1850 to 1859


An 1850s map of Bendigo, shows that the road to Heathcote does not enter or exit Bendigo where today's McIvor Highway exists. In the early years of this decade, Bendigo was the name generally used for the goldfields and Sandhurst did not exist. There was no township as such and trade was conducted from tents erected on the goldfield. The mentioned road is shown north of Nolan Street and the later cattle yards, between what was often referred to as the two White Hills in approximately the same place as the future Heathcote rail line and Strickland Road. The road led to nothing more than a gold mining and camp area. I have a suspicion that it eventually joined the current McIvor Road alignment at the east end of Atlas Road.

Supplies for the miners who came to Bendigo for the various gold rushes were provided by enterprising merchants, or even miners who were not striking it rich. They sold their products from tents on site.

The camp was eventually moved, or removed as variously reported, to Camp Hill, closer to today's Pall Mall in 1852, facilitating commercial development which expanded very rapidly. The Municipal District of Sandhurst was not proclaimed until April 24, 1855.

September, 1852

Government Gazette No. 38, reports that Mr. Robert Ross Esq. of Axedale Station, Campaspe River, is appointed a Magistrate of the Colony of Victoria and its dependencies.

A Public Records Office hand drawn plan, identified as Run Plan 455, Axedale 1852, shows what may be part of the registration of Robert Ross's Axedale Station Pre-emptive Right. There are a number of interesting items of interest marked on the plan:

1. A location identified as Crossing Place in a position similar to today's McIvor Road (Highway) bridge.

2. An area East of the Campaspe River marked Supposed about 320 acres that is the same as Ross's Pre-emptive Right, Part B, part of which is today's Marydale Estate. The size matches in acreage and the land lies between the Campaspe River and what is marked as Precipitous Rocky Range further East. Several items are identified here: Homestead, with several buildings and a garden, a gate about one third of the distance North along the East boundary fence, Woolshed, about two thirds of the way North along the same fence, and Paddock shown in the North West corner.

3. An area between Axedale-Kimbolton Road and the Campaspe River is also outlined. This is the other half of Robert Ross's Pre-emptive Right and is the land on which today's Axedale Golf Course (Axedale Racecourse and Recreation Reserve) and Camp Getaway exists. It extends South to Backhaus Road and West to the Campaspe River. The outline is referenced as Paddock Fence and the only other identified item is Old Home Station on what is now the Axedale Golf Course.

As Crown Lands are taken up by settlers, the Squatters Runs start diminishing in size and the Axedale Run is no exception. In 1852, Mr. Robert Ross's holdings are nothing like the 67,000 acres of the preceding years. He now has a number of holdings. One of these consists of 640 acres with the Campaspe River flowing through the middle of it. The East half of what is referred to as Axedale Station, is the current-day Marydale, and the West half is the current-day Axedale Golf Course, having had a previous life as the Axedale Racecourse and Recreation Reserve. Ross also has Allotments 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, Section 1, Parish of Axedale, of approximately 354 acres, North side of McIvor Road, on the East side of the Axe Creek.

There is no bridge over the Campaspe River at this time and the road approach on the Eastern side is nothing like what it is today [2015]. The McIvor Road is nothing but an unmade track through the forest and, if you are traveling from McIvor [Heathcote] to Axedale and are lucky enough to make it to near the Toolleen Road intersection, you continue to the left through the Knowsley Forest, across the current-day Quarry Road at the bend about half a kilometre down from the current course of the McIvor Highway and continue along the South boundary of Axedale Station [now Marydale] towards the Campaspe River. When near the River, you turn right and continue towards the current day Campaspe Bridge. A left turn then takes you down a well-worn approach to the river shallows. If luck is still with you, and the River is low enough for you to try it, you wade or maybe even swim, across to the West bank and continue your journey. However, if the river is not low enough, you have three choices - turn back, find another place to cross, or wait for the water level to drop. The Campaspe River, generally untapped for irrigation back then, carried a lot more water than it does now.

February, 1854

• Robert Ross of the Axedale Run writes to Mr. Powlett, the Chief Commissioner of Crown Lands as follows: "There is at present a great want of accommodation for travelers on the line of road from the Campaspe to Sandhurst by way of my station of Axedale. It is my intention if I be fortunate enough to obtain permission from your office to erect a Commodious Inn at a portion of the road where the roads via the White Hills and Sheepwash Creek divide, situate on the Axe Creek about 8 miles from the crossing place at the Campaspe and 8 miles from the township of Sandhurst. I have had conversation with the Bench at Sandhurst on the subject and the Magistrates have expressed it as their opinion that a Hotel is much required in the locality in question. I therefore address you for permission to erect it on Crown lands, and would esteem it a great favour if you would give me an answer at an early date addressed to care of Ross and Clarke, Bourke Street. I have the honor to be Sir, your most obedient servant, Robert Ross." Ross is advised that there would be no objection to the proposal. Mr. W. A. B. Miller is later granted a licence for what will become the first Axedale Hotel. [Based on an advertisement for its sale by then owner, Michael Costelloe, in 1867, it existed on a 2 acre property at the corner of McIvor Highway and Hawkins Lane, Longlea, immediately West of the Axe Creek bridge.]

[Ross's father, Lieutenant Colonel and Major, James Hunter Ross, was a solicitor with a practice in Bourke Street, Melbourne. His partner from about 1853 to 1857, was John Clarke. The requested return address indicates that the legal papers for Robert Ross's Hotel were handled by his father's practice. The reference to the road divide refers to what is now the Longlea Lane/McIvor Highway intersection.]

March, 1854

• Frederick Leete applies for land on which to erect ... [see Axedale hotel file at PROV]

August, 1854

• Robert Ross, Esquire, is appointed a Returning Officer for the Electoral District of the Pastoral District of the Loddon under the provisions of "The Victoria Electoral Act 1851" vice C.B. Hall, Esquire absent from the Colony.

March, 1855

• Gold is a pastime that is remunerative to a few. New diggings on the Axe Creek are viewed as somewhat mythical as many search for them without success while others say they are finding nice specimens. Mr. Miller, of the Axedale Hotel, [at Axe Creek] says that they are 20 miles [32km] distant from his place, following the course of the Creek, but that he can reach them in five miles [8km] by a short cut. Of course, the short cut is not identified.

July, 1855

• Crown land lots are opened and advertised for selection. Among others, there are 22 lots at Axedale, at the junction of the Axe Creek with the Campaspe River, between 10 and 15 miles [16km and 24km] East of Sandhurst, near Ross or Axedale Station.

September, 1855

• Fox and Hounds - Jones' hounds embark on a run from White Hills to the ranges between McGowan and Boyle's Station, then to the right of Boyle's, on to the back of the Axedale Hotel [Axe Creek], then direct to Sugar Loaf Ranges, then tried crossing Campaspe Plains and doubled back on to McGowan's paddock and crossed the road. The hounds caught up with their quarry at the new township of Goornong, formerly known as 'The Crab Holes'. It takes 2.5 hours to cover a calculated total distance of 30 miles [48km], including the crossing of Baker's Bog without any mishap.

• Michael Costelloe, proprietor of the Axedale Hotel, posts a notice about a found stray horse near the Axedale Hotel. The owner can have it back by paying the costs of advertisements, expenses, and proving ownership.

October, 1855

• One unidentified land allotment, at Axedale, is advertised for sale.

• Michael Costelloe finds three more strayed horses near the Axedale Hotel. The owner can claim after proof of ownership and paying costs.

November, 1855

• Michael Francis Costelloe marries Anne Francis O'Sullivan at Emerald Hill. Anne is the daughter of Mr. William O'Sullivan, Architect, of Limerick, Ireland.

• Nineteen land allotments in Sections 1, 2, 3 and 4, are advertised for sale at the junction of the Axe Creek with the Campaspe River, between ten and sixteen miles east of Sandhurst, near Ross's or Axedale Station.

December, 1855

• Nineteen land allotments at Axedale on the Campaspe, and twenty six country lots immediately north and south of the township of Axedale are advertised for sale.

• An article titled "Axedale Hotel" appears: The proprietor of the Axedale Hotel, Michael Costelloe, in returning his sincere thanks to his numerous friends and the public in general, for the very liberal patronage he has received since opening, begs to assure them that no expense or endeavour on his part shall be spared to render it deserving of their continued support. The stock of wines, spirits, etc., have been selected with the greatest care. M.F.C. [Michael Francis Costelloe] can, with the fullest confidence, recommend them to his friends as equal to any to be had in the colony. There are several large, well fenced and watered paddocks, stock yards, and sheep pens for the accommodation of settlers and others traveling with stock. Horses taken to graze by the week or month. The Axedale [Hotel] is within eight miles of Bendigo, on the main road from there to McIvor [Heathcote], Kilmore, and Melbourne.

Costelloe is about to play a larger role, albeit with some notoriety, in the Axedale history story.

• Another identity, George Washington Haycock, Pall Mall, advertises that he is a Weighbridge Proprietor, and General Commission Agent. The weighbridge is at the rear of the Post Office and it is suggested that miners might benefit from weighing their quartz there. He is also an agent for Cobb and Co.'s Telegraph Line of Coaches and advertises reduced fares for Castlemaine to Melbourne - £3, Bendigo to Melbourne - £5, and Maryborough to Melbourne - £5. There is another advertisement advising Merchants, Storekeepers, and all persons having goods to forward to the Diggings, or any part of the Colonies, England, and the United States, that he and T.K. Newton and Co. have purchased the concern of F.J. Rogers and Co. and are prepared to carry out the forwarding business in all its branches. There is a note stating that a John McCormack has no further interest in the concern.

[Haycock is something of a Wheeler/Dealer and has a finger in many pies. He is about to play a pivotal role in the fortunes of Robert Ross and the Axedale history.]

January, 1856

• George Washington Haycock is one of seven Councilors elected to the very first Sandhurst Town Council. He takes on the Treasurer's role and provides a two-roomed weatherboard building at the weighbridge at View Point. One of the Council's first undertakings is the removal of stumps in the streets and filling in the prolific diggers' gold mining holes.

• Haycock and Newton advertise forwarding services under the banner of Telegraph Stage Office and General Forwarding Depot, 23 Bourke Street East, Opposite the Union Hotel, Melbourne. Four-horse wagons are despatched daily to the various diggings. It is the principal booking office for daily coaches to Castlemaine, Bendigo, Maryborough. They also advertise daily lines to Ballarat, Creswick and Fiery Creek, Beechworth, Wangaratta, Albury, etc.

Haycock's affairs continue to increase and he is subsequently authorised to receive payments of calls on shares associated with the Colonial Bank of Australasia.

• An advertisement titled Baths, Baths, Baths appears in print: "Opposite the View Point and Royal Hotels. This establishment is now OPEN, and the lovers of a good clean dip can have one at the above premises. As many persons are under the impression that the same water will be used twice, we beg leave to state that having a good supply, it will be, after being once used, passed into the creek, and a fresh supply always on hand. Prices: Quarterly, £6.0.0, Seven baths, £1.0.0, Single, £0.1.0. Shower, Warm and Cold Baths, at all times. McGuire and Co.

• May and Son advertise Conveyance to Heathcote, leaving Harney's Bendigo Hotel every Friday morning at 9 o'clock, calling at Heathcote, Kilmore and Melbourne, and leaving the Albion Hotel, Bourke Street every Tuesday morning at 6 o'clock.

• A Sandhurst Business Directory shows John Harney as the Proprietor of the Bendigo Hotel. He may be the John Harney who previously occupied the Axedale Run. G.W. Haycock is shown as a Weighbridge Proprietor and General Commission Agent, next to the Post Office.

• The Axedale Races are held over January 24th and 25th but the actual location is not shown. George Haycock is listed as a Steward. Michael Francis Costelloe, Axedale Hotel, is the Secretary and Treasurer. The report of the event indicates that this is the first Axedale Races as it mentions "It is an old saying 'that every beginning is weak' and there is nothing at Axedale to prevent its application to racing" It would not be fair to criticise a first performance. It is sufficient that it made a holiday for all, and as the weather was most propitious, we have reason to believe that the company assembled enjoyed it."

All riders were required to be residents of the Parish. The first day's race results are, Publican's Purse: Easy John and Ballaarat, Mr. Boyle and Warlock, Robert Ross - won by Ballaarat after some unspecified difficulty in making the decision. Axedale Town Plate: Orphan Boy, Mr. Scott, Kate Kearney, Mr. Costelloe and Creeping Jane, Mr. Boyle - won by Creeping Jane.

Racing results on the second day were Hurdle Race: 1st. Creeping Jane, Mr. Boyle, 2nd. Badger, Mr. Costelloe, and 3rd. Whalebone, Mr. Thompson. Hack Hurdle Race: 1st. Lucy, Mr. Beckett, 2nd. Fistula, Mr. Lamb. Hack Race: 1st. Dinah, Mr. Lamb, 2nd. Shamrock, Mr. Iron. Consolidated Stakes: 1st. Easy John, Mr. Boyle and 2nd. Warlock, Mr. Ross.

• The Cobb and Co. Telegraph Line of Coaches advertise a service between Bendigo and Melbourne that takes one day for the journey. It leaves the Shamrock Hotel every morning, except Sunday, a 6am. George Haycock runs the booking office at View Point.

• More Crown Land is offered for sale with 7 country allotments at Strathfieldsaye, on the Axe Creek; 4 at Wellsford, at the head of the Kangaroo Creek; 45 at Axedale, on the Axe and Kangaroo Creeks, near the junction of the former with the Campaspe. There are also 7 lots on Sweenies Creek, near its junction with Axe Creek,

February, 1856

• Jeremiah Le Haire is charged with stealing a watch, the property of Mr. Michael Costelloe, at Axedale. He is proved guilty of larceny and receives a sentence of twelve months hard labour on the roads.

May, 1856

• Michael Costelloe advertises for a gardener. Apply to the Axedale Hotel.

June, 1856

• On June 1st, 1856, Robert Ross, of Axedale Station, writes a Letter to The Editor of the Bendigo Advertiser regarding the need for a bridge over the Campaspe River to afford ready communication with the golf field of McIvor and the agricultural district of Kilmore. He says he has been approached by inhabitants of McIvor and a meeting at Heathcote is planned preparatory to asking the Government for a bridge building grant. Assistance and support from Sandhurst residents is expected. Mr. Henry Chater, Solicitor, has offered his services. [An 1858 map shows that the approach road from Heathcote was via a road that crossed the present day Quarry Road at the bend about 0.5km south of the intersection with the McIvor Highway, heading straight towards the Campaspe River at the southern boundary of what was then Ross's pre-emptive right, then via a right turn towards the location of the current bridge. The road then widens out to the river frontage to provide for crossing at a shallow point at the south end of Campaspe Reserve. On another map, the road around the pre-emptive right has a note that it is not part of the grant.]

A follow up article in The Bendigo Advertiser adds support for the bridge, saying that Ross's letter deserves more than a passing notice. There are several fords where one can cross in dry seasons, however, in seasons such as we have had, and are likely for some time to have, the stream of the Campaspe swollen to a formidable turbid. winter's torrent, forbids any passing over it for days together, and a passage at length is only affected with extreme difficulty. Recently the fords formerly used have become so bad that teams cannot cross by them and for some time past they have crossed the river by passing through a portion of Mr. Ross's private property. The increasing traffic between this district and McIvor, and the rapid occupation of the rich alluvial lands adjacent to the river by a numerous agricultural population, demand that something should be done to facilitate traffic between the districts. The present movement deserves to be supported.

[An 1858 map shows that the approach road from Heathcote was via a road that crossed the present day Quarry Road at the bend about 0.5km south of the intersection with the McIvor Highway, heading straight towards the Campaspe River at the southern boundary of what was then Ross's pre-emptive right, then via a right turn towards the location of the current bridge. The road then widens out to the river frontage to provide for crossing at a shallow point at the south end of Campaspe Reserve. On another map, the road around the pre-emptive right has a note that it is not part of the grant.]

• A reader only identified as "Humanitus", writes a letter detailing the demise of a cattle buyer: "A poor, industrious, sober man, having a wife and three children, traveled along the Campaspe from Castlemaine, to procure cattle to establish a dairy at Castlemaine. After a wearied journey, he purchased and paid for eleven cows to start him. He succeeded in swimming his horse across the Campaspe, he going by a boat, and leading his horse by a bridle. Another difficulty arose to cross the Axedale Creek. He tried it and perished, his remains are yet to be found, The horse, true to its lost owner, remained almost stationary at the bank, but alas no tidings of his master. It now rests with some friend to break the woeful tidings to a bereaved widow and almost destitute children—the task I could not bear, as I was nearly a victim, through crossing from the Bendigo side. Is it possible that human life is to be still sacrificed in this way, when one bridge over the Campaspe, and one over the Axe Creek, would obviate such fatal results? Hundreds have perished in a similar way, and never heard of. Were it not that I met the McIvor postman who,knowing the creek, dare not cross, I might have met a watery grave. The postman and I should have slept under a gum tree, lay on the grass with our wet saddles for a pillow, or lie in a ditch, but fortunately a homestead was at hand, Mr. Boyle's, of Splitters' Creek, who kindly afforded all the hospitality which his countrymen are proverbial for. The name of the unfortunate man who has thus come to his end, is John Cameron, of Campbell's Flat, on the Loddon River. Several persons were detained at the Axe Creek, in consequence of the flood, and would have had to remain under tho rain, had not Mr. Edward Boyle taken them safely across on his mare. I am, yours, HUMANITAS."

