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They Arrived Before 1850


The Trevethan Family from
Cawsand, Cornwall
Cawsand, Cornwall



Richard Trevethan bapt. 11 Oct, 1767 and his wife Mary Blight had a family of nine, three of whom were to immigrate to Australia. They lived in a small fishing village on the Rame Peninsula just across the border from Devon, in south east Cornwall. Bordered on three sides by water, the rivers Lynher, Tamer and Plymouth Sound. Once a renowned smuggling centre its seafront is only about three houses long consisting of two houses and a hotel. The village lies within the Parish of Maker. Have a look at the wonderful site of old photos of Cawsand at Rame Heritage.

Richard was a butcher at the time of his marriage but later a fisherman and small land owner and after he died in 1831 his will provided for his estate to be distributed among his children. He had a fish cellar known as Farmers and Industry Seans and Cellar, at North Rock, Kingsand. There was also seans (stores?), boats, grapes, salt, house cellar and appurtenance situated in Cawsand occupied by William Rowe & Co as tenants, four cot houses of land in Kingsand, leasehold estate at North Hants Parish of Rame, house and premises in Duck Street, Cawsand and farming implements.

Richard seniors eldest son of the same name was 35 years of age when his father died and it seems he also was a fisherman being left half of the business, He was to die eighteen years later in a riding accident and it seems that his daughter and granddaughter also died in the accident.

In 1842 one of their sons Adolphus Henry Trevethan at the age of 31 emigrated to Sydney, Australia and his elder brother William was to follow 12 years later on the "Lady Ann". Adolphus was to discover and settle at the vast Rawbelle Station in Queensland in 1848.

Cawsand, Cornwall

Rawbelle Station was a 1000 square mile property at the head of the Burnett River 80 miles from Gayndah in the Monto region. Monto’s regional history starts with the early squatters spreading north.

The Archer brothers were notable for the breadth of territory they covered.

White settlement in the Monto Shire is said to have started with Adolphus Henry Trevethan, acting upon information supplied by Thomas Archer and taking up land that became known as Rawbelle Station. One story told to me was that Adolphus convinced his brothers Richard and William to form a partnership and named the property RAWbelle after the first letter in their names (Richard, Adolphus and William).  However I know that Richard never left Cornwall and died there. This was the first of a number of large sheep properties including Cannindah, Yarrol, Mulgildie, Cania and Dalgangal.

Jean Harslett in her book entitled “They Came to Plateau” which is about the development of the  Stanthorpe area of Australia inland from Brisbane mentions Adolphus Trevethan on page 15.

“Gunn says that Fitz retained Pike’s Creek until Pikedale was sold in 1859, but there is definite evidence in  the Letter Book that Adolphus Trevethan sold his licence to Captain Pike on 29th October 1847, and the sale was  confirmed on 1st February, 1848.

Adolphus Trevethan also took up the lease of Terrica run. The origin of the name of this property is not known. It was not a highly regarded property as there was no permanent water. A noted horseman of the day, Dave Sharpe, said that only one flock of 700-800 sheep could be run on Terrica. In fact this lack of permanent water was written into the description of the lease. In 1850 Adolphus Trevethan disposed of this lease also, again to Captain Pike. Fitz erected substantial station huts and yards on the property, which, like Pike’s Creek, was worked as part of Pikedale.

There is also a suggestion that the waste country known as Folkestone was the subject of an application for license by Adolphus Trevethan but this has not been substantiated.

Interestingly James Bennett from Cornwall and a Trevethan descendant lived ten miles east of Stanthorpe at a place know then as Herding Yard Creek but now known as Amosfield. He married Elizabeth Botirell at Sugarloof (about four miles east of Stanthorpe) which has now vanished as a location. As you will read below this unknown Trevethan may well have been Adolphus’s brother William.

Meanwhile back in Cawsand, Cornwall where Adolphus and William’s brother Richard died on the 17th of September 1849 at the young age of 53 leaving his widow Susannah with their 10 children of, Maria, Richard, Celia, William, Henry, Susannah, Adolphus, Alfred, Thomas and John.

Richard Trevethan – His Letter to Cornwall, 1862

With his father now dead young Richard at the age of 20 set of from London on the "Eliza Caroline" for Australia to be with his uncles Adolphus and Williams. Richard Trevethan was a steerage passenger but not an assisted immigrant and arrived at Sydney, Australia on 17th September 1851.

He must have later traveled to New Zealand which means he was in New Zealand long before my own family arrived in 1870. It would appear he never stayed in New Zealand but returned to Australia.

Site of Rawbelle Station Homestead, Queensland, Australia

On 18th May 1862 while in New Zealand, Otago at Weatherstones, which is the next valley over from Gabrials Gully where gold was fist discovered in New Zealand in 1861, he wrote the most amazing letter to a friend in Cornwall. The letter has been copied from a photocopy of the original. The text that follows is as the letter was written with the only change being that paragraphs have been added to assist reading as there were no paragraphs in the original letter.

My dear friend,

It is now eleven years since I left my native village, and since I left I have seen adversity and the reverse. No doubt you may accept these few lines and read of a young and inexperienced man to begin in the world.

First I arrived at Sydney September 17th 1851. The letter that I took to Thackeray & Co in Sydney was never acknowledged and I became disgusted with them.

I remained in Sydney for fifteen days and took a passage to Maryborough. I was four weeks on the voyage.

In Maryborough I bought a horse, saddle and bridle and started two hundred miles inland to my Uncles Station on the Nagora River. Now dear friend I will give you a new chum endurance in an uncivilized country.

The first day’s travel started about six o’clock in company with a squatter’s daughter and a black gin. My first day’s journey was 45 miles, but when we got about 30 miles from the Settlement, we came on a camp of blacks – about 200. The black woman in our company said that the blacks meant mischief, so they returned to the Settlement and I went on to the girls fathers Station – and there the most horrible affair I ever saw in my whole life.

Site of old Rabelle Township - photo Diane Bucknell

The father of the girl had his head or neck half cut open by a black fellow’s tomahawk while in the act of adzing a post for a new hut. He had insects about half an inch long in the cut before the doctor came to dress the wound. The doctor was from 50 or 60 miles away so the man had no chance.

The second day I started for Gayndah on the Burnett River 50 miles away. I arrived at 7am on a beautiful morning with nothing to eat, and did not see a solitary individual on the road, but towards night it came on a thunder storm and I never in my whole life, did I witness such a deluge as that, my horse became tired, myself wet to the skin, and blankets soaking wet and 10 miles from where I could get shelter for the night. I had to care for Miss Betty, what with hunger, cold, and wet and my horse not able to travel and could not see my road, I camped – tethered my horse, had the saddle for my pillow and everything drenching. I tried to sleep, but the cold would not leave me sleep, so just as I was dozing off a native dog came close to me and let out a yell out of him which nearly frightened the life out of me.

It was awful – at last I saw a fire about a mile distant and I took it for a camp of blacks so I saddled my horse and made for the fire. I had not gone more than a hundred yards before my horse stumbled in a crab hole. It took me up to armpits it was so dark as a dungeon and I had no fear than act ducking before I could come in hail of the camp, I could discern a black fellow sitting by the fire, so my heart failed me for a time, as I could not stand it no longer so I made up my mind to face them, so when I reached the fire there were two drays going down the Country with wool – The men were very kind to me – they gave me dry clothes and gave me tea damper and salt beef to eat. I can assure you they were very hospitable and gave me four sheep skins to put under me and a dry tarpaulin to cover me.

I dried my clothes and started for Mr Saide’s (the name is not clear) station. I had gone 4 miles where a man told me the blacks had killed a man, woman and two children – it frightened me very much. I did not like to travel by myself. Every black stump of a tree I thought was a black fellow. However I reached the station without being molested. The gentleman requested me to spell my horse for a day which I did.

I started for Mr Beauveries station. I had a black woman to take me on the road, she was very frightened of me because the fellow told her I was a policeman. I had to find my way through the bush the best I could. I arrived at the station and remained there for a day, then started for Mr Archer’s station. He loaned me a horse to go to Uncle’s station about 40 miles away.

It was a high range to go over. The horse was tired and I thought I had taken the wrong road and just before dark I heard sheep crying and I saw a man driving the sheep home. I asked him if it was the Trevethan Station. He said yes and pointed to a man with a corn bag over his shoulder. It was Uncle and he greeted me very kindly and glad to see me.

Nogo River, Rawbelle - photo Diane Bucknell

Uncle William took me to his gunyah and gave me something to eat. It was a curious place – two hurdles placed together against the other and four sheets of bark formed their dwelling. Uncle was very chatty enquiring about all of you at home.

Next day, he took me to his station and there put me on the road to Uncle Adofus station about 16 miles away.

About 5 miles from Rawbelle Station I met Uncle Adolfus. I did not know him. He did not seem to take any notice to greet me like William. It worried me, however and I returned to Uncle William.

After a few days, a chinaman told Uncle that the blacks attacked them and stole 20 sheep. Uncle asked me to saddle the horse and gave me a old gun, its cartridges and they both set off together to get the sheep back, but did not succeed.

Sheep had to be washed before shearing and Uncle asked me to put 100 sheep in the hurdles ready for the morning. I had no experience what number of sheep the yard would hold, so the sheep were put in, and there were over 100 smothered and Uncle blamed me for it.

I was as innocent as lamb. However when Uncle returned I was sent to take charge of some sheep about 25 miles down the Nogoa run. Mr Street the settler was killed by the blacks. I was there for six weeks during which time the blacks attacked the station and took away some sheep, also some shearer’s clothes but they did not kill anyone. A day later, 14 men, some on horseback and others walking.

The morning Uncle Adolfus was murdered, he asked me to go to the outer station and bring in 1000 sheep to head station. I saddled my horse and went about 20 miles when I saw the blacks coming. Along the track over the range, I drove the sheep I had picked up from the run with some cows to the station 4 miles head of me. Blacks had taken the station and killed all on it.

There a short distance I saw a woman and five white men and a black fellow moving towards me. I turned and made my way home. There Uncle was no more. He received 5 spears in him one in the stomach, two in the breast, one in the ear and in neck. He was unrecognizable. The blacks took away 2000 sheep and goods many calves and lambs. Some were recovered. Some of the white men arrived and said it was dangerous to go down near the river where the horse was, as he blacks were in that direction.

However I started off by myself and when half a mile away one of the men called out to me to stop and he would accompany me to look for a horse which we found. I saddled the horse and went down country to tell Uncle William of what had happened. I arrived at 7am and later after 8 miles riding I found Uncle with a bag on his back.

I told him what had happened. He took it to heart very much. He gave me his horse and I ode 60 miles and set off a party to acquaint police who were 200 miles on the Dawson River where the blacks had committed a murder. The police were 6 weeks before they arrived.

Adolphus Trevethan's Grave, Rawbelle Station
Next day I returned to Rawbelle station. Uncle Adolfus was buried. Uncle William was up the river & when he returned he said I was the cause of his bother’s death. He said a woman said I ought to have come home when I saw the blacks first before they attacked the station. It was not likely as I was going to drove the sheep and my head in the lions mouth. I did everything for the best, and if I am blamed, it was not my fault. I told Uncle William I could not do what the woman said.


The police rounded up a lot of blacks and shot some of them, other were taken away and hanged. The row started when the blacks were working on the station of Mr Street next to Uncle’s place.

Uncle said he would sell out and go to Sydney so I would try my luck and go to Sydney. I got a horse and dray and made my way to Sydney.

I then decided to make for the diggings arriving there on first January 1852. I bought 2 claims but they were no good.

I started for Sydney with ninety pounds and stopped in Sydney for 3 months. I bought a horse and dray and provisions and started overland to the Evans diggings. There were hundreds on the road and I went to different diggings but could not do anything. I was six weeks on the roads of 600 miles and stopped at Yackandandah diggings then Buckland diggings about 600 miles away but could do nothing.

I turned back to Evans – sunk a 20 foot hole – got nothing so I sold my horse and dray and started for Bendigo diggings 200 miles distant. When I got to Bendigo I had 15 pounds left. I was there 14 weeks and ran out of money but one shilling. This was a week before Christmas and was bad at the time. However luck turned and in 3 months I had 108 pounds. I then started for Sydney enjoyed myself. I saw Uncle William and stopped with him for a few weeks.    

Adolphus Trevethan's Headstone

I took a steamer for Victoria and returned to the Bendigo diggings. I did well and made 490 pounds in very little time. Went to Sydney again for 2 months and returned back to Bendigo. I cleared 390 pounds in a few weeks, entered into speculating and a puddling machine – lost all my money with 160 pounds in debt.

I brought a horse and dray for 70 pounds and it was stolen from me. Then I went digging to buy a horse. I worked for12 months and paid off all my debts – made a few hundred pounds and went to Sydney to see Uncle – that was five years last Christmas.

He told me that if he didn’t go home next month or so – he would never go home. He seemed very happy and many happy hours I spent with him in Sydney. He promised he come and see me off - I left, but did not see him nor letter from him, but once since Susan saw him in Sydney returning from Victoria by boat.

