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Brisbane’s first cemetery was on the bank of the river on the curve of North Quay. That was the graveyard of the convict period, a time of horrors unimaginable by the people of today.
On that then lonely spot, overlooking the placid river were deposited the bodies of soldiers, convicts, and officers, who died from 1825 to 1839, and today their dust lies there in the silence of that river bank, heedless of the continuous roar of the city which stands now where they saw only the primeval forest, and nightly heard the howl of the dingo and the songs of the savage tribes, far less savage than the whites of that period. They lie there forgotten, the flogger and the flogged, the slayer and the slain. The old headstones from that graveyard were removed many years ago to the cemetery at Paddington.
There was also another early cemetery by the river and Roma Street, in front of where the Helidon Spa establishment is situated. The tombstones from there were also removed to the Paddington cemetery which is therefore the most venerable graveyard in Queensland, the one with the most fascinating historical associations, the one surrounded by the most pathetic and romantic memories of the early days of Queensland.
The ancient Necropolis, venerable with age and sacred to the memory of our early settlers, was the subject for discussion in a recent meeting of the Ithaca Shire Council, which decided that it should be vested in the Council, and transformed into a recreation ground. In answer to a question concerning the disposal of headstones, Labour Alderman White replied : “Break them up and use them for the footpaths; they make good road metal!” And nobody even attempted to brain him with a ruler! Probably the braining process would be as much a physical impossibility with White as it would be with a piemelon, but some might have at least have mercifully have thrown him over a precipice if there was one convenient.
Before entering those old cemeteries in that solemn, little valley, which may be called the Valley of the Shadow of Death, it may be well to have a glance at the outside. In those days, the various sects extended their exclusiveness beyond the grave, and so the Wesleyan, the Jew, the Roman Catholic, and the Church of England dead were kept carefully apart by a fence or a street.
It was a somewhat inconsistent scheme on the part of those who believe in a resurrection that is to find all equal before God on the Day of Judgment. But theology is not one of the exact sciences, and is subject to many amendments. Today, in the Toowong cemetery, all sects sleep as it were in the same room on apparently harmonious terms, as there is no recorded case of a general disturbance.
Outside all the sects were two classes of unfortunates to whom consecrated burial was denied. Those were suicides, who murdered themselves, and malefactors whom the law murdered on the gallows. These are the dead “outside the fence,” though there is no reason to suppose they have not slept as peacefully, as those inside. No headstones were placed over these lost souls, and so their graves are not discoverable today. Their names only are found in the records. No one call tell who was the first honest person inside, or the first criminal outside.
Toowong Cemetery started with the grave of Miss Hill, a daughter of the late Walter Hill, who was first Curator of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, in 1855. The next grave was that of Governor Blackall, on January 3, 1871. Today the dead in Toowong Cemetery are more in number than the whole of the living in Queensland at the date of Separation, when the population was represented by 25,000 people.
Among the men buried in the old graveyard between Roma Street and the North Quay were two named Stapylton (Bio) and Tuck. Stapylton was one of three surveyors sent up by Governor Gipps to start a trigonometrical survey of the Moreton Bay district, the other two being Robert Dixon (Bio) and James Warner, (Bio) who was, in after years, Sergeant-at-Arms in the Assembly. Stapylton and his two men, Tuck and Dunlop, were attacked by the blacks near Mt. Lindsay, and Stapylton and Tuck were killed, Dunlop being left as dead, but he crawled into the scrub and was found there alive by the relief party from Brisbane, and recovered dying only about 10 or 12 years ago.
The remains of Stapylton and Tuck were brought to Brisbane and buried in that old ground near Roma Street, (Bounded by Skew, Saul and Upper Roma Street) where they may be turned up some day in an excavation or a posthole. Two blacks named Merridoo and Noogamill were captured in May 1841, taken to Sydney, tried and sentenced to death, brought back to Brisbane and hanged from a beam on the present Observatory, the old convict windmill. These two blacks, the first men hanged in Brisbane, were also buried not far from Stapylton and Tuck. The railway station of Stapylton on the Southport line perpetuates the name of the dead surveyor.
Among those outside the fence in the Paddington cemetery is a black called Dundalli (Bio), hanged in 1854 in Queen Street on the site of the present Post Office. He was charged with several murders, including those of Mr. Gregor and Mrs. Shannon at the Pine River, in 1846. In the same month, another black called “Davey” was hanged in Queen Street for killing Mr. Trevethan at Wide Bay, and he too, is “outside the fence” at Paddington.
Many readers will remember Lachlan McLean, the once well-known and respected blacksmith, of Elizabeth Street. His father and family came to Sydney from Ross-shire in Scotland, in 1841, and six months afterwards came on to Brisbane, where McLean, senior, was the first blacksmith. He died about 40 years ago and was buried at Paddington. There was a remarkable incident on the day of the funeral.
At the moment of passing the old gaol at Petrie Terrace, now a police barracks, an aboriginal prisoner named “Tommy Skyring” was attempting to escape. He had climbed to the top of the wall, and was just about to lower himself, when a warder shot him dead, and he fell alongside the funeral procession, nearly on top of one of the mourners.
Tommy was one of three blacks who killed Stevens, the botanist in 1866, near Mooloolah, at the spot still known as the “Dead Man’s Lagoon.” It appears that Tommy gave himself up to the police, as Stevens haunted him. He said the dead man came repeatedly and looked over his shoulder, and this so scared Tommy that he refused to eat, and wasted away to a shadow.
But the old love of freedom overcame him, and he was making a dash for it once more when the warder’s carbine stopped him at the start. He, too, lies outside the fence at Paddington among the unwept, unhonoured and unsung.
At present in Brisbane are some visitors from Scotland, impelled by a desire to find among the Paddington dead, the grave of a relative who was buried there in 1864, and they have been successful. Since the Toowong cemetery started a number of people have been taken up and removed to there. Among these were the members of the McLean family.
Among those buried in the Presbyterian section at Paddington was the Rev. Thomas Mowbray, a once well-known Presbyterian parson, whose name is retained by “Mowbray Park” at South Brisbane. He was father of the present Mowbray P.M. of Warwick, and the late Willie Mowbray, once P.M. at Herberton, and finally at Gympie. He was also father of the wife of the still juvenile and vivacious Dr. John Thompson, the most experienced medical man in Queensland.
The Mowbray Estate remained in the hands of the family until recent years, the last of it being sold to the South Brisbane Council, who made it the public Mowbray Park of today. The remains of the Rev. Thomas Mowbray were removed in after years to the cemetery at South Brisbane, where Mrs. Mowbray, who died ten or twelve years ago, is also buried.
Among those in the Catholic ground at Paddington are the remains of a Mr. And Mrs. Loague who came out from Londonderry, in Ireland, in 1852. Loague was for many years a highly esteemed officer in the Police Force, stationed at Petrie Terrace gaol. One of his daughters, a fine-looking woman, married a Mr. Mylchreest, who was for many years pilot and harbour master at Cairns, the first there, a six foot two, broad-shouldered man, who died leaving one son and one daughter.
The son died, and the daughter, one of the finest specimens of women in North Queensland, married a Mulgrave River stockowner named Simmonds, who died some years ago, leaving a widow and four children, one of whom, the eldest girl, is married and residing at present in Wynnum.
It is especially interesting to find such proofs as these that there has been no deterioration, in the second or third generations, and that Loague’s descendants today are quite equal in physique to their old Hibernian ancestors. A few facts like these dispel many illusions concerning the adaptability of Queensland, North and South, for the white races.
