THE LOCKED JOURNAL “OPENED”     WINDSOR,  SOUTH AUSTRALIA.    October 8th, 1881   I purpose under the blessing of my Heavenly Father, to write in this book the story of for the information and I trust the benefit of my dear children, who may read it after my decease. I wish it to be the property of my eldest daughter, Mary, (Mrs Hughes) if she is living at the time of my death, and if not, or at her death, it shall descend to the custody of my next eldest living child, and so on down to the youngest But I do desire that whoever may be the possessor of it, that he or she shall allow it to be loaned for a reasonable time, to any other of my children, who may desire to read it, and that it then be returned to the custody of the proper custodian It is my prayer to my heavenly Father, that in thus giving the narrative of my earthly history, I may be preserved from all desire to glorify myself. It will be a record of many sins and frailties, many errors and mistakes, but I trust it will also be a goodness and mercy of my gracious God and Saviour, who has delivered me in many troubles, and in whom I trust that He will yet deliver me. To Him be the glory.                                     J.  Ryder.                       Joseph’s early life in Windsor Berkshire UK.                           I was born in the village of Chalvey in the parish of Upton-Cum Chalve Buckinghamshire, England, on the           31st day July 1816.  That village is about one mile from Eton College, and nearly two miles from Windsor           Bridge, over the Thames, which divides Eton from Windsor. My father William Ryder, was a shoemaker.            My mother whose maiden name was Bond, was I believe a native of Devonshire, but removed to the           neighborhood of Windsor at an early age. I was the youngest of afamily of 7 or 8 children of whom four are           still left, viz. Mrs Tilley, now 73 years old and living in this colony, Mrs Hatton, over 70 living at Birmingham,           England, and my Brother Thomas Ryder, 69 years living in London.                           Of my dear old Father I may say, that his father was only a farm labourer, and that he was brought up to the           same occupation. I have heard him say, the only schooling he received was a single week at a dame school, when           he was a big boy, but in that week he thoroughly mastered the Alphabet. When he got into his teens he was for           a year or two a pot-boy in a Public House in London, near Drury Lane Theatre, but he left there for fear of           the press-gang as England was then at war with France.  I should have said that he was born in 1770.  How he           learned Shoemaking I know not. He married my dear Mother in 1800, so that he was then 30 years of age.            My mother being some years younger.  My mother was a servant in the household of H.R.H. Princess Amelia           at the Lower Lodge, Windsor for 9 years.  She was the favourite daughter of King George III and of course the           Aunt of Her present Majesty Queen Victoria. I have heard that the Princess was very fond of my mother,           and my brother has a water colored portrait of our mother taken by a noted French artist of the period, by           command of the Princess and afterwards presented to her.               I have heard from my father and mother the tale of their marriage, howwent quietly one morning, she          from Buckingham Palace and he from his lodgings; met at St James Church Piccadilly, and were quietly          married each going back straight to their respective homes. Nor did they formally come together until the          usual circumstances obliged them. My Father was an exceedingly healthy man, but my Mother          was very seldom free from illness or weakness, and I used to think while a child that he was scarcely so          considerate of her weakness as he should have been. But there was never any un-pleasantness in our          household - both Father and Mother were true Christians, and brought us up in the nurture and          fear of the Lord.               We must have removed from Chalvey to Windsor when I was between 2 and 3 years old, for I have no          remembrance whatever of living in Chalvey.  The first thing that I can distinctly call to mind was the          tolling of the great bell of the Castle, one Saturday at midnight.  We had been washed and stowed away in bed          that night and about midnight were awoke by the loud booming of the bell, which is never tolled except for          the Royal Family.  I know I was in a great fright, but my Father came up and told us the reason of it viz          the King was dead. I think that occurred in Dec 1820 - so that I must have been 3½ years old.           We lived in Bier Lane running out of Thames St to the river Thames which flowed at the bottom of the street.          At that time it was inhabited by fairly respectable working people and the Wesleyan Chapel was in it - but          now I am informed it is peopled by fallen women and their associates alone.       School - an avid reader.               When about 5 years old I was entered as a Scholar in the Independent Sunday School, High Street.           My Father and Mother being members of that Church the Pastor being the Rev Alexander Redford, father          of Dr. Redford of Worcester, and Grandfather of the Rev R.W. Redford, M.A. now of London.          About the same time too, I was taken with my brother and sisters who attended the School, by my mother          to the National School.  The master placed me on a form, put a Bible into my hands and I read with fluency a          chapter before the entire school. The master was very pleased, and would gladly have taken me into the          School, but the Rules did not allow admission under the age of 7 - So I had to be kept at home two years,          when I got admitted and was there until 12.               