dost thou build thy halls, son of the winged days?
short years and the blast of the desert comes
howls in thy empty court”
“A spirit passed before me, I beheld
face of Immortality unveiled;
sleep came down on every eye save mine,
there it stood, all formless but divine,
my bones the creeping flesh did quake,
my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake,
man more just than God? Is man more pure
He who deems even Seraphs insecure
Creatures of clay, vain
dwellers in the dust,
moth survives you, and are ye more just?
of a day, ye wither ere the night
Heedless and blind to
Wisdom’s wasted light.”
Byron’s Paraphrase from
A few extra particulars
concerning the old historic Hely family. Frederic Augustus Hely, whose wife lies
in the Paddington cemetery, was the first Superintendent in Chief of convicts in
Sydney. He died in 1835, and was buried in a vault in his own orchard at
Gosford, Broken Bay. His wife was Georgina Lindsey Bucknell. One of their sons
was Hovenden Hely, the explorer, who was out with Leichhardt in 1846, and went
to search for him in 1852.
One son was Henry Lindsey Hely, a barrister, who became a Queensland
District Court judge.
One daughter married the late W. L. G. Drew, then a paymaster in the
Fleet. He came to Queensland, joined the Civil Service, and his last position
was Chairman of the Civil Service Board.
Another Hely girl married Edward Strickland, a major in the Royal Artillery, and afterwards Sir Edward Strickland, Commissary- General, who served in the Zulu War of 1878.
Another girl married Captain G. K. Mann, Royal Horse Artillery, who after retiring from that position, became Superintendent of the Penal Settlement on Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbor, where he planned and superintended the docks.
Hovenden Hely was the father of the six tall sons of whom one is Major
Hely, at present in the Government Savings Bank.
These are a few results from F. A. Hely’s marriage in the long ago with
the woman who lies in the Paddington cemetery.
Mary Grace Sheppard, who died on June 28, 1869, was the wife of Edmund
Sheppard, judge of the Metropolitan District Court. Her infant son, Alfred
Henry, had died on October 15, 1866. One of our chief Government officers tells
the following gruesome story:
In 1869 a young fellow named
Davidson was out one night with some boon companions, and they were on their way
home late at night. Davidson lived in North Brisbane, the others on the South
side. He went with them to the ferry, and they advised him to go home. The ferry
boatman was a Chinaman, named George. A punt also ran across on a rope, there
being no bridge. They pushed the boat off, and Davidson took off his coat and
trousers and dived in head first after it. The Chinaman merely said, ‘Oh, let
him swim out,’ and pulled away. Davidson was drowned, and the police dragged for
two days without success. On the third day, the ferry boat left the steps with
Mrs. Sheppard, then on the eve of becoming a mother, two other passengers, and
the officer who tells the story. When a short distance out the punt was coming
in from the south side. Suddenly, at the stern of the boat, the body of Davidson
rose from the river, head first, shot up, until breast high, glared, as it were,
for a second with those ghastly, glassy, staring eyes, turned over on the back,
and floated away. The second it rose, the officer, with remarkable presence of
mind, instantly caught Mrs. Sheppard by both arms, to prevent her turning around
to look at the body, and held her for at least a hundred yards, speaking to her
softly, and telling her he would give a clear explanation. The judge afterwards
thanked him earnestly, expressing a belief that he had save his wife’s life.
Alas! Poor Mrs. Sheppard got puerperal fever after the birth of that baby, and
lies there in the Paddington cemetery, so her life went after all.
A young Church of England clergyman is thus recorded:
“Jesu Mercy. In memory of the departed John Brakenridge, M.A. of Christ’s College, Cambridge, Clerk in Holy Orders. Died March 26, 1861, aged 31.”
He was one of the many young men who have come out to Queensland in that
advanced stage of consumption which no climate can cure.
Amos Braysher, who died on
September 27, 1871, aged 35, was the landlord of “Braysher’s Hotel,” now the
Metropolitan, in Edward Street. His widow married Duncan, and after Duncan died,
Mrs. Duncan kept the hotel for years.
Mrs. Duncan’s Metropolitan Hotel was the favorite house for squatters in
those days, and probably then the best hotel in Brisbane.
Buried at Paddington, is an old fellow named Marvel, perhaps a descendant
of the famous Andrew Marvel. He was one of the band of ticket-of-leave men who
came to the Darling Downs in 1840, with Patrick Leslie, when he took up the
first station, Toolburra. In after years, Leslie wrote that “they were 20 as
good and game men as ever I saw, and worth any 40 I have ever seen since.”
Marvel was a chum of Peter Murphy, whose name is borne by Murphy’s Creek,
on the Toowoomba line. Murphy was also one of Leslie’s men, and he died at
Charters Towers on April 6, 1878.
Among the stone-less graves is that of Tom Mostyn, one of the mob who
pulled Trevethan’s butchers shop down in the beef riots at Charters Towers, on
October 30, 1872.
Another man named Perkins was with Captain Owen Stanley on the
Rattlesnake, on the Queensland coast, in 1846, and was present at the Captain’s
funeral at North Shore, Sydney, on March 10, 1850.
There are many interesting men lying among the unknown dead. A young
fellow buried there was a son of Charles Alcocks, who was one of the owners of
the “Free Press,” a squatting paper, published in Brisbane in 1851, the office
being on the site of the present Australian Hotel. Young Alcocks was killed by
being thrown from his horse at Cowper’s Plains, in 1851. These plains are
erroneously called “Cooper’s Plains,” though named from Dr. Cowper, the first
medical man at the early convict settlement at Moreton Bay. Even Moreton Bay is
spelled wrongly, as it was named by Captain Cook after the Scottish Earl of
Morton, in whose name there is no “e.”
An old lady, still living, tells us that in the Paddington cemetery, she has a brother, who went up the Brisbane River on June 27, 1846, in the first trip of the small steamer, Experiment, owned and built by Pearse, when the first and second class passenger return fares were 6s and 4s, and the freight on wool was 2s per bale. She remembered when Francis Gill, for many years Postmaster at Ipswich, had a saddler’s shop at South Brisbane, in 1843. This latter tough old gentleman is still alive and well, and can be seen weekly in Queen Street, faultlessly dressed and wearing a bell topper hat.
She herself remembers when the first soda water and lemonade factory was
started in North Brisbane, by Fisher and Gregory, in 1853, and Dr. Hobbs had his
dugong oil fishery on the island of St. Helena, fifteen years before
Superintendent Macdonald started to cut the scrub in 1864 to prepare it for a
A two year old son of John and Ann Nott was buried on May 17, 1875. Nott
was a merchant in Elizabeth Street, and had a wholesale house there. His wife
was widow of a painter named Murray. She was a daughter of Lachlan McLean, whose
son, William McLean, was once a well known blacksmith in Elizabeth Street. Nott
died at Enoggera Terrace. His widow is still alive, and resides near
Woolloongabba. She was referred to in a former article.
Elizabeth Bateman, who died on March 9, 1873, was the wife of Samuel
Bateman, who kept a hotel on the site of the present Hotel Cecil. It was built
by a man who was foreman printer on the “Courier,” in old Jimmy Swan’s days.
After Bateman died, the property was bought at a low figure by Dr. Mullen, who
built the Hotel Cecil of the present day.
The Horrocks family buried three of their children, Reginald Blackall,
Algernon Levinge, and Gertrude Mary Horrocks, in 1871 and 1873, aged 13 months,
10 months and 2 years and 9 months. Horrocks was the well known Officer in
charge of the Orphans, and was once Immigration Agent. He held a captain’s rank
in the army. He was a Manchester man, and a nephew of the Horrocks known to all women and drapers, as the
originator and maker of “Horrocks’ long cloths.” He married a Miss Miller, whose
father was a police magistrate at Armagh, in Ireland. That marriage was against
the wish of his uncle, and it cost Horrocks a fortune.
Horrocks was an educated, polite man, who commanded general respect. The
tragical fate of one of his sons is still familiar to Brisbane people. A
daughter, aged 18 or 19, died recently, but Mrs. Horrocks still resides in
Brisbane. Reginald Miller, of the Audit Office, is her brother.
Ernest Alexander Cairncross, a child of 21 days, who died on September 26, 1867, was a son of Cairncross, who kept a store on the corner of Queen and Albert Streets, where Rutter, the chemist, recently had a shop.
Cairncross was married to a daughter of old George Edmonstone, once
M.L.A., for Brisbane. He had a butchering business in Queen Street. One of the
daughters of Cairncross married the present Hon. A. J. Thynne, who was staying
at the time with the Cairncross family on Spring Hill. This Cairncross is often
confused with Captain Cairncross, who owned Wattlebrae, and in front of whose
house was the “Cairncross Buoy,” well known to all boating men. That red buoy is
A. R. and Annie Jones buried an infant on February 28, 1870. Jones was a
shipbuilder, predecessor of Paul and Gray.
One of his sons, named Sydney, became partner in the legal firm of Rees
R. and Sydney Jones, of Rockhampton. He married a daughter of the late John
Ferguson, and when he died his widow, who had several children, married J. T.
Bell, late Minister for Lands.
There is a stone placed over Charles Augustus Basham, by his brother, W.
H. Basham, who still resides at Oxley. Basham died on April 12, 1873, aged 37.
The father of these Bashams was an officer in the Irish Coast Guards. Our
informant was present, as a boy, at his funeral, at Cushendall, Red Bay, Glens
of Antrim, in 1849. The boy had run away from home to see the funeral, and saw a
hearse for the first time. This gruesome vehicle gave him an awful scare, but
nothing like the scare his dad gave him when he reached home.
