Wonderful Western District Women Part 5

This is the fifth edition of Wonderful Western District Women but the first with just one subject.  It is also the first with a woman who hasn’t been part of the WDF Pioneer Obituary Index.  I came to know Elizabeth Sharp when I wrote the Passing of the Pioneers entry for her husband Charles Gray leaving me thinking she was way more interesting than Charles (although he was far from dull). I discovered Elizabeth was a strong, independent woman who was musically and artistically gifted. She embraced the beauty of her surrounds and in doing so she charmed a Prince and earned praise from a Queen.  Click on the underlined text throughout for further information about a subject.

SHARP, Elizabeth (c1822-1903) Also known as Elizabeth Sharpe and Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth Sharp was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1822, a daughter of watchmaker Christopher Sharp and Catherine Rankin. She had an older brother Richard (later a member of the Royal Irish Academy) and an older sister Catherine “Kate” and younger sisters Emily and Flora. On 4 January 1842, Kate married Thomas Doolan of Tipperary in Dublin (Dublin Morning Register, Thursday 06 January 1842, p. 2). Ten years later the Doolans and their children left for Portland, Victoria on the Runnymede, arriving on 3 June 1852.

As for Elizabeth’s arrival in Australia, it is generally accepted she spent time in Sydney up until 1857. That acceptance seems to come from artworks by Elizabeth depicting Sydney including this work showing Sydney Harbour (below) and another of the Sydney Heads which have been dated 1857.

SYDNEY TOWN AND SYDNEY HARBOUR c1857 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401521

The earliest I found Elizabeth in Australia is March 1855 but not in Sydney rather Portland, Victoria the destination of Elizabeth’s sister Kate and family. Dr Allison of Portland opened a museum in Gawler Street in 1855 and the first exhibition was in March 1855 with items of natural history and human art. Drawings in chalk by Elizabeth Sharp were part of the exhibition.  In December 1856, world-famous soprano Madame Anna Bishop (below) performed a concert at Portland. Elizabeth Sharp joined Madame Bishop for one of the pieces.  The Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser on 24 December 1856 said Elizabeth, who had a “musical reputation” performed the piece with Madame Bishop to “very good effect.”

MADAME ANNA BISHOP. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser p. 1017. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164387353

The following year, Elizabeth and her sister Kate opened a school for young ladies at Portland with drawing and music on the curriculum.

Advertising (1857, January 21). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1843; 1854 – 1876), p. 3 (EVENING.). Retrieved March 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567605

On 19 March 1857 Elizabeth married at Portland to squatter Charles Gray (below) of Nareeb Nareeb, south of Glenthompson.

CHARLES GRAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294252

Elizabeth was around thirty-five and Charles thirty-nine.  Charles’ property was relatively isolated with Hamilton the closest large town, however, it was well established with Charles having settled there seventeen years before and no doubt there were servants making life more comfortable.

THE HOMESTEAD BUILT BY CHARLES GRAY AT NAREEB NAREEB ON THE BANKS OF THE GREEN HILLS CREEK. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294239

A daughter Annie was born to Elizabeth and Charles at Portland, on 17 April 1858 and another daughter Emily was born in 1860 at Nareeb Nareeb. On 15 March 1862, a son was born at Nareeb Nareeb but he sadly died before he could be named. Possibly on doctor’s advice, Elizabeth then forty spent some of her next pregnancy at Neptune Cottage, (below) in Gellibrand Street, Queenscliff where a daughter Elizabeth was born on 13 February 1863. The family would visit Queenscliff often over the coming years including the Christmas of 1866.

NEPTUNE COTTAGE, QUEENSCLIFF IN 1983 Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233621

Six days after daughter Elizabeth’s birth, two new lighthouses at Queenscliff, one black and one white were lit for the first time on 19 February 1863. Elizabeth would have seen the construction of the lighthouses in the lead up to the birth of her daughter as she looked at the coastline which inspired her to paint.  She created several watercolour drawings of Queenscliff including the one below dated 1863. Elizabeth drew the old sandstone lighthouse where the black lighthouse now stands which could be easily viewed close to Neptune Cottage.  The old lighthouse was demolished in March 1863.

VIEW OF QUEENSCLIFF SHOWING OLD LIGHTHOUSE c1863. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401523

The Queenscliff black lighthouse…

THE BLACK LIGHTHOUSE QUEENSCLIFF

The year after her time in Queenscliff, Elizabeth sent five pieces, watercolour drawings and etchings to the 1864 Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts in Melbourne. One was a “view of the coast” at Queenscliff.  Another Western District exhibitor was Elizabeth’s sister Kate Doolan.  The sisters received excellent critiques for their works.

Local News. (1864, April 22). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870), p. 2. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194723963

In 1866, Elizabeth exhibited at the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition. Her watercolours included a view of Schnapper Point, a view of the Queenscliff lighthouse, possibly the one below, and a view of Queenscliff including the house of Mr Fellows.  She also exhibited a set of doilies with landscapes etched in ink on to the linen.  She received a medal for her doilies.

OLD QUEENSCLIFF LIGHTHOUSE c1863. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401592

This is an amazing photo of the Fine Arts display at the 1866 Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition where Elizabeth and Kate’s works were displayed.

THE FINE ART GALLERY, MELBOURNE INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION 1866/7. Photographer: Thomas Ellis & Co. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/156175

During 1867, Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in the colony.

HRH PRINCE ALFRED c1866 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/246564

In December 1867, Prince Alfred spent a weekend at Hopkins Hill, the neighbouring property to Nareeb Nareeb, as the guest of John Moffat. Charles and Elizabeth were invited to Sunday lunch with the Prince. The girls also went along.  Elizabeth, with help from one of her daughters, presented His Royal Highness with two vases featuring etched Black Swan eggs. Delighted with his gift, Prince Alfred seated Elizabeth next to him at lunch.

RECEPTION OF THE PRINCE. (1867, December 18). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 6. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article185503900

So impressed was Prince Alfred, in January 1868 while still in Australia he sent Elizabeth a letter. He wrote “sincere thanks for the beautiful and useful presents”. He continued he “admired them so much” could he commission her to make another pair of vases for his mother, Her Majesty Queen Victoria.  Elizabeth set to work and even visited Ferntree Gully for research. The following is a pen and ink sketch depicting Ferntree Gully showing the intricacy of Elizabeth’s work

FERNTREE GULLY BY ELIZABETH GRAY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294226

Elizabeth created four pieces for Queen Victoria decorated with scenes the Prince saw during his visit to Victoria, something they must have talked about at lunch. There were two small vases each with carved black swan eggs. One featured the Wannon Falls near Hamilton, (below right) and a view at Ferntree Gully (below left).

“VASES PRESENTED TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 15 August 1868: 12. Web. 7 Feb 2018 .

 

WANNON FALLS NEAR HAMILTON

She also created two tazzas (bowls) with ostrich eggs etched with various scenes including Mount Sturgeon near Dunkeld and Port Phillip Heads.  Some reports suggested they were emu eggs.

VASES PRESENTED TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. (1868, August 15). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 12. Retrieved March 26, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60450420

 

MOUNT STURGEON NEAR DUNKELD

Each piece was mounted in silver by Kilpatrick & Co., jewellers of Collins Street, Melbourne and displayed in the jeweller’s window before departure for England.  Elizabeth oversaw the display, with the vases arranged with variegated seaweed of all colours she collected at Queenscliff. The Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser gave a full description of Elizabeth’s pieces available on the link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194474565

On 27 April 1870, a benefit concert was planned for Mrs Munro and her children who lost their home in Thompson Street, Hamilton to fire.  A week prior to the concert, the organizing committee was still looking for vocalists.  Elizabeth, her sister Kate and Miss Bunce offered to help out much to the enjoyment of the 500 people who crammed into the Hamilton Lands Office. Elizabeth accompanied singers on the piano and performed two piano duets with Kate.  The Hamilton Spectator wrote they imparted “to the performance an amount of fine execution seldom witnessed in amateurs”.  Miss Bunce sang several solo pieces.

