An interesting picnic took place at Muckleford the day before yesterday, on the occasion of the marriage of Mr. James Williamson to the second daughter of the Rev. John Cheyne of Castlemaine.

A numerous and select party, which included the Warden, Captain Bull and his lady, Mrs. Adair, Mrs. Hamilton, Dr. Preshaw and other of our local celebrities, met in the grounds adjoining Rev. Cheyne's residence to do honour to the happy event. The friends and neighbours mustered largely on the occasion to show respect to the Vicar and his family. An admirable reflection, comprising all the delicacies of the season was furnished for the assembled guests. After the repast a variety of innocent amusements were indulged in by grave and gay in which age seemed to resume elasticity and business forgot its cares and worries and there were not wanting.

When the excitement had subsided by the adjournment of the merry party to the homestead, Mr. R. Butterworth, in chaste and elegant terms, proposed the health of the newly wedded pair, wishing them every desirable blessing, and indulging in the hope that a similar happiness was in store for them. As the bridegroom appeared to prefer the interesting task of helping the ladies to champagne instead of responding to the toast, Mr. Thorburn kindly undertook that duty, and whilst deploring the solitary lot of himself and brother bachelors, dwelt rather poetically on the stanzas ending in "Man never is - but always to be - blessed."

Music and dancing concluded the enjoyments of the evening, and the party broke up with cheers for the newly wedded pair and most unearthly groans for the bachelors. Dr. Preshaw acted as fugleman for the groaning party. The cavalcade presented an attractive feature as it wended its way home through the trees by moonlight and numerous and not always unsuccessful were the attempts of the gay cavaliers to bewitch the fair sex with their feats of horsemanship.

The bridegroom Mr. James Williamson continued his associations with the town until his death in 1880.


From items of interest from the short lived newspaper "Miner's Right and Castlemaine Advertiser" copied into exercise books by James Martin in the 1940's now held at the Castlemaine Historical Society.


Annie Forrest Cheyne married James Williamson on the 10th October 1856 (Certificate No. 3168).

The Reverend John Cheyne, his wife Ann Levina (nee Forrest) and their daughter are my Port Phillip Pioneers.

( Contributed by Val Farley (nee Williamson). PPPG Member No. 551 )

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