Mathew Barber Miller

Mathew Barber Miller

Mathew Barber Miller was born at Newton Stewart, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland in 1817. He always spelled his first name with one ‘T’. County Tyrone contains large quantities of sandstone and marble and it is thought the man from whom Mathew learned his occupation must have been a master of his craft. Mathew Miller was born to his trade. His father William Miller was a stonemason and his mother Jane Miller (nee Mason) was probably the daughter of a stonemason as many surnames were derived from occupations. Mathew Miller arrived in Australia in 1840 as a free immigrant on the steamship Clyde. He was 22 years of age. Accompanying him were his 21 year old wife Anne who left behind her parents James and Mary Pinkerton never to see them again? Ann was to be reunited with some of her brothers and their families later. Also on board the Clyde were Samuel, John and Margery Dunbar from the village of Ardstraw also in County Tyrone. Both the Dunbar and Miller family names were to become familiar to the residents of Scone. They have had a continuous presence in the district for more than a century since arriving in the colony in the mid-nineteenth century. It appears that both the Miller and Dunbar families came to Scone shortly after arrival. Samuel Dunbar was a bricklayer and worked with Mathew Miller on many of his buildings until his death by drowning in 1864 at the age of 46. Both Samuel and his wife Elizabeth are buried in St. Luke’s Churchyard.

Mathew Miller was said to have worked in 1846-1847 on the Hill Street section of St Luke’s Church of England Schoolhouse, now part of the Scone Grammar School reopened in 1990. Mathew Miller was also associated with an architect Mortimer William Lewis (Junior) who was Clerk of the Works at Maitland and later Newcastle. This association was undoubtedly of considerable value to Miller, not only in obtaining suitable and profitable contracts, but in acquiring greater knowledge of design and construction. Mathew Miller’s first major construction was the original Court House in Kingdon Street. First tenders were called dated 28 February 1848 and closing date of 3 April 1848. Notices appeared in the Government Gazettes of 29 February 1848, 7 March 1848, 14 March 1848, 21 March 1848 and 28 March 1848 calling for persons willing to Contract for the erection of a Court House in Scone. The successful contractors were John Laurence, carpenter, and Mathew Miller, stone mason, both of Scone, with a tender of £390. Their sureties were George Grey, blacksmith of Scone and James Phillips of Kareen. Soon after signing the contract Laurence pulled out and Mathew Miller built the Court House on his own.  The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser reported on 13 June 1849 that the new Court House at Scone was nearly completed and it was expected that the bench would take possession by the end of the month. “It is a fine building, and the workmanship appears good, and justice done by the contract.” A letter dated October 3, 1849, stated that Mathew Miller had completed the building and would be glad to receive the balance of payment due to him, “as I am a por man” (sic.). Although he was invited to make repairs to the lock-up in 1850 he must have had other commitments as he acted as guarantor to a carpenter, James Graham, who undertook the task instead. In 1853 when the walls of the Chief Constable’s cottage adjoining the Court House were in danger of collapse, “under a spread roof”, Mathew Miller did the necessary repairs. The steady increase in population in the Upper Hunter and the shortage of skilled labour provided plenty of work for the competent stone mason and his builder Samuel Dunbar.

Mr Miller purchased 230 acres of land (some reports say 320 acres) from Mr William Dumaresq of the St Aubins Estate on 14 July 1856 for £460. It had formed part of the original land grant. Later on 12 July 1859 he sold 2.5 acres on the Great North Road to Samuel Luke. The original four room double brick cottage ‘home’ with a separate kitchen was constructed by Mathew Miller on its present location. It is likely he baked the bricks on site from the mineral resources acquired from the ‘brick pit’ which later became the livestock saleyards and latterly the Murray Bain Oval in Susan Street. He later named the residence Belmore House in honour of the Governor of NSW the Earl of Belmore who would officiate at the ceremony for the arrival of the railway on 17 April 1871. Mathew Miller was on the planning committee for the celebrations and intriguingly the railway bisected his land. Belmore House was built on a gentle slope at the northern end of Kelly Street from where he would have had magnificent views to the north and west of the great ranges. The higher ground to the north of Figtree Gully was generally known as Belmore Heights. The main street stretched south before him to what would have been Kelly’s Farm, now part of White Park. The land and house were at first outside the town limits. Belmore House commanded views of the other houses Mathew Miller had built to the spire of St Luke’s Church and the Court House beyond.

