The Meaburn Family

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John Horton
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The Meaburn Family

To provide insight into the larger Meaburn family and their early and varied association with Tasmania, as an adjunct to the information provided on the Mary Oliver and Staniland Meaburn page, a Meaburn Descendants chart is included here. John James Meaburn (John Ambler Meaburn?) was in Van Diemen's Land by the 1830s as a merchant and trader. He married his business partner's daughter, Amelia Bilton, daughter of George Bilton. The first record of Meaburn as an agent occurs in Sydney in July 1836.1 On 4 February 1837 he was a passenger aboard the barque Francis Freeling when it left Sydney for Hobart as reported in the Sydney Colonist:

Francis Freeling (barque), Hayle, for Hobart Town. Passengers, D. R. Furtardo, Esq., Dr. King, R. N., Dr. Henderson, R. N., J. P. Cowle, Esq., Mr. J. G. Meaburn, Mr. Murdock, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, Mrs. Montgomery, Master Montgomery, Mr. Smith, Mr. Butler, and Master Cox.2

John James Meaburn obviously returned to England in the early 1840s as he is recorded returning to Sydney from Plymouth aboard the Wilmot with daughters Amy and Ada as reported on 7 July 1842 in the The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser:

From Plymouth, yesterday, having left on the 21st March, the ship Wilmot, Captain Miller, with merchandise. Passengers. John M'Donald Esq , Mrs M'Donald, John J. Meaburn, Esq, Mrs. Meaburn, Miss Amy Meaburn, Miss Ada Meaburn, Robert Wood, Esq., Mrs. Wood, Mr. and Mrs Smith, Mr. T. Thornton, Mr. J. de Concey Bremer, Mr. W. G. R. Penley, Mr. Frederick Nicholson, and four servants, Mr. K. H. Greene, Mr. Mac Ewan, M. D., Mr. John Williams, five intermediate, and seventeen in the steerage.3

At some point in the late 1840s or early 1850s John James Meaburn left Van Diemen's Land, apparently deserting his family in the process, although he may have had his own reasons for doing so. We will leave his tale there for the moment to concentrate on other branches of the Meaburn family in Tasmania. John Meaburn's sister Amy Ambler Meaburn was also living on the island, married to Richard Bright, although exactly when they arrived in Australia is unknown. It must have been between the baptism of their daughter Mary in London in February 1840 and "Dr. Bright"s arrival in Hobart aboard the schooner Piscator in March 1841.4

For reasons explained in the following letter, Dr. Bright was compelled to publish an account of his qualifications in April 1843:

TO THE EDITOR.

Sir, - Conceiving that my connexion with Mr. Rowe in business would be a sufficient introduction to the public here, I have hitherto neglected to publish my card, and having an almost constitutional objection to what might have even the semblance of puffing, would willingly have dispensed altogether with that method of making myself known, had I not, in the most unexpected manner, been called upon to adopt quite a different course.

For some time past I had heard that a report had gone forth, from what origin I know not, that I was not qualified to practice my profession, but did not consider it worthy of notice, until at a recent inquest Mr. Champ, the Coroner, (to whom I am indebted for his polite manner of doing what he deemed his duty,) stated to me that he had heard it, and felt some hesitation, in consequence, of taking my evidence. As this report is in very general circulation, and is likely to act very much to my prejudice, I have resolved, by the advice of some friends, to publish the following statement and documents.

After being a pupil and dresser at Guy's Hospital for six years, I was admitted a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, on the 7th of August, 1827; on the 27th of November, in the year following, I became a Licentiate of the Worshipful the Company of Apothecaries; and on the 10th of October, 1837, I received a diploma as Doctor of Medicine of the University of Heidelburgh. During this time, being a period of ten years, I was in extensive private practice in South Audley-street, London, and was appointed
Surgeon in Ordinary to St. James's Palace. I was, however, obliged to decline both these occupations on account of protracted illness, which ultimately led me to fix my residence in this colony. I have submitted a portion of my certificates to Dr. Clarke, as President of the Medical Board, and now subjoin his reply, with a few other testimonials.

I have to apologise for occupying your time in this matter, nor should I have troubled you, had I not been so imperatively called upon to do so, being quite convinced that the merits of a medical practitioner are best made known to the public by his exertions and success in their service.---I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,

RICHD BRIGHT, M.D.
Macquarie-street, 27th April, 1843.5

Dr. Bright was formally certified as a qualified medical practitioner in Hobart in March 1847:

COURT OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS.
Hobart Town, 24th March, 1847.
Notice is hereby given, that Richard Bright, Esq., M.D., is, from this date, duly qualified to carry on the business of a Druggist and Apothecary.
By order of the Court,
C. GAVIN CASEY, Secretary.6

By 1849 however Dr. Bright had been declared insolvent,7 and over the next decade his life generally appeared to spin out of control. In 1861 his wife Amy Bright (nee Meaburn) sought a judicial separation.

