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Squatters - The Kings at Snake Ridge, Rosedale

Squatters - The Kings at Snake Ridge, Rosedale

On 20 Jan 1853 at Rosedale pastoral run, Mary Anne Peck (1824-1863) married John King (1820-1895) of Snake Ridge run. The Rosedale run had been added by John King and associates the previous year to the growing number of properties under their control.

Growing up in Newmarket near numerous racing stables, Mary Anne is likely to have been a good horsewoman and at home in a rural setting. The photo of her with her first child in 1855 shows a slim, well dressed dark haired woman in a pensive pose - no mean feat keeping an infant still for the photograph!

Mary Anne and John King had five children of whom two died in infancy: Philip Gidley (1854-1931); Anna Josepha (1856 - 1943); Mary (b 1858 who died an infant); Robert Essington (b 1859 who died an infant); and Menie Agatha (1860-1940).

Mrs John [Mary Anne] King with Philip Gidley King, 1855. Daguerreotype (Source: State Library of Victoria Pictures Collection)

Snake Ridge run, covering 60,000 acres, was one of the biggest squatting leases in Gippsland. "In ... 1842, John Reeve, an Englishman, pitched his camp at Snake's Ridge, so called because [Angus] McMillan and Colin McLaren found a freshly killed snake, out of which the fat had just been taken by the natives."1 In a new venture beyond his Special Survey at Tarraville, John Reeve in 1842 became the lessee of Snake Ridge run2, installing the then 22 year old John King as manager.

John King was one of the first settlers in Gippsland, arriving overland in 1842 from the drought-ridden Monaro where, since the age of seventeen, he had managed his father's pastoral station, Gidleigh, near Bungendore. John was well connected in Australian society. John's grandfather, Governor Philip Gidley King, had travelled to Sydney as a naval lieutenant with the First Fleet, subsequently establishing the settlement on Norfolk Island, before serving as the third governor of New South Wales (1800-1816). John's father, Rear-Admiral Phillip Parker King had an illustrious naval career, notable for his marine surveying of Australia's northern coastline (1818-22) and of the coasts of Peru, Chile and Patagonia (1826-30) in command of the HMS Adventure accompanied by the HMS Beagle3. On completion of this survey, Phillip Parker King returned to live with his family in Australia. He was promoted rear admiral on the retired list in 1855.

John King ca 1860. Ambrotype.(Source: State Library of Victoria)

Phillip Parker King had extensive pastoral interests New South Wales. In 1806 his father had granted him 660 acres in the west of the Sydney basin (at South Creek near Rooty Hill); Governor Macquarie gave him another 600 acres, and, from Governor Brisbane, a further grant of 3,000 acres was offered. In the 1820s and 30s the King family home was Dunheved, near Parramatta4. In 1824 Phillip Parker King became a shareholder in the newly established Australian Agricultural Company5, becoming its Commissioner for ten years (1839-49) following his retirement from the navy. During these years the King family lived at Tahlee on Port Stephens just north of Newcastle, NSW - the then beautiful residence for the Company Commissioner. Several of the Kings' seven sons spent time working in the pastoral industry. Four came to have substantial involvement in Gippsland pastoral properties.

Born at Parramatta, John, the second of the seven sons, was educated in England, returning to Australia in 1835 aged 15 to learn the squatting business on his father's Gidleigh estate. The explorer Count Strzelecki was a friend of John's father, Admiral King, after whom in 1840 Strzelecki named Lake King, one of the group of Gippsland Lakes6.

Squatting Runs in Sale District, 1857.

(Source: Synan, P. (1994) Gippsland's Lucky City, p.42. Map drawn by Debra Squires)

Attracted by Strzelecki's report of good land in Gippsland, John King bought the rights of the cattle run known as Fulham Park in 1842, selling out in 1846. For several years he appears to have been the manager of Snake Ridge run while the lease was held by John Reeve7. In 1851, with associates Messrs Holt, Croft and Tooth, he formed John King & Co, buying the rights to Snake Ridge run. By 1854 the firm had also acquired the Scarne and Rosedale runs, giving a total of 106,000 acres, running some 7,000 cattle. John King started with sheep, but soon changed to cattle, fattening them for the market in Van Diemen's Land, and shipping them in their company's ship, the Helen S. Page, from Port Albert to Hobart8.

