Thursday, 23 July 2020

What was life like for William & Sarah Laws in Brisbane?

After arriving from England in 1868 they must have found life here so much different from their life on the Isle of Wight and Gosport in Hampshire.
Where they would have completed the formalities  (6)
Helen Butler kindly provided the following:
On 14 May 1868, William Laws and family landed in Brisbane  from the" Bayswater". William had paid for the passages out. So under the Land Act of 1868 he was entitled to select land for a farm, free of charge but with conditions attached.
On 18 May 1868, he obtained 76 acres at Brookfield.  This was Portion 183 Parish of Stanley,County of Mogill, District of East Moreton. It was named also Selection (or Homestead) Number 49. It was classified as Agricultural land.
By 1 May 1873, the conditions of residence and improvement were fulfilled.
On that exact date, William  obtained a statement that this was true from a neighbour, Charles Gregory, and another. The improvements were stated as 12 acres cleared and cultivated, and residence and outhouse built. So now William owned 76 acres of Freehold Land, no more conditions about it .  He could go and live somewhere else. He could rent the farm out.  He could even sell the land.
As the family has  a work reference from the Blue Mountain  tin mining company  that was in Stanthorpe dated 1873 he was obviously leaving Sarah to look after the family while he worked.
Being a ship builder no doubt William was a handy house builder too.  From looking at the 76 acres in Brookfield today it was not a very flat block so it looks like there was only a small flattish area next to Moggill Creek that would have been suitable for the house. Life would have been tough for the young family. The following story from  the newspaper  gives a glimpse of life then. (1 )
Brookfield. August 9 1875.
SINCE my last,  we have been favored with the kind of weather that maketh glad the hearts of the farmers, and as a consequence they are pushing forward the planting of their spring crop of potatoes, and at the same time reaping a plentiful crop of maize. The great difficulty with which we have to contend in this district is the fearful state of the roads by which we have to take our produce to the metropolis; and from the present appearance of the road estimates we are likely to remain in that predicament for some time to come—the total amount placed thereon for the various roads from Brisbane to Moggill, Brook field, and Wivenhoe, being some £260. Some time ago a meeting of the inhabitants of the left hand branch of the creek was convened, and a deputation appointed to wait on the Minister for Works, the result being that Captain Whish was sent out to report thereon, and I believe a promise given that some £200 would be placed on the estimates for the repair of that portion; not before it was needed, for that branch of the road is utterly impassable; but if £200, out of £250, is to be spent on this portion of the road, what becomes of the right hand branch of the creek, which has an equal claim, and which is in a worse state than the former, "if that were possible!" And what become of the various by-roads to other parts of the district ? As an instance of the extreme hardship I will just relate a fact for which I can vouch, of the difficulty of taking one load of maize to Brisbane. The owner yoked a team of bullocks and loaded a four-wheeled waggon with 100 bushels, or 60 cwt. From his barn to Brisbane is a distance of fifteen miles ; the first day he had to unload and reload twice ; the second day he capsized the whole concern twice, and had to unload once— thus necessitating the loading of 100 bushels of corn six times, and taking three days to reach Brisbane. If this is not enough to make a man forswear farming I don't know what is ; and the sooner there is a little of the money that is thrown away on ornamental works spent on the roads, where it would be of some use to the bona fide settler, the better for the colony. A public meeting was held on the 4th instant, to take into consideration a letter that had been received from the Board of Education, stating that if the attendance of children was not increased they would close the school for a time. A goodly number of the parents resident in the neighborhood attended, and the most of them had what they considered a serious grievance against the present master—a too liberal supply of the birch being the prevalent epidemic. If a really good master did find bis way to Brookfield the attendance of children, I have no doubt, could be easily increased to 50 or 60. A resolution was passed to the effect that a communication be sent to the Board that the parents will use their utmost endeavors to increase and keep up to the standard the attendance at the school. At the same meeting a vote of thanks was awarded to Mr. W. Laws, for his kindness in receiving and despatching letters by bag without remuneration of any kind. It is rather a strange thing that notwithstanding the fact that the population is some 200 we are yet without a post office. There has been a good deal of sickness prevalent during the last few weeks, and quite a chapter of accidents. One young man was thrown from his horse, falling across a log ; his life was despaired of for some time, but he is now in a fair way towards recovery. Another, a son of Mr. Bumblecomb, received a severe kick on the leg from one of his father's draft horses. Our penny readings are in full swing, and make up a very pleasant evening.

