JOHN THOMAS SMITH AND HIS ELECTORS, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, 1852.
As I no longer have notes or maps, this journal comes entirely from memory.It is prompted by a McCracken search on Trove, the National Library of Australia's digitised collection of newspapers, and an article headed NORTH BOURKE on page 5 of the Argus of 20-1-1852. (Apologies. The date should read 20-12-1852.) In short, the article is about a meeting of electors resolving to ask John Thomas Smith to vacate his seat as a member of the legislative council for North Bourke.The intention of my journal is to give detail of most of the people involved.
J.T.Smith, seven times Mayor of Melbourne,arrived from Sydney to teach at George Langhorne's mission for the aborigines on the Botanical Gardens site. He soon became a businessman and received grants for land at Green Gully near Keilor in the parish of Maribyrnong; North Essendon,and Kensington (including the State School site) in the parish of Doutta Galla and what became the Ranelagh Estate, Mt Eliza, at the north west corner of the parish of Moorooduc.
At the time of this meeting, he was probably living in Melbourne,possibly in the oldest surviving house in Melbourne, photographed by the wonderful MUZZA OF McCRAE. He later built Ascot House in Fenton St Ascot Vale. In the early 1860's, he was a foundation member of the Borough of Essendon and Flemington and became one of the three M.L.C.'s for West Bourke. He was accused of bribing voters with inducements such as oranges that he grew; his orchard was probably near Cranwell St, North Essendon not far east from the Irish Dr Harbinson's orange grove (Melway 16 E12.)The Fitzroy Historical Society website states that he was also an alderman in that area.His portrait can be seen on the internet. Edward Wilson, editor of the Argus, constantly criticised J.T.Smith.(Sources: The Stopover That Stayed" Grant Aldous;parish maps; Keilor Centenary Souvenir 1950? eMelbourne past and present website under Mayoralty etc.)
Robert McDougall's biography must have been in Victoria and Its Metropolis for me to know so much of his movements. I believe he spent 10 years on Glenroy, which seems to have been divided into three farms: from Camp Rd, heading south, Pasture Hill, Bayview Farm and Glenroy Farm. Glenroy farm extended south to Rhodes Pde. John Kerr much later purchased the other two farms and built Glenroy House or Kerrsland which still stands as part of Penola College. Glenroy was so named by the Camerons, the original squatters, and they were still on Glenroy at this time as well so it is not clear which parts Mc Dougall and the Camerons had.
Robert McDougall later leased the Aitken Estate (section 8 Doutta Galla and possibly part of section 7 as described in the Thomas Miller (sic, Millar) journal) before moving into his newly- built "Arundel" mansion (Melway 4,G11) in about 1872.Unfortunately the Arundel mansion was ruined by Robinson's "fenestrations" circa 1950.
Robert was a foremost proponent of the Booth breed of Shorthorn cattle; as a result Harry Peck, in "Memoirs of a Stockman", stated that he and his neighbour, Harry Stevenson of "Niddrie" (Melway 15 K and 16 A 8-10)were bitter enemies, the latter being an advocate of the Bates strain. Ironically, Murray River steamer owner, McCulloch, who followed John Cochrane on Glenroy Farm, was also a prominent breeder of shorthorns.
You might well ask how McDougall and Stevenson could be neighbours. The answer is that they had other adjoining land on St John's grant (23 Doutta Galla), Stevenson near Strathmore Heights and McDougall near Strathmore North, both properties extending south into Essendon Aerodrome, which was originally called St John's Field.
The McDougalls also bought Warlaby, section 11 of the parish of Bulla Bulla (Melway 384 J8.)They probably owned it by 1888 when the first meeting of the Oaklands Hunt followed a trail from Warlaby laid by Farquhar McRae (not McCrae but possibly related)who was in charge of the hunters on "Glenara". "Warlaby",640 acres or a square mile, extended north to a western extension of Craigieburn Rd, which separated it from the Brannigans' St Johns. Due east of Warlaby was "Oaklands" which gave Oaklands Rd its name and north of that farm was Harpdale whose beautiful homestead (circa 1992) still bore the Brodie name set in tiles.
