1871 Dawson St Excommunicated
Charles Martin's home page

  1. 1871.Dawson St Excommunicated.
      1. The Theological Battle Heats Up.
      2. Two Vital Meetings- Dawson St Excommunicated.
      3. At School
      4. 1872
      5. 17th Dec - Education Act Finally Passed -"Free, Compulsory, Secular".
      6. School
      7. Rules for Teachers 1872
      8. 1873
        1. 1st January - The Education Act Becomes Law.
      9. 1874
        1. Problems with the Lutheran Church.
        2. October 1st - Oh No! Trouble With Hobbledehoys!
      10. 1875.
        1. From the Correspondence.

1871.Dawson St Excommunicated.

    1871 was another tumultuous year for Charles and the Dawson Street church, and during the year not only Charles, but the whole church as well, were excommunicated from the denomination of the Churches of Christ. The spark that led to this conflagration was probably the "Eternal Punishment" article that had appeared in "The Australian Christian Pioneer" in April of the previous year, which prompted Charles' reply and the ensuing debate.
    Graham Chapman, minister at Dawson Street in the 1970's wrote a history of the Churches of Christ in Ballarat, and he summarised the whole saga thus -
    "The story begins in 1859 when a handful of Disciples, who had moved from Melbourne to Ballarat, began meeting in a home. They were soon joined by a group of Close Communion Baptists. Two personalities stood out, H.G.Picton, a solicitor's clerk, and Charles Martin, a school teacher, one of the former Baptists.
    Both men were energetic, forceful and dominant. There was only room for one at the top. Members of a young and inexperienced officers' board eventually lined up behind their champions. When the first division arose in early 1867, Martin and his coterie remained at Dawson St, while Picton shifted with his followers to the Mechanics' Institute. The fact that the church owed money to Martin, who had generously helped finance the purchase and construction of the building, might well have decided who stayed. In December, 1867 a reconciliation was effected, with assistance from Melbourne. The peace was fragile, however, lasting only for 12 months, and in January 1869, the dissidents, under Picton, separated a second time, settling eventually in the East, the older and more depressed part of Ballarat. These formed the nucleus of the Peel Street Church.
    The group at Dawson Street was not left in peace, however, as Martin was soon charged, by a youthful but forceful J.H. Hamill, the first evangelist to be invited to the area, with denying the eternal punishment of the wicked. Some also questioned his orthodoxy on the issue of the atonement. As a result of Hamill's agitation, and a residual antipathy on the part of the group who had broken away with Picton, Martin, the lay elder, or pastor, at Dawson St, and the whole congregation, were excommunicated by churches in Ballarat and Melbourne. They were not to be spoken to or associated with.
    Also during 1871 it appears that Charles Henry junior ran away from home, the reason being that his father wanted him to become a doctor, and the lad (being sixteen years of age at the time) was unwilling for this. He boarded a ship for Sydney, and through the porthole window he watched his father and the police searching for him on the wharves. Whether or not he got to Sydney is unknown to me, but what is known is that he became apprenticed to a builder (or a building firm) and settled in Port Melbourne where he established a business (or two, or three) and lived there for the rest of his life. No doubt the incident was of great concern to the parents, and sent some kind of minor (though temporary) shock waves down through the younger brothers and sisters. For the father to make a trip to Melbourne to try to find his errant son would have been, in those days, no small effort. (This story was related to me by my mother, who got it from my father, who was a son of the run-away Charles. As I heard it repeated a number of times over a number of years, I guess there is no reason to doubt its essential truthfulness).

