Goldfield Timeline

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1840

Count Paul de Stezelecki reports a gold discovery in the Victorian Alps.

1845

Buninyong splitter, George Innes, discovers gold at Black Hill, Ballarat

1847

Melbourne jeweller, J. Forrester, buys an apple shaped piece of gold from a shepherd.

1848

Melbourne jeweller, named Robe, bought gold from another shepherd.

Melbourne jeweller, Charles Brentani, buys gold from Thomas Chapman, starting a rush in early 1849.

1849

number of Victorians leave for the goldfields of California.

1850

Campbell’s Creek squatter, William Campbell, Finds gold in Clunes reefs, and later receives a government reward.

1851

E.H. Hargraves found gold, causing the first New South Wales goldrush at Summerhill Creek near Bathurst. (1869 Bal Directory says found at Turin) This starts an exodus of people from Melbourne to Sydney.

June 1851 - A Melbourne Committee offers a £200 reward for the discovery of payable gold within 200 miles from Melbourne.

July 1851 - James Esmond finds gold at Clunes, and turns in his find to the Committee, beginning a rush to Clunes. The reward is not paid until 1853.

July 1851 - Louis John Michel finds gold at Anderson’s Creek (Warrandyte), and turns in his find to the Committee. A Government award of £1,000 for this discovery was paid to them. Previous to this discovery gold had been several times brought into Geelong and Melbourne from the Pyranees and Mt William. (Ballarat Directory, 1869). The reward is not paid until 1853.

July 1851 - Gold discovered at Mt Alexander (Castlemaine).

8 August 1851 - Gold is discovered at Buninyong by Thomas Hiscock. This discovery is credited with the opening up of the Ballarat goldfield. (Macfarlane)

10 August 1851 - Thomas Hiscock reveals the locality of his gold discovery at Buninyong.

August - A rush begins to Hiscock’s at Buninyong.

August - Gold is discovered at Golden Point, Ballarat. There were fourteen persons present at this discovery including Hiscock, Edmunds, James Oddie, Chalmers, A. Clark, Turner, Woodward, Bray. (Ballarat Directory, 1869).

19-20 September 1851 - F.C. Doveton. Ballarat's first gold commissioner, arrives in Ballarat. His announcement to the digger's that they would know be subjected to the government's authority and regulations enraged the largely law-abiding community. An attempt to boycott the gold licence was broken when the diggers, eager to get to work, lined up to buy their licences. (Macfarlane)

13 December 1851 - The Government planned to double the licence for to £3 per month, but this was rescinded after pressure from diggers in Melbourne and Geelong. (Macfarlane)

October 1851 -Gold is discovered at Bendigo.

October 1851 - Gold is discovered at Jim Crow (Daylesford)

October 1851 - There is an enormous rush to Mt Alexander (Castlemaine), with Melbourne being almost without males.

1851 - A ‘Monster Meeting’ of diggers at Mt Alexander meets over the proposed increase in the licence fee to £3 per month.

1852

February 1852 - Gold discovered at Beechworth.

April 1852 - First great rush to Bendigo.

May 1852 - Ballarat’s Eureka Lead discovered

May 1852 - Gold discovered at Daisy Hill (Talbot).

May 1852 - Gold Discovered at Korong (Wedderburn)

14 August 1852 - A dispute on the Bendigo goldfield over a gold claim escalated in to a riot involving over 150 men. An enquiry called for more police to keep peace on the diggings. (Macfarlane)

02 October 1852 - Diggers at Lever Flat, near Castlemaine, met to discuss high crime levels in the area. The meeting agreed to withhold licence fees and put the money to use in a Mutual Protection Association" which would include anprison, and a patrol of the diggings.(Macfarlane)

23 October 1852 - Lieut-Governor Charles La Trobe receives a memorial from the Lever Flat Diggers calling for more police. (Macfarlane)

1852 - Gold discovered at Omeo, McIvor and Mt Moliagul.

1853

The Gold Commission begins, with W.H. Wright as Chief Commissioner. The Gold Commission involves administrative camps.

1853 - Thomas Hiscock is given a reward of £1000 for discovering gold in the Ballarat Region. (Macfarlane)

March 1853 - Rush to Tarnagulla, Jones Creek and Moliagul.

