Free Settlers In Pioneer Years (1800’s)
Residence of Bundamar Station, near Dubbo at 26 May 1876. Christened 1 Jan 1843, St. Philip & Jacob, Bristol England. (Morman Film No. 1985218) He was a grazier of some importance. His property was “Willow Bend” at Trangie, and this was where he died. He arrived with his family at the Port of Melbourne, on the ship “Try”, in Jan 1853.
Public Record Office Victoria’s Archives, Immigration to Victoria British Ports 1852-59. In 1853 his father & elder brother James left to try their luck on the Bendigo gold fields, while he, his mother, brothers & sister sailed on the ship “Harriett” to Sydney. He stayed in Sydney for twelve months, 1854, during some of that time his father and at times his two elder brothers were down in Victoria at the Bendigo gold fields. On leaving Sydney the family were without the two elder boys, this made Henry Robert his father’s right hand man on the trip up along the coast to Newcastle — Morpeth and then overland to the small township of Dubbo in the central west of the state. The “track” James Samuels followed was detailed in James jnr’s Diary as being to Newcastle–Hunter River–Morpeth–Maitland–Cassillis–Talbragar River–Cobbora–Narran–and Murrungandy– Dubbo. I guess this was also the route they traversed with their bullock teams in the ensuing years of carrying goods from the coast to Dubbo and onward.
Little has been documented about Henry Robert’s life, he did not lead a public life like his elder brother, but it would appear he went about his business in a much quieter way. Henry Robert spent his early years working in the family business, he took the bullock teams on the westerly trips with his brothers and did his share around the the Dubbo store. He also worked on his father’s farm “Troy Gully”. Before Henry Robert married he spent some time looking around over the Queensland border for property of his own.
Henry Robert married Jane Evans at Dubbo in 1868. The couple took up residence in Queensland for three or four years, later he returned and by virtue of the newly passed land legislation in NSW, Henry Robert selected a fairly large area of land at Bundemar which he gradually added to under the provisions of the Act and subsequent legislation.
The property he called “Willow Bend”, was about twenty miles east of Trangie and was considered one of the best properties of its class in the district. Henry Robert erected on his property the Bundemar Hotel, one of the best and most conveniently situated hostelries in the district. A little history of the area, – “Bundemar”, aboriginal, having the same meaning Nulla Nulla, was a property in the northern tip of the now Narromine Shire, situated on the Ewenmar Creek. It was taken up by a Mr. F.E. Body, the whole area was known as the Bundemar area. In 1897 with the population growing, the locals decided there was use for a post office in the area — the following petition was sent to the “Acting Deputy PMG office GPO Sydney.
Sir ———– We the undersigned, residents of Bundemar do humbly and respectfully petition you for, and pray that you will be pleased to grant us, a Receiving Officer, to be situated in the Bundemar Hotel. At present we are at a great inconvenience the nearest post office or Receiving Office being Trangie, (18 miles Distance) and any business we have to transact
necessitates our going there.
There were eighteen signatories with their occupations and residences, they ranged from graziers, storekeepers, carriers, drovers, contractors, teachers, laborers, carpenters, hotelkeepers and a selector?
Henry James Samuels (son of Henry R) was, on the recommendation of the then Trangie Post Master appointed as the receiving office keeper at Bundemar on a salary of five pounds ($10) per annum. Henry James was appointed on the 1st August 1897. A receiving office was mainly intended to act as a depot for the safe -keeping of mails. A small advance of postage stamps was usually issued to the office keeper, but money orders, postal notes and savings bank facilities were not available. Problems immediately arose by the naming of the office “Bundemar”. Mr F.E. Body objected claiming (rightly so) that the hotel was not on the property of the Bundemar holding, and was, in fact on the opposite side of the creek, and about a mile from Bundemar, the name was on 30 July 1897 then changed to the Drillwarrina Office.
In March the following year (1898) Henry Robert Samuels sold the hotel to Mr E. Bateman, he being appointed receiving officer on the same annual salary five pounds per annum as was Henry J. Samuels. It is interesting to note that the licence of the hotel was held by one of the Samuels family off and on until 1904. The licence was cancelled in 1910.
In 1868 Henry Robert Samuels at the age of twenty six married Jane Evans at Dubbo. Jane was the daughter of James and Jane Evans.
The first few years of their married life were spent in Queensland. Henry Robert and Jane produced fourteen children, three of them predeceased the parents. The first two children were born in Queensland where the couple were living until they acquired the property at Bundemar. The rest were born at “Willow Bend”.
The reason most of the children are registered as being born in Dubbo is that Dubbo had the only registry office in the area. When the roving clergy visited the area he performed the necessary services, christenings, marriages and at times held services over the graves of relatives who had passed on since his last visit.e.g. (babies or young tots who didn’t make it).
On returning to Dubbo he would place them in his Church’s register hence forth these people were legally born in Dubbo (or district). It is not uncommon to find brothers and sisters
christened to different religions, it depended on the calling of the visiting clergy.
Henry Robert enjoyed excellent health until 1903 when he contracted hydatids of the liver, was referred by his local doctor to a specialist in Sydney. He was operated on and it was
temporarily successful, a short time later he took a turn for the worst and died on Sunday 24th January 1904, 62 years old.
His body was transported back to Dubbo and buried in the Dubbo Cemetery. Jane his wife died in Parramatta 3 October 1913 and was buried in the Rookwood Cemetery.
After his death in 1904, Fredrick Charles SAMUELS (32), took over management.
James Samuels lost his father when he was only 12/13 yrs of age. James had apparently under taken some course of education as he was literate enough to be accepted to an apprenticeship to Mr. Andrew Winter on the 26th July 1825 for seven years to the trade of Combmaker. James was l5yrs of age. According to the Indenture Certificate, James Samuels served out his time faithfully. An interesting fact is that James Samuels was indentured to Andrew Winter in 1825, and as the term was for seven years he should have been admitted as a freeman of the city of Bristol (Burgess) in 1832. He was not, why? The answer I think lies in some of the stories from senior family members of his active participation in the Bristol Riots of 1832 which were most serious. Anyone taking part in them would have immediately disqualified himself from being admitted as a freeman of the city, the role of a freeman was to prevent riots and to enforce the peace of the realm.
The assumption is that James was punished by having to wait a further seven years to be granted Burgess Status. Apparently, James was a very strong willed, direct, and forthright character, given to speaking his mind regardless of costs. This point was highlighted years later with a few letters he wrote to the local Dubbo newspaper criticizing the establishment.
When one applied to become a Burgess, the lodgement of One Hundred Pounds was required as a bond against the newly appointed Burgess incurring debts with fellow Burgesses, and then absconding. In cases such as this, the city liquidated debts from the Bond money. One hundred pounds was an enormous sum of money in those days, and it was not unusual for a journeyman to work and save for many years before he had sufficient funds tucked away to enable him to apply for his Burgess status. James Senior and Elizabeth must have either lived very frugally, or had assistance from the Estate of his late father John, to enable him to lodge his bond within seven years of completion of his Apprenticeship.
