Elizabeth Eather 1825-1884
Elizabeth EATHER, the second child and first daughter of Thomas EATHER 1800-1886 and Sarah McALPIN, was born at Richmond on Christmas Day 1825.
She spent her early childhood to the age of about seven years on her parents' farm at Bulga, and thereafter lived at Richmond. She probably had formal education at the little school in Francis Street and attended Sunday Church services there with the other members of her family.
When she was sixteen, Elizabeth became involved in a romance with her twenty-one year-old cousin, Thomas ONUS, who lived nearby in Francis Street at Richmond. About April 1842 she realised that she was pregnant. Thomas agreed to do the right thing by her and they were married at Richmond on 22 August 1842.
They were both of the Church of England denomination, but the wedding wasn't held in the new St Peter's Church as would have been the normal practice. Instead the ceremony was performed under the rites of the Presbyterian religion by the Reverend Mathew ADAM of the Scots Church. There was a reason for this.
Thomas had been involved in an earlier romance with another young Richmond girl, Eliza JAMES, and was the father of a baby girl born in July 1841. It would appear that, for this reason the Reverend Henry STILES of the Church of England was not prepared to marry Thomas to anyone other than Eliza JAMES. Witnesses at the wedding were Elizabeth's parents, Thomas and Sarah EATHER, and her elder brother Thomas.
On 5 December 1842 at Richmond, Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, who was baptised on 22 January 1843 by the Reverend I WALKER and named Ann. Elizabeth's husband was already a landholder and farmer. Upon the death of his father in 1835, he had inherited 490 acres (196 hectares) of land at Bulga and also a 35-acre (14 hectare) farm near Richmond and a couple of smaller allotments, one of which was in the town. He and Elizabeth resided in Richmond and he cultivated the 35-acre farm.
Over at Bulga he had an overseer in charge of his farming activities there. Thomas added to his landholdings at Bulga by purchasing another 300 acre (120 hectare) block from his step-father, William SHARP. This block lay on the western side of Wollombi Brook between the farm of James HALE to the north and William KIRK to the south, and was separated from his inherited farm only by William KIRK's farm and that of his brother-in-law, Thomas EATHER.
Back at Richmond he leased out the forty-acre (sixteen hectare) block that had been Watt's farm. In 1846 Thomas ONUS took out a licence as a publican and under an arrangement with his parents-in-law, he and Elizabeth took over the running of the "Union Inn" in Windsor Street, Richmond. Under the arrangement Elizabeth's parents continued to reside in the building. This arrangement continued for two years, and then Thomas and Elizabeth moved to their own hotel in the building down the street which had been the original "Union Inn'. They conducted it as the "Queen's Arms".
Elizabeth and Thomas continued to add to their family over the years and eventually five daughters and a son were born to them.
Thomas ONUS extended his grazing interests and became a squatter in the north-west of the colony. He established a run on Narran Creek, west of the site of present-day Lightning Ridge, and there in the 1850's he depastured a herd of cattle. His run was named "Ballaubillau," which was probably an aboriginal name for the locality.
On 23 May 1854 Thomas revoked his previous will and made a new one. Elizabeth was expecting her sixth child at the time and this caused some problems in making bequests, as he had to refer repeatedly to 'the child of which my wife is now pregnant', and to make allowance for the uncertainty of whether it would be a son or a daughter.
By 1855 Elizabeth was concerned for her husband because his health seemed to be impaired by a heart ailment of some sort. He consulted Dr WHITAKER, a local medico, who cautioned him about going fast in a trap or gig. One Saturday in March 1855 he ignored the warning and after rushing around the district in a gig with one of his friends, Fred DAVIS, he arrived home doubled up with pains in his chest. A few days later, on 28 March 1855, he died suddenly. He was only 34 years of age. Elizabeth was left a widow at the age of 29 years, with five children under the age of fourteen. She was well-provided for under the terms of her late husband's will. She inherited all of his personal estate, including his money, as well as all of his land, including the cattle station on Narran Creek. His cattle, horses and other stock were to be sold and the proceeds divided amongst his children and his wife, unless his executors decided that it was expedient to keep them.
At the time of her husband's death, the family was residing at the "Queen's Arms", which they were operating. Afterwards Elizabeth continued to run the hotel for two more years.
During this period there must have been many occasions upon which Elizabeth was grateful that her parents were living just a few doors away and were able to provide support and assistance whenever she needed it.
Elizabeth EATHER - After the death of her husband, Thomas Onus in 1855, Elizabeth backed by her father Thomas EATHER and her brother, conducted the "Queens Arms" Hotel in Richmond, NSW until her marriage to Joseph RUTTER in 1857
On 13 May 1857, after two years of widowhood, Elizabeth remarried. Her second husband was Joseph Hirons RUTTER, age 27 years, a butcher of Parramatta. The wedding took place in St Peter's Church at Richmond with the Reverend J ELDER officiating. Witnesses to the ceremony were her brother Charles EATHER and the groom's sister Rebecca Sarah. Joseph Hirons was the son of Dr Robert Champley RUTTER, who had been born in county Surrey, England in 1800, the son of John RUTTER, a brewer, and his wife Rebecca WILLIAMS. He had married Ann Jane FORD about 1825 and they had two small children when they migrated to New South Wales on the ship "Warrior".
