William Park Thompson was born in Westerkirk near Glasgow in 1823 and married in 1847 Mary Elizabeth Fraser in Perth, Scotland. Mary was the daughter of Lauchlane Fraser and Elizabeth McPherson m 1822 in Perth. William & Mary came to Queensland Australia in the 1855 after the birth of their daughter Margaret in 1848,  Ellen or Helen 1852 and William 1854. In 1855 he and his family arrived in Queensland. So far it appears he was brought out here as a horticulturist for Rosalie Staion by Robert Ramsay (later to be Treasurer of Queensland) and Lord Louis Hope. I have found births of children at Rosalie Plains Station near Dalby Qld, and in Brisbane at Norman Creek. He was awarded a large sum of money in 1862 along with a large Silver medallion from the London International Exhibition 1862 inscribed around the rim "W P Thompson” for the finest cotton shown at the Exhibition there. It is believed the main football oval at the Church of England Grammar School on the banks of Norman Creek was the site of his crop. Certainly he and his family were living there at the time (from 1859 to 1870) on a farm owned by Lord Louis Hope and leased a horse paddock beside the main road on the banks of the creek from Hope. Newspapers of the time show him to be certainly proficient in the garden as the main Horticultural Exhibition certainly shows him winning 1st and 2nd prizes in many varieties of fruit and vegetables each year for a decade. The birth of Cecilia in 1864 and another in 1866 confirms him being there at the time. A further medallion from the NSW Government of the time approx. 1872 is to do with the smelting of tin. I do know he was in Stanthorpe (Quart Pot) in 1872 having transported the family by two large bullock drays, one set up as sleeping and stores and the other as a kitchen and blacksmiths to Stanthorpe and thence to Emmaville then known as Vegetable Creek. Sadly Mary his wife died there suddenly in 1878 on Cecilia’s birthday.  There is a third medallion but so far I am unable to find out what is on the rim of this medallion. There is also a smaller silver medal also for some achievement but that also is proving evasive. His daughter Cecilia married Edwin Samuel Pitt JP the son of Charles Pitt JP who received 400 pounds for being the second to grow cotton in Qld. (Aldines) I have William’s birth in Scotland and I have found his death in Inverell in 1897. He is listed in the rolls of 1897 as being a Tin Miner in The Ponds just outside Inverell. His son John James Fraser Galloway Thompson settled in Inverell and was also a Tin miner. Another son William Fraser Thompson also settled in Inverell as a Draper after a time in Emmaville where he was much involved.

I notice that the minister on William Park's death certificate was Alexander Fraser. Mary Fraser's brother was also Alexander (coincidence?)  William Park Thompson  was listed in Scotland as a journalist with a Perth newspaper and in a census was found as the Head gardener at Park Hill Estate in St Vidgeans in Scotland but here has been described variously as a tin miner, farmer and gentleman. A man for all seasons apparently.

Links to photos

Cecilia (Thompson) Pitt

Cecilia (Thompson) Pitt


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