Ballina & Richmond River GenWeb

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The name Bagot is a familiar one around Ballina. There is Bagot Street, Bagot Place & Bagotville.

Christopher Thomas Bagot and his brother Walter arrived in Australia 6 May 1842, on board the 'Kelso'. Christopher and Walter were the sons of Reverend John Bagot, (Church of England Rector of Nurney, Northern Ireland) and Olivia Edwards. The family appears to have been related to Richard Bagot, [Bishop of Oxford 1829-1845 & Bath & Wells 1845-1854]. Christopher was one of 18 children. He attended an Agricultural College in Southern England.

Along with their brother, John Clibborn, Christopher and Walter were squatters in the New England area. In 1857, they held Towndey Station in the Gwydir district. In September 1860, Christopher returned to Ireland to marry Kate Maria Luther. In 1861 the Bagots purchased Ben Lomond Station. On 8 July 1861, Christopher & Kate had a stillborn son at Ben Lomond. Walter , being the senior partner, withdrew from the partnership in 1863 and retired to London. John, of Gundabluie Station, also gave up his interest in the Stations some time between 1871 and 1873.

Christopher introduced some new practices into the farming community. He introduced the first pure bred Devon cattle to the New England area and cleared and ploughed a lot of land. In 1877 Christopher built a flour and saw mill. In 1879 Bagot had 1 566 acres of conditionally purchased land and 785 acres of freehold land. Unfortunately losses by drought and pressures from creditors forced his bankruptcy. The bank seized his stock and on sale of the land, Christopher paid his creditors in full.
All of Christopher & Kate's children were born at Ben Lomond.

The children who followed the stillborn son included: John Guy (1863 - 1938), Tempe Alice (1865 - 1907), Annie S. (1866 - 1877), Kate Christophine (1867 - 1938), Christopher Robert [may have been known as Toby] ( 1868 - 1922), George Richard (1869 - 1915 m. Edith Undery 1914), Mary Olivia (1871 - 1957), Walter Edward (1871 - 1952 m. Ruth Dagma Barling), Emily Luther (1875 - 1948), Neta Jane (1876 - 1931) & Richard G. (1877 - ?).
By the 1880s, Christopher Bagot and his brother were again partners. This time in a sawmill near Ballina, on the other side of the river near Broadwater.. In 1894, at the age of 68, Christopher died. He was buried on his property 'Beechwood' near Broadwater. (Christopher's death cert says his children were: John G (30), Tempe (28), Kate C. (27), Walter E. (26), Chris R. (24), Mary O. (22), Emily Luther (18), George R. (16), one deceased female Annie). The Bagot family known around the Ballina area were: John, Walter, George, Toby, Kate & Emily. It is said that if any married they were disinherited. Christopher Thomas made his will in 1892 and left his life interest in all property to his daughter Kate Christophine and son George Richard. In the case of either's death, their share was to be paid to the Trustees of the Ballina Hospital to provide a 'Bagot Ward'.

Bagot's mill at Bagotville was burnt out at about the turn of the century. They started up another mill in Ballina on the bank of the 'canal'. Logs were cut into timber and offcuts were made into pailings and banana crates. Wastage was cut into cordwood and firewood. Until the 1930's there was a big demand for firewood as everyone had a fuel stove. Cordwood was used to fire boilers. The hospital used cordwood and saw dust until the mill closed down.

During World War 1 the mill made a lot ofspokes for gun carriages. They made handles foraxes, picks, shovels, pitch forks, brooms and hammers. They also made cross arms for telegraph poles.

In 1915, George Bagot died of concussion haemorrhage of the brain caused by a fall. At the time George was a 37 year old labourer.

When the Bagot family became old, the mill changed hands. Harvey & Willis took over for about 12 months and then it was bought by Tullocks. After a few years they had financial trouble as the timber had to be transported from further afield. Finally a Queensland firm bought the mill and moved the machinery away.


Copy of page originally transcribed by Mandy O'Neill (content remains unedited)
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