BRIGHT v. BRIGHT.

In this case the petitioner Amy Emily Bright, had applied for a judicial separation from her husband Richard Bright. Mr. Adams for the petitioner, now applied for alimony and that petitioner's costs might be taxed- de die in diem although the respondent had not filed an answer to the petition. The petition set forth that petitioner and the respondent were duly married on the 16th Oct., 1830. That the respondent was in the receipt of £1000 a year from the practice of his profession, and was also in business as a chemist and druggist in Hobart Town. That some time since, petitioner and respondent were living separate, when he allowed her £6 a week for the support of petitioner and her four daughters. They afterwards lived together, and again separated, petitioner living separate with two of her daughters.

Dr. Bright was about to address the Court, when Mr. Adams said, that the respondent was precluded from addressing the Court, as he had filed no answer.

The Chief Justice said that Dr. Bright might address the Court on the question of alimony but on no other at present.

Dr. Bright.-I'll never allow Mrs. Bright one single farthing, and you can commit me to Her Majesty's gaol. I'll go to gaol, but I'll never pay her one single farthing.

Mr. Justice Smith.-You are bound to support your wife, as every husband is.

Dr. Bright.-She is living apart from me, contrary to my wish.

The Chief Justice.-That is not disputed, but she applies to the Court now, to be allowed alimony until the cause is heard.

Dr. Bright-I'll not pay a single farthing, you can commit me to Her Majesty's Gaol.

The Court required that affidavits be produced on Friday, in support of the allegations in the petition and made the order for taxing the costs.8

The cumulative effect of his isolation from both his colleagues and his family was an intolerable depression which led him to take his own life in March 1862:

INQUEST ON THE LATE DR. BRIGHT.

Yesterday morning an inquest was held at the house of Mr. Norton, Joiners' Arms, Upper Macquarie-street, before W. Tarleton, Esq., coroner, and a jury of seven, to enquire into the cause of death of the late Richard Bright, M.D., who came to his death by taking a dose of prussic acid under circumstances detailed in evidence. The following jurors were sworn:— Messrs. Mewburn (foreman), Featherstone, Warburton, Campbell, Moore, Priest, and Powell.

The jury, coroner, and witnesses having proceeded to view the body of deceased, which lay in a coffin at the Maid of Erin opposite, the following evidence was adduced on their return to the inquest room.

James Fitzgerald Innis, an apothecary, deposed that deceased was living with him at the Tasmanian Dispensary, 116 Liverpool-street. Deceased went to bed on Friday night about ten minutes past nine o'clock, when he was sober. Witness did not see him next morning, but he was up before six o'clock; witness got up about seven o'clock, and at that time Dr. Bright had gone out. Witness had not observed anything strange about his manner lately, and never saw him in better spirits, nor more playful with witness's little daughter than he had been the day before. He was in the habit of taking a glass too much and becoming intoxicated, but was not subject to low spirits while with witness. He had not been intoxicated for a few days before his death. He had never said anything in witness's hearing of any purpose of self-destruction. Sometimes he appeared unhappy about his family.

By the jury. — He had no liquor in his room, no drink ever came into my house except a glass of beer at dinner. Deceased generally spoke to me before he went to bed at night. I can't say he had not been drinking on the Friday; but he came to his meals as usual that day.

Dr. Agnew proved that on the morning of the 1st inst., he went with the Superintendent of Police to the Maid of Erin, Macquarie-street, when he saw deceased dead on a sofa, a bottle which had contained prussic acid was on a billiard table, and from the surrounding circumstances witness had no hesitation in saying death was caused by taking prussic acid. Much less than an ounce of prussic acid taken, would be fatal, and would cause very rapid death, and almost immediate insensibility.

The Coroner here put it to the jury, whether they considered a post mortem examination necessary?

The jury did not consider it at all necessary.

Re-examined. — I have not considered deceased of uninterruptedly sound mind for some time past, and that it was the result of intemperance. Excessive drinking would so weaken the mind that a person might yield to a momentary impulse to self-destruction, such as in this case, although he might not be unsound on all subjects. In fact it is a very common impulse. Sudden abstinence after a long period of indulgence would lead to a temporarily depressed and hypocondriacal state of mind. For some years back he has been at times subject to delusions of various kinds, especially that great numbers of letters had been written against him, which indicated a weak, unsettled state of mind.