As William was a contractor he was often away. He was contracting to Mr Basford on railways, building lighthouses near Cooktown and was away often according to an affadavit he gave for Clements Tonic in 1902 that appeared in the Brisbane Courier. (2)
A Remarkable Narrative,
The Case of Mr. W. F. LAWS.
It is an ill wind that blows nobody good, and in the matter under notice below it will be found that, though the ill wind had been raging for a great length of time, still, it was succeeded by a serene and peaceful calm, and the good results to be acquired from the adverse experiences of Mr. William Frank Laws, of Bayne-street, South Brisbane, will be readily understood by those who read his remarks.
"Being a railway and bridges contractor," said Mr. Laws to our reporter, " I have had to forego many of the pleasures and comforts of life in order to pay strict attention to my business, and, of course, you know that we do not always build bridges and railways within such easy distances from home that make it convenient to go backward and forward for meals. On the contrary, a contractor in my line spends a great portion of his life under canvas, and I have had a fair share of it for I have been camping out of doors doing contract work on railways for about twenty years."
"A very healthy way of living," suggested the reporter, who gauged his opinion on the robust appearance of the gentleman he was addressing.
"Sometimes," replied Mr. Laws. "It all depends upon what part of the world you are located in. ' I have had a good deal of sickness in my time through working in unhealthy parts, yet now look so well that people can scarcely credit that I have seen seventy-two birthdays; but it is a fact, nevertheless, and I was very ill once with congestion of the liver, and, afterwards I suffered from fever and ague for fifteen years. '
" Your recovery from those complaints has evidently been remarkably complete," rejoined the interrogator. "How do you account for it ?"
"Well, when I had congestion of the liver I made the. acquaintance, of Clements Tonic, and it did me the world of good. I soon got all right again ; but after my long bout with fever and ague I was left in a frightfully debilitated, condition. I turned away from the sight of food, my appetite being so bad, and a most disagreeable taste was in my mouth. Of course I had to take a little nourishment of some kind to keep myself from collapsing altogether, but I always felt uncomfortable after it, with a sinking feeling in the stomach. I was so weak that I could hardly walk about, and my body was very deficient in flesh, besides which my nerves were completely shattered, there was no life or energy in me, for I always wanted to be lying down, and frequently I went to bed tor two or three days at a stretch; but even then I did not feel contented, as I was never otherwise than restless, the sleep I got being very sparse and unrefreshing, for I could not get rid of a distressing languid feeling no matter how long I laid up. My loss of strength was so pronounced that there did not seem to be sufficient resisting force within me to cause a pain, and my doctors could not understand why it was that I had no specific tortures to indure. They used to ask if I felt pain anywhere, and when I told them I did not they were perfectly astonished.' "My con-dition was probably all the more serious because there was no pain, because it showed how utterly run down and exhausted my system was, and this reflection made me lowspirited to a marked degree. The medicines which my doctors prescribed did not help me along at all well, so I fell back on my old friend, Clements Tonic, and then I effected a rapid recovery. As a stimulating medicine for the nervous system I consider Clements Tonic is pre-eminent, and it un-doubtedly made me sleep well, besides giving me a grand appetite and putting my digestive organs properly to work. All feelings of discomfort and fatigue were left in the lurch after I had taken a few bottles of Clements Tonic, and the strength I gathered from that medicine was really wonderful. My whole system was invigorated, and before long I was in the best of health, and felt like a man with an entirely new constitution." 
'.' You don't mind me reporting your remarks ""Not at all. I owe my health and strength to Clements Tonic, so publish what I say "
In 1880 perhaps they ventured to the city and climbed the Observation Tower( Now the Tower Mill) to see the view to the East (3)
From the Observation Tower  looking East 1880
or to the West (4)
From the Oservation Tower looking West 1880
They experienced the 1893 floods and it is a family story that William won the contract to refloat the 3 ships grounded at the Botanic Gardens  in the first flood but the second flood 2 weeks later refloated them. Supposedly he still got paid but I have never been able to find proof of this.
People inspecting the ships aground at the Botanic Gardens
( 7)

Over time maybe they saw funeral carriages such as these. (5)
1892 Funeral carriage  J.Hislop 
1910 J Hislop funeral hearse

1916 J Hislop funeral carriage
 South Brisbane Cemetery

South Brisbane Cemetery 1910
Then they were both buried in the South Brisbane Cemetery- William in 1911 and Sarah in 1916

What a different life they had  but built the foundations for the family today.

"Our Country Correspondence," The Queenslander, 28/8/1875, p. 6; digital images, National Library Australia (
(2) 1902 'FIFTEEN YEARS OF Fever & Ague.', The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), 19 February, p. 11. , viewed 23 Jul 2020,
(3) State Library of Queensland
(4) State Library of Queensland
(5) State Library of Queensland
(6) State Library of Queensland
(7) State Library of Queensland

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Mawson Armitstead-where did the name Mawson come from?

