Many of my Mainwaring cousins served in the British Army. One of note was my second cousin six times removed, Frederick Jemmet Mainwaring (1796–1858).
Frederick Jemmet Mainwaring
Frederick Jemmet Mainwaring was the fourth of the six sons of Edward Mainwaring (1744–1803) and Elizabeth Judith Reeves (1769–1837). During the American War of Independence Edward served as an officer with the King’s Rangers, a British provincial military unit raised in Nova Scotia in 1777. All six of Edward and Elizabeth’s sons were in the army or the navy.
On 5 April 1810, Frederick, aged 13, joined the 45th Regiment of Foot as an ensign without purchase. Later that year, still an ensign, he transferred to the 51st Regiment of Foot, where his uncle John Montague Mainwaring (1761–1842) was Lieutenant-Colonel. Frederick was promoted to Lieutenant in 1813 and Captain in 1828. He became a Major by purchase in 1838 and finally a Lieutenant Colonel without purchase, unattached, in 1849.
Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815. The 51st embarked for Ostend the following month, and were at the Battle of Waterloo in June. Among its achievements the regiment prevented 100 French cuirassiers from escaping.
Frederick, a lucky soldier, took part in all these many battles without ever suffering a wound.
In 1844 he published his memoirs of service, anonymously, in the ‘United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine’ as ‘Four years of a soldier’s life, by a field officer’. Although written many years after the events he describes, the memoir is a convincing portrait of a young subaltern’s adventures in the Peninsular War.
Escorting convicts to Van Diemen’s Land
In 1837 detachments of the 51st Foot were given the task of escorting convicts on their voyage to Australia.
Early in the following year, on 18 January 1838, Captain Mainwaring arrived in Hobart on HMS Neptune with his wife, two children and a servant. In command of an escort of an ensign, two sergeants, and 27 soldiers of the 51st regiment, he had overseen the transportation to Tasmania of 358 male convicts.
Not long after arriving in Van Diemen’s Land Mainwaring was appointed a Justice of the Peace and a Coroner; it was usual for officers of regiments posted to the colony to be assigned these roles.
In October 1838 Captain Mainwaring was promoted to major by purchase. The following year, with this rank, he was appointed Commandant at Launceston.
From the Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas.), Saturday 20 June 1840, page 2:
Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.— On Thursday last, being the 18th of June, our Commandant, Major Mainwaring, held a field day of the Troops stationed here, in commemoration of that day, in which the British army covered their arms with laurels, and on which occasion, our Commandant and Captain Austin were present, being the only Officers stationed here who wear the Waterloo Medal. The detachment on service in Launceston, was divided into two sections, for the purpose of an engagement, which, with all the necessary evolutions, attacking, firing, retreating, forming squares, &c, finished with a hurrah for old England, to the great amusements of a number of spectators.
A few weeks later Mainwaring was replaced as Commandant. He returned to headquarters in Hobart.
From 1833 to 1848 the Coal Mines at Plunkett Point, 20 miles (30km) north of Port Arthur, were a convict probation station and the site of Tasmania’s first coal mine. The mines served as a place of punishment for the ‘worst class’ of convicts from Port Arthur. In 1839 there were 150 prisoners and a detachment of 29 officers stationed at the mines. Large stone barracks, which housed up to 170 prisoners, as well as the chapel, bakehouse and store had been erected. On the hillside above were comfortable quarters for the commanding officer, surgeon and other officials. By 1847 the main shaft was down over 300 feet with an extensive system of subterranean tunnels and caverns. The work of extracting the coal was carried out by convicts in two eight hour shifts. The men had to extract 25 tons in each shift to reach the day’s quota.
In 1846 Mainwaring left Van Diemen’s Land, travelling with the 51st Regiment to India. Sadly his wife Catherine died in Madras in January 1847, only 41 years old. They had 4 surviving children.
On 4 September 1849 Frederick became a Lieutenant Colonel without purchase, unattached. He later left the 51st Regiment and joined the 59th.
At the time of the 1851 census Frederick Mainwaring, occupation Lieutenant Colonel unattached, was living in Guernsey with his three younger children. His oldest daughter had married in 1848.
About 1852 Frederick married again. He and his second wife had one son. In 1858 he died on Jersey at the age of 62.
Mid-Victorian England supported more than 20,000 Established Church clergymen—perhaps twice this number counting ministers of Dissenters and various other unorthodox sects—so I’d expect to see a few in my tree.
And there are. One, on my husband’s side, married to Greg’s third great grand aunt, was a Methodist minister named Francis Tuckfield (1808–1865), who in early colonial times set up an Aboriginal mission near Colac, in Victoria.
Tuckfield was a Cornish miner and fisherman who at the age of 18 became deeply convinced of the truth of Wesley‘s message. In 1835 he was accepted as a candidate for the Ministry and, following two years training at the Hoxton Theological Institution, was selected to serve as a missionary to the Aboriginals of the Port Phillip District (from 1851 the colony of Victoria).
In March 1838 the Tuckfields landed in Hobart, and in July crossed Bass Strait to Melbourne on the ‘Adelaide‘. Their first child, a daughter, was born at Geelong on 12 August 1838.
