Eliza’s Story

Who is Eliza Lynch?

'Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, November 1887'

My name is Edward Moate.

I am, by all accounts, a lunatic, and have thus been imprisoned in this wretched asylum for three years. As I write this, I know my time is coming to an end. And none too soon, as this life – this merciless life that I was ripped from my mother’s womb to endure – will be over.

And so, as I write this in the fading light, I ask you, the reader, to bear witness and forgive me for all that I did, and all that I became. Forgive my lies, my transgressions, my weaknesses, my inadequacies. Forgive me my lying, cheating, and dallying, my poor choices, and my deceptions.

Bear witness and show mercy as I confess, for my name is not Edward Moate.

My name is Eliza Lynch.

(Eliza Lynch/Eliza Moate/Edward Moate 1829–1887)

Read more about Eliza Lynch’s amazing and tragic life.

Why Eliza’s?

One night around a campfire, Fiona first heard the story of The Doctor’s Manservant, ‘Edward Moate’, who resided with the local doctor in Bright in the late 1800s. Upon the doctor’s sudden death, Edward was reported to ‘have become insane’, and was arrested and admitted to the Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, whereupon it was discovered that Edward was, in fact, a woman.

This woman’s name was Eliza Lynch.

And so it was from this story that Fiona was inspired to research and write about Eliza’s courageous and tragic life. This led to the design and building of Eliza’s: to pay respect to an amazing woman, and to acknowledge the difficulties that faced all women in those tough years on the goldfields of Bright in the mid-1800s.

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