1853 - Gold discovered at Steiglitz.

13 June 1853 - Meetings of diggers at Bendigo protest at the Licence Fee and other grievances. Signatures for Monster Petition sought. (Akers)

22 June 1853 - The diggers of Bendigo petitioned Charles La Trobe to make it easier to purchase land near the goldfields. (Macfarlane)

July 1853 - Gold discovered at Tarrangower by John G. Mechosk.

16 July 1853 - Around 6,000 people attend an anti-licence meeting at Bendigo. The diggers complained that they were unrepresented in the legislature. (Macfarlane)

The Chief Commissioner, William Wright, tells the Governor that he thought the licence should be dropped in favour of an export duty on gold. (Macfarlane)

26 July 1853 - A petition, with over 8,000 signatures is presented to Lt-Governor Charles La Trobe. (Akers)

28 July 1853 - An anti-Licence meeting is held at Castlemaine. One speaker suggests that the British flag might be replaced by a diggers' flag. (Akers)

July 1853 - Charles La Trobe announces his resignation as Governor (BFAG)

1853 - Bendigo riots of the Gold Licence Tax. Diggers offered to pay 10/- and those prepared to pay more were warned off the field. Troop reinforcement were sent from Tasmania.

July 1853 - Waranga goldfield (including Rushworth and Whroo) opened.

1854

Chinese begin to arrive on the goldfields in large numbers

May 1854 - Yandoit goldfield opened.

July 1854 - Rush to Maryborough.

13 August 1853 - Anti-Gold License Association report back to Bendigo diggers. A "Digger's Flag" is flown for the first time. (Akers)

18 August 1853 - Delegates from Bendigo hold meeting at Ballarat's Canadian Gully and Eureka, Ballarat's resident Commissioner, James Clow, reported that the inflammatory speeches did not make a great impression on the Ballarat diggers. (Macfarlane)

20 August 1853 - Governor Charles LaTrobe published his response which effectively dismisses the diggers' demands. (Akers)

- A meeting held at Beechworth called for the reduction of the licence to ten shillings and the franchise for miners. (Macfarlane)

21 August 1853 - A huge meeting at Bendigo agrees not to pay next month's Licence Fee and to wear red ribbons to advertise non-payment. (Akers)

22 August 1853 - Diggers at Waranga meet and decide to petition the Governor for a reduction of the licence to ten shillings. (Macfarlane)

27 August 1853 - About 300 people meet at Castlemaine to protest against the licence fee. (Macfarlane)

28 August 1853 - Bendigo differs again demands a reduction of the Licence Fee in a major confrontation with local authorities. (Akers)

About 2,000 miners passed the Government Camp in Bendigo on the way to an anti-licence meeting at View Point. They carried banners and were accompanied by musicians. Shots were fired (Macfarlane)

30 August 1853 - After another meeting of Bendigo diggers on 28 August, Governor Charles LaTrobe and the Legislative Council agree to suspend Septembers Licence Fee pending review of the system by a Committee of Inquiry. (Akers)

July/Oct 1853 - Bendigo's Red Ribbon Movement was active on the goldfields, and demands a reduction of the licence fee to ten shillings. The diggers planned to offer only ten shillings and allow themselves to be arrested, thus causing overcrowding in the prisons and the administrative process (BFAG) (Macfarlane)

6 September 1853 - Dr Alfred Carr, W. Fraser and Edward Kemp who campaigned against the licence fee in Ballarat went to Melbourne to address the Legislative Council's Gold Fields Committee. (Macfarlane)

14 September 1853 - Legislation is passed creating a three month licence fee.

24 September 1853 - The new Act reduces the licence to 40 shillings for three months. This was very popular on the goldfields and reduced the tension between the diggers and authorities to some degree (Macfarlane)

October, 1853 - The Gold Fields Act is revised to reduce the licence fee and to create time-multiples with corresponding reduction in fees. (Akers)

November 1853 - The Select Committee's Bill for the Better Management of the Gold Fields. It proposes a licence fee of £1 for one month, £2 for three months, £3 for six months and £5 for 12 months. It also recommends enfranchisement of diggers and the opening of lands in the vicinity of the goldfields. The Government amends the proposal by increasing the 6 month licence to £4, and the 12 month fee to £8. (BFAG)

