Sunday, 12 June 2011

What happened when the Dalways of Dalway's Bawn went "Down Under".

Marriott Robert Dalway was the last of the Dalways to live at Dalway’s Bawn. He left Ireland for Australia at the end of 1886, shortly after Gladstone's first Home Rule Bill for Ireland was defeated in the Commons.

Marriott Robert Dalway had been a Liberal M.P. for Carrickfergus until he lost his seat by 37 votes
in 1880 to Thomas Greer, a local Conservative. Almost immediately, Marriott Robert Dalway sought to unseat Thomas Greer on the grounds of "bribery, treating, personation, and undue influence, used either by Mr. Greer or those employed on his behalf". When the petition was finally heard and rejected in 1883 at a court in Carrickfergus, Mr. Greer was "drawn in triumph through the principal streets of the town, in an open carriage, by his enthusiastic supporters, and afterwards drawn to his residence at Seapark, where he addressed a large crowd assembled on the lawn in front of his house".

What a contrast this had been to the evening in 1868 when Marriott Dalway had been first elected as M.P. for Carrickfergus. Then "tar barrels and bonfires were lighted on all the surrounding hills". Interestingly, back then in 1868 the defeated candidate had also unsuccessfully petitioned against Dalway's election on the grounds of "corrupt practices, namely, treating, bribery, and intimidation". When Marriott Robert Dalway was again elected in 1874, he then stood as a Conservative, and "the Conservative working men manifested their delight that the Protestant cause had been successful at the election of M. R. Dalway, M.P., and that the Conservative Government had entered into office, by burning tar barrels. There was a display of fireworks from the Scotch Quarter Quay".

But the rise of Irish Catholic Nationalism in the 1880s was viewed with alarm in the mostly Protestant constituency of Carrickfergus. Marriott R. Dalway's support for the Gladstone Liberal government - in particular its proposals for Home Rule in Ireland - inevitably led to his unseating as the local population feverishly opposed the Home Rule movement (calling it "Rome Rule"). In 1886, the anti-Home-Rule Conservatives came to power in London, and the Unionist movement took off in Ireland.

So that was the context for Marriott Dalway to take his wife Elizabeth and their three sons (Andrew, Robert and John) on board the Australasian and set sail for Melbourne to begin a new life in Australia. They arrived in Melbourne in February 1887, and set up their new home 150 km south west of Melbourne at the coastal settlement of Lorne, in Victoria.

In a previous post "Whatever happened to the Dalways of Bellahill (Dalways Bawn)?"(19 January, 2011), I gave an account of some other dimensions of Marriott Robert Dalway's career, and I had then blamed his departure for Australia on the collapse of a salt mining enterprise on his lands at Eden. But it looks as if it may have been a combination of factors that led to his departure. Of course, the demise of the Dalway cattle empire and its cattle trail across the Commons had been an inevitable casualty of steam railways and steam cattle ships operating from the bigger ports. Although Marriott Robert Dalway was at the forefront of many "diversification" schemes, his family's days at Bellahill were numbered, even as he headed the Municipal Commissioners as they distributed the lands of the "Great Commons" into small holdings.

In those final years, however, there were few signs that Marriott Robert Dalway was a spent force at home. In April 1885, the future King Edward and Queen Alexandra, as the Prince and Princess of Wales, visited Carrickfergus.
"The Royal Party arrived by special train and were received at the station by Mr. Marriott R. Dalway, who wore the uniform of a Deputy-Lieutenant. On their arrival a Royal Salute of twenty-one guns was fired from the cannons at the Castle. The distinguished visitors then proceeded in carriages through Railway Street, Albert Road, West Street, Market Place, and Castle Street, to the Harbour, where Mr. M. R. Dalway, D.L., presented a most loyal address from the Municipal Commissioners and Harbour Commissioners".
A keen yachtsman, Marriott Dalway must have been attracted to Lorne at least partly by its location (In 1865, the first regatta was held at Carrickfergus, "under the direction and supervision of Marriott R. Dalway, Esq., J.P., Commodore"). The following details of his later life and that of his family in Lorne have been sent to me by Barry Wilson, who is himself connected to this Australian 'branch'. I am very grateful to Barry for also sending me photos of the Dalway graves in Lorne cemetery and allowing me to post these.

The first Dalway burial in Lorne Cemetery off Dalway Street (where else?) was that of Marriott Dalway's wife Elizabeth who died in 1899 at the age of 65.

In November of the same year (1899), Marriott married his second wife, Fanny Anna Langdon who was then 57. Fanny had been living in Lorne with her uncle Nicholas Sydenham Sabine until he died and left her a house in Lorne that was to remain the Dalway family home until Fanny died at the age of 101 in 1943.

This house was a prefabricated timber house delivered into Lorne by sea, in a ship captained by Fanny's father Capt. Frederick William Langdon.
When Fanny married Marriott Robert Dalway they both lived in it, on its original site down adjacent to the beach, near the pier. This is more than likely where Marriott Died in 1914. After Fanny's death, the house was sold
and moved again to a new location where it remains as a holiday new site just outside the town and available as a holiday house called "The Gables" in the hills above Lorne.

Fanny Dalway died in 1943, and is also buried in the Lorne Cemetery.

Marriott Robert Dalway died in 1914, and he too is buried in the Lorne Cemetery, somewhat ignominiously, with his name mis-spelled.

Barry Wilson, who as I say supplied me with these details, has tracked the families of the three sons of Marriott Dalway in Australia. He is a descendant of the Sabine family of Dorset, and his great, great grandfather, Rev. Thomas Sabine married a Caroline Langdon, and whose sister Jane married Capt. Frederick William Langdon - the parents of Fanny Anna DALWAY nee LANGDON, Marriott Robert Dalway's second wife.
It is a small world indeed, made all the wee-er by the wonders of the world-wide web!