State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 44 Spring 1989


MINERS: The 1853 Goldfields Petition

By mid-1853 there were about 60,000 diggers on the Victorian gold-fields, of whom about 23,000 were at Bendigo. In June 1853 an Anti-Gold-Licence Association was formed at Bendigo to give voice to the diggers' many grievances about their conditions, especially the 30 shillings monthly licence fee. A petition was drawn up and about 8,000 signatures collected from all of the Victorian gold-fields; this petition was taken to Melbourne and presented to the Lieutenant-Governor, C. J. La Trobe. It had long thought to have been lost, but was recently rediscovered and presented to the Library in 1988.