Amelia Isabella Peake, who died on April 22, 1873, aged only 24, was the
wife of Captain Peake, first Captain of the old Government steamer, Kate, which
finally sank in Moreton Bay. Two of Mrs. Peake’s infants are buried with her. The ages, 24, 25, and 26, were
the fatal period for an appalling number of wives. When his wife died, Captain
Peake went to Sydney, and died somewhere in New South Wales.
One day in 1872, someone saw two large strange fish in the pond of the
Botanic Gardens. Captain Peake had a seine net and that was taken down to the
pond. The fish were caught and caused great astonishment, as no one at the time
had seen anything like them. But the usual expert came along and found that they
were two specimens of Ceratodus of
the Mary and Burnett Rivers. Enquiries proved that they had been caught years
before in Tinana Creek and been sent down to the gardens by the late R. B.
Sheridan, then Collector of Customs, in Maryborough. Then they were restored to
the pond and vanished again into oblivion until the days of curator McMahon,
when one of his men, a Teutonic gentleman, was cleaning out the pond, and caught
a ceratodus, then weighing about 12lbs. The German merely remarked, “By shingo,
dis vos goot,” and took it home and ate it. Next day he caught another, but
McMahon happened to come along, and sent it up to Curator de Vis at the Museum.
De Vis saw at once what the fish was, and sent it back to the Gardens, where it
was placed in the pond, none the worse for its temporary absence. Finally that
one and his mate were removed to the fountain pond at the south-west corner of
the Gardens, and both were taken away by the flood of 1893, or 21 years after
Captain Peake had hauled them out in his seine net.
John Wallace Barnett, who died on September 3, 1872, at the age of 46,
was a well known man in Brisbane, where he was Consular Agent for the United
States, a country in which he had lived for some years. He and Heusmann, and G.
R. Fyfe, were once owners of one of the principal Mount Perry mines, and the
town of “Fyfe Barnett,” actually stood on the present site of Mount Perry.
Barnett’s only son, Sydney Barnett, married a daughter of William Baynes, once a
partner in the squatting firm of Moore Brothers and Baynes, owners of Barambah
station, on the Burnett.
Baynes was returned as member for the Burnett, at the General Election of
1878, as a supporter of McIlwraith. He was a fine, genial, honest fellow, and a
general favourite on both sides of the House. The present writer was a member in
those days and can write with authority. Sydney Barnett lives today at Ormiston,
on the Cleveland railway.
One of Cobb and Co.’s coachman, a young fellow named Henry Taylor, was
drowned in Oxley Creek, on March 11, 1870, aged 29, and his fellow employees
erected a stone over his grave.
To the Editor “Truth”
Sir, Mr. F. Dennecke, in
your last issue, correctly pointed out that it was H. Shepperson, bookseller,
and not W. J. Buxton, that deserted his wife for an actress. Her name was Emilie
Melville, an American burlesque artist, for whom Shepperson acted as agent. I
remember her in the ‘seventies (1870s) at the Theatre Royal in
“Boccaclo,” and other “leg show”
extravaganzas. When Blondin, “Hero of Niagara,” was here, he was engineered by
Shepperson, who became a nine days’ hero of Brisbane, after riding on Blondin’s
back on the aerial wire. The show was held in the gardens, and Blondin’s wire
was stretched high in the air, over where the Kiosk now stands. Hundreds of
“outer outers” occupied positions on the rocks on the opposite side of the
river, and if the distance did not “lend enchantment to the view,” it at least
saved them a “bob a nob.”
I am, sir, yours,
C. S. P. T.
“Truth” has received two
other communications confirming C.S.P.T. as to the fact that it was Shepperson
who eloped with the actress fair, but both gave the name of the latter as Lydia
JANUARY 26, 1908
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
grew in beauty side by side
filled one home with glee,
graves are severed far and
mountain, stream, and sea.
same fond mother bent at night,
each fair sleeping brow,
had each folded flower in sight,
Among the unknown graves are those of a number of aboriginals, who were
These are said, by some early colonists, to have been buried outside the
cemetery, and others say they were buried in a corner inside.
It is certain they were all taken charge of by the Church of England.
On April 21, 1854, a
notorious black called “Dundahli,” was hanged on the site of the present General
Post Office. He had been accused of seven murders, but the one he was hanged for
was that of William Gregor and Mary Shannon, at the Pine River. On the day he
was hanged – by a hangman purposely brought from Sydney – there was a mob of
about 33 blacks on the “Windmill Hill,” where the Observatory is today. They
called to Dundahli, as he stood on the gallows, and he called back, telling them
to be sure and kill “Woom-boongoroo,” the black who had betrayed him. He was
captured in the Valley, where he had incautiously ventured among a lot of other
blacks, through the agency of a man named Baker, who in after years had a farm
and hotel at Walloon, in the Rosewood.
Baker knew Dundahli, and
enticed him into a room where three other men were concealed, and the four men
sprang on him, and held him until the police came. Dundahli was badly knocked
about in the struggle.
Mrs. Baker told the writer in 1878, that there was a reward of £25 for his capture, and she went to the courthouse and drew the money for her husband. She is said to be still alive, in Ipswich, or was a few years ago.
Dundahli had too long a drop, and fell with his feet on the coffin underneath. The hangman doubled his legs us, and added his own weight, until the miserable black was strangled.
It was a ghastly spectacle for a crowd of men, women, and children.
Dundahli was buried at Paddington, either inside or outside the Church of
Two other blacks who were hanged are also there. These were “Chanerrie,”
and “Dick,” hanged on August 4, 1859, for a criminal assault on a German woman.
They were two Burnett River blacks.
The came “Kipper Billy,” who was shot by Warder Armstrong when attempting
to escape from the jail. It was remarkable that no bullet wound was discovered,
but it must have reached his interior somehow, unless he died on shock, or what
the modern sawbones calls “stoppage of the heart’s action.” Presumably, if the
heart continued working, death would be indefinitely postponed.
Some enterprising criminologist opened “Kipper Billy’s” grave, and took
his skull away. This raised much indignation on the part of Shepherd Smith and
Henry Buckley, the cemetery trustees. Someone, in 1854, had dug down to Dundahli
and taken his head. The Paddington cemetery was a lonely isolated spot in those
days, and there was opportunity enough to dig up anybody.
Buried there is a man named Jubb, who had a hotel in Cunningham’s Gap, on
the old road to Toowoomba, in 1852. In that year, two distinguished visitors
went up to see the squatters on the Downs. These were Lord Ker, and Lord Scott,
the latter being a son of the Duke of Buccleugh. They stayed, on their way up
and down, at Jubb’s Hotel. These were the first lords who ever visited the
territory now called Queensland. Jubb’s name recalls the “Jubb Jubb” in the
“Hunting of the Snark.”
A neat headstone marks the grave of Thomas Ayerst Hooker, second son of
James and Mary Hooker, drowned in the Condamine crossing at Undulla, on December
13, 1866. A squatter named James Hooker, or Hook, was one of the owners of
Weranga Station, in 1856, afterwards sold by Hook, or Hooker, to Mort and
Laidley. Was this young fellow Hooker his son? Perhaps some old squatter will
kindly tell us. And was the body brought all that distance in those days, to be
buried at Paddington?
Buried on December 23, 1871, was a child of seven months old, named
Moreton Franklyn Ryder, son of the long experienced and courteous Under
Secretary W. H. Ryder, of the Home Office. Ryder was born in Prince Edward
Island, Canada, in November, 1843, and came to Victoria in 1851.
In 1861, he was on the staff of the old “Guardian” newspaper in Brisbane,
and in 1862 became a clerk in the Government Printing Office. Thence he rose
rapidly and finally reached the post of Under Secretary, in 1896. He had once a
sadder bereavement than that of the baby of 1871, when a fine son was killed on
Breakfast Creek bridge by being thrown off his pony on the way to school. One of
his sisters was married to Rickards, once station master at Ipswich, and became
mother of Katie Rickards, the brilliant pianisto.
Harold Durham Paul, who died on June 12, 1873, was a four months and
fourteen days old baby, fourth son of George William and Emily Paul. This George
William is our well known genial Judge Paul, who was born at Penrith, New South
Wales, on June 2, 1839, and came to Queensland on December 25, 1863. He became
Crown Prosecutor in 1866, Acting Judge in 1871, and District Court Judge in
1874. He has been three or four times Acting Judge of the Supreme Court.
A young fellow named William Page had an accident on board the ship Light
Brigade, on her way to Brisbane, and was so badly injured that he died after
arrival, on December 15, 1866, aged 22.
A young fellow named John Mace, said to be a brother or nephew of the
famous boxer, Jem Mace, was drowned in the Brisbane River, on September 11,
1869, aged 23.
One grave holds the infant son of George Hope and Morforwyn Verney.
Captain Verney was aide-de-camp to Governor Blackall, and left Queensland when
the Marquis died.
Evidently Mrs. Verney, if we are to judge by her name, belonged to a
The child died on November 26, 1870.
It would appear as if one early settler was somewhat of a humorist, with
regard to names. That was Henry Rosetta, who died on December 9, 1863, aged 49.
Beside him lies a six year old son, whom he had named “Christmas Gift,” and who
died June 23, 1864. This is the Rosetta who gave his name to “Rosetta Swamp” of
the present day, the notorious quagmire out of which Dr. Ham has ordered the
City Council to expel all microbes without delay.
One stone-less grave contains a man named Marks, who was one of a number
badly injured in a terrible boiler explosion at the Union foundry, in
Maryborough, in 1872, when seven men were killed. One half of the boiler was
blown clear over a Chinaman’s garden, 200 yards away.
