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Charles Eather 1827-1891

Journal by janilye

Charles EATHER, My second great grandfather was the third child and second son of Thomas EATHER 1800-1885 and Sarah nee McALPIN, was born at Bulga 24 October 1827. In 1884 his parents moved back to Richmond, and it is there he grew up. He may have attended the little school in Francis Street, and used to help out on his father's farm near Richmond.
In 1840 he was an apprentice and apparently he absented himself from work on some occasions.
On 17 October 1840 he was charged in the court at Windsor with "having absconded himself". The case was settled. The trade in which he was apprenticed is not known and it is very doubtful that he completed it. His interests seem to have been associated with the land, and in his later teens he undoubtedly would have visited the family property "Henriendi", his father's station on the Namoi River, and there gained further valuable skills in grazing cattle and sheep and some knowledge of station management.
On 30 August 1848, shortly before he turned twenty-one, Charles married Eliza HOUGH, age twenty-two, the daughter of the late Peter HOUGH 1776-1833 and his wife Mary (nee WOOD) of Richmond. Eliza was the seventh of the nine children of Peter and Mary and had been born at Richmond. She and Charles had known each other since childhood. Her father had been born at Paris in France in 1776, but at the age of 19 years had been charged with stealing money and silverware from St Paul's Coffee Shop in London, where he had been employed. He was acquitted of this charge, but in 1797 he had been sentenced to transportation after a second offence, and arrived at Sydney on the ship "Hillsborough" in July 1799. He had married Mary WOOD, daughter of John WOOD 1768-1845 and Ann MATTHEWS, and all except the last of their children had been born at Richmond. Peter HOUGH had died in March 1833 when Eliza was seven. Her sister Ann was married to Charles's cousin, William ONUS. For about twelve years after-their marriage Charles and Eliza seem to have resided on the Hawkesbury, and then they went to live at "Henriendi" on the Liverpool Plains. Their first eight children were born in the Hawkesbury district, mostly at Richmond. The first to have been born on the Liverpool Plains was their ninth child, born in 1863.
Altogether during the first seventeen years of their marriage, ten children were born to them and all except one son survived infancy and lived to marry and have children in the next generation of EATHERS.
During the 1850's Charles probably assisted his father in his farming pursuits at Richmond and undoubtedly journeyed from time to time to "Henriendi". The size of that station increased over the years. In 1849 it was 15 square miles, but by 1853 it had been extended to an area of 25 square miles. In 1854 it was grazing 1,000 cattle. The annual rental at that time was 15/0/0.
In the late 1850's Charles's brother William Eather 1832-1915 and his wife Ann took up residence there.
On the 14 September at Richmond, another son and eighth child, Joseph Hiorns Rutter Eather was born, named after his uncle Joseph Hiorns RUTTER the son of Dr. Robert Champley RUTTER of Parramatta. 1861 Charles was given the station by his father.
It was just after the birth of Joseph that Charles moved his household to the Liverpool Plains.
On the 30 June 1863 Eliza gave birth to Alfred McAlpin at 'Henriendi'.
In 1865 at 'Henriendi' the tenth and last child of Charles and Eliza, Minnie was born, she was only five years old when her mother died. At age thirty she married Methodist minister Walter J WALKER 1868-1936 at Richmond in 1895 they moved to Bourke where their first child Gladys was born and then to Cowra where their second daughter Jessie was born. In 1908 Walter J WALKER was transferred to South Australia. Minni Hilton WALKER, nee EATHER died on the 3 May 1955 in South Australia.
The births of the last two children were registered at Tamworth, which was probably at that time the nearest centre on the Liverpool Plains where births, deaths and marriages could be registered. The births took place at "Henriendi".
The 1860's were important years for Charles, when he expanded his grazing interests. Settlement extended out beyond Bourke on the Darling River and runs were being taken up on the Warrego, Paroo and Bulloo Rivers in the south-west of the new colony of Queensland.
In 1864 the township of Cunnamulla. sprang into being on the Warrego River. By 1866 Charles EATHER had several runs on the Warrego. They included "Gumanally," "Back Bullinbillian" and "Back Moongonoo." In addition he held the lease of "Pinegolba," a run next door to "Henriendi" on Cox's Creek. Charles was well-known on the Liverpool Plains and had the nickname of "King of the Namoi".
In 1867, James EATHER, uncle of Charles and youngest brother of his father, then in his mid-fifties, left the Hawkesbury district and moved with his wife and some members of his family to the Liverpool Plains and obtained a part-interest in "Henriendi". About the same time, another of Charles's brothers, John Roland, who was age 24 years and still single, joined them on the station. Also living on the run or near by was yet another brother, Peter. With him were his wife and children. In 1868 there were no fewer than eight other men employed on the station. By then times were becoming hard for the graziers. Charles was grazing a large flock of sheep on "Henriendi" in addition to his large herd of cattle. Severe droughts persisted and pastoralists were faced with mounting problems, especially when the prices of wool and sheep slumped sharply. James EATHER's connection with "Henriendi" was short-lived.
By 1870 he had moved to land that he had purchased at Maine's Creek, a tributary of the Namoi River a few miles away to the north.

In the midst of these financial problems, tragedy struck Charles. He had taken Eliza down to Richmond for a holiday over the Christmas period and they were staying with Charles's parents at the "Union Inn". According to oral family history, on New Years Eve 1870, Eliza was reading a telegram when she died suddenly. She was only 45 years of age. Charles was left with nine children ranging in ages from twenty-one to five. He was faced with the unpleasant task of notifying Eliza's 77 year-old mother that her daughter had passed away. His affairs were about to crash and William Thomas Price, the undertaker who provided her with an expensive funeral, was one of the disappointed creditors still awaiting payment of their accounts months later.

Back at "Henriendi" in 1871, Charles was joined there by yet another relative. He was Samuel EATHER Junior, a second cousin of Charles and his brothers. Then in his mid-thirties, Samuel had grown up in the Hunter Valley near Warkworth. In that year 1871 Charles was pasturing 6,000 sheep, 500 head of cattle and 150 horses on the run, which was then a station of 32,000 acres (12,800 hectares), but before the year was out financial problems caught up with him and he became bankrupt. His eldest son, Henry Charles, was placed in charge of "Henriendi", "Pinegolba" and "Gumanally." There is a family legend that Charles's eldest brother Thomas, whose home was at Bulga, soon took over the responsibility of "Henriendi". If this was so, it was a situation which lasted only a few years, as by 1876 "Henriendi" was in the hands of one John Kerr CLARK, who was also the leaseholder of another run, "Gullenddaddy" (or "Ghoolindaadi") which adjoined the southern boundary of "Henriendi". By then "Henriendi" had been reduced in area to 11,920 acres (4,768 hectares) and was grazing 2,000 sheep.

The EATHER family had lost the historic station some forty-odd years after Thomas EATHER had established it in 1832. After 1870/71 the name of Charles EATHER no longer appeared amongst the "Henriendi" names on the Electoral Roll. His sons Henry Charles and Edwin had, by 1876, taken out the lease of another Liverpool Plains run "Norfolk", which had an area of 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) and established themselves there. At some stage prior to 1882 the Liverpool Plains was divided into parishes and "Henriendi" became part of the Parish of Baan Baa. Parish maps record the names of the original purchasers of freehold portions in the respective parishes. That of the Parish of Baan Baa reveals that at some time in the 1860's Charles EATHER had bought a block of 135 acres (54 hectares) upon which the "Henriendi" homestead stood. He had also purchased an adjoining block of 137 acres 2 roods (55 hectares). Both blocks had frontage to the Namoi River. This had been a very wise move on Charles EATHER's part. Holding "Henriendi" as a Crown Land Pastoral Lease, he faced the ongoing fear that he might lose part of the run to "free selectors". By purchasing the blocks as freehold land he had been protecting himself from losing valuable river frontage. When the Parish of Baan Baa was surveyed into portions, the two blocks which Charles had bought became Portions 1 and 2 in the parish. Most of the remainder of "Henriendi" was surveyed into 24 rectangular portions of varying areas, and allocated the numbers 20 to 43 inclusive. John Kerr CLARK had purchased much of the station during the period that he had held the lease from 1876. The parish map records his name on no fewer than 17 of the other 24 portions that had been the "Henriendi" run. He had also purchased two other portions further north in the Pariah. Charles EATHER would have had his two freehold blocks taken away from him by the bankruptcy administrators in 1871, and it is likely that John Ken CLARK purchased them too.

In the years following the loss of his station in 1871, Charles EATHER had a number of occupations and probably spent more time in the Richmond district.
On 4 January 1876, at the age of 48, he remarried. His bride on this occasion was Martha Mary RIDGE 1843-1920, age 32 years, the daughter of John RIDGE 1815-1867 and his wife Charlotte Margaret, nee COBCROFT 1820-1906. Martha had been born in Wilberforce and had lived in the Hawkesbury district for many years The wedding was held at Windeyer.

