AKA  ?

Late of  Havelock, Victoria

Victoria Police Force

Regd. #  537

Rank:  Probationary Constable – appointed ? ? ?

Constable – appointed ? ? ?

Senior Constable – appointed ? ? ?

Final Rank = Senior Constable

Stations?, Carisbrook – Death

Service:  From ? ? ?  to 1 February 1858? years Service

Awards: Victoria Police Star – posthumously awarded on Thursday 1 August 2019

Born: ? ? 1828 – 1829

Died on: Monday  1 February 1858

Age: 29

Cause: Murdered – shot through the right lung – exited out the left lung ( no doubt – standing side on to the bullet )

Event location: White Hills goldfield, near Carisbrook, Victoria

Event date: Monday  1 February 1858 shortly after 1am

Funeral date: Tuesday  2 February 1858

Funeral locationCarisbrook Cemetery, Majorca Rd, Carisbrook, Victoria

Wake location: ?

Funeral Parlour: ?

Buried at: Carisbrook Cemetery, Majorca Rd, Carisbrook, Victoria

Methodist: Section 3, Row 9, Grave 15

Memorial located at: His Victoria Police Star is framed and hanging inside of Maryborough Police Station, Victoria


INSCRIPTION:<br /> Sacred to the Memory of Edward Barnett<br /> Native of Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland.<br /> Late Senior Constable of the Victoria Police.<br /> Who was shot dead while gallantly performing his duty in endeavouring to arrest an armed bushranger on the night of the 31 January 1858 on Havelock Diggings.<br /> This Tablet is erected by the chief Commissioner of Police, The Officers and Constables of the District as a mark of esteem and respect.<br /> "In the midst of life we are in death"<br /> https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/119635060/edward-barnett
Sacred to the Memory of Edward Barnett
Native of Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland.
Late Senior Constable of the Victoria Police.
Who was shot dead while gallantly performing his duty in endeavouring to arrest an armed bushranger on the night of the 31 January 1858 on Havelock Diggings.
This Tablet is erected by the chief Commissioner of Police, The Officers and Constables of the District as a mark of esteem and respect.
“In the midst of life we are in death”

EDWARD IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance



May they forever Rest In Peace


BARNETT was attempting to arrest William BROOK, who had just murdered restaurateur Charles Lopez during an attempted robbery.

Fleeing the scene, Brook opened fire on Barnett, with a bullet fatally striking him in the heart.

Brook was later arrested and died of injuries sustained during the robbery of Lopez, whom had stabbed BROOK.  It took BROOK 16 hours to die.

BARNETT staggered only a few yards before he fell – calling out “Oh God, I am shot”.



Edward BARNETT 01 – VicPol – Died 1858 – Page 1

Edward BARNETT 02 – VicPol – Died 1858 – Page 2

Edward BARNETT 03 – VicPol – Died 1858 – Page 2



Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946),

Saturday 31 August 1929, page 6



By H. A. Barnes.

ALMOST hidden by rubbish and weeds, a tombstone which was recently discovered in the Carisbrook cemetery recalls the story of a policeman who lost his life while gallantly pursuing an armed bushranger on the Havelock diggings in 1858.

The grave was found by Constable J. Casey, said residents of the district, who had been clearing the cemetery of weeds.

At the suggestion of police officials, it was decided to have the tombstone and grave renovated.

Half the cost was borne by the Chief Commissioner ( Brigadier-General Blarney ).

The Inscription on the stone had become almost unreadable, but it has been restored by recutting in a marble slab.

It reads as follows:

Sacred to the memory of


native of Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland,

Late Senior-constable of the Victoria police,

Who was shot dead whilst gallantly performing his duty to endeavouring to arrest an armed bushranger on the night of Jan. 31, 1858, on Havelock Diggings.

This tablet is erected by the Chief Commissioner of Police, the Officers and Constables of the district, as a mark of esteem and respect.

In the midst of Life we are in Death.


For official purposes, Senior-constable Brown, of Russell street, obtained the facts of Barnett’s death from newspaper files and police gazettes of 1858.

In those days Havelock went under the strange but pretty name of White Hills.

