WELSH IDENTITIES IN BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA, DURING THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY. I ON Christmas Day and Boxing Day 1867, an Eisteddfod Cymry Victoria (Eisteddfod of the Welsh in Victoria) was held in Ballarat.2 At the time, Ballarat was the largest city on the Victorian goldfields, having emerged as a booming, cosmopolitan urban centre following unprecedented dis- coveries of gold there at the beginning of the previous decade.3 During the late nineteenth century, Ballarat and its neighbouring settlements, notably Sebastopol, also contained the largest concentration of Welsh people in Victoria. Although the number of Welsh who moved to the goldfields was relatively small in comparison with some other ethnic groups, nevertheless in the 1850s and 1860s the Ballarat area acquired a relatively large, distinctive and influential Welsh presence, and it became the focal point of most of the colony's-and much of Australia's-Welsh cultural activity. The 1867 eisteddfod, itself only one of a series of renowned and prestigious similar gatherings held almost continuously in the city until 1 I am grateful to the Centre for Research into Cultural Communication and Literary Studies at Deakin University, Victoria, for a Visiting Fellowship award in 1997 which assisted the research on which this article is based. I would also like to thank Kerry Cardell, Cliff Cumming, Peter Griffiths, Ceris Gruffudd, Evan Hughes, James Jupp, Robert Tyler, Lesley Walker and Rachel Waters for their invaluable help, and acknowledge the generous assistance given by the late Lewis Lloyd. The original spelling has been retained in all Welsh-language quotations in this article. 2 Victoria was a separate colony between its foundation in 1851 and Australian Federation in 1901. 3 The standard history of Ballarat during this period is Weston Bate's stimulating Lucky City: The First Generation at Ballarat, 1851-1901 (Melbourne, 1978). See also idem, Life after Gold: Twentieth Century Ballarat (Melbourne, 1993).