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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cottages - Ailsa

Owned or rented by Miss N. Hayes in 1942.  Miss Hayes was involved with the CWA Younger Set.

Cottages - Aberfeldy

The cottage known as Aberfeldy was built in the Whitecross area of North Springwood (now Winmalee) by Henry Charles Lennox Anderson in the latter part of the nineteenth century. 



H.C.L. Anderson, as he was usually called by the Nepean Times, was a truly remarkable man, with abilities which spanned the humanities as well as the sciences. He was important in the Springwood district in the last two decades of the nineteenth century when a number of orchardists were striving to grow fruit of many varieties, as one of his special interests was agricultural chemistry and he was always ready to share his knowledge.

Anderson was born to Scottish parents, Robert and Margaret (nee Hewson) when they were en route to Australia on board the Empire on 10 May 1853. His father became a police inspector. Young Henry attended Sydney Grammar School and then earned a scholarship to Sydney University where he graduated B.A. in 1873 and M.A. in 1878, winning prizes for Shakespearian scholarship and literature and also agricultural chemistry along the way. He taught at Sydney Grammar School during this time and, in 1880, he married Harriet Lily Lloyd at the Macquarie Presbyterian Church. They had three children—Henry C. L. in 1881, Margaret L. E. in 1883 and Lily W. M. in 1886.

He was also interested in the military and was a Lieutenant in the 1st Regiment, Volunteer Infantry in 1885. He was promoted to Captain in 1888 and resigned in 1892. In 1882 he became an examiner in the Department of Public Instruction and helped to reorganise curricula and examinations. He became Vice Chairman of the Board of Examiners in 1889. At some stage in the 1880s he, according the Australian Dictionary of Biography, ‘invested every shilling he had in a farm and orchard at Penrith’. In fact, his orchard was situated in Springwood along the Hawkesbury Road, near Whitecross. His cottage was called Aberfeldy, probably named after the small town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire, Scotland. He maintained his interest in agricultural chemistry, experimenting with soil analysis and methods of fertilising.

The Nepean Times reported on a very instructive lecture in The Rural on the subject of chemical and other manures:
       It should be read by all orchardists, Mr Anderson’s study and experience going far to prove that chemical manures if applied in a proper manner are productive of great and lasting good. But he states that the land must be fully tested so that its wants may be supplied without unnecessary waste of chemicals.

In February 1890 Anderson was appointed Director of the first NSW Department of Agriculture, formed as a branch of the Department of Mines. This appointment was reported in the Nepean Times and Mr H.C.L. Anderson was said, proudly, to be ‘a landholder and summer resident of this salubrious clime’. He was very active in this position, establishing and editing the Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales, and founding the Hawkesbury Agricultural College and the Wagga Wagga Experiment Farm. He instituted programmes to distribute seeds, plants and cuttings and travelling demonstrations.

In Springwood he agreed to lecture on Springwood soils and manures for fruit and arranged a lecture for the new Springwood Progress Association by Mr A. H. Benson, fruit expert. The Agricultural Gazette sang the praises of Ellison’s orchard, also on the Hawkesbury Road. Ellison, it was said, did not use animal manures.

Unfortunately, in 1893, the Department of Agriculture was virtually closed down. This was seen as a result of Anderson’s giving evidence regarding political appointments in the Department of Mines at a Royal Commission into the civil service. In September of that year he was appointed principal librarian at the Free Public Library, a position he did not want and one that paid a lower salary. Two months later, the Nepean Times reported that he had let his young orchard and sold some of his land to a gent from Sydney. His connection with Springwood did not end here, however. He had been one of the original members of a committee formed in 1888 to organise the building of the Frazer Memorial Presbyterian Church and in December he was present at a concert to raise funds for the new Church. It was a highly acclaimed musical event where members of the musical Deane family, large land owners in the district, performed to the delight of the audience. Charles Muzio Deane, the cellist, played several items, and Miss Effie and Miss Edward Deane sang. H. C. L. Anderson paid a high tribute to Miss Edward Deane who had organised the concert and performed so well.

