Taylor Family

Campbell Town in about 1900 (AOT, PH30/1/1138)

The Taylor family George (64), Mary (56) and six adult children gave up their lease of land in Scotland and in 1822 emigrated to Van Diemen's Land. They received land grants on the river flats and open plains north of Campbell Town, and called their property Valleyfield. In 1824 bushrangers attacked, and the family, including women and servants, fought the intruders off. George junior was awarded another 500 acres for his bravery. He befriended local Aborigines, learning their language and customs, but general conflict erupted, and George died of spear wounds in 1826. He was the first Taylor buried at the Kirklands Presbyterian church, the spiritual home of the Taylors.

The Taylors are inextricably linked to the wool industry, and their name features prominently on trophies and shields of the Campbell Town Show. They owned many other properties, and today most of these are still owned, leased or managed by George and Mary's descendants. (See also Sheep Farmers.)

Further reading: V Taylor, Winton merino stud, Geelong, 1985.

Louise Loane