Bentleys hotel destroyed1854 land stolen by the victorian government

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Here is the true story of my ancestors, The Bentley's Hotel at the Ballarat East goldfield which were attacked and burnt by a mob of 4000 gold diggers because of British colonial government high tax …

Here is the true story of my ancestors, The Bentley's Hotel at the Ballarat East goldfield which were attacked and burnt by a mob of 4000 gold diggers because of British colonial government high tax fees as licenses per person who were also badly treated by the Police on the field. Opposition to these harsh laws and taxes began to boil over at the Eureka gold camps which on the 3rd December 1854 with the Army & the Police attack on the Eureka Stockade with 38 gold digger rebels killed at dawn that day! The British government and its Parliament still owes me as the Bentley's heir at law 13 Million pounds compensations and interest accruing since the 17 th October 1854 due to frauds in their Parliament of Victoria whilst it was a Colony of Britain that saw my ancestors left destitute and penniless ! Have a good read dear friends as these matters are still current ?

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  • 1. Skip Nav Bentley. Robert. Mithdat. Robert. Eugeine. webmasterhp. secretary. Editor. ByronB. admin. scienceeditor. bud. Lannigan. Hanrahan. Anderson. Mary. public. History. familynews. James. Fran. Maurice. Frederick. Reporter. newsreport. Some cascading stylesheet layout features on this page requires a browser that supports JavaScript™. Your browser either does not support JavaScript, or your browser preferences are set to disable JavaScript™. To use the JavaScript™ features of this page, enable JavaScript™ support in your browser's preferences or upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Firefox, Mozilla or Netscape. About : Access : Copyright : 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7: Editorial : History : Home : Legal : Links : Movies : Novels : Phone : Pictures : Psychology : Publishing : Religion : Science : Search : Services : SiteMap : Eureka Stockade Incident Saga 1854-2008 Contact Andrew O'Crowley. Andrew's Myspace profile. The author. Created 2nd July 2006. Updated 17th June 2008. Printing Style. O'Crowley Coat of Arms The seizure wanton destruction and illegal sale of Bentley's Hotel ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Bentley's Hotel burnt to the ground at Eureka Caveat Ballarat Real Estate Main Road Bentley Hotel site Seizure Police seizure of the Eureka Hotel James Bentley Declared Insane after the Eureka Hotel was destroyed Financial Compensation except for Catherine Bentley Ballarat Real Estate Property sold without a valid legal title Manslaughter not an Escheatable offence Escheatment not applicable to remove Bentley's title Indolent Military allowed the Hotel to burn James Francis Bentley 1818 - 1873 Victoria a Third World State No respect for law in Victoria British land titles Pre-emptive real estate titles not recognised Catherine Bentley's Petition to EPS Sturt for Compensation. Notification. Ballarat Council and Victorian Parliament Human Rights Appeals Property law case precedents. The Pretzil case. The legal Claims for Compensation. Injustices wrought on James Bentley ● ● Motive Sunday trading motivation to harm the Bentleys The conspiracy against Bentley
  • 2. ● ● ● ● ● James Scobie How could it be Scobie who was killed? The Eureka Stockade Battle The charge by soldiers at the miners The Eureka Trials Trial for murder but a manslaughter conviction The Petition for James Bentley to be released The Question Who was killed? Eureka Stockade Resources and Student questions ● ● ● ● Student History Questions Heretic Eureka Pages Other Heretic Press Eureka Pages Eureka Stockade webpages Hardcopy References books Australian became a country separate from Britain in 1901 by an Enabling Act of the British Parliament. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK). The Bentley Sarga predates the formation of Australia as a country, when Victoria was another British colony. All images below are scans of original crown documents or letters regarding this case which pre-dates the formation of Australia. Images are have not been altered with or tampered with in any way, though some have been enhanced in Photoshop™ with unsharp mask and despeckle filters to improve legibility. All pictures and images are © Andrew O'Crowley and Heretic Press 2008. The Victorian government has not honoured their contractual, moral, ethical or civil duty of care to compensate victims of negligent, reckless or other much worse crown "errors" by Police and Victorian MPs) which ultimately drove an industrious English man, James Bentley to the point of suicide on the steps of the Victorian parliament. The Victorian government has not compensated his wife Catherine Bentley for the illegal acquisition of her land and the destruction of her profitable business, the most substantial building in Ballarat in 1854, the Eureka Hotel. If you were going to pick a scapegoat in early Australian colonial times, under the political circumstances of Irish complaints about English rules and disagreements among the miners themselves, an Englishman would be ideal. The Bentley family property and Real Estate was illegally seized in 1854. Ballarat in 1854 was a tent city A town map of Ballarat in 1854 © Andrew O'Crowley and Heretic Press 2008. By April 1854 some miners were building log huts to survive the Ballarat winters. In May 1854 Catherine and James Bentley started building an "imposing" Hotel, a grand building covering half-an-acre in a city mainly then composed of tents. It could sleep about 80 people, had a bowling alley, three bars, a billiards room and a Bagatelle room with two large Waterford crystal chandeliers. Catherine Bentley was never compensated for the taking of her Real Estate by Victoria Police. Image and authoring Credits: Andrew's painting shows the Eureka Hotel (Known as Bentley's Hotel) on Eureka Street. Bendigo Street is on the left. To the right of the Hotel is the Bowling Alley, Linquist's Livery Stables, the Bowling Salon, the tents on the Eureka Lead Camp and Mt. Warrenheip is in the right background. All rights reserved and © Copyright
  • 3. A.L. O'Crowley 2006. Andrew's painting is faithful to The Bentley's ground floor plan immediate below of 1854 below which shows the three upstairs windows. The Sovereign Hill re-creation of the Eureka Hotel was made from an inaccurate and unauthorized copying of the floor plans without consulting the Bentley family descendants. It has one too many first floor windows in the fire scene shown below. The Doubiet painting of the Eureka Hotel in flames more accurately depicts the three upper story bay windows. The Sovereign Hill photo is courtesy of and © Andrew O'Crowley and Heretic Press 2008. The ground plans were drawn up by James Bentley for Catherine Bentley his wife in 1854 in early July prior to obtaining the pre emptive leasehold from the Crown. They accompanied Catherine Bentley's application to Crown lands and survey at Geelong and were then sent on to Melbourne treasury and lands office with the fees charged at the time with the preemptive title as signed sealed and delivered to the Crown who returned a copy to Catherine. When James was re-arrested after his first acquittal, Catherine wrote this on the back of the Eureka Hotel floor plans. "James was honorably acquitted when tried at Ballarat. He was rearrested and tried in Melbourne and got three years. That was illegal to be tried twice for the same offence." Those plans were also used later in 1854 in the application lodgement for compensation in the EPS Sturt sittings at Ballarat as lodged by her solicitors Curwin Walkers and Co of Ballarat central who sent them to the Crown to request repayment for her and her young families losses referring to her young male heir son Thomas Bentley. The young boy was the first born male and as such she Catherine could as his carer retain all assets owned by him until he turned the age of 21 years in law. The child Thomas was in legal fact "the real owner heir and fully entitled claimant by law" to all and any compensation due. And then the mother was entitled to 25 percentum until he turned legal age as an adult. Sturt had said in his findings that the Crown whom he acted for would not pay any claims of Bentley referring to James Bentley. He did not know that Thomas their son was in fact legally entitled to have been fully paid in accordance to the rule of the Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill of 1838 as used as first precedence in the payment to all certain sufferers who lost their properties in the Bentley's Hotel riots that day as caused by the police and the military as it was admitted by Sturt in those findings to which he sent to Sir Charles Hotham. However those findings were in error by omission of the son Thomas Bentley's rights in that he too was a legally entitled claimant at the age of one year! Evelyn Sturt in november 15 at Ballarat sittings of compensation deliberations for reparations had in-fact ruled out nay consideration of James Bentley's claim for compensation, not the claims of his son Thomas. Sturt erred in law to refer to James Bentley as "the convict" on that date of the 15th well prior to his conviction and sentencing in melbourne on the 18th for manslaughter. E.P.S.Sturt therefore had prejudged James ( and Catherine Bentley ) in a legal decision before the trial. Sturt erred on the 18th by the wrongful presumption of guilt of the Bentley's in the matter of the death of the alleged James Scobie in October of that year! The Melbourne trials were tainted before they started because of Sturt's findings and prejudgments in that case in attaching blame to the Bentley's as the cause of the death of Scobie. Therefore those compensation decisions are legality wrong to make an "estoppel" over the Bentley's claims. It was illegal of Sturt, the Crown and State and it's Parliament even today to deny the son Thomas Bentley those compensations and accrued funds due and owing by the Crown since 1854. Sturt's pre-judgements of the Bentley's breach the 1688 King William of Orange Constitution Item 10. It is illegal for the Crown or it's courts and Parliament to prejudge and jail a person prior to conviction. Sturt's references to James ("as the convict") and Catherine at the sittings of inquiry at Ballarat on the 15th November makes the Crown
  • 4. legally liable for compensation to Bentley's son Thomas automatic under the Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill 1838/54. His claim rights stands, even to Andrew O'Crowley today to recover all that is owing as a debt on discovery 2004/7! That the legal precedent on this goes back to the Bristol riots in 1654 where a Hotel and inn was attacked and burnt due to public indignations of Parliamentary and government Crown policies because of oppressive laws in taxation across England. And The Bristol riots were the parent laws of the Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill of 1838/54 inc. here under E.P.S.Sturt as the citation precedent and payment mechanism of those certain sufferers who qualified like young Thomas Bentley did in 1854. The entitlement to Thomas should have been paid by the Crown, and are therefore accruing to his deceased estate which must be paid by the Victorian government. Because that small boy only died as late as 1915 within the Victorian Statehood era, the Premiers Steven Bracks and now John Brumby and the Parliament are presently in debt to Andrew O'Crowley to the tune of $19 million dollars. The Crown over looked the fact that a male heir child was the rightful owner and claimant in 1854. James Bentley was not the owner of the hotel or properties. nor was his mother but that innocent little boy was in British law! Catherine was the care giver and legal care taker for the child's estate so Premier Brumby and the Victorian Parliament now owe Andrew O'Crowley his heir and descendant $19 million dollars as a legal current debt to the heirs of the late Thomas Bentley who died in 1915. Return to top of page Caveat on Bentley Hotel site land Weston Bate in Lucky City at page 138 wrote of JB Humffray who conducted the 1859 land sales that due to financial pressure from relatives he "turned to sly-dealing in forfeited crown land". Catherine Bentley's land was illegally disposed in these 1958 sales by Humffray, but her lands were not forfeited crown land, nor were they legally escheated crown lands. The original newspaper reports of these illegal sales are contained in; The Age Newspaper 1862 (31st January 19th, 28th March and 22nd and 24th September 1862), The Victorian Government Gazette 1861 Vol 2. page 2352 and The Ballarat Star newspaper, 3rd Aug 1867 page 3 and 13th May 1871 at page 9. This first scan on the left is of the original title document signed by Catherine Bentley. The second scan on the right is the Ballarat Crown Land survey of 1854 which provides further evidence of the Eureka Hotel site land title. Though Catherine is long ago deceased, she conferred property and real estate rights on her one year old son and heirs, the right of Catherine Bentley's heirs and descendants to redeem their lease has not been expunged by illegal sales, occupations and possessions since 1854. The Crown or State of Victoria should compensate these occupiers on Bentley's lands today, as these lands were not Crown escheated taken away from her (or her son Thomas) in the early stages during their Supreme Court trials held in Melbourne back in 1854. The day of the riot on the 17th of October all of their private real estate, property and buildings and chattels on the surface of that land was illegally seized by the Police for the Government. In fact Catherine was still the pre-emptive owner until she died in 1906 through her son when he had turned 21 in 1874. Their ownership was illegally divested by Humffray and Smith in 1859 at that illegal auction. The current occupiers in 2008 ignored all the well known local history of the site in acquiring the Eureka Hotel land.