Roger Samuels has sent a copy of the Oath of a Burgess issued to James Samuels Snr., when he completed his apprenticeship as a combmaker.
The text of this document is as follows:
City of Bristol The Oath of a Burgess
You shall be good and true unto Her Majesty Queen Victoria and to the Heirs and successors of the said Queen, and to the Lieutenant Master Mayor of the City of Bristol and the Ministers of the same, in all causes reasonable, you shall be obedient and assistant. You shall keep the franchises and customs of this City, and also the Queens peace, here you shall endeavour yourself to keep and maintain.
You shall be contributory to all manner of Summons, as Watches, Taxes, Scots, and other Charges within this City, to your Power. You shall know none unlawful Assemblies, Riots or Routs, purposed to be made against the Queen’s Laws or Peace, but you shall withstand them to your power or warn Master Mayor for the time being thereof or some of the Head Officers of this City, but you shall give knowledge thereof unto the Town Clerk of this City, without delay. You shall not implead or sue any Burgess of this City in any Court out of this City, for any matter whereof you may have sufficient remedy within this City.
You shall not take any Apprentice that is bound of blood, and none other except he be born under the Queen’s Obeyance, and for no less term than Seven years, and then he be bound by Indentures to be made by the Town Clerk of this City for the time being or by His Clerk, and at the end of his Term if he have truly served you all his term. you shall, if he require you to it, present him to Master Mayor to be made a BURGESS.
You shall not take and wear the Livery or Clothing of any Lord Gentleman or other person, but only your own at your Crafts, or of Master Mayor, or of the Lord High Steward of this City or of the Sheriff’s of the same, so long as you will be dwelling within this City.
You shall make no oath or Promise by way of Confederacy contrary to the Queen’s Laws.
So help you God by the holy contents of this Book.
James Samuels, Combmaker, is admitted into the liberties of this City, the thirteenth day of July 1839.
John Kale Haberfield, Esquire, MAYOR for the time that he was late apprentice of Andrew Winter, Combmaker, late a freeman of the same. Daniel Burgess, Town Clerk.
There is a St Luke’s Anglican Church in Bristol which has the names Samuels & Brittain inscribed on a stained glass window – presumably a family donation.
JAMES snr. married ELIZABETH BRITTAIN; there were nine children born, three of these died in infancy. All were born while the couple were in residence at either Tabernacle Street or 4 Queen Street, Castle Precinct, Bristol and were christened at the St. Phillip & Jacob Parish Church. James Snr. it appears, married as soon as his apprenticeship with Andrew Winter finished. James finished his apprenticeship in Ju1y l832, he also married in Ju1y 1832. His first child born ten months later May 1833.
James was by now a tradesman in his own right, a qualified Combmaker, he practised his trade mostly at No. 4 Queen Street Bristol. It must have taken a lot of thought and family
discussion for the family to decide to migrate to (as it was then known) “THE COLONY”.
There has always been the story around, one reason James Snr. came was his health, he did have a problem with “asthma” in Bristol. James Jnr. mentioned the “asthma” in one of his letters to his friend E.J.White. I think that was only one of his reasons to migrate, looking back on what we know he did (work wise) after his arrival in the colony I doubt there was much the matter with him in that respect in his new environment. I am of the firm opinion his wife Elizabeth had kept in touch with her sister Eliza who had been transported here as a convict, served her time married and was living in Dubbo where her husband had a government job as a Land Clerk.
To further strengthen this belief, James jnr.within a few months of arriving in the Colony writes in his diary “sent local Melbourne newspaper to James Topping at Dubbo”(his uncle). Not long after the two James had returned from their gamble on the gold field it is noted in the diary of James Jnr. that “Father has left for Dubbo”. I think Eliza had told her sister of the opportunities that were available in the new settlement at Dubbo. The gold mining episode, in my opinion, was a bonus venture which didn’t pay the expected dividends, so after giving it a try and not making their fortune, they continued on their planned trek to Dubbo.
Arrived with family at Port of Melbourne, on ship “Try”, in Jan 1853.
Public Records Office Victoria’s Archives, Immigration to Victoria British Ports 1852-59.
Tuesday 12th October 1852 the sailing ship “TRY” left Bristol for the Port of Sydney in Australia. The “Try” was described as THE MAGNIFICENT NEW FAST SAILING–FRIGATE BUILT SHIP, coppered and copper fastened, 774 tons Reg. 1200 Tons Burthen. Joseph Samson Commander.
The nautical experience and uniform kindness of Captain Samson rendered him eminently qualified for command of a passenger ship. Those who have ever been to sea need not be told how much of their comfort on the voyage depends on the conduct and efficiency of the Captain. The advantage of Bristol as a port of embarkation should not be overlooked.
It was easily accessed being connected by railway and steamboat with every port in England and South Wales. Passengers sailing from Bristol saved almost 500miles as compared with the port of London and 200 miles with that of Liverpool, avoiding the dangers of the English Channel and within a few miles of the broad Atlantic.
Aboard were JAMES & ELIZABETH SAMUELS with their Family, the ticket reads thus:
James age 42
Elizabeth ” 39
James ” 17
Thomas ” 12
Henry ” 10
Joseph ” 8
Alfred ” 4
Catherine ” 1 1/2
They came as free and unassisted settlers. Most definitely not emigrants. The full price of the ticket was 92-0-0 (pounds) this included daily meals or supplies to the equivalent rations. All mess utensils and bedding to be provided by the passengers. The range of, shall we say, accommodation on the boat ranged from First Cabin– Poop Cabin–Second Cabin–Third Cabin, all enclosed berths. Then there were the steerage passengers (for young men) who were confined to the open deck. The costs ranged from 45 pds to l6pds for adults, over l4yrs was considered an adult. The Samuels family travelled as Third Cabin passengers.
The journey was to all accounts uneventful, all the family arrived safe and well at the Port of Melbourne. Anchor was dropped off Williamstown at 4pm, 12 January 1853.
On arrival at Melbourne James snr. went ashore for some fresh fruit and vegetables, after a couple of days it was realised that the “Try” was not going to take them to Sydney. Most of the crew had deserted to head for the gold fields at Ballarat and Bendigo. All Sydney bound passengers were disembarked and the vessel sailed for Quebec in Canada via New Zealand, with a skeleton crew. Arrangements were made to continue to Sydney on another ship. So it was the family transferred to the schooner “Harriet” the Captain being Mr. Collins, the accommodation was, quote “very miserable accommodation,with ballast for floor and had to sleep on our boxes”. As a matter of interest it states on the passenger ticket of the Try “from Bristol to Sydney, Australia”. “Harriet” with favourable winds set sail through the Port Phillip Heads on the 22nd January 1853 just ten days after the family had arrived there. The only family members to have gone ashore were the two James, the time being spent on board either of the ships. Two days were spent on the “Harriet” in the channel waiting for favourable winds. “Harriet” dropped anchor opposite the Flour company Wharf at Darling Harbour (Sydney) on Saturday 29th January 1853, at quarter past three o’clock in the afternoon. There were 47 steerage passengers no names were recorded.
