Hamilton HUME

Hamilton HUME[1, 2]

Male 1797 - 1873  (75 years)

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  • Name Hamilton HUME 
    Born 18 Jun 1797  Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Burial 1873  Yass, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Yass Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia
    ts_Hume-Hamilton.jpg
    ts_Hume-Hamilton.jpg
    ts_Hume-Hamilton2.jpg
    ts_Hume-Hamilton2.jpg
    Reference Number 13932 
    _UID 1A1FEBB8C3CB49D19052D1A6871EBCDB195E 
    Died 19 Apr 1873  Coomer Cottage, Yass, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I22250  Clan Home Genealogy
    Last Modified 8 Jan 2012 

    Father Andrew Hamilton HUME,   b. 26 Jun 1762, Hillsboro, County Down, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1849, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth More KENNEDY,   b. 1760, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1847, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years) 
    Married 29 Sep 1796  New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F8569  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth DIGHT,   b. Abt 1802,   d. 19 Mar 1886  (Age ~ 84 years) 
    Married 8 Nov 1825  St Philip's Cofe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 7 Nov 2001 
    Family ID F8570  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 18 Jun 1797 - Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 19 Apr 1873 - Coomer Cottage, Yass, New South Wales, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Hamilton Hume.jpg
    Hamilton Hume.jpg

  • Notes 
    • Hamilton was one of the first freeborn caucasians in Australia. He was a great Bushman and explored large portions of NSW. In 1824 he travelled thru virgin bush to find an overland route between Sydney and Westernport & Port Phillip (the present site of Melbourne). The major highway between Sydney & Melbourne is named after him.


      Hamilton HUME 1797-1873,explorer, was born on 19 June 1797, near Parramatta, New south Wales, the eldest son of Andrew Hamilton Hume and his wife Elizabeth, nee Kennedy. An accomplished woman of an equable nature, Elizabeth was a perfect foil for her unpredictable husband, and gave her four children, particularly Hamilton, the rudiments of a sound education. In 1812 the family moved to a grant of 100 acres at Appin. Two years later Hamilton, 17, made his first journey of exploration when, with his brother John and an aboriginal boy, he reached the Berrima-Bong Bong district. In the next two years Hamilton, leaving the youthful John at home, made two more successful journeys to the dame district and penetrated as far as the
      site of the present village of Bungonia.
      At the request of Governor Macquarie, Hume in 1818 accompanied Charles Throsby and James Meehan to the 'New Country', virtually the area already referred to but taking in more of the County of Argyle. The party split up; Hume and Meehan pressed on and discovered Lake Bathurst and the Goulburn plains. Whilst at the lake Meehan discovered and traced the course of the Mulwaree River for some distance while Hume made an excursion to the Gourock range. Rejoining for the return journey they passed close to the site of what became Goulburn. Next year Hume accompanied Oxley and Meehan to Jervis Bay; Hume and Meehan, who worked well together, returned overland.
      Throsby and John Macarthur next sought Hume's services as guide to the Bon Bong district, and in 1821 or `822 Hume, accompanied by his brother-in-law George Barber, and W.H.Broughton, discovered the Yass Plains: the party had gone to the Gunning district to establish a station. In 1822 lieutenant Johnston, Alexander Berry and Hume reached the Clyde River; penetrating its upper reaches Berry and Hume moved inland almost to the site of Braidwood. For these services he received a grant of 300 acres at Appin and there built
      his first home. It was Berry who brought together Hume and Captain
      W.H.Hovell for what was to be Hume's most famous and fruitful journey to Port Phillip and back in 1824-25.
      Hume agreed to lead a party overland to Spencer Gulf, but was unable to finance the journey wholly himself. As government backing was not
      forthcoming he was on the point of abandoning the project when Hovel offered to accompany him and share the cost. Hovell, an English sea captain, eleven years older than Hume, had settled on a grant at Narellan. He had little experience in the bush but could navigate. An agreement was signed but the arrangements were loose and unsatisfactory. The government contributed a few bare essentials: a tent, tarpaulin, pack-saddles, firearms and ammunition, but everything else was provided equally by the two principals, and each brought three assigned servants. Such instructions as the government's contribution permitted it to give were a bone of contention between Hume and Hovell almost from the start, and by mutual consent their objective was changed to Westernport. On 17 October 1824, a fortnight after leaving Hume's home at Appin, the party left his station at Gunning, then the farthest out.
      In the next sixteen weeks the party made many important discoveries,
      including the Murray River, which the explorers for different reasons named the Hume, many of its tributaries, and the valuable agricultural and grazing lands between Gunning and Corio Bay in Victoria. I was a rich return for the distance travelled. They arrived back at Gunning on 18 January 1825. For his services Hume received a grant of 1200 acres, which he was forced to sell to pay outstanding expenses; he had had to sell 'a fine iron plough' to pay for essentials before setting out.


