democracy in the goldfields

Eureka stockade

The gold license

When Governor Charles La Trobe (1801-75), the first Governor of Victoria, tried to introduce an export duty on gold itself in the early 1850s, thereby taxing only successful miners, graziers opposed the move fearing that it would lead to an export duty on other goods.



The next Governor Sir Charles Hotham (1806-55) brought in the license to mine in the goldfields at a time when there were 25,000 Diggers on the Ballarat gold fields. The government needs money to pay the police to look after the miners.



The cost of the license was 2 pounds every 3 months. People refused to pay so the governor sent police to the fields to check every 2 weeks. Miners believed only people who found gold should pay for the license.



License 3 months 2 pounds even the miners didn’t find any gold



The miners who didn’t find gold tried to avoid paying the fee



Men were tied to trees and logs even if they forgot there license at their camp site

The license

The cost of the license was 2 pounds every 3 months. People refused to pay so the governor sent police to the fields to check every 2 weeks. Miners believed only people who found gold should pay for the license.