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William 'King Billy' Lanné 1835-1869

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website contains images and names of people who have since passed away

On Saturday afternoon 6 March 1869 the remains
of William Lanne or as he was generally called,
"King Billy," the last male Aboriginal of Tasmania,
were committed to the grave in presence of a
very large concourse of the citizens.
On the announcement of the "death of the last man,"
it was generally supposed that the funeral would
be made a public affair, and that some part in
the arrangements would be taken by the Government;
the first announcement made, however, was simply to
the effect that the funeral would move from the establishment
of Mr. Millington, Undertaker, of Murray-street,
at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and inviting friends of the
deceased to attend. As previously stated by us,
the body had been removed from the Dog and
Partridge Hotel, where the man died, to the
dead-house at the Hospital, and on an order
being sought for its removal to the undertakers,
it was declined, on the ground that as the body
was of the greatest scientific value, the authorities
were determined to do all in their power to
protect it. An application to the Colonial Secretary
met with the same reply, and the hon. Sir Richard Dry
sent positive instructions to Dr. Stokell that the body
of "King Billy" should be protected from mutilation,
on this subject, however, we have more to communicate presently.
On its being ascertained that the authorities were taking no
steps respecting the obsequies, the matter was taken in
hand by Mr. J. W. Graves, and invitations were
issued to a number of old colonists and natives,
requesting their attendance, the funeral being
postponed until 2 o'clock. At that hour between
fifty and sixty gentlemen presented themselves
at the institution, and found all in readiness for
the burial. Rumours had, meanwhile, got afloat
to the effect that the body had been tampered
with, and Capt. McArthur, Mr. Colvin, and
some others interested in the deceased, from his
connection with the whaling trade, requested
that the coffin should be opened in order to
satisfy their minds that the ceremony of burial
was not altogether a "vain show." This was
done by Mr. Graves, and the body was seen, by
those who desired to see it, in the condition
which will be hereafter described. The lid was
then again screwed down, and at the suggestion
of some of those present the coffin was sealed. In
connection with this part of the proceedings a
singular accident occurred. On a seal being
asked for, it was found that there was not such a
thing in the institution, but on a search being
made in the dispensary an old brass stamp was
found, and on its being impressed upon the wax,
it left the simple word "world." What such an
odd seal could have been cut for is unknown, but
its turning up under such circumstances, and its
accidental use to seal down the coffin of the last
man of his race, is a circumstance so singular as
to be worth recording. Having been duly sealed,
the coffin was covered with a black opossum skin
rug, fit emblem of the now extinct race to which
the deceased belonged ; and on this singular
pall were laid a couple of native spears and
waddies, round which were twined the ample
folds of a Union Jack, specially provided by the
shipmates of the deceased. It was then mounted
upon the shoulders of four white native lads,
part of the crew of the Runneymede, who
volunteered to carry their aboriginal countryman
to his grave. Their names were, John Silvester,
John Timms, James Davis, and George Attwell.
The pall was borne by Captain Hill, of the
Runneymede, himself a native of Tasmania, and
by three colored seamen, John Bull, a native of
the Sandwich Islands, Henry Whalley, a half-
caste native of Kangaroo Island, S. A., and
Alexander Davidson, an American. The chief
mourners were Captain McArthur, of the whaling
barque Aladdin, and Captain Bayley, owner
of the whaling barque Runneymede. Among the
mourners were nearly all the masters of vessels in
port, and many gentlemen connected with the
whaling trade. There was also a large muster of
old colonists and native born Tasmanians. As
the procession moved along Liverpool and Murray
streets to St. David's Church it gathered strength,
and was followed by a large concourse of spectators.
The Rev. F. H. Cox read the service, and
preceded the body to the grave, clothed in his
surplus. On leaving the church the procession numbered
from a hundred to a hundred and twenty
mourners, and the event re-called to the minds of
the old colonists present many an interesting
episode of the early days of the colony, and of
that race, the last male representative of which
was about to be consigned to his tomb. At the
cemetery the Rev. Mr. Cox read the second
portion of the impressive burial service of the
English Church, and the grave closed over
"King Billy" the breast-plate on whose coffin
bore the simple inscription "William Lanne,
died March 3rd, 1869. Aged, 34 years."
Notwithstanding the precautions above referred
to, the body of poor "King Billy" has not been
respected, nor does the grave around which so
many persons gathered on Saturday, contain a
vestige of Tasmania's "last man." It is a
somewhat singular circumstance that although it
has been known for years that the race was be-
coming extinct, no steps have ever been taken in
the interests of science to secure a perfect skeleton
of a male Tasmanian aboriginal. A female skeleton is
now in the Museum, but there is no male, consequently
the death of "Billy Lanne" put our surgeons on the alert.
The Royal Society, anxious to obtain the skeleton for
the Museum, wrote specially to the Government upon the
subject, setting forth at length the reasons why,
if possible, the skeleton should be secured to
them. The Government at once admitted their
right to it, in preference to any other institution,
and the Council expressed their willingness at
any time to furnish casts, photographs, and all
other particulars to any scientific society
requiring them. Government, however, declined
to sanction any interference with the body,
giving positive orders that it should be decently
buried; nor did they feel at liberty to give
their sanction to any future action which might
be taken; although it is needless to say that so
valuable a skeleton would not have been permitted to
remain in the grave, and possibly no
opposition would have been made to its removal,
had it been taken by those best entitled to hold
it in the interests of the public and of science,
and without any violation of decency.
Besides the Royal Society, it seems that there
were others who desired to secure Billy Lanne's skeleton,
and who were determined to have it in spite of the
positive orders of the Colonial Secretary.
The dead-house at the Hospital was entered on Friday night,
the head was skinned and the skull carried away,
and with a view to conceal this proceeding, the
head of a patient who had died in the hospital
on the same day, or the day previously, was
similarly tampered with and the skull placed
inside the scalp of the unfortunate native, the
face being drawn over so as to have the appear-
ance of completeness, On this mutilation being
discovered the members of the Council of the
Royal Society were greatly annoyed, and feeling
assured that the object of the party who had
taken the skull was afterwards to take the body
from the grave, and so possess himself of the perfect
skeleton, it was resolved to take off the feet and
hands and to lodge them in the museum, an opera-
tion which was carefully done. The funeral then
took place as above described. On the mutilation
of the bodies in the dead-house becoming known,
a letter was addressed by the Colonial Secretary
to Dr. Stokell, requiring a report upon tho case,
and we have it upon the very highest authority
that Dr. Stokell reported the circumstances much
as they are described above, informing the
Colonial Secretary that the only persons who
had been present in the dead-house during Friday
night were a surgeon, who is one of the
honorary medical officers, his son, who is a
student, and the barber of the institution, and
neither of those persons were seen to remove
anything from the hospital. It is believed, how-
ever, that the skull was thrown over the wall at
the back of the dead-house with a string attached
to it, and that it was scoured by a confed-
erate stationed in the creek on the other side.
Those reports occasioned a very painful impression
among those present at the funeral, and a
deputation consisting of Messrs. Colvin,
McArthur, and Bayley,waited upon Sir Richard
Dry in the evening, and requested that steps
should be taken to have the grave watched
during the night. Sir Richard at once acquiesced
in the proposal, and instructions were given to
the police, but in some way they miscarried,
possibly owing to the fact that they were not
communicated through His Worship the Mayor,
and the consequence was that the grave was found
disturbed yesterday morning, when Constable
Mahony reported that the earth had been re
moved, that a skull had been found lying on the
surface, that a part of the coffin was visible, and
that the ground surrounding the grave was
saturated with blood. During the morning this
report spread through the city, and several
hundreds of persons visited the cemetery in the
afternoon. On the facts being communicated to
Sir Richard Dry, he, in company with the
hon. Attorney-General, visited the grave, where
they were met by Mr. J. W. Graves. The skull
found on the surface was buried in their presence,
and a general examination of the ground
was made. Whether any other step will be
taken respecting the violation of the grave
we are unable to say. The visit of ministers
to the grave was, we understand, consequent
upon a report that the coffin had been
removed, and had this been the case a
search warrant would have been issued
at their instance, as executors of "Billy Lanne,"
with instructions in the event of any portions of
the body being found in the course of its execution,
that they should be taken possession of Sir Richard
and Mr. Dobson satisfied themselves, however, of the
presence of the coffin, and therefore no step was taken,
as it is doubtful whether any legal property in the
body exists. Many rumors are afloat as to
what has become of the body, and the men
employed in the cemetery state that blood
was traced from the grave to the gate opposite
the stores of the Anglo-Australian Guano Company
in Salamanca Place, but that there the
traces were lost. There can be little doubt
that the body has been secured by the individual
who made off with the head, and possibly the fact
that it is minus feet and hands may yet lead to the
restoration of that important portion, as the skeleton
will be comparatively valueless unless perfect.
We have been informed by the Hon. Sir Richard Dry that
Dr. Crowther waited upon him on Saturday morning prior
to the mutilation being reported, and made a request
that the body should be granted to him, in order that he
might secure the skeleton for the Royal College of Surgeons, England.
Sir Richard Dry informed the Doctor of the
prior claim of the Royal Society, and expressed
his opinion that if the skeleton was to be
preserved at all, it should be in the
Hobart Town Museum, where all scientific
enquiries respecting the aboriginal race would
most probably be made. Dr. Crowther concurred
in this view, and received an assurance from Sir
Richard that, should any future opportunity
present itself of securing a skeleton for the
Royal College of Surgeons from among the graves
of the aborigines without violating the feelings
of individuals or of the community, that should
he Sir Richard continue in office, no impedient
would be placed in Dr. Crowther's way. The
report and other documents connected with the
proceedings at the dead-house of the hospital
have been referred to the Chairman of the
Board of Management of that institution, and it
is understood that an inquiry will be at once
The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania
Monday 8 March 1869
page 2
Transcription, janilye 2014

