Hope of The Vale

Hope with Confidence

ANDREW HAMER AND HIS WIFE SARAH, with their daughter Alice (baptised in Bolton Parish on July 14, 1839) took advantage of the Assisted Migration program in the year it began. They left Bolton in 1840, the year that transportation of convicts to New South Wales was discontinued, embarking on September 14 from Liverpool for Port Jackson on the ship Brothers, a sailing ship of 425 tons built at Whitby, in Yorkshire, in 1815, owned by brothers John and Gregory Blaxland, early free settlers in New South Wales, the younger of whom had led the expedition which discovered the way over the Blue Mountains in 1813. Theirs was an assisted passage sponsored by A B Smith and Company, one of the firms contracted by the British government to bring out assisted migrants under the scheme. The Shipping Record shows that Andrew was 29, and he gave his occupation as Baker; Sarah was 25 and was recorded as a Dressmaker. Alice was one and three quarter years old. Both parents were recorded as Protestants; both could read and write. Thus they escaped from poverty, the threat of violence, typhus and the rats of Bolton. There was a family tradition that two infant children had died on the voyage out, but subsequent research has established that two children born in Queen Charlotte’s Vale (after the other six children) died in infancy.

They had married in Manchester Cathedral on October 16, 1836. Witnesses to the marriage (from the Marriage Certificate) were Michael Hamer (Andrew's brother) and Sarah Middleton. Andrew's wife was the daughter of Edward and Mary Stott (nee Entwistle) of Bolton, and she had been baptised in the Bolton Parish Church on March 23, 1817. It so happens that the Stotts, Entwistles and Hamers all originated centuries before from a very small neighbourhood north east of Rochdale, and had multiplied and migrated in large numbers over the centuries twelve or so miles west and south west from there to the districts of Bolton and Manchester. The name Stott appears in profusion in a War Tax Return made in Hundersfield, north-west of Rochdale, in 1694, together with the name of Hamer in the same area. Rochdale is an ancient town which is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Recedham. The Entwistle family, who in the nineteenth century became very influential industrialists in the Rochdale district, originated from Foxholes, in the Parish of Wardleworth, the same parish from which the Hamers came, only a short distance from the Entwistles on the opposite side of Hey Brook. They were close neighbours in this area for centuries; Richard Entwysle of Foxholes appointed Eles Hamer (died 1590) as one of the supervisors of his Will, dated August, 1574; but our ancestors who migrated to Australia were, of course, from lesser branches of these families. One offshoot of the Entwistle family later established Entwistle Hall, at Entwistle, near Edgeworth, north of Turton. This magnificent homestead was owned by one of the Hamers at a later stage. Or perhaps it was the other way about - the Entwistles of Edgworth were possibly the forerunners of the Entwistles of Foxholes.

ONE OF THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS ENTWISTLES was Sir Bertine Entwistle, knight, who was one of the heroes of Agincourt, for which Henry V rewarded him with the title of Baron of Bricqbec, as well as extensive estates in Normandy (which, however, were soon recaptured by the French). He became a faithful follower of Henry V's son Henry VI and was killed in the Battle of St Albans, just north of London, the first battle of the Wars of the Roses, in 1455. He was buried in the Chapel of the Virgin in the Abbey Church of St Albans. The inscription that accompanied his effigy was damaged during church repairs, but originally read:

Her lyeth Sir Bertin Entwysell, Knight, who was borne
in Lancashire, and was Viscount and Baron of Brickbecke,
in Normandy, A bayliffe of Constantine; who died XXVIII May
in the year of our Lord MCCCCLV, on whose soule God
have mercy, Amen.

A further memorial to Sir Bertine was erected in Holy Trinity Church, Rochdale, in 1807. The Entwistle family also acquired Castleton Hall by marriage. John Entwistle of Foxholes was high sheriff of the County Palatine of Lancashire in 1796. In the nineteenth century the Entwistle family bought up the whole district surrounding Foxholes, including the holdings of the Buckley, Hamer, Haworth and Clegg families, all neighbours in that area. Sir Bertine had only daughters, so Sarah Stott could not have been directly descended from him. In fact, his connection with the Rochdale Entwistles has not been definitely established.

Map of Bolton and districtsMap showing areas of Bolton and districtsANDREW HAMER WAS THE SON OF THOMAS HAMER who at the 1831 Census (the first census in modern England) lived at 86 Black Horse Street, Bolton, where he was head of a household comprising two families. Who the other family were is not recorded; but this is an indication of the overcrowded conditions of the time and the extreme poverty of those who had moved in from the surrounding countryside to the growing town of Bolton. There were a total of thirteen persons living in that home, six of them males over twenty years of age; one of whom was listed as employed in manufacture, and the remaining five employed in trade, manufacture or handicraft as masters or workmen. The 1841 Census lists the names and roughly the ages of the family. Rachael is over 30, Ann, Martha and Lot are over 20, and Ellis is over ten. No other evidence has been found of a member of our family named Lot, except a Lot Hamer was witness to the marriage of Jonathan Hamer and Sarah Gore Mather at Halliwell in July 1841. There is some doubt that this is our Jonathan Hamer [JH], however. Michael is not recorded as living at home; and Andrew had emigrated by that time; and Thomas's wife is now dead. Michael, aged over twenty, is recorded in the same Census as living as a lodger with a family in Lever Street. The second family has now moved out of the Black Horse Street home, or they are listed separately though perhaps still living in the same house. Thomas is recorded now as a Shop Keeper - perhaps his greengrocery enterprise as indicated in the 1831 census.

In the Bolton Burgesses' Roll of 1840-1841, Thomas Hamer is listed as a householder in Back Black Horse Street; that is, he lived in the back portion of a terrace of houses fronting Black Horse Street, and no doubt another family occupied the front part of the house. Black Horse Street is now only a few hundred yards from the centre of Bolton (just behind the Town Hall, built 1867-1873), but it was one of those streets that were developed with unattractive, insanitary terrace houses in the expansion of Bolton in the early nineteenth century.

The baptism of Thomas and Mary’s eldest child, Rachael (born 1810), is recorded in the Turton Parish of the Church of England, but the names of the next two children, Andrew (born 1812) and Alice (born 1814), appear in the Baptismal Register of the Independent Church, Egerton. The baptism of the next two children, Ann (1816) and Martha (1818), occurred at Egerton Old Chapel. Since Thomas and several of his children are buried at Walmsley Chapel just up the road from the Independent Chapel, some explanation is needed for this moving from one church to the other when the family were young. Walmsley Chapel was a Presbyterian establishment, but in 1812 it became Unitarian, as many English Presbyterian churches did in the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. It appears that the some of the Presbyterians who had been worshipping in Walmsley Chapel, wanting to retain their Presbyterian allegiance, carried on worship for a few years at the Old Chapel, a Church of England establishment just around the corner; Thomas and Mary, seeking to maintain their loyalty to the Presbyterian Church, first transferred to the Independent Chapel and then, when many of the Presbyterians resumed worship in the Old Chapel, joined that group. No record of the baptism of Lot, listed as the next child, has been found, but baptisms of subsequent children took place at St Peter’s, Bolton; so it appears that this was the time (between 1818 and 1820) when the family moved into Bolton, where, according to the 1831 Census, Thomas was at first occupied as a greengrocer.

The economic depression that set in immediately after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 probably had something to do with their move from the farm in Egerton. Their home in Black Horse Street was only a few hundred yards from the Bolton Markets, a very impressive building that still exists, from which Andrew would have obtained his fruit and vegetables to sell. A development within the next decade made this a very interesting, though not an attractive, neighbourhood, except perhaps for the children. The Bolton-to-Leigh Railway was built between 1825 and 1830, at first carrying coal from Bolton to link up with the canal system that took coal and other goods to Manchester. When the passenger service began in 1831, a passenger terminus, which was little more than a shed, was built in Great Moor Street, quite near the Hamer’s home. There was already an iron forge at the corner of Moor Lane and New Street, virtually opposite the terrace houses in Black Horse Street; the addition of the railway would have made it a very noisy and dirty neighbourhood. Nevertheless, it would have been exciting for the boys - Andrew was seventeen in 1828, Michael 8 and Jonathan 6. The opening of the railway on August 1, 1828, certainly caused considerable excitement for the Bolton population, when a crowd of 40 000, no doubt including our ancestors, turned out to welcome the first train. Daubhill, leading up out of Bolton, parallel to Derby Street, was too steep for the primitive locomotives of the time to negotiate, and so a stationary engine was installed at Deane Church Lane, at the top of the hill, to haul the train up and down by cable. For the first couple of years before this, horses were used to take the train from the bottom of the hill into the Bolton terminus. On the opening day, however, the crowd insisted on pulling the train on this last section by manpowbaptised at the Bolton Parish Further interest for young train watchers was introduced when a lift was installed at Great Moor Street, just near where the Hamer family lived - the date is not known - to transfer trucks to and from the Preston line, which had been built later on a lower level.

There was a timber yard in Black Horse Street towards the end of the eighteenth century. As late as the 1970s it was not a very salubrious street, but in the 1980s all its buildings were demolished and the street was re-built. In the 1851 Census of Great Bolton, Thomas Hamer was listed at 148 Derby Street; a widower, 65 years of age, born in the Turton Parish (at Egerton), a Private Watchman. He was living with his unmarried daughter Rachael, who was 39, born in the Turton Parish (at Egerton), cotton reeler, and his unmarried son Ellis, 19 years of age, born in Bolton, spindle maker. Thomas's Death Certificate, dated December 3, 1857, gives his address as Derby Street, Bolton, and records his age as 72 years. At the time of his death he was a Watchman at a Cotton Mill, and he died from disease of the heart and lungs. The informant was provided by his son Ellis Hamer, of Derby Street, Bolton, who was present at the death.

Thomas Hamer was baptised at the Independent Chapel, Egerton, on January 25, 1786, the son of Richard Hamer and Ann Hamer (nee Rainford), of "Barnfield", Turton. (Geographically they were living at Egerton, but were in the Turton Parish.) An older brother James was baptised there on May 25, 1784, and younger siblings, Betty (born January 18, 1786) on March 22, 1786, Billy on December 16, 1787, and Alice on August 1, 1791. By the time of Betty's birth, the family were living at "Smith Fold". On the 1850 Ordnance Map (Sheets 79 and 87), actually surveyed in 1844, "Smith Fold" is marked as a farm about half a mile west of Egerton, across Eagley Brook from Blackburn Road.

Thomas Hamer [RH312] whose occupation on his Marriage Certificate is given as cotton spinner, married Mary Briggs in the Bolton Parish Church (St Peter's) on September 4, 1808. He is buried at the Walmsley Unitarian Chapel, a quarter of a mile up the road from the Independent Chapel at Egerton. The inscription on the gravestone reads as shown here:

In Memory of
Thomas Hamer, of Bolton, who
died December 3rd, 1857, Aged 72
years. Also Alice their Daughter
who died December 18th 1818. Aged
4 years. Also James their Son, who
died May 1st 1827. Aged 9 Months.
Also Reuben their Son, who
died November 5th 1830. Aged
8 Months. Also Martha Lever,
Daughter of the above Thomas
Hamer, who died April 25th 1875
Aged 56 years. Also Rachael,
Eldest Daughter of the above
Thomas Hamer, who died Januy
6th, 1881. Aged 71 years.

There are a number of observations to be made about the inscription on Thomas Hamer's grave. It is odd that Thomas's wife's name is not mentioned, although the use of the plural pronoun "their daughter" and "their son" suggests that this may be an oversight and Mary may also be buried in this grave. According to the Caretaker at Walmsley Chapel, the law permitted eight burials in the one grave, and only seven are recorded here. It is a pity that the date of Mary's death is not recorded, since no reference has been found in church records, and we can know only the approximate date of her death, between 1832, the date of the birth of her youngest son Ellis, and the 1841 Census in which she is not recorded. The second deduction to be drawn from this inscription is that Thomas and Mary, although they had their eldest children baptised at the Independent Chapel, returned their allegiance to the nearby Unitarian Chapel when their infant children died between 1818 and 1830. Since the Walmsley Chapel graveyard contains other gravestones bearing the name of Briggs, it is probably a fair assumption that this was the Briggs family church and Thomas joined his wife in worshipping there, although it was not a Unitarian Church at the date of their marriage in 1808, or when Andrew was born in 1811. The Walmsley Chapel was one of the earliest non-conformist chapels, founded before 1672. The present church was built in 1713; it was originally Presbyterian, but became Unitarian in 1812, at a time when, as already mentioned, Presbyterianism was in decline in England and many Presbyterian Churches were changing to Unitarianism. The Presbyterians carried on for a while worshipping in the Old Chapel, an Anglican church nearby. It looks as though Thomas and Mary Hamer continued their loyalty to the Presbyterians for a few years, since their next two children, Ann and Martha, were baptised in the Egerton Old Chapel. After that it appears that they moved to Bolton. No record has been found for the baptism of the next child, Lot (about whom there is considerable doubt since his name is recorded in the 1841 census but has not been found anywhere else, except as witness to the marriage of a Jonathan Hamer at Halliwell in July 1841; perhaps he was a relative boarding with the family in order to get work in town), but subsequent children were baptised at the Bolton Parish Church.

Walmsley Unitarian ChapelWalmsley Unitarian ChapelBolton Parish Church itself was strongly Puritan and evangelical in the seventeenth century, and one of its vicars, Richard Goodwin, was ejected for this reason when the Act of Uniformity was passed in 1662, and he began Unitarian worship in a house in Windy Bank Street (now called Bank Street), Bolton. Some of the Briggs family seem to have been keen supporters of the Unitarian Church and were still so in 1883 when a Mrs Mary Ann Briggs left part of her estate to the Unitarian Chapel in Bank Street, as well as a small sum for the poor.

The fact that Thomas and Mary married in the Bolton Parish Church calls for comment. By and large the Hamer family who proliferate around Bolton, Bury and Rochdale were determined non-conformists in religion; but they were also sticklers for protocol and, although one finds the cemeteries attached to Independent, Presbyterian, Wesleyan and Unitarian Churches in the district liberally planted with Hamer graves, one also finds births and marriages recorded in Church of England registers. The law gave special privileges to members of the Church of England; Wesley exhorted his followers to regard themselves as members of the Church, to observe all the proper formalities, and on Sundays to attend Church in the morning and Chapel at night. He resisted the notion that Methodists were Dissenters. The Hamer family, while preferring the non-conformist and evangelical approach to religion, appear to be insistent on the correct form.

THE NAME OF HAMER APPEARS IN THE BOLTON-LE-MOORS PARISH RECORDS as far back as the sixteenth century, sometimes spelt Hamor. At that stage the records seem to indicate that there were at least six Hamer families around Bolton, not to mention Bury and Rochdale; so they were already well established. This gives some indication of the difficulty of tracing direct lines all the way back, compounded by the fact that some of the Christian names keep recurring. Among these the names Richard and Thomas are very common; this complicates the particular trail that is the subject of this research, as will be seen shortly.

Parish of Rochdale mapFrom: The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Lancaster (Ed: W. Farrar and J. Brownbill), Vol 5, 1811, Constable & Co, London.
In the modern street directory (Manchester A to Z, 1974) there is a street, about a mile north-east of Rochdale Town Hall, Running off Halifax Rd., called Hamer Hall. No doubt, this is where the building was. Leading off the other side of Halifax Rd., just a little further south, can be found Hamer Court and Hamer Lane. All these streets are adjacent to Hey Brook, which is bridged at Park Rd. and Red Lane. Allthese are in the centre of an ecclesiastical District which is still called the Consolidated Chapelry of All Saints, Hamer (defined in The London Gazette, March 1, 1867, p. 1463). This was, no doubt, the hamlet of Hamer from which the family originated. There are a number of mills along Hey Brook to the north of Hamer Hall, some of which are possibly on the site of the original Hamer mills. The mills in 1753 would have been corn mills; the modern ones are textile mills.
The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Lancaster, Volume 5, says: "The origin of this family is obscure." What this probably means is that, although this is an ancient family, the name does not appear in the Domesday Book (1086), which is a record of William the Conqueror's Enquiry into land holdings in England to which the names of most of the ancient families can be traced. There could be two reasons for this: the first is that the survey in the northern counties which were still not thoroughly subdued by 1086 was very incomplete (although the area between the Ribble and Mersey Rivers, which embraces the district where the original Hamers lived at Rochdale, was included); but the second and more likely explanation is that the family were of Saxon, not Norman, origin, and would not have counted in the Domesday Book. It is more probable that their land would have been taken from them. There has been a family tradition that the name is German, probably since the word hamer is the German word for hammer. The characteristic blonde hair and square head have probably tended to support this theory. (In fact, there are stories of members of the family being approached by German spies in both World Wars). The assumption was that the family migrated from Germany with the group of weavers who were brought across to settle in Bolton during the reigns of Henry VII and Elizabeth I. However, there is documentary evidence of the family in the Rochdale district long before this, in 1380, in the reign of Richard II. Although the name is given the Norman prefix de at that stage (Robert de Hamer); the French de did not indicate Norman origin but was simply the equivalent of the modern English word of. The name Robert de Hamer simply means Robert of Hamer, Hamer being a place name rather than a surname at that stage. The name probably originated from the Anglo-Saxon word ham, pronounced hame, as in "Grannie's hieland hame", which meant home or house. That word in turn was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word hage (pronounced hay, since the Anglo-Saxon ge is equivalent to the modern y.) A ham was a house built of hay, in the manner that brushwood fences are built today. It also came to mean a group of houses built together; hence a hamlet; and was used in place names like Birmingham. A hamer was thus a person who either built houses of hay or lived in a hay house or a cluster of houses; or, more likely, simply a person who lived at a place named Hamer.

The family in fact originated from a small hamlet named Hamer in the district of Wardle, part of the district of Hundersfield, just north of Rochdale. It is perhaps significant that they lived on Hey Brook, hey being a variant spelling of hay. Some of the early members of the family at Rochdale are recorded as Heymer or Heymar. Heym is the Old German and Old Dutch version of home from which the Old English word ham was derived. It was rare for a Saxon family to have any prominence as late as 1380, three centuries after the Conquest, but not unknown. The German origin of the name is thus of a much earlier date; the Saxon incursions occurred from about 300 to 600 AD. Hamer Hall, a large red brick eighteenth century building, stood on Hey Brook for 200 years until demolished in 1908. This superseded an earlier Hamer Hall which dated from Elizabethan times; and no doubt there were earlier homes going back to the original ones built of hay. In the modern street directory, (Manchester A to Z, 1974) there is a street called Hamer Hall about a mile north of the Rochdale Town Hall running off Halifax Road. The small district is still called Hamer and comprises mainly nineteenth century brick terrace houses largely occupied these days by Pakistani migrant families. There is still a textile mill in Buckley Road nearby (named after the Buckley family who were neighbours of and inter-married with the Hamers from the fourteenth century). Hey Brook, which is bridged at Park Road and Red Lane, all adjacent to Hamer Hall, runs through Hamer Vale. The original Hamer corn and spinning mills were no doubt in this vicinity, using water power from Hey Brook. The hill on the north side of Hey Brook leads up sharply to All Saints Church, the centre of the ecclesiastical district of Hamer, brooding over the valley below. This church was built only in 1867 and there have been no Hamers associated with it, but there are Entwistles, the family who were Sarah Stott's ancestors and who bought out the Hamer mills and Hamer Hall when the family got into debt in the early nineteenth century. The woollen mills in Hamer Vale still operate.

The earliest record of the name is that of John de Heymer, Lord of the Manor of Hamer, in the 1190s, in the reign of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart). This is little more than a century after the Conquest. There is also evidence in a document from the late 1470s that a Hamer was a cousin of the boy-king Edward V, who was one of the Princes in the Tower who were said to have been murdered in 1483 by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, who then became Richard III. The identity of the murderer and the authenticity of this story are much disputed by historians. (Through his mother, Elizabeth Woodville, Edward V was descended from King John.) Andrew Hamer of Lancashire, who posted this information on the Hamer Family Genealogical Forum website in the year 2000, also points out that all Hamers are not necessarily descended from the original Lord of the Manor of Hamer, since ordinary people working on the estate did not have surnames in the centuries immediately following the Conquest, and they therefore identified themselves by using the name of the manor on which they were employed and no doubt lived. This would mean that there would have been several families who adopted the name of Hamer who were not necessarily blood relations.

hamer-hallHamer Hall, Hamer, near Rochdale. From; Fishwick, H – History of the Parish of Rochdale, 1884If the family were Lords of the Manor, this would imply that they owned the land on which Hamer Hall was built, but we find later that this family were only tenants on this land, at least in the 14th century.

The family name is found in documents in the Rochdale district in 1380-1 (in the fourth year of the reign of Richard II) when Robert de Hamer and his wife were taxed on land in Hunresfeld (Hundersfield in modern times); he had a son Henry de Hamer who had in turn two sons, Henry de Hamer and Bernard Heymar, both of Honorsfield (Hundersfield). There is no record of their immediate descendants but in the reign of Edward IV (1461-1483). John de Heymer occupied Hamer Hall, and in 1488 (the third year of the reign of Henry VII) but there is a mention of Thomas de Hamer, son and heir of Henry de Hamer, of Honorsfield, and a reference to Bernard Heymar of Honorsfield. Berten Hamor, or Bertin Hamer, was the only landholder of the name listed in 1523; but in 1515 Giles Hamer of Honorsfield had died and, on July 11, 1515, the Bishop of Chester had appointed his widow Ann as guardian of his children Samuel, Elleze (or Elize) and Abraham, who were all under age. Ann wished to marry William Hamer and to occupy her late husband's lands until Abraham came of age. She sought permission of Giles's brother Ellis, who agreed on the condition that £10 be paid to him until Abraham came of age. Abraham sued Ellis in 1583-4 for the return of this money; and on repaying the money Ellis said that he had nothing but good will towards Abraham. There is still a property in this vicinity on Halifax Road called Hundersfield, about two miles north of the hamlet of Hamer. Hundersfield (or Honorsfield) was said to have been so named because it was the site of a Saxon resistance to the Danes. Three Hamers appear on a Tax Return for Hundersfield in 1694, together with quite a lot of Stotts and some Entwistles. The family held land at both Honorsfield and at Hamer, which are in the same neighbourhood.

The alternative spelling of the Hamer name in these early records as Hamor, Hamore or Heymer suggests another possibility for the origin of the name, still associated with hay. The family north of Rochdale lived on the flat ground along Hey Brook (sometimes referred to as a moor), where hay was grown; hence Hay Moor or Hay More. Since only Christian names were applied, Robert of the Hamore is a description to identify a man named Robert who lived there in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. On August 29, 1401 (in the second year of Henry IV), John of the Hamore, Robert of the Hamore, Richard of the Hamore and several other people were in dispute with two men named Nicholas of Hewode and Richard of Wordell over the use of hay pastures. Boundaries of land were often not clearly delineated in those days and, in fact, farmers often did not have the right to the same piece of land year after year. The men accused apparently tried to make a claim to a particular piece of pasture - "by force of arms, they depastured, trampled and wasted, with beasts the corn and grass of the said Nicholas and Richard, growing at Hunresfeld, to the value of 40 s[hillings] and other enormities &c. and against the peace &c." None of the defendants appeared at the hearing and the Sheriff was ordered to attach them (ie to take them into custody). Whether Robert of the Hamore was the same person as Robert de Hamer is not known; but there are obviously other men designated as "of the Hamore". Whether they were of the same family we cannot say. Nor do we know the outcome of the dispute, but it is interesting that all of the defendants defied the summons. Some of them had names that are familiar in the district over the centuries, such as Clegg, Wild and Butterworth.

On the other hand, Fishwick, in his History of the Parish of Rochdale, says: "The Hamers, of course, took their name from the mere or small lake formed by the waters of the Hey-brook". This was called the Hey Mere. So this is a further possible explanation of the origin of the name. There is no sign of the mere today, but it may well have silted up. The name Heymore raises the possibility that the area was known as the Hay Moor.

In 1525, in the reign of Henry VIII, the Court records refer to a Roger Hamer who had been given authority to keep a swarm of bees on Crown land ("in the King's Waste") in the time of Edward VI. The Court records of June 18, 1547 state: "Richard Bothe, Greave of Tottyngton, surrendered a messuage & 11 acres 1 rood of land called Buckeden with appurtenances in Tottyngton and Alden which Richard Holth esq:son, and Robert Holth, jun, gave for £40 by Thurstan Haymer to them paid as appeared by an indenture dated 4 February, 1 Edward VI (1546-7) and made between two parties, to the use of the said Thurstan and his heirs. Fine 3s 4d." There is also a record of Thurstan Hamer's buying land also in Shillingbottom, near Bolton, from George Chadderton of Nuthurst in 1551. Roger was also appointed one of the moor lookers at Alden, Durden and Affaitsyde in 1529. Thurstan Haymer in the Tottington area was appointed to several positions at different times in this period - Appraiser, Ale Taster and Constable and "moor looker". He appears to have been rather wealthy, since he purchased two properties during the reigns of Henry VIII and Henry's son. A family of Hamers, no doubt our direct ancestors, has been traced back to the middle of the sixteenth century in Bradshaw, or more specifically to that portion of the Bradshaw estate known as Affetside, which adjoins Tottington. Thurstan was living in Hamer Hall in 1574. Buckden and Shillingbottom are also near Bradshaw; so it is possible that Thurstan Hamer, or one of his sons, was the first of the family to migrate to that area, but his name has not been found in the Hundersfield/Hamer family chart. It is probable that this is the forebear of the family which settled in the Tottington/Affetside neighbourhood where they later proliferated and from which our family is descended. In 1554/5 "The relict of Thomas Hamer paid a fine for a marlpit" . Philip of Spain was the husband of Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, whom he divorced. The names Roger and Thomas are common amongst our ancestors in this locality but the name Thurstan does not reappear. Henry VIII had invited people from the Rochdale Parish to settle in the forests of Tottington with a view to clearing the trees so that they could graze sheep there in order to supply the Rochdale woollen mills where the Hamers already had a foothold. Thurstan Haymer was also an agent for wool in the King's Markets of Lancashire.

There is a Will of Henry Hamer of Hamer, yeoman, brother of Giles Hamer of Hundersfield, dated January 18, 1572-3, and proved at Chester on May 12, 1573, by which he divided his personal effects equally between his wife Alys, his younger son Gyles and other legatees, including twelvepence to each of his grandchildren and his servants, sixpence to each of his god-children, twenty pence to Charles Hamer, two shillings each to Agnes Wordyll and the wife of Edmund Wordyll, six shillings and eightpence each to Gyles Hamer the elder and Catherine Hamer and to his grandchildren Edmund and Randle Haworth. This indicates that the family had inter-married with neighbouring families, the Wardles (or Wordylls, or Wardells), the Buckleys and the Haworths (or Howarths, or Howards, said by some to be related to the Howards who were Earls of Surrey and Dukes of Norfolk). To his son Ellys Hamer he left a "mucke weyne with leaves" (a waggon with additional panels for carrying manure) and other farm implements, "one cofer which hath the evydence in, one stone trowghe and one garner to continue as two heirlooms" (a chest for keeping legal documents in, a trough and a granary), his "tythe corne and greyne which grew annually on the demayne of Hamer, Dowryheye and Wyrode, paying yearly for the same rent of three shillings and fivepence to John Byron, Esquier" (wheat grown on the demesne-land attached to the Lord's manor for the purpose of paying tax to the Church). To his son Gyles Hamer he left one of the "three arkes in the bower which he shall chuse" (three boats in a shady spot); he left the rest of his "salting keyre" (bricked in copper vessel with provision for a fire underneath) to his son-in-law, Arthur Buckley (son of another neighbouring family). He also left three shillings and fourpence for the repair of Hamer Mill Bridge and Heybrook Bridge. This all suggests that by the late sixteenth century the family were well established, perhaps owning, or at least operating, corn mills, although there is no mention of a corn mill itself in the Will. However, there is a deed dated 1591 which indicates that Samuel Hamer, brother of Edmund, held Hamer Hall, with one garden, one orchard, eighty acres of land, twenty acres of meadow with common pasture and tarbury , two messuages and one Water Corne Mill.

Henry Hamer's brother Gyles Hamer died in 1572, and his widow Alice married Gabriell Gartside (or Garside) of Oakenrod, a very wealthy man, according to his Will, dated 1598. The marriage lasted only a few years, since Gabriell Gartside died shortly afterwards. Among other bequests, he left property to his brother-in-law, Samuel Hamer, of Brazenose College, Oxford, and to his sisters-in-law, Sarah, Rebecca and Judith Hamer. Gabriell Gartside's nephew, also Gabriell, was an active supporter of Charles I, and consequently lost most of his property under Cromwell.

