BOYD, Charles, 1827-1897 (printer); [CLISSOLD, Stephen Thomas, 1825-1898]
Complimentary Dinner to S. T. Clissold, Esq., P.M., at Craig’s Royal Hotel, Ballarat on Friday, September 18th., 1863.
Chairman – R. Le Poer Trench, Esq., Vice-Chairman – Robert Lewis Esq., C.M.C., James Baker, Esq., Hon.Sec. Boyd, Printer, Ballarat. Lithograph printed on silk in oval format, 105 x 80 mm (irregular), laid down on the original tissue backing, 220 x 190 mm, with original paper lace overlay, 220 x 190 mm; two light vertical and horizontal folds and some very light foxing, but complete and overall in a very well preserved state.
This delicate silk souvenir is quite possibly a unique survivor – a rare and highly desirable piece of early Ballarat printed ephemera.
Stephen Thomas Clissold (1825-1898) was a Magistrate and Chief Justice at Ballarat. He also happened to be a Cambridge cricket and rowing blue, and was President of the Ballarat Rifle Club. In December 1860 Clissold had married Ada Byron Georgina Sievwright, youngest daughter of the late Captain Charles Sievwright, former Assistant Protector of Aborigines in the Western District of Port Phillip.
On 19 September 1863 the Ballarat newspaper The Star printed a lengthy and detailed report of the previous evening’s valedictory dinner for Clissold given at Craig’s Hotel in honour of his imminent departure for England on leave of absence. Between forty and fifty guests were in attendance; presumably, therefore, there would have been no more than around fifty examples of this silk souvenir printed for the esteemed citizens of Ballarat who were invited to this undoubtedly prestigious event.
R. Le Poer Trench, barrister, was later appointed Q.C. and would serve as Attorney-General for Victoria (1878); Robert Lewis, Chairman of the Municipal Council of Ballarat West, also served as Mayor of Ballarat on three occasions (1862, 1871 and 1880); and James Baker was Chairman of the Ballarat Mining Board.
The printer, Charles Boyd (1827-1897), was born in Londonderry and arrived at Port Phillip from America in 1853 to join the gold rush. According to Federation University, Boyd started printing in Main Road, Ballarat, near the United States Hotel in 1857 and then operated a printing works in Sturt Street, Ballarat from 1861 to at least 1887. The National Library of Australia has a sample book containing ‘over 120 examples of Boyd’s work. Included are programmes, tickets, passes, letterhead, and advertisements’ (https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/191434262).