John Teale and the “Endeavour Mill”, Windsor

1  October 2007 AGM

Prepared by Carol Carruthers

Carol was recently contacted by a member of the Teale family in the UK to do some research on John Teale and his mill. The family already had a copy of his will and other relevant information, but wanted more details. The following is part of the research compiled by Carol.

Endeavour Mill, operated by John Teale,

1831-1852. Demolished 1896.

John Teale arrived in NSW on 26 April 1815 aboard the “Indefatigable”, after having been convicted at Lancaster Assizes in 1813, when aged 18 years. He was a native of Yorkshire. On John’s arrival he was assigned to Henry Kable in Windsor. By this time Kable was an important and wealthy businessman, who had interests both in Sydney and the Hawkesbury. It is not known if John worked on the farm, in the house, at the inn owned by Kable or perhaps, in his brewery.

In 1818 John married Dianna Kable, who was born in the colony, the daughter of Henry and Susannah Kable and he was then assigned to Dianna. Dianna was a widow, having previously been married to William Gawdry, (Gawdry is spelt various ways) by whom she had a child, also named William. They were married in the old St. Matthew’s Church, Bridge Street, Windsor, part of a two storey construction used as a school, a church, a court house and as the schoolmaster’s residence.

John received a conditional pardon in 1821. By 1823 John, Dianna and their children were now living at Pitt Town where John was a landholder and farmer. The 1828 Census shows that they had moved to the Cornwallis with a 90 acre farm, of which 60 acres were cleared and cultivated with 10 horses and 39 cattle. They had four children, Caroline aged 6, Blanche aged 4, Joseph aged 2, and John 8 months.

They also had living with them a man named John Howard, listed as a servant, aged 64 and Free by Servitude who had arrived in the colony on the “Indefatigable” with John. He was possibly an old man who might have been kind to John on the board the convict ship as they travelled to the colony and John was now looking after him.

In 1828 Dianna’s son, William, now aged 18, was working on the Cornwallis also, as a labourer to William J Fitz of Windsor. Also working on the same farm was Edgar Kable, a cousin to William, aged 20 and Overseer to Mr Fitz. William Fitz was working as the Sheriff’s Officer in Windsor, with his father, Mr Robert Fitz, who was Clerk to the Bench.

Teale had many people who had been convicts on the “Indefatigable” with him, now living in the Hawkesbury. John Tindell, aged 50, and Samuel Neale were farmers at Richmond, only a few miles away. Thomas Curl and Charles Tandy were living at Pitt Town. At North Richmond, we find Robert Hill and Robert Marchmont, now a shoe maker. Richard Page, aged 44, and a farmer at Portland Head has Joseph Cuff, aged 60 , a labourer, living with him. This relationship was probably similar to that of John Teale and John Howard. Richard was probably providing a place for old Joseph to live. The only place for an infirm person to live was at an asylum unless family or a friend could take care of them. Also at Portland Head was Thomas Yarwood, a farmer. Joseph Scott was living in Windsor and Michael Ward was at Wilberforce.

The Land Titles Office shows that John Teale bought from the Crown 1 acre and 2 roods on the main street of Windsor, George Street, on 28 January 1836, but the Sydney Gazette in 1831 states “that a flour mill of 6 horse power has recently been erected and is in full sail at Windsor”. So John must have approached the Government and requested the land, but in line with most red tape it took some five years to actually receive the Certificate of Title. The mill was on George Street, very near to Dight Street today, or where the old library is, and John’s land went right through to Macquarie Street. There was no Dight Street in 1836.

John had the three storey mill and residence erected. There was also a bakery shop, but this may have been constructed some time after the mill. For the first four years the mill was horse driven, then it was converted to steam power. Alfred Smith, the Old Richmondite, says that Teale did a “great trade”. John tendered and won the Government contracts for 1833 to supply the forage to the Colonial service in Windsor and the Blue Mountains and was contracted to feed Survey parties in Windsor. By 1834 John had expanded his mill, having purpose built equipment made in Sydney for “grinding corn”. In 1846 John advertised a shop and bakery next door to the Mill, to let.

During his time in Windsor John had become a successful businessman. He became a steward at the old race track at Killarney, between Oakville and McGraths Hill as early as 1832. John was also listed as making a donation to the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society in the Annual Report of 1846.

John died in 1852 and is buried in the Kable vault at St Matthews. In his Will he left ½ acre to the south of the mill to his daughter Caroline, which 7 weeks after his death she sold to James Dawson and John Thompson, both from Sydney for 50 pounds. To his son, Henry William Teale, he left the house, mill and out buildings. Caroline also received the ½ acre north of the mill and John Henry received a farm of 50 acres on the western side of South Creek and Joseph Thomas received 37 acres on the eastern side of South Creek, which the railway line later went through. Blanche had predeceased her father. Henry was further directed to pay to his mother 7/- per week and allow her two rooms in the house, and John had to pay Dianna 3/- per week. Apparently Joseph did not have to pay anything.

The “Endeavour Mill” stood until 1896. It had variously been known as Liddell’s Mill, after Dawson and Thompson sold out to Liddell, then Hoskissons. By 1882 Stephen Gow, on a three year lease, was renting the Mill from the Estate of John Hoskisson at a cost of 30 pounds per annum to be paid in half yearly. The bricks from the mill were recycled and two or three houses were built from these used bricks. Reverend James Steele noted that the “tall chimney was a prominent landmark”. It had stood for 65 years.