History with Brian James: Link with the early days

The site of the old courthouse. Photo: contributed
The site of the old courthouse. Photo: contributed

Mr John Broughton, age 92, a grand old pioneer, and a direct descendant of great pioneers who have helped to make history in the early Australian settlements, passed away on Saturday night last, at the home of his daughter, Mrs F Clayton, in Murringo Street , Young, where he has resided for over 40 years.

The name of Broughton is familiar to all students of early Australian history. Deceased's grandfather was first Commissioner-General in Australia, and came out with Governor Phillip in the First Fleet in 1788, and held various positions in the Crown Colony and was for a time Acting Governor of Tasmania and a man in whom Governor Phillip reposed the greatest confidence. His son, and the father of the Young pioneer, W.H Broughton, was the owner of Broughtonsworth Station, Boorowa.

Deceased John Broughton was born at Appin, near Campbelltown, in 1832, and was educated at the Kings School, Parramatta, and up to the time of his death was believed to be the oldest living student. He married Miss Church, at the old St Phillips' Church, in Sydney, and later came to reside at Cocketygedong, Urana. He next moved to Marengo Station, which he purchased from the Scarr family about 1864. Here he became widely known as an expert breeder of stock-sheep. Cattle and blood horses. About 1870 he came to Young to join the firm of F.A Brock, Commission agents, with whom he remained until the retirement of Mr Brock, when the business devolved solely upon himself, under the name of J Broughton and Co. He had a high reputation for his integrity and business capacity. His interest in stock never waned. He was an exhibitor and prise taker at the Young Foundation Show, and successive shows, and was in much demand at other shows as a judge of stock. On deceased retirement from business it was carried on for some time by his son-in-law, C.G Tuson. Right up to the time of his death he was district agent for the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Co.

Deceased wife passed away in about 1907, and since that time his daughter, Mrs Clayton, widow of the late James Clayton, has resided with him and attended to his needs in his old age.

An interesting record of Broughton family genealogy appeared in the Sydney Mail in 1917, showing the photographs of numerous descendants of Commissionary-General WM Broughton .

Among them is that of the late Major-General Sir W.T Bridges, who was mortally wounded at Gallipoli, when in command of the First Australian Division. There is a distinct resemblance between this great soldier and Mr John Broughton, son of the deceased. About 36 direct descendants served, some with distinction, in the great war, and several of them made the supreme sacrifice.

The funeral which was largely attended, took place on Sunday to the Church of England portion of the cemetery, the Rev K.L McKeown conducting the obsequies. - Young Daily Witness.

Bushrangers in the Boorowa area

Whitton, Scotchie Thompson and others formed a gang of bushrangers and operated around Burrowa and surrounding districts. Around the late 1830's and early 1840's these men were violent and dangerous and created havoc in the districts of Bathurst, Burrowa, Gunning and Burrangong.

Whitton and his gang in late 1839 raided James Whites Burrangong Station, Butterworth Station and Boorowa stores. Michael Murray, who was employed by Henry Castles on Geegullalong, was an informer for Whitton and provided him with information as when to rob the stores.

After Whitton had shot John Hume at Gunning they attacked the homestead of Oliver Fry at Narrawa. During the gun fight 'Scotchie' was shot and his body was found in the Lachlan river. WH Broughton on hearing of his friend, John Hume's death, took part in the search for Whitton. After Russell was killed, Whitton and Reynolds were captured. Reynolds hung himself in goal and Whitton was hung in the Goulburn Gaol on March 19. Mr Broughton of Boorowa was robbed by the gang on at least one occasion.

  • Historian, Brian James, contributes his column each Tuesday to the Young Witness on behalf of the Young Historical Society Inc.