William Westgarth

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Background

William Westgarth was born on 15 June 1815 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a merchant, financier, politician and historian.[1]

William Westgarth was died in 1889.[2]

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Post 1854 Experiences

After visiting England Westgarth his returned to Australia and was soon appointed by Lieutenant-Governor Sir Charles Hotham to the commission of inquiry into the goldfields of Victoria and was a natural choice as chairman. Backed by strong-minded colleagues like John Fawkner and (Sir) John O'Shanassy, Westgarth led the commission in refusing to comply with Hotham's order not to investigate the immediate causes of the Eureka Stockade. In January 1855 they recommended a general amnesty — but Hotham pressed on with the treason trials. On the other hand, the commission avoided public investigation of some of the more inflammable features of the conflict. After three months work they presented a statesmanlike report which abounded in generalizations bearing the mark of Westgarth's pen. The major recommendations — an export duty in place of the licence fee, a miner's right which gave legal rights and the vote, and the creation of local courts — were adopted, and brought peace to the goldfields. Westgarth and his fellow commissioners, who were amazed by the extent of resistance to capitalist organization, also paved the way for legislation enabling the formation of limited liability mining companies.William Westgarth was died in 1889.[3]

See also

Further Reading

Corfield, J.,Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.

References

  1. Geoffrey Serle, 'Westgarth, William (1815–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/westgarth-william-4830/text8057, published in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 26 June 2014.
  2. Geoffrey Serle, 'Westgarth, William (1815–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/westgarth-william-4830/text8057, published in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 26 June 2014.
  3. Geoffrey Serle, 'Westgarth, William (1815–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/westgarth-william-4830/text8057, published in hardcopy 1976, accessed online 26 June 2014.

External links

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/westgarth-william-4830



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