HARGRAVES, Edward Hammond (1816-1891)


HARGRAVES, Edward Hammond (1816-1891)
one of the discoverers of gold in Australia
third son of John Edward Hargraves, was born at Gosport, England, on 7 October 1816, and was educated at Brighton grammar school and at Lewes. He came to New South Wales in 1832, and in the following year went on a voyage to Torres Straits and the East Indian islands, where, contracting fever, 20 out of the 27 members of the crew died. The survivors were taken to Europe and in 1834 Hargraves returned to Australia, where he worked on the land for 15 years. He joined the gold rush to California in 1849 but had little success. He noticed, however, that there was a similarity between the Californian gold country and land he had seen near Bathurst, and, returning to Sydney in January 1851, proceeded to the Bathurst district, where with the assistance of a youth he had engaged as a guide, named J. H. A. Lister, he washed some earth, and found small particles of alluvial gold. He engaged another youth named James Tom; the two assistants washed four ounces of gold, and larger amounts were found soon afterwards. Hargraves applied to the government for a reward and while this was being considered he was made a commissioner of crown lands at a salary of twenty shillings a day. Hargraves asked that £500 should be given him before disclosing the site where the gold had been found, but was told he must trust the government. He did so and was given £500. This was afterwards increased to £10,000 by the New South Wales government, and he was also awarded £5000 by the Victorian government in 1855. It would appear from Hargraves's Address to the Honourable Members of the Legislature of Victoria, dated 1877, that he actually received only £2381 of this amount. There has been much controversy as to whether Hargraves was actually the first discoverer of gold in Australia. The truth appears to be that Strzelecki (q.v.) found small quantities in 1839, and W. B. Clarke (q.v.) found gold in payable quantities in 1844, but at the request of Governor Gipps (q.v.) did not disclose the fact to the public. But Hargraves, though not a scientific man, has the credit of rediscovering it, and adding enormously to the wealth of Australia. For the claims of James McBrien, see tinder Strzelecki.
Hargraves examined and reported on other fields for the government, but on receiving his reward resigned his position as commissioner of crown lands, visited England, and was presented to Queen Victoria as the discoverer of gold in Australia. In 1855 Hargraves published Australia and its Gold Fields with a map and a portrait of the author. He returned to Australia and subsequently visited Western Australia at the request of the government there, but was not successful in finding gold. In 1877 he was given a pension of £250 a year by the New South Wales government, and he died on 29 October 1891 at Sydney. He was survived by several sons and daughters. About the time of his death the claims of his assistants to have been the actual first finders of the gold in April 1851 were brought forward and a select committee found in their favour (Mennell). But Hargraves, in his book published in 1855, stated positively that he had found gold in the presence of Lister in February 1851, and his letter to the colonial secretary applying for a reward is dated 3 April 1851. The fact that the amount he found was small in comparison with the four ounces later found by Tom and Lister does not really affect the issue.
E. H. Hargraves, Australia and Its Gold Fields; The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 October 1891; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; W. B. Clarke, Researches on the Southern Gold Fields of New South Wales, pp. 289-305.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Edward Hammond Hargraves — (* 7. Oktober 1816 in Gosport, England; † 29. Oktober 1891 in Sydney, Australien) war ein englischer Entdecker und fand Goldfelder in Australien …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Edward Hargraves — Edward Hammond Hargraves (7 October 1816 ndash; 29 October 1891) was a gold prospector who claimed to have found gold in Australia in 1851, starting the Australian gold rush.Hargraves was born at Gasport, Hampshire, England, third son of… …   Wikipedia

  • Edward Hargraves — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Edward Hammond Hargraves Edward Hammond Hargraves (7 de octubre de 1816–1891) fue un buscador de oro nacido en Inglaterra, que anunció el descubrimiento de este metal en Aust …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hargraves — Edward Hammond Hargraves Edward Hammond Hargraves (* 7. Oktober 1816 in Gosport, England; † 29. Oktober 1891 in Sydney, Australien) war ein englischer Entdecker und fand Goldfelder in Australie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hargraves — /ˈhagreɪvz/ (say hahgrayvz) noun Edward Hammond, 1816–91, Australian gold discoverer, born in England; found gold at Ophir in NSW in 1851, using experience gleaned on the Californian goldfields. Edward Hargraves first arrived in Australia in 1832 …   Australian English dictionary

  • Edward Hargraves — Edward Hammond Hargraves (1816 1891) Né à Gosport, Hampshire en Angleterre, troisième fils du lieutenant John Edward Hargraves et sa femme Elizabeth, il partit pour les États Unis lors de la ruée vers l or en Californie mais n y eut guère de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Edmund Hammond Hargraves — Edward Hammond Hargraves Edward Hammond Hargraves (* 7. Oktober 1816 in Gosport, England; † 29. Oktober 1891 in Sydney, Australien) war ein englischer Entdecker und fand Goldfelder in Australie …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste von Entdeckern — Die folgende Liste führt möglichst umfassend Forschungsreisende auf, die auf die eine oder andere Art Neuland betreten haben und einen bleibenden Einfluss auf den weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte ausübten. Darunter sind auch Forschungsreisende zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste von Forschungsreisenden — Die folgende Liste führt möglichst umfassend Forschungsreisende auf, die auf die eine oder andere Art Neuland betreten haben und einen bleibenden Einfluss auf den weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte ausübten. Darunter sind auch Forschungsreisende zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste der Entdecker — Die folgende Liste führt möglichst umfassend Forschungsreisende auf, die auf die eine oder andere Art Neuland betreten haben und einen bleibenden Einfluss auf den weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte ausübten. Darunter sind auch Forschungsreisende zu… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.