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Fell from horse

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The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 31 July 1903


HILLGROVE, Thursday.

James Robinson, proprietor of Tattersall’s Hotel, was found dead at Tyringham, 60 miles from Hillgrove, yesterday morning. It is supposed that he fell from his horse and was killed. The deceased gentleman was a prominent Freemason, and for many years was proprietor of the Taragon Hotel, in Sussex-street, Sydney. He was also a member of the committee of the Hillgrove Cottage Hospital for many years. His death is much regretted.

Written by macalba

October 5, 2011 at 8:09 am

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Outrages by the Macleay blacks

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Thursday 14 June 1860, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser


(from the Armidale Express, June 9.)


We are again obliged to invite the urgent attention of the Government to the deficiency of protection for the settlers in New England and the McLeay district who reside in the vicinity of, or in, the rugged tract which separates the two districts.

In addition to the notices of depredations committed by the McLeay blacks which have lately appeared in the Express, it is now our duty to place before the public another list of even more daring robberies and outrages than those already mentioned.

Since our last impression it was rumoured in Armidale that the McLeay blacks had driven off several hundred sheep from Hillgrove – Mr. Richard Hargrave’s station, about 15 miles from Armidale – and taken them down the Falls. We subsequently learned that they had swept off 500. On Mr Vincent Graham, the superintendent, receiving information of the robbery, he took two of the Hillgrove blacks with him, and started in pursuit. We understand that he found nearly all the sheep hemmed in a corner on the edge of the Falls, and that he heard a party of blacks talking at the bottom of a precipice. The descent being impracticable, he and the blacks in company, by making a long detour, and using great caution, arrived within twenty yards of the McLeay blacks before being observed by the latter, who, it appears, were busily engaged in roasting five sheep for their supper. By what means the culprits were routed we are not informed, but it is evident that they must have fled, as Mr. Graham and his blacks brought back with them a gun, powder, shot, ball, &c, left behind by the fugitives. With the exception of 12 missing, the sheep were recovered. It is almost unnecessary to remark that Mr. Graham’s conduct is deserving of the highest praise, alike for promptitude, bravery, and intelligence.

We have to add that a cow, the property of Mr. E. Hargrave, was shot recently, by the McLeay blacks, within 1½ mile of the Hernani head station, and close to the road to Grafton. Mr. E. Furber’s gunyah, within a mile of the same head station, was robbed a short time back of everything he had, by the same rascals ; and, about a week ago, they stole his axes, a blue shirt, and other articles, from where be was at work in the bush.

In January last, Mr. J. Perrett, of Tyringham, was shot at, by blacks, when about a mile from his house. It appears that the McLeay blacks, whose predatory incursions are numerous and sudden, have been for some time past a pest and continual source of apprehension to many settlers on the Grafton line. They have frequently been been with a large number of firearms, and we are informed that some of their guns have a bore of an inch in diameter, carrying an ounce bullet.

Those best fitted, from their knowledge of the country and the habits of the McLeay blacks, to form an accurate opinion as to a remedy, which ought to be immediately adopted, recommend that a party of native police should be stationed at the back of the Bald Hills station. In that locality there are heads of the Nambuccra, Bellinger, and Clarence Rivers, and dense scrubs, in which the blacks are prone to take refuge, and in the vicinity, and in which only an assailing force of blacks can be effective. in that direction, a few years ago, a shepherd, his wife, and their infant at the breast, were murdered in a most brutal manner by the blacks. Their bodies were then chopped up into small pieces, and left in a heap where they were found. Subsequently, another shepherd was murdered by the blacks.

On leaving the vicinity of Armidale, a short time ago, the strange blacks were seen to have plenty of firearms. One respectable settler on an adjoining creek states that he particularly observed one gin who was loaded with no fewer than three guns.

FATAL ACCIDENT.-A man commonly known as “Jim,’ and who was in the employ of Mr. Jas. McLean as fireman at his mill, had been in the habit, it appears, of creeping into the engine furnace to sleep. On Friday week, being at the time in liquor, he crept in before the bent had sufficiently escaped, and he was almost roasted before he became conscious of pain, when his shouts brought to his assistance Constables Callaghan and Glien, who dragged him out by his feet. Dr. Markham was sent for to see the man, and wrote an order for his admittance into the hospital, whither he went after some delay, and after lingering in great agony for about 30 hours, died on Saturday evening. We have not learned deceased’s proper name.

THE WEATHER. – During the greater part of the week the weather has been stormy, with frequent showers. On Thursday morning, we are informed, there was a little snow, but it melted away immediately, owing to the dampness of the ground. A heavy fall is expected before fine weather sets in again. The influenza has become very prevalent, few escaping its influence.

THE OBAN ROBBERY. – On Friday, the 1st instant, the prisoners Davis and Burns, apprehended on the charge of being concerned in the late robbery at Oban, were brought before the bench at Armidale. Mr. A’Hern deposed that at about 7 o’clock on the evening of 22nd May, on returning to his house he saw two men, one tall, the other short, going there before him. The big man carried a pistol, and as both were apparently disguised, he concluded they were robbers, and endeavoured to reach the house first, in order to get his gun. They perceived him, however, and the big man said, “I have got you, my lad.” He made a rush for the back door, but the robbers reached it almost as soon as he, and on getting inside his hands and those of the taller man seized the gun simultaneously. During the struggle, the robber’s face becoming partially uncovered, he recognised him as a man whom he had known by the name of Graham – now one of the prisoners in the dock. His wife came in during the struggle, and implored the robber not to kill her husband, and the man, though for some time threatening or attempting to stab him with a shear blade, ultimately promised not to hurt him, or her. The taller man then ordered the other to tie him with a rope; but this was not carried into effect. The shorter man, who was muffled in a scotch twill shirt, then proceeded to search for valuables, turning out the contents of a cash box, of his wife’s work box, and of another box in which he kept notes, sovereigns, jewellery, and gold, and the key of which his wife produced, to save violence. Whilst this was going on, the taller man’s attention being drawn for a moment to his companion, witness endeavoured to stoop to pick up a tomahawk lying near; but be was almost instantly knocked down by a violent blow from a short gun the robber held, one barrel of which was discharged directly afterwards – though not apparently at him, the ball lodging in the ceiling. After they had finished their spoliation, they went away, and he then ascertained that they had taken a parcel of gold which weighed about 10 or 11 ozs., and about £20 in bank notes, sovereigns, and silver ; among the notes there were two of £5, if not three ; they also took a lot of rings belonging to his wife, one large one of witness’s, a pair of boots, a single-barrelled gun, two red woollen shirts, tea, sugar, bread, and bacon ; the little man also took a pillow-slip to put the swag in ; a large steel purse, which contained the gold and money, witness also missed ; he saw the little man also take the boots, close from where be stood, while the robbery was being perpetrated. He identified as his property the purse produced, a note it contained, a locket and some rings, a piece of gold of peculiar shape, and the boots. The double-barrelled weapon produced, he believed to be the one with which he was struck. Burns had frequently been at his house while on the diggings, and could have seen him go to the box for change. On Saturday the 2nd the prisoners were again brought before the bench, and Constable Marshall deposed that, the boots identified by Mr. A’Hern were worn by Burns when he was brought to the look-up. The prisoners were remanded until the 6th.

