Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Thomas Pritchard 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
- MR. THOMAS PRITCHARD PASSES.
- After a brief illness Mr. Thomas Pritchard, of the firm of Pritchard and Chamberlain, brewers, passed away, at his residence, in Lucan street at 4 o'clock yesterday morning. The deceased was born in Hereford, England in 1831. He left school at the ago of fourteen years, and was subsequently apprenticed to the carpentering trade at Morgan, Worcestershire. In 1857 he left England on the ship Horizon, of the Black Ball line, Reaching Melbourne, he almost immediately came to the Bendigo diggings. For some time he followed his trade as a carpenter and. joiner, and subequently went into the building trade at the Snowy River Rush (Eastern-Gippsland) until 1860, when he became con-nected with the Adelaide Brewery in Luoan street, then carried on by Mr. J. Nelson Jones. He faithfully served his employor for a period of twenty years, and finally, with Mr. P. Chamberlain, leased the brewery in 1878, and they carried on the business successfully ever since. Mr. Pritehard was. of a retiring disposition, and never figured in public life. Not-withstanding he made a large circle of friends throughout the district. He leaves a grown up family of four daughters and two sons. All the daughters are married. One (Mrs Alcock) resides in Sydney, two Mrs. Cripps and Mrs Reed) in Melbourne, and the fourth is Mrs R. T. Trembath, of this City. The sons George and Thomas, are well-known citizens, the former carrying on business as a cordial manufacturer. The funeral leaves the residence at three o, clock on Sunday, for the Bendigo Cemetery.
- Bendigo Independent, 05 June 1909.
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