Tuckfield made several exploratory trips in the Port Phillip district looking for a suitable place to establish a mission station, employing, it is said, William Buckley as translator. Buckley was an escaped convict, now pardoned and appointed government interpreter, who for a time had lived with Aboriginals.
In 1839 Tuckfield chose a site for his mission near Birregurra, ‘kangaroo camp’, five miles east of Colac. Governor Gipps granted the mission 640 acres, a square mile, with a large boundary reserve to prevent settlers from encroaching on mission land.
Tuckfield’s Aboriginal mission, the first in Victoria, was named Buntingdale, in honour of the Reverend Jabez Bunting, who after the death of John Wesley had become the most prominent Methodist in England.
The tribes of this area were nomadic, which made Tuckfield’s work at a single settled place difficult, and though the mission site had been carefully chosen to be at the junction of three or four tribal territories, rivalry and intertribal conflict was common. The Colac tribe (Gulidjan) offered most hope of success and at times Tuckfield travelled and lived with this group.
In 1840, scarcely a year after the mission was established, a fire destroyed many of its buildings.
By 1841 Tuckfield had become convinced that mission work could be satisfactory only among tribes completely divorced from white settlement. In 1842, with Superintendent Charles La Trobe’s approval, he travelled to Echuca, near the junction of the Goulburn and Murray Rivers seeking a more suitable place a mission. However, neither the government nor the committee overseeing Tuckfield’s missionary endeavours favoured this idea. Many believed his missionary project had no hope of success.
Tuckfield continued at Buntingdale, keeping a small number of Aboriginals around him, attending to his school and gradually developing the area into a farming property.
The Birregurra experiment, however, was finally deemed a failure by the Victorian Government. In 1848 the site was abandoned, and in 1850 the mission grazing licence was cancelled. In 1851 the mission buildings were destroyed in the ‘Black Thursday’ bushfires.
The site of Tuckfield’s mission is now remembered with a small memorial cairn. The mission bell is housed in Christ Church, Birregurra.
Francis Tuckfield was afterwards appointed to a succession of churches, first in Victoria and later in New South Wales. On 6 June 1854 Sarah died at the age of 45 in Maitland, New South Wales. She and Francis had eight children.
In 1857 Francis remarried, to Mary Stevens (1823-1886). They had three children.
In 1864 Tuckfield was appointed to the Portland Church, Victoria. In the following year he contracted pneumonia after attending a funeral, and died on 21 October 1865. He was buried in the Methodist section of the Portland cemetery.
Tuckfield was an able and zealous missionary with a gift for native languages; the failure at Buntingdale must fairly be ascribed to causes beyond his control. Later he showed himself to be a greatly loved and self-sacrificing pastor.
My 1st cousin five times removed, John James Russell, born in Dublin in 1804, was a surgeon in the British Army. He had a considerable role in the early history of Tasmania, then known as Van Diemen’s Land.
When he joined up, on 28 July 1825, Russell was first assigned as a hospital assistant to Staff, not posted to a regiment. From December 1825 to September 1826 he was stationed in Jamaica. On 25 April 1826 he was appointed Assistant Surgeon of the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment of Foot, transferring the following year to Assistant Surgeon of the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot. From December 1826 to April 1828 he accompanied his regiment in a deployment to Portugal.
"Render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's." We have lost a man whose place in Launceston will not be easily filled up, one who has been justly designated the ' Friend of JUSTICE AND HUMANITY.' While we render the tribute of praise to Dr. John RUSSELL of the 63rd Regiment, which is merely his due, we are convinced that we speak not only our own sentiments, but those of the public also. That gentleman has endeared himself to high and low in our community, and it is upon good authority we state, that the poor and the miserable have blessed him as he passed them by— we ourselves well know that many have reason so to do. We wish Dr. Russell every success in that part of the Island to which he has been called; or wherever else it may please Providence to place him— it will always give us great pleasure to hear of his well-doing and well-being.
Russell’s new role was as first Commandant of a penal settlement to be established on a peninsular, difficult of access, fifty miles from Hobart. Lieutenant Richard Fry of the 63rd had originally been appointed Superintendent of the new settlement, but became ill and was unable to take up the post. Russell was appointed in his place.
He landed there on 22 September 1830, commanded to construct a timber mill, a “sawing station” to replace an earlier mill at Birch’s Bay, twenty-five miles south of Hobart. Fifty prisoners were selected, with an officer and fifteen soldiers of the 63rd Regiment detached to accompanied them. Russell’s powers included those of Magistrate for the new settlement. At his suggestion it was named Port Arthur, after the Tasmanian Governor.
Under Russell’s management, huts were built and timber-getting operations established. After considerable difficulties with supplies, the settlement was judged to be both a convenient and easily secured location, a better alternative to the penal settlement on Maria Island. Russell acquired a reputation as a humane Commandant and a competent manager of convicts. In July 1831 he was replaced by Captain John Mahon.
