One of my third great uncles was Kenneth George Budge (1842-1878), the son of Kenneth Budge (1813-1852) and Margaret Budge nee Gunn (1819-1863).
Kenneth Budge the father was a seaman who married Margaret Gunn in 1840. Kenneth and Margaret lived in Wick, Caithness, in the far north of Scotland. Their five children were:
- Daniel (1841-1895)
- Kenneth George (1842-1878)
- Alexandrina (1844 – before 1851)
- Margaret (1845 – 1912) my great great grandmother
- Alexandrina (1851-1911)
In August 1852 Kenneth Budge senior, who was trading between Scotland and the Baltic, died of cholera at sea, in the Øresund, the strait that separates Sweden and Denmark.
On 10 June 1854, Margaret remarried, to Ewan Rankin (1825- ?). With her four surviving children she emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia, sailing on the Dirigo. The ship departed Liverpool on 10 July 1854 but returned because of a cholera outbreak. Sailing again on 9 August, they arrived in South Australia on 22 November. Kenneth George was then 12 years old.
In 1863 Kenneth’s mother Margaret died at Bookmark station on the River Murray near present-day Renmark. Margaret was 44.
In 1867, in Adelaide, Kenneth’s sister, Margaret, married James Francis Cudmore (1837-1912).
In 1870, in partnership with his brother-in-law James Francis Cudmore, Kenneth bought Gooyea, a cattle station, on the Bulloo River near the Barcoo River, Queensland. In 1875 Kenneth’s brother Daniel joined the partnership.
The Barcoo River near Blackall photographed in 1938
Musterers on Milo station, probably in the 1890s. Milo station was formed from several stations including Gooyea
In October 1871 Kenneth was in charge of a mob of 600 cows and 16 bulls travelling from Paringa, a Cudmore station, to Dowling’s Creek, at Gooyea. A herd of cattle this big could travel only about ten miles a day, so the journey from Paringa to Gooyea would have taken nearly three months.
It is 1,224 kilometres from Paringa to Gooyea via Wilcannia or 765 miles
A mob of cattle crossing the MacIntyre River from Queensland to New South Wales. Image retrieved from Wikipedia.
From the Wikipedia article on Drover (Australian):
Movement of large mobs of stock was traditionally carried out by contract drovers. A drover had to be independent and tough, an excellent horseman, able to manage stock as well as men. The boss drover who had a plant (horses, dogs, cooking gear and other requisites) contracted to move the mob at a predetermined rate according to the conditions, from a starting point to the destination. The priorities for a boss drover were the livestock, the horses, and finally the men, as drovers were paid per head of stock delivered. Drovers were sometimes on the road for as long as two years. The drovers who covered very long distances to open up new country were known as “overlanders“.
Traditional droving could not have been done without horses. The horse plant was made up of work-horses, night-horses and packhorses, with each drover riding four or five horses during a trip. The horse tailer was the team member responsible for getting horses to water and feed, and bringing them to the camp in the morning. A good night-horse was highly prized for its night vision, temperament, and its ability to bring animals under control when a “rush”, known elsewhere as a stampede, occurred at night.
The standard team of men employed to move 1,200 cattle consisted of seven men: the boss drover, four stockmen, a cook and a horse-tailer. Store cattle were moved in larger mobs, of up to 1,500 head, while fat bullocks going to meatworks were taken in mobs of about 650 head, i.e. three train loads. The stockmen will ride in formation at the front, sides and back of the mob, at least until the mob has settled into a routine pace. Cattle are expected to cover about ten miles (16 km) a day, sheep about six miles (10 km), and are permitted to spread up to 800 metres (half a mile) on either side of the road. A short camp is made for a lunch break, after which the cook and horse-tailer will move ahead to set up the night camp
A report in November 1874 mentioned 2,200 cattle head of cattle had been purchased and were en route to Gooyea.
In June 1878 a newspaper article discussed the effort Kenneth Budge and J.F. Cudmore were making to establish a quality beef herd.
In April 1878 Kenneth Budge was appointed a Queensland magistrate.
On 6 November of that year, only 36 years old, he died suddenly of heart disease at Gooyea. He was buried at Gooyea, but two years later his body was exhumed, brought to Adelaide, and re-interred in West Terrace Cemetery.
The grave of Kenneth Budge at West Terrace cemetery photographed in April 2017