Anderson, in his new position of librarian, displayed his usual ability by streamlining the Library, initiating new programmes and practices and building a library that was truly a State Library. He introduced the employment of women, set up educational courses for the staff, annual stocktaking and the sending of small parcels of reference books to country students. In 1896 he wrote the Guide to the Catalogues of the Reference Library which later became the Guide to the System of Cataloguing which is still the basis of cataloguing practice in the State Library. In 1901 he introduced the Dewey Decimal System of cataloguing.

Anderson became friends with David Scott Mitchell and moved out of his house attached to the library to accommodate the 10,000 books donated by Mitchell. Anderson was still having problems with the Public Service who instituted a Select Committee to enquire into his alleged abuse of postal concessions, undue preference shown to Angus & Robertsons as agents for the library and the presence of ‘decidedly blue’ books in the collection. He was totally exonerated and it was recommended that the Mitchell wing of the library be built.

After becoming Director of the State’s new Intelligence Department in 1905 and Government Statistician in 1907, he again was appointed to an agricultural position in 1908 when he became Acting Undersecretary and Director of the new, independent and stronger Department of Agriculture.
Henry Charles Lennox Anderson died in 1924.

Shirley Evans


Early Residents - Kippax family


The Kippax family came to reside in the Springwood area in the late 1890s, taking up residence in the cottage known as The Ferns. A news item in the Nepean Times in July 1897 noted that Judge Kippax had been keeping a boarding house there for the last twelve months and, because he was happy with the business, purchased the property from Mr Ogle for seven hundred and fifty pounds.

It was commonly thought that the Kippax family built The Ferns guesthouse, situated on Bathurst Road (now Macquarie Road), however, that was not the case. The Ogle family built the home in approximately 1883.

 However, it is not clear if the entire Kippax family resided in Springwood and further research will have to be carried out to establish this.

 William Kippax senior married Elizabeth Robertson in 1849 and eleven children were born. Annie R. was the first, born in 1850, followed by Eliza 1852, William 1854, Elizabeth 1857, Edwin 1859, Frank 1862, Walter 1864, Lizzie 1867, Kate 1869, Norman Surrey 1871 and Elsie May 1874.

Annie married William Robson in 1868, William H. married Elizabeth Rayner in 1885, Edwin married Agnes Deaker in 1885 and Elsie May, born in 1874, married Norton J. Neave. Neave owned property in Springwood along Hawkesbury Road.

The 1903 electoral roll impressively listed Norman Surrey and William Kippax as ‘men of independent means’ while Eliza, Elizabeth, Elsie May and Lizzie were noted as performing mere domestic duties. This seems ironic when one considers that the women of the family, and in particular Lizzie, were the driving forces behind the operation of The Ferns as a guesthouse.

Early Residents - Edmund Thornton



The Nepean Times announced to its readers in May 1892 that Mr Thornton of Sydney had begun the erection of a commodious weatherboard cottage on the main road, just a little west of Springwood station. The cottage was eventually called Lorna Doone and Edmund ran it as a guesthouse.

George Stratton caused Mr Thornton some grief in January 1893 when he broke pot plants and threw a rail at one of the cottage windows. Edmund and his brother Charles caught up with Stratton - after chasing him for half a mile - and Stratton was later charged with the crime.

In 1893 Edmund took over the position as pound keeper after Mr Stace resigned. He involved himself in the dealings of the growing township and in April 1893 moved that a Progress Association be formed in place of the current Progress Committee. The suggestion met with success and Mr G. Larsen seconded his motion.

A committee was formed in June following a suggestion from Edmund regarding possible sites and cost for a Public Hall. The committee comprised of Messrs C. Lees, J. Tanner, Mr Honeysett.

Controversy arose in July 1893 after a long animated debate about the proposed public hall. The Hon. Charles Moore had offered a suitable site if the money was forthcoming or if the Progress Association could raise money to build it. Edmund was somehow blamed for not supplying more details and the matter had to be adjourned.

Edmund assisted at the benefit concert to aid the Coyle family in 1893, acting as an accompanist.  In August 1893 he had a serious horse and buggy accident.

The Progress Association resolved in November 1893 to send Edmund and Mr A. Ferguson to a meeting at Lawson. This was a meeting of the combined Mountain Delegate Association of which Mr G. Larsen had nothing but praise.

