|Notes for Charles Thomas SHARMAN|
In Spalding, Charles worked at Seaton's Bakery when he was 15 years old (Census 1841) and at the Flower Farm aged 25 at 8 Boston Rd (Census 1851). He arrived in Australia on the 24 August 1852 on board the Ship 'Australia' which had sailed from Liverpool, UK. He had paid his own way and would have had his own cabin.
AUSTRALIA - 1852-1854
The area between Maryborough and Timor was known as Chinaman's Flat because of hundreds of Chinese diggers that set up camp and dug for gold in the early 1850s. Within the next 15 years it was the area that employed the most miners. Due to it's location and popularity this area had 38 hotels and many stores large and small and one police station and lockup during the peak period of the 1880s. It was a thriving township. Gold in Ballarat was first discovered at Golden Point in August 1851. Some 20,000 diggers swarmed the area within a short time and an armed escort service had been established to transport gold to Melbourne. In 1854 a digger named McMillan first discovered gold at Chinaman's flat. There were 500 at the rush when the news was spread. Six months later there were 33,000 hoping to become rich. The area was a total buzz. By the early 1860s mining companies were operating for miles around this area. In 1865 a working day for a miner was a hard and long 10 hours with a return of 30 shillings per week. This wasn't much considering that a pair of boots cost 18 shillings at the time. Several miners at one company refused to work because of low pay. They soon found out that the pay was the same elsewhere so they returned to work.
The birth certificate indicates that the above were married in Dudley, Staffordshire, England in 1853 (not recorded) but the later birth record for Charles Henry Sharman (later to be Prosser) claims a marriage took place in Richmond, Victoria in August 1856(also not recorded).
The occupation given for Charles Sharman is that of a butcher but it us hard to believe he was not involved in the gold rush as this would seem to be more lucrative.
The gold rush to Chinaman's Flat began in October 1856 and after three weeks about 4,000 diggers were at work. By early February 1857 15,000 were at Chinaman's Flat with up to 2,000 coming weekly. By March the population had grown to 30,000, in canvas tents and huts of the rudest make. The place was first called Chinaman's Flat from a few Chinese who started there in 1854. J.M. Barr who wrote of his travels through the gold fields described the Chinaman's Flat Rush as a "hotbed of vice, hocused drink and unchecked orgies, and he talked of women in tawdry finery and besotted men besides their doors". The Argus newspaper reported that "at almost every house of entertainment, there is a gaming table of some sort. It is a subject of regret to see the well-toiled-for earnings of months pass into the hands of certainly not the most immaculate class". There were countless saloons at Chinaman's at this time but it was noted that the "soiled doves" within were not given to pugilism (fighting). With the reduced gold taking from the top soil and a major gold rush to Ararat in the middle of 1857, the population of Chinaman's Flat eventually dwindled to 60 in August 1859, and was mostly in the hands of the Chinese.
Chinaman's Flat Today
The next event for the family, was the birth of Charles Henry Sharman (later to be known as Charles Henry Prosser) in Heathcote in May 1860. The witness to the birth is given to be a Dr Carkeet one of only two doctors present in Heathcote at the time. It is recorded of Dr Carkeet that as he was unable to get on with a Dr Robinson, the other doctor in the town, he had withdrawn from work at the hospital to tend to his patients in the township. He made his daily round to those unable to attend his surgery, not by vehicle but by foot. He lived in a weatherboard cottage in High St opposite the Northumberland Arms Hotel. Apparently Dr Carkeet come to Australia as Ships Surgeon in the "Countess of Elgin" which reached Melbourne in Jan 1853. Heathcote (McIver) was a fashionable gold rush in early 1853 and reach its peak of about 20,000 in April of that year. As was common with such rushes by June the next year the population had dwindled to 2,000. By Jan 1855 a mere 800 men were working the field. In the late 1850's attention turned to the reef formations of the district and crushing machines were erected to process the quartz. In contrast to Chinaman's flat, Heathcote was a disciplined, orderly community, unlike the free for all at Chinaman's Flat.