3. Port Arthur. This new settlement on Tasman's Peninsula, named after his Excellency the Lieut. Governor, promises to be of considerable advantage to the colony. The formation of the establishment commenced in Sept. 1830, under the direction of Mr. Russell, Assistant Surgeon of the 63rd. regiment, and it is now in active progress.
It is intended for the reception of convicts from Macquarie Harbour who have conducted themselves well during a portion of their sentence at that Penal Settlement, or in some instances from the chain-gangs as a progressive step towards the greater indulgence of re-admitting them amongst the community at large. They are to be principally employed in felling and drawing the fine timber with which that part of the country abounds.
But another most important object of the settlement, and probably that which is likely to prove of the greatest ultimate benefit to the colony, is the instruction of boys in the trades, chiefly that of sawyers. They are to be sent down to the settlement immediately after their arrival on Hobart-town, and placed under the charge of persons competent to teach them. Already a number of boys from amongst the late arrivals have been sent there, and are now receiving instruction.
Thus, instead as heretofore, of being spread through the country, where they only learnt vices and irregularities, and formed connexions which eventually led in many instances to their ruin, they are taught habits of industry and it is to be hoped will become capable of rendering essential service to the public, and of afterwards earning for themselves a reputable livelihood.
Port Arthur, one of the finest harbours in Van Diemen's Land, is about 55 miles from Hobart-town. Its entrance (lat. 43 degrees 13 minutes S. long, 148 degrees E.) is just half way between Cape Pillar and Cape Raoul, on the southern coast of Tasman's Peninsula.
These two remarkable Capes have a grand appearance on approaching the harbour. The former consists of basaltic columns, built up as it were to an enormous height, and from the regularity with which they are raised or piled, would almost seem to have been effected by human hands.
The latter, Cape Raoul, so called from the pilot of the Research, or Basalts of the same material, has the singular appearance of a stupendous Gothic ruin, projecting abruptly into the ocean, with its massy pillars, rising up in the manner of minarets or turrets, with the tremendous waves, dashing against its dark and ragged walls below.
The coast between these two Capes, (10 miles asunder) falls back so as to form a bay, of a crescentic shape, termed by the French as 'Mainjon baie'. Its sides are all rugged and inaccessible.
At the middle of this crescent, the passage of the harbour opens. It is about a mile wide, and runs up in a N. N. west direction for 4 miles and a half. At the distance of 3 and a half miles up, it expands to the westward to form a large bay, the safest part of the harbour.
The water is deep on both sides close to the shores. The western head is formed by a hill of between 4 and 5 hundred feet in height with a clear round top and perpendicular sides towards the sea. The eastern by a bold rocky point, surmounted by a conical hill 800 feet high, with another still loftier behind it. From this point the east to shore runs up in nearly a straight unbroken line to the end of the harbour. It also is formed by a perpendicular wall of Basaltic columns and ironstone rock, with a long line of hills above them sloping bushland, having the appearance of an immense battery or embankment. These hills are covered lightly with trees of a stunted growth. There are 3 or 4 rocky gullies and fresh water streams on this side, where landing may be effected when the wind is an easterly.
The left or western side of the channel presents a very different aspect. Its rocky line is broken by bays and sandy beaches. There is also an open plain with an undulating surface covered with heath and small shrubs, and backed by a lofty range of hills which run directly up from Cape Raoul towards the N. and S. and a branch range across the centre of the peninsula. This meets the line of hills on the eastern side, and thus completely surrounds the port.
On sailing up the harbour, within the clear hill at the western head, is seen a small sandy beach where the surf is generally too great to allow of boats landing. Half a mile higher up, and beyond an inner rocky head is Safety Cove, a fine large bay with a sandy beach, into which vessels often run for shelter from the stormy winds and heavy seas so frequent upon this coast. It is open to the south-east, but by lying well round into the south-west corner of the cove, a ship may be sheltered from a south-east wind. Sailing past Safety Cove, on the left, there is a range of perpendicular rocks, a mile and a half in length, which runs along a tongue of land, (all that separates the channel from the bay inside), and close to the point of this tongue is a small and picturesque island. Here the harbour expands or rather doubles round the tongue of land and forms a beautiful bay or basin in which a large fleet might ride at anchor undisturbed by any wind. And from hence, looking directly across the bay, is first seen the point upon which the settlement is now forming, lying half a mile due west from the island.
There are besides, three smaller bays from the main sheet of water, which afford excellent anchorage.
The settlement is prettily situated on the sloping side of a point, which is the southern boundary of the inlet, and stands out into the large bay. The buildings front to the north. There are already up, a military barrack with a neat cottage for the officers, a store and substantial huts for the prisoners, and all the necessary buildings are in progress and number of sawyers at work.
The country around presents one unvaried prospect of thickly timbered hills, they are scrubby and stony. The soil, though not so bad, yet is so stony that it would never repay the trouble of clearing for the purposes of cultivation. There are a few patches of clear swampy ground. The scrub in many places renders the country impassable, and in all parts extremely difficult to travel over.
The timber, which is the matter of first consideration as relates to the new settlement is of fine quality, particularly on that range of hills already mentioned running both north and south. It principally consists of stringy bark and gum trees, growing to a very large size, both on the sides of the hills and in the valleys. But in addition to these, the banks of the streams which run along the vales are thickly planted with other trees of a most useful description.
