Sir Charles Hotham Monument, Melbourne

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Series of black and white photographs of Sir Charles Hotham's tomb and monument in Melbourne General Cemetery designed by George Gilbert Scott with copies of related material from the State Library of Victoria.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Charles Hotham was born at Dennington, Suffolk, in January 1806 the son of the Rev. Frederick Hotham. Charles entered the navy in November 1818 and went on to have a distinguished career. He was in command of the steam sloop Gorgon which ran aground in Montevideo Bay and showed skill and determination in getting her refloated. His last active service was as a commodore on the coast of Africa in 1846.

Hotham was appointed lieutenant-governor of Victoria in December 1853 by the Duke of Newcastle and subsequently made governor-in-chief. He was received with great enthusiasm when he landed at Melbourne on 22 June 1854. Upon his arrival Hotham found that the finances of the colony were in great disorder and he appointed a committee of two bankers and the auditor-general to investigate, finding that an estimated £280,000 could not be accounted for. He was governor during the Eureka Stockade rebellion in December 1854 but it was quickly subdued but did convince Hotham that there was a group intent on creating a state of anarchy and that a strong hand was needed. Hotham continued to govern, despite heavy criticism from the newspapers whilst the first government was formed in November 1855 and Hotham resigned his post in early November 1855. A month later he caught a chill and died on 31 December 1855, he was buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.

The monument designed by George Gilbert Scott of London consists of a large granite tomb with a pillar, fifty feet in height. The side bears the inscription: "Here rests the body of Charles Hotham. He died December 31st, 1856, aged 49." On the capital are the figures of Wisdom, Fortitude, Justice and Mercy. The total cost was £3000 with £1000 coming from the Legislative Council the remainder from Lady Hotham. The inscription on the base of the pillar reads: "To the memory of Sir Charles Hotham, Captain in the Royal Navy, And one of Her Majesty's Naval Aides-de-camp, Knight Commander of the most Honorable Military Order of the Bath, And the first Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of Victoria. Voted by the Legislative Council, Jan. l0th, 1856."

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Conditions Governing Use

U DX232/1 Ms Alison Inglis

U DX232/2 State Library of Victoria

Custodial History

Donated by Angus Trumble, Australia, May 1992 and 2002