A young couple’s journey from Suffolk, England to Queensland, Australia

David Nunn (born 15 Mar 1827 at  Chevington, Suffolk, England, UK, died (10 Jan 1900 Ipswich, Queensland, Australia) moved to Australia in 1858 with his wife Rachel and son Elisha.

The Irene in New Zealand

The vessel, Irene, which brought the Nunns to Australia.

The family settled at Dinmore, now a suburb of Ipswich, the neighbouring city to Queensland’s capital, Brisbane.

David Nunn Queensland Times

David Nunn’s obituary published in the Queensland Times.

An obituary published in The Queensland Times said he had been ailing for several months before his passing.

Interestingly, his birth date was given as 5 Mar 1826 but it was 15 Mar 1827.

Every record (baptism, census, etc) points to him being born in 1827, so the discrepancy is unexplained.

Often people “got” their age wrong and even the year of birth; sometimes deliberately.

As they established their property at Dinmore ( referred to as Hazelwood Farm, or Nunns’ Paddock), David and Rachel Nunn became very much part of the growing community.

The Nunns set up an area on their land for cricket and soccer matches which made their location a focal point for social gatherings.

The first mention of such an occasion was a cricket match in 1885.

Several of David and Rachel Nunn’s sons were proficient cricketers and I’ve detailed much more about the Whitwood team elsewhere.

How James Ivory viewed David Nunn

Excerpt from newspaper report of court case

Excerpt from newspaper report of court case involving David Nunn and James Ivory.

But there were disputes of course, the most public being with major landowner James Ivory who by 1879 had 18,000 acres around Bundamba. He grew sugar cane and invested in the cotton boom.

He previously bought the Bremer Mills property in 1868 and owned Eskdale (Esk) in 1843.

A number of his diaries are held at the Mitchell Library, Sydney, and have been transcribed by Picture Ipswich.

Diary entries

In them, Ivory first makes mention of his neighbour David Nunn in October 1877:

It seems that Nunn (my neighbour) is making use of one of my paddocks without leave, they are a grasping unprincipled set.

In November 1878, another entry:

Mrs Nunn paid her rent for Campbell’s paddock one pound asked to be allowed to cut Wattles, but I said no.

20 November:

Nunn called & told me Kingston had worried a 2 year Filly & a horse of his, & wished to know if I could go halves in the damage done estimated at 20 pounds. I said I thought that I should claim damages for his horse stock being there without authority, as I only rented the paddock for horned cattle, & that no horse stock was to be placed there.

27 November:

Summons from Nunn for 15 pounds damages by Kingston, can’t at all see his claim.

6 January 1879:

Sent Winslow & Bransom to see the worried mare & horse at Nunn’s, Filly nothing the worse, horse belonged to some stranger on agistment & not there. Mare a Filly not worth at most over 10 pounds.

8 January:

Gained the Entire case though Mrs Nunn perjured herself, but we squeezed the point we wished out of her at last, but Captain Townley somehow did not allow me costs, though he might evidently have seen that it was on a try on & unfair case to bring against me, & though winning the case I lost 4 pounds nine shillings in expenses, however the Nunn’s have made a loss also.

9 January:

There was a great laugh in Court when Nunn was asked to state what I said to him when he called about the horses, “one thing he said, when I asked him what I was to do with the horse if they died, why! Bury them of course.” I said this as the fellow was pestering me & keeping on asking questions on a matter which was caused by his own improper act. The case was badly reported in both Ipswich papers. Mrs Nunn swore she never knew that there was an Entire in my paddock though her husband did, her son did, she said she did to me, & how by any possibility such a observant woman passing often through the Entire’s paddock did no see him, plainly shews that perjury was nothing to her.

12 October:

Find that Nunn or R Seymour have cut down posts & slip rails out of spite, at road between Nunn’s & my Campbell’s paddock.

After justice, or after cash?

James Ivory

James Ivory.

Bearing in mind the issues between Ivory and the Nunn family, it all seems a little petty but, to be frank, it seems my great-great grandfather thought he could get a few pounds out of his rich neighbour.

However, it all came unstuck when he took it to court.

And, as James Ivory pointed out, David Nunn came out of it much better than he probably deserved to.

It was, as Ivory said, a try-on. Here’s a report of the court case.

It also should be pointed out that this was not the first action between the two protagonists as, in 1874, Nunn and Ivory were in court on a matter of excessive damages, a case that Ivory won.

It was a petty matter regarding straying stock and an impoundment fee. Read a report of that case.


David and Rachel’s children

1. Elisha NUNN,   b. 22 Mar 1857, Whepstead, Suffolk, England, UK,   d. 19 Dec 1932, King St, Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 75 years)
2. Amos NUNN,   b. 11 Sep 1859, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 7 Sep 1922, Ipswich General Hospital, Queensland, Australia  (Age 62 years)
3. George NUNN,   b. 30 Oct 1860, Bremer Mills, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 1 May 1939, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia   (Age 78 years)
4. Albert NUNN,   b. 11 Sep 1862, Bremer Mills, Ipswich,Queensland, Australia,   d. 24 Oct 1931, Riverview Rd, Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 69 years)
5. Phoebe NUNN,   b. 22 Sep 1864, Goodna Parish, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 10 Aug 1935, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 70 years)
6. Walter NUNN,   b. 19 Jul 1866, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 25 Apr 1940, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 73 years)
7. David “Dick” NUNN,   b. 27 Sep 1868, Goodna, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 13 Jun 1937, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 68 years)
8. Arthur NUNN,   b. 16 Mar 1871, Brisbane Rd, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 29 Sep 1943, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia  (Age 72 years)
9. Sydney NUNN,   b. 18 Nov 1872, Waterfield, Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 1 Jun 1919, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 46 years)
10. William NUNN,   b. 9 Oct 1874, Waterfield, Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 2 Sep 1935, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 60 years)
11. May Emma NUNN,   b. 6 Nov 1876, Waterfield, Dinmore, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia,   d. 26 Oct 1931, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia  (Age 54 years)
12. Violet Mary NUNN,   b. 7 Aug 1878, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Nov 1959, Queensland, Australia  (Age 81 years)