There is no part of the colony which can afford a greater variety or quantity of excellent fish than Port Arthur. The delicious trumpeter is in plenty, sea trout, perch, skate and sting ray, the two last may be easily speared or harpooned on the flats; rock-cod, flat-heads and cray-fish are all in abundance. Besides the numerous streams which flow into the port abound with the small but delicate mountain trout and fresh water lobster.
Port Arthur at first had a reputation for strict discipline, but with comparatively little use of chains and corporal punishment. A stricter regime, for which the penal colony became infamous, was introduced later.
Russell continued to be deployed on special projects. He helped to set up Point Puer Establishment for Boys at Port Arthur to isolate younger from older inmates and “to train them in some useful trade and to reform them so that they would be useful citizens”. In May 1833 he became apothecary to the General Hospital at Hobart. In September he was appointed to conduct inspections of hospitals in Launceston and George Town.
On 9 September 1843, in Saint Michael, Limerick, John James Russell married Mary Baldwin Drew. They had one child, Hugh Percy Russell, born on 14 June 1846 at the regimental barracks in Salford, Lancashire, now part of Manchester.
On 24 April 1849 Mary Russell died at sea on the troop ship ‘Apollo‘ off the coast of Spain. A few week’s later John James Russell died in Ireland.
The Clare Journal, and Ennis Advertiser of 6 August 1849 reported:
At Cherry Lodge, near Killarney, John J. Russell, Esq., M. D., Surgeon of H.M.'s 36th Regt. - but a few weeks surviving his beloved wife.
The three-year-old orphan Hugh Russell seems later to have become an officer in the Royal Artillery. He did not marry and left no children.
There is a connection between John James Russell and another member of my family, Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore (1811–1891), my third great-grandfather.
One of Cudmore’s obituary notices remarks that he emigrated to Tasmania on the recommendation of his ‘cousin’, Surgeon Russell, of the 63rd Regiment. Daniel’s mother was Sarah Jane nee Russell, daughter of Francis Russell and Sarah Russell nee Cashell. I don’t know who John James Russell’s parents were nor am I certain how he and Cudmore were related; I have assumed they were first cousins.
With forty other free emigrants, they had sailed on the Princess Charlotte from Leith, the port of Edinburgh, departing in October 1822.
For the first few months, before receiving their grants of land, George and Mary Taylor lived at the Macquarie Hotel, Hobart Town. On 30 June 1823 he was granted an 800 acre block of land about 30 miles south of Launceston, on the Macquarie River near Campbell Town . George Taylor named his property ‘Valley-Field’. George and Mary’s three sons, George, David, and Robert, each received 700 acre grants of land nearby.
George Taylor died on 19 April 1828 in Campbell Town, Tasmania, Australia aged 69, and was buried in Kirklands Presbyterian Cemetery, Campbell Town.
On the 19th April, Mr. George Taylor, Settler, of Valley Field, Macquarie River, leaving a disconsolate widow and large family to bewail his loss. The deceased was the father of the young Gentleman, who formerly lost his life in taking a bushranger.
On 3 January 1839, eleven years later, Mary Taylor married a Campbell Town builder named Henry William Gage. She was about 70; Henry, 40, a widower, was a former convict.
On 30 July 30 1850 Mary died in Campbell Town and was buried next to her first husband.
At her residence, Campbell Town, on Tuesday last, Mrs. Gage, mother of Robert and Daniel Taylor, Esqs., aged 85 years
Her grave inscription reads:
Sacred to the Memory of MARY LOW Who Died 30th July 1850 Relict of the Late George Taylor Senr.
I know nothing about Mary’s second marriage. It seems rather surprising that a comfortably-off widow with adult children to support her would choose to marry a man 30 years younger.
Henry William Gage, was a carpenter, born in 1798 in Gloucestershire. In 1830 he had been convicted in for stealing substantial quantities of cheese, butter, bread, tobacco, candles, and a cloth. Sentenced to be transported for seven years, he arrived in Van Diemen’s Land on 26 March 1831 with 167 other convicts on the ‘Red Rover‘. After five years he gained a ticket of leave; a document which allowed convicts to work for themselves provided that they remained in a specified area, reported regularly to local authorities and attended divine worship every Sunday, if possible. They could not leave the colony. In 1837 he was given a Certificate of Freedom; this document was issued at the completion of a convict’s sentence, as proof he or she was a free person. They were free to travel anywhere, and could return to the United Kingdom (if they could afford it!).
Early in 1836, Henry Gage and other convicts were sent to Campbell Town, sixty-odd miles north of Hobart, to construct a bridge (known as Red Bridge) to span the Elizabeth River there. When he gained his freedom Gage settled in Campbell Town and built several houses known as ‘Gage’s Row’ in Pedder Street. He owned three of these and several other properties in Campbell Town. Some are still standing.
After Mary’s death Henry Gage married again, to Alice Lugg, an ex-convict from Cornwall. They had seven children. Most died in infancy.