Over the years, three of John King's brothers - William Essington King, Charles Macarthur King and Arthur Septimus King - and their families spent time in Gippsland associated with the Snake Ridge run, as also at least one cousin, Robert Copland Lethbridge (who later married Ella Minter, see further below).

In the 1840s and early 50s there were few towns in Gippsland, and the pastoral runs were the focus of economic and social life. Many buildings were associated with the homesteads, home to a varied community of people. The original buildings of Snake Ridge no longer exist, but the present day proprietors, the Bowman family, believe they would have stood more or less where the current Ridge homestead stands9.

Diarist Jessie Harrison wrote of Gippsland in the 1850s: "The homesteads of the squatters were generally of the simplest construction, the fireplaces in many cases being made large enough to permit of benches being placed on both sides. The wooden framework of the chimney was carefully guarded from the fire by masses of hardened clay. It was a matter of surprise that the chimney-stack, made of such combustible material as dry sapling and stringy bark, escaped so well the ravages of fire. In the dwelling houses there was generally an attempt at flooring, with either rough slabs or sawn timber, but in the kitchens the earth where the houses stood served for a floor, hardened by use and the liberal application of greasy water. But even with these surroundings it was possible to make a comfortable home, and in those establishments presided over by a lady, the refining influence of her presence was felt in the appointments of the table and the order and cleanliness of the house..."10

A picture of a typical sequence of housing on the squatting runs is painted by historian Patrick Morgan: "After taking possession of their runs squatters lived for the first few years in a bark hut hastily constructed soon after arrival. ... When a squatter had his run more under control, an improved home with slab walls, clay chimney, floors, kitchen and separate rooms made life more tolerable for his family. Gradually a garden with flowers and shrubs and an orchard and vegetable lot were fenced off from the run. ...The third house came some decades later, when prosperity and security were guaranteed."11

So far as can be established, the sequence of housing on Snake Ridge run followed this broad pattern. In May/ June 1855 a new homestead was erected at Snake Ridge, presumably in anticipation of the needs of the Kings' growing family - the Kings' first child had been born in 1854. Entries in the Snake Ridge Day-Book (1854-1863)`for the period include:

31/5/1855 - Timms at work at the fire-place in the new house.

13/6/1855 - J. King papering and canvassing room in the new cottage.

14/6/1855 - Mr and Mrs King moved into the new room.

15/6/1855 - Moving things into the new house.

16/6/1855 - Pulling down the old house.

29/6/1855 - Timms and Stagg cured the chimneys.12

Diarist Elizabeth Montgomery of Heart station (near Sale) noted that: "The Ridge was a beautiful old place on the point of a hill overlooking the Glengarry [now Latrobe] River, well timbered and with a lovely view of the surrounding country." Montgomery also wrote that for squatters: "Mustering in those early days was great work. All hands were up at daybreak - no eight hour day would suffice for this job - and off for the whole day rounding up, sorting out, branding etc. for six or eight weeks at a stretch. The runs being very large, the cattle strayed far..."13 Station business was recorded in the Snake Ridge Day Books, two of which are now deposited with the State Library of Victoria14. These books indicate who came and went, and major happenings, but give few personal details.

Amateur artist Charles H. Phillips, a friend of John King, made a fascinating series of five drawings of life at Snake Ridge in 186015. The pictures show a tight grouping of buildings, with activity clearly centred on horses and cattle.


The Ridge Station - Getting in horses from the home paddock

Starting out Mustering

Taking fat cattle from the camp

Running in the stock horses for mustering cattle

by Charles H. Phillips. ca. 1860. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

At the end of 1860 artist Eugene von Guerard visited Snake Ridge on his travels through Gippsland. His pencil sketch shows a low bridge crossing the La Trobe River, quite close to The Ridge homestead. This first bridge across the La Trobe at Rosedale was built by John King. This area was very swampy, and subject to flooding; a new bridge was built a few years later on this major access route through Gippsland.

