Sunday, May 1, 2016

BRL 7 The Petrie Links to the Area Another Scottish Settler

A few kilometres north of Bald Hills and Bracken Ridge is the suburb in Pine Rivers known as Petrie.

Most are familiar with the name Petrie, home of the Australian Paper Mill, and the reason that each time there is a Federal Election, the people in Bracken Ridge cast their vote in the Electoral Division of Petrie.

Named after the suburb?  No, but, named after another Scotsman, who contributed to the early settlement.    Another in Dr John Lang's scheme.  Another with links to nearly all those early settlers who have been researched as being involved with the Bracken Ridge area.

Named after Andrew Petrie (1798–1872), a noted civil engineer, pioneer, explorer and the first free settler in Brisbane 1837   From reference provided by QEC       

                   (Not the first free settler, but one of several)

His name?  Andrew Petrie.   He arrived in Australia in 1831, along with George Ferguson and many of their other friends and acquaintances.

Dr. Bowman hastened to Government House with this cheering report, and the quarantine restrictions were promptly removed. The measles are to be dreaded in any climate, but especially in such an one as this; and we rejoice; that the anxieties and alarm excited by its rumoured arrival in our harbour have been so soon and so completely dissipated. 

The extreme precaution taken by the Authorities cannot be too highly commended. 

On being informed that the measles had been on board, the officiating tidewaiter (Mr. Oliver) not only declined entering the vessel, but prohibited the captain from allowing any of her passengers and crew to land, until expressly authorised by Government; and when Mr. O. delivered in his report at head quarters, his order was fully sanctioned and confirmed. 

We trust the officers of the Customs will on all occasions enquire carefully into the health of vessels entering the harbour, coastwise traders alone excepted. The importation of the hooping-cough only three years ago, and of the smallpox in the early days of the colony, ought to serve as standing warnings.

We scarcely know in what terms to express the very high sense we entertain of the noble spirit exhibited by the Rev.Dr. Lang. 

We understand he has brought out these mechanics entirely at his own risk, the British Government having advanced the funds necessary for their passage and outfit (amounting, we have heard, to £4,000), he undertaking to repay them out of the labour of the men and their families. We doubt not he will be enabled to do so to the full extent of his most sanguine expectations. 

The public will reward so patriotic an enterprise with its warmest applauses and support. And, happily, the Doctor has shown quite as much good sense as good feeling, for the individuals he has selected are of the most useful description, qualified by their trades and callings to serve the colony, to indemnify their Reverend patron, to reimburse the Government, and to obtain for themselves and families an honest and respectable footing in their adopted country. 

The steerage passengers comprise nineteen stone-masons, seventeen carpenters and joiners, four cabinet makers, two black-smiths, two ropespinners, two coopers, three plasterers, one gardener, one engineer, two teachers, one agriculturist, and one tinworker.

As this is really the most important importation the colony ever received, and certainly the boldest effort ever made by a single individual to "advance Australia," we subjoin the entire list of the passengers' names, families, and occupations: 

Mr. George Fergusson, master builder and superintendent, Mrs. Fergusson, and 7 children; Mr. John McGarvie and Mrs. McGarvie. Both of these families in the cabin.


Stonemasons - George Paton, Mrs. Paton, and one child; Ross Coulter, Mrs. Coulter, and one child; James Stirling, Mrs. Stirling, and three children; John Donald, Mrs. Donald, and one child; John Marshall, Mrs. Marshall; Ninian Robb; Alexander Binning (stone-carver); Walter Scott, Mrs. Scott, and five children - a fifth died on the passage; Robert Brownlee; James Fergusson; Duncan Campbell, Mrs. Campbell and one child a second child died on the passage; Thomas Brodie; David Hutton; Thomas Orr, Mrs. Orr; James Wigham, Mrs. Wigham, and two children; William Brown, Mrs. Brown, and one child; James Russell, left his wife and family in Scotland; Peter Kinniburgh, (bricklayer); Alexander Jamieson.

Carpenters and Joiners - Robert Kiddie, Mrs. Kiddie; Robert Hercus, one child - his wife died on the passage; William Philip; James Kay; Archibald; Craig; Andrew Petrie, Mrs. Petrie, and four children; Andrew Young; John Ochterlong; Hugh Brodie, Mrs. Brodie, and one child - a second child died on the passage; Alexander Pringle; Richard Watson, (widower); Thomas McDonald; William Munro, Mrs. Munro - their only child died on the passage; John Smith, (millwright), Mrs. Smith, and five children. Daniel Fergusson, William Neathie, joiner and cabinet-maker; William Smith; Peter Adamson.

Cabinet-makers - William Carss, Mrs. Carss; Richard Roebuck; Andrew Wyllie, Mrs. Cavell, and other two adult sisters of Mr. Wyllie; George Hutton. 

Blacksmiths - James Stewart, Mrs. Stewart, and one child - a second child died on the passage; James Mason.

Rope-spinners - John Stewart, Mrs. Stewart; Malcolm Crawford.

Coopers - David Greig; Alexander Gunn, Mrs.Gunn. 

Plasterers - Thomas Simpson, Mrs. Simpson, and two children; Charles Bruce, left his wife and family in Scotland to follow him afterwards; Allan Munro, Mrs. Munro, and three children. Gardener - Patrick Anderson, Mrs. Anderson. Engineer - Mr. Hugh Thomson.

Teachers - William Houston, James Nicholson. Agriculturist - William Graham. Tin-worker - James Robertson.

Besides this splendid acquisition to our stock of operative mechanics, it will be seen that Dr. Lang has brought out three Rev. gentlemen for the education of youth. His plan is as yet unknown to us, except through the medium of common report, which has it that the Doctor has effected a loan to a large amount (some two or three thousand pounds), for the purpose of, erecting a college on a principle similar to that of the High School at Glasgow, to be divided into three departments, over which the three clergymen are respectively to preside. 

We shall of course be enabled, in an early number, to make public a more authentic and detailed development of this interesting scheme.

All this looks well for New South Wales. The means of education - and education of the higher order - are likely to be brought within reach of all classes of our community. 

The King's Schools, founded and supported by His Majesty's Government; the Sydney College, so liberally established by the inhabitants themselves; and now the Scots Institution, of which, though we know not its peculiar constitution, we venture, upon trust, to make honourable mention - will serve as mutual checks and stimulants, co-operating in the beneficent work of diffusing through our "infant empire" the light  of science, and the principles and consolations of that religion which is profitable for the life that now is, as well as for that which is to come.

They will doubtless be rivals - but it will be a holy and happy rivalry; a rivalry which will serve to fan and to feed the flame of their zeal - to enlarge the sphere and increase the fruitfulness of their exertions - and to hasten the coming of that auspicious day, when Australia shall be not less distinguished for the moral and intellectual refinement of her sons and her daughters, than she already is for the charms of her climate, the riches of her soil, and the activity of her commerce.

THE AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE AND GOVERNMENT QUARRY. To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette. The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842) Saturday 28 April 1832 By 1832,

He along with George Ferguson were busy building the college, and had concerns about the Quarry.     By 1847 he was in Brisbane, as the list of those eligible to vote shows.  Bit of a difference with the size of the rolls today! 

The Moreton Bay Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1846 - 1861) Saturday 17 April 1847

Andrew Petrie was very instrumental in both the Separation Committee,  for opening up new areas all around the new colony.  His original obituary, explains his contribution.

But the best stories of the past come from those who have lived in the time period.  Old Tom wrote this piece in 1869

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) Saturday 24 July 1869


IN those days—happily long since passed away—when the parent colony of the Australian group enjoyed the unenviable distinction of being the only penal settlement on the shores of New Holland, it was found from time to time necessary to push out from her midst other settlements on the eastern coast, for the purpose of getting rid of that portion of her criminal population, which the terrors of the lash, the chain gang, and the gallows had failed to restrain from committing fresh crimes. 

Thus, in reading the early history of New South Wales, we find that but a short time after Governor Phillip landed at the head of Sydney Cove, in the harbor of Port Jackson, it was found necessary for the peace of the new settlement to cast out from her midst the turbulent and irreformable portion of her felon population.  Thus we find various localities from time to time taken up, upon which settlements were established. 