Maybe a little happy genealogy dance today.
I have a hypothesis for the origin of the Mawson name that has been frequently used in the names of the descendants of William Armitstead  born 1815 (1) in Kendal Westmorland England. In 1837 William married Agnes Mawson Troughton and that was all I could and can still prove. (2)  Then I found Agnes was the daughter of Christopher and Margaret Troughton and baptised in Kendal on November 14, 1811 in the parish church.(3)
Parish Church, Kendal, Cumbria photo © J Armitstead
Looking at descendants of William & Agnes Armitstead we have had three George Mawson Armitstead, one Thomas Mawson Armitstead, two Henry Mawson Armitstead, one Harold Mawson Armitstead, one James Mawson Armitstead, one Dennis Mawson Armitstead and so it continues.
As it was a custom to include the maiden name of the mother in the children's names I went looking for the marriage of Agnes's parents.
This did not help much. Christopher Troughton (widower) married Peggy Airey (widow) in the above church on May 16, 1809. (4)
From the 1851 census Margaret Troughton was listed as being aged 79 years and the mother in law of William  and Agnes Armitstead. (5) Hence, she may have been born in  about 1772.
Perhaps  Peggy Airey (widow) was Margaret Mawson.  Sounds great doesn't it?  I could find a Margaret Mawson being christened in the Presbyterian church March 23. 1777 daughter of William Mawson, hosier, of Stramongate (6) and even better when I could find William Mawson married Agnes Gibson June 8. 1773 in Kendal.(7)
This makes Agnes Mawson Troughton look like she is named after her possible grandmother, Agnes Mawson.
Well that looks good but there are  some problems.  Perhaps these are not the parents of Margaret Mawson if it is true that Margaret was not christened until 1777 and Margaret Mawson would have to marry Mr. Airey and have him die before 1809.
Can I find Margaret Mawson marrying Mr Airey? No.
It was obviously too good to be true that William Mawson and Agnes Gibson were Margaret's parents.
Still looking for Mr Airey who married a Margaret and him dying before 1809.
So, no happy dance yet.

1. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch ( : 19 March 2020), Gulielmus Armitstead, 1815.

2."England Marriages, 1538–1973 ", database, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2020), William Armitstead, 1837. 

3. "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975", database, FamilySearch ( : 24 March 2020), Agnes Mawson Troughton, 1811.

4. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ", database, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2020), Christopher Troughton, 1809.

5."England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 September 2019), Margaret Troughton in household of William Armistead, , Westmorland, England; citing , Westmorland, England, p. 11, from "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast ( : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

6The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; General Register Office: Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths surrendered to the Non-parochial Registers Commissions of 1837 and 1857; Class Number: RG 4; Piece Number: 3042 England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970 Author: Publisher: Operations, Inc. 2013 Provo, UT, USA

7. "England Marriages, 1538–1973 ", database, FamilySearch ( : 12 March 2020), William Mawson, 1773.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Fancy Dress cricket match fund raiser for memorial day 1919 Warwick Queensland

My grandfather's( Jack Armitstead) photo albums never cease to amaze me. Of course there were no names, no places, no dates -well most of the time. On looking closely at one of the photos it did have a date and a title.

There it was right in the middle. Sketches taken of Barnes and Co's Fancy Dress Cricket match Saturday 12 April 1919 in aid of Memorial Day
Memorial Day fund raising was for housing for soldiers returned from World War I. 
I had always wondered what the people in fancy dress were doing in all the other photos on the nearby pages. Of course Trove ( came up with a lenghty article in the Wawick Daily News on page 4  14 April 1919.
There was a procession of the fancy dress staff members of Barnes & Co from Percy St Warwick down the main street, Palmerin Street, to Queens Park where a cricket match was held-ladies versus the men.
Now the photo album had a few photos of the fancy dressed staff and thankfully the paper reported who was wearing what costume.
W.Dines as John Bull, Possibly V.Stendrup as Old Minstrel, P Cox as Uncle Sam
Anyone know who is here besides Old Minstrel?
Mr Percy Cox as Uncle Sam and ?
F.Gamble Snr as Commonwealth Flour and R.Le Bras as Commonwealth Flour

