William Rayner, Sophia Cullen and Mary Meaney

William Rayner was born on 19 August 1792 on Norfolk Island, the eldest son of William Rayner and Elizabeth Goldsmith, by the admission of his father some 40 odd years later to the Society of Friends in Hobart.1 When William was four his father abandoned the Island for Sydney, and ultimately Newcastle. His mother Elizabeth, as Louis Daniel's puts it, moved in with their neighbour Robert Jones, who farmed alongside the Rayners on the slopes of Mt. Pitt...2 William was baptised on 20 May 1804 on Norfolk Island by Rev. H. Fulton as William Jones, using the surname of his step-father, but there can be little doubt that William was the son of William Rayner given his later usage of the name and his association with his birth family in Van Diemen's Land.3 Louis Daniels notes that He was probably the William Jones, single, who sailed from Norfolk Island to the Derwent on the Estramina on 15 May 1808, aged 15.4 William married Sophia Cullen on 3 January 1815 in Hobart Town with her father James Bryan Cullen (sic) in attendance as a witness.5 Sophia was also a Norfolk Islander, born about 1798 the daughter of Bryan Cullen and Elizabeth Bartlett. Both Sophia's parents had arrived in the colony as convicts with the First Fleet.6 The couple's first child arrived later that year when Mary Rayner was born on 5 December 1815 in Hobart Town.7 On 31 July 1816 William Rayner Jnr. was appointed as Storekeeper, a privileged but contentious position which would involve William in a number of incidents and trials over the ensuing years:

William Maum and William Holgrove, the former Store Keeper and the latter Subordinate Clerk in the Commissariat Department at Hobart Town, being deemed most Improper Persons to hold their respective Confidential and important Offices are to be discharged from these Offices immediately on Mr. Broughton taking charge of the Commissariat Department; and in their room His Excellency is pleased to appoint Mr. William Rayner to be Store Keeper, and Mr. John Flood to be subordinate Clerk, which Appointments are to take place from the date of their Predecessors being dismissed.8

William James Maum was an Irish political prisoner, who arrived in New South Wales in the Minerva in January 1800. He and Governor Philip Gidley King were bitter enemies and when Maum made allegations against the governor's honesty King had him removed to Norfolk Island. From Norfolk Island Maum sought in 1806 to return to Port Jackson as a schoolmaster; he was not allowed to go to Sydney, but was sent to Van Diemen's Land in the Porpoise, arriving on 17 January 1808. He was government store-keeper there from 1814 until September 1816, when he was dismissed after becoming involved in the embezzlements in the commissariat.9 On 25 March 1817 William Rayner Jnr. was recorded as Storekeeper on an allowance of 3 shillings per day, lodging money 1 shilling per day, house rent 300 pounds per annum, house allowence 2 shillings 6 pence per day. He was "in charge of the Victualling Store, Hobart Town".10 Later that year on 23 November 1817 William and Sophia's second child arrived when Elizabeth Rayner was born in Hobart Town.11 Elizabeth has also been called Eliza. Presumably there are baptism registrations for these children as well. On 2 September 1818 William Rayner appeared as a witness in the trial of James Spencer (only the relevant sections have been transcribed):

James Spencer, a Clerk Employed in the Commissariat Office Charged with repeated Drunkenness, and Neglect of his Duty and particularly in making false Accounts of the Persons Received and Struck off from the Victualling Book... THOMAS ARCHER, Esquire, being Duly sworn Sayeth...About a week back, Mr. Raynor informed me that Mr. Crowder and himself had been looking over the Mess Book, which is kept by James Spencer, and that they had discovered Six or Seven mistakes of People being kept on the Stores who ought to have been struck off. I obtained a List of them from Mr. Raynor, and immediately informed the Lieutenant Governor of the circumstance.... WILLIAM RAYNOR, Storekeeper, being Duly Sworn Saith, On the fourth of July last, I gave this Order signed by the Lieutenant Governor to discontinue Michael Curtin, John Midgley, Edward Chapman and others to James Spencer. I could not find the name of Chapman in the Mess Book, because it was spelt Chaplin; Michael Curtin was kept upon the Books until the Twenty Ninth of August last notwithstanding he ought to have been struck off on the fourth day of July; I have repeatedly heard Mr. Archer complain of the Prisoner's neglecting his Duty; he never came to the Store so Drunk that he was unable to do his Duty, but Once.12

James Spencer was found guilty and sentenced to work in a Gaol Gang for two months, during which time he was confined to the Gaol at nights. The Hobart Town Gazette of 14 August 1819 noted-:

Mr William Rayner having some time since tendered his resignation as Inspector of Stock, the function of which he found impossible to execute with the increasing duties of his Office as Storekeeper, the Lieut Governor has been pleased to approve of Mr Rayner resigning and to appoint Mr James Belbyn (sic) to succeed him as Inspector of Stock for Hobart and Kangaroo Point. Mr Belbyn will take upon him the Duty of his appointment and will commence salary from Monday the 16th Instant.13

William and Sophia's third child was another daughter, Sophia Christana Rayner was born on 29 September 1819 in Hobart, Town.14 Four days later on 2 October 1819 William Rayner Jnr. appeared as a witness in the trial of R. W. Loane for illegally slaughtering a number of cattle, the property of Richard Morgan of Kangaroo Point; the cattle should have been inspected as suitable for slaughter and then duly dispatched in a registered slaughter house. William Rayner's evidence was around the lack of inspection:

TRIAL OF MR. R. W. LOANE... WILLIAM RAYNER being duly sworn. Question. Did Mr. Loane make any application to you to Inspect any Cattle at Kangaroo Point on the Nineteenth and twentieth days of this month? Answer. Not any. Question from the Court. Did Mr. Loane make any Application prior to the Nineteenth and twentieth? Answer. No he did not, nor for a fortnight prior to that. Question. Did Mr. Loane make any Application to you to Inspect any Cattle to be Slaughtered at Kangaroo Point? Answer. No not since Mr. Loane's return from Sydney last prior to the twentieth of this Month.15

After hearing the rest of the evidence, and consulting with the Lieutenant Governor, Rowland Walpole Loane was convicted and required to forfeit in total 40 pounds. 25 March 1820 William Rayner was employed at Commissariat Storekeeper.16 In the same month he was reported when errors were returned in the stores accounts.17 On 28 March 1820 William Rayner (Jnr.) was examined in relation to his activities as Storekeeper of the Commissariat:

C. No. 29. WILLIAM RAYNER, Storekeeper of the Commissariat. Tuesday 28 March. Q. How long have you been Store Keeper at the Commissariat? A. Three years last September. Q. By whom were you appointed? A. By the Govr. in Chief. Q. What is your pay and entitlements? A. Three shillings a day, rations for myself, wife and two children, and two men on the Store. Q. How many rations are issued here on the issuing days? A. From 1,440 to 1,500 each day. Q. Upon whose orders do you issue the rations or any article in the store? A. From the Commissary; formerly the orders came down from the Lt. Govr. to the Commissary, who transmitted it to me without any note or remark. Q. In whose time did this practice prevail? A. Until the arrival of D. A. Com. Hull, who directs me to issue what the Lt. Govr. orders. Q. Then you w[oul]d. not issue any thing from the Stores unless you saw Mr. Hull's signature to it? A. I would not, unless I had Mr. Hull's orders to do so. Q. What books do you keep? A. I keep a day book, wherein I keep everything received into and issued from the Stores. I keep a Mess book, in which the messes are issued with the names of the persons stating whether at half or full rations. Q. What is the practice adopted in the Commissariat in obtaining the receipts for the issues of meat and flour? A. The people in the mess book are classed into five classes, the Commissariat; the Lt. Governor's staff; The Military; Civil Officers, Settlers, overseers and others; and Convicts; The returns are made once a week, Mr. Hull, the D.A.C. Gen., signs the body of the return and I sign the receipt for that Department; The Lt. Govr. signs for his Staff and suite; Major Bell signs in the body of the returns for the Military and the Quarter Master Serjeant signs the receipt; The Chief Constable Mr. Pitt signs the body of the returns for Civil Officers and Settlers, and I sign the receipt as I distribute it to them; the Principle Superintendant signs for the convicts in the Government employ. Q. Do you keep any book that enables you to check the returns of persons entitled to rations? A. I do, in which I enter the several orders, which arrive from time to time for putting men on and taking them off the Store. Q. How often is that? A. The regular day is on Friday; but, if any necessity occurs such as a Patient in the Hospital, we receive it any day and the ration is calculated accordingly. Q. From whom do you receive the order for victualling the Hospital and who gives you notice of the discharge? A. The order comes from the Lt. Governor and the certificate of discharge is signed by the Overseer of the Hospital. Q. Supposing that an Hospital patient was to be admitted on the Monday with a Victualling Order and discharged on the Wednesday, w(ould) he retain or receive his ration for the whole week? A. Yes, he would as the rations are issued in advance. This quote is still being transcribed.18

On 7 June 1820 Lieutenant Robinson wrote to Mr. John Terry noting William Rayner Jnr's involvement in an inspection of the Government herd:

Sir, I am directed by The Lieut't Governor to acquaint you that he is desirous of having the Gov't Herd inspected by a Committee, for the purpose of having the Cattle classed according to Sex and Age; and he requests that you will be so good as officiate as one of the Members. Mr. Rayner, Storekeeper, will be at New Norfolk tomorrow, and will bring the precept or order for the Committee, I am, &c., H. E. Robinson, Sec'y19

On 15 June 1820 William Rayner Jnr. wrote a letter to Thomas Archer concerning the accounts of Wheat in the Government Stores:

W. RAYNER TO ACTG. DEP. ASSIST. COM.-GENL. ARCHER. Hobart Town, 15 June 1820 Sir, I have the honor to inclose an Account of the Receipt and delivery of the Wheat lodged in His Majesty's Store, the Produce of Govt. Farm at New Town, which I believe to be Perfectly Correct. The Account is made our in Doublecate in a Dbtr. and Crer. form, which I hope you will clearly understand, it being as explicit as I could possibly make it. With regard to the Wheat Received from Govt. Farm, having been paid for by you on the public account must be Erroneous. I can safely vouch that it has never been the Case, which, in consequence of some Questions that the Commissioner of Enquiry asked me, I convinced him of by declaring the it could not be done without my knowledge. A. F. Kemp and Wm. Maum I accuse for Making this false assertion to the Commissioner in consequence of the Secretary referring to Kemp and Maum's Evidences for the Original account of this Wheat which I observed to be signed by you*; but I fancy that the Commissioner has had an opportunity of discovering their falsehood by Many other Evidences, at least I hope so. Since I sent you the Packet of Orders I made a Genl. Search over the whole of the orders in my possession and could not find one Issued the time you had charge at Hobart. The whole of the orders on your giving up charge were put in a box and has been in the inner Store room ever since, at least till you sent for them, and did not appear to have been Disturbed, till I took them away. I am, &c., Wm. Rayner P.S. - The reason I made out the enclosed accounts in Doublecate is to Give you an opportunity of taking your Choise of them. Wm. Rayner * Remark by Mr. Archer - If such an account was furnished by Mr. Kemp or any other person (excepting the Lieutenant Governor) purporting to be signed by me, it must a false document and forged to deceive the Honble, the Commr. of Enquiry, as to the best of my recollection and belief I never gave any person what-ever any account of the same but the Lt. Governor of the Island.20

