William Beauclerc Otway

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Also recorded as Dr Otway, William Beauclare Otway and William Beauclere Otway.

William Beauclerc Otway and his wife Rebecca (Raby) nee Abrams.[1]

Inventor, gold and silver miner, merchant, metallurgist, alleged medical doctor, world traveller and rollicking story teller, Dr William Beauclerc Otway set up and operated the first steam-powered quartz-crushing mill in Ballarat at Black Hill,[Notes 1] then went on to Steiglitz, Tasmania, New South Wales, St Arnaud and places unknown, demonstrating a passion for the development of mining in Australia – and for his own role within that development – that expressed itself through an open-ended trail of moderate-scale mining ventures of variable success, overly-optimistic professional advice, and an entertaining stream of somewhat unbelievable claims about his expertise, including that he had seen "all the known gold-fields from the Ural to Cape Horn"[2][3], "crossed the Rocky Mountains three times in the execution of his duty as a mineralogist"[4] and "visited the mines of Mexico, Peru, and Chile"[4]

He was a pioneer in the early mechanisation of gold mining in Australia, played a role in the search for payable gold in Tasmania, and was one of the first to experiment with methods for extracting silver metal from silver ores. His importance historically is not so much to do with the prominence of his achievements, but as a case study of a small-scale entrepreneur, a participant in the development of mining who found a niche somewhere in the middle, between the vast numbers of independent diggers of the 1850s and the large-scale capitalist-funded company mines of the 1860s.



North America

Born around 1820,[5] Otway joined the United States Army in 1840[6] and was stationed at Fort Jesup, Louisiana, where his troops' use of a steam-powered sawmill for "an extensive building program"[7] may have kindled his interest in things mechanical. After completion of his five-year stint in the army, he married Ketura Bickerdyke in Ohio[8], but Ketura remained in Ohio a few years later when Otway joined the California gold rush.

Otway travelled from Ohio to California with the Western Mining Company of Cincinnati who were praised by the St Louis Republican correspondent for their preparedness, including equipping themselves with the "complete running gear for a saw mill". [9] They set out from Independence, Missouri somewhat late in the season, on or about 17-18 May 1849.[10][11][12] Like many of the overland emigrants, they brought with them more than they could carry, and on 18 July they threw away the saw mill.[10]

Otway's company split several times to make the travelling easier and, on one occasion, because of arguments. By August they were travelling in small groups with one wagon each. It appears Otway may have been his group's leader.[10]

On 20 September they inadvertently took Lassen's Cut-off, a branch of the trail which would become known as the "death route". Fortunately, they, and the other late arrivals, were rescued by the US military in the Sierra Nevada mountains.[10][12]

No record could be found of his whereabouts or activities in California.

In December 1850 Otway was living in Portland, Oregon Territory, and working as a merchant.[13] By July 1851 he was running his own business.[14] He is then reported to "decamp from Portland in bad repute", but the reasons why are unknown.[15] Perhaps it was because he eloped with Rebecca Abrams, whom he married in San Francisco on 28 July 1852.[5][Notes 2]

The Otways travelled to New York via Panama,[16] then purchased land in Florida and commenced building a house,[17] but then sold the land and were soon back in New York "for the purpose of going to Australia".[18] They arrived at Melbourne as the only two passengers on board the freight vessel Kleber on 27 December 1853[19][20] and arrived at Ballarat three weeks later.[21]


Ballaarat Flat, from the Black Hill by S. T. Gill. The house on the left could be the Otways'.[22]

'Willie' and Rebecca set themselves up on Black Hill, where Otway became involved with William Frederick Osborne's wind-powered mill on top of the hill. However, the mill "did not answer for the purpose of crushing quartz."[23] In September he filed a patent application for "an Invention to be called 'The Improved Chilian Mill,' for pulverizing and amalgamating auriferous and argentiferous ores"[24], and on 22 January the following year he formally launched his new mill, which included crushers built to his own patented design, at the base of Black Hill.[25]

Following the Eureka conflict Otway gave evidence at the Gold Fields Commission of Enquiry concerning methods for mining and for regulating mining.[21]

During 1855-1862 ads appeared in newspapers advertising the sale of quartz crushers built to Otway's patented design in Bendigo, Mt Alexander, Pleasant Creek, Fryer's Creek, and possibly elsewhere[245].


Sometime in 1855, Otway moved to Steiglitz, where it seems he and Rebecca made a home for some years. In 1856 he registered as a voter,[26] became elected to the Steiglitz Local Court,[27] had a quartz reef named after him,[28] and by December it was said his improved Chilean mill was the "most widely adopted on this field".[29]

Indeed, in January 1857, the commercial reporter for The Argus described Otway's crushers as "the best on the [Victorian] diggings"[30] and by October, James F Dow and Company (the manufacturers of Otway's crushers) was forced to publish a warning regarding the illegal manufacturing of copies.[31]

It appears James Dow may have become a close family friend by that stage. When Willie and Rebecca's only son was born at Steiglitz on 16 January 1858, he was christened William Dow Otway.[5]

Willie Dow's birth certificate gives Otway's profession as 'quartz crusher', in contrast to other official documents where he claims to be a doctor, suggesting this may have been a time and place in his life where he didn't feel the need to pretend to be more than he was. Certainly the people of Steiglitz thought highly of him. In July 1858 he was presented with "an elegantly chased and engraved silver cigar case and spirit flask" as a symbol of their hope that "peace and prosperity might be attended in all his efforts".[32]

However, his quartz-crushing business at Steiglitz was wound up a little over a year later in May 1859.[33] It seems his reputation was taking him 'abroad'.


In July 1859 Otway travelled to Tasmania[34] to manage the establishment of a gold mine near Fingal for the Southern Tasmanian Quartz Crushing and Mining Company. While in Tasmania, he informally advised the government on gold mining regulation,[35] and gave two public lectures on gold mining, one general[36] and one specifically about the trial quartz mine he was developing at Fingal.[37]

However, despite the common practise at the time of strong journalistic and public support for such new ventures, including Otway's 'sanguine' predictions for the Fingal mine – and mining in general in Tasmania – an extraordinary general meeting of the Southern Tasmanian Quartz Crushing and Mining Company was called in May 1860 "to consider the following resolution:— That this Company be wound up without delay"[38] and Otway returned to Victoria in August.[39]

It also appears to have been common practise whenever such ventures failed to find scapegoats rather than acknowledge that mining was a risky business. Some years later, one commentator accused Otway of being a "mere charlatan". Remarkably, the same article stated that resumption of quartz-crushing operations in the same district using the same machinery would "establish beyond doubt the fact of the existence of paying auriferous quartz in the Fingal district."[40]

New South Wales

By September 1860 Otway is on the south coast of New South Wales in order to "devote his attention to analysis of the rock formations in this district, with a view to test their metalliferous properties".[41] By November he is exploring the region as a member of the Prospection Association, for which he raises funds by giving a lecture on "the Prophecies of Scriptures, or the Footprints of the Lost Tribes".[42]

Harsh words are exchanged when a Dr Homan accuses Otway of not having medical qualifications. When Otway takes Homan to court over the matter, the verbal jousting between the two is reported in detail in the local press, suggesting a keen local interest in the matter, even to the extent that a poem is published about the event. [43]

In December Otway is credited with discovering a copper mine near Bombala[44] and by the middle of 1861 he has constructed a water-powered pump for sluicing, apparently for gold. As with much of his efforts, "opinions are divided as to the practicability of the scheme, but the principal promoter, Dr. Otway, continues most sanguine..." [45]

One of the few instances of Otway displaying medical expertise occurs when he gives evidence at a hearing regarding an alleged murder at Bombala. The doctor who examined the body shortly after the death refers to "...Dr. Otway, an unqualified man..."[46]

By the middle of 1862 he is at Moruya as "one of the seven travelling members of the Royal Geographical Society of England", intent on using his "great scientific knowledge" (not to mention his "great urbanity of manners") to assist in opening up a silver mine about which he is predictably optimistic.[47] However, the Moruya Silver Mine appears to have had little success. According to an article written by @ of the Moruya and District Historical Society:

Although silver, both in the free state and in galena and other ores, was known to occur in numerous places in the Colony, it was in the Moruya Mine that the first attempt was made to test the commercial value of our argentiferous deposits. Unfortunately the ore in this mine is of an extremely refractory nature, consisting of arsenopyrite (Fe As S), zinc blend (ZnS) and galena (PbS) in a quartz gangue. This ore could not be treated locally, and, in 1864 one hundred and twenty (120) tons were shipped to London. This ore is said to have contained an average of 32 ozs. of silver and 1 oz. 8 dwt. of gold per ton. However, as the freight and costs in London absorbed nearly all the money realised by the sale, mining operations were suspended.

By contrast, Otway's view in 1862 was:

I have never seen a better prospect, and failure can only result through the fault of the company.[48]

St Arnaud

But Otway was clearly prepared to put his money, not to mention the money of his investors, where his mouth was. A few weeks later he returned to Victoria[49] and, according to Matthew Widdop's diary and notebook, he was in St Arnaud by September, experimenting with extracting silver from local ores and forming the Alpha Silver Mining Company together with a group of investors that included James Dow.[50][51]

While experimenting both Widdop and Otway experienced episodes of what may be mercury poisoning, and shortly after Otway's episode, Rebecca arrived from Melbourne with little Willie, now four years old.[50]

In December Otway submitted a patent application for "an improved process for extracting metallic silver from the ores of silver" and in February the following year, the foundation stones were laid for "the first reverberatory blast furnace ever erected for silver mining purposes in the colony of Victoria".[52] By June the processing plant was operational, and one observer of the first public trial reported that the material emerging from the Balfour pulverisers "was so minutely pulverized, that it has not perhaps incorrectly been compared to smoke."[53]

But the technology was not enough. After one trial of "probably several hundred tonnes" the venture had failed by August 1863[51] and by December the "claims and machinery lately under the charge of Dr. Otway" were included in the assets of the Frieberg Silver Smelting and General Mining Association.[54]

The field geologist, George Ulrich, sent at that time by the Geological Survey Offices to report on the gold and silver reefs at St Arnaud appears to have been highly expert. Based on his report, it seems that the reason for the failure was not only that Otway's method for extracting silver was "conducted wrongly" (he describes Otway's method as an "imitation" of the Frieberg method[Notes 3]), but that there probably wasn't any silver ore in the rock they crushed.[55]

As discussed below, Otway next located himself at Blackwood before moving on to places unknown, but it appears that Rebecca and Willie Dow finally settled down. Both remained in St Arnaud until shortly before Rebecca's death in 1911.


Otway was in Blackwood at least by February 1865, apparently working as a mineralogist and assayer.[56][57][58][59]

He gave regular public lectures on subjects ranging from Baxter's views on Napoleon[60][Notes 4] to "the science of tickling", which was reported as "humorous, and at the same time instructive".[61] Several of the lectures were to raise funds for a hospital at Kyneton.[60][61][62][63][64]

As with Steiglitz, he seems to have been held in high regard by the people of Blackwood, who held a banquet at the end of November 1866 to bid farewell to him and the local Justice of the Peace, who was also departing. In Otway's case, the tokens of their esteem included "a purse of ninety sovereigns".[65]

Places unknown

Grave of Frank L. Otway and memorial to other Otway family members at St Arnaud cemetery.[66]

There is no known record of Otway's whereabouts after he left Blackwood. Articles at the time said he was planning to go to Western Australia[67][68]or England and Europe.[69] The memorial to him and his family in St Arnaud cemetery suggests his family believed he may have gone to Western Australia.[66]

His own son does not appear to have known where he went. In 1883 notices appeared in San Francisco, New York and Boston newspapers (and possibly others) placed there by Willie Dow, who got married a year later.[70][71][72]

Documents relating to Otway

Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Victoria No. 14: The Ballarat Goldfields (1923)

Early in 1854 the quartz reefs at Black Hill attracted the serious attention of the prospectors. At this time the shallow alluvial mines were worked out, and the source of the gold was being looked for. The first party to install a plant to crush the quartz on the Black Hill was formed by Dr. Otway, who purchased a 4-head battery in Melbourne and had it erected on the summit of the hill. A windmill was used to drive the battery, but the results were unsatisfactory, and the returns from the quartz were lower than was anticipated. In 1855, another site--this time at the foot of the hill--was chosen, and the plant from the hill-top, together with two additional stampers and a Chilian mill, were set at work, the whole being operated by steam power. The party did not, however, remain long in occupation of the ground...[73]

Newspaper article The First Quartz Battery at Ballarat. (1891)

We are now only in the fortieth year of the Victorian gold discovery, and it may be a surprise to a good many people to be informed that it is not very far from forty years ago that quartz crushing was started at Ballarat, the famous alluvial metropolis of the Australian colonies. True, it has taken between thirty and forty years to give to quartz mining an ascendancy over the alluvial in that centre of golden industry, and it is of some interest to hark back and take stock of the first essay in quartz crushing there. That essay was one of the simplest in battery form, and the motive power was that ancient one, the windmill. The venture was started in May, 1854, less than four years after the first rush to Golden Point-some six months before the affair at the Eureka stockade, and with the menacing indignation of ill used diggers growing fast into that hot hate of misrule which so soon led to the licence-burning, the stockade, and all the tragic consequences of that ill starred movement. There were five in the party, namely, Dr. Otway, a medical Yankee; Captain Artrick, a Yankee sailor; William Frederick Osbourne, a Londoner; Lieutenant White, once of the 7th Light Dragoons, and an Irishman named Usher, nephew of Admiral Usher. The adventurers chose a site for their battery and windmill at the top of Two Ton Gully, one of the time worn wrinkles on the eastern face of Black Hill. The little ravine got its name from the prodigious richness of the alluvial deposits there, it being computed that not less than 2 tons weight of gold was taken out there by the diggers who scooped out its sides and bottom during the first year or two after the gold discovery. For their battery the Otway party obtained six light stampers from Langland's foundry, in Melbourne, whence also they got a small engine very soon after the first experiment had been made with the more primitive driving power. Gold Commissioner Bury saw the party as they were erecting their windmill and he predicted failure, basing his conclusions on alleged experiences of his own in some pastoral pursuits he had either witnessed or actually taken part in. His theory was that the winds were too fitful to be commercially valuable. Anyhow, the Otway crowd soon found that their apparatus did not answer, and hence the resort to steam power. Hardly any work, in fact, was done with the windmill, and the party had only just begun to scratch the reef, and had pounded very little stone when the windmill was abandoned in favor of steam. The first gold the party obtained per favor of the wind driven battery was about ½ an ounce, and it was given to Lady Hotham, who happened at the time to visit the claim, accompanied by Commissioner Bury, Captain (afterwards Sir Andrew) Clarke, C.E., and Colonel Wemyss, of the infantry garrison, then in the long since vanished barracks, which occupied part of the Mair-street frontage of the Camp reserve. On the day following Lady Hotham's visit, Sir Charles Hotham strolled alone, umbrella under arm, to the scene of the windmill battery, and the spokesman of the party told his Excellency that they wished to have a grant of 5 acres to work there. His reply was:— "No, no; that will never do. Why, you would become millionaires, perfect Rothschilds," &c. he promised, however, to see what he could do towards their having a grant of, say, 3 acres. This little episode of gubernatorial intervention in regard to a digging claim shows plainly enough how far we have travelled since then in the direction of constitutionally responsible government. Lord Hopetoun would be a little surprised, no doubt, if any Rip Van Winkle of a digger should ever cut across one of His Excellency's goldfields progresses with such an application as that preferred by Dr. Otway's party to Sir Charles Hotham. It seems that Sir Charles was not so curious as his wife, for she went down the not very deep shaft of the windmill party to see what quartz mining was like, and Sir Charles contented himself with a surface survey. The party could not get the wind to work properly, and they shifted lower down the hill and erected a heavier battery at the base of the hill by the creek side, where the Black Hill Company's large crushing works are now. But other disasters came upon the party there. The riots which accompanied and followed the later ventures of Sir Charles Hotham's administration in the matter of digger hunting, or licence hunting, had helped to loosen the bonds of order, and claim jumping here and there was rife. Otway's party had only just erected their new shed for the new battery when the battery when the place was jumped by alluvial diggers, who sunk several shafts forthwith in the battery house just set up by the quartz party. When the move from Two Ton Gully top to the lower site was made, the party took in one Captain Ackermann, by way of adding both money and muscle to the company's capital. They got their hardwood timber from two sawyers named Rayner [sic] and Collins, who had a pit in Saw-pit Gully in the ranges between Little Bendigo and Dead Horse, 60s. per 100 feet being paid for rougher cut stuff than is now obtainable at the timber yards at 6s. 6d. per 100 feet. On the new site Otway's party added a pair of Chilian mills to their plant, but the concern did not succeed. The jumping disgusted them, too, and what with troubles of one sort and another, including the failure to accomplish what even the quartz miners of to-day have not yet achieved, a perfect treatment of ores always more or less refractory, the party broke up. Some of them went to try fortune at the newer field at Steiglitz, and that venture was scarcely less disastrous. Of the original windmill party only one now remains in Ballarat, namely, W. F. Osbourne, whom fortune has never much favored in any of the years subsequent to the Black Hill and Steiglitz adventures. Of the two sawpit men, Raynor [sic] is still plodding away as a fossicker in the ranges, and his mate, Collins, dissolved the partnership many years ago by hanging himself. Osbourne is one of the smallest of men, but he is brave withal, and has kept up the fight against hard luck. He is now earning a modest living as a collector and news agent.[74]

Responses to the article

Clarification regarding Hartrick

The Age has an interesting sketch under this above heading. The "Captain Artrick" mentioned in it as a Yankee sailor is, we believe, our old friend Captain G. S. Hartrick, well-known in later years at the Beehive. However, he never was a Yankee sailor, but was born and educated in Ireland.[75]

Letter from Sir Andrew Clarke

We have received the following letter from Sir Andrew Clarke, R.A.:—
42 Portland-place, W.
31st March. 1891.
SIR,— Some old comrade and fellow pioneer of times gone past has sent me a copy of your issue of 12th January of this year, containing the article on The First Quartz Battery at Ballarat. Some old friend of mine probably furnished the information embodied in this article, but he has forgotten that I had, previous to the occasion when I accompanied Lady Hotham to the reef on Black Hill, visited it more than once, and had been given some little time before the first button of amalgam that had been obtained from it. This button, not much larger than a fair sized pea, I preserved till two years, when it was lost with other mementoes on a fire taking place in my house. My impression is that Baron Rosas, of Silesia, took me to Black Hill and introduced me to Dr. Otway. Rosas was the first scientist who called the attention of the local administration to the value of the gold bearing quartz reefs of Victoria, and there must still exist in my old Land department the correspondence on this subject in drawing the attention of my colleagues to the advisability of early measures for developing and regulating this special industry. — Yours, &c.,
Almost simultaneously Pollard was opening up the quartz reefs near the camp at Bendigo, an early specimen from which he gave me, now in the Geological Museum in Jermyn-street.[76]

Newspaper article Stuart Mill Christmas Sports (1870)

According to the author of an article about Stuart Mill, not far from St Arnaud, compared to the mining technology of 1870, Otway's efforts were like something ancient, and vexed by a lack of useful results:

In a delightfully pretty basin among the picturesque hills of the long chain of the many hills of the Pyrenees has arisen many of the true germs of Australian success and good for the future The Silver Mines of St Arnaud were some time ago regarded as the El Dorado of this part of the country. Dr Otway, with his crucibles and apparatus, reminding us of the old astrologian days, when crucibles and retorts played old gooseberry with philosophical ideas, was formidable enough ; but little did we of the mild and modest Mail of Avoca dream of tall chimneys and all the best appliances for extracting the gold out of the bounteous quartz reefs enveloping the pretty town of Stuart Mill.[77][Notes 5]

Newspaper article From the Gold Discovery to the Eureka Stockade. (1870)

By that time the quartz lodes at the Black Hill had been tested. Dr Otway was the first adventurer there, and he erected a windmill as a motive power for reducing the stone. After that he procured Chilian mills, but neither process was successful. Mr George Milner Stephen followed Dr Otway; and with similar results. The Port Phillip Company then came upon the scene, operating both at the Black Hill and on the ranges at Dead Horse, but with small success. That company soon found better fortune at the Clunes reefs, from which it still draws a large annual revenue.[78]

Newspaper article Gold Extracting (1895)

I may mention that in this district Mr Andrew Robertson, then a mining manager of the Sultan Company, at Blackwood, first erected a plant with a 10 cwt vat at that mine in 1875, and treated sulphurate successfully by the Plattner system, but Dr Otway had preceded him with an experimental plant.[56]


Otway Street, Ballarat

Otway Street sign, Ballarat.

As of 2014 it was believed that Otway Street in Ballarat East was named after Thomas Otway, a butcher in Eureka Street.[79][80] However, Thomas Otway does not appear in the Ballarat directories until 1869[81] or in the Rates Books until 1862[82] and Otway Street appears on a map of Ballarat in 1861.[83] On early maps, Otway Street is shown connected to the southern slopes of Black Hill, not far from where Otway's crushing mill was probably located.

Given the early date of its appearance on maps and the connection with Black Hill, it seems likely the street was named after Dr Otway.

Otway Creek, Tasmania

Screen Cap Showing Otway Creek.

There is a creek near Mangana in the Fingal Valley, Tasmania, named Otway Creek. It is likely this is the creek named "Aqua Callienta" (Sweet Water) during the time Otway was trialling gold mining there on behalf of the Southern Tasmanian Quartz Crushing and Mining Company.[84][85]



Date uncertain William Beauclerc Otway born.[5]


Early uniforms of the Second Dragoons[86]

May 8 "William B. Otway" enlists in the US Army in New York, USA, for a five-year stint. The enlistment record describes him as 5' 5½" tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. His occupation is recorded as sailor. Confusingly, his birthplace is recorded as England. His regiment and company are recorded as "2 Drag G, D"[6]. According to one history of the Second Dragoons,[7] Company G was recruited in New York and Company D was organized from a detachment of the First Dragoons in Florida, commencing action there in 1836 before Otway's enlistment.


