1843-1896 - Last Days and Subsequent History

1843 started out in relatively positive terms for Thomas Braidwood Wilson. The quarrel Thomas had had with his neighbour John Coghill since 1840 was amicably resolved around June when Coghill was elected to the Legislative Council. In August 1843 Thomas' daughter Mary Braidwood Mowle turned 16, and in September she accepted an offer of engagement from Steward Marjoribanks Mowle. These auspicious developments were overshadowed in late September 1843 when Thomas received a letter threatening immediate foreclosure of his mortgage.1

There is more to add here about this period in Thomas' life.

In September 1843 the New South Wales Legislative Council established a Select Committee to investigate the feasibility of an overland route from Sydney to Port Essington, the northernmost part of the Northern Territory.2 Thomas Braidwood Wilson was asked to provide his views on the proposal. This trip to Sydney in October 1843 was to have serious implications for his health.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1843. OVERLAND ROUTE TO PORT ESSINGTON.

Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on the proposed Overland Route to Port Essington.

Charles Nicholson, Esq , M. D. & M. C IN THE CHAIR. Thomas Braidwood Wilson Esq., M.D., called in and examined:—

1. You have visited the northern parts of New Holland? Yes. I have.
2. How long ago ? Nearly fourteen years.
3. You were wrecked in Torres' Straits ? I have been twice through Torres' Straits ; the last time I was wrecked ; I escaped, with the crew of the vessel, in an open boat, and endeavoured to get to Melville Island but we were unable to do so ; however, we succeeded in getting to Copang, from whence we proceeded in the Amity to Raffles Bay, and from Raffles Bay we visited Port Essington.
4. What is your opinion of Port Essington as a harbour? It is most excellent.
5. What do you think of its geographical position as a place of trade, with regard to India and Asia ? Its geopraphical position is decidedly good.
6. Suppose a line of communication were established overland between Port Essington and the settled parts of New Holland, that is to say, Eastern Australia, Australia Felix, and Adelaide, and by water with Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand, would not Port Essington become an important settlement ? No doubt it would become a place of great importance.
7 How long were you at Port Essington ? We merely visited it ; we did not remain there : we stopped at Raffles Bay.
8. From the information you derived while there, should you say the place was healthy? Yes, and from personal observation I should also say that it was very healthy.
9. Do you think it is as healthy as any other tropical climate? More so than any other with which I am acquainted.
10. You had an opportunity of seeing the country ? Along the coast only.
11. What was the character of the country ? I could not say that it was generally fertile in appearance. ? .
12. Your observations were simply limited to the coast? Yes.
13. Did you see any good tracts of country ? Yes, especially at Croker's Island, in Bowen's Strait — well watered ; at the time the settlement at Raffles Bay was abandoned, there was a garden there, which contained orange, lime, and lemon trees, bananas in abundance, shaddocks, citrons, pineapples, figs, custard-apples, papaws, tamarinds, dates, cocoa-nuts, arrowroot, sugar cane, peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turmeric, capsicum, and many other useful and ornamental, articles, all of which were thriving well, except the figs and peaches. With respect to Captain Macarthur's report, as to my unfavourable opinion of the soil, he has misunderstood me; I only stated 'that the soil, as far as examined, cannot be called good: there are, however, several fertile patches, but it would not answer in an agricultural or pastoral point of view. Admitting that the land was good, and capable of producing valuable crops, yet the price of labour would prevent its being cultivated with advantage, especially as it is situated so near to India, whence rice could be procured at a very low rate.
14. Have you been to any islands in the neighbourhood of Port Essington? None, except Timor.
15. Have you reason to suppose that a considerable trade might be carried on between Port Essington and the inhabitants of the islands in the neighbourhood ? I have not the least doubt of it ; I heard from Mr. Hazard, the Dutch resident at Copang, that had the settlement been continued a little longer, many Malays would have emigrated from Batavia ; there were also some Chinese about to come over, but were prevented when they heard that the settlement was abandoned.
16. Do you think the journey practicable ? I think it is worth while attempting it, at all events.
17. By Dr. Lang: Do you consider that if a settlement were formed there, it would be a favourable field for emigration from the islands of the Indian Archipelago ? Yes, I do.
18 And that the natives of those islands would find a very eligible field for their labour ?. Yes.
19. In the cultivation of the land and in the mechanical arts ?. I look more to the advantage in a mercantile point of view than an agricultural.
20. In the event of a settlement being permanently established in that locality, have you reason to believe that there would be considerable emigration from Timor and Java, both of Malays and Chinese ?. There would be, particularly from Batavia.
21. In what way would you employ these emigrants ? Chiefly for the purposes of trade.
22. Not in the cultivation of the land ? I would say chiefly for trade.
23. Do you think that in the event of an overland communication being established with Port Essington, that that settlement might be a channel for the immigration of numerous Malays and Chinese into this territory generally ?. Yes, into this territory generally, if there were intermediate settlements; I may add, that it is not altogether the intercourse with the Malays and Chinese that would render this settlement of importance, there being other circumstances which would at least add to its utility. Ships proceeding to India would touch there with obvious reciprocal advantage ; more over, it would prove a convenient place of refuge in cases of shipwreck which so frequently occur in Torres Straits, and the adjacent seas.3

