Passing of the Pioneers

Finally, a new post and it’s Passing of the Pioneers. In this edition, you can read the stories of four women and five men, including a father and son, from the Western District’s past.  December Passing of the Pioneers posts are always sadder with deaths occurring in the lead up to Christmas Day and sometimes on the day itself. One woman featured this edition was preparing her home for Christmas visitors when she died, and another died on Christmas Eve.

The fourth edition of Passing of the Pioneers in October 2011 had an entry for a man whose fascinating story has stayed with me. In October 2019, when invited to speak at the Hamilton History Centre on interesting early settlers, I knew I had to include that man…Thomas Denton Clarke of Merino. Now his father, Thomas Clarke senior, becomes a Passing Pioneer.  His story is the feature this month, but it really only touches the surface of his interesting life, one that has given me some understanding of how his son became the man he did.   

It’s been awhile so don’t forget if you click on any of the underlined text, you will go to the original source, most times a newspaper article at Trove with more information about a subject,

CLARKE, Thomas Henry – Died 2 December 1865 at Merino.  Thomas Clarke was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and baptised in July 1815. From a family of sailors, he soon took to the sea, gaining certification as a Master Mariner.  In 1844, he married Mary Ellen Denton in Liverpool, and four children were born.

Life at sea

Thomas went off sailing the world, leaving his family for long periods of time.  For several years, he made an annual voyage to Portland at the helm of his brig Cornelius, taking the course via the Cape of Good Hope en route to Portland and via Cape Horn on the way home.

In 1850, he travelled via Hobart.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1850, December 27). The Argus, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article255611135

The cargo on the trip back to London in 1851 may have been on the nose at the end of the voyage.

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE (1851, February 5). The Melbourne Daily News, p. 2.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226518279

The Cornelius sailed into Portland Bay, just in time for Christmas 1851.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1851, December 31). The Argus, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4782518

PORTLAND BAY c1851. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/85333

On 11 February 1852, the Cornelius was running late departing Portland but would sail for London the following day.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1852, February 11). The Argus, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4783182

The problem was, Thomas was having trouble mustering a crew for the voyage back to London, as were many ships because of the rush to the diggings.  Thomas eventually set off with a skeleton crew, including a young local boy, Joseph Pearson. High winds upon his already delayed departure saw Thomas take a risk rather than wait in port any longer. He sailed the Cornelius between St Lawrence Rocks and Portland Bay, an action not advised by others, including well-known local master mariner Captain James Fawthrop. 

Thomas got through successfully, but it wasn’t until he arrived in England he realised the ship’s false keel was missing, left behind on a reef in the St Lawrence passage.  

LAWRENCE ROCKS, PORTLAND BAY, 1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95486

Thomas was barely back in London when he set sail again for Portland, arriving on 18 January 1853.

PORT OF GEELONG. (1853, January 12). The Argus, p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4788871

After a couple of months in port, he returned to London on 1 April 1853 carrying wool and a box of gold dust.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1853, April 18). The Argus p. 4. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4791722

He reached Dover in 108 days. While there, he put in a good word for the port of Portland, a place he had developed a fondness for.

THE PORTLAND GUARDIAN AND NORMANBY GENERAL ADVERTISER (1854, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71569648

The following year, 1854, started in the same way, when Thomas arrived at Portland Bay on 4 February.

PORT OF PORTLAND. (1854, February 17). The Banner, p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article179811844

This time, however, Thomas had his wife and children on board.

PORTLAND BAY c1857. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/266998

Once in port, Thomas fell ill and required an operation.  Soon after, he advertised the Cornelius for sale.   

Advertising (1854, February 20). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71569711

Thomas finds his land legs

Thomas stayed on dry land and went into business as an auctioneer in Gawler Street, Portland, thus beginning the next chapter in his life.

Advertising (1854, June 15). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71570371

But he couldn’t part with the Cornelius, instead putting a master in charge of her. On 3 September 1854, the Cornelius set off to Singapore via Sydney when it wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef near Raine Island in the Torres Strait.

Life in Merino

On 28 May 1855, Mary Ellen died at Portland aged just thirty. In the months after, Thomas and the children went to live at Merino Waterholes, now Merino, where he set up an auctioneering business known as the Merino Auction Mart.

Advertising (1856, February 29). The Argus, p. 7. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4831997

In 1857, Thomas built the Farmers Arms Inn, later known as the Railway Hotel.

Advertising (1857, February 4). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 3  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64567702

Aside from getting his own businesses off the ground, Thomas was very active in the community. In June 1857, he formed the Merino Flour Mill Company, calling for 200 shares at £10 each.  A wind-powered mill was earlier proposed and shareholders had already invested in that option.  Thomas put forward the option of a steam mill and many of the investors of the wind-powered mill were prepared to transfer to the steam option.

On 1 February 1859, a boiler and other related machinery made in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, arrived in Merino from Melbourne. It created a lot of excitement among residents with “five drays…drawn by 24 pure Clydesdale horses, …declared by competent judges to be the finest heavy draught horses seen in this part of the district”.  You can read more about the mill’s construction on the link- Merino Flour Mill.