July, 1856

• A number of Title Deeds are transmitted to Treasury. Of interest is John Baillie who applies for 1r 36p, 1r 22p, 1r 33p, 1r 38p, and 2r at Axedale.

• A single unidentified allotment is offered for sale at Axedale.

• The Coroner, Dr. Roche, holds an inquest on the body of John Canham [sic.] at the Axedale Hotel. As reported: "It appears that on Wednesday, 11th of June, the deceased, who was purchasing cows at the Axedale Hotel, made an attempt between three and four o'clock to pass the creek on horseback by the crossing place, the creek at the time being flooded. The deceased took of his coat, and had proceeded three or four yards into the water when the strength of the current swept away him and his horse. The horse succeeded in reaching the bank, but in its struggle, threw the deceased out of his saddle. He held by the mane of the horse, sank two or three times with him, and was ultimately shaken off and carried away. From this time, nothing was seen of the body till last Sunday when Johnson, the gardener at the Axedale Hotel, walked down the bank thinking he might possibly find it, and saw the portion of a leg above the water. He got a stick and bought it alongside the bank, and drew up a body which proved to be that of Canham. A verdict of accidental death was returned."

[There are several inconsistencies, other than the deceased's name, between the inquest report and the previous Letter to the Editor. If the cattle purchase took place at the Axedale Hotel, near the Axe Creek, Canham would not have had to swim the Campaspe River as previously mentioned, unless he had to go to the Campaspe to collect them or had already purchased them before going to the Axedale Hotel to purchase some more. There is no mention of anyone accompanying him, so, how was it ascertained that he had previously crossed the Campaspe - a point that was not mentioned in the inquest report?]

The fortunes of Robert Ross, of Axedale Station, are about to take a turn for the worse. There is a relationship between Ross and a George Washington Haycock, the details of which took quite a deal of wading through. The circumstances and actions will be covered in considerable detail as they relate to the district which is known as Axedale and the twists and turns are rather intriguing. We will come to Ross a little later when the relationship is revealed.

• The Bendigo Advertiser reports: The commercial community of Sandhurst was yesterday [July 24] thrown into a ferment by rumours which seemed pretty well authenticated, that Mr. G. W. Haycock, a gentleman long connected with this township and district, had disappeared under circumstances which rendered it extremely probable that he had absconded, leaving behind him a large number of debts and liabilities. Mr Haycock's general character, and his extensive credit here and in Melbourne, caused the rumours to be received at first with incredulity, but so many suspicious circumstances have transpired that it seems impossible to doubt that his disappearance is owing to the cause alleged. It is sufficient at present to say that it is reported that several bills accepted by him have been 'dishonored'; that as agent of a hotel keeper in this district, he received a sum of £2,000 as purchase money of the hotel, which he has not given up, thereby preventing the departure of the owner of the hotel in the Champion of the Seas by which he had taken his passage. Several minor sums have been mentioned as having been borrowed by him [Haycock] a few days previous to his departure for Melbourne and it is also stated that a large number of persons, chiefly miners, who had deposited their earnings in his hand, will lose their money if the reports are true. Mr. Haycock was Treasurer of the Municipal Council, and according to the loose system in which it appears they conduct their monetary transactions, it is said that he could, if so disposed, have appropriated the whole of the funds lying to the credit of the Council. If this is the case, it seems strange that a man who has apparently not scrupled to appropriate the money of private persons with whom he has had commercial transactions, and who have even accommodated him by loans, should have refrained from touching the money of the Municipality. And we trust that the narrow escape our Council have had from bankruptcy will prove a warning to them against conducting their business in so loose a manner, and trusting to the honesty of any man, no matter how well he stands in the community.

In addition to other transactions, we have heard of large obligations on the part of Mr. Haycock to squatters and settlers in the district and in the colony of New South Wales. Mr. Haycock had, during the last few months, engaged in extensive speculations in stock and had purchased some stations. Some of his friends who have still some confidence in him, believe that his absence is owing to some urgent business matters which demanded his immediate presence in the neighboring colony. The disappearance of Mr. Haycock seems to have caused a great sensation among a number of people in Melbourne to whom he was under considerable liabilities. It was the arrival of some of these persons in Sandhurst on Wednesday evening by Cobb's Coach, that first caused the fact which had for some days been suspected by a few people to be generally known.

Mr. Haycock was, for the last three or four years, a resident in Bendigo. Before the town was removed, he occupied perhaps the best position in it as a general storekeeper, in which capacity he seems to have amassed some money. When the township was removed, he gave up business as a storekeeper, and commenced as a Commission Agent. He was for some time agent for Cobb and Co., which office he held to the last. His success induced him to embark in various speculations—the last and most extensive of which we have already alluded to. If he has really absconded, it is likely that the multiplicity of engagements in which he found himself mixed up proved hopelessly embarrassing, and he saw no means of escape from ruin except by flight. Mr. Haycock was generally liked and respected on Bendigo, and his credit was perhaps better than that of any man in the place. He was a kind hearted man, who has done many a good turn for his fellow townsmen, and it is difficult for those who knew him to understand how he can become an absconder. The gathering difficulties of a perplexing variety of pursuits and consequent obligations, and the temptation thrown in his way by his unlimited credit, and the large sums of money in his hand, facilities which in a few days the knowledge of his difficulties would deprive him of, these may explain how a man so generally respected could become an absconder. It should be remembered, too, that Mr. Haycock never invested his money to any extent in real property. He made no ties likely to bind him to the place, and established no home for himself. We do not say that these things are evidences of premeditation on his part; but it must be confessed that they lessened the difficulties in the way of clearing out at any moment.

We should not be doing justice to this subject did we not allude to the very serious injury which an event of this kind is likely to do to this community, in ruining credit for a time and thereby paralysing commercial operations. Of course, such an event could not occur, unless where there was an extensive trust amongst business men. The re-action, though it last only for a short time, must be very injurious, even to the most honest traders. We say nothing of the losses and probable failures which the affair itself may involve. These we trust however, will be less serious than is imagined. Out of adversity how ever, we sometimes obtain good, This event will have a good result in checking the reckless system of credit so prevalent here, imparting such an impetus to wild speculation. The mere adventurer will suffer while eventually, the legitimate and honest trader will undoubtedly be benefited,

• Another article details stock movements heading south over the Murray River: "... there are 62,000 store sheep between the Edward and the Murrumbidgee, 18,000 only being unsold. Between the Murrumbidgee and the Lachlan there are 25,500, in small lots, all of which are fat, and chiefly unsold. A mob of 12,000 has just crossed the Murray, at Hopwood's, or Maiden's, the joint property of Mr. G. W. Haycock, of Bendigo, and Mr. Protheroe, of New England; the latter gentleman brought down in the past season the finest lot of sheep that ever crossed the Murrumbidgee, and he is now coming down with more."

• Haycock's disappearance continues to occupy newspaper space: "No further information has been received concerning this gentleman, and the question, as far as regards the reason of his disappearance, remains pretty much as it was, with the difference which every day's absence makes against him. Fresh revelations are made of additional probable losses being merely the necessary result of his extensive business transactions. A paragraph in another column states that several dray loads of flour from the Murray, consigned to Mr. Haycock, are within a few miles of Sandhurst. Report also speaks of large flocks of sheep which are en route for this place, which had been purchased by him. So the plot thickens! There is still a hope among some persons, that the missing man may turn up. Absentees from Bendigo for any time, have always been spoken of as bolters. But the grounds for any hope, are extremely vague and unsatisfactory. Mr. Haycock's former good qualities however make persons indisposed to regard him as guilty of the villainy which public rumour ascribes to him. This incredulity is so far creditable to the past career of Mr. Haycock, but if he has absconded it only makes his conduct the worse. When anything of this kind occurs, it is extraordinary what a variety of strange revelations are made concerning the past history of a man. Of course, into these we cannot at present enter. We have only further to make one or two remarks concerning the unaccountable squeamishness of people who object to newspapers publishing anything about matters which for twenty-four hours previously have been the talk of everybody in the township. For our part, we do not understand this sort of thing, and feel strongly inclined to ascribe it to a sympathy with the delinquent much greater than is warranted by reason or by justice. Honest men would be the last to complain of the exposure of villains, either real or suspected. The public have a right to know as much as possible of the truth of what has become public. The facts which led to suspicion in the present case are incontestable, and should Mr. Haycock turn up tomorrow, he would require to be provided with an extraordinary explanation of very extraordinary conduct in any business man".

• Haycock has support among his friends as this extract from an Epsom-based article indicates: "The rumored absconding of Mr. Haycock has caused great excitement here, as so many Americans reside on Epsom, and they have always looked up to Mr. Haycock as their leading man. Many of them, indeed, refuse to believe it even now".

• Haycock is now listed Insolvent: "In the insolvent case of George Washington Haycock, late of Sandhurst, in this colony of Victoria, stock dealer: Whereas on the petition of Francis Dessily and George Dessily, of Billibong, in the colony of New South Wales, the estate of George Washington Haycock, the above-named insolvent, was on Monday, the twenty eighth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and fifty six, by order of His Honour, Mr. Justice Williams, one of the judges of the Supreme Court of the colony of Victoria, placed under sequestration in my hands until the same should by the said Supreme Court be adjudged to be sequestrated, or the said petition discharged according to law, and His Honour did appoint Thursday, the fourteenth day of August next, for the said George Washington Haycock to appear before the said Supreme Court, to show cause why his estate should not by sentence of the said court be adjudged to be sequestrated for the benefit of his creditors, and His Honour did at the same time appoint Henry Steel Shaw Esquire, of Melbourne, one of the official assignees of insolvent estates within the said colony, to be the official assignee of this estate. Dated at Melbourne this twenty eighth day of July, AD, 1856. Frederick Wilkinson, Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates.

August, 1856

• A small article from August 1st: "We understand that an application has been forwarded from Sandhurst to Melbourne to the Supreme Court for the purpose of superseding the sequestration of Mr. Haycock's estate".

• A report gives an indication of interstate stock movements: "There is no apparent decrease in stock traveling to Victoria and to the border runs. Mr. Cooper has just arrive with 8,000 sheep, as yet unsold. About 8,000 splendid sheep from Mr. Morris's run on the Murrumbidgee have just crossed, and in a few days hence will be at Maiden's. 15,000 sheep have also arrived for Messrs. Caldwell and Ross; these sheep are from the Macquarie River and are also an exceedingly fine lot. They were bought as store sheep but 25% are fit for killing, having fattened on the way. 6.500 belonging to Mr. Peters crossed yesterday, they are fat, and are fine animals. Mr. Maxwell, of New England, is still on the Billibong, with 18,000 unsold up to this time, but as there are several large purchasers here (Maiden, Mooney and others) it is probable that many of those sheep will change hands. A mob of horses, upwards of 100 head, have just gone on for Melbourne; they came from Mr. Henry Osbourne's run and there is also a mob of cattle close by the same gentleman's property. Mr. Taylor has also a small mob of horses about to go into the Bendigo market. The Edward punt has been going night and day and stock holders have almost come to fisticuffs for the precedence. 3,000 sheep belonging to Mr. Haycock, of the Bendigo, (or Haycock Brothers and Co.) are about to leave for that market".

• A Municipal Council meeting reports that orders had been given by the office of the Commissioner of Public Works for a survey for the purpose of forming a bridge over the Campaspe, plans and specifications were in course of preparation, there had been no provision in the 1856 estimates for funding and it will be placed on the estimates for 1857.

The Town Clerk read a letter he had written to the Attorney General, requesting to know what course should be pursued in consequence of the absence of Councillor Haycock.

• The Municipal Council Clerk receives a letter from Edward A. Fayrer, Messenger, advising that Haycock's estate is under sequestration and all monies, bills, receipts, securities, bonds, and all other documents, property or chattels are now attached. The Town Clerk states that earlier reports that the Council is indebted to Mr. Haycock in large sums of money is not a fact. Vouchers from Haycock's office for payment on account of the Municipality need to be adjusted with the Bank.

• A man named Lonergan, from 'the Axedale' attempts to gain money by false pretences through using copper filings and a mixture that was supposed to pass for gold. He was paid twelve one pound notes for the bag of metal which was noted to be a darker substance than Bendigo gold. Lonergan was subsequently committed for trial.

• An advertisement, cautioning persons against disposal, removal, concealment, embezzlement or receipt of any moveable property, monies, or securities, formerly belonging to any insolvent estate that has been attached, appears. Persons knowingly infringing, on conviction thereof, faces severe penalties including transportation and imprisonment with hard labour.

• The Municipal Council is advised that Haycock's absence does not render his position [Treasurer] vacant. A resignation letter from Haycock, dated July 28 is tabled and his resignation is accepted. Haycock had previously given the letter to the Chairman, with instructions to retain it, but it was given to the Council as the easiest solution to their situation.

September, 1856

• The affects of Haycock's insolvency begin to spread. In a court case, McPherson v. Ganley, Ganley is summoned for 'illegally occupying certain lands, and having illegal possession of, certain property without authority.' The charge is eventually dismissed as the property, purchased by Ganley, is that of the firm McPherson and Haycock, and not part of the sequestrated estate of G.W. Haycock. The Assignee had no authority to sell it and no offence had been committed. A horse, illegally seized by the Assignee, had to be returned to Mr. McPherson

• A first meeting in the insolvent estate of haycock, is held. Haycock is said to have absconded to America, from whence he came, and is supposed to have taken £20,000 with him. Claims would have to be scrutinised very narrowly. Several claims were postponed.

• Haycock's disappearance now takes a bizarre turn. A body, believed to be that of Haycock, is found floating near the Custom House Wharf [Geelong]. In the pockets of the deceased is a pawn ticket with a note to advise the person's fate to Cobb and Co, Melbourne, a slip of paper with "My name is Geo. W. Haycock, of Bendigo", with a request to advise Cobb and Co. Telegraph Office and a similar request to advise Cobb and Co., or T.K. Newton and Co., Bourke Street, Melbourne. The pawn ticket is for a pistol, pawned in the name of Hamilton and countersigned Geo. W. Haycock.

The Geelong Advertiser, in covering the inquest, reports, "An inquest was yesterday held before the Coroner, at Mack's Hotel, touching the death of Geo. W. Haycock, whose remains were lying at the above-mentioned hotel. The jury having been sworn, and after viewing the body, heard the following evidence deposed to before them. Mr Archibald McNeil, a sergeant of the water police, deposed : About twenty minutes past five, yesterday evening, my attention was called to a body floating off the Customs' Wharf, it was the body of a man. John Ross called my attention to it. I drew the body to the steps, and gave information to the police ashore. The body was afterwards conveyed here. I searched the body, but only a pipe was found on it. I was informed of a bundle having been picked up an hour before on the wharf. It is a bundle of clothing. Henry Bruce found tho bundle. These papers, I was told, were taken from the waistcoat pocket; also, this knife, some thread and a pencil. The papers produced were as follows: On a pawn ticket, "I wish my acquaintances to know my fate at once. P.S.—Write to Cobb and Co.'s, Melbourne." On a slip of paper, "My name is Geo. W. Haycock, of Bendigo. Whoever finds this will please send it to Cobb and Co., Telegraph Office, Melbourne. Geo. W. Haycock." On a second slip, "Please let Cobb and Co., or T. K. Newton and Co., of Great Bourke Street, have this note as soon as you can. G. W. Haycock."

The body had on black trousers, long boots, a white shirt, a black neckerchief and a black wide-awake. In the bundle were a coat and waistcoat with the tails cut off. He appeared from 45 to 50 years of age, fair hair and complexion, and had not been long in the water. The bundle of clothes had been taken on board the ship "Harriet Nathan" and had to be retrieved by Police. Constable Walter Murray, of Bendigo, identifies the body as Haycock.

The inquest jury, after hearing the evidence, delivers the verdict that the deceased had committed suicide while labouring under insanity. The Coroner agrees with the verdict. However, the matter is not as clear cut as it appears. Several Sandhurst people receive letters saying that Haycock's dead body had been found in Corio Bay, or Geelong harbour. One of the received letters contains, "It is rumored here to-night that the body of Haycock has been found in the bay at Geelong, but I can not vouch for its accuracy. It is also reported that a letter was found on him announcing to Cobb and Co. that he was dead. It appears incredible that a document, after so long an immersion, could be legible. Certain it is that one of Cobb's agents has gone to Geelong this evening for the purpose of inquiry. Receive this only at its worth. I only repeat what is here rumored, and believing that you feel interested". The letters create doubt as to the validity of the inquest evidence. It appears that there is reason to suspect that Haycock has put an end to his life, but none of the notes found on him are dated.

