Chapter 10: THOMAS TYRWHITT BALCOMBE – RESPECTED COLONIAL ARTIST

Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe was the middle son of William Balcombe, the first Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales who arrived in the colony in April 1824. He was employed as a Government Surveyor which gave him ample opportunity to explore the Colony and sketch activities in the goldfields of NSW. He developed into a well-respected artist and his work is found in the both the Mitchell collection of the NSW State Library, the National Library, the National Gallery in Canberra and the Queensland University Art Museum. Thomas Balcombe took his own life when he was just 51 years old, the same age as his father died. So, what do we know of this talented but troubled Colonial artist?

 

Thomas Tyrwhitt (pronounced Turrett)[1] Balcombe was born on St Helena Island on 15 June 1810 and baptised on 22 October 1810 in St James Church, Jamestown.[2] His parents William Tomset Balcombe and Jane Wilson (nee Green, formerly Byng) had married on 26 July 1799 in Marylebone, London.[3] Their firstborn daughter Jane arrived in June 1800 and sister Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy) in 1802, both born in London before the family sailed to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena on board the East India Company ship Hibernia in 1805.[4]

 

It was on the island that daughter Mary was born in 1806 but she sadly died in the 1807 measles epidemic when she was under a year old.[5] During the same epidemic Jane Balcombe lost another, unborn, child. Former business partner William Burchell reported in his diary: Tuesday. Early this morning Bagley was sent down for a doctor (for Mrs. B., who was unexpectedly taken ill,) and the child linen. When Dr Baildon returned, I learnt that poor Mrs. B. Had lost the infant, but was (Thank God) tolerably well herself.[6]

 

The first Balcombe son, named William, was born in 1808 and he was followed by two more boys, Thomas Tyrwhitt in 1810 and Alexander Beatson in 1811.[7] Thomas was named after Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt who had been friend to William Balcombe since his childhood in Rottingdean, Sussex[8] and Alexander was named after the then Governor of St Helena, a friend of the family who Balcombe stood alongside during the armed mutiny of Christmas 1811.[9]

 

In October 1815 the Saints learned their island was to be home to the exiled Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Betsy reported in her memoir that the news of his escape from Elba and the subsequent eventful campaigns had not reached the island so they were all incredulous at the information [10]

 

The day after Napoleon landed on St. Helena, he was taken to view Longwood, the house which was set aside for him and his entourage. However, it was obvious that Longwood would not be ready for several months as many repairs had to be made, the wooden addition (built at Woolwich) had to be erected and more furniture commissioned from the workshop of George Bullock.[11]

 

On the return journey back to Jamestown Napoleon’s party called in to The Briars, home of the Balcombe family. Napoleon expressed a wish to remain there rather than stay in Mr Porteus’ less private house down the valley in Jamestown’s main street. William offered his home but the former Emperor chose to stay in the Pavilion which had been built in their garden especially for dinner parties and Balls.[12]

 

By then William junior had been sent to school in England [13] but his younger brothers became great favourites of Napoleon who no doubt was missing his own son, Napoleon François Charles Joseph, the King of Rome. He had been born on 20 March 1811, so was around 4 months older than Alexander, born 4 August 1811, and 9 months younger than Thomas, born 15 June 1810.[14] What joy and what sorrow those young Balcombe boys must have evoked in the exiled father.

 

Betsy reported that Napoleon entered into every sort of mirth or fun with the glee of a child and he never lost his temper or fell back on his age or rank to shield himself.” She recalled “My brothers at this time were quite children and Napoleon used to allow them to sit on his knee and amuse them by playing with his orders etc. More than once he has desired me to cut them off to please them.”[15]

 

Napoleon had been the commander who first awarded such campaign orders, ribbons and medals to all the soldiers who took part in a battle. Until then only a few medals recognising acts of specific heroism and bravery were issued. Soldiers took great pride in their decorations and were anxious to earn more, so much so that Napoleon was quoted as saying: “With a handful of ribbons I can conquer all of Europe.” [16]

 

One of Napoleon’s entourage was a lamplighter and Napoleon often called for him to make toys or other amusements for the children. One day he produced balloons which were inflated and sent up. Another time Betsy recalled he “contrived to harness four mice to a small carriage, but the poor little animals were so terrified that he could not get them to move and after many ineffectual efforts my brothers entreated the Emperor to interfere. Napoleon told them to pinch the tails of the two leaders and when they started the others would follow. This he did and immediately the whole four scampered off to our great amusement, Napoleon enjoying the fun as much as any of us and delighted with the extravagant glee of my two brothers.[17]

 

Another pastime was billiards and Betsy remarked it was a game much played by Napoleon and his suite. She had the honour of being instructed by him. [18]

 

The boys had a tutor Huff who had been on St Helena for half a century. He had become mentally ill and took his own life and was buried on the road to The Briars. Napoleon played on the children’s terror of ghosts by one day arranging for a servant draped in a white sheet to make a silent approach and appear in the cool of the evening, much to their shock and Napoleon’s amusement.[19]

 

William Balcombe suffered from severe, painful, debilitating gout, in fact the day Napoleon first arrived at The Briars he was indisposed with the condition.[20] Napoleon commented on the English custom of the ladies ‘withdrawing’, leaving the men to consume many bottles of wine. Several times he remarked to Betsy that her father would drink 5 bottles of wine after a meal.[21] One day Balcombe was too ill with gout to take his daily visit to Napoleon who said if he drank more water and less wine, he would not have to take eau medicinale.[22]

 

From his picture Balcombe[23] appears to be an “overweight middle-aged man” who obviously drank red wine and ate cheese and too much meat, all risks for gout and heart disease. Only now are we understanding the causes and effects of gout and its strong hereditary links. These days treatment is available, but in Balcombe’s day there was no treatment.  If untreated, gout is a serious systemic disease, with periods of severe symptoms with intervals of relative peace. Joints can be destroyed, and adjacent deposits of gouty crystals and inflammation cause bony pain and even fractures due to the erosions which can be large, up to several centimeters. Serum uric acid is raised, in itself an independent risk factor for heart disease, and a large part of the problem comes from inadequate excretion of the uric acid.[24] Kidney stones are frequent and can result in obstruction and kidney failure.  Looking back from the medical history of descendents we find there are sufferers of severe osteoarthritis which also causes many painful symptoms in later life and also has a very strong genetic influence. We know William’s died from the effects of gout and his son Thomas also suffered from the disease. It could also be that the two men both suffered from pain of osteoarthritis.[25]

 

Gout was extremely painful, one contemporary comment being that nothing is so dreadful as these undermining complaints which assuming a variety of allarming forms keep one in perpetual apprehension of the worst that can happen…  the gentleman is in great pain and totally without the use of his right hand which is intolerably swell’d and wrapped in flannel. [26]

 

We know that Thomas Tyrwhitt suffered from gout as an adult [27] and the pain it caused could well have contributed to his mental instability in adulthood and subsequent death.

 

The Balcombe family left St Helena in March 1818 on the ship Winchelsea [28]to return to England. The boys attended school, their sister Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy) married Edward Charles Abell in Exeter in 1822 [29] Betsy’s daughter Jane Elizabeth Balcombe Abell (Bessie) was born in 1823.[30] By the time in late 1823 that William senior was appointed to the post of Colonial Treasurer, or as Aubrey would have it ‘paymaster-treasurer’ [31] Betsy had left her husband, so she accompanied the family to the Colony. They arrived in NSW in April 1824 on the ship Hibernia under Captain Robert Gillies, leaving Portsmouth on 8 November 1823 and the Cape of Good Hope on 1 February 1824.[32]

 

Within a few months Betsy’s husband arrived in the Colony on the ship Ardent under Captain Clements, carrying 7521 bushels of wheat, having lost her fore-top-mast in a gale. In August a Hobart newspaper published a list of gentlemen, including Edward Abell Esq, who asked for claims to be presented before the ship sailed from Hobart [33] where they left on 1 September 1824 for Port Jackson[34]. On his arrival Edward Abell/Abel/Able obviously learned very quickly that there was no chance of reconciliation with Betsy. He booked a passage on the convict ship the Prince Regent,[35]under Captain Wales and Surgeon Thomas B Wilson,[36] returning to England after bringing her second cargo of convicts to the Colony. So, the passenger list included Mr. Abell returning initially to Hobart Town[37] where again he advertises for any claim in the newspaper. He is subsequently listed as passenger when the ship sailed for England on 2 October 1824 to go via the Isle of France (now Mauritius).[38] Prince Regent made a third trip to NSW so we know she arrived safely back in England. We don’t know if Edward Abell died en route home or had disembarked elsewhere, there is one suggestion he may have gone to New Zealand as in October 1851 there was a Mr. Edward Abell listed as a passenger from Auckland on the 236-ton Brig Moa under Captain Norris [39] all we know is we can’t find any more mention of him until Betsy’s eventual death notice in 1871 lists her as a widow.[40])

 

Thomas and Alexander were enrolled in the Sydney Grammar School, and a report held just 2 months after their arrival, showed that “The Half-yearly Public Examination of the Students at this Establishment look place at the Master’s house, in Philip-street, on Friday, the 25th instant, agreeably to public advertisement … and the junior class, comprising Masters Thomas and Alexander Balcombe, Charles Nichols, and Edward Lord, read, and explained Seleciae; and Profanix, and applied the Rules of Syntax, with much promptitude and accuracy. The Gentlemen, who attended this interesting exhibition, expressed the highest satisfaction; and the happy young group dispersed, with much apparent delight, for the enjoyment of their temporary Recess“.[41]

 

Not long after this young Thomas had his clothing stolen

TWENTY SPANISH DOLLARS REWARD.

WHEREAS a LEATHERN TRUNK, brass nailed, containing a Young Gentleman’s Wearing Apparel, made for the age of 14, the property of WILLIAM BALCOMBE, Esq was robbed from a Cart on the Western Road on the Evening of Friday the 3d Instant, between the Estates of   Captain Bunker and Major Druitt, by two Men, supposed to be Bushrangers: Any Person or Persons, giving such Information as may lead to   the Detection of the Offenders, and Prosecution to Conviction, shall receive a Reward of Twenty   Spanish Dollars from the Bench of Magistrates at Penrith. As the Articles are numbered and marked T. Balcombe, with Indian Ink, all Constables, and other Persons, are particularly required to use their utmost Vigilance to detect the Property, and to bring the Delinquents to Justice.   Court House, Penrith, Sept. 23 1824.[42]

 

One story emerging from Thomas’ early years in the Colony was that he helped to plant the Norfolk Island Pines including the “Wishing Tree” which now grace the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens. In 1917 an article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald quoting a Mr. C. F. Bolton, at Wagga Wagga, who recollected “In the year 1861 I was a draftsman at the Surveyor-General’s Office, and was with some nine others the first to occupy the ‘old long room.’ Among these men (all or nearly all bar myself are dead) was Thomas T. Balcombe, the artist, who worked at the same table with me. Mr. Balcombe was a courteous, truthful, and unassertive gentleman. Well, one day he casually mentioned that he was at Government House, when Mrs. Macquarie said to him, ‘Come along Tom, I am going down to the garden to have this tree planted. There were two working men with them, and they planted the tree without any ceremony or formality whatever.” [43] However, we know this is not likely to be true because Governor Macquarie resigned in 1821 and departed for London 15 February 1822, before the Balcombe’s arrived in the Colony.

Could it have been the wife of the next Governor Thomas Brisbane or even later the Governor Ralph Darling? [44] The current Trustees of the Sydney Botanic Gardens are unable to shed any light on the story as they have no record of who did plant the Norfolk Island Pines.[45]

 

In appears there was considerable amount of crime in the Colony in those days. When Thomas was 17 years old, he was witness in the Criminal Court case against Thomas Sweetman who stood arraigned on a charge of burglary. The indictment contained, two counts. The first count, laying the offence to be that of breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Balcombe with intent to steal; the second, introducing a charge; of larceny, in stealing two hats the property of the said William Balcombe. The Acting Attorney-General, after stating the case, proceeded to call Ann Munn, who deposed that she is a married woman, and occupies a house directly opposite that of Mr. Balcombe, (the prosecutor,) in O’Connell-street, Sydney — witness recollected the evening of Saturday, the 7th of July last, it was rather a dark evening ; a lamp, however, which hung over Mr. Balcombe’s door- way, afforded sufficient light for those on the opposite side of the street, to distinguish persons entering on the premises. About half-past seven o’clock of the evening before mentioned, witness, whilst standing against the paling before her own house, which commands a view of the entrance to O’Connell-street, and of the prosecutor’s house, saw three men coming up, they made a stand-still before prosecutor’s house, and after a short consultation between them, one of the three men opened a small wicket and the prisoner, whose person witness felt certain she could swear to, and whom she saw in a stooping posture, with his hand for several minutes in exertion about the lock of the house-door, went in, the other two men remaining side; shortly after prisoner came out with two hats in his hand, which two hats he gave his two companions– the prisoner then returned into the house, but witness having by this time become confirmed in her suspicious of the intention of the prisoner and his associates, went over to the prosecutor’s house, boldly walked into the passage and gave an alarm of the house being robbed. The prisoner on this, attempted to make off, but the witness by some active efforts on her part, and with the assistance of others, prevented his escape. The two other men had taken to their heels and escaped. Mr. Thomas BALCOMBE, resides with his father, in O’Connell street; on the evening of Saturday, the 7th of July last, recollected, having laid down on a sofa in the drawing-room he felt the hand of some person pass over his face: somewhat surprised at the circumstance, he got up, called out, ‘who’s there?’ No answer was returned, and witness, in directing his eye to the room-door, by a light which glimmered in the passage, saw some strange person there; he was approaching the door, when an alarm was made, as stated by the last witness. A constable being procured, the prisoner was given into custody; nothing was found on his person, but it was discovered, that two hats had been unhung from a nail in the hall. The prisoner pleaded intoxication in excuse for his being found in the way described, but he denied the charge of robbery. The Judge explained very minutely the law of the case of burglary, and summed up the evidence at great length. Verdict, guilty. Remanded for sentence.[46] And on 29 August 1827 Thomas Sweetman was sentenced to death.[47]

 

A few months later Thomas was again a witness in Court when two men were on trial for burglary, having being silly enough to steal from the house of the Chief Justice!

Supreme Criminal Court TUESDAY, MAY 20. Before Mr Justice Stephen

John Leader and J. Cane were indicted for stealing in the dwelling-house of Francis Forbes, Esq. a quantity of wearing apparel, to wit, 36 shirts, 24 pairs of trousers, 18 waistcoats, and 12 pairs of stockings, on the 10th day of May instant. A second count laid the locus in quo at the dwelling house of Our Sovereign Lord the King.

Catherine Lawless examined.-I live as servant in the family of the Chief Justice; I remember on the evening of the 10th of May, about half-past eight o’clock, I was putting the children to bed, when I heard a rustling noise in my mistress’ bed-room, which attracted my attention, as I knew it could not come from any servant in the house, as there was no light there ; Mr. and Mrs. Forbes were from home ; I informed some of the servants, and then went into my mistress’ room, in which were two windows, one of which I found open, though about three quarters-of-an-hour previously I had shut both; it was not sufficiently light to distinguish any object, but I heard a sound as of some men jumping down from the verandah ; I called out “stop thief” very loudly ; some time after Mr. M’Leay’s coachman gave me a bundle containing several articles.  

George Iden examined.-I am coachman to Mr McLeay; on the evening of the 10th of May, about half past 8 o’clock, I was passing by the house of the Chief Justice, when I heard some person calling ”stop thief” in the upstairs window; I stood for a minute, and then I heard some person   running through the shrubbery in the front of the house; I ran round the corner of the wall fronting the residence of the Rev. Mr. Cowper, and saw a man in dark clothes, without hat or shoes, jump over the wall, with a bundle in his hand ; I ran towards him, and he dropped the bundle and fled; I followed him for a few yards, calling out “stop thief!” when a servant of the Chief Justice, named John Blackman, came out of the house, together with several persons from Cummings’ Hotel, and assisted in the pursuit. I returned to the Chief Justice’s and took up the bundle, and then saw another man running up the hill at the back of the house in the direction of Mr. Balcombe’s, in O’Connell-street ; I took the bundle to the Chief Justice’s house, and delivered it to a female servant, who was standing in the hall; the last witness is the person to whom I delivered it; I then examined the shrubbery with a light, in company with the female servant, and found a straw hat, a pair of shoes, and a pair of leather straps, such as are worn by prisoners to prevent the irons chafing the legs; before I left the garden, the prisoner Leader was brought in custody, by Mr. Maizière and a waiter of Mr. Cummings’; he had neither shoes nor hat on.

Catherine Lawless, recalled.-The trunk now produced was in my master’s house about sun-down on the evening of the 10th of May ; it was in his bed-room ; I missed it from the bed-room at the time of the alarm; I saw it about half-an-hour after; it was brought in by one of the men from the top of the verandah, outside the window it had not been opened; it contained wearing apparel ; a variety of wearing apparel, independent of the contents of the bundle, was found scattered about the garden; the drawers in the bed-room were all open and quite empty ; the trowsers now     produced, I think are worth about 10s the other property was produced before the Police but I was told it was only necessary to produce one article here.

John Blackman-I am servant to the Chief Justice ; about half-past 8 o’clock on the evening of Saturday week last I heard a noise upstairs in the house ; the female servant was giving an alarm that there were thieves in the house ; I ran towards the front door, and went out into the lawn, and saw the prisoner, Cane, getting over the wall into the street; I saw him go over the wall, at the left side of the house, opposite Cummings’ Hotel; he had a bundle in his hand ; I pursued him till he was apprehended, and never lost sight of him the whole of the time ; he was taken by Capt, Stewart near the Tanks; I saw him and the prisoner struggling, and Captain Stewart was thrown twice; the prisoner had no shoes on when he was taken, but they were picked up near the place, and he put them on. I suppose that in the struggle with Captain Stewart, they fell off; I can’t say whether he had a hat on ; I am positive the prisoner, Cane, is the man; he pretended to be drunk when he was taken ; he dropped the bundle when he got over the wall; it was picked up by Mr. M’Leay’s servant as I passed; the prisoner struggled very hard when he was taken; he was first brought to Mr. Cummings’, when a constable was sent for, and he was given into custody; the trunk now produced, I found under the verandah.

Mr. Thomas Balcombe examined.- On the evening of Saturday week last, about 9 o’clock, I was in the garden at the front of my father’s residence in O’Connel-street, near the house of the Chief Justice, when I heard the cry of “stop thief” I went in the direction of the noise, a few doors down the street, and near Mr. Gurner’s garden, I saw two or three persons collected; I entered Mr. Gurner’s garden, in consequence of something I heard, and with a light, which I took from Mr. Gurner’s hand, after walking back and forward through the garden, I saw a man standing in the shrubbery; he was in such a situation as I do not think I would have seen him, had I not been searching; I believe it was the prisoner Leader. I laid hold of him, Mr. Maziere and Dr Gibson came up, and he was conveyed to the Judge’s house; he had no hat on; I will not swear positively to the prisoner.

By the prisoner. -Were not my shoes found in the garden, when you discovered me?

The SOLICITORS GENERAL. -Oh! then, it was you?

Prisoner. -I mean where they say they found me.

Mr. David Maziere examined.–I was walking on the verandah at Cumming’s Hotel, where I heard the cry of “stop thief” at the Chief Justice’s; I ran out and saw two men come over the wall from the garden; they ran up O’Connel street; I pursued, and distinctly saw them together ’till they came near Mr.Gurner’s house, when I lost sight of them; whilst I was searching the neighborhood, I heard a noise at Mr. Cumming’s garden, and jumping over the paling, I found a man in the custody of Mr. Thomas Balcombe; he had one shoe on, the other was found in the garden; the prisoner Leader was the man I saw in the custody of Mr. Balcombe; I did not lose sight of either of the men I saw coming over the Judge’s wall ’till they came to Mr. Gurner’s premises in O’Connel-street.

Dr. Gibson. -I reside in O’Connel street about 9o’clock on the evening of Saturday the 10th of May, I heard the cry of “stop thief!’ and going out, saw a number of persons about ; I met Mr. Thomas Balcombe, and I accompanied him to Mr. Gurner’s house, and I saw him lay hold of the prisoner, Leader, in the garden ; he had no hat on, nor no shoes; he was taken down to Cummings’ Hotel, and given in charge to the constables.- Guilty of larceny.- Remanded.

Verdict the next day John Leader and John Cane, convicted of stealing in a dwelling-house under the value of £5. To be transported for seven years.[48]

 

Entrance to the Old Colonial Treasury in 1914

by Sydney Ure Smith[49]

 

In the years since they arrived in the Colony the Balcombe family would have led a privileged lifestyle with their gregarious father the centre of an interesting social life, entertaining the elite ruling class of the time. He was involved in the establishment of horse racing in the colony of NSW. [50] He was often a host and often a guest at social functions. One example was an invitation to a dinner at Captain Piper’s where another guest was Frenchman Hyacinthe de Bougainville who had arrived with two ships, the Corvette Esperance and the Frigate Thetis. A previous visitor, the Frenchman had visited the colony in 1802, and was impressed by the development of Sydney. At a dinner Hyacinthe was seated next to Betsy Abell. He was delighted to discover she had been on St Helena with Napoleon who, he wrote, had nicknamed her “Rosebud of St Helena” and that she spoke “good French”. He was delighted to dance with her as “he held in his arms an almost personal link with the Emperor”.

 

Betsy organized a small ball a few days later, on 12 September 1825, where Hyacinthe realized he was “more and more attracted” to Mrs. Harriot Ritchie, knee Blaxland, wife of merchant Alexander Ritchie, in fact he conceded he was “perhaps a little too much” attracted. [51] He subsequently entertained several people including Betsy to lunch on board his ship on 16 September, followed by dinner and a dance in the evening. The next evening, he and Harriot had enjoyed a romantic tête-à-tête at Balcombe’s and the pair had arranged to meet and run away together the following night. But it was not to be. He dined with the Balcombes instead, before sailing away the following day. Did the family realise that Hyacinthe de Bougainville was in fact a spy with instructions to note information on the garrisons and the defences of Port Jackson and other settlements?[52]

 

However, it seems that Balcombe’s health had been deteriorating and things came to an abrupt end when the Colonial Treasurer died in 1829.

 

The Sydney Gazette invited friends of the deceased and Gentlemen of the Colony to attend the melancholy occasion of his funeral, the procession going from his home in O’Connell Street. [53]

 

He was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, (George Street was the original cemetery) but with the expansion of the railway the graves were all moved to Pioneer Park at Botany.

 

His gravestone reads Here lie the remains of William Balcombee [sic] late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales who departed this life on the 19th day of March 1829 in the 49th year of his age. [54]  However, his death certificate has him as being aged 51 years.[55] His sons were still ‘not of age’, William junior was 20, Thomas 18 and Alexander 17 years old.

 

Death of Wm Balcombe p 688, Gov Darling to Sir George Murray, 20 Mar 1829.

Government House.

Sir,

I have the painful duty to report the death of Mr. Balcombe the Treasurer which took place last night. Mr. Balcombe had long been subject to severe attacks of Gout, which occasionally confined him for several weeks at a time to his bed.

His constitution at length became much impaired, and for the last three years he had been a complete invalid. About 4 months since, he was attacked with dysentery, a disease which his exhausted Constitution was unequal to resist, and he continued to decline gradually until last night, the period of his dissolution.

 

I regret to add that Mr. Balcombe has left a large family in very distressed circumstances. His widow and daughter will suffer severely, as they are without any means of support; for although Mr. Balcombe possessed some land, he has died, I fear much in debt, and his land and stock are not in a state at present to make any return.

 

There are also three sons, young men, who must provide for themselves, and, with industry and the assistance of their friends, can find little difficulty in doing so.

 

He then mentions that he is appointing Mr. Wm Dumaresq, Director of Public Works, to act as Treasurer until he hears from Sir George.

 

Despite what appears to have been declining health for some time, ever the speculator, William Balcombe left his affairs in disorder with many debts for his family to sort out. They had to leave the Treasurer’s residence in Bent Street and find new accommodation. They had to sell land and livestock to cover the debts, creditors took most of his livestock.

 

Balcombe’s property, named ‘The Briars’ was located in the ‘Moonglow’ area, about 18 miles south west of Lake George. A neighbour was Owen Bowen, a former convict who had arrived in NSW in 1811, obtaining 100 acres of land in Marlow Plains (Molonglo) in June 1824 and his son William Bowen bred some of the best racehorses in the Colony, so no doubt they would get on well with their Balcombe neighbours.

 

Betsy and her eldest brother, William, were given land adjoining their father’s 6000-acre (2428 ha) grant, Molonglo, near Bungonia, County Argyle, where they lived for some years.[56]

 

William Balcombe Junior also obtained land adjacent to his father’s, 800 acres he called Inverary, and he managed both grants from here. By 1827 there was a stockyard and dairy plus servants’ huts and other buildings with 12 acres under cultivation.[57] Both the Williams had been brought up on the lush green south Atlantic island of St Helena and in south England, also lush and green, with rich damp soils from 10 cm to 5 metres in depth. Betsy recalled that the garden at The Briars on St Helena was a rich tropical paradise with luxurious growth of vine, orange, figs, pomegranate, mango and vegetable, all worked by the slaves including Napoleon’s favourite Toby and bringing in an annual income of £500 to £600.[58] The Balcombes themselves had no experience in cultivation or cropping or grazing management and definitely not in the ‘foreign’ conditions found in NSW. Here they had to learn how to work and care for this dry country with vulnerable soil where the land has just 2-5cm of topsoil at best [59] and where overgrazing has devastating consequences on the fragile native vegetation. And from 1826-1829 they were faced with a drought so severe that the relatively nearby Lake George dried up and the Darling River stopped flowing. [60] What huge financial and agricultural challenges were faced by the men as they struggled to come to terms with farming in this strange dry land.

 

So, did the anxiety of helping young William cope with the severe drought contribute to the stresses of ill health and worries about his own position which were already in his father’s life? Whatever the reason the Colonial Treasurer suffered an untimely death which led to his land having to be sold.

 

BY MESSRS. G. and J. PAUL, The Property of the late William Balcombe, Esq. deceased at Parramatta, on the day   of the Meeting of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, or the 2nd July next, positively without reserve. TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY ACRES of LAND, situated in the County of Argyle, bounded on the south by a rivulet running into the Shoal Haven River, and adjoining Birnie’s farm, being a grant from Sir Thomas Brisbane, 100 acres of which is fenced in, and divided into three paddocks, one in cultivation. There has lately has been erected a stone cottage of 8 rooms and a good verandah; barn, stable, kitchen, store-rooms, out-houses, &c. Throughout this estace there is plenty of good water.  ALSO FOUR THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND situate at Melangola in the said County, being a purchase from the Crown during the government of Sir Thomas Brisbane. This estate has had a considerable sum of money expended on it in improvements, having several paddocks fenced in, and stock keeper’s dwellings and out-houses erected on it. TERMS OF SALE. 10% on the amount of the purchase money to be paid down, 20% on the expiration of 6 months, 20% after 12 months, 25% after 18 months and 25% after 24months.  The two last instalments to bear interest at 10 per cent, after the expiration of one year from the time of sale; to be secured on the estates or other ample security.[61]

 

A few months later, in July 1829, a Mr. Balcombe was purchaser of Lot 2 of the Macquarie Field estate sold by the Sheriff at the Royal Hotel. He paid £510.[62] Which Mr. Balcombe was he? In February 1830 a Mr Balcombe junior was a cabin passenger on the ship Sovereign via India for London, reported arriving in July 1830.[63] Again which Mr. Balcombe was he? It was not likely to be Thomas as by then it is thought that he had work with the surveyor’s office. [64]

 

A year after her husband’s death, the residence of Mrs. Balcombe on the Liverpool-road, was robbed on Saturday evening last, of three trunks of property, with which the robbers, two men, decamped, they were both armed. Fortunately, the thieves, in removing the trunks, were inmates of the house, else it is not improbable that the house would have been literally stripped of everything in it. [65] It seems that the culprits were caught as a Court case took place where Mrs. Arpress, being sworn, deposed, that on the 27th of February last, the house of Mrs. Balcombe, on the Liverpool road, was broken open and robbed of three trunks, containing goods, the property of witness, for which robbery the man servant was convicted, and is now undergoing punishment; part of the cap now produced is my property, the caul has been cut out, and another put in to disfigure it, but I can swear positively to the head piece ; it is part of the property stolen in one of the trunks.[66]

 

A month after the first armed robbery another occurred. Early on Tuesday morning, two armed bushrangers made an attack upon the house of Mrs. Balcombe, Glebe Farm; but being spiritedly opposed by the servants, and fired at, effected a precipitate retreat.[67] However on the following morning the watchman, whilst employed in collecting the dairy cattle, fell in again with the same parties, as he suspected, and one of them fired at him; the man is in consequence much injured. It is somewhat remarkable that the bush-rangers were all well dressed.[68]

 

A third attack occurred on the dwelling of Mrs. Balcombe. They did not ask admittance, but broke in; previously to which however, they shot the watchman who was keeping guard, through the neck, the ball going in on one side and out of the other. ‘This trusty man had fired at the villains some time before at night. They plundered the house as completely as they did the Greyhound public-house. They did not ill-use Mrs. Balcombe. Mrs. Abell was absent. [69]

 

So just where was Mrs. Balcombe’s residence to be so vulnerable to theft? A description of the Great South Road in 1904 gives us some clues.[70]

The Great South Road

George’s River having been left, there was an old road leading to the Punch Bowl, known as Clariville, which was the property of Sir Alfred Stephen, as far back as 1832; it was situated in the County of Cumberland, 8½ miles from Sydney, and derived its name of the   Punch Bowl from being situated in a sort of basin surrounded by gentle rising ground. In 1830 there were several tracts which led to farms lying between George’s River and Cook’s River on Salt Pan Creek; and the upper part of George’s River, in a wild country where in 1832 a large tract of land had been “recently” granted to the Church and School Estate. On the north lay the Glebe, purchased from the Church, where before 1832 the widow of the late William Balcombe, the first Colonial Treasurer, had her residence, which was at the above date a ladies’ boarding-school. Through this estate a road or tract joined the Parramatta-road a little beyond Powell’s Bridge, between the ninth and tenth mile- stones. Over Moore’s Bridge, which spans Cook’s River, 9½ miles from Sydney, the road takes a turn south for a, short distance, and then trends in a westerly direction. To the east, in 1832, lay the Kangaroo Inn, and the King’s Arms on the west side, kept by W. Jackson, and here the Liverpool mail coaches changed horses and most travellers on the road stopped to refresh and rest their horses, for it stood 11 miles from Sydney. In this district at that period wore some fine ironbark forests. Two miles further on, and on the same side, was the Weaver’s Arms, better known as Clogg’s Inn, and a little further again, still the same side, was another Inn of fame called Speed the Plough – the second of that name on the road – kept by Cole.

 

HIGHWAY ROBBERY- We have to add another daring robbery to the long list which it has of late been our painful duty to make public. On the afternoon of Wednesday, Mr. Robert Murdoch Campbell, of Harrington Park, was travelling on   horseback to Sydney, for the purpose of taking up a bill for £120 sterling, held by Mr. Dickson of the steam engine, and coming due on the following day. This huge sum he had in his trowsers pocket, consisting of bank-notes, and inclosed in a packet addressed to Mr. Dickson. When he had reached that part of the Liverpool road between the farms of Mr. Terry and Mrs. Balcombe, he overtook a man on foot, carrying a bundle at the end of a stick over his shoulder, and having every appearance of a quiet honest travellor: but on Mr. C’s coming abreast of him, the horse started at something on the other side of the road, and sprang close to the pedestrian, who suddenly seized the bridle, pulled Mr. C. to the ground, and was in, a moment joined by two other men rushed out of the bush, armed with pistols. They were not long in possessing themselves of his watch, and of the valuable packet, to come at which they tore his trowsers with great violence, and on looking at the superscription, one of them remarked “This will be just as useful to us as to Mr. Dickson.” The two who had issued from the bush then returned thither, leaving their companion, who was armed with a huge bludgeon, to see that Mr. C. proceeded quietly on his journey; the fellow ordered him to remount his horse and not to look back at the peril of his life. It is much to be lamented that Mr. Campbell had not taken the numbers of the notes, as there is now scarcely a possibility of their ever being traced. Mr. C. was married, but a short time back, to Miss Ann Hassall, of Parramatta, and his heavy loss will in these times be severely felt. [71]

 

No mention was made of Jane Balcombe’s sons living with her so can we assume they were away on their own properties, or was one of them still overseas?

 

After the burglaries at her home and the robberies nearby, is it any wonder that Jane and her daughter Betsy Abell decided to return to England? Jane also wanted to petition the British Government for a pension to allow her to remain in NSW.[72] They booked on the ship Nancy after tickets were advertised in October 1830 [73] and the ship left Sydney on Sunday 13 February 1831.[74] Nancy was the first wool ship direct to London, a fine First-Class Ship of  400 Tons Burthen[75], Captain  HENRY PRYCE, R. N. Commander with superior Accommodations for Passengers, and carrying an experienced Surgeon.[76]  Henry Pryce was an experienced seaman having joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman in 1796. He rose through the ranks to become an Acting Lieutenant in August 1804, Lieutenant in April 1805, First Lieutenant from January 1809 to Commander in July 1821. He became a Commander of two 50-gun frigates and held a commission as Captain of a line-of-battle ship in the Portuguese service and received decoration for his work in that Navy. He was also known to have commanded some of the finest Indiamen ships out of London.[77]

 

The passenger list does not mention Betsy’s daughter Jane Elizabeth Balcombe Abell, known as Bessie, who would have been around 7 years old when they sailed.[78] However we know she had come to New South Wales with her mother in 1824 and grew to adulthood and married in England so we must assume she sailed on Nancy at this time with her mother and grand-mother as she was unlikely to stay with her young, single uncles. The passenger lists include the 5 Melville children so there were several children for Bessie to play with on the voyage.

 

DEPARTURES.

For London, on Sunday last, the ship Nancy, Captain Pryce, with a cargo of colonial produce. Passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Melville and 5 children, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, Mrs. Abel, Mrs. Balcombe, Mr. George Yates, Thomas Isaacson, Maurice Collins, Patrick Teefy, John Teefy, James Ryan, George Hughes, Edward Barrett, and Timothy Lingahan.[79]

 

Imagine how the boys back in NSW must have felt on subsequently reading a headline “REPORTED LOSS OF THE NANCY” –Reports have reached the Colony by the ‘Asia’, of the loss of the ‘Nancy’, Captain Pryce, seven degrees to the southward of the line. Our readers may remember that Mrs. Balcombe and family, Mr. and Mrs. Melville, went home by this vessel. It is said that a French vessel fell in with her found her deserted, and waterlogged. We cannot trace this to any authentic source, but the report is current. We trust; however, it will be found incorrect. [80]

 

We regret to have to report that the ship Asia, announced elsewhere, on her outward passage, got information of the ‘Nancy’- Price; from this port, having been lost on the passage home —a French vessel, it is said, found her within 7. 25. S. lat. waterlogged and deserted. The report is by no means authenticated, and may yet, as we   hope it will, prove fabulous. But admitting the Nancy to have been met as described, there is every likelihood that her passengers had managed to escape to some place of safety in the ship’s boats— the Coast of Terra Firma or the African Coast, being adjacent on either side. Among the Nancy’s passengers, were Mrs. Balcombe and     Mrs. Abell, Mr and Mrs. Putter, and Mr. and Mrs. Melville.[81]

 

However, in August it was reported that ‘The Argyle’ touched for refreshment at Rio, where she found the ‘Nancy’, Capt. Pryce, from Sydney, for London, which had encountered very severe gales at Cape Horn. [82] We know they finally arrived safely in English waters as the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported On the evening of Wednesday, 17 August 1831, NANCY arrived off Falmouth, Cornwall and the next day she had arrived off Brighton [83] and arrived in The Downs on August 19. [84]

 

So, had the French sailors seen the Nancy with all hatches well and truly battened down and no person visible on deck? Had they noted an incorrect name for the ship they saw? Was it the right ship but on the next voyage? Had the newspapers identified the wrong ship, muddling the wool ship Nancy and Captain Pryce with Whaler Nancy, and a Captain Pryde, lost on March 10, 1831 in New Zealand waters. [85] But why the long delay of the newspaper reports with mention of the names of the Balcombe and Melville families appearing as late as December.

 

The three boys William, Thomas and Alexander had chosen to remain in Australia. Had they done so because they felt they had good prospects in this new colony or did they not have the funds to return to England with their mother and sister? A letter from Governor Darling to Sir George Murray dated 29 July 1829, suggested that the eldest son William, an agriculturalist, was given a grant of 2 square miles of land, the second son was employed as a Clerk in the Commissariat and the youngest as a Clerk in the office of the Supreme Court. A year later Sir George Murray wrote to Governor Darling that he had appointed Mr. Thomas Balcombe to be Draftsman on the establishment of the Surveyor General’s department of NSW.[86]

 

However, Governor Darling may have the boys mixed up as in May 1830 Alexander was working in the Commissary Offices as indicated by this advertisement in the Sydney Gazette of 8 May 1830

TO be SOLD by Private Contract 200 FINE WOOLED EWES and 50 LAMBS, from the Flocks of John McArthur, Esq. purchased from Mr. Icely, the original cost 4 Guineas a-head; since improved for the last ten years, by Saxon Rams, from the Flock of J. Riley, Esq. Reference to be had to Mr. Alexander Balcombe, Commissary Officer, Lumber Yard.

 

By August 1832 William was reported as living on his land grant in Argyle, brother Alexander, the Clerk in the Commissariat had been dismissed for negligence so was then unemployed. In September 1830 Thomas had been appointed a draftsman in the Surveyor-General’s Department with a salary of £150 but by 1833 his work was apparently considered unsatisfactory, he is not well spoken of by his superior [87] but he was saved from dismissal by the promise made to his mother and put on field work. [88]

 

In the 1830s Surveyor General Thomas Livingstone Mitchell had travelled extensively out of Sydney and one of his earlier surveys had marked his new line of road between Marulan and Goulburn [89] and this would have had an influence on the future of Bungonia. Thomas Balcombe who worked in the Surveyor’s office does not appear to be have been on any of these expeditions of Mitchell. [90]

 

In 1832 Jane Balcombe wrote to the Secretary of State for Colonies asking for a passport to be issued to a man who was to act as tutor to young Bessie on the trip to NSW, the verbal answer being no passport was necessary.

‘Mrs. Balcombe presents her compliments and will be much obliged to Mr.

[Gray?] if he will grant the bearer of this a Passport – as he wishes to go

to New South Wales and has engaged to instruct my little Granddaughter on

her passage out. Jane Balcombe, 5th Oct, Kings St, St James Square[91]

 

It appears, on arrival, Mrs. Balcombe immediately petitioned the Colonial Secretary, Viscount Goderich, as there is a handwritten letter in NSW State Records (35), 9 Aug 1832, from Alexander McLeay, Colonial Sec, Sydney to Edward Barnard, Agent for the Colony of NSW, London.

McLeay writes acknowledging receipt of his letter 18 Feb stating that in compliance with instructions from Viscount Goderich he had paid Mrs. Balcombe 200 pounds sterling to defray the expenses of her and her daughter’s passages to England and the NSW office would credit the Colonial Sec account for that amount.

 

Jane was staying in South Cave, Yorkshire at the home of her sister Elizabeth and brother in law Travel Leason (who had been business partners on St Helena with William Balcombe) when she expressed her thanks to Lord Goderich for the allowance. Her handwritten letter is in the National Archives, London, as advised by Stephen Wright

 

The Rt Hon’ble, Lord Viscount Goderich &c &c &c

South Cave, Yorkshire, Jan 23, 1832

Sir,

With feelings of the deepest gratitude I beg to acknowledge your Lordship’s very great and benevolent consideration in allowing me to draw the amount for myself and daughter’s passage to this country. Words are too feeble to portray our sense of your Lordship’s kind interposition (intersession?). I can only pray to the Author of the Good to shower down blessings upon you and yours, as you have afforded relief to the Widow and the Orphans – with prayers for your Lordship’s health and prosperity, I beg to subscribe myself, Your Lordship’s Gratefully obliged and devoted Servant,

Jane Balcombe

 

Ref: CO/201/229 – (2)   from the widowed Mrs. Jane Balcombe to Viscount

Goderich, Earl of Ripon, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Dated July 18, 1832. Stamped ‘Received C.D. July 18, 1832]/

 

‘To the Right Honorable the Lord Goderich, Secretary of State for the Colonies, &c &c &c/

The humble Petition of Jane Balcombe, Widow of the late William

Balcombe, Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.

 

That your Petitioner’s late Husband was for a great number of years established in the Island of St Helena where he accumulated a considerable property as a Merchant and general trader.

That your Petitioner’s said Husband was among other duties charged with the supply of the establishment formed at St Helena for General Napoleon Bonaparte.

That he came to England with his family in the year 1818 leaving his Property at St Helena in charge of a Superintendent and that during the absence of your Petitioner’s said Husband some untoward circumstances over which he had personally no control took place the result of which  led to a prohibition on the part of the Government to his return to the said Island and consequently to the total [ruin] of his property there.

That in consideration of his great losses in this respect, Earl Bathurst, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, appointed her said late Husband Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales, to which Settlement he repaired with his family, consisting of three Sons and two Daughters in the year 1824, in the hope that he might had his life been spared have been enabled to provide for his family.

That her said Husband died in the month of March 1829, leaving your Petitioner and his Family in a state of absolute destitution and your said Petitioner being far advanced in life and in infirm health. She therefore must humbly pray that in respect of the suffering of her late Husband and Family in the public services, your Lordship will take her case into your consideration and grant her such allowance towards her support and that of her children who are still unprovided for.

