Search billions of records on


(This paper includes the results of personal research over many years. Some of it has been disseminated previously in various ways, but the paper as an entity has not been circulated. The most recent amendment was on 29.11.2011).

Tetbury Ancestors

The earliest ancestors of James Philip Kimmerley (later Kimmorley) about whom something personal is known lived in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. In prehistory it was a British hill fort. It became a military station on the Roman road between Cirencestor and Bath. After Roman occupation ended it became part of the Kingdom of Mercia. A castle was built in C6. West Saxons invaded in the middle of C7 and built a monastery in 681. Danes invaded in late C8. Later they settled and by C10 had merged with the local population. After the Norman conquest the castle was rebuilt and Tetbury became a manor of 4,500 acres, supporting a population of 280 people. A Cistercian Monastery was established in 1140. It was relocated 30 years later due to lack of wood for fuel. A weekly market and an annual fair were established in early C12. In 1351 the fair was extended to seven days. A parish church was constructed in 1400. By C16 Tetbury had a thriving district market for wool, yarn, cloth and other agricultural products. A Grammar School was founded in 1610 when Sir William Romney bequeathed 13 pounds annually for a Schoolmaster to teach, free, the children of the town and parish to read and write and “to cast accounts in arithmetic”. The Schoolmaster had to be an Oxford or Cambridge graduate and meet high standards of personal character. In 1632 the town administration purchased the Manor of Lord Berkeley for the School. In 1640 revenue from the markets and fairs was allocated to support the School.

James Kimmorley’s ancestor Jonathan Kimberley was christened in Tetbury in 1628. Jonathan would have attended the Grammar School. He would have seen the Civil War battle for the town in 1643 and would have experienced, with relief, the successful efforts of the town to avoid the plague that swept surrounding areas in 1666. His son Jonathan Kemberley, christened in 1667, would also have attended the School. By this time the local population was over 2,000. In 1680 William Talboys bequeathed one pound annually to buy books for poor children at the School.

In 1671 John Kimberley, probably the Jonathan christened in 1628, was discharged of the Hearth Tax in Minchinhampton, the parish immediately north of Tetbury. In both 1671 and 1672 Joanne Kimberley was discharged of the Hearth Tax in Minchinhampton. Joanne was either the widow of John’s brother, or John’s unmarried sister. John and Joan must have been poor, as were most of the population.

Jonathan Kemberley’s son, John Kimberley, was christened as John Kimberle in 1667. Apparently he was Goody Kimberley who in 1715 was paid five pounds for teaching at the Grammar School for two and a half years. A schoolmaster would have been paid about 20 pounds a year and an assistant teacher perhaps half as much, so five pounds would be an unreasonably low rate of pay. Perhaps it was an honorarium for a well respected teacher on retirement. John Kimberley would have been 48 at the time. In 1716 Mary Kimberley, probably Goody’s daughter, was paid one pound ten shillings for teaching at the Poor School. The period of teaching is unknown. In 1725 Goody received two shillings and six pence from Madam Hodges Charity of 10 pounds for the poor. So by this time he was in poor circumstances. He died in 1737, aged 69. His wife Mary died in 1735, aged 60. By this time the Tetbury population was over 3,000.

In her will of 1723 Elizabeth Hodges of nearby Shipton Moyne gave 30 pounds to augment the charity schools of Tetbury. In 1725 her trustees agreed to set up a separate school at Tetbury to teach poor children reading, writing, and accounting. In 1730 it was decreed in Chancery that 15 boys should be taught. The school opened in 1730. Fifteen boys were still being taught by the charity in 1818, but the Schoolmaster also taught a larger number of fee-paying pupils.

(The Tetbury history draws on A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds. 1976. Information about the Kimberleys at Tetbury draws on Tetbury Religious Affiliations Census 1735 by Elizabeth Janson).

John and Mary Kimberley had seven children born between 1695 and 1709. Their son, Daniel Kimmerly, was christened on 6.6.1702. At least Daniel, Elizabeth and Ephraim survived the disastrous small pox epidemic of 1710. The record of support for education in Tetbury indicates that at least the two boys would have attended school. In this period the surnames Kimberley and Kimmerley were used indiscriminately by the Tetbury family. The Tetbury Religious Affiliations Census of 1735 recorded Daniel as the son of John and Mary Kimberly, but as not included in the Census. Daniel had left Tetbury and gone to London.

Daniel Kimmerly in London

Daniel Kimmerly married Elleanor Luke in October 1732, Fleet Prison and Rules of the Fleet, London.

After 1700 London was the largest city in Europe and growing rapidly. Up to about 1780, the main source of population growth was migration from other parts of the British Isles. It is estimated that one sixth of the British population visited London during the 18th century. Many of the most adventurous and ambitious stayed.

Fleet Prison was built in 1197 besides Fleet River and what is now Farringdon Street. It was destroyed by Wat Tyler's men during the Peasants Revolt in 1381. It was burned down in 1666 during the Great Fire of London. During the 18th century, it was mainly used for debtors and bankrupts. It usually contained about 300 prisoners and their families. At that time prisoners had to pay for everything, including food and lodging, so many prisoners had to beg passers-by in order to survive. Prisoners with some money could pay the jailers and live outside the prison, according to the "Liberty of the Fleet". The prison became notorious for extortion of prisoners and cruelty to those who could not pay bribes. The prison was pulled down in 1846.

Fleet River was a short tributary of the Thames. The name derives from an Anglo Saxon word for tidal inlet, which was applied to the lower section. The upper section was called Hole Bourn, for stream in a valley, giving rise later to the district name Holborn. The river provided a defensive barrier on the west side of Roman London. The lower section of the Fleet was used by shipping until early in C18. In 1733 part of the river was arched over and in 1766 the main London market was relocated to it. The market would have been a short block east of Shoe Lane. The remaining open section of the river was roofed in 1766. In 1826-30 the market was again relocated and Farrington Street was built over the former river, which became a sewer.

Fleet marriages were performed, without license, particularly in taverns near Fleet Prison, by clergymen imprisoned for debt. The clergymen were allowed out of prison temporarily to perform the marriages. Fleet marriages were also performed at May Fair Chapel of St George and in Southwark at King’s Bench Prison and the Mint. Daniel Kimmerly would not have married at the May Fair Chapel. The most likely location of his marriage is near Fleet Prison. The earliest recorded date of a Fleet Marriage is 1613. During the 1740s there were up to 6,000 Fleet marriages a year, about half of all London marriages. Between 70 and 100 clergymen performed these marriages between 1700 and 1753. The marriages were not only for criminals and poor. Many other people took the opportunity to marry either secretly, for various reasons, or quickly, avoiding the two or three weeks delay while banns were read in a church.

Daniel and Elleanor Kimmerly probably lived in the south of Stepney, which was then rapidly developing as an area of low cost housing, where immigrants from the country were settling. There is no christening record for Daniel’s children, but the record of Kimmerleys in London in the next two generations clearly indicates that he had a son John and probably a son David. Although not all the christening and marriage records for Kimmerley like names in London after Daniel are known, all the known names can be fitted into plausible descent lines from Daniel.

John Kimmerley

Daniel’s son John was probably born about 1731. He may well have attended school at Raines Hospital in Wapping. At the time ‘hospital’ could refer to any charitable institution, not necessarily medically related. Raines Hospital was one of the most progressive of the many charitable schools in London. In 1790 fifty poor boys and fifty poor girls were taught there. They were accepted at the school between the ages of eight and eighteen, but most would have had only a few years at the school. The pupils were provided with food and clothing. In 1737 full board was provided for many of the pupils. Pupils were taught reading, writing and arithmetic but, uncommon in charitable schools of the time, they were given some direct preparation for work. Some of the children were helped to obtain positions, or become apprenticed.

In 1685 the Justices of the Peace for Middlesex set up a 'general nursery or college of infants'. The idea evolved from the initiative of Sir Thomas Rowe, who leased part of the Clerkenwell workhouse and had it fitted up 'at great charge' as a school. The children were lodged and clothed, as well as being taught reading, writing, the principles of religion, and various trades. The Justices ordered officers of the urban parishes of Middlesex and the City of Westminster to send specified numbers of children to the school. They also issued orders commending the school to the Justices of the Tower Hamlets. Possibly a relationship between Raines Hospital and Clerkenwell Charity School developed in this period and continued, despite later changes in the Clerkenwell charity schools.

John Kimmerley’s cousin Thomas Kimley (probably Kimmerley) was christened at St George in the East in 1754, so his branch of the family stayed longer near Wapping. Apparently John Kimmerley moved to Clerkenwell to work after he finished school, probably when he was about 14.

Clerkenwell had been a fashionable residential area in C17 but some industries, including printing, were established in C18. The northern part was still attractive and relatively open, even as late as 1805. However the Kimmerleys probably lived in a more congested residential area in the south east corner of the parish. John Kimmerley married Sarah, surname unknown. They had a son John born on 22.11.1749, christened on 3.12.1749 and buried on 3.4.1750, all at St John, Clerkenwell. His parents were then living at Swan Alley, about two kilometres south east of St John. John and Sarah had another son, John William Kimmerley born on 8.4.1754 and christened on 3.5.1754 at St John. They also had two daughters, Ann born about 1765 and Martha born about 1757. Their christening dates are not known.

Clerkenwell Priory was a Priory of the Knights Hospitaller, whose patron saint was St John the Baptist. It was established in 1185. It had a Benedictine nunnery alongside. It was burned down in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. It was rebuilt progressively until 1504, but was dissolved by Henry VIII after 1536. He sold the chapel. It was blown up in 1550 to provide stone for another building. Mary I revived the Order and the Archbishop of Canterbury rebuilt the chapel. Elizabeth I made the Priory the home of her Master of the Revels and his tailors, embroiderers, painters, carpenters and stage crews. James I gave the Priory to an aristocrat. The chapel was in private service from 1623. It became a Presbyterian meeting house later in the century and remained so until 1710 when the pews were ripped out in by the Sacheverelle rioters. They were protesting against Protestant dissenters and the supporting Whig Government. The chapel was enlarged in 1721 and it became a parish church in 1723. It has been reconstructed since then. In the 1930s, after over 400 years, it was returned to the Order of St John. It is now the international headquarters of the St John Ambulance Society.

John Kimmerley died in 1750 at Swan Alley, about two kilometres south east of the church of St John.

John William Kimmerley

A Quaker workhouse and school opened in the former Middlesex County workhouse in Clerkenwell in 1702. Presumably this was a successor of the school initiated by Sir Thomas Rowe. It had the same progressive aims. The history of the school is chequered, but it seems to have evolved into the Clerkenwell workhouse and school, which were established in 1727 by the combined parishes of St John and St James. A Welsh Charity School started in Hatton Gardens with 12 children in 1718. The aim was to educate children of poor Welsh artisans living in London. The school moved to Clerkenwell in 1737. The school bound the children as apprentices. St Andrew, in nearby Holborn, had a similar role to the Clerkenwell charity schools. It educated 4,500 pupils between 1696 and 1816. Over 2,000 of these pupils were assisted to become apprenticed. Such assistance was vital to poor children because it was costly to become apprenticed.

John William Kimmerley would have been educated at a charity school, most probably that of St John and St James. He would have been assisted to become apprenticed to a master printer about the age of 14. Apprentices lived with their master’s family, receiving free food and lodging, but little or no pay. Seven years later John would have completed his apprenticeship and become a journeyman, free to work independently, or in a printing establishment. When more experienced he would have become a freeman. He married Elizabeth Skerrett at St Matthew, Bethnal Green in 1779. The marriage record was signed by John in a small, neat hand, by Elizabeth in a strong, larger hand and by Martha, who was a witness and probably John’s sister, in a firm, clear hand.

Bethnal Green was a small rural hamlet until the late 1700s. In 1685 it became illegal to remain a Protestant in France, so in the following decades large numbers of Huguenots from France settled in Spitalfields and Shoreditch, and later in Bethnal Green. Despite earlier identification of the need for a church at Bethnal Green, it was not until 1746 that St Matthew was built. It was destroyed by fire in 1859, rebuilt in 1861, destroyed except for the walls by bombing in 1940 and rebuilt in 1961.

John and Elizabeth Kimmerley’s daughter Elizabeth was christened in 1779 and their son John was christened in 1782, both at St Leonard, Shoreditch. Their son Thomas Wells Kimmerley was christened in 1785 at St Matthew. John and Elizabeth probably also had a son James, but there is no record of his christening. The couple were living at New Inn Yard, Shoreditch in 1782. This is about two kilometres east of Clerkenwell.

St Leonard is on the site of a Saxon church. The modern building dates from 1716. Following the partial collapse of the tower it was substantially rebuilt in 1736-40. It has an elegant 58 metre spire and an impressive portico.

John William Kimmerley, recorded as John Kimmarley, is included with about 1300 “Liverymen, Freemen and others” of the City of London in an Address to the King, published in The London Gazette of 8.8.1780. Liveryman and Freeman were categories of members of a company or trade guild. The Address was to thank King George III for “that Protection, which, by the Wisdom, Vigilance, and Activity of your Majesty in Council, was so seasonably given to us, at a Time when our Lives, Property, and every Thing dear to us, were in such imminent Danger, from the Violence of the most outrageous Banditti that ever existed” during the Gordon Riots of 2-9 June 1780. The Address also assured the King of the continuing support of the signatories.

The riots began as a Protestant uprising against the Papist Act of 1778, which reduced discrimination against Catholics. Community antagonism towards Catholics was strong. It was not until 1791 that Catholics were even allowed to worship in public. The uprising was exacerbated by other public grievances. Demonstrators initially gathered in Westminster, but larger numbers then assembled at Moorfields, which was close to where John Kimmerley lived. There were two days of looting and burning of Catholic houses in Moorfields. Eventually over 50,000 people were involved in the riots. Over 100 Catholic buildings were burned or looted. Newgate Prison and the Clink Prison were burned and prisoners were released. Military action against the rioters led to the deaths of 285 people and the wounding of 200. 450 people were arrested and 25 were hanged.

Many of the signatories of the Address were probably Catholics, who had the most to fear from the mob, the most reason to be grateful for the intervention of the military and possibly the most reason to reassure the King of their continuing loyalty. John’s great grandson James Philip Kimmerley was a Catholic, but it is unlikely that John’s grandfather Daniel was a Catholic in Tetbury, as Catholic is not even one of the religions listed in the Tetbury Religious Affiliations Census. Possibly John became Catholic when he married Elizabeth Skerrett.

The second name of John William Kimmerley’s son was Wells. It is an unusual Christian name. A Joseph Wells was a signatory to the Address to the King. In 1808 John’s cousin Elizabeth Ann Kimmarley also gave the second name Wells to one of her sons. The Wells family had a long association with St Andrew, Holborn. Later the Kimmerley family had an association with St Andrew. So it seems that the families were friends. There is no evidence that they were related. Possibly Joseph Wells was instrumental in saving the life or property of John Kimmarley during the Gordon Riots and hence was honoured in the family names.

Thomas Skarratt is also listed on the Address to the King. He may have been the father of John Kimmerley’s wife, Elizabeth Skerrett, particularly as the first son of John and Elizabeth was named Thomas.

Thomas Wells Kimmerley

Thomas Wells Kimmerley was born on 21.6.1785 and christened on 21.6.1790 at St Matthew, Bethnal Green. His son James Philip, wrongly recorded as Kimley, was christened at St Andrew, Holborn. Ferna Smith, a Kimmorley descendent who later married Ron Baguley, was the first to recognise that this was the christening of James Kimmorley. James’ parents lived at Union Court, a short street on the east side of Old Broad Street just south of London Wall. It has been built over by office buildings and no longer exists. It was several parishes to the east of St Andrew, so Thomas Wells Kimmerley must have had a strong association with the parish. Most likely this was because he attended school at St Andrew and had parents and friends living locally. Both Thomas Wells and his brother James became printers.

St Andrew was a timber church in 959. It was rebuilt as a substantial stone structure in 1446. It was only just saved on the outskirts of the Great Fire of 1666. Except for the tower, it was rebuilt in 1684-90, as the largest of Christopher Wren’s parish churches in London. The tower was resurfaced in 1704. The church was substantially restored in 1871. Following extensive bomb damage in WW2 the interior was rebuilt, in the same form as previously. While being rebuilt by Wren, a large brick building was constructed in nearby Hatton Gardens to serve as the church. When St Andrew was reopened in 1696, the Hatton Gardens building became the parish schoolhouse.

The school was conducted in a single large room. The schoolmaster was stationed at the centre, where he kept general order and taught a small number of senior students. There would have been 200 or more pupils. Around the walls more knowledgeable students taught small groups of earlier learners. Around 1800 most pupils only had a year or two of schooling. Although many were classified as being able to read and write, they were barely literate in a modern sense. To become a printer Thomas Kimmerley would have had more schooling than the average Charity School pupil.

The Hatton Garden School was a Blue Coat School. The first of these schools was established by King Edward VI at Christchurch Hospital, Greyfriars in 1552. Later there were several Blue Coat schools in London and elsewhere in England. There were also Grey Coat Schools, which were similar. At each school the children wore Tudor style uniforms. Full size statues of a boy and a girl were installed above the entrances. The Hatton Park School girl figure is holding a book with MDCXCVI, the foundation year, on it. The Hatton Park figures were taken away from London for safety during WW2. After the War the former school was converted to a two story office building, so the figures were erected above the entrance to the reconstructed St Andrew.

No record has been found for the marriage of Thomas and Mary Kimmerley. According to undocumented Kimmorley oral family history Thomas worked at the Bank of England. However in response to a query from Ferna Baguley about 1993, a letter from the Bank stated that this is incorrect. Possibly the explanation is that Thomas did printing work for the Bank.

James Philip Kimmerley

The son of Thomas and Mary Kimmerley was James Philip, christened 24.7.1811 at St Matthew. There is no record of a sibling of James. The christening records for St Andrew and the other churches with family associations, St Matthew and St Leonard, seem complete. So it seems likely that James’ mother died when he was an infant.

James’ father seems to have been educated and employed in a viable industry, and had accepted significant inconvenience to christen James at St Andrew. However James’ circumstances probably changed completely after the death of his mother.

Elizabeth Ann Kimmarley, a Kimmerley name variant, was christened in 1776 at St Andrew. Her parents were John and Jane. She married James Roberts in 1799 at St Lukes, Finsbury, a parish adjoining Clerkenwell. Her children were all christened at St Leonard. Although the exact relationship can only be surmised, Elizabeth was a relative of Thomas Wells Kimmerley and in the same generation. Elizabeth had children christened in 1802, 1806, 1808 and 1811. Possibly James was taken into the Roberts family at an early age. The economic situation of the Roberts family may have become increasingly tenuous as further children were christened in 1813, 1817 and 1823. Although much later in Australia James had nine sons, four of them with two Christian names, none of the names is Thomas, which supports the view that there was an early separation of James from his father.

The general view of education in the early 1800s is illustrated by a Bill introduced into the House of Commons by Samuel Whitbread in 1807. The Bill related to the whole of the Poor Law, but the first part dealt specifically with education. Whitbread advocated making parishes responsible for education and that each child should have two years of education between the ages of 7 and 14. He thought this would reduce crime and pauperism. However the Parliament considered the proposal too expensive and that it would take people away from manual work and would make them dissatisfied with their social situation. It wasn’t until the 1833 Factory Act that there was legislation for children to attend school two hours a day and not until the 1870 Education Act that a national system of education was established in England.

James Kimmerley is recorded in 1827 as able to read and write. Consistent with the experience of his father and grandfather he would have attended school, possibly at Hatton Gardens, but it may have only been for a few years. In 1827 he was a messenger boy at a printing office. Apparently he was not an apprentice and it is unlikely that at age 17 he would have had any prospect of becoming apprenticed. Presumably he helped with other tasks at the printing office. Most likely he had spent several years, after briefly attending school, carrying messages and undertaking any other small tasks he could find that would earn money.

In the early 19th century Parliament passed laws to curtail child labour, however they all proved to be unenforceable. The first effective law was passed in 1833. It was effective because, for the first time, factory inspectors were appointed to enforce the law. The law banned children under nine from working in textile factories. Children aged nine to 13 were not to work more than 12 hours a day, or 48 hours a week. Children aged 13 to 18 were not to work more than 69 hours a week. Children aged nine to 13 were to be given two hours education a day.

James Kimmerley’s Crime

James was arrested on 4.11.1827 in the act of stealing money and clothing from a man, who was drunk at the time, in Shoe Lane, London.

Shoe Lane existed when the Holborn area was agricultural. It seems to have been given the name because it led to a shoe shaped field. It is to the rear of St Andrew. In 1827 it was the main route between Fleet Street and an area of crowded housing in Holborn. There seems to have been printing premises in Shoe Lane at the time, but in any case there were printing premises in Fleet Street.

On arrest James would have been taken directly to nearby Newgate Prison. The first prison at Newgate was built in 1188, at the site of a gate in the Roman London Wall. It was significantly enlarged in 1236, and renovated in 1422. The prison was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and was rebuilt in 1672. It was attacked and set of fire by the mob during the Gordon Riots. Many prisoners died in the blaze. Approximately 300 escaped to temporary freedom. The prison was rebuilt in 1782. It was a complex building with separate sections for males and females, those awaiting trial, the condemned awaiting movement to other prisons, boys under 15 and those awaiting execution at the gallows in the adjoining street. The prison contained several hundred prisoners. It was overcrowded, dirty, insanitary and cold. The food was poor and disease was common. Prisoners were poorly clothed and slept on straw on the bare floors. After 1816, however, conditions in the women’s section markedly improved through the efforts of Elizabeth Fry. Reforms for male prisoners were very slow in coming, but by 1827 they were appreciably better than late in C18. In particular, jailers were paid, so prisoners were not subject to the previous level of extortion and prisoners were not kept in irons. The death penalty applied to 220 crimes in 1800 but by 1823 the number had been substantially reduced and judges could commute the death sentence, except for murder and treason.

James was tried at the Courthouse Justice Hall of the Old Bailey. Since 1834 the official name has been the Central Criminal Court. The original name came from the street in which the Court is located. Old Bailey Street follows the line of the original fortified wall, or "bailey", of the City of London. The Courthouse was in front of Newgate Prison and connected to it by a walkway. The location is about 200 metres northwest of St Paul's Cathedral and a little further, in the opposite direction, from Shoe Lane. The Court originated as the Sessions House of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of the City of London and Middlesex. It existed in 1585. It was destroyed in the Fire of London and rebuilt in 1674, with the whole front of the courthouse open to the weather to prevent the spread of disease. In 1734, to reduce the influence of spectators, the building was refronted, enclosing the court. This led to outbreaks of typhus, notably in 1750 when sixty people died, including the Lord Mayor and two judges. It was rebuilt again in 1774 and a second courtroom was added in 1824. Over 100,000 criminal trials were carried out in the Old Bailey from 1674 to 1834, including all the death penalty cases in London.