Mr. Hunt, who had been in business with Mr. Haycock as a cattle dealer, and who had been intimately acquainted with him, proceeded to Geelong to procure a sight of the body, in order, if possible, to identify it. Mr. Hunt forwards a letter, "I am just returned from Geelong after burying poor G. W. Haycock. He was found drowned at Geelong, and I had no difficulty in identifying him. He bad been in the water some ten hours, after wandering about the country penniless, as I believe, since his first disappearance. He was little changed. I did all that under the circumstances, could be done, and every respect was paid to his remains, God rest his soul".

It would now appear that Haycock's fate has been ascertained. However, there are still doubts. A writer queries the validity of reported circumstances; the length of time the body was in the water, the appearance of clothing, and the fact that no medical persons seem to have been involved in the inquest. The Bendigo Advertiser advises that a gentleman from Bendigo has gone to Geelong to have the body exhumed.

• The second meeting of Haycock's insolvency case takes place. Mr. Bayne says that there was no evidence to connect the bundle of clothes with the body and Police had hastily jumped to that conclusion. He added that it would appear that Haycock, fearful of being pursued by his creditors, had placed his coat on a rail, with certain written papers in the pocket to lead his creditors and the public to the belief that he had destroyed himself. Nothing was found in the clothes on the body but a small clay pipe. The Official Assignee, Mr. Shaw, feels there is great reason to doubt that the recently buried body is that of Haycock. Mr. Bencraft, Solicitor, and Mr. Shaw's Solicitor, traveled to Geelong and exhumed the body. Mr. Bencraft gives evidence that he knew Haycock for two to three years and the exhumed body, from a coffin labeled George Washington Haycock, was not Haycock. This was supported by Mr. Shaw. Mr. Hunt states that he recognised the body as Haycock at the inquest. This was supported by Mr. Butler.

Proofs of debt were postponed until the next meeting.

October, 1856

• Six persons swear that the exhumed body is that of Haycock. A reader, believing that Haycock is alive, makes the statement that he is either dead or alive, and asks the Bendigo Advertiser to try and ascertain the truth. A following newspaper article weighs up the views of the two sides and says that only one side has any mention of evidence: That of the body not being Haycock An article in the Geelong Advertiser supports the view that the body is that of Haycock and also that a barber had cut his hair about four days before his body was found.

• Decimus Protheroe, a business associate of G.W. Haycock is charged with assaulting John Hutchinson, M.D., outside the Shamrock Hotel, after suspecting that he was the writer of an article discrediting the group who recently swore that the drowned body was Haycock. Protheroe is fined £10. During the assault, Protheroe had pulled out a section of Hutchinson's beard. He produced it in court, wrapped in paper, and suggested that a Professor Sands could stick it back on again for eight pence.

November, 1856

Title Deeds are transmitted to the Treasury, They include quite a number of Axedale properties: Pierce Hogarth - 47a 2r 10p; William Murphy - 32a 2r 20p, 84a 1r 24p, 45a 33p and 58a 2r 9p; Henry Backhaus - 50a 2r 5p, and 46a 24p; Simon O'Brien - 36a 2r 12p; John O'Connell - 66a 10p; Pierce Hogarth - 78a 2r 32p; Michael F. Costelloe - 77a 20r 77p, 77a 20r, 76a 3r 3p; Michael Cornell - 78a 2r 3p; David Kelly - 104a 10p; John Brien - 51a 24p; Thomas Sexton - 98a 3r 10p; Peter Nowlan - 77a 2r 8p; Rowland J, Shelley - 93a 81r 3p, 68a 1r 8p, 158a 2r 32p, and 87a 1r 24p.

Robert Ross is now affected by Haycock's insolvency. Ross had endeavoured to cover a number of his debts by selling off a portion of his holdings. Unfortunately, the purchaser was Haycock who had paid for the purchase with a bank draft. Ross deposited the draft in the Oriental Bank, Kilmore, but the Manager, Mr. Anderson, dishonoured it. Ross could not realise any payment for the land and was then unable to satisfy his debts. However, sorting these two insolvencies out was not to be an easy matter for the Insolvency Court.

• The report of the Third Meeting of Haycock's insolvency is more difficult to simplify than it is to include almost in its entirety. The report is taken from The Age and printed in the Bendigo Advertiser:

"The Commissioner inquired whether the question as to the identity of the body of the deceased [Haycock] had been settled. Mr. Muttlebury replied that there appeared to be little doubt, now. After a number of debts had been proved, The Official Assignee read, the following report:—

"In this estate the assignee has had a most disagreeable task to perform, and in many instances, during the progress of realising the estate, has been placed in a position of considerable responsibility and delicacy, and at the same time, a most critical and embarrassing one; having had, on the one hand, to encounter the serious risk of being made defendant in serious actions at law, and, on the other, that of permitting unchecked the alienation to an alarming extent of property which he was positively informed by many deeply interested, and himself verily believes a be a part of the estate. The following statement will bear out the foregoing remarks; and it is sincerely hoped that the creditors will be satisfied with, and approve of the various steps which have been from time to time adopted to protect their interests. From certain intelligence received, the official assignee caused to be attached a large and valuable lot of sheep, supposed to be the property of the estate, and at that time depasturing on the Axedale Station, which latter had been purchased by the insolvent from Mr. Robert Ross, in June last [1856], and the agreement for which is now in the hands of the assignee, and distant only a few miles from insolvent to head quarters, and place of residence at Sandhurst. Whilst in charge of the messenger of the court duly authorised under the warrant of the Chief Commissioner, but during his temporary absence at Bendigo, the sheep were driven away, and all traces of them lost for the time. As soon as the assignee was apprised of this event, advertisements were forthwith inserted in all the public prints, cautioning the public against purchasing or harboring the said sheep. From the publicity given to this matter full and reliable information was received by the official assignee within twenty-four hours of the first advertisement making its appearance, and another attachment having been promptly obtained, the sheep were again taken possession of by the assignee and resold by him; not, however to such advantage as they might have been, in consequence of a report having been spread, doubtless by interested parties, that, the sheep had contracted the scab, a report which proved to be entirely without foundation. Previously, however, to the repossession and resale of the sheep by the assignee, and during the interval which elapsed from the time of their having been removed from the Axedale Station, they had been sold by the nominal owner to a settler in the neighborhood, who paid for them by a draft on a trading mercantile firm in this city [Dalgety, Cruikshank and Co.?]. This draft having been presented in due course to the drawers, (but subsequently to the loss of the sheep being advertised), was necessarily refused acceptance, the reasons for which were written across the face of the draft, but notwithstanding this being the case it was passed into the hands of another person, the present holder, who is now suing the drawer on this very bill, the trial being set down for this very sittings. In addition to this, a promissory note for a considerable amount, the proceeds of another large lot of sheep, and coming due almost immediately, has been attached in the Bank of New South Wales, where it was placed for collection; the proceeds of the bill which due, will, it is anticipated, be at once placed to the credit of the estate without any litigation. It certainly does appear most strange that a person placed in a situation similar to that lately occupied by insolvent, and involved in such extensive speculations, not only in this colony, but also extending to the adjacent colonies of New South Wales, Adelaide, Van Diemen's Land, &c., should neither himself have kept any record of his multifarious operations, or employed efficient persons for the conduct of this highly important part of mercantile business. It is true that several books, amongst which are some purporting to be severally ledger, cash-book, journal, &c., have been handed to the assignee by a clerk of insolvent's, but after a careful examination and inspection, and even with the assistance of that person, nothing like a balance sheet could be arrived at. He states that the insolvent [Haycock] was in the habit of making memoranda or keeping a sort of jotting of his principal operations (he believes) in a small book which he was in the habit of carrying about with him, and to which no one save himself could possibly have access. In addition to the business of storekeeping, he appears to have been engaged in stock purchasing, large flour transactions, auctioneering, landjobbing, moneylending, &c. As far as it is possible to arrive at an estimate, his liabilities in this colony, it is supposed, will reach if not exceed £l6,000. The official assignee has been given to understand, within the last few days, that negotiation is now on foot for making such arrangements as would cause all recourse to litigation to be avoided. The assignee would earnestly and respectfully press on the creditors the wisdom and expediency of such a course being adopted, which if concluded, would enable him to declare a handsome dividend within a very short period, always provided, however, that the creditors in so doing keep in view their own just rights, and do not make too great a sacrifice. If the arrangement alluded to be carried out, the assignee is of opinion that a dividend of 5s in the pound can be declared, and in pursuance of this subject would point out that at this meeting (the third) he should receive full authority and instructions as to completion of the matter. The assignee cannot quit this subject without ...adverting on and protesting against the unjust tenor of the numerous remarks which have been made so freely, with reference to the motives which induced him to cause the exhumation of the supposed body of insolvent, and in justice to himself takes tho present opportunity of stating, that having been informed of the wish of some of the creditors to have the matter properly inquired into, he conceived that he was merely fulfilling a simple act of duty, however unpleasant to himself, in taking the steps necessary in consequence, and most strenuously and repudiates the charge made against him of attempting to injure the character for integrity and truth of the several gentlemen, who (having been personally acquainted with the insolvent) took the unpleasant trouble of a journey to Geelong and a re-examination of the body. The assignee must however again record his opinion that the gentlemen alluded to were entirely mistaken in the identity of the body in question."

The consideration of two claims, one preferred by the Bank of Australasia and another by the agent of Mr. Charles Bird, a creditor at present resident in Adelaide, were postponed until the next meeting; the former for the production of the deed of incorporation, and the latter for that of an affidavit by Mr. Bird of the circumstances under which his claim rose.

A discussion arose amongst the creditors present as to certain terms offered by Messrs. Protheroe and Hunt in settlement of the existing differences. It was ultimately resolved that the official assignee should be empowered to negotiate with Messrs. Protheroe and Hunt on the matter.

The meeting was adjourned to Wednesday, the 26th instant.

• A meeting of the Bendigo Hunt Pack is advertised for Costelloe's Axedale Hotel.

• Michael Costelloe places an advertisement for eleven strayed milch [sic.] cows. Information leading to their recovery will result in a reward of £8 on advising Costelloe, at his Public House, Axedale Hotel, Axe Creek.

December, 1856

• At the resumption of the third meeting of Haycock's insolvency, the Official Assignee reads a "Supplementary Report - Estate of G. W. Haycock" from a meeting of creditors.

"To the creditors at this meeting, which has been adjourned with the view of enabling the official assignee to carry out certain arrangements contemplated at the third meeting, held on the 4th inst., the following statement is submitted as the result:—At a meeting of the creditors held at the office of the official assignee, at which upwards of four-fifths in number and amount of those interested were present or represented, the following proposition, made by the partners of the insolvent to the official assignee, was laid before the meeting, namely, those gentlemen requiring the assignee--

"1st. To give up to them the proceeds of the sale of 10000 sheep, amounting to £5489.11., making good the deficiency between the amount and the sum agreed to be paid by the first purchaser, namely, £396.0s., - the first sale being £5837.17s., as well as the bank discount for fifty-one days, being the difference of date of maturity of tho money payments.

"2nd. With reference to tho balance of the proceeds of the second parcel of sheep, £5398, paid into a bank by a third party of these impounded by the official assignee, they required the sum of £1500 nett out of this amount.

"On these conditions being fulfilled, these gentlemen agreed on their part to liquidate the claims of the New South Wales creditors of the insolvent, according to a given statement, and amounting to £5730.19s., to waive all claims on the estate in their own favor, and also immediately to withdraw the suit at present existing of Brady v. Crawford, each party to pay his own costs. Assuming this offer to be taken, the disposable funds of the estate would stand thus: about £3400 would remain in the hands of the assignee, which, after paying expenses, would probably be sufficient to enable him to declare a dividend of about four shillings in the pound.

"After having duly considered the foregoing offer, and commenting fully on the whole business, the creditors were unanimous in accepting the same, and directing the assignee to take immediate steps to bring the matter to a speedy conclusion.

"Accordingly a negotiation was immediately commenced, and an agreement in due form entered into by the proper parties, embracing the whole of the above, by which the affair has thus far been brought to a close.

"As no definite instructions were given to the assignee by tho creditors at the meeting of the 4th instant, it is suggested that a resolution should be passed to confirm the proceedings of the assignee in reference to the negotiation with the partners of the insolvent already alluded to. If this step is again omitted, another meeting, giving twenty-eight days' notice in accordance with the Act, will be absolutely necessary before the assignees will consider himself sufficiently exonerated by the creditors to enable him to declare an immediate dividend, which latter he is anxious to do before the vacation at Christmas.

"As several other matters of some importance to the estate have to be concluded, and which it is expected may occupy some time, the estate must necessarily be kept open; but the assignee will make the dividend as high as circumstances may warrant. Henry B. Shaw, Official Assignee.

• A Government Gazette shows an entry: Robert Ross, 91 acres, 2 roods, 24 perches, Axedale. [No further details are given but the area equates to an allotment on the East side Axe Creek, North side of McIvor Highway and between Axe Creek and Sweenies Creek. In 1857, this property was to pass into the hands of Michael Costelloe and it was also to become the site of the second Axedale Hotel and then the Perseverance Hotel].

• Mr. Robert Ross now appears in the Insolvency Court on December 16th. His circumstances are also complex. As reported:

Mr. Bronckhorst appeared for the Official Assignee; Mr. Attenborough for the insolvent.

The insolvent [Ross] had been a settler, occupying the Axedale Station, on the Campaspie, and the sequestration was compulsory, at the suit of Dalgety, Cruikshank and Co., the petitioning creditors.

Mr. Bronckhorst said there was a special meeting in the estate appointed for Friday next, but that it would be necessary to ask a few questions of the insolvent at the present time, in order to be fully prepared to go into examination on that day.

The insolvent [Ross] was then sworn and examined: He owed £2,000 and a half-year's interest thereon, to the executors of the late James Mitchell. Borrowed this money of the executors' solicitors in January, 1855. They held security. At the time of borrowing the money, insolvent covenanted to mortgage to them his preemptive right of his home station, on issue of tho deeds. Since then the station had been sold, with the sanction of the solicitors, and security in lieu given over a freehold public house and farm of 91 acres, on the Axe Creek, nine or ten miles from Sandhurst, on the road from Kilmore and Heathcote. [The public house would have been the Axedale Hotel for which Ross had applied for land in 1854. This also indicates that Michael Francis Costelloe did not own it before Ross's insolvency case.] They [executor' solicitors] also hold security over 207 acres of land adjacent to the other property. The preemptive right extended over 640 acres, 320 of which were at the home station [Part B], and 320 at the cattle station [Part A]. There was a debt due to Dalgety, Cruikshank, and Co., and it was owing to their having obtained judgment and issued an execution that the insolvency had been brought about. There was about £800 owing to Mr. Caldwell; also about £2,300 or £2,500 owing to Mr. James Hunter Ross, insolvent's father, [He has an accounting firm in Melbourne and ....] for cash advanced from the year 1846 down to a recent period. Insolvent drew a bill on G. W. Haycock for £1245, for the purchase money of the station sold to Haycock. Mr. Anderson [Oriental Bank, Kilmore] discounted the bill, taking security from insolvent for its payment. Gave Mr. Anderson security over 120 acres freehold land. The property had previously been mortgaged to Mr. Barrow for £1,200 at 15 per cent. Barrow's mortgage was paid off when 320 acres of land of the home station was sold, with some cattle, for £2,600.

The further examination of the insolvent was postponed. The Chief Commissioner directed him to file a schedule by Friday, if possible, and to place all his papers and books in the hands of the Official Assignee at an early a day as possible. The meeting closed.

• Horses are being sold at the Axedale Hotel and a mob of 40 horses is offered.

Sir George Stephen: How do you reconcile that affidavit, which states that the bill was endorsed over to you by the Oriental Bank Corporation, with your present statement?

Witness had made the affidavit under Mr. Meades' advice; he could not say if the bill was endorsed by himself at the time; he believed it was not; it was not endorsed by the bank.

Sir George Stephen : Your affidavit also states that you held no securities on account of Haycock. How do you reconcile that with your holding the securities which you say you sold to Costello for £1000?

Witness had received those securities from Ross, not from Haycock.

Sir George Stephen: That is mere equivocation; they were for Haycock's debt, and therefore on his account; that however is not matter for which you have to answer here; but I should like to know how this affidavit came to be filed with the proceedings.

No very clear information could be obtained on this point, nor why the debt was proved at all, being filed on the 23rd December, and the sale of the bill to Costello and all the securities having been effected three days previously, when of course, all the witness's interest in the bill, if he ever had any, had ceased. The meeting then closed.