TOWNSHIP OF MERINO. (1859, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64510216

The two-story mill is in the photo below from 1859, the year if its contruction. Over 160 years later, the mill building still stands.

Photographer: Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

As the mill equipment was arriving in town, a school was under construction at Merino.

TOWNSHIP OF MERINO. (1859, February 9). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64510216

As stated in the article, the school would open owing money.  Thomas Clarke was on the first Merino School committee in 1858 and appointed secretary and treasurer. He also had the task of organising a suitable school building. After locating one, there were insufficient funds leaving Thomas and committee chairman Reverend Russell to make up the shortfall of £88. They hoped for reimbursement once the school was operational and receiving subscriptions or government support.  Money was tight, and Thomas tried various methods to keep the school going and pay its debts.

In August 1860, Thomas wrote a letter to the Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser calling for subscribers to the school. There were men in the district, he said, who had bought the finest land in the country for a “trifling” price, and surely they could help keep the school going and put the books in the black. “Nothing will teach the young colonists and the rising generation to more patriotism than promoting their moral character and education-an example I have never lost sight of since I first landed on Australia’s shores.”  

During what was a busy period of his life, Thomas remarried in 1857 to Ann Clarke. In 1860, he suffered the misfortune of losing his crops to a bushfire in the district. In 1861, he was appointed a trustee of the land set aside for a Church of England building at Merino. St Peter’s Church, Merino, did open, but not until December 1867, two years after Thomas’ death.

ST PETER’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, MERINO. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/766451

Thomas was deputy registrar for Births, Deaths, and Marriages at Merino from 1862, and the pound keeper.  He was also a handy fill in if a doctor or a clergyman wasn’t available. He had a good knowledge of medicine, most likely picked up during his time at sea, and he helped many in the district.  Assisting the school and some failed speculating proved detrimental to Thomas as he fell into insolvency in 1863. In October 1864, he was appointed as a valuer for the Glenelg Shire Council, receiving an annual salary of £58.

Thomas wrote many letters to the editor of the various district papers. In July 1857, he penned a detailed letter to the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser supporting the idea of the construction of a lighthouse on Lady Julia Percy Island around 35 kilometres south-east of Portland Bay, even offering advice on the construction.  The lighthouse never eventuated.  In another written in August 1863, after a visit to Portland, Thomas told of walking the beach and finding debris from a ship. He identified it as a  piece of American pine, matching the description of debris found at Swan Island near the entrance to Port Phillip Bay,  He explained how debris washed up on the beach at Portland could in fact be debris from a ship wrecked anywhere between Cape Bridgewater and Wilsons Promontory.

Thomas was just fifty at the time of his death in 1865, but what a life he led.  He left his widow, Ann, and eight children, including four young children born over the previous eight years.  On the day of his funeral, the cortege left Merino for Portland at 10 am with many people making the journey.  It was raining in Portland, keeping people away. Thomas was buried at the Portland North Cemetery overlooking Portland Bay which meant so much to him.  Ann died in 1898.

Thomas Clarke’s legacy

In 1867, the Merino correspondent for the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser reported on the growth in Merino and promoted the district as a good place to settle with a bright future.  He said, “Much of the early history of Merino is connected with the late Captain Clarke whose enterprise and energy gave an impulse to the early progress of the town.”

Thomas’ contribution to the maritime history of Portland was remembered in 1904, when the Portland Guardian recounted the 1854 voyage of the Cornelius from England.  That was the same voyage Thomas brought his family to Victoria.

The Portland Guardian, (1904, February 3). Portland Guardian, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63687181

An article in 1919 about Thomas’ life said he was a failure on the land, with many of his speculations not successful and suggesting his “ill fortune” followed him to the end, but it was full of praise for his life on the sea:

Captain Clarke’s early life was devoted to the sea, as were those of his ancestors for generations back. His experiences in the tea, sugar, timber and metal trades when in command, at different periods, of the ships Earl Grey, George Canning. Countess West-Moreland, Cornelius and Ruby, trading from India, Turkey, China, West Indies, Australia, and many other parts, would fill a good sized volume. From the end of the forties to the middle of the fifties, he traded regularly between London and Portland, the passage and back being made usually once a year, chiefly in the Cornelius…

The article also told of an c1851 painting of the Cornelius sold at a clearing sale after the death of Donald Cameron of Oakbank near Heywood in 1879. The auctioneers forwarded it to Thomas Clarke Jr at Merino and John Smith of Grassdale had a print made of the original.

DISNEY, Robert – Died 21 December 1875 at Hamilton.  Robert Disney was born in County Cork, Ireland around 1831 and arrived in Victoria in 1852, and was a police cadet by the end of that year. A year on and Robert was a Sub-Inspector and then Sub-Lieutenant. He spent time as a gold escort at Beechworth, Castlemaine, and Ballarat, among other places. In 1858, he was the officer in charge of the escort at Dunolly.

DUNOLLY. (1858, August 10). Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, p. 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE M.&D. ADVERTISER).http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article253588476

Robert spent time in Ararat around 1864 before moving on to Swan Hill. In 1865, he received a promotion to Inspector 2nd Class, and the following year, 1866, he went back to Beechworth. In March 1869, Robert led a troop of mounted police to escort the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Alfred to Sandridge pier after a visit to the colony. A few months later, Robert received a transfer to Benalla before Kyneton for four years. By that time, Robert had reached the rank of Senior Inspector. 

