This November’s pioneers were an interesting bunch. There were the sons of pastoralists, a deputy coroner and the daughter of a convict ship surgeon. For me, it was mason Joseph Richards who caught my interest, arriving in a Hamilton in 1854 and pitching his tent on a block that is now part of the town’s CBD. He later built the Hamilton Spectator offices.
Duncan ROBERTSON: Died November 1882 at Gringegalgona. Duncan Robertson was born in Scotland in 1799. He,his wife and three children travelled to Australia in 1838 first to N.S.W. and then Victoria. They first settled at Satimer at Wando Vale before Duncan purchased Gringegalgona near Balmoral in 1856. His brothers John and William took up land at Wando Vale Station. More information about Duncan and his family is available at South-west Pioneers.
Charles Henry Fiennes BADNALL:– Died 20 November 1885 at Portland. Charles Badnall was born in Staffordshire around 1830. He arrived in Victoria during the 1850s and first went to the Portland district with a government survey party. When that work finished he married Mrs Hannah McKeand and they settled at Hannah’s hometown of Heywood before moving to Portland.
Charles wrote for the Portland Guardian and was also a correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator. He sang with the St. Stephens Church choir and was one of the founding members. Across the weekend after Charles’ death, flags around Portland flew at half-mast including on boats in the harbour. A biography of Charles is on the following link – Charles Badnall
Ann MERRICK: Died 11 November 1904 at Hamilton. Ann Merrick was born in Somerset, England around 1814 and married Edward Cornish in 1834. In 1856 with a large family, they sailed to Australia, landing at Portland. Edward’s first employment in Victoria was at Murndal Estate for Samuel Pratt Winter making bricks for the homestead which in years and several extensions later would look like this (below)
After Murndal, the family moved to nearby Hamilton and Edward made bricks for the Hamilton Hospital. The hospital was officially opened in early 1864, the year that Edward passed away.
Ann lived on in Hamilton for a further forty years and was buried with Edward at the Old Hamilton Cemetery
Patrick LAVERY: Died 19 November 1905 at Minimay. Patrick Lavery was born in Ireland around 1821 and arrived in Victoria with his wife in 1856. They settled in Heywood where Patrick worked as a blacksmith and farmer. After twenty-seven years, Patrick moved to Minimay to farm with his sons. At his funeral, there were forty buggies and twenty-five men on horseback behind the hearse as it travelled to the Minimay cemetery.
George Gilbert HOLLARD: Died 26 November 1912 at Wallacedale. George Hollard was born in Devon, England in 1817. He arrived at Portland in 1849 aboard the ship Bristol Empire and obtained work with Edward Henty at Muntham Station before returning to Portland. During his final years, George took up residence at Wallacedale with his son. He had great memories of the old times including the Governor of Victoria turning the first sod for the Hamilton-Portland railway in 1876.
Mary OSBORNE: Died 11 November 1914 at Portland. Born in Ireland in 1825, Mary Osborne arrived in Australia as a ten-year-old. Her father Alick Osborne was a surgeon aboard convict ships and later became the member for Illawara, N.S.W. In 1852 at Dapto, Mary married Lindsay Clarke of Portland and Mary travelled south to Victoria to settle at Portland with Lindsay.
On the journey to Victoria, Mary and Lindsay sailed aboard the Lady Bird which was reported to have been a challenging voyage. So much so, Mary and Lindsay disembarked at Port Fairy and continued the rest of their journey on horseback along the beaches between Port Fairy and Portland. Mary remained in Portland for the duration of her life aside from six years spent in Hamilton.
Joseph RICHARDS: Died 16 November 1916 at Fitzroy. Joseph Richards was born around 1830 in Cornwall and arrived aboard the Nestor to Portland in 1854, with his wife Elizabeth and two young children. After their arrival, the Nestor was scuttled by the crew eager to get to the goldfields. This account of the Nestor’s demise is from the obituary of Henry Barcham, first mate on the ship.Joseph arrived in Hamilton, then known as The Grange, in November 1854 when there were few residents. Joseph pitched his tent on a piece of land at what is now the corner of Brown and French Street. From the clues given in his obituary I believe it was the corner with the brick house (below). A couple of years later he purchased a block in French Street, building a home and residing there until into his seventies.
Joseph was a mason and his first job in Hamilton was to slate the roof of the Victoria Hotel which opened in 1855. He also won the contract to build the office of the Hamilton Spectator (below), constructed in 1873.
The last eight years of Joseph’s life were spent living with his son in Fitzroy. He was eighty-six when he passed away and his body was returned to Hamilton by train. Joseph was buried in the Old Hamilton Cemetery.
George TURNBULL: Died 19 November 1917 at Hamilton. George Turnbull was born in 1858 at Mt. Koroite near Coleraine to Adam Turnbull and Margaret Young. George’s father and grandfather Dr. Adam Turnbull snr were in partnership on the property Winninburn. George tried working for the bank but it was not for him and he returned to Winninburn to farm. He was involved with the St Andrews Church and Sunday School.
Frederick SPENCER: Died 16 November 1923 at Hamilton. Frederick Spencer was born in 1853 at Portland. As an adult he took up residence at Dartmoor and was a Justice of the Peace. In 1911, he was appointed Deputy Coroner for Dartmoor, a role that was long overdue according to the Portland Guardian’s Dartmoor correspondent.
Two obituaries for Frederick appeared in the Portland Guardian, the first on 10 December 1923 that stated he had lived to “be a little over the allotted span.” Frederick was seventy. He was known for his dry wit making him a popular chairman at functions. Three of Frederick’s sons served at Gallipoli. One lost his life while another was hospitalised for three years because of the effects of gas.
John Samuel McDONALD: Died 25 November 1932 at Portland. John McDonald was born in Scotland around 1837 and arrived in Victoria when he was seven aboard the Tamerlane. His father had arrived at Portland several years before so John, travelling alone, was placed under the care of the ship’s captain. John’s father went on to build Mac’s Hotel in Portland in 1855.
While his father was building a hotel, John was at the diggings in the hunt for gold. After some years, he settled at Strathdownie. During the 1870s, he married Eliza McDonald of Horsham and the had a family of ten children.
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