Ithaca Councilor says the tombstones are good road metal.
Special has a word to say and shows that some of Queensland’s Grandest
Pioneers lie buried there.
An 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 desolation.
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
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 morass.
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 today.
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 Queensland.
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
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 special feast.
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 into shirts.
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 White’s advice.
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
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. (Correction: Ann Hill was buried November 3, 1871)
the 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
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
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
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 today.
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 daughter.
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 races.
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
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
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:
tree still sad when others’ grief has fled,
only constant mourner o’er the dead.”
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 highest branch.
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 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:
never caused her friends to grieve until she died.”
a neat 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 Finney.
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
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 reads:-
have early flown, dear, suffering ones,
to their rest,
have early learned the simple tones
the land of the Blest,
that painless clime, in that region fair,
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, 1865:-
‘tis sweet balm in our despair,
Heaven is God’s, and thou are there,
Him in joy;
a while farewell,
of my heart,
cannot be that long we dwell,
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
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:-
was - but words are wanting to say
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 Street.
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 ever since.
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 Ipswich.
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 Proverb:
all the world can give or land,
know that death is at the end!”
“Letitia, wife of Robert Raymond,” is all that one headstone records.
Jane, the wife of Henry Franklin, once a builder in Fortitude valley, died on September 5, 1859, leaving this message:
my husband, I’m gone before,
love for you can be no more,
not for me, nor sorrow take,
love my children for my sake.”
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
Fanny, the wife of William Sexton, of South Brisbane, died on March12,
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 Congregationalists.
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
“And as we have borne the image of the earthly,
we shall 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.”
She died in giving birth to her first baby. Harries was a draughtsman in the
Colonial Architect’s Department, of 40 years ago.
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
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 will show.
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,
“Faith looks beyond the grave, and on to light and
Over Stokes are the words,
“Man 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
the traveller meets aghast,
memories of the past;
forms that start and sigh,
they pass the wanderer by;
robed forms of friends long given
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 regions beyond.
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 Street.
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
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, while:
“The Almighty hand from an exhaustless urn,
Pours 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 past.
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 stone says:
long thy power hath blessed us,
it still will lead us on,
moor and craig and torrent,
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
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 brother officers.”
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:
pilgrim panting for the rest to come,
exile anxious for her native home.”
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 traveller meets aghast,
memories of the past;
forms that start and sigh
they pass the wandered by,
robed forms of friends long given
agony to the earth and heaven.
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 Queensland.
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
What matters where we fail to fill the maws
Of worms? 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
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 their mother.
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
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
“Come 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,
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,
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 23.
One headstone merely tells us that Hannah Maria was the wife of Herbert
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
Kate Spilsbury, who died on August 26, 1862, was the wife of an old
Brisbane confectioner, the Compagnoni of his day.
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
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
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.”
This is the usual enigmatical epitaph
which baffles all human comprehension.
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 ago.
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
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 times.