Friday, September 28, 2018

A9 The Menzies Centre

Menzies Institute Hobart

The photos have been taken by Ann Williams-Fitzgerald, who is a current student with the Wicking Centre housed in this building.  She is a descendant of the Jillett's first born son, William Bradshaw.

Menzies Institute cnr marking Liverpool and Campbell Streets, whilst, on the opposite side, creating a dialogue with the landscape of the Domain and the vehicular movement of the Brooker Highway.

The building is entered through a formal archway on the street corner that leads into a glazed atrium.

During the excavations on the site, which would have contained many old buildings, photos were taken by the archaeologists involved. 



Aerial view of 53 Campbell St after excavation Excavated building showing wall footings, steps and fireplace, Menzies Institute.

1820’s stables exposed within later 20th century motor garage shed.



The Cesspit was possibly not on the original house, given the dating. of 1840

Various artefacts were located.   Some are not from the original Jillett house.
These two are very likely to have been discovered on the original house.


The Jillett house was taken over by the Government, and used for Government purposes, according to one of the Colonial Secretary reports, its location to the Barracks made it able to be used for Government purposes.

Its location was near the first Market Square.

There is mention of a garage at the stable area.

There was an engineering business at 17 Liverpool Street Hobart.  It operated until around the 1960's.

Examining the Artefacts

There was a Chemist operating in Liverpool Street, and his name was Andrew Paton Miller
Mr Andrew Miller, chemist, of Hobart Town, proved that he had sold to prisoner on 9th or 10th March 24oz. of nitric acid, a gross of phials, and some quicksilver ; on the 24ith witness got some liquor from the Superintendent of Police, and found it to be composed of nitric acid, quick silver, and water.
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Saturday 4 April 1874

A saddle horse having got at liberty in front of Mr. Miller's chemist shop, Hobart Town, turned on the pavement opposite Messrs. Kerr and Young's drapery establishment, in Liverpool-street, where it fell. It rose again, entered, and trotted up the centre of the shop until it came opposite a mirror, where, seeing its own counterfeit presentment, it stood immovable. The rider having arrived led the animal quietly away.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Thursday 8 February 1883, page 7


The Industrial Exhibition was opened this afternoon by the Governor, with much ceremony. A public half holiday had been proclaimed, and all the shops were closed. The Governor and Commodore were received by a guard of honour consisting of members of the Rifle Regiment on entering the Exhibition. The Orchestral Union under Herr Schott, played the National Anthem. Mr. James Harcourt, the president, presented an address to his Excellency, who suitably replied. He stated that the undertaking had his warmest sympathy, and declared the Exhibition open, amidst great cheering. All the members of the Ministry, the Mayor, and Corporation, and other public officials were present. The building presents a very creditable appearance, especially considering that it had been converted for its present use out of the old market.

The chief Victorian exhibits are the Oriental Tea Company's Pagoda, Messrs. Cullis and Hill's furniture, Swallow and Ariell's biscuits, Henry Young's jewellery, Howland's cordials. Chief among the Hobart exhibits was J. Bidencope's hat display, with men at work, showing the manufacture of hats. Mr. Golding exhibits a handsome case of jewellery; Mr. Evans, of Launceston, has an excellent display of soap ; Mr. Stuart, of Launceston, shows locally manufactured jewellery ; Mr. A. P. Miller, chemist, of Hobart, has a fine show of Tasmanian parfumery;  Messrs. Wignall and Bridges exhibit basketware ; and Moir's cabinet of minerals of Tasmania proved a great attraction. The building to-night was crowded, and illuminated by the Brush electric light with good effect. A grand concert was given. It is generally acknowledged that the whole display is far beyond the sanguine expectations of the promoters.

Some of our readers will remember, no doubt, that we (Mercury ) called attention some time ago to a very beautiful glass case, containing perfumes in bottles and other Articles pre pared and sold by Mr Miller, chemist, of Hobart. The case was a richly ornamented one, and the glass was the very thickest plate procurable, bevelled at the edges, which glass can only be procured from  England. The case would have made a very elegant exhibit, creditable alike to Mr Miller and the colony, but it met -with such treatment on the voyage as that it. reacted Calcutta a perfect wreck. Mr Miller has received a letter from Mr Just, in which our Commissioner states that the large and thick sheets of glass were smashed literally to atoms, the three glass shelves were also smashed, the brass work considerably damaged, and, generally, the. whole case was a wreck. As plate glass could not be procured, Mr Just had to put lead down the centre, and repair the damage as best he could with common window glass. The result was, of course, that Mr Miller's elegant and expensive case was deprived of all its beauty, and the - work and taste entirely thrown away. Mr Just states that he has given the P. and Co. notice that they will be held responsible for the damage done, but whether Mr Miller will get any satisfaction remains to be seen.

Mr Miller says, that after this experience he is not likely to again send exhibits beyond the seas, and we do not wonder at his resolution.

His business was at the corner of Murray and Liverpool Streets, confirmed in this advertisement 1888.

Miller was a man of great enterprise and he immediately introduced a number of specialties which made his name famous for he was one of the first in Tasmania to manufacture eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the pure blue-gum tree and the product was formulated into eucalyptus toilet vinegar, ointment & salve, veterinary ointment, pastilles, cream, dentifrice, and soap, as well as many others.
His eucalyptus oil was shipped world-wide and included the Parke, Davis & Co. firm in Detroit, Michigan. In addition he distilled on his premises a “a fragrant and refreshing perfume, being an exquisite combination of exotic and Tasmanian flowers .....put up in elegant ‘Tasma caskets” of Tasmanian ornamental woods, containing the perfume in chaste cut-glass bottles” of 2 sizes, costing £2 2s. and £3 3s.

Mr. Andrew Paton Miller was educated at Ayr Academy in Ayr, Scotland, he served his apprenticeship in Paisley, Scotland, and came out to Melbourne in 1856, where he remained until he settled in Hobart in 1871. His son Andrew John Miller was born in Hobart on 26 January 1872, was educated locally, joined the VDL Bank in 1889, and after 18 months he apprenticed with his father, later graduating in Melbourne at the College of Pharmacy, became associated with his father’s pharmacy again, and in 1893 was admitted into partnership in the firm.

This information was extracted from ‘The Cyclopedia of Tasmania’ article (Volume 1, 1900) which spent so much time extolling the virtues of the 3-story (second) building, as well as the myriad of the medicaments made from the distilled eucalyptus oil, that it never mentioned his full name, nor when A.P. Miller was born (he was said to be 28 in 1871, so his birth was ca. 1843), and he was still alive at the time of publication of the article. An idea of the extensiveness of the business is given by the number of those employed, 13 in their town premises, and from 12 to 15 at the Eucalyptus Distillery.
Andrew Paton Miller was described as a good employer, public-spirited and a liberal-minded citizen, prominent in all important movements for the improvement of Hobart, and the promotion of healthy recreation amongst its citizens. He had been a pioneer mining speculator, but not prominent in political life, although he had considerable influence with the electors generally. 

 Once again I am indebted to Margaret Harman, Heritage Collections, State Library of Tasmania, Hobart, for the information used in preparing this article.
Addendum (November 2007):   This registered cover from DALBY/ 9A/ DE 28/ 1905/ QUEENSLAND is addressed to Mr. A.P. Miller, Chemist , Hobart, Tasmania (Figure 4).

David McNamee's definitive book  'Catalogue and Handbook of Tattersall's Covers (2006)' gives additional information on the Miller father and son on page 127. I highly recommend this book in regards to the great documentation of Tattersall's covers. 