[At this point, Michael Costello now owns a significant part of the property of the insolvent Robert Ross, although it is viewed by the Insolvency Court as under their jurisdiction.]

January, 1857

The overflow from the George Haycock and Robert Ross insolvency cases starts to spread.

• Michael F. Costelloe, Licensee of the Axedale Hotel and neighbour of Robert Ross on the Axe Creek, is now drawn into it. Mr. Jones, a well-known Auctioneer, advertises some crops for sale, as the property of Mr. Ross, an insolvent. Costelloe claims them as having previously bought them, and commences removing them. Mr. Jones, working for the Official Assignee, Mr. Jacomb, gives Costelloe into custody on a charge of felony. He is immediately bailed out, and the entanglement continues.

John Quail, Francis Price and Michael Costelloe, surrender to their bail to answer a charge of unlawfully removing certain property, in the official custody of the Official Assignee in the insolvent estate of Robert Ross. Ross states that, in the latter part of December, he accompanied auctioneer, Mr. Jones from the Axedale Hotel to the Axedale Farm and pointed out certain crops. At this point, Costelloe's lawyer objects and says that it is first necessary to prove Ross's insolvency, but the hearing continues. Mr. Costelloe was present at the time of the visit to the farm. The crops, from about 40 acres cultivated, had been Ross's property before the insolvency. Ross says that at the time the crops were pointed out, the property was mortgaged to the Oriental Bank, and Costello, when viewing the crops, said that they were not as valuable as he had expected.

Ross had shown Jones the crops as ordered in a letter from Mr. Jacomb, Official Assignee. Costelloe had not accompanied Ross and Jones to the farm, but had left the Axedale Hotel and overtaken them along the way. There was no conversation in Costelloe's presence as to who owned the crops.

Ross is later present at the Axedale Hotel when Jones serves an attachment on Costelloe. Costelloe says he has papers to prove that he bought the crops and will enter his protest against the crops being sold. The case is remanded for eight days.

February, 1857

• Michael Costelloe, the landlord of the Axedale hotel, appeared to prosecute a man name John Quail, [the same John Quail who was involved in the crop removal?] whom he charged with using threatening an abusive language. It was necessary for Costelloe to send for the Police. Quail is fined £5, with 14 days in default.

• The unlawful removal of property case in which Mr. S. Jones is the complainant and Mr. Costelloe the defendant, and which has arisen out of a disputed claim to certain property appertaining to the Insolvent Estate of Robert Ross, of the Campaspe is again postponed for 14 days, awaiting important documents.

• Mr. Henry Steel Shaw, Official Assignee, requests reimbursement of £60 from the Municipal Council of Sandhurst for acknowledged payment made by Haycock on behalf of the Council, out of his own pocket.

March, 1857

• The Ross insolvency case continues. Mr. Jacomb, Official Assignee, reads his report, saying, "In this estate the official assignee has met with considerable difficulty in attempting to realise the assets, and is afraid that the right of ownership to almost everything will be contested in a court of law. The insolvent had, previous to the sequestration, sold part of his property to Mr G. W. Haycock, who, it is asserted, parted with his interest to the Oriental Rank, Kilmore, and they appear to have sold to a Mr. Costelloe, who attempted to remove the crops at Axedale by force, and was given into charge for so doing, but the magistrates at Bendigo have not yet decided the case. Under these circumstances, it is impossible for the official assignee to form any opinion as to what the estate is likely to pay." Two or three proofs are then admitted without opposition.

Is this associated with the estate of James Mitchell? - Sir George Stephen appearing on behalf the official assignee for the purpose of opposing the admission of a claim preferred by Mr. Ross (of the firm of Ross and Clarke), which had been partially examined late at the last meeting.

Ross supported the claim, and, in answer to the objection offered to the proof, examined the insolvent at some length, and produced for his Honor's inspection several private letters which had passed between himself and the insolvent, having reference to the advances which form the subject of the claim in proof of their having been made as a loan and not as a gift.

Mr. Bayne appeared for the insolvent. The evidence of the insolvent was directly in contradiction of that which had been given by Mr. Cruikshank at the last meeting, and, under these circumstances, Sir George Stephen, in the absence of the attorney for his client, applied for an adjournment of the examination. His Honor intimated that if Mr. Ross was prepared to adduce any evidence he would receive it now. Mr. Ross [Snr.] replied that he was prepared, with evidence corroborative of that which had been given by his son. His Honor then took the statement of Mr. Ross, who was cross examined by Sir George Stephen. The meeting closed.

• Races are once again held at Axedale. Robert Ross is not mentioned as a contestant. One of the races deserves comment: Hurdle Race - Three times round the course, ten jumps, four feet high. Mr. Boyle's Harbinger is first and Mr. Ganley's Walkover is second. The less said about this race the better, as neither of the horses were able to leap, and the riders ought to be thankful that the hurdles were so easily knocked down, which tended very much to save their necks.

• Mr. Shaw, Official Assignee for Haycock's insolvency, acknowledges receipt of £60/4/11 from Sandhurst Municipal Council.

April, 1857

• A large sale of 93 horses is held at the Axedale Hotel with 150 buyers attending.

• A Bench of Magistrates consider a number of annual Publican's Licence applications. Among them are Jeremiah Heffernan, Shamrock Hotel, Epsom; Michael Francis Costelloe, Axedale Hotel; and Edward Kennedy, Clare Inn, Campaspe.

May, 1857

• L. McPherson and Co., announce that they intend to hold a great horse sale, followed the next day by a sale of thirty head of milkers and calves at the Axedale Hotel.

June, 1857

• An article in The Bendigo Advertiser: An amount of £1,000 is made available for the construction of a bridge over the Campaspe River and tenders are invited. A large amount of traffic is now being carried on upon various roads crossing that river. That from Mclvor, which is also one of our main roads to the Metropolis, is used extensively by the carriers, and the one to the Goulburn diggings is becoming every day of greater importance to the diggers. The great high way for the millions' worth of stock annually imported into this colony from New South Wales and Northern Australia also crosses the Campaspe, and demands attention.

During the prevalence of the floods it is always a matter of difficulty and danger to cross this stream, and since the opening of the McIvor goldfield, a large number of persons have lost their lives in the attempt to cross it. Every winter a host of serious accidents take place for want of some safe and proper means of conveying stock and property across the swollen stream. A punt and a boat or two in private hands at different stations supply the only present means to travelers of getting over it, and people have sometimes a long distance to travel out of their direct route in order to reach them. This entails considerable loss of time and inconvenience, and the erection of bridges at the main crossing-places has become a necessity which must be attended to. A single bridge will not be sufficient for the wants of the public, and the sum voted for its formation is wholly inadequate, even for that purpose. We have it on the authority of persons well able to pronounce an opinion on the matter, that a safe and permanent bridge would cost at least ten times the amount, and that the money proposed to be expended will be almost entirely thrown away.

There should be two at least; one for the Goulburn and McIvor traffic, and the other at a considerable distance lower down for the convenience of the settlers and the numerous overland parties entering the colony along the Campaspe, from Maiden's Punt and Echuca. With regard to the position of the bridge, we find on consulting a chart of that part of the country, that the direct line to the Goulburn diggings from Bendigo, crosses the Campaspe at the Axedale Station. It is a matter of great importance that the Government, in choosing the sites for works of this description, should so place them as to render the roads as short as possible between the points to and from which the greatest amount of traffic will pass over them.

The insufficiency of the sum voted is very much to be regretted, but it is to be hoped that it is not yet too late to rectify the error.

• Michael Francis Costelloe posts an advertisement which will make him very unpopular in some quarters:

"Axedale Run, Campaspe - I hereby give notice that from and after the 15th day of the coming month, July, all cattle, horses, etc., found depasturing on the above run without my consent, will be impounded by me, and all trespassers removed. Michael Frs. Costelloe. Axedale, 18th June 1857." [This indicates that Michael Costelloe is now the owner of some of Robert Ross's former holdings.]

Several properties on the east side of, and adjoining the Axe Creek, were under the name of Robert Ross before his insolvency. Several properties on the west side of, and adjoining the Creek were under the name of M.F. Costelloe and remain so. The Robert Ross properties are now also under the name of M.F. Costelloe. Costelloe has managed to obtain properties from Ross's insolvency proceedings. Ross will move to New South Wales.

July, 1857

An article, indicative of troubling times for what remains of the Axedale Run, and Mr. Costelloe, appears in The Bendigo Advertiser. Owing to its relevance to the demise of Squatter's Runs in general and to the Axedale Run specifically, as well as a tilt at the Government of the day, I quote it verbatim:

"GOVERNMENT POLICY ON THE LAND QUESTION. We are informed in some of the Melbourne papers that the Government are beginning to falter with respect to the Land Bill. They are quailing before the universal burst of indignation which has arisen throughout the colony; and meditate a speedy retreat with as little disgrace as they can help. This is just possible. It may be that the men composing the Government begin to under stand that public attention is fairly aroused to the great question of the disposal of the public lands, and that they dread the just resentment likely to overtake the exposure of such nefarious policy on their part.

The circumstances under which this Squatter Cabinet was elevated into office might with reason be supposed to impress them with the idea that they could do very much as they liked. The O'Shanassy Ministry went into office on the strength of certain principles supposed to be entertained by a majority of the population of the colony. Their assuming the reins of power was only the signal for a most virulent, factious, opposition in and out of the House of Assembly, in which the whole generation of placement and tuft hunters, who saw that they were threatened with extinction, used every art to secure the downfall of a Ministry which, whatever its shortcomings, was the fair result of a Parliamentary majority. The O'Shanassy Ministry was not only defeated in th Assembly, but out of doors the candidates in connection with it met with scant favour at the hands of the electors. Of course it was to be expected that when the "People's Ministry"' did not receive proper support at the hands of the people themselves, it would receive little mercy at the hands of the people's enemies. When a politician like Mr. O'Shanassy met with defeat, it was natural that such a man as Mr. Ebiien should enter the arena, and that "honest Haines" should come back in a state of re-juvenescence from his retreat at the Barrabool Hills. After all, it was only natural that Michie should turn traitor. Setting aside the proneness of the legal mind to support either side, and especially that which pays best, Mr. Michie showed his good sense in deserting those colours which the people themselves had forsaken. He saw that on one side there was scant courtesy and no profit, while praise and pudding both went with the other. So the special pleader went with it too. Of course, here was an admirable opportunity for that class which has been all along consistent and true to themselves to make a bold stroke for fortune. They were justified in concluding that a people which had quietly allowed its best friends to be treated with contumely which was too much sunk in apathy and culpable indifference to stand by those men who asserted popular principles, that such a people was not likely to show much opposition to any policy, however flagrant. The squatters and oligarchs have all along been watching their opportunity, and no time seemed so propitious as that when they found themselves invested with unexpected trust and confidence. The sheep had forsaken their watch-dogs, and had placed themselves under the guidance of the wolves. What better fate did these poor silly sheep deserve than to become the prey of their rapacious guides. These animals have only followed their instinct in preying upon the flock, and now that a panic has been caused, and they are threatened with exposure and punishment, we hear that they intend to forbear any ferocious onslaught in future.

Let those who are simple enough to put trust in the professions of hypocrisy, believe the tale. With us it finds no credence. The present opportunity is one which may never again occur, and the men now in power will not neglect availing themselves of it. The Land Bill will be pushed through the House if possible and the Government and squatting members will take whatever they can carry by a majority. Thanks to the criminal supineness of the people and to a faulty system of representation, they can reckon on the support of a set of obsequious flunkies and ignorant dolts, who will stretch their consciences a great way to serve their friends. Such a chance may never again occur nay, we devoutly trust never again will occur. The Government know this, and how much soever they may appear to defer to public opinion, nothing short of imminent ruin will, we are satisfied, turn them from what is their settled purpose. Let no faith whatever be placed in their professions. The public must not suffer themselves to be lulled into a fatal security by any hints or promises on the part of the Government. If they came before the country to-morrow, and professed their sorrow for the length to which they had gone, and promised all manner of amendment for the future, we say it would be absolute folly to place the slightest confidence in any such asseverations. Whatever concessions they may make are wrung from their fears. We have no business to believe in them or trust them any longer. They have revealed the cloven foot, and we must be infatuated did we nevertheless believe that they might after all turn out saints.

We have excellent good reason for doubting any penitential indications on the part of the Government. That they have made up their mind to establish the tenure of squatterdom in conformity with the Land Bill, we see evidence upon every side in the steps taken by the Squatters to assert privileges conferred upon them by this bill. This simultaneous action on their part is no fortuitous occurrence, but it is the result of a perfect understanding among them as to what is likely to be the course taken by their brother Squatters in the Parliament. Indeed the public have every reason to be grateful to those gentlemen who have given such timely indications of what the country is to expect, once it is placed under the sway of squatterdom.

But, in addition to this, we have grounds for believing that the Government intends virtually renewing the right of occupancy which in some cases has expired, allowing that the owners of the runs were right in claiming leases under the Land Orders. And we have proof that the Government is so far bent upon the maintenance of the squatting system, and so little disposed to grant any facilities for the progress of civilization in the interior, that the tenure of runs, which had been almost forsaken because they included populous diggings or were in the vicinity of large centres of population in the interior, has been renewed. Thus it has happened that the Barnadown run, which includes a large portion of the Bendigo goldfield, and which ought certainly not to have been again subjected to squatter occupation, is to be continued under the squatting system. The same is the case with the run formerly occupied by Mr. Ross, of the Campaspe, which run also extends into Sandhurst, and comprises the extensive agricultural tracts of land along the Axe, Emu, Sheepwash, and Campaspe. A few months since the settlers on these creeks who possess small farms, and rear stock, sent a petition to the Government praying that the license for the occupation of the run should not be renewed, inasmuch as this would seriously interfere with the depasturing of their flocks and herds. It strikes us that the prayer of this petition might with reason have been acceded to even by a squatter Government. The run comprises a large extent of gold workings, and has been cut up by various sales of land. It contains a numerous population of agriculturists and farmers, and it forms a portion of one of the most populous goldfields in the colony. In such a place it is monstrous that a squatter's claim should be heard of. Yet it is the fact that Mr. Michael Costello of the Axedale Hotel, now exercises squatter jurisdiction within its limits, and in support of his claims exhibits a magic piece of parchment signed by Sir Henry Barkly! When a Government deliberately insults such a district as Bendigo, and such a town as Sandhurst, by the perpetuation of a system of occupancy in their vicinity suited to the deserts of Arabia, it is time that we began to think seriously of the matter, if we never did before. It is time that we began to understand the true character of the present Administration, and to cease reposing any confidence in it. Let no one be deceived by professions. Acts like these are stubborn proofs, and a Government which commits them deserves but a short shrift, and speedy execution."

• The members of the Sandhurst Chamber of Commerce, inaugurated January 6, 1857, and initially renting a room over Mr. Jones' Auction Mart, create the following memorial to the Government:

"To His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., Captain General of the Colony of Victoria, and Vice-Admiral of same, &c.

The memorial of the members of the Sandhurst Chamber of Commerce sheweth:

That your memorialists in calling the attention of the Government to the increasing importance of the Goulburn diggings, would wish to point out the very serious loss and inconvenience to which both the miners and storekeepers of that field are subjected on account of the present deficient state of the escort arrangements.

That the produce of the Goulburn Goldfields, which is believed to be about fifteen hundred ounces weekly, is now conveyed privately to Heathcote, and forwarded from thence by way of Kilmore (instead of via Sandhurst as formerly), to Melbourne, and as the population is rapidly increasing and becoming of a settled character, and great success is attending both quartz and alluvial mining, it is not too much to assume that the yield of the precious metal will shortly be very large.

That the only method in which the miner can dispose of his gold at present is to the storekeeper on the spot, who is not in a position to give anything like a market price for the metal by reason of the great risk to which he is subjected, in first having to forward it by private hand to Heathcote, and then to the delay involved in its being transmitted by escort to Melbourne, and getting no returns for several weeks.

That your memorialists deem it scarcely necessary to point out the evils arising from the hazardous unbusinesslike system of forwarding large sums in gold and cash by drays or pack horses, as is done at present, and that your Excellency only requires to have the matter laid before you to remedy the grievance complained of.

That your memorialists would suggest for your Excellency's serious consideration the propriety of continuing the present escort between Sandhurst and Melbourne to the Goulburn, a distance of 46 miles, taking up by the way (at Axedale) tho Heathcote gold, by which means the expense of a double escort would be saved.

That your memorialists think they are entitled to ask this at the hands of your Excellency, for the following reasons, viz., from its contiguity to Sandhurst, and the great majority of miners being from Sandhurst, with, as in many cases, families in this town, who require to have their gold safely deposited in the Treasury here.

That nearly all the stores are branches of wholesale houses in this town and that agencies of the Sandhurst Banks would be at once opened if facilities for transmitting gold and cash existed.