Thousands of adventurers flocked to the district when gold was discovered, and overnight, it seemed, every kind of crime was being freely committed. Life was cheaper than gold at White Hills.

The “hold-up” which resulted in the death of Senior-constable Barnett occurred early on the morning of February 1, 1858, according to records of the period, although the tombstones fixes the date as January 31.

Charles Lopez and his wife, who conducted the Gumtree Restaurant in a dimly lighted tent, were standing behind their improvised counter, checking the pile of money that had been received during the day.

Notes, silver, and gold-some of it won from the fields around them — had been sorted, and husband and wife were handling the money when three men suddenly rushed into the tent demanding liquor.

Lopez told them to “get out,” but they replied by dragging him into the street. What happened outside in the next few seconds is not known, but two shots were fired in quick succession. Mrs. Lopez ran after her husband, but could see nothing until she stumbled across the body of Senior-constable Barnett, who was then dying.


A graphic story of the shooting was told to the coroner at the time by Henry Bradley the cook employed at the Gumtree.

He rushed out of the tent to see Lopez chasing three men. As they raced past a store owned by a man named Thomas, one of the men turned and fired, but the shot did not take effect.

Lopez caught up to the armed robber, and in the struggle that followed another shot was fired. Lopez reeled, evidently badly hurt, but in almost his last breath he slashed and stabbed the murderer with a large knife, inflicting terrible injuries, Lopez then fell back dead. The robber turned and ran again, but this time Bradley and Senior-constable Barnett, who had heard the first shot, gained on him rapidly.

Weakened by loss of blood from his knife wounds, the fugitive evidently perceived that escape was impossible. He stopped suddenly in his tracks, and fired what proved to be his last bullet point blank at Barnett, who was then only two yards away. Crying “0 God, I’m shot!” Barnett stumbled forward and dropped dead. He had been shot through the heart.

His last bullet gone, the murderer again tried to escape, but Bradley and some miners eventually captured him. He was taken to the Carisbrook police camp, where he died from the wounds inflicted by Lopez. The murderer’s name was reported to be Joseph Brooks, aged 56 years, a native of America.

The murders had a remarkable sequel, according to facts mentioned in a recent issue of the “Police Journal ( Victoria ).

Barnett‘s death was deplored by many miners on the Havelock diggings. He bad been a popular and respected officer, and evidently as their own form of vengeance more than 1,500 miners set out to clear the township of “undesirables.”

They were in the mood for lynching.

Their first act was to set alight to a notorious place known as ” The Manchester. ” When nothing but ashes remained of this shanty, the mob marched through the town, and attacked the ” Star and Garter. ” No hand was stayed until the place had been wrecked. Liquor flowed into the street from broken bottles, jars, and barrels; and bonfires were made of the bedding and furniture.

The position of many places in White Hills looked desperate until a rumour of the finding of a wounded man at Tuckwell‘s called the howling mob away on a man hunt.

31 Aug 1929 – GALLANT POLICEMAN’S GRAVE. – Trove


Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 – 1918),

Tuesday 9 February 1858, page 2




On Tuesday the remains of Edward Barnett the unfortunate police constable, were interred in the New Cemetery, at Carisbrook.

The body was followed to the grave by Mr. S S Furnell, officer in charge of the district, and Mr. Inspector Hare, of Maryborough, and the whole body of the police stationed at Carisbrook, as well as by several friends of the deceased and gentlemen of the neighbourhood, amongst whom were F Call, Esq., P.M., R. Southee, Esq, Chairman of the Municipality of Carisbrook, and other members of that body.

The burial service was read by Mr. Furnell in a most impressive manner.

The deceased was much respected by the officers and men of the police force for his attention to his duties and general good conduct.

He was constable in charge at Chinaman’s Flat during the rush there, and performed his duties in a most satisfactory manner.

A tombstone, with a suitable inscription will be erected to the memory of the poor fellow.


On Wednesday morning the remains of the unfortunate man Lopez were conveyed to their last resting place.

The melancholy cortege consisted of three vehicles, one or two horsemen, and a few of the diggers on foot.

The body was conveyed from Havelock to the old burying-ground on the Quartz Hill ( now Bristol Hill – 2019 ), Maryborough, where it was interred.