Now, how, where, or when I learned to read I cannot tell I never went to school, except for a very short          time to my Aunts - who had a small pension from Govt and kept a cake shop, and school, but I am sure          I did not learn anything there for she had no books - only two or three small cards of the Alphabet and small          words.  Nor did any one teach me at home that I know of, at least not in a formal manner.           But it was a fact that from my earliest remembrance I could read the Bible, Hymn Book, and the Pilgrims'          Progress, which books were the Chief books in My Father's library. I forget however, that he had a large          folio edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs upon the pictures in which I was allowed to gloat my eyes, upon          particular occasions as, when I had been a very good boy etc.               He had also I remember an abstruse theological work called Boston's Fourfold State, which he and my          Mother valued very highly. It was a high Calvinistic Book which was in accordance with my parents          views - but without in the least understanding it. I read it through more than once. These, together with          a large folio edition of Browns Comprehensive Family Bible, adorned (or disfigured) by large engravings -          formed I think the greater part of the Mental pabulum of my earliest years.               One thing more with regard to the reading of my youngest youth.  My Father could not afford (or would          not) to take a newspaper but was very anxious to hear the news.  So we used to borrow from the Public          House, Bell’s Weekly Messenger. My Brothers William and Thomas, were the readers, as Father was at          work, but it was permitted to me, at times when they were employed, to take the place of reader and a          high honour, I thought it. The style of a Newspaper is so entirely different from other reading, that I found          it very difficult, and Father often blowed me up for making mistakes, or for not being able to make any          sense of what I read, which I think was rather hard upon a little fellow like me.  However, there is no doubt          it was a good exercise, and prepared me in after years for the reading of Milton, Cowper, Hannah Moore,          and others.  All this time I had not been to any School.               At 7 years of age I was admitted into the School, and was at once put into a good position. There were          200 Boys, and the same number of girls, in a distinct school room.  Our Master was Mr. Robertson          a Scotchman of whom I shall have more to say anon.                The school was decidedly a Church School and the Catechism, Collects etc. were duly taught to all the          children, but as some of the wealthy dissenters subscribed to the School, the children of bonafide          Dissenters were allowed attend their parents place of worship on the Sundays, as all the rest of the          School were duly marched from School to Church every Sunday twice. I was however compelled to attend          Church with the School twice a year, viz on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and as a curious reminiscence,          I may state, that I remember that on I think every Good Friday, the Vicar, the Rev. Isaac Gossett, preached          the same sermon, or at least, took the same text.                                                                                             School Brutality.               The curriculum of the School was not very high, and comprised the three Rs - the two former chiefly from          the Bible and the Arithmetic consisting of the first four Rules, Simple and Compound, nothing further.          No Geography, no Grammar, no History, no attempt to open up the mind to the wonders of the world in which we          lived, but Bible reading and explanation the year through. Nor were we very much indebted to our teacher for this,          but to the numerous Clergy men of Windsor and Eton, of whom it may be said that their number was legion,          comprising as they did, the Canons and Minor Canons of St. George's Chapel Windsor, the parochial Clergy men          and the Fellows and Tutors of Eton College               We were very seldom a day without a Clerical visit, and I here bear grateful testimony to the great interest taken          by many of them, in our Biblical instruction especially those in the highest class, in which I very soon obtained a          place. The Clergy man who took the greatest interest in our progress was the Rev Mr. Short, a private tutor at          Eton College and who, I was afterwards informed was made a Bishop.               Many a sixpence have I got from him - His custom was, to put a sixpence on his knee at the commencement          of the lesson and whoever was the first boy, at the close, won the prize. O’ what struggling and excitement there          was, in our endeavour to answer his questions on the facts and history of the Bible, and truly I have been often          very thankful to the Lord for the Scriptural knowledge I thus obtained. It has been of great benefit to me.               At that time I knew by heart every Old Testament prophecy relating to Christ, the life and history of all the          prominent characters in the Bible and as regards the New Testament every miracle Our Lord performed, while          I had committed to memory, almost all the Gospels. I ever bless God for the Bible knowledge I obtained in          the National School, Windsor.               I have often thought whether the Mr. Short to whom above all other of the Clergy, I was thus indebted, is identical          with our respected Bishop of Adelaide. The age of Dr. Short is about right for the supposition, I should like to know.          