Doing a complete turn about, Larsen wanted the matter adjourned to a later meeting. Larsen said he could not see what benefit the Mountain Delegate Association could be to Springwood and moved that the secretary write back declining their offer of membership.  Edmund said that if Larsen’s motion was supported he would resign. Mr Baxter junior seconded Mr Larsen’s motion, which was passed and so Edmund resigned on the spot.

Edmund became discouraged early in February 1894 because of the poor patronage of his guesthouse and decided to let the cottage to a photographer from Sydney, Mr De Lissa. Lorna Doone was let to the De Lissa family for one year.

Edmund married Margaret Thurston in 1891, and his brother Charles married her sister Roberta.

Cecil Roberts and the Ewington family were associated with Lorna Doone in the 1920s.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clergy - Reverend Edric Cowper Robison

Reverend Robison was the son of Hugh Robison and Charlotte Cowper.  He was born in Victoria in 1868.  His mother was the granddaughter of Rev. William Cowper and daughter of Charles Cowper of Wivenhoe.  Rev. Robison was inducted into the Anglican Church on the untimely death of Reverend Reid in 1905. There he remained for just over six years, rendering good and faithful service to his parish. In 1906 church services were commenced at Valley Heights in the home of Mr Deane. Services were held once a month until weekly services commenced in 1911. Reverend Robison was a member of the Springwood Progress Association from 1905 until 1910 and was their treasurer a number of times. In 1900 he married Constance A. Wilshire and the couple had several children, two of whom were Eileen C, born c1901 and Sheleagh C. born c1905. The birth in 1907 of a son named Earleton E. was registered at Springwood. He died in 1952 and is buried at Cobbitty.

Caroline Mallett (Lady Edgeworth David): In her own right

The digitisation and availability online of national newspapers, as well as magazines like the Australian Women’s Weekly, are providing family and social historians with a clearer picture of past events.  Thus, it is through this medium that we have a more personal view of the appointment of Cara Mallett to Hurlstone Women’s Training School.  In 1882, the Sydney Morning Herald published correspondence written by Sir Henry Parkes, and the Right Hon. A.J. Mundella M.P. who recommended Cara for the appointment.[1] 

The Rev. J.B. Faunthorpe, who was Principal of Whitelands (the college Cara trained at prior to her Australian position) gave her a glowing reference as did the Inspector of Training Colleges in England, Canon Warburton.  The two gentlemen considered she was highly capable and Mundella, an English minister of parliament, suggested that although young, Cara possessed a better knowledge of ‘modern’ teaching methods than older teachers long in the profession.[2]

In her short career Cara had earned a First Class Archbishop’s certificate for religious knowledge, a First Class certificate for advanced botany, a Second Class advanced certificate for physical geography, a Full drawing certificate, First Class advanced animal physiology, a First Class merit certificate & the Lady Sudely prize for proficiency in domestic sanitation and a certificate from the St John’s Ambulance Association.[3]  

Faunthorpe stated, in his testimonial, that she was an excellent teacher, disciplinarian and manager, with some knowledge of the Kindergarten system.[4]  He also mentioned that Cara had more than a fair knowledge of Greek, Latin and French.[5]  The testimonials however also illustrated their regret at losing such a talented teacher.  Another letter written by Saul Samuel, Agent-General, stated that a berth had been secured for Miss Cara Mallett on the Potosi which sailed from England on the 5th October 1882.[6]  Eventful that voyage would prove to be because it was aboard the Potosi that Cara first encountered Tannant William Edgeworth David (later Sir) who of course was her future husband.[7]

Cara began life as Caroline Martha Mallett.  She was born 26 April 1856 at Southwold, Suffolk in England and was the daughter of fisherman, Samuel Mallett and wife Pamela (nee Wright).[8]  Cara, as she preferred to be called, is said to have been orphaned at a young age and then raised by her grandmother.[9]  However, the 1871 census for England showed that at the age of 14 Cara was living with George and Mary Hurr.[10]  George was also a Suffolk fisherman and the census noted she was the couple’s niece.  She was a pupil teacher.[11]

