Thomas Semmens was the son of Richard Semmens. He died as the result of a mining accident.
Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Thomas Semmens 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 funeral of the late Mr. Thomas Semmens of Chidlow's Well, took place on Saturday morning last, in the Anglican portion of the Karrakatta Cemetery, and was largely attended by relatives, friends, and brethren of St. Andrew's Lodge (Freemasons), and brethren of the United Ancient Order of Druids, of which the deceased had been a member. The chief mourners were Mrs. H. Semmens (widow), Miss Gladys Semmens (daughter), Mr. H. Semmens (brother), Mrs. A. Fewing (sister), Mrs. A. Semmens (sister-in-law); and Mr. R. L. Duffield. The pall bearers were Messrs. R. W. Thompson, J. Crawford. Q. H. James (representing St. Andrew's Lodge) J. Brown (representing the Western Australian Government Railways), C. E. Lundgren and J. Hawkins (representing Prince Lodge, U.A.O.D.), and J. Blinco (representing the Grand Lodge, U.A.O.D.), C. E. Rudwick, J. Nolan, and H. Daniels. Wreaths and floral tributes were received from many friends. His Grace Archbishop Riley officiated at the grave, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Donald J. Chipper.
Richard Semmens, father
John Semmens, brother
- West Austraian, 20 June 1916.
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