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Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 - 11:49 am:   

I thought this string in regards to ROSEMONT - BAROOMA - WHITTINGHAM to valuable a research document to get lost in cyberspace,

Roy Andrews

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 21:45:17 +1100
From: "Alan Eade" <>
Subject: [HV] Rosemont - Baroona - Whitingham
To: <>

My ancestor, John Neeves, arrived in Sydney 26 September 1838 on the "Palmyra", immigration details noted he was to be employed by John Larnach, Hunter Valley.

John Larnach built Rosemont in 1829 and was renamed Baroona by Albert Dangar in 1869. This property is now for sale - see following website for a wonderful view of the house (when I drive through Whittingham a few times a year, you can see the house in the distance, although usually the view is blocked by a passing coal train).

Regards Alan


Message: 4
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 08:59:50 +1100
From: "Janice Doughty" <>
Subject: Re: [HV] Rosemont - Baroona - Whitingham
To: "Alan Eade" <>,

Good morning Listers,

I was carrying out research on John Larnach and his father-in-law Major
James Mudie some months ago for a friend and found some great information,
which I passed on and I would now like to share with Listers. John Larnach
married Mudie's daughter Emily Mudie in 1827 at Mount Vincent.

Both Mudie and his son-in-law John Larnach, did not treat the convicts
assigned to them with any humanity. The convicts were under fed and were
punished regularly with flogging for minor offences. It appears a number of
the assigned convicts rebelled and took control of the home, while Mudie was
away and Larnach was down at the river with other convicts washing the

The rebel convicts, took over the house, held Mrs. Larnach at gun point, and
rounded up other servants and convicts and at gun point and locked them in
an out-building. From the home they stole fire arms, food and horses. They
then took themselves down to the riverside where Larnach was and two or
three of the rebel convicts began shooting at Larnach, all the time
verbalising how they felt about him and his treatment of the convicts
assigned to him and Mudie. They must have been rotten shots as they missed
him. Larnach escaped, leaving the convicts under his care, alone still in
the water with the sheep. The rebels did not chase after Larnach, and they
made thier escape into the bush.

However, after a period of time they were all captured and stood trial. All
those involved, the prisoners, the witnesses, Mudie and Larnach all gave
their testimonies. Interesting is the Judge's continued rulings against the
defendants' solicitor Therry, and the plea by one of the prisoners Poole,
begging the Judge to consider the age of Ryan, who was only a boy. Poole
claimed that they had forced Ryan to come with them. However, this did not
sway the Judge's sentence and all but one was sentenced to be hung. The
Trial transcript can be read at the website:-

Chief Justice Forbes did level criticism at Mudie and Larnark for their
cruel and inhuman treatment of their convicts. This brought about an enquiry
and an account of Mudie's treatment of convicts was published in the Sydney
Gazette. Disgusted with the Colony, Mudie went back to London and in 1836
and published "The Felony of New South Wales" the following year.

Four years later Mudie, now in his 60s returned to Sydney, where on the 22nd
September in 1840 while walking down George Street, he was horsewhipped by
Mr. John Kinchela, a young man of under 30 years of age, who was the son of
Dr. John Kinchela, who at the time trial of the convicts, was the
attorney-general and later a judge. Young Kinchela's defence for the attack
on Mudie, was for the deformation of his father Dr.John Kinchela, and also
of the judge hearing the convict trial Sir Francis Forbes. Kinchela was
arrested for what was considered and unprovoked attack on the elderly Mudie,
and the case was heard on 24th October 1840, before Judge John Walpole
Willis. The jury found for the Plaintiff and defendant was ordered to pay
50 pounds damages to the Plaintiff.

However, it is to be noted, that the Judge hearing the case, would not read
allow the book "Felony of New South Wales" written by Mudie about the Colony
into evidence, and referred to it as "rubbish" and refused to read it
himself. However, he did sometimes allow extracts from the book to be read
in the Court.

After the trial Mudie was forced to leave the Colony for a second time, as
he was shunned by society and this was a fitting denouncement of a cruel and
twisted man, who perceived even the "factory" at Parramatta, where the
female convicts were housed and punished, as some sort of holiday home.

Late in 1848 Rosemount Estate was advertised to be let 'for such term as may
be agreed upon'. The Estate comprised 1200 acres of agricultural and grazing
land and was enclosed by a substantial three rail fence and subdivided into
convenient paddocks, well suited for grazing and for agriculture in
favourable seasons. The property was described as having a substantial
mansion with out offices, suitable for a genteel family; an orchard and
garden - grounds attached. The windmill on the property was not in working
order and the huts said to be suitable for accommodation of farm labourers
were at a convenient distance from the mansion.

"Rosemount" the property of Major James Mudie and his son-in-law John
Larnach was purchased in 1869 by Albert Dangar and the property became
"Baroona Homestead" and 1909 it was the residence of the Scottish
Commissioner. This homestead still stands today in Singleton. Another
property in the Larnach and Mudie family was "Castle Forbes".

The name Larnach was bothering me, as I knew I had seen this name before
somewhere, until suddenly I remembered and what a great story this is too.
I will send that story on a separate email.



Message: 5
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 10:14:22 +1100
From: "Alan Eade" <>
Subject: Re: [HV] Rosemount - Baroona - Whitingham
To: "Janice Doughty" <>,

I was wondering on the correct spelling of Rosemont/Rosemount. I have always
known it and seen it spelt as Rosemount. (although last night I used
Rosemont, as this was the spelling in the advertisement). One of my distant
cousins sent me information years ago regarding Rosemount and advised me
that it was at Denman, however he seems to have got mixed up with Rosemount
Estate, the winery. Recently I have noticed that many websites have

Some notes I prepared a few years ago regarding Rosemount/Larnach and Mudie
(prn. Moodie).

The amazing sight of Baroona (formerly Rosemount) on the hilltop, not far
from the road on the left going towards Singleton, was built on land granted
to James Mudie in 1823. Rosemount was built in 1829 by John Lanarch, his
overseer and, later, his son-in-law and business partner. Mudie's own
property, situated on the opposite side of the present highway, was known as
Castle Forbes.

Mudie's story is quite interesting. Appointed a magistrate in 1830, he soon
gained a reputation for the excessive use of corporal punishment. When
Governor Bourke curtailed the capacity of magistrates to inflict summary
punishments Mudie helped circulate a petition against Bourke for what he
regarded as dangerous leniency.

Five of Mudie's convicts were executed after they mutinied, tried to shoot
Lanarch and fled. An investigation into charges that Mudie and Lanarch
degraded their servants cleared them of ill treatment but found them wanting
in relation to the issuance of rations. Angered by the report, Mudie came
under fire and counter-attacked by subverting Bourke's appointment of one of
Mudie's critics. This appears to have played a role in Bourke's resignation
of the governorship.

Subsequently Mudie was not reappointed to the magistracy. In 1837 he sold
Castle Forbes and returned to England whereupon he published a distorted and
vitriolic attack on perceived enemies, particularly within the magistracy.
Upon his return to Sydney in 1840 he found his actions had alienated old
friends. He was publicly horsewhipped by John Kinchela, the son of one of
the judges he had decried. When Kinchela was found guilty of assault the
50-pound fine was paid by subscription. Mudie returned to England in 1842.

Albert Dangar, son of surveyor Henry Dangar, acquired Rosemount in 1869 and
had Benjamin Backhouse design Baroona using the walls of Rosemount as the
basic building block. J. Horbury Hunt designed the stables in 1887 and
Frederick Menkens designed the tower and spiral staircase in 1893. The
exterior is sandstone and stucco, the joinery of cedar and the fireplaces of
marble. The cellar is convict-built. Two-time Melbourne Cup winner, Peter
Pan, was foaled and died at Baroona.
another piece of information|||l-category=Article|category:Article

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 10:35:18 +1100
From: "Janice Doughty" <>
Subject: Re: [HV] Rosemont - Baroona - Whitingham
To: <>

Good morning Listers,

Here is the story of one of the sons of John and Emily Larnach (nee Mudie).
He was William James Mudie born at "Castle Forbes" in 1833. We have great
stories to be told in the land and what a great movie this would make.

The name LARNACH was playing around in my mind, while I was carrying out the
Larnack and Mudie research. Why did I know that name? Why is it so
familiar? Then I remembered.

Have any of the Listers been to LARNACH Castle in Dunedin in New Zealand?
The castle, is perched up on a high hill on the southern side of Otago
Harbour in Dunedin. Now that is a story to tell and isn't it strange, that
you know of a story about a family and do not realise that you have later
stumbled on the generation before that story, not in New Zealand in another
place the Hunter Valley in the Colony of New South Wales.

My husband and I did the tour of the castle some years ago and were told the
story of the man who built it, one William James Mudie LARNACH and yes, he
is the son of John and Emily Larnach (nee Mudie), Emily being the daughter
of Major James Mudie of "Castle Forbes" in the Upper Hunter Valley.

William was born on 27th January 1833 at "Castle Forbes", the year and the
property where the convict rebellion took place, as covered in the Trial
mentioned in my previous email. As a young man William went into banking
like his Uncle Donald Larnach, most likely with his uncle's assistance.
William was with the Bank of New South Wales, and was appointed the Manager
of the Ararat branch in Victoria, which was a tent on the gold fields and
all he had for his protection, was his guard dogs, a gun and strong boxes.
On 21st June 1859 he married in Melbourne Eliza Jane Guise, a daughter of a
prosperous Squatter.

When gold was found in Otago in New Zetland in the 1860s William was offered
the position of Manager of the Bank of Otago in Dunedin. There he made his
money, delving into farming, shipping, holding, banking and later politics.
William built his palatial home, which became known as Larnach's Castle and
move in, in 1874. William and Eliza had six children, and not long after
the birth of their sixth child Gladys, Eliza died at the age of 38. It was
not long after Eliza's death that William married Eliza's half sister Mary
Alleyne, however five years later Mary died, also at the age of 38.

For William's favourite daughter Kate from his first marriage, he built onto
the residence the most beautiful ballroom to celebrate her 21st birthday
with a Society Ball, that the social set of Dunedin would have never seen
before. The morning of the ball, Kate dressed for her early morning horse
ride, which ended sadly in tragedy, when she was thrown from the horse and

William married for the 3rd time a much younger woman Constance de Bathe
Brandon. Things began to go down hill for William, he lost money through
bad investments and it came to a point where he could not take it any more,
everything had become just to much. On the 12th October 1898 he committed
suicide by shooting himself in the Parliament building. He died intestate,
which left the family to battle out the estate in the courts for many, many
years. The need to maintain at any cost a show of material success, and to
hide any trace of weakness or self-doubt, was a ruling instinct which
exacted a heavy toll on his personal happiness.

It was a very strange and haunting experience for Alan and I, walking
through the beautiful Larnach Castle and hearing the guide tell us the story
of this tragic family, especially when we stood in the beautiful ballroom,
you could actually fell the sadness in the room.

William James Mudie LARNACH was the fourth child of John and Emily LARNACH
(nee Mudie). He was one of 8 children born to the Upper Hunter Valley
settlers between 1828 and 1842. His material grandfather was 'Captain'
James Mudie born in Scotland, the son of John and Margaret Mudie of
Forfarshire, Scotland.

If any Listers visit the south island of New Zealand, put on your List of
the places you must see, Larnach Castle in Dunedin, overlooking Otago
Harbour. The scenery on the drive up to the castle is absolutely



Message: 2
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 17:04:59 +1100
From: "Marg M" <>

Hi Janice

I've been interested in the LARNACH family for a long time . Richard James
LARNACH ,a nephew of the nasty John married into our CARPENTER family in
Melbourne in 1879. John Alexander , one of nasty John & Emily's sons was
one of the 'movers and shakers' up in the early days of Rockhampton.
He married Margaret Louisa DICK . Her sister Charlotte Elizabeth DICK m
John O'Connell BLIGH. They also went north to Qld settling in Gympie where
John was the police Magistrate

Donald LARNACH, brother of nasty John, was an early director of the Bank of
NSW ................ been lots of large footprints and some smaller one to
find !

Hunter Valley List Admin

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:39:26 +1000
From: "Greg Ball" <>
Subject: Re: [HV] Rosemount - Baroona - Whitingham
To: "Alan Eade" <>,

Hello Alan,
Yes, a long time, I know. You are correct in spelling the
original name for 'Baroona' as 'Rosemount'. I know the area well, as my
parents owned and lived in another of the old Singleton mansions -
"Hambledon Hill' [Do a Google to see], which was only a few miles away. That
is where I spent my first 20 years.
The basement walls of 'Baroona' were built with narrow slot windows,
through which guns were discharged to help ward-off troublesome aborigines.
The Dangar family, Abby and son Rodney, were great benefactors to
Singleton, giving The Dangar Cottage Hospital and the beautiful All Saints
Church of England to the town. At the rear of the church is a mausoleum
where members of the Dangar family are interred, a most magnificent
structure. The lychgate was added later.
The original grant to Henry Dangar, father of Abby, is only a mile or
two away across the highway. Known as 'Neotsfield' [pronounced neets-field],
I believe the homestead is still standing. The Dangar family originated in
St. Neots, Cornwall.
My old home [25 rooms] and 'Baroona', pale to insignificance in size
when compared to 'Minembah', which is of 55 rooms. Resumed in 1942 as part
of the Singleton Army Base [2BOD]--it was owned by the Foden family of
Cheshire, England-- makers of trucks and other heavy equipment--who are
still going today. 'Minembah' homestead would be only a couple of miles from
'Baroona', and on the same side of the highway, was originally a grant to a
Jas. Cobb, whose brother John, was the original grantee of the famous
Maitland property known as 'Aberglasslyn'.
I don't do much research these days as old age has caught up with me,
but I like to keep an interest in the HV group. Trust you are in good health
and spirits.

Christmas greetings,
Greg Ball.


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