Senior Constable Thomas CookePrint Page Print this page

Senior Constable Thomas Cooke : 28-May-2011
Senior Constable Thomas Cooke : 28-May-2011
Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

Plaque commemorates Senior Constable Thomas Cooke.

In 1857, Thomas Cooke, undoubtedly saved the lives of a number of Chinese miners from a public riot that could have had grave consequences for the young colony of Victoria. The foray commenced near the bottom of Golden Point, and out about a mile from the chief camp. The ringleaders of the affray tore down and destroyed mining equipment owned by the Chinese and the situation escalated.

Senior Constable Cooke boldly placed himself in front of the mob and by his presence of mind, tact and discretion, lives were probably saved, and the Chinese camp not destroyed. A compromise was reached, giving the Chinese permission to remain for several more days. On leaving the police force Cooke took up the running of The Panama store at Chewton and suicided by hanging on the 28 August 1882.


Address:50 Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine Police Station, Castlemaine, 3450
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.064714
Long: 144.218421
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Actual Event Start Date:25-July-1857
Actual Event End Date:25-July-1857


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 6th June, 2009
Front Inscription

On July 25th 1857, Senior Constable Thomas Cooke single-handedly faced down a rioting mob of several hundred miners at the Golden Point diggings.

The insurgents were on their way to destroy a camp of Chinese miners, who were at the time extremely unpopular on the gold-fields.

Probably no-one would have then blamed Constable Cooke if he had backed down and allowed the mob to pass, but through his courage and determination to see the rule of Law enforced, he prevented what would otherwise have been a shameful massacre.

Let his name be remembered in honour.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au