The first on the list is the Coal River (Newcastle) ; the second, Port Macquarie ; then, I believe, Norfolk Island; and, finally, in 1823, Moreton Bay. As it is with the latter settlement we have to do, I will refrain from dwelling upon this not very interesting subject, further then just stating that in 1824 a draft of convicts and a large military detachment was despatched from Sydney, and located in the first instance at Redcliff Point— a headland lying about six miles north-east of the present village of Sandgate.

The un-healthiness and general unsuitableness of Red-cliff necessitated the authorities to look out for another clearing and for that purpose the adjoining country was surveyed, and finally the present site of Brisbane was fixed upon as the future settlement. Under the energetic supervision of the Commandant, Captain Logan, very important public works were undertaken. 

For instance, the old Commissariat Stores bears the date of erection, 1824, on its front; the convict barracks, military barracks, officers and official quarters, all appear to have been rapidly brought into existence under Captain Logan and his successor, Captain Clunie's, government. 

Thus, when the pioneer squatter began to follow up the discoveries of the lamented Allen Cunningham, and migrate with their flocks and herds to the Downs country and below the eastern slopes of the Main Range, the penal settlement established on the waters of the Brisbane River some fifteen or sixteen years previously, had began to assume the importance of a town—the roads leading through and above the settlement having evidently been laid out with that end in view.

Queen-street had been judiciously laid out a chain and a half wide—that is, taking the line of the old Post-office lumber yard, lock-up, and barracks, forming one side of the thoroughfare, and the various plots of ground opposite, used, I understand, as gardens for the non-commissioned officers, and others employed in the service of the Government. 

The road, also, running parallel to the river, and leading to the commandant's quarters, now William-street, had been left, very judiciously, a good width; but, unfortunately for the future of the city, Governor Sir George Gipps, on his visit to these districts in the early part of 1842, directed the surveyor, in laying out the streets of Brisbane and Ipswich, to confine the width of the streets to one chain. 

The unadvisability of this step has been apparent ever since. Yet it is somewhat remarkable that in recent days our present Surveyor-General has committed, in too many instances, the same blunder.

But to go back : In 1842, the settlement of Moreton Bay was thrown open by proclamation to the occupation of the general public ; and a number of Sydney men availed themselves of the opportunity of viewing the promised land, and on their return the results of their investigation were such as to induce numbers of land sharks and speculators to attend the first sale of town lands in the town of Brisbane, and at the land office in Bent street, Sydney, run up the allotments submitted to auction to rather burn-finger prices. 

The land sold at that auction, held in July, 1842, consisted of one section only in North Brisbane—namely, that section comprised in the area formed by Queen, George, Elizabeth, and Albert streets; and two or three sections on the south side of the river.

But the disastrous effects of the commercial crisis of that and the previous year had so revolutionised business matters in Sydney that most, if not all, of the allotments sold on that occasion either became forfeited or changed owners subsequently at very reduced prices. As an instance of the uncertainty of land speculations in that day, the allotment at the corner of Queen and George streets, occupied by the New South Wales Banking Company, sold at the sale in July, 1842, for about £450. 

The purchaser failed to pay up the balance of the purchase-money within the month, and the land become forfeited, and reverted to the Government. That same allotment was again  offered at public sale, and disposed of at the upset price of £26 (twenty-six pounds). 

It passed through various hands, who improved the property, and finally became the property of the present proprietors, at a value about the cost of the buildings at the time erected thereon. With these preliminary remarks, as we say when on the stump, permit me to give my readers a short epitome of my first night in the "Settlement." 

Cold and weary with long sitting, hungry from last fasting, behold me and my fellow voyagers in the little schooner Falcon, of and from Sydney, Captain Johnny Brown, master, landing from the pilot boat which had brought us all up from the Pilot Station at Amity Point, on a makeshift wharf nearly opposite the Commissariat Stores. 

The night had set in before we entered the river, having had to contend against a strong S.W. breeze across the bay. It may be, there-fore, set down as an established fact that when we shook ourselves together on the old wharf, about 8 o'clock in the evening, we were not exactly the parties competent to be called upon to express an opinion upon the beauties of the river, or the natural advantages of the Settlement. 

On the contrary, my friend the skipper said something about his eyes and limbs that did not convey a blessing to himself or to his hearers. But it was cold; and one could hardly avoid being uncomplimentary when it is taken into consideration that we left the comfortable quarters of Jemmy Hexton, the old pilot at Amity Point, about 4 a.m. that morning without breaking one's fast, and, with the exception of a slight feed on the voyage, had not been able to keep up the necessary carbon to keep the inner man comfortable. 

In fact, we had all been the victims of misplaced confidence. We had expected to land in Brisbane in about eight or ten hours—having a good boat and crew— instead of which we had nearly doubled that period of time. After all, my first night in the Settlement was a caution to croakers. 

Let me describe scene the first:— A portion of the southern wing of the old Barracks, converted, by the ingenuity of the lessees, from a dirty, dreary kitchen or cook-house into a snug and comfortable stores and dwelling place, in which, on the night I made my first appearance therein.
I found, with my brother-in-law the skipper, a hearty welcome from the worthy occupiers—namely, Messrs. John Harris and Richard Underwood, trading in the new Settlement under the style and title of Harris and Underwood, general storekeepers. 

The company at the supper table consisted of the firm and their ladies, an old gentleman named White, then acting as Postmaster and General Inspector and Superintendent of the Ticket-of-leave Constabulary Force stationed in Brisbane, the captain of the schooner Falcon— familiarly known amongst old colonials as Johnny Brown—and Old Tom, without the frosty pow. 

The amusing anecdotes of passing events given with much zest and humour by our hosts,' and their graphic particulars of life in the Settlement, coupled with those social appendages which, I believe, to this day are profusely placed on the hospitable boards of those gentle-men, kept us visitors in high good humour, and very much helped to thaw our stagnant blood, and make us have a better opinion as to the future of the young community. 

Before this scene passes away, let me for a few moments recall to memory some of the anecdotes relating to " Old Times," and in connection with one of those that sat with me round Messrs. Harris and Underwood's mahogany. 

Old Mr. White, the first man of letters in Brisbane—good old soul, who can forget his hospitable manner of receiving the jackaroo squatter—whose advent, perhaps for the first time to the Bay, was not only to receive and forward supplies to his station, but to obtain the much prized letters from home. 

But the unique management of the postal service under the directory of old White was something to remember as an instance of the unsurpassing value of this old trump. I will repeat an anecdote related to me by a gentleman who had occasion to visit the Settlement just previous to the removal of the convicts. 

This squatter had come down from the table-lands with his team, to obtain supplies for his establishment, and after unyoking his team on the south side of the river, came over to obtain his letters. Calling at the Post-office, then kept in the old brick house at the corner, and still forming a portion of our present postal department, he found the worthy distributer of letters busy discussing with two other gentlemen the relative merits of red and white tape —vulgarly known as rum and gin. 
Upon asking for his letters, he was politely requested to take a seat, and help himself from the black jacks standing on the table. Before availing himself of this kind invite, he again asked for his letters. The reply was, "Oh, stuff! sit down, and we will look for the letters by-and-bye." 

Towards 11 o'clock the other two visitors left, to proceed to the Commandant's quarters, where they had been invited to lunch. Another attempt was then made to get the long-coveted letters; but no! the old gentleman seemed to consider the question of correspondence a matter of no moment, and insisted upon my informant going with him to dinner, at Mr. Andrew Petrie's. 

Finding that it was better to make a virtue of a necessity, the invitation was accepted, and at the hospitable residence of the Clerk of Works the disappointed letter seeker spent a very pleasant afternoon. In the meantime, the postmaster had hooked it, and on my informant going again to the Post-office, found it, although only 4 o'clock, closed for the day, and the man of letters not comfortable. 

Going round to the rear of the premises, my friend enquired of the servant, one Peter Glynn, what he should do to get his letters. "Is that all you want?" says Peter. " Come in ; I will manage that." Going into the bedroom and bringing out a bunch of keys, he opened a large bureau, displayed a conglomerated heap of letters, and said, " There you are ; help yourself!" 

It may be considered somewhat remarkable that though the Post-office duties were conducted in this rather loose style, yet, I believe, no complaint was ever made that the letters or their contents had been tampered with. 

The following (Sunday) morning found me and the worthy skipper all serene, after a comfortable night's rest, and upon going outside to have a look round before breakfasting, the beautiful and varied scenery that presented it-self to view was very encouraging, and induced one to believe there was a great future before the young settlement, could the Government be induced to throw open the fertile borders of the Brisbane and its tributaries to an agricultural population.

The new arrival could observe, in making an inspection of the clearing around the settlement, that a large portion of the land in and about the new township had been under cultivation, and at the time I speak the roots of the corn-stalks still remained in the holes made around them, and the few gardens and cultivated spots about the settlement were teeming with wonders of the vegetable world.

The pine apple, the banana, the citron, the lemon, orange, and apple, with mulberries, grapes, and other fruit bearing trees, were of remarkable size and beauty; and gave satisfactory evidence that with proper means and appliances the land would support and well repay the industrial efforts of a large population.

As I intend, as I proceed with my gossip about the settlement, to advert more particularly to these matters, I shall for the present content myself by stating that I ever afterwards considered it rank heresy for anyone to assert that Moreton Bay was only suitable for the rearing of stock.

After having breakfasted it was arranged that we should amuse ourselves by taking a stroll round the settlement, and take a bird's-eye view of the surrounding country from the top of the old Windmill. 

What I saw and heard in our rambles about town, I must defer narrating until a future issue

From wikipedia!
Andrew Petrie (1798 - 20 February 1872) was a pioneer, architect and builder in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Andrew Petrie was born in Fife, Scotland. He trained as a builder in Edinburgh. He married Mary Cuthbertson in 1821.

John Dunmore Lang brought him, his wife and four sons to Sydney in 1831 with other Scottish mechanics to form the nucleus of a force of free workers. Meeting much enmity from convict and emancipist workers, Petrie was glad to accept a post as clerk in the Ordnance Department. Before establishing his own business he oversaw the construction of a building in Jamison Street for Lang. 
Career in Queensland

The quality of his work impressed his superiors so much that, when in 1837 there was an urgent appeal from the Moreton Bay Settlement of New South Wales for a competent builder to repair crumbling structures, Petrie was sent there as Superintendent of Works.[2]
Andrew Petrie's house at the corner of Queen and Wharf Streets, Brisbane, circa 1859
Andrew Petrie and his family, the first free-settlers to move to the area, travelled to Dunwich aboard the James Watt and where then transferred in a pilot boat, manned by convicts that landed at King's Jetty, the only landing place that then existed, now known as North Quay. A year after arriving in the colony Petrie and his family moved into stone house he built at what is now known as Petrie Bight.]
His first important task was to repair the mechanism of the windmill which had never worked. His general duty was the supervision of prisoners engaged in making such necessities as soap and nails, and in building.[3] He also made inspections of government owned sheep and cattle and placed a number of beacons on navigational hazards in the Brisbane River.

Petrie's charge took him to several convict outposts and gave him a taste for travel and exploration. His private journeys soon added to knowledge of the immediate environs of the settlement. When the convict station was removed in 1839 Petrie saw the opportunity at last of a free community, and with his family remained to contribute to its formation. In the new surroundings he was able to pursue two main interests: as builder and architect he was responsible for most of the important structures that arose; and he made many more journeys.

He was the first white man to climb Mount Beerwah, one of the Glass House Mountains seen by James Cook, and he was also the first to bring back samples of the Bunya pine In 1842 with a small party in a boat he discovered the Mary River and brought back to the settlement two 'wild white men', James Davis or 'Duramboi' and David Bracewell or 'Wandi'. He was the first to discover coal at Redbank in around 1837. He explored and named the Maroochy River.

Later life

In 1848 he lost his eyesight because of inefficient surgery after an attack of sandy blight.] Despite this condition he still was able to design ferry landings, floating public baths and a bridge over Breakfast Creek.[1] Such was his courage that he still kept control over his business: when plans were explained to him he ordered the necessary quantities of material and was even able to check the performance of his building workers; he used his cane if not satisfied. 

The Petries had nine sons and a daughter. With advancing years Petrie handed over more and more control to his eldest son, John, who became first mayor of Brisbane. His third son, Thomas, gained much knowledge of the Aboriginal tribes and their customs and languages. Their house was one of the social centres of Brisbane and readily offered accommodation to squatters coming from the outback, especially in the days before Brisbane had a few inns. Petrie was also always being willing to help with food and work to the poor.

His biography Petrie, Andrew (1798–1872)   by A. A. Morrison

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Andrew Petrie (1798-1872), builder and architect, was born in June 1798 in Fife, Scotland, son of Walter Petrie and Margaret, née Hutchinson, and trained in his craft in Edinburgh. He was one of the Scottish mechanics brought to Sydney in 1831 by John Dunmore Lang as the nucleus of a new force of free workers. Meeting much enmity from convict and emancipist workers, Petrie was glad to accept a post as clerk in the Ordnance Department. The quality of his work impressed George Barney so much that, when in 1837 there was an urgent appeal from Moreton Bay for a competent builder to repair crumbling structures, Petrie was sent there as clerk of works. His first important task was to repair the mechanism of the windmill which had never worked. His general duty was the supervision of prisoners engaged in making such necessities as soap and nails, and in building.

His charge took him to several convict outposts and gave him a taste for travel and exploration. His private journeys soon added to knowledge of the immediate environs of the settlement. When the convict station was removed in 1839 Petrie saw the opportunity at last of a free community, and with his family remained to contribute to its formation. In the new surroundings he was able to pursue two main interests: as builder and architect he was responsible for most of the important structures that arose; and he made many more journeys. 

He was the first white man to climb Mount Beerwah, one of the Glass House Mountains seen by James Cook, and he was also the first to bring back samples of the Bunya pine. In 1842 with a small party in a boat he discovered the Mary River and brought back to the settlement two 'wild white men', James Davis or 'Duramboi' and David Bracewell or 'Wandi'.

In 1848 he lost his eyesight because of inefficient surgery after an attack of sandy blight. Such was his courage that he still kept control over his business: when plans were explained to him he ordered the necessary quantities of material and was even able to check the performance of his building workers; he used his cane if not satisfied. 

At Edinburgh in 1821 he had married Mary Cuthbertson; they had nine sons and a daughter. With advancing years he handed over more and more control to his eldest son, John Petrie, who became first mayor of Brisbane. His fourth son, Thomas, gained much knowledge of the Aboriginal tribes and their customs and languages.

The Petries' house was one of the social centres of Brisbane and readily offered accommodation to squatters coming from the outback, especially in the days before Brisbane had a few inns. Petrie was also generous to unfortunates, always being willing to help with food and work. He died on 20 February 1872.

The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)    Wed 21 Feb 1872   Page 3   

The death of the oldest free resident in our community and colony, is an event not to be allowed to happen without notice ; and the aged, revered, and useful citizen who has just left our world for a better was no ordinary man. The name of ANDREW PETRIE is indissolubly connected not only with the early history of Brisbane, but of the colony. Although for some years past incapacitated by a painful malady from active interference in the more prominent duties of life, he never relaxed his interest in all that was going on around him in the colony. 

For thirty-four years and more he had watched its growth and advancement from the ignoble position of a mere outlying penal settlement of New South Wales to the dignified and important status of an independent province. From 1837 to the time of his death, he watched its progress with a solicitude which never flagged—rejoicing in its prosperity, and sorrowing in its adversity. Though long deprived of bodily sight, his mental vision could, nearly to the very last, realise all that had been effected in the way of advancement in the city which has grown up on the comparative waste on which he first landed.

Mr. Petrie was a native of Fifeshire, in Scotland, and was born in June, 1798. In early youth he removed to Edinburgh, where he was connected with an eminent building firm, and served for four years in an architect's establishment in that city. He embarked in business on his own account, and was induced to emigrate to New South Wales in 1831 on the representations of Dr. Lang. 

Arriving in Sydney in that year in the ship Stirling Castle, he was employed in superintending the erection of the Doctor's well-known buildings in Jamison-street, and subsequently entered into business for himself. While thus engaged, his ability and probity brought him into notice, and at the solicitation of Mr. Commissary Laidley, he entered the service of the Government, as a Clerk of Works in the Ordnance department. 

Shortly afterwards, the late Colonel Barney arrived in Sydney with a detachment of the Royal Engineers, and to this officer the control of the department with which Mr. Petrie was connected was transferred, and the deceased gentleman retained his position. In the same capacity he was employed until his removal to Brisbane in 1837. The buildings which had then been erected in the city, and were in course of construction, had been designed and superintended by a junior military officer, and were, naturally enough, not models either of architectural skill or of substantial workmanship. 

Mr. Petrie was accordingly sent up as a practical Superintendent of Works and he arrived with his family (Mr. John Petrie being then a mere boy) in August, 1837, in the James Watt, the first steamer which ever entered what are now "Queensland waters." His duties were to direct and supervise the labours of the better class of prisoners—mechanics and others—who were employed in an enclosure situated where St. John's school now stands. The windmill had been erected, but the machinery could not be made to work, although the sapient military officer had the bush cut down all round to allow the wind to reach the sails, and Mr. Petrie's first labour was to take down the machinery and set it up again in a proper manner. 

On his arrival, the only quarters available for himself and family were to be found in the Female Factory (now the Police-office), which had been rendered vacant by the removal of the female prisoners to Eagle Farm.  There Mr. Petrie resided until the house in which he lived and died was built, and as an instance of his fore-sight, he insisted on it being erected in a line with the Court House, "as there might someday be a street running that way." 

The locality   was then simply "in the bush"

In 1838, while out on an excursion with Major Cotton, the commandant, Mr. Petrie and his companions were lost for three days, and found their way back to the settlement at last by taking bearings from the hill on the south side of the river, now known as Mount Petrie. 

In 1840, accompanied by his son John, two or three convicts, and two black boys, the deceased gentleman made an exploring trip into what is now known as the Bunya Bunya country, and the party were in extreme peril of their lives, but they succeeded in bringing back to Brisbane some specimens of the fruit. 

He was, in fact, the first to discover the bunya bunya tree, although its botanical name, Araucaria Bidwellii, does not give him the credit. In 1841, in company with Mr. Henry Stuart Russell, the Hon. Mr. Wriothesley, and others, Mr. Petrie explored the Mary River which had not before been entered by a boat ; and it was while on this expedition that he discovered and brought back to civilisation the well-known "Durham Boy," who had been living in a kind of semi-captivity with the blacks for fourteen years. 

While on one of these exploratory journeys, and once subsequently, Mr. Petrie ascended to the summit of the almost inaccessible Beerwah, the highest of the Glass House Mountains, from whence he took bearings for the assistance of the surveyors who were then commencing a trigonometrical survey.

 On the latter occasion, Mr. Petrie and his companions struck across the country to Kilcoy, which had then been formed as a station for about three days by Sir Evan Mackenzie. On his way back to Brisbane, Mr. Petrie met and camped with Mr. David Archer, who was out looking for country, on the site of the present Durundur station.

Soon after the settlement was "thrown open" in 1842, the Governor, Sir George Gipps, visited the settlement in company with Colonel Barney, and the latter endeavoured to persuade Mr. Petrie to return to Sydney, as his office was abolished, but that gentleman preferred remaining here, and trying its chances in what he foresaw would be a flourishing colony. In 1848, while on a trip to the Downs, he suffered severely from an ophthalmic attack, the treatment for which resulted in the loss of his eyesight, and in the same year another calamity beset him in the loss of his son Walter, who was drowned in the creek which crosses Queen-street. (Singularly enough, Mr. John Petrie lost a son of the same name, in the same creek, some years afterwards.) 

Although thus deprived of one of Nature's most valued senses, the deceased gentleman continued for years to assist in the superintendence of buildings and other works, and many residents will remember, even of late years, his daily visits to works in progress.

During the last few years, however, Mr. Petrie's activity of mind had to succumb to infirmity of body, and he was seldom able to leave his own premises. Up to two years ago, blind as he was, he rang the workmen's bell with his own hands every morning, and was made acquainted with the details of the business of which he had been the founder.

Mr. Petrie was not a man to obtrude him-self upon public notice, but, although he never actively interfered in political and other movements, he could express his views decidedly and vigorously in private. As a father he was kind and indulgent ; as an employer he was respected, though strict and watchful ; and as a friend and companion he was genial and hearty—nothing pleasing him better than "a chat about old times." 

Surrounded by all the surviving members of his family, and by a goodly number of grandchildren, he passed peacefully away yesterday afternoon on that last journey in search of final rest which all humanity must one day undertake.
The Old Windmill is a heritage-listed tower located in Wickham Park, on Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is the oldest surviving building in Queensland

The Old Windmill was built in 1828] during colonial times by convicts for grinding grains, such as wheat and maize. The Old Windmill originally had wind-powered sails. The grinding of the grains was done by treadmill from October, 1828, with the wind-powered sails being used from December, 1828. The treadmill was dismantled in 1842 when the convict settlement was closed.

The link to the above website, tells the story of the first execution at the Windmill.  That building not well constructed by the Royal Engineers! and which the executioner assured Mr Petrie that the beams were strong enough for the rope!

Petrie Tableaux and memorial in King George Square Brisbane

The Petrie Family, a Genealogical and Biographical Perspective  by Dimity Dornan

Presented at a meeting of the Society 27 February 1992    (Genealogical)

Andrew Petrie (1798-1872) arrived at Moreton Bay in the August of 1837, to take up his new position as Foreman of Works at the infamous Penal Colony. With him was his family of five children, and his wife, Mary. Andrew, later described by early newspaperman Thomas Dowse as "The Father of Brisbane",' was, with his family, to have a significant role in the establishment of Brisbane as a viable township.

He was also to become an explorer of some note, and the architect and builder of some of Brisbane's finest old buildings. Many of these stand today as monuments to his creativity. To understand the personality and ability of such a man, an understanding of his background is essential. This necessitates a journey back to Scotland of the 18th century. Andrew Petrie was baptised in 1798, the second son of Walter Petrie of Kettle, Fifeshire, Scotland. Walter was born the eighth son of James Petrie and Margaret Elder at Freuchy mill in Kettle.

Andrew's mother, Margaret Hutchison (also recorded as Hutson) was baptised in Markinch, Fife, the neighbouring parish to Kettle in 1770", and she married Walter Petrie in Kettle in 1792, being 10 years his junior.' Margaret was the daughter of Grizel Pierson and Andrew Hutchison, and according to the traditional Scottish naming pattern, it was this ancestor, his grandfather on his mother's side, who gave Andrew Petrie his name.

Margaret and Walter Petrie had 6 children, of whom Andrew was the fourth. His older siblings were Grezel* (different spelling to her grandmother namesake), James'' (called after his paternal grandfather), and Margaret* (named for her mother). His younger siblings were Barbara' and William.'"

Andrew's baptism is actually recorded as PEDRIE in the Kettle Old Parish Records. At the time of Barbara's and William's births in 1803 and 1808, Walter Petrie's profession was recorded as a weaver,
and on Andrew's death certificate it is listed as "trade worker", so there seems to be no doubt that Andrew came from a family of tradespeople.

Andrew was of an independant, adventurous and determined nature, and he left the village of his forbears. Kettle (also known as Kingskettle) in his early youth. In Edinburgh he became connected
with an eminent building firm, and served four years working with a prominent architect. Here he met and married Mary Cuthbertson, a woman two years his senior. The marriage of Mary and Andrew
(listed as a joiner) was proclaimed on 28 December 1821 at St. Cuthbert's Parish, County Edinburgh, and at this time he resided at No.35 Fountainbridge, while his bride lived at 101 Rose St."

 She was the daughter of Joseph Cuthbertson, a tall and strongly built woman of dark colouring. Her husband was fairer in complexion, but no less imposing in his appearance. 

