Edgar Aldridge

Ancestor’s last name

Aldridge

Given Name:

Edgar

Middle Name:

Thomas

Arrival in Queensland

4 April 1848

Date of Birth

21 December 1817

Place of Birth

Great Baddow, Essex, England

Date of Death

18 May 1888

Burial

Maryborough Cemetery

Place of residence in Queensland

Wide Bay Village (Baddow)

Spouse

Maria Slater (nee Steele)

Date of Marriage

29 June 1849

Place Married

Wide Bay, New South Wales

Children

Maria Rachael, Harry Edgar (b. 1849), Joey Edgar (b. 1850 d. 9 January 1851)

Occupation
Mayor
Hotel Owner
Landlord
Councillor
Store Owner

Edgar Thomas Aldridge, store owner, hotelier and councillor, arrived in Queensland in 1848. He was the first white man to reside in the area that eventually became known as Maryborough. Aldridge died in 1888 at his third home, ‘Baddow House’ which is located at 366 Queen Street, Baddow. He was preceded in death by his wife Maria who died in 1886. They are buried together in Maryborough Cemetery.

Edgar Aldridge migrated to Australia from England in the 1840s. In 1843 Aldridge became a hotel keeper on the Macleay River near Kempsey, NSW. He continued to involve himself in a variety of business endeavours before heading to northern NSW. In 1848, Edgar Aldridge headed north with a party that included Enoch Rudder and Richard Palmer and on 4 April 1848 the party crossed the Mary River (formerly named the Wide Bay River) to the north bank naming the place Baddow. Aldridge then returned with livestock and built the Bush Inn and a crude wool store.

In 1849 Aldridge married former convict Maria Slater (nee Steele). Maria was a widow with one child, Frederick Slater. Edgar and Maria had two children, Maria Rachael and Harry Edgar, both born prior to their marriage. In late 1849 the entire family moved to Wide Bay Village where Aldridge established a store, wharves and the Bush Inn hotel, where the family lived. Another son, Joey Edgar, was born in 1850 but died in January 1851.

The Bush Inn at Wide Bay Village accommodated the Native Police when they passed through the territory while out on patrol in SE Queensland. In 1856 Aldridge built a new Bush Inn hotel at Kent Street, where the present day Royal Hotel is located. It was an impressive two storied timber building.

The Register of Lands Sold in Maryborough 1842-1859 shows Aldridge as the largest purchaser of land in the region at that time. In 1857 he built the first brick building in Maryborough, the Court House and Lock-Up, followed by the Receiving Store. Aldridge successfully cultivated the first sugar cane in the area, resulting in the future establishment of what would become an important and profitable crop for Maryborough. Edgar held the position of Alderman of Maryborough from 1861 to 1864 and 1865 to 1866.

His wife Maria passed away in 1886 and to honour her memory Aldridge built St Thomas Church in 1887 and in 1888 installed nine bells, crafted in England, in the bell tower of St Paul’s Church. The bells rang out each year on the anniversary of Maria’s death.

Built in 1883 by Fritz Kinne and designed by Maryborough architect Willoughby Powell, Baddow House was the third home of Edgar Thomas Aldridge. He died at Baddow House in 1888 and is buried with his wife and other members of his family in Maryborough Cemetery.


If you can provide further information on the life of this person please contact the Harry Gentle Resource Centre ([email protected])

Prepared by Lee Butterworth

Newspapers

How romance and tragedy shaped Maryborough

Fraser Coast Chronicle
28 October 2013

First White Man to Reside in Maryborough

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
25 May 1933 p. 4

Police Court

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
9 June 1864 p. 2

The Aldridge Papers

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
12 October 1864 p. 4

The Aldridge Papers (continued)

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
22 October 1864 p. 4

The Aldridge Papers (continued)

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
29 October 1864 p. 4

The Aldridge Papers (continued)

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
2 November 1864 p. 4

The Late Maryborough Election

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser
25 February 1865 p. 3

Maryborough Royal Hotel

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton)
4 February 1902 p. 6

Bells off to the old dart

Fraser Coast Chronicle
17 April 2012

Maryborough

Moreton Bay Courier
15 November 1860 p. 3