I returned to Victoria, worked a machine – done well and got married and happy to tell you that I got a kind and loving wife.

I have been very unfortunate since I got married – in gathering gold, but cheer up – while I have health and strength and affectionate wife and 3 children and a crust of bread to eat, we all feel happy. My eldest is named Augusta Marie, second is Celia, third Leonora Matilda.

I  am now away in New Zealand gold fields. We have had plenty of snow – it is the first I have seen for nine years. New Zealand is a miserable place. I will return home in three weeks to Bendigo. I cannot stand up to cold and do anything right.

I feel happy to think there is one in England who enquires after me, but am sorry to hear my kind Aunt forbids to hear her nephew’s name, who never did anyone injury in my whole life – always try to be good and my character is stainless. If you were in Australia, my neighbors would tell you the same.

I have the photo of you and my dear Aunt – keeping it for William – you are the same and his girl the same as I last saw her.

Maria was very pleased with the present you sent her – the ribbon Maria my eldest daughter is very pleased with it. The family send their kind love to you and Aunt, also William is very proud of likeness and sends his love to you - and Aunt, hoping aunt will not have the same feeling that she has had for me this last 10 years.

Your affectionate friend


P.S. This is the 3rd letter I have sent to England since in the Colony. It is a very long letter but I have rewritten it so many times in 1852 and 1853 to send you that I cannot ever forget it. Please answer this letter and let me know how Cawsand and Kingsand are thriving.

Richard Trevethan
Long Gully
Sandhurst, Victoria

Of the 300 armed Aborigines to attack the frontier station Rawbelle and murder Adolphus Trevethan in 1852 only one was captured.  Burnett Aborigine "Davy" was hanged in 1854 at Queen St jail (site of current GPO) for the alleged murder at Rawbelle but maintained his innocence on gallows.

William Trevethan – Born 1835

Three years after Richard settled in Australia, his nineteen year old brother William also landed at Sydney. The date was the 29th of September 1854 and the ship he arrived on was the “Lady Ann”. He was listed as a farm labourer from Kingsand, Cornwall.

Susannah Trevethan – Born 1812

Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia

The following year Richard and William’s widowed mother with her five youngest children arrived at Moreton Bay, Queensland on the “Ramillies”. The date was the third of November 1855. Forty three year old Susannah, the daughter of John and Anne Stephens, left Devon with her nineteen year old son Henry who was a farm Labourer,  eighteen year old daughter Susannah and sixteen year old son Adolphus, who was a farm labourer, and her younger children Alfred aged 14, also a farm labourer, Thomas aged 12 and John aged 5. It seems that Susannah and her daughter did not enjoy the voyage as they both complained on arrival of the unkindness of the matron. Also traveling with Susannah was her sister Ann Littleton and her five children. One of Mrs Littleton’s daughters later married W.H. Groom, Toowoomba’s first Mayor.

Of Susannah ten children eight are now accounted for in Australia. However her eldest daughter Maria is not mentioned but we know that she married Issac Watts at Bendigo, Australia in 1856 so it seems likely that she arrived in the Colony before her mother, perhaps with her brother William. Susannah’s last missing child is Celia and since we know she died in Cawsand it seems likely that she died as an infant and thus all her living  family were now all in Australia.

Thomas Trevethan 1844 - 1892

Thomas Trevethan

Susannah Trevethan’s son Tomas was to become Toowoomba’s 16th mayor and a coachbuilder by trade.

Thomas Trevethan was born at Kingsand, Cornwall, in 1844. He arrived in Queensland with his mother in 1855 and was living in Toowoomba during 1856.

Educated locally, Thomas Trevethan served his blacksmithing apprenticeship with a Mr. Malcolm, a local blacksmith and builder of agricultural implements. Malcolm died several years later and Thomas completed his apprenticeship under local dray-builder “Jimmie” Murray.

Shortly after finishing his indentures, he joined a partnership with Mr James Stirling.

This dissolved after three years and Thomas moved to Maryborough where he married Miss Bella McPherson, sister of a King’s Creek Justice of the Peace.

However, Thomas Trevethan’s heart was in Toowoomba and he moved back to start a successful blacksmithing business in Neil Street. This gradually extended into coachbuilding.

A friend of Toowoomba’s first Mayor, Mr W H Groom, Thomas Trevethan was elected a Council alderman in 1886 and Mayor in 1888. He remained in public life until his death on September 21, 1891.

While on Council, he directed his efforts towards improving Toowoomba’s water supply. He also took great interest in Toowoomba’s building societies and for many years was a valued member and office-bearer of the Congregational Church.

Although aged only 46 at the time of his death, Thomas Trevethan had already achieved the reputation of an energetic and successful businessman.

He was survived by his wife, seven daughters and five sons.

An obituary in the Toowoomba Chronicle on September 22, 1891 read: “He was, we believe, one of that rare class who are without enemies, and this notwithstanding the fact that he held strong views upon all matters that came under his notice.”

A Real Queensland Car

Queensland is not known for the production of motor vehicles. Victoria and South Australia have that industry sewn up, but in the early years of the Twentieth Century a coach building company in Toowoomba began making motor cars, along with their range of buggies and sulkies.

First Trevethan Car, Queensland, Australia

Trevethans’ Toowoomba Coach Works, established by Thomas in 1863, first cars were made in 1903.  After his death his two sons were also amongst the earliest manufacturers of bicycles in Queensland, from the late 1890’s. The eelectoral roll of 1900 shows one of the sons Thomas Alfred Trevethan then aged 24 as a bicycle manufacturer of Toowoomba.

Many of their ‘T’ cycles were even fitted with small motors, so they could also legitimately claim to have made the first motor cycles built in Queensland as well. Walter and Thomas Trevethan’s early cars featured bodies made in their workshop and imported motors. Thomas junior even designed a gearbox for one of their cars, but generally they had imported drive and running gear.

Like many coachbuilders of the era; the Trevethan brothers saw their business as the production of vehicles, rather than merely being limited to the horse drawn variety. Today we look back on the coachbuilders with misty-eyed nostalgia, but they considered themselves to be up-to-date innovators. They were open and keen to adopt new ideas. Coach building workshops like Trevethans’ were often the first businesses in their town to mechanize production using motors and belt driver drills, lathes, saws and planes.

 SHAPE  \* MERGEFORMAT Trevethans’ coachworks was a family business which had grown with Toowoomba. Thomas  Trevethan senior had come to Toowoomba as a youth way back in 1856 when the area was still known as ‘The Swamp’.  He completed an apprenticeship with ‘St Margarets Forge’, a blacksmith shop near present day Queens Park. The Range side of East Creek was a camping ground for bullock and horse teams, and the blacksmith shop built and repaired their drays as well as shoeing the carthorses.

In 1863 Thomas set up in business himself in Ruthven Street, which was becoming the centre of the town. Trevethan’s Coach Works became one of the best known businesses in Toowooba, and Thomas Trevethan was active in social life as a member of the town council and Mayor in 1888.  Meanwhile the business prospered and Trevethan’s Coach works relocated to Neil Street where the bus interchange now stands..

When Thomas Trevethan died in 1892 at the age of 46 years, Thomas junior and Walter were only about 20 years of age, but the business continued to prosper and gained a reputation for supplying vehicles of the finest quality. A four-wheeled dogcart in natural timber which was displayed at the 1894 Toowoomba Show was subsequently purchased by the Governor of Queensland H W Norman. The Trevethans regularly appeared in the trade journal Australasian Coachbuilder and Saddler both for the innovations they introduced into their workshops and the quality of their four-wheeled dogcarts, which seem to have been a specialty. Yet their business was diverse enough by the late 1890s to encompass sulkies and bicycles which were affordable to a wide market.   When motor vehicles hit the roads around 1900, the Trevethan Brothers were keen to be involved.

In July 1903 the Australasian Coachbuilder and Saddler carried the following article:

Thomas Trevethan of Toowoomba proposes to go in for motorcars. The first is well on its way to completion it has a body on the model of an Abbot Buggy. The motor was purchased ready-made but the transmission and operating gear contain some original features.

The First Car Made In Queensland.

Thomas and Walter Trevethan made their first car in their Coach Works in Neil Street, Toowoomba in 1901-2, largely to their own design. The car was known as the Ly E Moon (or Ly Ee Moon), named interestingly after ship which sank off New south Wales coast in 1886. The car

Trevethan Coach Works, Toowoomba, Queensland

had a De Dion engine which was possibly a modified stationary engine rather than one from a De Dion automobile. The engine for the Trevethan was a single cylinder 7 h p engine and once obtained a start was made with the building of a self-propelled vehicle. It was only natural that their first constructional effort in this direction should follow along the lines of the buggies they had been building previously, and so the horseless carriage which they were pleased to call a motor car, was built. This was probably the first motor car to be actually constructed in Queensland. Ignition was by dry cells, the crank handle being at the side of the vehicle while the drive was by a single chain direct to a sprocket on the differential. The steering was direct to the front wheels, no worm or other method of easing the strain of turning the large solid rubber shod buggy wheels being thought of. The radiator was mounted beneath the front of the car and the springs stretched the full length of the chassis from axle to axle.

One unlooked for result of this construction effort was that every Sunday morning a stream of callers anxiously inquired of Walter which road he would be driving along that day. Having secured the desired information they took care to keep well away from that particular road so that they could jog along peacefully in their sulkies and buggies conveying family parties or sweethearts with no fear of the horses being disturbed by the queer contraption which ran along by itself omitting a variety of wheezing noises, coughs, splutters and rattles!

After having driven the vehicle about Toowoomba for a few months, the proud owner decided to motor, with a companion, to Redcliffe. Of course, there was no such thing as a made road between the two towns in those days, the only defined track – where any existence at all – being made by bullock wagons, which wound in and out among boulders, tree stumps etc, and went almost direct over the range, no thought of seeking easy grades being in the minds of those who first blazed the trail.

The lack of suitable oils for engine lubrication and a primitive transmission brake which operated through a chain to the rear wheels made such extended journeys a great challenge. The car was SHAPE  \* MERGEFORMAT seriously damaged after being charged by bullocks in 1915 and subsequently spent many years lying in sheds and under houses, but has now been restored.

The only break was on the transmission and they had to rely entirely on the single chain functioning perfectly. If the chain had jumped the sprocket going down the range there would have been no stopping the car. Apart from the usual spark plug changes about every 20 or 30 miles all went well however until on the old Liverpool Range road the car got stuck in heavy sand. 

Mr Trevethan & Mr Walker at the start of his road trip from Brisbane to Toowoomba in 1912
While assisting to get the car free, Walter’s trousers became caught on the end of the crankshaft with the result that one half was ripped completely off. Eventually they extracted the car and a little further on Walter secured the loan of a pair of trousers from a publican, who demanded a sovereign as security! Many horse vehicles had been passed on route, the language of the drivers in most cases being more forceful than polite, owing to the car frightening their horses.


No other vehicles were evident in Redcliffe however, and Walter was probably the first motorist to drive to this seaside resort, now the rendezvous of thousands of Brisbane motorise.

Walter said after the trip he wouldn’t undertake such a trip again for £1000. His hands had St Vitus dance at the end of the trip from hanging on to the steering wheel. For the return trip the car was driven to Helidon and conveyed by rail to Toowoomba.

This exploit did much to stifle the early scepticism of the new form of transport amongst Toowoomba people, and when six months later Walter imported a 7 h. p. single cylinder Star, which looked more like a motor car than a motor buggy, residents began to take more interest in motor vehicles. He was successful in converting four persons to motor car ownership that year and the number of motorists had increased to a dozen in 1906, by which time residents of outside centres were also becoming interested in this branch of his coach building business. It was not until six years later, however that he finally abandoned coach building and commenced business in Brisbane as a motor car dealer.

Restored Trevethan Car

At around the same time they also built the ‘Trevor’ car, which had an Oldsmobile engine and gearbox. This car has been painstakingly restored by Mr. Ross Flewell-Smith of Pine Mountain . Ross also had one of the Trevethans’ ‘T’ cycles.

Six years later on the 1st of October 1912 Walter Trevethan set a record of 3 hours 7 minutes to drive from Brisbane to Toowoomba and it was not till the 20’s that it was officially beaten. The car was a new model Napier one of England’s finished cars. It was mechanically excellent for those times and the body work was superb.

The route was through Ipswich, Rosewood, over the rough bulk track of the southern end of the Little Liverpool Range, then through Lauley to Toowoomba going up the Old Toll Bar Road. The distance was 73 miles. A puncher lost them 10 minutes and having to wait for the railway gates to open at Redbank lost a further six.

After the record Mr Trevethan said he could redo the trip in two and a half hours if necessary. The timing was checked by the postmasters at Brisbane and Toowoomba. At times the speedometer was almost up to 45mph along some of the black soil stretches,

This record stood for many years and though it may have been broken unofficially it was not until the early twenties that “Billy” Elvery set an accepted record of 2 hours 20 minutes which again stood for many years,

Trevethan’s Motors was situated in Neil Street, but about the time of the 1912 record. Walter Trevethan had opened his business in Adelaide Street, Brisbane.

Walter Trevethan became a foundation member of the RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) in 1905 and worked in the automotive industry as a vehicle importer and retailer. Thomas Trevethan continued as a coachbuilder and engineer. Among other inventions Thomas developed the world’s first rotary hoe (motor plough), the patent for which he sold to H. V. McKay of Sunshine Harvester Co in 1910.

Text Box: Restored Trevethan Car Walter died at Southport and was buried at Toowoomba cemetery in February 1968.

From the Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser, Tuesday March 15, 1887:

A very sad accident occurred on Friday afternoon last which terminated fatally. Mr. John Haynes, a selector on the Felton run and a very enterprising colonist, came into Toowoomba on Friday morning and purchased a new spring cart from the coach works of Mr. Thomas Trevethan. he purchased some groceries at one of the local stores and was returning to his home by the main road to Pittsworth (Beauaraba). Following behind him was his son driving a dray and two horses. At about half past 4 o'clock the son found the spring cart overturned on the road, and his father lying underneath it, with the iron work of the right side across his neck. The son called to his assistance some navvies who were camped near at hand, and the cart was lifted from the body when it was found that life was quite extinct, the neck apparently being broken so that death must have been almost instantaneous. The deceased was driving a rather spirited horse, and, becoming unmanageable when driven for the first time in the spring cart, it is conjectured he ran against the stump of a fallen tree in the road and capsized the vehicle. The body was placed on the son's dray and conveyed to Pittsworth where a magesterial inquiry was held.

Adolphus Trevethan - Riots at Ravenswood.

One of Susannah’s sons, Adolphus Trevethan, was a butcher like his grandfather had been and he got into a spot of bother at the Ravenswood Gold Fields in 1872 when he increased the price of meat. His brother Alfred who was also a butcher is also mentioned as being at the court case that followed.

Ravenswood Gold Field 1872.

Map Charters Towers

Ravenswood a once-prosperous gold mining boomtown is now almost a ghost town. Located 1459 km northwest of Brisbane and 89 km east of Charters Towers, Ravenswood was once a thriving gold mining town. Today its population of around 100 services the surrounding area and caters for the growing tourism.

It is hard to imagine that this town once boasted over 50 pubs (of course many of them were nothing more than tents for selling booze) or that it once had a population of over 4000.

The area was settled in the 1860s by pastoralists who had pushed north looking for new lands. Along the Elphinstone and Connolly Creeks two properties were established. At the point where the Elphinstone met the Burdekin the Merri Merriwa station was established and further upstream was Ravenswood station which was almost certainly named after a town in Scotland which had been popularized by the well known nineteenth century novelist Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Bride of Lammermoor.

Gold was discovered in the area in 1868. A year later about 140 prospectors and fossickers had been attracted to the new fields. When three men, Jessop, Buchanan and Crane, found good alluvial gold near the present site of Ravenswood the news led to a gold rush.

Ravenswood - Charters Towers Goldfield

After the initial flurry of fossicking the prospectors were confronted with the task of extracting the gold from lodes. This process involved blasting and crushing and quite complex chemical processing. In 1870 the Government built a crushing mill at Burnt Point and the results from the first batch of crushed ore were so good that they prompted a further rush on the area and the establishment of five more crushing works. The success of the mine was short lived. By 1872 it had become extremely difficult to extract the ore and many of the miners had moved on to Charters Towers. Some persistent miners stayed on extracting about 300 kg of gold each year from the area.

The continuing operation, plus the discovery of silver, led to the construction of a railway from Cunningham to Ravenswood.

By the early 1890s the mines were once again nearly idle. A mine manager, Archibald Lawrence Wilson, took up an option and managed to interest English investors in the field. So successful was Wilson in finding backers for the mines that it was during the period 1900-1912 that the town prospered and Wilson became known as 'the uncrowned king of Ravenswood'. During this period the population of the Ravenswood area reached about 5000 and there was about 12 500 kg of gold extracted. The mines finally ground to a halt in 1917 and since then the town has slowly declined. Today it is a true ghost town with a tiny population and a large number of interesting buildings.

Charters Tower Mine

A very stirring event happened at Charters Towers when the butchers of the town held a meeting and raised the price of meat from 4 pence to 6 pence per pound, and this the miners resented. After discussions the price was reduced to the old rate but on the 28th of October when Adolphus Trevethan, because of the shortage of cattle due to the dry conditions, raised the price again the miners were incensed. The local newspaper The Ravenswood Miner described the even as a “deuce of a row”. The main camp was then at Millchester, near Charters Towers where the shop was situated.

One Saturday night, November the second, 1872, the mob made a long rope fast through the gable of Symes and Trevethans shop, and pulled the whole structure bodily into the road. Three of the ringleaders were arrested and taken to the lock-up at Charters Towers, a distance of two and a half miles. That night an armed mob of several hundred men marched up from Millchester, and demanded the release of the prisoners. Warden Charters, in charge, went home to his country residence sick, but P.M. Jardine and Warder J. G. McDonald were equal to the occasion, and by their tact and good judgment prevented a very serious riot.

In reply to a request by telegram, Warden Hackett sent over from Ravenswood to the Towers, post haste, all the available police to assist, but they were only five.

The prisoners, after a long parley, were let out on bail, the "lady" who bailed them out receiving the same honour as did Annie Smith when she bailed-out Macrossan at Ravenswood.

All day on Sunday and the night following things looked very serious, especially as all the pubs were forced by the mob to keep open and supply free drinks. On Monday morning the men were brought before the Court, which was held in a pub. Before the Court opened, fully three thousand men were congregated in and around the Court House.

When Adolphus Trevethan rode in to give evidence, before he was off his horse the mob rushed him, and were it not for Inspector Clohesy, Trevethan's brother Alf, myself and others, he would assuredly have been killed there and then.

St George Mine, Charters Towers

On his way round to the Court House he was heckled and booed and struck several times with bottles and stones. Before he could be stop he drew his revolver and fired point blank into the crowd, wounding one man slightly and Joseph King seriously. Then came a serious fight, and it was all we could do to get him out of the mob, and not until he had been seriously maltreated, and were it not for the late Bishop Quinn, who harangued the mob and temporarily quietened them, Adolphus Trevethan would have been lynched. The mob was determined, and had a rope ready. While the Bishop was walking over with the police to the lock-up, with his umbrella over Adolphus's head, a Ravenswood constable had a horse ready, and as soon as the police got Adolphus into the lock-up, rushed him out through a back window and off to Ravenswood. Finding their prey gone the excited mob wrecked the lock-up, and finished up with a terrible night's orgie.

Adolphus’s own statement to the Toowomba Chronicle and reprinted in the Ravenswood Miner makes interesting reading.

“As he was on his way to the courthouse to give evidence against those who destroyed his property, he was hooted by a body of miners who were ill-disposed towards him and being on a young horse, he took the mount into the yard of a public house near the courthouse, and proceeded towards the building on foot. On coming out of the yard he saw there was a disposition to mob him, the miners pressing closer and closer against him. On getting near the courthouse he noticed that his safety depended on his getting into the corner of the building that formed two sides of a triangle, by which means he could prevent any of the mob getting behind him. Giving a sudden spring from those by whom he was nearly surrounded, he reached the corner referred to when he at once drew a revolver and told the crowd he should defend himself if necessary. The suddenness of this act took all by surprise and they hesitated to advance seeing that he was earnest and no one being desirous in receiving the contents of the weapon in Trevethan’s hand.

Palmer River Goldfield Today

One man more bold than the rest incited the others forward to the attack on Trevethan and got on a fence adjpoining the building with the intention of getting over and slipping behind him, when Trevethan at once covered him with the revolver and told him if he advanced another yard he would pay the penalty of his temerity, and this bold leasder, says Trevethan, on looking straight into the barrel of the weapon pointed at him at once slunk from the fence and retreated behind the crowd like a wipped cur.

Trevethan proceeded along the side of the building leading towards th courthouse door, intending to make a rush to entre the building, the crowd gradually giving way before him. By this means they got somewhat in his rear, and he received two or three heavy blows with glass bottles and other missiles, when he turned around and fired one shot. The ball struck one man on the side of the neck, going through the skin and flesh, and wounding another man behind him. A rush was made for him, knocked down and an attempt was made to take the revolver from him, and they succeeded in this he says, he believes he would have been killed at once by a shot from his own weapon. The larger number of people that attached him at once was the causr of his final escape, for in striking at him they struck and injured each other, the assailants being so bundled together that the blows intended for Trevethan were to a great extent rendered ineffwctive.

In the meantime the police hearing the firing and noise outside, rushed from the courthouse, and Trevethan said he felt weak and near fainting when he noticed the uniform of a policeman who had forced his way in through the crowd to the rescue. This was Inspector Cloheshy to whom he delivered the pisto;, and then with the help of other policeman, managed to get him into the courthouse and clear the crowd. Trevethan was kept in custody on the charge of unlawfully wounding.

Cooktown Area, north of Brisbane, Queensland

It was intimated to the crowd that he would be brought before the court for examination on the following Monday, but the excitement against him on the part of the miners being intense, it was considered that if this arrangement was carried out his life would be in danger. Consequently an examination took place about tenor eleven o’clock the same night, when Trevethan was liberated on bail, any amount of which was forthcoming, and at once mounted his horse and proceded towards the south and was well out of all danger before his enemies were aware of his being set at liberty. Toowomba Chronicle.”

A hundred specials were sworn in, and paraded on Sunday, but the only action they had to take was to endeavour to ward off sundry rotten eggs and other offensive missiles that the crowd amused themselves by pelting at them.

A large force of police was sent up from Brisbane and other towns, and many of the ringleaders, who had been quietly spotted during the disturbance, were afterwards arrested, tried and severely punished. Adolphus Trevethan was fearfully knocked about, and it was more than his life was worth to return to the Towers. The one men seriously hurt by Adolphus afterwards recovered.

Adolphus was never tried for the shooting and later returned to Carters Towers.

Alfred Trevethan, born 1841.

Early photo of Cooktown, Queensland

Alfred Trevethan was 14 years old when he also came to Australia with his mother on the Ramillis arriving in 1855.

Alfred who was a butcher is mention above and it would seem that he and his brother were in trade together at Charters Towers at the time of this instant. However the following year he moved on to a new gold field.

Gold was discovered in the bed of the Palmer River in 1872 and led to the establishment of Cocktown. This became public knowledge in early 1873. Eager prospectors headed for the field but the aborigines  proved hostile trying to burn them out and by throwing great stones from a hill overlooking the camp. The first week yielded six ounces of gold but as they moved further up the river even more god was discovered. The first party arrived back at Etheridge with glowing reports and 102 ounces of gold. The news set off an unprecedented rush to the Palmer.

Trevethan Creek Hotel - front view with pack horse mail outside
Supplies were a major problem for the miners and at one point became completely exhausted except for a little four at 2/6 a pound (the usual rate for this staple in settled townships was 4 pence per pound) and fresh beef being sold by Alf Trevethan and Jack Edwards who had only nine bullocks and as no salt was availa
ble beef had to be sun dried during the day and smoked at night. Beef sold for 1/- a pound an exorbitant price in those days.


Before the end of 1873 there were over 500 diggers on the Palmer Field and when the escort left in December of that year it carried 5,058 ounces of gold, leaving a balance of 3,000 ounces in the banks.

It seems that Alfred decided to move on for in 1875 the local Cooktown newspaper, the Courier, carried a public notice advising of the dissolution of the partnership of Henry Barbeuson, Le Touzel Hubert, John Williams and Alfred Trevethan by mutual consent who had been carrying on business at Cooktown, Charters Towers and Millchester as Butchers under the name style and

Trevethan Creek Hotel - side view with wagons and horses outside

firm of Hubert, Williams and Trevethan. The remaining three partners carried on the butchery business under the name Hubert and Williams.

In 1877 at the age of 36 Alfred married 23 year old Annie Jane Hogan at the Overland Hotel in Thornborough.. Alfred was by now a hotelkeeper presumably of the Overland Hotel for his place of residence at the time was Thornborough.

Thornborough which is 30 kilometres north of Dimbulah, was once the thriving capital of North Queensland but looking at today’s photo's, it's hard to imagine that. Yet in its heyday Thornborough boasted 22 pubs, a local newspaper, a resident magistrate and a theatre.

That was before the gold ran out and the miners and traders began to drift away, packing up their corrugated iron homes and businesses and carting them off to the next big find.

Trevethan Creek Today

130 years later, there's little more than a few cellars, some twisted frangipanni trees and a haunting bush graveyard to remind passers by of the lives that came and went in this pocket of North Queensland.


Alfred is next mentioned south of Cooktown. The Annan River Tin Field was the savoir of Cooktown in the mid 1880’s when mining on the Palmer was past its peak and confined mostly to reef mining. Heading south out of Cooktown on the way to the new mining one first had to

Black Trevethan Mountain near Cookstown

cross the “Big” Annan River and Alfred Trevethan found this crossing where the bridge now is (see map E). As there were few bridges a boat/barge was used until the first bridge was built in 1889. Beside the river was a hotel known as the Annan Bridge Hotel. Further down the road 13 miles out of Cooktown is a placed known as Trevethan Creek which presumable was named after Alfred. From 1888 on there was a Hotel there known as Trevethan Hotel. From there the road wound its way through the Black Mountains where Afred discovered Trevethan Mountants tin lodes and stream tin (see map G). From there on to the tin field on the Annan River.



Henry Trevethan - Died 1888.

Trevethan Falls, near Cooktown

Henry Trevethan and Thomas Davis were killed on the 5 Jul 1888 at the Bonnie Dundee mine, Charters Towers when they were sinking a vertical shaft. They had gone below to charge a round of holes and fire them. Soon after an explosion was heard. The manager descended and found Davis dead. Henry had one hand blown off,

and was otherwise terribly mangled. He did not sufficiently rally to explain how the accident occurred, but appearances showed that he had a number of blasting gelatine cartridges in his hand at the time, and they had become ignited through contact with a candle-flame, and being allowed to fall on rock, had exploded. Davis was thrown by the explosion against the side of the shaft and killed instantly. Both were known to be experienced and careful men, but it is probable that the accident was caused by a momentary indiscretion by one or the other. blasting gelatine in bottom of shaft; probably in the hands of one of them. Henry died on following day.

Some records of this accident list the person killed as being Thomas Trevethan and not Henry. The cemetery records show that it was Thomas Trevethan that was buried at the age of 34 in the Pioneer Cemetery on the 6th of July 1888. If the person who died was indeed 34 years old he was neither of Susannah’s sons, Thomas or Henry.

Photos below are from the collection of Caroline Henry (nee Burton).

Benjamin Burton and his wife Adeline Maria (nee Trevethan) and their children Doris and Norman


Thomas Perkins with his daughter Charlotte Trevethan sitting. Standing is Charlotte's daughter Adeline Burton and seated is her daughter Doris



The Trevethan Family from
St. Issey, Cornwall
St Issey, Cornwall

On the 15th of July 1873, the “Landsborough” (1066 tons) left London bound for Rockhampton where it arrived on the 24th of October 1873 after three months and nine days at sea. Captain Thomas had with him Surgeon Superintendent Dr A R Miller and Matron Mrs Cochot. There were 358 passengers with three deaths on the way and four births. Joseph Trevethan, aged 23 years was an indented passenger. Messrs Govatt and Thompson of the Bareves arranged for him to come to Australia to work at the Peak Downe Copper Mining Company.

Five years later in 1878 there was almost a flood of Trevethan immigrants from St. Issey to Australia with the “Glamis” bringing no less than twelve to Maryborough and the “Landsborough” bringing another three to Rockhampton. Both these ports are on the Queensland coast.

On the “Glamis” were three of Samuel and Mary Trevethan’s offspring. There was their eldest son Isaac aged thirty with his wife Sophia and their four young children Eliza, Bertha, Samuel and Alice all under six years old. Robert their eighteen old son and their cousins, the children of Thomas and Nancy Trevethan, James aged twenty five and his brother William aged twenty three were also on board. there may have been a number of other Trevethans on the ship. All of these young people are cousins of our Thomas Trevethan who was by now already in New Zealand.

On the “Landsborough” was Joseph Trevethan who at the moment I cannot connect with our family. Joseph married Laura Cook and had a daughter , Fanny in 1886. Also on board were Ellen and Elizabeth Trevethan who may well have been Robert Trevethan’s sisters.

The “New Guinea” (3000 tons) left London on the 1st of January 1886 and arrived at Brisbane, Australia on the 3rd of March 1886 after two months and two days at sea. The Captain was W J Wale who had with him Surgeon Superintendent Dr Ch Ford Webb and Miss Pozer as matron. On board was Elizabeth J Trevethan then aged fifteen years, a domestic servant who could read and write. I am sure that this was our Thomas Trevathan’s daughter on her way to her father in New Zealand after all those years apart. A father she had never meet, for she was born after he left Cornwall!

St Issey Village, Cornwall

The following year the “Chyebassa” (2000 tons), under the charge of Captain Wilson left London on the 10th of August 1887 and arrived at Brisbane, Australia on the 4th of October 1887 after only one month and twenty four days at sea. The doctor on this ship was Surgeon Superintendent Dr Usher and the matron Mrs Turnbull. Only one Trevethan was on this ship and that was Ellen Trevethan, a domestic servant aged twenty one who could read and write.
The final ship of interest to us was the “Shenir” which left Plymouth on the 20th of May 1880 arriving in Brisbane, Australia on the 25th of August 1880 after a long voyage of three months and five days. Captain Sterling was in command and his Surgeon Superintendent was W Bollard. The matron for the voyage was Miss McAlister. This was the ship that was to bring John D Parsons aged 26, his wife Emma Parsons (nee Trevethan) aged 20 and there two children John Parsons aged 5 and Laura Parsons aged 1. This is of course one of our New Zealand families who must have made it on to New Zealand at some later date.

Interestingly to us in New Zealand is that the spelling of our name Trevethan did not change on arrival in Australia as it did in New Zealand and therefore our Australian relations still spell their name the correct Cornish way.

Robert Trevethan, 1859 - 1945.

Robert Trevethan at his Wentworthville home with some of his children. c.1900

Robert Trevethan was born on the 16th of December 1859 in Berwick, St. Issey, Cornwall to his parents Samuel and Mary Trevethan. In 1861 Samuel, the brother of David Trevethan whose children came to New Zealand, was an agricultural labourer at Trevance, Merewick. His natural mother and Samuel’s second wives maiden name was Mary Jane Chapman.

Mary Hawley, Samuel’s first wife, appears to have died as a result of childbirth. She was the mother of Robert’s half brother, Isaac with whom he came to Australia. She was also the mother of Robert’s half sisters, Eliza and Susan.

Little is known of Robert’s early life. He came from a large family which consisted not only of those children mentioned already but also the children of his father’s second marriage. These

Robert Trevethan his wife Milba Jane and children c. 1910-15

included Jane, Annie, Bessie, Elizabeth, Ellen and Samuel. Most of the male members of the family appear to have been agricultural labourers or miners. The women appear to have been home makers. In the small close-knit community of St. Issey lived a number of Trevethan families all with a common ancestry so Robert would have known his cousins and other extended family members quite well.

It is not known exactly why Robert left Cornwall. It may have been due to an agricultural depression or a family scandal which involved his Uncle Thomas who was married with a large family, but who also maintained a mistress, Elizabeth Veale.

What ever the reason, in 1878 at the age of eighteen years Robert Trevethan came out to Australia on the “Glamis” and it appears that as with the New Zealand family his parents remained in Cornwall. He arrived at the port of Maryborough on the Queensland coast along with a number of other Trevethans and it is possible that he visited or even first lived with his cousin Maria Betts (nee Trevathan) at Ipswich. Maria of course later came on to New Zealand with the other members of our New Zealand family. One member of the family in Australia said that Robert while living in Queensland saw an advertisement in the paper for a job at the quarry near Bondi and went and settled there. From here he lived in various parts of Sydney, mainly on the north western outskirts, working as an orchardist, an aviarist and a blue metal contractor.
However by 1888 he was definitely in Sydney as he married a local girl Milber Jane Ashton

Minnamurra Bridge with Trevethan Street in the background
about 1910-15

whose roots go back to the early 1800’s in Australia. The wedding was held in the St. Matthews church at Windsor on the outskirts of Sydney on the 26th of April 1888. The celebrant was Rev A R Blacket and the marriage was witnessed by Charles E Aston, Andrew L James and Grace E Ashton.

Around this time he operated a quarry at Dundas in Sydney which he took over after the convicts ceased operating it. The quarried stone was taken to Ermington Wharf by dray along a very bad piece of road where the drays frequently sank to their axles, with the tail board dragging on the ground. The blue metal had been quarried here for seventy years from 1832 till 1902 for the streets of Sydney and suburbs. This quarry was probably leased from the Sydney City Council after they took control of it from the New South Wales Government. It seems that his elder brother Isaac kept the books for the quarry and that his cousin James Trevethan was also employed there. James is recorded in the electoral rolls on a number of occasions as a labourer of Quarry Road, Dundas but on one occasion as a quarry master. The large wooden family home at this site in Quarry Road, in the Parramatta City Council, still stands today and the Quarry site itself has been converted into playing fields.

Trevethan Quarry, Minnamurra,

Robert must have done quite well since around 1910 he moved to Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales and opened a blue metal quarry of his own. He sent Mr. Phillis to clear the land that was to become Trevethan Street where he built a row of miners’ cottages and also a family home for himself and his large family. A private branch line, opened on the second of September 1912, known at the time as Trevethan’s Siding serviced the quarry and it’s produce. It was later closed in February of 1943. During the construction of the railway siding five men were killed when an explosion occurred due to the premature firing of a charge.

Robert sold his interests in the Minnamurra quarry in 1919 to New South Wales Blue Metal Ltd. Today what interests remain in the land are owned by Boral Industries, although the quarry itself ceased operations in late 1939.

Miners' huts, Trevethan Street, Minnamurra 1983

The family home at Kiama has since been demolished to make way for road widening but the miners cottages are still there today and the street they face was until 1989 still called Trevethan Street. As a result of a petition from the residents of this street it has now been renamed The Village by the Kiama Council which was disputed by our Australian relations. While to date the Council have not reinstated this street with its historical name they have now set aside a piece of land adjacent to the street and along the banks of the Minnamurra River as a reserve to be known as Trevethan Reserve. Thus the Trevethan association with the area has been preserved.

Trevethan Quarry as it is today 1990

Their first of eight children, Samuel was born in 1889 but was later killed in a mining accident at the Dundas quarry when he was aged about eighteen. Of the other seven children six survived into adulthood while Robert junior died as a baby.

Robert operated the quarry until he retired some time in the 1920’s when Trevethan’s quarry was sold after having been built into a thriving business which left him quite a wealthy man. He retired to Sydney where he lived in various houses one of which was the house on Liverpool Road where he died at the age of 85 years. This substantial home with a third floor glass attic is still standing today. Before this he lived in a larger home that became too big to maintain with its large area of land and tennis court.

Robert was rather a good looking man, if rather severe in appearance. In photographs he had a goatee style beard with a moustache, all neat and carefully trimmed. In his later years he went blind. He is said to have had a rather autocratic personality.

Trevethan Street, Minnamurra

Politically, Robert was conservative and tended to be anti-trade union. It is said that when some workers came to him with demands at Dundas, he said to them not to worry since he was closing operations at Dundas anyway! Needless to say, these men were not offered jobs at Minnamurra!

Robert survived his wife by some seven years, dying at his Burwood home on 6th June, 1945. His life had been a full one. By this time he had reached well over 85 years of age. He is buried alongside his wife in the Methodist Cemetery at Rookwood in Sydney. At his death his estate was sworn at 30,908 pounds net which was split evenly between his surviving children.

Thomas Henry Trevethan, 1851 - 1913.

Another of the cousins to go to Australia was Thomas Trevethan, the son of Thomas and Nancy, who is thought to have left Cornwall in 1873 at the age of twenty two years making his arrival five years ahead of his cousin who arrived on the “Glamis”. Ten years after his arrival in Australia he married Alice Broers in Kiama, New South Wales and they raised a large family of nine children who were mainly born at Yalwal, a small mining town out of Nowra. Alice was the daughter of a German carpenter, Johan Hunrich Broers and a convict’s daughter Rachael Ann Harris. Thomas’s cousin Isaac Trevethan and his wife Sophia were witnesses at the wedding.
Thomas worked as a fedler in the mines and quarries around Bulli and Mirmanurra but later gave up coal mining for gold mining but he didn’t strike it rich. Thomas seemed to have little contact with his other relatives in Australia and it is thought that there was a split and “bad blood” concerning the quarry at Mirmannurra. Nobody today knows what the argument was about. He was later to die in 1913 at Bellambi of “miners lung” disease.

One of their children was Alice, born just before the turn of the century. She became engaged to a soldier named Frank Crago and bore his child while he was serving in the armed forces during the First World War. He considered the child not to be his, due to interference by his sister and consequently called off the engagement. Two years after the birth of this child Nancy married another soilder, Arthur Veigel but he was gassed by the Germans and suffered greatly from the effect the mustard gas had on his lungs. He became very disturbed and consequently hung himself from the roof rafters on the verandah of their house. Alice found him and never ever really got over the tragedy. She remarried seven years later to Alfed Halcrow and had one further child, a daughter by the name of Marjorie.

At an early age of about two years, somehow or other, Alice got gangrene and had to have some of her toes and part of her ankle bone removed; rendering her semi crippled for the rest of her life. The affliction didn’t stop her from working however as she lived a busy but happy life looking after her mother after she had a stroke and eventually died in 1933.

William Trevethan.

Another Australian of interest is a William Henry Trevethan who settled in Steiglitz around about 1869 after marrying Elizabeth Rowe. They raised a family of five girls and three boys.
At the time Steiglitz was a thriving gold mining town with a population of over one thousand people but by the late 1890s the houses were being sold for a few pounds each as the miners moved on. Today Steiglitz is a Historic Park.

By 1891 William had moved north to Ballarat just west of Melbourne. At the moment we have been unable to fit him into the Australian family and as he was born at Ellstone in Cornwall he may not even be related to our family. At the time of the First World War he had a son by the name of John Daniel Trevethan who lived at Broadway, Reefton, New Zealand who became a private in the Fourth Auckland Infantry Battalion.

So you can see that there were a very large number of Trevethan arrivals in Australia in the last half of the 19th century and therefore there must be a large number of different Trevethan families in Australia today. At the moment I am in contact with two of their descendants but much further research still needs to be done in Australia to get a complete picture.

Isaac Trevethan, 1848 - 1925.

Isaac was born in 1848 in St. Issey parish in Cornwall. His parents were Samuel Trevethan and Mary Hawley. When Isaac was about seven years old his mother died as a result of the birth of his sister Susan Hawley Trevethan. At this time there were three children in the family. Isaac the eldest, and his two sisters Eliza and Susan. Two years later his father remarried to Mary Jane Chapman and the family expanded further with the arrival of Mary, Jane, Robert, Annie, Bessie, Elizabeth, Ellen and Samuel.

Little is known of Issac’s early life, but at some time he must have had some schooling because he acted as a bookkeeper for a time in Australia. On 7th October, 1871 Isaac married Sophia Elliot at St. Issey church in Cornwall as had many generations before him. The births of Eliza Mary (1872), Bertha Jane (1874), Samuel George (1875) and Alice (1877) followed soon after. All had names that were traditional family names going back for generations.

For some reason, perhaps it was a family scandal or because of the agrarian depression of the times, Isaac decided to take his young family to Australia to start a new life there. He left on board the “Glamis” which arrived in Maryborough, Queensland in 1878. On board were a number of other Trevethans including his half brothers Robert and cousins James and William, and others from the family.

It was not long before Isaac had moved his family to New South Wales where more children followed including Lottie (1880), Frederick I (1882) and Beatrice Laura (1884). The family lived in many places which included Cooper Street, Waterloo where Lottie was born and Kiama where Beatrice was born. In June 1883 Isaac and Sophia attended the wedding of Isaac’s cousin Thomas Henry to Alice Broers at Kiama. Isaac and Sophia appear as the witnesses at this wedding so perhaps they were already living in Kiama by this time. However, Isaac was living at Bowral, where he worked as a gardener by 1890. It was here tragedy struck the family and his first wife was struck down with T.B. She died there on May 5th, 1890 and is buried at the Church of England Cemetery, Bowral. By this time three of Issac’s daughters had also died; Lottie, Beatrice and Alice.

For a brief time around 1913 he lived at Quarry Road, Dundas and worked as a book keeper for his younger brother at the Dundas quarry there. Interestingly though, his second wife does not appear on the electoral rolls at this address although she was still alive at this time. Later Isaac lived at “Mayville”, Irene Street, Abbotsford. This may have been the home of his son, Frederick, as he also lived in this street.

Isaac remarried in 1894 to Florence Young, but there were no children of this marriage. Little is known of his life after this time until his death on 6th November, 1925 at Abbotsford. He was buried in the Methodist section of Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney. At the time of his death he was an old age pensioner and his previous occupation was given as gardener. Isaac’s second wife lived till January, 1934 and was buried alongside him.

An interesting feature of documentation relating to Isaac is the fact that his surname is not consistently spelled. Sometimes it follows our New Zealand spelling of “Trevathan” or “Trevathen”, and sometimes it follows the generally accepted Australian spelling of “Trevethan”.

James Trevethan, 1853 - 1927.

It would seem that James was born c.1853 at St. Issey in Cornwall. His parents where Thomas Trevethan and Nancy Udy. It appears that he arrived in Australia on board the “Glamis” in 1878 with his brother William. On board the ship were a number of other Trevethans, including his cousins Isaac and his family, and Robert who was unmarried. His other brother, Thomas also came to Australia at some stage.

What happened to James in his early years in Australia is unclear. He may not have married because he appears in electoral rolls after 1903 by himself. In 1903 he was working as a contractor at Dundas. Interestingly, his occupation is given as labourer in 1906, although his cousin Robert appears as a contractor at Dundas after this date. It appears that Robert, Isaac and their cousin James all worked at the Dundas quarry for a time, although it appears to be Robert who was the quarry master during its last years of operation.

By 1915 James had moved to Meehan Street, Granville, New South Wales, where he was a carter. He died on 3rd October, 1927 and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, in the same section as his cousins Robert and Issac. Interestingly he is buried as James Travathan.

Transportation to Australia

While I have found no record of Trevethan’s being transported as convicts to Australia I did come across one case in which Joseph Trevethan was involved in one(1).

Nicholas Head Lewis, alias Nicholas Head, who was a labourer from Truro was convicted of stealing two hams from Joseph Trevethan. He had previously been convicted at Launceston sessions on the 24th of March 1830 and as a result of this new charge of stealing the hams was transported for 14 years! Hard to imagine such a harsh sentence in today's world.

(1) Quarter Sessions Order Books at the Cornwall Records Office QS1/12/185Captain James

Trevarthen Family to Australia.

Captain James Trevarthen.

Not only was the Trevethan family in Australia in the 19th century but also the Trevarthen family. Sixty kilometres south east of Canberra is a small ex mining settlement known as Captain’s Flat. In its hay day in 1882 it had a population of many thousands but today it would be luck to have more than one hundred and fifty inhabitants. The origin of the name of this settlement is the subject of much debate but one suggestion is that it is named after Captain James Trevarthen.

It may seem odd that a town built on hills should be called Captain’s Flat but the drovers who named it had the valley floor in mind, not the settlement that squeezed up the slope. That they honoured a Captain in their christening there can be no doubt - but was the Captain a bloke or a bullock?

The town’s name has an earlier history than the town. It was well established when the goldrush brought settlers to the area in 1882. By that time the Flat had acquired a number of Captain connections including; three military captains, one sea captain, one mining captain and a bullock called Captain.

James Trevarthen, a mining captain, fossicked in the area some years before its gold rush days. He originally came from England to work as a mining captain at Byng but in 1872 he accepted a job as mining supervisor in Currawang (near Collector). From there his prospecting expeditions took him farther and farther afield.

His wife, Rosina Symons, endured weeks of loneliness while her husband explored the ranges. She said that he spent so much time in a certain river valley that his mates called his camp the Captain’s Flat.

Click the links below to view the family trees in PDF format. If you need a PDF reader then click the link below to go to the Adobe site for a free download.


Adolphus Henry Trevethan, 1811-1852

Adolphus Henry Trevethan was born at Maker, Cornwall in 1811 but we don’t know when Adolphus and his elder brother William came to Australia but the first mention of them is an advertisement for unclaimed letters in March 1841 making him about 30 years of age.

Unclaimed Letters

In 1841 a number of records can be found with lists of unclaimed letters for the Trevethan family:

List of unclaimed letters for the month of March, 1841:
Mr. Trevethan

Letters for the month of September, 1841:
Mr. Trevethan

General Post Office, Sydney, 8th October, 1841. List of Unclaimed Letters for the month of September, 1841:
Mr. Trevethan


During 1847 there are a number of records in the Moreton Bay Courier of items being imported Trevethans:

Saturday 23 January 1847
Trevethan; 1 case drapery, 1 box soap, 1 box glass, 1 case,

Saturday 6 March 1847
A. Trevethan; 1 case,

Lost Cheques

From the Sydney Morning Herald we find and advertisement on Monday the 15th of January 1849:

THE undersigned cautious the Public from the under mentioned Cheques and Orders, they having been Mislaid or Stolen. Payment of the whole has been slopped.

A. H. Trevethan, favour of W. Lack
W. Trevethan, favour of P. O'Neil


The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, on the 3rd of February 1849 report the export of wool by a Trevethan as follows:

20 bales wool, Trevethan

Trouble with the Aboriginals 1851

 The Sydney Morning Herald on 1 Oct 1851 reports of the murder of George Nelson Street at Wide Bay and the help provide by Adolphus Trevethan. Little did he know that he was soon to receive the same fate. 


By the Albion schooner, which arrived on Thursday last from Wide-Bay, intelligence has been received of the murder by the blacks of Mr. George Nelson Street, lately of Cassilis, who had recently moved his sheep from the latter place to Wide Bay, for the purpose of forming stations there. About three weeks ago he was missed from his temporary station, and search being immediately made, his body was discovered the following day frightfully mutilated by the spears of the natives. In so dreadful state was the body, that it was necessary to bury it where it was discovered. We are bound to add, that no sooner was the murder of their master known, than his shepherds left his flocks to the mercy of the blacks, and broached a cask of wine which had just arrived at the station. Some of the run holders in the neighborhood hearing of this must disturbing proceeding, by force broke the bend of the cask, and Mr. Trevethan, on whoso run poor Mr. Street's sheep wore for the present deparsturing, took charge of them and the rest of his property. Mrs. Street is still at Cassilis awaiting advice of her unfortunate husbands settlement in his chosen district. Mr. Street, who was in the very prime of life (about 36 years of age), was universally esteemed for his many excellent qualities. There were upwards of twenty spear wounds in his body. We are told that, previous to leaving Sydney, some presentiments of his fate oppressed him; and that he gave to a friend his ring, begging of him, "if he «ere killed by the blacks to wear it for his sake". On September the  22nd a correspondent, in the Herald of the 23rd, states that Mr. Trevethan's station is in the Burnett district, 200 miles from Wide Bay.

More Lost Cheques Reported

From the Moreton Bay Courier 21 June 1851:

Classified Advertising


THE PUBLIC are requested not to receive the following CHEQUES, drawn by A. H. TREVETHAN, ESQ., on the NEW SOUTH WALES BANK, the same having been lost by me.

The cheques were payable to T. Cater, John Thompson and Thomas Cater of Ranbell.

Crown Leases Obtained By Adolphus Trevethan

Below is a record of Adolphus Trevethan obtaining the crown lease to three runs a total of 82,480 acres capable of carrying 16,000 sheep.

Crown Lands Office, Sydney 24th July, 1851
It is hereby notified, for general information, that the tenders of the under mentioned properties having been accepted for the runs of Crown Land, specified in connection with their respect; the names, and, payment of the first year's rent having in each case been made, the occupation of the land has been authorized, pending the preparation of the leases, and subject to all the conditions and reservations specified in Her Majesty's Orders in Council, having reference to the occupation of Crown Lands, and in the Regulations issued in pursuance thereof.

George Barney.


31 July 1851


05. Trevethan Adolphus. Name of run, Rawbell. Estimated area, 21,000 acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, 4000 sheep.

83. Trevethan Adolphus. Name of run, Dry Creek. Estimated area, 20,000 acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, 4000 sheep.

67. Trevethan Adolphus. Name of run, Coominglah. Estimated area, 21,480 acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, 4000 sheep

69 Trevethan Adolphus, Name of run, Mount Fortitude. Estimated area, 20,000 acres. Estimated grazing capabilities, 4000 sheep.

After Adolphus’s death I found in December of 1853 he obtained a further lease of crown land at Scrub Creek. Seems there is a date problem as on his death it is recorder that he did in fact have the lease for this property.

Crown Lands Office, Sydney, 26th December,'l 853.
It is hereby notified, for general information, that the tenders of the under mentioned parties have been accepted for the runs of crown lands mentioned opposite their respective names.

.The first year's rent in each case as here under stated, must be paid to the Colonial Treasury within sixty days from the present date. Default of which the tenderers will forfeit any right acquired by virtue of their tenders.

Geo. Barney,
Chief Commissioner of Crown Land?.

Burnett District.

Adolphus H. Trevethan-Scrub Creek ; rent, £10.

Accepted Tenders For Runs.

Crown Lands Office, Sydney, 26th December, l853.

It is hereby notified, for general information, that the tenders of the under mentioned parties have been accepted for the runs of crown lands mentioned opposite their respective name. The first year's rent in [    ] case as here under stated, must be paid to the Colonial Treasury within sixty days from the present date. In default of which the tenderers will forfeit any right acquired by virtue of their tenders.

Geo. Barney,
Chief Commissioner of Crown Land.

Burnett District.

Adolphus H. Trevethan-Scrub Creek; rent, £10.

Depasturing Licenses 1847

What a depasturing license is I have no idea but on a list of persons who have obtained Licenses to Depasture Stock beyond the limits of their location, for the year ending 30th June, 1847 can be found:

Trevethan Adolphus

More Trouble with the Aboriginals 1852


A report of a missing party and attacks on Adolphus Trevethans station 6 March 1852:

Dawson River. From this locality we learn that several persons have been searching for a Mr. Mitchell, from the Clarence river, and a young man named Headley , son of Mr. Walter Headley, formerly overseer for Sir Evan Mackenzie. Some weeks ago they left one of the stations on the Dawson, Mr. Mitchell being in search of a run, and they have not since been heard of. The last party had returned without finding any trace of them. The blacks were exceedingly troublesome, and it was reported that they had attacked Mr. Trevethan's station. Mr. Murray the recently appointed Lieutenant of Native Police, was about to start with a party to Mr. Trevethan's.  

