Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Link to image, State Library NSW: 'Uncle Billy' Meek, Newtown toll keeper for 30 years

Library of NSW Search - Manuscripts, Oral History, and Pictures Catalogue - State Library of New South Wales
"Toll bar gates at Newtown ...? Uncle Billy Meek / Brother of James" -- on reverse

"General Note
From a collection of 19 photographs of the Meek family, Marrickville and Sydney (see P1/Meek Family, Mitchell Library)
Tollgate keeper, Billy Meek lived in the small gatehouse for 30 years."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another reference to Newtown Congregational Church, now the Greek Orthodox Church

Sydney’s Inner West | Tightarse Tours | Cheap Backpacker Walking Tours Sydney Melbourne Australia
"Newtown Congregational Church, now the Greek Orthodox Church, opened in 1856 was built on land donated by Hon. J. Fairfax, founder of the Sydney Morning Herald. The first pastor was Rev. S. C. Kent, also principal of nearby Camden College. The school which adjoined the church was intended to provide a basic education for students who would proceed to the College for theological training."

Reference to Stanmore House, Mary Reiby, James Pemmell

Sydney’s Inner West | Tightarse Tours | Cheap Backpacker Walking Tours Sydney Melbourne Australia
"Hidden behind the liquor shop - and indeed behind a thousand alterations - is Stanmore House, Newtown’s only surviving old mansion, now barely recognisable. It was built in 1847 and 1855 by Mary Reiby for her daughter Elizabeth Anne who married Captain Joseph Long Innes. It was of Colonial Regency design with a central entrance and gable, wide verandah and capped columns. It is claimed that Sir Joseph Long Innes, who was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1873 and was one-time Attorney General of NSW, was born here in 1834. James Pemmell, parliamentarian and wealthy flour merchant, lived here until his death in 1906."

1856: Newtown Congegational Church opens

1856: The Newtown Congregational Church opens (on last Sunday in November) on land donated by John Fairfax. It is similar in design to that of Redfern (1847-1964).

Arncliffe, William Beehag, West Botany St (AKA Muddy Creek Road)

"Up until the mid 1850’s the nearest churches for settlers south of the Cook's River were the Anglican Church at St. Peter's and the Wesleyan Church at Newtown. But in 1855, James and William Beehag, two brothers from Essex in England, men with “true and deep religious experience” started a Sunday school on William's property in West Botany St., Arncliffe (In those days known as Muddy Creek Road)."

Part 13 - Subdivision of Reiby House and grounds, 1902

Building allotments &c. and Reiby House & grounds at Newtown [cartographic material] : for auction s... | National Library of Australia
Sales plan for land in the suburb of Newtown in Sydney, New South Wales, bounded by Don Street and Station Street.

"Torrens title."

"Subject to deposited plan."

"Vendor's solicitors, Messrs Lambton, Milford, & Abbott."

"F.H. Reuss, architect & licensed surveyor, 82 Pitt St."

Part 12 - Reiby House, Reiby Hall - 21 acres in Enmore

"Reiby Hall was originally built in 1905 as a gospel hall. It was built on the last 3 lots of land subdivided from Mary Reiby's estate which was 21 acres extending the length of Enmore Road. Mary Reiby's mansion Reibey House stood next door to Reiby Hall until it was demolished in 1967 to make way for public housing."

Part 11 - Images of Newtown

Sydney Architecture Images- HOME
"A few of the original estate homes survived such as Stanmore House, Reiby House and Gowrie House." Well, almost survived. Various interesting images of Newtown and Enmore historic properties.

Part 10 - Reiby House demolished, Stanmore House remains

"The only surviving reminder of the villa estates of Enmore is Stanmore House, located on the corner of Enmore Road and Reiby Street. It was built c1847 as a wedding present for Mary Reibey's daughter, Elizabeth Anne, who was unhappily married to Captain Joseph Long Innes. Captain Innes was an alderman of the first Sydney City Council. Shops were built in front of the property in the 1930s and the house was converted to flats. Stanmore House was altered significantly but still retains part of its original fabric, detail and joinery.

Mary Reibey's own home, Reiby House, survived until the late 1960s when it was demolished to construct a block of high-rise units for low income earners."

Part 9 - Reiby House, Enmore - almost 2km frontage along Enmore Road

"Reibey's business empire flourished. She moved to Enmore in the 1840s and established herself comfortably in Reiby House. The property had a frontage of almost two kilometres along Enmore Road. Reiby House was a grand, two-storey Georgian villa with tight security against bushranger incursion. Shutters fitted with heavy iron bolts ran the length of the house, both inside and out. Secret bells were installed in some of the shutters so when the window was opened the alarm was given in another part of the house. Presumably Mary's servants were ready to repel any invader."

Part 8 - Reiby House (image in 1939)

Reiby House, Station St., Newtown, no. 1642, Box 9. picture by by Henningham, F.,
Reiby House, Station St., Newtown, no. 1642, Box 9. picture
Date(s) of creation: Feb. 23, 1939.
photograph : gelatin silver ; 15.6 x 21.4 cm.
Reproduction rights owned by the State Library of Victoria
Accession Number: H20199
Image Number: b52080

Part 7 - Mary Reiby: death certificate, brief history

Mary Reiby
"In 1794 she married Thomas Reiby, formerly of the East India Company, who established a trading enterprise called Entally House. By 1803 Thomas owned three boats and traded coals and wheat up the Hawkesbury and Hunter rivers. In 1807 Thomas bought a schooner for trading with the Pacfic Islands, however he fell ill after a voyage to India in 1809.

