Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
- Digger and Political activist
The son of a British diplomat, William Dixon Campbell Denovan had been a schoolteacher in Scotland before he arrived on the Bendigo diggings on 16 February 1853. He immediately took out a mining licence. Denovan soon became involved in the movement that was campaigning for the abolition of the gold licence tax; demanding parliamentary representation for diggers; and seeking for them entitlement to land on which to establish small farms and agriculture.
During July and August 1854, meetings were held on the Bendigo diggings. As a result, red ribbons were worn by miners to indicate a pledge that they would no longer pay the licence fee, and delegates from anti-Gold-Licence Associations were sent to Melbourne to plead the diggers’ cause. In December, Denovan was on his way from Bendigo to a meeting scheduled in Ballarat when, on reaching Castlemaine, he heard of the fatal Eureka Stockade incident. He abandoned his journey because of the unfolding events.