3 December 1853 - 2000 people attend an anti-licence meeting at Bendigo. (Macfarlane)

9-10 December 1853 - Several hundred miners clashed in Ballarat over a dispute between Irish and English. This was followed up by a drunken brawl on 27 December. Several men were shot. (Macfarlane)

31 December 1853 - At View Point, Bendigo 500 people met to elect members to the Diggers Congress. (Macfarlane)

1854

March 1854 - The Bill to Extend the Elective Franchise, drawn up by the Legislative Council, was sent to London for the assent of the English Parliament. The bill would have conferred the vote on holders of a twelve-month mining licence, with certain residence qualifications.

13 March 1854 - Another riot between the English and the Irish threatened to erupt at Ballarat. (Macfarlane)

20 March 1854 - Many Chinese diggers were wounded by knives and guns when a fight broke out among the residents of the Chinese Camp at Eureka. (Macfarlane)

28 March 1854 - Great Britain and France declared war on Russia beginning the Crimean War. (Macfarlane)

May 1854 - Charles LaTrobe leaves Victoria for England, and Col-Sec. Foster acts as Lieut-Governor until the arrival of Governor Hotham.

16 May 1854 - Chief Commissioner Wright recommended that Robert Rede fill the position of Resident Commissioner in Ballarat. (Macfarlane)

June, 1854 - Robert Rede replaces Clow as Resident Gold Commissioner at Ballarat.

22 June, 1854 - The Lieut-Governor, Sir Charles Hotham arrives in Victoria. Diggers hope for an end to the unfair licence fee. Hotham inherits a bankrupt treasury, apethetic civil service officials, untrained and undiscliplined police. He orders weekly licence huntsin an attempt to increase the Colony's income.

5 July 1854 - Commissioner Robert Rede describes Eureka Stockade as the most populated and unruly part of the Ballarat Diggings.

22 July, 1854 - Revenue from gold licences was declining. Governor Hotham urges the resident Commissioners of the various goldfields to suggest ways to halt the decline. (Macfarlane)

26 August 1854 - Governor Charles Hotham and Lady Hotham visit Ballarat to inspect the goldfields. The citizens of Ballarat give them a great welcome. Many diggers are left with the impression that the Governor is sympathetic to their desire. (Macfarlane)

At Market Square, Bendigo, about 1500 people meet to hear speakers denounce the licence and the office of the Gold Commission. (Macfarlane)

5.9.1854 - The Bendigo petition was signed with 3 major points: Abolition of licence, democratic representation, land sales.

13 Sept. 1854 Governor Charles Hotham orders twice weekly inspection of gold licences. Previously it had been once per month. It was hoped that the increase in inspections would increase revenue.

07 October 1854

James Scobie, who was in the company of Peter Martin, is killed at James Bentley's Eureka Hotel at about 1.00am, after an argument with the owner, Bentley. The diggers believe Bentley is guilty but feared that the authorities would protect him because of his friendship with him. An inquest is held which implicated James Bentley. The verdict announced that Scobie's wounds were inflicted by unknown persons.

Robert Rede reports to his superiors that the miners were getting very discontented with the continued and frequent licence hunts. Rede believed that this would cause ill feeling towards the commissioners, police and the licence fee itself. (Macfarlane)

09 October, 1954 - The Governor ordered that a magistrate and one or two respectable witnesses were to be ordered at every political meeting on the goldfield in order to take notes. (Macfarlane)

10 October 1854 - Johannes Gregorius, the disable American servant of Ballarat's Catholic priest, Father Patrick Smythe, was called upon to show his licence by Constable James Lord. He reportedly beat Gregorius and insulted Fr Smythe. As a priest's servant he was not required to carry a licence. When this fact surfaced his charge became one of assault on Constable Lord, despite evidence to the contrary. Gregorius was fined £5. (Macfarlane)

Peter Lalor, a young and popular digger on the Eureka Lead, leads a deputaiton of diggers to Commissioner Robert Rede, seeking to have the James Scobie case re-opened. Rede agrees. (Akers)

12 October 1854 - A Coroner's inquest is held into the death of James Scobie. James Bentley was examined before a judicial enquiry. Bentley, a suspect for Scobie’s murder, is released by Magistrate John D'Ewes due to lack of evidence. Rumours suggest that D'Ewes and Bentley are not only friends, but also business partners. There is great disorder in the court as diggers believe there is corruption at work.

