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Francis Jenkins (1820–1902)

The death occurred on Friday afternoon at about half-past three o'clock of Mr. Francis Jenkins, owner of Buckingbong Station, at the advanced age of 82 years. The event was not unexpected, Mr. Jenkins condition for some time having caused grave anxiety to his family; and for fifty hours before the end came, his bedside was constantly watched by his wife, sons and daughters with uninterrupted solicitude. Indeed, at times during the past two or three years his constitution threatened to collapse, and more than once hope of recovery was almost abandoned.

Early in the week Mr. Jenkins—though naturally in feeble health on account of his years—was in his usual good spirits, and his condition then did not portend the advance of the pale horse and his rider; but the enfeebled frame was not able to bear the slightest shock, and a slight fall while getting out of bed on Tuesday so acted on his nervous system as to set the whole fabric crumbling. Soon afterwards he became unconscious, and on Thursday Dr. Watt, his medical adviser, saw no hope of recuperation. Many who remembered the marvellous manner in which the patient had fought off previous attacks, refused to give up hope; but unfortunately these were not to be realised, Mr. Jenkins quietly and peacefully passing away at the time stated. For him Tennyson's lines had full significance: there was 'no moaning at the bar' when he embarked, laying down his earthly burden of four score years of useful work to take his rest and reward.

Gone full of years and honor Francis Jenkins leaves in the ranks of the pioneers of Australia a vacant place into which none may step. His history would fill volumes, and it would be the history of the development of the pastoral industry of Australia; for he can claim to have been the first man to devote himself exclusively to pastoral pursuits on the Murrumbidgee. Contemporary he had none when in 1832, seventy years ago, he came among the aboriginal tribes of this part. Cattle raising was the first form of grazing that he attempted, and in spite of depredations by black and white marauders, his herd grew and flourished. The Buckingbong of his last days is a mere paddock to the miles upon miles of country over which he held sway in the 60's.

Speaking at the Ministerial banquet in July, 1900, in reply to the toast of his health proposed by Mayor Smith, Mr. Jenkins said he had been in the district since he was 12 years old, and had seen a few things that would surprise the present generation. He had come to the district before any white man had set his foot in it, and in all his experience with black men and white men, he could say that he had never denied a man, nor had ever sent a hungry man from his door. He required time to think before entering on his reminiscences, therefore he would only say that he had tried to live uprightly, and had always found that people had treated him kindly; for which he was very thankful. On the same occasion Mr. James Gormly, M.L.A, who was present, expressed his high esteem for the friendship of Mr. Jenkins, whom he had known for 33 years, and was prepared to endorse all that had been said of Mr. Jenkins' liberality and good-heartedness.

To those who have borne with him the labor and heat of the day, Mr. Jenkins' decease will come as sad news; for it is more particularly those old friends who will recognise his true worth.

The funeral took place on Monday, and was very largely attended. On its arrival at St. Thomas' Church the bell was set tolling; and the cedar casket was borne up the aisle by the Hon. S. McCaughey, Messrs. H. D. Adams, J. F. Willans and W. J. Elworthy; all old friends of the deceased. The Vicar left his sick bed to conduct the service in the church. The choir rendered the hymns 'When our heads are bowed with woe' 'Brief life is here our portion,' and chanted the 70th Psalm. The impressive ceremony being concluded, the casket was carried back to the hearse, while 'The Dead March in Saul' was played by the organist, Miss Podmore. The cortege then continued on its way to the cemetery, the hearse being followed on foot by the chief mourners, the sons and sons-in-law of the deceased; Messrs. McCaughey, Waugh, Horsfall, Adams and many others; while over 60 vehicles and numbers of horsemen completed the procession.

The service at the grave was conducted by the Rev. Allan Wyrill, and the arrangements were carried out by Mr. J. Charlton.

Original publication

Citation details

'Jenkins, Francis (1820–1902)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


14 January, 1820
Kent, England


1 August, 1902 (aged 82)
Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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