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Scots Australian History
John Maltman of Glasgow

John Maltman, a Scot of the McGregor Clan, came to Australia a free man and played a worthy part in the development of Queensland. This was compiled by John William, his son and given to Gwen Trundle in 1953. The staff of the Oxley Memorial Library in Brisbane are responsible for the historical data... much appreciated.

The sailing ship ‘Janet Mitchell’ months out of Glasgow was nearing the wharf at Port Phillip. John Maltman an 18 year old crew member was very anxious to touch Australian soil. This was the big adventure that he had planned so ardently for the last two years. As an apprentice in a chemist shop in Glasgow, he longed to travel and had prevailed on his father to pay £100 for him to join the ship as a crew hand. His father was well able to afford this as he was foreman for Hutcheson & Mitchell soap manufacturers of Glasgow. On the long journey out young John was frequently at odds with the boatswain and was glad to get ashore on leave. The crew marvelled at the desolate appearance of the little town of Melbourne. There seemed to be so few people about. Ships were riding at anchor - deserted.

They were not long finding the reason. It spread through the ship like fire through dry grass. Gold had been discovered about 100 miles from Melbourne. Men from all walks of like shouldered a swag, pick and shovel and wash pan. The bush track to Ballarat was crammed with men in carts, on horseback and on foot, all lured on in the bitter cold to ‘El Dorado’. Very soon John Maltman was among them. This young man was more used to handling a pestle and mortar than a dolly, but he soon won some gold dust with aching limbs, blistered hands and shining eyes. It took all his gold to buy necessities of life that were offered for sale at exorbitant prices by ‘get rich quick’ traders who followed the camps. Knowing more about pills than rocks, he just managed to keep himself. Throughout life, gold always had a strong fascination for him but it never yielded him any financial gain.

After leaving the Ballarat Diggings, he went to a gold rush in New Zealand but had no luck. Returning to Australia, he found work on Traveston Station in Queensland, when it was formed in 1857 by Robert Glissan, who owned North Traveston Station as well. Each run consisted of 16,000 acres, and there young John worked long hours, under hard conditions and in lonely places infested with dingoes. Work followed on Tiaro Station, first run taken up in the Wide Bay area, having been selected by Mr. Jollife for John Eales in 1843. There they learned to shear sheep. He did not stay there long as he wanted his own land. Land could be had for the asking so John scouted about and decided on a block on the banks of the Mary River near Maryborough. There he built the usual squatter’s bark hut while he got his land in working order. He fell trees and planted the first banana suckers from Fiji, in the district.

Then he cleared 100 acres and planted maize. While these two crops were growing he built a slab home, cutting timber on his own land and adzing it himself. This home was ready for his father, mother and two brothers who came from Scotland to join him. His two brothers were very delicate in health. They were a very devoted family - all interested in botany and grew ½ acre of flowers with the love of enthusiasts. The maize grew to a bumper crop. John and his father harvested it with black labour and transported it by barge down Mary River to Maryborough. There they received 1/- (one shilling) a bushell, from an agent named Brooker, who sold it to diggers at Canoona for 10/- (ten shillings). While his crops were growing, John gravitated to the diggings, but had no luck.

He worked on Raglan Station near the infant town of Gladstone. ‘Raglan’ was owned by James Landsborough. After shearing cut out on Raglan Station, John went south to ‘Monduran’ near the present town of Gin Gin in the Lower Burnett Valley. This was selected in 1849 by the Landsborough Brothers (See William Landsborough in Electric Scotland) James and William. William later became famous as an explorer. At Monduran a friendship was formed between William Landsborough and John Maltman that was to last throughout their lives.

After shearing was over at Monduran, John again headed south humpin his ‘bluey’. At his Mary River plantation he found everything in good order, but his two brothers were sinking into a decline unfortunately.

