Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Archibald Windeyer (1785–1870)

by J. B. Windeyer

This article was published:

Archibald Windeyer (1785-1870), landowner and pastoralist, was born on 7 November 1785 in England, the son of Walter Windeyer and younger brother of Charles Windeyer. As a youth he entered the service of the Board of Ordnance and by 1816 he was clerk of works in the Royal Engineers Department of the ordnance depot at Purfleet, where he had a salary of £91 5s., an allowance of a further £92, a house and prospects of advancement. He was later promoted and moved to the depot at Devonport. He retired after thirty years service.

His brother John, a retired purser in the navy, had emigrated to New South Wales in 1835 and died soon after arrival. Windeyer also planned to emigrate, and through his brother Charles bought a property of some 1000 acres (405 ha) on the upper Williams River. With his wife Elizabeth, née Orton, whom he had married in 1819, and eight children he arrived at Sydney in the James Pattison in December 1838. He bought Kinross near Raymond Terrace, where in 1840 he made his home and became a successful wine-grower. Some of his sons were active in pioneering enterprises in the 1840s and 1850s. Among their properties were Deepwater in New England, which they took up and named in 1839, and Wantabadgery in the Riverina. One son, Thomas Mark, went further afield and was one of the first settlers on the Dawson River in Queensland.

Windeyer was a God-fearing man of strong character, devoted to his family. He died at Kinross on 19 October 1870, survived by his wife. Several of his children married members of well-known pastoral families, Cadell, Traill, Irby, Macansh. A grandson John Cadell Windeyer (1875-1951) became a professor of obstetrics in the University of Sydney.

Select Bibliography

  • E. Irby, Memoirs of Edward and Leonard Irby (Syd, 1908)
  • ordnance records (National Archives of the United Kingdom)
  • A. Windeye journal (privately held).

Citation details

J. B. Windeyer, 'Windeyer, Archibald (1785–1870)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 16 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

View the front pages for Volume 2

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


7 November, 1785


19 October, 1870 (aged 84)
Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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