His height and strong build made him well suited to being a manual worker, especially in the stone work in which he later excelled. Together they made an impressive couple.

Their first child, John was born about a fortnight after the ceremony. This event may explain why the Cuthbertson family has not been mentioned in later writings about the Petries', nor the name of Joseph continued. Whatever the reaction of the families, Andrew and Mary continued with their lives, moving from Canongate where John was born in 1822 to Toll Cross in the same parish where a second son, Andrew, was born in 1823.   In 1826, a third son, James Rutherford Hardcastle was born at Portobello, Duddingston Parish, also in Edinburgh.'" Yet another son, Walter, was born to Mary and Andrew in 1827 and was baptised at Tron Church Parish, indicating that the Petrie's had moved house yet again in Edinburgh. James died at four years of age, in 1830,' and was buried at Greyfriars
Cemetery from Burt's Close. Andrew was listed on the death certificate as a "wright".

The restrictive economic climate of the Scotland in the 1830's (and possibly the effects of recent family bereavement), made the Petrie family with four growing boys, willing to emigrate to Australia when the Reverend J.D. Lang approached Andrew through a local clergyman. Already Andrew had been showing restless tendencies in the many moves of residence within Scotland. The same tendency
motivated him towards exploration when later confined by the stifling atmosphere of the penal colony. While suffering the after-effects of a horse-riding accident which had severely injured his leg in his youth,he was otherwise fit and ready to use his already considerable skills in a new land. 

Their new son Thomas was but five months old.'* Lang, an evangelical Protestant of unusual tenacity, recruited skilled tradesmen who had been recommended by respected Presbyterian employers and churchmen from his native Scotland. Since one of the reasons for the Rev. Lang's conscription of families was to remedy the climate of immorality in the penal settlement in Australia, only those of the highest moral character were chosen. 

Obviously, Andrew and Mary were seen to meet this requirement. Now a spirited couple in their early thirties, their strong build and adventurous spirit were well suited to colonial requirements. The Stirling Castle carrying 52 Scottish mechanics and their families, set off on 1 June 1831 with Captain James Fraser at the helm. Andrew was listed on the passenger inventory as a carpenter, but colonial experience would show that not only was he a skilled stonemason, but he also had a rudimentary knowledge of surveying and architecture. 

The time taken for the voyage was not wasted, as in addition to bible readings and strict observance of the Sabbath, male passengers devoted a considerable amount of time to study. Mathematics, geometry and political economy were studied five days a week. Many of the mechanics, Andrew included, signed a temperance pledge before they disembarked. In arrival in Sydney, life was very different. 

The mechanics were soon employed in building Lang's new Australian College, and the Petries were working hard to pay back their passage money, as half of their wages was deducted for this purpose. House rental and food were very expensive, water had to be purchased, and families could do no more than live. The cost of living was double that in Scotland.

Petrie took on private work in partnership with George Ferguson, and eventually won a position as clerk in the Commissariat under Laidley. These and subsequent positions helped to support the growing family. Their first daughter, Isabella was born in 1833,'and in 1835, another son, William, was born,'* but only survived two years.''

A new appointment under Barney in the Ordinance Department became a turning point in Petrie's career. When a position as Clerk of Works at the penal colony of Moreton Bay became available, Andrew's restless energy made him an eager candidate. 
Mary's possibly mixed emotions to this further upheaval have never been recorded. After several horrific years living in ex-convict quarters, the notorious Female Factory, Andrew's energy and resourcefulness asserted themselves.

He established his family in a house he built for them at what is now Petrie Bight. By 1842, when the penal settlement was about to end, he had spent years of attention to duty and in considerable exploration of the surrounding area. Andrew decided to throw in his lot with the emerging township and start up his own construction firm. The success of his company and of his exploratory feats in South East Queensland live on today. 

Likewise, industrial innovations such as his introduction of the Eight Hour Movement exist today in testimony to his humane reputation with the convicts and his fair but strict name as an employer.
Andrew and Mary had become parents once more, another son, George Barney being born in 1839. ° Andrew's reputation as a parent was of a strict authoritarian figure, who could not tolerate such weaknesses as smoking and drinking in his children. Much family trauma resulted when his sons succumbed to the pervading influences in the colony. However, incidents such as his leniency with his son Tom on one occasion, possibly interceded for by his mother, show that he was basically sympathetic in nature. 

It is his relationships with the Aborigines which show most clearly his empathy for his fellows.
Incident after incident demonstrated that Andrew was always willing to treat the Aborigines fairly, and with understanding for their lost rights. He employed them in the house and in his business. Indeed, he allowed his children to grow up with them as playmates, even to the extent that his son, Tom, became a full tribal member and went bush with them for weeks on end.  Andrew's reputation as a good and honest citizen, as well as his entrepreneurial skills, were handed on to his eldest son, John, who joined him in his firm. 

Eventually this reputation was instrumental in John Petrie being elected as first Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Although Andrew had a basically low political profile, he was no doubt influential behind the scenes. Likewise, his religious fervour was well known in the social circles of Moreton Bay. He also had a wide reputation as a genial host, particularly to squatters visiting the new township. Andrew built a large addition to his house to accommodate them, and enjoyed his role as benefactor. He was also welcoming to prospective explorers, and men such as Leichhardt sought his hospitality and his experience.

Andrew Petrie's skills as a builder, architect and stone mason have been perpetuated in such monuments as Newstead House, the General Post Office and Parliament House. Evidence that his trade skills were passed down to his children can be seen by the hand crafted inlaid table with the central initials of "G.B." for George Barney, his youngest son, which is held in the collection of the Royal Queensland Historical Society. Other mementos of his life in south east Queensland remain in the many places either named by him or named after him or his family.

Titles such as Cuthbertson Creek (now Burpengary Creek), named for Mary Petrie, and Point Hutchison, named for his mother, not to mention Petrie Terrace and Petrie Creek and the suburb of Petrie named after Tom, are all present day remembrances of Andrew Petrie's life in Brisbane. '

The image which embodies the kernel of the man, Andrew Petrie as we remember him today, is that of the blind man on a pony inspecting his building sites. His son Tom remembers in his eminiscences, recorded by his daughter, Constance, how Andrew, blinded in a tragic accident and lame because of the old leg injury he had suffered years ago in Scotland, used to visit the firm's building projects. Tom recalls "A boy led the pony on which my father rode to the different works in progress, and you would see him taken to a ladder leaning on a two-storey building, up which he would climb just as if he could see ... he would poke about with his stick on the sides and all along the plank, then all over the building, feeling with it the different parts of the work".- Tom also remembers that he would have things done properly at all costs and could reckon the amount of materials needed for a quote with uncanny accuracy.

Andrew was blind for the last 24 years of his life, yet such was his interest in his firm that he continued to ring the starting bell each morning with his own hands until two years before he died at the age of 73.

Petrie the suburb  -

In 1851 Petrie prospected for gold in the Turon region of New South Wales and spent the next five years on Victorian goldfields, "finding only enough gold to make a ring". He returned to Brisbane and married Elizabeth Campbell in 1859. He bought a ten square miles (26 km²) property in the Pine Creek district and named it Murrumba, an aboriginal word meaning "good place". Aboriginals helped him to clear his land and build his farm buildings. He continued to look for new timber and places suitable for European settlement, became the first white man to climb Buderim Mountain in 1862 and surveyed a route from Cleveland to Eight Mile Plains. He also arranged for some Aboriginals to welcome the Duke of Edinburgh in 1868.

 In 1877 the Douglas ministry established Queensland's first Aboriginal reserve on Bribie Island with Petrie as its chief adviser and overseer, but the reserve was closed in 1878 by colonial secretary Palmer

Petrie died at Murrumba, survived by his wife who died aged 90 on 30 September 1926 and by two sons and five daughters of their nine children. Though Murrumba had been reduced to 3000 acres (12 km²) the family kept the property until 1952. In 1910 the name of the North Pine district was changed to Petrie in his honour and the next year a free-stone monument was erected in the township and unveiled by Sir William MacGregor. There is also a new suburb in the area named Murrumba Downs.
In 1904 Tom Petrie's Reminiscences of Early Queensland was published, written by his daughter, Constance Campbell Petrie. The book is regarded as one of the best authorities on Brisbane's early days.[John Petrie and Andrew Lang Petrie

Gathering information on the background of Andrew Petrie proved to be a daunting task. Firstly, there is a general lack of information on deaths in Scottish parish registers, although luck was with the  researchers in some cases. Often the rent of a mort cloth was the only indication, as registration of deaths was not a legal requirement in Scotland at that date. Movement of family members within Scotland, especially the Petries, caused many problems. As there were many Petrie families, it was absolutely necessary to locate the correct one. 

