NO-ONE ever said running for elections was easy but you should not have to literally flee a mob.
That is what happened to John McIntyre in Long Gully 150 years ago this week during an increasingly toxic election campaign.
By the end of the night he would be forced from the stage, his supporters would be bloody and bruised and he would have been hit in the face.
What happened? Well, a few things - and to be fair, McIntyre might have avoided violence had one of his supporters not run his mouth off in front of the wrong crowd.
Bendigo in the 1870s was a sometimes uneasy mix of people from across the British Empire and further abroad.
McIntyre had made a political name for himself in Bendigo during the 1850s and had even spoken at the Red Ribbon Rebellion, the city's version of the violent Eureka protests that took place later in Ballarat.
That protest might have been peaceful but the miners who gathered there wanted the same thing as the men who were killed and injured by troops: an end to exorbitant mining fees and a stop to heavy-handed treatment at the hands of governments.
McIntyre, a former mayor, was one of five candidates battling for a seat in Victorian parliament on the night of March 8, 1871.
He had gone into the election on a pro-business ticket and was deeply opposed to tariffs on imported goods.
It put him on a collision course with protectionists who hoped to protect Victorian jobs by raising tariffs.
Many of them would likely have been the working class Cornish miners who called Long Gully home.
Campaigning was already tense. There was a little over a week until the election came to a close and had been marred by allegations of underhanded tactics and bad blood between rival factions.
The Bendigo Weekly has not seen any accounts that linked rival candidates themselves to what was about to erupt at Long Gully.
Bendigo's political rallies tended to be much rowdier in 1871 than they are today.
Newspaper accounts would run detailed accounts complete with the moments people cheered, booed or interrupted.
The Bendigo Advertiser's account of the Long Gully meeting was something else altogether.
Candidate met with a storm of groans
McIntyre had planned to speak to his supporters at Long Gully's Manchester Arms at 8pm, but the Advertiser reported a more hostile crowd began milling long before and rushed in "pell mell" as soon as the door opened to get a good seat.
"The hall, which is a large one, was soon crammed with people, some 600 at least being present," the paper said.
They were rowdy and impatient. Then McIntyre appeared.
He made his way towards the centre stage amid "a storm of groans and a few cheers".
The groans continued as he was introduced to the crowd.
Things were becoming very tense. A small circle of McIntyre's supporters decided to stand around the stage so that he could speak.
"Mr McIntyre now tried to calm the wild spirits of Long Gully by his eloquence," the Advertiser wrote.
"What he did say might have been priceless, and been gems of the purest water, but they were lost in the ocean of noise that swallowed up the sounds.
"Even the reporters could not hear a word of what he said; they could just see him wildly gesticulating and using his hands a la Madame Silbley [a popular clairvoyant and mesmerist of the period], as if he would mesmerise the people."
That did not work.
"The other party retorted by putting in force the same tactics, and trying to mesmerise Mr McIntyre," the Addy wrote.
Someone asked for a vote on whether McIntyre should keep speaking. The crowd voted that down with a show of hands.
One Long Gully resident leapt onto the stage and told them even though he opposed McIntyre's policies he wanted to hear him speak.
The answer was a loud and almost unanimous cry of "No".
McIntyre flees his own meeting
McIntyre was in a bind. He could not wait out such a passionate crowd but he figured he could at least call reporters over.
He told them he was convinced the people of Long Gully would be on his side if not for an organised group too afraid to hear him out.
He also made his thoughts about those he thought had organised the crowd known - and he was loud enough that those very organisers overheard him.
A group from the audience rushed the stage in what appears to have been an attempt to take control of the meeting.
They knocked McIntyre and the reporters over in their rush.
They smashed a table.
Some quick-thinker threw the pieces out the window before anyone else thought to use them as weapons.
"McIntyre made one more ineffectual attempt to address the meeting, but met with a storm of groans, and seeing then that he must give way at once took his hat in hand, waved it around his head and made for the door, his supporters rushing after him," the Advertiser wrote.
Cast out of his own meeting, McIntyre and his small band decided to go down the road and see if they could find somewhere else to have their rally.
They ended up at the British and American Hotel but realised another candidate's crowd was there. They should have moved on much faster.
One of McIntyre's supporters said the group at the Manchester Arms were not Cornishmen, they were "cousin Jacks".
That was a mistake.
Cornishmen often used the term "cousin Jack" as one of endearment for fellow countrymen. The pub crowd did not appreciate it being used as a slur.
"A serious row ensured," the Advertiser wrote of the melee that followed.
Someone gave McIntyre's supporter a black eye.
A stone smashed into someone's face.
In the confusion, McIntyre was hit.
He and his group got in a carriage and quickly made for Bendigo.
The fallout from the Long Gully meeting
The next day, the Advertiser blamed the Manchester Arms debacle on selfish electioneering by rival supporters.
"We have to enter a most emphatic protest against such disgraceful proceedings," it thundered the next morning.
It seems unlikely that the sitting candidates would have wanted to offend widely-held British sensibilities about fair play.
The paper made it clear it did not believe the incident at the British and American Hotel was linked with McIntyre's rivals and was instead a spontaneous incident.
McIntyre was back at the stump the next day and was upbeat, saying he would not play for people's sympathy and that the Manchester Arm crowd's action had probably help him more than hurt.
Like this story: Here's some more from our series WHAT HAPPENED?
He lost the election, which historian W B Kimberly put down to a political shift towards protectionism in his 1895 book Bendigo and Vicinity.
But McIntyre would go on to win Victorian public office and rise to a number of senior positions within the colony. Kimberly spoke highly of his character, honesty and fortitude throughout his career.
Maybe things were not so clear cut in 1871. Maybe there were people who would have disagreed with Kimberly's assertions 24 years later.
Who can say for sure?
This is the latest in a regular Bendigo Weekly series about our city's history called WHAT HAPPENED? The Weekly would like to thank historian Jim Evans for his advice on this story.
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