Items of news. (1870, April 30). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved March 23, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196305962

In 1872, Elizabeth exhibited sketches of Aboriginals at Narreb Nareeb at the Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne, receiving an honourable mention and they later were sent on to the 1873 London International Exhibition.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER l8, 1872. (1872, December 18). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved March 16, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5844603

Later in the year, the Exhibition of Victoria showcased exhibits which would be sent on to the 1874 London International Exhibition. Elizabeth sent more of her vases to the London International and she was awarded a medal  

By the end of 1873, the Grays had decided to travel to Europe on what Charles described as a holiday.  They planned to leave by the February mail ship. Charles held a clearance sale of the household furniture and harness in December 1873.  On 26  February 1874, Charles, Elizabeth and the three Misses Gray did indeed leave by the mail ship RMS Bangalore.  Elizabeth was around fifty-one at the time.

SHIPPING. (1874, February 27). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article199384026

In 1875, Elizabeth’s eldest daughter Annie received an invitation to attend the Queen’s first “Drawing Room” of the year at Buckingham Palace. A ‘drawing room” was a formal function held at intervals throughout the year which saw young ladies presented to Queen Victoria in her drawing room. An invitation to a drawing room was highly sought after.  Elizabeth’s early brush with royalty was said to have “broken the ice”.

DEBUTANTS PREPARE TO BE PRESENTED TO QUEEN VICTORIA. The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912), p. 315. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article162191070

Elizabeth chaperoned Annie who captivated the overseas press who described her as an “Australian Beauty”. Her dress was “rich white satin; train, trimmed with bouillonnees and ruches of tulle, with sprays of lilies of the valley and roses; jupe of rich white grosgrain, trimmed the same; headdress, tulle veil with a spray of lilies. Some of their quotes included, “This young lady, who is not yet seventeen, is a very elegant and bewitching blonde, and bids fair to, be one of the belles of the season” and from the San Francisco correspondent of the New Zealand Herald, “amid all the diamonds and patrician beauties of a Royal drawing-room recently, the most .conspicuous person in the throngs was a young Australian girl of seventeen, who wore no jewels but her own incomparable beauty. She is Miss Annie Gray.” They were describing the same girl who rode on kangaroo hunts with her father at Nareeb Nareeb.

The Parisian correspondent for the New York Tribune wrote an article defining beauty inspired by the Australian girl with slightly rebellious blond hair.  The following is an extract from that article,

LADIES’ COLUMN. (1875, July 31). Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 – 1907), p. 25. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70584172

Elizabeth didn’t go unnoticed with the Court Journal writing…” the toilette worn by Mrs Gray was remarkably rich and chaste.” With her hair done in the style of Madame de Montespan and a dress in the fashion of those worn by Madame de Pompadour with a “train, corsage, and upper skirt of rich ruby Lyons velvet, lined with white duchess satin, trimmed with richest white Brussels lace, velvet bows, and variegated moss roses; petticoat of white duchess; satin, trimmed with tulle, satin, and showered with bouquets of variegated moss roses; head-dress, feather, flowers, lappet, and veil; ornaments, diamonds and rubies.”  She was given credit for employing dressmaker Miss Scotter who had gone from working as a seamstress for David Jones of Ballarat to her own successful dressmaking business in Bond Street, London. The Hamilton Spectator wrote, “It is pleasing to find this kindly remembrance of one colonist by another, and is highly creditable to all concerned.”

In November 1875, Elizabeth, Charles and Annie attended a Grand Country Ball at Brighton. Soon after Charles was making plans to return to Australia. In early 1876, he left London and travelled to New York and then on to the Philadelphia Exhibition before embarking at San Francisco for Sydney arriving in June 1876.  He then made his way south to Nareeb Nareeb. Elizabeth and the girls extended their stay in England.  

Elizabeth was still creating pieces of art and in May 1880, she exhibited china plates with similar etchings to those on Queen Victoria’s eggs, at Howell & James in London. HRH Princess Christian visited the exhibition and had high praise for Elizabeth’s work. (Morning Post (London) Thursday 27 May 1880 p. 3).  On 16 November 1880, Annie married Charles Rowe at St Jude’s Church, South Kensington, London (London Evening Standard – Thursday 18 November 1880 p.1).

Charles continued on at Nareeb Nareeb until December 1886 when he put the property up for auction.  I had thought Charles returned to London at this time but in September 1888 he was seen walking along Collins Street Melbourne.  It was during the time of the 1886 Melbourne Exhibition and Elizabeth was exhibiting a series of photographs of her etchings. As usual, she received high praise, “This lady, whose talent for pen and ink work attracted royal notice made some wonderfully minute ethnological drawings of Aboriginals”.  After his death, Charles’ Victorian Probate referred to him as being late of St Kilda.  It’s not known when Charles returned to London or if Elizabeth ever returned to Victoria.