La Trobe River Gippsland Mr. J[ohn] Kings Station. 19 & 20 Nov. 60. by Eugen Von Guerard (1811-1901): Australian sketches. 1860-1861. Ref: E-337-f-003. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

In the centenary history of Rosedale, one early route from Rosedale to Sale was identified: "One of the three routes was by a track which led through the backwater at a place where ... there was a spar bridge across the river. A horse could be led over this, if taken carefully. Then, the track went over the Ridge Hill at the back of the homestead and thence, followed the river bank through the Ridge and Kilmany Park Runs..."16

Reliable transport remained problematic in the early period, however. In 1859, an Inspector's report investigating the viability of establishing a school in Rosedale noted that: "On Mr King's station (Snake Ridge) which is distant about three miles, there are about six children fit for school, but their attendance would be impossible throughout the greater part of the year on account of the intervening swamp and river."17

John King commissioned an oil painting from von Guerard of the view from The Ridge homestead looking northward across the plains to the Great Dividing Range. The pencil sketch for the painting, along with the La Trobe river scene, is held in the National Library of New Zealand.



From Mr. John Kings Snakes Ridge. Gippsland. 19 & 20 Nov. 1860. by Eugene Von Guerard (1811-1901): Australian sketches. 1860-1861. Ref: E-337-f-004. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


The oil painting, privately owned, was included in a 2011/12 retrospective of von Guerard's work in Australia mounted by the National Gallery of Victoria, and is reproduced in its catalogue18.

Mr. John King's station 1861 by Eugene Von Guerard. Private Collection, England. Image: National Gallery of Victoria

The oil painting draws attention to a particularly troubled dimension of European settlement in Gippsland - the relations between the European settlers and the indigenous Aboriginal people, the Kurnai. The Kurnai did not have permanent settlements, but moved around their country seasonally. They became quickly displaced when settlers occupied - often the best - lands on a permanent basis. Tensions were often exacerbated when Kurnai speared cattle or sheep for food in the context of diminishing stocks of native wildlife. Gippsland saw some of the worst massacres in the country as frontier settlers undertook reprisals.

The painting the Kings commissioned shows a Kurnai family standing centrally in the foreground facing the viewer, with a back view of John King in the middle distance, talking with a gardener tending roses. Ruth Pullin, curator of the 2011 retrospective of von Guerard's work, found this an "unsettling" image, suggesting it was von Guerard's personal statement about the displacement of the Kurnai19. But, as this was a commissioned painting, such a central image must surely have been agreed with, if not requested by, the patron - in this case John King. That the painting was valued by the Kings is evident - one of Anna Josepha King's notebooks lists it as hanging in the family dining room of their then home Mairburn at Metung during the 1890s. The painting stayed in the King family over a century until it was sold in 1972; it now forms part of a private collection in England.

Little is known of John King's personal attitude to the Kurnai - but we do know that his initial arrival in Gippsland was in the sole company of an Aboriginal (Appendix 2). The Snake Ridge Day Books show that Aboriginals formed part of the team of regular stockmen at the station in the 1850s, so presumably Aboriginal families formed part of the Snake Ridge community. John King is not known to have been implicated in any of the Gippsland massacres, although his pastoral activities obviously contributed to the dispossession of the original inhabitants. Pullin observes that most of von Guerard's landed patrons commissioned paintings of their homesteads; she raises the question of how we are to understand this unexpected and enigmatic work. There is no homestead, but, centrally placed, the Kurnai man in possum skin cloak with spear stands proudly looking directly at the viewer, the Kurnai woman and child, wearing government issue blankets, sit beside him.

An 1855 survey map of Snake Ridge station, according to researcher Ian Lunt, shows: "an 'open plain' without trees on 'strong wet clay ground' and on 'light dry soil' towards the ridge. The ridge itself was described as having 'Good light dry soil. Lightly timbered with Wattles, Gum, Lightwood, Box and She Oak'. The Latrobe River flats [in the sketch of the bridge] were vegetated with 'Flooded forest' and 'Tea -tree Scrub'." Lunt noted that 'wild turkeys' or Australian Bustards were seen by Macalister and others, and "flocks of that truly elegant bird, the native companion [or Brolga], with its beautiful French-grey body contrasting vividly with its scarlet beak" were noted by Elizabeth Montgomery on the plains nearby20.