June 1 "W. Otway" is transferred from "G Troop" to D Company. The record has "Fort Jesup" written in the top right-hand corner.[87]

October Companies A, D, E, F, and G of the Second Dragoons were ordered to move to Fort Jesup, Louisiana, and Fort Towson, Arkansas, "as the war with the Seminoles began to wind down".

Fort Jesup was home to the Dragoons for four years. They patrolled the border between the United States and the Republic of Texas while providing security along the famous El Camino Real, which took travelers from Natchitoches, Louisiana, to Nacogdoches, Texas. Life for the Regiment at Fort Jesup was a nice change from the deprivations of service in Florida. Twiggs [Colonel David Emmanuel Twiggs, the First Colonel of the Regiment] established a steam-powered sawmill at the fort to begin an extensive building program.[7]


December 29 THE FRANKLIN TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY will meet at the Temperance Hall, No. 63 St. Charles st, THIS AFTERNOON, Sunday, at 8 o'clock. The friends of Temperance and the public generally are respectfully invited to attend. Sergeant Otway and others will address the meeting. Singing by the choir. ANDREW DALY, President. DURANT DA PONTE, Secretary.[88]


January 26 Temperance. THE FRANKLIN TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY will meet THIS EVENING, Sunday, 26th instant, at 7 o'clock, at the Temperance Hall, 93 St. Charles street. E. D. Rand, Esq., Sergeant Otway, of the U. S. Dragoons, and others will address the meeting. The friends of temperance and the public, particularly the Ladies, are respectfully invited to attend. The Hall will be brilliantly lighted with Gas, and a collection taken up to assist in defraying the expenses of fixtures. ANDREW DALY, President. DURANT DA PONTE, Secretary. [89]

February 16 Temperance Benefit. MR. and MRS. RANDALL, the celebrated Scotch Giant and Giantess, will hold their levee at the Temperance Hall, 93 St Charles street, on MONDAY, Feb. 17th, during the day and evening, for the Benefit of the WASHINGTON and FRANKLIN T. A. SOCIETIES. Several Odes will be sung during the evening, and an Address delivered at 7 o'clock, P.M. Tickets 25 cents, children half price, for sale at the Hall. Doors open at 10 A.M.; to close at 9 P.M.
The Franklin Society will meet THIS EVENING, Sunday, at 7 P.M. Sergeant Otway will address the meeting. The friends of Temperance, and particularly the LADIES, are respectfully invited to attend. ANDREW DALY, President. Thomas R. Brady, Durant Da Ponte, Sec's.[90]

March 2 The regular meeting of the Franklin T. B. Society will be held THIS EVENING, Sunday, at quarter-past 7 o'clock, at the Temperance Hall, No. 93 St. Charles street. Sergeant Otway, U. S. Dragoons and Mr. C. Webb, of the St. Charles Theatre, will address the meeting. The committee appointed to draw up a Constitution and By-laws for the government of the Society will make their report. The public generally (ladies in particular) are respectfully invited to attend. ANDREW DALY, President. Thomas R. Brady, Durant Da Ponte, Sec's.[91]

March 1 On March 1,1845, Congress resolved to admit Texas into the Union. The Mexican Government promptly broke off diplomatic relations with Washington.[7]

Undated In anticipation of hostilities [with Mexico], Brevet Brigadier General Zachary Taylor assembled an "Army of Observation" at Fort Jesup.[7]

May 8 Otway is discharged from the US Army, having served out his five-year term. A remark appended to the enlistment record suggests he was discharged at New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.[6] Fort Jesup is about 440km from New Orleans.

July The Second Dragoons begin moving into Texas, making the 501-mile march to Corpus Christi in 32 days.[7]


September 11 "W.B. Otway" marries Ketura Bickerdyke in Hamilton County, State of Ohio, USA.[8][Notes 6][Notes 7]


January 18 A "petition of W. B. Otway and 54 other citizens of Hamilton county, for the passage of an act to prevent convict labor from conflicting with the mechanical industry of the State" is put before the Ohio State House of Representatives.[92]


April 19 Otway is listed as a member of a wagon train heading west from Independence, Missouri, USA. "The company is mostly composed of mechanics, who carry with them their tools, and complete running gear for a saw mill. Of the large number emigrating, very few have taken similar precautions, nearly all relying for subsistence upon their success at finding gold."[93] Within a month of departure, cholera was prevalent at the Missouri frontier,[94] and there was at least one death due to cholera amongst Otway's party.[95]


October 1 "Otway, W. B." appears in a list of uncollected letters at the San Francisco Post Office.[96]

Portland or "Stump Town", consists of a steam sawmill, a log-cabin hotel and the weekly Oregonian. Sidewalks are rough planks and the streets are dirt turning to mud when it rains. Houses are small and simple, only 2 houses in town have a plaster interior. Population: 821.[97]

December 7 Otway is recorded in the US Census sharing a residence with three other men in Portland, Washington County, Oregon Territory, USA.[13] None of the other three men were in the party travelling west from Missouri the previous year.[Notes 8]


March 14 Otway is secretary at a meeting of Portland citizens to nominate candidates for municipal positions.[98]

March 22 Otway's name appears on an advertisement for "J. S. Smith and Co., General Auction and Commission Merchants".[98]

April 1 Otway attends a meeting in Portland, Oregon, USA, at which "it was resolved that the president of the United States should be informed of the neglect of the judges of the first and second districts, no court having been held in Washington county since the previous spring; nor had any judge resided in the district to whom application could be made for the administration of the laws. The president should be plainly told that there were 'many respectable individuals in Oregon capable of discharging the duties of judges, or filling any offices under the territorial government, who would either discharge their duties or resign their offices.'"[99]

Date uncertain "W. B. Otway" appears in a list of people living at or near Portland, Oregon, USA, prior to 1852 along with "W. P. Abrams" (William Penn Abrams was Rebecca Otway's brother).[100]

June 30 "Otway, W. B." appears in a list of uncollected letters at the Sacramento City Post Office.[101] Sacramento City was built at Sutter's Fort, about 80 kilometres from the site of the first major gold discovery in California, and was the most common destination for letters from the United States sent to emigrants.[12]

July 4 Otway reads the Declaration of Independence at a public meeting held as part of the Fourth of July celebrations.[102]

July 26 A notice appears stating that J. S. Smith and Co. is no longer trading under that name, and that Otway is becoming sole proprietor of the business.[14]

July 26 to December Advertisements for Otway's services as a merchant, and for the items he is selling, appear frequently in the Portland Weekly Oregonian.[103]

December 2 Portland Lyceum. – A meeting of a number of the citizens of Portland, was held on Tuesday evening the 2d inst., for the formation of a literary institution, to be styled the Portland Lyceum. Messrs. Stark, Simpson and Norris having been appointed a committee to draft a constitution, after a brief absence, returned and reported a constitution which was adopted. The Lyceum was organized by the election of the following officers for the next six months:
Hon. F. Tilford, President; Wm. B. Otway, Esq., Vice President; John Failing, Secretary; and Messrs. T. J. Dryer, B. Stark, J. Simpson and Dr. Davenport, committee of arrangements.
The committee selected Hon. F. Tilford to deliver the first lecture of a regular weekly course. The first lecture will be delivered at the Methodist church on Friday evening, Dec. 19th, at early candle-light. The Secretary was requested to furnish the proceedings for publication, but has not favoured us with them; therefore we give the above, in which, perhaps, some omissions may have occurred.[104]


January to July 31 Advertisements for Otway's services as a merchant, and for the items he is selling, appear frequently in the Portland Weekly Oregonian. [103]

March 1 From Oregon - A Week Iater. A meeting of the citizens of Portland, O. T. [Oregon Territory], was held several days since, at which the following resolutions were posted, it having been understood that it is in contemplation by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company to remove their depot from the city of Portland, and to stop the direct communication between Portland and San Francisco:
Resolved, That we, the citizens of Portland, do unqualifiedly disapprove of the said action. Be it further resolved, That we will give our hearty support to such steamers as will ply directly between this port and San Francisco, and to none others. On motion, it was resolved, That Captains Norton, Hoyt and Abbot be a committee to sound and buoy out Swan Island Channel, and report the depth of water therein.
On motion, it was voted that a committee of three be appointed to solicit subscriptions to carry out the foregoing resolution, and Messrs. Norris and Dennison were appointed as that committee. It was then resolved, That a committee of five be appointed, to report at a future meeting what steps should be taken to secure to us a regular line of seaworthy steamers, to run direct between this city and San Francisco. A. C Bonnell, E. Frazer, B. Stark, H. Smith and W. B. Otway were appointed as that committee.[105]

March 8 Otway is present and makes some remarks at a public meeting called "for the purpose of bestowing a substantial acknowledgement of their appreciation of the meritorious services of Capt. George Flavel, Pilot at the mouth of the Columbia, in rendering assistance to the passengers and crew of the Steamship Gen. Warren, wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia, Jan. 31, 1852."[106]

April 24 Otway participates in the drafting of motions for a mass meeting regarding the role of the judiciary and legislature in governance which appears to be a response to electioneering in which Mormon candidates sought to use public meetings to override judicial decisions.[107]

May 23 "W B Otway" is listed among passengers on the steamer Fremont, arriving at San Francisco. The passenger list does not say where the ship travelled from, but under "Shipping Intelligence" it says "Arrived. May 23 — P M steamship Fremont, Sherman, 70 hours from Oregon; to E Knight; 35 passengers."[108]

June 26 "W. B. Otway" is listed among the passengers arriving (?) on the Fremont. His name also appears on a published letter to Captain Sherman of the Fremont expressing thanks for his command of the ship and good wishes for the future. He is also listed in a notice by the IOOF regarding setting up a lodge in Oregon Territory.[109]

July 3 "W. B. Otway, Grand Marshal" is listed as one of the organisers of the Independence Day celebrations in Portland.[110]

July 24 A recent arrival from Australia is announced, bringing accounts of renewed discoveries of gold in Van Deman's Land [sic], and the rush of the inhabitants from all quarters to the diggings. The discovery of gold at so many points upon the Pacific, has induced the Chilenos to believe that the precious metal exists in their country also, and a search is about to be instituted in the mineral district of Copiapo and Valdevia, to ascertain the fact.[111]

July 24 The barque Mary Melville arrives in Portland. A number of ads appear in the Weekly Oregonian placed by merchants selling wares off the Mary Melville, but there is no ad from Otway, only the article quoted below.[112]

July 24 FIRE ENGINES. - W. B. Otway, Esq., has purchased and brought to this city two fine fire engines which have been tried and found to work admirably. We trust our citizens will not be backward in obtaining them at once as the safety of a large amount of property absolutely demands an efficient organization of a fire department, which, with the aid of these two machines would prove of incalculable service in case of a fire. Let not our city authorities or the citizens suppose because we have escaped conflagration, that therefore we shall escape in all future time. Let us remember San Francisco, and take warning by the conflagration which visited her, previous to her being provided with fire engines, and the organisation of fire companies. It is earnestly hoped that the "powers that be" will act in this matter at once, for the safety of property and the protection of this young and growing city.[113]

Undated ..the small band [of firefighters] did it on the cheap, its one pump sufficing when more were available; because two Farnham hand pumps loaded off the barge [sic] Mary Melville from Boston in 1852, taken on consignment by W. B. Otway, were simply stored and left to deteriorate in a barn. Perhaps it was again the tightfistedness of his honor O'Bryant that allowed the engines to sit unused and abused, or a flaw in the character of Otway who neglected them, later to "decamp from Portland in bad repute."[15]

July 28 "W B Otway" is listed among passengers arriving at San Francisco "per steamer Fremont, from Oregon". The only women listed are an unnamed lady travelling with a Chris Taylor, and a Mrs Leach.[114]

July 28 Otway marries Rebecca Abrams in San Francisco, California, USA.[5][Notes 2]

July 31 Otway is listed as the Portland, Oregon, agent for a shipping company based in San Francisco. [115]

August 7 Emigration, &c. – The demand for passage to Australia on the part of independent emigrants has become very active. All the best sailing ships are speedily filled at high rates, and it also appears that the steamer Australian, which is to start from Plymouth on the 3d of June, has already the whole of her berths engaged.[116]

October 6 "WB Otway" and "Mrs? WB Otway" arrive in New York on the Ohio, which had sailed from Aspinwall (now Colon, in Panama).[16][Notes 9]


March-April "Otway, W B" appears in lists of letters remaining at the San Francisco post office. [117]

April 22 "Otway, W B" appears in lists of letters remaining at the New Orleans post office. [118]

May 2 "Willie B Otway" purchases land on the St Johns River, on the corner of Emmet Street and Morris Street, in Palatka, Florida, for $400. According to the deed of purchase, he has already commenced building a house on the land.[17]

August 20 CHARGE OF FRAUD UPON AUSTRALIAN EMIGRANTS. — A complaint was yesterday preferred before Justice Bogart, by a Mr John Chichester, late of the island of Trinidad, against one Henry Hamilton Sweezcoe, the reputed agent of Mr. Antonio Pelletier, shipping merchant, of 98 Wall street, New York, whom he charges with defrauding him out of $105, by selling him a ticket for passage to Australia, on board the ship Angelique, which vessel was to sail, he said, on the 15th inst. and has not yet gone. lt is alleged by the complainant that at the time he purchased the ticket, the ship had been attached for various claims, by the sheriff, and also by the U. S. Marshal, and that the accused was aware of this fact when he sold the ticket. Wm. B. Otway, of East Florida, also makes a complaint against Sweezcoe, charging him with a similar fraud, in obtaining from him by like false pretences the sum of $450, which amount he paid for two passage tickets for himself and wife to Australia, on board said vessel. The accused states that upon examination he can show his entire innocence of any evil intent in the transactions above named. He was committed to await examination.[119]

Yesterday officer [illegible] arrested on a warrant issued by Justice Bogart a genteel-looking man named Henry Hamilton Sweezcoe... charged with selling tickets of passage on the ship Angelique for Australia...
Mr William B. Otway, the complainant, sets forth that he arrived from Florida for the purpose of going to Australia; that about the 17th of July last he purchased tickets of passage on board said ship for himself and family, and paid $450; the vessel was represented to sail, for certain, on the 25th day of July. The ship, however, did not sail, as per notice, nor has she yet sailed; since which time the complainant has ascertained that an injunction has been placed on the vessel, issued by the Supreme Court...
The following is a copy of a ticket or receipt given to Mr. Otway on the payment of the money:-
"July, 1853. Mr. Otway has paid $450, for self and wife, in first cabin hence to Australia – state room No. 4. RECEIVED. HENRY HAMILTON."
The owner of the Angelique is then sworn in and testifies that Sweezcoe "never was proprietor of said ship nor has he ever had any share therein..." When Sweezcoe is sworn in, he presents documents to the court and claims he was an authorized agent.[18]

September The Klebersails from Boston, USA, with Willie and Rebecca on board.[120]

December Otway arrives in Victoria.[21]

December 27 "Mr. Ottaway & wife" are the only two passengers arriving at Melbourne from Boston, USA, on board the Kleber.[19][20]

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. December 27. - Kleber, barque, 448 tons, B. Crewell, from Boston, U. S., September ?3 h? Passengers - cabin: Mr. W. B. Otway and lady. Newell, Hooper and Stevens, agents.
IMPORTS. December 27. - Kleber, from Boston, U.S.; 127 cases crackers, 548 boxes, 150 kegs pickles, 20 kegs vineagar, 500 half-boxes flour, 36 cases stoves, 330 do. pickled preserves, 50 tierces ham, 15 hhds bacon, 117 cases, 8 packages, 131 boxes furniture, 6 cases paper hangings, 7 cases soap, &c, 6 cases, 50 tierces hams, 30 hhds bacon, 15 tierces shoulders, 25 barrels pork, 1852 brls 120 half barrels flour, 59 tierces hams, 150 boxes eider, 75 boxes lobsters, &c, 60 barrels, 30 cases cottons, 20 boxes axes, 80 barrels, 30 hhds pork, 58 tierces hams 10 cases, 95 cases lobster, 30 dozen pick handles, 169 boxes soap, 19 cases, 40,000 bricks, 175 cks cement, 9 ca herrings, 60 ca boots, 6 ca jelly, 16 boxes hardware, 1 case, 1 box, Newell, Hooper and Stevens; 3000 feet leather, Caldwell, Train & Co.; 200 pcs cotton duck, 5 ca twine, 96 bales rotors, S Wilkinson and Co.; 26 boxes scales, 10 brls 13 boxes flour, 9 cases, Grier, Sutherland and Co; 513 boxes, 65 kern fruit 60 bales duck, 15 half pipes barley, 60 cases boots, 50 tierces hams, 115 boxes, 5 casks, Order.[120]


January 16 Otway and his family arrive at Ballarat.[21]

Patent record [24]
Patent drawing [24]

August 30 Lady Hotham accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Valiant and several others, proceeded to pay a visit to the Black Hill, where there has been for some time a crushing machine quietly at work on a quartz run there; the power used is the windmill, and I may here say, that the report runs, that the owners of the machine are doing very well.[121]

September 22 Article calling for gold mining regulation to adapt to new approaches (particularly the formation of mining companies) being developed to mine gold from quartz. In Ballarat, on the Black Hill, a small crushing mill is erected, (windmill power); the [illegible] the stamp mill, probably the most ineffective of any of the crushing apparatuses; however, the owners are satisfied with the results, proving our veins to be richly auriferous, and thus bestirring themselves to get more powerful approved machinery. Some other companies are initiated, and have given orders for necessary crushing mills, so that it is probable that this hitherto much neglected source of wealth will soon largely augment this staple export.[122]

September 22 Colonial Secretary's Office, Melbourne, 22nd September, 1854; LETTERS PATENT FOR INVENTION.
NOTICE is hereby given that WILLIAM BEAUCLARE OTWAY, of the Black Hills, Ballaarat, has petitioned His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, under the provisions of the Act of Council, 17 Victoria, No. 15, intituled, "An Act to regulate grants of Patents for Inventions in the Colony of Victoria" praying that Letters Patent may be granted unto him for the exclusive privilege, in the Colony of Victoria, of making, using and applying an Invention to be called "The Improved Chilian Mill," for pulverizing and amalgamating auriferous and argentiferous ores, of which Invention a specification and drawings have been deposited at this office.
Any person who may conceive that he will be prejudiced by the grant to the said WILLIAM BEAUCLARE OTWAY of such Letters Patent or instrument in the nature of Letters Patent, is hereby required to send to this office within two calendar months from and after this twenty-second day of September, a statement in writing, subscribed with his proper name and address, setting forth grounds of objection to the said grant.[123]

Notices regarding Otway's patent application also appear in newspapers.[124][125]

September 30 The quartz crushing machine on the Black Hill has been idle for some time past, owing to some dilapidation in its construction, and we are unable to state the time when it will resume operations. We believe there are some parties preparing to excavate the Black Hill - an excellent project in our opinion, - but from motives of consideration we refrain from giving the full particulars until some future time.[126]

November 14 A meeting is held by Americans and "a sprinkling of friends" at the Adelphi Theatre to organise a dinner for the U.S. Consul.[127]

November 17 Otway's application for a patent for his modified Chilean mill appears again in the Victoria Government Gazette.[128]

November 17 Some thousands have probably gone from here during the last week, of such as for want of means can not engage in the expensive deep sinkings, or cannot find other employment; whilst the shepherding business seems to be becoming unprofitable, or that the parties engaged cannot sustain it long enough, paying wages, to obtain success. There are three steam-engines on this field for the pumping of water, and a Berdan crushing machine is now being set up at the foot of the Black Hill, in an admirable position for success. The quartz there seems to be rich in gold. The steam-engine, boiler, &c., are already planted, and very shortly their returns will probably be very good. There is evidently plenty of room for more of these machines; and I would presume to anticipate extraordinary results from extended operations of this process by strong and efficient working companies. The one established, composed of five persons, goes under the firm of Otway and Co.[129]

November 18 Our Ballaarat correspondent mentions a new engine and machine for crushing quartz, now in course of erection on Blackhill, at Ballaarat. It is not however a Berdan's machine, but is the Chilian machine, with improvements by Dr. W. B. Otway, an American gentleman, who has taken out a patent in this colony. The machine was manufactured by Messrs. Dow and Co., the successors of Mr. Langlands of this city. Another manufactured by the same firm will be at work in their yard in the course of a few days, where the public will have an opportunity of judging of its merits. A drawing of the machine and engine is open for public inspection at the Exchange Rooms, above Messrs. Adams and Co.'s, Express office, Collins-street.[130]

November 28 Otway chairs the dinner for the U.S. Consul, at which he gives a speech about the U.S. Army: "Dr Otway, who had been long connected with the American army responded in a happy speech in which between mirthful descriptions of the irregulars and eloquent narration of brave deeds done when there was need of them, he so far entranced the press as to render this the only report available."[131]

November 30 Otway's patent is granted for the improved Chilean mill.[132]

December ...a modified Chilean crushing machine was set up at the bottom of Black Hill by Dr. William Beauclare Otway.[20]

December 21 With regard to the Gold Fields Commission of Inquiry, "it was intimated that Drs. Kenworthy and Otway had been written to to-day in order to obtain their presence as witnesses." [133] [134]

December 23 Otway gives evidence at the Gold Fields Commission of Enquiry.[21] Among other things, he states in his evidence that:

  • He was the only person crushing quartz in Ballarat
  • He had two of his modified Chilean mills set up but had made provision for six
  • He was expecting to have the mills working in a week's time
  • Lack of water was a major impediment
  • His investigations suggested a return of somewhere between 3 and 57 ounces per ton of quartz, making Ballarat the world's richest field
  • The supply of gold at Ballarat was unlimited
  • He had a claim for four acres, but was in a "glorious state of uncertainty about it" due to the inadequate legislation
  • There were other miners on his 'claim', but as they were surfacers, it caused him no difficulty, even though they were spoiling his drives
  • There was someone west of his claim, but there was "room enough for us all."