The Murder of Adolphus Trevethan - 29th March 1852

Burnett District, from a Correspondent.

March 31.-The aborigines have again commenced .hostilities in this district. A special messenger arrived last night from the Upper Burnett, to report the death of Mr. Adolphus H. Trevethan, one of the most extensive flock owners in the district. It appears that on Monday last the blacks appeared upon the station in numbers, killed two Chinamen, and drove away 1700 sheep. Before Mr. Trevethan "was aware of this they marched on the head station, some 500 strong, and with loud voices and gesticulations, demanded that Mrs. Thompson, the wife of the overseer, should be given up to them. On this Mr. Trevethan ran out of his hut, unarmed, to hold a parley. He was in the act of picking up some tobacco he bad given, which they threw with vengeance to the .ground, when he was speared in several places. The unfortunate man succeeded in getting back to his hut, where he expired in about two hours.

The blacks then drove away the whole of the rams, with the rest of the sheep. This station is the same as that on which Mr. Street was killed some months ago. Only last shearing the blacks bailed up all the shearer, and took the whole of their blankets, tea, sugar, quart and pint pots, and clothing, away; the men not being able to resist for want or arms and ammunition. Rawbell is not far from the bead quarters of the Native .Police, but unfortunately Lieutenant Murray with his division are .out on the Dawson fever, almost nil to a man, from the Lieutenant downwards, laid up with fever and ague. Lieutenant Marshall is at Ideraway with his division, his horses knocked up with excessive duty. Surely this zealous, active officer ought to have more means at his command for the heavy duty he has to perform. Two horses at least are required for each trooper, as it appears that these Native Police have not only to do duty as a frontier force, but also as a patrol. They came into Gayndah the other day with four of Mr. -Gordon Sundeman's Chinamen, the ringleaders in a revolt, in which the Chinese shepherds left 28,000 sheep in the hurdles, and fled the station. Fortunately Lieutenant Marshall happened to be .in the neighborhood, and he arrested the ringleaders, and persuaded the others hack to their duty. The four mentioned were brought up at the Police Office on Tuesday, and fully committed to the next Brisbane assizes. A petition is about to go the round amongst the whole of the squatters in the Kurnott district for they are all employers of Chinese labour praying his Excellency will appoint a Chinese interpreter to the Bench; the whole of their worships' attention being taken up every Court day in deciding disputes between the celestials mid their employers; and as they do not yet exactly understand the language, these talks are necessarily one-sided. Tile Bench, it is stated, have therefore decided upon applying for a paid Chinese interpreter.

April 4.-Since writing the above, Lieutenant Marshall has marched through iiajndah with his .division, en route to the scene of the late horrid disaster. We hope soon to hear of the murderers being taken or shot. There appears to be some doubt amongst the squatters as to which of the Trevethans it is that has been murdered, as there are two brothers, but from all I  can gather I .believe it is the youngest, Mr. A. H. Trevethan.

Court Cases For Murder of Adolphus Trevethan

Davy, aboriginal native, was inedited for the willful murder of Adolphus-Henry Trevethan, at Rawbcll on the 29th March, 1852.

The prisoner did not plead, but, was remanded till next assizes, owing to the lack of police trial witnesses, these witnesses, John Thompson and James Carney, were called, and not answering, their recognizance were ordered to be entreated.

Peter Mullins and James Anderson were discharged by proclamation.

Six weeks after Adolphus Trevethans death an aboriginal named Davy was brought before the Brisbane Court on a charge of murder and the following is a report from a local newspaper:

Brisbane, Circuit Court, Saturday, the 20th of May, 1952.
Davy, an aboriginal native, was indicted for the willful murder of Adolphus Henry Trevethan, at Rawbell, in the Burnett district, on the 29th March 1852.        

There was only one witness in this case, the others being unaccountably absent, but the evidence given was very clear and distinct.

James Carney deposed that he was a workman at Rawbell on the 28th or 29th March, 1852, and early in the morning a large number of blacks, about three hundred, came to the station. Mr. Trevethan and five or six men went out, and Mr. Trevethan, laying down his gun, called upon some of the blacks whom he recognized to put down their spears and come forward to parley with him. About half a dozen of them did so, and amongst them witness distinctly recognized the prisoner Davy, who was well known to him before, and had been frequently employed at the station. After some talk with them, Mr. Trevethan went to the store and got some tobacco for them. They then asked for pipes, and Mr. Trevethan procured some from the store. He went up to the half dozen blacks, and they surrounded him. In a few seconds afterwards witness, who saw no blow struck, observed.

Mr. Trevethan came up to the hut with his hand on his breast, exclaiming "I'm dead.   I'm dead." He had five spear wounds in his breast, three of which were near the heart, one in the right breast, and one in the abdomen. The blacks with whom he had been parleying were then running away to the main body, who were about three hundred yards off. Here they resumed their weapons, and finally they moved off. Mr. Trevethan died in about two hours after he received the wounds. Witness saw no spears with the blacks when Mr. Trevethan was talking to them, but several spears were afterwards found near the spot where he stood.

The Attorney-General wished to put in evidence of the custom of the blacks to trail the spears with their toes, so that the grass may conceal them, but this was held inadmissible. The evidence of Walter Middleton was read, with the view of showing that another black, named Paddy, might have been mistaken for the prisoner; but the witness Carney, who knew both blacks, was firm in identifying the prisoner.

The jury found the prisoner guilty, and his Honour passed sentence of death upon him, in the usual form.

As you will have read from above, Adolphus’s older brother, William, was also in Australia at the time and a newspaper advertisement of the 28th of August tells of letters waiting for him.

Albion Wharf Sydney, August 28 – Mr. William Trevethan, brother of the late Mr. Adolphus Trevethan of Burnett River, Wide Bay, Several letters for the above named gentleman are lying at the [              ] TOWNS POST, on the new South Head Road.

Auction of Adolphus Trevethan’s Property

Soon after his brothers murder William Trevethan as administrator of Adolphus’s estate advertised his brothers land and stock for sale as reported in a local newspaper:

By order of William Trevethan, Esq., administrator to the Estate and Effects of Adolphus Henry Trevethan, Esq., of Burnett River, deceased.

Magnificent Stations in Burnett District, capable of pasturing at least 60,000 sheep, the country being fully equal to the pick of the Darling Downs together with the following first-class sheep, viz.:

1,200 Maiden ewes, to lamb and now lambing
700 Young ewes, with July lambs by their sides
4,000 Ewes, 3 to 4 years old, to lamb and now lambing
1,200 Ditto, 6 to 6 years ditto
3,000 Wethers, 3 to 4 years
1,900 Ditto, 2 years old
5,000 Hoggets, mixed sexes
100 Rams
17,100 more or less.

Mr. I R. MORT has received instructions to sell by public auction, at the Rooms, Pitt-street, on Friday, 24th September, at 1 o'clock,

The splendid pastoral property above referred to, to close the accounts of the late Mr.
Trevethan's Estate.

The Stations are well known in the district as being unsurpassed in their qualities for pastoral purposes as any in the colony. They are situate about 70 to 80 miles from the Post Town of Gayndah, and 150 to 160 miles from the Shipping Port of Maryborough, and are known by their respective names of “Dry Creek,” “Coomingah," "Mount Fortitude," "Rawbell," and " Tween,” the whole forming one compact block of first-rate sheep country, where flocks can be carried in any size; the abundance of water afforded by the leading branches of the Burnett River independent of the numerous creeks and lagoons, with the never-failing and splendid supply of the most fattening grasses, admitting of ample support for at the very least 60,000 or 70,000 sheep.

The Improvements, combine all that are necessary, including substantial dwelling house, slabbed and floored, with verandah, and containing four rooms, besides detached kitchen and store; Large Wool Shed; huts at the Head Station, and at various
out-stations; stall horse paddock and garden. 1000 or 1200 hurdles.

There are 20 working bullocks, 3 drays, supplies for six months, 7 or 8 milk cows, about 30 horses, besides station implements, utensils, and furniture, which must be taken at a valuation. Indeed, the station is in first rate working order.

All the indifferent and old sheep have been selected and boiled down during the past season, leaving the flocks very choice. They are warranted sound, and never diseased.

The station is adjoined by those of Messrs. Archer and McKay, and the mounted police are stationed within twenty miles of the head station.

A more valuable sheep property was never offered than the one above described, and as the purchaser will have the benefit of an immediate clip, and a great increase from the lambs, a large portion of the purchase money will be forthcoming upon taking delivery.

Terms may be learnt on application at the office of the auctioneer, with any further particulars which may be required.

If only we new the outcome of the action and how much money was raised and what happened to the money.

Inquiry Into Adolphus Trevethan’s Death

Some time in the year following Adolphus Trevethans murder an inquiry was held at Rawbell and the following is a report from a newspaper of an unknown date:

Murders by the Burnett Blacks - Inquiry
We have received a minute of inquiry held by Mr. R. P. Marshall, J. P., on the 4th ultimo, at Rawbell in the Burnett district, touching the murder of Mr. A. H. Trevethan, and one of his Chinese shepherds, by the native blacks. It appears that on the 29th March last, a servant on the Rawbell station, John Thompson, sent a black boy to bring down the working bullocks from the ridge at the back of the homestead. The boy shortly afterwards came back in terror, saying that a large party of blacks were "close up." Thompson armed himself and saw that a party of the aborigines, headed by two well known chiefs, Jacky and Killcommurry, were advancing. He presented his piece at the leaders, who threw their boomerangs at him. Mr. Trevethan, by this time, hearing the alarm, came out, and at the head of five of his servants drove the blacks up the ridge. Recollecting, however, that his nephew was in the neighboring bush, looking after some stray horses, he forbade his party to fire. The two leaders called out to Mr. Trevethan that they were not "coola" (angry), only those with them were "coola." Mr. Trevethan, entrapped by this assurance, and anxious for his nephew's safety, threw down his piece, and went towards the blacks; the two leaders throwing down their weapons at the same time, and asking for tobacco. Mr. Trevethan told them that he would give them tobacco when they brought back the property of which they had robbed the station. Jacky thereupon consulted with his party, and a blanket, coat, and some other articles were produced, which had been stolen from the station some time before. Mr. Trevethan then went back to the store, and got some tobacco, which he distributed to the blacks. He returned to the store for a second supply, and having given it to them, he stooped to pick up the restored stolen property, when five spears were hurled at him, and the unfortunate gentleman staggered back mortally wounded to his own servants. The blacks followed, yelling and throwing their boomerangs; but upon a shot being fired by one of the servants, they retired.

Mr. Trevethan died a few minutes afterwards. He had received two wounds in the chest, one in the belly, one near the ear, and one in the face. His nephew, Mr. Richard Trevethan, for whose safety he had temporized with his murderers, was in sight of the party, and had tempted to reach the homestead; but finding this impracticable in the face of about a hundred savages; he hid himself among the reeds of the neighboring river. After murdering his uncle, several of the blacks passed close to the spot where the young man lay hid, but providentially without perceiving him. After two hours of fearful suspense, he made his way to the house, where he found that his uncle had died of the wounds received from the natives' spears. About an hour after the murder, the stockman Thompson missed a Chinese shepherd, who had charge of the rams, and, accompanied by three men, he went in search of him; at the distance of about 120 yards from the homestead, they found the body of the poor fellow, horribly wounded; the skull being completely smashed. The rams, by the traces, had been driven off by the murderers. A detachment of the native police, accompanied by Mr. William Trevethan, a brother of the deceased, some time afterwards proceeded in quest of the murderers; and on the 16th ultimo, Lieutenant Marshall found the body of a black lying in the scrub, which was identified to be that of Jacky, one of the leaders of the attacking party. From the evidence afterwards taken before the magistrates, it appears, that Jacky, in endeavoring to effect his escape from his pursuers, was shot through the head by a trooper of the native police.

From the Queenslander (Brisbane) dated Saturday 15 August 1896 we find another mention of Adolpus Trevethan:

MR. MACKAY.   Mr. Hugh W. E. Mackay is an old Queensland pioneer, who so long ago as the year 1850 found himself on Rawbelle station, Burnett district, then the furthest out station in that direction. The country had but' recently been taken up by Mr. Adolphus Trevathan, who not long .afterwards was killed during an attack on the station by the blacks, 'Mr. MacKay himself being speared at the same-.time. For a period of thirteen years Mr. Mackay remained engaged in station-work-on the Burnett, when he took; charge- of. Boxvale Station

Alfred Trevethan

The first mention of Albert was in the Government Gazette of Friday, February 3, 1854 listed returned letters and one was for Alfred Trevethan:

General Post Office, Sydney.

List of letters returned from the country, and now lying at this office unclaimed addressed to persons residing in the Hunter River and Northern Districts.

Parties applying for unclaimed letters are requested to state particularly the date of the list in which their names appear, as such reference will materially facilitate delivery.