And your Lordship’s Petitioner shall ever pray

Jane Balcombe [14 or 141] Kings Street, St James Square/

 

under my consideration the peculiar circumstances connected with the late Mr. Balcombe whose appointment to the situation of Colonial Treasurer of NSW resulted from claims, which he had upon this Department in consequence of certain transactions* which occurred at St Helena during the period of Napoleon Buonaparte’s detention there, I have been induced to recommend to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury that the widow of Mr. Balcombe should receive, in addition to the Sum which the Colonial Agent was authorized to issue to her on 26 Jan last, a gratuity of two hundred and fifty pounds to enable her to return with her family to NSW where 2 of her sons appear to be at present residing, and with whom she is desirous of passing the remainder of her days.”

 

In regard to the gratuity to enable Mrs. Balcombe to return with her family (Betsy and daughter) to New South Wales, to pass “/the remainder of her days”/ an attached memorandum on actions to be taken stated /To give a passage out to NSW to Mrs. Balcombe, Mrs. Abel and the female child of the latter /and also /If the above can be done for Mrs. Balcombe she will quit England with her daughter Mrs. Abel forever, not only perfectly satisfied but full of gratitude to Lord Goderich and the Governor for the humane and kind consideration given to her Case.

 

By March 1833 Jane Balcombe and Betsy Abell had arrived back in the Colony. Mrs. Balcombe, relict of the late Colonial Treasurer, with her daughter, Mrs. Abel, have arrived from England, at Van Diemen’s Land, on their way to this colony.[92]

 

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.

ARRIVALS.

From London via Hobart Town, on Thursday last, having sailed from the former port on the 19th October, and the latter on the 20th of March, the ship Ellen, Captain George Dixon, with a general cargo. Passengers, Mrs. Jane Balcombe, Mrs. Louisa Abel, Miss Elizabeth Abel, Edward Dumaresq, Esq. Mrs. Dumaresq, and 3 children.

 

Obviously satisfied with their voyage, several passengers placed the following letter in the newspaper:

DEAR SIR, -We cannot leave the Ellen without expressing that we are very much pleased and satisfied with our voyage, and feel obliged by your uniform kindness and attention to us. Be assured, we shall at all times take an interest in your welfare, and sincerely hope, you may ever enjoy every possible success and happiness. We remain, dear Sir, your very obedient servants, JANE BALCOMBE, LOUISA E. ABELL, JOHN. S. MORPHY, EDWARD J. EYRE,

BACKWELL H. LAMBART, EDWARD DUMARESQ. FANNY B. DUMARESQ,

Captain Dixon, Commander ship Ellen, Sydney Cove, 19th March, 1833  [93]

 

A Mr. Balcombe was also listed as a passenger from London so did one of the boys return from England with Jane and Betsy, or is it a different Balcombe family? [94] Surely if it had been one of her sons, Jane would have asked him to sign the letter in praise of “Ellen”. The Sydney Monitor didn’t name Jane but did list Mrs. and Miss Able [sic] and a Mr. Balcombe.[95]

 

It was not long after their arrival back in the Colony, in May, that Jane and Betsy were robbed. Highway Robbery – on Sunday evening last, as Mrs. Balcombe and Mrs. Able were proceeding to Liverpool they were stopped and robbed by two armed men when within three miles of Jordon’s Plough Inn who had their faces covered with black handkerchiefs; they demanded nothing but such money as the two ladies had with them which was immediately given, and the fellows decamped. The same two had previously robbed a person named Payne.[96]

 

A couple of months later, in July 1833, Mrs. Balcombe of Erskine Villa was assigned a house servant.[97]

 

In December 1833 Customs reported Mrs. Balcombe had imported one case of Millinery on the Joseph Banks. [98] This could have been a Mrs. Balcombe running a ladies-wear shop but no advertisement for anything appropriate has been found. The trunk of millinery almost certainly belonged to Jane. However, for some reason she must have become very disillusioned with things in NSW. Was it her financial difficulties, was she concerned for the safety of the girls, did she fall out with her sons, was she given a poor health report, was daughter Betsy desperately homesick for the brighter lights England?

 

Whatever the reason Jane, her daughter and grand-daughter left the colony on that same ship having only stayed in NSW a few months.  DEPARTURES.  For London, on Tuesday last the baroque Sir Joseph Banks, T. B. Daniel, H. C. S., commander; loading wool, &c. Passengers, Mrs. Balcombe, Mrs. Abel, Miss Abell, Miss Susan Price, Major Hoverden, II. M. 4th Regiment; Richard Bourke, Esq., Mr. F. M. Rotheray, Dr. Inches, R. N.; and Henry Cahill, servant; Capt. Wills, and Mrs. Wills, Mr. Boxall, and Mr. Grimes.  [99] They were reported as having safely returned to England, arriving at the River, Portsmouth on 30 August. [100]

 

This trip was financed by the Colonial Treasurer, the Sydney Herald reporting of Disbursements included To Mrs. Balcombe, Widow of the late Colonial Treasurer as a Gratuity, and to defray the Expense of her Passage to England £450..0..0. [101] It appears that this would be their last voyage to or from NSW, family finances would make more trips impossible. It could have been a tearful farewell with her sons who had made the decision to stay in NSW, and no doubt Jane hoped they would become successful in their new country.

 

We have confirmation of Thomas’ work in the Surveyor General’s department as his grand-daughter Vera (Balcombe) Gaden donated a hand coloured map of the nineteen Counties dated 7 April 1834 to the NSW State Library. It is inscribed “Transmitted to Mr Balcombe with my instructions dated 7 April 1834. T.L.M.”. The Library notes This map is an important early proof of portion of Major Mitchell’s map, with name places and outlines of mountains added in Mitchell’s hand. The area shown entails the Central Tablelands and Goulburn and Hunter Rivers, first surveyed on Mitchell’s instructions by John Rogers from September 1829. Compared with the final engraving, this map shows that only some of the mountains marked in red by Mitchell [Jerry’s Plains Range, Mt. Wambo?] were in fact added. Mitchell sends an annotated early proof of his map into the field to show the area he wants surveyed for his Map of the Colony.[102]

 

Balcombe also had Field Books now deposited with the State Records of NSW. We were able to examine these books, hoping for a few sketches of people and places as well as the surveys. We were not disappointed. There are 2 books dated 1834 and one for 1835. The areas cover

1) the Wollombi Road Country and Northumberland Mountain Ranges between the Hunter River and Wybong Creek and Halls Creek in the counties of Durham, Brisbane, Blaxlands Road towards Ogilvie’s 1834.

2) Survey of Mountain Ranges between Wybong and Hall’s Creek, portion of the Goulburn River, Giants Creek Counties Brisbane, Hunter and Northumberland 1834

  1. Goulburn River, Smiths rivulet, Ranges west of Halls creek, and between Gunmun and Bow Creeks and Krui river, Counties Brisbane etc. 1835.[103] These Counties named in Balcombe’s Field Books were four of the of the original Nineteen Counties in New South Wales.

Brisbane County which includes present day Scone, Merriwa and Murrurundi. The Goulburn River is the boundary to the south and the Hunter River the boundary to the south-east. The Liverpool Range area is the boundary to the north, and the Krui River the boundary to the west.

Durham County is bordered on the south and west by the Hunter River, and on the north and east by the Williams River. It includes Aberdeen and Muswellbrook. Before 1834, the area known as Durham County included what later became Gloucester and most of Brisbane counties, as far west as the Liverpool Range, and east to the Pacific, including Port Stephens, as shown on an 1832 map.

Hunter County  lies between the Hunter River in the north, and the Colo River in the south, including much of Wollemi National Park. Macdonald River lies to the east.

Northumberland County  included the area to the north of Broken Bay, including Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. It was bounded by the part of the Hawkesbury River to the south, the Macdonald River to the south-west, and the Hunter River to the north.[104]

 

Balcombe Surveyors notes State Records Office for 1834 – 1835.

 

Friday 9th May 1834: Drew a few articles from Parramatta Store and started for Hunter River.

Saturday 10th: Travelling.

Sunday 11th: Arrived at Wisemans.

Monday 12th: My Dray arrived not being able to keep pace with Mr. Dixon’s on account of having travelled the two first days with only 3 bullocks.

Tuesday 13th: Got to the 10-mile Hollow.

Wednesday 14th: To Hungary Flats.

Thursday 15th: To Young Wisemans.

Friday 16th: To Mr. Dowlands.

Saturday 17th: To McDonalds, Black Creek.

Sunday 18th: To Hunter River and Patrick Plains. [Land here had been granted to Benjamin Singleton and the area is now known as Singleton][105]

[img 9267]

 

Sketches of male body, kettle, female head on inside cover of book [image 9268]

Front Cover Balcombe Vol 5 (5 crossed out and replaced with 2] [image 9269]

Sketch of aboriginal man holding axe, covered in animal skin? [image 9270]

 

Thursday 21st:  Lang [?] Received slops by Mr. Bettington’s dray [this would be James Brindley Bettington of Martindale, Merriwa][106]

Tuesday 27th: Returned from Maitland. Dray

Wednesday 28th: Drew two months rations from Glennie’s [this would be James Glennie of Dulwich.[107] ]

Thursday 29th: Arrived at Masts Water Creek

Friday 30th: Dray arrived at Cpt Wrights tonight from Hunter River [Captain Samuel Wright was a former soldier from Ireland who had been granted land in the area. He was the Magistrate and Superintendent of Police for Newcastle.[108]]

Saturday 31st May: Resting cattle.

[image 9271]

 

In red ink R 3 8 6 7 Contents

Dividing Range Wybang and Halls Creek 1 (Wybong is near Denman)

Ranges and Creek west of Dartbrook 50 (Dartbrook is near Aberdeen)

[image 9272]

 

Sunday 17 Sent chainman and bullock driver in search [of bullocks?]

Monday 18th August 1834: Proceeded with bullock driver and pressed on with 2 days rations.

Thursday 21st: Sent man for 1 week’s rations

Friday: Rained hard all day

Saturday 23rd 1834 August: Rained hard

Sunday 24th: Raining heavy

Monday 25th: Sent in for rations to Singletons [Benjamin Singleton had land grants in the area]

Tuesday: Man not returned

Wednesday: Continued tracing Goulburn [River?], an Upper Hunter River and runs near the towns of Denman, Merriwa and Sandy Hollow][109]

 

In August a man wrote a letter (via the Sydney newspapers) to the Surveyor General concerning the great complaints about the bad state of the roads and bridges in the Hunters River area including Maitland to Newcastle and Maitland to Green Hills, he wrote “It is said the Surveyor of Roads in that district is more partial to the Police bench than to his official duties. A correspondent informs us he is to be seen daily under the wing of the Police Magistrate in Maitland.” [110]  Was Thomas the specific surveyor of roads? If it was him, was he noticed sheltering during the several days of heavy rain with Captain Samual Wright, the Newcastle area Police Magistrate?  At that time there was no regular court held in Maitland until a couple of months later when Pieter Laurentz Campbell was appointed as Police Magistrate on 1st October 1834.[111]

 

[img 9274]

Sunday 31st August: Proceeded homeward

Monday 1st September: Arrived

Tuesday, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Satur, Sunday, Monday:  Plotting survey

Tuesday 9th: Waiting for slops

[Slops was used as either a general term for clothing including trousers, shirts and shoes [112] or could be used specifically for loose fitting trousers which came to just below the knee. [113] In both instances they were ‘working’ clothes rather than ‘dress’ clothes. However, it is odd that they seemed to be always short of clothing… was there another meeting of which I am not aware?]

Saturday 13th: Proceeded towards Maitland to ascertain if slops had arrived

Tuesday 16th: Arrived at Maitland

Wednesday 17: In Maitland

Thursday 18th: Went to Green Hills after slops. [Green Hills was the place on the Hunter River where the steam packet wharf was located, now known as Morpeth.[114]]

Sunday 21st: Arrived at Patricks Plains on my way home.

Monday 22: Arrived at the tents [at] Bengalla

Tuesday 23: —–

Wednesday 24th: Sent bullock driver after the bullocks, returned late.

Thursday 25th: Returned with bullocks

Friday 26th Sept: Sent Dray to Maitland for slops.

Tuesday: To [Peters… town?], Dray arrived from Maitland but could not cross on account of flood.

 

[image 9275]

Monday October 13: Crossed River Hunter

Tuesday 14: Resting bullocks

Wed 15:—–

Thursday 16th: Crossed at River

 

[image 9276 and 9277] are sketches of river path

[image 9278 and 9279] are images of boxer, leg and conical mountain/hill

 

[image 9280]

Thursday 21st: Arrived at Cpt Wrights Farm Bengalla[115]

November 6th 1834: Removed tents from Cpt Wrights farm to Judge Forbes. [This was Francis Forbes who had land ‘Skellatar’ near Muscle Town, now Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley][116]

Friday and Saturday 22nd: Now removed to Glennie’s Paddock.

Friday 5th [December]: ———

Monday 8th Nov: Went to Green Hills, no account of any package. Set off for Maitland to ascertain whether articles from the Survey office had arrived.

Tuesday: at Maitland

Wednesday: Went again to Green Hills, saw Mr. Dulhunty. Spoke to him concerning bullocks.

[In 1828 Lawrence Vance Dulhunty was appointed Assistant Surveyor of Roads and Bridges. On 2nd May, l839, the new line of road from the Green Hills to Maitland was reported by The Australian to have been commenced under the superintendence of Mr. L. Dulhunty, the Inspector of Roads and Bridges for that district. On 26th January, 1841, the same newspaper carried a report of a new bridge which had been erected under the supervision of Lawrence Dulhunty at Wollombi Brook.][117]

Friday: Sent to Green Hills, no account of any stores.

Saturday 13th Nov: Returned to tents at Mr. Glennies.

Monday 15th Went to Mr. Dulhunty for bullocks

Tuesday: Returned to tents

Wed 17:——-

Friday 19: Went to P[atricks] Plains

Tuesday 23rd: Returned to tents, sent man to Mr. White’s for 2 bullocks

Thursday 25th: Went to Patrick Plains

 

[img 9281]

Tuesday 30: Days went to Maitland to look after slops.

Wed 31st: Days went to Green Hills, no slops arrived.

 

Thursday 1st January 1835: Returned to Patricks Plains

Friday 2nd: Returned to tents

Saturday 3rd: Wrote to Surveyor General’s office concerning slops

Sunday 4th: —-

Monday 5th: Sent to Maitland for stores. Waiting slops.

Monday 11th: Returned Dray. Distributed leather

Friday 15th: Sent Days to Green Hills for slops.

 

[img 9282] Picture of Aboriginal man in skins carrying axe

 

Names of some of the men Balcombe mentions are shown on these maps

 

 

It was only a short time after Thomas finished this survey that his mother Jane’s death was recorded on 5 February 1835.  Died at Tunbridge Wells, Jane, relict of William Balcombe Esq. formerly of St Helena and late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales with whose family Napoleon Bonaparte spent many of his latter hours.[118]One can only speculate why Jane was at Tunbridge Wells. Taking the waters at the Spa was a popular past-time but she could also have been visiting the family of Alexander Beatson who had been Governor on St Helena and a family friend at the time when their children were all small.

 

The boy’s links with England were becoming more tenuous. In November 1848 Jane’s grand-daughter Bessie married On the 23rd November last, at Stoke Church, Devonshire, by the Rev. W. J. St. Aubyn, MA, Charles Edward, eldest son of George Johnstone, Esq., of Tavistock-square, London, and of Broncroft Castle, Salop, to Jane Elizabeth Balcombe, only child of Edward Abell, Esq., and grand daughter of William Balcombe, Esq., late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.  [119]

In 1871 Jane’s daughter Betsy died in London, she had outlived 2 of her brothers, William and Thomas. On the 29th June, at 18, Chester-terrace, Eaton-square, LUCIA ELIZABETH ABELL, widow of Edward Abell, Esq., and second daughter of William Balcombe, Esq., late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales, and its Dependencies, and formerly of The Briars, St. Helena. [120] and the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Abell on 29th cult is reported. In her maiden days, as Miss Balcombe, she was known to every reader of the memoirs of the first Napoleon’s career as the young lady whose sprightliness and sympathy were among the few things which rendered his latter days in exile at St Helena supportable.[121] Betsy as Lucia Elizabeth Abell died on 29 June 1871, Belgrave, St George Hanover, certificate DXZ 659038, and there is a burial page for All Souls Kensal Green No 52189, buried 5 July 1871. She is buried in grave number 20908 Square 90 R/S (roadside) with her son in law Charles E Johnstone (1868) and her daughter Jane E B (Bessie) Johnstone (1892).[122] It appears that this family line ended with Bessie’s death in 1892 as there did not appear to have been issue from the Johnstone marriage. (However, Bessie Balcombe’s name lived on in Australia in the form of a brown thoroughbred mare, born 1905, by the bay/brown stakes-winning stallion Simmer [GB, by St Simon from Dutch Oven] from Helena [Aus, by Goldsbrough from Lady Hooton]. Bessie Balcombe was dam to at least 3 horses, Earl of Seafield [by Duke Humphry], Get Yan [by Homeward Bound] and Moonshee, also by Homeward Bound).[123]

As time progresses the young Balcombe men became more settled and accepted in their local communities, William on the land, Thomas with his surveying, sketching and painting and Alexander who also took up land.  On 2 March 1833 the Sydney Monitor reported on the Petition when William Balcombe was one of the Gentlemen be invited to become Members of the General Committee, and to act as Branch Committees in their several districts, and that a circular be addressed to each individual requesting his co-operation. William junior would represent Argyle Shire. By late 1836 all three Balcombe men had an interest in the Sutton Forest area of NSW, with both Thomas and Alexander subscribing £1 towards the erection of a church, and William contributed £5. [124]

A couple of them also had convict namesakes in the Colony, two men convicted for Life at the Sussex assizes, the county where the Balcombe family originated… they could well have been relatives! Convicts William Balcombe, who arrived on the ship Guildford on 22 April 1824 was a groom for Mrs. King of Melville and was pardoned 30 October 1838, and Thomas Balcombe, a labourer to Rev Hassall in the Bathurst area who had arrived on the Prince of Orange on 2 June 1821. In January 1835 Thomas had his ticket of leave cancelled for having denied before the Supreme Court what he had sworn before the Bathurst Court.[125] but it was reinstated in August 1836. [126] He married Mary Jackman or Cox in 1843 in the Church of England, Abercrombie, district of Bathurst [127] and was granted a conditional pardon by Thomas Hassall, John Stack JP, William Lawson (Snr) and JT Market PM on 1 February 1843[128] so that was at least two “Convict indulgences” which he was granted.[129]

 

Our William Balcombe’s land grants were at Molonglo, towards Lake Bathurst, and brother Thomas Tyrwhitt would have visited him and, en route, travelled through the Marulan and Bungonia area. Here in the County of Argyle, he would come into contact with people like the Stuckey family of Longreach, Marulan, the Mitchell’s of Brisbane Meadow and the family of Gabrielle Huon de Kerrileau of Caarne, whose land bounded Bungonia Creek to the north east of Bungonia village.

 

Another person from this area was Dr David Reid, a former naval surgeon who had been a magistrate alongside William the Colonial Treasurer.[130] He was initially granted land in the Bungonia-Marulan area, a place he called Inverary Park. He is listed as having 2060 acres in the 1828 census, with 56 acres under cultivation. He was considered to be an ‘efficient’ and one of ‘the best practical agriculturalists’.[131] His daughter Emma married Alexander Beatson Balcombe, Thomas’ younger brother, in 1841, and they pioneered land in Victoria where Alexander had obviously been exploring. At Bungonia, Argyle, on 30th August, by the Rev GM Wood, Mr. Alexander Balcombe of Melbourne to Emma Juana, youngest daughter of the late David Reid Esq, Surgeon RN of Inverary Park.[132]

Southern Association AT A PUBLIC MEETING, held this day, in the Pulteney Hotel, called by advertisement, for the purpose of forming an Association for the Suppression of Stock Stealing in general in the Southern Districts, David Reid, Esq., in the Chair, the following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to: Proposed by Henry O’Brien, Esq., J. P., and Seconded by Captain M’Kellar, J. P. That the Landed Proprietors of the New or Argyle shire Country do form themselves into one Association, to be named ” The Southern Association for the Suppression of Stock Stealing,” and that Committees be formed, where two or more Proprietors reside, for the purpose of not only communicating with each other, but of forming themselves the more readily into parties, when necessary, for the apprehension and conviction of Persons connected with and forming the extensive and ruinous gangs of Cattle Stealers now, and for years past, in existence throughout that part of the Colony.[133]

William Balcombe of Limestone Plains was one of the committee for his area and later that year he was assigned one pot boy.[134] However he reported the absconding of an assigned convict, White John, Bussorah Merchant 2, 31.2248, 22, Kilkenny, errand boy, four feet ten and three quarter inches, ruddy, freckled, and pock pitted complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, slight horizontal scar over outer corner of right eye, from W. Balcomb, Goulburn, since November 14, second time of absconding.[135] He was reassigned a pot boy in September 1836. [136]

 

Alexander had some bad luck, or was it just carelessness? LOST, ON THE ARGYLE ROAD, AN ORDER on W. Hirst & Co., drawn for Hirst and Buckley, by R. M. Redmayne, for £23 16s. 6d. in favor of A. Balcomb, Esquire. Whoever will return the same to Mr. Berner, York-street, will be rewarded.[137]  In those days this was quite a large amount to no longer have available for purchases.

 

List of Individuals who have obtained Licenses from the Colonial Treasurer, for depasturing Stock beyond the boundaries of the Colony, from the 12th to the 18th February, 1837. inclusive, on payment of the established fee.

247, Balcombe, Wm. Molonglo Plains, Western, Monaroo[138]

 

Not only did the boys misplace their money, the horses started to stray too. TEN POUNDS REWARD. A LIGHT chestnut MARE, branded B in two or three places, having been missing from Molonglo Plains for some days past, and being supposed to be stolen, a sum of Ten Pounds will be paid on conviction of any person or persons of the offence; or a Reward of One Pound will be paid on recovery of the Mare. Application to be made to Mr. Balcombe, of Molonglo, or Mr. Murphy, of Gundaroo. Also, a light bay Gelding, about five years old, branded under the saddle either C or J, from the same place, and for which the same Reward will be paid either on conviction of the party, or on recovery of the horse. EDWARD JOHN RYAN   April 7, 1837.[139]

 

The area was also becoming subject to plenty of theft. The Sydney Monitor of 7 August 1837 reported: FRIDAY, August 4, 1837. Before Mr. JUSTICE BURTON, and a Military Jury. William Duffy, and George Simmons, late of Goulburn, labourers, were indicted for having with force and arms on the ninth day of May last at Molonglo, assaulted one John Callaghan and stealing eleven pairs of boots, one chest of tea, one bag of sugar, and other articles. To this indictment the prisoners pleaded not guilty.

 

John Callaghan an assigned servant to Major Antill and residing at that gentle man’s sheep station at Molonglo, being sworn stated, that he was proceeding on the day laid in the indictment, towards the station with a dray containing among other property a bag of sugar, a chest of tea and 27 pounds of salt; when about eleven miles from the station a fellow servant of witness met him with six bullocks which he yoked on to the dray, after they had proceeded some little distance and when ‘about a mile ‘ from Mr. Balcombes, three men having their faces disguised and two of them armed with muskets came up to the dray and desired witness to stop but he drove on, when the men stopped the bullocks; the prisoners at the bar were two of the men spoken of – Simmons had one of the muskets and the man not taken had the other; the men told witness companion to move off and said they would settle the old fellow, meaning witness who stayed by the dray, the prisoner Duffy then went and took the tarpaulin off the load and threw down fifteen pair of boots, a bag of wheat, a bag of sugar, a chest of tea, one keg of tobacco, and a box of soap, and then asked if there was any more, being told there was none, he broke open the chest of tea and took out some which he put in a bag, in doing this he spilled a considerable quantity of which about ten pounds were picked up the next day, the prisoners after this returned four pair of boots to Jacob the servant, they had stockings on their heads and brought down the sides of their faces which they in a great measure concealed, but left room for the eyes and mouth; they were employed about an hour overhauling the dray and witness had good opportunity of observing them and is quite sure that the prisoners Duffy and Simmons were two of the men, witness did not know them before, he saw Police Office, they were apprehended the next day.

 

While Duffy was employed opening the chest, the prisoner Simmons held the muskets and witness took particular notice of his person, which being observed by Duffy he told Simmons to shoot him, but no attempt was made to do so; the other man was employed holding the bag for the tea. When witness saw the prisoners at the Police Office they had on the same clothes as they appeared in at the time of the robbery, with the exception that Duffy had on a hat instead of a cap, and both had great coats. When witness arrived at the Station, he gave information of the circumstance to the superintendent. James Fielding, of the Mounted Police, stated that in consequence of information which he received, he proceeded about daybreak; on the tenth of May, in search of the prisoners, when he had proceeded about six miles from where he had en camped he overtook the prisoners who were each carrying half a bag of sugar to a place about eight miles from Molonglo Plains towards Bongadore range, witness asked them what they had got, they threw down their loads and Simmons said he had found the sugar in a hollow tree in the bush about three quarters of a mile from where witness met them, they proceeded then but found no traces of anything about the spot; when witness overtook the prisoners they were going in the direction of Simmons’s hut, Simmons was a shepherd of Mr. Brook’s.

 

After depositing the prisoners in custody, witness proceeded to the hut but could find nothing but clothing. Being cross-examined he stated that when Simmons was taken he said that he had been sent by the Overseer into the bush to cut bark for repairing the hut, where he had been employed the previous day building a chimney. Duffy has been reported as having absconded for four months. Abraham Jacob, assigned to Major Antill stated, that on the day of the robbery, he was sent by the superintendent with six bullocks to meet the dray, understanding that Callaghan had lost his bullocks, he met the prosecutor, and fastened on the bullocks, and they proceeded on about a quarter of a mile, when three men approached from Mr. Brook’s towards Molonglo and stopped the dray, they had two pieces with them, and their faces were covered; one of them bid witness stand away from the dray while they robbed it; witness went and stood at the head of the bullocks, their being twelve of them, he was at some distance from the dray,  witness never saw the men before, and had no opportunity then of seeing their faces; they robbed the dray; one of the men came up to witness and gave him four pair of boots, saying they were miserably off for boots: their faces were covered entirely except their eyes; before Witness came, up with the dray, he met a man and woman in a cart, who told him they had been stopped and robbed, he did not ask them how many men robbed them, he had no curiosity to ask; when he came up with Callaghan, he told him of the robbery.

 

Callaghan being recalled, denied that Jacob had told him of the robbery; Jacob asked him if he had been robbed. Jacob continued; it was about one or two o’clock in the day when he met Callighan; witness is employed as cook, he was formerly a shepherd, but at a great distance from Mr. Brooks. Mr. James Rush being sworn, stated that he is superintendent to Major Antill  at Molonglo; witness recollects, that on the ninth of May, he sent Jacob with a team of bullocks to meet Callaghan, hearing that he had lost the bullocks; the place where the robbery occurred is about eight miles from witness station; Jacob ought to have reached the place about nine o’clock ;,he ought to have got much   further than he did by two o’clock ; Callaghan gave witness a description of the robbers; he said he should know them again; witness found that the dray had been robbed, and missed eleven pair of boots, forty five pounds of tea, a bag of sugar, half a box of soap, and half a layer of tobacco; Callaghan has been seven years, at the station; Jacob started soon after daylight

 

Callaghan recalled; stated that Jacob met him about one o’clock; the man and woman in the cart did not pass witness; they were about a quarter of a mile before him; witness can swear most positively to the identity of the prisoners from the observation he took, and the time they were with him; their faces were not covered as stated by Jacob; they stooped down several times, when they did so, the stockings opened from their faces. In defence, Simmons stated, that on the day in question, he was employed with a man named O’Connor in repairing a hut the whole day; the next morning, while going out to the bush to cut bark, he found a bag of sugar in a hollow tree, and meeting soon afterwards with Duffy, he asked him to help him to carry it; he did so, and they were then met by the Policeman, who apprehended them. No witnesses being in attendance for the prisoners, His Honor summed up the case to the jury, who immediately returned a verdict, finding both the prisoners Guilty. His Honor ordered that death should be recorded, but observed that he should recommend that they be transported for life.

 

William Balcombe, despite being made Commissioner of Lands by the Acting Governor[140] in January 1838 was also subject to suffering problems on his farm when it was reported in June of that year that On Wednesday, the 23rd ultimo, the wheat stacks of William Balcombe, Esq, Molonglo, were discovered to be on fire, and although every exertion was made to extinguish it, the whole were consumed. An assigned servant who has lately absented, and who has been heard to use very threatening language, is strongly suspected as being the incendiary. A reward of twenty-five pounds or a conditional pardon has been offered by Government for the conviction of the offender.[141]

 

TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS REWARD OR A CONDITIONAL PARDON.-Whereas, it has been represented to His Excellency the Governor, that on the night of the 22nd ullimo, the barn, wheat, and hay stacks, belonging to Mr. William Balcombe, at Molonglo Plains, were maliciously set on fire and destroyed; Notice is hereby given, that a reward of Twenty-five Pounds will be paid to any free person or persons, except the actual perpetrator, who may give such information as shall lead to the conviction of the parties concerned; or, if the informant be a prisoner of the Crown; application will be made to Her Majesty for the allowance to him of a Conditional Pardon.[142]

 

Supreme Court-Criminal Side.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11.   (Before Mr. Justice Willis, and a Civil Jury.)  

Charles Carty was indicted for setting fire to a stack of hay, the property of Mr. Balcombe, at Molonglo Plains, Queanbeyan on the 22nd of last May.

Robert Griffiths called – I am overseer to Mr. Balcombe, and was in May last ; the prisoner was assigned to Mr. Balcombe, but he took the bush on the 10th of May, and did not return until the 2nd of June, when he gave himself up to me on the farm, saying, he heard that he was accused of burning the barn and wheat stack; that he was innocent, and he came “to rectify himself.” On the night of the 22nd of May I was alarmed with the cry of fire; I got up and went to the stack- yard, which I found in one sheet of flame. The wheat stack and barn were on fire, and between three or four hundred bushels of wheat consumed; I found a bag containing fire stuffed into a hay- stack which stood about twenty yards apart from the wheat, and succeeded in pulling it out before it had time to ignite.

Catherine Griffiths called- I am the wife of the last witness: on the night of the 22nd of May,   about ten o’clock, I was told the wheat was on fire, and I went to the stock-yard; I found it all in a blaze; I heard a noise, which I thought was made by some pet calves, which were penned up, and on stooping down to ascertain, I saw the prisoner crouching down by the fence; he had one hand on the fence, and in the other he held his hat, which was a straw one, that I could distinctly see by the light of the fire; I saw him wipe the sweat from his brows with the back of his hand; when he perceived me he ran off towards the Range, which is a mountain in the vicinity of the farm; the prisoner was in the bush at that time. It having been proved that no hay was consumed, the information was withdrawn, and the prisoner indicted for setting fire to the barn and wheat stack, and found guilty on the preceding evidence. Death recorded.[143]

Charles Carty was indicted for setting fire to a stack of wheat, the property of William Balcombe, Jnr, at Molonglo, on the 22nd of May, On the night of the day laid in the indictment the barn was discovered to be on fire, and Mrs. Griffiths, the overseer’s wife, swore positively that she saw Carty, who had absconded from the farm a few days before, crouching under the fence, and as soon as he saw her he went away towards the  mountains. A day or two before the prisoner absconded, he was flogged for losing sheep, and he had been heard to use a great number of threats of what injury he would do his master. Guilty-Death recorded.[144]

Land adjacent to William’s came on the market in 1838… several different lots, all bordering on his yet he appears to have not taken up any of it

 

  1. Murray, Seven hundred and ninety acres, parish unnamed, near Molonglo Plains ; commencing at the Molonglo River at the north-west corner of the Village Reserve, and bounded on the south by that reserve being a line east 87 chains ; on the cast by part of the west boundary of W. Balcombe’s 1280 acres grant, being a line north 94 chains and 50 links ; on part of the north by a line west 80 chains ; on part of the west by a line south 62 chains; and on the remainder of the north by a line west 6 chains and 70 links to the Molonglo River ; and on the remainder of the west by that river to the north-west corner of the Village Reserve aforesaid. Price 5s per acre.[145]

 

 

97 Argyle, One thousand acres, parish unnamed, near Mullengullengong, on the Yarralaw Creek; bounded on the east and south by that creek; on the west by the first section line east of Balcombe‘s 2000 acres; and on the north by land leased to Futter. 38-74.[146]

 

  1. Murray, Six hundred and forty acres, parish unnamed, at Black heath, Molonglo; commencing at the north east corner of William Balcomb’s 4000 acres; and bounded on the west by a line north 80 chains ; on the north by   a line east 80 chains ; on the east by 640 acres applied for to purchase, being a line south 80 chains ; and on the south by 640 acres applied for to purchase, being a line west 80 chains to the north cast corner of William Balcomb’s 4000 acres aforesaid. 38-401. Price 5s per acre.[147]

 

As well as growing wheat, William was breeding horses and some were offered for sale in July 1838. [148]FOURTEEN valuable and very superior bred Stock of HORSES, principally from Mr. Futter’s celebrated Arabian Horse, Mr. Balcombe’ unrivalled Entire, and Steeltrap.

They will be sold in Lots as follows, viz.

LOT 1 – One beautiful Bay Mare, 8 years old

2-One ditto Grey ditto, 7 ditto, long tail

3-One ditto ditto, got by Steeltrap, 5 years old, 15 hands high

4-One ditto ditto, ditto ditto, 3 years ditto

5-One ditto Bay ditto, 5 years old, fit for a Lady

6- One ditto Filly, 2 years ditto

7-One ditto Black ditto. 3 years ditto

8-One ditto Grey ditto, 3 ditto ditto.

These beautiful Animals will be found worthy the consideration of Gentlemen lately arrived, and principally in foal to the best Horses in Argyle.

Lot 9 – One two-years old Colt, finely grown

10-One ditto ditto ditto

11 One ditto ditto ditto

12 -One yearling ditto ditto

13-One ditto ditto ditto

14 – One ditto ditto ditto

Terms declared at the time of Sale.

 

 

In late March 1840 Thomas Balcombe and his companion Mr Stuckey were involved in a serious accident which was to have devastating consequences for the rest of Thomas’ life. We suspect the ‘Mr Stuckey’ was his future father-in-law, Peter Stuckey of Longreach, Marulan, who had four sons, the oldest being Peter junior born 1821 so would have been called ‘Mr Stuckey junior’ in the newspapers of the day. The other Stuckey brothers were William John born 1830, George Robert Hamilton born 1836, and Richard Henry Gould, the youngest, born 1840.[149]

 

THE ROADS — The roads are in a dreadful state, and scarcely a day passes that some serious   accident does not occur. A few evenings since, Mr. Stuckey and Mr. Balcombe were driving to Sydney in a gig, when from the state of a bridge near Cutter’s Inn (most likely over the Gibbergunyah Creek[150], near the Kangaroo Inn run by George Cutter on the corner of Lyell Street and the now Hume Highway, Mittagong [151])  an accident which was very near being attended with loss of life took place. The horse got his hind legs into a hole, and in plunging, turned the gig over, and Mr. Stuckey fell right through the bridge, a depth of twenty feet, where he remained senseless for four hours. Mr. Balcombe was pitched on his head on the bridge, and is still in a very dangerous state from concussion of the brain. Mr. Stuckey has

recovered from the injuries which he had received. The state of the roads is such, that some decisive step must be taken by the settlers themselves, for the government will do nothing to assist the settlers in this department any more than many others.[152]

 

The newspapers reported on the most dangerous and scandalous state of the bridge, advising readers that during the previous few months Messrs Stuckey and Balcombe were both severely hurt in endeavouring to cross it, and those who know the spot take to the bush and avoid it but strangers have had narrow escapes in crossing it. [153]

 

Perhaps William was away visiting his sick brother in early June when two of his assigned servants decided to visit a local Inn. Thomas Rix and Charles Kemp were both charged with being ‘at large’ in the Packhorse Public House. The charge was proved and the Bench sentenced Rix to receive 25 lashes and Kemp to receive 36 in all.[154]

 

Thomas’ head injury was to lead to devastating effects on the family for the rest of his life and into succeeding generations.

 

It is quite possible for a person (especially if young) to recover almost completely after being in a coma but usually there is some deficit in function depending on the site of the damage. Often there is a subtle global injury that occurs when shearing forces are involved, and can cause micro-haemorrhages, (well seen on modern MRI, but unknown in the 1800s) which resolve, and the patient wakes up, but cause small fibrotic scars. Sometimes even quite a large intra-parenchymal haemorrhage can resolve to a tiny scar, (because the brain is displaced rather than destroyed as in tumour) but there is usually some adjacent damage to brain tissue and it would be uncommon to have no residual changes. One of the silent areas of the brain is the frontal lobes (frequently affected in a fall, where the brain hits the bone anteriorly), where apparently large areas can be damaged with little effect on most functioning.[155]

 

Not understanding the long-term effects of his injury, a couple of months after this accident in 1840, Thomas appeared to have recovered sufficiently to marry Peter Stuckey’s eldest daughter Lydia.

 

On Saturday, June 27 at Longreach, Argyle, by the Rev. Mr. Sowerby, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, to Lydia, eldest daughter of Peter Stuckey, Esq., of Longreach. [156]

 

Peter Stuckey had arrived in Australia on the ship “Earl Spencer” in October 1813. He was a free settler and came with Thomas Barker and John Dickson, to whom he was apprenticed as a millwright. Dickson built the first steam mill in Sydney, in Darling Harbour near Dickson Street.

 

Peter Stuckey sold some goods he had brought to the colony and with the proceeds he bought some cattle. He was aged 25 when he married 18-year-old Ann House in St Luke’s, Liverpool in 1818.[157]

 

His wife was Ann, daughter of Captain William House, late boatswain of the HMS Discovery  (which stopped at Dusky Sound, New Zealand in 1791 [158]) commander of colonial sloop, Francis, (which was accompanying the sealer-whaling ship Britannia but was blown south and made contact with New Zealand)[159], first mate of the transport ship Ann, commander of the armed brig Norfolk, acting master of HMS Buffalo, first mate on HMS Investigator, medically evacuated on Daedelus and was subsequently harbour master at Port Dalrymple [Launceston]. House was known to suffer severely from a violent rheumatic complaint [160] which he named gout, hence the medical evacuation onto Daedelus. This transport ship was owned by Alexander Davison, friend of Horatio Nelson and leased to the Admiralty in July 1792 under Captain Thomas New.[161] It was sent via Cape Horn to the north west coast of America to take possession of several territories as well as re-provision Bank’s survey of the coast of America in ships Discovery and Chatham.

 

Daedalus then sailed for New South Wales, leaving on 29 December 1792 for Port Jackson, with a scratch crew and a few Spanish seamen and cargo of livestock (both cattle and sheep) before coming under the orders of Governor Phillip to resupply from with China and India. It was on the 1792 trip to NSW that House was a ‘passenger.’ They put in at Marquesas and then Tahiti where they picked up 70 live hogs then sailed to Doubtless Bay in New Zealand, reaching Sydney on 20 April 1793.[162] House returned to NSW on the convict ship Ann in 1801 and stayed in the colony until his appointment to Van Diemen’s land in 1804. Was his wife a former convict who he met on the Ann? Was she the “My Dear” to whom he wrote from the Daedalus in 1792?

 

The Tamar River in northern Tasmania was settled at Outer Cove in November 1804, to counteract any claim by the French. Led by Lieut-Col William Paterson, about 200 people set up camp. Named Port Dalrymple, the main settlement soon moved to Yorktown on the western side. Gardens for growing supplies were established at both Outer Cove (George Town) and York Town.

 

In 1806 William House and his family of a wife and three children and they ran 13 goats of their half acre of land, were still living at the port of Outer Cove where the former RN sailor was harbour master [163] and Superintendent of Shipping. [164] House was also appointed as the Naval Officer to Port Dalrymple [165]in the County of Cornwall, Van Diemen’s Land, in June 1806. He collected customs duties, port fees and other revenue.[166]

 

The brig Venus, a ship of 42 tons employed specifically to transport stores from Port Jackson to Van Diemen’s Land, arrived in June 1806, and Mr. House met with the Captain Samuel Chase and learned of the vessel’s problems, bad weather, purloined goods, threats of a mutiny by the mate and theft by the mate’s partner, convict Catherine Hagerty. An armed guard was set whilst House and Chase travelled to York Town to discuss the problem with Lieut-Governor Paterson. On the way back to the Venus, they made the mistake of stopping overnight on the Governor Hunter. When they returned to the Venus, they found the guards had been overpowered and put ashore, and the ship with her precious supplies was sailing back out to sea.[167]

 

Thus, the supplies for the Colony were lost, the people were starving. Capt. Chase and William House were held responsible for the loss of the vessel and supplies. By February the colony had run out of food except for kangaroo meat. Paterson sent William House and four other men in a longboat to row to the mainland for supplies from Port Jackson. They were never heard of again.

 

The House family received some cattle from Governor King by way of compensation and a rascal by the name of James O’Connell attempted to defraud Mrs. House and her children of the livestock.[168] Luckily the family kept some of the herd and Ann received some of these cattle on her marriage to Peter Stuckey. The cattle were grazed on the property “Pomeroy“, in the Mummell area near Goulburn, then owned by John Dickson. Part of this land (2 x 50-acre blocks) was bought many years later, in 1975, by Stuckey-House descendent Bob Gaden and his wife Caroline, they named the block “Saltersgate” and it is here that their children Philip, Paul and Peter spent their early childhood before heading north to Armidale in 1990.

 

Owning the cattle ensured being issued with a land grant. In 1824 Peter Stuckey first settled land which was called a variation of Billy Rampity, the local Aboriginal name which became known as Longreach. The first grant was for 550 acres but he was able to buy up adjoining land grants to enlarge his own property. In 1828 Surveyor Dixson had surveyed grants for Peter Stuckey, RM Campbell, W Shelley and Major Lockyer. [169]

 

The land fronted the Wollondilly River a few kilometres north by northwest of the current town of Marulan. By 1828 the holding had increased to 650 acres with 70 acres being cleared and 30 acres under cultivation. Stock were 20 horses and 350 cattle. Bush rangers were quite a problem with horses being a favourite target. The census lists Peter Stuckey aged 32, with Ann aged 28, Lydia 8, Peter 7, Rebecca 5, Anne 3 and Charlotte was 1 year old.

