Moses Family

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The Moses Family

Excerpted from 'Hawkesbury Journey' by DG Bowd

"Uriah Moses (1780-1847) arrived on the Royal Admiral in 1800 with a life sentence.  Moses was a youth of seventeen when he was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey for stealing:

"7 silk handkerchiefs, 30 yards of lace, and 58 yards of calimanco"

The shop window "appeared to have been cut by a diamond" (Moses occupation was a glass cutter).

After removing the goods he left them with a fence who gave him an old shawl for his bleeding hand.  Moses returned to Guy's Hospital where he was arrested.  "A card of lace was found in his bed" and the constable in evidence said "the back part of his hand was cut in several places.  Here is part of the shawl which I found in the bed where he was, very bloody"

"Gaol fever was carried aboard the Royal Admiral" and of the 300 male convicts embarked, forty seven, or 14.3%, died on the voyage.  "Almost all the survivors required medical treatment".

Uriah Moses received a conditional pardon in 1821.  In the 1821-23 period, he supplied wheat to the Government Stores, but it is doubtful if he grew it himself, as he is variously shown as a storekeeper, baker and dealer, but never as a landowner.

He was fifty when in 1830 he married Ann Daley, aged twenty.  Both made a mark in the register.  They had nine children, four of whom died in infancy.  Moses was ostensibly converted from his Jewish faith eleven days before his death in 1847, aged 69, or should it have been sixty seven?  In 1869 his widow Ann married James Powell, the son of Edward Powell who first came as a seaman on the Lady Juliana.  Edward returned as one of the first free settlers in 1793 and founded the Powell family, informally with Sarah Dorset and formally with Elizabeth Fish. 

Uriah's eldest son, Henry Moses was born at Windsor in 1832 and was a baker when he married Ann Primrose in 1857.¬  They had ten children born at Windsor between 1858 and 1878.  He had extended his business activities into flour milling by the time he was elected to Parliament.  He exchanged the flour mill for a station property near Moree.

Henry Moses represented the Hawkesbury in Parliament from 1869 to 1880 when such colossal figures as Cowper, Martin, Parkes and Robertson strode the political stage.  He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1885, a position which he retained till shortly before his death.

Moses became a leading figure in the commercial life of New South Wales being a director of the Commercial Bank, the Commercial Union Assurance company and the Perpetual Trustee Company which was established in 1884.  He died at Potts Point in 1926.

Uriah Moses' youngest son, William, carried on the general store and bakery soundly established by his father.  It was well situated in relation to the wharf and continued to prosper whilst the river trade flourished.¬  However the silting up of the river resulted in a decline in his trade and the commercial centre of Windsor moved to the block containing the Post Office and banks.

Consequently, the 'Hawkesbury Stores' which were commenced by Uriah Moses on a town allotment to Henry Kable, were transferred.  In 1920 William Moses of the third generation announced that "he had purchased commodious premises and the business carried on for upward of a century at the Hawkesbury Stores will in future be conducted at the New Hawkesbury Stores".

They were situated in George Street in a general store built by William Beard in 1898 about fifty metres from the Post Office.  This building lost much of it's character when the distinctive balcony was demolished about 1955 and more recently, when ceramic tile frontages were added to the three small shops to give an air of modernity.

The business passed to Hilton Moses in 1921 and he continued until 1926."

(Doug Bowd's books are available for sale at the Hawkesbury Museum, Thompson Square, Windsor)


 The next section has been extracted from an article published in the Hawkesbury Gazette of 18th October 2000.  The article was written as a prelude to a Moses family reunion held on November 12, 2000.

"GEOFF Moses didn't intend on becoming a family historian.

 But he was an alderman on Windsor Council some 30 years ago when a letter arrived from Britain to the Council seeking information on the Moses family.

 In answering the letter Geoff embarked on a journey of discovery that traversed only a few streets, but nearly 150 years of history.

Geoff discovered that he was the great-grandson of Uriah Moses, who was sentenced to death in 1798 for stealing, but had his sentence commuted to "penal servitude in the Colonies for Life".

Geoff found he was living just a few streets away from where his great-grandfather started a bakery business in 1821.

Uriah Moses, it seems from evidence tendered at his trial at the Old Bailey, was an enthusiastic thief, if not a particularly good one.  He wasn't a very good liar, either, trying to convince the judge he had cut his hand when he fell while crossing London Bridge with a teapot in his hand.

 The court preferred the evidence that he had injured himself breaking a window to steal seven handkerchiefs, 30 yards of lace and 58 yards of calimanco.

Uriah arrived in NSW aboard the "Royal Admiral" on November 20, 1800, aged about 20.  He was given his ticket of leave in 1812 and in 1821 received a full pardon from Lachlan Macquarie. 

 In 1821 he set up shop in Windsor, baking bread, a business that stayed in the family for almost 150 years.