December 24 The evidence of Dr. Otway tended to show the immense extent of the auriferous lands in the colony, and how vast were the openings for the enterprising miner. The most valuable parts of his evidence were his own practical experience and decided views of the applicability of machinery to quartz-crushing, as well as of the means to be adopted for bringing to certain localities, hitherto unworked from the deficiency of water, a certain and never-failing supply.[134]

December 28 NEW QUARTZ CRUSHING MACHINE - A new quartz crushing machine, upon an improved principle, the invention of Dr. W. B. Otway, may be seen at work at Messrs. Dow and Co.'s, late Langland's Foundry, Flinders street The Inventor has two of the machines erected on the Black Hill, Ballaarat, and writes word that they work to perfection. He charged them with 40 lbs. of mercury each, and although they were worked at sixty-four revolutions per minute, which is greater by thirty than is actually required, not a particle of the mercury escaped. Having erected the machines, he found no alteration necessary. The machine consists of a cast-iron basin about five feet in diameter, and fifteen inches in depth in the centre, and raised from the bottom are two or three small round strainers or sieves placed perpendicularly. The quartz is crushed by two ponderous wheels of about three hundredweight each, which revolve in the basin where the quartz is placed. Above the basin stands a water-barrel or tank of about 150 gallons. From this to the basin water is conveyed through a pipe one inch in diameter. The supply of water is regulated by a tap, and is kept flowing so as to wash off the quartz dust through the strainers, in the centre of the basin. These strainers are very fine; the quartz must therefore be completely reduced to a powder before passing through them. This the machine fully accomplishes, thoroughly pulverising everything put into the basin. The "stuff" after passing through the strainers falls into a small basin immediately beneath from whence it is pumped up and forced through a bed or layer of mercury. The gold adheres to the mercury, while the powdered quartz passes away The machine, including a three horse steam engine, can be erected at a cost of about £400. Two tons of quartz per day can be crushed by one of these machines. After another trial or two we shall be enabled to lay before our readers some further particulars.[135]

End of December He had two machines in use (at a cost of about £400 each) and one on display in Melbourne. Together with Captain Simeon Hale Ackerman of New Hampshire and his son George, Otway formed the Alpha Quartz Crushing Company, using his training in the South American mines to innovate traditional machinery with differing success.[20]



January 1 You have no idea of the furor now a days for quartz crushing. Some half dozen inventions of machines are being patented, and one or two are in operation. An improvement upon the Chilian machine, by Dr. Otway, an American, promises very well. From the known richness of the quartz rocks in many districts, it is the general opinion that quartz-crushing will open a new era in gold production in this country.[136]

January 6 The Chilian quartz-crushing and amalgamating mill, improved and patented by Dr. Otway, manufactured by Dow and Co., late Langlands, has been started as an experiment at the foundry in Flinders-lane. Sufficient time has not yet elapsed to thoroughly test its amalgamating powers; but so far as the crushing is concerned it is highly satisfactory. We will be able to speak more particularly as to its results when it gets into full working order.[137]

January 21 The improved machinery for crushing and extracting gold by means of forcing the malgam through a column of quicksilver, invented by Dr Otway, of this place, is about to be brought into operation,—of which I am promised to have due notice, when I shall give a more minute and detailed account of it. It is supposed that it will be a very great improvement as well as saving upon other inventions.[138]

Otway's mill at Black Hill.[139]

Yesterday at twelve o'clock, the improved machinery lately patented by Dr. Otway was set in operation at the works erected for the purpose at the foot of the Black Hill. There were present, by invitation, Colonel Valiant and the officers of the regiments stationed here, Mr. Resident Commissioner Sherrard, and nearly all the Camp officials, and the gentlemen connected with the great "fourth estate". The machinery seemed simple in the extreme, and was announced, most modestly by Dr. Otway, to be an improvement on the old Chilian mill. The engine was put in gear and set to work by Colonel Valiant, whilst Mr. Commissioner Sherrard, pick in hand, produced the first piece of quartz to be crushed, from the base of the hill adjacent. The construction is as follows: worked by an engine of 10-horse power, but which it is thought will be sufficiently powerful to keep six such mills going at the same time, a circular basin is traversed by two crushers, each weighing one ton, and connected by a rod with each other; these travel continually round and round through a portion of water containing mercury, and reduce every obstacle, be it quartz or other washing stuff, to minute particles. Beneath is a receptacle, in which works a force- pump, which collects all the minuter portions of the stuff; and each stroke of the pump forces this through a column of mercury, of from four to six inches, detaining all the particles of gold, and discharging the wastage, which runs off with the current of water. It is calculated that about four to five tons of quartz could be crushed, and the gold perfectly extracted, in one of these mills per day; and that the column of mercury I have mentioned above would hold about three days' proceeds of the precious metal in amalgam, after which the mercury will, of course, be carefully evaporated, and be ready for future use, with very little loss of any kind. Every person present seemed much pleased at the simple and efficacious working of this new principle of quartz-crushing, and were still more so when, a curtain having been raised at the end of the engine-room, refreshments of a recherche kind were exhibited, including some genuine champagne, of which every one present was most cordially and hospitably invited to partake. The first toast was "Our Most Gracious Queen," for whom Colonel Valiant returned thanks, and gave "the President of the United States." "Success to the Alpha Quartz Company" was then given, and responded to by the inventor, Dr. Otway. Truly Our brethren, the Americans, are a go-ahead set of enterprising fellows, and at all events deserve to succeed, which I sincerely hope the Dr. and his friend and colleague, Captain Ackerman, may do in this instance, to their hearts' content.[140]

January 22 From the Ballarat correspondent of the Argus we learn that on the 22nd January, at 12 o'clock, the improved machinery lately patented by Dr. Otway was set in operation at the works erected for the purpose at the foot of the Black Hill. There were present, by invitation, Colonel Valiant and the officers of the regiments stationed here, Mr. Resident Commissioner Sherrard, and nearly all the Camp officials, and the gentlemen connected with the great "fourth estate." The machinery seemed simple in the extreme, and was announced most modestly by Dr. Otway to be an improvement on the old Chilian mill. The engine was put in gear and set to work by Colonel Valiant, whilst Mr. Commissioner Sherrard, pick in hand, produced the first piece of quartz to be crushed, from the base of the hill adjacent. The construction is as follows: worked by an engine of 10-horse power, but which it is thought will be sufficiently powerful to keep six such mills going at the same time, a circular basin is traversed by two crushers, each weighing one ton, and connected by a rod with each other; these travel continually round and round through a portion of water containing mercury, and reduce every obstacle, be it quartz or other washing stuff, to minute particles. Beneath is a receptacle in which works a force-pump, which collects all the minuter portions of the stuff, and each stroke of the pump forces this through a column of mercury, of from four to six inches, detaining all the particles of gold, and discharging the wastage, which runs off with the current of water. It is calculated that about four to five tons of quartz could be crushed, and the gold perfectly extracted, in one of these mills per day; and that the column of mercury I have mentioned above would hold about three days' proceeds of the precious metal in amalgam, after which the mercury will, of course, be carefully evaporated, and be ready for further use, with very little loss of any kind. Every person present seemed much pleased at the simple and efficacious working of this new principle of quartz crushing, and were still more so when a curtain having been raised at the end of the engine-room, refreshments of a recherché kind were exhibited, including some genuine champagne, of which every one present was most cordially and hospitably invited to partake.[25]


It is not pretended that these Notes claim any greater merit than may fairly pertain to disjointed fragments excited by the quaint remarks and growing observations of my friend Kentucky, and the harmless vanity of recording them; besides, one is apt to be led away with the belief that the little surface of things which tend to interest us at a distance, might amuse many of our friends at home. Some cases are so nice, however, that it needs a kind proxy like yourself, Mr Editor, to keep our modesty unsullied. But to my notes.
It is said that the test of enjoyment is the remembrance which it leaves behind, and whilst I was in the act of realizing the sensation consequent upon a recollection of a the previous evening's "entertainment" I was recognised by friend Kentucky in one of the sleeping apartments (No. 6 of the George) and accosted with his usual humour. "Well," said he, 'squire, you saw the tip of the elephant's tail last night, and don't care I guess about a further acquaintance with the animal; it is now 6 o'clock, and you and the mayor will honor me with your company to breakfast at 8, and then I'll leave you to the privileges of my enlightened friend Allen who has a local habitation just below the camp, after which I'll cross over to Black hill by Two-ton gully* and prepare the Doctor for setting the engine at work at 3 – don't be later."
There follows a description of a tour of parts of Ballarat with Allen. Then:
Alive to our promise for three, we quitted the Gravel pits at two, taking "the George" in our way to refresh; after which we made for Black hill via a new road made by the 40th regiment, to connect the old cantonment with the new.[Notes 10] The vigilant sentry was walking "his lonely round," and challenged us to stop, ordering us to go round, to the great inconvenience of my companions and myself, and subsequent annoyance of my friend Kentucky, who met us at the mill, according to appointment, and immediately introduced us to his partner and friend, Dr Otway. It should be stated here that the object of our visit to these gold fields, was to commemorate the introduction of quartz crushing, upon a new and improved principle, and this was the day and hour fixed for the Alpha of it.
"Now, squire," said Kentucky, "you'll have no objection, I am sure, to stand sponsor for the occasion, and if you cannot watch by its cradle, you can, at least, set the cradle a-going." All the machinery being ready, off went the engine, driving four wheels, of a ton each; and we drank to the success of "The Alpha Quartz Crushing Company."
After the usual ceremonies, the Doctor became agreeably communicative. He is a native of the Land of Cakes [possibly Scotland], and has been for many years in the employ of the United States government. He has crossed the rocky mountains three times in a the execution of his duty as a mineralogist. He has visited the mines of Mexico, Peru, and Chile, from where he took his plan for his present crushing mill, with the exception of the amalgamation pump, which is his own invention. His travels have been very extensive, and his escapes from death by the Snake Indians, perfectly miraculous. India and Egypt have also been visited by him. He has a name, said my friend, Kentucky, for every stone you may pick up as a boy has for each letter of the alphabet, when he sees it he is something like our Davy Crocket or the Great Napoleon; be certain you are right, then! Go-a-head."
But, squire, you must now permit me to introduce you to his (Dr Otway's) lady, a fair country-woman of mine. You'll mount the steps cut in the hill leading to his bush domicile. They are less difficult to ascend, I guess, than the Deep Creek ranges, where you puff'd and blew a hurricane; there you'll see the object of his most ardent affection, and the repose his heart after mental, and sometimes, physical weariness." Black Hill is at all times an interesting object of nature. It is about 500 feet above the level of the valley of Balaarat, the latter said to be 2000 feet above the level of the sea, and it was upon a pretty part of the southern shoulder of this hill, commanding a noble view of the valley that the Doctor had cut away a foundation to erect his domestic retreat. Upon entering the apartments we found them soothing and cool, and the pink of neatness.

"I thought I saw her gentle hand
Dispose with modest grace,
The household things around his house,
And each thing in its place.
No costly splendour needest thou
to make thy home look bright;
For neatness on the humblest spot,
Can shed a sunny light."

"Pray Madam," said I, "don't you experience the difference between a residence thus isolated and one more amidst the circle of polished life?" "No, sir," said she, "wherever my husband is, there am I, near him." "The diggings must be, I suppose, a very vitiated life, especially amongst the tents." "Oh, sir," said she, "if I liv'd there, I would keep myself to myself, just as I do here." My thoughts were diverted from the further protraction of the interview by my friend Kentucky reminding me that the evening was fast closing upon us, and that we had only time to visit the Alpha Company's operations on the top of the hill. "Farewell, lady," said he, "and if forever, still forever (as the poet said)–"
February 7, 1855
* So named, in consequence of that amount of the precious metal having been dug out of it.[4]


March 7 NOTICE. — All persons are warned against manufacturing or purchasing the Chilian Quartz Crushing Mill, except from Messrs. J. F. Dow and Co., who alone are authorised to make and sell the Chilian Quartz Crushing Mill, patented by me, S. H. ACKERMAN, Agent for W. B. OTWAY.[141]


April A reef opened at Steiglitz... was at first called after Otway, but later worked as Copenhagen.[20][Notes 11]

April 6 During the week we paid a visit to the establishment of Mr. Eisenstaedter, at Fryer's Creek, and were much gratified with the inspection. The machinery is driven by a steam engine of eight horse power, and is constructed on the principle invented by Dr.Otway. The quartz is placed in a cast iron basin, about seven feet in diameter, and is reduced by the action of two cast iron cheeses, each weighing thirty-two cwt., which revolve on their edges in the basin. A pump, worked by the engine, supplies water to the basin, some quicksilver is added, and when the mixture is about the consistency of pea soup, it is allowed to escape through a plug hole into a steam rocked cradle. From thence the auriferous slush is conveyed to a second cradle, which, as well as the former one, contains quicksilver. The amalgamated gold and quick- silver is then dealt with according to the ordinary process, and the water passes off to be used over again.[142]

April 10 Reference is made to Otway's Gold Fields Commission testimony in an article in The Argus about the Colony of Victoria.[143]

April 11 I saw Dr. Ottway [sic] a few days ago. He tells me that he has not commenced working his machinery regularly. He is waiting for the rains, and has only hitherto been able to make experiments.[144]


May 26 Dr. Otway's quartz-crushing machine will, by the end of the week, be in full operation...[145]


June 4 Puddling machines are beginning to work since the fall of rain. Many of them are doing well. Additional quartz crushing machines of immense power arc being erected in several parts of the field. Dr. Otway's quartz-crushing machine at the Black Hill has begun again, and is doing very well.[146]

June 11 CELEBRATION OF THE ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. — Pursuant to public notice, a meeting of the American residents of Ballarat was held at the Golden Fleece Hotel, on Friday evening, June 1st. The meeting was called to order by Thomas Kline, when Charles H. Edwards was called to the chair, and H. H. Moody chosen secretary. After a lengthy discussion by a number of gentlemen pre sent, relative to the most becoming manner of celebrating the birth-day of the "Great Republic," it was unanimously agreed that a public dinner should be given on the occasion. It was moved by Dr C. J. Kenworthy, and seconded by C. L. Baker, that a committee of thirteen be appointed by the choir to make the necessary arrangements for the celebration of the ensuing Fourth of July. Dr. Otway, in consequence of business engagements, tendered his resignation, which was received. On the motion of Dr. C. J. Kenworthy, the chairman of the meeting was selected to fill the vacancy, when the committee stood as follows: — Dr Kenworthy, Specimen Hill, H H Moody and J H McCaw, Main Road, T Kline, Eureka, E L Woodin, Red Hill, E L Baker, Town ship. W Milliday. Warrenheip, E Moore, Old Cana dian, Dr Butler, Bakery Hill, G Hawthorn, Gravel Pit Flat, J O'Brien, Golden Point, J M Wooloott, Red Streak, and C H Edwards. After a lengthy and interesting discussion between Messrs. Wooloott, Baker, Magill, Clarke, and Phelps, the meeting adjourned.[147]

Quartz crushing operations are going on with considerable spirit, and, better still, with good results. I am sorry to say that Dr. Otway met with a severe accident yesterday, when engaged about his machinery. Mining Reporter and Ballaarat Times.[148]


July 4 Otway is absent from the Fourth of July celebration dinner at the Golden Fleece Hotel due to "the unavoidable absence of Dr. Otway, through a late serious accident."[149]


September 22 GEORGE HENSON AND OTHERS V. OTWAY AND ACKERMAN. This was a summons for wages due by the proprietors of the Alpha Quartz Mill to different laborers in their employ. Mr Rainy appeared for the complainants: Mr Randall for the defendants. As the complainants did not join issue, the cases proceeded separately.
George Henson claimed a balance of £15 due for wages.
By defendant's counsel—I was only absent from my work one day and three-quarters. I never asked Dr Otway for my wages. Captain Ackerman's son was left in charge when his father and Dr Otway left. I received £18 on account from Captain Ackerman's son previously.
By Court—My duty was to attend the mill, and put in quartz for crushing.
George Irwin examined—I was engineer at the quartz mill. Cannot say whether Henson was absent or not. I heard Dr Otway say that any man working on the floor (that is, on the mill) should receive £1 per day.
George Ackerman, sworn and examined—I am son of Captain Ackerman. The plaintiff worked for thirty-one days. He was engaged at 15s per day.
By defendants counsel—Dr Otway is my father's partner. Other labourers were working at 15s per diem in the same capacity.
By the Court—All our laborers were working at 15s per diem, with one exception.
In this case the Court reserved judgment.
George Wilson preferred a charge against the same party tor balance of wages due at £1, from 1st May to 2nd August, having already received on account £32.
By defendants' counsel—I had been working for three previous months, at the rate of 15s per day. I received £1 per day in consequence of my long services.
Judgment reserved.
Alfred Cooke, another labourer for the same party, summoned his employers' for a balance of £19, due as wages under an agreement signed by Dr Otway (and produced in Court) for £6 per week. In this case the agreement produced held good for three months at the above rate, and at the expiration of the term the complain- ant still continued to work as usual for another month. A letter was produced in Court from Captain Ackerman to the complainant, where in he stated that he wished him to take charge of the mill until his return.
After many objections from Mr Randall on the part of the defendants, the Court granted an order for £49 and costs.
Mr Randall gave notice of appeal.[150]


October 17 NOTICE. — The Alpha Quartz-Crushing Company being now broken up, the undersigned gives notice that he has no further connection in business of any kind with Dr. W. B. Otway, Ballarat. A. H. ACKERMAN.[151]

October 18 On and in the neighborhood of the Black Hill there are several parties, who have been for some time past prospecting in quartz reefs, confidently expecting to find rich veins in that locality. [152]


November 12 The Steiglitz Diggings.— The Geelong correspondent of the Argus says : — ' The news from Steiglitz continues highly encouraging; but every day proves more clearly that, rich as that locality is, it is only a field for capital. It is not a 'poor man's' diggings by any means, but offers a splendid field for the investment of capital. Hooley and his party, who first made the great discovery there, expect to get a ton of gold from their claim, and in this opinion they are confirmed by the opinions of others well able to judge, and who are quite disinterested parties. Four of the claims are now doing well; I believe I may say, indeed, exceedingly well, and, as yet, there has been little or no endeavour to find another equally rich spot. Surely Hooley and his friends did not strike the only spot in that wide and rich- looking district, where gold can be got by the hundredweight. Some machinery has arrived here, and is on its way up to Steiglitz. [153]

November 29 THURSDAY, 29th NOVEMBER, At 11 o'clock. QUARTZ CRUSHING. To Enterprising Capitalists. MESSRS CARVER, DALTON, & JACKSON have been favored with instructions by the proprietors, to submit to public competition, at the works, Black Hill, Ballarat, on Thursday, 29th November, at 11 o'clock, The extensive property at present possessed by the Eagle Quartz Crushing Company, (lately the Alpha Company.) The Auctioneers in drawing attention to this investment need scarcely suggest to the intelligent capitalists of Victoria, that the time has now come when the great object of obtaining gold from our auriferous regions, must be assisted by the powerful aid of science, and they consider that never in Victoria has such an opportunity been offered for a safe investment of capital, and never such an opportunity for developing the valuable mineral resources of a colony, more gifted with the richest auriferous deposits than any other country in the world. Those who are conversant with the topography of the district of Ballarat must have observed how the various Leads, which have startled the world by their extraordinary yields, have emanated from the Black Hill of Ballarat and the adjacent ranges, and when we consider the extraordinary richness of the quartz, we are confident that those who have the capital, and energy to explore the hidden treasures of this district, cannot fail to hit upon a rich mine of wealth. Nature throws these advantages in their way and science boldly proffers her assistance. A Quartz Crushing machine, attached to one of the richest claims in the world, is now offered to the public of Victoria, and will be the pride of the man who has most enterprise and energy to realise for himself and family a name and a fortune. The valuable machinery belonging to this property is situated at the foot of the Black Hill on the banks of the River Leigh, where a never-failing supply of water may be obtained; a substantially built tramway leads from the summit of the hill, from whence an inexhaustible supply of timber is procurable. The machinery of the most complete description is enclosed in a substantial building with enclosed yards and every accommodation. The Quartz Claim is 50 by 100 yards. The Auctioneers having detailed the great advantages of this magnificent property, have merely to mention that the machinery is in every respect complete which they are now requested to submit to public competition, and must reiterate to the enterprising gentlemen of Victoria, that never again will such a chance be offered to them for investment. The yield of gold is from 3 to 15 ozs to the ton, and the power is equal to crushing from 10 to 15 tons per day. The inventory of the machinery &c., on view at the following places Messrs CARVER & DALTON, Geelong. FISK & CO., Melbourne. CARVER DALTON & JACKSON, Ballarat. Terms–One-half Cash, remainder an approved Bill.[154]


Date uncertain W. B. Otway is registered as a voter at Steiglitz. The "Nature of Qualification" is that he holds a miner's right.[26]

February 15 QUARTZ CRUSHING MACHINE. TO BE SOLD a Share in a Quartz Crushing Machine, in full work and paying good Interest for money. The Engine is twelve horsepower, the Machine is Dr Ottway's improved Chillian Mill, capable of crushing and amalgamating six tons per day. Apply on the works opposite the Australian Hotel, Forest Creek.[155]

March 1 "Otway, Wm B" appears in the list of unclaimed letters at the post office at Marysville, California[156], a town known as the "Gateway to the Goldfields".[157]

March 11 STEIGLITZ. (From a Correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser.)
The cry for "more machinery" has at length brought a good many quartz-crushing companies upon the field: these machines are now in operation, and six or seven more will be in readiness in a week or two, so that the supply in this direction is ample.
At a meeting held on the hill at the head of Regent-street last week nine persons were nominated and elected as members of the Steiglitz Local Court, viz: — Messrs. Cooper, Vote, Watt, Tilton, Otway, Jones, Fragas, Davis, and Watt. After a short consultation it was decided that a court-house should be erected near the place of the meeting, in the open space at the head of Regent-street. With a vote of thanks to the chairman, Mr. Richardson, the meeting terminated, and the miners quietly separated.
No post-office arrangements have yet been made, and much dissatisfaction is felt on account of the want of this convenience by the general public. It is expected that in the course of a few weeks this matter will be set finally at rest, and Steiglitz will then be put în connection with Geelong and Ballaarat, as it ought to have long ere this.[27]

