Hargraves returned to Sydney in March and interviewed the colonial secretary (Sir) Edward Deas Thomson. Encouraged by news from the Tom brothers, Hargraves wrote to the Sydney Morning Herald describing in general terms the rich fields. When sure of the government reward some weeks later he announced in the press the specific areas where gold existed and left for Bathurst early in May. He ignored pleas by the Toms and Lister for secrecy, named the area Ophir and whipped up enthusiasm in the Bathurst district.
Although Hargraves exaggerated and falsified his finds he never denied his main purpose. The government gave him £10,000 and from 1877 an annual pension of £250. He was also showered with testimonials, valuable cups and other trophies. In 1851 be became a commissioner of crown lands for the gold districts and a justice of the peace. In 1853-54 Hargraves visited England, lived in style, met the Queen and in 1855 published Australia and its Gold Fields, which was probably ghosted. Some £3000 poorer he returned with a builder to erect, entirely of cedar, a fine house at Norah Head.
Hargraves's polemical account of the matter in his book did not silence the increasingly bitter Toms and Lister. From 1870 they bombarded parliament with petitions and campaigned in pamphlets and press.
Clancy's comment: The gold era has always been my favourite part of our history. A future book in a few months will be called 'Irish Gold'. It's about the Irish on the goldfields, and also about bushrangers.