THE TASSELLS OF SAFETY BEACH, RED HILL AND SORRENTO, VIC., AUST.
Excerpt from my journal THE RED HILL by Sheila Skidmore.
P.41-3. The Village Settlement. The Dromana Historical Society decided to reprint Sheila's book without any alterations. Hopefully there is now an index. Sheila's description of living conditions is excellent and settlers are quoted without mentioning any names. As in the case of an original pioneer, Frances Windsor, these later settlers have not been mentioned. Therefore, they are detailed below.
H.TASSELL, 74a, 20 acres fronting main road west of Prossors Lane. The Tassells were no longer on the village settlement in 1902, apparently having been followed there by Tom Sandlants. Edwin Louis Tassell had leased the northern 1000 acres of Jamieson's Special Survey in the 1860's. This was between Ellerina Rd and Tassells Creek, extending east to the corner of Foxeys and Bulldog Creek Rds (Melway 151 K11-12) and became the Bruce Estate. Tassells Creek is now called the Martha Cove Waterway but Tassells Rd at Safety Beach recalls his seemingly brief tenure. Edward Luis Tassell was assessed on the 1000 acres, leased from W.J.T. "Big" Clarke in 1863 and in 1864 Louis Edward Tassell was similarly assessed (N.A.V. 45 pounds.) In 1865, he was called Edwin Louis Tassell.In view of the name changes, I assumed that the family had moved away after the death of the father. However, because of the brief tenure on the village settlement, I suspected that the Tassells were quitters. Out of respect for our pioneers, I could not harbour this suspicion without justification, so it was back to the rate records at the library this morning!
The Tassells were assessed last, on their 1000 acres leased from Big Clarke, in 1868. In the assessment of 4-9-1869, the name of Edwin Louis Tassell was crossed out and replaced with Robert Brown Riddler, leasing from Bruce, who had obviously just recently married Big Clarke's daughter and received, according to Colin McLear, his wedding present.The new occupant morphed into Robert Broome Riddler who was still there in 1873, his land being described as only 100 acres in 1871 despite having the same nett annual value as the 1000 acres in 1870 and 1872!
I tried Trove to find out where the Tassell family was between 1869 and the purchase of the village settlement block and found a nugget! The Argus, 7-5-1874, page 12. "MT MARTHA. Tenders are invited until 12 May, 1874 for a three year lease of Brokil Estate (lately occupied by R.B.Ridler, Esq. butcher, previously by the lateE.L.Tassell, Esq.) containing 1024 acres of good pastoral land, well watered and subdivided, a large portion sheepproof. J.Vans Agnew Bruce, Fletcher St, Essendon."
I have not found a death notice for Edwin Louis Tassell but he had died before May 1874. Perhaps he had died at the Brokil Estate, leaving Clarke without a tenant, thus providing his son in law with the option of choosing a tenant to occupy his wedding present. I am sure that Bruce was the partner in Bruce and Cornish, the firm that built the Mt Alexander and Murray River Railway, which deviated miles from the direct course so it would pass through Big Clarke's estates recalled by Rupertswood and Clarkfield.(The upper part of Tassell's Creek is still called Brokil Creek.)
Another trove entry which might apply to the Safety Beach pioneers concerns Edward Tassell suing Matthew Ingle Brown of Greenhills, Diggers Rest for wrongful dismissal. He was employed as a boundary rider at 45 pounds a year but also had a right to rations,and to graze cattle and cultivate a small paddock. Big Clarke was not a spendthrift but had made his way in the world by shrewd practical knowledge resulting from hard work. Thus he had sympathy with strugglers and may have arranged a job for Edwin Louis Tassell's lad with a tenant on his huge Rockbank Estate, which was in the parishes of Maribyrnong and Holden. Brown had left an overseer called Allen in charge. Allen fed Edward rotten mutton which caused an argument and Edward's wrongful dismissal by Allen. (The Argus, 23-11-1872 page 4.)
As H.Tassell was the grantee of 74a in the village settlement, it is reasonable to assume that Henry Tassell of Sorrento was connected. S.Tassell was granted a wine licence at Sorrento (Mornington Standard 3-12-1896 page 3) not long after the wife of Henry Tassell of Sorrento had given birth to twin daughters on 23-5-1895 at Fitzroy (The Argus 24-9-1895 page 1.) The birth might have taken place at his mother in law's place or at St Vincent's Hospital which opened at about this time in a row of houses if my memory serves me correctly. Henry would not have been the only Red Hill resident connected to Sorrento. The Heads sold produce there and a descendant presently plays footy for the sharks; Thomas Appleyard who displeased Red Hill residents by closing a main road straddled by his huge property was a Sorrento resident.
There were parcels and goods waiting at Mornington Station for 22 recipients including Tassell.
(Mornington Standard 30-5-1908 page 3.)
One last trove entry shows that Edwin Louis Tassell was interested in municipal affairs. The candidates standing for three vacancies on the Kangerong District Road Board in August 1864 were William Grace (of Gracefield at Dromana and grantee of the block at Rye on which Sullivan, his son in law, built the Gracefield Hotel,replaced in 1927 by Mrs Hunt's Rye Hotel), James Purves (mainly absent owner of the Tootgarook Station, which was run by James, the son of his deceased brother, Peter),Edwin Louis Tassell, Richard Watkin (Dromana Hotel)and Francis Edward Windsor (grantee of about 176 acres between Margaret Davies' grants and McIlroys Rd on which L.Tassell was leasing 25 acres by 1919.) Unfortunately no results of the election or 1865 meetings appear on trove and Colin McLear does not mention the members, so we must wait to see if Edwin was successful.
Like many of the early Survey tenants, the Tassells moved towards the red hill. H.Tassell must have been daunted by the amount of clearing that was required on 74a. (An article entitled "Around Red Hill" on page 2 of the Mornington Standard of 30-8-1902 gives great detail of the village settlement pioneers but does not mention any members of the Tassell family. Tom Sandlant seems to have been on 74a, which had been heavily timbered but he had cleared it.)
However, the 1919-20 rates reveal that L.Tassell of Footscray was assessed on 25 acres, part 13A, Kangerong. This was roughly a third of the 77 acre allotment, granted to Frances Windsor fronting the south side of McIlroys Rd with an extension of Andrews and Nashs Lanes indicating the west and east boundaries.
In my trove research on the Tassells, I found many references to Dr Robert Tassell, a station master that spent four and a half years at Tooradin (South Bourke and Mornington Journal 22-8-1918) and families at Geelong, Orange Grove Nth Essendon and to the east of Melbourne but none that could be tied to the Safety Beach pioneers.I recall a death notice referring to Deer Park, which is not far from Footscray, so there may have been a connection there, given L.Tassell's address in 1919.
C.THIELE. 74b, 20 acres south of Tassell's.
H.P.PROSSER.74c? and d of 20 acres each fronting the west side of the second half of Prossors Lane.
W.MARSHALL.74c, 19 acres at the east corner of Prossors Lane.
on 2012-08-07 03:00:12
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.