At 50 Uriah married 12 year old Ann Daley, a Windsor-born lass, the daughter of convicts: Irishman Charles Daley, who arrived in 1793 aboard the "Boddingtons" and Sussanah Alderson, a Yorkshire lass sentenced for seven years for perjury.

Sussanah arrived aboard the "Speke" in 1808 with two year old son William in tow.  She married Charles in June 1810, some nine months after giving birth to their daughter Ann.

 From these uncertain circumstances, Uriah and Ann established a hard-working well respected family that has made significant contributions to the Hawkesbury and Australia.

 They had nine children, five who survived beyond infancy: Henry, Sussanah, George, James and William, Geoff's grandfather.

Uriah understood the shopkeeper's golden rule of "location, location, location" ; as important in 1820 as it is today.

Family historian, Geoff Moses, explains how Uriah's store, at Number 62 ¬ĺ George Street, Windsor, was the first store at the top of the hill as people paid their toll and crossed South Creek to come into town.

His was also the first store encountered by those who moored their boats and climbed the riverbank to seek supplies in Windsor.

 Uriah prospered and expanded his influence, being described as a baker, storekeeper and dealer.¬  He was also a money lender of some consequence.

 The eldest surviving son of Uriah and Ann was Henry Moses, who was born in Windsor in 1832.¬  At first he followed his father into the bakery business, but his real calling was public office, being a parliamentarian for 50 years.¬  He served in the House of Representatives from 1869 to 1880 and was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1885, holding the position until shortly before his death in 1930. 

Family historian, Geoff Moses, says Henry founded the Commercial Banking Company, (CBC Bank, now known as the National Australia Bank).

Moses Street, Windsor is named after Henry Moses.

Henry had a son, Henry, born in 1858 who played Test cricket for Australia between 1884 and 1888.

 In the Depression of the 1890's Henry put a lot of his money and his wife's family's money into saving the CBC Bank.

Later, when the money was repaid, his wife was overlooked.  This prompted a family feud and Henry adopted his wife's surname, Friend.  The artist, Donald Friend is Henry's son.

Returning to Uriah, his fourth surviving son, William, born in 1844, was Geoff's grandfather, and the one who continued the family baker business.  William expanded further into iron goods, haberdashery and all manner of goods required by people living in the Hawkesbury.

 The business became known as the Hawkesbury Stores and was likened to Anthony Horden's shop in the city, with it's range of goods for householders and farmers.

 Civic duty seems strong in the Moses family: William served as Mayor of Windsor.

Geoff assumes that his grandfather, conscious of his role of leading businessman and Mayor, kept quiet about his father's convict past, and this is the reason the family did not know about it's links to the earlier days of the Colony.

 William married Elvina Mountford in 1868 and fathered a family of ten exceptionally talented musicians.

The Hawkesbury Courier of the day wrote that when the Moses family rehearsed, in the summer families would wander to Thompson Square and sit outside the Moses family home to listen to the fine music.

Son Stanley was an exceptionally fine violinist.

 His talent was so remarkable that at 14 he went alone to study at the Brussels Conservatory of Music, taking first prize in the examination of 1879.  This examination was so prestigious Stanley was then considered the world's best violinist.  To honour such fine talent, his father bought him a 141 year old Langenfeldt violin worth 2000 pounds.

 It seems his father's confidence was well placed, as later Stanley's tutor allowed him to buy his Stradivarius.

Stanley performed throughout Europe, readily promoted as the world's greatest violinist.

 A critique of the time stated:

"If the gods wished to speak in music they would have Lizt sing.  If they wished to listen they would call Stanley Moses to play".

 Stanley contracted pneumonia and died in France, aged 28.

Meanwhile, back in Windsor, the family business had passed into the hands of Geoff's father, Arthur, and uncle, Hilton.

 The brothers expanded the business by running a boat, "The Golden Hope" on the Hawkesbury, delivering bread, crockery, seeds, groceries, bone dust and ironmongery to homes on the river between Windsor and Sackville.

Arthur passed the business on to his sons, Geoff and Stanley, who continued as bakers.  Geoff left the business in 1956 and worked in Windsor as an old company distributor, real estate agent and auctioneer.

He continued on his family's tradition of civic duty, serving on Windsor Council for three years.

Brother Stanley continued the bakery until 1971, when he retired.

Speaking of the Moses family bakery, he would say: "It is doubtful whether any other business in Australia has remained in the same family's hands for such a period" (nearly 150 years).

Stanley's daughter, Jennifer Moses, is also active in the community, and recently had the honour of being an Hawkesbury Olympic Torchbearer through the streets of Leura".

Additional Links about the Moses Family:

Uriah Moses Grave at St Matthews Church, Windsor

Parliament record of Henry Moses, MP

Windsor & Richmond Gazette - Index to Births, Deaths & Marriages notices

Moses Bros Cake Shop information

National Library of Australia Beta Articles

Uriah Moses links to the Nichols Family

State Records Office link to Uriah Mosesí probate documents


If you have any links to the Moses Family which you think may be helpful, or if you find one of the above links is broken, please let us know.


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