LOCK, William & Eleanor

LOCK, William (1813 – date of death unknown)

LOCK, Eleanor (nee Fox) (1808 – 1845)

William Lock was born in 1813 in England and died in Locks Flat, Craigie near Bombala, NSW. He was a convict who arrived in the colony aboard the ship “Mangles” on the 7th August 1820 after having sailed from Falmouth in England on the 11th April 1820, a voyage of 118 days, occupation listed as Shoemaker.

William married Eleanor Fox on March 29, 1830 in Church of England, Sutton Forest, NSW. Eleanor was born about 1808 and died in 1845 at Locks Flat, Craigie near Bombala, NSW aged about 30. The cause of her death was killed when a spring cart overturned.

John Lock was the first of their seven children, was born 4th October, 1832 near Yass NSW.

At the age of nine the family moved going firstly to Jinenberry. Then two years later they came to Craigie and lived at the place named after him as “Lock’s Flat”. Here it was that his mother met with a fatal accident, through the overturning of a Spring Cart, and his father also died there.

Young John then went into the employ of Mr Nicholson, and was one of the number on the first goldfields discovered in Australia. In 1855 he was working as a miner around Bendoc, Vic a small settlement on the fringe of the Monaro/Victorian border, south of Delegate NSW sluicing for gold in the Quinburra River. Many mines were developed including “Bonanza” which yielded sixty thousand pounds of gold. The Morning Star, Comelove, Homebound, and at Bonang, Marriott’s Reef, Rising Sun and others.

Leaving the diggings he entered the employ of Captain Dogood (Mr Duggard) as stockman on Mila Station, and here he earned the reputation of being one of the most fearless and best rough riders in the district, and he seemed to be made of metal so hardy that on one occasion at Goongerah (“it is said”) he met with an accident and sustained a broken leg. With dogged pluck he again mounted his horse, and rode home over 30 miles of rough country with the broken limb.It was while he was working at Mila Station that he met his bride-to-be, Isabella McKenzie recently arrived in NSW and was also employed by Captain Dogood. They married on May 13, 1859 in Bombala, NSW. John Lock and Hamilton Reed as partners took up a lease of 60,000 acres at Goongerah. Bendoc was a busy place with quartz and alluvial gold workings. Here John and Hamilton Reed took up a claim just below the bridge in Bendoc, plaques showing these two men are still there today. Chinese miners were able to divert the Delegate River through a man-made tunnel. Here they discovered a very rich gold deposit called “Back Flat” five miles from Bendoc at a place known as “The Wombat”.

This find placed John in a good financial position and started him in life. He then selected land known at “Locklea” at Haydens Bog, near Bendoc where he resided up to the time of his death.

John was a talented musician and played various instruments, together with a fine singing voice. This talent flowed down the generations and passed through to any of the families who married into the Lock family. These were the Jamieson, Miles, Sellers, Hones, Hepburn, Helmers and Beasley.

He died at “Locklea” June 19, 1914. He was survived by his wife of more than 55 years, seven daughters and one son, 54 grand children and 10 great grandchildren. He is buried at the Delegate Cemetery, NSW.

There were few people in this district who did not know John Lock, he was held in the highest esteem and was noted for his honesty, straight forwardness and readiness to assist anyone in trouble. He had lived here almost a lifetime, and many, varied and interesting were the experiences he could relate of the “good old days”. He had a wonderful memory, and it was a pleasure to sit and hear him relate details of some of the stirring times this district witnessed years ago.

Isabella McKenzie born 1837 at Peterhead, Aberdeen Scotland, daughter of Alexander (a grazier) and Isabella (nee Grant). Isabella arrived in Australia alone aboard the “Castilian” on June 13, 1858. She was employed to work on a station at Mila, near Bombala, NSW where she met and married John Lock on May 15, 1859. Isabella hand made her own wedding gown. The gown is long with bustle and made into a style of three tiers in lilac and cream gingham check. This gown is held in trust by her great grandson Brian Lock “Forrestlea” Bombala NSW. Isabella died 29th June 1914 at Haydens Bog and is buried at the Delegate Cemetery.