There is more to add here about this period in Thomas' life.

Thomas Braidwood Wilson died on 11 November 1843 in Braidwood, New South Wales.4 Early news of his passing reached Sydney within a week -

Dr. Wilson. - We announce with regret that intelligence has reached Sydney of the death of Dr. Wilson, of Braidwood. We have not heard the particulars of the melancholy event. 5

A more detailed report of the event was given a few days later.

The late Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson, RN - The death of this enterprising and much respected member of our community was mentioned in a late number of this paper, and the following particulars have since been received. On a journey to Sydney in the early part of last month, the Doctor was taken ill and detained on the road several days in consequence. For upwards of ten days after arriving he was confined to bed, and had the benefit of the most zealous care and attention from a large portion of his medical brethren of the capital, by whom his health was considered as in a most critical state. He at length became sufficiently convalescent to be able to look after his business affairs, and to prepare for returning home, but it was obvious to all that he was in a very unfit state to encounter the fatigues of so long a journey. He arrived at his estate of Braidwood on Thursday the 2nd instant, and on the morning of Saturday the 11th, while in the fields superintending his farming operations, he was suddenly taken ill, and attributed it to exposure to the sun, from which he had previously suffered. He retired to his house, and sent immediately for Dr Bell, R N, whose residence is within a few miles, but who arrived only in time to see him expire. By a post mortem examination it was found that his death was caused by the bursting of a blood vessel.6

Many biographies of Thomas Wilson state that Thomas committed suicide, an action that wouldn't seem to fit with the cause of death reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. The idea that Thomas took his own life is probably derived from the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for his daughter Mary Braidwood Mowle,7 which in turn bases that deduction on the inquest held by John Coghill immediately after Thomas' death.

19 November 1843
Braidwood Court House

John Coghill J.P.
Evidence Respecting the Death of Dr. Wilson

I have the honour herewith to transmit evidence taken by me in the absence of a Coroner together with a Medical Certificate [Not Decipherable] before Colonel MacKenzie in relation to the demise of Thos. Braidwood Wilson who departed this life on Saturday Nov 11th [inst.?]. The Certificate not being so explicit as I should desire may however be satisfactory.

I have the honour to be
Sir
Your obedient Servant
John Coghill J.P.

The death certificate mentioned followed.

Braidwood Nov 13th 1843

This is to certify that I have made a postmortem examination on the body of the late T. B. Wilson Esq. of Braidwood and believe that the Immediate cause of his death was from the rupture of a Blood vessel or Blood vessels in the lungs.

Thos. Bell
Surgeon.

So why did John Coghill believe that the certificate wasn't explicit enough? We can only examine the evidence of the witnesses at the inquest in an attempt to answer that question. The first to provide testimony was Edward Thompson, Thomas Wilson's brother-in-law.

Sworn before me this fourteenth day of November 1843 at Bellevue
J. K. MacKenzie J.P.

Enquiry touching the sudden demise of Thos. Braidwood Wilson.

