Samuel & Eliza Welham

Marriage & Children

Samuel Welham (christened 4/9/1801) was born in Arlesford, Essex, ENGLAND. He began work at a young age as a brickmaker.

He married Eliza Goodwin (born 21/8/1805) at Inworth, Essex, ENGLAND  2nd Oct 1823, Inworth All Saints, Inworth, Essex.

(The bride's parents were:

William Goodwin b.1772, Messing, Essex - died Dec 1853, buried 23 Dec, Inworth All Saints, Inworth, Essex.

Sarah Barnham b.Aug 1780 Raydon, Essex - died Jan. 1846, Withim, Essex - buried 4 Jan. Inworth All Saints, Inworth.)

They migrated along with their five older children from Bristol, ENGLAND, to Port Jackson (Sydney) AUSTRALIA on the Bussorah Merchant vessel arriving on 6/4/1841 on a voyage which took 141 days.


    b. 28/12/1824
Eliza      b. 11/10/1827
Nathan John  b. 1/8/1832      
Jane Eliza  b. 29/8/1836
Walter William  b. 26/7/1839
Mary Ann Orphan  b. 18/12/1842
Sarah Ann b. 21/12/1844
James London b. 20/9/1847
Ann Elizabeth b. 11/11/1849

Bussorah Merchant Vessel

Migrating to Australia

Nothing is known of the reasons why Samuel  and Eliza chose to leave England and migrate to Australia with 5 children, aged between 1 and 16 years old, but England was in a depression and they were sponsored by Alexander Campbell.

Samuel was described on immigration papers as being a farm labourer, “very good in terms of strength and probable usefulness, having no health complaints, the ability to read and write, and being of a Protestant Religion”. Eliza was described as a house servant, “having good bodily health, the ability to read and was a Protestant”.

It is thought that the Welham family spent their first few years in Australia in Newtown, a southern suburb of Sydney, where their 6th child Mary Ann Orphan Welham was born in 1842 and christened there the following year. Samuel’s occupation at the time was listed as brickmaker.

Newcastle, N.S.W.

In 1844 Samuel was employed at the Irrawong Pottery near Newcastle, owned by James King, assisting in the making of practical, domestic wares and worked there until 1849 when he purchased Pages Pottery at the Junction, Newcastle.  The business had already been exporting to New Zealand as well as selling in Sydney. The property was on land within the confines of Snadden (Sneddon), Burwood and Patrick Streets, stretching into present day Empire Park. The Junction, Bar Beach, and nearby Mereweather, are all sheltered, sea-side suburbs of Newcastle. Drainpipes, bread crocks, flower pots and ginger beer bottles were produced.

Newcastle 1846

Charles Wilkes description of the town at the time:

The town of Newcastle is a very small village of seventy to eighty houses, built on the side of a hill; it contains two taverns and several grog shops, a jail, convict stockade, hospital, courthouse, and a venerable looking old church.  One of the neighbouring hills is a flagstaff, and on another a windmill.

The business of a coal mine and that of the building of a breakwater for the protection of the harbour, give the plane and air of life and animation.

Newcastle City Wide Heritage Study 1996-1997. .
Reproduced with permission of the Newcastle City Council

Clay Mining in Newcastle

Clay Mining in Newcastle

Lying under much of Newcastle, particularly from Cook’s Hill to Adamstown and Waratah, was a thick layer of clay, well suited to the manufactureof bricks, tiles, drainpipes, and a range of pots for household use.

This was first exploited by Page’s Pottery which was established at Burwood. (Merewether) in 1846 for the manufacture of bottles, jars, and stronger kinds of delft, which were reported to be good quality and to sell readily in the district.  The proprieter was expecting to receive from England appliances which would widen his range of products and this suggests the business was profitable.  Although it was to change hands before 1849, when Samuel Welham was proprieter, this type of industry appeared to have been established on a firm basis.  The locality soon became known as “The Potteries” with some exports to new Zealand, three crates going there in 1847, as well as shipments to Sydney.

Thus at the mid-century mark a local newspaper correspondant remarked “our pottery is notorious for its manufacture”.

Signs of clay extraction may be seen in the vicinity of Mosbri Crescent, Newcastle.

