NOVEMBER 17 1907,
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
An Ithaca Councilor says the
tombstones are good road metal.
Truth’s Special has a word to
say and shows that some of Queensland’s Grandest Pioneers
lie buried there.
old cemetery is one of the most pathetic and melancholy
spectacles in this world, and the pathos of it is deepened
when it has been allowed to drift into neglect and ruin, with
broken fences, overturned tombstones, fallen railings,
obliterated inscriptions, rank weeds, long grass and general
Longfellow said he “loved that ancient Saxon phrase
which called the burial ground God’s Acre,” but old and
neglected cemeteries are a poor compliment to the respect
shown to God’s special property in graveyards.
It is not an honour to our boasted civilisation that
primitive races, and those we are pleased to call “savages,”
had far more reverence for their dead, than the most highly
civilised races of the present.
The aboriginal burying grounds of the world were not
holiday resorts for lewd and frivolous larrikins and
larrikinesses, and sundry other types of human animals whose
presence is an insult to the dead. Nor were they feeding
places for goats and cows, and they were not allowed to drift
into a condition which is an insult to the living.
The Roman Catacombs (“Roma Sotteranea”), prove the
reverent care of the ancient Romans for their dead.
The Alabaster Sarcophagus of Psammetichus, and the
magnificent urns and expensively embalmed bodies of ancient
Egypt, show a reverence for the dead not paralleled by any
other nation of the world. And no other nation had ever a
custom corresponding to the Egyptian “Trial of the Dead,” one
of the most weirdly dramatic and tragically mournful and
pathetic spectacles in human history.
To come from the ancient to modern times, let us ask if
our own fair land of Queensland has a noble record in its
treatment of the dead men and women, the heroes and heroines
of the rough old pioneering days of the past, the men and
women whose life work made stepping stones for the present to
walk over where they had to swim or wade through many a dark
Brisbane’s first cemetery was on the bank of the river
on the curve of North Quay. That was the graveyard of the
convict period, a time of horrors unimaginable by the people
of today. On that then lonely spot, overlooking the placid
river were deposited the bodies of soldiers, convicts, and
officers, who died from 1825 to 1839, and today their dust
lies there in the silence of that river bank, heedless of the
continuous roar of the city which stands now where they saw
only the primeval forest, and nightly heard the howl of the
dingo and the songs of the savage tribes, far less savage than
the whites of that period. They lie there forgotten, the
flogger and the flogged, the slayer and the slain.
The old headstones from that graveyard were removed
many years ago to the present cemetery at Paddington, and are
There was also another early cemetery Baptist the river
and Roma Street, in front of where the Helidon Spa
establishment is situated. The tombstones from there were also
removed to the Paddington cemetery which is therefore the most
venerable graveyard in Queensland, the one with the most
fascinating historical associations, the one surrounded by the
most pathetic and romantic memories of the early days of
The ancient Necropolis, venerable with age and sacred
to the memory of our early settlers, was the subject for
discussion in a recent meeting of the Ithaca Shire Council,
which decided that it should be vested in the Council, and
transformed into a recreation ground.
In answer to a question concerning the disposal of
headstones, Alderman White replied : “Break them up and use
them for the footpaths; they make good road metal!”
And nobody even attempted to brain him with a ruler!
Probably the braining process would be as much a physical
impossibility with White as it would be with a piemelon, but
some might have at least have mercifully have thrown him over
a precipice if there was one convenient.
Darwin said that today, even among the most highly
civilised races, there are a number of men still in the
Troglodyte stage, men who have the skulls and intellects of
cave dwellers who sat in their dark dwelling places and gnawed
the grilled bones of even their own parents, when having a
To such men there is nothing sacred, and they care for
nothing but the welfare of their own carcasses.
It was said of Cato that his love of gold was such, he
sifted the ashes of his dead father, to see if they would pan
out a few pennyweights. There are men who would dig up graves
for the sake of the shrouds on the dead, and have them made
Some of the Ithaca aldermen are evidently still in the
Troglodyte stage, a stage at least ten thousand years lower
than that of any savage race of today. The proposal to insult
the dead by making road metal of their tombs give the Ithaca
Council, and Alderman White, an unenviable distinction that we
gladly believe will stand as the only record of the kind in
Australian history, from the landing of Phillip to the far off
period when this continent is to be once more submerged in the
ocean. If Alderman White’s skull is not broken up for road
metal after he is dead it ought to be placed in the Museum
beside that of the Diprotodon, and other extinct animals of
the Post Pliocene period in Australia. And the “Daily Mail”
sent out a Troglodyte reporter who approved of Alderman
This is the first appearance of the Troglodyte in
Queensland journalism. It is safe to say that on no other
paper is such a reporter possible, at least not on the staff.
He would be kept in an iron cage in the yard, and fed on
The Paddington cemetery holds most of the historic
people of Moreton Bay and Queensland. And in a series of
articles we shall endeavour to save the names and deeds of the
most remarkable from the oblivion of time.
Before entering those old cemeteries in that solemn,
little valley, which may be called the Valley of the Shadow of
Death, it may be well to have a glance at the outside. In
those days, the various sects extended their exclusiveness
beyond the grave, and so the Wesleyan, the Jew, the Roman
Catholic, and the Church of England dead were kept carefully
apart by a fence or a street. It was a somewhat inconsistent
scheme on the part of those who believe in a resurrection that
is to find all equal before God on the Day of Judgment. But
theology is not one of the exact sciences, and is subject to
many amendments. Today, in the Toowong cemetery, all sects
sleep as it were in the same room on apparently harmonious
terms, as there is no recorded case of a general disturbance.
Outside all the sects were two classes of unfortunates
to whom consecrated burial was denied. Those were suicides,
who murdered themselves, and malefactors whom the law murdered
on the gallows. These are the dead “outside the fence,” though
there is no reason to suppose they have not slept as
peacefully, as those inside.
