Samuel Pratt WINTER 1816-1878
Ireland ; Van Diemen's Land ; "Spring Valley" , "Gipsy Valley" or "Murndal" Station, Tahara (on the Wannon),
Glenelg & Wannon Region, SW Victoria, Australia

Samuel Pratt WINTER 1816-1878 and some of his siblings...

George WINTER 1815-1879; Arbella WINTER 1821-1892; Trevor WINTER 1822-1885

  • 1815 - George WINTER, born Clarkestown House, Co Meath, Ireland to Samuel Pratt WINTER & Frances Rosetta BLOMFORD.
  • 1816 - Samuel Pratt WINTER, born Clarkestown House, Co Meath, Ireland to Samuel Pratt WINTER & Frances Rosetta BLOMFORD.
  • 1821 - Arbella WINTER, born Co Dublin, Ireland to Samuel Pratt WINTER & Frances Rosetta BLOMFORD.
  • 1822 - Trevor WINTER, born Co Dublin, Ireland to Samuel Pratt WINTER & Frances Rosetta BLOMFORD.
  • 1834 - Samuel Pratt WINTER and his younger brother Trevor WINTER arrived in Van Diemen's Land on the vessel "Cleopatra" from Ireland.
  • 1839 - Arbella WINTER 1821-1892 m. Launceston, VDL to Cecil Pybus COOKE 1813-1895.
  • 1837 - Samuel Pratt WINTER travelled with Stephen HENTY from Portland Bay to the Wannon where the HENTYs had recently occupied "Merino Downs," "Muntham" and "Sandford". Samuel chose land east of "Merino Downs" which became "Spring Valley" or "Gipsy Valley" or "Murndal." He stocked this land in 1838. Maps at "Muntham" Station, Pastoral Runs Map and Map of SW Victoria in 1885.
  • 1843 - George WINTER 1815-1879 m. Launceston, VDL to Elizabeth COX 1822-.?., b. Evandale, VDL to James COX and Mary CONNELL.
  • 1878 - Samuel Pratt WINTER, owner of "Murndal" died at Macedon, Victoria and was buried at "Murndal" on the Wannon.
  • 1878 - Samuel Winter COOKE 1847-1929, inherited "Murndal" on the Wannon, after the death of his uncle, Samuel Pratt WINTER.
  • 1879 - George WINTER died on the islands of Fiji.
  • 1885 - Trevor WINTER died and was buried at "Murndal" on the Wannon.
  • 1892 - Arbella COOKE (WINTER) died at "Condah Hills" Station, Victoria and was buried at "Murndal" on the Wannon.
  • 1895 - Cecil Pybus COOKE died at "Condah Hills" Station, Victoria and was buried at "Murndal" on the Wannon.
  • 1929 - Samuel Winter COOKE 1847-1929, owner of "Murndal" on the Wannon, died in London, England.
  • 1929 - William Lempriere Winter COOKE 1892-1979, inherited "Murndal" on the Wannon, after the death of his uncle, Samuel Winter COOKE.
  • 1937 - Centenary celebrations at "Murndal" of the arrival of Samuel Pratt WINTER on the Wannon.

1837 - Samuel Pratt WINTER in Wannon Country

"Portland Guardian" (Vic.) Monday, 20th December 1937.

Pioneers of Wannon Country.