  • 5. Those auctions were illegal, they hold no validity legally what-so-ever even to the current occupiers residing there. The Crown legally speaking in 1854 did not ever seize those lands from Catherine Bentley only those structures and dwellings and their contents on those lands. JB Humffray in 1858/9 only thought that Crown had confiscated those lands from the Bentley's in 1854, and that he and Smith thought they would financially clean up on them to sell them that day at auction that's where this illegality lay. Smith purchased Catherine's butcher's shop. These properties are Andrew O'Crowley's lands as inherited in unbroken chain. The occupiers, the Ballarat Council and the state of Victoria hold no say over these lands today, these illegal occupiers best find another place to live. Nemo dat quod non habet. The precedent case law rule regarding property and Real Estate rights is encapsulated in this latin legal maxim. It means that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title. The Ballarat City Council is aware of this Caveat at least from 2005 and also evidenced by server logs of them accessing the Caveat warning in this webpage on 4th, 11th, and 18th of July 2008. Many more visits on 7th August, but not once have they accessed the Copyright and Access Conditions. The crown did not have a legal title to give any purchaser a valid title. All subsequent sales of Catherine's land are null and void. Caveat On Buying Land in Central Ballarat Beware. Buyers of land in the central Ballarat area know as Bentley's Eureka Hotel Main Road, (Eureka Street) are hereby notified there is a prior claim in law dating to that land evidenced by the title of Catherine Bentley and on behalf of her heirs and descendants on the 24th of July 1854. In 1854 Eureka Street was known as Eureka main Road, when it was paved it became known as Eureka street. The site known as Bentley's Eureka Hotel Main Road (Eureka Street) is one Real Estate property of preemption in the 1854 land title and not 9 separate lands titles as shown in latter null and void transactions. There is no guarantee that current occupiers would be compensated by the government when the land is returned to the Bentley family as any occupier would have been able to discover the history of the land, Caveat emptor. It is Andrew O'Crowley's land and he will not rest until it has been returned to him. Inspirationally for the longivity and endurance of this quest for justice already involving 25 years of research, Andrew is related to Les Darcy the famous Australian boxer, who won 46 of his 50 professional bouts. Darcy was denied permission by his mother which he needed to go to WWI war when he was only 17. 18 was the enlistment age. Darcy was already a champion at 17, but he died tragically of a tooth problem which infected his entire system in an era long before anti-biotics were invented. Andrew inherited ownership of the Eureka Hotel lands going back to 1954 from Catherine Bentley's nephew heir at law who inherited it in an "unbroken chain" from his uncle, Catherine Bentley's son, Thomas Bentley who died in 1915 under the probate law of 1890. The people who purchased it all knew that it was Bentley lands because it was well signed as such by the Ballarat council going back to 1922. They purchased it in "full knowledge of that history" and it was up to them to have investigated title documents going back to 1854 and the "forced flight" of the Bentleys from their Lands on the day on those riots to escape the lynch mob. This is public knowledge which should have set alarm bells ringing to the current occupiers not to attempt a purchase. The Bracks/Brumby government here wouldn't repay them on that basis in law. They had full notice, but disregarded the real title holder. The supreme court of Victoria since 2003 has acknowledged the fact that Andrew O'Crowley is the heir at law of these deceased estates and all that goes with it in law in Victorian
  • 6. probates administration and inheritances vested in him including his rights to these lands from the date inherited under the 1890 to 1954 probates and wills Acts on Land as "real estate" from the deceased relative. He holds the legal rights to this land and to execute over them notices of eviction which in legal terms he has already done so publically in 2005. That these persons as illegal occupiers who have now over stayed their welcome and have refused Andrew's offers to them to rent these dwellings because they have a false belief as caused by Dianne Haddon and the Registrar of the titles office Barabara Fleet who sent out to these occupiers a misleading letter that their titles back to 1859 under the Torrens system were safe. Torrens title laws, especially regarding the validity of titles only applies when the said auctions of any lands were lawful Auctions of Crown in 1859. In legal facts Caveat emptor is in force here due to the illegal seizure and illegal land auctions as said and proven did occur in these matters now at hand. Of course Andrew is reluctant to have them put onto the street, he is concerned for these people that they have obtained finance as home loans contracts with lending companies. These mortgages contracts are not valid, the real estate agents who sold them Andrew's land should have also checked the public history back to 1854 as well prior to advancing loans or mortgages which has occurred to date. It was misleading for Dianne Haddon and the Titles office to raise the hopes of these occupiers that they have a valid legal title. The Bracks/Brumby Government have ignored calls by these occupiers to the Attorney General Mr Rob Hulls to answer their plight with a legal letter of proof from the state government that those 1859 Humffray Lands auctions at Ballarat East were Legal ones. The Ballarat Courier in 2005 covered this event and the Attorney General Hulls refused to endorse these occupiers much less talk to them on the subject when asked by them and in particular an occupier in George street if his ownership was safe. He made requests by letter, fax and in person but his local standing Labor MP refused to even talk to him when called upon to do so. That local Labor MP asserted in the Ballarat Courier newspaper in 2005 "That he had spoken with the Premier's office at Melbourne about the lands issue and was told that the Justice Department had repeatedly told Andrew that he is not the rightful owner of these lands. Coupled with the fact that the Supreme Court ruling was that it was deemed by the Court in 2005 that Andrew could take no further action in these matters should put the Real Estate property owners anxieties at rest" None of this as reported in the Ballarat Courier is correct. As at no time did the Victorian justice department ever write to Andrew or contact him in any way saying that he was not the rightful owner of these particular Lands in question. What lengths will this government go to to deceive current occupiers that they have a valid title when they do not? Therefore Mr.Geoff Howard had "lied" to the Courier Newspaper and the "illegal occupiers" residing on Andrew's lands at Ballarat East. Further with direct regards to that same MP Howard said about that he could take no further actions concerning these lands is also completely untrue! Because what he was referring to at the Supreme Court was that Andrew O'Crowley cannot take the State of Victoria back to the courts on charges of Tresspass to Lands back in 1854. However the Catherine Bentley claims still stand as a claim against the Victorian Parliament claims she and her son made already remain inforce and intact to be repaid to Andrew O'Crowley. Therefore the State of Victoria is and remains in "contractual debt and commitment" since 1854 in these matters accrue. Andrew's rights to lawfully evict these occupiers remains as he is the lands lawful owner. An email from Andrew O'Crowley to the Ballarat Courier. Dear Editor, please be advised to read the latest updates on the following website: http:/ /www.hereticpress.com/Dogstar/History/Bentley.html you should find it most interesting and important to the Bentley's hotel Land issues now currently placed into the hands of a
  • 7. senior law firm of Real Estate lawyers, in-order to physically evict these "illegal occupiers" presently on my lands at Ballarat East! Yours Truly, Andrew Crowley NB. Please note that the State of Victoria and the Ballarat City Council have no legal say over these matters of my inherited lands of 1954 and I intend to evict in the near future! Since 2005 no government MP or so termed "official" from the Bracks/Brumby government has endorsed the head of the Titles office letter sent to reassure occupiers. These people now Squatting on Andrew's lands must vacate those properties of his which incidently are one real estate property of preemption in the 1854 title and not 9 separate lands titles as shown in latter transactions at the defective and tainted titles office records of 1859 in whose corrupt and illegal land sales notice and deeds since, as they are null and void transactions and valueless ever since 1856 when certain persons also squatted on our lands in an illegal attempt to qualify for pre-emptive title status as first improvers under the Hotels and Inns act of 1848/51 in Victoria. They were not legally entitled to claim these lands as settled and first improved by Catherine Bentley the Pre emptive first owner in 1854. Return to top of page Police seize the Eureka Hotel James Bentley had predicted the destruction of the Eureka Hotel and had written to the Chief Magistrate of Ballarat on Oct 16th 1854 requesting Police Protection, but he did not expect the Eureka to be seized by Police who would then let it be destroyed. A transcription of this letter is below. What more could James do to try and protect his wife Catherine's property? Notice that James Bentley writes of the said James Scobie. James knows it is not Scobie who was murdered, that he is being set up and that the main investigate of the whole matter is a person keeping a store on the Gravel Pits under the name of the "Ballarat Stores" A Sly grog seller as Lalor was. The police had a duty to preserve law and order, but instead of helping James and Catherine, they seized the Eureka to spy on the mob and then allowed it to be destroyed by an angry mob. To the Police Magistrate Ballarat Eureka Hotel Ballarat Oct 16th 1854 To the Police Magistrate Ballarat Sir, Inflamatory placards have been posted about the Diggings, to get up a meeting, on the ground were James Scobie was murdered, near to my House, to enquire into the best method of convicting the murderer of the said James Scobie, and to demonstrate public feeling as to the manner in which the case has hitherto been conducted. I have been informed that the meeting alluded to, is to be got up for the purpose of Riot and violence upon any person and House, and that the main investigate of the whole matter is a person keeping a store on the Gravel Pits under the name of the "Ballarat Stores" a notorious Sly Grog Shop!
  • 8. Dr. Mount is the person who gave me the first intimation that such was the case, advising me to be on my guard as they intended to set Fire to my Place - Since I have been told by many persons that it would be advisable to use great efforts in getting the assistance of the authorities as it was expected that some thousands would congregate, and that there was a feeling against the House, by persons who had heard the lying rumours that had been spread - and the great probability would be an attack by the whole mob upon me and the House, particularly if intoxication should exist to any extent. I therefore request that a strong force of protection may be present at 12 o'clock Tomorrow to see that the Law is in no way violated. I spoke to Capt. Evans today on the subject and he kindly promised to be present at 11 o'clock with a Body of Police but as the matter assumes a very serious nature I consider it my duty to acquaint you of every thing, in order that no discredit may afterwards be reflected upon me, and alas that I may fully expect the protection of that I ought to have. I am Sir, Your Obt. Humble servant James Bentley A mob of around four thousand stirred up by Lalor to take the law into their own hands and revenge against James Bentley assembled outside the Eureka Hotel. Rede reported that he arrived at the scene within five minutes: "I tried to address the mob there were a great number surrounding the place on all sides, I do not think less than four thousand persons were assembled. I narrowly escaped several stones that were thrown at me. I then called in the military, I ordered them to occupy the house" (VPRS 1189 Unit 1 Item 92 J54 12.471).. James Bentley Declared Insane after the Eureka Hotel was destroyed The handwriting of James Bentley in the above letters shows a man who was completely in control of himself trying to deal with events outside his powers to influence, he did everything possible to protect the Eureka Hotel from the aggression of the main instigator and sly-grog seller trying to ruin his and his livelyhood. What hope did he have of protecting himself and his family, when polcie seized the Eureka and let it be destroyed. James had to escape the angry mob on horseback, just to save his own life. He had to leave the angry mob of around four thousand miners to destroy everything. Having already made good after being transported to Australia in chains, it was too much for James to bear. He and his wife Catherine had achieved financial success through their own hard work, not by any chance of fate or luck. The stress of having the Eureka destroyed was too much to bear for James Bentley, he was later legally judged as being of unsound mind and committed suicuide in 1873. Legally his son and heir was fully entitled to all property of estate of the father under the British law of escheatment, his son would have inherited his property even before the Crown could escheat it as he was the male heir at law. The only time the Crown could seize assets of a convict was after a conviction of murder or treason and only if there was no heir at Law. The same rules applied in insanity/probate law. A Coronial inquiry making a finding of death by suicide as in the case of James Bentley dated back to the occurrences at Ballarat in 1854. The inquiry attributed his death to being of unsound mind caused by a mental collapse going back to the destruction of the Eureka Hotel on the 17th October 1854. The son was truly the lawful Claiment and owner of everthing in British law. There was no Crown escheatment over James or Catherine Bentley's property by the Crown then or the State of Victoria today. Return to top of page Catherine Bentley and her son's petition in contract for compensation was set aside by
  • 9. E.P.S. Sturt by omission by the Victorian Government because it tried to get away with paying for what they were/are obligated to repay for what they the government had intentionally "incurred and caused" as losses on these claiments in 1854 to date accrued. This witness statement was made by Daniel O'Conner who owned a store opposite the Eureka Hotel and also suffered losses on the day of the riot on the 17th Oct 1854. A claim for compensation by Daniel O'Conner was paid in 1856 for 180 pounds for his losses sustained nearby Bentley's Hotel was paid. Catherine seems to be one of the only Real Estate owner denied compensation. Catherine Bentley's petition for compensation was ignored. The Daniel O'Conner letter was written in November 1854 and was sent to the Colonial Secretary John Foster Esquire and mentions an affidavit sworn earlier in front of the Police Magistrate John D'Ewes. It testifies that the Eureka Hotel was destroyed and the stock that it contained while it was under police possession. The police illegally seized Bentley's Hotel at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the Eureka Rebellion. Twelve plain clothes police hidden from view of the public entered the Eureka Hotel at 10am day of destruction. They refused the Bentley's requests to remove any of their properties or possessions. The officer in charge sub inspector Maurice Ximenes promised the Bentley's "All" was in the custody of the police, the government but not myself personally will protect it. When the angry mob came Ximenes repeated "The government will protect it". Now, Mister Bentley get on your horse and ride to the police camp, let them see you go and it might slow the worst of that lot. Please go. Those were his exact words to the Bentley's on those two occasions, Ximenes promised that the government would protect those properties no matter what it would take. Despite what inspector Ximenes had stated regarding protection, the government had another agenda in having police take over the Hotel. When the plain clothed police came their very first objective was to install their own men into that structure from which to spy on the expected mob that day and to "infiltrate that proposed meeting" to and "inorder to identify its speakers", and or the ringleaders of the Ballarat reform league who organised it who had promised Robert Rede on the 16th of October "that it would be a peaceful protest meeting", according to John Basson Humffray, Thomas Kennedy, George Black and Frederick Vern, the organisers. Robert Rede had informed the Military commander to stand his troops ready, but out of sight so as not to inflame the mob, but to be ready should they be required to come in force at his orders. These were the orders from the Officer in charge, Rede to Captain McMahon. All of these orders were from the Goldfields Commissioner, Chief Commissioner Wright at the Ballarat Police and Government camp on the 16th of October 1854. The orders were for Ximenes and his twelve undercover police troopers to spy from those buildings and send back the gathered intelligence to the Government camp and wait for further orders where necessary, but to keep those men hidden in the Hotel but to "enter and exit" to view those proceedings by those police in small numbers amongst that expected crowd. And so the Government was well aware of those risks involved but chose to expend that hotel and all within in order to gain intelligence to send back to Government House in "cyphered messages" from Colonel Robert Rede to Hotham directly. And therefore the Government of Victoria and now the State of Victoria hold full responsibility for those incurred costs as losses accrued against Catherine Bentley and her son incurred on that day in 1854. Since 1854 the Victorian government has tried to quash out this debt over time by every and any means possible with a hidden agenda against repaying the Bentley's just legal claim for compensation. And to this day the Victorian government has even been trying to have Andrew O'Crowley up on false resjudicia
  • 10. charges as it did against James Bentley on "phony and rigged outcomes" in the Victorian Supreme Courts when Andrew has legally followed the Law and procedures for Claims against the Crown. So nothing has changed since 1854 except the date on the calender. But these claims still stand to be honoured by Victoria as now owing. The Bentley's through their confectionery and other business had made a small fortune and invested it all in the Eureka Hotel in 1853 £30,000. Descendants of James Bentley report that police had illegally seized the Hotel known as Bentley's Hotel at 10:00 a.m. on the day of the Eureka Rebellion. While illegally in possession by the police, they did incite with spies in the crowd to burn the property. The Real Estate property was owned by Mrs. Catherine Bentley, not James. They defend James by pointing out that it was the "alleged" murder of James Scobie arose on the 6/7th of October 1854. J.B. Humffray and Peter Lalor entered Parliament in Melbourne in 1856. The elevation of Lalor to parliament drove James Bentley's suicide in 1873. The person alleged to have been murdered James Scobie, aged 19 , was never killed or injured that night near Bentley's hotel, at all! He died in 1917 at South Melbourne! Catherine Bentley stated that Peter Lalor assisted James Scobie out of Ballarat during those riots and had him hidden in the Catholic Abbottsford Convent until early 1855 (January) from were he was secreted out of Victoria on a Merchant vessel bound for New Zealand. There was never any funeral or burial of James Scobie in 1854 at all! Return to top of page Financial Compensation for everyone except Catherine Bentley While the miners were requesting compensation for the destruction of their property at the EPS Sturt Hearing, Catherine Bentley also made a claim to the EPS Sturt hearing, but she was held as a prisoner (pregnant) on HM Hulk Sacramento run by Superintendent Alex Willis. The prison hulk was not a fit place for a pregnant mother who had done no wrong. Catherine Bentley at no time abandoned her land, or gave up her right to the standing improvements she had made to the land which were still standing, the guesthouse which existed until the 1889 road widening forced its removal. Other store owners in the stockade after a letter from a Scottish solicitor were compensated for the destruction of their property, for example Patrick Curtain whose general store inside the Stockade was destroyed was compensated £1,267 which included £800 owed to creditors. Miners were also compensated for the destruction of their tents and any property. Catherine Bentley's petition for compensation for her Ballarat Real Estate was denied EPS Sturt had already decided to compensate victims who suffered financial loss. It was an error of law to determine that the Bentley's could not receive compensation. It is legally unnecessary for any further court cases to re-hear this case. The family will take their case to UK courts if there is no ethical legally responsible Victorian government who will correct the legal mistakes of the past by invoking the Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill 1838/54/2008, so that Catherine's descendants are compensated for the wrongs wrought on their family. Ballarat archives of Hotels also record that Catherine was the owner of the licence for the Eureka Hotel Main Road Ballarat since 1854. She was also the owner of a feed and grain store further up in Ballarat city and a Butcher's shop which was on land that is now vacant in 2008. Catherine's husband James was a convict who made good on his early release and built up a successful confectionery businesses before selling all he had in Melbourne to invest in Ballarat. James and Catherine built a grand building in central Ballarat, a city that was then mostly composed of miners tents. Many miners applied for and were granted compensation for the destruction of their tents Connected patrons of the administration in 1854 onwards seemed to receive more compensation than others. Some innocent parties received nothing after having everything taken away.