No headstones were placed over these lost souls, and so
their graves are not discoverable today. Their names only are
found in the records. No one call tell who was the first
honest person inside, or the first criminal outside.
Cemetery started with the grave of Miss Hill, a daughter of
the late Walter Hill, who was first Curator of the Brisbane
Botanic Gardens, in 1855. The next grave was that of Governor
Blackall, on January 3, 1871.
dead in Toowong Cemetery are more in number than the whole of
the living in Queensland at the date of Separation, when the
population was represented by 25,000 people.
Among the men buried in the old graveyard between Roma
Street and the North Quay were two named Stapylton and Tuck.
Stapylton was one of three surveyors sent up by Governor Gipps
to start a trigonometrical survey of the Moreton Bay district,
the other two being Dixon and James Warner, who was, in after
years, Sergeant-at-Arms in the Assembly.
Stapylton and his two men, Tuck and Dunlop, were attacked by the blacks near Mt. Lindsay, and Stapylton and Tuck were killed, Dunlop being left as dead, but he crawled into the scrub and was found there alive by the relief party from Brisbane, and recovered dying only about 10 or 12 years ago.
The remains of Stapylton and Tuck were brought to
Brisbane and buried in that old ground near Roma Street, where
they may be turned up some day in an excavation or a posthole.
Two blacks named Merridoo and Noogamill were captured
in May 1841, taken to Sydney, tried and sentenced to death,
brought back to Brisbane and hanged from a beam on the present
Observatory, the old convict windmill.
These two blacks, the first men hanged in Brisbane,
were also buried not far from Stapylton and Tuck.
The railway station of Stapylton on the Southport line perpetuates the name of the dead surveyor.
Among those outside the fence in the Paddington
cemetery is a black called Dundalli, hanged in 1854 in Queen
Street on the site of the present Post Office. He was charged
with several murders, including those of Mr. Gregor and Mrs.
Shannon at the Pine River, in 1846.
In the same month, another black called “Davey” was
hanged in Queen Street for killing Mr. Trevethan at Wide Bay,
and he too, is “outside the fence” at Paddington.
Many readers will remember Lachlan McLean, the once
well-known and respected blacksmith, of Elizabeth Street. His
father and family came to Sydney from Ross-shire in Scotland,
in 1841, and six months afterwards came on to Brisbane, where
McLean, senior, was the first blacksmith. He died about 40
years ago and was buried at Paddington.
There was a remarkable incident on the day of the
funeral. At the moment of passing the old gaol at Petrie
Terrace, now a police barracks, an aboriginal prisoner named
“Tommy Skyring” was attempting to escape. He had climbed to
the top of the wall, and was just about to lower himself, when
a warder shot him dead, and he fell alongside the funeral
procession, nearly on top of one of the mourners.
Tommy was one of three blacks who killed Stevens, the
botanist in 1866, near Mooloolah, at the spot still known as
the “Dead Man’s Lagoon.”
It appears that Tommy gave himself up to the police, as
Stevens haunted him. He said the dead man came repeatedly and
looked over his shoulder, and this so scared Tommy that he
refused to eat, and wasted away to a shadow.
But the old love of freedom overcame him, and he was
making a dash for it once more when the warder’s carbine
stopped him at the start.
He, too, lies outside the fence at Paddington among the
unwept, unhonored and unsung.
At present in Brisbane are some visitors from Scotland,
impelled by a desire to find among the Paddington dead, the
grave of a relative who was buried there in 1864, and they
have been successful.
Since the Toowong cemetery started a number of people
have been taken up and removed to there. Among these were the
members of the McLean family.
Among those buried in the Presbyterian section at
Paddington was the Rev. Thomas Mowbray, a once well-known
Presbyterian parson, whose name is retained by “Mowbray Park”
at South Brisbane.
He was father of the present Mowbray P.M. of Warwick,
and the late Willie Mowbray, once P.M. at Herberton, and
finally at Gympie.
He was also father of the wife of the still juvenile
and vivacious Dr. John Thompson, the most experienced medical
man in Queensland.
The Mowbray Estate remained in the hands of the family
until recent years, the last of it being sold to the South
Brisbane Council, who made it the public Mowbray Park of
The remains of the Rev. Thomas Mowbray were removed in
after years to the cemetery at South Brisbane, where Mrs.
Mowbray, who died ten or twelve years ago, is also buried.
Among those in the Catholic ground at Paddington are
the remains of a Mr. And Mrs. Loague who came out from
Londonderry, in Ireland, in 1852.
Loague was for many years a highly esteemed officer in
the Police Force, stationed at Petrie Terrace gaol.
One of his daughters, a fine-looking woman, married a
Mr. Mylchreest, who was for many years pilot and harbour
master at Cairns, the first there, a six foot two,
broad-shouldered man, who died leaving one son and one
The son died, and the daughter, one of the finest
specimens of women in North Queensland, married a Mulgrave
River stockowner named Simmonds, who died some years ago,
leaving a widow and four children, one of whom, the eldest
girl, is married and residing at present in Wynnum.
It is especially interesting to find such proofs as
these that there has been no deterioration, in the second or
third generations, and that Loague’s descendants today are
quite equal in physique to their old Hibernian ancestors. A
few facts like these dispel many illusions concerning the
adaptability of Queensland, North and South, for the white
TRUTH SUNDAY NOVEMBER 24, 1907
BYGONE BRISBANE –
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
The smallest graveyard at Paddington is that of the
Wesleyans. It has also the distinction of being the most
neglected. There does not appear to have been more than 70 or
80 people buried there, and some of the graves have either not
been marked by headstones, or some of those stones have been
broken or removed.
A few score are lying on their faces, as tombstones
frequently do even when erect, and here and there is merely a
fragment bearing a part of an inscription.
