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  • ID: I10224
  • Name: James BOXSHALL
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 29 JUN 1807 in Dorking, Surrey, England
  • Reference Number: 1292
  • Event: BDM 1904 No. 623
  • Death: 07 JAN 1904 in William St, Brighton, Vic Reg No 623
  • Note:
    Life of James BOXSHALL, written by Bery Nice.
    James was born in Dorking England on 29 June 1807 and christened at St. Martin's Church, Dorking on 26 July 1807, the son of William Boxhall and Elizabeth Knight. James came from a brewing family and one branch of the family had a brewery in Mills Lane, Dorking which was always known as Boxhall's Brewery.

    The earliest evidence for settlement in Dorking town is Roman. The great military road constructed in the 1st century AD to carry supplies from Chichester to London, later called Stane Street by the Saxons, passed through the centre of the town.

    James married Jane Razell in the Parish of Dorking on 13 April, 1828. The Vicar who performed the ceremony was George Feacham, M.A. and the witnesses were Sarah Dudley and Isaac Boxhall, a younger brother of James.

    James managed the Whitmuir farm in Surrey,of Henry Dendy. His brother William was a journeyman malster and may have worked in Boxhall's brewery in Dorking or Henry Dendy's brewery in Dorking. The Boxhall's family were well known to Henry Dendy, and events concerning Dendy were to change the lives of these two brothers and their families greatly, and take them on a journey to Port Phillip, in the Colony of New South Wales, Australia.

    Henry Dendy was born at Abinger, Surrey in 1800 and when his father Samuel died in 1838 he left his real and personal estate to his son, the property including farms at Rudgwick in Sussex (Millfields and Little Millfields) and at Wotton and Walliswood in Surrey.

    Henry Dendy may have become interested in the Colony of New South Wales, Australia, after 23 May 1840 when her Majesty's Government suspended the sale by auction of Crown Lands in the Port Phillip District of the Colony and replaced such by a system of selection of sections of 320 acres at a flat rate of One Pound per acre.

    He became actively interested in August 1840 when the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioner amended regulations in a 'Notice to Persons desirous of purchasing Land at Sydney or Port Phillip' which contained the following:-

    It has been determined that, for all purposes connected with the disposal of land, that portion of the Territory of New South Wales which lies to the south of the Counties of Murray and St. Vincent, and of the Rivers Murrumbidgee and Murray, so far as the Eastern Boundary of South Australia , shall be separated from the rest of New South Wales, and be distinguished by the title of Southern or Port Phillip District. Within the Port Phillip District, land will henceforth be sold at the fixed uniform price of One Pound per acre, sections of one half of a square mile or 320 acres each.

    Any one who shall pay in this Country, or in the Colony, the price for 8 square miles, or 5,120 pounds, will not be confined to Districts already surveyed and open for sale, but will have the privilege of demanding a Special Survey of the Land he is desirous to purchase. The Land, however, must be taken in one block of which only the outer boundaries therefore will be surveyed. It will be subject to all regulations which may be established in the Colony respecting the proportions of front to depth, water-frontage, reserves for roads, and other conditions of a similar nature.

    HENRY DENDY forthwith 'alienated his patrimony' borrowed some money and used his wife's dowry to provide the 5,120 pounds required. Henry Dendy was handed personally SPECIAL LAND ORDER NO 1 under the seal of the Land and Emigration Commissioners on 19 September1840. This order was to be unique as Dendy was the only person to whom one was issued by the Commissioners. The system of Special Surveys was to be abolished by them on 18 February 1841. This indeed was a very valuable LAND ORDER.

    The August 1940 land regulations under which Dendy acquired his Land Order included the following:-
    Every purchaser will be entitled to name a number of persons of the labouring class for a free passage to the Colony in proportions to the amount of the purchase money which has been paid to this Country, namely --For every 20 pounds an Adult person of 14 years upwards, or two children between 7 and 14 years, or three children under 7. Persons who wish to avail themselves of this advantage will be required to send into this Office lists of the names and descriptions of the people they propose for a free passage within six months of the date of their purchase, after which time no further claim to any nomination for a free passage will be admitted. Therefore Dendy's right to nominate persons would expire in March 1842.