The removal by death of Mr. William Henry Tindal Gage occurred this morning, at Campbell Town, at an advanced age. Mr. Gage's name has for many years been before the public as an aspirant for Parliamentary honors. Although somewhat eccentric, he was just and honorable in his dealings.
One of a considerable number of Army and Navy officers in my family was Benjamin Bayly (1797–1850), an infantry lieutenant. He was my 4th great-uncle, younger brother of my 4th great-grandmother Charlotte Elizabeth Dana née Bailey (1795 – 1846).
Benjamin Bayly was born on 5 November 1797 in Nenagh, Tipperary, the son of the Reverend Henry O’Neale Bayley (1757 – 1826) and Anna Penelope (Grueber) Bayly (1764 – 1837).
From the 1821 ‘List of the Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines‘ it appears that Bayly had joined the 1st Garrison Battalion as an ensign on 25 June 1816. Garrison Battalions were reserve troops concerned with maintaining defence and good order in troublesome territory. They were recruited from elderly veterans or other troops considered unfit for front-line combat. Bayly’s Garrison Battalion, formed in 1805, was stationed in Ireland from 1807.
With Napoleon’s surrender in April 1814 Garrison battalions were no longer needed. On 5 December 1814 Bayly’s 1st Garrison battalion was disbanded. For over four years, from 2 December 1816, Bayly was on half pay.
In April 1821, some seven years after he was stood down, Bayly joined the 21st (Royal North British Fusilier also known as the Royal Scots Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot as a second lieutenant. (A fusilier was an infantryman armed with a light smooth-bore ‘Fusil’ flintlock musket.)
In December 1824 Benjamin was promoted by purchase to First lieutenant. On 2 December 1826 in Kingstown, the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, he married Mary Ann Cameron Wylly (1811 – 1892), daughter of William Wylly, the Chief Justice of St Vincent.
In October 1828 the 21st Foot, now returned to England from the West Indies, moved from Bath to Fermoy, Ireland. In June 1829 it was stationed at Mullingar and in 1830 in Kilkenny. In September 1831 the regiment moved from Dublin to Warrington, Lancashire.
Following this, the regiment was posted to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), arriving in stages from 1832 to 1833, to be put in charge of convicts.
During the years from 1834 to 1838, the Fusiliers were employed throughout the island of Tasmania, and at Perth, Port Phillip, Swan River, and Western Australia, on detachment duty in charge of various convict stations, and parties on public works ; only two companies, with band and staff, remaining at headquarters. The duties were incessant, hard, and very trying, but, on all occasions, performed in such a manner as to meet the approbation of the Government.
Benjamin and Mary Ann had at least six children.
Their oldest surviving child, Eliza Matilda, was baptised in Warrington, Lancashire in November 1831
Their second surviving child, Benjamin Peddie, was born in 1837 in Tasmania
Thirza Ellen was born in 1841 at Hobart
An unnamed child was born and died the same day in 1843 at Lagoon Bay, near Dunalley, 40 kilometers north of Port Arthur
William Chambers was born in 1845 at Hobart
Henry Vincent was born in 1850 at Richmond, Tasmania, (six months after his father’s death)
In 1838 Lieutenant Bayly, 21st Fusiliers, was appointed Assistant Police Magistrate at Waterloo Point. At the same time Benjamin Bayly, Esquire, was appointed coroner.
From 1839 the 21st was transferred to Calcutta, sailing from Hobart Town in February 1839. Rather than leave Tasmania, Bayly, now with the rank of Captain sold his commission and retired.
At the time of the 1842 census Benjamin Bayly was in Debsborough, near Dunalley, in the parish of Carlton, census district of Richmond. His house was of wood and brick. There were 22 people in the household.
In November 1842 B. Bayly, advertised for a tenant for a 1700 acre farm at Desborough, East Bay Neck. Bayly intended to move 17 kilometers east to Lagoon Bay.
From the Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas.), Tuesday 8 November 1842, page 1
To be Let, DEBSBOROUGH, AT EAST BAY NECK. THIS FARM contains 1700 acres of very superior land, with an unlimited back run, nearly 200 acres are in cultivation ; the garden contains two acres, and is stocked with trees selected from some of the best gardens in the colony ; several large paddocks are fenced in with substantial post and rail fences ; it is abundantly supplied with water in the driest seasons, and is an excellent stock and sheep run, and the tenant can have any number with the farm. The crops and stock to be taken at a valuation. The dwelling-house, lately finished, contains nine rooms ; there is an excellent barn, capable of containing 1000 bushels of corn ; there are also out-houses and stabling suitable for the farm. To an industrious tenant every encouragement will be given, and he may have immediate possession, the proprietor being about to remove to Lagoon Bay. Application to be made to the undersigned, at East Bay Neck. B. BAYLY. Nov. 8. 2159
From about 1845 Bayly was employed as a visiting magistrate to Maria Island, 50 kilometres north of Boomer Island.
Benjamin Bayly died on 3 March 1850 at the age of 52. He was buried on Maria Island at Darlington.
