Ellen MURRAY (1830-1881)
Andrew McLEAN (1825-1899)
‘Eagle View’, Yatte Yattah
Charles and Susan Murray’s second daughter, Ellinor (known as Ellen) married neighbouring landowner, Andrew McLean (1825-1899), in 1850 at Kiama NSW. Andrew was the son of Walter Hunter McLean (1795-1875) from Roxburghshire, Scotland, and Mary Morne (1794-1875) of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The McLeans arrived in New South Wales on the ship ‘Champion’ with son, Andrew (18), and two daughters, Catherine (16) and Mary (19), on 5 October 1840.
Andrew McLean was one of the first grantees or purchasers in the area then known as Armstrong’s Forest, the earliest settlements being on the fertile flats on either side of Yackungarrah Creek and south of Currowar creek and, also, on the more elevated area on the northern side of Currowar Creek. Andrew purchased his land north of Currowar Creek. This Crown Grant was called Eagle View Farm and adjoined the first grant to the Reverend Thomas Kendall. Other early grantees and neighbours included Thomas Surfleet Kendall and Charles Murray, Ellen’s father.
In the Milton-Ulladulla directories from the year 1850, Andrew McLean is listed as of “Milton, Eagle View – Landowner. Ellen and Andrew would have met at neighbourly gatherings either when the Murray family was living at Darling Forest or when they acquired the 160 acre ’Duckhole’ property near ‘Kendall Dale’ , which Charles Murray then gave the name of ‘Avondale’ and, at the time of Ellen’s marriage, Andrew’s sister, Catherine McLean, was the wife of John Kendall of nearby ‘Kendall Dale’.
In descendant Marjorie Kendall’s book on the Kendall family history, she states that, “Catherine’s parents lived in a slab house two hundred yards away [from Kendall Dale] and her brother, Andrew McLean, and wife Ellen Murray were a mile and a half away at ‘Eagle View’.” The famous Australian poet, Henry Kendall, was the son of another brother of John, Basil Kendall. The book also notes that Catherine and John Kendall were married in 1842 at the home of John’s brother – ‘Thomas Surfleet Kendall’s “Darling Forest”. ‘
A few years later, Charles Murray Senior may have been managing the Kendall farm, as Charles and members of his family were indeed living there by 1851. “Deed prepared on farm of Charles Murray” was
the handwritten notation on Charles’ first land application in 1851, with the purchaser named as “Charles Murray of Darling Forest”. As the marriage of Ellen and Andrew McLean took place in 1850 – they may have been neighbours from the late 1840s.
Now, married to Andrew McLean and living at Eagle View, Ellen Murray gave birth in 1851 to her first child, a daughter, Mary, followed two years later in 1853 by a son, Charles, and then followed two more daughters – Susan in 1856 and Ellen in 1858.
By the year 1859, it was agreed by settlers living in the area, that a post office was needed. Petitions were a good way to get things moving in those days, and when the petition was organised to agitate for a Yatte Yattah post office in 1859, Andrew McLean was one of the names on the list of signatures. The petition was successful and they eventually obtained their post office nearby on land donated by Ellen’s brother, Phillip Murray, who also became the resident Postmaster.
The year 1874 saw the final addition to the McLean family with the birth of a second son, Walter Andrew McLean to Andrew and Ellen. The education of their children would now become important. Two years later, another successful petition, in October 1876, lists Andrew McLean together with Charles Murray and fourteen other neighbouring patriarchs agitating for a new public school to be established in the Conjola/Yatte Yattah area for their children. Apparently, by this time, the little Roman Catholic denominational school at Yatte Yattah, which had, in fact, been attended by all denominations for the previous ten years or so, had reached its use-by date
The chapels at Armstrong’s Forest
In 1866, this Roman Catholic chapel and school had been established on Charles Murray’s ‘Avondale ‘ land and two years later, in 1868, a cemetery was created adjacent to the chapel. It was divided into separate Roman Catholic and Church of England sections. Apart from separating the graves, the various denominations appeared to live happily enough together, without any religious dissension. In fact, it was accepted that the Church of England held their services in the Roman Catholic chapel at Armstrong’s Forest, before they decided to build a Church of England chapel of their own in 1876.
Andrew and Ellen, in fact, had a ‘mixed marriage’, as Ellen was Roman Catholic and Andrew was Church of England. In those pioneering days, marriage patterns were generally narrow. Most people married within the district and few moved outside their own religious community. However, as in this case, intermarriage between Catholic and Protestant was not unknown.
With the Murrays and their other, mainly Catholic, neighbours having their own chapel, Andrew would have felt it was time, some years later, for a church to cater to those of the Protestant persuasion. A Church of England chapel was built by voluntary labour on “land portion 15a (41 acres) donated by Mr. A. McLean” and was opened on Sunday, 23 April, 1876. The occasion was rare in that the parishioners did not have to pay for their seats. The usual practice in those days was for the Church to ask people to donate so much money towards the cost of the pews.
Though the building no longer exists, there are still a couple of pine trees that fairly mark the site. In 1967 this land was notified by government as reserved for Public Recreation and the preservation of native flora and fauna.