Newcastle City Wide Heritage Study 1996-1997.
Reproduced here with the permission of the Newcastle City Council

Samuel Welham's Pottery

Newcastle City Wide Heritage Study 1996-1997
Suters Architects - Principle Consultant
pages 123,124
states that the Welham Pottery covered " Five acre site (site only) now 2 residential blocks with mainly modern brick houses and flats, but several timeless cottages, for example those photographed. Eventually embraced the whole block.
Historical Outline
Operated by Samuel and Nathan Welham.  Produced drainpipes, arches, fine bricks, chimney pots and water filters.
Reference Sources
J.W. Turner "Manufacturing in Newcastle 1801 - 1900."
Newcastle History Monograph, 1980
Carlin & Wells "Terracotta Australis "Potters and Brickmakers 1833 - 1981" - Newcastle Museum 1994.

Merewether Archives Map showing Samuel Welham's Pottery. The land was bounded by Patrick, Snadden (Sneddon) and Burwood Streets.

Hawkers License

Maitland Mercury Newspaper 14/04/1849

Death of Employee

Maitland Mercury Newspaper, 25/4/1849


In 1851 the business was closed and Samuel and family had moved to Bathurst.




(From a Correspondent.)

Messrs. Hannah, Tighe, White, and Knox, who went up to the Turon in a party at rather an early period, have severally written letters to their friends, dated Turon, 24th August, 1851, which bear "golden tidings"; but in perusing extracts from their letters the public are cau- tioned that from information received through an authentic source their lot appeared to be cast with the most fortunate.

However, the first writes—''James, I suppose, is waiting anxiously to hear the truth about the diggings. I have about thirty ounces of gold, which is worth about £100; this I consider is not bad.   I did expect to be home before this, but the fact is our claim has lasted longer than we at first anticipated. You can tell S———  that as I expect to be home soon, he would better wait till I come down. We can then come up together, as I intend to return. Mr. Welham and party worked out their claim, and started for home yesterday, and I hear they have done very well. Mr. Simpson is here, and I believe is doing well.—W. H."

The second party writes — "The last five weeks has been as good as £160 to me. I am well and doing well.—A. T."

The third sends his wife a ten pound note, as "proof undeniable" of good success, and states he has plenty in store.

The fourth and last writes—"Last week we   earned each about £38. I will come down about the end of next month, if our ground is worked out by that time. For the present I do not like to leave the means of earning from £1 10s. to perhaps £15 per day; for I may not get the  chance of so good a claim again. I have placed a quantity of gold in the hands of the Commis- sioner for conveyance for me to Sydney, which I believe will be forwarded next week. This is the most safe way of sending it down, as there has been several robberies committed on the road of late.—S. N."

Since the receipt of the letters from which the above extracts  have been taken, intelligence has reached Newcastle that Messrs.Welham, son, and party have arrived in Sydney—with considerable quantities of gold. This is confirmed by the list of gold dust published in the Herald as brought down by the government conveyance, in which Mr. Hollingshead's name appeared as sending gold dust down. Mr. H. is one of Mr. Welham's party.

We hear of other arrivals, but for want of confirmation refrain from naming the parties.

Wilful Murder

Bathurst  Free Press 9/10/1852



The records of crime in our district are becoming sadly blackened with tales of bloodshed, and unless a favourable change speedily takes place, we shall have little occasion to draw self- congratulatory comparisons between our own moral condition and that of the sister colony, Victoria.

The district of Bathurst is fast obtaining an unenviable nototiety for the most terrible of all the violations of human and divine law.

Those solemn words – “Thou shalt do no murder” – express command of God, and the great safeguard of human life, the bludgeon and the murderous firelock are becoming ordinary and familiar weapons of revenge.  The manly and comparatively harmless mode of settling personal quarrels and disputes peculiar to Englishmen is fast losing favour, and promises to be entirely superseded by the weapon of the bandit and assassin.  Blood and nothing but blood can now atone for the most trifling offence, and we are sorry to say men’s minds are grown so familiar with the crime of wilful murder, that it ceases to be regarded with half the horror and detestation which has hitherto been inseparably associated with it.

