H.T. Holyoake

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Bendigo Goldfields Petition Cover, August 1853. State Library of Victoria (MS 12440) and Condemned them to hard labor on the Public Roads of the Colony - A proceeding Your Petitioners maintain to be contrary to the spirit of the British Law which does not recognise the principle of the Subject being a Criminal because he is indebted to the State
That the impost of Thirty Shillings a Month is unjust because the successful and unsuccessful Digger are assessed in the same ratio
For these reasons and others which could be enumerated Your Petitioners pray Your Excellency to Grant the following Petition
* First. To direct that the Licence Fee be reduced to Ten Shillings a Month
* Secondly To direct that Monthly or Quarterly Licenses be issued at the option of the Applicants
* Thirdly To direct that new arrivals or invalids be allowed on registering their names at the Commissioners Office fifteen clear days residence on the Gold Fields before the License be enforced
* Fourthly To afford greater facility to Diggers and others resident on the Gold Fields who wish to engage in Agricultural Pursuits for investing their earnings in small allotments of land
* Fifthly To direct that the Penalty of Five Pounds for non-possession of License be reduced to One Pound
* Sixthly To direct that (as the Diggers and other residents on the Gold Fields of the Colony have uniformly developed a love of law and order) the sending of an Armed Force to enforce the License Tax be discontinued.
Your Petitioners would respectfully submit to Your Excellency's consideration in favour of the reduction of the License Fee that many Diggers and other residents on the Gold-fields who are debarred from taking a License under the present System would if the Tax were reduced to Ten Shillings a Month cheerfully comply with the Law so that the License Fund instead of being diminished would be increased
Your Petitioners would also remind your Excellency that a Petition is the only mode by which they can submit their wants to your Excellency's consideration as although they contribute more to the Exchequer that half the Revenue of the Colony they are the largest class of Her Majesty's Subjects in the Colony unrepresented
And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray etc.
Red Ribbon Movement Monument in Rosalind Park, Bendigo [detail], 2013. Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection

Background

Henry Thomas Holyoake was the brother George Jacob Holyoake.

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

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE.
STATE TRIALS (To the Editor of the Age)
Sir, — 1 haver just finished reading the report of John Joseph's trial, one of the State prisoners. In that report I find the first witness called on behalf of the Crown was one trooper Goodenough, who said — ' that he was a trooper, and was stationed at Ballarat in November. Remembered being present at a meeting held on the 29th Bakery Hill. There were placards calling that meeting. There were about 1500 persons, as near as he could guess. There was a platform erected. Heard Holyoake, Kennedy, Hayes, and others address the meeting. Could tell the substance of what Hayes said. Now it is a great pity that trooper could not remember what I said upon that day, and I do think he would have remembered had he been asked by the Attorney General. But, sir, the truth is, I was on the Bendigo at the time that meeting was held. I had not been on Ballarat for eight days before, and did not return till nine days afterwards. So on the day that ' gent' said he saw me and heard me speak at the meeting held on tho 29th at Bakery Hill ther were eighty miles between us. I bring these facts under notice that you may know the kind of rascals we have had to deal with on Ballarat, also, the kind of men Government have to support its charge against the prisoners. I say rascals, because none but a heartless, unprincipled rascal could give utterance to such falsehoods at a time when the very lives of his follow men depended upon what he said. The Attorney General must indeed feel proud of such supporters. Men after his own heart, I think, some one whispers. I doubt not the Attorney General will do his best to gain a verdict for the Crown. But let let him careful upon what evidence that verdict shall rest. The time is past when the innocent shall be sacrificed for 'blood money.' H.T. HOLYOAKE. Ballarat, Feb. 26th.[1]

Obituary

THE LATE MR H. T. HOLYOAKE.
The death of Mr Henry Thomas Holyoake, to which we briefly referred on Monday, as mentioned in the Bacchus Marsh Express deserves more notice than it has, so far, received. Mr H.T. Holyoake was the brother of the well-known George Jacob Holyoake, of London, famous as a writer for the press and the author of several very concise but useful works, and especially as the author of the "History of Co-operation.” It was Mr J.G. Holyoake who conferred on the followers of Lord Beaconsfield the name of Jingoes, by which they were recently always spoken of by their opponents. Mr H. T. Holyoake came to the colony in 1853, having been previously engaged as a printer in Queen’s Head Passage Paternoster Row, London, where many republican and socialist works were published by the well-known Mr Watson, who, with others did a great deal of good work in getting the repeal of the taxes on news papers, and the right of free speech in those days when the Government thought it necessary to keep a very tight rein on the people. The late Mr H. T. Holyoake took part, with Mr Thompson, of Castlemaine in establishing the Diggers’ Advocate in 1853 of which the late Mr George Black was part proprietor. This paper was edited for some months by Mr H.R. Nicholls, and the late Mr Ebenezer Syme contributed articles to it, Mr H. T. Holyoake and Mr H.R. Nicholls, influenced by the news from Ballarat, started from Melbourne for that place in March, 1831 and walked from Geelong together. Mr Holyoake took part in various public movements at the time, and was a delegate to Sand hurst, where he had previously been, to bring up tbe diggers from that place to assist in the Eureka Stockade movement. He arrived on his return journey at Creswick on Sunday night, the 3rd December, 1854, and heard that the Stockade had been captured, and, therefore, returned very quietly to Ballarat. He had been promised help from Sandhurst, but it did not come after the fall of the Stockade. Mr Holyoake kept the Excelsior Boarding-house on the Red Hill for some time, and took a leading part in establishing what was called the Mechanics’ Institute, which consisted of a large tent somewhat eastward of the John o’ Groat’s hotel. Discussions took place in this “institution" of a lively character, lectures were given, and a good deal of dancing done, the place being rushed once or twice by the equally lively outside public, which, in those days, had a free and’ easy way of joining in any fun that might be going on. The institute finally died out, and Mr Holyoake proceeded to some new rushes further up the country, and afterwards went to Melbourne, where he followed his original trade as a saddler, and became a Berryite and. a supporter of protection. His death snaps another of the links connecting the present with the early days of Ballarat, and leaves but a few more, comparatively, to be broken before those who made the early history of the place will cease to write or speak about it.[2]


THE LATE MR H. T. HOLYOAKE.
The death of Mr Henry Thomas Holy oake, to which we (Ballarat Star) briefly referred on Monday, deserves more notice than it has, so far, received. Mr H. T. Holyoake was the brother of the well known George Jacob Holyoake, of Lon don, famous as a writer for the press, and the author of several very concise but useful works, and especially as the author of the " History of Co-operation." - It was Mr J.T. Holyoake who conferred on the followers of Lord Beaconsfield the name of Jingoes, by which they were recently always spoken of by their op ponents. Mr H. T. Holyoake came to the colony in l853, having been previously engaged as a printer in Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster Row, London, where many republican and socialist works were published by the well-known Mr Watson, who, with others, did a great deal of good work in getting the repeal of the taxes on newspapers, and the right of free speech, in those days when the Government' thought it necessary to keep a very tight rein on the people. The late Mr H.T. Holyoake took part, with Mr Thompson, of Castlemaine, in establishing the Diggers' Advocate in 1853, of which the late Mr George Black was part proprietor. This paper was edited for some months by Mr H. R. Nicholls, and the late Mr Ebenezer Syme contributed articles to it. Mr H. T. Holyoake and Mr H.R. Nicholls, influenced by the news from Ballarat, started from Melbourne for that place in March, 1854, and walked from Geelong together. Mr Holyoake took part in various public movements at the time, and was a delegate to Sandhurst, where he had previously been, to bring up the diggers from that place to assist in the Eureka Stockade movement. He arrived on his return journey at Creswick on Sunday night, the 3rd December, 1854, and heard that the Stockade had been captured, and, therefore, returned very quietly to Ballarat. He had been pro mised help from Sandhurst, but it did not come after the fall of the Stockade. Mr Holyoake kept the Excelsior Boarding house on the Red Hill for some time, and took a leading part in establishing what was called the Mechanics' Insti tute, which consisted of a large tent somewhat eastward of the John o' Groat's Hotel. Discussions took place in this " institution " of a lively character, lec tures were given, and a good deal of dancing done, the place being rushed once or twice by the equally lively outside public, which, in those days had free and easy way of joining in any fun that might be going on. The institute finally died out, and Mr Holyoake proceeded to some new rushes further up the country, and afterwards went to Melbourne, where he followed his original trade as a saddler, and became a Berryite and a supporter of protection. His death snaps another of the links connecting the present with the early days of Ballarat, and leaves but a few more, omparatively, to be broken before those who made the early history of the place will cease to write or speak about it.[3]

See also

Bendigo Goldfields Petition

Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monuments Project

Henry Nicholls

Further Reading

References

  1. THe Age 01 March 1855.
  2. Ballarat Star, 01 February 1881.
  3. Geelong Advertiser, 02 February 1881.

External links

https://blogs.slv.vic.gov.au/family-matters/collections/did-you-ancestor-sign-the-bendigo-goldfields-petition/


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