In 1871, another transfer took Robert to Hamilton, where he was the District Inspector of Police, and took up residence in French Street. In November 1875, illness forced his retirement, and he was soon bedridden. Robert succumbed to his condition on 21 December 1875, aged forty-four. Robert was very popular in Hamilton and a lengthy funeral cortege, including many police members, left his home on 23 December for the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.    

HEADSTONE OF ROBERT DISNEY AT HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

TWOMEY, John Joseph– Died 1 December 1879 at Carlton.  John Twomey was born around 1790 in County Cork, Ireland. He married Margaret O’Connor, and they raised a large family.  Around 1842, the Twomey family arrived in Victoria and about 1851, John took up the Kolor run near Mt Rouse, south-east of Hamilton. He and his sons took up surrounding land, and each had their own portion. Edward had Langulac, Daniel and John Jr shared Kolor, and Timothy was at Banemore.  

In August 1865, John’s wife Margeret died. It came only months after a tragic loss for the family. On 5 April 1865, their son John and his wife were on the SS Western travelling overnight between Melbourne and Port Fairy. On arrival at their destination, John was nowhere to be found. Investigations found he didn’t disembark at Warrnambool, so he most likely fell overboard some time after he was last seen on deck, about seven miles off Warrnambool. A £100 reward was offered for the return of his body and John Sr continued on in partnership of Kolor with Daniel.

In August 1868, Daniel Twomey held a ceremony at Kolor for the laying of the foundation stone for a new homestead he was building. John Twomey had the honours and on taking the trowel he declared, “the stone well and truly laid”      

“KOLOR. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233438

John went to live at Langulac the property of his son Edward, around 1875. The older man in the photo below, taken at Langulac, could be John. 

LANGULAC HOMESTEAD, c1875. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/770166

Somehow, John came to be living in a boarding house at 11 Drummond Street, Carlton and he died there on 1 December 1879, aged eighty-nine.  His body returned to Hamilton and buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.  His impressive monument also included a memorial for his missing son John Jr.  A charitable man until the end, John bequeathed £100 to the Hamilton Hospital.

GRAVE OF JOHN JOSEPH TWOMEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

TAIT, James – Died 28 December 1880 at Camperdown.  James Tait was born in County Caithness, Scotland in 1809.  He lived in Glasgow for around twenty years before travelling to Australia about 1854 with his wife, Jane Wares. Three years later, the Taits arrived at Camperdown and James opened the first store in the town. It was on the corner of Adeney and Campbell Streets, but in time, he constructed a store in Scott Street, later known as Penzance House (below)

James Tait’s Camperdown Store c1859 Photographer: Thomas Hannay, Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/320656

James was a founding member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Roads Board. He was also an elder of the Presbyterian Church from 1863 and involved with the Sabbath school. He promoted temperance and religion and managed several of the local temperance societies.  

James died at this home in Scott Street, Camperdown in 1880. His burial took place at the Camperdown Cemetery, with around forty vehicles and twenty men on horseback making up the cortege. His widow Jane died in 1898.

TWOMEY, Daniel– Died 30 December 1891 at Penshurst.  Daniel Twomey was born in County Cork, Ireland around 1832, the fourth son of John Joseph Twomey (see above) and Margaret O’Connor. The Twomey family arrived in Victoria around 1845, and Daniel’s father took up the Kolor run at Mount Rouse. Daniel and his brother joined their father in acquiring land and later, Daniel took up the running of the Kolor run with his brother John.   

On 5 April 1865, John disappeared from the SS Western.  He died intestate and since he left a widow and a part share of Kolor, a “friendly” court case found it necessary to sell Kolor to dissolve John and Daniel’s partnership,  Daniel then purchased the property outright and set about building a new homestead.  He employed Melbourne architects Reed and Barnes with partner Joseph Reed appearing to have the design credit for Kolor homestead. Reed and Barnes came with good credentials. They had recently finished designing Rippon Lea at Elsternwick, the Melbourne Town Hall, and the former Menzies Hotel on the corner of Bourke and William Streets, Melbourne. Joseph visited Kolor in 1868 to inspect the site and the building started soon after. 

In August 1868, Daniel held a ceremony at Kolor for the laying of the foundation stone for the homestead. Around 200 people, including workers, were there to see John Twomey Snr. take a trowel and lay the stone.

JT Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/4121911

On 6 September 1871, Daniel married Helen Cameron, and they had four children.  Helen died in 1890 while away in Europe. Daniel felt the loss immensely and his health suffered. During late November 1891, he had a minor stroke but by Christmas Day, he was getting into the festive sprit. However, between Christmas and New Year, he suffered another stroke, and died on the morning of New Year’s Eve.   They left two boys and two girls under the age of twenty, all away at school in England.  Described as a lover of sport and a friend to the poor, Daniel had a gentle nature .  The funeral cortege left Kolor for the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF DANIEL TWOMEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

CLARKE, Anne – Died 13 December 1892 at Portland. Anne Clarke was born in Devon, England, around 1813 and arrived in Portland on the ship Francis Henty in 1854. 