The smallest graveyard at Paddington is that of the Wesleyans. It has also the distinction of being the most neglected. There does not appear to have been more than 70 or 80 people buried there, and some of the graves have either not been marked by headstones, or some of those stones have been broken or removed. A few score are lying on their faces, as tombstones frequently do even when erect, and here and there is merely a fragment bearing a part of an inscription.
On some graves the headstones alone indicate the site, the wooden railings having long since decayed, or been broken or removed for firewood, by some of the ghouls who do these things at night when the nocturnal reptiles are out in search of prey. The surrounding fence has also supplied much firewood, which left panels with no rails, or one rail, and here and there dreary gaps in the palings, with signs of age, and neglect, and decay, and the trail of desolation over it all.
Alone of all that is not dismal, and dead, and forgotten, or unfit to be seen, stand two or three silky oaks and a Bunya pine. The oaks, which are about 40 feet in height, afford favourite climbing exercise for the small boys of the locality and only a very foolish sparrow ever builds a nest on even the highest branch.
At the south-east corner of the cemetery is a recumbent vault stone telling us that below is all that is mortal of Annie Thompson Pugh, wife of Theophilus P. Pugh, whose name will be handed on to posterity associated with “Pugh’s Almanac.” Pugh was once a member for North Brisbane, and while in the House voted for the repeal of the Civil Service Act.
When he stood again for Brisbane,the whole Civil Service was waiting for his blood, and he was thrown out with a loud bang. Pugh was a little man with so much restless energy that he was known as the “Industrious Flea.” Mrs. Pugh died on March 1, 1866, aged 33 years.
Near the grave is a stone with the name of William Alfred Finney, the eleven months son of Thomas (Bio) and Sidney Ann Finney. Sidney House, at Toowong, bears the name of the mother, and she and the once well-known Tom Finney, founder of the firm of Finney Isles and Co., are in the same Land of Shadows as the child who died on June 11, 1869. That is one of the only three graves in a decent condition, but yet one naturally wonders why it has not received more attention, or the stone removed to Toowong.
The best kept grave there, apparently recently much improved, is that of Henry Edward Tom, second son of Henry and Emma Tom, a child of two years and five months, who died on August 22, 1864. That was 43 years ago, but the memory of the lost child is still green in the hearts of some of the Tom family, well-known and respected squatters today on the Maranoa.
Pathetic beyond expression are these childrens' graves, and there are many of them. “Only a child,” says the casual fool who has not known sorrow, or is not capable of feeling nor caring that “out of the souls of the mothers of these, the light and joy of their life has fled,”as they consigned those once dearly loved white shrouded little forms to the dust. Very singular are fatalities in some families.
Amy Josephine Leigh died on April 18, 1867, aged 8 months, and next year William Theodore Leigh died on January 17, at exactly the same age. The oldest grave appears to be that of Johanna Sutherland, who died on December 14, 1852, aged 70, and next comes George Poole, a Brisbane chemist and druggist, who died on May 6, 1853, at 30 years of age.
The Markwell family, well-known since early days, are represented by Mary Ann, wife of John Markwell, dead on April 8, 1855, aged 30, and Mary Ann, the wife of Isaac Markwell, dead on November 2, 1862, aged 45. Evidently Mary Ann was a favourite name in that family.
On the tomb of the wife of W. J. Killick Piddington, dead on October 25, 1866, aged 36, is this inscription, referring to her eight year old son, who died on September 27, 1865. On one tomb is the name of Eliza, wife of Charles Abraham, whose name would indicate a Hebrew origin, but she may have been a Christian. She was born on July 15, 1813, and died on March 12, 1875. One of her sons is today a Brisbane town traveller for a firm bearing a Semitic name.
Florence Gertrude was the seven months daughter of Charles Henry and Caroline Harley. The name of Harley was well-known to Brisbane in recent years in the firm of Rogers and Harley, printers, of Elizabeth Street.
The name of “William” (buried on July 7, 1868) four days’ old son of William H. and Minna Miskin, now in Rockhampton, was once a well-known Brisbane solicitor, who for some years was also Official Trustee in Insolvency, and he lived out at Toowong. He was an enthusiastic entomologist, and by purchase and exchange made one of the finest butterfly and moth collections in Queensland. But the blue serenity of the Miskin household was over clouded by a darkness that might be felt.
A new and strange planet, called “Governess,” swung into the orbit of the Miskin system, and the lawful occupant of that sphere appealed to the Terrestrial laws, and Miskin and “Governess” swung off into an orbit of their own, and have remained there ever since. Miskin’s butterflies were sold to the Brisbane Museum for £250, and are there at the present time, all except one specimen – “Governess Superbus”- which he wisely retained.
One of his brothers, A. E. Miskin, was once owner of Bundall plantation on Nerang Creek, his partner for a time being “Charley Morris,” the present C. A. M. Morris P.M. of Ipswich. This Miskin afterwards took up a 1280 acre selection of the Johnstone River and settled there. But the four day’s old baby of July, 1868, has slumbered in blissful unconsciousness, and the mother, a most esteemable woman, is far away from the lonely grave of the child of her early days.
James Stevens died on August 27, 1866, aged 75 years, and the headstone was “Erected by his bereaved widow.” “Letitia, wife of Robert Raymond,” is all that one headstone records. Jane, the wife of Henry Franklin, once a builder in Fortitude valley, died on September 5, 1859. James Wakefield, who died at 57, on July 8, 1857, was father of the well known Hiram Wakefield. His widow died on July 4, 1873, aged 68.
Remarkable are the deaths of so many young women. Mary Ann, the wife of Henry Walpole, an old time Valley tradesman, died on August 5, 1854, aged 21. Her sister Francis died on October 15, in the same year, aged 18, and a child who survived her, died at 21 – the same age as her mother.
Elizabeth, wife of Daniel Allen, cabman, of Fortitude Valley, died at the age of 30, on May 6, 1875. She was born in Roscrea, Tipperary and left three sons. She buried her first two infant children in unmarked graves in the Church of England portion of the cemetery. Henry John Isaac Markwell, son of John Markwell, and one of the dandies of the period, a fine young fellow, was killed off his horse on the Toowong road.
Fanny, the wife of William Sexton, of South Brisbane, died on March12, 1872, aged 27, and Susannah Sarah, wife of E. J. Kingston, a Valley storekeeper, died on October 8, 1859.
The old Brisbane Costin family, well known today, gave the grave, on May 7,1875, a young man of 18½ years, son of Thomas A. Costin, once a Queen Street saddler, whose successor was the well known Jarman. His brother, W. J. Costin, is the present chemist in the Valley, and father of W. C. Costin, the Clerk of Parliaments.
His brother, J. T. Costin, is in charge of the lithographic department in the Government Printing Office, and one of his sons, J. M. Costin, went recently to Thursday Island as Shipping and Fisheries Inspector. Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Costin, the grandparents, came to Moreton Bay in September, 1848, on the advice of T. H. Green, Mrs. Costin’s brother, who was then a merchant and stock and station agent in South Brisbane.
The Costins went in those days to the church on the present site of the Longreach Hotel. Then Costin, J. P. Smith, A. Warricott, Freeman, and Chambers, started the first Methodist cause in Queensland in a little lane on the site of the present “Telegraph” newspaper, and the first minister to arrive was the Rev. William Moore, the first church being erected in Albert Street and Burnett Lane, and doing duty for some time for both Methodists and Congregationalists.
