Sunday, January 17, 2010

Part 3 of a series of posts. Reiby Brothers, Tasmania, Entally, Mary Reiby

The Reiby Brothers
"In 1794 Mary married Thomas Reibey, a sailor. Thomas was given land for a farm on the Hawkesbury River, and he also became a shipping merchant. The family moved to Sydney where they built a fine home, called “Entally” after a suburb of Calcutta, India. By the early 1800s Thomas owned several boats that traded between Sydney, the Hawkesbury and the Hunter River, and were engaged in sealing in Bass Strait. Following his death in 1811, Mary took over the business and she operated it successfully, as well as looking after her family of seven. Her shrewd financial dealings made her one of the richest people in the colony.

"By then Mary's two eldest sons, Thomas and James, were old enough to help with the business. Both boys had been sent to sea, being prepared for their part in extending the Reiby mercantile empire. In 1815 the 19 year old Thomas, became master and owner of the schooner John Palmer, trading between Sydney and Launceston. He married Richarda Allen and in June 1817 sailed with his bride to take up land on the banks of the South Esk River, which he named “Entally”. Seventeen-year old James, disowned by his mother, left for Hobart Town in March 1816. There he married a widow, Rebecca Breedon, and they established a shop stocked with goods worth £40, obtained on credit.

At Launceston, Thomas prospered. He set up his merchant store on the banks of the North Esk River and in 1820 he built the first wharf of the fledgling port at the foot of St. John Street. He continued to skipper ships, taking wheat, seal skins, oil and vegetables to Sydney, and returning with general merchandise for sale at his store."


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