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John Mills (1829-1880) wholesale grocer and governance philanthropist

John Mills was born in 1829 in Tidworth, Wiltshire, to James Mills, a farmer and his wife Charlotte nee Mackrell.[1] John was a cigar manufacturer[2] but was listed as a clerk when he came to the colony of Victoria. He arrived on the Nepaul at Port Philip Bay on 20 October 1852, while on 24 November 1852, Emily Stidolph (20 June 1826-27 June 1887) arrived on the Chalmers. John and Emily were married on 14 January 1853 at the Lonsdale Street Congregational Church[3] and were to have eight children: William Mackrell (1854-1931), Caroline Eliza (1856-1914), Stephen (1857-1948),[4] Emily (1862-1940),[5] Lucie Ellen (1863-1948),[6] Arthur John (1865-1916),[7] Evelyn Clara (1867-1954)[8] and Sylvia Hannah (1869-1927).[9]The Mills soon moved to Sydney and lived firstly at 11 Botany Street and then at 78 Albion Street, Surry Hills, from at least 1862 until 1872 when they moved out of the city to the semi-rural setting of ‘Elston Villa’, Alt Street, Ashfield.[10] In 1879, the impressive ‘Casiphia’ was constructed in Julia Street, Ashfield, and was occupied by the family.[11]

John Mills died in 1880 at the age of 51,[12] leaving Emily with eight sons and daughters aged between 11 and 26 years. He was buried in the cemetery adjacent to the Dobroyde Presbyterian Church.[13] Emily moved from their home ‘Casiphia’[14] in Ashfield to ‘Aurelia’ in Liverpool Road, Croydon, where she died in 1887 aged 61.[15]

The Wholesale Grocer

When and how John came to be employed in Sydney is unknown. He may have placed an advertisement like the one below for it fits him well; he was at that time 24 years old, married, and he did end up working in the grocery business.[16] It is known that he was in Sydney by June 1853[17] but not if he was employed in the grocery trade by that time.

SMH 7 November 1853, 1

The first ‘grocery’ reference to John Mills is in December 1854 in Sydney where he was, as a grocer’s assistant, in the employ of William Terry, Wholesale Grocer. John, along with 34 other grocer’s assistants, had petitioned their employers to rationalize the business hours that they were expected to keep.

Their argument was that

… we need not enumerate the many advantages that would be derived by us, in allowing more time for moral improvement and healthful recreation, and after carefully studying our employers,[sic] interest and making that our great desideratum, we must respectfully submit for their approval the following proposal:

Their proposal was to restrict business hours so ‘That business be closed every night at seven o’clock, except Saturday, on which night close at ten o’clock. To commence January 1st, 1855’.[18]

John worked for William Terrey as his shop man and he was conscientious. One incident in his life as a shopkeeper made the newspaper in 1855. On entering the shop, Mills had noticed a boy leaning over the counter with his hand in the till. As soon as he saw Mills he took off as did his companion cockatoo who was meant to give a warning. Mills gave chase and finally caught them both. The young thief admitted to taking 10 shillings and offered to return it on condition he be let go. This was not agreed to but the 10 shillings was handed over anyway and off to the Police he was taken. On searching him, a florin from the shop was found. As there was not enough evidence to convict the cockatoo he was sent home. The young thief, however, since it was his fifth offence in less than a year, was given three months jail; he was ten years old.[19]

In 1860, Mills purchased Terrey’s business and ran it for himself, trading as John Mills Wholesale Grocer.[20] At the time of the change of ownership the shop was located at 209 George Street, Brickfield Hill (Haymarket), but by 1861 it was moved to a new location at 715 George Street South, a little further up from Christ Church St Laurence but on the opposite side of the street. Here the business remained for the next 19 years before moving to 29 Jamison Street in 1880. Probably Mills’ declining health led him, in May 1880, to take on his son William as a partner and he renamed the business John Mills and Son Wholesale Grocers.[21] By 1884, the company was in trouble[22] and went into receivership. Many of its assets were sold and it limped along until it was restructured to become Mackrell, Mills and Co.[23] It would appear that William was not as able a businessman as was his father for John Mills was a success in business for he managed to support his wife and eight children and to find time to take a leading role in a number of philanthropic organisations.

