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William COLLITS

Male 1815 - 1867  (52 years)


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  • Name William COLLITS 
    Born 13 Jun 1815  Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Christened 25 Feb 1816  Castlereagh Church of England, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Dec 1867  Bogabagil Station, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried 28 Dec 1867  Forbes Cemetery, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Anglican Section (Unmarked)
    Notes 
    • First baptism in the Castlereagh register!

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      Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Friday, September 25, 1932
      Historic Tombstones and First pioneers of the Lachlan......
      Unmarked graves in the Forbes Cemetery by Geo. G. Reeve.
      As the “Back to Forbes” week takes place some Lachlan history concerning the Collits should prove of interest to Forbesonians and others.

      In the Forbes cemetery there are many head stones of interest. One of them relates to Kate Kelly, whose history was so closely related with the Kelly gang in Victoria, and who spent the last years of her life in the Forbes district.

      Another headstone marks the grave of Ben Hall, the highway man of the 1860’s , who was surrounded and shot down by the police under the late Inspector Davidson near Nelungaloo. The headstone is plainly inscribed, bearing the simple inscription “In Memory of Ben Hall. 5th May, 1865. God Bless Him” . The date is that on which the unfortunate man met his end, being then 28 years of age.

      There are also to be seen in the Church of England portion of the cemetery memorial inscriptions to those splendid pioneers of the district, the Fields (whose place of origin in Australia was Castlereagh village, near Penrith), the Rawsthornes and the Stricklands.

      The Lachlan pioneer who founded the Bundaburra line, was Josiah Strickland (obit.1881) also a native of Castlereagh village. (Son of Maria Strickland nee Collits).

      On the other hand, sad to relate in unmarked graves in the same portion of the burial ground at Forbes that splendid family of native-born Australians, the Collits, also of Castlereagh, in each instance are sleeping their long last sleep. There were four pioneer brothers, all of whom were sons of old Pierce Collits, who landed in this country in the year 1802, and ultimately became District or Chief Constable of Penrith, and who is also identical with Pierce Collits, who established the historical “Collits Inn” at Mt. York on the Cox Pass road beyond Mt. Victoria, in the year 1824. The original building as still intact and used as an accommodation house, the visitors and guests of which go to the old place by way of train., via Hartley Vale.

      Old Pierce Collits died in the year 1848 and the foundress mother of all the Collits, Mrs. Mary Collits, departed this life in 1829. Of this historic couples four sons, the one who achieved most as an explorer and pioneer cattle pastoralist, in hte first case was domiciled at Canowindra in the year 1833, his mane was James Collits, second son of the pioneer Collits. James Collits marries twice, and left descendants, but appears to have fallen on bad times shortly before his death. He died at “Carawobitty”, Forbes on December 30th , 1880 in his 75th year.
      Knowing the great achievements of James Collits on the Lachlan River, at its various points of settlement, from Canowindra to Bandon, and to Bundaburra, and other stations in the district, it is painful to know that he lies in an unmarked grave in Forbes cemetery. Likewise also he does his brother John Collits, who married Hannah Lees, one of the daughters of pioneer John Lees, of Castlereagh. Also Joseph Collits, who was a wealthy man at his death in 1888. he was twice married, firstly to Mary Field and secondly to Mrs. Martha Haynes a widow, but in each case there was no issue. Joseph Collits left his station properties, which included Bogabigal holding, to an adopted boy who had grown up in his service. The adopted one did not show his appreciation of his benefactor’s goodwill, as no stone or commemorative tablet marks Joseph Collit’s grave.

      William Collits, the younger son of the Collits couple, is also interred in a nameless grave in Forbes cemetery. The wife of William was brutally and foully murdered on the Mitchell Pass Road just beyond Mt. Victoria, on 4th January, 1841 for which crime her brother-in-law, married to Mrs. Caroline Collits sister was executed at Bathurst Jail on 3rd may, 1841. At the trial it was stated that Mrs. Collits was no more than 17 years of age, and had been married to William for some 18 months before her death. At the time of her murder the Stockade at Mt. Victoria was in full swing, and most involved evidence was given by some of the convicts stationed there. From a full reading of the evidence in the contemporary Sydney newspaper of the time, it would appear that some of the soldiers then stationed at the Mt. Victoria Stockade, belonging to the 80th Regiment of Foot, appear to have been connected and in some ways cognisant of the fact when Mrs. Collits was being battered to death with a large boulder, and later, savagely mutilated.

      It may be of interest to admirers of Henry Lawson, the writer-poet to know that his father Peter Lawson is buried in the historic Mt. York cemetery, near the Collits couples tomb. Peter Lawson died at the age of 55 years on December 31st, 1899. His grave also is unmarked, although the exact locality is known.
    Person ID I848  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father Pierce COLLITS,   b. 1765, Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Sep 1848, Hartley, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Mary HARDWICK,   b. 24 Dec 1769, Kilkenny, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Aug 1841, Hartley, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 15 Nov 1795  St Dunstanes, Stepney, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Family ID F182  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Caroline JAMES,   b. Apr 1827, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 03 Jan 1842, Near Mt Victoria, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 14 years) 
    Married 18 Nov 1840  St Lawrence Church of England, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 6
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F394  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Mary Ann QUINN,   b. Abt 1820,   d. 1865, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 45 years) 
    Married 01 Aug 1842  Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, Church of England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 7
    Children 
     1. Eliza COLLITS,   b. 07 Nov 1844, Hartley, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Mar 1912, South Lead, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F395  Group Sheet

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

    2. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      Castlereagh, NSW, V18153811 1B

    3. [S236] Pan WILCOX.

    4. [S363] Collits history book.

    5. [S513] Pallot's Marriage Index for England: 1780 - 1837, Ancestry.com, (Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2001;).

    6. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      V1840270 24B

    7. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      V1842726 26C