The following history was written c1988 by Ivan Badcock with the view of it being included in the French-Badcock history book, “Go…..Be Fruitful and Multiply” , but was not included due to space limitations. Article revised April 2022 with photos added.
Glenore – Whitemore
By the 1850s many of the French and Badcock family members were living in the region that is now known as Whitemore, Tasmania but at that time was mostly identified by the names of the large estates that were present in the area. They were Glenore, Sillwood, Adelphi, Quamby and the Oaks.
The first associations with the area commenced when William French, the eldest son of Francis and Mary, was employed on one of the Reiby properties at the Oaks in the 1830s.
Where the Whitemore township is to be found was once part of Glenore, the place taking its name from William Bryan’s property of this name and which consisted of over 2,000 acres, most of which had been received under the land grant system. It extended from the Hagley Station to Mann’s Corner, the junction of the Whitemore and Oaks roads where Mr. Ken Badcock formerly lived.
A hotel stood on what is known as Weedon’s Corner and was known as the Glenore Hotel. This hotel was later used as a shop and after some years as a hay barn, but in more recent years has been renovated and converted into a restaurant and residence trading as the “Gossips”. Another hotel was at the junction of the Glenore Road with the Oaks Road and was known as the Adelphi Hotel, taking its name from another estate which adjoined. The building of timber still stands but is now unoccupied and dilapidated. Opposite this hotel were the sale yards formerly the site of Ken Badcock’s home.
The Glenore Hotel was very popular with the reapers and although their pay for reaping an acre of grain was only 10 shillings (and only an expert reaper could reap an acre working from daylight until dark), it is said that the takings on some Sundays amounted to over 60 pounds.
The district was a rather lawless place in those days, and sheep, pigs and cattle stealing were common. It was not at all unusual for a farmer to slaughter a sheep for his own use, and to find next morning it had disappeared; sometimes the thief was considerate enough to leave a portion.
Somewhere along what is now called Adelphi Road, there was a police residence, also another on the Oaks Road on the way to Bracknell.
From “The Examiner” of 1865 we read – “A substantial police station has been built by the Westbury Council on Mr. Field’s property for which farmers of Oaks are grateful. We need a fair measure of police protection” – so wrote “The Oaks” correspondent of 1865.
A further picture of the period comes from a letter written at this time: – “Sunday was set aside for quoit matches, cricket and shooting, while cock fighting was a special diversion, and the two hotels did a roaring trade”.
In this environment, the first church was built and called Whitemoor (later changed to Whitemore) Chapel on land donated for the purpose by Mr. W.T. Hingston. The name Whitemoor Chapel was given in honour of the donor, with the name being taken from Mr. Hingston’s farm, which in turn had been named after a farm in Cornwall near where the family lived till emigrating.
Soon after, a schoolhouse was built beside the church. Then when a store was opened by Mr. James Murfet nearby, it was called Whitemoor Store. Then Thomas Jordan came and built his house and a blacksmith shop, known as the Whitemoor Smithy.
When the Western Railway passed through the district, and a station was built where it crossed the road, it was known as “Glenore” station and was not changed to Whitemore until 1920. The Post Office was originally located at the station and officially known as “Glenore”. It was eventually moved to the store and took the name of “Whitemore” as did the district.
Over the years, the area has remained a major agricultural centre, where large quantities of grain have been produced and animals raised, sheep, cattle, horses and pigs. A particular feature of the district, together with adjoining Hagley and Westbury areas, has been the production of stud stock. It has been said there is no greater concentration of stud stock existing anywhere in Australia than in this area.
Methodism at Whitemore and Glenore
It was here that many of our early ancestors attended “Class Meetings”, Sunday School, church social functions and regularly attended worship. The first mention of Methodists in the district dates back to 1848. In that year six members were attending a “Class Meeting” at the Oaks property of Mr. H.T. Hingston and about this same time a “Class” was also meeting several miles away at Glenore.
The first what may be called “A Church Service” was held in 1850 at the home of Mr. Shilleto, which was continued by the next owner, Mr. Gillam. The room used soon proved too small, and a barn on the farm of Mr. Robert Montgomery was used. This farm on Hagley Station Road was later owned by Mr. Verdon Pearn. There is now no trace of the original barn, but mention is made in the records of it being too small.
When Mr. William Hingston and his wife Rebecca (nee French) came to the district in the 1850’s, they made their home available for church services and soon regular services were held at what was known as “Whitemoor Farm”. One room regularly used for services was called “The Paradise Room”. When overcrowding occurred, an adjacent bedroom was sometimes used for the overflow.
Again, the room or rooms proved too small, and a barn on the property was used. William Hingston then gave the land for the building of a church.
The “Whitemoor” Chapel was erected on the site in 1856-57, a paling shingled roof building measuring 30 feet by 18 feet and costing 270 pounds. This building remains part of the Whitemore church complex, but has been renovated and shifted on four occasions.
