Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Edmund Bromley Rayner (1810–1875)

from Goulburn Herald

A very large number of persons will regret to hear that another old resident of Argyle have joined the "great majority." On Wednesday morning last at about ten o'clock Mr. Edmund B. Raynor, C.P.S. of Gunning, breathed his last. He had been ill only for a few days, and very few persons know of his illness until the melancholy tidings reached them of his death. On Friday, the 4th instant, Mr. Rayner was taken ill in the street with an attack of congestion of the lungs and senile bronchitis. He was able however to reach his home, where he took to bed and grow gradually worse until Wednesday morning, when his spirit passed peacefully away. He was carefully and constantly attended by Dr. Hunter, and expressed his belief that everything was done for his recovery that could possibly be done. The Rev. H. E. Taylor, of whose congregation he had been a member, was able also to minister the consolations of religion to him at times when his mind was sufficiently unclouded ; but during his last hours he remained perfectly unconscious, and the end came at last as peacefully as the closing of an autumn day. Mr. Rayner was born in the year 1810—a scion of an old English family and the son of a naval officer. He was himself educated for the law; but the profession becoming irksome to him, he emigrated to this country in 1840, and was engaged in farming operations in the neighbourhood of Inveralochy and Tarago for some years. He also took an ardent interest in politics; and under the nomme de plume of Caius Gracchus his pen was often wielded in a manner that gave him great influence in the county. For some years past he has been the active and energetic C.P.S. of Gunning, where he was widely known and universally respected. On Wednesday last all the shops in Gunning were partially closed and flags floated half-mast high in token of respect to the memory of the departed. His burial takes place this day at three o'clock in the Church of England cemetery, Gunning, and will doubtless be largely attended. Mr. Rayner leaves a widow, also one son and a daughter, Mrs. William Boyd of Gininderra. Another daughter, Mrs. Robert Boyd, well known as a poetess under the sobriquet of "Bertha," died about three years ago. Though like all gifted men Edmund B. Raynor was eccentric in many ways, yet his eccentricities were almost his only faults. Ever kind-hearted and generous, moved by the best impulses of our nature, even his bitterest political opponents will hear with true sorrow of his removal. Broken in fortunes but brave of heart, a warm friend, a generous foe, falling in life's battle with his harness on, let us trust he has gone safe home to a land where all mysteries are made plain, and that his eager restless spirit has at length "passed to where beyond these voices there is peace."

On Wednesday morning last the mantle of gloom was thrown over the township of Gunning. With lightning rapidity the sad news that E. B. Rayner, our worthy and highly respected clerk of petty sessions, had that morning breathed his last, was spread around from one to another, and it soon became impressively evident from the business houses putting up their shutters and other outward tokens of respect that the people felt the great loss the town and district had sustained. Mr. Rayner was residing for it number of years at Inveralochy near Goulburn, and being a gentleman of considerable scholastic attainments, he devoted portions of his leisure time to contributing articles to the press under various assumed names. He was a forcible and keen writer, as a good many of his political opponents found out to their cost. For the last night years, since he was appointed C.P.S. at Gunning and Collector, his time has been pretty well occupied, and his literary contributions few and far between. De has been residing at Gunning since his appointment, and I need hardly say that he discharged his numerous duties with credit to himself and with satisfaction to the magistrate and the department of which he was a subordinate officer. On Wednesday, the 2nd, he was a able to discharge his court duties in seeming good health; but in the evening of that day he received the first warning of the presence of that disease which on the following Friday confined him to his bed from which he was destined never to rise again. None of his friends knew of the serious character of his illness till the day before he died; it was then too plainly to seen that death had marked him for its victim; and in it only remained for them then to soften by their presence and sympathy the suffering of his latter moments and give consolation to his afflicted wife. Like the root of humanity, Mr. Rayner had his failings; but those failings only served to show out the brighter and better traits of his character.  He was a warm and genial friend, with an unceasing flow of humor; a heart extremely sensitive of any slight, but yet brimful of kindness, over ready to hold out the hand of forgiveness to many with whom he may have come into collision. He was also generous to a fault—ever ready to give assistance to a suffering fellow creature, and often far beyond what his limited income would allow.

Such is the gap that death has left now on our little community - a gap that never can be filled, for "we ne'er can look upon his like again." It in true that time may deaden the recollection of his many services and social worth; but there are numbers in this district who will never forget his many acts of unostentatious generosity. Others again will miss his friendly advice and counsel; and all who have met him either in the social circle or in buniness will regard his loss as the greatest the community has suffered for a long time.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Edmund Bromley Rayner

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Rayner, Edmund Bromley (1810–1875)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Gracchuo, Caius



9 August, 1875 (aged ~ 65)
Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.