The Hamer family was by now fairly numerous and had married into other local families (not merely their immediate neighbours), by which means various members of the family acquired substantial and ancient family seats. In 1566 Henry, Ralph, James, William and Thomas Hamer are all listed in the Manor Court Records and, according to Parish registers, were all married with families. Henry Hamer's son Ellis had three sons, Edmund, Samuel and Giles, and at least four daughters, Alice, Sarah, Rebecca and Judith. Samuel Hamer's address in 1598, when his brother died, was given as Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was a Fellow. According to the Alumni Oxonienses 1600-1714, Samuel Hamer graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1593, at the age of 26, and Master of Arts in 1596; so it appears that he stayed on as a Fellow beyond this. James Hamer graduated BA in 1648-9, MA in 1655, and Bachelor of Divinity in 1669. He became a master of Magdalene College school about 1665, and died in Bath in 1702. He is buried in Brasenose College Chapel. A further member of the family, Radolphus Hamer (or Hamore), of London, also matriculated to Brasenose College in 1605-6 but does not seem to have taken a degree; instead, he went on to study law at the Inner Temple, London, in 1614.

EDMUND HAMER, OF HAMER HALL, died in 1598, holding messuages, a water mill and other property, according to the records of the inquest. His son and heir, Samuel Hamer, was only three years of age at the time but was in possession of the estate in 1626. A quarter of the estate at that time was leased from John Holt (a member of an ancient Rochdale family whose lineage goes back before the Conquest) and the remainder from Sir John Byrom, or Byron (an ancestor of the nineteenth century poet). This Samuel Hamer married Mary Butterworth, daughter of Ralph Butterworth, of Wild House, the heir of a wealthy family that had lived in the Rochdale district from the thirteenth century. Henry Butterworth's only son died in infancy and Wild House passed to Samuel Hamer whose family lived there in preference to Hamer Hall for several generations until the property was sold in 1759.

Wild House (originally the seat of the Wild family from as early as 1284) stood on the hill east of Rochdale beyond Littleborough, overlooking the valley to the west towards the hamlets of Hamer, Wardle and Hundersfield. The building no longer exists but some of the stables remain; and Wild House Lane is now a substantial road linking Littleborough and Milnrow. Samuel Hamer's son, also Samuel Hamer (1627-1710), married Jane Newbold, daughter of another wealthy family who owned Newbold Hall, north-east of Rochdale, in the foothills of the Pennine Mountains. Her father Edmund Newbold, by his Will dated May 31, 1678, left Newbold Hall, Castleton, to Samuel Hamer. The family retained possession of Hamer Hall, which at that stage comprised 54 acres, two messuages and a corn mill. By his Will, dated January 8, 1667, Samuel Hamer Senior left to his son Samuel both Hamer Hall and Wild House, provided that he paid forty shillings to his brother Ralph. So Samuel now held three substantial properties - Hamer Hall, Wild House and Newbold Hall. Besides his ancestor Henry Hamer's great stone trough and garner, Samuel Hamer Senior also left as heirlooms "two standing beddsteads, one long table great table called a counter." Other items listed in the inventory included two muskets, a sword, belt and bandoliers, two dozen trenchers (valued at 13s 4d) and silver worth £3 6s 8d.

hamer-crestThe Hamer family crest. Motto: Nec Aspera Terrent - No difficulties dauntIn 1631 this Samuel Hamer paid £10 for declining a knighthood from Charles I. This was at a time when Charles's leading statesmen, Archbishop Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, were persecuting the Puritans; perhaps Samuel did not want to be associated with the king's cause in a strongly Puritan district. Selling knighthoods was a means devised by Charles's Treasurer Weston to raise money for the king's straitened exchequer, a consequence of Charles's operations to subdue Ulster, and skirmishes against Spain. The king agreed to create no more than 200 baronets and only those who had £1000 a year in landed estates and whose paternal grandfathers had borne arms were to receive this honour. These qualifications, however, were not adhered to. Each grantee was obligated to pay for the upkeep of thirty men for three years at eightpence per day. Alternatively, those offered the knighthoods could have attended Charles I's coronation in 1825 and this would have discharged their obligation. It is to be noted that Oliver Cromwell, having failed to attend the coronation and already by 1628 a member of parliament and in conflict with the king, refused to attend the coronation or to accept a knighthood. But perhaps Samuel Hamer merely did some mental arithmetic and decided it was cheaper to pay the fine, or he felt it was undignified to accept a cheapskate title in a district where royal honours were still respected by country people. Whatever his reasons he would have given the matter very careful thought. He was in an awkward situation; surrounded by Puritan neighbours, and related by marriage to the local Puritan leader; he was a tenant (in part) of Lord Byron, who was the local leader of the Royalist cause, and of a prominent Roman Catholic family, the Holts.

In 1636, Ralph Hamer, grandson of Ralph Hamer, apparently from a different branch of the family but a contemporary of Samuel, held 30 acres at Wardle, paying a rent of thirteen and a half pence to Saville. Hearth tax returns for Rochdale and Wardleworth for 1666 show that there were 228 hearths in those two districts, and of these John Hamer had six hearths. The only bigger house was an inn. This is a different place from Hamer Hall which obviously has the eight hearths referred to in Wuerdle, Wardle and Bletchinworth, on which Samuel Hamer paid tax. Hamer Hall passed from Samuel Hamer (1627-1710) to his eldest surviving son James Hamer, although he died six years before his father who continued to live at Wild House. James Hamer (d 1704) married Margaret Hallowes, daughter of Matthew Hallowes of Newbold and of Ashworth Hall, Heywood. Ashworth Hall, which still exists and is in a bad state of disrepair, was originally built in Ashworth Valley in the fifteenth century in the reign of Henry III. It has been much altered since that time. It was bought by Samuel Hallowes, son of Matthew Hallowes of Newbold, from the Holt family, whose most famous member was William Holt (born c1545); he was a Catholic priest who was a secret messenger between Mary, Queen of Scots, and her son, later James I, when Mary was incarcerated in Castle Bolton, in Yorkshire, just across the Pennine Mountains, in 1568-9. He was arrested in Leith in 1583 and, on the orders of Elizabeth I, was tortured in an attempt to gain information about suspected plots. When he refused to talk he was banished.

wildhouseWildhouse in 1840.Samuel Hallowes was a lawyer at Gray's Inn, London. He had no family, and when he died he left Ashworth Hall to his sister's eldest son, Samuel Hallowes Hamer. Samuel Hallowes was apparently not very popular with his neighbours for, when he died, one of them wrote an obituary which said: "This day died Sam Hallowes, of Ashworth, to the joy of all his neighbours." Samuel Hallowes Hamer is listed at Hundersfield in 1694 as paying War Tax of two shillings. Charles Hamer Senior and Junior are also listed. Samuel Hallowes Hamer had a son of the same name who settled at Hatfield, near Wakefield, and Hamer Hall passed to his brother James, who died in 1785. His son James Hamer (1765-1838) was the last to live there (according to the Victoria History of the County of Lancaster), since his three sons died without issue. The property had been mortgaged to the Entwistle family who took it over in 1809. Perhaps, like the Lomaxes at Bradshaw Hall at a later date, the family got into financial difficulties when the Industrial Revolution demanded modernisation of textile mills. James Hamer moved to Liverpool, but many of his relatives continued to live around Rochdale.

Fishwick lists a family of Hamers in Liverpool in the seventeenth century, but the connection with the family at Hamer is not clear, except that it is known that their forebears came from there. There was another family of Hamers at Chelburn in Calderbrook in the seventeenth century; as well as others which Fishwick lists. None of these is nearly as numerous as our own family which we have now traced as living in Bradshaw as far back as the sixteenth century, which Fishwick was apparently unaware of or did not regard as important enough to record.

Newbold HallNewbold Hall, 1800. From: Fishwick H. – History of the Parish of Rochdale, 1884.TO RETURN TO THE STORY of Thomas Hamer and Mary Briggs, speculation about their place of residence is inspired by the modern Bolton Street Atlas which shows the suburbs encroaching on what was rural Egerton in 1844; and right on the southern edge of Egerton village are found two adjacent streets between the Blackburn Road and Cox Green Road, one named Briggs Fold and the other called Barnfield Close. We know from Thomas's Baptismal Record that his parents lived at "Barnfield", which we can assume is the name of a farm. It is reasonable to suppose that the Briggs family called their farm "Briggs Fold", and that these two farms were virtually adjoining. There is also a street a mile and a half further down in a south-westerly direction across the railway and only a few hundred yards across Bradshaw Brook from Bradshaw Hall called Rainford Street. It would be satisfying to think that this was where Thomas Hamer's mother, Ann Rainford, lived but, though not as prolific as the Hamers, the Rainfords are plentiful in the district and this spot could have been associated with other branches of the family.

Thomas Hamer's parents, Richard Hamer, weaver, and Ann Rainford [RH31], were married in Bolton Parish Church on November 14, 1781. He was the son of Andrew Hamer and Susannah Bridge [RH3], and a grandson of John Hamer and Martha Fletcher of "The Hollins", a farm on Slack Lane, Bradshaw, a couple of miles south-east of Egerton. Slack Lane is today worn by cartwheels and water erosion into a ditch five or six feet deep and impassable except to pedestrian traffic. The early erosion may have been caused by digging coal, and the surface pits may not have been properly filled in. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, Slack Lane linked to the main northern road out of Bradshaw, the extension on the north-eastern side of Watling Street being called Black Lane. When the new toll roads were built they frequently took new routes, as in this case. Slack Lane reverted to the original owners and is now merely a footpath. The Pack Horse Inn which still stands on the corner of Watling Street and Black Lane, opposite the old Roman Cross, is on the highest point between Manchester and Ribchester, with extensive views to Turton in the north, Bury in the east and Bolton in the south. Of ancient origin, it was a major stopping place for packhorse teams carrying goods between Manchester and northern towns, as well as east to Bury and beyond.

"The Hollins" was part of the estate of the Lordship of Bradshaw. The Bradshaw family owned the Manor from 1306. It was roughly bounded by Bradshaw Brook on the west, Watling Street on the east, Quarlton Brook on the north and Riding Gate Brook on the south, and comprised a total of 341 acres. (See Map). The Bradshaws also held land in Harwood to the south and Tottington to the east. They established a corn mill and a fulling mill at Bradshaw Hall at least as early as the sixteenth century, and leased the farms for a few shillings, payable twice a year at the Bolton Fair in June and on Christmas Day. Tenants also paid tythes (church taxes) and boones (favours) which were collected by the Lord of the Manor. The early tenant farmers were self-sufficient but probably always supplemented their incomes from domestic spinning and weaving; both agricultural and textile goods being sold at the Bolton market. The tenants ground their wheat at his Lordship's Corn Mill, and cleaned and raised their cloth (that is, made a nap or pile on it) at his fulling mill (used in making felt). The Lord had complete authority over tenants and their families in civil, military and church matters. He expected his tenants to worship at the Bolton Parish Church (or at its subsidiary, the Bradshaw Chapel of Ease ) and to be married there; the chapel on the Manor existed from the early sixteenth century where weekly services occurred, and the Bradshaws encouraged non-conformist worship there. For a few years after the Act of Uniformity in 1662 (following the Restoration of Charles II), Presbyterian worship was carried on in the local chapel because the local people objected to the Prayer Book imposed by the Church of England in that year.

BarnfieldProbable site of "Barnfield"In a Report commissioned by Henry VII in 1558, known as Leland's Itinerary, we find the following: "Bolton-upon-Moors markit standeth most by cotton and coarse yerne. Divers villages in the mores about Bolton do make cottons. Neither the site nor ground abowte Bolton is so good as it is about Byri. They burn at Bolton some canole but more so cole - of which pittes be not far off. They burn turf also." Bolton Manor had been given by William the Conqueror to Roger de Poictu, along with considerable other property. It was transferred to Roger de Meresheia and purchased by the Earl of Chester in the reign of King Stephen. It later passed to the Earls of Lancaster and later again to the Harrington family. In modern times it was divided between the Earls of Derby, the Earls of Bradford and the Lever family. Little Bolton was held by the Bolton family who paid a fee to the Duke of Lancaster. The town of Bolton first appears in the records in 1212, called Bothleton at that time. It becomes Botleton in 1257, Boulton in 1288 and Bolton in 1307. Because it was surrounded by swampy ground it has frequently been called Bolton-in-the-Moors, or Bolton-le-Moors, to distinguish it from other places of the same name (including one in the Yorkshire Dales ). The soil is shallow, above basalt or laterite, with shallow coal outcrops. The first record of coal digging in the district is in 1374. It is very boggy in winter and frequently shrouded in mist and snow. Weaving began as an important cottage industry in early times. Flemish weavers settled in Bolton in the seventeenth century and some German weavers in the eighteenth century.

Briggs FoldProbable site of "Brigg's Fold"In 1550, Elizabeth I's Secretary of State, Lord Burghley, surveyed the north of England with a view to establishing the loyalty of landholders and ensuring that worship was conducted according to the rites of the Church of England. The Lord of Bradshaw at that time was marked down as being of doubtful loyalty, and pressure was applied to him to ensure that he conformed to the doctrines of the Church of England, since at that time he inclined towards the Roman Catholic religion. Later the family and their tenants became staunchly Protestant at a time when Lancashire was divided fairly evenly between Catholics and Protestants. The Lord of Bradshaw and his family were active on behalf of Cromwell and Parliament in the Civil War against Charles I. The family died out at Bradshaw in 1694 and the Manor was bought out by the Marple branch of the family. The purchase included all farms and cottages in the several tenures of 21 tenants, including Thomas Hamer, John Hamer and John 1659), Lomax. One of the Marple branch of the Bradshaw family, John Bradshaw (1606 - was known as Bradshaw the Regicide, since it was he who was appointed by Cromwell as Lord President of the Commission which tried and condemned Charles I to death by execution. John Bradshaw was buried at Westminster Abbey but, on the restoration of Charles II, his body was exhumed and taken to Tyburn Hill for hanging and re-burial. John's brother, Henry Bradshaw, who bought Bradshaw Manor, had fought as a Colonel in the Battle of Worcester at which the Earl of Derby was captured. The Earl was taken to Bolton and tried and executed in the street, supposedly in reprisal for his treating the defenders of Bolton with great harshness in an earlier battle. About half the population of Bolton had been slaughtered but there is doubt as to whether Derby was solely responsible. The Civil War (1641-6) was a particularly savage war, with much carnage and pillage. What effect all this had on our Hamer ancestors can only be guessed at, but they would certainly have been well and truly caught up in the religious and political struggles, especially since several members of the family (our direct ancestors) were tenants of Bradshaw Manor. Hamer of Bentley was a Royalist and had his estates confiscated under Cromwell; but Hamer of Holcombe (near Bradshaw) prospered in the fustian trade.

lordship-bradshawRent Roll of the Lordship of Bradshaw, 1831. In the posession of the Norris family, Bolton.However, we don’t have any record that the Hamers were tenants of the Lords of Bradshaw before this time. When the estate passed to the Marple Branch of the Bradshaw family, an Indenture of Sale was signed on June 25, 1694, showing John and John Hamer Junior [probably TH131 - at "Harry Fold"] John Hamer Senior [TH12], and Thomas Hamer [TH13] probably at “Pillings”as tenants. . There are Rent Rolls listing several Hamers as tenants for the period 1729 to 1753; and there is a Deed between Thomas Isherwood of Marple and Thomas Hamer [unidentified] for the lease of Bradshaw Hall and the demesne lands about 1770. A James Hamer [unidentified] must have been leasing the Hall and the demesne lands in 1744, since he was paid 10 shillings by a coal miner for the right to dig coal there for one year. This James Hamer has not been identified as one of our direct ancestors, but could be an uncle of a generation of our ancestors; in 1714 he married Abigail Partington, daughter of Robert Partington, who had leased Bradshaw Hall from 1729 to 1732. At this time, because the Bradshaws lived at Marple and not in the Hall, the condition of the building seriously deteriorated, and so did the Chapel at Bradshaw. Thomas Hamer [unidentified] was one of the petitioners who applied to the Lord High Chancellor to rebuild the local chapel, since the existing one was on the point of falling down.

There exist Rent Rolls for Bradshaw Manor for the period 1729 to 1753, and again from 1808 to 1831. (See above) From 1729 to 1733 John Hamer [perhaps TH121] was the tenant of “Pillings” and John Hamer Junior [perhaps TH1211] was the tenant of a farm unnamed; John Hamer Senior [TH121] also had a smaller holding (unnamed) which he continued to occupy for some years, while John Hamer Junior’s tenancy was taken over by his brother Joseph [TH1218], and he was still leasing this farm in 1755. John Hamer Senior’s brother Thomas [TH13] leased “Pillings” from 1732 to 1753. He was very likely the one who, described as one of the influential members, signed the unsuccessful Petition to the County Trustees in 1774 seeking money to repair the Bradshaw Chapel, when the foundations "were very much sunk, the walls in many places opened, cracked and bulged and in other parts gone from perpendicular so far that the whole is in great danger of falling … the pillars which support the body of the Chapel (being wood) … are become very rotten and in great decay … the roof is in a ruiness state, the timber thereof being decayed and rotten and hardly worth the trouble and expense of taking off … it is unsafe for workmen to go upon it to repair it lest the whole should give way so that the same Chapel cannot any longer be supported by repairation and must be wholly taken down and rebuilt."

A James Hamer [unidentified, but unlikely to be a member of our direct family] leased part of Bradshaw Hall and the demesne lands from 1733. He was paying a rent of £30 or more (for “Pillings”), in comparison to 11 shillings and 8 pence, the highest other rent. He sub-leased part of the Hall and the demesne lands to the Lomax family (probably related) who used it to establish a bleachworks, that later became famous when Thomas Hardcastle took it over. It seems to be an odd arrangement, if James Hamer was paying such a high rental, the cost of which he would need to recoup from the sub-lease and from farming. He apparently had difficulty in keeping up the payments, and the Rent Roll indicates that on a number of occasions he was allowed to hold over the rent from year to year. It seems more likely that he had an interest at first in the bleachworks. If this was so, the fluctuations in his profitability would result from fluctuations in the market.

Harry Fold"Harry Fold", Bradshaw – Photograph taken 1984.It appears that the owners of the Bradshaw Estate were most generous to the Hamer family. They were allowed smaller holdings at the same time as renting “Pillings”, and when John Hamer Senior [TH121] was getting old and was unable to carry on profitable farming, he was allowed to rent a smaller tenement with a house, which is sometimes listed simply as the “Ould House”, while his sons consecutively took over “Pillings”. The question must be asked as to why the Hamer family was given such favoured treatment. Since the new owner of the Estate was the brother of Bradshaw the Regicide, one possible explanation is that this branch of the Hamer family had fought with the Bradshaws in the Civil War.

This branch continued to rent “Harry Fold” and “The Hollins” at least until 1831. Richard Hamer [RH22] is listed as tenant in 1806 and Henry Hamer [unidentified] in 1831. We know from his Will that Richard Hamer [RH22] was tenant of "The Hollins" in 1806. We also know from his Will that Richard's father, also Richard Hamer [TH1311], had been tenant of "The Hollins". This branch of the Hamer family has been traced (with some gaps) to about 1565, and thus were contemporary with the children of Giles Hamer whose mother was appointed their guardian by the Bishop of Chester (in the main branch of the family.) This means that, if our family had its origins within the inaugural family in the village of Hamer, near Rochdale, (which seems most likely), the offshoot occurred before this time, which is well before the time of the illustrious and wealthy branches of that family. It is apparent that the lease of "The Hollins" was handed down in the family for a number of generations. When it passes to a son other than the eldest, this is probably because the eldest had died before he became an adult. The intervening period when Edward Ramsden was tenant (from 1750) indicates a break in the family succession, probably due to the fact that the younger Richard Hamer [RH2] (born 1733) had to wait until he came of age. It is likely, however, that Edward Ramsden was a son-in-law.

Ancient StoneRemains of an ancient stone cross, Watling Street. The terrace houses were built in 1819. "Old Hamer's" Farm is just to the left of these.In 1728, the rent for "The Hollins" (25 acres 3 roods 13 perches) was 16 shillings and fourpence per year, with an annual Tythe of 8 shillings and a Boon payment of 10 pence per year. The Rent Rolls also show that "Pillings Farm" was rented by members of the Hamer family as well. It was occupied in 1606 by Thomas Hamer and again in 1731 by Thomas Hamer. "Harry Fold” was occupied in 1806 by Thomas Hamer and in 1831 by John Hamer. This farm comprised 33 acres 6 perches, and the rent in 1728 was £1 3s 6d per year with an annual Tythe of 16 shillings and a Boon payment of 11s 6d. In 1830 the rent was £48 per year. A deed of conveyance dated May 27, 1946, shows that Richard Hamer leased it from May 8, 1801, to April 7, 1810. It is not known whether this is the same Richard Hamer who leased "The Hollins" at that time; it is more likely to be a different one. "The Hollins" and "Harry Fold" have today been amalgamated with other adjoining farms to form one larger farm under the name of "Harry Fold".

John Hamer [RH1], who married Ann Bradshaw, was the elder brother of Richard [RH2]. He also left a Will, dated 1814, which is interesting. He had inherited some Bradshaw property at Quarlton through his wife, which he now bequeathed to his son Roger Hamer [RH12]. The property was already occupied by Roger's son Joseph [RH124] and would pass to him. To another grandson John [RH121] he left his Bedstead from the room in the house called the Old Room, with all the bedding, the clock called the Old Clock with the Oak case and also a Bible. He obviously had fallen out with his eldest son Richard [RH11] who is "beyond Sea", and he cut him off with the proverbial shilling "if he return to England to receive the same." It would be interesting to discover where that son went to.

From a list of tenants of the Lordship of Bradshaw dated 1831 we find Henry Hamer [perhaps RH235] is the tenant of "The Hollins", while John Hamer, Roger's son [RH121], is the tenant of "Harry Fold". Our ancestor Richard Hamer [RH31], who married Ann Rainford, moved to "Barnfield", Egerton; he was certainly there when his son Thomas [RH312] married Mary Briggs from a neighbouring farm in 1808.

Bradshaw HallBradshaw Hall before it was demolished in 1948.There is no mention of the fulling mill at Bradshaw after 1626, but the farmers still carried on domestic spinning and weaving; fulling and bleaching must have been done somewhere else. The male Bradshaws of this new line died out in 1744 and the Manor passed to Mary Bradshaw and her husband, William Pimlott. When her husband died in 1761 Mary remarried Nathaniel Isherwood and the Isherwood family lived at Marple Hall, leaving the management of Bradshaw Manor to an agent. From 1753 James Hamer [unidentified], and, from 1772, his son Thomas Hamer [unidentified] were tenants of Bradshaw Hall itself and the demesne lands, at a rental of £60 a year, and actually lived in the Hall; but the Hall was split into at least two separate residences; and part of it was leased to John Lomax who used it for bleaching from 1784, drying the cloth in the surrounding meadows. He also ran the corn mill at Bradshaw Hall at least until 1806, but sold a share in the bleachworks to Thomas Hardcastle in 1785. He played a part in forming the Society of Bleachers in 1782 and was one of those who improved the bleaching process by the use of a saturated liquid of chloride of lime which reduced the time required for bleaching from six - eight months to a few weeks. From John Lomax's beginnings Thomas Hardcastle developed the Bradshaw Hall Bleachworks, and it became one of the leading bleachworks in England. In 1744 ten shillings was paid to James Hamer for trespass for coal pits at Bradshaw. The Lomax family also worked coal pits at "Harry Fold". This coal would very likely have been the remarkable cannal referred to by Leland and Defoe. As a result of over-capitalisation in the introduction of modern machinery, the Lomax family operation at Bradshaw Hall went bankrupt in 1816 and their share in the Bleach Works was sold. James Lomax was imprisoned in Lancaster Castle as an insolvent, but his brother Thomas continued to operate coal mines; and James must have recovered financially since after this time he gave money to the poor at St Peter's Church, Bolton. Also, a deed of 1806 indicates that Thomas Lomax was tenant of the corn mill at Bradshaw Hall. In 1822, part of the road and wall at the Bradshaw Hall Bleachworks collapsed as a result of subsidence in Mr Thomas Lomax's coal mine. On December 18, 1847, there was an accident in the Harwood Colliery when a number of miners were killed. The inquest was held at the residence of Mr Andrew Hamer, The Britannia Inn, Tottington Road, Harwood. There was a John Hamer who was licensee of the Volunteer Inn, near Turton, in 1883, when he was fined for having his house open for the sale of beer during prohibited hours. The same John Hamer was elected to the Turton Rural District Council in 1902, and defeated in 1910. John Lomax is listed as a Whitster in the Manchester and Salford Directory in 1788.

Many of the tenants dug coal from local outcrops and shallow seams on their farms but, in 1780, Thomas Isherwood, of Marple, the current owner of Bradshaw Manor, leased the right to mine coal on the whole estate to four particular men (whose names do not concern us). Farm leases were for relatively short periods and farms changed hands fairly frequently, except for the Hamer family, until William Scowcroft was given a long lease over part of the estate in 1790. The Rent Roll of 1806 shows Richard Hamer as a tenant of "The Hollins" (25 acres 3 roods 13 perches) and John Hamer as tenant of "Harry Fold" (33 acres 1 rood 5 perches). Mary Lomax occupied a house in Watling Street. 57 In 1829 the rent of "The Hollins" had gone up to £36.

Thomas Hardcastle leased Bradshaw Hall itself, as well as the Bleachworks and the demesne lands in 1830. The Hardcastle Bleachworks grew into one of the largest in England, employing about 300 workers. The Hardcastle family also restored Bradshaw Hall and built new cottages along Bradshaw Road and Lea Gate Road to house their workers, thus making Bradshaw a busy village centred around St Maxentius's Church (on the site of the old Bradshaw Chapel of Ease) and a Church School, with small farms along the folds of the hills to Affetside. The Isherwood family sold Bradshaw estate in 1919; Bradshaw Hall and the Bleachworks were bought by the Bleachers' Association Ltd. The Hardcastle family continued as tenants of the Hall until 1948 when the building was found to be beyond economic repair. The Seventeenth Century entrance porch was left as a memorial when the Hall was demolished, but even this has now gone.

will-1-of-2Will (part 1) of Richard Hamer.will-2-of-2Will (part 2) of Richard HamerIt is established that the uncle of our Richard Hamer [RH31], also Richard Hamer [RH2], who was a brother of our ancestor Andrew Hamer [RH3], married twice: he married Alice Lomax in St Peter's Church, Bolton, on January 18, 1756, and had three children – Ann [RH21], baptised February 6, 1758, Richard, [RH22], baptised June 9, 1759, and John [RH23], baptised on December 26, 1760, and three further children. Then apparently Alice Lomax died and Richard remarried Ellen Houghton, a descendant of an ancient Lancashire family, at Bolton, on February 28, 1768. The Parish Records of St Peter's, Bolton, show that they had a daughter Ann [RH27], baptised on January 15, 1769, and three more children. Richard Hamer of "The Hollins" [RH2] made a Will in 1767, proved in 1802, by which he left all his property to his daughter Dorothy [RH29], the only one of his children still living with him. However, he mentions that he had already given "as much as [he] thought was their respective shares" to his other children. This unfortunately does not give us any indication of the names of these children. However, it is apparent that his son Richard (who has been included in the Family Lists as his eldest child, though this has not been confirmed) inherited his interest in "The Hollins". This Richard [RH22] made a Will in 1818 by which he divided his property amongst his six children, with a small legacy to his illegitimate grand-daughter Maria [RH2231], child of his late daughter Esther [RH223]. We also learn from the Baptismal Register that Richard Hamer and his wife Ann Rainford [RH31] moved from "Barnfield" to "Smith Fold", Egerton, between the birth of their children Thomas [RH312] and Betty [RH313]. It has been established beyond doubt from baptismal records and Wills that Thomas Hamer [RH312] was descended from the Hamers who are recorded as tenants of "The Hollins".

The Will says: "I have already given to my children (except my daughter Dorothy) each of them as much as I thought was their respective parts or shares of my effects, so that I now think it reasonable to give the remainder of what I now am or shall be possessed of at my decease unto my said daughter Dorothy as a consideration for her care and diligence for me, she having lived a much longer time with me than any of my other children." After providing for his wife Ellen in her lifetime, Richard [RH2] leaves to his daughter Dorothy [RH29] his messuage cottage or dwelling house at the Folds in Little Bolton, and does not mention the names of his other children. Unfortunately, no record has been found of the baptism, marriage or death of Dorothy. [RH29] Obviously she is the daughter of his second wife.

The Hamers and Lomaxes seem to have been associated in the use of Bradshaw Hall perhaps because they were related by marriage. However, we have no evidence yet whether this is the particular branch of the family by which this connection was made or whether there was another branch associated with Bradshaw Hall.