On Thursday last, an aged man Samuel  Welham was escorted into Bathurst by two of the Mudgee Police, and given into the custody of Mr Chippendale, having been committed for wilful murder on the 30th ult.

So far as we have been able to collect them, the following are the facts of the case.  The deceased was   a sawyer in the service of Mr Blackman of Mudgee and Welham was a brick maker, living at Mr Cox’s Murrundallah station.  (Note: The correct spelling is Burrundulla Station and it is still owned by the Cox family to this day). On the day of the fatal event they had met together at Mudgee without anything particular occurring and in the evening the deceased, in company with a man named Johnson, arrived at Welham’s brick ground, with a dray and two bullocks on the way home, their object in taking that route being to make a short cut.  Welham however objected to their proceeding in that direction and insisted upon their turning back.  A dispute followed, ending in angry words, in the course of which Welham threatened he would “shoot someone” in nearly the foregoing language, and had scarcely made use of the expression when he seized a double barrelled fowling piece which he levelled at the deceased and discharged the contents, consisting of No. 2 duck shot, the whole entering the lower part of the belly below the navel.  Upon receiving the discharge, the deceased sprang forward and seized the gun, and dashing it with his whole force across a log, broke it in two at the breech, remarking as he did so that Welham had shot one, but he would take good care that he did not shoot another.

Information of the above circumstances having been conveyed to the authorities at Mudgee, the Chief Constable and two policemen started to the spot and apprehended Welham and Johnson, and Dr. Macdonald immediately attended upon Melville, who appeared to be beyond the hope of recover.  The wound was inflicted between 7 and 8 o’clock p.m. on the 29th ult. From which hour to the time of his death, which took place about 2 o’clock the following morning, he suffered the most excruciating agony.

  An inquest was held on the ensuing day at Mr L’Estrange’s Welcome Inn, Mudgee, when the above facts transpired in evidence.  A written statement of the deceased, taken by Dr Macdonald, in the presence of a person named Bax was read to the jury, in which Welham was distinctly charged with the crime, the deceased persisting in the same statement up to his death, and completely exonerating everybody else from blame.  A female whose name did not transpire, , was also present when the piece was fired.  She overheard the squabble and the firing of the gun, but in the darkness of the night could not see by whom it was fired.  As already stated, the investigation closed by the committal of Welham for wilful murder.

In defence, Welham accused Johnson of having committed the crime, and to give his evidence and appearance of circumstantiality, stated that after committing the deed he stretched himself before the fire, but after hearing the evidence of Dr Macdonald, and written statement of the dying man, Welham’s evidence was discredited and Johnson was discharged.

The deceased was a powerful young man of 30 years of age, and had been recently married.  He arrived in the colony in a state of bondage, and was transported in the same vessel with Johnson, with whom he was on intimate terms.  Next to King’s Plains, Mudgee has of late figured most conspicuously and disadvantageously as the scene of the most diabolical of all human crimes.

A subsequent article appeared in the Bathurst Free Press as under:-

Samuel Welham was next indicted for the wilful murder of George Melville in September last, at Mudgee, but as the principal witness, Margaret Sawyer,  was absent, he was remanded for trial to the next assizes.  Margaret Sawyer’s recognizances were entreated.

These articles were subsequently picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The following are transcriptions of documents held by the Archives in Sydney.

Memo Regina V Samuel Welham

Committed for trial by the Bench of Magistrates at Mudgee on the 30th September 1852 on a charge of Murder –

Information filed at the Bathurst Circuit Court in February 1853 – Trial postponed in consequence of the absence of Margaret Sawyer a Material Witness for the Crown.

At the August Sessions – Prisoner was discharged on his own recognizances (by order of Mr Justice Dickinson) to appear at the next Circuit Court to be holden at Bathurst, Margaret Sawyer being still absent.

The case has therefore been brought forward in the Sessions Book for the ensuing Circuit – but it cannot be tried as the Witness cannot be found.  Indeed if there was any chance of the witness being found I presume the prisoner might have had to find sureties beside himself.  J.M.D.

I do not feel that I would be justified in releasing the accused from this as it is quite possible (though not probable) that the witness may appear at the next assizes.

