Lu Puh, a Chinese Burial (Charles Street, Launceston)

INTERMENT OF THE REMAINS OF LU PUH. —The conduct of the countrymen of the Chinese digger Lu Puh, whose murdered remains were discovered at Back Creek is highly creditable to them. They were discovered by Lee Hung, the leader of part of six men at work at Back Creek, and during the excitement which prevailed until after the inquest, all tho witnesses and other visitors at the inquest were treated with liberal hospitality by Lee Hung. He and his countrymen defrayal all expenses incurred in the removal of the body to town and its internment. The remains were covered with calico, over which were placed a shirt, hat, trousers, socks and pair of buff slippers, but no coat, the deceased having been killed when at work. What use the spirit of the deceased maybe make of his new suit, Confucius only knows, but the liberality of his friends is not lessened by the apparent, absurdity of supplying such a costume for use in another sphere. The coffin was conveyed to the cemetery, Mulgrave-square, four Chinese following in a car. After careful interment, but without any ceremony, a board was placed at the top of the grave bearing this inscription in Chinese characters :– La Puh, native of Canton, discovered murdered at Back Creek, or 29th October, 1873.” Lee Hung has since ordered a tombstone to be prepared to be substituted for the board, and he is at present at work at the stores of Messrs. Peters, Barnard and Co. making a substantial wooden fence to surround the grave of his countryman. We fear that few Europeans would be found acting so disinterestedly, and doing so much for the honor and comfort of a dead countryman as the much abused “Heathen Chinese”.
Cornwall Chronicle, 14 November 1873

Charles Street Cemetery Company Treasurer’s Register,

Beechworth Cemetery

Taken one winter morning in 2009 (but not as early as the camera thinks).


The 1850’s gold rush saw many Chinese nationals converge on Beechworth seeking their fortune. As the population grew so too did the need for specialised services to cater for their cultural needs. A section of the Beechworth Cemetery was allocated for burial with the burning towers built in 1857. Mourners used the towers to burn offerings of paper prayers, pork and gifts for the afterlife.
Chinese Burning Towers

Willow Court, New Norfolk

(This is a copy of a post from Journal. The links go to posts on that blog.

Back in 1827, the government decided to construct an Invalid Depot at New Norfolk, for invalid convicts (& paupers) who had to be put somewhere. They couldn’t be put to real work. They couldn’t hang around the hospital taking up beds, because like any good properly-built government institution, the hospital started running out of space soon after it was built. The new Invalid Depot was constructed about 1830.

Soon after the government decided it would be a good idea to send the lunatics out there, because they had to put somewhere and they couldn’t hang around the hospital taking up beds etc., also they kept getting out and causing trouble in the town, and so the complex was extended to form an asylum. Of course, they soon ran out of room here too, so more buildings were constructed.

About the 1850s, as with the other “Imperial institutions” the whole hospital was handed over to the colonial government’s control. (Until this time, the government hospitals were intended for the benefit of convicts in the government’s employ, and any paupers & assigned servants who could find (someone to pay) the fees. The rest of the population had to make their own arrangements. As far as I know, the New Norfolk asylum operated on the same principles. From the middle of the century, hospitals moved to be become wider public hospitals as we know them.) Buildings were constructed, re-modelled, demolished to suit prevailing ideas of the treatment of the mentally ill. Now if I have it right, in the 1930s the site became known as Lachlan Park Hospital (accompanied by a major building programme) and became part of the Royal Derwent in 1968.

John Wing

From trial of Awaan for manslaughter (April 1842).

Awaan, (a Chinese) was indicted fore manslaughter of Sarah Awaan, his child, on the 24th January last. he prisoner ws arraigned, and pleaded ‘Not Guilty.’ It was found necessary to procure the services of an interpreter, Awaan, not being sufficiently conversant with the English language to understand the proceedings. Another Chinese was present in Court, who after being catechised by his Honor, undertook to act as interpreter
Launceston Advertiser, 7 April 1842

A Chinese named John Wing, understanding a little more English than the prisoner, and professing to be a Christian, was sworn in as interpreter. . . The interpreter, who during this examination evinced a great deal more anxiety than the prisoner at the bar, seemed quite at a loss to convey the meaning of this last sentence ; and the Attorney-General was somewhat puzzled to simplify the answer. When at last the interpreter had explained the statement of the witness, the prisoner held up his hands and gazed around the Court with most graphic looks of astonishment, and an inexpressible appearance of horror in his features. The suspicions of the judge were immediately excited as to the faithfulness of the interpreter’s translation, and upon enquiry the prisoner’s astonishment was easily accounted for, the fertile imagination of his countryman having transmogrified the “corresponding injury” into a “leaden bullet,” and thus informed the wonder-stricken Awaan, “that upon opening the brain the doctor discovered a leaden bullet !” This trifling’ error having been rectified, the case proceeded.
Launceston Courier, 11 April 1842


Presumably this is one of the carpenters who arrived on the Nimrod
Died 1846.

18 April 1837 married Sarah Fisher
1 March 1837 Henry born
23 May 1839 John born
17 October 1841 Harriet born
25 January 1852 Harriet died
26 January 1853 Inquest
6 April 1853 Trial for Manslaughter
30 December 1843 John (child) died
4 January 1846 John (adult) died

Marriages, Launceston1837 RGD 36/1/1