Trevathan Ewf Adolph

Annie Trevethan

The Brisbane Courier on the 20th of April 1879 reported the death of Annie Trevethan:

Trevethan - On the 20th April, at Junction Creek, Northern Queensland, Annie, the beloved wife of Alfred Trevethan, aged 20 years.   

Death of Alfred Trevethan

Just a short notice about the death of Alfred Trevethan from the Cairns Post on Wednesday the 15th of January 1890: 

Alfred Trevethan the well-known Northern gold miner, brother to the ex-Mayor of Toowoomba was drowned at Fort Dawson to-day white crossing the river.

The Cairns Post reported on January the 14th more details of Alfred Trevethan’s death in Western Australia:

A Man’s Best Friend
It has been said that “if a man has a sovereign in each pocket he stands between two friends," and there is a lot of truth in it. But the best of friends must part, and sovereigns are no exception to the rule; still, when you do part with them, let it be to the best advantage, and there is no better way of doing this than by leaving your orders with Chas. Gilbert, the loading tailor, who, it is well known, combines excellence with economy.

Referring to the death in West Australia of   Alfred Trevethan, brother of the late Mr. Thomas Trevethan, of Toowoomba (reported in our telegrams this morning), the Chronicle says: Mr. Alfred Trevethan was better known on some of the North Queensland goldfields than elsewhere. He was an enthusiastic gold prospector, and he spent a large amount of money in privately prospecting for gold in the Northern districts and other places. For some years he has been in West Australia, and some of the earlier discoveries of gold in that colony were due to Mr. Trevethan. He went overland from North Queensland to West Australia, prospecting on the way, and the results of his discoveries were reported to the authorities. Like many other pioneers, Mr. Trevethan did not benefit largely by his labours. Others have followed on the tracks he opened up, and many of them are rich men to-day. West Australia has lost a good colonist by the death of Mr. Trevethan.

However imagine Alfred’s brother, Thomas Trevethan’s, surprise when he was told the next day that his brother had not drowned at all but simply moved on to Kimberley:

January 15. The Inspector of Police at Port Darwin has telegraphed in reply to Mr. Thomas Trevethan, that his brother has not been drowned as was reported, but went to the Kimberley gold mines eight months ago.

Three years later Alfred Trevethan was reported dead again and this time it was for real. He was the brother of Thomas the one time mayor of Toowoonba who died on the 14th of January 1893. He was described as a miner late of Roebourne, Western Australia. Roebourne is an old gold rush town in the Pilbara region, 1,563 km from Perth. It prospered during its gold brush of the late 19th century and was once the biggest settlement between Darwin and Perth.

His widow, Isabella Trevethan, of Toowoomba was claiming his property in Charters Towers described as land - one undivided third share in allotment 7 of section 5, town of Charters Towers. The particulars being obtained from Alfred’s will dated the 11th of January, 1892.


On Thursday the 30th of March 1905 a fire broke out in a commercial building trapping a number of girls on the first floor. Not sure just which part of Australia that this happened in but Fireman Alfred Trevethan is mentioned in the  Examiner of Launceston, Tasmania:

Casualties and Damage
Two firemen were slightly injured during the fire. Alfred Trevethan, aged 20 years, of the head station, leapt from the chemical engine as it arrived, and swung a hammer against the front door in order to burst it open. The glass fanlight over the door broke, and a piece of glass, from the fragments that showered over him gashes his right thumb and severed the tendons between the thumb and fore linger. He continued to work until the fire was out, though in great pain.

There was a lot of damage to the shop keepers stock and a number of people were hurt besides Alfred Trevethan.

Riot at Charters Towers

The Northern Miner of the 2nd of November reported:

Some time since our butchers under the plea that owing to the high price of cattle and the extra expense entailed by the dry weather 4d per pound did not pay them, made an attempt to raise the price of meat from 4d to 5d per pound this change created a great deal of dissatisfaction in the mining portion of the population. Several roll ups were the consequence and the butchers were warned that, the mood of their persisting carrying out their intentions, their premises would be demolished. After some consideration, the diggers' demands were acceded to, and the original price charged.

In the butchering line things stood thus till Monday last the butchers enjoyed peace and pursued the even tenor of their ways in unmolested quietude, while the miners enjoyed their steaks at 4d. But on Monday morning Mr. Adolphus Trevethan, thinking probably that he could charge what he liked for his own, again bought up the price, this time to 6d per pound, stating his intention of shutting up his shop if he could not obtain that price. This was more than a portion of our population could stand. That night a roll up took place. Trevethan was again cautioned, and told that if the prices were not again lowered his shop would most certainly come down the following evening. Trevethan was obdurate, he bad raised the price to 6d , and at 6d ho would keep it. He may have thought his firmness settled the question, that those assembled as they left would return to trouble him no more. But he was mistaken, like Mistress O'Shanter, they ware merely nursing their wrath to keep it warm.

On Tuesday evening the musical sounds of a bullock bell floated gently on the breeze, and the lively town of Millchester responded with the cry 'Roll up ' Roll up! " Soon a crowd assembled and proceeded to the fated building, which was  bolted up and in total darkness. A few groans and some booing (of winch we could hear very little) were given, winn cues weienued, "Pull his house down, pull, it down". “Trevethan was always the first man to raise the price". "Pull his shop down”.

" A rope! a rope” A rope was soon procured. ( from On War and Co's shop, and placed round I the building, the ends being carried across the street by the crowd. Immediately a strain was put upon the rope it snapped cut, we believe by someone behind the building. We might here stnto en passant that the building is, 01 ( i athol was, composed of pine, and presented rather a respectable appearance. The rope (was soon adjusted, this time higher up and apon  a few hearty pulls and a considerable amount of monking and groaning on the part of I the doomed house, down it came with a crash, Amidst great applause. A lull now took place, (and the rope coiled for return, but Bomo fout buildings were discovered, and after a little discussion they were next attacked and bought down. The rope was then coiled, and a load taken of Mr On Wal's mind by its return. Thus concluded the evening’s proceedings lhe total number present did not exceed 600 men, and a very considerable portion of them took no part in the affair. On Wednesday morning the police, who had mixed pretty freely with the crowd on the previous evening, made three arrests. The prisoners were convoyed to tlie lockup on tins camp, where it was reported that a rescue would be attempted in the evening. A good deal of excitement prevailed, and many were the opinions as to the result.

About 9 p m a large number of men arrived from Millchester, and with some others proceeded to Mr. Boighoro's Hotel, with the intention of seeing Mr. Commissioner MacDonald. To their repeated demands Mr. Borgheio refused to open Mr. MacDonald's room. The crowd then proceeded to the lock-up, where Mr. MacDonald was found in company with Mesers Collopy and McCarthy, and a small detachment of police under arms. When called on Mr. MacDonald came out in front of the lock up, and do maudod what was wauled On o íoply being made, he said ho hoped those assembled would have more sense than to attempt a rescue. Ho very coolly told them that if they did they might expect the most serious result. Ho had been placed in his present position to maintain law and order, and to see that property was protected. It was, therefore his duty to do, and unless he preformed his duty he was unfit for his position (A voice "The police are armed, the police bare revolvers!"). Mr. MacDonald "Yes, the police have revolvers, but I hope you will give them no cause to use those revolvers " Many of the men came forward and said they were as guilty as the men who bad been arrested, and demanded that either they should all be locked up, or the men in charge liberated Owing to the noise, little of what was said could be heard, and we cannot therefore give a full report. We can merely say that Mr. MacDonald was very cool and collected throughout. He firmly refused to accede to the demands for the liberation of the prisoners, until be was asked to accept bail, which, after a few minutes' consideration, ho agreed to do. Masers Annio, Smith and L Borghoro were accepted as sureties, and the men were set free amidst great cheering.

The crowd then adjoined to the North Star and Golden Connon Hotel, und a roil up was fixed on for Friday morning at 10 o’clock, the hour at which the prisoners had to surrender their bail.

About 9 o'clock yesterday morning small groups of men began to arrive, the principal numbers coming in by the Millchester road. By half past 9 a considerable crowd had collected, which largely augmented by IO o'clock. At that about all the available police marched to the Court House, under the elimgo of Mr. Sub-Inspector Collopy, Mr. Sub Inspector Clohesy, who arrived the previous evening in charge of the escort and Mr. Sub Inspector McCarthy also attended. The men who had been bailed surrendered to their bail, and the case (the evidence taken is given below) proceeded, Messrs Jardmo and MacDonald occupying the Bonds. The noise was so great outside, thus several times it was almost impossible to hear what was said by witnesses, but no decisive demonstration took place until the unfortunate shooting affair occurred after that the business was interrupted several times.

The Shooting

A little after 11 o'clock the tumult suddenly increased, and the crowd was heard toiueh in the direction of the North Star Hotel. Mr Clohesy rose and left the Court to ascertain the cause.  Directly after a shot was fired and an excited messenger arrived to say that the crowd was chasing Trevethan, and would most likely kill him if the police were not at once sent to his assistance. Mr Jardmo directed the constables to go and rescue him, and bring him to the Court House. Soon after Trevethan was brought in, in charge of the constables, in an almost fainting state. He presented a most pitiable appearance; his head and face were bruised and bleeding while from his rapid and difficult breathing it was evident he had just gone through a severe struggle. He was taken into the bedroom adjoining the Court, water was given to him; here he was left to recover. No sooner had Trevethan been disposed of than his victim, a miner named Joseph King, was brought in. King was very pale and weak, and was bleeding profusely from a wound in the neck. He had to be supported as he came along. As soon as possible Mr. Jenkins attended to him, and had him convoyed to his own bedroom After considerable difficulty Mr. Jenkins managed to stop the bleeding and bondage the wound. A report spread that King was dead, and the scene which followed bialys description. No sooner was it discovered that Trevethan was in the court than a rush was made for it The people swore they would have Trevethan out that they would hang him like a dog, and for some minutes it looked very like as though they would be as good as their word The police drew their pistols, but were driven back into the court, and things looked serious. Ultimately ,Mr. Jardmo got on to the verandah and some what pacified the crowd by assuring them that Trevethan was in custody, and would be tried for shooting King. From an eye witness we have a description of what occurred outside the Court. He says Trevethan rode down the street till opposite the North Star Hotel. No sooner had ho made his appearance than the crowd began to hoot and groan at him. He rode on in defiance, and dismounting at the North Star, led his horse up to the verandah, and tried to fasten him to the verandah post.

The horse, how over, had become frightened, and he took him to the yard in the rear. By this time many more men had arrived. They continued hooting and yelling at him, and followed him closely from the yard towards the house. Trevethan turned on the crowd and presented his revolver, which he had drawn some time previous. Of course this only exasperated the men. Some of them, pushed on by those behind, jostled against him, and a bottle was thrown by some one in the crowd. Tins, if aimed at him, did not hit him. Trevethan again turned, and fired point blank into the crowd. A man close to Trevethan received a slight ' wound in the neck, the shot taking effect on King, who was immediately behind, The bullet entered his neck on the right side, and passed out behind, immediately above the blade-bone. King dropped at once, and a rush was made for Trevethan. His revolver was seized, and he was carried by the crowd which followed into the street Mr. Olohosy managed to reach him through the crowd, and after a great deal of difficulty and danger succeeded in wresting the revolver from Trevethan, who had retained hold of it, and was endeavoring to use it again. Owing to the crush little damage could be done to him, although many kicks and blows were aimed at him. As we stated, he was ultimately rescued by the police and convoyed to the Court House.


After the adjournment of the case, Bishop Quinn visited the Court House, and had a short interview with the magistrates, at the conclusion of which he approach one Mr. Borghoro's verandah. Mr. Borgbcro having called the attention of the crowd, His Lordship addressed the people briefly. He commenced by observing that having heard some noise which boomed to indicate public excitement, he had come to the spot from whence it proceeded, and learned its cause from the magistrates. He then begged the attention of the people assembled while he offered a few observations and made a suggestion or two which he hoped would lead to a satisfactory settlement of the matter about which they were interested. The suggestions he believed they would recognize, not so much as any thought of his own, as they were the general feelings of the people assembled, embodied in language. First of all hr would observe that he believed he was known to many there present as a friend to the minors; that from the time when ho first came to know them, ho had formed the opinion that, as a body, they were the best preservers of law and orde, and the most honest promoters of impartial justice in the colony. He did not believe that there was no body of men in the colony in whoso hands the preservation of peace, the support of the lawfully constituted authorities, and the promotion of justice were more secure than in those of the miners. That it was a well-known fact that neither here nor at any other gold-field in the colony did the Government think it necessary to place a police force sufficient to maintain order, trusting to the known orderly habits of the great majority of miners. His Lordship then observed that he did not at all intend to go into the merits of the case which had caused lhe present commotion; but that ho would say this much, that the act of the man who had fired the shot was a rush act. He did not believe that more ought to be said by any one not duly authorized lo pass sentence on him. He would also say, he believed there was no body of men who would more clearly distinguish between n rash impulsive act and one of premeditated malice, than those there present. How far the act was rash and impulsive, and how far malice, should bo determined by the lawful authorities, and that he felt warranted in assuring the people that strict justice would be done. He further suggested, first, that the people should allow Trevethan to proceed to the lock-up, and that they should pronounce no opinion on his guilt until the magistrates had given their decision. The people having promised his Lordship, by a show of hands, to abide by his last suggestion, Trevethan was convoyed to the lock-up by tho police, his Lordship accompanying him, and using his influence to protect him. From the court to the look-up Trevethan was greeted with a terrible storm of yells and groans. Cries were raised to seize mid hang him, and we firmly believe, had it not been for the Bishop's presence, the threat would havo been carried out. He is at present in custody on a charge of shooting.

