The narrative themes brought together in this history of Maldon are based on research conducted by the author for an MA thesis completed in 1997. The original subject matter has been broadened and the theme reworked with a view to providing a general introduction to Maldon’s social and economic history. Further research has since been undertaken, so that ideas pursued for the original thesis sometimes differ in detail, emphasis or even interpretation in the present account. This account is intended to serve primarily as an introduction to the local history of Maldon. It mostly omits similar developments that took place elsewhere in the mining industry throughout Australia in the nineteenth century. Many smaller and even larger mining centres experienced very similar patterns of development. The reader therefore should treat it as a case study of a small Victorian mining towns and its community, nor as a history of the colonial gold mining industry at large. It is acknowledged in this context that Geoffrey Blainey and other historians have already published comprehensive studies of the Australia colonial mining industry and that these include several detailed histories of mining towns. These studies provide a broader historical context within which the account of Maldon presented here should be read. By Brian Rhule.