In the court the accused stood at 'the bar', facing the witness box and the judges. A light above the bar shed light on the faces of the accused, so that the court could examine their expressions. Jurors in stalls on the defendant's right sat close together so that they could arrive at verdicts without leaving the room. Clerks, lawyers and shorthand writers sat at a table below the judges. Spectators could attend trials, after paying fees to courthouse officials. Each trial started with the clerk reading the charge. The prosecutor then presented the case against the defendant, followed by the witnesses, who testified under oath. The defendant was not put on oath, but was asked to state their defence. Cross-examination was conducted by the judges. Defendants could cross examine witnesses, but this was rare. Defence lawyers were uncommon until the mid 1800s. There was no presumption of innocence. If innocent, defendants were expected to disprove the evidence against them. In 1833 the average trial took eight and a half minutes. The same jury heard many cases in a single sitting. The speedy trials severely disadvantaged defendants, who had no time to accustom themselves to the intimidating, even frightening, courtroom environment.

James was tried on Monday 4 December, the Fourth Day of the Session commencing 6 December 1827. For the Session there was a panel of 12 Judges, which included the Lord Mayor, Judges from the Court of the King's Bench and the Court of the Exchequer, Aldermen of the City of London and other justices from the City of London and from the County of Middlesex. There were three juries of 12 men from the City and five juries from the County. Most cases were heard by only two judges. The Common Sergeant of the City presided at many of the minor cases. At James’ trial the Common Sergeant presided and the jury was the Fourth Middlesex Jury. James trial was the 213th of the Session. The last trial on the Fourth Day was number 217. The last trial of the Session, on the Fifth Day, was number 256.

James’ trial was recorded in the Proceedings of the Court as follows.

James Kimmerley was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of November, 1 pair of shoes, value 6s.; 2 handkerchiefs, value 3s.; 1 hat, value 2s.; 1 knife, value 6d.; 1 pencil, value 1d.; 2 half-crowns and 21 shillings, the property of Isaac Stanley, from his person. Isaac Stanley. I am a sawyer. On the 4th of November I was in Shoe-lane, about half-past ten o'clock at night. I had been to look for a sawyer, to pay him 10s. I had been to different places and some people gave me some gin, which affected me. I sat on a step, and fell asleep. Some person took my money, my shoes off my feet, my handkerchief off my neck, and my hat, while I was asleep. I am sure I had my shoes and everything on when I sat down. John Johnson. I am a watchman. I was calling half-past ten o'clock in Shoe-lane. Delaney called Watch! I went up - she said the prisoner was taking this man's jacket off. The prisoner immediately threatened Delaney and said if she was a man he would knock her bl - y head off. She was holding him at the time. I said, "Come down to the watch-house." We went there and I took these shoes off the prisoner's feet. (The prosecutor claimed them). Mary Delany. I was going out on an errand and saw the prosecutor sitting at a door, very tipsy. I saw the prisoner go up to him, and say, "If you will get up, I will see you home." I looked round presently and saw he was trying to get his jacket off. I gave an alarm and he was taken to the watch-house. Henry Wake. I am an officer. The prisoner was brought to the watch-house. (Shoes produced and sworn to.) Prisoner's Defence. A man came to me about six o'clock and asked me to buy a pair of shoes for 3s. 6d. I gave him 2s. 6d. for them, and put them on. I saw this man sitting at the door, and went to him to take him home - the woman came and asked if I knew him. GUILTY. Aged 17. Transported for Fourteen Years.

The crime was officially “larceny from a person” (stealing from a person).

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey were recorded in shorthand and then printed and published by commercial firms. The publisher supplied 320 copies to the City. The Proceedings became the official Court record. They were supposed to provide a “true, fair, and perfect narrative” of all trials. However parts of the Proceedings were usually omitted and other parts were abbreviated. Although judges examined witnesses and defendants and summed up the case at the end of the trial, often stating their views on the merits of the prosecution, this was seldom reported.

The Proceedings of the James Kimmerley trial seem to have recorded the statements of the witnesses essentially accurately, but the Prisoners Defence is barely coherent. Although James was obviously guilty, clearly the record of his statement was abbreviated inaccurately. This is understandable in the circumstances. In any case there would be little, if any, public interest in James’ trial, or the many others like it in the same Session. The public and hence the publisher were mainly interested in murders and other violent events, as is indicated by the many people who watched hangings outside Newgate. 40,000 people watched a hanging in 1810. 28 of them were trampled to death. Public hangings continued until 1869.

At ten thirty at night in London in November it would have been completely dark and really cold. Street lighting by gas in London started in 1807. By 1820 most main streets had gas lights. Gas lighting was not widely used in homes until about 1860. Shoe Lane was probably dimly lit and largely deserted when James committed the crime. Isaac Stanley must have been “very tipsy”, as Mary Delaney reported, to be sitting on a step in the cold, possibly outside a public house. The crime was committed on a Sunday. Public houses were open from 6 pm to 11 pm at the time. It is improbable that James could have been running errands or working at the printers’ office at night, particularly on a Sunday night. Most probably he had been at a friend’s or relation’s house. The mention of six o’clock in his evidence may have been a confused reporting of the time when he went on his visit. The attempted robbery was recorded as his first offence. This seems completely plausible from the way he undertook the robbery, made no attempt to escape and defended himself poorly in court. He must have been quite poorly dressed to try to take not only the victim’s jacket, but his shoes, hat and handkerchiefs. No doubt James was cold. Presumably he decided on the spur of the moment to help himself to a warm jacket. Having successfully taken this, he thought he might as well take the opportunity to also take the shoes, the money and everything else in the victim’s pockets. The additional delay probably led to his arrest. It was unfortunate for him that Mary was sent on an errand so late at night and that not only was she offended at the wrong doing but was determined enough to call the Watch and hold onto James until the watchman arrived. There was a watch-house at St Andrew, which would have been close to the scene of the crime. James was probably also unfortunate that a watchman happened to be nearby patrolling at the time.

There had been a Watch in the city of London for hundreds of years. Originally all citizens had to take a turn in serving, but by the mid C18 constables and watchmen were appointed by the City and the City Wards. Although ineffective at times in the past, by the early 1800s the Watch was a reasonably effective police force. Even after Sir Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829, it did not replace the Watch in the City of London.

The money James Kimmerley stole was 26 shillings. Widely variable estimates are available for what this would be worth in current values. Although other estimates are very much higher, some indication is that a pair of shoes was worth six shillings. Four times the cost of a pair of shoes would have been considerable to an ill clothed boy in unskilled employment. The amount of money was a factor in the judge determining a sentence of 14 years rather than seven years, a common sentence for small thefts without violence.

Imprisonment in England

Other than for debtors and bankrupts, physical punishment had long been the normal sentence for crime in England. Except for awaiting trial, imprisonment for long periods was uncommon. Sentences were usually fines or pillorying, branding, whipping or, for a wide range of crimes, hanging – with varying degrees of savagery. From the late 1700s imprisonment gradually became the most common form of punishment for many types of offence. Even so, a common view was that convicts in prison should be treated harshly. Shortage of prison accommodation in England led to the transportation of over 50,000 convicts to America between the 1620s and 1776. Between 1778 and 1868 over 160,000 convicts were transported to Australia. In England transportation itself was generally considered to be a severe form of punishment, but many in America and Australia believed that transported convicts should be further punished.

After the trial James was imprisoned at Newgate, in a larger and less comfortable cell than while awaiting trial, and this time with male prisoners of all kinds. After a Session of the Old Bailey most prisoners were taken to hulks. James would have been taken, in irons, in an open cart on a two or three day journey to Portsmouth. Carts for transporting prisoners were hired by prison authorities. Generally horses, carts, guards and the costs of food were all part of a contract to relocate prisoners. At Portsmouth James was taken by boat to the hulk York at Tipnor, an outer part of the harbour. He was recorded as taken on board on 2.1.1828. As was the custom, he was stripped and his clothes were thrown overboard. Buckets of icy water were thrown over him. He was clothed in a coarse grey jacket and breeches, his hair was cut close, irons were locked on his legs and he was taken to the lowest deck - the darkest and most foul-smelling part of the ship. The hulk record shows that James arrived from Newgate and his crime was "Sgfmthepn" (stealing from the person). His sentence was recorded, incorrectly, as “life”.

There was a line of several hulks anchored a few hundred metres offshore at Portsmouth. They were old battle ships or frigates with masts and rudders removed, so that they couldn’t sail. The gun decks had been enclosed and the interior reconstructed to accommodate guards and convicts. Prisoners were taken ashore each day to work on the fort or harbour facilities.

The York had been a 74-gun warship of 1743 tons, launched in 1807. It had served in the West Indies, the Mediterranean and elsewhere. In 1819 it was converted to a prison hulk and remained at Portsmouth until broken up in 1854. Between 500 and 600 convicts were confined on the York. Conditions on the hulks in the late 1700s had been terrible. They were dirty, unsanitary, verminous, ill ventilated and overcrowded. Prisoners were ill clothed, ill fed and generally ill treated. Disease was rampant. Mortality was as high as 30 percent. Due to the advocacy of John Howard, conditions were rather better by 1828, but they were still severe. As late as 1848 conditions on the York were so bad that there was a rebellion on board.

Transportation to Australia

James was taken from the York on 10.11.1828. He was probably walked in irons on a two day journey to the Lord Melville, at Sheerness, on the Medway, London. This was the ship on which he was to be transported to Australia. Apparently James was in an advance party of prisoners sent to work on the Lord Melville, making repairs from the previous voyage and getting it ready for the next voyage. The prisoners also would have loaded provisions for the voyage and goods that were to be taken to Australia. Some illustration of the range of goods carried on convict ships is an advertisement in the Sydney Gazette of 19.5.1829, advertising the sale by auction, in the Marketplace, of five merino rams that had arrived on the Lord Melville

The Lord Melville probably departed London on the first or second of January 1829. The Portsmouth Morning Post of 6.1.1829 records that the Lord Melville and some other ships arrived from London on January 3 and 4. The ship must have called at Portsmouth to load the bulk of the 170 male prisoners who were to be transported. On 7 January the Morning Post reported that on January 5 the Lord Melville, with Captain Brown, had sailed for New South Wales. Maritime records in Australia note that the Lord Melville departed London on 5.1.1829, but this is incorrect. After a voyage of 121 days the Lord Melville arrived at Sydney on 3.5.1829.

The Captain of the Lord Melville was Robert Brown and the Surgeon-Supervisor was George Shaw Rutherford. All the Australian bound convict ships had a surgeon on board, following Royal Naval practice. For the first decade or two Surgeons were responsible to the Captain and the chief military officer on board. Later they were designated Surgeon-Supervisor and were directly in charge of convict health and welfare. Most of them were competent. Convicts sent to Australia were much better looked after than those sent to America and very much better looked after than the passengers on emigrant ships to America - despite the much longer and more hazardous sea voyage to Australia. Each Surgeon kept a diary and submitted it with a report to the Admiralty - usually when they returned with the same ship to England.

Rutherford was one of the most experienced and successful convict ship surgeons. He made seven voyagers to Australia with convicts. In 1830 he gave informative evidence to a British Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into Secondary Punishment of Prisoners

Two ships with the name Lord Melville transported convicts to Australia. The first was of 412 tons, formerly the frigate HMS Porpoise, built in Shields in 1805. It transported 99 female prisoners from London on 15.9.1816, via Rio de Janeiro, arriving at Sydney on 24.2.1817. The voyage took 162 days. On the next voyage it transported 147 male prisoners from London on 18.7.1818, via Downs and Cape Town, arriving in Hobart on 17.12.1818. The voyage took 151 days. The Downs was an area of sea south of Ramsgate, protected from westerly winds by the land and from easterly winds by the Goodwin Sands. Ships often waited in the Downs for a favourable wind to carry them through the Channel.

