Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Snippets, tidbits and trivial bits of information....

Lavington Glyde, a noted South Australian colonist and friend to George May Mashford. 

There have been a few bits and pieces of information dribbling in, but, as with a jigsaw puzzle, every little bit serves to build the picture.

One newspaper notice connects John Mashford, Elizabeth's brother, with a James Rattenbury, Clerk of Works, which suggests, given the social structure of the times, that John was reasonably well educated and far from the bottom rungs of society as we previously thought. This has also become clear with his brother George May Mashford's connection to Lavington Glyde, who is mentioned as renting his house in Kensington, and who later went on to become notable in South Australian Government and society.

Such links are useful guides to just where the Mashfords stood on the social ladder although Elizabeth may well have married 'beneath herself' with both Peter Lewis and Edward Atkins. We had thought for a time that the Mashfords were poor and probably illiterate but evidence to date indicates the opposite.

The following public notice has appeared:

SHOULD this meet the eye of a gentleman who sailed from England on or about September, 1846, nd who was entrusted with a parcel of letters, &c, directed to Mr Rattenbury, of Melbourne, Port Phillip,  and which, at present, have not been received, the un dersigned will feel particularly grateful to the party in whose possession they are supposed to be, if he will leave it with Mr J. Mashford, Tailor, Hanson-street, Adelaide, or forward the same to Melbourne, directed Mr JAS. RATTENBURY. Collingwood, Melbourne, Port Phillip.
 James Rattenbury, Clerk of Works, Port Phillip, from 1839.The role of clerk of works would place someone in the lower rungs of the Middle Class I would assume.

The clerk of works (or clerk of the works), often abbreviated CoW, is employed by an architect or a client on a construction site. The role is primarily to represent the interests of the client in regard to ensuring that the quality of both materials and workmanship are in accordance with the design information such as specification and engineering drawings, in addition to recognized quality standards. The role is defined in standard forms of contract such as those published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal. "Clerks of works" are also the most highly qualified non-commissioned tradesmen in the Royal Engineers. The qualification can be held in three specialisations: electrical, mechanical and construction.

And George having Lavington Glyde as a tenant, also indicates connections with at least the middle rungs of society if not more. The early South Australian colony would have had more flexibility and Glyde did rise to much higher ranks perhaps than he had attained when he knew George, but, here again, the Mashfords are linked to middle rungs of society and that is an indication both of wealth and of education, not to mention social acceptance.

Lavington Glyde was also from Devon and given social connections of the time, there is a good chance he knew George in England.
Lavington Glyde (1823-1890), accountant and parliamentarian, was born at Exeter, England, son of Jonathan Lavington Glyde. One of his brothers became a Dissenting minister at Bradford and another a partner of Sir Titus Salt at Saltaire. Educated at Exeter and Denmark Hill School, London, Glyde studied accountancy and the wool trade in Yorkshire and in the Agincourt arrived at Port Adelaide in July 1850.

He brought a fair sum in cash and a sixty-day draft on the Bank of South Australia, mostly on behalf of relations in Yorkshire. Within a week he lent all his cash at high interest, he tried to borrow on the draft but the manager, Edward Stephens, refused so bluntly that Glyde waited till it matured and promptly transferred his account to the Bank of Australasia. To his agencies and money-lending he soon added wool-buying and an export-import business on his own account. Later he included wheat and wine to his speculations and even invested in copper-mines once he modified his extreme caution.
A Congregationalist, Glyde attended Clayton Church and became active in public affairs. In the 1850s as 'A Looker-on' he wrote for the press a series of articles delicately satirical in vein. He supported John Howard Clark in founding the South Australian Institute and served for many years on its governing board. He became a director of insurance companies and chairman of many building societies. Well read and intelligent he never courted public favour but retained his independence.

A stalwart Liberal with a strong conservative cast he represented East Torrens in the House of Assembly in 1857-60, Yatala in 1860-75 and Victoria in 1877-84. From the outset he was notable for his grasp of constitutional procedures and specially for his competence in financial issues. In 1858 he served on the select committee on taxation and in a 'protest report' advocated the total abolition of distillation laws. In evidence to a select committee on the Real Property Act in 1861 he complained that the commissioner's powers were too great particularly on mortgaged land. In 1863 he represented South Australia at the intercolonial conference in Melbourne on uniform tariffs and then became treasurer in Francis Dutton's eleven-day ministry in July. He was then appointed commissioner of crown lands and immigration under (Sir) Henry Ayers until July 1864. He held the latter portfolio under John Hart for a week in 1865 and under Ayers from May 1867 to September 1868 and again from October to November. He constantly opposed any interference with wool-growers either by the Pastoralists' Association which, he claimed, 'wanted to turn the colony into one vast sheep run', or by government regulations, although in 1867 as commissioner he had to arrange relief for drought-stricken graziers.
Glyde's greatest work was as treasurer under Arthur Blyth in 1873-75 and John Bray in 1881-84. Always a severe critic of government expenditure he closely watched the raising of South Australian loans in London. He fearlessly fought the National Bank in London and forced it to repay with interest a five-year accumulation of unwarranted surcharges for floating loans. The total sum was not large but assured British investors of the colony's budgetary care.