 

They lived in a slab hut until a more substantial sandstone building and stables could be erected by convict labour, completed in 1837.

 

It was on Stuckey land that marble was discovered by Peter Stuckey but he found the quarry operation too difficult and passed it to the Government. In the second volume of Mitchell’s “Three expeditions into the interior of Australia” written in 1838, he devoted a sentence or two to an interesting site not far from the Great Southern Road near Towrang where he noticed a quarry of crystalline variegated marble. This became home to the first marble quarry in the Colony. The Parish of Billyrambija [sic], Portion 9 Longreach was listed as where the first marble obtained in the state was mined. Peter’s brother Henry Stuckey leased a block of land called Hungry Hill near Longreach to Chas McAlister and that land was used for the raising and trading in the marble deposits there. The crystalline, variegated marble was fashioned into chimney pieces and tables which were sent to Sydney ‘to ornament’ houses. It was bought by the first Premier of NSW Stuart Donaldson to trade in his stores.[170] In the 1840s the site was visited by the Geologist the Reverend W B Clarke who saw the altered limestone was fossiliferous and several specimens of the prepared marble were taken to England by a Captain Baker and presented to the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough, Yorkshire.[171] The Rotunda Museum was built in 1829, to a design suggested by William Smith, ‘Father of English Geology’ whose pioneering work established that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain.[172]  It was here, in the 1960s, that it was seen by the Yorkshire science student who was destined to become the wife of Stuckey descendent Bob Gaden.[173]

 

Lydia Stuckey had 11 siblings so by marrying into the Stuckey family Thomas Balcombe became brother-in-law to several well know pioneering and exploring families… Chisholm, Collins, Huon de Kerrileau and Mitchell. [174]

 

  • Rebecca Stuckey married John William Chisholm of Kippilaw
  • Charlotte Stuckey married Thomas Mitchell the son of William Mitchell and Elizabeth Huon de Kerrileau of Brisbane Meadow. Elizabeth was the daughter of Gabriele Huon de Kerrileau of Bungonia Creek, and her brother Paul had married Sarah House, sister of Ann [House]Stuckey.
  • William John Stuckey married Emma Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Emma Stuckey married William Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Clara Chase Stuckey married Alexander Keith Collins.
  • George Robert Hamilton Stuckey married Emma Perrott.
  • Amelia St Clair Stuckey married Granville Robert Murray Collins, brother of Alexander.
  • Emily Sarah Stuckey married Henry Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Ann Elizabeth Stuckey and Richard Henry Gould Stuckey appear to be the only two who remained unmarried. Richard died at his sister Lydia’s home and was buried on 18 May 1894.

 

The family inter-connections continued when descendants of both Charlotte and Lydia were both incarcerated by the Japanese following the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. [175]

 

Thomas Balcombe must have spent time with brother William at Molonglo as he advertised for information when his horse went missing from there STRAYED, or Stolen, from Molongolo on or about the 1st of November, 1840, a grey mare, switch tail, branded H H conjoined, or double H on shoulder, Y under saddle, a young foal by her side; if strayed, a reward of £3 will be given on her recovery, at Mr. Powells Bungandore, or Mr. Peters, Marulan, if stolen, a reward of Five Pounds will be given on conviction of the parties. THOMAS BALCOMBE. Molonglo, November 23, 1840.[176]Just a couple of weeks before his Court of Claims for land had been postponed due to lack of paperwork or non-appearance. [177]

 

Meanwhile William and Alexander were both taking a lead role in local affairs. In January 1841 a meeting was held to discuss the establishment of a Parsonage for the local Church of England and a school for the local children.

QUEANBEYAN.

At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Queanbeyan on the 6th of January, 1841, Captain Faunce in the Chair. The following resolutions were passed unanimously.

1st. Moved by the Rev. E. Smith, and seconded by W. Balcombe, Esq. That it being advisable that a Parsonage House in connexion with the Church of England, should be erected in the district, and it being required by Act of Council that £300 at least, should be raised by voluntary contribution as the first step, it is incumbent on the inhabitants, members of the Church of England in particular, to all who are well-effected to the Church, to Unite and exert themselves to obtain subscriptions for that purpose. Mr. Balcombe in seconding this resolution, recommended that additional subscriptions be forthwith raised.

2nd. Moved by W. Balcombe, Esq, and seconded by J. Weston, Esq. That the Parsonage House be built on the Township.

3rd. Moved by H. Macquoid Esq., and seconded by H. Callunder Esq. That it is advisable that the Trustees should be residents on or near the spot; that the Police Magistrates Captain Faunce, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Weston, be therefore appointed as the Trustees; that the Rev. E. Smith be requested to accept the Office of Secretary, and also of Treasurer pro. tem., into whose hands the sums already subscribed are to be paid, and that the following gentlemen (with power to add to their number) be appointed as the Committee, to meet the first Wednesday in every month, until the works are completed: three of the Committee to form a quorum. The Police Magistrate Captain Faunce. Messrs. N. S. Powell, W. F. Hogley, J. Wright, H. Hill, J. Weston, J. Gray, D. Kennedy, and A. Lang.

4th. Moved by T. P. Besnard, Esq., and seconded by Alexander Balcombe, Esq. That there being a considerable number of children in the district, and no means of instruction having yet been provided, it is necessary that a School should be established, that as the in- habitants are widely scattered, it is advisable that the School should be one at which children could be boarded on moderate terms, that when sufficient funds shall have been obtained for the purpose, a School Room with a residence for a married couple be therefore erected, and that the gentle men appointed as Treasurer, Secretary, Trustees, and Committee for the Parsonage, be appointed to hold the same Offices respectively for the School.

5th. Moved by Alexander Balcombe Esq, and seconded by Mr. Lang. That it shall devolve on the Trustees to select eligible sites for the Parsonage and School, and that when the requisite sums shall have been raised, the Right Reverend the Bishop be respectfully requested to make application to   the Government for such sites.

6th. Moved by J. Weston. Esq., and seconded by W. P. Hayley, Esq. That the Bishop having promised £50 towards the Parsonage, the thanks of the inhabitants be presented to His Lordship for the same.

7th. Moved by the Reverend E. Smith, and seconded by J. Weston, Esq. That the subscription lists should be left at the residence of each of the Committee, who are requested to exert themselves to procure subscriptions from all classes.

8th. Moved by the Reverend E. Smith, and seconded by W: F. Hayley, Esq. That this day’s proceedings be published three times (once a week,) in the ‘ Sydney Herald ‘ and ‘ Monitor ‘ newspapers.

9th Moved by Mr. Kennedy, aid seconded by Mr. Lang. That the thanks of the Meeting be given to Captain Faunce, for his kindness in taking the chair. £200 including the £50 from the. Bishop have been subscribed towards the Parsonage, and £105 15s towards the School.[178]

 

And only a few days after this report that William Balcombe was one of a group of local men who put their own lives on the line to apprehend the dangerous bushranger Jackey-Jackey.

 

JACKEY JACKEY-This notorious bushranger, who was for a time part and parcel of the notorious gang of bushrangers headed by Curran, has been at length captured, owing to the combined exertions of Mr. Powell, J. P., aided by Messrs. Balcombe, Rutledge and Powell, jun. At the time Jackey Jackey was captured, he had on him a considerable amount of cash and checks, and was armed with a musket, and well mounted. (Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 20 Jan 1841)

BUSHRANGERS-A noted bushranger, a runaway from the service of Mr. King, of Lake George, and who is better known by the cognomen of Jacky Jacky- though a native of the British capital-was captured on Thursday last at Bungendore. Jacky Jacky appears to have taken the bush early in the month of December. Shortly after he had done so he became connected with another ruffian, now in Sydney gaol, who disgraces the honoured name of Curran. It was Jacky Jacky who robbed the Queanbeyan mail a few days before Christmas last. Since that he committed various robberies between Marulan and Razorback. It would appear, however, that he preferred high to low ground; and he left the county of Camden, intending to visit his old haunts and pals. On his way up, he called at the station of Mr. Hannibal Macarthur, at Wollondilly, and took from there, not the eternal black mare of which the public heard so much during the last year’s debates in the legislative council, but a noble young animal. After procuring her, the first exploit of Jacky’s with which persons are acquainted was his attempt to rob the mail between Marulan and Bungonia on Monday morning, the 12th instant, and his attempt to shoot Mr. Corbyn, the mail contractor, who very fortunately had charge of the mail bags on the morning in question. The bushranger was traced to the immediate neighbourhood of Bungonia, by which place he passed on Tuesday; a pistol, which he is known to have had, was found close to Lumley. After this he proceeded to a spot called Deep Creek, no great distance from the Long Swamp, in this neighbourhood; he robbed a store, and dressed himself in long frock coat and black cap. He next called at Mr. Hyland’s inn, where, it would appear, he passed himself off as a person travelling on his legitimate business. Having noticed a gig at the door of Mr. Hyland’s house, the bushranger, supposing that its owner was on his way to Sydney, went some distance on the road towards the Deep Creek, with a view of stopping the occupant of the gig, who was the Rev. Mr. McGrath, the Catholic clergyman of this district. This gentleman’s duty, however, taking him in the direction of Bungendore, and in an opposite direction from where Jacky had placed himself, he, finding that he had missed the object he had in view, galloped over the ranges, in order to cut off Mr. McGrath’s route. By the speed of the latter’s horse the bushranger was again thrown out in his calculations. Jacky then rode his horse into the village of Bungendore, and took refuge in the house of a person named Eggleston. Mr. Powell, J. P., having got immediate notice of the bushranger’s being so close at hand, went in pursuit of him, accompanied by Messrs. Balcombe, Rudledge, and Powell, jun. The bushranger mounted his horse, and galloped off; the gentlemen in close pursuit of him. He was armed with a gun, which he presented several times at Messrs. Rutledge and Powell. Jacky was evidently much better mounted than any of his pursuers, and had the mare ridden by him not been fatigued, he would have made the ranges without being captured. The gentlemen at length surrounded him, and about this time Mr. Balcombe came up in a gig, armed with a musket. Jacky, perceiving that there was little chance of his escaping, laid down his gun, and surrendered. He had on his person when taken between £60 and £70 in checks and orders. Great credit is due to Mr. Powell and the other gentlemen for their praiseworthy and spirited behaviour upon the occasion, as, owing to the hurry in which they were obliged to sally out after him, and other circumstances, over which they had no control, they were neither well armed nor well mounted. On the following day Jacky was conveyed to Queanbeyan, where he was identified by several persons whom he had robbed, and was safely lodged in the lockup at Goulburn on Saturday afternoon. Lieutenant Christie and a party of mounted police, who had been out in pursuit of the prisoner since the previous Tuesday, having guarded him from Bungendore to Queanbeyan, and from the latter place to Goulburn. –    Correspondent, January 16. [179]

Meanwhile Alexander Balcombe had obviously decided to settle in Victoria as the newspaper reported the marriage in 1841 at Bungonia, Argyle on 30th August by the Rev GM Wood, Mr. Alexander Balcombe of Melbourne married Emma Juana, the youngest daughter of the late David Reid Esq, Surgeon RN of Inverary Park.

 

Just over a year after their own marriage, Thomas and Lydia welcomed their first child, Jane Elizabeth, in September 1841, On Monday, the 20th instant, at her residence in Castlereagh-street, Mrs. Thomas Balcombe, of a daughter.[180]

 

In October 1841 Mr. Balcombe was a passenger on the barque Anne for Port Phillip[181] and he arrived back in NSW from Port Phillip on the barque Hopkinson in May 1842,[182] there was no mention of Mrs. Balcombe on these trips. However, by September 1842 the brig Christina was transporting passengers Mr. and Mrs. Balcombe and daughter for Port Phillip[183] and the same ship brought the family from Port Phillip to Port Jackson, Sydney in July 1845.[184]

 

In 1842 Thomas was looking for someone to help on the property.

WORKING Overseer wanted, a person of Colonial experience and good character, for a small agricultural farm. Apply at Napoleon Cottage, before twelve o’clock

whilst William was trying to locate a lost horse or two.

FIVE POUNDS REWARD STRAYED, from a paddock adjoining the Pound, in Parramatta, in the rear of the White Horse Inn, Macquarie-street, one bay horse, about fifteen hands high, with black points and square tail, branded III on the off shoulder, and has a small star on the forehead. Also, one iron grey horse, about fifteen and a half hands high, switch tail, branded SB on the off shoulder and C under the mane; has an enlargement of the fetlock joint on the off-hind leg. Whoever will bring the above horses to the White Horse Inn, Parramatta, shall receive the above reward, or Two Pounds Ten Shillings each. GEORGE JONES, WILLIAM BALCOMBE. Parramatta, April 19. [185]

But in 1842 William was looking to pass on his land to Thomas Shanahan: Murray. – 34. Thomas Shanahan, 1280 acres, county of Murray, at Winelaw, Molonglo. Promised by Sir R. Darling, on the   6th July, 1829, and possession given, as a primary grant, on the 4th September, 1829, to Mr. W. Balcombe, junior, who now requests the deed in favour of the present applicant. Quit-rent L10 13s. id. per annum, commencing the 1st January, 1837.[186]

At this time Thomas was one of the creditors owed money by the estate of Edwin Walsh …  £432, a not insubstantial amount. Two other men, RC Gordon and JC Blanchard were each owed over £1250.[187]

 

Life must have been very busy for Lydia as in March 1843 she had not claimed a letter which was waiting for her in the Sydney GPO.[188]

 

In 1845 Thomas Balcombe of 62 York Street, along with Land Surveyor EJH Knapp, was listed as the contact in the advertisement for the let or sale of Hargreaves Wharf at East Gosford, Brisbane Water.[189] This same year William Balcombe is listed in the ‘Squatters and Graziers Index’ at being at Wambegga Station.[190]

 

On 1 April 1840 Thomas Balcombe claimed a deed of grant for 1000 acres located at the confluence of the Goulburn and Hunter Rivers in the parish of Denman, County Brisbane following the death of Lieutenant Robert Stirling. The land was located on an order of Governor Brisbane dated 2 November 1825 in favour of Stirling but Thomas Balcombe claimed the land belonged to him.[191] In 1847 Thomas Balcombe was eventually granted that 1000 acres of land north of the Hunter River. [192] The county of Brisbane was one of the northernmost of the original nineteen counties, centred today on the Musswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Shires. [193] The land grant was recorded in the Government Gazette and dated 5 February 1847.[194]

 

Portion of Land.

No. of deed, 4; No. of case, 683; date of decision, 8th October,1841; grantee, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe; original donee, Robert Stirling; No. of acres, 1,000; county of Brisbane, parish of Denman; date of promise, 2nd November, 1825; annual quit-rent, £8 6s. 8d.; date of commencement of quit-rent,1st January,1833; date of deed, January 20,1847.[195]

Denman is about 250 km north of Sydney.[196] One can only wonder why he claimed the land belonged to him and why chose this land so far away from Sydney and the other land granted to his brothers in the Bungonia and Marulan areas. However, this was part of the land he had surveyed back in 1834-35. Had he fallen in love with the area when travelling through to make those field notes over ten years earlier?[197] Was there some arrangement with Stirling while ever he was alive but on his death the land revered to Thomas? Had Stirling lost a bet and with it his land? We’ll probably never know!

 

Thomas’ artistic talents were by now becoming more recognised. He drew some of his earlier known pictures, “An exploreing [sic] party on the River Bogen [sic] NS Wales after heavy rain” and “King Teapot and his two Gins” in 1837.   [198]

 

As scenes of the life of the Aboriginal population and hunting became more popular with colonial artists, Thomas developed into a respected painter and he exhibited many pictures of the original people and native animals.  “Kangaroos of New South Wales 1842” was sketched from nature and drawn on stone.  “New Hollander cutting out a kangaroo rat” was one of the local indigenous people, another was “Talambeee a native of Bogan River” and “Aboriginal encampment” was a third. He contributed similar paintings to local art unions and raffles, for example “The bush with an aboriginal” and “Aboriginal native in pursuit of game”, a painting showing a man observing a bee so he knew where to locate the honey tree.[199] He received critical acclaim for his contribution to the 1848 Aboriginal Exhibition.  In 1983 his painting of a group of Aborigines gathered round a camp fire was sold for £4000 by Christies of South Kensington.[200]

 

As a child on St Helena, Thomas had seen the fun and spectacle of the horse races held at the Deadwood course on the island [201]. His father, riding Unwilling, had been involved in an early horse race in NSW against Captain Piper and Mr. Balfour, and he was part of the group involved with the formal setting up of horse racing in the Colony.[202] In addition his brother William junior was the owner of several horse which he entered in local race meetings. In 1837 he entered Toby, an aged hose carrying 10 stone in the most wretched condition[203],  in the second race at Goulburn which he lost. However later in the meeting £25 match was raised for a Hack Hurdle Race in which there were six good horses entered and there was excellent sport and bad riding but Mr. Balcombe’s Toby gained the prize – we have good hopes of him.[204]

 

A more extensive report criticized the lame reporting of the previous correspondent and gave a more interesting description of the races. On Saturday a Hack Hurdle Race for £20 and entrances, came off over the last two miles of the three miles course, hurdles only, catch weights, for untrained horses. It caused great sport, all had the lead in turn and all baulked, hurdles were smashed and crashed in all directions, but wonderful to add there was not a fall although there were several very narrow escapes. The following horses started, namely-Mr. W Balcombe‘s Toby, Mr. Cunninghame’s Llangalee, Mr. Lintott’s D J O, Mr. Waddy (James) Dandy O’, Dr. Kenny’s Ramrod, Mr. Barmer’s Theodolite. Toby ran in a winner by several lengths.[205]

 

In 1842 he owned Comet, a chestnut horse of 6 years which raced in the Goulburn Town Plate. At this meeting Mr. Chisholm owned Merrylegs and Mr. Simon owned Baldy. [206] By 1843 the Yass races was where Merrylegs, now owned by William Balcombe, won the Yass Plate by 2-3 lengths, beating his other entry in the race, Comet. The horse Baldy, now also owned by Balcombe, won the Hack Race. On the second day of the meeting the Ladies Purse was won by Merrylegs, Baldy raced in the Hack Hurdle race and Comet won the Beaten Stakes [207] a very successful meeting for William Balcombe. A couple of months later William ran a black horse, Councillor in the Braidwood Purse for second place, and his bay mare, Xantipper ran in the Maiden Plate. Baldy was third in the Hack Stakes and the next day was second in the Beaten Stakes. Following some discussion about the race the previous day, there was a private race run at the start of the day’s racing between Xantipper and Mr. Badgery’s horse Rory O’Mora, with £25 per side to be raced for, and Balcombe’s mare won. [208]

 

In 1844 Thomas Balcombe and Edward Winstanley had combined their talents to offer for sale four hand-coloured lithographs of the Five Dock Grand Steeple-Chase. Thomas no doubt realised the increasing interest in horse racing and the potential for income from sales. The pictures showed three horse and riders, Mr Hely on Block, Mr Watt on Highflier and Mr Gorrick on British Yeoman, in action over the First Leap, the Brook and the Stone Wall.[209]

 

The Shakspeare [sic] Saloon was a place frequented by horse race enthusiasts. It was noted that

This beautiful and classically designed apartment has been open to the public during the week and has been thronged with visitors. On the Race evenings the turfites mustered in strong force, and many heavy bets were booked. The attention paid by Mr. Knight to his friends was as usual most undeviating and assiduous. The fine oil painting of the ‘Champion of New Holland,’ by Thomas Balcombe, Esq., is on view at the Shakspeare, and will be raffled in a few days.[210]

 

Balcombe was commissioned to paint Old Jorrocks aged 16 and Plover aged 5, two quality horses in the colony in 1848 and, as T.B., he also painted a striking picture of Commissioner Henry Bingham sitting next to a fine white horse.[211] When he visited the Gold fields, the Sofala Diggings also inspired more horse racing scenes. [212]

 

The Society for the promotion of Fine Arts in Australia advertised a couple of Balcombe’s paintings

No. 306.-Horses- T. Balcombe -Property of Mr. F. Downes- Four clever portraits of celebrated race-horses, drawn with spirit, and well executed.

No. 336.-Talambee, a Native. -T. Balcombe. -Property of Mr. T. Balcombe. – It was noted that This artist has long been known to the colony as a very spirited animal painter, but he has now taken a higher flight, and this picture affords an undoubted proof of his ability as a painter of the human figure. It is without exception the best attempt in this style and on this scale that we remember to have seen from the hand of a colonial artist. The figure, however, loses importance by the introduction of a broken up and crowded back ground, and the light, or rather the darkness, in which it is hung, is carefully calculated to do it full injustice. It ought, in common fairness, to have occupied the excellent position afforded to No. 383.[213]

 

In 1849 Balcombe painted an oil, almost sepia in tone, entitled ‘Scene on the Murray River, NSW’, now located in the Queensland University Art Museum.[214] It is very similar to a sketch by Thomas Mitchell from over 10 years earlier, of a confrontation with Aboriginal people which resulted in the massacre of many people on 27 May 1836. Mitchell’s sketch, published in 1839,[215] shows the battle with the Aborigines but, following the advice of William Gilpin on ‘achieving the picturesque’, Balcombe’s painting has a few people peacefully sitting on the river bank, ‘to break a piece of foreground’[216].  However, the view of the river and the river reflections are almost identical to Mitchell’s sketch, the sky only slightly different and Balcombe’s trees suggest he is also following Gilpin’s advice to show the trees rather indistinctly. Many early Australian paintings tend to have rather European trees in their background as they are not actually defined as local Eucalypts and it is only specifically Australian people or native animals which may stamp a painting as of Australian extraction rather than an English scene.[217]

 

On 24 May 1850 the anniversary of the birthday of Queen Victoria was celebrated by the citizens of Sydney with a more than usual display of loyalty. Nearly all of the shops were closed, as well as the banks and Government offices, business indeed was entirely suspended.

The troops in garrison were reviewed in the usual manner, by the Major General Commanding. As the British army is only represented here by the Eleventh Regiment, the number of troops on the ground, after making the regular deductions for guards, barrack duty, &c, was necessarily small. These few, however, compensated by the excellence of their discipline for their inferiority in point of numbers. The regiment arrived on the ground at about half-past eleven, and immediately fell into open column. Shortly afterwards they deployed into line, and in this order awaited the arrival of the Staff. The customary salutes having been given, the men fired a feu de joie, and went through the ordinary manouvres of marching round at quick and slow time, and advancing in column, all of which were executed with admirable precision. A great number of spectators were on the ground. This, however, may be attributed to two other causes, besides the ordinary attraction of the review; first, to the unusual fineness of the day, and secondly, to the fact that a rumour had got abroad of an intention to exercise the field battery attached to H.M.S. Havannah. At 12 o’clock a royal salute was fired from Fort Phillip, which was immediately followed by a salute of twenty-one guns from H.M.S. Havannah, fired with most admirable precision. A Levée took place at one o’clock, the list of the gentlemen who had cards of entree to included Mr Thomas Balcombe. (The levée was a formal court reception given by the governor, acting on behalf of the monarch, in the forenoon or early afternoon. Only men were received at these events.)[218]

 

That evening there was a Ball at Government-house, in the evening, was a crowed and brilliant affair and the loyal feelings of the guests rose to enthusiasm on the occasion. There were some few illuminations in different parts of the town, but the weather was unfavourable for exhibitions of this description. The noisiest, and perhaps the least desirable, display of feeling, was the explosion of every description of firework throughout the thoroughfares of the city, from dark till midnight.  [219]

 

In 1850 Thomas sketched the Master of the Fitz Roy Hunt[220] and July of that year he had some paintings included in the list of prizes for the Grocott Third Art Union. The first two prizes were to be a cottage pianoforte and a water colour portrait of the ticket winner. Thomas’ contribution was the third prize, a framed oil painting, 3’6” x 3′, of “Australian Stockmen” which obtained the first prize of £30 and a silver medal at the Art Union, and the eighth prize “Australian Aboriginal in Pursuit of Game,” admitted by competent judges to be the best production in the exhibition.[221]

 

So, Thomas developed his painting skills and had become a well-respected artist, especially of animals. His artistic training had to be local but his work was developed from English style pictures which were of course freely available as prints in the colony. He had a diverse range of subjects, dogs, horses, hunting and racing scenes, cattle, boxers and his pictures were reproduced and advertised in the local newspapers. Two oil paintings of Kangaroo Dogs belonging to Nicodemus Dunn, a manufacturer of ginger beer and soda water in Castlereagh Street, would have been commissioned by the owner to record his most successful hunting dogs. Both animals are alert, looking back over their shoulder, one standing still, the other appears to be just pulling up. The backgrounds are indistinct as were most such portraits of the time.[222]

 

He was also assigned the task of perpetuating the graceful form of the renowned “Don”. This was the horse Cossack, the property of John Tait, Esq., and the winner of the Australian Plate, and the first Queen’s Plate run for on a New South Wales. This intention on the part of Mr. Tait is worthy of the occasion; and while congratulating that gentleman as the possessor of the first winner of Her Majesty’s munificent donation to the Homebush Meeting, we beg to append a cordial wish for his speedy convalescence. We were so unusually pressed for space last publication, that we omitted to allude to the serious accident sustained by Mr Tait on his attending “Cossack” to his box from the course, after winning the Plate on Monday. In consequence of the restiveness of the horse Mr. Tait was thrown from his gig, and received a severe dislocation of the right elbow cap. It was at first feared that the arm was fractured both above and below, but happily such was not the case. Dr. Sloane’s professional services were immediately called into requisition, and under his directions Mr. Tait was removed to Sydney, and, although suffering extreme pain, was sufficiently recovered to be present on the course on Wednesday to witness the triumph of his gallant chestnut. [223]

 

After the discovery of gold in the country, Thomas spent time with his brother William on the Turon goldfields, arriving in October 1850. We can only speculate as to their reasons for leaving their land … had the various droughts taken a heavy financial toll?  In 1835 and 1838 there had been 25% less rain than usual, in 1849 there was 27% less, from 1837 to 1842 the drought contributed to the ‘catastrophic’ fall in land sales and the onset of depression in 1841 and in 1850 there was a ‘severe’ drought leading to big losses of livestock in NSW. [224]

 

In fact, over a century and a half of population, the dry continent of Australia has suffered 24 years of ‘devastating’ drought, 22 years of ‘major’ drought and 23 years of ‘severe’ drought, half of its history. Drought is the story of the country but a story not then learned as the colony had not been established for even one hundred years. [225] People had been overestimating the fertility of this land since the arrival of James Cook in 1770… he thought the narrow plain between the coast and Blue Mountains would provide pasture for more sheep and cattle than ever could be brought, yet within twenty years of settlement the flocks were on the point of starvation.[226]

 

At the goldfields Thomas Balcombe sketched one drawing of a “Hand Barrow” the method by which 2 miners fastened their goods to two saplings which had a few wooden stretchers tied crosswise to hold a piece of bark to which their belongings were fastened. One miner led at the front, the other following, to their new location. This was how William and Thomas moved from the Ridge above Sheep Station Point to Turon below.

 

He drew a picture of the Bishop of Sydney addressing the miners at Orange diggings on the commencement of a temporary church. [227]

 

In June 1851 local newspapers reported

We are happy to announce that the lithographic print of “The Summer-hill Diggings,” and “A Portrait of Mr Hargreaves,” both from the pencil of Mr Thomas Balcombe, will be ready for delivery on Monday next. We have seen proofs of both of the subjects, and are happy to observe that the spirit and fidelity of the artist have been carefully preserved.  [228]

 

A more detailed article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, commenting on the gold rush then happening: –

THE GOLD DISCOVERY. – We are glad to see ‘that the discovery of gold in this colony has not tended only to excite the selfish feelings of our nature, but that it has been influential in awakening many intellectual efforts highly creditable to the colony. Amongst these we may number two lithographic sketches, drawn by our talented fellow-townsman, Mr. Thomas Balcombe. Both of these sketches display much artistic skill, and are invested with peculiar interest under the prevailing excitement with respect to the gold regions. The first of these sketches represents the ” Gold diggings of Ophir,” in New South Wales, some thirty miles from Bathurst. The scene is the Summerhill Creek; the hill rising in the back ground covered with stunted gum-trees, while the banks of the creek are fringed with the native oak. The motley group of diggers and cradle-rockers in the creek, and the little tents scattered over the wild scene, are graphically represented by the artist, and its fidelity to the reality is attested by the signature of Mr. E. H. Hargrave, the gold discoverer. The second sketch is a very spirited one, in Mr. Balcombe’s peculiar line, and in his best style, it is entitled “Mr. E. H. Hargrave’s returning the salute of the gold miners, on his return to the diggings after having made known his wonderful discovery.” The likeness of Mr. Hargrave is very striking, and the picturesque of the “gold digger’s” dress in which he is attired, the life-like spirit thrown into his own figure and that of the horse from which he has dismounted, are deserving of high commendation from those who wish to encourage a school of correct drawing in the colony. Considerable delay has taken place in publishing these lithographs from unavoidable causes, and it is likely only a limited number will be offered to the public. We doubt not, from the reasonable price asked, and the anxiety hundreds will feel to send them home to friends anxious to know all about “England’s own gold fields” will ensure the speedy sale of the whole number issued from the press. [229]

 

The sketches the gold diggings were advertised in for sale at the office of Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal for three shillings each.[230] He was also reported as making a series of sketches of the diggings including Sofala. On New Year’s Day he occupied himself taking a sketch of the scene presented at the Sofala races into which he introduced Georgey Sutter, the aboriginal. Mr. Balcombe’s views, we hear, are intended for the Illustrated London News.  [231]

 

Flash flooding was reported in the Turon gold fields in November 1851 and into the next year[232] and the following report is an indication of the losses felt

(From the Bathurst Free Press, Jan. 17.)

Information has reached us that a thunder storm took place at the Turon on the night of Wednesday last, commencing between eight and nine o’clock, and continuing for about an hour. The flood which immediately succeeded washed away an immense number of cradles and pumps, and filled up a large number of holes, in some cases leaving the proprietors, for the present, completely destitute. Our informant estimates the amount of damage at upwards of £1000, but upon this point we hesitate to pronounce any opinion. The night being pitch dark, except when occasional flashes of lightning illuminated the atmosphere, the diggers were unable, unless at great personal hazard, to make any efforts for the preservation of their property.

Dysentery appears to be rather on the increase than otherwise, and several deaths have occurred from its attacks. Amongst others we have to report the demise of Dr. Johnson, formerly editor of Bell’s Life in Sydney, some say of dysentery, and others of apoplexy; also of a Mr. Smith, a Sydney gentleman, but of what disease we have not heard. [233]

 

Devastating for Thomas was that whilst at the diggings his brother William Balcombe became ill and died from dysentery at Mr. LW Campbell’s home, Mundy Point, Turon River on 29 January 1852.[234]  Sadly Thomas could not get across the river as it was impassable due to the flooding, so he was unable to be with his “generous and kind-hearted brother”[235] brother when he died at the age of 43 years. He also took offence at the newspaper report of his brother’s death writing to the editor of the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal.

 

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. 

To the Editor of the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal.    

Sir, — With extreme regret I perceive in your publication of this day the following notice of my brother’s decease: — ” Amongst others who have died friendless and unknown, we may mention the demise of Mr. Balcombe, brother to the artist, &c.”          

In gratitude to the many friends who tended the bed-side of my lamented relative, I feel bound to contradict this unfortunate misstatement; and I take this opportunity of expressing my deep obligations to Mr. Kelke, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Gordon, the Messrs. Du Moulins, and others, whose unremitting attention to the comforts of my brother afforded me no little consolation under my inability to reach him, in consequence of the impassable state of the river. So far from my late brother being friendless, even in this unfriendly region, I can only say that he was known to, and respected by, the majority of the residents, on the Turon, and that the sympathy of the townspeople was manifested in every way compatible with the means of a community so singularly constituted. Without any intention of imputing blame either to your informant or yourself I merely request the publication of these few lines, and am, Sir,

Yours very obediently,

THOMAS BALCOMBE.

 

[We are grieved that our remarks respecting the death of Mr. Balcombe should have caused any pain to his bereaved brother, and desire to impress upon him that the double construction of which the sentence admits having been pointed out to us previous to the receipt of his letter, we intended giving the necessary explanation. The whole article was written very hurriedly; but knowing as we did, that Mr. Balcombe’s brother could be neither “friendless” nor “unknown” we intended these words to qualify the word “others” only. We hope therefore that our Correspondent will believe that we neither did nor could intend any disrespect to his lamented relative or himself in the statement referred to. — ED.] (Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 Feb 1852)[236]

 

Subsequently Thomas was able to visit William’s grave and he made a small drawing of the “resting place of three of the Gold seekers” at Turon in 1852, adding that the centre mound in the sketch was his brothers grave and he wanted a copy, along with the sketch of the Hand Barrow, sent to his sister Mrs. Abell of 43 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London.[237]

 

Thomas was badly affected by the loss of his brother and returned to Sydney but continued to accept commissions of illustrations from the Bathurst goldfields.[238] He collaborated with poet G F Pickering to produce an illustrated book of verse called “Gold Pen and Ink Sketches” which follows young John Slasher who hoped to make his fortunes on the gold fields but found he was wanting in both hard work and ability. The author and artist hoped the book would raise a ‘smile’ in their quondam fellow-labourers in the Gold Fields’.[239] The newspaper correspondent enthused

we can only say that if the letter-press equal the talented artist’s illustrations in point and spirit, this little work will not only do credit to the Colony, but will, we feel confident, be admired and appreciated by his home-brethren of the pencil. The subject embraces the adventures of a gentleman in search of a fortune at the Diggings, from his first arrival at the busy scene of labour, to his disappointment thereat, and departure there-from.[240]

 

The proprietors of Bell’s Life were always supportive of Balcombe’s efforts at the easel. In September 1853 they commented on The vast influx of strangers which has taken place in this country has infused fresh spirit into our colonial artists, whose productions, with other works of art, have declined since the discovery of gold. The absorbing passion of gathering riches had the effect of driving the depressed artist from his easel to fewer intellectual avocations for the means of existence. A better day, however, is dawning, when the sunshine of prosperity is likely to germinate the seeds of talent. Amongst those who have entered the field with redoubled energy is Mr Thomas Balcombe, with whose productions the public are well acquainted.

 

Thomas had lately completed two large oil pictures which are his happiest efforts. The subjects are “‘An Unsuccessful Gold Digger,” and “The Little Nugget, a Successful One.” The figures are true to nature, and painted with a free and vigorous pencil; the expression of the two faces is a felicitous contrast; the sullen look of the disappointed seeker assuming a melancholier tone from the sparkling joyousness of the lucky “Little Nugget.” The artist has been peculiarly happy in his skies, which are full of light and atmosphere. The pictures were on view at Mr Welch’s Colonade, Bridge-street; and those who had a fondness for the art were advised they would find their time well disposed of by a visit.[241]

 

His painting of Mr. E. H. Hargrave, the gold discoverer had been well accepted and another portrait in oils was of his wife Lydia. This is still owned by one of Thomas’ descendents.[242]

 

Balcombe’s talents were so good that he was copied by others, something not un-noticed by Balcombe’s supporters.

FINE ARTS- We consider ourselves free from egotism in asserting that no portion of the colonial press has done more to encourage the Fine Arts in Australia than ourselves. Some persons have occasionally complained of the severity of our remarks, who subsequently assented to their justice, and thanked us for administering a draught which, though bitter in the taking, produced salutary effects in the cud. To check presumption and encourage diffidence has been our motto hitherto, and shall be so long as we wield the pen. These observations are induced by a paragraph that “appeared in the Herald of the 7th instant, purporting to be a criticism upon a painting of an Aboriginal native, by Captain Gordon, an amateur artist. If this gentleman had been a Turner, an Etty, or a Landscor. he could not be more belarded by praise. His friendly reviewer (save me from my friends!) has placed him upon the apex of the pyramid of art, and held him up as a sun from which our artists might derive illumination. The weight of the Herald caused all eyes to be turned up to him; alas! it was but to witness the sun in eclipse, and Captain Gordon fall from the paper eminence to which he was exalted. We should have forborne an opinion upon this picture on account of its being an amateur production, but the spirit of truth has been evoked by our contemporary’s fallacious remarks, which also convey a direct insult to colonial artists. This quotation, which winds up an article of sickening flattery, proves it-“The general effect of the painting is successful, and it can lay claim to outrival any painting of an Australian barbarian which has ever been exposed publicly in Sydney.” Let us enlighten our George-street connoisseur upon this Gordonian (we had almost written Gorgonian) production.

 

In the year 1850 Mr Thomas Balcombe, a name well and deservedly known in colonial annals of art, exhibited a painting in Grocott’s Art Union, which was held by the judges appointed to decide on the merits of exhibited works, and the public generally, to be clever. It had grasp and mind; it was formed of the “right stuff”; it betokened promise, which study, perseverance, and a triumph over mechanical difficulties, would mature into worthiness. This picture did not receive a prize, because, if we recollect right, it did not come under the rules laid down by the Committee for an historical composition, the “Balcombe bit” was the original from which Captain Gordon produced his brilliant Heraldic star. That gentleman, in a letter published on Saturday, honorably confessed it; he gave all the merit of the design to Mr Balcombe, but (oh! these buts!) he took thus much credit to himself, “The tone of the sky mid foreground,” he writes, “the disposition of the muscles of the body, as well as the expression of the face, are my own conception, or the result of my own observation.” We freely concede to Captain Gordon all the credit he assumes, and trust he will be satisfied with it; he has made all these alterations, and produced a picture which we defy any manufacturer of hearth rugs to surpass. It is delightfully woolly, but not the pure Merino; the fresh “disposition of the muscles ” would puzzle an   anatomist, and the novel “expression of the face ” renders it difficult to discover whether the Australian barbarian belongs to the genus Man or Baboon. We sincerely regret that ignorance, or intended friendship, should have thrust this picture into undue prominence, and thereby compelled us, on public grounds, to place it in its proper light. The blame is not with Captain Gordon, but with his indiscreet eulogizer, who ought to have known that ill merited praise is the greatest foe to improvement – a false beacon which lures to destruction. [243]

 

The School of Arts Exhibition reported an entry by Mr. T. Balcombe of a very well executed model in colonial wax the subject of which is, “New Hollander and Kangaroo.” This is, we believe, the only figure modelled in wax in the exhibition, with the exception of some small relieve busts of colonial celebrities, by Madame Bertheau; upon these a great deal of labour has evidently been bestowed, and the likenesses are tolerably successful.[244]

 

Some of Thomas’ later works included sketches of swan hunting and sheep shearing at Mummell Station near Goulburn in 1853-54[245] another link with great-great grandson Bob Gaden whose own property was part of the original Mummell Station.

 

As far as the family know Thomas Balcombe made just two black wax sculptures of Aboriginal men. ‘The New Hollander ‘ shows a man sitting with a dead kangaroo and is found at the National Trust house ‘The Briars’ on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. The other was owned by his grand-daughter Vera (Balcombe) Gaden who donated it to the Mitchell Library in the 1960s. It shows a man sitting near a tree stump with his hand held to shade his eyes and a dog laid at his feet. Vera’s grandson Bob can remember the white beady eyes used to disconcertingly follow him as he walked down the hallway.

 

In September 1855, fifteen years after their marriage and after the births of three daughters, Thomas and Lydia had a longed-for son, named William Alexander after the two Balcombe brothers.  BIRTHS. At Paddington, on 1st instant, Mrs. Thomas T. Balcombe, of a son. [246]

 

In 1857 Balcombe published an ink and wash drawing of the Paddington Omnibus ‘Eclipse’, (now found in the Mitchell Library). It shows the horse drawn bus rattling over a rough road, passengers clinging to uncomfortable 6-inch boards which passed for seats, with wild and often drunken drivers in charge, this one a female smoking a clay pipe! One can only imagine that this mode of transport was commonly used by the artist!

 

On Boxing Day 1858 Thomas and Lydia lost their eldest daughter Jane Elizabeth to sow fever, from which she suffered for 3 weeks prior to her death. [247] On Sunday morning, the 26th December, at Napoleon Cottage, Paddington, Jane Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas T. Balcombe, Esq, in the 18th year of her age. [248]  She was buried in the church yard at St Jude’s, Randwick, the gravestone inscription reading “In loving memory of Jane Elizabeth who died December 26th 1858 in the sixteen year of her age. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and grand-daughter of the late William Balcombe Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.” [249]

 

There is a delightful memorial hymn with words, music score and an illustration by E Thomas of the Church and her grave with the inscription

In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December AD 1858. Lines written by William Cornelius Urh Esq. and set to music by Frederic William Meymott Esq.

 

It was the morning past the day

The natal day of Christ our Lord

When she the lov’d was call’d away

Before the mercy seat of God

She blest her parents gentle care

Then meekly, calmly sunk to rest

Her spirit melting into air

Like twilight paling in the west.

 

And friends were there with tearful eyes

In solemn prayerful gaze opprest

Whose throbbing pulses, bitter sighs

Deplor’d the Angel gone to rest.

For they had mark’d her little hour

From tender youth to riper bloom

And watch’d the budding of the flow’r

But to consign it to the tomb.

 

And there stood they around her pall

Who knew her worth, her modest grace,

Those truthful eyes that beam’d on all,

Darken’d subdued by death’s embrace.

And now she dwells in Eden’s bow’r

Transplanted by her Maker’s might,

There in the Glory of His pow’r

to bloom forever in His sight.[250]

 

The sad loss of his daughter, combined with the death of his brother six years before, was to trigger tragic consequences for Thomas Balcombe and his family. He was known to “have severe mental worry” [251] but we don’t know what changes in his brain had been occurring over the years since the accident just before his wedding back in 1840.

