in disputes, but many of his ideas were worthy ones. Tolmer offered to provide a mounted police escort to bring back gold sent by the miners to their families. The government accepted his suggestion and regular escorts were established.

The usual route to Victoria had followed the main route to the South-East settlements. For some years the mail had been carried by police troopers across the River Murray at Wellington, along the Coorong to Mosquito Plains (Naracoorte) and Mount Gambier. From there the gold seekers could travel to Portland, then northwards to the goldfields. Another route via North West Bend followed the River Murray upstream to Swan Hill until they were only about 60 miles from the goldfields.

The Gold Escort Route

Both of these routes were too long, some 500-600 miles, but a more direct route of 360 miles lacked permanent water supplies. On 28 January 1852 the Deputy Surveyor General, John McLaren and his team of sappers and miners were sent by the government to survey and clear a shorter route, suitable for drays and carts, to Mount Alexander where the majority of South Australians were digging. McLaren and his men had been instructed to dig wells every 12 miles.

Alexander Tolmer set out along the proposed route on 10 February with one trooper and a packhorse. Tolmer noted a huge increase in traffic on the Wellington ferry over the River Murray. He said "I found that in the month just past more than 1,200 people had crossed the river on it, as well as many horses and bullocks, and 164 carriages." Tolmer passed McLaren's survey party near Binnie's Lookout & continued on to Victoria. Meanwhile a spring cart driven by Constable Rowe was sent along the south-east route via Portland, collecting troopers along the way, including Sergeant Lamb from Mosquito Plains and Corporal Moulton from Mount Gambier. This party arrived at Forest Creek near Mount Alexander several days after Tolmer who immediately on arrival had announced the escort service. He was overwhelmed by miners wanting to send parcels of gold and letters back to their families in South Australia. Within a few days Tolmer and his men set out for Adelaide with 5,199 ounces worth £18,456/9/-.

When he arrived in Adelaide on 19 March, the streets were lined with cheering crowds as the escort made its way to the Treasury building. The Register reported as follows, "Glorious News... Many an anxious eye was yesterday averted from the noontide meal towards the point at which the Great Eastern Road issues from the picturesque Mount Lofty Ranges, and many a palpitating heart was gladdened, when the sight of an approaching cavalcade gave assurance that the gallant Captain Tolmer had not only accomplished, but even anticipated the time of his promised event." He not only delivered a quarter of a ton of gold to the vault in the Treasury, but he also brought 400 letters from gold diggers to their families.

On production of their receipt and payment of escort fees, the consignees could collect their gold, take it to the bank and be paid. However the Savings Bank Act only permitted deposits of £30 per year. This was increased to £100 in November 1852.

Meanwhile 1,600 diggers at Mount Alexander signed a petition asking the government to continue the gold escort and mail service. A further 17 gold escorts followed at roughly 4-6 week intervals. With stronger carts and more troopers, they were able to transport larger amounts of gold, almost 44,000 oz on the eighth escort. Troopers were recruited, tenders were called for suitable horses, spring carts, sets of harness, hobbles and other equipment. "Horses - broken in to saddle, 15-16 hands high, 4-6 years old and in good condition." Owing to the arduous duty, insufficient equipment and heavy expenses, there was a high turnover of mounted police. Many only served on one escort. The names of some of the troopers have been listed in an appendix to Blake's book Gold Escort but the complete list is not known. [Also see the searchable database of SA police including gold escort troopers.]

There was no single Gold Escort route. The track wound its way across country according to the season and weather. In winter the flat mallee country could be boggy, in other places the sandy soil made hard going. There were multiple routes in the Victorian section. The general route was through Mount Barker and Langhorne's Creek to the Wellington ferry. Cook's Sheep Station, Perkindoo, Hawk's Nest, Binnie's Lookout, Reedy Well, Limestone Well and Two Wells. Near Monster Mount (near present-day Keith) there were at least two routes. On to Kongal Spring, Scott's Head Station (Cannawigara), and Scott's Woolshed. The latter was set up as a staging post where horses and men could be rested. Later this cluster of slab huts grew up to become Bordertown. Over the border they travelled either side of Mount Elgin. Beyond Mount Arapiles they followed the Wimmera River to Horsham village, Glenorchy, around the Pyrenees to Amherst, on to the Loddon and Mount Alexander. In May 1853 Inspector Rose chose to return via Tilley's Swamp and along the Coorong.