In Adelaide he was denounced as pessimist and alarmist and lost his seat in the assembly. For years he fought the muddle and extravagance of departments raising and spending their independent revenues and by 1884 succeeded in consolidating the colony's funds under parliamentary control even though the change gave the colony the first land and income taxes in Australia.
Glyde's wife Mary Ellen, née Hardcastle, died on 16 December 1869. On 20 July 1870 at Clayton Church he married her widowed sister Alice Phoebe Kepert. Although marriage with a deceased wife's sister was legalized next year in South Australia, Governor Sir James Fergusson called it 'indecent' and refused to invite the Glydes to a ball at Government House.

However, Glyde was gazetted an Honorable in 1875. After resigning from the assembly in March 1884 he visited England with his family. His object was to promote the Talisker mine at Cape Jervis but it suffered heavy losses after he returned to Adelaide. He was accountant to the Insolvency Court in 1885 until he died aged 67 at his home in Kensington, Adelaide, on 31 July 1890. He was survived by his second wife and several children mostly under 21. His estate was valued for probate at £1326.


Glyde seems something of an independent thinker and perhaps this played a part in his relationship with George Mashford, given the fact that he seems to be much higher on the social ladder.

The Clare Valley.

In the meantime, fellow researcher Luke Atkins Harris has been continuing his research:


I wrote to the Care Historical Society asking about the possibility of baptism records for Mary and Elizabeth Atkins. They had one for James Atkins baptised at Bungaree Station which we know about. They had no records for Mary and Elizabeth Atkins, but they said to try the Port Augusta Library as they kept old records there. 

I emailed the Port Augusta Library and asked them some questions about the Atkins family. They emailed me back and said the only record they had was for James Atkins. They have the original 1800s Birth, Death and Marriage Registry Books. 

I have seen original 1800s Registry Books before. The Goolwa Library has a family history reading room where the original 1800s Registry books are kept for the whole area. When I went up north I went to the Riverton Historical Society and I saw their original 1800s Registry Books for the area. 

On James Atkins’ birth certificate the place of abode was Charlton which we know about. However, on the original 1800s Registry Book, now held by the Port Augusta Library, the place of abode was Pekina which was then crossed out and then Charlton was written instead as the place of abode. 

Pekina is a small S.A town after Jamestown and between Peterborough and Mount Remarkable National Park. 

When I went to the SA Genealogy Society the other day I asked them why Pekina was written first and then crossed out.  

They said there was a process that people went through to report a birth etc. Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Mashford had to travel to Melrose to report James Atkins’ birth, as that was where the local Registrar was located. When the Registrar asked where the place of abode was for Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Mashford somebody said Pekina and Pekina was written down first. Then an exchange of views happened, or a disagreement happened, between Edward Atkins, Elizabeth Mashford and the Registrar of exactly what the place of abode was. An agreement was reached and Pekina was crossed out and Charlton was written instead. 

The Registrar at Melrose then had to write out a copy of the details of James Atkins’ birth and post the details to the main office in Adelaide. Except, the Registrar left out Pekina as the place of abode because all the parties agreed that Charlton was the place of abode. This is why Charlton now appears on James Atkins’ Birth Certificate as the abode for his parents. 

The people at the SA Genealogy Society said that sometime peoples details are different on the original 1800s Registry Books and what was posted to Adelaide. 

They said more than likely what happened was, at the time of James Atkins birth, Edward Atkins was working and living at Pekina and thus he considered Pekina was his abode and thus he told the Registrar this. Then Elizabeth Mashford may have said “No Charlton is our place of Abode.” 

In terms of family history, the people at the SA Genealogy Society said more than likely Edward Atkins was, at times, a travelling or seasonal worker based at Charlton, but he moved around all the time and went to different locations where the work was. He thus worked and lived at Pekina for a short while when James Atkins was born, but he was based at Charlton. 

On James Atkins’ Birth Certificate, Edward Atkins listed himself as a shepherd. It would make sense that when James Atkins was born, Edward Atkins may have been working away from home and thus living and working at Pekina.

