Peter LEARMONTH 1821-1893 & Mary Jarvey PEARSON 1833-1913, Scotland ; Van Diemen's Land ; "Merino Downs" ; "Presonholme", Hamilton, S-W Victoria, Australia
Peter LEARMONTH 1821-1893
Mary Jarvey PEARSON 1833-1913

Scotland ; Van Diemen's Land ; "Merino Downs" ; "Presonholme", Hamilton, S-W Victoria, Australia

Peter LEARMONTH b. 1821, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland, son of John LEARMONTH & Margaret WATSON. He emigrated to VDL (Tasmania) when he was 19 to join his older brother William who had been farming there since 1834. Peter went to the gold diggings in California and in Victoria then became a station manager for Frank HENTY at "Merino Downs" until 1859 when he moved to Hamilton, S-W Victoria.

William LEARMONTH b. 1821, Edinburgh, Mid Lothian, Scotland, son of John LEARMONTH & Margaret WATSON was an older brother of Peter. William migrated to VDL (Tasmania) in 1834, joined a firm of solicitors but was engaged in farming by 1839. He had a property "Williamswood" near Ross in Van Diemen's Land, married Mary RALSTON 1813-1895, daughter of Robert RALSTON and Elizabeth BRYCE, at Launceston in 1837. William came over to Portland Bay and obtained land on Darlot's Creek which he named "Ettrick" and the family moved over in 1845. He held sqautting licenses on a number of properties including "Tahara" Station (Merino-Coleraine), S-W Victoria, from Aug 1860 to Sep 1866. William died at "Ettrick" station in 1889 and his widow Mary died there in 1895 and they are buried in their station cemetery.

Mary Jarvey PEARSON b. 1833, Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland, daughter of John PEARSON & Mary SIMPSON. She emigrated with her parents and 2 siblings from Scotland on the "North Briton" to Tasmania in 1840. Another brother was born on the voyage in 1840 and the family arrived at Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land in June 1840. John PEARSON had inherited the property "Douglas Park" at Campbell Town, Van Diemen's Land from his elder brother Dr. Temple PEARSON who had died there in 1839. John PEARSON appears to have sold "Douglas Park" in 1846 and John & Mary PEARSON and family sailed from George Town, Van Diemen's Land for Portland Bay, Colony of Port Philip on the "Minerva" on 4 Jun 1846. The PEARSON family was living at "Retreat" Station, Casterton on the Glenelg River when Mary PEARSON, wife of John and mother of 5 died a few days after "Black Thursday", 6th Feb 1851.

Peter LEARMONTH married Mary Jarvey PEARSON at Portland, S-W Victoria in 1854 and their first two children were born at "Merino Downs" station where Peter was the station manager for Frank HENTY.

Peter LEARMONTH embarked on an active business life prior to his death at "Prestonhlme" Hamilton 1893...

"The Argus" (Melbourne, Vic.) Friday, 21st July 1893.
Obituary. DEATH OF AN OLD COLONIST. Hamilton, Thursday.
A very old resident of this town and district, Mr Peter Learmonth, J.P., died at his residence, Prestonholme, near Hamilton, last night, from a paralytic stroke. He was a native of Edinburgh and arrived in this colony in 1851, and after a short time spent on the diggings turned his attention to pastoral pursuits. He became manager of the Merino Downs Station for the late Mr. Frank Henty till 1859, when he removed to the Grange, as Hamilton was then called and built a flour mill on the banks of the Grangeburn Creek, where he resided till his death. Later he became owner of the Corea Estate. Some years ago he sent two of his sons to New Mexico, having purchased for them 82,000 acres from the late Mr David M'Kellar, which land they still hold. He also established a business in Hamilton as a wool and grain merchant. He took a leading part in establishing the Hamilton and the Alexandra Colleges and the local hospital, and was first in any movement which had for its object the advancement of the town and district. As municipal councillor he did good service, first in the Dundas shire, then in the Hamilton borough. Having had a paralytic stroke some years ago he admitted his son Harold into partnership and retired from the more active part of the business. For some time his health had failed, and he died at the age of 74. He leaves a widow seven sons and one daughter.

Mary, widow of Peter LEARMONTH died at "Oakdene" Hamilton 1913...