      Both Hume and Hovell convinced Governors Brisbane and Darling that the farthest point reached by the expedition had been Westernport. Hume's failure to voice his suspicions that the point reached was Corio Bay in Port Phillip was a grave error. On the evidence available his later statement that he was 'aware of it all the time', must be considered an afterthought.
      Soon after his return Hamilton Hume married Elizabeth, second daughter of John Hannah Dight of Richmond.
      The government in 1827 offered a grant or other indulgences for the
      discovery of a new road over the Blue Mountains. This attracted Hume and he was successful. Though his line of road was not adopted he received a grant of 1280 acres for his services and as additional remuneration for his work with Hovell. In 1828 he was attached by Darling to Sturt's expedition into the interior. The party reached the Darling River. On this trip Hume showed his ability to work well and enthusiastically under a man he like and respected. They became lifelong friends and Hume's ability to handle the aboriginals was never better illustrated than on this journey.
      The appreciative sturt endeavoured to obtain his services for an expedition down the Murray, but he was unable to go; Hume's health had been impaired by the rigours of the journeys with Hovell and he now had to consider his wife and his future. His choice of the Yass plains as the site of a home was probably made in the early 1820s when the area was already being settled by squatters. Hume moved to the plains in 1829, receiving one grant of 1280 acres and another of 1920. By 1830 he was established with several flocks of sheep and a number of pigs. Later he held three expanded holdings, Humewood,
      Marchmont and Eurolie.
      In 1839 he bought from Henry and Cornelius O'Brien a cottage and 100 acres on the Yass River and lived there. A few years later Hamilton Hume, who was childless, practically commandeered the eldest son of his youngest brother, Francis Rawdon Hume. The nephew largely took over the management of the holdings, and worked amicably with his uncle for two decades, laying the foundations of a merino stud that was not dispersed until 1914.
      In 1853 Hovell visited Geelong where he was feted as its discoverer. Reports of this reached Hume, who was so incensed by what he considered a playing down of his part in the 1824 journey that he rushed into print. The result, a pamphlet entitled A Brief Statement of Facts in Connection with an Overland Expeditions from Lake George to Port Phillip in 1824 (Sydney,1855), gave Hume's version of the events that took place on the journey and the part played by Hovell. Evidence in support of Hume was given by three assigned servants, Angel, Fitzpatrick and Boyd, the last, for the journey, a servant of Hovell. It was a damning indictment and could not fail to injure Hovell in the eyes of the public. He retaliated with a Reply to 'A brief statement of facts...'(Sydney, 1855) and thereafter remained silent. It was an unhappy, pointless quarrel which destroyed any friendship between Hume and Hovell that the success of the journey may have engendered.
      In 1860 Hamilton Hume was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He became a magistrate and attended to his duties in Yass almost to the day of his death. An Anglican, he was a foundation trustee of St Clement's, Yass, and other institutions in the township, As the years advanced his health declined; another pointless quarrel resulted in the parting of uncle and nephew in 1865. From then on the explorer's deterioration was rapid. Almost totally deaf, with a failing memory, and now obsessed with the idea that his place in the 1824 expedition had not been restored in the public's estimation , he was preparing a second edition of his Statement when he died at his home, Cooma Cottage, Yass, on 19 April,1873.
      The third edition with addenda, published posthumously in 1874, added nothing to what was already known and only served to fan the embers of a bitter controversy. Hume's work as an explorer was done by the time he was 31, but it was very important. Despite his back ground he had to contend with the contempt of authority for the colonial born. Such recognition and remuneration as he received stemmed entirely from his own energy, resource, and from the determination that brought the 1824 journey to a successful conclusion. By nature he was generous and genuinely fond of his many nephews and nieces, most of whom benefited from his will.
      Hamilton Hume and his wife, who survived him by thirteen years, were buried side by side at Yass cemetery. Portraits of both are at the Mitchell Library, Sydney.

      Stuart H Hume.

      HRA (1),11,12; W Bland (ed), Journey of discovery to Port Phillip (Syd, 1831); E. Scott, Hume and Hovell's journey to Port Phillip, JRAHS,49 (1964);
      S.H.Hume, 'Hamilton Hume and all that@, Bulletin, 10, 17 Aug 1960;
      P.L.Brown, 'Hovell's return to Geelong, 1853';VHM,32 (1962); M.Yeo,Hamilton Hume and the Hume family (Genealogical Soc, Syd); Family papers (in possession of S.H.Hume, Goulburn); MS cat under Hume (ML); Yeo papers(ML)

  • Sources 
    1. [S128] Tilmans Gedcom, Dr. Anthony L. Tilmans.

    2. [S267] Beyond The Borders, Stuart Hamilton Hume, (Edited and Published by Jennifer Hume Macdougall and Prudence Grieve Printed by Pirie Printers and Sales Pty. Ltd. 140 Gladstone St. Fyshwick ACT 2609 Copyright 1991) (Reliability: 3).