Nehemiah Bartley; the Turon goldfields; and the Bank of England.
YOU ARE HERE: The Wrong Marshall ► 3. Turon goldfields
The underlying theme to much of Coase’s discussion is his view that the family was deceitful. The “’little family eccentricity’ of exaggerating their social position” that underpinned this view was built around the supposed deceit by Charles Henry Marshall in his dealings with Nehemiah Bartley on the Turon goldfields. I believe that it is necessary to examine the event reported by Nehemiah Bartley, and to compare this to Coase’s analysis and commentary. Let us consider everything that Bartley wrote about the Marshall family that concerns us (Bartley 1892):
On page 52 he wrote:
Travers and Turner were camped near me, so, also, was Marshall, a son of the chief cashier of the Bank of England, and his West Indian friend, Davson. Fearfully and wonderfully made was the “damper” compounded by Marshall and Davson; wedges of putty were digestible in comparison therewith.
On pages 153 and 154 he wrote that in July 1859 he “took a trip to the Downs”:
July 13. – Track very indistinct for three or four miles; saw Clifton station far off, to my right, across the plains; got on to a good road at last; crossed the Dalrymple, and found Mr. and Mrs. Marshall, at Glengallan, very hospitable; Mrs. Cowper was there, and, after lunch, I met Mr. Cowper, on the Warwick road. I had never been this way before, but old “Harlequin” knew the track to town, and carried me, viâ the bridge, into the much altered town of Warwick, which I found in all the “agonies” of the races, quite full, and not a bed to be got; I put up at Hudson’s, where were Carden, and Bob Collins, J. D. McLean, of Acacia Creek and Westbrook; also, Beevor, and Lethbridge; I had to “camp” on the sofa, against the window, in the parlor, while all the jockeys and servant girls danced merrily, the night through, on the verandah; sleep trifling. …
July 15th– Walked out to the races. for the only time in my life, as “Harlequin” was not to be found, and I suspect some “wretch” had “borrowed” him; Andrew Ross beat Dick Cobham, a private match, over hurdles, despite some accident with the girth, or stirrup. Bennett Clay (see map of Brisbane, “Paddington” Estate) had a show on the course, barrel organ, dogs, and monkeys, I borrowed a black coat from W. H. Brown (afterwards of the S. D. Court, Brisbane), and went to the Canning Downs ball, having been invited on the course; it was a splendid function; Mrs. Marshall, Mrs. Cowper. Mrs. Jephson, Mrs. Hardie, Mrs. Carden Collins, Mrs. Beevor Daveney, Miss Anna West, the Misses Gore, Messrs. A. F. Matveieff, C. Wheeler, &c.; the supper was splendid in poultry, jellies, wines, and fruits, and worthy of the old “Leslie” name and fame in every way, though the station belonged, I think, to Gilbert Davidson, then; we walked back into Warwick, in the fog, at 7 a.m.
Glengallan Darling Downs 23 June 1858
The reference on page 52 is the reference quoted by Coase. The reference on pages 153 and 154 is to Charles Henry Marshall of Glengallan, and his wife Charlotte, because, although they are not specifically named, the reference to their being on Glengallan is sufficient information to identify them definitively.
Coase unfortunately concluded that the Marshall mentioned on page 52 was the same Marshall as was mentioned on pages 153 and 154 – namely Charles Henry Marshall. This led him to conclude that Charles was on the Turon goldfields in 1851 and that Charles had misrepresented that he was the son of the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. This conclusion surprised me, as the two references are separated by eight years and just over 100 pages, and Bartley provided no suggestion that they were the same Marshall. All I can surmise is that Coase saw the words “Glengallan”, “cashier” and “Bank of England” and concluded that these provided the link.
Charles, however, did not seek to exaggerate his social position to Nehemiah Bartley, because he was not there, and could not have made the claim. At the time, he was a pastoralist in Queensland, dealing with the exodus of labour to the goldfields. This is borne out in a letter Charles wrote on 4 May 1852 from Sydney to his “dear Aunt”, Mary Ann Benthall, wife of his “Uncle Benthall”, William Searle Benthall, in Totnes. Coase was not able to access this letter because it is in private hands, owned by descendants of Charles Henry Marshall
(C. H. Marshall 1852).
I am living on Darling Downs, in the district of Moreton Bay, and still continue my former occupation of a Sheep and Cattle Grazier – I have been fortunate in getting a very farmable property [Glengallan], and am so situated as to have the benefit of the society of several very agreeable neighbours – as well as the Post town [Warwick] being only a short ride distant from my house – All these are very considerable advantages which I was dubious of in VD Land [Van Diemen’s Land – Tasmania], and you will easily imagine that I like my present residence much better than the former – The wonderful discoveries of Gold out here has long since reached England, and no doubt has caused some excitement. Here it has made quite a revolution in the Colony – and while benefiting many people, has proved a serious misfortune to them – The whole country is becoming quite deserted in consequence of the numbers leaving for the diggings, and in some places the price of labor has increased four fold – I amongst others who are large employers of labor are anxiously looking out for the arrival of emigrants – but as yet so few have come, as not at all perceptibly to have relieved the demand – that it is to be hoped that the Government will continue some means of supplying our wants, while at the same time they relieve their overpopulated and often I fear starving parts of England & Ireland, of their surplus inhabitants.
