Peter Eather 1831-1911
Peter EATHER, my 2nd great grand uncle, the fifth child and third son of Thomas EATHER 1800-1886 and Sarah nee McALPIN, was born at Richmond on 19 February 1831. He grew up there and at the age of 22 married his first cousin, Charlotte Eather WILLIAMS 1834-1918. The wedding, which was by licence, was held in St Peter's Church at Richmond with the Reverend John ELDER officiating. Witnesses who signed the marriage register were Sarah EATHER, who was probably Peter's younger sister, and Thomas WILLIAMS, who was one of Charlotte's brothers. Charlotte's parents were Robert WILLIAMS 1795-1839 and Charlotte EATHER 1797-1862, the daughter of Thomas EATHER formerly HEATHER 1764-1827 and Elizabeth LEE 1771-1860.
She had been only five years old when her father died and her home had been at Agnes Bank, just a few miles out of Richmond so she and Peter had known each other since childhood
Peter and Charlotte didn't stay at Richmond for long after their wedding. Within eighteen months they had made the long journey to the Liverpool Plains and had taken up residence on "Henriendi", the run that Peter's father had established twenty years previously on the Namoi River. There Peter found employment attending to stock work on the run or droving cattle down to the markets. In January 1855 their first child was born and when the baby was christened a little later in the year, their address was stated as "Namoi River", and Peter's occupation as being a drover. This child, was a daughter, Matilda Jane, who was the first grandchild of Thomas and Sarah EATHER to have been born at "Henriendi". Sadly, Matilda Jane died at the age of ten months. When Peter and Charlotte's second child was baptised in 1856 their address was "Namoi River" and Peter was a squatter. Four years later, when their third child was baptised, their address was "Boggabri" and Peter was once more a drover. Whether they were residing then on the "Boggabri" run, or whether Boggabri was becoming a general name for the district we do not know. By 1860 Peter and Charlotte had been joined at "Henriendi' by Peter's younger brother William, who had brought his wife Ann and young children to live there. In 1861 the run was given by their father to their brother Charles, and by 1863 he and his wife and children had also taken up residence there. Between 1862 and 1877 another seven children were born to Peter and Charlotte and all were born at "Henriendi". Peter and Charlotte experienced further sadness in 1881 when their ninth child, Ida May, who was nearly five, was taken ill. She was conveyed to the town of Boggabri, and was attended by Dr BARACLOUGH, but she died on 25 January 1881 from a ruptured blood vessel. Bad seasons and droughts in the late 1860's were followed by financial problems for Peter's brother Charles and in 1871 he became bankrupt. His eldest son took charge of "Henriendi" and within a few years the control of the station had passed out of the hands of family members. Peter EATHER was relatively little affected by these events. When he wasn't working on "Henriendi" he was working elsewhere in the district. It seems that he spent a good deal of his working life droving and he often described his occupation as "drover". In 1870/1871 he was working at "Glen Quinn", a property owned by Patrick QUINN who disposed of it in 1871. In 1878/1879 his address was "Henriendi" and at that time he was also working on "Gukenddaddy", a run owned by John Kerr CLARK, who had taken over "Henriendi" in 1876. The year 1876 saw the first wedding of Peter and Charlotte's children. Twenty year-old Clara Amy married twenty-three year-old Thomas Henry FULMER. The first two grandchildren of Peter and Charlotte were born during the next few years. On 22 February 1881, the second family wedding was held. Twenty year old daughter Angelina Sophia was married to Arthur Halmney MILNER from nearby Turrawan, in a ceremony conducted according to the rites of the Wesleyan Church by the Reverend William WESTON. On this occasion Peter's occupation was recorded as "drover". Three witnesses signed the marriage certificate. They were Joseph COLE, Peter EATHER (who made his mark - a cross), and Sarah Charlotte EATHER, the younger sister of bride. By the time that the station was resumed and sub-divided in 1898, Peter and Charlotte had been on the Liverpool Plains for over forty years and their children were all adults and they themselves of retirement age. As a result of the sub-division and the resulting ballot for allotments, one of their sons, Peter McALPIN, was fortunate enough to draw Block 104, an area of 320 acres with a river frontage. Peter and Charlotte lived for over fifty years on the Liverpool Plains, and their residence for most of that time was on "Henriendi". They were residing there in 1903 when they celebrated their golden wedding. By then Peter was describing himself as a labourer. By 1911 Peter EATHER was in his eighty-first year and health was failing. He died in Merton Street, Boggabri, on 1 December 1911. Dr L H BEAMAN, who attended him that day, gave as cause of his death, an intestinal obstruction caused by a carcinoma. He was survived by Charlotte and six of their children, who ranged in ages from 55 to 34. There were more than twenty grandchildren, most of whom were already adults. A large crowd of relatives and friends attended his funeral on 3 December 1911, when he was laid to rest in the General Cemetery at Boggabri. His son, Peter McALPIN provided the information for his death certificate, and his son-in-law A MILNER signed it as a witness. In 1915 Charlotte was still residing at "Henriendi" and her sons were scattered around the district. Most of them were farming. Charlotte lived to see the end of World War 1. She died, age 84 years, on 23 December 1918 and was buried beside her late husband in the Boggabri General Cemetery. Their grave with its inscribed headstone can be seen there today.
The children of Peter EATHER and Charlotte Eather WILLIAMS were:-
Matilda Jane EATHER 1855 1855
Clara Amy EATHER 1856 1933 m. Thomas Henry FULMER 1853-1891
Angelina Sophia EATHER 1860 1911 m. Arthur Halmney MILNER 1853-1931
Sarah Charlotte EATHER 1862 1939 m. George Henry STANFORD 1866-1954
George Milton EATHER 1864 1945 m. Mary Agnes STANFORD 1868-1942
Charles EATHER 1867 1868
Peter McAlpin EATHER 1869 1940 m. Ellen Maude Shephard 1891-1961
John Henry EATHER 1872 1943
Ida May EATHER 1875 1881
Florence Ada EATHER 1877 1966 m. Robert Adam PROUDFOOT 1873-1923
Below is a photograph of Charlotte with one of her grandchildren
Charlotte had an inheritance under the terms of her father's will. It was in two parts. She inherited 50 head of horned cattle "for her own absolute use upon her attaining the age of twenty-one or day of marriage". Upon reaching the age of twenty-one she was also to receive a share of the proceeds of interest and dividends on investments in bank shares in her father's estate, less the sum expended upon her maintenance and education during her minority. As she had married under the age of twenty-one, she was entitled to the 50 head of cattle.
It was thirteen years since her father's death, and the cattle in the large herd running then on the WILLIAMS family station "Boggabri" would have long since been sold or died. Presumably she was allocated fifty head from the herd running on the station at the time of her marriage.