In those days the present Angus Gibson, M.L.C., lord of Bingera plantation, was making a living out of cabbage growing at Bulimba. In 1863 he was going along Queen Street and heard singing in the Albert Street church. It must have been first class singing, for it fascinated Angus, and he went in and became a Methodist, and has continued to be one ever since. This is the tale told by Angus himself.
Jane Merry, wife of T. F. Merry, died on May 26, 1865, aged 32. She was the first wife. Merry was for years a draper in the Valley, when Tom Finney was there in the same business, before he came to Queen Street. He is still alive, and a member of the firm of Barnes and Co., of which Barnes M.L.A., is the head.
Caroline Rhodes, who died on March 2, 1864, at the age of 21, was a daughter of Ralph Rhodes, who then had the Sawyers Arms Hotel in George Street, where Trittons is today. Rhodes and his wife were people much esteemed and their carefully kept house was a favourite resort for people from the country.
He married a second time, but both are dead. Rhodes had a daughter named Cordelia, who married a George Gotcher, and died on August 24, 1869, aged 25 years. Her mother, Rhodes’ first wife, Margaret, died on August 26, 1869, aged 53 years, so that mother and daughter died within two days of each other.
The stone over John Bucknell Waldron, who died at 27 on July 26, 1861, was erected by the children of the Congregational Sunday School “as a token of love and esteem for a kind teacher. ” How many of those children are alive today?
Harriett Paten, wife of John Paten, died on February 24, 1861. Paten, in 1856, was a leading bootmaker in Queen Street, and he and “Bobby Cribb” were associated in business.
Clara Alice Harries, wife of Eustace Henry Harries, died on April 25, 1870. She died in giving birth to her first baby. Harries was a draughtsman in the Colonial Architect’s Department, of 40 years ago. Catherine Ann Girling, wife of William Girling, died on November 14, 1865, aged 21, and her sister Mary Smith Deacon, died on November 27, aged 20.
By this time the reader will doubtless have noticed the astonishing number of deaths among young women aged between 16 and 21, and here comes a remarkable statement by one of Brisbane’s oldest inhabitants, a man who has been here since 1851. He says that in the early days there was much bad water, total disregard of drainage, cesspit closets of the worst type, and no attention to sanitation.
Much fever, then considered to be malarial, was certainly typhoid. The critical age was that from 16 to 22, and once over 22, there was a prospect of a fairly long life. The death rate among children and young girls was terribly high. Painfully conspicuous is the absence of old people in the cemetery. Among all in the Methodist section, there are only two over 60 and two over 70. The majority are under 30. And young men appeared to have no more immunity than women, as the list will show.
Among those, R. B. Boardman Silcock died in January, 1865, aged 38; Menander Malcolm on June 28, 1872, aged 27; G. G. Stokes on October 28, 1872, aged 22 years; and James Chapman, on November 10, 1867, aged 13 years. With this we finally leave the Methodist cemetery, one of God’s most neglected acres.
When the Paddington cemeteries were first reserved, that region was then “out in the bush,” and apparently no-one foresaw an extension of Brisbane in that direction within the lifetime of any of the existing generation. The ridges sloped down from Petrie Terrace into a swamp at the bottom.
In those days ducks and herons and snipe fed in that swamp, and kangaroos and wallabies hopped through the ironbarks and spotted and box gums on the surrounding slopes. At night there was heard the mournful howl of the furtive dingo, and the call of the melancholy stone plover. Blacks climbed the trees and cut out the opossum and the wild bees nest. Electric trams were far off, in an unknown and unimagined future.
These thoughts arise as we stand in the Presbyterian cemetery, by the grave of Andrew Petrie, that fine old Scot, who came to Sydney as one of a select band of Scottish mechanics in the Stirling Castle in 1831. The stone tells us that he was born on June 25, 1798, and died at Brisbane on February 20, 1872. What eventful 41 years occupy that space from 1831 to 1872! And how closely are the Petries identified with the early history of Queensland! Tom Petrie, (Bio) who lives at the North Pine, is today, at 71 years of age, the oldest resident of Queensland.
He came here as a year old baby with his parents in 1837. In 1837 Andrew Petrie was engaged in Sydney as foreman of Works in Moreton Bay and he and his family came up in the small steamer James Watt. In the following year Petrie first discovered coal at Redbank, where the Tivoli mine is today.
In 1838 he discovered the Bunya pine at the Blackall Range and brought the first plants to Brisbane. This tree actually received the name “Pinus Petriane,” but J. C. Bidwill, (Bio) a collector of that time, sent some specimens to London and it was named “Araucaria Bidwilli”, the name it bears today. Bidwell is buried at the mouth of Tinana Creek.
Petrie’s first work at Moreton Bay was the repair of the treadmill, the Observatory of today. From a window of that Observatory, in 1841, there projected a beam, on which two aboriginals were hanged, though proved afterwards to be innocent. The gallows were arranged under Petrie’s instructions, and the hangman, who came from Sydney, complimented him on his work. Petrie was not proud of the compliment.
In May 1842, accompanied by Henry Stuart Russell, author of the “Genesis of Queensland,” Joliffe, Wrottesley, a convict crew, and two aboriginals, Petrie went on that memorable Mary River and Wide Bay trip from which they brought back Bracefell and Davis, the two convicts who had been ten and fourteen years respectively with the blacks.
Andrew Petrie was a fine specimen of a man, tall and good looking, with curly hair and beard. His sons, too, were all tall, fine men, and only Tom is left. One of his daughters married the late Bob Ferguson, who stood six feet four. Bob was for many years Inspector of Works, and among his early contracts was the erection of the Sandy Cape lighthouse, in 1872.
In the same railing as Andrew Petrie, is Mary Cuthbertson Petrie, who died on June 1, 1855, also Walter Daniel, a year and ten months child of John and Jane Petrie, died on November 3, 1857. This child would be a brother of the present Andrew Petrie M.L.A. Andrew Petrie had a son named Walter, who at 20 years of age, was an exceptionally powerful young fellow.
At that time, a small creek ran from the present Roma Street station down across Queen Street, by the site of the present New Zealand Buildings, and into the river at the end of Creek Street. Walter Petrie fell in, and was found drowned, partly buried in the mud, and grasping a bunch of mangroves in his hand. As he was a splendid swimmer, he must have hurt himself in the fall. His brother, John Petrie, father of A. L. Petrie, M.L.A., had a child whom he named Walter after the drowned youth.
There was a singular coincidence when that child at a year and ten months old, was drowned in the same creek responsible for the death of the uncle whose name he bore. That is the child in the Paddington grave. There is also another child of five months, Annie Petrie, who died on December 21, 1863. Here then is the grand old warrior pioneer of the early days, for ever at rest.
Matilda Buxton, who died on March 3, 1866, aged 41, was the wife of J. W. Buxton, who had a stationary and fancy goods shop in Queen Street, where Ryder the tailor is today. They buried two of their children, Matilda Adelaide, on April 11, 1862, and Ada Matilda, on March 3, 1865.
An elegant marble column, with a draped crest, is over the grave of Celia Sabina Craies, wife of William Craies, first manager of the Bank of New South Wales in Brisbane. The only other marble headstone is over a son of Archibald McMillan, owner of some of the first vessels in the Polynesian traffic. The boy, aged 11, died on March 28, 1866. Jessie Mainwaring, wife of a once leading Queen Street tailor, died on July 29, 1875, aged 37 years.
Adam Cumming, aged 31, died on May 23, 1861. He succeeded John Stephens, brother of T. B. Stephens, (Bio) and uncle of the present Hon. W. Stephens, as secretary of the Queensland Steam Navigation Board.
William Cowans, who died on February 3, 1871, at the early age of 32, was a bookseller and stationer in Edward Street. Mary Jeffcoat died March 3, 1855, aged 50, and Julia Jeffcoat on September 15, 1862, aged 49. Descendants of this family are still well known in Ipswich.
Jessie Campbell Mackellar, who died on January 11, 1872, aged 29, was the wife of Alexander Mackellar, a once prominent printer and lithographer, whose maps of Brisbane were famous at one time, and are still well known.
Alexander McDonald, an Argyleshire Highlander, was a well-known tide waiter in the Customs, at Lytton. He was father of Alick McDonald, known to us today as the landlord of the Shamrock Hotel, in Edward Street. One daughter was married to Murray Prior, the handsome barrister brother of Mrs. Campbell Praed (Bio). He died a few years ago at an early age. The tombstone over McDonald was “erected by his friends and brother officers.”
Donald Coutts, who died on December 27, 1857, was the owner of “Toolburra,” the first station taken up on the Darling Downs, by Patrick Leslie in 1841. He was a brother of Tom Coutts, who died recently at Toolburra. Tom was the owner who sold the station, or part of it, to the Government, and acquired some prominence in a recent Parliament in connection with a letter written to him by a prominent member of Parliament who was alleged to have claimed commission.
Donald Coutts was killed by the kick of a foal, at Bulimba, where he resided in a house built for D. C. McConnell. Beside his grave is that of a sister-in-law, Anna Maria Thompson, who died on March 8, 1862, aged 47.
Jessie Guthrie, who died on June 20, 1871, was the wife of John Guthrie, who was first a solicitor with Little and Brown, and afterwards on his own account. He lived in a house called “Lucerne,” long occupied afterwards by John Scott, once Chairman of Committees, at Milton. Beside it stood one of the handsomest fig trees in Brisbane. Jessie was Guthrie’s first wife.
His second was Miss Fowles, sister of William Lambert Fowles, once Legislative Assembly for Clermont, and father of the present Under-Secretary in the Treasury. Guthrie was residing at Wooloowin, when he died, and his second wife now resides in Tasmania.
In the grave with the first wife are her two children, Mary Isabella, aged 4, and Francis Drummond, aged 2, one died in July 1864, the other in July, 1861. Intensely pathetic are those graves that hold the mothers and their children.
John Randall, who died on November 31, 1873, aged 45, was head master of the Normal School, and his pupils and friends erected his headstone as a memorial of their esteem. He opened the school at first with a graceful little speech, in which he expressed a hope that they would all be conspicuous for punctuality, and equally obedient to him in school and their parents at home.
The youngsters afterwards held a public meeting in the playground, to discuss if it was possible to thus serve two masters. This awful problem was left unsolved. Randall left a family, deservedly held in high esteem. They lived for many years next the brewery at Milton, but are now residing on Gregory Terrace. One daughter is the wife of B. W. McDonald, manager of the A.U.S.N. Company. There were originally five sons and five daughters, but three of the sons are dead. All five daughters are married.
Janet M. Burns, who died on February 6, 1875, was the eldest 4½ year old daughter of John and Jane Burns. John Burns was partner to the once well known firm of J. and J. Burns, now represented by Burns, Philp & Co, in whose firm James Burns (Bio) is managing partner.
Alexander Gordon Cummings, who died on December 28, 1866, was the four year old child of Charles C. and Helen Cummings, who in those far off days, kept a hotel at the corner of George and Turbot Streets. George Phillips was a carter and contractor on Spring Hill, and he and his wife, Eliza, buried their son, William, aged 30, on September 23, 1871.”
John Murray, who died aged 33, on January 11, 1866, left a widow who married a Mr. Nott. Murray was the most expert painter and glazier of his time and Nott had a general store in Elizabeth Street. Mrs. Nott survives him and still resides out near Woolloongabba. On April 16, 1861, she buried her 4½ year old child by her first husband. Angus Mathieson, who died March 11, 1872, aged 38, was a South Brisbane carpenter. On his grave is a ponderous stone, like the dome of a vault.
Next to him is a grave with four children named Laing, four little girls, Helen, Margaret, Ann and Elizabeth, aged 11, 13, 14 and 17 months, not one reaching two years of age. Three died in 1863, and one in 1873, so the first three must be the children of two mothers, unless two were twin. A cypress pine “Callitris Robusta,” evidently an old tree, has fallen between the two graves, and lies partly on the stone over Mathieson, with a branch over the little girls. The four dead children, the dead man, and the dead cypress! There is no more pathetic or mournful scene in the cemetery.
Richard Sexton, who died on April 6, 1869, aged 61, was a clerk of R. Towns and Co., and is represented today by a nephew in the Railway Survey Department.
From the Methodists, we pass across a street, into the adjoining graveyard, occupied by all that is mortal of the Queensland Baptists of a bygone age.
The name “Baptist” dates back to Thomas Munzer, of Storck, in Saxony, in the year 1621, nearly 400 years ago. History tells us that “he excited a rebellion of the lower orders in Germany, quelled in bloodshed in 1525.”
Several other insurrections followed, all ending in blood, and finally from 1535 to 1540, a number of Anabaptists were executed in England. On January 6, 1661, about 100 of these peculiar people, led by Thomas Venner, a wine cask cooper, appeared in arms in London, and was only conquered after half of them were killed. They fought like devils, and killed a lot of soldiers. Sixteen of them were executed, including Venner.
The Baptist published their Confession of Faith in 1643. In 1635, Rhode Island, in America, was settled entirely by Baptists, and today they are a peaceful, respectable and important body among the religious sects of Queensland. The warlike, death defying spirit of Venner, and his self devoted warriors has departed. The most remarkable modern Baptist preacher was Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who died at Mentone, in Italy, on January 31, 1892.
With this we pass into the Baptist section of the Paddington cemetery of Brisbane. It differs from the Methodist graveyard in appearance, by being surrounded with an old paling fence, which has locked gates, the key being held by a local resident, who has the privelege of grazing his cows among the tombstones.
In Brisbane it matters not apparently where our dead are buried, for ultimately the moo cow crops the herbage around the tombstones and perfumed Capricornus regales himself with the bouquets left on the graves by bereaved relatives. In the Baptist area is the same neglect – general decay and wreckage and desolation. Fallen headstones, ruined railings, and broken fragments prove how brief is remembrance of the dead.
Here we have Mary, the first wife of Moses Ward, a once well known chemist. She died on May 21, 1872, aged 55, and Moses has since filled the vacuum in his soul with a fresh bride who brought him a substantial dowry. A good solid dowry dries a lot of tears.
Great men were living before Agamemnon, and there were “Badgers” in Brisbane before the autocrat of the tramways. Benjamin Badger died on November 18, 1874, aged 49, followed by his wife Ellen, on December 8, 1874, at the age of 50, and Joseph their son, on December 22, a fortnight after their mother. With these, the Badger family became extinct.
Susan Elizabeth Warry and Edith May Warry were two children who died in 1864. Their father was C. S. Warry, a Brisbane and Ipswich chemist, brother of R. L. Warry, a once well known merchant, and T. S. Warry, who died as a bachelor. His two brothers are also dead.
Eli Hallet, of Huddersfield, England, died on September 24, 1866, aged 28 years. His father was a butcher, and with J. and W. Orr, then butchers of South Brisbane. Benjamin William was the nine year old son of Thomas and Ruth Baker. The stone tells us that the boy was drowned, and also invites to “Come to be where Jesus is and see his smiling face.”
Eliza Brady Atkins was a ten months child, who died on February 11, 1867, and William Bryant, from Tovil, in Kent, died at Kedron Brook on October 15, 1865. Agnes Lucy Blackford, who died on May 22, 1868, was the wife of William Blackford, a baker in the Valley.
Emma Slater was the wife of Slater, a once prominent bookseller and stationer, who was the predecessor of Gordon and Gotch. She died on August 8, 1865. Jane Orr, who died on March 15, 1863, at 58 years of age, was the wife of an old South Brisbane butcher of the firm of J. and W. Orr. Her daughter, Margaret, died on December 25, 1870, aged 23.
John Cadbury died on May 28, 1866, aged 29. The next stone records the death on June 19, 1867, aged 64, of John Bale, who was the father of the once well known J. L. Bale, secretary of the Brisbane Building Society. Kate Spilsbury, who died on August 26, 1862, was the wife of an old Brisbane confectioner, the Compagnoni of his day.
Joseph Street, who died in November 1867, aged 43, was the father of a family of robust good looking girls, who once kept a millinery and artificial flower shop in the William Street building now occupied by the Protectorate of Aboriginals. It was also once the office of that pious paper, the “Evangelical Standard,” of which Brentnall was one of the associate editors. One Miss Street married A. D. Douglas, afterwards Inspector of Police, and another married J. G. Drake, the ex-Federal Minister. Mrs. Douglas died recently and Douglas has gone to reside in London. Eleanor Ann, was the six months old baby of Emily Copeland, whose husband kept the Prince Consort Hotel, in the Valley. The child died in December, 1871.
John Samuel Kingsford, who died on July 17, 1870, at the age of leaving a young wife and infant son, was a son of the Rev. John Kingsford, a Baptist minister, and brother of R. A. Kingsford, once M.L.A. for South Brisbane, and for many years a resident of Cairns, where he was defeated at an election by F. T. Wimble.
R. A. and John Kingsford were drapers in Queen Street, where their business was ruined by a disastrous fire. Then John took to preaching, but Richard Ash stuck to business and prospered.
Thus ended “Truth’s” first epistle to the Baptists, and we leave that section with a feeling of sorrow, to find that the dead have been as much neglected as those of the Methodists and that the graves are in an equally disgraceful condition.
We cross the tramline and look down from the embankment of the raised street at half a dozen headstones, which represent the Jewish cemetery. It appears that a number were removed to Toowong, and it would have spared any self respecting son of Israel many a blush had the others been removed, and all trace of the cemetery been obliterated.
Presumably the Jews who sat down and wept by the rivers of Babylon, were compelled to gaze at a cemetery like that at Paddington. There is not even a fence, nor any railings. The wandering Jew, in all his peregrinations, never saw anything like that. We cannot picture any Hebrew passing that spot and not fainting with shame. As usual in Jewish cemeteries, the stones bear inscriptions in both Hebrew and English.
One records the death of “Aelcey,” the wife of Coleman Davis, who died on May 13, 1876, aged 36. The Jewish year is given as 3685. Coleman Davis was a well known man who kept a toy shop called the “Civet Cat” in Queen Street.
Osias Loewe died on December 10, 1872, aged 43. On the headstone is an arm with a hand pouring water out of a pitcher into a broken basin. One of Loewe’s daughters married Isaac Markwell and became the mother of a man who was drowned in his bath at Wooloowin, under circumstances which evolved a remarkable lawsuit. Another daughter married the manager of one of our banks. Herbert Michael, son of Lawrence Levy, died at the age of 27, on November 20, 1871. He was clerk with A. E. Alexander a well known auctioneer of that period.
We leave this desolate and forlorn Jewish cemetery with a series of sighs to express our emotions, for language is not equal to the occasion. Then we obtain the key of the Presbyterian area and ramble into a wilderness of lantana which requires a scrub knife before we can read the inscriptions. Here we find a superior class of headstones and monuments, with much clearer inscriptions, butall the higher ground is covered with lantana, and many headstones are nearly invisible.
George Christie died on March 16, 1857, aged 36, his daughter Sarah Ogilvie having died on April 27, 1856, aged 3, and his brother on February 12 in the same year. George Christie was manager of a store at the corner of Russell and Grey Streets, in South Brisbane. The store belonged to old Bobby Towns and Co., and Christie was their representative.
John Moffit was a teamster who died in January 1861, aged 38, and his mother Margaret died in December 1860, aged 68. They had a daughter Minnie who married Daniel Cahill, and she is now an elderly widow residing at Peachester. One of her children, a boy, aged two and a half, died on April 10, 1871, and is buried beside his grandparents.
The grandmother, Margaret, once lived near Colinton, and while there had an adventure with the blacks. One of her sons was in the house seriously ill, and his father had gone away for assistance, leaving only herself and the dying boy. The blacks had seen Moffit leave, and thought it a fair time to raid the house, and probably kill Mrs. Moffit. But she was equal to the occasion.
She dressed herself in Moffit’s clothes, walked round the house, went inside, and came out again with another suit on. She did this lightning change artist business so neatly that the blacks thought there were three or four men in the house, and retired. This presence of men probably averted a tragedy.
A remarkable man was James Low, who was born on January 4, 1791 in Scotland, and died at Brisbane on September 24, 1871. His wife, Isabella, died at “Newmill on Drumoak” in Aberdeenshire on October 29, 1823. A son died there also, aged 11. A daughter, Catherine, married to Charles Smith, died at Brisbane on December 8, 1853, and a son, aged 19, died on September 2, 1851.
His daughter, Annie, married Rudolph Zillman, son of J. L. Zillman, of German station, one of the original German missionaries, sent to Moreton Bay by Dr. Lang in the convict days. James Low was a very well known timber getter in the Maroochy and Mooloolah districts, and his name is handed down to posterity, attached to the tree known to both timber getters and botanists, as “Jimmy Low,” the botanical name being “Eucalyptus Resinifera.”
Mary Foran, wife of Edmund Mellor, died on January 17, 1859, aged 26, and in the same grave are her two children, one a month old, and the other a year and a half, John and Agatha.
Edmund Mellor was a well known man, who for many years was captain of the old stern wheel steamer, Settler, which ran between Brisbane and Ipswich. His second wife was a Miss Duncan, whose daughter is the Eva Mellor of today, whose stately and statuesque figure is occasionally familiar in Queensland. The dark eyed Juna, this “daughter of the gods, divinely tall,” stands six foot two, and is probably therefore the tallest woman in Queensland.
One of her mother’s sisters was married to John Stewart, an old pioneer veteran, who died a year ago on the Pine River. He was a father of the late Miss Stewart, of Brisbane. A brother of Mrs. Mellor, Charles Duncan, is a well known storekeeper at Laidley. He was the first man that took a dray from Maryborough to Gympie, when that field was discovered.
James Powers died on August 20, 1854, leaving a wife and four children, one of whom in the present day is the well known Charlie Powers, who was Postmaster General in the Morehead Ministry, 1889 – 1890. Robert Mauley died on February 24, 1855, aged 25, the son of a cabinet maker in Elizabeth Street, half a century ago.
Alice, the wife of Matthew Henry, died at 23, on August 11, 1851. The stone speaks for the husband “who loved her during life, mourned her death, and revere her memory.” Beneath that “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, Amen.” David Muir, a shipwright of that time, erected a stone over his two children, one 4 years, one born and died on the same day, October 24, 1863.