 

The tragedy which ensued suggested there had been a marked deterioration as the cost of surviving such an injury is often hidden, and the family bear the brunt of the dysfunctionality often without much support or understanding, particularly in those days. One of the silent areas of the brain is the frontal lobes (frequently affected in a fall, where the brain hits the bone anteriorly), where apparently large areas can be damaged with little effect on most functioning. The frontal lobes coordinate emotional responses and have a big role in memory. In particular, the frontal lobes have an inhibitory function and are largely responsible for the ‘civilising’ behaviour of our modern culture. If there is some damage, the emotional responses may be exaggerated, and violent and aggressive tendencies which would otherwise be kept under control can be a problem. So, it is probably safe to presume that he would have memory difficulties, was likely prone to develop rage with little provocation, difficult to reason especially when aroused and angry. He may have walked with a slight limp or had weakness and coordination difficulty which may have hindered him doing normal physical work. This of course could contribute to loss of self esteem. The daughter’s death would likely have been a trigger to this extreme emotional outpouring which he was unable to control.[252]

 

The newspaper headline says it all

MELANCHOLY SUICIDE AT PADDINGTON.

The neighbourhood of Paddington was thrown into a state of excitement yesterday forenoon, when it became known that on the previous night (Sunday), shortly after 10 o’clock, an old and respected resident had committed suicide. From inquiry made in the early part of the day, as well as from the particulars which transpired at the inquest, it appears that Mr. Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, aged 51, employed as a clerk in the Survey office, and living at Napoleon Cottage, Paddington, whilst labouring under a fit of mental aberration, deliberately shot himself, by discharging a loaded pistol into the right side of his head, over his ear. The unfortunate gentleman, who was at no great distance from his residence at the time, was immediately conveyed thither, and surgical aid promptly obtained. He never spoke afterwards, and expired within half-an-hour. It would appear that he had in early life sustained an injury in the head. At intervals since his conduct and modes of expression have been such as could be accounted for upon no other hypothesis than that he was at such times labouring under mental aberration. This spasmodic form of monomania led him on several occasions to talk about shooting himself. If our information be correct, he attempted some short time ago to carry his threat into execution, and was only prevented from doing so by the timely interference of a friend. About three years ago his eldest daughter- a fine young woman- was cut off in the full bloom and vigour of youth. This was a severe blow, from the effects of which Mr. Balcombe never thoroughly recovered.

Mr. Balcombe was a member of the family of that name, well known as being the only English family, with whom the Emperor Napoleon was on terms of intimacy, during his captivity at St. Helena. Mr. Balcombe was then a child, and was, in common with the other children of the family, a great favourite with the Emperor.       

As may be readily imagined, the deceased gentleman’s family- including his wife, his (now) eldest daughter, aged 17, and two younger children, have been plunged, into the deepest distress by this sad occurrence.

Below we give a full report of the evidence taken yesterday, before the city coroner, J. S. Parker, Esq. and a jury of five – the inquest being held, at Diamonds Hotel, Upper Paddington.

 

Sophia Mary Brennan deposed: I am the wife of the Rev. Mr. Brennen; we reside at Paddington; I have known the deceased Thomas Balcombe three years ; he resided next door to us; I have often heard him talking in his house of an evening in a very excited manner, and knock his furniture about; I thought he drank, and that his mind was impaired; he used to look very wild of  a morning, and was very excited of an evening ; I have had many conversations with him lately; he did not  appear sane upon any subject; I heard he had received a hurt on the head; he told me so himself; he did not  live happily with his wife; he often complained of his wife treating him coolly; I am quite satisfied he was treated kindly by his wife; whenever he was excited he would say he would destroy himself; sometimes he would weep over his children, saying he was going to leave them; I always felt alarmed when he entered my house; the last conversation I had with deceased was  last night; about half-past 10- o’clock he knocked at the   door and asked to speak to me for a few minutes ; I showed him into the study; he was in a very excited state, but not in a worse state than I have seen him before; I thought he was labouring under the effects of drink; he was deadly pale and threw up his arms, and mocked the Almighty in violent terms; he said he had written something which would appear in the papers next day; he pointed towards Randwick, and said that was his destination; he said something about going early in the morning to stop something he had written from appearing in the paper; he then took from each pocket a pistol (small ones) he brandished them; the pistols produced are similar to those deceased had: I got alarmed, thinking they might go off by accident; after a minute or two he replaced the pistols in his pockets; he left the house, saying I would see it all in the paper in the morning, closing the door after him with violence; he was only about ten minutes in the house; when he left I called after him, telling him to go home and go to bed as he wanted rest ; I had hardly used the words when I heard the report of firearms. I think I saw smoke; I heard a groan; I did not see deceased fall; I saw him lying across the gateway; I called my husband; I am quite sure, deceased fired the pistol; I did not see any person about at the time; deceased was removed to his own house, and died about half an hour afterwards; I only heard one report of firearm.   

The ‘Rev. James Deane Brennan deposed : I am minister of this parish; I have been acquainted with deceased about two years and nine months; he held an appointment in the Surveyor-   General’s office; no person had a better opportunity of being acquainted with the state of deceased’s mind than I; he sought my advice upon most things; after I had known him a month, I was called into his house; he was then held by a servant and his wife; he had smitten his wife; he was looking for a razor, saying he would cut his throat; he was then partially insane; that was my impression; when I would  place my arms round him to restrain him, and sit him down, he would get quiet; when I would leave his presence, he would get into an excited state again; when calm, he would say the devil had hold of him; the same scene that I witnessed, when first called in, was enacted over and over again up to the time of his death, at intervals of a month or two, but within the last month it has occurred nearly every other day. He got so violent, that about ten days back, I recommended his wife to leave him for a short time for the safety of her own life; she remained about ten days away; I had made up my mind to leave the neighbourhood, in consequence of my wife being alarmed; he often complained of being unhappy, and attributed his unhappiness to different causes-sometimes saying, upstarts passed him, who had royal Windsor blood in his veins, in the streets; sometimes attributing his unhappiness to his home; sometimes he would call his wife the worst names that a foul vocabulary could furnish him with, and a quarter of an hour afterwards, he would go upon his knees, and beg me not to believe it, that it was all untrue; when talking the matter over with him, which I frequently did, he would say while he was in the office he was all right, but the moment he set his face towards Paddington the devil got hold of him; this he would say in cool moments, generally a day after a row; when I asked him what there was at Paddington that affected him, he would say, ” There is a kind word for everybody except me”; knowing that not to be the case, I invariably pointed out to him that it was his own folly, which he admitted, and would go away, saying he was a fool, and would not anymore make a tom-fool of himself; I have heard him speak of his wife in terms that no man could exceed, both in praise and the reverse; in cool moments he would try to erase whatever he had said against his wife; about four months ago, at seven o’clock in the evening, Mrs. Balcombe rushed into  my house, exclaiming, “What shall I do,’- Balcombe has got a pair of pistols; he is going to shoot himself at Randwick”; I persuaded her to sit down whilst I sent for a police officer; that officer is now in the room.; Mr  Hargrave came to me on business, and I sent him after Mr. Balcombe; he met deceased coming out the post office at Waverley (about a mile distant); deceased took Hargrave into the post-office and showed him on the counter a letter addressed to Mrs. Balcombe, also letters addressed to Mr. Gorman, to his brother Alexander, and to the editor of the Herald; he picked up the letters and said, “These are not to go now”, he left the post-office with Hargraves for home; Hargraves persuaded him to give up the two pistols he had, and he handed the pistols to Hargrave ; I do not know this of my own knowledge; deceased detailed all this to me the next day, or the day following; he, at the same time, thanked God that Willie Hargrave had come after him, and expressed his abhorrence of the crime he intended ; he told his children to go on their knees and thank God that Willie Hargrave had been sent and saved his life; about eight or ten days ago Mrs. Balcombe fled to a neighbour’s house, and during her absence I talked with him as to  the advisability of a separation; he came to me said, “This thing cannot last much longer, my wife is wretched, my children are wretched, and I am wretched; I am determined to take lodgings in town;” I told him it was the best thing he could do; advised him strongly to carry out his intention as it might be the means of saving both their lives; he came to me next day and said he had taken lodgings, and begged me to look after his children, and get his wife home; I saw nothing more of him until I saw him lying at my gate on Sunday night; I mean I had no personal intercourse with him ; he called that night at my house at about half-past 10 o’clock; not being well my wife advised me not to see him, as it always affected my health, that she would see him instead. I had just got to bed when I heard the door closed after deceased had been in the house; I   heard a dull, heavy sound, followed by a scream from my wife; I put on my dressing gown and was there in a minute; I rushed to the gate and saw deceased lying on his back, with the pistol (produced) in his hand; the pistol was empty; he having so often threatened to shoot himself, I did not believe at the moment that he had shot himself; I turned the head over and saw the wound; I felt his pulse and saw he was utterly unconscious he was bleeding profusely, and breathing heavily; Mr. Jackson, my next door neighbour, and Mrs. Balcombe came; we carried him into his own house; I remained with him until he died; I omitted, to state that about  four months ago I took steps to get him under restraint, by sending to Melbourne for his brother; his brother came up and remained about a week, but went back without taking any steps in reference to his brother; I heard that deceased had a fall from his horse 25 years ago; deceased told me one glass of brandy would upset him; I am satisfied deceased’s wife treated him kindly. He attended my church perhaps once in three months; he was always orderly there, but sometimes appeared excited;  I never knew him to suffer from delirium tremens; I never saw him drink wine or spirits; he has three children alive, and one daughter dead, whose death he grieved over very much ; I do not think he was restless of life; he never neglected his personal appearance; my impression was that he was insane at times.

 

Mr. Robert Fitzgerald, a draughtsman in the Surveyor-General’s office, stated: Deceased worked in the same room with me; I have known him for five years; he was always able to do his work; about a trifle he would work himself into a passion, but he was generally cheerful; deceased was at the office on Saturday, and left at the usual hour; when I went to the office this morning, I     received the following letter:

” Survey Office”, Sunday Morning, October 13th, 1861.

My dear Fitz,

Should anything happen to me, pray overhaul my papers in the drawer, and pack them up for Mrs. Balcombe. You will remember me kindly to all the poor fellows in the office, and give them all my farewell blessing, and tell them not to follow any of my failings. God bless you and yours, my dear fellow, and believe me,   

Yours most sincerely,         

Thos. T. Balcombe 

PS.-Keep. this strictly private unless you have occasion otherwise.

 

  1. Fitzgerald, Esq

In this letter: a letter to Mrs. Balcombe was enclosed -:  the letter produced, is the one; they were both in deceased’s handwriting. It reads as follows: –         

‘ Sunday morning ‘ “My dear Lydia, –I die blessing you I cannot live, it appears, on the understanding I should wish from my heart. A gracious God will provide for you and yours. I feel for the happiness of you all, and must leave you.  “The Lord bless you all. I cannot live without you and my children, whom I hold dearer than myself, and that my God knows.” 

                       

I was informed he left the letter for me on Sunday; he never did anything at the office to lead me to believe that his mind was impaired; he did not indulge in drink during office hours to my knowledge;  he did some work at the office on Saturday; he never complained of his head; he sometimes spoke of persons passing him in the street, whom he considered inferior to him.     

Richard Bligh, examined, stated: I am a legally qualified medical practitioner; I have resided at Paddington for the last two years; I have been acquainted  with the deceased about twelve months; I attended him for gout,  he was a quiet patient; he had a haggard appearance; I never saw him when excited; on Sunday night I was called to see the deceased; when I arrived at his       house, I found him lying on the floor dying; I examined his head, and found a wound on the right side of his head, above the ear; the brain was protruding; wound was round and large enough to admit my little finger; a ball like the one produced (extracted from  the other pistol, also loaded, found in the possession of the deceased) would be likely to cause the injury; he could have inflicted the wound himself with the pistol produced; judging from the evidence I should say  deceased’s mind was partially impaired; the ball did not go through the head; I have no doubt the ball has lodged in the brain; I could not have saved deceased’s life.  

 

The Herald report continued He had repeatedly threatened to commit suicide, and on one occasion attempted it, but was prevented from accomplishing the work of self-destruction. This happened about four months ago, and on the occasion alluded to he went to Waverley, where the attempt was made.”

 

This concluded the evidence at an inquest on his body held at the Half-way House Inn, Upper Paddington, and the jury returned the following verdict: -“We find that the deceased Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, aged 51 years, died from a wound in his head, inflicted by himself with a loaded pistol, whilst labouring under a fit of temporary insanity.”[253]

 

The newspaper reported his death “BALCOMBE- October 13th, at Paddington, Thomas T. Balcombe, of Napoleon Cottage, aged 51.” He was the same age as his father when he died.[254]

 

A few days later the editor of Bell’s Life wrote We feel it incumbent upon us, as an intimate friend of the lamented deceased, whose acquaintance we enjoyed for many years, to state that we never observed in his conversation the slightest indication of mental aberration, although he occasionally of late manifested deep despondency, the cause of which he freely communicated. Our last interview with Mr BALCOMBE was on Friday afternoon, when he again referred to the matter of his distress, and invited us to visit him on the fatal Sunday afternoon, which; in consequence of the boisterousness of the weather, we unfortunately failed to do; The sad intelligence only reached us on Monday evening, and we had determined to attend the Coroner’s inquisition (not being aware that it had been already held) for the purpose of stating certain circumstances which we deemed of importance as bearing IMMEDIATELY upon the cause which induced the commission of the rash act. Consideration for the feelings of his surviving relatives, disposes us now to withhold the statements made to us by the deceased gentleman; which, however, would in our opinion have tended to relieve his memory from the reproach cast upon it by the evidence adduced, and have gone far to prove that he had been “more sinned against than sinning.” Poor THOMAS BALCOMBE was a gentleman in the most refined sense of the word; and knowing, as we do, certain reasons which in no small degree palliate the act of a man rendered: desperate by a combination of sorrows, we deeply mourn his deplorable end. Had the obsequies of our poor friend taken place on more timely notice, we doubt not but that our regret would have been shared in, and demonstrated by the attendance of a large portion of the community, as a last tribute to his private and public worth. May he rest in peace! [255]

 

The Funeral notice invited his friends to attend his funeral at the very early hour of 7.45am.

FUNERAL-The Friends of the deceased, THOMAS TYRETT BALCOMBE, Esq., are invited to attend his Funeral to move from his late residence, Napoleon Cottage, Waverley, THIS (Tuesday) MORNING, at a quarter to eight o’clock, and proceed to St. Jude’s Cemetery, Randwick. JAMES CURTIS, undertaker, 59, Hunter-street.[256]

 

Thomas is buried with his eldest daughter Jane Elizabeth in St Jude’s Cemetery, Randwick, unusual at that time for the church to allow a suicide victim to be buried in consecrated ground. Perhaps it only happened because there already was the grave of young Jane there. Under her inscription are the few additional words for her father:

also

Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe

Born June 15 1810

Died October 13 1861

 

After their bereavement Lydia and her family continued to live at Napoleon Cottage, Waverley Road, Woollhara.  Her son William Alexander was only six when his father died. By then William had also died, so who helped Lydia and her family to survive? Did brother-in-law Alexander help financially, or her Stuckey relatives? Who looked after daughter Mary Newcombe who never married and, after the marriage of daughter Annie Rebecca, did she and her husband make a financial contribution to the family?

 

William Alexander eventually joined the office of the Clerk in Equity, the Chief Clerk at the time being one William Hargraves, and he rose through the ranks to take on the top position. His first son, Gordon Tyrwhitt Balcombe, born in 1885, was born at Napoleon Cottage.[257]

 

Lydia Balcombe died in August 1900 [258] and is buried in Waverley. Her daughters are buried with her, Mary Newcombe Balcombe (who never married and died in 1917 aged 70) and Annie Rebecca Balcombe (in 1869 she had married Dr William George Tayler, he died 1913, she died in 1922, the marriage appears to have been without issue). Alongside their gravestone are two others for some of Lydia’s Stuckey relatives: Annie Maria Gibson, (the daughter of Rebecca Stuckey and her husband John W Chisholm, and widow of Septimus Gibson), she died aged 42 at Lydia’s home Napoleon Cottage [259]. There are also both Rebecca and John Chisholm themselves and the two unmarried Stuckey siblings, Henry Gould Stuckey and Annie Elizabeth Stuckey.[260] The rest of the Stuckey’s were buried elsewhere as by 1850 the family had left “Longreach” and moved to Gundagai at “Willie Ploma” where Peter and Ann Stuckey, Lydia’s parents, had died in 1859 and 1863 respectively.[261]

 

So, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and Lydia Stuckey’s line passed into succeeding generations via just one child, their only son William Alexander Balcombe. In 1884 he married Jessie Edith Griffin in Raymond Terrace and they had 4 children [262]who lived through the worry of having a sibling fighting in the First World War, and 8 grandchildren who became the generation which faced the trauma of the Second World War. Now, as numbers more than double with succeeding generations, there are many Balcombe descendents who can proudly claim the respected colonial artist Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe as their ancestor![263]

 

 

List of known works by TT Balcombe and their location

 

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) John Carmichael (engraver) The master of the Fitzroy Hunt, in Australasian Sporting Magazine, Sydney, 1850, engraving and etching, printed in black ink from one copper plate, printed image 10 x 15.9cm, Gallery reference 1464, 94.432.2.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) John Carmichael (engraver) R Barr (printer, intaglio), Cover Australasian Sporting Magazine, Sydney, 1850, engraving and etching, printed in black ink from one copper plate, 16.30 x 11.2 cm, Gallery reference 423, 94.432.1.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Edward Winstanley (print after), The first leap from the Five Dock Grand Steeplechase, 1844, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, hand coloured, printed image 32.90 x 47.3 cm, Gallery reference 152245, 2006.501.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Edward Winstanley (print after) The Five Dock Grand Steeplechase, No.4, 1844, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, hand coloured, printed image 32 x 46.40 cm. Gallery reference 152246, 2006.502.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Black fellows, 1849, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, 16.80x 16.60cm Gallery reference 59277, 86.2229.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) The Australian Goldfields, No. 1 Mr. EH Hargreaves, the Australian gold discoverer c 1855, wood engraving, printed in dark blue ink, from one block, 18.5 x 15.5 cm. Gallery reference 285554, 2016.381

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Vera Balcombe, grand-daughter of Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, personal communication to the author.

[2] British Library India Office Records N/6/2 f.76 and St Helena Records from the Archives located at The Castle, Jamestown, viewed by the author November 2010.

[3] Information from the Registrar of Marriages, Marylebone Church, personal communication to the author.

[4] Birth records UK and travel details for trip to St Helena

[5] St James, Jamestown parish register in the Archives, St Helena, viewed by the author November 2010 and Philip Gosse, St Helena 1502-1938, Anthony Nelson, Oswestry, Shropshire, 1990, pp.239-241.

[6] Diary of William J Burchell, 29 September 1807, transcribed by the author from scan of original at Hope Library, University Museum, Oxford.

[7] St James, Jamestown parish register in the Archives, St Helena, viewed by the author November 2010.

[8] Caroline Gaden article re Wm Balcombe submitted to JAHS

[9] Major-General Alexander Beatson, Tracts relative to the Island of St Helena written during a residence of five years, Bulmer and Co, London, 1816, pp 207-240.

[10] Mrs. Abell (late Miss Elizabeth Balcombe), Recollections of Napoleon at St Helena during the first three years of his captivity on the Island of St Helena, London, John Murray, 1844, p 11.

[11] Martin Levy, Napoleon in Exile, the Houses and Furniture supplied by the British Government for the Emperor and his Entourage on St Helena, Furniture History, The Journal of the Furniture History Society, 1998, Volume XXXIV, pp 2-211.

[12] Gareth Glover, Wellington’s Lieutenant, Napoleon’s Gaoler, The Peninsula and St Helena Diaries of Sir George Ridout Bingham 1809-21, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley, Yorkshire, 2005, p.271

[13] Mr Balcombe’s letter to Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt which mentions Mrs B is happy to hear about her boy.

[14] Dates of birth of ‘Prince of Rome’ from Wikipedia and Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and Alexander Beatson Balcombe from the parish register of St James, Jamestown, St Helena available in the St Helena Archives viewed by the author on the island Nov 2010

[15] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, pp 39-40.

[16] Campaign medals, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_medal, accessed 9 April 2013.

[17] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 70.

[18] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 158.

[19] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 199-200.

[20] Gilbert Martineau, Napoleon’s St Helena, translated by Frances Partridge, Rand McNally and Co. Chicago, 1968, p. 12.

[21] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p 87 and p 123.

[22] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p 185.

[23] Portrait available from National Library of Australia, ID 22934074 available from http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an22934074

[24] Information re gout and its associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe, accessed 5 August 2012

[25] Information re gout and its associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe, accessed 5 August 2012

[26]William Lefanue (editor), Betsy Sheridan’s Journal, letters from Sheridan’s sister, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986, p. 65

[27] Empire, 15 October 1861… all Australian newspapers were located on the National Library’s Trove website.

[28] Information from the St Helena archives, researched by the author in November 2010.

[29] Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser on May 30th 1821.

[30] IGI Batch number C062361 1817-1837 Source No.  0918607 Birth 23 Oct 1823 ELIZABETH ABELL

[31] Octave Aubrey, St Helena, London Victor Gollancz, 1937, p. 358.

[32] Bruce Child, Blood on the Wattle, Frenchs Forest, Child and Assoc, 1988.

[33] Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 27 August 1824.

[34] Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 3 September 1824.

[35] <http://www.heavenandhelltogether.com/?q=node/327&gt;

[36] <http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/convicts/shipNSW2.html&gt;

[37] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 23 September 1824

[38] The Australian, 2 December 1824

[39] Maitland Mercury, 5 November 1851.

[40] Convict ships arriving at Port Jackson, <http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/research-topics/convicts/convict-ships-arriving-at-port-jackson-1788-1849&gt; and Sydney Morning Herald, 31 August 1871 and Empire, 1 September 1871.

[41] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 1 July 1824

[42] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 30 September 1824.

[43] Sydney Morning Herald, 23 June 1917.

[44] Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_New_South_Wales&gt; and

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_New_South_Wales&gt;

[45] Ron Griffin, former Treasurer of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, personal communication to the author, June 2012.

[46] The Australian, 10 Aug 1827

[47] The Australian, 29 August 1827 and the Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 29 August 1827.

[48] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 23 May 1828

[49] https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/9712/

[50] Keith R Binney, Horsemen of the First Frontier 1788-1900, Volcanic Publications, Sydney 2005, p 166. and many local newspaper reports in March-May 1825.

[51] Colin Dyer, The French Explorers and Sydney, 1788-1831, University of Queensland Press, 2009, pp98-140.

[52] Colin Dyer, The French Explorers and the Aboriginal Australians 1772-1839, University of Queensland Press, 2005, pp12-14.

[53] Sydney Gazette, 21 March 1829.

[54] From Gravestone located in Botany Pioneer Park, Sydney transcribed by the author 5 April 2013.

[55] NSW BDM register shows both V18298382 2C/1829 and 18291074 13/1829 as being register numbers for the death of William Balcombe

[56] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[57] TA Johnstone, A brief history of Radcliffe and the Surrounding Area, at Carwoola Community Association and follow links to History at <http://www.carwoola.org.au/carwoola_history&gt; Accessed 8 April 2012.

[58] Mrs. Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, pp7-9.

[59] Mark O’Connor, This tired brown land, 1998, Sydney, Duffy and Snelgrove, p 56.

[60] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Australia#Droughts_in_the_19th_century&gt;

[61] The Sydney Monitor, 13 June 1829.

[62] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 25 July 1829.

[63] The Australian, 24 February 1830 and The Asiatic Journal, Issue 7, page 183.

[64] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

and Letter from Governor Bourke dated 1 May 1833, in reply to Viscount Goderich’s letter dated 21 August 1832 in HRA, Vol XV11 June 1833-June 1835.

[65] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 2 March 1830.

[66] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 5 Oct 1830.

[67] The Australian, 31 March 1830.

[68] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 1 April 1830.

[69] The Sydney Monitor, 3 April 1830

[70] Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 1904

[71] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 3 April 1830

[72] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[73] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 23 October 1830

[74] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 15 February 1831.

[75] Burthen is a measure of tonnage. It is calculated form measurements of the length and beam of the ship. Tonnage = (Length – Beam x ⅗) x Beam x (Beam x ½)/94  where Length is the length, in feet, from the stem to the sternpost; Beam is the maximum beam, in feet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Builder%27s_Old_Measurement

[76] Sydney Gazette, 23 Oct 1830 Advertisement for the passage to England on Nancy

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2196331?searchTerm=shipping%20%22Nancy%22%20Captain%20Pryce%2015%20February%201831&searchLimits=

[77] William R OBryne Esq, A Naval biographical dictionary comprising the life and service of every living officer in Her Majesty’s Navy, London, John Murray, 1849, page 937.

[78] IGI Individual Record FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index v5.0 British Isles

ELIZABETH ABELL Birth:  23 OCT 1823   Christening:  07 DEC 1823           Saint Anne Soho, Westminster, London, England, Parents: Father:  CHARLES ABELL Mother:  ELIZABETH

Source Information: Batch No.:  C062361, Dates: 1817 – 1837, Source Call No.: 0918607.

[79] Sydney Gazette, 15 February 1831.

[80] Sydney Herald, 5 December 1831

[81] The Australian, 9 December 1831

[82] Hobart Town Courier, 6 August 1831.

[83] Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet & Plymouth Journal (Truro, England), Saturday, August 20, 1831; Issue 1469 and The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, August 20, 1831; Issue 18938.

[84] The Spectator, 20 August 1831, http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/20th-august-1831/13/east-india-shipping

[85] http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-CarHist-t1-body-d8-d1.html accessed 4 Jul 2013.

[86] Letter from Governor Darling to Sir George Murray 29 July 1829 and letter from Murray to Darling 29 Sept 1830 HRA XV p.741

[87] Letter from Governor Bourke dated 1 May 1833, in reply to Viscount Goderich’s letter dated 21 August 1832 in HRA, Vol XV11 June 1833-June 1835.

[88] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)‘, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[89] Thomas Mitchell, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, in two volumes, Available from the Gutenburg Project, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12928/pg12928.txt (Volume 1) and http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13033/pg13033.txt (Volume 2)

[90] Thomas Mitchell, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, in two volumes, Available from the Gutenburg Project, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12928/pg12928.txt (Volume 1) and http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13033/pg13033.txt (Volume 2)

[91] National Archives London from Agent Stephen Wright.

[92] Sydney Gazette, 21 March 1833

[93] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 30 March 1833

[94] Sydney Monitor, 23 March 1833 and Sydney Herald, 1 April 1833

[95] Sydney Monitor, 23 March 1833 and Sydney Herald, 1 April 1833

[96] The Australian, 31 May 1833.

[97] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 4 July 1833.

[98] Sydney Herald, 19 December 1833.

[99] Sydney Gazette, 25 March 1834 and Sydney Morning Herald, 27 March 1834

[100] Hampshire Telegraph 30 August 1834, via Gale database accessed 3/4/2011 and The Asiatic Journal, 1 October 1834, Page 123, Issue 58.

[101] Sydney Herald 7 August 1837

[102] State Library of NSW, Author: Mitchell, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1855, Title [Portion of Map of the Colony of New South Wales transmitted to Thomas Balcombe by Major Mitchell on 7 April 1834] [cartographic material] / Thomas Mitchell. Scale [1:554 500] LOCATION Mitchell Library Call ZM2 812.1/1834/1, Status Published,7 April 1834.

Donated by Mrs V.L. Gaden, 23rd Sept. 1943, Other Author Balcombe, T. (Thomas), 1810-1861.

Other Title Also known as: Map of the nineteen counties, Bib Util 9226634

[103] Balcombe, Field Books, State Records NSW, Call numbers [2/5037] [2/5038] and [2/5053]

[104] Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org and search for county

[105] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/benjamin_singleton.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[106] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/j_bettington.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[107] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/james_glennie.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[108] Hunter Valley Settler Index at <http://www.jenwilletts.com/links_to_settler_names_and_estates.htm&gt;

[109] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulburn_River_National_Park&gt; and <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulburn_River_%28New_South_Wales%29&gt; accessed 11 August 2013

[110] The Australian, 12 August 1834.

[111] Hazel King, ‘Campbell, Pieter Laurentz (1809–1848)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/campbell-pieter-laurentz-1875/text2195, accessed 10 August 2013.

[112] <www.noblesandcourtiers.org/pirate-clothing.htm> accessed 9 August 2013

[113] <www.hmsrichmond.org/sailordress.htm> accessed 9 August 2013

[114] <www.parishofmorpeth.org.uk/aussie.htm> accessed 11 August 2013

[115] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/samuel_wright.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[116] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/francis_forbes.htm&gt; accessed 10August 2013

[117] The Dulhunty Papers part 5, <http://www.dulhunty.com/html/Dpc5.htm&gt; accessed 11 August 2013

[118] The Caledonian Mercury, 5 February 1835 and The Asiatic Journal, 1 March 1835, page 216, Issue 63.

[119] Bells Life in Sydney, 14 April 1849.

[120] Sydney Morning Herald 31 Aug 1871 and Empire 1 September 1871

[121] Notes and Queries 4th 5 VIII July 15, 7L, page 59

[122] Information from the Cemetery Manager, Marie Murphy. email received 27 March 2008

[123] Australian Thoroughbred Stud book, <http://www.studbook.org.au/&gt;

[124] Sydney Gazette, 25 October 1836, Sydney Monitor, 26 October 1836, Sydney Gazette 1 November 1836.

[125] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser,17 January 1835.

[126] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 6 August 1836.

[127] NSW BDM register, Marriage V1843700 27C/1843

[128] 1828 census and state records, Colonial Secretary Index 1788-1825. NSW State records- B0171 and B0172 <http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexsearch/keyname.aspx > then links to Convict Index and Convict Pardons, <http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/searchhits.aspx?table=Convict%20Index&id=65&frm=1&query=Surname:balcombe&gt; and also ‘Free settlers or Felon’ at < http://www.jenwilletts.com/search.htm&gt;

[129] NSW Government Gazette, AGCI Volume 2, Search for Balcombe, NSAG NSW 1836 p591, accessed 25 July 2006.

[130] Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol 13, 1827-1828, page 59

[131] Charles Bateson, David Reid 1777-1840, Australian Dictionary of Biography, <http://www,adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020329b.htm > Accessed 4 February 2009.

[132] The Sydney Herald, 3 September 1841

[133] Sydney Herald, 10 March 1836.

[134] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 24 September 1836.

[135] Sydney Monitor, 25 November 1836

[136] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 24 September 1836.

[137] Sydney Herald 20 February 1837

[138] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 25 February 1837.

[139] Sydney Herald, 1 May 1837

[140] The Colonist 27 January 1838

[141] Sydney Herald, 7 June 1838.

[142] The Colonist, 9 June 1838

[143] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 14 August 1838

[144] Sydney Herald, 13 August 1838

[145] The Australian, 10 April 1838

[146] The Australian, 21 August 1838.

[147] The Australian, 25 September 1838

[148] Sydney Gazette and NSW advertiser, 12 July 1838.

[149] NSW BDM web site for Births.

http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births

[150] https://maps.google.com.au/

[151] John McColgan, Southern Highlands Story, 1995, Wild and Woolley Books, Glebe, Sydney and ftp://ftp.dpa.net.au/DPA/samplepages/SAMPLE-Southern%20Highlands%20Story.pdf

[152] Roads in a dreadful state Sydney Herald, 1 April 1840

[153] Australasian Chronicle, 4 July 1840.

[154], 2 June 1840.

[155] Information re serious head injury and associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe.

[156] Marriage notice in the Sydney Monitor and Advertiser, 4 July 1840 and NSW BDM web site http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au and Registration number NSW Marriages 1840529 24B/1840

[157] http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au   Marriage Reference number V1818342 7

[158] Chronological listing of early European contacts with NZ at <http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~teecee/1846table.htm&gt; accessed 4 February 2009.

[159] Chronological listing of early European contacts with NZ at <http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~teecee/1846table.htm&gt; accessed 4 February 2009.

[160]John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, Cremorne, NSW, Talkarra Press,1957, no page numbers.

[161] Martyn Downer, Nelson’s Purse, London, Transworld Publishers (Random House), 2004, pages 80-81

[162] John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, Talkarra Press, Cremorne, 1957, no page numbers,

[163] Community History Newsletter, George Town and District Historical Society Inc., Georgetown Online Access Centre, <http://www.tco.asn.au/oac/community_history.cgi?oacID=28>accessed 4 February 2009.

[164] Wayne Shipp, William House and the Piracy of the Venus, at <http://www.launcestonhistory.org.au/2006/venus.htm&gt; Accessed4 February 2009.

[165] Settlement to independence from New South Wales:1804 to 1824. Senior Finance Officers 1804-1824, at <http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/historyW.nsf/f78b431e6c6819acca256eb400092326/216679c056f02eb6ca256eb5001b2334?OpenDocument&gt; accessed 7 August 2013

[166] Settlement to independence from New South Wales:1804 to 1824. Revenue in Van Diemen’s Land in

<http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/historyW.nsf/f78b431e6c6819acca256eb400092326/d534e5b84a430a4bca256eb50019b2eb?OpenDocument&gt; accessed 7 August 2013

[167] Wayne Shipp, William House and the Piracy of the Venus, at <http://www.launcestonhistory.org.au/2006/venus.htm&gt; Accessed4 February 2009.

[168] John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, no page numbers and NSW State Archives, 1 October 1809 William House, deceased, fraudulent attempt to steal stock.  Reel 6038: SZ757 p. 75a.

[169] Maureen Eddy, Marulan, a unique heritage, published by ‘Marulan 150’ by the author, 1985, pp 15, 42, 75, 85-6.

[170] Maureen Eddy, Marulan, pp 85-6.

[171] David Branagan, The Oldest Marble Quarry in Australia, Proceedings of the Australian Mining History Association Conference, Queenstown Tasmania, 7 October 2008, page 11.

[172] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotunda_Museum

[173]Caroline Gaden personal memoir.

[174] From NSW BDMs Rebecca Stuckey married John W Chisholm, Charlotte Stuckey married Thomas Mitchell the son of William Mitchell and Elizabeth Huon de Kerrileau of Brisbane Meadow. Elizabeth was the daughter of Gabriele Huon de Kerrileau of Bungonia and her brother Paul had married Sarah House, sister of Ann [House]Stuckey, William John Stuckey married Emma Huon de Kerrileau, Emma Stuckey married William Huon de Kerrileau, Clara Chase Stuckey married Alexander Keith Collins, George Robert Hamilton Stuckey married Emma Perrott, Amelia St Clair Stuckey married Granville Robert Murray Collins, Emily Sarah Stuckey married Henry Huon de Kerrileau. Ann Elizabeth Stuckey and Richard Henry Gould Stuckey appear to be the only two who remained unmarried.

[175] Elyne Mitchell, Speak to the Earth, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1945 pp3-6 (VX43577 TW Mitchell) and Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, a history of the 2/20 Battalion AIF, Copyright, Brisbane, 2012,(NX12543 EW Gaden).

[176] Sydney Herald, 26 November 1840.

[177] Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 20 October 1840

[178] Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 13 January 1841

[179] Australasian Chronicle, 19 January 1841

[180] Sydney Herald, 22 September 1841.

[181] Australasian Chronicle, 7 October 1841.

[182] Australasian Chronicle, 31 May 1842.

[183] Australasian Chronicle, 13 September 1842.

[184] Sydney Morning Chronicle, 23 July 1845

[185] Sydney Herald, 5 May 1842.

[186] Sydney Morning Herald, 28 October 1842

[187] Sydney Herald, 30 May 1842.

[188] Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1843.

[189] Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 1845.

[190] Records office of NSW, Index to Squatters and Graziers 1837-49, Citation NRS 906[x815] Reel 2748-2749, p 31.

[191] Free Settler or Felon <http://www.jenwilletts.com/searchaction.php&gt;

[192] Maitland Mercury, 13 February 1847.

[193] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_County&gt;

[194] NSW Government Gazette, AGCI Volume 2 search, Balcombe, NSAG NSW 1847, p162. Accessed 25 July 2006.

[195] Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 1847.

[196] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denman,_New_South_Wales&gt;

[197] Balcombe, Field Books, State Records NSW, Call numbers [2/5037] [2/5038] and [2/5053].

[198] NSW State Library Catalogue, Call numbers SV*/EXPL/1 and V/108 and SV/107

[199] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, 1988, Art Gallery of NSW, pp. 101-2.

[200] Australian Financial Review 7 June 1983, page 16.

[201] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon pp111-113, Gareth Glover, Wellington’s Lieutenant, Napoleon’s Gaoler, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley South Yorkshire 2005, page 271.

[202] Sydney Gazette and Advertiser, 3 March 1825 and 24 March 1825.

[203] Sydney Herald, 29 May 1837

[204] The Australasian, 19 May 1837.

[205] The Sydney Herald, 29 May 1837

[206] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 18 October 1842.

[207] Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 1843

[208] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 June 1843.

[209] State Library of NSW, Call number PXD659, Creator Balcombe, T. (Thomas), 1810 – 1861 and Winstanley, Edward, 1820 – 1849. Title Five-Dock Grand Steeple-Chase 1844 / by Balcombe and Winstanley

Physical Description. Prints: 4 hand-coloured lithographs; printed image ca. 30 x 47 cm. or smaller; sheet 45.2 x 64 cm. or smaller.

Contents

  1. The First Leap. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Hely on Block. (Now with NGA)
  2. The Brook. Mr Hely on Block. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier.
  3. The Stone Wall. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Hely on Block.
  4. Mr Hely on Block. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. (Now with NGA)

[210] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 22 May 1847.

[211] NSW State Library call numbers ML 1408, ML 1407 and ML 632.

<http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/SimpleSearch.aspx?query=thomas%20balcombe&sort=Rank&select=1&recordtype=1&retrieve=100+PERCENT&gt;

[212] http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an4698013 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an4698043

[213] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 June 1849

[214]  University of Queensland Art Museum, Accession number, 1946.01 <http://www.artmuseum.uq.edu.au/collection/search&gt;

[215] Thomas Mitchell, Three expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales, 1839, London, TW Boone quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[216] William Gilpin, Three essays on Picturesque beauty; on picturesque travel and on sketching landscape, 1792, London, R Blamire quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[217] Gaynor Gravestock thesis…Thomas Mitchell, Three expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales, 1839, London, TW Boone quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[218] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levee_%28event%29&gt;

[219] Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 1850

[220] National Gallery Australia, Catalogue Accession No: NGA 94.423.2

[221] Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 1850.

[222] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, p. 77.

[223] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 14 June 1851

[224]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Australia#Droughts_in_the_19th_century&gt;

[225] Michael McKernan, Drought the Red Marauder, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 2005. p5.

[226] Mark O’Connor, This tired brown land, Sydney, Duffy and Snelgrove, 1998, pp14-16.

[227] http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/17031455?versionId=19984019, Libraries Australia ID 6617496.

[228] Bells Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, 7 June 1851 and Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 14 June 1851.

[229] Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 1851

[230] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 23 July 1851

[231] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 January 1852

[232] Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 8 November 1851 and the Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser, 7 February 1852.

[233] Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 21 January 1852.

[234] Death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 1852, and also The Lady’s Newspaper London, 26 June 1852, page 396 (Gale database) and Ryerson Index.

[235] Dame Mabel Brookes, Crowded Galleries, William Heinemann, Melbourne, 1956, pp276-7, 291.

[236] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 February 1852

[237] Dame Mabel Brookes, Crowded Galleries, Opposite pp20-21.

[238] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, 1988, Art Gallery of NSW, p. 178.

[239] G.F. Pickering and T.T. Balcombe, Gold Pen and Pencil Sketches or the adventures of Mr John Slasher at the Turon Diggings, 1852, Sydney, W Moffitt, Pitt Street, Sydney. Available at National Library of Australia, Bib ID 4193532.

[240] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 12 May 1852.

[241] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 3 September 1853.

[242] Owned by the Keeling family, descended through the line of WA Balcombe via his daughter Vera.

[243] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 15 October 1853.

[244] Sydney Morning Herald, 11 March 1862.

[245] Colin Laverty at <http://www.daao.org.au/bio/thomas-tyrwhitt-balcombe/biography

[246] Sydney Morning Herald, 5 September 1855

[247] Death certificate Jane Balcombe

[248] Death certificate and Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1858

[249] Transcription of gravestone in St Judes church yard, Randwick, located by the author, 5 April 2013.

[250] <http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/album/albumView.aspx?itemID=930704&acmsid=0&gt; Music file in NSW State library, Call Number -MUSIC FILE/MEY, Digital Order Number- a1664003, Caption- In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December AD 1858.

[251] Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 1922, Notes on Australian Artists, pages 103-4.

[252] Medical information from a doctor who is a Balcombe descendent.

[253] Empire, 15 October 1861 and Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 1861.

[254] Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October 1861.

[255] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 19 October 1861.

[256] Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 1861

[257] Sydney Morning Herald, 12 May 1885.

[258] Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 1900 and gravestone inscription.

[259] Sydney Morning Herald, 17 September 1888.

[260] Photographs taken by Bob and Caroline Gaden, 2013.

[261] John Arnold, The Stuckey Family of Longreach NSW, 1986, Booval, Queensland.

[262] NSW BDM register for the marriage and births.

[263] Family tree prepared by Caroline Gaden.

 

THOMAS TYRWHITT BALCOMBE

RESPECTED COLONIAL ARTIST

by Caroline Gaden ©

 

Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe was the middle son of William Balcombe, the first Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales who arrived in the colony in April 1824. He was employed as a Government Surveyor which gave him ample opportunity to explore the Colony and sketch activities in the goldfields of NSW. He developed into a well-respected artist and his work is found in the both the Mitchell collection of the NSW State Library, the National Library, the National Gallery in Canberra and the Queensland University Art Museum. Thomas Balcombe took his own life when he was just 51 years old, the same age as his father died. So, what do we know of this talented but troubled Colonial artist?