Rheuben Thoms, assistant to Mr. Weaver, chemist and druggist, Elizabeth-Street, deposed that the deceased was in the habit of coming almost daily to the shop. He came on Saturday morning last, the 1st instant, about a quarter before eight o'clock, and asked for an ounce of hydrocyanic acid, which was 3 per cent. stronger than common prussic acid : he was served with it, and on going away asked witness how much he thought sufficient to kill a large Newfoundland dog, witness told him ten drops, and Dr. Bright then wished him good morning and went away. He appeared more reserved than usual in his manner. (Bottle produced and identified.)

Agnes Bright deposed that she was a daughter of deceased. He came to the door of her house at a quarter to eight on Saturday morning; he appeared to be very low-spirited; witness walked with him up the street, when he said he was very miserable, that he had got into a great difficulty over money matters and could not get out of it. In the course of conversation he said some gentleman had been flogging his wife to death in the street, for writing anonymous letters, and the deceased had prevented his killing her; he told witness a long story about a Mrs. Wetton of Murray- street, who was dead, but that he had saved her life in order that Mr. Graves might make her will. While walking up the street, deceased said he would poison himself; he always carried with him a large bottle of poison; he showed witness a bottle of hydrocyanic acid, which witness tried to get from him. He had often said he had a number of anonymous letters which were locked up in the bank in a safe; he used to fancy he was an electric telegraph and he pretended to answer questions which he thought were put to him by the wires. Witness tried to soothe him, and to persuade him to give up the dispensary, and take two rooms that she might call and see him; he said witness might come but he did not think she would find him, as he could not go back to the dispensary again. He was low spirited, and remarked that it was hard to be persecuted by his own family, and all the doctors, which was a delusion he laboured under for years, and though she considered from excessive drinking he was of unsound mind, he was not sufficiently so to be placed under restraint.

Francis Hicks, Licensed Victualler, keeping the Maid of Erin, Upper Macquarie-street, deposed that deceased came to his house on Saturday morning last at twenty minutes past nine o'clock: he asked for a nip of brandy, and as witness was going to draw it, Dr. Bright said he would draw it himself, which he did, but did not drink it at the time. He mixed it with half the tumbler full of water; he then asked for some foolscap paper, pen and ink, as he had documents of great importance to write, and if witness would allow him to go to a private room, which witness said he could not as there was ale and butter there, but he showed him into the front parlor and placed him at a side table: he took the brandy and water with him, and Mrs. Hicks supplied him with paper. He remained writing from fifteen to twenty minutes, when he called witness in, and asked for another nip of brandy, saying he was ill in his bowels: Mrs. Hicks got the brandy, when deceased asked to retire backwards, witness showed him through the bar, and he took the sheets on which he had written: witness suspecting something wrong, followed him outside, but he returned into the room in about five minutes, when he commenced writing again. In a very short time he called witness and asked when he was going into town; witness said, shortly when the conveyance passed the door: he said he had a packet to send to Mr. Tarleton by witness, saying he would trust no one else. He then called for a sheet of brown paper, candle, and sealing wax, and made up a packet of the sheets of paper, some bank notes, and some keys, which he sealed up, directing it to "Mr. Tarleton, Police Magistrate, &c., &c," telling witness not to give it to any one but Mr. Tarleton, as it was of great importance. Witness told deceased it was one of his busiest days and asked if should he not see Mr. Tarleton, he should give it to Mr. Boyd? He said " Yes," and added to the direction "or to Mr Boyd." Witness went out and got to the conveyance, but suspecting something wrong, he returned to the room, and said to him "for God's sake don't do anything rash; "he replied in a careless way," It's all right Hicks," but his manner was wild and unusual. He told witness to wait for a few moments while Mr. Tarleton read it, and he would hear an answer. He left him, and got on to the conveyance, but something struck him and he returned to Mrs. Hicks cautioning her to keep a good watch on Dr. Bright, as he thought he was going to destroy himself; witness also told her he would go down to the Police Office and be back as soon as he could; on getting to the Police Office, the parcel was handed to Mr. Tarleton, and witness returned with Mr. Boyd almost immediately in a cab; he was not away more than half-an-hour or thirty-five minutes. When they got back Dr. Bright was quite dead.

[An adjournment for an hour took place, and the enquiry was resumed at half-past two o'clock.]