Emily Gray married on 3 July 1889 at Lancaster Gate, London to Leonard Sedgewick. Youngest daughter Elizabeth “Ebie” Gray had also married to John Murray but sadness came when Ebie died on 2 October 1892 at Eccles, Manchester aged twenty-nine. It was a sad year for Elizabeth as her sister Kate died at St Kilda on 24 May 1892.

In 1901, Elizabeth and Charles with four servants were living at 169 Cromwell Road, Kensington.  On Sunday 29 March 1903, Elizabeth died in London aged eighty-one. Her funeral was held at St Luke’s Earls Court, Redcliffe Square, London.

Elizabeth left two daughters, Annie Rowe by then a widow and Emily Sedgewick, and two grandsons Felix Rowe and Keith Murray. Charles died in 1905 at the age of eighty-seven. He was living at 18 Iverna Gardens, Kensington at the time of his death.  In his will, Charles left £100 to parlor maid Mabel Annie Ball “in recognition of her care of his late wife” (Dundee Courier – Friday 03 March 1905 p. 5)

The two vases given to Prince Alfred are now part of the Royal Collection located at Osborne House, the summer house of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight. A photograph of the vases is available on the link to the Royal Collection.

Additional Sources

Design and Art Australia Online – Biography of Elizabeth Gray              

Ireland Select Births and Baptisms, 1620–1911, Elizabeth Anna Sharpe, Birth date, 1822, FHL Film No. 100238

Irish Genealogy 

Passing of the Pioneers

After the chore of moving house, I’ve finally had a chance to write a Passing of the Pioneers post.  I had good intentions for a December edition and started a post but it was soon January.  Not wanting to let another year go by until I had to chance to post about some of the “December” pioneers, I decided to write a combined December/January post.  As time went on it was obvious I wasn’t going to finish by the end of January, so now it has become a combined December/January/February post. 

There are only seven pioneer obituaries in this edition, two each from December and January and three from February, however, due to the amount of extra information about some of the subjects, their entries are longer than usual. Most are long overdue in finding their way to the Pioneer Obituary Index.  Among them is one of our great female pioneers along with two men who were pioneers of Victorian horse racing one of whom still has a leading race named after him.  And there is a woman who by marriage became linked to three well known Hamilton district families, the Learmonths, Laidlaws and Thomsons and learnt Spanish along the way.

COLDHAM, John – Died 2 December 1882 at Grassdale. John Coldham arrived in Tasmania from England around 1840. Having heard of good land in Victoria, John sailed for the colony, taking up the Grassdale Run, west of Branxholme where he remained for the next forty years.  In 1850, John was appointed a Magistrate in the district and in 1853 he married Josephine Lane and they went on to have five sons.

John was active in community affairs and early horse racing in Victoria.  From a horse called Bobby he raced at Portland around 1848, he went on to own two of the runners in the first Melbourne Cup in 1861, Grey Dawn and Twilight.  Grey Dawn was the progeny of Western District sire King Alfred.  Break O’Day out of Grey Dawn won the 1874 Ballarat Cup for John.

Along with horses, John was a breeder of fine sheep and in his later life took up breeding Alderney cattle. In 1882, John’s health was failing and he took a trip to the sulphur springs of New Zealand in search of relief.  Knowing death was impending, on his return, he sold his stock.  He didn’t see out the year and was buried at the Merino Cemetery.  Further reading about John Coldham’s racing and farming successes was published in The Australian in 1881 after a visit to Grassdale and you can find the article on the following link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225486595

 

FFRENCH, Acheson – Died 29 January 1870 at St Kilda. Acheson Ffrench was born at Monivae Castle, Galway, Ireland in 1812. As a young man, he left Ireland and travelled through Europe and the Holy Land before landing in Australia.  In 1841 at the age of twenty-nine, Acheson was appointed Police Magistrate at Hamilton, the same year he took up a large run of 17,000 acres to the south of Hamilton. He named it Monivae after his Galway home. On 8 February 1842, Ffrench married his fiancé Anna Watton and children began arriving at a steady rate with six boys and six girls born in the following years. In 1847, a homestead was built at Monivae located on what is now the eastern side of the Hamilton/Port Fairy Road.