 

Thomas Tyrwhitt (pronounced Turrett)[1] Balcombe was born on St Helena Island on 15 June 1810 and baptised on 22 October 1810 in St James Church, Jamestown.[2] His parents William Tomset Balcombe and Jane Wilson (nee Green, formerly Byng) had married on 26 July 1799 in Marylebone, London.[3] Their firstborn daughter Jane arrived in June 1800 and sister Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy) in 1802, both born in London before the family sailed to the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena on board the East India Company ship Hibernia in 1805.[4]

 

It was on the island that daughter Mary was born in 1806 but she sadly died in the 1807 measles epidemic when she was under a year old.[5] During the same epidemic Jane Balcombe lost another, unborn, child. Former business partner William Burchell reported in his diary: Tuesday. Early this morning Bagley was sent down for a doctor (for Mrs. B., who was unexpectedly taken ill,) and the child linen. When Dr Baildon returned, I learnt that poor Mrs. B. Had lost the infant, but was (Thank God) tolerably well herself.[6]

 

The first Balcombe son, named William, was born in 1808 and he was followed by two more boys, Thomas Tyrwhitt in 1810 and Alexander Beatson in 1811.[7] Thomas was named after Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt who had been friend to William Balcombe since his childhood in Rottingdean, Sussex[8] and Alexander was named after the then Governor of St Helena, a friend of the family who Balcombe stood alongside during the armed mutiny of Christmas 1811.[9]

 

In October 1815 the Saints learned their island was to be home to the exiled Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Betsy reported in her memoir that the news of his escape from Elba and the subsequent eventful campaigns had not reached the island so they were all incredulous at the information [10]

 

The day after Napoleon landed on St. Helena, he was taken to view Longwood, the house which was set aside for him and his entourage. However, it was obvious that Longwood would not be ready for several months as many repairs had to be made, the wooden addition (built at Woolwich) had to be erected and more furniture commissioned from the workshop of George Bullock.[11]

 

On the return journey back to Jamestown Napoleon’s party called in to The Briars, home of the Balcombe family. Napoleon expressed a wish to remain there rather than stay in Mr Porteus’ less private house down the valley in Jamestown’s main street. William offered his home but the former Emperor chose to stay in the Pavilion which had been built in their garden especially for dinner parties and Balls.[12]

 

By then William junior had been sent to school in England [13] but his younger brothers became great favourites of Napoleon who no doubt was missing his own son, Napoleon François Charles Joseph, the King of Rome. He had been born on 20 March 1811, so was around 4 months older than Alexander, born 4 August 1811, and 9 months younger than Thomas, born 15 June 1810.[14] What joy and what sorrow those young Balcombe boys must have evoked in the exiled father.

 

Betsy reported that Napoleon entered into every sort of mirth or fun with the glee of a child and he never lost his temper or fell back on his age or rank to shield himself.” She recalled “My brothers at this time were quite children and Napoleon used to allow them to sit on his knee and amuse them by playing with his orders etc. More than once he has desired me to cut them off to please them.”[15]

 

Napoleon had been the commander who first awarded such campaign orders, ribbons and medals to all the soldiers who took part in a battle. Until then only a few medals recognising acts of specific heroism and bravery were issued. Soldiers took great pride in their decorations and were anxious to earn more, so much so that Napoleon was quoted as saying: “With a handful of ribbons I can conquer all of Europe.” [16]

 

One of Napoleon’s entourage was a lamplighter and Napoleon often called for him to make toys or other amusements for the children. One day he produced balloons which were inflated and sent up. Another time Betsy recalled he “contrived to harness four mice to a small carriage, but the poor little animals were so terrified that he could not get them to move and after many ineffectual efforts my brothers entreated the Emperor to interfere. Napoleon told them to pinch the tails of the two leaders and when they started the others would follow. This he did and immediately the whole four scampered off to our great amusement, Napoleon enjoying the fun as much as any of us and delighted with the extravagant glee of my two brothers.[17]

 

Another pastime was billiards and Betsy remarked it was a game much played by Napoleon and his suite. She had the honour of being instructed by him. [18]

 

The boys had a tutor Huff who had been on St Helena for half a century. He had become mentally ill and took his own life and was buried on the road to The Briars. Napoleon played on the children’s terror of ghosts by one day arranging for a servant draped in a white sheet to make a silent approach and appear in the cool of the evening, much to their shock and Napoleon’s amusement.[19]

 

William Balcombe suffered from severe, painful, debilitating gout, in fact the day Napoleon first arrived at The Briars he was indisposed with the condition.[20] Napoleon commented on the English custom of the ladies ‘withdrawing’, leaving the men to consume many bottles of wine. Several times he remarked to Betsy that her father would drink 5 bottles of wine after a meal.[21] One day Balcombe was too ill with gout to take his daily visit to Napoleon who said if he drank more water and less wine, he would not have to take eau medicinale.[22]

 

From his picture Balcombe[23] appears to be an “overweight middle-aged man” who obviously drank red wine and ate cheese and too much meat, all risks for gout and heart disease. Only now are we understanding the causes and effects of gout and its strong hereditary links. These days treatment is available, but in Balcombe’s day there was no treatment.  If untreated, gout is a serious systemic disease, with periods of severe symptoms with intervals of relative peace. Joints can be destroyed, and adjacent deposits of gouty crystals and inflammation cause bony pain and even fractures due to the erosions which can be large, up to several centimeters. Serum uric acid is raised, in itself an independent risk factor for heart disease, and a large part of the problem comes from inadequate excretion of the uric acid.[24] Kidney stones are frequent and can result in obstruction and kidney failure.  Looking back from the medical history of descendents we find there are sufferers of severe osteoarthritis which also causes many painful symptoms in later life and also has a very strong genetic influence. We know William’s died from the effects of gout and his son Thomas also suffered from the disease. It could also be that the two men both suffered from pain of osteoarthritis.[25]

 

Gout was extremely painful, one contemporary comment being that nothing is so dreadful as these undermining complaints which assuming a variety of allarming forms keep one in perpetual apprehension of the worst that can happen…  the gentleman is in great pain and totally without the use of his right hand which is intolerably swell’d and wrapped in flannel. [26]

 

We know that Thomas Tyrwhitt suffered from gout as an adult [27] and the pain it caused could well have contributed to his mental instability in adulthood and subsequent death.

 

The Balcombe family left St Helena in March 1818 on the ship Winchelsea [28]to return to England. The boys attended school, their sister Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy) married Edward Charles Abell in Exeter in 1822 [29] Betsy’s daughter Jane Elizabeth Balcombe Abell (Bessie) was born in 1823.[30] By the time in late 1823 that William senior was appointed to the post of Colonial Treasurer, or as Aubrey would have it ‘paymaster-treasurer’ [31] Betsy had left her husband, so she accompanied the family to the Colony. They arrived in NSW in April 1824 on the ship Hibernia under Captain Robert Gillies, leaving Portsmouth on 8 November 1823 and the Cape of Good Hope on 1 February 1824.[32]

 

Within a few months Betsy’s husband arrived in the Colony on the ship Ardent under Captain Clements, carrying 7521 bushels of wheat, having lost her fore-top-mast in a gale. In August a Hobart newspaper published a list of gentlemen, including Edward Abell Esq, who asked for claims to be presented before the ship sailed from Hobart [33] where they left on 1 September 1824 for Port Jackson[34]. On his arrival Edward Abell/Abel/Able obviously learned very quickly that there was no chance of reconciliation with Betsy. He booked a passage on the convict ship the Prince Regent,[35]under Captain Wales and Surgeon Thomas B Wilson,[36] returning to England after bringing her second cargo of convicts to the Colony. So, the passenger list included Mr. Abell returning initially to Hobart Town[37] where again he advertises for any claim in the newspaper. He is subsequently listed as passenger when the ship sailed for England on 2 October 1824 to go via the Isle of France (now Mauritius).[38] Prince Regent made a third trip to NSW so we know she arrived safely back in England. We don’t know if Edward Abell died en route home or had disembarked elsewhere, there is one suggestion he may have gone to New Zealand as in October 1851 there was a Mr. Edward Abell listed as a passenger from Auckland on the 236-ton Brig Moa under Captain Norris [39] all we know is we can’t find any more mention of him until Betsy’s eventual death notice in 1871 lists her as a widow.[40])

 

Thomas and Alexander were enrolled in the Sydney Grammar School, and a report held just 2 months after their arrival, showed that “The Half-yearly Public Examination of the Students at this Establishment look place at the Master’s house, in Philip-street, on Friday, the 25th instant, agreeably to public advertisement … and the junior class, comprising Masters Thomas and Alexander Balcombe, Charles Nichols, and Edward Lord, read, and explained Seleciae; and Profanix, and applied the Rules of Syntax, with much promptitude and accuracy. The Gentlemen, who attended this interesting exhibition, expressed the highest satisfaction; and the happy young group dispersed, with much apparent delight, for the enjoyment of their temporary Recess“.[41]

 

Not long after this young Thomas had his clothing stolen

TWENTY SPANISH DOLLARS REWARD.

WHEREAS a LEATHERN TRUNK, brass nailed, containing a Young Gentleman’s Wearing Apparel, made for the age of 14, the property of WILLIAM BALCOMBE, Esq was robbed from a Cart on the Western Road on the Evening of Friday the 3d Instant, between the Estates of   Captain Bunker and Major Druitt, by two Men, supposed to be Bushrangers: Any Person or Persons, giving such Information as may lead to   the Detection of the Offenders, and Prosecution to Conviction, shall receive a Reward of Twenty   Spanish Dollars from the Bench of Magistrates at Penrith. As the Articles are numbered and marked T. Balcombe, with Indian Ink, all Constables, and other Persons, are particularly required to use their utmost Vigilance to detect the Property, and to bring the Delinquents to Justice.   Court House, Penrith, Sept. 23 1824.[42]

 

One story emerging from Thomas’ early years in the Colony was that he helped to plant the Norfolk Island Pines including the “Wishing Tree” which now grace the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens. In 1917 an article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald quoting a Mr. C. F. Bolton, at Wagga Wagga, who recollected “In the year 1861 I was a draftsman at the Surveyor-General’s Office, and was with some nine others the first to occupy the ‘old long room.’ Among these men (all or nearly all bar myself are dead) was Thomas T. Balcombe, the artist, who worked at the same table with me. Mr. Balcombe was a courteous, truthful, and unassertive gentleman. Well, one day he casually mentioned that he was at Government House, when Mrs. Macquarie said to him, ‘Come along Tom, I am going down to the garden to have this tree planted. There were two working men with them, and they planted the tree without any ceremony or formality whatever.” [43] However, we know this is not likely to be true because Governor Macquarie resigned in 1821 and departed for London 15 February 1822, before the Balcombe’s arrived in the Colony.

Could it have been the wife of the next Governor Thomas Brisbane or even later the Governor Ralph Darling? [44] The current Trustees of the Sydney Botanic Gardens are unable to shed any light on the story as they have no record of who did plant the Norfolk Island Pines.[45]

 

In appears there was considerable amount of crime in the Colony in those days. When Thomas was 17 years old, he was witness in the Criminal Court case against Thomas Sweetman who stood arraigned on a charge of burglary. The indictment contained, two counts. The first count, laying the offence to be that of breaking and entering the dwelling house of William Balcombe with intent to steal; the second, introducing a charge; of larceny, in stealing two hats the property of the said William Balcombe. The Acting Attorney-General, after stating the case, proceeded to call Ann Munn, who deposed that she is a married woman, and occupies a house directly opposite that of Mr. Balcombe, (the prosecutor,) in O’Connell-street, Sydney — witness recollected the evening of Saturday, the 7th of July last, it was rather a dark evening ; a lamp, however, which hung over Mr. Balcombe’s door- way, afforded sufficient light for those on the opposite side of the street, to distinguish persons entering on the premises. About half-past seven o’clock of the evening before mentioned, witness, whilst standing against the paling before her own house, which commands a view of the entrance to O’Connell-street, and of the prosecutor’s house, saw three men coming up, they made a stand-still before prosecutor’s house, and after a short consultation between them, one of the three men opened a small wicket and the prisoner, whose person witness felt certain she could swear to, and whom she saw in a stooping posture, with his hand for several minutes in exertion about the lock of the house-door, went in, the other two men remaining side; shortly after prisoner came out with two hats in his hand, which two hats he gave his two companions– the prisoner then returned into the house, but witness having by this time become confirmed in her suspicious of the intention of the prisoner and his associates, went over to the prosecutor’s house, boldly walked into the passage and gave an alarm of the house being robbed. The prisoner on this, attempted to make off, but the witness by some active efforts on her part, and with the assistance of others, prevented his escape. The two other men had taken to their heels and escaped. Mr. Thomas BALCOMBE, resides with his father, in O’Connell street; on the evening of Saturday, the 7th of July last, recollected, having laid down on a sofa in the drawing-room he felt the hand of some person pass over his face: somewhat surprised at the circumstance, he got up, called out, ‘who’s there?’ No answer was returned, and witness, in directing his eye to the room-door, by a light which glimmered in the passage, saw some strange person there; he was approaching the door, when an alarm was made, as stated by the last witness. A constable being procured, the prisoner was given into custody; nothing was found on his person, but it was discovered, that two hats had been unhung from a nail in the hall. The prisoner pleaded intoxication in excuse for his being found in the way described, but he denied the charge of robbery. The Judge explained very minutely the law of the case of burglary, and summed up the evidence at great length. Verdict, guilty. Remanded for sentence.[46] And on 29 August 1827 Thomas Sweetman was sentenced to death.[47]

 

A few months later Thomas was again a witness in Court when two men were on trial for burglary, having being silly enough to steal from the house of the Chief Justice!

Supreme Criminal Court TUESDAY, MAY 20. Before Mr Justice Stephen

John Leader and J. Cane were indicted for stealing in the dwelling-house of Francis Forbes, Esq. a quantity of wearing apparel, to wit, 36 shirts, 24 pairs of trousers, 18 waistcoats, and 12 pairs of stockings, on the 10th day of May instant. A second count laid the locus in quo at the dwelling house of Our Sovereign Lord the King.

Catherine Lawless examined.-I live as servant in the family of the Chief Justice; I remember on the evening of the 10th of May, about half-past eight o’clock, I was putting the children to bed, when I heard a rustling noise in my mistress’ bed-room, which attracted my attention, as I knew it could not come from any servant in the house, as there was no light there ; Mr. and Mrs. Forbes were from home ; I informed some of the servants, and then went into my mistress’ room, in which were two windows, one of which I found open, though about three quarters-of-an-hour previously I had shut both; it was not sufficiently light to distinguish any object, but I heard a sound as of some men jumping down from the verandah ; I called out “stop thief” very loudly ; some time after Mr. M’Leay’s coachman gave me a bundle containing several articles.  

George Iden examined.-I am coachman to Mr McLeay; on the evening of the 10th of May, about half past 8 o’clock, I was passing by the house of the Chief Justice, when I heard some person calling ”stop thief” in the upstairs window; I stood for a minute, and then I heard some person   running through the shrubbery in the front of the house; I ran round the corner of the wall fronting the residence of the Rev. Mr. Cowper, and saw a man in dark clothes, without hat or shoes, jump over the wall, with a bundle in his hand ; I ran towards him, and he dropped the bundle and fled; I followed him for a few yards, calling out “stop thief!” when a servant of the Chief Justice, named John Blackman, came out of the house, together with several persons from Cummings’ Hotel, and assisted in the pursuit. I returned to the Chief Justice’s and took up the bundle, and then saw another man running up the hill at the back of the house in the direction of Mr. Balcombe’s, in O’Connell-street ; I took the bundle to the Chief Justice’s house, and delivered it to a female servant, who was standing in the hall; the last witness is the person to whom I delivered it; I then examined the shrubbery with a light, in company with the female servant, and found a straw hat, a pair of shoes, and a pair of leather straps, such as are worn by prisoners to prevent the irons chafing the legs; before I left the garden, the prisoner Leader was brought in custody, by Mr. Maizière and a waiter of Mr. Cummings’; he had neither shoes nor hat on.

Catherine Lawless, recalled.-The trunk now produced was in my master’s house about sun-down on the evening of the 10th of May ; it was in his bed-room ; I missed it from the bed-room at the time of the alarm; I saw it about half-an-hour after; it was brought in by one of the men from the top of the verandah, outside the window it had not been opened; it contained wearing apparel ; a variety of wearing apparel, independent of the contents of the bundle, was found scattered about the garden; the drawers in the bed-room were all open and quite empty ; the trowsers now     produced, I think are worth about 10s the other property was produced before the Police but I was told it was only necessary to produce one article here.

John Blackman-I am servant to the Chief Justice ; about half-past 8 o’clock on the evening of Saturday week last I heard a noise upstairs in the house ; the female servant was giving an alarm that there were thieves in the house ; I ran towards the front door, and went out into the lawn, and saw the prisoner, Cane, getting over the wall into the street; I saw him go over the wall, at the left side of the house, opposite Cummings’ Hotel; he had a bundle in his hand ; I pursued him till he was apprehended, and never lost sight of him the whole of the time ; he was taken by Capt, Stewart near the Tanks; I saw him and the prisoner struggling, and Captain Stewart was thrown twice; the prisoner had no shoes on when he was taken, but they were picked up near the place, and he put them on. I suppose that in the struggle with Captain Stewart, they fell off; I can’t say whether he had a hat on ; I am positive the prisoner, Cane, is the man; he pretended to be drunk when he was taken ; he dropped the bundle when he got over the wall; it was picked up by Mr. M’Leay’s servant as I passed; the prisoner struggled very hard when he was taken; he was first brought to Mr. Cummings’, when a constable was sent for, and he was given into custody; the trunk now produced, I found under the verandah.

Mr. Thomas Balcombe examined.- On the evening of Saturday week last, about 9 o’clock, I was in the garden at the front of my father’s residence in O’Connel-street, near the house of the Chief Justice, when I heard the cry of “stop thief” I went in the direction of the noise, a few doors down the street, and near Mr. Gurner’s garden, I saw two or three persons collected; I entered Mr. Gurner’s garden, in consequence of something I heard, and with a light, which I took from Mr. Gurner’s hand, after walking back and forward through the garden, I saw a man standing in the shrubbery; he was in such a situation as I do not think I would have seen him, had I not been searching; I believe it was the prisoner Leader. I laid hold of him, Mr. Maziere and Dr Gibson came up, and he was conveyed to the Judge’s house; he had no hat on; I will not swear positively to the prisoner.

By the prisoner. -Were not my shoes found in the garden, when you discovered me?

The SOLICITORS GENERAL. -Oh! then, it was you?

Prisoner. -I mean where they say they found me.

Mr. David Maziere examined.–I was walking on the verandah at Cumming’s Hotel, where I heard the cry of “stop thief” at the Chief Justice’s; I ran out and saw two men come over the wall from the garden; they ran up O’Connel street; I pursued, and distinctly saw them together ’till they came near Mr.Gurner’s house, when I lost sight of them; whilst I was searching the neighborhood, I heard a noise at Mr. Cumming’s garden, and jumping over the paling, I found a man in the custody of Mr. Thomas Balcombe; he had one shoe on, the other was found in the garden; the prisoner Leader was the man I saw in the custody of Mr. Balcombe; I did not lose sight of either of the men I saw coming over the Judge’s wall ’till they came to Mr. Gurner’s premises in O’Connel-street.

Dr. Gibson. -I reside in O’Connel street about 9o’clock on the evening of Saturday the 10th of May, I heard the cry of “stop thief!’ and going out, saw a number of persons about ; I met Mr. Thomas Balcombe, and I accompanied him to Mr. Gurner’s house, and I saw him lay hold of the prisoner, Leader, in the garden ; he had no hat on, nor no shoes; he was taken down to Cummings’ Hotel, and given in charge to the constables.- Guilty of larceny.- Remanded.

Verdict the next day John Leader and John Cane, convicted of stealing in a dwelling-house under the value of £5. To be transported for seven years.[48]

 

Entrance to the Old Colonial Treasury in 1914

by Sydney Ure Smith[49]

 

In the years since they arrived in the Colony the Balcombe family would have led a privileged lifestyle with their gregarious father the centre of an interesting social life, entertaining the elite ruling class of the time. He was involved in the establishment of horse racing in the colony of NSW. [50] He was often a host and often a guest at social functions. One example was an invitation to a dinner at Captain Piper’s where another guest was Frenchman Hyacinthe de Bougainville who had arrived with two ships, the Corvette Esperance and the Frigate Thetis. A previous visitor, the Frenchman had visited the colony in 1802, and was impressed by the development of Sydney. At a dinner Hyacinthe was seated next to Betsy Abell. He was delighted to discover she had been on St Helena with Napoleon who, he wrote, had nicknamed her “Rosebud of St Helena” and that she spoke “good French”. He was delighted to dance with her as “he held in his arms an almost personal link with the Emperor”.

 

Betsy organized a small ball a few days later, on 12 September 1825, where Hyacinthe realized he was “more and more attracted” to Mrs. Harriot Ritchie, knee Blaxland, wife of merchant Alexander Ritchie, in fact he conceded he was “perhaps a little too much” attracted. [51] He subsequently entertained several people including Betsy to lunch on board his ship on 16 September, followed by dinner and a dance in the evening. The next evening, he and Harriot had enjoyed a romantic tête-à-tête at Balcombe’s and the pair had arranged to meet and run away together the following night. But it was not to be. He dined with the Balcombes instead, before sailing away the following day. Did the family realise that Hyacinthe de Bougainville was in fact a spy with instructions to note information on the garrisons and the defences of Port Jackson and other settlements?[52]

 

However, it seems that Balcombe’s health had been deteriorating and things came to an abrupt end when the Colonial Treasurer died in 1829.

 

The Sydney Gazette invited friends of the deceased and Gentlemen of the Colony to attend the melancholy occasion of his funeral, the procession going from his home in O’Connell Street. [53]

 

He was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery, (George Street was the original cemetery) but with the expansion of the railway the graves were all moved to Pioneer Park at Botany.

 

His gravestone reads Here lie the remains of William Balcombee [sic] late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales who departed this life on the 19th day of March 1829 in the 49th year of his age. [54]  However, his death certificate has him as being aged 51 years.[55] His sons were still ‘not of age’, William junior was 20, Thomas 18 and Alexander 17 years old.

 

Death of Wm Balcombe p 688, Gov Darling to Sir George Murray, 20 Mar 1829.

Government House.

Sir,

I have the painful duty to report the death of Mr. Balcombe the Treasurer which took place last night. Mr. Balcombe had long been subject to severe attacks of Gout, which occasionally confined him for several weeks at a time to his bed.

His constitution at length became much impaired, and for the last three years he had been a complete invalid. About 4 months since, he was attacked with dysentery, a disease which his exhausted Constitution was unequal to resist, and he continued to decline gradually until last night, the period of his dissolution.

 

I regret to add that Mr. Balcombe has left a large family in very distressed circumstances. His widow and daughter will suffer severely, as they are without any means of support; for although Mr. Balcombe possessed some land, he has died, I fear much in debt, and his land and stock are not in a state at present to make any return.

 

There are also three sons, young men, who must provide for themselves, and, with industry and the assistance of their friends, can find little difficulty in doing so.

 

He then mentions that he is appointing Mr. Wm Dumaresq, Director of Public Works, to act as Treasurer until he hears from Sir George.

 

Despite what appears to have been declining health for some time, ever the speculator, William Balcombe left his affairs in disorder with many debts for his family to sort out. They had to leave the Treasurer’s residence in Bent Street and find new accommodation. They had to sell land and livestock to cover the debts, creditors took most of his livestock.

 

Balcombe’s property, named ‘The Briars’ was located in the ‘Moonglow’ area, about 18 miles south west of Lake George. A neighbour was Owen Bowen, a former convict who had arrived in NSW in 1811, obtaining 100 acres of land in Marlow Plains (Molonglo) in June 1824 and his son William Bowen bred some of the best racehorses in the Colony, so no doubt they would get on well with their Balcombe neighbours.

 

Betsy and her eldest brother, William, were given land adjoining their father’s 6000-acre (2428 ha) grant, Molonglo, near Bungonia, County Argyle, where they lived for some years.[56]

 

William Balcombe Junior also obtained land adjacent to his father’s, 800 acres he called Inverary, and he managed both grants from here. By 1827 there was a stockyard and dairy plus servants’ huts and other buildings with 12 acres under cultivation.[57] Both the Williams had been brought up on the lush green south Atlantic island of St Helena and in south England, also lush and green, with rich damp soils from 10 cm to 5 metres in depth. Betsy recalled that the garden at The Briars on St Helena was a rich tropical paradise with luxurious growth of vine, orange, figs, pomegranate, mango and vegetable, all worked by the slaves including Napoleon’s favourite Toby and bringing in an annual income of £500 to £600.[58] The Balcombes themselves had no experience in cultivation or cropping or grazing management and definitely not in the ‘foreign’ conditions found in NSW. Here they had to learn how to work and care for this dry country with vulnerable soil where the land has just 2-5cm of topsoil at best [59] and where overgrazing has devastating consequences on the fragile native vegetation. And from 1826-1829 they were faced with a drought so severe that the relatively nearby Lake George dried up and the Darling River stopped flowing. [60] What huge financial and agricultural challenges were faced by the men as they struggled to come to terms with farming in this strange dry land.

 

So, did the anxiety of helping young William cope with the severe drought contribute to the stresses of ill health and worries about his own position which were already in his father’s life? Whatever the reason the Colonial Treasurer suffered an untimely death which led to his land having to be sold.

 

BY MESSRS. G. and J. PAUL, The Property of the late William Balcombe, Esq. deceased at Parramatta, on the day   of the Meeting of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, or the 2nd July next, positively without reserve. TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY ACRES of LAND, situated in the County of Argyle, bounded on the south by a rivulet running into the Shoal Haven River, and adjoining Birnie’s farm, being a grant from Sir Thomas Brisbane, 100 acres of which is fenced in, and divided into three paddocks, one in cultivation. There has lately has been erected a stone cottage of 8 rooms and a good verandah; barn, stable, kitchen, store-rooms, out-houses, &c. Throughout this estace there is plenty of good water.  ALSO FOUR THOUSAND ACRES OF LAND situate at Melangola in the said County, being a purchase from the Crown during the government of Sir Thomas Brisbane. This estate has had a considerable sum of money expended on it in improvements, having several paddocks fenced in, and stock keeper’s dwellings and out-houses erected on it. TERMS OF SALE. 10% on the amount of the purchase money to be paid down, 20% on the expiration of 6 months, 20% after 12 months, 25% after 18 months and 25% after 24months.  The two last instalments to bear interest at 10 per cent, after the expiration of one year from the time of sale; to be secured on the estates or other ample security.[61]

 

A few months later, in July 1829, a Mr. Balcombe was purchaser of Lot 2 of the Macquarie Field estate sold by the Sheriff at the Royal Hotel. He paid £510.[62] Which Mr. Balcombe was he? In February 1830 a Mr Balcombe junior was a cabin passenger on the ship Sovereign via India for London, reported arriving in July 1830.[63] Again which Mr. Balcombe was he? It was not likely to be Thomas as by then it is thought that he had work with the surveyor’s office. [64]

 

A year after her husband’s death, the residence of Mrs. Balcombe on the Liverpool-road, was robbed on Saturday evening last, of three trunks of property, with which the robbers, two men, decamped, they were both armed. Fortunately, the thieves, in removing the trunks, were inmates of the house, else it is not improbable that the house would have been literally stripped of everything in it. [65] It seems that the culprits were caught as a Court case took place where Mrs. Arpress, being sworn, deposed, that on the 27th of February last, the house of Mrs. Balcombe, on the Liverpool road, was broken open and robbed of three trunks, containing goods, the property of witness, for which robbery the man servant was convicted, and is now undergoing punishment; part of the cap now produced is my property, the caul has been cut out, and another put in to disfigure it, but I can swear positively to the head piece ; it is part of the property stolen in one of the trunks.[66]

 

A month after the first armed robbery another occurred. Early on Tuesday morning, two armed bushrangers made an attack upon the house of Mrs. Balcombe, Glebe Farm; but being spiritedly opposed by the servants, and fired at, effected a precipitate retreat.[67] However on the following morning the watchman, whilst employed in collecting the dairy cattle, fell in again with the same parties, as he suspected, and one of them fired at him; the man is in consequence much injured. It is somewhat remarkable that the bush-rangers were all well dressed.[68]

 

A third attack occurred on the dwelling of Mrs. Balcombe. They did not ask admittance, but broke in; previously to which however, they shot the watchman who was keeping guard, through the neck, the ball going in on one side and out of the other. ‘This trusty man had fired at the villains some time before at night. They plundered the house as completely as they did the Greyhound public-house. They did not ill-use Mrs. Balcombe. Mrs. Abell was absent. [69]

 

So just where was Mrs. Balcombe’s residence to be so vulnerable to theft? A description of the Great South Road in 1904 gives us some clues.[70]

The Great South Road

George’s River having been left, there was an old road leading to the Punch Bowl, known as Clariville, which was the property of Sir Alfred Stephen, as far back as 1832; it was situated in the County of Cumberland, 8½ miles from Sydney, and derived its name of the   Punch Bowl from being situated in a sort of basin surrounded by gentle rising ground. In 1830 there were several tracts which led to farms lying between George’s River and Cook’s River on Salt Pan Creek; and the upper part of George’s River, in a wild country where in 1832 a large tract of land had been “recently” granted to the Church and School Estate. On the north lay the Glebe, purchased from the Church, where before 1832 the widow of the late William Balcombe, the first Colonial Treasurer, had her residence, which was at the above date a ladies’ boarding-school. Through this estate a road or tract joined the Parramatta-road a little beyond Powell’s Bridge, between the ninth and tenth mile- stones. Over Moore’s Bridge, which spans Cook’s River, 9½ miles from Sydney, the road takes a turn south for a, short distance, and then trends in a westerly direction. To the east, in 1832, lay the Kangaroo Inn, and the King’s Arms on the west side, kept by W. Jackson, and here the Liverpool mail coaches changed horses and most travellers on the road stopped to refresh and rest their horses, for it stood 11 miles from Sydney. In this district at that period wore some fine ironbark forests. Two miles further on, and on the same side, was the Weaver’s Arms, better known as Clogg’s Inn, and a little further again, still the same side, was another Inn of fame called Speed the Plough – the second of that name on the road – kept by Cole.

 

HIGHWAY ROBBERY- We have to add another daring robbery to the long list which it has of late been our painful duty to make public. On the afternoon of Wednesday, Mr. Robert Murdoch Campbell, of Harrington Park, was travelling on   horseback to Sydney, for the purpose of taking up a bill for £120 sterling, held by Mr. Dickson of the steam engine, and coming due on the following day. This huge sum he had in his trowsers pocket, consisting of bank-notes, and inclosed in a packet addressed to Mr. Dickson. When he had reached that part of the Liverpool road between the farms of Mr. Terry and Mrs. Balcombe, he overtook a man on foot, carrying a bundle at the end of a stick over his shoulder, and having every appearance of a quiet honest travellor: but on Mr. C’s coming abreast of him, the horse started at something on the other side of the road, and sprang close to the pedestrian, who suddenly seized the bridle, pulled Mr. C. to the ground, and was in, a moment joined by two other men rushed out of the bush, armed with pistols. They were not long in possessing themselves of his watch, and of the valuable packet, to come at which they tore his trowsers with great violence, and on looking at the superscription, one of them remarked “This will be just as useful to us as to Mr. Dickson.” The two who had issued from the bush then returned thither, leaving their companion, who was armed with a huge bludgeon, to see that Mr. C. proceeded quietly on his journey; the fellow ordered him to remount his horse and not to look back at the peril of his life. It is much to be lamented that Mr. Campbell had not taken the numbers of the notes, as there is now scarcely a possibility of their ever being traced. Mr. C. was married, but a short time back, to Miss Ann Hassall, of Parramatta, and his heavy loss will in these times be severely felt. [71]

 

No mention was made of Jane Balcombe’s sons living with her so can we assume they were away on their own properties, or was one of them still overseas?

 

After the burglaries at her home and the robberies nearby, is it any wonder that Jane and her daughter Betsy Abell decided to return to England? Jane also wanted to petition the British Government for a pension to allow her to remain in NSW.[72] They booked on the ship Nancy after tickets were advertised in October 1830 [73] and the ship left Sydney on Sunday 13 February 1831.[74] Nancy was the first wool ship direct to London, a fine First-Class Ship of  400 Tons Burthen[75], Captain  HENRY PRYCE, R. N. Commander with superior Accommodations for Passengers, and carrying an experienced Surgeon.[76]  Henry Pryce was an experienced seaman having joined the Royal Navy as a Midshipman in 1796. He rose through the ranks to become an Acting Lieutenant in August 1804, Lieutenant in April 1805, First Lieutenant from January 1809 to Commander in July 1821. He became a Commander of two 50-gun frigates and held a commission as Captain of a line-of-battle ship in the Portuguese service and received decoration for his work in that Navy. He was also known to have commanded some of the finest Indiamen ships out of London.[77]

 

The passenger list does not mention Betsy’s daughter Jane Elizabeth Balcombe Abell, known as Bessie, who would have been around 7 years old when they sailed.[78] However we know she had come to New South Wales with her mother in 1824 and grew to adulthood and married in England so we must assume she sailed on Nancy at this time with her mother and grand-mother as she was unlikely to stay with her young, single uncles. The passenger lists include the 5 Melville children so there were several children for Bessie to play with on the voyage.

 

DEPARTURES.

For London, on Sunday last, the ship Nancy, Captain Pryce, with a cargo of colonial produce. Passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Melville and 5 children, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, Mrs. Abel, Mrs. Balcombe, Mr. George Yates, Thomas Isaacson, Maurice Collins, Patrick Teefy, John Teefy, James Ryan, George Hughes, Edward Barrett, and Timothy Lingahan.[79]

 

Imagine how the boys back in NSW must have felt on subsequently reading a headline “REPORTED LOSS OF THE NANCY” –Reports have reached the Colony by the ‘Asia’, of the loss of the ‘Nancy’, Captain Pryce, seven degrees to the southward of the line. Our readers may remember that Mrs. Balcombe and family, Mr. and Mrs. Melville, went home by this vessel. It is said that a French vessel fell in with her found her deserted, and waterlogged. We cannot trace this to any authentic source, but the report is current. We trust; however, it will be found incorrect. [80]

 

We regret to have to report that the ship Asia, announced elsewhere, on her outward passage, got information of the ‘Nancy’- Price; from this port, having been lost on the passage home —a French vessel, it is said, found her within 7. 25. S. lat. waterlogged and deserted. The report is by no means authenticated, and may yet, as we   hope it will, prove fabulous. But admitting the Nancy to have been met as described, there is every likelihood that her passengers had managed to escape to some place of safety in the ship’s boats— the Coast of Terra Firma or the African Coast, being adjacent on either side. Among the Nancy’s passengers, were Mrs. Balcombe and     Mrs. Abell, Mr and Mrs. Putter, and Mr. and Mrs. Melville.[81]

 

However, in August it was reported that ‘The Argyle’ touched for refreshment at Rio, where she found the ‘Nancy’, Capt. Pryce, from Sydney, for London, which had encountered very severe gales at Cape Horn. [82] We know they finally arrived safely in English waters as the Royal Cornwall Gazette reported On the evening of Wednesday, 17 August 1831, NANCY arrived off Falmouth, Cornwall and the next day she had arrived off Brighton [83] and arrived in The Downs on August 19. [84]

 

So, had the French sailors seen the Nancy with all hatches well and truly battened down and no person visible on deck? Had they noted an incorrect name for the ship they saw? Was it the right ship but on the next voyage? Had the newspapers identified the wrong ship, muddling the wool ship Nancy and Captain Pryce with Whaler Nancy, and a Captain Pryde, lost on March 10, 1831 in New Zealand waters. [85] But why the long delay of the newspaper reports with mention of the names of the Balcombe and Melville families appearing as late as December.

 

The three boys William, Thomas and Alexander had chosen to remain in Australia. Had they done so because they felt they had good prospects in this new colony or did they not have the funds to return to England with their mother and sister? A letter from Governor Darling to Sir George Murray dated 29 July 1829, suggested that the eldest son William, an agriculturalist, was given a grant of 2 square miles of land, the second son was employed as a Clerk in the Commissariat and the youngest as a Clerk in the office of the Supreme Court. A year later Sir George Murray wrote to Governor Darling that he had appointed Mr. Thomas Balcombe to be Draftsman on the establishment of the Surveyor General’s department of NSW.[86]

 

However, Governor Darling may have the boys mixed up as in May 1830 Alexander was working in the Commissary Offices as indicated by this advertisement in the Sydney Gazette of 8 May 1830

TO be SOLD by Private Contract 200 FINE WOOLED EWES and 50 LAMBS, from the Flocks of John McArthur, Esq. purchased from Mr. Icely, the original cost 4 Guineas a-head; since improved for the last ten years, by Saxon Rams, from the Flock of J. Riley, Esq. Reference to be had to Mr. Alexander Balcombe, Commissary Officer, Lumber Yard.

 

By August 1832 William was reported as living on his land grant in Argyle, brother Alexander, the Clerk in the Commissariat had been dismissed for negligence so was then unemployed. In September 1830 Thomas had been appointed a draftsman in the Surveyor-General’s Department with a salary of £150 but by 1833 his work was apparently considered unsatisfactory, he is not well spoken of by his superior [87] but he was saved from dismissal by the promise made to his mother and put on field work. [88]

 

In the 1830s Surveyor General Thomas Livingstone Mitchell had travelled extensively out of Sydney and one of his earlier surveys had marked his new line of road between Marulan and Goulburn [89] and this would have had an influence on the future of Bungonia. Thomas Balcombe who worked in the Surveyor’s office does not appear to be have been on any of these expeditions of Mitchell. [90]

 

In 1832 Jane Balcombe wrote to the Secretary of State for Colonies asking for a passport to be issued to a man who was to act as tutor to young Bessie on the trip to NSW, the verbal answer being no passport was necessary.

‘Mrs. Balcombe presents her compliments and will be much obliged to Mr.

[Gray?] if he will grant the bearer of this a Passport – as he wishes to go

to New South Wales and has engaged to instruct my little Granddaughter on

her passage out. Jane Balcombe, 5th Oct, Kings St, St James Square[91]

 

It appears, on arrival, Mrs. Balcombe immediately petitioned the Colonial Secretary, Viscount Goderich, as there is a handwritten letter in NSW State Records (35), 9 Aug 1832, from Alexander McLeay, Colonial Sec, Sydney to Edward Barnard, Agent for the Colony of NSW, London.

McLeay writes acknowledging receipt of his letter 18 Feb stating that in compliance with instructions from Viscount Goderich he had paid Mrs. Balcombe 200 pounds sterling to defray the expenses of her and her daughter’s passages to England and the NSW office would credit the Colonial Sec account for that amount.

 

Jane was staying in South Cave, Yorkshire at the home of her sister Elizabeth and brother in law Travel Leason (who had been business partners on St Helena with William Balcombe) when she expressed her thanks to Lord Goderich for the allowance. Her handwritten letter is in the National Archives, London, as advised by Stephen Wright

 

The Rt Hon’ble, Lord Viscount Goderich &c &c &c

South Cave, Yorkshire, Jan 23, 1832

Sir,

With feelings of the deepest gratitude I beg to acknowledge your Lordship’s very great and benevolent consideration in allowing me to draw the amount for myself and daughter’s passage to this country. Words are too feeble to portray our sense of your Lordship’s kind interposition (intersession?). I can only pray to the Author of the Good to shower down blessings upon you and yours, as you have afforded relief to the Widow and the Orphans – with prayers for your Lordship’s health and prosperity, I beg to subscribe myself, Your Lordship’s Gratefully obliged and devoted Servant,

Jane Balcombe

 

Ref: CO/201/229 – (2)   from the widowed Mrs. Jane Balcombe to Viscount

Goderich, Earl of Ripon, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Dated July 18, 1832. Stamped ‘Received C.D. July 18, 1832]/

 

‘To the Right Honorable the Lord Goderich, Secretary of State for the Colonies, &c &c &c/

The humble Petition of Jane Balcombe, Widow of the late William

Balcombe, Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.

 

That your Petitioner’s late Husband was for a great number of years established in the Island of St Helena where he accumulated a considerable property as a Merchant and general trader.

That your Petitioner’s said Husband was among other duties charged with the supply of the establishment formed at St Helena for General Napoleon Bonaparte.

That he came to England with his family in the year 1818 leaving his Property at St Helena in charge of a Superintendent and that during the absence of your Petitioner’s said Husband some untoward circumstances over which he had personally no control took place the result of which  led to a prohibition on the part of the Government to his return to the said Island and consequently to the total [ruin] of his property there.

That in consideration of his great losses in this respect, Earl Bathurst, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, appointed her said late Husband Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales, to which Settlement he repaired with his family, consisting of three Sons and two Daughters in the year 1824, in the hope that he might had his life been spared have been enabled to provide for his family.

That her said Husband died in the month of March 1829, leaving your Petitioner and his Family in a state of absolute destitution and your said Petitioner being far advanced in life and in infirm health. She therefore must humbly pray that in respect of the suffering of her late Husband and Family in the public services, your Lordship will take her case into your consideration and grant her such allowance towards her support and that of her children who are still unprovided for.

And your Lordship’s Petitioner shall ever pray

Jane Balcombe [14 or 141] Kings Street, St James Square/

 

under my consideration the peculiar circumstances connected with the late Mr. Balcombe whose appointment to the situation of Colonial Treasurer of NSW resulted from claims, which he had upon this Department in consequence of certain transactions* which occurred at St Helena during the period of Napoleon Buonaparte’s detention there, I have been induced to recommend to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury that the widow of Mr. Balcombe should receive, in addition to the Sum which the Colonial Agent was authorized to issue to her on 26 Jan last, a gratuity of two hundred and fifty pounds to enable her to return with her family to NSW where 2 of her sons appear to be at present residing, and with whom she is desirous of passing the remainder of her days.”

 

In regard to the gratuity to enable Mrs. Balcombe to return with her family (Betsy and daughter) to New South Wales, to pass “/the remainder of her days”/ an attached memorandum on actions to be taken stated /To give a passage out to NSW to Mrs. Balcombe, Mrs. Abel and the female child of the latter /and also /If the above can be done for Mrs. Balcombe she will quit England with her daughter Mrs. Abel forever, not only perfectly satisfied but full of gratitude to Lord Goderich and the Governor for the humane and kind consideration given to her Case.