The second Lord Melville was 425 tons, built in Quebec in 1825. James Kimmerley was on the first transportation voyage, which was in 1829. After delivering convicts to Sydney the ship returned to London via Batavia, which it left on 8 August. Returning to England via the East Indies was a great attraction for those who contracted ships for transporting convicts to Australia, as they could back load with valuable cargo. The Lord Melville arrived at St Helena in the mid Atlantic on 17th October and Portsmouth on 9 January. It left London on the second transportation voyage on 6.6.1830, with 176 male prisoners. It proceeded via Downs to Sydney, arriving on 21.10.1830. The voyage took 137 days. Two people died on the first voyage of the Lord Melville, one on the second voyage and none on the two voyages of the second Lord Melville.

There are Surgeon’s Reports for the Lord Melville voyages of 1818 and 1830, but the Reports for the other two voyages have not survived. The 1818 and 1830 Reports indirectly give some indication of the 1829 voyage. In 1818 the Surgeon was engaged two months before the ship sailed. The corresponding period in 1830 was one month. So it is not surprising that James Kimmerley was on board for seven weeks prior to departure in 1829. It took two days to load prisoners in 1830, the same time as in Portsmouth in 1829. The 1818 voyage was via Rio de Janeiro, which was the normal route at that time. By 1829 ships sailed more directly to Cape Town. Provisioning at Cape Town took a few days. Ships then sailed eastwards to Australia. A decade later, when emigrant voyages became common, a great circle route was taken, which was much quicker but very much colder, more perilous and more physically distressing.

When convicts arrived at Australia a record, called an indent was prepared. The derivation of the term is not clear. The origin may be from the transportation of convicts to America who were generally indentured on arrival, or it may have a connection with the indents which were orders for goods to be exported or imported. Although some convicts were transported on naval ships, most were carried on privately owned ships leased under contract to the British Government. The contracts generally referred to the number of convicts and sometimes to the names of convicts to be transported. Indents would have had a role in relation to the contracts. Indents were sometimes prepared at the time of embarkation and sometimes at the time of disembarkation. Even if written on arrival, the basic information would have been taken from pre embarkation documents. Early indents provide a convict’s name, the date and place of trial and the sentence. A convict’s physical description, native place, age and crime were included in later indents. Not all convicts listed in an indent arrived in Australia. Some were ill and taken from the ship before departing Britain. Some died on the voyage.

Following is the information on the indent for James Kimmerley, with explanations in brackets added.

Number 55. Name : Kimmerley Jas (James. Underneath the name are the figures 642/1904 and 96/427. The significance of these numbers is unknown). Age : 20. Education : r w (read and write). Religion : ditto sign (The preceding entry on the indent record is Cat, no doubt for Catholic). Single or married : S (single). Native Place : London. Trade or Calling : Errand boy in printg office (The letters after offi are not clear, but ‘printing office’ seems the only possible interpretation). Offence : Do (Ditto. The preceding entry is Highway Roby (Highway Robbery. This is seriously incorrect. The offence was the much less serious Larceny from a Person). Where Tried : London. When Tried : 6 Dec 1827. Sentence : 14 (years), Former Convictions : ditto sign (The preceding entry was ‘none’). Height : Ft 5 In 2 ¼. Complexion : Ry frkd (Ruddy freckled). Colour of Hair : Lt Brown (Light Brown). Colour of Eyes : Dr Hazel (Dark Hazel). How Disposed of and Remarks : W Wilkinson Geo River (The words Geo and River are not clear, but Georges River seems obvious). Anchor on right arm JK heart darts and AW on left (The word ‘and’ is not clear, but seems obvious. The markings were probably tattoos, which were common on convicts). Scar on point of chin - underneath Rt leg. (The dash seems obviously to imply ‘and’).

The letters, heart and dartes (arrrows) marking on the right arm is obviously the common symbolic JK loves AW. There is a bar over the K and the W, indicating surnames. AW was probably Ann Mary Wells, born on 6.10.1810 and christened on 8.4.1811 at St Andrew, with parents Thomas and Mary Wells. She would have been the same age as James. Less likely, the AW was the slightly older Ann Wells christened on 9.1.1810 at St Andrew.

The age 20 in the indent was either an approximation by the authorities, or there was some reason why either James, or the authorities, deliberately over stated his age. James’ age is recorded on several occasions later in his life. Analysis of these indicates that the most likely date of his birth was 10.8.1810 or 11.8.1810. These dates are consistent with James’ age 17 at his trial, 28 at marriage, 54 when his son Walter was born and 74 at death. His age on arrival in Sydney was probably 18 years and 9 months.

Assignment in Australia

James was assigned to W Wilkinson at Georges River, Sydney. Wilkinson’s property was on the north side of what is now Canterbury Road, south east of Punchbowl. The area was 60 acres. One William Wilkinson was a convict who was convicted in Brecon, in Wales, for seven years. He arrived on the Batavia in October 1817. Another William Wilkinson was convicted in York for seven years. He arrived on the Speke in December 1820. One of these was the landholder at Georges River. In 1829 land at Georges River had only recently been subdivided. It was heavily timbered. The only access roads were a winding bullock track from the east and another from the north. James probably worked at timber clearing.

There are no records of James living in Sydney. In all early records he was living in the Hunter Valley. There are no records of William Wilkinson living in the Hunter, or having property there. So apparently James was transferred from Wilkinson to another master who took him to the Hunter. Land was rapidly being developed in the Hunter Valley at the time. Many convicts were taken there either from Sydney, where they had been working, or directly from arriving convict ships. Identification of James’ second master is a long story, connected with a famous early colonial court cases. It involved many convicts and two landholders, James Mudie and John Larnock.

Castle Forbes

Mudie was a Scotland born Lieutenant in the Marines who got into trouble in Scotland over accounts and was dismissed. After a failed commercial venture he became insolvent. However Sir Charles Forbes, a Scottish Baronet, gave him and his four children free passage to New South Wales in 1822. Mudie seems to have adopted the title Major in Australia. He was given a land grant of about 2,150 acres (870 ha) on the Hunter River several kilometres south west of Singleton. He named the property Castle Forbes, in tribute to his sponsor. He acquired another 2,000 acres (809 hectares) in 1825. With the assistance of numerous convicts Castle Forbes became a highly productive meat, wheat and wool property.

Larnach arrived at Sydney from Scotland as a free settler in July 1823. He became overseer to John Bowman and then to James Mudie. In 1825 he took up a property, Rosemount, adjoining Castle Forbes. Larnach also had assigned convicts. He became Mudie’s partner and in 1827 married Emily, Mudie's eldest daughter. Larnach spent more time than Mudie at Castle Forbes. Apparently the two properties were largely worked together. Both Mudie and Larnach were brutal men and treated their convicts harshly. About 1830, Governor Darling appointed Mudie a Justice of the Peace. He served on the bench at Maitland. He was feared among convicts, as he gained a reputation for being particularly severe in his judgement, flogging criminals and convicts excessively, even for minor offences.

In early November 1833 convicts Anthony Hitchcock, John Poole, James Riley, David Jones, John Perry and James Ryan, who had been particularly brutally treated while working at Castle Forbes, absconded to the bush. On 5 November they returned to Castle Forbes, where Larnach, his wife and two small children were then living. They threatened Larnach’s wife. She, her maid, a house servant and the night-watchman and the post boy, who were brought from somewhere else, were locked in a store. Some shearers who had been working in the barn were also locked in another store. The convicts stole guns, ammunition and plate from the house, provisions from the store and two horses. Then they went to the river where Lanarch was supervising 14 convicts washing sheep. Shots were fired at Lanarch, but he was not injured. He escaped to the far side of the river and took refuge at the neighbouring home of Henry Dangar. The convicts returned to the bush.

The gang robbed another house on 12 November. Next day, with help from natives and led by a landowner Robert Scott, an armed and mounted party of police, other landowners and employees traced and discovered the gang. One convict was shot and the others surrendered. The prisoners were taken to Maitland. On 9 December they were taken to Sydney. The Colonial Secretary made an award of a plate to Scott. Seventy pounds was donated by 39 landowners to add to the reward of five pounds for the capture of each member of the gang, as a reward to be divided equally among the five free men and 18 convicts who assisted in the capture.

Their trial was recorded as Rex V Hitchcock and others. It was held on 9 and 10 December before the Chief Justice and a military jury. The charge was “felony, by force of arms putting in bodily fear etc and stealing from the dwelling-house sundry articles, the property of Major Mudie and others, at Castle Forbes”. The Defence attempted to mitigate the severity of the charge by witnesses describing the ill treatment to which the convicts had been subjected, but this was ruled as unacceptable by the judge. The Defence also sought to have witnesses speak in support of the characters of the accused, but this was not allowed. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty. Next day the evidence continued and the Judge passed the sentence of death.

Three of the gang were hanged in Sydney. Hitchcock and Poole were returned to Castle Forbes where they were hanged before the assembled convicts and other employees on 21 December. Jones was sent to Norfolk Island for life.

The evidence of ill treatment given by the convicts at the trial caused such a public outcry that Governor Bourke ordered an inquiry by the Solicitor-General and the Police Superintendent. The inquiry was held in the Hunter Valley from 19 to 28 December 1833. Several witness gave evidence about the ill treatment of convicts at Castle Forbes. The findings of the inquiry did not lead to any charge against Mudie or Larnach, but both were criticised regarding the rations they supplied to their workers and the treatment of their convicts. Although settlers generally supported the outcome of the trial, after the inquiry there were mixed feelings about the severity of the sentences and the disciplinary actions of Mudie and Larnach. Mudie bitterly rejected the inquiry findings. He sold Castle Forbes in 1836 and returned to England to justify his actions and to press for harsh measures to enforce convict discipline. On returning to Australia in 1840 he found that community opinion was against him. He returned to England in 1842 and died there in 1852. Rosemount was sold in 1840. Castle Forbes was subdivided into 34 farms in 1838. Larnach continued to live in the area until his death in 1869.

Ten convicts expected to give evidence at the trial were taken from the Hunter Valley to Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney and on the 6th of December were transferred to the prison hulk Phoenix. One of the convicts was James Kimmorley. The hulk record is the earliest record of this spelling of the surname. John Hartnett and Michael Minchan were transferred to the Phoenix at the same time as the other convicts. However they were teachers and were sent to Port Macquarie as “Specials” on 7 January 1834. They had arrived in Australia on the Java on 18 November, after the events that led to the trial and clearly have no connection with it.

On 26 August 1824 the Phoenix had run aground on the Sow and Pigs reef while entering Port Jackson after a voyage from Hobart Town, where it had discharged 202 male convicts. The ship was 589 tons, built on the Thames in 1798. It was refloated and towed to Campbell's Downs (Darling Harbour) where it was found to be damaged beyond repair. At this time the old Sydney Gaol was hopelessly overcrowded, so the ship's masts and other fittings were auctioned, and the Colonial Government purchased the hulk for 1,000 pounds. It was fitted out to accommodate convicts and in August 1825 the first 58 convicts came on board. It was the only prison hulk to operate in New South Wales, although there were also hulks in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Initially the Phoenix was moored in Sydney Cove, but it was moved to Hulk Bay, now known as Lavender Bay, on the North Shore. According to Governor Brisbane it was “a sobering symbol of the strength and terror of the colony’s police”. It housed up to 260 prisoners at a time, including those awaiting trial, convict witnesses giving evidence, ailing convicts waiting for a ship to Port Macquarie Invalid Station, and those under colonial sentence of re-transportation. In 1837 the Phoenix began leaking badly. Her timbers were found to be rotten beyond repair. For some months she was kept afloat and the number of prisoners on board reduced. She was towed to near Balmain Point and by late December 1837 had been broken up.