Once I was in an Omnibus with him for a few minutes and had made up my mind to address him, but the Bus          stopped and he got out. Our Schoolmaster, was a cruel harsh and unfeeling man, ruling entirely by the power of the cane, and we all I believe cordially hated him. As an instance of his cruelty I well remember that he had an orphan boy, a Scotch lad to bring up as his ward. I have seen him strip that boy naked and flog him round the school with a soldier's belt, cut into tails at the end, and have seen the boy afterwards bleeding from all parts of his body and all for a very trivial offence, or none at all. He was a very tiger for cruelty.               When I was twelve years old I left the School on account of his cruelty. He used for the most trifling Offence,          to order a boy to strip down his trousers lay him over a form, and flog his naked posterior till the blood came.          But somehow, I had never been subjected to this indignity - But my time was now come, I was teacher of the 3rd          Class and one of our rules was, that if any boy in our class had made use of any bad language, the teacher          was to write it on a Slate and present it to the Master.               A boy in my class, named Tommy Angels (I remember his name because he afterwards became a noted prize          fighter) had made use of dreadful language, which I wrote on a slate and put the slate into the Class Box while I          went to do my Copy Book writing. My assistant finding these words on my slate in my absence, took it to the          master, who knowing it was my writing summoned me into his awful presence. He asked me if that was my          writing - I answered Yes - but explained the matter as I have detailed. Tommy Angels was called and swore by          all that was good that he didn't say the words, but that I wrote them down, and showed them to him and then          put the slate in the Box.               The Master then said, Go away boys - Ryder alone is guilty, and then with a fierce scowl upon his features          which I shall never forget - he turned to me and said savagely, Strip - I refused, little and puny as I was,          I defied him.               He said to the boys. "Strip him".  I resisted still, but with the grip of a tiger he held me, while the boys,          who would have befriended me I know had they dared, let down my nether garments and throwing me across          a form the wretch flogged me and flayed me, till I was unconscious. –               When I came to myself, I pulled up my garments round my tortured flesh, and School was dismissed.          The children sang as usual before dismissal Glory to thee my God this night but my poor little heart was          filled with malice and hatred against the inhuman perpetrator of such cruelty, and I then resolved, come          what would, I would never enter that School again.               If my parents forced me - I would run away, go to sea, do anything, nay die, before I would go back.          I dragged my aching and bleeding body home. There was no need for me to tell my father. He saw I was really          ill - and pointing myself to my back, he pulled down my trousers, and knew all. I remained at home till Monday          really ill, but on that day my Father took me to school, and severely rebuked the Schoolmaster, shewed the          wales on my back, and threatened to take me to some of the Governors of the School, at which the Master          was really frightened, and abjectly begged him not to do so - and promised how very good he would be to          me in future, but my father would not allow me to stay any longer in the School, so he sent me the same day, to          a Middle Class School, kept by a Gentleman named Binfield, a distant relative of my future wife.                        There I improved very much in Arithmetic, Grammar and History. I stayed there about a year, and drank in          knowledge. I may as well say here, That Robertson, a few years later committed suicide by hanging himself from          his bed post. When I was about 13 years of age, I left school, and became a sort of Monitor in my brother          William's school at Chalvey, my native village. The people there had started a British School, and chose my          brother as teacher, and sent him to the Boro' Road Training School to be qualified. I was there nearly a year,          but my poor brother's health was very bad, in fact he was in a consumption, and died about 3 or 4 years later.          He was one of the most inoffensive, meekest and most pious young men I ever knew, not fit for this world,          but ripe for glory. And now the time was come when it behoved me to go out into life. I was 14 - very thin and          short and pale, with but indifferent health.    Apprenticed as a tailor.               My parents used to say I should never be fit for hard work and so they apprenticed me to a tailor, a great          mistake, for a puny mortal like me to be condemned to be penned up in a close shop amid the stifling heat of          hot irons and abominable smells. However so it was. I was apprenticed to Mr. Richard Cobden, Tailor,          Thames St, Windsor, out of doors - till the day I was 21 - My Master was a very respectable man. He was first          cousin to the famous Richard Cobden the father and founder of Free Trade, and the Repeal of the Corn Laws,          but whose greatness had not yet begun to dawn. He employed from 8 to 12 men according to the season and          I was placed under the care of his brother Ben who worked for him. I soon began to pick up a knowledge of the          trade, and liked it pretty well having the first and second year a great deal of out door employment in taking          clothes home, running errands etc. Afterwards as I became more useful at the trade, I was kept at work, and he          took another apprentice.               