Tag Archives: Victoria

Reform

On 27 March 1855, the Royal Commission released its report largely written by William Westgarth and John O’Shanassy. [1] In its three months of work, it had asked over 6,000 questions of elected representatives, diggers and camp officials. Though it … Continue reading

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Three Rebellions…a second edition

There have been important change in the Rebellion Trilogy, a series of books that were written between 2004 and 2010 and published in 2010, 2011 and 2013.  The series will become a Quartet with the addition of a fourth volume … Continue reading

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Planning the attack

The attack on the Eureka Stockade in the early hours of Sunday 3 December 1854 demonstrated the superiority of regular military forces against rebels. [1] By early December, there were 450 men in the Government Camp including 150 mounted men … Continue reading

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A false dawn

Rumours were rife in Melbourne. The goldfield was said to be in rebel hands and people became uncomfortably aware that the diggers could form an army tens of thousands strong and be on their way to pillage their defenceless town. … Continue reading

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More negotiations: Friday 1 December

For Charles Evans and many others, the night of 30 November was spent in sleepless dread of an impending confrontation: …a fearful thunder storm the most violent I have witnessed since I have been on the diggings, broke over our … Continue reading

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Under the Southern Cross

On 28 November, the Argus commented in its leader: Canada could not get a British statesman to listen to her grievances till she broke out in rebellion…We must warn the diggers that it is no slight affair upon which they … Continue reading

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Moderate reformers lose control

On Wednesday 29 November, a poster printed at the Ballarat Times office appeared around the diggings and the township, advertising another ‘Monster Meeting’ at Bakery Hill at 2.00 pm. [1] It advised diggers to ‘bring your licenses, they may be … Continue reading

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Arresting the murderers

Later on 23 October 1854, a large public meeting was held at 2.00 pm at Bakery Hill where the 10,000 to 15,000 diggers showed their support for McIntyre and Fletcher, established a Defence Fund for their trial and gave an … Continue reading

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Arresting the arsonists

The burning of the Eureka Hotel marked a precipitous deterioration in the relationship between the Ballarat diggers and the authorities and the unplanned riot showed diggers just how effective their numerical superiority could be. Rede ordered the arrest of the … Continue reading

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The beginnings of rebellion

It is not fines, imprisonments, taxation and bayonets that is required to keep a people tranquil and content. It is attention to their wants and their just rights alone that will make the miners content. [1] Ballarat had not played … Continue reading

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A new governor with old problems

In May 1854, La Trobe left Victoria for England and his replacement, Sir Charles Hotham arrived in Melbourne on 21 June. [1] Born in 1806, Hotham had largely been at sea since the age of twelve. His defeat of Argentinean … Continue reading

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Tension in 1853

There had been some opposition in the Ballarat goldfield to the introduction of the license fees in September 1851 but this had passed without incident. In 1853, Dr Alfred Yates Carr, who had only recently arrived in the colony and … Continue reading

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Re-examining the license

The Red Ribbon rebellion came as a real shock for the Government. Commissioner Wright said that the license fee could now probably not be collected and the Government feared revolution. La Trobe completely failed to appreciate the depth of feeling … Continue reading

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Protest in 1853: growing tensions

The most serious incident took place at Castlemaine in early May 1853 and was significant for several reasons: the unprecedented levels of violence used by the police, the reaction of the diggers, and the ineffectiveness of their representatives. [1] A … Continue reading

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Protest in 1853: the beginnings

At the beginning of 1853, a series of unconnected incidents when the police acted corruptly or over-zealously contributed to mounting bitterness. A petition from Korong in January protested against police perjury and brutality and a month later, La Trobe brought … Continue reading

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