Today's Aboriginal community after a very long campaign succeeded in obtaining the return of Lanne's skull from Edinburgh and his remains were buried in his tribal land,
The mutilation and removal of King Billy's body led to the Anatomy Act of 1869 being passed in the Tasmanian Parliament, The Act made it law that medical experiments of any sort could only take place if the deceased had agreed to it before they died or the relatives gave permission.

From David Davies, 1973 'The last of the Tasmanians', Frederick Muller, London. 235-6
Dr. Crowther of the hospital vainly applied to the Government for permission to send the skeleton to the Royal College of Surgeons in London. However, a rather macabre note was struck at Lanneâs funeral, for it was found that the head of the corpse was missing. During the night after the burial the rest of the body was dug up and several parts removed. Crowther was blamed for the removal of the head and his honorary appointment as surgeon at the Colonial Hospital terminated, but it is interesting to note that the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons awarded him during 1869 a gold medal and a Fellowship of the College, the first instance of an Australian having been given this honour.

Turnbull, Ralph 1846–1935

Another of the Hawkesbury's oldest and best known identities, Mr. Ralph Turnbull, passed away at his residence, "Karoola," Wilberforce, on Monday, after a lengthy illness and at the ripe age of 88 years. Had he lived a few more days he would have reached his 89th milestone. By his death a link in a unique chain of twins has been snapped his surviving twin brother, Mr. William Turnbull, being still hale and hearty, whilst Messrs Arthur and Fred. Daley, of Wilberforce, are twin nephews, and Peter and John Nolan; sons of Mr. and Mrs. Geoff. Nolan (nee Miss Doll Greentree, of Wilberforce) are twin great-grandsons of the deceased.

Born at Colo, the deceased was a son of the late Ralph and Sarah Turnbull, and had lived in the district all his life â for the major portion at Wilberforce, where he carried on farming operations. He was married at Redfern 64 years ago to Miss Maria Ann Dunston, sister of the late Mrs. Henry Dunston, of Grose Vale, who survives, together with a family of one son and seven daughters, viz., Amy Amelia (Mrs. Fred Greentree, Mt. Keira), Willie (Wilberforce), Edith Alice (at home), Fanny (Mrs. McGregor, Wilberforce), Jessie (Mrs. Poidevin, Wollongong), Minnie (Mrs. Arthur Bootle, Pitt Town), Gladys (at home), and Dulcie (Mrs. Ronald Hall, Wilberforce). Two sons and one daughter predeceased their father.

Right throughout his long life, until he retired owing to ill health a few years ago, the late Mr. Turnbull had been a hard worker, and even in his 80's could be found tilling the soil on his farm at Wilberforce. Although he did not take a prominent part in public life, he was always keenly interested in the welfare of the district, and for many years was a member of the council of the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, for which he rendered yeoman service. Upon his retirement from the council he, as well as his brother, who retired some years later, were made honorary life members - an honor which has been conferred on only two other councilors since the inception of the society. Kindhearted and generous, and a Christian gentleman in the true sense of the term, Mr. Turnbull's life trail is strewn with the memories of kindly deeds, and to known him was to respect and esteem him.

It is said that the late Mr. Turnbull and his brother had never at any time lived more than a mile from each other, and that up till a few years ago the resemblance was so striking that it was difficult to tell them apart. It is true that Ralph's name often appeared under William's photograph, and vice versa, but this mistake was quite excusable considering the remarkable resemblance of the brothers. It is on record also that many years ago a well known and highly respected attorney of Windsor, who did not mix his drinks, mistaking one brother for the other, went into a long business negotiation under the misapprehension that he was dealing with William instead of Ralph, who kept the joke up in good style until the right brother came on the scene. Then there was a good laugh all round.