Having now narrated the principal events of my life up to the age of 14, I will say a little as to some matters          that I may have hitherto overlooked and which belong to the period of my boyhood. I have already recorded          that from my earliest childhood I was a great reader, but I was also in my way from the same period a great singer.          I remember well when not more than 5 years old, I was very often sent for to the house of my father's landlord a          Mr. Haines who indeed owned nearly all the houses in the lane, to sing to the lady, Mrs. Haines, a kind old lady          as I remember her, who was obliged as I was told, to do good by stealth if she did it at all, as her husband,          a bleary eyed wicked looking old man, was reputed to be a miser, and terribly hard and unfeeling to his tenants.          They had no children of their own but the old man had a nephew, a Captain _____ in the Army, and a most          disreputable Captain he was, as many a poor young girl living in the lane could testify.               He certainly could not boast of his good looks, for he was the ugliest man out. His nose was entirely eaten          away by some foul disease, so that there was quite a depression where there should have been a prominence,          and the two great orifices of the nose made his face appear like that of some monstrous lion or tiger.          We children had a private opinion among ourselves that he was not a man at all, but the Devil incarnated.          But the name of Captain, and his showy regimentals rendered him powerful for evil and of course so far as he          could, he made ducks and drakes of his uncle's money.               Sometimes the old man, hired a trap from the livery Stables, and his hopeful nephew had to drive him out          for an airing, and whenever that occurred, the old lady would be sure to send to my Mother requesting, that she          would sent "Little Joe" to her, to sing to her. Accordingly "Little Joe" had to be scrubbed and washed and made          presentable with a clean pinafore on, and armed with his little book of Songs for Children was marched by the          servant into the presence of the kind old lady. Seated on a foot stool at the lady's feet "Little Joe" would carol          forth in his best (or worst) style numerous little ditties from his book interspersed occasionally with Hymn          such as were sung in Chapels, always finishing with "Glory to thee my God this night". The performance being          finished, "Little Joe" was regaled with plum cake, buns and sweetmeats to his heart's content, with sometimes          a small glass of gooseberry wine added and a bright sixpence having been given him, which he was cautioned          not to spend on any account and which he stoutly protested he would never think of doing on any account, Little          Joe was taken home by the servant. I forget what became of the sixpences, but I have an impression that my          Mother put them into her pocket - But I know that such events, were red-letter-days in my Calendar.   The Congregational Chapel.               I was as a child always a weak puny mortal very often poorly, and a victim to every disease, such as measles,          croup etc, that came round. The Typhus fever which I had when about nine years old, nearly finished me,          but somehow I struggled through after lying in bed somewhere about six months. I think I was about 16 years          old, when I was admitted as a Junior Teacher into the Congregational Sunday School at Windsor. I had left the          school as a scholar some two years before, and afterwards used sometimes to accompany a Mr. John Harvey, to          a branch School at Oakley Green about 4 miles off - but at 16 I was regularly admitted into the main school at          Windsor, of which I was not a little proud.               About the date of my apprenticeship, our old Minister Mr. Redford who had been for more than 40 years          our Pastor, was assisted by a young man from Highbury College named John Stoughton and was chosen by the          Church as Co-Pastor. His beautiful preaching soon filled our old Chapel in High Street which might have          held 500 people - to overflowing and speedily a grand new Chapel was built in William St. holding more than          double, with spacious schoolrooms under one half - and strange to say, A Mausoleum for the dead under the          other half - This large school room was divided by panels and moveable shutters into Boys and Girls Departments,          the shutters being down at opening, closing, and address, and up during School work. The Superintendent was          Mr. John Hetherington, an earnest worker for Christ - and the Lady Super was Miss Gearing, like minded as to          Christ's service, and also as to mutual regard, for those two speedily got married, and were made one.          In the girls Department there was a young woman teacher admitted about the same time as myself though a few          months younger, who was destined to play a very important part in my history, as my beloved wife during the          long term of 41 years. At the time of which I write however, neither of us knew anything about the future.          Home Page Home Page            This Journal records the story of an ordinary man of great quality and his family, doing extraordinary things,                                       a fine example of the quiet heroism of Australian settlers 160 years ago                                                                                                                                                                A personal history,           of joy & sadness; hardship & success; tragedy & triumph; courage & persistence; faith & honest goodness.