On disembarking the Samuels found and rented a house with four rooms in Sussex Street about halfway between King and Market Streets. There are no documentary notes on what James snr. did to keep the wolves from the door for the next few months, but, I guess as James jnr. did, so did he, that is any job available at a reasonable wage.
Some where between the 20th and 29th. May, James snr. arrived back in Melbourne aboard the “Flying Cloud”, where he met up with James jnr. who had returned earlier on the “Dart”. Father and son renewed friendship with some of their “Try” companions, in particular two people Radford & Symes, both of these people would have a long friendship with our family. On the 6th June 1853 James snr. left Melbourne with his friend Symes and journeyed to the Bendigo gold fields. He had instructed his son James jnr.to write home to his mother in Sydney and let her know what was happening and where he Snr. was going. It would appear James snr. and his friend Symes duly arrived at the diggings around Bendigo in Victoria. There could have been more in the party as James jnr. mentions in his diary of fathers friends Williams & Johnson with him at the diggings. On the 20th August 1863 James snr. wrote that he was at Bullock Creek (out skirts of Bendigo) mining and was not having much success, so he had got a job as assistant to the Government Surveyer which paid him two guineas a week plus rations and lodgings. When that job ran out or he had saved a few extra bob James snr. rejoined his mates Symes–Williams–and Johnson mining at Happy Jack Station.
While here at Happy Jack, on Saturday 12 November 1853 James jnr. arrived up from Melbourne to try his hand at mining. It appears James jnr. was not invited into the syndicate of four. Next day Senior took Junior along the creek and gave him his first lesson in mining. James jnr. was shown how to wash /pan for gold. I don’t think the syndicate was making much money as it wasn’t long before the two James were out on their own. After some months at digging holes and panning for gold, the two James decided it was time to pocket their profits and return to the family. After selling all their mining gear the two James left Bendigo on Sunday 23rd April 1854, which meant that James snr. had been away from his family for around nine months. On reaching Melbourne they engaged a fare on the steamer “Hellespont” for Sydney. They arrived in Sydney on Monday, 4th May.
On Wednesday, 6th. May, the two James went down town and sold 24oz.7dwts of gold for 97pnds. l shl. sterling, which I guess in 1854 was not a bad nest egg. Gold was selling in Bendigo for around three pounds sixteen shillings per. oz.($7.60). For the next nine months James snr. lived with the family in Sydney, I guess he worked at various job without gaining any worth while satisfaction, so in February 1855 the family minus James jnr. and Thomas packed up and headed for Dubbo in the central west. In August 1854 James jnr. decided to go back to the gold field at Bendigo. It was decided after a family discussion that rather than James jnr. going on his own he should take Thomas with him, Thomas being about fourteen years old. So in August 1854 James jnr. and Thomas returned to the gold fields of Bendigo. After the boys had arrived at the diggings James snr. and Elizabeth must have had misgivings because at Ballarat mine fields only 60 miles to the south there was rioting between the miners groups and the police. The Gold digging licences had been introduced by Govenor La.Trobe at 30/- a head ($3). The miners had to carry their licences with them at all times while on the diggings, the police were prone to hold inspections at will and the miners became very irate, to further ignite the flame of discontent there had been a change of Governor. The new Governor was Sir Charles Hotham. Sir Charles decided to tighten the licencing system, he introduced twice weekly inspections of licences. Things went from bad to worse and a stockade was built by the miners, meetings were held under a new flag bearing the stars of the Southern Cross, the stockade being built on a mining claim called “Eureka.”
On the morning of 3rd December 1854, a force of 152 infantry, 30 cavalry and their officers and 100 police some mounted, some on foot made an advance on the stockade. The diggers who numbered only about 150 opened fire, the other 500 or so miners still being away from the stockade at their tents. The attackers responded in kind. The miners never had a chance, the casualties reflected the result, the government losing six, the miners losing 34 in the fracas. Some good did come out of the uprising. As a result licence fees were abolished, miners could now buy mining rights to their claims, also crown land became available to small holders. Just as well it didn’t occur at the Bendigo diggings, where James jnr. and Thomas were mining. So in February 1855 James snr. would have taken a boat up the coast to Morpeth (Newcastle) and from there hitched a ride across the range through Maitland, Jerry’s Plains, Cassillis, and along the Talbragar River to Dubbo. With a bit of luck James snr. would have arrived in the small village of Dubbo around February of 1855. It is noted in James jnr. diary that he (jnr.) and Thomas left Bendigo on the 20th. of July to join his Father, Mother and family in Dubbo. On arriving at Dubbo James snr. purchased some bullocks and waggons and commenced a carrying business between the inland port of Morpeth which was at the time the shipping port for that coastal area. His Teamster or bullock driver was William Sansom, who ten years on married Eliza Topping thus becoming James brother in law. James snr. joined the Police Force. He joined the Foot Police on the 24th of March 1855, being described as aged 45, born England, occupation Comb Maker, height 5’6 1/2″, blue eyes, dark hair, ruddy complexion. James snr. resigned on 30th. June 1863, after eight years in the police force. In the late 1850’s James snr. purchased Lot 18 Sec.5 on the north west corner of Talbragar and Brisbane Streets, opposite the present Castleraegh Hotel. There he built a store and residence of slab walls and shingle roof and went into the business of store keeping while his sons carried on the carrying business with the bullock teams to Maitland – Morpeth, also they had expanded the carrying business both north and west. He conducted his store in Dubbo until he joined the Police Force.
The store was sold in 1865 to a Mr. Archie McCullum. McCullum converted the store into the Telegraph Hotel. Then in 1868 the Samuels re purchased the hotel and it was run by different members of the family for the next twenty six years. The Occupancy of the Telegraph Hotel appears thus:
1868-1871 Thomas William Samuels
1871 – 1872 Alfred Charles Samuels
1872 – 1874 Thomas William Samuels
1874 – 1875 Joseph George Samuels
1875 – 1876 Thomas William Samuels
1876 – 1877 Ellen Samuels (wife of Thomas)
1883 – 1893 Alfred Charles Samuels
1893 – 1894 Martha Samuels (wife of Alfred)
He only remained in the Police Force for a few years and in 1867 James snr. purchased Sec. 99 of 320 acres at Troy Gully on the Mudgee Road, on this ground he had built the Overlander Camp Hotel, the licence was held in the family name from 1867 till 1890.
In 1880 he changed the name of the Hotel to the Race Course and Tea Garden Hotel. After James snr. death in 1887, Elizabeth moved into the care of James jnr. and Mary Ann at the Macquarie View Homestead. Elizabeth died Dubbo 20/11/1899.