In 1885 Benjamin Bayly’s youngest son Henry Vincent Bayly married Harriet Louisa Bayley, daughter of Captain James Bayley, a Tasmanian seaman (no relation or at least not a close relation).
Captain James Bayley and his wife Elizabeth lived at Runnymede, a substantial cottage a mile or so north of central Hobart. After their marriage Henry and Harriet moved into Runnymede, where their six children grew up. Henry’s mother, Mary Ann Bayly nee Wylly, died there in 1892, and his sister Matilda in 1899.
In 1931, on Harriet’s death, Runnymede passed to Hally and Emma, her two spinster daughters, and the building was divided into four flats. The Bayly sisters, who continued to live there, were keen for the property to be preserved for future generations, and in 1965 it was bought by the Tasmanian Government ‘for preservation and development as a State monument’. It is presently run by the National Trust.
Two hundred years ago, on Friday 10 January 1823, after a voyage of almost four months, my fifth great grandparents George Taylor (1758 – 1828) and Mary Taylor née Low (1768 – 1850), accompanied by four of their eight adult children, arrived in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land.
George Taylor’s son Robert kept a diary of the voyage, writing mostly about the weather. A fortnight out they ran into a gale in the Bay of and the ship narrowly escaped going ashore at Cape Finisterre. A fortnight later the ship was becalmed for days near Madeira. A gale soon afterwards broke the main topgallant mast.
The diary also mentions troubles among the second class passengers; a cabin-boy being given a dozen lashes for cutting the first mate’s overcoat; a child’s death and the sea-burial, the sighting of two ships and speculation about their nationality; trouble over the distribution of spirits; shooting bottles for amusement; and betting as to when the ship would arrive in Hobart (Robert lost).
The Princess Charlotte dropped anchor in the Derwent River on 1 January.
The Taylor family landed on 10 January.
George and Mary Taylor lived at the Macquarie Hotel, Hobart Town, for two or three months before receiving their grants of land. (The building stood at 151 Macquarie Street but has been replaced.)
The 100th and 150th anniversaries of the arrival were celebrated by descendants of these emigrants. The 200th anniversary will be celebrated on 28 January, at the end of this month, at Campbell Town.
It is difficult for us now to see Van Diemen’s Land—later officially known as ‘Tasmania’—through the eyes of the recently arrived immigrants. What stood out?
There were sheep, more and more of the woolly chaps, and wheat:
In 1820 the fine-wool industry in Van Diemen’s Land had been founded with the introduction of 300 of Merino sheep bred by the Camden wool pioneer John Macarthur. In the same year Van Diemen’s Land became Australia’s major wheat producer; it remained so until 1850.
There were more and more farmer settlers:
By 1823 pastoralists were beginning to farm the Midlands, and many had settled in the country between Launceston and Hobart. On 30 June 1823 George Taylor received an 800 acre grant of land about 30 miles south of Launceston on the Macquarie River near Campbell Town. He named his property ‘Valley-Field’. His three sons, George, David, and Robert, each received 700 acre grants of land nearby.
In a letter of about 1825 George Taylor describes his early farming results:
This has been an early harvest. I began to cut barley on the 16th, and I have threshed and delivered 53 bolts and a half to the Thomsons Newbragh, for which I have received 30 / p bolt. It weighed 19 stones 4lb clutch. I think I shall have 10 … p acre. I should have it all in today but it rained in the morning. The first shower since the 17th. It has been a very dry season. In the spring we had not a shower to lay the dust for 43 days. The Barley is excellent, the wheat nearly an average of fine quality, Oats short in straw, much under an average. Peas and Beans in some places good, Turnips good, Potatoes supposed to be a short crop. I sold old wheat @36/-, 34/9d, 33/ last week.
George Taylor Esq.
Van Diemen’s Land.
The Colonial population had increased, with a large number of transported convicts, and the Aboriginal population had declined:
In September 1823 the Colonial population of Tasmania was enumerated as 10,009, excluding Aboriginal people, military and their families; there were 6850 men, 1379 women, 1780 children. The majority of the population were convicts. Convict immigration to Australia exceeded free immigration until the 1840s. In the 1820s there were 10, 570 convicts arriving in Van Diemen’s Land and 2,900 free immigrants. From 1801 to 1820 2,430 convicts had arrived and 700 free settlers.
In the 1820s about 3000 Scots migrated to Australia, most settled at first in Van Diemen’s Land. By the end of the decade a third of all landowners in Van Diemans’ Land and in New South Wales were Scots born.
My Taylor 5th great grandparents were the first of my ancestors to come to Australia. In the history of European colonisation this was early: Australia had been colonised by white settlers for only 35 years. It was still a wild place. The Taylors were attacked by bushrangers, and one of their sons was killed by Aborigines. They prospered, however, despite the hardships and their descendants continued on the land, breeding sheep at Valleyfield until 2005, when the property, in the Taylor family for 182 years, was sold out of the family.
Hudson, Helen Lesley Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales … who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850. H.L. Hudson, [Berwick] Vic, 1985.