In the early years of settlement in Gippsland, social and economic life centred on the pastoral stations. "Before the time of halls, schools and churches, the squatters' homesteads became the setting for elaborate celebrations" according to historian Peter Synan. "[T]he John Kings when at the Ridge, Rosedale" were among those "who entertained sumptuously".21

Elizabeth Montgomery of the Heart station remembered such an occasion:

"I must mention another ball, this time given by Mr. and Mrs. John King of the Ridge, Rosedale. All the dancing people rose to the occasion for no one wished to miss the function, even although it entailed a drive of twenty-five miles. That was nothing in those days, for then pleasure meant more, and hospitality was unbounded. All guests were expected to stay the night. A large barn was cleared for the young men of the party to sleep in and the fresh sweet-smelling hay was spread down each side of the wall, and this, with a pillow and new blanket made a comfortable bed for the tired dancers. They were probably far better off than the ladies who were given "shakedowns" in every corner of the house, where accommodation was taxed to the utmost.

"Those were the good old days when sunrise found dancers still whirling in waltz, polka and mazurka, not to mention the stately schottische. ..."22

John King entered public life during this period. From November 1855 he was the first representative of the electorate of Gippsland in the old Victorian Legislative Council, but resigned in March 1856. In November 1856 he became a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Gippsland, resigning in September 1857. Apparently he found that parliament gave him too little time for his business activities23. King was one of the first magistrates to be appointed to the Bench at Alberton.

View northward from The Ridge homestead, 2011. The current homestead, built in the 1880s, is believed by owners Tim and Julie Bowman to be on or about the spot where the Kings would have lived. (Photo: Helen Connell 2011)

In March 1862 Donald Macleod took over The Ridge station and the Kings with their three surviving children sailed to England on the ship Agincourt.

A year later in August 1863 Mary Anne died of TB (known at the time as phthisis, or consumption) at 4 Lansdowne Place, Plymouth at the age of 39. She was buried at Plymouth.24At her final illness, Mary Anne and John may have been in the west country visiting King and Lethbridge family relatives from Launceston, Cornwall.

Before returning to Australia with his children, John King remarried in 1864. His second wife, Antoinette Stratenus Gehle (1845-1925), was the daughter of Revd Dr Henrik Gehle, Minister of the Dutch Church, Austin Friars, in London, and Anne Gehle nee Minter. Antoinette was thus a cousin at one remove of John King's first wife, Mary Anne25. The story is told of how this second marriage saved the lives of John King and his children. The family had been booked to return to Australia in 1864 on the ship London, but at the last minute John changed his mind, returning to London where he married Antoinette. The ship London went down in the Bay of Biscay.

On the family's return to Australia on the Norfolk26 in 1865 the Kings moved to Nambrok several kilometres northeast of Rosedale. John King built an elaborate brick residence, partly in a Dutch style - now still a family home and on the National Trust register27.

In 1866 John King divided the Snake Ridge run into two: The Ridge and Sydney Cottage (south of the LaTrobe River). His brother William Essington King purchased 29,000 acres of Sydney Cottage. In 1873 The Ridge was sold to the Montgomerys of the Heart, Sale, who five years later sold it to John and Mary Bowman - in addition to The Ridge homestead, the Bowmans had close to 8,000 acres. Squatting licences gave their holders the right to purchase specific areas within their runs, and John King appears to have done this at some stage during his tenure at Snake Ridge28. The Kings' Nambrok estate comprised 13,000 acres. This was the period when the squatting leases - with tenure extended in 1847 for fourteen years - were coming to an end. The Selection Acts (1860, 1862, 1865) were heralding the displacement of pastoralism by the agriculturalist and closer settlement.

Nambrok, Rosedale, Vic. ca 1890-1900. (Source; State Library of Victoria)

John and Antoinette King had two children, John Henry (1865-1957) and Margaret Antoinette (1866-1887). In 1868 the King family travelled again to England for four years, returning to Nambrok in 1872.

John King was active in public life in Rosedale over many years. From 1875-83 he was a Rosedale Shire Councillor, and president in 1877-78. He was a founder of the Mechanics' Institute in 1862. John became a trustee and chairman of the Board of Guardians of St Mark's Church of England in Rosedale which was built in 1867 on land given by the family. He also gave 104 acres of The Ridge property for a Glebe29. Previously John King and others had helped to provide the first Anglican Church in Sale, of which he was one of the first "guardians". Later, with his brother William Essington King, he gave land for a church at Metung.