CONTRACT FOR THE RACE COURSE HOTEL..
Dubbo 1st. March 1867
Memorandum of agreement made between Mr. James Samuels Sen. of the first part and Mr. William Hewson of the second part, both of Dubbo. William Hewson hereby agrees to build a house for Mr J. Samuels containing 10 rooms according to plan or any alteration that Mr. Samuels may wish in the plan, to be built of colonial pine— Length of building 56 feet by a depth of 24 feet outside. A 6 foot wide verandah in front. The walls to be 9 feet high to consist of one and a half planking fixed horizontal, to be floored throughout and the rooms ceil’d with half inch boards planed and beaded, the outside walls to be planed and beaded, and the edges to be rabbited or beveled. All doors to be ledge, doors to be of Colonial pine, the front and back doors to have locks. Bedrooms to have tower bolts, front windows to have proper fasteners, the whole of the material with the exception of the round stuff to be found by Wm. Hewson for the sum of one hundred and sixty six pounds sterling. Two double brick chimneys to be built —-the whole of the work to be done in a proper and substantial manner. Henry Samuels to assist throughout the job.
Mr. Samuels to pay for all material and deduct the same from Wm Hewson.—
Mr Jas. Samuels to pay for the erection of one of the above mentioned chimneys. —The whole to be completed in ten weeks from this date.
Signed Wm Hewson.. James Samuels..
At the time of his death James snr. had 437 acres of land at Troy Gully, two small blocks at Warren, one block at Canonbar and one block at Mendoran. These assets were valued at 2305-0-0 pounds which in that period was a small fortune. Two sons had predeceased him, the other three sons were all landholder / farmers while Catherine was married to a landholder of some means, James Brown.
Death of Mr. James Samuels Sen. Extract From Dubbo Dispatch. 22/11/1887
On Thursday morning Mr. James Samuels of Troy Gully died, he was one of the oldest and most respected residents of the district. Mr. Samuels had reached the patriarchal age of 78 years when the illness which ended in his death came upon him, he removed from Troy Gully to town and resided with his son Mr. A.C. Samuels of the Telegraph Hotel. He retained all his faculties to the last, and died peacefully and without pain, with his wife, his children, and his grandchildren around his bedside.
Mr. Samuels was born in the historical city of Bristol on the 24th. of January 1810. This port in the early part of the century was one of the most stirring commercial centres in the United Kingdom. A large trade was carried on with America and the West Indies by Bristol Merchants, who were much interested in the tobacco plantations of the former and the sugar fields of the latter.
Mr. Samuels after serving his apprenticeship in that city, commenced business as a storekeeper. He also opened a Comb and Brush Mill for the production of bone dust manure. He was fairly successful, but with asthmatic symptoms developing, he was advised to go to a warmer climate. The Australian gold fever was on at the time, 1851. He determined to emigrate to Australia. He intended to continue his trade in the Colonies, and with that view, brought with him large quantities of machinery. On reaching Melbourne he found every thing topsy-turvey. The diggings were the only thing thought of.
He moved on to Sydney with his machinery which he stored in the latter city, and where it has ever remained. According to Al Samuels (1751), there was a shipping mishap which cost him his comb making machinery off Coogee. Mr. Samuels left his wife and young children in Sydney and returned to Melbourne, where with his son James he entered on mining speculations. After a year of varying success he returned to Sydney, inducements were being offered to him to go reside in Dubbo. He arrived in the year 1855, and lived here until his death. He entered into several land speculations, and purchased very largely at government sales. He kept a store for years in the premises now the Telegraph Hotel, and subsequently selected 400 acres at Troy Gully. Mr. Samuels always took an active interest in politics. An intelligent man with a liberal education, his grasp of public questions was keen. A sound Liberal in England – he had stood by his creed in many a contest between the Buffs and Blues of Bristol. He brought his home faith to the colonies, and his vote and voice were invariably given on the popular side.
He was a most entertaining companion, his almost phenomenal memory—which he retained until he had reached the Dark Valley of the Shadows – enabled him to recall as occurances of yesterday, the stirring scenes of 60 years ago. He had done a man’s part in the great reform struggle of 1832, and at every subsequent electoral battle in Edmund Burke’s constituency, he never deflected an inch from what was then very rigid party lines. For hours he has entertained the present writer with pleasing reminiscences and anecdotes of the stormiest period of the present century’s history. Mr. Samuels leaves behind him, his aged widow and four sons, Mr James Samuels Jnr., J.P. of Macquarie View; Mr H.R. Samuels, of Bundemar; Mr J.G. Samuels, of Troy Gully and Mr. A.C. Samuels, of Dubbo. He also leaves one daughter Mrs J.B.Brown. also grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Summary Of James snr.
James Samuels snr. was born Bristol 24/01/1810, his father John Samuels a Millwright Engineer, mother Sarah Thomas a nurse. His father died 2/11/1823 aged 65yrs and mother died 28/05/1865 aged 84yrs (both Bristol). James was indentured for seven years to Andrew Winter, 26/07/1825, trade, Combmaker. Completed his time and was inducted a “Burgess of Bristol”. James married Elizabeth Britton at the church of St.Phillip & Jacob Bristol on the 17/07/1832 and carried on his trade till 1852 when he with his family of a wife and five sons and one daughter migrated to Australia. Leaving Bristol on the 12/10/1852 arriving 13/01/1853 at Melbourne. The family transfered to the ship “Harriet” for the trip to
Sydney. A few months after arriving Sydney he left for Melbourne where he teamed up with some recent shipmates and went north to Bendigo to try his luck at gold mining. After approximately nine months on the Bendigo gold fields James went back to his family in Sydney. Another few months in Sydney and they headed for Dubbo arriving early March. James purchased bullock teams got them going and joined the Police force. He also built a couple of hotels for which he and his sons held the licence for twenty odd years. James died on the 17/11/1887, aged 78 yrs. his wife Elizabeth passed on 20/11/1899. aged 87yrs. James Samuels Snr. was NOT the first storekeeper in Dubbo. The distinction of establishing the first store belonged to Jean Emille Serisier, who first attempted to build on Robert Dalhunty’s land, “Dubbo Run”. Dalhunty objected strongly and invoked his squatters rights, forcing Serisier to move three miles downstream to the present site of Dubbo. He erected his store in “Dusty Bob’s Paddock” on the left hand side of the road to Wellington. The location of the store was in what is known as Macquarie Street South. Shortly after, Nicholas Hyeronimus, a Belgian, built the “Macquarie Inn” on land adjoining Serisier’s store.
The following letters are copies of copies and have undergone some editing. The original letters were provided by Penny Lovejoy to Al Samuels for publication in” Macquarie View” Vol. 7 No.1. More letters can be found under James (Junior) Samuels.
Copy of letter 1, written by E.J. White to J. Samuel Snr.
