William and Sarah, Alfred's parents left Plymouth England on 29th Dec 1849, bound for Sydney Australia and 3 months later they arrived. This was a time of depression and starvation in the British isles and many were emigrating to the new worlds of America, Canada and Australia, over 250,000 people came to Australia that year. England had embarked on industrialisation and it was soon to recover and after a terrible decade the new Queen -Victoria (1837- 1901) began to reign over a prosperous country.
Australia was also facing a promising future with new copper discoveries, wheat farming expansion and gold was about to be discovered in Orange NSW in 1851.
Victoria was given local governing authority and establish a Legislative Assembly in 1856.
Alfred Deakin Early Life:
Alfred Deakin would be born (Aug 7 -1856) at the beginning of a major gold rush, only 2 years after the Eureka Stockade rebellion in Ballarat. Co-incidentally he would be elected as the federal member for Ballarat in 1901 and become the 2nd most powerful political leader in the nation.
He decided to study law at Melbourne University in 1872 after a time of indecision about his future career and was accepted to the bar 1877 to practise as a barrister.
It was about this time while he was struggling to establish himself as a lawyer that he met Pattie Browne at the Lyceum Club who was to be his future wife.
Much has been written about Deakin's exploration into the mystical world of the occult and séances during his early teenage years. However Walter Murdock in his 1923 book (page 45) says that Deakin by his 21st birthday in 1877 had given up all experiments in mediumship. He later rejected ever being a medium. However Pattie's parents continued their long association with spiritualism.