  • 11. Catherine Bentley had nothing to do with being a protagonist in the miner's dispute and was an innocent party. Catherine Bentley's case for financial compensation was even stronger than any of the miners. Catherine Bentley did petition Hotham for compensation, she was jailed for even asking for compensation and sent to a filthy prison ship in Geelong. ● Her Real Estate property was put under police protection at 10.00am on the 17th October. ● Police were negligent or reckless in protecting it, burning it down. ● EPS Sturt recommendation "parties who had lost property during the rioting should be compensated" ● A criminal act of the miners which destroyed the Eureka Hotel while in police custody. ● Nominal convictions for McIntyre and Fletcher for burning the Eureka Hotel down. ● Non discriminatory compensation? Miner's mates compensation £ 1,267 to Patrick Curtain. The bias against the English Bentleys was extreme even towards protecting criminal arsonists. J.B Humffray had prepared the brief to defend the two miners accused of burning down the Eureka Hotel, McIntyre and Fletcher. When they were convicted and sentenced to short jail terms, Humffray sent a delegation to Melbourne of his Reform League members to demand their release which Governor Hotham refused. Humffray did not respect the criminal law and he later had his revenge on the Bentleys in the illegal sale of Catherine Bentley's Eureka Hotel land site. This handwritten note from Catherine in 1892 states that Scobie was hidden in a convent by Lalor. The deputation to Hotham was supposed to have been on the Friday 25th November 1854. But Humffray, Thomas Kennedy and George Black were unable to keep that appointment because they had taken James Scobie to hide him in the convent! That's the real reason they missed that Hotham appointment which is stated in Catherine's own hand in 1892. It was not until the following Monday that they get to see Hotham on the 28th November by which time at Ballarat things were escalating with Lalor and his other cohorts taking over the Ballarat reform league and mounting the stump at the gravel pits and then proceeding to Bakery hill to be elected their new leader (un-opposed) By the 29th they all began the construction of the Stockade itself. Humffray was aware that Scobie was still alive and well and that Lalor and the others close to him had been involved with that real deceased body they later claimed was that of James Scobie at the inquest on the 9th of October 1854. If Catherine were alive today, she would be compensated for abuses of the legal process by rabble rousing corrupt ambitious colonial officials. After arresting James, Catherine was effectively persona non grata. They took Catherine's land as if it were their own before even James had been convicted of anything and yet he had already been acquitted once. Catherine made a note of this at the time on the back of the Eureka Hotel Plans. Humffray and others with legal training would also have known about the double jeapordy rule. The Double Jeopardy rule would normally apply except when there is political interference in the legal process, in this case by Peter Lalor. Peter Lalor lead a deputation of dissatisfied diggers to Commissioner Rede in a quest to have the case re-opened and Bentley retried after his first acquittal. Land sales after the Eureka Stockade were completely illegal and biased against the interests of a female land owner because of a supposed, but then unproved and questionable wrong act of her spouse would be seen as sexist in the extreme in 2008, it was incorrect in law in 1854. Some of the corruption was exposed, but compensation was not paid to Catherine Bentley and her infant children who were totally innocent parties given nothing but misery grief and they were forced in poverty by the Crown.
  • 12. Catherine's Real Estate, though it was under the police protection of Inspector Maurice Ximenes when it was destroyed was unjustly excluded from compensation considerations. The 1859 sale involved disqualified bidders including J.B Humffray, who was the lands minister at the time who caused the illegal sale to another Victorian parliamentarian W.C.Smith MP who purchased it at this phony and rigged auction. They were illegal sales because normal lawful sales were advertised prior to any auction date, but not 2 or 3 years after by 1862 Smith ran a grog shop from a tent where the Eureka Hotel had been. Those involved were kicked out of the parliament for corruption, but nothing has ever been done to redress the illegal sale of Catherine Bentley's land. Other Ballarat Properties affected by illegal 1859 Sale The involvement of Humffray was reported by Weston Bate in Lucky City The First Generation at Ballarat 1851-1901 from newpaper and Parliamentary reports of the corruption involved in the 1859 sales of land. Bates recorded that Humffray was sitting as chairman over the sale of Catherine Bentley's land. He was selling off Catherine Bentley's Eureka Hotel lands to parliamentary friends in secret un-advertised real estate auctions. Humffray was on selling former Crown lands that he knew about at Ballarat East with his cohort W.C.Smith, a land agent turned MP in 1856. Humffray was getting as much money as possible to give to his brother in their failing book store venture in Ballarat central and in 1859 he Humffray was expelled from the Parliament because of these shonky land sales practices including the Bentley's Lands that year! Their bookshop went into receivership and bankruptcy! He did all this while he was sitting over the Bentley's compensation claim. So while Catherine Bentley's was waiting for her due compensation, Humffray was selling off her land along with Smith to get sly payments from his mates Cherry and Dwyer and others from Bentley's Lands as well as other prime parcels of Lands in the area! The Eureka Hotel land was not the only real estate property disposed of in 1859. Andrew has identified other properties which where sold without a valid title being conferred on the purchaser. Andrew O'Crowley identified at least another 19 land properties at Ballarat east that were sold through the two MP's Humffray and Smith in 1859. The original sales documents and deed plans are still held in the Victorian titles office who is still trying to keep them secret from the public, to avoid a rush of Ballarat east residents complaints to the State Government and Ballarat City Council that they have no valid title. Andrew believes there are a lot more yet to be identified as defunked illegal titles from those fraudulent auctions of 1859, which in law are null and void today and not covered by the "Torrens title laws" in Victorian real estate. Those sales were under criminal law and therefore hold no validity in civil law or real estate law as valid titles to this which nullified all of them as land sales transactions of 1859 to 2008. This means that any and all deeds held by third persons are valueless deeds ever after. A manslaughter conviction not murder Many Australian history textbooks incorrectly state that Scobie was murdered, or that James Bentley was guilty of murder, even the heritage Victoria website on egold! No-one was ever convicted of murdering Scobie. If Scobie was murdered, (if it was even Scobie!), then it was not by Bentley. Bentley was sentenced to three years hard labour working on the roads for manslaughter. In 1854 English law, a defence of provocation to murder still existed. It has since been abolished in Victoria by Premier Bracks after it was abused in a notorious
  • 13. case of a man who wrongly claimed the provocation defence to a murder charge, saying his wife taunted him about his inadequate physical capabilities. Murder and manslaughter are very different criminal offences, the first requires a premeditation, malice aforethought, a planning to kill, the second manslaughter is more a killing in the heat of the moment which brings into question elements of the mens rea such as provocation or recklessness. A mental state is required to accompany the criminal act. Manslaughter is not at all like the pre-meditated crime of murder and it cannot be treated as if it were a crime of the same gravity. It is wrong for historians to refer to James Bentley as if he were found guilty of murder and it is wrong in law to refer to him incorrectly in such disparaging terms. If James were alive he would a strong case for special damages for defamation of his character. killing is not murdering Christal v. Craig, 80 Mo. 367 (1883). Imputation of a crime can be a special form of defamation frowned on by the courts so much so that a person wrongly said in the media to be guilty of murder could be awarded compensatory and punitive damages without having to show actual damages. It is wrong in law to attribute the crime of murder to someone convicted of a much less serious charge! Escheatment not applicable to remove Bentley's title An early English law in specific and very narrow cases allowed private real estate properties to be taken by the crown as a means to allow foreign Norman Kings to confiscate English lands. A conviction of Treason was one widely used criminal law that Kings used to take a nobleman's land. Murder was another crime which allowed the state to take the convicted person's real estate property. Humffray in illegally selling Catherine's land and other properties may have had been exploiting his false belief that the Bentley Eureka Hotel site was crown land under the laws of escheatment. Escheatment is the process by which a deceased person's real estate property goes to the state if no heir can be found, but escheatment laws also allowed the crown to confiscate land from anyone upon conviction for treason or felony murder. To legally escheat Catherine's land, she would have had to have been convicted of murder, but she was found to be innocent! Though James was convicted (wrongly I believe) it was a conviction for manslaughter and not a conviction that would allow the crown to escheat the Eureka Hotel which James did not even own. As well a criminal law breaches, Humffray made fundamental Real Estate property law errrors in assuming that the crown owned the title to legally sell the Eureka Hotel Real Estate lands. He treated James as if he was found guilty of murder which is not true and he assumed that James and not Catherine owned the Eureka Hotel lands. These two fundamental legal mistakes confirm that the Ballarat real estate property title is still vested with the Bentley family. Firstly, Humffray wrongly assumed that the land belonged to James Bentley and secondly that they could take it off him as he was convicted of manslaughter, BUT, a murder or treason conviction was required to confiscate lands. Humffray was dishonest in selling Catherine's land to his friend and fellow MP Smith. They did not get away with this corruption, they were expelled from parliament for these deals, but the mistake for the real estate property owners was not corrected and the Bentley's were in no position to be making representations when all they had was taken by police and destroyed two hours after they took over. Maybe if the Police had left control with the Bentleys, James might have said, free drinks on the house and diffused the whole situation? He was not given any option when Maurice Xenemies took over. John Carroll a storekeeper in Ballarat giving evidence at the Board of Inquiry into the burning of the Eureka Hotel stated that, "If the riot Act had been read to the mob outside the Eureka Hotel, they would have left and the subsequent burning of the building would not have taken place". The police seized possession, but did nothing to prevent the burning of the Eureka
  • 14. Hotel. Weston Bate ibid page 59 wrote that, " The reading of the Riot Act might have turned the crowd away from its destructive impulse and the mounted police might have gained control; there were plenty of respectable men willing to respond to a call for order. Now it was too late." The military allowed the Eureka Hotel to be burnt to the Ground Hotham had made public notices trying to restore order before the Eureka Hotel was burned. His subordinate in the field, the Gold Commissioner, Robert Rede had ordered Magistrate Green to read the riot act to the mob at the scene, which was his responsibility to do without even being so ordered. "Our sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King." Penalties for ignoring the riot act were severe and well known, not less than three years jail, or imprisonment with hard labour for up to two years. Green failed to discharge his duty to the Bentleys and his superior. As the riot act was not read to the mob, they assumed they were free to continue the wanton destruction. One miner named "yorkie" (Edmund Westerby) thumped his fists on the Hotel walls shouting "I declare that this house belongs to the diggers" The miners tore the Hotel apart with their bare hands to get to the grog. The Military were around the back of the Eureka Hotel just standing around indolently, not even stopping looters from running off with kegs of porter (wine) and armfuls of bottles of whisky and rum. Magistrate Green was watching when Rede yelled out "For god sake man read the riot act right now!" But Magistrate Green was transfixed to the dreadful sight, in awe as the flames started to take hold of the wooden structure as a huge black cloud and red to yellow flames with red hot embers joined the thick billowing black smoke which spiraled high into the air from the rear of the buildings. A hot north-easterly breeze sprang up as if from nowhere, unusually non-seasonal for that time of the year. The vortex of self sustained heat and ash and rushes of hot air gusts from the burning beams in the roof began to ignite and catch everything alight inside, through spontaneous combustion. Magistrate Green frozen in fright and couldn't utter a single word to read the riot act as it was his civil and professional duty to do so as well as to follow direct orders. Inspector Rede bellowed from an open window to Green to bring in the Military ensconced and hidden less than a mile away out of view from that riotous mob numbering up to 4000 hostile people surrounding the Eureka Hotel to be dispersed under that act. What was most disconcerting was that the Military at the rear of the Eureka Hotel had ignored Inspector Rede's orders to them to pull down the bowling alley frame works to stop the fire spreading any further. Their officer was heard to remark that "I'm not risking any of my men in such a dangerous act to get burnt or killed and besides my officer in command has not signaled me to move from this position!" There was no effective effort either in their duty of care to the Hotel owners or their professional duty to follow orders from a senior ranking police officer in command in the field that day. Some angered diggers and arsonists acted like ferrets who ran two-and-fro
  • 15. passing the military ranks with armfuls of straw. The miners were placing straw under those structures and then tipped barrels of pitch roofing tar into the entrance of the bowling alley under the noses of the indolent Military stationed nearby. The entire structure took less than 50 minutes to be totally and completely consumed with the jeers of the crowd snarled at the troopers and the military alike on that black Tuesday in 1854. A simulation of the burning of the Eureka Hotel at Sovereign Hill These Sovereign Hill simulations of the Eureka Hotel building in flames are not faithful to the original floor plans. Carboni stated that he had observed the British in London and they have a "Characteristic to make fun of the calamity of fire." He seemed to miss the point that the Bentley Hotel fire was not protecting the freedom and liberties the miner's had sworn in the miner's oath. The Chartist JB Humffray looked upon the charred rafters of the Eureka Hotel as a "bundle of crayons with which to write the black history of crime and colonial misrule" There is a lot of irony in Humffray's statement here as he was later in 1859 involved in the illegal sale of the Eureka Hotel lands, Humffray was later in 1859 to become himself an integral part of the crime and colonial misrule. That "bundle of crayons" is a sad indictment of government misrule and these crayons are still writing the history as well as the current corruption of the Bracks/Brumby Victorian government in 2008. An Email to Premier Brumby 13th September 2008. Return to top of page The Eureka Stockade miner's oath WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS TO STAND TRULY BY EACH OTHER and FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES AMEN It seemed to have been at least partially, an Irish inspired revenge attack against a scapegoat for the British, the "sweeps"in the persona of the Bentleys (they were disparagingly referred to as the "sweeps" as recounted to the court by a young witness Bernard, in the trials of James Bentley). It was an attack by the miners against an easier British target than the military, but the attack also violated fundamental rights the miners were bound to uphold, the right to own personal property. Surely the European miners represented by Carboni or the Americans would agree that all races had such a basic right as to being able to own a real estate property without it being wantonly and illegally destroyed. Carboni spends half a page mesmerised on the "ashes" of Bentley's Hotel, but says almost nothing about the arbitrary injustice of the revenge taken by the miners. After the destruction of the Eureka Hotel, Catherine was treated as persona non grata and James was vilified and harassed for minor debts and ended up taking his own life. A well as their own criminal and moral culpability for the 1859 deals, Humffray and Smith also made fundamental property law errors which Humffray as an article clerk and solicitor, would have been aware of.
  • 16. James Francis Bentley (1818 - 1873) James Francis Bentley was born in Surrey England. Aged 25 after being convicted of forgery he was sentenced to 10 years hard labour, he was transported first to Norfolk island aboard the ship The Blundell which arrived at Norfolk Island on 12th July 1844. He spent 12 months there before being sent to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). He was granted a conditional pardon in 1851 and then started a business in Hobart Tasmania, making and selling lemonade and ginger beer, a business he built up and sold to an ex-Waterloo soldier. After moving to Melbourne he worked building up a successful confectionery business in Elizabeth Street. He married Catherine in St. Francis church in Lonsdale Street in 1853. He moved to the Ballarat goldfields in 1853 and first established a general store. The Bentley's application to establish a hotel was supported by some prominent men. We the undersigned, residing within the city of Melbourne in the Colony of Victoria do hereby certify that James Francis Bentley of Elizabeth Street in Melbourne, confectioner ( and who is about to proceed to Ballarat for the purpose of submitting plans of a building intended to be erected by him for a hotel ) is a person of good fame and reputation, and fit and proper to be licensed to keep an inn or public house for the sale therein of fermented and spiritus liquor. Signed FP Stevens John O'Shannassy MLC (Member leglislative Council for Melbourne) A Character witness at Bentley's trial Premier of Victoria for one month in 1857 Condemned the miners for using armed force. J Badcock Manager Bank of NSW Alex Willis Superintendent HM Hulk Sacramento A Demand for Justice A newspaper article on the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade by James Button introducing the quest for justice by Andrew to redeem his inheritance and clear his ancestor's name. Lalor did have a motive to remove Bentley from the scene, especially as he wrongly thought Bentley was friends with the Policeman D'Ewes who had closed down Lalor's Melbourne sly grog selling business. Some local notables also involved in recommending the establishment of the Eureka Hotel were, John Thomas Farrel, a former convict and John D'Ewes the same police Magistrate who had stopped Lalor's sly grog shop in Melbourne from trading. Some Ballarat people wrongly believed that J D'Ewes was a part owner of the Eureka Hotel. D'Ewes never had any financial interests in the Eureka Hotel. He often borrowed a pony and trap from Linguist's livery stables leased from Catherine on those premises. D'Ewes also sold Crown waste lands out side the city limits in the bush to prospective hotel building clients of his own procurement! All sly land deals though. Thats how he made his pocket money! That's why he offered to tender his bank books at the EPS Sturt inquiry on the 15th November 1854.
  • 17. Payments were made in 1854 to certain suffers who lost their property because of the illegal seizure and total destruction allowed by the police in-action to stop the riot which allowed the burnings to go ahead. This wanton destruction followed the illegal seizure of the Hotel at 10 am that day. The Victorian government has been fraudulent and illegal in its handling of this case since 1854, therefore it is the responsibility of the original authority to make it good in a banner headline type of way. Return to top of page Victoria a Third World State From left to right, Paul Mullett (Police Union Secretary), Premiers Steven Bracks John Brumby and former Commissioner Noel Ashby on the right. The Premier Steven Bracks made secret deals with Police Uniob Secretary Paul Mullett while Commissioner Ashby told Brumby what new laws he wanted. Brumby subsequently ordered other police to not speak with Paul Mullett who his predecessor had made secret deals with. Victoria is unable to be transparent and honest in these matters since 1856, it is no better than a third world state government when it comes to abuses of the Westminster democratic separation of powers. Secret deals are made by this labor state government, they cannot be trusted to have any dealings with financially in many ventures including tourism. A earlier government gave the Sovereign Hill venture grants from parliamentary funds in 1992, a million dollars to build a replica of Bentley's Hotel to burn on a nightly basis. How infuriating is this for the real owner to see a grant go to making an inaccurate replica of his stolen Real Estate to be torched on a daily basis, while he received nothing? The Victorian government had then as it has now, the legal and moral obligation to restore this deceased estate to the heir of Thomas Bentley. Again it revived these matters in its currency to these estates of Catherine Bentley and her son Thomas in parliamentary listings to fund a replica of Bentley's Hotel. In that funding package, they used a design from Andrew O'Crowley's drawings in breach of his copyright design in order to build it. The State of Victoria has yet again stooped so low to welch on its long standing and current debt it owes to Andrew in restoring what it illegally presided over since 1856 and funded again in 1992. Victoria cannot argue that these matters are old hat nor and including those illegal land auctions at Ballarat East in 1859. Victoria is like a third world banana republic which holds no ethical principles to the dictums of law and order it espouses under the Premiers Steve Bracks and John Brumby. When Steven Bracks resigned suddenly as the Premier of Victoria in late July 2008, he was replaced by the Treasurer John Brumby who has been involved in the back rooms of power to squash this former democracy. Worse still for justice in Victoria, the new deputy Premier is none other than Hull's the former Attorney General who has presided over the injustice of this case since 2002. John Brumby and especially Rob Hull's (the former Attorney General) have always been behind "the dirty works department" in this rotten Labor government and they have been the "MAFIA" like Government of crooked socialist lawyers involved in under-hand tactics to dismiss these claims since they were lodged in the Supreme court in 2002. Return to top of page Bentley land issues wider implications
  • 18. Catherine Bentley had a right to pre-empt the land she had made improvements on under the December 8th 1851 regulations. Her pre-emptive right was one of 43 granted in 1854. The pre-emptive lands right British Law Acts common law did not require the Crown to purchase land from indigenous landholders to grant land to others. Pre-emptive titles were used as the legal foundation for many of the original large farm properties and land holdings in the colony of Victoria. Many titles continue to exist originating as pre-emptive titles. If the Bentley's pre-emptive title is not upheld within Victoria, then all other pre-emptive titles such as farmlands might not be valid legal titles either and could be taken away by the state without any compensation which happened to Catherine Bentley! The aboriginal native inhabitants were the Wathawurrung speaking clan and patri-clan groups. Three locals were referred to as King Billy his trousers and the Ballarat Tribes. Aboriginal names include Buninyong, Warrenheip, Burrumbeet, Ballarat, and Gnarr Creek. Some oral history relates that Aboriginal people looked after some of the children of miners during the rebellion, in caves at Black Hill. Descendants of the traditional owners and custodians of this land could make a land claim citing the Bentley example as a precedent case of pre-emptive title being disregarded as invalid, that white settlement is an invalid and illegal occupation by the British of aboriginal lands. The only logical and equitable solution is to make sure that early colonial errors of law and criminal frauds are corrected. That Catherine Bentley did have a valid land title which could not be taken from her by an arbitrary kangaroo court like the illegal auctions run by Humffray for the profit of himself and his friends. The Premiers of Victoria Steven Bracks and his assistant John Brumby the new Premier have introduced many new laws to take private property off citizens in 2008, The Proceeds of Crime Bill is abused. Police use the deeming laws to force suspects into pleading guilty, for example to plead guilty to an extra two murders and then your parents can keep their house. Hoon laws take cars off anyone caught speeding, even on hearsay evidence. The new Premier Brumby said he was considering a "simple amendment" to driving laws which would also allow hoon deeming laws to include cyclists on pushbikes after conferring with the disgraced former Victoria Police Taffic Commissioner Noel Ashby. The ignornace of the Brumby/Bracks government and their socialist disrespect for private Real Estate or property knows no bounds. It is a fundamental principle of any democracy that personal property cannot be appropriated by the government without compensation. Legislation is almost never retrospective, but the view of the Bracks/Brumby government is evident from their desire to appropriate private property for breaches of minor offences like speeding. The Eureka Hotel was not purchased through the proceeds of any crime! Many of the miners who had their belongings destroyed by police (traps) were later compensated by the Victorian government, why did Catherine Bentley get nothing and her claim is still being denied in 2008 through a corrupted un-democratic, socialist anti lais sez faire ghost of a Westminster government? When private property and even Real Estate can be taken at the whim of an individual state employee, where secret deals are made with police, the courts and the media, this is not a free enterprise Westminster Democracy. It is ultra vires for any Victorian Supreme or even the Australian High Court to even try to hear claims under UK laws dating before the Commonwealth existed. Unfortunately Victorian Premier Bracks and now Brumby either have no knowledge of, or respect for the doctrine of separation of powers. What that means in a democracy. The Victorian Premier
  • 19. has been caught out by leaks from good senior retired police that he has made corrupt and secret deals with the police union. In this case the Bracks/Brumby government has tried to influence the courts as well to bend them to support his philosophy of appropriating private property. Government solicitors should not be paid to try and influence civil cases or indirectly approach judges outside the court room as they have done in this instance. The Attorney General faxed a letter after hours to judge Wheeler! Premier Bracks acted against democratic fundamentals principles, trying to influence courts to act against the interests of the real title owners of the Bentley land. In court that following monday witnessed by Andrew and his father, council for the Attorney General Minister Hulls, QC Fraser said! "Did you get my fax on friday Master Wheeler"? A government lawyer Clausse Von Muller and his assistant went in the Court's recess through the master of the courts rear entrance and had a private meeting with the presiding Master Wheeler in a separate sitting in this Bentley lands case in 2002. The state should not take personal Real Estate and private property without compensating the owner as the Bracks/Brumby government is intent on doing in many areas of criminal law not restricted to serious crimes which have traditionally allowed the escheatment of personal property. Politicians should not direct public money ideologically driven to prevent claims under English law for damages due to crown error. In exercising such a bias against personal Real Estate property ownership as in this case, the Brack's/Brumby socialist agenda has challenged the validity of the pre-emptive land titles of thousands of Victorian land occupiers. A colonial legacy of corruption UK and Australian Responsibility You would have to say that Andrew O'Crowley is doing everything possible to restore his rightful property. This petition is still being considered by the UK Attorney General. Is it a shame on Australia that the UK is even asked to consider such matters when Victoria has existed as a state for over 150 years and the Australian federation for over 100 years. Appeals to the UK Privy council were abolished in 1975, but this saga goes on in London due to a lack of colonial will to implement just and binding English legal precedents. If Catherine Bentley can be denied pre-emptive title to her Eureka Hotel land then all other investments of titles under the British Acts can also be called into question. The Victorian Government is again ultra vires in trying to stop this case dating from before Victoria existed from proceeding. The actual reason why Andrew can still make a claim upon the United Kingdom Parliament in these matters is that when these claims were first lodged to the EPS Sturt Inquiries by Catherine Bentley's solicitors Curwin Walker & Co at Ballarat on the 15th of November 1854. These claims in particular were lodged during British colonial rule of law in this country here in Victoria. The Victorian Parliament continually breaches the King William of Orange 1688/9 British Parliamentary Act and remains illegal in these matters under that constitution which should be adhered to.
