James Young

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Bendigo Goldfields Petition, August 1853. State Library of Victoria (MS 12440)


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, 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