Newspaper Report from the Goldfields 8/3/1854

Third Indicment - Bathurst Circuit Court 8/3/1854

Sydney Morning Herald - 8/3/1854 Bathurst Circuit Court

Samuel Welham was indicted the third time, for the willful murder of George Melville, at Mudgee, on the 29thSeptember, 1842. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr. Holroyd.

The Attorney-General having opened the case, called Margaret Soyer who deposed that on the evening in question she accompanied the prisoner and deceased from Mudgee on a dray, the latter of whom was driving. When they had arrived at a brick ground about a mile from Mudgee, prisoner desired deceased to leave the dray; a dispute arose in the course of which the prisoner who resided at the place went into his tent and fetched out a gun, which he held in a threatening attitude, at the same time ordering prisoner off the ground. A scuffle ensued in which prisoner, deceased, and a man named Johnson who was very drunk were concerned, and it was during the scuffle that the piece went off and deceased was shot. Deceased struck the prisoner after the gun was fired and fell. This witness was cross examined at some length by Mr. Holroyd, with the object of testing the respectability of her character, but nothing transpired to shake the credibility of her testimony.

John Biggs deposed, that he lived 300 to 400 yards from the prisoners, and upon receipt of information that deceased was shot, went to the place. He found deceased lying on the ground, and Johnson lying at some distance covered with blood. Deceased was wounded at the bottom of the belly, and a portion of his bowels protruded from the wound. The prisoner was in his tent, and upon his (witness) speaking of the shooting to him, he said, "By God, I didn't do it, Johnson shot him," Cross-examined by the Attorney General. He had not stated the last particular to the coroner because, as he said, "he would not be let say all he knew." He sent for Dr. Macdonald, who came and dressed and sewed up deceased's wound. Deceased said in the doctor's presence that the prisoner shot him, but he denied having done so.

Dr, Macdonald visited prisoner's place, where he found deceased suffering from a gun-shot wound at the lower portion of his abdomen. The intestines and a part of his bladder protruded. He ordered deceased, who was lying outside, to be carried into a tent,_and_ dressed his wound, and having done so, asked him how the matter occurred. At first he refused to tell him, but upon acquainting him that his case was a very dangerous one, he stated that " the old man," meaning the prisoner, had shot him. This the prisoner denied in the words, "May God strike me dead if I did. " In the course of these statements deceased remarked that Johnson was too drunk to do anything.

C. C. Patecil deposed, that he apprehended the prisoner and Johnson, and found the double-barreled gun produced outside, one of the barrels of which appeared to have been recently discharged. It turned out in course of cross-examination that although one of the barrels was loaded, the piece had passed between Mudgee and Bathurst; and had frequently been handled in court; and Mr. Patecil was in consequence severely rated for his negligence in this particular by His Honor and the Attorney General.

Mr. Holroyd, in addressing the jury for the defence, contended that as no malice had been shown; neither had any threats or malicious expressions been used. If there was a case at all before them it certainly could not be one of murder, and from the nature of the evidence he had no doubt he should be able to satisfy them that there was not even a case of manslaughter. He adverted to the fact that the prisoner had been in the habit of keeping his gun by the door, and when he saw the bullocks going in the direction of the bricks he would naturally take up the first article that came to hand for the purpose of turning them in another direction ; that article happened to be a gun. While he had the piece in his hand the struggle ensued, and while the three men were struggling together, and to use an expression of the woman's, were " all entangled," the gun was discharged. It appeared to be a doubtful question who fired the gun, and the prisoner crying out at the moment or the accident " Oh, my God, I did not do it, Johnson did it," was presumptive proof that it was discharged in the melée unintentionally. He referred to the contradictory nature of the evidence given by the woman, who in the first instance said, that at the time of the struggle Johnson was lying on the dray, and 'then that they were all struggling together. The jury should be very careful in receiving such contradictory evidence, and if of opinion that the discharge of the gun was the result of accident and not of design, the prisoner would be entitled to a verdict of acquittal at their hands.

His Honor summed up, and adverted to the confused manner in which the evidence of Mrs. Boyer was given, stating that the prisoner was entitled to the benefit of any doubt entertained by the jury.