April 15 Our crushing machines are busily all employed, some of them engaged for a good while forward. The Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Company have contracted for the crushing of 100 tons from Davis's reef, and all the others that are in working order find plenty employment. Some parties on New Chum are waiting for the completion of the machine of the Port Phillip Mining Company, which is erecting under the superintendance of Dr Otway, not far from the head of New Chum. The Steiglitz Gold-Quartz Crushing Company's machine, on the Chilian mill principle is now working, and I believe giving satisfaction - the two revolving crushers each weigh 5½ tons, and the quartz are quickly reduced to a fine powder under their powerful influence. Owing to the removal of tents and stores from the township to the neighbourhood of New Chum and elsewhere, it looks rather deserted in the meantime, but for all that business is in a much better condition, and the general spirit of confidence is restored.[158]

May 1 In speaking of Dr Otway's machine in a former communication, I mentioned it as a machine of the "Port Phillip Mining Co.," erecting under his auspices, I find, however, that I was wrong in the statement, and that Dr Otway is the sole proprietor as well as superintendent. As a piece of finished mechanism, this machine is certainly the first on the goldfield, and its entire arrangements reflect great credit upon the learned proprietor. I have no doubt that it will be found to be fully as successful in extracting the gold as any other of the quartz crushing machines now at work.[159]

May 6 The New Reef is extending its limits daily, and the miners there are in high hopes of striking something astonishingly rich. Our machinery is nearly all completed. Love's and Otway's commence in earnest this week, and as they are all engaged, we may ex pect to be able to report of more rich returns shortly.[160]

July 8 MINING INTELLIGENCE. STEIGLITZ. Amount of gold extracted during the week ending July 5th, 989 ozs. 19½ dwts. The scarcity of quartz is gradually beginning to make itself apparent, during the past week only two machines have been constantly employed. We have before stated that the number of machines upon the field are more than sufficient to keep the ground clear of quartz, if once the accumulating heaps which had been awaiting the crusher, were disposed of, and the truth of this statement is now apparent. As if to add to our superfluity in this way, another machine has arrived from Mount Blackwood, and is to be erected somewhere be twixt the township and Dr. Otway's on the Creek. Until the population be much increased, this can never be the case unless indeed, the companies in connection with them enter into mining matters themselves and crush their own quartz.[161][162]

August "Dr William B. Otway's Reef (later called the Copenhagen...)" was opened.[28]

November 21 Quartz mining on Bendigo has attained to such perfection that, some time since, when Dr Otway attempted to lecture the quartz miners of that place, he was hooted out of the room. [163]

18 December STEIGLITZ - During the past week another new rush has taken place, and all the get-atible tailings in and about Steiglitz have been taken possession of by crowds of fossickers; some of these parties have even gone so far as to insist upon the dams which have been constructed by our quartz-crushing companies being demolished to allow them to clear out the debris and quartz deposited therein. The rush has been caused by the finding of 3 ozs. 10 dwts of gold out of 1¼ tons of quartz tailings, from the bed of the creek below the position lately occupied by a quartz-crushing machine. Some others have been tried, but have not yielded more than one ounce to the ton. There is no doubt that gold to a certain extent will be found amongst those tailings which have not originally been subjected to a proper system of amalgamation, but the amalgamators now most widely adopted on this field, constructed on Otway's patent principle, have proved themselves effective beyond what was at first anticipated, and trial after trial having been made, no gold or, quicksilver has been found to escape from them, that is if any degree of care has been exercised in regulating the speed of the machinery. -Geelong Advertiser.[29][164][165]

December 30 STEIGLITZ. Mining operations are for the present suspended on this field, and a short interval of rest has succeeded to a busy and bustling season. The quartz crushing machines still continue to pound the quartz and produce the precious metal to gladden the heart of some one or other lucky miner.
In last communication I mentioned that the quartz crushed at Tyler's machine was from the claim of Herring and Co., Yankee Reef, but this I have found to be a mistake, as the quantity of quartz crushed by them at Otway's machine, 2 tons 1 cwt., has produced 55 ozs. 2 dwt, or at the rate of 27½ ozs. to the ton.[166]


January 23 We visited Messrs J. and F. Dow, & Co's. foundry to-day, and found the firm stocked with orders from the various diggings for machinery of almost every kind. We observed one pumping engine in the course of construction of fourteen-horse power. Dr Otway's Chilian mills may now be considered the best on the diggings, and orders for them are still on the increase, and are now fairly distributed through the various diggings.[30]

May 22 Another extraordinary case of abuse of power on the part of the police occupied the attention of the Bench of Magistrates yesterday morning. It appears that Sergeant Hudgill and Constable Murray, in endeavouring to take a drunken man to the watch house dragged him on his back through the streets. Dr. Ottaway, and a gentleman named Greig, feeling shocked at the treatment the luckless wight was receiving, stopped up to the police and quietly remonstrated with them, urging the necessity of getting a wheelbarrow or dray to convey him to the station-house,—Mr. Greig also offering to assist the man to walk, if he was at all able to do so. Upon this good-natured interference these two gentlemen were summarily ordered to assist "in the Queen's name." They then followed the police to the lockup, and upon the authority of Sergeant Hudgill, were arrested and confined in the watch house. They were shortly afterwards liberated, and the charge against them investigated at the Police Office on the following morning, when it was of course dismissed, the magistrates intimating that an investigation into the conduct of the police would be instituted. I hope this inquiry will result in some reform of our police.[167]

Advertisement selling a quartz-crushing mill.[168]

Late May to early June An auction notice appears advertising a Chilian mill for sale by Dr Otway at Steiglitz.[31]

August 12 STEIGLITZ.-The correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser writes:- This gold-field seems once more to be on the eve of a periodical revival. From every district news of a fresh and prosperous nature come in, and a fresh impetus is imparted to mining operations; so also may a further increase in our produce be anticipated. A reef, which was worked and abandoned upwards of a year ago, situated a little to the north of Dr. Otway's machine, has been again reopened. Quartz of a highly auriferous nature has been produced, and quite a rush has set in that direction.[169]

August 15 On Saturday last a small quantity of quartz and mullock, weighing about 5 cwt. from the claim situated No. 1, north, on Portuguese Reef, was crushed at Dr. Otway's machine, producing 74 ounces of gold, or at the rate of 300 ounces to the ton. This claim has been worked unsuccessfully for upwards of twelve months, all the original shareholders having either sold out or abandoned their shares. In consequence of this rich find the neighbouring claims begin to assume a more active and promising aspect, and probably we may soon hear of further discoveries of a like nature. Geelong Advertiser.[170][171]

September 3 These [mineral] specimens l owe to the kindness of Mr. Barker, Mr. Lawson, Mr. Tanner, and Dr. Otway. This latter gentleman is certainly well known to many of your readers. Dr. Otway, for more than twenty years, has been engaged in quartz mining, and has visited the mining districts in Mexico, in South America, in Siberia, and in California, which country he surveyed for the Government shortly after the discovery of the gold-fields. He was, I am told, the first also who introduced the Chilian mill in Victoria. Dr. Otway is in Steiglitz owner of a quartz crushing machine and Chilian mill in most excellent working condition, and provided with improvements of his own invention...
Dr. Otway stated to me, that he frequently had detected mercury several hundred yards from the mill, where it had been carried in small globules suspended in the current of water, and which, at length being deposited, had agglomerated into larger and visible globules. Dr. Otway mentioned, that through his long practical experience with quartz-mining he had been particularly struck by the advantages that could be derived from the process by chlorine, could chlorine be obtained at a sufficiently low price.[172]

Early to mid-October James Dow publishes notices in several newspapers regarding what appears to be a copy of Otway's improved Chilean mill:

CAUTION.— Whereas certain parties, ignorant of the nature of the patent law, have been purchasing the pans or bedplates of the improved Chisholm Mill, manufactured in Sydney, according to the patent granted to Dr Ottway [sic] for this colony, notice is hereby given that all such persons will in future be proceeded against for the infringement of such patent, as no in vention patented for this colony can be imported with out the consent of the patentee. JAS. F. DOW and CO.[173]

October 16 Dr. Otway obtained quartz that yielded 3 oz, to the ton [at Black Hill, Ballarat], but somehow it did not pay him.[174]

October 21 In a report on the Steiglitz diggings, several reefs are covered, including the Yankee, Darlington, Portuguese, Victoria, New Chum, Scotchman's, Malakoff, Davis's, Boxing and Sailor's. The report ends by stating "the reef known as Otway's is favorably reported."[175]



January 16 Otway's son, William Dow Otway, is born at Steiglitz.[5]

January 18 THE MINES.
Only two quartz crushing machines are at present in operation, and these are not steadily employed. A new machine is in course of erection to the south of Sailor's Reef, on the creek. It is on a different principle from any now erected, and crushes with horizontal rollers placed side by side, and revolving towards each other; the quartz when pulverised sufficiently passes through a series of sieves, and thence to the amalgamator, where it is forced through a column of mercury — the heavy gold having previously been retained by a slide attached to the sieves. In a few weeks this machine will be erected and at work, and we shall then be able to judge of its merits. There is no doubt that the only hope for the present prosperity of this field is a method of crushing which will reduce the cost to the miner to, say a maximum sum of £1 or 15s. per ton. This will enable the miners to produce a much larger quantity of quartz, and employ in a short time all those, indepently, who are now depending upon occasional wages employment. In other words, it would widen the sphere of labor on this field, and conduce to the permanence of the portions of it now being worked. For the purpose of thoroughly testing the field, and with the confidence of those acquainted with it, several of our influential residents contemplate the formation of a Mining Company on Steiglitz. There is little doubt that under proper management this would result in much good to the district and to its promoters,— more especially if a cheap and effective system of crushing could be introduced at the same time, and in combination with it. I have noticed on several occasions extracts from the local journals of other gold fields, in which, after stating that their respective districts stood (of course) acknowledged as being the first of the quartz mining regions. The arguments of stamper v. Chilian mill were argued pro and con, and a state of uncertainty seemed to pervade the ideas of the several authorities as to which method was really superior. Upwards of a year ago this matter has been finally proved on this field, and we can afford to smile at the self complacent assurance of those who arrogate to themselves a stage of advancement which they cannot maintain. Upwards of a year ago the tailings from the stamper mills were crushed by the Chilian mills— Dr Otway's patent— and one and a half and two ounces to the ton extracted therefrom, proving beyond a doubt the superiority of rollers over stampers. From other fields we hear of this being done as a novelty, but with us it is an old song. But although the principle as at present adopted of crushing in mercury, and passing the tailings over a sheet of mercury gives much satisfaction as to the production of the gold from the matrix, the cost of production is such that no comparatively poor quartz can be made profitable to the minor. The cost of providing timber for burning the quartz, with the necessary labor required in the operation of crushing, and the wear and tear of machinery, are such that they cannot crush (profitably to the crusher) under the present rate, viz., £3 per ton. The present system is a good one, but is nevertheless susceptible of improvements, which wiser heads may suggest.[176]


February 12 Otway reports the birth of his son. The birth record gives:

  • His age as 39 years
  • His birthplace as "Louisiana, United States"
  • His profession as "Quartz Crusher"
  • His middle name as "Beauclerc"
  • His marriage date and place (see above)[Notes 2]
  • Rebecca's age as 27, and her birthplace as "New Hampshire, United States".[5]


March 17 An investigation into the circumstances attending the decease and burial of William Henry Vale, of Steiglitz, took place before J. M. Clow, Esq., this day, at the request of the jury who sat with the Coroner on the inquest thereto relating, on Thursday last. There were present of the jury - Messrs. Otway, Barr, Love, Scott, Davis, Rayner, Poulton, Reed, Goulden, and Sullivan. Reports having gone abroad that portions of the skull of deceased and portions of the intestines were left uninterred, the jury called upon Mr. Clow to make inquiry there anent.[177]

March 23 In a hearing regarding an encroachment, "Dr. W. B. Otway was sworn, and produced memoranda of amounts of quartz crushed for defendant. He said: I have crushed 28 tons 18 cwt. since the 1st January, 1858. They produced 238 ounces of gold. There are 13 cubic feet in a ton of quartz. I have crushed no other quartz for Cox since the 15th January. Mr. Cox brought the quartz to me, but I do not know from whence they came.[178]


April 5 We hear that the Chilian mill once set up by the P. P. Company in connection with their Clunes contract [possibly purchased from Otway when the Port Phillip Company set up at Black Hill] has been put aside, as not working so satisfactorily as the stamping batteries.[179]


May 20 THE NEW REEF NEAR BALLAN. - The quartz from the crown claim of the originally discovered reef has been crushed at Dr Otway's machine, and produced 10 oz to the ton; the reef being about two feet six inches wide, and the quartz crushed being of a mixed character, the producers are highly satisfied with their prospects. Several other reefs are being opened in this neighborhood, miles apart from -the original discovery, the quartz being sometimes about six feet in thickness and close to the surface. There is therefore every likelihood of a permanent and highly remunerative quartz goldfield being established. Four tons from one of the neighboring reefs will be crushed at Dr Otway's machine to-day, and the result will shortly be known. - Geelong Advertiser. [180]

May 20 QUARTZ CRUSHING MACHINERY OF STEIGLITZ - Although there is no doubt, that the richer quartz will continue to be crushed by the Chilian process, a less expensive and quicker process is necessary to make the larger and poorer reef remunerative to the producer. Quartz that would barely pay crushing expenses at present and which leaves no return to the miner could then be made to yield a handsome dividend to the producer, while the crusher would be equally remunerated by the increased quantity he will be able daily to dispose of. Dr Otway is busily engaged in the erection of extensive stamping batteries, and it is to be hoped that a satisfactory result will be attained through their agency. With few exceptions, every reef yet opened on this field will prove remunerative to the miner, if their quartz can be crushed at the rate of 25s or 30s per ton, and thus a wide field of enterprise will be thrown open to the laboring public. Mining and business affairs on Steiglitz are quiet. The formation of the Mining Company is anxiously looked for. The Government still maintain silence on the lease or royalty matter, and whether we will shortly be able to chronicle a reply to the company's application seems doubtful. If official promises are worth anything an early reply may be anticipated.-Geelong Advertiser.[180]

During the past week mining affairs have assumed a more hopeful aspect, although there is a considerable amount of depression.
THE NEW REEFS - The remainder of the quartz crushed at Dr Otway's machine from the original crown claim has produced 11 ounces to the ton Reports from the district continue favorable. - Geelong Advertiser[181]

May 28 New Reef near Ballan. — A gentleman who has just arrived on Baallarat from Ballan supplied us yesterday (Tuesday) with the following particulars respecting the lately discovered but very rich quartz reef in that locality. Robert Evens, or Kangaroo Bob, as he is called not only by his familiars but by all who have occasion to speak of him holds the prospecting claim, and has fallen into a decidedly good thing. Last week nine tons of quartz, from his claim, were crushed by Mr. James Welsh, of Mount Egerton, at the ma chine formerly worked by Messrs. Blake and Parker, and the yield was at the rate of 24½ ounces to the ton. Good stuff it must be to turn out so much; and the machinery must also be good and well managed, for a quantity of quartz, which the owner considers of equally good quality, was crushed at the Steiglitz machine (Dr. Otway's) without any such satisfactory results.[182]

Hip flask presented to Otway by the people of Steiglitz.[183]


July PRESENTATION.— Shortly after the machinery were put in motion, Dr Otway was presented with an elegantly chased and engraved silver cigar case and spirit flask. On each of these articles was engraved the words:—
Presented to Dr. W. B. Otway
By the
People of Steiglitz,
July, 1858.
The deputation which represented the people of Steiglitz consisted of Messrs Child, Scott, Horne, Goulden, Dartnell, Mathews, Morris and Lawson. Mr Lawson, in representing the several articles to Dr Otway, remarked that as they were symbolical of peace and friendship, so also the wishes of those in whose name he offered them, were, that peace and prosperity might be attended in all his efforts, and that he would retain in every position a sense of the respect and esteem in which he was held by them, the people of Steiglitz.
Dr Otway replied in a suitable and feeling manner, and after a short re-union the deputation dispersed.[32]


August 19 Steiglitz. — Nearly 1000 ounces of gold has this week been extracted at the several quartz crushing mills, the largest quantity having, however, been produced at the Steiglitz Quartz-Crushing Companies Mills, the quartz being from New Chum Reef. From claim No 18 south on New Chum, occupied by Messrs Boardman and Co. are known as the Dane's claim, 9 tons 3 cwt of quartz were crushed at Dr Otway's mills, yielding 172½ oz of. gold, upwards of 19 oz to the ton.[184]


September 28 STEIGLITZ. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) September 28 1858. Discovered in 1855, this gold field has since attained to and occupies a position as a quartz mining district of considerable importance.
The reefs at present being worked on Steiglitz are Sailors, Boxing, Davis, New Chum, Ballarat, Victoria, Portuguese, Yankee and Dundee Reefs extending over an area of six miles in a north and south direction, but within a parallel of half a mile in width. The reef first discovered was Davis's, occupying a central position near the bed of the Steiglitz Creek.
CRUSHING MACHINERY - There are three quartz crushing machines now employed on the field - The Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Companies', Nickless's and Otway's. The last named combines the two systems of crushing now principally approved of - the stamper and Chilian mill process, and the stamper process only, with shaking tables. In both cases amalgamation by mercury being resorted to. The other two machines crushed by the combined stamp and roller process most commonly in use in the Colony, known as Otway's patent. The expense of crushing to the miner by this process is £2 10s. per ton. By stampers only £1 10s. and £1 5s. per ton.[185]


October 7 There are three quartz crushing machines now employed on the field - The Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Companies', Nickless's and Otway's. The last named combines the two systems of crushing now principally approved of - the stamper and Chilian mill process, and the stamper process only, with shaking tables. In both cases amalgamation by mercury being resorted to. The other two machines crushed by the combined stamp and roller process most commonly in use m the Colony, known as Otway's patent. The expense of crushing to the miner by this process is £2 10s per ton. By stampers only £1 10s and £1 5s per ton.[186]


November 18 Mining. Sunbeams and oxygen gas, stampers and crushers, Chilian mills and mills that are only chillying in their results, the whole world of quartz mining enterprise seems to be in a furor of speculation and experiment. From Dr Otway's ancient apparatus to the latest scheme of retorts or mirrors, the lovers of adventure have a wide range over which to exert their choice and spend their money. The old showman's announcement of "You spends your money and you takes your choice," may have been verified amply enough as to the facility with which the former portion of the compact is generally effected but we have a fancy there is some reason to doubt whether there is always an actual taking of one's choice afterwards, or if so, whether or not it is always worth the taking. A considerable amount of money has been expended in Ballarat of late in essays to prove and carry out the several new processes submitted for trial in reference to the extraction of gold from quartz; but as yet, we regret to say, but little if any actual good has resulted either to the projectors or their supporters. Whether it be from want of funds, or partial failure of experiments, none of the projected processes have, at the present time, so much favor or confidence in the estimation of the public as the comparatively old fashioned plan of stamping batteries, as at Clunes and elsewhere. By a reference to a communication by Mr Schmeling in our columns to-day, our readers will perceive that great doubts may be raised as to the commercial practicability of any scheme of smelting; and it cannot but be a matter of regret that the experiments, made with certainly some amount of promise, in connection with the Wilkinson's patent, were not carried out in combination with an efficient crushing apparatus of some sort, so that the advantages, if any, resulting from the calcining process might have been well and truly ascertained. We yet hope to see this question fairly and thoroughly tested, and some satisfactory basis obtained on which to rest future calculations and adventure in this all-important department of mining industry.[187]


1859-01-07 Ad for Dow's foundry.jpg

January to May? Ads for James Dow's Port Phillip Foundry in Melbourne include "Otway's Patent" as one of the types of quartz crushers they supply.

