Golden Point Road, Chewton


The First Monster Meeting December 1851

Alluvial gold in abundance was found in the Mt Alexander area (now Castlemaine) and this led to a rush of people in November and December 1851.

Next Monument:

distance to next monument

7km: Castlemaine

27km: Creswick

33km: Bendigo

84km: Ballarat

84km: Bakery Hill

85km: Star Hotel

95km: Buninyong

127km: St Paul’s Melbourne

280km: Beechworth

The Victorian government response was to double the licence fee to 3 pounds a month and for this to apply to all on the goldfields not just the diggers but also store keepers, tent makers, cooks etc. The unstated aim of the increase was to reduce the numbers flooding to the goldfields.

This approach was met by a roar of protest. The Monster Meeting of 15th December 1851 attracted between 12,000 and 20,000 people. The diggers’ response was notable for its impressive unity and organisational skills. The fee would not be paid. Within a fortnight the government capitulated and the fee was again 30 shillings a month.

It was a defining rebellious moment.

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