The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
2000/128/1 Licence for gold mining, framed, paper / wood / glass, issued to J McDonnell, printed by John Ferres, Government Printing Office, Victoria, Australia, 1853. Click to enlarge.

A framed gold mining licence.

Made by Victorian Government Printing Office in Victoria, Australia, 1853.

The Australian goldrushes transformed Australia as hundreds of thousands of hopeful diggers rushed to New South Wales and Victoria in search of their fortune. The gold license system was introduced soon after the first rushes began: from 23 May 1851 in New South Wales and from 1 September 1851 in Victoria. Everyone wanting to dig for gold had to pay 30 shillings ($1.50) a month for a license. This allowed digging within a specific area and laid down certain rules: diggers must carry their licens...

Summary

Object No.

2000/128/1

Object Statement

Licence for gold mining, framed, paper / wood / glass, issued to J McDonnell, printed by John Ferres, Government Printing Office, Victoria, Australia, 1853

Physical Description

Printed paper gold mining licence. At centre top is the Victorian coat of arms with inscription: 'VICTORIA / GOLD LICENSE'. The name of the license owner and place and date of its issue are written in ink and the license is signed in ink by the Commissioner. The license also details the conditions under which it is issued. License issued to J McDonnell to mine at Loddon. The license is window mounted under cardboard which is inscribed in black ink 'MINERS RIGHT 1853 / Presented to, Royal Historical Society of Australia / by Dr. Aeneas J. McDonnell.'. The whole is framed with a dark brown wood frame and under a sheet of glass. The back is covered with brown paper inscribed with blue pencil '209'.

Marks

Printed on side of license 'Printed by John Ferres, at the Government Printing Office.'.

Dimensions

Height

330 mm

Width

290 mm

Depth

13 mm

Production

Notes

Gold licenses were printed by the Victorian Government.

This license was issued in 1853.

History

Notes

This license was issued to J. McDonnell in March 1853. At the time he was working on the Loddon goldfields on the Loddon River in western central Victoria. The gold license was donated to the RAHS by a descendant of J. McDonnell, Dr Aeneas J. McDonnell.

Gold was discovered in Australia in 1851, precipitating a rush by thousands of city dwellers to the goldfields of Bathurst and Ballarat. By 1852 news of the discovery had spread around the world. Gold-seekers came from as far away as America, China and Europe to try their luck at the Australian diggings.

While many diggers made their fortunes at the goldfields, for others the venture was a failure. Hard work and persistence were important for success, although some struck it lucky immediately while others toiled in vain. Luck was a powerful though unpredictable force at the diggings.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 1981

Acquisition Date

28 November 2000

Cite this Object

Harvard

A framed gold mining licence. 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 July 2019, <https://ma.as/8512>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/8512 |title=A framed gold mining licence. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 July 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US