Joseph had been born at sea in 1830 during the voyage. The vessel arrived at Sydney on 29 May 1830 and Dr Robert Champley RUTTER subsequently took up a medical practice at Parramatta. Joseph grew up there and became a fine athlete.
In the early 1850's he had become a noted foot runner at sporting events. His father had also been an outstanding athlete in his younger days. At Parramatta Dr RUTTER was quite a distinguished figure, who always looked a perfect gentleman in his black frock coat and silk hat, which contrasted sharply with his grey hair and white Dundreary whiskers.
How Elizabeth had come to meet Joseph is unknown. He was age 27 years when they married and was over four years younger than her. What prompted him to marry a widow with four children remains something of a mystery. He had previously formed an association with a girl, Mary Anne JACKSON, with whom he had been living at Parramatta. By her he had two sons, born in 1854 and 1856 respectively, and he evidently led a double life for a time after his marriage to Elizabeth, as Mary Anne gave birth to his daughter in 1858. As a result of her second marriage, Elizabeth had two more daughters. Elizabeth's second marriage was short-lived. She and Joseph were residing at Richmond and he was in business as a butcher when, on 15 July 1861, he fell ill with a bilious fever. He was attended by Dr BROWN, but despite his care and attention, Joseph died on 21 July 1861 at the age of 31 years. His funeral was held at Parramatta on 23 July, with the Reverend R L KING of the Church of England conducting the burial service.
At the age of 35 years Elizabeth was a widow again. Her last child was scarcely a month old. She never married again and devoted herself to raising her six surviving children. Her eldest daughter Ann was nineteen when her step-father died and would have been good company for her mother and a help in caring for the younger children.
On 2 March 1863 came the first wedding in the family, when seventeen year-old Sarah married John Daniel EATON in St Peter's Church. John was the third son of Daniel EATON and his wife Mary Ann (nee THURSTON) who were farmers at North Richmond. He and Sarah had known each other since childhood. Elizabeth suffered further sadness four years later when her three year-old daughter Rebecca Sarah died at Parramatta from diphtheria.
A happier event occurred in 1868 when third daughter Susannah was married to William Collins GUEST, son of George GUEST. The wedding was held in St Peter's Church on 22 October with a large crowd present. In 1870 Elizabeth's only son Thomas Alexander turned 21 and the occasion was suitably celebrated. Elizabeth had no reason to feel any concern for her son's future. Upon his coming-of-age Thomas inherited a 40 acre (16 hectare) farm near Richmond, and about 500 acres (200 hectares) at Bulga, part of which was leased to his grand-mother's brother-in-law, William Glas McALPIN.
On 9 February 1871 a third family wedding was celebrated when eldest daughter Ann married Samuel CLIFT, son of Samuel CLIFT Snr, grazier of Maitland, and his wife Ann (nee DUNN).. The wedding ceremony was held in St Peter's Church before a large gathering of relatives and friends. One of the witnesses was Joseph ONUS, brother-in-law of the bride's mother and uncle of the bride.
During the 1870's Elizabeth had a new interest in life with the births of several grandchildren. In 1874 her daughter Sarah became a widow when John Daniel EATON died. There had been no issue of her marriage. On 17 June 1876 Sarah remarried. Her second husband was George William PAINE, son of Charles L PAINE and his wife Ruth. A son, who was to be Sarah's only child, was born to them in 1877.
On 28 February 1877, son Thomas Alexander married Jane Charlotte CAPP, daughter of Charles Solomon CAPP and his wife Mary (nee BROWN).
The last of Elizabeth's children to marry was daughter Anne Jane Ford RUTTER. On 25 April 1883 she married Alfred HILL. Elizabeth EATHER was not destined to live an old age as had so many of her relatives. On 1 March 1884 her mother died at the age of 78 years and Elizabeth survived her by only 14 months, Elizabeth died on 5 May 1885 at the age of 58 years, survived by her aged father and siblings.
She was buried in the cemetery near St Peter's, Church of England, Richmond, NSW.
The children of Thomas ONUS and Elizabeth EATHER:-
Ann Onus 1842 1905 M. Samuel CLIFT 1836-1912
Sarah Onus 1845 1910 m. John Daniel EATON 1834-1874
Susannah Onus 1847 1935 m. William Collins GUEST 1839-1900
Thomas Alexander Onus 1849 1934 m. Jane Catherine CAPP 1855-1921
Matilda J Onus 1852 1853
Elizabeth A Onus 1854 1855
The Children of Joseph Hiorns RUTTER and Elizabeth were:-
Anne Jane Ford Rutter 1858 1885 m. Alfred E S HILL 1840-1916
Rebecca Sarah Harborne Rutter 1861 1865
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