Definition of EurekaEureka means I have found it!, and isused as an exclamation of triumph.
Anti-Gold LicenceIn 1853 there were about 60,000diggers, plus their families, on theGold-fields. In June 1853 an Anti-GoldLicence Association was formed atBendigo to give voice to the diggersmany grievances about theirconditions.
A petition was drawn up articulating grievances and the need for animproved law and order, such as the right to vote and the right to buy land.
The petition was signed by over30,000 diggers and was brought toMelbourne and presented toGovernor C.J. La Trobe on Aug 1853.After the failure to be heardthrough peaceful means, diggerselected a small group to lead theminto a fight. An Irish Gold digger bythe name of Peter Lalor was theleader.Peter Lalor
The Eureka Flag is Flown!On 11th November1854, about10,000 diggersmet to demandthat miners bereleased, todemand thelicence systembe dropped andthat all malesshould beallowed to vote.
In those days the right to vote wasrestricted: only licenced miners whohad lived in that location for sixmonths could vote. The Governorrefused to release them, and thediggers fury reached a peak.
How much licenses costed. It costed miners 30 shillings per month to buy a licence. It would never be free. The commissioner stationed that the goldfield would not make any money if the license was free. The commissioner usually gave less money than what the gold was worth. A license for three months costed £2.
The Stockade was built! On Dec 2nd 1854, Lalor ordered a stockadeto be built to serve as a fort for theirdefence, and called for muskets, pistolsand any other weapons they could muster.Once the Stockade was completed, therebel miners assembled inside.
The miners werent trained for fighting.Many miners left to go to church. TheEnglish Government troops not onlystruck, but at 3am, taking the 120 remainingminers by surprise, killing 22 andwounding 12 others - including Peter Lalor.They took 100 prisoners and captured thestockade in 20mins.
Although Lalors miners lost thebattle, they eventually got thereforms they fought for. Minerswere given licences for one pound ayear. They were also given the rightto vote, and finally miners who werein prison for treason were freed.
At a second mass meeting, on 29thNovember, they displayed their flag,the Eureka flag, blue with a whitecross and 5 stars representing theSouthern Cross. They publicly burnedtheir licences and elected leaders.
The Southern Cross isthe brightestconstellation seen inthe SouthernHemisphere. It iscurrently on theAustralian, NewZealand, Papua NewGuinean, Brazilian andother flags.
The Eureka Stockade was a majorrebellion by miners in Ballaratagainst the government of Victoria,which suppressed the uprising withmilitary force.