John set out to walk to Brisbane, capital of newly formed State of Queensland. There had been a big drought in 1866 followed by disastrous floods. Unemployment was a serious problem. Money was scarce and the Bank of Queensland had closed it’s door. Discovery of gold would solve the state’s problems as it had done in Victoria in the early fifties. A reward of £3,000 was offered for the discovery of payable gold. John was wondering where to start prospecting, when he heard of the death of one of his brothers. So he shouldered his ‘bluey’ again and started toward Maryborough. In a deep gully 100 miles north of Brisbane, John camped beside another traveller and remarked that it looked like gold bearing country, suggesting that they wash a few pans of dirt. Unfortunately they didn’t sink a pick. After exchanging convivial hospitality they moved on. Two weeks later that spot was washed by James Nash, a prospector from Nanango, on his way to look for gold near Gladstone. He found 1 oz - 3 pennyweight of gold and then smashed his pick. The nearest pick was at Maryborough nearly 60 miles away. He set out on foot to get one. On his return he won 75 ozs in six days. Thus was Gympie born in 1867.

JOHN MALTMAN married in 1870 to LETTY (Letitia) MULHOLLAND an Irish girl who came out in the ‘Golden Land’ to Maryborough in a party of girls sponsored by the Church of England (Ireland). Her people were Innkeepers in Ireland. As a nurse she gave service among the typhoid cases on ‘Golden Land’. John was at ‘Raglan’ shearing when he heard of the death of his other brother so he set out for Tiaro. There Letty’s first child Alexander Richard Maltman was born.

Later John and Letty moved to the Noosa River leaving the Tiaro plantation in charge of John’s father and mother. Oxley Memorial Library in Brisbane has an entry in Whitworth’s Official Post Office Directory for 1874 ‘ Alexander Maltman farmer, Mary River, Tiaro’ and another ‘John Maltman Farmer, Tewantin’. John’s parents wished to return home, so John mortgaged his farm for £100 and paid their fares home to Glasgow in Scotland.

At Tewantin John started fishing and bee-keeping. They lived in a house belonging to Mr. Mayes on north bank of the Noosa River, opposite the site of present day Noosaville. There John flourished. Mullet were so plentiful that they could be scooped up in hand nets. He sold all his fish to a Mr. Brown who sent it to Gympie on pack horses. He had 500 hives of bees. The honey was packed in tallow casks and sent to Sydney and Melbourne in the sturdy little ship ‘Culgoa’. A friend bought John three hives of Italian bees for a present. Unfortunately there was undetected infestation of white moths in them. This spread to John’s bees and he lost the lot.

John continued fishing. A friend named Leishman, a Scot, took out a mining lease in Gympie called the Lady Mary. He offered John Maltman a share, but John refused it. After sleeping one night in Nash’s Gully, on top of a golden fortune, without finding it, he was convinced that there was no luck in gold for him. Leishman tried to persuade him, but John would have none of it. Leishman made a fortune and set out for Scotland to retire. Before leaving he tried to sell out his lease but failed. While he was on the water a very rich reef was found and another fortune fell into Leishman’s lap. The whole family went back to Gympie and lived in luxury.

Once more John Maltman had missed the nuggets. Letty had four children, two of them having died, leaving Alex and Robert. Their fifth child John William Maltman was born at Noosa in 1875. The nearest doctor was at Gympie over 30 miles away. There was a road of the worst kind, making conveyance of sick people very painful and hazardous. John’s experience as assistant to a practising chemist in Glasgow was a boon to the sick in the Noosa area. Men rode miles to see him and waited for hours for him to return from his fishing. Even later when he was foreman in McGhie Luya Timber Mill at Tewantin, John was allowed to leave his work, visit the sick people on horseback and return to Tewantin to the Telegraph Station. He would telegraph symptoms at length to Dr. John Pennefather Ryan at Gympie. Dr.Ryan would telegraph treatment and prescription to John, who dispensed the medicine from his well stocked chest of physic. All this was done in an honorary capacity and every home in the area had cause to bless JOHN MALTMAN. Such were our pioneers, unselfish, helpful and courageous.