In 1864, Acheson put Monivae up for lease for a term of three years and moved his family to Melbourne where they remained for two years before returning to Monivae in 1866. Ffrench continued to visit Melbourne and he was in town on 29 January 1870. Feeling like a swim, he visited Kenny’s Gentleman’s Bathing Ship (below) at St Kilda.

Kenny’s Baths, St. Kilda by Thomas Clark,artist. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/84320

Acheson plunged into the water and hit his head on the bottom of the pool.  With his neck broken, Acheson died at the scene.  For more about Acheson Ffrench go to my post Strong in Faith, a story of Monivae Estate.

GRAY, Charles – Died 27 January 1905 at Kensington, London.  Charles Gray was born in 1818 at Anstruther, Fife, Scotland a son of Major George Gray of the Royal Marines.  In January 1839, Charles sailed from England to Hobson’s Bay on the ship Midlothian, meeting William P. Scott and John Marr on the voyage. They parted company on arrival, with Charles making his way to Glenormiston. Hearing of a flock of sheep for sale, Charles wrote to his shipmates Scott and Marr and proposed they squat together.  They agreed and the three men took out a squatters licence further on to the north-west at Green Hill Creek near what is now Glenthompson. The site Charles first camped on Green Hill Creek in 1840 was marked with a stone obelisk. The inscription on the obelisk read,”Charles Gray Camped Here September 1840″.

CHARLES GRAY c1855. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294252

The trio stayed in partnership until 1845 when Scott retired. In 1850, John Marr and Charles dissolved their partnership, splitting the property and stock.  John Marr named his share Burrie Burrie, later becoming Brie Brie while Charles named his share Nareeb Nareeb.  He set about building a homestead by the Green Hill Creek and improving the property for sheep farming.  In 1855 Charles was appointed a Magistrate in the Portland Bay district.

THE HOMESTEAD BUILT BY CHARLES GRAY AT NAREEB NAREEB ON THE BANKS OF THE GREEN HILLS CREEK. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294239

At the age of thirty-nine in 1857, Charles married Elizabeth Sharp. Elizabeth was a watercolour artist from Dublin, Ireland via Sydney.  She arrived at Portland from Sydney early in 1857 and married Charles on 19 March that year.  A daughter Annie was born the following year and another daughter Emily was born in 1860.

ELIZABETH GRAY AND HER DAUGHTERS ANNIE, (right) and EMILY (seated with Elizabeth) c 1862. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294254

In 1862, a boy was born to Charles and Elizabeth but he sadly died before he could be named.  The following year on 13 February, a daughter Elizabeth was born at Neptune Cottage at Queenscliff.  The pride Charles had in his daughters comes through in the photo below.

CHARLES GRAY AND HIS DAUGHTERS ANNIE (right) and EMILY (left) c1862. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/294247

Charles spoke fondly of his girls, evident in his memoir Western Victoria in the forties: reminiscences of a pioneer, published posthumously in the Hamilton Spectator in 1932. Charles mentioned his oldest daughters particularly Annie who he taught to ride on a Shetland pony and by “ten years of age was a good and fearless rider”.  He recalled Annie helping him reduce kangaroo numbers on Nareeb Nareeb and an adventurous trip to Glenthompson with Annie and Emily who were fully exposed to pioneering life.

Amid the isolation of life at Nareeb Nareeb, Elizabeth continued with her art.  In 1864 she sent five paintings to the Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts in Melbourne and in 1866, she exhibited watercolours at the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition, including views of Queenscliff such as the work below.

QUEENSCLIFF BEACH by ELIZABETH GRAY (1963) Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/401523

In 1867 when Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the colony, he spent time at neighbouring property Hopkins Hill, the guest of John Moffat. Charles and Elizabeth were invited to lunch with the prince and Elizabeth presented him with vases adorned with etched Black Swan eggs.  The Prince was most impressed with Elizabeth’s work and commissioned her to make similar ornaments for his mother. Elizabeth produced four vases including two smaller vases each with carved Black Swan eggs including one of the Wannon Falls near Hamilton, seen on the right in the illustration below. A larger vase featured Mount Sturgeon near Dunkeld carved on an emu egg.  The four vases given to Queen Victoria are now part of the Royal Collection and are located at Osborne House, the summer house of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight. A photograph of the vases in the illustration below is available on the link to the Royal Collection.

