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Official and Judicial, 1854-1850

The early days of the official and judicial history of Manaro are largely enshrouded in darkness which, pierced by odd rays of light, give a glimpse of the records which immediately follow. Mr. John Lambie occupied the position of Commissioner of Crown Lands for the District of Maneroo, and many of his returns concerning the district were sent along to the' Commissioner of Crown Lands at Panbula (now Pambula) Mr. Lambie was in authority on Maneroo, and a resident of what is now the town of Cooma in 1842, and for some time appeared to have centred in himself the whole of the District Administration. As settlement increased, so did Mr. Lambie's duties.

In 1847 a Court of Petty Sessions was established at Cooma, Mr. Lambie being the Chief Magistrate, and Mr. Robert Dawson the Clerk. All fees and fines collected and imposed were remitted to the Benevolent Asylum at Queanbeyan.

As indicative of the behaviour of the population in 1853, it is stated that for the last quarter of that year fees to the extent of three pounds seven shillings were collected, and fines amounting to four pounds five and four-pence, mostly for drunkenness, were ordered to be paid.


In 1854 it was considered desirable to make definite arrangements which would, on Court days, ensure the attendance of a second magistrate, and it is noted that at the beginning of that year a Roster was prepared containing the names of the following Honorary Magistrates, who agreed to special days in each month upon which they would attend court:

William Adams Brodribb-Coolringdon.

Kennear Robertson, Surgeon-Cooma.

Stewart Ryrie-Cootalandra and Jindabine.

William Grahame-Dry Plains and Frying Pan Creek.

Alexander Hamilton-Woolway.

Robert Cassells-Island Lake and Carot.

Mr. Wilson was then Chief Constable and also Bailiff of the Court of Requests, being appointed to the latter office in March, 1854.

In this year the Police District of Cooma was in existence, and the returns of live stock, live stock slaughtered, and private schools, were sent to Panbula. On the 16th January a muster of 'ticket of leave' holders took place at Mr. Lambies instance, and five men appeared thereat. This muster was continued from year to year for some years.

On 30th January the registration of a spirit merchant's license was effected, in the name of Alexander Montague, in respect of a house built of slabs and covered with bark used for carrying on the business of a general store situate near the Market Square and adjoining Sharp Street. This business was started some time in 1850, but the earliest record of the issue of a license available is that noted.

In the same month notices respecting the Annual Licensing Meeting was posted up at Ward's Inn, Montague and Shannon's Stores, at Nimmitabel and at Reed's Flat.

The latter place is the village which in later years and at the present day was, and is known,as Bunyan.

In March the Bench received notification of the appointment of Mr. Charles Walters as poundkeeper.

On 29th March. 1854. a sale of Town and Suburban Lands took place. Under the supervision of the Bench. lots aggregating 19 ac. 3 roods 22 perches, bringing forty nine pounds, fourteen shillings and fivepence, and further sales took place from time to time.

On the same day registration was effected of a spirit merchant's license, in the name of Samuel Shannon, in respect of a house built of slabs and covered with bark, used as a store, and situate near the reserve for the Roman Catholic Church in Bombala Street. On 3rd April, 1854, a slaughtering license was granted to John Leather barrow to slaughter cattle at Hogarth's Stockyard.

The Annual Licensing Meeting was held on 17th April ' 1854, when a certificate was granted to Solomon Solomons, of Reed's Flat, for the Inn known by the sign of The Squatters' Arms. Two other applications, one by John Stanton, of Nimitybelle, and the other by Joseph Ward, of Cooma, were adjourned to the first May, on which date John Stanton's license for "The Nimitabell Inn" at Nimitybelle, and Joseph Ward's license for "The Graziers* Inn" at Cooma, were granted.

On 8th May a notification was received from the Inspector General of Police, advising his recommendation of the preparation of a plan of the Police District of Cooma. On 15th May a recommendation was made in favor of the appointment of Mr. Charles Walters as Postmaster, Henry Rimington the previous Postmaster, having died on 5th May.