On 9 December the ten convicts who were intended to give evidence at the Rex V Hitchcock trial would have been taken from the Phoenix to the courthouse before the trial started and returned when the proceedings for the day ended. On the 10th of December they were taken from the Phoenix and presumably attended the trial. They were returned to Hyde Park Barracks the same day. Hyde Park Barracks was a residence for convicts, not a jail. There are no records of convict arrivals and departures at the Barracks. The records must have been among the several tons of convict related documents deliberately destroyed by the New South Wales authorities in 1866 and 1870. (NSW Convict Records – Lost and Saved, Christine Shergold, NSW State Records).

Three of the convicts gave evidence at the trial. Six were there to give evidence for the Defence, but were not called to the witness stand. The purpose for the presence of Kimmorley is not indicated. Three of the convicts who were not allowed to give evidence at the trial gave evidence at the inquiry. The names of the other three were all mentioned in evidence at the inquiry. Kimmorley did not give evidence at the inquiry and his name was not mentioned at either the trial or the inquiry.

Witnesses at the trial and the inquiry identified 29 men, other than the trial defendants, who either worked at Castle Forbes or had worked there recently. As Kimmorley was not mentioned among the 29 he must have been unknown, or little known, to any of the other convicts. If he was employed at Castle Forbes he must have been a recent arrival, or employed in a different kind of work to the other convicts, or both. He could not have been at the trial to provide evidence regarding the treatment of any of the accused at Castle Forbes or elsewhere, or to provide a character reference. Other witnesses were well able to provide such evidence. He could not have been there to provide evidence about the attempted shooting of Lanarch, as he was not among the men washing sheep. He was not in the house, so could not provide evidence about the house robbery. He was not among the 18 convicts rewarded for capture of the gang, so he could not give evidence about the capture. Even if, like John Sawyer, he was working at Castle Forbes on the day or the robbery, but was employed by someone other than Lanarch or Mudie, there is nothing he could add to the evidence of others. So it seems that he must have been able to provide some evidence at the trial which was different to that of others, but which was not required in the event.

Only two other male employees are mentioned, but not named, in the trial – the night watchman and the post boy. Both were locked up initially with Lanarch’s wife. They seem to have been near the house, but were not involved in the farming activities. “Putting in bodily fear”, primarily the fear suffered by Mrs Larnach, was a significant aspect of the case of the Prosecution and an important measure of the severity of the crime. She was not a witness, so it is seems that Kimmorley was available to give evidence about her state of mind during the robbery. At the trial, however, the Judge needed no persuasion that Mrs Larnach had been terrorised.

A post boy would have delivered and collected mail from the settlement nearest to Castle Forbes and generally acted as a messenger and carrier of small items, on horseback. The name of the occupation was traditional. It did not necessarily indicate anyone particularly young. It is improbable that Kimmorley was the night watchman. His recorded occupation as a messenger boy and his ability to read and write would have suggested his suitability as a post boy. Apparently he had not been ill treated and did not live in a hut with any of the convicts who gave evidence, so there is no reason why his name would be mentioned by any of the witnesses at the trial or inquiry. Castle Forbes was a larger property than Rosemount, so Kimmorley would have been employed by Mudie, rather than Lanarch. Mudie spent a lot of time in Sydney, so it seems that he must have acquired Kimmorley from Wilkinson, probably about 1832. Understandably, in later life Kimmorley apparently did not inform his family that he had worked relatively briefly in Sydney, or had worked at the notorious Castle Forbes.

(A transcript of the trial is online as Rex V Hitchcock and Others, Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899, Division of Law, Macquarie University. A transcript of the inquiry is in the Sydney Monitor 21, 28 and 31 January and 4 and 7 February 1834. This is online through Trove. Events leading up to the trial and subsequent to the inquiry are also reported in Sydney newspapers of the time).

Details of how James Kimmorley was transferred from Wilkinson at Georges River to the Hunter Valley and came to be at Castle Forbes are unlikely ever to be known. Any record which my have existed was probably among those destroyed. It seems likely, however, that A B Spark had some involvement.

Spark arrived in Sydney in 1823. He was granted 2,000 acres of land. Six convicts were assigned to him and he was given land in Newcastle. Later he increased his holdings in the Hunter region to over 6,000 acres. He also owned a farm at Cooks River. He acquired a store in Sydney and by 1825 was chartering ships for the coastal trade. He was an agent for country settlers and later became the Managing Director of the Bank of Australia. His favourite residence was his farm at Cooks River. In 1829 he was at his Hunter Valley property when it was robbed by bushrangers. Sparke was a Magistrate and a close associate of James Mudie. Mudie was known to visit Sparke at his Cooks River farm. Later Sparke became a private distributor of Mudie's highly contentious publication “The Felony of New South Wales”. Spark’s property in the Hunter Valley was about midway between Castle Forbes and Dalwood. Spark would have known George Wyndham well, particularly as he was also a Magistrate.

Mudie sold Castle Forbes in 1836. As well as criticism of his treatment of convicts by the inquiry in December 1833, there was considerable public criticism afterwards. It seems likely that the numbers of convicts on the estate were reduced between 1834 and 1836. Kimmorley was probably among those who had an opportunity to move, an opportunity which any of them would have been happy to accept.


A letter of 27.3.1911 from Alice Kimmorley of Moree to her aunt Blanche Kimmorley of The Jungle, Warialda states that before moving to Dalwood, James lived on a Wyndham property named Garnon. Alice thought this spelling was probably incorrect. The name must have been Gammon, the original name for land south of Merriwa. A notice about a lost child in the Sydney Morning Herald of 5.12.1843 referred to the sheep station of George Wyndham at Gammon Plains.

George Wyndham married Margaret Joy in Brussels in 1827. They arrived in Sydney from London as cabin passengers on the George Home on 24.12.1827. "Memories of Far Off Days" includes an interesting account of George Wyndham's life. Apparently he was offered much of the land on the Sydney north shore, but considered it infertile. David Maziere, who had become insolvent, had advertised the auction, on 15.1.1828, of his property Annandale, 2,080 acres bounded on the north and south by the Hunter River. George Wyndham walked there, inspected the property, returned within 14 days and bought the property. Maziere had acquired it as a Crown Grant, with a 1,000 year lease when he arrived from England in 1822, with letters of introduction to a family friend, D'Arcy Wentworth. George Wyndham renamed the property Dalwood, after the Wyndham family estate in Dinton, Wiltshire.

Notices in The Sydney Gazette in May 1829 record Colonial Secretary permission of 30.4.1829 for George Wyndham to depasture livestock on 640 acres in the parish of Wolfingham and 1,050 acres in the parish of Branxton (originally Black Creek, then Maitland West). These lands adjoined Dalwood, although Wolfingham is on the opposite side of the Hunter River. In 1843 all of Dalwood was converted to freehold, by which time the estate was 3,600 acres, so the land originally leased for depasture had become part of Dalwood. George's son Reginald later acquired an adjoining 790 acres.

In 1831 George Wyndham was granted 2,560 acres at Smiths Rivulet near Merriwa and called the property Mahngarinda. Later he leased an adjoining 3,830 acres of Crown land at one pound per annum per 100 acres. In November 1832 Wyndham’s overseer went with a dray from Dalwood to Mahngarinda to establish a stock station. In 1838 Wyndham bought 640 acres of the leased land and in 1840 another 640 acres as a 'purchase grant'.

According to Kimmorley oral family history James worked for the Wyndhams for 39 years. Taking account of events later in his life, this seems an improbably long period. It suggests, however, that he must have been reassigned from Mudie to George Wyndham and sent to Mahngarinda not long after the inquiry, probably in 1834. Wyndham probably knew Kimmorley as someone who had delivered messages or small articles to his residence at Dalwood. Wyndham was well known for treating his convicts fairly and humanely. James would have been delighted to have him as master.

Ten convicts were named as working at Mahngarinda at the 1837 Muster of Convicts. James was not recorded there or at Dalwood, where he next worked, because all names beginning with K in the Muster are known to have been lost. James is not on the 1841 Census, but this only recorded heads of households. It was incomplete and anyway would not have recorded convicts as heads of households. Quite likely James was transferred from Mahngarinda to Dalwood a year or two before his marriage to Mary Ann Urquhart in 1838.

Ticket of Leave

James Kimmerley's Ticket of Leave 36/427 was dated 9.3.1836. The following information is on it, with explanations in brackets added.

Prisoner's No. 29/981. Name James Kimmerley. Ship Ld Melville 2. Master Brown. Year 1829. Place of Trial London GD (Gaol Delivery). Date of Trial 6.12.1829. (The correct date is 6.12.1827 !) Sentence 14 yrs. (There is no recording against the other headings on the Ticket of Leave form : Native Place, Trade or Calling, Offence, Year of Birth, Height, Complexion, Hair, Eyes or General Remarks. The bottom of the form records Allowed to remain in the District of Maitland, On recommendation of Do (Ditto, for Maitland) Bench, July 1835 (or 1836, the last digit is unclear). Governor Bourke's Despatch 1837, M.L. 1217 p 426 includes James Kimmerley in a list of Tickets of Leave granted in 1836).


John Urquhart, his wife and four children came to Australia from Balmacara, Lochalsh. They left the port of Isle Ornsay, Isle of Skye on 7.7.1837 on the William Nicol. The William Nicol was 408 tons, 3 years old, built in Greenock. It was commissioned by the Emigration Department and was the first ship with United Kingdom Government sponsored emigrants from the Scottish Highlands. The emigrants were selected by Dr Boyter. The Surgeon Superintendent on the ship was G Roberts RN. 80 adult males, 81 adult females, 56 children 7-14 and 104 children under 7 - a total of 321 embarked. The ship stopped four days at Table Bay from 11 September and arrived at Sydney on 27.10.1837 - a voyage of 114 days. Two women and 19 children died on the voyage, including John's infant daughter, Barbara. John was a plowman (sic) and was engaged to work for George Wyndham at Dalwood, for 30 pounds a year. About one third of the migrants on the William Nicol went to work in the Hunter Valley. John's sisters Margaret Jean and Mary Ann also worked for George Wyndham. George Wyndham's Diary records "Nov 8th 1837. Sent cart for Urquhart and family. Highlander from Lillingston". Although the Hunter was then navigable beyond Dalwood, the cart was probably sent to Maitland. Lillingston was the main property owner at Balmacara and apparently had helped arrange the emigration of the Urquhart family.

James Kimmorley’s Certificate of Freedom was Number 42/1904, issued on 4.11.1842 - eleven months late! The information on it is Prisoner’s Number: 29/981, Name: James Kimmerley, Ship: Lord Melville 2, Master: Brown, Year: 1829, Native Place: London, Trade or Calling: Labourer, Offence: blank, Place of Trial: London GD, Date of Trial: 6 December 1827, Sentence: 14 years, Year of Birth: 1809, Height: 5 feet 4 1/2 inches, Complexion: Ruddy, Hair: Light brown, Eyes: Dark hazel, General Remarks: Anchor on the right arm. JK heart darts on the left arm. Scar on tip of chin. At the bottom of the Certificate is written (barely legibly) Ticket of Leave No. 36/427 and the date 9 March 1836. The numbers of the Ticket of Leave and the Certificate of Freedom were recorded on the indent.