 Andrew Miller was born at Ayr, in Scotland. According to his obituary, this was in 1843, although some other sources cite 1839. He was educated at Ayre Academy and served his apprenticeship as a chemist at Paisley and passed his examinations with distinction.
He emigrated to Melbourne where he became an assistant chemist before purchasing his own pharmacy business.
In 1869 Mr Miller moved to Tasmania where, on 30 November 1869, he married Ann Mary McAllan.
In 1871, aged 28, he purchased the Hobart pharmacy business of Dr Smart. It was at this time that his advertisements included statements that he sold homœopathic medicines.
According to his obituary, Mr Miller proved to be "an estimable citizen being well endowed with those faculties of energy, industry, and enterprise which have made Scotchmen famous all the world over in their mastery of business and commercial affairs generally. ... In all his dealings Mr Miller was remarkable for his honesty of purpose, liberal-mindedness, and integrity of principles, though making no open profession of those virtues. He had the courage of his convictions, and there was nothing of the hypocrite, the envious spirit, or the 'little Hobartian' about him, for he heartily sympathised with all progressive efforts."
He was involved with the Tasmanian Racing Club, one of the pioneers of the mining industry in Tasmania, especially on the West Coast, and was one of the first in Tasmania to commence the manufacture of pure eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the blue gum, establishing an oil distillery.
Mr & Mrs Miller had two sons and four daughters. He died suddenly on 2 April, 1904.[2]

He died in 1904, and his will confirms his address. 

From the National Trust 1990, this was his site. From

Name/Title Corner of Liverpool and Murray St, Hobart, Tasmania[3]
About this object D. P. Miller's Pharmacy site at the corner of Liverpool and Murray Streets, Hobart, Tasmania.

Scarlet Fever - Diphtheria - The Deaths of Children

The whole reason there is a Family Reunion, stems from the death of 7 children in a 6 week period in Oatlands, between January and February 1859.  Grandchildren of Robert and Elizabeth Jillett, who never had a chance to live.

Killed by an epidemic.  Scarlet fever raged across Tasmania and other places and in the period 1850 to 1859, over 6,900 children died.  An enormous number of deaths, never recorded anywhere, that was until the descendants of Thomas Jillett found the family crypt nothing but a piece of rubble in St Peter's Cemetery at Oatlands.  Next to his was his brother's crypt John and his wife lost 4 children in 1859, and another in 1854.

A terrible tragedy, for a family, who brought their children to Hobart for treatment, and were ostracised by the local medical folk for doing so.  There is every possibility that they sought the assistance of Dr Richard Bright or his son Dr Richard Bright Junior.  Little did we know that we would be staying at his home in Hobart! 

What would be the connection?  In 1868, John Jillett died of diphtheria, in Hobart at the house of his sister in Liverpool Street.  Just around the corner from Dr Bright, and the second house of Robert and Elizabeth Jillett.

John passed away, and less than 6 weeks later so did his wife Phoebe.  It is 150 years since those deaths.

Thomas's family,  contributed significantly to the restoration of the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt. 

We are very proud of that achievement, and on the crypt we recognise it as a Memorial to those other 6,900 children.

Restoring a Heritage Listed Crypt in a Heritage Listed Cemetery was not easy, however we were fortunate to obtain 50% funding from the Historic Sites Programme from the Federal Government, and the help and assistance from the people of Oatlands and the Council.   Our restoration is the only one ever done in Tasmania in a Heritage Listed Cemetery.

$25K was only part of the cost of the restoration, and as family, none of us even knew each other.  To find them and then ask them for a huge commitment for the restoration was not easy.

Over those 8 years so many of the descendants are now connected, something that is fantastic to achieve.   It is vitally important to preserve history, and just as vitally important to ensure that historical facts are correct.

Not only were John and Thomas Jillett criticised for taking their sick babies to Hobart, but so to was Dr Richard Bright

To the Inhabitants of Tasmania.

There is a time for all things, and I believe now is the time for every-one to speak his mind.

I am from circumstances placed in a different situation to any other medical man in the colony, forever since I have been in this colony my character has been attacked; for what? Is it that some p '-. ties took a dislike to me on my arrival, or that f would not fall into a net or belong to a clique, or that I possessed more credentials than many others, remembering that produced testimonials that I was ti Phj aldan, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, and a Licentiate of the Apothecaries Company, and, I might have added, I was sworn in , a Chemist before the Lord Mayor of London  Now, him, for what has my character been attacked? Is it that I have been more unsuccessful than some, or is it that I interfered with their practice, or is it that  have been more successful and have never interfered with them, except in defence? The latter I believe to be the cause.
It is my duty to state facts, and what can be proved. It is well known that for many years I attended the late Mia, Wilson, and why? Because nearly fifteen years since other medical men then said more than once she could not survive 21 or 48 hours.

Yet, wither tho assistance of the Almighty, she lived, solely under my care, between 14 and 15 years, such or friends can testify to the truth of. I shall mention another case of a similar nature, where a child was dangerously ill and insensible, and when the distressed mother repeatedly asked him other medical gentleman, if her daughter lived, would she regain her senses, his repeated answer was "Don't distress your mind about her senses, no power on earth can save her." My opinion was totally different through the whole of her illness, and I am happy to say she is now in the full enjoyment of health and senses.

I extract the following from a letter before me from Mrs. Walker, of Moreton Bay, formerly of this colony :
" Gratitude compels me to make a public acknowledgment of the blessings that I have received at your hands, as I could not express to you what I had suffered, having been treated by four medical practitioners, and regret to say I always found myself worse than before. My dear sir, I can assert that I was not undergoing your treatment a week before I was much relieved, and ultimately you entirely removed not only tho disease but the cause, as I have never felt the slightest symptoms up to the present time."-For the truth of this I am authorized to give references.

A great many similar cases I could mention?

We have had of late years epidemics. What has been the result Why, two, three, four, and in one instance five were cut off in a family. A father and mother lost every child. I proposed a plan of treatment which I had adopted and watched very closely before l promulgated it. It was ridiculed and sneered at. I persevered in that treatment and only lost one patient during the last epidemic, that I was called to as tho first Medical Man. We are now visited with another fatal disease which has carried off two in two different families. 

I have been called to severe cases of Diphtheria (in one that had boon given over) ; my treatment has been as it always is in dangerous cases, active from the first ; the result has been that I have not lost a single case up to the present time.

I shall only add that with all the fractures or dislocations,  I have been called to attend in this Colony, how few have terminated otherwise than favourable to the patient, many are living at the present time to speak for themselves.

53 Collins-street. Hobart Town,
November 7th, 1859.

There a many similar stories to be found in the newspapers of the day.

Tasmanian News (Hobart, Tas. : 1883 - 1911), Monday 28 October 1901, page 4

There passed away at 9 o’clock this morning one of the most widely-known and respected medical practitioners in the community. Dr. Richard Stonehewer Bright, M.R.C.S., England, L.M . and L.S.A., was born in South Audley street, London, in 1835. His father, the late Dr. Richard Bright, who was then a medical practitioner in London, came to Tasmania in 1842 and practised his profession here for 20 years, dying in 1862. The deceased was educated at Christ’s Hospital and King’s College, London, and served his apprenticeship with Mr Fram, surgeon, in the city of Derby. In 1857 he passed his examination for a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and L.M ., and in the following year that of L.S.A ., London, having been four years previously, from 1854 to 1858, pursuing his studies at King’s College and Hospital, London. Coming to Tasmania in December of the latter year Dr. Bright began the practice of his profession in Hobart in 1859, and was practising up to the time of his death.

He was one of the honorary surgeons to the General Hospital, Hobart, since 1860, and was senior member of the medical branch of the Hospital. He was a member of the Hospital Board, and only resigned a few weeks ago owing to ill health. He was president of the medical section of the Royal Society of Tasmania, president of the Court of Medical Examiners, and Chief Medical Officer of the A.M.P. Society since the society opened a branch in Hobart in August, 1877.

He was appointed president of the Intercolonial Medical Conference, which was to meet in Hobart in February of next year, and he worked hard to ensure the success of this gathering. Dr. Bright was director of the Alliance Insurance Company, a member of the Council of the Museum, and a warm supporter of its usefulness to the state. He had under a stern manner a kind and warm heart, and on all sides he is spoken of as one that was looked up to as an honourable man, and in his profession he commanded the respect of all. His death came as a shock to the community.

On Saturday evening he was quite cheerful, and yesterday he was in his usual health, and when he retired to rest last evening he seemed to be quite himself, and not the slightest sign of illness. For some time past the doctor has suffered from shortness of breath, supervening on a severe attack of influenza contracted some months ago. This accounted largely for his retirement from the Legislative Council election contest.

