Thomas Jillett was born 24th September 1817 in New Norfolk, in Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania).
He died 31st October 1891 in Hobart, aged 74 years. He is buried at the Oatlands Cemetery in the Family Vault.
He married Mary Ann Shone in June 1844 in New Norfolk by Rev. William Garrard.
Mary Ann Shone was born 1st November 1821 in New Norfolk, and she died 16th September 1915, in Hobart. She was living at Pleasant Hill, Auvergne Avenue, New Town. She was 94 when she died. She is buried at Oatlands.
Thomas's life can be gauged by his interest in land and property. A wise man no doubt.
1829: He rented 100 acres for 16 pounds 8 shillings at Monmouth with his brother William Bradshaw
1842: He lived at York Plains, Oatlands, and that same year he won a silver cup in Horse Racing from Oatlands Turf Club
According to the census he had interest, with William Bradshaw in 3 selections - one of 640 acres, on of 644 acres and one of
100 acres all in Monmouth
1843 Census revealed the same in formation as the 1842 records
After marriage to Mary Ann Shone, they had several children, and their areas of birth are recorded as York Plains, CatrineVale, Oatlands, Springfield and Melbourne.
1850 He bought the Callington Mill at Oatlands, now part of the National Trust. He sold it to John Bradshaw (his nephew) 31st December 1863.
1855 The census shows he had the following properties: 4 acres 3 rds 28 per at Oatlands
11 acres 1 rd 36 pers at Oatlands
15 acres 1 rd 17 pers at Oatlands
10 acres at Oatlands
1856 With george Nicholls he had 15 acres 2 rd 9 per at Monmouth
1857 He had 10 acres at Oatlands
1858 Owner/Proprietor, Dwelling and Stable, 23 acres Annual Value 36/9d and 420 acres Agricultural and grazing at York Rivulet. Annual value 70/-
Also owned a Cottage in Oatlands rented to William clark 1 acre and value at £13
Shops & Dwelling rented to William Exton 1 acre and value £40
Mill rented to William Exton 1 acre £184/8/
Cottage rented to Henry Harris 1 acre £15/12/
Cottage rented to Francis Mancey 1 acre £13/
And was the proprietor of a Sheep Run at Lagoon of Islands 400 acres value £25
1859 Three of his children and 4 of his brother's children died from Scarlet fever during an epidemic in Oatlands.
1860 He had 1001 acres Somerset, 640 acres at Great Lake and 640 acres River Ouse and 510 acres at Great Lake.
The family property was called "St Peter's Pass" and it was sold in 1855 to Morrison.
1864 Purchased lot 95 - 190, 400 acres at Westmoreland.
1867 He was living at 13 Nicholsen St Fitzroy, and looking for a sheep station to rent or buy.
1869 Mornington Park, Victoria
1872 Purchased Buddyina Station in NSW
1877 Leased 200 acres Dundonald in Victoria (30 August)
1878 "Dundonald" Broadmeadows, Victoria.
1883 He advertised an 8 roomed house to let, at Ascotvale
1884 "Greendale, Greenvale and Gartmore" Consolidated run 1st August 1885. Mortgaged to N.Z, Loan and Mercantile Agency.
1889 Jillett & Sons, Greendale
1897 Mary Ann Jillett was residing at Widford, Auburn Road, Hawthorne Melbourne
1898 Lease on Greenvale Station became forfeited through non payment of rent
Saturday 31st October 1891.
The death is announced of Mr. Thomas Jillett, after a long illness. He was born at New Norfolk on September 24, 1817 and commenced sheep farming at an early age and was very successful in that industry. In 1866 he moved to Victoria with his family and purchased a sheep station on the Wimmera River. This property he sold, and bought two large runs in New South Wales; these he also disposed of, and in 1880 he purchased Greendale Station on the Barcoo River, Queensland, his sons assuming the management. Three years ago he returned to his native land, and has passed his last days in a life of ease and contentment. When a young man he was passionately fond of horse racing and possessed a large silver cup that he won at the New Town races in 1843. He leaves a widow and nine children to mourn their loss. His sons are the owners of two valuable sheep stations in Queensland.