The Certificate of Freedom provides more information than the Ticket of Leave. It shows the correct trial date. The physical description is largely the same as on the indent, except that his height was 5 feet 4 1/2 inches, instead of 5 feet 2 ¼ inches. His occupation was labourer. His year of birth was recorded as 1809. This is the only direct record of his birth date, but it cannot be correct if he was 17 when arrested in November 1827. However it is consistent with the incorrect age 20 on his indent. It seems improbable that James would have taken the risk of under-stating his age at his trial in the Old Bailey. The evidence that he subsequently grew over two inches further in height is consistent with his age being 17 at his trial.

A Certificate of Freedom allowed a former convict to work anywhere, work for himself and buy land. Tradesmen could readily take advantage of the opportunity to become more independent. It might be thought that James rather lacked enterprise in continuing to work at Dalwood. However he was not a tradesman and he would not have had the money to buy land in the Hunter Valley. He had a good employer at Dalwood and presumably had satisfactory housing, was paid competitively and had the respect of his employers and fellow workers. Much later, when he had the opportunity to acquire his own land he was quick to take advantage of it.

John Urquhart’s daughter Mary Ann was aged 14 years and three months on arrival. There was a severe shortage of women in the colony and unmarried females were in great demand. James Kimmorley was quick to take the opportunity to successfully woo Mary Ann. Special permission was required before a convict could marry. The Colonial Secretary's special bundle, “Clergy, Presbyterian, Maitland, Lists of Persons Applying for the Publication of Banns at Scots Church, Maitland 11 August 1938”, includes the application made by Reverend R Blain for the Kimmorley wedding. It was received by the Colonial Secretary's office on 23.8.1838 and amended by a clerk in the Principal Superintendent of Convicts Office. The application notes that Mary Ann was in service with George Wyndham and includes Reverend Blain's comment "I have spoken to the parents of Mary Ann Urquhart about the marriage of their daughter with the applicant and they are perfectly reconciled". Presumably this meant that they were happy about the proposed marriage. Approval was given on 29.8.1838 to Reverend Blain. The document records “Jas Kimmerley age 28 (but the figure look like 20), Lord Melville 2, 14 yrs, T/L (Ticket of Leave) and Mary Ann Urquhart age 15, came free”.

The marriage was certified as follows. "I Robert Blain of Maitland, Minister, do hereby certify, that James Kimmorley of Dalwood, and Mary Ann Urquhart of Dalwood, were joined together in wedlock by me on the third day of September 1838, at Dalwood. Witnesses John Urquhart and Mrs Urquhart, both signed”.

Mary Ann was 15 and two months at marriage. The legal minimum age was 12 for girls and 14 for boys in England in C18. English law applied in Australia. In C19 in Australia it was 14 for girls. It became 16 in 1910. A letter of 27.3.1911 to Alice Kimmorley from her aunt, Blanche Kimmorley of The Jungle, Warialda records that the marriage was at the home of Mary Ann's parents, who lived at Dalwood, which was where they and Mary Ann worked. Present were only members of her family and "the Roderick McLerth's, shipmates from the voyage to Australia”. The shipmates’ surname was actually McLean. Roderick was a shepherd, aged 35 when he arrived with his six children. He had been assigned to L McAlister, but no place is recorded. None of the McLeans were on the Sick List for the voyage - an uncommon family experience.


The construction of Dalwood House began in 1829 but it was not until 1833 that the washhouse, kitchen and wings were completed. George Wyndham was an energetic and enterprising pioneer. His Diaries 1830 to 1840 includes many details of his agricultural activities. In 1830 he planted "300 peach, 300 lemon, 2 loquat, 1 olive, 60 fig, 40 quince and pomegranate trees". He also planted maize, wheat, hemp, mustard, castor oil, tobacco, millet and cape barley. He planted a vineyard and began wine-making. This eventually became a major part of the produce of Dalwood. He brought sheep with him when he arrived from England. Later he was active in sheep and cattle breeding. James Kimmorley would have worked on many agricultural activities at the property.

There were 20 convicts working at Dalwood when Wyndham acquired the property. Supporting the workers was a problem initially. Wyndham must have reduced the initial work force through careful screening. In 1837 fourteen male and one female convict were recorded as working at Dalwood. Initially the convicts would have been housed in huts accommodating four convicts. The convicts would have had small gardens, with seeds and plants provided by Wyndham. Later, when families were working a Dalwood they would have had small houses, with roofs of wheat straw.

Kimmorleys at Dalwood

Caroline, the first child of James and Mary Ann Kimmorley was born 12.7.1838 and christened on 15.10.1839 by Reverend Blain, both at Dalwood. James is described as a servant in the christening record. Farm servant would be consistent with English terminology of the day. He is described as a labourer at Dalwood in the Hunter Valley Directory of 1841/2. James’ second child, John was born at Dalwood in 1841. The next child, Mary Ann, was born in 1843 in Whittingham, Wollombi. The christening places of John and Mary Ann are unknown.

Reverend Blain, who married James in 1838 became Minister at Hinton, near Morpeth, where he had a church and manse built. His pastorate covered a wide area in the Lower Hunter. He occasionally visited as far north as Dungog and he made one extensive missionary tour through New England. There was a Presbyterian church at Whittingham from 1837. Mary McLean married there in 1838, so the McLean friends of the Urquharts may have lived in the area. This and the existence of a Presbyterian church may explain the birthplace of Mary Ann.

Catherine Kimmorley was born in 1845 at Dalwood. Albert Kimmorley, born at Dalwood in 1847, died as an infant. William Kimmorley was born in 1851 at Whittingham and christened at Dalwood. Edwin was born at Lochinvar in 1854 and Henry was born and christened in Lochinvar in 1861. These events suggest that the Kimmorleys had close friends at Lochinvar and that they had decided on a more convenient church arrangement.

Alfred Glennie was born in Surrey in 1811, the eleventh son of Reverend Dr William Glennie & Mary Gardiner. He emigrated to Australia in 1826, married Anne Ferris in 1836, farmed at East Gresford until 1850, was ordained and ministered for 13 years at St Paul’s Anglican church at Kincumber, now Gosford. The church had been established in 1847. The ministry covered the Brisbane Waters area. Reverend Glennie was well liked. He was transferred to Lochinvar in 1863. He wrote a comprehensive Journal from that time until his death in 1870. He was a remarkably energetic man and travelled extensively in the area. He was a welcome guest of the Wyndhams at Dalwood, where he frequently held services and visited parishioners. The Glennie Journal records visits to the Kimmorleys on 26.5.1865, 4.9.1865, 6.8.1866, 7.3.1867, 27.5.1867, 26.7.1867 and 15.8.1867. (Online at There are no comments on any of the visits. It is notable, however, that there is no mention of illness or accidents, as such events were associated with many of the family visits recorded in the Journals. The Kimmorley family must have been at least nominally Church of England during this period.

Alfred Kimmorley was born at Maitland in 1863 and christened at Branxton. Walter, the last child of James and Mary Ann Kimmorley was born and christened at Dalwood in 1865.

James was described as a farmer of Dalwood when he was a witness at the death of his mother in law Christian (Christina) Urquhart on 13.4.1857 and at the marriage of his wife’s sister Rubina Urquhart on 14.11.1858. Bailliers Post Office Directory records both James and his son John Kimmorly (sic) as farmers at Dalwood in 1867. John was then 26 and James had received his Certificate of Freedom 25 years previously. The 1871/72 Census for Branxton records, at Dalwood, George Wyndham landowner, John Wyndham vineyard proprietor, Wadum Wyndham, James Kimmorly (sic), John Kimmorly, Jesse Judge and Roderick Campbell farmers, a clerk, a storekeeper, a stockkeeper, a gatekeeper, a servant, five farm servants, three vine dressers and a distiller. The term farmer indicates a higher level of knowledge and responsibility than farm servant, but the roles of the farmers is unknown. Possibly they were responsible for particular aspects of agricultural production at Dalwood, such as grain production, the orchard, or livestock.

The cottages of Dalwood workers were probably spread out along the bank of the Hunter. In the Glennie Journal there are references to the sequence of visits he made and the route he took going home on particular days. This information suggests that the Judges lived north of Dalwood homestead and the Kimmorleys lived near the ford, later the site of a bridge, to the south of the homestead.

The Maitland Mercury records that an inquest was held on the 29.12.1862 at the house of Mr James Kimmarlay (sic) of Dangerfield, on the Dalwood Estate, on the death by accidental drowning of John Campbell on 2.12.1862 . John Campbell, aged 18 years and other labourers on the Dalwood Estate went to bathe in the Hunter River after their day's work. Jeremiah Slaven got out of his depth and cried for help. Campbell went into the water to rescue him but they sank together. Another labourer, Lawler, dragged Slaven to the bank but Campbell was drowned. Apparently his shirt became entangled about his head, even though he was a good swimmer.

On 10.7.1866 the Maitland Mercury recorded that Joseph Watson died on 2.7.1866 at the residence of his brother-in-law, James Kimorley, Dangerfield Farm, Dalwood. Joseph was 28. He had married Rubina, the sister of Mary Ann Urquhart at Braxton in 1858. They had two young children, both born at Newcastle.

James Dangerfield, age 18, was tried for burglary at Warwick in 1823. He was sentenced to transportation for life. He was taken to the hulk York at Portsmouth on 31.5.1823. On 16.10.1824 he was transported to New South Wales on the Asia. He was assigned to J Boughton in the Newcastle area. At the 1828 Census he was at Tillimby, Patterson Plains. He made an application to marry in 1836 and he married Elizabeth Curley in 1837. He received a ticket of leave in 1837. George Wyndham's Diary on 24.4.1837 records "Dangarfield (sic) burning down dead timber in oxen's field". The Kimmorleys must have moved into the Dangerfield house and taken over the farm when the Dangerfields left Dalwood.

Dalwood Creek runs diagonally across Dalwood a short distance west and south of the homestead. There is a low point just before it enters the Hunter River. In George Wyndham’s time there must have been a semi permanent pool in the depression. At least 12 times in his Diaries he refers to it as the Lagoon, mostly on occasions when it filled or overflowed. On at least one occasion he mentions shooting ducks on the Lagoon.

Ferna Baguley attended a meeting of the Dalwood Restoration Society at Dalwood on 19.9.1993. She recorded some of her discussions in a typed note of 10.12.1993. These included observation made to her by Margaret Kelly, a Wyndham descendent and Secretary of the Association. Margaret Kelly told Ferna “On part of Dalwood there was a lagoon called Kimmorleys Lagoon…” Most of the entries in the Wyndham Diaries are very brief, so it is not surprising that the name was not written in full by George Wyndham. Margaret also stated that “from letters written by various Wyndhams, it would appear that James Kimmorley was highly respected”. No such letters have been discovered, but there is no doubt that James and his family were well regarded by the Wyndham family.

