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Extracts from a published article….
ROBERT LISLE…..AN AUSTRALIAN PIONEER
From Lowick, Northumberland to Bendigo, Victoria, Australia,

‘Another of the old pioneers of the Bendigo District, Mr Robert Lisle, passed away peacefully at his residence Belle Vue Road on Friday morning in his 91st year.’
So commenced this obituary in the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’ in July 1911 but the story began long before that and far away from a bustling town in Australia.

In Northumberland Robert’s grandfather, also called Robert, married in 1789 in the parish church at Ilderton. His bride was Susannah Gallon, born in 1767,the daughter of William Gallon. The couple lived in Wooler where their seven children were all baptised in the United Presbyterian Church, Golden Square, including John ( 1796).

John married , at Lowick, in 1891 Anne Coxon from Cartington. Their family of six children included Robert (1821) who married, at Longhoughton in 1848 Mary Straughan. In 1841 Mary was one of six servants living with Thomas Browne ’of independent means’ and his family in Amble but in 1851 Robert and Mary were in Newcastle upon Tyne where Robert was a Joiner’s journeyman.

The discovery of alluvial gold at Ballerat, Victoria in 1851 , and a second find shortly afterwards at Bendigo, saw a great rush of Australians to the digging to try to make their fortunes.Robert and Mary sailed to Australia ,possibly amongst the 284 passengers aboard the ‘Washington Irvine’, in December 1852. After a short stay in Ballerat the couple moved to Bendigo in 1856 where Robert joined the ranks of gold diggers.

They arrived with very little but by 1858 Robert was one of the six owners of the Union Company Mine, Golden Square. All were members of the Golden Square Methodist Church of which Robert became a founder member after a deeply moving experience. Later he took a share in Bruce’s Crushing Mill selling this in 1861 to finance a trip to the ‘old country’. He, and Mary ,returned to Australia in 1862 amongst the 481 passengers aboard the S.S. Great Britain.

Robert and Mary celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary in 1898 when 250 were invited ‘to partake of a social cup of tea with two well known residents of Bendigo’ in the Wesleyan school room.

Quote from Reverend Watkins a Robert’s funeral ..
‘Make Robert Lisle your example, follow him as he had followed Christ and as Bendigo was the richer for his life and the poorer for his death ,so Australia will be richer for your lives and poorer for your deaths’