In a letter to the "Spectator" in 1878, Mr. Richmond Henty stated that his father (Stephen Henty), John Henty and an employee named Smead were the first, after Major Mitchell, to see the Muntham and Merino Downs country, the date on which they set out from Portland being July 17th, 1837. The writer says that Edward Henty was on his way to Tasmania at the time in a vessel called the Eagle. In the same issue of the paper, Mr. S. P. Winter stated that the first, person who saw the Wannon country, after Mitchell, was Mr. John Bryan, who, early in 1837, "accompanied by an old whaler and a led horse, travelled along the coast to the Glenelg river, up that river to its junction with the Wannon (on which he selected a run and marked his initials on two gum trees), thence up to the Grange rivulet to the upper portion (in 1878 called Muddy Creek), from which the party turned south until they reached the coast opposite Julia Percy Island, and then to Mr. Winter's camp at the mouth of the Surrey river." Continuing, Mr. Winter writes : "Later in the same year I rode to the Wannon, accompanied by Mr. Stephen Henty, selected the portion of country I now occupy (Murndal), and in March, 1838, brought my sheep from the coast." Incidentally Mr. Winter says that Bryant's Creek, Coleraine, was named after Mr. Samuel Bryan (father [sic brother] of the John Bryan mentioned above) but someone had added a "t" to the name.

1878 - Samuel Pratt WINTER died at Mount Macedon, Victoria

"The Hamilton Spectator" (Hamilton, Vic.) Saturday, 28th December 1878.

DEATH OF MR. S. P. WINTER. -- One by one the pioneers of Victoria are retiring from the scene in which they played so prominent and useful a part. The grave has hardly closed upon the late Hon. Edward Henty, when we are called upon to record the death of that highly esteemed colonist, Mr. Samnel Pratt Winter, which occurred at Mount Macedon on Wednesday. The sad event cannot be said to be totaly unexpected, as it was known that the deceased gentleman had been in a weak state of health for some time past, and, months ago deemed it advisable to call in the assistance of his friend and medical adviser, Dr. M'Crae of Melbourne.
Mr. Winter belonged to one of the best families in Ireland--his ancestors having distinguished themselves on flood and field--and he first arrived in Tasmania in 1834. There he purchased sheep, and in March 1837, hearing a great deal about this splendid country, came over to Portland. He first camped for awhile, about two miles east of the Surrey River, near Portland Bay, and later on the same year, accompanied by the late Mr Stephen George Henty, rode to the Wannon, of which country he had obtained a description from Mr. John Bryan, an old whaler who was a contemporary of the Hentys. There he took up a splendid tract of land known as Gipsy Valley. In March, 1838, he brought up his sheep from the coast and placed them on the country he had selected, and portion of which has since been known as Murndal, which comprises 14,060 acres of the pick of the Western District, in the parishes of Murndal, Tahara and Hilgay. This estate was owned and chiefly resided on by Mr. Winter until the time of his death. For some years he was in partnership with his brother, Mr. Trevor Winter, and if we are not mistaken, also with Mr. Geo. Winter.
When this partnership was dissolved, Mr. Trevor took that portion originally known as Negretti, and Mr. George the Tahara station. The last named gentleman, who some years ago left Vctoria for Fiji, was the first representative of this district in the New South Wales Parliament before Separation was granted. In 1852 Mr. S. P. Winter went home across the Isthmus of Panama, where he was attacked by the worst form of yellow fever, from the effects of which he never entirely recovered. He died at Mt Macedon, wither he had gone for change of air and scene, at the age of 62 years, on Christmas Day. The deceased was an excellent specimen of a country gentleman of good lineage and education. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manner, he took a great interest in all that was going on around him, and frequently brought his pen to use when he saw that any abuse needed to be suppressed, or any mistake about the early history of this colony or other facts with which he was conversant required correction.
His mansion at Murndal, embowered in trees, with its picture gallery and other appointments, was the picture of comfort. None took greater interest, or expended more money than he in the acclimatisation of English game, and none could be more respected by his dependants. His liberality was great, and in him the Church of England in Victoria has lost one of its warmest supporters, his last important donation being 1000 towards the University Scholarship. Formerly Mr. Winter was one of the leading members of the Hamilton congregation, but on the late Dr. Russell taking up his residence as pastor for the Wannon, Coleraine, etc., Mr. Winter became one of his most earnest and warm hearted friends.
We regret that our notice of the deceased gentleman is not so full as we could wish, as there must be many interesting events connected with the life of so old a colonist. We feel assured to reiterate the wish of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance when we say, "Would that we had many more S. P. Winters in Victoria." Since the above was written, we have been informed that Mr. Winter's remains will arrive by train in Hamilton this morning, en route for Murndal, where they will be buried.

