Tuesday, September 25, 2018

B24 Branches The Bisdee Family in Tasmania

The Bisdee Family in Tasmania

What would make a young man decide to emigrate to a new land many miles away? John's father was a Yeoman, so they had some standing in the area.

John had married Ann Green on 28th September 1819. The marriage bond was £200

 John arrived in Tasmania in May 1821 with his wife, and 39 other passengers. The "Westmoreland" left Portsmouth on 14th December 1820.   By March 1822, had an agreement with the Commissariat Office  to supply 4000lbs of meat.  

On 10th May, 1822 he was appointed Chief District Constable for the districts of Amherst and Sorrell, and on 11th May, he advertised his dwelling in Macquarie Street Hobart for rent. 

He was appointed the Keeper of His Majesty's Jail in Hobart as from 1st January 1823, in place of Mr John Petchy.
In February 1826, Ann and her children sailed for England on the ship Andromeda.  She returned in May 1847 with her brother-in-law Edward on the ship "Hope", which broke up, in a storm.
Life would not have been easy, and in 1830, Mr Bisdee was robbed of all his possessions. at Muddy Plains, near Jericho.

In 1835, he and his family sailed on the Auriga for England.  In February 1837, his brother George arrived in Hobart. In September 1837, Mr Bisdee along with two Miss Bisdees returned to Hobart.

Bent's News and Tasmanian Register (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1837 - 1838), Saturday 14 October 1837, page 3

Dreadful Fire.

About one o'clock on Friday last, a fire broke out in the roof of the residence of the Rural Dean, the Rev. Mr. Palmer, in Campbell-street; and, although two engines, with a great number of soldiers, accompanied with Major Ryan, the Commander of the Forces, soon arrived on the spot, such was the rage of the devouring element, that in a very short time nearly the whole of these fine premises were destroyed. We are happy to add, that the Rural Dean, Lady, and family escaped unhurt; and that the whole of the furniture was saved: The fire commenced up the chimney, and the sparks falling upon the shingles, the weather being exceedingly dry, the whole was in a blaze in a few minutes.

The house, which is a two-story one, built with beautiful polished stone, and furnished inside in the first-rate style, is belonging to Mr. John Bisdee, daily expected from England; and we understand it was not ensured, owing to some oversight on the part of a gentleman, than whom we are sure no one can more regret the loss, which, we hear, is estimated at about £1000: We would suggest the propriety of an Act in Council being passed, compelling all water carriers to proceed to any place direct, which may be on fire. Of course, either the Insurance office or the parties  interested must pay the carriers. On this occasion, for want of a supply of water,-the premises were destroyed before the engines could begin to play.

Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen's Land Gazette (Tas. : 1839 - 1840), Friday 8 May 1840,

Bushranging.-The establishment of Mr. Edward Bisdee, at Kewstoke, Murderers' Plains, adjacent to the Eastern Marshes, was robbed of provisions and clothing on Wednesday night, by the bushrangers Beard and Fisher. The tactics pursued by these land-rovers is some-thing new in the arduous avocation pursued by them. 

Their general policy appears to be to conciliate assigned servants by the most marked civility and attention. They neither ill treat, abuse, or employ them to carry their plunder, as their predecessors Regan and his party were wont to do. On the contrary, Beard and Fisher behave with much courtesy to the men of the establishments which they visit, instanced on a late occasion by their assisting some fencers they took as guides, in searching for and getting their bullocks, lest the beasts should stray during their absence.

They avoid taking any I thing belonging personally to the men, and even express it to be their wish always to rob establishments when " the master is at home, " that the assigned servants may not be suspected of giving erroneous statements of (lie property taken. evidently the object of this attempted conciliation is to disincline the men from attempting to track them after their departure or from giving prompt information against them, and the design exhibits no little general, ship, Fisher is the spokesman, and is full of lively conversation, which he carries on while selecting and packing up the plunder.

 Beard is a man of great taciturnity-he never speaks but keeps a keen eye upon the inmates of the dwelling over whom he stands sentinel, with double-barrel gun in hand, while his partner is stowing away the contents of the knapsacks Their habits of life appear to render them very powerful-they walk away with seeming ease with a weight on their backs that would make an ordinary man stagger. It is the opinion of those best informed on the subject, that the course of these polite desperadoes must be well nigh run. Even now they are warmly beset by parties of police and soldiery, under the directions of the Magistrates of Campbell Town

George Bisdee arrived in 1837

Alfred Henry Bisdee the youngest brother had also arrived in Tasmania by 1841

In July 1843, the new Bishop of Tasmania, arrived, and Mr John Bisdee's home in Campbell Street was made available for him.

In 1844, George Bisdee, was robbed of bushrangers, who threatened to shoot him, as he tried to escape.

Edward Bisdee bred horses, they participated in Hunts, and were active at the Oatlands Racecourse.

John Bisdee

John Bisdee was the first to arrive in Tasmania.  His biography reveals:

John Bisdee (1796-1862), farmer and public servant, was born on 17 April 1796 at Oldmixon, the eldest son of Thomas Bisdee, farmer, of Oldmixon, Somerset, England, and his wife Elizabeth, née Bishop, of Worle, Somerset. He eloped with his first wife Ann, née Green, in 1819, and sailed with her to Van Diemen's Land in the Westmoreland, arriving at Hobart Town in May 1821.

He was granted 700 acres (283 ha) (Thorpe) on the Clyde at Bothwell, which he exchanged for better land at White Hills near Jericho. Within a year he was appointed governor of the Hobart Town gaol, chief constable for the district of Murray, and keeper of the Hobart pound. In Campbell Street he ran a nursery garden where he propagated and sold many kinds of fruit trees.

He made his brother Edward manager at White Hills (Hutton Park), and continued to increase his holdings by grants, purchases and leases, at the same time building up a fine merino flock. In 1829 he was complimented on this work and his public service by Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur.

In 1833 he resigned as governor of the gaol. During his term of eleven years he was both respected and liked: only one prisoner escaped and there were no complaints of harsh treatment. Upon resigning he was made a justice of the peace and Hutton Park became his permanent home.

In 1835 he went to England and returned in April 1840. Within seven years he was occupying 10,000 acres (4047 ha) of pasture land. He was again in England, where in May 1847 he told a select committee of the House of Lords on transportation that the system of assignment was more humanitarian and successful than the probation gangs which caused the moral deterioration of convicts.

He recommended that the number of overseers should be increased by sending free men especially for that duty from England, thereby avoiding the undesirable use of ex-convicts and local men. He estimated that 2000 convicts a year were all that the colony could conveniently take unless the British government undertook extensive road and bridge building and dammed the lakes of the interior for irrigation much needed in dry country.

In 1848 his wife Ann died; they had two sons and four daughters. On 25 August 1853 in Hobart he married Henrietta Charlotte Miller. By her he had three daughters and one son who died in infancy.
He eventually returned to England where he died on 18 November 1862 at Moorland Cottage, near Hutton. His son John stayed in the colony and inherited Hutton Park. One grandson was Lieutenant-Colonel John Hutton Bisdee who, as a trooper, won the V.C. in the South African war.

John Bisdee was known as a just and humane man who helped convicts and others he considered unfortunate. He was highly thought of by the governors of his time, and helped to put the stamp of England on the Tasmanian landscape by planting English trees, importing the first fallow deer, and raising pheasants at Hutton Park.

 Church of England by faith, he left descendants who strongly supported that church; they also continued his work of improving lands and growing fine wools. A portrait of him is in the possession of B. H. Bisdee of Hutton Park.

Another online reference

He had two sons and four daughters (Elizabeth Anne, Mary, Sarah, Emma, Thomas and John). Anne died in 1848. He then married Henrietta Charlotte (nee Miller) - (1829 - 1909) by whom he had three daughters (Constance, Sarah, Rose) and a son Edward who died in infancy on 20 March 1860[1].

John Bisdee persuaded his four brothers Edward, George, Isaac and Alfred Henry to also migrate. Edward (baptised 1802) owned 'Lovely Banks' at Melton Mowbay and 'Sandhill', Jericho.

When he returned to England his younger brother inherited 'Sandhill'. Edward built 'Hutton Court' in Somerset, where members of the Bisdee family lived for another eighty years. He died in England in 1870 aged 68. His wife was Rose (nee Axford). George (baptised 1811) farmed at 'Woodspring' and 'Heston' in the Bagdad valley. He died in England in 1863 aged 51. Isaac (baptised 1813) farmed 'Lovely Banks' after Edward. He married Eliza Rose Kemp in 1862 and died in Tasmania

Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839), Friday 4 October 1833, page 2

Mr. Bisdee we learn has tendered his resignation as keeper of the Hobart town gaol, a situation, arduous and anxious as it is, which he has filled with much credit to himself, and satisfaction to the public and the government for upwards of eleven years. Considering the very insecure state of the gaol and the unceasing watchfulness over the prisoners which from that cause it is necessary to keep up, we have reason to be thankful to Mr. Bisdee, and the officers under him that no escapes that we are aware of have been effected during all that period.

The Bisdee Family is rather well known in Oatlands in Tasmania.  The current mayor is Tony Bisdee.  Oatlands is also rather special in my family tree, as my 4th great grandfather-in-law was Thomas Jillett, who owned the Callington Mill.  In 2012,  we were able to restore the Thomas Jillett Family Crypt in St Peter's Cemetery at Oatlands.  It was a huge task, and would not have been possible, without the support and assistance from the community, the Heritage Officer, Tony Bisdee, and 50% Funding from the Historical Sites Programme, part of the Federal Government.  

It seems now very worthy to ensure that the cemeteries where all our ancestors are buried, are safe, and protected for generations to come.

Family of John Bisdee and Ann Green
1.      Elizabeth Ann Bisdee   1821 - 1910  m             George Thorne 1810 - 1891
2.      Mary Bisdee                 1823 - 1898                  Peter Gordon Fraser   1810 - 1888
3.      Thomas Bisdee             1828  -  1910                Emily Burroughs 1836 - 1924
4.      Emma Bisdee               1830 - 1841
5.      John Bisdee                  1831 - 1891                  Ellen Jane Butler  1831 - 1905

Sarah Bisdee

Sarah was the daughter of John Bisdee who had lived at Hutton Park Tasmania, before his wife Ann Green died.  He and Ann married in 1819 in Somerset.

Their children were:

1.      Elizabeth Bisdee 1821 - 1910  m George Thorne 1810 - 1891
2.      Mary Bisdee                             1823 - 1898 m Peter Gordon Fraser 1810 - 1888 Somerset
3.      Sarah Bisdee                             1825
4.      Thomas Denning Bisdee           1828 1910 m Emily Burroughs 1836 - 1926  Surry UK
5.      Emma Bisdee                           1830 - 1841
6.      John Bisdee                              1831 - 1861 m Ellen Jane Butler 1831 - 1905

John was born in 1796, in Somerset, the son of Thomas Bisdee and Elizabeth Bishop.

After the death of Ann, John married Henrietta Charlotte Miller.   John and Henrietta married in Hobart, Tasmania, in August 1853. 

Charlotte was born in 1829, perhaps on the voyage to Australia, and she died in 1909, in Kent.
She was the daughter of Henry Miller and Jane Morphett

1.      Constance  was born in 1855 in Londonderry Northern Ireland

2.      Sarah was born 20th April 1856 at 20 Clement Square Islington, in England

3.      Rose, was born in 1858.  Both the children were christened at the same time, they were twins.

4.      Edward Henry Morphett Bisdee was born in 1858 and died in 1879, aged 18, from heart failure.

John died in November 1862, leaving a young family in England, and an older family in Tasmania.

My family links to the Oatlands Bisdee's stem from the marriage of my 3rd cousin *2, Herbert John Whiteside MacKenzie Kennedy, born 1858 in Dublin, and married in 1881, in Agra, Bengal India, to Sarah Bisdee.  

Constance Bisdee married John Alexander Anderson 1852 - 1900 from Scotland. She died in 1944

 Rose Bisdee  married Albert Trenchard 1851 - 1934. Rose died in 1928. 

On 13 July 1854 Caroline Durnford married Rev William Cheesborough le Poer MacKenzie Kennedy.    William was the son of Major J MacKenzie-Kennedy. Caroline was the daughter of Major  Edward Durnford and Elizabeth Langley.  They were living in Ireland.

They had three children

1.   Herbert John Whiteside MacKenzie Kennedy          b            1 Feb 1858  in Ireland
2.   Chessborough Gordon MacKenzie Kennedy            b  3 Oct 1858 in Ireland  
3.   Edward Charles William MacKenzie Kennedy         b  6 July 1863

In 1870 she married John William Moore Miller   He had been married to Catherine Bowman in India in 1852, she died in 1869.  He then married Catherine. He died in 1884 in Hampshire

They had a daughter  .  Lillian Frances Throckmorton Moore Miller

Lillian married in 1904 Arthur James Barton at St John's Blackheath, Greenwich  She died in June 1948 in Devon.

1.1  Herbert John Whiteside MacKenzie Kennedy   He was married in 1858 to Sara Bisdee on 26 December 1881 in Agra Bengal in India.  Her father was John Bisdee, of Hutton Park Tasmania.

He died 7 July 1914 in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.  Sarah died 1934.

Herbert John Whiteside MacKenzie Kennedy was a Lieut in 2nd Battalion of the Norfolk (late 9th) Regiment.

Herbert's father was an extremely clever man.  He created his Ancestors family tree in 1856.  His Scottish heritage stems from King William The Conqueror, just as Caroline's did. 

They had 7 children

Daisy Blanche Marion MacKenzie Kennedy     1883  -  1951 m Charles Douglas Roe OBE, DSO,  Lieut Col Indian Army born 1882 in 1883 at Bakloh Puyal India

Ivy Mariette MacKenzie Kennedy                     1885     1955  b in Benares in India                                                                                                                             died Aug 1955 in Kenya
Kenneth Edward Bisdee MacKenzie Kennedy    1886  -  1958 b  Benares India died in   
                                                                                                            Umkomaas South Africa                                                                                        m Irene Charlotte Montefiore Binsteed                                                                     in  1912 in London. He was in the military

Winifred Rose Gordon MacKenzie Kennedy    1889  -  1996   b Old Mixon in Somerset                               m Frank Etheridge MacKenzie in 1906 in India

Violet Maud Emily MacKenzie Kennedy          1891  -  1969  m Walter MacGregor Petrie                                                                                                                         1913

John Graeme Bowen MacKenzie Kennedy       1899  -  1922   Born 1899 Mussoorie in India and died 7 August 1922, in Cork.  

The time was the start of "The Troubles" as they call it in Ireland.

Herbert's brother:

Chessborough Gordon MacKenzie Kennedy m 1879 Ethel Helen Slane (widow) in Dhubri West Bengal in India.    Ethel died in 1936 in London

He was appointed Deputy-Commissioner in Assam in 1897 and died in 1898 in Nowgong Assam India.     In 1897 there was a huge earthquake in Assam. 

....one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded human history that took place on Saturday, June 12, 1897 in Assam. This earthquake was 50 times more powerful than the tremor that hit San Fransisco.The earthquake left an area of 150,000 square miles (about the size of California) in ruins and was felt over one and a quarter million square miles (about half the size of the United States) from the Western Burmese border to almost near New Delhi.

Their children

Francis Emma Margaret Kennedy           1881 In India    She was unmarried and died in Sicily                                                                                                    January 1951
Sybil Alice Mary MacKenzie Kennedy  1882 In India   She did not marry, but travelled even                                                                                               to  Australia in 1919    Died 1937 London
Mildred Isabel May MacKenzie Kennedy 1885 India  She was unmarried and died 7 th                                                                                                                      October 1944 in London
Chessborough James Henry MacKenzie-Kennedy who was born in 1886
Chessborough Gordon MacKenzie-Kennedy was the first inventor of the giant aircraft, he married  Zinaida Koriakoff in St Petersburg Russia in 1910.  He emigrated to US, in 1939  and was naturalised.  He died in the US in 1942.

Mr Chessborough Henry James Mackenzie-Kennedy 1886-1942 The first inventor of the giant aeroplane , who is sueing the air council 30 December 1925     
The Kennedy Giant was a British biplane heavy bomber designed by Kennedy Aeroplanes Ltd. during the First World War. The design was an imitation of works by Igor Sikorsky, with whom the owner of Kennedy Aeroplanes Ltd., C. J. H. Mackenzie-Kennedy, had ostensibly worked prior to setting up the company. The aeroplane was a notorious failure; its size meant that construction had to take place in an open field as none of the hangars near Hayes, Middlesex, where the prototype was assembled, were large enough to house it. For its weight, the aircraft's four engines were inadequate, and the resulting under-powered aircraft could only fly in a straight line once airborne.

Following the unimpressive test flight, the design was cancelled and the prototype was left derelict at Northolt Aerodrome for a number of years.

Kennedy Giant

  The product of a gifted young man, Chessborough J H Mackenzie-Kennedy, the Giant was of impressive proportions, but of doubtful structural integrity and badly underpowered. As an eighteen-year-old and with three pounds in his pocket, Kennedy had left England for Russia, convinced of aviation's future and, in particular, the potential of very large aeroplanes.

 In 1908 he completed the design of Russia's first aeroplane, and formed the Kennedy Aeronautic Company the following year. Becoming associated with Igor Sikorskii in 1911, he was involved in the design of the first Sikorskii four-engine biplanes before returning to England on the outbreak of war.

Kennedv discussed his ideas for very large aeroplanes with the War Office, by which he was promised support, and established his design office at 102 Cromwell Road, South Kensington, together with T W K Clarke, G C McClaughlin and E A Vessey.

He personally financed the building of the plane, and in 1920, the British Government gave him 115K pounds for the work on his invention.  He was still 100K out of pocket.  He was bankrupted in 1924, according to the newspapers.

However he seemed to bounce back because in 1927, at a Textile Trade Show, he showed his latest invention Garter Skirts.
He and his wife had a son who was born in Petregad Russia 23 March 1911 and died July 1948.  

Chessborough Vladimir James MacKenzie Kennedy was a Charted Mechanical Engineer.
He married Jane McKibbin and they lived in York. 

They had a son Colin Chessborough MacKenzie Kennedy, who died in 2002.

His son donated his collection of personal papers to the Leeds University.

Edward Charles William MacKenzie Kennedy m Ethel Fuller in September 1888.  Ethel was the daughter of Major Fuller of the 4th Madras Pioneers.   Edward was appointed 1897 as a Major in 1st Madras Pioneers.   (His portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery)

He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 1910

Military Division

Major-General Gerald Charles Kitson, C.V.O., C.M.G., Quartermaster-General in India.
 Surgeon-General Arthur Thomas Sloggett, C.M.G., Principal Medical Officer, India.
Major-General Edward Charles William Mackenzie-Kennedy, Indian Army, Brigade Commander, Belgaum Brigade.

Edward and Ethel had three children

Henry Charles Donald Cleveland MacKenzie Kennedy  born 1889 in Hastings

Sir Donald C. Mackenzie-Kennedy (1889 - 1965) was a British colonial administrator who was Governor of Nyasaland between 1939 and 1942, and 25th Governor of Mauritius from 5 July 1942 to 5 December 1948.     (Nyasaland is now known as Malawi)  

In July 1942, Sir Charles Donald Cleveland Mackenzie Kennedy (better known as DMK), will take over the administration of Mauritius. He will bring political change, culminating in the grant of the December 1947  Constitution leading to the general elections of August 1948, which will completely change the political scenario of Mauritius.

In a secret letter to Arthur Creech-Jones, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 2nd August 1948, Governor DMK will write this prophetic note on Dr S. Ramgoolam : « A bitter, dangerous man, determined to break the whites and oust the British, who has considerable influence amongst the Hindus, and of their self-appointed leaders, is the one most likely to obtain ultimate control. I have hopes Dr Ramgoolam will become more moderate with increasing responsibility. »

In 1930, Mackenzie-Kennedy was Chief Secretary of Northern Rhodesia. He was urged to deny the Ndola Welfare Association permission to meet, since mine owner might react unfavorably to an organization such as this being led by civil servants.In June 1935, Mackenzie-Kennedy wrote to Sir Stewart Gore-Browne urging him to stand for election in Broken Hill. He said "Your duty is clear".

In Malawi   20 Mar 1939 -  8 Aug 1942  Sir Henry Charles Donald Cleveland (b. 1889 - d. 1965)
He married Mildred Munday.  He died in 1965, in Natal, South Africa.

Colin George Edmund MacKenzie Kennedy

He was born in India, and then attended Officer Training College in the Navy in Marlborough UK.
He travelled to Canada, and joined the Canadian Military.

#2204634 Spr Colin George Edmund Mckenzie-Kennedy.

He began as a member of a Forestry Reinforcement Draft, North Vancouver. In Hamilton Ont. he was transferred to the 40th Draft Railway Construction and went o/s June 20th/18 on HMT Waimana(?) and disembarked Jul 7/18.

 Next day TOS C.R.T. Depot Purfleet.
SOS CRTD as a/Sgt. on proceeding o/s with 7th Bn Railway Troop 3/9/18.

Reverted to Spr at own request. His service time in France was shortened by illness.
27/01/19 inv sick and posted to CCC Kinmel Park, Knotty Oak nr Liverpool.
Returned to Canada from Liverpool via HMT Scotian 25/03/19.
SOS CEF 9th apr. 1919 in Revelstoke BC bound for home in Salmon Arm
Officer Training College in Navy in Marlborough

Irene MacKenzie Kennedy  born 1891  -  1970

Archibald Gordon MacKenzie Kennedy  born 1904 and lived and died in Kircudbright
From Netley Cemetery Records

The Kennedy Family

John Mackenzie KENNEDY Major and Paymaster of the hospital died 16th July 1866 aged 68 and is buried in the cemetery. Service was taken by Chaplain J.A. Crozier.

John Mackenzie Kennedy served in the army for fifty two years. He was born into a doctor’s family in Inverness on 13th March 1798. He began his duties aged fifteen serving first with His Majesty’s 76th Regiment of Foot, the Immortals, mostly in Canada.
His manuscript account was used in the regimental history to tell the story of actions against the United States forces. He became the regimental paymaster in 1828 and after some years in Ireland was posted to St. Lucia in 1834. In 1835 he served in Grenada and Dominica. 
The following year he was serving in Jamaica and transferred to the His Majesty’s 22nd Regiment of Foot, the Cheshire Regiment, as paymaster. From 1837 to 1840 he was mostly in Ireland. He then went to the Bombay in India before joining General Napier’s campaign to the Scinde. He was awarded the Scinde medal for the action at Hyderabad. After the annihilation of Her Majesty’s 44th Regiment of Foot he transferred to it and served in Ireland whilst the regiment was built up to strength.
He foresaw that he would have to return to India and on account of his wife’s health and her sorrow at the recent death of a son wrote asking for a position on the Staff as paymaster. He worked in this capacity firstly at Maidstone at the cavalry depot, then in Scotland on recruiting duties, and next at Chatham with the Invalid units. His final post was at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley where he served as a paymaster until his death in 1866.
He married Emma Georgiana Maryanne Evans, the sister of a fellow regimental officer, Henry Evans, They had two sons Wardlaw Randall Mackenzie Kennedy who joined Her Majesty’s 1st Regiment of Foot, the Royal Regiment, and died young in Antigua and William Chessborough Le Poer Kennedy who took an M. A. at Trinity college Dublin and joined the Church of England, serving as Curate of Dawlish in Devon. He died aged 29 and is buried with his father.
Three of his brothers died whilst serving in the British armies. His younger brother James Scott Kennedy died aged fourteen years at Quatre Bras, as an Ensign of the Royal Regiment, carrying the regimental colours. He posthumously received the Waterloo medal. His eldest brother joined the Honourable East India Company’s Bengal Army serving as Captain in the light cavalry seeing action in the third Mahratta war at Nagpur but died at Mhow in 1822. His other brother Hugh Scott Kennedy joined the Honourable East India Company’s Madras army and served in that Presidency for ten years but died on the voyage home.
From Netley Military Cemetery

The Willmott Family

Constance Elizabeth Bisdee married in 1884 Arthur Wellesley Westmacott Willmott in Axebridge he died in Kiangnan Arsenal, Shanghai.  He was an Engineer.  She then married, in London in 1889.

John Alexander Anderson 1852 - 1904  He was a Civil Servant in India, he was in fact, a Barrister and a Judge in Punjab.

1886 Obituary of Arthur Willmott

ARTHUR WELLESLEY WESTMACOTT WILLMOTT, son of Alfred Willmott, M.D., Weston-super-Mare, was born at Chester on 18th November 1852, and died at Shanghai on 23rd February 1886, at the age of thirty-three.

After being educated at Fullands School, Taunton, he was apprenticed to the firm of Sir W. G. Armstrong and Co., Elswick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; and after serving his term, he was admitted to the drawing office, obtained the gold medal of the Science and Art Department for applied science, and was subsequently engaged upon the erection of machinery.

He then entered the service of the Chilian Government, to superintend the erection of work at Valparaiso. He afterwards re-entered the service of the Elswick firm; and at the end of 1884 was appointed manager to the gun factory at Kiangnan, Shanghai.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1883; and in the summer of that year acted as Honorary Local Secretary at Antwerp for the visit of the Members attending the Belgian Meeting.

The Trenchard Family

Rose Bisdee married Albert Henry Trenchard in
Albert was the son of Edward Penny Trenchard, who was a Timber merchant, in USA and in London.
Albert joined the 2South  Kent Rifle Volunteer Group, in 1873, as a Sub-Lieutenant. 

He and Rose had three children

Oswald Henry Bisdee Trenchard            1882 - 1976  m  Alma May Bisdee 1891 - 1918 (cousin) She died in India. m Gladys Gordon Simpkins    b 1890   He died in California.
                                                           He served in India as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Guy Bertram Bisdee Trenchard             1885 - 1935  m  Athalie Dorothea Cluer 1883 - 1960
He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery.

Vida May Trenchard                             1889 - 1972      m Charles Edward Blandford  1885
Their son was Edward Oliver Blandford born in India in 1913 

The Miller Family

Harriett Charlotte Miller was the daughter of Henry Miller and Ann Morphett.

Henry Miller (1785–1866) was the first commandant of the Moreton Bay penal colony in Queensland, Australia. Henry Miller was born in 1785 in Derry, Ireland, the son of a clergyman. Henry Miller entered the army at an early age, being gazetted as an ensign in the 40th Regiment of Foot in 1799, when only 14.

He married some ten years later, and his eldest son, Henry Miller, was born on 30 December 1809 in Derry.   Married in Ireland Jane Morphett.

His brother, Joseph Miller, was Mayor of Derry on five different occasions. His nephew, Sir William Miller, was also mayor.

Miller was in the 40th Regiment which served under the Duke of Wellington on the Peninsula. When Wellington commenced his campaign of 1812 by taking Ciudad Rodrigo, Miller took part in the assault, which in which 90 officers and 1200 men were killed.

Miller then crossed the Atlantic Ocean with the 40th. He was at the unsuccessful attack on New Orleans on 8 January 1815 when the commanding officer, Sir Edward Pakenham, was killed.

Miller was back again in Europe in time to be present at the Battle of Waterloo which was his final war service. He was given the Peninsular medal, with clasps for Busaco, Badajos, and Ciudad Rodrigo, and the Waterloo Medal.

After Waterloo the 40th regiment formed part of the army of occupation, and Lieutenant Miller was joined by his wife and family in Paris.

The Battle of Waterloo sealed the fate of Napoleon. As a result, Great Britain was able devote more attention to its growing colonial empire. In March 1823 the regiment was ordered to go to New South Wales. Lieutenant Miller and his family came out with one of the detachments.

Sir Thomas Brisbane had decided that only married officers with families were to be sent as commandants of the out-settlements, and he formally appointed Lieutenant Henry Miller to establish the Moreton Bay penal colony on 12 September 1824. However, by that date Lieutenant Miller was already in charge at Moreton Bay, having arrived there from Sydney in the brig Amity a couple of months earlier.

The Moreton Bay penal colony was initially very primitive. There were no buildings, except huts. The only link to civilisation was the occasional arrival of a ship from Sydney into Moreton Bay (for no ship in that time had ever entered the Brisbane River). It was in these surroundings that Miller's wife gave birth to a son, who was afterwards christened Charles Moreton Miller, the first European child born at Moreton Bay and the first Queenslander.
Henry Miller was at Moreton Bay for about 18 months. He was then succeeded by Captain Peter Bishop, also of the 40th.

Henry Miller returned to Sydney. From there he went to Van Diemen's Land. In 1828,the regiment went to India, but Captain Miller remained in Hobart in an appointment with the commissariat. He lived at Hobart in a house facing the Glebe.

His oldest son, Henry, who was 15 years old when his father was at Moreton Bay, entered the Audit Office in Hobart, but left to go to the new settlement at Port Phillip where he would become a prominent citizen of the city of Melbourne.

On 30 December 1840 his wife died at Hobart, aged 53, and on 23 August 1842 Captain Miller married again to Miss McQueen, of New Norfolk.

Henry Miller died at Hobart on 10 January 1866. The second wife died in 1891 and is buried at Hobart with her son, Ernest George Miller, who died in 1887, aged 37 years. Captain Miller's grave at Hobart in course of time fell into disrepair

"Another of the Heroes of Waterloo has passed away. It will be seen that our obituary records the decease of Henry Miller, Esquire, late Captain of the 40th Regiment, at his residence in Campbell street, on Tuesday the 10th instant. The departed gentleman has been a resident of Tasmania for many years past, and on the anniversary of Waterloo day was always to be observed with the Waterloo medal on his breast. At the battle of Waterloo Captain Miller ranked as a Lieutenant. Henry Miller, Esquire, generally known as the Victorian Millionaire, and lately Minister of Lands and Works in Victoria, is the eldest son of the deceased veteran."

His children were
1.      Henry Miller                 1809 - 1888                  m  Eliza Mattinson  1812 - 1882
2.      Mars Morphett Miller    1818 - 1894                  m   Sarah Fleming  1825 - 1897
3.      Charles Moreton Miller  1824 - 1923                 m   Ellen Mulholland  1825 - 1923
4.      Edward Miller               1848- 1932                   m  Mary Elizabeth Darliot
5.      Ernest George Miller     1849 - 1887

Problems at Moreton Bay, but he is credited to establishing the site of Brisbane, at a different and better location than first thought. 

(Lieutenant Miller to :Lieutenant-Colonel Balfour) (Tasmanian State Archives, Ref. C.S.O.1/371/8476)
Hobart Town April 25th 1826
I have the honour of addressing you, for the purpose of requesting you to recommend me to His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor for the Commandantship of Macquarie Harbour as I have been given to understand it is his intention to recall Captain Butler. Lest my having been superseded by Captain Bishop in the command at Morton Bay should lead you to conclude me unfit for such a situation, I consider it incumbent in justice to myself to lay the following statement before you which, if necessary, I can prove for your satisfaction. In August 1824 I was appointed to form a Penal Settlement at Morton Bay and arrived there in September; my written instructions received from Sir Thomas Brisbane, directed me, first to build huts for the soldiers and prisoners, then, a Store House, Guard House and jail and those completed to clear one hundred acres of land for the reception of Maize. To carry these instructions into effect only 29 prisoners and one Overseer were put under my command - the Overseer was dissatisfied with his salary and allowances and returned immediately to Sydney. At once I perceived the hands afforded me were wholly inadequate to accomplish such purposes, but being quite confident that reinforcements would soon as a matter of course follow me, and determining that nothing on my part should be wanting that the most strenuous personal exertion could supply, I became at once Commandant, Superintendent, and Overseer; nothing was undertaken that I did not plan, nothing was carried on that I did not inspect, literally, under a burning sun earning my bread in the sweat of my brow; I passed toilsome and miserable days, anxious and restless nights, and underwent privations, difficulties and hardships greater than any I had been called upon to sustain during years of actual service
The situation selected by the person appointee by Government for that express purpose as a site for the Settlement proved on trial, in every respect ineligible, the ground was light, sandy and sterile, no timber fit for building was in its neighbourhood, and the very grass for thatch (as a substitute for shingles) I had to send miles for; while, so limited was our supply of water, that I found myself obliged in the midst of all the other press of business to have recourse to the expedient of sinking a regular well. In the latter end of November 1824, Sir Thomas Brisbane visited Morton Bay, and expressed himself satisfied with what I had done; he also observed that in all probability he would have the settlement removed, but said nothing decisive on the subject. Early in December 1824, the very small stock of Medicines sent with us was completely exhausted, and sickness attacked the Prisoners; nor till the month of August 1825 was there any medicines, of any description forwarded to the Settlement, though I applied for them to Head Quarters whenever opportunity offered, which indeed was seldom, as a continued period of five months has been suffered to elapse, without any vessel being sent to our relief ' the consequence of which was, that I have been frequently reduced to nine, ten, eleven, or twelve men, per day to carry into effect plans which would have required at least one hundred, and during the whole of the time I was Commandant, there were but seven prisoners sent as reinforcements, two of whom I was directed, "to have instructed in the duties of Overseers" although there was no person on the Settlement capable of so doing. I had also to labour under the vast disadvantage of not knowing the Government tasks for the different kinds of Work; I repeatedly applied for a list of them, but was never supplied with it.

On my arrival at Morton Bay, it was one of my first cares to have a quantity of Garden seeds and Potatoes put into the ground, knowing how important it would be to have a supply of vegetables, but, owing to the advanced period of the season, the extreme badness of the soil, the want of manure, and the scorching heat of the sun, some of those seeds never vegetated and the remainder after making a sickly appearance for a short time withered away, though I had them carefully watered every evening. .When the cool season set in, and manure had accumulated,
I succeeded in rearing a few vegetables which were distributed amongst the sick and others on the Settlement. In April 1825 I received orders from Government to abandon the Settlement, and form another at the distance of twenty seven miles; this I accomplished; though the difficulties of the task, situated as I then was, with my original few wasted and enfeebled by sickness, were so many, and so great, that none but an eye-witness could, in the least form an idea of them, and it would swell this statement beyond all limits were I even to attempt their description. A short time after this removal was effected so little were our wants attended to, that our supply of flour totally failed; and at a crisis when wholesome food was particularly and indispensably necessary to preserve the few who were able to work in health, and to establish the convalescent, we found ourselves reduced to the necessity of living on salt meat, and field pease, the baneful effects of which soon became deplorably visible, and in the midst of all this suffering, in the month of August 1825 to my unspeakable astonishment Captain Bishop arrived to displace me in the Command and I was officially informed that Sir Thomas Brisbane had taken this step "in consequence of the little exertion manifested by me in the duties of the appointment." In those general terms was this communication expressed nor up to this hour have I been able to discover wherein this alleged want of exertion on my part consisted but have had to submit to the severe infliction of being condemned unheard and uninformed of any one error and I hope I may be permitted to say when exculpating myself that it is my confident belief that I was removed to cover the mistakes of others and here Sir I beg most respectfully to appeal to you, is it in the least probable that I would remain inactive or supine when expressly informed in my written instructions that any emolument I might expect to reap the second year must arise entirely from the prisoners I could ration by the produce of the settlement.
On my arrival in Sydney, I waited on Sir Thomas Brisbane, and requested that it my conduct during the time of my being Commandant appeared to him in any degree incorrect, that he would order the strictest investigation into it; I also delivered to him a voluminous written statement (of which this is partly the substance) but to neither my request or statement, did I ever receive any answer. I then considered it my duty in justice to my family to Memorial to be appointed to the vacant Engineer ship at Morton Bay, and received a verbal answer by Mr Stirling then acting as Sir Thomas Brisbane's Aid-de-Camp that he did not consider it delicate to his successor to make new appointments on the eve of his departure. This answer Mr Stirling repeated at my request and in my presence, to Colonel Dumaresq as I considered it necessary that that gentleman should be informed it was from no personal objection to me Sir Thomas declined appointing me to that situation. I have now Sir most earnestly to apologise for trespassing on your time by the length of this statement which I found impossible to shorten consistent with clearness, and I trust that should any vague rumour have reached you to my prejudice, it will be successful in removing it.
I have, etc, Henry Miller
With respect to the Engineer's Stores which were missing at Morton Bay I shall have the honour of laying before you for your information the substance of a Memorial I forwarded to Sir Thomas Brisbane on the subject with the least possible delay. 

From 1823 to 1829, the 40th Regiment was posted to New South Wales. Lieutenant Miller commanded the guard on the convict ship Isabella, which departed Cork, Ireland, in August 1823 carrying some 200 male convicts, mostly Irishmen. On the voyage a conspiracy to mutiny was uncovered. The Isabella, also carrying Miller’s wife Jane and their family, arrived in Sydney on 16 December 1823. The following September saw Lt. Miller attempting, as ordered, to create a penal settlement at Redcliffe Point. He relocated it to the Brisbane River site in May 1825.

Charged with the task of establishing the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, Lieutenant Henry Miller of the 40th Regiment, with the assistance of surveyor John Oxley, a detachment of guards and some 30 convicts, established a group of slab, brick and bark buildings at what is today’s Redcliffe Point in September 1824.

The site had little fresh water and many mosquitos. Skirmishes with the local Ningy Ningy people occurred. Within a year a decision was made to attempt a new site on the banks of the Brisbane River, earlier explored by Oxley. This second settlement centred on a landing place at what became Queen’s Wharf, expanding to higher ground along what is today’s Queen Street, Brisbane. The convicts of Moreton Bay were second offenders, initially 30 then later drafts of 30 to 50. Each draft was accompanied by a guard of 15 soldiers from the 40th Regiment.[1]

Henry Miller, (1809–1888)

The Melbourne Daily Telegraph referring to the death of the Hon. Henry Miller, familiarly known as 'Money Miller,' which has already been mentioned in our telegraphic columns, furnishes some particulars of his career, from which the following it extracted:–Born in Londonderry, in the north of Ireland, on December 31, 1809, Mr. Miller was 78 years of age.

  He came to Victoria 48 years ago, and he never left it, not even on a visit to the other colonies or to the land of his birth. By remarkably successful financial operations he amassed a fortune believed to be the largest in the possession of any single individual in Victoria. He bequeaths over £2,000,000 to his widow, his sons, and daughters. The son of a captain in the 40th regiment of foot, Mr. Henry Miller began life as a clerk to his father, who was then in charge of the Ordnance Store Department at Hobart. He subsequently received an appointment as a clerk in the Government Audit Office there, and served for seven years in that capacity.

In 1840 he emigrated to Victoria, and here he has ever since remained. Many stories are told to illustrate the bent of his life's work. Most of these are apocryphal, but the following is authentic: — Playing with a younger brother in his youthful days, he was asked to explain a boyish trick. 'Yes,' he said, 'I will if you give me fourpence.' From that time to the present the amassing of money has been the ruling passion of his life. His father was a good soldier of the old-fashioned type, who feared God and honoured the king. He carried the colours at Waterloo. After the peace of 1815 the 40th regiment was ordered to Glasgow, and there young Miller resided for a few years. In 1823 he sailed with his father to Australia, Captain Miller having been selected as captain of the guard of the convict ship Isabella. He next went to Moreton Bay.

 On the voyage out Henry, as an enterprising lad, had been discussing with his brothers the glories of a private expedition of their own into the terra incognita of the bush, and immediately on landing they set off for anywhere — to see the wild men of Australia, to feast their eyes on the wonderful sights of a country in its primitive state, and to enjoy the luxury of climbing trees, the tops of which they could hardly see. The result was they were lost for a time, and the first duty of Captain Miller, when he became commandant of the infant settlement, was to order out a search party of the men belonging to the 40th to look for the runaways. They were rescued after some trouble.

 In 1825 his father's regiment was ordered to Van Diemen's Land. Arrived at Hobart, Captain Miller assumed the position of ordnance storekeeper, and Henry acted as his clerk. When the Ordnance Department was merged into an Imperial office Captain Miller rejoined his regiment, and Henry received the appointment in the Audit Office, which he held for seven years. Captain Miller's regiment was ordered to India, and he left Henry in charge of his house and of his two brothers, Mars and Charles.
Henry turned the circumstance to good account. The same spirit which actuated him in asking for the fourpence from his brother was at work. In those days it was difficult for a respectable Englishman to obtain lodgings at Hobart, and Henry let the vacant rooms at the very highest figure he could obtain. He carefully, saved all the money he thus obtained, and it proved to be the foundation of his great fortune, for when he came to Victoria later on he was able to make profitable investments and lend money on mortgage.

In 1834 he was married to Miss Eliza Mattinson, second daughter of the late Captain Mattinson, of the mercantile marine. Five years subsequent to his marriage he visited Port Phillip, and although what is now Collins-street was then a bush track, he foresaw the future of Melbourne, and returned to Tasmania, announcing that Port Phillip was the place for him. So it proved to be. 'A man,' he used to say, 'must attend to his business, or his business will leave him,' and attending to his business, he thought it well to leave Tasmania for Port Phillip. Thither he emigrated with his family in 1840.
When he came to Victoria he started in business, lending money on mortgage and discounting bills, and gradually valuable properties fell into his hands. The gold fever tempted him not. He believed in slow, steady, accumulation of wealth, and in his little office, opposite where the Athenaeum now stands, he was his own accountant.

 It was then he started a novel system of bookkeeping. He dispensed with the formidable ledgers and daybooks, and merely kept memoranda of his transactions in notebooks. But there was no confusion. He had arranged everything himself for himself and his family, and he had a remarkably good memory, a splendid head for figures, was far-seeing, and never made mistakes. True, he might have made much more money had he been of a speculative turn of mind, but he might have lost, and to lose was the one thing he dreaded.

Gradually his money lending business developed into banking, and he founded the Bank of Victoria. Of this institution he was the first chairman, for he loved to be at the head of affairs in all his enterprises, and up to two years ago he never missed attending the meetings of the directors. As Melbourne grew in importance he added to his pile. ‘Gold rushes’ were not for him, but money-making was.

He formed the Victoria Fire and Marine Insurance, the Victoria Life and General Insurance Company, and both institutions have met with a remarkable success. In conjunction with Mr. William Nicholson, Mr. Miller was the originator of the building societies.

Mr. Miller owned the Melbourne Exchange, which he purchased for £128,000; he held a lease of the Western Market; he built the market buildings; he owns a large block of city property, occupied by Mullen's Library, Gunsler's Cafe, and other businesses, which cost him £80,000. It is impossible at present to form even an estimate with any degree of correctness of the value of his city property, and this remark, owing to his unusual method of book-keeping, holds good in reference to his country property in the Bacchus Marsh district, Millpark, Craigieburn, and in the northern suburbs.

 Only once is it recorded of him that he went out of his money-making way. This was during the 'black war' in Tasmania. In 1830 he was one of the men chosen to form a net, by which it was hoped to secure the blacks on a peninsula, and put an end to the bitter revenge they were taking for the cruelties of the convict stockmen. The attempt was unsuccessful.

William Mattinson (1779 - 1845)

A long career in the British Southern Whale Fishery, most of the time working for the firm of Birnie. Mattinson is first recorded being issued with an Admiralty Protection in June 1803 and as 2nd Mate and Harpooner in the crew list of the Bellona. In 1804 he was first mate on the William Fennings with the vessel returning mid-July 1807. There is then a gap of around 18 months before he took command of the Spring Grove in late 1808. It is possible that he commanded the Spring Grove on two voyages though only one is known. A son, William Mattinson Junior, was born in 1811. It is possible the boy was born at sea.

After returning on the Spring Grove in late 1811 Mattinson took command of the Birnie owned Venus in early February 1812. He took the Venus out two more times before being given command of the Foxhound, another Birnie vessel, in 1820. He sailed in command of the Foxhound on two voyages for Birnie before taking command of another Birnie vessel, the Elizabeth, in 1824.

Mattinson commanded the Elizabeth on three voyages including a voyage which returned with 3000 barrels of sperm oil in 1827. His last voyage in command of the Elizabeth commenced in November 1831 via Cape Horn, across to Timor and then to Hobart where he arrived in late December 1832 with 500 barrels of sperm oil.

At Hobart Mattinson relinquished command of the Elizabeth to Charles Black in what appears to have been a pre-planned event. On this last voyage Mattinson was accompanied by his wife Rebecca (nee Barton), his son William Mattinson and three daughters, Sophia, Gertrude and Eliza.

Hobart Muster Lists record Mattinson handing over command to Charles Black who departed Hobart 12 February 1833 returning on 30 October 1833. William Mattinson’s son accompanied the Elizabeth on this voyage to the whaling grounds near Rotumah before it returned to Hobart in late October 1833 where Mattinson placed notices in the local newspapers cautioning local shopowners against credit being granted to the crew of the Elizabeth. Black was replaced as commander of the Elizabeth sometime after the vessel returned to Hobart and it is likely Mattinson would have played a role in replacing him.

