William Scott was a miner who died in 1853 at Eaglehawk. The inquest into his death (from 'Apoplexy Intoxication') offers us a rare glimpse of daily life on the diggings for a party of diggers.
William Scott had been working with his mate Patrick Lawler for about four weeks. One morning, after a night of drinking, William decided not to go to work, complaining of a headache.
By noon, having recovered from the headache (or perhaps to cure himself of the headache) William had started on another drinking session, in his tent with two other diggers. Patrick Lawler later joined in.
The last time Patrick saw William Scott alive, he was lying on his bed singing. It wasn't until some time later that the group of diggers realised that William was dead.
Patrick's deposition reads: 'Altho tipsy at the time I found dec'd dead the knowledge of it sobered me'.
A statement by the doctor discusses an indentation found in William Scott's neck - thought to be caused by the weight of his body pressing on a portion of the stretcher which was his bed.
VPRS 24 Inquest Deposition Files
Created: 14 September 2006, Last modified: 23 January 2007