Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Signed the 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition. Agitation of the Victorian goldfields started with the Forest Creek Monster Meeting in 1851, but what became known as the Red Ribbon Movement was centred around the Bendigo goldfields in 1853. The Anti-Gold License Association was formed at Bendigo in June 1853, led by George Thomson, Dr D.G. Jones and 'Captain' Edward Browne. The association focused its attention on the 30 shillings monthly licence fee miners were required to pay to the government. They drew up a petition outlining digger grievances and called for a reduced licence fee, improved law and order, the right to vote and the right to buy land. The petition was signed by diggers at Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, McIvor (Heathcote), Mount Alexander (Harcourt) and other diggings. The 13 metre long petition was presented to Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe in Melbourne on the 01 August 1853, but their call for a reduction in monthly licence fees and land reform for diggers was rejected. The diggers dissatisfaction erupted into the Red Ribbon Rebellion where agitators wore red ribbons on their hats symbolising their defiance of the law and prohibitive licence fees.
Post 1854 Experiences
The Late Murder at Pleasant Creek.- In yesterterday's Herald we gave, from the Argus, the particulars of the finding of the decomposed body of a China-man, in a prospecting hole, about a mile from the Deep Lead. The coroner of the district, Dr. Macdonald, held an inquest upon the remains on Thursday last, John Graham, the woodcutter, who discovered the body, and Samuel Milliken, of the mounted police, described its appearance, when first seen on the 10th instant. The most important testimony, however, was that of Dr. Brisbane, living at Pleasant Creek, who said:- I have made a post mortem examination of the body in the adjoining tent, and found on the anterior part of the head three wounds, and three wounds cn the posterior. The left side of the skull was com-pletely beaten in. There was one wound above the eye, which, in my opinion, was made by a bullet, and there was a corresponding wound at the back.'he wound appeared as if made by a bullet entering at the anterior part and escaping at the posterior. I think that the other wounds found on the anterior and posterior parts of the head were made by other instruments. I found many fragments of bones in the cavity of the skull, but nothing else. The lower jaw on the right side wss severely fractured. The other parts of the body bore no traces of violence, and the organs of the chest and abdomen were perfectly healthy. It is my opinion that death resulted from the wounds described, and that death was immediate and violent. I think that those wounds were in-flicted by a second party. I believe the deceased to have been a Chinaman. I think that a pistol would produce one of the wounds, and such an instrument as a pick the other wounds I found. Some blunt instrument produced the fracture of the jaw. From the appearance of the wounds I think that more than one person was concerned in causing the death of the de-ceased. I think it is about five or six weeks since deceased met with his death. Verdict-" That the deceased man, unknown, of the Mongolian race, came to his death from wounds produced on the forehead and jaw by some Instruments in the, hands of some party or parties unknown."
- Sydney Morning Herald, 24 August 1858.
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