As well, some of the indexes available only give "Edinburgh" without specifying the parish within Edinburgh. Some factors were, however, useful in sorting out the morass of possible Petries in order to develop the genealogy of Andrew Petrie.

Firstly, indexes have more recently become available, including indexes for Old Parish Registers (O.P.R.). Of these, the southern counties of Scotland were only made available in the last four months of the five year period of ongoing research. Also, the majority of monumental inscriptions for Scotland have been transcribed and published, and fortunately Kettle was one of these. The actual town name of Kettle from where the Petries originated was not able to be traced until near the end of the research period. It happened that a relative mentioned in passing that he was going to Scotland and wished to visit an old hut which, it was rumoured, had some family connections. Extensive foregoing investigation and interview of family members had only revealed the county, Fifeshire, but this additional clue led to a whole new strand of discoveries. It was also fortunate that the basic information with which the research was started was Queensland death certificates, as death certificates from the east coast of Australia are among the most detailed throughout the world, followed by Scotland.

If Andrew Petrie had been Irish, there would have been many more problems. Another facilitating feature was that the time period of research for the Petries co-incided with the trend to use middle names, e.g. James Rutherford Hardcastle, which helped greatly with positive identification. The Scots tended to use maiden names of mothers and grandmothers as middle names. Lastly, it was fortunate that the Petries did baptise their children, and church entries for their births, marriages and deaths were available for the time period up to the time it was compulsory to do so. Certificates of births, marriages and deaths were only compulsory in New South Wales and Queensland after 1856.

In conclusion, the search for Andrew Petrie himself has been indeed a lengthy and difficult one, but there have been facilitating factors which were fortuitously well timed. It can only be hoped that as more pieces of the jig-saw have been added, others will stand out as fitting a portion of the puzzle yet unfinished. One of these could well be the elusive Selina Petrie. 

Her forbidding portrait lives in the photographic records of the Oxley Library, and the first boat built in Queensland was probably named after her, but she has vanished without a trace. Likewise, two little nameless boys listed on Andrew's death certificate have never been identified.

   Hopefully, in time, the full story will unfold.

Miss Selina Petrie

Information on Births, Marriages and Deaths were extracted from Old Parish Registers in Edinburgh and Fifeshire, which was then augmented with census data and momumental inscriptions. The Genealogical research was completed with the expert assistance of Dr. Jennifer Harrison.

1. Thomas, Dowse. "Old Times", Brisbane Courier 31 July 1896 p.6.
2. Baptism of Andrew Petrie (recorded as Pedrie), Kettle O.P.R., (1792-1816),
Kettle Parish, Co. Fife, 435/3, son of Walter Petrie (Pedrie) and Margaret Hutchison (recorded as Hudson) on 27 June, 1798, born 25 June, 1798.
3. Birth of Walter Petrie, Kettle O.P.R. (1776-1755), to James Petrie in Freuchy mill and Margaret Elder, on 9 Oct. 1760, and baptised 12 October 1760.
4. Baptism of Margaret Hutchison, I.G.I., born to Andrew Hutchison and Grizel Pierson in Markinch, Fife on 4 March 1770.
5. Marriage of Walter Petrie (Pedrie) and Margaret Hutchison (Hutson), Kettle O P R. (1798-1816). Matrimonally contracted in order to marriage 12 September 1792, Kettle Parish, and married 28 September 1792.
6. Birth of Grezel Petrie (Pedrie), Kettle O.P.R. (1792-1816), 435/3, to Walter Petrie (Pedrie) and Margaret Hutchison (Hutson), born 9 April 1793, and baptised 19 May 1793.
7. Birth of James Petrie (Pedrie), Kettle O.P.R. (1792-1816), 435/3, to Walter Petrie (Pedrie) and Margaret Hutchison (Hudson), born 1 Oct. 1794 and baptised 5 October 1794.
8. Birth of Margaret Petrie (as above) on 3 May 1794, baptised 5 October 1794.
9. Birth of Barbara Petrie (as above) on 13 May 1803 and baptised 15 May 1803.
10. Birth of William Petrie (as above) 4 January 1808, baptised 11 January 1808.
11. Marriage of Andrew Petrie and Mary Cuthbertson, Index for St. Cuthberts Parish, Marriage proclaimed 28 Dec 1821, St. Cuthberts Parish, Co. Edinburgh, 685-2/40, for Andrew Petrie, Joiner, No.35 Fountainbridge, and Mary Cuthbertson, residing No.lOl Rose St. daughter of Joseph Cuthbertson.
12. Baptism of John Petrie, St. Cuthberts O.P.R., 2 February 1822, St. Cuthberts Parish, Co. Edinburgh, 685-2/33, son of Andrew Petrie, Joiner of Cannongate and Mary Cuthbertson, born 15 January.
13. Baptism of Andrew Petrie, St. Cuthberts Parish (as above), 26 December 1823, son of Andrew Petrie, Joiner, Toll cross, and Mary Cuthbertson, born 3 December.
14. Birth of James Rutherford Hardcastle Petrie, I.G.I.for Midlothian, born Duddingston 1826, also Duddingston O.P.R. of births, born 31 October 1835 and Portobello, Duddingston Parish, Co. Edinburgh, 684/7, baptised 12 March 1826.
15. Baptism of Walter Petrie, Pre-1855 Midlothian Births, Old Parish Register, 26 July 1827, Edinburgh Parish, Co. Edinburgh, 685 1/55. Son of Andrew Petrie, Wright, and Mary Cuthbertson, Tron Church Parish, a son born 9 June last.
16. Death of James, buried 4 years, Greyfriars Cemetery, from Burts Close, died 2 August 1820. Ref. 685 1/100, p.l72.
17. Baptism of Thomas, N.S.W. Baptism Register, 1831, no. 317, vol. 45.
18. Baptism of Isabella, N.S.W. Baptism Register, to Andrew Petrie and Mary
Cuthbertson, 1833, 318 vol. 35.

Baptism of William Petrie, N.S.W. Baptism Register, 1835, 3101 vol. 45 and 288 vol. 47.
Death of William Petrie, N.S.W. Deaths, 1837, 1829 vol. 102 and 89 vol. 103.
Baptism of George Barney, Q'ld Baptisms 1829-56, 1839 no.99 and N.S.W.
Baptism Register 1624 vol. 23.
The renaming of North Pine as Petrie was a contentious issue locally; see Railway Department file 1929/5112, A/12611, Queensland State Archives.
C.C. Petrie, Tom Petrie's Reminiscences of Early Queensland. Sydney, Angus and Robertson, 1983, p.300.
Andrew Petrie's Death Certificate, Queensland Deaths, No. A 9418.

A Distant Past': Researching the First  Petrie Generation'
by D. Cryle  Presented at a meeting of the Society, 21 February 1992

Researching the Scottish origins of the Petries was the first stage of a two-pronged investigation into the family's eventful history.

Complementing this lengthy task was the need to interrogate early colonial sources in an attempt to reconstruct the original immigrants, Andrew and Mary, as complex historical actors. While it was not our intention to undertake a psychobiography, it was necessary to negotiate the private family sphere, firstly as a means of elucidating the achievements of a very public Brisbane family and secondly, as a
subject possessing its own intrinsic interest. In this regard, researching the first immigrant generation proved to be as challenging as investigating the Scottish connection. In the case of the Petries, it was
not until the early twentieth century that Constance Petrie, a granddaughter of the original immigrants on Tom's side, recorded the celebrated Reminiscences of Early Queensland,^ while Andrew Lang
Petrie, a grandson on John's side; wrote a series of short sketches for the Daily Mail at the end of his parliamentary career. Valuable as these family sources were for the colonial period, there were significant gaps in the record, especially concerning the original immigrants.