Records from the first three gold escorts have survived and are held by State Records of South Australia. The actual receipts from the first escort have been preserved. Signed by Tolmer they recorded the date, the name of the gold digger and the weight of gold in his parcel. The receipts were signed on the back by the consignee in Adelaide. The first escort consignees received an average of £58. For the next two escorts the information was copied into a ledger and each entry is signed by the person who collected the gold.

During 1853 the quantity of gold being sent to South Australia dropped, even though the charge had been reduced to sixpence an ounce. It was decided that the escort of December 1853 led by Inspector Wyndham would be the last. The government arranged for the gold to be sent via the Victorian gold escort service to Melbourne. It was then shipped by the Bank of Victoria to the Bank of South Australia and delivered on payment of the charge of sixpence per ounce.

Enterprising South Australian merchants and farmers benefited by sending their goods, such as foodstuffs and prefabricated wooden huts, to the Victorian goldfields. The Register reported "Overland traffic. Among the spirited traders, is a Mr Dodd of Clarendon, who has despatched six drays, laden with flour, bacon, hams, etc." In July 1852, a report from Mount Alexander stated that flour was selling at £18-20 per bag, hams 4/-, sugar (very dark) 1/3 to 1/6. The report went on to list bacon, cheese, potatoes, rice, oats, candles and shoes. "Small skinny sheep are sold in quarters at the rate of 16/- each... Fortunately, tea, the only beverage obtainable here, except muddy water, is very reasonable 3/- to 3/6 per lb ... Salt is as dear, at some places more costly than sugar." Some goods were shipped by steamer up the River Murray. For five years South Australia was an important supplier to the Victorian market.

Destitute Families

By March 1852 it was claimed that one-third of the males in South Australia had left for Victoria. Not all were successful. One report from Mount Alexander suggested that "the average rate at the diggings is five making their fortune, 45 making good wages, and 50 starving out of every 100." Some diggers were returning with their gold by ship. By May 1852 the arrivals exceeded the departures and in June eleven ships arrived at Port Adelaide bringing 687 passengers. Pike says "South Australians paid at least 36,000 visits to Victoria in the first three years of the diggings, one in seven by sea, and there were at least 27,000 return journeys." Many men remained on the goldfields, moving on from gully to gully in search of their lucky break. Others had to take up employment in Melbourne as they had no money to return to South Australia.

At first the deserted families were left to fend for themselves as the Destitute Relief Board announced in October 1851 that it would not maintain wives and families of men who had left for the diggings. But the following year the board moderated their attitude, as they could not enforce the Maintenance Act outside the colony of SA. Some families received outdoor relief. In 1855 M A Broadbent was claiming relief for herself and one child as "her husband went to the diggings with a threat never to return." He was still absent 6 months later. M A Gail was left at the diggings by her husband. When she came to Adelaide seeking him, she found he had returned to the diggings. In 1856 Mrs Honey sought relief as her husband had been away 15 months. She had 4 children.

Throughout the SA Police Gazettes are listings of deserters and missing persons:
1869 George Rowland - Deserted wife. Supposed gone to Barossa goldfields
1870 William Hodge - Missing. Left Port Adelaide August 1868 for Queensland diggings. May have then gone to New Zealand
1877 John & Murty O'Sullivan - Missing. Left Adelaide 1851-52 for Victorian gold diggings. Last heard of about 7 years ago, when John was at Greymouth, New Zealand and Murty at Fish River, Oboun, New South Wales
1888 James Butterley - Missing. Came from Melbourne 18 months ago for Teetulpa goldfields. Supposed gone to the Barrier
"Last heard of at Echunga goldfields 2 years ago." "Left for Gympie diggings." "Supposed he went to Victorian goldfields." "Last heard of at Charters Towers gold diggings." And so on and on.
These and the above destitute women are samples from the database Persons Lost & Found.