January and February - Hamill continues to labor for Dawson Street church, probably finishing about mid-February. On March 2nd, Charles submitted another report to the "Pioneer" reporting on this visit -
    "Our last report to the Pioneer was in June, since then we have had the pleasure of witnessing twenty-five persons confess Christ and cast in their lot with us. Our Brother Hamill came amongst us in November, and fifteen of the above have been baptized during the time of his visit. We trust and pray that they may all continue to "fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life"
Hamill, however, was not so enthusiastic about the results achieved during this second stint. Later in the year he was to write -
    "During my first visit of two months, 41 persons were baptised; five months afterwards when the report of annihilation got abroad I laboured for three months in the same place, when only 19 were baptised. Behold Dr Thomas success. (Dr Thomas was an American who taught annihilation.) Men given up to their lusts, who believe that the future punishment will be annihil­ation, will naturally say, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. "
    Hamill thus attributed his lack of success during this visit to the teaching of "annihilation" (in other words, people weren't so scared of Hell). He continued his stay in Ballarat, working with the other churches, and was to become locked in intense theological battle with Charles and Dawson St.
March - Charles engaged in circulating some booklets at Dawson Street setting out his view that the wicked do not suffer "eternal torment".
May - Charles circulates his booklets and propagates his belief at the Durham Lead church (15 miles from Ballarat). The members of the church apparently sent him word that if he came there again they would not listen to him, but Charles and "his men" apparently still persisted.
24th May. - A "leading brother publicly preached his "annihilation theory" in the Dawson Street Chapel. (Was this Charles? Probably.)

The Theological Battle Heats Up.

    So, on the church scene, things were once again hotting up. In May the church at Buninyong wrote to the church at Ballarat East (the breakaways) pointing out that Dawson St could no longer afford to support Hamill, and suggesting that they form an evangelistic committee to ` 'devise ways and means for Hamill's support".
    Hamill entered the fray when it came to his attention that Charles had mentioned in a sermon (maybe the one on 24th May) that the wicked would not suffer eternal torment, but be annihilated. For Hamill, eternal torment was "not an opinion, but a matter of faith, being part of the religion of Christ". Charles claimed that for him the issue was a matter of opinion. Hamill was incensed that he was "circulating book after book among young converts on the subject".
    Hamill, in his new employment with the other Ballarat churches, mounted a crusade against Charles and Dawson St. It probably wasn't difficult to arouse the Ballarat East group.
    I don't know how it was that Charles came to espouse such a view as this one. In many ways it ran counter to all the accepted methods of Biblical Interpretation which were current in his circles of Christianity at that time. Probably he read an article on it at some time, and after studying the Bible came to the conclusion that this viewpoint was correct. He then sought to oppose those who held a different view, and propagate his own. He apparently felt very strongly about it, to the extent of entering into debate with the editors of the "Pioneer", and then taking on, as it were, the whole main stream of thought within the Churches of Christ denomination. During the early months of 1871 he apparently lectured on it at the Dawson Street church, and also handed out leaflets and tried to convince individuals of his view. On one occasion he even spent three hours at Durham Lead trying to convince a young man of this on the day when he was to be baptised. So it is obvious that the point was important to Charles. Hamill wrote a letter to the "Pioneer" which details some of Charles' involvement -
Dear Brother Surber - Thanks for you kind letter of congratulation on my endeavours to "keep the churches pure from the contaminating influence of annihilationists' errors".
    Shortly after my second visit, finding that Brother Martin was circulating book after book among the young converts with some such caution as "Don't let Brother Hamill see it!" and that strangers, however much they liked the principles of Primitive Christianity, dreaded Dawson Street Church, from the report Brother Martin gave of his views in a discourse after I left Ballarat, I warned him before the "Deacons" and stated that if any brother should teach non­eternity" of punishment" in the chapel, I would publicly oppose it, as "everlasting punishment" was not an opinion, but a matter of faith, being part of the religion of Christ. Brother Martin told me he held it as an opinion and would not push it, knowing however that he was pushing it in every way he could, without publicly teaching it, and seeing little hope of good being done under the circumstances at Dawson Street, sore against Brother Martin's will I came to Buninyong with a view of planting a Church there, which would be about halfway between the Mt Clear Church and the Durham Church, which were chiefly under the control of the Brethren at Dawson Street. About two months after this Brother Martin so much persisted in teaching his dogma to some of the members of the church at Durham, that they sent him word to the effect that if he would come there again many would not listen to him. "Martin and his men" finding that they were not wanted at the Durham again, would not take the lesson and refrain from like conduct in the future as wise men would have done, but commenced to circulate tracts at the doors of the chapel on their hobby. On 24th May a leading brother was publicly preaching his annihilation theory in the Dawson Street Chapel. And to show you the length to which these men will go in advocating their dogma I will give you an example: - Brother Martin and another brother pressed a man for about three hours, the very afternoon before he was baptised, to believe with them that the wicked would "cease to exist", and when the man told them that "if the Bible was to be the guide, he could not for one moment entertain such an idea", they said It would be better for him to put off his baptism until he had read more"!
    So Charles was quite actively pushing his view point in the early months of 1871, and the issue assumed a great importance. Charles well and truly earned the wrath of Hamill. In addition, the other Ballarat Churches took a very dim view of the matter, and as Hamill further pointed out in his letter, "this went on until the harmony and peace of the churches was broken". A meeting of the other five Ballarat Churches was called to deal with the matter.

