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Denovan, William Dixon Campbell (1829 - 1906)

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.

Keir Reeves

'William Dixon Campbell Denovan - Red Ribbon Rebellion 1854, 1829-1906', in Bendigo Cemeteries Trust, 2005, http://www.bencemtrust.com.au/cemeteries.asp?name=Bendigo%20Cemetery%20Walking%20Tours. Details