Warlaby was the home of Robert McDougall's son, Alexander (Sandy) who married Sandy Smith's daughter and moved to Western Australia in the early 1900's. Sandy Smith owned a mansion, Coilsfield, which was demolished to build the Essendon Hospital; he had earlier farmed near the Aitken Estate. (Sources:Victoria and Its Metropolis; Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History" Andrew Lemon; Keilor rates; "The Stopover That Stayed" Grant Aldous; Doutta galla parish map, Bulla rates and parish map, Bob Blackwell re farm names; "The Oaklands Hunt" D.F.Cameron-Kennedy; "Bulla Bulla" I.W.Symonds; various essendon histories; videotaped visit to Jack Simmie's Harpsdale; "Early Landowners: Parish of Doutta Galla" Ray Gibb; K.B.Keeley's architectural thesis on Arundel.)
PARDON MY IGNORANCE!
Some people whose names were included in the article lived outside my area of research, which started as Tullamarine, but expanded rapidly due to Bob Blackwell and George and Syd Lloyd. These surnames are Budd, Kyle, Guthrie and Reynolds. I have seen the name Guthrie and "Glengyle" which ring a bell but not very loudly. If I remember correctly, Reynolds was mentioned by Richard Broome in "Between Two Creeks", the history of Coburg. The names of Reynolds Pde and Reynard St, near Coonan's Hill may have been connected to this pioneer. Incidentally, Pentridge was the original name for Coburg and was changed during a royal visit in (1869?) to honour the Royal name Saxe-Coburg, which was changed to Windsor due to anti-German sentiment during W.W.1. Many families of German ancestry anglicised their surnames during W.W.1, such as the Groenberger family that was running the Junction Hotel at Tullamarine (SOURCE:Gordon Connor, whose testimony, like that of Colin Williams' also 99 at the time, can be taken as GOSPEL.)
POSTSCRIPT-GUTHRIE. I had a dim recollection of seeing the name, Guthrie, in relation to the Bulla area (Glenn & Guthrie?) and near Keilor Village. A search on trove revealed that Alexander (and J.) Guthrie had a farm called Glengyle, one mile from Keilor.They were living there in 1851.
I had a dim connection in my brain of Guthrie with Thomas Bertram and it proved to be correct. The Argus of 15-4-1854 reported on page 4 that Elizabeth, the second daughter of the late Murdoch Campbell of Scotland had died at the residence of Thomas Bertram Esquire, Glengyle, near Keilor.
The ford over Deep Creek, on Arundel Rd, which provided access to Keilor Village (where the Mansfields drowned in 1906 because the partly built Arundel bridge had been swept away) was known to all as Bertram's Ford.The ramp leading to the ford can still be seen between the house on the Browns Rd corner and the river(Melway 14 H2.)
Section 1 of the parish of Tullamarine was granted to R.H.Bunbury in 1842 but K.B.Keeley believed he was a dummy bidder for Colin Campbell who was the owner from 1843 until 1851 when he sold it to Donald Cameron. Two parts of "Arundel were sold off before Argus editor, Edward Wilson bought it in 1854; farms that were later known as Ellengower (or Ellengowen, I could not decipher the Keilor rate collector's writing) and Turner's. Was Colin Campbell a brother of Elizabeth Campbell and Thomas Bertram's wife?
Either of these farms could have been Glengyle. Ellengower was the Browns Rd area and the ramp passed through it, making the naming of the ford a foregone conclusion if Bertram had owned it. Turner's, later bought by the McNabs of Oakbank, (as was the land at Melway 4 B11)is situated between the east-west section of McNabs Rd and the river (4 D-F 12.) The decision on which was Glengyle rests on the description of Glengyle being one mile from Keilor. Bertram's Ford was about a mile from Keilor while Turner's was at least 2 1/2 miles.Therefore Glengyle, occupied by the Guthries and Bertrams, would have been in the horseshoe bend bisected by Browns Rd (Melway 14 G2.)
My suspicion of a connection with the Bulla area also proved to be correct so I'll go one step further and suggest that there was some sort of connection between the Guthries and Peter Young of Nairn, who will be discussed later. Alexander Guthrie Young, a colonist of 52 years died in 1891 at the age of 59.
(The Argus 9-12-1891 p.1) Alexander Guthrie obviously moved from Glengyle to the Bulla area. Mrs Alexander Guthrie gave birth to a son at Bulla Bulla, Deep Creek on 1-5-1859.(A.3-5-1859 p.4.)
Alexander Guthrie died at Togarf, Sunbury at the age of 70 on 27-11-1880. (A. 29-11-1880 P.1 and 8.) Togarf was obviously a farm and his widow, Ann, exhibited her Ayrshires with success at many shows. She died at Murtoa at the age of 80. (A. 27-9-1901 p.1.)
