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Myles Barrowclough, Bookseller & Teacher, Richmond

By Museums Victoria    |   Sunday, 19 April 2020

Myles Barrowclough was born at Mirfield in Yorkshire, England, on 11 August 1833. His father owned the Albert Woolen Mills at Morley. It seems likely that he is the twenty year-old Miles Barraclough who arrived in Victoria on the Jas Carson in October 1852. Although Myles Barrowclough was only 19 at the time this is the closest match on the index of immigrants to Melbourne for 20 years.

After his arrival in Australia he married Annie Byers (who was born at Darlington, Durham, on 5 March 1829), at 3 Franklin Street Melbourne. They had five children together. Annie died on 9 December 1869 at Ballarat. By 1854 Myles was advertising his business as a Bookseller and Stationer in Brunswick Street, Collingwood (The Argus). Myles appeared in Melbourne Commercial Directories for the first time in 1861, with a shop located at 100 Bridge Road, Richmond. It was from this address that he issued his token in 1862. In November 1861 he advertised that he was selling EXPLORING EXPEDITION - BURKE and WILLS's DIARIES, with Portraits; Howitt's Journal, and King's Narrative complete, 1s. Postage - inland, intercolonial or foreign, 6d. Barrowclough, bookseller, Richmond. There were eleven advertisements for publications relating to the expedition in the Publications and Literature column of that edition of The Argus, 2 November 1861.

According to Gardner, business slowed and he sold the shop in 1862, but he was still listed at that address in the 1863 Sands and McDougall Melbourne and Suburban Directory.

After selling his business he took up teaching in the Wesleyan School System. For a time he went back to bookselling, and ran a circulating library and a post office in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. But again he returned to teaching for a more secure income. He was the first teacher at Gardiner's Creek (also known earlier as Damper, and earlier still as Main Creek) on Burwood Highway, in a wooden building some 25 feet by 15 feet which doubled as a church and school.

In 1864 he was teaching at Illawarra, then at White Holes in 1865, Lucky Woman's in 1872 and later in Avoca, Chiltern, Buninyong and Ballarat East. In 1893 he retired.

He had married a second time in 1870 to Annie Hunt (nee Spedding, born at Mosedale, Cumberland). There were no children of this marriage. Myles retired to a new house, Mirfield, in the eastern suburb of Hawthorn, referred to in Historic Houses of Hawthorn. He died in 1896 and the property in Power Street remained in the family until 1962.

Myles Barrowclough - Bookseller & Teacher

While in Richmond he issued two tokens of one penny value, (A28, 29). Myles' eldest son, Alfred Ernest, went to New Zealand. Alfred's eldest son became Major General Sir Harold Barrowclough, Chief Justice of New Zealand, Knight of the British Empire. He died in 1972.

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