THE DISCOVERY OF THE
MR. FRENCHAM'S CLAIM.
The Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly appointed to consider the claim of Mr. Frencham as the discoverer of the Bendigo gold-field met at Parliament-house
yesterday. There were present—Mr. Bailes, Mr. Young, Mr. Bennett, Mr. Foster, and Mr. Burrowes.
William Edward Coleman, a resident
of Brunswick, stated that about the middle
of November, 1851, he was with two mates at Barker's Creek. While they were at work Mr. Byass rode up and told them that a shepherd and two woman had found gold on the Bandicoot Creek. They went up to the creek and found the two women there. The women at that time were regarded as the prospectors of the field. The place got the name of Bendigo when it was proposed that the miners should fight the Government over the regulations.
William Braithwaite, miner, gave evi- dence to the effect that he was at Bendigo on the 16th November, 1851. He saw no one there at that time, the two or three persons who had been there having left a day or two previously.
Edward Pepperell, fruiterer, residing at Carlton, stated that he was at Kangaroo Gully, Bendigo, with two mates in April, 1851. In May they went to Ironbark Gully, and then a large number of people turned
up. By the 6th of June there were 100 people
on the spot. He left the field in November,
Howard William Bagshsaw, surveyor, re-
siding at North Carlton, said that on the
10th of July, 1851, he was at Mount
Alexander, and saw some gold that was got at Campbell's Station. On the 30th August,
Mr. Byass brought the information to Forest Creek that Mr. Fenton had found gold at Bendigo.
Alfred Elger, a resident of Richmond, stated that in 1859 he discovered gold at Bendigo at the head of Back Creek. He worked with a broken shovel and a tin-dish. He left Bendigo in July, 1851, and returned to it in 1852.
William Stewart, brickmaker, residing at Rushworth, stated that he was a son-in- law of Christopher Asgirth. Early in Octo- ber, 1851, he went to Ravenswood Station to see Asgirth, the Bendigo hutkeeper, who showed him gold he had found. He remained at Bendigo at work with Asgirth and Bannister, and in November they sold Mr. Fenton 5lb. or 6lb. weight of gold. The women did not arrive on the scene until a week after this.
The commission then adjourned until Thursday next.