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Thomas Rodwell
Cathcart c1859

History | Genealogy

Re the obit below - Thomas Rodwell was married to Sarah Baker.  The obit is most interesting, as it gives names and places attached to those names. A memorial to Thomas was printed in the 'Delegate Argus' 20 May 1915 edition and reads as follows:-

'Delegate Argus' 20 May 1915

The Late Thos. Rodwell - An appreciation.

The deceased was an Englishman, having been born at Longmaston, Hertforshire on the 17th March 1838.  At the age of 20 (in 1857) he married in London the good lady who now survives him, and who has proved a loyal helpmate throughout many ups and downs and through many an adventurous time.  Both were imbued with a spirit for adventure, and almost immediately after their marriage decided to emigrate and try their luck in the then practically unknown continent of Australia.

They set sail in one of the old-time sailing vessels, and some of Mr Rodwell's experiences of that trip would fill a book.  After some weeks on the voyage they were caught in a terrific gale, and despite the greatest efforts on the part of the captain and crew the ship drifted right back to Ireland, where, on account of the rough weather, the ship's company were forced to remain a fortnight.  I have often heard the deceased gentleman speak glowingly of the great kindness they received at the hands of the Irish people during their enforced stay in their midst.  The weather calming they again set sail, and landed in Sydney twelve months to the day after the
wreck of the ill-fated Dunbar.  The voyage out took over six months.

Mr and Mrs Rodwell at once came to Monaro, and in turn lived at Cathcart, Merimbula, Bega and Kiandra.  For some time Mr Rodwell ran the mail from Bega to Kiandra for the late William McGregor, of Bega, who at that time had the contract.  I have often heard him relate some wonderful experiences of those trips, and compare the horses of those days with those of now.  Mr Rodwell carried the mail on horseback, and an idea of what the horses were like can be gleaned from the fact that he used to do the trip from McLaughlin River (near Nimitybelle) to Kiandra and back in about 3 days. The McLaughlin River in those days was a sort of half-way house between Bega and Kiandra, and was conducted by Mr Jack Ivill's parents.

Mr Rodwell later followed the Kiandra diggings, and eventually came to Delegate in 1870.  For a time he tried his luck prospecting at Nelbothery, and later took employment on Delegate Station, which was at that time managed by Mr A McKeachie.  He was here when the Station was first thrown open for selection.  Not many years elapsed ere deceased selected for himself on his well-known property 'Beaconsfield', where by dent of perseverance and much hard work he got together a most comfortable home and reared a large and highly respected family.

Since his first arrival in Delegate, Mr Rodwell resided here continuously until his death, a period of 45 years.  For many years he was one of the leading men in all public matters, and a movement of any kind without Tommy
Rodwell being actively identified with it was a strange occurrence indeed.

He was one of the founders of the Star of Delegate Lodge, G.U.O.O.F in 1877. The Lodge was initiated at the old Royal Hotel, the officers performing the opening ceremony being D.G.M.J Stiles and District Secretary Kershaw, of
Braidwood, both of whom are now dead.  Mr H Sellar's father was the first Secretary to the Lodge, and he also has passed over to the great and silent majority, in fact, Mr Thos. Martin and Mr Frank Crawford, both of Delegate, are the only two living members who were present at that opening ceremony. Mr Rodwell was one of the first officers, and later became Secretary, and under his guiding influence the local Lodge prospered and became the active branch it is today.  He was also a Justice of the Peace and, at the time of his death, was the senior or local magistrate.   When Local Government was introduced he was one of the first Councillors appointed by the Government, but, owing to advancing age, he did not seek re-election.

Some 14 years ago he met with an accident and had his leg fractured at the thigh.  This rendered him a partial cripple, and compelled him to forsake public affairs and lead a retired life on his estate at 'Beaconsfield',
which since that time has been managed by his son, Arthur.

The deceased gentleman reared a family of thirteen children adn, besides his wife, nine of these survive him, they being - Messrs T W Rodwell (Delegate), A E and W Rodwell (Orbost), F A and A Rodwell (Lower Bendoc), M Rodwell (Gunbower), A B Rodwell ('Beaconsfield'), Mrs J E Pleydell (Echuca) and Mrs J Clancy ('Beaconsfield').  There are also thirty-two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Transcribed by
Judy McCutcheon <judymcc-at-aapt.net.au>

Descendants of Thomas (Tommy) Rodwell

Judy McCutcheon <judymcc-at-aapt.net.au>

Recompiled from the new Monaro Pioneers database:  16.09.08


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