THE FRANCIS HENTY, c1858. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/91541

She opened a school for young ladies in Gawler Street, Portland, in 1857.

ANNE CLARKE’S SCHOOL FOR YOUNG LADIES c1859 Photographer: Thomas Hannay. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/318603

 

Advertising (1889, July 17). Portland Guardian, p. 2 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63623908

Her obituary mentioned many of the girls she taught married in the Western District and Anne also educated their girls. In January 1891, Anne announced she was retiring and Miss Hayden would take over the school.

Advertising (1891, February 25). Portland Guardian p. 3 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63631900

Anne fell ill in late 1892 and the news reached Casterton, with the Casterton News reporting Anne had taught many girls from that district. She died on 13 December 1892.

Anne was among the women named in the Book of remembrance of the pioneer women of the Portland Bay district (1934). It mentioned before her arrival in Victoria, Anne taught at the school for the daughters of clergymen mentioned in Jane Eyre. That was the Cowan Bridge school in Lancashire, attended by the Bronte sisters in the 1820s.

DELANEY, Mary Ann – Died 2 December 1911 at Hamilton. Mary Ann Delaney was born around 183. She married John Cain in 1850. By 1861, they were living in Harrow and remained there for thirteen years before moving to Hamilton. Six sons and five daughters were born to Mary Ann and John, who lived in Milton Street, Hamilton. On the day before her death, neighbours saw Mary Ann hanging curtains on her front windows preparing for Christmas visitors. Her burial took place at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery (below).

GRAVE OF MARY ANN DELANEY, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

BYRNE, Elizabeth– Died 12 December 1918 at Telangatuk. Elizabeth Byrne was born in Liverpool, England, and married there in 1858 to Thomas Jasper.  They had two daughters in Liverpool, Sarah and Maria, before leaving for Australia. There arrived at Hobsons Bay in April 1864 aboard the Albion.  They went first to Penshurst (then known as Mt Rouse), then Dunkeld before finally settling at Telangatuk, north east of Balmoral. They had a further nine children over that time. Thomas died in 1900.  At the time of Elizabeth’s death in 1918, she had ten children still living, 26 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. The photo below shows descendants of Thomas Jasper and Elizabeth Byrne, picnicking near Balmoral c1905.  Among them, is their son William, the only person named in the photo.

MEMBERS OF THE JASPER FAMILY, BALMORAL, c1905. Image courtesy of Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumsvictoria.com.au/items/773761

LORD, Eliza – Died 24 December 1934 at Port Campbell. Eliza Lord was born in 1853 at Geelong.  Her family went to the Ballarat diggings and her miner father Samuel Lord was at the Eureka stockade in 1854. In 1865, Samuel selected land at Pomborneit.  Known as Lissie and proficient in several languages, she started teaching in 1871 at Pomborneit. Her appointment was as a “teacher without salary” and she remained until 30 September 1873, when she retired.  Her report stated she… “requires only a little more experience and training to make a very fair teacher”.¹ Eliza had other plans and on 11 February 1874, she married John Bowker at Christ Church, Geelong.

The Bowkers settled at Camperdown, where John operated a butcher shop and they started a family.

MANIFOLD STREET, CAMPERDOWN c1882. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/172495

In the early 1880s, they moved south to Princetown on the coast. There wasn’t a school, and the townspeople were keen to have one built, with Eliza suggested as a teacher.

CURRENT TOPICS. (1884, March 22). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 27, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23580257

Eliza was a member of the Princetown Church of England congregation. During WW1,  Eliza and John’s son Alwynne (below) was killed at The Nek, Gallipoli on 7 August 1915 while serving with the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

In 1928, John died and Eliza continued to live out her days at the family property Kangaroobie, Princetown. She died on Christmas Eve 1934, aged eighty-two, leaving three sons and one daughter. Eliza’s burial took place at the Port Campbell cemetery.

  1. Public Records Office of Victoria, Teacher Record Books, VPRS 13579/P0001, Teacher Record No. 5201-5500, Eliza Bowker, Record No. 5278   

Passing of the Pioneers

There are fourteen new pioneers this month, including two old colonists Cecil Cooke and Jane Fountain.  There is Thomas Rutledge born in Port Fairy in 1846 and  a son of one of that town’s prominent early residents. Don’t forget if you see underlined text, you can click on it for further information about the subject.

Cecil Pybus COOKE – Died 30 September 1895 at Condah.  In 1836 when Major Thomas Mitchell returned to Sydney after his third expedition taking in Victoria’s Western District he described as Australia Felix, word spread far and wide.  In England, Cecil Pybus Cooke heard of the “good country” in the new-found part of the colony and set off to see for himself.  Cecil was a son of a Madras Civil Servant William Cooke and was born in India in 1813.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334502

CECIL PYBUS COOKE c1870. PHOTOGRAPHERS: JOHNSTONE, O’SHANNESSY & CO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/334502

Cecil sailed to Launceston and arrived  on 3 April 1839 along with two servants.

"Shipping Intelligence." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 5 April 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 .