A COMPLETE LIST OF THE OWNERS of the eastern section of Entwistle Hall, the ancient homestead of a branch of the Entwistle family about two miles north-east of Egerton, is available from Deeds and Wills. The list includes Roger Hamer (1786-1849) [RH12] and Henry Field Fisher, husband of Roger's daughter Elizabeth (1849-1852). Entwistle Hall was a fairly substantial holding which is described in a Bill of Sale dated June 12, 1657, as follows:

All that Manor-house called Entwistle Hall, and the land belonging in Entwistle and Edgeworth, with appurtenances, viz., the kitchen, containing ffoure bays in length, with the chambers and rooms over, the out-ile to the west side of the kitchen, the swine coate, one garden on side of the lane leading to the Hall lane, and the first-mentioned lane, one plot of land lyeing before the kitchen doore, and all parcels of land belonging, viz., the Armagroves Wood, the Goodwives Meadow, the Sandersffield, the Aspdenffield, the Ellis Marled Earth, the Chequor, the Black Earth, the Old Orchard, the Greenefield, ffarnecarr Meadow, and the Pingle; and also a proportional part of the commons in Entwistle with respect to the lands and hereditaments; and all tithes.

In the previous century, the owner of another part of Entwistle Hall, Roger Baron, became bankrupt (in 1785), and this property was bought by Roger Hamer at auction for £820. This Roger Hamer died in 1841 and bequeathed the property to his son Richard, of Long Fleet, Poole, in Dorsetshire. Richard died on September 22, 1849, and left the property to his daughter Elizabeth Fisher who sold it on April 26, 1852, to John Barlow, of Entwistle. These Hamers do not appear to belong to our direct line but, because the Christian names Roger and Richard occur also in the "Hollins" and "Harry Fold" families there is perhaps some reasonably close connection.

THERE ARE LOTS OF HAMERS in church records and cemeteries through Harwood, Bradshaw, Holcombe, Quarlton and Tottington. There is a farm on the 1844 Map just a few hundred yards north of Four Lane Ends marked "Old Hamer's". On an earlier Map (1725} there is another "Old Hamer's" marked on the eastern side of Watling Street in Affetside. The current Deeds of this property date back to 1784, and a Richard Hamer is shown as the tenant from 1810 to 1818. However, since the property is shown as "Old Hamer's" in 1725 there must have been an earlier family connection with it. Watling Street is, of course, part of the road system built by the Romans all over Britain (from Dover to Chester and Holyhead) about 79 AD when the Romans under Agricola occupied Britain. There are other interesting historical features around the homes and farms where the Hamers lived, including the remains of an ancient stone cross near "Old Hamer's" in Watling Street, a couple of pedestals of stone crosses up the hill along Bradshaw Road, and, more ancient still, a circle of stones on Chetham Close, half a mile up Turton Heights from Egerton. The 1844 Map labels these as a Druidical Circle; more recent research dates them some 2000 years BC and tentatively associates them with burial rituals, whereas the Druids flourished only 500 years BC. How much interest our ancestors took in these historical sites can only be guessed at. The affluent and leisured among them may well have appreciated them, but one can imagine Andrew, Michael and Jonathan Hamer and their father Thomas so preoccupied with earning enough to feed and clothe their families as to be unimpressed. If the stone circles represented permanence or human or cosmic indifference they might well have regarded them with some degree of fear or resentment.

There was a custom in the Turton district of incorporating in the walls of new homes a datestone, with the date and the initials of the couple who built the house, the surname initial surmounting the Christian name initials and the date. There are three of these close to one another in Summerseat (to the north-east of Bolton) relating to the Hamer family. The first bears this inscription: H over S and M/1706, and was the home of Samuel and Martha Hamer.

Hamer_inscription_1  Home of Samuel & Martha HamerHamer_inscription_1  Home of Edward HamerHamer_inscription_1  Summerseat House inscription


The second carries the following inscription H over E and M/1706, and was the home of Edward Hamer. The records of the Dundee Presbyterian Chapel, near Bury, reveal that Edward Hamer was one of its founders and Samuel was a trustee. The nearby Summerseat House bears the inscription: H over S and E/1726. The necessary search of the deeds to establish the identity of this couple has not been done. To research the Hamer family thoroughly in the Rochdale, Bury and Bolton districts would be a lifetime's occupation. One of the most difficult things in this research is to identify the separate families. This is made particularly complicated by the popularity of certain Christian names, Richard, Thomas, Ellis, Roger, James, Samuel and John. To identify the father of Richard Hamer [RH2] (the one who married Alice Lomax and Ellen Houghton) and our ancestor James Hamer [RH4], one goes back to the approximate date about when he would have been born only to discover that there were at least ten baptisms of Richard Hamers at Bolton in the likely period. Evidence from Wills and other sources has now been found to make certain identification of our immediate ancestors.

An indication of the difficulty of identification can be seen from a perusal of the Marriage records of the Bolton Parish Church. For example, three John Hamers were married there in 1806, without considering those married elsewhere in the district. In fact, the name John Hamer was so common that two John Hamers were married at Bolton Parish Church on two consecutive days in 1816: John Hamer, weaver, married Flora Bolton on February 25; and John Hamer, weaver, married Alice Orrell on February 26.

An indication of the difficulty of identification can be seen from a perusal of the Marriage records of the Bolton Parish Church. For example, three John Hamers were married there in 1806, without considering those married elsewhere in the district. In fact, the name John Hamer was so common that two John Hamers were married at Bolton Parish Church on two consecutive days in 1816: John Hamer, weaver, married Flora Bolton on February 25; and John Hamer, weaver, married Alice Orrell on February 26.

Samuel Crompton, the inventor of the spinning mule, lived with his family at Hall-i'-th'-Wood, an ancient manor house owned by the Starkie and Norris families between Bradshaw and Bolton. It was in a bad state of disrepair when Crompton used part of it to build his Mule in 1779. One of his sisters, Mary Crompton, married a Hamer, as we gather from the mother's Will dated 1799, when she left property to her three children, Samuel Crompton, Rebecca Horrocks and Mary Hamer. Hall-i'-th'-Wood was restored by Lord Leverhulme and presented to the people of Bolton as a memorial to Samuel Crompton. (In the sixteenth century Deborah Crompton, daughter of Thomas Crompton, who died in 1607, had married a Samuel Hamer.)

THE ONLY HAMER FOUND IN THE CONVICT RECORDS of Van Diemen's Land was a John Hamer from Bolton. Though he is not a member of our direct family his record is worth inclusion in this account as an indication of the conditions of the time when Andrew, Michael and Jonathan Hamer migrated, and also because it reveals a very interesting character of considerable spirit and determination:

No 10271. John Hamer. Tried Bolton Boro, 6th January, 1843, height 5'5 and a half inches, aged 28. Sentence: 7 years. Religion: Protestant. Could not read or write. Single. Offence: Stealing a pair of shoes from Mr. Mitchell, Pike Lane - once for stockings [sic] 4 months for assault - for a ham 3 months in the Hulk, ironed, 4 weeks for a knife. Surgeon's Report: Good. Trade: Carrier. Native Place: Little Bolton. Remarks: F .Edward at N.P, B. Joseph, 2 Srs. Maria & Ellen at N.P. Conduct Record: John Hamer. Tried Lancaster, Bolton, 6th Jan y, 1843. 7 years. Embarked 21st June 1843. Arrived 11th October, 1843. Protestant. Can neither read nor write. Transported for Larceny. Gaol Report: Once convicted of felony, once Assault and once rep'd Thief. Character bad. Hulk report bad. Lively. Stated this offence. Stealing a pair of shoes from Mr. Mitchell of Pike Lane, once for Stockings 4 months. 6 weeks for Assault. For a ham 3 months at the Hulk, ironed. 4 weeks for a knife. Single. Surgeon's Report: No. of offences - Now employed - General conduct good. Trade: Carrier. Height: 5'3 and a quarter. Age: 28. Complexion: Ruddy. Head: large. Hair: brown. Whiskers: brown. Visage: broad. Eyebrows: Dark brown. Eyes: blue. Nose: Medium. Mouth: medium. Chin: broad. Native place: Little Bolton. Period of probation: Fifteen months. Station of Gang: West V. Class: 2/pp H 3d Offences and Sentences: Released from 1st Stage of Probation, 12th January, 1845.

3 November, 1845: Launc[ceston] Misconduct in going to Launceston instead of Westbury Depot as ordered, also remaining in Launceston ten days. One month hard labour, tread wheel second/AG/Approved W.L.G.P. 7/11/45. 7th February 1847 Ritchie, Lough. Insubordination. Six weeks hard labour. (A.H.W.R. Approved Deloraine 19/2/47. 20 Aug. 47. Parr, West. Neglect of duty and insolence. Three weeks imprisonment and hard labour in chains/I.P.I/Approved S.M. Pass 21/8/47.

3 Oct. 48. Wood. Launceston. Feloniously receiving merchandise the value of pounds 5. Discharged, but recommended to be removed from the Launceston side of the Island/WP & JG

(There follows a list of people he was assigned to from January, 1844, to October, 1847).

John Hamer (presumably the same one), departed from Launceston to Melbourne on November 18, 1850, on the Shamrock. Free by Servitude. He had arrived in Van Diemen's Land by the Emerald Isle.43

Three of Thomas Hamer’s sons migrated to New South Wales in the middle of the nineteenth century – Andrew, Michael and Jonathan. There were other Hamers in New South Wales and also others in Tasmania and Victoria. One of these, Thomas Hamer, became a prominent citizen of Orange, only about 30 miles from where Andrew Hamer settled near Bathurst; but, like John Hamer, this Thomas was not at least closely related to Andrew, Michael and Jonathan. He had, in fact, been born at Stockton, near Newcastle (NSW), in 1846. He moved to Sydney where he was educated and in 1860 moved to Bathurst, where he was engaged in shearing. He then became a journeyman butcher and started his own butchery in Bathurst in 1874, on the corner of George and Piper Streets, but almost immediately moved to Meranburn where he was a butcher for three years. Then he transferred to Orange in 1878 and began a very successful butcher's shop in Summer Street. In 1884 he opened another shop in East Orange, conducted by his son Sidney. He owned 33 acres just out of Orange on the Bathurst Road where the Orange Racecourse is now. Here he had his slaughterhouse and an orchard. He bought 823 acres further out of Orange where he bred horses and cattle. He was a highly respected citizen, prominent in the Lodge of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows, and a guarantor for that organisation when its hall was built in Orange. He was an alderman in 1893 and 1894. He had two sons and five daughters. He was killed in an accident with a horse at his slaughteryard on January 6, 1896, aged 48. He is buried, with his wife Emily Ann, who died on November 14, 1913, at Orange Cemetery. His son Sid carried on the butchery until 1909. A road near the Orange Racecourse and a street near Cook Park are named after him.

These Hamers are dealt with to demonstrate that there are several Hamer families in Australia (and others in New Zealand) who are not necessarily directly related to the family under review. It is most likely, however, that they all trace their origins to Rochdale in Lancashire. There are at least two Hamer families in Perth, Western Australia, and a very prominent Hamer family in Victoria. It is interesting that the ancestor of the lastnamed family came to Melbourne from Yorkshire as a Unitarian Minister. There is a Hamer family that is connected with a famous engineering firm in Dunedin, New Zealand - Gough, Gough and Hamer - but this family is not part of the present study either.

ANDREW AND SARAH HAMER, with their infant daughter Alice, were Bounty immigrants under the British government's scheme to send the poverty-stricken classes to Australia. Under the provisions of the Assisted Immigration system introduced in 1840, the ship's captain, on behalf of the owners, was obliged to feed the migrants on an agreed scale and to provide accommodation for passengers on board for up to ten days after arrival. Labour was in such great demand that it was considered that all migrants should find employment and therefore accommodation within that period. On arrival in Sydney on March 11, 1841, Andrew apparently set out almost immediately with his wife and baby daughter to cross the Blue Mountains to Bathurst.45 The family tradition is that Andrew had a horse-drawn four-wheeled cart to carry his goods and his family. It seems remarkable that an assisted migrant would have sufficient money to acquire such property; perhaps he was helped by a benefactor back home. He had put his name down on the ship's roll as a baker, whereas back in Bolton and Manchester he had been a weaver, no doubt on advice that such a tradesman would be in demand. There is no evidence that he was ever employed as a baker, except to bake his own bread when he settled in Queen Charlotte's Vale. Travelling in a horse-drawn cart down the precipitous Mount Victoria Pass, completed only five years previously as an alternative to the even more hazardous alternative routes, must have been frightening for Sarah with the baby in her arms, but after a 12,000 mile voyage in a sailing ship she would have been prepared to face anything. It was the custom to cut a stout branch off a tree at the top of the Pass and to drag it behind the cart to stop it from running away. The bottom of the hill was littered with discarded boughs.

There had been a severe drought at Bathurst from 1837 to 1839, but this was well and truly broken when Andrew and Sarah arrived in 1841. Mrs C Meredith, a traveller in New South Wales from 1839 to 1844, visited Bathurst in 1840 and reported that the township was still virtually a penal settlement, and the chief citizens lived on properties a mile or more on the eastern side of the town. She says that the district had just suffered a ruinous drought, and food was scarce, dear and often adulterated; there were few vegetables and little butter or milk. There were dust storms, and wheat and oat crops were scorched.46 All the land on the eastern side of the Macquarie River had been taken up by 1824. Government policy had restricted settlement west of the river until 1826 but there was still some unsettled land to the south. Governor Macquarie had delayed the settlement of the Bathurst district for two reasons: to ensure that it was done in an orderly fashion; and because of the difficulty of getting produce to market is Sydney. Despite the fact that a road had been built to Bathurst in 1815, no settlement occurred before 1818, and even then, apart from ten small farmers, rewarded for the work they did in building the road. However, Macquarie reserved both banks of the river adjacent to the township for small farmers, and encouraged a few small landholders, chiefly ex-convicts, to establish farms. This policy was not supported by Commissioner Bigge, sent from England to investigate Macquarie's administration of New South Wales, and the next two governors, Brisbane and Darling, curtailed the policy of encouraging small farmers in favour of large landholders who had been established on the eastern side of the Macquarie River from 1818. This had an influence on the nature of Bathurst society which was dominated by wealthy, educated, cultured families. Apart from the privileged ten first settlers, most of whom were given small grants as reward for their part in helping Cox build the road to Bathurst, the small farmer had to battle for a foothold and was not admitted to this society. The convict and ex-convict were even more rigidly excluded socially; but, despite this, there is evidence that small farmers began to be established from about 1824. All land south-west of the Macquarie and north of the Campbell's River was reserved for the government until1826 and, even then, a large area of this land was reserved for the School and Church Corporation. Farms were set up at various points to provide income for government and Church of England activities, but, because most of this land was not fully employed, it was sold off from 1837. The real settlement of Bathurst did not gain any pace until Brisbane became governor in 1821. By the time Andrew Hamer and William Peacock arrived in 1841 there was sufficient market for farm produce in Bathurst itself. The Goulburn district, discovered later than the Bathurst district, was settled more quickly.

Home A and S HamerHome of Andrew and Sarah Hamer, Queen Charlott's Vale (built about 1845). This photograph must have been taken before 1877 since, in that year, Andrew's son, Ellis Hamer, built his rammed earth house where the slab shef appears in this photograph.The population of the Bathurst District (which included Carcoar, Wellington, Mudgee and Hartley) was almost 12,000 at the 1846 Census. Two thirds of these were convicts or ex-convicts; but there had been a large influx of unassisted immigrants in the 1830s (about 1000), which was considerably augmented by assisted immigrants in the early 1840s (about 3000). The peak year for the arrival of assisted immigrants was 1841.

Andrew Hamer may have sought a job in Bathurst itself or on one of the surrounding farms. It can be assumed he went to the district on advice received either on board ship or after arrival in Sydney, and he seemed to know what he was looking for. He wasted no time in finding a piece of fertile river flat on Queen Charlotte's Vale Creek about six and a half miles south of Bathurst. It was available for lease immediately. Years later, when he bought the land on which he settled (Lots 18 and 19 of the Wardell Estate), a Schedule of the Deed indicated that these lots had been leased from 1835 to 1840 to Joseph Cantain and George Eley. Perhaps he had been advised before he left Sydney that these two gentlemen had just vacated their lease. He built a crude wattle and daub hut for his wife and daughter and set about clearing the few gum trees that grew on the flat itself. In 1844 there was a great flood and it was apparent that to build on the flat itself was a mistake, so he moved fifty feet (in elevation) higher up the hill and built another wattle and daub house with brick chimneys. He set about growing the oats that he was familiar with back at Bolton, which he threshed with a flail; he planted an orchard and grew potatoes and familiar vegetables. The Bald Hill stood out prominently 500 feet above them only half a mile away, between their new home and Bathurst, but it did not overshadow their consciousness nor dominate their lives. Yellow and grey box and red gum trees on the hillside indicated good grazing land, but Andrew was interested at first only in subsistence farming. The aborigines had long since been subdued in the Bathurst district, following some brutal massacres, particularly in the period between 1822 and 1824 (mostly north-east of Bathurst), but were still present at this spot in fairly large numbers. In fact, there were permanent springs on the hillside just over a little dry creek from where Andrew built his house, and this had been for centuries (perhaps 200 to 400 centuries) a camping place where the local tribe re-sharpened their spears and other primitive tools and no doubt held their corroborees. Discarded and broken stone axe heads were found there by Andrew's sons and grandsons when ploughing for a further century or more.47 Aboriginal hostility seemed confined to inter-tribal fights of a desultory kind and the aborigines, remnants of the Wiradjuri tribe which had been devastated by white settlers who had shot and poisoned them, were well and truly dispirited, but their presence must have caused anxiety. The garrison of soldiers in Bathurst, as well as armed settlers, still posed such a threat to them that they proved to be reasonably amenable. Andrew's son Ellis [AH4] many years later told stories of joining the aborigines in tracking down the honey of wild bees, and pointed out spots where warriors were buried following tribal battles. The depredations of escaped convicts had been discouraged when ten of Entwistle's gang of bushrangers - the Ribbon Gang - were publicly hanged on what is now King's Parade in Bathurst in 1830. The only other menaces were the wild life - snakes and dingoes; the howls of the latter in the night must have frightened Sarah, but dingo numbers diminished over the years, along with the aborigines.

Progress was slow and conditions were tough but the constant threat of poverty and starvation, not to mention typhoid and the fear of violence caused by Chartist agitation, that Andrew and his family had experienced in Lancashire was no longer a problem. It must have taken some time to get used to the bright sunshine, a northern sun, the heat at Christmas, the drab olive colours of the gum trees, the strange animals such as the platypus that were plentiful in the Vale Creek and the Campbell's River, and all the contrarieties of the Antipodes. At least the Bathurst climate, because of the elevation of more than 2000 feet above sea level, had ample frosts and occasional snow and fog, which reminded Andrew and Sarah of Bolton and Manchester; and the summers by Australian standards were relatively mild; and gone were the dismal cold and the bleak winters that lasted six to nine months in Lancashire. Despite the breaking of the drought New South Wales suffered economic depression in the 1840s, as England did, but this eased by 1845. The depression was brought about by extravagant land speculation encouraged by the Wakefield system which provided cheap land in South Australia. Those who suffered, however, were the big landowners like John Street ("Woodlands") - who was forced to sell this property at this stage - John Piper ("Alloway Bank"), Thomas Icely ("Saltram"), and the Hawkins family ("Blackdown"). Sheep were boiled down for tallow and even big pastoralists could not obtain credit for supplies. All this did not affect Andrew Hamer a great deal since he owned nothing and was merely renting a piece of land to grow his own food and clothing. His small farm was part of 2560 acres that had been granted to Robert Wardell on June 9, 1827; but Wardell had been murdered by bushrangers - malcontents seeking revenge against him for prosecuting them in a criminal case - in the bush on his farm at Petersham in 1832, and the land had been leased in small parcels to small farmers. Wardell was a barrister who earned a place in Australian history by publishing, with W C Wentworth, the first newspaper, The Australian, that was independent of government control. He made many enemies in government circles by his severe criticisms in the newspaper's columns of official policies. His Will left his property to his mother but she had died before him. The property in Queen Charlotte's Vale was granted again to his heirs, Margaret Fraser, Jane Priddle and Ann Fisher, but the grant was not completed until April 15, 1840, the year before Andrew Hamer arrived. There must have been some interim control in view of evidence of earlier lessees of the Lots which Andrew Hamer leased and later bought. Ann Fisher's husband, Thomas John Fisher, and Jane Priddle's husband, Charles Frederick Priddle, were Wardell's nephews; we can assume that Margaret Fraser must have also been related. Ann Fisher was the eldest daughter of W C Wentworth, while Jane Priddle was the daughter of James Norton, Registrar of the Church of England Australian Diocese and later a Member, with Wentworth, of the first NSW Legislative Council (set up in 1843). A daughter of Charles and Jane Priddle married George Fairfowl Macarthur, son of Hannibal Macarthur (nephew of John Macarthur).48

Andrew Hamer's tenure of his small piece of land was very shaky, but he would have found it more worthwhile to feed, clothe and shelter his family on such a choice piece of land than to work for the pastoralists for the miserable ten shillings a week that they were offering in the stringent economic conditions of the times that were dubbed equally in Australia as in England and Ireland the Hungry Forties. Perhaps he could have joined the adventurers (including the sons of well established pastoralists) in occupying land free of charge, legally or illegally, beyond the limits of settlement, for the payment of a licence fee of £10; but this would have required sufficient capital to buy livestock, which he didn't have. Leasing a few acres of good soil was more dependable, and he was not ambitious; he merely wanted a better life than the industrial areas of England could offer. He had picked a very lean time during which to set himself up as a farmer in Australia. He ran a few cows and sold cream later when a butter factory was established in the village nearby; and a few pigs, the natural adjunct of dairy farming; but it was hard and economically unrewarding toil. In 1855, a flour mill was established at "Rainham" three miles away, but it is unlikely that he would have had grain in sufficient quantity for milling, except perhaps for his own use. There is evidence that he supplemented his income in the early stages of the gold rushes 10 or 12 years later by carrying flour on a horse drawn trolley from "Rainham" to the goldfields at Ophir. A rusted Colt six-shooter revolver was dug up in the 1930s near the sulky shed on "Wardell". It is possible that Andrew had this to protect himself and his takings when he sold the flour. His brother Michael was associated with running these flour mills for a short period.49 There is perhaps some evidence that the flour mill had started at "Rainham" before 1855, since the earlier tenant, Andrew Murray, advertised regularly in the Bathurst papers for grain in the early 1850s Captain Raine had a flour mill at Frederick's Valley, and it is possible that he had established the one at "Rainham".

THINGS HAD NOT IMPROVED back in Lancashire and, in 1853, Andrew was joined by his two brothers Michael and Jonathan. Nothing further is heard of little Alice, who must have died in infancy, though no record has been found. One can imagine the heartache of parents who had embarked on a hazardous sea voyage of 12000 miles with uncertain prospects at the end of it to lose their firstborn in the loneliness of the bush so far from relatives and friends and familiar surroundings. But by 1854 they had seven other children, the eldest now twelve years old. Their eighth child, a baby girl named Catherine, died less than a month after birth in 1854 and just six months before her mother died in March 1855.

Unfortunately, the Shipping Record at the NSW Archives Office does not reveal when Michael and Jonathan arrived. They may have paid their own fares; such immigrants were not recorded in the same way as Bounty immigrants. It is likely that they came together. Records back in Lancashire show that Michael, a cotton spinner, married Elizabeth Wood in Manchester on April 28, 1844. His address is given as 3 Buck Street and hers as 5 Buck Street, Ardwick (now an inner suburb of Manchester). Michael, like Andrew, had perhaps moved ten miles to Manchester in search of employment; or perhaps he had merely moved temporarily to satisfy the residential qualifications for marriage. According to the Baptismal Register Elizabeth already had a daughter, Mary Ann [MH1], born at Bolton on November 6, 1842. Perhaps it was she who moved temporarily to live next door to Michael in Ardwick. She was the daughter of William and Rachel Wood and, at the 1841 Census, she was living with her parents in Bull Lane, off Lever Street, Bolton. She was a cotton piecer who had been born at Samelsby, near Preston, a bleak industrial town north-west of Bolton where there had been a large influx of Irish immigrants. She was a Roman Catholic; this had apparently been an impediment to marriage. It will be remembered that, at the time of the 1841 Census, Michael had moved out of the family home at Black Horse Street and was living as a lodger in Lever Street, just round the corner from the Woods in Bull Lane. At the date of their marriage Elizabeth was already two months pregnant again but obviously Michael was now ready to rectify matters. After marriage they took up residence in Westhead Street, Ardwick, where the second daughter, Elizabeth Martha [MH2], was born on November 14, 1844. Michael sailed to Australia without his wife and daughters and then set about raising enough money to bring them out. This suggests that he himself was not an assisted migrant. Elizabeth and the two girls arrived in Sydney on July 4,1856, on the Vocalist. The Shipping Record states that Elizabeth was a housekeeper, born in Samelsby; that Mary Ann, aged 13, was born in Bolton, and that Elizabeth Martha, aged 11, was born in Manchester. By this time Elizabeth's parents had moved to Hull. The application that Michael had made (on August 28, 1855) to have his family brought out said that he was living in Sydney. He also indicated that Elizabeth Martha was living in Manchester with her mother, but Mary Ann was living in Bolton - perhaps with Elizabeth's parents who may not have moved to Hull until Elizabeth and the girls set out to Australia. Michael had evidently by now saved the £30 required to bring his family out. After they arrived they lived in Elizabeth Street, Chippendale.50

There is a letter to Andrew Hamer from his father dated 1855,51 which reveals a sad story in several respects. Thomas, who signed his Marriage Certificate with a cross, now writes very fluently:

Bolton, 16 July, 1855.
Dear Son and Daughter,

I am wishful to receive a letter from you having never received one since you left home. I think surely they must have been lost through misdirection and I wish when you write to direct to your father in law and not to your brother Michael's. I have become unable to follow any regular employment and now remain at home in the old house. Rachel, Ellis and I living together. Martha and her husband are at Dukinfield. Ann and her husband are living in Bolton. we suppose you must have seen your brothers Michael & Jonathan. Michael's wife has rec' two letters but I do not know what they contained and therefore am no wiser. It is on this account that I wish you to write so that I may get them. either direct them to your father in law or to John Entwistle52 at Bridson's Bleach Works, Bolton. I have tolerable health considering my age but last winter I had a serious illness which I thought would have carried me off. I never expect to see you again in this world, but I would still give you a father's blessing. Pray write me soon for I much wish to hear from you once more before I leave this world. give my love to your wife and kiss the young ones for me.
Your affectionate father
Thos Hamer

P.S. You could also write to me direct.
Derby Street, Vickers Houses, Bolton.

It is hard to imagine that Andrew would not have written to his father during the whole fifteen years since he left home. There are hints in the letter that he had written, or perhaps his wife had written. Some contact must have been kept so that Michael and Jonathan would know where to join him. One can easily understand letters going astray, especially with the risk of ships being lost at sea, but Thomas must have had some word from his emigrant son and daughter-in-law. He knew, for instance, that they had several children. He appears to have had Sarah in mind as he wrote, because he refers to himself twice as "father-in-law" and then crosses out the suffixes, as though he had been in the habit of writing to her rather than to his son. There is also hint of a rift with Michael's wife Elizabeth, which could go back to some falling out over Michael's dalliance with a Roman Catholic and his illegitimate daughter, or even back to the time when Michael left home at the age of twenty. Elizabeth has received two letters from Michael, no doubt giving details of his actions to bring her out to Australia, but she has kept her father-in-law in the dark about them. Thomas does not complain bitterly about her behaviour in this regard, but makes a very mild comment: he is simply none the wiser about the activities of his sons in Australia. The old man is getting towards the end of his life and missing his eldest son. He is seventy years of age and getting too frail to work, but when he dies, two and a half years later (on December 3, 1857), his occupation is described as "Watchman at a Cotton Mill." With no old age pension, it was necessary to have a job right to the end. One hopes that Andrew wrote to him before he died.

The real pathos in all this lies in the fact that on March 8, 1855, before Thomas had writtenthis letter, Andrew's wife Sarah had died, at the age of 37 or 38. She was buried in the Milltown (South Bathurst) cemetery in Havannah Street. (When the cemetery was closed twenty years later to make way for the Railway her body was disinterred and re-buried at Perth Wesleyan Church, now Perthville Uniting Church, which, built in 1863, had not existed at the time of her death.) Andrew's world was shattered. He had six young children still living, no security of tenure on the farm, and was barely making a living. He must have wished, like the Israelites, barred from entering the Promised Land, that he was still back where he was born. To receive such a letter from his father would have added to the sharpness of his grief. The future looked very uncertain, and he had now lost his soulmate whose companionship up till now had made the struggle worthwhile. Hope for a season bade the world farewell. The cause of Sarah's death is not recorded, but it occurred only seven months after the birth (and death) of her eighth child, a daughter, Catherine, born in July 1854, died August 1, 1854. Perhaps Sarah never recovered from the effects of childbirth. Andrew Hamer's Death Certificate records three daughters deceased.