 

By March 1833 Jane Balcombe and Betsy Abell had arrived back in the Colony. Mrs. Balcombe, relict of the late Colonial Treasurer, with her daughter, Mrs. Abel, have arrived from England, at Van Diemen’s Land, on their way to this colony.[92]

 

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE.

ARRIVALS.

From London via Hobart Town, on Thursday last, having sailed from the former port on the 19th October, and the latter on the 20th of March, the ship Ellen, Captain George Dixon, with a general cargo. Passengers, Mrs. Jane Balcombe, Mrs. Louisa Abel, Miss Elizabeth Abel, Edward Dumaresq, Esq. Mrs. Dumaresq, and 3 children.

 

Obviously satisfied with their voyage, several passengers placed the following letter in the newspaper:

DEAR SIR, -We cannot leave the Ellen without expressing that we are very much pleased and satisfied with our voyage, and feel obliged by your uniform kindness and attention to us. Be assured, we shall at all times take an interest in your welfare, and sincerely hope, you may ever enjoy every possible success and happiness. We remain, dear Sir, your very obedient servants, JANE BALCOMBE, LOUISA E. ABELL, JOHN. S. MORPHY, EDWARD J. EYRE,

BACKWELL H. LAMBART, EDWARD DUMARESQ. FANNY B. DUMARESQ,

Captain Dixon, Commander ship Ellen, Sydney Cove, 19th March, 1833  [93]

 

A Mr. Balcombe was also listed as a passenger from London so did one of the boys return from England with Jane and Betsy, or is it a different Balcombe family? [94] Surely if it had been one of her sons, Jane would have asked him to sign the letter in praise of “Ellen”. The Sydney Monitor didn’t name Jane but did list Mrs. and Miss Able [sic] and a Mr. Balcombe.[95]

 

It was not long after their arrival back in the Colony, in May, that Jane and Betsy were robbed. Highway Robbery – on Sunday evening last, as Mrs. Balcombe and Mrs. Able were proceeding to Liverpool they were stopped and robbed by two armed men when within three miles of Jordon’s Plough Inn who had their faces covered with black handkerchiefs; they demanded nothing but such money as the two ladies had with them which was immediately given, and the fellows decamped. The same two had previously robbed a person named Payne.[96]

 

A couple of months later, in July 1833, Mrs. Balcombe of Erskine Villa was assigned a house servant.[97]

 

In December 1833 Customs reported Mrs. Balcombe had imported one case of Millinery on the Joseph Banks. [98] This could have been a Mrs. Balcombe running a ladies-wear shop but no advertisement for anything appropriate has been found. The trunk of millinery almost certainly belonged to Jane. However, for some reason she must have become very disillusioned with things in NSW. Was it her financial difficulties, was she concerned for the safety of the girls, did she fall out with her sons, was she given a poor health report, was daughter Betsy desperately homesick for the brighter lights England?

 

Whatever the reason Jane, her daughter and grand-daughter left the colony on that same ship having only stayed in NSW a few months.  DEPARTURES.  For London, on Tuesday last the baroque Sir Joseph Banks, T. B. Daniel, H. C. S., commander; loading wool, &c. Passengers, Mrs. Balcombe, Mrs. Abel, Miss Abell, Miss Susan Price, Major Hoverden, II. M. 4th Regiment; Richard Bourke, Esq., Mr. F. M. Rotheray, Dr. Inches, R. N.; and Henry Cahill, servant; Capt. Wills, and Mrs. Wills, Mr. Boxall, and Mr. Grimes.  [99] They were reported as having safely returned to England, arriving at the River, Portsmouth on 30 August. [100]

 

This trip was financed by the Colonial Treasurer, the Sydney Herald reporting of Disbursements included To Mrs. Balcombe, Widow of the late Colonial Treasurer as a Gratuity, and to defray the Expense of her Passage to England £450..0..0. [101] It appears that this would be their last voyage to or from NSW, family finances would make more trips impossible. It could have been a tearful farewell with her sons who had made the decision to stay in NSW, and no doubt Jane hoped they would become successful in their new country.

 

We have confirmation of Thomas’ work in the Surveyor General’s department as his grand-daughter Vera (Balcombe) Gaden donated a hand coloured map of the nineteen Counties dated 7 April 1834 to the NSW State Library. It is inscribed “Transmitted to Mr Balcombe with my instructions dated 7 April 1834. T.L.M.”. The Library notes This map is an important early proof of portion of Major Mitchell’s map, with name places and outlines of mountains added in Mitchell’s hand. The area shown entails the Central Tablelands and Goulburn and Hunter Rivers, first surveyed on Mitchell’s instructions by John Rogers from September 1829. Compared with the final engraving, this map shows that only some of the mountains marked in red by Mitchell [Jerry’s Plains Range, Mt. Wambo?] were in fact added. Mitchell sends an annotated early proof of his map into the field to show the area he wants surveyed for his Map of the Colony.[102]

 

Balcombe also had Field Books now deposited with the State Records of NSW. We were able to examine these books, hoping for a few sketches of people and places as well as the surveys. We were not disappointed. There are 2 books dated 1834 and one for 1835. The areas cover

1) the Wollombi Road Country and Northumberland Mountain Ranges between the Hunter River and Wybong Creek and Halls Creek in the counties of Durham, Brisbane, Blaxlands Road towards Ogilvie’s 1834.

2) Survey of Mountain Ranges between Wybong and Hall’s Creek, portion of the Goulburn River, Giants Creek Counties Brisbane, Hunter and Northumberland 1834

  1. Goulburn River, Smiths rivulet, Ranges west of Halls creek, and between Gunmun and Bow Creeks and Krui river, Counties Brisbane etc. 1835.[103] These Counties named in Balcombe’s Field Books were four of the of the original Nineteen Counties in New South Wales.

Brisbane County which includes present day Scone, Merriwa and Murrurundi. The Goulburn River is the boundary to the south and the Hunter River the boundary to the south-east. The Liverpool Range area is the boundary to the north, and the Krui River the boundary to the west.

Durham County is bordered on the south and west by the Hunter River, and on the north and east by the Williams River. It includes Aberdeen and Muswellbrook. Before 1834, the area known as Durham County included what later became Gloucester and most of Brisbane counties, as far west as the Liverpool Range, and east to the Pacific, including Port Stephens, as shown on an 1832 map.

Hunter County  lies between the Hunter River in the north, and the Colo River in the south, including much of Wollemi National Park. Macdonald River lies to the east.

Northumberland County  included the area to the north of Broken Bay, including Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. It was bounded by the part of the Hawkesbury River to the south, the Macdonald River to the south-west, and the Hunter River to the north.[104]

 

Balcombe Surveyors notes State Records Office for 1834 – 1835.

 

Friday 9th May 1834: Drew a few articles from Parramatta Store and started for Hunter River.

Saturday 10th: Travelling.

Sunday 11th: Arrived at Wisemans.

Monday 12th: My Dray arrived not being able to keep pace with Mr. Dixon’s on account of having travelled the two first days with only 3 bullocks.

Tuesday 13th: Got to the 10-mile Hollow.

Wednesday 14th: To Hungary Flats.

Thursday 15th: To Young Wisemans.

Friday 16th: To Mr. Dowlands.

Saturday 17th: To McDonalds, Black Creek.

Sunday 18th: To Hunter River and Patrick Plains. [Land here had been granted to Benjamin Singleton and the area is now known as Singleton][105]

[img 9267]

 

Sketches of male body, kettle, female head on inside cover of book [image 9268]

Front Cover Balcombe Vol 5 (5 crossed out and replaced with 2] [image 9269]

Sketch of aboriginal man holding axe, covered in animal skin? [image 9270]

 

Thursday 21st:  Lang [?] Received slops by Mr. Bettington’s dray [this would be James Brindley Bettington of Martindale, Merriwa][106]

Tuesday 27th: Returned from Maitland. Dray

Wednesday 28th: Drew two months rations from Glennie’s [this would be James Glennie of Dulwich.[107] ]

Thursday 29th: Arrived at Masts Water Creek

Friday 30th: Dray arrived at Cpt Wrights tonight from Hunter River [Captain Samuel Wright was a former soldier from Ireland who had been granted land in the area. He was the Magistrate and Superintendent of Police for Newcastle.[108]]

Saturday 31st May: Resting cattle.

[image 9271]

 

In red ink R 3 8 6 7 Contents

Dividing Range Wybang and Halls Creek 1 (Wybong is near Denman)

Ranges and Creek west of Dartbrook 50 (Dartbrook is near Aberdeen)

[image 9272]

 

Sunday 17 Sent chainman and bullock driver in search [of bullocks?]

Monday 18th August 1834: Proceeded with bullock driver and pressed on with 2 days rations.

Thursday 21st: Sent man for 1 week’s rations

Friday: Rained hard all day

Saturday 23rd 1834 August: Rained hard

Sunday 24th: Raining heavy

Monday 25th: Sent in for rations to Singletons [Benjamin Singleton had land grants in the area]

Tuesday: Man not returned

Wednesday: Continued tracing Goulburn [River?], an Upper Hunter River and runs near the towns of Denman, Merriwa and Sandy Hollow][109]

 

In August a man wrote a letter (via the Sydney newspapers) to the Surveyor General concerning the great complaints about the bad state of the roads and bridges in the Hunters River area including Maitland to Newcastle and Maitland to Green Hills, he wrote “It is said the Surveyor of Roads in that district is more partial to the Police bench than to his official duties. A correspondent informs us he is to be seen daily under the wing of the Police Magistrate in Maitland.” [110]  Was Thomas the specific surveyor of roads? If it was him, was he noticed sheltering during the several days of heavy rain with Captain Samual Wright, the Newcastle area Police Magistrate?  At that time there was no regular court held in Maitland until a couple of months later when Pieter Laurentz Campbell was appointed as Police Magistrate on 1st October 1834.[111]

 

[img 9274]

Sunday 31st August: Proceeded homeward

Monday 1st September: Arrived

Tuesday, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Satur, Sunday, Monday:  Plotting survey

Tuesday 9th: Waiting for slops

[Slops was used as either a general term for clothing including trousers, shirts and shoes [112] or could be used specifically for loose fitting trousers which came to just below the knee. [113] In both instances they were ‘working’ clothes rather than ‘dress’ clothes. However, it is odd that they seemed to be always short of clothing… was there another meeting of which I am not aware?]

Saturday 13th: Proceeded towards Maitland to ascertain if slops had arrived

Tuesday 16th: Arrived at Maitland

Wednesday 17: In Maitland

Thursday 18th: Went to Green Hills after slops. [Green Hills was the place on the Hunter River where the steam packet wharf was located, now known as Morpeth.[114]]

Sunday 21st: Arrived at Patricks Plains on my way home.

Monday 22: Arrived at the tents [at] Bengalla

Tuesday 23: —–

Wednesday 24th: Sent bullock driver after the bullocks, returned late.

Thursday 25th: Returned with bullocks

Friday 26th Sept: Sent Dray to Maitland for slops.

Tuesday: To [Peters… town?], Dray arrived from Maitland but could not cross on account of flood.

 

[image 9275]

Monday October 13: Crossed River Hunter

Tuesday 14: Resting bullocks

Wed 15:—–

Thursday 16th: Crossed at River

 

[image 9276 and 9277] are sketches of river path

[image 9278 and 9279] are images of boxer, leg and conical mountain/hill

 

[image 9280]

Thursday 21st: Arrived at Cpt Wrights Farm Bengalla[115]

November 6th 1834: Removed tents from Cpt Wrights farm to Judge Forbes. [This was Francis Forbes who had land ‘Skellatar’ near Muscle Town, now Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley][116]

Friday and Saturday 22nd: Now removed to Glennie’s Paddock.

Friday 5th [December]: ———

Monday 8th Nov: Went to Green Hills, no account of any package. Set off for Maitland to ascertain whether articles from the Survey office had arrived.

Tuesday: at Maitland

Wednesday: Went again to Green Hills, saw Mr. Dulhunty. Spoke to him concerning bullocks.

[In 1828 Lawrence Vance Dulhunty was appointed Assistant Surveyor of Roads and Bridges. On 2nd May, l839, the new line of road from the Green Hills to Maitland was reported by The Australian to have been commenced under the superintendence of Mr. L. Dulhunty, the Inspector of Roads and Bridges for that district. On 26th January, 1841, the same newspaper carried a report of a new bridge which had been erected under the supervision of Lawrence Dulhunty at Wollombi Brook.][117]

Friday: Sent to Green Hills, no account of any stores.

Saturday 13th Nov: Returned to tents at Mr. Glennies.

Monday 15th Went to Mr. Dulhunty for bullocks

Tuesday: Returned to tents

Wed 17:——-

Friday 19: Went to P[atricks] Plains

Tuesday 23rd: Returned to tents, sent man to Mr. White’s for 2 bullocks

Thursday 25th: Went to Patrick Plains

 

[img 9281]

Tuesday 30: Days went to Maitland to look after slops.

Wed 31st: Days went to Green Hills, no slops arrived.

 

Thursday 1st January 1835: Returned to Patricks Plains

Friday 2nd: Returned to tents

Saturday 3rd: Wrote to Surveyor General’s office concerning slops

Sunday 4th: —-

Monday 5th: Sent to Maitland for stores. Waiting slops.

Monday 11th: Returned Dray. Distributed leather

Friday 15th: Sent Days to Green Hills for slops.

 

[img 9282] Picture of Aboriginal man in skins carrying axe

 

Names of some of the men Balcombe mentions are shown on these maps

 

 

It was only a short time after Thomas finished this survey that his mother Jane’s death was recorded on 5 February 1835.  Died at Tunbridge Wells, Jane, relict of William Balcombe Esq. formerly of St Helena and late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales with whose family Napoleon Bonaparte spent many of his latter hours.[118]One can only speculate why Jane was at Tunbridge Wells. Taking the waters at the Spa was a popular past-time but she could also have been visiting the family of Alexander Beatson who had been Governor on St Helena and a family friend at the time when their children were all small.

 

The boy’s links with England were becoming more tenuous. In November 1848 Jane’s grand-daughter Bessie married On the 23rd November last, at Stoke Church, Devonshire, by the Rev. W. J. St. Aubyn, MA, Charles Edward, eldest son of George Johnstone, Esq., of Tavistock-square, London, and of Broncroft Castle, Salop, to Jane Elizabeth Balcombe, only child of Edward Abell, Esq., and grand daughter of William Balcombe, Esq., late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.  [119]

In 1871 Jane’s daughter Betsy died in London, she had outlived 2 of her brothers, William and Thomas. On the 29th June, at 18, Chester-terrace, Eaton-square, LUCIA ELIZABETH ABELL, widow of Edward Abell, Esq., and second daughter of William Balcombe, Esq., late Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales, and its Dependencies, and formerly of The Briars, St. Helena. [120] and the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Abell on 29th cult is reported. In her maiden days, as Miss Balcombe, she was known to every reader of the memoirs of the first Napoleon’s career as the young lady whose sprightliness and sympathy were among the few things which rendered his latter days in exile at St Helena supportable.[121] Betsy as Lucia Elizabeth Abell died on 29 June 1871, Belgrave, St George Hanover, certificate DXZ 659038, and there is a burial page for All Souls Kensal Green No 52189, buried 5 July 1871. She is buried in grave number 20908 Square 90 R/S (roadside) with her son in law Charles E Johnstone (1868) and her daughter Jane E B (Bessie) Johnstone (1892).[122] It appears that this family line ended with Bessie’s death in 1892 as there did not appear to have been issue from the Johnstone marriage. (However, Bessie Balcombe’s name lived on in Australia in the form of a brown thoroughbred mare, born 1905, by the bay/brown stakes-winning stallion Simmer [GB, by St Simon from Dutch Oven] from Helena [Aus, by Goldsbrough from Lady Hooton]. Bessie Balcombe was dam to at least 3 horses, Earl of Seafield [by Duke Humphry], Get Yan [by Homeward Bound] and Moonshee, also by Homeward Bound).[123]

As time progresses the young Balcombe men became more settled and accepted in their local communities, William on the land, Thomas with his surveying, sketching and painting and Alexander who also took up land.  On 2 March 1833 the Sydney Monitor reported on the Petition when William Balcombe was one of the Gentlemen be invited to become Members of the General Committee, and to act as Branch Committees in their several districts, and that a circular be addressed to each individual requesting his co-operation. William junior would represent Argyle Shire. By late 1836 all three Balcombe men had an interest in the Sutton Forest area of NSW, with both Thomas and Alexander subscribing £1 towards the erection of a church, and William contributed £5. [124]

A couple of them also had convict namesakes in the Colony, two men convicted for Life at the Sussex assizes, the county where the Balcombe family originated… they could well have been relatives! Convicts William Balcombe, who arrived on the ship Guildford on 22 April 1824 was a groom for Mrs. King of Melville and was pardoned 30 October 1838, and Thomas Balcombe, a labourer to Rev Hassall in the Bathurst area who had arrived on the Prince of Orange on 2 June 1821. In January 1835 Thomas had his ticket of leave cancelled for having denied before the Supreme Court what he had sworn before the Bathurst Court.[125] but it was reinstated in August 1836. [126] He married Mary Jackman or Cox in 1843 in the Church of England, Abercrombie, district of Bathurst [127] and was granted a conditional pardon by Thomas Hassall, John Stack JP, William Lawson (Snr) and JT Market PM on 1 February 1843[128] so that was at least two “Convict indulgences” which he was granted.[129]

 

Our William Balcombe’s land grants were at Molonglo, towards Lake Bathurst, and brother Thomas Tyrwhitt would have visited him and, en route, travelled through the Marulan and Bungonia area. Here in the County of Argyle, he would come into contact with people like the Stuckey family of Longreach, Marulan, the Mitchell’s of Brisbane Meadow and the family of Gabrielle Huon de Kerrileau of Caarne, whose land bounded Bungonia Creek to the north east of Bungonia village.

 

Another person from this area was Dr David Reid, a former naval surgeon who had been a magistrate alongside William the Colonial Treasurer.[130] He was initially granted land in the Bungonia-Marulan area, a place he called Inverary Park. He is listed as having 2060 acres in the 1828 census, with 56 acres under cultivation. He was considered to be an ‘efficient’ and one of ‘the best practical agriculturalists’.[131] His daughter Emma married Alexander Beatson Balcombe, Thomas’ younger brother, in 1841, and they pioneered land in Victoria where Alexander had obviously been exploring. At Bungonia, Argyle, on 30th August, by the Rev GM Wood, Mr. Alexander Balcombe of Melbourne to Emma Juana, youngest daughter of the late David Reid Esq, Surgeon RN of Inverary Park.[132]

Southern Association AT A PUBLIC MEETING, held this day, in the Pulteney Hotel, called by advertisement, for the purpose of forming an Association for the Suppression of Stock Stealing in general in the Southern Districts, David Reid, Esq., in the Chair, the following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to: Proposed by Henry O’Brien, Esq., J. P., and Seconded by Captain M’Kellar, J. P. That the Landed Proprietors of the New or Argyle shire Country do form themselves into one Association, to be named ” The Southern Association for the Suppression of Stock Stealing,” and that Committees be formed, where two or more Proprietors reside, for the purpose of not only communicating with each other, but of forming themselves the more readily into parties, when necessary, for the apprehension and conviction of Persons connected with and forming the extensive and ruinous gangs of Cattle Stealers now, and for years past, in existence throughout that part of the Colony.[133]

William Balcombe of Limestone Plains was one of the committee for his area and later that year he was assigned one pot boy.[134] However he reported the absconding of an assigned convict, White John, Bussorah Merchant 2, 31.2248, 22, Kilkenny, errand boy, four feet ten and three quarter inches, ruddy, freckled, and pock pitted complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, slight horizontal scar over outer corner of right eye, from W. Balcomb, Goulburn, since November 14, second time of absconding.[135] He was reassigned a pot boy in September 1836. [136]

 

Alexander had some bad luck, or was it just carelessness? LOST, ON THE ARGYLE ROAD, AN ORDER on W. Hirst & Co., drawn for Hirst and Buckley, by R. M. Redmayne, for £23 16s. 6d. in favor of A. Balcomb, Esquire. Whoever will return the same to Mr. Berner, York-street, will be rewarded.[137]  In those days this was quite a large amount to no longer have available for purchases.

 

List of Individuals who have obtained Licenses from the Colonial Treasurer, for depasturing Stock beyond the boundaries of the Colony, from the 12th to the 18th February, 1837. inclusive, on payment of the established fee.

247, Balcombe, Wm. Molonglo Plains, Western, Monaroo[138]

 

Not only did the boys misplace their money, the horses started to stray too. TEN POUNDS REWARD. A LIGHT chestnut MARE, branded B in two or three places, having been missing from Molonglo Plains for some days past, and being supposed to be stolen, a sum of Ten Pounds will be paid on conviction of any person or persons of the offence; or a Reward of One Pound will be paid on recovery of the Mare. Application to be made to Mr. Balcombe, of Molonglo, or Mr. Murphy, of Gundaroo. Also, a light bay Gelding, about five years old, branded under the saddle either C or J, from the same place, and for which the same Reward will be paid either on conviction of the party, or on recovery of the horse. EDWARD JOHN RYAN   April 7, 1837.[139]

 

The area was also becoming subject to plenty of theft. The Sydney Monitor of 7 August 1837 reported: FRIDAY, August 4, 1837. Before Mr. JUSTICE BURTON, and a Military Jury. William Duffy, and George Simmons, late of Goulburn, labourers, were indicted for having with force and arms on the ninth day of May last at Molonglo, assaulted one John Callaghan and stealing eleven pairs of boots, one chest of tea, one bag of sugar, and other articles. To this indictment the prisoners pleaded not guilty.

 

John Callaghan an assigned servant to Major Antill and residing at that gentle man’s sheep station at Molonglo, being sworn stated, that he was proceeding on the day laid in the indictment, towards the station with a dray containing among other property a bag of sugar, a chest of tea and 27 pounds of salt; when about eleven miles from the station a fellow servant of witness met him with six bullocks which he yoked on to the dray, after they had proceeded some little distance and when ‘about a mile ‘ from Mr. Balcombes, three men having their faces disguised and two of them armed with muskets came up to the dray and desired witness to stop but he drove on, when the men stopped the bullocks; the prisoners at the bar were two of the men spoken of – Simmons had one of the muskets and the man not taken had the other; the men told witness companion to move off and said they would settle the old fellow, meaning witness who stayed by the dray, the prisoner Duffy then went and took the tarpaulin off the load and threw down fifteen pair of boots, a bag of wheat, a bag of sugar, a chest of tea, one keg of tobacco, and a box of soap, and then asked if there was any more, being told there was none, he broke open the chest of tea and took out some which he put in a bag, in doing this he spilled a considerable quantity of which about ten pounds were picked up the next day, the prisoners after this returned four pair of boots to Jacob the servant, they had stockings on their heads and brought down the sides of their faces which they in a great measure concealed, but left room for the eyes and mouth; they were employed about an hour overhauling the dray and witness had good opportunity of observing them and is quite sure that the prisoners Duffy and Simmons were two of the men, witness did not know them before, he saw Police Office, they were apprehended the next day.

 

While Duffy was employed opening the chest, the prisoner Simmons held the muskets and witness took particular notice of his person, which being observed by Duffy he told Simmons to shoot him, but no attempt was made to do so; the other man was employed holding the bag for the tea. When witness saw the prisoners at the Police Office they had on the same clothes as they appeared in at the time of the robbery, with the exception that Duffy had on a hat instead of a cap, and both had great coats. When witness arrived at the Station, he gave information of the circumstance to the superintendent. James Fielding, of the Mounted Police, stated that in consequence of information which he received, he proceeded about daybreak; on the tenth of May, in search of the prisoners, when he had proceeded about six miles from where he had en camped he overtook the prisoners who were each carrying half a bag of sugar to a place about eight miles from Molonglo Plains towards Bongadore range, witness asked them what they had got, they threw down their loads and Simmons said he had found the sugar in a hollow tree in the bush about three quarters of a mile from where witness met them, they proceeded then but found no traces of anything about the spot; when witness overtook the prisoners they were going in the direction of Simmons’s hut, Simmons was a shepherd of Mr. Brook’s.

 

After depositing the prisoners in custody, witness proceeded to the hut but could find nothing but clothing. Being cross-examined he stated that when Simmons was taken he said that he had been sent by the Overseer into the bush to cut bark for repairing the hut, where he had been employed the previous day building a chimney. Duffy has been reported as having absconded for four months. Abraham Jacob, assigned to Major Antill stated, that on the day of the robbery, he was sent by the superintendent with six bullocks to meet the dray, understanding that Callaghan had lost his bullocks, he met the prosecutor, and fastened on the bullocks, and they proceeded on about a quarter of a mile, when three men approached from Mr. Brook’s towards Molonglo and stopped the dray, they had two pieces with them, and their faces were covered; one of them bid witness stand away from the dray while they robbed it; witness went and stood at the head of the bullocks, their being twelve of them, he was at some distance from the dray,  witness never saw the men before, and had no opportunity then of seeing their faces; they robbed the dray; one of the men came up to witness and gave him four pair of boots, saying they were miserably off for boots: their faces were covered entirely except their eyes; before Witness came, up with the dray, he met a man and woman in a cart, who told him they had been stopped and robbed, he did not ask them how many men robbed them, he had no curiosity to ask; when he came up with Callaghan, he told him of the robbery.

 

Callaghan being recalled, denied that Jacob had told him of the robbery; Jacob asked him if he had been robbed. Jacob continued; it was about one or two o’clock in the day when he met Callighan; witness is employed as cook, he was formerly a shepherd, but at a great distance from Mr. Brooks. Mr. James Rush being sworn, stated that he is superintendent to Major Antill  at Molonglo; witness recollects, that on the ninth of May, he sent Jacob with a team of bullocks to meet Callaghan, hearing that he had lost the bullocks; the place where the robbery occurred is about eight miles from witness station; Jacob ought to have reached the place about nine o’clock ;,he ought to have got much   further than he did by two o’clock ; Callaghan gave witness a description of the robbers; he said he should know them again; witness found that the dray had been robbed, and missed eleven pair of boots, forty five pounds of tea, a bag of sugar, half a box of soap, and half a layer of tobacco; Callaghan has been seven years, at the station; Jacob started soon after daylight

 

Callaghan recalled; stated that Jacob met him about one o’clock; the man and woman in the cart did not pass witness; they were about a quarter of a mile before him; witness can swear most positively to the identity of the prisoners from the observation he took, and the time they were with him; their faces were not covered as stated by Jacob; they stooped down several times, when they did so, the stockings opened from their faces. In defence, Simmons stated, that on the day in question, he was employed with a man named O’Connor in repairing a hut the whole day; the next morning, while going out to the bush to cut bark, he found a bag of sugar in a hollow tree, and meeting soon afterwards with Duffy, he asked him to help him to carry it; he did so, and they were then met by the Policeman, who apprehended them. No witnesses being in attendance for the prisoners, His Honor summed up the case to the jury, who immediately returned a verdict, finding both the prisoners Guilty. His Honor ordered that death should be recorded, but observed that he should recommend that they be transported for life.

 

William Balcombe, despite being made Commissioner of Lands by the Acting Governor[140] in January 1838 was also subject to suffering problems on his farm when it was reported in June of that year that On Wednesday, the 23rd ultimo, the wheat stacks of William Balcombe, Esq, Molonglo, were discovered to be on fire, and although every exertion was made to extinguish it, the whole were consumed. An assigned servant who has lately absented, and who has been heard to use very threatening language, is strongly suspected as being the incendiary. A reward of twenty-five pounds or a conditional pardon has been offered by Government for the conviction of the offender.[141]

 

TWENTY-FIVE POUNDS REWARD OR A CONDITIONAL PARDON.-Whereas, it has been represented to His Excellency the Governor, that on the night of the 22nd ullimo, the barn, wheat, and hay stacks, belonging to Mr. William Balcombe, at Molonglo Plains, were maliciously set on fire and destroyed; Notice is hereby given, that a reward of Twenty-five Pounds will be paid to any free person or persons, except the actual perpetrator, who may give such information as shall lead to the conviction of the parties concerned; or, if the informant be a prisoner of the Crown; application will be made to Her Majesty for the allowance to him of a Conditional Pardon.[142]

 

Supreme Court-Criminal Side.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11.   (Before Mr. Justice Willis, and a Civil Jury.)  

Charles Carty was indicted for setting fire to a stack of hay, the property of Mr. Balcombe, at Molonglo Plains, Queanbeyan on the 22nd of last May.

Robert Griffiths called – I am overseer to Mr. Balcombe, and was in May last ; the prisoner was assigned to Mr. Balcombe, but he took the bush on the 10th of May, and did not return until the 2nd of June, when he gave himself up to me on the farm, saying, he heard that he was accused of burning the barn and wheat stack; that he was innocent, and he came “to rectify himself.” On the night of the 22nd of May I was alarmed with the cry of fire; I got up and went to the stack- yard, which I found in one sheet of flame. The wheat stack and barn were on fire, and between three or four hundred bushels of wheat consumed; I found a bag containing fire stuffed into a hay- stack which stood about twenty yards apart from the wheat, and succeeded in pulling it out before it had time to ignite.

Catherine Griffiths called- I am the wife of the last witness: on the night of the 22nd of May,   about ten o’clock, I was told the wheat was on fire, and I went to the stock-yard; I found it all in a blaze; I heard a noise, which I thought was made by some pet calves, which were penned up, and on stooping down to ascertain, I saw the prisoner crouching down by the fence; he had one hand on the fence, and in the other he held his hat, which was a straw one, that I could distinctly see by the light of the fire; I saw him wipe the sweat from his brows with the back of his hand; when he perceived me he ran off towards the Range, which is a mountain in the vicinity of the farm; the prisoner was in the bush at that time. It having been proved that no hay was consumed, the information was withdrawn, and the prisoner indicted for setting fire to the barn and wheat stack, and found guilty on the preceding evidence. Death recorded.[143]

Charles Carty was indicted for setting fire to a stack of wheat, the property of William Balcombe, Jnr, at Molonglo, on the 22nd of May, On the night of the day laid in the indictment the barn was discovered to be on fire, and Mrs. Griffiths, the overseer’s wife, swore positively that she saw Carty, who had absconded from the farm a few days before, crouching under the fence, and as soon as he saw her he went away towards the  mountains. A day or two before the prisoner absconded, he was flogged for losing sheep, and he had been heard to use a great number of threats of what injury he would do his master. Guilty-Death recorded.[144]

Land adjacent to William’s came on the market in 1838… several different lots, all bordering on his yet he appears to have not taken up any of it

 

  1. Murray, Seven hundred and ninety acres, parish unnamed, near Molonglo Plains ; commencing at the Molonglo River at the north-west corner of the Village Reserve, and bounded on the south by that reserve being a line east 87 chains ; on the cast by part of the west boundary of W. Balcombe’s 1280 acres grant, being a line north 94 chains and 50 links ; on part of the north by a line west 80 chains ; on part of the west by a line south 62 chains; and on the remainder of the north by a line west 6 chains and 70 links to the Molonglo River ; and on the remainder of the west by that river to the north-west corner of the Village Reserve aforesaid. Price 5s per acre.[145]

 

 

97 Argyle, One thousand acres, parish unnamed, near Mullengullengong, on the Yarralaw Creek; bounded on the east and south by that creek; on the west by the first section line east of Balcombe‘s 2000 acres; and on the north by land leased to Futter. 38-74.[146]

 

  1. Murray, Six hundred and forty acres, parish unnamed, at Black heath, Molonglo; commencing at the north east corner of William Balcomb’s 4000 acres; and bounded on the west by a line north 80 chains ; on the north by   a line east 80 chains ; on the east by 640 acres applied for to purchase, being a line south 80 chains ; and on the south by 640 acres applied for to purchase, being a line west 80 chains to the north cast corner of William Balcomb’s 4000 acres aforesaid. 38-401. Price 5s per acre.[147]

 

As well as growing wheat, William was breeding horses and some were offered for sale in July 1838. [148]FOURTEEN valuable and very superior bred Stock of HORSES, principally from Mr. Futter’s celebrated Arabian Horse, Mr. Balcombe’ unrivalled Entire, and Steeltrap.

They will be sold in Lots as follows, viz.

LOT 1 – One beautiful Bay Mare, 8 years old

2-One ditto Grey ditto, 7 ditto, long tail

3-One ditto ditto, got by Steeltrap, 5 years old, 15 hands high

4-One ditto ditto, ditto ditto, 3 years ditto

5-One ditto Bay ditto, 5 years old, fit for a Lady

6- One ditto Filly, 2 years ditto

7-One ditto Black ditto. 3 years ditto

8-One ditto Grey ditto, 3 ditto ditto.

These beautiful Animals will be found worthy the consideration of Gentlemen lately arrived, and principally in foal to the best Horses in Argyle.

Lot 9 – One two-years old Colt, finely grown

10-One ditto ditto ditto

11 One ditto ditto ditto

12 -One yearling ditto ditto

13-One ditto ditto ditto

14 – One ditto ditto ditto

Terms declared at the time of Sale.

 

 

In late March 1840 Thomas Balcombe and his companion Mr Stuckey were involved in a serious accident which was to have devastating consequences for the rest of Thomas’ life. We suspect the ‘Mr Stuckey’ was his future father-in-law, Peter Stuckey of Longreach, Marulan, who had four sons, the oldest being Peter junior born 1821 so would have been called ‘Mr Stuckey junior’ in the newspapers of the day. The other Stuckey brothers were William John born 1830, George Robert Hamilton born 1836, and Richard Henry Gould, the youngest, born 1840.[149]

 

THE ROADS — The roads are in a dreadful state, and scarcely a day passes that some serious   accident does not occur. A few evenings since, Mr. Stuckey and Mr. Balcombe were driving to Sydney in a gig, when from the state of a bridge near Cutter’s Inn (most likely over the Gibbergunyah Creek[150], near the Kangaroo Inn run by George Cutter on the corner of Lyell Street and the now Hume Highway, Mittagong [151])  an accident which was very near being attended with loss of life took place. The horse got his hind legs into a hole, and in plunging, turned the gig over, and Mr. Stuckey fell right through the bridge, a depth of twenty feet, where he remained senseless for four hours. Mr. Balcombe was pitched on his head on the bridge, and is still in a very dangerous state from concussion of the brain. Mr. Stuckey has

recovered from the injuries which he had received. The state of the roads is such, that some decisive step must be taken by the settlers themselves, for the government will do nothing to assist the settlers in this department any more than many others.[152]

 

The newspapers reported on the most dangerous and scandalous state of the bridge, advising readers that during the previous few months Messrs Stuckey and Balcombe were both severely hurt in endeavouring to cross it, and those who know the spot take to the bush and avoid it but strangers have had narrow escapes in crossing it. [153]

 

Perhaps William was away visiting his sick brother in early June when two of his assigned servants decided to visit a local Inn. Thomas Rix and Charles Kemp were both charged with being ‘at large’ in the Packhorse Public House. The charge was proved and the Bench sentenced Rix to receive 25 lashes and Kemp to receive 36 in all.[154]

 

Thomas’ head injury was to lead to devastating effects on the family for the rest of his life and into succeeding generations.

 

It is quite possible for a person (especially if young) to recover almost completely after being in a coma but usually there is some deficit in function depending on the site of the damage. Often there is a subtle global injury that occurs when shearing forces are involved, and can cause micro-haemorrhages, (well seen on modern MRI, but unknown in the 1800s) which resolve, and the patient wakes up, but cause small fibrotic scars. Sometimes even quite a large intra-parenchymal haemorrhage can resolve to a tiny scar, (because the brain is displaced rather than destroyed as in tumour) but there is usually some adjacent damage to brain tissue and it would be uncommon to have no residual changes. One of the silent areas of the brain is the frontal lobes (frequently affected in a fall, where the brain hits the bone anteriorly), where apparently large areas can be damaged with little effect on most functioning.[155]

 

Not understanding the long-term effects of his injury, a couple of months after this accident in 1840, Thomas appeared to have recovered sufficiently to marry Peter Stuckey’s eldest daughter Lydia.

 

On Saturday, June 27 at Longreach, Argyle, by the Rev. Mr. Sowerby, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, to Lydia, eldest daughter of Peter Stuckey, Esq., of Longreach. [156]

 

Peter Stuckey had arrived in Australia on the ship “Earl Spencer” in October 1813. He was a free settler and came with Thomas Barker and John Dickson, to whom he was apprenticed as a millwright. Dickson built the first steam mill in Sydney, in Darling Harbour near Dickson Street.

 

Peter Stuckey sold some goods he had brought to the colony and with the proceeds he bought some cattle. He was aged 25 when he married 18-year-old Ann House in St Luke’s, Liverpool in 1818.[157]

 

His wife was Ann, daughter of Captain William House, late boatswain of the HMS Discovery  (which stopped at Dusky Sound, New Zealand in 1791 [158]) commander of colonial sloop, Francis, (which was accompanying the sealer-whaling ship Britannia but was blown south and made contact with New Zealand)[159], first mate of the transport ship Ann, commander of the armed brig Norfolk, acting master of HMS Buffalo, first mate on HMS Investigator, medically evacuated on Daedelus and was subsequently harbour master at Port Dalrymple [Launceston]. House was known to suffer severely from a violent rheumatic complaint [160] which he named gout, hence the medical evacuation onto Daedelus. This transport ship was owned by Alexander Davison, friend of Horatio Nelson and leased to the Admiralty in July 1792 under Captain Thomas New.[161] It was sent via Cape Horn to the north west coast of America to take possession of several territories as well as re-provision Bank’s survey of the coast of America in ships Discovery and Chatham.

 

Daedalus then sailed for New South Wales, leaving on 29 December 1792 for Port Jackson, with a scratch crew and a few Spanish seamen and cargo of livestock (both cattle and sheep) before coming under the orders of Governor Phillip to resupply from with China and India. It was on the 1792 trip to NSW that House was a ‘passenger.’ They put in at Marquesas and then Tahiti where they picked up 70 live hogs then sailed to Doubtless Bay in New Zealand, reaching Sydney on 20 April 1793.[162] House returned to NSW on the convict ship Ann in 1801 and stayed in the colony until his appointment to Van Diemen’s land in 1804. Was his wife a former convict who he met on the Ann? Was she the “My Dear” to whom he wrote from the Daedalus in 1792?

 

The Tamar River in northern Tasmania was settled at Outer Cove in November 1804, to counteract any claim by the French. Led by Lieut-Col William Paterson, about 200 people set up camp. Named Port Dalrymple, the main settlement soon moved to Yorktown on the western side. Gardens for growing supplies were established at both Outer Cove (George Town) and York Town.

 

In 1806 William House and his family of a wife and three children and they ran 13 goats of their half acre of land, were still living at the port of Outer Cove where the former RN sailor was harbour master [163] and Superintendent of Shipping. [164] House was also appointed as the Naval Officer to Port Dalrymple [165]in the County of Cornwall, Van Diemen’s Land, in June 1806. He collected customs duties, port fees and other revenue.[166]

 

The brig Venus, a ship of 42 tons employed specifically to transport stores from Port Jackson to Van Diemen’s Land, arrived in June 1806, and Mr. House met with the Captain Samuel Chase and learned of the vessel’s problems, bad weather, purloined goods, threats of a mutiny by the mate and theft by the mate’s partner, convict Catherine Hagerty. An armed guard was set whilst House and Chase travelled to York Town to discuss the problem with Lieut-Governor Paterson. On the way back to the Venus, they made the mistake of stopping overnight on the Governor Hunter. When they returned to the Venus, they found the guards had been overpowered and put ashore, and the ship with her precious supplies was sailing back out to sea.[167]

 

Thus, the supplies for the Colony were lost, the people were starving. Capt. Chase and William House were held responsible for the loss of the vessel and supplies. By February the colony had run out of food except for kangaroo meat. Paterson sent William House and four other men in a longboat to row to the mainland for supplies from Port Jackson. They were never heard of again.

 

The House family received some cattle from Governor King by way of compensation and a rascal by the name of James O’Connell attempted to defraud Mrs. House and her children of the livestock.[168] Luckily the family kept some of the herd and Ann received some of these cattle on her marriage to Peter Stuckey. The cattle were grazed on the property “Pomeroy“, in the Mummell area near Goulburn, then owned by John Dickson. Part of this land (2 x 50-acre blocks) was bought many years later, in 1975, by Stuckey-House descendent Bob Gaden and his wife Caroline, they named the block “Saltersgate” and it is here that their children Philip, Paul and Peter spent their early childhood before heading north to Armidale in 1990.

 

Owning the cattle ensured being issued with a land grant. In 1824 Peter Stuckey first settled land which was called a variation of Billy Rampity, the local Aboriginal name which became known as Longreach. The first grant was for 550 acres but he was able to buy up adjoining land grants to enlarge his own property. In 1828 Surveyor Dixson had surveyed grants for Peter Stuckey, RM Campbell, W Shelley and Major Lockyer. [169]

 

The land fronted the Wollondilly River a few kilometres north by northwest of the current town of Marulan. By 1828 the holding had increased to 650 acres with 70 acres being cleared and 30 acres under cultivation. Stock were 20 horses and 350 cattle. Bush rangers were quite a problem with horses being a favourite target. The census lists Peter Stuckey aged 32, with Ann aged 28, Lydia 8, Peter 7, Rebecca 5, Anne 3 and Charlotte was 1 year old.

 

They lived in a slab hut until a more substantial sandstone building and stables could be erected by convict labour, completed in 1837.