  • 20. Andrew's claim is not effected by the 1975 removal of appeals to the Privy Council from the Federal High courts because these matters predate its jurisdiction since 1901. The Victorian government is and remains in contempt of Parliament since 1856 under clauses (10) and (12) in this Constitution in our case at law! Not only that but their active attempts to thwart Andrew's concerns and these claims being claimed under the CLAIMS AGAINST THE CROWN ACTS 1858-2008 is also a breach of law where a person is entitled under a contractual commitment of Crown which exists as in these matters because in that illegal seizure the Colonial Government REQUISITIONED the entire properties from Catherine Bentley for it's own use in occupation for Official use in insertion of plain clothed police as SPIES on duty installed under orders of Colonel Robert Rede and Sir Charles Hotham himself directly in orders to Rede on the 16th of October in their constant communications in cypher. The moment they the Government installed those "Spies as its Crown agents" it became a Government "CONTRACTUAL COMMITMENT" of the Crown with Catherine Bentley (and her young son though to Andrew O'Crowley in 2008) in that even today because of those numerous and "blatant illegal titles" involved in this case it "remains un-statute barred" in laws of Parliament and claims against the Crown Acts 1854-2008 in the Courts in Britain, as well as Victoria. Because "nothing shall or would be regarded or deemed as a claim unless it is based on a "contract" entered into by or on her majesties behalf by her or her agents" This case could be proven in a court of law either here in Victoria or the United Kingdom itself as "un-statute barred" because the Crown is and remains "completely illegal in these matters". The State of Victoria has tried to usurp the rules of law which allow the entitled legal Claims against the Crown to proceed in the Supreme Courts at Melbourne. Andrew is entitled to go back to the originating Authority which committed itself in and by contract to use those properties as government installations for public works as costs incurred on the Government of Victoria as "a spy base" on the field that day of conflict the Victorian government were having with those gold diggers and the Ballarat reform league prior to Victoria being given its constitution in 1856. The Queen's courts of justice in London are an option still open to Andrew for a remedy and appeals to the UK are not statute barred because both of these parties the Victorian Government and the Crown are and have remained ILLEGAL in these matters of local government. The State of Victoria remains in contempt of Parliamentary law in this case. Andrew is entitled to go back to Britain and to levy his contractual accounts claim on Her Majesty and claim back all that is owed to him. Andrew originally lodged these claims in 1994 to both houses of The Victorian Parliament direct by his own hands in person to each speaker inside the Parliament building and they accepted them in and took them in as served as they were also served by Catherine Bentley in 1854 to EPS Sturt at Ballarat. Events in 1854 were prior to Victoria's Constitution Bill being enacted which enables Andrew to go back to the UK originating Authority in contract (1854) because Victoria has been too corrupt to dispense proper unbiased judgement in this case and has acted improperly and in continued "contempt" to the King William Orange Parliamentary Law. He levied these claims in accordance with laws since 1854 and must be repaid. Queen Victoria (1837-1901) was the Queen of Australia in 1854. This is a crown responsibility, but more honorably one that should be assumed by the Victorian state and National governments. English precedents in law apply over the whim of the current Victorian Bracks/Brumby government to try and obstruct the legality of the UK legal allocation of pre-emptive land titles and binding UK English precedents since the Bill of Rights in 1688. What does the Human Rights Act say about compensating land owners for the actions of politicians who illegally appropriated private property? Part 2 of the Human Rights Act, Section 20 states that, "A person must not be deprived
  • 21. of his or her property other than in accordance with law". There was no law in the Bentley case, just corrupted individuals who sold off land they did not own. The Bracks/Brumby government has terminated other long held high country cattle runs after 160 years of pastoral use for grazing, Bracks and Brumby are determined to undermine all that was once thought secure. Pre-emption Lands in private hands known as "runs" are very vulnerable because of this Bentley case. The labor party member for Ballarat, Dianne Haddon resigned from the party citing another land grabbing case where the previous Premier Bracks wanted to appropriate private Real Estate to put a toxic waste facility on private agricultural land at Pittong. As well as the Bentley case, there are other examples of the Bracks/Brumby socialist approach to taking private land titles which demonstrates that where they take land, they do not compensate the legal title owners 18 years of dithering legal owners cannot neither get a fair market price. "The buy-back is not about compensation, only confiscation" Andrew's land is and remains under federal jurisdiction, because it is under Australian Federal protection as a heritage site on the Eureka 1854 site listings at Ballarat East. The Eureka Hotel site is a protected heritage site and requires the federal government to over-rule the current Premier Joghn Brumby, it is significance to the nation and under-pins the pre emptive land laws of 1848. These lands are under federal jurisdiction as they are already recognised as federal key sites of national interest. Return to top of page The dispossessed ancestors Andrew, Frank and Richard O'Crowley When I was first contacted by Andrew O'Crowley about his claim of inaccurate information I published on other eureka Stockade related pages, I was skeptical. I have since come to admire the depth of Andrew's research as well as his perseverance and courage in continuing a fight for the truth to prevail in the face of overwhelming distortions of the truth that seek to venerate colonial individuals in the first Victorian parliament as founding fathers. Some of them were self serving greedy men with no respect for property or criminal law. What is even more disconcerting is that in 2008 even when the truth of Catherine Bentley's title is known and in evidence, the current Victorian Bracks/Brumby government refuses to even address the injustice wrought on Catherine Bentley. This is an issue that could have consequences for other land owners as well as being a denial of the rights in this instance for Catherine Bentley to confer Real Estate rights to her descendants. Return to top of page Catherine Bentley's Petition to EPS Sturt for Compensation. Catherine did everything she could to relieve the poverty stricken situation the destruction of her Hotel caused her family. These two pages below are her petition to EPS Sturt in 1855 to compensate her for the destruction of her livelihood and to relieve her family from financial stress. This petition was presented at Bath's Hotel to EPS Sturt on the 15th November via her solicitors "Curwin Walker" even whilst she was in remand awaiting trial in Melbourne set down for the 18th November. This Bill petition was drawn up prior to her arrest on the 23rd of October 1854 as ordered by Sturt for Sir Charles Hotham. In 1855 it was tabled into the Government in Melbourne and shows the received date.
  • 22. Catherine always said to her family that "she was arrested because when she petitioned for entitled compensations for her losses they arrested her and her late husband" Catherine Bentley said it was because she dared to ask for compensation that she was held as a prisoner while she was pregnant on HM Hulk Sacramento. It was a long established English tradition to humbly petition and pray rather than to demand anything from the crown. The miner's petition was rejected because they demanded rather than petitioned. It did not seem to matter how respectfully Catherine requested compensation, she was not only ignored, she was punished for even asking for her legal right to compensation. Catherine had a fundamental legal pre-emptive land owner's right to be compensated. The Victorian government continues to ignore this injustice of the Eureka Stockade to this day. Catherine's heirs and ancestors in 2008 do not petition and pray, they demand compensation for this injustice and the theft of private Real Estate and private property by the Victorian government. Return to top of page Ballarat Council and Victorian Parliament notification EPS Sturt stated that victims who suffered financial loss should be compensated and many of them were, except the Bentleys. The only obstruction to justice today is a Victorian government without any respect for the truth which lacks any respect for personal property and has no will to administer justice to correct the legal mistakes of the past. Any reasonable Westminster government would invoke the Canadian Rebellion Losses bill 1838/ 54/2008 so that Catherine's descendants would be compensated for the wrongs wrought on their family by an earlier Victorian government. Despite some parliamentarians being aware of the injustice and being in agreement regarding compensation, the previous Premier Mr Bracks and the Attorney General, Mr Hulls (now deputy Premier) have actively obstructed the Bentley's claims for justice when they should have assisted it. The previous Premier Steven Bracks was at the Eureka 150th Anniversary seeking publicity, but behind the TV cameras the injustice continues and it is actively supported by the Bracks/Brumby government. The Attorney General Hulls and former Premier Steven Bracks are totally uninterested in justice in Victoria, abusing the doctrine of the separation of powers by trying to influence police and the courts. They seem preoccupied with their own ego and preventing any criticism, spending $500 million on advertising their own government to the people who inadvertantly elected them to get rid of the previous Kennett government. Justice has not been done and will be seen in a very public way to not be being done in this case. Bracks, Brumby and Hulls have perverted and obstructed the Westminster system of justice in Victoria, abolishing ancient legal rights and are trying to make the courts and police answer to themselves personally, instead of to the people of Victoria. Some commercial media outlets who receive many millions in government advertising funds seem to be afraid to carry this Bentley story of injustice, probably through fear of upsetting a major client, the Victorian Bracks/Brumby government. It is the hallmark of good governance and ministerial responsibility to admit mistakes, correct errors and compensate victims who suffer loss through government errors. In this case it is a gross error that should be corrected immediately. Will the Bentleys have to wait for the electorate to see through the half billion propaganda campaign of the current rottento-the-core Bracks/Brumby Victorian government. The Victorian liberal party leader Ted Baillieu is an experienced real estate agent, he will have more respect for private property rights than the socialist agenda of Bracks and Brumby. Steven Bracks has ignored many other legal issues. The Victorian Greens party and Liberal Party were much more concerned and responsive to accessibility tests of government websites. Ted Baillieu appears to be more of a honourable and principled man than Bracks or Brumby. The matter however
  • 23. goes beyond state politics, the Eureka Hotel site is a national heritage site, so the Federal Australian government could also rectify this injustice on the Bentleys. Documents below are notifications of Catherine Bentley's property claims to the Victorian Parliament member for Ballarat and the Ballarat City Council. Dianne Haddon (ex-labour party) who resigned from the party citing the case that former Premier Steven Bracks wanted to appropriate private Real Estate to put a toxic waste facility on private agricultural land at Pittong. False reassurances by Haddon Dianne Haddon's letter recommending "contact Brabara Fleet Director of Land Registry and Registrar of Titles". Director of Land Registry and Registrar of Titles Barbara Fleet's reply. "No further contact will be entered into... no further assistance" Dianne Haddon on 5th September 2005 was reported in the Ballarat papers as stating that Catherine Bentley's descendants should be compensated from the government assurance fund. In the scan of her reply above she states that she has be misrepresented. But Haddon did state that the current occupiers of these properties had no need to worry that they had legal title, which may sound reassuring to current occupiers, but it is incorrect in law. In contravention of the Westminster separation of powers doctrine, Haddon seems to have convinced the head of the titles office to write to those who occupy Catherine's land stating that they were legally safe from other claims on their land. Haddon should have made sure that the legal owner is compensated first, because their legal right will prevail over the current occupiers who are illegally squatting on Bentley land. Haddon did not even provide a copy of the letter to the real legal title holder, Catherine Bentley's heir Andrew O'Crowley. Catherine's lands has been clearly identified in subsequent sales since 1922 to be the Bentley's Hotel site. The false assurances given to occupiers by Haddon and the titles office have not materialised with any support from the Bracks/Brumby government. Resident occupiers of Andrew's land have been ignored when trying to contact the Attorney General Rob Hulls, the reason being that the original assurances were wrong in law and unsustainable. The current occupiers purchased properties with full knowledge of the Bentley's title claims, they do not have a valid legal title due to the omission to compensate Catherine Bentley for the destruction of her property and the subsequent illegalities involved in the 1859 sale of her land. The sale was illegal as the land was not crown land to sell, Nemo dat quod non habet. Catherine Bentley had a good title to the Real Estate which included improvements to the land still standing after the fire for many years, the Guesthouse. It will be proved in one place or another with the jurisdiction that the current occupiers do not have a valid title over the land. The first title in time and the only valid title is Catherine Bentley's claim to the land. The registered bidders for Bentley's Hotel lands and purchasers were Cherry, Dwyer and Smith who all fraudulently purported to be hoteliers and entitled to purchase the property committing a fraud to achieve their purpose. Those deals were illegal and null and voided automatically. The lands stayed with the Bentleys as the only owners since 1854 and there have been no legal torrens title transfers ever since 1859. The titles office in law cannot fall back on indefeasibility of a Torrens title to support those now illegally occupying Bentley lands. The Torrens title system provides a valid legal title except where:
  • 24. The illegal sale of Catherine's land in 1859. Formal notifications of Bentley land title to Ballarat Council Email notification 2008 Return to top of page International Human Rights Claims The Bentley descendant's claims are very similar to the precedent case law heard at the Hage in Brussells, Pretzil V Cech Republic 1990/2 where her grand parent's castle was seized illegally by the Germans during WW2 until the Russians drove them out. When Russia handed back sovereignty to Cech republic the republic illegally kept possession of all the family property stating that it was owned by the state? The family applied to the world courts with assistance from the Human rights lawyers who won in her favour as the legal inheritor and owner! The Bentley family already have applications before the Victorian, Australian and UK Human Rights Commissions for the restoration of their pre-emptive property rights. The Australian Human Rights Commission dismissed the application without any due consideration of the biased sexist behaviour of the Victorian government towards a female land owner Catherine Bentley, but the case is within their jurisdiction, the motivation is lacking, but the legal responsibility is a;so for the UK to provide a redress and remedy. HREOC incorrectly stated that they "do not have authority" to investigate complaints of human rights violations by a State Government which they certainly due in cases of blatently sexist behaviour by the Victorian government. There is no separation of powers in the Victorian democracy, the former Premier made secret deals with the most corrupt police force in the nation and also influences court decisions. What hope is there that the Victorian government which has already obstructed claims in the Victorian courts will allow any independence of the Victorian Human Rights appeal in this case? 1. Prima facie valid legal claims obstructed in Victorian Courts False allegations of res judica 2. Australian Human Rights Commission reply. A cursory denial no consideration of sexism against a female 3. Victorian Human Rights Commission appeal Appeal pending 10th October 2008 You can see from the UK Petitions page that they have a Westminster democratic system of open and accountable government, petitions are posted for the public to read, view and make comments on. The complete opposite of the Australian Human Rights Commission which does everything it can to deny any jusisdiction in other cases of discrimination that prima facie warrant their attention. The Australian Human Rights Commission (HREOC) are also uninterested in website accessibility for blind Australians. Consequently UK websites sites are much better and the UK government is the home of Westminster democracy and traditions like the separation of powers which is debased in Australia. In this petition, the UK does have jurisdiction, it involves British pre-emptive land titles and also because the original claimant was a British citizen, Catherine Bentley who made her claim page 1 and page 2 to the Queen's Australian representative EPS Sturt before the state of Victoria or the Commonwealth of Australian existed, in 1854. Legal Claim Thwarted by the Bracks/Brumby government Statement of Claim Yet another example of the Bracks/Brumby government breaching the Westminster doctrine of the separation of powers. Solicitors working for the Attorney General faxed the presiding Master after hours at his home prior to a sitting the following Monday morning to hear