The Rev. J. Fellingham, who was in charge of the Circuit at the time had this to say, “With the coming of the Church, so great was the change in the social setting, that erstwhile scoffers vied with church goers in the task of raising funds for the erection of the church, nor were they behind in helping with its erection”.
At the time of the ministry of the Rev.W.D. Lelean within the Westbury Circuit, the Rev. William (California) Taylor carried out an evangelical mission in Tasmania and so great was the “outpouring of the Spirit of God, there was a wonderful in-gathering into the Church”. Membership increased at Whitemore also, so much so it was found necessary to form more “Classes” and the church was soon found to be too small to house the growing congregation. There was also a desire to erect a more worthy place of worship, so plans were made for a new church. The old church was moved back from the front of the churchyard to the rear and the present brick building was built. The foundation stone was laid by Mr. John Crookes of “Mount Pleasant”, Launceston (a Methodist layman). On the same day the prizes were distributed from off the foundation stone to the Sunday School children. The cost of the new Church was 450 pounds.
Mr. William Hingston, son of the William Hingston who donated the land, when writing in 1915 about the early days of Whitemore, says – “I was the one who carted the stone for the foundation of the new church (1885). I had four bullocks and dray. The stones came from a quarry on Mr. John French’s property and cost three shillings per load to quarry. I used to come the short way over the creek up past “Whitemore House”, so managed four loads per day. A man and his wife quarried the stone, they lived in a tent by the quarry, so was always there to help load. When the inspector of the works came to see how the foundation was progressing, he found fault with the stones and said they were too small. Just at that time, Mr. Byard who lived at “Westham”, Cluan, had dug some large stones out of his garden, he made them available so I had a longer journey and could only do two trips per day. It took over 50 loads of stone for the foundations”.
Editor’s note: A dray is a two-wheeled cart pulled by a horse.
Referring to the church bell, Mr. Hingston mentions – “……. It was presented by Mr. Crookes of Launceston and was used in the first church. Between the transfer from the old to the new church, some youthful pranksters took it out to the bush and hung it in a tree”.
The Sunday School rolls of 1860-1870 contain many names from the district, including many of our ancestors. Some of those names appearing are –
- FRENCH – Samuel, John, James, William, Frederick, Albert and Rowland
- BADCOCK – Emma
- HINGSTON – Andrew, Frederick, Agnes, Louise, Elizabeth, Henry, Henry Thomas, Lydia, Charlotte and James
- NEAL – Frances and George
- PEARN – Sarah, John, Henry, Edwin, Arthur, Phillip, Annie, Clara, Emily and Ethel
- HALL – Ebenezer, Elijah, Alfred, Cecilia and Harriet
- HEAZLEWOOD – Charles, Henry, Alfred, Robert and Jane
- WALKER – Charles, Annie, Mary, Lydia and Fanny
- GRAY – William and Thomas
- WEST – Ellen and William
- JORDAN – Richard, Robert, Frank, Charles and Esther
- LOONE – Frederick
- MANTACH – William, John, Charles, Jane and Ellen
In 1865 there were 81 scholars and 8 teachers. The Sunday School commenced in 1858 with the superintendent being Mr. D.B. Tinning, who was also the day school master. He was followed by Mr. Samuel Badcock then Mr. R.G. Heazlewood who was superintendent for 30 years, after him Messrs A.O. Heazlewood, J.M. Hingston, E. Heazlewood, J.A. French, R. Gray, K.J. Heazlewood, G.R. French, R. Page and E. Shaw.
The oldest record is one about the library dated 1860. It records that there were 147 books in the library and mentions that “Grannie” French has given a book case in which to keep the books. Almost certainly “Grannie” French is Mary, wife of Francis French. The book case is still in use.
The old Glenore School was a very familiar place to many of our forebears and much valued.
The school was a gift from Mrs. Bryan whose husband had been granted a large land grant in the area. During the few years that Mrs. Bryan had lived on the property, she often expressed concern that many of the children living in the area were growing up without the benefit of the simplest education. In the early 1860’s she persuaded her husband to help by providing two acres of land at Glenore on which in 1862 she had built a brick school and school house. She also provided a farm of 260 acres which had been part of William’s grant, the rent of which was to provide 50 pounds per annum for a teacher’s salary and 10 pounds per annum for the upkeep of the building.
The first lessee of the property, which became known as “Pleasant Hills”, was William Badcock who farmed the property till his death in 1911 and is still owned by his great-grandson, Mr John Cummins.
A marble plaque was placed on the front of the gable of the school building recording her desire for the young to receive an education and her generosity. Glenore School 1862 instituted and endowed by the late lamented Mrs. William Bryan, the pioneer of Glenore, who estimating the value of education as invaluable to the young of the tenantry has instituted and endowed the school as the best legacy she could bequeath them”.
The need for education in Tasmania at that time is highlighted in the 1861 Census where it was revealed that over 20,000 people could not read or write, and 13,134 who could not write but could read.