 

It was on Stuckey land that marble was discovered by Peter Stuckey but he found the quarry operation too difficult and passed it to the Government. In the second volume of Mitchell’s “Three expeditions into the interior of Australia” written in 1838, he devoted a sentence or two to an interesting site not far from the Great Southern Road near Towrang where he noticed a quarry of crystalline variegated marble. This became home to the first marble quarry in the Colony. The Parish of Billyrambija [sic], Portion 9 Longreach was listed as where the first marble obtained in the state was mined. Peter’s brother Henry Stuckey leased a block of land called Hungry Hill near Longreach to Chas McAlister and that land was used for the raising and trading in the marble deposits there. The crystalline, variegated marble was fashioned into chimney pieces and tables which were sent to Sydney ‘to ornament’ houses. It was bought by the first Premier of NSW Stuart Donaldson to trade in his stores.[170] In the 1840s the site was visited by the Geologist the Reverend W B Clarke who saw the altered limestone was fossiliferous and several specimens of the prepared marble were taken to England by a Captain Baker and presented to the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough, Yorkshire.[171] The Rotunda Museum was built in 1829, to a design suggested by William Smith, ‘Father of English Geology’ whose pioneering work established that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain.[172]  It was here, in the 1960s, that it was seen by the Yorkshire science student who was destined to become the wife of Stuckey descendent Bob Gaden.[173]

 

Lydia Stuckey had 11 siblings so by marrying into the Stuckey family Thomas Balcombe became brother-in-law to several well know pioneering and exploring families… Chisholm, Collins, Huon de Kerrileau and Mitchell. [174]

 

  • Rebecca Stuckey married John William Chisholm of Kippilaw
  • Charlotte Stuckey married Thomas Mitchell the son of William Mitchell and Elizabeth Huon de Kerrileau of Brisbane Meadow. Elizabeth was the daughter of Gabriele Huon de Kerrileau of Bungonia Creek, and her brother Paul had married Sarah House, sister of Ann [House]Stuckey.
  • William John Stuckey married Emma Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Emma Stuckey married William Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Clara Chase Stuckey married Alexander Keith Collins.
  • George Robert Hamilton Stuckey married Emma Perrott.
  • Amelia St Clair Stuckey married Granville Robert Murray Collins, brother of Alexander.
  • Emily Sarah Stuckey married Henry Huon de Kerrileau.
  • Ann Elizabeth Stuckey and Richard Henry Gould Stuckey appear to be the only two who remained unmarried. Richard died at his sister Lydia’s home and was buried on 18 May 1894.

 

The family inter-connections continued when descendants of both Charlotte and Lydia were both incarcerated by the Japanese following the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. [175]

 

Thomas Balcombe must have spent time with brother William at Molonglo as he advertised for information when his horse went missing from there STRAYED, or Stolen, from Molongolo on or about the 1st of November, 1840, a grey mare, switch tail, branded H H conjoined, or double H on shoulder, Y under saddle, a young foal by her side; if strayed, a reward of £3 will be given on her recovery, at Mr. Powells Bungandore, or Mr. Peters, Marulan, if stolen, a reward of Five Pounds will be given on conviction of the parties. THOMAS BALCOMBE. Molonglo, November 23, 1840.[176]Just a couple of weeks before his Court of Claims for land had been postponed due to lack of paperwork or non-appearance. [177]

 

Meanwhile William and Alexander were both taking a lead role in local affairs. In January 1841 a meeting was held to discuss the establishment of a Parsonage for the local Church of England and a school for the local children.

QUEANBEYAN.

At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of Queanbeyan on the 6th of January, 1841, Captain Faunce in the Chair. The following resolutions were passed unanimously.

1st. Moved by the Rev. E. Smith, and seconded by W. Balcombe, Esq. That it being advisable that a Parsonage House in connexion with the Church of England, should be erected in the district, and it being required by Act of Council that £300 at least, should be raised by voluntary contribution as the first step, it is incumbent on the inhabitants, members of the Church of England in particular, to all who are well-effected to the Church, to Unite and exert themselves to obtain subscriptions for that purpose. Mr. Balcombe in seconding this resolution, recommended that additional subscriptions be forthwith raised.

2nd. Moved by W. Balcombe, Esq, and seconded by J. Weston, Esq. That the Parsonage House be built on the Township.

3rd. Moved by H. Macquoid Esq., and seconded by H. Callunder Esq. That it is advisable that the Trustees should be residents on or near the spot; that the Police Magistrates Captain Faunce, Mr. Gray, and Mr. Weston, be therefore appointed as the Trustees; that the Rev. E. Smith be requested to accept the Office of Secretary, and also of Treasurer pro. tem., into whose hands the sums already subscribed are to be paid, and that the following gentlemen (with power to add to their number) be appointed as the Committee, to meet the first Wednesday in every month, until the works are completed: three of the Committee to form a quorum. The Police Magistrate Captain Faunce. Messrs. N. S. Powell, W. F. Hogley, J. Wright, H. Hill, J. Weston, J. Gray, D. Kennedy, and A. Lang.

4th. Moved by T. P. Besnard, Esq., and seconded by Alexander Balcombe, Esq. That there being a considerable number of children in the district, and no means of instruction having yet been provided, it is necessary that a School should be established, that as the in- habitants are widely scattered, it is advisable that the School should be one at which children could be boarded on moderate terms, that when sufficient funds shall have been obtained for the purpose, a School Room with a residence for a married couple be therefore erected, and that the gentle men appointed as Treasurer, Secretary, Trustees, and Committee for the Parsonage, be appointed to hold the same Offices respectively for the School.

5th. Moved by Alexander Balcombe Esq, and seconded by Mr. Lang. That it shall devolve on the Trustees to select eligible sites for the Parsonage and School, and that when the requisite sums shall have been raised, the Right Reverend the Bishop be respectfully requested to make application to   the Government for such sites.

6th. Moved by J. Weston. Esq., and seconded by W. P. Hayley, Esq. That the Bishop having promised £50 towards the Parsonage, the thanks of the inhabitants be presented to His Lordship for the same.

7th. Moved by the Reverend E. Smith, and seconded by J. Weston, Esq. That the subscription lists should be left at the residence of each of the Committee, who are requested to exert themselves to procure subscriptions from all classes.

8th. Moved by the Reverend E. Smith, and seconded by W: F. Hayley, Esq. That this day’s proceedings be published three times (once a week,) in the ‘ Sydney Herald ‘ and ‘ Monitor ‘ newspapers.

9th Moved by Mr. Kennedy, aid seconded by Mr. Lang. That the thanks of the Meeting be given to Captain Faunce, for his kindness in taking the chair. £200 including the £50 from the. Bishop have been subscribed towards the Parsonage, and £105 15s towards the School.[178]

 

And only a few days after this report that William Balcombe was one of a group of local men who put their own lives on the line to apprehend the dangerous bushranger Jackey-Jackey.

 

JACKEY JACKEY-This notorious bushranger, who was for a time part and parcel of the notorious gang of bushrangers headed by Curran, has been at length captured, owing to the combined exertions of Mr. Powell, J. P., aided by Messrs. Balcombe, Rutledge and Powell, jun. At the time Jackey Jackey was captured, he had on him a considerable amount of cash and checks, and was armed with a musket, and well mounted. (Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 20 Jan 1841)

BUSHRANGERS-A noted bushranger, a runaway from the service of Mr. King, of Lake George, and who is better known by the cognomen of Jacky Jacky- though a native of the British capital-was captured on Thursday last at Bungendore. Jacky Jacky appears to have taken the bush early in the month of December. Shortly after he had done so he became connected with another ruffian, now in Sydney gaol, who disgraces the honoured name of Curran. It was Jacky Jacky who robbed the Queanbeyan mail a few days before Christmas last. Since that he committed various robberies between Marulan and Razorback. It would appear, however, that he preferred high to low ground; and he left the county of Camden, intending to visit his old haunts and pals. On his way up, he called at the station of Mr. Hannibal Macarthur, at Wollondilly, and took from there, not the eternal black mare of which the public heard so much during the last year’s debates in the legislative council, but a noble young animal. After procuring her, the first exploit of Jacky’s with which persons are acquainted was his attempt to rob the mail between Marulan and Bungonia on Monday morning, the 12th instant, and his attempt to shoot Mr. Corbyn, the mail contractor, who very fortunately had charge of the mail bags on the morning in question. The bushranger was traced to the immediate neighbourhood of Bungonia, by which place he passed on Tuesday; a pistol, which he is known to have had, was found close to Lumley. After this he proceeded to a spot called Deep Creek, no great distance from the Long Swamp, in this neighbourhood; he robbed a store, and dressed himself in long frock coat and black cap. He next called at Mr. Hyland’s inn, where, it would appear, he passed himself off as a person travelling on his legitimate business. Having noticed a gig at the door of Mr. Hyland’s house, the bushranger, supposing that its owner was on his way to Sydney, went some distance on the road towards the Deep Creek, with a view of stopping the occupant of the gig, who was the Rev. Mr. McGrath, the Catholic clergyman of this district. This gentleman’s duty, however, taking him in the direction of Bungendore, and in an opposite direction from where Jacky had placed himself, he, finding that he had missed the object he had in view, galloped over the ranges, in order to cut off Mr. McGrath’s route. By the speed of the latter’s horse the bushranger was again thrown out in his calculations. Jacky then rode his horse into the village of Bungendore, and took refuge in the house of a person named Eggleston. Mr. Powell, J. P., having got immediate notice of the bushranger’s being so close at hand, went in pursuit of him, accompanied by Messrs. Balcombe, Rudledge, and Powell, jun. The bushranger mounted his horse, and galloped off; the gentlemen in close pursuit of him. He was armed with a gun, which he presented several times at Messrs. Rutledge and Powell. Jacky was evidently much better mounted than any of his pursuers, and had the mare ridden by him not been fatigued, he would have made the ranges without being captured. The gentlemen at length surrounded him, and about this time Mr. Balcombe came up in a gig, armed with a musket. Jacky, perceiving that there was little chance of his escaping, laid down his gun, and surrendered. He had on his person when taken between £60 and £70 in checks and orders. Great credit is due to Mr. Powell and the other gentlemen for their praiseworthy and spirited behaviour upon the occasion, as, owing to the hurry in which they were obliged to sally out after him, and other circumstances, over which they had no control, they were neither well armed nor well mounted. On the following day Jacky was conveyed to Queanbeyan, where he was identified by several persons whom he had robbed, and was safely lodged in the lockup at Goulburn on Saturday afternoon. Lieutenant Christie and a party of mounted police, who had been out in pursuit of the prisoner since the previous Tuesday, having guarded him from Bungendore to Queanbeyan, and from the latter place to Goulburn. –    Correspondent, January 16. [179]

Meanwhile Alexander Balcombe had obviously decided to settle in Victoria as the newspaper reported the marriage in 1841 at Bungonia, Argyle on 30th August by the Rev GM Wood, Mr. Alexander Balcombe of Melbourne married Emma Juana, the youngest daughter of the late David Reid Esq, Surgeon RN of Inverary Park.

 

Just over a year after their own marriage, Thomas and Lydia welcomed their first child, Jane Elizabeth, in September 1841, On Monday, the 20th instant, at her residence in Castlereagh-street, Mrs. Thomas Balcombe, of a daughter.[180]

 

In October 1841 Mr. Balcombe was a passenger on the barque Anne for Port Phillip[181] and he arrived back in NSW from Port Phillip on the barque Hopkinson in May 1842,[182] there was no mention of Mrs. Balcombe on these trips. However, by September 1842 the brig Christina was transporting passengers Mr. and Mrs. Balcombe and daughter for Port Phillip[183] and the same ship brought the family from Port Phillip to Port Jackson, Sydney in July 1845.[184]

 

In 1842 Thomas was looking for someone to help on the property.

WORKING Overseer wanted, a person of Colonial experience and good character, for a small agricultural farm. Apply at Napoleon Cottage, before twelve o’clock

whilst William was trying to locate a lost horse or two.

FIVE POUNDS REWARD STRAYED, from a paddock adjoining the Pound, in Parramatta, in the rear of the White Horse Inn, Macquarie-street, one bay horse, about fifteen hands high, with black points and square tail, branded III on the off shoulder, and has a small star on the forehead. Also, one iron grey horse, about fifteen and a half hands high, switch tail, branded SB on the off shoulder and C under the mane; has an enlargement of the fetlock joint on the off-hind leg. Whoever will bring the above horses to the White Horse Inn, Parramatta, shall receive the above reward, or Two Pounds Ten Shillings each. GEORGE JONES, WILLIAM BALCOMBE. Parramatta, April 19. [185]

But in 1842 William was looking to pass on his land to Thomas Shanahan: Murray. – 34. Thomas Shanahan, 1280 acres, county of Murray, at Winelaw, Molonglo. Promised by Sir R. Darling, on the   6th July, 1829, and possession given, as a primary grant, on the 4th September, 1829, to Mr. W. Balcombe, junior, who now requests the deed in favour of the present applicant. Quit-rent L10 13s. id. per annum, commencing the 1st January, 1837.[186]

At this time Thomas was one of the creditors owed money by the estate of Edwin Walsh …  £432, a not insubstantial amount. Two other men, RC Gordon and JC Blanchard were each owed over £1250.[187]

 

Life must have been very busy for Lydia as in March 1843 she had not claimed a letter which was waiting for her in the Sydney GPO.[188]

 

In 1845 Thomas Balcombe of 62 York Street, along with Land Surveyor EJH Knapp, was listed as the contact in the advertisement for the let or sale of Hargreaves Wharf at East Gosford, Brisbane Water.[189] This same year William Balcombe is listed in the ‘Squatters and Graziers Index’ at being at Wambegga Station.[190]

 

On 1 April 1840 Thomas Balcombe claimed a deed of grant for 1000 acres located at the confluence of the Goulburn and Hunter Rivers in the parish of Denman, County Brisbane following the death of Lieutenant Robert Stirling. The land was located on an order of Governor Brisbane dated 2 November 1825 in favour of Stirling but Thomas Balcombe claimed the land belonged to him.[191] In 1847 Thomas Balcombe was eventually granted that 1000 acres of land north of the Hunter River. [192] The county of Brisbane was one of the northernmost of the original nineteen counties, centred today on the Musswellbrook and the Upper Hunter Shires. [193] The land grant was recorded in the Government Gazette and dated 5 February 1847.[194]

 

Portion of Land.

No. of deed, 4; No. of case, 683; date of decision, 8th October,1841; grantee, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe; original donee, Robert Stirling; No. of acres, 1,000; county of Brisbane, parish of Denman; date of promise, 2nd November, 1825; annual quit-rent, £8 6s. 8d.; date of commencement of quit-rent,1st January,1833; date of deed, January 20,1847.[195]

Denman is about 250 km north of Sydney.[196] One can only wonder why he claimed the land belonged to him and why chose this land so far away from Sydney and the other land granted to his brothers in the Bungonia and Marulan areas. However, this was part of the land he had surveyed back in 1834-35. Had he fallen in love with the area when travelling through to make those field notes over ten years earlier?[197] Was there some arrangement with Stirling while ever he was alive but on his death the land revered to Thomas? Had Stirling lost a bet and with it his land? We’ll probably never know!

 

Thomas’ artistic talents were by now becoming more recognised. He drew some of his earlier known pictures, “An exploreing [sic] party on the River Bogen [sic] NS Wales after heavy rain” and “King Teapot and his two Gins” in 1837.   [198]

 

As scenes of the life of the Aboriginal population and hunting became more popular with colonial artists, Thomas developed into a respected painter and he exhibited many pictures of the original people and native animals.  “Kangaroos of New South Wales 1842” was sketched from nature and drawn on stone.  “New Hollander cutting out a kangaroo rat” was one of the local indigenous people, another was “Talambeee a native of Bogan River” and “Aboriginal encampment” was a third. He contributed similar paintings to local art unions and raffles, for example “The bush with an aboriginal” and “Aboriginal native in pursuit of game”, a painting showing a man observing a bee so he knew where to locate the honey tree.[199] He received critical acclaim for his contribution to the 1848 Aboriginal Exhibition.  In 1983 his painting of a group of Aborigines gathered round a camp fire was sold for £4000 by Christies of South Kensington.[200]

 

As a child on St Helena, Thomas had seen the fun and spectacle of the horse races held at the Deadwood course on the island [201]. His father, riding Unwilling, had been involved in an early horse race in NSW against Captain Piper and Mr. Balfour, and he was part of the group involved with the formal setting up of horse racing in the Colony.[202] In addition his brother William junior was the owner of several horse which he entered in local race meetings. In 1837 he entered Toby, an aged hose carrying 10 stone in the most wretched condition[203],  in the second race at Goulburn which he lost. However later in the meeting £25 match was raised for a Hack Hurdle Race in which there were six good horses entered and there was excellent sport and bad riding but Mr. Balcombe’s Toby gained the prize – we have good hopes of him.[204]

 

A more extensive report criticized the lame reporting of the previous correspondent and gave a more interesting description of the races. On Saturday a Hack Hurdle Race for £20 and entrances, came off over the last two miles of the three miles course, hurdles only, catch weights, for untrained horses. It caused great sport, all had the lead in turn and all baulked, hurdles were smashed and crashed in all directions, but wonderful to add there was not a fall although there were several very narrow escapes. The following horses started, namely-Mr. W Balcombe‘s Toby, Mr. Cunninghame’s Llangalee, Mr. Lintott’s D J O, Mr. Waddy (James) Dandy O’, Dr. Kenny’s Ramrod, Mr. Barmer’s Theodolite. Toby ran in a winner by several lengths.[205]

 

In 1842 he owned Comet, a chestnut horse of 6 years which raced in the Goulburn Town Plate. At this meeting Mr. Chisholm owned Merrylegs and Mr. Simon owned Baldy. [206] By 1843 the Yass races was where Merrylegs, now owned by William Balcombe, won the Yass Plate by 2-3 lengths, beating his other entry in the race, Comet. The horse Baldy, now also owned by Balcombe, won the Hack Race. On the second day of the meeting the Ladies Purse was won by Merrylegs, Baldy raced in the Hack Hurdle race and Comet won the Beaten Stakes [207] a very successful meeting for William Balcombe. A couple of months later William ran a black horse, Councillor in the Braidwood Purse for second place, and his bay mare, Xantipper ran in the Maiden Plate. Baldy was third in the Hack Stakes and the next day was second in the Beaten Stakes. Following some discussion about the race the previous day, there was a private race run at the start of the day’s racing between Xantipper and Mr. Badgery’s horse Rory O’Mora, with £25 per side to be raced for, and Balcombe’s mare won. [208]

 

In 1844 Thomas Balcombe and Edward Winstanley had combined their talents to offer for sale four hand-coloured lithographs of the Five Dock Grand Steeple-Chase. Thomas no doubt realised the increasing interest in horse racing and the potential for income from sales. The pictures showed three horse and riders, Mr Hely on Block, Mr Watt on Highflier and Mr Gorrick on British Yeoman, in action over the First Leap, the Brook and the Stone Wall.[209]

 

The Shakspeare [sic] Saloon was a place frequented by horse race enthusiasts. It was noted that

This beautiful and classically designed apartment has been open to the public during the week and has been thronged with visitors. On the Race evenings the turfites mustered in strong force, and many heavy bets were booked. The attention paid by Mr. Knight to his friends was as usual most undeviating and assiduous. The fine oil painting of the ‘Champion of New Holland,’ by Thomas Balcombe, Esq., is on view at the Shakspeare, and will be raffled in a few days.[210]

 

Balcombe was commissioned to paint Old Jorrocks aged 16 and Plover aged 5, two quality horses in the colony in 1848 and, as T.B., he also painted a striking picture of Commissioner Henry Bingham sitting next to a fine white horse.[211] When he visited the Gold fields, the Sofala Diggings also inspired more horse racing scenes. [212]

 

The Society for the promotion of Fine Arts in Australia advertised a couple of Balcombe’s paintings

No. 306.-Horses- T. Balcombe -Property of Mr. F. Downes- Four clever portraits of celebrated race-horses, drawn with spirit, and well executed.

No. 336.-Talambee, a Native. -T. Balcombe. -Property of Mr. T. Balcombe. – It was noted that This artist has long been known to the colony as a very spirited animal painter, but he has now taken a higher flight, and this picture affords an undoubted proof of his ability as a painter of the human figure. It is without exception the best attempt in this style and on this scale that we remember to have seen from the hand of a colonial artist. The figure, however, loses importance by the introduction of a broken up and crowded back ground, and the light, or rather the darkness, in which it is hung, is carefully calculated to do it full injustice. It ought, in common fairness, to have occupied the excellent position afforded to No. 383.[213]

 

In 1849 Balcombe painted an oil, almost sepia in tone, entitled ‘Scene on the Murray River, NSW’, now located in the Queensland University Art Museum.[214] It is very similar to a sketch by Thomas Mitchell from over 10 years earlier, of a confrontation with Aboriginal people which resulted in the massacre of many people on 27 May 1836. Mitchell’s sketch, published in 1839,[215] shows the battle with the Aborigines but, following the advice of William Gilpin on ‘achieving the picturesque’, Balcombe’s painting has a few people peacefully sitting on the river bank, ‘to break a piece of foreground’[216].  However, the view of the river and the river reflections are almost identical to Mitchell’s sketch, the sky only slightly different and Balcombe’s trees suggest he is also following Gilpin’s advice to show the trees rather indistinctly. Many early Australian paintings tend to have rather European trees in their background as they are not actually defined as local Eucalypts and it is only specifically Australian people or native animals which may stamp a painting as of Australian extraction rather than an English scene.[217]

 

On 24 May 1850 the anniversary of the birthday of Queen Victoria was celebrated by the citizens of Sydney with a more than usual display of loyalty. Nearly all of the shops were closed, as well as the banks and Government offices, business indeed was entirely suspended.

The troops in garrison were reviewed in the usual manner, by the Major General Commanding. As the British army is only represented here by the Eleventh Regiment, the number of troops on the ground, after making the regular deductions for guards, barrack duty, &c, was necessarily small. These few, however, compensated by the excellence of their discipline for their inferiority in point of numbers. The regiment arrived on the ground at about half-past eleven, and immediately fell into open column. Shortly afterwards they deployed into line, and in this order awaited the arrival of the Staff. The customary salutes having been given, the men fired a feu de joie, and went through the ordinary manouvres of marching round at quick and slow time, and advancing in column, all of which were executed with admirable precision. A great number of spectators were on the ground. This, however, may be attributed to two other causes, besides the ordinary attraction of the review; first, to the unusual fineness of the day, and secondly, to the fact that a rumour had got abroad of an intention to exercise the field battery attached to H.M.S. Havannah. At 12 o’clock a royal salute was fired from Fort Phillip, which was immediately followed by a salute of twenty-one guns from H.M.S. Havannah, fired with most admirable precision. A Levée took place at one o’clock, the list of the gentlemen who had cards of entree to included Mr Thomas Balcombe. (The levée was a formal court reception given by the governor, acting on behalf of the monarch, in the forenoon or early afternoon. Only men were received at these events.)[218]

 

That evening there was a Ball at Government-house, in the evening, was a crowed and brilliant affair and the loyal feelings of the guests rose to enthusiasm on the occasion. There were some few illuminations in different parts of the town, but the weather was unfavourable for exhibitions of this description. The noisiest, and perhaps the least desirable, display of feeling, was the explosion of every description of firework throughout the thoroughfares of the city, from dark till midnight.  [219]

 

In 1850 Thomas sketched the Master of the Fitz Roy Hunt[220] and July of that year he had some paintings included in the list of prizes for the Grocott Third Art Union. The first two prizes were to be a cottage pianoforte and a water colour portrait of the ticket winner. Thomas’ contribution was the third prize, a framed oil painting, 3’6” x 3′, of “Australian Stockmen” which obtained the first prize of £30 and a silver medal at the Art Union, and the eighth prize “Australian Aboriginal in Pursuit of Game,” admitted by competent judges to be the best production in the exhibition.[221]

 

So, Thomas developed his painting skills and had become a well-respected artist, especially of animals. His artistic training had to be local but his work was developed from English style pictures which were of course freely available as prints in the colony. He had a diverse range of subjects, dogs, horses, hunting and racing scenes, cattle, boxers and his pictures were reproduced and advertised in the local newspapers. Two oil paintings of Kangaroo Dogs belonging to Nicodemus Dunn, a manufacturer of ginger beer and soda water in Castlereagh Street, would have been commissioned by the owner to record his most successful hunting dogs. Both animals are alert, looking back over their shoulder, one standing still, the other appears to be just pulling up. The backgrounds are indistinct as were most such portraits of the time.[222]

 

He was also assigned the task of perpetuating the graceful form of the renowned “Don”. This was the horse Cossack, the property of John Tait, Esq., and the winner of the Australian Plate, and the first Queen’s Plate run for on a New South Wales. This intention on the part of Mr. Tait is worthy of the occasion; and while congratulating that gentleman as the possessor of the first winner of Her Majesty’s munificent donation to the Homebush Meeting, we beg to append a cordial wish for his speedy convalescence. We were so unusually pressed for space last publication, that we omitted to allude to the serious accident sustained by Mr Tait on his attending “Cossack” to his box from the course, after winning the Plate on Monday. In consequence of the restiveness of the horse Mr. Tait was thrown from his gig, and received a severe dislocation of the right elbow cap. It was at first feared that the arm was fractured both above and below, but happily such was not the case. Dr. Sloane’s professional services were immediately called into requisition, and under his directions Mr. Tait was removed to Sydney, and, although suffering extreme pain, was sufficiently recovered to be present on the course on Wednesday to witness the triumph of his gallant chestnut. [223]

 

After the discovery of gold in the country, Thomas spent time with his brother William on the Turon goldfields, arriving in October 1850. We can only speculate as to their reasons for leaving their land … had the various droughts taken a heavy financial toll?  In 1835 and 1838 there had been 25% less rain than usual, in 1849 there was 27% less, from 1837 to 1842 the drought contributed to the ‘catastrophic’ fall in land sales and the onset of depression in 1841 and in 1850 there was a ‘severe’ drought leading to big losses of livestock in NSW. [224]

 

In fact, over a century and a half of population, the dry continent of Australia has suffered 24 years of ‘devastating’ drought, 22 years of ‘major’ drought and 23 years of ‘severe’ drought, half of its history. Drought is the story of the country but a story not then learned as the colony had not been established for even one hundred years. [225] People had been overestimating the fertility of this land since the arrival of James Cook in 1770… he thought the narrow plain between the coast and Blue Mountains would provide pasture for more sheep and cattle than ever could be brought, yet within twenty years of settlement the flocks were on the point of starvation.[226]

 

At the goldfields Thomas Balcombe sketched one drawing of a “Hand Barrow” the method by which 2 miners fastened their goods to two saplings which had a few wooden stretchers tied crosswise to hold a piece of bark to which their belongings were fastened. One miner led at the front, the other following, to their new location. This was how William and Thomas moved from the Ridge above Sheep Station Point to Turon below.

 

He drew a picture of the Bishop of Sydney addressing the miners at Orange diggings on the commencement of a temporary church. [227]

 

In June 1851 local newspapers reported

We are happy to announce that the lithographic print of “The Summer-hill Diggings,” and “A Portrait of Mr Hargreaves,” both from the pencil of Mr Thomas Balcombe, will be ready for delivery on Monday next. We have seen proofs of both of the subjects, and are happy to observe that the spirit and fidelity of the artist have been carefully preserved.  [228]

 

A more detailed article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, commenting on the gold rush then happening: –

THE GOLD DISCOVERY. – We are glad to see ‘that the discovery of gold in this colony has not tended only to excite the selfish feelings of our nature, but that it has been influential in awakening many intellectual efforts highly creditable to the colony. Amongst these we may number two lithographic sketches, drawn by our talented fellow-townsman, Mr. Thomas Balcombe. Both of these sketches display much artistic skill, and are invested with peculiar interest under the prevailing excitement with respect to the gold regions. The first of these sketches represents the ” Gold diggings of Ophir,” in New South Wales, some thirty miles from Bathurst. The scene is the Summerhill Creek; the hill rising in the back ground covered with stunted gum-trees, while the banks of the creek are fringed with the native oak. The motley group of diggers and cradle-rockers in the creek, and the little tents scattered over the wild scene, are graphically represented by the artist, and its fidelity to the reality is attested by the signature of Mr. E. H. Hargrave, the gold discoverer. The second sketch is a very spirited one, in Mr. Balcombe’s peculiar line, and in his best style, it is entitled “Mr. E. H. Hargrave’s returning the salute of the gold miners, on his return to the diggings after having made known his wonderful discovery.” The likeness of Mr. Hargrave is very striking, and the picturesque of the “gold digger’s” dress in which he is attired, the life-like spirit thrown into his own figure and that of the horse from which he has dismounted, are deserving of high commendation from those who wish to encourage a school of correct drawing in the colony. Considerable delay has taken place in publishing these lithographs from unavoidable causes, and it is likely only a limited number will be offered to the public. We doubt not, from the reasonable price asked, and the anxiety hundreds will feel to send them home to friends anxious to know all about “England’s own gold fields” will ensure the speedy sale of the whole number issued from the press. [229]

 

The sketches the gold diggings were advertised in for sale at the office of Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal for three shillings each.[230] He was also reported as making a series of sketches of the diggings including Sofala. On New Year’s Day he occupied himself taking a sketch of the scene presented at the Sofala races into which he introduced Georgey Sutter, the aboriginal. Mr. Balcombe’s views, we hear, are intended for the Illustrated London News.  [231]

 

Flash flooding was reported in the Turon gold fields in November 1851 and into the next year[232] and the following report is an indication of the losses felt

(From the Bathurst Free Press, Jan. 17.)

Information has reached us that a thunder storm took place at the Turon on the night of Wednesday last, commencing between eight and nine o’clock, and continuing for about an hour. The flood which immediately succeeded washed away an immense number of cradles and pumps, and filled up a large number of holes, in some cases leaving the proprietors, for the present, completely destitute. Our informant estimates the amount of damage at upwards of £1000, but upon this point we hesitate to pronounce any opinion. The night being pitch dark, except when occasional flashes of lightning illuminated the atmosphere, the diggers were unable, unless at great personal hazard, to make any efforts for the preservation of their property.

Dysentery appears to be rather on the increase than otherwise, and several deaths have occurred from its attacks. Amongst others we have to report the demise of Dr. Johnson, formerly editor of Bell’s Life in Sydney, some say of dysentery, and others of apoplexy; also of a Mr. Smith, a Sydney gentleman, but of what disease we have not heard. [233]

 

Devastating for Thomas was that whilst at the diggings his brother William Balcombe became ill and died from dysentery at Mr. LW Campbell’s home, Mundy Point, Turon River on 29 January 1852.[234]  Sadly Thomas could not get across the river as it was impassable due to the flooding, so he was unable to be with his “generous and kind-hearted brother”[235] brother when he died at the age of 43 years. He also took offence at the newspaper report of his brother’s death writing to the editor of the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal.

 

ORIGINAL CORRESPONDENCE. 

To the Editor of the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal.    

Sir, — With extreme regret I perceive in your publication of this day the following notice of my brother’s decease: — ” Amongst others who have died friendless and unknown, we may mention the demise of Mr. Balcombe, brother to the artist, &c.”          

In gratitude to the many friends who tended the bed-side of my lamented relative, I feel bound to contradict this unfortunate misstatement; and I take this opportunity of expressing my deep obligations to Mr. Kelke, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Gordon, the Messrs. Du Moulins, and others, whose unremitting attention to the comforts of my brother afforded me no little consolation under my inability to reach him, in consequence of the impassable state of the river. So far from my late brother being friendless, even in this unfriendly region, I can only say that he was known to, and respected by, the majority of the residents, on the Turon, and that the sympathy of the townspeople was manifested in every way compatible with the means of a community so singularly constituted. Without any intention of imputing blame either to your informant or yourself I merely request the publication of these few lines, and am, Sir,

Yours very obediently,

THOMAS BALCOMBE.

 

[We are grieved that our remarks respecting the death of Mr. Balcombe should have caused any pain to his bereaved brother, and desire to impress upon him that the double construction of which the sentence admits having been pointed out to us previous to the receipt of his letter, we intended giving the necessary explanation. The whole article was written very hurriedly; but knowing as we did, that Mr. Balcombe’s brother could be neither “friendless” nor “unknown” we intended these words to qualify the word “others” only. We hope therefore that our Correspondent will believe that we neither did nor could intend any disrespect to his lamented relative or himself in the statement referred to. — ED.] (Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 Feb 1852)[236]

 

Subsequently Thomas was able to visit William’s grave and he made a small drawing of the “resting place of three of the Gold seekers” at Turon in 1852, adding that the centre mound in the sketch was his brothers grave and he wanted a copy, along with the sketch of the Hand Barrow, sent to his sister Mrs. Abell of 43 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London.[237]

 

Thomas was badly affected by the loss of his brother and returned to Sydney but continued to accept commissions of illustrations from the Bathurst goldfields.[238] He collaborated with poet G F Pickering to produce an illustrated book of verse called “Gold Pen and Ink Sketches” which follows young John Slasher who hoped to make his fortunes on the gold fields but found he was wanting in both hard work and ability. The author and artist hoped the book would raise a ‘smile’ in their quondam fellow-labourers in the Gold Fields’.[239] The newspaper correspondent enthused

we can only say that if the letter-press equal the talented artist’s illustrations in point and spirit, this little work will not only do credit to the Colony, but will, we feel confident, be admired and appreciated by his home-brethren of the pencil. The subject embraces the adventures of a gentleman in search of a fortune at the Diggings, from his first arrival at the busy scene of labour, to his disappointment thereat, and departure there-from.[240]

 

The proprietors of Bell’s Life were always supportive of Balcombe’s efforts at the easel. In September 1853 they commented on The vast influx of strangers which has taken place in this country has infused fresh spirit into our colonial artists, whose productions, with other works of art, have declined since the discovery of gold. The absorbing passion of gathering riches had the effect of driving the depressed artist from his easel to fewer intellectual avocations for the means of existence. A better day, however, is dawning, when the sunshine of prosperity is likely to germinate the seeds of talent. Amongst those who have entered the field with redoubled energy is Mr Thomas Balcombe, with whose productions the public are well acquainted.

 

Thomas had lately completed two large oil pictures which are his happiest efforts. The subjects are “‘An Unsuccessful Gold Digger,” and “The Little Nugget, a Successful One.” The figures are true to nature, and painted with a free and vigorous pencil; the expression of the two faces is a felicitous contrast; the sullen look of the disappointed seeker assuming a melancholier tone from the sparkling joyousness of the lucky “Little Nugget.” The artist has been peculiarly happy in his skies, which are full of light and atmosphere. The pictures were on view at Mr Welch’s Colonade, Bridge-street; and those who had a fondness for the art were advised they would find their time well disposed of by a visit.[241]

 

His painting of Mr. E. H. Hargrave, the gold discoverer had been well accepted and another portrait in oils was of his wife Lydia. This is still owned by one of Thomas’ descendents.[242]

 

Balcombe’s talents were so good that he was copied by others, something not un-noticed by Balcombe’s supporters.

FINE ARTS- We consider ourselves free from egotism in asserting that no portion of the colonial press has done more to encourage the Fine Arts in Australia than ourselves. Some persons have occasionally complained of the severity of our remarks, who subsequently assented to their justice, and thanked us for administering a draught which, though bitter in the taking, produced salutary effects in the cud. To check presumption and encourage diffidence has been our motto hitherto, and shall be so long as we wield the pen. These observations are induced by a paragraph that “appeared in the Herald of the 7th instant, purporting to be a criticism upon a painting of an Aboriginal native, by Captain Gordon, an amateur artist. If this gentleman had been a Turner, an Etty, or a Landscor. he could not be more belarded by praise. His friendly reviewer (save me from my friends!) has placed him upon the apex of the pyramid of art, and held him up as a sun from which our artists might derive illumination. The weight of the Herald caused all eyes to be turned up to him; alas! it was but to witness the sun in eclipse, and Captain Gordon fall from the paper eminence to which he was exalted. We should have forborne an opinion upon this picture on account of its being an amateur production, but the spirit of truth has been evoked by our contemporary’s fallacious remarks, which also convey a direct insult to colonial artists. This quotation, which winds up an article of sickening flattery, proves it-“The general effect of the painting is successful, and it can lay claim to outrival any painting of an Australian barbarian which has ever been exposed publicly in Sydney.” Let us enlighten our George-street connoisseur upon this Gordonian (we had almost written Gorgonian) production.

 

In the year 1850 Mr Thomas Balcombe, a name well and deservedly known in colonial annals of art, exhibited a painting in Grocott’s Art Union, which was held by the judges appointed to decide on the merits of exhibited works, and the public generally, to be clever. It had grasp and mind; it was formed of the “right stuff”; it betokened promise, which study, perseverance, and a triumph over mechanical difficulties, would mature into worthiness. This picture did not receive a prize, because, if we recollect right, it did not come under the rules laid down by the Committee for an historical composition, the “Balcombe bit” was the original from which Captain Gordon produced his brilliant Heraldic star. That gentleman, in a letter published on Saturday, honorably confessed it; he gave all the merit of the design to Mr Balcombe, but (oh! these buts!) he took thus much credit to himself, “The tone of the sky mid foreground,” he writes, “the disposition of the muscles of the body, as well as the expression of the face, are my own conception, or the result of my own observation.” We freely concede to Captain Gordon all the credit he assumes, and trust he will be satisfied with it; he has made all these alterations, and produced a picture which we defy any manufacturer of hearth rugs to surpass. It is delightfully woolly, but not the pure Merino; the fresh “disposition of the muscles ” would puzzle an   anatomist, and the novel “expression of the face ” renders it difficult to discover whether the Australian barbarian belongs to the genus Man or Baboon. We sincerely regret that ignorance, or intended friendship, should have thrust this picture into undue prominence, and thereby compelled us, on public grounds, to place it in its proper light. The blame is not with Captain Gordon, but with his indiscreet eulogizer, who ought to have known that ill merited praise is the greatest foe to improvement – a false beacon which lures to destruction. [243]

 

The School of Arts Exhibition reported an entry by Mr. T. Balcombe of a very well executed model in colonial wax the subject of which is, “New Hollander and Kangaroo.” This is, we believe, the only figure modelled in wax in the exhibition, with the exception of some small relieve busts of colonial celebrities, by Madame Bertheau; upon these a great deal of labour has evidently been bestowed, and the likenesses are tolerably successful.[244]

 

Some of Thomas’ later works included sketches of swan hunting and sheep shearing at Mummell Station near Goulburn in 1853-54[245] another link with great-great grandson Bob Gaden whose own property was part of the original Mummell Station.

 

As far as the family know Thomas Balcombe made just two black wax sculptures of Aboriginal men. ‘The New Hollander ‘ shows a man sitting with a dead kangaroo and is found at the National Trust house ‘The Briars’ on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. The other was owned by his grand-daughter Vera (Balcombe) Gaden who donated it to the Mitchell Library in the 1960s. It shows a man sitting near a tree stump with his hand held to shade his eyes and a dog laid at his feet. Vera’s grandson Bob can remember the white beady eyes used to disconcertingly follow him as he walked down the hallway.

 

In September 1855, fifteen years after their marriage and after the births of three daughters, Thomas and Lydia had a longed-for son, named William Alexander after the two Balcombe brothers.  BIRTHS. At Paddington, on 1st instant, Mrs. Thomas T. Balcombe, of a son. [246]

 

In 1857 Balcombe published an ink and wash drawing of the Paddington Omnibus ‘Eclipse’, (now found in the Mitchell Library). It shows the horse drawn bus rattling over a rough road, passengers clinging to uncomfortable 6-inch boards which passed for seats, with wild and often drunken drivers in charge, this one a female smoking a clay pipe! One can only imagine that this mode of transport was commonly used by the artist!

 

On Boxing Day 1858 Thomas and Lydia lost their eldest daughter Jane Elizabeth to sow fever, from which she suffered for 3 weeks prior to her death. [247] On Sunday morning, the 26th December, at Napoleon Cottage, Paddington, Jane Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas T. Balcombe, Esq, in the 18th year of her age. [248]  She was buried in the church yard at St Jude’s, Randwick, the gravestone inscription reading “In loving memory of Jane Elizabeth who died December 26th 1858 in the sixteen year of her age. She was the eldest daughter of Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and grand-daughter of the late William Balcombe Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales.” [249]

 

There is a delightful memorial hymn with words, music score and an illustration by E Thomas of the Church and her grave with the inscription

In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December AD 1858. Lines written by William Cornelius Urh Esq. and set to music by Frederic William Meymott Esq.

 

It was the morning past the day

The natal day of Christ our Lord

When she the lov’d was call’d away

Before the mercy seat of God

She blest her parents gentle care

Then meekly, calmly sunk to rest

Her spirit melting into air

Like twilight paling in the west.

 

And friends were there with tearful eyes

In solemn prayerful gaze opprest

Whose throbbing pulses, bitter sighs

Deplor’d the Angel gone to rest.

For they had mark’d her little hour

From tender youth to riper bloom

And watch’d the budding of the flow’r

But to consign it to the tomb.

 

And there stood they around her pall

Who knew her worth, her modest grace,

Those truthful eyes that beam’d on all,

Darken’d subdued by death’s embrace.

And now she dwells in Eden’s bow’r

Transplanted by her Maker’s might,

There in the Glory of His pow’r

to bloom forever in His sight.[250]

 

The sad loss of his daughter, combined with the death of his brother six years before, was to trigger tragic consequences for Thomas Balcombe and his family. He was known to “have severe mental worry” [251] but we don’t know what changes in his brain had been occurring over the years since the accident just before his wedding back in 1840.

 

The tragedy which ensued suggested there had been a marked deterioration as the cost of surviving such an injury is often hidden, and the family bear the brunt of the dysfunctionality often without much support or understanding, particularly in those days. One of the silent areas of the brain is the frontal lobes (frequently affected in a fall, where the brain hits the bone anteriorly), where apparently large areas can be damaged with little effect on most functioning. The frontal lobes coordinate emotional responses and have a big role in memory. In particular, the frontal lobes have an inhibitory function and are largely responsible for the ‘civilising’ behaviour of our modern culture. If there is some damage, the emotional responses may be exaggerated, and violent and aggressive tendencies which would otherwise be kept under control can be a problem. So, it is probably safe to presume that he would have memory difficulties, was likely prone to develop rage with little provocation, difficult to reason especially when aroused and angry. He may have walked with a slight limp or had weakness and coordination difficulty which may have hindered him doing normal physical work. This of course could contribute to loss of self esteem. The daughter’s death would likely have been a trigger to this extreme emotional outpouring which he was unable to control.[252]

 

The newspaper headline says it all

MELANCHOLY SUICIDE AT PADDINGTON.