This morning at 7 o ’clock, when Mrs Bright rose Dr Bright was then sleeping placidly. At a quarter to 9 o’clock, on his not coming down-stairs, she went to call him and found him dead, he having passed away peacefully in his sleep. There was not the slightest sign of his having suffered or moved in his bed. He had simply passed away while asleep.

Drs. Sprott and Butler were called in, but the deceased had breathed his last, the immediate cause of death being attributed to heart trouble. The subject of this notice was married in 1863 to Miss Nicholas, of Meadsfield, near Bothwell, and had issue one daughter, who was married to Mr L. Macleod, of the Union Bank. The death of Dr Bright will cause a void in medical and social circles which will not easily be filled.

Campbell Street, Hobart at the time was home to some worthy occupants.

In 1842   On Sunday, 1st May, Mrs. W. L. Crowther, 33, Campbell-street, Hobart Town, of a son.
Mr Crowther is well known and recognised in early Hobart History, as was his son, and later a grandson, who became Premier.

In 1845, Mr Giblin had a school operating from 33 Campbell Street.

Unfortunately many of the papers of William Lodewyk Crowther were destroyed so there is relatively less primary documentary material relating to him than for succeeding generations. However, items of particular interest include:

- newspaper cuttings on the political, medical and scientific activities of William Lodewyk Crowther
- articles written by W.E.L.H. Crowther on William Lodewyk’s life,
- obituary notices (1885)
- Handwritten notes and memories on William Lodewyk by his son, Edward Lodewyk Crowther, including whaling, guano and timber industries, early schooling, voyages, trade, encounters with Aborigines and bushrangers etc.
- Cash book (1840s-1850s)
- Typescript copy of journal kept from Van Diemens Land to England on board the barque Emu (1839)


- newspaper cuttings relating to the medical, political and defence related contributions of Edward Lodewyk Crowther
- handwritten notes by him on his life and that of his father (W.L.)
- handwritten journal of Edward Lodewyk Crowther of his voyage on the Royal Alfred from Sydney to England (1864-1865) and typescript copy
- a large collection of letters, reports, and ephemera relating to his involvement in the Southern Tasmanian Volunteer Artillery Corps (STVA)
- book of medical case reports (1850s-1880s)
- misc. correspondence relating to personal and professional matters
- correspondence, reports, lists of shares and ephemera relating to mining activities.

William Crowther (1788-1839) arrived in Hobart with his young family in 1825. Unable to secure an official post, he established a private medical practice and was involved in the early stages of the movement to end the transportation of convicts to Van Diemen's Land.

Successive generations of Crowthers - William Lodewyk (1817-1885), Edward Lodewyk (1843-1931), and William Edward Lodewyk Hamilton (1887-1981) - practised medicine. W.L. and E.L. Crowther both entered politics: W.L. was Premier 1878-9. W.E.L.H. Crowther served at Gallipoli and on the Western Front during the First World War. Knighted in 1964, he donated a large collection of books, manuscripts, pictures and other artefacts to the State Library of Tasmania.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

B26 Branches The Bisdee/Butler Family Connections and back to UK

The Butler Family

Ellen Butler was the daughter of Gamaliel Butler and Ann Venables

 Butler, Gamaliel (1783–1852)   by J. N. D. Harrison

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
Gamaliel Butler (1783-1852), lawyer, was born on 17 December 1783 at Hounslow, England, the third son of John George Butler, corn merchant, and his wife Ann, née Venables. Articled in 1801 to a cousin, Benjamin Goode of London, Butler was admitted to the rolls in London in 1808, and practised in Watling Street for eighteen years. Encouraged by reports from his brother-in-law, Edward Paine, who had emigrated to Van Diemen's Land in 1820, Butler and a partner invested £10,000 in a cargo of sugar for sale in the colony.

 News of Paine's drowning and anxiety as to the outcome of his investment decided Butler on visiting the colony. He arrived in Hobart Town with his wife, in the Prince Regent in July 1824, secured the disposal of the sugar, and was admitted as a practitioner in the Supreme Court, although he intended to return to England. Impressed with the colony's potential and the success of his practice, he decided to remain.

He applied for the customary land grant, became a director of the Bank of Van Diemen's Land in 1829, and was associated with the Commercial Bank. He was a member of the Hobart Town Book Society, and assumed some social responsibility on joining the Benevolent Society on its foundation in 1834.

Of a forthright personality and with astute business sense, he achieved success in his profession and added to his enemies, one of whom was the diarist, George Boyes, who dubbed him 'one of the richest lawyers and greatest rogues in the country'. Investing his capital in land, he soon owned large properties far and wide in Van Diemen's Land, and many allotments in Hobart.

On 5 July 1810 Butler had married Sarah (1787-1870), the eldest daughter of Edward Paine (1756-1843) of Richmond, Surrey, livery tailor to George III. The surviving six of the ten children born in England were left in the care of relatives when their parents emigrated. They were educated in England, and in the 1830s came to the colony where six more children were born.

 On 2 February 1852 Butler died in Hobart at Stowell, the house he had bought from the colonial secretary, John Montagu, for £6000. His widow died on 13 August 1870.

His third son, Henry, achieved eminence as a surgeon, politician and educationalist, and Francis, the fourth, was the architect of Hobart's Memorial Congregational Church, the Commercial (later E. S. & A.) Bank, and the Cotswold-style stone stables at Shene, Butler's Bagdad estate.

Three other sons entered the legal profession. Butler had taken R. W. Nutt into partnership and when his sons joined the firm it became known as Butler, Nutt & Butler. In 1966 the seventh generation of Gamaliel Butler's descendants were practising law in Tasmania.

Miniatures of Gamaliel and Sarah Butler and portraits of Edward Paine Butler and his wife Martha Sarah, née Asprey, are in the possession of Mr Eustace Butler, Launceston, Tasmania; Wainewright's painting of three of Butler's daughters is in the possession of Miss D. Bisdee, Snug, Tasmania.

Edward Paine Butler (1811–1849)

Edward  was the eldest son of lawyer and landowner Gamaliel Butler and his wife Sarah, who emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land in 1824. Edward followed in 1835 with his wife, Martha Sarah Butler (née Asprey 1811–1864), to take up a position in the law firm established by his father in Hobart. Martha and Edward’s first child, a son, was born in 1835; another four children, three sons and a daughter, were born between 1837 and 1842. Following Edward’s death from tuberculosis at age thirty-seven. Martha returned to Europe. She never remarried, living in London and Paris for a number of years before returning to Hobart. She died at the Butler family home, Stowell, in Battery Point, in July 1864.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2009
Accession number: 2009.149

Martha Sarah Butler (née Asprey, 1811–1864) married Edward Butler in London and travelled with him to Van Diemen's Land, arriving in July 1835. Her first child, Edward Charles, was born the same year; and another four children, three sons and a daughter, were born between 1837 and 1842. According to a Butler family historian, Martha was 'by all accounts a highly cultured, elegant and frivolous woman.'

The same writer relates an anecdote about a close call Martha experienced when the ship on which she and Edward travelled to Hobart was wrecked in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel: with the vessel (named The Enchantress) sinking, Martha is said to have risked her life by returning to her cabin to retrieve her jewellery, only to lose it when, as she climbed into a life boat, it slipped out of the handkerchief she had wrapped it in. Martha returned to Europe after Edward's death in 1849. She never remarried, living in London and Paris for a number of years before returning to Hobart. She died at the Butler family home, Stowell, in Battery Point, in July 1864.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2009
Accession number: 2009.150
Portraits by Wainwright

After six years in hiding in France, Wainewright returned to England and was arrested, found guilty of fraud and sentenced to transportation to Van Diemen’s Land for life. In Hobart from November 1837, Wainewright proved to be a model prisoner, replacing assignment to a road gang with a position as an orderly at the Colonial Hospital where he made the acquaintance of sympathetic officials. By way of these connections he was enabled to continue his work as an artist. Wainewright was granted a ticket-of-leave in 1844 and established himself as a portrait painter, creating likenesses for a number of prominent families. He died in Hobart in August 1847, having created over fifty works now counted among the finest examples of colonial Australian portraiture.

One son, Francis Frederick Butler, returned to Tasmania where he was a pastoralist and orchardist. His son, William Frederick Dennis Butler, was a lawyer, and his son, Eustace Gamaliel Butler also practised law and was a Magistrate in Launceston. Edward Butler, until recently the owner of the portraits, was a lawyer and Judge in the Family Law Court of Australia, until his retirement in 1997. The family law firm still exists, known today as Butler, McIntyre and Butler.

He married Ellen Butler and their nine children were: Winchester Munn Bisdee, who married Eva Dorinda Wright at St Paul's Church of England, Glenorchy on 15 Jan 1883 and had children Athol (born 1885), Bernard (born 1886), Stephen (born 1888) and Dorothy (born 1889); lived at 'Tedworth', 'Llanberis' and 'Heston'. Harold, unmarried, lived at Melton Mowbray. Lucy and Bessie both unmarried, Edith Mary, Reginald, E. Ina (born in 1878), Amy E. and John Hutton Bisdee.

Henry Butler, (1821–1885)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, (MUP), 1969
Henry Butler (1821-1885), surgeon and politician, was born in Cornhill, London, the third son of the sixteen children of Gamaliel Butler and his wife Sarah, née Paine. His parents migrated to Hobart Town in 1824, leaving Henry and five other children in the care of relations. He went to a private school in Chelsea, and then trained under Sir John Fisher (1788-1876) as a surgeon at the St George's and Westminster Hospitals (M.R.C.S., 1843; F.R.C.S., 1849). In 1843 he visited Tasmania and returned to the Westminster Hospital as a house surgeon; later he specialized in diseases of the eye at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris.
Butler sailed as surgeon-superintendent in 1849 in the William Jardine; in Hobart he complained to the Colonial Land and Emigration Office that, pending employment, free settlers had on arrival to occupy convict quarters. In January 1850 the Tasmanian Court of Medical Examiners accepted his qualifications; he practised in Macquarie Street for thirty-five years and his skill brought him large financial rewards. He also treated patients in the Brighton area where he had a country home, Shene, in Bagdad, and acted as an honorary at St Mary's Self-Supporting Hospital in Davey Street, founded by Dr Edward Bedford, and Dr Kevin O'Doherty. From 1868 Butler was a member of the Tasmanian Court of Medical Examiners and its president from 1881-84, and an honorary medical officer at the Hobart General Hospital from 1860 and a member of its board in 1877.

On 7 September 1853 Butler married Catherine Penelope, sister of Thomas Whistler Smith, of Glenrock near Sydney, an old family friend. The Butlers lived at Lambton farm at Glenorchy and later moved to Stowell, his parents' home at Battery Point. They had five daughters and five sons, the eldest of whom, Gamaliel Henry, qualified as a physician in 1879, was a member of the Legislative Council in 1896-1914 and served as chief secretary in 1909-14.

Henry Butler unsuccessfully contested the Brighton seat in the Legislative Council in 1851 as an opponent of transportation and an advocate of free trade. Three years later he was successful. After responsible government he was a member of the House of Assembly in 1856-62 and 1866-85. In 1858 he proposed that Tasmania should follow other Australian colonies by sending delegates to a conference on Federation; he was elected as one of the assembly's two representatives. His main contribution as a politician, however, was in the field of education. In 1854 he became a member of the new Central Education Board which had Thomas Arnold as its first secretary.

In 1856 when Northern and Southern Boards were created Butler became chairman of the Southern Board, and after their amalgamation in 1862 chaired the combined board. In 1858 he was a member of the Council of Education which helped to establish the Associate of Arts degree and was one of the commissioners who in 1860 inquired into Tasmanian education. He was also closely connected with later educational changes: in 1861 as a member of the select committee on the distribution of annual grants; in 1862 on the select committee of inquiry into government education; and in 1867 on the royal commission which recommended compulsory education, certification of teachers, a central board with limited powers, local authorities to assess parental contributions, the appointment of inspectors and truant officers, and a fixed annual government grant instead of an annual vote. Many of these recommendations were embodied in the Public Schools Act of 1868. For these services he was hailed by the Examiner as 'the father of the system of compulsory education in Tasmania'; the Mercury observed that 'Dr. Butler was mainly instrumental in getting the compulsory clauses of the Act passed'. Although Butler clearly did not favour denominational schools he probably did little more than implement many of the proposals for state schools originally put forward by Thomas Arnold.
In August 1869 Butler joined (Sir) James Wilson's ministry without portfolio. In October 1869, when a new Ministry of Lands and Works was created to amalgamate the Departments of Lands and Surveys with Public Works, Butler became the first minister with a salary of £700; he retained this post until 1872. As minister, Butler secured the passage of three Acts. As early as 1860 he had moved for a committee to consider the future use of unsettled lands and he was a member of a committee on the disposal of waste lands in 1869. The Waste Lands Act of 1870 reserved land for settlers from India and for public purposes, and regulated sales and prices.

The Mineral Leases Act of 1870 dealt chiefly with exploration licences and leases. The Goldfields Regulation Act of 1870 gave the government powers to deal with miners' rights, claims, encroachments, strikes and partnership questions. An irrigation and drainage bill which he introduced in 1872 lapsed. Finally, in Butler's ministry, work commenced on the Main Line railway. According to the Mercury, Butler was one of the colony's few leading politicians who firmly supported the railway and from 1870 'ably assisted … in persuading a reluctant ministry and timid legislature to give its sanction to the construction of a Railway between Hobart and Launceston'; but the only evidence to link him with the promoters of the scheme in the 1860s was his membership in 1862 of a select committee which recommended a northern railway and his presentation in 1869 of a petition from residents of Green Ponds who wanted the line to pass closer to their town.

In 1877 Butler was elected Speaker and retained the position until he retired in 1885. He was a member of the Tasmanian Royal Society, the Lunacy Commission, the Salmon Commission and the Board of Immigration, and one of the first commissioners of New Norfolk Asylum. He died on 22 August 1885.

Henry's son
The Parliament of Tasmania from 1856

Charles Butler, (1820–1909) His obituary

The head of one of the most honoured families in Tasmania, in the person of Mr. Charles Butler, died yesterday afternoon at his residence, Hampden-road. He was full of years, having only a few days ago celebrated his 89th birthday. He had been ailing for some time, and his demise was not unexpected by his family. He was the father of the Tasmanian bar, and formerly head of the old-established firm of Butler, McIntyre and Butler. Both his sons (Mr. Edward Butler and Mr. Charles Butler) and his grandson (Mr. Leo Butler) are members of the legal profession, and whilst Mr. Charles Butler, sen., was alive the family possessed the unique distinction, which was said to be unparalleled in the whole of Australasia, of three generations living who were members of the profession.

Mr. Butler arrived in Hobart on the 13th December, 1835, in a small brig of 230 tons, called The Auriga, under Captain Chalmers, after a passage of between three and four months. He shortly afterwards went to school at Longford. The school was at Longford-hall, and the principal was Mr. W. G. Elliston, the father of the late Mr. Chas. Elliston, solicitor, of Hobart. Mr. Elliston shortly afterwards came to Hobart, and Mr. W. H. Wilmot was appointed principal. Young Butler was a great favourite with the scholars.

The Hon. Thos. Reibey and Mr. Tom Gibson were fellow-students. Mr. Butler here first met his wife, then a girl of six years of age. She was a daughter of Mr. Wilmot. The late Ven. Archdeacon Davies was at that time the incumbent of Longford. When Mr. Butler left school, in January, 1838, he was articled to Mr. Robert Pitcairn, the leading solicitor in Hobart at the time, and after spending five years in his office he passed his examination as a legal practitioner, and was admitted to the Bar on December 4, 1843. He started practice on his own account, but subsequently give up practice, and followed agricultural pursuits.

On the death of his brother (Mr. Edward Paine Butler) he was offered and accepted a partnership in his father's business. The other partners were Mr. Gamaliel Butler and Mr. R. W. Nutt, and the firm was known as Butler, Nutt, and Son. On his father's death, in 1857 the firm consisted of Mr. Nutt and Mr. C. Butler, and was known as Nutt and Butler. In 1858 Mr. Nutt decided to start practice in Melbourne, and Mr. Butler continued the practice for many years at the old offices in Harrington-street. Mr. Nutt, his late partner, was very successful in Melbourne, and the present well-known firm of Blake and Riggall carry on the business evolved by him.[1]

 Early in 1867 Mr. Butler took Mr. John McIntyre (now Mr. Justice McIntyre) into partnership, and the firm was known as Butler and McIntyre. Mr. Edward Henry Butler was admitted as a partner some years later, and the firm's name was altered to Butler, McIntyre, and Butler, which name it retains to the present day. Mr. C. W. Butler joined the firm a few years later. The deceased was often asked to stand for Parliament, both for the House of Assembly and for the Legislative Council, but he felt that he could not both do justice to his business and engage in Parliamentary life, so he always refused. He was an enthusiastic supporter of cricket, and the Break o' Day Club owed its existence to him. He was a member of the Synod for very many years, and only resigned his position through old age.

He was also for some years one of the board of the Benevolent Society. He had a family of ten— five boys and five girls, of whom eight survive him. Messrs. E. H. Butler and C. W. Butler, who are members of the above firm, and Mr. Herbert Butler, who is it surveyor in Queensland; Mrs. Cox, widow of the late Colonel A. T. Cox, C.B.; Mrs. Bean, wife of the Rev. E. Bean, headmaster of Brentwood Grammar School, Essex; Mrs. McAulay, wife of Professor McAulay, and the Misses Butler, of Ellerslie.

Butler, Alfred Alexander (1826–1902) was a merchant

No doubt the Butler family was very prominent in the affairs and politics of Tasmania, during the 1800's.  They were also John Hutton Bisdee's uncles.

While Ellen Butler married John Bisdee, her sister Sarah Butler, married her husband's uncle, Alfred Henry Bisdee.

Edward's wife Rose Axford married in England, after Edward's death, as her second husband, Charles Asprey, who was the brother in law of Ellen and Sarah Butler.

The Asprey Family were Jewellers in London

Asprey was established in England in Mitcham, Surrey in 1781. Founded as a silk printing business by William Asprey, it soon became a luxury emporium. In 1841, William Asprey's elder son Charles went into partnership with a stationer located on London's Bond Street. In 1847 the family broke with this partner and moved into 167 New Bond Street, the premises Asprey occupies today. From its central London location Asprey advertised 'articles of exclusive design and high quality, whether for personal adornment or personal accompaniment and to endow with richness and beauty the table and homes of people of refinement and discernment.' An early speciality was dressing cases. Asprey crafted traditional cases and designs, mostly in leather, suitable for the new style of travel ushered in by railways.

Rose Bisdee married Albert Henry Trenchard, 

Then Rose's half sister Mary married Peter Gordon Fraser, and had a son Donald Fraser 1852 - 1897.  He was a Doctor and he married Albert's sister Elizabeth Trenchard 1853

 The Mitchell Family

Tasmanian sketcher, carver and merchant, produced gigantic picture frames, reproducing birds, fruits and flowers, and modest watercolours.

sketcher, carver and merchant, was working in the commissariat department, Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land, in the 1840s. His first wife, a daughter of Commissary James Laidley and sister of the Sydney merchant Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, died in Sydney and Mitchell later married a sister of Sir George Wigram Allen, Speaker of the New South Wales House of Assembly.

In 1856 Mitchell became manager of the Kent brewery in Sydney, and he was subsequently senior partner in Tooth’s brewery for many years. Mitchell exhibited The Momentous Question , an Indian ink line-drawing (called an 'etching’), at the 1854 Australian Museum Exhibition in Sydney in preparation for the 1855 Paris Universal Exhibition.

The elaborately carved picture frame of New Zealand wood 'by an amateur artist’ which J.S. Mitchell separately lent to the exhibition was undoubtedly its owner’s work also. Nehemiah Bartley called him 'a gifted and scientific man, and author of some very valuable experiments on the strength and tenacity of Australian timbers, while as a wood carver, his amateur efforts in the way of gigantic picture frames, reproducing birds, fruits and flowers in marvellous fidelity, would almost vie with the masterly productions of artists like Grinling Gibbons’.

His sketches are more modest. His watercolour Ballroom at Etham Point, Sydney (c.1870), known only from a photograph, shows a grand conservatory-like room in his home with two little girls (presumably his daughters) gazing out at the splendid harbour

Return to Hutton at Somerset

Over time, so many of the Bisdee family returned to Hutton to live.  The Hutton Manor was home to many.   The local church was St Mary's.

Hutton Court is a country house at Hutton, Somerset, England, built in the 15th century as a manor house. It is Grade II* listed on the National Heritage List for England. In addition to the main house, the boundary wall, summerhouse and the gates and piers to the hall are all separately Grade II listed. and stands immediately to the south of the parish church.

An earlier wooden manor house may have been on the same site or nearby. The earliest parts of the present building are the tower with its battlements and the dining room with its oak ceiling.[7] The hall has a collar beam roof. At the house's north-east corner is a polygonal stair turret, and the chimneys of the west wing rise higher than the battlements of the main tower.

The local landowner John Payne acquired Hutton, amongst several other local manors, and by 1466 had established it as his primary residence. He died in 1496, passing it on to his son Thomas Payne and his descendants. By 1604 Nicholas Payne was in financial difficulties, and John Still, bishop of Bath and Wells, purchased the manor of Hutton and the residence of Hutton Court. His son Nathaniel Still built the western part of the court. On his death in 1626 the estate included the Court, two gardens, 80 acres (32 ha) of meadow, 50 acres (20 ha) of pasture and 100 acres (40 ha) of other land. It passed via the marriage of Nathaniel's daughter Anne to the Codrington family. William Codrington (died 1728), a descendant of Nathaniel Still, lived at Hutton Court.[8]

In 1730 the house was bought by Humphrey Brent, a Bristol lawyer, and was passed on in the Brent family until 1837 when it was sold to Henry Adolphus Septimus Payne. By 1848 the house had been let to Edward Bowles Fripp, and in 1849 it was substantially altered by Samuel Charles Fripp, a Bristol architect.

The next owner was Edward Bisdee (1802–1870), a native of Oldmixon near Hutton who had made a fortune in Tasmania. He held the house and manor from the 1850s until his death, when he left them to his brother Alfred Henry Bisdee (1819–1898). He in turn passed Hutton Court on to his son Thomas Gamaliel Bisdee (1852–1933). In 1935 the house and contents were sold by auction, when the house was bought by a Captain Stamp. In 1948 it was sold again to a Captain G. W. Gwynne, who owned it until the 1950s, when it was sold to the Palmer family who lived there until the late 1970s. Hutton Court then became a hotel, but in the 1990s a new owner returned it to use as a private residence.

The Nave - North Side
In this corner stands the octagonal font, of simple Perpendicular style but of unknown date. Behind it are some of the wall-seats introduced in 1849, and, high above them, a ledge which indicates the position of the early 19th century gallery.

The top part of the nearer window in the north wall contains the few surviving fragments of late 15th or early 16th century stained glass, including the arms of various members of the Payne and Oldmixon families. The more easterly window and the adjacent mural tablets are late Victorian and early 20th century memorials to members of the Bisdee family. Also two memorial tablets to the Brent family who resided at Hutton Court in the first half of the 19th century. Between the two windows is the War Memorial tablet, commemorating the victims of the two World Wars.

The 1785 pews were repaired in 1975-1976 and a few removed to provide more space at both ends of the nave. The floor area thus exposed, together with that of the middle passage, partly boarded and partly paved with old tombstones, was then covered with a blue carpet.

Melton Mowbray  and Jericho

Melton Mowbray is a town in the Southern Midlands region of Tasmania.  It was the home of the Bisdee Family, as is mentioned in numerous stories about their early life.  The homestead, Hutton House, built in memory of their Hutton home in Somerset, was the centre of the family for many, many years.

There is another Melton Mowbray in Leicester in England.  By 1859, Mr Blackwell was organising the hounds for a hunt, a particularly popular occasion in the town.   Mr Bisdee of Hutton House was the Master of the Beagles.

Members of the Bisdee family are buried in the cemetery.

BISDEE , Bernard Hutton . 23 June 1978
BISDEE , Marjorie Beryl . 13 July 1969
DICK , Charlotte Isabel . 24 June 1881 - 11 September 1959
DICK , George Abercromby . 12 January 1909 - 15 May 1987
DICK , Ronald (buried England) . 1879 - 3 October 1914
DICK , Zelda Annie . 16 November 1907 - 13 August 2003

Now that cemetery is under threat.

Jericho Cemetery

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 17 December 1926, page 8


OATLANDS, December 16.
The funeral of Mr. Edward Oldmixon Bisdee, of Lovely Banks, Melton Mowbray, and Warden of Green Ponds, took place at St. James's' Church of England, Jericho, this afternoon. It has come as a shock to residents of the district that so prominent a man should be removed from their midst so suddenly, and the deepest sympathy is felt for the relatives. The high esteem in which the deceased, was held was manifested by the widely representative attendance at the funeral to-day, and the great profusion of wreaths, many of which were sent from public bodies to which he belonged, or with which he had been associated.

The funeral arrangements were conducted by Messrs. Clark Bros., and the motor hearse, followed by a long procession of cars, left Lovely Banks at 3.30 p.m., arriving at the church at Jericho at 4 o'clock. The service was conducted in the church by the Rev. A. E. Biggs, of Kempton, and Rev. E. Johnson, of Oat-lands, and as the casket was borne to the family vault it was followed by the three sons, Colin, Allan, and Louis, who were the chief mourners. Then followed the sons-in-law, Messrs. Bruce Gibson and W. P. Archer, Miss M. Bisdee (sister), Mr. C. Collins, Evandale (brother-in-law), Messrs. Harold, Graeme and Bernard Bisdee (cousins). Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Mitchell, Mr. C. W. Butler and sons, and Mr. Dennis Butler.

The Green Ponds Council was represented by the ex-warden (Councillor A. E. Gorringe), and Councillors Bernard Bisdee, S. Porter, and Blake. The Oat-lands Council was represented by the Warden (Councillor T. J. Burbury) and Mr. B. H. Edge represented the council of the Tasmanian Farmers' Stock owners' and Orchardists' Association, of which deceased was a vice-president. Among the others present were Mr. W. Roberts, of Roberts and Co. Ltd., Mr. Edwin Webster, of A. G Webster and Sons Ltd., Mr. A. P. Tregear (Derwent and Tamar Insurance Co.), and Messrs. A. P. Archer, C. Archer, H. A. Page, R. Ibbott. Rupert Watchorn, R. O'Kelly, J. Agnew, C. Salmon, Knight, Hudson, and Reid. Among the floral tributes were wreaths from the Parmers', Stockowners'. and Orchardists' Association, directors and management of "The Mercury" and "Illustrated Tasmanian Mail," president and committee of the Lyceum Club, and officers and members of the Macquarie Club.

St James' Church Jericho

The Bisdee Memorials  and
Headstone of Alan Isaac BISDEE. Died in 1983, aged 82yrs Source: Jericho St James Anglican

 When the Pioneer settlers set about raising funds for the building of the church at Jericho, they were ignored by the Government, when they attempted to gain funds.

However, unperturbed, they built the church, which at one time was stated to be the Best in Tasmania.
Now it is on a list of churches the Anglican Church wants to sell. 

The Anglican Church of Tasmania has released a list of 78 properties, including 55 churches, it plans to sell, partly to help fund an $8.6 million redress for survivors of child sexual abuse.
The list is preliminary, with a total of 108 properties to be sold — 76 churches plus halls, land and residential properties.
Of the properties listed today, 10 were already on the market, four under contract and three already closed.
A quarter of the proceeds from property sales will go towards the redress, while the Anglican Church will quarantine the rest to go back into parishes that lose churches.
Right Reverend Richard Condie, the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, said local communities would have the opportunity to make the case for their churches to remain.
"This list is not exhaustive and is not yet finalised," he said.
"After Synod there will be a period in which parishes can seek a review of the decision to sell a property, making a case for its exemption.
"Diocesan Council will make its final decision in December."
Bishop Condie said the churches were marked for sale based on their future viability, including the number of people attending the church, the finances coming in and the kinds of ministries they had.

 Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 4 May 1883, page 3

It is now nearly 50 years since the first Church of England was erected in the pretty little township of Jericho. The congregation, which then was not a very numerous one gradually, as year succeeded year, increased until it was found that the building was not sufficiently large to comfortably seat tho\e church-goers. The matter was talked over, and it was resolved to erect a larger building. A committee was at once formed, and set to work to make all the necessary arrangements for doing so, Plans of a neat Gothic church, with a nave of 45ft. and 24ft.; a chancel 10ft wide, and a pretty little church were prepared by Mr. Hunter, architect, Hobart, and the contract for its erection let to Mr. Fish, of Oatlands, tor £835. By energy and determination the Building Committee succeeded in raising about £600 of the money required.

 A few weeks ago the old building was pulled down and preparations made for proceeding with the erection of the new church. The foundation stone of the now church was laid on Wednesday by the Rev Canon Mason, of New Town The day was beautifully fine, everything looked well, and a large gathering of people assembled to witness the ceremony, about 150 persons being present Among those present were the Rev Canon Mason, the Rev. John Buckland, and the Rev W F Mitchell, the incumbent of the parish, and Messrs H Harrisson and John Bisdee, members of the Building Committee The usual services at the stone were conducted by Canon Mason, assisted by the Revs Buckland and Mitchell. Previous to the ceremony a copy of The Mercury and of the Church News, together with a few coins, were placed in the stone.

There were also placed in the stone the coins taken from the foundation stone of the old church, one of them bearing the date " 1827." The sum £20 was laid on the stone. The ceremonies were then brought to a close. The visitors were then entertained to a substantial banquet, which proved a suitable termination to the day's proceedings. It may be mentioned that among those who have been doing their best to help forward the funds of the church, Mr. H. Harrisson has made himself most conspicuous, and has been indefatigable in his endeavours to reduce the debt owing on the building.

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Monday 7 April 1930, page 3


St. James's, Jericho     Work of Pioneers   (By Our Midlands Reporter.)

St. James's Church of England, Jericho, is considered one of the best equipped country churches in Tasmania. Standing on the hillside overlooking the township, it cannot fail to command the attention of passers-by, and is one of the many delightful little houses of worship that have been erected in the Midlands during the last century. The church has served, the needs of residents of the district for 45 years, and an interesting story attaches to the circumstances surrounding its erection; It is even more interesting to delve into the records-a century old-which tell of the activities of the pioneers of Jericho to satisfy their need for a suitable place of worship in tile convict days of Van Diemen's Land.
A hundred years ago there existed at Jericho a convict station, which was used by the road making gangs for some time. The remains of this building, which was evidently of a considerable size, are to be seen to-day on the main road near the turn-off to Colebrook, and are known as the Mud Walls. In those days, and In the years following, the district contained a greater population than it does to-day. Records show that many squatters occupied land there-abouts, and with the system of assigned servants in vogue at the time, the number of persons living at and around Jericho must have been large.


Mr. Thomas Burbury, as warden of the present church, is in possession of some interesting records which were found among the papers of the late Mr. Peter Harrisson, having evidently formerly be-longed to Mr. Harrisson's father. One of the documents is a record of the minutes of a meeting of Jericho pioneers, just 100 years ago. At that time, it is evident, the need for a church was badly felt. 

The minutes, however, tell their own story. It is stated:
Minutes of a meeting held at Jericho on November 1 (the year is not mentioned, but it presumably was 1830), for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of erecting a place of worship 

In .the populous part of the district. It was resolved unanimously:

(1) : That it is expedient to erect a place of' worship in the most populous part of the district.
(2) ' That a-subscription forthwith be entered into for the purpose.
(3) . That application be made to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor
(who was then Colonel Arthur), soliciting the assistance of the Government in support of the undertaking.

It was resolved that Mr. P. Harrisson be appointed-treasurer, and Mr. J. M. Hudspeth secretary, and that Messrs. E. Bryant, V. Pike, C.  Cogie, James Weeding, P. Harrisson, and J. M. Hudspeth form a committee for the purpose of carrying - the design into effect, and that any three of them would form a quorum. It was resolved that the thanks of. the meeting be given to Rev. Mr. Bedford for the, attention given by him to the action, and for his handsome conduct in the chair. It was suggested by Mr. Bedford that the site of the proposed chapel be on the hill on .tho rising ground between Mr. Harrisson's house and Fourteen Tree  Hill, being considered by him the spot most eligible to the population generally..


Evidently Colonel Arthur; or the Government, paid little, attention to the request for financial assistance in connection with the erection of the Jericho church at that time, for further minutes state:
At a meeting held ' at Bowsden on April' 11 at which Messrs; Bryant, Harrisson,' and Hudspeth were present, it was resolved that a general meeting of the committee be held at Mr. Harrisson's Inn (now Group House, Jericho), on Monday, 14th Inst., for the purpose of considering the advisability of renewing the application to the Lieutenant-Governor, and also presenting an address to the venerable archdeacon on the same subject.

There is no record to show whether tho second application was ever favourably or unfavourably received, but it may be that at least some measure of assistance was accorded the undertaking, especially when the archdeacon of the parish at the time was interested in the matter. A Rev. Mr. Drought, who must have had a charge somewhere near Jericho In those days, interested him-self In the endeavour to secure Govern-mental assistance for the Jericho church, for in the specifications relating to the building, the contractor under-took to finish the work "six months from the date the answer was received from the Government to the application made by Mr. Drought." It would not there-fore be unreasonable to assume that some assistance was eventually granted.
At all events, the church was constructed, not on the spot near Fourteen Tree Hill, as suggested by Mr. Be-ford, but on the site where the present church stands. The subscription list as decided upon was evidently opened at the first meeting, for the document on which the minutes were written also bears a list of liberal subscribers to the fund, on which the following names appear:-G.M., P. Harrisson, James Weeding, William Pike, James Mackerson, J. M. Hudspeth, F. Bradley, William Bedford, Mrs. Ransom (Green Ponds), Mr. Hooper (Cross Marsh), J. Presnell (Sorrell Springs), T.G.G., Thomas Anstey, Mrs. Anstey, G. Lindley, Mrs. Page, Charles Mills Cogie, James Jones, John Jones, John Hiddlestone (Hobart) Town), John Franks, James Hooper, George Guest, Sr., James Drummond. James Gravett, Mrs. Guest, John Bowden, Matthew Bowden, Patrick Wood, Edward Bryant, Hugh Cassidy, J. Earle,Thomas Salmon and John Haves

The specifications were prepared by George Aitcheson, builder and contractor, of Oatlands. From them it is evident that tho building was not to be on a very elaborate scale, it was mostly of rough stone, and its dimensions were 235 feet by 25 feet. Tho contract was undertaken by Mr. Percy Harrisson, who was to do the work for £330. The contract is dated March 4, 1831.


The first church that was constructed at Jericho served tho needs of the pioneers for approximately 50 years. At the end of that time it was decided that a new structure, built on a more comprehensive and elaborate scale, was desirable. The people of the district got together, and it was agreed that all should cooperate in order that the old structure, which was beginning to show signs of dilapidation, might be replaced with a church of improved standard. The necessary funds were raised by means of hard work, and the impressive edifice which stands overlooking the township of Jericho to-day was constructed. The contract was carried out by the late Mr. Walter Fish, of Oatlands, and the dedication ceremony took place 45 years ago, being performed by Bishop Sanford, who controlled the affairs, of the Church of England in Tasmania at the time.

Until the population of the Jericho district had decreased to its present number, a weekly service was held at St. James's, but at the present time; it is only possible for the rector of the Oatlands parish (Rev. John Harrison) to visit Jericho once each month. It is not very long ago since the church was renovated, the work being put in hand as a result of the efforts of a ladies guild, which was formed  for  the purpose of keeping the edifice in repair. ,


As a place of worship, St. James's Church contains everything that, could be wished for.. Beautiful stained glass windows have been installed as memorials by well known residents of the district. Mr. J. E. Mitchell gave the parish a pulpit of remarkable workman ship, and this is brie of the most out-standing fittings contained in the building. In addition, á valuable lectern was presented to the church by Miss F. Mitchell, England. This was. specially sent out from England, and the prominent position it occupies adds to the striking appearance of an already most impressive edifice..

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Tuesday 10 May 1938, page 5


The 100th anniversary occurs today of the consecration of the first St. James' Church at Jericho in the parish of Oatlands by the first Anglican Bishop of Australia (the Rt. Rev. Dr. W. G. Broughton). Almost simultaneously with this anniversary there occurred on April 29 the 50th anniversary of the opening of the present church. Jericho today forms a part of the parish of Oat-lands, but at one time it was a separate parish. Actually, it has a history older than Oatlands. A church was proposed at Jericho in 1830, and when Bishop Broughton visited Tasmania in May, 1838, he consecrated St. James' Church, then in existence at the township.

In 1868 the parishes of Jericho and Oatlands were united, and the Rev. H. W. Adams became the first minister of the united charge. During the '80's efforts were made to obtain a new church for Jericho, and on April 29, 1888, the then Bishop of Tasmania (the Rt. Rev. Dr. D. Fox Sandford) consecrated and opened the present church, which was designed by Mr. Henry Hunter. It had been completed sometime, but opening for divine service was delayed. The church was built of stone, and its construction was due largely to Messrs. R. Harrison and T. J. Bisdee, who, between them, guaranteed the amount required for its completion. In the opening service the Bishop was assisted by the Archdeacon of Hobart (the Ven. A. Davenport) and the incumbent of the parish (the Rev. W. F. Mitchell).

St James Anglican Church Jericho   Incorporates the Jericho Cultural and Heritage Centre
Four years before the settlement of Oatlands began, the first recorded religious service was held at Jericho, on the 23 February 1823. It was conducted by the Reverend Samuel Marsden from N.S.W. in the home of Mr. Thomas Gregson, “Northumbria”, Jericho.

The movement for the erection of a church at Jericho began in 1827. Up until this time, the district was being supplied by William Pike, a catechist, who lived at “Park Farm”, Jericho. However it wasn’t until 1838 that a church was built and it was consecrated by Bishop William Grant Broughton on Tuesday 10 May 1838.

Fifty years later, cracks appeared in the building, and it was decided to erect another building on the same site. On the 29th April 1888 the new church, St James’ Church, Jericho was consecrated by Bishop Sandford.

As a dominant township element, St. James’ is of great significance to Jericho. Architectural fittings and furnishings bear dedications to prominent early members of the district, including Thomas Gregson who was Premier of Tasmania in 1857, and who’s property “Northumbria” borders the church. St. James’ is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register for its community values and its ability to represent a modest sandstone Victorian Gothic Church. The building was designed by the well know architect, Henry Hunter, who was responsible for many fine building around Tasmania. Walter Fish was responsible for the stonework and the woodwork was carried out by Charles Ellen, both of Oatlands.

The stained-glass windows were added over time and are some of the best examples of Australia’s glass artists, including John Lamb Lyons (Sydney), George Dancey, William Kerr-Morgan, Brooks Robinson (renowned for the strength of his workmanship) and perhaps the most important window which was the last window that William Montgomery crafted. The beautiful window at the rear of the church, “Crucifixion” was executed by Augustus Fischer of Melbourne. His windows are rare and his work was renowned for his treatment of flowers.

The wall treatment and stenciling are rare and beautiful.

It is also thought that St. James Church was the first church in the southern hemisphere to have conducted an Ecumenical Service.   The churchyard includes an Avenue of Honour, a row of pine trees dedicated to local men (and one woman) who served in W.W.1.

St. James’ is a family church of the Bisdees, a prominent pastoral family of the district. They took an active part in the welfare of the church and it’s people. John Hutton Bisdee was the first Australian-born Victoria Cross recipient, and is buried in the cemetery. Bisdee was awarded the V.C. in 1900 for bravery in the Transvaal War, following which he returned to Tasmania to the family farm, and later served in W.W.1. He passed away on his property in 1930. The two Bisdee family plots are a dominant feature of the cemetery when approaching the doors of St. James’.

A local volunteer committee have established an excellent museum of local history and a memorial to those local men who served for their Empire.

