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Whittington Family

WHITTINGTON, Daniel, b. 1800 (Eng), d. ?25.9.1862 (York), arr. 30.1.1830 per Wanstead with wife & child, m. (UK) Jane BISHOP b. 1807 d. 2-0.7.1875 (Beverley). Chd. James Martin b. c.1826 d. 1911, Julia b. 1831 d. 1889, Eliza b. 1833 d. 1881, Edward b. 1835, Louisa b. 1837 d. 1910, John b. 1842, Hannah (Honora) b. 1846 d. 1907, dtr. b. 1847. He applied for Govt. employment 16.1.1834. Dissolved partnership with George Simpkins 26.11.1836. Guildford, farm labourer. To Northam district c.1846. Bever1ey farmer. C/E. Lit.

WHITTINGTON, James Martin, b. 1826, d . 1911? son of Daniel & Jane (nee Bishop), arr. 30.1.1830 per Wanstead with parents, m. 1st 8.1850 (Mid Swan) Margaret WILLIAMS b. 1834 d. 30.5.1867, dtr. of Thomas & Eliza, she arr. 15.10.1841 per Ganges, m. 2nd 2.2.1884 Ellen Margaret GREAY (widow). Chd. Elizabeth b. 1851 d. 1942, Julia, John b. 1857, Thomas b. 1859 d. 1942, Samuel bp. 1865 d. 1942, Henry William b. 1862, Louise, ?Daniel. Farmer, Middle Swan 1850s. Qualified as juror 1860: £150 personal estate.

HENRY WILLIAM DANIEL WHITTINGTON, “Rosedale,” Beverley, is a native of this State, having been born at “Sandalford,” on the Swan River, the property of the late James Roe, on March 1, 1862. He is the third son of the late Mr. James Whittington, who came from England when only five years of age, in the first year of settlement of the new colony, and who devoted the whole of his mature life to the founding and promotion of the agricultural industry in Western Australia. In the early and prosperous days of the sandalwood trade, which assumed considerable proportions in this State at one period, he was early in the field, and at a time when there was no market for produce and little enterprise outside of the woolgrowing propositions of the south and north-west did fairly well by his dealings in this valuable wood. He took up his first 100 acres of land in 1862, and later, when the discovery of the different goldfields put things on a better footing and the demand for all kinds of produce became insistent, he entered wholeheartedly upon the business of farming on the site at present occupied by his son, the subject of this memoir. By dint of patience, perseverance, and industry, the late Mr. Whittington made a home for himself and his family and established one of those successful farming ventures which are making the name of Western Australia as a producing country. Subsequently he increased his holding to 350 acres and, relinquishing his interests in this district in favour of his son, proceeded to Murrumbine, where he worked a property of 640 acres almost up to the time of his death, which occurred after he had attained the ripe age of eighty-five years. The late Mr. James Whittington died respected and esteemed throughout the whole district. Shortly after the gentleman under review entered into possession of his holding he perceived the advisableness of enlarging his boundaries while land in the district remained vacant, and added block by block until he owned a compact holding of over 2,500 acres. “Rosedale” is one of the best properties in the district for the depasturage of sheep, and a flock to the number of 1,500, or over, is usually carried on the estate. Taking advantage of the experience gained by other sheep farmers he has been content to stock a type proved suitable to the neighbourhood, viz., the Lincoln-merino crossbred, a strong-framed animal which has thriven well and produces good wool. Mr. Whittington has proceeded with clearing work over the whole of the property, doing so chiefly in the interests of the flock, only a matter of a hundred acres being cropped to provide feed for the stock. The property has been divided into about twenty paddocks, and about 40 miles of fencing have been completed. The homestead, built by Mr. Whittington about a quarter of a century ago, though small is very comfortable, and the necessary outbuildings are present, being conveniently situated on the banks of the Dale River. Mr. Whittington is a member of the Beverley Agricultural Society, and is also connected with the Farmers and Settlers' Association and the local branch of the Australian Liberal League. He was married in 1890 to Julia Margaret, third daughter of the late Edgar Bisdee, another representative of the good old English stock, who came from Bristol in the early days, and gave the best of his life to pioneering work in Western Australia.

JOHN WHITTINGTON, proprietor of the “Glen Dale” Estate in the neighbourhood of Brookton, was born on the old Swan settlement of the early days near Guildford on March 14, 1857, and is a son of the late James Whittington, who came to Western Australia from England in the first year of the foundation of the new colony, and was afterwards identified with the sandalwood and agricultural industries in the Brookton district. The subject of our notice acquired the rudiments of learning by attendance at one of the small private schools before the era of State education, and at an early age became associated with his father and brothers in the work of the farm at “Rosedale” now in possession of Mr. H. W. D. Whittington. He continued in this connection until thirty years old, when he launched out on his own account in a sheepfarming proposition, taking over a pastoral lease some fifty miles south-east of Brookton. For three years he carried on operations there, but at the end of that period, on account of scarcity of water, was compelled to dispose of his stock and return to a more favoured locality. Settling down in the town of Beverley, for a time he directed his attention to storekeeping pursuits, and was engaged in the bakery trade at that centre; but eventually he found his way back to Brookton, and here selected 100 acres of the holding which proved the nucleus of his present valuable property known as “Glen Dale.” Being well satisfied with his selection, Mr. Whittington proceeded to increase his landed interests, and as opportunity occurred added block to block, until the whole formed a compact and arable holding comprising over 1,500 acres, nearly the whole of which is now in a well-developed state. Upwards of 1,000 acres have been cleared and subdivided with six-wire fences into eight paddocks, while the balance is already ringbarked as a preliminary to burning off, the growth of the natural grasses on the area used for pastures being much improved thereby. About 350 to 400 acres are brought under cultivation annually on the approved fallow system, and the crops obtained are well above the average for the district. The estate is up to date in the matter of farm implements and machinery, Mr. Whittington being a believer in progressive methods, and in all minor details as well as those more important the arrangements for working the place leave little to be desired. Besides the cultivation fields, seven acres of first-class orchard land have been planted with a carefully-chosen selection of fruit-trees, and this has proved a very profitable branch of the operations carried on, excellent returns coming in from the marketing of these products. “Glen Dale” carries a flock numbering from four hundred to five hundred sheep of the crossbred type, bred with a view to contributing wool and mutton to the local markets, and this also is a successful department, good prices almost invariably being obtained for representatives from these pastures. The horses are worthy of mention, though breeding is carried on with a view to keeping the stock on the farm young and fresh rather than for sale or exhibition at the local shows. A few find their way to the markets, however, and as a rule purchasers are not wanting when a fine young draught bred by Mr. Whittington is offered. Great changes have taken place in the face of the country since the now-prosperous settler came to Brookton with the slender capital of thirty shillings in his pocket, to wrest from the virgin soil, by means of industry and perseverance, the treasure which may be found by those who bring these qualities into play in the enterprise to which they have pledged their best energies, and Mr. Whittington must feel abundantly rewarded for all his efforts when he views his smiling cornfields and orchards covering the areas where erstwhile the native timber waved its foliage, and realizes the value of his farm and plant, etc. In addition he owns real estate in Brookton, where a few business premises know him as landlord. Mr. Whittington has never taken any part in public affairs, preferring to give the whole of his time and attention to the development of his industry. He was married in 1890 to Isabelle, daughter of the late Richard Strange, one of Western Australia’s early pioneers (mentioned in the biography of his son, Mr. Andrew Strange, included in these pages), and has seven sons and one daughter.

THOMAS JAMES WHITTINGTON, of “Oaklands,” near Brookton, is a son of the late James Whittington, one of the very early pioneers both of the sandalwood trade and the farming industry in Western Australia. He is a native of this State, having been born at Guildford on March 17, 1859, and even before entering his teens became engaged in the task of earning his living in the sandalwood forests at the time that that industry was in the zenith of its prosperity. It was not an infrequent thing for him to cart the valuable timber from the district where he now resides all the way to Perth—a distance of a hundred miles. For fifteen years young Whittington continued his connection with this trade, relinquishing it at the end of that period in order to take up a pastoral lease in the Pingelly district, which he used as a sheep run for a few years, conjointly with this enterprise assisting his brothers in the conduct of the old homestead property of “Rosedale,” in the Beverley district, before the demise of their father. In 1890 he permanently severed his interests from those of other members of his family, and leaving the paternal roof-tree, selected a holding of over 100 acres at Kelmscott, with the purpose in view of planting an orchard. This he cleared and developed successfully, and for fifteen years carried on the calling of an orchardist; but ultimately deeming it in the best interests of his growing family to engage once more in the agricultural industry, he returned to the Brookton district, where some time previously he had selected a property of over 2,200 acres. This he at once began to clear and fence, and with the assistance of his sons, who have now reached maturity, a well-developed farm-holding has been carved out of the virgin bush during the seven years which have elapsed since operations were first inaugurated. One of the characteristic features of the Brookton district is the excellent water supply derived from perfectly natural sources, and “Oak-lands” is by no means lacking in this general advantage, the precious fluid being easily obtainable all over the estate. Cropping on the three-year fallow system has been productive of highly satisfactory results, and in all 1,000 acres have been made tributary to the harvesters; while the horticultural industry has also flourished, an orchard of from two to three acres in extent producing all kinds of fruits suitable to the soil and climate. On the pastoral side a flock of about 700 merino sheep gives evidence of care and judgment in the selection of types from which to breed, and fleeces are shorn from these animals averaging about 6 lb. in weight. The 1912 clip was shipped to London, where the price obtained was 1s. 2d. per lb. A few horses are bred for the work of the farm, and for this purpose a medium draught has proved to be the most serviceable type. About fifteen workers are found necessary for the various demands of the different departments, and sufficient young stock is bred to keep up the supply without resorting to outside markets. Many improvements of a substantial kind may be noted by the observant eye, prominent among which may be mentioned the up-to-date stabling and outbuildings generally, while the excellent fences constructed with jam timber posts and the usual six wires may also come in for a glance of approval. The homestead is an unpretentious, comfortable dwelling, where Mr. Whittington, who is a man of quiet tastes, spends his leisure hours in the bosom of his family, taking his recreation at home in the intervals he can spare from the work of managing the property. He married in 1891 Alice, daughter of the late Jesse Martin, of Kelmscott, who came to Western Australia nearly half a century ago, and was well known in that locality for about twenty years prior to his death. Of this union there are three sons, all of whom are engaged with their father in the conduct of the estate.

SAMUEL WHITTINGTON, who owns the “Spring Hill” property, situated in the vicinity of Brookton, the homestead being about seven miles distant from the town, was born at “Rosedale,” near Beverley, on March 14, 1866. The “Rosedale” Estate, now occupied by Mr. H. W. D. Whittington, elder brother of the gentleman under review, was originally a holding taken up by his father, the late James Whittington, an outline of whose career is given in the biography of the gentleman above referred to, which appears elsewhere in this volume. Like many other youthful colonists of those early days, Mr. Samuel Whittington's schooldays were cut short by the urgent necessity for every available pair of hands to assist on the farm, labour being scarce, and the primitive conditions making the work of tillage much more exacting and strenuous than is the case to-day. He continued at “Rosedale” for a very lengthy period, having completed his thirty-sixth year before deciding to launch out on his own account, and when eventually he made the break he came direct to “Spring Hill,” where his first selection consisted of a block of a little over 300 acres, previously taken up by him in 1897. To this was attached a 10,000-acre pastoral lease, and after coming to reside on the property Mr. Whittington at once began to add to his farm by selection, whilst carrying on the development of the territory already secured. In course of time he acquired a considerable area of land, and to-day the “Spring Hill” Estate embraces 2,700 acres of country, undulating in character, the soil of which is red, chocolate, and sandy loam of a nature eminently suited both for agricultural purposes and sheep-raising. The property is excellently watered, splendid supplies for the stock being present on the surface in every paddock, while beautiful fresh water abounds in many places, Nature's provision in this respect being so bountiful that no artificial methods whatever have to be resorted to in order to secure what is so indispensable where pastoral operations are carried on. The average rainfall is about 17 in., and agriculture receives every encouragement, about eighteen bushels of wheat and one and a half tons to the acre of hay being the usual harvesting returns. The whole of the land not under cultivation is ring-barked, with a view to improving the feed for the stock, while 1,700 acres are cleared and cultivated on the three-year system—cropping, grassing, and fallowing in turn—from 500 to 600 acres being cropped annually. Close on 40 miles of substantial fencing have been completed on the property, six plain wires and posts of jam timber being the general system followed both for the boundary and subdivisional fences, the latter dividing the whole area into thirteen paddocks of convenient size for cultivation and the management of the stock. The flock consists of 1,000 merino - Lincoln crossbred sheep, a type which has been found by Mr. Whittington best suited to the district, and these produce a good class of wool which commands good prices at the London markets, whither the annual clip is despatched, the average weight of fleeces during recent years being estimated at from 6 lb. to 7 lb. Lambing takes place in June, and the satisfactory average of 85 per cent, has been obtained for some time past. A few dairy cattle are kept for domestic purposes, while fifteen horses, chiefly of the heavier type, are found sufficient for the work of the farm, these, with a few of lighter build, being bred by Mr. Whittington, who makes it his aim to keep a fresh young lot of workers coming on to relieve the old stagers who show signs of flagging. In 1909 Mr. Whittington turned his attention to the erection of a homestead, with the result that the property is now graced by a structure comprising five rooms and built of sun-dried bricks with concrete fronting. A verandah encircles the whole of the building, and the interior is very homely and comfortable, while surrounding the homestead is a pretty garden, where many favourite flowers make bright patches of colour as the different seasons come round. In addition there are two and a half acres of orchard in the vicinity of the house, and here oranges, apples, and grapes, with various other kinds of fruits, come to perfection. "The outhouses are well up to date, comprising ample stabling for the horses, hayshed, and other buildings, besides which there is a shearing-shed containing a modern plant and accessories. Mr. Whittington for many years has served as a member of the Beverley Agricultural Society, and he interests himself generally in various local organizations, and is associated with the local branch of the Farmers and Settlers’ Association, of which he is a staunch supporter.

References and Links

Battye, J.S. 1912-13, The Cyclopedia of Western Australia, Cyclopedia Co., Perth, vol. 2, p. 634-657.


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