Lupton’s Lookout

On Sunday 14th July 1861, William Lupton, a miner, was shot dead during an attack on the Police Camp by rioters attempting to release the prisoners held there. The prisoners being held had been arrested for participating in the attack on the Chinese miners on the 30th June, 1861.


The Police Camp was situated where the Young High School is today. The Police had arrested five ringleaders, and a large group of miners, mostly from Tipperary Gully , had assembled to demand their release. The Riot Act had been read and when the group refused to disperse the Police were ordered to fire. Shots were fired from both sides and the crowd was eventually dispersed with a sabre charge.

The District Coroner, Robert Falder, Esq., M.D., conducted an inquest at the Empire Hotel. This Empire Hotel was situated at the southern end of Main Street, not where it is today, and licensed to John Vicq.

William Steinson, manager of Mr. Levy’s store at Tipperary Gully, said, “ The deceased was standing by the side of me yesterday at about 8 o’clock. I never saw him before. I saw him about 100 metres from the Camp, on the other side of the creek. When the first volley was fired I saw him drop. I was standing a yard from the deceased when he received the shot. “

“He tried to run away, but in the act he fell down on the brow of the hill. At this moment there was another man with me , who said, “ There’s a man gammoning to be shot”. He thought the man was only making believe he was shot.”

But Lupton died within a few minutes. J.F. Boubeer told of hearing Lupton “ sigh heavily and draw his last breath” as Boubeer was helping to carry Lupton to Mrs. Rowe’s tent.

George Saddler Prichard told the Coroner that he had arranged for sixteen pounds, seventeen shillings and six pence found on the dead man to be passed over to Mr. Vicq, the proprietor of the Empire Hotel, for safe keeping. But he could not prove that this was the whole amount the deceased had on his person.

None of the four witnesses who were near Lupton heard the Riot Act read. The jury after twenty minutes brought the following verdict; “ That the deceased, William Lupton, met his death from a gunshot wound, which came from the direction of the Camp, but from whom received there is no evidence to show.”

William Lupton’s Funeral.

On Tuesday, 16th July, 1861 the diggers attended William Lupton’s funeral, upwards of 3,000 in number, many of them armed. The reason for being armed was that two horsemen arrived in great haste from Lambing Flat and reported that the police were in ambush for the purpose of attacking the diggers on the way to the funeral. The funeral procession , headed by a band and a flag, left Tipperary Gully, and reached Lambing Flat at half past eleven o’clock, finding that the undertaker had not completed the funeral arrangements Mr. Spicer recommended the diggers to stay sober, and by all means respect the persons and property of the people. They were told to disperse for a short time and get refreshment. Spicer impressed upon them that they had a solemn duty to perform.

Shortly after one o’clock, Mr. Devoy, who had volunteered the use of his conveyance to carry the corpse to the grave, drew up before Vicq’s Empire Hotel, and the coffin was deposited in the vehicle, the mourners followed and after them twelve bearers. The general body of the mourners fell in four deep, those with arms coming after the bearers, and followed by the band playing the “Dead March”. The great body of diggers who were unarmed, brought up the rear. A number of horsemen rode on either side of the conveyance.

When the procession arrived within 100 yards of the grave the coffin was placed on the shoulders of six bearers and conveyed to the grave, where the funeral service was read by Mr. Spicer, in the absence of a clergyman. Whilst the burial service was being read, the diggers stood around the grave with bared heads, and at the conclusion they fired twelve shots. This was the only firing on the occasion.

After returning from the funeral, a deputation of five miners waited upon Mr. Greig and Mr. Freeman, who were large storekeepers, to request them to take charge of the arms and ammunition left in the Police Camp by the police in the precipitancy of flight. Cameron and Spicer requested Detective Scarlett, the only Police officer left in the Camp, to take charge of the Camp and request the lock-up keeper to do his duty. They also requested him to take charge of the lunatic left in the lock-up by the Authorities.

Today a sign marks the spot of Lupton’s Lookout just stone’s throw from the A41 Olympic Highway.

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Picnic Area
Public Toilets

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