The funeral on Tuesday afternoon was attended by a large concourse of people from all parts of the district â a striking demonstration of the respect and esteem in which the deceased was held by the community. The remains were laid to rest in St. John's Church of England cemetery, Wilberforce, the Rector (Rev. Stanley Howard, M.A.) conducting the last sad rites. Mr. Chandler reverently carried out the funeral arrangements.
SOURCE: Windsor & Richmond Gazette (NSW), 7 June 1935, p 11

William Turnbull 1846-1940

AS briefly announced in our last issue,
the death occurred at his residence,
"Wenona," Wilberforce, on Tuesday of last week
of one of the Hawkesbury's most widely
known and respected identities, and one
whose passing is regretted by the whole
community, in the person of Mr. William
Turnbull, at the advanced age of 94 years.
The deceased was a native of Colo, being
a twin son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Ralph
Turnbull, who were among the pioneers of
that centre, where they were engaged in
farming operations. Deceased and his twin
brother, Ralph, who were inseparable companions
for the greater period of the latter's life,
(Ralph predeceased his brother some five years ago,
in his 89th year)inherited a love of the land from
their parents, and in their younger days jointly
conducted farming operations at Wilberforce.
Later, however, after his brother was married,
the subject of this notice moved to
Queensland, where he lived for several years,
but finally the call of his native district
could be ignored no longer, and he returned
to take over a farm at Freeman's Reach.
He worked this property until, at 75 years,
he retired, and moved to Wilberforce, where
he resided until his death.
Throughout their lives there were probably
no district residents who were generally
known and widely esteemed as "the Turnbull twins,"
as they were generally known.
Coming of that sturdy pioneer stock to which
the present-day Hawkesbury owes so much,
they had inculcated in their parental training
those simple, and honest precepts which distinguished
their generation, and better neighbors or citizens
it would be difficult indeed to discover. Their
forthright honesty and invariable kindliness earned
them a legion of friendships and the severing of their
David and Jonathan partnership by the death of Ralph
was a sorrow for William which was shared by the whole community.
Deceased took a keen interest in all progressive projects
in his own area and the Hawkesbury generally, and
for many years, with his brother, served on the council of
the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, of
which deceased was a Life Vice-President. He had been
at all times a keen supporter of the Hawkesbury Show,
and the association owes much to the service which
he rendered it as a member of the council.
In connection with the service of the Turnbull twins on
the council, incidentally, there has arisen a tradition
probably unique in the history of such bodies. Both being
confirmed tea drinkers, the twins, for convenience at
the "cup of tea" which traditionally follows meetings
of the council even to this day, supplied their own
cups, huge affairs more than twice the size of ordinary
cups. These were a stock subject for badinage from their
colleagues, but later, after they had left the council,
it was decided that one of these cups, suitably ornamented,
be presented as a trophy for perpetual competition, and
now the "Turnbull Cup" has become, the chief and most prized
trophy in the Clydesdale section of each successive show.
And so, after a full and useful life, much
of which was devoted to the interests of his
fellow man and the district which he loved,
William Turnbull has gone to join the Great
Majority, leaving not an enemy in the
world, and an army of friends to lament
his passing. No monument will be needed
to keep his memory evergreen in the Hawkesbury.
In addition to a sister (Mrs. T. Salter,
Haberfield), deceased is survived by a family of three sons,
Malcolm (Riverstone), Ralph (Wilberforce) and Dio (Tom), of Mulgrave,
and four daughters, Fanny (Mrs.C. Greentree, Wilberforce),
Linda (Mrs. Stinson, Haberfield), Ruby (Mrs. E. Salter, Wilberforce)
and Vera (Mrs. Stewart, Haberfield), to whom heartfelt sympathy
is extended in their bereavement.
The wide esteem in which deceased had
been held by all sections of the community
was evident from the attendance at the funeral,
which moved from the residence to
St. John's Church, Wilberforce, where a
service was conducted by Rev. K. F. Saunders,
during which the hymn "Abide With
Me" was sung by the congregation, and at
the conclusion the Funeral March was played
by the organist, Mr. F. J. Palmer.
The interment took place in the family enclosure
of the Church of England cemetery, the
grave being covered with a profusion of
floral tributes, including a wreath from the
Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, (which
was represented by a number of councillors) and one
from the Wilberforce P. and C. Association.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette
Friday 16 August 1940
Page 3
Transcription, janilye
The TURNBULL twins were Councillors for many years on the
Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association and
"being confirmed tea drinkers, at afternoon tea time, supplied
their own cups - huge affairs, more than three times the size of
ordinary cups".
One of the giant size china cups was mounted and designated
the "Turnbull Cup", as an annual trophy awarded to
"the most successful exhibitor in the draught horse classes".
The trophy was awarded from 1930 to 1940. Shows were not
staged during the war years and when they resumed in 1947, the
Turnbull Cup was awarded for the last time. The tractor had replaced
the draught horse for many farm activities so there were very few
entries in that section. The cup is now a museum piece ....
[page 103, Hawkesbury Journey, ISBN 0 908120 87 7]
'Macquarie Country' is a companion volume to 'Hawkesbury Journey'.

