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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
James E Tinham

Born: 1836; Died: 1886; Married: Eleanor Dixon

James E. Tinham was born on Thursday, 24 November 1836 in Sydney, New South Wales. He was the youngest child of Maria 'Mary' Bailey and James 'Jem' Tinham. James' parents had arrived in Australia in 1827, aboard the merchant ship George 'Horne'. They took up residence in Pitt Street before later moving to an abode in Clarence Street, prior to James' birth.

James was baptised by Reverend William Cowper on 5 December 1836 at Saint Philip's Church of England in Sydney. On the baptism record James' father was recorded as a butcher. Sometime around 1837-38 James' father disappeared. No death record was recorded and the marriage between his mother and father was never dissolved.

On 20 August 1838, James's mother re-married a calico printer by the name of Joseph Maypowder. The marriage was held in Sydney at Saint Philip's Church of England with the ceremony performed by James' baptism minister, Reverend William Cowper. Following the marriage, James and his family moved to Sussex Street to live with their stepfather.

Sadly, on 20 October 1839, James' mother, Maria Tinham (née Bailey), died at their residence on Sussex Street. At the time of his mother's death, James was an infant of just three years of age.
Maria's funeral was performed at Christ Church Saint Laurence in Sydney by the Reverend William Horatio Walsh. Following the funeral, Maria was buried in the Sandhills Cemetery on Devonshire Street, Sydney.

James and his four older siblings were left orphaned, all but for their step-father, Joseph Maypowder, who they had only known for 14 months. As an infant James was cared for by his three sisters, Maria, Jane and Sarah. While his older brother, Thomas (age 12), and his stepfather worked to support the family.

In 1842 James' stepfather was living in the Queanbeyan area, listed as a creditor in the insolvency proceedings of John Entwistle Turner. James, Thomas and Sarah eventually followed their stepfather to the Queanbeyan / Collector area, while James' older sisters Maria and Jane chose to remain in Sydney.

On 22 March 1850, James' sister Jane married Edward Hamlin at Scots Church in Sydney. The ceremony was performed by Reverend John Dunmore Lang. The same year, James' eldest sister Maria Tinham married Thomas Casey at the Presbyterian Church somewhere within the vicinity of Denbie, Hunter, Maitland, Morpeth, Paterson or Singleton. On 17 April 1852, James's sister Sarah Elizabeth Tinham married Joseph Hall at Saint Saviour's Cathedral in Goulburn. The ceremony was performed by Reverend William Sowerby and was witnessed by Edward and Eliza Lee. On the marriage certificate Sarah's residence was listed as Collector, as was her husband's.

In 1856, James' stepfather Joseph gave a subscription of 10s to the Collector Catholic Church, towards the erection of a schoolhouse in Goulburn.

On 17 April 1859, James' eldest sister, Maria Casey (née Tinham), died at her residence in Milson's Point, at the age of 34 years. Maria was buried two days later in the Roman Catholic section of the Sandhills Cemetery, the same cemetery in which their mother, Maria Tinham (née Bailey) was buried.

In 1861, James (age 24) was prospecting for gold in Lambing Flats. The same year, a series of violent anti-Chinese demonstrations known as the 'Lambing Flats Riots' occurred on the goldfields. A mob of approximately 1,000 men rallied and violently attacked Chinese miners because of spreading xenophobia. In November 1861, James had an unclaimed letter waiting for him at the Lambing Flats Post office, indicating that he had probably left the area.

On 14 December 1861, Prince Consort Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel, the husband of Queen Victoria, died at Windsor Castle in England. James donated 2 shillings 6 pence to the Prince Consort's Statue Association, collected by William Davis, towards the erection of a remembrance statue located outside Saint Mary's Church in Sydney.

On 6 October 1863, James's older brother Thomas married Mary Chaplain at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra. The marriage was performed by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith and was witnessed by their sister, Sarah Elizabeth née Tinham, and their brother-in-law, Joseph Hall.

On 30 June 1864, James' older brother Thomas drowned himself in the Molonglo River after getting his bullocks stuck and accidently destroying a load of flour belong to his employer, Henry Hall. Thomas was buried following a coroner's inquest. His body was laid to rest outside the fenced enclosure of Saint James' Church of England in Canberra, on the north west side of the churchyard.

Five and a half years after his brother's death, James married Eleanor Dixon [daughter of George Dixon] on 14 December 1869 at the Wesleyan Parsonage Yard in Yass. The marriage was performed by Reverend Henry William Torrington Pincombe and was witnessed by Eleanor's brother-in-law Joannes Theodorus Josefus Bruning and the Reverend's wife Jane Pincombe.
Eleanor and James' first child, a daughter, was born on 16 November 1870 in the Queanbeyan district. Sadly however the child died during birth.

The newlyweds took up residence in a second dwelling on the farm of Eleanor's parents. In exchange James contributed on the property as a farmhand, tending to George's wheat crops and livestock. On 30 September 1871, James was out riding with Henry Gozzard (senior), helping to fetch away his cattle that had strayed into the paddock of James Munday. With permission, Gozzard placed the cattle in Dixon's paddock and retired to James' house on the property.

