Goldfields Involvement, 1853-1854
Thomas Clegg 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
In 1879 Thomas Clegg was Chairman of the Ballarat Branch of the National Insurance Company of Australasia.
- The remains of Mr Thomas Clegg, of 90 Webster street, were interred yesterday in the Ballarat Old Cemetery. The Hons. E. Morey and D. Ham, Dr R. Scott, and Messrs J. H. Wilkinson. H. Brind, J. Nicholl, J. Cuthbert, E. P. Date, W. P. Must, T. Bodycombe, W. Gale, and D. Cook (representing the Exhibition Committee) acted as pall-bearers. Dean Parkyn officiated, assisted by the Rev, S. Beveridge. Mr Charles Morris carried out the funeral arrangements.
- DEATHS. CLEGG. —On the 27th Sept., at her late residence No. 90 Webster street, Ballarat, Maria, dearly-beloved wife of Thomas Clegg; aged 78 years.
Dorothy Wickham, Revolutionaries, Radicals & Victorian Goldfields, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 164-171.
Dorothy Wickham & Clare Gervasoni, Globalisation through Digital Experience Eurekapedia Wiki, in Pay Dirt: Ballarat & Other Gold Towns, BHSPublishing, 2019, pp. 195-202.
- Ballarat Courier, 24 December 1879.
- 26 October 1905.
- Ballarat Star, 28 September 1905.
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