Religious Background

On getting married in Melbourne shortly after his arrival, John had to sign a declaration that he was a member of a ‘… Congregational or Independent body of Christians’.[24] This would cover him being probably either a Congregationalist or a Baptist. For most of his time in Sydney, at least from 1853,[25] he was associated with the Baptist Church in general but especially with the Particular Baptist Church, Castlereagh Street,[26] whose minister was Rev John Bunyan M’Cure (1862-1870) and later his successor, Daniel Allen (1870-1875).[27] He was present at the formation of the NSW Association of Baptist Churches in 1868, and gave an address on ‘The outpouring Holy Spirit on the Church of Christ.[28]

His prominence in the Castlereagh Baptist Church is shown by his chairing of M’Cure’s farewell when he said of him:

…They grieved over his departure, at the same time they truly wished him Godspeed. Their prayers would be frequent that God would keep him in the hollow of His hand as he passed over the waters. Mr M’Cure was loved by them for his work’s sake, and he testified that he had always faithfully maintained the principles he had embraced. And he was loved for his own sake, as he had adorned the Christian doctrine by an upright life, setting a virtuous example to all with whom he had come in contact. In leaving them he felt that Mr. M’Cure’s voice would be heard wherever he went preaching the glorious Gospel of the grace of God.[29]

In 1871, Mills chaired a tea meeting for the purpose of clearing debt on a harmonium of the Baptist Church Castlereagh Street.[30] The following year, he was Vice President of the Castlereagh Street Mutual Improvement Society’s Bible Class and he addressed its anniversary meeting.[31] At the fourth and fifth anniversary celebrations of the pastorship of Daniel Allen, Mills gave an address but after this last event in 1875 he was not recorded present at any other public Baptist event.[32]

The reason for this lack of Baptist involvement seems to have resulted from his move to Ashfield in 1872.[33] Sometime after 1875, Mills changed denominations and started attending, St David’s Presbyterian Church, Ashfield (Dobroyde)[34] where the minister was the Rev Alexander Milne Jarvie[35] who served from 1877 to 1879.[36] Mills did not just attend the church for he took on the role of Sunday School Superintendent from about 1877 to 1879.[37]

SMH 5 April 1877, 1

 At his resignation of the post in July 1879, because of his throat problems, it was said that he had acted as Superintendent for ‘some time’.[38] It was also said on that occasion that he had been advised to take a trip to Europe to obtain the best possible opinion on the case and so they had, as a gift, purchased ‘a very handsome dressing case’.[39] Mills did not end up going overseas for he died a year later of a ‘malignant tumour of the larynx’.[40]

The reports of Mills’ funeral in the newspaper indicate that it took place at the Dobroyde Cemetery and that:  

A special service was held in the Presbyterian Church adjoining at which there were present many gentlemen connected with the leading religious and philanthropic institutions in the city, in the welfare of which the deceased gentleman had always taken an active part.[41]

Unusually, there is no mention of a clergyman nor does the death certificate contain such a name. The use of the term ‘special service’ is also unusual. The church, St David’s Dobroyde (Ashfield), was vacant at the time but the Rev George Macinnes, freshly arrived from Scotland, was supply preaching there prior to his call to become the minister. Macinnes was a witness to Mills’ will signed a week before his death on 20 August 1880, so his participation in the funeral would seem to be an obvious conclusion.[42]

The Dobroyde Cemetery where John Mills was buried was the private Ramsay family burial ground and later in 1887 on her death, Emily was buried there as well. Only four burials of non-Ramsay family members were permitted in this cemetery and John and Emily Mills are the last non-family members to be buried there.[43]  The other two non-family burials were Annie Downie MacKenzie (buried on 19/2/1868), the wife of the Rev Simon Fraser Mackenzie who served as the minister of St David’s from 1867-1869, and Percy Vaughan Pope (buried on 2/4/1871) the infant son of John Pope, a trustee of St David’s.[44] This indicates that there must have been a close relationship existing between the Mills and Ramsay families, a relationship that was most probably through Alexander Learmonth whose wife was a Ramsay.[45]

