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2 corrections, most recently by Sam.Calvert - Show corrections

LIEUTENANT JOSHUA JOHN MOORE. By Henry Selkirk. In my previous article I have dealt with James Ainslie, overseer to the Hon. Robert Campbell at Pialligo, bet- ter known to us in later years as the Duntroon Estate. It has usually been accepted as a matter of course that Mr. Campbell was the first settler at Limestone Plains, but, after closely examining all available records, I find that this honor must be placed to the credit of Lieutenant Joshua John Moore, a retired officer of the 14th Regiment of Foot, and a Waterloo veteran. Though Mr. Campbell's ac- tual date of occupation is a few years subsequent to that of Lieutenant Moore, he is rightly regarded as the outstanding personality of the district, where he and his family were closely identified with all matters pertaining to the good of the community, while to his own tenantry Mr. Campbell was essentially a beneficent Lord of the Manor. Joshua John Moore was the son of John Moore, a gentleman farmer hold- ing an estate in the County of Cam- bridge (England), and was born in the year 1790, as the baptismal register of the Parish of Horningsea (Cambridge) indicates that he was baptised May 2, of that year. He claimed that the family name was originally "More," which, however, had in course of time been corrupted to Moore. Knowing that his elder brother would succeed to the family estate, J. J. Moore, after a period of office life in London, en- tered the British Army, December 25, 1813, and received his military train- ing at Weden Barracks. As a lieu- tenant in the 14th (Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot, he saw active ser- vice, and with the third battalion of that regiment was present at Water- loo. In the following year (1816) this battalion was disbanded and Mr. Moore, then on half pay, received a colonial appointment as Registrar of the Governor's Court in New South Wales, where he arrived with the Judge Advocate, John Wylde, per ship "Elizabeth," October 5, 1816. I cannot do better than allow Mr. Moore to introduce himself. Writing from "Cumberland Cottage," Cabra- matta, under date August 17, 1831, Mr. Moore thus addresses the Colonial Sec- retary:— "I am a lieutenant on half pay of the 14th Regiment, Foot, and arrived in the colony in October, 1816, as Re- gistrar of the Governor's Court and also as Clerk to the Judge Advocate of the Territory (now Sir John Wylde, Knight, Chief Justice of the Cape of Good Hope, and I am his brother-in- law). The appointment of Registrar to the Governor's Court and Clerk to the Judge Advocate I held until the year 1825, at which period a new Charter to the Colony arrived, which constituted the present Supreme Court of the Colony. I had the honor of be- ing appointed, at the recommendation of Francis Forbes, Esq., the Chief Jus- tice of this Colony, Prothonotary to the said Court, and held that situa- tion until the Chief Justice re- ceived official notice from His Ma- jesty's Ministers of an appointment of a Registrar to the Supreme Court, G. G. Mills, Esq., when I was inform- ed that such an office as Prothonotary would not be required, as the new Re- gistrar was to perform the duty; there has not been any other officer ap- pointed since my retirement from that office. I then retired to my farm as a settler and now reside on it, and was married at St. Luke's Church, Liver- pool, by the Rev. Robert Cartwright, on 29th March, 1825, by special license to Sarah Elizabeth Hollands, daughter of the late David Hollands, Esq., Ber- mondsey, Surrey, England, a ship owner and shipwright in his life- time. My wife, Sarah Elizabeth Moore, left England per ship 'Cumberland,' Carnes, Master, for the purpose to be married to myself." It will be noticed that this letter is written from "Cumberland Cottage," Cabramatta, which is known to have been occupied by Mr. Moore as early as 1825. No doubt this was the home to which he took his bride, naming it after the ship in which she arrived

from England, on March 11, of that year. The farm to which he retired on his resignation from the public ser- vice, was a Crown grant of 500 acres, situated at Cabramatta, and dated August 17, 1819, and known as "Horn- ingsea Park." Apparently "Cumber- land Cottage" was Mr. Moore's first residence on this property, and was in 1839 superseded by a fine mansion, which he named "Horningsea," after his birthplace in England. Here Mr. Moore resided until 1843, and after the vicissitudes of eighty-seven years, his old home is still in excellent preserva- tion. Mr. Moore, on moving into his new home, made it the occasion of a grand ball, to which his friends from far and near were invited, many of them driving from Sydney in their own equipages.

Letter of Joshua J. Moore, September 14, 1831.    

Mr. John Wylde (Moore's brother-in- law), who had been appointed Judge Advocate by Commission dated Janu- ary 1, 1816, under the hand of the Prince Regent, arrived in the transport "Elizabeth," October 5, 1816, making his official landing in the Governor's barge under a salute of thirteen guns on October 12. On the same day the Judge Advocate declared and made known . . . "that Joshua John Moore, Gentleman, is duly nominated and ap- pointed my Clerk of Office, and Re- gistrar of the Governor's Court in this Colony." On leaving the public service in 1825, Moore was already the possessor of a grant of 500 acres at Cabramatta.