Then came the dark spot in John’s life. He had always been a heavy smoker and years of fishing in wet clothes had weakened his constitution. He developed a cough and had to leave the damp sea air, as he feared he would go into decline. Regretfully he sold his fishing boats and nets, also his medicine chest and went to Brisbane. The family lived in a shingle roofed house in Brunswick Street, next to the site of the Brunswick Street, Railway Station and almost next door to John Petrie’s workshops, timber yards and joinery works. Seventh child Edith Maltman was born there. Two of their children had died, leaving them four boys Alex, Robert, John and Samuel.

JOHN MALTMAN set up a half ship’s tank in his back yard and made soap. He had grown up in the soap making as this was his father’s work in Glasgow. All went well for a while, but he was eventually squeezed out by Tinker Campbell, who owned extensive soap works near Bowen Park. Previously Campbell had soap works at Darragh Street, Kangaroo Point, but was at Bowen Hills in 1876. Campbell’s Soap works still stand today at corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Campbell street near Brisbane General Hospital. John went to Coomera and worked in Howard’s Sugar Mill. Much improved in health, he took up land at Glenview on the Mooloolah River. Contempory selectors were Anderson, Goodwin, Munklewich and Maddock. John was a neighbour to Ewan Maddock.(Ewan Maddock Dam in his memory at Mooloolah)

John started soap boiling there and to this day the spot on the river is called the ‘Soap Hole’. It is now owned by Roy Maltman (decd). Roy was a grandson of grand old John Maltman. As well as soapmaking, John grew fruit, maize and vegetables, ably helped by his wife (Letty) and children. Ready money was scarce but they had good food and brave hearts. That was the lot of these brave settlers. When a baby was orphaned by the disastrous flood of 1893 John and Letty reared him as their own. (Bill Maltman of Toowong, Brisbane)

Their neighbours - The Westaways of Meridan Plains and their relatives the Pollock family, were very kind and helpful. In fact, it was Mr. Pollock who gave John his first job at Mooloolah. In 1880 William Landsborough the famous explorer and friend of John, arrived at Golden Beach to retire on 2,000 acres that the Queensland Government had granted him as reward for his exploration. At once William Landsborough made John his overseer and employed his two sons Robert and Alexander (younger at 13 years) as shepherds. It was a hard and lonely life for the boys as they minded sheep and angora goats. At weekends they walked home to Glenview, ten miles away. When the recognised wage was 25/- William paid John 30/-. When he lay dying, Landsborough asked for his old friend and he passed away holding John’s hand in 1886. John was then aged 53 and devoted his time to to his farm at Glenview where he died in 1916. He was indeed one of our Nation Builders.


Go to the Story of William Landsborough which is a detailed addition to this wonderful story of our Pioneers.

Thelma (Bostock) Birrell at Maroochydore in Queensland.

Herewith the Maltman lineage for those with MALTMAN, JAMIESON, WOOD, SHEARER, JEFFREY, MUIRHEAD, BAIN, HIGGINS, BERRY, HUTCHESON and MITCHELL surnames out of Glasgow area.


John MALTMAN married 27.6.1794 Catherine JAMIESON at Glas..

1.Jean Maltman b.19.11.1794 rn.17.9.1819 William Muirhead both Glas.

2.Hercules Scott b.12.5.1806 Glas. m.27.6.1845 Agnes Naismith

3.Margaret Maltman b.19.3.1808 Glas. m.1831 William Berry

4.Thomas Maltman b.28.3.1818 Glas.

Andrew Jamieson MALTMAN m.1.6.1838 Christina WOOD

1. Janet Maltman b.21.4.1839 2. John Maltman b.27.7.1843

3. Andrew Jamieson Maltman b.31.12.1845 rn.29.12.1871 Elizabeth Hannah.

Elizabeth had issue a.Mary Wood b.3.8.1872 b.Christina b.14.12.1873 Milton

4, Joseph Maltman b.11.11.1848. 5.Hercules Maltman b.21.6.1851 Barony - Glas.

James MALTMAN m.2.1.1832 Mary SHEARER Glasgow - issue:

1.John MALTMAN b.23.9.1832 Glas./d.1.7.1919 m.30.5.1870 Maryborough Aus.

