Australian gold rushes
Overview
 
The Australian gold rush started in 1851 when prospector Edward Hammond Hargraves claimed the discovery of payable gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 near Bathurst
Bathurst, New South Wales
-CBD and suburbs:Bathurst's CBD is located on William, George, Howick, Russell, and Durham Streets. The CBD is approximately 25 hectares and surrounds two city blocks. Within this block layout is banking, government services, shopping centres, retail shops, a park* and monuments...

, New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, at a site Edward Hargraves called Ophir
Ophir, New South Wales
Ophir is the name of a locality in New South Wales, Australia in Cabonne Shire.Ophir is located near the Macquarie River northeast of the city of Orange...

.

Eight months later, gold was found in Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

. Prior to Hargraves' discovery, not much of gold had been discovered in Australia by others including Reverend WB Clarke
William Branwhite Clarke
William Branwhite Clarke, FRS was an English geologist and clergyman, active in Australia.-Early life and England:...

 in 1841
1999 in Australia
-Incumbents:*Monarch – Elizabeth II*Governor-General – Sir William Deane.*Prime Minister – John Howard-Premiers and Chief Ministers:*Premier of New South Wales – Bob Carr*Premier of Queensland – Peter Beattie*Premier of South Australia – John Olsen...

 with further finds in 1844
1844 in Australia
See also:1843 in Australia,other events of 1844,1845 in Australia and theTimeline of Australian history.- Governors:Governors of the Australian colonies:*Governor of New South Wales - Sir George Gipps*Governor of South Australia - Sir George Grey...

. When Clarke reported his discovery to the New South Wales Governor George Gipps
George Gipps
Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this...

, Gipps asked Clarke to: "Put them away, Mr Clarke, or we will have our throats cut!".
Encyclopedia
The Australian gold rush started in 1851 when prospector Edward Hammond Hargraves claimed the discovery of payable gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 near Bathurst
Bathurst, New South Wales
-CBD and suburbs:Bathurst's CBD is located on William, George, Howick, Russell, and Durham Streets. The CBD is approximately 25 hectares and surrounds two city blocks. Within this block layout is banking, government services, shopping centres, retail shops, a park* and monuments...

, New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, at a site Edward Hargraves called Ophir
Ophir, New South Wales
Ophir is the name of a locality in New South Wales, Australia in Cabonne Shire.Ophir is located near the Macquarie River northeast of the city of Orange...

.

Eight months later, gold was found in Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

. Prior to Hargraves' discovery, not much of gold had been discovered in Australia by others including Reverend WB Clarke
William Branwhite Clarke
William Branwhite Clarke, FRS was an English geologist and clergyman, active in Australia.-Early life and England:...

 in 1841
1999 in Australia
-Incumbents:*Monarch – Elizabeth II*Governor-General – Sir William Deane.*Prime Minister – John Howard-Premiers and Chief Ministers:*Premier of New South Wales – Bob Carr*Premier of Queensland – Peter Beattie*Premier of South Australia – John Olsen...

 with further finds in 1844
1844 in Australia
See also:1843 in Australia,other events of 1844,1845 in Australia and theTimeline of Australian history.- Governors:Governors of the Australian colonies:*Governor of New South Wales - Sir George Gipps*Governor of South Australia - Sir George Grey...

. When Clarke reported his discovery to the New South Wales Governor George Gipps
George Gipps
Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this...

, Gipps asked Clarke to: "Put them away, Mr Clarke, or we will have our throats cut!". Gold finds in a convict society were not welcomed at the time. Although the NSW and Victorian governments later rewarded Clarke for his contribution, his financial rewards didn't compare to those for Hargraves. The gold rush made the population of Australia boom from over 400,000 people to over 1,000,000 during 1845 to 1896.

Notable gold finds

Some important early gold finds in the colonies were:
  • 1814 - Some convicts who were employed cutting a road to Bathurst were rumoured to have found a quantity of gold.
  • 1823, 15 February - The first verified discovery of gold in the colonies was by Assistant Surveyor, James McBrien, who discovered numerous parts of gold in Fish River, about 15 miles east of Bathurst, New South Wales.
  • 1825 - A convict flogged in Sydney on suspicion of having stolen gold, which he stated he had discovered in the bush. An anonymous letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald on 20 May 1851 identified the location of the find as "Big Hill".
  • 1829 - Mr Jackson Barwise claims he had his attention drawn to gold by a James Ryan. They wrapped the gold up and Mr Barwise took this back to Sydney where he was told to keep quiet or he would be locked up as being insane. This was supposed to be to stop the shepherds running away to find gold.
  • 1844 - Mr Alexander Tolmein, sent by Governor Grey to Kangaroo Island to capture a gang of bushrangers, reported that he had when about 20 miles S.S.W. from Melbourne seen a quartz reef with yellow metal in it, which he was afterwards convinced was gold.
  • 1846 - The first group of women ever were to discover gold in Southern Gippsland near Koo Wee Rup, Victoria.
  • 1848 - Gold specimens found on the spurs of the Pyrenees Mountains, Victoria
    Pyrenees (Victoria)
    The Pyrenees is a wine region centred on the Pyrenees ranges located in Victoria, Australia near the town of Avoca.The altitude of the ranges is 300 to over 750 m...

    ; exhibited in the shop window of Mr. Robe, jeweller, Melbourne.
  • 1848 - Gold found at Mitchells Creek
    Mitchells Creek
    Mitchells Creek Goldfield is claimed to be Australia's first goldfield. It is located at Bodangora near Wellington, New South Wales.Gold was apparently first found in this area by a shepherd called McGregor in Mitchell’s Creek on the Montefiore's squatting run, Nanima in 1848...

     near Wellington
    Wellington, New South Wales
    Wellington is a town in inland New South Wales, Australia located at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers. The town is the administrative centre of the Wellington Shire Local Government Area. The town is 362 kilometres from Sydney on the Great Western Highway and Mitchell Highway...

