Descendants of Henry M.
was born on 6 Mar 1820 2
at Newcastle, NSW, Australia and died aged 90 years on 16 Aug 1910
in Maitland, NSW, buried East Maitland Cemetery. He married
on 30 Jan 1843 2
in the Presbyterian Church
at Morpeth, NSW, Maria Battley
, born 11 Apr 1823 2
in Gateshead, England, died 1901, NSW, a daughter of Robert Battley.
He married (2)
on 10 Oct 1903 2
, Frances Eliza
, born ca. 1865, East Maitland, NSW.
Henry Gordon (1820-1910)
& Maria Battley (1823-1901) 3
1836 Henry Gordon attended
The Kings School
at Parramatta - Australia's oldest
still operating independent school. When the school commenced
on 13 Feb. 1832 then eleven-year-old Henry was one of the
boys waiting on the doorstep for the doors to open. When he died
he was the school's oldest old boy
the last survivor of the 1832 first term intake. It was said
that throughout his life he maintained an association with
the school, and even in his last year when just shy of his
90th birthday he came down to Parramatta from Maitland to
attend its annual 13th Feb. foundation Commemoration Day that
was first instigated in 1880. In respect of the 1832 first year
student intake a history of the school published by the School
Council in 1981 commented - "Taking a few random examples of the
boys educated from the 1832 intake ... Antill became a Police
Magistrate (for over 29 years) as did Gordon
Andrew McDougall. McDougall's brother John became President
of the Queensland Legislative Council, whilst Forbes became
Speaker of the Lower House in Queensland. Campbell became
a M.L.C. and Hugh Taylor the M.L.A. for Parramatta and
also its Mayor. Hassell and Macarthur became clergymen, as
did Thomas Cox ... John Watsford, became the
Henry Gordon began an over 53 years in duration legal career
in the Justice Department of the New South Wales civil
service with appointment on 1 Dec 1841 as the Assistant
Bailiff at Maitland 10
From 1843 to 1846 he was Bailiff of the Maitland Court of
Requests and by 1857 the Chief Constable at Dungog and in
1859 Clerk of Petty Sessions there and the agent for the
sale of Crown lands. At the age of 43 years on 9 Sept.
1863 he was appointed as the Police Magistrate at Maitland
and on 3 Sep 1875 as Police Magistrate and Clerk of Petty
Sessions at Wollombi and the Secretary
for Lands. The positions at Wollombi respectively
carried annual salaries of £300 and £50. He
was appointed to Gundagai and Jugiong on 25 April 1885 and in March
1887 to Albury
Magistrate and Commissioner of the Supreme Court 2
In August 1887 he was appointed Police Magistrate at
The circumstances of the change of appointment from Albury
to Gosford are of interest. In respect of him leaving Albury
his unmarried daughter Ada wrote in a 21 Dec 1887 letter from
Gosford - "I was not sorry to leave but I did not like my father
being sent here to make way for the brother-in-law of the
Chief Justice". The "brother-in-law" of NSW Chief Justice Frederick
Matthew Darley, who was to remain the Police Magistrate at
Albury for the next eight years until his retirement in June
1895, was Thomas Alexander Browne (1826-1915) who under the
pseudonym of "Rolf Boldrewood" wrote the 1888 published novel
"Robbery Under Arms" that in its day became a household name
in Australia and its author one of the best-known Australian
novelists of the nineteenth-century.
A 16 April 1889 Ada
Gordon letter had Henry still the Police Magistrate at
Gosford but expecting a change of appointment.
However a August 1892 newspaper report of proceedings of
Swansea Police Court indicated his substantive position
was still at Gosford. During the last two months of 1894 he
was noted presiding on the bench of Police Courts at Swansea,
West Maitland and at Greta, and again at West Maitland in late
January 1895 18
It seems likely he retired in March that year when he reached
75 years of age after having served over 31 years as a NSW
Police Magistrate. In 1900 he was living at Huntley
Street, Dulwich Hill 9
Writing of him in May 1889 when he was aged 69 his daughter
Ada commented - "He looks absurdly young for his age. He never
drank or smoked. Never had an illness or any trouble in his
life. He has had an easy time"
Henry and his first wife Maria Battley had eight children. Two years
after Maria's 1901 death, at the age of 83 years Henry remarried
38 year old spinster Frances Eliza Atkinson, and when he was aged
85 they had a son born whilst living at 123 New Canterbury Road,
Petersham. He was residing at Nerang Street, East Maitland
when he died in 1910 in his 91st year.