When Sir John Robertson’s Land Bill (Conditional Purchase) was passed in 1861 Miller secured several blocks of land under this system including Belvue (original spelling) which was the first block taken up at Gundy. In the early years the whole district was known as Belvue. It was at Belvue that Mathew Miller constructed the house for his daughter Matilda and husband Walter Hayne. Some records show that it was Walter Hayne who originally selected Belvue.

Belvue is close by the river crossing and near the track leading up the Hunter River. It demonstrated his newly acquired knowledge being architecturally interesting because of its pise construction. It is idyllically situated in a charming setting among low hills with a view of Mount Woolooma rising majestically in the distance. In time Mathew Miller procured many more blocks in the Gundy district under the Conditional Purchase system. On 10 September 1868 the Foundation Stone was laid for the erection of a church at Gundy. The church was built of bricks with a shingle roof. It was erected by Mathew Miller and opened in early 1869. The bricks were baked in a kiln where the Linga Longa Hotel now stands. The church was named St Matthew’s and an early hazy photograph is still in existence. The original church was struck by lightning and has since been demolished and rebuilt. There is a street in Gundy named Miller Street in honour of Mathew.

A tribute to Mathew Miller’s eclectic skills is the number of buildings still in use today. They include Geraldton; Belmore Hotel (bottom floor); twin cottages opposite the hotel; Grosvenor (corner of Liverpool and Hill Streets) and Scone’s first Court House (now the green room of the Old Court Theatre). Mathew Miller also worked on the first St Luke’s Church of England which was erected in 1841 and demolished in 1883 to make way for the present church on the same site. The Scone & Upper Hunter Historical Society has established the Scone Heritage Walk of Mathew Miller’s Houses and Buildings situated between Elizabeth Park and Scone Historical Museum. Business premises in Kelly Street and cottages in other streets were built as investments for his growing family. Some have survived for a century or more and there may be others as yet unidentified? The original St Mathews Church in Gundy was struck by lightning and demolished.

Mathew Miller stood for election at the first Municipal Council Elections in 1888 even though at first he objected to the formation of a Municipality for Scone. He received insufficient votes for election and with some chagrin did not try again to become an alderman. At the time of the Miller’s arrival in Scone (early 1840’s) the population was about 40 adults and 20 children with 10 houses in the village. At the time of his death (1902) the population of Scone was nearly 1000 people.

Mathew and Ann (nee Pinkerton) Miller had nine children. After Ann died in 1877, Sophia Brown became Mathew’s housekeeper until Sophia passed away in 1892. The actual nature of the relationship between Mathew Miller and Sophia Brown is a matter of some conjecture? Mathew subsequently married Mary Ellen Read in 1893 who was the widow of Scone chemist George Read. Mary Ellen Miller had been married twice before, Mathew being her third husband. Mary outlived Mathew dying on 4 March 1912 at Paddington.

Mr Miller and his family occupied Belmore House until his demise. The inscription on his grave reads: “Mathew Barber Miller, died at Scone, 25th. October, 1902, aged 85 years.” The home then passed to his widow Mary Ellen Miller and some of the contents to his unmarried daughter Sarah, the fifth of nine children. Sarah had been living with her married younger sister Elizabeth Ann and husband Patrick McCue in their house across the railway line in St Aubins Street (West).