January 1 STEIGLITZ PROSPECTING and MINING COM PANY. - A PUBLIC MEETING of all Share holders of the above Company (or their accredited agents) will take place on Thursday evening, January 6 1859, at half-past 7 o'clock, in the Victoria Hotel, Steiglitz, when matters materially affecting the Company will be discussed and important business transacted. By order of Provisional Committee, W. B. OTWAY, Chairman. R. A. LAWSON, Secretary.[188]

January? Otway is listed as one of the Mining Institute of Victoria's representatives for Steiglitz.[189]

January 19 THE alluvial diggings [at Steiglitz] proceed vigorously, and will soon overbalance in importance our quartz workings. Fourteen ounces were obtained last week from Love's claim in the bed of the creek near the township. Two ounces per man was netted at the Yankee reef alluvial, and near Davis's claim another party are at work with fair success. In consequence of the finding of several rough specs in the garden ground of one of the residents of Newtown, a branch of the town- ship situated on the bend of the creek towards Dr Otway's machine, several claims have been marked off in this direction, and it would seem upon the whole that the alluvial mining of Steiglitz so long neglected, stands a fair chance of being tested shortly.[190]

March 7 MINING INTELLIGENCE. STEIGLITZ. [From our own Correspondent] Monday, March 7th. How it happens that there is, or can be a dearth of quartz mining statistics, is to me rather astonishing, since there exists so many means of ascertaining the various amounts of quartz raised conveyed, or crushed; and also of knowing the amount of gold produced therefrom. In fact there can be no doubt that much more reliable statistics could be obtained of quartz mining and the profits or losses incurred through that branch of mining industry than in any other. The quartz are never removed without being weighed; their exact weight is not only know but recorded in almost every instance, and the amalgamated cake produced does not leave the floor of the crushing mill without its weight being also recorded. Here we have at once then the means of obtaining any kind and quantity of statistics in reference to quartz mining, and that too of a kind which cannot be disputed, for there can exist no motive for distorting or falsifying such records on the part either of the miner or the crusher.
By the courtesy of the gentlemen connected with the Steiglitz Quartz-Crushing Company and Dr Otway, I have been placed in possession of the quantities of quartz crushed and the amounts of gold obtained from January 1858 to January 1859 on Steiglitz goldfield at their mills, and also the number of claims from which the quartz have been obtained. I give their figures as reliable authority and sufficient groundwork for any calculations which may be made so far as they are connected or concerned, but it must be remembered that other mills have also been at work and produced returns during that period, the exact statistics of which I cannot at present obtain. The amount obtained and herein tabulated, may, however, safely be considered as equal to two-thirds of the whole gross produce of Steiglitz gold field during the year referred to:—

Amount of Quartz Crushed from January, 1858, to Jan., 1859:—




At Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Co's Mills




At Otway's Quartz Crushing Co.'s Mills








Amount of Gold obtained during same Period:-




At Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Co.'s Mills




At Otway's Quartz Crushing Co.'s Mills




Total produce




Number of Men Computed in Production of Above, including Crushers and Carters:—

At Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Co.'s Mills
Miners 118
Machine, &c. 8

At Otway's Quartz Crushing Co.'s Mills—
Miners 103
Machine, &c. 5

Total number employed 234

Number of Claims from which Quartz were Obtained:— Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Company 24
Otway's do do do 28
Total of claims 52

Average number of miners in claims—4½.
Average yield of quartz per ton— 6 ozs. 19 dwts. 3 grs.
Value of gold at L3 14s per ounce—L31,623 18s. Yearly salary to each party or claim— L608 2s 8?d.
Yearly salary to each miner or other party employed - L135 2s 9?d.
It will thus be seen that the miner receives on the quartz above mentioned, a yearly profit of L135 2s 9¾d, allowing the carter and quartz crusher the same average—and that of course apart from the profits which may have been received from the other machines which have been employed — calculating upon one-third more, there would then be a sum of L180 3s 9d per year to each party actually employed.
Even at the first and lowest average, omitting any other contingencies, I question if any gold-field in Victoria can show a better return for labor than Steiglitz has done during the past year. The yields of quartz and gold speak for themselves, and the average number of men at work producing these yields is computed rather over than under the mark at 4½ per claim.[191][192]

March 12 The Steiglitz correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser communicates to that journal some interesting particulars relating to the produce of that gold-field. During last year the amount of quartz crushed by the Steiglitz and Otway Companies was 1221 tons 10 cwt, the total produce of which was 8547 ozs. The writer states that this may safely be considered as equal to two-thirds of the whole gross produce of the Steiglitz gold-field during that period.[193]

April 2 The... four quartz crushing machines now on the field [are] the Steiglitz Quartz Crushing Company's, Dr W B Otway's, the Steiglitz Miners' Quartz Crushing Company's and the Mount Blackwood machine, the three first mentioned being constructed on the same principle, each of them having two sets of Dr Otway's patent pans and rollers, and four stamp heads, and the other finishing by the stamping process and amalgamating in open pans in what is called the Californian style.[194]

April 6 ACCIDENT AT STEIGLITZ.- On Monday evening last an accident which might have produced most serious results, took place. It appears that Dr Otway was employed packing up some papers, the candle, which had been placed on a table near the mosquito curtains of the bed, by some means ignited the fragile drapery, and almost in an instant the flames had spread beyond control. The alarm was given, Mrs Otway and her child were quickly removed, and also the papers of importance connected with the present Quartz Crushing Company - and the struggle with the flames began. By judicious coolness and fortitude the shell of the house still remains standing, but a considerable loss has been sustained of furniture, clothing, and private papers. In his endeavors to extinguish the flames the doctor was severely burnt about the hands, but no other serious bodily injury was sustained. - Geelong Advertiser.[195]

April 26 NEARLY all the early essays in quartz mining in Victoria were unsuccessful. Who does not remember the works erected some four or five years since by Dr Otway, at the Black Hill, and after him, by Mr Milner Stephen, at the same place; and who does not equally remember the profitless results, and the consequent disappointment and disgust which ensued? Not very dissimilar were the ventures there of the Port Phillip Company, of the same company at Dead Horse, and of other parties in other portions of this district, when crushing apparatus of some kind or other was erected and experiments made - experiments made with sanguine hope of success, and with occasional gleams of even bright promise, but ultimately abandoned as unremunerative to the experimenters.

Dr Otway and his fellow-experimenters at Steiglitz made quartz mining more attractive by their success, in that quarter... [196]

May 11 "William Beauclerc Otway, Esq., surgeon" joins the Philosophical Society.[197][198]

May 23 WANTED - MR. OTWAY, - Important letter for you at Post Office.[199]

May 23 "W. B. Otway, M.D., Steiglitz" is among the names of "the professional gentlemen whose names were mentioned as being intended to be proposed as candidates for membership at the next meeting of the [Mining Institute of Victoria.]"[200]

May 24 DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP. THE partnership hitherto existing between the undersigned, carrying on quartz crushing at Steiglitz under the style or firm of "The Patent Chilian Mill Quartz Crushing Company," has this day been dissolved.
R. A. Lawson, Esq., Steiglitz, will collect the outstanding debts, but we will not be responsible for any debts or liabilities contracted after this date in the name of the company.
24th May, 1859
Witness to signature of Dr. Otway — B. JORDAIN.
JOS. F. DOW, H. LANGLANDS, As administrator of W. T. Langland's estate, JOHN DUTCH.
Witness — JOHN M. WALLACE.
F. W. DOWNIE, By his attorney ROBERT CALDWELL.
Witness— A. ANDERSON. No. 881[33]

1859-05-31 Ad selling Otway's crushing plant at Steiglitz.jpg

May to June QUARTZ CRUSHING PLANT FOR SALE, at Stieglitz, known as Dr Otway's Machine, comprising one 10-horse power engine and boiler complete; two of Otway's Chilian Mills, four dry stampers and two batteries of wet stampers, five head each; two shaking tables, and a large iron store in which the plant is contained, with all the requisite tools now on the ground. To be sold by auction on 20th June, if not disposed of by private contract before that date. Terms liberal. Apply in Melbourne to James F. Dow and Co., or in Stieglitz to Dr Otway.[201]

June 28 MORRIS V. OTWAY. This was an action for the recovery of balance of account for work and labor done. The defendant in this case was Dr Otway, of the quartz crushing company at Stieglitz, and the plaintiff was an engineer to that company. Mr Atkins appeared for the plaintiff, and Dr Mackay for the defendant. Mr Atkins in opening the case said that the dispute had reference merely to the number of days which the plaintiff had worked.
The plaintiff deposed- I commenced working in January 1857 as engineer in Dr Otway's crushing company at Stieglitz, at the rate of £1 a day, 1 commenced on the 19th of the mouth. I have a document which will show the number of days I worked.
Cross-examined by Dr Mackay— I made that document from week to week, accord ing as the work was done.
Examination continued—This book contains my work from day to day. It refers to my work from the time I began my engagement to the time it closed. The total of days I worked is 448½ days, at £1 a day. There were many days during that time when work was suspended, and of course I have not charged for those days. I admit being paid L315 10s on different occasions, and I now claim the balance.
It appeared, on cross-examination by Dr Mackay, that the plaintiff was engaged as a mail contractor and a farmer, and that he was occasionally unwell, and frequently had to go to town to attend law courts during the two years he was employed as engineer in Dr Otway's company. The remainder of the hearing of the case had reference to daily accounts.
Verdict for the plaintiff for L28 16s 8d, over and above the amount paid into court, with L7 17s 6d costs over and above the amount also paid into court.[202]

June 30 MINING INTELLIGENCE. STEIGLITZ. (From our own correspondent.) The meeting of the shareholders of the Perseverance Mining Company took place on Friday evening last, in accordance with the motion of adjournment passed at a previous meeting. Dr. Otway in the chair. About 90 shares were represented. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. Messrs. Dutton, Rastrick and Woodgrove were appointed to canvass the district of Darriwell and Sutherland's Creek, for the sale of shares. Messrs. Goulden and Grieg, part of the deputation who were appointed to dispose of shares in Geelong, gave in their report. 64 shares had been taken up and paid for, 18 more were sure, and they had been promised about 50 more. Their time being limited, they had been unable to wait upon the parties promising, a second time, but they had instructed the other members of the deputation to do so, and had no doubt that the full complement of shares would be alloted. A vote of thanks was proposed and unanimously accorded to the portion of the deputation returned, and an adjournment of the meeting took place to the 20th instant, to meet the remainder of the deputation. It would thus appear that there is now no doubt as to the starting of tlie Perseverance Company. Already upwards of 300 shares are disposed of, and the deputation are at work in Geelong and elsewhere increasing the number, and others are merely waiting the result so as to be certain of the going on of the company before making their investments. It is possible, therefore, that at next meeting this will be finally set at rest, and the necessary 500 shares subscribed for.[203]

July 19 11am The Black Swan departs Hobsons Bay.[204]

July 20 2pm The Black Swan clears the heads. Otway is included in the passenger list.[205]

July 23 Otway arrives at Launceston on board the Black Swan.[206]

July 23 In an inquest regarding the death of William Glascock, one of the miners giving evidence states that when he could not get the doctor at Steiglitz to attend the dying man, he travelled to Meredith in search of Dr Otway, but he was not there.[207]

July 26 The engine forming a part of the crushing plant known as Dr Otway's, has been disposed of to a party on Portuguese reef, who intend to erect it on that reef for mining purposes.[208]

The remainder of the year Otway is in Tasmania working for the Southern Tasmanian Quartz Crushing and Mining Company.


Undated "W. B. Otway; M.D." at Steiglitz is listed as a member of the Royal Society of Victoria.[198]

Through to August Otway is in Tasmania working for the Southern Tasmanian Quartz Crushing and Mining Company.


February 18 Referring to the present system of amalgamating, Mr. Roberts, remarks—"Dr. Otway proves a loss of 5 to 10 per cent. of mercury during the operation, having traced globules several yards distant from the works. It naturally follows that if the velocity of the water will convey globules of mercury that distance fine gold is equally liable, and to a far greater extent even.[209]


August 6 Randall v Ware and another, £12 17s, bill of costs; Mr Walsh for plaintiff, Mr Hardy for defendant Caselli. This was another phase of the dispute with the Ballarat Quartz Crushing, Amalgamating and Sub liming Company, the action being for services rendered in connection with the purchase of the claim and plant of the company, the special service being connected with the examination of the title of the vendor of the machinery which had been sold at the suit of the creditors of Dr Otway, the former owner, the services in question being rendered in 1855. Plaintiff produced some account books as those of the company, but it appeared they had been in the custody of the Court in the case Edwards v Herring and others, and his Honor commented strongly on what he characterised as an improper obtention of the books while in the custody of the Court. Mr Cuthbert, as attorney for Edwards stated that the books were im- pounded for a short time only, and at the end of that time they were released. Defendant Caselli was called to prove the books, and he deposed that he believed plaintiff had been retained by the company. Plaintiff had offered to exonerate him from all liability if he would give his evidence willingly, but witness refused to accept the offer. There was no sufficient proof of authoritative retainer, and the plaintiff was therefore non-[indescipherable] without costs.[210]

August 24 Otway arrives at Hobson's Bay on the Victory, having sailed from Circular Head, Tasmania, on August 21.[211]


September 25 Dr. Otway. — In the number of recent arrivals in Eden we are glad to welcome that of Dr. Otway, a gentleman for many years connected with various scientific and mining societies in South America, California, and Victoria. He intends to devote his attention to analysis of the rock formations in this district, with a view to test their metalifrous properties. There cannot be a doubt as to the fine field this district presents to the scientific student as well as to the lover of nature, and it is to be hoped that the doctor's researches may tend, in some degree, towards the development of the natural resources of our neighbourhood.[41]


October 5 Lecture.—At the request of the Auckland Prospecting Association, Dr. Otway has kindly consented to deliver a lecture on Tuesday evening next, on the subject of Gold and the development of mineral wealth in the County of Auckland. The charge for admission will be one shilling; the receipts to go towards the prospecting fund.[212]

October 5 GOLD. ON TUESDAY evening next, 9th OCTOBER, at half-past Seven o'clock, a Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Otway on the question of Gold, and the most approved methods of Prospecting, &c. Admission, One Shilling, to go towards the funds of the Prospecting Association. Reserved Seats 2s.[213]

October 12 Lecture. — On Wednesday evening Dr. Otway delivered a lecture in the Court-house on Gold, etc.; we are obliged to hold over a report of the same until our next.[214][Notes 12]

1860-11-02 Twofold Bay Observer ad for talk by WBO.jpg

26 October to 2 November An ad appears in the Twofold Bay Observer for a lecture given by Otway to raise funds for the Prospecting Association entitled "On the Prophecies of Scripture, or the Footprints of the Last Tribes".[215]

October 30 To-morrow evening Dr. Otway gives a Lecture in the Court-house, on "The Prophecies of Scripture; or, the Foot-steps of the Lost Tribe*." The subject is a comprehensive one, and we have little doubt, will be very interesting. The lecture is given in aid of the funds of the Prospecting Association, and it is to be hoped that Dr. Otway will be met by a large audience, testifying their willingness to further the object to which he has lent his services.[216]


November 2 We have taken the trouble to visit the ground now being prospected by a party of eight men, who are sustained in the work by the Prospecting Association, and we can bear witness to the continual labour and zeal of these men in the performance of their task. It is true they have not yet realized that success which we might have desired, but they have had sufficient to warrant our perseverance in the search. We had the pleasure of bearing company with Dr. Otway, a gentleman highly qualified to judge the ground, and his opinion coincides with that of the Rev. Mr. Clarke as to the richness of this district in Gold and other minerals.[217]

November 2 Considerable excitement was created in town on Wednesday morning last, by a report that the party out prospecting under the auspices of the Prospecting Association, had struck gold in the neighbourhood of Mount Imlay. Several gentlemen, accompanied by Dr. Otway, started for the locality indicated, on Wednesday morning, and returned on the same evening.
The prospectors have been most persevering and industrious, and have performed the work in a systematic and satisfactory manner. They are deserving, not only the support of the community, but of the highest praise. Dr. Otway is of opinion, that whilst we are turning our attention to gold fields at a considerable distance, we overlook others of equal importance at our doors.
The lecture on "The Prophecies of Scripture; or, the Footsteps of the Lost Tribes," advertised to take place at the Courthouse on Wednesday evening last, was not delivered in consequence of the un avoidable absence of Dr. Otway on an expedition to the prospecting party. It has been postponed to next Tuesday evening, the 6th inst.[218]

November 2 The Prospecting Association.—On Wednesday morning, Mr. I. Moses, the chairman of the committee of the Prospecting Association, together with Dr. Otway and another gentlemen, visited the localities where the working prospectors are now engaged. A new hole is now being bottomed, and promises to turn out well.[219]

November 2 Otway speaks at a public meeting at Eden held to discuss the search for payable gold in the region.[220]

November 6 Dr. Otway gives a lecture to-night in the Court-house, in aid of the funds of the Prospecting Association. The subject is "The Prophecies of Scripture; or, the Footsteps of the Lost Tribes." The comprehensiveness of the subject, naturally invests it with a degree of interest, and as the object is a very laudable one, every person in the town ought to attend.[221]

November 6 Otway gives evidence at a court case in which Henry Seekamp seeks to recover allegedly lost wages from his former employer at "the Telegraph newspaper", stating "that he had lodged at the Victoria Hotel, and slept in the same room with Mr. Seekamp. Had seen him in liquor, but not drunk..."[222]

November 6 Dr. Otway's Lecture. — We wish to remind our readers that this Lecture which was to have been delivered last Wednesday, but was postponed in consequence of Dr. Otway's unavoidable absence, will be delivered this Evening, at the Court House. The intrinsic merit of the subject "The Prophecies of Scriptures in the Footprints of the Lost Tribes," is sufficient to draw a large assemblage, without the further inducement, that the proceeds for admission will be kindly applied by Dr. Otway in aid of the Prospecting Association.[223]

November 6 On Tuesday evening last, Dr. Otway delivered a lecture in the Court-house, on the "Prophecies of Scripture; or the Footsteps of the lost Tribes." The night was bleak and cold, which prevented many persons from attending; nevertheless, the assemblage was very fair. The Police Magistrate presided. Although the subject is a very old one, Dr. Otway contrived to invest it with a degree of newness by the vivid manner in which he described, the comprehensiveness of the mind of Moses as a Prophet-Warrior ruler of the Israelites. His description, too, of that stupendous work, the Temple of Solomon, and the manner in which it was erected, was listened to with intense attention, and greeted with rapturous applause. A part of his theory about the North American lnidian is somewhat new, and deserving further consideration. The public are in debted to Dr. Otway for the kind manner in which he has given his time and talents for the furtherance of an object that is of the greatest importance to every person in this town.[224]

November 6 Dr. Otway's Lecture. — A highly interesting and instructive lecture, on "the Prophecies of Scriptures, or the Footprints of the Lost Tribes," was delivered by Dr. Otway on Tuesday evening last, at the Court House, before a numerous and attentive audience. P. J. Murray, Esq., occupied the chair on the occasion, and at the conclusion of the lecture, which was a complete success, said "he was sure the audience would highly appreciate the excellent lecture which they had heard that evening, no less than the motive which prompted Dr. Otway in its delivery, namely, to aid the efforts now in progress by the Prospecting Association. A vote of thanks was passed to the Chairman, and the meeting separated at half-past 9 o'clock.[225] Greater detail is given in the Twofold Bay Telegraph[42] including:

  • The usual curse attending nations where slavery is tolerated fell on Egypt. They entrusted all their mechanical arts to their slave, and sunk in effeminacy, and many forgot that a change could take place in their social position, the change came, and Egypt fell.
  • Six millions of conquered inhabitants seek a home in different parts of the world. Some have travelled into Asia, some to Africa, and others whose foot steps we trace by the Egyptian style of architecture, sought America by the course of the Red Sea and the Aleutian Islands, and now in the uninhabited wilds of that continent, we find the footsteps of the Lost Tribes in the ruined cities, the stately obelisks and the rites and ceremonies of the Red Indian. The sun that rose on the Exodus, now shines on the shattered remnant of Israel's warrior tribes, and naught on earth seems certain but decay and death.
  • The lecture is also covered in the Twofold Bay and Maneroo Observer .[226]

November 9 A case will be heard at the Police Court today that is likely to produce some interest. It is a charge of vagrancy preferred against Dr. Homan by Dr. Otway. "Who will decide when doctors disagree."[224]

November 10 POLICE INTELLIGENCE. SATURDAY, 10TH NOVEMBER, 1860. (Before the Police Magistrate, J. Lloyd, R.N., and G. P. Keon, Esqs., J.P.'s)
OTWAY V. HOMAN. — VAGRANCY. — Dr. Otway stated that he was a surgeon and physician, residing at present in Eden. On Sunday, 4th November, he was conversing with Captain Doran, and Mr. Henriques, in the Commercial Hotel. Dr. Homan called me out, he was in company with Dr. Young at the time. We walked a few yards on the hill side, and Dr. Homan said to me, "Did you not tell me that you were a member of the Medical Board of Victoria ?" I answered, that I did not, I said, that I was a member of the Mining Board of Victoria, and that I assisted at its organisation in the year 1854. Dr. Homan then, in a very insulting manner said, that I did tell him I belonged to the Medical Board of Victoria. I felt very much annoyed to be told distinctly — (Here Mr. Barclay took his seat on the Bench) — that I lied, particularly by a gentleman whose acquaintance I was desirous of cultivating. I appealed to Dr. Young, and desired him not to join Dr. Homan in insulting me on the Sabbath morning. After some time had passed, I called Captain Doran. Both Dr. Homan and myself were excited. I took out a summons and regret having to do so.
Cross-examined by Dr. Homan.—I do not remember your stating that you had an unpleasant business to perform, on Sunday morning, 4th inst. You stated, that I said, I was a member of the Medical Board of Victoria ; I told you, I did not say so. You never asked me if I were a member of the Medical Board of New South Wales. I did not say in reply, that I belonged to the Medical Board of Victoria.
Dr. Homan.—"Do you as a rational man believe that when I as a medical man, asked whether you were a member of any Medical Board, that I would have remained quiet for months as to your medical qualifications, by the reply 'I'm a member of a Mining Board?'"
Dr. Otway.—"I do believe that you would have remained quiet, because you knew my intentions when I was first introduced to you in Eden."
Dr. Homan.—"Then you must take me for a fool." [An amusing altercation took place between Dr. Homan and Mr. Walker, the Clerk of the Bench, as to the manner in which the above question and answer should be taken down in the depositions. Mr. Walker said, the proper way was to take the answer first; an arrangement which Dr. Homan could not at all clearly understand.]
Cross-examination continued.—When you had goaded me on to madness, I said, you were no doctor yourself. I did not say you had bought your diploma—I said, a diploma might be bought. Dr. Homan.—"Did you call me a puppy?" (a pause) "Now don't look so innocent, answer me."
Dr. Otway.—"I do not remember using those words. I told you to go to your kennel, after you had given me the lie. You did not call me any names, but you said, what I had stated was untrue."
Captain Doran stated, that on Sunday, 4th inst., he saw Drs. Homan and Young come to the Commercial Hotel and call Dr. Otway out. He after- wards heard high words, and he went to the side door of the house and heard Dr. Homan accuse Dr. Otway of having made a statement to him that was untrue. Dr. Homan said, "Then sir, you have told me a lie." Some personal recrimination followed on both sides. He (witness) said at the time, that he thought it a piece of presumption on the part of Dr. Homan to ask him any such questions. Had Dr. Homan said the same to him, he (witness) would have committed a breach of the peace.
Cross-examined by Dr. Homan.—You said distinctly, "Then, sir, you have told me a lie."
Mr. Henriques remembered Sunday, 4th November. Saw Drs. Homan and Young. Saw Dr. Otway go out from the Commercial Hotel with them; heard high words and went out. The lie had passed. The language he heard, he thought gave sufficient cause for Dr. Otway to have knocked the other down.
Cross-examined by Dr. Homan.—I heard Dr. Otway tell you to go to your kennel, and say you were a puppy.
This closed the plaintiff's case.
Dr. Homan thought that it was a very frivolous case, and if summonses were to be granted in all such cases, business of every description would be brought to a stand still. He had only said, that Dr. Otway had stated an untruth, and one of their Worships, a short time ago, had at a public meeting used the same words towards another of their Worships; and the Editor of a public paper in this town had, in an article used language equally strong against an officer of that Court. He had already sent a man flying back to Melbourne from this place, who had professed to be a doctor. If Dr. Otway had been equally candid (with the speaker we presume), this case would never have disgraced the court.
Dr. Young remembered Sunday, 4th November. Went in company with Dr. Homan, and saw Mr. Otway. Dr. Homan said, that he (witness) had received a letter from Melbourne stating, that Mr. Otway was not a member of the Medical Board there. Mr. Otway answered, that he never said he was a member of that board. Dr. Homan replied, that he had said so. Mr. Otway said, it was false, and added, that he did not believe Dr. Homan was any doctor at all, and that he was an impudent puppy; and had better go to his kennel. By the Bench. — Mr. Otway first said, that what Dr. Homan stated was false.
Their Worships retired, and in a short time the Police Magistrate returned to Court and stated, that judgment would be reserved till Tuesday (to-day).[227]