Edward Thompson being duly sworn deposeth as follows:

About the end of August last on Dr. Wilson's return from Sydney I went to Yarralumla where I remained for about three weeks. On my return however I perceived a marked and extraordinary change in his general appearance and manner, his conduct latterly was such as to impress me with the idea that he was not of a sound state of mind. He was constantly in the habit of walking about the house in his shirt regardless of his appearance and that decency of which he had previously been so strict an observer. He [would?] constantly walk into my room at night appearing perfectly unconscious of what he was doing. Latterly his conduct was quite unsettled, more particularly since his receipt of a letter from Sydney some time in the early part of October. Immediately on receipt of the before mentioned letter Dr. Wilson proceeded to Sydney where he remained until the second of November. On his return his conduct and appearance left no doubt on my mind that he was insane, he was quite incoherent. On Friday morning between nine and ten [OB?] I went into his room while he was in bed and asked him some questions to which he made no reply but complained of pain in his stomach. I got him some Brandy and water into which I put a quantity of ginger and [salt] in it. His general embarrassment of his affairs was in my opinion the cause of his mental derangement, in fact from his own statements his embarrassment preyed upon his mind.

Edw. Thompson.

Sworn before me this day of November 1843
John Coghill J.P.

The second person to provide testimony was Thomas Wilson's gardener Farquhar Aberdeen, who was brought out to Australia to create landscape gardens and orchards.8

Farquhar Aberdeen gardener in the employ of T. B. Wilson being duly sworn deposeth as follows:

In the last few months the Doctor seemed to take little interest in the garden and the improvements than he had been in the habit of doing. On Friday last he came into the garden and asked me to give some of the new things. After some little time I recollected what he wanted and gave him some lettuces, a portion of which he put into his hat and sat some more. On coming to the bee hive he threw a portion of the lettuce root at the hole of the hive which I removed when he told me. He felt something near his heart which he could not get the better of. His [Not Decipherable] was quite [Not Decipherable] and his general manner such as to impress me with the idea that he was not all right.

Farquhar Aberdeen
Sworn before me this 12th day of November 1843
John Coghill J.P.

Thomas' housekeeper, Mary MacDonnell, also submitted a statement.

Mary MacDonnell in the employ of T. B. Wilson being duly sworn deposeth as follows:

I have been in the employ of Dr. Wilson for the last three years. His conduct latterly has been exceedingly strange. Some few days before he went to Sydney he returned from the garden with two [roses?] in his hand and stood near the rocks at the back of the house talking to himself. He asked the question [Not Decipherable] there was no one near him at the time. He was constantly in the habit of walking out in his shirt. I often thought the Dr. was not right in his mind. On Thursday about twelve o'clock he came to the kitchen and asked me for a little warm water which I saw him after drinking. [Not Decipherable] finding that he could not throw anything off his stomach he asked me for a [Not Decipherable] that did not produce any affect at the time. He then proceeded towards the [Not Decipherable] in the front of the house and plucked some lettuce which he ate. From his general conduct and manner I have no doubt he was insane.

Mary X [Her Mark] MacDonnell
Sworn before me this 12 November 1843
John Coghill J.P.

Next deposed a servant of Thomas WIlson's named Eliza Ross.

Eliza Ross in the employ of T. B. Wilson being duly sworn deposeth:

I have been in the employ of Dr. Wilson for the last twelve months. His conduct has been very strange latterly, being in the constant habit of walking about the house and place in his shirt. I often remarked to Mrs. MacDonnell that the Doctor could not be in his right mind. I think his getting down in the world was the cause of his appearing to be mad. On Friday he came to me for a little hot water which he drank, he was a little sick after that. He called for a glass of milk which he drank and had a quantity of lettuce and [Not Decipherable]. The day before he died he took some Tartar Emetic. The bottle from which he took it was half full and he took about half the contents. I read the label on the bottle which was in English. It was marked Tartar Emetic. He appeared to be very ill all night. Mrs. MacDonnell said that owing to his sufferings during the night she did not think he could live. He died about 11 1/2 OC on Saturday in great pain.

Eliza X [Her Mark] Ross
Sworn before me this 12 November 1843
John Coghill J.P.

The medicine in question, tartar emetic, was often given in small doses to induce vomiting, thus the name emetic. In anything other than small doses it is considered a poison. Did Thomas take the drug to induce vomiting, but because of his state of mind unintentionally overdose, or did he mean to take his own life? Is this the reason John Coghill felt the death certificate insufficient? As a final observation on the topic, the stated cause of death, a ruptured blood vessel in the lungs, or haemoptysis, is not a typical symptom of tartar emetic poisoning. Given these known facts it seems presumptuous to suggest Thomas Wilson committed suicide when it may have even been an accidental overdose, or not related to the ingestion of the medication at all. The following report on the effects of the substance was reported just 12 years after Thomas' death in 1856.

POISONING BY TARTAR EMETIC.

The Rugeley case seems to be the first occasion on which we hear of tartar emetic as a slow poison ; and we may fully expect that this point as well as the varied apparently uncertain action of this substance as a poison, will be well handled by the gentlemen of the long robe employed in the defence. The public mind is not aware of the diversity of action of poisons according to the dose and circumstances of administration.

For, first, an irritant poison may destroy life by its action on the glottis while being swallowed. 2nd, it may do so by its immediate effect on the stomach, or on the intestines. 3rd, it may pass from the stomach into the blood, and produce great diversity of effects by its operation on the organs to which it is carried, and with which it may possibly be incorporated. 4th, if the patient live on, it may again produce a fresh set of symptoms by its passage through the organs by which nature destines it to be eliminated from the body.

Now, the cases in which tartar emetic has been recorded to have acted as poison the symptoms were those of the second order; vomiting and convulsions being the leading symptoms, both arising probably from the primary irritation of the stomach; as, for example, in the cases of the two children poisoned each by ten grains, as reported in Taylor. But in the case before us the second, third, and fourth classes of symptoms were each probably present in equal proportions. There were irritation of the stomach, poisoning of the blood, and exhausting efforts at elimination.

Then, again, while small doses in some persons, in some state of health, will produce dangerous symptoms, in other persons, in the same states of illness, immense doses produce scarcely any perceptible effect.

Then we may look with interest for the kind of proof which will be, offered of the supposed fact that Palmer, and not any one else did administer Antimony. That tartar emetic was found among the other common drugs which he possessed does not amount to much. - Medical Times and Gazette.9

Thomas Braidwood Wilson's lengthy "Last Will and Testament" lodged in England has been transcribed by Margaret Rackham and Ian Byers and has been reproduced below:

In the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales

Be it known to all men that by searching the Registry of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales at Sydney in New South Wales aforesaid there was found duly proved exhibited and registered on the twentieth day of February one thousand eight hundred and forty four the last will and testament of Thomas Braidwood Wilson of Braidwood in the County of Saint Vincent in the colony of New South Wales formerly a Surgeon in the Royal Navy and that Administration with the Will annexed of all and singular the goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased in anywise belonging was committed to James Tod Goodsir of Sydney aforesaid Assistant Commissary General one of the Executors in the said Will named he having been first sworn that he would well and truly administer the said goods chattels credits and effects and pay the lawful debts of the said deceased as far as the said goods and chattels should extend and the Law bind him and also to exhibit to this court a true and perfect Inventory of all the said goods chattels credits and effects when he should be lawfully called thereunto and that he believes the said goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased within the Jurisdiction of this Court did not exceed the value of four thousand pounds which said Will follows in these words

I Thomas Braidwood Wilson of Braidwood in the County of Saint Vincent in the colony of New South Wales Esquire formerly a Surgeon in the Royal Navy do make this my last Will and Testament First I direct all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses to be paid out of my personal estate

I bequeath to my Brother the Reverend Robert Wilson of Greenock in Scotland two hundred pounds and to my Brothers and Sisters James David Mary and Margaret all residing in Scotland one hundred pounds each and in case of death of any or either of my said Brothers or Sisters before my own decease then I direct that the legacy given to them him or her respectively shall be paid to their his or her executors administrators and go and be distributed as if the same had at their his or her death formed part of their his or her personal estate

And I direct that if my said Brother Robert shall survive me the whole of the said legacies shall be transmitted to him for the use of the parties respectively entitled thereto and that his receipt shall be a final discharge to my Executors for the same or for such part thereof as shall be so transmitted

I bequeath to my Niece Jane Thompson Wilson so named after my deceased wife being the Daughter of my Brother George residing in Van Diemens Land three hundred pounds to be paid to her upon her attaining the age of twenty one years or being married with the consent of her Parents or Guardians which shall first happen and in the meantime I direct that the said sum be invested at interest on such security and in such manner as herein after directed with respect to the shares of my own children under my Will during minority and with the life powers of maintenance or advancement out of the income or principal

And as to all sums advanced and paid in pursuance of such powers I direct that the receipt of the Father of my said Niece or after his decease of her lawful Guardian for the time being shall be a sufficient discharge for the same

I bequeath to my Son James my library printed books and manuscripts maps prints and pictures and to my only Daughter Mary I bequeath all my household furniture and also all my plate except two of my three silver family tankards as to which I direct that my said Daughter shall have the choice of one and the remaining two I give unto my said Son James

And as to all the Residue of my Estate real and personal I devise and bequeath the same unto my Brother George Wilson of Van Diemens Land my Brother in Law Edward Thompson now residing with me and my friends William Miller Deputy Commissary General [NSW] James Todd Goodsir Assistant Commifsary General [NSW] and George Kenyon Holden Solicitor all of Sydney to hold the same unto the said George Wilson Edward Thompson William Miller and George Kenyon Holden their heirs executors and administrators according to the nature thereof respectively subject as to their estates vested in me as trustee or mortgagee to the trusts and equities affecting the same

And as to all other my said estate to the uses and upon the trusts following that is to say as to the Estate of Braidwood in the County of Saint Vincent in the said Colony of New South Wales consisting of three thousand four hundred and forty one acres or thereabouts with the dwelling house and buildings thereon erected In Trust until my said Son shall attain the age of twenty one years or shall die under that age to apply the rents and profits thereof or such portion thereof as may be required for the benefit of my said Son in the same manner as hereinafter is directed as to the income of the share of my said Son in the remainder of my Estate during his minority and as to the residue of such rents and profits to invest and accumulate the same in like manner as hereinafter directed in respect to his share of the unapplied part of my personal estate

And I direct and declare that the trustees of my said Will acting under this present trust during the minority of my said Son shall have power to let the said Estate of Braidwood at such rent for any lease or leases which they may think expedient not exceeding the term of seven years and such leases shall be binding on my said Son and upon the attainment of my said Son to the said age of twenty one years upon trust to transfer and pay over to him all such unapplied … ? accumulations

And as to the said Estate of Braidwood from and immediately after such attainment of my said Son as aforesaid I direct that the said trustees shall stand seized thereof to the use of my said Son James during his life for his own use and benefit without impeachment ? of waste ?

And in the event of any forfeiture or other determination of that estate during the life of my said Son to the use of my executors and administrators during his life In Trust to preserve contingent remainders

And from and after the decease of my said Son to the use of the first and every other Son of my said Son respectively in order of seniority in tail male

And in default or on failure of such issue to the use of my said trustees their executors and administrators until my Daughter Mary shall attain the age of twenty one years or be married with such consent as after mentioned upon the like trusts for her benefit during minority and with the life power of leasing and accumulation and unapplied rents as hereinbefore mentioned with respect to the trust for my said Son during minority and upon the attainment of my said Daughter to the age of twenty one years or being married as being aforesaid to the use of my said Daughter Mary for her life and her sole and separate use apart from any husband with whom she may intermarry and so as not to be subject to his debts contracts or engagements

And in event of any forfeiture or other determination of that estate in her lifetime to the use of my executors or administrators during her life in trust to preserve contingent remainders

And from and after her decease to the use of the first and every other Son of my said Daughter Mary successively in order of seniority in tail male

And in default or failure of such issue to the use of the first and every other Daughter of my said Son James successively in order of seniority in tail male

And in default or failure of such issue of my said Son to the use of the first and every other Daughters of my said Daughter Mary successively in order of seniority in tail male

And in default or on failure of such last mentioned issue of my said Daughter to such uses as my said Son James shall by Deed or Will executed in the presence of one or more witness or witnesses appoint

And in default of such appointment by my said Son or as to such uses as my said Daughter Mary shall in like manner and not withstanding any coverture ? appoint

And in default of such last mentioned appointment to the use of my other ght ? heirs

And I hereby earnestly request that in case the said powers of appointment shall become exercisable by my said children or by either of them the same may be so exercised as to retain the said Estate of Braidwood unsold and undivided in the hands of some member or connexion of my family or of that of my late Wife whose particular wish I have followed in restraining the disposal of my said estate as far as the rules of Law will conveniently admit and which wish I commend to the future respect of of all who shall in future derive any interest under this my Will

And as to all the residue of my said estate I direct that whether the same shall be wholly be converted into personalty or not the same shall be for the purposes of this my will regarded as one entire personal fund and that my said trustees shall stand possessed thereof as to one moiety or equal half part thereof In Trust for my said Son James his executors administrators or assigns according to the nature thereof to be absolutely vested or payable upon his attaining the age of twenty one years

And as to the other moiety of my said residuary estate In Trust as to one half part of such moiety for my said Daughter Mary her executors administrators or assigns according to the nature thereof to be absolutely vested or payable upon her attaining the age of twenty one years or upon her being married with the consent of her Guardians which shall first happen

And as to the remaining half part of such last mentioned moiety In Trust to permit my said Daughter to receive the rents interest and annual proceeds thereof during her life for her sole and separate use apart from any husband with whom she may intermarry and free from the debts and engagements as inalienable provision for which her receipts alone shall be sufficient discharges to my trustees

And after the decease of my said Daughter then as to the principal with the future income In Trust for the issue of my said Daughter including Grandchildren and more remote issue born in her lifetime for such interest in such proportions and in such manner in all respects as my said Daughter shall by Deed or Will executed in the presence and attested by one or more witness or witnesses appoint

And provided also that my said Daughter shall be also empowered by the same or any other instrument executed as aforesaid to direct or appoint a life interest to any Husband of her my said Daughter who shall survive her in the annual proceeds or income of the said trust fund or in any part share or proportion thereof to precede the tailing ? effect of any such appointment in favor of her children or issue as aforesaid

And in default of such appointment or so far as any such appointment shall not extend In Trust for the child of only one or for all the children of my said Daughter and so that the interest or interests of such child or children shall be absolutely vested at the age of twenty one years and so that the share or shares as were acquired as accruing ? of a child or children dying without having attained such age shall accrue to the other or others of such children and if more than one in equal shares

And if no object of the preceding trust shall acquire an absolutely vested interest then In Trust for such person or persons and in such manner as my said Daughter shall by Will to be executed in the presence and attested by one or more witness or witnesses appoint

And in default of such appointment upon Trust for the person or persons who at the decease of my said Daughter who shall be next of kin to her and who under the Statute of Distribution of Intestates Effects would have been entitled to her personal estate as if she were dead intestate and unmarried such persons if more than one to take in the proportions prescribed by the said Statutes

And in case either of my said children James or Mary shall die before obtaining an absolutely vested interest in my said residuary estate under the trust of this my Will then I direct that the shares of him or her so dying shall be included in the trusts declared by this my Will in favor of the other of them

And in case the share of my said Daughter Mary shall be augmented by the amount of my said Son's share by virtue of this provision

I direct that one moiety of such additional share shall be comprised in the trusts before declared as to the moiety of her original share to be held In Trust for her and for her issue as aforesaid

And I direct that until the shares of my said children shall become vested and distributed under this my Will as aforesaid it shall be lawful for my trustees either to retain and manage my residuary estate real or personal or any part thereof in the state and condition in which the same shall respectively subsist at the time of my decease or the same to sell and dispose of and to reinvest upon any real securities or in shares of any Banks or public companies and with substituted investments from time to time to vary and again transpose for any other investments or securities of the nature aforesaid

And I also direct and declare that it shall be lawful for my said trustees to affix a value upon any part of my estate or property which either of my said children shall be desirous of obtaining for his or her own use whether real or personal and the same to appropriate or convey to or for him or her in fee simple or according to the nature thereof in part satisfaction of his or her share and that the valuation so to be made by my said trustees shall be binding on both my said children and all other parties interested

And I direct and declare that the receipt or receipts of my said trustees for any moneys which shall be paid to them on account of my estate shall exonerate purchasers mortgagees or others paying the same from all liability in respect of the application thereof

And I further direct and declare that my said trustees shall have power to apply the whole or any part of the annual income of the presumptive or expectant share of each of my said children during his or her minority in or towards the maintenance and education or otherwise for his or her benefit and the unapplied income shall be accumulated subject to a continuing power of such application aforesaid and be added to the principal or capital share whence the same arose

And I also empower my said trustees if circumstances shall so require to apply any part not exceeding one fourth of the entire principal or capital share of my said Son in or towards his establishment or advancement in the world although he shall not have attained the age of twenty one years

And I particularly request that unless some unforeseen and very important reason should interfere my said Son may be sent to England to be educated in the best and most liberal manner and prepared for and afterwards placed at one of the universities until he shall attain the said age of twenty one years

And I direct and declare that the trustees or trustee of my said Will for the time being shall be empowered to give effectual receipts for all moneys and effects which shall come to their hands by virtue of this my Will and that such receipts shall exonerate all purchasers and others giving the same from all responsibility as to the application or disposition of the moneys or effects therein mentioned

And I declare that if my said trustees or any of them or any person or persons to be appointed under this clause shall die or be unwilling or incompetent to execute the trusts of my Will it shall be lawful for the continuing trustees or trustee or if there be none such for the retiring trustees or trustee or if none continue or survive for the executors or administrators of the last surviving trustee to appoint by any writing under their or his hands or hand any proper person or persons in whom alone or as the case may be jointly with the surviving or continuing trustees or trustee my trust estate shall be vested

And I further declare that for the more convenient disposal and management of the said trust estate so far as regards the share of my said Daughter therein and to meet the event of her remote residence or other contingencies it shall be lawful for the person or persons therein before authorized to appoint a new trustee or new trustees to exercise such power with the consent of my said Daughter in respect of the share of my said Daughter in my said trust estate separately and apart from the other trusts of this my Will and this although no new trustees or trustees or some other and different trustee or trustees shall be appointed for other purposes of my Will and in such event the trustee or trustees so to be appointed shall have all the powers so far as regards the trust property comprised in his or their trust inclusively of the power of appointing succeeding trustees of such property as are by this my Will given in respect of my whole estate to the trustees named herein

And I exempt every trustee acting by virtue of this my Will from all liability for losses occurring without his own wilful default and authorize them to retain and allots to his … ? trustee or … ? trustees all expenses incidental to the trusteeship

And I direct that as Trustee or Executor of my Will being in the profession of the Law shall be precluded from his usual and reasonable fees and charges for business transacted on account of my estate

I lastly I appoint the said trustees herein before named of my said Will to be joint Executors thereof but in the event of its becoming necessary to prove my Will in England then I appoint my friend Charles William Ballot ? of George Street Westminster to be specially my Executor for the purpose of such probate and to act in respect of such part of my estate as in or may be situate or recoverable in England or elsewhere in Europe

In witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament contained in six sheets of paper set my hand the first day of June on thousand eight hundred and forty two T B Wilson

Signed published and declared by the said Thomas Braidwood Wilson as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses the interlineations ? Between the 9th & 10th lines and between the 32nd & 33rd lines in the first page having first been made and the word “all” in the 33rd line of the said first page having been written on an erasure W G … ? Solicitor Sydney … ? In Pellingell ?

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Be it known unto all Men by these presents that on the twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four the last Will and Testament of Thomas Braidwood Wilson late of Braidwood in the County of Saint Vincent in the Territory of New South Wales Esquire formerly a Surgeon in the Royal Navy deceased a true copy whereof hereunto annexed was exhibited and proved before this Court and that Administration of all and singular the goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased was and is hereby committed to James Tod Goodsir of Sydney aforesaid Assistant Commifsary General one of the Executors named in the Will he having been first sworn to pay all the debts and legacies of the said deceased as far as the goods chattels credits and effects will extend and the Law bind him and also to exhibit a full true and perfect Inventory of all and every the goods rights and credits of the said deceased together with a just and true account of his administration into the Registry of this Court when he shall be called thereunto and that he believes the goods chattels credits and effects of the said deceased within the Jurisdiction of this Court do not exceed the value of four thousand pounds Dated at Sydney in the Territory of New South Wales this twentieth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four

G P J Gregory Registrar of the Supreme Court James B Dowling ? Esq ?

In Truth and Testimony of all and singular which provided we have caused the present Letters Testimonial to come forth and be corroborated and confirmed by affixing thereto the Seal of this Court Given and dated at the time of the aforesaid search and sealing these presents this thirteen day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty four
G P J Gregory Registrar Supe Court New South Wales

Proved at London the 24th Octr 1845 before the worshipful Francis Thomas Pratt Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of Charles William Ballott Esqr the executor for Europe to whom Admon ? was granted having been first sworn duly to administer. Power reserved of making life grant to George Wilson the Brother and Edward Thomson William Miller James Tod Goodsir and George Kenyon Holden the other Executors when they shall apply for the same 10

There is a large amount of material published between 1843 and 1845 regarding Thomas Wilson's insolvency.