In 1882 John King published his reminiscences of early Gippsland under the nom-de-plume of 'Tanjil'. While an interesting historical document, it contains few personal references.30

John King and family around 1870. From left: Margaret Antoinette, Antoinette King nee Gehle, Anna Josepha (standing), Menie Agatha, John King, Philip Gidley (standing), John Henry (front). Inset: Mary Anne King nee Peck. (Source: Hardy, G. (2007) Rosedale - 150 Years Pictorial History. 2nd edn. Churchill. Monash University p.16)

Around 1883 the Kings let Nambrok31, and moved to their forty acre property, Mairburn, at Metung on the Gippsland Lakes. Twenty five acres of Mairburn were planted with 2,000 lemon trees; the Kings also established a vineyard32.




Mairburn, Metung. 4 of 7 photo prints ca 1890-1900. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

John and Antoinette King shared an interest in gardening: "The area Mairburn occupied had previously been part of the Swan Reach station, and was consequently frequented by hundreds of sheep. Both Granny and Grandfather King were keen gardeners, so, with the assistance of the sheep manure over three or four decades, a spectacular garden was created full of delightful old flowers such as pig-face, cherry-pie, romneyas, hollyhocks, gladioli and many others ... Granny King planted bulbs she imported from Holland - daffodils, tulips, jonquils, freesias etc....Mairburn itself was a pretty colonial home... they had planted the usual pine trees (Pinus insignis) to keep out the easterlies, and had enclosed about ten acres of land to grow oranges, lemons and red guava. (The latter area was roofed with wire netting to keep off the birds and possums etc. Basketsful were always being given away to friends to make delicious guava jelly.)"33

The dining room at Mairburn, Metung, Vic. in 1900. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Mary Grant Bruce, who often stayed with the Kings at Mairburn, wrote part of Possum there, using John King in a boating episode in the book.34

With failing health, in 1892 John King made his home at Chislehurst, Hawksburn, a Melbourne suburb. He died there in 1895, Antoinette surviving him by thirty years.

"Memoirs of Mr. John King" in the Rosedale Courier of 1895 noted, rather fulsomely: "Many are familiar with Mr King's prominent figure in local government; his goodly bearing and courteous and refined manner ... Mr King will be remembered as a sturdy pioneer, a good citizen, an upright gentleman, and a man of unimpeachable character".35

Among the King family papers, donated in 1986 to the State Library of Victoria by John King's great granddaughter Meriel Antoinette Winchester Wilmot, later Lady Wright, are Anna Josepha King's recollections of stories her father told her. These relate mainly to earlier generations of Kings and to John King's life prior to his arrival in Gippsland. Appendix 2 has extracts of transcripts of these stories.

Neither of Mary Anne King's surviving daughters, Anna Josepha (1856-1943) and Menie Agatha (1860-1941), married, and Mairburn remained their adult home. Hilda Wright-Smith, daughter of Metung based watercolour artist Laurence Travers, wrote: "The Miss Kings I remember so well - Miss Anna, small and quick with gentle manners and a determined personality and strong sense of humour; Miss Menie, taller, more serious and devout, with masses of plaits of dark hair round the back of her head."36

Menie A. King ca 1885. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

Their brother, Philip Gidley King (1853-1931), married Octavia Dawson of Rosedale with whom he had six children. For much of his life he farmed in Gippsland and later at Seymour in central Victoria north of Melbourne. He finally settled in Melbourne.

John Henry King (1865-1957) spent his early adult life at Metung, as a grazier, with an interest in saw-milling.  He operated a sawmill at Sealers Cove in the early 1900s.  Like his grandfather Phillip Parker King, he was very interested in the botany of Australian plants, collecting Gippsland eucalypts with his friend A.W. Howitt37.  In his later working life he became an estate agent in Melbourne. During his last years he returned to live at Metung. He married Rachel Thompson.

Margaret Antoinette King (1866-1887) died in 1887 at the age of 20 at the King's Melbourne residence, Royal Park.