November 10 Otway v. Homan. — This was one of the most trumpery and ridiculous cases that have ever been witnessed in any court of justice in the world. The defendant was charged with abusive language tending to a breach of the peace, and pleaded Not Guilty.
Dr. Otway sworn — On Sunday, the 4th November, I was in company with Messrs. Doran, Marks, Henriques, in the Commercial Inn, when a rap came to the door, and Dr. Homan together with Dr. Young entered. I shook hands with Dr. Homan, who asked me if we could have a private room. I told him I did not know, adding that we could walk up the hill and converse together. We walked up the hill a few yards, when Dr. Homan said — 'Did you not tell me that you belonged to the Medical Board of Victoria?" I replied, "No. I understood you to say Mining Board of Victoria." He replied, "you did tell me so." I said, "I did not." He said, "that is untrue." I replied, "I charge you with an untruth." After this, each of us grew more excited, and I called Capt. Doran's attention to the dispute. I felt compelled to summons Dr. Homan. He is a gentleman whose acquaintance I wished to cultivate.
Mr. Murray — Did he make use of any language besides what you have already stated?
Dr. Otway — He said what I stated was false, and moreover I heard that Dr. Homan had called at several places before he found me that morning.
Mr. Murray — Put that down, Mr. Walker. Dr. Otway cross-examined — I do not remember your saying you had an unpleasant duty to perform when you called on me. You did tell me that in consequence of my statement that I was a member of the Medical Board of Victoria you caused inquiry to be made.
Dr. Homan — What were the abusive words I spoke on the occasion?
Dr. Otway — You told me my statement was untrue.
Dr. Homan — Do you as a rational man believe that when I as a medical man asked — "are you a member of any Medical Board," that I would have remained quiet for months as regards your medical qualification, simply on your reply that you were a member of the Mining Hoard?
Dr. Otway — I believe that you would, as I made you aware of my intentions when I was first introduced to you at Eden.
Dr. Homan — Did you tell me I was not a Doctor?
Dr. Otway — I did, when you goaded me to madness.
Dr. Homan — Will it goad you to madness if I say you made a false statement?
No answer.
Dr. Homan — Did you call me a puppy?
Dr. Otway — I do not recollect.
Dr. Homan — What a weak mind!
Dr. Otway — Yes, my head's a bad shape, just like yours.
Dr. Homan — Did you tell me to go to my kennel?
Dr. Otway — I did.
Dr. Homan — Did I call you any names or make use of any abusive language?
Dr. Otway — You called me no names, but said what I stated was untrue.
Several witnesses were called, and their evidence went to corroborate Dr. Otway's complaint. In fact, the defendant admitted he did say so, but could not understand how such language could be construed into an attempt to provoke a breach of the peace, which of course was the material question at issue. Captain Doran and Mr. Henriques were asked by Mr. Murray individually if they had been charged with untruth by any one what they would do, and they said they would knock any one down that would say so.
Mr. Murray — Put that down.
The magistrates retired for about half an hour and on returning into Court, said they could not agree, and the consideration of the case was postponed till the following Tuesday. Mr. Murray, sitting on this investigation, was strongly animadverted on in this community; his vindictive feelings towards the defendant being of longstanding and patent to all.[228]

Dr. O. to Eden came
To practice his profession
Dr. H. not liking same,
Committed a transgression;
He said that Otway told a lie,
Otway retaliated,
In giving Homan a reply,
Same complement repeated.
This celebrated legal case
Came now before the Court,
The doctors standing face to face,
As we make our report.[43]

November 13 OTWAY V. HOMAN. — Dismissed.[229]

November 20 "W.B. Otway" appears among the signatories to a statement supporting the police magistrate at Eden.[230] **fill out some detail here - is Otway looking after a mate?

November 27 Otway is part of a group of men travelling around Bombala and Delegate on behalf of the Auckland Prospecting Association.[231]

November 29 BOMBALA. The following has been handed to us for publication, by Mr. Everett, Secretary to the Prospecting Association:
Bombala, November, 29th, 1860. To the Committee of the Auckland Prospecting Association.
Gentlemen, - We have the honour of informing you that the efforts of the deputation have so far been eminently successful; the residents of the town and district have generally and liberally, responded to our call for support. Three parties are now employed in prospecting the district, who we hope will be successful. We have no doubt that this is a very extensive auriferous country; and, from the gold already extracted, the number of Europeans and Chinese on the ground, and the samples and parcels of gold we have seen from various storekeepers, we conclude that fair remunerative wages are obtained. The great drawback here will be a permanent supply of water, and to meet this want, it will require capital and co-operation. We have laid before the Bombala Association a programme for a Water and Sluicing Company; they have considered the project, and have empowered Dr. Otway to make a preliminary survey to the feasibility of the plan - and should it be practicable, no doubt capital can he raised here to carry it out.
To the residents of Eden the development of these fields is of great moment, and now that Kiandra is evidently on the wane, they should turn their attention to this district, and they will find ample scope for their capital and labour. In a few weeks we have no doubt we shall have good reports from the prospectors, as the object here is to open up new ground, and, if possible, the quartz reefs.
We have gone over a large area of country, and in all places the colour has been found. This is a peculiarly surfacing field, and having many fine ??? passing through it, the cost of supplying water to the higher ground would be little in comparison to the benefits to the diggers and share-holders. Water companies for supplying the miners will be one of the best investments when the ground has been property prospected. We have been induced to prolong our stay to assist the new association, and also to have a better knowledge of this district. Our duties are now finished, and the Bombala Association will therefore carry out all that they may deem necessary to further the object in view. In concluding the report, we have much pleasure in recording our thanks for the courtesy, hospitality, and kindness we have received from the residents of Bombala and the neighbourhood.
R. [sic] B. OTWAY. E. HENRIQUES S. MARKS. I. H. MOSES, Chairman Auckland Prospecting Association.[232]


December 18 MINING INTELLIGENCE. COPPER MINE NEAR BOMBALA. During the last fortnight several scraps of intelligence have reached us in reference to the discovery of a copper mine near Bombala; but as the reports were very vague and disconnected, we deferred giving them publicity until we were in possession of more authentic information. It ap pears that Dr. Otway and several other gentlemen from this town, visited Bombala some time back, and had their attention directed to a locality where indications of copper were known to exist. A vein was immediately discovered, and one portion being very rich, was broken up; and from the sanguinary opinion entertained by Dr. Otway, it was resolved that one of the gentlemen should immediately proceed to Sydney, seek an interview with the Colonial Secretary, and endeavour to obtain a lease for the legitimate working of the mine. This gentleman forthwith proceeded to Sydney. Shortly after his departure from Bombala, Dr. Otway traced the lode a great distance, at times dipping at a sharp angle, and again rising to the surface. At one of these latter out-croppings several waggon loads of specimens appeared containing a large percentage of copper, and far superior to any yet discovered. A second gentleman was despatched to Sydney with a quantity of the latter samples, and the two gentlemen, with one or two others, formed a deputation and had several interviews with the Colonial Secretary. We have been favoured with the perusal of a letter from one of these gentlemen in which he states, that the Colonial Secretary, and Captain Ward, Master of the Mint, were delighted with the samples shewn, and that a written application for obtaining a lease was to be sent in on Friday last. Here our information stops. We have on several occasions pointed out the necessity of some of our leading men turning their attention to the mineral wealth of Maneroo, and although the existence of copper, iron, and lead, in that locality has been established for years, too much credit cannot be awarded to those few persevering men who have brought the matter to a practical result. The advantages which these districts will derive from such a discovery are incalculable in a commercial point of view, and our opinion is that the present is only the first of a series of discoveries of the like nature. Our Bombala correspondent wrote some time ago- "at present it is only a question of time." The hour of prosperity, however, appears fast approaching. We believe it is intended to work the mine by a company, and so soon as the lease is granted, a quantity of the ore will be raised and tested, all preliminary arrangements made, and a prospectus issued. This, however, is only rumour, but it emanates from good quarters.[44]

December 24 ...Dr. Otway is at present engaged in taking levels so as to bring water from the Little Plains River [to Nelbothery], a distance of some twelve miles. No engineering difficulties having hitherto presented themselves, we anticipate that in the course of six or eight weeks from completion of survey, we shall have water upon the highest elevation, so as to supply the entire field of nearly 100 square miles.[233]

December 27 DISCOVERY OF A RICH COPPER MINE NEAR BOMBALA. - The Twofold Bay Observer intimates that a remarkably rich copper mine has been discovered at Bombala, by Dr. Otway. Samples of the ore have been brought to Sydney, and a deputation has had several interviews with the Colonial Secretary, to endeavour to obtain a lease for the legitimate working of the mine. It is said that the Colonial Secretary and Captain Ward were very much pleased with the samples shown, and that a written application for obtaining a lease was to be sent in on Friday last.[234]

December 29 POSSIBLE RESOURCES. On the authority of the Twofold Bay Observer we announced in our issue of Wednesday that a "remarkably rich copper mine has been discovered at Bombala by Dr Otway, and that the Colonial Secretary and Captain Ward (of the Sydney Mint) were very much pleased with the samples shown" by the discoverer. This announcement is selected by us not because the dis coverer is an old fellow townsman, nor because that the discovery is likely to be of very great advantage to Victoria, but it may serve as a sample of the numerous paragraphs which a reader of the public journalistic literature of these colonies will find scattered over the last fifteen years at least.[235]


January 1 DISCOVERY OF A RICH COPPER MINE NEAR BOMBALA.-The Twofold Bay Observer intimates that a remarkably rich copper mine has been discovered at Bombala, by Dr. Otway. Samples of the ore have been brought to Sydney, and a deputation has had several interviews with the Colonial Secretary, to endeavour to obtain a lease for the legitimate working of the mine. It is said that the Colonial Secretary and Captain Ward were very much pleased with the samples shown, and that a written application for obtaining a lease was to be sent in on Friday last. - Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 21.[236]

Undated Bei Bombala hat der Dr. Otway eine reiche Kupfermine entdeckt.[237] ("In Bombala has the Dr. Otway discovered a rich copper mine.")

July 18 The opening of the Eureka Water Company's Works on the 24th is now the great object of attraction. A grand champagne luncheon is to be given on the ground, and all the elite of Bombala and its neighbourhood are invited to attend. It is rumoured that Mrs. Commissioner Scott has been prevailed upon to christen the works. On their success depends the development of the Delegate gold-field, and I heartily wish the hopes of the spirited promoters may be surpassed. The works, I may mention, consist of a large substantial river dam, which forces the water through a flume or wooden trough on to a large wheel; this wheel sets in motion a forcing pump, which is estimated to drive the water through pipes up a hill side to the height of 126 feet, on to the auriferous tableland of Nelbothery. Opinions are divided as to the practicability of the scheme, but the principal promoter, Dr. Otway, continues most sanguine; he has constructed several large reservoirs, and dug upwards of six miles of races. The preliminary expenses have been very heavy, and justly entitle him to the thanks of the district. An area of about three square miles will thus be at once thrown open for ground sluicing purposes, and from all I can gather many spots will turn out two ounces a week per man.[45]

August 14 Meershaum at Nimitibelle.—We have submitted a portion of the mineral discovery at Nimitibelle, by Mr. David M'Donald to Dr. Otway, a gentleman of high scientific attainment, and he has expressed it as his decided opinion, that the mineral alluded to is meershaum of the very best quality. Thus another is added to the long list of the valuable natural products of the extensive district of Monaro.—Monaro Mercury[238]

We have recently paid a visit to the above works, which are now nearly completed. They are situated at Nelbothery, about fifteen miles from the town of Bombala, and near the Little Plain River, a constantly running stream, that has its source on the Little Plain and empties itself into the Delegate River. The works are intended to be used in raising and retaining water for the purpose of obtaining alluvial gold from a gully at least one mile in extent, by the process known as ground sluicing. The gully alluded to, and which has been obtained on leave by the company, has already been worked to some extent, and the unworked portions have been prospected and yield prospects that would pay even for cradling.
We will now give a description of the works, which consist of dams, fluming, water-wheel, and machinery for forcing and conveying the water from the river to the high land, and head and tail races. The first dam stems the current of the Little Plains River. It is constructed on a large slate bar which extends right across the stream, and is of a most substantial nature. One bank of the river where the bar is placed is very abrupt in its ascent, but the ether is flat in an elbow shape for some 250 feet to the base of a low range. The dam runs from the abrupt bank over the stream, and to the foot of this low range; by this means the pressure of water will be lessened, for the back water will be spread over a larger area than the stream's original bed. The dam is thus about 350 feet across. That portion of it which resists the original current is the most substantial. It is about 34 feet at its base, and 14 feet at the top, which is capped with two rows of slabs laid on their flat, and dropping to either edge of the top. This portion of the dam is formed of immense boulders, held together by a framework of transverse and longitudinal logs, which are bolted together by numerous very strong iron bolts. The ether portion of the dam which extends over the flat is not quite so substantial, being formed on the higher aide for a thickness of about 4 feet of stones and timber braced, but at the lower side of braced timbers and soil, rammed down hard. In the centre of the first-named portion of the dam is a flood-gate, which can be opened and closed at pleasure. At the end of the dam, and near the abrupt bank, the top of which is level with the top of the dam, is the opening of a flume, which is 5 feet wide at its mouth, but gradually draws in to 3 feet in width; it is two feet in depth all along. The flume runs close along the abrupt bank of the river, is 700 feet in length, being divided at about the centre by about 50 yards of a race, of the same dimensions, excavated in the bank which here juts out. At the end of the second portion of fluming is a large water-wheel, upon which the water will be forced full-breast from the flume through a flood-gate at the end thereof, and which will set in motion a force-pump, for the purpose of forcing the water up through pipes to the race along the table land, to the gully which is to be sluiced Those pipes will be together about 1400 feet in length. The first 300 feet are in about 10-feet pieces, and composed of a hard composition with iron ends, which are attached to one another by means of bolts and screws. The remaining 1100 feet of piping are made of hardwood boards, being in the shape of boxes about 10 feet long each, and 10 inches square inside. These are let into one another, and placed on the face of the hill from the end of the iron piping to the crown of the hill. The elevation of the crown of this hill is 160 feet from the engine, and that is the height the water has to be lifted. From the end of the piping a race 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep has been out to the Company's gully. Along this race are several large dams, whioh will be filled with water, so as to ensure a large supply at all times.
It has been calculated that the Company will be able to supply a large number of sluiceheads of water to other parties, with which to work the ground that intervenes between the water-raising works and the Company's gully, and which has been proved to be auriferous. The works were designed, and have been constructed under the superintendence of Dr. Otway, a gentleman of high scientific attainments and considerable practical knowledge of such branches of industry. The water- wheel has been erected by Mr. Minet, an engineer who formerly resided in Adelaide, and who has proved in the execution of his work that he is a most ingenious and skilful artizan.
The Eureka Company is composed of capitalists and working partners. Amongst the former, Henry Solomons, Esq., J.P., of Bombala, is the most considerable.
The works have taken much longer in their construction than was originally calculated, but, as there was but a small portion of the piping to be laid, and the lighter portion of the river dam to be laid down, when we visited the works eight days ago, it may now be considered completed. The practicability of lifting the water the requisite height can then be tested; of this, however, several experienced engineers have given their favourable opinion. The works when complete will have cost about £2700. This is the largest work of the kind undertaken in this colony, and every one most cordially join in wishing it all the success it deserves.[239]

A newspaper article published in 1892 states that "years ago Dr Otway endeavoured to elevate water up to the high land, but floods destroyed the water-wheel erected to do the pumping."[240]



January 30 Otway gives medical evidence for a court case regarding a death in Bombala, stating " that he had made a post mortem examination, and had no doubt that the death was caused by asphyxia or suffocation. He had analysed the contents of the stomach, and did not detect any poison. Asphyxia, he added, however, would not produce rigidity, and he was clearly of opinion that in this case rigidity did not exist."[241][242] The issue of whether the body was rigid seems to have been a contentious one. Dr Ashenheim, the doctor who examined the body shortly after the death, wrote to the NSW Medical Board regarding this issue, looking for support regarding the link between asphyxia and rigidity of certain muscles around the jaw. At one stage he refers to "...Dr. Otway, an unqualified man..."[46]


May 21 I can refer to one instance, mentioned by my friend, Dr. Otway, the owner of a Chilian mill at Steiglitz, of even mercury having been carried away by the stream in a state of very minute division, and having been found at a distance from the mill, deposited, and after repeated additions agglomerated into visible globules.
When I last met Dr. Otway, of Steiglitz, that enterprizing and intelligent gentleman assured me that per-oxide of manganese is found in considerable quantity at Steiglitz. It occurs in veins several inches thick, running parallel to, and frequently in immediate contact with auriferous quartz.[243]

May 26 "Dr. Otway" arrives at Sydney on the Hunter from Merrimbula.[244]


June 21 MORUYA.—THE SILVER MINES—These mines are at last in a fair way of having their resources developed under circumstances which augur the most encouraging results. Dr Otway, one of the seven travelling members of the Royal Geographical Society of England is at present on a visit to the neighbourhood for the purpose of instituting a strict research into their capabilities. This gentleman means to employ a month's sojourn among us in opening up with an efficient staff of operatives these neglected diggings, and in rigidly analyzing their mineral contents. The opinion of Dr O. as to the richness of the various ores, so far as he can form a judgment from, as yet, a brief examination, is of the most favourable character, he also anticipates the discovery of other mines, equally productive, in the immediate neighbourhood.—Braidwood Observer, June 21[245]

June 26 Silver Mining Company closed on Saturday last. Two thousand shares were offered for allotment, and the number applied for was about 2500; the shares will consequently be appropriated ratably. It is stated that a very favourable opinion as to the richness of the mine has been given by Dr. Otway, a gentleman who has had extensive experience in the working of silver mines in South America, and who has recently proceeded to Moruya for the purpose of examining the lode.[246]


July 2 THE SILVER MINE AT MORUYA.—Operations have already commenced on the Darkies' Reef. The shaft sunk a few years ago, and some one hundred and forty feet deep, was found to contain a depth of thirty-six feet of water; about a half of this quantity has been pumped out. It is understood that the shaft will be slabbed so soon as the water shall have been got out—and we may expect that they will commence in earnest the development of the hidden treasures of this reef. It is not, indeed, too much to hope that the presence of such a man as Dr. Otway in the neighborhood may lead to the discovery of other sources of mineral wealth equally promising as that of the Darkies' Reef.--Braidwood Observer.[247]

July 2 THE MORUYA SILVER MINES.-These mines are at last in a fair way of having their resources developed under circumstances which augur the most encouraging' results. The scientific Dr. Otway, one of the seven travelling members of the Royal Geographical Society of England, is at present on a visit to the neighbourhood, for the purpose of instituting a strict research into their capabilities. This gentleman, who unites to great scientific knowledge as great urbanity of manners, arrived on Saturday last, in company with Mr. Henry Manning, at the residence of' W. T. Collett, Esq., J. P., where also, as being in the close vicinity of the mines, he has been invited to make his residence during his stay in the district. Dr. Otway means to employ his month's sojourn among us in opening up, with an efficient staff of operatives, these neglected diggings, and in rigidly analyzing their mineral contents. The opinion of Dr. Otway as to the richness of the various ores, so far as he can form a judgement from, as yet, a brief examination, is of the most favourable character; he also anticipates the discovery of other mines, equally productive, in the immediate neighbourhood. – Correspondent of the Braidwood Observer. [47]

July 9 Silver Mine at Moruya. — The following extract from a letter received from Dr. Otway with reference to the Silver Mine at Moruya, has been kindly furnished to us for publication. Dr. Otway says. — I have been to bottom of shaft 134 feet, and found a splendid lode 4 feet 6 inches thick. I have never seen a better prospect, and failure can only result through the fault of the company.[48]

July 16 "Dr. Ottway" arrives at Sydney on the Kembla coastwise from Clyde River and Ulladulla.[248]

July 22 "Dr. Ottaway" arrives at Hobson's Bay on the Wonga Wonga from Sydney.[49]