J. Beal as the Giant and ?
Here is the list of all the characters from

The following is a list of the ladies and gentlemen, who took part in the procession, together with the characters they represented:—-Gentlemen: W.Dines, John Bull; P. Cox, Uncle Sam; J. Beal, Giant; Royal Beal, Jack, the Giant Killer; G. Rayment, Humpty Dumphy; L. Barnes, Hard Hat Coon; V. Stendrup, Old Minstrel; T. Amies, Dope; J. Stevens, Black.Cat Clown; V. Thompson, Dummy; G. Ralston, Walter Raleigh; T. Barton, Comie Policeman; W. Nancarrow, French Chef; B. Hough ton, Court Jester; J. Watt, High Hat Conn; E. Mawson, Costermonger; C.Watson, Clown; S. Ralston, Wolf; J. Gillam, Pierrot; J. Furness, Quaker; G. Stay, Haymaker; V. Mann, Hayseeds Jockey: V. Carlyon. Coon; F. Gamble,jnnr., Jacob Looking for a Wife; F. Gamble, senr., Commonwealth Flour; R. 'Le Bras, Commonwealth Flour; C, M. Barnes, Cricket; J. Bennett, Bandsman; R. White, Scoutmaster; B. Hilliery, Scout; L. Peel, Scout; R. Fenwick, Scout; E. Newcombe, Gollywog; R. Dowie, Charlie Chaplin; W. Rudd, Isabel Pankhurst; P. Casey, Gipsy Queen; M. Nielson, Belgium; E. Finch, Ragtime; E. Boyce, Poppy; J. McMurtrie, France; M. Parker, Dutch Girl; P. Bennett, Gipsy; M. Atkinson, Billiards; D. Clifford, Queen of Peace; A. Hyland, Keep Off the Grass; F. Mogridge, Australian Girl; V. Miles, Belgium; F. Brown, Ireland; E. Cleary, Erin-Go Bragh; K, Cleary, Australia; G. Kelly, Spanish Dancer; P. Sinnett, Gipsy; F. Winterflood, Belgium; B, Bardon, Afternoon Tea; A, Dunn, Brown Paper Parcel; R, Dunn, Soldiers' Rest Home; M.Rooney, Flower Girl; A. McDonald, Flower Girl; E Lenoy, Flower Girl; I. Cox, Italy; A, Boyce, Superstition; P. Sims, Spring.
The result of the cricket match was as follows:—
Ladies;—E. Boyce 11, P. Casey 7, E, Finch 7, M. Bennett 2, I, Pankhurst 2, F. Mogridge 0, V. Miles 0, M. Parker .0, M. Atkinson 1, M. Nielson 1, J. McMurtrie 0, A. Hyland 0, byes 2; total 38.
Gents.—Charlle Chaplin 2, L. Barnes 6, J. Watt 0, J. Furness 0, T. Amies 9, J. Stevens 0, E. Mawson 0, T. Gillam 2, V. Thompson 1, G. Ralston 0, G, Rayment 0, byes 1; total 21.

Does anyone have photos of other characters?

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Did William Armitstead eat Kendal Mint Cake?

My gg grandfather was born in Kendal Westmorland in 1815 and lived in Kendal Westmorland until the early 1850s before moving to Preston Lancashire. Having heard about Kendal Mint cake when Bill Oddy appeared on “Who do you think you are?”  I was intrigued to see if William might have eaten it.

Now judging from an advertisement in Westmorland gazette Dec 20 1890, John Court professes to have established his business in 1822 as confectioner, sugar boiler, bread and biscuit maker. This advertisement promotes plain and fancy biscuits in great variety, funeral biscuits and brides’ cakes made to order and of course he is the manufacturer of the Original Kendal Mint Cake as supplied to General Gordon. (Siege of Khartoum 1885) Others have suggested that if Gordon hadn’t died at the siege it may have been called “Gordon Mint cake”
So perhaps William ate sweets from here but from Wikipedia, supposedly Kendal Mint Cake became about from a mistake in the making of glacier mints by Joseph Wiper in 1869. (1)
Therefore, it looks likely that William would not have eaten Mint Cake in Kendal.
In 1847 a branch line from Kendal to Windermere joined up with the Preston to Carlisle line (2) so railway transport was available from Kendal to Preston. Was this the way William & family travelled to live in Preston? Did Kendal Mint cake also travel to Preston on the train? Wouldn’t it be nice to know if William and family ate Kendal Mint Cake in Preston.
 It was certainly getting around by 1898. 
From an advertisement in the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette Jan 15 1898 Joseph Wiper and Sons at Exhibition Stand No. 118 claimed  to be sole makers of Gold Medal Kendal Everton Toffy, Original Kendal Mint Cake,  only makers of K Brand which included K Butter tablets, K Mint Rock, K Cream Butters, K Honey and butters. They had branch shops in Sunderland at 306 High St, 11 Crowtree Road, 194 Roker Avenue, in Kendal at 78 Stricklandgate, in Lancaster in 6 Brock St, in South Shields in 9 Ocean Road and the Steam Works were in Ferney Green, Kendal.
From Wikipedia it is stated that Daniel Quiggin from the Isle of Man started making Kendal Mint Cake in 1880 and Romney’s started in 1918.  Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake was requested by Edmund Hillary’s team to take to their successful conquering of Mt Everest in 1953.
In 1987 Romney’s bought Wiper’s Mint Cake from Harry Wiper who had inherited ownership when his father Robert Wiper died in 1960.
Unfortunately, the Wilson factory that started in 1913  sold out in 2015 to McClures  and then closed in Feb 2016.  McClures had moved to making other sweets as their main products but still advertised Mint Cake before they closed.
In 2016 while visiting the UK, Kendal Mint Cake was being touted as the energy bar to take hiking.
Fast forward to 2019 and just started up on 20 May 2019, Kendal Mint Co. sells for today's energy market. Their new Kendal Mint Cake not only has sugar, glucose, water and peppermint oil but includes electrolytes and vitamins – how times change.
So I ate Kendal Mint cake bought in Kendal in 2016. Gg grandfather William you sent me on a mission to see Kendal. I hope you managed to get some of the Mint cake while you lived in Preston.