In 1855, two shiploads of German immigrants arrived in Brisbane, by the
ships Merbz and Aurora. They were engaged in Germany by a man named Kirchner, of
Kirchner and Co., of Sydney, who brought them out on a two years
They were intended for the stations, as men were scarce in those days,
especially shepherds, of whom a great number were killed by the blacks. The
squatters were to pay £16 for each German’s passage, to be deducted from his two
years’ wages. A majority of the squatters made no deductions, and the Germans
gave great satisfaction. A number shared the fate of those who fell under the
spear and nulla. Among these immigrants were two brothers named Muller, one of
whom died a month after arrival, and was buried in the Paddington cemetery. The
brother went as a hutkeeper on Manumbar station, and was killed by the
Captain Graham Mylne, M.L.A., and his wife, Helena White, buried a five
months old child on May 31, 1868. Mylne in that year, was member for the
Warrego. The Mackenzie Ministry was in office, and in a precarious position. Not
a soul of either the Council or Assembly is alive today. South Brisbane was
represented by T. B. Stephens, North Brisbane by A. B. Pritchard and Dr.
O’Doherty, the Valley by Charles Lilley. The 20 members of the Council, and the
31 of the Assembly are all dead. Mylne spoke of the position of the Ministry,
who had been defeated on the Address-in-Reply, by 13 to 11, and the Governor
refused to accept their resignation. Mylne’s wife, the mother of the child at
Paddington, was a Miss White, sister of Albert White, of the Logan River, now of
Bluff Downs, west of Toowoomba. Besides his station on the Logan, Albert White
held old Combabah Station, which took all the country from the Coomera River to
Nerang, including Southport.
In 1870, the Manager of Combabah was old Sandy Gordon, who kept a whole
pack of Kangaroo dogs, the leaders of which were usually about a mile ahead of
Gordon on the march. Present writer was a youth of 17, when on a first visit to
Queensland, in 1870, and we had two days kangaroo hunting with Gordon. Southport
then was covered by heavy forest, with rank undergrowth, and long grass, full of
Albert White, the present owner of Bluff Downs, on the head of the
Burdekin, was in Brisbane last week. He is one of the finest specimens of men in
Queensland. He was a young man when owner of Nindooimbah and Coombabah. His
sister, who married Graham Mylne, is still alive and well, in Sydney, but Mylne
died many years ago, at Eatonswell Station, on the Clarence.
One of his sons, also a Captain Mylne, fought in the South African war,
and was on the staff of Lord Metheun. He passed through Brisbane last week, and
we shall have occasion to refer to him and Albert White again.
David Williams, who died on March 26, 1874, was a Welshman, who had been
years in the pilot service, at Gladstone, and was also some time in the Port
Can anyone enlighten us concerning Clara Ann Hopkins, who died on April
12, 1874, aged 29, and on whose grave is this extraordinary verse?
“She is not as we saw her
On a suffering dying
To her all death and pain
And by living streams she is
She has learned the sacred
Of the Saviour’s dying
Her eyes now see the
That awaited her
If the writer of this had seen the look in the eyes of those who read it,
he would have fled somewhere in the middle of the night.
In the centre of Rosewood, near Marburg, is a flat valley, once known as
Sally Owen’s Plains, still known as such to old residents. Sally was an old time
celebrity, who kept a hotel at Western Creek, between Rosewood and Grandchester,
then known as “Bigge’s Camp.” She used the plains for her cattle and horses, as
they were safe there from horse thieves and cattle duffers. The “plains” were
merely an open forest pocket in the brigalow scrub. An enterprising person , who
had run an illicit still in the old country, thought Sally Owen’s plains an
ideal spot for a similar institution, and he made whisky and rum there in
hundreds of gallons. Likewise he killed cattle and boiled then down for tallow.
He took this tallow to Ipswich in large casks, but there was only about six
inches of tallow in the inside of the casks, and all the rest was occupied by
kegs of raw spirit! This was engineered so cleverly that there was never any
discovery. That old time distiller of Sally Owen’s Plains, lies at rest in
Paddington cemetery, near the southwest corner.
We withhold his name for the sake of his descendants. The shepherds,
shearers, stockmen, and bullock drivers of those days must have had a gay time
with the rum from Sally Owen’s Plains. Artemus Ward would have said “that sort
of rum inspires a man with a wild desire to smash windows!”
In reference to correspondents who wrote to make corrections.
Notwithstanding the fair Josephine Papi’s declaration that her uncle
Jerry Scanlan was a surveyor, we have the inexorable facts that he was a saddler
by trade, and a policeman by choice. Those who knew Jerry most intimately, say
he would not have known the difference between a theodolite and a concertina.
Jerry had a weakness for attending funerals, mounted on a serious looking horse,
with two long “weepers” hanging from the back of his hat.
In reply to Mr. Rendall, who says his father’s name was John Wood
Rendall, we can only say that John Randall is the name on the tombstone.
FEBRUARY 2, 1908
“The man, how wise, who sick
of gaudy scenes,
Is led by choice to take his
Beneath Death’s gloomy,
silent cypress shades,
Unpierced by Vanity’s
To read his monuments, to
weigh his dust,
How loved, how valued once,
avail thee not;
To whom related, or by whom
A heap of dust alone remains
‘Tis all Thou art and all
the Proud shall be.
The doctor says that I shall
You that I knew in days gone
I fain would see your face
Con well its features o’er
And touch your hand, and
feel your kiss,
Look in your eyes and tell
That all is done, that I am
That you through all
Have neither part nor lot in
A neat headstone is over Susan Geary, wife of Lieutenant William Geary,
R.N. She died on August 9, 1852. She was the mother of all the Queensland
Gearys, including four girls and three boys, of whom only one girl is alive
One of the sons was once manager of Jimbour station when Joshua Peter
Bell was owner, in the days when champagne was a common beverage, and the silver
on the Jimbour dining table cost £500. Those days have passed.
It is interesting to remember that Joshua Peter Bell was an enthusiastic
admirer of the Miss Geary who married Robert Little, the Crown Solicitor. Both
were competitors for her hand, and Little won. It was a grievous disappointment
to Bell, but the squatters of those days, like the French Mirabeau family, had a
talent for choosing fine women, and Bell went and wooed and won a daughter of
Dr. Dorsey, of Ipswich. She and the Miss Geary who married Little, were two of
the finest specimens of women in Queensland. One Miss Geary married Percy
Faithfull, member of an old time honored family, in New South Wales. On one
occasion in their single days, the sons of Faithfull were driving home across
the Goulburn Plains, when they were attacked by Gilbert, the bushranger, and his
gang, who had bailed up Springfield station, and rounded up the whole
population. The Faithfull boys made a gallant fight, and were quite a surprise
party to Gilbert. The Gilbert men were armed only with revolvers, and knowing
that one of the Faithfulls had a rifle, in addition to their revolvers, galloped
round at long range, fired under the necks of their horses, and from behind
trees, and generally gave the Faithfull warriors a wide berth. One of Gilbert’s
men got fairly close and fired from behind a tree, point blank at one of the
Faithfull brothers, but Faithfull’s horse threw up its head at the exact moment,
intercepted the ball with its forehead, and fell dead. Finally the bushrangers
cleared, and the gallant fight of the Faithfulls was afterwards recognised by
the Government in a gold medal for each of the party.
One Miss Geary married E. O. Moriarty, engineer in chief of Harbors and
Rivers in New South Wales. Another married a nephew of Sir Maurice O’Connell.
The Miss Geary who married Robert Little had a family of four sons and four
William Henry Geary, the grandfather, died on February 20, 1870. He was at one time Harbor Master in Brisbane. One of his sons, Godfrey N. B. Geary, was once chief clerk in the Lands office, and a captain in the artillery. He involved himself in a a lawsuit for breach of promise brought against him by a Miss Hollingsworth, of Stanthorpe, and she got a verdict for a thousand pounds. But she merely held it over him in terrorem, like a Damocles sword, which was to fall only if he married another girl. As he contracted no further engagements, the sword remained suspended until he died. Miss Hollingsworth finally married Tom Coventry, a gentleman whose name is not unknown in mining circles. Mrs. Coventry, an educated, intellectual, woman, was for years, the social editor-ess of the “Telegraph,” and once started on her own account a bright little journal called the “Princess,” which reached 22 numbers, and died generally regretted by all who knew it.
On the headstone of the Mrs. Geary from 1852 we read:
“And I heard a voice which said: ‘Write – blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.”
Margaret Francis Clara, wife of William Pickering, died on June 28, 1859,
aged 43, and Pickering died on March 11, 1868, aged 57. Pickering was once
Curator of Intestate Estates, also an auctioneer and commission agent, and owned
a lot of land in the Valley, where the Pickering Estate took in a considerable
area now covered by closely built houses. Alexander Raff succeeded him as
Curator of Intestate Estates. One of his sons, now deceased, was a once fairly
well known Captain Pickering, for some years labor agent in the South Seas. His
family are still in Brisbane.
Elizabeth Cowell, who died on January 17, 1864, aged 38, was the first
wife of Tom Cowell, once one of Brisbane’s best known men. Tom once had a dairy
farm at the “One-Mile Swamp,” the present Woolloongabba, and carried milk into
town in two cans slung on a yoke
across his shoulders. The farm was owned by old “Joe Howe,” who is still alive.
Joe had one daughter who married Bill Moody, of Oxley.
Cowell prospered , as he deserved to prosper , and in after years became
the proprietor of the Sovereign Hotel in Queen Street. Finally he retired, and
lived in a house on the North Quay, near the Longreach. The house was afterwards
occupied by Dr. Purcell, and at the present time is tenanted by the Military
Club. In that house, Tom Cowell’s first wife, a fine specimen of a woman, died a
tragical death through her clothes catching fire, and the servant girl who tried
to save her was also burnt to death.