Jennifer Horsfield, who explored Cara’s life in some detail, suggested Cara exemplified what ‘women could achieve’ when they were ‘empowered by education.’[12]  Horsfield confirmed that Cara, with an annual salary of £300, became ‘one of the colony’s first independent, highly qualified professional women.’[13] As an avowal of her standing she was accepted into the Royal College of Preceptors in 1884, which allowed her to ‘use the initials MRCP after her name.’[14]  Horsfield saw this event as not insignificant in a colony that remained wedded to the idea that a ‘British stamp of approval’ was the ideal.[15]

Cara proved to be a formidable principal and her active pursuit of higher standards and better training for student teachers often led to conflict with senior bureaucrats in the Department of Public Instruction.[16]  Horsfield suggested Cara was both outspoken and innovative and promoted Friedrich Froebel’s radical Kindergarten theories for teaching young children. It is easy to see why Cara was impressed with German educator Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) because he was quoted as saying:

"The destiny of nations lies far more in the hands of women, the mothers, than in the possessors of power, or those of innovators who for the most part do not understand themselves. We must cultivate women, who are the educators of the human race, else the new generation cannot accomplish its task."

Froebel’s methods had an appeal to forward thinking educators like Cara because ‘play’ was considered as vital as more structured activities in the education of small children.[17] Froebel even suggested that childhood play was the ‘highest expression of human development’ because it allowed the ‘free expression of the child’s soul.’[18]  Froebel was not interested in turning out clones but in the ‘wholeness’ of the individual.[19] Cara embraced Froebel’s enlightened teaching methods and opposed rote learning which was taught by most teachers in the ‘Victorian-era.’[20]  Froebel’s methods are still being used to this day. While Cara was a strong advocate for the school curriculum to include the teaching of practical and domestic arts, she was equally supportive of girls being taught science.[21]



When Cara married mining surveyor, T.W. Edgeworth David, in 1885 she was required, as was the unequal tradition then, to resign her Hurlstone position.[22] Horsfield implied that Cara’s early married life, while dedicated to raising three young children, was somewhat lonely in many respects because her husband travelled frequently to ‘far-flung geological field camps.’[23] However, Carol Cantrell painted rather a different story by suggesting that Cara and the children often accompanied Edgeworth David.[24]  Cantrell described a trip they made to Funafuti in 1897, where Cara forged a friendship with locals while suffering the discomfort of ‘rain, mouldy clothes and lack of privacy’ quite cheerfully[25]  This trip obviously provided the material for Mission work in Funafuti, which Cara wrote when she returned home.[26]


Cover of Funafuti
Cara on right of photo

Life gained a more normal pace after Edgeworth David was appointed Professor of Geology at the University of Sydney in 1891.[27]  The couple explored their own social and educational projects but equally, were at the centre of a ‘group of liberal intellectuals who dominated Sydney’s cultural life.’[28]  Thus, the Edgeworth David’s could count among their friends people like William Windeyer and his feminist-campaigner wife, Mary; and Professors Scott, Anderson and MacCallum (academics from the University of Sydney).  The group founded the Australian Home Reading Union (AHRU) in 1892 that aimed to provide courses in science, history and general literature for people who had an interest but otherwise lacked higher education.[29]  The AHRU failed in its bid to attract the interest of working class people who, according to  Horsfield, considered it was a club for the ‘rich and privileged.’[30]



Together with friends like Louisa MacDonald (the first principal of the University Women’s College) and feminist, Maybanke Wolstenholme, Cara supported the setting up of free kindergartens in the inner city.[31] Cara put her skills to good use in the early decades of the twentieth-century when she lectured on topics like ‘Foreign missions & the effect they had on natives,’ ‘National Efficiency,’ and ‘Women War Workers.’[32] 



Newspapers of the day confirm that she was involved with the ‘Women’s Prohibition Movement’ which was a body formed from the amalgamation of the ‘Women’s Christian Temperance Union’ and other like societies.[33]  As president Cara addressed a large gathering at Katoomba in August 1920.[34]  She stated that ‘they had been unable to lift the dead weight of apathy from the general public’ when she addressed another gathering later that same year.[35] It is not clear whether they took up a suggestion made at that meeting that in order to rouse the apathy the ladies should go about ringing bells while carrying large placards declaring the benefits of Prohibition.