    The Emigrants must belong to the Class of Mechanics and Handcraftsmen, Agricultural Labourers, or useful Domestic Servants. All the Adults must be capable of labour, and emigrate with the intention of working for wages after their arrival.

    HENRY DENDY sailed for Port Phillip on the ship named 'YORK' on 9 October 1840 with his wife and young son Henry and three servants. The ship arrived at Port Phillip on 5 February 1841.

    After considerable discussions and negotiations with the government of the day, Henry Dendy finally selected the 8 square miles he was entitled to under his SPECIAL LAND ORDER NO 1 in what is today's Parish of Moorabbin - now bounded by North, East Boundary and South Roads, and the high water mark in Port Phillip Bay. Firstly named 'Waterville', then 'Dendy's Brighton Estate' and finally Brighton, which name it has since retained although boundaries have changed considerably.

    Dendy arrived in the midst of a serious financial depression, and things had not improved by the time the first group of emigrants arrived at Port Phillip on the 'EARL OF DURHAM' on 18 June 1842. He had abandoned any idea of an agricultural estate, he was running out of ready money and was no longer the sole owner of the Brighton Estate. It must have concerned Dendy very much when he had to go down to the ship and tell the emigrants that he had no homes for them, there were no jobs, indeed nothing -- he indicated he was willing to concede some responsibility for those from Surrey and Sussex.

    THE BOXSHALL'S. William and Jane Boxshall with their eight children left on the Saturday after the ship's arrival. On the following Monday, James and Jane Boxshall together with their six children left the ship. They were held up due to the enquiry held on board on 25 June into thefts of food by members of the crew. The wives of both James and William Boxshall had given birth to sons shortly before the ship arrived at Port Phillip. Winter was approaching and it must have been a bitter blow to the emigrants. Some pitched tents which they borrowed from Henry Dendy and earlier settlers, or erected primitive shelters near the beach, moving to the town area as their circumstances improved.

    JAMES BOXSHALL constructed a mud hut and a bed of saplings on land now at the corner of Bay Street and St. Kilda Street, and he, his wife and children remained there for nine months. He set about making a stool and whilst he was cutting the slab for the top, he sent his eldest son Thomas, then aged 13 to find material suitable for the legs. James then trimmed the top and set the legs in position. The little stool shows marks of where the aborigines split kindling on it for the fire. A travelling artist painted a portrait of James wife, Jane sitting on the stool. She sent the portrait back home to her parents in England. Thomas was very attached to the stool and passed it on to his son Henry John Boxshall. In 1965 Henry donated the stool to the Brighton Historical Society where it is one of their most treasured possessions and regarded as a most valuable antique.

    Early in 1843 James purchased from Henry Dendy two acres next the corner of St. Andrews Street and built a slab hut. He paid 20 pounds an acre for the land and subsequently purchased the adjoining acre from Mr. Were for 10 pounds. The slab hut was removed in 1900. In 1844 he was listed as an inquest juror, in 1845 parent of a scholar, and in the 1847 directory a labourer. In the 1859 Rate payer Book he is shown as having a residence and 3 acres of land in St. Andrew Street, and an
    allotment in Lower Crescent, (now outer crescent).
    I have a great admiration for my great-great grandfather, James Boxshall. Although he could not read or write, he was a very industrious person, working very hard to improve conditions for his wife and family. He had a good business head, and later bought five acres of land from Mr. John Shatton and obtained 81 bushels of wheat from three acres. He gave one acre each to two sons, and exchanged the remainder to another son for twelve acres at South Brighton. He afterwards re-purchased the latter son's block for 200 pounds, and sold it again for 850 pounds.

    After leaving the farm James drove a bullock team and conveyed goods to and from Brighton and Melbourne. When Governor La Trobe performed the opening ceremony in connection with the Melbourne Benevolent Society he took a load of Brighton visitors to witness the ceremony, behind a team of four bullocks.