The jury retired for a short period and returned a verdict of not guilty, the former attaching the following rider to the verdict - that the jury regretted it was not in their power in cases like the present to pronounce such a verdict as would enable the judge to punish persons for taking up unlawful weapons tor purposes of intimidation, and thereby causing loss of life.

The Attorney-General, manifestly nettled at this expression of regret by the jury, vented his displeasure by telling them flatly that they knew nothing of the law, and that the law was perfect.

Newcastle Regional Museum

Left: Salt glazed jar in storage Newcastle Regional Museum. Right: Display at the old museum. Welham ginger beer bottle in right foreground.

Samuel Jnr's death, Nathan's marriage

Samuel Jnr died in an accident while working in Bathurst in 1853. (see Samuel Jnr’s page for details).

Nathan went off to the goldfields at Bendigo, Victoria and while living at Eaglehawk Gully (the mining tailings are still very much in evidence today) he met and married Jane Davies on 12/3/1856 at the Presbytarian Church, Sandhurst.  (see Nathan John’s page for more details).

About 1857 Samuel and family, and Nathan, Jane and their first child Henry Samuel, returned to Newcastle, and with the help from his father, Nathan re-opened the pottery works, under the name of the “Burwood Pottery”.  Salt glazed pipes, bricks and chimney pots were produced as well as domestic ware, much of which was stamped  N.WELHAM POTTERY NEWCASTLE.

About 1860 Eliza was selling imported crockery and a range of Nathan’s household wares in Hunter Street Newcastle (refer to photograph on Home page- Eliza is in the doorway).

Closing of Newcastle operation

The pottery stopped operating prior to Nathan departing for New Zealand with his wife and family about 1870.

Eliza Welham died on 6 November 1877 at Dempsey Island, near Newcastle, where she and Samuel were living with their son James Welham.  She was buried in Christ Church cemetery, Newcastle on 7/11/1877 by the Reverend John Dixon of the Church of England.  At the time of her death she had lived in N.S.W for 38 years and had one living son (James London) and three daughters –Eliza, Mary Ann and Annie Elizabeth.

Samuel died at Rocket Street, Milltown, Bathurst, at the home of his daughter Annie Elizabeth on 5/12/1883. He was 84 years old and had lived in N.S.W. for 44 years.  He was buried by Reverend  A.R.Blacket of the Church of England at Kelso and left three surviving children, Mary Ann Orphan, James London and Annie Elizabeth .

Lee Eggleston 19.03.2022 21:09

Eliza Godwin's mother
Sarah Banham
BIRTH AUG 1780 • Raydon, Essex, England
DEATH JAN 1846 • Witham, Essex, England
Burial - 4 Jan 1846 • Inworth All Saints

Lee Eggleston 20.03.2022 02:45

No worries. Regards

Jenny Richardson 20.03.2022 02:40

Hi Lee - Thanks very much for the additional information regarding Samuel and Eliza which I have added to their page on website>

Lee Eggleston 19.03.2022 21:11

Meant Eliza Goodwin

Only just found their burial records

Lee Eggleston 19.03.2022 21:06

Eliza's parents:
William Goodwin , of Messing, Essex
BIRTH 1772 • Essex, England
DEATH DEC 1853 • Inworth, Essex, England
Buried 23 Dec 1853 • Inworth All Saints, Inworth, Essex, England

Lee Eggleston 19.03.2022 21:00

Hi Jenny

I have Samuel and Eliza marrying 2 Oct 1823 • Inworth All Saints, Inworth, Essex, England.

Amanda Miller 01.11.2020 08:25

We could also make a request for Welhams near Mautura NZ, who may know the location of Samuel Snr's "gold Nugget ring" which was in Nathan's daughter's family?

Jenny Richardson 02.11.2020 22:56

I have information about a gold nugget ring, so would you please contact me privately on Jenny Richardson

Colin and Alison Bourke 18.05.2012 06:51

Wonderful article

Latest comments

17.10 | 23:07

Dear Eliza Welhams. Hi Eliza my name is Phillipa Salisbury i'm D...

14.10 | 05:21

Obviously we are very distantly related! Which one of Samuel's you...

07.10 | 06:06

hi we a branch of samuels younger brother with family still in England....

20.03 | 02:45

No worries. Regards Lee