Matthew Farndale

Life at Kilton before emigration to Australia

Matthew Farndale was one of twin sons born at Kilton Hall and baptised at The Parish Church, Brotton, on 3 November 1793. The other twin was William. Mathew and William were the third and fourth children of William and Mary Farndale of Kilton Hall Farm, Kilton. Kilton was then a village of some 120 inhabitants. Matthew's elder brothers were George (born 1789) and John (born 1791). There were to be four more children, Mary (b 1796), Martin (b 1798), Anna (b 1801) and Elizabeth (b 1804).

We know very little about Matthew's life at Kilton and he is not mentioned at all in his brother John's book about Kilton. However he would be brought up on the farm, go to school in the village or possibly at Brotton and go to church regularly. His parents were churchgoers and about the turn of the century became methodists. There is no evidence that he ever left the farm as he grew up. In 1816 his father took a farm at Easby for his elder brother George and another at Skelton for his next elder brother John. This left Matthew with his father, William and his younger brother Martin at the Hall Farm Kilton. As he grew up (he would be 23 when his elder brother left home) he clearly did more at Kilton. His name first appears in the Kilton Church Rates Book in `1829 as paying more rates than his father. He paid 8/9d and his father 7/9 3/4d. This would indicate that he was now in charge at Kilton aged 36. 1829 was also the year he was married. On 13 May 1829 Matthew Farndale of Kilton married Hannah Thompson of Sleights at the Parish Chapelry Brotton, indicating a methodist marriage. They were married by licence with consent of their parents by William Close, the Minister. Both signed in the presence of Ann Thompson, Elizabeth Seller and Richard Thompson. In 1831 their eldest daughter, MARY ANN was born and baptised at Brotton on 6 April 1831.

In 1831 also his twin brother William died of typhus fever. There is an obituary to him in the Methodist Records which reads: "October 21st at Kilton: In the Stokesley Circuit in his 37th year, Mr William Farndale Junior. He was of an open disposition and of studious habits. About the year 1815 a revival of the work of God took place in the neighbourhood where he resided. When he was acquianted with his condition as a sinner and sought and found the Lord to the joy of his heart. He then listed himself to the Wesleyan Methodists and became very useful among them as an exhorter and local preacher. The complaint typhus fever which terminated his mortal exitsence, considerably affected his mind, yet when he recollected he expressed strong confidence in God." He was buried at Brotton on 23 October and his tombstone still stands in Brotton old churchyard.

In 1832 ELIZABETH, second daughter to Matthew and Hannah was born at Kilton and baptised at Brotton on 5 April 1832. The situation at Kilton at this stage is not quite clear but as William got older Matthew began to take over, particularly after his marriage in 1829. His younger brother Martin married Elizabeth Hours at the Chapel, Brotton on 18 May 1833. There were three families living at the Hall; William & Mary; Matthew and Hannah and their two children; and Martin and Elizabeth. Somewhere about this time their elder brother George returned from Easby and in 1839 John's wife Martha had died at Skelton but he did not return to Kilton Both his younger sisters Mary and Elizabeth had died and Anna was married, living at Seamer, in 1841.

From 1838 to 1850, Matthew is shown as a farmer at Kilton and with his brother Martin on the Register of Voters. Then at the census of 1841 we read: "Matthew Farndale, a farmer of Kilton aged 45, Hannah his wife aged 30, Mary Ann his daughter aged 10 and Elizabeth his daughter aged 8." However this census shows Matthew and his family at Kilton Hall, Martin and Elizabeth at Stank House nearby and William and Mary at Brotton. Matthew signed the 1841 Census for Kilton.

On 25 March 1843 Matthew's mother Mary died at Brotton and was buried in Brotton Old Churchyard on 28 March 1843 aged 81 years. It appears that old William now went to live with his daughter Anna at Seamer for it was here that he died on 5 March 1846 aged 86, a farmer who died of old age in the presence of his son in law, William Phillips. In his will he left "All my money upon note and other securities unto my said son Matthew Farndale ...... my said son Matthew Farndale, my sole executor".

Clearly William expected Matthew to take over the farm at his death. We can only guess what was going through Matthew's mind however. It seems that he was not prepared to let down is father but it seems that he did not want to spend the rest of his life at Kilton. Events went as follows. He was clearly at Kilton until 1849 as the following entries show: "Kilton Surveyors Accounts Book:
6 Jun 1843 Martin & Matthew Kilton lane Repairs
31 Aug 1843 Matthew Swindles, loading stores
11 Dec 1843 Martin & Matthew Gripping stones
18 Mar 1844 Martin & Matthew Cutting snow 2/- each
22 May 1844 Matthew Loading stones at Kilton Quarry 2/-
29 Jun 1844 Matthew & Martin Repair Cowhill Lane 2/- each
3 Feb 1845 Matthew Repair Cowhill Lane
24 Mar 1845 Matthew Cutting stones How Lane, cutting stones Kilton Lane, 2/- each lane"
There are also light entries in 1842 and 1843 for the provision of horses by Matthew for work on the roads, mainly How Lane and Mill Beck. He was paid for these sometimes teams of 1, 2 or 3 horses. In 1843 the Rate Assessments @ 6d in the showed his brother @ 212, George (now returned from Easby) @ 208 and Matthew @ 164, giving him a rateable value of 6,560. The Kilton accounts show Matthew as paying a rent of 100 for the first time in 1834. In the Estate list of Freeholders Tithe for Brotton, Matthew was shown as renting a farm at Kilton in 1843 and 1845 and Townend Farm in 1849. Also in 1849 is the entry:
"1849 John Marshal, Townend Farm, late Matthew Farndale"
This would appear to be the year that Matthew and his family left Kilton. His farm with details of his fields are shown on the Tithe map for Kilton 1845.