On 5th September a transfer was granted from Solomon Solomons to Maurice Solomons, of "The Squatters' Arms" Inn at Reid's Flat. The spelling of the latter place varies in the official records from time to time from "Reid" to "Reed." In November stock returns to the number of 65 were sent out to be filled in. This appeared to be the number of stock holders in the district,

On 28th November at the annual licensing meeting for auctioneers, one license only was granted, this being to Charles Walters, who was also then Postmaster and Poundkeeper.

The fines collected and remitted to the Treasurer of the Benevolent Asylum at Queanbeyan amounted for the quarter to 6 pounds, 15 shillings


On 25th February, Joseph Ward obtained a publican's booth license for races to be held at Tea Tree Flat on 20th, 21st and 22nd March, the license being operative from 6 a.m. till 10 on each day.

On 19th March the registration of A. Montague's and Samuel Shannon's spirit license was renewed.

On 17th April, at the Annual Licensing Meeting renewals were granted to Joseph Ward for premises known as "The Graziers' Inn", Cooma; James Hain, "The Lord Raglan Hotel," Cooma; Alexander Davidson. "The Squatters' Arms Inn", Reids Flat; John Stanton, "The Nimitabell Inn", Nimitybelle. This appears to be the first year of the existence of "The Lord Raglan" Hotel.

23rd July. -Mr. Francis Smith was residing at Coolringdon as overseer of that Run, for a letter was sent by the Bench to the Governor, recommending his appointment to the Magistracy, and on 20th August, Mr. Smith, having received his appointment, took the oath of office and sat as a member of the Court.

1st October. -Samuel Shannon secured a Spirit Merchant's License for a house built of slates and thatched used as a general store, and situated in Lambie Street. (Earlier in the year he had obtained a license for premises in Bombala Street.)

8th October. -A letter was received from the' Colonial Secretary's office, advising a grant of 200 pounds for road repairs.

26th and 27th October - Races were again held at Tea Tree Flat.


28th January 1856. - Spirit Merchant Licenses were granted to Alexander Montague and Samuel Shannon, to the latter for two premises.

4th February. - It was stated that the number of forms (300) for collecting the census were sufficient, and Edmund Hayley and John Downie were appointed collectors.

4th April. - An auction sale of town-lands took place, 33 lots aggregating 62 a. 3 r. 9 per., being offered, and realising 504 pounds, 17 shillings and 10 pence Amongst the purchasers appears the name of Mr. James Litchfield.

Dr. Winsor Merryweather was at this time practicing his profession in Lambie Street.

In this year the census was taken and its result showed that in Cooma District there were 1,144 males and 811 females. In portion of the Murrumbidgee district, in the Police District of Cooma, there were 33 males and 21 females. Total in the Police District of Cooma, 1,177 males and 832 females. Grand total, 2,009.

21st April. - Renewals of publicans' licenses were granted to the same four licensees as in 1855.

19th May. -Mr. Lambie's occupancy of office appears to have been terminated, for Mr. Hugh Hamon Massie, Commissioner of Crown Lands for the District of Maneroo, proceeded against Daniel O'Hare, the licensed occupant of the lands known as Curry Flat.

16th June. -Booth licenses were granted to J. Ward, J. Hain and A. Davidson for races.

28th July. -The business of the Court was postponed to enable the Magistrates to attend the funeral of Mrs. Harnett, of Rosebrook.

24th September. -Samuel Shannon still carried on his store in Lambie Street, and obtained a renewal of his Spirit 'Merchant's license.

31st October. -Richard Popham, Inspector of Sheep for the District of Maneroo, summoned Mr. Weir, Superintendent of the Twofold Bay Pastoral Association, for travelling unbranded sheep, and on 10th November, Mr. Weir was convicted and fined 3d. per head on 1,000 sheep.

l7th November. -A letter was sent to the Postmaster General respecting the removal of the Post Office at Cooma.

25th November. -Auctioneers' licenses were issued to John James Wright, Charles Walters, and Benjamin Moses.

John James Wright also obtained a spirit merchant's license for a store built of timber and covered with canvas situated in Vale Street.


15th January. -Joseph Ward obtained a license to slaughter cattle in his stockyard at Cooma.

