John Basson Humffray

John Basson Humffray (1824-91) arrived on the Victorian goldfields from Wales in 1853. Secretary of the Ballarat Reform League, he saw the diggersí grievances as symptomatic of an unrepresentative political system requiring reform by moral suasion, not physical force. He was a member (1855-64 and 1868-71) of the Victorian parliament where his record was inconsistent with his earlier Chartist principles. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


11 November 1854

Ballarat Reform League

A meeting of miners is held at Bakery Hill on the Ballarat goldfields, and the Ballarat Reform League is formed with a former British Chartist, JB Humffray, as secretary. George Black (also a Chartist), Peter Lalor, Frederic Vern, Raffaello Carboni and Timothy Hayes are leading members. The aims of the League are similar to those of the Chartists — manhood suffrage, voting by ballot, annual parliaments and payment of members. In addition, they seek the abolition of the licensing system, reforms in the administration of the goldfields, and a revision of laws relating to Crown land.


Bird's-eye view of events at Ballarat, 3 Dec. 1854, by B Ireland.