Hunter Valley Colonial Medical Practitioners

 

James Du Moulin

Wollombi


 

James William du Moulin was one of several sons of James Andrew du Moulin of the 50th Regiment who arrived on the Roslin Castle in 1834.

James William du Moulin resided at Wollombi in the 1840's. He Married Frances Mary Ogilvie, daughter of Peter Grant Ogilvie at Wollombi in 1849. (1)

He died at Wollombi in June 1854. George Bridge Mullins established a practice at Wollombi soon afterwards.....

August 1854 - Wollombi - There is hardly any news interesting to the public worth forwarding from this quarter unless it be that a few days ago a meeting of the inhabitants was held at the Wollombi hotel for the purpose of securing the services of a medical gentleman to the district, in the room of the late and much lamented Dr. Du Moulin. An invitation having been previously sent from several of our residents to Mr. Mullins of Maitland, that gentleman accordingly presented himself to the meeting and stated his willingness to acceded to the wishes of the people by becoming a resident medical practitioner in the district, and also the manner in which he meant in such case to regulate his practice. On the whole his views and intentions were deemed highly satisfactory and it was unanimously resolved that immediate measures should be taken tending to the establishment of Mr. Mullins in the Wollombi. (2)

REVELATIONS OF AN OLD CEMETERY To some people one of the most interesting visits to a town, is its cemetery, especially if that cemetery be an old one. One of the oldest cemeteries in the State is to be found at Wollombi, and in a brief way it provides much history, and a veritable budget of food for thought.

A perusal of the inscriptions on the older stones takes the reader back to the earlier pioneering days when conditions were so vastly different to what they are today. The oldest stone, or the stone giving evidence of the oldest burial in the Wollombi cemetery is that of an infant Thomas Bellamy, which gives the date of the internment as 24th December, 1846. Another infant, James Andrew Weir, was interred on November 13, 1847. Both of these stones are situated in the Church of England portion of the cemetery.

An early inscription, and perhaps one the most interesting, that is in the cemetery reads: 'Erected over the remains of J. W. Du Moulin, Surgeon, by the people of Wollombi, who are anxious to perpetuate the memory of a man whose many sterling qualities have ever linked his name with the kindest and most enduring recollections. He died June 5, 1864; aged 43 years. The stone is in the Church of England portion. The inscription speaks for itself. Surgeon Du Moulin must have been a very popular man. Over 70 years after his death his sterling qualities are left as a memento by the old pioneers of Wollombi. Evidently this Du Moulin, was the "big" man of Wollombi in his day.

Another most interesting stone, although one not so old, reads as follows: 'Michael Byrne, died 14th February, 1868, aged 69 years. Native of Dublin, and a resident of Wollombi for 36 years.' The inscription indicates that Michael Byrne came to Wollombi in 1827, nearly a century ago. Surely Michael Byrne was among the earliest arrivals at Wollombi.

Amongst the earliest inscriptions are those recording the deaths of Mary Ann Delander in 1850, aged 37; Catherine Campbell in 1851, aged 83; William Campbell, in 1853, aged 42; David Brassie, in 1853, aged 53; and Timothy Mannix in l854. In the '50's and right up to the '90's there is evidence that the Wollombi cemetery was the Sandgate of those days. There are many inscriptions that indicate that it was the Cessnock burial ground. An inscription dated 24th September, 1851, is over the remains of George McGrane, infant son of Bernard McGrane, of Cessnock. On May 30, 1878 a son aged 1 year 10 months, of Mr. John and Ann Doyle, of Cessnock, was interred. In 1863, Ellen, beloved wife of George Carroll was buried, aged 66. In 1874 George Carroll (late of Cessnock, according to the inscription) was laid besides the remains of his wife, aged 76. The Carroll's were the parents of the late and highly respected Mrs. John Doyle.

One inscription reads-: "Henrietta Sweetman, died 5th September, 1859; aged 21 years. Also her infant daughter, Margaret Sophia Sweetman, who died the same day, aged 3 months." Inquiry will reveal that the young mother and her infant daughter met a tragic death. They were drowned in an arm of the Wollombi Brook, known as Bally's Arm. At an inquest inquiring into the circumstances a verdict of accidental death was returned. The sorrow caused by the fatality is now forgotten. Probably there are few who can recall the tragic occurrence. An inscription records that David Dunlop died on March 24, 1864, aged 70 years. The deceased, it appears, was the then police magistrate. He dropped dead on the road from Laguna to Wollombi, and an inscribed stone to-day marks the spot where he breathed his last.

There are several vaults in the cemetery and much of interest to the fossicker of old history. The whole of the Wollombi district abounds in interesting land marks of ye older days. It would appear from the stones that the earliest burial was in 1846. Before the cemetery was made, however, it must have been the custom to bury the dead in convenient localities. There are several graves in the Wollombi district with stones erected over them, and which indicate that there was no general cemetery in those early days. About five miles from Wollombi, and near Sweetman's Creek, is an old grave. The inscription records that the remains of Sergeant Thomas Budd were laid to rest on September 12th, 183313 years before the earliest recorded burial in the Wollombi cemetery. The Cessnock Eagle 31 July 1925

 

 

Notes & Links:

Select here to find out more about James Andrew du Moulin.

 

 

 

References:

(1) Maitland Mercury 11 August 1849

(2) Maitland Mercury 2 August 1854

St. John's Church, Wollombi - University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.....

 St. John's Church, Wollombi, NSW, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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