Four of the children (Jane, Mary Ann, William James and Barbara) died in infancy and Sarah never married. The only male child William James (No 7) died at only 2 years of age so poignantly there are no direct Miller male line descendants. Matilda first married Walter Hayne at Scone on 13-9-1859. Walter had been born in England on 31-10-1829 and died at Gundy on 12-11-1872. Matilda then married Charles Hines (b. England 1846) at Pages River on 21-4-1881. Charles was arraigned and detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure and died in Maitland Gaol on 21st May 1897. Both Walter Hayne and Charles Hines were listed as farmers by occupation. Ann Jane Miller married publican John Hannabus in Scone on 18-8-1870. John was native born at Windsor NSW in 1847 and died at Randwick in 1924. Between 1874 and 1879 John Hannabus was owner/licensee of the Belmore Hotel.  Rebecca Miller also married a native born in Charles James Walters who was recorded at Darlinghurst on 2-11-1856 and passed away in Gundy on 6-7-1917 where he had been a butcher.

Patrick ‘Paddy’ McCue was born at sea in 1842. He settled at Maitland and married Bridget Kennedy, formerly of Tipperary. Tragedy marked his early years in Scone with the deaths of his young wife and four of their infant children within the space of 4 years from 1871 to 1874. All were buried in St Mary’s churchyard. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Ann Miller at Singleton in 1875 before Patrick pre-deceased Elizabeth at Scone on 19-5-1915. Patrick McCue operated his blacksmith’s and wheel-right business from a vacant block on one of the two Mathew Miller cottages opposite the Belmore Hotel. Joe Cumberland occupied the northern unit. Paddy and his eldest son Joe ran a very successful business operation. Their ‘block’ was divided by the railway extension in 1871.

There were three surviving children from the second McCue marriage, Elizabeth, Clive and Thomas John. Two girls Loretta and Florence died as infants. The family lived at Tyrone Villa thought to be the present site of 36 Guernsey Street. Thomas John McCue was invariably known as ‘Paddy’ like his father. In 1903 he married Lillian Sherrard (born in Carlton, Melbourne) and there were two daughters Florence Thelma and Patricia Elizabeth who were separated by 20 years. Sadly mother Lillian suffered very badly from what may have been severe post natal depression and virtually ‘abandoned’ the young family. The two young girls were left in the care of Paddy and his mother Elizabeth. Paddy joined up for service in WWI and was a hero of Gallipoli where he was wounded. Paddy eventually became a dentist in Scone. Apocryphal tales are told of his dentistry the kindest suggesting he learned what he knew of his profession in his father’s ‘smithy’! Paddy McCue was nonetheless one of the genuine characters of Scone and district, much loved ‘and he was known by every man, woman and child’. He died on 21 July 1938 from myocarditis his condition possibly exacerbated by a protracted association with alcohol. His wartime experiences may have left severe mental scars which today we call ‘battle fatigue’, ‘shell shock’ or ‘post-traumatic stress disorder’.

Ann Miller nee Pinkerton

Ann and Mathew Miller arrived as free settlers in Sydney aboard the Clyde on 21 April 1840. Ann’s parents James and Martha Pinkerton from Ardstraw, County Tyrone never came to Australia. Both Mathew and Ann Miller and all their children who died in infancy are buried at Saint Luke’s Churchyard in the MILLER vault. Their daughter Sarah who never married and lived to be 89 years of age was the last person to be buried in the Churchyard vault in 1937. Three of Ann’s brothers came to Australia including two single younger siblings William and David. An older married brother James followed and also brought his extensive young family. Obviously the Pinkerton connection was incredibly important with family ties and origins in rural County Tyrone. The bond would have been strengthened with the improbability of any family members seeing their parents and other siblings again.

David Pinkerton was born in about 1840 and arrived in Australia on the Ida disembarking in Melbourne on 29 September 1859. He married Ann Isaac, who was born in Scone, at St Luke’s Church on 24 October 1861. Ann’s father Francis Isaac was Scone’s first Post Master and one of its early store keepers. David and Ann lived at ‘The Denison’ or Denison Diggings now known as Moonan Brook where all the children were born. The Denison was proclaimed a Gold Field in 1865 but David and Ann were living there when their first child was born in 1862. At first David was employed in the gold diggings but later acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook twice weekly ‘to be conveyed on horseback’. David and his family eventually settled on the North Coast when the children were very young. He continued with a mail run between Grafton and Glen Innes but later branched out into pubs, notably the Golden Fleece at Dalmorton. Ann became post mistress. Both David and Anne Pinkerton are buried in South Grafton cemetery.