Bundaleer Station where Edward Atkins worked.
Edward Atkins owned no land himself, however he was going to buy some land at Melrose. The way the official explained things to me was at some stage Edward Atkins entered into a contract to buy some land, but then somethng happened and he decided not to go through with the contract. Somebody else wanted the land so the owner and the new buyers had to get Edward Atkins to state he was no longer intrested in the land. The legal document is mostly about a new agrement with the owner and the new buyers, but Edward Atkins had to make a short statement. What is intresting is that he stated:- "I Edward Atkins a labourer of Mount Remarkabale" etc etc. and it is dated 18/12/1856.  
The last place of abode we had for Edward Atkins was Bundaleer with the birth of Emily Atkins in 1854. Thus at some stage he left Bundaleer and moved to Mount Remarkabale. I was thinking that may be Dec 1856 is a date when Hannah McLeod died. It could be the case that she died all of a sudden and with no wife to look after 5 daughters Edward Atkins had to pull out of the contract at the last moment and he moved to Rocky River where he met Elizabeth Mashford.
As for George May Mashford land at Marryatville he brought it for 20 pounds in 1849. However, the land today is at the foothills in Burnside. The area called Marryatville back in the 1800s was a lot bigger than it is today.
I had a look at some original birth certificates . Most of it we know. I had a look at Edward Atkins occuption at the time of birth of Elizabeth and Mary Atkins and it was Blacksmith. I also had a look at the birth certificate of Mary Atkins' first son Edward Welsh (Atkins) and the occupation of the father Edward Welsh was "Miller."

We also had some additional information come in from a Devon family researcher to which Luke responded:

I was totally fascinated reading the account of Captain Louis Von Zuilecom and his account of the Princess Royal. 
Yes I think you just might be right about the Mashfords and their social status and education in society. I know we have discussed it before, but when you really think about things there are a really a lot of clues to go by:-
·        If Josiah Mashford, the brother of John Mashford, was a Parish Clerk and a land owner then that is a sign of social standing and education.
·        Jane Mashford married George O’Brien who was from an aristocratic background. He was the son of Admiral Robert O’Brien a direct descendant of Murrough O’Brien the 57th King of Thomond who was a medieval Irish King. Would he have he married below his status?
·        Elizabeth Mashford brother, Josiah Mashford, was secretary to the band of the Adelaide band of musicians and hence had to be educated to be a secretary.
·        George May Mashford executor was George Aldridge and if you look him up on TROVE he had a number of business interest and his name always appears in the newspapers. I doubt George Aldridge would agree to be George May Mashford executor unless George has some social standing.
·        The Montefiore family wanted to hire Elizabeth Mashford and hence she must have had some social breeding for them to be interested in her. Why she decided to marry Peter Lewis and Edward Atkins is anyone’s guess. Sometimes education and social standing has no direct relation to wisdom.

And yes if Lavington Glyde was a wealthy man and he associated with George May Mashford then that is another sign of the social standing of the Mashford family. They were not obviously working class as we would understand working class people in the 1800s.

John Mashford, Tailor. 
I was just thinking about Elizabeth Mashford and the family oral history which was passed down to both our branches of the family that she was illegitimate daughter to a wealthy noble man in England. Maybe the family oral history is slightly wrong or it has become twisted over time.

For instance I was told that my GGGrandmother Margaret Cassidy moved to New Zealand with her husband. I search and search records, but their were no records. However, I did find out that her daughter also called Margaret Cassidy did move to New Zealand so the event was right, the name was right, but it was the daughter and not the mother who moved to New Zealand.

So what I am saying is that there could be some truth to the story of Elizabeth Mashford except I do not believe she was illegitimate, but maybe she had an illegitimate child in Adelaide after Peter Lewis left her. After all as far as she was concern she was a free woman.

If George May Mashford mixed with some wealthy men maybe Elizabeth Mashford had an affair with
George Aldridge or Lavington Glyde or even a member of the Montefiore family? Maybe and I know there is no way to prove it, but may be things just got a bit hot in small conservative Adelaide and Elizabeth gave up the child and hence was the reason why she left and moved to Gladstone??? I know it is wild theory and it will remain a theory and I have no way of knowing how to prove it, but there has to be something to the story.
I always thought that Elizabeth Mashford left Edward Atkins because there was something wrong with dear old Edward E.g. drink problem etc., and Elizabeth Mashford was the victim, but may be Edward Atkins found out something about Elizabeth Mashford and ordered her out of the house and it was Edward who was the victim??? Maybe Peter Lewis was a victim because he found out something about his wife and hence he left???Who really knows???There is no doubt that ancestry research frequently reveals a story is right and details are wrong, so, the family story that Elizabeth Mashford was the illegitimate daughter of a nobleman, could be a reworking of Elizabeth giving birth to an illegitimate child of someone of higher rank in Adelaide, who then paid for her to leave town instead of, as the story goes, paying for her to leave England.

It is certainly possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment