Arcadia History Trivia
|Recently the Arcadia Progress Association received a letter from a gentleman in Sydney regarding a piece of Victorian Colonial history which has a connection to Our Arcadia. It is a sword and scabbard that was presented to William Snow Clifton in 1858 for services rendered as Hon. Secretary – Treasurer to The Victorian Yoemanry Corps. This piece of history was being offered for sale by the owner for a price of $3250. He was also kind enough to send some photos of the sword.|
Stepping back in time to when the Arcadia as we know it was young. William Snow Clifton and his younger brother Henry were the second occupiers of the Arcadia Pastoral Run, estimated at 80000 acres which took in an area from Arcadia in the south to north of Pine Lodge. They took over the run in 1843 from the original squatter Gregor McGregor. William Snow Clifton must have been a prominent person in the area for he was made a magistrate by the Government for Territorial duties (Argus January 29th 1852) and in the August 13th 1857 copy of The Victorian Government Gazette it shows him as being appointed as a magistrate for Arcadia and Murchison. In October 1855 the Victorian Yoemanry Corps. was formed with seventy three volunteers making up the original group. Clifton was Hon. Secretary – Treasurer for the Corps.
The sword and scabbard presented to William Snow Clifton is described by the auctioneers Vickers & Hoad of Sydney as follows: “An important and early Australian presentation levee sword” with scabbard in the Mameluke style popularised by the Duke of Wellington, by Tatham of Charing Cross London (and so marked on the ricasso). The curved blade finely etched with foliage, stand of arms and panel ‘”Presented to William Snow Clifton, Hon. Secy. and Treasurer by the members of the Victorian Yoemanry Corps.1858″. The gilt embossed hilt with ivory grip scales, the shagreen covered wooden scabbard with en suite mounts. This is the earliest known Australian presentation sword “The auctioneers suggested price being $4000 to $6000”, so perhaps a bargain at $3250 ??.
On June 21st 1853 William’s younger brother Henry died aged 31 years at the Goulburn River (Argus July 5th 1853) and was buried at Kilmore. William Snow Clifton divided the Arcadia Run in 1858, north of the Broken River being called Pine Lodge. William Snow Clifton possibly ended his occupation of the Arcadia Run in the early 1860’s the next person to occupy the run was John White Pearce who advertised the sale of the Arcadia Run in 1864.
The Clifton’s may have had some association with the Kilmore area, for when the Anglican Church, Church of Christ, was being built William Snow Clifton donated one of the stained glass windows as a memorial to his brother Henry.
Further information about the Arcadia Pastoral Run is available on this web site under Squatters in Arcadia.