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Mary Braidwood Wilson and Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle

Mary Braidwood Wilson was baptised on 4 August 1827 in Durham, England, the eldest child and daughter of Thomas Braidwood Wilson and Jane Thompson. 1 Mary's life has been extensively reported in the book "A Colonial Woman" by Patricia Clarke. The book, informed by a series of diaries maintained by Mary between 1850 and 1855, as well as a "Journal in Retrospect" by Mary's husband and daughter, and numerous letters between the Wilson, Mowle and related families, far exceeds anything that can be presented here. Readers who wish to know more about Mary's life are encouraged to consult Ms. Clarke's work.2

Mary's father was a certified medial officer who served as surgeon superintendent on nine convict transport journeys to Australia. Due to the nature of her father's occupation, Mary and her mother saw little of Thomas Braidwood Wilson during the first three years of her life. When Mary was five, she was left with either maternal relatives or close friends while her mother joined her father ...on his seventh trip as a surgeon superintendent on a convict ship... Even with these absences, Mary would later recall her childhood as ...happy, secure and loving... 3 Her idyllic early life was left behind when Mary, along with her parents, a brother James, and two brothers of her mother, emigrated from England to Australia on the Strathfieldsay.

The ship sailed from Portsmouth on 18 February 1836. Just five days into the voyage Thomas Thompson, Jane's brother, died. They stopped at Rio de Janeiro on 3 April 1836 and arrived in Sydney on 24 June 1836. 4 The family soon settled on Thomas Wilson's land holdings in what would later become known as Braidwood, New South Wales. Mary's father had already established a working farm on the location and with his subsequent appointment as a magistrate was soon a prominent land holder in the area.5

Within a year Jane Wilson had given birth to another son named Thomas, but he died in infancy in September 1837. 6 Just four months later, and within 18 months of arriving in her new home, Mary's mother Jane Wilson, nee Thompson, died on 29 January 1838. 7 The losses would have been considerable experiences for Mary who nevertheless went on to be able to provide significant support for her father. An additional burden was placed on the family when they lost their home due to fire in January 1840, apparently due to the supposed incaution of a servant. 8

Mary's father started the work of rebuilding a family home but the exercise over the next few years ultimately reached grandiose proportions which proved to be the seed of Thomas Wilson's later financial misfortunes. Land holders in the area were also plagued by an extensive drought in the late 1830s, although Thomas Wilson seemed to be able to record record wheat crops for a couple of years in spite of the adverse weather. 9 Throughout all this period Thomas would have also had the responsibility of parenting and educating his young children. Mary appears to have received some tuition at home which instilled in her a life long love of reading and writing. Later, she probably attended a private boarding school, albeit infrequently, run by a Mrs. Atkinson in Sydney in the late 1830s and early 1840s. 10

During the same period her social orbit back at home brought Mary into contact with other land holders in the Braidwood area, notably the Mowle family at St. Omer. Edward Mowle had numerous interests in the region but during a period of illness in the middle of 1839 required the assistance of his nephew Stewart Mowle in managing the highly distributed sheep and cattle runs. Stewart was born on 17 March 1822 and christened on 12 April 1822 in Kingsdown, Deal, East Kent, England, the son of Richard Mowle and Sarah Ralph. 11 Edward Mowle died in May 1840 and his estate was sold to cover his debts, leaving Stewart virtually penniless. During the whole period Steward maintained contact with the Wilson family, and his other relationships with people like Terence Murray, ensured he was not without employment or support. All the while a friendship was developing between Stewart and Mary that would blossom into romance. 12

It became evident to Mary and myself - she was not 14, I 18, years of age - we were made for each other and many was the little love letter James carried for us. 13

Meanwhile, Mary's father was kept largely unaware of the significance of their liaisons. Thomas Wilson may well have been caught up in his own affairs, as the storm of the forthcoming financial depression gathered. Stewart Mowles close friend and confidant Terence Murray provided clues in his letters at this time, which grew more and more desperate to the point where he asked Stewart ...not to draw upon me on any account whatsoever until I write to you to do so. You are not aware of the state of money matters here. 14

Mary turned 16 in August 1843 and in September accepted an offer of engagement from Stewart Mowle, but any cause for celebration was quickly vanquished the following month when her father received news of his immanent foreclosure. He wrote to his neighbour John Coghill in early October pleading for assistance and hinted at the effect his now precarious state of mind was having on his health. 15 Coghill was unable to help, and as Patricia Clarke observed:

Hopes of saving Wilson's financial situation faded and he was declared bankrupt late in October. Unable to sell his wool he wrote to Mary from Sydney saying all was lost and he returned to Braidwood a broken man. With all hope of saving his property and providing for his children gone, his daughter Mary watched as his mental and physical state deteriorated alarmingly … 16

Thomas Braidwood Wilson, died on 11 November 1843 in Braidwood, New South Wales. 17 One of his last acts, according to Stewart Mowle, was to consent to his engagement to his daughter Mary. In the immediate period after her father's death Mary was provided comfort by Thomas' younger brother George Wilson who was living in Oatlands in Tasmania. George had immediately travelled to New South Wales after hearing of his brother's death and convinced Mary to come and stay with him in Tasmania. 18 Stewart joined her there and they were married on 12 May 1845 in Oatlands, Tasmania. 19

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, New South Wales. 20

Mary and Stewart returned to New South Wales on the Shamrock for their honeymoon, leaving from Launceston on 21 May 1845 and landing in Sydney seven days later. They departed Sydney on 13 October 1845 for the, in Stewart's words, dreaded journey to Mannus, south of Tumbarumba, their Mannus abode comprising nothing more than a bark hut with a dirt floor. The journey, and the subsequent period at Mannus, proved to be just as disastrous as they had imagined. The area was remote and harsh, particularly for someone like Mary who had previously known a life of relative luxury. 21

This section is still in development.

Mary and Stewart's first child, Florence Mary Mowle, was born on 7 June 1846 in Queenbeyan, New South Wales. 22 The event was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald just a week later.

BIRTHS. At Queenbeyan, on the 7th instant, the lady of Stewart M. Mowle, Esq., of a daughter. 23

A son followed when Aubrey Murray Palmer Mowle was born on 3 February 1848 in Canberry, Queenbeyan, New South Wales. 24 Once again the birth was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 February 1848.

BIRTHS... At Canberry, Queanbeyan, on the 3rd instant, the lady of Stewart M. Mowle, Esq., J.P., of a son. 25

Kate Isabella Mowle was born on 9 September 1849 in Canberry, Queenbeyan, New South Wales. 26

Amalie Elizabeth Mowle was born on 31 December 1851 in Canberry, Queenbeyan, New South Wales. 27

Alice Margaret Mowle was born on 21 January 1854 in Eden, Twofold Bay, New South Wales and died on 7 December 1855 in Sydney, New South Wales. 28

DEATH. At Sydney, on the 7th instant, ALICE MARGARET, youngest daughter of S. M. Mowle, aged two years. 29

Thomas Braidwood Mowle was born on 31 August 1857 in the Balmain district of New South Wales. 30

Mary Braidwood Mowle, nee Wilson, died on 15 September 1857 in the Balmain district, New South Wales. 31

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. 32

After Mary's death Stewart Mowle remarried in 1865 to Sophia (Margaret and/or Mary) Simpson. 33 Sophia was baptised on 1 January 1835 in St John of Jerusalem in South Hackney, Middlesex, England, the daughter of William West Simpson and his wife Jane Leake. 34 According to her later obituary, Sophia came to Australia with her parents on the ship Earl Gray in 1840.

Stewart and Sophia's first child was Mary Sophia Mowle, born on 17 March 1866 in the Glebe district of New South Wales. 35 Mary Sophia died on 26 December 1866 in Sydney, New South Wales. 36 A son followed when William Stewart Mowle was born on 16 June 1867 in Sydney, New South Wales. 37

The Mowle and Simpson families were obviously close as Florence Mary Mowle, the eldest of Stewart and Mary's children, married William Arthur Simpson on 12 March 1868 in Sydney, New South Wales. 38 William was the brother of Florence's step-mother. He was baptised on 4 July 1833 in St John of Jerusalem in South Hackney, Middlesex, England, the son of William West Simpson and his wife Jane Leake. 39

On the 12th instant, at Trinity Church, by the Rev. J. H. Rowsell, WILLIAM ARTHUR, second son of the Rev. W. W. SIMPSON, M.A., Dapto, to FLORENCE MARY, eldest daughter of S. M. MOWLE, of the Legislative Council Department. 40

Stewart and Sophia had a second son when Charles Edward Mowle was born on 9 May 1869, Sydney, New South Wales. 41 Charles died on 21 August 1869, Millers Point, Sydney, New South Wales. 42

A fourth child, Agnes J. W. Mowle (also known as Agnes Isabella Douglas Mowle), was born on 30 April 1871 at Miller's Point in Sydney, New South Wales. 43 Agnes later assisted her father draft his memoirs, and authored an unpublished manuscript on the history of the Simpson family.

Kate Isabella Mowle married Cornelius Haylock on 4 May 1872 in Paddington, New South Wales. 44 Cornelius was the son of Thomas and Eleanor Haylock. Kate and Cornelius would have six children that have been traced.

Amy Henrietta Mackdonald Mowle was born on 15 March 1873, Randwick, New South Wales. 45

William Simpson, the husband of Florence Mowle, died on 5 December 1880 in Richmond, New South Wales. 46

SIMPSON.-December 5, William Arthur, second son of the late Rev. W. W. Simpson, M.A., Dapto, aged 47 years. 47

Amalie Elizabeth Mowle died on 11 February 1881 in Stanmore, Sydney, New South Wales. 48

MOWLE.-February 11, at South Kingston, at the residence of her sister, Mrs. W. A. Simpson, Amalie Elizabeth, third daughter of S. M. Mowle, and granddaughter of an old colonist, the late Dr. Thomas Braidwood Wilson, R. M., of Braidwood. 49

Thomas Braidwood Mowle married Harriet Louisa Minnie Buckland in 1884 in the New Town district of New South Wales. 50 Harriet, later known as Minnie, was the daughter of James Thomas and Ellen Buckland.

Cornelius Haylock, the husband of Kate Isabella Mowle, died on 1 August 1886 in Narrandera district of New South Wales. 51

HAYLOCK.—August 1, at Narandera, suddenly, Cornelius Haylock, licensed surveyor, eldest son of Dr. T. B. Haylock, of Ashfield, aged 53 years. 52

Obituary - Mr. Cornelius Haylock, licensed; Surveyor, died suddenly, at, Narandera on Sunday last. Deceased had resided for many years on Manaro, where he was held in great respect by all classes. He leaves a wife and several children in bereavement. The late Mr. Haylock was a son of Dr. Haylock, and his age was about 54 years.


NARRANDERA, Sunday. Mr. Cornelius Haylock, Government surveyor, who has been employed for some time here in aligning the streets, died suddenly in his camp this morning, it is presumed, from heart disease. An inquest will be held tomorrow. Mr. Haylock, who was a son of Dr. T. H. Haylock, now residing in Ashfield, leaves a wife and several children. 53

Florence Mary Simpson, nee Mowle, died on 4 February 1889, Stanmore, New South Wales. Florence's death appears to have been registered twice, once for the Peterham district, and once for the Marrickville district. 54

William Stewart Mowle married Annie H. Mackenzie in 1894 in the Waverley district of New South Wales. 55

A pretty wedding took place on Wednesday last at St. Mary's Church, Waverley, when the marriage of Miss Annie Mackenzie, youngest daughter of Mrs. A. K. Mackenzie, of Boonara, Bondi, and Mr. William Stewart Mowle, youngest son of Mr. Mowle, of Spencer Lodge, Woollahra, was celebrated. The hour appointed for the ceremony was half past 2, but before that time the wedding guests had arrived, and many spectators had assembled in the church, which had been prettily decorated for the occasion. The Rev. Robert M'Keown officiated. The bride entered the church leaning on the arm of her brother, Mr. Arthur Mackenzie. She wore a handsome dress of rich white silk, made with a long train, and trimmed with lace and orange blossoms. The plain tulle veil fell over a small wreath of orange blossoms, and she carried a beautiful bouquet of bridal flowers. The bride was given away by her mother. There were five bridesmaids in attendance, two of them being little children, the daughters of Mrs. Sloman. Miss Clara Doyle and the two Misses Mowle wore cream dresses with gold sashes and picture hats of cream lace and feathers. The youngest bridesmaids were simply dressed in white, and all carried lovely bouquets. At the conclusion of the ceremony the wedding party adjourned to Boonara, where Mr. and Mrs. Mowle received the heartiest congratulations from their friends. About 60 guests were present, amongst whom were Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Webb, Mr. and Mrs. Mowle, Mr. and Mrs. Sloman, Mr. and Mrs. Greaves, Mr. and Miss Fitzhardinge, Mr. and Miss Yeomans, Mrs. Alec Mackenzie, Mrs. Collyer, Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Mowle, Mrs. Morton, and Miss Howe. Later in the afternoon the newly-married couple left for Tasmania, where the honeymoon is to be spent. The bride's travelling dress was fawn, relieved with pink; brown hat trimmed with feathers. The wedding presents were very numerous, and were displayed in the drawing room at Boonara.56

Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle died on 20 November 1908 in Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales. 57


Mr. Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle, for 22 years Usher of the Black Rod in the New South Wales Legislative Council, died on Friday, at his residence. Queen-street, Woollahra, aged 86 years. Mr. Mowle was the third son of the late Mr. Richard Mowle, an officer of the Imperial Revenue Service, and was born at Deal, in Kent, England, in 1822. Fourteen years later he arrived in Sydney, and was educated at the Normal Institution, and at the Sydney College, now the Sydney Grammar School, when he had with him as schoolmates T. Brown ("Rolfe Boldrewood"), late Dr. Norton, W. Smith, W. Robberds, Walter Lamb, and Edmund Gibbes, with the last of whom he was an intimate friend. In 1838, Mr. Mowle decided to take to squatting, at Sir. T. A. Murray's Yarrowlumla property, where, in the great drought of 1837-8, he was left in charge of the establishment, 25,000 sheep, and 50 or 60 men, mostly convicts. In 1845, he entered into partnership with Mr. Edward Thompson, went to Mannas, on the tableland of the Murray, then called the Hume. He subsequently settled at Canberra, but having suffered great loss through droughts and disease, gave up the land, and was in 1852 appointed a sub-collector of Customs and water police magistrate at Eden. He remained there until 1855, when he joined the Customs House in Sydney.


Seven years later he obtained the position of clerk in the N.S.W. Legislative Council, and in 1883 was appointed Usher of the Black Rod, which office he held until he retired in 1905. Mr. Mowle was for many years secretary of the late Civil Service Club, and was also one of the first directors of the Civil Service Co-operative Society, and secretary to the Civil Service Musical Society. In the early days Mr. Mowle was a frequent contributor to the Press. He married the only daughter of Dr. Thomas Braidwood Wilson, R N. and later the daughter of the Rev. W. W. Simpson. By his first marriage his two sons, Aubrey, clerk of petty sessions, Paddington, and Thomas B, of Miranoa, and daughter, Mrs Haylock, af Croydon, survive him, and by the second marriage William S, assistant clerk of the Legislative Assembly, and two unmarried daughters, also survive him. 58

Sophia Mowle, nee Simpson, the second wife of Stewart Mowle, died on 25 May 1917. 59


Mrs. Sophia Margaret Mowle, widow of Mr. Stewart M. Mowle, whose death was announced on Saturday at the age of 82 years, was the sixth daughter of the late Rev. William West Simpson, M.A. She arrived in the colony with her family in 1840, at the age of 6 years, the voyage being made in the ship Earl Gray, and occupied many weary months. She lived for about two years at The King's School, Parramatta, where her father was acting as headmaster during the absence in England of the Rev. Dr. Forrest. Subsequently, in 1843, the family moved to Wiseman's Ferry, where Mr. Simpson was rector of the parish for about 10 years. Upon Mr. Simpson finding the work beyond him the family was transferred in the old King William IV. to Dapto. Here the late Mrs. Mowle was associated with the work of her father's parish. She was married in 1865, and in the early 'Seventies found opportunity for philanthropic labours amongst the sick and poor at Randwick, where she resided. Doctors were few and far between, and trained nurses almost unknown. Up to the day before her death she was engaged on garments for the Children's Hospital. She was in full possession of every faculty, and read and sewed without glasses, and she took an active interest in everything around her. She leaves behind her one son, two daughters, and a large circle of friends.


The funeral took place on Saturday at the Waverley Cemetery, and was largely attended. The chief mourners were her only son, Mr. William S. Mowle (Clerk of the Legislative Assembly), and her stepson, Mr. T. B. Mowle. Other members of the family present were Messrs. P. C. Mowle, E. Mowle, and E. C. Haylock. Amongst those who also attended were the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Mr John J. Cohen), Messrs. S. G. Boydell, H L Harnett, W. L. Moore, and S. M'Gowen, the Clerk of the Parliaments (Mr. W. S. Cooper). Messrs. C. Calvert, H. R. Charlton, and F. Walsh, Dr. P. E. Walton-Smith, Captain Shardlow, and Messrs. R. Yeomans, J. A. Murray. F. Walcot, F. A. Mackenzie, E. Mackenzie, F. Chaplin-Pritchard, W. Rush, G. Gannon, and O. Ryner. The services at Spencer Lodge and at the graveside were conducted by the Rev. S. G. Fielding, Rector of St. Matthias' Church, Paddington. 60

Kate Isabella Haylock, nee Mowle, died on 24 January 1933 in the Burwood district of New South Wales. 61


Mrs. Kate Isabella Haylock, who died at Croydon on Tuesday last, aged 83 years, was the widow of Mr. Cornelius Haylock, a well known survevor on the Monaro and in the southern districts of the State, and a daughter of the late Mr. S. M. Mowle, a pioneer settler. Mr. Mowle was later Usher of the Black Rod in the Legislative Council. Mrs Haylock, in recent years lived in Loomberah, near Tamworth. She leaves two sons and four daughters. There are six grandchildren. 62


HAYLOCK -The Funeral of the late KATE ISABELLA HAYLOCK will leave St James Church of England Church, Edwin street, Croydon, THIS WEDNESDAY after service commencing at 2.15 pm, for the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood, section EE, by road motor funeral. 63

Thomas Braidwood Mowle died on 4 January 1934 in Sutherland, New South Wales. 64

MOWLE -January 4, 1934 at his residence, Cronulla, Thomas Braidwood, husband of Minnie and second son of the late Stewart Marjoribanks Mowle of Spencer Lodge Woollahra, aged 76 vears. Privately cremated. 65 MR. THOMAS B. MOWLE.

The death occurred on Thursday of Mr. Thomas Braidwood Mowle, who, before his retirement, was on the staff of the E., S., and A. Bank. Mr. Mowle was the second son of Mr. S. M. Mowle, formerly Usher of the Black Rod of the Legislative Council. The funeral took place yesterday, at Rookwood, where the remains were privately cremated. 66

William Stewart Mowle died on 26 October 1935, Summer Hill, New South Wales. 67


SYDNEY, Monday:- Mr. William Stewart Mowle, C. M. G. formerly Clerk of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, died on Saturday, at a private, hospital at Summer Hill, after a short illness. He was 68 years of age. 68

Mr. W. S. Mowle. - The death occurred in Sydney on Saturday after a short illness of Mr. William Stewart Mowle, C.M.G., a former clerk of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, in his 69th year. A son of the late Mr. Stewart Major Banks Mowle, who was for many years Usher of the Black Rod in New South Wales, Mr. Mowle retired about seven years ago, after a fine record of 42 years service. He entered the public service in 1884, became clerk assistant to the Legislative Assembly in 1904, was appointed clerk in 1916, and was made C.M.G. in 1923. His death followed an operation in a private hospital. He is survived by his widow and family of four. 69

Aubrey Murray Palmer Mowle died on 28 April 1937 in the Bowral district of New South Wales. 70


The death of Mr. Aubrey Murray Palmer Mowle was briefly recorded in last issue of The Mail. For a number of years past Mr. Mowle had devoted much of his leisure time to the interests of the community in which he lived. He served many years as an alderman and frequently presided at the local Courts or sat with the Police Magistrate, who appreciated his intimate knowledge of Court procedure. He lived a full life of more than 89 years, crowding into it, especially in his younger days, honorary secretaryships of musical, literary and kindred societies.


Australia. His collection of cuttings relating to the Australian Capital, fills two large volumes and is probably the most complete private collection in the Commonwealth.


Mr. Mowle was born at Canbury, now Canberra, on February 8, 1848, and his baptism is one of the earliest registered at the historic church of St John the Baptist. It was always a source of satisfaction to him that his birthplace was selected for the capital city of the Commonwealth of Australia.


While he was still a boy, his father, who occupied under lease a large area of country upon which the greater part of Canberra now stands, abandoned all hope of becoming a sheep king and obtained the appointment of Water Police Magistrate and Sub-Collector of Customs at Twofold Bay whither he removed his young family. In 1866, after his father had already been transferred to Sydney to become, later on, Usher of the Black Bod, Mr. Aubrey Mowle, after leaving school, obtained a junior appointment in the Supreme Court which led, in due course, to promotion to the position of Chief Clerk in Bankruptcy.


In 1895, in a general rearrangement of the Civil Service, Mr. Mowle was transferred to the Petty Sessions branch and subsequently appointed a Metropolitan Chamber Magistrate, a position which he continued to hold in preference to others, in order that he could live as much as possible with his young family at Burradoo where he had built a country house many years earlier. Mr. Mowle first found the value of this district's wonderful climate about 56 years ago and after he had regularly rented for some seasons a cottage facing the Gib on the Bowral-Mittagong road he decided to build at Burradoo. Mr. Mowle retired from the Civil Service about 18 years ago and then lived permanently at Burradoo for some years, but for the convenience of the family sold the old house called 'St Asaph' about twelve years ago and bunt in Bendooley Street, Bowral, when he immediately linked up with the principal interests of the town.


As already announced, Mr. Mowle passed away on Wednesday last in his 90th year, and prior to his remains being removed to Rookwood for private interment in the family ground a short service was conducted at St Asaph by the Rev. K. G. Aubrey, of St. Jude's. As a tribute to his services on Bowral Council, the Mayor (Ald. Venables) attended in his official capacity and four of our former mayors under whom Mr. Mowle had served (Messrs. Board man, Stephens, Sheaffe and Westbrook), carried the casket from the house to the funeral car. The service at Rookwood was conducted by the Rev. O. G. Dent. Mr. Mowle is survived by six sons and two daughters. 71

Thomas Braidwood Mowle's wife Harriet Louisa Minnie Mowle, nee Buckland, died on 16 July 1939 in the Gundagai district of New South Wales. 72

MOWLE. - July 16, at her sister's residence, Mrs. T, Passlow, Gundagai, Minnie Mowle, relict of the late Thos. Mowle, late of Miranda, and loved sister of Ellen Fimister. Aged 76. 73

Amy Henrietta Mackdonald Mowle died on 17 September 1943, Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales. 74

MOWLE.-September 17.1943, at her residence 133 Queen Street. Woollahra, Amy, youngest daughter of the late S. M. Mowle, Usher of the Black Rod). 75

William Stewart Mowle's wife Annie Hawkins Mowle, nee Mackenzie, died in 1945 in the Granville district of New South Wales. 76

Agnes Isabella Douglas Mowle died on 10 September 1961 in Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales. 77

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