Charles entered into a new occupation in 1878 when his younger sister Sarah 1834-1926 who married William EATON 1828-1906, decided to relinquish the licence of "Eaton's Hotel" at Muswellbrook. Charles took out a publican's licence and became the new licensee of the hotel, which had been owned by Thomas COOK since 1872. Hard times seem to have continued for Charles during the period that he was the proprietor of "Eaton's Hotel", and he sometimes found it difficult to pay his bills on time. 1n 1879 he made out a promissory note in favour of one D EVANS for the sum of 80/16/- ($161.60), but the Commercial Bank at Muswellbrook, where he had an account, dishonoured it because of lack of funds in his account. Over two years later the sum of approximately 22 ($44) of the amount was still outstanding and Sarah EATON received a letter dated 15 February 1882 from a Muswellbrook solicitor, notifying her that, if the sum was not paid within seven days, proceedings would be taken against her. Apparently she settled the debt on behalf of her brother.

While Charles and Martha were running the hotel at Muswellbrook, a son was born to them in 1880. He was named Donald. At the end of that year Charles relinquished his publican's licence and evidently he took Martha and their baby son to the Narrabri district. There in 1883 a daughter, Emily Matilda, was born. They were still residing in the same district when their infant daughter died in 1885.

In his later years Charles lived with Martha and their children in the Narrabri district. Charles was a very popular figure in the developing town, where he was a supporter of local activities, especially those related to the Namoi Jockey Club. By then he was referred to as "old Charley EATHER", the name a household word. A sportsman of the old school, At one time he was an untiring habitue of racecourses, but advancing years made his expeditions somewhat circumscribed, and he was contented with doing a little handicapping and the mild excitement to be derived on country convincing grounds. The old man had the reputation of being one of the best starters in Australia.

Following his death on 2 November 1891 at the age of 65 years, Charles was buried in the Narrabri Cemetery where his friends erected an imposing monument on his grave in Narrabri Cemetery, adding to the usual details the sanguine remark;

"Praises on tombstones are idly spent, His good name is a monument"

Death of Mr. Charles Eather.
Obituary fron the Narrabri Herald, 4 November 1891


On Monday evening last, about 6 p.m., after a long and painful illness, there passed over to the great majority one of the pioneers of the Namoi, a man who for upwards of forty years had made the north-west his home, and seen many changes and vicissitudes.
One who at one time was owner of vast tracts of country with every promise of an old age passed in ease and affluence, and one who had endeared himself to all who had the privilege of his acquaintance-better still, of his friendship. Such an one was Charles Eather, who passed quietly away at the age of 64 years, on Monday evening. Tended to the last by loving and kind friends, his slightest wish was anticipated; and surrounded by his relatives and a host of friends, he "passed to the bourne whence there is no returning." Many a good and earnest man may yet make a name for himself on the Namoi, but out of the limits of the present generation the memory of the true sterling friend who has just left us will never depart.
The funeral, which left the deceased's late residence at 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, was the most largely attended yet seen in Narrabri, the cortege measurirg fully a third of a mile in length, and was composed of all the principal people of the town and district. The pall-bearers, all old and tried friends of the deceased, were Messrs. J. Moseley, J. M McDonald, W. H. Gordon, James Ward, sen., R. Spencer, and E. Poole. The coffin, which was of beautifully polished cedar, was almost covered with flowers.
The whole of the business places in town were closed during the progress of the procession through the streets, and at the grave the burial service was very impressively read by the Rev. W. J. Walker.



His widow Martha survived him by many years In 1898 she took in Colin Charles Eather the 4 year old son of her stepson Alfred McAlpin EATHER and Theresa nee LOVELEE and raised him as her own after Theresa died and Alfred left the district. Martha known as May died at Boggabri in 1920.

The children of Charles EATHER and Eliza, nee HOUGH were:_

1.Henry Charles EATHER 1849 1942
married Lucina Sarah J RIDGE 1857-1936 at Gunnedah on the 23 May 1877
The children of this matrriage were:-
Frederick Charles Eather 1878 1917 m. Nellie PONT 1880-1953
Bertram Henry Thomas Eather 1881 1965 m. Sarah May Damaris FRATER 1887-1979
Leslie Gordon Eather 1884 1969 m. Ivy Josephine KELLY 1889-1971
Royston Clark Eather 1888 1891
Olive Eather 1890 1978 m. Victor S HUGO
Elsie May Eather 1899 1964 m Wilfred Rupert TAYLOR
Eric Vaughan Eather 1901 1930 m. Amy Edwards

