Thomas Jones was a storekeeper on the diggings.
Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Thomas Jones signed the 1853 Bendigo Goldfields Petition. Agitation of the Victorian goldfields started with the Forest Creek Monster Meeting in 1851, but what became known as the Red Ribbon Movement was centred around the Bendigo goldfields in 1853. The Anti-Gold License Association was formed at Bendigo in June 1853, led by George Thomson, Dr D.G. Jones and 'Captain' Edward Browne. The association focused its attention on the 30 shillings monthly licence fee miners were required to pay to the government. They drew up a petition outlining digger grievances and called for a reduced licence fee, improved law and order, the right to vote and the right to buy land. The petition was signed by diggers at Bendigo, Ballarat, Castlemaine, McIvor (Heathcote), Mount Alexander (Harcourt) and other diggings. The 13 metre long petition was presented to Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe in Melbourne on the 01 August 1853, but their call for a reduction in monthly licence fees and land reform for diggers was rejected. The diggers dissatisfaction erupted into the Red Ribbon Rebellion where agitators wore red ribbons on their hats symbolising their defiance of the law and prohibitive licence fees.
Post 1854 Experiences
Thomas Kay Jones gave evidence at the 1855 Goldfields Commission.
- There reside at Cheshunt st, Sebastopol, two Eureka pioneers, who up to the present have hid their light under a bushel. They are two brothers, Messrs Thomas and John Jones, who were present at the fight and subsequently felled the trees from which the slabs for the coffins of the victims were made. One of the veterans is over 90 years of age, and his brother is a few years younger. Both are enjoying good health.
- Ballarat Evening Echo, 13 April 1917.
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