Four of the daughters of John Mills married in the period 1884-1886 and were all married in a ceremony either conducted by a Presbyterian Minister or in a Presbyterian Church. Two of the weddings involved Rev Alexander Milne Jarvie and two involved a minister of the Burwood Presbyterian Church.[46] This all suggests, as it was the tradition that a wedding took place in the bride’s church, that there was a continuing Presbyterian adherence for the Mills family after John’s death and that perhaps the change in denominational affiliation was not just related to moving to Ashfield.   

Philanthropic Commitments

John Mills was involved in various philanthropic endeavors but he had four major philanthropic commitments.

Mills’ involvement with the Bush Missionary Society (BMS) was probably initiated through his involvement with the Baptist Church. The founders of the BMS were also involved in the Baptist Church and the Baptist church initially supported the BMS.[47] Of his work with the BMS it was said that

It was in the beginning of 1864 that Mr Mills, at the earnest request of the committee, accepted the office of treasurer, and from that time until his death he manifested the deepest interest in the mission. It is to his wise counsels and untiring labours that the society’s prosperity and usefulness are in a great measure to be attributed. Besides fulfilling the duties of his office, he undertook the superintendence of, and correspondence with the missionaries on their journeys, and in this way rendered invaluable service.[48]

All of these commitments began just after the mid-1860s when he was in his mid-30s and continued until his death in 1880. It would appear that by 1864 he was well settled in business which permitted him time to devote to these activities. Committee membership was perhaps not very time consuming, but the roles of Treasurer of the Bush Missionary Society and being Secretary of the Sydney Night Refuge and Reformatory would have required considerable effort.

Mills was also one of the group of young men who encouraged the first efforts to form a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Sydney in 1853.[49] He, along with others, served on the first committee to oversee the development of the movement and became a Vice President of the Association at its second commencement.[50] It is through this association that he no doubt became involved with the Sydney Night Refuge and Reformatory (SNR&R) as the nucleus of this group arose from the almost defunct early YMCA group which met for breakfast in the Francis Street Temperance Hall. See the relationship of the YMCA, the Sunday Morning Breakfast, temperance and the Francis Street Refuge in Andrew Bell Armstrong. Also, in association with the SNR&R, there was a strong emphasis on temperance and Mills would often attend and commonly chair weekly temperance meetings at least from 1868 up until 1877.[51]

Mills was also a member of the Sydney Female Refuge Society from 1867 until his death in 1880.[52] He said that:

He sincerely deplored the existence of the evil which rendered these committees necessary [ie the Gentleman’s and the Ladies’ Committees of the SFRS]. It did not do simply to deplore, but it also became us to use our utmost efforts, and our most earnest prayers, to carry out the object which enlisted our sympathies. [53]

Mills thus took a pragmatic view of the work of ‘reclaiming of unfortunate and abandoned females’. The work was not focused upon ‘the removal of the evil’ but they sought ‘to deal with the facts as they existed’. Its efforts were ‘to ameliorate the circumstances of those who were brought within its influence’.  This came to the women ‘in a genial, Christianly, and sisterly way, and opened a refuge to them in which they could obtain the moral support of those who were able to control themselves and help others’. [54]

The work was, Mills observed, a partnership of the Ladies and the Gentlemen through their respective committees ‘the gentlemen were the sinews by which the society was maintained, while the ladies formed the heart by which it was carried on’. He also noted the part played by the inmates themselves which had, by 1876, almost made the refuge self-supporting.  Such things were important yet Mills was aware that the work was a spiritual one for which it needed God’s support and so he  asked for prayer on their behalf to aid them ‘to reclaim the fallen, by appealing to the almighty arm of Him who said to the woman brought before Him, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.”’[55]

Mills took a leading role in the NSW Alliance for the Suppression of Intemperance.  He expressed his opposition to the expansion of the liquor trade and was especially critical of the proposal to license the refreshment room at Sydney’s main railway station. He believed it would:

create great discomfort and danger to passengers themselves, would extend its operations secretly and effectually to the railway officials, until they should be discharged for intemperance and their families thus made to happen, or until some terrible calamity should happened. [56]