Thomas Braidwood Wilson

Thomas Braidwood Wilson
Reproduced Courtesy of John Hamilton

Mary Braidwood Wilson married Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle on 12 May 1845 in Oatlands, Tasmania.11

MARRIED, by special license, at Oatlands, on the 12th instant, by the Rev. Thomas Hay Forster, Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle, Esq., of Queenbeyan, New South Wales, to Mary, only daughter of the late T. B. Wilson, M.D., R.N., of Broadwood (sic), New South Wales.12

Mary Braidwood Wilson died on 15 September 1857 in Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales.13

DEATH. On the 15th instant, at Balmain, Mary, the wife of S. M. Mowle, H.M. Customs, and only daughter of the late Dr. Thomas Braidwood Wilson, of Braidwood.14

James Wilson married Jane Turner on 2 March 1865 in Sydney, New South Wales.15

MARRIAGE. On the 2nd instant, by special license, at Trinity Church, by the Rev. Edward Rogers, James Wilson Esq , only son of the late Thomas Braidwood Wilson, of Braidwood, M.D., surgeon R.N., M. R. C. S., to Jane, eldest daughter of J. E. Turner, Esq., H. M. Customs.16

James Wilson died on 18 July 1896 in Maryborough, Queensland. He was noted to have been 'born at sea', and was aged 62 years.17

DEATH. WILSON.-On the 18th instant, at his residence, Chelsea Cottage, North-street, Maryborough, Queensland, aged 62 years, James Wilson, only son of the late Dr. Thomas Braidwood Wilson, R.N., of Braidwood, its founder, a distinguished colonist, and the once well-known surgeon-superintendent of various convict ships to Sydney and Hobart.18

  • 1. Patricia Clarke: A Colonial Woman : the Life and Times of Mary Braidwood Mowle, 1827-1857; Allen & Unwin, Sydney, Boston, 1986; p. 44, 70
  • 2. Jim Allen: Port Essington: The Historical Archaeology of a North Australian Nineteenth Century Military Outpost; Sydney University Press, 1 Jan 2008
  • 3. The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 2 November 1843
  • 4. NSW BDM Death Registration V18431086 103 1843
  • 5. The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 17 November 1843 page 2.
  • 6. The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 20 November 1843
  • 7. Patricia Clarke, 'Mowle, Mary Braidwood (1827–1857)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mowle-mary-braidwood-13117/text23735, published in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 13 April 2014.
  • 8. John Thistleton: A source of pride from tree to bottle; Canberra Times; http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/a-source-of-pride-from-tree-to-...
  • 9. "POISONING BY TARTAR EMETIC." The Hobarton Mercury (Tas. : 1854 - 1857) 7 May 1856: 3. Web. 10 Apr 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3338103.
  • 10. UK National Archives - Prerogative Court of Canterbury and related Probate Jurisdictions - Will Registers - Will of Thomas Braidwood Wilson, formerly a Surgeon in the Royal Navy of Braidwood in the County of Saint Vincent, New South Wales - Date range - 24 October 1845 to 24 October 1845 – Reference - PROB 11/2026/114 - Subjects - Caribbean, Wills and probate, Navy
  • 11. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1845/2179D
  • 12. Launceston Examiner Saturday 17 May 1845
  • 13. NSW BDM Death Registration 1354/1857
  • 14. The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 18 September 1857
  • 15. NSW BDM Marriage Registration Reg. No. 195/1865
  • 16. The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 6 March 1865
  • 17. QLD BDM Death Registration Reg. No. C2947
  • 18. The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 25 July 1896

Locations: 

John Horton
John Horton's picture
Thomas Braidwood Wilson - Insolvency

The insolvency records for New South Wales "are available to view in the reading room at the Western Sydney Records Centre," and the NSW State Archives "...do not offer a copy service from this index. Due to the physical size of the files copies can only be ordered in the reading room after viewing the records."1

Thomas Braidwood Wilson's record details are:

Surname: WILSON
First Name: Thomas Braidwood
Occupation: Farmer & Grazier
Sequestration: 15/04/1845
File Number: 01401

At some stage we will have to engage a NSW Researcher to access the relevant file and if possible provide copies. We have started to compile some information about Thomas Wilson's Insolvency from the TROVE Australian Digitised Newspapers archives.