Rivett Henry Bland

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Rivett Henry Bland, also known as R. H. Bland (1811–1894) was born in Nottinghamshire, England. Bland came to Western Australia (known as the Swan River Colony) in August 1829 where he was employed as a government stock superintendent in York, W.A. 100 kilometers from Perth. Bland was also asked to lead expeditions through the Darling Ranges of Western Australia. Bland became a prominent figure in public and agricultural affairs. Bland was also a justice of the peace.[1]

In 1841 Bland was appointed as the Protector of Aborigines in the district of York, W.A. Bland returned to England for for a period of 18 months for health reasons. In 1855 Bland wrote a paper his paper 'On the character, habits and customs of the Aborigines of Western Australia'[2]

R.H. Bland came to Victoria in 1852, appointed as the Resident Director of the Port Phillip and Colonial Gold Mining Co. for a period encompassing 1852 to 1887.[3] Bland was renowned for his ability to conciliate with the miners and his managerial skills. Rivett Henry Bland negotiated the lease of land in Clunes to build the mine, where it became one of the largest and acclaimed gold mines in Australia.[4]

R. H. Bland was an inaugural member of the Ballarat School of Mines in 1870, along with Sir Redmond Barry and Somerville Learmonth[5] - and a trustee in 1886.[6]

R.H. Bland died in Clunes on the 18th February, 1894, aged 83 years old. Bland had been married twice and outlived his two wives and four children.[7]




THE Friends of the late Mr. RIVETT HENRY BLAND of Clunes, are informed that his remains will be interred in the Melbourne General Cemetery. The funeral will leave Spencer-street railway station on arrival of the train from Clunes at 2.25 o'clock p.m. THIS DAY (Wednesday, the 21st inst.)[8]

A Clunes telegram to the Melbourne Argus announces the death of Mr. Rivett Henry Bland, resident managing director of the Port Phillip mine, the pioneer quartz company of Australia, which look place on the evening of February 18, at his residence, at Clunes, in his 84th year. Mr. Bland in the year 1829 came out to West, Australia, and be was appointed resident magistrate for the York distrit, the duties of which office he capably carried out for a number of years. Returning to England, he was in 1852 appointed resident director and manager of the Port Phillip and Colonial Mining Company, and has occupied that position at Clunes ever since. His health failed him through increasing age a year or so ago, but he retained his mental activity till close upon the last. The deceased took an active interest in everything affecting the welfare of mining in Victoria, and he will be regretted as much for his personal virtues as his public usefulness. A correspondent adds to the foregoing extract from the Argus that in 1863-4 Mr. Bland was a partner with the late Mr. Daintree (Agent-General of Queensland), in the occupation of Mary Vale and the Bluff, on the upper Burdekin, in which stations Messrs. Hann, were also managing partners. Mr. Bland was known to and respected to many Queensand colonists.[9]

The will, dated April 5, 1893, of Rivett Henry Bland, late of Clunes, gentleman, who died on February 18, has been granted probate, The deceased left real estate in Victoria valued at £1,140, and personal estate valued at £18,150, or a total ot £19,550. He directs that his silver plate, family pictures, and other articles of ornament jewellery and trinkets shall be forwarded to his nephew, John H Bland, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, solicitor, to be divided amongst his nephews and nieces as far as possible in equal shares. His books, fossils, and mineral collections are to be distributed amongst the free libraries, museums, &c., of Ballarat, Clunes and Creswick. The following legacies and charitable bequests are to be paid £500 to Fannie Hooker, of Devonshire, England, widow , £500 to the daughters of the late Mrs Annie Maria Miller, £500 to his step daughter Emma Oswald, wife of William Walter Oswald, of the National Bank of Australasia, London , £500 to his sister in law Mary Bland, of London widow, £250 to Minnie Locker, of Clunes, spinster, £250 to the building fund ot St Paul's Anglican Church, Clunes, £250 to the Home Mission Fund of the diocese of Ballarat, £200 to the Clunes Free Library, £100 to the Clunes Hospital, £50 each to Emma Frances King and Alice King, then in his employment and £100 each to his friends, Thomas Hewitson of Clunes, mining manager, and William Henry Anderson, sheriff of the colony of Victoria. Of the residue of the estate three sevenths are to be divided equally amongst the sons and daughters of his late brother, the Rev William Handley Bland, three sevenths are to go to the daughters of his late sister, Emma Shepard Powles and the remaining one seventh to his step daughter, Emma Oswald.[10]

See also


Ballarat School of Mines

Port Phillip and Colonial Gold Mining Co.


  1. Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame, http://www.mininghall.com
  2. Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame, http://www.mininghall.com; Luisa Daniele, Australian Dictionary of Biographies, http://adb.anu.edu.au
  3. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~carrick/Ballarat%20a%20to%20b.html accessed 15 March 2013.
  4. Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame, http://www.mininghall.com
  5. Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame, http://www.mininghall.com
  6. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~carrick/Ballarat%20a%20to%20b.html accessed 15 March 2013.
  7. Australian Prospectors and Miners Hall of Fame, http://www.mininghall.com
  8. Melbourne Argus, 21 February 1894.
  9. BRisband Telegraph, 08 March 1894.
  10. The Argus, 30 March 1894.

Further Reading

External links

--Lyndel Ward 17:00, 20 December 2011 (EST); --Clare K.Gervasoni 23:45, 9 November 2018 (AEDT)

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