Robert Henry (Bob) Whiteman (1883 – 1957), one of Greg’s great uncles, was a labourer from Parkes in New South Wales, the son of a miner. On 29 March 1911 at the Registrar’s Office, Devonport, Tasmania, he married Esther Irene Milton (1894 – 1976), a farmer’s daughter. He was 28 years old; she was 16.
Their children were:
Cyril Ernest 1911–1987
Irene May 1912–1985
Robert Edward 1914–1914
Kenneth James (Ken) 1915–1991
Percival Robert (Bob) 1917–2000
Iris Emily 1919–1924
Ivy Jean 1920–1921
Myrtle Charlotte 1923–1986
The first two children were born in Launceston. About 1913 the Whiteman family moved to Barrington, a small farming settlement fifty miles west. In 1922 Bob Whiteman and Esther Irene were recorded as living there, with his occupation on the electoral roll as ‘labourer’.
On Sunday 23 July 1922, while the Whitemans, with five children aged between 2 and 11, were away visiting Esther’s ill sister Bertha their cottage in Barrington (rented) burnt down and the contents were destroyed.
A fire occurred at Barrington on Sunday night, which completely destroyed a "cottage and contents. The building was owned by Mr. D. Mason, of Barrington, and occupied by Mr. B. Whiteman. The latter was away at Moriarty, together with his family, and the house was unoccupied when the fire occurred. The furniture, which was owned by the tenant, was partly covered by insurance. Much sympathy will be extended to Mr. Whiteman over his severe loss. He is a married man with five small children.
After the fire, the family moved to Northcote in Melbourne. On the 1924 electoral roll Robert Henry Whiteman, labourer, is recorded as living there, at 8 Robbs Parade.
When more than thirty years ago I began researching the family history of my husband Greg I was given some postcards belonging to his grandfather, Cecil Young (1898-1975) which had been handed down to father, Peter Young (1920-1988).
At that time I didn’t know much at all about the people and places mentioned on the cards. They were from Bob. Who was he? They referred to Homebush. Was this the Sydney suburb of that name?
I now know much more. Bob was Cecil’s older half-brother. Homebush was a gold-mining town in central Victoria.
Bob, born Robert Henry Whiteman on 10 March 1883 at Parkes, New South Wales, was the oldest child of Sarah Jane (1863 – 1898) and Robert Henry Whiteman (1839 – 1884), a miner. In February 1884 Robert Henry Whiteman senior died of pneumonia. Bob was eleven months old. His sister Mary was born six months later.
In Melbourne in September 1894 Sarah Jane married John Young, a gold miner. Bob was then aged eleven and Mary was ten. In 1894 Sarah Jane had given birth out of wedlock to another child (who came to be known as Leslie Leister). She left this child in Parkes, where he was brought up by her mother and sister. It appears that Bob and Mary came to Victoria to live with John Young and Sarah Jane.
John Young and Sarah Jane had three children together:
Caroline 1895-1895, born and died at Timor aged one month
John Percy (Jack), 1896-1918 born at Bowenvale near Timor
Sarah Jane died of postpartum haemorrhage the day after Cecil was born, leaving John Young a widower with two step-children: Bob now aged 14 and Mary 13, and two infants: Jack, almost two, and the newborn Cecil. John’s sisters appeared to have taken care of these children. Jack and Cecil grew up in Homebush with their aunt Charlotte.
The postcard collection has five written by Bob Whiteman to his half-brother Jack. Jack’s birthday was 24 August; three are birthday cards. All five were written between 1906 and 1911. Most are from Moriarty in northern Tasmania, a small settlement fourteen kilometres east of Devonport.
Dear Brother Jack
I think you have been a long time answering that postcard that I sent you. So I think when you get this boshter you ought to write.
Give my best respects to all.
Good Bye for the present.
Your loving brother B. W.
Moriarty 21st 9th 1908
Dear Brother Jack
I hope you don’t think that I have forgotten you I have been very busy lately one way and another. I have got my potatoes in I will have to chance what they turn out like now. Hoping you are well as I am myself at present I will say Good Bye.
Moriarty 8th 12th 1909
Dear Jack I suppose you thought I had forgotten you. We are having dreadful cold weather over here for this time of the year. Wish Aunt and Uncle and Lora a Happy xmas and a prosperous new year for me and accept the same for yourself and Cecil. All this time Good Bye Bob.
(Aunty and Uncle were Charlotte Wilkins née Young and her husband George Wilkins the Lower Homebush schoolmaster. ‘Lora’ was almost certainly Laura Squires, the school sewing mistress. In 1925 she married George Wilkins after the death of Charlotte.)
No doubt you will think it funny me sending you a birthday card after letting it pass so long but better late than never I suppose you are both growing fine big boys by this time. I will write you a letter when you answer this so don’t be too long. Have you seen Father lately.
Moriarty 8th 1st 1911
Dear Jack, I suppose you were beginning to think I was never going to write but I hope you had a Merry Xmas & New Year. Things were quite enough over this way. How is Aunty & Uncle & Lora getting on wish them all the compliments of the season for me it is rather late but better that than never. I hope you enjoy your holidays. All this time so Good Bye Bob.