William Pinkerton arrived aboard the ship Lloyds on 4 September 1856 and married Elizabeth Dunbar (born in Scone) in 1863 at St Luke’s. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Dunbar who arrived with the Millers and his wife Elizabeth (nee Parsons) who lived at Gum Flat, Gundy. William was sponsored to Australia by William Dumaresq of St Aubins. William selected a Conditional Purchase of 40 acres, near Gundy on 15 April 1862 and built Gum Flat, his family property. The farm was eventually resumed and ‘drowned’ when Glenbawn Dam was constructed. Like his brother David, William acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook twice weekly between 1869 and 1875 ‘to be conveyed on horseback’ with a stop at Gundy from 1875. At this time Gundy was a thriving village with three churches, a school, Literary Institute, two general stores, post office, hotel, baker, butcher, blacksmith and wheelwright. It would have been self-sufficient. William and Ann produced at least 11 registered children and there may have been two others? Both William and Ann survived well into their 70s and are buried in the Church of England cemetery in Scone.

James Pinkerton had married Mary MacCallum on 8 August 1844 at Barakell in Ireland and they had a family of nine children when they arrived in Australia in the early 1860s. James’ exact arrival date is unknown but Mary and the children arrived on the Fairlie on 29 April 1863. James had come ahead of them and they settled in the Gundy district. James built a small cottage before acquiring Tanborough on the Hunter River east of the village of Gundy under the Conditional Purchase system which became the family home. This was on the opposite side of the river to Gum Flat. Both properties are now under the water of Lake Glenbawn. Like his younger siblings before him James acquired the mail contract from Scone to Moonan Brook in 1868. James was a renowned horseman and once at age 64 won a ‘challenge race’ between Moonan Brook and Scone admitting he may have substituted one pie bald mount for another fresh one. No one noticed! He refused to accept any prize money. Both James (84 at Gundy) and Mary (90 at Moonan Flat) lived to a great age. Both are buried in the Gundy General Cemetery. James and Mary had eleven children. The Pinkerton dynasty is an expansive one in the Upper Hunter Valley and many direct descendants still call the district home.

Sophia Brown/Miller

Sophia Brown lived with Mathew Miller as his ‘housekeeper’ until she passed away on December 11, 1892 at age 55 in Scone. Sophia was born Sophia Seath at Richmond NSW on November 6, 1837. Her father was John Seath of Canterbury, Kent, England born in about 1801 and who died in 1876 at Parramatta NSW aged 75. Sophia’s mother was Anne Ivory born about 1816 at Eastern Creek, Greater Sydney and who died on August 25, 1898 at Rouse Hill, Greater Sydney aged 82. Anne was the daughter of emancipated convict Charles Ivory born c. 1776 in Bristol, England and who arrived in the colony aboard the Royal Admiral in 1800. Anne Ivory’s mother was Ann Healey, an emancipated convict, born in Ireland in c. 1779 and who arrived in the colony in 1809 aboard the Indispensable. Sophia’s maternal grandfather Charles Ivory died at Blacktown on Sunday 20 August 1837 and was buried at St Peter’s Church at Richmond.

Sophia married George Brown on June 18, 1859 at Windsor NSW when aged 21. George was described as a ‘settler’ living at St Heliers, by then a Hall Property on the northern outskirts of Muswellbrook. When his eldest son was christened in 1865 George Brown was described as a ‘drover’. By 1871 the Post Office Directory depicted George as the licensee of the Belmore Hotel in Scone’s main street (Kelly Street). They produced six children at least three of whom died in infancy. At about this time George and Sophia separated and George moved to the New England District where he took up three hundred and twenty acres on Blick’s Creek near John and Isabella Perrett’s homestead at Tyringham. Isabella Perrett (nee Brown) was a first cousin of George Brown. George Brown lived to a great age dying at 95 in Grafton on Wednesday 26 March 1924 and is buried in the South Grafton Cemetery.  One report states he died in Moree. He was almost certainly in Moree in 1902.

