Изображения страниц

Sydney had scarcely recovered from the excitement which Mr. Hargraves' revelations raised in May, when it was again thrown into a state of ferment by a rumour that a lump of gold, whose weight far exceeded anything which the most sanguine had expected of the Australian diggings, had been found in the neighbourhood of the Turon mines. The Bathurst mail of the 15th of July brought a confirmation of the report, which was immediately published in the Sydney newspapers, whence the following account is extracted :-“ Mr. Suttor, a few days previously, threw out a few misty hints about the possibility of a single individual digging £4000 worth of gold in one day, but no one believed him serious. It was thought that he was doing a little harmless puffing for his own district and the Turon diggings. On Saturday it began to be whispered about town that Dr. Kerr, Mr. Suttor's brotherin-law, had found a cwt. of gold. Some people believed it, but the townspeople generally treated the story as a piece of ridiculous exaggeration. The following day, however, set the matter at



[ocr errors]

rest. About two o'clock in the afternoon two greys in tandem, driven by W. H. Suttor, Esq., M.C., made their appearance at the bottom of William Street. In a few seconds they were pulled up opposite the · Free Press' office, and the first indication of the astounding fact which met the view was two massive pieces of the precious metal, glittering in virgin purity, as they leaped from the rock.

“The townspeople were on the qui vive, and about 150 were collected around the gig to catch a glimpse of the wonder. The two pieces spoken of were freely handled amongst the assembled throng for some twenty minutes, and the vehicle was pointed out as containing a square box, the repository of the remainder of the cwt. of gold. It was then conveyed to the Union Bank of Australia. In the presence of the manager, David Kennedy, W. H. Suttor, and T. J. Hawkins, Esqs., and the fortunate proprietor, Dr. Kerr, the weighing commenced, Dr. Machattie officiating, and Mr. Farrand acting as clerk. The first two pieces already alluded to weighed severally 6 lbs. 4 oz. I dwt., and 6 lbs. 13 dwts, besides which were 16 drafts, of 5 lbs. 4 oz. each, making in all 102 lbs. 9 oz. 5 dwts. From Dr. Kerr we learned that he had retained upwards of 3lbs. as specimens, so that the total weight found would be 106 lbs., all disembowelled from the earth at one time.

“ The locality where the gold was found is the commencenent of an undulating table-land, very fertile, and is contiguous to a never-failing supply of water in the Murroo creek. It is distant about 53 miles from Bathurst, 18 from Mudgee, 30 from Wellington, and 18 to the nearest point of the Macquarie river, and is within 8 miles of Dr. Kerr's head station. The neighbouring country has been explored since the discovery, but, with the exception of dust, no further indications have been found.”

The gold was found by an educated Aboriginal, who, provided with a tomahawk, had amused himself by exploring the country adjacent to his employer's land. His attention was called to the lucky spot by some glittering yellow substance upon the surface of a block

In a very

of quartz, forming an isolated heap, which was lying about 100 yards from a quartz vein, stretching up the ridge from the creek. He applied his tomahawk, and broke off a portion, when the splendid prize stood revealed to his sight. He instantly started off hoine, and disclosed his discovery to his master, who, as may be supposed, was on the ground quick as horseflesh would carry him. short period the doctor carried away

three blocks of quartz, containing 106 lbs. of pure gold. The largest of the blocks was about a foot in diameter, and weighed 75 lbs. gross.

. Out of this piece 60 lbs. of pure gold was taken. Before separation it was beautifully encased in quartz. The other two were something smaller. The whole of the masses were supposed to weigh upwards of 2 cwt.

Not being able to move it conveniently, Dr. Kerr broke the pieces into small fragments, and herein committed a very grand error. As specimens, they would have been invaluable ; for, from the description given by him


seen in their original state, the world has seen nothing like them yet. It is but justice to Dr. Kerr to add that he liberally rewarded the faithful Aboriginal for the discovery, and the frank surrender of the treasure.

It now became evident that gold existed in the matrix, which might pass into the hands of individuals much to the prejudice of the Crown. In this instance the finder of the 106 lbs. of gold was not even the holder of a license, and Dr. Kerr had removed the ore from Crown land, of which he was only the renter. The government authorities therefore took possession of the gold; but they returned it again on the receipt of a bond for a royalty of 10 per cent, and the following additional gold regulations were issued :


“ Colonial Secretaries' Office, Sydney,

"August 5, 1851. “With reference to the proclamation of his Excellency the Governor-general, bearing date the 22nd day of May last, and to the notice

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »