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    Fredrick Vern’s Handwritten Plan of Defence, courtesy of Sovereign Hill Gold Museum.


Fredrick Vern’s Handwritten Plan of Defence

A leader amongst the Eureka rebels, Fredrick Vern first gained notoriety when he appeared as a witness at the Board of Enquiry investigating the burning of Bentley’s Hotel. He was also active in the Ballarat Reform League. In this plan of defence, Vern lays out his vision for the organisational structure of the Digger’s force. He seemingly had few doubts about who should fill the leadership role of ‘chief’ and when passed over, refused to serve as second-in-command to Peter Lalor.

When the German Rifle Brigade of 500 Vern had promised failed to materialise at the Stockade, he fled and a reward of £500 was offered for his capture. He was sheltered by various diggers and managed to avoid arrest, occasionally emerging in print to defend himself from accusations of cowardice during Eureka.

Collection Number 78.972
Archival Source
General Collection; Sovereign Hill Gold Museum. Details
Published Source
Molony, John, Eureka, Viking, Ringwood, 1984. Details
Courtesy Sovereign Hill Gold Museum


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Prepared by: Ben Mountford