15 October 1854 - A Monster meeting is held at Bakery Hill, after the Catholic church service, to protest at the actions of Trooper James Lord. It is mainly attended by Catholics. There is a resolution to meet again the following Sunday to discuss actions.(Akers)

16 October 1854 - The Bank of Victoria on Sturt St, Ballarat was robbed of around £15,000 (Macfarlane)

17 October 1854 - A Monster meeting of around 10,000 diggers protesting against James Bentley's acquittal was held near the place of Scobie's murder. The diggers urged for a more thorough investigation of James Scobie's death. The organising committee included Peter Lalor's in his first role as secretary. Many of the diggers were milling around the Eureka Hotel. The crowd soon becomes out of control. A stone is thrown at the hotel’s lamp, and fire breaks out. The police and military were ineffectual in halting the crowd and Commissioner Robert Rede was pelted with eggs and rubbish when he addressed them. Arrested diggers were rescued from the police and there was rumours that the camp would be stormed by diggers attempting to capture Bentley. Ammunition was issued and arrangements were made to evacuate women and children from the Camp in an emergency. (Macfarlane)

18 October 1854 - Another Monster Meeting was held, mainly attended by Catholics. (Akers)

19 October 1854 - Police reinforcements arrive, another detachment of the 40th Regiment appear a few days later form Melbourne (Akers)

21 October, 1854 - Two diggers, Andrew McIntyre, Thomas Fletcher are arrested and charged with riot for their part in the destruction of the Eureka Hotel. Fletcher, by all accounts, was no where near the scene of the fire. The two diggers are released on exorbitant bail. A third suspect, Westerby, will also be charged in the near future.

A meeting of diggers on Bakery Hill protested against the arrests, and agreed to pay bail for McIntyre and Fletcher. When a large group approached the Camp a violent incident was only averted with the appearance of the 2 prisoners who were carried off by the crowd, to the sound of pistol shots. (Macfarlane)

22 October - Many of Ballarat's Catholic's met after Mass to protest the treatment of Fr Patrick Smyth's servant and the perceived slur upon the Church. Peter Lalor and Thomas Kennedy stir up the diggers. The group decides that the next day their spokesman, Timothy Hayes, would lead a delegation to Commissioner Robert Rede. The group was happy to discover that Constable Lord had been removed from Ballarat, although they wanted the same treatment for Assistant-Commissioner Johnstone. (Macfarlane)

  • By 2.00pm 10-15,000 people met on Bakery Hill. Resolutions were passed calling for funds to defend McIntyre and Fletcher and claimed that the blame for the burning of the Eureka Hotel was with the inept camp officials. (Macfarlane)
  • Police Commissioner MacMahon was given information by Bentley's servant that directly implicated Bentley in the murder of James Scobie. (Macfarlane)
  • In the evening it was reported that a large body of men was making its way from Eureka to meet at the back of the Camp. The military and police were obliged to be alert throughout the night. (Macfarlane)
  • The Diggers’Right Society is formed (Akers)

23 October 1854 - Diggers send a deputation to Rede asking police involved in the Gregorius case to be removed. (Akers)

25 October 1854 A protest meeting, led by Timothy Hayes and John Manning, reported on the delegation to the Camp on the previous Monday in regard to the ill treatment of Father Smythe's servant. The meeting resolved to petition the Governor fro a retrial of Gregorius, and the removal of Assistant-Commissioner Johnston form Ballarat.

27 October 1854 - Captain Thomas, Garrison Commander, developed a detailed plan of defence for the Government Camp at Ballarat. (Macfarlane)

Further military reinforcements arrive from Melbourne. (Akers)

28 October 1854 - Robert Rede notifies his superiors that Henry (Yorkey) Westerby, who he believed was one of the principal ringleaders, had been committed to trial for the burning of the Eureka Hotel. (Macfarlane)

30 October 1854 - Governor Charles Hotham established a board of enquiry into the James Scobie Murder, and the actions of the Camp officials, to quell the unrest. The enquiry sat in Ballarat pm 02 and 10 November.

