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There is a conversation raging in Australia about asylum-seekers, and whether they are seeking refuge from persecution or whether they are economic refugees. In my wander through Camperdown Cemetery last week, I stumbled upon some economic refugees from an earlier era.
This is the family vault of Mary Chisholm (nee Brown) who died in 1817, aged 32. This is a very old vault and, seeing the first burial at Camperdown did not occur until 1849, she must have been transferred from The Old Burial Ground, beneath the current Town Hall which closed to interments in March 1820. When I first decided to trace her lineage, I thought her to be related to Caroline Chisholm, but not so.
Mary Brown emigrated from Scotland with her father, David John Drummond Brown, aboard the 'Earl Cornwallis' in 1801, together with her three brothers. Their mother and two sisters had perished in the two years prior, and their father had failed in various court attempts to regain land he considered rightfully his. A new start was required, and the Colony of New South Wales fitted the bill.
James Chisholm was one of those caught up in the tide of enthusiasm whipped up in the mother-land by Captain Francis Grosse who was putting together a regiment to maintain law and order in the new colony. Chisholm enlisted as a Sergeant in England in July 1790 and sailed on the 'Britannia' in the Third Fleet arriving in the fledgling colony in March 1791. He was discharged from the NSW Corps in February 1810. By then he had married Mary Brown, who bore him a son, James, in 1806. However, by then James Snr was set up for life. With his commission came the pledge of a grant of 60 acres of land. And he selected his grant at what is now the Eveleigh Goods Yards. However, his wife, Mary, departed this life in December 1817. Their son, James Jnr, pictured went on to begat 9 children, all but one living well into adulthood. James Snr died in 1837 and was interred here with his first wife. Looking at the dates, Mary had been re-interred into the Devonshire Sandhills Cemetery in 1820, and they were both re-interred into Camperdown when Devonshire was converted into Central Station in 1901. Tough journey.
However, with its compensations. For James Snr, at least. On his grant of 60 acres, he built Calder House (named after the village in Scotland from whence he, too, came), pictured here. So, even economic refugees add value.
|This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics community.|