The following, from the Tamworth Examiner, supplies additional information of interest :- One of the men has been well known to the Chief Constable (Armidale) for years as a notoriously bad character ; he then went under the name of Davis or Davison, and robbed the mail at Harper’s Hill some years ago. He afterwards escaped from Maitland gaol, and was recaptured on the Paterson ; and it seems that he latterly went under the name of Graham. On the 28th ultimo, Sergeant-Major Keegan and a trooper of the Northern Patrol arrived in town, after having made a diligent search through the country for the robbers, and bringing a description of them from A’Hern. Immediately on the Chief Countable seeing this document he had his old acquaintance Davis arrested, upon whose person was found several gold rings, a locket, &c, belonging to Mr, A’Hern, all of which have been identified by him. The next thing was to snare the mate, which the Chief Constable effected within half an hour after Davis was confined. This worthy goes under the name of Nicholas Burns, and is about 21 years old ; has rather a forbidding appearance, and no doubt in a little time would be equal to his preceptor, Davis. Upon his person were found bank notes and gold, belonging to Mr. A’Hern. They had outside the town two stolen horses, saddles, and bridles, a cut down double gun – a most formidable weapon – one barrel loaded and capped, all of which are in the hands of the police. The owners of the horses are known to the Chief Constable, who no doubt will prosecute them on that charge also. It is a fact that these ruffians surveyed the bank premises here with a view to robbery, but Davis said it was not to be done by two men as there were too many houses about it; but the bank at Newcastle he was satisfied he could manage. They also contemplated stopping the mail between Warialda and Tamworth. Is it not most fortunate for the public that these villains have been safely housed in the commencement of their career, and that there is little doubt of their conviction on both charges? It is rumoured that Burns has given the Chief Constable some useful information. The stolen horses before referred to belong to Mr. Barker, of Mount Mitchell, in this district, and Mr. Panton, of the Macleay River. The thieves are remanded for further evidence.

Written by macalba

December 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm

The “Red Bushranger” at large near Armidale

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Friday 14 June 1918, The Advertiser (Adelaide)

Sydney, June 13.

The bushranger who recently began his career at Rockvale, near Armidale, has eluded the vigilance of the police who have scoured the whole of the Hernani, Tyringham, and Guy Fawkes districts. It is believed that he is now making for either Glen Innes or Grafton. The man who is known as the “Red Bushranger” told a resident that when he was on one side of the Ebor Falls he plainly saw two police on the other side. He would have shot them both if the distance had not been too great.

Written by macalba

September 4, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Unknown Crown Lands

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Thursday 4 August 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald

The letter of a correspondent in our “On the Land” columns to-day calls attention to the existence of good quality but apparently little-known Crown land. It lies in the vicinity of Tyringham, between Dorrigo and Armidale, tempts discussion of an old subject. That is, the supply of Crown lands which are available for settlement if intending settlers only knew where to look for them. We do not suggest that the Minister for Lands should go out into the highways and byways with a bell, calling out full and illuminating particulars of every area of land his department stands ready to dispose of; but nevertheless we do think that some improvement might be made on the department’s methods of securing publicity. We admit that there has been improvement of late years in this respect, and are aware that particulars are regularly published of areas available for settlement. These are posted in public places in most centres of population. To anyone with a gift for comprehending the abstract, the department’s land bulletins doubtless will afford a considerable amount of information. But, unfortunately, everybody who wants land is not so gifted, and as a consequence the official posters do not reach their public. Thus, while the information may be made available, it is not presented in a form which those who run may read. The department, in short, does not seem to understand the psychology of advertising. Take as an example the locality to which our correspondent makes reference. Doubtless this has been noted in some of the official posters, but not in such a way as to catch the attention of the reader and present to his mind something like a concrete idea of the land and the district.

A private agent with land to sell would not have contented himself with essential figures of areas and distances, and the class of soil and timber, but would have laid emphasis on the existence of a cheese factory and a school, would have mentioned the contiguity to the Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes, and probably have introduced a good deal of local colour – in short, he would have aimed at such a description as would at once inform and impress the reader of his advertisement. It might be undesirable that the department should emulate the imaginative quality of some of the advertising which is to the credit of private land dealers, but without taking oven the smallest liberty with the facts we think it should be possible to speak to more purpose. In many parts of the coastal division – in the Upper Richmond and Clarence districts in particular – excellent Crown land has been, and still is, open for settlement, but has not been sought after to the extent that it might, because of the failure of the department to give it a realistic advertisement. Again, up on the plateau stretching away from Gosford to near Wollombi is an area of some 150,000 acres of Crown land which, though uninviting to the eye, has been proved by experience to be very valuable for certain varieties of fruit, and which, if opened up by the short line of railway which has been so freely discussed by correspondents recently, would support a very considerable population. But the departmental information about it is dead. The instances could be multiplied manifold. Without a doubt the Lands Department should put a little more life into its methods in this respect.

