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THE BETHELLS OF BULLA AND BROADMEADOWS TOWNSHIPS, VIC., AUST.

Journal by itellya

Any family historian who has moved house will understand what prompted this journal. You have a book or notes but in which of 25 boxes did you put them. Neil Mansfield wanted information from "Broadmeadows: A Forgotten History" about John Bethell because finding his copy would have taken days (and weeks to repack the boxes.) I thought that I might as well kill two birds with the one stone by including this information in a journal. I have quoted Andrew Lemon's words as much as possible, using comments in brackets to add context or further information. John Bethell was one of the few pioneers to get a mention, but I think you will agree that there is not much meat there for a family historian. It was precisely because so many pioneers were not acknowledged and the detail, about many of those that were, was so vague that I decided to write history for family historians. That was the sole aim of DHOTAMA (DICTIONARY HISTORY OF TULLAMARINE AND MILES AROUND.) This detail will be supplied later (from trove, dhotama and Neil's book) but let's see what Andrew Lemon had to say about William and John Bethell.

BROADMEADOWS: A FORGOTTEN HISTORY.
Incidental details about the Bethells as witnesses in a continuing conflict between Constable King and his superior officer.
P.1. William Bethell, whose job it was to bring the mail on horseback to the (Broadmeadows) township (heard the argument between Senior Constable McCarthy and his wife.)
P.2. On Thursday 17 December-four days earlier- William Bethell's brother, John, who was a chemist and storekeeper in the town, complained to Senior Constable McCarthy that a drunken woman was roaming the town, using bad language and exposing some nameless but unacceptable portion of her anatomy.
p.3-4. John Bethell (returning from Melbourne to the township)travelling on the same cart (as Snr. Const. McCarthy and his wife)noticed only that, near Essendon, Constable King rode up on horseback and exchanged a few words with McCarthy.But there were awkward scenes that John Bethell did notice.

P.9. Similarly it (1857 Census) found one storekeeper, even though John Bethell, the chemist and Peter Mitchell described themselves as such to the police.
P. 25. The first sale of blocks of land at the Government township at Broadmeadows took place on 16-5-1850. --
Between 1852 and 1855 there were further sales until almost all of the allotments were sold.--- While there were names of subsequent residents on the first sales lists- such as Peter Mitchell, John Bethell, J.Bryan , W. Gilmore and Enoch Reynolds- there were numerous investors etc.
(Jane Bryant bought the block on which her Victoria Hotel was built just up Ardlie St from the Broady.
I was silly enough to accept Lemon's version, Gilmore, when I asked the developers of the Alanbrae Estate on "Willowbank", across Kenny St from the township, to name streets after pioneers, which they did. The family is related to my maternal line, Cock, (okay, you can stop giggling now)and my family historian brother swears that the correct spelling is Gilmour.)

P.44. (Re land values in 1863)---while the Broadmeadows hotel which William Chadwick rented from John Bethell was valued at 86 pounds a year. (Most houses had a Nett Annual Value of 5 or 10 pounds.)
P.47. Broadmeadows Township came within the parish of Will Will Rook and was represented on the first Road Board by that enterprising townsman, John Bethell, who had started in the township with just one block of land, but as a storekeeper and possibly the town's first postmaster, he soon consolidated his position. By 1863 he was the owner of six buildings there, the chief of which was the hotel. (The meeting at which the Road Board was inaugurated- more likely a resolution was passed to request establishment of a road district- was held on 15-4-1858 at a Free Presbyterian church almost opposite the gates of "Dunhelen".)
P. 54-5. In 1864, Hugh Brown, A Tullamarine farmer, resigned as Chairman, and with John Bethell and James Machonochie , he resigned from the Road Board.
(Hugh Brown was on Camp Hill and his year old daughter became a Prime Minister's wife; see Notes re Tullamarine journal. James Machonochie was on Stewarton, the 777 acres of today's Gladstone Park/Gardens north of the Mickleham Rd/Lackenheath Drive corner.)
P. 63. There were still two hotels (circa 1880)- the Victoria was burnt down in 1879 but since about 1870, the town had a new hotel, the Franklin. John Bethell, ever improving himself, had retired to England, where he still received the rent from his bakery and hotel. (Baker/publican, Henry Franklin, may have been a friend or relative of John Bethell as they were jointly assessed on a house.)

Well, that might provide about three sentences for the Bethell family history!

DHOTAMA.As much of the information in my dictionary history came from local histories, much of it appears above. Andrew Lemon gives the impression that Henry Franklin built the bakery on the uphill corner of Fawkner and Bent Streets (which was extended as Franklin's Hotel) but John Bethell built a bakery much earlier. The 1863 rates show that John Bethell owned three houses, John Arnott's bakery and another house occupied by Alexander Coghill in the parish of Tullamarine (west of the bridge.)This original bakery would have been east of the bridge in the parish of Will Will Rook and was probably between John Bethell's Broadmeadows Hotel and Jane Bryant's Victoria Hotel a few blocks up the Ardlie St Hill. An earlier association between Henry Franklin and John Bethell seems to be indicated by their "joint occupancy" of a house in 1880 as mentioned above. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT JOHN BETHELL VISITED THE OLD COUNTRY RATHER THAN RETURNING THERE FOR GOOD? Incidentally, I also wonder if Arnott's biscuits were first baked in Broadmeadows Township!