After the separation Sophia Brown moved with her children to live with widower Mathew Miller at Belmore House. Mathew Miller claimed that he was married to Mrs Brown/Miller ‘at some time in Maitland but he could not remember the date’? There is no record of such a marriage although Mathew Miller registered Sophia Miller as his wife at the time of her death. The title deeds say otherwise. It is eminently possible that they could not marry at all as Sophia was already married with her husband still alive and divorce a remote possibility in the late nineteenth century for women of her status and class. Bigamy was a crime and there is no evidence or claim of a divorce. In 1881 Mathew Miller transferred one (1) acre out of his original purchase of 230 (or 320) acres to Sophia Brown. This was possibly the site of what became known as Mrs Smith’s house adjoining Geraldton to the immediate north and west. In 1895 the executors of Mrs Brown conveyed a mortgage of Blanche Hall to Mary Ellen Read by then Mrs Mathew Miller. Mary Ellen Miller and her stepson Richard conveyed this property in 1904 to Sidney Smith a local contractor. The house was sold later by a Mrs Amelia Smith who may have been a granddaughter of Mathew Miller.  Lighting Rates charged by the Scone Municipal Rates Board indicate this house is Lot No 78 east of the Great North Road. In 1897 the owner occupier and rate payer was Mathew Miller as was the case for Lot No 77 being the Belmore House Homestead next door. In 1902 this was transferred to Sidney Smith but by 1904 No 82 Kelly Street (Lot No 78) was the fiscal ‘rateable’ responsibility of Mary Ellen Miller. Sidney Smith paid the lighting rates for No 83 Kelly Street on the Great North Road. The house was for many years in the mid twentieth century the home of Mr and Mrs Larry Martin and family. Prominent local identity Mary Woodlands is a daughter of Mr and Mrs Martin.

As ‘Mrs Brown’ died insolvent and in debt in 1892 the transfers of other Miller land indicate that Mrs Brown was given a life interest only and that she raised a mortgage on others denoting Mathew Miller tightened control of the property. After she died on 11 December 1892 Sophia was buried under the name Sophia Miller. Her actual gravesite is unknown but she was buried at Scone. Sophia does not appear on the Miller tombstone at St Luke’s nor is there a surviving tombstone at Muswellbrook where some of her family lived. Descendants of Sophia Brown survive in the district today. Intriguingly there exists a beautiful copper plate hand written letter from R. G. D. Fitzgerald, Solicitor, Muswellbrook, to a Mr G. J. S. Brown, Warialda Street, East Moree and dated 4 December 1902. The letter accompanies a cheque for £237:0s:2d informing Mr Brown he is the beneficiary of this amount from Brown’s Estate. The letter also asks for confirmation of receipt and any knowledge of the whereabouts of ‘Hilton’ or ‘Milton’? This is probably Mrs Sophia Brown’s husband George or possibly a son? It was 10 years after Sophia Brown had passed away. George Brown lived to be a great age dying at 95 in Grafton on Wednesday 26, 1924.

Mary Ellen Miller

The story of Mary Ellen Miller, the third matriarch of Geraldton with Mathew Miller, is a fascinating one also. She was clearly a feisty lady and lived a full and active life although in three marriages she produced no children. She may have been well past child bearing age for her final two marriages. Mary Ellen Miller was born Mary Ellen Smith at Gloucester, England in 1831. Her parents were Daniel Newland Smith and Elizabeth Gardner. Family members Alfred Newland Smith and Edward Smith were artists and members of the renowned Cotswold Artist cadre in the Gloucester Cotswolds.  Mary Ellen married Thomas Sweetlove at Handsworth, Birmingham on 31 March 1859. Mary was 28 and her occupation described as a ‘druggists assistant’. Mary Ellen next appears on a photograph taken in Sydney at the studio of David Scott, 140 Pitt Street sometime during 1877 or shortly thereafter. Mary Ellen Miller was eventually to emerge as the second outright owner of Belmore House by a very circuitous route.