On some graves the headstones alone indicate the site,
the wooden railings having long since decayed, or been broken
or removed for firewood, by some of the ghouls who do these
things at night when the nocturnal reptiles are out in search
of prey. The surrounding fence has also supplied much
firewood, which left panels with no rails, or one rail, and
here and there dreary gaps in the palings, with signs of age,
and neglect, and decay, and the trail of desolation over it
all. Alone of all that is not dismal, and dead, and forgotten,
or unfit to be seen, stand two or three silky oaks and a Bunya
pine, of which we might say, as Byron said of the cypress:
“Dark tree still sad when
others’ grief has fled,
The only constant mourner o’er
The oaks, which are about 40 feet in height, afford
favourite climbing exercise for the small boys of the locality
and only a very foolish sparrow ever builds a nest on even the
At the south-east corner of the cemetery is a recumbent
vault stone telling us that below is all that is mortal of
Annie Thompson Pugh, wife of Theophilus P. Pugh, whose name
will be handed on to posterity associated with “Pugh’s
Pugh was once a member for North Brisbane, and while in
the House voted for the repeal of the Civil Service Act.
When he stood again for Brisbane, the whole Civil
Service was waiting for his blood, and he was thrown out with
a loud bang.
Pugh was a little man with so much restless energy that
he was known as the “Industrious Flea.”
On the stone is only one line stating that:
“She never caused her friends to
grieve until she died.”
epigram such as shows that brevity is often the soul of
eloquence as well as of wit.
Mrs. Pugh died on March 1, 1866, aged 33 years.
Near the grave is a stone with the name of William
Alfred Finney, the eleven months son of Thomas and Sidney Ann
Sidney House, at Toowong, bears the name of the mother,
and she and the once well-known Tom Finney, founder of the
firm of Finney Isles and Co., are in the same Land of Shadows
as the child who died on June 11, 1869.
That is one of the only three graves in a decent
condition, but yet one naturally wonders why it has not
received more attention, or the stone removed to Toowong.
The best kept grave there, apparently recently much
improved, is that of Henry Edward Tom, second son of Henry and
Emma Tom, a child of two years and five months, who died on
August 22, 1864.
That was 43 years ago, but the memory of the lost child
is still green in the hearts of some of the Tom family,
well-known and respected squatters today on the Maranoa.
Pathetic beyond expression are these children’s’
graves, and there are many of them.
“Only a child,” says the casual fool who has not known sorrow, or is not capable of feeling nor caring that
“out of the souls of the mothers of these, the light and joy of their life has fled,”
consigned those once dearly loved white shrouded little forms
to the dust.
Very singular are fatalities in some families.
Amy Josephine Leigh died on April 18, 1867, aged 8
months, and next year William Theodore Leigh died on January
17, at exactly the same age. The stone tells us that they were
“children of Thomas Leigh, and Jane White.” White,
presumably being the mother’s maiden name. The inscription
“They have early flown, dear,
Home to their rest,
They have early learned the
In the land of the Blest,
In that painless clime, in that
Sweet Amy, dear Willie, we’ll
meet you there.”
The oldest grave appears to be that of Johanna Sutherland, who died on December 14, 1852, aged 70, and next comes George Poole, a Brisbane chemist and druggist, who died on May 6, 1853, at 30 years of age. Of him it is said that
died triumphant in the faith of the Gospel.”
The Markwell family, well-known since early days, are represented by Mary Ann, wife of John Markwell, dead on April 8, 1855, aged 30, and Mary Ann, the wife of Isaac Markwell, dead on November 2, 1862, aged 45. Evidently Mary Ann was a favourite name in that family.
On the tomb of the wife of W. J. Killick Piddington,
dead on October 25, 1866, aged 36, is this inscription,
referring to her eight year old son, who died on September 27,
“Yes, ‘tis sweet balm in our
Fond, fairest boy,
That Heaven is God’s, and thou
With Him in joy;
for a while farewell,
Pride of my heart,
It cannot be that long we dwell,
Thus torn apart.”
These are two verses from a very little known poem, one
of the most pathetic in the language,. It appeared with the
title of “Casa Wappy,” the pet name of the poet’s son, who
died at the age of four or five, and each double verse ended
with the name. They are among the finest In Memoriam verses
ever written, and the author was the famous Scotsman, Dr.
Macbeth Moir. They first appeared in “Blackwood’s,” over the
nom-de-plume “Delta” in 1847.
On one tomb is the name of Eliza, wife of Charles
Abraham, whose name would indicate a Hebrew origin, but she
may have been a Christian. She was born on July 15, 1813, and
died on March 12, 1875. One of her sons is today a Brisbane
town traveler for a firm bearing a Semitic name.
On her headstone is the following eulogy:-
“She was - but words are
wanting to say what!
Think what a wife should be, and
she was that.”
Florence Gertrude was the seven months daughter of
Charles Henry and Caroline Harley, who inscribed over the tomb
of this young soul thus prematurely hurried from the world:
“To those who for her loss are grieved
from a world of woe was called
To bloom, a rose in Heaven!”
The name of Harley was well-known to Brisbane in recent
years in the firm of Rogers and Harley, printers, of Elizabeth
The name of “William” (buried on July 7, 1868) four
days’ old son of William H. and Minna Miskin, now in
Rockhampton, was once a well-known Brisbane solicitor, who for
some years was also Official Trustee in Insolvency, and he
lived out at Toowong.
He was an enthusiastic entomologist, and by purchase
and exchange made one of the finest butterfly and moth
collections in Queensland.
But the blue serenity of the Miskin household was
overclouded by a darkness that might be felt. A new and
strange planet, called “Governess,” swung into the orbit of
the Miskin system, and the lawful occupant of that sphere
appealed to the Terrestrial laws, and Miskin and “Governess”
swung off into an orbit of their own, and have remained there
Miskin’s butterflies were sold to the Brisbane Museum
for £250, and are there at the present time, all except one
specimen – “Governess Superbus”- which he wisely retained.