Mr. Hicks (re-called) — I have known the deceased for the last five years. I remarked to my wife when he went to the house, that there was something strange about him, his eyes were quite wild looking, and unusual in his appearance, I don't think that he was in a sane state of mind, that morning.

Margaret Hicks, wife of the last witness, proved that after her husband went away on Saturday Dr. Bright asked her for a pillow as he wanted to have a sleep on the sofa; when he got it he asked witness to close the door after her. In a short time afterwards while witness was in the yard, her daughter called her, saying she heard the doctor groaning, or making some sort of a snoring noise. Witness ran in, and saw him lying on the sofa, and snoring very unnaturally. The bottle was on the bagatelle table, close to his head. Witness ran to the door and called Mrs. Hogan, one of her tenants who got some vinegar, and rubbed his hands. The snoring noise gradually ceased. Mr. Norton and other persons came, and witness left the room, and was not present at his death.

James Norton, "Joiner's Arms," proved that he went over to the "Maid of Erin" when called by Mrs. Hicks, and saw deceased draw his last breath. Mrs. Hicks showed witness the bottle.

Elizabeth Hicks, daughter of Francis Hicks, proved that a few minutes after her father went away, and while her mother was in the yard, witness heard Dr. Bright groaning and snoring; on which she called her mother.

The Coroner here said he thought it right to state the circumstances connected with the letter that had been referred to. He was sitting on the bench on Saturday morning when Wickens the summoning constable handed him the parcel directed to himself, or Mr. Boyd: he was informed it was from Dr. Bright, and that the doctor was very queer: knowing that such a condition of things was not rare, and having been more than once deceived by delusions of the doctor that persons were dying and seeing that it was also directed to Mr. Boyd, he (Mr. Tarleton) sent it on to Mr. Boyd, who in the space of a minute came and showed him the first few lines which were to the effect that he was no more. He then advised Mr. Boyd to take immediate action.

Mr. A. H. Boyd the Superintendent of City Police was then sworn, and proved that about twenty minutes past ten on Saturday morning, the brown paper parcel in question, was handed to him by Constable Wickens containing a written statement signed by Dr. Bright, three £1 notes and a bunch of keys; he read the first few lines of the statement, and communicated with Mr. Tarleton, who advised him to take immediate steps; he went off with Mr. Hicks, and as the name of Mr. Weaver the chemist was mentioned, he called there to know if the poison was purchased there. He went in a cab with Mr. Hicks, and meeting Mr. Moore on horseback, who said Dr. Bright was either dead or dying, took Dr. Agnew with him to Mr. Hick's house, where Dr. Bright was dead. Witness produced the bottle, keys, and letter.

Some portions of the letter having reference to the deceased's intentions were here read, the parts relating to family affairs being omitted. It commenced thus —"Sir, before you receive this I shall be no more; having told my eldest daughter, and my third, that I intend to commit suicide by taking Prussic Acid, which I purchased at Mr. Weaver's. * * * * * * * * (Here there was a reference to presents from Sir Astley Cooper, Mr. Bransby Cooper, Dr. Chambers, and others, and matters of a family character, concluding as follows) I can bear it no longer, and have therefore taken Prussic Acid this day with my own free will; this is a true statement, and I enclose the keys, and £3."

The Coroner summed up the evidence, and the jury returned a verdict of death from the effects of taking poison, while in a state of insanity.9

His death notice reported his origins as the son of John Bright of Leicestershire:

On the 1st March, at Hobart Town, Richard BRIGHT, M.D., aged 57, second son of the late Rev. John Bright, of Skeffington Hall, Leicestershire ; a prebendary of Salisbury, and rector of Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire.10

The Meaburn Descendants Chart follows:

Meaburn Descendants Chart

Meaburn Descendants Chart
Image Provided by John Horton

John Horton
John Horton's picture
The fate of John James Meaburn

Taking back up the story of John James Meaburn, after quitting Van Diemen's Land he reappears in Victoria and it is here that the tale starts to get quite strange and interesting. In 1854 he was living at Elphinstone and declared insolvent:

John James Meaburn, of Elphinstone, storekeeper, is also insolvent. He also says his difficulties arise from the depreciation in value of his stock in trade, and his inability to effect sales. His debts are, by his balance-sheet, £5310; his assets £3200.1

From there he effectively disappears from the Australian record, except for an enlightening article in The Argus published on 27 June 1876:

AUSTRALIAN RASCALS IN CALIFORNIA.

