ROBERT EATHER 1795-1881
Robert EATHER The son of Thomas EATHER 1764-1827 and Elizabeth LEE 1771-1860, was born on the 29 April 1795 at Parramatta, New South Wales.
On the 24 August 1824 at St.Matthews Church of England, Windsor, Robert married Mary LYNCH the daughter of Dublin couple Thomas LYNCH 1769-1831 and Celia Catherine DALEY 1768-1826.
Thomas LYNCH, was born in Ireland in the parish of St Paul's, Dublin in February 1769.
He joined the 61st regiment of foot (South Gloucestershire) on 1 May 1790, and served in it until 5 February 1791. He then transferred to the 56th regiment of foot (West Essex) & served in it until 26 June 1794. He joined the New South Wales corps (102nd regiment) in London on 15 August 1796 & for 2 years helped overseer convicts in the hulks on the Thames.
On 6th August 1798 he sailed from London to Cork in the transport ship "Minerva".
The ship was delayed at Cork by the Irish Revolution and other causes and it took over six months to embark 191 prisoners. Of these, 78 were political prisoners.
The ship "Minerva" finally sailed from Cork on 24 August 1799 under the military command of William COX, the later builder of the road over the Blue Mountains.
On the ship "Minerva" Thomas met Celia Catherine DALEY who, born in Dublin in 1768 & convicted at the same place in May 1798 for an unknown offence, had been transported for seven years. The date of their marriage is not known although the settlers muster book of 1800 records that they were living together at that time. Their only surviving child, Mary, was born in 1802/03 but it is possible that an infant named Thomas LYNCH who died in 1801 was an older child. In the Indents Thomas is described as being 5'7" in height, of swarthy complexion, with grey eyes, dark brown hair and a long visage.
Celia died in 1826 age 58 years & was buried on 16 November 1826 with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
Private Lynch's total military service of 31 years and 27 days included 4 years and 56 days in the 61st Regiment, 13 years and 222 days in the 102nd. Regiment, and 13 years and 214 days in the Royal Veterans.
( His military career, by later confusion of ancestors, seems to be the origin of a common belief that Thomas Eather, the pioneer, was a soldier).
On discharge in 1827 Thomas Lynch was granted one hundred acres of land which he unsuccessfully endeavoured to select at the Hunter River. Taking up his residence with Robert and Mary Eather in George Street, Windsor, he made a further attempt to select his grant, this time at Kurrajong, but he was again frustrated and his death occurred before he could choose his land. The grant was finally secured by Robert Eather in the Field of Mars district (Ryde) and named "Eather's Retreat".
Robert Eather received his first grant of land from Governor Macquarie at Mittagong.
The stony, scrubby land of the southern highlands, then so remote from the settled districts and so unfamiliar to a Hawkesbury native, induced him to exchange it for a small herd of cattle which he took to a sixty acre farm which he leased at Cornwallis.
He was prospering for in one year, 1828-1829, his stock increased from 20 cattle and 6 horses to 100 cattle, 11 horses and 40 pigs.
Shortly afterwards he spent a brief period in Tasmania, presumably in company with Jonathan Griffiths, an old family friend who had come out to New South Wales at the same time as Robert's father and who was by that period engaged in some very important pioneering work in Launceston.
Before the Tasmanian interlude, he moved with his wife and six children in 1829 onto the Cornwallis farm where he had constructed a comfortable dwelling.
Ten years later he was living at Richmond, having obtained a six years lease of the farm of Jonathon Griffiths from the beginning of 1836 and taking as wards three of Griffith's orphaned grandchildren as part of the arrangement.
He was also interested in land in the north, across the forbidding mountain ranges which his brother, Thomas EATHER, had been one of the first to penetrate and tame.
He used land between the Bulga Road and the Colo River; he leased an area near Howe's Valley a little later, and was lessee at various times of a number of runs in the far north west of New South Wales.
The children of Robert EATHER and Mary, nee LYNCH were:-
1. Thomas EATHER 1820 – 1874 m. Susannah MERRICK 1812-1894 on the 26 August 1844, St.Matthews Catholic, Windsor.
2. James Joseph EATHER 1821 – 1906 m. Bridget Harriet HONAN 1833-1886 at St.Matthews Catholic Church, Windsor.
3. Elizabeth EATHER 1822 – 1874 m. Thomas GRIFFITHS 1820-1856 on 3 Feb. 1840 at St.Matthews Presbyterian Church, Windsor
4. Robert Vincent EATHER 1824 – 1879 m. Ann CORNWELL 1831-1889 on 29 May 1847 at Richmond, NSW.
5. Cecilia Teresa EATHER 1826 – 1913 m. Michel Thomas DESPOINTES 1815-1865 at St.Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, on 14 Sept. 1848
6. Abraham Joseph EATHER 1828 – 1906 m. (1) Margaret MCELLIGOTT 1830-1856 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor,17 June 1851 (2) Ellen FARRELL 1842-1928 on 16 September 1863 at Windsor.
7. Mary EATHER 1830–1902 m. (1)Mathias GRIFFITHS 1823-1863 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor, in 1850 and (2) Thomas COOPER 1823-1902 at St.Matthews in 1865.
8. Charlotte Cecilia EATHER 1835 – 1862 m. Michael Benedict HEFFERNAN 1835-1877 at St.Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Sydney in 1858
9. Rachel Teresa EATHER 1836 – 1912 m. William John KING 1829-1905 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor, on 18 June 1855.
10. William EATHER 1839 – 1842
11. John Joseph EATHER 1841 – 1842
12. Sarah Mary EATHER 1843 – 1921 m. James EATHER 1838-1935 on the 16 September 1863. James was 1st cousin, son of James EATHER 1811-1899 and Mary Ann HAND 1815-1894
Mary EATHER nee LYNCH died on the 9 June 1853 at North Richmond. She was buried the next day at the Windsor Catholic Cemetery.
Then on 6 December 1856 at St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Parramatta, Robert Eather married Elizabeth BROWN, the widow of one Mark BROWN and the mother of three children.
She had been born in Dublin in 1801, the daughter of Martin CREAGH and Mary O'ROURKE, and came to Australia as a convict on the ship 'Hooghly' which reached Port Jackson on 27 September 1831. She had been tried at Limerick on 13 March 1831 and the indents describe her as being 5' 2¼" in height with hazel eyes and brown hair and having a sallow, freckled appearance.
By occupation she was a 'dress maker and house keeper' and her crime was stealing money from her master.
On arrival she was assigned to James COX at Parramatta and, at the time of her marriage to Robert, she was managing four boarding houses in York Street, Sydney behind the present B.B.C. Hardware (formerly Nock and Kirbys). Robert appears to have assisted her in this occupation for some time during the 1850's and in 1858/1859 is listed as the manager of a boarding house at 98-104, York Street, on the east side, two doors from Market Street.
Elizabeth died at North Richmond on the 22 April 1873 and is buried at Windsor Cemetery.