James Scobie was born in Auchterarder, Scotland on 29 November 1826. Scobie was a gold miner at Eureka. James had an older brother George Scobie who was a stonemason. They both sailed to Australia, bound for the Victorian goldfields endeavoring to find their fortunes.
On the day of the 6th of October, 1854, James Scobie found gold. He took the gold to the Eureka Hotel, where he met with a gold-buyer, who purchased his gold. The Eureka Hotel was owned by publican James Bentley. The ensuing story told is that after the closing hours of the Eureka Hotel, James and a friend tried to gain entry in order to continue drinking. Allegedly the two men were attacked and James Scobie's body was found battered, he had been murdered. The publican James Bently and men who worked at the hotel, staff Thomas Mooney, the hotel watchman; Thomas Farrell, a clerk; and William Duncan, the barman were charged with the death, his murder, but promptly acquitted, which aroused suspicion of a corrupt court of law.
As a reaction to the acquittal, the miners rioted and set fire to The Eureka Hotel which consequentially burnt down. These actions and the conjecture regarding the inquest, instigated a The Judicial Inquiry, with Sir Redmond Barry was the presiding judge.
James Scobie was aged 28 when he died in 1854.
Justin Corfield, Dorothy Wickham and Clare Gervasoni, (2004) The Eureka Encyclopedia, Ballarat Heritage Services.
Retrieved from URL: http://en.wikipedia.org on 23/12/2011.
Retrieved from URL: http://prov.vic.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/eureka-on-trial/murder-of-james-scobie on 23/12/2011.
--Lyndel Ward 14:05, 23 December 2011 (EST)