Your memorialists therefore pray that your Excellency, with the advice of your Executive Council, will be pleased to give such instructions as will cause the immediate establishment of an Escort between this place and the Goulburn gold diggings, and your memorialists will ever pray, &c."

• The Bendigo Advertiser prints a reader's letter, in which he complains of the local sly grog trade. He says that there are over 1,500 sly grog sellers to 150 Licensed Victuallers.

In the same issue, a letter, written by Mr. F. Brown:

"By an article in your paper of the 4th instant, headed "The Bridge over the Campaspe," I understand that the spot on which this as yet imaginary bridge is to be laid over the river, is by no means as yet decisively fixed upon. Can this be true, Mr. Editor can Government really perpetrate so flagrant an inconsistency with good faith ?

The Government has laid out, and partly sold, a township of the name of Axedale, situated a few yards from the banks of the Campaspe. In the plans, the main road to Heathcote goes right through the centre of this township, towards that spot on the township reserve, originally intended for the bridge.

Now, Mr. Editor, the rise of this township entirely depends upon the traffic between Bendigo, McIvor, the Goulburn, and Ovens diggings, a fact well known to everyone who knows the locality; so much so that I am sure nobody would have thought of purchasing building allotments, excepting on the understanding that sooner or later Government would take steps to overcome this great obstacle to commercial traffic, the Campaspe, by laying a good and secure bridge across it.

Your correspondent states that the flat on which the bridge is intended to be erected is annually flooded and submerged in water. I do not know his reasons for stating so, Mr. Editor, as during five years' residence in the place I never have become aware of this fact, if fact it be. But even then, Sir, a tramway two feet high, always would he sufficient to remedy this evil, and secure the free approach to the bridge. However, Mr. Editor, if Government does not now build this bridge in the first intended place, the main road to Heathcote cannot pass through the township of Axedale. All persons having purchased ground there will be (I'm not going to say swindled) done out of their money; and it seems to me pretty evident that Government, instead of actinq for the benefit of the community at large, (if by the long cry of people induced to act at all) would sooner favour and enrich one or two squatters, who happen to have some interest with M.L.A.'s, by conducting this important traffic past the settlers' stations, so that they may derive the profits of selling stores, when numerous parties could subsist on what otherwise would fall in the hands of one single individual.

I have the honor to be, Sir, yours obediently, F. BROWN"

August, 1857

• Michael Francis Costelloe posts a final notice:

"Axedale Run, Campaspe - Final Notice - All persons having cattle, horses, etc., depasturing on the above Run without my consent, are requested to have them removed on or before the 3rd proximo, otherwise they will be impounded by me. Michael Frs. Costelloe."

• Costelloe follows with another notice a few days later:

"Axedale Run, Campaspe - All persons are hereby cautioned against erecting fences on any portion of the unpurchased land of the above run, otherwise they will be prosecuted by me according to law. Michael Frs. Costelloe. Axedale, August 4, 1857".

September, 1857

• The Haycock and Ross insolvencies are now impacted by bushrangers when William Anderson, Manager of the Oriental Bank, Kilmore, is robbed:

"Highway Robbery. — William Anderson, Esq., Manager of the Oriental Bank at Kilmore, started from the bank to go to Melbourne, at about five o'clock on Tuesday evening last. After crossing the Big Hill night came on, and the weather was very threatening, although the night was not so very dark on account of there being a moon. He had proceeded as far as the rocky rise on the Melbourne side of the Inverlochy Hotel, where the road is not fenced, when ho passed two men on the middle of the road, another man coming up immediately after them suddenly seized the horse by the bridle, a fourth jumped up behind and knocked Mr Anderson's hat over his eyes. The two who had first passed then got up in front and ordered him to dismount, which he did. The man who had a dog cart then drove away into the bush and tied the horse to a tree. Mr Anderson was then knocked down by a blow on the forehead and searched. The sum of £2 or £3 was found on him. He was then tied hand and foot and bound to a tree, the ruffians placing him so as to face the cutting wind and cold rain which was falling during nearly all the night. The robbers then proceeded to the dog cart, and having broken in the box behind, took therefrom about £1000 in notes, and about 200 oz. of gold. They then cut the harness of the horse and decamped. No trace of their whereabouts has yet been discovered, though the police are making the most active exertions to trace the perpetrators of this daring outrage. As might well be supposed, Mr Anderson suffered greatly during tho night, and but for the sharp rain which, now and then coming with extra violence, roused him to his senses, he would certainly have fainted away, and most likely perished with exhaustion and exposure. A party who was out looking for horses the next morning discovered him at about eight o'clock, and gave information at the Inverlochy Hotel. The escort from Melbourne to Beechworth was about passing at the time, and brought the news on to Kilmore. In the evening Mr Anderson had so far recovered as to be able to return to his residence at Kilmore."

And another brief robbery report:

"Bushranging Again - It would seem that a few of this class of freebooters are again upon our roads, and have commenced to ply their old trade with a success worthy of a Melville or a Gypsey [sic.] Smith. On Tuesday evening last, about seven o'clock, as Mr. Anderson, manager of the Kilmore Branch of the Oriental Bank, was proceeding in a gig from that place to the Rocky Water Holes, he was stopped on the road by four men one of whom caught hold of the horse by the head, and the others then dragged him a short distance off the road and tied him to a tree. They succeeded in obtaining several thousand pounds in notes of various banks, and two bags of gold, containing two hundred ounces each. Mr. Anderson was not ill-treated. We have not heard whether any clue has been obtained to lead to the apprehension of the perpetrators. - Maryborough Advertiser."

• Despite indications that the highwaymen were soon arrested, a report casts doubt:

"It was reported in town [Melbourne] yesterday, that the three highwaymen who lately robbed Mr. Anderson, the Oriental Bank agent, within a few miles of Kilmore, had been arrested; but from the enquiries we have made, we have the strongest reasons for believing that such is not the case. The matter is engaging the attention of some of our most experienced police officers, the result of whose labours may be known in a few days, when we expect to be in possession of some further particulars in this very extraordinary, and, under the circumstances described, very atrocious outrage.

• The gross amount of Crown lands sold in the Sandhurst District to the present time, exceeds £200,000. The number of acres sold is about 90,000. The number of allotments sold in the Town of Sandhurst is 736, at the White Hills and other places on the goldfields, 340, in the townships of Axedale, Lockwood, Marong, Mandurang, etc, 93.

• The Haycock and Ross insolvency cases become more and more intriguing when, at a special meeting:

"Mr. Anderson, the Manager of the branch of the Oriental Bank at Kilmore, who was lately robbed on his way down to Melbourne, was examined with reference to certain business transaction between the bank and the insolvent [Ross]. It appeared that a bill of the insolvent's for £1,245, endorsed by the manager of the bank at Sandhurst [Bendigo], "Mr. Haycock", and discounted by the bank was, together with other papers referring to the same transaction, taken from Mr. Anderson by the bushrangers. This bill had been previously entered by the manager, giving in its stead, two bills for £900. It was endeavoured to be shown by this examination that the bills belonged to the estate. After considerable investigation, the Court were unable to come to any definite decision as to the nature of the transaction. The meeting then closed."

• Special meetings are being held for the proving of Haycock's debts:

"Mr Anderson, the manager of the Oriental Branch Bank [Kilmore], attended again, and was further examined by Mr. George Stephen, for the official assignee, at great length. The witness had not brought the letters of the insolvent [Ross], which, on his examination of the 19th of December, he had promised to produce, because, in bringing them to Melbourne on the 24th August, he had been robbed of them. He was robbed by four men eleven miles from Kilmore; it happened at seven in the evening; they dragged him four hundred yards into the bush, and tied him to a tree, where he remained all night; besides the letters, they robbed him of £3600, and also of a quantity of gold dust. He remonstrated with them for taking the papers, but it was useless. They said they would not hurt him if he kept quiet. A reward had been offered; £500 by the bank, and £100 by the Government. It was for the recovery of the property, including the papers, of course. It might be for the detection of the offenders. He had no copy of it in court. They cut the traces and the reins, and tied up the horse. He did not see them do this, but he heard of it afterwards; he did not know any of the men, nor could he give much description of them, for they had not been more than four minutes about it. He hoped the papers were not irrecoverably lost, but they were lost for the present. He remembered about the bill for £1245 accepted by Haycock; the Oriental Bank discounted it for the insolvent; the bank books are here. The witness pointed out the entry of it in the discount register. That was the only entry; he did not particularly mention the matter to Mr Cargill, though the sum was so much above the average. His books were not inspected from July to December, 1856; the Inspector had gone to England. The insolvent [Ross] gave him the securities mentioned in the letter produced about a month afterwards; they were put in an iron box, where the securities of the Bank were usually placed. The bill of £1,245 was dishonored at maturity, but it was afterwards paid; witness paid it with his own money; he had the means; the insolvent brought him two bills accepted by himself — one drawn by Costello, and the other by Mr. Meade. Meade was not the solicitor of the bank; he did advise witness, in reference to this matter; the insolvent brought him these acceptances on the 29th of October. Witness has long been in the banking business, and knows what an acceptance is; he did not believe these were accommodation bills, though offered to him by the acceptor; he did know that one of them was, as he had himself asked means to draw it; but he thought the other might be bona fide, as he knew Costello was the tenant of the insolvent [at the Axedale Hotel, Axe Creek], and there were transactions between them. He took these bills and discounted them with the bank, and made up the difference to take up £1245 bill with his own money; he thus made the bill his own; he then sold the securities to Costello for £1000. Witness received the money for them; when he sold these securities, one of the insolvent's acceptances had not arrived at maturity, tho other was paid; he has no entry of these transaction in any of his books, but his pass-book would show the receipt of the £1000. Haycock's acceptance was not endorsed over to witness by the Oriental Bank. Witness held no power of attorney from the bank. The witness was then shown an affidavit which he had made, proving a debt against Haycock's estate, for £1245."

• Michael Costelloe fronts up to court on a summons for neglecting to keep his lamp burning during the night. As it appeared that he was absent at the time, he was, after being strictly warned to let his lamp shine brightly for the future, fined 1/-.

November, 1857

• The case of Costelloe v. Jones resumes Saturday, November 14:

In the overall legal entanglement, it is an action of trover [Recovery of property value, not the property itself.] for the value of certain crops taken by the defendant, Jones, as messenger to Mr. Jacomb, Official Assignee, in the insolvency of Robert Ross.

"In July 7, 1856, Ross wrote to William Anderson, Manager of the Kilmore Branch of the Oriental Bank, offering him for discount, an acceptance of George William [should be Washington.] Haycock for the sum of £1,245 and undertaking that as collateral security he would hand him the title deeds of certain lands, some of them under crop. The lands consisted of two parcels - one containing 270 acres upon 60 acres of which the crops in question were growing, and the other of 320 acres. He also undertook to transfer a station called the Axedale Station, upon the river Axe, within about ten miles of Sandhurst. [This distance equates to the distance to Axe Creek where Ross had allotments North and South of the McIvor Road, plus the Axedale Hotel.] Haycock's acceptance was dated the 4th of July, and was payable in three months. The Bank discounted the bill. It was not met at maturity. Haycock meantime becoming insolvent. He [Ross] had never given Anderson the title deeds he promised him as collateral security. The bill, having been dishonored, Anderson promised him to perfect the securities. Ross himself began to fail in circumstance. He had meantime transferred to other creditors, some of the title deeds which he had promised to Anderson. On the 28th of October Ross entered into an arrangement with Anderson by which he gave his own acceptance, payable within a month, for £500, an acceptance of the plaintiff, Costelloe, for £874, the title deeds of the 820 acres lot, a written document purporting to create a lien in his favour upon the 40 acres portion of the 270 acres and a transfer of the Axedale Station. The title deeds of the 270 acres he did not hand over, these having been, as already stated, handed over to another creditor. All these were given as collateral securities to receive the payment of Haycock's acceptance (£1,246) and according to the evidence of both Anderson and Ross, the transaction was not with the bank, but with Ross, personally, who took up the acceptance from the bank with his own cash, and took the risk of the securities now given to him. He took this responsibility on himself as he felt himself accountable to the bank for borrowing the bill upon the promise of collateral securities, which eventually never came to his hands. On the 18th of November Ross became insolvent. On the 20th of December Anderson sold to the plaintiff, Costelloe, for the sum of £1000, the whole of the securities which he thus held to secure the £1,245, including the original acceptance, the collateral bills, the transfer of the station, the title deed of the 320 acres, and the lien upon the crops growing on the forty acres portion of the 270 acres, the title deeds of which had never been banded to him. On the 23rd of December, Costelloe entered up the forty acres. Up to this time the bankrupt Ross had been in possession of these forty acres. On the 31st of December the defendant Jones, having been appointed messenger by the Official Assignee, Mr. Jacomb, went to the lands and attached the crops. Costelloe meantime took legal advice, and on the 6th of January he returned to the lands, and began to cut and carry away the crops, but Jones, with the assistance of the police, interfered, removed Costelloe, and ultimately sold the crops. Under these circumstances, Costelloe now sued Jones in the present action for the value of the crops thus sold. On the closing of the plaintiff's case, Mr. Ireland moved for a nonsuit on the following grounds. First: The lien on the crops could not be transferred. Growing crops was a part of the freehold, and could not, therefore, be transferred but by deed. The document which purported to create a lien upon the crops in favour of Anderson not being under seal, could not therefore operate as a transfer. It was at best but a license, and a license was personal, and could not he transferred. Under the license Mr. Anderson could not transfer any right to Costelloe. Secondly: The crops were long after the "in the order, power and disposition" of the bankrupt, and was therefore vested by the insolvency in the Official Assignee. Thirdly: The transfer of the crops by the insolvent [Ross] to Anderson, if it was to be construed as a transfer, was made within 60 days before the insolvency, and was therefore void under the Act. The Solicitor-General replied: Firstly - That the insolvency although referred to generally in the course of the evidence was not yet in proof. It still rested on the defendant [Jones] to prove it. The case stood as yet as between a person rightfully in possession, and a wrongdoer interfering with his possession. Defendant must go on and prove the insolvency. Secondly - The clause in the Insolvent Act as to property "in the order and disposition of the insolvent", related to goods the property of a third person, left in the possession of the insolvent with the assent of the true owner. The clauses had no application here for the insolvent, and the true owner were herefor the same person. Thirdly - It did not appear as yet what was the date of the insolvency, nor that the transfer had been made within the sixty days but, even if it did so appear, the 9th section was an answer to this objection, for it excepted property bona fide purchased or taken in satisfaction of a bona fide debt. His Honor declined to nonsuit as the Insolvency was not proved, but it was understood that the defendant [Jones] going into his evidence and proving the insolvency, a verdict should pass for the plaintiff [Costelloe], the jury finding the damages, and that these points should be reserved, with liberty for the defendant to move to turn the verdict into a verdict for the defendant."

The case of Costelloe v. Jones continues on November 16:

"This case had been partly heard on the previous Saturday. Jones was merely, the nominal defendant, tho actual defendant being Mr. Jacomb, official assignee to the estate of a Mr Robert Ross. Mr Jacomb, as official assignee, authorised Mr Jones to cut certain growing crops upon Ross's which the he had purchased long prior to Ross's insolvency from Mr Anderson, to whom the crop had been assigned.[It was Costelloe who had purchased the property.]

Exhibits 28th October, and 28th December, 1857, were put in by Mr Ireland, who then addressed the jury for the defence, contending that the assignment was not bona fide, but had been made on account of a pre-existing debt, and within sixty days of Ross's insolvency, therefore, it was null and void.

Mr Austin, Clerk of the Insolvent Court, produced the papers in the insolvent estate of Mr. Robert Ross, and the order of sequestration.

Mr Robert Ross stated that he remembered Mr Jones coming on the land, on the morning of 31st December last, at which time men were cutting upon the land, and those men were in the employment of Mr Costello. On the Monday before the 31st December, men were cutting and removing, who were in witnesses [Ross's] employ. On arriving at the farm Mr Costello showed him a document, by which it appeared he had purchased from Mr Anderson the securities which had been given on account of the £1245 bill of Haycock's, and witness then told the men not to interfere with Mr Costello, but that they must refrain from going further on his account, as he could do nothing in the matter till he had received instructions from the Official Assignee. No formal possession was given to Mr Costello.

By Mr Fellows: I endeavored to arrange the £1245 bill with Mr Anderson on 28th October. That bill was dishonored. I accepted a blank bill for £500, which was afterwards canceled before it became due, nor did I take up the bill for £374 11s 2d. I never heard the first bill was canceled till 1 heard Mr Anderson state so in the witness box on Saturday. I can't recollect whether Mr Anderson's name was filled in in the document produced at the time it was prepared or not. I know I objected to signing a bill in blank, and think I also said I objected to sign a document in blank. Tho document I allude to is the lien on the crops. I think Mr Anderson said he did not know who would draw the bill, or in whose name the lien would be, but that he would advise me.