It appears Charles returned Maryborough and worked in High St as a Butcher between 1864 and early 1869.. Another rich gold strike occurred in 1865. It appears that Charles persisted with his career as a butcher and married and founded another family which to this day still bears the surname SHARMAN. He Married Mary Jane Clough WALKER in April 1869.
after moved to the small town of Llanelly (Maidentown)
another gold mining town and continued to work as a
butcher and raise an ever increasing family. The next thirty odd
years, Llanelly and Tarnagulla would become the centre of family life.
He would roam the world no more.
"Linger & Die" Rush. Llanelly, 1890.
He remained in Llanelly as its only butcher as the town evaporated, as so many gold rush towns did. Technology was not a stranger to Charles. It is noted he had a telephone as early as 1884. The size of the local telephone listing is something to ponder! To visit Tarnagulla past and present go to http://home.vicnet.net.au/~tarnagul/welcome.html
Death Notice. From the Tarnagulla and Llanelly Courier, August 16, 1902
On Sunday morning last, the death of Mr Charles Sharman, of Llanelly took place at his residence, after a long and painful illness. The deceased gentleman, who was one of the earliest in Llanelly was 76 years of age, and leaves a widow and six children to mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and parent. For a long time now, he has suffered acutely from heart disease, and during his long and painful illness, he had every care and attention from loving hands and medical skill.
The funeral took place on Monday afternoon and was largely attended by friends from all parts of the District.
The funeral ceremony was performed by Rev. George Hollow, and the Mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr W. Roper."
"AMENDING NEWS REPORT RE THE DEATH OF MR CHARLES THOMAS SHARMAN
Our correspondent informs us that there were one or two errors in our report of the death of Mr C. Sharman, and sends us the following particulars.
On Saturday afternoon the death of Mr C Sharman took place at his residence, after a long and painful illness. The deceased gentleman was a native of Lincoln, England, and was one of the earliest settlers in Llanelly. He was 74 years of age, and leaves a widow and nine children, all of whom are grown up, to mourn the loss of a kind and loving husband and parent. For a long time he has suffered acutely from heart disease, and during his long and painful illness, he had every care and attention from loving hands and medical skill.
On Sunday afternoon last, in St David's Church, Llanelly, the Rev Geo Hollow, though suffering from a cold, preached a most impressive and affecting funeral sermon in connection with the death of Mr C Sharman to a good congregation, many of his hearers were visibly affected. The rev gentleman took for his tet Job xiv 14. 'All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.' He asked his congregation not to look on death as annihilation or extinction of existence, for nowhere in the Bible is it spoken of such. The real life of man is not the mere physical vitality that sickness can impair and death extinguish; but it is the spiritual flame which God has kindled, and which no physical change can affect. Death may be looked upon as a change, and the various changes of the near union of the body and soul were explained by the Preacher. While the Bible tells us we have but one life, it also tells us that one life has two homes. The stay in our earthly home is short, but when death comes, the unslumbering soul, in the fullness of its immortal energies, breaks from its clay tenement and wings its way to God. Appropriate hymns were sung by the choir, and the 'Dead March in Saul' was played during the offertory."
Spalding grew up beside the River
Welland and was a place of importance by Norman times
with a castle of which no trace remains. There was also a
priory which was founded in 1051 by the Benedictines and
in 1070 it was renewed as a dependency of St Nicholas,
Angers. It grew to be the foundation of 30 monks and was
one of the richest religious houses in Lincolnshire, its
value after the Dissolution being valued at 900.
Its extensive buildings reached south of the present
Market Place and east of the Sheep Market, but following
the Dissolution these were destroyed and although road
names and other evidence of the Priory survived, the only
real survivor is the Prior's Oven, now a café,
believed to have been a prison. There is also a range of
buildings in Priory Road that are by tradition linked
with the religious foundation. In later years Spalding
grew as a trading centre on the River Welland, exporting
corn and coleseed whilst imports were coal, timber and
general provisions. In the 16th century it was described
by James Camden, the historian, as a 'most handsome
town'. Spalding is attractively set on either side of the
Welland and is one of the English town that makes the
most of its river. Tree edged streets flank either bank
and Georgian properties look across at each other. One of
the river crossings is the High Bridge, a rather fine
arched structure of 1838.
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