1878 - Samuel Pratt WINTER buried at "Murndal" on the Wannon

"The Hamilton Spectator" (Hamilton, Vic.) Tuesday, 31st December 1878.

THE LATE Mr. S. P. WINTER. -- The body of the late Mr. Samuel Pratt Winter arrived by the first train on Saturday morning in a plain oak coffin, unpolished, and nameless. It was immediately placed in a plumeless hearse by Messrs. Arnott and Betts, and at once conveyed to Murndal, where a halt was called pending the preparation of a grave. The place for this had been selected by the deceased gentleman some time ago, and was at the top of the stony rise on which he first camped when he took possession of that part of the country in 1837, and from which spot a splendid view is obtainable. All pomp was dispensed with, and there were only three mourners, viz., Mr. Trevor Winter, the brother of the deceased, Mr. Cooke senr., and Mr. S. W. Cooke, who is understood to be the heir of Murndal. A few of the station hands were to be seen knocking about, and one old lady was said to have come from Portland to pay the last token of respect to the deceased. Owing to the stony nature of the ground it was found impossible to make the grave more than four feet or so deep, and this having been done the remains were placed in it, the funeral service was read by the Rev. S. J. Cross [sic F. G. Cross], Church of England, and all was over. These simple rites were performed in accordance, we understand, with the request of the deceased gentleman, who was evidently a funeral reformer of a most advanced type. Further, he requested that no fence might be erected round his grave, no monument erected, but that stones should be heaped up over his body, and thus the last resting place of the deceased will, like that of many men who have gone before, be marked by a simple cairn of unhewn stones, a land mark to puzzle the geologists of the future, should no permanent record be preserved of the funeral obsequies of the first white owner of Murndal.

1937 - Centenary of Samuel Pratt WINTER arriving on Wannon Country

"The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Monday, 13th December 1937.


At the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Winter Cooke more than 200 people gathered at their home on Saturday night to mark the centenary of the Murndal Estate which has been occupied by the family for 100 years. A sundial fashioned from Murndal stone and bearing the inscription, "To Commemorate the Occupation of the Wannon Valley by Samuel Pratt Winter, 1837," was unveiled by Sir Alan Currie, M.L.C. Fireworks and bonfire displays were held.

"Table Talk" (Melbourne, Vic.) Thursday, 16th December 1937.


MURNDAL is one of the most beautiful and historic homes in the Hamilton district, and the station lies in the Wannon Valley between Coleraine and Hamilton.
On Saturday, December 11, the centenary celebrations took place in the evening and the guests included the children from the neighboring school, Tahara; tenants, past and present, employes, and their families, immediate neighbors, and a few other friends. Before the celebrations in the garden there was a dinner party.
The dining room with its solid mahogany table and beautiful old paintings was a perfect setting for the party. Over the table hangs a rare old Venetian chandelier brought from a church in Venice by Samuel Pratt Winter, the original holder of Murndal. In the centre of the lamp is an incense burner of deep ruby red Venetian glass, matching the antique bowl which centred the table filled with lovely flowers from the garden. On either side of the bowl were candelabras with candles of ruby red.
Mrs Winter Cooke chose a lone black satin sunrayed skirt, with a magnolia colored lace blouse and a short jacket of black.
The guests for the week-end were Sir Alan Currie, M.L.C., and Lady Currie, of Ercildoune, Skipton, and General Sir Nevill Smyth, V.C. and Lady Smyth, of Kongbool, Balmoral.
After dinner the lovely old grounds were lit with multi-colored lights, and Chinese lanterns and the main ceremony of the evening was the unveiling of a sundial to commemorate the arrival of Mr Samuel Pratt Winter in the district in 1837.

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