This was made to him, following the practice of the day, on the grounds of being a "respectable settler." Now he asks for a further grant as a re- tired public servant. In reply to this application, he is informed by letter dated January 24, 1825, from Major Ovens, the Governor's Private Secre- tary— " . . . that in consideration of your faithful services . . and from the recommendation of the Chief Justice, the Governor will have much pleasure in directing the Surveyor General to make unto you a grant of 600 acres of land, but it is to be understood that no indulgence what- ever accompanies this grant." Referring to the location and mea- surement of this land, Moore, in a

letter dated March 22, 1826, thus ad- dresses the Surveyor General, John Oxley:—   "Allow me to ask for an authority from you to the Deputy Surveyor, at present in the County of Argyle (measuring the Crown lands) for him to measure the abovementioned 600 acres of land at my present stock station, at Goulburn Plains, which land I have held or occupied since August, 1821, under and by virtue of a ticket of occupation, where I have made considerable im- provements by building and erect- ing stock yards at a very heavy ex- pense." This grant was situated at Baw Baw, near Goulburn, and was made as a distinct recognition of services rendered as a public officer, in accord- ance with the practice of the period. The deed for this land issued in Mr. Moore's name July 6, 1833. At this time Moore had in his pos- session a "warrant" from Sir Thomas Brisbane, dated May 3rd, 1825, author- ising a further grant (by purchase) of 1,000 acres. For some reason he had not as yet acted on this warrant, but now by letter dated December 16, 1826, to the Colonial Secretary, asks to be allowed to secure certain lands of which he had been in occupation of for upwards of three years, which he thus describes:— "The land which I wish to pur- chase is situate at Canberry, on the east bank of the river which waters 'Limestone Plains,' above its junc- tion with the Murrumbeeja, adjoin- ing the grant of Mr. Robert Camp- bell, Senior." So far as is known, this is the first recorded mention of a local name, which, in slightly modified form, was in less than a century to be adopted as the name of the Capital city of federated Australia. It was represent- ed that huts and stock yards had been erected on this land, and about thirty acres enclosed and under cultivation. Certain technical objections to Mr. Moore's application, raised by the Sur- veyor General, having been waived by the Governor, Moore was informed, April 30, 1827, that under the circum- stances he would be allowed to retain possession of 1,000 acres "at Canberry, adjoining the grant of the Hon. Robert Campbell. Senior, Esq." In 1831, by letter of September 14, Mr. Moore thus writes to the Surveyor General:— "I am desirous of retaining the one thousand acres of land already in my possession, situate in the County of Murray, on the Molongoo River (Molonglo), it is called and (Continued on page 4.)

LIEUT. J. J. MOORE. (Continued from page 1.) known by the name of Canburry, and is bounded on the south by the Molongoo River, and on the west by Canburry Creek."   In his correspondence, Moore is   scrupulously precise in his expressions, as a result no doubt of his legal train- ing. In using the words called and known as Canburry, he evidently de- sires to make it quite clear that this is not a name given by himself, no new name, but one that had been and was generally recognised. Now, Moore is referring to land first occupied by him as a stock station in the year 1823, the same year in which Captain Curry made his exploration southerly; more- over, he refers to it as bearing the local name of Canberry, afterwards corrected to Canburry. If, then, in the very earliest pioneering days this name existed, how is its origin to be ac- counted for unless from an aboriginal source. Indeed, this would appear to be the only reasonable explanation, and the fact of Mr. Moore's correction     of his original spelling, would seem to be an attempt on his part to convey more precisely the intonation of the word as he had received it phonetically. On October 12, 1838, a deed for 1,000   acres (now portion 52, Parish of Can- berra, County of Murray) issued in the name of Joshua John Moore, in consideration of the sum of £250, but curiously enough the land is therein described as at Camberry. This error   is accounted for by the engrossing clerk misreading Mr. Moore's some- what peculiar hand writing, which, glanced at casually, renders such a mistake excusable. It cannot be stated precisely when or for what reason the name Can- berry was altered to its present form of Canberra. With one exception of Camberry, all the official maps of the Lands Department compiled up to 1839, give the name as Canberry. The first to give the name in its present form is that of the County of Murray, which unfortunately is undated. This was   the first map of the locality to be de- signed in Parishes, of which Canberra is one. Seeing that, in the Sydney Diocesan Registry the first entry of Canberra occurs in 1857, and that in the Baptismal Register of St. John's, Canberra, an undated entry of the modified name appears between 1855 and 1862, it may be assumed that the year 1857 is somewhere about the period of alteration. The locality of Mr. Moore's old Can- berry homestead is now known as "Acton." His residence, now "Acton House," was at one time leased as the Parsonage in connection with Can- berra Church, until the present rectory was built during the incumbency of the late Rev. Pierce Galliard Smith. Subsequently "Acton House" was re-   stored and added to. As mentioned in my article on "The Living Ainslie," Mr. Moore's original overseer was James Cowan, who was associated with James Ainslie in the capture of the bushrangers, Tennant and Rix in 1828. In the following year, however, Mr. Moore, in a letter to the Governor, dated November 7, mentions that his overseer "in Argyle at Canburry," was one John McLaugh- lin. No doubt it was after this per- son that McLauighlin Creek received its name.   Mrs. Moore was not destined to enjoy her new home for more than a few months, for on September 27, 1839, she died at "Horningsea: at the age of   fifty-three and was buried in St. Luke's churchyard, Liverpool, leaving one surviving child, Frederick Thomas Moore, thirteen years of age. Mr. Moore placed a mural tablet to her memory in St. Luke's Church upon which the following lines are in- scribed:—   "As oft the sun but sets in clouds to rise With brighter beams to gild serener skies, So virtue's light, obscured by transient gloom Sinks but to rise immortal from the tomb. And grace the realms beyond the starry train Where Peace, and Joy, and Love for ever reign:   O! more than fool, the wretch that reckons life Proscribed to years of sorrow, toil, and strife,       Nor hears within the exulting Spirit cry, The God that gave ordains me ne'er to die. Death, can the cold Lathean sleep control,               Thy festering bondage hold and mar   the soul! No! When the calm succeeds the         lingering throe,               When the dull eyes have ceased with life to glow, The soul, secure in Him who died to save, Mounts to her God, triumphant from the grave."

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