July 26 THE SILVER MINE AT MORUYA. - We have reported (says the Sydney Morning Herald) that a valuable silver mine had been discovered near the Moruya river, about two hundred miles south of Sydney. A private company having been formed for the working of the mine, a lease of the land was obtained from the Crown. Subsequently a moiety of the promoters' interest in the mine was offered to the public, and the applications for shares were considerably in excess of the quantity offered. The more recent reports from the mine have fully corroborated the previous statements as to its richness. Dr. Otway (a gentleman who has had great experience in the working of silver mines in South America and other countries) has recently visited Moruya for the purpose of examining and making a geological survey of the property. He reports that a shaft has been sunk on the lode to the depth of 140 feet, and that the lode is four feet six inches in width, four tons of the ore has reached Sydney, and a further quantity ii shortly expected. Samples of the ore are about to be sent to the Mint for analysis. The uniform opinion of those who are conversant with silver mining is that the ore is of very great value. An influential directory has been appointed by the new company, and under their instructions arrangements are being made for a vigorous exploration of the mine.[249]

July 12 The Braidwood Observer says that several samples of ore, from the new silver mine, near Moruya, according to assays that have been made, have given as much as one hundred ounces of silver to the ton, besides gold, with which it is associated, of one ounce and upwards to a ton of ore.[250]

July 30 There has been some inquiry for the shares of the Moruya Silver Mine, and the shares on which £5 has been paid have changed hands at £7 per share.[251]


August 9 Moruya Silver Mining Company's shares have been enquired for, and the £1 shares have been sold at £2 premium.[252]

August 21 Moruya Silver Mining Company's shares have changed hands since allotment at a premium of £2 per share. The mine is reported to be very rich, and the holders of shares are very sanguine of its success.[253]

August 30 Mr Reed, the mining captain of the Moruya silver mines, has arrived at the Works, and operations, which had been suspended after Dr Otway's departure, have been resumed.[254]


September 13 Otway signs the blue dye patent application. The witnesses are A. H. Louis and Richard Forrest, both of whom have Melbourne addresses.[255]

September 14 Otway rides from Geelong to Ballarat.[50]

September 15 No. 571. WILLIE BEAUCLERC OTWAY, of Melbourne, doctor of medicine, has applied for a patent for An invention for a blue dye for manufacturing purposes, and has deposited his specification at this office on the 15th day of September, 1862.[256]

September 15 Otway meets up with Matthew Widdop in Ballarat.[50]

September 16 Otway and Widdop leave for St Arnaud at 2am, travelling to Dunolly that day.[50]

September 17 Otway and Widdop arrive at St Arnaud at 4pm.[50]

September to December According to Widdop's diary and notebook, Otway and Widdop spend this time experimenting with extracting silver from local ores at St Arnaud. They appear to be working cooperatively with others at St Arnaud, including Chapman (probably George Chapman), Masters, Lewis (probably C.F. Lewis), Higgins, Dobbs, Clow, Wright, Clarke, Chave, Youngson (probably George Youngsen), and Macredie. While there, they are visited by Louis (probably A.H. Louis) and Dow (probably James F. Dow), and by Otway's wife Rebecca and their son, Willie.[50]

September 19 St. Arnaud Mines.—Amongst the arrivals lately attracted to St. Arnaud by the report of fresh mineral discoveries is Dr. Otway, of former quartz-crushing fame, who expresses himself most sanguine as to their value. The silver he pronounces to be almost as pure as Chinese Sycee silver. The black minerals, which have so long baffled the miners and prevented a proper amalgamation of the gold, he undertakes to treat properly. This mineral combination is, we believe, known at St. Arnaud as "black stuff," which has caused so much trouble and loss on the Chrysolite Hill there.-Maryborough Advertiser, Sept. 19.[257]

September 20 Doctor Otway found a suitable piece of ground for mining silver to the north westward of the township, & therefore applied to Mr Raven the mining surveyor...[50]

September 22 Silver. — The silver mining mania is setting in strong in St. Arnaud, five leases of 50 acres each have been applied for to-day (Monday), and Dr. Otway has established a temporary test and assay office at Messrs. Wright and Co.'s Quartz Crushing Works. The areas of ground marked off for silver mining, exceed the total area worked and held for gold mining purposes.— M. and D. Advertiser.[258]

September 23 Sent a telegram to Melbourne for a draft on the Bank of Victoria for money to pay the surveyor for the lease of 200 acres.
Received two letters one from Mr Louis [probably A.H. Louis] for Dr Otway, and one from mother for myself.[50]

September 25 Dr left St Arnaud at 9 a.m for Dunolly to telegraph to Melbourne for a draft to deposit in payment of the lease.[50]

September 26 Silver. — The silver mining mania is setting in strong in St. Arnaud, five leases of 50 acres each have been applied for to-day (Monday), and Dr. Otway has established a temporary test and assay office at Messrs. Wright and Co.'s Quartz Crushing Works. The areas of ground marked off for silver mining, exceed the total area worked and held for gold mining purposes.— M. and D. Advertiser.[259]

September 28 Doctor & Mr Louis both arrived here this morning...[50]

September 30 Went with Mr Raven who traversed the five leases making the nearest of them pass just behind Clow's machine & altogether improving on the Doctor's plan.
In the evening the agreement was signed making over the claim on the Argentine reef to A. H. Louis on behalf of the others of the sum £100 be paid to C.F. Lewis, G. Clarke & G. Dobbs before 5th November 1862.[50]


October 9 Some blacks danced a corrobboree outside the hotel last night.[50]

October 14 About 10 oclock I became unable either to talk or understand & whilst walking fell down insensible & remained so for 6 or 7 minutes during which time Doctors Otway & Loch came & looked to me. Came to the hotel at 1 oclock & went to bed. Widdop remains in bed for two days.[50]

October 18 ...Dow arrived 3 oclock.[50]

October 20 ...Doctor, Mr Dow & myself went to the northern line of the leases, saw the places suitable for erecting machinery & sites for dams. There are 8 working reefs passing thro’ the leases.[50]

October 23 This evening Dr was to deliver a lecture "An Evening with the Sciences" but he became faint & ill directly he stood on the platform. He therefore could not give the lecture...[50]

October 24 Doctor did not get to sleep until after 7 oclock this morning; Mr Dow has been up with him all night.
Washed off Youngson’s material and put the stone from the Chrysolite Reef in today.
Doctor has not been out of his bed today.[50]

October 25 Retorted the amalgam from Youngson’s claim which took me till 9 oclock at night.
Doctor had dressed & taken a walk when I returned.[50]

October 26 Doctor came into my room at 3 oclock this morning with a sheet wrapped round him, telling me that strange voices had called him from his bed & that his life had been attempted.
I called Mr McRoberts who sat with Dr till 6. Doctor imagined he heard voices in the wind, which was becoming very hard. Went with him to Mr Chapman of whom he wanted to borrow a pistol, but did not get one. He would not sleep in the hotel & Mr Masters watched him at Mr Chapman’s.[50]

October 27 Went to see Dr at 6 & found him asleep after a very bad night. He slept most of the day & his memory was restored but he is very weak.[50]

October 28 Doctor has been better today since he has been at St Arnaud.
Received a telegram from Melbourne, Mrs Otway had not arrived on Monday [October 27] from Geelong.[50]

October 29 Doctor started for Dunolly at 9 & met his wife & child at the Avoca. They had met with an accident near Tarrangower.[50]

October 30 Mrs Otway is very stiff & sore this morning.[50]


November 2 Went for a walk with Willie [probably Otway's son] to Master’s hut in the morning.[50]

November 10 This is a public holiday; all the shops, stores & hotels being closed. There have been football matches & races in which Charley Lewis won 2 buckets of ale from Mr Jones, who was carried on men’s shoulders to the hotel where he was made to sing a song "Cheer boys cheer". About 30 diggers then sang with great spirit "Rule Britannia", "God save the Queen". There was a quadrille party in the long room this evening & some very nice singing. It has on the whole been a national holiday. I went to see a little bird near Sebastopol this morning, & calcined stones from the reef at Mr Chapman’s.[50]

November 11 The dancing finished at 5 oclock this morning with " God save the Queen".
To the west of the old township about 6 miles there is a quantity of copper of which doctor analysed a piece.[50]

November 20 Doctor started for Melbourne with all the other gentlemen at 6 this morning.[50]

November 26 I have been to Pyramid hill & thereabouts with Mrs Otway & Willie. Climbed to the top of the Pyramid.[50]


December 3 Mrs Otway got a letter from Dr.[50]

December 4 Very disappointed in Dr not coming. Took 2 pills.[50]

This appears to be the last diary entry. The back pages of the notebook contain notes, including some about gardening and chemistry, a sketch of what may be the leases, and some notes that may be about Otway:

  • "You scamps, whelps"
  • "No I do not know the man Sharkey."
  • Asked Mr Ch. for pistol
  • I and he had witnessed dreadful orgie in the hotel.
  • Threw a slip of paper on which he had written near dam.[50]
Notice of application for letters patent.[260]

December 4 Otway signs the silver extraction patent application. The witness is A. H. Louis.[255]

December 23 No. 601.WILLIE BEAUCLERC OTWAY, of St. Arnaud, in the colony of Victoria, doctor of medicine, has applied for a patent for An improved process for extracting metallic silver from the ores of silver, and has deposited his specification at this office, on the 23rd day of December, 1862. Chief Secretary's Office, Melbourne, 29th December, 1862.[261]


February 23 THE SILVER MINING COMPANY'S WORKS, ST. ARNAUD. On Monday, the 23rd inst., the interesting and novel ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of the first reverberatory blast furnace ever erected for silver mining purposes in the colony of Victoria, was performed with great eclat, and consequent high glee, in the new and thriving suburb of Argenta, about one mile from the central part of St. Arnaud. A large number of persons were present, and the large staff of workmen employed, all mustered to assist. The property of the Alpha Silver Mining Co. consists of five leases of fifty acres each, running along the line of the Argentine Reef, and west ward to the celebrated mine of Edwards and Co which has been recently incorporated into another company known as the St Arnaud Silver Mines Association. The Alpha is, however a private company, projected originally by Dr Otway and Mr Forrest, with whom are associated some of the leading merchants of Melbourne. They propose to test thoroughly the argentiferous lodes in their property, and are erecting an experimental plant for the due manipulation of the ores. The furnaces, which are an indispensable adjunct in silver mining operations, are about to be built on the side of the hill facing the residence of Dr Otway and Mr Forrest. In excavating the foundations, a vein of auriferous quartz was struck, which is supposed to lead to the Warwickshire Reef. The stone which was intended for the foundation of the furnace building, was a rough-dressed block of schist, and was laid by Mrs R. Forrest, the wife of the resident manager of the company who, after placing some mortar under and around it, dashed the customary bottle of champagne on the stone, and, placing her foot firmly thereon, declared it well and truly laid; and in a clear and firm voice, wished prosperity and success to the Association.—M. & D. Advertiser.[52]

March 23 A notice appears in The Star stating that Otway's patent for extracting metallic silver from silver ore is "to be proceeded with".[262]

March 24 The St. Arnaud silver lodes are now receiving a due amount of attention, and several of the amalgamated claims thereon are being worked with spirit. Where the gold is in sufficient quantity to leave a profit, this alone is sought to be retained, and most of the silver is wasted; but with the new companies this last is to be the principal object, and Dr. Otway is erecting a plant for the ex traction of the different metals on some new plan, which he has secured by patent. Some of the ore is said to contain as much as 1,000oz. of silver to the ton, and, with anything like proper treatment, such a yield would pay enormously, even without the small percentage of gold.[263]

Date uncertain As the church triumphed in the last year, so do we find Satan doing his evil work in this one. A man (I will obviously omit names and places) had had a lawsuit with his mate, and there was a bitter hatred created over that curse of all nations — money. The villain of the two lay in wait for his mate, and in the darkness of the night split his skull open with a spade. The victim died, and the villain got only five years. I fancy it was a new doctor on the place, named Dr. Otway, who attended the injured one, but the blow was fatal. There were some remarkably mean sneaks of thieves about.[264]

May In May, 1863, Dr. Otway, a mining expert, wrote as follows "The reefs in the Pyrenees have been but poorly prospected. At Moonambel reefs of great richness have been found on the surface, but have been abandoned owing to the expense of sinking. For instance, on the Slaughter-yard reef, the prospecting claim, which yielded at times at the rate of 60 ozs. to the ton, from which many thousand pounds' worth of gold was extracted, was abandoned after two years' labor by the prospectors at 140 feet, they having exhausted their means." The same authority stated that at Donkey Hill and Middle Creek there were scores of reefs, that the Blue Mountain reef showed manganese in high proportions, and that traces of silver and bismuth were found in the Moonambel reefs.[265]

June 25 ST. ARNAUD. (FROM THE MARYBOROUGH ADVERTISER, JULY 1.) THE SILVER MINES. - On Thursday last, Dr. Otway, of the Alpha Silver Company, started their engine for the first time, in order to test the capabilities of Balfour's patent pulverizer. A large number of Melbourne gentlemen were on the ground to witness its performance, which was undoubtedly a perfect success. The material operated upon was so minutely pulverized, that it has not perhaps incorrectly been compared to smoke. No one who has seen the finest tailings from ordinary crushing-mills can imagine the capabilities of this simple and clever little piece of mechanism.[53]

July 3 At St. Arnaud, mining for silver is all the rage. A correspondent of the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser writes:—"Gold is with some only an adjunct,—a something that must be taken to get the silver. Hundreds of acres on silver lease are under application; every likely spot within miles of St. Arnaud township, in due course will, ere long, become private property. It is to be hoped the anticipated results of our two great companies will come up to expectations; should they be realised. St. Arnaud indeed has a future before it, unparalleled in the history of the colony. The St. Arnaud Silver Association purpose treating their ores unburnt and the process of amalgamation will be effected by means of the "Cornish Buddle," which it is expected will collect both the gold and silver at a cost, estimated not to exceed about three shillings per ton. The American Reef, included in this company's lease, is looking remarkably well, and an association has been formed on the company's boundary northwards, to sink for this lode, which, if reached, is expected to prove remunerative." Our old Stieglitz friend, Dr Otway, is at St. Arnaud experimenting inter alia with a new crushing apparatus called Balfour's patent Pulveriser. "A large number of Melbourne gentlemen were on the ground to witness its performance, which was undoubtedly a perfect success. The material operated upon was so minutely pulverised, that it has not perhaps incorrectly been compared to smoke. No one who has seen the finest tailings from ordinary crushing mills can imagine the capabilities of this simple clever little piece of mechanism. In full work it will reduce about two tons per hour. The only questions as to its eventually superseding the present cumberous and expensive machinery are,—"Will it keep up its reputation for any lengthened period, and can all wear and tear be replaced at anything like the average incurred by machinery generally?" [266]

August 1 CRYSTALS OF SILVER.-Messrs. Masters and Co.'s claim on the Silver-hill is also worthy of inspection; the crystals of silver shine in the walls like diamonds. Hundreds of tons of these rich ores have been thrown away on St. Arnaud, from necessity, the miners having been forced hitherto to crush their material by the gold process, to meet present wants. It is to be hoped this state of things will shortly assume new features. It will not be the faults of Dr. Otway, or the New Silver Association, if it does not.[267]

October 1 THE SILVER MINES OF ST. ARNAUD. (FROM THE MARYBOROUGH ADVERTISER.) So much has of late been said and written about the silver mines of St. Arnaud that the results of a fugitive visit to them can have but little weight or interest, looking at those results from simply a mining point of view. The fifth chapter of the work published at The Argus office, under the title of The Gold Fields of Victoria, entered fully into the geological and mineralogical details relating to the silver-bearing quartz of St. Arnaud. But at the time of the visit of The Argus special correspondent, whose communications form together the book here mentioned, the real working of the mines had only just commenced; but there is now established such a system of operation, under steady and experienced supervision, that the real character of these silver reefs will speedily become known to the public, and will be of vast interest to the man of science and the legitimate speculator. To the northward of the town, about a mile and a half the silver mines are to be seen; and first I come upon the works which have for a time been under the management of Dr. Otway, and which were altogether standing still at the time of my visit, owing to some circumstances, which appeared io have an air of mystery about them, but which did not appear to weaken in the slightest degree the belief of competent judges in the highly argentiferous nature of the stone from the reefs around. At these works is erected the now famous Balfour's pulveriser in a manner that would do credit to a builder of any country in reference to the "setting" of machinery... There is a large laboratory, several furnaces, and a lot of retorts and things that made the place look for all the world like that painting of Teniers, in the National Gallery, without the alchemist in his white beard and black skullcap. The ground comprehended in the lease belonging to this company, and the company itself, will yet be fruitful in the way of money-making, it is warmly to be hoped, and much to be believed. The works are well worth a visit for their own sake alone.[268]

December 1 The success of the St. Arnaud Silver Mines Association [not Otway's company] has induced the promotion of a new association — ' The Frieberg Silver Smelting and General Mining,' St. Arnaud. The claims and machinery lately under the charge of Dr. Otway are included in the proposed company. The nominal capital is £45,000. For full particulars we refer to our advertising columns. The provisional board com prises some of the most substantial commercial names in Melbourne.[54]


February 10 In a letter to The Argus, the Chairman of the Raywood Progress Committee, Charles Stillwell, M. D., denigrates the opinion of the local mining surveyor regarding the prospects of the Raywood goldfields, preferring Otway's unfailing optimism:

If your readers will do me the favour to compare the following opinion of Dr. Otway, whom I regret I have not the pleasure of knowing personally, with Mr Surveyor Hart's re marks. It will save both them and myself the tedium of any commentary on my part. Upon that gentleman inspecting this gold- field on Wednesday last, he was enabled to express a good opinion both of the yield and permanency of the workings in this district, and stated his intention of revisiting Ray wood, with the view of further investigating the excellent indications he observed of the richness and extent of the quartz reefs now being mined for.
Such an opinion, Sir, from such a well known authority, is surely of far greater value than the mining surveyor's conjectures.[269][Notes 13]
Notice in St Arnaud Mercury March 1864[270]

March 26 to April 23 Otway's name is included in a list of miners in arrears on their lease rent at St Arnaud. The area of Otway's lease is given as just over 47 acres.[270]

April 23 "Otway Mrs" appears in the St Arnaud Post Office letter-list.[271]

June 29 In an article about pollution of a creek near Steiglitz by mining (not by Otway), H. Dennis, an "engineer or engine-driver" who had been at Steiglitz for seven years by then, says he was living about 800 yards from "Otway's old mill" and that "Otway did not run his tailings into the creek, but into a dam, and stopped there."[272]

July 23 to August 13 Ulrich's Report on the Gold and Silver Bearing Reefs of the District of St. Arnaud[55] is reprinted in the St Arnaud Mercury, apparently in full.[273]

August 27 "Otway Mr W B" appears in the St Arnaud Post Office letter-list.[274]

Notice in St Arnaud Mercury November 1864[275]

November 12 The star attraction at a fundraiser for the Poor Box is a lecture by "Mr R Forrest" telling stories about "Three years with Dr. Otway; showing the pleasures, dangers, and vicissitudes of life on the Prairies, Mountains and Deserts of the Far West."[275]


February 2 Dr Otway, who was one of the very earliest quartz prospectors in Ballarat, is now engaged in testing a lode at Blackwood, which contains gold, silver, and antimony. The experiments are on a small scale, and have not as yet gone far enough to determine the actual value of the lode.[57]

October 10 to October 18 In advertisements announcing the formation of the Alliance Quartz Crushing Company Limited in Tasmania, the site for the mine is identified as having "two excellent water frontages, viz., the Tower Hill Rivulet, and Otway's Creek..."[276]



July 21 There is one great requirement of which Blackwood is deficient, and that is a medical man; at present there is none, and were it not the gratuitous services of Dr. Otway, on urgent occasions, there is no telling what would be done. Those services, kindly given, are a great trespass on the studies of this distinguished gentleman, who is no stranger to fame in distant lands, and has endeared himself to the residents by his simplicity of manner and readiness at all times to deliver lectures for every philanthropic and useful object. He is at present engaged in scientific pursuits and geological research, for the study of which Black- wood offers a wide field. It has been the much prized and privileged fortune of the writer to have been afforded an inspection of the laboratory of this enthusiastic votary of science. It is situate on Golden Point, and on entering, one imagines himself transported into the chambers of some of the alchemists of old, among furnaces, crucibles, retorts, and every conceivable implement of chemistry and electricity, with the aid of which the operator has found out some of the most astounding and important discoveries of chemical and metallurgical science. Amongst the latter is the beautiful invention of dissolving gold by chemical action, and his process of extracting gold from tailings. The remembrance of this visit, and the cordial friendship of the worthy Doctor will not easily be forgotten.[277] This extract is from an article about Blackwood in general. The article includes material regarding gold mining, but not in relation to Otway.


August 26 There is a great necessity for a medical man here [at Blackwood]; as at present none is to be obtained on Blackwood, even in the most urgent cases, except the gratuitous services of Dr. Otway, who does not practice, and which are not always to be obtained, this gentleman having other important matters which require his attention.[278]

August 31 In an article about crushing yields at Blackwood, one of the mines sends a sample of their tailings to Otway for analysis, which he reports "as having so small a per centage of gold in them that he is positive no machine can save better." The gold extraction process used by the mine was not his patented method.[58]


September 1 "Dr. Otway" departs Melbourne on board the Coorong, in the cabin.[279]

September 3 "Dr. Otway" arrives in Adelaide on board the Coorong. [279]

September 12 "Dr. Otway" departs Adelaide on board the Aldinga, in the cabin.[280]

September 14 "Dr. Otway" arrives in Melbourne on board the Aldinga.[281]

September 27 The following extract from a private letter from Adelaide will be read with intererest:–
"I'm happy to say that several [unintelligible] decided to run over and see for themselves, among whom is Dr. Ottway. I had a long conversation with him on the subject, and he gave me to understand that though his usual charges are 10 guineas a-day, that he would inspect and report upon the Mines generally in the colony for two-thirds of that amount—the report to be made public through the medium of the Melbourne papers. Two gentlemen from Melbourne interested in Mining affairs endeavored to persuade him to accompany them at once, but this he could not do at present, as he is now employed by a Company inspecting some new Mines in Victoria, and left for that purpose some days ago."[282]

September 29 The imports list in The Argus includes, on the Coorong, from Adelaide: "1 bag bismuth, Dr. Otway"[283]


October 17 Dr. Otway gave a lecture last night in the Episcopalian Church, on Baxter's work. He treated the subject from a historical point of view. Some of his remarks were very trenchant. I have not time, at present, to pass any comments upon the lecture, but shall do so in my next. I must also reserve any further remarks which I may have to offer, with reference to the lectures of the Rev. G. O. Vance, for another communication. The church was crowded last night; and, as the lecture was for the benefit of the Kyneton Hospital, a considerable sum must have been realised.[60]

October 24 Dr. Otway delivered a lecture at the Royal Mail Hotel [Blackwood], on Wednesday evening, in behalf of the funds of the Kyneton Hospital – H. Lawrence, Esq., J.P., in the chair. The lecture was well attended. The science of tickling was the subject of the lecture, and the Doctor treated it in a humorous, and at the same time instructive, manner.[61]

October 31 DR. OTWAY'S LECTURE. To the Editor of the Bacchus Marsh Express. DEAR SIR—Reading in last week's Express a report of the lecture given by Dr. Otway, I see your reporter did not mention the caution he gave the people of Blackwood against slandering all who come among them. If there were more such true men, slanderous reports could soon be put down:—

When, by night, the frogs are croaking,
Kindle but a taper's fire;
Ha! how soon they all are silent!
Thus Truth silences the Liar.

