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Hooke, James (1825–1912)

James Hooke, n.d.

James Hooke, n.d.

from Pastoralists' Review, 15 October 1912

Mr. James Hooke, who died on Monday, 16th September, 1912, at Crook's Park, near Dungog, N.S.W., was the last of the old Hooke family on the male side. Mr. Hooke's parents came from Worcestershire (England) to Australia, and settled in the year 1817 in Tasmania at a place which became known as "Hooke's Marsh," near Hobart, but the misfortune of fire overtook them, and they returned to England. They again determined to try this southern continent, and came out in the year 1823 with their own ship and servants, bringing with them a small flock of sheep, some cattle, a thoroughbred stallion, and a few mares, settling at Bayley Park, near Parramatta, where in the month of February in the year 1825 James Hooke was born. In 1828 the family left Bayley Park, and next located themselves at Wirra Gulla, near Dungog, being the first white people to settle in that district. In the year 1843 Mr. Hooke's father, Mr. John Hooke, died, and was buried in the family cemetery on the Wirra Gulla Estate.

The property, which then consisted of a grant from the Crown, together with an immense area of leaseholds, something like 1,000,000 acres, was worked as an immense cattle station, and was taken over from the estate by the Hooke brothers. In the year 1850 it was divided into lots and sold at auction, and was all bought in by the different members of the family. James bought the part known as Cobark, near Gloucester, with about 12,000 cattle for something like 10s. per head, with the leases thrown in. This was the start of his career as a pastoralist. Later on he acquired Bunyah, Bowman River, and shortly after his marriage Crook's Park, near Dungog. He worked all these properties very successfully till a few years ago, when he handed Cobark and Bowman River over to his son Theodore, and retired to Crook's Park, which he held till his death. He was a noted breeder of Shorthorn cattle, and the Cobark herd is generally acknowledged as being one of the finest in the State. Nearly all the fat stock prizes at the last Sydney Show were won by stock bred on Cobark.

Mr. Hooke is survived by a son, Mr. Theo. M. Hooke, and two daughters, Mrs. Ralph Hall and Mrs. A. Wansey, of Hornsby. Three of his sisters also survive him, viz., Mrs. J. K. Mackay (Cangon), Mrs. Duncan F. Mackay (Double Bay, Sydney), and Mrs. A. Hill (Wingham).

Original publication

Citation details

'Hooke, James (1825–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hooke-james-502/text503, accessed 26 August 2019.

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