Last Will and Testament Ralph Turnbull 1791-1840

NSW Probate Office
Last Will and Testament of Ralph Turnbull No 7253 In The name of God Amen.
I, Ralph Turnbull Senior of Portland Head in the Colony of New South Wales, Farmer, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding do make, publish, & declare this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all wills, codicils, & other testamentary dispositions made by me at any time or times heretofore.
I give and recommend my soul into the hand of the mighty God who gave it, and my body I recommend to the Earth, to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executors; and touching such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with, I will bequeath it as follows; that is to say -
I give & bequeath all my goods, chattels, capital, money and securities for money, Debts, & all other my personal Estate and Effects, or what kind soever, of, in, or to which I or any person or persons in trust for me, shall be entitled at the time of my decease unto my dear brothers, George Turnbull of Portland Head, and John Turnbull senior, of Mangrove Creek, in the aforesaid Colony, Farmers, upon trust, that the said George Turnbull, & John Turnbull senior, & the survivors of them, & the Executors, Administrators, & Assigns of such survivors do, and shall, with all convenient speed after my decease, appropriate & dispose of the several Items of my Estate & effects in the manner & for the purposes hereinafter specifically mentioned, and first,
I give and bequeath unto my dear Wife Mary Ann Turnbull my Farm of seventy acres known as Henry Lamb's farm at Crescent Reach, Portland Head on the Hawkesbury River with all its appurtenances, Rents, Interests & profits hereunto belonging & I do hereby declare that she, the said Mary Ann Turnbull my wife shall occupy, enjoy & otherwise make use of for her own personal benefit & emolument the aforesaid farm its appurtenances & profits, for & during the minority of each and all of our six children now living, namely Eliza Mary, Jane Isabella, Sarah, Maria, Andrew Warr, & Martha, provided the six children herenamed be maintained and educated in the principles of the protestant Religion, by the said Mary Ann Turnbull my wife & their mother out of the Rents & profits arising from & pertaining to the said farm, provided also, that the lower or North West part of the farm, commencing at a line to be drawn by the aforenamed trustees, George & John Turnbull, from the Bridge that crosses the Drain towards the Rocks to the banks of the River be reserved & appropriated exclusively as a Stock-run.
I do hereby also, will & bequeath to the said Mary Ann Turnbull the two years old filly, & yearling Colt, now running up on the said farm - the said filly & Colt to be hers entirely & absolutely from the time of my decease.
And I do hereby further declare it to be my will that the aforesaid farm with its appurtenances shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of during the minority of the aforenamed children, but upon my youngest daughter Martha coming of age, it is my will & I hereby declare that the said farm with all its appurtenances shall immediately revert to my youngest son Andrew Warr aforementioned, provided & on condition that he shall not sell it or allow it to pass out of the family of the Turnbulls, provided also that he, the said Andrew Warr, upon his coming into possession of the said farm, according to my afore expressed will & intention, do allow & pay or cause to be paid unto the aforesaid Mary Ann Turnbull, the annual sum of fifty two pounds sterling, the same to be paid to her in quarterly instalments of thirteen pounds sterling per quarter of a year, the first payment to be made at the expiration of three months after the said Andrew Warr shall come of age, & the payments to be regularly continued until the decease or marriage of the aforesaid Mary Ann Turnbull.
I do hereby further declare & will that should my son the said Andrew Warr die before he comes of age to take possession of the aforesaid farm according to the tenor of this my will, it shall then be lawful for the aforementioned Trustees, or Trustee, or the survivor of them, or the Executors Administrators & Assigns of such survivor, upon the youngest of the hereinbefore-named children' s coming of age, to sell & dispose of at a fair valuation the said farm, to either of my sons Ralph or John Turnbull, in order that the family name may be continued in the Estate, & should both of my said sons Ralph & John Turnbull decline the purchase, it shall then be lawful for either of the aforenamed Trustees to purchase it on the same terms. I do moreover hereby declare it to be my will that the proceeds arising from the sale of the said farm shall be invested in one of the Colonial Banks, or in such other Public Company or Security, or at Interest on real Securities in New South Wales aforesaid, as shall to the Trustees, or Trustee for the time being, of this my will seem advisable: the said Trustees or Trustee, paying or causing to be paid unto the hereinmentioned Mary Ann Turnbull my wife, at the expiration of every three months, the sum or thirteen pounds sterling out of the interest or other profits arising out of this investment, in the same manner and subject to the same conditions & restrictions as intended by this my Will, had the farm remained in the prossession of her son Andrew Warr. I do hereby further declare & will, that the Trustees or Trustee, for the time being of this my will, shall on the marriage or demise of the said Mary Ann Turnbull cause both the principal of this part of my Estate to be equally divided between all my children who may be at that time living, being the issue of both my first and second marriage.
And I do hereby further declare it to be my will, that my four Breeding Mares & one young filly, now running upon my aforementioned farm at Cresent Reach, shall be kept & retained for the sole benefit of my six children hereinbefore named, & that they, the said four mares & one filly, nor any one of them, shall be sold or otherwise disposed of, but my will is that the Trustees or Trustee or this my will shall from time to time at their discretion, sell & dispose of the produce of the said four mares & one filly, (still retaining the original Stock,) & shall invest or put out to interest in some one or other of' the Banking Companies of the Colony or other public Security or Securities, or at interest on real securities as to the said Trustees or Trustee shall appear expedient, the proceeds of such sales, as they from time to time to be placed.
And my will is, & I hereby further declare that it shall be lawful for the said Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my will, immediately upon each & either of the aforenamed six children coming of age, to value or cause to be valued, the four Brood Mares & one filly with their produce, & the proceeds of them & their produce up to the time of each child's coming of age, & after deducting all reasonable charges & expenses therefrom, to divide the nett amount of their value equally between the children remaining under age & the child at that time come of age: And my will further is that the shares or those children still continuing under age shall continue & remain in the hands & under the control of the Trustees or Trustee of this my will in the same manner & subject to the same regulations as before such division was made. And as to the remaining unapplied portion of my personal Estate consisting at five hundred & fifty pounds sterling which is now vested in the Commercial Bank at Windsor, after all my just Debts & funeral & Testamentary Expenses shall be paid, I give & bequeath unto my eldest son Ralph Turnbull of the Colo River, the sum of One hundred pounds sterling for his own use & benefit: And I give & bequeath unto my son John Turnbull of Portland Head the sum of One hundred pounds sterling for his own use & benefit: And I likewise give & bequeath the sum of two hundred pounds sterling to be equally divided between my nine grandchildren whose names follow, that is to say, Elizabeth, & Mary, & David, the children at James & Mary Ann Dunstan, & Stephen, & Ralph, the sons of John & Elizabeth Dunstan of' the Colo River And Lucinda, & Elizabeth daughters of John & Elizabeth Turnbull of Portland Head; & Grace, & John, children of Richard & Ann Cox of the Colo River, being in all nine grand-children, & I do hereby declare it to be my will that the Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my will, shall pay or cause to be paid unto the persons hereinbefore named the aforementioned legacies & bequests.
And as to the remaining part of the five hundred & fifty pounds aforementioned as deposited in the Commercial Bank at Windsor, I declare it to be my will that the charges & expenses which may be incurred by the Trustees for fencing or other neccefsary work required to be done on my aforementioned farm at Cresent Reach, shall be defrayed out of the remaining part of the said deposit. And I further declare it to be my will that the said Trustees, or Trustee for the time being of this my will, shall & may alter, vary, & transfer into other Stocks, Funds, or Securities of a like nature the monies or any part thereof which by this my will are vested in their hands, - provided they or he shall deem it expedient so to do; And further, that on the Death, refusal, or incapacity to act of either of the said Trustees, or of any Trustees or Trustee to be appointed in his or their place or steed, it shall be lawful for the surviving or continuing Trustee to appoint a new Trustee, or Trustees in the place or stead or such Trustee or Trustees so dying, refusing to act, or becoming incapable of acting as aforesaid, & thereupon the aforesaid trusts, monies, Estates, & Premises hereinbeforementioned, shall be afsigned, transferred & conveyed respectively, so that the same may vest in such new Trustee or Trustees jointly with the surviving or continuing Trustee or solely as the case may require, & in his, her, or their Executors, Administrators or Assigns, upon the trusts, &. for the ends, intents & purposes herein before mentioned, & every such Trustee either before or after such afsignment, shall have, & may exercise the same power & authority as if he had been appointed, a trustee by this my will; And none or the Trustees appointed, or to be appointed as aforesaid shall be answerable for the other of them, or for the Acts, Deeds, or Defaults, of the other of' them, nor for involuntary lapses; nor for money received under Receipts in which they shall join only for conformity. And I further declare that the present & every future Trustee shall & may reimburse themselves & each other, out of the said trust premises, or out of the monies that may come into their hands by virtue of the trusts aforesaid, for all Costs, & Expenses incurred by them in the execution of the trusts aforesaid, or in anywise related thereunto. And I do hereby nominate & appoint the aforesaid George Turnbull of Portland Head, & John Turnbull senior of Mangrove Creek, Executors or this my will, And I do hereby authorize & empower the said George Turnbull & John Turnbull senior to pay any Debts owing by me, or claimed from me, upon any evidence they shall think proper; & to accept any security real or personal, for any Debt or Debts owing to me, & to allow such time for the payment thereof' as to them or him shall seem reasonable. And I moreover give & bequeath unto the said George Turnbull, & John Turnbull senior the sum ot twenty five pounds sterling each, as an acknowledgement of their kindness in acting in execution of this my Will, And as to any residue of monies that may remain in the hands & under the control of the aforesaid Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my Will, & which residue or monies is not hereinbefore appointed to be appropriated to any specific object, Thereby declare it to be my will that such residue of monies shall be applied to such purposes for the benefit of the Estate, as to the said Trustees or Trustee for the time being of this my Will seem advisable.
In Witness whereof I the said Ralph Turnbull senior, the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal; to wit, my hand to the three preceeding Sheets, and my hand and Seal to this fourth and last Sheet, this third day of November in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty.
Ralph Turnbull Sen.