Postscript. Having obtained a map of Bulla Bulla parish, I can state that A& J. Guthrie's grants, issued in October of the years stated, consisted of section 14 (1852,503 acres), 22, part 4 (1854,135 acres 3 roods 10 perches) and 23 part 2 (1854, 384 acres 37 perches.) As I no longer have my Bulla rates transcriptions, I have no idea whether his farm (Togarf)remained this size.These grants were in the area shown on Melway map 383. I would imagine that they had been squatters before alienation and that section 14 was the homestead block and pre-emptive right. Section 14 was bounded by Southern Plains Rd, the line of Gellies Rd continued south almost to Emu Creek, and this creek on the south and west. A now-closed road, leaving Sunbury Rd opposite the east boundary of Craig and O' Grady's grant (Shepherds Lane), crossed Emu Creek in the east side of 383 D7, and travelled through the grant to the west end of Southern Plains Rd. This would have to be the private road to Daameeli; this property is on Richard Brodie's grant, 24(1). This road was the eastern boundary of 23 (2) and Emu Creek was the eastern boundary of 22 (4). The former fronted Sunbury Rd, the latter Gellies Rd and both Lancefield Rd.The tributary shown in Melway 383 B-D7 was about 100 metres (5mm on the map)north of the boundary between the two allotments.
Finally, although my memory is not too hot about what you say to Jan if things don't seem fair, it is pretty reliable concerning local history. I stated earlier that I had vague memories of seeing "Glenn and Guthrie" somewhere. Joseph Dubois returned my material yesterday and while looking for something else I found it!
In the Annals of Tullamarine (a large part of "Tullamarine: Before The Jetport").
1863. (After mentioning that James Sharp was leasing 40 acres of Chandos from J.C.Riddell and was to move to Hillside four years later.)Broadmeadows' rate records list the following Tullamarine residents east of Bulla Rd from the present bridge to Nash's Lane:
H.J.Brown and Glenn & Guthrie (Camp Hill), E.Dunn (Viewpoint), J.Maconochie (Stewarton)Love and Sharp as above, C &J.Nash (Fairview), W.Wright (Sunnyside), R.Beaman (Broombank), J.Foster, T.Anderson, R.Mitchell, T.Wright, P.Kettle, J.Gawley, J.Wright, J.Hendry (store, later P.O. too), C.Evans (shop.)
One last thing. Applications for occupation licences were invited on page 1 of The Argus of 11-6-1847.The various parcels of land were numbered but no location was given other than parishes. Alexander Guthrie had leased 640 acres in Will Will Rook for the previous two years. I checked the parish map on the internet, but there were no dates for the issue of grants. Then I remembered that Joseph had returned my material. According to "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History" only two grants were not issued in 1838. They were sections 5 and 2. Alexander Gibb purchased section 5 in 1848 after leasing the 640 acres for some time (Page 20) so Alexander could only have been leasing Box Forest, granted to John Pascoe Fawkner in 1850 (on behalf of his co-operative.) This square mile, bounded by the Northern Golf Club, Hilton St/ Box Forest Rd, the cemetery and Boundary Rd is now named after a Broadmeadows Shire Councillor, circa 1927, Cr Rupert Hadfield.
In "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History", Andrew Lemon mentioned George Langhorne conducting Free Presbyterian services at Peter Young's Nairn and how the United Presbyterians had caused problems. Andrew's source was obviously Peter Young's letter published on page 4 of The Argus of 19-2-1851.
Here are the headlines about Peter Young. He was a very proud Scot with a good knowledge of the "land o' cakes" and a love of poetry. He was on the front foot when situations needed correcting. He was a stalwart of the Free Presbyterians and a member of the Order of Oddfellows, working hard to advance the former and defending the latter group from unjustified criticism. Above all he was an expert farmer, and I mean an EXPERT. He seems to have moved to Clyde Park, Westernport before his death.
As I have the Bulla Bulla map now I'll tell you about Nairn before I detail the trove articles. See Melway map 384. Peter Young received the grant for Section 8 (a square mile/ 640 acres) on 26-11-1848. He added the 130 acre 7B on the other side of St John's Lane on 18-9-1851. (St John's lane led to the Brannigans' "St John's Hill", not heaven!) The William Inglis and Son thoroughbred horse sales complex is in the south east corner of section 8 and the end of the public section of St Johns Rd indicates its north western corner. Allotment B of section 7 is between St Johns Rd and Deep Creek; the southern boundary was the now closed road in C-E 12 and the northern boundary is indicated by 110 St Johns Rd.
