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Frederick Holkham Dangar (1831–1921)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Private cable advices received by Mr. R. N. Dangar from England announce the death of his uncle, Mr. Frederick Holkham Dangar, who was a member of the well-known family of pastoralists in the Singleton district, and was also the founder of the firm of Dangar, Gedye, and Co., Ltd., merchants and shipping agents, Sydney. Mr. F. H. Dangar was 89 years of age, and was residing at Lyndhurst, Cleveland-road, Ealing, near London, at the time of his death, which occurred on Saturday last.

Australia has reason to be proud of the long list of pioneers and patriots who have helped to make her history. The beneficial effects of their early struggles are often apparent only after they have passed away. The Dangar family has played an important role in the history of Australia generally, and of New South Wales in particular; and Mr. F. H. Dangar was the last surviving member of the family of the late Mr. Henry Dangar, one of Australia's pioneers, who was born at St. Neots, Cornwall, in 1798, and came out here at the age of 23.

The father—the late Mr. Henry Dangar—was descended from an old Huguenot family, and lived as a boy on a farm near St. Neots. On arriving in Australia he secured employment as an assistant Government surveyor, and afterwards with the Australian Agricultural Company. He spent about six years on survey work in the Hunter River district, and, in 1826, he obtained 700 acres of land, which formed the nucleus of the well-known Neotsfield estate, on which his eldest son, Mr. W. J. Dangar, resided later on. In 1832 the late Mr. Henry Dangar packed all his belongings in a boat, and proceeding up the Hunter River, settled at Neotsfield, near Singleton, which he named after his old home in Cornwall. In 1845 he was elected as the representative of Northumberland in the old Legislative Council. He died in 1861, leaving four sons and two daughters. The sons were the late Messrs. W. J. Dangar, H. C. Dangar, F. H. Dangar, and A. A. Dangar. The daughters were the late Mrs. Walter Lamb and the late Mrs. Fred. Want. All the members of this family had predeceased Mr. F. H. Dangar. His brother, Mr. Albert Augustus Dangar, who died at Baroona, Whittingham, near Singleton, on April 6, 1913, was a well-known pastoralist and patriot. He had been a successful breeder of stock, and was noted for his magnificent gifts, which included a contribution of £10,000 to the Dreadnought Fund. Another brother—Mr. Henry Cary Dangar, M.L.C.—died on April 25, 1917, at his residence, Grantham, Potts Point, in his 87th year. This brother was a prominent pastoralist, and also sat in Parliament for over 40 years. He also took a keen interest in various branches of sport.

Mr. Frederick Holkham Dangar, whose death has just been announced, was born in New South Wales on October 23, 1831. Although most of the family had turned their attention towards pastoral pursuits, Mr. F. H. Dangar showed an inclination for a business career. He became specially interested in shipping, and founded the firm of Dangar, Gedye, and Co., Ltd. Later on he bought the barque Gladstone, of 1100 tons, which traded to Australia. He afterwards sold the Gladstone, and had built the fine ship Neotsfield, a vessel of 1820 tons, which he named after the estate near Singleton. The Neotsfield made very good passages between Australia and England with wool, and a number of well-known members of the mercantile marine served their time in this vessel and in the Gladstone. The Neotsfield was built in 1889, and no expense was spared in fitting her out. She was commanded by Captain Rugg from the time she left Dumbarton on her maiden voyage until she was disposed of by Mr. Dangar in 1903 to Messrs. R.. Thomas and Co., of Liverpool, for £9800.

The late Mr. F. H. Dangar participated in the shipping and general business of the firm of Dangar, Gedye, and Co., Ltd., right up to the time when he left Australia for England. It was in the year 1882 that he decided practically to retire and to live in England. Prior to this he retained pastoral interests in the State. The Dangar Brothers had previously formed themselves into a pastoralist company, and had acquired six fine properties, including Gostwyck Station. The stock list included 100,000 sheep and 25,000 head of cattle. Eventually the brothers dissolved partnership, and the stations were divided up amongst them. Mr. F. H. Dangar, although one of the Dangar Brothers in the company, took no active interest in grazing, and when he decided to leave for England he disposed of his pastoral interests as well as his interest in the firm of Messrs. Dangar, Gedye, and Co, Ltd. He took up his permanent residence in Ealing, a suburb of London, in 1882, but paid a visit to Australia about 15 years ago, when he renewed many old acquaintances.

Apart from his active interest in shipping, as the owner of the Gladstone and the Neotsfield, the late Mr. F. H. Dangar displayed special enthusiasm in matters relating to the welfare of the mercantile marine. He belonged to the school of ship owners who believe that a man, in order to be properly trained for a seafaring career, should serve portion of his time in a sailing ship. His concern regarding the effective training of the sea-going youth did not begin and end with mere theorising. He secured a share in the two fine training ships Port Jackson and Medway, in which Messrs. Devitt and Moore trained a number of young men for the British mercantile marine. These two fine vessels have been frequently seen in Port Jackson during recent years, when ample evidence was afforded of the splendid work which they were doing in ensuring the efficiency of future navigators. It was owing to the late Mr. F. H. Dangar's interest in the Devitt and Moore Ocean Training Ships, Ltd., that Messrs. W. G. Deuchar and Co. Ltd.. were made agents in Sydney for these vessels, Mr. W. G. Deuchar having been previously associated with Mr. Dangar when in the business of Dangar, Gedye, and Co. Ltd.

Although the late Mr. F. H. Dangar had not permanently resided in Australia for nearly 40 years, all those who were associated with him here and in England speak in the highest terms of his kindly nature and sterling qualities as a man. He had the distinction of being the only surviving foundation member of the Union Club in Sydney, and the flag on that building was yesterday flown at half-mast, as a tribute to his memory. He has also, while living in England, always had a warm welcome for Australians visiting the motherland, and frequently entertained the Australian cricket teams in London. He was for over 40 years a member of the Royal Colonial Institute, having joined the institute in 1880, and became a member of the council of that body in 1887.

Major J. R. Boose, the representative of the Royal Colonial Institute at present visiting Australia, was closely associated with the late Mr. F. H. Dangar in London, and speaks very highly of his kindness and sympathy towards Australians in London. "He was keenly interested in the welfare of the boys training for the sea, and was instrumental in inaugurating a scheme for training them in seamanship," said Major Boose yesterday. "He was always amongst the first to entertain the various cricket teams which visited the United Kingdom, and invited a large number of people, including Australians, to meet them."

While in Australia Mr. F. H. Dangar married Miss E. Phelps. His wife, however, died in England about six years ago. There were two sons and one daughter in the family. One of the sons died some time ago. The other son, Mr, Dudley R. Dangar, and the daughter, Mrs. M. Hervey, are at present residing in England.

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Citation details

'Dangar, Frederick Holkham (1831–1921)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


23 October, 1831
Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia


26 March, 1921 (aged 89)
London, Middlesex, England

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