Royal Reels: Gambling


The blue cover has a pink ‘TWO PENCE’ embossed QV stamp of Victoria cancelled with a duplex BALLAARAT/ 7Y/ DE 19/ 72 with the barred numeral ‘5′, the fourth duplex which has a distinctive long top bar of the ‘5′, and the spelling with 3 ‘A’s’ in Ballarat. This is a late recorded date for Freeman & White state on p. 76 that this spelling was in place from the end of 1869 until the middle of 1872. The cover was addressed to Robt Jamieson, Esq, Bolac Plains, Woorndoo, via Lake Bolac. The reverse was not seen (Figure 1).

Robert Jamieson was born on 4 August 1812 at Farm House, Castlemaddie in the parish of Carsphairn, Kirkudbrightshire, Scotland. He was the fifth child of Robert Jamieson, snr., tenant farmer, and Mary, nee Wallace. Robert Jamieson arrived at Port Phillip on 3 April 1841 following his younger brother William who emigrated to Australia in 1838. In June 1841, Robert and William bought cattle in Melbourne and headed 150 miles into the country to around Port Fairy in the Western District. In the early 1840’s, William Jamieson was involved in a partnership with C.D.H. Aplin and George Carmichael operating a cattle run, known as Union. Robert Jamieson was possibly associated with this venture. On 12 October 1843, a licence was issued to Robert and William Jamieson for a run on Darlot’s Creek which became known as Castlemaddie.

The brothers disposed of this latter property in 1849 and moved to Geelong buying land there in June 1849. They built a flour mill near Buckley’s Falls on the Barwon River which they operated until early in 1851 when the mill and all water rights were sold to a Mr. Highett. Robert and William Jamieson returned to the pastoral industry in 1851 when they acquired Eumerella West station near Macarthur.

In 1854 Robert Jamieson left for Scotland leaving William in charge. While in Scotland in 1855 Robert married Johanna Douglas, daughter of William Black, town clerk, of Stanraer, Wigtonshire and returned to Australia with his wife in January 1856. Soon after, William dropped out of the partnership and Robert carried on alone. By 1857 Robert was looking for a suitable sheep run in preference to a cattle station and sold Eumeralla West in 1858. In February 1859, Robert acquired Bolac Plains from Robert Hood and subsequently concentrated on sheep operations. In 1881 he purchased Stony Point Station, near Darlington from Thomas Forrest Cumming. Robert took an interest in the affairs of the region and served as a member of the Mortlake Council from April 1882 to August 1886. Robert Jamieson died at Stony Point on 8 November 1894, leaving his wife, son Robert and daughter, Mary. His net assets were valued for probate purposes at £58,001.

Robert Jamieson jnr. was born at Bolac Plains, Woorndoo on 15 October 1863. He was educated at a private school in Edinburgh during a two year visit by the family to Scotland and, on returning to Victoria, completed his education at Geelong Church of England Grammar School. At school in Geelong, Robert was a champion gymnast and a bright scholar having won prizes for French, Bookkeeping, Divinity, Latin and English.

Robert left school in 1881 and immediately returned to Western District station life to be tutored in pastoral station operations by his father. On his father’s death in 1894, Robert became the manager of the Bolac Plains and Stony Point. In 1899 he became the proprietor of both stations when his father’s estate was settled. Robert was also involved in local community affairs and served as a member of the Mortlake Shire Council for 13 years from 1898 to 1910. He was president of the council during 1907-09. In 1901, Robert married Florence Jane nee Usher, and they had issue of 3 children. He died at Stony Point on 22 April 1946.

The places in south-west Victoria mentioned in this paper include Lake Bolac, Woorndoo, and Mortlake all seen down the left side of the map, as well as Macarthur at the right side of the map, which is shown as Figure 2.

Categories: Family History, Postmarks