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Testator Ralph Turnbull senior as and for his last Will and Testament, the same having been first read over to him, and he having first signed his name to each of the Sheets thereof in the presence of us, who in his presence, and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnefses thereto
D.B.Kirwan Portland Head
James Cotton of Portland Head

Capt. George Manning 1811–1907

A convict arrived on the 'Norfolk' 27 August 1829 sentenced to seven years at the Surrey Quarter Sessions.
It is not given to many (writes a correspondent) to pass the end of their lives close to the place where their life work has been carried on, but such was the case with Capt George Manning, who died at Sackville, on the 22 July 1907.
His home was the farm originally built by Mr George Loder, one of the pioneers of farming on the fertile river when it was the granary for the infant colony an important agricultural asset of the land in times when food was often famine prices. The late Mr Manning was in his 96th year at the time of his death; and two years ago, when the writer visited him, had a vivid remembrance of the river from the days of the very early sailing vessels there. He remembered the boat building that made the river a busy place, and the forests of cedar that the sawyers felled and floated down the numerous creeks and rivers, Although before his time, he could speak of such early men as Griffiths, the boat builder, whose Bee took Governor Bligh on his many expeditions to the Green Hills, as Windsor was then called, 'Boat and ship building formed a most important river industry in my early days,' said Captain Manning. 'Beazley's Wharf, between Richmond and Windsor, was still busy, though the building of the Mary and Elizabeth and the Governor Bourke was before my time. The Glory was the last of Griffiths' boats, built about 1819, and the Francis and the Norfolk were still talked of. Captain Manning's sailing vessel, so many years the favorite passenger and cargo boat of the Hawkesbury, was the Maid of Australia, 'but I suppose,' said the ex-master, 'most of those who travelled by her have joined the great majority,' for few live to bear the weight of 90 years. The Loders, Halls, Churchills, Doyles, Parnells, Bowmans, and many other men who first lived at Hawkesbury, though now their names are known throughout the land, were my passengers, and gladly paid 12/6 for a trip from Sydney to Windsor in The Maid. Many a little girl, now a middle aged woman, has been put under my care for her first trip to the big city, as it was then looked on as quite an adventure for young people to go so far from home as from the river to Sydney.' Captain Manning was long the only survivor of the band of river shipmasters who all rest in the graveyards along the banks of the Hawkesbury - Captains Grono, Herd, Christie, Sternbeck, Books, and his partner, Mitchell, being his early contemporaries. Among his passengers was the one-time almost king of the river, old Solomon Wiseman. 'I knew him well,' said the captain. 'He was providore for the convicts, and made many thousands out of that job. A rough mannered man, but very hospitable, and hand-in-glove with the Government. The judges on circuit, especially Judge Roger Therry used to stay with him, in his old house (now an hotel at the Ferry), in the days of overlanding, when they travelled on horseback that way between Sydney and Maitland. Captain Manning came out from England when a child in the very early emigration days.[sic]
After steamers were introduced on to the river as passenger carriers, he continued to command a vessel; and was, for over 50 years, until his retirement into private life on his farm, constantly engaged in the Hawkesbury River traffic. Even to the last he showed traces of what a fine personage physically he was, being fully 6ft high, and a broad, well-built figure. His daughters, who have lived all their lives in the district, tended him in his declining years, and carried on the work of the farm since he ceased to be able to do so.

The late George Manning had been 78 years in New South Wales, and in 1838, at the age of 26, at Sackville Reach, he married Elizabeth Elkins. The issue of the marriage was 11 children, (three of whom are dead, viz, James, who died at Lower Portland, George, and William, who died on the Clarence River. The surviving members of the family are Mrs T. Turnbull (Canterbury); Ann, Mrs John Warr Turnbull (Sackville) Miss Sarah Manning (Sackville); Mr Frederick Manning (Narrabri); Mrs Griffiths (Colo Vale); Mr Andrew Manning (Terrace, Windsor); Mr Charles Manning (Lithgow); and Miss Clara Manning (Sackville). The funeral took place on Tuesday last, the remains being conveyed from deceased's late residence in Mr Jones' steamer, and interred in the family vault in the Sackville C.E cemetery, where a large concourse of people had assembled. Rev W. S. Newton, M A., carried out the last solemn rites, and Mr J. W. Chandler was the undertaker. The cause of death was bronchitis, and deceased had been ill about a fortnight.
Windsor & Richmond Gazette (NSW), 27 July 1907, p 4
Original Copy

WW1 Eathers

Eather, Albert Charles. 1887-1948
Eather, Albert Ernest. 1897-1956
Eather, Athol Bert. 1893-1915
Eather, Cecil George. 1893-1915
Eather, Colin Charles. 1894-1966
Eather, Eugene Alfred. 1894-1988
Eather, Frank Hilton. 1883-1917
Eather, Frederick Reuben. 1893-1964
Eather, George. 1874-1939
Eather, George Roland. 1890-1970
Eather, Gordon Cecil. 1897-1936
Eather, Ivo Mack. 1883-1952
Eather, James. 1867-1949
Eather, James Joseph. 1897-1974
Eather, John. 1895-1915
Eather, John Thomas 1891-1920
Eather, Joseph Bernard. 1883-1944
Eather, Joseph Mark. 1887-1971
Eather, Kenneth Stewart. 1900-1989
Eather, McAlpine. 1890-1966
Eather, Neil Rogan. 1896-1970
Eather, Percy Douglas. 1892-1974
Eather, Reginald James. 1899-1948
Eather, Richmond Cornwallis. 1888-1966
Eather, Roland Alfred. 1889-1967
Eather, Roland James. 1896-1917
Eather, Royal John Leslie. 1896-1969
Eather, Stanley Robert. 1895-1966
Eather, Thomas Joseph. 1891-1956
Eather, Thomas Robert Lynch. 1887-1944
Eather, William Irwin. 1897-1981
Colin Charles Eather