Andrew Petrie, the master builder and business founder, remained elusive, shrouded in the reticence of a pioneer who was more concerned with practical achievement than with social reputation.
Andrew appeared to have left few written records. Rather, his energy

Researching any early family is difficult, to research without today's modern technological advances is and was a remarkable achievement.  Without people such as the contributors above, the real history would be lost forever. 

In 2009 a play was performed regarding some of the characters involved in the original quest for separation. 


On October 13 2009 in City Hall a re-enactment of the founding of Brisbane Municipality was played out for the Brisbane 150 Celebrations Founding Families Celebration.

Invited guests included descendants of the first aldermen of the newly formed municipality, past Lord Mayors and Councillors. 

Accolades flew thick and fast following the event, which was attended by the Governor, the Member for Brisbane Central and the Lord Mayor.

It was both a pleasure and privilege to work with the talented team of actors who, dressed in period dress and aided by modern technology, convincingly became the characters they were all portraying. 
The event was a mixture of tradition and technology with a live feed of a filming by City Hall Restoration.


...Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city with a robust cultural life applying its creativity to generate innovative solutions in the fields of medical research, science, design, the arts, resource management and sustainable urban living. It is a multicultural city of opportunity, one whose layers of diversity enrich ennoble and embolden us all. 
Our Brisbane was founded in 1859 on the hopes of a people whose visionary leaders looked to the future daring to imagine and plan for what it might be possible to achieve. Because of their significant achievements our Brisbane is today a creative city, one of great optimism… and a crucible for change…

Gentlemen, on Saturday September 3 1859 after a successful petition by 420 householders it was reported in the Moreton Bay Courier that our Brisbane had been proclaimed a municipality. A proclamation in the Government Gazette at Sydney on September 6 made 
it official. The Governor General Sir William Thomas Denison appointed me, James Gibbon, Returning Officer for Brisbane Municipality.

We meet at temporary offices in the Police Court today to announce the result of the subsequent poll for the election of nine aldermen for the city of Brisbane. Gentlemen, your names are all declared this day Thursday 13th October 1859 at noon…

… only two of the gentlemen proposed were eligible and I now declare Mr Ebsworth and Mr. Phelan elected….

GIBBON continuing... Now, gentlemen...your election represents the inauguration of constitutional liberty, which the citizens of Brisbane have fought for. Brisbane is a dominant urban centre for the north; linked by land with the northern pastoral settlement and by sea with Sydney and London. It serves pastoral holdings, provides surplus labour and displays commercial initiative. 

We have all the basic amenities of a civilised society. Education, churches, a hospital and free press, as well as a growing consciousness of the opportunities, which lay ahead. 
Some 5000 residents have demonstrated their readiness to have you guide their affairs. Your role is to establish procedures, construct the municipality machinery and have a care and responsibility for town infrastructure. 
To make it work you need to create a method for closing the gap between function and finance. Alderman Cribb - would you take the chair please for the purpose of electing the 1st Mayor at Brisbane.

Gentlemen, thank you, thank you…. you have given me more work to do today and I welcome you to this important meeting… indeed a momentous occasion. 
It is our duty to elect the chief man on the seat of judgment; his must be a simple dignity to proclaim the will of the people. It is incumbent upon me to invite you to introduce yourselves so we may best elect the one man who will lead us forward. 
I will make a start… 

Robert Cribb 54 arriving at Moreton Bay in 1849 on the good ship Fortitude I opened a bakery and supported the founding of a Merchant Group to assist with the growth of the commercial interests in the city. I supported separation from New South Wales and am vigorously opposed to a revival of convictism, forced labour of any kind and support free settlement. Please know I pledge to do my duty and give notice I will cautiously guard the expenditure given into our care.


George Edmonstone age 50. Born Edinburgh, Scotland my father died when I was 12 so in 1832 seeking a new life I immigrated to New South Wales. I arrived at Brisbane in 1842 hoping to profit from trade with the newly settled Darling Downs as a butcher. Active in the affairs of the town I seek to be involved in it’s planning. Quiet by nature I would rather be seen fulfilling my obligations, than heard… 

WHAT BOLLOCKS GEORGE…who are you kidding… 

Albert John Hockings - 33 - a seedsman…I came on the William Jardine in 1841. My good fortune began on the brigantine Sarah Wilson in 1846. On the journey we visited a number of South Pacific Islands and I collected a great variety of seeds and plants. When we arrived here at Brisbane I realised this was the place to cultivate new crops – so I stayed. I have a keen interest in the growth of agriculture and want to serve this city well. 


Gentlemen, John Petrie. Aged 37. Born Edinburgh, Scotland I arrived at Sydney with my family in 1831. My father became Clerk of Works at Moreton Bay in 1837 and was its first free settler. As a young man I accompanied him on many explorations, especially into the hinterland around Brisbane. As a result I am well acquainted with the indigenous peoples, the vagaries of the land and, the enormity of the task ahead. A man of practical experience and common sense I want to assist establish a system of municipal administration that delivers great public works and services, especially a clean water supply.

Gentlemen, Joshua Jeays 47 an architect, stonemason and carpenter my wife Sarah and I and our three children immigrated to Moreton Bay in 1853 from Leicestershire in England building our first home - Roma Villa on Roma Street. I thank you for my election and congratulate you on the choice of men you have made. They are all men prepared to do their duty…

JEAYS continuing...I suppose your motive for rudeness is so you can tell people you told an Alderman of the 1st council to shut up…my advice…well take your own advice…gentlemen, thank you…the prospect of being involved in the development of Brisbane as a municipality is as exciting as the prospect of erecting fine buildings for prominent citizens that leave a mark on the history of this place. 

Gentlemen…Patrick Mayne 35 born Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1848 I purchased the goodwill of a butcher shop in Queen Street Brisbane. With little formal schooling myself I want to contribute to the growth of education at Brisbane. My concerns are also with matters practical such as water, sewerage, the levelling of streets, ensuring rates are paid and, appropriately spent. I’m proud to be an alderman of the first council at Brisbane and thank all those who have valued what I have done. I want to work, not talk.

William Pettigrew 34 - born near Ayr, Scotland I arrived in the Fortitude with promises of work as a surveyor that did not eventuate. For the first three years I worked a farm at Woogaroo. In 1853 I established the first steam sawmill in William Street. It is my desire to support the moves to end convict transportation and encourage free immigration. Noted for my determination, which I freely admit borders on stubbornness at times - I do have a vision for this city and will promote its railways, improve sanitation and actively advocate for forest conservancy. 

Thomas Blackett Stephens - 40 encouraged by a cousin I emigrated in 1849 and became a wool broker. Arriving at Brisbane in 1854 I founded my first enterprise at Ormiston and purchased land at Stones Corner and Annerley. My business interests include fellmongery, which involves removing hair from hides by hand prior to tanning. Broadcasting the founding of Brisbane to the world is very important - so I am presently working toward acquiring a newspaper business. We have been elected to work and I accept the post as a matter of duty….

William Sutton 69 eldest here - a Hotelkeeper at Kangaroo Point I have an interest in the advancement of this city and am prepared to advocate in its best interest. 
I am honoured to be elected and will use my influence to distribute expenditure impartially.

George Warren--- 31 --- youngest here I’m a Hotelkeeper in Fortitude valley and also a respected Café Proprietor… you may all know Harts café in Queen Street…an upmarket and popular establishment. My views on many of the issues facing us are well known …and, both liberal and progressive. 

Thank you Gentlemen, now as Aldermen it would not be competent to elect a Mayor until after the official declaration has been read

I disagree….the council is not perfect until the Mayor is elected. 

Gentlemen I propose Mr John Petrie as Mayor for two reasons, his long residency and consequent intimate knowledge of our wants. Secondly, in deference to public opinion, which by recording a large majority of votes in his favour has expressed its will to elect him by popular acclamation?

I second the nomination of Alderman Petrie as Mayor of Brisbane

…all those in favour say ‘aye’….
ALL Aye…

Then, it is unanimous. Gentlemen let us invite Brisbane’s The Worshipful, the Mayor John Petrie to address us.

