and Elizabeth Cubit
James and Elizabeth's parents uncertain
James Cubit (b 1787, m Elizabeth, m Amy (Essy) Fullerton 1848
d 1857 Chudleigh Deloraine Tas)
Elizabeth (b 1786, d 1846 Longford
Sarah Cubit (b
1811 Agahalee County Antrim IRL)
1814 Agahalee, m Mary Chilcott
Longford Tas, d 1874 Deloraine Tas)
Adelaide Cubit (1856 Westbury, m
Mitchell 1880 Sandridge, Melb, d 1937 Wodonga, Vic)
(b 1887 Whiteford, m 1914 Liela
Muriel Roach, d 1960 Wodonga)
Ann Jane Cubit (b
Antrim is NW of Belfast. Irish records have gaps, reflected in our
knowledge of James and Elizabeth in Ireland. See Note
on Irish Records
Peter Cubit has extensive genealogies of the Norfolk Cubits, but as
Norfolk connection is speculative, this material has not yet been
on the website. See discussion below.
The Castle Forbes Stocker's Hut
Dolly Did James Cubit kill
When was James born?
The death notice in the "Examiner" has him 70 years old on 19
1857, making his birthdate probably 1787.
The headstone in Perth cemetery has him 63 years old on 19 October
1857, making his birthdate probably 1794
When he married Essy Fullerton he gave his age as 54 in 1848 making
birthdate probably 1794
Possibly son John organised the death notice in the paper and gave
correct age. Later on Essy organised his headstone, and loyally gave
the age he told her. Its a nice thought.
The description list for the Castle Forbes on which he arrived have
24 years old at the time of his trial in 1819,
making his birthdate probably 1795
The indent list for the said ship states he was tried in Antrim and
age as 34, therefore born probably 1786.
We know the first child Sarah was born in 1811, so 1787
looks right, and assume James lied about his age to his 25 year old
bride in 1848.
When was Elizabeth born
The Tasmanian Archives Office record of her death has her year of
as 1786. In view of the comments below about Elizabeth Cole not
Elizabeth that James married, it is a little disconcerting that
Elizabeth Cole was born 12 Nov 1786
(1) The Norfolk connection.
James and Elizabeth come from Norfolk? At the moment there seems to
no solid evidence that they did. There were lots of Cubit families
Norfolk, but research also provides Cubits in Ireland who
could be ancestors. Link to
discussion of the evidence.
(2) Those left behind. How
Elizabeth, Sarah (nine), John (six) and Ann Jane (four) manage
James. Presumably things were desparate for a father with three
children to steal a sheep in the first place? When Elizabeth
came to Australia with John, Sarah would have been 25 and Ann Jane
so perhaps they were in domestic service or married? I could find
nothing on family search for Sarah or Ann Jane. Perhaps we can find
Sarah and Ann in 1841/1851 census information.
(3) The Reunion, Probably
interest questions come to mind around Elizabeth and John coming to
Tasmania sixteen years later: Did he know she was coming? What
were James’ domestic arrangements at the time, and what happened to
An answer has arrived in
the form of an email from Dr Ian Mcfarlane, Cradle Coast Campus of
University of Tasmania, in prime Cubit country
Arthur petitioned Earl Bathurst on behalf of 12 convicts
that their wives and families be sent over from England, as the
characters of the applicants were good. James Cubitt was
man on the list. The date was 24 May 1827.
Interestingly, there is an eight year gap till Elizabeth arrived.
her arrival might not have been as a resuly of the petition.
increasing prosperity may have allowed him to finance the
(4) 1848 Tasmanian Census.
Where was James? We have a Census creturn for John as Head of the
house in January
1848 at Brook Mount, and James as proprietor. There is nobody James'