TROVE- A CHRONOLOGY.
While reading Isaac Batey's fascinating historical articles in the Sunbury newspaper, I half-noticed his reference to a Mr Young being ( a squatter?) near Essendon in the early days (probably 1847.)This could have been Peter Young. I will start with an advertisement that Peter placed in The Argus (as I thought, soon after arriving), which outlines his past.He was actually in Victoria by 1842!
All items are from The Argus unless otherwise specified: 1846-8 was the Melbourne Argus.
24-9-1847 page 2. Peter announced that he was setting up as an auctioneer and commission agent. He said that he had been land steward for the Marquis of Breadalbane (in Scotland), an experimental farmer and land steward for A. Speirs, the M.P. for Richmond (Tasmania), superintendent of the Government Domain farm in Van Dieman's Land and latterly superintendent of J. and W. Macarthur's stations. Peter must have arrived in Melbourne by 1846 or very early 1847. A letter he wrote to the Port Phillip Gazette was republished in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (12-6-1847 page 4.) There had been an outbreak of black leg in young cattle near Port Fairy,to which no solution had been found,and Peter wrote from the Crown Hotel outlining his method that had worked so successfully in New South Wales in the winter of 1837. He had been in charge of 8000 cattle and the sudden death of cattle 20 miles away was put down to snake bites until Peter arrived and diagnosed black leg after dissecting a carcass.
27-1-1847 page 1-2. Peter made a toast at the Robbie Burns Festival that was a virtual history of Scotland and occupied 4 1/2 columns of The Argus.
28-5-1847 page 2. SEYMOUR. Preparations are being made for the sale to be conducted by Mr Peter Young on the 24th. This was to be the first ever in the township.Peter was auctioning well before the advertisement appeared.
1-6-1847 page 2. An excited report of the sale was given. The correspondent told of Peter's plans for regular sales.
3-8-1847 page 2. A DANGEROUS NUISANCE. At the close of business at the Police Office on Saturday, Mr Peter Young informed the Mayor of the cattle, horses, pigs and goats in Latrobe St West and no constable ever being seen to control this. The Chief Constable, who had earlier ignored Peter's complaints, was huffy but the Mayor instructed him to send two constables and impound these animals.
30-11-1847. The Seymour correspondent understood that Peter had intended to conduct quarterly sale but none (bar the first) had come off yet.
20-4-1849 page 4. Peter complained that he hadn't been getting his Argus or Patriot.He was now on Nairn.
19-4-1850 page 3, column 4. FOR SALE. Seed wheat and potatoes of a very superior quality grown from seed of last year's crop at Warrnambool. On sale by the undersigned, Peter Young, Nairn, Deep Creek.
27-4-1850 page 2. BIRTH. At Nairn, parish of Bulla Bulla on the 25th, Mrs Peter Young of a daughter.
8-1-1851 page 2.(Original correspondence to the Mt Macedon paper.) Peter said that up until the end of 1850 mail had been picked up at Mr Wright's Bridge Inn but the mail run to Mt Macedon now went through Keilor. (This is of interest because it seems that Tulip Wright did start the Lincolnshire Hotel's construction during 1851. Donohue applied for the Bridge Inn licence in 1851 but his application was postponed because of the filthy state of the Bridge Inn. (See THE HOTELS NEAR TULLAMARINE journal.) It may have been because Tulip had left, abandoning his hotel, that the route was changed.)Peter complained that 500 residents near Bulla now had to pick up their mail from Melbourne or Gisborne, stating that only about 5 people lived on the new route between Keilor and The Gap. (He was talking about William Taylor of Overnewton, James Robertson of Upper Keilor,possibly the Page Brothers of Glencoe-I'll have to ask Isaac Batey if they were still there; their drinking might have seen them off by 1851, and one or two others.) P.S. Edward Page advertised the homestead block in 1859. (The Argus 27-6-1859 page 2, column 2.)
10-2-1851 page 2. Peter hasn't given up. He now accuses two magistrates of using undue influence to change the mail run. One magistrate was certainly William Taylor; I'm not sure if Robertson was a J.P. too. His son, James, was and another son, Francis, was a member of parliament.