John Bethell certainly did return to his place of birth in the latter half of 1865 but was back in Broadmeadows to chair Rev. Stair's farewell in 1866, as shown by later TROVE information. However there is little personal information about John following that year. There is no indication that he married and no mention of him after 1866. I wonder if he inherited his parents' estate, met his future bride during his 1865 visit and returned to marry her a year later after settling his affairs in Broadmeadows. It is also possible that he relocated to a nearby area such as Ivanhoe!
The mail contract that William (and Edmund) carried out had the following schedule. Leave Melbourne 7:30 a.m., arrive Broadmeadows 10:30, leave Broadmeadows 2:30p.m., arrive Melbourne 5:30 p.m. No doubt this involved full days and sore bums.
By 1860, William had bought, from William Smith,the bluestone store which was to be a landmark in Bulla Township for a further 130 years until it was destroyed by fire. Luckily I.W.Symonds had sketched it for his "Bulla Bulla" and perhaps the Broadmeadows or Sunbury Historical Societies have a photograph.
DETAIL ABOUT WILLIAM BETHELL'S STORE ON LOT 5 OF SECTION 8, TOWNSHIP OF BULLA AND LAND IN THE OAKLANDS AND GREEN GULLY SUBDIVISIONS (OWNED BY MARIA AND ELIZABETH) WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE IF REQUESTED. I ALSO HAVE A MAP IN DHOTAMA SHOWING A TRIANGULAR BLOCK OF LAND ON THE NORTH CORNER OF SUNBURY AND LOEMANS RD THAT WILLIAM OWNED.

"The Shire That Took Off", an unpublished history of Bulla Shire which I perused in the local history room at the Sam Merrifield Library (Moonee Ponds), stated that William Bethell became a foundation member of the Bulla Roads Board at the meeting at the Deep Creek Inn on 23-10-1862.
William Bethell was appointed as the poundkeeper at Bulla, a job he had carried out at the time of his marriage in England.

THE DAVID MANSFIELD STORY.
While searching for information about the obscure John Bethell, I found a post by Neil Mansfield which contains much of the Bethell genealogy found in his splendid book. IF you google BETHELL, BULLA, it will be found on the first page under the title of J.
Neil's contribution to the recording of Bulla's history is extraordinary; as well as his 700 + page THE DAVID MANSFIELD STORY, he has provided a fantastic website on the Bulla cemetery (as well as other cemeteries.) The Manfields were related by marriage to many Bulla, Tullamarine Island and Greenvale pioneering families, including the descendants of William Bethell.
As the information under J is rather clinical, I will provide some information from the book (pages 76 to 83.) Firstly, there are photos of William Bethell, his wife, and his daughter who married Henry Mansfield. Two Mansfields married William's daughters and another married his grand daughter.
The Bethells were Cheshire cats (in groovyspeak!) John Bethell, born about 1800, married Ruth Shaw in about 1822. Their oldest son, John(the Broadmeadows pioneer) was born in about 1823, William was born in 1825 and Edmund in 1831, by which time the family was in Lancashire. As stated previously, no evidence has been found that John Bethell married. It is unlikely that Edmund married.
My dictionary history records that Edmund Bethell died on 28-5-1864.Stupidly, I did not state the source of this information, but the detail almost certainly came from his headstone at Will Will Rook cemetery (Camp Rd.)Strangely, the death notice gives his name as Edward! This can be found in the TROVE detail which follows, as can William's transfer of the Bulla-Melbourne mail run to EDMUND in 1857 and the possibility of Edmund being too fond of drink.Neil does not mention when Edmund came to Australia, but it is likely that he came out with trailblazer, William, in 1856. The trove entry mentioned before makes it apparent that William obtained the mail contract soon after arrival in 1856; the transfer to Edmund was reported on 20-1-1857.
William married 17 year old Frances(Fanny) Barker on 18-6-1846 in Warrington, Cheshire. His occupation was given as poundkeeper, a job he later had at Bulla. A decade later, William went to Australia to see if it was a good place to settle his family. It was, but within a year William had little cause to grin like a Cheshire cat. (Sorry, my warped sense of humour made me do it!)
While William was carrying out the mail contract, possibly with Edmund's help, Frances became impatient and set sail on the Great Britain in February, 1857. (The book states 1856 in other references.) At about the same time, probably soon after 20-1-1857 when the mail contract was transferred to Edmund, William returned to bring his family out. You guessed it. William's ship passed the Great Britain en route and on arrival he discovered this fact and returned pronto. On his return, his wasted fare and time would have seemed insignificant compared with the information that his two sons had died during the voyage.
Neil states that John Bethell accompanied William's wife and three children on the Great Britain which left England in February 1857. (He otherwise states 1856.) However, I believe that William, John and Edmund must have all come out together in 1856. To be appointed the Secretary of a committee by 13-10-1856 (see TROVE), one would assume that John had been in Broadmeadows for some time! Was John Bethell's name on the Great Britain's passenger list?? It would have been nigh impossible for the Broadmeadows pioneer to leave for England after 13-10-1856 and arrive in time for the Great Britain's departure.
John,William and Edmund Bethell had at least one other sibling, a brother. He and a brother of William's wife, Frances, left Liverpool for America and were not heard of again.

