Charles Edward Beddome (1839-1898) was the youngest son of Richard Boswell Beddome. He was born in Clapham, London in 1839. At some time, he left Britain for Australia. He married Eliza Jane Allingham (1845-1897), who was born in Queensland, Australia. They had two children, Brenda Frances (born 1878) and Charles Boswell (1879), both born in Hobart, Tasmania. Charles and Eliza Beddome both died in Sandy Bay, Tasmania. Charles died in 1898. He is sometimes described as Lieutenant. His noitce of death in the Times describes him as "late Indian Navy".
There are different snippets on the web about him. There are other Beddomes in Australia, so I hope I haven't got the wrong one! But it seems the story goes something like this.
The first reference I can find is in this book which says:
Beddome. Charles Edward. Early Pastoral investor and businessman who replaced Hugh Mosman in 1866 in the partnership leasing the coastal pastoral Runs which were then amalgamated as the Caswarral Run. Although his name appears with Robert Rows and Arthur Bootle Wilbraham on later Pre-emptive Selection Applications, he appears to have been more of a silent partner in the pastoral operations.
THen there seems to be a shift to Somerset in Queensland.
Charles Edward Beddome was a friend of Frank Jardine (see Jardine's Wikipedia article). They were both Police Magistrates of Somerset, Queensland - this is the very point at the top of Queensland. This Ukrainian Wikipedia article (?!) on Somerset (Queensland) says:
[Somerset, Queensland] Government Resident, Commissioner of Crown Lands, Police Magistrate:
Francis Lascelles (Frank) Jardine, 1841-1919, Esq. on 28 January 1868 – 1 September 1869 Simultaneously appointed Inspector of police. Of the 21 September 1868 Additionally holds the post of Secretary of the small courtroom, Postmaster and district-registrar September 30, 1870-October 16, 1873. At the same time appointed Inspector of delivery. From 20 March 1872 Additionally holds the position of Justice of the peace (Engl. Justice of the Peace). On March 13, 1873 in addition holds the post of Inspector of the hiring and dismissal of sailors of Merchant Navy (Engl. Shipping Master), as well as a publican, to give him the opportunity to provide licenses to boats in commercial purposes.
Henry Chester Marjoribanks, 1832-1914, Esq. 1 September 1869 – 22 September 1870. Additionally takes different positions — District-Registrar, Secretary of the small courtroom, pochmeister, meteorological observer and Inspector of delivery (from 18 March 1870). on October 1, 1875 – July 23, 1877. At the same time appointed to posts of customs, Harbour, the Inspector of the hiring and dismissal of sailors of Merchant Navy, shipping Inspector, and from 30 September — District-Registrar. Became the first magistrate of police at On after the Government settlement of Somerset Island.
Charles Edward Beddome, 1838 — 1898, Esq. 16 October 1873 – 1 May 1874. From 21 November 1873 in addition holds the position of District-Registrar.
That's been through an automatic translator! So Charles Beddome was Police Inspector from 1873-1874. He replaced Frank Jardine (who had two stints in the job) who had been accused of using government vesssels in private pearl ventures (see this pdf).
In 1874 Frank Jardine established a pearl shelling station on Naghir (in the Torres Straits) with Charles Beddome, who had just finished his job as Police Inspector(see this website). The Torres Strait islands are just off Queensland.
Here is a Times artle of Friday, dated Feb 1, 1878, but referring to January 1st. It mentions Somerset, and pearl shelling, and Mr. Beddome. I don't know whether this is Charles Edward Beddome, but it seems likely.
It is worth reading the Will of Richard Boswell Beddome, the father of Charles. He died in 1881, and left his money to his children. His other sons got their money directly, but Charles' money is carefully tied in a trust. The will states that £4,000 is to be used for the "purchase of a farm or farms houses or lands to be purchased in their names in any part of the world they should see fit and to apply the income half yearly for the benefit in any way they [the Trustees] shall please of my said son Charles Edward Beddome his wife and child or children but without the power of anticipation sale or mortgage, and if such monies shall be invested in any sort of farming lands to permit my said last named son to have the use occupation and enjoyment of the same free of rent or charge of any kind so that he may earn gain or enjoy an income or livelihood thereby he paying or discharging all outgoings in respect of the same." On Charles's "death bankruptcy or Insolvency", the money will go to his wife and children. This sounds to me as if his father does not trust Charles with money, at all! But he is suggesting that a farm is bought for Charles, so he could make something of his life. Charles' own will (see below) acknowledges that his father's will has provided for his wife and family.
Around then is a shift to new territory. Charles' children were born in Tasmania, the oldest in 1878, and presumably he married his wife shortly before then. But she was born in Queensland, and presumably that's where he met her. Did he make his money through pearl shelling, and then move south?
Charles was appointed one of 25 Fisheries Commissioners under the 1889 Fisheries Act to manage Tasmania's fisheries.
They lived in a house called Hillgrove (see right). This website shows more photos of it. It looks like a nice house! The website says:
In 1878, Andrew Livingstone sold the property to Lt Charles Beddome and it became known as "Hillgrove", the name of Beddomes's property in QLD and also his ancestral home in England. Beddome commenced major extention works on the property with a huge weatherboard extention onto the original brick cottage and the building of a Mansard roof. Lt Beddome was a recognized conchologist (one who deals with the study of molluscs, specifically their shells) and was reported at the time "to have one of the most perfect private collections of shells". Lt Beddome passed away in 1898 and the property was passed on to his eldest son, Richard. Richard sold the property in 1908.