At least two of Mattinson's daughters married in Hobart. Sophia Mattinson married John Lee Archer (Van Diemen’s Land, Engineer and Colonial Architect) on Tuesday 3 September 1833 and Eliza Mattinson married Henry Miller (of the Tasmanian Audit Office) in Hobart on 11 November 1834. Both daughters had many children. It appears that Mattinson did not retire from the sea as he made a number of voyages after this date, mostly trading, but there may have been some Colonial whaling voyages. William Mattinson died in Melbourne on 24 August 1845.

It appears that William Mattinson’s son returned on the Elizabeth to London as he was on the whaleship Sarah & Elizabeth of Hull when it was relocated from London to South Australia in 1836.

Sources: William Mattinson Genealogy

Mars Morphett Miller   1818 -  1894

He was the second child of Captain Henry Miller and Jane Morphett and  married with Sarah Charlotte Fleming on January 27, 1842, at Oatlands, Tasmania, Australia.

Sarah and Mars moved to Melbourne where Mars was the master of the Melbourne Grammar School and had 15 children: Mars, Henry, Sarah, M Miller, John Morphett, David, Mary Victoria, Joseph Septimus, Samuel, Jonathan (Caleb), Caleb, Theresa Jane, Wesley Montagu, Montagu Charles and Ellen Clementina Morphett-Miller .  He is buried at North Fitzroy Cemetery

Charles Moreton Miller
Charles was one of the first children to be born in the settlement at Moreton Bay, in 1824.
A Death notice for Charles Morton MILLER in the Hobart Mercury Monday 20 Sept 1897 states that Charles was the third son of Capt. Miller. 

Miller,- On September 11 (suddenly, of paralysis), at the residence of his son-in-law, "Grandview," Tivoli-road, South Yarra, Charles Morton, third son of Captain Henry Miller, of the 40th Regiment, late of Hobart, aged 75 years.

Sir Edward Miller, (1848–1932)

Widespread regret will be occasioned by the announcement of the death which occurred yesterday at his home Glyn, Kooyong road, Toorak, of Sir Edward Miller.

Sir Edward Miller was born in Richmond in August 1848. He was the youngest and only survivor of the four sons of Sir Henry Miller, M.L.C., who came to Australia from Londonderry, Ireland, and who died in 1888, after having amassed a large fortune by financial investments. His brothers were Messrs William, Septimus and Albert Miller. Mr Henry Miller’s father was Captain Henry Miller of the 40th Regiment, a Peninsula and Waterloo veteran who became first military commandant in Queensland.

On his father’s death Sir Edward Miller assumed great financial responsibilities. He soon showed that he had inherited a large share of his father’s gift for financial management. He became a member of the directorate of the Bank of Victoria and for many years filled the position of chairman. His constancy to his duties was one of the notable facts in the annals of Victorian banking. His share in the family investments included many notable buildings in Melbourne to the management of which he brought the same unremitting care and interest. He made it a personal duty to see that his city estate was well cared for and was efficiently managed and kept modern.

Sir Edward Millet s interests broadened with the ever increasing scope of his investments. He was part-owner of Rocklands Estate, Camooweal, Queensland and through this and other pastoral investments he acquired a wide knowledge of pastoral values, for it was his habit to make a detailed study of everything that came under his financial direction. Sir Edward Miller’s thoroughness and zest for constant work made him greatly in demand for many services.

He was chairman of the Victoria Insurance Company for many years and a director and chairman of the Gold-mining Association of Charters Towers, Queensland, which realised £550,000 worth of gold for a calling power of £4,500. He was interested in Broken Hill from its inception, and the first scrip of the Broken Hill Pty Co was issued to him. Sir Edward Millet was chairman of directors also of the Pioneer Tin-mining Co of Tasmania. As recently as 1928 Sir Edward Miller’s keen attention to detail in the conduct of company meetings was the subject of admiration among shareholders. In early life he and his brothers were pioneers of hunting in Victoria, and the Findon Harriers, a club which took its name from the Miller family estate at Kew, was largely supported by them. For 20 years Sir Edward Miller was master of the hounds. At one time he was president of the Melbourne Club.

Sir Edward Miller had been one of the earliest scholars of the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School which he entered a few days after its opening in 1858. When he was elected to the Legislative Council for the South Yarra Province in 1892 he brought a mind rich in business experience in sport and in social work to his legislative duties, and for the 20 years in which he remained in politics–for the greater part of the time as the representative of the East Yarra Province–he was recognised by his colleagues as a man of sound judgment.

As treasurer of the Red Cross Society for many years, Sir Edward Miller was brought into a very useful sphere of action. At the time of the Great War his financial ability was of immense value to the society when the drain on its funds reached a maximum. It was partly in recognition of this phase of his varied and valuable life work that he was knighted in 1917.

For some time Sir Edward Miller was treasurer of the Talbot Colony for Epileptics and a member of the finance committee of the Children’s Hospital. Lady Miller, who before her marriage in 1877 was Miss Mary Elizabeth Darlot, received the O.B.E. in 1918 for her patriotic work. There are two sons–Mr Eustace Miller, who is now returning from England and Mr E. Studley Miller.

Mary Miller, with her husband, Edward, whom she married in September 1877, was an early member of the Australian Red Cross Society in Victoria. They had two sons. Mary Miller was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her war work in 1918. Her husband, a financier, pastoralist and politician, was knighted in 1917 and held the position of Honorary Treasurer of the Australian Red Cross Society until 1928.

Their son

Everard Studley Miller, (1886–1956)  by Ursula Hoff

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986
Everard Studley Miller (1886-1956), philanthropist, was born on 24 October 1886 at Studley Park, Kew, Melbourne, younger of two sons of (Sir) Edward Miller, banker, and his wife Mary Elizabeth, née Darlot, and grandson of Henry ('Money') Miller. He was educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and at Sherborne School, Dorsetshire, England. Though he would have liked to have gone to the University of Cambridge and become a don, he followed the wishes of his father and returned to take up his position in the family business of the Bank of Victoria, probably until 1927 when the bank amalgamated. He had continued studies under (Sir) Archibald Strong, classical scholar and writer. In 1914 he joined the (Royal) Historical Society of Victoria and attended meetings of the Classical Association.

Miller collected small objets d'art and prints, particularly Arundel chromolithographs reproducing Italian Primitives. His chief interests were engineering and photography. He practised the latter from 1903, increasingly for the purpose of historical study, as an aid to preserving 'the monumental memories of early Australia'; he assembled his work in a series of albums, the first of which was called Historical Monuments in Victoria I. In the pursuit of family history and the history of pioneers he travelled extensively, first in Tasmania and later in Great Britain and Europe. Between 1914 and 1919 he joined Isaac Selby in protesting against the resumption of the old Melbourne cemetery which contained monuments to distinguished pioneers of the Port Phillip settlement.

Daryl Lindsay, from 1941 director of the National Gallery of Victoria, on whom Miller called frequently, remembered that he showed considerable interest in the administration of the Felton Bequest.

In increasingly poor health after World War II, Miller lived quietly at the family house Glyn, designed by the architect Rodney Howard Alsop, in Kooyong Road, Toorak, until his death on 5 July 1956. He was cremated with Anglican rites. A bachelor, tall and distinguished-looking, he was shy and retiring in manner, inclined to contemplation rather than business or society. His most cherished ambition took form in a will which, from an estate sworn for probate at £262,950, bequeathed property and money to the value of £170,000 to the National Gallery of Victoria, as a purchasing fund to be used for the acquisition of 'portraits of individuals of merit in history, painted, engraved or sculptured before 1800'. Purchases were made from about 1960 until 1977 when the fund was exhausted. His collection of photographic material was left to the Royal Historical Society of Victoria; the classics department of the University of Melbourne obtained a selection of his library.

U. Hoff, ‘The Everard Studley Miller bequest’, in A. Bradley and T. Smith (eds), Australian Art and Architecture (Melb, 1980)     


George Thorne

George Thorne  married Elizabeth Ann Bisdee in November 1842 in Hobart.  They had a large family.
Annie Bisdee    Thorne                                     1843-1920
Gertrude Mary  Thorne                                                1845
George Thorne                                                  1847
Theodora B Thorne                                           1848
Rosalie Ann      Thorne                                     1850-1927
Emily Nuttall   Thorne                                     1852-1903
Melina Julia      Thorne                                     1852-1887
Ellen Elizabeth Thorne                                     1855-1938
Walter Allan Thorne                                         1860-1939
The house Claremont in the Sydney suburb of Rose Bay was built in 1851-1852 for Bristol-born Sydney businessman George Thorne (1810-1891) who had migrated to Australia in 1840. He married Elizabeth Ann Bisdee in Hobart in 1842. They had 10 children, some of whom presumably appear in this photograph. George Thorne retained ownership of Claremont until early 1879 but the family did not reside in the house continuously. 

It is with great honour that we reveal that the mysterious “Mr Thorn” was Mr George Thorne, of Claremont House, Rose Bay, a Sydney business man and merchant who had a number of business interests in Newcastle.

Besides saving our Nobbys Island from destruction, his other claim to fame came later in March 1868 when he took a bullet in the right ankle and thwarted an assassination attempt on the visiting Duke of Edinburgh Prince Alfred by an Irish assassin by the name of Henry James O’Farrell.

This was an important occasion for the Australian Colonies, the first Vice Regal visit to the country. As beautifully portrayed in the pages of The Illustrated Sydney News, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred arrived with great fanfare. The respectable Sydney suburb of Clontarf has an unusual claim to fame: it is one of the few sites in the city that has seen a political assassination attempt. But residents can sleep easy – it was in the mid-nineteenth century.


In 1868, Prince Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Kent and Earl of Ulster and second son of Queen Victoria, was on a world tour on the steam frigate HMS Galatea, with Australian ports of call at Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane, as well as Sydney.
After visiting Tasmania, he arrived in Sydney on 21 January 1868. Here, he received a most enthusiastic welcome, and many events were organised in his honour. He then spent a week in Brisbane, before returning to Sydney. Despite rumours of possible sectarian strife, he agreed to attend a picnic at Clontarf, a popular picnicking spot, on 12 March. The picnic had been organised as a fund raiser for the Sydney Sailors' Home by Sydney barrister and politician William Manning. During the event, an Irishman who had suffered considerable mental illness, Henry James O'Farrell, attempted to assassinate the prince.

Although O'Farrell fired his pistol at close range, the bullet, on striking the prince's back, glanced off the ribs, inflicting only a slight wound. O'Farrell only narrowly escaped lynching by the crowd, and was immediately arrested. The prince was nursed by the newly arrived Lady Superintendent of Sydney Hospital, Lucy Osburn.

This was a time of simmering sectarian tension in the colonies, between Irish Catholics and non-Catholics. Even before the shooting at Clontarf, Australians were aware of 'Fenian terrorism' in England, from reports in newspapers. On the Prince's visit to Melbourne, there had been a shooting incident between Orange and Catholic factions, as well as a riot at a free public banquet.[1]

·  Emily Thorne (1851-1903) was the sixth child of Sydney businessman George Thorne, who built 'Claremont' at Rose Bay (later the Sacred Heart Convent), and his wife Elizabeth. On 12 March 1868 Emily and her family attended a picnic at Clontarf at which Henry James O'Farrell, an Irishman with Fenian sympathies, shot and wounded Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. A second shot injured George Thorne in the foot.

·  Scope and Content

A notebook which contains an eye-witness account of the picnic and the attempted assassination, pencil sketches of the picnic crowd and marquees, and newscuttings and poems about the Prince and Queen Victoria. The notebook also includes brief notes on sermons attended by Emily in November and December 1867.

[1] https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/assassination_attempt_on_prince_alfred_1868

Peter Gordon Fraser

Peter Gordon Fraser married Mary Bisdee at Hutton in 1848, and they returned to Tasmania.

His biography  by R. L. Wettenhall

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, (MUP), 1966
Peter Gordon Fraser (1808-1888), colonial treasurer, was born on 31 March 1808 in Scotland the fourth of thirteen children of Donald Fraser, minister of Kirkhill, and his wife Jane, née Gordon. He joined the staff of the Colonial Office as a clerk about 1835, was appointed sheriff of Van Diemen's Land in 1838, arrived in the colony in May 1839, and took up duty next January. He was promoted colonial treasurer and collector of internal revenue in January 1843, thereby becoming a member of the Executive and Legislative Councils.

Apart from acting as colonial secretary in 1851-52, he remained colonial treasurer until responsible government in 1856. On retirement he was given a pension of £600 for life (18 Vic. no. 17). He had also served from time to time as commissioner of the Caveat Board.
He returned to England on leave in 1847, partly to pay court to a lady he had met in the colony: Mary, second daughter of John Bisdee. They were married at Hutton, Somerset, on 11 October 1848, just before their return to the colony; two sons and a daughter were born at Hobart. Fraser finally returned to England with his family in 1860 to settle in Somerset. Though not in robust health, he survived another twenty-eight years, dying at Weston-super-Mare on 27 April 1888.

One son was then a medical practitioner at Totnes, Devon.

Three things stand out about Fraser's life in Van Diemen's Land, two of them providing a rather unusual contrast: his unquestioned integrity and solid respectability on the one hand, and his self-abnegation and reluctance to accept responsibility on the other. The third feature of note was his enthusiasm as an amateur landscape painter. That Fraser could enjoy a relatively uneventful occupancy of the Treasury for some fourteen years and retire from it honourably was unusual for a period in which lapses of conduct by self-seeking officials so often led to dismissal. Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Denison praised his methodical and business-like habits, and noted that he had conducted himself to the satisfaction of all the governors under whom he had served.

Yet his popularity was to a large extent a product of his retiring nature. He had not even wanted promotion as treasurer, but felt unable to decline without giving offence to Sir John Franklin; he twice unhesitatingly vacated his seat on the Legislative Council to make way for other officials; and he refused the high office of colonial secretary. He did his job well but unimaginatively, and liked nothing better than to associate with the members of Hobart's lively artistic community.

He was a frequent companion of John Skinner Prout and later of the colonial auditor, George Boyes, who had at first despised him for his 'want of energy and resolution'. He was a leading member of the committee which organized Australia's first art exhibition in the Tasmanian Legislative Council chambers in January 1845, and he exhibited his own work at this and later exhibitions.

Peter Gordon's paintings are held at the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage office.