Children of Henry Meldrum Gordon
and Maria Battley were:
Francis Robert Gordon
iii Ada Fanny
+ 5. iv Lovell
v. Ida Annie Maria Gordon
7. vi Forrest Gordon
James Deane Gordon
Children of Henry Meldrum Gordon and Frances Eliza Atkinson
2. Meldrum Henry Gordon was born on 4 Oct 1844 2
in Maitland, NSW, Australia and died on 4 Jul 1911 2
in Edwardstown, Adelaide, SA, Australia, at age 66. He married
Annie Berry, daughter of Robert Berry and Mary
Hutchinson, on 25 Aug 1871 2 in the Presbyterian
Church. Annie was born on 5 Jun 1847 in Patterson, NSW, Australia
and died on 1 Jan 1918 2, at age 70.
Henry was this compiler's great grandfather. He was known as
"Henry". It is not known precisely when he first arrived at the
Bellinger River on the mid-north coast of NSW. His father wanted him
to study law but preferring an outdoor life he opted instead for
station work 8
His name and that of younger brother Lovell appeared as signatories
on a petition dated 24 June 1870 seeking the establishment of a Post
Office at Boat Harbour -
the original name of
on the upper Bellinger River was taken up as a conditional purchase in
the name of his sister Ada who never married. For a more extensive
genealogy of his descendants than that below GOTO
Children of Meldrum Henry Gordon and Annie Berry were:
11. i Meldrum Henry
12. ii Lovell Henry
13. iii Arthur William
14. iv Wilfred Ernest Augustus "Ancy" Gordon
14. v Alfred Walter
16. vi Nina Annie Mercia Gordon
17. vii Meldrum Guy "Jack" Gordon
18. viii Lillian May Gordon
19. ix Rachel Gordon
20. x Archie Gordon
3. William Francis Robert Gordon
born on 11 Aug 1846 11, 12
in Maitland, NSW, Australia, and christened on 1 Jan 1848
in NSW, Australia.
He died on 4 May 1936 14
in New Plymouth, New Zealand, at age 89, and was buried in Te Henui
Cemetery, New Plymouth, NZ. He married, Mary Hall
in New Zealand,
born in 1848 and died on 18 May 1940. They had no issue.
William F. R. Gordon (1846-1936)
4. Ada Fanny Gordon
December 1867 William F. R. Gordon
moved to the North Island of New Zealand where his father's
sisters Sarah Ann Moir and Leititia Garmonsway resided. He
spent in excess of the last half century of his life in New Plymouth
where he was employed for the 32 years preceding his retirement as
a draftsman with the Land & Survey Department. Possessed of
talents in the areas of drawing and sketching, and music, he
composed and over the years was a bandsman in ten bands. In 1880 he
surreptitiously made a drawing of the Maori prophet Te Whiti who
prohibited photographs or any other likenesses of himself. It
became well known in N.Z. being one of only a few likenesses
of Te Whiti known to exist.
At age 23 16
Te Whiti sketch 17
exhibited drawings etc. at art exhibitions and received awards
at the 1879 Sydney and 1880 Melbourne International Exhibitions.
His work is represented in the collections of several N.Z.
Museums and Art Galleries. Two such works, from the collection
of the Auckland Art Gallery and the Wanganui Museum, were included
in an exhibition of New Zealand and Australian colonial works
of the trompe-l'œil
genre held at the Adam Art Gallery
in Wellington, New Zealand in the first half of 2001.
is considered by art authorities to be the most
outstanding early Australasian work of this genre (which encompasses
works in which ambiguities of the depiction of objects, such as
documents on a flat surface, is deceiving of the eye). Stray
was exhibited at the above mentioned Sydney and
Melbourne International Exhibitions, and received a bronze medal
in 1878 at the Sydney Agricultural Exhibition, and a Gold Medal
at a 1881 N.Z. exhibition. It is featured on the cover of a 32
page book written about the genre and the works that comprised
the 2001 Wellington exhibition 5
William had no children and
bequeathed the residue of his estate to create a perpetual charitable
trust for the benefit of charitable organisations in City of New
Plymouth. The trust is administered by the District Public Trustee,
New Plymouth, and under the terms of the will the allocation of
the half yearly funds distribution is approved by the Mayor of New
Plymouth. Following the death of his wife Mary née Hine in
May 1940 the "W. F. Gordon Bequest Fund", as it is known, made
the first such half yearly distribution in December 1940 with
then city Mayor Mr. Gilmour directing recipient charities use the
monies to provide Christmas cheer for hospital patients and others.