Renewals of Spirit Merchant's licenses were allowed to Alexander Montague, Samuel Shannon (for Bombala Street only), and John James Wright for premises in Vale Street. A new license was granted to Abraham Levy for a store built of slabs and thatched, and situated in Lambie Street.

l2th March. -A sale of land at Bunyan took place, Joseph Woodcroft being the purchaser. This is the first official mention of the name of Bunyan. Some suburban allotments were also sold, the highest price realised being 27 pounds per acre, for Lot 10 of f Section 20, the purchaser being John Ward, Junr.

16th March. - Booth licenses were granted to Messrs. Ward and Hain for races on 17th, 18th and 19th March.

21st April. -The Annual Licensing - Meeting granted Publicans' General Licenses to Joseph Ward, of Cooma, for "The Grazier," and James Hain, of Cooma, for "The Lord Raglan." John Stanton's license for Nimmitabell was refused, but it was stated would be granted later, provided the house was put in good repair. The license was again refused on 18th May, the premises being alleged to be unfit in every way.

22nd June. -The Lands and Public Works Office advised 1710 had been allotted for the repair of roads between Cooma and Queanbeyan.

10th August. - Robert Dawson was sworn in as Police Magistrate before William Grahame, J.P. He thus became the first Police Magistrate for the district.

12th August. -The first case before the Police Magistrate was heard.

21st September. -A notice was received from the Treasury stating that 200 pounds had been placed in the Joint Stock Bank.

23rd and 24th October. - Heavy rain and high floods prevented the officials reaching the Court House and no business was transacted.

26th Octobe - Maurice Harnett was sworn in as a J.P. John James Ryall, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages took action against various residents.

24th November. - Auctioneers' licenses were granted to Charles Walters, Abraham Levy and Abraham Moses.

28th November. -Mr. Freestone, of Queanbeyan, solicitor, appeared to defend two men charged with the theft of a mail-bag between Cooma and Bombala. This is the first record of any professional appearance at the Cooma Court.

Ist December. -A Special Licensing Meeting granted a General Publican's License to Samuel Shannon for premises to be known as "The Victoria Hotel" (situate where the Prince of Wales Hotel now is). John Cullen, of Reid's Flat obtained a license for the house formerly licensed and known as "The Squatters' Arms."

23rd December - Booth licenses were allowed to James Hain and Joseph Ward for races on 26thDecember.

29th December. -Spirit Merchants' Licenses for 1858 were granted to Abraham Levy, Lambie Street, John James Wright, Vale Street, and Alexander Montague, Market Reserve.


It appeared to be part of the P.M.'s duty to inspect and report on the district roads, for on 13th January he left for Queanbeyan for that purpose.

Ist March. - Mr. P. J. J. Clifford was sworn in as Magistrate.

5th April. -The Bench wrote to the Secretary for Lands and Public Works, praying that 270 pounds be placed to their credit to meet the road contracts entered into. Sawyers' licenses were granted to Edward Agnew and John Robinson for the half-year ending 30th June 1858.

20th April a Publicans licenses granted to: - Joseph Ward - 'The Graziers' Inn," Cooma; James Hain, -Tbe Lord Raglan Hotel, Samuel Shannon. "The Victoria Hotel': John Cullen, "The Squatters' Arms Inn." Bunyan: Angus McDonald, "The Nimmitabel Inn.'- Nimmitabel

23rd May - Thomas Rawlings was paid a cheque on the Joint Stock Bank for 150pounds, being the balance due to him under a contract, and George Lewis received 200 pounds for repairs at McLaughlan River.

17th August. -A land sale of special Country and Town Lots realised, 378/1/3. On the 18th August a similar sale realised 409/13/6.

4th September. -A Benevolent Society had been formed at Cooma. A Bench letter was sent to the Colonial Secretary asking that drunkards fines, formerly remitted to the Society at Queanbeyan, might be paid to that established at Cooma.

4th October. -At the Court House, Cooma, 42 lots of land at Nimmitabel were sold.

5th October. -36 further lots were sold.

30th November. -Auctioneers' licenses were issued to Charles Walters, Cooma; Abraham Levy, Queanbeyan; John Meurisse, Nimmitabel.

20th December. -J. R. Neate and James BrenmAn were appointed collectors for the Electoral Roll at 1 pound per day each. A contract was entered into with Thomas Rawlings to lengthen the Cooma Bridge 80 feet and sundry other work, to be completed in three months ending 31st March. 1859, for 140 pounds. For a further sum of 10 pounds he agreed, on 27th December, to keep the whole in repair for twelve months, but not to be liable for flood damage.