While there, two other men, John Walsh and Gozzard's step-son, Donald Cameron Junior, entered onto the property of Munday. The men remained there a few minutes before galloping their horses towards Dixon's paddock. Gozzard having witnessed the men riding towards his cattle, jumped on his horse and went to head them off. James followed and was 20 to 30 feet away when Walsh galloped up to Gozzard's right side and struck him on the cheek, exclaiming "You ____" as he galloped on furiously. Cameron meanwhile rode on the left side of Gozzard some distance away, endeavouring to take the cattle away. Gozzard prevented him by heading the cattle back. Cameron came up to Gozzard and said "You long ____, I'll cut your ____ eyes out", a phrase commonly used by Cameron. As Gozzard was going towards the slip-rail to take them down, Cameron commenced flogging Gozzard's horse with his band before cutting Gozzard about the body and face with his stockwhip.

Cameron and Walsh appeared in court on 10 October 1871 charged with the assault of Henry Gozzard. During the hearing James gave evidence which led to a guilty verdict. Walsh was fined £2 and Cameron £1, with the cost of court being borne between them £1 13 shillings 8 pence.

Four days later on on 14 October 1871, James and Eleanor's second child, George Thomas Tinham, was born in Canberra Plains. The child was named 'George' after Eleanor's father and 'Thomas' after James' deceased older brother. George was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 5 November 1871 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra.

On 15 August 1872, James' wife Eleanor assisted in fighting a fire that broke out on the neighbouring farm of James Munday. The fire was eventually contained however a valuable thrashing machine was lost belonging to Munday's son-in-law, David Rule. In 1872, George Harcourt opened a subscription list on behalf of David Rule, to repair the woodwork and drum of the thrashing machine lost in the fire. Over £30 was raised with James donating 5 shillings.

In the 1872 Greville's Post Office Directory of New South Wales, James was recorded as a carrier at Mulligan's Flat. At the time, carrying was one of the chief pursuits of the struggling inland settler. Carriers would pilot their horse or bullock teams up to Sydney with wool and products, and back again with goods for the outback stores and settlers.

James and Eleanor's third child, Herbert 'Sid' Sydney Tinham was born on 17 July 1873, in Canberra Plains, on the property of Eleanor's parents. Herbert was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 31 August 1873 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra.

In 1874, James registered a horse and cattle brand in the district of Ginninderra.

James and Eleanor's fourth child, Jane 'Dolly' Tinham was born on 14 July 1875 in Canberra. Jane was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 12 September 1875 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra.
Sometime around 1875, James left his father-in-law's property and moved with his wife and three children to the Parish of Goorooyarroo, near the town of Sutton. James' friend, Henry Gozzard (senior), lived nearby on his property 'Ashton', located in Mulligan's Flat.

James and Eleanor's fifth child, James Ernest Tinham was born on 22 September 1877 in Sutton. James was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 3 November 1877 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra. James and Eleanor's sixth child, Evelyn Tinham was born on 29 October 1879 again in Sutton. Evelyn was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 14 December 1879 at Saint John's Church of England, in Canberra. James and Eleanor's seventh child, Charles William Tinham, was born on 14 February 1882 in Sutton. Charles was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 28 September 1882 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra.

James and Eleanor's eighth child, Alice May Tinham was born on 22 June 1884 in Sutton. Alice was baptised by Reverend Pierce Galliard Smith on 28 September 1884 at Saint John's Church of England in Canberra.

In early March 1886, James contracted erysipelas, a bacterial infection of the upper dermis, caused by minor trauma to the skin. James was attended to by Dr. Richardson of Queanbeyan however his condition drastically worsened over the following two weeks.

James died from his condition on 24 March 1886 at his home in Sutton. James was 49 years old. At the time of his death his wife Eleanor was roughly 5 months pregnant with their ninth child. James was buried the following day in Saint Luke's Churchyard Cemetery in Gundaroo. The burial was performed without a minister and was witnessed by John Gillespie and John Butler. The Gillespies of 'Horse Park' and John Butler of 'Malton' were both prominent landowners in the Mulligan Flats area. John Gillespie was also known to be a good friend of Henry Gozzard. This suggests that perhaps James and his family may have been overseers or farmers on land owned by one of these men.

On 11 July 1886, Eleanor gave birth to James' ninth child Frederick Joseph Tinham in Camperdown. Sadly however, Frederick died on 29 July 1886 at just 17 days old. Frederick Joseph Tinham was buried alongside James in Saint Luke's Churchyard cemetery in Gundaroo. Their tombstone was inscribed with the words "To the .... James Tinham native of .... died 24 March 1886 aged 49. Frederick Joseph Tinham aged 17 days, died 29 July 1886. 'This is boundless love .... Jesus is a friend in need." Today the cemetery and church are located on private land. A pottery studio operates from the property with the old church acting as a gallery. The tombstone is fallen and broken and there is an iron railing that surrounds the grave. Beside it grows an apple tree.

[Researched & compiled by Kirk Palmer]


Kirk Palmer, James E Tinham (1836-1886)

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