“Shipping Intelligence.” The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 – 1839) 5 April 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4159238&gt;.

During the voyage, Cecil met George Winter, on his way to join his brother Samuel Pratt Winter who had already made his way to the Western District.  Travelling with George was his sister Arbella who caught Cecil’s eye.  Just a month after they disembarked at Launceston, Cecil and Arbella were married at St John’s Church, Launceston.

"Family Notices" Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 - 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 .

“Family Notices” Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846) 23 May 1839: 2. Web. 13 Sep 2016 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article84751097&gt;.

Soon after, the newlyweds boarded a schooner for Victoria arriving at Portland Bay on 10 July 1839.  Cecil even travelled with his own accommodation, bringing a hut from England and he set it up in Portland. Soon after, he took up a run on the Smokey River, or Crawford River as it more commonly known.  In 1842, a daughter Emily was born and she died the following year. Cecil and Arabella went on to have five sons.  Cecil was finding pioneering life tough and things were not going to plan so he went further north to Harrow in 1845 and set up the Pine Hills Estate. More bad luck came when a fire went through the property in 1846.  By 1849, Cecil had sold Pine Hills to David Edgar.  He then bought Lake Condah Station.  In 1864, Cecil sold Lake Condah but the purchaser was unable to make the repayments so he retained it.

One of Cecil and Arbella’s sons Samuel Winter Cooke inherited Murndal, west of Hamilton from his uncle Samuel Pratt Winter in 1878. He employed his brother Cyril Trevor Cooke as manager from 1883. Samuel later became a Member of the Legislative Council for the Western Province. Cecil and Arbella spent a lot of time at Murndal. The photos below are a collection of photos of or relating to Cecil Cooke held by the State Library of Victoria with most taken at Murndal.

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Cecil Cooke was a Justice of the Peace and held court at the Branxholme Magistrates Court.  He was Church of England and contributed to the building of St Thomas’ Anglican church at Condah. Arbella died on 1 May 1892 and Cecil had a church built at Spring Creek (below) near Condah in memory of his wife with the foundation stone laid on 24 March 1894.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

ST. PHILLIPS CHURCH OF ENGLAND, SPRING CREEK 1983. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233693

Just two years after his wife, Cecil was buried at Murndal Private Cemetery with Arbella. On 13 March 1900, a memorial window was unveiled for Cecil Cooke at the Condah Church of England.

Jane FOUNTAIN: Died 10 September 1901 at Hamilton.  Jane Fountain was born in Cowick, Yorkshire, England on 5 December 1823.  When she was eighteen, Jane married James Blastock and soon after the newlyweds left England for Australia, arriving in Melbourne in July 1841.  In 1843, they travelled by bullock wagon via Hamilton to Heywood.  Jane and James remained there for a short time before returning to Hamilton, then known as the Grange and in 1844, they purchased the Grange Inn. The only other businesses then were a shoemaker and blacksmiths.  The photo below shows the Grange settlement when Blastocks ran the Grange Inn and shows land nearby owned by James Blastock.

097-2

EARLY MAP OF THE GRANGE (HAMILTON) FROM INTERPRETIVE BOARD AT HAMILTON WETLANDS

One of the guests at the Grange Inn during the Blastock’s time there was Charles Latrobe prior to his appointment as Lieutenant Governor.  They sold the Grange Inn and purchased the Mooralla Station, north of Hamilton with James’ brother-in-law Mr. Malcolm.  Leaving Mr. Malcolm to run Mooralla, Jane and James returned to England for a visit.  On their return, they sold Mooralla and built the Victoria Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton.

"Advertising" Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876) 17 September 1855: 4 (EVENING). Web. .

“Advertising” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 17 September 1855: 4 (EVENING). Web. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71572794&gt;.

1930 Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

VICTORIA HOTEL, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON 1930 Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766568

In 1857, James Blastock died aged forty-six and in 1859, Jane married James Wiggins.  They spent some time living in Geelong then returned to Hamilton and settled at Sandal on Digby Road overlooking the former site of the Grange Inn.  Jane was a member of the Wesleyan Church and was involved with the Sunday School.  She had an excellent memory of the early days of Hamilton and was often called on for her recollections.  In 1893, journalist The Vagabond called on Jane and she was able to show him the route Major Mitchell took when he crossed the Grange Burn in September 1836. On 24 August 1899, the Hamilton Spectator published an article “The Infancy of Hamilton” featuring Jane’s memories.  At the time of her death, Jane was Hamilton’s oldest resident.

George SMITH: Died 8 September 1916 at Byaduk. George Smith was born in Devonshire, England about 1843.  He arrived in Victoria in 1852 at Portland before moving on to Warrnambool. George moved north to Muddy Creek where he attended the local Primitive Methodist Church.  After a few years, he moved to Byaduk, working as a carrier.  George left a widow, five sons, and two daughters at the time of his death.

Hannah GREGORY: Died 9 September 1916 at Penshurst. Hannah Gregory was born at Preece, Shropshire, England around 1825 and arrived in Sydney around 1864.  Hannah then went to New Zealand where she met her husband James Chesswas and they returned to Australia, settling at Penshurst around 1873.  They lived in Bell Street and James worked as a tanner and currier.  James died in 1896 and Hannah continued on at Penshurst until her death at age ninety-one.

