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Australian Gold Rush

This petition was prepared and signed in the Australian Gold Rush.  I have
included the names
I know of the Sinclairs .  Ann informs me that there were others.  I did
also note that a George
Sinclar signed the petition and wondered if this were some other variation
of Sinclair?

The spelling is that of the original.

Text of the 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition presented to His Excellency
Charles Joseph La
Trobe on 1st August 1853.

Humble Petition of the Undersigned Gold Diggers and other residents on the
Gold Fields of
the Colony

That your petitioners are the Loyal and Devoted Subjects of Her Most
Gracious Majesty
Queen Victoria the Sovereign Ruler of this Colony one of the dependencies of
the British

That in the present impoverished conditions of the Gold Fields the impost of
Thirty Shillings a
Month is more than Your Petitioners can pay as the fruit of labor at the
Mines scarcely affords
to a large proportion of the Gold Miners the common necessaries of life
That in consequence of the few Officials appointed to issues Licences the
Storekeepers and other residents lose much time at each Monthly issues in
procuring their

That the laborious occupation of Gold digging and the privation attendant on
a residence on the
Gold fields entail much sickness and its consequent expenses on Your
That in consequence of the Squatter Land Monopoly a large proportion of
Successful Diggers
who desire to invest their earnings in a portion of land are debarred from
so doing
That newly arrived Diggers must lose much time and money before they become
with the process of Gold Mining

That in consequence of Armed Men (many of whom are notoriously bad in
characters) being
employed to enforce the impost of Thirty Shillings a Month there is much ill
engendered amongst the Diggers against the Government

That in consequence of the non-possession by some of the Miners of a Gold
Diggers License
some of the Commissioners appointed to administer the Law of the Gold Fields
have on
various occasions Chained non-possessors to Trees 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 tot he 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
Excellency to Grant the following Petition

To direct that the Licence Fee be reduced to Ten Shillings a Month

To direct that Monthly or Quarterly Licenses be issued at the option of the

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

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
To direct that the Penalty of Five Pounds for non-possession of License be
reduced to One

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.
and others.


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