19-2-1851 page 4.Peter wrote a letter about Langhorne teaching Sunday School at theschoolhouse on Nairn on Sunday mornings and conducting Free Presbyterian services in the afternoon and how the United Presbyterians
were interfering with their fund-raising for a church for Broadmeadows and Deep Creek (Westmeadows and Bulla.)
"Vision and Realisation", the Victorian Education Department history of 1972, mentioned an early school on the McDougalls' "Warlaby" (probably named Oaklands) in a declivity; this may have been a mistaken reference to Peter's school unless another was built on Warlaby later. My memory from reading the book 20 years ago is dim but I think it mentioned two schools with different National School numbers.
31-5-1851 page 2. Another farming problem had arisen, smut in wheat. As everyone would know, when crops are affected, prices rise. Think bananas! Due to his innovative ideas and experience, Peter had worked out a solution and he could have cashed in big-time. He had put down 140 acres of wheat at Nairn the previous year and not one head of smutted wheat had grown due to his treatment of the grain before planting that he had developed 17 years earlier. Peter was not going to keep this a secret and let his colleague suffer. Could you imagine Coles giving Woolworths a helping hand?
25-6-1852. Peter wrote a letter headed "To Improve Crops by Pollen" which showed that he had a thorough grasp of the history of the development of the various types of wheat.
11-8-1852 page 6.Peter Young of Nairn requested permission from those who had donated money for the church in the parish of Bulla (not enough to proceed) to hand it over to the National School, whose establishment had been resolved at a meeting he'd recently chaired.
The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston) 3-11-1852 page 722 (no kidding!) As Peter McCracken , the President of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society was absent (due to the drowning of his young son, William, in the Moonee Ponds Creek near the bottom of Pascoe St, Westmeadows; see McCracken below), Peter Young of Nairn took the chair, filling it most capably, at the function to honour David Duncan's service to the organisation. (See the WILLIAM THOMPSON AND DAVID DUNCAN journal.)
6-3-1868 page 2. Evan McIntosh was holding a clearing sale at Nairn, his lease having expired. Peter may have moved to Westernport but he also could have been conducting a business in Melbourne.
6-5-1895 page 1. H.W.Shepherd married Susan, the daughter of the late Mr Peter Young Esquire of Melbourne and Clyde Park, Westernport.
While trove is a fantastic resource, it does not distinguish between the surname Young and the opposite of old, which led to many wasted hours. I did not find any other family notices or references to Clyde Park, Westernport apart from the 1895 marriage of his daughter.
I tried googling YOUNG with CLYDE, BERWICK and WESTERNPORT, the last named combination reminding me of a discovery I made at the P.R.O.V. (See SQUATTERS IN THE WESTERNPORT DISTRICT journal.)
A website headed FREDERICK XAVIER TO ARTHUR ZOUCH has the following information.
The Melbourne Times of 23-4-1842 recorded that Peter Young had been granted a publican's licence for the "Bushman" in Sydney Road.The Port Phillip of 21-4-1843 shows that the hotel, once again described as being on Sydney Road was now called the Sugar Loaf Inn. The same paper, on 27-4-1844,stated that Peter had been granted his licence but the hotel was again called the Bushman.
(An alphabetical listing of squatters and their runs, from correspondence with the Governor, which is a different website, lists Peter Young of the Sugar Loaf Run.) Given Peter's purchase of land in Seymour at the first sales, his conducting the first sales in the township and the fact that Sugarloaf Creek intersects the Hume Highway in Seymour, it is reasonable to assume that the hotel was at Seymour and not in modern-day Carlton, Brunswick (or Plenty, Pascoeville near the Young Queen Inn, or Tullamarine near the Lady of the Lake- routes more likely to be called Sydney Road in the early 1840's.)
Rev. Peter Gunn, who became the minister at the Campbellfield's historic Scots Church (Melway 7 H6), had visited the Golburn (River?) area and Peter was among a large number who signed a letter of encouragement and contributed 50 pounds to support his ministry; another signatory was from Sunday Creek, which joins Sugarloaf Creek.(Port Phillip Herald 1-10-1844.)
Peter Young and Elizabeth christened John William in 1843.
Peter Young purchased allotments at the first sale of blocks at Seymour. (Melbourne Weekly Courier 23-3-1844.)
Peter Young was one of 469 voters who qualified by freehold in Seymour in the list of electors in the District of Bourke (Melbourne Courier 8-8-1845.)Peter Young was listed in the (1847?) Port Phillip directory as a settler, Seymour, Sydney Rd.
The website also lists newspaper reports showing that Peter Young was given depasturing licences in July 1843 and October 1844 in the Westernport District.Ah hah, I thought, perhaps Peter had been on Clyde Farm, Westernport before he went to Bulla. Then I remembered my search for a grant (or licence) that Captain Adams of Rosebud was supposed to have been given in about 1841. All such matters were dealt with in Sydney and the Public Records office gave me an index of correspondence. As Peninsula pioneers were referred to as late as 1888 in "Victoria and Its Metropolis" as being in the Westernport District, I concentrated on those entries.
Imagine my surprise to find Barker's Mt Alexander Run (near Castlemaine) described as being in the Westernport District! In view of what has been mentioned before, Peter Young's depasturing licences were almost certainly near Seymour.
Still none the wiser,about when Peter left Nairn, I returned to Trove and tried "Nairn, Bulla, Young, 1850-1867".
Argus 18-4-1853 page 12. Peter was offering Nairn for sale by private contract. He had probably only been there for about five years but how much he had accomplished! The advertisement describes the property in great detail, including the waterfall.For the sale of his furniture, library, stock, vehicles and so on, Peter employed prominent auctioneer, Dalmahoy Campbell (much discussed by Harry Peck in his "Memoirs of a Stockman.) (See Argus 20-5-1853 page 9.)
Argus 4-6-1853 page 8, column 1. Peter offered an incredible variety of grape vine cuttings for sale.
Joseph Clarke of "Goolpala", Saltwater River (Probably the future "Rupertswood")might have bought all of Peter's property north of Melbourne.The Argus of 16-9-1865 reported, on page 2, the sale of the late Joseph's estate: lot 1. Nairn; lot 2.About 9 acres of portions 29 and 30 Doutta Galla near the racecourse (the future showgrounds site near Clarke Ave, Melway 28 F11); lots 3-9. original allotments in the Township of Seymour. N.B. Clarke may have bought the showgrounds land from the grantee, Pearson, who had sold 4 acres to John and David Charles Ricketts in 1851.
The advertisement states that Nairn was split into two farms, leased by Mr McIntosh (300 acres) and Mr Millar (450 acres.) Part of Nairn was to become William Michie's "Cairnbrae". It also stated that Peter had framed the economy of Nairn upon sure principles and described the orchards and so on. In 1860, W.C.Howie had been on Nairn and placed a notice about a black pig that had strayed into his paddock (The Argus 30-6-1860 page 8, last column.)
As we know that Peter was an auctioneer, he may have been a partner of the firm of Young and Timbury,which advertised the sale of the cargo of a ship in The Argus of 18-5-1860 (page 2, bottom of column 4.)
A George Young, from Tasmania was a pioneer near Dromana and might have been related to Peter. (See "A Dreamtime of Dromana".)Peter was certainly not related to Frankston pioneer, Mark Young, who was a Roman Catholic.
As Clyde is near Berwick, J.Young and James Grant Young (Argus 11-7-1883 page 5 and 10-10-1867 page 6 column 3) may have been related, although Mark Young was involved in the Dandenong area before moving to Frankston and they might have been related to him instead.
Peter McCracken farmed on Stewarton from 1846 until 1855.This was the 777 acres of Gladstone Park/Gardens between the Forman St and Lackenheath Dr. corners and extending to the Moonee Ponds Creek, which formed the eastern boundary.I have just spent two hours looking for the death notice of Peter's three year old son, William, in 1852, which I read last night but cannot now find! However, an indication of this death is found on page 722 of The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston) of 3-11-1852.
One of the extracts from Melbourne papers was THE FARMERS' SOCIETY. The article concerns a presentation of a silver service to MR DAVID DUNCAN OF THOMPSON AND DUNCAN, CORNFACTORS, BOURKE ST, MELBOURNE. (David had been treasurer of the body since its inception.See David Duncan and William Thompson journal.)As the President, Peter McCracken of Stewarton, was absent due to a severe domestic calamity , Peter Young of Nairn took the chair.
Young William had walked with his siblings part of the way to school (at the two year old St Paul's Church of England in Broadmeadows Township at Melway 6 B7.) They would have crossed at the bottom of Pascoe St, where there was later a bridge according to Sid Lloyd, until it was swept away in a flood and required entry to Jim Barrow's Gladstone via Forman St.Young William probably slipped into the creek on the way home. (Extracts from The McCracken Letters provided by Deidre Farfor.)