He said of the Alliance’s role in the temperance issue:

That the formation of a healthy public opinion on these matters was one of paramount importance. Of course, reforms were a matter of time, as great changes usually were. Year by year their principles were getting to be better understood; and the testimony that had been frequently borne to the value of temperance organizations and principles by persons of standing had so influenced the public mind as to lead it to the conclusion that some radical reform was required with regard to the liquor traffic.[57]

He found encouragement in the work and was encouraged by the ‘exertions made in England on behalf of the temperance movement, and thought the success achieved there ought to make the temperance advocates in this colony [NSW] more zealous and more hopeful.’ [58]

On his death he was described by the NSW Temperance Alliance as a ‘much valued friend’ of the movement and ‘as an earnest worker in the total abstinence cause, exemplary in this life, and useful in his day and generation, Mr. Mills had few equals.’[59] By this description it is apparent that he did not support temperance as moderation of behavior but rather temperance as total abstinence.

From 1865 until his death, Mills had been a committee member of the Sydney City Mission (SCM). He remarked at a meeting in 1868 on how thankful they should be for the work of SCM.

Every member of the society ought from the bottom of his heart to feel thankful that he had been in any way enabled to contribute towards the result such as had been set forth in the report. And not only every Christian, but also every ungodly man ought to thank God that Christians were putting forth some efforts towards rescuing sinners from perdition. The amount of degradation, wretchedness, and misery in this city, was so extensive and deep-seated, that more earnest and extended effort was needed to overtake it.[60]

His involvement and the nature of his contribution over that period of time is not really known but it was clearly appreciated. At the SCM Annual Meeting in 1881 the chairman, Mr W J Foster MP, referred ‘in feeling terms to the death of Mr. John Mills, one of the society’s oldest friends’ while the Committee said we

… regret to record the death of one of the oldest and most useful friends of the mission – Mr. John Mills, of Ashfield. In doing so, they cannot refrain from paying their tribute of respect to the memory of their late fellow-worker. For many years Mr. Mills was a judicious and active friend of the mission, and his lamented decease at the meridian of life is a serious loss not only to the City Mission, but to the benevolent institutions of the metropolis in general.[61]

Mills’ philanthropic activities were to some degree interrelated. His Baptist affiliation accounts for his initial interest in the BMS and his involvement with the YMCA and the SCM led to his SNR&R work which in turn was related to his temperance activities.

While all of the groups in which Mills was involved  had a good degree of spiritual ministry involved with them, BMS being the most prominent, there is a strong social assistance and ministry of mercy emphasis in the remainder. This points to an emphasis towards philanthropy as relief in Mills’ philanthropic endeavors. His skills were largely devoted to the governance of these philanthropic activities.[62]

Philanthropic Circle

Mills shared his philanthropic interests with other like-minded individuals often with a significant number of years in common when they served on the same committee. Below is a table of Mills’ philanthropic circle consisting of those who shared with him at least 25% of their years of service.

M: Methodist 3, B: Baptist 1, A: Anglican 6, P: Presbyterian 5, C: Congregationalist 2

It is worthy of note that the only person he shared service with in all his organizations was Thomas B Rolin, a fellow Baptist. The shading indicates those who shared Mills’ involvement in the temperance movement.

Community Involvement

Until the 1870s most of Sydney’s wealthy businessmen and merchants had lived in the city, but from the late 1860s they had begun to move out to the unspoiled charm and open spaces of the districts along the rail line to Parramatta. Places that had stations on the line, such Ashfield and Burwood and later Croydon (1875), became popular as the well-to-do built their houses and as the population grew. John Mills’ relocation in 1872 was part of that migration when he moved from Albion Street, Surry Hills, to Alt Street, Ashfield.

