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Monday, March 2, 2015 Montagu and Mary Durnford - "Margaret missing" Montagu m Agnes Ryland 1875

The family were in Musswelbrook in 1872, as the previous stories confirmed.

Then he appears to be back working on coaches in 1873.

Then in 1874 everyone is missing.

Nothing is heard from them until Montagu decides to remarry.

1875  he is 44 and he marries 18 year old Agnes Matilda Ryland.

Agnes Matilda Ryland

She was the daughter of Joseph Reyland and his wife Ann Corbett.

From other researchers mention is made of Joseph being born in Liverpool, but there are so many Josephs.  However he had to get to Australia in some way or other, and the best match would seem to be John Reyland.

He was charged and tried at the December Lancaster Assizes and sent to Australia arriving 1837, for the usual 7 years.  He arrived on the ship Lloyds on 25th March 1837, and was granted his ticket of leave January 1844.

Dublin memorial
Ann Corbett was the daughter of Thomas Corbett and Hannah Alden.  She was born in County Clare in Ireland and she arrived in Australia in 1841, on the William Metcalf from Ireland.  She was listed as a housemaid.

As part of our trip to the UK one aspect which was quite sad was the Workhouses.  Every person who arrived in Australia was initially processed in the workhouse.  The Australian government had a programme in place with Ireland to sponsor the immigration of young unmarried women, who would provide the male residents with a choice of "Wife".

These numbers increased dramatically in the 1840s when the potato crops in Ireland were destroyed by disease resulting in famine for the people. Ireland's population of 8 million was halved. Two million people died and two million emigrated including 23 000 to Australia. Between 1848 and 1850, over 4000 young women orphaned by the famine were sent to Australia to work mainly as domestics for established families. Most married soon after, raising families of their own.

Each county was divided into what they called a Union, and outside each major town of the Union a workhouse was built.  In the one we visited the stories of the numbers who died were staggering. Sometimes they just piled up bodies in the front grounds, to await the burial cart. 

In another town there are thousands buried in one mass grave.

Conditions in the workhouses were as the following information states:

The Workhouse and Its Staff

All Workhouses were built to the same standard specification and were built to comprise either 400 or 800 inmates. They were always situated outside a Main Union Town, and the Workhouse and its grounds were surrounded by high Stone Walls on all sides, with Iron Gates at the entrance, separating the Workhouse and its inmates from the rest of Society.
Workhouse staff consisted of the Master, responsible for the general running of the Workhouse, dealing with admittances, discharges, boarding outs, and general domestic affairs of the Workhouse. The Matron was responsible for the Women Inmates in the Workhouse. Other staff included Workhouse Chaplains (of all denominations), One Teacher, a Laundry Maid, Cook, and One Medical Officer.

Life in the Workhouse, 1839-45

Admission to the local Workhouse was based on very strict criteria. Priority went to the old and/or infirm, and destitute children who were unable to support themselves. The Guardians were also given discretion to admit the destitute poor.
People entered the Workhouse for a variety of reasons - unemployment and the famine were the main reasons for admittance in the 19th Century, however the Workhouse also provided a safe-haven for unmarried pregnant girls, married women whose husbands had deserted them, and Orphaned Children whose relatives were too old or too poor to care for them.
The Workhouse was a last resort for most people, who would take on any work, rather than face the gruelling Workhouse regime. The Guardians also applied the strictest of Work regimes to ensure that only the desperately poor would seek admission.
Upon Admission what few personal effects and clothing the inmates came in with, were washed and put into storage, and Inmates were given a Standard Issue Workhouse Uniform to wear.
Inmates were then categorized into male/female, able-bodied, old/infirm, infants/children. All Classes of Inmates were separated from each other, and communication between Classes was strictly forbidden. In the case of Families having been admitted, this meant that husbands and wives were banned from seeing each other, and mothers were banned from seeing their children (although this latter prohibition was later relaxed so that mothers were able to book appointments to see their children on a weekly basis).