Mr Fellows said, the plaintiff's [Costelloe's] case had really not been contradicted by the plaintiff, and it really appeared to him all the jury had to do was, to ascertain the value of the crops. If the consignment were made within sixty days of the insolvency, that was a mere question of law which would have to be determined in another court.

His Honor in summing up, left the jury to determine whether the assignment had been made to Mr Anderson in his private capacity, or as manager of the Bank. There could be no doubt, in the first instance, the transaction was with the bank, but they had heard Mr Anderson's statement, from which it appeared, that as he was unable to obtain all the securities originally arranged for on account of the advance, he took the transaction on himself and ultimately effected a sale of the securities at a loss of about £200, as compared with the advance which he had made. No doubt fully the alienation was made within sixty days of the insolvency of Mr Ross, but there was a subsequent clause of the Insolvent Act, which said third parties or innocent purchasers. It would therefore be for the jury to say, in order to avoid litigation, whether the sale to Costello was bona fide or not. If they thought a lawful bona fide purchase had been made by Costello from Anderson, then they should protect Costello's rights. So far as could be ascertained, it was a fair purchase, Costello having given £1000 for_what he expected to ultimately realise £1,200, which did not appear more than a reasonable advance for his outlay. He believed there was no dispute about the value of the crops, which should be the amount of the damages, beyond which the jury would have to determine whether the transaction of 28th October was with Anderson personally, or on behalf of the bank; whether the dealing between Anderson and the plaintiff was lawful and bona fide; whether the dealing between Anderson and Ross was for a just and competent price.

The jury, after an absence of half an hour, returned a verdict for the plaintiff [Costelloe], £540 6s, finding that the transaction of 28th October was with Anderson as manager on behalf of the bank; that the purchase by Costello was bona fide, and that the arrangement was in satisfaction of a debt due to the bank. The Court then adjourned till ten o'clock this morning."

A slightly different account re the previous:

"Mr. Ireland opened the defendant's case. The defendant [Jones] denied altogether the plaintiff's right to recover. The transactions commenced in July with the discounting of Haycock's bill. That was a transaction purely with the bank, and though the transaction of the 28th of October, by which the securities were handed over by Ross, and a lien given on these crops was nominally between Ross and Anderson, it also was, in truth, a transaction between Ross and the bank. The transaction of the 20th of December, therefore, by which Anderson transferred to Costelloe, could not be effectual without the assent of the bank. A question of law would arise as to the possibility of transferring all the interest that Ross had agreed to grant. It was only a lien in the nature of a license and was not capable of being transferred. This question would be decided by the Court above. Evidence would now be produced to the jury to show that the plaintiff was not in possession of these crops on the 31st of December, when the defendant first attached them. It would be proved that the men who were employed in cutting and removing them that day were Ross's men, not Costelloe's men, and that, in fact, Costello had never been in lawful possession.

Mr. Ross, who had already been examined for the plaintiff [Costelloe], was now recalled. When witness [Ross] returned from Melbourne, not on the 31st, but two days before, witness's men were engaged in cutting the crops. On arriving at the Axedale Hotel, Costelloe showed him the papers by which he had bought from Anderson. Witness then went with Costelloe, and told the men that Mr. Costelloe informed him that he had bought the crops, and bid them refrain from any further proceedings until he received instruction from the Official Assignee. Cannot say whether this amounted to giving Mr. Costello possession, but he told the men not to interfere with Mr. Costello.

His Honor, in summing up, put three questioner to the jury: 1. Was the transaction of the 28th of October a transaction with Anderson personally, or with Anderson acting on behalf of the bank? 2. Was the transaction of the 28th October a transfer for a lawful and bona fide debt, due either to Anderson or to the bank, and if not, was it for a just and competent price? 3. Was the transaction of the 20th December a bona fide purchase by Costelloe from Anderson?

The jury having retired, in about a quarter of an hour returned a verdict for the plaintiff [Costelloe] with £610 6s. damages, and answered His Honor's questions as follows : 1st. The transaction of the 28th October was with Anderson as manager of the bank. 2nd. The transaction of the 28th of October was in satisfaction of a lawful debt due to the bank. 3rd. The transaction of the 20th of December was a bond fide purchase by Costelloe. The Court adjourned till ten o'clock on Tuesday (this) morning."

December, 1857

In an article headed "Deficiencies in Estimates" Bendigo Advertiser reports: An extract:

"Another very material point in the Estimates is the proposed expenditure for roads and bridges. In this respect it will be found that the country districts have been grossly and unwarrantably neglected. The people of Ballaarat are already taking energetic measures to protest against this. But if they have reason to complain, we have still greater cause to do so. Under this head, the only item affecting this district, is the insignificant and paltry sum of £1,000 for a bridge over the Axe at Axedale. Is this the only work of the description required or is this the total amount to be expended during the whole of the ensuing year on the roads in the immediate neighbourhood of Bendigo. We might point to many other obvious omissions in the estimated expenditure which it will be the duty of hon. members to endeavour to have supplied, and which at present tend to swell the balance in favour of the revenue."

• The Government Gazette details completed contracts. Contract No. 402 is in the name of J. and W. Collier, amount of £369.1.0, approved 23 July, 1857, to erect a bridge over the Campaspe River at Axedale.

• The continuing Costelloe v. Jones court case, the following report explains the reasoning behind the Court's decision:

"This case, partly heard on the previous day, was resumed at the sitting of the Court. The rule was to set aside the verdict for the plaintiff on various grounds.

The facts of the case were these: In the month of July 1860 a Mr Ross, who had been in the habit of doing business with the branch of the Oriental Bank at Kilmore, wrote to Mr. Anderson, the manager of that establishment, requesting discount of a bill to the amount of £1,200, and offering him, by way of collateral security, the transfer of the license of a run and the deeds of certain land, comprising some land which he specially named as "under crop." This letter was dated the 7th of July. The bill was discounted, and on the 28th of October Ross wrote Anderson a letter stating that, as security for the bill discounted, he handed him the Crown grant of some of the lands mentioned in his letter of the 7th of July; a letter of transfer of the license of the run, and that he thereby gave him a lien upon the growing crops upon the other lands mentioned in the letter of July, and authorised him, when they were ripe, to cut, carry away, and sell them if the bill was not paid before that time. In the month of November Ross became insolvent. By a written agreement, dated the 20th of December, Anderson sold the bill of exchange, and the securities collateral to it, including the "agreement for a lien" upon the crops in question, to the plaintiff, Costello. A few days afterwards Costello entered upon the land and cut some of the crop. The Official Assignee of tho estate of Ross interposed. He authorised the defendant Jones to act as his messenger, and take possession of those crops. Jones did so. He took the crops that were cut, cut those that were not yet cut, and sold all of them. For this the present action was brought by Costello against Jones as for a trespass. The jury found for the plaintiff [Costelloe], damages £640, being the value of the crops. In answer to questions from the Court, the Jury found that the agreement entered into by Ross with Anderson on the 28th of October was an agreement in consideration of an antecedent debt due to the Bank, and that tho sale of the bill and securities by Anderson to the plaintiff Costello on the 20th of December was a bond-fide sale.

The present rule was to set aside this verdict, on the ground that the instrument of the 28th of October was an instrument transferring property from the insolvent Ross to the Bank within sixty days before his insolvency; and on the further ground that this same instrument of the 28th of October gave the bank "only a lien" on the crops which were still growing, and that this, coupled with the leave to cut, carry away, and sell them, amounted only to a revocable license, and was not capable of transfer to Costello.

To the objection founded on the Insolvency Act it was answered - first, that the granting of this lien on the crops was mode in pursuance of a previous agreement contained in the letter of the 7th of July, which letter was dated more than sixty days before the insolvency, and the grant of the lien or sale of the crops, whichever it might be called did not, therefore, fall within the operation of the 8th section of the act. In the second place, it was answered that the purchase by Costello being a bone fide purchase from Anderson, to whom the transfer was made by the insolvent, was protected under the 9th section of the Act. To the second objection, that the right in the crops was not a right capable of transfer, it was answered that the agreement of the 28th of December was in fact a sale of the crops. The Court would look to the intention of the parties; and not to the word "lien," which was plainly an inartificial word, and not capable of any technical meaning as it was used in this agreement. It must be interpreted therefore, according to the intention of the parties. The intention was to give a right to the bank to take possession of the crops, to cut, carry away and sell them. Sales of growing crops had been repeatedly held good if the Statute of Frands is complied with, and the agreement as conveying an interest in land was in writing.

For the rule, it was argued that the Instrument of the 28th of October did not strictly follow the letter of the 7th of July, and was not, therefore, protected by it. In support of the second objection the case of Leadbetter v. Wood, 13 M. and W., was cited, to prove that no easement in land could be granted irrevocably unless by an instrument under seal, and a passage in the judgment in that case was read, in which it was intimated that some of the previous cases respecting the sale of growing crops had been decided without the attention of the Court being drawn to the necessity of seal. It was contended, therefore, that the letter of the 28th of October only gave a revocable license, which was not capable of being transferred. Even if it was capable of being transferred, it was revocable, and had been in fact revoked. Upon Ross's insolvency his assignee stood in his shoes, and became entitled to revoke this license, and upon the evidence it was plain that the assignee did revoke it.

Mr. Justice Barry, In delivering judgment, said that in the letter of the 7th of July and the instrument of the 28th could be so connected so that the latter should be regarded as carrying out the former, that placed the later instrument beyond the operation of the 8th section of the Insolvent Act. As to the transfers made ... [illegible] narrowly into this question for tho jury found that the subsequent sale from Anderson to Costello was a bona fide one, and this brought the transaction within the protection of the 8th section of the act, even though it were otherwise imp...shable. This brought him to consider the other question, as to the effect of the agreement of the 28th October, which professed to give Anderson "a lien" on the crops. The Court would not look too strictly to the word "lien." It was plainly used in a very inartificial manner in this agreement. Technically it would imply that the party to whom the lien was granted had possession of the thing on which the lien was given. There was no possession here, and the word must therefore be construed in a sense not strictly technical. It was rational, therefore, to assume that this letter of the 28th October was an agreement to sell those crops,and the subsequent instrument of the 20th December must be looked upon as a sale of the growing crops to Costello. Some days after the date of this transfer to Costello, Costello actually entered and cut some of tho crops. The question was, Could he maintain trespass for the crop he has thus cut? Souddall v. Vauxhall and other cases showed that it was a sufficient justification for a party cutting crops to show that he had an agreement in writing permitting him to do so. Having thus obtained lawful possession of the crops, he could of course maintain trespass for them. How far this right would extend over the crops which the plaintiff had not cut the form of the present rule made it unnecessary for the Court to say. If it had been a rule to reduce damages, the Court might be called upon to make a distinction, and to consider how much of the crop the plaintiff bad actually cut and reduced to his possession before the assignee intervened. Even then the matter might still admit of argument, but as tho rule was framed it was not necessary for the Court to consider that question.

Mr. Justice Molesworth said that had the rule been differently framed he would have had some doubt with respect to those portions of the crops that had not been cut by the plaintiff. He doubted whether the agreement of the 28th of October gave more than a license which it was in the power of the assignee to revoke. In this view, he might be disposed to mould the rule so as to reduce the damages, by deducting the value of the crops that were cut by the assignee; but the verdict really only gave effect to rights which, if not all enforceable by this action, must be enforceable somehow, and the Court would not mould a rule where the only affect would be to send the plaintiff to a Court of Equity to enforce the same rights. Rule discharged."

February, 1858

• John McNamara is charged by John O'Sullivan, with assault at the Axedale. In the absence of the prosecutor, the case is remanded.

• Mr. O'Loughlin applies on behalf of Mr. Nolan, for a licence for an "Axedale Creek" hotel to be called the Campaspe Hotel. [This hotel is obviously in Axedale.]

February, 1858

• The Axedale Police Station is nominated as a polling place.

• Crown land sale report: "Yesterday was the last day of the Crown Land Sale held at The Shamrock. The attendance was only moderate. The land submitted to competition was situated on the Axe Creek. The bidding was very dull indeed, out of 42 lots offered, but nine were sold, and these fetched a price very little in advance of the upset price. At no prior land sale held in Sandhurst has there been so little animation shown; nor do we ever remember seeing so large an area of land sold for so small a sum. The amount realised yesterday was only £1,071/7/1." The list of purchasers includes: England, Hogan, Strachan, Brocklebank, Donnellan, White and Dwyer.

There were no bids for Lots 1 to 6, 14, 15, 17 to 41 and Lot 42 was withdrawn. Lot 7, Section 12 - 110a 1r 149, Alfred England for £110/16/9, also Lot 8, Section 12 - 67a 0r 11p for £7/1/5. Lot 9, Section 12 - 55a 2r, P. Hogan for £166/10/0. Lot 10, Section 12 - 45a 1r 5p, F. Strachan for £176/12/0. Lot 11, Section 12 - 46a 2r 9p, T. Brocklebank for £93/2/3. Lot 12, Section 82a 1r 27p - T. Donnellan for £164/16/9. Lot 13, Section 12 - 108a 1r 35p - J. White for £113/17/11. Lot 16, Section 9 - 180a - P. Dwyer for £180/0/0.

April, 1858

• The Survey Office issues plans for a number of towns including Axedale near Sandhurst.

• The Axedale races are held once again. There is a small attendance on the first day which is believed to be as a result of short notice. The second day was reported as not being as good as the first day. An interesting extract: "Rambler, a horse that had gained some notoriety in Melbourne, having run a second to Walkover in the Steeplechase at the last Turf Club Meeting, had it all his own way yesterday in the Hurdle Race. This horse's reputation seems to have deterred our Sandhurst cracks from starting, and he was left, much to the disgust of the spectators, to walk over the course."

• The Government Gazette advises that a pound will be provided at Axe Creek. It will be provided at the end of Code Lane.

May, 1858

• The Gazette advises that Mr. George Shee O'Loughlin is appointed Keeper of the Public Pound at Axe Creek.

• Michael Costelloe embarks on a new occupation - cattle impounding. His first Axe Creek impounding appears in the Government Gazette for May 11. It is the first of many impoundings by Costelloe, a "pastime" for which he becomes well known and considerably disliked. Impoundings attributed to Costelloe in the Government Gazette for May, take place on the 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd and 28th. [The reader has to understand that, in those days, the unfenced squatters runs are being slowly broken up, settlers are purchasing unfenced portions for their own use and trying to eke out a living until they can fence them and it is almost impossible to prevent cattle straying if they are not contained by fences. Costelloe's squatter-like permission was covered in the July, 1857 items.]

• Publican's licence applications are received. Among them is John Baillie, Raglan Hotel, Axedale.

• A reader asks: "When does the Government intend, or does it intend at all, to expend the thousand pounds voted for the purpose of erecting a bridge over the Axe Creek at Axedale? This is a work that ought to have been attended to a long time ago. The traffic on this road, the highway to Mclvor and the Goulburn diggings from Bendigo, is very considerable, and scarcely a winter passes that fatal accidents do not occur to travelers in attempting to cross the Axe Creek. When in a flooded state, it is one of the most dangerous torrents on the country, the banks are steep and treacherous, and it is unfordable in any part. It is time that this matter was earnestly seen to. A bridge might yet be thrown over the creek soon enough to be of service during the present winter, and we think it will be sufficient to call the attention of the Government to the urgent necessity for this work to induce them to cause it to be immediately commenced. From the promptitude evinced in supplying requirements of a somewhat similar nature in other portions of the district, there can be no doubt that one so pressing as this will not be much longer overlooked or neglected. The erection of a bridge over the Axe is a very trifling matter. The money has been already voted, and the work could be executed satisfactorily in a few weeks. We are asking no very extraordinary favour therefore in requesting that it may be commenced at as early a period as possible. "The article also mentions a future survey for the supply of water to Sandhurst."

June, 1858

• The Argus newspaper, June 15, carried a Positive and Unreserved Sale notice for A Valuable and Well-known Freehold Estate, Situated on the Banks of the Never-failing Campaspe River. "L. McPherson and Co., instructed by Messrs. Booth and Doak, will sell, on the premises, on Tuesday 15th inst., at 12 o'clock, without the slightest reserve, that splendid farm of 200 acres, well-fenced in with three rail fence, and subdivided into cultivation paddocks, having nearly half a mile frontage to the Campaspe River; being about 1 mile above the station formerly known as Ross's, at the crossing of the McIvor road, about 18 miles from Sandhurst, well known to be the best market for farm produce in the colony.

The improvements on this property, besides it being divided into paddocks, are complete for a Model Farm.

A substantial and furnished four-roomed cottage has been erected on it, with a half acre well-stocked garden, containing a quantity of vines and fruit trees, and at present 100 acres of the land are under cultivation.

