John Basson Humffray

John Basson Humffray

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John Basson Humffray

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John Basson Humffray (17 April 1824 – 18 March 1891) was born in Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales and became active in the Chartist movement before migrating to Victoria, Australia in 1853, arriving in Ballarat in November that year.

From Rural Wales to Australia

At the monster meeting of over 10,000 diggers at Bakery Hill on Saturday 11 November, 1854, Humffray was elected inaugural President of the Ballarat Reform League. He was a member of the three person delegation that met with Governor Hotham in Melbourne on Monday 27 November 1854. The miners demands for economic and political reforms were rejected. After a particularly vicious licence hunt, a meeting of the Ballarat Reform League was held on Thursday 30 November 1854 in which the miners rejected those such as Humffray who advocated moral force, and embarked on the physical force route by electing Peter Lalor and deciding to meet force with force and build the Eureka Stockade.

Humffray was not part of the rebellion, but was a vocal defender of the 13 miners who were charged with High Treason for their role in the rebellion. When the miners were granted the right to vote and representation he was elected unopposed as the member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Ballarat 1855-1856; then Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Ballarat East, 1856-1864 and 1868-1871. Minister for Mines, 1860-1861, Chairman Royal Commission on Mining, 1862. Bookseller, Editor of the short-lived Ballarat......
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