Ingham Spinks diary 1891

What I did part of the time in Australia ...

Twelve year old Yorkshire lad, Ingham Spinks was in for the adventure of a life-time when he sailed for Australia in 1891 with his father Albert. They were to visit his father’s extended family in Victoria but were also treated to a 3 week visit to Barambah Station, one of the richest and notable cattle holdings in the South Burnett, jointly owned by Ingham’s uncles Hugh and Isaac Moore.

Diary by Ingham Spinks, 1891 pages 3 & 4. (State Library of Queensland collection)

His narrative begins at Kilkivan where they rode by horse and buggy for many hours to reach the homestead, located on the traditional lands of the Wakka Wakka people. This country which is so vastly different from the dales of Yorkshire, saw Ingham eagerly riding out with the men, mustering cattle, chasing kangaroos, and enjoying camp food.

Isaac John Moore and Mary; mustering on Barambah Station in 1891. (State Library of Queensland collection)

Ingham also made observations on the activities of Aboriginal workers who were training horses, branding and yarding cattle, and it seems, catching large snakes. The photographs which accompany the diary, presumably taken by Ingham, include candid shots of local Aboriginal people with identifying captions.

When they left Barambah Station they stayed again overnight at Kilkivan, then went on to Brisbane, a 10 hour journey by coach. Later entries in the diary describe visiting Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves and Melbourne before his return voyage to England via the Suez Canal.

Aboriginal workers, with snake; Lame Jacky, Barambah Station, 1891. (State Library of Queensland collection)

Hugh and Harriet Moore resided at ‘Noswad’ Caulfield, Melbourne, where Ingham and his father Albert stayed for several more weeks before leaving Australia. Several of Albert’s brothers had also made Victoria their home including Hanbury, William, Frederick, Charles and Samuel.

Historic Barambah Station, was established in 1843 and is one of the oldest stations in Queensland. Purchased in 1876 by Hugh and Isaac from their father’s estate, the property remained with the Moore family until 1967. Hugh Moore and his brother Isaac died in 1903, and not long afterward the Queensland Government resumed 7000 acres from the property to establish the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement.

Ten years after returning home Ingham Spinks married Edith Elizabeth Bennett in 1901, they had four sons, Ingham, Eric, Anthony & Christopher & one daughter Joy. He became the managing partner in the company 'Denby & Spinks' suppliers of quality furniture, in Leeds. During the First World War Ingham served with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was wounded in the right hip in October 1918. Ingham Spinks died in 1935 age just 56.

View the collection
31245 Ingham Spinks diary 1891, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Notes: 

Additional biographical information provided by members of the extended Spinks family.

Marg Powell  |  Specialist Library Technician  |  Metadata Services  |  State Library of Queensland

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