Gentlemen I beg to return thanks for the great honour you have done me, and express my deep sense of the generous manner in which you have welcomed me. 
Proud of your confidence, encouraged by your empathy I will discharge the duties of the office of Mayor faithfully. We are no rude, uncultivated horde of quarrelsome border men as systematically represented by the metropolitan press in the past. The faults others affected to find with us are all upon the surface. Beneath lies the strong sense of men who value the privilege too highly not to use it well.

No grander sight in the world can be exhibited than a community of free men assembling to frame their own laws, arrange their own taxation and control the expenditure of their own revenues. The people do not want old habits, old traditions or old convictions. They want us to increase public service: endow the church, feed the poor, guard the land in case of war and, above all, execute justice. 

We have a lot to consider: the perilous present state of the cities water supply, the continuing appalling state of our thoroughfares, the ongoing threat to the safety of women and children and we need to urgently regulate the ferry service. To achieve our aims we need to come together with perseverance, unanimity and determination and deliver Brisbane as a crucible for change… …change, gentlemen, change is inevitable and in a progressive country, change is constant. 

I respectfully ask that you work with me. We have plenty to do, very little money to spend, but we all share a great vision for this city. Prudence demands we select active men to assist us to take up the challenge, watch over her interests, and take her forward... power is a trust and we are all accountable for its exercise; from the people and for the people all springs and all must exist …

Gentlemen I would respectfully suggest we remember the distinguished representative of the crown. The Governor represents the power of the State but it is the people who really exercise that power and if the privilege is great, so also is the responsibility. ‘

We inherited this freedom – but permit me please one sentiment of gratitude to the good Queen Victoria who granted us justice in spite of much opposition. Let us then with one heart and one voice welcome with joy and affection her representative.

In his address to the audience, the MC detailed the lives of some of the people involved, this is included as an addition to the research of each of the original land speculators.  Mr Cribb had a reputation!  

MC: James Gibbon 

GIBBON: An early settler in the Newstead area I was one of the people who petitioned Captain Wickham, the Government Resident of those days, to find ways of providing a new bridge over Breakfast Creek after the old one collapsed. It was built and opened in 1858. Known as “Street Corner Jimmy” I purchased a large tract of land in 1850 naming my property Teneriffe after one of the Canary Islands

MC: William Pettigrew 

PETTIGREW: I held many memberships and was an Alderman 1863-6, the Mayor 1870 – 1871 a member of the Legislative Council 1877 – 1894 and member and chairman of the Caboolture Divisional Board in 1881. As a member of the Philosophical Society of Qld I delivered many lectures five of which were published. A founder of the Caledonian Association, Justice of the Peace from 1864 I was a magistrate, member of the Board of Health and trustee of Paddington and Toowong Cemeteries established an insurance company and supported the building society movement. My sawmill businesses were hit by flood, fire and economic depression and I was bankrupted in 1898 and laid to rest in 1906 at Bowen.

MC: Thomas Blackett Stephens 
STEPHENS: Renowned for my clear intellect, business tact, judgement of private affairs and furtherance of the public interest. I became Mayor in 1862 and remained an alderman until 1864. A member for South Brisbane in Queensland’s second parliament I retained my seat until 1875. I was Colonial Treasurer in 1867, Colonial Secretary in 1868 and Chairman of Trustees of the Brisbane Grammar School. Proprietor of the Moreton Bay Courier I changed its name to the Courier in 1861, floated the Brisbane Newspaper Company in July 1868 and then sold out for a handsome profit when I retired in 1873.

MC: William Sutton 
SUTTON: A hotelkeeper I obtained the confidence of my fellow townsmen to secure election because they believed I could contribute because of my wide and varied experience as a practical man who had endured the rigours of pioneering.

MC: George Warren 
WARREN: A member of the Queensland Liberal Association I served the council 1859 until 1862 when I was actively involved in the movement to separate Fortitude Valley as another municipality that was defeated due to prohibitive costs. It did give impetus to the movement that divided the city into four wards in 1863 to alleviate discontent relating to expenditure. 

MC: Robert Cribb 
CRIBB: Nicknamed Robert the Restless I represented East Moreton in the NSW Legislative Assembly from 18 June until 10 December 1859, sitting with the Liberal group. I was an alderman of the new municipality of Brisbane until 1861 when I was elected to the first Qld parliament representing North Brisbane 1860 – 1863, West Moreton 1861 – 1867 and Ipswich 1870 – 1873. My major achievements were in the economic and social development of Ipswich where I founded the department store, Cribb and Foote with John Clarke Foote brother of my second wife Clarissa. We promoted the cotton growers in the West Moreton district and in return their support ensured our success.

MC: George Edmonstone 
EDMONSTONE: I played an active part in municipal affairs until 1866 serving on many of the committees putting in place its infrastructure. Elected Mayor in 1863 I was closely associated with the first Brisbane Bridge and Town Hall. A Member of the Legislative Council 1860 – 1877 I was made a life Member until my death in 1883. 

MC: Albert John Hockings 
HOCKINGS: English botanist Joseph Bank’s report on flora led to Australia’s colonization. In following my dream I became Brisbane’s leading nurseryman supplying the agricultural implement market at Brisbane. I wrote a number of books on gardening and was an Alderman 1859 – 1860 and 1864 – 1867. I was Mayor in 1865 and 1867 and served on many committees.
MC: Joshua Jeays
JEAYS: I built the gallery of 1st St John’s Church of England, homes for Andrew Petrie, John Petrie, Walter Hill, Patrick Mayne and the Cribb Family. I provided stone from my quarry for Brisbane’s first Government House, built the George St facade of Parliament House and assisted with the development of Brisbane’s drainage systems. I was Mayor when the first Victoria Bridge was erected and my home in the Paddington hills is still in the grounds of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School at Bardon, the suburb it gave its name to.

MC: Patrick Mayne 

MAYNE: I built my business empire by investing cleverly becoming one of Brisbane’s richest men. Following my election in 1859 I supported education generally, contributing 100 pounds towards building the National School and I donated funds for the Catholic school system and the building of St Stephens Cathedral where my wife and I are commemorated in its stained glass windows. I served the council for the remaining six years of my life before I died aged 41 and my life and my sanity remains, for many, a subject of much controversy
Mayor of Brisbane on three occasions I also served as an alderman until 1867. An elder of the Presbyterian Church, Justice of the Peace, Member of the Licensing Board, Chairman of the Board of Waterworks, Chairman of the Relief Board and Chairman of the Committee of Brisbane Hospital I was also a trustee for the Brisbane general cemetery and a ranger for protecting native birds on the Enoggera Water Reserve. A Director of several building societies and the Queensland Steam Navigation Company I was elected to the North Brisbane School of Arts Committee and a member of the first Masonic Lodge. As Manager of Petrie & Sons my family built - the Supreme Court, Post and Telegraph Offices, Immigration depot, the original section of St John’s Pro-Cathedral and the gaol at Petrie Terrace.

SCRIPT:    © Carolyn McDowall 2009

Nearly every one of those men have in some form or other, featured in the History of Bracken Ridge.

Gordon Greenwood, M.A. (Sydney), PhD (London) John Laverty, B.A. (Queensland)
Edited by Gordon Greenwood   Produced by Oswald L. Ziegler for  Council of the City of Brisbane (Queensland Australia)
Moreton Bay Courier  1846 - 1861 Australian Newspapers Archive Brisbane Courier 1861 – 1864

Ipswich First Ipswich City Council Publication
The Mayne Inheritance Rosamond Siemon
National Trust Website Queensland Book of Memories 
Archive Documents Prepared by Annabel Lloyd  City Archivist  Brisbane City Council September 2008
Original Minute Book Brisbane City Council (Facsimile copy provided)
Original Proclamation Government Gazette Mitchell Library, Sydney 
© 2009 The Culture Concept | Privacy Policy | Contac

One can just imagine stepping back in time and listening to the crowd, if reading all the old newspaper articles is anything to go by!

A beautiful restoration, looks so much better than Room 69 did in 1963

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