Although Mills may have only moved into the Ashfield area late in his life and lived there for less than ten years, but in those years he clearly made an impact. At his farewell from his role as Sunday School Superintendent it was observed that ‘His absence will be much felt in Ashfield, in the progress of which he has shown such zeal and earnestness. Nearly all the leading families in Ashfield were represented at Dobroyde on the occasion’.[63] What had he done to account for the ascription of zeal and earnestness for the progress of Ashfield, and to have present at his farewell nearly all the leading families of Ashfield?

There are a number of areas to which he contributed. He organized and agitated for improvement in local amenities: he was the Returning Officer for Council Elections; involved in considerable and successful lobbying of government to set aside Ashfield Park and becoming its Trustee;[64] building the Ashfield Public School and then serving on the school board;[65] extension of the Railway to Circular Quay;[66] President of the Ashfield Cricket Club[67] and, as late as January 1880, he  was assisting the Mayor of Ashfield in collecting for the Ashfield branch of the Irish Famine Fund.[68]

In 1879, he was particularly opposed to the proposed construction of an Ashfield Town Hall when he considered that road repairs were badly needed.

Mr John Mills referred to the reckless extravagance of the City Council in building Sydney Town Hall, which they could not pay for, while the streets were full of holes; but the Ashfield Council were going to commit a greater folly; and it was just as well that the Ashfield ratepayers should remember that they could not go to the Government to sponge out the debt. In the present condition of the roads the Council might as well propose to build the hall on an island, for in wet weather the people would never be able to get to it. The Oddfellows’ Hall answered all the social requirements of the place at present. A little while ago the Council could do nothing to make Alt-street passable because they were so poor; and whence then their sudden affluence?[69] He was successful as no Town Hall was opened in Ashfield until 1891.[70]

Final Days

By the time of his death in 1880 he had been suffering from ‘an affection [sic] of the throat’ for two or three years and it became so serious that for the year prior to his death he no longer had the use of his voice. As a result he needed to refrain from all active business engagements in order to undergo a series of painful medical procedures. His condition must have been particularly difficult as one friend described him as ‘physically now in a most deplorable and distressing condition’. One wonders if his former profession of cigar manufacturer and the possible use of his product had any role in his early demise.[71] Prayer for his recovery and for the effectiveness of his treatment was sought and no doubt given.[72]

Casiphia, Ashfield

As was common it was suggested that he should take a voyage to England to seek medical help. In any event, though it may have been intended that he do so, he did not go. 

A decade before the onset of his throat cancer he gave a speech in which:

He dwelt on the joys and hopes which cheer the Christian pilgrim amid all the trials and sorrows of this life, and especially on the prospect that after all their partings here, they will meet in heaven.[73]

He died at home in his newly built gracious home ‘Casiphia’. Jesus’ parable of the rich fool, who had enlarged his premises to enjoy the luxury of his prosperity did not apply, for John Mills would not have been caught unawares. His death notice said ‘so he giveth his beloved sleep’ and his gravestone read:

All of which gives the impression that death was a relief and was received in the hope of the resurrection.

Dr Paul F Cooper

Research Fellow Christ College, Sydney

The appropriate way to cite this article is as follows:

Paul F Cooper. John Mills (1829-1880) wholesale grocer and governance philanthropist.

Available at

[1] He was baptised on 19 March 1829.

[2] 1851 England Census in Finsbury, London.

[3] Wedding Certificate, John Mills of Little Lonsdale Street and Emily Stidolph of Collingwood witnessed by Thomas John Hudson of Little Lonsdale Street and Christopher Dodd of Little Lonsdale Street with Thomas Odell officiating on 14 January 1853. No 4649. Victoria Births, Deaths and Marriages.

[4] No birth notices for the children appear in the 1850’s, newspapers.

[5] 13/12/1862, SMH, 16 December 1862, 1.

[6] McConnell Death Date: 1948 Volume: 6/9/15430 Reference: 5251/48 Source: Master’s Office / Orphan Chamber, Cape Town (MOOC) Source location: Cape Town Archives Repository.

[7] 10/3/1865, SMH, 21 March 1865, 6.

[8] 23/2/1867, SMH, 26 February 1867, 1.

[9] 27/2/1869, SMH, 1 March 1869, 1.

