28
Oct
09

Peter Lalor – Engineer in Ireland

LalorPeter

Peter Lalor

(Born on February 5, 1827 in Tinakill, Queen’s Country, now County Leix.  Died February 9, 1889 in Melbourne),  a politician who, when he was a miner in 1854, led the gold miners’ uprising at the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat, Victoria, one of the most celebrated rebellions in Australian history.

Trained as an engineer in Ireland, Lalor emigrated to Victoria in 1852, working first on the Melbourne railway and then at the Eureka goldfield in 1853.  He joined the Ballarat Reform League, formed by miners on Nov. 11, 1854, to protest high license fees, police mistreatment, lack of representation, and shortage of land.  When the league’s petition for reform went unanswered by the government, the miners organized to fight on November 30 and chose Lalor as their leader.  He went into hiding after the rebellious miners were driven out of the Eureka Stockade on December 3 and emerged again after charges against the rebel  leaders had been dropped.  After the Eureka uprising, most of the miners’ grievances were redressed.

Lalor was one of the first goldfield representatives, elected to the Victoria Legislative Council in 1855 and then to the Legislative Assembly (lower house) 1856-71 and 1875-89.  He served as postmaster general (1875), commissioner of trade and customs (1875, 1877-80), and speaker of the assembly from 1880 to 1887. – The New Encyclopedia Britannica

Visual source:  mininghall


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