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Bettington, James Brindley (1837–1915)

from Sydney Morning Herald

James Bettington, n.d.

James Bettington, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 January 1916

Mr. James Brindley Bettington of Brindley Park and Oatlands, Parramatta, died at his residence, Oatlands, on Wednesday morning, at the age of 78 years.

Mr Bettington was born at Veteran Hall, Prospect, near Parramatta in 1837 and was educated first at Mr. Cape's school and afterwards at the Kings School. After leaving school he went into an office to get a mercantile training and in 1858 took up the management of Brindley Park for his mother, going in chiefly for sheep-raising. Brindley Park land was taken up in 1824 by his father, who died in 1857, and who a few years before his death purchased about 50,000 acres adjoining his original property. From time to time the property has been added to and has the reputation of being one of the oldest sheep breeding establishments in Australia. It now comprises some 80,000 acres.

The name of Brindley Park, coupled with that of the family owning it, is closely identified with the early settlement of Australia. James Brindley Bettington (father of the deceased) arrived in New South Wales in 1820, accompanied by his brother and aunt. The brothers were sons of John Bettington of Bristol, their mother being a daughter of James Brindley, who was famous as the Duke of Bridgewater's architect for the Bridgewater canal. Five years after the taking up of Brindley Park a merino stud was formed, from which many of the leading flocks originated. In 1829 Mr Bettington sent for between 200 and 300 high-class ewes from Saxony, and in 1849 imported a Silesian ram. The flock was carefully improved, and for years the Brindley Park wool was very successful at various exhibitions. Brindley Park latterly has been devoted almost entirely to breeding purposes. The Oatlands property was purchased by Mr. Bettington's father in 1840 from Captain Simpson, father of Judge Simpson. The late Mr. Bettington's mother was the daughter of William Lawson, a well-known explorer and pastoralist.

The late owner of Brindley Park was one of three brothers, both of whom predeceased him. In 1864 he married Sophia Caroline the daughter of Ambrose Hallen, a well-known architect in Sydney. He leaves a widow, two sons and four daughters. The sons are Mr. John Henshall Bettington of Terragong and Mr. Albermarle Brindley Bettington, who manages Brindley Park; the daughters are Mrs. Busby (Tasmania) Mrs. Brine, Mrs. John Robertson (Hay) and Miss Hílda Bettington.

In his young days the late Mr Bettington was a keen follower of all sports. He was a good horseman and at school a good cricketer. He was one of the founders of the old Sydney Jockey Club, which afterwards merged into the Australian Jockey Club. Mr. Bettington was a prominent member of the Sheepbreeders Association and in fact was associated with most movements in the pastoral industry. He was a stanch Imperialist, and contributed handsomely to all patriotic funds, besides substantially helping indirectly any soldiers personally known to him. The same patriotic spirit was there during the Boer war when, he supplied horses for a squadron of Lancers recruited at Parramatta.

Mr Bettington had been ailing for about two years but up to the day of his death he was able to get up and move about. Besides having large interests in this State, he had up till quite recently, large interests in Queensland also. His remains will be interred by the side of his youngest son in the private cemetery in the Oaklands Estate this afternoon.

Merriwa, Wednesday

General regret was expressed here at the death of Mr. Bettington. Merriwa is greatly indebted to him for his liberality and progressiveness in days gone by. He was a staunch adherent of the Church of England, for many years being churchwarden of Holy Trinity, Merriwa, and he was a member of the presentation board.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Bettington, James Brindley (1837–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bettington-james-brindley-3319/text1567, accessed 22 October 2019.

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