[10] 1858-9 Sands Directory ; 1863-1871 Sands Directory; Sydney Mail, 20 December 1862, 1; Sands Directory 1871, 438 lists the private residence as being in Albion Street;  SMH, 18 February 1873, 1 and the Sands Directory 1873, 432 lists the private residence as ‘Elston villa’ Alt Street Ashfield there after only as Alt Street. To confuse matters there are two other John Mills (Snr and Jnr) that live in Alt Street – one is a nurseryman, florist and lime merchant and the father is a carpenter but only appears in 1871 Sands Directory. Elston is a village in the UK some 21 kms by road from Tidworth the birth place of John Mills so it seems likely that Mills named this newly built house.

[11] Ashfield Heritage Study 1991-1992 Reference 139, 14 Julia Street Ashfield “The Lilacs” previously “Casiphia”

[12] 28 August 1880 SMH, 31 August 1880, 1.

[13] SMH, 30 August 1880, 5.

[14] Ezra 8: 15 “I assembled them at the canal that flows toward Ahava, and we camped there three days. When I checked among the people and the priests, I found no Levites there. 16 So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning, 17 and I ordered them to go to Iddo, the leader in Kasiphia. I told them what to say to Iddo and his fellow Levites, the temple servants in Kasiphia, so that they might bring attendants to us for the house of our God. The house was put up for sale soon after Mills’ death.” SMH, 5 February 1881, 16.

[15] 26/6/1887 SMH, 28 June 1887, 1.

[16] SMH, 7 November 1853, 1.

[17] See discussion mentioned by Goold re: the formation of the YMCA

[18] SMH, 15 December 1854, 8.

[19] SMH, 13 January 1855, 4.

[20] SMH, 12 September 1860, 1.

[21] The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 31 January 1880, 193; The Sydney Daily Telegraph (NSW), 8 May 1880, 3.

[22] New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW), 24 June 1884 [Issue No.293], 4059; SMH, 20 June 1884, 11; 25 November 1885, 2.

[23] SMH, 22 October 1887, 14.

[24] Wedding Certificate, John Mills of Little Lonsdale Street and Emily Stidolph of Collingwood witnessed by Thomas John Hudson of Little Lonsdale Street and Christopher Dodd of Little Lonsdale Street with Thomas Odell officiating on 14 January 1853. No 4649. Victoria Births, Deaths and Marriages.

[25] The registration of William Mackaness in 1854 gives the district as ‘Sydney, St Andrews, Bathurst Street’ and unusually has ‘Baptist’ as the denomination in the registration. Transcript of birth registration William M Mills in ‘Find my Past’ Volume reference NSW BDM V1854398 59.

[26] Particular Baptists were Calvinists believing in particular redemption – that Christ died only for the elect. It is a matter of some debate among Calvinists as to what Calvin taught. Calvin’s view is often expressed as “Christ’s death was sufficient for all efficient for the elect.”

[27] SMH, 22 July 1862, 8; 25 January 1869, 4; Empire, 25 March 1870, 2; The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 3 June 1871, 433; Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW), 25 May 1872, 5; SMH, 3 June 1874, 5; 3 June 1875, 5.

[28] SMH, 12 February 1868, 2.

[29] Sydney Mail (NSW), 19 March 1870, 5.  Mills had also preached on occasions during M’Cure’s absence in England where M’Cure sought to raise funds to extinguish the church’s debt. The Newcastle Chronicle (NSW), 10 April 1869, 4.

[30] Illustrated Sydney News (NSW), 21 January 1871, 2.

[31] SMH, 26 June 1872, 4.

[32] The Protestant Standard (Sydney, NSW), 6 June 1874, 5; The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 5 June 1875, 721.

[33] Sands Directory 1871, 438 lists the private residence as being in Albion Street and the Sands 1873, 432 lists the private residence as ‘Elston vila’ Alt Street Ashfield thereafter only as Alt Street. To confuse matters there are two other John Mills (Snr and Jnr) that live in Alt Street – one is a nurseryman, florist and lime merchant and the father is carpenter but only appears in 1871 Directory.