The San Francisco News Letter of the 13th May furnishes the following particulars of the career of a couple of men from this city, who seem to have emulated the example of Mr Thomas Mooney, of "farm and rifle" notoriety, formerly landlord of the Excelsior Hotel, Bourke-street east, then editor of a roman newspaper in California, then projector and manager of a bogus bank in that state, and afterwards a red hot patriot and demagogue in the wilds of Clerkenwell:-

The News Letter is undoubtedly in the strict line of its duty when it seeks in the interest of the most deserving class of the community, to protect the saving poor against so called banks of deposit that are either weak, doubtful or ill managed to an extent likely to endanger the hard earnings of the careful and industrious. If the law regulated such matters as it ought, and as it does elsewhere, our duty would not be so urgent. So desirable is it thought in England to encourage savings on the part of the poorer many that the Government takes charge of their savings and pays interest in excess of the net earnings. Here, where any schemer may run a savings bank, and where 'bursts up' a la Mooney causing widespread disaster, are not unknown, the press owes no higher duty to its patrons than to deal fairly yet firmly with such well ascer- tained facts as may come to its knowledge in regard to such institutions. Now we know a bank, and we know a good deal about it, much of which needs telling in the interests of its depositors. Besides the telling of these things may lead to inquiry into the affairs of all similar institutions and may cause the thrifty poor to pause and inquire before entrusting their hard earnings to men whom they don't know, for purposes they don't understand and upon guarantees that are worthless. 'The Western Savings and Trust Company,' recently located on Kearny street, but now doing business on California street, is an institution which invites pro... (the newspaper is here illegible, except for the following phrases - obtains the savings - they ought to be, a little - ceedings on will do the concern good.)

If they are not then the public ought to know the facts. The institution is best known as 'Clay's Bank ' for the reason that one Frederic Clay, on ex-candidate for the Legislature was, until the other day cashier, vice president, director, and in fact, the Deus ex machina. He, with some important assistance from his co-director and fidus Achates one J. J. Meaburn, ran the concern, loaned its funds largely to themselves or to enterprises in which they were interested, and may be fairly held responsible for the condition of the institution. Previous banking experience was a desideratum, and to do him justice Clay was not without a little knowledge in that line. But it was a bad knowledge which ought to have effectually excluded him from such a position. He had been teller to the Union Bank of Australia, from which position he absconded, under the assumed name of Pemberton, and landed at Tahiti in company with the aforesaid J. J. Meaburn, who had been gold buyer for the same bank. From Tahiti he made his exit just in time to escape the requisition that was made for his extradition. Making his way to California, the first we hear of him is in Colusa county. Suddenly one Hiram Taylor, the owner of a large valuable and well-stocked ranch, disappeared, and as suddenly Clay comes on the scene with a power of attorney, claimed and obtained the whole property, which he has ever since retained, causing the neighbours to greatly wonder at the why and the wherefore of Taylor's most strange exit and of Clay's still more wonderful entree. Meaburn here, too, was his man Friday. Clay has since had dealings with men differing in mind as well as in manners, but if any one of them disagrees with the opinion that Clay has always got the best of him, we can only say we have never met with such a man - very much to the contrary, indeed, for we know a score or more whose tempers are hardly good enough to enable them to speak with moderation in regard to their transactions with Clay. To this absconding bank officer, mysterious Coluso property owner and invariable bester of his fellow men, fell the duty of taking charge of and carefully investing the earnings of our honest, thrifty, and most deserving sons and daughters of toil. Showy bank offices were taken, the windows of which were fairly covered with gilded devices inviting "special deposits." The devices took and deposits came. The bank gave out that it had a paid up capital of 250,00 dol. Paid up how? Largely by promissory notes. Clay gave his, which may or may not be worth the paper they are written upon, seeing that most if not all his property is in his wife's name or in Meaburn's. Schrieber gave his, which may be valuable, only it is not paid up capital. What Meaburn gave it would be hard to say, simply because he had little to give, save by the grace of Frederic Clay. So much for paid up capital. At this point it would be interesting to know what has become of the deposits How have they been invested? The secrets that lie hidden behind those gilded devices are not all known to us; only a few of them have leaked out. But if few, they are important. The record office shows on 21st April, 1875, F. Clay conveys to J. J. Meaburn, by two separate deeds, sundry properties therein described for the consideration stated of 41,270 dol. Upon the same date, 21st April, 1875, J. J. Meaburn mortgages to Western Savings and Trust Company the whole of the property comprised in the two deeds aforementioned, to secure payment of his promissory note to the company, dated same day, and payable on 30th July, 1876, for the sum of 29,570 dol, and interest at 10 per cent per annum. The deeds of conveyance from Clay to Meaburn were not acknowledged until 25th August and 3rd September, 1875, respectively. The mortgage from Meaburn to Western Savings and Trust Company was not acknowledged until 4th September, 1875, and the whole of the documents, conveyances, and mortgage were not recorded until 5th November, 1875. A party desirous of attaching any beneficial interest there might be in these properties, beyond the mortgage to the bank, had them valued by on expert, who reported that the full value of the whole was some 5,000dol, less than the amount professed to be secured by the mortgage. It will be observed that if really in the custody of the bank, the documents were for many months imperfect. The foregoing shows how directors loan money to themselves, and possibly illustrates the character of other securities still remaining in the bank, to say nothing of those once in the bank, but since hypothecated by Clay to another institution. Clay has been running the Samoan or Navigator Island swindle, a sodawater manufactory, a broom factory, a brewery, an Oregon salmon fishery, a shipping company, a real estate business, quick-silver and other mines, a stock partnership, and is now owner of the Lick-house bar. Most if not all of these have been known to be losing games. It would be interesting to know if these things, or any of them, have been run with the bank money, and if so what the nature of the securities is. Clay suddenly the other day resigned his cashiership, with its accompanying 300 dol, per month, He still, however, remains a director, and of course the man Meaburn remains with him. In life they have been as one; in death only may they be divided. We have told enough to compel a full and clear statement by the bank. Much more might be added, and will be hereafter, if the remaining officers do not forthwith furnish to the public conclusive evidence that Clay has left behind good and sufficient securities to ensure the depositors 100 cents on the dollar.2