Monday, 20 May 2019

Laws Family Items carried across the world.

William and Sarah Laws and 4 children arrived in Brisbane in 1868.
There were various stories about why William left the employ of his Uncle William Camper  in the Camper shipyard  at Gosport Hampshire in  July 1862.
Silver cup 
So one branch of the family has the silver cup and citation that the workers at the shipyard gave him when he left. It states-
To Mr. William Laws
Respected Sir,
We are glad to see you here amongst us this evening to have the opportunity of expressing to you, on the one hand, our feelings of regret as far as ourselves are concerned, that you have left the place and position, which you have for so many years, so faithfully held as the Foreman  of our employers, Mr Camper: but on the other hand, we cannot but rejoice to find you starting in a  business we think, very likely with your well known perseverance and integrity to prove a successful one. And rest assured Sir, you leave us with the best feelings of every man and boy (some of whom you have known since childhood) and nothing will please us better than to hear you are prospering in your undertaking.
As a mark of the respect the whole of us feel for you, we now beg your acceptance of this silver cup & we heartily wish you every blessing, may your business prosper & may yourself, your wife & children enjoy health & happiness.

Signed on behalf of the employees of Mr. Wm Camper    I Nobes, T Goodall

Where did he go next? His son Ernest Albert was born on the Isle of Wight in 1864 and further evidence is provided by the  copies of 2 contracts that he signed for the construction of 2 yachts in his own shipyard on the Isle of Wight in 1863 and 1865. The one in 1863 was for Paul Artis Esq. of Portsmouth for a ship of 35 tons and would cost £265. The one in 1865 was for Courtnay Philipps Esq. of Brighton for a yacht of 75 tons.

Ship's compass
Another branch of the family has inherited a ship's compass with a lovely story attached. This story was told by Percy Murray Laws Snr. to his son.
" When my father passed away  at the age of 82 years on the 15 th July 1911 my father's wish that the compass be passed onto the senior male of this  Laws family. It came into my possession on his passing. Percy Murray Laws jnr.
William Laws borne 1829  This compass was given to William Laws by a Prussian Prince ( name unknown) who brought his yacht from Germany for repairs to the Camphour and Nichols boat yard England on or about 1854.Camphour was his uncle and he W Laws was foreman of the yard and was responsible for the repairs. Mr Camphour died in 1866 and through some deceitful work of the part of some person, when the will was read neither Mrs Camphour nor  W Laws, my grandfather received nothing. This shocked my grandfather(W Laws) and he decided to mygrate to Australia. At the age of 38 years in the year 1867.
This was told to me  (K Laws) by my father Percy Murray Laws jnr. it being left to him by his father."
As you can see by the citation  above we have, some of this tale is not quite right.
It intrigued me about the will so I bought a copy of the will of William Camper( note the correct spelling of the name) who died 8 February 1863.  Mrs Camper had died in 1851 so she definitely would not inherit anything from the will. His three daughters Mary Ann, Susanna and Amos( Amy) inherited most of the personal wealth. There was no mention of the shipyard in the will. However in the newspaper there was an advertisement  in the Hampshire Telegraph 31 January 1863 ( just 8 days before he died)
as follows:
Notice is hereby given that WILLIAM CAMPER of Gosport in the County of Southampton, has this day DISPOSED OF and ASSIGNED his business of a ship and yacht builder carried on by him at Gosport to MR BENJAMIN  NICHOLSON( foreman to him for many years), and in the future the Business will be carried on by the said Benjamin Nicholson on his own sole  account, on the same premises as heretofore, under the name of "CAMPER & NICHOLSON"
Gosport 24th January 1863
So was the deceitful act done in 1862 to make William leave the shipyard?  I guess we will never know.