[34] He probably still continued some connection with the Baptist Church, for in 1873 he was chairing meetings at the Castlereagh Baptist Church  SMH, 2 Jul 1873,  4 – preaching at services. SMH, 12 May 1877, 1.

[35] Alexander Milne Jarvie (1826-1887).

[36] Confirming this relationship is the fact that Jarvie addressed a meeting of the Sunday Morning Breakfasts for the Poor which John Mills chaired. Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 22 April 1878, 2.

[37] SMH, 5 April 1877, 1.

[38] SMH, 1 July 1879, 5.

[39] SMH, 1 July 1879, 5.

[40] John Mills, Death Certificate NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages.

[41] SMH, 30 August 1880, 5.

[42] New South Wales Will Books 1800-1953 – 4898 John Mills

[43] [accessed 8/9/2021]. John Mills was one of the Executors of Alexander Learmonth’s estate as was Mary Louise Learmonth nee Ramsay, Alexander’s wife and the eldest daughter of David Ramsay. This would indicate that there was a close connection between the Mills, Learmonth and Ramsay families New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW), 6 February 1880 [Issue No.51] 620.

[44] Empire (Sydney, NSW), 21 February, 1868, 4.

[45] John Mills was an Executor of Alexander Learmonth’s Estate.

[46] Carrie Mills, Presbyterian Church, Hobart The Mercury (Hobart), 11 July 1884, 1; Lucie Mills by Rev Alex Osborne assisted by the Rev A N Jarvie, Burwood Presbyterian Church, SMH, 25 February 1885,1; Evelynne Mills by Rev James Alwyn Ewen, minister of Burwood Presbyterian Church (1892-1899),  SMH, 20  April, 1895, 1; Emily Mills by Rev A N Jarvie, Scots Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 30 January 1886, 256.


[48] SMH, 4 November 1880, 3.

[49] SMH, 19 July 1853, 1.

[50] SMH, 16 October 1875, 4.

[51] SMH, 18 January, 1868, 7; 26 June, 1869,5; 19 October 1871, 5; 28 November 1874, 9; 13 December 1876, 1.

[52] Mills died in August 1880 and yet his name was included for election at the annual meeting of the SFRS in 1881. This is perhaps an administrative error of no consequence or had perhaps Mills’ attendance become notional and the Committee was unaware he was deceased. Unfortunately the report of the Annual Meeting of 1881 is not extant to help resolve this issue. The Sydney Daily Telegraph (NSW),   14 April 1881, 3. Only 5 attended the meeting The Protestant Standard (Sydney, NSW), 23 April 1881, 5.

[53] Sydney Mail, 24 July 1869, 2.

[54] SMH, 9 May 1876, 3.

[55] SMH, 9 May 1876, 3.

[56] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 4 March 1875, 3.

[57] SMH, 29 January 1876, 5.

[58] SMH, 27 Feb 1877, 3.

[59]  Sydney Mail (NSW), 28 November 1868, 9; Empire (Sydney, NSW), 24 June 1869, 2; SMH, 28 February 1881, 7; The Sydney Daily Telegraph (NSW), 26 February 1881, 6.

[60] Sydney Mail (NSW), 20 June 1868, 5.

[61] SMH, 18 May 1881, 6.

[62] He had shortly before his death been appointed to the Committee of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Institute where he served as an ‘active and energetic member’ from 1878-1880. Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 16 October 1878, 3; The Sydney Daily Telegraph (NSW), 14 October 1879, 3; SMH, 19 October 1880, 7.

[63] SMH, 1 July 1879, 5.

[64] SMH, 12 August 1878, 1; 15 November 1879, 6.

[65] The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW), 25 December 1875, 817; SMH, 20 December 1876, 3.

[66] SMH, 8 May 1877, 1; 6 June 1877, 1.

[67] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 1 September 1879, 3.

[68] SMH, 22 January 1880, 6.

[69] SMH, 2 August 1879, 6.

[70] The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW), 4 February 1891, 5.

[71] SMH, 1 July 1880, 6.

[72] SMH, 2 January 1880, 3.

[73] Evening News (Sydney, NSW), 16 March 1870, 2.

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