    After their arrival in the Colony, Jane had given birth to three more children, Emily Phoebe, Sarah and Charles. Between 1848 and 1865 James and Jane had lost four of their children. Sarah and Emily Phoebe were both buried in St. Andrew's Churchyard in Brighton.

    They certainly had their share of tragedies, but had many joyous times too, watching their children growing up in a new land with plenty of opportunities available to them. In 1845 Jane aged 7, Fanny aged 5 and John, only 3, were listed as attending the Church of England School in Brighton. If their parents had not emigrated to Brighton they would probably not have had the same opportunity.

    James wife Jane died on 12 August 1866 at their home in St. Andrews Street, Brighton. At the time of her death she was fifty five years old and had been married for thirty eight years. Jane was buried in the Brighton Cemetery.

    In his latter years James worked as a gardener and lived with his youngest son Charles in William Street, Brighton. His grandson Henry John, the youngest son of Thomas Boxshall, later recalled visiting his grandfather at his Uncle Charlie's place. In his own words he wrote -- Dad (Thomas) used to harness up a light, medium draught mare in a spring cart and jog down to Brighton from Yallock to see the old chap (James). He lived in William Street with his son Charles. I remember going with Dad on one occasion and when we pulled into the yard at my Uncle Charlie's place, we saw the old man, he was ninety at the time, up a ladder pruning a grape vine that ran the length of the back verandah, fairly high up too. Dad, 70 years young, thought the old chap was a bit too old to be climbing up a ladder, so he told him he would finish the job. Well Tom! the old chap said, 'now that you are here you might as well finish it, but I could have done it'. So Tom got up the ladder and the old chap started to weed a bed of carrots close by. In his old age he became very
    bent and used to walk with two sticks, but he was very active. As I was watching him weed, he looked up at me with a grin and said, 'You know Harry, it doesn't bother me a bit having a curved spine, I can weed carrots all day and never get a backache'.

    He was a fine old man, he liked his pot of beer, but he never over-indulged. Harry said his father, Thomas was the same, he told him it was the only drink they knew in the old country. They were reared on home brew and hardly knew what tea was until they came to the Colonies.

    James died at his son Charles residence in William Street, Brighton, on 7 January 1904. He had reached the great age of ninety six and one half years, and had remained mentally alert and physically active until a couple of years before his death. At the time of his death he was the oldest resident in Brighton and had lived there for almost 62 years.


    So ended the life of a well-loved family man, very well respected by all who knew him. James was buried in the Brighton Cemetery.

    Father: William BOXHALL b: 20 OCT 1776 in Ewhurst, Surrey, England c: 10 NOV 1776 in (Twin to Jasmes)
    Mother: Elizabeth KNIGHT b: 02 APR 1780 in Wotton, Surrey, UK

    Marriage 1 Jane RAZELL b: 1810 in Dorking, Surrey, UK
    • Married: 13 APR 1828 in St Martins Dorking, UK
    • Married: 13 APR 1828 in St Martins C of E Dorking, Surrey, England 1 2
    • Married: 13 APR 1828 in St Martins C of E, Dorking, Surrey, UK 2
    1. Has No Children Thomas BOXSHAL
    2. Has No Children Elizabeth BOXSHAL
    3. Has No Children Annie BOXSHAL
    4. Has No Children James BOXSHAL
    5. Has No Children Jane BOXSHAL
    6. Has No Children Fanny BOXSHAL
    7. Has No Children John BOXSHAL
    8. Has No Children Emily Phoebe BOXSHAL
    9. Has No Children Sarah BOXSHAL
    10. Has No Children Charles BOXSHAL

    Marriage 2 Rachel TATTERSALL

      1. Title: Blay.FTW
        Source Medium: Other

        Text: Date of Import: Apr 30, 2004
      2. Title: Blay.FTW
        Source Medium: Other

        Text: Date of Import: Sep 23, 2005
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