Victoria 1851 to 1855

Effects of Gold Excitement - Workmen leave their employment; but trade and revenue become greater.

Convicts Prevention Act (1852) - The Convicts Prevention Act passed to check the influx of convicts who, becoming bushrangers, rob the gold escorts.

Aspects of the Victorian Gold Fields - The Goldfields thrive and become very populous

The Gold License Fee - A charge of 30 shillings per month for permission to dig was enforced. The poorer miners evade payment and are imprisioned ; they ask La Trobe to abolish the fee; he refuses but reduces it. He then sends for troops.

Governor Charles Hotham (1854) - Governor Hotham finds the diggers discontented; sympathizes with them, but forms a camp upon the goldfields.

Riot at Ballarat - Scobie, a digger, is believed to have been murdered by Bentley, a hotelkeeper. As retaliation the miners burn down the hotel. As a result the rioters are convicted - Three men are imprisoned for the burning of the hotel. A deputation demands their release, but Hotham refuses. As a protest the diggers burn their licenses.

Insurrection at Ballarat - In November, 1854, diggers commence to push for a fight.

Eureka Stockade - A place surrounded by a high fence is held by the insurgents, under Vern and Lalor. Captain Thomas makes a sudden attack and carries the stockade. Lalor escapes wounded and 26 miners and 4 soldiers are killed.

Aftermath of the Eureka Stockade -Trial of the Rioter went with sympathy from the public - Meetings were held to sympathize with prisoners and eventually they were acquitted. As a result improvements on Gold Fields were made - A commission made inquires resulting in the fee is abolished. "Miners' rights" are issued and Parliamentary representation allowed.

 

 

History of Australia