John William Hardwick


 BORN 1826 at Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
 DIED 17 January 1891 at Rylstone, NSW.

NSW Death Record 13460/1891

 BURIED Rylstone General Cemetery, NSW.
 FATHER William Hardwick (merchant in Leeds)
 MOTHER Mary Ann Farrar
 MARRIED Rebecca White (1835-1910) in 1856 at Rylstone, NSW.

NSW Marriage Record 1985/1856

 CHILDREN   George Arthur White Hardwick (1857-1914)
 Edward Farrar Hardwick (1859-1942)
 William Burdon Hardwick (1860-1941)
 Arthur Henry Hardwick (1862-1878)
 Lillian Mary Hardwick (1864-)
 Harold Robert Hardwick (1866-1935)
 Charles Herbert Hardwick (1868-1882)
 John Percy Hardwick (1871-1880)
 Alice Rebecca Hardwick (1874-)
 Reginald Oxley Hardwick (1876-1938)

John William’s health prompted him to emigrate to Australia and in August 1852, at the age of 26, he set sail on the maiden voyage of the Great Britain to Melbourne. He brought substantial capital with him to Australia — £1,000 — and travelled around Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. Whilst in Sydney, he painted many delightful sketches of the eastern suburbs.

In 1859 John began the construction of a sandstone house in Rylstone known as Headingley, which still stands, and the adjoining store in which John traded in dry goods. He served on the local school board for many years, was a lay Methodist preacher, a Justice of the Peace, a magistrate and an artist.

On 28 July 1856 John Hardwick wrote:
The farm where they live is beautifully situated in the bend of the River. One afternoon lately when I rode down there, I timely fell in for a most agreeable piece of duty or politeness, call it which you will: Rebecca just leaving, on Horse back, to visit some sick people at a Sheep Station, some distance away in the Bush and I was not only well pleased to see her so suitably employed, but very glad to volunteer my service as an escort: so I mounted my Mare again and we rode away into the Forest together.

She had only been to the place once before (as ladies in general) did not show the surest guide: for we took the wrong Road, and was riding about a good hour, trying to find out the desired locality. However my fair conductress had sufficient stock of persference for; although: we threaded our way back nearly home again. She would turn the horses around and try again. This time we suceeded better and presently came upon the hut, in the wilderness, the Cobsmellon Mountain rising loftly and Crag-like behind it. Here we found a scene sufficently wretched and painful: a little boy lying stiff and cold in death on the bed and the Father in an adjoining room dangerously ill. There was one or two kind sympathisers from the township or else I know not how the poor mother would have got on with her numerous little family and all this trouble on her mind and attending — I felt sad to see so much sorrow and the whole of them ignorant of the true source of comfort in afflication. I fear I felt it was my duty to kneel down and pray with them and thus direct their minds to what would comfort and profit them.

Afterwards we left and reached home again by sundown, and as tea was on the table and partook with my friends two other Gents having dropped in (as is often the case with bush hospitality) and with them I rode back to the Town with them by Moonlight.

Headingley, Rylstone, NSW.

JWH’s Panorama of Paddington.

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Web page made 31 May 2010; edited