The initial letter regarding the Government Herd inspection was followed up by another from Lieut. Governor Sorrell to Dep. Assist. Com. Genl. Hull on 21 June 1820:

The Lt. Governor's Compts. to Mr. Hull - as the arrangement is made for Messrs. Terry and Murphy to attend the Survey of the Government Herd, the order will be ready for Mr. Rayner to take with him, for Wednesday the 28th.21

William's activities demonstrate a high level of literacy and intelligence, abilities that served him well in the still fledgling colony as he sought to support his ever growing family. He and Sophia's fifth child and first son, William James Rayner, was born on 16 September 1822 in Hobart, Tasmania.22 At this point however there is a significant hiatus between 1822 and 1828 in both the arrival of children, and knowledge of William's activities. We next hear of him in early February 1828 when he was advertising for sale wine and spirits:

WILLIAM RAYNER respectfully informs his friends and the public, that he has laid in a stock of WINE and SPIRITS, which he is enabled to dispose of in any quantity, at very reduced prices. He particularly recommends his French Red Wine, which will be found of a description better suited for publican than any other lately imported. Collins-street, Jan, 21, 1828.23

The exercise may have been an attempt to raise capital as later that month his creditors sought to seize his property to pay his debts.

Sheriffs' Office, Feb. 21, 1828. In the Supreme Court. Rayner v. Pearse. ON Wednesday the 5th day of March next, at 12 o'clock, the Sheriff will cause to be put up for Sale by Public Auction, at his Office in Bathurst street, A FARM of 33 acres, situate at New Norfolk, with a brick-built House thereon, known by the sign of the Albermarle Arms; also two small Houses with the allotments of Ground, on Richmond Hill, and two Cows and Calves; the property of Defendent, unless this Execution be previously satisfied.24

Another advertisement with similar motives was placed in the Hobart Town Courier on 22 March 1828:

Sheriff's Office, March 18, 1828. In the Supreme Court; Broughton v. Rayner. ON Saturday the 29th inst. at 12 o'clock, the Sheriff will cause to be put up for Safe, by Public Auction, on the Premises, at the Black Brush, about 300 bushels of Wheat, part thrashed, and part in Stack. A quantity of Potatoes in the ground, one Bullock Cart, a number of Pigs, &c. the property of Defendant, unless this Execution be previously satisfied.25

Perhaps to pay those debts William advertised

To be Let for a term of three, five, or seven Years THOSE well known and well-frequented PREMISES, known by the name of The Joiners Arms, situated in Murray-street, now in the occupation of Mr. Wm. Rayner, consisting of a House containing six Bed rooms, Parlour, Bar, Kitchen and Silting rooms; also, a four stall Stable, Coach-house, &c. &c. with a good Garden and spacious Yards, fit for the reception of sheep and cattle; rent moderate, for the payment of which good security will be required. For further particulars apply to Thomas Ransom, Green ponds, or to R. .Cleburne, Liverpool street.26

Later that year a sixth child, Jeannet Catherine Rayner, was born on 21 October 1828 in Hobart, Tasmania. The birth registration was under the name Jessy Catherine Rayner.27 Unfortunately the child died under two months later on 7 December 1828 in Hobart, Tasmania.28 Jeannet was buried on 8 December 1828 in Hobart, Tasmania.29 A seventh child and another daughter followed when Rebekah Rayner was born on 14 January 1830 in Hobart, Tasmania.30 By now however the older children were already making their own way in the world. William and Sophia's eldest child, Mary Rayner, married James Harrold Maloney on 20 July 1831 in Hobart, Tasmania.31 In September 1831 James Maloney was recorded as the licensee of the Dusty Miller in Liverpool Street.32 In November the establishment was the subject of apparent civil insurrection:

We lament to state that a most disgraceful affray took place on Thursday evening in Liverpool street, when a large party of soldiers interrupted the traffic of the street, attacked Mr. Maloney's house, the Dusty Miller, at the corner of Harrington streets and Mr. Evan's in which they committed dreadful damage and severely wounded several of the inmates. Colonel Logan immediately on learning the circumstance took the most prompt means to discover and secure the offenders, several of whom we learn are identified and in custody. We forbear to state further particulars as the affair will of course be the subject of legal investigation.33

In late November 1831 William Rayner was reported as the victim of larceny by one of his assigned servants:

Quarter Sessions, Thursday, November 17, 1831. SUMMARY JURISDICTION. Present HT Joseph Hone, Esq. Chairman; John Beamont, Esq., and John Bell, Esq.... George Pym stood charged with embezzling money, the property of his master, Mr. Rayner, jun. the baker. William Rayner, sworn. - The prisoner was my assigned servant, and had to deliver bread at Mr. Steeles' in Liverpool street, - he stated to have delivered several loaves of bread that had not been paid for for but it was afterwards found he had been paid for them, and he had not accounted for the money, Verdict - Not Guilty.34

Mary Rayner's husband James Maloney died on 18 March 1832 in the Sorell district.35 No such death registration can be found but a notice was advertised in the Hobart Town Courier seeking to transfer his interests to Mary's cousin Sarah Rayner and her husband Thomas Kerr.