Hanorah RYAN:  Died 30 September 1917 at Kirkstall. Hanorah Ryan was born in Ireland around 1845 and arrived in Australia at the age of twenty, marrying William Pye in 1865.  The couple settled at Kirkstall and went on to have five sons and six daughters.  Hanorah was buried at Tower Hill Cemetery.

Elizabeth BYRNES:  Died 30 September 1917 at Terang.  Elizabeth Byrnes was born at Scarva, County Down, Ireland around 1835.  She married Thomas Kearns in Ireland and they arrived in 1856 aboard the Anna Maria with their two-year-old daughter to Port Fairy.  They settled at Woodford and had four sons and six more daughters.  Around 1911, Elizabeth moved to Terang to lived with her eldest daughter until her death.

Thomas Forster RUTLEDGE:  Died 6 September 1918 at Toorak.  Thomas Rutledge was born at Port Fairy in 1846, a son of well-known resident William Rutledge and Eliza Kirk.  His first home was most likely Emoh below, dating back to 1849 and sold by William Rutledge in 1863.

202

EMOH, COX STREET, PORT FAIRY

In 1876, Thomas married Edith Ritchie.  Eventually, Thomas and his brother took over their father’s Farnham run.  The 5000 acre property covered the area from the Merri River near Dennington Killarney, further west.  The two sons split it, with Thomas taking up Werronggurt and his brother the remaining Farnham run.  Thomas bred Lincoln sheep and was known as one of the best judges of Lincolns in the state. He also imported and bred Shorthorn cattle and imported many Clydesdale mares from Scotland.  A popular and charitable man, Thomas was one of the first directors of the Farnham butter factory and on the board of the Rosebrook butter factory. He also served on the Warrnambool Shire.

Thomas gradually sold off his holdings and he and Edith moved to Bell Park at Geelong. At one stage, Thomas and Edith spent time living in New Zealand then returned to Geelong. They eventually moved to Woodford in Toorak.  At the time of his death, Thomas left his widow Edith and five daughters and one son, Geoffrey, at the time a 2nd Lieutenant with the Australian Flying Corps.  Another son, Noel was killed at Ploegsteert, Belgium on 3 June 1917 while serving with the 3rd Division Artillery.

Marie GWYTHER:  Died 8 September 1919 at Hamilton.  Marie Gwyther was born in Pembroke, South Wales on 2 March 1824. She arrived in Melbourne around 1855 with her three brothers, George, William, and Henry. They stayed in Melbourne a week before moving on to Portland then arriving in Hamilton on 2 August 1855.  At the time, the rent on a hut was one pound and a bag of flour ten pounds.  Marie was a Presbyterian and attended the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone by William Skene of Hamilton’s first Presbyterian church (below) on 21 October 1857.

http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

HAMILTON’S FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH TO THE RIGHT WITH THE HAMILTON ANGLICAN CHRIST CHURCH ON THE LEFT. c1890. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/69513

During the 1870s, Marie spent time at Harrow working as a cook at the Hermitage Hotel.  Marie never married and was “loved by all with who she came in contact.” She lived in Goldsmith Street and as a keen gardener always had a lovely garden.

Isabella McDONALD:  Died September 1942 at Geelong. Isabella was born at Mortlake around 1864.  Her father Alexander is thought to have built Mack’s Hotel at Mortlake before purchasing the Camperdown Hotel. In 1888, Isabella married John Charles Haugh and they remained in Camperdown.  John worked as a baker and they had a family of six sons and two daughters.  John Haugh died only four months after Isabella on 19 January 1943.

John PITMAN:  Died 4 September 1943 at Portland. John Pitman was born at Macarthur around 1865.  While still a teenager, John took up land at Patyah north of Edenhope.  In 1897, he married Ellen Montgomery of Neuarapurr.  John was interested in athletics and in his early years was a boxer, athlete, cricketer.  In his later years, John took up bowls.  He retired to Portland in 1921.

Arthur PERRETT:  Died September 1948 at Colac.  Arthur Perrett was born in January 1884 at Camperdown and married Gertrude Swayn at the Pomberneit Presbyterian Church in 1911.  They settled at Derrinellum where Arthur ran a boarding house and grocery store.  They returned to Camperdown and Arthur worked for Kleine’s Bakery as a delivery driver. He then obtained work at the Werribee Research Farm before managing a branch of the farm at Boisdale in Gippsland.  Arthur and Gertrude returned to the Western District in 1921 when Arthur took up a dairy farm at Pirron Yallock, west of Colac. In 1929, Arthur bought a block in the Reads Estate at Dreeite further north.  At both Pirron Yallock and Dreeite, Arthur was on the local state school committee.

John TEHAN:  Died 10 September 1953 at Camperdown.  John Tehan was born at Heathcote in 1872 and arrived in the Western District as a young man and worked at Youngers at Warrnambool. He then worked for Morrisons General Store in Manifold Street Camperdown for sixteen years. In 1900, John married Jessie Peter.  They had two sons and two daughters. In 1907, John opened his own shop in Manifold street.  In 1913, he called for tenders to build a large new brick store on the site.  In 1934, John demolished the shops had four new shops built in their place.