Barn, stockyard, sheds, dairy, and piggery, have all been built with a view to convenience and safety; and lastly, but not the least consideration, is the happy advantage this property possesses of having the Mosquito and Native Gully Creeks running through it, thus enabling the proprietor to irrigate the whole in seasons of drought. Terms at sale. Title unexceptionable. All particulars can be obtained on application to the Auctioneers, Pall Mall. A luncheon will be provided. Its direct situation can be learnt by applying at the Axedale Hotel."

[The property, to which the notice referred, was not specifically identified. However, the reference to the two creeks, and the nearly half mile frontage to the Campaspe River, indicates that the property is the 320 acre Part A of Robert Ross's Pre-emptive Right. Except for the property size of 320 acres, it fits the description, bounded by Doaks Road on the South, Crowes Road on the West, Campaspe River on the East, and with Kimbolton-Axedale Road running through the middle. Both creeks, of course, run through it.]

• A list of Title Deeds deposited at the Sub-Treasury, Sandhurst during the current year - includes W. Todd, J. Cullen, J. Smethurst and J. Drake from Axedale.

• There are twenty seven country lots at Axedale and the Axe Creek on which deposits have been forfeited, now open for selection.

• Michael Costelloe's impoundings continue: June 5 (9 head), June 6 (8 head), June 15 (4 head), June 19 (18 head), June 25 (3 head), and June 30 (1 head). A somewhat hard hitting letter appears in the Bendigo Advertiser and is quoted in its entirety.

"We have seen a letter to the effect "that a most disgraceful raid had been made by Mr. Costelloe against the numerous settlers on the Creeks that were included in the former Ross' run. Something should be done not only to hold up to public execration such tyranny, but also to put a stop to a state of things which I fear will lead to unpleasant collision." The writer goes on to state that "Mr. Costelloe has a number of men well armed who go scouring the vicinity, and drive into Pound, not only stray cattle, but even such as are in proper custody. The practice above complained of is not a matter of yesterday merely, but has been a grievance upon the small settlers in the vicinity of the Axe Creek for a length of time. It is not very long since a Pound was established at the Axe, and the numerous small settlers have been kept in constant irritation and hot water. No later than Sunday we believe some disgraceful scenes were transacted in this way, and the excitement ran so high that the gentlemen who thus signalised themselves in driving off the cattle of the farmers, very nearly came in for broken heads. As the writer of the letter in question remarks, such a state of things must eventuate in serious collision. No doubt the law gives the occupier of the land the right of impounding, but this like many similar privileges, should be exercised with due caution to consequences.

It never was intended that a privilege granted for the purpose of protection is to be turned into a means of harassing and oppressing, and that any holder even of purchased land is to retain about him a gang of fellows for the purpose of scouring whole districts and impounding cattle with and without reason. Such men are not too scrupulous about the means they employ or the lengths to which they go. In the present case we have one instance of seventy seven head of cattle belonging to a farmer owning some three or four hundred acres, impounded while under the care of a man within half a mile of the owner's fences. It is evident that in this case if it was only required that the cattle should be confined to the owner's ground, an effectual warning could have been given. But the rough riders required something to pounce upon, and it was therefore their province to drive these cattle to Pound so as to secure the penalties.

Such conduct among neighbours is most scandalous, and at the same time pernicious, for it will have the effect of calling into existence in course of time, a set of ruffianly bandits little better than the moss-troopers of the borders in old times. To show the recklessness that has been indulged in the present case, we understand that Mr. Costelloe's men actually impounded tho cattle of a settler named Murphy on Mr. Harney's run, and the case is likely to occupy the attention of the Police Court this morning. In the preceding observations we speak of Mr. Costelloe's run as if it was his purchased ground, and we show that even in that case his conduct, if strictly legal, is grossly tyrannical. But when we remember the tenure upon which he holds this ground when we know that he is but a squatter of yesterday who dares in the face of public execration to assert the most obnoxious privileges of the class, and to act the part of the rapacious landholder, we must say we are struck with surprise at his temerity. In the celebrated foray of the Teutons of Ravenswood, there was something to extenuate the affair, for the Fentons had been accustomed to hold their run under squatting tenure before the diggings were opened, and might be supposedly to view with the intolerance habit the trespassing of the small settlers. But the holder of the Axedale run is a squatter of yesterday, who can plead nothing on the score of old usages and vested rights. He is a mere occupier of Crown lands, who apes the most discreditable practices of the class, without any valid excuse that we can see."

[The previous article references a legacy remnant of the squatting renewal permitted some years ago. The pound in Code Lane, is very close to Costelloe's property. The Axe Creek formed the east boundary of Costelloe's property and west boundary of the old Ross property after the Axedale Station breakup. Costelloe secured title to the Ross property after his insolvency. Costelloe also had three properties adjoining the east side of Longlea Lane, the centre one of which became the site of the Longlea Railway Station some years later.]

• A small follow-up article:

A deputation of the farmers and settlers on the Axe, Emu, Mosquito, Kangaroo and other creeks between Sandhurst and the Campaspe, waited yesterday on the Police Magistrate, Mr. McLachlan, with reference to the impounding of their cattle by Mr. Costelloe of Axedale [sic.]. The deputation set forth the grievances under which they laboured in being subjected to the raids of unscrupulous men, who, under the sanction of law, harassed them at their very thresholds. All they required was justice.

Mr. McLachlan could only say that, as Police Magistrate, he would be most happy to afford the redress the law allowed to aggrieved parties who came before him. Complaints should be made in the proper manner, and they might depend upon it that justice would be duly administered.

The settlers, we [the newspaper] understand, do not intend to allow the matter to rest here, but will take steps to have their case properly brought under the notice of the Government.

• Mr. J.H. Knipe reports that 19 out of the 23 lots of the Axedale farms that were put up for public competition, are sold.

• A report on the state of McIvor Road and the non-existent Axe Creek Bridge describes an image of how different things were back then: "One of the most characteristic roads on Bendigo,is the Mclvor-road from the Axe Creek to the Back Creek Bridge, a distance of eight or nine miles. When we say "characteristic," we mean of that class of rough bush roads which are usually found at the diggings, and on which it would be difficult to find the slightest indication of any attempt at formation, even to the removal of almost impassable impediments to the passage of vehicles. The road in question seems to owe less to human industry than any we ever traveled over. Beyond the effect which the passage of scores of vehicles every day, many of them being teams laden with produce and merchandise of every description, has had in wearing a track through the bush,it would be difficult to find any evidence of man's intention that vehicles should pass this way. The track of cart wheels goes in its corkscrew course over the best available ground, and as the best is wretchedly bad indeed, the result is most admirable. By what extraordinary tact and ingenuity teams of bullocks are navigated over this bush-track at all, and how fashionable vehicles are ever driven along it at a rate of nine miles an hour, without impaling the horses and separating the wheels from the body of the vehicle, form one of those interesting queries which can only be answered by asking how it is that acrobats can perform such wonderful feats, and in China pyramids of men can be formed with the apex of a single individual, perched in air at the height of a score of yards. All these things are feats of skill which are very surprising to witness, but which men only venture upon for the sake of considerable gain. How it comes that a wise and considerate Government should continue to jeopardise the lives of her Majesty's subjects by requiring them to possess so much marvelous skill in order to perform the requirements of their business in traveling over this road, we cannot understand.

The road we speak of is the channel of traffic between(Sandhurst and Mclvor, Kilmore,&c., and in certain seasons even Melbourne teams come by this route. The daily traffic by it is very considerable, and was there anything like a passable road it would be much greater. Speaking seriously, it is hardly credible that for five years the road between districts so immediately connected in business should have been left in its primitive state. No one could for a moment imagine from its appearance, unless he saw the numerous teams passing along it, that it led to any place of importance, or could be thought of much account as a thoroughfare. Yet this road is the highway to the Axe with its numerous farms, to the Campaspe at the bridge near Heffernan and Crowley's, and thence on the left to the Goulburn diggings, and on the right to Heathcote, Kilmore, and Melbourne, with the numberless other adjacent districts. In fact, it is our great channel of communication with the whole country to the east of us, and the neglect it has met must result from official ignorance concerning it, as well as from the carelessness of those more immediately interested.

Besides the ordinary difficulties of a bushroad, with its chevaux de frise of stumps, its ruts,and quagmires, there are special obstacles which demand attention. The hill to be passed over at the slaughter-yards is both difficult and dangerous, and can only be avoided by a considerable detour. Then, notwithstanding all that has been said and written on the subject, there is yet no bridge over the Axe Creek. We believe that in consequence of the repeated remonstrances on this subject, a sum was at length placed on the Estimates for the purpose of erecting a bridge over this dangerous Creek. There is however, as yet, no sign of the work being commenced, and we shall have the winter upon us again, with the Creek swollen with rain and unfordable, adding its usual quota of victims to the bills of mortality. We have heard hints of some underhand proceedings with reference to this matter,which we hope are unfounded; for if true, they compromise men of whom better things should be expected. The best way to silence slanderous tongues is at once to commence the construction of the bridge."

July, 1858

• R. Benson, will be, amongst other places, at the Axedale Hotel, Axedale, [Axe Creek] to facilitate the registration of electors in the neighborhood of the Axe, the Emu and Sheepwash.

• An adjourned inquest is held on the body of Thomas Wallace at the Albion Hotel, Sandhurst. Its detail provides a glimpse of life in 1858: "The adjourned inquest on the body of the unfortunate man Thomas Wallace, who lost his life at Mclvor, while in the act of blasting a tree, was held at three o'clock. Several additional witnesses, whose testimony was absolutely necessary in the case, were in attendance, having been summoned from Heathcote.

Charles Robinson sworn: I am a legality qualified medical practitioner, M.R.C.S.S., L.A.S.L., and L.V.M.B. (This witness stated as an excuse for his non-attendance, that when the summons was brought, he was out visiting a patient, and as soon as possible after he left the patient he proceeded to Sandhurst, but arrived too late for the inquest.) He then continued. Last Thursday, between one and two o'clock p.m., a man came after me, and found me a mile and a half [2.4km] from Heathcote, and told me a man had met with a severe accident. I returned. He told me a man had been shot, and that I must go to the residence of MacDonald, a blacksmith, at Heathcote. I went to MacDonald's, and saw the deceased. He was lying on a thin plank placed on a stretcher in the tent. I was told deceased was wounded on the right thigh. On examining him, I found a piece of rope tied round the upper part of the right thigh. There was a large lacerated wound outside of the limb, below the cord; portions of muscle were protruding through the wound; venous blood had escaped from it. I cut the rope to see if an artery was wounded; no arterial blood escaped. I probed the wound with my forefinger. Tho thigh bone was fractured at the junction of the middle and upper thigh; the lower fragment of the bone was drawn upwards, and overlapped the upper one two or three inches on the outside, I found the muscles extremely lacerated, and could move my finger freely in the wound in every direction. There was some veinous haemorrhage in consequence of my disturbance of the clots of blood previously formed, which disturbance was rendered necessary by my examination. I do not think more than 5 or 6 ounces of blood were lost. I tied a wet cloth over the wound to check the haemorrhage. Deceased's pulse was good, and he seemed very little exhausted. I staid [sic.] some time to see if the haemorrhage increased. There was merely a slight draining of blood as before. I went outside, and stated to those present that, in my opinion, the only chance deceased had was in amputation of the limb; but I saw no immediate necessity for the operation. On returning to deceased's tent, he said he had overheard my remark about taking off his leg, but he would not consent to have it done, and would rather die with it on. By this time I came to the conclusion that the deceased would have a better chance of recovery if conveyed to an hospital. I considered if he still refused to have the limb amputated, and should survive a long course of treatment would be necessary, which could not be well carried out in his tent. I also considered the same objection applied to the tent in case of the operation suppose he survived the shock. From my knowledge of the intemperate habits of the man, I had an unfavorable opinion of his case from the commencement. I have known lacerated wounds of the thigh not more severe than that of deceased cause death in a few days without any fracture of the bone, and without much haemorrhage. I then returned to my residence, a few yards from the tent of the deceased. I requested Mr. Morris, of the Mount Ida Hotel, to call upon me in ten minutes, with a view to make arrangements to send deceased to Sandhurst. When Mr. Morris arrived he urged me to perform amputation. I pointed out the advantages deceased would have in an hospital, and said I believed deceased was able, if carefully conveyed, to bear the journey, which I calculated could be accomplished in seven or eight hours [an understatement as it turned out]. Referring to an attempt being made to save the limb, I stated I should require a sort of splint, which I had not by me, the only one I then had being in use. This was mentioned incidentally, and not as an obstacle to my keeping the patient at Heathcote. The requisite splint could be easily made. The usual long splint used in fractures of the thigh bone could not be used in this case in consequence of the large wound on the outside of the thigh. I suggested the idea of bringing the deceased in any vehicle that could be procured for his conveyance. I borrowed a light American Spring wagon. This kind of vehicle jolts but little even over bad roads. I returned to deceased and placed some dry lint and old calico over the wound. I placed a bandage round the thigh, with a view of keeping tho ends of the fractured limb at rest during the journey. Pulse continued good, and there was no unusual depression. The venous oozing had now nearly ceased. Deceased was placed with the greatest care in tho wagon. Finding the wounded limb lying in what appeared a good position for the journey. I did not remove the plank on which it was then resting. I gave Dr. Scott, who accompanied tho deceased, directions to remove the board if he thought necessary. A pillow was placed under deceased's head, and a pad under the ankle of tho injured limb. To my repeated inquiries, deceased said he was quite easy in the wagon. I gave Dr. Scott lint, &c, to take with him. I did not consider it necessary for him to take a tourniquet. I desired Dr. Scott to mention to the House Surgeon at Sandhurst Hospital that deceased was of intemperate habits. They left Heathcote between five and six o'clock that evening. The weather was then fine.

By the Coroner: I did not tell Mr. Morris that I could not perform the operation in consequence of not having a suitable splint. Tho board on which deceased lay was not bound to the injured limb.

By the Foreman: The patient, if removed to an hotel at Heathcote could not have been so well attended as at an hospital. Had serious haemorrhage set in, I should have amputated at once. I did not discover any other wound on deceased's right thigh than the one I have already described. One might have existed on the back part of the thigh, as I did not raise the limb in my examination. I only discovered one fracture of the thigh. Having discovered that, I did not make further examination, as I did not wish to put the deceased to torture.

Dr. Stewart examined: I have this day shown the body of the deceased to Drs. Robinson and Scott, now present.

James Scott examined: I am a member of the Colleges of Surgeons in Philadelphia and Toronto. I am not a licentiate of the Victorian Medical Board. On last Thursday, about three p.m., I saw the deceased lying at the tent of MacDonald, blacksmith, at Heathcote. I found Dr. Robinson had been there some time. I am assistant to Dr. Robinson. Dr. Robinson stated that he thought the deceased had better be sent to Bendigo Hospital. I proposed to accompany him to ensure proper care being taken of him. We left McIvor about six that evening, in an American spring wagon. We traveled all night, and arrived at Bendigo about seven the next morning [It took around 6 hours longer than suggested.]. The wagon was an open one. We stopped a few moments about two miles out of McIvor to speak to a friend of deceased. He was placed on the wagon on a plank, under which was a mattress. Pillows were placed under his head, and he was covered with blankets. When we stopped about two miles from McIvor, deceased complained of slight uneasiness about the shoulders. I placed a pillow under his head, and made him more comfortable. About four miles on the road, I gave the deceased a wine glass full of brandy and water. Deceased did not again complain until we reached Matheson's [a hotel a short distance past Knowsley]. I placed a pillow between the injured limb and the board. After this deceased appeared easier. At Matheson's deceased had a bowl of gruel. Hearing that the remainder of the road was heavy, I gave the deceased twenty minims of laudanum. There was no rain up to this time. After leaving Matheson's, it began to rain. About six miles further I gave deceased some arrowroot and sherry, and procured for him some extra clothing. It had rained for some time. While getting the clothing the rain ceased. We next stopped at the Axedale Hotel [presumed to be at Axe Creek], where I procured a drugget to cover the deceased, and gave him some weak sherry and water. It rained heavily from the time we left the Axedale till we arrived at the Hospital. I gave the deceased into the charge of Dr. Stewart, the house Surgeon to the Hospital. On arrival at the hospital, I saw Dr. Stewart examine the deceased. He ex pressed satisfaction at the man's pulse being so good after the long journey. The pulse was 83. About two that afternoon I assisted Dr. Smith at the amputation of the limb. I then returned to Heathcote. Previous to our arrival at the hospital, I had only noticed one wound on deceased's thigh. After the operation Dr. Smith or Dr. Stewart drew attention to another wound about three inches above the other, and not communicating with the fracture. Previous to leaving Heathcote, I heard Dr. Robinson state to Mr. Morris that it would be better to remove deceased to Bendigo Hospital. Dr. Robinson was prepared to perform the operation if he could have felt sure of the wounded man receiving proper care afterwards. I did not hear Dr. Robinson say amputation was necessary. Deceased, did not seem so much fatigued as might have been expected after the journey. I did not hear Mr. Morris tell Dr. Robinson to amputate deceased's leg.