Unclaimed Gold

During 1852-53 the SA Government Gazettes published the names of those who had sent gold to South Australia but had lost their receipts. Some men were robbed or mislaid their receipts, others may have died. Mark Sullivan, master mariner, was robbed in the streets of Melbourne on 28 August of a gold escort deposit receipt for a parcel of gold containing 108 oz. Arthur Hiscock died on passage from Melbourne on board Candahar - his receipt was for 27 oz. By October 1853 further lists noted those who had failed to collect their gold. After due notice these uncollected parcels of gold were melted into ingots. These were sold after two years and the proceeds, less rent and escort dues, were paid into Treasury from where the value could be claimed. No gold actually remained in the Treasury. [These names, together with those of the consignors and consignees of the first three gold escorts, and some pre-escort depositors are included in this database].

Thirty years later there remained eight men who had failed to collect their gold worth a total of £239/16/11:
Robert Hoad, £32/2/-
James Moore, £43/10/9
John Ware, £47/19/9
Thomas Cornelius, £45/2/-
Mathew Lennon, £22/16/4
George Wilesmith, £21/18/4
J J Thomas, £4/13/6
Charles Clinton, £21/14/3

These names were noted in a Parliamentary Paper in 1883 which also recorded the amount and value of gold brought overland by the escorts. "The value of the 328,509 ozs 19 dwts of gold, at £3 11s per oz, would be £1,166,210 6s 6d." It has been estimated that this was 65% of the total Victorian gold brought into South Australia. Obviously other gold diggers carried their gold with them in saddlebags or money belts as they returned home. After the first escort a charge of 1/4 per ounce was made and these escort fees brought the government over £19,400.

Chinese Diggers

In 1855 Victoria introduced a landing fee of £10 to curb the numbers of Chinese arriving. Over the next two years, to avoid this, ships landed the Chinese at Port Adelaide and Guichen Bay (Robe). From there the Chinese made their way on foot to the Victorian goldfields. Not all went to Victoria, some walked to the copper mine at Burra. Again South Australia benefited. On arrival the Chinese hired guides and purchased supplies - food, tents, shovels, mining cradles, etc, thus helping South Australia's economy. Many thousands landed at Port Adelaide. Some 45 ships landed more than 20,000 Chinese at Robe. Lieutenant Saunders and 25 men from the 12th Regiment of Foot were sent to Robe to control the influx. The Chinese endured overcrowding on the ships, the handicap of being landed miles from their goal, and danger. Three of their ships were wrecked in Guichen Bay, Duilius, Phaeton and Sultana. However all passengers landed safely. Encouraged by Victoria, the South Australia government later imposed a poll tax on Chinese and limited the number and proportion of Chinese on board. Soon the streets of Robe were deserted.

South Australia's Goldfields

In November 1851, a group of citizens, among them Faulding, Elder, Hanson, O'Halloran, Solomon, Paxton and Levi, had begun a private subscription list for the discovery of a South Australian goldfield. The following month the South Australian government, in an attempt to stem the exodus to Victoria, had offered a reward of £1,000 to the first to discover a payable gold mine in South Australia. The first gold mining regulations were proclaimed in the Government Gazette of 1 January 1852. The 30/- gold licence allowed the holder to dig, search for and remove alluvial gold from a 20-foot square allotment on Crown Land. The licence lapsed if they failed to work the ground within ten days.

