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John Noble (1827–1914)

John Noble, n.d.

John Noble, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 August 1914

On the 12th of July there died at Bungaree, South Australia, Mr. John Noble, at the advanced age of eighty-seven. He was engaged in England in 1854—sixty years ago—by the late Hon G. C. Hawker to come out to Bungaree, and become one of the pioneer Merino studmasters of Australia. He came of a family of sheepmen, as both his father and grandfather were in charge of flocks in Hampshire. The grandfather managed a place near Portsmouth, where, curiously enough, "Spaniards," as Mr. Noble called them, i.e., Merinos, were kept, so when he arrived at Bungaree he recognised the Merinos as old friends. He used to relate that when he first came to Bungaree the sheep were small, and only had a little wool on their sides, and that during the shearing the shearers used to go into the pens and touch the sheep under their bellies with bare feet to see which had no wool underneath. Mr. Noble related with great pride in his later days that there were no bare bellies now. His great aim was to produce a large-framed sheep profitable as mutton, and then to clothe it with long, robust wool. He carefully bred with these two objects in view, and was greatly helped by the importation in 1858 by the late Hon. G. C. Hawker of some Rambouillet rams. Mr. Hope, a friend of the Hon. G. C. Hawker, and who had a station near Bungaree, imported some at the same time. When he gave up his station shortly afterwards, he made a present of those rams to Bungaree. Mr. Noble said that one of those rams did more to improve the Bungaree sheep than any other. By a careful system of breeding he spread the strain all through the flock, and succeeded in his aim of producing sheep with large frames and heavy fleeces of long robust wool. 

Up to the big drought of 1864 the sheep on Bungaree were shepherded in flocks of about 2000 each, but owing to the lack of feed in the drought the sheep were let run, and as it was found they did better, Mr. Noble advised the fencing in of Bungaree into paddocks, and the sheep being let run without being shepherded. His advice was followed with excellent results. During the last fifteen years of his life he enjoyed a well-earned pension from the Hawker brothers, but what he appreciated most was being allowed to spend the rest of his days on the place where he had carried out his life's work. Till he was too infirm to go about it was a great pleasure for him to visit the different brothers of the Hawker family when they were classing, and criticise the sheep. He was chairman of the Hutt and Hill River District Council for many years, and only resigned on account of increasing years. He was held in the highest esteem and respect throughout the district on account of his integrity, sound judgment, and kindly and sympathetic nature. He outlived all his children except one son, but has left several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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'Noble, John (1827–1914)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

John Noble, n.d.

John Noble, n.d.

from Pastoral Review, 15 August 1914

Life Summary [details]




12 July, 1914 (aged ~ 87)
Bungaree, South Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.