This concluded the evidence.

The jury retired, and after an absence of about an hour and a half, brought in the following verdict: — "That the deceased, Thomas Wallace, came by his death at the Bendigo Hospital, on the 24th day of July, A.D. 1858, from the result of a serious compound fracture of his right thigh, received at Heathcote, on the 22nd day of July, 1858, by the explosion of gun powder placed in the log of a tree, the deceased having fired the said log, causing it to be shattered, and one of its pieces striking the thigh of deceased, and thus producing the said fracture. It is the opinion of the jury that the removal of deceased from Heathcote to Sandhurst was injudicious."

• R. Benson, will be, amongst other places, at the Axedale Hotel, Axedale, [Axe Creek] to facilitate the registration of electors in the neighborhood of the Axe, the Emu and Sheepwash.

August, 1858

• The Axedale impoundings continue: August 7 (7 head), August 9 (11 head), August 11 (34 head), August 16 (6 head), August 21 (2 head), August 28 (9 head).

• Another letter is written to the Editor, Bendigo Advertiser, about the non-existence of the promised bridge over the Axe Creek.

• There are 30 lots of Crown land covering 5,307 acres thrown open for selection in Axedale.

• Two bodies are found dead in the bush a little distance from Heffernan and Crowley's station [former home station of Robert Ross, and now "Marydale"] under mysterious circumstances. Constable Carroll of Axedale attends. One man, is found about four miles from the Axedale Police Station to where he was conveyed to await the Coroner's inquest. He has his throat cut. It is considered that he has been brutally murdered. The inquest is postponed, awaiting the calling of witnesses. When the inquest finally takes place, at the Raglan Hotel, it is supposed that the death is the subject of a suicide as a razor was found lying near to the man's hand.

• Kieran McSweeney publishes a letter, via The Bendigo Advertiser, to Mr. C.G. Duffy, President of the Board of Land and Works, lamenting the non-materialising McIvor Road bridge over the Axe Creek.

September, 1858

• As the jury is unable to reach a verdict in the death of the body found in the bush, in August, another inquest is held. The verdict is that the man, William Gresley, died as a result of severe wounds inflicted by person or persons unknown, an act of willful murder.

• An inquest is held into the death of George Regent who was thrown out of a spring cart near the Axedale Hotel. He was in the company of another man, G. Charles Bull, a barman at the Sportsman's Arms, Wild Duck Creek, two women and three children. The accident is witnessed. There was a belt of rock across the McIvor Road at the location, with a fall of about 8 inches [200mm] and a large piece of stone lay just in front. The deceased, after driving over the belt of rock, was thrown out when the cart hit the stone. A verdict of Accidental Death is returned.

The Axedale impoundings still do not stop. Costelloe's impoundings for the month are: September 7 (5 head), September 18 (5 head), September 27 (1 head).

October, 1858

• James Cook, of Emu Creek, writes a letter complaining of practices at the local pound [Axedale Pound in Code Lane] that are contrary to requirements. The pound has been operating for about 3 months and no board of charges has been exhibited, as required by the Act. Cook says that out of 500 cattle recently impounded, all but 5 have been impounded by Mr. Costelloe whose run is a large trap for the cattle of the small settlers. A following article from an unidentified contributor titled The Axedale Trap is included in its entirety:

"Pounds are probably a necessary evil, but there can be but one opinion as to the impolicy and injustice of making this evil worse than it is. This truth, however, does not seem to be appreciated by the gentlemen more immediately connected with the Axedale Pound. A Pound, we take it,is simply established for protection, but according to the manner in which the Pounds throughout the colony in general, and those in this district in particular, are managed, they seem to have been instituted for the purposes of extortion and oppression. It is quite bad enough that a number of settlers, having purchased land from the Government, and paid for it in hard cash, for the most part under the impression that they were purchasing portions of a broken up squatter's run, when squatters' sway was gone forever, should find that sway perpetuated in a fag end of this run, which a publican on the Axe Creek [Michael Francis Costelloe, Axedale Hotel] has had influence enough to obtain, and find themselves surrounded by all the annoyances and the tyranny of the most oppressive and tyrannical landowner. This is no doubt bad enough, especially when all this dominion is exercised by an occupier of the ground whose tenure is not that of a landowner, and over a country where the domain is not protected by proper fencing. The authorities who allow such a scandalous system to grow up in the colony are chiefly answerable for the dissensions and heart burnings that are caused by it. The idea that the owner of land throughout this district cannot in any direction pass a few yards from the limit of his property into the country, which yet remains in its native wildness, without finding himself a trespasser upon the privileges of a good-for-nothing monopolist of public land, is monstrous. People in Melbourne wonder at the restlessness of the population in the interior, the readiness that is evinced to start for Port Curtis or anywhere else, when there is some chance of a new state of things, and the evident want of attachment on the part of the population to this colony. Ex uno disce omnes! Let them look at this one phase of the system that prevails. Here are scores of industrious men who have settled on the land, paying for their acres a good round sum, and they find themselves on every side harassed and oppressed by the tyranny and the exactions of a man who has managed to get the squatter's tenure of the run at a nominal rate. What encouragement does such a state of things as this holdout for the settlement of the land?

We have said that it is hard enough for the farmers to submit to this palpable injustice, and to see their cattle driven off to the pound, the moment they venture beyond the boundaries of their owner's land. But if we are to believe the letter of Mr. Cook in Thursday's issue, and the innumerable complaints that have been previously made, the ordinary evils of such a state of things are greatly exaggerated by the conduct of those who have control of the pound. According to Mr. Cook's account two of his cattle were impounded on a Saturday, and he did not receive any notice until Monday, although he lived only four miles off, and although as his brand is registered at the pound, it is the duty of the Poundkeeper to send immediate information of the impounding of any of his cattle. So,although Mr. Cook releases his two cows on the day he receives notice they are impounded, he finds that the charge on them is £15s.9d. The charge would have been but trifling had the proper notice been given, but as we have before said the object of a pound is now interpreted to be not protection but extortion - making money as fast as possible. By that piece of smartness, in delaying to give the information for three days, of course there was thrice the amount of pound fees to divide. Now positively Mr. Cook ought to be very much obliged to Mr. O'Loughlin or Mr. Costello, or to the joint partnership of Costello, O'Loughlin and Co., for having given him notice so soon. For anything to the contrary that we can see, the firm aforesaid, who follow the laudable occupation of harassing small farmers and cockatoo settlers, might, with just the same impunity, have allowed a week to elapse, and have pocketed a week's fees instead of three days. Of course, as Sam Weller's philosophical barber says, "the line must be drawn someveres" [sic.], and three times the proper amount of fees was no doubt looked upon as being quite as much as the endurance of a Cook could stand.

However, as we have seen, Mr. Cook was so unreasonable as to object to an imposition of thrice the ordinary amount, and he requested to be furnished with a bill of particulars, - a demand which seems to have ruffled the dignity of the firm aforesaid, who never "give receipts" according to their account because no doubt the practice is inconvenient. In fact, the Pound and his fraternity seem to have a sublime contempt for literature in general, and do not believe in the diffusion of useful information, for although the Pound has been in existence for several months, as the settlers in the vicinity thereto can testify, yet no board of charges has yet been exhibited. Mr. Cook furnishes the public with several interesting particulars concerning what he calls Mr. Costello's trap for the cattle of the small settlers in the vicinity. Out of five hundred cattle which have been caught in the trap, all except about five have been impounded by Mr. Costello [unintelligible] of the run is in fact a kind of large spider, who invites the flies to walk into his parlour, and not content with the number that inadvertently commit themselves, he sends out and drives the others into the trap. It is pretty evident that this spider and his trap are becoming an intolerable nuisance, and steps must be taken to put them down.

• Mr. James Boyd, Esq., MD, is appointed vaccinator for the district of Axedale.

• The Axe Creek Pound rates appear in the Government Gazette.

December, 1858

• William Crago is announced as the successful tenderer for the Axe Creek bridge at Axedale. There are three tenderers: for the bridge itself and each of the two approaches. [This is the bridge over the Axe Creek, in the Parish of Axedale, at current day Longlea, not over the Campaspe in Axedale township.]

January, 1859

• Mr. R.M. Jacomb, Official Assignee, places an advertisement in the Government Gazette calling for a meeting of creditors in the estate of the insolvent, Robert Ross, for the purpose of obtaining directions as to the collection of the estate and its future management. All creditors are requested to attend at his office, Imperial Chambers, Collins Street West, Melbourne.

• The Government Gazette invites fresh tenders for the erection of a bridge over what is called the River Axe [sic.] at Axedale.

February, 1859

• A letter to the Editor applauds the Government for calling for new tenders for the Axe Creek Bridge construction. The £1,000 makeshift bridge over the Campaspe at Axedale, erected some 'eighteen months ago', [This would have been in 1857] is already decrepit, ricketty and almost useless and will have to be replaced in a short time. The writer, A Sandhurst Merchant, trusts that the bridge over the Axe Creek will be a substantial building.

• James Farrington answers a charge of having detained a horse, the property of Michael Francis Costelloe, of the Axedale Hotel. Costelloe claimed that Farrington had agreed to purchase the horse for £40. The horse was delivered to the property when Farrington was not home and, when Costelloe visited later to collect the payment, Farrington refused. The case was dismissed as the Bench considered that they had no jurisdiction.

• Mr. O'Loughlin makes an application for a publican's licence in the name of Philip Nolan, for a hotel at the 'Axedale Creek', to be called the Campaspe Hotel. Baillie, an objector, operated the Raglan Hotel that was on the other side of the street. The licence application is granted. [Ken Arnold's book, Bendigo Its Environs The Way It Was, Vol 3, and the Accent on Axedale book, both say that Drake opened the Campaspe Hotel in Axedale some 4 years earlier. The reference to Axedale Creek, in this particular article, is incorrect as the Raglan Hotel, across the street, was in the Axedale township. The Campaspe Hotel is the present-day Axedale Tavern. Phillip Nolan was Patrick Drake's Trust partner.]

March, 1859

• Henry Kemp and Joseph Knight are charged with having assaulted one John Sullivan, at the Axedale Hotel. The prosecutor deposed that on the night in question he was at the Axedale Hotel, when he saw the two prisoners standing in front of the bar and using rather abusive language to two ladies who were behind it. He remonstrated with them, and wished them to leave the house, but they refusing, he proceeded to turn them out, and in the struggle the assault complained of, which was a very trivial one, took place. As it appeared that the plaintiff had no right to interfere with the prisoners, he being only a boarder in the house, they were discharged. A charge which had been preferred against the two prisoners, and a man named William Horwood, by Mr. Costelloe, of the Axedale Hotel, of having used abusive language to his wife was withdrawn, the prosecutrix declining to press it.

April, 1859

• More lots, including at Axedale, are thrown open for selection. [Strangely, the advertisement appears some four and five days after the sale.]

• A 2-year old boy, named Jackson, a son of parties living at 'the Axedale' [Axe Creek] is missing and has not been seen for a week. The parents had left him in the charge of Mrs. McNamara while they went into Sandhurst and they were told that he was missing when they returned.

June, 1859

• Mr. Michael Costelloe is charged under the Dog Act, by James Cahill, with being the owner of a ferocious dog, and allowing him to be at large and rush at horses, by which human life is endangered. Cahill, when confronted by two dogs, shoots one of them, and is then confronted by Mrs. Costelloe, shaking her fist at him. Mr. Costelloe endeavours to show that the road is his private property. Cahill says it is known to be public by custom. Costelloe suggests that the matter may have been settled if Cahill had gone to see him. Cahill says he was afraid of being blackguarded by Mrs. Costelloe, so he had not done that. Costelloe is fined 20/-.

• An inquest into the death of Robert Jackson is held at the Axedale Hotel [Axe Creek]. Young Jackson had been lost for about two months and his skeleton is found on Sweenies Creek Ranges. The child had wandered off. Some women in the neighborhood had stated that the child had died after being dropped by one of them. This was proved to be a rumour.

July, 1859

• A new quartz reef, which gives every indication of not only turning out payable, but very rich, has been discovered at a place called Moran's Gully, situated between the McIvor Road and the Axe Creek, at some little distance beyond Costelloe's Axedale Hotel. The discoverer, Mr. Blake, a farmer in the locality, struck the reef at about 6 feet deep and had been working it secretly until the secret oozed out. He barely had time to secure his prospecting claim of 150 yards before fourteen or fifteen claims were marked out by parties resident in the neighborhood.

• An editorial letter suggests that Crown lands amounting to between six and seven thousand acres, situate about four miles north of Axedale, upon the Campaspe, have been submitted to public competition at Heathcote, and have been sold for a mere song, without a chance of fair competition being afforded to the public at Bendigo. The pick bits were secured by gentlemen already owning property in the district. The article decries what is considered insufficient advertising of the sale.

• A puddler, named Palfour, of Eaglehawk, is stuck up by two men near the Axedale Hotel [Axe Creek].

August, 1859

• An editorial bemoans the fact that voters from around the district are all compelled to go into Sandhurst for the purpose of voting.

• Patrick Connor is charged with putting excessive poundage fees on cattle belonging to Charles Ryall, an Emu Creek farmer, impounded in the notorious Axedale Pound [Code's Lane]. The bench decided that unless the land was properly protected by a fence, he could not give a decision in favour of the amount charged and ordered that 24/- and 5/6 be refunded.

September, 1859

• Edward Binstead, B. Wood, George Farrell, Charles Slowers and John Suzon (a Chinaman), were all charged on the information of Michael Costelloe, of the Axedale Hotel [Axe Creek] with having rescued from legal custody, 1,900 head of cattle, which had been seized for the purpose of being impounded by the informant [Costelloe]. There is similar information against Edward Price and James Flood. The case is remanded. The cases of Wood v. Drake, for abusive language, and Wood v. Costelloe for assault, both arising out of this case, are also remanded.

• Michael Costelloe is summoned by his employee, Mary Powell, for £13/7/0 wages for services as a nursemaid, covered by a dishonoured cheque. Judgment goes to Powell for the full amount and costs.

• Things catch up with Michael Costelloe when "It is advised that, unless the claim is sooner satisfied, all the right, title and interest of Michael Francis Costelloe will be sold by public auction at Harney's Bendigo Hotel on November 1st. Details of the properties, all situated in the Parish of Axedale, are: Part of Portion A, about 120 acres, Allotment 11, Section 1, about 22 acres, Allotment 10, Section 1, about 16 acres, Allotment 3, Section 8, about 77 acres, Allotment 2, Section 8, about 77 acres, and Allotment 1, Section 8, about 76 acres. [This is a total of 388 acres and a good portion of it is the Sweeney's Creek land that was once under the name of the insolvent Robert Ross.]

October, 1859

• Michael Costelloe's notoriety continues after an event at Abbott's Theatre. As the final curtain is drawn on what appears to be a thinly veiled parody on local personalities, a rumour circulates through the house that there was to be an impromptu performance. At about 10 o'clock, Mr. Heffernan and Mr. Costelloe enter the hotel. Heffernan uses violent language to Abbott for permitting a particular song performance. Heffernan at last left. Up to this time, Costelloe confined his actions to threats against a performer called Thatcher and eventually went through the theatre looking for him. When Thatcher returned to the stage, Costelloe challenged him to come down. Upon coming down to see what Costelloe wanted, Costelloe struck him heavily. The blow was returned and a scrimmage broke out. Costelloe was severely handled, arrested, and bailed out for future appearance.

• A writer called 'CATO', comments on what he considers was 'a more disgusting exhibition ever witnessed, and hope never shall witness again.' [It is difficult to tell if the letter is about the stage performance or that which followed.]

• A kangaroo hunt starts from Baillie's Raglan Hotel, Axedale, capped of with a splendid dinner and a Ball.

• Title Deeds in the name of John Hughes, McCarry and O'Connor, Henry Backhaus (6) and Patrick Drake (2) are lying for delivery at the Receipt and Pay Office.

November, 1859

• Michael Costelloe is in court again in the case of Costelloe v. Hughes. This time, it is an action to recover £1,000 damages sustained by the breaking into and entering the Axedale Hotel in the execution of a search warrant on the premises of the plaintiff [Costelloe], claiming that the search warrant had been issued without a proper cause. A plea of justification had been entered by the defendant's counsel. Thomas Edward Harding, Inspector of Slaughter Yards, and a police constable, proved the execution of the search warrant, and that he thoroughly searched the house of the plaintiff, in the bedrooms and under the beds, but found nothing; the house was a licensed public house; searched also another house which witness was told was Costello's property, and in his occupation.

Costelloe deposed that he had a run which was let to Mr. Kieran for twelve months, subject to his right of pasturage for 100 head of cattle. There are three or four mobs of cattle involved in the action, some of which had been seized by Costelloe who intended to take them to the pound, but they were rescued from him. The verdict is for the defendant on one count and for the plaintiff on the second count with £5 damages.

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