Echunga Goldfields

William Chapman, having gained mining experience in Victoria, returned to his father's farm at Echunga and searched the area. In early 1852 with mates Thomas Hardiman and Henry Hampton, he found payable gold. Within a few days 80 licences were issued. Within seven weeks Chapman's Gully had 600 people including women and children. Soon there were blacksmiths, butchers and bakers to provide the gold diggers' needs. There were 130 tents and also wattle-and-daub huts erected. These temporary dwellings incurred a monthly fee of 30/- for the use of the land. Three police constables were appointed to maintain order and to assist the Gold Commissioner.

It was estimated by the shopkeepers and diggers that £18,000 worth of gold had been found. Chapman applied for the reward but was refused as there was no proof that the required £10,000 had been raised within two months. Following a petition to the Legislative Council, Chapman, Hardiman and Hampton received £500, half of the offered reward.

By August 1852 there were less than 100 gold diggers and the police presence was reduced to two troopers. By December the field was almost deserted. There were further finds in Chapel Hill and Long Gully. In 1868 the Echunga fields were revived with gold being found at Jupiter Creek by Thomas Plane and Henry Saunders. They received rewards of £300 and £200 respectively. Jupiter Creek was worked for three years. The Echunga goldfields were South Australia's most productive. By 1900 the estimated production was 6,000 kg (compared with 1 kg from the Castambul mine).

Barossa Mine

In 1868 Job Harris and partners found gold in Spike Gully near the South Para River, west of Williamstown. This was unsold Crown Land and was proclaimed an official goldfield with a warden appointed. On the second day there were 40 gold seekers, 1,000 within a week and, within a month, 4,000 licensed and 1,000 unlicensed diggers. The towns of Barossa in Spike Gully and Victoria on Victoria Hill were established nearby with up to 6,000 people at their peak. Royce Wells mentions a third town near the South Para River but does not name it. By the following year the town of Barossa had 7 general stores, 7 hotels, 3 blacksmiths, 3 butchers, 2 bakers, 2 shoemakers, wine shops, a school, church, post office and an institute. Victoria was deserted within a few years but its church survived for almost 100 years.

Life on the emerging goldfield was hard. The diggers worked long hours, six days a week. If they weren't digging in narrow shafts and low tunnels, they were standing beside creeks washing the pay-dirt with pans or cradles. Regulations did not permit mining on Sundays. At night the men filled the grog shops and public houses. There were disputes over claims, gambling, fights, brawls and even murders. Police troopers were kept busy. The institute, a small building of 30 x 15 feet, was the centre for meetings, concerts, dinners and other social activities. It was used as a church and school until those buildings were erected. Conditions were particularly hard for women; living in tents or shanties, with primitive and unhygienic cooking facilities, impractical clothing, dust and heat or mud and rain, flies. They would be concerned for their children wandering and falling down mine shafts.

Alluvial gold was easily recovered when the gold was in high concentration. But as the alluvial was worked out, companies were formed to extract the gold from the ore with crushers and a mercury process. By 1870 only 50 people remained, although the town of Barossa lasted until the 1950s.

Prospectors searched the Adelaide Hills. News of a new discovery would set off another rush. Gold was found at many places including Balhannah, Forest Range, Birdwood, Para Wirra, Mount Pleasant and Woodside. South of the Barossa goldfield, the Lady Alice Mine in Hamlin Gully, discovered in 1871 by James Goddard, was the first South Australian gold mine to pay a dividend.

In 1878 a SA Parliamentary Paper recorded land reserved for the search of gold in the Hundreds of Para Wirra, Talunga, Barossa, Yatala, Onkaparinga, Noarlunga and Kuitpo. Among them was an area two miles north-east of Cherry Gardens and another one mile south of Golden Grove.


