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» Julia Mathews

Julia Mathews

Photograph H10272
Pictures Collection

Julia Mathews was a 15-year old actress who toured Beechworth in 1854 while Burke was a police officer there. Burke fell in love with her, followed her on tour, offered to marry her and attempted to win over her mother - with little success. Six years later he was still in love and, before departing on the Victorian Exploring Expedition, made at least one will which left everything to Julia. Even on the journey, the Secretary of the Exploration Committee was sending Burke notes about 'you know who', as if they were a couple of schoolboys.