Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : History Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

 

JOHN EGAN OF BORRISOLEIGH AND EGANSTOWN

AND HIS RIVAL MR HEPBURN

Most of the land around Blampied had been taken up by JOHN STUART HEPBURN, a pro-English, Lowland Scot who'd arrived in the area from Sydney around 1830. Hepburn, whose Georgian mansion is as imperious today as it was in 1849, acquired some 40,000 acres of prime dirt. It came with not insubstantial support from the local surveyor. Most of the people around Blampied purchased their land from Hepburn's son, George.

John and Johanna Cleary leased two properties from Hepburn's son. One -129 acres - was alongside the old bridge that ran past the Mount Prospect Presbyterian Church. The other - Lot 95, 172 acres - was directly opposite the Swiss Mountain Hotel and was used for the St. Patrick's Day Race Meeting.

 

John Egan's house as it looks today

THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT IS TAKEN FROM MY BOOK:

CLEARY INDEPENDENT - PUBLISHED BY HARPERCOLLINS 1998

Lot 95, 172 acres of fertile ground in the Parish of Bullarook, had been alienated from the Crown by John Stuart Hepburn, squatter and gentleman, in 1857. By nightfall on the twelfth of September there was hardly a blade of grass between the Swiss Mountain and the Georgian mansion at Smeaton that had escaped the clutches of the Captain. Resentful of Hepburn's imperious disregard of their right to a plot of ground, those of democratic persuasion were soon preparing a political counter attack...

'Was there a petition presented to the Board of Land and Works complaining of the conduct of the District Surveyor in changing what were originally two allotments of land into one, immediately previous to the sale in Captain Hepburn's run?

Were these allotments withdrawn in consequence of such petition? Were the same lots Gazetted for sale one month afterwards, with compensation to the extent of 900 pounds put on them, and was the land finally sold in one or two lots, and who was the purchaser?

On what grounds were other two lots withdrawn from sale, and why were they put up at a sale in another district? Why was the petition of the inhabitants of Creswick against the removal of the sale from that place to Castlemaine disregarded? Is it true that Captain Hepburn was allowed compensation for fences removed from a public road, and put up between land previously purchased by him.......?

Is it true that the lots were of a larger size close to Captain Hepburn's pre-emptive right (or wrong) than on the remainder of the survey?" An aggrieved Mr Hood had inquired of the Postmaster-General when he rose to confront the Colony's ruling clique in the Squatter controlled Victorian Upper House in January 1858.

At home in Smeaton the well-connected Scot growled about the impertinence of democrats and reformers, whom he believed had done nothing to increase the colony`s wealth. It mattered not for the run was his.

The Hepburn family is buried in a private cemetery near the house.

Hepburn's house as it looks from the road today.

 

John Stuart Hepburn.

 

AND ALONG CAME THE CATHOLIC.

John Egan

 

The pioneer JOHN EGAN from Borrisoleigh, Tipperary, was the pre-eminent Irish emigrant. He arrived in 1840 and later bequeathed the Eganstown cemetery to the local Catholics. His house (below) is today occupied by a direct descendant, John Egan.

According to Egan family history, as recorded by Lucille Quinlan in the Catholic magazine, The Light, Egan's uncle Boyce and Boyce's son, Big Din (Dennis), were political prisoners. Given Boyce was transported in 1816, it's likely that Denis was transported around 1823 and received his certificate of freedom around 1830. Although the men can be found in the records it's unclear as to what was the actual crime.

John Egan's daughter Brigid married John Cleary of Kangaroo Hills and lived beneath Kangaroo Hills.

John Cleary, wife Brigid Egan and sons, Denis (front) and John circa 1906

 

 


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