For the botanist, the cemetery is one of only two sites in Tasmania where the rare plant Leptorhynchos Elongatus or Lanky Buttons can be found. This bright yellow daisy was recorded by the botanist J. D. Hooker in the 19th century as “not uncommon[1]”.

Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), Thursday 5 May 1921, page 1


An interesting chapter, from the home story of a well-known Tasmanian family:-
May 3 was the centenary of the arrival of Mr. John Bisdee in the Derwent. He was the first of five brothers of an old South of England family to make a home in Tasmania. He arrived on May 3, 1821, liked the-place, and resolved to settle in it. His letters induced four brothers to come out. One of these, Edward Bisdee, made Lovely Banks Melton Mowbray, his home, and it became the home of Isaac Bisdee when Edward returned to the family place in Somersetshire, England. Lovely Banks is now the home of Isaac Bisdee's only son, E. O. Bisdee. Alfred Bisdee lived for many years at Sandhill, Jericho, before he, too, in his turn, took up the family home, Hutton Court, in Somersetshire, where his eldest son, Mr. G. T. Bisdee, now resides. Mr. T. G. Bisdee's three sons, Captain Graeme Bisdee, of Cornhill, Ulverstone, Tasmania; Colonel Tom Bisdee, M.C., D.S.O., now in Egypt, and Mr. James Bisdee all served in the Great War.

George Bisdee lived at Wood spring, Bothwell, and was on one occasion tied up to a tree by bushrangers because he refused to promise not to give the alarm that they were in the district. George Bisdee also owned Heston in the Bagdad Valley, where Mr. Winchester Bisdee, eldest grandson of the first Mr. John Bisdee, now lives, Wherever the Bisdee brothers settled they planted English trees and haw-thorn hedges, and made typical English homes. The plantations of oaks and elms at Hutton-park are especially fine.

The late Mr. John Bisdee, who succeeded his father (the first John Bisdee of whose centenary we are writing) also planted English trees, and now his sons and daughters, grand children, and great-grandchildren, enjoy the beauty of the plantations.

A grandson of the first John Bisdee has rendered conspicuous service to his country, Colonel John Hutton Bisdee. V.C., OB.E., who got his V.C. in the Boer war, and his rank of colonel and O.B.E. in the Great War. Another grandson is Mr. Harold Bisdee, of Melton Vale.

Prudence Bisdee m Richard Edols.

The Chapter would not have been researched had it not been for a chance discussion between another of my cousins, Susan McCall.  We share the same Irish Great grandparents, and now it is possible to include Susan's family into this historical account of the Bisdee Family.

Prudence was born 1789 and died 1879 in England.  She married Richard Edols and they had 6 children.  Five daughters and one son, who died fairly young.

Richard was the son of Richard Edols and Elizabeth (Betty) Jones. Richard had a sister Martha Edols who married James Bisdee who was the father of Captain Robert John Bisdee from the Somerset 2nd Militia.
Richard and Martha had two elder brothers, George and Thomas.  George married Elizabeth Danger, and the brothers, along with George and Elizabeth's 9 children arrived in Tasmania in 1834 on board the "Thomas Laurie".

George Edols (1789-1836)
Married 1813
William Danger (1814-1834)
Richard (1816-1878)
John Danger (1817-1888)
Thomas Danger (1819-1898)
Henry Danger (1821-1832)
George Danger (1823-1905)
Robert Ernest Danger (1824-1870)
Elizabeth Danger (1826-1915)
Mary Danger (1828-1880)
Martha Danger (1830-1933)
Jane Danger (1832-1854)

George became the owner of the Woolpack Inn., between October 1834, and November 1835, when the Inn was being used as an auction house, for the sale of animals of the district

Thomas Edols was mentioned in Criminal sittings in 1837, of interest was William Shone, he was the brother of Thomas Shone, a convict who built Stanton at Magra, Back River, New Norfolk.   

George died in 1836.  His brother appeared to take over the Inn, so perhaps they were in partnership together.     
In 1837 Thomas Edols was mentioned in transfers of convicts. Thomas transferred the license to Robert Steddart 1839.    

Thomas then relocated to Broomfield near Allanvale, and was robbed in 1839.

In 1843, he was the subject along with his sister in law and her children from an attack by Martin Cash.

  There were two inns.  Different locations, this is the one at Macquarie Plains were the notorious bushranger Martin Cash held up the hotel in 1843, and was involved in other incidents with the surrounding neighbours

Thomas then lived at Shawfield, Ouse, in the Hamilton 

At a hilltop is a wayside inn bearing the sign "Rosegarland". How could any lover of the poetry of words not to say a lover of beer on a hot day-pass an inn of that name? Were I the proprietor I would plant a garden round it that would fit the name, arid, when other trade was slack, sell rose-garlands to my customers.

What remains of the Woolpack Inn is on the right-hand side of the road a little further on. You can no longer buy beer at the Woolpack, but had your visit been in 1838 you might perhaps have had a pot at the expense of Sir John Franklin, for in that year he attended a dinner at the Woolpack as the guest of the Southern Agricultural Society who were wont to foregather there. Martin Cash and his mates Jones and Kavanagh chose this secluded inn for the testing of their arms, and in a deliberately planned affray with the Police the bushrangers came off best, departing with their tails up-and a keg of brandy to keep them up. They were arrogant rascals, always playing to the gallery. It was in the vicinity of the Derwent Valley that they wrote a bombastic note to the Governor.
After George died, at some point, the family went to Victoria.


Barbara M Cooper AM for The Working Kelpie Council of Aust. Inc.16/01/2004(c)

The question of whether or not the "Barb" and the ” Kelpie” were separate breeds has been a subject of controversy from the time of the Barbs naming by Thomas Edols through to the present day.

The Barb strain was developed on Burrawang station a huge property of 520,000 acres much of which was unimproved when purchased by Thomas Edols in 1873. At that time Burrawang was roughly 35 miles from Forbes, extended north to the town of Trundle, to the south it’s border ran along the Lachlan River to Bedgerbong, the Corradgery Range on the east and Condobolin to the west. The Kelpie strain was originally developed by landholders and stockmen in an adjacent area.

The Barb strain was developed by Thomas Edol who was born in Bridgewater, Somerset in 1819.
Aged 13 in 1834 he came with his parents, George and Elizabeth, and 9 brothers and sisters to
Tasmania. His father bought a property names ‘Bloomfield’ at Macquarie Plains and also invested in a hotel called the Woolpack Inn. George Edols died in October 1836.

Thomas eventually came over to the mainland and became associated with various commercial activities in the Geelong district of Victoria. He married Mary Jane Donovan in 1857 and they went to live on ‘Edolstone’ at Cowies Creek where in 1857 he won first prize for the best managed farm in the district. He in the 1860's moved onto a larger property known as “Upper Regions” in the Wimmera a property originally of 128,000 acres, which had been subdivided twice firstly into “Upper Regions” and “Lochiel” then into “Upper Regions” and “Bonegar” before Thomas Edols took up officially in 1864 and held officially until 1874 when it passed to William Henry Lloyd. Thomas and family remained on” Upper Regions”, where most of his children were born, for about 14 years before he decided to leave the Wimmera and buy a large area of land at Forbes which at the time comprised a group of properties which became known as “Big Burrawang”.

When Thomas took up Burrawang is it was largely dense scrub and stony patches. Totaling 520,000 acres 100,000 acres of which was freehold and the balance leasehold at a small rent conditional on clearing, fencing and provision of a water supply. The land was cleared by the hiring of Chinese to ring bark trees etc, swamp land was drained and the property divided into paddocks by miles and miles of fencing. Tanks were sunk and dams installed so that every paddock had permanent water. Two bridges were constructed so that stock could be moved and saved in times of flood.

Thomas endeavoured to use machinery whenever possible. He used steam for power tank sinking , to power his huge shearing shed and woolwash which was driven by a 33 HP engine- Hot
and cold water was used as well as revolving tubs and a centrifugal dryer to remove much of the
water from the wool before it was put outside to dry..

His son Thomas Danger Edols became the owner of one of Australia's finest Sheep stations, and bred Kelpie dogs

[1] Oatlands Historical Society

The photo of the church taken by Duncan Grant

[1] Photo Ancestry. Peter Grierson