Bendigo Dec 25th 1854
My Dear Mr Samuels,
Notwithstanding that James has pretty regularly corresponded with you since we hate been on the diggings, yet as I think of returning to Melbourne soon, I thought a retrospect of what I have been doing, might not be unacceptable, for the first fortnight we were here. I worked in company with Jim, but finding the gold so very scarce, and James being almost able to say, that his pockets were to let, unfurnished, we thought it might be better to work separately for I can assure you tbat Jim works much more, for the little he gets than I should like to, he generally begins work at about six in the morning and works till half past seven or sometime eight at night, with only an hour to dinner which I tell him is a long way too much. If you think the same as myself I think you might advise him with some advantage, for I can assure you it does not agree with his health. We have been principally sinking on Kangaroo Flat, where I have sunk nine holes, drove them and several old ones very much, and have only secured not quite an ounce and a quarter of gold. James has certainly been a little more successful, but I assure you that he has earned five or six times what he has netted. None of the diggers appear to be doing anything worth speaking of. If one makes an ounce in a week it is thought remarkably good, according to the number of digger, macbines included (there are about 150 horse machines in the Bepdigo) the average earnings of each man judging from tbe weekly escort returns, is sixteen shilling a week, “no great shakes I assure you.” Last week I am told there was a rush to a quartz reef near the back creek where a man who was employed by the owner of a horse puddling machine, sunk a claim for himself, which causing some bother, the cat was let out of the bag, for the reef has been rushed, with what succèss remains to be seen, at Golden or Break of Day gully, which you must know is situated about half way between Bendigo and Bullock Creek. I hear that a few are getting extraordinary yields to the great chagrin of those who sunk holes there a short time back, and who after having broken up the shale left them as slicers, but some of the knowing ones there have taken away everything down to the granite in the fissures of which they have done as before stated. I was very much gratified with the receipt of news from Sydney concerning the state of trade, though I cannot congratulate you as to the nature of it. I think things in Melbourne are about the same, so with my predilection for the latter place, I shall not come to Sydney, before things become better or worse here. I received a letter last week from young Kent, the son of my motber’s husband with one enclosed from home. Kent is working as a wheelwright at Creswick Creek, he tells me in his letter, that he has a letter for Mr Aston, for which I have sent directions to forward it to him, wbich you will have the goodness to communicate to him. My friends at home are all we1l and happy, and anxiously enquire in every letter after you all, my sisters have taken the opportunity of sending me several articles. Amongst others, I am very much amused with the receipt of several package of salt, for which she expresses her solicitude in the letter, lest it sbould get damp, for she says, she has been informed that salt is very dear in Australia. Give my kindest respects to Mrs Samuels, remember me to Mr Aston and all enquiring friends, and hoping you are a11 well, like myself I remain, yours sincerely
Copy of letter 2, written by EJ. White to J. Samuels Jnr.
St Kilda, Jan 11th 1855
According to promise I write to let you know, how I got down here, the drayman with whom I rode down, was a German and owner of the dray, he wanted badly 30s for the ride, but a. you know, he at last agreed to take a sovereign. He was a first rate fellow, very civil making up the best seat in the dray for me, and giving me some of his bedclothes at night. The first night we camped at the Back Creek, about three miles from Elphinstone where I did justice to the Frenchman’s tarts, I saw the place where we pitched our tent and passed the place with very different feelings, than on the night when the knight of the flourishing knife, performed such valorous deeds. I saw nothing of him however, this time, the next night we camped at Three Mile creek, three miles beyond the Bush Inn. Nothing particular occurred during the day, we only observed tbe immense number of new chums on the road, also the quantity of females, and drays loaded with household furniture. The next day it was raining when we rose, and we got wet through, but it cleared up after leaving the Gap, so that we soon got all right again. The principal regret was tbat the thick foggy weather prevented my having any scenery till we approached Melbourne, where we arrived at about 5pm. There are eight turnpikes on the road between Bendigo and Melbourne, and we saw about a dozen working on the roads all the way. The trip was all pleasure and I would advice you, if you can get the chance of riding down, to do so, as the scenery will well repay you, on the second day it was magnificent as we took the lowest road through the Black Forest, and kept quite close to the base of Mount Macedon. The morning after I arrived, I received a visit from T. Kent, who had Just arrived from Creswick Creek and strange to say in the course of the same day we received a visit from some chaps who stored the boxes with Mrs Clements about twelve months ago, so that we all came down from the diggings together.
I find thing, to be very dull in Melbourne as I expected but as yet I have been so engaged arranging my things, that I have not had any time to make enquiries, perhaps I shall know better in my next. Tom Kent in a most enterprising chap, and has already had the offer of several jobs, and yesterday he started at a coachmakers near the Greyhound, St Kilda. Mr and Mrs Clement are quite well. Old little is gone all to smash all his stores and his house at St Kilda are all shut up, and they are all gone to live in the bush somewhere. Miles is going home in about three weeks time, and Knell is going to Andersons Creek, next Friday.
The overland mail is not in yet, and all is expectation here. When you receive this, write so that I shall have the letter next Wednesday, tell me how you are doing and any news from
home. I am alright and well, and hope that you and Tom are the sarne, I do hope that you have laid aside that touch of melancholy which used to haunt you so, and expressing a hope that your star has begun to culminate.
To J. Samuels Bendigo, direct Post Office Melbourne
Copy of letter 3, written by E.J.White to J. Samuels Jnr.
St Kilda, Feb 22 1855
I have just received your two letters of the 18th inst. and beg to gratefully acknowledge the receipt of two pound notes, in one of them. Since I last wrote my turn of ill luck has not changed, the fowls are dying daily, four have died this morning and since I have been from the Bendigo about 80 fowls, have died in all. I also see no prospect of getting a job at my thing. I see old John sometimes, the old chap is quite down in the mouth since Little failed, he can get nothing to do and he say that thing were never as bad before as they are now. I do not think I shall stop in town after this week, if I do not get a job before Monday I shall start for the Bendigo, if you do not see me by the latter end of next week you may answer this letter. I have just received a letter from home. They are all very well, but mother says says they hear such bad accounts of Melbourne that they have give up all thoughts of coming here. P. Miles sailed last Sunday in the Sussex for London. She was quite full of passengers and several had engaged berths for whom there was not room. You laugh at my having to pay so dearly to learn to give a stroke and a half and then sink to the bottom. I should not mind having a swim with you in Port Philip Bay when it is pretty rough. I think the waves would appal you. Fresh water, back of Bridge Street off the timbers and back again, swimmers, and one thing Jim I do not like, you say that you will not advise me to come or stay away, and that if I could get a job in town it would be more comfortable. My four months previous experience has taught me that already, and if it bad been anybody else, I should have conjectured that they did not want my company. If such be the case we shall be able to arrange all that when I arrive, I am rather sensitive just now, for I can tell that perambulating the streets all day in search of a job without a farthing in my pocket, has not had the effect of sweetening my temper. For one fellow would shove a bunch of grapes in your face, only one shilling a pound, and the same, and you know that I am not content with smelling alone while I have teeth to use. I am very glad to hear that your mother is recovered. I am quite well and hoping you are the same.