Source: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/fraser-peter-gordon-2067

He and Elizabeth Bisdee had five children
1.      Donald Alexander Fraser                       1858 - 1897      m  Elizabeth Trenchard 1853
2.      Graeme Bisdee Fraser                            1853 - 1906      m  Fanny Austin  1838 - 1947
3.      Maud Millicent Mary Fraser                  1858                 m  Alfred Horace Lovibond 1858
4.      Geraldine Beatrice Ann Fraser               1863 - 1863
5.      Athalie Beatrice Jane Gordon Fraser      1865 - 1881

Both their sons were Doctors, Graham was working back in Hutton     Graham Bisdee Fraser 1853 1909

"A Scotsman and his Lady"
Peter Gordon Fraser

Thomas and Emily Bisdee Family

Emily Burroughs was the daughter of George Frederick Burroughs, who was the Assistant Surgeon of the 1st Dragoon Guards.
Thomas and Emily's children

1.      Emily Ann Bisdee         1855 - 1929      m Alexis Eugene Shoenfeld (French Consulate)
2.      Mary Agnes Bisdee       1856 - 1926      m Thomas Robert Ashman Green 1852 - 1919
3.      Miriam Bisdee              1857 - 1943
4.      Frances Eleanor Bisdee 1860 - 1892      m Charles Vaughan Mainwaring 1862 - 1928

1.  Emily and Alexis Children
1.      Marguerite Shonfeld                 1886  -1948       Born in Chicago
2.      Joan Shonfeld                           1888                 Lieut Arthur Brabazon Stewart RN                                                                                            1884
3.      Paul Shonfeld                           1894     1896

Alex was the son of

Ravenscroft Stewart was an eminent Anglican priest in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.   Stewart was born in Newton Stewart on 23 June 1845, educated at Loretto; Uppingham and Trinity College, Cambridge and ordained in 1870. After a curacy in Bakewell he was Rector of Pleasley from 1871 to 1883; Vicar of All Saints Ennismore Gardens from 1884 to 1909; Archdeacon of Bristol from 1904 to 1910; and Archdeacon of North Wilts from 1910 to 1919.

He died at home in Burnham-on-sea on 16 August 1921. His brother, also a clergyman,  was a member of the Wanderers team which won the FA Cup in 1873; and his son was Bishop of Jerusalem from 1943 to 1957

Mary Agnes Bisdee married Thomas Robert Ashman.  They family added Green to the surname.
Thomas Robert Ashman was born at Holcombe, Somerset in 1852 and privately educated in Bath.

 His early life was adventurous as he served in sailing vessels before joining the 1st Battalion of Prince Albert’s Light Infantry as an Ensign. He later passed through the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester. On the death of his parents and elder brother he succeeded to the family estates in Priddy and Bath. The Bath estate was then about 50 acres. He married in 1896.

Frances Bisdee married Charles Vaughan Mainwaring in London in 1890.  They went to India.  She died at childbirth, in 1892, her daughter Frances Eleanor May Mainwairing survived, and lived with her grandparents.  She later married Charles Herbert Pigg. 

Charles Herbert Pigg became a captain in WW1 and later a colonel. He was born in Cambridge in 1887 and his father was a rector. He was an assistant master at Cheltenham College before WW1. He married Frances Manwaring in 1915.   He was awarded the OBE and the Great War M.C.


His medals were sold.

A fine Second World War O.B.E., Great War M.C. group of seven awarded to Captain C. H. Pigg, Worcestershire Regiment, afterwards R.A.F.V.R. and a Commandant in the Auxiliary Fire Service in the 1939-45 War: extensive extracts from his Great War diaries were published in the regimental journal 1949-50 and represent an important record of the 2nd and 10th Battalions in action on the Somme and elsewhere - and speak of the moving loss of his brother and of his experiences after being gassed

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Civil) Officer’s 2nd type breast badge; Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued; 1914-15 Star (Lieut. C. H. Pigg, Worc. R.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. oak leaf (Capt. C. H. Pigg); Defence and War Medals 1939-45, mounted as worn, together with a set of related miniature dress medals, rank corrected on the fourth, generally good very fine

The Great War campaign group of three awarded to 2nd Lieutenant B. W. Pigg,

Worcestershire Regiment, late Honourable Artillery Company, who was killed in action with the 10th Battalion on the Somme in July 1916

1914 Star, with clasp (753 Sjt. B. W. Pigg, H.A.C.); British War and Victory Medals (2 Lieut. B. W. Pigg), extremely fine (17) £2500-3000

O.B.E. London Gazette 3 January 1945.

M.C. London Gazette 27 July 1916:

‘For conspicuous gallantry. He has done excellent work throughout the operations, and organised his company with great skill.’

Charles Herbert Pigg was born in January 1887 and was educated at Cheltenham College, where he excelled at cricket, football and hockey, and at Jesus College, Cambridge. He later played for the the Cambridgeshire Cricket XI and played rugby for Blackheath. Pre-war, he was a master at his old school, but with the advent of hostilities was commissioned in the Worcestershire Regiment in October 1914 and first went out to France as a Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion in July 1915.

But it was after being attached to the 2nd Battalion that he won his M.C., a typical example of his ‘excellent work’ being a successful raid on Auchy on 1-2 July 1916, an action recorded in detail in his diary:

‘The bombardment when it came was terrific, and after a minute a 60-pounder shell dropped short and just in front of our noses. For a few seconds when it exploded the men thought the mine had gone up for the advance; but we checked them, and then at last, after what seemed ages, up went the mine with a great shake of earth, and we were in the remains of the enemy wire and through it in a moment. Each man and officer knew his task to an inch and went straight to his post. The German trench, as I stood above it, seemed very deep and much more soundly constructed than ours. Jumping down, I found Private Raven with his bayonet at the throat of a German soldier.

 Raven was young, dark, devil-may care, up to anything when out of the line, though in the line he was a first rate soldier; the German was a good-looking boy, in appearance about sixteen, wearing a neat and new field grey uniform and cap. He looked like one of our own young cadets, and faced his death fearlessly with his hands at his side. But I told Raven to spare him and take him back safely as a prisoner.

We soon fixed Company H.Q. at the point previously determined, and immediately I was speaking to Leman 200 or 300 yards away; the noise was deafening and only by shouting could we use the telephone at all. Our organisation worked perfectly, and at 1.15, after an hour had passed very rapidly, I gave the signal to withdraw. Our own firing ceased and the trenches were rapidly cleared. Presently a runner and I were left alone and we walked along the new empty lines to ensure no one had been left behind. It was a curious experience in the comparative silence; and the climb out of the deserted trench and the walk back across the open uncanny. Direction might have been easily lost, but to guide us we had German guns which were now slowly shelling No Man’s Land. The shells rushed past us in the darkness and burst in front of us along the parapet, and we were relieved to pass our wire and drop into our lines.’

A week or two later, he was gassed at High Wood on the 21st, but managed to remain on duty until being evacuated by No. 1/3 Highland Field Ambulance 48 hours later, and thence to No. 45 Casualty Clearing Station, Rouen and England.

 Of this episode, his diary states:

‘Now, as I gave orders for the Company to fall in by platoons on the road, I had some hope that the darkness would protect us. But it was not to be. Just as we formed up and were moving off, the Boche turned everything available on to us. I was in the rear of the Company, and with the high explosive came the soft thud of what at first seemed dud shells. One of these fell and burst gently in front of and to the right of the man marching before me; he paused and fell in his tracks, dead in a moment. I shouted gas, and our helmets were on in an instant; but, if gas, it was something new to us, not tear, shell, nor deadly chlorine.

Soon the low valley through which we stumbled in the darkness was full of smoke and gas, nor was it easy to read a map and find our destination; to do this I had to make intervals to take a deep breath and pull up my helmet. It was the inferno of Dante made real ...’

He was subsequently employed as an instructor, being advanced to Staff Captain with command of an Officer Cadet unit and, in August 1918, was appointed Brigade Major.

Returning to Cheltenham College after the War to resume his teaching career, he was a popular housemaster and member of staff in the 1920s and 1930s, prior to retiring in 1940, but quickly returned to duty with an appointment as a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Resigning his commission in late 1942, he next served as Commandant of the National Fire Service’s Officers’ Training School in London, in which capacity he was awarded the O.B.E. He died in February 1960; sold with research, including copied entries of his published wartime diary.

1.      John Bisdee                              1796 - 1862
2.      Mary Bisdee                             1798 - 1866
3.      James Bisdee                            1801 - 1863
4.      Edward Bisdee                          1802 - 1870
5.      Thomas Sydenham Bisdeee       1804 - 1830
6.      Isaac Bisdee                              1806 - 1808      m         Rose Axford 1824 - 1879
7.      Eliza Bisdee                              1807 - 1807
8.      Jane Bisdee                               1810 - 1887
9.      George Bisdee                           1811 - 1863
10.   Ann Bisdee                               1814 - 1891                 
11.   Isaac Bisdee                              1815 - 1868      m         Eliza Rose Kemp  1838 - 1921
12.   Alfred Henry Bisdee                  1819 - 1898       m        Sarah Butler  1813 - 1887

It was while researching a little more on the town that will be part of the itinery for a Jillett Family reunion in October 2018, I became aware of a family named Roe.

Given that the Bisdee's and the Roe's in England were related, I decided to expand the information that we currently held on the family, and then became aware of the threat to the cemeteries that so many ancestors are buried. 

Edward Bisdee and Family

Edward Bisdee (1802-1870), farmer and politician, was born on 16 August 1802 at Oldmixon near Hutton, Somerset, England, the brother of John Bisdee.

He arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 29 April 1827 when his ship Hope was wrecked at the entrance to the River Derwent. At first he managed his brother John's property, Hutton Park, at White Hills near Jericho. In 1827, on the strength of capital amounting to £712 in money and goods and his brother's recommendation and promise of help, he was granted 700 acres (283 ha) in the parish of Methven, which he called Kewstoke after a village in Somerset. Later he added to this with various grants and purchases. By 1829 he had established at White Hills one of the largest hop gardens in the island. In 1839 he bought Lovely Banks, Spring Hill, and went to live there. In that year and in 1840 he topped the London market with his highest grade merino lambs' wool. In 1843 he was made a justice of the peace, and about this time acquired the well-known property of Sandhill near Jericho.

On 23 October 1844 at Bothwell he married Rose, third daughter of Thomas Axford of Bothwell; they had no children.

In December 1845 he was appointed by Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot to replace one of the Patriotic Six who resigned from the Legislative Council after a clash with the governor over the appropriation bill. The governor had difficulty in filling their places and his nominees were treated badly by the press. One paper announced the list of new members within a mourning border.

After the original six were reinstated Bisdee lost his seat, but in April 1851 he was nominated to the vacancy caused by John Kerr's death. In 1856 he won the Jordan seat in the first all-elected Legislative Council, and held it for two years. Though three times a council member in the turbulent years of struggle between council and governor, Bisdee did not play a prominent part in politics. Only demands for the cessation of transportation disturbed him; in February 1854, as owner and occupier of 44,123 acres (17,856 ha), he joined other leading landholders in petitioning Downing Street to continue transportation 'for the present' because the rural districts needed labour.

Soon after retiring from the Legislative Council he returned to England where he became the owner of Hutton Court, and lived there as squire. He left his brother Isaac in charge of Lovely Banks and his youngest brother, Alfred Henry, bought Sandhill.

On Bisdee's death on 2 April 1870 he left Hutton Court to his brother Alfred Henry, and Lovely Banks to Isaac's son, Edward Oldmixon Bisdee. Like the rest of his family he was a member of the Church of England, and was a conscientious and upright citizen.

Busts of him and his wife are in the possession of a great-niece, Mrs H. L. Blackmore, of Weston-super-Mare, England.

Edward (baptised 1802) owned 'Lovely Banks' at Melton Mowbay and 'Sandhill', Jericho. When he returned to England his younger brother inherited 'Sandhill'.

Edward Bisdee and John's wife Ann  were rather lucky to even arrive in Tasmania.

Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tas. : 1825 - 1827), Friday 4 May 1827, page 2

Loss of the Hope.

We have the painful duty to report the loss of the bark Hope, which vessel was wrecked on Sunday morning last, on the long Sandy Beach, between Betsey and lron-Pot Islands. It appears, that she was on her way from Sydney hither, with about 100 tons of freight, and the following passengers: Ensign Buckeley, 40th Regiment; Mrs. Bisdee and Mr. Edward Bisdee (wife and brother of Mr. Bisdee, of Hobart Town, who came passengers in the ship Elizabeth from England to Sydney); also, Mrs. Westbrook, mother of Dr. Westbrook, of this place, another passenger per the Elizabeth, and three others, among whom is Mr. Edmund Johnson, nephew of Mr. Joseph Johnson, of the Green Ponds. -

The Hope made the Heads on Saturday afternoon; and took on board, off Cape Raoul, the Pilot, Mr. Mansfield, the same evening, shortly before dusk. The Hope at this time was being towed in by two of the ship's boats; but the Pilot having taken charge of the vessel, told Captain Cunningham, that he could safely bring her up the river, without the assistance of the boats; from which, in consequence, she parted. The Captain, however, wished that the vessel might be towed in; but the Pilot observed, that his long experience in the river Derwent, would enable him to bring her up in safety otherwise.

The Captain was perfectly aware of sufficient room being afforded in the Derwent for any vessel to be brought up with almost any wind, and there- fore acquiesced with the Pilot's wishes; and, leaving the charge of the vessel in his hands, retired to rest, where he remained till awakened by the vessel running on shore. The wind at this time was light and variable, and the vessel proceeded up the river   but slowly. The night was rather dark and rainy; and about 4 o'clock on the morning of Sunday, two hours before day-break, she, by some means, we can scarcely conceive how, ran ashore, on the long sandy beach in Shoal Bay, as above stated. -

Although the night was rather dark, the wind was not violent, but the surf running tremendously high. On the lead-line being thrown, she was discovered to be in only seven-feet water, while her proper draught was fifteen. The moment she struck, the consternation and terror became general; and the scene is described as truly terrific - the Captain raving at the Pilot like a man distracted, the latter standing in mute dismay - females just left their beds - the sailors not knowing which way to turn, to relieve the creaking vessel, which was expected to go to pieces every moment, as she already leaked like a sieve - the heavy surf rolling over her, adding horror to the scene - while the dismal half-hour guns of distress seemed to sound the death-knell of all on board.

Day-light at length appeared, and discovered to the sufferers their truly perilous situation. About 10 o'clock on the Sunday morning, two whale-boats, of Mr. Lucas's fishing party, which had been laying off Brune Island, came up to the wreck. They had heard the preceding evening the signal-gun for the Pilot, which drew their attention, and induced them to bend their way thitherward. - They immediately lent their aid, with the ship's jolly-boat, in getting out the bower and kedge-anchors; but the attempt proved fruitless, for one of the whale-boats (the property of Mr. Kelly), was stove, having her head absolutely dashed off, and the crew narrowly escaped with their lives. Captain Cunningham then jumped into the jolly-boat alone, which parted from the other boat, and he nearly fell a sacrifice to his eager promptitude, to save the vessel. Finding every other hope lost, to save all the lives they could, was then their chief object.

The venerable Mrs. Westbrook and Mrs. Bisdee were first safely conveyed on shore, after a state of the most dreadful suspense for four hours. All this time, the rolling of the vessel almost precluded any one from keeping their feet;   while the state of the two females was most dreadful overcome with weakness, terror, and fatigue, they could not stand without support, which was kindly afforded to them by a Mr. John Elliott, and some other Gentlemen passengers.

