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The Alfred Memorial Bells in the Town Hall commemorate the visit to Ballarat by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh in December 1867 and his subsequent recovery from an assassination attempt in Sydney on the 12th March 1868. 

The bells arrived in Ballarat in 1869 and were first rung on Christmas Day 1871. 

In 1868, Prince Alfred was the victim of an assassination attempt. He had been ‘commissioned for a world tour under his command (the) HMS Galatea’. Australia formed part of the world tour which included stops in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney in the many ports of call. Prince Alfred, who had grown in  favour with the public during his visit to Sydney,  was shot by Irishman Henry James O’Farrell. The general community and especially the religious fanatics attacked all Irish Catholics as enemies of the crown. After being nearly torn to pieces on the spot by a lynch mob, O`Farrell was convicted and hanged on 21 April 1868.

To The Editor Of The Star.
Sir,—The great sigh of relief just heaved from the bosom of the Ballarat public, and the warm feeling of gratitude expressed at the happy recovery of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred should, it appears to me, be commemorated in a way that would speak unmistakably in loud and sonorous tones for many generations to come of the loyalty and gratitude of the citizens of Ballarat. As, sir, the would-be murderer is a Ballarat man, let the Ballarat men show their detestation of the attempt and their delight in its frustration in some form or other that shall forcibly express their abhorrence of the crime. I beg to suggest that a canvass be made for subscriptions; to procure a fine peal of bells, to be called the Royal Alfred bells, having inscribed on them an account of the dastardly attempt, and stating that they were erected by the citizens of Ballarat in grateful commemoration of the recovery of his Royal Highness.

On each anniversary convalescence of the Prince (the 19th March), they would be specially rung in commemoration. What, sir, could speak more loudly, or recall more forcibly to the memory of all listeners, the providential escape of the Prince, than the chiming of a Royal Alfred peal of bells. In fact, every time they were rung, whether on Sabbath or week-day, holiday or marriage, they would recall with iron tongue the event, and so in years to come perpetuate the memory of the blessing we have received in the merciful preservation of Victoria's son. I feel confident the public would come forward liberally, but, if done, it must be at once, with energy and system, before the feelings of loyalty, indignation, and heartfelt gratitude, on the part of the public subside. Any ladies or gentlemen desirous of pushing my suggestion to a successful issue will please to communicate with Mr Brind, chemist, Sturt street, or with me any evening after  6 o`clock.
I am, &c., Peter Cazaly. 33 Drummond street, 19th March.
The Ballarat Star, 20 March 1868.



Address:225 Sturt Street, Ballarat Town Hall, Ballarat, 3350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.562128
Long: 143.856706
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Technology
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:09-December-1867
Actual Event End Date:09-December-1867
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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