In after years, Tom married again, and the second wife is still alive. By
the first he had one daughter, who married a man named Daniell, who died not
long ago. Present writer knew Cowell well. Once sold to him for £40 a double
choke bore Greener gun which cost £65. Cowell afterwards sold it to Lennon, of
Lennon’s hotel, for £40, and Lennon used it for many pigeon matches. When he
died the gun disappeared, and finally found its way to a Brisbane pawn shop,
where warehouseman John Bell saw and bought it for £5, and it is now in his
On Mrs. Cowell’s grave is the line
“Ye know not what shall be on the morrow.”
One headstone, which has fallen down, bears the name of two children,
Emma and William Henry Collins, who died in 1863 and 1864. Beside them is the
grandmother, Mary Collins, who died on July 12, 1873, aged 86, one of the very
few old people in the cemetery. The father of the children, Jimmy Collins, was a
well known butcher and tanner, who once owned the present York Hotel, which he
built up from a butcher’s shop, the money being mostly provided by Joshua Peter
Bell, who realised the words of the Psalmist, “passing away, passing away,” for
he never saw his cash anymore.
Ann Ellen Boyce, second daughter of William Martin Boyce, E.L.C.S., died
on June 11, 1866, aged 24. Also Susan, wife of W. M. Boyce, died on May 27,
1874, aged 58. The stone also records Ellen Victoria Board, youngest daughter of
W. M. and Susan Boyce, who died at Melbourne on August 24, 1877, aged 34. She
was the wife of T. A. Board, of Sydney, brother of G. L. Board, present chief
clerk in the Lands Office and Inspector of State Forests. The stone also records
Stuart Leslie Board, a child of the mother, who died in Melbourne.
William Martin Boyce was for many years Town Clerk of Toowoomba, and his
only son, J. A. Boyce, is the well known P.M. of Townsville. The first wife of
W. M. Boyce was a Miss Brown of Tasmania. When G. L. Board was a youth he went
to a collegiate school kept by the Rev E. B. Shaw, close to the old windmill,
the present Observatory. Among his fellow pupils were the McDougalls and
Taylors, of Toowoomba, Pring Roberts, Arthur Chambers, Fred Hamilton, Jack Kent,
the two Hausmanns, and other sons of the pioneers.
A four months’ child named Frederick Charles Cracknell was a son of
Cracknell, who was the predecessor of Matvieff as head of the Telegraph
Department. He lived four miles out on the Ipswich Road, near Hardcastle’s old
Gilbert Wright, of New South Wales, was a solicitor, who died in Brisbane on June 12, 1866, aged 37. He resided in the Valley. His widow married the well-known R. R. Smellie, founder of the firm of R. R. Smellie and Co. On Wright’s tomb are the words,
“I wait for the Lord; my
soul doth wait, and in His word do I hope.”
Charlotte Greenwood was the wife of Christopher Henry Greenwood, and died
on March 16, 1857, aged 23. Greenwood kept a hotel in Grey Street, near Russell
Street, South Brisbane. One Miss Greenwood married George Grenier, of Oxley. The
Grenier family held a lot of land in South Brisbane.
Joseph Thompson, who died on December 19, 1857, aged 38, had his name
handed down by the Thompson Estate on the Ipswich Road, near the junction.
On March 11, 1856, a young fellow named J. M. Omanney, aged 20, was
thrown from his horse and killed on the Breakfast Creek road. He was a son of
Major Omanney, of the Bengal Engineers.
One of the earliest graves is that of Edward Roe Thomas, fourth son of Jocelyn Thomas, Esq., of Van Diemen’s Land, who died on July 31, 1853, aged 32. The stone assures us that
“he died in the Christian faith, a firm believer in his Saviour.”
His father was careful to
have the “Esquire” on the tombstone. Some day we shall see a stone to the memory
of John Brown, J.P.
A neat stone marks the grave of Frederick Neville Isaac, of Gowrie,
Darling Downs, who died on July 12, 1865, aged 44. This name takes us back to
the early squatting days, to the year 1845, when Hughes and Isaac held Westbrook
and Stanbrook stations, when Tom Bell, grandfather of the present Bells, held
Jimbour, and ex P.M. Papa Pinnock held Ellangowan. Leichhardt named the Isaacs
River, a tributary of the Fitzroy, after F. Isaac, of Gowrie station. It is
rather remarkable that the name on the tombstone is Isaac, whereas Leichhardt
and the early records give it as Isaacs. The Isaac in the Paddington cemetery
was only 23 when he met Leichhardt at Gowrie in 1844.
Alice Elizabeth Burrowes, who died in March 1859, was the sixteen year
old daughter of Major Edward Burrowes, one time Deputy Surveyor-General when A.
C. Gregory was Surveyor-General. Burrowes held a lieutenant’s commission in the
93rd Regiment at 17 years of age. He married a Francis Susannah
Nalder, who died at the age of 68, at Burketown, when on a visit to her son, and
was buried under the only shade tree within a radius of 30 miles. Eight of her
family are still living, five sons and three daughters. One of the girls,
Frances Mary, is a widow, living in Yorkshire. Amy is a Mrs. Allan Campbell, of
Bathurst, and the third, Augusta, is the wife of the well known Brisbane chemist
Harry Cormack. The first treadle sewing machine that ever came to Queensland was
imported by A. C. Gregory, and presented to Mrs. Burrowes. It was a great
curiosity in those days. Mrs. Cormack’s name, Augusta, was given in honor of
Gregory, whose name was Augustus.
To the Editor of the “Truth”,
Sir, I see in last Sunday’s
“Truth” a paragraph re Jerry Scanlan. I can give you a good lot about Jerry
Scanlan and others of the old hands in the ‘60s (1860s). Jerry Scanlan kept an
hotel where Stewart is now in Queen Street, which was called the “Sawyers’
Arms,” not the “Surveyors’ Arms.” He sold it to one John Jones in 1854, and went
across the street and opened another hotel called the “Harp of Erin.” It was
next to the Empire Hotel now, which was then Paddy Meehan’s butcher shop.
Scanlan sold or left that place and built the hotel in Edward Street called the
“Shamrock Hotel.” I am not certain, but I think it is the same hotel bearing
that name now. Scanlan was a supporter of Dr. Lang and John Richardson, when
they were returned, beating Dorsey and Hudson. All hotels were free on election
day, and there was a cask of beer with the head knocked out, and vessels to
drink it with, every 300 or 400 yards, starting from George Street down to Queen
Street to the Customs House – it was called Petrie’s Corner then. Those were
good old times. Every one had money, plenty of work, and no unemployed. I saw a
man known as Red Smith (his name was Richard Smith) make a bet that he could
produce a pint pannikin full of sovereigns, and George McAdam held the money.
Smith brought the pannikins full, and won the bet. I followed him from his own
place in George Street, between Charlotte and Mary Streets, to McAdam’s
“Sovereign Hotel” in Queen Street, about where Sing, Cribb and Co., are now;
that was, I think, in the year 1854.
Brisbane was small, only a few hundred, and a good many of the
inhabitants were either Government men or Lang’s emigrants, and a good lot of
people they were. “The Fortitudes” were one lot. Of course, the free people were
beginning to come, and the convicts were being sent to the south, and there was
great agitation about Separation, and old Dr. Lang, I think, went to England
about it, with a petition, which was granted. I was one of the passengers on the
first steamer that went from Brisbane to Ipswich. She was called “Experiment,”
and was owned by Campbell and Pierce. She left what was called Dowse’s wharf, just below the now sanitary
wharf, on July 12, 1846, for Ipswich, on her first trip. I might be a little bit
out in my dates, but not much. She was captained by Mr. A. E. Campbell.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9,
“Farewell, my son! And farewell all my earthly happiness! Farewell, my only son! Would to God I had died for thee! I shall never more see earthly good in the land of the living! Attempt not to comfort me! I shall go mourning all the rest of my days, until my grey hairs come down with sorrow to the grave!”
I pass, with melancholy
By all these solemn heaps of
And think, as soft and sad I
Above the venerable
Time was, like me, they life
And time will be when I
In the Baptist section of the Paddington cemetery is William Grimes, who died on October 30, 1870, aged 60. The stone tells us that he “was the father of Messrs. Grimes of this city.” It also records the death of Ernest Henry Grimes, a grandson, who died on May 12, 1875, aged 6. The Grimes family are prominent in Brisbane history over a considerable period. Samuel and George Grimes were members of the Assembly as representatives of Oxley and Bulimba.
In 1874, S. and G. Grimes, grocers of Queen Street, had a sugar and
arrowroot mill at Oxley, adjoining the Pearlwell Estate, owned by Dr. Waugh, one
of whose daughters was drowned in the Quetta.
Sam and George Grimes were men of undoubted honesty, but not orators or
statesmen. On one occasion when Sam rose to speak, Morehead got up and walked
out, remarking: “I can’t stand the hum of that arrowroot mill!”
This sarcastic observation referred to the arrowroot making at the
Coongoon mills. Grimes and Petty, and S. and G. Grimes were once familiar
One Miss Grimes married J. B. Hall, Accountant in Insolvency.
One daughter and one son, Ernest Henry Grimes, remained unmarried.
Jane Bulgin, who died in 1872, was the wife of auctioneer Bulgin, of
Brisbane’s early days, and mother of Henry Bulgin, generally known as “Lord
Bulgin,” who died recently, leaving a family, of whom one was for a time nurse
in the General Hospital. One of “Lord Bulgin’s” sisters was a girl whose beauty
captivated Sam Griffith, Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, and Sam did his best
to induce her to become Mrs. Griffith, but Sam was not her ideal, or she had no
idea that he would one day have a salary of £3,500, and so she rejected him and
married C. C. Carrington, one of the still living men who have been longest in
the Civil Service in Queensland.
Clara Reinhard, who died on
November 27, 1867, was a year old child whose sister was one of the cleverest
pupils in the early days of All Hallows Convent School. Can anyone tell us what
became of Lillian Reinhard?