With the Ladies, Mr. Clarkson, the charterer of the Hope, came up to Hobart Town by the whale-boat in the course of Sunday, bringing the fatal news to town, - leaving the other persons on board. Immediately on learning the fate of the Hope, the Agent (Mr. Bethune), dispatched the sloop Recovery, a small craft, in order to bring away a portion of her cargo, in which she succeeded, having returned the following evening with as many tons of goods as in the hurry could be thrown on board from the wreck. But to return to the ship. On Sunday night, between 11 and 12 o'clock, the rudder gave way, and the upper part of her stern was driven in. At this critical hour of the night, it was every moment feared that the stern-post would give way, or be driven in also; in which case the vessel must have soon afterwards foundered, and every soul on board perished, as the surf was still running mountains high.

The other passengers, who did not come up on Sunday, safely arrived in town on Tuesday - till which period all hands on board were employed at the pumps, in imminent peril, every moment in danger of  being washed overboard. When some Gentlemen left the wreck on Tuesday, who had visited it on Monday, the sea was gaining on the vessel every hour; her main-mast had been cut away; and all hopes of saving her were given up. Some casks of spirits, which were on board, were ascertained to have been damaged by the salt-water; and the tea and sugar, which also formed part of her cargo, must inevitably be totally destroyed. 

We understand, that among the persons who had merchandise on board, is Mr. James Lord, owner of the Marquis of Lansdown. We are not aware whether the vessel is insured or not.
The Government brig Prince Leopold, in coming from Maria Island with the remainder of the wreck of the Apollo, saw the Hope off the Heads on Saturday, and safely arrived in the harbour the same evening. On Monday she discharged her lading, and on Tuesday was immediately sent to the relief of the wreck of the Hope.

The Axford Family of Bothwell

Thomas Axford from England, arrived in Tasmania in 1822, and set about building a mill at lands he was granted at Bothwell.  The building is now on the National Trust, and it's heritage preserved Edward Bisdee and Rose Axford

Rose Axford was born in Bothwell, the daughter of Thomas Axford and his wife Martha Slade.  Thomas was a free settler, and established himself at Bothwell.  He had been the pound-keeper, and amassed very large landholdings.

He and Martha's children included

1.      Sarah Ann Axford         1821 - 1891      m         John Brent  1810 - 1870
2.      Rose Axford                 1824 - 1879      m         Edward Bisdee and m Charles Asprey
3.      Thomas Axford             1826 - 1899       m        Mary Ann Jane Allwright

He and Mary lived at Bothwell and had 7 children including Walter Richard Axford.  Walter married Margaret McQuillian in South Australia.

Times were tough, and the family went hunting for gold, later settling in West Australia.

Thomas Axford, born Bothwell,.   Photograph taken by Solomon & Bardwell Photographers Ballarat Victoria  by Bruce Hull

Thomas Axford Senior built a mill at Bothwell.  It is now on the Heritage Register.

Thomas had been the poundkeeper, and had amassed large landholdings at Bothwell.

Thomas and his wife returned to England in 1836 and sold his possessions before leaving.  He later returned to Tasmania. 

67. Thorpe Mill, Dennistoun Road Bothwell, TAS, Australia

Thorpe Farm is home to Australia's oldest working watermill and they run the mill for tour groups and also have a second 180 year old stone mill used to grind flour for local bakers and wholefood stores around Hobart.
Flour mill, 'Thorpe' Estate, Bothwell, Tasmania

Thorpe Watermill should probably be called Axford's Watermill as it was Thomas Axford who built the corn mill which was fully operational by 1825.

  • Axford ran the mill until 1865 when he was killed by the bushranger, Rocky Whelan.
  • In 1899 the 800 acre property known as Thorpe (the name came from Thorpe Farm in Berkshire) was purchased by Frederick McDowall who continued to operate it until 1916. It ground wheat until 1907 and then cut chaff until 1916.
  • It was restored in the mid 1970s by the Bignell family. Today John Bignell runs Thorpe Farm Cheese at 189 Dennistoun Road, Bothwell and uses the mill to grind grain for specialist bakers. There is an interesting account of the restoration of the mill in the Australian Journal of Historical Archaeology.
  • Thorpe Watermill is the only known Australian example of a traditional water-driven flour mill, that can be operated in the original manner.
  • This uniqueness results from restoration work that was undertaken during the 1970s by the Bignell family, who own the mill. The work was carried out particularly by John and Peter Bignell, with very few resources.
  • It is doubtful that it was the present building which has been extensively restored, to the point that it is now one of the few working water powered mills in Australia able to demonstrate an activity no longer practised.

Unfortunately, as the listing alludes to Thomas Axford was murdered by a bushranger, in 1855.
His son-in-law Edward Bisdee and John Brent posted a reward for information, when Thomas went missing.

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857), Saturday 26 May 1855, page 3

£100 Reward    The above will be paid by the undersigned to the party finding the body (dead or alive) of MR THOMAS AXFORD, sen , Miller, of Bothwell, who was last seen walking down Constitution Hill ,about 4 o'clock on Tuesday evening, the 8th instant, on his way to Hobart Town.

JOHN BRENT, Glenorchy.  and  Ed. BISDEE, Lovely Bunks. May 25

Not long after, the remains of Thomas were found.

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857), Monday 28 May 1855, page 2

Local Intelligence
MURDER OF MR. THOMAS, AXFORD, SEN.- , The remains of this old and respected colonist were found on Friday afternoon, about half past two o'clock, about mile and a half from Mr. Palmer's premises, the Swan Inn, and just at the foot of Constitution Hill, by D. C Prows, of Green Ponds, and Mr. Hibbert farmer, of Bothwell, in a perfect state of nudity, the head and face being dreadfully mutilated and beat about.

It will be remembered he was last seen on Tues-day afternoon, the 8th instant about four o'clock, walking down Constitution hill, on his way to Hobart Town. Deceased had on his person at the time a gold watch and seven sovereigns. The body is now lying at Palmer's, Swan Inn, awaiting the coroner's inquest. A man of the name of Cooper, a small settler residing not far from the place where the murder was perpetrated has been taken into custody.
Further reports of the murder are very descriptive

Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), Tuesday 29 May 1855, page 3

(From a Correspondent.)

You will have doubtless heard of the sad affair of the murder of Mr. Thomas Axford, senior, an old resident in this neighbourhood of more than thirty years' standing. He left his home on Tuesday fortnight last, intending to spend a few days with a relative. His family, not hearing from or of him for more than a week, became anxious on his account, and during some days last past, the police and most of the neighbours commenced an active search in the locality where he was last seen.

This was near the highest part of Constitution Hill. He had left the mill near that spot on the Tuesday afternoon, purposing to walk forward on the main road till the coach should overtake him; After an active but unavailing search for a long time his body, which had been obviously lifeless for many days, was at length discovered about two hundred paces away from the high road, and about a hundred yards before you come to Palmer's Inn, at the foot of the hill.

The remains presented a shocking spectacle. The body was found lying on an open spot of ground that was surrounded by thin bushes. His son and another person had, in the search, actually twice passed within ten yards of the spot. His coat and trousers were stripped from him, as well as one boot; the other had only been unlaced. The hinder part of the, head had been beaten in by a large stone, as well as one of the temples, and the stone itself, covered with blood and hair, was laid close by the corpse.

 The body had been rifled by the murderer, and a gold watch and seven sovereigns had been taken away, The victim of this horrid outrage was a peculiarly mild, harmless, and inoffensive man. His age was sixty-four, and he was grey-haired. The inquest was held at Palmer's Inn, on Saturday last, and the remains will be inter-red at Bothwell, this day.

This shocking murder has excited the deepest sympathy and further more we may add, alarm too, as it was perpetrated in the day time, within almost a stone's throw of the high road between Hobart Town and Launceston. It is some consolation to know that there is considerable probability of the wretch committing this offence being brought to justice ; but you will feel that it is not right now to publish any matters upon this point.

Thomas was buried at the Bothwell Cemetery. 

The murder was a bushranger named John Whelan.

Whelan was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in the Chester Quarter Sessions in 1827. He was put on the Marquis of Hastings and transported from England and arrived in Sydney on 31 July 1827. He escaped from the custody of the Crown and took to highway robbery for which he was arrested and tried in Sydney, then transported to Norfolk Island, where he was involved in the unsuccessful taking of the brig “Governor Phillip.”

For these crimes Rocky spent a total of eighteen years on Norfolk Island after which, in 1854 the penal colony closed and all the convicts were relocated to Port Arthur. He was sent to Hobart and was assigned to the public works gang. He only lasted two days before he absconded again, this time into the rugged bush land of Mount Wellington which stands over Hobart.

He roamed the countryside with Peter Connolly with whom he was incarcerated with on Norfolk Island, and the two took to highway robbery. Like all bushrangers in Tasmania, they targeted the many isolated homesteads for plunder; but they also roamed the forests ambushing lone travelers, robbing them. An argument one night in Hobart caused the two men to separate, only to come together again on the gallows months later.

Whelan was captured on 19 May 1855 in Hobart outside a bootmaker shop. He had gone to the shop with a pair of boots he took off Magistrate Dunn. The boots had 'Dunn' branded on them and were left by the front door. A passing constable saw the boots that belonged to the missing Dunn and with the help of a civilian managed to arrest the outlaw. Whelan did try to use his weapon but it failed to fire. The decomposed body of Magistrate Dunn was found three days later on the slopes of Mount Wellington.

Confession of "Rocky" Whelan
After his capture, Whelan confessed to the murders of at least five men, including Dunn. When he was apprehended, he was still wearing the murdered man's clothes. Whelan described the location of the murder, and a search party was able to recover Dunn's badly decomposed body.

Whelan also confessed to murdering a man near Brown's River, thought to be a Mr Grace, as well as the murder of an elderly man who was thought to be a Mr Axford. The identities of the other two murdered men remained unknown.

Whelan was hanged at the Hobart gaol with three other condemned men (including Conolly) on the infamous six-man scaffold.

He ranks alongside Alexander Pearce and Thomas Jeffries as one of the most infamous criminals in Australia's colonial history.

This was no doubt a very sad time for Rose and Edward.  They had no children, but would have been very proud of their great nephew, if they had been able to foresee the future.

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Friday 23 August 1918, page 2


To the Editor of "The Mercury."

Sir,—It will interest your Bothwell readers to learn that this distinguished soldier is only one remove from being a Bothwell boy, as his father, W. R. Axford, was born at Thorpe, then owned by the Axfords, but now possessed by Mr. McDowall. Walter R. Axford, with his brothers Tom and Frank, attended the Hutchins School in the sixties and were known among their schoolmates as Waxford, Taxford, and Fraxford. The V.C. 's great-grandfather, Thomas Axford, the original owner of Thorpe was murdered by bushranger Rocky Whelan on Constitution Mill.—Yours, etc, J. R. BETTS.

Thomas Leslie Axford VC.  It is not very often when doing family history research that the extended family of an ancestor is likely to contain one person awarded the Victoria Cross, let alone two.

But the similarities do not stop there, while John Bisdee's final resting place is under a cloud, so it is Thomas Leslie Axton's in Karrakatta, in Western Australia.  The Cemetery trust is "re-developing", and if you ancestor happens to be buried in one of the development areas, he is likely to have his headstone piled in rubble, and family totally unaware of what is happening.

Fortunately Thomas Leslie Axton's memorial is safe.

Axford, Thomas Leslie (Jack) (1894–1983)

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

Thomas Leslie (Jack) Axford (1894-1983), soldier, labourer and clerk, was born on 18 June 1894 at Carrieton, South Australia, son of Walter Richard Axford, an auctioneer from Tasmania, and his South Australian-born wife Margaret Ann, née McQuillan. The family moved to Coolgardie, Western Australia, when he was 2. Educated at the local state school, he worked as a labourer for the Boulder City Brewery Co. Ltd. On 19 July 1915 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. Five ft 7¼ ins (171 cm) tall, with grey eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, he gave his religious denomination as Catholic. He arrived in the Middle East too late to serve at Gallipoli and in March 1916 joined the 16th Battalion at Tel el Kebir, Egypt.

Reaching France in June 1916, the battalion attacked towards Mouquet Farm, near Pozières, on 9 August. Axford was evacuated with shell-shock on the 11th, but he quickly rejoined his unit. A year later, on 10 August 1917, he suffered a shrapnel wound to his left knee at Gapaard Farm, Belgium. After treatment in hospital in England, he returned to his unit in January 1918 and next month was promoted to lance corporal. In March-April the 16th Battalion, as part of the 4th Brigade, stopped the German offensive at Hébuterne, France. Axford was awarded the Military Medal in May.

His most conspicuous hour came on 4 July 1918 at the battle of Hamel. The Allied barrage opened at 3.10 a.m. and when it lifted shortly afterwards the 16th Battalion attacked Vaire Wood. Axford’s platoon reached the enemy defences but a neighbouring platoon was held up at the wire. Machine-guns inflicted many casualties among Axford’s mates in the other platoon. He dashed to the flank, bombed the machine-gun crews, jumped into the trench and charged with his bayonet. In all, he killed ten enemy soldiers and captured six. Throwing the machine-guns over the parapet, he called the delayed platoon forward and then rejoined his own. In ninety-three minutes the victory of Hamel was complete. Axford’s initiative and gallantry won him the Victoria Cross. `I must have been mad’, he commented later. On 14 July he was promoted to corporal.

In December 1918 Axford came home to Australia on furlough. Discharged from the army on 6 February 1919, he recommenced work as a labourer. At St Mary’s Cathedral, Perth, on 27 November 1926 he married Lily Maud Foster, a shop assistant. They lived at Mount Hawthorn and had five children.

Axford was employed by Hugh McKay (Massey Harris) Pty Ltd and became a clerk. On 25 June 1941 he was mobilised in the Militia and posted to the District Records Office, Perth. Rising to sergeant in February 1943, he was discharged on 14 April 1947. In his leisure time `Jack’ regularly attended the races.

Axford attended the VC centenary cel­ebrations in London in 1956. He was returning from a reunion of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association when he died on 11 October 1983 on an aircraft between Dubai and Hong Kong. His wife had died three months earlier. Survived by their two sons and three daughters, he was cremated with full military honours.

In 1985 his VC and other medals were presented to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Isaac Bisdee and Family

Isaac (baptised 1813) farmed 'Lovely Banks' after Edward. He married Eliza Rose Kemp in 1862 and died in Tasmania. His son Edward O. Bisdee married Lilian Davies and they had several children

Their children included
1.      Edward Oldmixon Bisdee          1862 - 1926    m  Lillian Isabella Collins 1869 - 1960
2.      Mary Helena Bisdee                  1864 - 1941
3.      Annie Jane Bisdee                    1867 - 1876

Lillian was the daughter of David Collins and Emily Rogers.  She was the great grand-daughter of Elizabeth Hayward, the youngest female sent, who arrived on the First Fleet, and George Collins, both who were on Norfolk Island, and Richard Sydes and Ann White who were also on Norfolk Island.

