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Images - black & White - King Billy of Ballarat

From the Collection of Federation University Australia Historical Collection (Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre) Federation University Australia E.J. Barker Library (top floor) Mount Helen Victoria

Three Images relating to King Billy of Ballarat as illustrated in the Evening Echo Historical Edition 1904.

* Image of a group of Aboriginal people. They are most most probably Wathaurung
(Wadawurrung) . The picture includes ten standing males, two holding a boomerangs. Six females sit on the ground in front, three hold hats. A seated child wears a hat.

* The burial of King Billy in the Ballaarat New Cemetery, 26 September 1896.

* King Billy's Grave in the Ballaarat New Cemetery.
12.8 x 19.6 cm
Object Registration
wathaurung, wada wurrung, wathaurong, king billy, aborigines, aboriginal, frank wilson, mercer, ballaarat new cemetery, glenny, burial
Historical information
'King Billy' of Ballarat is also known as Frank Wilson, after the surname of an owner of Ercildoun Estate. He was buried in a Wesleyan burial plot at the Ballaarat Old Cemetery on 26 September 1896. The Anglican burial ceremony was organised by the community who thought 'King Billy' to be the last of his tribe. The Ballarat Star of 25 September 1896 stated: that Billy and his subjects 'once virtually owned all the land comprised of the City of Ballarat and its immediate surroundings 'so 'it can be considered only fair that six feet of ground should not be denied for his burial'

The Australian Natives Association and the Australian Historical Records Society (later Ballarat Historical Society) took a major role in the burial of Frank Wilson. "As public interest and
compassion grew, noteworthy citizens of Ballarat and two key Christian denominations appeared to jostle for pre-eminence in the ritual to follow. Whilst the 'venerable Archdeacon Mercer'
from the Anglican Church took the funeral service, the cemetery trustees arranged that the body was placed in 'a central site in the Wesleyan section of the cemetery'. Frank was recorded as a
Roman Catholic. The coffin was carried to the grave by several Methodists, including Justice of the Peace, Glenny, and Member of the Legislative Assembly, Kirton, as well as Old Colonists and noted citizens. (
When Made
published 1904
Last updated
17 Aug 2017 at 1:53PM