4th January. -Spirit Merchants' Licenses were renewed to Abraham Levy, Lambie Street; John

James Wright, Sharp Street (previously Vale Street); Alexander Montague, Market Square (whose premises were now roofed with iron).

17th January. -Nimmitabel was recommended as a place for which spirit merchants licenses could be granted. Gazettal was effected on 15th March 1859.

7th March. -A contract was entered into with Thomas Brogan to repair the crossing place of the Umeralla River for 31 pounds.

11th April. -A Spirit Merchant's License was issued to Francis Burke for a general store, built of slabs, covered with bark, situated in Kirke Street Nimmitabel.

18th April. -Publicans' licenses were granted to James Hain, The Lord Raglan Hotel; SamuelShannon, The Victoria Hotel; Joseph Ward, The Australian Hotel (name changed); Angus McDonald Donald, The Nimmitabel Inn, Nimmitabel; John McDonald, The Robert Burns Hotel, Nimmitabel (First license); John Cullen, The Squatters' Arms, Bunyan.

4th May. -Robert Dawson was appointed Registrar of the District Court.

11th July. -The first revision of the jury list took place and the list was transmitted to the

Judge, Henry Cary, Esq. Robert Dawson was appointed District Court Registrar, and the necessary. bond was executed by him and his sureties, Messrs. F. Smith and M. Harnett, and sent to the Crown Solicitor.

8th August. -The Bond for signature by the District Court Bailiff and his sureties in the sum 250 pounds was received for signature from the Crown Solicitor.

20th August. -Robert Dawson was appointed Clerk of the Peace for Cooma and Bombala.

5th September. -An application for transfer of publican's license from Donald McDonald, of the Robert Burns Hotel, Nimmitabel, to John Levy was allowed.

12th September. -The first District Court was held. Sixteen cases were listed, 11 being settled out of Court. There were no cases for the Quarter Sessions.

5th October. -Mr. Lambie's house was burnt and a charge of arson laid in respect thereof against James and Emily Brenan, who were discharged. A spirit merchant's license was granted to John Valentine Hinton for a general store, built of slabs, covered with iron, in Sharp Street.

21st November. -Auctioneers' licenses were issued to Charles Walters, Cooma; Benjamin De Lissa, Cooma; Abraham Levy, Queanbeyan; J. J. Wright, Queanbeyan; John Meurisse, Nimmitabel.


2nd January. -Registration of Spirit Merchants was noted in favor of Hinton Bros., Sharp Street, Cooma; Abraham Levy, Lambie Street, Cooma; Francis Burke (Timber and Shingles), Bombala Street, Nimmitabel; J. J. Wright, Sharp Street, Cooma; A. Montague (timber and iron), Market Square, Cooma.

13th February. -All court cases were postponed to 20th in consequence of floods.

29th February. -A District Court was held, 11 cases being set down for hearing. A Court of Quarter Sessions, the first at Cooma, was held on the same day, one case being tried.

18th March. -The Cooma mail robbed by armed men near Rob Roy.

17th April. -A spirit merchant's license issued to Solomon and Coulter for a general store, built of stone and roofed with iron, situate Sharp Street. (This was the building known as "The Big Drum.") Publicans' licenses were issued to Joseph Ward, Australian Hotel; William Patterson, Victoria Hotel; John Curtis, Lord Raglan Inn; John Cullen, The Squatters' Arms; Angus McDonald, The Nimmitabel Inn; Archibald McDonald, The Robert Burns Hotel; John Smith, The Woolpack Inn, Bobundra; William Russell, The Gold Diggers' Arms, Cabramurra. The num6er was increased by reason of the Kiandra gold rush, the "Woolpack" and "Gold Diggers' Arms" being on the Diggers' Road, between the Coast and the goldfield.

6th July. -A spirit merchant's license was granted to James Hain for a general store built of stone, roofed with iron, in Lambie Street, and this is the genesis of the present business of Hain and Co.