The school became a centre within the district both as a place of education and worship, with many of our ancestors being associated there in either one or both capacities.
The day school was to remain open as a place of learning for eighty years before closing due to a lack of pupils. Some of the teachers over the period were, John Gabell 1866, Mr. Thomas Dazley 1876 (married Elizabeth Hingston), Joseph Braeden 1880, Mrs. Walker 1884, Miss Mary Cox 1887-1890 (married Ernest Badcock), Miss Edgar, Miss Reilly (married Gil. Badcock), Miss Hettie French (married John R. Smith) and who taught her nephews and nieces and many of her cousins, remaining at the school until 1914. Until this time, the only remuneration received by the teachers was the Bryan bequest.
In 1914 Mrs. L. Ward was appointed and began an association with the school and the district, which was to last almost 50 years. At her appointment, the Education Department took over the responsibility of paying the teacher.
In 1921 the attendance at the school rose to 56 pupils, and to relieve the accommodation pressure, the residents of the area added an extra 12 feet to the end of the classroom.
However, by 1926 the building was condemned for use as a school, and a new brick building erected 50 yards away, although the residential section continued in use for the teacher.
By 1941 the number of pupils in attendance had greatly reduced and Mrs. Ward and the remaining students were transferred to the Whitemore school less than three miles away and the school closed.
To maintain the spirit if not the letter of the bequest, legislation was passed making it possible for all scholars residing within a three mile radius of the old Glenore school to be eligible for the Bryan scholarship.
Methodism at Glenore
When the Westbury Circuit was formed in 1848 a “Class” of six were regularly meeting at that place. By 1876 the preaching plan shows that regular Sunday services were conducted and in 1884 two services were held each alternate Sunday, combining with Whitemore on the other Sunday. By 1899 only two services were held each month and this continued until 1920, when regular Sunday services ceased, although a fortnightly weekday evening service was held until 1947.
The first recorded Sunday School anniversary was held on 10 April 1870, continuing until 1949 when the school closed because of the lack of scholars. Superintendents were: Messrs William Badcock, F. Hall, P.W. French and S. Badcock. Mr. H.B. Scott was assistant superintendent for many years. Teachers with long periods of service in the early days included Miss Rose Badcock (married Elton Heazlewood), Miss Hettie French (married John R. Smith), Miss Ivy Badcock, Miss Leila Badcock (married H.A. Smith).
From a Sunday School record book in the handwriting of William Badcock, in 1870 the scholars were: D. King, W. French, R. French, C. Cruse, C. French, I. Trail, A. Dobson, I. French, J. Neal, A. Hingston, R. Jordan, C.C. French, A. Hall, E. Jordan, H. French, and W. Newton. Marks were given for (S) Scripture, (C) Catechism and (H) Hymn.
By 1873 the names listed were –
- HINGSTON – Alfred
- NEWTON – William and Alfred
- POTTER – James
- TRAILL – John
- FRENCH – Clarry, Walter, Roland, Robert, Henry and Charles
- WILLS – Joseph
- LEE – Percy
- GATCHALK – Anthony
- DOBSON – Arthur
Since the commencement of the Methodist cause at Whitemore a number of men and women from the congregation have served as local preachers in the area, including a number from our families. From the plan we find the following names – S. Badcock, W.Dobson, A. Hingston, H. Hingston, J. Hingston, H. Murfet, W. Harris, E. Heazlewood, P.W. French, K. Heazlewood, V. Heazlewood, R. Gray, G. Shaw, M. French, Miss Jessie French and Helpers, D. Prewer, A. Higgs and R. Page.
Other Miscellaneous Notes
In the early days of Whitemore when one wanted to visit Launceston, it was quite customary for residents to walk there and back in one day, a return trip of over 30 miles.
When the church was built, everyone walked or rode to church on horseback – at first no one had a cart. The first cart was owned by Mr. Walker. A few years later as the settlers became more prosperous, buggies became the fashion, and it is said that often you could find in the churchyard upwards of a dozen buggies. Most married people had large families, and the buggy was an ideal means of transport.
When the first car appeared, it caused quite a sensation. It was an Oldsmobile owned by the blacksmith, R.L. Jordan.
During the year 1914, the Church was re-roofed with iron, and to pay for this the Trust conceived the idea of having a “golden offering”. While perhaps not exceeding expectations, we learn that 11 sovereigns and 21 half sovereigns were received as well as bank notes and silver – enough to pay for the new roof.
A price list for goods sold by James Murfet at his Whitemore store in 1881 shows – pair of boots 15/-, pair of stockings 1/2, pair of sox 9d., cotton 3d., nails 4d. per lb., currants 4d. per lb., and spice 1½d. per oz.
Members of the Methodist who have been members of the Westbury Municipal Council are as follows – R.G. Heazlewood, H. McCulloch, H.R. Heazlewood, T.J. French, (Warden for a time), A McCulloch (Warden for a time) and A.C. Badcock.