  • 25. claims by the heirs and descendants of Catherine Bentley. When Andrew lodged his claims in the Victorian Courts Steven Bracks Government took action against him for res judicia, making out that he was a public nuisance! There has been no final judgement in this case, no resolution or agreement between the parties. The Master of the court did not agree with the Attorney General, Wheeler stated that Andrew's claims were "well based in my historical knowledge in all these concerns"! Wheeler added that he could not accept these claims into the court because they are/were not within it's jurisdiction to hear or consider, but the Victorian Parliaments. Therefore, he rightly rejected the Governments false res judicia assertions. Notification Resumption of Land These documents claim the Eureka Hotel land back for the rightful ownership of the direct heirs of Catherine Bentley. The auction of the lands in 1859 was an error of the Crown to sell this land as being "free" to auction, as it was owned by Catherine Bentley. Dealings of the land in the 1859 auction and subsequent sales are illegal dealings due to errors by the State Government of Victoria and breach the UK Bill of Rights 1688 as well as the Nemo dat rule. The 1859 auction was illegal and conferred no valid titles. The real owner of the lands, the Bentley heirs demands vacant possession of the land within 90 days. Return to top of page Andrew is claiming 19 million dollars in compensation as the legal heir and descendant of Catherine Bentley. Under Victorian law as well as the Canadian Canadian Rebellion Losses Bill of 1838 the descendants and heirs are entitled to compensation for the loss of their inheritance. This state government is in breach of the probate laws of inheritances as well in all this under the Acts 1873/1890/1892/1898/1922/1933 to 1958 wills and probate laws And under the Claims against the Crown Acts 1858/1928 and 1958 Laws. So they aren't just in breach of British laws, they are in breach of the current laws of Victoria as well. The Bentley's DEMAND FROM THE VICTORIAN STATE GOVERNMENT AN UNRESERVED APOLOGY 1854-2008 Return to top of page Anti-British sentiments and Sunday trading The miners at the Stockade were generally anti-British, there was an all-in-brawl in Ballarat on 9th and 10th December 1853 against British miners. Many of the miners involved in key positions were Chartists many of them openly determined to force change through violence, many of them would be arrested under modern terrorism laws for inciting violence. Peter Lalor a wanted man. The Bentleys had sold out their confectionery business in Elizabeth Street Melbourne for a nice sum of money to an acquaintance from Carlton who brought it. Their shop was just around the corner from Peter Lalor's wine and spirits ware house and liquor merchants store prior to Lalor and his brother going into receivership in 1853 after a dispute with his partner who took over most of their stock because the liquor licensing branch officer in charge of the police was none other than John D'Ewes. D'Ewes went to Lalor's premises after a tip off that Peter Lalor was importing liquors into Victoria without paying taxes on it and as such sly grogging it undeclared. So D'Ewes told them that their premises would not be relicensed for the next year whilst Lalor was a
  • 26. partner even though D'Ewes couldn't prove it by catching him red handed with contraband grog his threat was enough to cause a split between the two partners and both went their separate ways. Lalor then took off to the Ballarat gold fields with a share of that liquor to sell freelance there as a sly groger which contributed to the hatred that Lalor had for John D'Ewes and then to Bentley. Peter apparently saw himself as much "merchant as digger", since he bought from the partnership over £800 worth of tobacco, spirits and other supplies; however, his departure for the goldfields ended his career as a city merchant." James Smith, a miner and associate of Peter Lalor's who kept a diary first published in 2001, wrote a critical and inaccurate account of the Eureka Hotel trading on a Sunday. "The hotel was frequented by very bad characters. Several robberies were committed there, but the proprietor knew a thing or two and fed the police so largely they took no notice of his house and allowed him not only to sell poisons but to keep open all day Sunday about which regulations were very strict". The Irish miners did not appreciate that there was no corruption involved for the Hotel to be open, the police were not corrupt in allowing it to trade, they had no say in the matter. It may have appeared to be unfair from the miner's view because they could not prospect for gold on a Sunday, the miners right demanded a "strict and proper observance of Sundays". It may be hard for us to appreciate this 1854 cause for anger at the Bentley's in 2008, but Sunday was a Biblical sacred day of rest in 1854. Sunday trading had been banned from 906, there were violent riots in England the year after the Eureka Stockade in the Sunday trading Riots of 1855. The Irish Catholics and miners resented the Eureka Hotel trading on a Sunday, but the Eureka Hotel still opened on a Sunday because of ancient laws of hospitality for travellers. The reason why Catherine could trade on Sundays which the miners resented was that it was legally permitted to trade on Sundays even if other shops were forbidden to trade. The Eureka Hotel had a legal concession for travellers like Cobb & Co coaches who called into The Eureka or stayed in the 80 bed accommodation guest house. To further anger the miners the licence to open on a Sunday was only to serve travellers and not local miners. In 1854 the Estafette line had coaches travelling between Geelong and Ballarat in a day and Cob & Co's Concord wagons were much lighter wagons than the English style and were even faster. Daniel and George Ford set up goods traffic so that Geelong and Melbourne papers were available the same day in Ballarat. Catherine Bentley's Eureka Hotel had a special licence to trade on Sundays. Ballarat could normally be two days by horse from Melbourne with a stop over at the aptly named town of Diggers Rest, 30Km north west of Melbourne where others inns could also trade on a Sunday. The weary travellers after a long days journey, mostly from Melbourne or Geelong to Ballarat could get a Sunday roast lunch in the comfortable Eureka Hotel instead of a cold tent. Ballarat winters can be very cold with snow occasionally falling on nearby Mount Buninyong. Summer can also be too hot. The wife of the French Counsel Céleste de Chambrillan familiar with European luxury visited the Eureka Hotel and had a different opinion that it was "a fairly well run inn, but the master was brusque and disagreeable" Perhaps Mr Bentley was brusque and disagreeable as a consequence of some of the drunk miners he had to deal with. Carboni
  • 27. said of the local drinkers. "Vandemonians" drinking at the Prince Albert hotel are "vulgar, foul conceits, naturally cowards (drink gives pluck to cowards), through which Satan has produced so many first-rate bullock drivers." The hotel prospered under the control of Catherine and Mr Bentley's brusque guidance. To summarise Lalors and the miner's possible causes to discredit and harm the Bentley's and the Eureka Hotel. 1. Lalor's dislike for the Police Magistrate John D'Ewes seen as an ally of Bentley 2. James Bentley was an Englishman who the Irish detested as oppressors 3. James Bentley competed with the sly grog sellers but paid his liquor taxes 4. James Bentley was a Tall poppy an ex-convict who had made good 5. James Bentley was said to have had a brusque personality 6. Sunday trading of the Eureka Hotel was seen as a corruption 7. He was a ready made scapegoat for a miner killed in a claim jumping war Return to top of page Setting up James Bentley James Bentley the day before the Eureka Hotel was destroyed wrote that the main investigate of the whole matter is a person keeping a store on the Gravel Pits under the name of the "Ballarat Stores" a notorious Sly Grog Shop James was referring to Peter Lalor who advocated the second trial of James after he had already been acquitted once on the same charge. Patrick Curtain was a former employee of Catherine Bentley's prior to the seizure and destruction of the Eureka Hotel. He worked there on the night of the alleged killing and gave contradictory evidence against the Bentley's in the Supreme Courts in Melbourne as a "key witnesses" for the Crown. He and Mooney another employee, as a night watchman swore false evidence that James Bentley, Harvey Hance and John Farrell had left the Hotel that night armed with a shovel. As a result of this false testimony, Patrick Curtain received £250 along with Mooney for the total amount of £500 for changing their original stories to the police under EPS Sturt on the swearing out by the Senior Magistrate. Curtain and Mooney cleaned up financially on the setting up of James Bentley. They even got the diggers reward offered by the Ballarat reform league by Humffray, Vern and Thomas Kennedy of £500 as well as the Crown reward. Then Curtain gets a further £1,890 compensations from Lalor in 1857 while Lalor was the parliamentarian presiding over compensation claims, at the same time Humffray was illegally selling the Bentley's Hotel lands. Sturt ordering the re-arrest of the Bentley's on the 23rd October 1854, and the arrest of Hance and Farrell on that date for their retrial on the same charges as of the 12th October at the police camp at Ballarat. Although ( the alleged ) Peter Martin was also a key Crown witness of that incident on the 6/7th October in the alleged death of James Scobie, Peter Martin absconded his bail and failed to appear at the planned Melbourne Bentley trials set for the 18th. Peter Martin could not be located in a frantic search at Ballarat by the police. Little did they know that in-fact he Peter Martin was the real living "James Scobie" whom had given his Police statement on the eighth day after absconding from the alleged crime scene after Dr Alfred Carr had come to the spot where this body lay some seventy yards north east from Bentley's rear yard entrance. It took the police a whole nine hours on the 7th to locate this fellow Peter Martin to obtain a statement from him which is still held on record at the state archives at Laverton, ( now housed at Melbourne central archives ) Victoria. The name "Peter Martin" is in fact a made up name from two peoples names given to James
  • 28. Scobie by the one and only Peter Lalor earlier that night when they first set up the Bentleys at about 9:30pm on the 6th October 1854. The cover name "Peter Martin" is derived alias name made up from Peter Lalor's first name "Peter" and the surname as "Martin" was from the actual murdered young man, former workmate and partner to nine others who Fredrick Vern told the Sturt Inquiry were Irish and Scottish miners who had fallen out with John Martin over his gold claim at Daltons Flats that mid-September where a magistrate had ruled that he John Martin was the rightful owner of that gold claim site and not the other eight so termed partners who had horned in on Martin's claim and pressed themselves onto him two months earlier telling him that "all these extra hands could work the claim much quicker in shifting soil from the golden hole if they were taken in as equal share partners". This was in that July of 1854. Later on the 15th November Vern had accidently "blown the whistle" on Lalor and the others involved in the death of John Martin as missing leaving his tent, tools and clothing at Daltons flats? That therefore the deceased Surname "Martin" was added to Peter Lalor's Christian name which makes "Peter Martin" you see dear reader. The police under Robert Rede and EPS Sturt were all made to look idiots by all of this subdifuge by the criminals involved in the actual murder of John Martin. Locally written history books all refer to the death of "James Scobie", and the Courts and the Crown of Victoria to this day and the State Victorian Government have all been made fools of by Peter Lalor and his Criminal cohort partners in those conspiracies used not only against the Bentley's but the Crown as well. This is the real reason why Peter Lalor could not and did not accept that offered "Knighthood" whilst he sat in the Parliament of Victoria in the later part of the 1800's. And why, he, Lalor and Humffray chose at every turning to destroy those innocent Bentley's fearing that if they were reinstated by any owed Crown compensations the real truth may reignite a fresh "murder" inquiry by the police over the actual death of John Martin in 1854. The 1892 Catherine Bentley note about the living James Scobie was correct, including the involvement of Peter Lalor in assisting him out of Ballarat during the riots she extended as one incident to the Eureka Stockade. Scobie was assisted to Melbourne on the Friday 25th with the diggers so termed representatives to the Governors office they failed to attend that day. Return to top of page How could it possibly be James Scobie who was killed? In the Scobie grave at Ballarat there is no burial recorded of a James Scobie allegedly killed in 1854, only the remains of his two year old infant son. The son was buried on a reopening of the grave without there being any records of a previous burial! The fictional memorial plate fixed to the side of the grave was put on in 1882 and not by George's family. The funeral plate was affixed to the Scobie grave by the solicitor for the diggers, Adam Loftus Lynn who was also involved with the Ballarat cemetery trust. Others must have been involved in the conspiracy to deceive everyone that it was James Scobie who was killed. James Scobie's supposed brother George who cannot be traced from birth records was inconsolable at the funeral and kept repeating, "If only I hadn't gone to Geelong, I would have dragged him away. I never liked The Slaughterhouse". Further to the alleged phoney story about the burial of James Scobie in 1854. Andrew O'Crowley following up on claims by Catherine Bentley, has found evidence that George
