Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Young lived at Ballarat, and was recorded on the 1855 Electoral Roll, under the electoral qualification of Householder. A Thomas Young 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.
- Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
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Post 1854 Experiences
- The late Mr Thomas Young, who died at Buninyong on 26th instant, was a native of Ayreshire, Scotland, where he was a well-to do tenant farmer. Soon after the discovery of gold in Victoria he set sail with his wife and family in the ship Lochiel for Melbourne, where he arrived towards the end of 1853. Coming on to Ballarat, he settled first at Soldiers’ Hill, where he was camped during the memorable time of the Eureka riots, and many interesting reminisces he had of that period. Removing to the White Flat, just below where the School of Mines is now situated, and which at that time was the temporary home of numerous newly-arrived Welsh and Cornish miners, he followed the usual occupation of the time with indifferent success. But in 1858 the tide turned in his favor when he removed to Scotchmans and became one of the 20 original shareholders. After disposing of his interest in that property a few years later he went to New Zealand for a couple of years at the time of the Dunstan rush. Returning, he tried his fortune at Scarsdale, and was one of the promoters of the Bute and other mines. For the last 36 years, however, he has been settled at Buninyong, following amoung other occupations that of his early manhood. He was twice married, and leaves a widow and family of 11 out of 17, all grown.
Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.