William Hickey, who died on August 7, 1871, is under a stone erected by
his brother, Matthew Hickey, who was 30 years with D. L. Brown and Co., and is
now with Alexander Stewart and Sons. Hickey’s brothers were well known
perambulating salesmen in the days when Mallens and Ziemans and other old time
peripatetic merchants were out in search of spare cash from the pioneer
The oldest recorded grave in the cemetery is that of “Margaret Brown, of
Ipswich,” native of Kildare, Ireland, who died on August 30, 1845, aged 35.
Being Irish, she was evidently no relation of the Ipswich Brown family, which
included Peter Brown, once mayor of Ipswich, and a leading architect, as they
were all decidedly Scottish, and wore kilts and called themselves “Broon.” So
far we have failed to trace the Maggie Brown who was taken out to the Paddington
cemetery over sixty five and a half years ago, or three years after Brisbane was
thrown open to free settlement, in 1842.
Conspicuous among the graves of the white race is the solitary last
resting place of “Sing Cong Long,” in the Presbyterian ground. How came this one
lonely disciple of Confucius and Mencius, and Bhudda, among the adherents of the
stern merciless uncompromising John Knox, who bearded the Scottish, Queen Mary,
in her den? Sing Cong Long was a Chinese merchant and fruiterer, who had shops
in Albert Street, and was a general favourite with all classes. And yet Sing
Cong Long had unscrupulous enemies – with whom he wanted to get even – and he
studied the various religions to ascertain which one gave most promise of a
conclusive settlement. He decided in favor of Presbyterianism after reading a
translation of a sermon by Calvin, who held that the chief joy of the Blessed
was in sitting on the battlements of Heaven and joyfully contemplating the
gymnastic performances of lost souls basting in the sulphur ocean of fire
underneath! Hence the appearance of Sing Cong Long in the Presbyterian
Caroline Jane Blakeney, buried on March 23, 1866, was a little girl, six
years and 20 days of age, daughter of William and Eliza Blakeney. Blakeney was
the once well known Registrar-General, and son of Judge Blakeney. One of his
daughter s married T. H. B. Barron, and another married S. B. Leishman, the
squatter. Both were fine looking women. One of Mrs. Barron’s daughters is the
wife of one of Sir Arthur Palmer’s sons. C. J. Blakeney, a once well known
lawyer of Brisbane, Cairns, and Cooktown, was another son of the Judge.
Thomas William Hutton, a young man who died in May 1874, was the son of
an old gaol warder, whose name is borne by Hutton Lane, between Adelaide and Ann
Street. One of his daughters married a son of Stuart Russell, author of the
“Genesis of Queensland.”
Maria Passmore, who died on April 11, 1872, aged 27, was the wife of Hugh
Passmore, one of a family well known in the early days of Toowoomba, where they
were prominent citizens.
Edmund Morris Lockyer, who died on June 28, 1872, aged 62, was a son of
Major Lockyer, who came up the Brisbane River in a whaleboat in 1825, and wrote
a full description of all he saw. Among the men with him were two red-haired
soldiers, at whose fiery ringlets the blacks were much astonished. Lockyer and
his party camped one night at the mouth of Oxley Creek, and in his diary he
says, “Emus were running about all night, making an intolerable noise.” As emus
do not move at night, and make very little noise at any time, Lockyer evidently
referred to the stone plover, usually known as the curlew. Lockyer’s name is
handed down to us by Lockyer’s Creek at Gatton, one of the tributaries of the
Peter and Magdalena Betz buried a year old child on February 20, 1870, Betz kept the West Riding Hotel, at the foot of Queen Street.
The only child of William and Ellen Scarr, was buried on October 23, 1874. Scarr was a draughtsman in the Survey Office, and still resides in Brisbane. Very melancholy are these children’s graves. Old Matthew Prior, the poet, wrote,
“Happy the babe, who,
privelege by fate,
To shorter labour and
Received but yesterday the
gift of breath,
Ordered tomorrow to return to death.”
Edward Hackway, who died on August 18, 1871, aged 41, left a widow, a
handsome woman, who married John Killeen Handy, member for the Mitchell in
Bramston petitioned against his return, but the Committee decided that he
was legally entitled to hold the seat. The petition was based on the ground that
Handy was a priest of the Roman Catholic faith, and as such could not be a
member of Parliament.
The chief evidence was that of Dr. Cain, who said that with the Church of
Rome, a priest is always a priest, and that he cannot give up, nor can the
church take from him, the priestly character conferred by ordination. He might
dress like a layman, but he is always a priest. Even if under major
excommunication, he still remains a priest, though cut off from positive and
active communion with the faithful. Under minor ex-communication he can still
say Mass, and even under major excommunication he can administer baptism in
emergencies. Handy said he joined the Church of England in 1863, and next month
was married by a Church of England clergyman. In 1865 he started practice as a
barrister in Brisbane, where he had arrived in the previous year. Evidently Mrs.
Hackway was Handy’s second wife. Handy’s vote on one occasion saved the Palmer
Ministry from defeat, a friendly act not forgotten by Palmer.
An old time publican named Woods kept a hotel in Queen Street, on the
site of Todd’s auction mart. He was the man who introduced the first cab to
Brisbane, one of the old “jingles” which have long since disappeared, though in
a majority over the hansoms for many years. The two seats were back to back, the
same as in an Irish jaunting car, but faced to and from the driver, whereas in
the Irish car the seats were back to back facing over the wheels.
The first “jingle” was received with great applause and much mirth, and
as at that time the streets bore no resemblance to a billiard table, it was
necessary to hold on securely to avoid being fired out into space. No
citizen of that date was recognised
in “society” unless he had been on Woods’ jingle. The driver on one occasion,
after taking too much rum on board, drove his astonished steed into the
waterhole at the corner of Albert and Adelaide Streets, and went to sleep on the
front seat. Sarcastic bushmen woke him up, and asked if he was fishing. One of
them waded in and led the horse out.
A young man of 22 named Martin Collins died on May 2, 1871. His father
was a butcher in Queen Street, and one of the family is still in the same trade
A child’s grave bears the name of Irwin Maling, who was a military
captain connected with a detachment of the 50th Regiment, which bore
the name of the “Dirty Half-hundred,” a name said to have been acquired by their
severe economies in personal expenditure, especially where ladies were
Mary Jewell, who died in December 1874, aged 41, was the wife of Jewell, whose name is born by Jewell’s Buildings, near the Grand Hotel. Her sister married George Myers, and another is the widow of the late Aaron
(text missing) Fahey was adopted by the New
England blacks, who took him to the triennial festival at the Bunya Mountains.
Fahey evidently was quite at home with the blacks, and he remained with the
bunya tribes, who ornamented him with raised “Moolgarre” scars on the breast and
shoulders, and gave him the native name of “Gilburrie.” He had been 12 years
with the blacks, whose language he spoke fluently, when found and brought in by
Lieutenant Bligh and the native police in 1854. He was taken to Sydney,
identified by the Superintendent of Convicts, and actually sentenced to 12
months hard labor for absconding 12 years before. Fahey escaped and joined the
blacks in 1842, the year in which Davis and Bracefell were brought in by Andrew
Petrie. Fahey had a brother, a free man, who came out in 1852, and was in Sydney
when his brother was brought in. After “Gilburrie” Fahey had served his time,
the two brothers came to Brisbane, and went to work on Jimbour station under the
name of Bryant, but “Bilburrie” was at once recognised by the blacks. Burke, the
manager of Jimbour had been killed by the blacks in 1852, not far from the
The Bells told Fahey that they cared nothing about his previous career; but he only stayed there over one shearing season, and went away to New South Wales where he died.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16,
“Death is here, and death is
Death is busy
All around, within,
Above, is Death, and we are
Death has set his mark and
On all we are and all we
On all we know and all we
All things that we love and
Lost, lost, for ever
In the wide pathless desert
of dim Sleep,
That beautiful shape! Does
the dart gate of Death
Conduct to thy mysterious
Can equal violations of the
The dead how sacred! Sacred
is the dust
Of this Heaven labored form,
This Heaven assumed majestic
robe of earth.
Among the dead is one name well known in the Queensland State and Federal service today. On November 12, 1871, Richard Bliss, aged 44, was buried in the Paddington cemetery, and beside him lies his two little girls, Mary Sophia Bertha, and Maud Ethel, who had died in 1865 and 1869, aged six years and one year. Richard Bliss and family came to Queensland in 1864, in the Flying Cloud, commanded by Captain Jones, who was in after years drowned in the China Seas.
The Bliss family, on arrival in Brisbane, went to stay with the Rev. John
Bliss, at St. John’s parsonage, in William Street. John and Richard Bliss were
brothers, but the clerical Bliss had been out some years before the other, and
had ceased to be a new chum when his brother arrived. Richard Bliss became an
officer in the Audit Office, and also the father of six sons, of whom one is
today in the Treasury, one in the Lands Office, and two in the Customs, in
Brisbane and Townsville. One son, the eldest brother, was a captain in the
militia, and was present with Colonel Prendergast at the storming of King
Theebaw’s palace. One of the daughters of Richard Bliss married the well known
and deservedly respected Dr. Ryan, of Gympie.
Mary Ann Hamilton, who died as a girl, at the age of 13 years, was a
daughter of the once well known J. A. Hamilton, who was in charge of Dunwich for
over twenty years. One of her brothers is a responsible officer in the Port
Office today. Hamilton, who died some years ago, married a second time, and the
second wife is still alive, and at present on a visit to a daughter in North
Queensland. By each wife he had a family of six children. There was no better
known man in Moreton Bay, and Dunwich has never had a more considerate or
Among those in the Presbyterian cemetery is Margaret Stewart, who died on
August 31, 1858. She was the wife of Hugh Stuart, who died on June 28, 1871,
aged 73. Hugh was a popular blacksmith, whose smiddy was at the back of Menzies
boardinghouse, opposite Jerry Scanlan’s hotel in Edward Street. Jerry’s hotel
was then kept by a man named Fishley, the predecessor of Jerry. Stewart was an
enthusiastic Highlander, and a great patron of the Caledonian sports. Likewise
he was a general favourite, and a real good old Scot.