Narrabri Cyclone 1902

NARRABRI, Saturday.
One of the most severe cyclones,-almost equal to
that of last year, when it was estimated that £4000
worth of damage was done -passed over the town this afternoon.
The weather throughout the day was oppressive and the sky overcast.
About 3.40 p.m. there were indications of a severe storm in the
west, and lightning accompanied by heavy claps of thunder,
followed almost immediately.
The residents became alarmed, and windows doors, &c., were
securely fastened down, preparations being made for the worst.
Immense clouds of dust were noticed coming from
the west and the roaring of the wind and the peals
of thunder almost made many of the residents panic
stricken, some people taking refuge in places that they
considered were the safest.
When the full force of the storm reached the town
it carried before it almost every conceivable article
that was movable. Hail fell with terrific force, and
rain amounting to almost 60 points fell within a short
space of time.
Houses were unroofed, some being completely
levelled to the ground.
The storm only lasted about five minutes. People
were almost panic-stricken. At the northern end of
the town many places suffered considerably, in some
instances only chimneys being left. This portion of
the town also suffered terrible damage during the
cyclone of 1809.
Mr. E. Rooney's residence, a four roomed cottage
was completely wrecked, also his detached kitchen
and store
Mr. W. T. Ground's residence of four rooms
suffered considerably, the roof being blown off and
the furniture destroyed. The fencing, outhouses,
&c., were also blown down.
Mr. T. Nation's residence suffered considerably,
all the windows being smashed and the outhouses
blown down.
Mr. F. Tribe's place was damaged to a great ex
tent, the verandah being completely carried away,
The whole of the structure was twisted a good deal.
Mr. A. Tindall's premises suffered considerably, the
doors being completely blown away.
Mrs. Knight's had a roof blown off, and her furniture
was ruined.
A house, the property of Mr. G. Smith, was completely
demolished, besides many trees in the street.
Mr. Henry Perrett suffered the loss of a chimney,
a verandah &c. Another place belonging to the
same person was completely unroofed, the chimney
and kitchen being levelled to the ground.
A hayshed of Dr. Segol was blown down. Nearly
all of the telegraph posts and wires at this portion of
the town were also blown down.
Mr. H. G. Spencer had the roof of his house blown
off, damage to the private residence and shop being
estimated at £150. A good deal of fencing was also
Mr. E. W. Carrington's store suffered consider-
ably , tho windows being broken tho verandah blown
down, and most of the stock destroyed.
Mr. F. W. Tranter's business premises and stores
suffered to a great extent. The roof was blown off
both places. The estimated damage in this case is £300
Mr. J. Fardill, grocer, had the windows of his
premises smashed, the roof was partly taken off, and
considerable damage was done to the stock. A house
on the opposite side of the street was almost completely
wrecked, the roof and verandah being demolished.
The workshops of Messrs. Boake Brothers, coach
builders, were blown down, several sulkies and bug-
gies being destroyed.
Mr. H. Panton's residence suffered considerably
The chimneys and the roof were blown down.
Mr. H. Locke's blacksmith shop was partly blown
down and his private residence was unroofed.
In Narrabri proper a good deal of damage was
done Mr. E. V. Coleman s shop, a two story
building in Maitland street, had the roof completely
blown away. The windows in the shop were
smashed, and considerable damage was done to the
The roof of Mr. M. Hardy's business premises was
taken off. The old buildings at the side of Mr. C.
Wall's Commercial Hotel were completely unroofed
Mr. J. Turner's stables were unroofed and Mr. E.
H. Wall's premises were partly unroofed.
The Commercial Hotel occupied by Mr. W. Con-
way had the roof partly removed and the chimney
blown down, the estimated damage being £150.
The windows in the local post office were blown
in. Mr. W. H. Coleman's hotel also suffered considerably,
the stables at the rear being blown down.
The goods shed at the local railway station was
blown down and a couple of trucks were removed
from the rails.
Mr. S. Faulkner's premises were damaged considerably.
Reports from the outlying districts are not yet to
hand. The telegraph lines along the railway line on
the eastern side of the town are blown down and
greatly damaged.
Mr. W. Herbert, a man employed by Mr. E. H.
Wall, was killed near Narrabri by lightning.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 6 January 1902
page 7
Transcription, janilye 2014.

Inquest on the body of James Fitzpatrick

AN inquest was held at the Lion of Waterloo Inn, Montefiores,
on Wednesday, 27th March, 1850 before Dr. Curtis, and a
Jury of twelve, on the view of the body of James Fitzpatrick,
then laying dead near Mr. Drew's residence at Wellington.
James Drew stated:
"the deceased was my hired servant; yesterday, I sent him
to Montefiores on an erand, there was nothing to
detain him, but he was nearly two hours away;
when he returned, which was a little after
sunset, I desired him to fetch the mare up
from where she was tethered near the river ;
shortly afterwards, I heard somebody galloping
towards the house, and went to the door to see
who it was coming at such a pace, and, observed that
it was the deceased riding the mare, without saddle or bridle,
and who immediately fell and lay there ; Captain Mayne and
some gentlemen came up at the time, and
examined him, and found no bones broken and
left him where he was, after bathing his head
with cold water, under the impression that he
was drunk. I supposed that he was drunk
from the circumstance of his having been so
long on his errand, and his riding the mare at
such a pace without saddle or bridle; some
time after the Chief Constable and constable
Maher came by; I wished them to take him
in charge for drunkeness,but they did not I
did not go near him after that, all night, nor do
I believe anybody else did. He was alive this
morning and died about half past seven this
morning , I dld not send for a doctor because
I thought he was only drunk and would come
to in a short time , I wished to send him to the
lock up because if he did really require
medical assistance he would be nearer to it in
the lock up than a my place; my place is, I
believe, nearly two miles from the nearest
medical man, and the lock is not more than
a quarter of a mile; one of the constables pro-
posed to put him into a shed or outhouse, if I
had any, but I objected to it; I objected to it
because if he was only drunk I thought
the cool night air would tend to recover him
sooner than a close warm room , the mare had
an halter on when deceased was riding her;
she is shy, but otherwise free from vices;
deceased had no bed or covering taken to him
all night, but when I found that he was dead I
threw a rug over him.
Susannah Chandler corroborated the former.
going as to the deceased being drunk and the
accident, and stated in addition that she heard
him groan in the night and that morning
and reported it to her mistress, who made no remark
Chief Constable Rhodes stated that he knew
deceased, and assisted to bathe his head, and
slapped his hands to endeavour to bring him
to, he did not think himself justified in taking
him in charge, as deceased was so near his
home, and the lock-up so far away, had his
(the Chief Constable) met him elsewhere in
that state he should certainly have taken him
to the lock-up, but as it was, the Chief
Constable considered him in the care of his
Constable Maher corroborated the above,
and stated in addition that deceaseds hands
were clenched, and he had a gurgling in his
throat, and he remarked to Mr Drew that
there was more the matter with the man than
drunkenness, and that deceased would not live
long, that witness proposed to put deceased
into some outhouse or shed, but Mr. Drew objected to it.
Robert Cowell stated that he was talking to
deceased about ten minutes about sunset on
the evening of the accident, and that he was
perfectly sober.
Mr Matthews also stated that deceased was
sober, and that if he had loitered on his errand
it was not in Montefiores.
The Jury returned a verdict that deceased
died from injuries received by accidentally
falling from a horse, and added the following
rider: -
The Jury cannot fully express their horror and disgust at the great want of feeling
shown by Mr. Drew, and are of opinion that had medical aid been procured, the
man's life might probably have been saved, or his sufferings considerably lessened.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Monday 15 April 1850
page 2
Transcription, janilye 2014