Letitia Mullholland from Cork, Ireland to Q’land.

2.Catherine Jamieson MALTMAN ch.13.3.1835 Glas.

3.Janet Bain MALTMAN b.19.7.1837 7 d.y. Glas.

4.James MALTMAN b.13.12.1839 Glas. to Q’land - d.y.

5.George Hutcheson MALTMAN ch.1.3.1843 Glas.

6.Alexander Whitehead MALTMAN b.3.8.1845 Glas. to Q’land - d.y. from a fall from horse & buggy. Wife

Catherine Jane Giles gave birth to Ann after his death. She had many descendants.

7.Janet Bain MALTMAN b.15.12.1847 Glas.

Witnesses, from Scott Stedman, Childers, Q’land.

1.Alexander Whitehead Maltman to James & Mary.Witness John Higgins & Wm.Muirhead.

2.John to James & Mary - Witnesses John Maltman & Wm.Muirhead

3.Catherine Jamieson - Witnesses John Brown & Wm.Muirhead

4.James to James & Mary - Witnesses Wm.Muirhead & Wm.Berry

5.George Hutcheson to James & Mary - Witness John Maltman & Wm.Muirhead

6.Janet Bain to James & Mary - Witness Wm. Muirhead & John Higgins

Above witness John HIGGINS m.1.6.1838 CATHERINE MALTMAN

1.John b.10.3.1839 Glas. 2.Catharine Mackenzie b.15.4.1841 Glas. 3.Janet Dunbar b.12.5.1843 Glas.

4.James McCulloch b.14.8.1847 Glas. [first James deceased ?] 5.James McCulloch b.12.11.1849 Glasgow

MARRIAGE - James & Mary (Shearer) MALTMAN Old Parish Register - (644/1/41) Glas.

James Maltman, Cooper of Glasgow and Mary Shearer residing there m.2.1.1832.

Death Certificate - MARY d.24.9.1877 Western Infirmary, Mary Maltman, w/o James Maltman, cooper-journeyman aged 70. Usual address 34 Ann St.,Port Dundas, Glas. Parents..Shearer,cotton weaver,dec.& Janet Shearer m.s.cuddie (? m.s.BAIN.?) Death certificate not always correct. Informant seldom knows. Informant James Maltman was [widower] living 34 Ann St, Port Dundas. Reference 1877d/Kelvin 644/9/733.

Death Certificate - JAMES d.8.7.1884. 51 Cedar St., Glasgow, James Maltman

cooper-journeyman, widower of Mary Shearer, aged 74 s/o James Maltman, hand

loom weaver deceased and Mary Maltman, m.s McLeod deceased, informant -

Margaret Murdoch who says she was daughter in law, 14 Corn street, Glasgow.

Not quite accurate. See marriage Maltman to Murdoch [? second marriage ?]

Death Certificate - John MALTMAN h/o Margaret Shearer. John a cooper and

journeyman d.4.6.1877 Milton, Glasgow, from residence Dobbies Lane Glasgow

aged 74 5/0 John Maltman, master cotton warper and Catherine nee Jamieson

Witness; daughter Catherine Barrie of 65 South Cobur; Street, Glasgow.

Janet Bain MALTMAN rn.18.7.1856 James JEFFREY at 23 Ronald St. Glasgow. Janet b.1832 to John Maltman & Margaret Shearer. James(20yrs) married Janet Bain Maltman (22yrs) rites of United Pres.Ch.Both lived at 5 Middleton Place, Garngad Rd. James, bach./cratemaker, s/o John Jeffrey,cratemaker & Ann Clarkson.

Our John MALTMAN s/o James MALTMAN - cooper & Mary SHEARER.My conclusion is brothers John & James worked for Hutchison & Mitchell, soap chemist, central Glas.Cert.David Forrest, of St.Rollox, Glasgow. Witn.Wm.Stewart, potter,Garngadhill & Thomas Gourlay,potter,Garngad Rd,Glasgow

John MALTMAN m.31.12.1829 Margaret SHEARER Glasgow - Issue:-

1.John MALTMAN b.13.2.1830 Glasgow

2.Janet Bain MALTMAN b.9.2.1832 married James JEFFREY.