One, at least, of the Doctor's audience thanks him sincerely for his kindness and bravery. It takes a brave man to speak the truth, when lying seems the order of the day. In petty slander there is nothing said that one can make them prove; as the Doctor said, "It is the whisper, the smile, and sneer," and a person's character was blackened. It seems very easy to whisper away an honest name, and would require a very gentle spirit to be able to say, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" I am very sorry to hear that Doctor Otway will shortly leave Blackwood. Brave man, with true Christian principles may he find a hearty welcome wherever he goes. Yours respectfully. T. Marsh. Blackwood, 31st October, 1860.[284]


November 10 The last two days that the work was carried on at the shaft, the men sent up a part of a thick seam of bisulphuret of iron, a portion of which was submitted to Dr. Ford, of Melbourne, for analysis. The result was as follows- "The sample of pyrites submitted: to ins yields, by assay, at the rate of eight and a half pennyweights (troy) of gold per ton, G. Ford, assayer, &e." Whilst other samples submitted to Dr. Otway, of Blackwood, for analysis, gave upon the average from one ounce to two and a half ounces of gold per ton.[59]

November 10 The Wesleyan denomination held a tea meeting in their Chapel, at Simmons' Reef, on Monday night, The Chapel was comfortably filled. Dr. Otway presided as master of the ceremonies, and under his able leadership, the proceedings passed off in a pleasant and entertaining manner.[285]

November 16 BLACKWOOD. (FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.) 22nd November, 1866. THE public meeting referred to in my last communication, with reference to the farewell demonstration to be given to Mr. Lawrence and Doctor Otway, came off on Friday night. Mr. Scott, agent for the Bank of Australasia here, occupied the chair. There was a fair attendance, and the proceedings were characterized by the most perfect unanimity. It was resolved to present Mr. Lawrence with an illuminated address, expressive of the high opinion in which he is held as a private gentleman, and of the appreciation of his services as a Justice of the Peace. It was also resolved to present the Doctor with a purse of sovereigns, as a tangible proof of the esteem entertained for him, and as a slight recognition of the good which he has done, both privately and publicly. Both presentations are to be made on an early day, and the occasion is to be commemorated by a festival in one or other of the hotels. From the feeling which is being exhibited in the matter, I feel assured that it will terminate in a manner creditable to our public spirit.[286]

November 17 It is proposed to fete two gentlemen residing here prior to their leaving the district, The gentlemen alluded to are Henry Lawrence, Esq,, J.P,, and Dr. Otway. The former is an old resident here, and is about shortly to leave the colony for England, to enjoy his olium cum dignitate. Dr. Otway is about to proceed to Adelaide, where, it understood, he is to be engaged for some time in prosecuting inquiries of a metallurgical nature, Mr. Lawrence is much and deservedly respected both in his private and public capacity, and will be greatly missed in the district. As a justice of the peace he has been most attentive to the duties which have devolved upon him. As for the Doctor, so much has been said about him from time to time of a commendatory nature, that I will not add anything further at present. There is to be a public meeting to-morrow night (Friday), to mature the movement. When it does take place I have no hesitation in saying that it will be a success.[287]

November 19 Otway gives a public lecture "at the Wesleyan Church, Simmons's Reef, Blackwood, in aid of the funds of the Kyneton Hospital. The subject was- 'Baxter's Napoleon, and Sensational religion." Some highlights:

  • The lecturer then alluded to the evil effect that sensational religion has upon weak minds, as acting upon and exciting the nervous system. You might assemble a number of people together, and by working them up to a pitch of religious frenzy, make them shout alike either for the Koran, the Bible, or the Sword.
  • With regard to Napoleon being the Antichrist, the idea was absurd. There was not the slightest foundation for such a supposition. He was certainly an eminent and a great man, as many have been before, and will pass away like them, but far from being the monster he is represented to be. He has done more for France and civilisation, literature and science, than any monarch who had been before him. He was, no doubt, more politic than wise.
  • Apart from her power as a warlike nation, the Anglo Saxon race wields a power by virtue of its literature, science and art, and purity of religion, the influence of which is found and felt throughout every nation and every clime where civilisation exists...
  • One more point, and he would dismiss the book. One great power that was to bring about the great advent of Antichrist was the Catholic Religion.
  • The lecturer then took the opportunity of warning again his audience against sectarianism, and, above all things, the great propensity for slander, in a few telling remarks.
  • He asked them to avoid grog shops.
  • To build a hall, no matter how humble, so as it was their own, for the purpose of free discussion...
  • ...and, in conclusion, said, do all you can to promote good feeling and brotherly love amongst you. Destroy sectarianism, don't believe in Baxter, and remember me 'when I am gone.' The lecture was delivered in the worthy Doctor's best style, and at different times elicited great applause from the audience.[63]

November 24 Dr. Otway gave another of his anti-Baxter lectures on Monday night last, in the Wesleyan Chapel, Simmons's Reef, on behalf of that really useful institution the Kyneton Hospital. He touched upon doctrinal and historical points, and showed from Baxter's work that the author had not only perverted history but that he perverted scripture as well. The Doctor further proved from Baxter's own arguments that he was a materialist, and made his deity an unknown God. The lecturer was unfortunately indisposed, and did not treat the subject at such length as he otherwise would have done. His next lecture for the same benevolent object will be on the geology and mineralogy of Blackwood, with its minerals and metals, and the metallurgic treatment of the same, that being his concluding and farewell lecture. (We have received a very full report of Dr. Otway's lecture upon Baxter's book, from an esteemed correspondent, and will endeavour to find room for it in our next.-ED. B. M. Express.][62]

November 26 A LECTURE was delivered at the School-room, Barry's Reef, on Monday evening, the 26th ult., by Dr. Otway, in aid of the funds of the Kyneton Hospital, the subject being–"The Geology of Blackwood, and the Metallurgical Treatment of Ores," H. Lawrence, Esq., in the chair.[64]LECTURE ON GEOLOGY. (1866, December 8). The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 27, 2015, from [246]</ref>

November 30 The St. George's Reef Company have started their machine, and have added steam to it, it having previously been driven by water power. The christening took place on Monday, Miss Lawrence, daughter of our worthy J.P., naming it the St. George and Dragon, and our old friend, Dr. Otway, turning on steam. The company provided munificently for their friends, after which Dr. Otway gave a very instructive and also an amusing lecture on the mineralogy and geology of Barry's Reef, for the benefit of the Kyneton Hospital; he had a crowded house. This is the third lecture the doctor has given for the same charitable purpose. The doctor is about to take his departure for Swan River, to reside there permanently.[67]

November 30 The presentations and banquet to Mr. Lawrence and Dr. Otway come off to-night. The presentations are to take place at the Golden Point School-room, and the Rev. Mr. Ashe is to make them. This done, the banquet will be held in the Bull and Mouth Hotel, when it is expected that not less than a hundred will sit down. Our stipendiary magistrate, Mr. Shuter, is to do the honours of the table as Chairman, supported by Mr. Baber as Vice-chairman, Mr. Candage, the caterer for the occasion, will no doubt do ample justice to the cuisine, and a very pleasant evening is anticipated.[288]

November 30 As I anticipated, the banquet in honour of Messrs. Lawrence and Otway came off on Friday night with great eclat. The presentations took place in the Golden Point School-room, in presence of a numerous and respectable audience. The Rev. Mr. Ashe, Episcopalian clergyman, presented the addresses in a suitable and becoming manner. The one to Mr. Lawrence was couched in highly complimentary language, and enumerated in brief but expressive terms, the many public and private merits of that gentleman; it also bore testimony to the unfeigned regret which was generally felt at his leaving the district. The other address, in favour of Dr. Otway, was some what similar, the only difference being that it referred more exclusively to the Doctor in his private and professional capacities. His address was enhanced by a purse of ninety sovereigns no insignificant souvenir, considering the numerous eleemosynary and other calls which are made upon us. Both gentlemen returned thanks in a valedictory style, and expressed themselves as much gratified with the display of feeling towards them. The addresses were chastely illuminated by Mr. Magnus, our Mining Surveyor, who is also an excellent caligraphist. Immediately after the presentations were over, there was an adjournment to the Bull and Mouth Hotel, where mine host (Mr. J. B. Candage) had a well spread board to receive all comers. Up- wards of sixty sat down to an excellent supper, which gave complete satisfaction to all who par- took of it. Charles Shuter, Esq., P.M., occupied the chair, supported by Messrs. E. Baber and D. G. Stobie as croupiers. After the usual preliminary toasts, which were done ample justice to, the guests of the evening were pledged in such a manner as to leave no doubt that their entertainers were perfectly sincere in paying them the parting compliment which they did, When the party broke up, it was admitted on all sides that a more jolly or pleasant evening had not been spent on Blackwood.[65]

November 30 On Friday, at the Schoolroom, Golden Point, a double presentation took place. First, an address, numerously signed by the inhabitants, to Mr Henry Lawrence, J.P.; also one to Dr. Otway, accompanied by a purse containing 90 sovereigns, after which a banquet was given at Camlaye's hotel, to which the guests with their friends repaired. Our respected warden, Mr Charles Shuter, occupied the chair, the two vice chairs being filled by Messrs E. Babor and D. G. Stobin, respectively. Nearly 60 sat down to dinner, which was exceedingly well served. The company dispersed at a late or rather early hour in the morning.[68]


December 3 The doctor took his departure on Monday, for Swan River...[68]

December 15 Dr. Otway, in his recent lecture on "The Geology of Blackwood," gave it as his decided opinion that its reefs were second to none. Presuming that the Doctor is qualified to give the opinion which he has done, and that he is correct in his promises, I feel that I am quite satisfied in saying that we are certainly destined to advance.[289]

December 22 CORRESPONDENCE. To the Editor of the Express. Sir,—Blackwood has feted its worthy and distinguished resident, Dr. Otway, upon his departure from amongst us. And also testified its appreciation by an affectionate farewell, together with a substantial token of his services. But something else remains now to perform. It is, no doubt, fresh in the recollection of many that attended his lectures, that he most earnestly desired the people of Blackwood to establish a Mechanics' Institute, for their general information as well as social advancement. Too much cannot be said in advocating this great requirement amongst us... Why should Black wood not have its "Otway Institute"... And, lastly of all, let our motto and watchword be "THE OTWAY INSTITUTE" Yours truly, F. H. BYRNE. Nuggetty Gully, Blackwood. December 10, 1866.[290]

December 24 Our community is about to lose a gentleman who can scarcely be suffered to depart without notice. The career of William Beauclerc Otway, M.D., before his arrival here in 1853, was somewhat remarkable. He had been many years in the service of the United States Government, geologically surveying different portions of that continent. He was subsequently sent to Siberia, the gold mines in which country he scientifically inspected, afterwards pursuing similar investigations in California and Oregon. After four years' labour in the latter places, he concluded that work in 1852, and sailed for Victoria. He may be said to have been the first to introduce quartz-crushing to this country, and the well remembered old wind mill erected by him in 1853 on the Black- hill of Ballarat, and by means of which he managed to work a battery of four stampers, attests the fact. He afterwards helped to introduce the Chilian mill, and ever since his name has been connected with discoveries and improvements in mining, his processes for the extraction of gold from tailings by means of chlorine and hypochlorous acid having been given freely to the world. The value of his evidence, given before the gold-fields commission, appointed shortly after the Eureka affair, will not soon be forgotten by those who had any experience, or who remember anything, of that eventful period. During a large portion of the period of his stay in Australia, be has at his own expense geologically surveyed the most interesting parts of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. With all the know ledge contained in the notes and statistic thus derived, and after a close examination of the contents of our Intercolonial Exhibition, Dr. Otway is on the point of proceeding to England and Europe, there to give lectures embodying the results of his experiences, as he says, for the exaltation of the Australian colonies. Having lately resided at Black wood, he was on his departure presented, a large public dinner there, with a handsome testimonial.[69]

December 25 Dr Otway, at one time connected with quartz mining in Ballarat and subsequently at Blackwood, is about to leave the colony for Europe, where he intends to give lectures on matters colonial.[291]


January 19 An article about kerosene manufacture in Victoria states that "no oil-bearing mineral has been found in Victoria; but Dr. Otway, no mean authority in matters of geological survey, is convinced that in the vicinity of Bacchus Marsh, near the debouche of the Werribee from the Marsh, the desired material awaits discovery.[292]


May 6 Mr Croker, member for Blackwood in the Mining Board, gave to our reporter on Tuesday a piece of smelted antimony from a lode that traverses one of the Blackwood ranges. He informs us that Dr Otway was the smelter, and that the ore yielded CO per cent, of the pure mineral, the matrix being a sandstone. This lode should surely be made to pay some day, if the richness of the ore be as represented to us. The antimony brought by Mr Croker may be seen at this office.[293]


July 6 Mr. Croker says... that, previous to Dr. Ottaway leaving the colony, he made him a present of several pure stones he got at Blackwood, and that the doctor said one of them – a ruby as large as a big French bean – was the finest he had ever seen in his life.[294]


Early 1883: Notice appearing in several US newspapers.

February 21 and March 1-3 DR. W. B. OTWAY - Should this meet the eye of Dr. W. B. Otway, who resided in St. Arnaud about 12 or 15 years ago, a friend would like to hear from you. Address W. D. OTWAY, Napier st., St. Arnaud, Victoria, Australia.[70][71][72]


February 13 Otway's son, William Dow Otway, marries Mary Elizabeth Hosking at the residence of George Hosking at St Arnaud. The marriage record gives Otway's profession as "Doctor of Medicine".[5]

March 1 OTWAY – HOSKING. The torch of Hymen seems to be spreading a luminous flame in the minds of the bachelors and maidens of St Arnaud and its surroundings. During the past fortnight there have been no less than three imposing marriage ceremonies performed and if the numerous other young men take up the cue and follow the advice of the Greek proverb:

Good riding at two anchors men have told;
For if one break, the other may hold.

We fear the remarks of Mr Hayter will be completely upset as far as St Arnaud Is concerned and the damsels will not require to emigrate to Queensland.
On the 13th ult., Mr W.D.OTWAY tied the Gordian knot with Miss M.A.HOSKING, at the residence of the bride's parents. The neatness of the attire of the bride and maids showing both good sense and taste. There was a large assemblage of friends and relations. The Rev-T.Angwin officiated.[295]


Others using his patented mill included Mr. Eisenstaedter at Fryer's Creek and the Port Phillip Company at Clunes, the latter finding it less efficient than their main stamper. In an endeavour to reduce the cost of crushing to about twenty-five or thirty shillings per ton, Otway continually experimented with stamping batteries.[20]

Other research

Uncollected letter lists in California from August 1850 to February 1851 that Otway is not in:

  • Daily Alta California, Volume 1, Number 186, 5 August 1850 (San Francisco)
  • Daily Alta California, Volume 1, Number 216, 4 September 1850
  • Marysville Daily Herald, Number 47, 14 January 1851
  • Sacramento Transcript, Volume 2, Number 87, 5 February 1851

See also

Rebecca Otway

James Lancelot Stormont

Dr Otway's journey across the Rocky Mountains

Black Hill

Black Hill Chronology

Black Hill - the White Cliffs of Ballarat

Dinner for James M. Tarleton, U.S. Consul

Evidence given by William Beauclere Otway at the Gold Fields Commission of Enquiry

Dr Otway's trip to Tasmania

Alpha Silver Mining Company

Matthew Widdop

Matthew Widdop's diary and notebook


As of January 2015, all the references to Otway that I knew of – Bate, Withers, Brough Smyth – called him "Dr Otway". It was as though no one knew his first name, let alone anything else about him. Tongue-in-cheek, I declared my life would be complete, I could die happily, if I found out his first name.

A few months later and there I was, in the home of his great-great-great-grand-daughter, holding his tiny ornate silver hip flask, angling it against the light to best discern the fine engraving, even screwing off the cap and sniffing at it, wondering if he'd ever used it given his early association with the temperance movement. Like everything I've found out about him, it leads to more unanswered, and possibly unanswerable, questions.

But I now know more about William Beauclerc Otway than I could ever have thought possible, thanks primarily to the libraries and other repositories of human knowledge that have made themselves available to us all online, but also to a few helpful, encouraging and hard-working colleagues.

To Clare Gervasoni and Federation University, my thanks for giving me a medium within which to work.

For her great wide wash of random emails dotted with pearls, and for introducing me to Lynne Tower's What Way Went Otway, many thanks to Gini Otway (no known relation to Willie, but she and others are working on it).

Warm, heartfelt gratitude to Otway relations Ronnie Miller (ronnie91367@yahoo.com) and Chet Ogan (oganc@sbcglobal.net) for their fascinating stories of Rebecca's family, and for helping me to understand where these precious stories came from.

To the fiercely helpful and devoted librarians of the State Library of Victoria I give my joyful thanks for their custodianship of Widdop's diary for so many anonymous decades, followed by their unhesitating adoption of the next logical step: to digitise it and make it available to the world.

For the photos of Willie and Raby and of the hip flask, for the piles of documents harvested from Trove and elsewhere, including her family keepsakes, including material uncovered by her family as far back as 1968; for her snippets of guidance when things got confusing, and for a great lunch and fascinating conversation at her home, I give my deepest thanks to Barbara Yawney (byawney@optusnet.com.au).

And to Jeni, who I love for a zillion reasons, only one of which is the dedication, enthusiasm and effort she is putting into this project.

--Neil Huybregts 16:51, 6 September 2015 (AEST)


On behalf of everyone who ever has been or ever will be interested in the life of William Beauclerc Otway, our perpetual gratitude goes to Lynne Towers (Willie and Raby's great-great-grand-daughter), now deceased, for all the work she did years before the internet, in time to catch tidbits that would otherwise be lost, and most importantly, for writing it all down so the rest of us could benefit.

--Neil Huybregts 16:51, 6 September 2015 (AEST)


  1. Several authors credit Otway with more than this. See, for example, Cooper, B. 'Black Hill - the White Cliffs of Ballarat', Ballarat Historian, v4 n7 (1990) or Guide to Ballarat, F.W. Niven & Co, Ballarat, 1890, p.49
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 According to investigations by Otway family history researchers, the marriage record was lost in the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906. However, it was relatively common in those days to not get married but say you were. Divorce was a difficult and shameful thing, and Otway was probably still legally married to Ketura, his previous wife.
  3. Otway's patent application for his silver extraction method was rejected.
  4. Possibly M. Baxter (1834-1910), whose third edition of Louis Napoleon the destined monarch of the world, and future personal Antichrist : foreshown in prophecy to confirm a seven years' covenant with the Jews about seven years before the millennium, and (after the resurrection and ascension of the wise virgins has taken place two years and from four to six weeks after the covenant) subsequently to become completely supreme over England and most of America, and all Christendom, and finally to persecute Christians during the latter half of the seven years, until he finally perishes at the descent of Christ, at the end of the War of Armageddon, about or soon after 1873 ; including an examination of the views of the Revs G.S. Faber, Edward Irving, E. Bickersteth, T. Birks, C. Maitland, Dr. Seiss, Dr. Burgh, C. Molyneux, J. Kelly, R.A. Purdon, D. M'causland, J.B. Frere, Sir E. Denny, Major Phillips, Judge strange, Dr. Tregelles, etc was published in Melbourne in 1866.
  5. To play old gooseberry meant to make mischief or to defeat, destroy or ruin.
  6. Cincinnati is in Hamilton County, which links to The Western Mining Company of Cincinnati that Otway travelled west with.
  7. However, the signature is markedly different from the signature on Otway's son's birth certificate at Steiglitz in 1858.
  8. The other men were G W Barber (26, New York), F H Mckinney (35, Kentucky), Harrison See (35, New York)
  9. Either the shipping clerk was having a bad day, or this is not William and Rebecca. The ages given are too high by 5 years for William and 8 years for Rebecca. Rebecca's sex is not given (implying she was male) and her occupation is given as "Merchant" in clear contrast to the other two women on the ship whose occupation is given as "Lady" (The other 37 passengers were men). Given that Otway gives his profession as "Merchant" in the 1850 census, it may be the clerk entered the profession on the wrong row; however, there are quote marks on the row for "WB Otway", indicating he, like the person on the row above, was an "MD".
  10. This may be a cantonment built to house troops brought to Ballarat prior to the Eureka rebellion.
  11. This date does not seem correct when compared to contemporaneous newspaper reports (see Chronology entry for August 1856).
  12. The next edition of the Twofold Bay and Maneroo Telegraph dedicated much space to news from England, and it appears the report of Otway's lecture may never have been published.
  13. The letter was published on March 10, but was dated February 13, so "Wednesday last" would be February 10.


  1. Photograph provided by Barbara Yawney nee Otway.
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Further Reading

External links

--Neil Huybregts 17:36, 3 July 2014 (EST)

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