|Country of Origin||Northern Ireland|
|Date of Birth||12/31/1818|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1841|
|Submitted by||Carl Matchett|
William was the son of Abraham Matchett and Mary Ann/Anne Jones. Born 31 December 1818. William was a Bounty Immigrant. He arrived in Sydney with 2 sisters, Eliza and Sarah, also Bounty Immigrants, in 4 December 1841 on the ‘Columbine’. The shipping records described Eliza and Sarah as under William’s protection during the journey to Australia. His sisters went to Newcastle. (NSW State Archives, Index to Vessels Arrived, 1837-1925. Copywright Mary-Anne Warner, states the ‘Columbine’ arrived 1841 Dec 4; Ship Type: Ship; Page 029 Series 1841_1866).
The Bounty Immigrants Scheme of 1835-1841 was first suggested by Edward Gibbon Wakefield to relieve the economic distress in the UK and the demand for labour in NSW. Immigrants had to be mechanics tradesmen or agricultural labourers. They had to have character references and proof of age with a Certificate of Baptism. The settler who wanted workers paid the immigrants passage. On arrival, the workers were examined by a Board appointed by the Governor and the settler would be issued with a Certificate entitling him to claim the Bounty money back from the Government.
William was described in family bible as ‘Rushcutters Bay’ Bill. He came to Australia as a labourer aged 22 years who could both read and write. As described in the Introduction, he established a bakery business in Rushcutters Bay and his descendents remained in the Woollahra Waverley Suburbs of Sydney. Many are buried in the Waverley Cemetery.
(NSW Department of Commerce. State Records Authority of NSW. Insolvency Index. William Matchett. Locality Botany. Baker. Sequestration: 8/04/1868 File 8918).
During the 1850’s, William sponsored the migration of a number of cousins, children of two of his uncles, William and John He stayed in NSW. He was a beneficiary of his Uncle David’s Will to the tune of 200 pounds.
William married three times and had fifteen children altogether. Jane Wilson and Margaret Wilson (only surviving child Samuel) and Sarah Charles (10 children).
William devoted much of his time to the Loyal Orange Benefit Society of NSW. He was Worshipful Master in 1880.
William died 21st July 1890 at Winslow Terrace, 165 New South Head Road of Brights’s Disease, Uraemia – 5 months’ He was 71. (Death Cert. 1890/010132). He is buried in the Church of England Cemetery at Waverley.