Kate Pringle, a niece of Tom Finney, died on July 21, 1864, aged 24, one of the appalling number of young girls cut off ultimately in their youth. Tom Finney’s first wife was a Miss Pringle, who lived only for a few months. His second wife was a Miss Jackson, and the third is the present widow who survives him. Very few people know that Tom was married three times.A Catherine Jolly, who died, aged 28, on August 27, 1863, was daughter of the Rev Thomas Jolly, of Roxburghshire, in Scotland.
In the centre of all the Paddington cemeteries stands that devoted to the Roman Catholics of a past generation. It is said to be still the only Catholic cemetery consecrated in Queensland. This means that it was all consecrated at one time. The usual custom is to consecrate each new grave. The ceremony was performed in the year 1858, by Archbishop Polding, of Sydney, one of the earliest and ablest of the Roman Catholic prelates in Australian history.
The ceremony was solemn and impressive, and there was a great gathering of the Catholic people. The cemetery in those days was merely a patch of ordinary forest, covered by coarse grass, bushes and trees. The Archbishop’s gold Pectoral Cross fell off his breast into the grass, and no one saw it fall. When the loss was discovered, they searched for it in vain. An advertisement appeared in the “Courier” offering £5 reward, but there was no response.
The cross was regarded as lost beyond recall, and superstitious people considered the loss an evil omen for the new cemetery. No finder appeared, and no emaciated, conscience stricken wallaby hopped along with it as did the jackdaw of Rheims with the Cardinal’s ring. Then came a remarkable series of events. A man, whose name is forgotten, came out as an emigrant cook, on board a vessel called the Alfred.
He was one of the spectators at the consecration of the cemetery. A few weeks afterwards, whilst on board the steamer, Bredalbane, at the present Queen’s Wharf, he fell overboard and drowned. When the authorities opened his clothing box, there, lo and behold, lying on top was the Archbishop’s lost cross. He had known it was a valuable article of solid gold, and was waiting to get a bigger price than the £5 reward.
Of course, every good Catholic firmly believed that God had drowned that man for his sacrilegious appropriation of the cross! There must be a divine judgment in such cases. We can recall a man who stole a priest’s horse, and three months afterwards he became a member of the Queensland Parliament. This shows that no man can appropriate sacred property without some awful fate overtaking him.
We were on a visit to Cunnamulla seven years ago, when some impious ruffian stole £3 /15 s out of Father O’Sullivan’s room in the Catholic Church. The genial priest assured us that the man would most certainly be struck down by lightning. But that is a digression. There were many graves in the catholic cemetery before it was consecrated by Archbishop Polding. ..(text missing) ...chapter of information for his book on “The Early Days. The husband of the girl wife, Mary Ann Gorman, married again, and still resides in Brisbane, where he keeps a store in Boundary Street.
Louis Schneider was a saddler who died on April 27, 1868, aged 30. His widow, Maria Jane, afterwards married Joseph Baines, and became Mayoress of Brisbane. When Baines died she married a contractor named Ryan, who built the Roman Catholic Church at Kangaroo Point and the Palace Hotel at South Brisbane. The lady had then a German, an English, and an Irish husband.
Perhaps she was solving some great ethnological problem, or was like the Irish bigamist who was proved to have married six wives, and explained to the judge that “he was merely trying to get a good one!” She is still in robust health, drives out daily, and owns the Pineapple Hotel.
Mrs. Sybella Clune died in Margaret Street on June 11, 1863. The headstone was erected by her only surviving daughter, a Mrs. Cameron, who was afterwards lost in the Fiery Star, which was burned at sea on Good Friday. Thomas M. Clune died on April 10, 1853, aged 27, and the stone was erected by his sister.
John McCabe, who died in 1861, aged 53, was one of the leading merchants of that time, and also owned a number of teams. He also owned Queen’s Wharf, and a large area of South Brisbane.
His store was in George Street, at the corner of Charlotte Street, opposite the old “Courier” office John McCabe and Jeremiah Daly were great chums, and in their many visits to hotel parlors, McCabe’s toast was, “Here’s to oor ainsells, and whaur will you get the like of us?” It is clear from this that McCabe was a Scot. His toast was like the Highlanders’ prayer, “Lord, send us a guid conceit o’ oorsels!” Of the Daly family we have much to say in a future article.
Sarah Jones who died on October 10, 1867, aged 49, was the wife of John Jones, who kept the St. Patrick’s Tavern in Queen Street, where Tronson’s shop is today. Old residents speak of her as a fine specimen of a woman, and a great favourite.
Two children, one two years and the other four months, died on December 3, 1864. Their parents were the once well known Mr. And Mrs. Darragh of Kangaroo Point, an old time honored family, for many years in the butchering and hotel trades at the Point.
Catherine Sneyd, who died aged 46, on July 23, 1858, was the wife of Samuel Sneyd, the first chief constable and jailer in Brisbane. He was a Baptist and she was a Roman Catholic. On the day of her funeral the service was to be conducted by the Rev. Dean Signey who waited at the grave for an hour after the appointed time, and then went home.
When the coffin arrived, the service had to be read by a layman, and much strong feeling was shown for some times afterwards through the absence of a qualified priest. Mrs. Sneyd had nine children. The Sneyds lived in a house in Adelaide Street between the present Parcels Post and Finney Isles corner, where was the first bougainvillea vine ever grown in Queensland.
A few readers will remember a wild young Irishman named James McGowan who had a farm at Lytton and was killed off his horse on February 18, 1875, aged 29. There was nothing McGowan loved but a fight. He was always “blue moulded for want of a ” and would offer cheerfully offer to fight all hands, anywhere, at any time. On one occasion he took possession of a Methodist Church, and challenged the whole male congregation to mortal combat.
The Methodists regarded James as a man possessed of devils, and fled. He was a fine type of fighting Irishman, and we mourn over the grave of that young warrior cut off untimely in his youth. We miss these fiery spirits at the peaceful elections of today. His sister, now dead, married Adam Fiebig, who still owns the old Crown Hotel in George Street. Fiebig still has a great veneration for his dead wife.
James Cash, who died on December 15, 1870, aged 68, was an old pioneer who was farming and timber getting at the Pine River, where “Cash’s Crossing” is still a landmark in the district. In the same grave is Mary McQuinney, his wife’s mother, who died on May 20, 1870, and his daughter Mary Ann, wife of Pat Hughes, who died on November 23, 1872, aged only 21.
An appalling number of young wives, under 26 years of age, died in those early days, apparently from bad nursing, bad medical attendance, or no attendance at all. Ignorant midwives have filled many graves.
Under one stone is Patrick Mooney, a Tipperary man, who died on September 20, 1851, aged 51, also his eldest daughter Mary Scanlan, who died on April 6, 1873, aged 40, and James Mooney, his eldest son, who died on August 31, 1873, aged 44. Mooney was a fine specimen of a man, six feet four, who kept a hotel at the corner of Russell and Stanley Streets, South Brisbane.
Mary Scanlan was the wife of Jeremiah Scanlan, who kept the Queensland Hotel in Edward Street, about 25 yards below the present Metropolitan, then kept by Mrs. Duncan. Jerry was an old policeman from New South Wales. He did well in Brisbane, and owned both the Queensland and Metropolitan hotels. Opposite Jerry was the once fashionable Menzies boarding-house, which still stands there, but the Menzies are both dead.
One daughter married Thomas Bryce, of the Carrying Company, and another married West, the merchant, of Townsville. One of Jerry’s nieces, a Miss Cuneen, married Ferdinand Papi, an Italian, the present head teacher of the Woolloongabba State School, and became mother of Bertram Papa, the lawyer, and the fair Amy Papi, a name known in the social columns.
A Daniel Tracey, who died on October 4, 1853, aged 55, and his widow Catherine on September 3, 1871, were a couple of fine people who lived in Margaret Street, and their daughters, very handsome girls, all died young. One daughter, Mrs. Brown, died on October 20, 1866, aged 30, and Ann on November 30, 1869 aged 22. The stone over the grave was erected by the daughter Bridget, “in affectionate remembrance of her dear parents and sisters.” She, too, had only a short life.
Alice Higham, (pronounced Hyam), who died on August 8, 1872, at the age of 80, was the wife of Higham, who was a timber getter on the Tweed River in the early days. They both came out in Governor Darling’s time. She was a grand old woman, the soul of honesty and hospitality.
Christopher Weir, who died on July 23, 1873, aged 61, was a cabman who once kept a hotel out beyond the Hospital, on the Bowen Bridge Road. Michael Weir also kept the same hotel. It was a great resort of the young bloods of those days, and many a lively scene was enacted in that now forgotten house, which has long ceased to exist.
We find that another cabman, still alive, the well known Jack Sweeney, of the George Street stand, buried his young wife Catherine, aged 25, and her infant son, on July 24, 1869. Sweeney was once a very smart policeman stationed at the Towers, Ravenswood, and Cooktown.
Honora Thomas placed a stone over her husband, John Thomas, who died on April 3, 1864. They kept an hotel in Queen Street, where Alexander Stewart and Sons’ warehouse stands today. The same house was kept as the “Donnybrook Hotel” by a Mat Stewart, a very unusual name in hotel keeping.
Margaret, wife of Thomas Faulkner, died on January 18, 1869, aged 41. One of her grand daughters is the wife of Under Secretary Brady, of the Works Department. There is a handsome stone over the grave of Francis Murphy, who died on August 15, 1872, but so far no information concerning him is available.
There is one peculiar inscription over the grave of a young wife, named Janet Murphy, who was born at Grafton on April 3, 1853, and died at Brisbane on November 18 1872. She was thus only 17 years and eight months old. There is said to have been a John Murphy for many years a messenger in the Lands Office, where he was succeeded by Gamble. Janet was the wife of a John Murphy.
An old military warrior is represented by Patrick John Burke, of the 56th Queen’s Own Regiment. He died on March 17, 1867, aged 80 years. Doubtless he did some hard fighting in that in that famous old regiment.
Robert Eaton, who died on December 2, 1861, aged 62, was a compositor on the “Courier,” at the corner of Charlotte and George Streets. The old office is now a boarding-house. What ghosts of old compositors must meander in silence through the rooms when all the boarders are asleep! Eaton’s mother followed him to the grave on April 2, 1874, aged 74. Remarkable is the number of those whose age is the same as the year of their death.
Joseph Brown, who died on January 29, 1868, aged only 33, was a drayman, and “a good, true man,” as an old colonist describes him, who lived out at Teneriffe. John Ede buried a child aged five on January 14, 1851. Ede was a watchman in Queen Street. One son, Willie Ede, is today a cabman at the Central Station, and one is a vanman.
Ellen Lonergan, who died on November 27, 1870, aged 25 (another at the fatal age), was wife of John Lonergan, still a drayman in the Valley. His second wife was a Miss McIver, sister of McIver, a well known blacksmith in the Valley today. Ellen Reilly, who died on September 16, 1855, at the fatal 25 years, was wife of Patrick Lonergan, an old time sailor, who lived in Albert Street in the period when its reputation was much cleaner than it is today.
Those unhappy types of men and women who rise in the night to take a dose of medicine, and make the deadly mistake of selecting the wrong bottle, are represented by John Guilfoyle, who died on January 24, 1874, aged 27.
He was a compositor at the Government Printing Office, and the headstone informs us that it is “ a tribute of respect to his memory by the men of the Government Printing Office.” He was only a young man, but was married, and his four year old son had died on March 8, 1871. The father of John died on November 7, 1858, aged 41. He was a quarryman, who worked on the old Kangaroo Point quarry, where the Naval Stores are today.
The son who died had risen from sleep, and instead of a bottle of medicine prescribed by Dr. Bell, he got a bottle of carbolic acid, drank some before the dreadful mistake was discovered, and died a cruel death. Even doctors fall victims to these fatal errors. Some readers will remember Dr. Clark, who once practised in Stanthorpe. He went to live in a New South Wales town, we believe it was Gulgong, and one night he rose to get some medicine, took the wrong bottle, and when his wife awoke in the morning, he was lying dead beside her.
A John Meillon, who died on August 1, 1862, had a brother Joseph Meillon, who was educated as a lawyer and in 1869, went to practice at Grafton on the Clarence River, the other lawyer being George Foott, who had succeeded James Lionel Michael, a well known literary man who was drowned in front of his own house. Henry Kendall, the poet, was a clerk in Michael’s office. Foott’s wife, his second wife, was the widow of Boulanger, a name known to the music world as a brilliant composer.
Sarah Jones, who died on October 10, 1867, aged 40, was the wife of John Jones, who kept St. Patrick’s Tavern, in Queen Street.
There is a neat stone over Francis Murray, who died on August 15, 1873, aged 37. He had a cabinet makers shop in Queen Street, next to Paddy Mayne’s butcher’s shop, which stood on the present site of the British Empire Hotel. Beside Murray are his two girl children, Isabella Jane, died June 23, 1870, and Annie Maria died October 23, 1873, one three and one sixteen months. Murray was once Mayor of Brisbane, was also fairly well to do in cash, and advanced a considerable sum to Sir Maurice O’Connell, who was unable to repay it and the Government had to overcome the difficulty with a special appropriation.
Paddy Mayne(Gravestone) died in the backroom of that Queen Street butcher’s shop, and Bishop O’Quinn and Joe Darragh, who was a cousin of the Bishop, were with him when his will was being made. Mrs. Mayne was supposed to be a Protestant, and Mayne had a big powerful coachman, also a Protestant.
When the will was being made, Mrs. Mayne suspected that she was not receiving due consideration, and she sent the coachman in to remove the Bishop and Darragh, and removed they were. However she had no reason to complain of her share in the will. She afterwards gave the coachman a farm at Moggill, and conferred an annuity on Tom Slaughter, the accountant. Both Mayne and his wife were very good hearted liberal people, who did many generous acts.
It is a shame that Paddy had to confess to a murder at Kangaroo Point, in his early days, for which an innocent man was hung- the death bed confession haunted his family to their graves. Mrs. Mayne was a fine specimen of a woman, and an excellent wife and mother. She is said to have sent for a priest when dying, and to have admitted that she was a Catholic.
Near to the grave of Mayor Murray, is that of Elizabeth Baines, first wife of another Mayor, the E. J. Baines of a previous article. She died on March 3, 1863, aged 39.A boy named William Costelloe, who died on May 11, 1861, aged 15, was the son of a man who had held a high position in the Inland Customs’ Revenue Department of Ireland.
Eliza Quinn, widow of James Quinn, kept a hotel at German Station. Quinn was formerly a clerk with George Edmonstone, one of whose daughters married John Markwell. Edmonstone was a Queen Street butcher, a genial, amiable, old gentleman, who became a member of Parliament. The present writer had many a chat with him from 1875 to 1877.
On January 1, 1865, D. H. O’Leary buried his infant son Daniel Michael. Daniel senior was a son of Tom O’Leary, the father of Jack O’Leary, for years clerk of the Cairns Divisional Board, and now Traffic Manager on the Musgrave Tramway Company’s line from Cairns to Harvey’s Creek, on the Russell River.
Jack’s mother, a dear old lady is still alive and well, and a regular attendant at the Catholic Church in Brisbane. The O’Leary family were mostly brunettes and Jack, as every Cairns man knows, has a decidedly auburn tinge in his hair.
Catherine Queely, who died on January 5, 1865, aged 16, was the daughter of a shoemaker who came over from New South Wales, and opened a shop in Albert Street, a few doors from Queen Street. The daughter was a fine specimen of a girl, and her death from typhoid fever nearly broke Queely’s heart.
A brother of Queely was killed out on the Dawson on the same day as the 19 people were killed by aboriginal attack on Horatio Wills’ Cullen-La-ringo Station, on the Nogoa, October 17, 1861. We have stood over the mass grave in which 16 of the 19 were buried.
In four fragments is the stone that stood over the grave of Kate Agnes Hickey, who died on October 28, 1863. Hickey was a resident of the Valley.
Richard Belford, who died on April 28, 1865, was once editor of the “Courier,”, and afterwards editor of the “North Australian,” the leading paper in Ipswich of the early days. Bishop O’Quinn brought that paper to Brisbane, and it is represented by the Catholic paper, “Australian” of the present day.
Daniel Lyons, who died in 1865, aged 60, was father of Daniel Lyons, a saddler in Turbot Street in the early days, and brother of James Mooney, a hotelkeeper in South Brisbane, one of whose sisters became the wife of J. M. O’Keefe, ex-M.L.A., for the Lockyer, a man likely to bound into the aroma with a wild Hibernian war cry at any moment.
John Ahearn erected a neat stone over the grave of his brother Denis Ahearn, a native of Donickmore, County Cork, who died on February 12, 1875, aged 32, the fatal age of the Ahearn families, as three of the men died at that age. When Camille Desmoulins, of the French Revolution, was before the revolutionary tribunal, and asked his name, he replied, “I am the age of the ‘bon sans culotte,’ Jesus" – an age fatal to revolutionists!”
Apparently the age of 32 was as fatal to the Ahearns as 37 to the French patriots. These Ahearns, who were carpenters, finally left for California. The Ahearn family mentioned in the last article are still represented. Two of the girls married two of the brothers of Cahill, the present Commissioner of Police, and both of the brothers died.
The widow of one is now the wife of the well known and popular hotelkeeper Denis O’Connor, who has given his name to “O’Connor Boatshed,” and is an enthusiast in rowing and other athletic circles. A brother of the sisters is now on Charters Towers.
The J. W. Buxton who once had a stationery and fancy goods shop in Queen Street, and whose wife died on January 21, 1867, was a man of considerable means. He became infatuated with an actress, and fled away with her, leaving a very fine wife, who was immeasurably the superior of the actress in physique, intelligence and character. Why a man sometimes deserts a splendid woman for a worthless specimen, or a woman forsakes a splendid man for a contemptible weed, are two conundrums beyond the reach of human intelligence.
Jessie Lamont, a widow, died on April 3, 1866, aged 51. One of the daughters, Marion Flora, died on May 23, 1873, aged only 29. She was the wife of James Chapman, father of Ebenezer Chapman, now a builder in Fortitude Valley. Jessie Lamont lies in the Presbyterian ground, near to Margaret Elizabeth Bethune, wife of David Lachlan Brown, head of the firm of D. L. Brown and Co. He died not long ago in Toowoomba, and his first wife died on April 29, 1869, aged 33, at “Langlee Bank,” Bowen Bridge Road. His second wife, still living, was a daughter of the Rev. George Wight, once Immigration Lecturer.
George Lindsay, described as “son of the late George Lindsay, of Aberdeen,” died on April 20, 1873. He was an elderly man, confidential clerk to John Bourne, who built the Brisbane Bridge of 1873 (Victoria Bridge). Lindsay died in the year the bridge was opened. There was a great demonstration at the opening, and Dr. Carr Boyd wrote a long celebration poem in the “Courier,” over the “nom de plume” of “Ralph de Peverial.”
Boyd is represented today by his youngest son, Gerald, who is in the Lands Office, and the second son, known to the press as “Potjostler,” is in West Australia. The eldest son David was a surveyor. His widow is wife of the present Dr. Brown of Rockhampton. She was one of several sisters, all handsome women, daughters of a Mr. Ransome who was once C.P.S. at Goodna, and lived at Little Ipswich.
The Jeremiah Daly referred to before as a chum of merchant John McCabe, was father of the once well known barrister and Crown Prosecutor, Tom Daly, one of whose sisters was Judge Miller’s first wife. Another married the Hon. Sydney Dick Melbourne, and one married a son of Christopher Newton, head of the Sydney firm of that name. They were all fine looking women.
Buried somewhere in the catholic cemetery is a man named Barrett, who died in 1867. Barrett had come out in the last convict ship, which landed him at Sydney in 1840. That ship was called the “Eden,” a facetious name for a convict vessel. Barrett had revealed a conspiracy on board, and as a reward he received a reprieve.
After five years in Sydney and Illawarra, he came to Moreton Bay, and joined a party of timber getters on the Tweed. One of the party was a man named Robert Cox, a victim of one of the most notorious murders in Queensland history. Cox and Barrett came to Brisbane on a visit in March 1848, and stayed at Sutton’s Bush Commercial Hotel at Kangaroo Point, corner of Holman and Main Streets.
On Sunday night, March 26, Cox was murdered under diabolical circumstances. His body was cut up and his head cut off. The head was found by a dog, in a baker’s new oven, in a building erected for John Campbell, father of the present Amity Point Campbell. A man named George Cummins found the trunk of the body on the mud foreshore of the river, where it was left by the retreating tide. Parts of the body and three shirts, soaked with blood, were found in a well.
The cook at Sutton’s Hotel was a man named William Fyfe, who was a friend of Cox, who was staying with another friend, named Moseley. Fyfe and Moseley, and a butcher named Lynch, were arrested, but the final proceedings were taken against Fyfe only. The enquiry lasted five days, and some remarkable evidence was given, all reported in the “Courier” of that date. Fyfe was committed for trial, sent to Sydney, tried and found guilty, and hanged, protesting his innocence to the last. He had written a long speech for the scaffold, but was not allowed to deliver it, but the public heard it afterwards.
This atrocious crime is introduced for this reason. Twenty years ago, in North Queensland, the present writer met a son of Barrett, and heard the whole of his father’s story of the crime, as told to the son. It is quite different from anything so far published.
Barrett’s story was that Cox, and three others, well known men then Patrick Mayne included, and long after, were sitting drinking and card playing in Sutton’s hotel, when a row started between Cox and one of the others, who picked up one of the old heavy brass box snuffers, with the projecting sharp point to adjust the wick.
He threw this at Cox, and it struck him on the temple, and the sharp point entering the brain and killing him. There was no murder intended by anybody, but worse than murder followed. The other three men in terror of the consequences, at once conspired to put the guilt on Fyfe, who was not even in the hotel. He was over in North Brisbane, and did not return until nearly daylight.
But the apparent evidences of guilt were woven around him with such devilish ingenuity, supported by the evidence of the three conspirators, and the female relations of one of them, and that of two others secured by special inducement, that Cox had enough against him to send any man to the gallows. And two of the conspirators were in Sydney and saw the innocent man hanged. Such was the tale told by that Barrett who sleeps there in the silence of the Paddington cemetery.