Sarah Taylor and Charles Martin
  The Taylors of Ongar
and others of their family



Writers on
the Taylors

Sarah Taylor and Charles Martin

By Stephen Painter

In 1895, Henry Taylor, architect and author, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, published the Pedigree of the Taylors of Ongar, which lists 186 people, mostly descandants of Isaac Taylor (1730-1807) and Sarah Hackshaw Jefferys (1733-1809).

He named his chart for the family of his grandparents, Rev Isaac Taylor (1759-1829) and Ann Taylor (Martin) (1757-1830) who lived from 1811 at the village of Ongar, Essex, and who became well-known as writers in England in the 19th century. However, most of the people on Henry Taylor's pedigree did not live at Ongar.

Sarah Taylor (1829-1919) and her husband Charles Martin (1826-1909) appear on Henry's chart, with the cryptic note, "Lived in Australia".

Sarah Taylor (July 16, 1828-December 28, 1909)Charles and Sarah Martin

 Sarah Taylor was a grand-daughter of Charles Taylor (1756-1823), referred to by his brother, Isaac Taylor as the "artist-scholar", and the translator of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible. Her father was Charles Taylor (1780-1856), artist, who lived in London and is mentioned in the autobiography of his cousin, Mrs Gilbert (Ann Taylor). Sarah's mother was Charlotte Anne Thurston, who is also mentioned in Mr Gilbert's autobiography as a student at the Sunday school at which the younger Charles Taylor taught.

Sarah married Charles Martin (1826-1909) in London in 1851, and shortly afterwards the young couple left for Australia, partly because Charles had been advised to leave London for the good of his health. Doctors had told him that he had a "weak chest", and a drier, less polluted environment would be best for his health. Before her marriage Sarah lived with her parents at  46 Westmorland Street, Shoreditch, in London.

The marriage certificate lists Charles as a saddler, and it is possible that he was in business  with, or had been apprenticed to, his father, William Henry, who is listed as a whip maker. At the time of the 1841 census, Charles was living with his parents, William and Catherine, three brothers and two sisters at Featherstone Street, Finsbury, in London.

En route to Australia, Sarah gave birth to her first child (according to word-of-mouth accounts, the birth occurred as the ship was approaching Cape Town) and as a result she remained in the Cape Colony (now part of South Africa) for two years, until the child, Charles Taylor Martin (1852-1952) was considered strong enough for the trip across the Indian Ocean to Australia.

In Australia, Charles initially tried his luck digging for gold at Bendigo, but quickly became involved in the more profitable business of transporting goods by bullock waggon from Melbourne to the Bendigo goldfields.

Charles and Sarah lived for a time in Melbourne and later at Doncaster, which is now a suburb of Melbourne. In July 1854, Sarah wrote to her aunts, Sarah and Mary, in England: "Since I last wrote we have left Melbourne for a far prettier and much more healthy place. They call it the 'Bush' though only ten miles from Melbourne and drays go in and out in the day."

Charles and Sarah later followed the goldfields to Beechworth, in north-eastern Victoria, where they lived for about eight years, between about 1857 and 1867, and had seven children. About 1867, Charles bought land on the upper Black Dog Creek, near Chiltern, where another three children were born.

While at Beechworth, Charles was a carrier, at one time for a wine and spirit merchant, bringing goods by bullock wagon to Beechworth from the riverboat landing place at Wahgunyah on the Murray River.

The Beechworth rate books show that he owned several blocks of land at various times, initially at Loch Street West in the central town area. Later he had larger blocks of land at the edge of the town, probably for running his draught animals (horses and bullocks).

By 1864-66, the elder children, Charles, Kate, Will and Josiah, were attending Beechworth Common School number 36, which was described in inspectors' reports of the time as being in a very cold building that did not have a ceiling. The inspectors also said most of the classes were below standard, there were not enough slates for all of the students, maps and blackboards were needed and the timetable was "poorly observed or non-existent".

In September 1858, a gold rush began at Indigo (later known as Chiltern), which was on the route Charles took from Wahgunyah to Beechworth, so the area would have been well known to Charles. After the alluvial deposits were worked out at Chiltern, deep mining of the quartz reefs began.

This opened up an opportunity for Charles, and he became a large-scale supplier of timber to the mines, according to his obituary, published in the Chiltern Federal Standard, "supplying props, laths, blocking timber and firewood".

In 1867, Charles bought a large property on the upper Black Dog Creek, near the Beechworth Road, which included the original homestead of Eldorado Station, one of the first settlements in the Chiltern district. Eldorado Station had been taken up under the name Barambogie Station in 1839 as a sheep run by Captain William Fury Baker, a British Naval Reserve officer born in Canada.

At that time the station covered most of the area south of Chiltern from the Barambogie Hills to the ranges at the head of the upper Black Dog Creek and from the Sydney-Port Phillip Road, which passed through Chiltern, to the Pilot Range towards Beechworth. Eldorado homestead was next to a large waterhole on the Deep Creek, near its junction with the Black Dog Creek.

Such a large water supply would doubtless have been important to the Aborigines in the area, and the homestead was fitted with small, hinged windows that could be opened to fire guns through, presumably in the event of attack by the Aborigines.

It is unlikely that these windows were ever used for such a purpose, as the Aboriginal groups were quickly devastated by European diseases, which seem to have spread in advance of the European frontier, so that by the time the Europeans arrived in new areas many of the Aborigines were already dead or dying. Stone tools left by the Aboriginal people were still scattered about the upper Black Dog Creek in the 1950s.

Charles Martin holds the reinsBy the time Charles Martin bought a large part of the former Eldorado Station in 1867, it had passed through several hands and had been broken up into smaller holdings. By the time Sarah's last child, George, was born in 1872, the property had been named Eldorado Park, a name it still bears today.

Once established at Eldorado Park, Charles and Sarah became prominent citizens. Charles served on Chiltern Shire Council for a total of about 13 years in three terms, 1885-94, 1895-1904 and 1905-09. He also served as shire president five times, in 1887-89, 1891-93, 1898-99, 1901-02 and 1907-08.

Charles was a Justice of the Peace and often sat as a judge at Chiltern, hearing cases and handing out fines on matters such as truancy from the local school.

Charles and Sarah are both buried at Chiltern New Cemetery. Of Charles and Sarah's 10 children, six survived to adulthood. The 10 children were: Charles Taylor (1852-1952), Katherine Charlotte (1857-1943), William Henry (1855-1959), Josiah Taylor (1860-1939), John George (1862-1863), Isaac Taylor (1864-1865), Charlotte Jane Taylor (1865-1920), Sarah Julia Taylor (1867-1869), Maria Dorothea (1870-1946) and George (1872-1872). The last child, George, only lived for one hour, and was buried on Eldorado Park.

Chiltern Federal Standard, December 28, 1909
Councillor Charles Martin, JP
On Tuesday last at one o'clock at his residence, Eldorado Park, one of the oldest identities of the district, in the person of Cr Charles Martin, breathed his last. The deceased gentleman, who had been ailing for some months, and was recently granted leave of absence by the Chilternshire council, passed away peacefully.
Born in London on July 16, 1826, he was therefore in his 84th year. He married in the old country, but being considered of a delicate nature, he was advised to go to a warmer and drier climate as a cure for a supposed pulmonary complaint.
He therefore proceeded to Cape Colony, where his eldest son, Charles T. Martin, was born. After a short residence in South Africa, he migrated to Victoria, landing in the rorty fifties, and subsequently took up the business of carrier between Melbourne and the Beechworth diggings.
He afterwards became the representative of a wine and spirit merchant's business at Beechworth, and was a constant traveller along a bush track between that place and Wahgunyah, the only places of settlement in those days — some years before the Indigo diggings broke out.
After following up this line of business for some time, he became, on the break out of the deep alluvial mines at Chiltern, a contractor in a very large way, supplying props, laths, blocking timber and firewood. The principal mines for which he was contractor were Doma Mungi and the old Chiltern Valley.
In the seventies he acquired the valuable Eldorado estate, the house on which was supposed to have been built by a Captain Barker, and it still stands. On the windows of this old residence the bars placed there as protection against the black can still be seen.
He sought municipal honours as a councillor and about a quarter of a century ago was returned as a representative for the Indigo Riding of Chilternshire, afterwards becoming a member for the Chiltern Riding, a seat he held with one or two short breaks until his death.
He was looked upon by the ratepayers as a man who was possessed of a good, sound knowledge of the Municipal Act, and was quite up to date with his ideas as to how the duties of a councillor should be carried out, and to the last was as progressive as any man 50 years his junior.
He was elected president of the shire on many occasions, and held the reins of the presidential office for a longer period than any other councillor, excepting perhaps Cr Black and the late Cr Bartley.
He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1887 and was for years a constant attendant at the local court.

Chiltern Federal Standard, July 1919, carried an obituary for Sarah.

It is our sad duty to have to announce the demise of another old colonist and district resident for many years in the person of Mrs Sarah Martin of Eldorado Park, Chiltern, who passed away peacefully and quietly on Saturday morning last at the age of 89 years. Deceased, although not able to move about much during the past two or three years, had only been confined to her bed for a few days. The cause of death was general break-up. Mrs Martin, who was born in Kensington, England, was a descendant of the Taylors of Ongar, an illustrious family of literateurs. Her grandfather, Charles Taylor, rewrote and illustrated Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible in five large quarto volumes, a work which occupied him 15 years, and which was the parent of all subsequent dictionaries of the Bible. Her cousins, Ann and Jane, daughters of the Rev Isaac Taylor, were composers of Original Poems for Infant Minds and in school books of thirty or forty years ago will be found two of their works which will be well remembered by many Australian men and women of today. They were My Mother and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The late Canon Taylor BA, MA and wrangler, Cambridge, another member of the family, was an eminent scholar, and the author of many works. Deceased married the late Charles Martin in England and almost immediately after proceeded to Cape Town, where she spent several years of her life. Mr Martin subsequently left for Australia and set up for himself as a commercial traveller and carrier and became a resident of Beechworth when the Woolshed diggings were at their best. Mrs Martin joined her husband later on, arriving in Melbourne in 1856. When the Chiltern diggings became established later on, Mr and Mrs Martin removed thither, their home being on the Black Dog Creek. In later years they became the proprietors of Eldorado Park, a property taken up by a Captain Baker in the very early days of Victoria, situate between the Black Dog and Deep creeks. Mrs Martin was a lady who was much esteemed and respected by a large circle of friends. She was possessed of a kind and loveable disposition and was a strong and staunch adherent of the Church of England faith. She was well-informed on all public matters and took a keen and lively interest in politics. She leaves a family of three sons (Charles T. and Josiah T. of Chiltern and William H. of Royal Park, Melbourne) and three daughters (Mrs W. Pettitt and Mrs P. Travis of Chiltern and Mrs J. Frew of Albury), besides 21 surviving grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Her remains were laid to rest in the Chiltern New Cemetery on Sunday, the cortege being a lengthy one. The coffin bearers were four of her grandsons (Messrs C.D. Martin, J. Martin, J. Frew and Private C. Martin). The Rev F.H. Peake impressively read the burial service. Mr A.H. Smith had charge of the arrangements.
The original Eldorado Park homestead


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