Bukkulla Station

Bukkulla Station is about 20 km north of Inverell. The land was marked out in 1838. In 1839, under the Squatters Act, the rights to it were bought by George Wyndham's overseer, on behalf of the Wyndhams. The area was 100,000 acres. George Wyndham added to it the adjoining 30,000 acre property Nullamanna. He appointed a superintendent to manage the station. In 1841 it was worked by three free men and one convict. By 1850, it carried 300 horses, 2,000 cattle and 7,000 sheep. Wyndham also had other large land holdings. In the early years Wyndham remained at Dalwood with his wife, Margaret. They had eleven children, ten of them boys. In 1844 he began an extensive tour to assess the development of his pastoral properties. With twelve bullock drays drawn by more than 120 bullocks, and accompanied by Margaret, all the children, numerous servants, horses and even milking cows, the party moved slowly, reaching Bukkulla in 1846. There was a cottage on the property but Wyndham ordered that a new homestead be constructed. Later he returned to live in it. In 1849, Reginald, Charles and Guy Wyndham took over the management of Bukkulla. A vineyard was established in 1852. German workers were imported to work with the grapes and wine. The first arrived in 1856. By 1870 the vineyard was producing 11,000 gallons of wine a year. By 1882 there were 10 hectares of grapes. The wine had a high reputation in London and prizes were won at the Paris Exhibition. Wool was another major industry at Bukkulla. The Wyndhams also became great racehorse breeders. A large number of jockeys and grooms were employed on the station and horses were entered in races as far away as Victoria. During the 1860s the station’s flock of 30,000 sheep was almost unsaleable, due to a drop in wool prices. This disaster was compounded by poor financial management by the Wyndham brothers. In 1875 the banks foreclosed on the property and it was purchased by Anne Murray.

Meanwhile, Hugh Wyndham, who had relinquished his claims to Bukkulla in 1874, prospered on nearby Westholm. He expanded the property by purchasing large areas of freehold land. By 1888 he was able to buy back Bukkulla. When he died in 1909, the property had been reduced to 2,300 acres by the loss of land under the free selection laws. Hugh left Bukkulla to his two sons and four daughters. Later it passed to his eldest son Hugh, who managed it until his death in 1934. It remained in the Wyndham family until Leslie Wyndham sold it to K Bloomfield in 1950.

Leaving Dalwood

Reverend Glennie visited Dalwood on 26.7.1867. His Journal records that "...after lunch went on to the Judges having learned from Judge ...that they were all going up to live at Bukkulla". The Judges probably moved soon afterwards. The last visit by Reverend Glennie to the Kimmorleys at Dalwood was on 15.8.1867. His Journal mentions "Kimmorley's old place” on 17.4.1868. James, Mary Ann and the youngest children, Catherine 22, William 16 and Edwin 13, Henry 7, Alfred three and Walter one must have left Dalwood in September 1867. They would have travelled north by horse and bullock wagon. A letter written on 30.10.1867 by Hugh Wyndham from Westholm to his sister Weeta notes "I hear the Kimmorleys are camped near the Mephams - about 5 miles from here, I will go & see them in a few days." The Kimmorleys must have camped on their selection, which they called Waterview, while they built a house.

Selection of Waterview

The Free Selection Acts of 1861 came into effect in the Inverell district in January 1866. In the Inverell district anyone could select, without survey, 40 to 320 acres of Crown land, with not more than 390 metres of river frontage. The price throughout the Colony was one pound an acre. One quarter of the price was paid on deposit and the remainder within three years, or postponed indefinitely at 5% interest. Settlers had to live on the land for three years and make improvements of one pound an acre.

Ferna Baguley’s note about the meeting at Dalwood in 1993 includes an observation made to her by Margaret Kelly “Mrs Kelly's thoughts are that the property James settled on, "Waterview" Ashford, could have been a grant from George Wyndham in recognition of his long service.” Although seemingly plausible, this speculation is not correct.

Waterview was at the northern extremity of Bukkulla, on the west side of Frazer’s Creek and between the Creek and the Inverell-Ashford road. It may have been the first selection on Bukkulla. Even in 1881 there were few selectors on Bukkulla.

The town of Ashford was surveyed in 1860 and town lots and some adjoining small farming lots were sold. Immediately south of the town five such lots were surveyed in 1860 and offered for sale at Glen Innes on 22.12.1860. Portions (Portions) 1 and 2 were bought for Christopher and Ursina Pische by J W Pische. Portions 3 and 4 were bought by James Florence O’Donoghue. These were all on the west side of Frazer’s Creek. Portion 5, on the east side of the Creek, was bought by William Urquhart, a brother of James Kimmorley’s wife. A building on the north west corner of this lot is marked as “old sheep station” on the original plan.

Under the Crown Lands Act of 1861 a selector could obtain a Crown Grant for land before it was surveyed, through a Conditional Purchase. Applications for Conditional Purchase were originally recorded in registers, but in 1917 abbreviated details were transferred to tenure cards. These cards are the only surviving records of original applications. The cards also provide a record of later property transfers.

On 31.10.1867 James Kimmorley applied, under Conditional Purchase 1867 Number 2653, for Portion 32 of 80 acres of land on Frazers Creek. He paid the deposit of 20 pounds (80 acres at 5 shillings an acre). The land was surveyed in June 1868. It is shown on Crown Plan A105.1847 drawn in 1868. The Plan records “Plan of 80 ac applied for to (sic) Purchase by James Kimmorley under the 13th Clause of the “Crown Lands Alienation Act of 1861”. The land was thinly wooded with ironbark and box. The Kimmorley’s had built their house on the property before the plan was drawn, which is consistent with them camping on the site the previous October. The house was about 100 metres from Frazer’s Creek, near the south east corner of Portion 32. It overlooked a long, straight section of Frazer’s Creek which generally must have contained water. There is a note on the application plan “James Kimmorley resides on the ground. Improvements consist of a good slab house of four rooms”.

The house was about five miles south of Ashford, which accords with Kimmorley oral history. It was about five miles north of Hugh Wyndham’s Westholm, which accords with his letter. The Waterview lots are on the south boundary of the Parish of Ashford. The parishes of Arthurs Seat and Frazer adjoin to the south. The original selector of the most northerly lot in Frazer is not shown on the Plan. It seems that the original selection may have been lapsed, but possibly the selector was Mepham. James Kimmorley was the fifth farmer south of Ashford, which is consistent with Kimmorley oral history.

On 1.7.1874 James applied to purchase Portion 40 of 40 acres, adjoining the southern boundary of Portion 32. The Plan records “Applied for under the 21st clause of the Crown Lands Act of 1861 by James Kimmorley”. The lot was surveyed and formally submitted for approval in December 1875. When the property was surveyed a barn hut, valued at seven pounds, was located besides Frazer’s Creek. This was in a paddock enclosed on three sides by fences, each about 150m long and valued at eight pounds. Final payment for the lot was made in 1878. A small section of the lot was revoked in May 1877 to widen the road reservation. At this time Waterview was about 120 acres.

By building his house on Portion 32 and the barn and fences on Portion 40 James would have met the requirements to make improvements on his property to the value of one pound per acre.

Three of the Kimmorley children, James, Caroline and Mary Ann did not move to Waterview with their parents in 1867.

James Kimmorley (Junior)

James was born at Dalwood in 1849. He would have worked at Dalwood from an early age. It is highly likely that later he worked at Bukkulla. In 1865 the Wyndham family acquired the lease of Winton Station, 40 km west of Goondiwindi, Queensland. The Wyndhams must have transferred James to Winton shortly afterwards, because he was a labourer there in December 1865. He was then nearly 17. He is recorded as having married Mary Ann Judge in Inverell on 24.4.1874. The marriage registration is not signed by James or Mary Ann. It includes a note "The consent of Jesse Judge the father of the bride was given to the marriage of Mary Ann Judge with James Kimmorley the said Mary Ann Judge being under the age of 21 years". As Mary Ann was then 22, the consent was superfluous. Either the marriage took place earlier and was only formally registered at Inverell over a year later, or having obtained parental consent, Mary Ann moved to Winton without actually marrying. She was recorded as Mrs Kimmorley when she gave evidence at an inquest into the death of Kenneth McLeod at Winton on 13.10.1871, when she was 19 years and 9 months old. Her death record states that she was 22 when she came to Queensland, but the informant would have assumed that she came to Queensland after the Inverell marriage date.

Winton Connection

An entry of 20.5.1868 in the Day Book records “F A & G Wyndham Dr to cash pd Jem Kimorley on a/c wages 6-0-0.” Jem was James Junior. He was aged 19, single and at that time a stockman at Winton. He had brought horses to Dalwood. Dalwood paid wages to him, but on behalf of Winton. The day the wages were paid, 20.5.1869, would have been the day James left Dalwood to return to Winton. The wages would have covered the period from when he left Winton and have includes some time at Dalwood. It seems that James was paid 25 shillings a week.

There is a related entry in the Reminiscences of Fanny Wyndham, written in 1928. Alexander Wyndham married Fanny Codrington in England in November 1867. They sailed for Australia in February 1868 and arrived in Sydney on 5 May. A day later they were at Dalwood. As recorded in the Reminiscences “We stayed at Dalwood a month. One day we rode over to see Mr and Mrs Glennie and cousin Marion, the first time I met her. Father bought a buggy. Jim Kimmorly happened to be down with some Winton horses, so they broke in two for the buggy and we left Dalwood driving. Had lunch at Singleton with Dr Glennie and passing (saw) Aunt Bessie and Uncle Guy (who) had not been long married”. Alexander and Fanny travelled leisurely, visiting various relatives. They stayed a week at Bukkulla, visited Westholm, stayed a month at Coolootai (sic) and eventually arrived at Winton on 28 July. They would have left Dalwood about 6 June. James Kimmorley would have left more than two weeks earlier and returned to Winton much more quickly. The text elsewhere in the Reminiscences shows that the “we” clearly refers to Fanny and her husband.

James and Mary Ann Kimmorley’s first child, James, was born at Winton on 25.3.1875. Later they had six more children. James was overseer of stock at Winton Station in 1874. By December that year he was Managing Overseer and in 1880 he was Station Manager. He continued as Manager of Winton until his death in 1924.

Caroline Kimmorley

Caroline did not move with her parents because she had married David Judge in 1855 at Black Creek, now Branxton. Their first three children were born in 1856, 1858 and 1861, all in the Hunter Valley. The family moved to Llangothlin in New England and, before 1865, to Ollera Station, Guyra. David became head stockman on the Station. David and Caroline had thirteen children between 1856 and 1884.

Mary Ann Kimmorley

Mary Ann Kimmorley must have married Edward (or Edwin) Field in 1867 shortly before her parents moved from Dalwood. Mary Ann and Edward’s children were born in 1868, 1870 and 1872, all recorded at Maitland.

John Kimmorley

John initially remained working at Dalwood after his parents left. Reverend Glennie recorded in his Journal on 17.3.1868 that John Kimmorley called on him to report an injury suffered by George Wyndham.

The Dalwood Day Book 1868 has entries for John, J, Jem and W Kimorley (sic). John and J refer to John. Jem was James, visiting from Winton. The Day Book provides some information about each of the three Kimmorleys in the year after their parents left Dalwood.

John Kimmorley was 27 and single in 1886. His work at Dalwood particularly related to the racehorses and show horses. Some of this was on behalf of the Wyndhams at Bukkulla. The Day Book shows that John was at Dalwood in the period 1.10.67 to 21.1.68. Between 22.1.68 and 13.2.68 he travelled between Dalwood and Bukkulla with a horse. Between 1.5.68 and 30.6.68 he took horses to Charlestown and to the Maitland Show. On 1.8.68 he was paid for five weeks work for the Bukkulla Wyndhams. An item on 14.9.68 relates to John’s expenses in taking the horse "Circasian" to Morpeth and also his expenses at the Singleton Show. John seems to have returned to Bukkulla for some or all of the period 14 September to 7 October. He then worked at Dalwood on behalf of Bukkulla until 27 November. During the period covered by the Dalwood Day Book John was generally paid 25 shillings a week.