County Clare

Living Accomodation    

Workhouse Living Accomodation was cold, damp and cramped – Sleeping Dormitories were situated in the attics, and consisted of Male and Female Dormitories, and Children's Dormitories. The Inmates were generally kept apart both day and night, with separate yards and duties. Beds consisted of straw mattresses placed on the floor, with old rags for sheeting. Beds were no more than 2 feet apart Disease was commonplace as no proper toilet facilities were in place. Baths were meant to be taken once a week, and Bathing Registers were kept for this purpose - the reality was often very different.

Inmates' Duties

Once admitted, Inmates were required to work a minimum 11 hour day. Inmates were put to work on a variety of jobs. Some Workhouses established Local Trade Workshops for eg. Weaving/Sewing/Knitting/Cobbling/Tailoring/Carpentry etc. Able-bodied Female Inmates would either be given Sewing Duties or Kitchen Duties (preparing and cooking Workhouse Meals, and Washing Up) Cleaning of the Workhouse, Nursery duties, or Laundry Duties.
Able-bodied Male Inmates worked much harder, quarrying and smashing stones, building workhouse boundary walls, chopping wood, and grinding corn, tending the Workhouse Vegetable Gardens/Farms, digging cess pools, burying the dead, stoking the Workhouse fires, etc.
The Daily Routine for Adult Inmates was as follows:

  • Inmates were awoken by the sound of the Workhouse Bell at 6am each day. The Workhouse Master then took a "Roll-Call" at 6.30am just before breakfast.
  • Breakfast usually consisted of a bowl of the cheapest porridge/grain with buttermilk (which was cheaper than normal milk).
  • Work commenced at 7am and inmates were required to work through to 12 noon when they were allowed between 1/2 and one hour for lunch.
  • Lunch usually consisted of a pint of Buttermilk and a piece of black bread.
  • Inmates would continue working from 1pm until 6pm.
  • Dinner was served between 6.30-7pm and often consisted of potatoes and Indian Meal. As you may have gathered, Buttermilk was given with everything. Soup was also given during the Winter months.  Fruit may have only been given at Christmas/Easter, and was usually a gift from one of the Key Residents of the Local Town (eg. the Doctor's Wife). Meat was bought, but was usually kept for the Workhouse Master, Matron and his key staff.
  • Lights out at 8pm.
  • Children were sent to the Workhouse School, and those children over the age of 12 were usually "Boarded-Out" with local Members of the Community. Usually Local Residents would write to the Workhouse Master asking for a child to be boarded out with them. Children were often boarded out with a local tradesman's family, where they would work as apprentices, and attend the Local School.

    Workhouse Punishments
    Punishments for any breach of Workhouse Rules were very harsh. An inmate who refused to carry out their Work Duties would be given 24 lashes plus no Dinner for one week. An inmate who used abusive language would be put into solitary confinement plus no Dinner for One Week, or more. Female Inmates who breached rules could often be forced to break stones for One Week, and so forth. After all, Workhouse Life was not meant to be pleasant.  

  • Spare a thought for all our Irish ancestors!  There were 33 other ladies like Ann on the manifest page. The Donaghmore Workhouse is now a museum.

    Joseph and Ann marry in 1843 in Cook's River Petersham New South Wales.

    They have four children

    Charles                                   1846  -   1877                                
    Mary Martha Reyland              1850 -    1933
    James Joseph Reyland              1853  -  1895
    Agnes Matilda Reyland             1857  -  1888

    In 1859, during a storm, poor Ann and her son Charles were struck by lightning.  Ann unfortunately died, and Charles was lucky to survive.  Her death from the coroner indicated a Visitation of Providence.

    Joseph then was left with rearing the 4 children.  He may have run a business of some sort.  He died in 1887 and left an estate of over one thousand pounds.

    Charles married Susanna MArgaret Parks and unfortunately he died in 1877, aged 31, from injuries.
    Mary Martha married Joseph Parkes and she died in 1933.
    Joseph James married Sarah Cracknell and he died in 1895
    Agnes Matilda married Montagu Durnford 1875 and she died in 1888.

    In 1876 Agnes has a child Frederick Andrew Harvey Durnford

    Then in 1878 she is admitted to the Sydney Benevolent Asylum where she Joseph Durnford was born, 27th January 1878

    She was admitted as Agnes Darnsford and discharged as Agnes Dunsford.