After his death in 1811 Mary was left with seven children and control of a large business which included rural properties, Bass Strait sealing operations and overseas trading. Through enterprise and hard work she became one of the most successful businesswomen in the Colony. As she rose in affluence, she also rose in respectability and socialised in Governor Macquarie's set. Mary opened a new warehouse in 1812 and extended her fleet with the purchase of two more ships in 1817. In 1820 Mary returned to England with her daughters. "

(Returning to Sydney by 1825 or so, living in Newtown until her death in 1855.)

Part 6 of a series of posts. Where was Reiby House?

Reiby House, a 2-storey Georgian villa is generally believed to have been on what is now Reiby Lane, off Station Street, Enmore. The house was demolished by the the then Sydney City Council in about 1966, replaced by a block of flats behind Newtown RSL. The then wealthy retailer Mary Reiby moved to Enmore circa 1840 and the house was almost certainly built by 1843.

Stanmore House was also built by Mary Reiby in the 1840s, for her daughter Elizabeth. It fronted Enmore Road (although still standing it is obscured by later develeopments) and almost backed onto Reiby Lane.

An interesting account is given in Literary Sydney, a Walking Guide, by Dimond and Kirkpatrick

Part 5 of a series of posts. Mary (Haydock) Reiby, Thomas Reiby, East India Company, Entally and more...

Entally House « Waltzing Australia
"In 1790, at that age of 13, Mary Haydock of Lancashire, England, had the poor sense to ride a horse that didn’t belong to her, which resulted in her being convicted of horse stealing and being sent to the recently established colony of Australia. She was 15 by the time she set sail for Sydney. It was a long trip, and on the way over, she made the acquaintance of a young Irishman who worked for the East India Company."

Part 4 of a series of posts. Mary Reiby, State Library Tasmania

Part 3 of a series of posts. Reiby Brothers, Tasmania, Entally, Mary Reiby

The Reiby Brothers
"In 1794 Mary married Thomas Reibey, a sailor. Thomas was given land for a farm on the Hawkesbury River, and he also became a shipping merchant. The family moved to Sydney where they built a fine home, called “Entally” after a suburb of Calcutta, India. By the early 1800s Thomas owned several boats that traded between Sydney, the Hawkesbury and the Hunter River, and were engaged in sealing in Bass Strait. Following his death in 1811, Mary took over the business and she operated it successfully, as well as looking after her family of seven. Her shrewd financial dealings made her one of the richest people in the colony.

"By then Mary's two eldest sons, Thomas and James, were old enough to help with the business. Both boys had been sent to sea, being prepared for their part in extending the Reiby mercantile empire. In 1815 the 19 year old Thomas, became master and owner of the schooner John Palmer, trading between Sydney and Launceston. He married Richarda Allen and in June 1817 sailed with his bride to take up land on the banks of the South Esk River, which he named “Entally”. Seventeen-year old James, disowned by his mother, left for Hobart Town in March 1816. There he married a widow, Rebecca Breedon, and they established a shop stocked with goods worth £40, obtained on credit.

At Launceston, Thomas prospered. He set up his merchant store on the banks of the North Esk River and in 1820 he built the first wharf of the fledgling port at the foot of St. John Street. He continued to skipper ships, taking wheat, seal skins, oil and vegetables to Sydney, and returning with general merchandise for sale at his store."

Part 2 of a series of posts. Mary Reiby, retailer and Hunters Hill settler

Hunters Hill, New South Wales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The area that is now Hunters Hill was settled in 1835. One of the earliest settlers was Mary Reiby, the first female retailer in Sydney. She built a cottage -- later known as Fig Tree House -- on land that fronted the Lane Cove River; Reiby Street is named after her. During the 1840s, bushrangers and convicts who had escaped from the penal settlement on Cockatoo Island took refuge in Hunters Hill."

Part 1 of a series of posts. Reiby House, Mary Reiby and more...

I mentioned "Reiby House" in an earlier post. So where was Reiby House? And who was Mary Reiby? I'll dig and post in a series to answer these and other questions.

My earlier reference:
Secrets of a Sydney past: Charles Street, Marrickville and surrounds - a potted history. Part 1.
"1843 - Homlewood built. 1844 - Foundation stone of first St Stephen’s church (Anglican), Newtown. Economic depression producing many forced sales and bankruptcies. 1847 - Stanmore House begun. 1848 - Inauguration of National education system. Subdivision of Petersham estate. Reiby house probably erected by this time. Foundation stone of St Thomas’ Catholic church, Lewisham. Temporary building for St Peters Anglican school.(permanent building in 1855). Goodsell family brickworks. Fowler’s Pottery."

1860 - "Stone Cottage", Harriett Street, Marrickville

Library of NSW Search - Manuscripts, Oral History, and Pictures Catalogue - State Library of New South Wales
Image of "Stone Cottage", Harriett Street, Marrickville, built in 1860 by the Meek family.