It may be Mary Ellen came to Australia with her brothers Sidney Smith born in Gloucester about 1821/1822 and William born in Gloucester about 1823/1824. There was also a nephew John Wheatley Brown born in Gloucester on 7 February 1846 who sailed from an unknown British port for Victoria in December 1883 on the ship Sobraon. George Read emigrated from Dublin in 1851 aged 29 years. He married Mary Ellen at Carisbrook, Victoria in 1877. George was 55 years and Mary Ellen 46 years. Presumably Ellen’s first husband Thomas Sweetlove had died in the interim. George and Mary remained in Carisbrook for a further five years before moving to Scone in 1881 where George died aged 64 years in 1886. George had been a chemist and Mary Ellen probably his ‘assistant’.

Mary Ellen Read (62) and Mathew Miller (76) were married at Belmore House Scone on Saturday 4th. February 1893 only a few months after Sophia Brown/Miller was buried. Richard Read appeared as a witness at the burial of George Read but no relationship is given. He is also mentioned several times in connection with loans and mortgages and the division of the Belmore Estate following the death of Mathew Miller. He is erroneously described as being a son of Mary Ellen Miller but was most likely a step son. Mary’s brother Sidney Smith must have been involved with the Read family, hence the inclusion of the name Read in his son’s name. Sidney Pope Read Smith (1870 – 1912) was born in Carisbrook in 1870 – six years before Mary Ellen arrived in Australia. Mary Ellen’s brother Sidney Smith married Hannah Cecilia Davis; Sidney Junior married Millie Wright in 1897 at Carisbrook and had six children. Sidney Pope Read Smith had been in Scone for over 10 years at the time of his untimely early death in 1912 so may have moved to Scone with his wife and two sons to be near his Aunt Mary Ellen. Sidney Pope Read Smith, Carpenter was named by Mathew Miller in his last Will and Testament as one of his Executors and Trustees.

The Last Will and Testament of Mathew Miller was/is quite revealing:

Miller, Mathew Barber late of Belmore   Gentleman:

This is the last Will and Testament of me Mathew Miller of Scone in the colony of New South Wales Gentleman I appoint John Abbott Kingsmill Shaw of Scone aforesaid Solicitor Sidney Pope Read Smith of the same place Carpenter and Charles Walters of Belltrees near Scone aforesaid Boundary Rider Executors and Trustees of this my Will

Whereas my wife Ellen Miller is now the owner of the property known as the Belmore Estate situated at Scone aforesaid Now I give and bequeath unto my said wife all my  household furniture plate jewellery linen glass china crockery books utensils stock carts carriages buggies harness tools farming implements and plant which are in upon or about the said Belmore Estate for her own use and benefit absolutely save and except the furniture and effects comprised in my bequest to Sarah Miller next hereunto fore contained I give and bequeath to my daughter the said Sarah Miller all the household furniture and contained in the two rooms of my residence occupied by her and also the chest of drawers which previously belonged to the said Sarah Miller’s mother I give and bequeath all the residue of my personal estate unto my said Trustees upon trust to convert the same or such part thereof a shall not consist of money into money and pay all my just debts (except the amount due to the Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited secured by mortgage over certain lands belonging to me) funeral and testamentary expenses and hand the balance (if any) of such personal estate so converted as aforesaid after payment of such debts as aforesaid to my said wife for her own use and benefit absolutely I devise to my said Trustees all that allotment of land situated in Kelly Street Scone being allotment number nine of section number sixteen Town of Scone And also that Lucerne paddock situated in Susan Street Scone being allotment four of section number twenty-five Town of Scone upon (Mathew Miller witnesses John A. K. Shaw and  Aubrey Edward Hall) trust to permit and suffer my said daughter Sarah Miller to occupy and enjoy the same and receive the rents and profits thereof for and during the term of her natural life without impeachment of waste And from and after her death upon trust for such persons or persons as and in such manner as she shall by her last Will or any Codicil thereto appoint I devise to my daughter Rebecca Walters wife of Charles Walters aforesaid for her own separate use and benefit absolutely free from debts controls or engagements of her present or any future husband that piece of parcel of land adjoining the Great Northern railway Line with the two brick cottages thereon lately purchased by me from the estate of the late Sophia Brown I devise (subject to a mortgage to the Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited secured thereon) All the residue of my real estate to my said Trustees Upon trust to sell the same as soon as may be after my decease either by public auction or private contract provided that my said Trustees shall use their own judgement as to the time of sale so that the same be effected within a year of my decease to the best possible advantage And in the meantime until such sale to manage and carry on the same And after such sale to pay in the first place the costs and expenses consequent thereon in the next place to pay and discharge the said mortgage debt to the said Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited and all interest due thereon and to divide the balance equally between my daughters the said Rebecca Walters Anne Jane Hannabus and Elizabeth McCue for their own separate use and benefit absolutely free from the debts control or engagements of their respective present or any future husbands

