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James BROWN

Male 1823 - 1910  (87 years)


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  • Name James BROWN 
    Born 15 Nov 1823  Clusta, Shetland Islands Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Photos? Grave (DCP05734) 
    Died 24 Nov 1910  Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Buried Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Notes 
    • From Field family newsletter - May 2002

      James Brown was born and educated in the Shetland Islands and like all Shetlanders went to sea at an early age. When aged 19 he went on a most successful whaling expedition to Greenland. He studied navigation and in 1847 secured his Master's Certificate and captained two ships, the 'Cecelia' and 'Oceana' the two names in later years he was to call two of his daughters.

      He sailed the seas and on a voyage to NSW in 1852 as 2nd mate on a immigrant ship, he decided to stay in the country. He made his way to Penrith where he secured his first job pulling corn. Knowing nothing of farming he promptly pulled the corn up by the roots.

      It was here that he met and married Lydia Jones, a widow with 7 children, whose husband John Jones had died on 1/10/1853.
      (Lydia's children to John Jones were: Maria, John, James, Joseph, William, John and Elizabeth)
      Their marriage is recorded in the register as follows;

      Wesleyan Marriages - No. 85 Entry 477

      I, James Brown do hereby declare that I am a member of or hold Communion with the Wesleyan Church.

      I, Lydia Jones do hereby declare that I am a member of or hold Communion with the Wesleyan Church.

      I, Joseph Oram of Windsor, Minister of Wesleyan Church, Castlereagh do hereby certify that James Brown and Lydia Jones of Castlereagh were joined in Wedlock on 10th day of July, 1854 at Castlereagh -

      In the presence of: Joseph Stanton
      Mary Ann Jones

      Parties: James Brown
      Lydia Jones

      Minister: Joseph Oram.

      It is understood that Lydia and John Jones were living on the 10 acres of land left to Lydia on the death of her father (Edward Field) on 7th December, 1846, and they were running an inn.

      James commenced farming the land and planted an orange orchard.

      The settlers along the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers were experiencing severe floodings. On 24th July, 1857 one of the most disastrous floods washed away the new bridge which was the first across the Nepean at Penrith, built in 1856 at a cost of 15,000 pounds. It was a toll bridge and operated by a private company.

      The rain commenced on a Sunday and by Thursday the passengers were paying 2/6 per head to cross the river and then at very great hazard. As much as 1 pound was being charged for horses. It was impossible for drays to cross. The two punts were sold by the Government; one for 36 pounds and the other for 12 pounds.

      In 1860 the population of Penrith had grown to 4,804, from 291 in 1848 with 63 houses. In April, 1860 another big flood on the Nepean was experienced, followed by three years of drought, then flooding again in June, 1864.

      The Herald of 13th June, 1861 writing of the big flood says:

      "Those who remained in their houses at Castlereagh and up to Emu Plains were hemmed in by the rising flood water, and could only hope to reach high ground by the aid of boats.... One family residing at Castlereagh were taken off the roof of their hut, the man, his wife and four children, one a baby a month old. They were driven out of their house and took refuge with a neighbour on higher ground. Here too, the water encroached, and they were compelled to seek safety in the loft. From this they had to get on the roof, from which they were taken by the boats. They were in the loft and on this roof from Saturday until Thursday without food. Another family of nine were rescued in the same locality."

      In 1862 the Bank of NSW opened for business in Penrith and on 7th July, the railway reached the town.

      When Sir John Robinson's Free Selection Act came into force in 1861 and land was being opened up in the Central Western Districts of NSW James decided to go inland. Having secured a wagon and team he had been carting goods between Sydney and Forbes, and as Lydia's uncles James and John Collits were already settled as squatters on the Lachlan, he had some idea on what the country was like.
      By this time had had five children of his own, as well as the younger of his step-children.
      James Brown's children were: Cecelia, Oceana, Barbara, Lydia and Thomas. Maria Jones was already married and living in Penrith, as was Mary Jones, while James and Joseph were working with James Collits on the Lachlan.

      In the early 1860's James Brown and his family loaded all their worldly goods onto the wagon and dray and set forth, the two Jones boys William and John driving the wagon, Lydia and the younger children in the dray, while Elizabeth, Cecelia aged 11 and Oceana aged 9 along with James drove the dairy cows. At Lapstone James was accidentally kicked on the head by one of the horses., so they were delayed while Lydia, a bush nurse and midwife nursed him back to health. Lydia's youngest brother Edward was already living in Hartley Valley so undoubtedly they spent some time there.

      They continued their journey via Canowindra travelling until it became dark and made camp. Early the next morning they found they had camped on the banks of the Belubula River. James was delighted with the country side and after walking the length on the river to its junction with the Lachlan, decided that where they had camped had the best water hole. He made haste to the Lands Office at Molong and was allocated 320 acres on the 18th January, 1866 being block No.1. He named his property 'Brown's Valley' and within a few short years had added to his acreage.

      On the 8/2/1868 James and Lydia sold the 10 acres left to Lydia under her late father's will to John Colless for 125 pounds, along with all the buildings.

      In the meantime James had set about improving his new property and became one of the first men to introduce lucerne and prairie grass to the district, having established 20 acres by 1870. He planted a vineyard and then produced wine and people came from near and far to partake of his hospitality and to purchase his wine. Tragedy struck the family when on 25th March, 1876 his daughter Lydia died of diphtheria. She passed away in the arms of her elder sister Oceana, who suffered from shock so much that she was unable to shed tears in later life....