To add to his worries, the farm he was leasing was being sold at auction at "Rainham" on January 26, 1855, by Wardell's heirs, listed now as John and Margaret Fraser, Frederic and Jane Isabella Priddle, William a'Beckett and Thomas John Fisher. "Rainham", which had been leased for some years by a well-to-do farmer named Andrew Murray, and "Dennis Island", further up the Vale Creek near Cow Flat, were all up for auction on the same day. James Boyd, who had been farming in Frederick's Valley further west53 bought "Rainham", and his wife shortly licensed the Georgian home, built by Thomas Raine, as an inn, but "Wardell", which was offered in small lots, scarcely sold at all. The weather - the temperature was around 106 degrees fahrenheit - may have had something to do with this result, despite the free champagne lunch. "Wardell" was sold piecemeal over the next few months. J S Fisher had come out from England to attend to the sale and was anxious to get back.

Lots 28 to 31 went to Joseph Ainsworth, of Kelso, on August 29, 1855, and Lots 23 to 27 went to Hugh McDiarmid, of Caloola, in the same year. Other buyers were Terence McGurren, who later built the Farmers' Arms Inn on the Vale Road closer to Bathurst, Henry Pleffer of White Rock,54 and John and Thomas Healey. Andrew Hamer was able to buy the rich river flats that he had been farming and the piece of land that his house was built on, but not before 1859. Gold had been discovered at Ophir in April, 1851, and in other parts of the Bathurst district shortly afterwards, but Andrew had not been tempted then to forsake his somewhat uncertain situation to seek his fortune, as so many were. But now that Sarah was dead there seemed little to keep him in the Vale and there was just the possibility that he could find enough gold to enable him to buy the farm. According to the account in Men of Mark, a biographical Who's Who published in different versions in different districts in 1888 to mark the centenary of the foundation of New South Wales, he set off for the goldfields at Wattle Flat, twenty miles north of Bathurst, taking at least some of his sons with him. He must have had firm intentions of returning to the farm because he left the younger children there. Who looked after them while their father was away is not known; perhaps it was his brother Jonathan; Michael was in Sydney in August 1855, applying to bring out his family. We know that Michael also went gold digging at Wattle Flat but that was ten years later.

James Boyd built a flour mill at "Rainham"55 - or developed one already begun by Andrew Murray - and he advertised in the Bathurst Free Press on February 2, 1856, for an Engineer and Fireman, and Michael Hamer applied for the job, no doubt having had experience with steam-operated mills in Lancashire. His wife Elizabeth arrived from England five months later, and there is evidence that they lived at Chippendale. There is some uncertainty about whether he worked at Boyd's flour mill at this time, but two years later he formed a partnership with George Stiff to become proprietors of the mill, according to an advertisement in the Bathurst Free Press on October 31, 1857. His move from Chippendale to "Rainham" occurred after his wife died, on March 20, 1857, of "cepalitis", at the age of 37. Her rewards for emigrating were sadly shorter than Andrew's wife's, and her reunion with Michael was for a brief period indeed. Michael's partnership with George Stiff was dissolved after fifteen months, a further notice in the Bathurst Free Press announcing its dissolution on January 12, 1859. George Stiff carried on alone for about ten years, when he was bought out by Tremains, who conducted the Rainham Mill from 1868 to 1874, and then in 1875 bought a substantial mill in Keppel Street, South Bathurst (Milltown), previously owned by F W Smith. George Stiff then operated a flour mill at Teapot Swam in association with the Gordons56, and was killed in a particularly nasty accident when his clothing caught in the driving belt and he was thrown with great force against the wall.

Ettlesdale"Ettlesdale", CaloolaOn May 31, 1858, Michael Hamer married Margery Larnach, youngest child of George and Mary Larnach of "Ettlesdale", Caloola, who had arrived from Scotland in 1838. Margery was four years old when she emigrated. Michael's address was given on the Marriage Certificate as "Rainham" and his occupation as Engineer. He was no doubt boarding in Mrs Boyd's inn. Perhaps the two girls were living with him. Michael was 37 years of age at the time and Marjorie was 34. She was the daughter of George Larnach and Mary Ettles. The Larnachs were a pioneer family who owned quite a lot of land around Bathurst, including several lots in Queen Charlotte's Vale at various times. Several members of the family made names for themselves in England, Australia and New Zealand. George Larnach's brother Donald Larnach made a lot of money through land speculation in Australia and founded a bank in England. He was Chairman of the board of the Bank of New South Wales at one time. Another brother John Larnach was the son-in-law of James Mudie of "Castle Forbes", Patrick's Plains, and had been involved in a notorious case of ill-treatment of convicts and subsequent rebellion and multiple execution in 1833.57

Andrew was back from Wattle Flat when Michael was at "Rainham". According to accounts passed on to their grandchildren by Andrew's son Ellis [AH4] and his daughter Ann Peacock [AH7], the children continued to live in the house in Queen Charlotte's Vale while he was away. Ellis recounted how, in his father's absence, at the age of ten or eleven, contrary to the Deuteronomic injunction, he yoked a horse and a bullock, the only animals available, to plough a paddock to sow some oats. Ann told how, during this period, aged nine or ten, she ran away and was brought back to the house by friendly aborigines who knew her because they frequently camped at the nearby springs. Andrew placed an advertisement in the Bathurst Free Press on February 23, 1857, offering a reward for a horse stolen or strayed from the Stoney Creek Diggings on the Wellington Road.58 Since he requests its delivery to Mr Boyd at Stoney Creek, it is possible that he was working for James Boyd at this time delivering flour to the Diggings from the new Rainham Mill.

In any case, Andrew had some immediate if modest success in finding gold at Wattle Flat, since we find him in 1856 mortgaging a house in Lambert Street, Bathurst, for the loan of £150, and he had two houses side by side on Lots 15 and 16, on the south side of Lambert Street. He sold them in 1857 and 1858 for £450 and £300 respectively. He immediately discharged his mortgage, and then mortgaged Lots 18 and 19 of the Wardell Estate to Joseph Ainsworth, of Kelso, for a loan of £100. He obviously bought these Lots on which his farm and home stood from Henry A Thomas, who had bought them from Martin Bowen, who originally acquired them at the 1855 auction. It is doubtful that Andrew ever intended living in Lambert Street but rather had bought the houses there as an investment. Since he had left the children in Queen Charlotte's Vale it looks as though his purpose was to acquire the farm; he was giving practical expression to his motto, which he had painted on the side of his trolley - Nil desperandum 59 It is probable that he used the proceeds of the sale of the Lambert Street houses to finance the buying of the farm, but the actual Conveyance has not been sighted. He then set about adding to the farm, mortgaging Lots 40 to 44 on April 4, 1863, to John Savery Rodd (who owned a farm near the junction of the Vale Creek and the Macquarie River). These Lots had been owned by Francis Watkins Croaker,60 of "Shiraz", but it is unlikely that he bought them at the original auction. No doubt Andrew bought them with the help of Rodd's mortgage but again the Conveyance has not been sighted.

Oddly, the Lots surrounding Andrew's home (on Lot 19) were still owned by other people. Lots 16 and 17 were bought at the auction by Terence McGurren, who had made the highest bid of £204/1/3 and had paid a deposit of £102/1/3 but never completed the deal. Almost thirty years later, on February 25, 1884, Andrew Hamer bought McGurren's Lots from the trustees of the Wardell Estate (who were by now Rev Charles Frederic Durham Priddle, of Bathurst, and Rev George Fairfoul Macarthur, headmaster of the King's School, Parramatta). He paid £104/15/5 to the trustees and ten shillings to Terence McGurren. (There was a rammed earth house on Lot 17, only two or three hundred yards down the road from Andrew's house, where later various member of the family lived, including Art Hamer [AH47] and Herb Hamer [AH49], for short periods. It is not known who built it, but it is likely that it was built during the period of Terence McGurren's tenure.) Lots 28 to 31 had been bought at the auction by Joseph Ainsworth; he sold them almost immediately to Jacob Barnes, of Georges Plains, who sold them to Hugh McDiarmid, who, in turn, sold them to Peter Furness, F W Croaker and Francis Benedict Kenny. On May 24, 1893, just two months before his death and only three weeks before the tragic accident that led to his death on August 1, 1893, at the age of 81, Andrew Hamer bought these Lots for £17/8/-. At his death, Lots 20 to 31 remained in the hands of other owners. Andrew died intestate and his three sons, Thomas, Edward and Ellis, had to tidy up the estate, including clearing the 1859 mortgage to Joseph Ainsworth.

Shire PlanPlan of part of Wardell EstateTom and Ted had been farming elsewhere by that time and Tom was running a hay and grain business while Ellis remained with his father. On July 23, 1894, Ellis paid to his brothers £1200 for the farm as it then was on behalf of himself and his eldest son George (who was then only fourteen years old). Ellis then gradually consolidated the farm by buying the surrounding Lots. Lots 22 to 27 (36 acres 12 perches) had been bought at the original auction by John and Thomas Healey who sold them in 1860 to Hugh McDiarmid, who in turn sold them to Charles McPhillamy. Ellis Hamer bought them from Charles McPhillamy on March 4, 1898. There remained Lots 20 and 21, comprising 9 acres 1 rood, which were right alongside the houses that Andrew Hamer had built for himself and his wife in 1845 and Ellis built for himself and his wife in 1877. There was a third house just south of Ellis's, built of lath and plaster, the origin of which is not known. It was on Lot 20, which had been owned successively by Henry Pleffer and Charles Arthur; it is likely that one of these two built it. In the photo on p there is a three-rail fence between the slab shed (where Ellis later built his house) and the neighbouring house, clearly defining different ownership. Ellis did not buy Lots 20 and 21 until 1916, thus completing the farm as it now stands. It can be seen from this recital that the title to the property was piecemeal and messy. For this reason, Art Hamer [AH47], when he inherited it from his father, had it consolidated on Torrens Title in 1941 after first contacting representatives of all descendants of Andrew Hamer to ask whether they had any claim.

The following table sets out in summary the process of acquisition of the farm:

Lots 16, 17: (18 acres 32 perches):1855Terence McGurren
 Feb 25, 1884Andrew Hamer
Lots 18, 19 (10 acres 28 perches):1855Martin Bowen
 1856Henry and A Thomas
 Nov 23, 1859Andrew Hamer mortgaged these Lots to Joseph Ainsworth, Kelso
 Aug 25, 1894Mortgage discharged by Thomas, Edward and Ellis Hamer
Lots 20, 21 (9 acres 1 rood):1855H Pleffer
 1861Charles Arthur
 1916Ellis Hamer
Lots 28 - 311855Joseph Ainsworth
 1856Hugh McDiarmid
 1892Peter Furness, F W Croaker, F B Kenny
 May 24, 1893Andrew Hamer
Lots 40 - 44 FW Croaker
 April 4, 1863Andrew Hamer mortgaged these Lots to J S Rodd

The major part of the Wardell Estate, to the west of Hamer's property, was bought in 1877 by Edmund Webb, the owner of a large store in Bathurst. His wife was the daughter of William Tom, of "Springfield", Cornish Settlement, and a sister of William Lane's wife, at "Orton Park". Webb also called his portion "Wardell". It is doubtful that he ever lived there, but his son, also Wdmund Webb, did so. He later sold this farm to Charles Campbell who in turn sold it to Claude Glasson.

Andrew Hamer's Death Certificate records the causes of death: "(a) Severe burns on head caused by accidentally falling in fire; (b) Shock. (c) Co-valvular disease of the heart." "Duration of illness: 6 weeks." The doctor last saw the deceased on July 7, 1893. It was a slow and agonising death. Medical science could afford no relief, and members of the family would have eased his pain as best they could at home. One family tradition says that he suffered so badly from arthritis that he was unable to help himself when he fell in the fire. He lived alone; his son Ellis had built a house alongside his father's but no one was with him when he fell in the fire. Another tradition says that his incapacity was compounded by over-indulgence in alcohol; but there was no other relief from the pain of arthritis in those days. He was buried on August 2, 1893, at the Vale Road Wesleyan cemetery alongside his wife whose remains had been transferred from Milltown 35 years earlier.

Andrew Hamer had been jack of all trades - butcher, baker, blacksmith, farrier, farmer. He had gradually enlarged his farm after realising that ten acres were not enough, but it had been a severe struggle; the mortgages at the time of his death were still substantial. He had built solid slab stables behind the house, cutting the timberr with an axe and trimming it with an adze. In the latter part of his life he had bred champion draught horses with which he won prizes at the Bathurst Show. With his sons Ellis and Ted he had also established a name for himself in local ploughing competitions. Ralph Hamer [AH487] has a silver cup which Andrew won with champion horses and one which Ralph's grandfather Ellis won in a ploughing competition at Millthorpe. There are reports in the Bathurst Times of the participation of Ted and Ellis in ploughing competitions from 1878 onwards. These competitions took place at Macquarie Plains (Glanmire), Blayney, Rockley and Millthorpe. Ellis seems to have been the expert since he always entered in the first class or champion competition. Other competitors included William Peacock [WP73] and Robert Thompson [JT5].

Andrew HamerAndrew Hamer. From a charcoal portrait by Jane Peacock from an old photograph (inset) taken about 1880. (Both in the posession of Clive Hamer)Andrew Hamer had built up a reputation as a man of integrity, a yeoman farmer, like his forebears, such as he could never have aspired to be back at Bolton. He was highly respected in the district but his aspirations were modest. Assisted migrants were intended as labourers but he had sufficient enterprise to establish himself as a farmer independently. His awareness of the exclusiveness of the Bathurst pastoralist society and the severe limitation of his resources ensured that he had no ambitions to become a large landowner or grazier; he had come too late to the colony to get large areas of free land and he had no influence with people in high places and no pretensions (despite his ancestry of yeoman farmers back in England). His immediate forebears had been too much reduced in circumstances by the poverty of the Industrial Revolution for that. His was a quiet, resigned hope rather than a intense ambition. One could say that he lacked the spirit of adventure sufficient to take him beyond the limits of settlement in order to take up large tracts of land such as many had done before him; or perhaps he simply lacked sufficient capital even to acquire livestock for such an enterprise. He ran a few sheep, but the farm kept him busy with milking cows (supplying cream to the local butter factory), lucerne hay on the flats and oaten hay on the hills, turned into chaff for sale when the itinerant chaffcutters came around, some maize, a small orchard, a few laying hens and a few vegetables for household use on the flats, watered from a well sunk in 1863. When droughts came, domestic water supplies were replenished from the aborigines' spring (fenced off to keep out the livestock). Andrew also had a cast-iron horse-operated whim for driving a small chaffcutter similar to the whims that operated spinning and weaving machines in Bolton which he probably used in preference to travelling chaffcutters. To some extent his success, such as it was with large mortgages still unredeemed at the time of his death, was due to his good fortune in finding a modest amount of gold that enabled him to start out on the path of becoming a modest landowner; and even this degree of prosperity was tempered by a sense of personal loss represented by the early death of his wife.

hen-and-chickensHen and Chickens Inn (taken 1939)The work of the small dairy farmer or mixed farmer in early Australia was not very materially rewarding, as readers of Henry Lawson's stories will know. But there were other rewards. Andrew was a God-fearing man and, remembering his non-conformist upbringing, he supported his family in building the local Wesleyan Church on the Vale Road in 1863; and when the Church of England was built at Georges Plains in 1867 we find his name on the annual subscription list there as well. He was too preoccupied with earning a living to be able to give much time to personal or spiritual betterment; this was left to the next generation. Nor was he interested sufficiently to become engaged in the political struggle that began in the early 1840s for increased democracy in New South Wales, nor even to harbour any feelings of envy or resentment of those more successful than he was. He was around when Ben Hall raided Bathurst and called in at the Hen and Chickens Inn near the new Wesleyan Church on the Vale Road in 1863, but was not to be led astray into wild, romantic attempts to chase the gang, let alone to join them.61

It is understood that Jonathan Hamer also worked for a short time with James Boyd's flour mill at "Rainham". He may have lived with Michael for a time in Mrs Boyd's Inn in the original Georgian homestead built in 1823 by Captain Thomas Raine (who had also taken up a property called "Raineville" on the Fish River between Tarana and O'Connell as well as the property beyond Orange called "Boree Cabonne".) It was he who introduced willow trees from the island of St Helena, the source of all the willows around Bathurst. He had been junior officer on the convict ship Surrey on its notorious voyage in 1814 when the convicts were treated so poorly that 34 of them, as well as six soldiers, died of typhus, which also claimed the lives of the Captain and the First and Second Mate. Thomas Raine was then put in charge and established a reputation as one of the most humane masters of a convict ship, meticulous about hygiene, supplying his charges with wine as an anti-scorbutic, and carrying out educational activities on the voyages out. His reputation was such that Governor Macquarie chose to go Home on Raine's ship when he finished his tour of duty in 1822.62 After Captain Raine moved to Frederick's Valley, Andrew Murray leased "Rainham" until James Boyd bought it in 1855. Raine had been murdered by three bushrangers at Dunn's Plains in 1832.

Michael Hamer had seven further children by his marriage to Marjorie Larnach. They lived first at Georges Plains, but when their fourth child, James Michael Hamer [MH6], was born in 1865, their address was given as Wattle Flat. They were still there on September 23, 1868, when Michael's second daughter Martha [MH2] married William Henry Donnall at the White's residence at Mount Pleasant. By the time his youngest child, William Ellis Hamer [MH9], was born they were living, according to the Birth Certificate, at Sandy Flat. This is probably the Sandy Flat at the junction of the Sandy Creek and the Vale Creek, on "Bellevue", where Andrew's sons Tom and Ted had been farming, for it is known that both Michael and Jonathan also were farming "Bellevue" for some time. Since the address is given as "Sandy Flat" and not as "Bellevue", this suggests that Michael and his family were living in a house lower down the hill and not on the homestead on "Bellevue" which was probably occupied at the time by the owner, Captain W A Steele, who was granted the property in 1830. Michael and Marjorie sadly lost four of their children in infancy, three of them within a few weeks of each other in 1864. Diphtheria epidemics were a scourge in those days; this is a salutary reminder to us of the uncertainty of life for our forebears and the advances of modern medicine. Their married life was short also, for Michael died on February 23, 1874, aged 50, and is buried in the Church of England section of the Bathurst cemetery, with three of his infant children. He died at Kable's Inn in Piper Street, Bathurst. It seems to have been a common practice for people from outlying farms to be boarded when ill at a hotel so as to be near medical treatment. The Bathurst hospital dates back to 1824 but it was apparently so inadequate that people, usually only the very poor, were admitted to it, like the poor at Bolton and other parts of England at the time, only when they were desperate. From the 1850s a Committee led by Dr George Busby worked hard to improve the hospital.63

Michael appears to have been of a restless nature and found it difficult to settle. His leaving home early and his tardiness in marrying the mother of his two eldest children, as well as the hints in his father's letter to Andrew, are all borne out in Michael's later career. It was said that he objected strongly to having his name shortened to Mick and he got into many fights over this, especially on the goldfields. His problems were not all of his own making, for fate seems to have dealt him a poor hand as well. Michael's widow seems to have suffered from these circumstances; she lived on for another 35 years and died on September 9, 1910, when she joined Michael and the babies at the Bathurst cemetery, despite the fact that she had re-married William Thomas Moffitt and also had a daughter and a son by George Roxberry; they went by the name of Moffitt since she was not married to George Roxberry and did not live with him for very long. In fact, she had a liaison with a third man as well. All this took its toll on the lives of her children, most of whom were farmed out to other people. Alice [MH7] went to the Cheneys, and later to Ellis and Prudence Hamer [AH4, WC4]. She kept house for John Cheney [WC7] at "Knutton", Georges Plains, and had a daughter by him, but they never married. After that she lived in Stewart Street, Bathurst, in a house owned by the Cheneys, where members of the Cheney family and Ellis and Prudence Hamer and their family continued to care for her. This house was also called "Knutton". Thomas [MH8], who was only four when his father died, went to the Sweetnams at Dennis Island, and later to one of the Sweetnam family at Dunkeld where he spent the rest of his life. Michael (or Jim) [MH6], nine years old when his father died, became a share farmer and a carrier with a team of horses at Garra, near Molong.64

The youngest, Bill [MH9], was only a baby when his father died and stayed with his mother, and apparently suffered somewhat as a result of his mother's chaotic life, since he spent some time as a State ward on the training ship Sibroan. Here he was taught to read and write and was given an education. When he grew up he married Elizabeth Walkom of "Spring Lawn", Blayney. They lived first at Sandy Creek and in 1898 were set up by the Walkom family on a farm called "Trendon Grange" at Newbridge where they raised a family of eight children. None of Michael and Marjorie Hamer's other children married; but Michael's two elder daughters did. Ann [MH1] married Michael White, a butcher, born at sea about 1837, at the home of his parents Hugh White and Brigid Carroll at Mount Pleasant. No further record of Ann has been located, so perhaps she died young. There's a sad little plot in the Holy Trinity Churchyard, Kelso, which tells with pathetic succinctness some details of Martha's life [MH2]. The headstone reads:

Edward Hamer Donnall
Died 14.6.1869, aged 2 hours
Beatrice Emmaline Donnall
Died 14.6.1870, aged 3 weeks
W.H.Donnall, 27.7.1871, Aged 33 years.

Martha had lost her two children and her husband all within a space of just over two years. She had lost three step-siblings only a few years before and was to lose her father within three years. She moved to Leichhardt in Sydney and there she lived out her life to the gracious old age of 82. Descendants of Ted Hamer [AH3] can remember her as "Aunt Donnall", a pleasant but lonely old lady who took frequent tram trips down to Circular Quay on grey days like those in Manchester in winter to gaze at ships from England, longing with a great but silent anguish for loved ones lost and a home she had left across the water at the age of eleven. When she died in 1926 she left £390 for rescue work, perhaps with thoughts of her step-brother Billy, to the Salvation Army and the Central Methodist Mission. She was befriended by members of Ted Hamer's family after they moved to Sydney, and one of Ted's descendants, Lorna O'Dea [AH367, AH391], still has an exquisite little washstand set of Martha's which was handed down to her and which Martha's mother Elizabeth was said to have brought from England.

JONATHAN HAMER [JH], after a short period with Michael at Boyd's flour mill and then on "Bellevue", went with him to Wattle Flat. Having gained experience in gold mining he then joined the Diggings at Forbes and Grenfell, 50 or 60 miles west of Bathurst. Parish Records back in Lancashire show that he had married Sarah Turner in 1847 at St Mary's Church, Bury. 65 Sarah must have died before he emigrated, since there is no evidence that she came to Australia. He married Janet Davidson at Grenfell on April 29, 1871, when he was described as a widower. He was 48 years of age and she was 23. She was the daughter of Captain Duncan Davidson and Rebecca Campbell who came from Scotland and sailed a windjammer to Canada and Australia. Jonathan and Janet lived at Forbes. There is an intriguing piece of evidence that Michael and Marjorie Hamer also lived at Forbes at one time; and also evidence that Jonathan and Janet were living together as man and wife before their legal marriage. This evidence is the notation on the Birth Certificate of Alice Hamer [MH7], who was born at Forbes on March 30, 1868, when the name of Mrs Jonathan Hamer is given as midwife. Janet is known to have been a midwife, for she assisted at the birth of the two daughters of her son Ellis [JH1]; but she and Jonathan were not married until 1871. Jonathan is listed in Grevill's Post Office Directory of 1872 as a miner at South Lead mine at Forbes; he apparently stayed there for a short time and then started a small farm in that district not far from the banks of the Lachlan River. He had moved to Forbes to find a warmer climate than that of the Bathurst district because he suffered from a chest complaint. His eldest son Ellis Hamer [JH1] had two solid brick houses in Hill Street, Forbes, in the early years of the twentieth century which are still standing. Jonathan lived to the fine age of 82, and died on September 25, 1907; but unfortunately his wife Janet died of cancer at the age of 50, four months after he did.

LITTLE IS KNOWN OF THE BROTHERS AND SISTERS that Andrew, Michael and Jonathan left back in England except what is recorded on the gravestone at Dimple Unitarian Church and in Thomas's letter of July 16, 1855. It was the youngest brother Ellis [TH11312K] who stayed at home to look after his father, with his eldest sister Rachael, when his brothers emigrated. Ellis was present at the old man's death bed, and no doubt Rachael was too. We have found the record of the baptism of a daughter of Ellis Hamer, spindle maker, and his wife Mary, at Holy Trinity Church, Bolton, on March 27, 1864. The daughter was named Mary Briggs Hamer for her grandmother who died when Ellis was still a child some twenty years earlier. No doubt Ellis, who may have felt some obligation to remain behind after his three brothers went to the other side of the world, lived a hard life. Hand weaving virtually disappeared, and we find him listed as an Iron Presser on the Marriage Certificate of his daughter when she married William Thomas Wright, hairdresser, on June 3, 1887, at the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Higher Bridge Street, Little Bolton. A witness to the marriage was John Entwistle Hamer, perhaps another of Ellis's children who had maintained the Entwistle connection. Ellis died on May 25, 1902, aged 71, in the Workhouse, Fishpool, Farnworth, now a suburb about nine miles south of Bolton. His Death Certificate now designates him simply as a General Labourer, of Bolton. Cause of death was senile decay. It is not known whether he had any other children, but no one was apparently able to afford the cost of his burial and therefore he saw out his days in the Workhouse. His emigrant brothers fared rather better.

Ellis-and Pru HamerEllis and Prudence Hamer. Taken about 1865. (Originals in the posession of Ralph Hamer.) In the 1860s and 1870s itinerant photographerstravelled country areas taking photographs of settlers. These photographs are touched up by hand with watercolours and charcoal. The craftsmans initials appear on each photograph.Ellis was nine when Andrew left home and about twenty when Michael and Jonathan emigrated. His brothers seem to have remembered him with affection by naming children after him, at the same time carrying on a Christian name that has occurred in the family at least since the early years of the sixteenth century, alternatively spelt Elleze or Ellize in those days.66 Andrew named his third son Michael Ellis [AH4]; even though he was always called Ellis, and Michael Ellis appears on his Birth Certificate; this Ellis always insisted that his name was Michael Elias; he signed legal documents Elias Hamer, and Michael Elias appears on his Death Certificate and on his gravestone. According to the Register at the Bathurst Court House Michael called his youngest son William Ettles [MH9], in honour of his wife's mother's family, but according to the Baptismal Register at St John's, Georges Plains, he was baptised William Ellis. Jonathan called his son Jonathan Ellis [JH1], but he was always known as Ellis. Ellis Hamer [AH4] had a grandson Aubrey Ellis [AH453], and another named Ellis [AH475], always known by his second name. Andrew's grand daughters Eva Woolf, Annie Hill and Ada McCashney also had sons named Ellis [AH663, AH413, AH431]. Andrew remembered other members of his family in naming children after his father, his brother Michael and his sisters Alice, Ann and Martha. Michael named his children after his father and his brother and his grandfather James; while Jonathan carried on the names of his sisters Rachael and Ann.

THREE OF ANDREW HAMER'S CHILDREN married Bells, who came from a farm called "Limbournes" (though their original homestead was called "Jericho") with an adjoining farm later called "Bellville", at Cow Flat. The particular area where the Bells lived was at that time called Limestone Flat. They began limestone quarries there in 1856 that still operate as one of Bathurst's major industries. John Glasson, who had been General Stewart's Superintendent at Mount Pleasant, started another limestone quarry on the other side of Cow Flat towards Mountain Run on the Rockley Road in the same year, but it does not seem to have lasted long..