Two Vital Meetings- Dawson St Excommunicated.

July 21st - The five Ballarat congregations (Mt Clear, Buninyong, Durham, Mechanics and Cardigan) met at Mt Clear and reaffirmed their belief in the eternity of punishment, and they agreed to three resolutions -
1. That Brethren assembled from the different churches are unanimously agreed that the doctrine of non-eternity of punishment is anti-scriptural, and the teaching of it is schismatical.
2. That we wait on brethren teaching non-eternity of punishment, to ascertain whether they intend to teach it as hitherto, and if so, admonish them.
3. That in the event of their still persisting in teaching it, that this meeting recommend to the Churches to adopt Apostolic counsel, which says, 'Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them'.
The editor, Surber, then added a comment, and concluded by saying -
"That any man has the right to force his OPINIONS and thus destroy the peace and harmony of the churches is denied by every intelligent Brother in the world, and when they do FORCE them, those so doing may expect to find themselves in the sad condition of those at Dawson St, Ballarat. In the next issue of the Pioneer, we expect to say something more on this subject; in the meantime may the Great Head of the Church bless Brother Hamill and the Churches in their work, and also grant those erring Brethren repentance and reformation. "
Following this meeting, Martin and -
"the teachers of annihilation were admonished, but they replied that it was a matter of faith with them and they would teach it; others would not answer and ridiculed the idea of asking them."
So, as the wayward ones refused to repent, another meeting was called on -
August 4th - Excommunication Pronounced - The churches met again at Mt Clear and unanimously recommended that Dawson St be "withdrawn from". Thus on that date, Dawson Street was excommunicated from the Churches of Christ brotherhood. Hamill tried to persuade Dawson St members to separate themselves from those preaching annihilation, but with little success. He wrote -
"These erring brethren are confined to Dawson Street. Before I left them (for I have left them, not being able to save the church, but bringing out and separating as many of the Disciples as I could) I gave them a discourse on "The State and Home of Departed Spirits from Death to the Resurrection". the main object being to cut away their main prop, "Soul Sleeping ", and show the perfect consciousness of the spirits of good and bad after death. At their request I delivered a discourse on "Everlasting punishment for the wicked is part of Christianity" which they did not like at all. In this discourse I stated the mind of the brotherhood on the subject, and showed that brethren had been excluded for teaching non-eternity of punishment, but not for holding it, also some of the evils I have seen by its teach­ing, which I stated as follows -
1. It perverts the Word of God, and appeals to the feelings to justify it; instead of judging all things by the Spirits leading
2. It engenders a coarse and bitter spirit, brethren who possessed a kind and loving disposition before they taught it, afterward become possessed of the very opposite.
3. It weakens the claims of Christ by making sin a little sinful, but not so exceedingly sinful as to demand 'everlasting punishment`.
4 It hinders conversions.
Hoping the churches throughout the colonies will follow the course we have been, in faithfulness to the Master, compelled to take.
    After Hamill's letter appeared in the September issue of the Pioneer, the Dawson street group of course called it into question, and wrote a reply. At their board meeting on October 25th it was "resolved that 1500 copies of the reply to Mr Hamill's letter in the Pioneer for September be printed and circulated. " Unfortunately the text of this circular has not survived, so we cannot discover exactly what the response of Dawson Street was.
November - In the November issue, another article appeared as promised, entitled, "The Trouble at Ballarat", giving a detailed response to the Dawson Street reply from each of the five churches, verifying the statements made by Hamill. There was also a letter from the young man to whom Charles spoke at Durham -
"Having been called upon to testify to a fact stated in Brother Hamill's letter to the Pioneer relative to myself, I beg to say that I am the person whom Mr Martin and Mr McMaster pressed for about three hours to believe with them that the wicked would cease to exist, and Brother Hamill has stated the fact in the Pioneer just as he received it from myself, Sister Holman, and another sister who here place their names in proof thereof." William Holman, Sarah Holman, Matilda Smart.
November 8th - From the minutes -
A conversation arose respecting letters in the "Pioneer" for October purporting to confirm Mr Hamill's statements. Resolved on the motion of Brother McMaster that the deacons adhere to their statement to take no further notice of anything that may appear in that magazine, but that any individual action in the matter be left to the judgment of each".
November 23rd - Bro Martin stated that Sister Reed of Sebastopol charged Sister Ferguson with conduct calculated to bring disgrace upon the Church. The case left open for further investigation by the deacons.
Dec 12th - Bro Martin reported that Sister Ferguson indignantly denied the accusation made against her character. (Surprise, surprise.)

