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Everett, George (1811–1893)

by Alan V. Cane

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

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EVERETT BROTHERS: George (1811-1893), John (1816-1902) and Edwin (1822-1909), pastoralists, were born at Biddesden House near Ludgershall, Wiltshire, England, sons of Joseph Hague Everett (M.P. 1810-12) and his wife Margaret, née Cook. George and John arrived at Sydney in October 1838 in the Hope, and later squatted at Ollera (sweet water) fourteen miles (22 km) from Guyra, in the New England district. When Edwin joined them in 1842 the property was registered in their joint names. George returned to England in 1856 and John in 1858 when he became London agent for the firm. John visited Ollera in 1881 with his son Arthur who took over the managership in 1890. Edwin stayed at Ollera and in 1862 bought the adjoining station of Tenterden.

The Everetts began with 451 sheep; by 1854 Ollera had a registered area of 74,800 acres (30,271 km) and carried 8000 sheep and 1200 cattle. The predominant interest was sheep but Hereford cattle became important in the Rocky River gold rush of the 1850s. The station carried 46,000 sheep and 4000 cattle in 1877, but by 1892 free selection had reduced it to 18,000 acres (7284 ha) and the sheep to 14,000. The Everetts were excellent pastoralists, keeping abreast of the developing wool industry with marked financial success. The social organization of Ollera was run on paternalistic and almost feudal lines. From the first they brought out migrant families, settled them as shepherds and encouraged them to run a few sheep for themselves and to provide farm produce as well as services for the station. Wages were above average, banking facilities were provided, cottages were built and the station store supplied all needs. By the 1860s Ollera had schools and a fine church; sports and social activities were also encouraged. With work available for all, the families kept together and intermarried, strong in their loyalty to each other and the firm. Free selectors caused no rancour since nine-tenths of them came from the shepherd families and the quixotic Edwin helped his old retainers to choose their land wisely and sometimes gave them part of the deposit. Most of the selectors continued to do seasonal work on Ollera and had the use of station facilities at a reasonable fee. After 1890 the transfer of selectors' land and the rise of trade unions eroded the old social pattern, but respect and affection between descendants of the Everetts and of the old families is still evident.

George died at Bournemouth, England, on 23 September 1893, leaving most of his estate of £23,000 to his wife Arabella Elizabeth, née Hanmer, his daughter and three sons. On 18 September 1858 at Edinburgh John married Helen Wauhope; they had four sons and three daughters. He died in November 1902 at Totton near Southampton. His second son Arthur managed Ollera for many years after 1890 and was followed by his son Thomas Arundel. Edwin died a bachelor at Tenterden station on 12 November 1909, leaving most of his estate worth £31,000 to his nephew Arthur.

Portraits of John and Edwin are at Ollera, together with many other station paintings.

Select Bibliography

  • A. V. Cane, Ollera 1838 to 1900: A Study of a Sheep Station (MA thesis, University of Sydney, 1949)
  • Ollera manuscript (University of New England Archives).

Citation details

Alan V. Cane, 'Everett, George (1811–1893)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/everett-george-3489/text5347, published in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 30 July 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

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