The crowd dispersed about 3 o'clock, and the town was almost as quiet as usual last night.


YoBt'ji'day, at 10 o'clock, Georgo Steel, James Foromtu, ond Daniel Scullon, surrendered to their bi.!, to answer a charge of that, on Tuesday, 2r.' . October, they did, with divorB others, riotouB'y, tumultuously, and unlawfully do police, "pull down and destroy a certain building, the properly of one" Adolphus Trevethan, of Millchester. Mesers. Jnrdino and MacDonald occupied the Bench.

Senior-Contestable Robert Gillanders, stationed at Millchester, deposed : I remember the 29th instant; there was a largo crowd in the streets of Millchester; I hoard a bell, and saw a man ringing in the street. I cautioned him, and told him if ho continued he wauld likely to get into trouble ; I hoard him calling out " Roll up, roll up" and "We'll bring the price of meat down;" I heard the cry of "A rope" a rope was brought and placed round Trevethan’s shop; there were over 300 persons pulling the rope ; I can't identify prisoners as persons who were pulling on the rope; next the house was pulled down. I believe they pulled down other buildings; the shop pulled down was built of weatherboards, with iron roof; it was as good a building of the sort as I have seen on any gold-field; the people were very disorderly ; I had no means of preventing them from pulling the building down; there were only two men at my disposal; I hoard them saying- "Coil up a rope. We'll have his house down; ho was always the first man to raise the price;" after the bellman's calling the most of the people remained two hours in the street; some were fighting, and tried to separate them; a few gathered in front of Walker's store, saying, " Let's pull Walker’s store down ;" I can't swear that the bellman was there; I apprehended Foreman and Steel as ringleaders; when arrested, Foreman said, "All right, I was in the crowd, but did nothing, I suppose I'll have to suffer;" Steel said, " I was there, I'm not sorry for what I've done, I'd do the same again, if I had to swing for it ; there were plenty more beside me, mid I suppose I'll have plenty company;" did not arrest Scullon; that night the peace of the town was very much disturbed; So much so that the inhabitants were in dread of their property being destroyed, and applied for police protection; the conduct of the mob was such so to terrify them-in fact, there was nothing but mob law ; some said, "It will never do to pull down Walker's store ; there is too much grog in it, if we pull it down the place will be a hell in flames before morning; "I received no instruction of roll up from Trevethan. I heard flying reports that a roll up was likely to take place; I sent a verbal report of it to my superior officer ; I asked Trevethan if he did not fear violence; he said, "No;" I said if ho was afraid I'd report it and have pro- tection "he said ho did not want it."

By Foroman; I did not see you doing anything in the crowd; you soid "I was in the crowd" you did not tell mo you were not in the crowd.

By Scullon: I did not see you doing anything but ringing the bell.

Constable Callaghan was called, but was unable to give his evidence for some time, as the shooting took place at this time. When tranquility had in some measure returned, Mr. Haynes said he appeared to watch the case for the prisoners.

Callughan deposited: I remember the 28th ; I saw u crowd of parsons on the street at Millchester; there must have been between 600 and 700; they were for the most part assembled opposite Trevethan’s shop ; I saw Scullen on tho street; he was shouting " Roll up Roll up we’re going to pull down price of meat" ho was going down town towards the crowd; ho joined the crowd opposite Trevethan’s shop; could not distinguish his voice in the crowd; they were shouting; I hoard cries, " A rope, a rope" I could not state with certainty anything else was said; a largo party rushed to On War's store; I saw them come out with a rope; they took the rope to Trevethan's store and pulled it down; a great many more than ten brought the rope; they ran down towards the shop shouting; I could not interfere with them; it was impossible to protect the building; the conduct of the mob was such as to cause alarm to store- keepers and others; after Trevethan’s building was pulled down the crowd separated-some went opposite On War's store, some opposite Walker's; saw prisoner Scullon ringing a bell; heard a mon addressing a crowd not to pull Walker's store down; heard shouts, but could not distinguish what was said; some went opposite Walker's, while others went away; I did not see the bellman after; sow him next morning behind Walker's slore; arrested him; asked him why ho rang tho bell; ho said ho did not know-the bell was put into his hand by some one ho did not know; he said ho was very sorry for the affair, and that it was an unfortunate job for him; I found tin bell on him; I do not know the other prisoners; I did not see them in the crowd on the night of the 29th.

By Mr. Haynes: Prisoner Scullen was opposite Hishon's when I first saw him; there was no crowd round him; I was near Mrs. Steven’s Hotel at the timo; I was going towards Trevethan's shop; I followed him down, and got to the crowd immediately after him; I heard the crowd singing out immediately after I got down; I do not know whether Scullen was the man who said, "Pull down the store; "after Trevethan's houses was down, Scullon rang the bell again opposite On War's store, it was after he rang the bell that a man got up and advised the crowd not to pull down Walker's store; that was the last of the boll-ringing I hoard; only port of the crowd wore opposite On War's; afterwards a largo crowd congregated at Walker's I store; I went to the crowd at Walker's store; I did not see Scullen there; I have hoard of previous roll ups at Millchester; I was not prosent at them.

By prisonor Scullen : I beard n bell last night at Millchester; the man was on horseback; the police pursued him, but could not catch him.

William Wehr and llubort Moxham were called, but wore not present.

Tho caso was adjourned till 2 p.m. for their attendance, the prisoners being admitted on former boil.

At that timo Moxham and Wehr were again called, but did not appear.

Mr. Collopy applied for an adjournment till Monday; as one of his principal witnesses was in goal, while two others were not present.

Mr. Haynes agreed to the adjournment, as it was, he thought, beneficial to his clients.

It was granted, tbe prisoners being admitted to bail on their own recognizance’s.

And another report of the incident from the Evening Post of Saturday, November 23, 1872 is some what different:.


Respecting the late riots at Charters Towers, the Port Denison Times supplies more explicit particulars : — A mob of loafers pulled down Symes and Trevethan's butchers shop at Milehester, Charters Towers, because the price of meat was raised to sixpence per pound. Three ringleaders were arrested, and liberated on bail at the court house. Next day a large mob tried to prevent Trevethan giving evidence. They shot him in the head. It is not certain whether he is dead or not. Another witness, David Weir, being mobbed, shot two and then rode off. Three shots were fired after. Diggers rolling up to hunt the ruffians.

Thomas Trevethan

The Queanbeyan Age (NSW) reported on Wednesday 11 July 1888 of and accident at Charters Towers:

At Charters Towers on Thursday morning a miner named T. Trevathan was holding some gelatine in his hand, when it went off, terribly injuring him and killing a man named Davis who was standing behind him. Trevethan, the miner, who as injured by the explosion in the 'Bonnie Dundee mine at Charters Towers on Thursday, died, next morning.

Richard Trevethan

Suicide at South Brisbane

The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW reported on Monday the 5th of July 1897 the death of Richard Trevethan:

A man named Richard Trevethan bas committed suicide at South Brisbane by cutting his throat.


T A Trevethan

T A Trevethan’s son Roderick married Mary Livingstone in Brisbane on an unknown date which was reported in the Courier Mail, Brisbane:

Trevethan — Livingstone

A wedding of town and country interest took place on Saturday after noon at the Ann Street Presbyterian Church, when Mr. Roderick Trevethan (second son of Mr. and Mrs. T. A. Trevethan, Stanthorpe was married to Miss Mary Livingstone (youngest laughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Livingstone, Eagle Junction). The Rev. P. W. Pearson officiated. Miss Ray Spence rendered a vocal solo during the signing of the register. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a. gown of ivory thumb print crepe featuring wrist length pleated sleeves, while the short train also boasted crystal pleadings. Miss Emily Livingstone, who attended her sister as bridesmaid, wore, a frock of palest pink: ciffon pleated from neck to hem. Mr. Stanley Clark was the best man. The wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride's parents. On leaving for' the honeymoon the bride wore a three-piece suit  of navy drawn-thread crepe de Chine, with white pique revers, and a hat.

Thomas Trevethan

Isabella Trevethan

The Brisbane Courier reported the death of Isabelle Trevethan the wife of the late Thomas Trevethan:

Á large number of relatives and, old friends attended the funeral at the Toowoomba cemetery yesterday last of the late Mrs. Isabella Trevethan widow of the late Mr. Thomas Trevethan; of Toowoomba. The deceased lady was' a .native of Kingnssic, Inverness (Scotland), and carne to Queensland with her, parents (Mr. and Mrs. Donald McPherson; in December, 1855, in the sailing ship Sobraon spending their first month in Australia in quarantine, on Stradbroke. Mrs. Trevethan was then a child of. nine years, and .as. Gaelic was their only language it is interesting to note, that she preserved a knowledge of the old Celtic-tongue up to the last, and a few days before her death she saluted, the devil McKillop who came to visit her, with the noble speech of Ossinn. Hcr first journey with her parents from Brisbane to Toowoomba (or Diuyton Swamp as it was-then called) occupied four weeks, after father having chartered a, primitive bullock dray for his first great adventure in the new territory. The family settled in Toowoomba, and followed pastoral pursuits, and in .1889 Miss Macpherson became the wife of Mr. Thos. Trevethan, the pioneer coachbuilder of the Darling Downs, who predeceased her in 1891, leaving 12 children -five sons und seven daughters. The eldest of these is Mr. Walter McPherson Trevethan, the well known principal of tile firm of Walter Al. Trevethan Limited, Motor Importers, of Brisbame, so that the Trevethan, father and son, have been associated with matters vehicular for more than 60 years. The Rev. Mr. Armour officiated .at the graveside, the chief mourners being four sons and two grandsons. .The Mayor of Toowoomba (Alderman DvAuiiond) and the Town Clerk Mr. F. Merritt) represented the 'Toowoomba City Council, of which the husband of deceased was Mayor in 1886. The respect in which this fine old identity was held was testified by the flying of many flags at half mast. Numerous wreaths and .messages of condolence were received by the family.

Queensland Mine Accident


The West Coast Times of the  25 July 1888 reporyed a mining accident in which Thomas Trevethan died:


A strange accident happened in a Queensland mine last week. A miner named Thomas Trevethan had a charge of gelatine in his hand, when it exploded. The full force of the blast was between his legs, which »ere seriously injured, and another miner oained Xhimns Davis was struck on tie chest and killed instantly.


The Sydney Morning Herald

Tuesday 29 January 1907




Word was received on Saturday that the mining camps at Helen's Vale and Tableland had suffered considerably. The Trevethan Creek rose as far as Connor's, which is some distance above the crossing, and the Annan River got into the bar of Watkins’s Hotel, Helen's Vale.

All the alluvial claims have been flooded out and the workings destroyed The country looks as if it had never boon touched with pick or shovel, This means a great loss to the miners, It will take months before they can get on to the run of tin again No information is available regarding Collingwood, or whether the Annan River Tin Mining Company water has been materially damaged

Information was received this morning that Starcko's goldfield had also suffered from the cyclone. Charles and Alec Wallace and Gorton's residences were wrecked. Tho Great Northern gold mine at Coen has been shut down, and all bands discharged. The dams and water races of Rossvlllo have been swept away. The miners, however, do not consider that this is too serious, and a few weeks will repair the damage.

The relief fund now totals £1000, and nil applicants have been relieved The question of rebuilding the homes remains in abeyance until the committee see what funds will be available.

William Alfred Trevethan


The Poverty Bay Herald on the 17 March 1893 reported on a domestic tragedy that had taken place in Cumberland, Australia where William killed himself and his wife, It was reported as follows:

Brisbane, March 3. A telegram has been received from Georgetown in connection with the tragedy at Cumberland, where William Alfred Trevethan. Post and Telegraph Master, shot his wife dead and then shot himself. It appears that Trevethan had been addicted to drink for many months, but lately became worse. His wife apparently tried frequently to restrain him when he became violent. On Monday last he was so bad that she, for personal safety, left him until the morning. Early on Tuesday morning he went to her, being then quiet, and she returned with him. Both lay down on a sort of sofa stretcher, and he then apparently drew a revolver and shot his wife through the head. The bullet entered over the left eye, death being evidently instantaneous. Trevethan then fired another into his own head, the charge entering through the top of the forehead. The funerals took place in the afternoon, and were very largely attended. First the body of the man was lowered into the grave without any religious service, then the Roman Catholic service was read over the body of the wife. Trevethan, who was 24 years of age, held a good position as post and telegraph master, with other appointments. He was born at Dalby, and married his murdered wife at Cumberland last May. Her maiden name was Catherine MacNamara; she was 22 years of age, and a native of Ravenswood.



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