James Young

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Janet Kyle married James Young in Jedburgh in 1845 when she was 18. It is believed they first went to America or Canada before coming to Victoria, in 1853 or 1854. They already had three children when they arrived and produced another five boys and two girls at Ballarat, Durham Lead and Buninyong. Their children were: Ann (1847 - 1945); Adam (1850 - 1907); Thomas (1852 - 1934); Janet (1855 - 1947); James (1857 - 1945); John (1858 - 1940); Margaret (1860 - 1941); Alexander (1861 - 1905); David Mark (1863 - 1950); Andrew (1865 - 1932).[1]

James Young senior was a miner and it is believed that in December 1854, at the time of the Eureka uprising, their tent was at a location known as the Gravel Pits which was enclosed by, or close to, the Eureka stockade. (There is a record which shows that in March 1853 a James Young took out a gold licence and gave his address as the Gravel Pits) Family anecdote relates that Janet hid Peter Lalor, leader of the uprising and later a Member of the Victorian Parliament, and tended his wound while the troopers were searching for him immediately after the rebellion was quashed. It was this wound that ultimately led to the loss of his arm. James Young was killed at the age of 43 in an accident while working at the Band of Hope and Albion mine in 1869. Janet did not remarry and lived to the age of 79; she buried with her husband in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery.[2]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

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


Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854

James Young was a digger who 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

James Young was a digger residing at Black Hill when he signed the Benden Hassell Petition in 1855. [3]

See also

Benden Sherritt Hassell Compensation Case

Further Reading

Wickham, Dorothy, Shot in the Dark: Being the Petition for the Compensation Case of Benden S. Hassell, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1998.


  1. http://www.electricscotland.com/history/australia/kyle_family.htm, accessed 10/11/2014.
  2. http://www.electricscotland.com/history/australia/kyle_family.htm, accessed 10/11/2014.
  3. Wickham, Dorothy, Shot in the Dark: Being the Petition for the Compensation Case of Benden S. Hassell, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1998.

External links