A  shot gun was presented to Br Wm Laws P C R by the Brother Foresters and friends as a Mark of  Esteem and Respect Gosport Novr. 1867 just before they left from London in December 1867.
From Michael Langham: My Dad Les always told me of the story of Frank always having a shotgun loaded in the tent while he was away on his trips on the railway construction, just in case he ever needed some protection in a hurry. 
I have Frank's shotgun now, it was presented to Frank by the Forrester's Lodge in Gosport when he left to come to Australia in 1867. 
The shotgun is still in good working order, the maker's name was " HAIG" it is a 10 Gauge muzzle loading shotgun, it came with two bullet moulds, they were to cast different size solid lead round balls. One is for a large round ball, the other casts a smaller one approx 1/4" diameter, a number of the smaller balls would be loaded at one time usually about 9 or 10. 
I have used it on many occasions, there is a oval silver plaque on the side of the stock of the shotgun with an inscription on it.
His Foresters Regalia was also brought to Australia but was last seen in the 1980's. Anyone seen it since please?
Below are other items handed down in the family.

 William's clay pipe

 William's clay pipe in case

Sarah's bag probably used for storing her brush & comb
Clay pipes were probably made by Sarah's family as they were clay pipemakers in Fareham Hampshire.
Sarah's Hymn Book given to her in Dec 1851and then given  to Frank Goodall Laws in Jul 1905

The brooch that Sarah is pictured wearing in this photo was handed down to Lillian's family

Do other members of the family have  any other items?  It is interesting to see what has lasted the test of time.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

William Laws and family arrive in Brisbane and settle at Brookfield

 More information that Helen Butler  supplied in July 2010 in an email to some Laws relatives. I'm publishing it here so all can see it. What we would do without all the work Helen has done over the years?

There was enormous interest by the public in every ship arriving in Brisbane.   So the Captain would always deliver to the Brisbane  Courier a summary of his voyage.  This was  published  in the paper as soon as possible.  Saloon passengers are named, but Steerage passengers are not.  

The Bayswater anchored out in Moreton Bay at noon on Monday, 27 April.  The  government steamer Kate brought out officials to check the ship and the health of the people aboard. That evening, the Kate returned to Brisbane taking Captain Davies too, with his official papers for the government, his summary of the Log of the voyage for the paper, and the long-awaited  mail from England. His story was printed in the Brisbane Courier on Thursday, 30 April, and also in the weekly Queenslander on Saturday, 2 May

So the people of Brisbane knew all about the voyage, the passengers, and even every item of cargo and where each would be  available for purchase.  This list of cargo was also provided by the Captain and published in the paper.  It has not been included now, but it is easily available on line at the National Library of Australia site- This site is well named, as digging in it brings up endless treasures.

However ,the Bayswater did not sail up the river to dock until 14 May, another two weeks -two weeks of expectant waiting for the citizens of Brisbane, and more unbearably for the new arrivals  still out on the water in sight of their new land.

On 14 May 1868, William Laws and family landed in Brisbane from the "Bayswater". William had paid for the passages out. So under the Land Act of 1868 he was entitled to select land for a farm, free of charge but with conditions attached.

On 18 May 1863,  William Laws  obtained 76 acres at Brookfield.  This was Portion 183 Parish of Stanley,County of Mogill, District of East Moreton. It was named also Selection (or Homestead) Number 49. It was classified as Agricultural land.

On 1 May 1868, Land Order No.3584 had been issued to William Laws to the value of 30 Pounds. From this was deducted each year his annual rent of 9 pence per acre,amounting to  2 Pounds 17 Shillings a year, for 5 years. But he did have to pay himself at the start , a Survey Fee of 3 Pounds 16 Shillings,and then at the end a Deed Fee of 1 Pound 5 Shillings.

By 1 May 1873, the conditions of residence and improvement were fulfilled.
On that exact date, William  obtained a statement that this was true from a neighbour, Charles Gregory, and another. The improvements were stated as 12 acres cleared and cultivated, and residence and outhouse built. So now William owned 76 acres of Freehold Land, no more conditions about it .  He could go and live somewhere else. He could rent the farm out.  He could even sell the land.