Thomas Jillett is reported as being an Autocrat who "rode to hounds", and when in a rage he
would say "I will cut off my arm, inch by inch"
This is a print of the family circa 1868 Thomas's grand-daughter Jan Russell holds the original
Dr John Jillett, from Dunedin in New Zealand visited the Jillett properties in 1991. He shares some information below:
Here are some photos from my 1991 visit to Oatlands.
Eldergrove is at York Plains, near Oatlands, Tasmania. It is the house built about 1850 by John Jillett, Thomas's younger brother.
Hut1825 -myself in bearded days, in the interior of Jillett's Hut, located behind the present "Springfield" property. We were shown around by the then owner, Andrew Morrison. The hut contained all sorts of old papers, receipts, furniture items, etc. The Morrisons were a prominent farming/shipping/whaling family and had owned the property since buying it from Thomas Jillett around 1860
Springfield1 homestead of St. Peter's Pass property, on the divide between Hobart and Launceston, near Oatlands. John Jillett at sundial.Original, steeper gabled section of house built by Thomas Jillett about 1850. Jillett's Hut (1825) is behind a Hawthorn Hedge at right of photo. at side of driveway are several whaling try pots.
Springfield2, sunny (northern) side of house.
St. Peter's churchyard with the grave vaults of Thomas and John Jillett families.The father of Thomas and John held grazing leases for land in this district since at least 1817, though his main base was at New Norfolk. Later his Bradshaw and Jillett sons held various pieces of freehold land in the area.
MORRISON, ASKIN (1800-1876), merchant, was born of Scottish ancestry on the family estate of Gortmore at Augher, County Tyrone, Ireland. He joined the Orelia in London for Hobart Town, landed with his merchandise on 9 May 1829 and soon made a handsome profit from the speculation. After selecting land at St Peter's Pass, near Oatlands, he continued his trading and developed lucrative connexions between the colonies, China and Britain. Two of his best-known voyages were those in the Cleopatra from Dublin and the brig Resource from Canton. He was reputed to have made a profit of £10,000 from a cargo of tea he brought from China in the brig Caroline. By 1835 he had given up sailing with cargoes and was settled as a Hobart merchant, owning and chartering ships for whaling, exporting wool and oil, and importing China tea and Mauritius sugar.
Morrison applied his profits in land ownership; he bought the beautiful property of Runneymede in an isolated but fertile valley twenty miles (32 km) east of Hobart and another at Rosny on the Derwent estuary. He acquired other farming land in the colony to the extent of not less than 12,000 acres (4856 ha), sharing with various partners such as John Walker, G. C. Clark and Duncan McPherson. His other speculations proved less successful than shipping and land ownership. His ferry Twins (sometimes called Kangaroo or Double Guts), a powerful but noisy double-engined steamer, ran across the Derwent at a loss for four years before he gave it to Captain Taylor in 1863. He also suffered loss from his part in the Mersey-Deloraine Tramway project, and a share in Peter Barnard & Co. of Launceston was said to have cost him £78,000. He was engaged in such varied business as the Sorell Steam Navigation Co. which intended to run a steam-powered barge up the shallow Coal River to near Richmond in 1854, the Hobart Town Gas Co., the Domain shipyard, the Union Bank, the Hobart Savings Bank, and the Hobart and Launceston Marine Insurance Co. His tender for the construction of the first Sorell Causeway was accepted by the government and he completed this valuable link between Hobart and the Tasmanian east coast.
Money and property brought their train of honour and office. Morrison was made a justice of the peace in 1837, was nominated by Lieutenant-Governor Denison to the Legislative Council, and after responsible government in 1856 represented Sorell in the House of Assembly until 1860. A leading figure in Hobart's business coterie and member of the 1846 commission for lighting and paving the streets, Morrison helped to form the Tasmanian Club, was a director of the Chamber of Commerce and treasurer of the Royal Exchange Association. Long prominent in Hobart he was neither voluble nor outstanding as an organizer, and though co-opted to serve as a councillor on the Royal Hobart Regatta Committee, the Acclimatization Society, the Art Treasures Exhibition, the Gardeners' and Amateurs' Horticultural Society and St Mary's Subscription Hospital, he was generally passive and retiring. His interests were widely dispersed but his special enthusiasm outside business was the breeding of fine horses. He lived partly at Runneymede and at times in his town house near his business on the New Wharf where the thoroughfare is named after him. In 1871 he sold his city business to Macfarlane Bros. He died in his town house on 29 May 1876, aged 76 and unmarried. From his lands at St Peter's Pass he left an annuity of £100 to his cousin Andrew Morrison, and legacies to other relations. He signed his will with a mark. From Tasmanian Archives
Morrison's Shearing Shed, St Peters Pass
Address of Venue: The Shearing shed is behind the two storey sandstone house at St Peters Pass, Midland Highway. It is about 1.25 kilometres south of the St Peters Pass Rest Area and about 1.75 kilometres north of the York Plains Road. It is immediately north of the "Hawthorn Avenue" on the Midland Highway at St Peters Pass.
Town or City: St Peters Pass
Probable location of Jillett's Hut and Springfield
There were two houses erected on the York Plains property owned by the Jillett family. The property extended to what is now known as St Peterís Pass.
The first house built was Springfield in 1837 by Thomas Jillett, his children who were born there were registered as being born at York Plains. Thomas ony built half of the home known as Springfield in 1837, the later owner Askin Morrison built the remainder.
Thomas and his family would have been living at Springfield in the years 1845, 1847, 1848 and 1850. In 1850 he purchased the Callington Mill in Oatlands. There are births recorded in Oatlands for 1854, 1856, 1858 and 1860. There was also a birth recorded at Cathrine Vale in 1852, presumably at the home of Grandfather Triffitts as he had a property of that name.
From Dr John Jillett, - Hut1825 -myself in bearded days, in the interior of Jillett's Hut, located behind the present "Springfield" property. We were shown around by the then owner, Andrew Morrison. The hut contained all sorts of old papers, receipts, furniture items, etc. The Morrisons were a prominent farming/shipping/whaling family and had owned the property since buying it from Thomas Jillett around 1860"
By researching through the newspaper archives of the late 1800's, a lot of information can be sourced about Thomas and his children. In 1862 Thomas was in Melbourne. He seemed to travel there quite often, perhaps with his horses. On Wednesday 29th October 1862, he was arrested.
"Thomas Jillett, who had been remanded for medical inquiry as to his state of mind, having had a severe attach of deliriam tremens, was now brought up, in an improved state of health and was discharged". Fancy name for being drunk!
On Monday 28th April 1879, Thomas advertised the property Dundonald, at Broadmeadows for let.
"To let, Dundonald, situated at Broadmeadows, 12 miles from Melbourne, 200 acres of
good grazing and agricultural land, 30 acres in cultivation, two acres garden and orchard,
well stocked with choice fruit trees of various kinds and flower gardens. A good house,
with drawing and dining rooms, six bedrooms, four pantries, kitchen, washhouse, servants'
rooms, dairy and store, four stall stone stable, coachhouse, harness rooms, hay loft and
large room over with outhouse complete. One of the best views in the colony.
Apply to Thomas Jillett on the premises."
All that is left of Dundonald!
In 1880, he advertised in the Argus, trying to find the where-abouts of Eliza Bowden, daughter of John and Eliza Bowden, known to be at Mt. Gambier. Please apply to her uncle Thomas Jillett, Fernhill, Flemington. VIC
In 1880 he was also advertising for James Hagley? - Your mother is ill, please contact H.P.(?) Jillett, Fernhill Flemington.