James Paish, who died at the age of 26, on November 16, 1866, was a
member of the “Queen’s Own” the 50th regiment, then stationed at
Brisbane, in the Petrie Terrace barracks. This regiment left an unpleasant
record. They were in frequent conflict with the police, and a source of many
troubles. The men had an unsavory reputation. They were charged with various
robberies, and never paid any bills except compelled. Frequently the police sent
at night for the officers to come and take charge of their men, who had been
arrested. Three of them assaulted Constable Colahan in Albert Street, which even
then had an evil reputation, and had him apparently killed when the police
arrived and handled the soldiers roughly, in fact the three of them were knocked
out by a present day retired Inspector of Police, renowned for his size as a son
In South Brisbane, the redoubtable citizen, Paddy Fox, is the only
surviving link that binds us to that Queen’s Own squad of 1868. When the
regiment departed, Paddy was left behind. He was either too virtuous and
abstemious to continue longer with such a reckless crew, or he was asleep at the
hour of despatch.
Henry Watson, who died on December 17, 1861, at the age of 38, was a
young man of independent means, whose old country parents were comfortably
situated. Watson married a daughter from the Grenier family of South Brisbane.
He was the first man who traded in oysters from Moreton Bay to Brisbane. This
was a hobby with Watson more than a source of revenue. He bought a cutter and
engaged a man to bring oysters to Brisbane and sell them. The oysters in those
days were sold at 10s per bag, or a shilling for a bucketful, and were a much
better quality than we get today. Watson’s career was unfortunately cut off at
the early age of 38, and the oyster trade languished for two years
Two children of Robert D. Henry died at Goodna in 1873 and 1875. Henry
was then a warder at Woogaroo, but he was a man who held a sailing master’s
certificate, and in after years we find him as captain of the schooner Tom
Fisher, which was built on the Clarence, and named after Tom Fisher, the leading
storekeeper of Grafton in those days. The schooner traded for many years between
Brisbane and Thursday Island, and is still “going strong.” Captain Henry is at
present residing in Ernest Street, South Brisbane. His wife is a sister of David
Graham, retired Inspector of Police, well known in Brisbane, Charleville,
Rockhampton, Townsville, and Burketown. He is now a resident of Edmonstone
Street, South Brisbane.
The first vessel Captain Henry had in Queensland, was the Governor
Cairns, which was built in England purposely to be used by the Queensland
Government as a pilot schooner. Her construction was supervised by Captain
Daniel Boult, and she was brought over by Captain Cairncross, nephew of the
Captain Cairncross who resided at Wattlebrae, near Bulimba. Captain Henry had
charge of the Governor Cairns, for some years in Moreton Bay, where she was the
pilot schooner. In the first days of the annexation of New Guinea, she was
chartered as a yacht for the use of the Government. Then she had a term of
service at Cooktown and Thursday Island. About two years ago, Captain Henry
bought her a s a speculation, and sold her in Sydney at a profit. This vessel
had a varied and successful career at least so far as escaping accidents or
wreck was concerned.
Mary Baird was the wife of the Rev. John Wilson, a Presbyterian parson,
who lived near the Christian Brothers, on Gregory Terrace. She died on January
17, 1866, aged only 29. Wilson preached in the old Wharf Street church, and is
remembered as a good preacher, and all round real fine fellow. He is the subject
of a very comical reminiscence. Two immigrant ships had arrived, and on board
were many girls, some of whom were of a somewhat frivolous disposition, girls
for whom Mrs. Grundy had no terrors. When one loose onshore these festive ladies
atoned for the restraint of the sea voyage. Their conduct was giddy in the
extreme. Three of the choicest and their gentlemen friends took possession of
Wilson’s hay loft under the impression that it was some peculiar sort of
Australian bedroom. Wilson heard the voices and advanced towards the loft in the
form of a hollow square, or some other military figure, and overheard remarks
which turned half his hair grey. He turned and fled to the police station,
muttering a prayer as he ran. At the station he found the giant O’Driscoll, the
genial Inspector Andrew of today, and told him a dreadful tale. O’Driscoll asked
him if he would like them all hanged or merely admonished and discharged. Wilson
wanted them all arrested before they set fire to his hay loft. O’Driscoll’s
office was then in Adelaide Street, next to the old Wesleyan church. He took two
policemen with him, and Wilson, in a cab, and the four started for the scene of
operations. The night was dark and heavy rain was falling. O’Driscoll got a
ladder, and climbed up to the loft, followed by Wilson. Both stepped inside, and
O’Driscoll lighted a candle. The scene that presented itself turned the balance
of Wilson’s hair grey. Lying on the hay were three very scantily dressed ladies,
and three gentlemen wearing nothing, all sound asleep. One of the three
“gentlemen” was an American black, whose dark skin contrasted conspicuously with
the snow white limbs of his “lady,” who was said to be a splendid specimen of a
woman. The scene in which she figured was one that could only be described in a
language that no reader of “Truth” could understand. And all this in a
clergyman’s hay loft! It was blasphemy, sacrilege, atheism, and – most
The stern O’Driscoll was so shocked that he held on to a rafter to keep himself from falling out of the loft. Wilson clasped his hands and muttered, “Merciful God, what sons and daughters of Bekal are these?” Then duty called, and the warlike voice of the representative of O’Driscoll’s warrior race, woke the three brides and bridegrooms up in a hurry.
Seeing the colossal form of O’Driscoll standing over them, they at first
took him for Beelzebub, and gave a yell that was heard at Sandgate! The ladies
completed their toilet in record time, and the sad procession of six were
marched down to the cells and locked up. They were brought up next day, and,
after a severe reprimand, discharged. One of them was a humorist. He said they
all went to the clergyman to get married, and as it was a wet night and rather
late when they arrived, they did not like to disturb him before morning! There
was necessarily a great future before that man, in fact he became in after years
a Brisbane alderman, and what giddier height could any man attain?
The bride of the dark gentleman settled in Albert Street, where she had a
home for years, renowned for its hospitality to paying guests! Finally she
captivated a well off gentleman from the bush, and he married her and took her
home, and she became the mother of some very fine children, and was an exemplary
wife. She had proved the truth of the adage that virtue is its own reward!
To mention her descendants would be to heave a bombshell into a circle of
some of Brisbane’s most select society, so we merely shed a tear and pass on to
the next. It may be as well to mention, however, that Wilson’s yardman was
responsible for the party in the hay loft. Wilson always said a short prayer
when he thought of the horrors of that awful night.
A well known son of that dear old clergyman married the widow of squatter
Clapperton. She was originally a Miss Kendall, a very accomplished, fine girl,
who was educated at the Brisbane Convent School.
Graham Lloyd Hart was the three year old son of his well known father of
that name, founder of the legal firm of Roberts and Hart, merged into Hart, Mein
and Flower, then Hart and Flower, then Hart, Flower and Drury, and finally
Flower and Hart. Hart was one of the directors in the troubled times of the
Queensland National Bank. The child died on April 10, 1874.
To the Editor of “Truth”
The week before last
reference was made to “Captain Maling of the 50th regiment – the dirt
half-hundred- a name said to be acquired by their severe economies in personal
expenditure, especially where ladies were concerned.” I never heard of the
50th being called by the above title, which in any case must have
been only of local significance, as the regiment was universally known as “the
blind half-hundred.” Through the heavy smoke of battlefield they charged a stone
wall, that they mistook for the line of the enemy, and thus gained the title of
“the blind half-hundred.”
Captain Maling was aide-de-camp to Governor Bowen, and Brady, a sergeant
in the 50th, settled in Queensland, and married a daughter of Chief
Gaoler Sneyd. Most of our early volunteers will remember Brady at the annual
encampments, and the mention of his name reminds me of an amusing incident that
occurred at a camp held at Warwick nearly thirty years ago. Troops came from
Brisbane, Ipswich, and Toowoomba, and the sergeant-major of the contingent from
the last mentioned place was Brady. He was walking down the lines on Sunday
morning, calling out “Now then men, hurry up for church parade. Get on the
parade ground.” One of the leading spirits of A Company, Brisbane, V.R., now a
middle-aged bookseller – not a hundred miles from the bridge – winked his other
eye at some comrades and said, “See me start old Brady.” “Excuse me
sergeant-major,” said he, “are we to bring our rifles with us?” “Rifles be
damned,” roared Brady, in stentorian tones that could be heard from end to end
of the lines, “who the …ever heard of a man taking a rifle to church?”
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23,
bold the flight of Passion’s wandering wing,
soft the step of Reason’s firmer trend,
calm and sweet the victories of life,
terrorless the triumphs of the grave.”
death itself there can be nothing terrible, for the act of death annihilates
sensation, but there are many roads to death, and some of then justly
formidable, even to the bravest; but so various are the modes of going out of
the world, that to have been born may have been a more painful thing than to
die, and to live may be more troublesome than either.”
God! It is a fearful thing
the human soul take wing,
shape, in any mood,
seen it rushing forth in blood,
seen it on the breaking ocean,
with a swollen convulsive motion,
seen the sick and ghastly bed
delirious with its dread.”
Among the un-recorded
dead is a half caste named “Macinnon,” who died in 1869. He was the son of an old pioneer
“Paddy Macinnon,” who was out in 1847 with McPherson, on Mount Abundance
station, which he had taken up on Sir Thomas Mitchells’ description in
Paddy was stockman for
Macpherson, and is described as a wild character, who lived for years with the
blacks. When the blacks finally drove Macpherson off the station, he gave Paddy
all the stock that was left.