The Bells, who had 21 children, were descended from convicts. George Bell, alias George William Porter, was a waterman working a barge on the canals of Middlesex just north of London. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey on September 16, 1812, when he was 26 years old. His son William Bell married Sarah Drake in 1832 at St James Church, Sydney. She was the daughter of Daniel Drake, a convict who had arrived on the General Hewitt and lived at Minto at the time of the 1844 Census. Her mother, nee Martha Edlin, came free to the colony from Northampton. On the voyage to Sydney in 1813 the General Hewitt, with Daniel Drake aboard, along with the famous convict architect Francis Greenway, who designed St James Church and many other buildings around Sydney, and 122 other convicts (at least it was that number when they left England on July 28, 1813) became the centre of a scandalous case of convict ill-treatment, along with the Surrey and the Three Bees.67 After embarkation the convicts were kept battened down in the hatches for sixteen days before a further 48 convicts were taken on board at Sheerness and, a month later, a further 92 were put aboard at Portsmouth and a further 32 at Langstone. With 70 soldiers from the 46th (South Devon) Regiment and a number of free passengers, including fifteen women and eight children, the General Hewitt finally set sail for New South Wales on August 26, 1813. Although Surgeon Harris, the medical officer on board, reported that the ship was kept clean and healthy, the facts were different. The convicts were kept below decks most of the time; they were supplied with very little water for washing themselves and their clothes, and even less soap, and as a result they all became very filthy and riddled with vermin. The food was maggoty; the best of the food, wine and mustard (which might have made the food palatable, as well as being a preventive of scurvy) was taken by the Regimental Officers. When the ship was off the Canary Islands in the Atlantic most of the convicts were brought on deck so that the lower berths could be fumigated. A sudden rain squall blew up and the convicts were drenched to the skin and their bedding was soaked. Some of the bedding was thrown overboard. Continuing rain kept the bedding wet until mildew set in. Dysentery broke out and the convicts began to die and were buried at sea. While the ship was in port at Rio de Janeiro the convicts were kept below decks for ten days. After that no attempt was made to disinfect the holds or to sprinkle them with vinegar and the weekly fumigation was discontinued. When the ship reached Port Jackson in February, 1814, 34 of the convicts had died and the remainder were weak and near death. When the Assistant Surgeon in Sydney, Dr Redfern, examined the ship, he made a scathing report to Governor Macquarie, who wrote angrily to his superiors in London who then saw that reforms were introduced in major convict transports, including rigid medical supervision. The Master of the vessel, Captain Earl, escaped discipline by dying shortly afterwards from disease contracted from convicts on his own ship.68

J and J hamerJonathan and Janet Hamer and their family. Taken about 1900. (Original in the possession of Lindsay Hamer.) Back Row: Walter Hamer, Ted Hamer, Ellis Hamer. Front Row: Margaret Stone, Jinathan Hamer, Anne Hamer, Janet Hamer, Rachael Catts.Daniel Drake had been sentenced to life imprisonment in Hertfordshire on March 4, 1813, for stealing a sheep and was transported to Sydney. He and Martha Edlin had married in England and she came to join him (on the Kangaroo) with their son William and probably other children. When Susan Bell (who married Ted Hamer [AH3]) and Joseph Bell (who married Sarah Hamer {AH7]) were born respectively in 1847 and 1848, their father William Bell was listed as a farmer at Black Rock, Georges Plains, near Grantham, where the road turns off to Fitzgerald's Valley. According to Baptismal records of other children he had previously lived at Sydney, Queen Charlotte's Vale, Bathurst, Green Swamp, and Stoney Ridge, Bathurst. When Emma (who married Tom Hamer [AH2]) was born in 1849, his address was given as Limestone, Bathurst. At the birth of subsequent children his address was recorded as Georges Plains and his occupation as farmer. After the birth of the fifteenth child, the Bathurst Free Press, on September 24, 1853, was already expressing astonishment at William Bell's wife's fecundity:

A PROMISING NATIVE FAMILY - 'Be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth' is a mandate whose fulfilment is especially required by the circumstances of these colonies, and the following case satisfactorily proves that it is occasionally fulfilled to the letter. On Tuesday last Mrs Bell of the Limestone Flat was safely delivered of her fifteenth child, a daughter who, we are authorised by Dr Machattie to state, together with the mother is doing well. Taking age appearances and probabilities into consideration, and making a rule of three sum of the whole, there is nothing extravagant in the expectation that it may fall to the lot of ourselves or some other scribbler to record the debut upon the stage of life of Mrs Bell's thirtieth baby. The father and mother are both natives69 and are well known throughout the district.

Kids of A and S HamerThe surviving children of Andrew ans Sarah Hamer. Taken about 1920. (Original in the posession of Clive Hamer.) Tom Hamer, Ted Hamer, Ellis Hamer, Anne Peacock, Earah Bell, Martha Nolan. This is a composite photo; Sarah Bell was not present when the group photo was taken and her photo was added at a later date to this print.The editor was somewhat optimistic, but Mrs Bell did have 21 children, two of whom, according to descendants, died in infancy from a fever screaming for water which William Bell would not allow his wife to give them because Dr Machattie had instructed that they were not to take anything. When Mrs Bell's twentieth child was born the newspaper reported the event with the words: "her twentieth child, eighteen of her offspring being alive and flourishing. Advance Australia!"

A copper mine and smelting works built by C W Croaker operated at Cow Flat in the 1870s. In 1879 a school was built - the building still stands - and S H Croaker, who gave his address as Kempfield, via Trunkey, in an advertisement in the Bathurst Times on June 10, 1876,70 built a hotel which became famous when a local stonemason carved a "petrified man" there out of limestone and displayed it at Orange and Sydney as a genuine fossil, even hoodwinking medical experts. Joseph Bell [AH7] supplied the marble from which the "petrified man" was carved from Bell's quarry. The hoax was perpetrated by a man named Sala who took his artefact to Dr Souther at Orange for examination. Dr Souther had serious doubts about its genuineness as a fossil and inclined to the view that it was a carved statue. It had European features and if, as Sala claimed, he dug it from a clay pit, then this would indicate that there were Caucasians in Australia along with, or pre-dating, early aborigines. Sala placed the object on exhibition at Orange and people were impressed with the natural details such as the toenails. Sala then took it to Sydney where he charged a shilling to view it. A reporter sent to examine it said that it was anatomically perfect except that the "man" appeared to have been scalped. The Minister for Mines set up an official investigation headed by Mr C S Wilkinson, Chief Geologist of the NSW Department of Mines. The investigating team reported that the figure was a carved statue whitewashed with clay and treated with acid to bring up the high spots. Then a leading Sydney anatomist, Dr Charles McCarthy, examined the "man" and declared that it was indeed a petrified man since the shape of the muscles and bones was accurate. His theory was that the body had completely decomposed in clay and the cavity thus formed had filled with "calcareous" deposits. Other medical men supported this view. This was taken as evidence that Caucasians had inhabited Australia and aroused worldwide scientific interest. Mr Sala made his fortune; but Sub-Inspector Ford, the policeman in charge at Orange, had a more mundane scientific scepticism. He went to Cow Flat and interviewed Joe Bell who provided a written statement (a very crudely written document still in Police Archives) indicating that he had sold a large block of white marble to Sala and had it delivered to Croaker's public house where he unloaded it into the kitchen (at that time a large detached building behind the main building). Joe Bell stated that he had seen Sala chipping the marble block into the shape of a man in the kitchen. Joe had to look through the window to do so since Sala's son kept guard outside and whistled whenever anyone approached, whereupon the kitchen door was shut. Joe Bell further stated that, three months later, he had seen Sala washing the statue with what appeared to be acid. The local schoolmaster, William Guilfoyle, a close friend of Sala, said that he had ordered large quantities of sulphuric and nitric acids on behalf of Sala from Elliott Brothers in Sydney. He had understood that it was to be used in the preparation of some marble columns. A search revealed large quantities of white marble chips in the drains around the hotel.71

Plan of PerthvilleMap of the village of Perth, 1864. NSW Archives Authority Map No. 10329The hotel closed when the copper mine ceased operations and was bought by the Chew family as a residence, and also served for many years as the local Post Office. Prudie Hamer [AH472] married Norman Chew and spent her married life there. Unfortunately, it was accidentally burnt down in June, 1991, while Norman Chew was still living there. Only the baker's oven, which was part of the original kitchen, remains. Norman Chew's great grandfather, George Chew, though born in Liverpool, Lancashire, was baptised at St Peter's Church, Bolton, on February 24, 1811, less than two years before Andrew Hamer was born at nearby Egerton. He and his wife Sarah arrived in Sydney on April 1, 1839, on the bounty ship Hero of Malown. This was before the British government increased its subsidy for migration, and the Chews had to pay 18 each and 5 for their eldest son who died at sea. A second child, George Grundy Chew, was born on the voyage out and named after the ship's captain, George Grundy. They escaped a terrible storm in the Bay of Biscay which sank another ship accompanying theirs, but perhaps their eldest child succumbed to the typhus that broke out on the ship. A report from Sydney to the Colonial Secretary accused the surgeon on board of negligence, noting a complaint among others from George Chew who said that sufficient and proper medicine had not been provided for children. The Chews appear to have gone to Bathurst, after spending two weeks in a tent at the Quarantine Station on North Head in Sydney and some time living in Cumberland Street, Sydney. They were recorded as living on the Vale Road when their second child was baptised and at Denmark Hill when their two younger children were born in 1846 and 1847. The whereabouts of this locality is uncertain, but there is a place called Denmark down the Macquarie River from Bathurst. They bought a property on the Fish River in 1855, but sold it again in 1856, and were living at Caloola in 1861 and 1862, before taking up a selection at Eusdale Creek in the County of Roxburgh between 1863 and 1870. From 1870 to 1881 George was a sawyer at Yetholme, and died at Eglinton in 1891.

WHEN TOM HAMER [AH2] MARRIED EMMA (SIS) BELL, they first lived at Cow Flat, according to the Birth Certificates of their children. Later Tom became a hay and grain merchant at Perth, the name given in 1864 to the village near Andrew Hamer's farm. The auctioneers, Stress and Sloman, who sold the Wardell estate, called the village Wardell; they made small blocks available on the edge of the village but the main part of the village on the eastern side of the Vale Creek did not fall within the Wardell estate. The name never had any official recognition although it is referred to in the description of many blocks of land in the records of land transactions in the Registrar-General's Department of New South Wales.72 The Surveyor-General's Office issued a plan of the Village of Perth in May, 1864, but it was some time before the name had much currency. The locals simply referred to particular localities such as the Vale Road, Sandy Creek or Mountain Run. Several early Marriage Certificates referred to the "Wesleyan Church, Vale Road, Bathurst".

When the railway was put through in 1877 the local people requested a station at Perth which the authorities at first refused, maintaining that a station at Georges Plains would be adequate. (The name Perth, though gazetted, was not yet in general use.) A new steel bridge had been built over the Vale Creek in the centre of the village in 1868, replacing a brick bridge further down (near the Hen and Chickens Inn) which was destroyed by flood only a couple of years after it had been built. It became apparent that the new bridge made the new junction of the Rockley and Vale Roads the focal point at which all traffic from the eastern side of the Vale Creek would converge, and a railway station there would be more convenient for people from Rockley and The Lagoon and intervening points than the one planned for Georges Plains (referred to by the Railway Authorities as King Georges Plains). The first Railway timetable does not mention Perth but the second one does. However, for a short time in 1881 and 1882 the station was called Apsley, perhaps in recognition that it served the whole Parish of Apsley. The local Post Office, established in 1875 at Cavanagh's store, opposite the Hen and Chickens, was initially called the Queen Charlotte's Vale Post Office, but this proved to be confusing, since residents of Queen Charlotte's Vale closer to Bathurst found it more convenient to collect their mail in Bathurst. Therefore, both the Railway Station and the Post Office were designated Perth, which was the name given to the locality when the village was gazetted in 1864. Since the erection of the new bridge in 1868 and the opening of the railway station in 1878 shifted the centre of the village further south, it became apparent that the Post Office should be moved. Despite the protests of ninety people who addressed a petition to the Postal Department requesting its retention at Cavanagh's store, the Post Office was set up at the Railway Station in February 1881, using the name Apsley. Several people, including A J Pechy, of "Gestingthorpe" and E H Mutton, from The Lagoon, pointed out to the authorities that the village of Lagoon was officially called Apsley; and the name was changed to Perth. It was not until 1907, to avoid confusion with two other Australian towns of the same name - one in Tasmania and one in Western Australia - that the name was changed to Perthville. The Post Office was moved from the railway station to Mr Job Booth's bakery and store in 1913. When Mr Booth disposed of his business in the same year, the new owner, Mr John Gleeson, was appointed postmaster.

TOM AND SIS HAMER [AH2] at one time farmed "Bellevue", a farm on the eastern side of the Vale which had originally been granted to Captain W A Steele, of Rockley, by Governor Darling in 1831. Captain Steele moved his family closer to Bathurst, while still retaining his holdings at Rockley, because of the depredations of the Entwistle gang of bushrangers in that area. Tom and Sis's eldest son Thomas Joseph [AH21] was killed by a fall from a horse in the Vale Creek on "Bellevue" on March 20, 1883, at the age of fourteen. His gravestone at the Perthville Uniting Church has inscribed on it a little verse that reflects the resigned faith that early settlers had to have for survival and peace of mind:

It was by a sudden chance I fell,
I had not time to bid my friends farewell.
It is nothing strange. Death happens to all.
Mine was today. Tomorrow yours may fall.

Tom was one of the civic-minded citizens of the Perth District. He was one of the founders, with his brothers Ted and Ellis, of the Vale Road Wesleyan Church in 1863 and was Sunday School teacher and Superintendent there for 40 years. The church was built on two acres of land given by Mr Rodwell, a prominent dairyman who lived at "Roselands", just across the road. Rodwell's butter was well known in Bathurst. Wesleyan worship had been held in various homes along the Vale Road since Rev Joseph Orton conducted the first Wesleyan services at "Orton Park", "Rainham" and Black Rock in 1832. Captain Raine and the Boyd family, successive owners of "Rainham", supported the Wesleyan cause, despite the fact that the Boyds were Presbyterians whose first allegiance was to St Stephen's Church in Bathurst. 73 The fact that "Rainham" was conducted by Mrs Boyd as an inn did not seem to create any impediment to Wesleyan worship, at least around the middle of the century. The temperance movement had begun in Lancashire in the 1830s and was at first not supported by Methodists, but it soon became more popular and, in fact, was changed into a movement for total abstinence from alcohol and gained quite a degree of fervour towards the end of the nineteenth century.74

Wesleyan services had been held at Terry's Farm at Black Rock, Georges Plains, which was owned by Samuel Terry (sometimes spelt Terrey) and her nephew John Terry Hughes75; and in the home of Mrs Sargent on the Deep Creek, adjoining Andrew Hamer's farm, where William and Rebecca Peacock [WP] later lived, and, before them, their daughter and son-in-law, George and Charlotte Shute [WP5], probably from the time of their marriage in 1859, since their first six children were born there; and William and Ann Peacock [AH5, WP7] later lived there. Wesleyan activities had been somewhat desultory in the 1840s and 1850s. It is possible that Andrew Hamer attended class meetings at "Rainham" or travelled occasionally to Bathurst to worship there, but it was the next generation that became active churchmen. R H Doust, in After One Hundred Years: the Centenary of the Methodist Church, Bathurst Circuit76 says that William Lane, of "Orton Park", had donated a block of land for a church on the Vale Road but it is not known where this was or whether a church was actually built on it.77 It is likely that it was the same block said to have been given by Mr Rodwell; this was on the southern edge of the "Roselands" property and was originally owned by William Lane. Perhaps Rodwell merely honoured Lane's promise to donate the block.78 "Roselands" was later bought by Peter Furness, a saddler from Bathurst, and later again by George and Charlotte Shute [WP5], each carrying on the dairying business begun by Rodwell. Tom Hamer was only 21 years of age when the new church was built; Ted was nineteen and Ellis was seventeen, yet all are listed by Doust among the first trustees, along with Josiah Parker (Bathurst), John Short (Georges Plains), Robert Tremain (Perth), Aubrey de Vere Hunt (Evans Plains), Henry Bell (Perth), Glyndwr Whalan (Bathurst) and Gloucester White (Bathurst). Trustees were required by law to be at least 21 years of age; so it is likely that this list was drawn up later than 1863, when the church was first built. Furthermore, the address of several is given as Perth, and this name for the local village did not come into use until 1864 and, in fact, was not proclaimed until 1885. The church was known as the Vale Road Wesleyan Church; this name still persisted when extensions were added in 1891 and 1892.

Tom Hamer was also an active member of the Vale Road Mutual Improvement Society which operated for a few years up to 1875, with headquarters at Rainham Inn. This was the period when Tom was living at "Bellevue", just over the Creek from "Rainham". He also set up a Library at the Vale Road Church, or perhaps transferred the Library of the Mutual Improvement Society when that organisation closed down. During this period he was running his hay and grain business, with a chaffcutter, threshing machine and corn grinder, and was taking a trolley load of hay into Bathurst when the new overhead bridge was being built over the newly extended railway at the foot of Rocket Street in 1876. The hay became caught on the transoms at the top of the bridge and he had to remove some of the load to get across. As a result the bridge was re-designed and the transoms were placed higher.

Tom's eldest daughter Martha (nicknamed "Sis", the same as her mother) [AH23] married William Wallace who ran a blacksmith's shop on the corner opposite the Bridge Hotel in Perth. This shop was first established by James Keegan in 1872 and was conducted by John Pryor before the Wallaces took over. The McDiarmids had a store and Harpers had a butcher's shop nearby. Later in life, after the death of his wife, Tom Hamer lived with the Wallaces; so also did his two younger sons Jack [AH25] and Frank [AH26] until they married. Jack worked in the blacksmith shop and Frank worked for the local baker. Jack married Mabel Pye whose family lived at the time on the Rockley Road just over the Vale Creek opposite the Hamer property. Mabel Pye's ancestor, John Pye, had been transported to Sydney in 1

1 and was granted land in the Parramatta district. His son Joseph was given a grant in 1824 on the Campbell's River in the Dog Rocks area, and other members of the family founded "Bunamagoo" on the Campbell's River in 1829.

Frank Hamer's son Harold Hamer [AH261] was a Rat of Tobruk in the Second World War. Before the War he had conducted a garage at Bankstown and, after return from overseas, he established a factory at Gosford manufacturing batteries - the Central Coast Battery Manufacturers. His son Geoffrey Hamer [AH2611] attended Ashfield Primary School and Dulwich Hill High School, and then began work as a shipping clerk with the Adelaide Steamship Company. He joined the RAAF in 1954 and served in Malaya in 1957-8. He was discharged in 1975 and settled at Tweed Heads. Tom Hamer [AH251], son of Jack Hamer and Mabel Pye, was a Mental Hospital attendant, and was in charge of attendants at Gladesville Hospital, Sydney, and Bloomfield Hospital, Orange. He was a talented singer with a fine tenor voice, professionally trained by Rex de Rego and Dr Edward Bainton at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He took part in musical comedies and sang in church. Sis Wallace's grand daughter, Valerie Rochester [AH2221], married Denzil Kingston who is descended from William Nash, Corporal of Marines on the Prince of Wales in the First Fleet.

TED HAMER [AH3] MARRIED SUSAN BELL from "Limbournes", Cow Flat. He remained on the farm on the Wardell estate with his father for some time and then went farming with his brother Tom on "Bellevue". Like Tom, he was interested in furthering the cause of education; as well as being one of the main supporters of the Vale Road Methodist Church, he was one of the Committee of local citizens who sponsored the application that led to the building of the Public School in Perth in 1873. On this Committee he is listed as a Farmer and a Wesleyan, together with John Paddison, Unitarian, who was Secretary of the Committee, Henry Butler, Farmer, C of E (Treasurer), John Edwards, Butcher, C of E, Edwin Slader, Farmer, R C, Charles William Croaker, Farmer,79 C of E, Jacob Miller, Farmer, C of E, and Christian Miller, Farmer, C of E. There had been a Queen Charlotte's Vale Non-Vested National School which had lasted for about twelve months in 1865 and 1866. The furniture from this was stored in the Vale Road Wesleyan Church, which seems to indicate that the school had actually operated in the church building. Edward Hamer was appointed a member of the first Public School Board, together with Henry Butler, Squatter, C of E - he has by now gone up in the world - John Paddison, Farmer, Unitarian, Edwin Slader, Farmer, C of E - previously listed as R C - and William Tremain, Miller, Wesleyan. Ted Hamer was Secretary of the Board in 1881. He later moved to Bathurst when he was appointed Manager of the Model Farm, situated near the Dennison Bridge on the Macquarie River (later a playing field known as Morse Park). The Model Farm, like the Bathurst Experiment Farm on the other side of town (later taken over by the Bathurst Teachers' College which in turn became the Mitchell College of Advanced Education and later a part of Charles Sturt University), was established by the NSW Department of Agriculture as a source of advice and assistance for local farmers.

Ted and Susan Hamer's eleven children all married, two of them marrying members of the Sloggett family, from White Rock, on the Campbell's River. This family was descended from Thomas and Catherine Sloggett who migrated to New South Wales on the Argyle, arriving on April 1, 1839. Ted Hamer was connected with the Protestant Association in Bathurst, an organisation that was anti-Catholic in origin but had become largely a welfare organisation. It claimed to be an institution whose aims were to defend the Protestant religion and not to attack the Catholic Church as certain other Protestant societies did. Ted retired from the Model Farm in 1914 and he and Susan moved to Sydney and lived out their retirement at Canterbury. When he died on May 23, 1924, the Bathurst Times paid him a remarkable front page tribute (with due allowance for the cliches and flowery language that were typical of journalism at the time):

After a long and trying illness, Mr Edward Hamer passed peacefully away at his residence, "Home", Vincent Street, Canterbury, Sydney, on Saturday morning, May 24. Born at Bathurst just eighty years ago, Mr Hamer engaged in farming pursuits for many years near Perthville, and subsequently for a considerable period was a trusted member of the staff of the Government Experiment Farm, Bathurst. The City of the Plains and its district have produced many men of sterling worth, and in that long list the name of Edward Hamer will ever fill a foremost and honored [sic] place. He never coveted positions of prominence, but by sheer uprightness of character won his way into the confidence of a host of friends. Older residents especially will think of him as a true Australian, "a white man", one who never failed to "play the game". If men and women of the past generation could speak today they would say: "If ever man did good by stealth and blushed to find it known, it was Ted Hamer". He was always on the side of the man who was "up against it", and any hour of the day or night found him ready to lend a helping hand. He knew Bathurst when the ways of men were rougher, but he bore himself unscathed. The deceased gentleman was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, and he passed on, as he lived, with a clear conscience and an up-turned face. His worn remains were laid to rest in the Rookwood Cemetery on Monday, May 26, the service at the grave being conducted by the Rev W J Walker and the Rev L Peacock (Nephew).

Walter Hamer's wife Jinnie Sloggett [AH33] was a niece of Walter's sister Edith's husband, Jim Sloggett [AH36]. Jim and Edith took up share farming at Dubbo, then worked for a while at the Experiment Farm at Coonamble and then bought a property called "Wingello" about three miles out of Coonamble. They later moved into town so that their children could attend school and Jim had a dairy and a milk run. The Sloggett family were musical. Jim's son Harry Sloggett [AH365] ran a dance band in Orange with his wife and always played the Last Post and Reveille at Anzac Day and Armistice Day ceremonies at Orange, while a cousin Cliff Sloggett (not descended from the Hamer family but married to a descendant of the Peacock family, Vera Dixon Swift [WP832]) performed the same office in Bathurst for many years. Betty Gordon [AH3622], daughter of Amy Sloggett and John Gordon, married Clive Osborne, who was Country Party Member of Parliament for Bathurst for several years.

Ethel Hamer [AH37] married Lal Paton. Their daughter Kath Paton [AH371] married Gerry Balding who worked for 48 years with the Sydney book distributing company Gordon and Gotch, rising to the position of Circulation Manager. Leila Paton {AH372] married Stuart McMillan and had two sons Peter {AH3721] and Robert McMillan [AH3722], who own and conduct a large printing firm in Sydney. Edward George [Ted] Hamer [AH34] married Minnie Munson at Bathurst and they immediately settled in Sydney, where Ted worked for the NSW Tramways until he retired in 1930. Their daughter May Hamer [AH341] married Leslie Upfold, who, with his brothers, for many years conducted Upfold's Steam Laundry in Bathurst. Will Hamer [AH38] married a widow, Anna Jones, who owned a hotel at Wellington which they ran in partnership for many years.

ANDREW HAMER'S DAUGHTER, MARTHA HAMER [AH6], married Thomas Nolan who was born at Penrith and was a driver of the Cobb and Co coach service between Dubbo and Bathurst. Martha and Thomas Nolan lived in Rankin Street, Bathurst, where Martha worked as a midwife.

SARAH HAMER [AH7] WAS THREE YEARS OLD when her mother died in 1855. It is not known who cared for her at that tender age, but when she was older her father sent her as a boarder to Mrs Dunn's Boarding School in Peel Street, Bathurst. In 1862, when she was ten, her name appeared in a list of donations from pupils at the school for the victims of economic depression in the English northern and Midlands industrial districts. The list was published in the Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal; Sarah donated sixpence. An appeal had been made especially to those who had relatives in those parts, but Andrew Hamer's name does not appear in the list of donors. Sarah married Joseph Bell, from "Limbournes", Limestone Flat. They had six children. The eldest, Joseph Bell [AH71], worked on the Railways, and was station master at Coolabah, Nevertire, Medlow Bath, Muswellbrook, Uralla, Sandgate and Farley, and then retired to Mayfield; his daughter Edith Bell [AH712] was a trained nurse who married Robert Browne and lived in Maitland. Their daughter Jill Browne [AH711] trained as a nurse at Maitland, and married Robert Stannard. All the Brownes were given the second name McKenzie, in honour of a sailor on the ship that brought the first family member to Australia and had been particularly helpful to him. Colleen Browne married Alan Fletcher, whose second name was also McKenzie, which was an ancestral name.

Albert Bell [AH72] ran a wood, coal, coke and produce yard in Bathurst on the bank of the Jordan Creek in Russell Street and lived in the house next door; his eldest daughter Gladys [AH721] married Athol Thompson [JT521], son of Robert Thompson of White Rock. Jack Bell [AH722], son of Albert Bell, was one of the pioneer Speedway riders when Speedway began at the Bathurst Sports Ground in the 1930s. His daughter Olive Bell [AH723] was a good hockey player, representing Bathurst in Country Week. She married Victor Howard, a carpenter, who worked at Edgell's cannery in Bathurst. Their son Anthony Howard [AH7232] became chief pilot for Uncle Ben's factory in Bathurst and Albury-Wodonga. Their daughter Judith Howard [AH7231] married Barry Nightingale, of Rockley, a roads contractor with the Abercrombie and Evans Shires. Vicki Nightingale [AH72311] worked as a dental nurse at Orange, and, after travelling in New Zealand and Europe, worked as an optometrist's assistant in Bathurst. Then she studied Psychology and Social Work at Charles Sturt University.

Lillian Bell [AH73] married Charles Cole who worked on the railways as a fettler; they lived at Raglan and then moved to Sydney. Violet Bell [AH75] married William Dowling, a farmer at Georges Plains; farming proved to be unsuccessful, and Bill worked for a time on the Railways at Darling Harbour. They returned to live at the Rectory at Georges Plains, which they called "The Pines", where they grew vegetables for a short time. On holidays to Sydney for the Royal Easter Show, the Dowlings usually stayed with Ted and Susan Hamer [AH3] at Canterbury. Their daughters Doris [AH751], Vera [AH752] and Bell [AH753] attended the Georges Plains school and St John's Church of England. Doris worked at Webb's department store in Bathurst and then went to Sydney in 1923 to work at Grace Brothers in Broadway. Vera attended Bathurst High School, travelling on the morning train, known as the Forty, with Ralph Hamer [AH474], Prudie Hamer [AH472], Reta Hamer [AH475] (the last two were going to the Bathurst Tech College to learn dressmaking), and others. The train was invariably late, so they missed the first period of instruction, and then had to leave early to catch the passenger train home. When Clive Hamer[AH478] started at Bathurst High, his father bought him a second-hand bike to ride to school, but riding seven miles in the freezing winter weather proved to be unattractive, so Clive had the bright idea of approaching the proprietor of the Bathurst Omnibus Service, Ted Smith, to suggest that a bus service to Perthville would be a good idea. Mr Smith went to see the headmaster, Mr A D Fraser, and a bus service, later extended to Georges Plains and beyond, was arranged and still operates.

The Dowling family sold "The Pines" in 1925 and moved to Sydney, living first at Five Dock and later at Ashfield and Ashbury. Bill got a job on the Railways preparing for the electrification of the metropolitan rail system but became ill and died in 1932. Vera went to Business College and learnt shorthand and typing and thereafter took office jobs, while Doris and Bell worked for a printer. One of Vera's grandsons, Gary Meagher [AH75211], carried on the Bell family's skill with horses and became a farrier working at the stables of the famous racehorse owner and trainer, T J Smith.

Frank Bell [AH76], unmarried, after beginning his working life as a porter at Perth Railway Station, enlisted as a stoker on HMS Melbourne in the First World War and afterwards worked as an engineer on coastal vessels around Australia.

Bell Dowling [AH753] married Bert Arnold in 1942, and, after the War, he ran a business selling toys. They began their postwar life living in a tent at Toongabbie where Bert made marbles, and they built a house. Bert then progressed through a number of jobs and they were active in the local Methodist Church. Their son, Ken Arnold [AH7533] married Annette Eather, a descendant of a family whose ancestor Thomas Eather arrived in Sydney from Kent in June 1790 on the Second Fleet and settled on a farm at Mulgrave on the Hawkesbury River in 1795. This family was very prolific and their descendants spread to Bathurst, Orange, Mittagong, the Hunter Valley, the Liverpool Plains, and the Bellinger River in the very early days. One branch of the family was wiped out in a flood on the Hawkesbury River in June, 1867, which also claimed the life of one of the brothers of this family.

Bert Bell [AH74] was stone deaf and never married. He and Frank Bell [AH76] carried on the family property at "Limbournes", until the First World War.

