Anson Hammond Bartlett
- an American in the Victorian Gold Fields -
My Great x 2 Grandfather
Anson Hammond Bartlett, was born about 1833/34 in Smithfield, Providence, Rhode
Island, USA, son of Anson Bartlett and Isabella Estabrook Anson was also known by
his second name of Hammond or Ham at various times.
Immigration: According to a statement he made when applying for naturalisation,
Anson came to Australia aboard the Theoxena, which sailed from New York 10th April
1853 with 192 passengers aboard and arrived in Melbourne, Victoria on 13th August
1853. He is not listed on the list of cabin passengers at the PRO Vic website which
suggests he may have travelled steerage.
Two publications provide us with a short biography of Anson:
Victoria and its Metropolis: Past and Present by Alexander Sutherland (1888)
BARTLETT, ANSON HAMMOND.
Mr Bartlett is a native of Providence, USA. He arrived in Port Phillip in 1852 by sailing
vessel, at the age of 19. He at first went mining at Beechworth, staying there six
months, when Call's rush alluted [sic] him to Ballarat, where he took up claims in
various localities. He engaged personally in the timber trade, and was a witness of the
Ballarat riots. In 1855 he built the horse bazaar, Ballarat East, on the Main road and
afterwards obtained a license for an hotel, which he kept for twelve months and then
sold out. In 1867 he built the Criterion Hotel in Doveton Street, and remained there
until 1875, when he removed to Melbourne, and took the Railway Hotel, since known as
Bartlett's Railway Hotel. His present place of business at the corner of Elizabeth St and
Flinders Lane, where he has enjoyed a long business career. Mr Bartlett has always
continued, more or less, engaged in mining business.
Young America and Australian Gold : Americans and the gold rush of the 1850's / E.
Daniel Potts and Annette Potts. St. Lucia, Q. : University of Queensland Press, 1974.
Description: 299 p. : ISBN: 0702208949
Most American selectors did not bother with the formality of Naturalisation. Of the
twenty three native Americans who arrived in the 1850s and who’s lives were sketched
briefly in Victoria and the Metropolis  only five assumed British status. These are
otherwise fairly representative of those who stayed:
1. Anson Hammond Bartlett was born in Providence Rhode Island in 1833. Sailing from
New York on the Theozina [sic] he arrived in Melbourne on 13th August 1853. After six
months at Beechworth he went into the timber trade at Ballarat and was there at the
time of Eureka. Bartlett did not admit to taking part, but if he was the American of that
name who spoke on 5 October 1854 to the Collingwood Young Men's Christian
Association on “How far a Man is Morally Bound to Obey the Laws of a Country? ” he
would already have committed himself to one side or the other. [see note below] He ran
a horse bazaar at Ballarat East and in 1867 built the Criterion Hotel. The next year
Bartlett applied for permission to settle permanently in Victoria, and eventually he
moved to Melbourne as host of the Railway Hotel Elizabeth Street, at the same time
maintaining some mining leases.
Note: The Argus [Melbourne] dated 14th September 1854 mentions Mr Bartlett as
speaking at the YMCA on 5th October on this topic. No first name is given. See
Trove for full report. Probably not Anson.
Ballarat Horse Bazaar Hotel: This appears to be Anson's first endeavour as a publican.
The Star newspaper Ballarat dated 25th March 1857 carries the following advertisement:
BALLARAT HORSE BAZAAR HOTEL.
(Next door to -A. F. Bowen's Ballarat Horse Bazaar, Main-road.)
A. H. BARTLETT, HAS much pleasure in announcing to his Friends and the Public in
general, that the above Hotel is now open, where every attention will be paid to those
who may favor him with their patronage. The Wines and Liquors will be found of the
very best quality. The Stables will be under the care of experienced hostlers. The Hotel
will be found to afford every convenience, well fitted airy bedrooms and sitting rooms,
both on the ground-floor and up-stairs Board and Lodging on the most reasonable
Marriage: Anson married Hannah Williams on 2nd February 1861 at St James
Cathedral, Melbourne, Victoria. At the time of his marriage, Anson was a bachelor aged
27 years whose occupation was a horse dealer. His usual residence was Ballarat and his
present residence was Spencer Street, Melbourne. Hannah was a spinster aged 24
years. No occupation is given but she is listed as 'staying with relatives'. She gives the
same usual and present residences as Anson. The witnesses to the marriage were Alfred
Joseph Simmons, husband of Hannah's sister Dorothy, and James Phillips. The
officiating minister was J. M Donaldson. The Argus [Melbourne Victoria] dated Monday
4th February 1861 reported the event as follows:
On the 2nd inst., at St. James's Cathedral, Melbourne by the Rev. J. M. Donaldson, Anson
Hamond Bartlett, late of Rhode Island, U.S.A, to Hannah Williams, daughter of Richard
Massey Williams, Garneddgoch, Anglesey, North Wales.
Anson and Hannah had the following Children: CLICK HERE
Horse Dealers: Anson was in partnership with David Oliver and Jacob Markillie but the
partnerships were dissolved by 1865.
The following references to Anson Hammond Bartlett occur in the Victorian
Government and Police Gazettes:
1861: Title Deeds [367 Bartlett, A. H., l rood. 12perch., Ballarat] the size of a small town
1863: Shareholders St George United Gold Mining Co Page 2373
1864: Shareholder St George United Gold Mining Co Page 2896&7 12 shares held
1865: November A.H. Hammond impounded one grey mare at Ballarat Town Pound,
which had caused damages to his property amounting to 1 Pound.
1868: Shareholders of [unknown] mine
1869: Shareholder in Cardigan Consols Gold Mining Company.
1872: Outstanding Accounts Pay Office Ballarat Page 1738
1872: Shareholders South Temperance Quartz Mining Co Page 1021
1872: Shareholders South Temperance Quartz Mining Co Page 293
Ballarat and Ballarat East Directory for 1865-66 lists A H Bartlett, Horse Dealer in
Naturalisation: Anson applied for Naturalisation in 1868. The letter from his Attorney
states that Anson is about to purchase land. [e]
Horse Racing: Anson owned and raced several steeplechase horses.
Marine - brown gelding 1868/69 [6 years in 69]
Stockings - brown horse 1870 [previously Jimmy]
Victor - brown gelding 1871
Warrawing - Grey Mare 1871/73
Vulcan - grey gelding 1871/72 [previously Chiffney]
Morris - 1872/73
Black Bess - black mare 1872
Imen - black gelding 1872
Mermaid - bay mare 1872
Murat - brown gelding 1872
Maori - brown gelding 1873/74 [5years in 73]
Fair Nell - Bay Mare 1873
Horizon - brown gelding purchased March 1873 during the Autumn meeting of the
Victorian Turf Club. Ridden by Harden at that meeting. Harden appears to have
regularly ridden for Anson and was the jockey involved in the Bendigo Pulling Scandal
Nonsense - chestnut gelding 1874/76
Ragged Jack - gelding 1874
Saxon - bay gelding 1875
Monk - Bay Gelding [ previously called Merry Mist?] 1877
Maggie Moore - chestnut mare 6 years 1877
In 1872 Anson was cautioned by Stewards following a race involving two of his horses,
Morris and Warrawing in which Anson "had declared to win Warrawing however Morris
proved the victor".
Horizon and the Bendigo Pulling Scandal: In March 1874, a report appeared in the
Argus newspaper of a libel court case concerning in a horse steeplechase racing
scandal involving Anson's horse Horizon and another horse The Marquis of Lorne
owned by James Walker, a farmer from Ararat. The Australasian newspaper had carried
a story suggesting that The Marquis of Lorne had deliberately lost a race in Melbourne
on the 24th May the previous year allowing Horizon to win and that Anson was part of
the scheme. James Walker subsequently sued the newspaper for libel. The court case
lasted several months and a not guilty verdict was delivered in favour of Walker, but
damages were set at a farthing and he was required to pay his own costs. It appears
that no charges were ever laid by the Racing authority. To read the many newspaper
accounts of the trial, I refer you to the Australian Newspapers beta site. Search under
Marquis of Lorne in the Argus newspaper, Melbourne.
Victorian Police Gazette 1873: Stolen from the dwelling of Anson Bartlett, Doveton
Street, Ballarat, within the last four weeks, a gentleman's plain gold band diamond ring,
colonial made set with a single stone with a kind of star around stone, AB scratched in
side, value 40 pounds. 5 pound reward on conviction. O313 20th January 1873.
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