    With the influx of free immigrants after 1840, demands on the society increased. In 1852, the society was granted the use of Liverpool Hospital for its male inmates. Ormond House at Paddington was donated for temporary use and in 1859 50 children were transferred to the Asylum for the Relief of Destitute Children at Randwick. Overcrowding threatened the health of the inmates, and in March 1862 the government resumed the Liverpool Asylum and transferred the aged and infirm women to the Hyde Park Barracks.

    Under Dr Arthur Renwick, who served from 1862 to 1908, and Matron Elizabeth Elric (née Blundell, one of Florence Nightingale's trainees), the Benevolent Asylum operated as a lying-in hospital, foundling institute and a refuge for deserted mothers and destitute children. This continued the work begun by the first Ladies' Committee, formed in 1820, which assisted poor married women during childbirth. Applications for admissions and relief were reviewed by a reconstituted committee, who remodelled the building. In 1878, the committee was replaced by a Board of Directors which, controversially, specifically excluded members of the clergy. The non-denominational society campaigned for social reform to assist deserted mothers, children and the aged. 

    Their records make no mention of her having a husband nor another child.  However, it seems possible that Montagu may have deserted her also.

    In 1880 she is living at 68 Liverpool Street Sydney and has some belongings stolen
    In 1881 some of those belongings were recovered, and a Mary Ann Powe arrested.

    11th November 1887, Agnes' brother, James puts an advertisement in the newspaper asking her to contact him at Cook's River.

    Her brother was trying to contact her regarding their father's will in 1888

    In 1888  Agnes dies she was living in Harwood Lane Prymont

    It is assumed that the children are taken in by her brother James and his wife.

    In 1891 Joseph Durnford dies.  He had been living with his uncle at Tempe, Cooks River.

    James was buried at St Peters Church in Cooks River 

    Perhaps Frederick was also with his uncle James and his wife. 

    James Joseph and his wife Sarah were living in Cooks River Road, St Peters, and in 1890 indicated he was a storekeeper.

     Or he may have also left at some point after the death of his uncle in 1895, as by 1901 he is in Western Australia.

    There is a record in 1895 in West Australia for a mining license for F.W. Dunsford.

    In 1901 he marries Ivy Williamson, in Clermont in West Australia.

    From 1903 until his death in 1925, he was involved in a lot of mining, from Coolgardie, Dampier, Wyndham, Kalgoolie and he died in Northam. 

    Black Range Districk Gold Mining Lease 382B  Bull Oak - Frederick Durnford  1917

    After his death Ivy married Thomas O'Brien.  Ivy died in 1956.

    So to recap again

    By 1875 he has remarried

    The ages of his children then:

    Edward probably    around 15
    Montagu  probably around 13
    Francella  would be 11
    Charlotte   would be  8

    In 1882 Francella marries in Sydney   Did he have the girls with him and then married Agnes.
    In 1883 Charlotte marries but she is living in Newcastle.  Perhaps with her uncle .

    There is an entry in 1884 in the Sands Directory of Montagu Durnford living at Mansfield Street Balmain as a contractor.

    In 1889 in Brisbane he is at a hearing which favoured the defendent

    In 1891 he receives more mail from his sister, and this time he responds, living at Flinder's River.


    Was he back following the Gold and Coach trails?

    Cobb & Co Coach
    The discovery of gold at the Woolgar fields 113 km north of the town resulted in a rush to the area and Richmond became an important point for the Cobb & Co coaches which moved miners through the area. This historic link is recalled in Goldring Street, adjacent the mill, with a superbly preserved Cobb & Co coach which once conveyed people along a route which followed the Flinders River.

    Cobb & Co coach crossing Flinders River at Gillespie Crossing, Hughenden ca.1890

    An image of a Cobb & Co. coach, fully laden with passengers crossing the Flinders River at Gillespie Crossing (at the eastern end of Brodie Street, Hughenden), ca.1890.

    Then there is nothing more heard of him between 1891 and 1899 when he leaves to return to England.
    He arrives February 1900 and goes to live at Compton Bishop in Somerset England with his sister
    Amelia and her daughter.

    He dies 7th August 1901 in Somerset.  St Andrew's Church is the Anglican church.


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