E and P HamerEllis and Prudence Hamer and family. (Taken 1920. Original in the posession of Clive Hamer.) Back Row: Eva Smith, Art Hamer, Herb Hamer, Alma Hamer, Jinnie Hamer, George Hamer. Front Row: Ada McCashney, Nell Hamer, Prudence Hamer, Ellis Hamer, Mary Peacock, Annie Hill.IN THE 1890s, WHEN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION struck the eastern side of Australia, gold was discovered at Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and that colony started to develop. Many of the unemployed from the eastern colonies made their way west to look for gold or to find jobs on the newly developing railways. The Midland Railway Company which had built the railways into Lancashire and Yorkshire in the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s was the company that was invited to build railways in Western Australia. At that time two of Ellis Hamer's older daughters, Annie and Ada, migrated to Western Australia. Annie [AH41] married Arthur Hill and, after living a short time in Perth, NSW, the couple travelled by ship to Perth, Western Australia, where Arthur got a job with the railways, living first at Bellevue, a new suburb near Midland Junction, the headquarters of the Railway system. As devoted Wesleyans they spent a lot of their energy helping with the establishment of new churches in a number of developing Perth suburbs - Bellevue, West Leederville, Maddington and Maylands. Arthur Hill was a very prominent local preacher and Sunday School Superintendent. When their daughter Prudence (Peggy) Hill [AH414] was holidaying with her grandparents back in Perth, NSW, she met and married Les Hollis, an orchardist at Sandy Creek. The Hollis family were descended from free immigrants who settled at Parramatta (where Church Street is now) as early as 1798. Les's father, a railway worker, had moved to Bathurst and later began an orchard at Sandy Creek.

Two of the Hill boys, Ralph [AH418] and Wally [AH41J] trained for the Methodist ministry but unfortunately Ralph was killed at a railway level crossing before he was ordained. Arthur and Annie Hill's eldest son Cecil Hill [AH411] served in the First AIF at first at the Anzac landing and then in France where he was awarded the Military Medal (MM) "for bravery in the Field", mentioned in despatches and was wounded four times. He held the rank of Lance Corporal in the 3rd Field Company Engineers. On return to civilian life he established a saddlery business in Perth (WA). During the depression of the 1930s he took his family to live on a five acre block at Wooroloo, forty miles east of Perth, so that he could grow some vegetables and a few fruit trees and run a cow and a few fowls, in order to feed the family. Most of the work was done by his wife Sis, a Scottish war bride, and the children, while Cecil travelled around the farming districts seeking saddles to mend. Ellis Hill [AH412] and George Hill [AH413] also served in the First World War; George was wounded and Ellis was gassed shortly after arrival in France and this impaired his health thereafter.Ellis worked as a Postmaster in Western Australia after his return from the War.

Clem Hill [AH415] had a varied career, in the public service, in wool sheds, in a trucking business and finally in the Customs Department. He served in a Hospital Unit in Dutch New Guinea in the Second World War. During the depression when living at West Midland, he grew flowers in his back yard and took them by horse and cart to the Perth markets. Winnie Hill [AH416] was a trained nurse; she married Jim Morrell, a descendant of a pioneer family from Northam, in Western Australia, and they raised their family on a farm at Beverley. When the children grew up they handed the farm over to their son John, and Jim Morrell trained for the ministry and they served in a number of country circuits for the Methodist Church in Western Australia. Jim Morrell's ancestor, Richard Morrell arrived at Fremantle on the Eliza in 1831. He plied his trade as a builder in Perth for some time, and was said to have been the first settler at Northam.

A and A HillArthur and Annie Hill and Family. (Taken about 1913 – Original in the posession of Gordon Hill.) Back Row: Ellis, Cecil, George. Middle Row: Winnie, Ralph, Annie Hill, Arthur Hill, Prudence, Clem. In front: Wally on mother's knee, Fred.Cecil Hill had two sons who were Sick Bay attendants in the Navy during the Second World War. Robin Hill [AH4113] conducted a wholesale grocery business after the War. Alec Hill [AH4114] served on HMAS Manoora. He took part in all the landings of American forces in which the Manoora participated in New Guinea, Moratai and the Philippines. He was the only member of the crew to be killed at the hands of the enemy, but this occurred not as a result of any naval engagement but as a consequence of an unofficial adventure with one of his friends who was an RAAF pilot with a Beaufighter Squadron, Pilot Officer Will McGuigan, of Carnarvon. It was not uncommon during the war in New Guinea for pilots to take their friends with them on operations just for the thrill of it. Pilot Officer McGuigan's plane was one of a Squadron of eight Beaufighters which flew from Moratai on February 1, 1945, to attack Japanese installations at Tomonan on the west coast of Minabasa on the north eastern tip of the Celebes. Two planes, including the one carrying Will McGuigan and Alec Hill, were shot down by anti-aircraft fire. An extensive air search located the first plane completely wrecked with no survivors, but failed to find the second plane. In November, 1945, Alec's uncle Wally Hill [AH41J], on a posting to Moratai as an RAAF Chaplain, made enquiries among the local people and learnt that Alec's plane had ditched into the sea east of the island, and that both Will McGuigan and Alec Hill had survived and had swum ashore. The navigator, however, did not survive. They were captured by the Japanese and taken to a Japanese Naval Prison on Lake Tondano, where they were kept for four months. An Indonesian prisoner named Harry Kullitt told Wally Hill that they were well treated, except that food was very scarce. Harry Kullitt smuggled extra food to them, at the risk of his own life. Will and Alec wrote a letter commending Kullitt for his action, recommending that he be reimbursed for the cost of the food and rewarded for his courage. Wally met Kullitt and questioned him through an interpreter. He refused the reward offered by Wally with the words: "I only did what was my duty as a Christian." The AIF occupation force nevertheless supplied him and his family with food. In June, 1945, Will McGuigan and Alec Hill were transferred to the Japanese Naval Prison at Menado, where Wally Hill found their names written in pencil on the wall of an out-building. A Dutch prisoner reported that on June 17, less than two months before the war ended, they were taken out and bayoneted to death, along with two Dutchmen and two Indonesians. Wally Hill arranged for the bodies to be exhumed and transferred to Moratai where he conducted a Christian burial for Alec with full Naval honours and with RAAF honours for Will McGuigan in the Moratai War Cemetery on November 9, 1945. Later, at the insistence of the new Indonesian government, all Australian servicemen buried in scattered parts of Indonesia were transferred to a larger cemetery at Macassar, in the Celebes; and later again the bodies were transferred (in 1962) to the Australian War Cemetery at Ambon.

MURRAY HOLLIS [AH4146] WAS BORN AT "SUNNYSIDE" on the Sandy Creek at Perthville, and educated at Perthville Primary School, Bathurst Demonstration School and Bathurst High School. He played hockey with Kelvin and Ian Cooke and Harry Bestwick in the Perthville Waratahs. He worked as a radio technician with AWA in Sydney and completed the degree of Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Physics at the University of NSW, on a cadetship with the Australian Department of Supply. He was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Physics from the University of NSW in 1969, having won a Commonwealth Scholarship for the course. He worked for three years on a post-doctoral fellowship with the National Research Council of Canada at the Atomic Energy of Canada Laboratories at Chalk River, Ontario. He was a Research Fellow at the Research School of Physical Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra, from 1971 to 1976. He was Engineering Manager of the Canberra Homopolar Generator at the Research School of Physical Sciences from 1976 to 1981; and since then has been Laboratory Manager at the Research School of Physical Sciences. He also completed a Graduate Diploma in Administration at the Canberra College of Advanced Education. He has been an active member of the Scout Association since 1972, rising to the position of District Commissioner of the Limestone Plains District (Australian Capital Territory), and was awarded the Scouts' Certificate for Good Service in 1983. He has been an active member of the Methodist Church and (after amalgamation of the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches) of the Uniting Church. His wife and children were all active Scouts and Guides. For relaxation Murray does drawing, painting, pottery, photography and sign writing. Sadly, in 1994, when Murray and his wife Gwenda took a group of Australian Scouts to Russia, Gwenda, together with two other leaders of the party, was knocked down and killed by a hit-and-run driver when they were walking along a footpath in Moscow.

Graeme Hollis [AH41422], a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy, was the last person to get out alive when the engine room of the HMAS Westralia caught fire off the coast of Western Australia in 1998, when four sailors were killed. He was awarded a medal for bravery for his conduct during the tragic incident.

Murray Hollis's cousin Arthur Hill [AH4152] was educated at West Midland Primary School and Midland Junction Primary School (WA) and, in 1944, he won a scholarship to Perth Modern School, which at that time was the only government High School in Western Australia, to which entry was awarded on a selective basis. He went on to the University of Western Australia to do a BA degree, specialising in Psychology. Before completing his degree he taught for one year at Denmark Agricultural School and for one year at Harvey Agricultural School. These were boarding schools and Arthur was a house master as well as a teacher. He then returned to Perth to complete his degree and was invited by a visiting psychologist from the University of Minnesota to apply for a Fellowship to that University. The Fellowship was for three years and provided Arthur with the opportunity to do a Ph D in Psychology. While at Minnesota he was President of the Council of Foreign Students. He married a fellow foreign graduate student, Julie Leotsinides, a Greek from Alexandria, Egypt. On return to Australia he was appointed Lecturer in Psychology at Melbourne University and became a Senior Lecturer in his third year. He then gained a position as Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, USA, but stayed for a brief period only, transferring to the American Institute for Research. That organisation posted him to Bangkok, Thailand. The Ford Foundation then offered him a position in their office in Manila, in the Philippines, and from there he transferred to the United Nations and was posted to Apia in Western Samoa. After a couple of years he was transferred to Afghanistan and then, after one year there, he went to New York to take up a position first with ITT and then with CSP International, where he was a Vice President. He then became General Manager of a market research and publishing company, Northern Business Information, and he is Vice President of Business Development for AT and T, where he was involved in the $19.7 billion purchase of McCaw Cellular Communications, the world's largest cellular telephone operator. This was one of the largest acquisitions in American business history. In 1991 he wrote a book entitled Europe's Wireless Revolution, published by Telephony Books, a subsidiary of Macmillan's. Julie works as a strategist for AT and T's Network Wireless Systems business, and both she and Arthur travel all over the world quite frequently on business.

Arthur's sister Eileen Hill [AH4151] was educated at a number of different Primary Schools in Perth and won a scholarship to Perth Modern School also and then went to Claremont Teachers' College. She taught at Kalgoorlie Infants' School, Claremont Infants' and Morley Primary, and then became Acting Deputy and later Acting Head at Newcastle Street Junior Primary School in Perth. After that she was Head of the North Scarborough Junior Primary and Head of the North Perth Junior Primary School. She married Cliff Withnell, a great grandson of Emma Withnell, who was famous as the first white woman to settle in the north west of Western Australia (in 1864). They had two children; their son Ross Withnell [AH41512] did a Music degree at the University of Western Australia and works as Music librarian at the State Library in Perth.

WALLY HILL [AH41J] HAD HIS EARLY EDUCATION at Perth Boys' School (WA) and began his working life as a clerk in an office in Perth. Three years later he started local preaching as a member of the Maylands Methodist Young Men's Preaching Band. In 1933 he was appointed a Home Missioner to the Nannup Circuit in Western Australia and then to Moora. After that he was accepted for theological training and also completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Australia and a Licentiate of Theology from Melbourne. During the Second World War he served as Chaplain in the RAAF in Dutch New Guinea, Moratai and Borneo. In Merauke, in Dutch New Guinea, his cousin Clive Hamer, serving in the AIF, attended a church service at the local YMCA conducted by RAAF Padre Hill and, after the service, he enquired, since he had never met him, whether he was Wally Hill. They saw quite a bit of each other over the next few months. On his way south for posting to Moratai Wally bumped into his brother Clem on Cape York Peninsula, only to learn that Clem, a Hospital Sergeant in the AIF, was on his way to Merauke. He told him to look up Clive Hamer after he got there, and these two cousins were associated with one another for a further year or so. After the War Wally was posted as Methodist Minister to Collie in Western Australia and then went as an overseas missionary to Fiji in 1949 with his wife and young family. They first of all served in a lonely group of islands and then were transferred to Vanua Levu. Wally was then appointed as Principal of the Methodist Bible School at Davui Levu where he trained Fijian ministers who have since held positions of leadership in the Fijian Methodist Church. He was a keen ornithologist and he put this interest to good use in Fiji when he alerted the authorities to a starling infestation in the Lau area, thus averting the spread of a serious problem. He contributed several important papers to the Journal of the Fiji Society. After return to Western Australia he was appointed successively to the Pingelly and Floreat Park Circuits. Unfortunately, he had contracted Parkinson's disease and progressive deterioration of health forced an early retirement. His disability grew worse over a period of about twenty years. He lived with his wife in retirement for a short time at Mount Pleasant and then at Bridgetown but spent most of his later years in hospital until he died in 1977.

Wally's eldest daughter Penny Hill [AH41J1] and his second daughter Patricia Hill [AH41J2] were each dux of Methodist Ladies' College, Claremont, in their respective years. Penny became a teacher and also did some work in adult education, and then, with a Ph D, was appointed to the staff of the University of WA. Patricia became a medical practitioner, practising under her married name of Reynolds. She topped her class each year in the annual examinations in the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Western Australia, except one year when she had a baby during the period of the examination. She won the University Medal in her final year. She went on to make a name for herself as a specialist in the treatment of cancer and has written a book to help cancer sufferers entitled Your Cancer Your Life; and a second book on incest called Tricia's Song.80 Wally's eldest son Geoff Hill [AH41J3] was a trained nurse and, with his wife, ran a private hospital in Gloucester, England. The youngest son Roger Hill [AH41J4] lives with his wife and family in a Christian commune called Riverside Community, near Nelson, New Zealand.

ANNIE HILL'S SISTER, ADA HAMER [AH43], WENT TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA to visit her sister and met and married Tom McCashney, a carpenter. They too were staunch members of the Methodist Church, at Bassendean, a Perth suburb. They raised two sons and four daughters. Their eldest son Cliff [AH431] worked as a carpenter until the age of 40 and then established a farm at Cadoux (WA) which is still run by his son Harold [AH4313]. His sister Eileen McCashney [AH434] married her childhood sweetheart, Jack King, and they had gone to Cadoux in 1937 to farm a property owned by her Uncle Paddy McCashney, but in 1938 they took up new country alongside Uncle Paddy's, and created a farm from virgin bush which they operated for forty years. They lived in a shed for the first fourteen years and then built a house with bricks which they hand made. In 1978, having no children of their own, they sold the farm to their farm hand, Bruce Lyons.

Tom had come from Victoria to get a job on the new railway development in Western Australia. His father had migrated to Victoria from America, where he had been born of Irish parents, and he set up a sawmill there; other branches of the family are still engaged in sawmilling on a large scale in Victoria. Tom was very musical, playing a concertina and a violin by ear. The name McCashney is unique to this family; it does not occur in Scotland or Ireland, and was probably adopted by Tom's father when he found that official documents had corrupted some similar name, such as McKeshnie or McKechnie.

There are a couple of fascinating letters that have been preserved from the early twentieth century.81 They are written by Eva Peacock [AH53, WP73] to her cousin Ada Hamer [AH43], and in their playfulness and plaintiveness they read like an extract from Little Women. The William Peacock family had moved towards the end of the 1890s from Georges Plains, only half a mile from the Hamers at "Wardell" (as they now called their farm) to Wellington, some 100 miles down the Macquarie River. Eva missed the fellowship she had with her cousins, but Ada had recently been to spend a holiday with the Peacocks at Wellington. They are about twenty years of age and still very girlish. The first letter can be dated from a reference to the death of their Uncle Tom Nolan [AH6] which occurred on January 22, 1899.

I'm glad to hear the Perth choir
is doing so well. Did they
sing at White Rock. We were
sorry to hear Uncle is not well.
I hope he is much better
"Woodstock" no less
Wellington, N.S.W.
Sunday night.
 P.S. Prudie82 says to tell you there is one
mosquito here. The poor kid is covered
with marks all over her face and hands.
The beasts are not nearly so bad, so
we don't 'have to' murder so many.

My dear Ada,

I not only came to the conclusion that you were not a Catholic but I was beginning to think you must really be a Wesleyan, or approaching very near to it, much as I disliked the thought, because you were at home at beautiful dear old Perth and hadn't written for so long. Anyway I was very pleased to hear from you, and hope that in the future you will prove yourself a true Roman Catholic.83 Now. Ada, I am going to tell you a tremendous lot of news. You know yourself what a great place this is for news, and the only regret I have is that this paper is so very small. Well, did you notice the "Woodstock", horrid name, isn't it? We bought a new plough the other day, the name of it is "Braybrook", and we thought what a lovely name for our farm. So we, being great believers in transmission of thought, and not being game to mention such a rude thing, decided to think and think of this every time Father was about, and sure enough a day or two later Father came out with "how would Braybrook do for a name for this place". We nearly collapsed, of course, but we cracked innocent, and said we [sic] would be very nice. So when he went to town he asked Mr. Scott if the place had a name and he said: they called it Woodstock at first and it couldn't very easily be altered. Well, on Sunday he was out for a change, and Sue84 and I asked him and he asked where the Brook was. We were dumbfounded. It was the Bray part of it we were thinking of. Of course he's the biggest and because he is - it is Woodstock instead of "Braybrook". He was very disaffectionate to me and Prudie. And I know what you will say to all this. It serves us right for working a point on Father the sneaky way we did, well you're disaffectionate too. It's not the only rude thing you've been doing to us lately either. I hear you "Hamer girls" were at White Rock. Of course, where else would you be on anniversary day,85 - but you were yarning to a friend of mine, the very thing I should have been doing myself on that day. He seemed to reckon it was alright, anyway as it was the only thing he reckoned was any good there. He ran it all down from beginning to end, but all the same I reckon it was pretty good. Boys never know, and he didn't tell me anything about it that I wanted to know.86 So you must write soon my affectionate Ada and tell me all about it. I hope while you were talking to him you said all I would have said so I won't miss going so much. Wellington's a terrible place for making people Irish, why even Tom Dent said a more Irish thing while he were here [sic] than he's ever been know [sic] to at home. About the patch on his trousers and shirt you know. Of course all the above won't go out of your house, Ada, please. Not that I'm afraid it would if you knew I didn't want it to, but you might "and that". But I can trust a Catholic with anything. I'll forgive you for not letting us know you were going throw [sic] that time, Ada, but you must promise me not to do it again. We, J87 and I were over at Mary's on the 26th, so you didn't have all the fun to yourselves, you crowd.88 We got an early start so it wouldn't be too hot, at least we meant to, but we didn't get up early enough, anyway we got there about half past ten. Walked of course. It isn't far. No further than Wellerton, I don't fancy. You say you suppose we have got to know a good many people. Well we have, but they're not up to much any of them. Mr Corbett89 went away a day after you did and he's not back yet, nor likely to come, he's too sick. And Mr Furner90 went to Sydney to attend his sister's funeral. She died about a fortnight ago. He is in great trouble over her. I feel so sorry for him. He is preaching tonight I believe he came home yesterday. We started to church Leon,91 Sue,92 Willy93 and I got as far as Littlethorpe (the people are living there now) and it started to rain so home we tore as fast as our Wellerton legs would carry us, and that's pretty hard if you remember aright, through the melon paddock and brought home a couple of beauties, so they wouldn't laugh at us for coming home after getting a start. They didn't laugh either when they cut one of the melons, but it wasn't any better for us either - for it was white. Now Ada you know a white watermelon isn't the nicest thing you can look at, and that's what they all thought. We were sorry we hadn't gone on and got drenched. But they opened the other one and then the smiles all came back, and the youngsters made [indecipherable] men out of the two halves of the white one. And it's a good thing we didn't get wet too so all's well that ends well. We can't afford to get wet and get a cold either, because we want to keep ourselves good for show time. Of course we still have an idea of going to Bathurst for then, and are looking forward to it with very much pleasure. I can tell you, as it will be lovely to see you all again. Ada, my girl, a very dreadful thing happened to our dear little Archie, our only friend almost.94He got poisoned through eating fish, and for about two hours they were all watching him and the Doctor didn't know whether he would live or not. Poor little Archie, whatever would we have done without him, and he was so very nearly gone. He looks very bad yet, but he reckons he is quite well again. He was off work for a week but goes again tomorrow morning. Did you know he is going to Bathurst with us for the show. You will see him of course. Oh, Ada, we went to the caves95 A church picnic, it was, and moonlight and it was very good. My word the caves are lovely. There are a lot of beautiful rooms, much better than I thought possible, and the fun was good too for Wellerton. We had fun laughing at a good many of the people and I quite believe they had a lot of fun out of us. But the fun of the night was the old guide. My word, he's a hard case joint - excuse slang - I had given up that sort of thing after you left but the bad influence seems to be on me again if I only write to you. You're a terror, Ada, you are. But that old guide. You never saw such a comical turnout in all your life. Well, he was so comical that it's worth living in Wellerton even, to have one look at him with his big yellow curls on to his shoulders, his yarns, his songs, and last, but Ada, not least, his patch of leather all over the back of his pants, to help him to slip about on the wet rocks without hurting himself or his trousers. Oh Ada, I'll never forget that leather as long as I live. And I'll never hear of caves without thinking of leather. Next time you come up you must not miss the caves Ada. They are certainly worth seeing. We had supper outside in the moonlight at about twelve and then after writing our names in the visitors' book we did a get home in the buss [sic] and as you are a good way off, I'll tell you the time we got home. 3 A.M We were stiff for a week after it. Mr Furner had made every arrangement for taking us three and Archie out again last Wed. week and sent us out word that he had to go away just as we were expecting him to come out for us. We were very sorry I can tell you. Goodness knows when we will go again. We were at an evening party at Taits the other evening and oh Ada we did wish people would let us alone and let us go to bed at a decent hour. But we went, and no-one laughed harder than Suse96 and I and I'm sure no one enjoyed it less. I would have, rather a hundred times, been at home having a talk to you as I am tonight. We landed home 1.30 A.M. that morning. An improvement on the other, but Ada you will be pleased to hear that we go to bed much earlier that [sic] we did when you were here. In fact you must wish yourself back again. It's often only 10 o'clock when we are "snoodled". Did we use that word when you were up? Anyway you will know what it means. It seems Teddy97 doesn't know when or where to stop when he gets a start as the last we hear of him he is in Armidale. It must be very different for him. Ada, wasn't it very sad indeed for Aunty Martha to lose Uncle Tom.98It came a great shock to us, as we didn't know anything about his being ill till after he was buried. Poor Aunty, how very awful it must be for her. We have to forgive a great deal when the end comes, but what a comfort it must be for her to think she has always been so good to him, and for the children too. We only had a few words from Aunty and have not heard any particulars yet. I do hope it was alright with him. I am so glad he was at home. Mother was sorry she couldn't be with Aunty. Polly99 hadn't heard of it till we were over there on Thursday. She was very sorry for them all. You must miss poor old Lizzie very much. 100 What a different place it must be without her. Well, Ada, I've exhausted my powers, or paper, or something and must go to bed as it is nearly 10? Give my love to Aunty, Uncle, George, 101 Jinny102 Nell103 and all the others. All send their love to everyone, and Leon104 sends a wave to George.105Love for yourself from your loving Eva. Chapter 2. My dear Ada, it is after 10, and it's your fault. It's an awful thing to keep bad hours, but I thought of something else. Jane106 is going back to Bathurst tomorrow. You can't think how sad we feel over it, to think we will have to cut down to the train tomorrow and come back without her. She doesn't love Wellerton any more than we do, it strikes me, though she cracks very hardy. Ada, another very important thing happened. You remember your chook. Well you have heard too of the great gale we had here which took a great many roofs off. Well chookie disappeared same time. All though our carelessness in forgetting to bring it home some time. But we suppose you were keeping a look out for Wellington fragmen [sic] at the time of the storm, thinking you might find some bits of Eva or Suse and copped out on your chook. Anyway we are hoping it reached its rightful owner and are sorry it wasn't in time for Xmas.

Thank you Ada for the Xmas cards. It was so lovely to get them from you. I believe that is all now, so for the second time I close this letter, and then for the first time since 6 this morning I close my eyes. Eva.

A few years later Eva Peacock has consumption (tuberculosis) which was still a scourge at that time, and is resting at her aunt and uncle's place at Perth, NSW, while Ada has gone off to Perth, WA, where she met and married Tom McCashney. Eva writes from the home of Ada's parents: her enjoyment of life has been much reduced and, though far from being envious of Ada's good fortune, she wishes that Ada had kept in touch, and a wistful languidness has taken over; in fact, life does not hold the same zest and excitement that it did. Ada has found a new interest in life that will keep her in Western Australia for the rest of her life.

I read all about Arthur's new church with much pleasure.107
I think he is to be congratulated on it's [sic] success, Perth,
for it seems to me he has had a great deal to do with it. E.P.
Feb. 1901.

My dear Ada,
You will be surprised to get a letter from me I expect but just now your Mother asked me would I like to write to you and send it with hers and I was very glad. Not that I couldn't write without something to make me, but you know how people put things off till it seems hard work to make up your mind definately [sic].That's the way it has been with me ever since you left and Ada dear I feel sure it has been the same with you, for I have looked for a letter from you a very long time in vain. But of course you must write home once a week and writing is a strain on you if you are busy at other things. Nevertheless I expect a letter from you soon now. My word I often wish I were over there with you. You're a lucky girl to have such a big change and such a grand experience. When you come back Perth and Bathurst will seem smaller and more insignificant than ever. But it is home and to judge by a few things said you would be very welcome back. Poor old Jinnie108 is always talking about Ada and the fun she used to have when Ada was at home. She is extra lonely this last week because Nellie109 is away at Pollie's,110 but she will be back on Wed. I'm no good to Jinnie you know because I don't feel well enough to talk very much. I am much better than I was tho'. I can't expect to get well in a week or two after nearly 4 months illness. I am doing splendidly here. I'm so glad I came when I did. Wellington heat is too much for me. I didn't leave my Mother behind, or if I did, I found another Mother in yours, so I'm right. Jack and Polly111 will be here on Wed. Jack is getting on splendidly, far better than anyone expected, for he was very ill indeed. It will do them all good to come for a while. I'm going out to Aunt Charlott's112 for a few weeks tomorrow. My word Ada you will soon be gone a year. No getting engaged or any of that sort of thing you know. I won't allow it, unless you get someone for me same time. I'm not going to be left out of it. I couldn't go with you. You'll have to make it up to me somehow. Dear old Ada I wish I could be with you, in the same house, but good gracious I'd have to be less of a scarecrow before I attempted anything. I could keep on but I've come to the end & there won't be room for more than this. So will close my dear Ada with love to Annie and Arthur113 and heaps and loads for your dear self from yours lovingly Eva Peacock.

Eva died on August 31, 1901.

Brian HamerBrian Hamer, Mayor of Manly 1994-95WHEN HE FIRST MARRIED, Ellis Hamer's eldest son, George Hamer [AH45], after initially farming the property at Georges Plains known as "Grantham", sought new pastures. He took his pushbike in the guard's van of a train to Woodstock, then rode across country to Canowindra where he was attracted by the rich river flats of the Belubula River and, fresh from intimate experience of lucerne growing in similar soil on the Vale Creek, he felt that this was the ideal place to commence lucerne farming. He returned to Perth, broke in a team of horses and transported his wife, Mary Reynolds, by sulky and his furniture by trolley to Canowindra. He had met Mary when she worked as a domestic servant for his Uncle Tom Cheney [WC2] at "Cheston", just across the Vale Creek from the Hamer property. George commenced share farming with George Grant, the first farmer to grow lucerne commercially at Canowindra, using a horse-operated press and hay baling Mudgee style. He carried his hay bales by horse-drawn trolley fourteen miles to the railhead at Woodstock. He also from time to time did share farming with other members of the Grant family - Tom, Alla and Joe, as well as George Grant. His ploughing was done at first with bullocks and later horses, and later again with a tractor. He purchased a farm on the Woodstock Road but immediately was confronted with a long drought and also had his home accidentally burnt down. This set him back financially and he was forced to sell the property. He returned to share farming with the Grants and later bought another property at Moorbel and built a new home; and a further property seven miles from Eugowra on the Parkes Road, where he grew wheat. He struck a period of depressed wheat prices and was forced to return to lucerne farming. He and Mary moved to live in Canowwindra itself in the 1930s. His son Bill [Lloyd George Hamer - AH456] bought a property named "Bon Accord" in partnership with his father in 1940. George and Mary's eldest son Dudley [AH451] died at the age of fifteen and their second son Aubrey [AH453], who worked on the Railways at Canowindra and Blayney and was an outstanding cricketer, was killed when thrown from a horse at the age of 21. Their fifth child Jack [Raymond Noel - AH455] was a dairy farmer before joining the police force where he rose to the rank of Superintendent in Sydney. Jack's three sons and his daughter all trained as lawyers and run a legal business in Sydney. Brian Hamer [AH4553] holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Laws from the University of Sydney and practises as a lawyer in Sydney. He was elected to the Manly Municipal Council in 1991 and was elected Mayor of Manly in 1994, the last Mayor to be elected by the Council. From 1995, the Mayor is to be elected by direct vote of the people. Brian's children Sadie [AH45531] is studying Arts/Law at Sydney University, Murray [AH45532] has completed an Arts degree, and Cassandra (Cassie) [AH45533], after doing an Arts degree in Communications at the Charles Sturt University at Bathurst worked as a television journalist at Newcastle, where she became Chief of Staff and won the Award as the Best TV Journalist in 2000, as well as Awards for her series on the closure of the BHP steelworks at Newcastle.