  • 29. Scobie was never the older brother of James Scobie. In fact they were born in two separate towns, George was born in Auchtertarder, and James in Stirling Perthshire Scotland. George lived at Arbruthven. George had an older sister Fanny she was 35 years old. The three lived together until their mother died and then George migrated to Australia. In 1831, he was 15 years old and his father had died by then aged 76. James Scobie was born in 1835, and so in 1854 these lies told about George being his brother was to cover up for the real killing of John Martin whose body was dumped behind the Bentley family hotel that evening. George was the drayman who used his waggon to dump the body that night of the 6th of October with Peter Lalor who helped cover for the real killers whom there were 3 others, and James Scobie one of them! They framed James Bentley. Andrew has searched back to 1780 in Scotland with the assistance of another researcher and archivist there since 1990 and the legal facts have always been that James Scobie did not die in 1854. That was always a cover story in the real Murder of John Martin, their former gold claim partner they had killed over a "hole" at Dalton's Flats near Magpie diggings. They have all lied since day one and got away with it until exposed 150 years later by Andrew O'Crowley. On the 4th December 1865 (recorded as marriage 4141) a James Scobie (miner) married a Jane Scott (servant) at Emerald Hill in Melbourne. Marriage Certificates for James Scobie married in 1865 on the bottom of the page show Scobies signature. Scobie's signature here matches exactly to the alleged "Peter Martin's" hand writing and signature on his 1854 7th October police witness statement given to police after they took 9 hours to track this alleged Peter Martin down at Ballarat. Peter Martin's Deposition Page 1. Note signatures. "P" for Peter is over lay "J" from james has the hook over it and e's and o's over each other! As in this statement he James Scobie started to write his real name with a "J" then remembered and made a "P" out of the "J" letters! thats why there is a hooked "P" in Peter Martin's name on this statement. Scobie also fudged his age in documents, because on his son's death certificate in 1878, he adds a another "b" to his surname as "Scobbie" but he is the same person who married Jane Scott 1865. After jane died in 1868 and Scobbie went to New Zealand and married his new sweetheart and came back to Australia to reside in the South Melbourne house. He have 2 more children by his second marriage adding to the two children he had with his first wife Jane Scott. He lied about his real age in 1865 upon his marriage to Jane Scott. His hand writing is the same hand that signed that Peter Martin Police Statement on the 7/9th October 1854 at Ballarat East. No question what-so-ever, this man is the real James Scobie. Many people seemed to die around James Scobie! James Scobie's death was recorded in 1854! Well as matter of fact it never was officially in the death records nor at the Ballarat cemetary as occurring! Only in the E.P.S. Sturt inquiry sittings for the Hotham government! It was a political inquiry based solely on hearsay of recollections from those who believed James Scobie had been murdered? That at inquest held at Ballarat by D'Ewes the Police Magistrate never formally identified those remains of that deceased person nor did anyone else officially! And today those records show and prove that no James Scobie had died there between 1853 and 1857. In fact James Scobie died in 1917 at South Melbourne. These three documents below were researched by Andrew O'Crowley and show firstly, that there was no James Scobie born in the 1830s in that district of Scotland, secondly that a James Scobie died in South Melbourne in 1917 and thirdly that there is no death recorded of a James Scobie between 1853 and 1857. The historical error Australian historians, like Jeffrey Blainey, Robson, or Manning Clark have never penetrated
  • 30. the depth of the deception in some of the euphoric Eureka celebrations relating to fervent nationalistic feelings. The official line has been this: On October 7th 1854 at about 1.00am, James Bentley was in the Eureka Hotel with his wife Catherine, John or Thomas Farrel (a servant resident at the hotel), William Hance (a waiter), the night watchman William Duncan and the barman Michael Welsh. While they sat around chatting, two miners who had spent a night on the town getting drunk walked past the hotel and seeing the lights on may have assumed the hotel was still open as Bentley was known to trade after hours. They may have been told to go away, but one of the miners abused Catherine calling her a whore and remember she also had a one year old son presumably sleeping until woken. A glass pane was broken on the Hotel door and the two miners then staggered off. The Hotel doors opened and Bentley and others emerged, which prompted Scobie to turn around and go back, perhaps spoiling for a fight. Details of what happened next are murky. Peter Martin was struck with a shovel and when he awoke he found Scobie next to him dead. Was it really Scobie though? The historical correction The unofficial story and truth which has been covered up is that Lalor set out to destroy Bentley and plotted to make use of the body of another miner killed earlier that day in a claim jumping war to implicate Bentley. The man was murdered far away from the Eureka Hotel and his body was dumped out-side the Eureka Hotel later and a ruckus of noise was made to draw the attention Bentley's attention. The crew who dumped the body included a female friend of Lalor's. It was said at the trial a female voice was heard and it was assumed to be Catherine Bentley's, but it was more likely another female given that Catherine would be attending to her baby at that time of night and the more "Brusque" Mr Bentley could give them the appropriate scram drunks message. In setting up James Bentley for the murder of a miner who was not Scobie at all, other sly grog sellers got rid of their major competition who did not pay taxes. Once Bentley was arrested and tried for the murder, D'Ewes, and co-conspirators selling sly grog put Catherine on a prison hulk. That puts the lie to Lalor's claims that D'Ewes favoured the Bentleys. He did not. Thanks for all the hospitality Mrs Bentley. D'Ewes put Catherine's life and that of her baby at risk on a filthy prison ship after she ran the best establishment in town. They prevented her petition for compensation and assumed possession of the Eureka Hotel lands and the guest house (Could sleep 80 people) still standing. Mr Bentley did not own the land, he was on remand and innocent until convicted, but his wife Catherine's land was unjustly taken away from her when she was totally an innocent party, as Mr Bentley appears to have been as well. Martin raised the alarm and Scobie was carried back into the Eureka where James Bentley called a Doctor. An inquest was held the same day and the verdict was that the wounds were inflicted by unknown persons. Two witnesses swore that James Bentley did not leave the hotel and no witness could confirm seeing Bentley hit Scobie though some had heard his voice. Peter Lalor attended the inquest and reported that he was concerned that Bentley had whispered to a juror Henry Green and that he had spoken to the Coroner David Williams. Bentley was exonerated, "there could be no suspicion against him". James Bentley went out that night to render assistance and or search for any assailants in the darkness that night after the body was brought by Dr Carr. Dr Carr is also linked to the frame up with by Lalor! It is my opinion that Carr had seen the body brought into his tent that night and then taken and dumped it behind the hotel. The alleged bogus Peter Martin who sought the assistance of the butcher opposite Bentley's who said he was awakened by Peter Martin to help because his friend was laying lifeless around the back of the hotel. So the butcher went to the spot and found the body! Then Martin went for Dr Carr he said and
  • 31. not Bentleys because all this was well prior to Bentley's coming out of the hotel. They only knew about the death when Carr brought the body into the hotel and only did James go outside the premises. It was James Bentley who saddled up his horse and went to the police tent a mile away down Eureka main road. All this occurred earlier than 9.00 pm on the 6th, it couldn't have all blown up at 12.30 am in the early morning on 7th when Carr arrived with the butcher and carrying in the unknown deceased body could it? And that's enough time for Dr Carr to have attended the deceased's body after he had been kicked to death and was taken to Dr Carr's tent hoping they hadn't actually killed him and that Carr could do something to rouse him to life. The deceased body in Dr Carr's tent had to be removed quickly! They received Lalor's help to put the body back onto the dray and dumped it nearer to Bentley's. Earlier they had mocked up an altercation at about 9.00 pm at front of the hotel. They banged on Bentley's hotel doors and made a ruckus to rouse up Bentley's to implicate there was an altercation at that time in that vicinity. From the darkness Lalor and others watched as the conspiracy against James Bentley took place. Rumours were spread around Ballarat against the English publican James Bentley and mainly due to Lalor's complaints, a judicial inquiry was held before Gold Commissioner Robert Rede, assistant Commissioner Johnson and John D'Ewes the police Magistrate. Bentley was dismissed as being responsible, but Johnson dissented with the other's decision and sent depositions to the Attorney General Stawell. Many people believed that D'Ewes favoured Bentley and as a result, a public protest was held outside the Eureka Hotel on 17th October 1854. D'Ewes was the officer who had stopped Lalor selling sly grog in Melbourne and when D'Ewes supported Bentley's testimony in the trial, Bentley's profile was increased as a bigger target for Lalor's wrath. There were false claims made that D'Ewes was a part owner of the Eureka to discredit the his testimony, but two witnesses swore that Mr Bentley did not leave the building. If was only after a £500 reward was offered that other witnesses came forward claiming Bentley was seen with a shovel, one of them seemed to profit handsomly from the reward and compensation for the destruction of his store. It appears that Curtain may have learnt about store-keeping from the Bentley's who he may have resented. At the meeting on the 17th October 1854, the unruly crowd smashed parts of the Eureka Hotel and drank the liquor, some miners chased Bentley who had to escape the lynch mob by horse to Melbourne as the hotel was set on fire. The guesthouse shown in the background of Andrew's painting survived as an improvement on the land until Council road widening works demolished it, first in 1868 and finally in 1889. On 19th October a reward of £500 was offered for information about the death of James Scobie. The reward prompted Thomas Mooney and Patrick Curtain to come forward with evidence implicating Bentley. Why didn't they come forward before a reward was offered? Return to top of page The Eureka Stockade Battle The second oil painting here is courtesy of and © Frank O'Crowley 2008 showing the soldier's charge against the miners. An account of the Battle by one of the thirteen miners acquitted of treason Michael Tuohy's account. The Eureka trials The Two Trials of James Bentley
  • 32. In the first trial of James Bentley, he was exonerated from any blame, There could be no suspicion against him". Through Lalor's efforts and his claims that the first trial was rigged, a second trial was held. James Bentley, his wife Catherine, John or Thomas Farrel (a servant resident at the hotel) and William Hance (a waiter) were tried for the murder of James Scobie. Mrs Bentley was found not guilty but James Bentley, Farrell and Hance were all found guilty of manslaughter, not the more serious pre-meditated crime of murder. The miners had been very hostile towards Bentley, stirred up mainly by Lalor who formally ran a sly grog shop in Melbourne around the corner from Bentley confectionery shop. The police Magistrate D'Ewes who supported Bentley's testimony was possibly a hated enemy of Lalor who stirred up the miners to initiate the second trial of James Bentley after he had been already found to be innocent. It seems that apart from the unruly elements among the miners, some residents of Ballarat knew that Bentley had been treated harshly, being convicted on circumstantial evidence which did not even fit in with the injuries of the victim. "There was a wound in his forehead as if made by the head of a tomahawk, or other blunt instrument; a bruise on the back of his head, as if from the fall, and another on the neck, as from a violent kick or other cause." Another witness in the second trial of James Bentley had also worked for Catherine Bentley on the night of the alleged false death of Scobie was Michael Welch. He also made a claim for compensation to Colonel Robert Rede and E.P.S. Sturt on the 23rd October 1854 when the Bentley's were re-arrested under orders of Sir Charles Hotham on advice from the then Attorney General in Melbourne. Michael Welch was a waiter in the "Eureka Hotel" and he was the husband of the Crown's prime witnesses Mary Anne Welch and her young son Bernard Welch. They swore that they had heard "a woman's voice". The boy Bernard said that he thought the woman he never saw but heard, sounded like Mrs. Bentley, he thought she said something to the effect of "Thats how to treat those sweeps" (meaning how to frame up the English (Bentley's EPS Sturt and D'Ewes) in a crime they the Bentley's knew nothing about at that time of night) This voice was most likely the barmaid from the Star Hotel on Main and a friend of Peter Lalor. Catherine Bentley would not have called anyone "sweeps". Lalor frequented the Star Hotel on a regular basis, it was over a mile and half away from Bentley's Hotel. After the first trial of James Bentley at Ballarat on the 12th of October 1854 where James Bentley was cleared of any blame, Michael Welch put in a claim for compensation for his losses which he maintained was completely lost on the day of the burning of the Hotel on the 17th of October 1854. Eventually he was paid the sum of £120 of the £175 he had claimed under the chairmanship of the Legislative Assembly sittings into compensations of John Basson Humffray ( one of the main culprits who incited the Bentley's Hotel Riots and the Hotel to be burnt down in the first place ). These same men presided over the 1856/7/8 compensation sittings at the Parliament in Melbourne. Key players like Humffray and Lalor presided over these "fudged up compensations claims" paying all thier mates off who had been rebels and diggers in revolt and those who were originally ignored in their claims under the earlier "Sturt compensation sittings" at Bath's Hotel at Ballaarat in November 1854. They had been paid out by 1858, except Catherine Bentley and her son for the second time they remained unpaid. Trials of 13 Eureka miners for treason
  • 33. The 13 miners tried and acquitted of treason Left to Right. 1. Timothy Hayes 2. James Campbell 3. Raffaello Carboni 4. Jacob Sorenson 5. John Manning 6. John Phelan 7. Thomas Dignam 8. John Josephs 9. James Beatie 10. William Malloy 11. Jan Venik 12. Michael Touhey 13. Henry Reed The Supreme Court trial found that the police and the Crown Government had caused the Eureka Riots and Stockade Incident due its harsh and unbending Laws in place on the Ballarat gold fields which drove the diggers to the point they felt so threatened that they had to defend themselves which brought in the "Not Guilty" verdicts of High Treason by the jury. The Government had to accept this decision because it failed to maintain peace and order at those Ballarat disturbances including the Bentley's Hotel Riots which became known as the Ballarat riots of 1854. The Petition to release James Bentley Not everyone on the goldfield was against James Bentley. In the Ballarat Times, immediately under an article on Scobie's murder appeared a notice as published - 'To James F. Bentley, Esq., Proprietor of the Eureka Hotel. The Undersigned, Storekeepers, Diggers, and Inhabitants of Ballarat, duly appreciating the conduct and manner you have evinced in carrying on the Eureka Hotel, and feeling that you could not either directly or indirectly, in the late lamentable occurrence have been in any way accessory; hasten to express the pleasure and gratification we feel at the just judicial termination of the investigation of that unfortunate affair, and are assured that your urbanity and manly behaviour will still continue to guarantee to so well conducted a house, its full share of public patronage. Oct.13, 1851. Underneath appeared the names and occupations of over one hundred signatories. This petition below from a juror in the case against Bentley 1854 has never previously seen the light of day since 1854. The Bentley's have had it in family and other documents like the Hotel floor plans floor plans all that time from Catherine Bentley in 1906. James Bentley had been in jail for just over six months when this petition dated 10th July 1855 was prepared by Humbly Shewet on behalf of storekeepers, diggers and residents of Ballarat, Maryborough and Melbourne, to have Bentley released. It was sent to the Governor of Victoria, Charles Hotham requesting the remission of James Bentley's sentence on the following grounds: 1. The evidence against him was circumstantial 2. He was seen with a spade inconsistent with the victim's injuries as per Dr. Carr's deposition 3. He was found in the first instance by the Ballarat Magistrate to be innocent 4. His good character and forebearance under provocation 5. That Mrs Bentley was acquitted it is likely Mr Bentley was not there as well 6. That it is now believed that Mr Bentley was unjustly a victim of the fury of a political mob 7. That his wife and children are left destitute by the destruction of the Eureka Hotel 8. That James Bentley never admitted any guilt in the matter The petition concludes that Bentley should be released as Dr Carr's testimony was that the victim was not injured or killed by a spade as was seen in Bentley's hands; that the Magistrate in Ballarat had discharged him, his previous good character and general kindliness of his disposition, that his wife was acquitted where the evidence was equally strong, the destitute state of his wife and children are left in as a consequence of the burning of the Hotel and that if your excellency sees any grounds for remission of the unexpired potion of the sentence passed upon the prisoner.
  • 34. At the very bottom of the petition there are comments from a jury member that the injuries on the victim are not from a spade Bentley was seen with and that "I consider that through the mistake (the conviction) there has been heaped on Bentley's head a greater amount of odium than he at all deserves". Bentley was not released immediately after the petition, he had to serve another year of hard labour serving half of his sentence in Ararat prison. Not long after he was released and had a difficult time finding employment, a butcher took him to court for a £16 debt. Bentley was unable to pay the debt and was jailed for 10 days which caused him to loose the employment he had recently obtained to pay the debt, ensuring that he and his family remained destitute. Bentley after his release got a job as a station manager in Melbourne in the railways. He was recognised by a policeman because he was believed to have absconded on a debt to a butcher for £16. This was just after they had been up near Talbot on the northern goldfields where they were operating a tent restaurant in the town. Whilst awaiting the government owed compensations fot the losses involved in the Bentley's Hotel at Ballarat East! A friend had offered them the opportunity to operate his restaurant as managers in 1858. Catherine had by this time had another child , a baby girl by the name of Christina and 18 months of age while they were there. Tragically the child ran out onto the roadway straight into the path of a speeding Cobb & Co coach from Bendigo. The coach driver couldn't pull up his team in time! The young girl died instantly while Catherine Bentley was in the restaurant with their customers at the lunchtime rush hour! The poor child's brains were spilling out on the road when news of the accident reached Mrs Bentley. After the funeral, the Bentley's in despair couldn't go on working that business! They decided to pack up and go to Melbourne, for James to locate a more stable salaried job to feed there other two children. And with that they shifted to where James Bentley obtained a job in the railways until he was arrested by the policeman relating to the "meat debt" back in the town of Talbot! Bentley did not abscond on that debt, he got a job to pay for it after the death of their daughter! He subsequently lost his new railways position because of the ten days of imprisonment and he was then sacked from the railways! The cards were certainly stacked against Mr Bentley, the theft of his wife's Real Estate by the state, a family tragedy, being wrongly jailed and while trying to pay off a small debt that would mean nothing to him if his wife retained her interests in the Eureka Hotel lands, he lost his employment because he was unfairly jailed for a minor £16 debt when his wife was owed £30,000 compensation for the destruction of her property while it was in police custody. The Australian in February 1871, reported that James Bentley had attempted to commit suicide on the steps of parliament house. It was no idle threat or attention seeking but a cry for justice. He did kill himself on 10th April 1873 in Carlton from an overdose of Laudanum, an opiate based medicine. The distress of Mr Bentley which caused him to attempt suicide on the steps of parliament house was extreme. It is not the act of a guilty man, but a plea for justice by an industrious man who was deeply wronged by the Victorian government and in particular by one individual parliamentarian, Peter Lalor. James Francis Bentley is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetary not far from Scobie's and Hotham's grave. May he rest in peace and his ancestors be compensated by returning their Real Estate to them and compensating them for the wrongs done to the family by the Victorian government. Return to top of page
  • 35. The identity question Photo courtesy of Vince Calati Weekly Times July 6th 2005 at page 43. When writing some information on miners involved at the Stockade, Michael Tuohy tried for treason after the stockade and Michael Hanrahan, I was contacted by the descendant and heir of Catherine Bentley, Andrew O'Crowley who had many corrections to make to the traditional Eureka story regarding the death of James Scobie and the conviction of James Bentley for manslaughter. It has taken me a full year to digest and publish all the information Andrew has regarding the real events at the Eureka Stockade regarding the destruction of the Eureka Hotel and the death of James Scobie. Firstly, It was never reported elsewhere that Catherine Bentley was the actual owner of the Hotel when it was destroyed and that unlike all the miners and store holders in the stockade, she was denied compensation when Police took over her Eureka Hotel and let the miners destroy it. Secondly, even though James Bentley was held to be guilty of manslaughter, not murder, It has never been reported elsewhere that Lalor who forced the second trail of James Bentley had a motive to harm Bentley and to do his best to discredit the Policeman whose testimony supported Bentley's innocence, John D'Ewes. Thirdly, Andrew has traced and documented the corruption involved in the 1859 sale of Catherine's lands which allowed invalid Real Estate property titles to be given to occupiers in this illegal sale. Catherine Bentley's heir's land claims will cause on-going legal problems for dozens of illegally occupied properties in Ballarat. Fourthly Andrew's research indicates that James Scobie was never murdered and Scobie and Lalor could have both been involved in the murder of another man, John Martin who they had argued with over a gold claim. Andrew's research concludes that Bentley was framed for the murder, that the death was recorded as being James Scobie, but it was actually John Martin who was buried. The name "Peter Martin" is in fact a made up name from two peoples names given to James Scobie by the one and only Peter Lalor earlier that night when they first set up the Bentleys at about 9:30pm on the 6th October 1854. The cover name "Peter Martin" is derived alias name made up from Peter Lalor's first name "Peter" and the surname as "Martin" was from the actual murdered young man, former workmate and partner to nine others who Fredrick Vern told the Sturt Inquiry were Irish and Scottish miners who had fallen out with John Martin over his gold claim at Daltons Flats that mid-September where a magistrate had ruled that he John Martin was the rightful owner of that gold claim site and not the other eight so termed partners who had horned in on Martin's claim and pressed themselves onto him two months earlier telling him that "all these extra hands could work the claim much quicker in shifting soil from the golden hole if they were taken in as equal share partners". This was in that July of 1854. Return to top of page Student History Review Questions Teachers Resources Eureka Teaching & Learning Resources 1. Why was Sunday a day of rest and why did people so fiercely resist Sunday trading 2. Considering the douple jeopardy rule, would Bentley be likely to be convicted if he
  • 36. were retried in 2008?
  • 37. 3. Given a history of Irish rebellion, was the Eureka Stockade a civil war of the Irish against the English? 4. Describe any other conflicts were there on the goldfields between the Irish and English? 5. What role did the UK based Chartist movement play at the stockade? 6. How many other cases can you find of pre-emptive title being denied to crown leaseholders? 7. What other acts of the Victorian Government appropriate private Real Estate without compensation? 8. Publishing and sedition review questions on he Eureka Stockade 9. Eureka Student Questions Return to top of page Heretic Press Eureka Stockade Pages ● ● ● ● ● ● ● The Eureka Stockade by Raefello Carboni Michael Tuohy Acquitted of Treason Michael Hanrahan Pikemen leader at the Eureka Stockade Characters at the Eureka Stockade A few of the personalities involved Irish Catholics At the Eureka Stockade Emigration To Australia for the gold rush Eureka Stockade The 150th Anniversary Return to top of page Eureka Stockade Links A nations Heritage Lalor's Letter to The Agrus April 10th 1855 Events leading to the Stockade Ballarat Timeline Victoria Timeline National identities Genealogical research Australian rebellions Trinity College Eureka resources Encyclopaedia of revolutions of 1848 The Eureka Stockade by Tom O'Lincoln Reclaiming the Radical Spirit of the Rebellion Memories of the Stockade SBS Eureka Links Defending Victoria website pictures Ballarat Stockade: Outline of the events at Eureka Harvey's book : Link to genealogical Society website: Return to top of page About the author Andrew O'Crowley Andrew O'Crowley worked for many years as an archivist in charge of the Victoria Police Department's CIB Murder Brief section at Russell Street Police Head Quarters. He also worked as a Crown law Officer in the Magistates division in the Crown Law Department of Justice.
  • 38. He was also an archives researcher in the Birth's Deaths and Marriages office in Melbourne in the 1980's. Andrew has an entry in the Metropolitan Who's who New York Edition in 2002. He has conducted and contributed other research to Australian History, including contributions with other Ballarat historians such as Bob O'Brien who wrote Massacre at Eureka: The Untold Story 1992. Eureka Stockade References New in late 2004 The Eureka Encyclopaedia Hot off the Press Packed with Eureka Stockade research Corfield J, Wickham D, Gervasoni C, Ballarat Heritage Services 2004. PO 2209 Ballarat VIC 3354. Email Ballarat Heritage Service Anderson Hugh (editor.) Report on Condition of the Goldfields Red Rooster Press, Melbourne, 1978. Blake Les. Peter Lalor: The Man From Eureka Neptune Press, Belmont, Vic., 1979. Bob O'Brien Massacre at Eureka: The Untold Story. The Sovereign Hill Museums Association 1998 Edition ISBN 0 909 874 190 A collection of other people's accounts than a real book. A book review. "It's strength lies in O'Brien's research abilities. Through diligent pain staking research, he has been able to find accounts by participants who have been ignored by other researchers and authors". Bert and Bon Strange (booklet) Eureka: Gold, Graft and Grievances, Harvey, J. T Eureka Rediscovered: In search of the site of the historic stockade University of Ballarat, 1994. Currey. C.H. The Irish at Eureka Angus and Robertson Sydney, 1954. Desmond O'Grady. Raffaello! Raffaello!: A Biography of Raffaello Carboni Hale and Iremonger Sydney, 1985. Despatches From Sir Charles Hotham Public Record Office, Melbourne, (1981?). Eureka: Rebellion Beneath the Southern Cross Rigby, Melbourne, 1977.
  • 39. Fox Len. Eureka and its Flag Mullaya Publications, Canterbury, Vic., 1973. MacFarlane Ian. Eureka: From the Official Records Public Record Office of Victoria, Melbourne, 1995. Potts E. Danieland Annette Potts. Young America and Australian Gold University of Queensland Press St. Lucia, Qld., 1974. Raffaello Carboni. The Eureka Stockade Currey O'Neil Blackburn Vic., 1980. Full text of Carboni online Riddley Matt. Nature via Nurture. Fourth Estate Harper Collins London 2003 Ross R.S. Eureka:Freedom's Fight of '54 Fraser and Jenkinson, Melbourne, 1914. The original copy of the 11.11.1854 Meeting resolutions Public Record Office in Laverton Victoria: "27 Nov. 1854: Bakery Hill Ballarat Resolutions (VPRS 4066, Unit 1, File 69). Turner Ian. Peter Lalor Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1974. Weston Bate. Lucky City: The First Generation at Ballarat 1851-1901 Melbourne University Press, Carlton Vic 1978 At page 138 Weston mentions that Humffray turned to sly-dealing in forfeit crown land. The original source for this story is The Age Newspaper 1862 31st January, 19th and 28th March; 22nd and 24th September 1862. The Victorian Government Gazette 1861 Vol 2. page 2352 The Ballarat Star newspaper, 3rd Aug 1867 page 3 and 13th May 1871 page 9. Withers William Bramwell. The History of Ballarat From the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time Queensberry Hill Press, Carlton, Vic., 1980. First-hand accounts of the Eureka rebellion(EDP1:158) Return to top of page : : : : :