The grave was surrounded by many of the friends of the deceased during the ceremony.

09 Feb 1858 – THE MURDER AT HAVELOCK. – Trove


https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/196827615/charles-lopez = this link has Charles Lopez having died on 8 Feb 1858 – aged 35.  No photos or other information.


Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954),

Tuesday 16 February 1858, page 6



The adjourned inquest on the bodies of Lopez and Constable Barnett, was held at the Charlie Napier Hotel, Havelock Flat, White Hills, on Monday last, when the following evidence was taken : —

Samuel Edwards sworn : Am a blacksmith, residing at the White Hills. On the morning of the 1st inst., about one o’clock, was awakened by a great noise in the street.

Got up and ran in the direction that the other people were running. Got as far as a large tree, when I saw a man running in a stooping position. He got up and ran about 200 yards. I followed him, and got within six feet of him, when he snapped a pistol at me. The pistol did not go off. A policeman named Barnett (now dead), was running after the man Brook, who snapped the pistol at me.

Brook fired and shot the policeman dead. When the policeman received the shot he exclaimed, ” I’m shot to the heart.

The spring that he gave when shot knocked the man Brook down. I fell over him. They both fell together. I then took the pistol now produced out of the man Brook’s hand. I identified the man Brook, lying dead at the police camp, as the man who shot Edward Barnett, the policeman.

I heard two shots fired before I came out of my tent, and two afterwards. After Barnett fell on Brook there were no more shots fired. I handed over the pistol to the police. When the man Brook was running he kept his hand on his stomach. Did not see any wound on him.

Constable John McCormick deposed to having seen the bodies brought in to the police camp, and receiving the prisoner and the pistol from the last witness.

Dr. Cooper sworn : Deposed to having made a post mortem examination of the bodies of Lopez and Barnett, assisted by Dr. Dunne.

On the body of Edward Barnett found a gunshot wound two or three inches below the right collar bone. There were no external marks of violence.

On tracing the course of the ball, found it running backwards and to the left side, passing in its course between the first and second ribs, near the junction of the cartilage, through the anterior edge of the superior portion of the right lung, superior portion of the pericardium, perforating the superior vena cava and windpipe, thence through the posterior portion of the superior lobe of the left lung, and passing out of the chest between the fourth and fifth ribs at their angles, perforating the left blade bone about half an inch from the posterior margin.

The bullet now produced I found just beneath the skin. All the other organs were healthy.

The cause of death was the gunshot wound. The bullet exactly fits the pistol produced.

When the deceased Edward Barnett was brought to the police camp he was apparently dead, but gasped twice. I saw the wound in his chest which caused his death.

I also made a post mortem examination of the body of Lopez.

He was brought to the police camp immediately after Edward Barnett, and was quite dead.

I found a gunshot wound about two inches below and to the left of the left nipple. There were no other external marks of violence.

The ball had passed in a direction backwards, through the fifth rib, about an inch and a half from its articulation with the cartilage, through the anterior edge of the left lung, through the left side of the pericardium, then entering the root of the left lung, wounding the left pulmonary artery, and the left bronchial tube, passing out of the chest through the ninth rib, and was found just beneath, the skin, below the inferior angle of the blade-bone.

The bullet is the same size as the one that was found in the body of Edward Barnett.

The cause of death was the gunshot wound.

The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against Joseph Brook, now deceased.

— Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser.




Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918),

Tuesday 9 March 1858, page 2


The HAVELOCK MURDER.— Joseph Gibson, alias Laycock, alias Yorkey, was charged at the Police Court, on Friday, on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of the storekeeper Lopez and Senior Constable Barnett, at Havelock diggings, on the 1st February last. Detective Hyland proved the arrest of the prisoner at 5 o’clock on the same morning, and stated that he answered the description in the Gazette. Prisoner was remanded to Curisbrook. — Times

09 Mar 1858 – BALLAARAT. – Trove


Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (Vic. : 1857 – 1867 ; 1914 – 1918), Friday 10 September 1858, page 3


Edward Barnett. constable, Havelock, family residence Tallow, Ireland, £241 9s, died 1st February, 1858, (shot at the same time as Lopez);