“VASES PRESENTED TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.” Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875) 15 August 1868: 12. Web. 7 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60450420&gt;.

In 1873, Elizabeth exhibited in the Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne and the London International and by December that year, the Grays had decided to move to England. Charles sold the household furniture and harness and the family left Australia in February 1874.  Two years later Charles travelled from London to New York and then on to the Philadelphia Exhibition before embarking at San Francisco for Sydney. He then made his way south to Nareeb Nareeb. The women in his life extended their stay in England.  On his return, Charles was appointed a Justice of the Peace. In 1881, Charles’ eldest daughter Annie married Charles Rowe in Kensington, London.

Charles may not have been the easiest person to get along with according to a description of him by Billis & Kenyon in 1942.

“Nareeb Nareeb—One of the Famous Western District Fine-wool Stations” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 3 May 1941: 37. Web. 3 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142429106&gt;.

However, a reporter from the Hamilton Spectator visited Nareeb Nareeb in 1876 upon Charles’ return from London to report on his “Model Wool-Growing Estate” describing him as most hospitable and not one to turn a passer-by away.  I turned to the journalist  The Vagabond to see if he, as a keen observer of human character, had an opinion of Charles. Unfortunately, he did not pass by Nareeb Nareeb while writing his series Picturesque Victoria in 1885 but in his account of his visit to Hamilton during that series, he mentioned he wanted to visit Charles in the future.  Little did The Vagabond know by 1886 Charles was feeling the loneliness of life at Nareeb Nareeb.  Missing his family and approaching his seventies and no son to pass the property on to, he returned to England.  In 1903, Elizabeth died in England with Charles living a further two years, dying in 1905 at the age of eighty-seven.

While I was searching for The Vagabond’s thoughts on Charles Gray, I found a reference to Charles from an article by The Vagabond written after a return visit to Hamilton in 1893.  On that occasion, he met with Hamilton’s Alexander Ingram.  The Vagabond wrote Ingram had said Hamilton’s main street Gray Street, “… was not named from Commissioner Gray…but from Mr Charles Gray, the squatter…”. However, Ingram went on to refute that with a Letter to the Editor of the Hamilton Spectator on 28 November 1893 as seen below.

“THE “VAGABOND” IN HAMILTON.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 28 November 1893: 3. Web. 10 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225780345&gt;.

PACE, Jane – Died 3 February 1906 at Hamilton. Jane Pace was born on 8 February 1816 at Stokesley, Yorkshire, England to Walter Pace, a captain with the East India Company and Elizabeth Fennie.  In 1832 Walter, on hearing of good land in Western Australia, left his family in Yorkshire and set off on an exploratory trip. Finding Western Australia to his liking, Walter built a stone house for his family and wrote to his wife Elizabeth he would return to collect her and the children. However, Elizabeth was an independent woman, a trait later seen in her daughter Jane, and without telling her husband she boarded The Quebec Trader with daughters Jane and Ann and travelled to Western Australia.  After a treacherous voyage, broken with a visit with friends in South Africa, Elizabeth and her daughters arrived in Fremantle much to Walter’s surprise.

Elizabeth also proved herself a resourceful woman having a contingency plan in case Walter had already left to collect them.  From England, she carried a letter of introduction addressed to Stephen George Henty, a young trader who had frequented the Swan River area since 1829.  With Walter still in Fremantle, the letter wasn’t required but an introduction to the twenty-two year old Henty did take place leading to his marriage to sixteen year old Jane Pace.  They were married on 14 April 1836 at Fremantle.  They soon set off for Portland Bay where the Henty brothers had a whaling station and were establishing themselves as sheep farmers.  The newlyweds arrived on a Sunday evening and under moonlight, Jane was carried ashore by a sailor, the first European woman to land on the shores of the Port Phillip District.