age in the household. The houshold consists of six
people, four free, two on ticket of leave. James was to marry
Essy Fullerton in April
1786 Elizabeth born
1787 James Cubit born
1811 Sarah born Antrim, Ireland
1814 John born Antrim, Ireland
1816 Ann Jane born Antrim, Ireland
1819 James Cubit and David Millar convicted of stealing two sheep, 7
1820 James Cubit arrives Hobart on Castle Forbes
1827 James Cubit listed as
petitioning wife and family to join him
1831 Stocker's hut incident (see below)
1836 Elizabeth Cubit and son John arrive Launceston on the
Bolina as Unassisted Immigrants
1846 Elizabeth dies at Longford
1848 James marries Essy Fullerton
1857 James dies at Chudleigh
Val Trickett supplied some James Cubit research commissioned
1984. It does establish the three children as born in Agahlee.
Full Text of Research Report. The source
this article was Val Tricket, but I believe it originatyed with
Val also supplied a writeup of James and John, an extract of which
in County Antrim
Ireland in 1796, was transported in 1820 per "Castleford" at the age of 24 years to Tasmania. After
his release, James worked as a stock-keeper, and
mentioned by Gov. Arthur's Land Commissioner, Roderic O'Connor in
when he visited the Deloraine area.... he notes on March 6,
about four miles distant on the opposite side of the Western
Stocker, of the Derwent Hotel, has established himself on Crown
great extent and fine quality, and has a large herd of cattle. A
man, named CUBIT who looks after them, has frequently been speared
the natives. He had received dangerous wounds a few days before we
there, the Natives telling him that they would have him yet."
at constant war with the blacks... he is said to have shot more
than any other man in the Colony, and in return received a number
spear wounds, none of them, unfortunately for the blacks, fatal.
September 1831, he was wounded 8 times before he could get back to
hut and gun, after going to the creek for a bucket of water,
thereafter and at one
time owned…. 400
acres at "Brookhill', Chudleigh;
500a :'Homewood'; 644a at Cressy; 185a "Dungal" Deloraine and land at Gawler & North Motton,
His is later
were spent at
Chudleigh, and he died at "Brookhill", in 1857, the age of 61
and is buried at Perth. (Note this is Perth in Tasmania).
Full Text of Val's Article
James was illiterate. He only made his mark when
Fullertion. Though Essy signed.
Simon Cubit commented to Jenny Mitchell "James Cubit was an unemployed weaver
Ballymena. He was convicted of
sheep stealing. The other guy was
caught, and James was recognised later (23/3/1819)"
A good read to get a feel for the
found in Tasmania
is a book "An Account of the Colony of Van
Diemen's land, principally written for the use of Emigrants" . Selected
The Castle Forbes
This is of interest, in that it was the
subject of a plot by 20 convicts to seize it, after all its convicts
had disembarked. The plot was discovered and foiled. No suggestion
James was involved. It is described in Bateson's book "The Convict
Stockers Hut seems to be the frontline in a small
war. Other accounts
of the Stocker's Hut incident above have him assisted by
Dolly, a half caste woman who lived with him. Also Fred
found in "Convicts Unbound", The story of the 'Calcutta' convicts
settlement in Australia by Marjorie Thring published by Viking
subsidiary of Penguin Books ISBN 0 670 90068 0, p 192 records:
'In January 1826 natives attacked
James Cupid, one of Stocker's
stockmen, near the Western Creek. They ran away after he
not before a spear had lodged between his neck and shoulder
four-inch wound. For weeks his recovery was doubtful. Later he
George Robinson around the Eastern Marshes. Cupid believed
in the area had been very peaceable at first but were driven to
atrocities because of the outrages inflicted on them. When
asked why they attempted to kill white men, one who understood
had said, 'If black man came and took away his lubra and killed
picaninnie would he not kill black man for it?' This man
amicably with his own half-caste woman and they had two children,
with very fair hair.'
One Stockers Hut account describes James
free man in 1828.
seven year sentence had been completed by then.
The following account was provided by Dr Simon Cubit, a professional
historian. I don't know why they bother with TV series on Mary
Dolly seems to had just as eventful a life.
Mountgarret Briggs, commonly known as Dolly Dalrymple was the
of English sealer George Briggs and Woretemoteyenne (c. 1797-
full blooded Aboriginal woman of the Trawlwoolway people of Cape
At thirteen, in
arrangement sanctioned by her father Mannalargenna,
went to live with Bass Strait sealer George Briggs. She had five
children to Briggs: an infant girl (died in 1811 after being
to a campfire by Aborigines near Launceston), Dalrymple (1812-64),
Eliza (1817- 37), Mary (1818-39) and John (1820-79).
abandoned in Launceston and was fostered by Jacob Mountgarret in
Dalrymple in the early 1820s and taught to read, write and sew. In
late teens Dalrymple left the home of Mountgarret and drifted west
the edge of the European frontier beyond the Meander River where
cohabited with a number of convict stockmen including Thomas
Thomas Thompson, James Cubit and Thomas Johnson. She had children
Baker (in 1826) , Thompson (in 1828) then another 11
Johnson whom she married in 1831.
prominence in 1831 when she defended the remote building in which
lived from attack by a large group of Aborigines. Her long and
defence was rewarded by the colonial authorities with a pardon for
Johnson and a 20 acre block of land at Perth.
and Johnson became overseer of the Frogmore Estate near Latrobe.
later bought their own property which they names Sherwood a couple
miles up the Mersey River from Frogmore. In the mid 1850s Johnson
public house called the 'Native Youth' at Sherwood and a
later owned a coal mine, the 'Alfred Colliery' which shipped its
from Ballaho Creek ,
had another inn
called the 'Dalrymple'. Dalrymple died in 1864 and Thomas in 1867.
trace their ancestry from Dalrymple Briggs whose life and
encapsulate much of the experience that has shaped the identity of
Palawa (Tasmanian aboriginal) families today.
