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Edward Joy (1816-1898) Pastoralist and Ragged School Philanthropist
Edward Joy was born on 18 June 1816 in Leeds, England, the second son of William Thomas Outhwaite Joy (1785-1855) and his wife Harriet Glover. William, who had been an apprentice and journeyman with Mr Medley, a Leeds Chemist, Druggist and Oil Man, set up business on his own as a seed and oil merchant in 1807. Later, William entered into partnership with his brother Edward, after whom his son was named, and operated the Thwaite Mills near Leeds in a partnership that was eventually dissolved in 1844. William and Edward then each formed a partnership with their own sons. Unlike his family, Edward Junior, as he was known in Leeds to distinguish him from his very prominent uncle, did not remain in the seed and oil business, but became the manager of the New Leeds Gas Company in 1841. In 1843, Edward’s older brother William married Mary Holt and in 1851, Edward married Mary’s sister Eliza. The Joy and Holt families were thus closely linked in an association that Edward would continue in the colony of New South Wales (NSW) through his business partnerships with Thomas Holt, his brother-in-law.
In 1853, Edward and Eliza set sail for the colony of NSW as first class cabin passengers on the Walmer Castle and arrived in Sydney on 12 September 1853. Edward soon set up business in Sydney, utilising his Holt family connections by forming a partnership with George Stranger Leathes, trading as Joy and Leathes, for the purchase of wool for consignments for Lovegrove and Leathes of London and Holt Brothers of Leeds. By 1856, this partnership was dissolved and Edward formed Joy and Company with Andrew Hinchcliff, a partnership which also purchased wool and exported it to England. In 1862, the company was dissolved, but Joy continued to send wool to England on his own account. Joy was also concerned with wool production and entered into several partnerships with Thomas Holt and others in the purchase of leases at Salisbury Plains in the Kennedy District, north of Rockhampton in Queensland. In 1864, in a decision that would materially affect the course of his life Edward, together with Thomas Holt, advanced money to a lessee on Wealwandangie, a property in Queensland. The years 1866-1871 were years of serious depression in the industry with a drought being experienced in 1868, followed by floods in 1869. The partnership with Holt had ended by 1870 after a dispute over Joy’s exercise of power of attorney while his brother-in-law was absent in England during 1866-1868. This matter was the subject of litigation between Holt and Joy and, although it was eventually settled by mediation, it must have soured family relationships. The end result was that Joy sold his share to Holt in 1870 for some £24,000 (in excess of $3 million current value) and then returned to England.
While Joy was to spend only 20 years in the colony, during which time he acquired a modest fortune, he was to make a significant philanthropic contribution to NSW by his championing the cause of the Ragged School movement. Edward and Eliza do not appear to have had any children of their own and they did not have any (more…)