2.Peter Thomas EATHER 1850 1851

3.Edwin EATHER 1852 1890
married Catherine Agnes TURNER 1855-1933 at Gunnedah on the 14 April 1877.
The children of this marriage were:-
William Charles EATHER 1878 1878
Vera Eliza EATHER 1879 1940 married Thomas BURT 1875-1950
Alexander Munro EATHER 1880 1965 m. Ethel May MILLS 1890-1953
Blanche Marion EATHER 1883 1940 m. Albert Edward HEAGNEY 1881-1912
Emily Gertrude EATHER 1885 1967 m. Francis John THUELL 1893-1077
Joseph Mark Eather 1887 1971 m. Dorothy Maude HOLBOROW 1897-1944
Edwin Royce EATHER 1889 1945 m. Mabel Isabel JONES 1901-1971


4.Mary Ann EATHER 1854 1943
married James Thomas BRACKENREG 1852-1922 at Muswellbrook on the 29 April 1879.
The children of this marriage were:-
James Carrington Brackenreg 1880 1957 m. Helen Jane PERFREMENT 1883-1964
Linda Pearle Brackenreg 1881 1965 m. Alexander EATHER 1878-1942

5.Susannah Elizabeth EATHER 1856 1937
married Percy Charles CORNWELL 1853-1909 at Richmond on the 15 December 1875.
The children of this marriage were:-
Ila Eliza Cornwell 1876
Frederick Charles Cornwell 1878 1878
Alfred Abraham Cornwell 1879 1953 Blanche Stella CORNWELL 1881-1968
Frank Eather Cornwell 1881 1884
Theo Ernest Cornwell 1883 1947 m. Mabel Georgina ROONEY 1885-1961
Joseph Athol Cornwell 1886 1966 m. Ruby Ethel HUDSON 1892-1978

6.Matilda Sarah EATHER 1858 1941
married Alexander Munro COUSINS 1854-1923 at Muswellbrook on the 23 November 1888.
The children of this marriage were:-
Glencairn Munro Cousins 1883 1941 m. Ruby Ada Beryl DUNSTAN
Royston C Cousins 1885 1885
Alexander Munro Cousins 1887 1946 m. Marjorie Agnes R TOWNSEND
Ardersier M Cousins 1889 1963 m. Gladys Elvina DENNE 1892-1961

7.Eliza EATHER 1860 1944
married Lieut.Col. Walter BAXTER 1862-1928 at Patricks Plain on the 15 July 1886.
The children of this marriaGE were:-
Minna Baxter 1887 1928 m. Arnold Chambers McKIBBIN 1885-1951
Beatrice Eliza Baxter 1889 1974 m. Harold John MOORE
Victoria Baxter 1891
Thelma Merle Baxter 1904 1954 m. Alfred Ernest Herbert LANE

8.Joseph Hiorns Rutter EATHER 1861 1884
married Clara RIDGE 1860-1941 at Richmond on the 6 October 1861.
The children of this marriage were:-
Frank Hilton Eather 1883 1917 r. Blanche M MORTIMER 1878-1913
Martha Ridge Eather 1885 1970

9.Alfred McAlpin EATHER 1863 1915
married Theresa LOVELEE 1865-1898 at Narrabri on the 25 December 1891.
The children of this marriage were:-
Alfred Charles EATHER 1892 1892
Colin Charles EATHER 1894 1966 m. Sarah Josephine McKEE 1894-1937
Kenneth Thomas McAlpin EATHER 1896 1898
Ernest Herbert Edward EATHER 1898 1898
Infant twin Stillborn EATHER 1898 1898

10.Minnie Hilton EATHER 1865 1955
married Rev. Walter John WALKER 1868-1936 at Richmond in 1895.
The children of this marriage were:-
Gladys Eileen Walker 1896 1934 in Adelaide the result of a car accident
Jessie Winifred Walker 1898 1988 m. Hurtle Peter ROWE 1897-1983 at Ashfield, nsw in 1923.


The children of Charles EATHER and Martha Mary, nee Ridge were:-

1.Donald EATHER 1880 1954
married Gertrude Mary Eliza McGRATH 1886-1953 at Boggabri on the 23 February 1910.
The children of this marriage were:-
John Ridge Eather 1910 1976 m. Marjorie Lydia Bateman FORRESTER 1913-1982
Percival Thomas Eather 1915 1975 m. Marjorie Ethel BRETT

2.Emily Matilda EATHER 1883 1885

I wish to acknowledge The Eather Family History Committee and in particular,
John St.Pierre for the early research and history, which enabled me to compile the above.
I have changed very little, apart from a few minor corrections and additions - having been, in the past, elusive; particularly surrounding the genealogy. I have discovered several facts previously unknown and
for that I wish to thank technology and my ancestors for passing down to me, "Tenacity" - janilye



The photograph below of Charles EATHER taken about 1885
was donated to the Eather Family History Committee
by Jan Yelland

by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-02-24 23:27:58

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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