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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Linden & Colonel Parrott






Col. Rowe (first Mayor of Manly) extreme left and
Parrott (father of Fighting Parrott's) seated third left


The history of Linden is often overlooked perhaps because of its ‘seeming isolation’ tucked away as it is between the townships of Springwood and Woodford.  However, a cursory look often turns up some interesting details.

In 1881, for example, T.S. Parrott sued Lieutenant Colonel Baynes in the Metropolitan District Court for the recovery of £40 being the sum owed to him for the supervision of work he carried out on a villa erected at Linden in the Blue Mountains.  Parrott won.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[1]<!--[endif]-->

But, who were these two gentlemen and how do they fit into the wider social history of New South Wales (NSW) and indeed the Blue Mountains?  Parrott, who is thought to have owned land at Faulconbridge also, was in fact English born civil engineer and soldier, Thomas Samuel Parrott (1842-1917) who, after working in Queensland and Victoria, took a post with the NSW Department of Lands survey branch, in the 1870s.  He enlisted in the NSW corps of volunteers around the same time and was commissioned lieutenant in 1874.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[2]<!--[endif]-->   

Interestingly, Parrott was just one of many who submitted a design for a bridge to join Dawes and Milsons Point at the site of the present Harbour Bridge.  Parrott’s plan for a two storey bridge was submitted as early as 1879 and would have seen railway traffic delegated to use the top level while horse and carriages, the bottom.  It is interesting to note that these early plans came to nought because the current Harbour Bridge was erected and opened in the 1930s.

Parrott served in the Sudan in 1885 and in 1886, at the behest of the NSW Colonial Secretary, visited Europe and North America to report on their coastal and harbour defences.  He served in South Africa in 1900, as a special service officer, and formed a regiment of mounted civil engineers known as the Australian Pioneers (Flying Sappers).<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[3]<!--[endif]-->  Parrot retired in 1902 and migrated to South Africa where he served as a transport officer during World War 1.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[4]<!--[endif]-->
John Hammond and Arthur Kersey Parrott, sons of the above, owned land at Woodford.

Information suggests that a Colonel Baynes acquired Portion 14 at Linden in 1879, and - as the newspaper report above confirmed - commenced building a cottage there in 1881. The name of the cottage was ‘Verulam’ and church services were conducted in the abode in 1887.  Baynes was in fact Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Beindge Baynes who, together with William Henderson, Richard Beindge Baynes and William Pritchard, became ‘Trustees of Linden Park’ in October 1887.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[5]<!--[endif]-->  

Baynes was mentioned in The Australian Town and Country Journal in 1889.  The journal carried details of the placement of a foundation stone, by Baynes, for the new parsonage at Wentworth Falls, on behalf of Mrs. Henry Bell.  It would seem that the building fund had been considerably boosted with the assistance of donations from his relative, Mrs. Henry Bell, and Miss Edith Walker.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[6]<!--[endif]-->

Baynes died in 1889 and the property was bequeathed to his sons Richard and Frederick.  Nothing is known about Frederick but Richard married Annie A Bell in 1888. Richard served as an alderman on Mulgoa and Nepean Councils until he retired in 1925.<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[7]<!--[endif]-->  The couple had four sons; Richard Henry Beindge, Frederick Charles Beindge, George Nepean Beindge and Reginald Frank Beindge Baynes.  Richard, Frederick and George all perished as a direct result of the First World War, while Reginald, who flew a Maurice Farman Biplane, was the only one to survive.  That small hamlet encountered some interesting characters.  

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<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[1]<!--[endif]--> Sydney Morning Herald, 13.9.1881, p. 7.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[2]<!--[endif]--> C. Neumann, ‘Parrott, Thomas Samuel (1842-1917),’ Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 11, 1988.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[5]<!--[endif]--> Sydney Morning Herald, 22.10.1887, p. 13.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[6]<!--[endif]--> Australian Town and Country Journal, 16.11.1889, p. 14.
<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->[7]<!--[endif]--> Penrith City Council website.

2 comments:

Ken Hall said...

Thank you for the information about Thomas Beindge Baynes, as I have been trying to find any information possible about a "THOMAS BAYNES" who was the last Regimental Sergeant Major of the George Street Sydney parade ground before it moved to Victoria Barracks Paddington. I have two books that were given to Thomas Beynes upon his retirement, dated 16th of December 1852, and this surely must have been the father of the Thomas Beindge Beynes of which you write. A son named Richard Beindge Beynes owned the old Edward Cox home "Fernhill" at Mulgoa, and at one time was Mayor of Penrith.
I would be interested to know if you have any other information about this Baynes family, the name "BEINDGE" must surely be an established name passed onto later generations. I would like to pass these books back to the family as they are of historical interest. Ken Hall

Maggie Tyler said...

I am intested to read that Richard, Frederick and George Beindge Baynes "all perished as a direct result of WW1". How was Frederick's death from Enteric Fever on 8th Februry 1914 in Mitchel prior to the start of WW1, a direct result of WW1 ?