Written by macalba

August 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

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Land available for selection at Tyringham

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Thursday 4 August 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald

Mr. E. F. Hughes, Dunoon, Richmond River, writes:- Having just returned from a trip to Tyringham, I wish to inform intending selectors that there is some beautiful cedar, rosewood, and stinging nettle scrub land, also good grass country, available for selection at £1 per acre. There is abundance of water. I know a selector who has only been on his selection one year, and he has about 30 acres of rye-grass a foot high. The soil is red and black, as good as anything on either the Clarence or Richmond. There is a school only two miles away, also a cheese plant in the middle of the available land. There is also a hotel four miles away and a boarding house three miles. The corn and potato crop in this locality is very good this season, with no blight. The said land is near the Armidale, Grafton, Dorrigo road, only 18 miles from the latter town. There is a township surveyed on the roadside. The climate is absolutely the best In Now South Wales, with an abundant rainfall. Having seen the land myself, I am in the position to speak about it, and will be only too pleased to give any intending selector every information I can about it.

Written by macalba

August 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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New England highlights

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Tuesday 30 October 1894, The Sydney Morning Herald


The land board dealt with a number of cases on
Saturday. The chairman congratulated Mr.
Matthews upon his appointment to the board.

Heavy thunderstorms were experienced last
week. The weather is fine, with hot days and
cool nights. The crops are making great head-

General satisfaction is expressed at the accept-
ance of the tender for the mail from Bellingen to
Tyringham, which will afford the Dorrigo settlers
means of postal communication.


The present is probably one of the most prolific
seasons we have been blessed with in this district
for many years. Last week 2in. of rain fell.

Vegetation is in abundance, while stock of all
descriptions are looking sleek and fat. The crops,
oaten and wheaten, give every prospect of a boun-
tiful harvest. Many of our farmers are at present
engaged in getting their corn and potato
crops in.

The hospital ball last week was a great success
Over 120 people sat down to supper, and £35 clear
was made by the venture.

The Rev. W. Milne Curran, from the Technical
College, delivered three lectures here which were
numerously attended each night. The lecturer
was listened to with intense interest and profound
attention. There were many ladies present on
each occasion, who evinced the greatest interest.

During the past fortnight about 3000 acres of
land have been taken up at the local land


The Rev. A. Dallas has been appointed to the
South Grafton Parish, Church of England.

Mr. J. P. Eagles, manager of the Grafton
branch of the E. S. and A. Bank, has been ap-
pointed to the head office, Sydney, and will be
succeeded by Mr. Toon, from Victoria.

Mr. R. R. Hickson, Chief Commissioner for
Roads, and Mr. W. L. Vernon Government Ar-
chitect, arrived here on Saturday on an official
tour through the north-west districts.

Disease has again appeared in the potato crop.


Numbers of farmers are experimenting with the
sugar-beet seed supplied by the Department of
Agriculture. If the district is proved suitable a
large area is expected to be planted next year.

It is proposed to close the A. J. S. Bank branch
at Frederickton at the end of the present month.

A jawbone and several other remains of a
human being have been picked up on the beach
near Crescent Head. They are supposed to be the
remains of a person shipwrecked some years ago.
Old bolts and rings belonging to a ship have also
been found.

The A. J. S. Bank has offered to release £200 on
fixed deposit belonging to the Macleay District
Hospital. This will help the financial difficulty
of the hospital for the present.


The contractors who have completed works for
the municipal council on the main roads within the
municipality are complaining of delay in their
payment, said to be caused by the Government
withholding money from the municipality. The
delay has now exceeded several weeks. The muni-
cipal authorities state that the fault does not rest
with them.


By a concert given last evening in the Victoria
Theatre, in aid of the funds of the Newcastle
Hospital and the Newcastle Benevolent Society,
£61 was realised.

As a result of the fracas on Saturday and
yesterday in Newcastle and Stockton between
non-unionists and unionists, Denis Maloney was
fined 5s, but a large number of summonses have  
been issued from each side.

Written by macalba

March 9, 2010 at 6:40 am

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