Peter then had a dairy farm at Kensington, on allotments 19 and 18 of section 2, Doutta Galla, leased from John Robert Murphy, the grantee, from 1855 until 1863.This land lay between Kensington Rd and a line near Tennyson St (Melway 42 K4.)Peter suffered the loss of all his haystacks in 1861 and struggled through 1862 because the grass was poor and the hay expensive. After he had moved to "Ardmillan", his mansion at present 33-39 Ardmillan Rd, and ended his lease on the Kensington land, pork butcher, Samuel Cox, leased the old dairy and from 1874 to 1882 William Samuel Cox ran his Kensington Park Racecourse; when Kensington Park was subdivided, W.S.Cox started a new course on Feehan's farm, where it still stands, extended onto Long John Mooney's grant, and then to Wilson Rd.
(The McCracken Letters, P.5 "Early Landowners: Parish of Doutta Galla" Ray Gibb, "Ardmillan" Ray Gibb re address of the mansion.)
Optimistic reports of the Melbourne and Essendon Railway's meeting appeared on page 6 of the 30-8-1859 issue of The Argus. Directors appointed were George Holmes, Hugh Glass, J. Dinwoodie, C.Bradshaw, J.C.King, Peter McCracken and E.B.Wight. I think Holmes, a major contractor, who was building this line, was the man after whom Holmes Rd in Moonee Ponds West was named. Hugh Glass of Flemington House was a neighbour of Peter's brother, Robert and, with the McCrackens and Robertsons, owned most of the railway's route. Dinwoodie held a mortgage on the Aitken Estate at one time, the Bradshaws owned land at Hawstead and between Epsom and Union Rds, and Edward Byam Wight owned "The Ridge" across present Kensington Rd from Peter McCracken's dairy and the "Temperance Township" triangle mentioned in relation to the Bradshaws.(Early Landowners: Parish of Doutta Galla- titles and parish map, The Stopover That Stayed.)
Peter is known to have been on Ardmillan by 1860; on page 4 of The Argus of 24-4-1860, appeared the death notice of John, the fourth son of Peter McCracken of Ardmillan near Essendon, who had died of croup at the age of 2 years and 7 months.The railway opened at about that time but by 1864 it had to close because of insufficient patronage. No doubt James McConnell had sold his grants at Kensington and Moonee Ponds (bisected by Puckle St)at a good profit but the majority shareholders such as Glass and Peter suffered heavy losses. The former died from an "accidental overdose" and Peter lost Ardmillan.
He'd sold the part east of the railway to Taylor and by 1874, the rest of his estate had been sold, the homestead block to stock agent William Hudson and the western and northern portions to Edward Dale Puckle who sold subdivided land to such as Thomas Jennings Jnr, born in Melbourne in 1837.In a letter, Peter said that one consolation was that his new residence in Powlett St, East Melbourne was at least closer to work. And what was that? I'm going to make you wait.
Peter's brother, Robert, bought Ailsa from Captain Buckley; a letter from "Ardmillan" to Scotland indicates that this took place in April/May 1865, not in 1864 as stated by A.D.Pyke.The property was north of Kent St and went north to the Filson/South St midline. Glass had earlier purchased the Ascot Vale Rd frontage. In 1873, the Essendon Football Club commenced and played on the Ailsa paddock; it is claimed that the club had to move to another ground because the V.F.A. demanded a fenced ground in 1877, but it is more likely that the club moved to the East Melbourne Ground in 1875.John Filson lodged a subdivision plan for the paddock in 1875, naming the main streets after himself and his wife (nee Harding.)
Why didn't the club play at Windy Hill? Most football teams had formed from cricket clubs but Essendon was mainly composed of horse lovers. As most of the councillors were cricket lovers, they refused the "Same Olds" use of the ground. Later the council made the ground available to a V.F.A. club, Essendon Town (later known as Essendon A),which experienced great success in about 1910 when the great Dave McNamara was place kicking goals from 80 yards out and kicked the first century ever.A decade later many of their stars transferred to North Melbourne and the club folded. At last the ground was made available to the V.F.L. club "the Same Olds" which adopted the Bombers as a nick-name when aeroplane manufacturing no longer relied on aeroplane dope.
Ailsa was demolished when the house and a small portion of the land was sold to the Catholic Church. The new buildings functioned as a convent and college/university for a great length of time and recently became a Scientology centre.