So by the end of August 1871, Dawson St found itself, because of the views of its pastor, excommunicated by sister churches in Ballarat and Melbourne.

15th November - Frederick George born (8th and last child - 7th to survive). In the midst of all the troubles during November, Frederick George was born. He eventually settled in Apollo Bay, becoming manager of the butter factory there. He died in 1958 and was buried in the Box Hill cemetery.

At School

234 on roll; Twice as many boys as girls
111 Av Attendance (Less than 50%)
Present at D.I.s exam - 149 (Percentage of passes obtained 64%)
Charles and Elizabeth listed as having 2nd Class Honors.

£186 received for salaries from government grant and £51 for Bonuses.
10 children listed as destitute.
The percentage of passes in the Inspector's tests was 64, which was better than all the other Ballarat schools except one (at 68), and higher than most of the other schools in the state. This was to become an important joint to Charles in later years in some of his "battles" with the Education Department.
And so, as school broke up for the short summer holidays at the conclusion of 1871, Charles probably had much upon which to reflect. His eldest son had now left home, and the other six children were Charlotte 15, Leonard 10, Albert 8, Frank 5, Mary 2 and the baby Frederick. Charlotte was about to commence as a student teacher at the school, and I imagine that she brought a certain amount of joy to her parents as the information which I have about her suggests that she was a very responsible young woman.

To Louisa and James Crump at Castlemaine - a son - George Alfred (He died later in the year - 10th child, 8 surviving.)
To Mary and William Davey at Ballarat - a son - Percival Arthur (5th child - 4 surviving).
To Hannah and Thomas Farr at Ballarat - a daughter - Ethel Maude (10th child - 9 surviving).

    We call the attention of the Brotherhood to Bro. Hamill's letter concerning the state of things among the Churches in and around Ballast. The Brethren will be pained no little to sec how things have been moving there. If what Bro. H. has written be true, and we doubt not his communication in any particular, it is positively beyond our power to sec how the Churches there named could have acted otherwise than they have, beng determined as they arc to keep the Churches free from the influence of their mistaken Brethren, In establishing the cause in a new country there :are many difficulties to overcome, and hence the necessity of forbearance. The Churches valued in Bro. H's, letter seem not to have been deficient in long suffering.' That any man has the right to force his opinions and thus destroy the peace and harmony of the Churches is denied by every intelligent Brother in the world, and when they do force them, those so doing, may expect to had themselves in the sad condition of those at Dawson Street, Ballarat.
    In the nest issue of the Pioneer we expect to say' something more on this subject ; in the meantime may the Great Head of the Church bless Bro. H. and the Churches in their work, and also grant those erring Brethren repent­ance and reformation. G. L. S.

