Saturday, 1 June 2019

Ordiyal Estate at Clyde.

The Ordiyal Estate at Clyde was located at in the Parish of Sherwood - Sections 8 and 19, part sections 9, 10, 11 and 12 and Portions 47, 48 and 49 - all up just over 2,469 acres. It has connections to two notable names connected to the history of Victoria.

The land was originally part of John Bakewell's holdings. John Bakewell was a member of the influential partnership of Mickle, Bakewell and Lyall who arrived in the Western Port area in 1851. John Mickle (1814 - 1885) and John Bakewell (1807 - 1888) were business partners in Melbourne from 1847 and they were soon joined by William Lyall (1821 - 1888) whose sister Margaret was the wife of John Mickle.  In 1851 they acquired the Yallock Run (based on the Yallock Creek, south of Koo Wee Rup). In 1852 they acquired the Tooradin run and in 1854 they acquired the Great Swamp run and at one stage they occupied nearly all the land from Cranbourne to Lang Lang.

After Government land sales in 1856 the trio subdivided their jointly owned land. Bakewell’s portion included Tooradin, Tobin Yallock, the Bluff and Warrook on the Yallock Creek. Mickle received the Upper Yallock blocks which he renamed Monomeith. Lyall received the Yallock pre-emptive right and the remaining land. William and Annabella Lyall built Harewood house in the 1850s and the property remained in the Lyall family until 1967. John Bakewell died in England in 1888.

In the 1860s Bakewell leased out his properties - the Ordiyal property, also called Oordiyalyal (and listed as Cordigalgal by Niel Gunson in The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire) was taken up by W.S. Cox, who is the first notable name to own the property. Dr Gunson says that in October 1877, Cox purchased the land. W. S. Cox was William Samuel Cox (1831-1895). He was a racehorse owner, established the Moonee Valley racecourse in 1882 and is the namesake for the Cox Plate horse race. The race was established in 1922 and  is a race for three year old thoroughbreds. It was originally run over 9 and a half furlongs or 2,090 yards and is now 2,040 metres. The Racing Victoria website says that Cox took pains to ensure that the racing was honest and to offer sufficient prizemoney to attract a good class of horse. He also had a flair for timing, and he secured an October meeting on the Saturday before the VRC Derby, which remains today as the meeting at which the Cox Plate and Moonee Valley Cup are run. Today, the Cox plate is the second richest race after the Melbourne Cup.

The first mention I can find in the papers of William Cox at the property was in The Weekly Times of August 17, 1877 Having seen one or two winners by Chieftain at Benalla and Deniliquin, it is evident that he imparts the family characteristics to his stock. He should have a most successful season at Oordiyalyal, near Cranbourne, where Mr. Cox has placed him at the service of the public at the low figure of 5 guineas.  

In 1883, Cox put Oordiyalyal as he called it, up for sale, along with his Sherwood Forest estate, which adjoined it to the south. The State Library of Victoria has a  plan of the properties

Plan of Oordiyalyal and Sherwood Forest Estates, 1883
State Library of Victoria
Click on this link if you wish to see an enlarged version of the plan

I assume it was at this sale that Robert Chirnside (1830 - 1902) the second notable name connected to Ordiyal,  purchased the property.  Robert Chirnside was the nephew of Thomas Chirnside (1815 - 1887) and Andrew Chirnside (1818-1890).  Thomas had arrived in Australia in 1839, and Andrew the next year and they prospered and acquired various farming properties and their wealth was showcased by the construction of the grand mansion, Werribee Park, from 1873 which was completed late 1877 or early 1878. Robert was the son of Peter and Margaret (nee Bell) Chirnside and he arrived in Australian in 1857 to manage the Werribee run for his uncle Thomas. 

Werribee Park mansion built by brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside in the 1870s. 
South East View of Werribee Park Mansion. (The Property of T. and A. Chirnside, Esqs.), 1880. Photographer: Fred Kruger. 
State Library of Victoria Image H24834

In 1868, Robert married Margaret Forbes, whose grandfather was the Reverend James Clow (1790 - 1861).  Clow was a Presbyterian Minister, the first one in Victoria, who arrived in Melbourne in 1837 and had land and a house on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Street. Clow took up the Tirhatuan Run in August 1838. This run takes in parts of modern day Dandenong, Endeavour Hills and Narre Warren  North, and he built  a homestead, just north of what is now Wellington Road, Rowville.  Clow Street in Dandenong is named after him.  Robert was the first cousin of Andrew Chirnside (1855 - 1834) the son of the Andrew Chirnside, mentioned above. Andrew Jnr was married to Winifred Sumner and they owned Edrington at Berwick. The couple both died within three months of each other in 1934 and Edrington passed to Lady Casey and her brother, Colonel Rupert Ryan, niece and nephew of Winifred. Read more on Edrington, here.

Back to Robert Chirnside, he had extensive land holdings apart from Ordiyal. He owned and lived at Mount Rothwell at Little River and he also had Weering, Mowyong and Green Meadows. We know this because in 1886 he put the entire estate up lease for five years, as he was visiting Europe. Weering of 11,172 acres was advertised as being available as a stand alone property, but Little River, Mowying, Green Meadows and Ordiyal were to be let as  a whole - 16, 838 acres, the advertisement said that It has been decided to let these properties as a whole, because they are found to work so well together. The Ordiyal property had a three-roomed cottage, kitchen and bedroom and was described as a fine summer country, and carries a large number of stock, Mr. Chirnside having had 7000 sheep on it from December until the end of April this year, and it carried them well. (Leader October 23, 1886)

Advertisement for the sale of Ordiyal in 1902
The Leader November 15, 1902

Robert Chirnside died on May 3, 1902 and left an estate of  £83,000. The Geelong Advertiser said he was apparently not as wealthy a man as many people expected. The weight of expectation in being a Chirnside! In November 1902 Ordiyal, listed as 2, 469 acres was for sale. It obviously did not sell as in January 1904 it was advertised for lease. In January 1906 it was listed for sale again, by the Trustees in the estate of the late Robert Chirnside - 
This estate comprises several hundred acres of rich black flats, running from the homestead down towards the railway line. It is all maiden country which has not been cultivated for a number of years, and has been used as a sheep run for a very long time, and is now in good heart. The situation is one of the best. The Great Southern line divides the property which runs right down to the Clyde railway station. The improvements consist of a good W.B house and stable. 

The property did not sell this time either and it wasn't until June 1909 that it could be reported that the Sale on behalf of behalf of Mr. Peter Chirnside, of Mount Rothwell, Little River, his Ordiyal Estate, Cranbourne, containing 2,500 acres to Messrs. Hagelthorn and Keenan. (The Argus June 2, 1909) Peter was the third of Robert and Margaret's ten children. Hagelthorn and Keenan quickly moved the property on as The Age reported on July 22, 1909 that Messrs. G. Power and Co. (Frank Boileau, auctioneer), Bourke-street (in conjunction with Messrs. Edwin Eagland and Co. Drouin), report the recent sale of 1200 acres and 248 acres of the Ordiyal Estate, Clyde, purchased in June last by Hagelthorn and Keenan from Peter Chirnside, to W. V. Bailey, or Garden House, Malvern, and Thomas Twyford, of Clyde, respectively, for close on £9500. It is Mr. Bailey's intention to improve his 1200 acres, and submit it to public auction, in small farms in the near future. The remaining 1000 acres of the Ordiyal Estate are under offer to northern and local buyers.

As this is when Ordiyal was sub-divided, then this is where we will leave the history of the property, apart from an explanation of the name.  On December 6, 1932 The Argus reported on a a scout camp at Gilwell Park in Gembrook - The camp will be known as the Lone "Oordiyalyal" a name new to scouting, but familiar to some of the Victorian aboriginals as a term for the "gathering of the tribes." 

The information about the Chirnside family comes from Wool past the Winning Post: A history of the Chirnside family by Heather Ronald (Landvale Enterprises, 1978) Mrs Ronald (nee Lambert) and her husband Peter lived at Pakenham at Koo Man Goo Nong; P.B. Ronald Reserve is named after Mr Ronald, who was  local Councillor. Mrs Ronald's mother, Violet Lambert (nee Barry)  has the distinction of being  the first woman in Victoria to be elected a Shire Councillor, when she stood for the Shire of Fern Tree Gully in 1931. There is some information on the Barry family, who lived at Lysterfield, here.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on the Ordiyal property at Clyde on Trove, it can be accessed here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.

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