Statement from C Gregory and W Harley

1.  CHARLES GREGORY , who witnessed  in 1873  that William Laws had fulfilled the conditions to get the freehold on section 183, was stated by me to be his neighbour.  But there is no evidence that this is so, just that it is very likely. Charles Gregory  is the holder of section 185 on the map.  Charles W  Gregory is listed in the Post Office directories as farmer at Brookfield up to1912. The two families grew up together for some years at Brookfield, before Lawses moved away. But they remained in touch it seems.  In 1895, Percy Laws son of William section 183 was best man at the wedding of  Ellen  Gregory, eldest daughter of Charles Gregory , The Grange Brookfield.  Then in 1907 the widower Charles William Gregory married the widow Lillian Langham nee Laws, daughter of William Laws. 

2. LAWS BROOKFIELD FARM .,SECTION 183 on the old land  map, has been cleverly and neatly superimposed on the same scale onto the current Google Earth of the area by Judy Lofthouse.  This shows Peronne Place in the middle of  the Laws block. This would be the logical place for a road or street if you were dividing up a block. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Lorna Bessie's diary October 22 1919 to January 1 1920

What a delight to find in amongst my Mother's treasures was her mother's diary. It was one of those little diaries with 6 lines to the day and 6 days to the opening. What was more interesting was that it was the time of her honeymoon. Who would have thought that in 1919 they would have a 5 week honeymoon leaving Allora Queensland by train for Sydney and Tasmania.
1st opening of the diary

 From the diary:
Wed. 22/10/1919-Married. Left for Sydney

23/10/1919 Arrived Sydney. Went to Dixon's. got room "Beulah" Paddington St Paddington. First impression of Sydney dirty. 
24/10/1919 Ryde by tram home by ferry up Parramatta River. walk through Gardens and Domain, saw submarines, art gallery. Scenery up river delightful. Lovely day. 
25/10/1919  Shopping(coat) Watson's Bay. Yachting season opened beautiful sight. Picture show "Road through the dark" Mrs Rae's at night. 
26/10/1919 Manly/lovely back by tram to the Spit Milsons Pt. North Sydney. Mrs D's for tea. 
27/10/1919 Taronga Park Zoo. Scenery very nice. Railway Station & Shopping(hat & gloves) 
28/10/1919 Museum, pictures, Gardens & Theatre at night. Nothing special about theatre. 
29/10/1919 Bondi, Botany Bay & La Perouse. Pictures "Civilisation" Manly after tea.
Harbour beautiful by night. 
30/10/1919 Shopping. Station to see Bert & Kitty leave Tempe to Aunt Beck's. ( note 1 Aunt Beck was Lionel's Aunt Lavetta Bentley and I would never had worked out who she was without help from Helen Butler. Bert & Kitty Mitchell-Bert was the best man at the wedding)
31/10/1919 Rested. City in afternoon. Tourist Bureau 
1/11/1919 Shopping(skirt) Dulwich Hill, Petersham cricket. McKerihans for tea. 
2/11/1919 Manly with Mr McKerihan lovely day. Wynyard Park. 
3/11/1919 Rest-Shopping(blouse& veil) Coogee very nice but very cold. Theatre in evening "Going up" nice. 
4/11/1919 Did not go out until afternoon. Booked passage for Tasmania. Meet N McKerihan home early "letters" (for more about N McKerihan see previoius blog 
5/11/1919 Business re Tasmania. dinner arcade, Sydenham in afternoon & for tea.

6/11/1919 Arrived Katoomba afternoon/rain in Sydney) Leura Falls/beautiful scenery-Bridegrooms cave.
Off to Jenolan Caves. Lionel and Bessie in the middle row.
7/11/1919 Katoomba Falls Fern Gully & other places of interest. Echo Point in moonlight all beautiful(Victorians) 
8/11/1919 50 mile drive to Caves through Grand Arch. Viewed Right Imperial & Lucas Caves. Devils Coach House, Carlotta Arch Very beautiful photo. Punctures on way home. Bush fire.
9/11/1919 Wentworth Falls & Valley of Waters in morning. Mt Yorke, Lovett's Leap & Hydra Majestic in the afternoon. 40 mile drive, big climb but lovely scene. 
10/11/1919 Left Katoomba arrived Sydney disappointment all Tasmania  room at Tempe.

