The City of Bendigo had its origins in 1840, when the site was included in the Ravenswood Run. The Southern area was run by a fan of English boxing Champion William Abednego Thompson, who used Thompson's middle name as his own nickname. 'Abednego' was a Biblical name which few could prounounce, and it was corrupted to become 'Bendigo'.
Eleven years later gold was discovered at The Rocks of Golden Point - now Golden Square - and in 1852 a Gold Field Commission was appointed. Bendigo was soon the richest goldfields town in Australia. The first church was erected and the first police court held the year gold was discovered. Road construction also began, but it took three more years for municipal government to be established. The Sandhurst Municipal District was formed in 1855, and the first Municipal Council held in 1856. The Council lacked appropriate accommodation until the first Town Hall was completed in 1859. In 1861 Sandhurst was proclaimed a Town, the same year that a gaol was built. The following year a railway line to Melbourne opened.
In 1891 the City of Sandhurst was renamed the City of Bendigo.
Bendigo History website http://www.bendigohistory.com, accessed 20/10/2003.