William and Frances Bethell's children were: William, Benjamin (both died on the voyage), Sarah (survived the voyage), and (born at Bulla), Elizabeth, Maria, Frances Ann, Edith Ruth and Alice Evelyn.Much genealogical detail can be given if requested. (Check in J first.)

TROVE. A BETHELL CHRONOLOGY FROM THE ARGUS.
13-10-1856. John Bethell had been appointed as secretary to a committee aiming to secure the election of Mr McGregor as a member for East Bourke. The first name on the committee was Donald Kennedy Of Dundonald on Gellibrand Hill who with his brother Duncan owned all of Glenroy and most of the land between Broadmeadows Township and present-day Greenvale.
20-1-1857.The contract for the conveyance of mail between Bulla and Melbourne had been transferred from William Bethell to Edmund Bethell.
28-3-1859 (also 5-11-1861). Edmund Bethell in court charged with drunkenness.
3-7-1862. John Bethell and Joseph Samuel Close were the executors of the late Edward Gideon Jones, pianoforte maker of Broadmeadows.
27-1-1864. Some of John Bethell's land purchases in Broadmeadows Township.
30-4-1864.John was the electoral registrar atBroadmeadows and William at Bulla.
30-5-1864.Edward Bethell died on 28-5-1864 at Broadmeadows of consumption, aged 32.
4-3-1865. George Couser of Broadmeadows had been appointed as electoral registrar for the Broadmeadows Division of East Bourke and of the south province during the absence on leave of John Bethell .
30-5-1865. William Bethell was the electoral registrar at Bulla.
3-7-1866. John Bethell, a member of the congregation took the chair for a farewell to Rev.J.B.Stair in the Church of England schoolroom. (This may have been in the church but it was probably in a C of E school built on Mr Raleigh's land if my memory is correct.)
29-1-1872. William Bethell arrived on the Aggamemnon as a cabin passenger on November 7. (This may have been another William Bethell!)
9-8-1876. William Bethell had been elected as auditor of Bulla Shire.
23-1-1880. Nothing to do with the Bethells but discovered while searching GEORGE BETHELL. The Reddans were pioneers of Bulla of similar status to William Bethell and William would have known Michael Reddan well. Michael was run down by a train at North Melbourne Station!
4-12-1882. William Bethell had died at his Bulla Residence on 1-12-1882, aged 57.He was the electoral registrar at the time.
6-1-1883. With William having recently died, it was no surprise that his widow, Frances, was appointed deputy registrar of births and deaths for Bulla. It was a great surprise to see that her late husband had been followed as electoral registrar by GEORGE BETHELL. I believe, after much time searching, that there was no such person. I initially thought that a sibling of John, William and Edmund may have settled in Victoria and gone to Bulla to support his bereaved sister in law. I am willing to bet that the new registrar was the grocer and electoral registrar at Broadmeadows, George Couser.
15-3-1902. On 14 March, Frances, widow of the late William Bethell had died at her Bulla residence aged 74.

TWO MORE OF WILLIAM BETHELL'S SIBLINGS?
In an effort to find mention of the Broadmeadows' pioneer, John,who was apparently absent from Australia, I tried some old U.K. records. John seems to have had an older sister and a brother who married three years after William near Liverpool and may have been the one who went to America with the brother of William's wife. It seems that William named his daughter,Elizabeth, after an aunt.
BAPTISM, 19 MARCH, 1819, ST ELPHIN, WARRINGTON, LANCASHIRE;
ELIZABETH BETHELL, DAUGHTER OF JOHN BETHELL AND RUTH; ABODE, BRIDGE ST; OCCUPATION, WATCHMAKER; BAPTISED BY J.TOPPING, CURATE. (REGISTER, BAPTISMS 1818-1822, PAGE 63, ENTRY 497; SOURCE LSD FILM 1562960.
LANCASHIRE ONLINE PARISH CLERK PROJECT.)

(WWW.OLD-MERSEYTIMES.CO.UK/MARRIAGES1849.HTML)
LIVERPOOL JOURNAL, FEBRUARY 17 1849.
3RD INST, ST JAMES CHURCH, STOCKPORT,
THOMAS, SON OF THE LATE JOHN BETHELL OF WARRINGTON TO HANNAH, ELDEST DAUGHTER OF THOMAS DEAN OF ASHTON-ON -MERSEY, CHESHIRE.

Wasn't it 1849 that the California gold rush started? I wonder if any of Thomas Dean's descendants ran the hotels at Moonee Ponds and Bulla. It looks as if going from Cheshire to Lancashire was as simple as crossing a bridge.If my memory of my googling is correct, a James Bethell was a master (Weaver?) in Stockport and employed
92 women but a Bethell woman was in the workhouse.

FINIS.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-02-22 23:21:23

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.

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