11/11/1919 Day at Aunt Beck's after tea walked to Marrickville. Saw Aunt Jessie in hospital rained, Cooks river before breakfast.(  Note 2 Aunt Jessie was another of Lionel's aunts, Jessie Mogler)
Now the diary has suffered the ravages of time( and children) and there is a week missing.
The next entry is
18/11/1919 Up Derwent River to New Norfolk walk in avenue & garden & town/beautiful. Turn-table spin/strawberries hops. 
19/11/1919  Motor trip through Huon district & Browns River. Blow hole visited & enjoyed. Passed Franklin Croady, Huon, Cygnet & Kingston 
20/11/1919 Through Norfolk & Storm Bay to Taranna visited Eagle Hawk Neck, Blow Hole & Devil's Kitchen, Brake drive to Port Arthur/Carnarvon) 
21/11/1919 Convict ruins before breakfast. Brake drive to boat. walk after tea up town shopping. souvenirs. 
22/11/1919 Mount Nelson telescope Brake drive through Domain, Derwent Park & Springvale. Boat at night. 

One of the trips in a brake. Bessie is standing at the end of the middle row with Lionel seated in the middle beside her.  Pity about the horse losing its head.
23/11/1919 By train(3 hours) to National Park & Russell Falls beautiful Victoria Place after tea. 
24/11/1919 Museum & Art Gallery Tram to Sandy Bay beach 
25/11/2009 Changed house. Private zoo  Bellerive Beach 
26/11/1919 Transport By tram to Cascades & walk to C. huts. Picnic in bush, lovely day. 
27/11/1919 Met Arthur Hay. Brake drive to Collin's Vale beautiful scenery. Nice tea. 
28/11/1919 Sewed. Lye sick. Wrote letters. 
29/11/1919 Walked about town & Franklin Square. Left Hobart in "Manuka" 
30/11/1919 Sick in cabin 
1/12/1919 Sick in cabin 
2/12/1919 Arrived Sydney 9am. Penshurst, Brighton Le Sands in the afternoon. Paddle, Music at night. 
3/12/1919 Washing. Organ recital  cards at night. 
4/12/1919 "Ironing" Photo, Shopping(shoes) Tempe.  Music 
5/12/1919 Left Sydney from Penshurst. 
6/12/1919 Nice journey. M Deegan at Stanthorpe. Home. 
7/12/1919 Church at 8am "Glenvale" in afternoon & for tea. lovely day. 
8/12/1919 Walk around creek. Rang Lily up.(  Note 3 Lionel's sister) 
9/12/1919 By train to Warwick. Saw House (  Note 4 now looking for a house for the newly weds) 
10/12/1919 Drove to "Glenvale" ( Note 5 Bessie's parents farm near Allora) 
11/12/1919 At "Glenvale"
12/12/1919 At "Glenvale" 
13/12/1919 Drove to Warwick. Took house. 
14/12/1919 Drove to Allora. Church at 7:30pm 
15/12/1919 Left for Brisbane. Arrived Adelaide House. 
16/12/1919 Uncle Percy shopping furniture at Hixcos. Afternoon & night with Lily Pictures.( Note 6 Uncle Percy Murray Laws) 
17/12/1919 Shopping at Beirnes Lily. Afternoon & night at Uncle Percy's. Storm 
18/12/1919 Left Brisbane. Arrived home Allora 
19/12/1919 quiet day with Lye's mother.( Note 7. Lionel was often called Lye in the family)
20/12/1919 Allora Street 
21/12/1919 Church 8am visited Nellie. Motored out to "Glenvale" 
22/12/1919 Lovely day at Glenvale 
23/12/1919  Quiet day at Allora. up street at night. 
24/12/1919 Another quiet day, Xmas eve. Up town at night. 
25/12/1919 Xmas day. Motored to Glenvale 
26/12/1919 Drove to Warwick. Unpacked furniture. 
27/12/1919 Quiet day at Glenvale 
28/12/1919 Quiet day at Glenvale 
29/12/1919 Drove to Warwick to our new home. Bert & Kitty at night. ( Note 8 Bert & Kitty Mitchell )
30/12/1919 Left for Goondiwindi arrived here 12:30pm 
31/12/1919 Walked all around "Goondi" around river & over bridge. Storm in evening. 
1/1/1920 New Year's Day. Left "Goondi" for Inglewood. Arrived Ingelwood. Walked to bridge & around town after tea. (Storm)

A New Year and a new life together.( and a new diary that either wasn't written or didn't stand the ravages of time.)
Her diary  had only small spaces for her to write in but we get  the message that they were out exploring and  meeting family and friends. What a lovely start to their new life together. My Mother said her father believed every newly married couple should have a honeymoon so her wedding present to us was a lovely honeymoon to Heron Island.

Notes 1 to 8 added by Judy Lofthouse)