As settlers took up land further north, so more gold fields were discovered. Ulooloo in 1870, Waukaringa in 1873, Teetulpa in 1886, Wadnaminga in 1888 and Tarcoola in 1893. The discoveries at Teetulpa, 7 miles north of Yunta, by Thomas Brady and Thomas Smith resulted in several pages of reports and maps in the Observer newspaper. Extra carriages were attached to trains to cope with the rush. More men joined as the train passed through Gawler, Hamley Bridge and Burra. Some trains were late due to the number of passengers and quantity of luggage. A Special Correspondent from Petersburg reported that "All sorts of people are going - from lawyers to larrikins ... Yesterday's train from Adelaide brought a contingent of over 150 ... Many arrived in open trucks ... Local ironmongers and drapers were busy fitting out intending diggers with tents, picks, shovels, rugs, moleskins, etc."

Within two months 5,000 men were busy working the field. They were hindered by lack of water. At first they carted the ore 2 miles to Tonkin's Well; later water was pumped to tanks on the goldfields. Teetulpa lasted about ten years. For a time it had shops, bank, hotel, hospital, church and even a newspaper. The largest nugget found weighed 1 kg which was the total amount of gold found at the Victoria mine at Castambul in 1846. Blake mentions a fortnightly escort of police troopers from Teetulpa in the 1880s, but I have found no other reference to this.

Western Australia

It was one of the Teetulpa diggers who discovered gold at Kalgoorlie. Paddy Hannan had been at Ballarat in the 1860s, in Otago, New Zealand in the 1870s and at Teetulpa in 1886, before travelling to WA three years later. Although gold was first found in WA earlier, it was the finds at Coolgardie in 1892 and Kalgoorlie the following year that affected SA. Many South Australians left the colony in a time of drought and depression to try their luck.

As in SA, once the alluvial gold was worked out in WA, companies were formed to mine the gold reefs. George Brookman in 1893 formed a syndicate of South Australians to send two prospectors to Western Australia. Money from the rich claims that they pegged at Kalgoorlie, was sent back to South Australia. Other money flowed to South Australia from goods sent to the goldfields. Campbell Deland, who began working in a bakery in Kalgoorlie, wrote letters to his family in Gawler, requesting chaff, flour, eggs and other goods be sent, because "about the only things WA can produce well are Hay, Fruits and Timber." He recommended that no more than 100 dozen eggs be packed in bran in a well-labelled cask. He could sell eggs as soon as they arrived for up to 3/- a dozen, even 2-3 weeks old. He wrote "lots of the things ... are sold for 2, 3, 4 & 5 times the price that you pay for them [in Gawler]."


Some men did take the opportunity to avoid their responsibilities, often leaving their wives and families destitute. Many labourers returned to take up land in the mid and late 1850s as a result of successful goldfields visits. Sales of Crown Land in South Australia rose to £98,000 in 1852, £291,000 in 1853 and £383,000 in 1854. Others took up shops, hotels and other businesses.

The total amount of gold found in South Australia was only ¼% of the total gold found in Australia. The major impact on South Australia was from the Victorian gold, while the gold mines of South Australia had a lesser but continuing effect. Most of the South Australian mines continued to produce small amounts of gold for many years. Even the Moonta and Wallaroo mines produced 1½ tonnes of gold as a by-product. During the Great Depression many men fossicked around the old fields - Echunga was one of those that had a brief revival.

Tracks of the gold escort were still visible near Cooke Plains in 1913. Little remains of the presence of the Chinese - some Chinese coins have been found near Robe. Farmers, merchants and shopkeepers benefited by suppling food and other goods to the Victorian goldfields. The interstate finds encouraged men to seek out the South Australian gold mines and reefs. It was the industry of South Australians who returned with their gold that set the colony back on its feet.

The hope of gold was shared by every man and every man had the opportunity to improve his standard of living.