The Mar Lodge Estate, adjoining Hoffman's Butzbach (later Croft's Buckley Park)was inherited by Francis Robertson of Upper Keilor, whose brother, James, inherited Upper Keilor and "Spring Hill" which became Aberfeldie. Francis, a bachelor and member of Parliament 1860-1864 and 1868-1886, built the 43 square homestead in 1863. He died at 1 p.m. on 11-3-1886 and the McCrackens bought MarLodge in 1888 according to the Essendon Conservation Study.
Coiler and Alexander McCracken sold 3 acres to the Government on 27-11-1910 for 1000 pounds; this was the original small portion of the Essendon High School site. Gordon Connor, one of the school's early pupils recalled cows grazing right to the high school fence. This continued for almost a decade until Mar Lodge was subdivided in 1919. There would have been no need to mow the grass because, on 7-1-1919,fire destroyed 150 acres of grassland owned by the late Alexander McCracken and tenanted by F.Flanagan.
Before continuing, I had better mention a bit about the McCracken family. It hailed from Ardwell Farm on the Ardmillan Estate in Ayrshire, Scotland. Peter, Robert and Alexander Earle were three brothers involved in the Essendon area and there was apparently a sister, Grace, who married Alexander McGeoch, spirit merchant and died at the residence of her brother, Robert McCracken (The Argus 20-4-1859 p.4.)
Alexander Earle McCracken returned to Scotland in 1857 due to the ill health of his wife Jane. This reminds me of an error that I need to fix in the Thomas Miller (sic, Millar) journal. I stated that Jane had mentioned Thomas Millar's funeral but she had written about a grand festivity on "Miller's Farm"; another family member had written about the funeral.
Mar Lodge extended west from McCracken St to include all present Hedderwick St house blocks.Between there and Hoffmans Rd was Butzbach, granted to William Hoffman, a brick manufacturer. Alexander Earle McCracken was probably the first tenant on Butzbach and within ten months of the grant being issued had built stables with four stalls and a barn.In March 1851, he was building a house which was probably between Croft St and the bend in Price St (Melway 28 B2.)Alexander grew wheat (probably supplied to Barber and Young's flour mill on the Pipeworks Market site at Campbellfield) and the farm prospered but as mentioned earlier Alexander Earle and Jane returned home in 1857.
In a letter dated 14-4-1858, Robert told Alexander Earle that the McAuleys were now farming Butzbach. In the following year, the death occurred of nine year old Grace, the daughter of Mr Alexander Earle McCracken late of Butzback (sic), Saltwater River (The Argus 12-10-1859 p.6.) Not a good year for the McCrackens; little Grace had taken the same journey as her Auntie Grace and the optimism regarding the railway was to turn to heartache within a few years.
When Essendon F.C. started playing at Ailsa, Robert's 17 year old son, Alexander, a 17 year old Scotch College student, was its first secretary. Peter's son, Coiler or Collier, was the team's first captain. Alexander was to become the first President of the V.F.L. until shortly before his death in 1915. He was to become prominent in the Oaklands Hunt Club. He purchased "Cumberland" whose homestead ruins can still be seen at Melway 178 C12. After-hunt festivities were generally held at Cumberland, Alister Clark's "Glenara" or the Inverness Hotel until the club purchased "Sherwood". The Tullamarine community picnics, organised by its schoolteacher, Alec Rasmussen, were conducted on the 880 acre Cumberland, in 1909, 1910 and 1911. After Alexander's death, the Johnsons of "Glendewar" across the creek lived in its beautiful homestead but had to return to a humbler home when the Cumberland mansion was destroyed by fire.
Cumberland had a strong footy connection because of Alexander McCracken but also because of Thomas Wills, the grantee (of section 5 Will Will Rook?), an overlander, who was the uncle of Tom Wills, footy's creator, and Colden Harrison, codifier of the rules in 1866 and called the father of football.
("Running With The Ball" ? and A. Mancini.)
Cumberland was Alexander's country retreat but his real home was "North Park", now the Columban Mission on the south side of Woodlands St, Essendon. His cousin, Peter's son, Coiler (obviously named after Coiler Robertson of La Rose) built Earlsbrae, which is now part of the Lowther Hall school. Coiler got into finncial difficulty and left for Bourke in New South Wales. (See "The Gold The Blue for extensive detail.)
COILER ROBERTSON, LA ROSE. See the journal about the 1847 Port Phillip Directory to find details about the "La Rose" Robertsons, the farm's location and two other Robertson families in the area.
on 2011-11-25 17:45:09
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.