In years afterwards,
Paddy made periodical trips to Dalby or Drayton, with a small mob of fat cattle,
and had a wild spree while the proceeds lasted.
There was no Roma
before 1862, in fact a sketch of it in 1864 shows a primitive settlement of half
a dozen houses and the post office. Paddy had the usual platonic affection with
an aboriginal lady, whose name was “Concern,” who bore him a son, the usual
result of platonic affections that are prolonged beyond a reasonable limit, and
when Paddy died at Forester’s public house on the Condamine in 1861, the boy,
whose native name was “Wyreela,” passed into other hands, and finally reached
Brisbane, where he died in 1869, aged 21 years, the cause of death being
inflammation of the lungs. He is buried in the lowest part of the Church of
England ground at Paddington.
Buried near him, in the same month, was an old ex-convict named Tom Davis, who came out with the convict ship, Eudora, in 1838. After the vessel left Liverpool, someone confessed to committing the crime for which Davis was sentenced, and a pardon for him came out on the next ship. Davis worked on Captain Cadell’s steamer, the “Lady Auguste,” the first vessel that ever ascended the Murray. The Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Young, was on board that pioneer ship. Davis also worked, in 1846, for the Tyson brothers, the afterwards well known Jimmy Tyson, and his brother, on some country they took up at the junction of the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee. Davis came to Brisbane in 1858, and went up to the disastrous Canoona gold rush, on the Fitzroy. He returned to Brisbane and was engaged by Murray Prior for Maroon station, where he remained for twelve months, and thence went to Toolburra, until October 1867, when Nash discovered gold. Davis went to Gympie, did well there for two years, prospected in the Bopple scrub, got fever there, came to Brisbane, and died in a friend’s home in Turbot Street.
He had a brother lost
in the “Fiery Star,” burned at sea, on Good Friday, 1865.
restless impulse urged him to embark,
meet lone death on the drear ocean’s waste.”
Ella Lavinia, wife of
Daniel Skyring, was the ancestress of all the Skyrings of the present day.
Daniel owned all the land where All Hallows Convent stands, and used it chiefly
as a pineapple garden, where he grew some of the best pines in the market.
Likewise he owned, known as “Skyring’s quarries,” to the present time. While
Skyring grew fine pineapples and grapes, his wife and two daughters had charge
of a drapery establishment, the “Beehive” at the corner of Queen and Edward
Streets, where Hunter’s boot shop is today. Dan Skyring, jun., had a dairy farm
out at Kedron, and brought fresh milk to town. It was pure milk, as there were
no poisonous “preservatives” in those days. Daniel junior and his brother
Zachariah, went afterwards to reside at Gympie.
Old Mrs. Skyring died on July 27, 1863, aged 59, and the coffin was exhumed on March 26, 1882, and removed to the Toowong cemetery. On the tombstone we are told –
not for me, prepare to meet your God.”
Mrs. Skyring is now buried in the Toowong cemetery, near Governor Blackall, and over her is a handsome monument.
Her son, George, in after years, was owner of Baffle Creek Station, where his first wife died. She was a Miss Waldron of Fortitude Valley. George died at Gympie, where he was at the time Inspector of Slaughter Houses.
Miss Waldron was a
sister of Mrs. Steele, now widow of the late chemist Steele. She survived
Steele, and at present resides at South Brisbane. Zachariah Skyring and his wife
died within a week or two at Gympie. Daniel, who had the dairy at Kedron,
married a Miss Payne, daughter of Thomas Payne, a once well known and much
respected farmer at Oxley. He had four daughters, all handsome, fine specimens
of women. One married William Dart, now orchardist on the Blackall, but at that
time owner of Dart’s sugar mill, where the St. Lucia Estate is, on the Brisbane
River. Another is the present Mrs. Reeves, of Toowong, and the fourth became
Mrs. Elferson, of Gympie, now a resident of Gympie. Daniel Skyring is still
alive, and residing retired on the North Coast. The Skyrings were one of the
oldest Brisbane families.
George Dudley Webb, who died on September 11, 1870, aged 70, was secretary and general manager of the A.U.S.N. Company. He and W. J. Costin, the chemist, were two men chosen by the shareholders of the Brisbane Permanent Building Society, in 1863, to audit the books. Alfred Slaughter was the manager of the company, and old Robert Cribb was one of the principal shareholders. Cribb bossed Slaughter and had a free and easy way of taking deeds away to his own office, and some were not returned. This gave the shareholders an idea that there was something wrong, and hence the audit by Webb and Costin. No one doubted old Bobbie Cribb’s honesty, but he had a loose style of doing business, and the auditors found it necessary to enter a protest. This made the old fellow very wild, and he assailed the auditors in great style, but they all survived.
One of Webb’s
daughters, a girl named Alice, aged 19, died on November 14, 1864. His son,
Ernest Webb, was a well known man as Resident Secretary of the A.M.P. Society.
He married a daughter of L. A. Bernays. Ernest was an enthusiast in boating, and
was an active member of the rowing club. It is quite certain that Webb’s early
death was attributable to chiefly to an unlucky speculation in Mount Morgan
shares. He was one of the victims of Billy Pattison’s foolish bet of £10,000
that shares would reach £20.
Webb bought heavily and
found himself involved when shares were falling. The prospect of failure broke
his heart in a few days after the receipt of the bad news.
His brother, Harry
Webb, went in for pastoral pursuits, on the Logan.
Daniel Petersen, who
died on January 21, 1855, aged 46, was
a grocer and storekeeper, next McCabe’s wharf, South Brisbane. The
business was continued by Petersen and Younger, the son and son-in-law. One of
the sons was the afterwards well known Seth Petersen, who distinguished himself
while in the position of Registrar in Brisbane, and in after years left for the
south. One of his brothers was presiding at the recent Valley election.
William and Ellen Scarr
buried their only child at that time, on October 23, 1874. Scarr is now retired
on pension, and resides at “Alsatia” on Dornoch Terrace, South Brisbane. He was
father of Scarr, the footballer, who died recently from blood poisoning. Scarr
senior had a brother prominent in racing, and as handicapper in New South Wales.
Another brother, Frank Scarr, was a surveyor and land commissioner. A township
was once surveyed on Bowen Downs, near Muttaburra, and called “Scarrbury,” in
honor of Scarr, but the town never got beyond the name.
A year old child named
Moreton Bradley Lytton Hitchins died on February 25, 1876, his father being a
clerk in the Post Office in the days of Salisbury, R. T. Scott, Crosby, and
A young fellow named
William Ker Atchison, died in November 1868, aged only 27. He was a Customs
agent, and a general favourite, but consumption ended his career in the morning
of his days. In the words of Shelley he was
lovely youth, no mourning maiden decked,
lone couch of his everlasting rest;
virgins, as unknown he passed, have pined,
wasted for fond love of his wild eyes.”
In the north west
corner of the Church of England portion, is an old timber getter, who was a
cedar cutter on the Maroochy River, at the time of a remarkable tragedy in that
locality. The timber getters were all in camp on Sunday, and there was a wild
unholy revel on over proof rum. This began on Saturday, and continued over
Sunday. One man, a big, powerful fellow, took rather too much rum, divesting
himself of all his clothes, and started to chase the wife of one of the other
men. She ran into the hut, got the husband’s gun, and ran to another hut, the
rum maddened man in pursuit. She met him at the corner of the hut face to face
and fired, the charge of No 2 shot striking him in the stomach. In three minutes
he was dead. It was a dramatic and tragical scene!
At the same camp, some
of the blacks who were working for the cedar cutters were also given an
excessive share of rum, and three of them went to sleep on the beach at low
tide. The rum had paralysed them to such an extent that even the rising tide
failed to rouse them, so they were all drowned, and their three dead bodies were
found close together on the beach next morning. The other blacks took them away
and probably ate them, as they would not regard rum as a poison. In after years
it was said that beach was haunted, and there were men who declared they saw the
mad cedar getter racing round among the trees, and the drowned blacks walking on
the sand. Others said they saw the ghost of Stevens, the botanist, who was
murdered by the blacks in 1866, at the “Dead Man’s Waterhole,” near Mooloolah.
The rum in those days was good, and men saw nothing worse than ghosts. With the
rum of today men see nothing but devils, a specially ferocious class of devils
with iron teeth, arms like those of an octopus, and the green and yellow eyes of
Gilbert Elliott Gore
was a child buried on May 30, 1875. This child was evidently named from Gilbert
Elliott, the first Speaker in the first Queensland Parliament. He was proposed
by St. George R. Gore, seconded by Macalister, and chosen unanimously.
The original Gores took
up Yandilla and Tummaville stations on the Downs in the early forties. One of
these, Robert Gore, and his wife, Mary and child were drowned in the wreck of
the steamer, Sovereign, outside the South Passage, at Moreton Island, on the
11th of March, 1847. The Gore best known in Brisbane was Ralph Gore,
who was for years Immigration Agent, and Visiting Justice at St. Helena and
Dunwich. He married a daughter of E. I. C. Browne M.L.C., of the legal firm of
Little and Browne. One of Morehead’s jokes referred to this firm which he called
the “Snipe lawyers,” as “the snipe is little and brown, with an absurdly long
bill.” They had done some work for Morehead and the bill made him gasp for
When Gore died, his
widow resided for some time in their old home at New Farm. During a voyage to
the old country with Captain Withers, of the Quetta, she and that giddy mariner,
contracted a platonic friendship of the kind common among sea captains, and he
deserted his wife to fly with his new found love, forgetting his wife as the
false “Theseus once in Dia forgot his beautiful haired Ariadne.”