The census of 1851 showed Martin and George, a widower at Kilton and Mathew had moved to Hallgarth Farm, Kildale, a farm of 150 acres and 2 labourers. He aged 57 and Hannah 43; Mary Ann his daughter aged 19 and Elizabeth 17. Richard Thompson was a servant unmarried aged 51, presumably his brother in law and they had a lodger, William Horsley aged 28.

Emigration to Australia

We do not know what it was that made Matthew and Hannah decide to emigrate to Australia. Perhaps they had been thinking of this for some time, but whatever the reason it was a major undertaking to look for a new life at the age of 57 and to leave his family and all that he knew. Before leaving Kildale their eldest daughter Mary Ann married William Martin of Kildale who had been a butler at Ingleby Manor.

The Argo left Liverpool on 8 October 1852. Onboard were Matthew (59), Hannah, his wife (45), Elizabeth (19) their youngest daughter and Mary Ann (23) and her husband William Martin (23). It is hard to reconstruct what happened, all the feelings and emotions and the excitement of their departure. They would know little of Australia - had they met a returning emigrant? They were not looking for gold or a fortune, but simply a new life. They knew of the perils of the journey, but for whatever reasons, they left. forever.

We must presume that they travelled to Liverpool by a combination of railway and stage coach. It is unlikely that there was any family to see them off, but their feelings must have been of great trepidation as the Argo sailed out of Liverpool. Little remains now of what they took with them but we know they took a pillow case woven from flax from Kilton which is still with descendants in Australia. We know they took their feather beds and riding saddles.

Aboard the Argo were 242 passengers, each with a cabin trunk of tin or timber, a port-monteaux and hand luggage. The ship was small; only 967 tons. The master was Sammuel Macadock. We know nothing of the voyage but conditions would have been primitive, food simple and sickness rife. They would be well out into the Bay of Biscay before they were used to the ship's routine and much relieved to get their feet on dry land at Cape Town, their likely first port of call, probably some four weeks later. The voyage took 103 days or just over 14 weeks. They sailed up the Yarra river to Melbourne. It was 19 January 1853, a midsummer day, as they disemarked to a new life in a new world and to establish the Farndale family in Australia.

For whatever reason they ended up at Birragurra and selected land. Their first task was to build a house which they did made of earth, grass and water. They must then have planted crops and collected animals, in particular sheep. Sometime later, perahaps a year or two, they built a small house of timber with a tin roof. They called it "Hawthorne" from the hawthorne they had planted on arrival. Hawthorne stills grows there.

As the years passed the farm grew. William Martin would take their produce to Ballarat and Geelong and buy provisions; a long cross country journey lasting many days. Cows and pigs were added and the farm buildings extended in size until it resembled a Yorkshire farm house. Sadly the whole property was destroyed by a bush fire in 1901 when all Western Victoria was set alight. The Martin's first child was born on 19 December 1853 - Elizabeth Clarissa Teresa. Marion Amelia Susanna followed in 1856 and Anna Maria in 1858. Their first son John Matthew was born in 1860 and Alfred Miro Vitericus in 1863. Ada Melinda was born in 1864, Mary Matilda in 1867 and Martin Edgar, the youngest in 1869. John and Alfred took up farming in the BoomaNoomanah area.

Old Matthew was to see his second daughter Elizabeth marry William Darby and several of his daughter Mary Ann's family marry before his death making him a great grandfather.

In 1870 the railway reached Colac and Birregurra in 1877. Matthew died at Birregurra on 8 August 1884 aged 90 and Hannah, his widow, died on 9 December 1892 aged 85 years. Their memorial stands today at Warncourt, Birragurra, Australia. But they also have a memorial in Yorkshire, England when their nephew Charles added Mathew's name to the memorial of his twin brother William. In a letter Marion Hall wrote: "Matthew Farndale died on 8 August 1884 at his home in Birregurra aged 91 leaving his widow of half a century, his faithful loving wife to lament his loss, and his friends to tell of his earnest and gentle Christian life. He left behind him a blessed memory bequeathing to his children and their children the priceless legacy of a holy Christian example. Ann, wife of his nephew Charles Farndale of Kilton Hall put his name on the family tombstone, beside the name of his twin brother, William, in Brotton churchyard which states:
"Memorial of William, son of William and Mary Farndale died 21 October 1831 aged 33 and also to Mathew Farndale twin brother of the above of Birregurra, Australia who died 8 August 1884 aged 90 years. Also Hannah his widow who died Dec 9 1892 aged 85 years."
A much more recent newspaper article reads:
"He was Not Too Old
In these days when so much emphasis is being placed on the importance of youth in business and national affairs, it is interesting to quote an example of earlier history of this district of a man whose enterprise, courage and energy had not become extinguished at an age when people now regard them as worn out. This man was the late Matthew Farndale one of the very first trustees of the Warncoort Methodist Church referred to in the recent ceremony at Warncoort.

From the Dales of Yorkshire, where his ancestors had been on the land for centuries, Mr Farndale made up his mind to come to this distant southern land, then in its infancy. And so, more than a century ago, accompanied by is two daughters, his wife and his son-in-law he sailed twelve thousand miles in three months to make a new home. The son-in-law married one of his daughters at the last minute when he decided also to take part in the great adventure. Mr Farndale was buried in the Warncoort cemetary in 1882. He was aged 90 when he died. He left England when he was 62 years of age. At Warncoort on Sunday a descendant placed a wreath on the grave of a great-grandfather she had never seen.