One of his brothers, A. E. Miskin, was once owner of
Bundall plantation on Nerang Creek, his partner for a time
being “Charley Morris,” the present C. A. M. Morris P.M. of
This Miskin afterwards took up a 1280 acre selection of
the Johnstone River and settled there.
But the four day’s old baby of July, 1868, has
slumbered in blissful unconsciousness, and the mother, a most
esteemable woman, is far away from the lonely grave of the
child of her early days.
James Stevens died on August 27, 1866, aged75 years,
and the headstone was “Erected by his bereaved widow.” Alas!
Alas! Thus are we ever face to face with the Eastern Monarch’s
“Take all the world can give or
But know that death is at the
“Letitia, wife of Robert Raymond,” is all that one
Jane, the wife of Henry Franklin, once a builder in Fortitude valley, died on September 5, 1859, leaving this message:
“Farewell, my husband, I’m gone
My love for you can be no more,
Grieve not for me, nor sorrow
But love my children for my
James Wakefield, who died at 57, on July 8, 1857, was father of the well known Hiram Wakefield. His widow died on July 4, 1873, aged 68.
Remarkable are the deaths of so many young women. Mary
Ann, the wife of Henry Walpole, an old time Valley tradesman,
died on August 5, 1854, aged 21. Her sister Francis died on
October 15, in the same year, aged 18, and a child who
survived her, died at 21 – the same age as her mother.
Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Allen, cabman, of Fortitude Valley, died at the age of 30, on May 6, 1875, leaving three young sons. She buried her first two infants in unmarked graves in the Church of England portion of the cemetery. She was born Elizabeth Fogarty in Roscrea, Tipperary.
Henry John Isaac Markwell, son of John Markwell, and
one of the dandies of the period, a fine young fellow, was
killed off his horse on the Toowong road.
Fanny, the wife of William Sexton, of South Brisbane,
died on March 12, 1872, aged 27, and Susannah Sarah, wife of E.
J. Kingston, a Valley storekeeper, died on October 8, 1859.
The old Brisbane Costin family, well known today, gave
the grave, on May 7,1875, a young man of 18½ years, son of
Thomas A. Costin, once a Queen Street saddler, whose successor
was the well known Jarman. His brother, W. J. Costin, is the
present chemist in the Valley, and father of W. C. Costin, the
Clerk of Parliaments. His brother, J. T. Costin, is in charge
of the lithographic department in the Government Printing
Office, and one of his sons, J. M. Costin, went recently to
Thursday Island as shipping and fisheries’ Inspector.
Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Costin, the grandparents, came to
Moreton Bay in September, 1848, on the advice of T. H. Green,
Mrs. Costin’s brother, who was then a merchant and stock and
station agent in South Brisbane. The Costins went in those
days to the church on the present site of the Longreach Hotel.
Then Costin, J. P. Smith, A. Warricott, Freeman, and Chambers,
started the first Methodist cause in Queensland in a little
lane on the site of the present “Telegraph” newspaper, and the
first minister to arrive was the Rev. William Moore, the first
church being erected in Albert Street and Burnett Lane, and
doing duty for some time for both Methodists and
In those days the present Angus Gibson, M.L.C., lord of
Bingera plantation, was making a living out of cabbage growing
at Bulimba. In 1863 he was going along Queen Street and heard
singing in the Albert Street church. It must have been first
class singing, for it fascinated Angus, and he went in and
became a Methodist, and has continued to be one ever since.
This is the tale told by Angus himself.
Jane Merry, wife of T. F. Merry, died on May 26, 1865,
aged 32. She was the first wife. Merry was for years a draper
in the Valley, when Tom Finney was there in the same business,
before he came to Queen Street. He is still alive, and a
member of the firm of Barnes and Co., of which Barnes M.L.A.,
is the head.
Caroline Rhodes, who died on March 2, 1864, at the age
of 21, was a daughter of Ralph Rhodes, who then had the
Sawyers Arms Hotel in George Street, where Tritton is today.
Rhodes and his wife were people much esteemed and their
carefully kept house was a favourite resort for people from
the country. He married a second time, but both are dead.
Rhodes had a daughter named Cordelia, who married a George
Gotcher, and died on August 24, 1869, aged 25 years. Her
mother, Rhodes’ first wife, Margaret, died on August 26, 1869,
aged 53 years, so that mother and daughter died within two
days of each other.
The stone over John Bucknell Waldron, who died at 27 on
July 26, 1861, was erected by the children of the
Congregational Sunday School “as a token of love and esteem
for a kind teacher.” How many of those children are alive
Harriett Paten, wife of John Paten, died on February
24, 1861. Paten, in 1856, was a leading bootmaker in Queen
Street, and he and “Bobby Cribb” were associated in business.
The headstone records that
we have borne the image of the earthly,
also bear the image of the Heavenly.”
Clara Alice Harries, wife of Eustace Henry Harries, died on April 25, 1870, and the stone says she was
“Blest in hope, revered in memory.”
died in giving birth to her first baby. Harries was a
draughtsman in the Colonial Architect’s Department, of 40
Catherine Ann Girling, wife of William Girling, died on
November 14, 1865, aged 21, and her sister Mary Smith Deacon,
died on November 27, aged 20.
By this time the reader will doubtless have noticed the
astonishing number of deaths among young women Baptist 16 and
21, and here comes a remarkable statement by one of Brisbane’s
oldest inhabitants, a man who has been here since 1851. He
says that in the early days there was much bad water, total
disregard of drainage, cesspit closets of the worst type, and
no attention to sanitation. Much fever, then considered to be
malarial, was certainly typhoid. The critical age was that
from 16 to 22, and once over 22, there was a prospect of a
fairly long life. The death rate among children and young
girls was terribly high. Painfully conspicuous is the absence
of old people in the cemetery.
Among all in the Methodist section, there are only two
over 60 and two over 70. The majority are under 30. And young
men appeared to have no more immunity than women, as the list
Among those, R. B. Boardman Silcock died in January, 1865, aged 38; Menander Malcolm on June 28, 1872, aged 27; G. G. Stokes on October 28, 1872, aged 22 years; and James Chapman, on November 10, 1867, aged 13 years. On his headstone are the words,
looks beyond the grave, and on to light and immortality.”
Over Stokes are the words,
cometh forth as a flower and is cut down. He fleeth also as
a shadow and continueth not.”
With this we finally leave the Methodist cemetery, one
of God’s most neglected acres.
“Where the traveller meets
Sheeted memories of the past;
Shrouded forms that start and
As they pass the wanderer by;
White robed forms of friends
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
When the Paddington cemeteries were first reserved,
that region was then “out in the bush,” and apparently no-one
foresaw an extension of Brisbane in that direction within the
lifetime of any of the existing generation.
The ridges sloped down from Petrie Terrace into a swamp
at the bottom. In those days ducks and herons and snipe fed in
that swamp, and kangaroos and wallabies hopped through the
ironbarks and spotted and box gums on the surrounding slopes.
At night there was heard the mournful howl of the furtive
dingo, and the call of the melancholy stone plover. Blacks
climbed the trees and cut out the opossum and the wild bees
nest. Electric trams were far off, in an unknown and
unimagined future. The Philp and Kidston and Bowman parties
were lying dormant in protoplasm, like the egg of Eros in
Chaos, to be hatched one day by numerous strange devices.
Around Brisbane stretched the primeval wilderness, to unknown
These thoughts arise as we stand in the Presbyterian
cemetery, by the grave of Andrew Petrie, that fine old Scot,
who came to Sydney as one of a select band of Scottish
mechanics in the Stirling Castle in 1831.The stone tells us
that he was born on June 25, 1798, and died at Brisbane on
February 20, 1872. What eventful 41 years occupy that space
from 1831 to 1872! And how closely are the Petries identified
with the early history of Queensland! Tom Petrie, who lives at
the North Pine, is today, at 71 years of age, the oldest
resident of Queensland. He came here as a year old baby with
his parents in 1837.
In 1837 Andrew Petrie was engaged in Sydney as foreman
of Works in Moreton Bay and he and his family came up in the
small steamer James Watt. In the following year Petrie first
discovered coal at Redbank, where the Tivoli mine is today. In
1838 e discovered the Bunya pine at the Blackall Range and
brought the first plants to Brisbane. This tree actually
received the name “Pinus Petriane,” but J. C. Bidwell, a
collector of that time, sent some specimens to London and it
was named “Araucaria Bidwilli”, the name it bears today.
Bidwell is buried at the mouth of Tinana Creek.
Petrie’s first work at Moreton Bay was the repair of
the treadmill, the Observatory of today. From a window of that
Observatory, in 1841, there projected a beam, on which two
aboriginals were hanged, though proved afterwards to be
innocent. The gallows were arranged under Petrie’s
instructions, and the hangman, who came from Sydney,
complimented him on his work. Petrie was not proud of the
compliment. In May 1842, accompanied by Henry Stuart Russell,
author of the “Genesis of Queensland,” Joliffe, Wrottesley, a
convict crew, and two aboriginals, Petrie went on that
memorable Mary River and Wide Bay trip from which they brought
back Bracefell and Davis, the two convicts who had been ten
and fourteen years respectively with the blacks. Andrew Petrie
was a fine specimen of a man, tall and good looking, with
curly hair and beard. His sons, too, were all tall, fine men,
and only Tom is left. One of his daughters married the late
Bob Ferguson, who stood six feet four. Bob was for many years
Inspector of Works, and among his early contracts was the
erection of the Sandy Cape lighthouse, in 1872.
In the same railing as Andrew Petrie, is Mary
Cuthbertson Petrie, who died on June 1, 1855, also Walter
Daniel, a year and ten months child of John and Jane Petrie,
died on November 3, 1857. This child would be a brother of the
present Andrew Petrie M.L.A.
Andrew Petrie had a son named Walter, who at 20 years
of age, was an exceptionally powerful young fellow. At that
time, a small creek ran from the present Roma Street station
down across Queen Street, by the site of the present New
Zealand Buildings, and into the river at the end of Creek
Walter Petrie fell in, and was found drowned, partly
buried in the mud, and grasping a bunch of mangroves in his
hand. As he was a splendid swimmer, he must have hurt himself
in the fall. His brother, John Petrie, father of A. L. Petrie,
M.L.A., had a child whom he named Walter after the drowned
youth. There was a singular coincidence when that child at a
year and ten months old, was drowned in the same creek
responsible for the death
of the uncle whose name he bore. That is the child in
the Paddington grave.
There is also another child of five months, Annie
Petrie, who died on December 21, 1863. Here then is the grand
old warrior pioneer of the early days, for ever at rest,
Almighty hand from an exhaustless urn,
out the never ending flood of years.”
And all we who are alive are but as a foam wreath on
the advancing wave behind which lies the dead ocean of the
Matilda Buxton, who died on March 3, 1866, aged 41, was
the wife of J. W. Buxton, who had a stationary and fancy goods
shop in Queen Street, where Ryder the tailor is today. They
buried two of their children, Matilda Adelaide, on April 11,
1862, and Ada Matilda, on March 3, 1865.
An elegant marble column, with a draped crest, is over
the grave of Celia Sabina Craies, wife of William Craies,
first manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Brisbane. The
“So long thy power hath blessed
Sure it still will lead us on,
O’er moor and craig and torrent,
Until the night is come.”
The only other marble headstone is over a son of
Archibald McMillan, owner of some of the first vessels in the
Polynesian traffic. The boy, aged 11, died on March 28, 1866.
Jessie Mainwaring, wife of a once leading Queen Street
tailor, died on July 29, 1875, aged 37 years.
Adam Cumming, aged 31, died on May 23, 1861. He
succeeded John Stephens, brother of T. B. Stephens, and uncle
of the present Hon. W. Stephens, as secretary of the
Queensland Steam Navigation Board.
William Cowans, who died on February 3, 1871, at the early age of 32, was a bookseller and stationer in Edward Street. The stone says:
“The spirit and the bride say come; and let him that heareth say come; and let him that is athirst come; and whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
have certainly no desire to be irreverent, but this does read
like a free invitation from a newly married couple who have
opened an hotel. All epitaphs ought to leave not a shadow of
anything suggesting the ridiculous. They should be severely
clear, and concise, elegant and expressive. Heaven knows there
is a vast supply to select from.
Mary Jeffcoat died March 3, 1855, aged 50, and Julia
Jeffcoat on September 15, 1862, aged 49. Descendants of this
family are still well known in Ipswich.
Jessie Campbell Mackellar, who died on January 11,
1872, aged 29, was the wife of Alexander Mackellar, a once
prominent printer and lithographer, whose amps of Brisbane
were famous at one time, and are still well known.
Alexander McDonald, an Argyleshire Highlander, was a
well-known tide waiter in the Customs, at Lytton. He was
father of Alick McDonald, known to us today as the landlord of
the Shamrock Hotel, in Edward Street. One daughter was married
to Murray Prior, the handsome barrister brother of Mrs.
Campbell Praed. He died a few years ago at an early age. The
tombstone over McDonald was “erected by his friends and
Donald Coutts, who died on December 27, 1857, was the
owner of “Toolburra,” the first station taken up on the
Darling Downs, by Patrick Leslie in 1841. He was a brother of
Tom Coutts, who died recently at Toolburra. Tom was the owner
who sold the station, or part of it, to the Government, and
acquired some prominence in a recent Parliament in connection
with a letter written to him by a prominent member of
Parliament who was alleged to have claimed commission. Donald
Coutts was killed by the kick of a foal, at Bulimba, where he
resided in a house built for D. C. McConnell. Beside his grave
is that of a sister-in-law, Anna Maria Thompson, who died on
March 8, 1862, aged 47, and the stone says:
“A pilgrim panting for the rest
An exile anxious for her native
Jessie Guthrie, who died on June 20, 1871, was the wife of John Guthrie, who was first a solicitor with Little and Brown, and afterwards on his own account. He lived in a house called “Lucerne,” long occupied afterwards by John Scott, once Chairman of Committees, at Milton. Beside it stood one of the handsomest fig trees in Brisbane. Jessie was Guthrie’s first wife. His second was Miss Fowles, sister of William Lambert Fowles, once Legislative Assembly for Clermont, and father of the present Under-Secretary in the Treasury. Guthrie was residing at Wooloowin, when he died, and his second wife now resides in Tasmania. In the grave with the first wife are her two children, Mary Isabella, aged 4, and Francis Drummond, aged 2, one died in July 1864, the other in July, 1861. Intensely pathetic are those graves that hold the mothers and their children.
John Randall, who died on November 31, 1873, aged 45,
was head master of the Normal School, and his pupils and
friends erected his headstone as a memorial of their esteem.
He opened the school at first with a graceful little speech,
in which he expressed a hope that they would all be
conspicuous for punctuality, and equally obedient to him in
school and their parents at home. The youngsters afterwards
held a public meeting in the playground, to discuss if it was
possible to thus serve two masters. This awful problem was
left unsolved. Randall left a family, deservedly held in high
esteem. They lived for many years next the brewery at Milton,
but are now residing on Gregory Terrace. One daughter is the
wife of B. W. McDonald, manager of the A.U.S.N. Company.
There were originally five sons and five daughters, but
three of the sons are dead. All five daughters are married.
Janet M. Burns, who died on February 6, 1875, was the
eldest 4½ year old daughter of John and Jane Burns. John Burns
was partner to the once well known firm of J. and J. Burns,
now represented by Burns, Philp & Co, in whose firm James
Burns is managing partner.
Alexander Gordon Cummings, who died on December 28, 1866, was the four year old child of Charles C. and Helen Cummings, who in those far off days, kept an hotel at the corner of George and Turbot Streets.
George Phillips was a carter and contractor on Spring Hill, and he and his wife, Eliza, buried their son, William, aged 30, on September 23, 1871, and the stone says:
“Walking humbly with his God, he was prepared to obey the summons ‘Come up hither.’ Be ye also ready”
John Murray, who died aged 33, on January 11, 1866,
left a widow who married a Mr. Nott. Murray was the most
expert painter and glazier of his time and Nott had a general
store in Elizabeth Street. Mrs. Nott survives him and still
resides out near Woolloongabba. On April 16, 1861, she buried
her 4½ year old child by her first husband.
Angus Mathieson, who died March 11, 1872, aged 38, was a South Brisbane carpenter. On his grave is a ponderous stone, like the dome of a vault.
Next to him is a grave with four children named Laing,
four little girls, Helen, Margaret, Ann and Elizabeth, aged
11, 13, 14 and 17 months, not one reaching two years of age.
Three died in 1863, and one in 1873, so the first three must
be the children of two mothers, unless two were twin. A
cypress pine “Callitris Robusta,” evidently an old tree, has
fallen between the two graves, and lies partly on the stone
over Mathieson, with a branch over the little girls. The four
dead children, the dead man, and the dead cypress! There is no
more pathetic or mournful scene in the cemetery.
THE PADDINGTON CEMETERY
There the traveller meets
Sheeted memories of the past;
Shrouded forms that start and
As they pass the wandered by,
White robed forms of friends
In agony to the earth and
Edgar Allan Poe
From the Methodists, we pass across a street, into the adjoining graveyard, occupied by all that is mortal of the Queensland Baptists of a bygone age.
The name “Baptist” dates back to Thomas Munzer, of
Storck, in Saxony, in the year 1621, nearly 400 years ago.
History tells us that “he excited a rebellion of the lower orders in Germany, quelled in bloodshed in 1525.”
Several other insurrections followed, all ending in
blood, and finally from 1535 to 1540, a number of Anabaptists
were executed in England. On January 6, 16661, about 100 of
these peculiar people, led by Thomas Venner, a wine cask
cooper, appeared in arms in London, and were only conquered
after half of them were killed. They fought like devils, and
killed a lot of soldiers. Sixteen of them were executed,
including Venner. The Baptist published their Confession of
Faith in 1643. In 1635, Rhode Island, in America, was settled
entirely by Baptists, and today they are a peaceful,
respectable and important body among the religious sects of
The warlike, death defying spirit of Venner, and his
self devoted warriors has departed. The most remarkable modern
Baptist preacher was Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who died at
Mentone, in Italy, on January 31, 1892.
With this we pass into the Baptist section of the
Paddington cemetery of Brisbane. It differs from the Methodist
graveyard in appearance, by being surrounded with an old
paling fence, which has locked gates, the key being held by a
local resident, who has the privelege of grazing his cows
among the tombstones.
What matters where we fail to fill the maws
On battle field or listed spot,
Both are but theatres,
where the chief actors rot.”
In Brisbane it matters not apparently where our dead
are buried, for ultimately the moo cow crops the herbage
around the tombstones and perfumed Capricornus regales himself
with the bouquets left on the graves by bereaved relatives.
In the Baptist area is the same neglect – general decay
and wreckage and desolation. Fallen headstones, ruined
railings, and broken fragments prove how brief is remembrance
of the dead.
Here we have Mary, the first wife of Moses Ward, a once well known chemist. She died on May 21, 1872, aged 55, and Moses has since filled the vacuum in his soul with a fresh bride who brought him a substantial dowry. A good solid dowry dries a lot of tears. On her grave, the grief stricken Moses of 1872, has told us that:
“I would not have you ignorant brethren concerning them that are asleep; that ye sorrow not, not even as others which have no hope; for if ye believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so also them which are asleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
We make no attempt to explain this, as the human intellect is
limited, and would be lost beyond redemption in an attempt to
elucidate these intricate theological problems.
Great men were living before Agamemnon, and there were
“Badgers” in Brisbane before the autocrat of the tramways.
Benjamin Badger died on November 18, 1874, aged 49,
followed by his wife Ellen, on December 8, 1874, at the age of
50, and Joseph their son, on December 22, a fortnight after
With these, the Badger family became extinct.
Susan Elizabeth Warry and Edith May Warry were two
children who died in 1864. Their father was C. S. Warry, a
Brisbane and Ipswich chemist, brother of R. L. Warry, a once
well known merchant, and T. S. Warry, who died as a bachelor.
His two brothers are also dead.
Eli Hallet, of Huddersfield, England, died on September
24, 1866, aged 28 years. His father was a butcher, and with J.
and W. Orr, then butchers of South Brisbane.
Benjamin William was the nine year old son of Thomas and Ruth Baker. The stone tells us that the boy was drowned, and also invites to
to be where Jesus is and see his smiling face.”
Eliza Brady Atkins was a ten months child, who died on
February 11, 1867, and William Bryant, from Tovil, in Kent,
died at Kedron Brook on October 15, 1865.
Agnes Lucy Blackford, who died on May 22, 1868, was the
wife of William Blackford, a baker in the Valley.
Emma Slater was the wife of Slater, a once prominent
bookseller and stationer, who was the predecessor of Gordon
and Gotch. She died on August 8, 1865.
Jane Orr, who died on March 15, 1863, at 58 years of
age, was the wife of an old South Brisbane butcher of the firm
of J. and W. Orr.
Her daughter, Margaret, died on December 25, 1870, aged
One headstone merely tells us that Hannah Maria was the
wife of Herbert Watson.
John Cadbury died on May 28, 1866, aged 29.
The next stone records the death on June 19, 1867, aged
64, of John Bale, who was the father of the once well known J.
L. Bale, secretary of the Brisbane Building Society.
Kate Spilsbury, who died on August 26, 1862, was the
wife of an old Brisbane confectioner, the Compagnoni of his
Joseph Street, who died in November 1867, aged 43, was
the father of a family of robust good looking girls, who once
kept a millinery and artificial flower shop in the William
Street building now occupied by the Protectorate of
Aboriginals. It was also once the office of that pious paper,
the “Evangelical Standard,” of which Brentnall was one of the
associate editors. One Miss Street married A. D. Douglas,
afterwards Inspector of Police, and another married J. G.
Drake, the ex-Federal Minister. Mrs. Douglas died recently and
Douglas has gone to reside in London.
Eleanor Ann, was the six months old baby of Emily
Copeland, whose husband kept the Prince Consort Hotel, in the
Valley. The child died in December, 1871.
John Samuel Kingsford, who died on July 17, 1870, at
the age of 22, leaving a young wife and infant son, was a son
of the Rev. John Kingsford, a Baptist minister, and brother of
R. A. Kingsford, once M.L.A. for South Brisbane, and for many
years a resident of Cairns, where he was defeated at an
election by F. T. Wimble. R. A. and John Kingsford were
drapers in Queen Street, where their business was ruined by a
disastrous fire. Then John took to preaching, but Richard Ash
stuck to business and prospered.
Thus ended “Truth’s” first epistle to the Baptists, and
we leave that section with a feeling of sorrow, to find that
the dead have been as much neglected as those of the
Methodists and that the graves are in an equally disgraceful
We cross the tramline and look down from the embankment
of the raised street at half a dozen headstones, which
represent the Jewish cemetery. It appears that a number were
removed to Toowong, and it would have spared any self
respecting son of Israel many a blush had the others been
removed, and all trace of the cemetery been obliterated.
Presumably the Jews who sat down and wept by the rivers of
Babylon, were compelled to gaze at a cemetery like that at
Paddington. There is not even a fence, nor any railings. The
wandering Jew, in all his peregrinations, never saw anything
like that. We cannot picture any Hebrew passing that spot and
not fainting with shame. As usual in Jewish cemeteries, the
stones bear inscriptions in both Hebrew and English. One
records the death of “Aelcey,” the wife of Coleman Davis, who
died on May 13, 1876, aged 36. The Jewish year is given as
3685. Coleman Davis was a well known man who kept a toy shop
called the “Civet Cat” in Queen Street.
Osias Loewe died on December 10, 1872, aged 43. On the
headstone is an arm with a hand pouring water out of a pitcher
into a broken basin. One of Loewe’s daughters married Isaac
Markwell and became the mother of a man who was drowned in his
bath at Wooloowin, under circumstances which evolved a
remarkable lawsuit. Another daughter married the manager of
one of our banks.
Herbert Michael, son of Lawrence Levy, died at the age
of 27, on November 20, 1871. He was clerk with A. E. Alexander
a well known auctioneer of that period.
We leave this desolate and forlorn Jewish cemetery with
a series of sighs to express our emotions, for langue is not
equal to the occasion.
Then we obtain the key of the Presbyterian area and
ramble into a wilderness of lantana which requires a scrub
knife before we can read the inscriptions. Here we find a
superior class of headstones and monuments, with much clearer
inscriptions, but all the higher ground is covered with
lantana, and many headstones are nearly invisible. George
Christie died on March 16, 1857, aged 36, his daughter Sarah
Ogilvie having died on April 27, 1856, aged 3, and his brother
on February 12 in the same year. George Christie was manager
of a store at the corner of Russell and Grey Streets, in South
Brisbane. The store belonged to old Bobby Towns and Co., and
Christie was their representative.
John Moffit was a teamster who died in January 1861,
aged 38, and his mother Margaret died in December 1860, aged
68. They had a daughter Minnie who married Daniel Cahill, and
she is now an elderly widow residing at Peachester. One of her
children, a boy, aged two and a half, died on April 10, 1871,
and is buried beside his grandparents. The grandmother,
Margaret, once lived near Colinton, and while there had an
adventure with the blacks.
One of her sons was in the house seriously ill, and his
father had gone away for assistance, leaving only herself and
the dying boy. The blacks had seen Moffit leave, and thought
it a fair time to raid the house, and probably kill Mts.
Moffit. But she was equal to the occasion. She dressed herself
in Moffit’s clothes, walked round the house, went inside, and
came out again with another suit on. She did this lightning
change artist business so neatly that the blacks thought there
were three or four men in the house, and retired. This
presence of men probably averted a tragedy.
A remarkable man was James Low, who was born on January
4, 1791 in Scotland, and died at Brisbane on September 24,
1871. His wife, Isabella, died at “Newmill on Drumoak” in Aberdeenshire on
October 29, 1823. A son died there also, aged 11. A daughter,
Catherine, married to Charles Smith, died at Brisbane on
December 8, 1853, and a son, aged 19, died on September 2,
1851. His daughter, Annie, married Rudolph Zillman, son of J.
L. Zillman, of German station, one of the original German
missionaries, sent to Moreton Bay by Dr. Lang in the convict
days. James Low was a very well known timber getter in the
Maroochy and Mooloolah districts, and his name is handed down
to posterity, attached to the tree known to both timber
getters and botanists, as “Jimmy Low,” the botanical name
being “Eucalyptus Resinifera.”
Mary Foran, wife of Edmund Mellor, died on January 17, 1859, aged 26, and in the same grave are her two children, one a month old, and the other a year and a half, John and Agatha. On the stone is
“They are gone to the grave, we no longer behold them; whose God was their ransome, their guarantee and guide. He gave the. He took them, and He will restore them and death was no sting for their Savior who died.”
the usual enigmatical epitaph which baffles all human
Edmund Mellor was a well known man, who for many years
was captain of the old stern wheel steamer, Settler, which ran
between Brisbane and Ipswich. His second wife was a Miss
Duncan, whose daughter is the Eva Mellor of today, whose
stately and statuesque figure is occasionally familiar in
Queensland. The dark eyed Juna, this “daughter of the gods,
divinely tall,” stands six foot two, and is probably therefore
the tallest woman in Queensland. One of her mother’s sisters
was married to John Stewart, an old pioneer veteran, who died
a year ago on the Pine River. He was a father of the late
Missionary Stewart, of Brisbane. A brother of Mrs. Mellor,
Charles Duncan, is a well known storekeeper at Laidley. He was
the first man that took a dray from Maryborough to Gympie,
when that field was discovered.
James Powers died on August 20, 1854, leaving a wife
and four children, one of whom in the present day is the well
known Charlie Powers, who was Postmaster General in the
Morehead Ministry, 1889 – 1890.
Robert Mauley died on February 24, 1855, aged 25, the
son of a cabinet maker in Elizabeth Street, half a century
Alice, the wife of Matthew Henry, died at 23, on August
11, 1851. The stone speaks for the husband “who loved her
during life, mourned her death, and revere her memory.”
Beneath that “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, Amen.”
David Muir, a shipwright of that time, erected a stone
over his two children, one 4 years, one born and died on the
same day, October 24, 1863.
Kate Pringle, a niece of Tom Finney, died on July 21,
1864, aged 24, one of the appalling number of young girls cut
off ultimately in their youth. Tom Finney’s first wife was a
Miss Pringle, who lived only for a few months. His second wife
was a Miss Jackson, and the third is the present widow who
survives him. Very few people know that Tom was married three