Clive HamerClive Hamer and Wally Hill in Merauke, Dutch New Guinea, 1943.George and Mary's eldest daughter Nena Hamer [AH452], a nursing sister, and their second daughter Lorna Hamer [AH454] married a real estate businessman and a banker respectively. George Hamer and his youngest son Bill were interested in horses and trained and groomed a number of trotters that raced in the western districts of New South Wales. Bill's son Graeme [AH4561] is a technical officer with the Central Western (Electricity) County Council; and his second son Peter [AH4562] is a Sergeant of Police.

ART HAMER [AH47] CARRIED ON THE FARM at "Wardell" from his father. He was trustee and steward at the Perthville Methodist Church and a trustee of the Perthville Recreation Ground and the Perthville School of Arts. He played tennis and cricket in local teams and was active for many years in local organisations. Like his brother George he showed the characteristic Hamer thoroughness, cautiousness and reticence about himself. He established quite a reputation as a farmer and was particularly skilled in haystack building, with both lucerne and oaten hay, and in thatching. This was an art passed on from father to son over many generations; it would be intriguing to think it stretched back to the building of hay houses on Hey Brook. His eldest son Ralph Hamer [AH474], after serving in the Middle East in the AIF in the Second World War, carried on the farm, bringing about major improvements in farming techniques and consequent productivity. He improved the pastures, introduced anti-erosion measures and greatly increased the sheep-carrying capacity. Cauliflowers became the main crop after about 1930 when dairying diminished in importance and, while the growing of oaten and lucerne hay continued, these activities became subsidiary to the production of cauliflowers and other vegetables. For a number of years asparagus, peas, carrots, beetroot and other crops were grown for sale to Edgell's Cannery which developed in Bathurst from 1926. Ralph and his son Ken [AH4741] employed new methods of planting cauliflowers, with men seated on a mobile frame behind a tractor; and of cutting and packing them, with an endless belt suspended out over the crop behind a tractor feeding a packer on a trailer who trimmed and packed them into waxed cardboard boxes. The machinery for this was built by Ralph's brother Ellis [AH476] who ran an engineering and farm machinery repair business, first at the Old Waterworks on the Macquarie River, and later on the Sydney Road, Kelso. Ralph's method of pre-packing cauliflowers in boxes revolutionised the marketing of that vegetable which previously had been carried in bulk by motor truck to Sydney nightly, and prior to that had been carried by railway trucks to the Sydney markets. The old method meant that the cauliflowers were liable to be damaged and much excess weight in cauliflower leaves which ended up as waste at the markets was eliminated by the new method. Irrigation of cauliflowers and other crops on the flats had also improved, first of all with furrows between rows, then with moveable overhead sprays, then with water cannon. The Vale Creek is not a constantly flowing stream but water is obtained by digging holes in the sand. This was first done with horse-drawn scoops and later with bulldozers. The water is obtainable except in very long periods of drought. Pest and fungus control by chemicals has increased cauliflower yield over the years, and the building of refrigerated cool stores has rationalised marketing by making it possible to store cauliflowers rather than having to rush them to market as they matured. Ralph Hamer did a lot to educate other cauliflower growers not only in the Bathurst district but throughout Australia. He was President of the vegetable section of the United Farmers' and Woolgrowers' Association for six years and also of the Australian Vegetable Growers' Association for three years. During this time he travelled throughout Australia studying marketing methods. He advocated the appointment of specialist vegetable agronomists by the NSW Agricultural Department and the financial support of the University of Sydney Chair of Horticulture. He was at various times President and Secretary of the Bathurst branch of the Vegetable Growers' Association. He was a Councillor of the Abercrombie Shire Council for fifteen years and President of the Shire from 1971 to 1977. When the two Shires surrounding Bathurst, the Abercrombie and Turon Shires, merged in 1977 to form the Evans Shire he was the first President. He was awarded the local government Long Service Certificate. He unsuccessfully opposed the amalgamation of the two Shires and the extension of the Bathurst city boundaries, which now take in part of "Wardell". He was very active in having the Sydney Vegetable Markets moved out of the Haymarket area to Flemington. He was the vegetable growers' representative on the Metric Conversion Board for three years. Ralph was a good cricketer and tennis player, and was selected in the Bathurst district cricket team on a couple of occasions.

R and R RidleyRoss and Rosalyn Ridley and their two daughters, Caroline Ridley and Lyndall Ridley.His son Ken Hamer [AH4741] bought the farm at "Grantham"114, Georges Plains, from James Pratley, and he grew cauliflowers and other vegetables there and also ran sheep. He sold this in 1987 and bought another farm at Canowindra producing mainly lucerne and wool. For three years in succession Ken won the Farmer of the Year Award (Vegetable Section), run by the Bathurst Radio Station, for his progressive farming methods, and was runner-up twice. He has
been prominent in the International Agricultural Exchange Association which places about 300 young farmers per year on Australian farms from all over the world. He and his cousin Harry Bestwick [AH4751] at Duramana have employed young farmers from Denmark, the United States, Canada and other countries under this scheme. In 1992 Ken sold his farm at Canowindra and moved back to take over "Wardell" when his parents retired to Bathurst. He also has a property at Trunkey. He is helped by his eldest son Ben Hamer [AH47411], while his two other sons, Gary [AH47412] and Derek [AH47413], are studying at the New England University, Armidale. Ralph's eldest daughter Diane Hamer [AH4742] was a Prefect at Bathurst High School and his second daughter Wendy Hamer [AH4743], who is a schoolteacher, was Captain of Bathurst High in 1962.

Art Hamer's eldest daughter Edna Hamer [AH471] married Harry Phipps who had been Station Master at Perthville from 1931 to 1935 Harry's grandfather had migrated in 1851 from Lord Roberts's estate in Surrey and, after a short time at the gold diggings at Ballarat, settled at Picola, in Victoria. Harry's parents were wheat farmers on the Namoi River in NSW and Harry joined the Railways as a Junior Porter at Narrabri. He served at a number of stations in NSW, rising to become Station Master at Narrabri, Rylstone, Narrandera, Werris Creek, Leeton, Cowra and finally Wollongong, where he retired in 1968. He wrote a number of reminiscences of the Railways in NSW and of early days in Victoria and the north west of NSW.115

Tom HamerTom Hamer, taken about 1940.Reta Hamer [AH475] married Ted Bestwick, whose family conducted a farm on "Gestingthorpe", a neighbouring property that was previously owned by Art Hamer's Uncle Tom Cheney [WC3]. The Bestwicks had moved in from The Lagoon where their farm had been in the neighbourhood of that operated by William and Rebecca Peacock [WP] on the Campbell's River. At first Ted and Reta lived on "Schiraz", which had been previously owned by Francis Croaker before Tom Cheney bought it. After their retirement to Bathurst, Ted bought a property at Duramana which was run by his son Harry Bestwick [AH4751]. Harry married Frances Armytage who had served at the Methodist Mission at Millingimbi. Frances is descended from Sir John Jamison, a naval surgeon who was knighted by the king of Sweden for his work in combating a cholera outbreak in the Swedish navy. His father had come out as a Surgeon's Mate in the First Fleet (on the Sirius), in 1788 and established a property on the Nepean. Sir John joined him there in 1814. He was the chairman of a group of settlers who petitioned the British government in 1819 for a number of reforms in New South Wales, particularly for measures that would improve opportunities for trade with Britain. He was one of the leaders of the "sterling" class of wealthy men who made things difficult for Governor Macquarie at the period when Macquarie was trying to assist the emancipists and the poorer settlers to establish themselves. Though Macquarie didn't like him much, he took him with him when he visited the Bathurst Plains in 1815 to establish the town of Bathurst. In 1995 Harry put the property at Duramana up for sale and worked as a fencing contractor with his son Billy [AH47511].

Reta's daughter Helen Bestwick [AH4653] was a trained nurse. She married Ray Clarke from The Lagoon, brother of Elaine Clarke, who married Helen's cousin Ken Hamer [AH4741]. After a number of years in Bathurst, Ray and Helen moved to Berkeley Vale, in the Gosford District, where Reta spent the rest of her life after Ted died. Helen's daughter Rachel [AH47533] won an American Field Scholarship, under which she extended her education in Jamaica.

Ellis Hamer [AH476], after working with his father on the farm for some time, started an earthmoving and clearing business around Bathurst after the Second World War. One of his projects was the back road to Mount Panorama. He later established a farm machinery repairing and welding business, first at the Old Waterworks on the Macquarie River and then on the Sydney Road at Kelso, trading under the name of Hamer Rural Industries. He married Nancy Elbourne [WP21263], a descendant of the Peacock family, as he was also. [WP696]. He was a keen cricketer; like his father, a good round arm bowler, playing for Perthville, Cow Flat and the Bathurst RSL Club. He was a director of the Bathurst Trotting Club, and was assistant to the Official Starter, Sid Howard, for several years, and succeeded Sid, who was his wife's uncle, as starter, until the mobile starter came into operation. He erected the steel running rail around the trotting track at the Bathurst Showground and did much voluntary work for the Club. For his services he was made an honorary life member. Ellis and Nancy's daughter Pamela [AH4762] was a shorthand-typist with Myer's and the AMP Society in Bathurst; while Roslyn [AH4763] completed a Diploma of Teaching at Mitchell College and taught at various schools in the central west of NSW.

Myrtle Hamer [AH477] married Bert Cooke who is descended from a pioneering family at Caloola and Georges Plains. His mother was a Chew, a member of another early family from this locality. Their eldest son Donald Cooke [AH4771] for a time worked for Bougainville Copper and also had business interests in the Solomon Islands. He returned for a time to join his father and brother Kelvin [AH4773] on the farm and later had further employment with mining companies in Zambia, Indonesia and Borneo, while still retaining an interest in the farm. The Cooke family farmed "Primrose View", Georges Plains, one of the properties that their ancestors settled in the nineteenth century, which they have extended in the direction of Mountain Run. They also bought "Mildura", an adjoining property, first granted to Rosetta Terry, J T Hughes, T W and M Winder and James Norton116117 in 1839, but acquired in 1859 by Joseph Smith, a prominent pioneer of the Georges Plains district who, in 1856, had married Jane Stewart, one of the Stewart family from "Strath", Mount Pleasant. In the 1860s Joseph Smith and his wife built, probably in separate stages, a large brick mansion that still stands on "Mildura", constructed around an open courtyard to facilitate defence against bushrangers. Older buildings nearby were probably built earlier by Samuel Terry, Rosetta Terry's husband, himself a convict transported in 1801, and his nephew John Terry Hughes, for housing convict servants. Aborigines were no real threat in this area at that time but Joseph Smith may have had them in mind because he had been wounded by aboriginal spears at Mulgannia on the Lachlan River near Kings Plains in 1857. He was one of the major benefactors of St John's Church of England at Georges Plains; he provided twenty acres of land for the Rectory; and the parishioners later presented the impressive reredos in his memory. The Rectory was later occupied for short periods by William and Violet Dowling [AH76] and Herb and Amy Hamer [AH49].

Ian CookeIan CookeThe Cooke family were good sportsmen. Bert Cooke, as well as his sons Kelvin and Ian, played First Grade cricket. The Cookes and the Bestwicks [AH475] were very active supporters of the Perthville Hockey Club, founded by local storekeeper Harry Warburton after the Second World War. Colleen Cooke [AH4772] represented NSW in Women's hockey, and also played squash. Ian Cooke [AH4774] reached international prominence in hockey and also played First Grade cricket in Sydney. He was chosen in the NSW Junior Hockey team in 1966 and 1967, when that team won the Junior Championship. He was a member of the NSW Colts when NSW won the Australian championships in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972. He represented the state at senior level for twelve years, from 1972 to 1983; and represented Australia for a total of 75 games, including 50 Test matches, from 1974 to 1981. He played in the Australian team in the World Cup series at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1975, and in Argentina in 1978, when Australia won the Bronze Medal; and in the Montreal (Canada) Olympic Games in 1976, winning a Silver Medal. He also represented NSW in Indoor Hockey on six occasions from 1975 to 1983. In 1984 he was appointed Captain/Coach of the South Australian Indoor Hockey team.

Kelvin Cooke {AH4773] and his daughter Jenny Cooke [AH47731] have carried on the family tradition. Kelvin was Captain of the Bathurst Senior Men's Hockey team at one time; he represented the NSW Colts in 1971, and was a member of the NSW Senior team from 1972 to 1974; and represented the Western Zone from 1973 to 1981 and the Mid-Western Zone in 1983. As a cricketer he played for a number of First Grade teams in Bathurst and captained the RSL Club team for four years. Kelvin unfortunately died on February 13, 1991, as a result of being bitten by a snake in his cauliflower patch at Georges Plains. The Return Thanks card that his family sent out summed up Kelvin's character:

Kelvin valued life's simple things:
His home and his farm
Time spent with his family and his friends
A game of hockey or cricket
A good crop of caulies
A welder and a piece of steel.
Everyone who knew him knew him as we did,
he had no false pretences.

Kelvin's wife was also an excellent hockey player, and their daughter Jenny Cooke [AH47731] was selected to represent NSW in Schoolgirls' Hockey in 1987, at the age of eleven, and was selected several times in subsequent years. She was selected to attend special coaching classes in Sydney in 1992, at the age of sixteen; and has represented NSW in Women's Hockey several times since then.

Mark HamerMark Hamer – receiving his Gold Award from the Duke of Edinburgh.Clive Hamer [AH478] was educated at the Perthville Primary School and Bathurst High School where he was School Captain in 1940. He went to Sydney Teachers' College in 1941 but his studies were interrupted by three and a half years army service, two of them in Dutch New Guinea with the AIF. On return to civilian life after the War he was awarded a scholarship under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme to do an Arts course at the University of Sydney. He gained a BA (with Honours in English), a Diploma of Education, and an MA (with Honours in English). He was President of the Students' Representative Council of the Sydney Teachers' College in 1950. He taught English, History and Social Studies at Nowra High School from 1951 to 1956, and was appointed Deputy Head of Wolaroi College, a Methodist boarding school in Orange, in 1957. He served as an Alderman of the Orange City Council from 1960 to 1962 and was Mayor of Orange in 1962. In 1963 he was appointed Lecturer in Adult Education for the University of Sydney working at Newcastle largely with trainees, apprentices and executives at BHP Steelworks. He became Headmaster of Wesley College, South Perth, Western Australia, in 1965, a post which he filled until his retirement in 1983. He was an Accredited Local Preacher with the Methodist Church (and later with the Uniting Church), topping the state in the Local Preachers' examination in New South Wales in 1951, and has served as Sunday School Superintendent and Youth Leader in the Church at Bomaderry, and was both Junior and Senior Circuit Steward in the Orange Circuit of the Methodist Church. He was a member of the Board of Secondary Education in Western Australia for several years, and was for six years a member of the Standing Committee of the Headmasters' Conference of the Independent Schools of Australia. He was Chairman of the Western Australian Chapter of the Australian College of Education in 1981 and 1982 and was a member of the Australian Council of the College for that period. He was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Education in 1978 and a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1985. A building at Wesley College was named the Clive Hamer Building in his honour in 1989 and an oval at St Stephen's School, a new Uniting Church School in the northern suburbs of Perth of which he was one of the founders, was named the Clive Hamer Oval in 1991. He married Joan Ashcroft, a sixth generation descendant of John Ashcroft, a convict from Lancaster who arrived in New South Wales in 1814, and his wide Ann Tebbutt, whose family settled on the Peninsula on the Hawkesbury River at Windsor (then called Green Hills) in 1801. Her Tebbutt ancestor had come out as a Sergeant in the Marines. Ann Tebbutt's nephew, John Tebbutt, was an amateur astronomer who discovered two comets and whose portrait appears on the 1977 $100 note. The Tebbutt family still live in the homestead built on the family property at Windsor in 1845, alongside John Tebbutt's two observatories. The Ashcroft family established a very successful farming property at Liverpool on which the present suburb of Ashcroft stands. One of the family was a notable Mayor of Liverpool; others established grazing properties at Tumut, Yass and Hay.

Wardell homesteadThe homestead at "Wardell". Perthville, 1980. The Bald Hill Farm forms the background in the top photo. The bottom photo shows the detatched kitchen at the rear, which probably served as the home of Ellis and Prudence Hamer, while the main homestead was being built. Children in the bottom photo taken about 1935: Eva Hamer, Clare Hamer, Ruth Hamer, Myrtle Hamer, Clive Hamer.Clive Hamer's eldest daughter Angela Hamer [AH4781] married Bill Carr, a geologist and environmental scientist. She completed an Arts degree at the University of Western Australia and has worked as an audiologist, later upgrading her qualifications in this area with a post-graduate diploma at Curtin University. She has been very active, with her family, in the Manning Uniting Church and in the Parents' and Citizens' Association at the Manning Primary School. She was the instigator of the foundation of the Adult Learning Centre at South Perth, and has taken a lively interest, through the local City Council, in nature conservation and has been Chairman of the Urban Bush Council, working for the preservation of native bush in the Perth metropolitan area. Her sister Janine [AH4782] married an electrician, Ken Hoskins, a foreman electrician in charge of electrical installations in new government buildings in Perth suburbs. Another sister Nanette [AH4883] married an Electronics Engineer, David Pitts, who, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader, has been in charge of electronic installation and maintenance in the RAAF, and, afterr retirement from the RAAF, worked in computer maintenance for the Reid Library at the University of Western Australia. Nanette completed a degree in Town Planning at the Footscray College of Advanced Education in Melbourne and has worked for the University of Melbourne and the Commonwealth government in Canberra, and later became a Town Planner with the Western Australian Planning Department. Their brother Mark Hamer [AH4784] worked in the Commonwealth public service in Perth and then joined he Western Australian Police Force. His wife Diane held a senior position with the Commonwealth public service in Perth and later with an employment agency in Sydney.

FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF ART AND BELLE HAMER [AH47] in 1956 and 1957 respectively, the Methodist Church at Perthville erected a Hamer Hall as a memorial not only to Art and Belle, who had worked all their lives for the church, but also to all the Hamers who had worked for that Church for a period of almost 100 years at that time. The Hall, built largely by voluntary labour, was dedicated and officially opened by the Revs A E Roberts, Bruce Westbrook and L G Little. It has served as Sunday School and for youth work and women's activities. Many of the Hamer and Peacock families who had attended the church in earlier generations were present at the opening, and the children of Art and Belle Hamer presented a piano in their memory. When the Perthville Methodist Church celebrated its centenary in May, 1963, many descendants of the Hamer family, with others, dressed in period costume for a procession and re-enactment of scenes reminiscent of the days when the church was built. A communion table was dedicated in honour of Mrs Alma Turnbull [AH4J] who had been organist at the church, with a brief interruption, for fifty years, and Sunday Superintendent for many years.

HERB HAMER [AH49] SERVED IN THE AIF in the First World War and was twice wounded in France. On the first occasion he suffered shrapnel wounds when a German shell landed in a railway truck of shells which he was helping to unload, and on the second occasion he lay till dark in a shell hole partly full of water until rescued. A letter to his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Jack Peacock [AH42, WP28], gives a graphic account of the second incident:

No 1 Canadian Gen Hospital 16/4/18
Dear Mary and Jack

I expect long before you get this you will have heard that I have been wounded again. It may not have been a "Short life and a gay one" but it was a Short spin but a rough one I had with the Batt [Battalion] this time.

I tried to stop a rifle bullet but it went right through fortunately. It takes a bit to stop a modern rifle bullet fired at a range of fifty yds or thereabouts before going through me it went through two pocket books One Mother gave me before leaving and the other YMCA Christmas present which contained about thirty envelopes and a few post cards but they did not seem to make much difference to the bullet. I was hit about 5.30 on the evening of 5/4/18. We went over the top at 5.15 and had almost reached our objective when I thought some one had hit me in the chest with a sledge hammer and knocked me spinning. I don't think I lost consciousness at all. I had sense enough to roll into a shell hole out of further danger. Worse luck the shell hole was more than half full of water which got very cold after I had been there some time but I guess that was better than being riddled with machine gun bullets which happened to be fairly thick at the time. Worst of it was when it became dark and therefore a deal safer I found with the wet and cold and loss of blood that I could not scramble out for some time but managed after a few tries to roll out I then called for assistance - some of the other lads knew where I was so I knew I would be right. Then with help from a couple of the lads I managed to walk about two hundred yds it seemed two miles to me then had to chuck it in and wait for some stretcher bearers that one of the lads went for They were not long in coming and carried me to the dressing Station where they dressed me up things got better after that I could breathe through my mouth again instead of through my ribs. Not an over pleasant sensation I can tell you. After the Dressing Stn carried to the Field Ambulance where they put a few stitches in to stop the wind some more then on by Motor Amb to the Casuality [sic] Clearing Stn. Then by train here I got here the next night. Been going on well ever since. May get to Blighty yet if I have luck. Will write again before long. With heaps of love to you all from
your loving brother

Herb Hamer 117.

Herb's daughter, Clare Hillis [AH494], has a number of letters that he wrote to his parents and his sisters during the War. From these it can be ascertained that he went overseas with his nephew, Aubrey Peacock [AH422], and had contact with him in Egypt, England and France; Aubrey was unfortunately killed in action118 Herb also made contact fairly often with Aubrey's brother-in-law, Arthur (Art, Mick) Collett [AH421], Joe Loudon [SL1J], and Alf Hicks [WP122], Sid Hicks [WP123], and Walter Hicks [WP125]. The Hicks boys, who were Joe Loudon's second cousins - and second cousins to Herb's sister-in-law, Belle Hamer [AH47] - lived on a farm adjoining the Hamers at Perthville. Sadly, Walter Hicks was killed in action and Alf Hicks died in England of wounds received in France. The letters tell of visits to the Perthville boys who were in a convalescent hospital at Bristol by a Miss Gummer, who wrote to relatives back in Australia to report on their progress. The Gummer family lived on a farm adjoining both the Hamer and Hicks family farms at Perthville; Miss Gummer was no doubt a relative who therefore took a special interest in the soldiers from Perthville. Herb's letters disclose a slowly developing war weariness expressed in an increasing impatience with conditions at the front, where terrible carnage was occurring, and soldiers were growing desperately tired of being sent back into battle in France again and again, especially where Australian troops were being used frequently as the front line of attack against the Germans.

After the War Herb returned to "Wardell", and his parents built a back room onto the house for his return, and also built a verandah right round the house to replace the original verandah which was on the front only. His father Ellis had built the house of rammed earth in 1877. When his grandson Ralph lived in it he had the chimneys demolished in 1983; many of the bricks bore the quaint embossed message: "Practise with Science". Herb Hamer's wife, Amy Booth, was a member of an old family from Sandy Creek whose ancestor Charles Booth, a ticket-of-leave man, was an early settler in what is now the Orange district. In 1823 he had been attacked by aborigines when working on G T Palmer's property at Kings Plains. He entertained in his hut near Guyong (he called his hut "Kyongs") the NSW Surveyor-General, Major Mitchell, on his early trips of exploration into western New South Wales in the 1830s. Mitchell, who was accompanied by George Ranken, from Eglinton, recorded in his journal how impressed he was with the neatness of Charlie Booth's hut. Two Quaker missionaries, James Backhouse and G W Walker, also stayed with Charlie Booth in the early 1840s and recorded in their journal that he was running an illicit public house and provided excellent accommodation for travellers.119 He was one of those who requisitioned Surveyor Davidson to lay out a village at Orange in 1845 (together with J B Richards, Joseph Moulder, John Peisley, William Lee, J A Templer, William Lane, William Tom, James Whalan and T C Suttor and others, all well-known pioneers of Orange). In later life he was the licensee of the Governor Bourke Inn at Kings Plains. The Booths were noted for their longevity; Amy died in 1984, aged 92. After the First World War Herb and Amy farmed "Knutton", the Cheney farm at Georges Plains, following the death of John Cheney [WC7]; they lived for some time in The Rectory at Georges Plains; they tried a farming venture at Cook's Gap near Mudgee and then returned to live in Bathurst for the rest of their lives.

Herb and Amy's eldest daughter Eva Hamer [AH491] served in the WAAAFs in the Second World War and after the War married Bill Ashford, a farmer at Howlong, near Albury. Their son Dave Ashford [AH4912] is a schoolteacher. While stationed at Griffith High he was active in the Apex Club in which he was District Governor and organised a Drug Education programme. Ted Hamer [AH492] lived most of his married life in the Wollongong district where his son Philip Hamer [AH4922] became a First Grade cricketer, an all-rounder who concentrated on spin bowling. Philip works in the administrative side of the Wollongong television station and also does sports commentating.

Perthville Uniting ChurchPerthville Uniting Church (formerlt Methodist Church), with some of the congregation at the Family reunion, 1985.ELLIS HAMER'S DAUGHTER, EVA HAMER [AH48] married Harold Smith who worked on the Railways in the administrative section in Sydney. Two of their daughters, Marjorie and Jean Smith, were trained nurses. Marjorie [AH481] married John Gurney Hall whose family was descended from the Gurney family of Norwich, England, whose members included the Quaker banker Russell Gurney who was responsible for the 1867 Reform Act, and Fanny Gurney and Elizabeth Fry, social reformers of the nineteenth century.

ALMA TURNBULL [AH4J] TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL and played the organ at the Perthville Methodist Church for fifty years except for a few years when she and her husband, Jack Turnbull, a descendant of a pioneer family from The Lagoon, where they were neighbours of the Thompsons and Loudons, were farming at Evans Plains. They lived in the Hen and Chickens Inn on the Vale Road near the Church.120

The period 1890 to 1910 had been the heyday of the Perth Wesleyan Church when there was a large attendance and a big Sunday School and choir and two candidates for the ministry from this small village (Leonard Peacock [AH55, WP75] and George Pittendrigh). There was considerable socialising at the time between the Wesleyan Churches at Perth, White Rock and Dennis Island (about ten miles further up Queen Charlotte's Vale). This was a time when Temperance and Total Abstinence organisations flourished as well as Temperance Lodges such as the Hope of the Vale Lodge and the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows Lodge, which had a branch at Cow Flat, supported by the Bells, Cookes and Chews.

Perthville Uniting ChurchInterior of the Church, showing pulpit, organ and reunion rail.MARTHA NOLAN'S SON HENRY NOLAN [AH65] was at first a blacksmith and then a miner at Mount Lyell (Tasmania), Broken Hill, Kadina (South Australia) and Lithgow. He worked in the State Mine at Lithgow from 1923 to 1929. He was a musician, playing in the Bathurst Brass Band and in the mounted band that led the annual Eight Hour Day procession in Sydney. He died at the age of 53 from pneumono-coniosis, a disease attributable to his mining experiences. The problem of dust in the Lithgow State Mine was severe and Henry's health was seriously affected. Ellis Nolan [AH64] and Norman Nolan [AH6J] served in Egypt in the First World War. Norman was later a compositor with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Henry Nolan's son Harry (Nogo) Nolan [AH652] was an outstanding Rugby League player and coach from 1927 to 1951, in Lithgow, Oberon and Port Kembla. He represented Lithgow District and captained the Western Districts in a match against England in 1936. He played in Group 10 and Group 7 in NSW Cup Tie series. He was also active in the administration of Rugby League from 1938 to 1947.

TURNING TO THE DESCENDANTS OF MICHAEL HAMER [MH], his youngest son William Ellis Hamer [MH9], married Elizabeth Walkom of "Spring Lawn", a property between Blayney and Kings Plains on the Great Western Highway. They lived first at Sandy Creek, Perth, until 1898, when they moved to a property four miles north east of Newbridge called "Back Creek", in a locality known as Reedy Creek, and once owned by James Smith, whose son Henry married Jane Shute [WP56]. Billy and Elizabeth Hamer changed the name to "Trendon Grange" and lived in a wattle and daub house. The farm had originally been granted in 1826 to William Coates, who had opened the first school in Bathurst in 1820, when he was employed as Police Clerk to William Lawson, who was Commandant at Bathurst.121 Coates had called the place "Trimdon" but later generations misread the handwriting as "Trendon". Coates abandoned the grant and in 1835 it was re-allocated to George Suttor Senior before being acquired by Thomas Lord. The present home on the property was built some time before 1920 and is now occupied by Roger Hamer [MH926]. In the 1930s William bought a further property near Forest Reefs called "Greenbank". He was a talented horseman and bred trotters and show jumpers. Alaska, Magic and Trendon Boy were three of his jumpers that became prominent, and Monitor was one of his notable trotters. A horse named Stepchild was responsible for kicking him in the face, damaging one eye which was replaced with a glass eye. William is buried in the Anglican cemetery at Blayney.