Philip Gidley King and family with his aunt Ada Peck nee Minter in garden at Seymour, Victoria, 1916: Standing, L-R: Philip King, Dora King, Rita King, Bea King. Seated, Front: Eric King, Octavia King, PG King's aunt, Ada Peck nee Minter. (Source: State Library of Victoria)

John King's life and that of his two spouses, Mary Anne Peck and Antoinette Gehle, span the early years of pastoral leasehold settlement when Gippsland was isolated from other parts of the colony by swamps, mountain ranges and limited and shallow port facilities through to the years of closer agricultural settlement, wealth from the gold rushes, the spread of townships, the opening of Gippsland to Melbourne in the west through rail and road and the permanent opening of the Gippsland Lakes to sea-going vessels. The history of the King family has been well documented, and John King in particular played prominent parts at important times in this history. In Gippsland and beyond, John King worked closely with several of his brothers and at least one cousin over many years. He also maintained close links over the years with his families-in-law, the Pecks and Minters. That these family ties continued is shown in the final photo of this section where John King's eldest son and family are shown in 1918 together with Ada Peck nee Minter, John's sister-in-law and Philip Gidley King's aunt.

Click on the following link to read the next section of the story: Stock and station agent - James and Ada Peck at Sale

1 Tanjil [John King] (1882) Early reminiscences of the discovery of Gippsland. p.10.

2 Reeve married Fanny Wentworth in 1847, and they appear to have lived mainly at Snake Ridge for the following few years, In 1850, Reeve purchased from his father-in-law 14 acres of land on Shark Bay (now the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse), where he built the substantial Greycliffe House. While the Reeves appear to have returned to Sydney, moving to Greycliffe House on its completion in 1851, John Reeve maintained a number of links with Gippsland, becoming a territorial magistrate in 1852. In 1854 John and Fanny Reeve accompanied Fanny's father to England, and did not return to Australia.

3 During the second survey of the Patagonian coast by the HMS Adventure and HMS Beagle (1831-36), naturalist Charles Darwin shared the poop cabin with Philip Gidley King Jnr (1817-1904) (John King's older brother), then midshipman. Charles and Philip became lifelong friends. As a boy of eight, Philip had joined the first Patagonian survey with his father. When the second survey called in 1836 at Sydney on its return to England, Darwin was entertained by Phillip Parker King at his home, Dunheved.

4 Dorothy Walsh (ed) (1967) The Admiral's Wife - Mrs Phillip Parker King.Melbourne. The Hawthorn Press.

5 The Australian Agricultural Company, established in 1824 is now Australia's oldest continuously operating company. In Phillip Parker King's days it managed vast cattle and sheep stations in New South Wales - today it has properties, feedlots and farms nationwide.

6 Maddern, I T. Shire of Rosedale Centenary History 1871-1971.

7 "There is a lot of contradictory evidence about which runs John King was associated with between 1842 and 1848, and in what capacity. He may have managed Snake Ridge as early as 1842. Indeed he may have managed Fulham, Dutson and the Ridge simultaneously for a time." A. Harding and R. Ries, (2003) Toongabbie, Gippsland - A Gateway to the Walhalla Goldfields. Ries. Toongabbie. p.230

8 Macreadie, D. (2009) The Rosedale Shire Vol 2. Cowwarr. Macreadie.

9 In November 2011 the present proprietors, Tim and Julie Bowman - 6th generation farmers at The Ridge - kindly allowed us to visit the two storey brick homestead built in the 1880s. In 1916 diarist Elizabeth Montgomery records that she and her husband purchased The Ridge and lived there for some years (1872-1878), "...but our interests being mainly at Sale, The Ridge passed into the possession of Mr J.W. Bowman, who has built a fine new house there which can be seen from the main Rosedale Road. The river is close to the house and is an ideal spot for anglers." Leslie, JW and Cowie, HC (eds) op.cit. p.114.

10 Leslie, JW and Cowie, HC (eds) op.cit. p.26

11 P. Morgan (1997) The Settling of Gippsland: A Regional History. Traralgon. Gippsland Municipalities Association.

12 Day Books, 1844-1863 [manuscript] King family. Vol.2. 19th April 1854 to 8th Nov 1863. Accession no. MS 11396, State Library of Victoria. These extracts quoted in G. Hardy (1989, rep. 2007) Rosedale: 150 years pictorial history. Rosedale, Vic. G. Hardy. p.19

