John Scholey

John Scholey

Infobox Person
name = John Scholey

image_size = 250px
caption = John Scholey, 1905.
birth_date = September 15, 1840
birth_place = Holbeck, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
death_date = April 14, 1908
death_place = Mayfield House, Mayfield, NSW
death_cause =
resting_place = Sandgate Cemetery, Newcastle
resting_place_coordinates =
residence = Mayfield House, Mayfield, NSW
nationality = British
known_for = Landed proprietor, businessman, colliery owner, mayor
education =
employer =
occupation = Mayor
title =
boards = Member of the Newcastle Land Board
religion =
spouse = Anne Greaves (1845-1931)
partner =
children = 7 daughters: Anna Greaves (1863 - 1869), Clara (1868 - 1945), Susan (1870 - 1945), Ada May (1874 - ?), Agnes Eliza (1889 - 1972), Dora Spink (1880 - 1962) and Jessie Greaves (1883 - 1921)
parents = Stephen Scholey and Anne née Spink
relatives =

John Scholey (b. 15 September 1840, Leeds, Yorkshire - d. 14 April 1908, Mayfield House, near Newcastle, New South Wales) was an extensive landed proprietor, prominent businessman, colliery owner, and Mayor [Obituary, "Newcastle Morning Herald", April 15, 1908] . He was a Justice of the Peace and member of the Newcastle Land Board, a division of the New South Wales Justice Department [ "The Federal Directory of Newcastle and District", Newcastle, 1901 reprinted 1981 ISBN 0-9593518-0-9, 'Justice Department': 139] .


The Scholey family are to be found with various spellings in ancient manuscripts but often as de Scolay or Scoley. They were long resident at Gawber Hall, outside Barnsley, now in South Yorkshire [ Burke, John, and Burke, John Bernard, "Encyclopaedia of Heraldry or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland", 3rd edition with supplement, London, 1844, see 'Scholey'] .

John was the son of a Leeds businessman, Stephen Scholey (1815-1878) who entered the service of the Colonial Office in New South Wales, and was a Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for East Maitland. John's mother was Anne Spink [ [ Scrap album containing newsclippings and notes c.1878 – 1967] Newcastle University Cultural Collections, The Mayfield Website.]

New South Wales

John appears in the 1851 Census Return at 27 Trafalgar Street, Leeds, Yorkshire, aged 11, with his parents and his sister Mary Ann. However by the time of his marriage to Anne, née Greaves (1845-1931), on January 16 1865, at Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, Newcastle, New South Wales, the cathedral register states that he was now resident in that parish. His father was a witness at the ceremony. John was listed at that time: "Scholey, John, Hunter Street, Newcastle" [ "The Official Post Office Country Directory & Gazetteer of New South Wales" for 1878-79 and 1882: 423 and 338] . On his daughter Jessie's birth certificate in February 1883, John Scholey stated that he now resided at Hamilton, a garden suburb of Newcastle.

Business interests

On his daughter Agnes's birth certificate (1888) he is described as "Landowner". He had become an extensive land speculator, and diversified his business interests very widely. John Scholey eventually bought up much of the Newcastle district known as North Waratah, subdividing it as the city environs grew, and renaming it Mayfield after Ada May, one of his daughters. Other streets in the suburb still bear his surname, and some of his daughter's Christian names: Clara, Ada, Dora, etc. [ "Map of Greater Newcastle and District" by Kenneth Craigie & Co., Sydney, 1949]

He sold at a handsome profit the land at Mayfield [ Obituary, "Newcastle Morning Herald", May 15, 1908] , some of it bordering the Hunter River, which until recently housed much of the BHP steelworks (now demolished) and other huge heavy industries. He was also founder of the Richmond Main Colliery on the South Maitland coalfields, following coal exploration on his extensive landholdings in that district. His syndicate eventually sold their majority shareholding to J & A Brown and Abermain-Seaham Collieries Ltd. The main shaft was named "the Scholey shaft" and at one time this colliery produced the largest daily tonnage in the State, as well as providing all the electricity requirements for nearby Kurri Kurri and other townships.

He was one of the earliest directors of the Newcastle and County Building Company, and one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Waratah Municipal Gasworks [ Obituary, "Newcastle Morning Herald", May 15, 1908] which went on to become the principal gas suppliers to the City of Newcastle.

Civic positions

John Scholey, as Alderman (elected 1882) and (thrice elected) Mayor of the Municipality of Waratah, New South Wales, [ Morrison, W.F., "Aldine Centennial History of New South Wales", Sydney, 1888] received an official invitation to the New South Wales Government's State Banquet held in Sydney on Thursday 26th January 1888 to commemorate the first 100 years of settlement in the colony. The Earl of Carnarvon and Lord Carrington were present along with a host of other well-known dignitaries.

A practising Christian, he was lay representative for Waratah to the 122nd Church of England Synod held at Newcastle in May 1900; he was Diocesan Warden for Newcastle's Christ Church Cathedral, a member of the Newcastle Diocesan Council, and also a member of the Diocesan Church Property Committee [ Elkin, Professor A P "The Diocese of Newcastle", Sydney, 1955] . He was the sole surviving Executor of the Will of his father-in-law, William Greaves, another Newcastle businessman, when he signed the declaration that all affairs to do with that estate were now complete, May 18, 1907.

When the Foundation stone of the Waratah School of Arts was laid by Sir Henry Parkes, John Scholey became a guarantor for the building. He was also Patron of the Northern District Bowling Association from its formation, and churchwarden of St. Andrew's Church of England, Mayfield. [ Obituary, "Newcastle Morning Herald", May 15, 1908]


In a full report of John Scholey's funeral [ "The Newcastle Morning Herald" Thursday, April 16, 1908] the names of many of the most prominent attendees are given and it is stated that over 200 telegrams of condolence were received. He was buried in the Church of England division of Sandgate Cemetery, Newcastle. In his Will (proved October 8, 1908) he bequeathed his entire estate to his wife, by whom he had seven daughters, six of whom survived him. His daughter Clara married Robert [ "The Federal Directory of Newcastle and District", Newcastle, 1901 reprinted 1981 ISBN 0-9593518-0-9: 129] , son of Charles Upfold, the managing director of the Sydney Soap and Candle Company, "the largest such concern in Australasia" [ Turner, John W., "Manufacturing in Newcastle, 1801-1900", Newcastle, 1980, ISBN0-9599385-7-5: 57] . His youngest daughter, Agnes, died a spinster in 1972. [ "Newcastle Sun" newspaper, February 20, 1973 and "Newcastle Morning Herald" March 7, 1973 - reports on sale of Scholey family possessions]

John Scholey was described in directories [ "The Federal Directory of Newcastle and District", Newcastle, 1901 reprinted 1981 ISBN 0-9593518-0-9: 129] and upon his death certificate, as a "gentleman".

Mayfield House

His splendid sandstone mansion "Mayfield House" [ Lovett, B., & Barney, N.,"With Camera, Horse and Waggonette", Newcastle, 1989, ISBN 0-958-7519-0-0: 38] , "an impressive residence" [ Docherty, J C, "Newcastle - The Making of an Australian City", Sydney, 1983, ISBN 0-86806-034-8: 105-7] , is now a shadow of its former glory. It is currently leased as a hostel for Youth With A Mission and is owned by the Baptist Church, its once magnificent gardens having been built upon.



External links

* [|The Scholey and Upfold Family Papers of Mrs Marion Faulkner] (Mrs Faulkner's maiden name was Upfold).
* Those wanting to research the Scholey family and to contribute to further research are invited to visit )

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