I am pretty well tired of walking to-day I have bean in town once and got your letter, now I must run again as fast as I can or I shall be too late for the post. I have only been ten minutes writing this letter.
Copy of letter 4, written by E.J. White to J. Samuels Jnr.
California Gully,Victoria, April l4th 1856
After a very long interval I have just received letter from you, you state you have not received more than one letter from me since you left the Bendigo, the reason that I cannot understand, as I have, sent you half a dozen, some directed to Maitland, others to Dubbo, besides, several newspaper. On the other hand have only received one letter from you besides this since you left Maitland for Dubbo and have been very much annoyed by it, thinking that you had completely forgotten me, especially as I have enquired so particularly in all my letters for news concerning Aston to whom I have directed letters in Sydney, but have, had them returned in about three months after, with a notice that they had been advertised, but that nobody had called for them. With regard to myself things are going on pretty well, after coming up from Melbourne last November I laid about doing nothing till the 10th December when Mr Brown of Long Gully requested me to come and repair his engine and then drive it for 5 pounds per week. I accepted the job, and have been there ever since though not at that wage, for after I had been there about a month he raised my wage to 7 pounds per week which is the present figure. You wrote just in time, for if you had been a week or so later, I should perhaps have been on my voyage home, you must not be surprised, when I tell, you that I intend going to Bristol for a spell in the Royal Charter if she comes in pretty quickly, if not, in the Oliver Long or some other ship. I gave Mr Brown notice to quit, a fortnight ago, and intended going to Melbourne to day, but Mr Brown is very reluctant to let me go and has prevailed on me to stop another week. I received a letter from home Saturday, they were all very well, mother says that your grandmother called down to hear from you. She desired that I should give you a thousand thank. for the gold you sent her, and she says she would be happy if she could only hear from her dear Tommy, and mother strongly requests me to tell Tom to write to his Grandmother, for the old lady is breaking very fast, and mother does not think she will live much longer. Things in Bendigo are rather dull just now, but notwithstanding there is four times the amount of gold sent down just now than when we used to work in Kangaroo Flat. I think you have not done
yourself much good by leaving the diggings when you did, had you remained I could have got you a constant job at 4 pounds or 4 pounds 10 shillings a week, but perhaps it all for the best. I am going to leave a first rate job but they want me home, rather particularly about some business, so that I hope it will be all for the best, I am happy to say I am quite well as usual, and hope you are all the same, give my kindest respects to your father and mother, remember me to Tom and all enquiring friends, and believe me.
Copy of letter 5, written by E.J. White to J. Samuels Snr.
at St Kilda, July 15th 1857
My dear Mr Samuels,
I have only Just now received your letter after lying in the Melbourne Post Office about three month owing to your having misunderstood the directions I advised. Instead of having directed it to Windsor near Melbourne it was directed to the window near Melbourne, hence the delay for it is very seldom that I call at the Melbourne office now, for the last two years I have had all my letters directed to St Kilda. I should not have got it now but for an accident, Mr Clements (concerning whom I refer you to Jim) has just got an appointment in the Post Office and in the course of his duty, he came across it, and he brought it to me. As we now have a delivery of letters at St Kilda, I shall wish my letters directed to Mr E.J. White, Engineer, Brighton Road St Kilda near Melbourne,Victoria. (Not Port Phillip as the New South Welsbmen seem to prefer calling it, excluding J. Samuels Esq Junior who ought to know better).
NB. I do not intend the above words in the bracket to be placed on the face of the letter as part of the directions. I received Jims’ letter al1right about a month ago, the only excuse I can find for not writing before is a similar one to that which you have given me in your letter, viz. that I am rather an idle fellow at the quill. Since I last wrote to you I have been rather poorly; the cold I caught in London has not left me now more than a week, I have been as bad with the rheumatic that sometime I have hardly been able to move. I have been engaged in building a new house for ourselves, the old one having got very dilapidated. It is situated on the other side of tbe road to where we lived before, just below T. Littles former residence, nearly opposite the Bay View Hotel. (I give the particulars for Jim’s sake he being pretty acquainted with the topography of the district). It is a five roomed house, a shop, sitting room and bedroom for Mrs Clements, a kitchen for common use, and a room 12×8 for your
humble servant. I have finished it about three weeks and we area all very well pleased with it. What I shall be doing next time I do not know, I shall have to transport myself to old Bendigo again I suppose, but must wait till the weather dries up a little. I see that you have been visited with tremendous floods in New South Wales, but as I have not seen any account of disaster in your district, I suppose you have been exempt. I have lately received two letters from home, one about three days ago, but in both of them my mother says that Jim’s Aunt has been to tell her that Jim has written to say that he intends visiting England very shortly, in fact at the time of writing the last letter she told mother that she had received a letter advising her to expect Jim every day, as Jim. did not mention anything about it in his letter to me, I do not know what to make of it. James complains in his letter to me that I tell him all about myself, neglecting to say anything about the other members of my family. I can only reply, “physician heal thyself”, for in his letters he is more selfish than myself, but I will endeavour to gratify you this time. My mother has been unwell with the rheumatic fever ever since I left, but according to latest account is getting better. My sister Fanny is quite well, still single and about the same as ever, my sister Sarah Ann, Mr. Chase, has a baby, when I left, the baby a girl was very well, and my sister very bad with broken breast, but now I hear that my sister is very well, and the baby not likely to live long.
I think they are all the relations I have that any of you are acquainted with. I beg James’ pardon for having forgotten to make any enquiries about Miss Aldridge, so that I cannot give
him any information about Esther but the next the go home I will endeavour to make amends. When you write next time, I hope that you (and James too) will not content yourselves with telling me you are well, but will also let me know how the youngsters are getting on. Had I never known Thomas, Harry, Joseph and Catherine I should not notice it, but having been once acquainted with them
I have written twice to Aston but with no good result, but I will avail myself of the directions you have given me to see if I shall be more successful. I must now conclude, as usual I am quite well and jolly and hope you are all the same. Give my kindest respects to Mrs Samuels, remember me to James and the children and believe me.
To J. Samuels Senior, Dubbo. N.S.W.
PS I know that you are particularly fond of the small writing that in the reason why I have employed it on the present occasion.
Copy of letter 6, written by E.J. White to J. Samuels Snr.