James Drew's Reply
To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald.
Perceiving in your impress of the 15th instant, the report
of an inquest held at Montefiores on the 27th March, on the
body of one James Fitzpatrick, lately in my
employment, I beg to offer a few remarks on the censure
the Jury thought proper to pass on my conduct on
that occasion.
In my evidence I stated that on the man
falling from the mare, he was carefully examined
to ascertain if any limbs were broken,
and not finding such to be the case, I did not
think he required medical assistance , and this
was not only my opinion, but also the opinion
of the gentlemen who came up almost immediately
on the accident occurring, one of whom assisted
me to place the man against a log, in order to
keep his head up.
This unfortunate circumstance is the first of
this nature that I ever witnessed, therefore,
I had no previous experience to guide me, and
not finding any bones broken, or any blood flowing
either from the mouth or nose, it was but natural that
I should merely suppose the man was suffering
under the combined effects of intoxication and the stun
from the fall, and under these circumstances I most
humbly beg to submit that an impartial jury would not
be justified in passing such a censure as it certainly
is by no means an uncommon occurrence in this mild climate
for drunken men to sleep in the open-air all night; and
that the man was in a state of intoxication there can
be no doubt for although I was not in a position
to swear positively that such was the case, still,
I am confident he really was so; and the girl who swore
to his being intoxicated has, since the inquest,
stated that before he went for the mare, he
went into the kitchen, close to where she was
standing, for a drink of water, and that she
then noticed the fumes of liquor on him.
According to a statement the Coroner made to
the jury, it was also the impression of Captain
Mayne that the man was intoxicated, although
that gentleman's evidence was not considered
necessary. With respect to the evidence of the
Chief Constable, wherein he stated that had he
found the man elsewhere he should have taken
him to the lock-up, and that he was only Pre
vented doing so, from the proximity of my
premises, and considering him under my care,
I beg to observe that "If he should have taken
him into custody, the proximity of my premises
should be no excuse for him not doing so,"
and as for considering the man under my care,
after I had expressly requested him to convey
the man to the lock-up, is too absurd to require
The constabulary, I imagine, are instituted and
supported for the protection of the lives and property
of Her Majesty's subjects ; and if so, a drunken man
is as much entitled to that protection as a sober one,
consequently if any censure was deserved in this
affair, I think it should have been bestowed
where a positive neglect of duty was proved,
"but this did not suit the intentious of those
who sat in judgement,"
The Jury's reproof conveys an idea that it is
the duty of employers (who have the misfortune to
have drunkards in their service, which in these remote
districts, from the scarcity of labour is too frequently
a matter of compulsion) to look after their servants
and attend carefully to them in any troubles and
difficulties the said servants may bring themselves
into through their own debauchery, whilst they are
neglecting their employer's interests.
Now, with all due submission, I beg to observe
that such an idea is contrary to all existing
notions which have hitherto regulated society.
Has a man any right to convert his employer's
house into a hospital, and intrude on the privacy
of a family, because he meets with an accident
through his own intemperance.
The law of England does not acknowledge intoxication
as an excuse for any crime a man may commit whilst
in a state of inebriety ; neither should common sense
suppose that the peace and happiness of a household
is to be disturbed by the brawls of a drunkard.
I have no intention, however, of sheltering
myself either by the foregoing remarks, or at
the expense of the constabulary from any
justly merited blame, as I do not conceive
cause for such to exist, I have merely made
them to show the injustice of the censure ; had
I been aware that the man had received any
internal injury, I should not have suffered him
to expire without having sent for medical
assistance, and affording him every comfort in
my power; but as I have before stated, I had
not the slightest idea such was the case. It is
true that Maher expressed his belief that the
man would not live long, but as he was the
only one that did express such an opinion, it is
not to be supposed that I should place reliance
on what he said, in opposition to the opinions
expressed by every other person who saw the
deceased ; and as to my objecting to allow the
man to be put into a shed or out-house, I
have only to remark that I do not see what
the benefit of such a removal would have
Trusting you will excuse my having trespassed on
your space to such a length in vindication of myself,
I beg to subscribe myself,
Your humble servant,
Wellington, April 19.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday 26 April 1850
transcription, janilye 2014

Montefiore or Old Wellington New South Wales

Wellington, situated on the main Western line is 248 miles from Sydney by rail.
It is an old place, and formed a penal settlement as far back as 1819.
The place abounds in old associations with the early history of Australia;
and if the newspaper man will not find many things to interest him, he is sure
to hear a good deal that will, as stories of convict life and encounters
with the blacks are even now rife in these parts.
The poor dusky natives were the first dispossessed; and the seemingly inevitable
fate of all these people, who disappear before the advances, or it might
be termed the inroads of civilization, as the verdure of their native forest
falls before the nipping frost, is represented as having already befallen them.
There is sufficient historical truth in the picture to justify the use that has
been made of it. True, there are a few blacks in the Catholic missionary
camp near Wellington, which I will touch on later; the rest have disappeared,
either from the regions in which their fathers dwelt, or altogether from
the face of the earth.
Up to 1845 the settlement about Wellington was very sparse.
There was not a house on the land now occupied by the town
of Wellington.
From Montefiore to the old stockade up the Bell River there was not
a vestige of a dwelling of any kind,
Mr. John Jardine then lived at Gobolion, the Davidsons had
Murrugulan (now Apsley), Messrs, Kaley, Templar, and Rickards held Nanima,
which later on came into the possession of Mr. Joseph Aarons, one of the
open-hearted early pioneers,
Mr. Maxwell resided at Narragol. and Mr. R. McPhillamy held Blackrock.
Murrumbidgerie Station, owned by Raymond and Co., was managed by Mr. Hogarth.
Michael Lahy resided at Umby.
Dubbo was not then in existence, but some four miles on
the Wellington side of the present town Messrs R. and L. Dulhunty
were the kings of that part of the country as far as Talbragar,
where they were met by another landed squire, old John Manghan,
a J.P. and a gentleman. Below Dubbo there were the Campbells of
Burglegurabie, near Sir Saul Samuel's station, Euromedah.
John Readford had a station a few miles below Mumblebone on the
river next to Mount Harris At Warren there was only a bark hut and
a stockyard.
The late Mr. John Andrew Gardiner then resided on a station a
few miles below Mumblebone, on the other side of the river. In
his employ was a cook called Soldier Donnelly, who used to be one
of the troopers stationed at Wellington. The blacks were at times
very troublesome, and Mr. Gardiner was one of those who had
occasionally to fight his way through them. Every hut or dwelling
was pierced with holes for muskets, to enable the inmates to take
aim at the black assailants.
Below Dubbo there were no sheep, nothing but cattle on the runs.
Mr. Michael McMahon was at Narromine managing for Christie and Wentworth.
In those days Dr. Curtis was the leading man in public matters.
The Commissioner of Crown Lands was Captain Allman; he had a body of
some thirty or forty troopers under him, who with their horses were
stationed in the Commissioner's paddock at Montefiore, or old Wellington.
Mr. M. O'Shea was the contractor who supplied the Commissioner and
troopers with forage and sundries. Montefiore was the farthest out
town or village in the north-west.
The only store was kept by Mr. James Drew, but there were two pubs;
the first was built by Mr. Hyeronimus, and it had such a run of
trade that Mr. T. Sullivan followed suit and built another. Both houses
are now things of the past, and the builders have joined the great majority.
All this has now changed.
For the full story with pictures
see the source below
Freeman's Journal
Saturday 12 August 1899
pages 13-19
Transcription, janilye