When the ‘Wattle Day League’ formed c1910, Cara and feminist campaigner, Rose Scott, became the vice presidents.[36] The League president was Joseph Henry Maiden who was Director of Sydney’s Botanical Gardens. Among other organisations Maiden was one-time president of the Linnean Society 1901-2; president of the Royal Australian Historical Society 1905-07 and president of the Horticultural Society 1903-17.  The objective of the Wattle League, in its formative years, was to instil a sense of national pride and patriotism for their country in Australian citizens.   



Rose Scott’s tireless campaign to improve women and children’s rights also inspired Cara to become a devoted advocate. Cara founded her own branch of the ‘Women’s Political Educational League,’ begun by Scott in 1904, in an effort to alert women to their new responsibilities after gaining the vote.[37] Edith Fry (1858-1940) another devotee of the Women’s League was related to Woodford Academy principal John McManamey. 



During World War One Cara turned the David’s Woodford cottage (Tyn-y-coed) into a Red Cross convalescent home for soldiers.[38]  She was president of the ‘Women’s National Movement,’ which aimed at social reform, like sex education for young children and the eradication of venereal disease.  Cara, given her involvement with the ‘Women’s Prohibition Movement’, strongly supported prohibition and endorsed any measure to bring about six-o’clock closing.[39] 



Cara was divisional commander (1920) and then State commander (1928-38) of the NSW branch of the Girl Guides and organised the purchase of Glengarry at Turramurra for use as training headquarters.[40] This amazing woman spun fleece into wool to knit hundreds of socks for World War Two servicemen and she even had a hybrid tea rose named in her honour.[41]



Edgeworth David once said of his wife ‘Whatever success I may have achieved in life is due chiefly to my wife.’[42] That testimony, glowing as it might be, only sums up a portion of the important contributions made by Cara or Lady Edgeworth David.

Pamela Smith










[1] Sydney Morning Herald, 30 October 1882, p. 5, copies of correspondence Parkes & Mundella,  testimonials & correspondence from Mallett to Mundella, reference from Rev. J.B. Faunthorpe Principal of Whitelands College to Sir Henry Parkes, reference from Mrs. Newton, Superintendent Whitelands College & Miss Kate Stanley, Governess of Whitelands College, correspondence from Mallett to Parkes, Saul Samuel to Colonial Secretary.
[2] Sydney Morning Herald, Mundella to Parkes (3).
[3] Sydney Morning Herald, copy of reports.
[4] Sydney Morning Herald, testimonial Rev. J.B. Faunthorpe.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Sydney Morning Herald, Saul Samuel to Colonial Secretary.
[7] Carol Cantwell, ‘David, Caroline Martha (Cara) (1856-1951), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Melbourne
  University Press, Volume 13, 1993, pp. 575-576.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] English Census records, 1871 Southwold Suffolk.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Jennifer Horsfield, ‘Cara David A Forgotten Feminist,’ in The National Library Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 1,
   March 2011, p. 24.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Ibid.
[17] Froebel Web, ‘Friedrich Froebel created Kindergarten,’ http://www.froebelweb.org/, updated regularly,
   accessed 24.7.2011.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Jennifer Horsfield.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Carol Cantwell.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Jennifer Horsfield.
[28] Ibid.
[29] Ibid.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Ibid.
[32] Sydney Morning Herald, 7.8.1900,p. 9; 9.11.1915, p. 5; 31.7.1920, p. 15.
[33] Sydney Morning Herald, 10.7.1920, p. 13.
[34] Ibid, 27.9.1920, p. 4.
[35] Sydney Morning Herald, Prohibition, Women Fighters, Picturesque Ideas For the Campaign, 24.11.1920, p. 10.
[36] Ibid, 2.9.1914, p. 8.
[37] Jennifer Horsefield.
[38] Carol Cantrell
[39] Ibid.
[40] Ibid.
[41] Australian Women’s Weekly, 27.6.1942.
[42] Carol Cantrell.