Then follows a letter from J A Hamill

Further Correspondence


    From the early 1870's when the church was excommunicated, a curtain falls over the activity at Dawson St. The minutes from May 22nd 1870 - until September 1871 are missing altogether - either not written in the first place, or else they have gone missing. From September 1871 until March 1873 they are very scrappy, and thereafter there are none at all for the next 10 years. Letters and reports to the "Pioneer" of church activity and progress are non-existent as the church was no longer a part of the body of Churches of Christ. I do not know how long the order of excommunication remained in force, but by the year 1881 it had been lifted and Dawson St was again a part of the official Churches of Christ brotherhood.
    The early years of the excommunication would have probably been rather difficult for Charles and the church, as they were isolated from any of the other churches and operating as a "single unit". I guess that Charles would have found it necessary to assume a much greater load of responsibility in preaching and in the general running of the church - in addition of course to his position as Head Master of the school.
    So far as the activities of 1872 are concerned, however, we do get a small indication from the minutes. The church had obviously received some communications from Melbourne, in an endeavour to "show them their error" and lead them back into the fold.
April 12th - A letter was received from "Bro King" outlining the reasons as to why a letter from the Dawson St Church, sent for the purpose of being published in the magazine the "Observer", was not published.
From the Minutes -
A letter from Brother Thomson of the Lygon Street Church requesting answers to the following questions -
1. Does the church in Dawson Street deny the Eternity of punishment. Answer - No, but they deny the Eternal Torment of the wicked. They believe that God will destroy the wicked.
2. Does the church approve of Bro Martin and his teaching by lectures the destruction of the wicked? Answer - Yes.
The above answers to be used by Bro Thomson publicly.
The letter from Bro Robertson was then read and discussed and his questions answered
P.S. Bro Thomson to be informed that his letter was answered through courtesy but that this meeting protest against the action of Mr Hamill and his supporters towards the Church meeting at Dawson Street, Ballarat.
May 1st - Bro Martin read a letter from Bro Thomson of Lygon Street Church, Melbourne in answer to a letter from Bro Martin requesting Bro Robertson's advice about answering Bro Thomson's questions. Bro Robertson's advice being that Bro Thomson's questions be not answered after a great amount of discussion it was carried that Bro Thomson's questions be answered it was then moved by Bro McMaster and seconded by Bro Davey that as the officers of the Dawson Street Church had been pestered with letters asking questions on the subjects of Mr Hamill's action towards the Brethren of Dawson Street that the Church of Christ meeting at Lygon St Melbourne be informed that the Officers of the Church of Christ Dawson St had answered the said letters through courtesy but that from this date, May 1st no notice be taken or information given upon any subject unless sent through and by the authority of the Church of Christ, Lygon St.

17th Dec - Education Act Finally Passed -"Free, Compulsory, Secular".

On December 17th, 1872, the "Education Act" was finally passed, which made education in Victoria, free, compulsory and secular, and which brought the Education Department into being. Although he probably didn't realise it at the time, the Act was to have great significance for Charles, and was to necessitate his transfer from Ballarat at the beginning of 1876. He was later to write, "I have been a great sufferer under the Education Act."


The average attendance for 1872 is listed as 107.
The school is listed as having one Head Teacher, and two assistants, one of whom has 2nd Honors (obviously Elizabeth). There are three pupil teachers.
Charles received an income from July to Dec of £65 from salary and £104 from results and fees making a total of L170 (i.e f340 for the year). For Elizabeth, the total was £65 for the half year (i.e. £130 for the year).
Charles net income for 1872 appears to have been f354, and Elizabeth's £131 (figures stated in an Education Gazette in 1875).

24th April - To Henry and Eleanor - a son Charles Judson (the father of Alan Martin of Wantirna). This was the 9th and last child for Henry and Eleanor. 7 are still alive and Hannah was to die as a child.
To Mary and William - a daughter - Constance (6th child for Mary - 5 surviving).
To Louisa and James Crump at Castlemaine - a daughter - Melinda Dagmar (11th and last child, 9 of whom are surviving).

Thus, to the four children of Charles and Frances, the following have been born -
Charles Henry - 8 children, 7 of whom have survived.
Hannah (Farr)- 11 children, 10 of whom have survived. Henry - 9 children, 7 survived.

Louisa (Crump)- 11 children, 9 survived.

Rules for Teachers 1872

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, trim the wicks and clean chimneys.
2. Each morning teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they attend church regularly.
5. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or any other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labour faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five pence per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Image of the Rules


1st January - The Education Act Becomes Law.