11th September-Publicans' licenses, consequent upon the Kiandra rush, issued to: -James Alles, The Rhine Falls Hotel, Wattle Flat; Joseph Henry Chalker, The Travellers' Rest, Adaminaby; John Freebody, The Five Ails Hotel, Middlenbank; John Dougill, The White Horse Inn, Cooma.

26th September. -Court sat at Middlenbank.

From "BACK To COOMA" Felix Mitchell 1926

Return of all persons employed in the department of the SURVEYOR GENERAL of New South Wales 1853
*H R LABBATT.  an Assistant Surveyor for 12yrs., in charge of the squatting districts of Wide Bay and Burnett but about to be removed to the district of Maneroo in consequence of the failure of his health from the climate of Wide Bay. Permanently employed, annual salary 260 + 75 temporary allowance. Allowances of 100 in lieu of equipment.                        
*J C DRAKE.  an Assistant Surveyor of 4 months temporary employment, in the survey of runs in Maneroo District. Annual salary 200 + 75 temporary allowance. Allowance of 70.
*Samuel PARKINSON....Supernumerary Assistant Surveyor..(Retired in the last 5 years.) Resigned after 3 yrs and 7 months. In the field on various surveys in the Murrumbidgee and Maneroo districts.

Rewards for Meritorious Services in the apprehension of Prisoners 1859/60
Alfred MILLS, Constable, Bombala. 10pound.
Pensions and Gratuities to Widows of deceased constables. 1859/60
Elizabeth WEBBER, widow of Chief Constable WEBBER of Queanbeyan Police.

RETURNING OFFICERS for Electoral Districts 1859
Monaro- William GRAHAM Esquire

 Justices of the Peace 1856
James Kinghorne CHISHOLM, Esq. appointed 15th Dec 1856-Police District- Gledswood, Goulburn
Nicholas Richard BESNARD, Esq.       "        "           "          Police District- Kangiaroo, Yass
Thomas LAIDLAW Esq......................."         "           "          Police District- Yass
William Douglas CAMPBELL, Esq....   "         "           "          Police District- Yass
Andre de MESTRE Esq..................    "          "           "         Police District- Terrara, Shoalhaven

Magistrates 1859
James ATKINSON.........Berrima
Henry BADGERY,,,,Vine Lodge,,,,Berrima
William DAVIES.............Goulburn
James GRAHAM,,,,,Green Hills,,,,Shoalhaven
Rowland HASSALL........Braidwood
John KENDALL.............Ulladulla
David KIRKWOOD.........Merimbula
John MacArthur.............Shoalhaven
Moss MARKS...............Goulburn
Francis John PAYNE.....Berrima
Robert RICHIE..............Ulladulla
William Russell RILEY...Goulburn
Thomas ROBERTS.......Braidwood
Roger SECCOMBE.......Ulladulla
Joseph TAYLOR,,,,,Little Bombay,,,Braidwood
James WADDINGTON,,,,Green Hills,,,,Shoalhaven
James WARDEN.........Ulladulla
John Bowie WILSON.....Braidwood

Appointment of MAGISTRATES 1870
Henry BROWN.....Bendennine....Yass
James COGLE.....Moonbria Station...Jerilderie
William COULTER...Bombala
Thomas HOBBS....Milton...Ulladulla
John MONAGHAN....Mayfield...Shoalhaven
John STUART....Jerilderie
Joseph WEIR.....Yanko Station...Jerilderie

DISTRICT REGISTRARS of Births, Deaths and Marriages 1856
Berrima- Mr. J Evelyn LIARDET.......Clerk of Petty Sessions
Bombala- Mr Henry KESTERTON.....Post Master
Braidwood- Mr Thomas MORPHY (? MURPHY)....Clerk of Petty Sessions
Cooma- Mr Robert DAWSON..........Clerk of Petty Sessions
Eden- Mr P J MURRAY..................Clerk of Petty Sessions
Goulburn- Mr William CHATFIELD....Justice of the Peace
Paterson- Mr W Morris READE........Storekeeper
Queanbeyan- Mr Charles Edward SMITH....Clerk of Petty Sessions
Shoalhaven- Mr James ALDCORN........undescribed
Tumut- My Henry HILTON .................Postmaster
Yass- Mr John STILES..................Clerk of Petty Sessions



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