Governor Charles Hotham releases [Frank Carey] from prison after approaches by the American consul, James Tarleton. (Macfarlane)

1 November 1854 - A meeting of 5,000 diggers propose a "Bendigo plan" of an organisation of miners from all diggings. Other speakers advocated physical force over moral persuasion. (Akers)

2 November 1854 - A Board of Inquiry appointed by Governor Charles Hotham investigates allegations of corruption at Ballarat begins at Bath's Hotel.

10 November 1854 - The Riot Enquiry sat for the final time, and a statement was submitted from John Basson Humffray, Frederick Vern, 'Capt'. Ross and Samuel Irwin in the name of the Ballarat Reform League. They blamed the camp for all the problems. The report of the Riot Enquiry expressed general satisfaction with affairs in Ballarat, but they recommended the dismissal of Police Magistrate Dewes and Police Sergeant-Major Milne who were duly removed. (Macfarlane)

11 Nov, 1854 A Public Meeting on Bakery Hill results in the establishment of the Ballarat Reform League, although it had been active for some weeks. The immediate goals of the League was to abolish the diggers' and storekeepers' licences and remove the gold commissioner.

16 Nov. 1854 Governor Hotham instructed that a commission esquire into the condition of the goldfields. The Chairman of the Gold Fields Commision was W.C. Haines M.L.C. Other members were John Pascoe Fawkner, John O'Shanassy, William Westgarth and James Strachan and the Chief Commissioner of Gold Fields, William Wright. (Macfarlane)

17 Nov. 1854 Hotham announces his intention to appoint a Royal Commission whose role will be to inquire into the Gold Fields.

18 Nov. 1854 James Bentley, Thomas Farrell ad William Hence were convicted of the manslaughter of James Scobie, and sentenced to three years with hard labour working on the roads. Catherine Bentley was found not guilty. (Macfarlane)

20 Nov. 1854 Henry Westerby, Thomas Fletcher and Andrew McIntyre were convicted for the destruction of the Eureka Hotel. Despite the jury's recommendation for mercy and their rider that claimed the whole affair would not have happened but for the incompetence of the Ballarat authorities the three men were sentenced to gaol terms. (Macfarlane) (Akers says 25 Nov)

23 Nov. 1854 James Bentley and two others were convicted of the manslaughter of Scobie (Akers)

25 Nov. 1854 Resident Commissioner Rede receives information that if the convicted incendiarists were not released the Camp would be attacked and the officials driven from Ballarat. (Macfarlane)

27 Nov. 1854 - A deputation of the Ballarat Reform League, including John Basson Humffray, Black and Kennedy, meet with Gov. Hotham, Att.-Gen Stawell and Col.Sec. Foster, with the aim to demand the release of McIntyre, Fletcher and Westerby. Hotham does not believe the diggers have the right to "demand anything."

Father Patrick Smyth secretly informs Robert Rede that the Camp was in danger of attack, with 1000 rifles being available at a moments notice to attack the Camp. (Macfarlane:195)

28 Nov. 1854 - Troop Reinforcement arrive at Ballarat. A detachment of the 12th Regiment enter Ballarat. As they pass the Irish section of the Eureka Lead there is some digger agitation The drummer boy, several of the military, and civilian transport drivers are wounded.

The Ballarat Reform League hold a Monster Meeting is held at Ballarat, licences are burnt, and the Southern Cross is displayed. Peter Lalor is elected leader. (BFAG)

29 November 1854 - The Eureka Flag is unfurled at a monster meeting held on Bakery Hill, and involving over 10,000 people. Peter Lalor tells the diggers to burn their licences in protest. John Basson Humffray, despite his disappointing meeting with Hotham, calls for peaceful resistance, supported by Bishop Goold, Fr Downing and Fr Patrick Smyth. The committee was divided by those who believed in moral force and those who favoured physical force. (Macfarlane:195)

30 November 1854 - A provocative licence hunt occurred in the morning, following the orders of Commissioner Robert Rede. The diggers refused to show their licences and pelt the troopers with rocks as they entered the Gravel Pitts Diggings. Rede read the Riot Act, and troops fire a volley over the diggers heads. Around 6 prisoners are taken to the Government Camp.