Old Browne, M.L.C., was
a wealthy man, and chief owner of the “Courier.” His share went to Mrs. Gore,
who is today chief owner of that journal. Of course, Captain Withers was aware
of Mrs. Gore’s financial position, but captains are never influenced by
considerations of wealth. They invariably marry for pure love, and live the
simple life – when there is no chance of any other variety.
Ralph Gore inherited a
title, and was Sir Ralph at the time of his death. This title is now borne by
his eldest son, who is an officer in the army. There were two other children who
are said to be still alive, and the infant “Gilbert Elliott” in the Paddington
William Holbrook, who
died on January 15, 1870, aged 36, was a young man employed as jeweler by
Flavelle Brothers and Roberts, of that date, and the neat headstone was erected
“as a token of respect by the employees” of that firm.
SUNDAY MARCH 8, 1908
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
others come, so flows the wave on wave,
what these mortals call Eternity;
Deeming themselves the
breakers of the ocean,
they are but the bubbles, ignorant
foam is their formation.
peaceful shall thou end thy blissful days,
steal thyself from life by slow decays,
Unknown to pain in age
resign thy breath,
late stern Neptune points the shaft with death,
dark grave retiring as to rest,
people blessing, by thy people blessed!
long, ‘tis a last, ‘tis a beautiful rest,
all sorrow has passed from the brow and the breast,
the lone spirit truly and wisely may crave,
sleep that is dreamless, the sleep of the grave.
On July 1, 1873, a Scottish
visitor, traveling for his health, died in Brisbane. His name was John Howie,
and he died at the age of 50. The stone over his grave was placed there by his
nephew James Isles, whose mother was a Miss Howie. James Isles came to
Queensland in 1862, and in 1866 he and Tom Finney bought out the drapery
business of T. F. Merry in Fortitude Valley. They continued that business there
until 1870, when they removed to the cornet of Queen and Edward Streets, where
the original title of the firm is retained by the widely known Finney, Isles and
Co., of today, now fronting Edward and Adelaide Streets, and withdrawn from
their old Queen Street corner.
James Isles was a true
type of old Caledonia’s sons, and the physical vigor of his race was transmitted
to his own five sons, all of whom were champion athletes, whose performances are
recorded in Perry and Carmichael’s “Athletic Queensland.” The well known J. T.
Isles, of Isles, Love and Co., among other performances, won the 440 yards
Footballers’ Handicap in 1888. In 1887 he won the 150 yards handicap and the 440
Very sad was the untimely death of Willy Isles, one of the brothers, at an early age, the cause being peritonitis
"...Fisherman’s Island was a
dreary place, a patch of earth, a desert of mud, a sea of water. The quantity of
driftwood was surprising, and the multitudes of centipedes truly alarming. At
first we had some quantity of green grass, but A. C. Gregory’s exploring party
landed and cut it all for their horses on board ship. We had to pull several
miles to the muddy waterhole for every drop of brackish water we had. James
strained mine through all sorts of things, but it never lost its muddy look and
flavor. Influenza, fever, and ague were bad amongst us, and were only
indifferently combated by quinine and strong brandy and water.”
The James mentioned by
Grundy was a James Morton, afterwards killed by the blacks at Manumbah station.
In 1847 he had two mates killed beside him by the blacks, on the Clarence. His
own turn came afterwards. Grundy said Morton had a mortal fear of blacks. His
brother, Charley Morton, was either a first or second mate on the Boomerang, and
he died suddenly one night at Mercer’s Hotel at Kangaroo Point, and was buried
John Cook was a chemist
in the Valley, the only chemist there 55 years ago, and his business was
afterwards purchased by W. T. Costin, the present veteran Valley chemist, the
oldest now in Queensland. Cook, the old time pill pounder, sleeps in the
Paddington cemetery. Perhaps his soul is proscribing a teaspoonful of Celestial
nectar, some ambrosial nepenthe, to angels with a “tired feeling” in the Elysian
fields. And we may be sure it is “a tablespoon three times a day.”
John Pound, who died on
July 14, 1875, aged 55, was father of Jonathan Pound, whose son is the present
chairman of the Southport Shire Council. Jonathan is still in robust health, and
owns a lot of property on the shores of the south end of Moreton Bay.
On August 8, 1868, a German named F. M. Raaaba, was buried, aged 57. In the year 1856, a German family of that name came to Brisbane in the ship Helena. One of the sons, a boy aged 13, named Charles, became, in after years, a prominent resident of Maryborough, where he finally settled in 1875, after years of teamster work to and from the stations on the Burnett. From team driving he went to hotel business, and kept the Royal Exchange Hotel, in Adelaide Street. In 1894, he became an alderman, and has been a good and useful citizen. Will some Maryborough man kindly write and say what became of him.
George Hall, who died
on October 18, 1855, aged 31, was a clerk in the firm of Christopher Newton
Brothers of Sydney. He came to Brisbane for the benefit of his health, and added
one more to the victims of consumption.
It was usual in those
early days for consumptive people to come north in the hope of recovering in the
climate of Moreton Bay, but they were usually in too advanced a stage.
Among the old time
shepherds buried at Paddington, was Harry Brown, who was shepherding on
Burrandowan station, in 1855, when it was owned by Phillip Friell and Gordon
Sandeman, who bought it from the first owner, Henry Stewart Russell, who took it
up in 1843, the first station on the Burnett. Several shepherds and
hotel-keepers were killed on Burrandowan, and Harry Brown was speared through
the side. Shepherding was a dangerous occupation for the first twenty years on
the Burnett and Mary. Brown finally died at Brisbane in 1861, while in the
service of the first “Brisbane Club,” which had only started the previous year,
the first meeting to organize having been held in the office of D. F. Roberts.
The first ballot for member was held on March 1, 1860, and the first club room
was on the premises of W. A. Brown, the sheriff, in Mary Street. The first
committee included Sheppard Smith, of the Bank of New South Wales, E. S.
Elsworth of the A. J. S. Bank, and Nehemiah Bartley. They drafted the rules and
engaged the first servants, among whom was Harry Brown, who never quite
recovered from that Burrandowan spear wound.
Since Brown’s time, the
modest pioneer club, in the one room in Mary Street, has grown into the
Queensland Club, housed today in the palatial building facing the Gardens and
A girl named Sarah Ann
Pratten died in 1859, aged 23, the age – from 23 to 26 – fatal to so many young
women in the early days. Miss Pratten was an aunt of F. L. Pratten, present
Deputy Registrar of Titles in
Brisbane. Her father, the granddad of the present Prattens, came to Brisbane in
the forties, and was farming at Cowper’s Plains, today erroneously called
“Cooper’s Plains,” though named after Dr. Cowper, the first medical officer in
the convict settlement at Moreton Bay. Pratten senior died at the Plains and was
buried there. His son was one of the pioneer surveyors of what is now
Queensland, and did much useful work on the Darling Downs, Maranoa, and
He married a sister of
R. S. Warry, once a prominent Brisbane merchant, and she became the mother of
six sons and three daughters. One of the girls married a son of the late Rev. J.
H. Hassall; one married Leslie Tooth, grandson of W. B. Tooth, who was one of
the pioneers of Wide Bay, the present Maryborough district. He was a brother of
Atticus Tooth, who came from Kent in 1839, as a cousin of the famous brewing
Tooths of Sydney. He and W. B. Tooth took up Wide Bay stations from which John
Bales had been driven by the blacks. I n 1856, Atticus Tooth held a station on
the Mary River, including the present site of Gympie, and had ten thousand sheep
there, but a wet season, extending over several months, drove him elsewhere, and
he married, in 1869, a daughter of D. R. Emmerson, of Bowen, and became one of
the first squatters in the Port Denison district.
Four of G. L. Pratten’s sons are alive today, and the three daughters still survive, two married and one single. Harry Pratten is in the Bank of New South Wales, at Rockhampton, George in the Railway Department, Paul in the General Post Office, and F. L. Pratten is Deputy Registrar of Titles. The well known Tom Pratten, late secretary in the railway head office, died recently, and Arthur was killed in Bundaberg by falling over a balcony when walking in his sleep. The present Mrs. Pratten, mother of these sons, was a sister of Dr. Hugh Bell’s wife. Their brother, R. S. Warry, started business in Queen Street about the year 1853, and in the year, 1862, erected what was then the best building in Queensland, a large brick store next the Royal Hotel afterwards the first office of the Queensland National Bank. He had two brothers, Tom and Charles, both chemists, one in Brisbane, and one in Ipswich, and both died at an early age. Tom was a practical joker of an unusual type, and a gruesome tale describes the most remarkable of his performances. He invited the principal citizens to a special dinner, presumably in honor of his birthday, or his grandmother’s death, or his best girl coming of age, or an imaginary legacy left to him y his uncle in Spitzbergen. In the centre of the table was a large, round dish under a cover. “I think,” said this peculiar joker, “that we better start on the principal dish,” and he raised the cover to reveal the fresh head of an aboriginal, who had been hanged that morning! It was garnished like a ham, with frilled pink paper, and the thick mass of black hair had a dozen rosebuds inserted here and there. The company first gasped for breath, and then some of them fell over the backs of their chairs. Others fell over the doorstep rushing outside, and two fainted. A bombshell could not have scattered that dinner party more effectually. It was Tom Warry’s champion joke. He had induced the authorities to give him the head for scientific purposes, and he explained afterwards that this was in order to settle the great physiological problem of how fright affects various types of men! But Brisbane citizens were clean “off” Tom’s dinner parties forevermore.
Warry senior, father of
all the Warrys, died at the age of 78, as the final result of a fall between a
steamer and the wharf. One of his daughters married a Dr. Barton, and when he
died, she married Dr. Hugh Bell. One of her daughters, by Dr. Barton, is the
wife of the Hon. Albert Norton, M.L.C., and the other, who is still single,
resides with her sister.