THIS week's image is of a small painting. At this time, photography still hadn't been improved enough to be commercially available. This image of James Garnett Ewer is held by the Bathurst District Historical Society.
James Ewer came to the Bathurst district later in his life. He arrived in Sydney on the three-masted barque William, which had a crew of around 30. He landed in Sydney in October 1835, having left London in May 1835, just after dissolving his business partnership.
This information appeared on May 1, 1835 in the London Gazette: "Whereas the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, James Garnett Ewer and Thomas Banks, as Warehouse Keepers, in Liverpool, in the County of Lancaster was this day dissolved by mutual conscent: As witness our hands this 1st day of May 1835." It was signed by James Garnett Ewer and Thomas Banks.
James Ewer had been a friend in England to some members of the Aspinall family in Lancaster. He had worked for the Liverpool business house of Aspinall, Brown Aspinall. He also worked part-time for himself from 1826 to 1833 as a woolbroker, handling wool sales during the eight years.
After James Ewer's unassisted arrival, he represented Richard Aspinall's financial interests as a bookkeeper in Sydney. After moving to Moreton Bay, James had a run called "Yamo" at Condamine near Toowoomba. It had an estimated area of 12,000 acres, enough for around 500 cattle.
It was described as being "on the north side of the Lower Condamine River, bounded on the south by ten miles of the river, commencing at a marked tree E, about two miles below the junction of Charley's Creek; on the north by a scrub one mile from the river; on the east by a scrub; and on the west by a marked tree on a creek unnamed, to its junction with the Condamine".
It wasn't all smooth sailing with his labourers. An article appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald in July 1849 concerning one of James Ewer's farm labourers who was murdered:
"MORETON BAY. July 3 - Murder - This place has been the scene of another of those diabolical murders which disgrace humanity. The facts elicited at the Coroner's inquest, on the 21st ultimo, are these:- The deceased, John Leonard, lately in the employ of Mr. J. G Ewer, of the Condamine River, came to Brisbane with his master on Friday, the 15th ultimo, and there obtained his discharge from that gentleman's service; but signified his intention of returning to the country again, and agreed to meet Mr. Ewer on the Ipswich road on Sunday. His not keeping his appointment, and a man named Owen Molloy being seen in South Brisbane, on Sunday evening, with a portion of Leonard's clothes about him, and other property known to have been previously in the deceased's possession, suspicion was excited that he had murdered the man; and the following Monday, upon the police being made acquainted with the matter, he was apprehended, and, after an examination, remanded, whilst search was made for the body.
"District constable Murphy, in company with Mr. Ewer, and two native blacks, proceeded on Wednesday to Cowper's Plains, tracing the road along for marks. At Canoe Creek the deceased's dog showed evident signs of unwillingness to cross the creek, but run on one side of the road into the bed of the creek. Upon Murphy following the direction the dog had taken, he came upon the body of poor Leonard lying in the creek horribly disfigured, and the skull fractured, evidently from the blow of a tomahawk; several witnesses proved at the inquest that Molloy had been in company with the deceased on the Sunday morning, and that he knew Leonard had money about him, and which was subsequently found on the person of Molloy; the jury brought in a verdict of wilful murder against Molloy, who stands committed to take his trial."