Work is suspended on the Eureka Lead. Peter Lalor becomes the leader of the diggers, calls for volunteers to form into companies. Hundreds of volunteers swear an oath to defend their rights under the flag of the Southern Cross, and camp at Eureka.

Disaffected diggers descend upon Bakery Hill. Many were armed and they formed companied under the direction of Peter Lalor. They march, under the South Cross flag, to the Eureka Diggings and begin the construction of a rude slab stockade. (Macfarlane:196)

One of Rede's spies informed him that the Camp would be attacked at 4 o'clock the following morning. Reinforcements were requested. (Macfarlane:196)

01 December 1854 - A large number of diggers congregate around Bath's Hotel, situated near the Camp, in the late afternoon. The Riot Act was read. (Macfarlane:196)

  • During the afternoon the stockade was strengthened. Around 4.30 pm 300-400 Creswick volunteers arrived, lead by a band playing the Marseillaise. The Creswick contingent put an additional strain on the diggers resources.

Major-General Nickle leaves Melbourne for Ballarat, with 800 men and 4 artillery pieces.(Macfarlane:196)

A peace proposal was carried to Rede by Carboni, Black and Fr Smyth. The deputations request was refused. (Macfarlane:196)

A Board of Inquiry into conditions on the Goldfields is set up at Craig’s Hotel in Ballarat. (Akers)

02 December 1854 - The Eureka Stockade is completed (BFAG)

Fr Patrick Smyth tries to persuade the Catholics to lay down their weapons and join him in morning mass the next day.

Assistant -Commissioner Gilbert Amos of tee Eureka Camp was briefly held a prisoner by some of the Stockaders and his horse was taken. (Macfarlane:196)

James McGill and about 200 Independant Californian Rangers arrived in the Stockade in the late afternoon. Because of his supposed military knowledge McGill was made 2nd in command, and decided to leave with mopst of the rangers in the hope of intercepting the reinforcements from Melbourne. (Macfarlane:196)

A huge meeting at Bendigo agrees not to pay the Licence Fee and to revive the wearing of red ribbons to signify non-payment. (Akers)

03 December 1854 - Eureka Stockade battle

At dawn (3.30) the Eureka Stockade is attacked by 296 well armed police and military forces. Around 120 residents of the stockade fight a brief battle. (Macfarlane:197)

22 diggers and 7 military are officially listed as being killed in the 20 minute battle. Hundreds of diggers are arrested and later released. (EOs)

120 prisoners were marched at bayonet point to the Camp. (Macfarlane:197)

04 December 1854 - Governor Charles Hotham imposes martial law.

Henry Seekamp, the editor of the Ballarat Times, was arrested in his office on the charge of seditious libel. He was held with the prisoners taken at the Eureka Stockade. (Macfarlane:197)

A meeting of 1,500 "constitionalists" was held with the Camp's permission. John Basson Humffray justifies his moral position, but the authorities refuse to accept the meeting's resolutions which they descibe as "ambiguous." The night soldiers fire into tent killing three more people. (Akers)

Charles Hotham attempts to enrol Special Constables in Melbourne to defend the city. (Akers)

05 December 1854 - Major-General Nickle arrives in Ballarat, with reinforcements and a cannon, to take command.

A public meeting of loyalists in Melbourne of over 4000 people condemns the actions of the Government and call's for Foster's resignation.

06 December 1854 - Of the 120 prisoner, 13 are finally charged of treason. The others were released due to lack of evidence. (Macfarlane:197)

Meetings are held in Melbourne, Castlemaine and Bendigo to condemn the attack on the stockade and oppose the license.(Macfarlane:198)

Foster if forced to resign. The resignations submitted on 4 November, but Hotham does not reveal it until 6 November. The resignation is effective in the 11th of November. (Akers)

07 December 1854 - A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Gold Fields is announced, and Hotham urges it to start work with the least possible delay. (Akers)

08 December 1854 - Ballarat Police Courts commit 13 diggers for trial in Melbourne on the charge of High Treason.

09 December 1854 - Martial Law is repealed in Ballarat. A Mass Meeting of diggers at Bendigo demands the end of the licence fee and the abolition of the Gold Commission. A similar meeting is held at Castlemaine, which demands the abolition of military rule, and decided not to pay the licence fee. Red ribbons and mourning ribbons were worn.