Children of Edward and Lillian

1.      Katherine (Doris) Isabel Bisdee 1897 - 1989      m  James Gibson 1889 - 1972
2.      Colin Edward Bisdee                 1899 - 1986      m  Jean Mayse Tinning 1905
3.      Alan Isaac Bisdee                      1900 - 1983      m Sybil Charlotte Noreen Lyons 1908 -                                                                                                                                     1979
4.      Phillys Mary Bisdee                  1904 - 2003      m William Archer  1883 - 1952
5.      Zelda Annie Bisdee                   c 1905              m George Abercromby Dick 1909 - 1987
6.      Louis Fenn Bisdee                    1910 - 2010      m  Fern Gay  1913

1.      James Gibson was the son of George Henry Gibson.    James served in WWI
2.      Sybil Lyons was the daughter of Thomas Lyons and Elizabeth Roirdon.
3.      William Archer was the son of William Henry Archer Pastorlist
4.      Colin Bisdee spent 5 years in America studying Electrical Engineering.  He was heavily involved in golf and sailing in Hobart.
5.      Louis Fenn Bisdee was a Member of Parliament.
6.      Fern Gay was matron at St Helen's Private Hospital Hobart

The Family legacy with the Anglican Church remains today.

The Colin Bisdee Trust provides funds through Anglican Health & Welfare for assistance to persons who due to unfortunate circumstances require financial help. Parishes and agencies in the Diocese of Tasmania are invited to submit applications for grants in June/July each year. Some funds are retained for smaller grants required during the year and may be applied for at any time.

Melton Mowbray

The only other building still standing at the townsite these days is a simple chapel that has served a variety of functions during its life. It was erected in 1866 for use as a Congregational chapel and schoolroom (in those days churches rand the local schools). From 1901 to 1939 it was used as a state school and in 1942 it was transferred to the Church of England. It was restored in 1990 by members of the Dick family in memory of George Abercromby Dick (1909-1987), owner of nearby Mt Vernon from 1940 to 1967 and for 20 years a trustee of the Diocese.

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Thursday 16 December 1926, page 5

OBITUARY    Mr. E. O. Bisdee    Prominent Pastoralist

One of the foremast and best known pastoralists in Southern Tasmania and a prominent citizen in the person of Mr. Edward Oldmixon Bisdee, of Lovely Banks, Melton Mowbray, Warden of the Green Ponds municipality, passed away at Hobart yesterday, at the age of 64 years. The end came after a few days' illness, during which he had to undergo an operation. His death has caused widespread regret, and the State has lost a worthy and upright man, and true citizen in every sense of the word. The deceased was prominent in public life genrally, an active member of several public bodies, and a keen sportsman. He was highly respected and esteemed in his district, and wherever he was known.

Mr. Bisdee was a scion of an old Somerset family owning estates in Somersetshire, England, notably the Hutton Court and Oldmixon estates. His father, the late Mr. Isaac Bisdee, was one of the first members of the Tasmanian Legislative Council. He came to Tasmania in 1821 with his brothers, and took up pastoral pursuits. Mr. E. O. Bisdee was born at Lovely Banks, Melton Mowbray, on December 7, 1862, and educated at Horton College, Ross, and Hutchins School. After leaving school; he took up farming pursuits at Lovely Banks, which, being an original grant to the family, has now been held for a century, and is noted for its herd of pure bred Devon cattle originally imported from England in the twenties of last century. He carried on farming there until 1889, when he left for England, making a tour of that country, Scotland, and America. On returning to Tasmania in 1891 he entered upon grazing pursuits at Lovely Banks, which consists of about 6,000 acres. He has been a regular exhibitor at the Hobart Shows, in which he has taken numerous prizes, and has acted as judge of Devon cattle in the show ring.

The late Mr. Bisdee had always taken a prominent part in public affairs. He was elected a member of the Green Ponds Municipal Council on his return to Tasmania in 1891, and for over 30 years he has shared the position of Warden with Councillor A. E. Gorringe, each having held that office for about 15 years. In thc capacity of Warden of Green Ponds he was held in high esteem, always carrying out the duties associated with that office in an enthusiastic and conscientious manner. He always willingly attended meetings, opened functions and took a prominent part in social fixtures.
He made no difference between Church of England and Roman Catholic functions, and as a councillor he was very keen in looking after the interests of ratepayers, and while he endeavoured to keep rates down as much as possible, he was always enthusiastic in endeavouring to introduce really progressive measures. Recently he took a keen interest in a hydro-electric scheme for Brighton and Green Ponds, but this was turned down at Brighton. He was not discouraged by this, and just before his death he was endeavouring to interest the council and ratepayers in a further proposal, and was negotiating with the Hydro-Electric Department in this direction. In 1894 he was appointed a justice of the peace. He was the first J.P. in the district.
He had always been prominent in the hunting field. His uncle, Mr. John Bisdee, late of Hutton Park, Green Ponds, imported the first fallow deer brought to Tasmania. His uncle also imported from England the first pack of hounds brought to Tasmania. Deceased had held the position of master of the Hutton Part beagles for seven years. He and his noted horse, "No. 6," won several jumping con-tests at the Hobart Show. He had been judge for the Kempton Racing Club since its inception, and judged for the Melton Mowbray Steeplechase Club.
He was also a keen supporter of the Kempton Show Society, of which he was president. Another office he held was that of vice president of the Tasmanian Farmers', Stockowners' and Orchardists' Association. He had been chairman of the district Board of Agriculture, a member of the Board of Advice, Fruit Board. Board of Health, and Road Trust.

He took an active interest in defence matters and served for many years as an officer of the Tasmanian Infantry. He subscribed liberally to the Soldiers' Memorial at Kempton. For many years he represented St. Mary's Church of England, Kempton, at Synod meetings.
He married Lilian, eldest daughter of the late Mr. David Collins, of Blenheim. Evandale, and leaves a widow and three sons and three daughters. The sons are Colin who follows the profession of electrical engineer, Allan, who assisted his father, and Louis Bisdee, who is at Hutchins School.

The oldest daughter is married to Mr. Bruce Gibson, of Spring Valley, Oatlands. The second daughter is the wife of Mr. W. F. Archer, of Longford, and the youngest is at home.
The funeral will leave Lovely Banks at 3.30 p.m., to-day, for Jericho, where at 4 o'clock, deceased will be interred in the family vault at St. James's Church of England.

George Bisdee
George (baptised 1811) farmed at 'Woodspring' and 'Heston' in the Bagdad valley. He died in England in 1863 aged 51

George did not marry, and while he lived and farmed at "Woodspring", he is also supposed to have lived at Milford Manor at Baghdad.  In 1861 the property was offered for sale and was shown that it had been leased to George Bisdee for some time.

The Kemp Family

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Anthony Fenn Kemp (1773?-1868), soldier and merchant, was born near Aldgate, London, the son of Anthony Fader Kemp, merchant, and Susannah, née Fenn. After being educated in Greenwich by Dr Knox, he travelled in the United States for about a year and then in France. In July 1793 he was commissioned ensign in the New South Wales Corps and arrived in Sydney with a detachment of the regiment about two years later. During 1795-97 he served a tour of duty on Norfolk Island. He was promoted lieutenant in March 1797 and captain in November 1801. Towards the end of 1800 he left for London on leave. On his return to Sydney in 1802 he married Elizabeth, the sister of Alexander Riley, by whom he had seven sons and eleven daughters, and so qualified in one sense for the soubriquet he longed for, 'the father of Tasmania'..

Like many of his brother officers, Kemp was as much occupied with trade as with his military duties. In November 1799 he was granted a lease of what is now the north-west corner of King and George Streets, where he built a shop. As paymaster of his company and later treasurer of the Committee of Paymastership of the corps, Kemp was strategically placed to dispose of his wares at high prices. Against his bullying and threats the soldiers had no redress, though it must be remembered that 'truck' was then common and, since there was no currency in the colony, payment in kind was inevitable; however, Joseph Holt, perhaps with some exaggeration, reckoned Kemp's profits at 100 per cent.

In September 1802 Kemp was received into the grade of Ancient Masonry at the first lodge known to have assembled in Australia. Two of the three members were officers of Le Naturaliste, one of the three ships of Captain Nicolas Baudin's expedition. This was not, however, the most important of Kemp's involvements with the French.

When the Atlas arrived with a cargo of brandy Governor Philip Gidley King refused to let the cargo land, but allowed Baudin to buy 800 gallons (3637 litres) to stock his ships. Kemp led an outcry against the governor's action and, on doubtful evidence, accused the French of bringing brandy ashore and selling it at 25s. a gallon. King questioned two of the French officers and was convinced of their innocence. Some of them spoke of challenging Kemp, but Baudin restrained them; under pressure from his fellow officers, Kemp tendered Baudin a written apology but the incident reveals his extremism.

Soon afterwards Kemp was involved in the notorious pamphlet war which so plagued King. In January 1803 a paper containing a scurrilous attack on King was found in the yard of Kemp's barracks. King ordered the arrest of Kemp and two junior officers, Nicholas Bayly and Thomas Hobby. The subsequent court martial of Kemp had barely begun when Major George Johnston, who was temporarily in command of the corps, ordered the arrest of Surgeon John Harris, the officer acting as judge-advocate, on the ground that Harris had disclosed the votes of members of the court at the earlier trial of Hobby. At first King refused to replace Harris and ordered the court martial to dissolve, but Johnston replied that the officers would continue to sit until they had delivered a verdict. The governor then yielded and appointed Richard Atkins to act as judge-advocate in the case. Kemp was acquitted.

In 1804 King appointed Kemp second-in-command to Colonel William Paterson of the proposed new settlement at Port Dalrymple. From August 1806 to April 1807, while Paterson was absent in Sydney, Kemp administered the settlement in his stead. During this period provisions ran low and for a time, early in 1807, hunting and fishing were the only sources of food. Disaffection grew and an insurrection was averted only by arresting the leaders of the dissidents.

In August 1807 Kemp returned to Sydney. He was the senior officer in the Criminal Court which assembled on 25 January 1808 to try John Macarthur for sedition. He and the five other officers of the court supported Macarthur when he declared that Judge-Advocate Atkins was unfit to appear in the case. Next morning, when the officers asked Governor William Bligh to restore Macarthur to bail and requested Atkins's replacement, Kemp appeared to be one of the most extreme of the governor's opponents. When Johnston decided to depose Bligh, Kemp and three other officers were sent ahead to summon him to resign his authority and to assure him of his personal safety.

On 28 May Johnston, acting as governor, appointed Kemp, who had certainly been one of the leaders in the attack on Bligh, as acting deputy judge advocate. In that capacity he was a member of the illegal Criminal Court which tried the provost-marshal, William Gore, for perjury, although four of its members, including Kemp, were among the defendant's accusers. In December Kemp was posted commandant at Parramatta, and thereupon relinquished his position as acting judge-advocate. In 1810 he returned to England when the corps was sent home. He was one of Johnston's witnesses at his court martial in 1811; more fortunate than his superior in not being tried himself, he was able to sell his commission, but his magistrate's warrant and most of his land grants were cancelled. He became a partner in a commercial and shipping agency, though apparently this did not prosper, for he moved into and out of bankruptcy before receiving permission in 1815 to settle in Van Diemen's Land.

Kemp arrived there in January 1816. A year later Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Davey granted him 700 acres (283 ha) at Green Ponds, the first grant to be made in the district. By 1829 Kemp had two adjoining grants, making a total of 2000 acres (809 ha). Soon afterwards, in consideration of his improvements, a further 1000 acres (405 ha) were leased to him, and he bought another 1100 acres (445 ha). In the 1830s he bought more, as well as renting large areas in the Lakes district. At Green Ponds Kemp bred first-class sheep and helped to pioneer the Tasmanian wool industry. He also bred horses and raised cattle and, about 1831, introduced a hardy, drought-resistant variety of dwarf American corn (Cobbett's) which was suitable for swine, poultry and horses.

However, Kemp was better known as a merchant than as a grazier. He was a foundation director and later president of the Van Diemen's Land Bank. Soon after his arrival in Hobart Town he had established the firm of Kemp & Gatehouse, which was changed to Kemp & Co. about 1823 when Richard Barker was taken into partnership. After this was dissolved in 1829, Kemp continued the shipping, mercantile and importing business from a central Macquarie Street store. In 1839 he sold this property and limited his activities to his premises in Collins and Argyle Streets. In 1844, during the general depression, he sold his last city block, and a fellow merchant, Richard Lewis, bought his residence and store.

In April 1816 Governor Lachlan Macquarie appointed Kemp a justice of the peace, but in 1817-19 he was involved in a series of quarrels, first with Lieutenant-Governor Davey and then with his successor, William Sorell. In June 1818 Macquarie confirmed Kemp's suspension from the magistracy. In 1820 Kemp, critical as always, testified at length to Commissioner John Thomas Bigge about Sorell's immorality, discriminatory administration and the excessive consumption of spirits, but by the time Sorell was recalled one of Kemp's daughters had married one of Sorell's sons and Kemp had swung round to a profound appreciation of the lieutenant-governor's virtues. In January 1824 Kemp was chairman of a 'Committee appointed at a Public Meeting of the Landholders, Merchants and Free Inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land' to draft a petition to the King that Sorell's tenure of office be extended; but this was unavailing.

From 1824 to 1836 Kemp found the authority of Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur as irksome as that of his predecessors. Kemp expressed republican sympathies, and opposed many official measures; through the press, public meetings, petitions and correspondence, he advocated the independence of Van Diemen's Land from New South Wales (granted in 1826), the establishment of an elected Legislative Council, the abolition of press censorship, and the adoption of the English jury system.

 In 1837 Arthur's successor, Sir John Franklin, who was more sympathetic to the development of free institutions, appointed Kemp to the board to inquire into applications for secondary grants, and in October Franklin reappointed him a justice of the peace.
Kemp died at Sandy Bay on 28 October 1868, in his ninety-fifth year and was buried in St George's Church of England cemetery. His wife had predeceased him in October 1865, aged 79.
Of his family, George Anthony became the first warden of the Green Ponds municipality and Edward followed the example of the 'pipes' of King's time by writing a bitter attack on Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Eardley-Wilmot in satirical verse in A Voice from Tasmania (1846).

Of Kemp's nine daughters known to have married, Elizabeth Julia became the wife of William Sorell, registrar of the Supreme Court of Tasmania; Sophia, the wife of William Seccombe, medical practitioner; and Fanny Edith, the wife of Captain Algernon Burdett Jones, visiting magistrate and superintendent of the Queen's Orphan Schools.

Kemp may be remembered mainly for his notorious early exploits in New South Wales, but he also played a notable pioneering role in Van Diemen's Land, both as merchant and grazier, where his 'inherent aversion of despotism' was harnessed to some worthwhile causes.

George Kemp his son, married Ann Midwood.   The family had only just arrived in Hobart from London, and he had purchased a business.  He died within three months
DEATHS . - On Thursday night last, after a short illness, in the prime of life, Mr. Thomas Haigh Midwood, sole proprietor of the Sorell Distillery at Cascade, leaving a disconsolate wife and six children to bewail his loss.

His son's Obituary.

LAUNCESTON EXAMINER. PUBLISHED DAILY. MONDAY, AUGUST 20, 1883.THE LATE MR EDWIN MIDWOOD. This gentleman, writes our Hobart correspondent, whose name is as familiar as a household word, not only in this city, but throughout Tasmania, peacefully expired at his residence, Battery Point, on Wednesday afternoon, in the 60th year of his age.

