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

2000/128/1
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'.

Dimensions

290 mm
330 mm
13 mm

Production

Gold licenses were printed by the Victorian Government.

This license was issued in 1853.
Victorian Government Printing Office 1853

History

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.
McDonnell, J 1853

Source

Gift of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 1981
28 November, 2000

Cite this Object

A framed gold mining licence. 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 June 2017, <https://ma.as/8512>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/8512 |title=A framed gold mining licence. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 June 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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