      James Brown's parents, Thomas and Barbara Brown, with their two sons Mitchell and John and one daughter Margaret, left the Shetland Islands to join James at Penrith arriving 4/3/1856 on the ship 'David McIvor'. His parents were to spend ten years at Castlereagh before moving to Bedgerabong to assist their third son, Mitchell to found a new 'Clusta'.

      James's youngest brother John spent a lot of his time with them at Brown's Valley, and while there composed several poems, two of them about the Belubula River:

      ***********************************

      Belubula

      Belubula; on thy banks I stood
      And viewed thy stream run by,
      And my soul was thrilled with gladness
      And my heart with hope beat high.

      Hope that thy beauteous flower clad valley,
      Where the squatters flocks now roam;
      May yet to many an honest farmer,
      Become a bright and happy home.

      A home where children will be taught,
      That Jesus died to save;
      And as a ransom for their sins,
      His precious life he gave.

      That on those undulating hills,
      That look so green and fair;
      May yet become a happy band
      Bound for the house of prayer

      The Caves Of Belubula

      Ore the ruins of the older nations,
      Ore the wreck of the lordly dorne,
      Ore the wasted halls of the haughty
      Let the seekers of pleasure roam
      But here in the wilds of Australia,
      Are the caves which shall be my theme,
      For the breath to core of the spirit
      The voice of a power supreme.

      In the heart of the limestone mountains,
      Are Pillars of the strangest device,
      From the shade of the darkest marble,
      To the hues of the purest ice,
      And here too are halls of splendour
      With columns of each varied hue,
      And scenes of the wildest grandour
      Displayed to the gazer's view.

      On the wall there are crystal curtains
      In various shades arrayed
      All round there are mighty wonders
      In the rarest designs displayed.
      And here it is the swelling music
      Arranged in a curious throng,
      From the tinkle of the tiny Jew's Harp,
      To the tone of a Chinese gong.

      Here the thought; mind may ponder
      Ore the glorious works of God
      And the wings of the soul immortal
      May rise from its frail abode
      The hand of the great Creator
      Hath formed this wonderous sight
      And it tells in the noblest language,
      A tale of His boundless might.

      Composed by John Brown aged 24 years.

      ---------------------------

      James Brown belonged to the Masonic Lodge and was often visited by fellow Masons. His granddaughter Edith Williamson often related the following stories:

      Lydia knew when some of these masons called they were after money so she made sure she never left them alone with her husband. Somehow, however, the message always got through and money changed hands. Lydia concluded the message must have been given by some hand signal unbeknown to her.

      Cards were often played at 'Brown's Valley ' amongst James and his visitors and the story goes that one day Lydia had had enough so she swept the cards and money from the table and said cards were never to be played in the house again. This was given as the reason why cards were never to be allowed to be played in the homes of Lydia's daughters.

      Canowindra Star 22/1/1904

      Mr. James Brown of Brown's Valley we hear had a severe attack of cholera about a fortnight ago, and is at present recovering from its effects. The old gentleman, we understand, had a very severe time, the cholera lasting for eleven hour. The cramps which usually terminate cases of cholera set in about this time, but fortunately left before reaching the heart. Mr. Brown is perfectly satisfied that the attack was cholera pure and simple, as he had had experience with the complaint in India.

      Canowindra Star 9/9/1905

      ... Mr. Brown is wonderfully preserved for his age. His many years sit light upon him.

      Canowindra Star November 1910

      Death of Mr. James Brown

      It is with deep regret we have to record the passing away of one of the oldest residents of the district in the person of Mr. Jas. Brown of Belubula, who joined the great majority on Thursday night. The deceased gentleman who had attained the ripe age of 87 years, had resided on the Belubula for over 40 years, being one of the first to select land along the famous river. The distinction of being the first to grow lucerne and introduce the grape wine into the district is also credited to this old pioneer, whose going hence is lamented by a large number of relatives and friends. He is survived by one son (Thos. Brown) and two daughters, viz. Mesdames Thos. And Jos. Williamson. His wife predeceased him about 18 months ago. The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, and a large number were present to pay the last tribute of respect. The interment took place in the Methodist portion of the Nyrang Creek Cemetery, the ceremony at the grave being conducted by the Rev. D. D. Hunter. Mr. T. Curry had charge of the mortuary arrangements.
    Person ID I806  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father Thomas BROWN,   d. 09 Apr 1877 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Barbara ABERNETHY,   d. 30 Apr 1867 
    Relationship Natural 
    Family ID F638  Group Sheet

    Family Lydia FIELD,   b. 09 Sep 1821, Evan, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1909, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 10 Jul 1854  Wesleyan Methodist Church, Windsor, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Children 
     1. Cecelia BROWN,   b. 13 Apr 1855, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1938, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     2. Oceana BROWN,   b. 28 Feb 1857, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 May 1932, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     3. Barbara Jean BROWN,   b. 26 Aug 1859, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Feb 1909, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     4. Lydia BROWN,   b. 06 Jul 1861, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Mar 1876, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 14 years)
     5. Thomas Christopher BROWN,   b. 07 May 1864, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Feb 1932, Adel, Nyrang Creek, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F367  Group Sheet

  • Headstones
    DCP05734.JPG
    DCP05734.JPG

  • Sources 
    1. [S79] From a Distant Field, Colin Field, Book: Version 3 (Self Published).

    2. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      Canowindra, NSW, 1910-12914

    3. [S367] Field Family Newsletter, Dorothy CEFARIN, Edition 16 (November 2003).

    4. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      IH V1854477 85