Provided always that if any of my said daughters other than the said Sarah Miller shall die before such sale and the divisions of the proceeds of the residue of my said real estate as aforesaid her share of the balance of the proceeds of such sale shall be equally divided between the children of such deceased daughter share and share alike I give devise and bequeath all the real and personal estate vested in me as Trustee or Mortgagee unto my said (MathewMiller witnesses John A. K. Shaw Aubrey Edward Hall) Trustees subject to the trusts and Equities affecting the same respectively I empower my said Trustees to give effectual receipts and discharges for all monies to be received by them by virtue of this my Will and such receipts shall exonerate the persons taking the same from all liability to see the application thereof or from being answerable for the loss non application or misapplication thereof I declare that if my said Trustees or any of them or any person or persons to be appointed under this clause shall die or be unwilling or incompetent to execute the trusts of this My Will it shall be lawful for my said Wife during her life and after her death for the competent Trustee of Trustees for the time being if any whether retiring from the office of Trustee or not or if none for the Executors or administrators of the last surviving Trustee to substitute by any writing under his or their  hands any person or persons in whom alone or as the case may be jointly with the continuing or surviving Trustee or Trustees my trust estate shall be vested Provided always that the number of Trustees shall not at any time exceed three I direct that my trustees John Abbott Kingsmill Shaw whether he shall accept the trusteeship or not shall be the Solicitor to my Trustees and executors and to my estate and such notwithstanding the acceptance of the Trusteeship or executorship shall be allowed all professional costs and charges which if employed as solicitor to my Trustees not being himself a Trustee he would be entitled to make I hereby revoke all former and other Wills and Testamentary dispositions by me at any time heretofore made and I declare this to be my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto and to the two preceding sheets of Brief paper set my hand this fourteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred

Mathew Miller

Signed by the said Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both present at the same time and we at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

John A. K. Shaw                                Solicitor                Scone

Aubrey Edward Hall        Clerk                      Scone


This is a Codicil of the last Will and Testament of me Mathew Miller of Scone in the State of New South Wales Gentleman Which said will bears date fourteenth day of December in the year one thousand nine hundred I revoke the devise to my daughter Rebecca Walters in my said Will contained of that piece of land adjoining the Great Northern Railway Line with the two brick cottages thereon lately purchased by me from the Estate of the late Sophia Brown And I hereby devise the said land and cottages thereon to my said Trustees upon trust to permit my wife Mary Ellen Miller to receive the rents and profits thereof subject to the payment by her of all rates and taxes thereon for her life for her sole and separate use And from and after her death Upon trust to convey the same to my daughter Rebecca Walters aforesaid for her sole and separate use free from the debts control or management of her present or any future husband And whereas by my said Will I have devised to my said Trustees that part of my real estate which is subject to mortgage to the Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited secured thereon Upon trust to sell the same as soon as may be after my decease and so that such sale shall be effected within a year of my decease 

