THE REV RICHARD HILL AND THE ORPHAN SCHOOL
There is online a chapter from a thesis which appears from the above link to say BUBACZ Thesis part 2 Chap3. In this chapter are a number of references to Rev Richard Hill. The period 1822-1824 saw a series of events which must have placed his family in difficulties. He had been engaged to fence the Glebe of the Rev Fulton at Castlereagh House. We have letters written by Rev Mr Fulton at this time and copies of court papers. In the 1823 census Patrick is in County Gaol . he is tried for and acquitted of stealing 5 pigs – property of the settler John Harris. Two other men charged with him are convicted and transported.
On reading the letters written by Rev Fulton, the matter looks a good deal more complex than simple theft by “criminal class”. However that may be , Patrick is most certainly incarcerated for at least some time.
By what means would Judith then be supporting her family of 5 children ?
What led to their relocating from the Hawkesbury where Judith was said to have a land grant at Castlereagh to Kent Street in the city where Patrick became a carter for Barker’s Mill ?
WHAT LED TO MELINDA’S JOINING THE HILL HOUSEHOLD IN CASTLEREAGH STREET ?
Kendall family research states that Mrs Hill took Melinda and Sara into her husband’s household where they received a “fine education writing verse and turning fine hems” – the censuses however list Sara at home with her family in Windsor in 1822 and then with them in KENT STREET from 1823 – 1828 and Melinda in the Hill Household as servant and protestant from 1823 onwards.
The thesis above has several mentions of the Rev Richard Hill – a man later to die of apoplexy in the vestry of St James Church (1836) . He and his wife Phoebe Sapphira were connected with the female orphan school in Parramatta – we wonder whether – despite family myth – Melinda and/or her siblings were at any time at the Orphan School whilst the legal matters of 1822-1824 were being sorted out ? What was the connection with the Hills ? Why was Melinda the ONLY little McNally to be resident with the Hills? Melinda is also registered as being baptised in 1824 as a Roman Catholic at St Marys with father Patrick as witness.
To the ORPHAN SCHOOL : and more details adding to the composite we so far have of the COMPLAINING Rev Mr Richard Hill.
Later in September 1819 the Governor increased the size of the Orphan School
Committee by the appointment of seven men to be members ‘of the Female Orphan
Institution, the Male Orphan Institution and the Public School Institution’. The men
chosen were Sir John Jamison, Knt., the Rev. Richard Hill, Captain H. C. Antill, John
Piper, John Oxley, John Harris and Frederick Garling.
Note also the Sir John Jamison was a passenger on the Broxbornebury in 1814 as were Judith and the McNally Children, William, Mary and Eliza.
The following notice was placed by the Rev. Richard Hill, Secretary of the
Female Orphan School in the Sydney Gazette:
Female Orphan School
The Master and Matron of this Institution being about to
relinquish their situations, and married Persons as are
duly qualified to undertake so important a Charge, and
are desirous of obtaining the appointment are to send
written Offers of service to the Secretary, on or before
30th Instant, which will be laid before the Committee
on Wednesday, 3rd of January, 1821
In August 1823 four ladies of the Committee Mrs Susan Palmer, Mrs Elizabeth
Marsden, Mrs Catherine Palmer and Mrs Phoebe Hill paid a visit to the school, and
commented favourably on the ‘state of the house and the general appearance of the
children’. Furthermore it gave them ‘pleasure in witnessing the indefatigable
exertions of Mrs Ward’. The Ladies considered that the institution would benefit
from her continuance there
It is Mrs Phoebe Hill who is named as the benefactor to Melinda and Sarah following the death of their mother Judith but in reality Judith was still alive at least as late as 1832 when Patrick’s exemption from labor form names her as the wife with whom he has permission to reside and Melinda was resident at the Hills on the 1823 Census and again ( presumably continuously) in the 1828 census.