3.Catherine Jamieson MALTMAN ch.2.2 1837 Glasgow m.24.4.18E3 John BARRIE

1.Margaret Shearer Barrie b.7.1 1864 Milton

2.John Barrie b.8.8.1867

3.Robert Hannan Barrie b.7.8.1869.

4.George Jamieson Barrie b.30.12.1871

5.Catherine MaItman Barrie b.7.2.1875 at Gorbals

4.John MALTMAN b.30.5.1834

5.Mary Strang Hutcheson MALTMAN b.2.7.1840 rn.12.7.1861 Joseph HORN.

1.Duncan Cameron Horn b.3.7.1862 Bridgeton

2.John Maltman Horn b.4.3.1864 Milton

3.Elizabeth Hogg Horn b.16.5.1866 Milton

4.Margaret Shearer Horn b.2.7.1868 Govan

5.Ann Bannerman Dobbie Horn b.20.6.1870 Tradeston

6.Charles Lizars Dobbie Horn b.17.11.1872

6.Jean MALTMAN 1.12.1842.

7.Michael MALTMAN b.13.2.1845.

From State Archives Queensland - The Maltman Land Orders about 1863;

Names References

James Maltman TRE/N5. p.59 67/24

Mrs.Maltman IMM/251. IMM/255. 66/1987 see C63/553

James Maltman (2). .66/1987. c63/553 same IMM above. 67/24.

James Maltman TRE/N4. p.124.. .66/1987.

John Maltman TRE/N1...c63/553..

Second Land Orders....

James Maltman ... 63/553 Mary Maltman.... 63/553...

James Maltman ... 63/553 Alexander Maltman..... 63/553...

From book.. p.59. second land orders. No.4. James Maltman 12.2.1863

From State ARCHIVES 17.6.1864. John MALTMAN purchased 75 acres for £75

plus deed fee £1/5/-. Lot No.22 of portion 24 at Tiaro.Applic. John M. .23.5.1863....

First value £72. Rec’ at Treasury..5th July 1864. Free to John Maltman to value £72

John Maltman immdiately transferred land to his parents James and Mary Maltman and brothers James and Alexander for the amount of 72 pence. This land was issued 23.5.1863/delivered 23.5.1863. To whom delivered - Lindsay Young, Gladstone.

67/24... James Maltman second land order posted to C.P.S. Maryborough

67/24.. James Maltman issued 12.2.1867 delivered 12.2.1867 by post to C.P.S. office Maryborough for amount £12. Refer 1st C/63/553. .23.3.1863.. John Maltman.

Received at Treasury 21.3.1867. Land Admin Maryborough - Arr .18.1.1868.

LETITIA ROSE MULHOLLAND who came to Australia fron Cork, Ireland, married James MALTMAN. Letitia sailed on Golden Land~ 825 tons,11.7.1865 under contract No. 4012. Ticket bought fron Scott an agent at Queenstown, Ireland later to be called Cove Harbour. 'Cobh' is Gaelic name for this very historic and interesting harbour. Queenstown Harbour was named after Queen Victoria, but when Ireland became a republic, they did away with that. The museum has marvellous displays of relics and stories of 'Lusitania' and other vessels wrecked near Cobh Harbour. The 'Titanic' on its maiden voyage, made Cobh Harbour its last port of call, before its sad misadventure with an iceberg. Cobh is where prisoners, during the convict era, lived in rotting hulks for months or years, before being sent to Australia or America.

Letitia Rose MULHOLLAND was a daughter of Richard Mulholland and Letitia (nee Shepherd) who were Innkeepers at Dripsey, a village in Innishearra, which is a little west of Cork city on the beautiful River Lee. Nothing remains of the inn today, but Richard was a lessee of four acres of townland consisting of house, office and land from Thomas Godfrey. He owned and leased out four other blocks of 36 perches.



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