Over the ensuing years a large number of New Plymouth and district
charitable organisations have benefited from the tens of thousands
of dollars distributed. The Annual Balance Sheet for the year
1985-86 gave NZ $2140 as the distribution for that year 6
Ada Fanny Gordon (1849-1933)
5. Lovell Gordon
Lovell Gordon (1851-1919) &
Charlotte Maria née Neckles (1858-1916)
6. Ida Annie Maria Gordon
7. Forrest Gordon
8. Nina Forence Gordon
9. James Deane Gordon
10. Cedric Clarence Gordon
To add to the history & genealogy contact compiler:
Lloyd Waddy, The Kings School
, (1981) pp. 41-2. Note - this 1981 published
sesquicentennial school history has it that three
the school on its opening day in 1832 - erroneously naming them
as James Staff and the brothers James and Ebenezer Orr. However
two of the opening day attendees were definitely Henry Gordon
and John Watsford. For the reasons see the "oldest old boy" link
in first paragraph above.
NSW Birth Indexes V1820 6173 1B (Henry was batch baptised with his
sisters Maria b. 1817 and Sarah b. 1822 at Newcastle. His 1910
newspaper obituary gave Newcastle as his place of birth - when born
his father's regiment detachment was stationed there). Genealogy
extracted from a Gordon Family Genealogy dated 2000 and an undated
paper on the family history, both compiled by Russell Gordon of
Sydney. In the main source references were not cited.
Originals of the photos of Henry M. Gordon & wife Maria
Battley & their children Ada F. Gordon, William F.R. Gordon, Lovell
Gordon & his wife Charlotte M. Neckles provided courtesy of Russell
Gordon of Sydney.
N. Braithwaite & H. Beard, Pioneering in the Bellinger Valley
Roger Blackley, Stray Leaves
(Victoria University Press,
N.Z., 2001), 32 p. - includes several pages re W.F.R.G. and his
drawings and has high quality full page images of his two
exhibition works. The book was available for purchase as at
June 2001 from the Victoria University Book
, Wellington, N.Z. (a copy is held by the Queensland State
Letter to compiler dated 10 Jul 2001 from New Plymouth District
Council. Also see - Kate McGahey's The Concise Dictionary of New
Zealand Artists Printmakers Sculptors
(Gilt Edge Publishing,
Wellington, 2000), p. 98.
Extracted from a printout of Gordon family names and
vitals dated 10 Feb 1997, and an undated paper on Gordon family
history & genealogy, both compiled by Russell Gordon of
Sydney - source references in the main not cited.
Letter dated 5 Sep. 1889 from Ada Gordon to Letitia Garmonsway
- quote "My brother Henry’s children are fine strong
boys, but he is in a bad state of health, he used to be very
much on stations. I think the rough life broke up his health.
My father wished him to study for the law but he preferred to
go on a friend’s station."
Sands Directory of Sydney for 1900
listed "Henry Gordon, J.P.".
He remained until 1908 listed in the Sands at this address with a
second address also being listed from 1905 in Petersham and then in
Marrickville. In the Commonwealth Electoral Roll for 1903
Elect., Dulwich Hill subdiv.) he was listed as "Henry Gordon, Justice
of the Peace" together with daughter Ada at Huntley in Fairfowl St. A
fellow first day attendee at The King's School John Watsford in 1907
recalled having met him in Dulwich Hill in 1904. In the roll for
1906 (Parkes Elect. & Lewisham subdiv.) Henry and 2nd wife
Frances Eliza were listed at 47 Frazer Road with unmarried
daughter Ada listed at the Fairfowl Street address in the Lang
Elizabeth Guildford, Hunter Vallet Directory : 1841
Valley Publications, Newcastle, 1987, p. 105.
NSW BDM Indexes, V1848-2570-33A.
Anglican Diocese of Newcastle Baptisms reel #4, 11 Aug 1846.
Ibid, 1 Jan 1848.
NZ BDM Indexes, #1936-1382.
NZ BDM Indexes, #1883-2827.
Image of original visiting card photo courtesy of Maurice Norton
of New Zealand.
The Te Whiti drawing (3 later versions by WFR Gordon also exist)
with an article on its history was published in The
Taranaki Daily News
of 20 June 1927.
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners Advocate
, 5 Aug
1992 p. 3, col. 6 (Swansea), 10 Nov 1894 p. 3, col. 7 (Swansea),
14 Dec 1994 p. 8, col. 6 (West Maitland), 29 Dec 1894
p. 8, col. 5 (Greta), 22 Jan 1895 p. 8, col. 6 (West Maitland).
- Henry Gordon's 1910 The King's School Magazine
obituary was in error in stating he retired from the civil service
after 45 years service - in fact his service exceeded 53 years.