Melbourne Observatory, Jan 1871
My Dear Sir,
I cannot tell you how pleased I was at getting your letter on the 30th, I only wrote on speculation as the contents of my letter would show. Just as I received yours I was setting out for Arthurs Seat to spend my new year’s holiday or I should have answered it before. I have the accumulation of so many years to tell you that I scarcely know where to begin. After I returned from England in 1857 I settled at my old hut in California Gully Bendigo, employing myself in my old style doing a little engineering and surveying when I wanted money and quietly spending it for the remainder of the time. When Donati’s Comet appeared in 1858 I published some of my observations in the Argues. These attracted the attention of the government and I was soon after surprised at receiving a visit from & trooper with a big official letter asking if I were willing to accept a government appointment. I wrote to say that I had been my own master for long that I we afraid that I should not work well in harness so the matter ended for a while. I went to Melbourne however in the beginning of 1860 and meeting the surveyor general. He induced me to alter my mind and I joined the observatory on May 1860. It was at that time a small weatherboard building in Williamstown. In 1860 however we removed to a beautiful building in the Domain, one of the finest sites in Melbourne, where we have been ever since.
In 1863 two very nice houses were built for the government Astronomer and myself near the observatory in a magnificent situation just on the back of the toll bar on the St Kilda Road. James I expect will remember the place, though you had hardly seen enough of Melbourne to do so. We were in great trepidation a couple of month ago, as the governor took a fancy to the site for his new residence, parliament however would not allow the observatory to be interfered with so that I think we are tolerably secure for awhile.
I married at the end of 1862 and have at present four children, all girls the eldest being Six and a half years old and the youngest 7 months. I am very glad to say that I doing very well my income amounts to about £600 per annum. Melbourne, however is such as extravagant place, especially for the middle chap that I manage to save very little. Melbourne would rather astonish you if you could see it now, it really a magnificent city with a population of nearly 200,000 inhabitants which is more than that of the whole of South Australia. Some of the inland cities here are also very fine especially Ballarat & Geelong. Sandhurst is also a fine city but it is too struggling to look well. Bendigo would be scarcely recognised by you. Now the place is not at all pretty as it was in the old times, as there is scarcely a tree to be seen for miles. When I was up there a few months ago, I could not see a tent in the whole place, not even a calico roof. All the gullies however are dotted over with substantial houses. I have seen or heard nothing of Ashton for eleven years. When last I saw him in 1860 he was just leaving Melbourne for Sydney. I shall perhaps take a trip to Sydney soon when I will make enquires. I suppose that you or some of the members of your family see Sydney pretty often. Should I go and you are at all acceptable, I will endeavour to see you. I took a holiday trip to New Zealand last year. Tell James I was walking along one of the streets in Dunedin I saw old Tommy Little, he was little altered (I do not mean a pun ) except that his hair was snowy white. On making enquiries I found that they were pursuing just as crooked a course in New Zealand as they had previously done in Victoria, so that they were very much disliked and not at all trusted. James will also be grieved to hear that Clements turned out badly. His wife died in 1863 he soon after married again and a little while after that he use imprisoned for a couple of years (I think) for stealing money from letters in his capacity of letter carrier. I am glad to say my mother and sisters are quite well, I hear from them every month and get complete files of the Bristol Mercury so that I keep tolerably well informed about home affairs. My sister Fanny it now a widow with two children. The death of her husband who was a commercial traveller, was a release to her, rather than otherwise, as be turned out a worthless fellow. I hope I shall hear from you soon. If you feel disinclined to write, surely James might do so. I am very anxious to know you are all ……
(this is all I have of this letter)
Samuels, Herbert Edward
Rank: Trooper [Tpr] Unit: 2nd Australian Light Horse Machine Gun Sqdn
Date of Death: 09/08/1916
Place of Death:
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Memorial Panel: 180
Cemetery or Memorial
Details: EGYPT 2 Kantara War Memorial Cemetery
Place of Enlistment: Trangie NSW
Native Place: Trangie NSW
Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army
Aust War Memorial: Samuels, Alexander Britton
Number: Private [Pte] Unit: 13th Bn Australian Inf
Date of Death: 11/04/1917
Cause of Death: Killed in action
Memorial Panel: 70
Cemetery or Memorial
Details: FRANCE 646 Queant Road Cemetery Buissy
Place of Enlistment: Trangie, NSW
Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army
Original birth certificate with us.
After the death of his father Henry Robert SAMUELS (39) in 1904, he took over management of the property “Willow Bend”. Unfortunately he had to go off to WW1. His brother (Harry) Henry James Robert SAMUELS (66) took over management of the property under power of attorney. Under Harry’s mismanagement it became run down.
Frederick, Dick & Alex enlisted during WW1. At the time Maude, Kit, Doll & Mabel were living at “Willow Bend”, but found that they were not able to manage the property. They therefore petitioned the Army to have Frederick sent home. Their petition was successful, but on his return it would appear that Frederick sold the property and purchased another near Tottenham which he named “Dicky Bush”.
SOME FACTS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER
by Carolyn Scrimshaw 12.11.00
Frederick enlisted in the Army during the First World War along with his younger brothers Herbert and Alexander. He must have felt his patriotic duty very strongly, to take such a step at the age of approx. 40, especially as he was leaving behind, his property,”Willow Bend”, where his unmarried sisters were living. However, his older brother, Harry, was given power of attorney to manage the property in his absence and to war Frederick went.
He served in France and was gassed, so that later he lost one lung and suffered from ill health for the rest of his life. It was while on leave in Scotland, that Frederick met his future
wife, Margaret Cumming, to whose father he had a letter of introduction written by a cousin of hers. I believe this cousin was William Cumming who had married Fred’s sister, Caroline Edith (Eva) in 1913.
If Frederick’s sisters were instrumental in gaining his early release from the Army, perhaps one of the reasons was their fear of losing another brother after Herbert and Alexander were both killed. The main reason, that they needed him back to manage the property because it was becoming run down, must have meant that his decision to sell it was a bitter blow to them. No doubt it was a necessary decision, for he can’t have made much from the sale.
I understand that ” Dickebusch”, as it is spelt on my mother’s birth certificate, was a soldier settlement block and not easy to make a go of. According to their daughter, Sheila, my
grandparents ran goats there for a while, until they (the goats) escaped into the nearby Baldry Ranges. Hardly an environmentally friendly accident! The goats’ descendants are probably still wreaking havoc there.
Later, after this property was sold, Frederick and his family began a rather unsettled life while he tried various ventures, not usually with any great success. They moved here and there, from Dubbo to Brisbane, to Katoomba and “Lilianfels” in the Blue Mountains and to Sydney where they lived in several suburbs, including Warrawee, Randwick, Vaucluse (Parsley Bay) and Croydon.
During the Second World War, Frederick was keen to volunteer again and was assigned duties as an Air Raid Warden.
I don’t remember my grandfather very well – I was only 7 when he died and hadn’t lived near him. My strongest recollection of him is when, as an old and unwell man, he, with my grandmother, stayed with my family for a lengthy visit. We had a caravan in the back yard of our house in Leeton, where he went often for a “bit of peace and quiet.” I was forever being told to “Shush” because Papa was sleeping, but being quiet outdoors was not easy for a child of 5 or 6. My Aunt Sheila says that much the same thing happened to her when she was a child, as by the time she was born, her father was by no means young!