John seems to have moved to Bukkulla in 1869. He is not recorded at Dalwood in the 1871/72 Post Office Directory. In 1872 he married, in Inverell, Jesse and Mary Judge’s daughter Elizabeth Ann. She was born in 1849 at Belford, Waterfords Creek and went to Bukkulla with her parents in 1867. James and Elizabeth Ann had seven children. The second was born at Dinton Vale. All the others are recorded as born at Inverell. In 1886 James selected a property, Mountain Valley, at Coolatai. Some time before 1899 he became a butcher at Ashford. He was buried at Mountain Valley, which for many years remained occupied by his descendants.

Catherine Kimmorley

Catherine was 22 in late October 1867 when she arrived at Waterview with her parents. On 25 December she married, in Ashford, Joseph Slack junior. The Slack family came to Australia, on the advice of George Wyndham, in 1852. Joseph was a vigneron. The family probably moved directly to Bukkulla, where all members were employed. In 1857 Joseph senior was the storekeeper at Bukkulla. In 1865 he owned a shop in Ashford. Joseph junior worked in the vineyard. He was described as a farmer in 1865. In 1869 he selected Portions 33 and 34 a short distance north of Waterview. Catherine and Joseph had seven children born between 1868 and 1880, all registered at Inverell. In 1874 Joseph bought the store which his father had sold in 1872 and, like his father, became postmaster. Joseph died in December 1879. At this time he owned a property at Ginderoi. Catherine must have remained living at Ashford because she was postmaster for a period in 1884 and for part of 1885 and 1886.

William Kimmorley

William was 17 when he moved to Waterview in 1867 with his parents. He must have worked at least part time at Bukkulla. The Dalwood Day Book records that he returned to Dalwood with his brother John on 13.2.1868 and worked there until 30.6.68. During this period he was paid 12 shillings a week. He then returned to either Bukkulla or Waterview, probably working part time at each property. In 1877 he was recorded as a farmer in the Ashford district, so by this time he was working full time at Waterview. He married Blanche Hussey in Warialda in September 1877. In 1880 he was a farmer at The Forest Gunyerwarildi, where his daughter Alice was born. He was on Arthurs Seat, close to Waterview, about 1882. In 1887 he was a stockman on Coolatai. In 1892 he was a farmer/station manager at Gineroi, Warialda. In 1893 he selected Portions 58 and 59, closing the gap between Waterview and the Slack properties south of Ashford. Later he managed Willow Lea in Moree. Then he selected The Jungle at Gunyerwarilda, where he lived until his death in 1917. William and Blanche had nine children born between 1878 and 1900 in various places where they had lived.

Edwin Kimmorley

Edwin was 13 when he moved to Waterview with his parents. He would have worked at Waterview for several years. Later he worked on rural properties in Queensland. He did not marry. He died in 1916 at Warwick.

Henry Kimmorley

Henry was six when his parents moved to Waterview. Presumably he attended school at Ashford and helped on the farm. He married Euphemia Thompson in 1883 at Inverell. They had nine children born between 1883 and 1909. The first two were born in Queensland, where Henry was working at Winton Station. The other children were born at Moree.

Alfred Kimmorley

Alfred was four when his parents moved to Waterview. He married Ellen Robinson at Nullamanna, Inverell in 1886. They had 12 children born between 1887 and 1908. The second was born in 1888 at Bukkulla, so Alfred either worked there or on Waterview. The other children are recorded as born at Inverell, except one in 1899 at Ashford. However Alfred worked as a station hand at Winton at least from 1899 to 1906, so apparently Ellen returned to the Ashford-Inverell area for her confinements. The family was in the Ashford area in 1913

Walter Kimmorley

Walter was two when his parents moved to Waterview. He was 19 and would have been working on Waterview when his father died in 1885 and left the property to his mother. She was then aged 62. Walter and his mother would have continued to work the property. Walter married Mary Asimus in 1893 at Bukkulla. Mary’s father came from Germany, where he worked in the wine industry, via England to Australia. He worked initially at Dalwood and moved to Bukkulla in 1869. In early 1893 Walter selected Portions 58 and 59, which closed the gap between Waterview and the Slack property. The births of his children in 1897 and 1899 were recorded in Inverell. The smallest section of Waterview, Portion 40 of 40 acres was sold before 1898. Walter became a farmer at Oaklands, Inverell in the mid 1890s. In the late 1890s he had the general store and the Commercial Hotel at Ashford. Waterview was sold between 1910 and 1919. Walter’s mother lived with Walter and Mary at Ashford and later at Inverell, where they retired.

Judge Family

The Judge and Kimmorley families lived nearby at Dalwood for 28 years and later lived nearby at Bukkulla and Waterview. The families must have been exceptionally close friends. There were three marriages of the two families, Caroline Kimmorley and David Judge in 1855, John Kimmorley and Elizabeth Anne Judge in 1872 and James Kimmorley Junior and Mary Ann Judge in 1874.

Jesse and Hannah Judge and their six children emigrated from Kent. They arrived at Sydney on 5.11.1838 and went directly to Dalwood. Later they had another six children, all except one born in the Hunter Valley. Jesse worked at Dalwood for many years. He is recorded as a farmer at Dalwood some years after arriving. He died in 1854 and Hannah died in 1898, both at Branxton. Jesse and Hannah Judge’s son Jesse was born in Kent in 1827. He married Mary Kennedy in 1846 at Maitland. Mary Kennedy and ten of her siblings came to Australia in 1838 with their parents from Lochaber in Scotland. They arrived at Sydney on 2.1.1839 and were taken to the Hunter, possibly to Dalwood. Jesse and Mary Judge had eleven children, born between 1846 and 1870. The first nine were born in the Hunter area. The birth of the tenth was recorded at Armidale and the last at Inverell. Jesse worked at Dalwood until early August 1867, when the family travelled by bullock wagon to live at Bukkulla. Jesse kept the Store and the Accommodation House at Bukkulla from 1868 to 1874. He selected land at Bukkulla in 1874. Mary died in 1881 at Inverell. Jesse was Innkeeper at the Native Home Inn, Goomoorah from 1883 to 1889. He remarried to Rose Breen in 1887 in Inverell. Their two children were born in Inverell in 1888 and 1891. Jesse died in 1901 at Wellingrove.

Farming Waterview

It would have been essential to quickly build a house, establish a water supply, clear land, build fences, plant vegetables and a crop. John may have travelled with the family and spent some time helping his father, William and Edwin with the heavy work. His mother and Catherine would have been busy with the three young children. There would have been horses and probably also fowls and a few sheep to look after. John would have soon returned to Bukkulla. His wages would have helped the family. In the early years James probably worked occasionally at Bukkulla or Westholm.

The transcription of the Death Registration of James' daughter Caroline in 1890 names her father as Tamer Kimmorley, farmer. The name may be a misreading of James, recorded in unfamiliar handwriting. Perhaps recognising this possibility, the transcription includes the statement “Father’s name is clearly recorded as Tamer Kimmorley”. So this may be the name he was known by at a late stage of his working life at Dalwood, in recognition of his horse breaking skills. It may also explain why he seems to have been occasionally employed by the Wyndhams after he settled at Waterview.

An item in the Ashford paper recorded the excellent crop of potatoes grown by James Kimmorley.

Death of James Kimmorley

James made his will at the age of 65. At the time he was "very sick in body". The will was witnessed by Joseph Slack Junior, the husband of James' daughter Catherine, and Joseph's father Joseph. It left all James’ possessions to his wife, who was his sole executor.

James' death was registered 12.5.1885 at Inverell. The informant was James’ son Henry, from Winton, Queensland. James died on 14.4.1885, aged 74, at Ashford, of chronic dysentery after a two year illness. Dr Gray last saw him on 3.4.1885.

It seems that when James wrote his will nine years previously he had some illness, perhaps pneumonia, which he thought would kill him, but he recovered. The illness two years before his death was probably chronic heart disease, chronic bronchitis or prostate cancer. Episodes of dysentery would have been common at the time, as standards of hygiene were low and there was no refrigeration. Dysentery could be fatal to an elderly man with a serious illness.

James was buried at Ashford on 16.4.1885 by the undertaker Emmanuel New who, with T H Selff, was recorded as a witness. The informant for the Death Certificate was James’ son Henry Kimmorley of Winton. It records that James was a farmer, he was born in London with parents unknown, he had been 50 years in Australia (actually 55), his spouse was Mary Ann Urquhart and he married at Dalwood at age 28. The children of the marriage are recorded as Caroline 46 (45), John 44 (43), Catherine 38 (39), James 35 (36), William 31 (34), Edwin 24 (30), Henry 22 (23), Alfred 22 (21) and Walter 20 (19). Death certificates are notoriously inaccurate as information is provided at times of considerable stress by people who do not know all the facts and little opportunity to check them. The correct ages are in brackets. Mary Ann, who died in 1875, is not recorded.

James must have died at Waterview, otherwise the doctor would have seen him closer to the day of death. Henry must have been informed of the death of his father and come from Winton to aid his mother and youngest brother Walter. If he had been at the burial he would have been recorded as a witness. Walter was probably at the burial, but was not recorded as a witness, or as the informant at the death registration, because he was a junior. As well as registering his father’s death, almost a month after he died, Henry must have moved from Winton with his family to help with the farm. However his next child was born at Moree 15 months later. His following six children were also born there.

James’ grave is probably among a small group of unnamed early graves near the Ashford cemetery western entrance. It cannot be identified because early records of the cemetery were lost, either in a fire or in the flood of 1991. It may be significant that there was not a clergyman at James’ burial. James’ death would not have been unexpected and Joseph Slack senior had been active for many years in conducting Methodist services at Ashford, where he lived. Joseph died later the same year, so may not have been well enough to officiate, but there were other clergymen at Ashford.

James had many descendants when he died. Caroline, who married David Judge in 1855 was living at Ollera. They had 12 surviving children. John, who married Elizabeth Ann Judge in 1872, was living at Mountain Valley, Coolatai. They had five children at the time. Mary Ann had married Edward Field in 1867 and was living near Tamworth. They had three children. Catherine had married Joseph Slack in 1867 and was living at Ashford. They had seven children. James had married Mary Ann Judge in 1874 and was living at Winton Station. William had married Blanche Hussey in 1877 and was living at either Arthur’s Seat or Coolatai Station. They had three children. Edwin was single and working on a station near the Queensland border. Henry had married Euphemia Thompson in 1883. They had two children born at Winton. Walter, aged 20, was living at Waterview and working the farm with his father.

Life expectancy was about 60 for a youth of 17 in the early 1800s, so James had a relatively long life. His family circumstances in London seem to have been unhappy and his future prospects would have been unpromising. A single rash act as a teenager completely changed his life. His crime was relatively minor in the circumstances of the time and also today. But punishment was then severe. James would have had a seriously hard time in prison, in the hulk at Portsmouth, in the sea voyage to Australia and in his first few years in Australia. Other than bad food, he probably did not suffer greatly at Castle Forbes, but the ill treatment of his fellow workers and particularly the hanging of the bushrangers must have been terrifying for him. In his long employment by George Wyndham he would have worked hard, as was the custom. But essentially these would have been good years. His crime was a first offence and there is no evidence of any blemish on his behaviour after it. When the opportunity arrived for him to become a property owner he took it and became a successful farmer. He lived on his own property for 18 years. No doubt he had the respect of other settlers in the area, as he would have had with his employers and fellow workers at Dalwood and other people in nearby properties. He had a long and happy marriage. He had a large and healthy family. All of his children who survived infancy had good lives. He had many grandchildren who he would have known to have started their lives commendably.

James Kimmorley could hardly have imagined that 125 years after his death the surname that he originated would be shared by many hundreds of people and that thousands of people would be proud to claim him as an ancestor.

Ken Thompson