11 December 1854 - Colonial Secretary Foster resigns. (Macfarlane:198)

12 December 1854 - Nickle returns to Melbourne, although the army remains in Ballarat (BFAG)

14 December 1854 - New Colonial Secretary W. Haines promises reforms on the Gold Fields. (BFAG)

The Goldfields commission sits for the first time. Haines gives up the chairmanship to become the new Colonial Secretary after Foster resignation. His place on the Commission was filled by John Hodhson M.L.C., with Westgarth becoming the new Chairman. (Macfarlane:198)

18 December 1854 - Thomas Bath's Hotel was the venue for the first Ballarat sitting of the Golf Fields Commission. John Basson Humffray was informed that the Commision that they would like representatives of the miners to be present at all sittings. (Macfarlane:198)

23 December 1854- Charles Hotham order the Goldfields Royal Commission not to esquire into the immediate circumstances surrounding Eureka - the Commissioners refuse to obey. A meeting at Bendigo demands Hotham's recall. (Akers)

1855

January - March, 1855 - Agitation for amnesty of Eureka prisoners (BFAG)

02 January, 1855 - Charles Hotham orders the re-commencement of the Licence hunt. (Akers)

8 January, 1855 - Members of the gold Fields Commission meet with Governor Charles Hotham informing him that even though their investigations were not complete they were unanimous in recommending the abolition of the Gold Licence. (Macfarlane:199)

10 January, 1855 - The Gold Fields Commission wrote tot eh Governor recommending a general amnesty for all those connected with the Stockade. The Governor refused their approach. (Macfarlane:199)

11 January, 1855 - Unarmed police conduct a perfunctory Licence hunt in Ballarat. (Akers)

13 January, 1855 - A meeting in Melbourne demands the recall of Hotham and the resignation of Stawell and others. (Akers)

15 January, 1855 - Another meeting calls for Charles Hotham's removal. (Akers)

23 January, 1855 - Henry Seekamp, editor of the Ballarat Times, was tried and found guilty of sedition. On 26 March, 1855 he was sent to prison for a term of 6 months. (Macfarlane:199)

17 February, 1855 - In Bendigo around 400 people attended a meeting to raise funds for the defence of the Ballarat diggers who had been tried with treason. After the meeting an effigy of Attorney-General, William Foster Stawell, was burned. (Macfarlane:199)

22 February, 1855 - The trials of the 13 diggers accused of treason commence. (Akers) 13 Eureka veterans, with the exception of Charles Dignum whose charge was dropped just before he was about to go to trial, are found not guilty on the charge of treason and released.

March 27, 1855 - The Gold Fields Commission's final report is in favour of Gold Fields reform, and suggests replacing the gold licence with an export duty on gold, the introduction of a miners' right which would give the right to vote to the holder, and the abolition of the Gold Commission.

12 April, 1855 - A public meeting at Peter Lalor's stump is held to drum up support for the welcoming of the 13 diggers, after their acquittal at the Treason Trials. Only 200 attended and the idea apparently fell through. (Akers)

22 May, 1855 - The New Electoral Act gives representation to mining areas in the existing Legislative Council.

12 June, 1855 - The third Gold Fields Act is proclaimed, and incorporates the changes suggested by the Royal Commission. (Miners Right, Gold Export Tax, etc.)

14 July, 1855 - Miners are elected to the Local Board at Ballarat. One of those elected is Raffaello Carboni.

1855 - Gold discovered at Blackwood

01 June 1855 - First Miners Rights issued. Wardens take over from Gold Commissioners

14 July, 1855 - Miners are elected to the Local Board at Ballarat. One of those elected is Raffaello Carboni.

10 November 1855 - Peter Lalor and John Basson Humffray are elected to the Legislative assembly.

22 November 1855 - Meeting of survivors at the Eureka site. (Akers)

23 November 1855 - Charles Hotham proclaims assent of the Queen to the Constitution Act

31 December 1855 - Hotham dies in Melbourne

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