"The Horsham Times" (Vic.) Friday, 28th November 1913.
We regret to record the death of Mrs Learmonth, widow of the late Mr. Peter Learmonth, which occurred at her residence, Oakdene, Hamilton, about seven o'clock on Monday evening after a long illness. Mrs. Learmonth, whose maiden name was Mrs Jarvey Pearson, was born on the 11th October, 1832, and was thus in her 82nd year. Around her life in Australia was surrounded much of an interesting character associated with the development of the Western district of Victoria particularly. As a young girl she lived in the unprepared period before extensive settlement, when the tracks had yet to be blazed and passage through the virgin bush had to be made by roadless routes and in vehicles for human transport of most primitive origin. She was born at Bathgate, a few miles from Edinburgh, being the daughter of John and Mary Pearson, whose lineage could be traced back over a noted ancestory. She came out to Australia with her parents, sailing from Leith, in Scotland, in January of the year 1840, being then about seven years of age. At Portland Miss Pearson was married to Mr. Peter Learmonth, brother of Mr. Alex. Learmonth (the first Mayor of the Borough of Hamilton), and founder of the long-established firm of P. Learmonth and Co. Mr. Peter Learmonth then managed Merino Downs Estate for Mr. Frank Henty, but four years afterwards came to Hamilton and started a flour mill. There the family have lived ever since, all the sons and daughters having been reared in that locality. During his life the late Mr. Learmonth was a strong upholder of the Wesleyan Church, and his widow afterwards, followed in his good work, and there is no more cherished name associated with the Methodist denomination at the present time. Mrs. Learmonth also took a great interest in the Ladies' Benevolent Society, in which she did much good work. She left the mill as a residence about ten years ago to live at Oakdene, where she has spent the declining years of her life. An event of exceptional interest connected with Mrs. Learmonth's history is the fact that her mother was the sister of Sir J. Y. Simpson, Bart., physician, who was famous as the inventor or discoverer of chloroform. Mrs. Learmonth reared a large family, the issue being seven sons and three daughters, the sons being Allan, Stanley, Percy (of Horsham), Harold, John, Norman and Graeme, and the daughters Minnie, Mary (Mrs. D. F. Laidlaw), and Ethel. One son predeceased her, and Mrs. Laidlaw is the only surviving daughter.

Peter and Mary LEARMONTH both died at Hamilton, S-W Victoria and are buried in the Hamilton cemetery, as are many of their family members.

Peter LEARMONTH & Mary Jarvey PEARSON had the following family...

  1. James Allan LEARMONTH b. 1856, "Merino Downs" station, d. 1928, "Prestonholme" Hamilton, S-W Victoria, m. 1886 to .Annie THOMPSON 1855-1930.
  2. Marion Cecilia "Minnie" LEARMONTH b. 1858, "Merino Downs" station, d. 1868, Grange Burn, Hamilton, S-W Victoria.
  3. Stanley LEARMONTH b. 1859, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1940, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, m. 1887 to Clara Augusta WIMBLE 1860-1912.
  4. Percy LEARMONTH b. 1861, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1932, Horsham, Victoria, m. 1900 to Jessie Shepherd AFFLECK 1871-1930.
  5. Harold LEARMONTH b. 1863, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1933, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, m. 1889 to Elizabeth Law GOODERIDGE 1867-1936.
  6. daughter LEARMONTH b. 1863, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, .............
  7. John Pearson LEARMONTH b. 1865, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1943, Perth, Western Australia, m. 1899 to Alice Mary LILLY 1875-1961.
  8. Mary Simpson LEARMONTH b. 1867, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1939, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, m. 1899 to Dr. David Fraser LAIDLAW 1870-1925.
  9. Ethel LEARMONTH b. 1869, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1885, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, Victoria.
  10. Norman LEARMONTH b. 1872, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1908, Horsham, Victoria, m. 1900 to Alice Ophelia MEEK 1876-1970.
  11. Graham Preston LEARMONTH b. 1873, Grange Burn Mill, Hamilton, S-W Victoria, d. 1950, Portland, S-W Victoria, m. 1920 to Anne Honeyman AFFLECK 1871-1946.

Daryl Povey

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