NOTICE is hereby given, that a special meeting of the Justices of the Peace acting in and for the Buckinghamshire division of the Island of Van Diemen's land, will be holden at the Court house, Hobart Town, on Monday the ninth day of April next, to consider the propriety of certifying in favour of the transfer of the licence granted to James Harrold Maloney of Hobart town, now deceased, to Thomas Kerr of Hobart town, Blacksmith, the appointee of the representatives of the aforesaid James Harrold Maloney. H. J. Emmett Clerk of the Peace, March 23, 1832.36

Two years later William and Sophia's last child, their seventh and only their second boy, Henry Augustus Rayner, was born on 12 May 1834 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.37 It seems as if the family were now located in New Norfolk as just three months later at the same location Mary Maloney (nee Rayner) married for the second time to Henry Lyon on 11 August 1834.38 By early 1835 then the Rayner family was comprised of William (42), Sophia (37), Mary (20, but now married), Eliza (18), Sophia (17), William (13), Rebekah (5) and Henry (an toddler). In a sudden turn of events however Sophia Rayner (nee Cullen) died and was buried on 29 April 1835 in New Norfolk.39 The following death notice from the Colonial Times is descriptive of the rapid event.

DIED. - At New Norfolk, on the 25th Instant, after a short illness of four days, SOPHIA, the Wife of MR. WILLIAM RAYNER Junior, aged 37 years.40

The older children probably assisted with looking after their younger siblings, and still the older children were mixing in the social circles of the Derwent Valley, demonstrated by the marriage of Eliza Rayner to Molesworth Jeffery in Hamilton, Tasmania. The marriage doesn't seem to have been registered. Daryll Rayner has the event occurring on 23 November 1836.41

Molesworth Jeffery was the fifth son of Bartholomew Jeffery and Wilhemina Molesworth. He was born on the 26th. July 1811 at the family home in Thockmorton Street, London. A brief perusal of the letters and books of poetry and prose he left, suggests a good classical education. He had a good knowledge of Latin and Greek and a good acquaintance with Hebrew. He was also a skilled cartographer and architect. He was fond of music and often wrote lyrics for his own tunes. He spent some time in the army and was a cavalryman in 1827. However, in December 1834 he left England, on the "Vibba" bound for Australia. He arrived in April 1835 and settled at Cheswick near Ross. However, he found the open plains uncongenial after the rolling countryside of England. Between 1836 and 1842 he purchased from the Crown several blocks of land in Lachlan village (Formally known as Brushy Bottom). In 1842 he appointed his brother Richard (Lieutenant Jeffery B. N. I.) as his agent and representative until he took up residence himself.42

The marriages continued when Sophia Christana Rayner married David Solomon on 7 October 1837 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.43 David was the third child of Ikey Solomon, the infamous inspiration for Charles Dicken's character Fagan from Oliver Twist. David had arrived in the colony on the Mermaid with his mother Ann, who was a convict.44 Next was William James Rayner when he married Margaret Meaney on 11 August 1840 in Hobart, Tasmania.45 Margaret was born about 1822 in Ireland, the daughter of Stephen Meaney and Mary or Margaret O'Callaghan.46 William Rayner himself, at the reported age of 48, married again on 5 October 1840 in St. David's in Hobart, Tasmania to Mary Meney, age 39, also styled as Meaney. Both were recorded as widowers. William Cleary and William Holdship were witnesses. William Bedford performed the ceremony.47 According to Daryll Rayner, Mary was born on 5 October 1801 in Ireland.48 Mary may have been the wife of Stephen Meaney previously mentioned, but no death record has been found for Stephen to support that claim. Margaret Rayner, nee Meaney, died on 12 September 1841 in Hobart. Margaret was only 18. The cause of death was Puerperal Fever so she died in or soon after childbirth. Elizabeth Farnfield registered the event.49 William James Rayner married for the second time to Catherine Morrisey on 8 March 1842 in St. Joseph's Church, Hobart, Tasmania.50 Just prior to that William Rayner was appointed Poundkeeper at Sandy Bay in November 1841.

GOVERNMENT NOTICE. No. 312. Colonial Secretary's Office, 18th November, 1841. The Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to appoint Mr. William Rayner Poundkeeper at Sandy Bay, in the room of Mr. Stephens, appointed District Constable in Hobart Town. By His Excellency's command, JOHN MONTAGU.51

The role involved managing any stock that strayed, including horses, and notifying the authorities accordingly. It is not known at this point how long William held this position. By the late 1840s the next significant known event in the family was the relocation of William and several of his children to South Australia.

On 12 Jul 1848 a Miss Rayner arrived at Port Adelaide on board the 'Scout', just three years after her parents and two of her brothers made the move. It seems that this was Rebecca...52

Rebecca Rayner (20) married John Stewart Browne (35) on 3 April 1850 in the Registry Office, Port Lincoln.53 Rebecca and John had two children before Rebecca's premature death on 19 October 1853 in Port Lincoln, South Australia at the age of 22.54

DIED. On the 19th October, at Port Lincoln, Rebecca, the beloved wife of John Stewart Browne, after a painful illness, deeply regretted by all who knew her.55

According to Lou Daniels, John then married Louise Waite, and they had another seven children between 1858 and 1869.56 Still in South Australia, Henry Augustus Rayner (21) married Elizabeth Ann Rowe (18) on 13 February 1855 in the Wesleyan Chapel, Pirie Street, Adelaide, South Australia.57 Henry would move to Victoria prior to the 1860s. Back in Tasmania around that time, David Solomon died on 21 August 1860 in Longford, Tasmania.58

SOLOMON. -August 21, at his residence, Longford, Mr. David Solomon, aged 42 years.59

Almost two years to the day later, William Rayner died on 20 August 1862 in Myrtle Creek, Victoria. The fact he was living in Victoria and his second wife Mary was living in Tasmania suggests that the marriage had broken down. The death appears not to have been registered. An inquest was held into his death two days later:

22 August 1862 Proceedings of a Magisterial Inquiry upon the body of William Rayner at Sandhurst. Received at Crown Law Offices 26 August 1862 Lachlan McLachlan P.M. John Beetham, on his oath saith: I am a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate of the Medical Board of Victoria. I have made a post mortem examination of the body of William Rayner. There was a deep and extensive burn of the left arm, extending from below the elbow to the shoulder. There are no other external marks of violence. I opened the body and found traces of old and and recent inflamation of the left lung. There was extensive disease of the heart and of its valves. There was also traces of disease in the kidneys and liver. I am of opinion that the immediate cause of deceased's death was disease of the heart. John Beetham. Taken and sworn at Myrtle Creek, Mount Alexander, XXXX Ranges, in the said Colony before me this 22nd day of August 1862 L McLachlan P.M. I am of the opinion that the deceased William Rayner died from natural causes. L McLachlan P.M. Magisterial Enquiry held by Lachlan McLachlan, Police Magistrate for the District of Sandhurst, Colony of Victoria, this 22nd day of August 1862, touching the death of William Rayner of Myrtle Creek, Sandhurst. Henry Rayner, on his oath, saith: I am the son of the deceased William Rayner residing at Myrtle Creek. Between eight and nine o'clock on the morning of Wednesday the 20th instant I went with my father into the field to plough, in about twenty minutes after we commenced work he complained of a pain in his chest and said he thought it was wind. In a few minutes more he said XXXX knock off work. I then advised him to go home and lie down. He said I shall be better directly and sat down on the plough. In about a minute after he said I am better, we shall start again. We went to work and in about ten minutes I observed that he looked ill. I asked how he felt, he said I am very bad. I advised him to go home and take some castor oil. He left the field and I saw him sitting down on a log near the house. I saw him speaking to my wife. I then left the bullocks and came to where he was sitting. I brought him home, I gave him some castor oil mixed in a cup of milk, he then said I then left my father sitting in a chair XXXX and returned to my work. In about an hour afterwards I returned. I found my father had left and gone into his own place about fifteen yards from my house and in about ten minutes after I opened the door of my father's place. I saw my father lying on the ground on his left side, and his XXXX in the fire place. There was a small fire on at the time. I laid hold of him and lifted him out. I saw that his coat was on fire and his left arm much burnt. He was dead. I found it to be about twelve o'clock in the day when I pulled him out of the fire. I went into Sandhurst yesterday and gave information to the police. Henry Rayner Myrtle Creek Taken and sworn before me this 22 day of August 1862. L McLachlan P.M. Elizabeth Rayner on her oath, saith: I am the wife of Henry Rayner. On Wednesday morning of the 20th I saw my husband and father in law go out to plough after breakfast. In about half an hour I saw XXXX leave the plough and coming up to the house. When he got within fifty yards he sat down on a log. I went up and said, Father what is the matter? He said I am very bad. I have got the XXXX. I left him sitting on the log and went for some water amnd when I came up to the house I found my husband and father in law at the door. I let them in. I saw my husband giving him some castor oil mixed in milk. My husband then went to his work. XXXX He then got up and went to his own place. In about an hour I saw my husband and from information I received I went to father in law and I saw him lying on the floor dead, his left arm very much burnt. Elizabeth (her X mark) Rayner Taken and sworn before me this 22 day of August 1862. L McLachlan P.M.60

All that remains of William's story is to relate the fate of his various children and their spouses. William James Rayner's second wife Catherine Rayner (nee Morrissey) died on 11 July 1865 at Lyndoch, South Australia.61

RAYNER -On the 11th July at Lyndoch, of peritonites. Catherine, the beloved wife of Wm. J. Rayner, aged 42 years.62

William James Rayner married for the third time to Jane (also known as Jean) Grieg on 3 May 1867 in his home in Marrabel, South Australia.63

RAYNER— GREIG.— On the 3rd May, by special licence, by the Rev. J. B. Titherington, at the residence of the bridegroom, William James Rayner, of Marrabel, miller, to Jean Greig, eldest daughter of Mr. Alexander Greig, of Gumeracha.64

Back in Tasmania, Mary Lyon (nee Rayner) died on 10 March 1870 in Richmond, Tasmania. Mary was recorded as the wife of a pensioner, aged 55 years, with the cause of death due to natural causes as determined by a Coroner's jury.65 The jury, convened at the house of Henry Lyon, determined that the cause of death was disease of the heart.66

LYON. -On 10th March, at Woodreeve, Lower Jerusalem, Mary the beloved wife of Henry Lyon, formerly of the Sherriff's Department, in her 55th year. The funeral will leave her late residence on Monday, the 14th inst., at 11 o'clock a.m., and St. Luke's Church, Richmond, at 2 o'clock p.m. Melbourne and South Australian papers please copy. No circulars.67

Mary's husband Henry Lyon (73) died on 17 May 1873 in the Sorell district. Henry was recorded as a retired Sherrif's Officer and the cause of death was debilitas, an archaic term for the decline and infirmity of old age68

LYON -On the 17th May, at Sorell, Henry Lyon, In the 76th year of his age, late of the Sheriff s office. The funeral will move from his late residence, Sorell, at 10 a m on the 21st instant and St Luke s Church, Richmond, at 2 p m. No circulars.69

Sophia Solomon (nee Rayner) died on 1 March 1874 in Adelaide, South Australia, aged 54.70

SOLOMON.-On the 1st March, at Stephens street, Adelaide, Sophia Christina Solomon, wife of the late David Solomon, of Tasmania, aged 54 years.71

Mary Rayner (nee Meaney) has been reported as dying on 20 April 1874 in Hobart, Tasmania but no such death registration has been found. The closest match is the Mary Ann Rayner who died on 4 March 1875 in Hobart.72 The following death notice records the death date as 3 March 1785, and Mary Ann's spouse as William Rayner.

RAYNER. - On the 3rd March, 1875, Mary Ann, the beloved wife of William Rayner, after a long and painful illness. Her funeral will leave her late residence, 16, Colville-street, this (SATURDAY) MORNING, at half-past 10, when friends are respectfully invited to attend.73

Eliza Jeffrey (nee Rayner), died on 17 September 1881 in New Norfolk, Tasmania at the age of 63. The cause of death was recorded as Paralysis following debility.74 John Stewart Browne died on 27 September 1888 in Port Lincoln, South Australia.75

BROWNE.— On the 27th September, at The Hermitage, Port Lincoln, John Stewart Browne S.M., in his 73rd year.76

The following month an obituary of John Stewart Browne was published which provided significant detail about his activities in South Australia:

Death of Mr. J. S. Browne, S.M.— The Attorney-General (Hon. C. C. Kingston) received intelligence on Thursday, September 27, that Mr. J. S. Browne, S.M., died at Port Lincoln at 8 o'clock that morning. Our Port Lincoln correspondent telegraphs : — 'I regret to announce the death of Mr. John Stewart Browne, S.M., of Fort Lincoln this morning, in the 73rd year of his age.' He was an old colonist, and greatly esteemed and respected by all. His daughters (Mra. Blackburn and Miss Browne) happily arrived yesterday in time to see the last of the deceased. He was a true consistent member of the Church of England, and will be much missed here. He has done a great deal for Port Lincoln.' The late Mr. Browne waa an old colonist, and a valued Civil servant. Entering the Government service on August 3, 1843, as a mounted police-constable, Mr. Browne was soon promoted to be chief clerk in the General Post-Office. In February, 1846, he was appointed clerk to the Government Resident at Port Lincoln, and also clerk to the Returning Officer of the electoral district of Flinders. We understand that Mr. Browne was also Government Resident for the district, and Sub-Protector of Aboriginals. He was Clerk and Librarian to the Legislative Council in August, 1854, and two years later was created a Stipendiary Magistrate. For some years he acted in his magisterial capacity at Kaponda, in 1868 officiated at Mount Gambler, and in 1870 proceeded to Port Lincoln, where he remained Stipendiary Magistrate up to the time of his death. He was also Visiting Justice to the Gaol, and Returning Officer for the extensive district of Flinders. The Sheriff, who is the Returning Officer for the colony, speaks in high terms of the excellent services rendered by Mr. Browne as Returning Officer. Owing to the retrenchment policy of the Government Mr. Browne for the last few years received only half-pay.77

William James Rayner (83) died on 19 July 1905 in Canowie, South Australia.78

LAW COURTS. SUPREME COURT-CIVlL SITTINGS. Thursday November 22. (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Gordon.) A Will Case. In the Matter of the Estate of William James Rayner, farmer, late of the Bluff, near Canowie. Thomas Pascoe, jun., and Oliver Fuller versus Jean Rayner and Others.-Mr. A W. Piper for the plaintiffs; Mr. E. B Grundy, K.C., for Jean, Amy Adelaide Mabel Jean, and Meretta May Rayner; Mr F. G. Scammell for Fred. Lewis Bluff am Ross Rayner; and Mr F. W. Young for Tasman Rayner. This was a summons originated by the executors and trustees of the will of William James Rayner, dated April 6, 1904, for the advice and direction of a judge on matters involved in the administration of the estate, and the construction of the will. The questions put to the court were that approval should be given to an agreement between the parties to permit Mrs. Jean Rayner, the widow of the testatator, "so long as she lives and remains unmarried, to use and occupy all my real and personal property, and the income to arise therefrom, and to manage the farm;" what was the true construction, and meaning of the words mentioned, and what were the estate, interests, and rights of Mrs. Rayner in the property and income, and her powers of management: what portion of the testator's personal estate was covered and included in the bequest of "all farm stock, and implements" to his sons, Fred, Lewis, Bluff, and Ross Rayner, or their survivors; whether the testator died intestate, in respect to any, and if so, what estate; whether the executors and trustees were entitled to appropriate and to transfer, deliver, or pay over to Mrs. Rayner her share and interest in the testator's personal estate, with regard to which he died intestate, or whether they must delay such appropriation until the determination or the estate and interest of Mrs. Rayner, bequeathed by her by the will; whether each of the testator's daughters - Amy Adelaide, Mabel Jean, and Meretta May Rayner-is entitled to the annuity given her by the will for her life, so long as she shall remain unmarried, or in perpetuity, and whether the proceeds of the clip of wool, shorn in October 1905, was capital or income by counsel, and the clauses of the agreement entered into by the parties were reviewed. His Honor, in giving judgment, adjourned the agreement for further consideration, and the time for approval was extended for three months from December 4. The widow would take a terminable life estate in the testator's real and personal property, but the interpretation of "farm stock" would be referred to the Full Court. The testator died intestate in regard to the real and personal property, subject to the wife's life estate-save the freehold specifically devised and farm stock and implements'. One-third of the capital money in hand should from time to time be paid to the widow, and the annuities which he declared payable until marriage would be chargeable to the 10 sections given to the three sons. The proceeds of the clip of wool should be considered income. The costs of the parties, including the agreement, would come out of the estate as testamentary expenses. Leave was given to apply again.79

Henry Augustus Rayner died on 3 February 1919 in Footscray, Victoria.80

  • 1. Minutes of Hobart Town Monthly Meeting of Friends: University Special Collections; University of Tasmania; Sandy Bay, Tasmania S.1. A.1. 1833-1857
  • 2. Daniels, Lou: The Rayner Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 3. AOT Rayner Correspondance Folder
  • 4. Daniels, Lou: The Rayner Family; Privately Published; 1999
  • 5. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1815/168
  • 6. Schaffer and McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over pp. 44-46
  • 7. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1815/454
  • 8. HRA Series III Volume I p. 160
  • 9. L. L. Robson, 'Maum, William James (1780–1850)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/maum-william-james-2439/text3249, published in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 15 February 2014.
  • 10. HRA Series I Volume IX p. 254
  • 11. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1817/570
  • 12. HRA Series III Volume III p. 617
  • 13. Hobart Town Gazette 14 August 1819
  • 14. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1819/753
  • 15. HRA Series III Volume IV pp. 767-771 (Note that HRA is incorrectly dated 28 November 1818 at the head of this section)
  • 16. HRA III, Vol. III. p. 338
  • 17. HRA III, Vol. III. p. 332
  • 18. HRA III, Vol. III. pp. 306-309
  • 19. HRA III, Vol. III. p. 175
  • 20. HRA III, Vol. III. p. 631
  • 21. HRA III, Vol. III. p. 177
  • 22. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1822/1271 & RGD 1825/1769
  • 23. "Classified Advertising." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 2 Feb 1828: 1. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4224696.
  • 24. The Hobart Town Courier Saturday 23 February 1828
  • 25. "Classified Advertising." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 22 Mar 1828: 3. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4223552.
  • 26. "Classified Advertising." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 19 Jul 1828: 4. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4221740.
  • 27. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1828/2690
  • 28. Unknown Source
  • 29. AOT Burial Registration RGD 1828/1783
  • 30. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1830/3318
  • 31. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1831/1597
  • 32. Colonial Times Wednesday 21 September 1831
  • 33. The Hobart Town Courier Saturday 19 November 1831
  • 34. "Quarter Sessions,." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 23 Nov 1831: 2. Web. 9 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8646178.
  • 35. Source to be added.
  • 36. "Classified Advertising." The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) 24 Mar 1832: 2. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4199762.
  • 37. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1834/5843
  • 38. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1834/2622
  • 39. AOT Burial Registration RGD 1835/4264
  • 40. "Family Notices." Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) 28 Apr 1835: 8. Web. 9 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8648179.
  • 41. Daryl James Rayner: The Rayner Family History; (Privately Published)
  • 42. Molesworth, Phillip: The Molesworth Family; http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/m/o/l/Phillip-J-Molesworth/
  • 43. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1837/3960
  • 44. AUS-Tasmania-L Archives: Meryl Yost on David Solomon; http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-Tasmania/2009-06/12456.... Citing John S. Levi: These Are the Names, Jewish Lives in Australia 1788-1850; Carlton, Vic. : The Miegunyah Press, 2006. p. 717.
  • 45. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1840/543
  • 46. Gentree Australia: NSW Royal Veteran Stephen Meaney; http://tasmanianfamilies.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/nsw-royal-veteran-steph...
  • 47. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1840/554
  • 48. Daryl James Rayner: The Rayner Family History; (Privately Published)
  • 49. AOT Death Registration RGD 1841/777
  • 50. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1842/1563
  • 51. "GOVERNMENT NOTICE. No. 312." The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859) 26 Nov 1841: 2. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2955200.
  • 52. Daniels, Louis (Lou), "The Rayners, The Allans," 29 December 1999
  • 53. SA BDM Marriage Registration Book 14, Page 251
  • 54. SA BDM Death Registration Book 4, Page 49
  • 55. South Australian Register Tuesday 1 November 1853
  • 56. Daniels, Louis (Lou), "The Rayners, The Allans," 29 December 1999
  • 57. SA BDM Marriage Registration Book 22, Page 239
  • 58. AOT Death Registration RGD 1860/740
  • 59. The Mercury Friday 21 September 1860
  • 60. PROV Inquest
  • 61. SA BDM Death Registration Barossa 1865/21/145
  • 62. "Family Notices." South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1867) 22 Jul 1865: 2. Web. 10 Mar 2013; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94738305.
  • 63. SA BDM Marriage Registration Book 71, Page 250
  • 64. South Australian Register Wednesday 8 May 1867
  • 65. AOT Death Registration RGD 1870/507
  • 66. AOT Inquest SC195/1/53 Inquest 6710 12 March 1870
  • 67. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 12 Mar 1870: 1. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8869138.
  • 68. AOT Death Registration RGD 1873/525
  • 69. "Family Notices." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) 20 May 1873: 1. Web. 15 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8924906.
  • 70. SA BDM Death Registration Book 56, Page 224
  • 71. South Australian Register Wednesday 4 March 1874
  • 72. AOT Death Registration RGD 1875/2508
  • 73. The Mercury Saturday 6 March 1875
  • 74. AOT Death Registration RGD 1881/447
  • 75. SA BDM Death Registration Book 173, Page 401
  • 76. South Australian Register Saturday 29 September 1888
  • 77. South Australian Register Monday 1 October 1888
  • 78. SA BDM Death Registration Book 311, Page 159
  • 79. The Advertiser Friday 23 November 1906
  • 80. VIC BDM Death Registration RGD 1919/1811
John Horton
John Horton's picture
The Cullen Family

Sophia Cullen was the daughter of Bryan, also known as James Bryan, Cullen. James was born about 1742. There is a good summary of his life on the Fellowship of First Fleeters website.1 He was tried on 6 April 1785 at the Old Bailey as James Bryan Cullien for theft, grand larceny.

449. JAMES BRYAN CULLIEN was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 12th day of March last, one pair of thickset breeches, value 1 s. 6 d. two cloth coats, value 18 s. one fustian waistcoat, value 2 s. 6 d. one pair of leather boots, value 6 s. one pair of leather breeches, value 10 s. 6 d. one pair of cotton stockings, value 2 s. one linen shirt, value 1 s. one pair of leather shoes, value 5 s. one pair of worsted stockings, value 3 s. and three muslin neckcloths, value 3 s. the property of John Crandell ; two cotton caps, value 2 s. one woollen cloth, value 1 s. one silk and cotton waistcoat, value 12 s. three cotton waistcoats, value 19 s. three pair of worsted stockings, value 7 s. three pair of worsted stockings, value 6 s. one pair of breeches, value 17 s. one linen shirt, value 6 s. two handkerchiefs, value 1 s. one pair of silver knee buckles, value 5 s. one pair of leather shoes, value 5 s. and one silk handkerchief, value 2 s. the property of John Shingler. And ELEANOR WELCH was indicted for feloniously receiving, on the 14th of March last, part of the said goods, knowing them to have been stolen.... There is much more to be read about this trial on the Old Bailey website.2

James was sentenced to Transportation for seven years and ultimately travelled to Australia on the Scarborough as part of the First Fleet. He was sent to Norfolk Island when it was realised that the colony was dangerously short on supplies. James travelled on the Sirius in March 1790. At some point he was in a relationship with Ann Combes but no marriage registration has been found. He was transferred to the Derwent as part of the abandonment of Norfolk Island in 1808.3 As Bryan Cullen he married Elizabeth Bartlett on 25 September 1809 in Hobart, Van Diemen's Land.4 From the calculated ages of his children they had been in a relationship since the late 1790s on Norfolk Island. Elizabeth was also a convict, having been tried in Dublin in 1795 and sentenced to seven years transportation.5

Name Birth Marriage Spouse Death
CULLEN, Sophia 00 XXX 1798 Norfolk Island6 03 Jan 1815 Hobart, TAS7 RAYNER, William 29 Apr 1835 New Norfolk, TAS8
CULLEN, Catherine 00 XXX 1800 Norfolk Island9 19 August 1816 Hobart, TAS10 TEDDER, James 11 Jul 1866 New Norfolk, TAS11
13 Feb 1823 Hobart, TAS12 BLAY, James
CULLEN, Elizabeth 00 XXX 1805 Norfolk Island13 29 Jan 1821 Hobart, TAS14 PEARCE, John  

James Bryan Cullen was buried on 8 April 1821 in Hobart, Van Diemen's Land.15 His death was reported in the newspaper due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the event.

On Saturday last an Inquest was held at New Norfolk, before A. W. H. Humphrey, Esq. Coroner, on the body of Mr. J. B. Cullen, a Settler residing in that district, in consequence of a rumour that he had shot himself on the Thursday previously. After an impartial investigation, it appeared in evidence, that about 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the day stated, the deceased, with his wife and youngest daughter, were all very comfortable at home, the former sitting in the parlour reading a play ; he, however, rose from his seat, and went alone into the bed-room, when shortly afterwards the family heard the report of a pistol ; the daughter instantly hastened to the chamber, where she saw her unfortunate parent lying on the bed breathing his last. The room was full of smoke, and the blood was running off the bed profusely. Upon this awful fight, the young women fainted and fall down on the floor senseless; and, upon the family examining the unfortunate object of their anxiety, they found that the deceased had received the fatal wound close to his heart. It did not appear by the evidence of any of the witnesses,that the deceased was of a melancholy mind; but that he was perfectly steady at the time the unhappy affair took place. It was therefore considered, that the pistol, which was cocked and loaded, and had been placed some where about the bed, had accidentally gone off while the deceased was handling it, as it was found at the foot of the bed ; and to which effect the Jury returned their verdict. The deceased, who came from Norfolk Island at the evacuation of that place, leaves a wife and three daughters and was much respected throughout his neighbourhood; he had arrived at the age of nearly 80 years.16

Elizabeth Cuilen, nee Bartlett, died on 15 March 1836 in New Norfolk.17

  • 1. Fellowship of First Fleeters: James Bryan Cullen; http://www.fellowshipfirstfleeters.org.au/jamescullen.htm
  • 2. Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.0, 15 February 2014), April 1785, trial of JAMES BRYAN CULLIEN ELEANOR WELCH (t17850406-35).
  • 3. Irene Shaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over; St. David's Park publishing.
  • 4. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1809/39
  • 5. Irene Shaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over; St. David's Park publishing.
  • 6. Irene Shaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over; St. David's Park publishing.
  • 7. AOT Marriages Registration RGD 1815/168
  • 8. AOT Burial Registration RGD 1835/4264
  • 9. Irene Shaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over; St. David's Park publishing.
  • 10. AOT Marriages Registration RGD 1816/224 as James Pedder
  • 11. AOT Death Registration RGD 1866/4264
  • 12. AOT Marriages Registration RGD 1823/609 as Catherine Tedder
  • 13. Irene Shaffer and Thelma McKay: Exiled! Three Times Over; St. David's Park publishing.
  • 14. AOT Marriages Registration RGD 1821/451 and 1821/502
  • 15. AOT Burial Registration RGD 1821/490
  • 16. "HOBART TOWN." Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (Tas. : 1821 - 1825) 14 Apr 1821: 2. Web. 16 Feb 2014; http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1089431.
  • 17. AOT Burial Registration RGD 1836/4669 as Elizabeth Cullum