My mother once told me that her father, always, despite his wanderings, felt a strong affinity with the place of his birth. He could “take or “leave” the mountains or the sea, but he loved the plains – they were “in his blood.”
Henry James & family lived at “Aviemere” a property between Trangie and Narramine. After the death of his first wife he re-married to Miriam Rielly.
Harry was given power of attorney to manage “Willow Bend”, the property of his late father, Henry Robert, when his brother Frederick who had inherited the property, enlisted during WW1.
“Father of Dubbo”. Became first Mayor in 1872. Residence “Macquarie View”. Arrived with family at Port of Melbourne, on ship “Try”, in Jan 1853.
Public Record Office Victoria’s Archives, Immigration to Victoria British Ports 1852-59.
The exact date of the Family’s arrival in Australia has caused some puzzlement over the years. Two extracts from one of James Jnrs diaries may now solve this matter. He wrote: “Left Bristol October 12th 1852, half past 5 afternoon” “Wednesday 12th January 1853 – saw Port Philip Head early this morning. Went through with a very light breeze about 1 o’clock. Saw several vessels that had been wrecked; now left as beacons for other ships. Breeze freshened when inside the Heads. Dropped anchor off Melbourne at 10 minutes past 4 o’clock in the afternoon”.
One researcher had obtained that date of October 11th from back issues of Melbourne Newspapers as the arrival date of the”Try”. Why was it reported one day ahead of James Jnrs dairy? I asked the Darwin Maritime Services Port Authority. The answer is simple. The arrival of ships is logged when they are first sighted off the Heads. In the days of sail and fickle winds this sometimes means that one, two or three days could sometimes elapse between the date the ship was logged and the date it actually berthed.
James & his father left to try their luck on the Bendigo gold fields while his mother, brothers & sister sailed on the ship “Harriett” to Sydney. About three months after he & his father eventually arrived in Sydney, he & his brother Thomas decided they would go back to Bendigo for another try. From Margaret Harbinson (2308) – Daughter of Edward James Cyril
Samuels. Taken from the Dubbo Liberal, 1922. Some fellow was writing about old identities of Dubbo, and this article was about a J.C. Tibbits. He was talking about the pioneer days when Dubbo had one Pub, The Macquarie Inn. Apparently a Gideon Lang was travelling through with 5000 bullocks in five lots, each lot being a days journey apart. Anyway, I quote:
“Mr James Samuels, I learnt from the paper, came on the scene at the time of the passing of Lang and his bovines. Five hundred of the latter stampeded during the night, and next morning could not be found, indeed, so dense was the scrub that it would be almost as easy to find a needle in a haystack. As for the drover brigade, experienced Bushmen though they were, to find the errant cattle was an impossibility.
These difficulties however, provided an opening for the young hopeful, James Samuels Jnr. The famous Warrigal of ‘Robbery Under Arms’ could not have beaten the young Dubboite at tracking, and as he knew every place where the cattle would be likely to cease straying, it was not long after having found the direction they had taken that he located them at Barbigal.
Lang was delighted. He handed young Samuels a ‘Fiver’, and absolutely refused to listen to the young man’s protests against acceptance. Moreover, he begged the nimble witted and athletic young man to accompany him. The prospect was certainly alluring, but there was Mother to be considered and because of her gently expressed view, James Samuels did not become an Overlander. In deference to his Mother’s wishes he yielded not to the blandishments of Lang, nor to the coaxing of Tibbits, with whom, then back in the fifties was laid the foundation of a friendship that increased in its strength as more than sixty years sped their flight.”
He was a drover on the run between Morpeth and Dubbo for some years, but quit in 1867, and bought two seventeen acre blocks on the Macquarie. It is thought that “Macquarie View” was erected on one of his original purchases. He started business as a storekeeper and carrier. For the latter work he kept teams of horses and bullocks. This was before the construction of the railway so his services were in great demand by the settlers. He proved also to be a successful farmer and prospered, expanding his land holdings, investing in several businesses around Dubbo, establishing a Shorthorn and Dairy Stud, and involving himself in community affairs. He was an extensive breeder of pure bred cattle and has taken prizes at the various Agricultural Shows in the Western Districts. To James is chiefly due the proclomation of Dubbo as a Municipality in 1872. He accomplished this in spite of strenuous opposition, and was rewarded by being elected among the first batch of Aldermen, and sitting as the first Mayor of Dubbo. This honour he held for three years and since that time up to 1884, he was almost continually connected with the Council.
He was known as the Father of that body and his name is in other ways associated with the history of Dubbo. While the Chairman of the local Public School board he laid the
foundation stone for the present School of Arts and has always taken a prominent part in education matters. He was Chairman of the Great Western Coal Company, and was
Chairman and one of the promoters of the local Gas Company. In May 1872, as Dubbo’s first Mayor, he turned on the gas in Dubbo.
He also took a prominent part in, and has been Treasurer of the Dubbo Base Hospital from its foundation, for some 60 years . The donation by James in 1906, of three blocks of land north west of the Hospital area, and a Government grant of three thousand pounds, made possible improvements to the institution. The foundation stone of the new section of the Hospital was laid by his excellency Sir Harry Rawson on 5 Aug 1907. James’s fine work on behalf of the hospital was commemorated in June 1930 by the opening of the new Samuels Ward. This was a fitting recognition to the memory of James who gave a lifetime of service to the hospital. James was well into his 70’s when he was knocked down by his prize bull and broke his hip. The doctor said that he was too old for his bones to knit satisfactorily, and it was feared that he would remain bedridden for the rest of his days. Mother and I went to visit him and on the way home mother asked if I had noticed anything wrong, and I replied, “he had his reading glasses on but there was no glass in them. Later he ordered a wheel chair and got around in it. After some time he ordered that the chair be modified, because he wanted to feel the floor beneth his feet. He then propelled himself by “walking” the chair along. In no time it seemed, he was up again and walking. There was a fireplace in James’s study where he was wont to stand in the cold wintry weather warming his ‘rear’. It was this habit which caused his death, in that his clothes caught fire, he was rolled in a blanket to extinguish the fire, unfortunately the injuries and shock led to his death. In May 1849 a plan to subdivide Dubbo into 150 building allotments and 12 cultivation lots was presented to the Surveyor General.
The plan was accepted with slight modification and the village of Dubbo was proclaimed in the Govt. Gazette of 23 Nov 1849. The first land sale was held in Dubbo on 20 Nov 1850. Thirty seven half acre blocks were offered at an upset price of eight pounds per acre. Twelve of the town blocks were sold and all of the suburban
blocks. Two subsequent sales were held on 8 Jan 1851 and 25 Feb 1856. James Samuels is recorded as having purchased two suburban blocks in the third sale. Land Sale, Dubbo 25 Feb 1856. James Samuels Jnr. – Two blocks, one 7 acres 1rood 24 perches, at 18 pounds 17 shillings 3 pence and another of 20 acres 6 perches for 25 pounds 1 shilling 4 pence.