Home' Hunter Its People : June 2010 Contents 32 THE HERALD Thursday, June 24, 2010
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ELLAR McKELLAR McKINLAY
BORN in Dunoon, Scotland, in 1817, Dr McKinlay
qualified in 1837 and arrived in the colony in 1840
to become a resident of Dungog.
He was a JP, magistrate and great supporter of the area
as well as a doctor, until he went to Adelaide around 1849
for about a decade with his brother, the explorer John
McKinlay. He returned to Dungog in 1859 and resumed
his practice, living at The Hermitage. His return followed
a petition ''signed by almost every resident on the river''
asking him to come back.
McKinlay died at Dungog in 1889, aged 71, after
falling down stairs. His funeral was on f
biggest seen in the town.
McKinlay started Sunday schools
in the area, was a trustee of the
Presbyetrian Church, a member
and secretary of the school board
and was never known to take a fee
from the poor for his services.
He was interested in Aboriginal
lifestyles and at one stage
undertook a census of Aboriginal
people living in the Williams
Valley that recorded about 230
individuals, and also recorded
details of burials and Aboriginal
JAMES DOWLING >>
Justice Sir James Dowling was an early
Dungog landowner and the second
Chief Justice of NSW, from August 30
1833, to September 27, 1844, when h
He was born in London in 1787, schooled in
the city and was called to the Bar in 1815. He applied to
the Colonial Office in 1827 and was offered the Chief
Justiceship of Dominica, which he declined, but accepted
the new judicial seat being created in the Supreme Court
of NSW. He reached Sydney in 1828.
On his arrival he was granted land where he established
Brougham Lodge in Woolloomooloo, plus another grant
of 1036 hectares on the Williams River.
In 1829 he travelled to Maitland where he held the first
Circuit Court in the Hunter Valley.
He was appointed Chief Justice and a Legislative
Councillor in 1837, and was knighted in 1838.
He virtually worked himself to death. He collapsed on
the Bench in 1844 and his doctors said a sea voyage and
change of climate were necessary for his survival, but
before his ship could sail he suffered a relapse and died.
He kept meticulous records of the cases tried before him
and many volumes of these survive today in State Records
Bennett was a New Zealander, born in Wellington in
1864, who became a printer, journalist and newspaper
proprietor in his native land.
He arrived in NSW in 1885 and a year later bought
the Moruya Times, and in 1888 established as owner and
editor the Durham Chronicle and Dungog and Williams River
Advocate -- which changed to the Dungog Chronicle five years
later -- where he remained until his death in 1934 when it
passed on to his son, Charles, who in turn passed it on to
his son in 1958. It remained in the family until 1978.
Bennett became a Justice of the Peace in 1889 and was
a Progressive, Liberal and Independent Member for the
seats of Durham, Maitland and Gloucester for most of
1898 through to 1932, becoming an honorary Minister
for three years from 1901 and briefly Minister for Public
Works in 1904. His son Charles also became Member
ter from 1932 to 1937.
tt was foundation secretary of the
og Agricultural and Horticultural
ciation, secretary of the Dungog
ospital Board, an executive member of
he Farmers and Settlers' Association,
a committee member of the NSW
Country Press Association, a
Freemason, a supporter of the New
State Movement, founded the rifle
club and was a member of the jockey
Born in Wales in 1808, Charles
Boydell took up a government grant
on the Allyn River at East Gresford
n 1826, naming it Camyr Allyn after
home in Wales. Boydell also owned
ett at Patrick Plains.
re taking up his lease, Boydell
work as superintendent of a sheep
n Denman and Muswellbrook and
returned to Camyr Allyn in 1830. He cleared the land
despite floods, drought and accidents, running sheep
and cattle and planting wheat, corn, all kinds of fruit and
vegetables and, in 1833, a vineyard, one of the earliest in
the area. He attempted to set up a dairy, experimented
with tobacco growing and built a flour mill.
Aboriginals at Camyr Allyn and Boydell got along well
and eventually he was allowed to witness the funeral of
Chief Jacky in 1833, an account of which he included in
his journal, along with his record of the local vocabulary.
Boydell was appointed magistrate in 1834 and was a
member of the Stock Protection Association, a member
of the district council at Paterson, the mail carrier from
Paterson and Gresford, a member of the Patrick Plains
Turf Club and a steward at the races. In 1849 he became a
member of the Hunter River Vineyard Association along
with his neighbour, Dr Henry Linderman, and in 1851 he
was elected president.
Boydell died in Gresford in 1869.
Before European intrusion, the area around Dungog was
occupied by an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gringai, a
sub-group of the Wonnarua people.
The coming of Europeans had a devastating effect on
the Aboriginal population and by the 1830s it had been
irrevocably damaged, with the last survivor of the Gringai,
Brandy, dying in Dungog in 1905, aged 75. He is buried at
St Clair, Singleton.
Brandy was born in 1830 and was well known throughout
the Dungog area, organising teams of his tribe to do
ringbarking and grubbing for settlers, being an expert
fisherman and hunter for wild bee's honey and pigeons,
and acting as a guide for pigeon shooting in the New
Jerusalem area (now called Chichester State Forest).
He was an unsuccessful explorer for gold and once saved
a man accused of murder, but most importantly he acted
as peacemaker whenever there was trouble between the
An early landowner near Dungog, Hooke took up a 1036
hectare grant of land in 1828.
In 1839 405 hectares of the land were advertised for
lease for a term of 10 years at Crookes Park, to be let in
small farms "from 10 to 100 acres each". The land was
described as ''on the banks of the Upper Williams River
with rich alluvial soil that produced wheat and tobacco
even in drought".
Hooke died in 1845 but his son, F A Hooke, became the
first Mayor of Dungog.
Lowe and a partner, James Marshall, established the
Deptford Shipyards at Clarence Town in 1830, its main
claim to fame being the spot where, in 1831, Australia's
first ocean-going paddle steamer, the William the Fourth,
was built and launched.
Lowe was born in Leith, Scotland, in 1805, and at 14
began work at the Royal Dockyard, Debtford, on the
Thames, before, at 19, building ships in Prussia. With a
share from his family estate, he arrived in Sydney in 1828
and within a year had taken up about 10 hectares on the
Williams River and opened his shipyard.
Lowe was a magistrate at Clarence Town and ran a
school at Debtford for his children and the children of his
Around 1836 the Lowe and Marshall partnership
dissolved but Lowe continued building at Debtford until
about 1860. Four of the first 12 steamships built in NSW
were Lowe's or Lowe's and Marshalls. Lowe also ran boats
In 1837 Lowe took up a grant of 518 hectares about five
kilometres above Clarence Town for farming and grazing.
He died in 1878 but family members have since developed
properties around Clarence Town, Booral, Stroud and
Hinton and founded a commercial dairy industry with the
district's first creamery in 1893.
DUNCAN FORBES MACKAY
Born in Scotland in 1792, Mackay arrived in NSW in 1826
when he was appointed Superintendent of Prisons and
Public Works at Newcastle, where he was responsible for
many improvements in the town.
In 1929 he received a land grant, Melbee, and as early as
THE HUNTER ...
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