Martha NolanMartha Nolan (taken about 1910).Of William's five sons, Pritchard Hamer [MH92] carried on the farm while Harold [MH93], Tom [MH94], Bill [MH95] and Bruce [MH98] went to Liverpool where they ran a shop and a carrying business. Bill was a shearer in the Blayney district before joining his brothers at Liverpool. Pritch and his wife Dorothy were ardent supporters of the Newbridge Anglican Church where Dorothy was organist for over 50 years. She was a very competent pianist and in the 1920s she provided background music for silent movies; she played for local dances all her life. Of the daughters, Dorothea [MH91] married Jack Frape and lived in Millthorpe and later in Blayney; Isabel [MH96] married Sydney Oborn and lived in Katoomba and later in Camden, where she and her husband ran a newsagency, and then at Cobbitty where they had a farm. Sylvia [MH97] married Errol Ryan and lived at Hobby's Yards on a property called "Rockford" which had been bought by Errol's grandfather, John Ryan. The Ryans' sons, Max [MH972] and Gloster [MH973], have a property called "Rockvale", halfway between Hobby's Yards and Barry. Gloster Ryan [MH973] is a racing commentator for trotting meetings at Bathurst, Orange and Blayney. He also breeds and races trotters. Dorothea Frape [MH91] also rode Show horses.

Harold Hamer [MH93] carried on his father's interests in trotters with considerable success. After falling in the creek and being nearly drowned at the age of eighteen months, he lived to become a notable athlete. As a lad he won many ribbons as champion rider at Shows in the Central Western District. He rode his father's jumpers and held a record for the high jump at Carcoar. He was also an A grade Rugby League footballer, earning a gold medal for best half-back. He was also a champion sheaf tosser. Whilst living at Liverpool in later life and later again when he and his family moved to Cowra, he bred, broke in, trained and drove many famous trotters that held records at Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. At his trotting stud at Cowra his better known stallions included Volo Chief, Golden Adios and Popular Bill, who sired many champion horses. He imported mares from time to time from New Zealand to improve his stock. His most famous trotter was Loudawn, out of Carella by Loucol. Loucol was a great trotter in his own right and Carella was descended from a famous trotter named Ribbonwood. Loudawn is regarded as one of the greatest trotters of all times in Australia, winning many first prizes in country trotting meetings and at Harold Park in Sydney. At Gloucester Park, in Perth, in 1949, she broke the track record to win the Inter-Dominion Cup, the top award for Australasian trotting.

Norman NolanNorman Nolan (taken 1915).Harold's daughter June [MH932] married Harold Head, a dentist, and they have a property in Cut Hill Road, Cobbitty, where they have a polo field. Their two sons, David and Craig Head, are well-known polo players. David [MH9321], an engineer, has represented Australia in matches in the United States, Hawaii, Canada and Zimbabwe. He also plays tennis and squash and was his school's tennis champion. Craig Head [MH9322] is also a keen sportsman; he has done Olympic jumping and has won riding prizes at the Sydney Royal Show. He plays polo and tennis, does para-sailing and snow and water skiing. Their sister, Nerilyn Head [MH9323], has successfully ridden horses in Shows and gymkhanas from childhood and has worked in England and the United States with polo horses. Bruce Hamer [MH98] also breeds, trains and drives trotters.

The family of Janice Hamer [AH952], a granddaughter of Billy Hamer, have made some progress academically. Her daughter Karen Last [AH9524] has a Science degree from Sydney University and is working in a veterinarian surgery in Walgett, where her husband Mark Dalzell has a position as Civil Engineer with the Shire Council. Jan's granddaughter Neva Collings [MH95211] has a degree in Economics and will complete a Law degree at the end of 1995. Tobi Collings [MH95212] is studying Graphic Arts on a CSIRO scholarship.

AS FOR JONATHAN HAMER'S FAMILY, the most populous branch is established in New Zealand. Jonathan's third child by his second marriage, Walter Herbert Hamer [JH5], married Margaret Mary Law Whyte, a New Zealander, after he visited New Zealand for a holiday in the early years of the twentieth century. They lived first at Carterton and Wairarapa and then moved to Marton, in the North Island. Walter's sister Ann Hamer [JH8] went to visit him in New Zealand and died in Carterton at the age of 25 in about 1910. Walter was a painter and paper hanger. His eldest daughter Helen Hamer [JH51] was a postal worker and his eldest son Ted Hamer [JH52] was a policeman. His second son Bert Hamer [JH53] was a builder in Palmerston North, a shareholder in a firm named McMillan and Lockwood Ltd which was the biggest private building firm in New Zealand with branches in Palmerston North, Auckland, Hamilton and Gisborne. When he retired in the 1970s the firm established an Award known as the Hamer Award to send building trades apprentices annually to Australia for training and experience. The Award was discontinued during the 1980s. Charles Hamer [JH54] began as a painter and then became a traveller for Farmers' Co-op. Leo Hamer [JH55] conducted a men's outfitters' business in Huntly. During the Second World War he was an army driver and at one time drove General Freyburg. Duncan Hamer [JH56], a postal worker, was an observer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and was shot down over Berlin during the Second World War and is buried in Berlin.

Jessie NolanJessie Nolan 9taken about 1910).Bert Hamer's son Jack Hamer [JH531] was educated at Palmerston North Boys' High School and the University of Otago, from which he graduated as Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Ch.B) in 1958. He was House Surgeon Registrar at Wellington Hospital, New Zealand, from 1959 to 1962, and House Surgeon at St Stephen's Hospital, London in 1964 and 1965. He was appointed Lecturer in Haematology at St George's Hospital, London, in 1964 and, on returning to New Zealand in 1968, he became a Haematologist with the North Canterbury Hospital Board at Christchurch. From 1972 to 1980 he was Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor at Christchurch Clinical School of Medicine within the University of Otago. He left this position in 1980 and became a partner in the Godfrey Pathology Laboratory and practised as a Specialist in Blood Disorders at Christchurch. He has been prominent in the field of Haematology and Pathology in New Zealand, being President of the New Zealand Society of Pathology from 1982 to 1984, Vice President of the New Zealand Society of Pathology in 1984 and 1985, and President in 1985 and 1986. He has been a Councillor of the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists since 1984 and has been elected Vice President for 1994-5 and President in 1996-7. His eldest daughter Susan Hamer [JH5311] also became a medical practitioner, with a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners. She married Mark Dixon in 1994 and practises in Christchurch. Jack's second daughter is Lucy Hamer [JH5313].

Jack's twin sister Jill Hamer [JH532] is active in the Baptist Church in Hokowhitu, a suburb of Palmerston North, where she has been secretary for about thirty years. She has four sons who have all led interesting lives. Brent Anderson [JH5321] is an electrician by trade who works 50% of his time on an oil rig off the Taranaki coast of New Zealand. Craig Anderson [JH5322] works for Agresearch Grasslands, a section of the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in the area of testing farm animals. Lloyd Anderson [JH5323] is a pilot with Ansett New Zealand; while Karl Anderson, [JH5324] a fitter and turner, having inherited a love of the sea from his ancestor Duncan Davidson, the windjammer captain whose daughter married Jonathan Hamer, was in charge of building a yacht named Catalyst and then helped to sail it via Torres Strait to the Maldives, Mauritius, South Africa, Rio de Janiero and the West Indies.

Donald Hamer [JH533], also inheriting the genes of his seafaring great great grandfather Duncan Davidson, took his First Mate's Certificate with the Union Steamship Company, and after seven years at sea became an administrative officer with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation and was later a radio news reporter at Whangarei. He was First Mate on the replica of the Bounty and sailed the ship from Whangarei to Los Angeles in 1984 to advertise the film The Bounty (starring Anthony Hopkin and Mel Gibson) when it was released in the United States. He has been a volunteer watch officer for the Spirit of Adventure sail training Trust ships. Over the years Don has held various positions in his local Baptist Church, including those of secretary and treasurer. He works for a Baptist employment training centre at Whangarei and lives at Ruatangata, near Whanganui.

Edith HamerEdith Hamer with ger two grand-neices Alexandra Brown and Petrina Brown, 1983.Donald's son Mark Andrew Hamer [JH5331] is a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Engineering (Massey University), and is also a Master of Business Administration (Otago University). He works as a strategist for the ANZ Banking group in Wellington. His wife Carolyn is a registered Dietitian, holding the Diploma in Home Science from Otago University, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Science (Community Nutrition) from Otago University. Steven Hamer [JH5332] is a Bachelor of Business Management, with First Class Honours, from Waikato University, and works for the commercial branch of the ASB Bank in Whangarei. His wife Wendy is a trained nurse. Mary Hamer [JH5334] married Bobby Tuhiwai, and works for New Zealand's second largest dairy company at Kauri, in the laboratory. She has represented Northland and Whangarei in Netball. Her husband Bobby represented Northland, Waikato Maoris and Northland Maoris in rugby. He is a Nursing Assistant working with psychiatric patients in Whangarei. Brendon Hamer [JH5334] is an electrician; his wife Rosemary is a teacher, with a degree of Bachelor of Education from Waikato University. Leo Hamer's daughter Gillian Hamer [JH551] is a teacher in the United Kingdom.

Jonathan Hamer's eldest son Ellis Hamer [JH3] was a coachbuilder in Forbes, building sulkies. When cars began displacing sulkies he switched to furniture building, specialising in working with silky oak which he had used for sulky seats. His eldest daughter Lilian Pendle Janet Hamer [JH31] married Ralston Dowling Brown who became a grazier at Walgett. His second daughter Edith Hamer [JH32] was a teacher-librarian in NSW country high schools, finishing her career at Forbes High School. As a girl attending Forbes Primary School she had won a bursary to Orange High School. There she met and established a lifelong friendship with Zillah Sampson, a member of a prominent orcharding family from the Pinnacle, Orange. Edith was Zillah's bridesmaid when she married Allen Callaghan [WP228]. In Forbes she and her parents were also close friends of Leonard and Agnes Peacock [AH55, WP75] and family when Leonard was the Methodist minister there. One of Edith's students at Forbes - Helen Maxwell - married Geoffrey Cheney [WC1163].

1. See Hamer Genealogical Chart. This is the same Ellys Hamer mentioned in the Will of Heny Hamer.
2. A convict named Ralph Entwistle, from Bolton, was the leader of a gang of escaped convicts at Bathurst in 1829 known as the Ribbon Gang. He led a number of raids on outlying settlers, including a raid on Evernden's farm in Fitzgerald's Valley, at one stage having a following of 134 men. He had been a reliable assigned servant on Lipscombe's property in the Fitzgerald's Valley, but was embittered by the action of Police Superintendent Evernden who had awarded him and his companions 50 lashes each for swimming nude in the Macquarie River just below the George Street Ford on a very hot day, just as Governor Darling crossed the Ford on his first official visit to Bathurst. Entwistle also had the recommendation of his employer that he be given a ticket of leave cancelled. His success in recruiting so many local convicts to join his rebellion shows a great deal about the treatment of convicts at Bathurst at the time, and in particular the resentment against Evernden who had a property in the Fitzgerald's Valley not far from Lipscombe's. Entwistle, after a number of raids on settlers in the district, was captured in the Abercrombie Ranges and, with nine of his followers, was publicly hanged in the town square (now King's Parade) on November 2, 1830. See E Fry: Rebels and Radicals, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1983.
3. Additional information about the Entwistles has been supplied by J J Cole, Rochdale Local Librarian.
4. This has been established as a result of research by Elizabeth Ayscough [MH971]
5. In the 1841 - 1842 Roll there were three other Thomas Hamers living as Burgesses in Bolton.
6. It is marked on a map drawn by the famous map maker Robert Morden before 1702, when he died. Map in the possession of Clive Hamer [AH478].
7. A series of detailed local histories were undertaken to mark Queen Victoria's Jubilee, but many of them not completed until well into the twentieth century.
8. This word was later pronounced with a soft g, and is the derivation of the word hedge.
9. Despite the fact that Pope Gregory reformed the calendar in 1582, the new calendar was not officially recognised in England and Ireland until 1752 (although Scotland had made it the legal calendar in 1600). Nevertheless, the New Style calendar was used in England and Ireland long before it was given legal status. Under the old calendar the New Year began on March 25, which was thought to be the vernal equinox, the official beginning of Spring. This meant that the first three months of the year (New Style) were the last three months of the year (Old Style). To avoid confusion, people referred to those months as belonging to both the legal year and the New Style year which was commonly used. (In ancient times the vernal equinox was thought to fall on April 1, and the New Year dated from that date. After the change was made, anyone still celebrating the New Year on April 1 was said to be an April Fool).
10. Fishwick, in The History of the Parish of Rochdale, claims that there is no connection between the Dukes of Norfolk and the Rochdale Howarths.
11. Tarbury, or turbury, is the right to dig turf or peat that was used as fuel; similar to brown coal.
12 A messuage is a large cottage with stables and other outhouses.
13 Brasenose College, originally called Brazen Nose College, was founded in 1512 and seems to have had a special link with Lancashire. It was established for the study of "sophistry, logic and philosophy" as a preliminary to theology. There were only twelve Fellows at any one time.
14 J Foster, Parker and Co, Oxford.
15 In the Civil War, Edward Butterworth was one of the leaders of the Puritan cause, while the Byrons led the Royalist cause locally.
16 Wooden platters.
17 The Byron family had been baronets for several centuries. At this time Charles I raised them to the peerage.
19 E Baines in The History of the County Palatine of Lancaster, Vol 2, 1862, says that George Hamer was the last to live in Hamer Hall, in 1780. This author also gives an interesting account (pp 635-6) of a local festival that was celebrated annually in the Rochdale district from the time of the introduction of Christianity in the seventh century until the early nineteenth century. This was the Rush-Bearing Festival, held on August 19 each year to mark the anniversary of the Church of St Chad. A pyramid of rushes erected on a cart, highly garlanded, upon which an "active swain" was seated, was drawn by thirty or forty young men wearing white jackets and wooden clogs and ornamented with ribbons and flowers, harnessed in pairs, to the accompaniment of a band, into Rochdale, to the cheers of the crowd. From four to a dozen carts converged on the town from different quarters. They stopped in front of each inn on the way and performed a morris dance, jingling copper bells. A clown in female attire collected money from the crowd to buy ale for the dancers. The dance was also performed in front of the noble mansions (which would have included those owned by the Hamer family), and the wealthy owners presented the dancers with money and garlands. The festival terminated with a ceremony at the church and the garlands were hung over the pews of the families who had presented them, and the rushes were spread on the clay floor to form a winter carpet. In the nineteenth century the festival degenerated into a saturnalia and the finale at the church was deleted.
21 The History of the Parish of Rochdale, p 406
22 Third edition, May, 1980.
23 In fact, the cottons referred to were woollens at that time. Cotton manufacture was introduced fifty years later.
24 Bury.
25 Cannal, or bituminous coal of the type used for making oil and gas. Daniel Defoe, in his Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-26), says: "In the neighbourhood of this town, that is to say, between Wiggan and Bolton, in the estate of Sir Roger Bradshaw, is found that kind of coal they call canell or candle coal, which, tho' they are found here in great plenty, and are very cheap, are yet very singular; for there are none such to be seen in Britain, or perhaps in the world besides: they so soon take fire, that, by putting a lighted candle to them, they are presently in a flame, and yet hold fire as long as any coals whatever, and more or less, as they are placed in the grate or hearth, whether flat or edg'd, whether right up and down, and polar, or level and horizontal.

They are smooth and slick when the pieces part from one another, and will polish like alabaster; then a lady may take them up in a cambrick handkerchief and they will not soil it, though they are as black as the deepest jet. They are the most pleasant agreeable fuel that can be found, but they are remote; and though some of them have been brought to London, yet they are so dear, by reason of the carriage, that few care to buy them...."
26 Coal.
27 Quoted in: Francis, J J: Lords of the Manor of Bradshaw, Turton Local History Society, 1977, p 12.
28 See p 96.
29 Marple is in Cheshire, the county adjoining to the north-west.
30 This becomes relevant because our ancestor James Hamer's brother, Richard Hamer [TH112] of "The Hollins", married Alice Lomax, his first wife. Lomaxes are still plentiful in the Bolton district. The name derives from the hamlet of Lumhalghs (pronounced Lum'x) between Bury and Rochdale, no longer in existence.
31 He was aided and abetted in this by George Downing, another of our ancestors. See p 178ff . Elaine Clarke, who married Ken Hamer [AH4741] and Ray Clarke who married Helen Bestwick [AH4753] are descended from the Bradshaw family. Ken and Helen are also descended from George Downing.
32 Indenture of the Sale of the Bradshaw Manor by John Bradshaw, son and heir of John Bradshaw
(d March 30, 1694), Susan Bradshaw, widow, Thomas Bradshaw of Haslingdon, Henry Wrigley of Langley, and John Jenkinson of Lyme, of the one part, to Henry Bradshaw of Marple, dated June 25, 1694. (Perhaps attached to the Will of John Bradshaw, dated October 19, 1666.) (Quoted in Lords of the Manor of Bradshaw, by J J Francis, Turton Local History Society, 1977 - Publication No 2.)
33 Deed between Thomas Isherwood of Marple and Thomas Hamer, for the lease of Bradshaw Hall and demesne lands (c 1770). (Quoted in Bradshaw and Harwood Collieries, by J J Francis, Turton Local History Society, 1982 - Publication No 5.).
34 Thomas Hamer , either of "Pillings" or "The Hollins", was one of the Trustees of the first school built at Bradshaw in 1807.
35 See the Chart between pp 27 and 28.
36 Lancashire also used the Irish Plantation acre of 7840 sq yd.
37 This information was received from Mr J J Francis by letter dated Aug 8, 1983.
38 Bleacher.
39 See pp 12-13.
57 There was still a Mrs Lomax living in a cottage in Watling Street in 1984 near a property still known as "Old Hamer's".
40 See page 36
41 See page 203.
42 J Scholes : Documentary Notes on the District of Turton, 1882, pp 44-46 and 137-139.
43 POL 20/9/1 p 297
44 Information from R Moroney, Orange, by letter.
45 For a description of Sydney in 1841 see Kiddle, M: Caroline Chisholm, Melbourne University Press, 1950.
46 Notes and Sketches of NSW During a Residence in That Colony from 1839 to 1844, J Murray, London, 1844.
47 Ralph Hamer [AH474] also found two George IV pennies on the cauliflower flats in front of the house at "Wardell"; and an old Colt six-shooter revolver perhaps used by Andrew to protect his takings when he carried flour to Ophir was excavated near the sheds. These items are in the possession of Ken Hamer [AH4743].
48 G F Macarthur lived at "Macquarie Fields", Campbelltown, where, in 1868, he re-opened the King's School which had been temporarily closed, and then re-located it back in Parramatta. "Macquarie Fields" was later bought by James Ashcroft, a prominent member of the Ashcroft family from which Joan Ashcroft, the wife of Clive Hamer [AH478] is descended.
49 See pp 47-8..
50 This information about Michael Hamer and his family has been revised as a result of further research by Beth Ayscough [MH971].
51 In the possession of Shirley Stanley [AH4145].
52 Perhaps a relative of Sarah Hamer whose mother was an Entwistle.
53 Near where William Lane, of "Orton Park", who was to be his neighbour here, also had a property.
54 Henry Pleffer was a German whose real name was Pfeiffer but, when he found that Australians had difficulty both with the pronunciation and the spelling, he changed it to Pleffer.
55 The stone buildings still exist, one intact and the other in ruins.
56 See p 137.
57 See Clarke, C M H : History of Australia, Vol 2, pp 205-6; and Hughes, R: The Fatal Shore, pp 329-330.:
58 In Frederick's Valley, near Orange.
59 Never despair.
60 F W Croaker was born at Bathurst in 1858, the grandson of a convict, transported in 1816, who died at sea when returning to England in 1824. He was employed in New South Wales as principal clerk of the Police Department. His wife and children came to Sydney as free settlers in 1816, and she ran a school for ladies, and had three further children.
61 The Hen and Chickens Inn which still stands on the corner of the Vale Road and what is now called Hen and Chickens Lane, was built by Samuel Walker in 1855. It was later bought by Henry Butler who conducted the farm attached as well. There was also a very popular blacksmith's shop in the building behind the inn. Alma Turnbull [AH4J] and her husband Jack Turnbull lived there for most of their married life. In an article published in the Western Advocate, February 14, 1990, Denis J Chamberlain says that this was not the Hen and Chickens Inn raided by Ben Hall, but that Henry Butler built another Hen and Chickens Inn about a mile further south, closer to what is now the centre of the village of Perthville. He says that this Inn was built in 1858 where the Railway yards were later built, and that Ben Hall raided this and Henry Harper's butcher's shop opposite. He claims that the name of the original Hen and Chickens was changed to the Sportsman's Arms, but it later reverted to the Hen and Chickens. The bushrangers were said to have placed a lighted candle in a brass holder in the middle of the road, for some unknown purpose. This new Inn was said to have been demolished when the Railway was put through in 1877, and the present Bridge Hotel was built opposite the site to replace it. The bridge over the Vale Creek was built near this spot to replace an earlier bridge near the original Hen and Chickens that was washed away by a flood in 1867. This version of the history of the Hen and Chickens Inn has not been verified; a preliminary examination of the Register of hotels gives no indication of the name Sportsman's Arms or of two Inns in Perth at the time. E F Penzig, the recognised authority on Ben Hall, makes no mention of this version. See; The Sandy Creek Bushranger, E F Penzig, Historic Australia Publishing Co, 1985.
62 John Ashcroft, the convict ancestor of Joan Ashcroft, Clive Hamer's wife [AH478], came out on the Surrey in 1814. Three ships which arrived in Sydney in the early months of 1814 were reported to have appalling conditions and lost a number of convicts and crew on the voyage. They were the Surrey, the General Hewitt and the Three Bees. One account says that there was no one left alive on the Surrey competent to sail the vessel and another ship was hailed off the Shoalhaven to obtain a navigator to sail the ship to Port Jackson. See also p 56 and p 176.. .
63 Theo Barker, in The Story of Bathurst (ed B Greaves, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1961) tells a story (pp 47-8) of a patient who died after being put in a bed without proper sheets and dressed in rags, whose body was left all night in an open coffin amongst the other patients.
64 New details of Michael Hamer's family have been provided as a result of further research by Beth Ayscough [MH971]
65 Evidence of Jonathan's first marriage has been discovered as a result of further research by Beth Ayscough [MH971].
66 See p 29.
67 Joan Hamer's [AH478] ancestor, John Ashcroft, was on board the Surrey, another ship notorious for convict ill-treatment at the time..
68 Ellis, M H: Francis Greenway, Discovery Press, Penrith, 1949, pp 14-17. See also p 59 above.
69 William Bell was not, in fact, a native; he had come from England as an infant.
70 Cousin of F W Croaker.
71 Blaikie, G: Scandals of Australia's Strange Past, Rigby, Adelaide, 1963.
72 Sloman and Tress also gave the name Balmoral to the village marked on the early maps of Mount Pleasant, but neither the village nor the name was ever gazetted.
73 G S Oakes, in Pioneers of Bathurst-Kelso and Bush Memories of the West of New South Wales records the story that the bushranger Ben Hall, passing "Rainham" after his raid on Bathurst on October 3, 1863, was heard to remark: "Mrs Boyd is a widow; we will not interfere with her"; if true, this may account for the fact that he by-passed Rainham Inn and called at the Hen and Chickens.
74 See Longmate, N: The Water-drinkers, Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968.
75 The Terrys were Wesleyans. One of their daughters married John Hosking, a schoolteacher, who set up one of the first Wesleyan Class Meetings in Sydney. Terry was transported to New South Wales as a convict in 1801, and later became a wealthy merchant and was the first mayor of Sydney. He was known as the "Botany Bay Rothschild". He had property at Prospect and, when Rev Joseph Orton made his first trips to Bathurst in 1832 and 1833, Terry accompanied him from there and acted as his guide. Their first calls in the Bathurst district were on Captain Raine, at Rainville, and William Lane, at Taranah. Orton preached to the men at Terry's farm (presumably Mildura, or perhaps Black Rock) and Lane's residence at Orton Park and at Rainham on several occasions on these two visits and again in 1834. In his Diary, Orton frequently calls Queen Charlotte's Vale simply Queen's Vale. Orton also preached at White Rock, when "Mr Street and Mr Lawson were present" , and at Campbell's River (presumably at The Lagoon). Samuel Terry died in 1838, and Mrs Terry continued to live with the Hughes family at Georges Plains. Black Rock was the site of an early Government St ock Stastion.
76 G W Brownbill, Bathurst, 1932.
77 William Lane married Catherine Tom, sister of "Parson" Tom, of "Springfield", Cornish Settlement (Byng), one of the staunchest supporters of the Wesleyan cause in the Bathurst district. Mrs Edmund Webb, who lived for a time on the Wardell Estate behind the Hamer's property, and later at "Hathrop", Bathurst, (which became St Vincent's Hospital) was Parson Tom's daughter. She laid the foundation stone for the extensions to the Perth Wesleyan Church in October, 1892.
78 Lane also donated the land in William Street, Bathurst, on which the Wesleyan Church was built in 1837, still standing.
79 Father of F W Croaker.
80 Sun Books, 1990.
81 In the possession of Clive Hamer [AH478, WP698].
82 AH55, WP75.
83 They must have been having some light-hearted discussions about the comparative faithfulness of Roman Catholics and Wesleyans.
84 Prue [AH55, WP75]
85 January 26. An annual picnic was held on the Campbell's River in conjunction with the White Rock church on this public holiday each year. A report in The Methodist, Feb 5, 1898, says: "Anniversary Day will not soon be forgotten by the 500 people who attended the social festival held under the trees by the river side, in commemmoration of the enlargement of our White Rock church. Coaches brought 200 of our friends from Bathurst. Over sixty vehicles were scattered about the ground. The ladies and bachelors of the congregation provided luncheon and tea for the entire gathering, a task as difficult as it was successfully carried out. Folk came from far and near and had an A1 time. Amongst those present were the circuit minister, Rev J Kinghorn, and the Hon S Smith, MLA, a minister of the crown, whose residence is within one mile of the camp ground. A concert was held in the church in the evening. Twice as many were outside as could pack into the building."
86 It would be interesting to know the identity of the boy they both seem to have been attracted to.
87 Jane [AH51, WP71]
88 Mary Hamer [AH42] had married Jack Peacock [WP28] and they were living at Wellington.
89 The Methodist Minister.
90 The second Methodist Minister.
91 Leonard [AH56, WP76].
92 Prue [AH55, WP75].
93 William [AH57, WP77].
94 Archie Collins, a family friend.
95 Wellington Caves.
96 Prue [ AH55, WP75].
97 Edward [AH54, WP74].
98 Tom Nolan [AH6].
99 Mary Peacock, nee Hamer {AH42, WP28].
100 Unidentified.
101 George Hamer [AH45].
102 Sarah Jane [AH44].
103 Ellen Rose [AH46].
104 Leonard [AH56, WP76].
105 Ernest George [AH 45].
106 Jane Peacock[AH51, WP71] was studying Art at the.Technical College and boarding in Bathurst.
107 Arthur Hill [AH41]. The new church was at Cannington, WA.
108 Sarah Jane Hamer [AH44].
109 Ellen Rose Hamer [AH46] .
110 Mary Peacock, nee Hamer [AH42, WP28].
111 Jack and Mary Peacock [WP28, AH42]. It is not known what Jack's illness was.
112 Charlotte Shute [WP5], at Fitzgerald's Valley.
113 Annie and Arthur Hill [AH41].
114 The homestead at "Grantham" was built originally as a school in 1878; the locality had been known as Black Horse Square, and the village there was more populous originally than Georges Plains.
115 Memories 1917-1919 (1988); Autobiography (1988); Memories of the Railways and the Depression and Some History of Perthville Railway Station (1989); Railway Memories (1990); Memories of the North West (1990); When It Was Crook in Tallarook (1992); Gandfather's Clock (1993).
116 Rosetta Terry was the wife of Samuel Terry who had become a very successful landowner in the Hunter Valley, the wealthiest ex-convict in the country; Rosetta was his wife; John Terry Hughes was her nephew.
117 In the possession of Max Peacock [WP2833]
118 See p 105
119 Rev James Backhouse later became a distinguished judge and Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney.
120 It is interesting that a Hen and Chickens Inn in Deansgate, Bolton, was licensed to a Robert Hamer in 1861.
121 Earnshaw, B: A Century of Pioneers.

Comments powered by CComment