VIEW OF PORTLAND BAY 1835-1836 BY GEORGE JACKSON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/288641

Jane found the Henty brothers had built a comfortable homestead and were awaiting her arrival with a fire burning, a hearty meal of bread, butter, eggs, and tea.  As Jane entered the homestead Francis Henty said, “Welcome, Mrs Henty” to which Jane replied, “My name is Jane Henty, your sister”.  Jane got along well with her brothers-in-law and in her memoirs published in 1902 and reproduced in part in 1934 by Table Talk newspaper, she looked back fondly on those times albeit tough. In August 1837, a son Richmond was born, the first of eleven children Jane would bear.

JANE HENTY ca. 1872-1880. Photographer Batchelder & Co. Image courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales. File no. FL3317680 http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110343890I

In time, the Hentys moved to Tarrington Station, just east of Hamilton.  It was there in December 1872 Stephen died at the age of sixty-one.  In 1874, Anna Henty, one of Jane’s daughters married Hamilton stock and station agent Robert Stapylton-Bree and Jane went to live with the couple. A sad time came in 1904 when Jane’s eldest son Richmond died in London. Jane spent her last years at Bewsall, Hamilton the home of the Brees (below). She died there on 3 February 1906 only a few days short of her ninetieth birthday.

BEWSALL, HAMILTON. (1903, May 2). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946), p. 27. Retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

Jane was buried with Stephen at the Hamilton Old Cemetery. A memorial to Richmond was included on the headstone.

GRAVE OF JANE HENTY

Jane was a woman of strong religious faith and a great supporter of St Stephen’s Church in Portland and the Christ Church Hamilton.  It was there a memorial pulpit to Jane was dedicated on Sunday 4 November 1906.

INSCRIPTION ON JANE HENTY MEMORIAL PULPIT, CHRIST CHURCH HAMILTON,

A report on the pulpit’s dedication by the Hamilton Spectator read as follows,

“CHRIST CHURCH.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 November 1906: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 7 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226123438&gt;.

And yes, today more than a century later one can visit Hamilton’s Christ Church, view the pulpit and remember Jane a great pioneering woman of not only the Western District but Australia.  March is Women’s History month and I will be posting more about Jane as part of the series, Wonderful Western District Women.

WIMBLE, Clara Augusta – Died 3 February 1912 at Cavendish. Clara Wimble was born at Northcote in 1860, a daughter of  Lands Department officer Nehemiah Wimble and Edith Hewett. On 30 August 1887, Clara married Stanley Learmonth at the Northcote Wesleyan Church. Stanley had returned from Mexico where he and his brother Allan had run the family property La Mariposa since 1881. Soon after their marriage, Clara left with Stanley for Mexico, her home for the next fourteen years.  Clara at least had some female company from home when she arrived because her brother-in-law Allan Learmonth had married Annie Thomson from the Hamilton district a year earlier and made their home at La Mariposa. Clara learnt Spanish enabling her to better adjust to her adopted country. Children were born to Clara and Stanley in Mexico including in 1890, 1891 and 1892. It was 1892 when Allan and Annie Learmonth returned to Australia but Stanley and Clara remained in Mexico for another ten years.

On their eventual return in 1902, they took up residence at Horsham where Clara was involved with the Horsham Golf Club and the Horsham Ladies Benevolent Society.  They left Horsham in 1906 moving to Eulameet, Cavendish. Clara did suffer from illness through that time but still managed to get out and about.  Around 26 January 1912,  Clara, Stanley, a son, and daughter travelled in Stanley’s car for an afternoon visiting the Carters at Glenisla.  When Clara stepped from the car she suffered a stroke and died days later on 3 February.  During her last days, Clara was attended by Dr David Laidlaw of Hamilton, married to Stanley’s sister Mary Simpson Laidlaw.  Clara was buried at the Hamilton Old Cemetery (below). A Hamilton Spectator article the day after her burial recalled stories unfolding from the funeral including that of Stanley Learmonth’s return visit to Mexico in 1908. At La Mariposa, he found Clara’s Spanish name of Dona Clarita was known by all and many people sent messages to her via Stanley.

GRAVE OF CLARA LEARMONTH

MINOGUE, Jerome Joseph – Died 31 December 1928 at Edenhope.  Jerome Minogue was born in Clare, Ireland around 1840 and arrived in Portland as a baby with his parents Simon and Johanna Minogue aboard the Agricola. The Minogues lived at the property Wattle Hill at West Portland.  Jerome remained in Portland for more than thirty years working as a stockman for the Henty brothers, including time as the head stockman at their property Cashmore. He was known as an expert horseman and his tracking abilities saw him find missing children in the bush on two occasions.  Jerome married Jean Edgar of Harrow in 1871 and then bought a farm near Edenhope. Jerome was survived by Jean, two sons and three daughters.