In the electoral roll of persons qualified to vote for the election of Members of the Legislative Assembly in the year 1874-75 for the electoral district of Shoalhaven, the following three McLeans were listed :
McLean, Andrew Ulladulla freehold
McLean, Charles Ulladulla residence
McLean, Walter Ulladulla freehold
Andrew McLean was then being referred to in the Milton-Ulladulla directories as ‘Magistrate” of Ulladulla. Another magistrate listed at the same time was family member, Francis McMahon, married to Catherine Conyngham, the sister of Susan Murray of ‘Avondale’. In the directory for 1878 Andrew is also listed as –
“Andrew McLean – Eagle View – Holdings : 240 acres, 10 horses,
100 cattle, 20 pigs”
Death of Ellen
Ellen’s elderly mother, Susan Murray of nearby Avondale, died in 1877, and it was only three years later that the death occurred at 53 years of age of Ellen McLean herself, who died on 4 August 1881. She was buried at Eagle View private cemetery.
In the 1885-89 directories, Andrew was still referred to as a magistrate as well as ‘Farmer – Eagle View – 240 acres’. In 1890, he donated some of his land at Yatte Yattah to be used as a recreation reserve. The area was a popular picnic destination around the turn of the century. Visitors tethered their horses in yards nearby and walked to waterfalls on Currowar Creek and its main tributary. A walkway was formed by local volunteers, built up with rocks.
Andrew lived for a further 18 years after the death of his wife, Ellen, and died on 17 July 1899 at ‘Eagle View ‘ aged 74 years. He was also buried at the Eagle View private cemetery and these lonely
headstones still exist close to where the original McLean homestead was built, down in the valley, well off the main road. A newer Eagle View house fronting the highway was built much later.
In Andrew’s 1899 Will, his children were listed as – Mary McLean (Spinster), Charles McLean (Farmer), Ellen McLean (Spinster), Susan Elizabeth McLean (Spinster), Walter Andrew McLean (Farmer).
Children of Andrew and Ellen McLEAN
Mary McLEAN .
Mary was born in 1851. She lived all her life at ‘Eagle View ‘and never married. Mary was a music teacher and to reach her students’ houses, it is said she rode her pony, side saddle, holding aloft her parasol. She carried her sheet music in a saddle bag. She died 5 August 1881 at Rockdale, Sydney NSW.
Charles was born on 8 January 1853. In later life, he became a champion rifle shot. He won the Queen’s Prize in 1884, the greatest prize of all at that time for a rifle man, while he was a member of the Ulladulla Volunteer Rifle Corps. His name is recorded on the Honour Roll at Jamieson House, Anzac Range, Malabar. When his father died in 1899, Charles took over the management of Eagle View. He never married. In 1922 he was still listed in the Milton-Ulladulla directory as ‘Farmer – Eagle View’.
Charles died on 13 November 1933 at Milton at the age of 81.
It appears that Charles managed the property until his death, and then left it to his sister Susan Elizabeth McLean for her life – at her death to go to his brother, Walter Andrew McLean of North Sydney.
Ellen was born in 1854. She married, at the age of 46, a widower, Edwin SECCOMBE, on 10 Jul 1901 in Yatteyattah Congregational. Edwin was the father of seven children, whose mother died in 1896. Ellen was, herself, made a widow when Edwin died in 1915 in Rockdale NSW. Her date and place of death are unknown. Her grand-niece, Francine Murden, recalled visiting Seccombe relatives in Wagga Wagga, including an ‘uncle’ Austin Seccombe, who was the youngest of Edwin’s children.
Susan Elizabeth McLEAN .
Walter Andrew McLEAN.
Walter Andrew was born 16 January 1874 in Ulladulla . He married Ethel Cork, third daughter of Henry J. Cork, at Christ Church, Sydney on 14 August 1909. Walter had worked in a bank and was living in North Sydney when he inherited Eagle View. He chose not to return and manage the farm but instead leased it to Frank Hewitt. Walter died in 1943 at North Sydney.
Walter and Ethel had one daughter, Jean (1911-1967) who married, in 1937, orchardist, Jack Murden. The Murdens were living in Leeton NSW when Jean’s father, Walter McLean, died. However, when
Jean inherited Eagle View, the Murdens returned to Yatte Yattah to manage the dairy farm and thereupon built a new house there. Jean and Jack Murden had two daughters, Jennifer Jean born in 1944 at Leeton, and then, two years later after their return to the district, Francine May was born in 1946 at Milton.
Jean (McLean) Murden died suddenly at home at ‘Eagle View’ in 1967. Jack Murden died eight years later in 1975 at Milton, and is interred in Mollymook Cemetery with Jean.
To return to Murray Index page click here.
Photograph of Austin Horace Seccombe entry in Meet the Pioneers by Joanne EWIN. Milton NSW :Joanne Ewin, 1971, p.191
Other photographs from Jean (McLean) Murden’s daughter, Francine Davidson, Tasmania.
- Milton-Ulladulla directory, 1993.↵
- HUGHES, Jean. Ellen (Murray) McLean’s grand-niece, oral history interview.↵
- McANDREW, Alex. Congenial Conjola. Epping, 1989.↵
- Nulladolla, 1988. Ulladulla : Milton-Ulladulla & District Historical Society, 1988, p.75.↵
- Milton-Ulladulla directory, 1993.↵
- NSW National Parks&Wildlife Service Yatteyattah Nature Reserve Plan of Managementi, Sept 2002.↵
- CofE Jamberoo Kiama Shoalhaven NSW V1851 1923 37A.↵
- Presbyt. South Counties NSW V1854 275 42A.↵
- NSW Marriage 1901/7006.↵
- NSW Birth 7756/1856.↵
- NSW Death 19425/1945.↵
- NSW Birth 20244/1874.↵