Newspaper advertisements

A sample of the newspaper advertisements in January 1852 to attract the attention of gold seekers:

Superior cradles for gold washing at prices within reach of all parties going to the diggings

The undersigned is prepared to give highest price in goods at Wholesale Prices for any quantity of gold dust, gold and silver bullion

Best opportunity for Melbourne. Will positively sail on Tues 6th Jan. The fine first class barque Sea Queen, 450 tons regular, R J Wood commander, has excellent accommodation for cabin, intermediate or steerage passengers, being thoroughly ventilated; and is the only comfortable craft now offering all parties proceeding to the Victorian goldfields. Apply to the Captain on board

For Victoria Goldfields - The undermentioned packets will leave during the next eight days:-
The Amalia Captain Fand on Wed 7th,
Sea Queen Capt Wood on Tues 8th,
Unknown Capt Adams on Fri 9th,
Louisa Capt Douglas Mon 12th

The fine fast-sailing schooner Unknown, Capt Adams, is now ready to receive cargo at the Queen's Wharf, and will take a limited number of male passengers only, who must be on board on Fri 9th inst. For terms, apply on board.

Important to persons leaving for the gold diggings, if you wish to preserve a good state of health, provide yourself with a few boxes of Dr Graham's antibilious and digestive pills, the only medicine in the colony which can be taken with perfect safety to travellers or with certainty as to its beneficial results.

Gold for England. The fast sailing clipper built ship Benjamin Elkin will sail for London on 16th inst and will receive gold on freight payable in England on the following terms - under 100 oz 1½%, over 100 oz 1%

Gold seekers recommended to carry Carlton's baking powder by use of which a good loaf may be made as quickly as damper

Diggers! Diggers! Diggers!
Farewell Spree tonight at the City Bridge Hotel.
Mr Wilkins acquaints his friends that several of 'the Right Sort' who are just
'off to the diggings' will meet this evening at his house for a parting jollification.
Mr W. hopes that some of his merry acquaintances will join the jovial party and make 'a night of it'.
Mr C Walsh will sing in character 'Billy Barlow's Farewell on going to the Diggings'
(written especially for the occasion), accompanied by Old Joe on the pianoforte.
Don't miss this last Happy Meeting

Officers employed by Government Assay Office, June 1852

(including position and annual salary)

BABBAGE R H [Benjamin Herschel] (General Superintendent) £500
DAVY E [Edward] (Assayer) £333
HAMOND O [HAMMOND Octavius?] (Assistant Assayer) £200
JONES E T (Assistant Assayer) £200
HAMILTON G E [George Ernest?] (Superintending Smelter) £200
BABBAGE D [Dugald Bromhead?] (Superintending Smelter) £200
ALSOP J [John?] (Smelter) £175
VIVIAN S C [Samuel Coade?] (Smelter) £150
HAMILTON E A (Smelter) £150
ALLAN W J (Smelter) £100
COOPER G O [George Oxenbould?] (Laboratory Assistant) £100
BADDILEY A G [Augustus George?] (Laboratory Assistant & Weighing Clerk) £120
PAYNE Joshua (Die sinker & Stamper) £175
TURTON Eliel (Assistant Die Sinker & Stamper) £100
SHAWYER J T [John Thomas?] (Assistant Die Sinker & Stamper) £100
SMITH James (Bookkeeper) £200
GILBERT W B [William Barlow?] (Secretary) £150
DOSWELL C M [Charles Matthews?] (Bullion Clerk) £150
MITCHELL W (Weighing Clerk) £120
WARREN W (Weighing Clerk) £120
GRAY E W [Edward William?] (Weighing Clerk) £120
LIGHT Arnold (Weighing Clerk) £120
CUMMING James (Weighing Clerk) £120
CARTER W B [William Bacon?] (Weighing Clerk) £120
BALDOCK C G (Weighing Clerk) £120
AINSWORTH A B [Alfred Bower?] (Weighing Clerk) £120
BARRATT Thomas (Labourer) 6/- per day
BLAKE George (Labourer) 5/- per day
MILTON James (Messenger) £40


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SA Acts of Parliament
SA Parliamentary Papers
Discovery of gold in Australia, British Parliamentary blue books 1852-7


State Records of South Australia, GRG 45/43 and GRG 5/30

Searchable database of SA police including gold escort troopers
South Australian history timeline