    , New South Wales, on the Nanima squatting run.
  • 1849, 31 January - Gold discovered at the Pyrenees, Port Phillip, by a shepherd.
  • 1849, January - Thomas Chapman discovered gold at Daisy Hill, Victoria
    Daisy Hill, Victoria
    Daisy Hill a town in Victoria, Australia located in the Shire of Central Goldfields. The town began as a mining settlement, after a discovery of gold during the Gold Rush of 1853, the location became known as an extremely rich goldfield soon thereafter...

     and sold it to Mrs. Brentani, Collins Street, Melbourne
    Collins Street, Melbourne
    Collins Street is a major street in the Melbourne central business district and runs approximately east to west.It is notable as Melbourne's traditional main street and best known street, is often regarded as Australia's premier street, with some of the country's finest Victorian era buildings.The...

    , a nugget which weighed 16 ounces. Afraid of the Melbourne authorities, the discoverer bolted to Sydney in the 'Sea-horse'.
  • 1849 - William Clarke, Jr., with William Vicary, found auriferous quartz at Smythesdale, Victoria
    Smythesdale, Victoria
    Smythesdale is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is located on the Glenelg Highway in the Golden Plains Shire Local Government Area, west of Ballarat and west of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2006 census, Smythesdale had a population of 280....

    .
  • 1851, January - Edward Austin brought to Sydney a nugget of gold worth £35, which he found in the Bathurst District.
  • 1851 - Gold was discovered in Anderson's Creek, Warrandyte, Victoria by Louis Michel, named as Victoria's first official gold discovery.
  • 1851 - Gold was discovered in Bendigo
    Ballarat, Victoria
    Ballarat is a city in the state of Victoria, Australia, approximately west-north-west of the state capital Melbourne situated on the lower plains of the Great Dividing Range and the Yarrowee River catchment. It is the largest inland centre and third most populous city in the state and the fifth...

    , Victoria in what is now a state park.
  • 1851 - Sofala, New South Wales
    Sofala, New South Wales
    Sofala is a village located approximately 250 km north-west of Sydney, New South Wales, within Bathurst Regional Council. It is located beside the Turon River. Sofala is just off the Bathurst-Ilford Road, with only local traffic through the town itself...

    .
  • 1858- Welcome Nugget found at Bakery Hill at Ballarat. Second largest nugget found in Australia.
  • 1865 - Richard Daintree
    Richard Daintree
    Richard Daintree was a pioneering Australian geologist and photographer. In particular, Daintree was the first Government geologist for North Queensland discovering gold fields and coal seams for future exploitation...

     discovered the Cape River goldfield in North Queensland.
  • 1872 - A more significant Queensland field discovered at Charters Towers
    Charters Towers, Queensland
    Charters Towers is a city in northern Queensland, Australia. It is located 137 kilometres inland from Townsville on the Flinders Highway. In 2006 the population was 7,979 people, some 450 fewer than in the 2001 census. During the last quarter of the 19th century the town boomed as the rich gold...

     soon moved attention to this area, while in the same year mining began on the Palmer River
    Palmer River
    The Palmer River is a river southwest of Cooktown in northeastern Australia. It was the site of a gold rush in the late 19th century which started in 1872. The Palmer River flows west across Cape York to the Gulf of Carpentaria, via the Mitchell River...

     near Cooktown
    Cooktown, Queensland
    Cooktown is a small town located at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. At the 2006 census, Cooktown had a population of 1,336...

    .
  • 1872 - Darwin
    Darwin, Northern Territory
    Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

     felt the effects of a gold rush at Pine Creek
    Pine Creek, Northern Territory
    Pine Creek is a small town in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, Australia. According to the 2001 Australian census 665 people live in Pine Creek, which is the fourth largest town between Darwin and Alice Springs....

     after employees of the Australian Overland Telegraph Line
    Australian Overland Telegraph Line
    The Australian Overland Telegraph Line was a 3200 km telegraph line that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia. Completed in 1872 the Overland Telegraph Line allowed fast communication between Australia and the rest of the world. An additional section was added in 1877 with the...

     found gold while digging holes for telegraph poles.
  • 1872 - World's largest ever gold nugget was discovered by Bernhard Otto Holterman.
  • 1893 - Paddy Hannan
    Paddy Hannan
    Patrick "Paddy" Hannan was a gold prospector whose discovery on 17 June 1893 near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia set off a gold rush in the area....

     and two companions discovered gold, leading to establishment of Western Australia
    Western Australia
    Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

    's eastern goldfields in what is now the twin towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder
    City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
    The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is a Local Government Area in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, about east of the state capital, Perth. The City covers an area of , and its seat of government is the town of Kalgoorlie; all but 244 of the city's population live either in...

    .

Throughout these periods, we notice the change. At first, it was individual or family miners. In the late 1800's, it turns to companies as the majority instead. In some ways this made work easier. Gold mining in a team was much easier than alone. This took away the possibility and romance of finding a gold nugget and becoming wealthy, for all workers were paid the same, even if one team found lots of gold.

Licensing

The first license was issued in Victoria on 21 September 1851. The number of gold licenses issued in N.S.W., was 12,186, of which 2,094 were issued at the Ophir; 8,637 at the Turon; 1,009 at the Meroo and Louisa Creek; 41 at the Abercrombie; and 405 at Araluen, up to 31 October 1851.

Further reading


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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