Mr. Midwood was the youngest son of the late Thomas Haigh Midwood, Esq, one of Tasmania's earliest British merchants, and was born two years after the arrival of his family in Hobart, in August, 1823. He was one of four brothers. Thomas Wroot, the eldest, entered the Imperial service, as a junior clerk, and afterwards saw active service in the Crimes and China, and here lie was promoted to the rank of Deputy-Commissary-General for his distinguished services.

At Bermuda he was stricken with fever, retired on a pension of £500 a year, and died at Guernsey in 1867, in his 51st year. Claude Wade was the second brother; he served articles with the late Thomas Wood Rowlands Esq, practised for some years as a solicitor in this city, and died in 1866 at the early ago of 48. Vernon was the third and only surviving brother. He entered the public service in 1835, and is now chief clerk in the registry office of the Supreme Court.

 Two of Mr. Edwin Midwood's sisters survive him-Mrs. Kemp (wife of the Acting Police Magistrate), and Mrs. Sutherland (wife of Commissary-General Sutherland) who, with their families, reside in England. The deceased entered the public service in 1842, and until 1867 discharged the duties of pass clerk, when, on the promotion of Mr. John O'Boyle (now Administrator of Charitable Grants), he succeeded him as Police Information Clerk, the duties of which office he had diligently and faith fully discharged until a short time back exhausted nature, resulting from a severe attack of pleurisy, compelled him to seek and obtain two months leave of absence in the hope that rest would restore his failing health.

He had the best medical attendance, and during the latter part of his illness Dr. O. H. Butler was unremitting in his attentions and persevering in his endeavours, but in vain, to effect a cure. The lamp of life flickered only for a while, and on Wednesday afternoon the cheerful good natured well-known Edwin Midwood closed his eyes in death. Notwithstanding the deceased's fidelity and length of service both for the Imperial Government and the colony, his labours were never adequately requited.

In the discharge of his official duties the deceased gave every satisfaction to his superiors, and till death commanded their respect and enjoyed their friendship. To all who had business to do with him Mr. Midwood was civil and obliging, and had the respect of both rich and poor. In private life he was universally beloved. His generous nature and his genial spirit surrounded him with a host of friends, who mourn his death.

He was married in the year 1849 to Susan, third daughter of the late Dr. Ross, the able founder and editor of the Hobart Courier, which is now incorporated with the Mercury, over half a century back.

He leaves his widow and two daughters, one of whom is married to Mr. T. W. Jenkins, of Bream Creek, and the other resident in Queensland (widow of the late Mr. Hammett), and only son, Mr. Thomas Midwood (the well-known clever comic artist), to lament the loss of an affectionate husband and an indulgent father.

The Lyons Family

Thomas Lyons (1861-1938), businessman, was born on 3 January 1861 at Hobart Town, son of William Henry Lyons, master mariner, and his wife Charlotte, née Priest. He was educated at The Hutchins School. In 1882 he was appointed accountant to the Hobart Gas Co. and next year joined the Bank of Van Diemen's Land, becoming inspector of branches before the bank was forced to close in 1891.

Lyons suggested that much freehold property to which the bank held title be disposed of by lottery. The necessary legislation was passed in September 1893 and George Adams, who had conducted sweeps in New South Wales and Queensland, agreed to organize the lotteries. In January 1894 Lyons accepted a position with Adams and played an important part behind the scenes in persuading members of parliament, despite intense public opposition, to support further legislation in 1896 that allowed the establishment of Tattersall's in Tasmania. He remained 'a confidant, advisor and close friend' of Adams, taking an active part in the management of the business. Lyons purchased a seat on the Hobart Stock Exchange in February 1896 and for a short period carried on a commission agency with Peter Facy. In 1900 he became a committee-member of the stock exchange.

Mining interested Lyons greatly and he worked leases for tin, nickel, gold and other minerals, particularly in the north-east and on the west coast. When Adams died in 1904 he left Lyons a share of the annual net proceeds of Tattersall's sweeps. In 1907 Lyons left the firm and entered into partnership with H. W. Bayley, whose old-established stockbroking company had several overseas agencies, as Bayley & Lyons. He became a director of many enterprises including the Derwent & Tasman Assurance Co. Ltd and Perpetual Trustees & National Executors of Tasmania Ltd and a trustee and general manager of Tattersall's in 1927-38.

Another important facet of Lyons's life was his involvement with horse-racing, both as breeder and owner. His horses won many classic races including six Hobart Cups. His interest began with the purchase of Oakdene in 1912 from whom he bred many notable winners including Talisman and Prince Viol. A committee-member of the Tasmanian Racing Club since 1900, he was chairman or deputy chairman in 1915-38 and a life member. An annual handicap race and a grandstand bear his name.

Lyons was a tall man, dignified and dapper. He was patriarchal with his family but popular in public, credited with being as shrewd a judge of men as of horses and with a deserved reputation for generosity. From 1908 until his death he was president of the Athenaeum Club and from 1920 either patron or president of the Sandy Bay Regatta Association; he was also foundation president of the Autocar (later, Royal Automobile) Club of Tasmania.

He worshipped in turn at Presbyterian, Anglican and Congregational churches, abandoning St Stephen's Church of England following an attack from the pulpit on lotteries. He had married Maud Beatrice Stanfield (d.1890) on 13 March 1889 at Rokeby, then on 28 June 1899, in Hobart, Elizabeth Turnbull Robertson Riordan.

Lyons died on 6 July 1938 at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney; as an expression of regret there was no morning call on the Hobart Stock Exchange. He was cremated in Hobart. His wife and their five children, to whom he largely left his estate sworn for probate at £77,639, survived him.

William Henry  Archer


The death occurred at 42 High Street, Launceston, yesterday, in his 92nd year, of Mr. William Henry Davies Archer, formerly well-known throughout the state as a successful pastoralist and public man, particularly in the Longford district.

The late Mr. Archer was born at "Brickendon," Longford, in November, 1836, and resided there for many years. He was the second surviving son of the late Mr. William Archer, who originally occupied "Brickendon," which is now in the hands of a son (Mr. William Fulbert Archer). He received his education at the Longford Grammar School, Hawkes' School (Franklin Village, near Launceston), and Bonchurch College (Isle of Wight), of which Rev. Joseph Edwards, formerly of King's College, London, was master.

In 1856 he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduated a BA. in 1859, LL.B in 1860, and proceeded to the degree of LL.M. in 1863. In the meantime he had entered at the Middle Temple, London, and had been reading for the English Bar with Mr. James Simson, Lincoln's Inn, and attending law lectures until 1862, when the necessary certificates for being called to the Bar were filed at the Middle Temple, London.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1860 and was a member of the New University Club, St. James, London. He was appointed a territorial magistrate for Tasmania in 1869, and coroner in 1883. He was a member of the House of Assembly for Norfolk Plains from May 1882, until May, 1887, during which time, and after the retirement of Dr. Butler, he was invited to be Speaker, and also offered the important posts of Treasurer and Chief Secretary in two Administrations, but declined them.

He was appointed a member of the Royal Commission on Education, on whose report the system of education was based. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on Prison Discipline, and commissioner for Tasmania at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. In 1872 he was elected a councillor of the Longford municipality, and served as such for 22 years. He was elected Warden of Longford in 1881, and was continuously in that position for 17 years, until his retirement from the council in 1898. He was chairman of the Court of General Sessions for many years, treasurer of the Longford municipality, chairman and treasurer of the Longford Road Trust, a committeeman of the Longford Show Society, chairman of the Board of Health, Board of Advice, Fruit Board, and Rabbit Board. As a pastoralist he was renowned as a breeder of high-class Merino sheep. For many years Mr. Archer was a director of the Tasmanian Permanent Executors and Trustees Association, Limited, Launceston.

Possessing a most retentive memory, Mr. Archer could relate many interesting incidents connected with the earlier history of Tasmania, and particularly that of the Longford and Cressy districts. He was a man of wide reading, and up to the time of his recent illness had continued to be keenly interested in everyday affairs. Since his retirement Mr. Archer has resided in Launceston.

Two brothers of the late Mr. Archer—Robert Joseph and Alfred—died before him. A third brother, the Rev. George Archer, is now living in England. Deceased married a daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Clarke, "Mountford." Longford. Mrs. Archer died some years ago.

The family surviving are Mr. W. F. Archer, previously referred to, and two daughters, Mrs. (Dr.) A. T. Hoskins, Longford, and Mrs. Norman G. Gatenby, "Cressy House," Longford. The funeral will leave "Brickendon." Longford, tomorrow afternoon for Christ Church, Longford.

A rich tapestry of early Tasmanian history is encapsulated at Brickendon.  Immerse yourself in the incredible story of the Archer family, Assigned convicts, Free workers and the beginnings of Australia's pastoral and agricultural industry. 

Brickendon is one of Tasmania's oldest farming properties, settled in 1824 by William Archer, the farm has been continuously operated and lived on by his direct descendents, now in their 7th generation.

In July 2010, Brickendon Estate along with its neighbouring property, Woolmers Estate were listed jointly as a World Heritage Site being part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. [1]


The Gibson Family

George Harry Gibson was born on 6 October 1861 in Longford, Tasmania. He was the son of George Gibson (who had been Warden of Longford and Member of the House of Assembly for the District) and Agnes Beveridge.  (Please note:  Although his real name was George Harry Gibson, at times the local newspapers referred to him as George Henry Gibson.)

After matriculating he spent about 12 months as a student in the Hobart General Hospital before travelling to Scotland to attend the Edinburgh University in 1883. According to long-time friend, Dr R.G. Scott, Gibson was a very popular student, taking part in all the affairs of student life, and was a member of the Australian Club in Edinburgh.

Dr Gibson gained his qualifications (MB, CM Edinburgh) in 1887. The Tasmanian community was very proud of their graduate, reporting that after graduation he acted as locum for a medical man at Launceskirk, Scotland for a few months, 'and on leaving was presented with an address signed by about 150 of the leading residents, in which they expressed appreciation for the skilful attention shown by him, and regret at his leaving the district'. Dr Gibson then took on an appointment at the London Homœopathic Hospital, 'preparatory to coming out and assisting Dr Benjafield in his practice'.

On 22 November 1888 he married Jessie White Galloway in Edinburgh. They eventually had 9 children - 5 boys and 4 girls.

Dr Gibson was first registered as a medical practitioner in Tasmania in February 2 1889. In the Australasian


                       Portrait of Dr George Harry Gibson
                            (Displayed in St John's Hospital Hobart)

Dr Gibson was one of the founders of the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital. In the initial years of the hospital, Dr Gibson performed all surgical procedures. In the 1911 edition of the Australasian Medical Directory he was recorded as being Honorary Medical Officer at the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital.

Dr Gibson was active in the community. According to his obituary, for two years (1901 - 1902) he was president of the local Y.M.C.A., a member and elder of St John's Presbyterian Church for many years, a member of the Fisheries' Commission, and president of the Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' Fathers' Association. He gave lectures to the general public on topics such as 'Germs as they affect the body' and 'The body and exercise'. He also provided a series of lectures on first-aid, aimed at women, under the auspices of the St John's Ambulance Association. He was a keen sportsman, being an excellent rifle shot and very interested in angling.
Plaque in St John's Hospital Hobart
 (Previously the Hobart Homœopathic Hospital)

Dr Gibson was described by others as being unassuming in his demeanour, methodical, punctual, efficient, and dignified in his performances as a medical man. 'Every class and creed respected and revered him, and it may be said in very truth that he had not a single enemy.'

He continued to provide his services to the Homœopathic Hospital until his death in 1924. He died at his residence, Colville Street, Battery Point on 11 October, 1924 and was buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart.


The Hayward Family

John Hayward on 13th January, 2012 wrote:

Elizabeth HAYWARD was the youngest woman in the first fleet-13 yrs old—the ship was the Lady Penrhyn. At 14 Elizabeth was cheeky to a priest/minister and received 30 lashes. Later she sent to Norfolk Island where she gave birth to Elizabeth Hayward and Graham Hayward. Some years later Elizabeth (snr) sailed to Tasmania and took up farming. Her daughter Elizabeth followed and Married George Lowe by the first minister Rev John Yuille to Tasmania Elizabeth is buried in the old Cypress street cemetery—now a park.

Elizabeth was sent to Norfolk Island  for insolence charge against her employer in Sydney.  Elizabeth was aboard the ill fated HMS Sirius in March 1790 when it was shipwrecked in dangerous surf off Norfolk Island. However, like many others she survives yet another trauma, and four years later, on the 2 March 1794, a daughter was born to her, and is also given the name Elizabeth.

The father of this child is believed to be William Nicholls, who was transported for 7 years and arrived aboard the convict vessel Royal Admiral. William Nicholls went to Norfolk Island in December 1792 in the American trader Philadelphia. Elizabeth Haywood had another child born 21 November 1795, but obviously died, as no other record of this baby has been found. A daughter Margaret was born in 1796, and we presume that William Nicholls was the father, although he disappears from Norfolk Island records in that year (1796).

A son George was born in 1802 but it is not certain who the father of this child was, as in later years George acquired the surname of Collins. It is more than probable the father was the convict George Collins, who arrived on the Island in 1801 and died 2 March 1803.

Captain Piper’s Settlers and Landholders return of 1810 show Elizabeth Haywood as a time expired convict and her eldest daughter Elizabeth Nicholls as a freewoman owning 10 sheep and a cow.

Elizabeth Nicholls is by now the youthful mistress of Captain Piper and bears him a son who is given the name Norfolk. The returns of August 1812 show that Elizabeth Nicholls was the only woman holding stock, which consisted of 525 sheep, 4 cattle, 15 swine and 40 goats. It is of some interest to mention the change of leadership under Captain Piper, after the horrendous rule of Major Foveaux. The reign of Captain Piper as Commandant at Norfolk Island from September 1804 to April 1810, was the happiest period in the island’s history. In May 1792 a total of 111 settlers occupied 4,130 acres, and by 1805 the population was 712.

Elizabeth Haywood also lived with Joseph Lowe, who was often referred to as James, and when leaving Norfolk Island was listed along with him and her two children, Margaret and George. Joseph Lowe was tried at Warwickshire on 19 July 1788 and received his sentence, arriving on the Matilda in the Third Fleet. His occupation prior to his sentence was that of a ribbon weaver, but on Norfolk Island his duties seem to have been varied, as at times he is listed as a member of the boat crew, and also as a Taylor (listed spelling).

Joseph Lowe received a free pardon on 17 September 1810.

George Collins: Convict Royal Admiral 1792
Crime: Theft. Tried: 21 Mar 1792, Surrey Assizes at Kingston-upon-Thames, 7 years transportation.

Joseph Dyer, Andrew McManus, George Collins and James Brown were charged as “incorrigible rogues and vagabonds, Persons of Evil Disposition & not having any visible means of honest subsistence … ” They were found guilty and sentenced to three years’ hard labour at Norfolk Island.

[1] http://brickendon.com.au/gallery

[1] http://queenswharf.org/people/captain-henry-miller/

[1] Edward died in 1869, from heart failure

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