MANIFOLD, Edward – Died 14 February 1931 at East Melbourne.

“The Late Mr. Edward Manifold.” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 17 February 1931: 5. Web. 10 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27389306&gt;.

And so begun the obituary of Edward Manifold, the fifth son of John Manifold and Marion Thomson of Purrumbete Station, the place of Edward’s birth in 1868.  John Manifold with his brothers first took up Purrumbete in 1838 and bred Shorthorn cattle.  When Edward was nine in 1877, his father John died.  Young Edward completed his early schooling at Geelong Grammar and later Melbourne Grammar. He then went on to study at Cambridge University, England.  In 1894, Edward’s mother Marion died followed by the sudden death of his brother Thomas in 1895. From Thomas’ estate, Edward received and took up the first option to buy Thomas’ property Wiridgel and each of Thomas’ brothers inherited a share in the homestead where Edward went on to live.  He already owned the Dandite Estate inherited from his father.

“NEWLY-ELECTED MEMBER OF THE V.R.C. COMMITTEE: MR. EDWARD MANIFOLD.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 18 August 1906: 30. Web. 2 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139174270&gt;.

Edward was a good all-around sportsman excelling at cricket, football, athletics and was a member of the Trinity College rowing team while at Cambridge. However, his first love was polo and he was a member of the Camperdown Polo Club and represented Victoria, captaining the team on a tour of New Zealand in 1901.  He is seen on the far right below, along with his brothers John Chester Manifold and William Thomas Manifold, and Hexham Polo Club member, Robert Hood all members of the 1899 Victorian team.

“INTERCOLONIAL POLO MATCH.” Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900) 18 May 1899: 21. Web. 10 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180224372&gt;.

Another equine interest for Edward was racing.  He was involved with the Camperdown, Terang and Warrnambool Turf Clubs and he sat on the committee of the Victorian Racing Club.  With his brother John Chester Manifold, Edward won the 1893 Grand National Steeplechase with the horse Dugan and again in 1896 with Mysore (below).

“SATURDAY’S RACING IN MELBOURNE.” The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 – 1912) 22 July 1899: 212. Web. 10 Feb 2018 .

As the years went on, Edward’s racing successes continued including the 1904 Australian Steeplechase with Airly. Such was his involvement in Victorian horse racing, since 1932, the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes is run over 1600 metres for three year old fillies at Flemington Racecourse during the Spring Carnival.  His brother Chester also had a race named after him, the listed Chester Manifold Stakes over 1400 metres run in January at Flemington.

In May 1900, it was announced Edward was engaged to Beatrice Mary Synnat Anderson, a daughter of Andrew George Anderson and Elizabeth Mary Synatt Manifold, daughter of Edward’s uncle Thomas Manifold.  Edward and Beatrice were married two months later on16 July 1900 at Christ Church, South Yarra.

“STELLA’S LADIES LETTER” Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 – 1939) 19 July 1900: 15. Web. 10 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145935546&gt;.

Edward and Beatrice went on to have three sons, Peter, Andrew and Robert.

Edward was a councillor with the Hampden Shire Council from 1909 and was president on three occasions.  He was also chairman of directors of the Camperdown Cheese and Butter Factory.  Edward Manifold and his brothers were great philanthropists.  Edward supported St Pauls Church of England at Camperdown and the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat.  He also funded various scholarships at Geelong Grammar.  As a collective, the brothers funded the Camperdown Hospital and the equipment within. Edward was also a large landholder having an interest in a number of properties in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  One of his properties was Boortkoi at Hexham (below), which was taken over by his son Andrew.

BOORTKOI, HEXHAM. J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/231806

Edward died at a private hospital in East Melbourne in 1931 and cremated at the Melbourne Crematorium.  He was sixty-three and the last surviving son of John and Marion Manifold.

“DEATH OF MR. E. MANIFOLD” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 21 February 1931: 9. Web. 10 Feb 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141418767&gt;.