13 Leslie, JW and Cowie, HC (eds) op.cit. p114; p 107.

14 Day Books, 1844-1863 [manuscript] King family. Vol.2. op.cit.

15 This appears to be Charles Harper Phillips, born Newmarket St Mary, Suffolk, England in 1835. He would originally have been a friend of Mary Anne King nee Peck. He may have emigrated on the Swiftsure arriving Port Phillip in December 1857. He was a sponsor at the christening of Ffloyd Minter Peck's second child in 1850, and his younger brother, William Pitt Phillips, emigrated on the Florine in 1858 in company with Ffloyd Minter Peck and family (see below). Either he or his brother appear from entries in the Day Books to have been working at Snake Ridge in August 1858 (see section on James Peck below). The parents of the Phillips brothers were Charles Phillips and Louisa Harper. In 1870 the third Minter daughter, Rosa, married William Pitt Phillips; their first son being named Charles Minter Phillips.

16 This route was described by Du Ve in "Olden Rosedale"quoted in Maddern, I T. op.cit.p.35.

17 Maddern, I T. op.cit. p. 40.

18 The painting is reproduced in Pullin, R. (2011) Eugene von Guerard - Nature Revealed. Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. p. 191.

19 "What are you looking at? by Ruth Pullin - Eugene von Guerard's 'Mr John King's station' - A hidden story" Melbourne Art Network Nov 1, 2012

20 Lunt, I. (1993) "Snakes Ridge Views" Gippsland Heritage Journal No. 14, pp35-37.

21 Synan , P. (1994) Gippsland's Lucky City - A History of Sale. Sale. City of Sale. p.20.

22 Leslie, JW and Cowie, HC (eds) op.cit. pp.113-114.

23 According to Macreadie, parliament had sat for 11 months continuously with one short intermission, and John King felt it was too time consuming, keeping him away from business enterprises in Gippsland. (D. Macreadie op.cit. p.173.)

24 The informant of her death was a C. Holman who was present at the death. This could have been a member of her sister-in-law's family. Mary Anne's brother, Robert William Peck, was married to Susanna Clark Holman. Two of Michael Minter's sisters, Jane and Ann, married John and Thomas Holman respectively. These were two of the Four Brothers (Vre Brodiers) (in fact, brothers and brothers-in-law) after whom the so-called "smuggling ship" was named. Two of the baby boys born to Michael and Eleanor in Victoria, each dying in infancy, were named John Holman Minter.

25 Anne Gehle nee Minter's father, Thomas, was an elder brother of both Dr Michael Minter and Sarah Peck nee Minter, mother of Ann Elizabeth Hawes Peck (the first Mrs Hedley), of Mary Anne Peck (the first Mrs King) and of James Peck. Antoinette and John married at St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington, an Anglican church. The marriage was by allegation - unsurprising as they were both marrying away from their regular parish. As Antoinette's father was apparently not present, it is possible he may not have welcomed the match, although he had given his permission - Antoinette was still a minor (aged 19).

26 The Public Record Office of Victoria shipping details indicated the following:

Departing Melbourne for London, Mar 1862 on the Agincourt: King - Mr (A), Mrs (A), with infant (I), Hannah (C), Phillip (C), servant with (A);

Returning from London to Melbourne, Feb 1865 on the Norfolk: King - Antoinette (age 25); John (age 40); Menie (age 3); Ann (age 8); Philip (age 10).

27 Nambrok (an Aboriginal word for "big plain") is now owned by the McGauran family.

28 In 1866 the Snake Ridge run was split in two: the portion south of the La Trobe River becoming known as Sydney Cottage, occupied by William Essington King; the portion to the north of the La Trobe River becoming known as The Ridge, occupied in 1866 still by Donald Macleod, changing in 1871 to William Essington King, and in 1873 to James Tyson.

29 When the parsonage was built at Rosedale, this glebe, three miles away, was retained for some time for the home of the Archdeacons of Gippsland. Hardy, G. op.cit. p.91.)

30 Tanjil [John King] op.cit. p.10

31 Halstead indicates the heavy tax on land property induced him to sell the station. G. Halstead (1977) The Story of Metung and its first inhabitants. Sydney. Gay Halstead Publications. p.270.

32 Macreadie, D. op.cit..p. 175.

33 Halstead, G. (1977) op.cit. p.271.

34 Halstead, G. (1977) op.cit. p.270

35 Rosedale Courier 7.2.1895.

36 Recorded in Halstead, G. op.cit. p.275.

37 Hall, N. (1978) Botanists of the eucalypts. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne.