Australian English Genealogy

Descendants of Pierce Collits

Notes - Page 4

John Poat Stanton

Arrived free

James Rutledge

Arrived free on the Lord Weston in 1840

The Hon. A. Rutledge, Attorney-General, returned to Brisbane on Tuesday night from Sydney, where he was summoned to be present at the deathbed of his father, Mr. James Rutledge. Unhappily, the Attorney-General arrived at Sydney too late to see Mr. Rutledge, sen., alive, but was present at the funeral, which took place on Monday afternoon. Mr. James Rutledge was born in County Leitrim, Ireland, on the 24th May 1817, and was educated with a view to enter ing the ministry of the Wesleyan Church. Owing to the death of his father this course was not followed, and Mr. Rutledge came out to Australia in 1840. After a short residence in Sydney he went to Castlereagh and engaged in teaching. Later on he was appointed to the charge of the Wesleyan school at Parramatta. He entered the service of the New South Wales Board of Education nearly half-a-century ago, and continued to serve until 1871, holding the post of head master in several localities. In 1871 Mr. Rutledge entered upon the profession ot Journalism, and. was for years a regular con tributor to the "Empire," under Sir Henry Parkes and Messrs. Hanson and Bennett. Naturally, much of his journalistic work bore upon the system of education, and he is credited by the " S. M. Herald" with having materially assisted in laying the foundations of the present Public School Act of New South Wales. Later on Mr. Rutledge became editor of the " Newcastle Chronicle," and his vigorous pen and general capacity as a journalist soon made the " Chronicle" an important element in the Journalistic work of the mother-colony. Mr. Rutledge was a trenchant writer, and possessed of much enterprise. He was able in his paper to give the world the first intimation of the sensational escape of Rochefort, Oliver Pain, and other famous French political prisoners from New Caledonia, and the " Chronicle" under his literary management was well known by the smartness of its shipping news—the chief item of interest in Newcastle twenty-nye years ago. Mr. Rutledge relinquished the editorship of the paper, being succeeded by Mr. T. Corrigan. and later on, when the "Chronicle" had been absorbed by the " Herald and Miners' Advocate"—a daily paper—by Mr. James Inglis (" Maori"), who was later on (Minister for Education in New South Wales. Mr. Rutledge continued his journalistic work for some years, and though he has lived in retirement of late, he has continued to take a keen Interest in public affairs. He was a conspicuous figure physically, well over 6 ft. in height, and a man of singularly robust frame. Those who had the privilege of knowing Mr. James Rutledge in the seventies speak warmly of his kindly nature, and he has by encouragement and example helped on many who now occupy good positions on the Press in Australia. He leaves four sons and four daughters. The eldest son is the Attorney-General of Queensland, another is the Rev. W. Woolls Rutledge, of Waverley, Sydney, a polished writer and trenchant speaker; and another the Rev. Dr. David Rutledge, M.D., M.A., of Mittagong (New South Wales), who has also had journalistic experience, and when quite a youth was a very fine platform speaker and preacher.
Source: The Queenslander 14 Oct 1899

181. James Josiah Rutledge

Mining Engineer

39. Esther Collits

The death was announced on Thursday morning of Mrs. Esther Young, a widow, and a resident of the town of long standing. The deceased lady passed away at her residence near the cricket ground. She had been in serious ill-health for some considerable time past, suf- fering from an internal complaint, and early in the week her trouble became so acute as to render her death liable at any time. The actual cause of death was given as heart failure. The deceased was 78 years of age. She is survived by an adult family, all of whom are well known in the town and district. The funeral took place on Friday morning, when the interment of the body was made in the Church of England section of the general cemetery. The service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. Carus Caton while the fun- eral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. W. E. Luthje.The late Mrs. Young was born near Cowra in. 1833, and it is generally understood that she was the first white child to bo born in the Lachlan river district. For 17½ years the deceased and her husband kept the hotel at Bandon, and during their stay there the notorious Ben Hall was employed for a time as groom. Mr. Young died while they were in occupation of this hotel, and his widow subsequently removed to Monomie, near Bogan Gate, which place was then managed for her by her sons. About nineteen years ago she came to Forbes, and has resided here ever since. The members of the family who survive her are Messrs. John, George and William Young, of Fifield, and Edward and Joseph Young, of Forbes, and Miss Jane C. Young, of Forbes, who was living with her mother. It will be re- membered that another son, Mr. James Young, died in the hospital about three weeks ago. The family is a highly respected one through the district, and every sympathy has been extended to them in their bereavement.

Source: Forbes Times 20 Jan 1912

41. Pierce Collits

The late Pierce Collits - The Memory of Bushranging Days. There passed away at his home at sand Hills on Friday evening last a very old resident of the Lachlan district in the person of Mr. Pierce Collits, who had been suffering for some time past from an internal growth, the immediate cause of his death. The late Mr. Collits was born at Hartley, in 1840 and was therefore in his 74th year. When he was but a few years old his parents moved to Gangaroo near Cowra, but the blacks became so troublesome that a return to Hartley was deemed necessary. The deceased himself let somewhat of a fearsome and varied career in those days. After merging into pastoral pursuits and this was in the immediate vicinity of Forbes, where he came to manage Bogabigal for his father Mr. Joe Collits, who purchased that property from the late Mr. Rankin. Later on mining claimed his attention in this district and he was one of the many who time after time bottomed "duffers".  Deceased also lived about Bandon and Eugowra, but some years ago he settled down at the Sand Hills near Forbes where he ended his days. He leaves to mourn their loss a widow and ten children, five sons and five daughters, as well as a number of grandchildren and other relatives. His remains were laid to rest in the private burial ground at Sand Hills on Sunday afternoon last, when Rev. A. G. Gardner, Church of England Rector, officiated at the graveside. As might have been expected, the late Mr. Pierce Collits, had many exciting experiences with bushrangers, and became near to losing his life on a couple of occasions, but he used to declare that the closest shave he ever had was one with Dunn, whose blood-thirsty instincts were somewhat renowned. The deceased was riding out of Forbes in the direction of the river, near the point where Fitzgeralds Bridge now stands, when he met a man who accosted him with the dreaded command “Hands up”. The man turned out to be Dunn who asked him his name and the deceased replied “Pierce Collits”, which happened to be identical with that of another man in the district who had given information to the police about some horses stolen off Bundaburra Station by the bushrangers. Dunn then ordered the deceased off his horse and gave him five minutes in which to say his prayers before despatching him to another world, but Mr. Collits afterwards said that the sight of the deadly bullets in the revolver, which the bushranger levelled at his head, was quite sufficient to drive all thoughts of prayer out of his mind. Luckily for our friend Ben hall and other members of the gang then happened along, and when the leader asked the meaning of the little drama and was told by Dunn what he intended to doing, Hall explained the mistake and told Collits, who was well known to him to get off his knees. Dunn and Gilbert wanted to take deceased’s horse, which belonged to his sister the late Mrs. Esther Young, who kept an hotel for seventeen and a half years at Bandon, where Hall worked with her as stable boy, but Hall knew the horse too, and he insisted on there being no interference whatever with the deceased, who continued his journey thankful alike to God and to man to whose seamy life it was well known there was a bright and kindly side. On another occasion Mr. Collits was invited by one of the members of Hall's gang to have a dip into his saddle bag, which was full of bank notes, but the deceased said, he wasn't having any.
Source: The Forbes Times - Tuesday, 11th August, 1914.

 ----------------------------- John Collits had two sons Pierce and John, and one daughter Esther, who married James Young and they had a hotel at Bandon in the days when Sir Frederick Potting and Inspector Stephenson had charge of the police force in this part of the State. The Young´s employed Ben hall as a stable boy long before he took to the roads, and Mrs. Young´s brother Pierce Collits, as recounted in the Sydney Morning Herald at the time of his death had cause to bless the day he came in friendly contact with Ben. There were two Pierce Collits residing in the Forbes District for many years, the one who is now buried on his old property at the Sand Hills, near Forbes, and Pierce Collits, a cousin who managed Bundabura Station for the Stricklands, and who had his home in Lachlan Street , Forbes, in an old house which stood for many years near Dr. Vout´s surgery and home is now located. Contrary to general belief, the bushrangers were not always on the best of terms with the big cattle station owners and managers, and it was not always possible for them to take or exchange a horse when in dire need of one. That sort of thing was generally winked at, but when a thoroughbred race horse was taken from Bundaburra on one occasion Pierce Collits´s manager, reported the loss to the police. That fact in time came to the knowledge of the bushrangers, and Pierce Collits, then living with his sister at Bandon Hotel, nearly paid with his life for having the same name as the Bundaburra Station manager. He was riding a horse belonging to Mrs. Young and had been below Forbes. There was no Fitzgerald´s Bridge in existence then, and the river crossing was at Finn´s about 4 miles below town, where the stream mostly consisted of pools. Saying His Last Prayers Pierce Collits had ridden to near the spot where the South Condobolin Road is bisected by the road leading to Salisbury. he encountered some of the bushrangers , and then Dan Morgan, a somewhat bloodthirsty member of the gang, learnt the name of the lone rider, he put him down on his knees saying his last prayers, while he menaced him with a large colt revolver. The timely arrival of Ben Hall, who explained the delusion Morgan was under undoubtedly spared Collits, for it was an unforgivable crime in the eyes of the bushrangers for anyone to assist the police in hunting them down. Morgan then wanted to take the horse, but Hall knew it was Mrs. Young´s and again stepped in and prevented Collits being left stranded on the roadside. This Pierce Collits married Elizabeth Jones and they has 13 children most of whom grew up in the district. (Mrs. Elizabeth Mc Rae (nee Collits) was one of the daughters. She lived most of her life at ``WyWorrie´ Ferry Street, Forbes.

Elizabeth Jones

Passing of the Pioneers.
In a recent "Herald" there appeared a notice of the death of Mary, relict of the late Pierce Collits, at Petersham, aged 91, and on the next day that of Elizabeth, relict of the late Pierce Collits, at Forbes, aged 80.  These two widows, who died within a couple of days of one another, were the widows of two Pierce Collits, who were cousins and both grandsons of Pierce Collits and Mary his wife, who were amongst our very early pioneers.  The first Pierce Collits came out in the Minerva in 1801. Up to about 1816 his sig nature may be seen as a witness to marriages in the old Castlereagh register in the Mit- chell Library. It is said that Collits had crossed the mountains before the real discov- erers of the track, and he was one of those who helped Captain Cox to form the road in 1813-16. Before 1828 he had established a hotel at Mount York, 81 miles from Sydney, where there was a post-office under his charge before 1834. Oxley, the surveyor, in 1826, gives the height at "Vale of Clwyd, near Collits' Inn," as 2642 feet. When the new road was made to Bathurst via Hartley, this inn was left on a by-road and was closed. Collits however, was not ruined by the loss of business at his hotel for he had sent his sons out as pioneers of the Belubula and Lachlan. Right ahead of all settlements they formed stations on all the choice and well watered spots from Canowindra to Cadow.  Only a couple of weeks ago I discovered In a small station cemetery on the Belubula, near Canowindra, the grave of one of his stockmen, Thomas Higgins, a former George street hotelkeeper, who had gone west with the Collits, and had been killed by accident in 1839.  Mitchell, the surveyor, tells in his diary of meeting James Collits (son of old Pierce, and father of one of the cousins) on March 28, 1836, with an aboriginal. The pair had been 70 miles down the river from Grudgery, near Forbes where Mitchell met them search- ing for water and grass for stock. He says that Collits told him that but for the help of the blackfellow he would have died for want of water.
Source: The SMH 6 Aug 1932

219. James Pierce Collits

Following on injuries received when his horse fell and rolled upon him three weeks ago, the death occurred on Saturday morning of Mr. James Pierce Collits, a well-known and respected resident of Orange. The late Mr. Collits was born on the Lachlan, 57 years ago, and after leaving the Cowra district, he settled down near Eugowra.
Source: Wellington Times 8 Nov 1928

43. Mary Pembroke

Mary married George as "Mary Collit"