    On. the 1st January, the Education Act which had been passed a fortnight earlier, took effect. It had been debated and opposed vigorously and bitterly for many years and was to be the definitive act in Victorian Education. Its basic principles were that education was to be free, compulsory and secular. Each one of these principles had been opposed by various groups, and as early as 1857, and again in 1868, similar acts had been presented to parliament but had failed to gain approval.
    The churches, of course, opposed the "secular" aspect, stating that the system would be godless and even atheistic. However, "secular' did not mean that religion could not be taught, as the Bible could be used and general Christian principles and values were regarded as highly important. It meant that ministers of denominations could only take classes outside of school hours, and only to those children who voluntarily agreed to stay (which means those whose parents made them).
    Others opposed the "compulsory" requirement, on the grounds that it was an infringement of our rights and a restriction of our freedom. Others, again, believed that it was maybe not a good thing to educate all children. The compulsory requirement gave the Education Department many headaches in the years to come, as it had to be enforced and policed. This proved to be a difficult task in a society where only about half the children had attended school, and many parents resisted it strongly. It eventually resulted in a large number of truant officers being employed.
    And of course, if education was compulsory, it also had to be free, because if you are going to compel people to do something you cannot therefore require them to pay for it. Those who opposed the "free" aspect did so because of their belief that we do not value anything that we get for nothing. (And incidentally the "free" only applied to the basic subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic, plus one or two others, such as geography. School fees would still be charged for the other subjects.)

    Early in the year, Charles' daughter Charlotte commenced teaching at the school as a "pupil teacher". She was 15 years of age at the time.

    Charles estimated income for July to Dec 73 was
£95 from salary and J E30 from fees, a total of £125. (i.e. £250 for the year, which was a significant decrease from the previous year. I can't explain this. Maybe the results hadn't yet been included, or perhaps it was anticipated that they wouldn't be too good.)
    The school numbers began to climb, with the average attendance for the year being over 200.
    The school is listed as having 1 Head Teacher and 2 assistants, plus 3 Pupil Teachers (which obviously included Charlotte) This no doubt made for a difficult job of teaching with an average attendance of 242 pupils.
    During August a room (or rooms) at the German Lutheran Church was leased by the Education Department at a cost of £15 per half year, to accommodate some of the overflow of students.


On the roll - 854. Average - 351. Greatest monthly average - 428.
    In the two years prior to 1 874 the school numbers jumped significantly, the average daily attendance rising from 111 to 351. In one particular month the average attendance was 428, so the school is now quite large. According to the official history book of the Victorian Education. Department, the enrollments in National Schools jumped rather dramatically during 1873 after the Act was passed, as a combined result of the closure of many denominational schools, and the change to "compulsory" education.
    During this year, the school was also conducted in two rented buildings, one of which was the Lutheran Church hall, which was initially leased to the Education Department for £30 per annum - but which was to give Charles one or two head-aches later on.

Problems with the Lutheran Church.

    Some damage had been done by the children and the Lutherans stated that it would cost £10 to fix it. They refused to re-lease the building, unless the Education Department paid the £10, and raised the lease price to £1 per week.
    Mr Findlay the Public Works Inspector, was called in to assess the situation. He said "Yes" the backs of the chairs were broken by the children, but in any event they had been so weak that a man could break them if he stretched his back. It would cost £5 to fix them. The damage to the grounds is a myth. People used it as a walkway in any event.
    The Lutherans started corresponding on July 29th. On September 12th they complained that there was as yet no reply. (I think that Charles actually wrote this letter on their behalf).

October 1st - Oh No! Trouble With Hobbledehoys!

