John Twentyman

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Bendigo Goldfields Petition Cover, August 1853. State Library of Victoria (MS 12440) and Condemned them to hard labor on the Public Roads of the Colony - A proceeding Your Petitioners maintain to be contrary to the spirit of the British Law which does not recognise the principle of the Subject being a Criminal because he is indebted to the State
That the impost of Thirty Shillings a Month is unjust because the successful and unsuccessful Digger are assessed in the same ratio
For these reasons and others which could be enumerated Your Petitioners pray Your Excellency to Grant the following Petition
* First. To direct that the Licence Fee be reduced to Ten Shillings a Month
* Secondly To direct that Monthly or Quarterly Licenses be issued at the option of the Applicants
* Thirdly To direct that new arrivals or invalids be allowed on registering their names at the Commissioners Office fifteen clear days residence on the Gold Fields before the License be enforced
* Fourthly To afford greater facility to Diggers and others resident on the Gold Fields who wish to engage in Agricultural Pursuits for investing their earnings in small allotments of land
* Fifthly To direct that the Penalty of Five Pounds for non-possession of License be reduced to One Pound
* Sixthly To direct that (as the Diggers and other residents on the Gold Fields of the Colony have uniformly developed a love of law and order) the sending of an Armed Force to enforce the License Tax be discontinued.
Your Petitioners would respectfully submit to Your Excellency's consideration in favour of the reduction of the License Fee that many Diggers and other residents on the Gold-fields who are debarred from taking a License under the present System would if the Tax were reduced to Ten Shillings a Month cheerfully comply with the Law so that the License Fund instead of being diminished would be increased
Your Petitioners would also remind your Excellency that a Petition is the only mode by which they can submit their wants to your Excellency's consideration as although they contribute more to the Exchequer that half the Revenue of the Colony they are the largest class of Her Majesty's Subjects in the Colony unrepresented
And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray etc.
Red Ribbon Movement Monument in Rosalind Park, Bendigo [detail], 2013. Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection


Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854

John Twentyman signed the Bendigo Goldfields Petition in 1853.

Post 1854 Experiences


Death yesterday removed from Ballarat East an old personality in the person of Mr John Twentyman, tailor, of Bridge street, who expired somewhat suddenly yesterday morning after a brief illness, The deceased gentleman, who was seventy years of age, was taken ill on Thursday last with inflammation of the bowels, and despite the unremitting care of Drs Salmon and Morrison, gradually sank. The end, however, though not unexpected, came rather suddenly. Mr Twentyman was born near Exeter. in Devonshire, and came to this Colony in 1851. He travelled to Ballarat very shortly after arriving in Melbourne, and com menced business in Bridge street 15 years ago with Mr Stamper. The firm oF Twentyman and Stamper carried on business up to fifteen years ago, when Mr Stamper retired, and Mr Twentyman continued the businsss up to the time of his death. The old firm com menced business two years before Ballarat East was surveyed. He was the first assessor of the Town of Ballarat, when the civic district was first proolaimed, having as a partner Mr W. Scott, and their duties were in part the same as are now carried out by the revision court. He was one of the first members of the labor committee, and in that capacity administered the affairs of the Free Library for over thirty years. He was, how. ever, of such a retiring disposition that he refused the presidency of that institute no less than eight times. It is a curious fact that the deceased gentleman was one of the three re maining original tradesmen who started business In Bridge street in 1854, the others being Mr W. Scott and Mr A. M. Simmons. Mr Twenty man was a president and vice-president of the Benevolent Asylum for many years, and his active interest in that institution was well known and highly appreciated. He was one of the most benevolent and charitable of our citizens, and his unaffected and modest way of distributing his alms took the sting of charily in its worldly sense away. The deceased gentleman married some 37 years ago, and his wife died some 18 months ago. He was a man held in the highest respect by all classses , and though he never entered public life, took the keenest interest in municipal affairs, and exercised a strong power in the promotion of such institutes for the benefit of his fellow man as the Free Library. He leaves a grown up family of sons and daughters, one of the latter of whom, Mrs Ditchburn, was recently widowed. Much regret was expressed in Bridge street yesterday when the tidings of is demise became known.[1]

See also

Bendigo Goldfields Petition

Ballarat Reform League Inc. Monuments Project

Further Reading


  1. Ballarat Star, 31 January 1899.

External links

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