The neighbourhood of Paddington was thrown into a state of excitement yesterday forenoon, when it became known that on the previous night (Sunday), shortly after 10 o’clock, an old and respected resident had committed suicide. From inquiry made in the early part of the day, as well as from the particulars which transpired at the inquest, it appears that Mr. Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, aged 51, employed as a clerk in the Survey office, and living at Napoleon Cottage, Paddington, whilst labouring under a fit of mental aberration, deliberately shot himself, by discharging a loaded pistol into the right side of his head, over his ear. The unfortunate gentleman, who was at no great distance from his residence at the time, was immediately conveyed thither, and surgical aid promptly obtained. He never spoke afterwards, and expired within half-an-hour. It would appear that he had in early life sustained an injury in the head. At intervals since his conduct and modes of expression have been such as could be accounted for upon no other hypothesis than that he was at such times labouring under mental aberration. This spasmodic form of monomania led him on several occasions to talk about shooting himself. If our information be correct, he attempted some short time ago to carry his threat into execution, and was only prevented from doing so by the timely interference of a friend. About three years ago his eldest daughter- a fine young woman- was cut off in the full bloom and vigour of youth. This was a severe blow, from the effects of which Mr. Balcombe never thoroughly recovered.

Mr. Balcombe was a member of the family of that name, well known as being the only English family, with whom the Emperor Napoleon was on terms of intimacy, during his captivity at St. Helena. Mr. Balcombe was then a child, and was, in common with the other children of the family, a great favourite with the Emperor.       

As may be readily imagined, the deceased gentleman’s family- including his wife, his (now) eldest daughter, aged 17, and two younger children, have been plunged, into the deepest distress by this sad occurrence.

Below we give a full report of the evidence taken yesterday, before the city coroner, J. S. Parker, Esq. and a jury of five – the inquest being held, at Diamonds Hotel, Upper Paddington.

 

Sophia Mary Brennan deposed: I am the wife of the Rev. Mr. Brennen; we reside at Paddington; I have known the deceased Thomas Balcombe three years ; he resided next door to us; I have often heard him talking in his house of an evening in a very excited manner, and knock his furniture about; I thought he drank, and that his mind was impaired; he used to look very wild of  a morning, and was very excited of an evening ; I have had many conversations with him lately; he did not  appear sane upon any subject; I heard he had received a hurt on the head; he told me so himself; he did not  live happily with his wife; he often complained of his wife treating him coolly; I am quite satisfied he was treated kindly by his wife; whenever he was excited he would say he would destroy himself; sometimes he would weep over his children, saying he was going to leave them; I always felt alarmed when he entered my house; the last conversation I had with deceased was  last night; about half-past 10- o’clock he knocked at the   door and asked to speak to me for a few minutes ; I showed him into the study; he was in a very excited state, but not in a worse state than I have seen him before; I thought he was labouring under the effects of drink; he was deadly pale and threw up his arms, and mocked the Almighty in violent terms; he said he had written something which would appear in the papers next day; he pointed towards Randwick, and said that was his destination; he said something about going early in the morning to stop something he had written from appearing in the paper; he then took from each pocket a pistol (small ones) he brandished them; the pistols produced are similar to those deceased had: I got alarmed, thinking they might go off by accident; after a minute or two he replaced the pistols in his pockets; he left the house, saying I would see it all in the paper in the morning, closing the door after him with violence; he was only about ten minutes in the house; when he left I called after him, telling him to go home and go to bed as he wanted rest ; I had hardly used the words when I heard the report of firearms. I think I saw smoke; I heard a groan; I did not see deceased fall; I saw him lying across the gateway; I called my husband; I am quite sure, deceased fired the pistol; I did not see any person about at the time; deceased was removed to his own house, and died about half an hour afterwards; I only heard one report of firearm.   

The ‘Rev. James Deane Brennan deposed : I am minister of this parish; I have been acquainted with deceased about two years and nine months; he held an appointment in the Surveyor-   General’s office; no person had a better opportunity of being acquainted with the state of deceased’s mind than I; he sought my advice upon most things; after I had known him a month, I was called into his house; he was then held by a servant and his wife; he had smitten his wife; he was looking for a razor, saying he would cut his throat; he was then partially insane; that was my impression; when I would  place my arms round him to restrain him, and sit him down, he would get quiet; when I would leave his presence, he would get into an excited state again; when calm, he would say the devil had hold of him; the same scene that I witnessed, when first called in, was enacted over and over again up to the time of his death, at intervals of a month or two, but within the last month it has occurred nearly every other day. He got so violent, that about ten days back, I recommended his wife to leave him for a short time for the safety of her own life; she remained about ten days away; I had made up my mind to leave the neighbourhood, in consequence of my wife being alarmed; he often complained of being unhappy, and attributed his unhappiness to different causes-sometimes saying, upstarts passed him, who had royal Windsor blood in his veins, in the streets; sometimes attributing his unhappiness to his home; sometimes he would call his wife the worst names that a foul vocabulary could furnish him with, and a quarter of an hour afterwards, he would go upon his knees, and beg me not to believe it, that it was all untrue; when talking the matter over with him, which I frequently did, he would say while he was in the office he was all right, but the moment he set his face towards Paddington the devil got hold of him; this he would say in cool moments, generally a day after a row; when I asked him what there was at Paddington that affected him, he would say, ” There is a kind word for everybody except me”; knowing that not to be the case, I invariably pointed out to him that it was his own folly, which he admitted, and would go away, saying he was a fool, and would not anymore make a tom-fool of himself; I have heard him speak of his wife in terms that no man could exceed, both in praise and the reverse; in cool moments he would try to erase whatever he had said against his wife; about four months ago, at seven o’clock in the evening, Mrs. Balcombe rushed into  my house, exclaiming, “What shall I do,’- Balcombe has got a pair of pistols; he is going to shoot himself at Randwick”; I persuaded her to sit down whilst I sent for a police officer; that officer is now in the room.; Mr  Hargrave came to me on business, and I sent him after Mr. Balcombe; he met deceased coming out the post office at Waverley (about a mile distant); deceased took Hargrave into the post-office and showed him on the counter a letter addressed to Mrs. Balcombe, also letters addressed to Mr. Gorman, to his brother Alexander, and to the editor of the Herald; he picked up the letters and said, “These are not to go now”, he left the post-office with Hargraves for home; Hargraves persuaded him to give up the two pistols he had, and he handed the pistols to Hargrave ; I do not know this of my own knowledge; deceased detailed all this to me the next day, or the day following; he, at the same time, thanked God that Willie Hargrave had come after him, and expressed his abhorrence of the crime he intended ; he told his children to go on their knees and thank God that Willie Hargrave had been sent and saved his life; about eight or ten days ago Mrs. Balcombe fled to a neighbour’s house, and during her absence I talked with him as to  the advisability of a separation; he came to me said, “This thing cannot last much longer, my wife is wretched, my children are wretched, and I am wretched; I am determined to take lodgings in town;” I told him it was the best thing he could do; advised him strongly to carry out his intention as it might be the means of saving both their lives; he came to me next day and said he had taken lodgings, and begged me to look after his children, and get his wife home; I saw nothing more of him until I saw him lying at my gate on Sunday night; I mean I had no personal intercourse with him ; he called that night at my house at about half-past 10 o’clock; not being well my wife advised me not to see him, as it always affected my health, that she would see him instead. I had just got to bed when I heard the door closed after deceased had been in the house; I   heard a dull, heavy sound, followed by a scream from my wife; I put on my dressing gown and was there in a minute; I rushed to the gate and saw deceased lying on his back, with the pistol (produced) in his hand; the pistol was empty; he having so often threatened to shoot himself, I did not believe at the moment that he had shot himself; I turned the head over and saw the wound; I felt his pulse and saw he was utterly unconscious he was bleeding profusely, and breathing heavily; Mr. Jackson, my next door neighbour, and Mrs. Balcombe came; we carried him into his own house; I remained with him until he died; I omitted, to state that about  four months ago I took steps to get him under restraint, by sending to Melbourne for his brother; his brother came up and remained about a week, but went back without taking any steps in reference to his brother; I heard that deceased had a fall from his horse 25 years ago; deceased told me one glass of brandy would upset him; I am satisfied deceased’s wife treated him kindly. He attended my church perhaps once in three months; he was always orderly there, but sometimes appeared excited;  I never knew him to suffer from delirium tremens; I never saw him drink wine or spirits; he has three children alive, and one daughter dead, whose death he grieved over very much ; I do not think he was restless of life; he never neglected his personal appearance; my impression was that he was insane at times.

 

Mr. Robert Fitzgerald, a draughtsman in the Surveyor-General’s office, stated: Deceased worked in the same room with me; I have known him for five years; he was always able to do his work; about a trifle he would work himself into a passion, but he was generally cheerful; deceased was at the office on Saturday, and left at the usual hour; when I went to the office this morning, I     received the following letter:

” Survey Office”, Sunday Morning, October 13th, 1861.

My dear Fitz,

Should anything happen to me, pray overhaul my papers in the drawer, and pack them up for Mrs. Balcombe. You will remember me kindly to all the poor fellows in the office, and give them all my farewell blessing, and tell them not to follow any of my failings. God bless you and yours, my dear fellow, and believe me,   

Yours most sincerely,         

Thos. T. Balcombe 

PS.-Keep. this strictly private unless you have occasion otherwise.

 

  1. Fitzgerald, Esq

In this letter: a letter to Mrs. Balcombe was enclosed -:  the letter produced, is the one; they were both in deceased’s handwriting. It reads as follows: –         

‘ Sunday morning ‘ “My dear Lydia, –I die blessing you I cannot live, it appears, on the understanding I should wish from my heart. A gracious God will provide for you and yours. I feel for the happiness of you all, and must leave you.  “The Lord bless you all. I cannot live without you and my children, whom I hold dearer than myself, and that my God knows.” 

                       

I was informed he left the letter for me on Sunday; he never did anything at the office to lead me to believe that his mind was impaired; he did not indulge in drink during office hours to my knowledge;  he did some work at the office on Saturday; he never complained of his head; he sometimes spoke of persons passing him in the street, whom he considered inferior to him.     

Richard Bligh, examined, stated: I am a legally qualified medical practitioner; I have resided at Paddington for the last two years; I have been acquainted  with the deceased about twelve months; I attended him for gout,  he was a quiet patient; he had a haggard appearance; I never saw him when excited; on Sunday night I was called to see the deceased; when I arrived at his       house, I found him lying on the floor dying; I examined his head, and found a wound on the right side of his head, above the ear; the brain was protruding; wound was round and large enough to admit my little finger; a ball like the one produced (extracted from  the other pistol, also loaded, found in the possession of the deceased) would be likely to cause the injury; he could have inflicted the wound himself with the pistol produced; judging from the evidence I should say  deceased’s mind was partially impaired; the ball did not go through the head; I have no doubt the ball has lodged in the brain; I could not have saved deceased’s life.  

 

The Herald report continued He had repeatedly threatened to commit suicide, and on one occasion attempted it, but was prevented from accomplishing the work of self-destruction. This happened about four months ago, and on the occasion alluded to he went to Waverley, where the attempt was made.”

 

This concluded the evidence at an inquest on his body held at the Half-way House Inn, Upper Paddington, and the jury returned the following verdict: -“We find that the deceased Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, aged 51 years, died from a wound in his head, inflicted by himself with a loaded pistol, whilst labouring under a fit of temporary insanity.”[253]

 

The newspaper reported his death “BALCOMBE- October 13th, at Paddington, Thomas T. Balcombe, of Napoleon Cottage, aged 51.” He was the same age as his father when he died.[254]

 

A few days later the editor of Bell’s Life wrote We feel it incumbent upon us, as an intimate friend of the lamented deceased, whose acquaintance we enjoyed for many years, to state that we never observed in his conversation the slightest indication of mental aberration, although he occasionally of late manifested deep despondency, the cause of which he freely communicated. Our last interview with Mr BALCOMBE was on Friday afternoon, when he again referred to the matter of his distress, and invited us to visit him on the fatal Sunday afternoon, which; in consequence of the boisterousness of the weather, we unfortunately failed to do; The sad intelligence only reached us on Monday evening, and we had determined to attend the Coroner’s inquisition (not being aware that it had been already held) for the purpose of stating certain circumstances which we deemed of importance as bearing IMMEDIATELY upon the cause which induced the commission of the rash act. Consideration for the feelings of his surviving relatives, disposes us now to withhold the statements made to us by the deceased gentleman; which, however, would in our opinion have tended to relieve his memory from the reproach cast upon it by the evidence adduced, and have gone far to prove that he had been “more sinned against than sinning.” Poor THOMAS BALCOMBE was a gentleman in the most refined sense of the word; and knowing, as we do, certain reasons which in no small degree palliate the act of a man rendered: desperate by a combination of sorrows, we deeply mourn his deplorable end. Had the obsequies of our poor friend taken place on more timely notice, we doubt not but that our regret would have been shared in, and demonstrated by the attendance of a large portion of the community, as a last tribute to his private and public worth. May he rest in peace! [255]

 

The Funeral notice invited his friends to attend his funeral at the very early hour of 7.45am.

FUNERAL-The Friends of the deceased, THOMAS TYRETT BALCOMBE, Esq., are invited to attend his Funeral to move from his late residence, Napoleon Cottage, Waverley, THIS (Tuesday) MORNING, at a quarter to eight o’clock, and proceed to St. Jude’s Cemetery, Randwick. JAMES CURTIS, undertaker, 59, Hunter-street.[256]

 

Thomas is buried with his eldest daughter Jane Elizabeth in St Jude’s Cemetery, Randwick, unusual at that time for the church to allow a suicide victim to be buried in consecrated ground. Perhaps it only happened because there already was the grave of young Jane there. Under her inscription are the few additional words for her father:

also

Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe

Born June 15 1810

Died October 13 1861

 

After their bereavement Lydia and her family continued to live at Napoleon Cottage, Waverley Road, Woollhara.  Her son William Alexander was only six when his father died. By then William had also died, so who helped Lydia and her family to survive? Did brother-in-law Alexander help financially, or her Stuckey relatives? Who looked after daughter Mary Newcombe who never married and, after the marriage of daughter Annie Rebecca, did she and her husband make a financial contribution to the family?

 

William Alexander eventually joined the office of the Clerk in Equity, the Chief Clerk at the time being one William Hargraves, and he rose through the ranks to take on the top position. His first son, Gordon Tyrwhitt Balcombe, born in 1885, was born at Napoleon Cottage.[257]

 

Lydia Balcombe died in August 1900 [258] and is buried in Waverley. Her daughters are buried with her, Mary Newcombe Balcombe (who never married and died in 1917 aged 70) and Annie Rebecca Balcombe (in 1869 she had married Dr William George Tayler, he died 1913, she died in 1922, the marriage appears to have been without issue). Alongside their gravestone are two others for some of Lydia’s Stuckey relatives: Annie Maria Gibson, (the daughter of Rebecca Stuckey and her husband John W Chisholm, and widow of Septimus Gibson), she died aged 42 at Lydia’s home Napoleon Cottage [259]. There are also both Rebecca and John Chisholm themselves and the two unmarried Stuckey siblings, Henry Gould Stuckey and Annie Elizabeth Stuckey.[260] The rest of the Stuckey’s were buried elsewhere as by 1850 the family had left “Longreach” and moved to Gundagai at “Willie Ploma” where Peter and Ann Stuckey, Lydia’s parents, had died in 1859 and 1863 respectively.[261]

 

So, Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and Lydia Stuckey’s line passed into succeeding generations via just one child, their only son William Alexander Balcombe. In 1884 he married Jessie Edith Griffin in Raymond Terrace and they had 4 children [262]who lived through the worry of having a sibling fighting in the First World War, and 8 grandchildren who became the generation which faced the trauma of the Second World War. Now, as numbers more than double with succeeding generations, there are many Balcombe descendents who can proudly claim the respected colonial artist Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe as their ancestor![263]

#Balcombe #StHelena #Napoleon  #ColonialArtist  #Stuckey  #ColonialTreasurer

 

List of known works by TT Balcombe and their location

 

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) John Carmichael (engraver) The master of the Fitzroy Hunt, in Australasian Sporting Magazine, Sydney, 1850, engraving and etching, printed in black ink from one copper plate, printed image 10 x 15.9cm, Gallery reference 1464, 94.432.2.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) John Carmichael (engraver) R Barr (printer, intaglio), Cover Australasian Sporting Magazine, Sydney, 1850, engraving and etching, printed in black ink from one copper plate, 16.30 x 11.2 cm, Gallery reference 423, 94.432.1.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Edward Winstanley (print after), The first leap from the Five Dock Grand Steeplechase, 1844, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, hand coloured, printed image 32.90 x 47.3 cm, Gallery reference 152245, 2006.501.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Edward Winstanley (print after) The Five Dock Grand Steeplechase, No.4, 1844, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, hand coloured, printed image 32 x 46.40 cm. Gallery reference 152246, 2006.502.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe, Black fellows, 1849, lithograph, printed in black ink from one stone, 16.80x 16.60cm Gallery reference 59277, 86.2229.

 

  1. Thomas Balcombe (print after) The Australian Goldfields, No. 1 Mr. EH Hargreaves, the Australian gold discoverer c 1855, wood engraving, printed in dark blue ink, from one block, 18.5 x 15.5 cm. Gallery reference 285554, 2016.381

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Vera Balcombe, grand-daughter of Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe, personal communication to the author.

[2] British Library India Office Records N/6/2 f.76 and St Helena Records from the Archives located at The Castle, Jamestown, viewed by the author November 2010.

[3] Information from the Registrar of Marriages, Marylebone Church, personal communication to the author.

[4] Birth records UK and travel details for trip to St Helena

[5] St James, Jamestown parish register in the Archives, St Helena, viewed by the author November 2010 and Philip Gosse, St Helena 1502-1938, Anthony Nelson, Oswestry, Shropshire, 1990, pp.239-241.

[6] Diary of William J Burchell, 29 September 1807, transcribed by the author from scan of original at Hope Library, University Museum, Oxford.

[7] St James, Jamestown parish register in the Archives, St Helena, viewed by the author November 2010.

[8] Caroline Gaden article re Wm Balcombe submitted to JAHS

[9] Major-General Alexander Beatson, Tracts relative to the Island of St Helena written during a residence of five years, Bulmer and Co, London, 1816, pp 207-240.

[10] Mrs. Abell (late Miss Elizabeth Balcombe), Recollections of Napoleon at St Helena during the first three years of his captivity on the Island of St Helena, London, John Murray, 1844, p 11.

[11] Martin Levy, Napoleon in Exile, the Houses and Furniture supplied by the British Government for the Emperor and his Entourage on St Helena, Furniture History, The Journal of the Furniture History Society, 1998, Volume XXXIV, pp 2-211.

[12] Gareth Glover, Wellington’s Lieutenant, Napoleon’s Gaoler, The Peninsula and St Helena Diaries of Sir George Ridout Bingham 1809-21, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley, Yorkshire, 2005, p.271

[13] Mr Balcombe’s letter to Sir Thomas Tyrwhitt which mentions Mrs B is happy to hear about her boy.

[14] Dates of birth of ‘Prince of Rome’ from Wikipedia and Thomas Tyrwhitt Balcombe and Alexander Beatson Balcombe from the parish register of St James, Jamestown, St Helena available in the St Helena Archives viewed by the author on the island Nov 2010

[15] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, pp 39-40.

[16] Campaign medals, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_medal, accessed 9 April 2013.

[17] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 70.

[18] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 158.

[19] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p. 199-200.

[20] Gilbert Martineau, Napoleon’s St Helena, translated by Frances Partridge, Rand McNally and Co. Chicago, 1968, p. 12.

[21] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p 87 and p 123.

[22] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, p 185.

[23] Portrait available from National Library of Australia, ID 22934074 available from http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an22934074

[24] Information re gout and its associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe, accessed 5 August 2012

[25] Information re gout and its associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe, accessed 5 August 2012

[26]William Lefanue (editor), Betsy Sheridan’s Journal, letters from Sheridan’s sister, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986, p. 65

[27] Empire, 15 October 1861… all Australian newspapers were located on the National Library’s Trove website.

[28] Information from the St Helena archives, researched by the author in November 2010.

[29] Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser on May 30th 1821.

[30] IGI Batch number C062361 1817-1837 Source No.  0918607 Birth 23 Oct 1823 ELIZABETH ABELL

[31] Octave Aubrey, St Helena, London Victor Gollancz, 1937, p. 358.

[32] Bruce Child, Blood on the Wattle, Frenchs Forest, Child and Assoc, 1988.

[33] Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 27 August 1824.

[34] Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser, 3 September 1824.

[35] <http://www.heavenandhelltogether.com/?q=node/327&gt;

[36] <http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/convicts/shipNSW2.html&gt;

[37] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 23 September 1824

[38] The Australian, 2 December 1824

[39] Maitland Mercury, 5 November 1851.

[40] Convict ships arriving at Port Jackson, <http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/research-topics/convicts/convict-ships-arriving-at-port-jackson-1788-1849&gt; and Sydney Morning Herald, 31 August 1871 and Empire, 1 September 1871.

[41] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 1 July 1824

[42] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 30 September 1824.

[43] Sydney Morning Herald, 23 June 1917.

[44] Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_New_South_Wales&gt; and

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_New_South_Wales&gt;

[45] Ron Griffin, former Treasurer of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, personal communication to the author, June 2012.

[46] The Australian, 10 Aug 1827

[47] The Australian, 29 August 1827 and the Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 29 August 1827.

[48] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser 23 May 1828

[49] https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/9712/

[50] Keith R Binney, Horsemen of the First Frontier 1788-1900, Volcanic Publications, Sydney 2005, p 166. and many local newspaper reports in March-May 1825.

[51] Colin Dyer, The French Explorers and Sydney, 1788-1831, University of Queensland Press, 2009, pp98-140.

[52] Colin Dyer, The French Explorers and the Aboriginal Australians 1772-1839, University of Queensland Press, 2005, pp12-14.

[53] Sydney Gazette, 21 March 1829.

[54] From Gravestone located in Botany Pioneer Park, Sydney transcribed by the author 5 April 2013.

[55] NSW BDM register shows both V18298382 2C/1829 and 18291074 13/1829 as being register numbers for the death of William Balcombe

[56] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[57] TA Johnstone, A brief history of Radcliffe and the Surrounding Area, at Carwoola Community Association and follow links to History at <http://www.carwoola.org.au/carwoola_history&gt; Accessed 8 April 2012.

[58] Mrs. Abell, Recollections of Napoleon, pp7-9.

[59] Mark O’Connor, This tired brown land, 1998, Sydney, Duffy and Snelgrove, p 56.

[60] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Australia#Droughts_in_the_19th_century&gt;

[61] The Sydney Monitor, 13 June 1829.

[62] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 25 July 1829.

[63] The Australian, 24 February 1830 and The Asiatic Journal, Issue 7, page 183.

[64] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

and Letter from Governor Bourke dated 1 May 1833, in reply to Viscount Goderich’s letter dated 21 August 1832 in HRA, Vol XV11 June 1833-June 1835.

[65] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 2 March 1830.

[66] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 5 Oct 1830.

[67] The Australian, 31 March 1830.

[68] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 1 April 1830.

[69] The Sydney Monitor, 3 April 1830

[70] Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 1904

[71] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 3 April 1830

[72] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[73] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 23 October 1830

[74] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 15 February 1831.

[75] Burthen is a measure of tonnage. It is calculated form measurements of the length and beam of the ship. Tonnage = (Length – Beam x ⅗) x Beam x (Beam x ½)/94  where Length is the length, in feet, from the stem to the sternpost; Beam is the maximum beam, in feet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Builder%27s_Old_Measurement

[76] Sydney Gazette, 23 Oct 1830 Advertisement for the passage to England on Nancy

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/2196331?searchTerm=shipping%20%22Nancy%22%20Captain%20Pryce%2015%20February%201831&searchLimits=

[77] William R OBryne Esq, A Naval biographical dictionary comprising the life and service of every living officer in Her Majesty’s Navy, London, John Murray, 1849, page 937.

[78] IGI Individual Record FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index v5.0 British Isles

ELIZABETH ABELL Birth:  23 OCT 1823   Christening:  07 DEC 1823           Saint Anne Soho, Westminster, London, England, Parents: Father:  CHARLES ABELL Mother:  ELIZABETH

Source Information: Batch No.:  C062361, Dates: 1817 – 1837, Source Call No.: 0918607.

[79] Sydney Gazette, 15 February 1831.

[80] Sydney Herald, 5 December 1831

[81] The Australian, 9 December 1831

[82] Hobart Town Courier, 6 August 1831.

[83] Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet & Plymouth Journal (Truro, England), Saturday, August 20, 1831; Issue 1469 and The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, August 20, 1831; Issue 18938.

[84] The Spectator, 20 August 1831, http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/20th-august-1831/13/east-india-shipping

[85] http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-CarHist-t1-body-d8-d1.html accessed 4 Jul 2013.

[86] Letter from Governor Darling to Sir George Murray 29 July 1829 and letter from Murray to Darling 29 Sept 1830 HRA XV p.741

[87] Letter from Governor Bourke dated 1 May 1833, in reply to Viscount Goderich’s letter dated 21 August 1832 in HRA, Vol XV11 June 1833-June 1835.

[88] Kathleen Thomson, ‘Balcombe, Alexander Beatson (1811–1877)‘, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/balcombe-alexander-beatson-2922/text4221, accessed 20 April 2013.

[89] Thomas Mitchell, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, in two volumes, Available from the Gutenburg Project, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12928/pg12928.txt (Volume 1) and http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13033/pg13033.txt (Volume 2)

[90] Thomas Mitchell, Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, in two volumes, Available from the Gutenburg Project, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12928/pg12928.txt (Volume 1) and http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13033/pg13033.txt (Volume 2)

[91] National Archives London from Agent Stephen Wright.

[92] Sydney Gazette, 21 March 1833

[93] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 30 March 1833

[94] Sydney Monitor, 23 March 1833 and Sydney Herald, 1 April 1833

[95] Sydney Monitor, 23 March 1833 and Sydney Herald, 1 April 1833

[96] The Australian, 31 May 1833.

[97] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 4 July 1833.

[98] Sydney Herald, 19 December 1833.

[99] Sydney Gazette, 25 March 1834 and Sydney Morning Herald, 27 March 1834

[100] Hampshire Telegraph 30 August 1834, via Gale database accessed 3/4/2011 and The Asiatic Journal, 1 October 1834, Page 123, Issue 58.

[101] Sydney Herald 7 August 1837

[102] State Library of NSW, Author: Mitchell, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1855, Title [Portion of Map of the Colony of New South Wales transmitted to Thomas Balcombe by Major Mitchell on 7 April 1834] [cartographic material] / Thomas Mitchell. Scale [1:554 500] LOCATION Mitchell Library Call ZM2 812.1/1834/1, Status Published,7 April 1834.

Donated by Mrs V.L. Gaden, 23rd Sept. 1943, Other Author Balcombe, T. (Thomas), 1810-1861.

Other Title Also known as: Map of the nineteen counties, Bib Util 9226634

[103] Balcombe, Field Books, State Records NSW, Call numbers [2/5037] [2/5038] and [2/5053]

[104] Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org and search for county

[105] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/benjamin_singleton.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[106] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/j_bettington.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[107] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/james_glennie.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[108] Hunter Valley Settler Index at <http://www.jenwilletts.com/links_to_settler_names_and_estates.htm&gt;

[109] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulburn_River_National_Park&gt; and <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goulburn_River_%28New_South_Wales%29&gt; accessed 11 August 2013

[110] The Australian, 12 August 1834.

[111] Hazel King, ‘Campbell, Pieter Laurentz (1809–1848)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/campbell-pieter-laurentz-1875/text2195, accessed 10 August 2013.

[112] <www.noblesandcourtiers.org/pirate-clothing.htm> accessed 9 August 2013

[113] <www.hmsrichmond.org/sailordress.htm> accessed 9 August 2013

[114] <www.parishofmorpeth.org.uk/aussie.htm> accessed 11 August 2013

[115] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/samuel_wright.htm&gt; accessed 9 August 2013

[116] <http://www.jenwilletts.com/francis_forbes.htm&gt; accessed 10August 2013

[117] The Dulhunty Papers part 5, <http://www.dulhunty.com/html/Dpc5.htm&gt; accessed 11 August 2013

[118] The Caledonian Mercury, 5 February 1835 and The Asiatic Journal, 1 March 1835, page 216, Issue 63.

[119] Bells Life in Sydney, 14 April 1849.

[120] Sydney Morning Herald 31 Aug 1871 and Empire 1 September 1871

[121] Notes and Queries 4th 5 VIII July 15, 7L, page 59

[122] Information from the Cemetery Manager, Marie Murphy. email received 27 March 2008

[123] Australian Thoroughbred Stud book, <http://www.studbook.org.au/&gt;

[124] Sydney Gazette, 25 October 1836, Sydney Monitor, 26 October 1836, Sydney Gazette 1 November 1836.

[125] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser,17 January 1835.

[126] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 6 August 1836.

[127] NSW BDM register, Marriage V1843700 27C/1843

[128] 1828 census and state records, Colonial Secretary Index 1788-1825. NSW State records- B0171 and B0172 <http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexsearch/keyname.aspx > then links to Convict Index and Convict Pardons, <http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/indexes/searchhits.aspx?table=Convict%20Index&id=65&frm=1&query=Surname:balcombe&gt; and also ‘Free settlers or Felon’ at < http://www.jenwilletts.com/search.htm&gt;

[129] NSW Government Gazette, AGCI Volume 2, Search for Balcombe, NSAG NSW 1836 p591, accessed 25 July 2006.

[130] Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol 13, 1827-1828, page 59

[131] Charles Bateson, David Reid 1777-1840, Australian Dictionary of Biography, <http://www,adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A020329b.htm > Accessed 4 February 2009.

[132] The Sydney Herald, 3 September 1841

[133] Sydney Herald, 10 March 1836.

[134] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 24 September 1836.

[135] Sydney Monitor, 25 November 1836

[136] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 24 September 1836.

[137] Sydney Herald 20 February 1837

[138] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 25 February 1837.

[139] Sydney Herald, 1 May 1837

[140] The Colonist 27 January 1838

[141] Sydney Herald, 7 June 1838.

[142] The Colonist, 9 June 1838

[143] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 14 August 1838

[144] Sydney Herald, 13 August 1838

[145] The Australian, 10 April 1838

[146] The Australian, 21 August 1838.

[147] The Australian, 25 September 1838

[148] Sydney Gazette and NSW advertiser, 12 July 1838.

[149] NSW BDM web site for Births.

http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/Index/IndexingOrder.cgi/search?event=births

[150] https://maps.google.com.au/

[151] John McColgan, Southern Highlands Story, 1995, Wild and Woolley Books, Glebe, Sydney and ftp://ftp.dpa.net.au/DPA/samplepages/SAMPLE-Southern%20Highlands%20Story.pdf

[152] Roads in a dreadful state Sydney Herald, 1 April 1840

[153] Australasian Chronicle, 4 July 1840.

[154], 2 June 1840.

[155] Information re serious head injury and associated symptoms from a doctor who is a descendent of William Balcombe.

[156] Marriage notice in the Sydney Monitor and Advertiser, 4 July 1840 and NSW BDM web site http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au and Registration number NSW Marriages 1840529 24B/1840

[157] http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au   Marriage Reference number V1818342 7

[158] Chronological listing of early European contacts with NZ at <http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~teecee/1846table.htm&gt; accessed 4 February 2009.

[159] Chronological listing of early European contacts with NZ at <http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~teecee/1846table.htm&gt; accessed 4 February 2009.

[160]John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, Cremorne, NSW, Talkarra Press,1957, no page numbers.

[161] Martyn Downer, Nelson’s Purse, London, Transworld Publishers (Random House), 2004, pages 80-81

[162] John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, Talkarra Press, Cremorne, 1957, no page numbers,

[163] Community History Newsletter, George Town and District Historical Society Inc., Georgetown Online Access Centre, <http://www.tco.asn.au/oac/community_history.cgi?oacID=28>accessed 4 February 2009.

[164] Wayne Shipp, William House and the Piracy of the Venus, at <http://www.launcestonhistory.org.au/2006/venus.htm&gt; Accessed4 February 2009.

[165] Settlement to independence from New South Wales:1804 to 1824. Senior Finance Officers 1804-1824, at <http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/historyW.nsf/f78b431e6c6819acca256eb400092326/216679c056f02eb6ca256eb5001b2334?OpenDocument&gt; accessed 7 August 2013

[166] Settlement to independence from New South Wales:1804 to 1824. Revenue in Van Diemen’s Land in

<http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/historyW.nsf/f78b431e6c6819acca256eb400092326/d534e5b84a430a4bca256eb50019b2eb?OpenDocument&gt; accessed 7 August 2013

[167] Wayne Shipp, William House and the Piracy of the Venus, at <http://www.launcestonhistory.org.au/2006/venus.htm&gt; Accessed4 February 2009.

[168] John Earnshaw, A letter from the south Seas, by voyage on the storeship ‘Daedalus’ 1792, no page numbers and NSW State Archives, 1 October 1809 William House, deceased, fraudulent attempt to steal stock.  Reel 6038: SZ757 p. 75a.

[169] Maureen Eddy, Marulan, a unique heritage, published by ‘Marulan 150’ by the author, 1985, pp 15, 42, 75, 85-6.

[170] Maureen Eddy, Marulan, pp 85-6.

[171] David Branagan, The Oldest Marble Quarry in Australia, Proceedings of the Australian Mining History Association Conference, Queenstown Tasmania, 7 October 2008, page 11.

[172] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotunda_Museum

[173]Caroline Gaden personal memoir.

[174] From NSW BDMs Rebecca Stuckey married John W Chisholm, Charlotte Stuckey married Thomas Mitchell the son of William Mitchell and Elizabeth Huon de Kerrileau of Brisbane Meadow. Elizabeth was the daughter of Gabriele Huon de Kerrileau of Bungonia and her brother Paul had married Sarah House, sister of Ann [House]Stuckey, William John Stuckey married Emma Huon de Kerrileau, Emma Stuckey married William Huon de Kerrileau, Clara Chase Stuckey married Alexander Keith Collins, George Robert Hamilton Stuckey married Emma Perrott, Amelia St Clair Stuckey married Granville Robert Murray Collins, Emily Sarah Stuckey married Henry Huon de Kerrileau. Ann Elizabeth Stuckey and Richard Henry Gould Stuckey appear to be the only two who remained unmarried.

[175] Elyne Mitchell, Speak to the Earth, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1945 pp3-6 (VX43577 TW Mitchell) and Caroline Gaden, Pounding Along to Singapore, a history of the 2/20 Battalion AIF, Copyright, Brisbane, 2012,(NX12543 EW Gaden).

[176] Sydney Herald, 26 November 1840.

[177] Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 20 October 1840

[178] Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 13 January 1841

[179] Australasian Chronicle, 19 January 1841

[180] Sydney Herald, 22 September 1841.

[181] Australasian Chronicle, 7 October 1841.

[182] Australasian Chronicle, 31 May 1842.

[183] Australasian Chronicle, 13 September 1842.

[184] Sydney Morning Chronicle, 23 July 1845

[185] Sydney Herald, 5 May 1842.

[186] Sydney Morning Herald, 28 October 1842

[187] Sydney Herald, 30 May 1842.

[188] Sydney Morning Herald, 5 April 1843.

[189] Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 1845.

[190] Records office of NSW, Index to Squatters and Graziers 1837-49, Citation NRS 906[x815] Reel 2748-2749, p 31.

[191] Free Settler or Felon <http://www.jenwilletts.com/searchaction.php&gt;

[192] Maitland Mercury, 13 February 1847.

[193] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_County&gt;

[194] NSW Government Gazette, AGCI Volume 2 search, Balcombe, NSAG NSW 1847, p162. Accessed 25 July 2006.

[195] Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February 1847.

[196] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denman,_New_South_Wales&gt;

[197] Balcombe, Field Books, State Records NSW, Call numbers [2/5037] [2/5038] and [2/5053].

[198] NSW State Library Catalogue, Call numbers SV*/EXPL/1 and V/108 and SV/107

[199] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, 1988, Art Gallery of NSW, pp. 101-2.

[200] Australian Financial Review 7 June 1983, page 16.

[201] Mrs Abell, Recollections of Napoleon pp111-113, Gareth Glover, Wellington’s Lieutenant, Napoleon’s Gaoler, Pen and Sword Military, Barnsley South Yorkshire 2005, page 271.

[202] Sydney Gazette and Advertiser, 3 March 1825 and 24 March 1825.

[203] Sydney Herald, 29 May 1837

[204] The Australasian, 19 May 1837.

[205] The Sydney Herald, 29 May 1837

[206] Sydney Gazette and NSW Advertiser, 18 October 1842.

[207] Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April 1843

[208] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 June 1843.

[209] State Library of NSW, Call number PXD659, Creator Balcombe, T. (Thomas), 1810 – 1861 and Winstanley, Edward, 1820 – 1849. Title Five-Dock Grand Steeple-Chase 1844 / by Balcombe and Winstanley

Physical Description. Prints: 4 hand-coloured lithographs; printed image ca. 30 x 47 cm. or smaller; sheet 45.2 x 64 cm. or smaller.

Contents

  1. The First Leap. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Hely on Block. (Now with NGA)
  2. The Brook. Mr Hely on Block. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier.
  3. The Stone Wall. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Hely on Block.
  4. Mr Hely on Block. Mr Watt on Highflier. Mr Gorrich on British Yeoman. (Now with NGA)

[210] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 22 May 1847.

[211] NSW State Library call numbers ML 1408, ML 1407 and ML 632.

<http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/SimpleSearch.aspx?query=thomas%20balcombe&sort=Rank&select=1&recordtype=1&retrieve=100+PERCENT&gt;

[212] http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an4698013 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an4698043

[213] Sydney Morning Herald, 2 June 1849

[214]  University of Queensland Art Museum, Accession number, 1946.01 <http://www.artmuseum.uq.edu.au/collection/search&gt;

[215] Thomas Mitchell, Three expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales, 1839, London, TW Boone quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[216] William Gilpin, Three essays on Picturesque beauty; on picturesque travel and on sketching landscape, 1792, London, R Blamire quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[217] Gaynor Gravestock thesis…Thomas Mitchell, Three expeditions into the interior of Eastern Australia with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix and the present colony of New South Wales, 1839, London, TW Boone quoted in thesis by Gaynor Gravestock, HA227, Australian Art, University of Queensland.

[218] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levee_%28event%29&gt;

[219] Sydney Morning Herald, 25 May 1850

[220] National Gallery Australia, Catalogue Accession No: NGA 94.423.2

[221] Sydney Morning Herald, 8 July 1850.

[222] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, p. 77.

[223] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 14 June 1851

[224]<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drought_in_Australia#Droughts_in_the_19th_century&gt;

[225] Michael McKernan, Drought the Red Marauder, Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 2005. p5.

[226] Mark O’Connor, This tired brown land, Sydney, Duffy and Snelgrove, 1998, pp14-16.

[227] http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/17031455?versionId=19984019, Libraries Australia ID 6617496.

[228] Bells Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer, 7 June 1851 and Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 14 June 1851.

[229] Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 1851

[230] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 23 July 1851

[231] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 January 1852

[232] Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 8 November 1851 and the Goulburn Herald and County of Argyle Advertiser, 7 February 1852.

[233] Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 21 January 1852.

[234] Death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 1852, and also The Lady’s Newspaper London, 26 June 1852, page 396 (Gale database) and Ryerson Index.

[235] Dame Mabel Brookes, Crowded Galleries, William Heinemann, Melbourne, 1956, pp276-7, 291.

[236] Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal, 7 February 1852

[237] Dame Mabel Brookes, Crowded Galleries, Opposite pp20-21.

[238] Patricia R McDonald and Barry Pearce, The Artist and the Patron, aspects of Colonial Art in New South Wales, 1988, Art Gallery of NSW, p. 178.

[239] G.F. Pickering and T.T. Balcombe, Gold Pen and Pencil Sketches or the adventures of Mr John Slasher at the Turon Diggings, 1852, Sydney, W Moffitt, Pitt Street, Sydney. Available at National Library of Australia, Bib ID 4193532.

[240] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 12 May 1852.

[241] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 3 September 1853.

[242] Owned by the Keeling family, descended through the line of WA Balcombe via his daughter Vera.

[243] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 15 October 1853.

[244] Sydney Morning Herald, 11 March 1862.

[245] Colin Laverty at <http://www.daao.org.au/bio/thomas-tyrwhitt-balcombe/biography

[246] Sydney Morning Herald, 5 September 1855

[247] Death certificate Jane Balcombe

[248] Death certificate and Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1858

[249] Transcription of gravestone in St Judes church yard, Randwick, located by the author, 5 April 2013.

[250] <http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/album/albumView.aspx?itemID=930704&acmsid=0&gt; Music file in NSW State library, Call Number -MUSIC FILE/MEY, Digital Order Number- a1664003, Caption- In memory of Jane Elizabeth Balcombe who died in the eighteenth year of her age on the morning of the 26th day of December AD 1858.

[251] Royal Australian Historical Society Journal 1922, Notes on Australian Artists, pages 103-4.

[252] Medical information from a doctor who is a Balcombe descendent.

[253] Empire, 15 October 1861 and Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 1861.

[254] Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October 1861.

[255] Bell’s Life in Sydney, 19 October 1861.

[256] Sydney Morning Herald, 15 October 1861

[257] Sydney Morning Herald, 12 May 1885.

[258] Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 1900 and gravestone inscription.

[259] Sydney Morning Herald, 17 September 1888.

[260] Photographs taken by Bob and Caroline Gaden, 2013.

[261] John Arnold, The Stuckey Family of Longreach NSW, 1986, Booval, Queensland.

[262] NSW BDM register for the marriage and births.

[263] Family tree prepared by Caroline Gaden.