Backtracking, here is the additional available history of John James Meaburn in California, starting with the dissolution of the partnership between John Meaburn and Frederick Clay in 1857:

NOTICE— The partnership heretofore existing between JOHN JAMES MEABURN and FREDERIC CLAY, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. JOHN JAS. MEABURN, FREDERIC CLAY. October 1st, 1867. Witness our hands : Jas. F. Riney.3

A further partnership between John Meaburn, Frederick Clay and others was dissolved in 1869:

NOTICE OF DISSOLUTION.— THE partnership heretofore existing between Joseph A. DORR, W. J. DAVIS, FREDERIC CLAY and JOHN J. MEABURN, and doing business in the city and county of San Francisco under the firm and style of the BOSTON CRACKER COMPANY, is hereby dissolved by mutual consent, and the business of the firm will hereafter be carried on by the said Davis, Clay and Meaburn, who will collect all the debts and pay all the liabilities of said firm. JOSEPH A. DORR, W. J. DAVIS, FREDERIC CLAY, JNO. JAS. MEABURN. February 22, 1869.4

Just a month later another variation on the partnership was published:

COPARTNERSHIP heretofore existing between FREDERIC CLAY, JOHN JAMES MEABURN and W. J. DAVIS, under the style of the BOSTON CRACKER COMPANY, is this day dissolved, and a new copartnership entered into under the old style of Boston Cracker Company, consisting of John James Meaburn, Frederic Clay and O. W. Hemrod, who will pay all liabilities and receive all assets of the Company. San Francisco, March 8, 1869.5

John James Meaburn is then reported as getting married on 10 May 1873 as detailed in the Sacramento Daily Union on 14 May 1873 (and this suggests he was still in contact with his family in Australia, as his first wife died the year before).

San Francisco, May 10, John J. Meaburn to Augusta Pauline Mathtlde Weske.6

Seven years later on 20 April 1880 the death of John Meaburn is reported as occurring in Petaluma, California.

Petaluma, April 20 - John J. Meaburn, 64 years.7

Including the subsequent funeral:

CALIFORNIA LODGE, No. 1, F. and A. M. FUNERAL NOTICE. Officers and members of the above named Lodge are hereby notified to attend the funeral of our late Brother, JOHN JAMES MEABURN, from King Solomon's Hall, Masonic Temple, THIS DAY (Thursday), April 22, at 1:30 o'clock P. M. , All Master Masons In good standing and friends and acquaintances of the deceased are respectfully invited to be present. . By order of the Master; GEO. T. GRIMES, Secretary.8

Petaluma, California
Google Maps

There is related information in a Mundia Entry for John James Meaburn, recording that he was baptised in Hackney St John, England in 1816 to John Ambler Meaburn (1782-1835) and his wife Desdemona, and died in Sonoma, California in 1880.9

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