And in the meantime and until such sale to manage and carry on the same And to dispose of the proceeds as is therein mentioned; now I hereby empower and direct my said Trustees to postpone the sale and conversion of my said real estate for so long as my said wife shall live and after payment of all interest and other charges from time to time become due to the said Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited and all rates and taxes thereon to pay the balance of the rents monies and profits thereof to my said Wife for her life for her sole and separate use And after her death I direct my said Trustees a soon as they can conveniently do so carry out the Trusts for sale and conversion and disposal of the proceeds of such sale and conversion of the said real estate so mortgaged to the Australian Joint Stock Bank Limited as aforesaid as in my said Will mentioned in all other respects I confirm my said Will in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this Twenty-second day of July one thousand nine hundred and two

Mathew Miller

Signed as a codicil to his last Will and Testament by the said Mathew Miller in the presence of us both present at the same time and we at his request in his sight and presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses:

Evelyn Campbell               Spinster                                Scone

Kate Cameron                   General Servant                               Scone

20th. February 1903

By Act of Court of Probate of the Will and codicil of the said deceased was granted to John Abbott Kingsmill Shaw of Scone Solicitor Sidney Pope Read Smith of same place Carpenter and Charles Walters of Belltrees near Scone Boundary Rider – the executors in the said Will named Testator died at Scone 25 October 1902


Abbott Tout and Dale    Agents


Total Assets        £3,890 16s 0d.

Total Debts         £2,900 0s 8d.


Summary of Will (Betty Pinkerton)

Mathew Miller made his Will on 14 December 1900. His executors were Sydney Pope Read Smith and Charles Walters. He left Belmore Estate and all his personal belongings to ‘my wife Mary Ellen Miller’ except for ‘the household furniture and effects contained in the two rooms occupied by my daughter Sarah Miller all of which I bequeath to her, also the chest of drawers which belonged to her mother’; ‘Sarah was to occupy and enjoy same for the rest of her natural life’. He left his daughter Rebecca Walters ‘the parcel of land with two brick cottages he purchased from Sophia Brown’. All the residue of his real estate was to be sold and after deduction of expenses was to be divided equally among his daughters Rebecca Miller, Ann Jane Hannabus and Elizabeth McCue. Should any of these daughters be deceased their share was to be divided equally among their children. The Will was witnessed by John A. K. Shaw and Aubrey E. Hall. In a Codicil dated 22 July 1902 (a couple of months before he died) he revoked the willing of the land and cottages to Rebecca Walters giving its control to his executors with the rents and profits from the property to go to his wife Mary Ellen Miller then after his wife’s death to go to Rebecca Walters. This codicil was witnessed by Evelyn Campbell, spinster, and Kate Cameron, servant. The latter was employed at Belmore House.

According to a search done by Solicitor A. A. McLennan of Fitzgerald White Talbot & Co on behalf of Dr D. E. Barton dated 10th. November 1987, after 1892 land about Belmore Street (now Susan Street) was sold off in the vicinity of the old saleyards. This was roughly from the lower country north of Geraldton’s boundaries to the northern boundary of the original 230 acres. From about 1892 Mary Ellen Read was financed by Richard Read (step son) to whom the parcel of land at the corner of what is now Sydney, Main and Philip Streets was sold. The Belmore Heights subdivision took place between 1905 and 1912 and Geraldton was reduced to its present size. The first subdivision in 1905 provided building allotments on the northern side of the Common Lane soon to become an extension of Susan Street. The second subdivision in 1910 created Philip Street running parallel to Sydney Street from Waverley to Main Street. Allotments were made available on the northern side of Sydney Street and the southern side of Philip. Lot 10, Section 2 of the subdivision appears to have been transferred to the Carters in 1911 and the house built almost at once. Lucy Cameron Probert (nee Carter) refers to her land cottage and buildings in 1915.The original vacant block of land cost £45 but in 1925 the house and land were bought by Arch Strong for £515. In 1942 it was worth £425 (this was war time) and by 1964 £1650. In 1967 the value figure was $4600.