"BUILDING ENTERPRISE" Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954) 15 December 1934: 2. Web. .

“BUILDING ENTERPRISE” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 15 December 1934: 2. Web. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27397193&gt;.

Thomas Stewart LORD:  Died 12 September 1954 at Warrnambool.  Thomas Lord was born at Port Campbell around 1882 and was the first boy of European descent born there.  His parents William and Jessie Lord had settled there in 1876.  Thomas attended the Port Campbell State School but did spend two years at school in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.  He returned to Port Campbell and worked in the local store from the age of fifteen. Thomas was the first secretary of the Port Campbell Football Club and a member of the school committee.  He was also a director of the Cobden and District Pioneer Butter Factory (below)

Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772409

COBDEN BUTTER FACTORY 1933. Museum Victoria Collections http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772409

Thomas’ funeral was one of the largest funerals seen in Port Campbell.

 

Passing of the Pioneers

As the Passing of the Pioneer post comes together each month, I often find the pioneers have something in common.  Sometimes it’s their occupations or their birthplace.  This month, five of the twelve pioneers went to the goldfields after arriving in Victoria. It is one of the most common similarities I come across, and not surprising as gold was the big drawcard to Victoria in the 1850s. To read the newspaper obituary for each pioneer, just click on their name.  You can also click on other underlined text in the post to find more information.

William Henry GUBBINS:  Died 9 August 1905 at Penshurst. William Gubbins was born at Tavistock, Devonshire, England around 1827 and arrived in Victoria in the mid-1850s. After his arrival, he went to the diggings at Creswick then later Clunes. Around that time, William married Mary Ann Down and they had five children.  The family then spent time around the Terang district before purchasing  Burn Brae Estate at Penshurst in 1888.

J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233170

“BURN BRAE” HOMESTEAD, PENSHURST IN 1978. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233170

Mary Ann died in 1900 and William stayed on at Burn Brae until his death. William was buried at the Terang Cemetery.

John MILLMAN:  Died 2 August 1914 at Hamilton. John Millman was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, England in 1832.  He and his brother left England together, arriving in Melbourne in 1852.  John worked as a carpenter in Melbourne but his brother went “up country”.  By the time of the Eureka uprising in Ballarat in 1854, John was in Ballarat trying his luck as a miner.  Around 1855, John purchased a three month Miner’s Right for £2 and he later passed the document on to his family.  By 1861, John had arrived in Hamilton where his brother was residing.  It was in Hamilton John married Sarah Jane Knapp in 1878. A member of the Hamilton Rifle Club, John was also a keen horticulturist, competing at the various shows around the district.  Sarah died in 1910.

Mary LORD:  Died 23 August 1914 at Karabeal. Mary Lord was born in Wexford County, Ireland around 1833 and travelled to Portland with her parents around 1850.  They settled in that town and in 1860, Mary married Joseph Brewis.  At the time, Joseph was the manager at Mokanger Station near Cavendish and he returned there with Mary. After working at Mokanger for seventeen years, Joseph Brewis purchased land at nearby Karabeal they called Canridge and remained there for the rest of their lives.  Mary and Joseph had seven sons and one daughter. They were buried at the Cavendish Old Cemetery (below).

THE HEADSTONE OF MARY AND JOSEPH BREWIS OBSCURED BY THE HEADSTONE OF MARY'S PARENTS WILLIAM AND MARY LORD AT CAVENDISH OLD CEMETERY

THE HEADSTONE OF MARY AND JOSEPH BREWIS OBSCURED BY THE HEADSTONE OF MARY’S PARENTS WILLIAM AND MARY LORD AT CAVENDISH OLD CEMETERY

Edward HALL:  Died 8 August 1915 at Malvern.  Edward Hall was born in England around 1830.  He left Liverpool, England for Australia on the Satellite, arriving at Melbourne on 2 August 1851. He then sailed on the Red Rover to Port Fairy.  Edward worked as a tutor for the children of Messrs. Mills and Glare but in 1852 after the discovery of gold, he left for the Ballarat diggings with some other local men. It was short lived with Edward returning to Port Fairy the following year.  He next went to Brighton as a lay reader with the Church of England.  While there he had an encounter with bushrangers in the area where the suburb of Moorabbin is now located.  After that experience, Edward returned to Port Fairy, opening a school at Rosebrook and then teaching at Port Fairy.  He again returned to Brighton and then Nunawading where he remained until his death.

Mary Josephine ROACHE:  Died 24 August 1915 at Hamilton. Mary Roache was born in Ireland around 1860 and arrived in Australia in the mid-1870s.  Mary went to Hamilton and resided at the Town Hall Hotel in Gray Street when it was known as Mackey’s and the licensee was Michael Roache, possibly Mary’s brother.

"VIEW OF HA[?] [?]AM[?]TON VICTORIA." Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 - 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). Web. 19 Aug 2016 .

THE TOWN HALL HOTEL, HAMILTON c1888. (“VIEW OF HAMILTON VICTORIA.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 2 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR).

Mary married widowed travelling dentist John Mawson in Melbourne in 1887 and they had one daughter Veronica in 1892. After spending time in Melbourne, they moved back to Hamilton around 1901 and in 1902 John built a practice in Gray Street.  John Mawson died two years after Mary in 1917.

James SPRING:  Died 24 August 1916 at Bochara. James Spring was born in County Meath, Ireland in 1830. When eighteen, James sailed to Sydney, NSW aboard the Royal Saxon.  He then made his way south to Mount Gambier, South Australia. In February 1855, James arrived in Hamilton and settled north of the town at Bochara on the Grange Creek.  During February 1891, bad bushfires swept through the Bochara district impacting on James’ farm.  While his house was saved, he lost a lot of feed and farm machinery.

Thomas WHEATLEY:  Died 11 August 1917 at Terang.  Thomas Wheatley was born in Middlesex, England in 1827.  He joined the Royal Navy and during the 1840s spent time sailing around the South Seas. He joined the crew of the Aberfoyle and in 1854 landed a Geelong.  Thomas was able to take leave of his employment and went to the Ballarat goldfields but arrived in December around the time of the Eureka uprising. With unrest in Ballarat, Thomas continued on north to Creswick.  With no luck on the diggings,  Thomas eventually made his way to the Terang district and married in 1856 to Ellen McLaughlin, born in Kilkenny, Ireland.  He bought a bullock team and set up the first carrying business in Terang. Thomas was a member of the Salvation Army.  Ellen died around 1914 and eight of their children were still living at the time of Thomas’ death three years later.

Mary Ann Coughlan:  Died August 1917 at Caramut.  Mary Ann Coughlan arrived in Australia with her family in 1849.  She later met John Bendall the manager of John Moffat’s Hopkins Hills and The Gums.  They married in 1864 and lived at The Gums.  After that property was sold, the Bendalls ran a General Store and Post Office at Caramut and raised two sons and two daughters.  Mary Ann was widowed for more than thirty years with John dying in 1887 aged forty-seven but she remained in Caramut.

Janet CALDOW:  Died August 1918 at Caulfield.  Janet Caldow was born around 1832 in Ayrshire, Scotland. While still in Scotland she married Joseph Blain and they travelled to Australia aboard the Lord Nelson, arriving in Melbourne in 1855.  They went straight to the Ballarat diggings but soon took up a farm at Coghills Creek near Ballarat.  Around 1865, they moved to Garvoc, running a dairy farm and raising three sons and four daughters.  Joseph died around 1896.  Janet’s immediate family also immigrated from Scotland and lived long lives in Australia.  At the time of her death, the ages of her remaining five brothers and one sister totalled 425 years.

Adam Gordon LAIDLAW:  Died 1 August 1918 at Melbourne. Adam Laidlaw was born at Harrow in 1858 to Walter Laidlaw and Mary Gordon. Adam grew up on his father’s property Mundarra near Edenhope and later attended Hamilton and Western District College and obtained his matriculation.

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

MUNDARRA Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H95.200/1068 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/230342

Adam Laidlaw was associated with several properties including Ardachy near Branxholme where he lived for ten years.  He also owned Wootong Vale near Coleraine but in his later years leased the property out.  Never married, Adam was a philanthropist donating much money to charity including the Hamilton Hospital.  During the war years, he donated regularly to the War Loans Fund.  He was also a member of the Coleraine and Hamilton Racing Clubs.  Prior to the war, Adam went on a world trip but returned in 1915 and took up residence at the Melbourne Club in Collins Street.  In July 1918, Adam visited the Western District and returned to the Melbourne Club by the start of August.  On 1 August,  Adam was playing billiards when he fell ill.  He was rushed to hospital but later died.  Adam Laidlaw was buried at the Brighton Cemetery

Robert Ernest McARTHUR:  Died 29 August 1929 at Camperdown.  Robert McArthur was born in 1867 at Camperdown, a son of Margaret McLean and well-known pastoralist Peter McArthur of Meeningoort, Camperdown.  Robert attended Geelong College and was captain of the cricket and football teams and later went to Ormond College at Melbourne University, studying law.  He returned to Camperdown and helped his father manage Meeenigoort before purchasing  Koort Koort Nong (below) where he resided.

J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217051

KOORT KOORT NONG, CAMPERDOWN. J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217051

Robert was an amateur jockey, excelling at cross-country events and enjoyed polo.  In 1897 and 1898, he rode three winners at the Warrnambool Amateur Races. He also won the Melbourne Hunt Club Cup. Robert was a member of the Camperdown Turf Club and honourary starter at the Terang Racing Club and a founding member of the Western District Racing Association.  He was also a councillor on the Hampden Shire from 1898 to 1907. Another obituary for Robert is on the link here.

George GEMMELL: Died August 1945 at Camperdown.  Born around 1867 at Mortlake, George Gemmel moved to Cobden around 1880 working as a stonemason.  Works he was involved with included the foundations of Grand Central Hotel at Cobden, the Shire Offices and Poligolet (below) near Derrinallum.

 J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217239

POLIGOLET J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217239

George married Elizabeth Porter in 1890 and the family were members of the Camperdown Presbyterian Church.  At the time of his death, George had four sons, one daughter, sixteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.