Sunday, July 7, 2013

William Round's memoirs

I'm on a roll with the Chaundy family. After my last blog, about William Henry Chaundy's letter, I dug out the file and rechecked some earlier bits and pieces - correspondence with relatives who have since died, photocopies from the early days when I didn't always record my sources, scraps of notes. One of the items I found was this:
Wilkinson Scrap Book No. 2, p10. Pamphlet 437
Chaundy W. H. [1]1852-4
A reverie concerning Oakleigh, by W Round[2]. the early part of 1852 I became a fellow boarder with W H Chaundy in King St, Melbourne. We speedily discovered that we came from adjourning counties, Berkshire and Oxford & accordingly we fraternised & became friends. In the month of July in that y[ea]r he became a happy man being married to the girl of his choice[3] at St James Church by the late Dean Macartney, having first provided a cage for his (live) bird in the shape of a two-roomed cottage in Chapel St, Prahran, the ground on which it stood, 28 ft frontage having been paid for with a pound of gold; the site is now the well-known dental est[ablishment] of French (formerly Webb). I was always a 'welcome guest' at the cottage in question, frequently spending Sun[day] there, walking to & from Melb... My first view of Oak[leigh] was in this wise: I had walked as usual on a fine Sun[day] morning from Melb[ourne] to Chapel St when, after a short rest, Chaundy asked me to join him in a walk to Oak[leigh], as he was desirous of spying out the land on the north side of Scotchman's Creek, with a view of becoming a purchaser of a small block. I well remember that it was a particularly hot day, at the end of 1852, & I was highly pleased on reaching the hostelry presided over by the then Widow Atkinson (afterwards Mrs Crawley) to obtain rest & refreshment. Afterwards, feeling like a giant refreshed, we crossed the creek, which, being summer time, was comparatively dry, inspected the land, & an acre lot was chosen; the price being the rather astounding one of £45 an acre; the owner was Collings & the agent T Ham...We then wended our way back to Prahran...C[haundy] afterwards erected a comfortable house on the land, & also purchased a 2nd acre, the number of trees on the spot the attraction. His brother [George[4] who lived] at Ferntree Gully 40 years also bought an acre & a relative, Thomas Green[5], purchased a 4th acre; the latter a few years after, wishing to sell, only obtained £5 for it. But alas a sad misfortune happened to the pioneer, for in felling a tree that was thought to be too near the house it came down on the house and smashed it in two. Fortunately his wife & 2 children were standing a safe distance away, so no one was hurt, & a fresh building was at once erected....In the middle of 1853, C[haundy]'s eldest sister[6] returned from a visit to Eng[land] & took up her abode temporarily with her brother, accompanying him on his removal to Oak[leigh]. She became my lode-star, the result being that every Sun[day] during the summer of 1853-54 I could be seen trudging along the track from Prahran to the township.

[1]  William Henry Chaundy (1830-1882)
[2]  William Round (1825-1909)
[3]  Elizabeth Lake (1833-1866)
[4]  George Chaundy (1837-1924)
[5]  Thomas Green, resident of Oakleigh, 1856 Electoral Roll
[6]  Elizabeth Chaundy (1832-1904)
I don't know where I got it but suspect that it was sent to me by a relative/fellow researcher. It must come from a historical society in Prahran or Oakleigh I think. The footnotes are mine. One day I'll chase up the original but in the meantime it provides some useful information about the Chaundy's early days in Victoria.

The approximate track walked by William Round and William Chaundy in 1852. The distance is about 11 km.
Source: Google Maps
And then I got to thinking about William Round. I've known that he married my great great aunt, Elizabeth Chaundy, that he was a law clerk, that they lived in the Prahran/Windsor area all their married life, that they had a large family. But I didn't know he was an interesting person until I checked Trove and found his obituary. This is just a small section of it but it shows he was passionate about local history and, judging by the scrapbook entry, had a sense of fun.

Extract from the obituary of William Round,
  Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1906 - 1931), Saturday 26 June 1909, page 3
Every now and again I have a nibble at trying to trace the Thomas Green mentioned in the notebook but so far without success. William Henry Chaundy's mother was a Green so I presume he was possibly a cousin. I'd love to contact a descendant.

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