More definitively, Charles was a regular traveller, and his movements can be tracked via shipping notices. He left Brisbane for Sydney on 12 August 1851 on the Eagle, arrived there on 13 August 1851, and departed again for Brisbane on 19 August 1851, also on the Eagle. Bartley did not provide a date for his meeting with Marshall and Davson, but his description of his overnight stops shows that the encounter took place one week after his leaving Penrith in “early August”. Charles’s travels meant that it was impossible for him to have met Bartley at Turon.
Bartley must have met another “Marshall.”
I was surprised that Coase and Groenewegen hadn’t checked to see who the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England was at that time. This, to me, was an obvious question to have asked given Nehemiah Bartley’s report. Both Coase and Groenewegen were in contact with the Bank of England with respect to the career of Alfred’s father, William, and could easily have asked (Coase 1994, 122; Groenewegen 1995, 23). If they had asked, they would have been told that the Chief Cashier between 1835 and 1864 was Matthew Marshall.
Sir John Clapham’s history of the Bank of England (Clapham 1966, 232) and A. D. Mackenzie’s history of the Bank of England’s bank notes (Mackenzie 1953, 107, 114) also show that Matthew Marshall was the Chief Cashier of the Bank at this time. Copies of Clapham and Mackenzie were available in the University of Chicago Library.
Matthew Marshall’s role was extensively covered in the newspapers of the day with literally thousands of references including the London Times of 18 September 1835 which reported that:
Mr. Matthew Marshall has been appointed Chief Cashier to the Bank of England, in the room of the late Mr. Thomas Rippon. (Times 1835)
And the London Standard of 17 June 1864 which reported that:
The resignation of Mr. Matthew Marshall, the chief cashier of the Bank of England, was announced to-day. The cause of this gentleman’s retirement is advanced age, he having held office in the Bank 53 years. He will, it is understood, be allowed his full salary. The directors have not yet appointed his successor, but it is believed the post will be immediately filled. Mr. Marshall has long been respected, and he will carry with him in his retirement the best wishes of the general banking community. (Standard 1864)
His impressive portrait is held by the Bank of England Museum:
Matthew Marshall (1791–1873), Chief Cashier of the Bank of England (1829–1864)
Thomas Mackinlay (1832-1870)
As Charles had not been on the Turon goldfields, and the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England was a Marshall, my next question was who did Nehemiah Bartley actually meet there? The Empire newspaper of Sydney provided some insight, in an article published on 14 November 1851 entitled, “The Gold Mines”, by their “Special Reporter” at Turon, and dated 10 November 1851. Among other things, there was discussion about the “license fee being too exorbitant”, and a meeting was held on that matter. One of the resolutions put to the meeting was as follows:
Moved by Mr. F. Marshall, and seconded by Mr. John Whitelaw: “That the tax paid by diggers is exorbitant in amount, and that the present mode of collecting it is unnecessarily vexatious.” Carried unanimously.
So there was an F. Marshall at Turon. Further research brought the following notices to light:
DEATHS. On the 21st instant, at Sydney, Francis Marshall, in the 40th year of his age. [Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 1860.]
FUNERAL. – The Friends of Mr. FRANCIS MARSHALL are invited to attend his funeral, THIS (Tuesday) MORNING, at half-past 9 o’clock. The procession will move from Macquarie-street at the above hour. C. KINSELA and SON, undertakers, Sussex-street, and South Head Road, opposite Crown-street. [Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 1860.]
DEATHS. MARSHALL. – On the 21st July, at Sydney, Australia, Francis, son of Matthew Marshall, Esq., of the Bank of England, aged thirty-six. (Morning Post 1860)
It is clear from these reports that Nehemiah Bartley met 27-year-old Francis Marshall, the second son of Matthew Marshall, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. Francis did not lie about his position.
Groenewegen accepted Coase’s account of the meeting at Turon, and Coase’s inference of deceit and self-aggrandisement which he then repeated across his own work. He went further, though, and sought to explain that Charles had gone to Turon to exploit the “tremendous demand for fat stock which the Downs was able to supply” (Groenewegen 1995, 30). None of this is valid.
POSTSCRIPT: Francis Marshall and his father, Matthew, were involved in a scandal in London that may have contributed to Francis’s decision to go to Australia. Details are here.