This web-site has been established in the interest of gathering further information on the life and times of William Bibby who left England in 1858 at the age of 21 to seek his fortune in Australia. There was much written about William and his family in the press of the period, both in Australia and the Federated Malay States, as it was called then. The story is one of endeavour, steadfastness and leadership in a hostile and arduous environment, and the life of an early Australian gold mining family.
This is the story of how the son of a labourer, apprenticed at fourteen to a toolmaker in Rainhill, near Liverpool who became a name in his time in Australia and the Malay States. His story including a two-thousand word obituary in the Straits Times in 1900, can be read about today. To read his obituary from the Straits Times in 1900 go to the ‘Final Years’ Tab.
William spent the years 1859 through to 1889 gold mining as a miner, quartz crusher and mine manager, from Castlemaine and surrounding districts in Victoria, to Cloncurry, and Croydon in Northwest Queensland, where he was called ‘Bibby of Cloncurry’. He gained a reputation as a successful mining engineer and became a ‘man about town’ in Brisbane, Queensland when in July 1889 he was engaged by the Brisbane based Raub Syndicate, to develop their concession at Raub, Pahang in Malaya into a working mine, seen by some at the time to be a ‘El dorado’. Raub, pronounced 'Rowb' means hole or scoop in the ground in the local dialect.
He had nine children, the last, a son named Cecil Normanton, died at six weeks and is buried in Castlemaine Cemetery, Victoria, Australia. All his five sons and three daughters came to the Malay States at one time or another, the men to work at the Raub gold mine and the daughters to wed. His wife Ellen Amelia died in Singapore in 1895 after returning with the rest of the family, and is buried there. His eldest son William Charles also died in Malaya in a mine accident, and is buried in Singapore. William died at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital in early 1900 after an accident and illness, but his body was returned to Singapore for burial alongside his wife and eldest son. Only one son remained in Malaya the fourth eldest Arthur Hector who died on 26 June 1938 and who is buried at the Christian cemetery in Raub. Below is a chart showing some information on the family of William who spent time at Raub.
The author of this web site is a grandson of Frederick Alfred, William's third eldest son who died at Raub in 1901. His family, a wife and three sons had already left and were in St Arnaud, Victoria, Australia waiting for him to come home. The author is the son of Frederick James.
* Use the main menu Introduction tab links to view pages highlighting William’s Australian ventures. The remaining main menu Tabs concern William’s Malaya period activities including events at Raub, Singapore and elsewhere.
“A Poem published in the press just after William’s death.”
Shed a tear for William Bibby
Brave Old Bibby – gone to rest:
For the manly heart that’s finished
Doing duty in his breast:
For a hard old ‘Slave of Duty’
Who has always done his best.
For the man who laughed at labour;
Who spared himself for naught:
Who loved the work that fell to him;
Who loved the fight he fought:
Who won – but gave his life for
The big success he bought.
Can we wish a better emblem
Of grand old British pluck;
Of labour brought to fullness,
With a grim contempt of ‘luck’
Of colours nailed up firmly,
Where many would have struck.
Shed a tear for Brave Old Bibby—
Twas a straight-coursed race he ran:
Who never flagged but always
Set a hot pace for the van.
Let us honour him, for truly
William Bibby was a man.
Anon - Straits Times 1900
Copyright © Victor R. P. Bibby 2012 All rights reserved.
No part of this web site may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
1890-2010 History repeats itself; Victor Bibby holding a 14.6 Kg bar of Raub Gold Oct 2010.
POSTED 2 JUNE 2016
2nd EDITION LAUNCH
MY VISIT TO KL HAD TO BE DEFERRED DUE PERSONAL REASONS. IT IS NOW FIXED FOR WEEK 5-11 SEP
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|Specimen Hill Mine|
|William's Patent 1873|
|A Gold Field|
|Cricket at Raub|
|The Misses Bibby|
|40 Head Battery|
|Family After Raub|
|Return to Raub|