A couple of links of interest :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasmanian_Aborigines
Did James Cubit
Dr Simon Cubit contributed the
Table based on Plomley, The
Aboriginal/Settler Clash with additional
‘On Friday last a party of 150 native attached Stockers
Western Creek and wounded one of his servants, James
Cupid, in three
places with spears after which he succeeded in driving
them away by
firing at them
‘A free man, named Cupit, who looks after them [Stocker’s
been frequently speared by the natives. He received three
wounds a few days before we were there, the natives
telling him that
they would have him yet.’ Land Commissioners Journal
Land Commissioners Journal 6/3/1828
Tuesday the 23rd, speared James
Cubitt at the run of Mr Gibson; this is the ninth time
man has been speared.
Friendly Missions, 25 September
George Augustus Robinson visits the Western
(Deloraine to Mole
Creek area) and reports conversations he has with stockmen
contact with the natives. On the day after he learns of Arthur’s
to mount the Black Line he writes that ‘numerous massacres have
committed here among the unprotected natives’ and lists them.
them: ‘Punch said that when the half-caste woman [Dalrymple
lived with Cubitt she assisted in killing natives.’ p 219.
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 11
‘The Tramp’ (Daniel Griffin) recounts stories
the early history
of the Deloraine district. In one of these stories he tells some
stories about Aboriginals. One of these is a modified version of
August 1831 event in which he focuses on attacks on ‘Mr. Cubit.’
completing this story he offers the comment that ‘it is said of
Cubit that he shot more blacks than any other man in the colony,
these statements may be taken with the proverbial grain of salt,
there are many very much exaggerated stories told of adventures
the blacks in the early days. Still, by all accounts Cubit potted
great many of the Aboriginals.’
Greg Lehman ,
descendant of Dalrymple Briggs, in an honours
thesis University of Tasmania 1998? and in other writings (eg.
‘Matriarchs of Survival’ in The Companion to Tasmanian History,
by Alison Alexander, 2005, pp 229-30) quotes Robinson and Griffin
asserting asserts that James Cubit was an Aboriginal killer.
in The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, pp 275 –
279 argues that Punch, the source of the information that suggests
Cubit killed Aborigines, fabricated the information that Robinson
presented as fact. Windschuttle, in fact, demonstrates, how
and unbelievable Punch’s claims are.
James Cubit, a stockman in a remote area, was
repeatedly attacked by
Aboriginals (they will have him yet!). The story that Robinson
(and it is the only such story) suggests that Cubit helped kill
Aborigines. This understanding is perpetuated in local white
in the 1890s. It is accepted as fact by Lehman in the 1990s but
challenged by Windschuttle in 2002. Did James Cubit kill
Researchers on the Cubits have shared their work
generously, and I have not been good at noting sources. However,
is owed to Val Trickett, Sue Royce, Beris Wilkinson. Jenny Mitchell
Royce is happy to be contacted by email at
<email@example.com>. Also thanks to Peter
Cubit for his help on early Cubits. Thanks to Dr Simon Cubit both
for his contributions, and patient attempts to introduce this
genealogist to the concept of intellectual rigour.
1848 Marriage James Cubitt (Affidavit Application for)
Genes Reunited checked for James
LDS no births or marriages for James in Ireland, See
discussion Google - no joy
Unable to find marriages or deaths for Sarah and Ann, or Census
Another index at the State Archives gives
James Cubitt - 400 acres grant Woodbridge January 1844 (LSD 1/75 p.
James Cubitt - 400 acres Woodbridge (SC 285,269 19/3/1846)
Tasmanian Electoral Roll for Legislative Council Longford 1856 lists
Cubitt James Chudleigh
Numerous references: Archives Off. of TAS 88/1873.
Convict 240, "Castle Forbes", 1820. CON 31/6
J Land Commr VDL 1826-8 p.80
Launceston Examiner 20/10/1857 p1 col3
Presbyterian Records NS 435/1/201.
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