These photos are in my parents research (pre-digital!) They are of Hillgrove from the front, and from the back.
Australian Plant Collectors and Illustrators describes him as: "BEDDOME, C.E. flourished 1882 Collected diatoms, ferns, Tasmania, Queensland".
His obituary in "Proceedings of the Malacological Society" says:
Lieut. C. E. BEDDOME, the Australian cochologist, who became a member of this society in 1893, was an ardent and capable collector, especially devoting himself to Australian land-shells and Tasmanian marine mollusca. He published but little himself, the results of his collecting being described by Brazier and Petterd. He gave largely to the British Museum and to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, which body elected him a corresponding member.
I've found a few publications:
Catalogue of Tasmanian marine shells / prepared by Lieut. C.E. Beddome for the Tasmanian Court at the International Fisheries Exhibition, London, 1883
BEDDOME, C. E. (1896). Note on Cypraea angustata, Gray, var. subcarnea, Ancey. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 21:467-468
BEDDOME, C. E. (1898). Notes on species of Cypraea inhabiting the shores of Tasmania. Proceedings of the Linnean Society New South Wales, 22:564-576
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.)Saturday 18 September 1897:
From the Times, 7 Sept 1898:
From the Tasmanian Mail, 10 September 1898
The late Lieutenant C.E. Beddome was a retired officer of the east Indian Company and was for some years prior to coming to Tasmania, a resident of Queensland, where, for a while, he was acting as Government Resident at Somerset, Torres Straits. He was a recognised concologist, having one of the most perfect private collections south of the line. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society of N.S.W., Fellow of the Royal Society of Tasmania and contributed important papers relating to concology to the above societies. He was also one of the original members of the Fisheries Commission of this Clony and at the meeting of the Board on the 11th ult. was present. The deceased was also an enthusiastic stamp and coin collector.
I haven't bothered to transcribe the will of Charles Beddome on this website, as he is not a direct ancestor of mine, and it's rather long.He is mostly interested in what happens to his shell collection! He bequeaths to his sister Martha Ann Beddome "such shells as she may wish to select out of my collection and to keep as a mark of affection to me", which is rather sweet. The rest are to be sold or given to a local museum, as his trustees see fit. Here is the list of personal chattels appended to the will:
|List of personal chattels referred to in and bequeathed by the annexed will of me Charles Edward Beddome dated the Ninth day of June One thousand eight hundred and ninety six.|
|To my wife:||My two telescopes to be for her use during her life|
|To my son Richard Brandon:||My gold Waltham watch and chain|
My double barrelled breech-loader gun
My Smith-Wesson Revolver
My two split cane fishing rods and reels
Half of my fishing tackle (to be apportioned by my Trustees)
My China War Medal
My gold eagle pin
And the plain gold ring I wear.
Also, upon my Wife's death, whichever of my two telescopes he may prefer
|To my son Charles Boswell:||My open-face gold face|
My Bull-dog Revolver
My pair of Colt's Derringer pistols
All my fishing rods except the two above mentioned
The other half of my fishing tackle
My gold knot pin
All my shells (dilicates) that are not set up in my cabinets
also the main cabinets in case my collection of shels shall be sold
And the following books:
Tyron's structural and Systematic Conchology
Genera od recent Mollusca
All my books on Tasmania, New Zealand and Australian mollusca
Johnston's Heology of Tasmania
Navy and Army
Lamarck's Illustrated Conchology
Zoology of Captain Beecher's voyage to the Pacific
Also, upon my Wife's death, the other of my two telescopes
|To my daughter Elizabeth|
the wife of Thomas Lee Mace:
|My collection of English and other coins|
And the following books:-
Rudens Coinage (Three volumes)
Ackerman's Roman coins (Two volumes)
Hawkins English Coins (One volume)
|And to my son in law, the said Thomas Lee Mace:||My diamond studs|
|To my daughter Brenda Frances:||My microscope|
My box of setting up instruments
All my books on the microscope
The gold locket I wear on my watch chain
My gold Fisheries medal
|To my daughter Ethel Allingham:||My Picturesque Atlas of Australia|
My gold seal engraved with my initials
My magnetic battery
My travelling writing case
|To my daughter Mina:||My gold seal engraved with an eagle|
The hair chain of mt Father's and Mother's hair
My large Binocular glasses
|To my daughter Adeline Victoria:||The following books:-|
History of the Indian Navy (two volumes
The last of the Tasmanians
Strzelock's History of Tasmania
Also my small binocular glasses
From the Times, 12 June 1900:
The first portion of the valuable collection of Shells, formed by the late Capt. C. E. Beddome, several small collections of Lepidoptera, heads and horns of animals, cabinets, cases of birds, minerals, flint implements, and other natural history specimens.
Mr. J. C. Stevens will sell the above by auction, at his great rooms, 38, King Street, Covent Garden, on Thursday next, June 14th, at half past 12 o'clock.
On view day prior from 2 till 5 and on morning of sale. Catalogues had on application, post free.
I think it was only the shells that belonged to C. E. Beddome.
It is intriguing that both Charles Edward Beddome and his brother Richard Henry Beddome both turned out to be naturalists. Perhaps Charles Edward Beddome decided to copy his brother. The rest of the family at this time tended to be religious or writers. Their father was a lawyer, but was an amateur astronomer. I also wonder if Charles Beddome's interest in shells was sparked by the episode of pearl shelling, or if his knowledge was of help in that business!
© Jo Edkins 2015 - Return to Beddome index