My husband Greg’s great grandfather Ebenezer Henry Sullivan, known as Henry Sullivan, was born on 7 August 1863 at Gheringhap, a small settlement near Geelong, Victoria.
Henry’s birth was registered by Matilda Hughes, his maternal grandmother. According to the birth certificate, his father was a labourer named William Sullivan, about 24 years old, born in London. His mother was recorded as Matilda Sullivan, maiden surname Hughes (but actually born Darby), aged 18, born in New Zealand. William and Matilda had been married in 1862, the previous year. Matilda had another child, Eleazar Hughes, born in 1861 to a different father, unnamed.
The 1862 marriage of William Sullivan and Matilda Frances Hughes took place on 6 October 1862 in Herne Hill, a suburb of Geelong, at the residence of the Reverend Mr James Apperley. The marriage certificate records William as 23, labourer, a bachelor, born in London, living at Gheringhap. William’s parents were named as William Sullivan, painter and glazier, and his wife Mary Barry.
On 12 June 1865 at Ashby, Geelong, William and Matilda had a daughter, Margaret Maria Sullivan. The informant on the birth certificate was her maternal grandmother Matilda Hughes. The father was named as William Sullivan, farmer, deceased, aged about 25, born in London.
On 20 November 1865 Margaret Maria Sullivan died, five months old. A Coronial inquest was held, where it was revealed that six months after their marriage, a few months before Henry was born, Matilda was deserted by her new husband William. Matilda Sullivan maintained that the father of the baby Margaret Maria was William Sullivan, who had visited her twice since their separation. At the time of the baby’s death Matilda Sullivan worked at Geelong Hospital. Her two younger children were cared for by their grandmother.
The inquest heard medical opinion that the baby had starved to death. The jury returned a verdict of manslaughter against the grandmother [Matilda Hughes], and the mother [Matilda Sullivan], as being an accessory to it.
In April 1866 Matilda Hughes and her daughter Matilda Sullivan were called upon to surrender to their bail, but they did not answer to their names.
On the 15th May 1866 the ‘Geelong Advertiser‘ reported on court proceedings relating to the abandonment of two year old Henry Sullivan. It was said of his mother, Matilda, that “her husband had left her, and was supposed to have gone to New Zealand, whence no tidings were heard of him, and she had recently left Geelong with some man with whom she had formed an intimacy, and had deserted her children”. The child, Henry Sullivan, was admitted to the orphanage.
I have found no subsequent trace of William and Matilda. Nor have I found any record in London of William Sullivan before he arrived in Australia. I have also not been able to trace his parents William Sullivan, painter and glazier, and his mother Mary Barry.
Moreover, other than as descendants of Henry Sullivan, neither Greg nor any of his Sullivan cousins have any Sullivan relatives among their DNA matches.
When Greg first tested his DNA he had a strong match to Helen F. from New Zealand and also to her great uncle Alan W. Since 2016 I have been in correspondence with Helen who, with me, is attempting to discover how we are related. Helen has a comprehensive family tree. We have since narrowed the relationship to her McNamara Durham line.
Helen recently wrote to tell me that she had noticed some matches descended from a William Durham, son of a Patrick Durham. Patrick Durham, it seems, was the brother of Joanna NcNamara nee Durham, Helen’s 3rd great grandmother.
I have placed the matches in DNAPainter’s ‘What are the odds?’ tool. It appears likely that Greg and his Sullivan cousins are descended from Patrick Durham. We don’t yet have quite enough data to be sure whether they descend from William Durham or one of his cousins.
William Durham was born about 1840 in Finsbury, Middlesex, England, to Patrick Durham and Mary Durham née Barry. When William Durham married Jemima Flower on 9 April 1860, he stated that his father was William Durham, a painter and glazier. (There are several other records where Patrick Durham is recorded as William Durham but is clearly the same man.)
William and Jemima had two children together, one of whom appears to have died in infancy. The other, also called William Durham, left descendants, and some of these share DNA with Greg and his Sullivan cousins and also with Helen and her Durham cousins.
On 19 October 1861 William Durham, his wife and two children, were subject to a poor law removal. The record mentions his parents.
Jemima died about a week later and was buried 27 October 1861 at Victoria Park Cemetery, Hackney.
I have found no trace of William Durham after the Poor Law removal. Did he emigrate to Australia and change his name?
In the 1850s and 1860s George Young, my husband Greg’s great great grandfather, followed the Victorian gold rushes from Beechworth to Maryborough. He settled finally at Lamplough, a few miles south-east of Avoca.
On his father’s mother’s side Greg’s great grandfather Frederick James Cross, who had been born at Buninyong near Ballarat to a gold miner, took up mining and later farming near Homebush, a few miles north-east of Avoca. John Plowright, another of Greg’s great great grandfathers, also worked as a miner at Homebush.
The Avoca and District Historical Society http://home.vicnet.net.au/~adhs/ was founded in 1984. It has amassed an extensive card-index of references to Avoca people and events, compiled from many differerent sources. This material has not been published online, so if you are researching Avoca family history it is well worth a visit. For a small fee the Society will look up material on your behalf.
Greg and I have visited the society many times. Some of the index material there includes information from