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‘Reward’ poster for Lawlor and Black #2015-0310

Paper poster advertising a reward for information that ‘may lead to the Apprehension’ of Peter Lalor or George Black. Dated Melbourne, 18th December, 1854.


The Eureka Rebellion took place in Victoria on 3 December 1854. A group of miners objecting to the introduction of mining licenses, taxation and lack of representation began a series of protests which escalated into the miners erecting a stockade on Bakery Hill near Ballarat. After a clash between the miners and colonial forces in which six soldiers and twenty-two miners died, the surviving stockade leaders were arrested and eventually acquitted of treason. The revolt arguably hastened new legislation in Victoria which, among other things, granted manhood suffrage and a level of responsible government.

This poster is probably a 20th century reproduction of a reward poster produced by the Victorian government for the arrest of key figures involved in the rebellion: Peter Lalor (incorrectly spelled as Lawlor, which is how the name is pronounced) and George Black. The original poster was issued in December 1854 in the wake of the Eureka Rebellion, but called for their arrest for seditious behaviour in November 1854 in the lead up to the Rebellion.

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This poster has historic significance because of its association with a key event in the development of Australian democracy, the Eureka Rebellion of 1854. The roles played by Peter Lalor and George Black were pivotal in the uprising, something reflected in the significant reward posted for their arrest. That they were not arrested, and that all charges were later dropped, is an integral part of the Eureka story. This poster is a graphic illustration of how dramatic the events of late 1854 were for the Victorian government.

  • ‘Reward’ poster for Lawlor and Black‘Reward’ poster for Lawlor and Black —


Width 342mm
Height 416mm
Creator’s name Unknown
Date created c.1950s