To the Secretary, Education Department.
    I have the honor to inform you that I have lately been frequently annoyed by hobbledehoys, whose language is of the foulest nature, assembling in the school reserve. When told to move on they are most insolent, and tell me that as the fence is now down, and it is government land, they will remain. I have mentioned the matter to the police, who order them off, but tell me that in the dilapidated condition of the fence, I am almost helpless.
    I desire to know whether I shall be justified, if I give one in charge of trespass. The state of the reserve was referred to in Tuesday's "Star".
    I have the honor to be,
        your most obedient servant
Image of Letter
(And the report in the "Star" was as follows -
"There has been some talk of the Doveton Street school, of which Mr Martin is the head teacher, being made into a State model school, for the training of student teachers, but nothing has yet been done. In the meantime the reserve gets more and more a disgrace to the city and the state proprietors. It was always an ugly unoccupied waste, but it is now worse than ever, for it is a dirty bog with the fencing falling to pieces, and in part carried bodily away. The whole condition of the State school accommodation in Ballarat West is defective, and the Board of Advice seems either powerless or inactive. In the East two fine new permanent schools have been procured, but not a brick or stone is yet laid in the West. Why is this thus?")
Charlotte was still teaching at the school. In fact according to the staff lists, Charlotte only joined the staff in 1874. Whenever she did join, however, the staff lists record her as receiving a pupil teachers' salary of £24.

To Hannah and Thomas Farr in Ballarat - a daughter - Millicent Caroline (11th and last child - 10 surviving).
To Mary and William Davey in Ballarat - a daughter - Lucy Mabel (7th child - 6 surviving).


    No doubt during this year the unwelcome clouds of change began gathering ominously on Charles horizon. The school numbers had risen dramatically over the past two or three years, and early in the year a new school building costing £6,600 was commenced in the playground of Charles' school - facing Dana Street, and being built to accommodate over 1000 children. Three or four schools were going to be combined into one., and it was obvious that there would be keen competition among the Head Masters to get the "Head Mastership" position, with at least two losing out. Charles was keen to get the position and thought that it should be granted to him, as it was in reality his school. However, there were quite a number of applicants as well as Charles, and much jostling to get the job.

From the Correspondence.

    Unfortunately, for this year the correspondence is missing. However, the register of inwards correspondence is still intact. This is a big book in which the details of letters received by the Education Department were noted in summary form, so we do get some idea of what happened during this time.
January - a memo authorising the erection of a new school. February tenders called.
April 28 --Charles asks if his action regarding Mr Williams conduct is correct. (Maybe Charles had had an argument with Mr Williams).
May 5 - Mr Williams replies to charge against him by Charles Martin. August 2 - Charles complains of the rent being_ excessive.
September 27 - Charles applies for leave for Elizabeth (This was the sec­ond time for the year. Maybe Elizabeth is getting tired after all these years of teaching. Or maybe this is related to her death less than a year later. Or maybe she just had a bad cold.)
October 12 - Charles submits a statement in favour of being retained in the present position.
October - Charles applies on behalf of Charlotte Martin for two weeks leave.
November 1st - J. Dennant applies for the Head Teachership. This was the first letter to arrive applying for the position. By the end of the year another eight applications had been received, plus at least another three in January the following year.
November 23rd - The Honorable J. Jones M.P. forwards a letter from the Head Master remarking upon his position. (It appears that Charles had approached the local Member of Parliament, who had a connection with the school, and he had agreed to back Charles' attempt to be retained.)

    Also during this year, it would appear that the practice of giving teachers their own personal teaching "assessment" commenced. Charles received the following comment from the District Inspector on the 4th October -
    "Exhibits a want of energy in his management of the school, and this fault seems to have spread through the whole staff."
    Not a very encouraging report just at the time he is struggling to keep his position.
    And so, as the year drew to a close and the holidays commenced, no doubt Charles felt very uncertain as to his future. He was obviously hoping desperately to hold on to his position, and I'm not too sure as to whether he felt confident, or whether he felt that he may have been fighting a losing battle. Whichever way it was, he wasn't going to let go without a fight.

One Letter that Has Survived.
7th Jan. Charles asks for instructions as Lutheran building has not beenre-leased.
    "I have the honor to ask what I am to do with the children when the arrive on Monday morning. The German Lutheran building has not been re-leased, and the infants will fill the old school room.. Please reply by electric telegram".
A Telegram Was Sent as Reply -
"Can Martin have room adjoining the old school room? Alterations required - or lease three weeks for another building. "
Charles and Elizabeth. The girl is probably Mary and the photo taken about 1875, a year or so before Elizabeth's death.
(Charles 48, Elizabeth 39, Mary 6)

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