The issue and registration of Liquor licences in Victoria

From the time of first permanent settlement in Victoria licences authorising the sale and supply of liquor were granted by justices of the peace at Annual General Licensing Meetings held in June every year.
Following the English tradition of heavy control and excise of the licensing trade, over 40 Acts and Statutes were passed by the Victorian legislature between 1852 and the turn of the century.
The Act 3 Wm IV, No.8 (June 1833) provided for a General Meeting of the justices acting in and for each district in the Colony to be held in June each year and to be called the General Annual Licensing Meeting for the special purpose of considering all applications for licences for public houses. Three justices at least were required to be present. The justices were empowered to grant certificates authorising the issue of a licence. These certificates and the fee were then required to be lodged with the office of the Collector of Internal Revenue (Colonial Treasurer, New South Wales) who upon receipt would issue and register the licences. The Act also established Special General Sessions of the justices for the transferring of licences. All offences under the Act were to be heard at Courts of Quarter Sessions.
The Act 8 Wm IV, No.8 (1837) provided for the application of the 1833 legislation in the newly established Port Phillip District and empowered an officer, to be appointed by the Governor-in-Council, to issue publicans licences in lieu of the Colonial Treasurer in Sydney. The first officer authorised to do so was the Police Magistrate, Port Phillip District, William Lonsdale in September 1837. However by 1839 the Sub-Treasurer had been appointed to issue licences for the Port Phillip District. The Act regulating the sale and supply of liquor in the Port Phillip District at time of separation in 1851 was 13 Vic.,No.29 (1849). This Act did not substantially alter the liquor licensing law, continuing the system of General Annual Licensing Meetings within each district for the hearing of applications for licences but allowing for a bench of two justices of the peace when a third was unavailable. The Act provided for three types of licences, a publican's general licence, a packet licence (ship) and a confectioner's licence. The latter licence was confined to the sale of spruce beer and ginger beer. An 1854 Act 17 Vic.,No.24 provided for the registration of spirit merchants. Act 25 Vic.,No.147 (1862) introduced a requirement for distiller's licences, wine grower's and brewer's licences. Licensing Benches in Courts of Petty Sessions In 1864, all then existing statutes were repealed and replaced by the Wines, Beer and Spirits Sale Act 1864 27 Vic.,No.227 which first introduced the single bottle or grocer's licence to be held only by a spirit merchant. This Act abolished the General Annual Licensing Meetings and provided for the granting and transferring of licences to be a judicial proceeding within any sitting of the Court of Petty Sessions within a district.
Under the provisions of the Wines, Beers and Spirits Sale Act 1870 (34Vic.,No.390) the power to grant licences to be issued under the Act within each district was restricted to a Licensing Bench composed of a stipendiary magistrate and two other justices of the peace, nominated by the majority of and from amongst the justices resident within each licensing district. All applications for the granting, renewal, transfer or forfeiture of licences were to be heard by these appointed magistrates. Quarterly licensing meetings were to be held at each of the courts of petty sessions within a licensing district each year. Magistrate's were bound to give a months notice of the licensing meetings in the Government Gazette. The Act also allowed a municipal body to object to the granting of a licence in a district where there were already a sufficient number of licensed premises. The Act provided that on such an objection a poll should be taken in the neighbourhood, introducing for the first time the concept of the reduction of liquor licences. Licensing Courts were also supported, from 1876, by Inspectors of Liquor whose job it was to maintain the standard of liquor sold to the public and to ensure that it was unadulterated and fit for consumption. The position was apparently joined with that of Inspectors of Distilleries (Licensed Premises) and operated within the Trade and Customs area as part of the excise and customs function.
In the years 1900 to 1901 when the customs function passed to the Commonwealth the Inspectors of Liquor were placed under the authority of the Minister of Public Health The function has apparently remained with the Health portfolio and although there were no Inspectors of Liquor as such post c1978 the duties may possibly still be undertaken as part of the general health investigations area. District Licensing Courts The Licensing Act 1885 (40 Vic.,No.857) replaced the previous Licensing Benches with a separate Licensing Court for each licensing district to be constituted by three police magistrates except in the districts of Melbourne, Geelong and Sandhurst (Bendigo) where the chairman of the court was to be a County Court Judge. The Act also subjected licensed premises to the control and supervision of a Licensing Inspector who was empowered both to inspect premises and to give such reports and make orders as would ensure the maintenance of standards. Licensing Inspectors were appointed from the police force by the Governor. The Licensing Court would send duplicates of all certificates for licenses granted to the Treasurer, who continued to register and issue all liquor licenses. All fees, fines, penalties and forfeitures were to be paid to the Treasurer to be placed in a trust fund called the Licensing Act 1885 Fund which was to be applied to the carrying out of the provisions of the Act. The Licensing Courts had jurisdiction over all matters relating to: the granting or refusal of all applications for licences to be issued under the provisions of the Act the revocation, forfeiture, or cancellation of such licences the imposition of penalties authorised by the Act hearings of appeals from inspector's orders the disqualification of licensed persons and premises. The 1870 legislation empowered the licensing magistrate to approve or refuse all applications for entertainment licences for licensed premises and required the magistrate to forward lists of all applications to the agency responsible, the Chief Secretary's Department Licensing Court of Victoria The Licensing Act 1916 (No.2855) made provision for the concentration of the whole jurisdiction with regard to the granting of licences and their control and supervision under the newly constituted Licensing Court of Victoria (ss.34-37). The new Court consisted of three magistrates, where formerly this function had been administered throughout Victoria by twenty police magistrates and three County Court judges Each of the persons holding office as a member of the Licences Reduction Board was, under the Act, immediately deemed to have been appointed a Licensing Magistrate (s.35). Centralised administration was achieved with the appointment of the Secretary of the Licences Reduction Board as the Registrar of the new court. The system of licensing inspectors was continued, the duties of inspecting premises and enforcing the provisions of the Act being undertaken by nominated members of the police force who were not to be below the rank of sub-inspector. An additional duty of the inspectors was to submit an annual report to the Court. Hearings were held on a circuit basis in courts of petty sessions appointed by the Governor-in-Council as licensing courts to serve various licensing districts. Notification of the annual sittings of the courts and their location appeared in the Government Gazettes. The clerks of such courts would undertake the role of Licensing Clerk and would administer all licensing business in the locality and report directly to the Registrar of the Licensing Court. Prior to the passing of the Licensing Amendment Act 1922 (No.3259) there were two hundred and seventeen licensing districts in Victoria each consisting of one division of an electoral district. However section six of the new legislation provided that an entire electoral district should be the licensing district, thereby reducing the number to sixty-five. The Licensing Court had jurisdiction over all matters relating to: (the granting or refusal of all applications for licences to be issued under the provisions of the Act; ( the revocation ,forfeiture, or cancellation of such licences; (the imposition of penalties authorised by the Act; (hearings of appeals from inspector's orders; (the disqualification of licensed persons and premises.
The 1922 Act also empowered the Court to approve plans and to order the provision of additional accommodation and improvements where it thought them desirable section fourteen. Victorian Licensing Court The Victorian Licensing Court came into operation on 30 June 1954. It was constituted under the Licensing Amendment Act 1953 (No.5767) and assumed the functions of the Licensing Court of Victoria. The new Court was to be under the Chairmanship of a Judge of the County Court, the two other members being magistrates, with tenure extended from three to seven years (s.8). The Act also made provision for the appointment of a Supervisor of Licenced Premises (s.11) who was aided by nine assistant supervisors. The duties of the office included examining and reporting upon the nature and extent of hotel accommodation for the public and the provision made for the supply of meals and refreshments in hotels; consulting with licensing inspectors on proposed plans for new licensed premises, or alterations and extensions to existing hotels and clubs and reporting to the Court re same; and generally assisting the Licensing Court (s.11.2-4). The new Supervisor's Department of the Victorian Licensing Court was staffed by members of the Police Force. The Court had complete jurisdiction over the granting, transfer, cancellation and supervision of all liquor licences, with authority to impose penalties, hear evidence taken under oath and administer all related permits. Under the new legislation the functions of the Court were extended to include the control and supervision of "sanitation, hygiene, ventilation, cooling, heating, fire prevention and the cleanliness of food in all licensed premises". For the purpose of reviewing licences annually the Licensing Court held Annual Sittings usually in November and December. Applications for renewal were made by all licensees , country licensees setting down their applications with the Licensing Clerk for that particular area. A magistrate held a sitting on the appointed day in the Court House at each of the prescribed centres. The Court was not restricted as to the number of licences that it had the power to grant, the State having been constituted as one licensing district by the 1953 legislation (s.2). In the event of a cancellation of a licence the Court sat as the Licences Reduction Board in order to fix compensation. In 1968, the Victorian Licensing Court was abolished and the Liquor Control Commission (VA 1110) assumed all the responsibilities associated with liquor licensing in Victoria.
Public Record Office of Victoria