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THE MUNDY MANUSCRIPT

HENRY MUNDY - A Young Australian Pioneer - by  Les. Hughes published by Next Century Books 

See Google Books for a preview of pages and pictures of the book launch here.

A4 Hardback Original       4 Colour - Fully Illustrated      220 x 297 mm    280 pages
   
UK sales: £25   Email: henrymundy@bowbrickhill.com or ring 01908 372376

Australian sales:  A$45 including postage within the country,  Tel +61 (0)7 3349 0322 Fax +61 (0)7 3349 0181



The first page of Henry's memoirs in his fine artistic handwriting - click here for a larger image



Henry's son George with his wife, Esther - click here for a larger image

The adventures of a Bow Brickhill lad - Henry Mundy - in his own words!

H
enry Mundy left our village of Bow Brickhill for Australia in 1844 at the age of  only 12 years.  At 79 he wrote his memoirs.  These are now published for the first time.

Henry  had an incredibly accurate memory.  He tells us what it was like to be a labourer working on local farms.  He talks of the social structure, about local people and places.   Mentioned in the book are Simpson, Walton, Wavendon, Fenny Stratford, Bletchley, Denbigh, Milton, Dropshort Farm, Cold Harbour Farm - Shenley, Newton Longville, Rogers Inn at Wavendon and The Woolpack.

Henry also mentions the following people: George Atterbury, Jenny Baldwell, Dick Bodily, Thomas Brice, Mr Britten, John Brown from Shenley, Bett, Bett, Jack, Joe and Will  Clark, Betsy and Sally Cook,   Rev Davies, Sally, Tom and Will Day, Col. De Laps, Dr Ghent of Little Brickhill,  Mrs Hart,  Mr Harvey of Cold Harbour, Tom Holmes,  Mr Kent, Judy and Will Lane,  Tom Lovel, Mr Middleton of Walton, Mary Norman, Squire Pinfold of Walton, Moll Perry,  Jack Timms, Sall West, Sam West, Ephrain Wooten, Rev A B Wynter, Mr Charles Philip Wynter, as well as many members of the Mundy (Munday) family.

After barely leaving the close confines of Bow Brickhill Henry went with his family to Australia from whence he would never return. He worked on sheep stations and the gold fields of Victoria and he witnessed the infamous Eureka Stockade rebellion that paved the way for nation status.

Running illegal alcohol to the goldfields with the collusion of the police and surviving a raging bushfire were just two of Henry's flirtations with danger.

The clarity of his recollections, his descriptive powers and the emotion he evokes are remarkable.  Apart from brief attendances up to the age of 9 years at schools in Woburn and Simpson, Henry had no formal education. It was in the remote outback, inspired by reclusive pioneer, Jimmy Quaid, that he began to understand the importance of learning. Much of his meagre earnings were spent acquiring books, the contents of which he devoured with relish. He taught himself the classics, history, geography, Latin and politics.  The following account is just part of Henry's recollections of his home village:

The open space in our village was bounded on one side principally by the sacred domain of the Rev. Parson Davis. I only remember once being within its precincts when Queen Victoria was crowned. I was about 6 years old. All the poor children of the parish were invited to a grand feast which consisted of a piece of cake and a glass of wine. Next to the parsonage was the pound where any delinquent straying donkey or dog might be incarcerated. Close by were the stocks in which any erring human animal could be exposed in open public to expiate his small sins. The stocks consisted of an horizontal slab on edge in two parts, one end joined to a vertical post; in the centre were two round holes to admit the culprit's shins.

Cottages again till we come to the Baptist chapel which I know little about only that my uncle and aunt belonged to it. On the right was another farm of small pretensions. Lastly we come to another Inn, I think called the Wheat Sheaf, and opposite the only blacksmith's shop in the village, half a dozen cottages - my grandfather lived in one. We have now practically come to the end of the village containing about 60 cottages, six farms, including two at Caldecot, one bakery, one blacksmith, one wheelwright, one shoemaker, one carpenter, one grocer, two inns and one recognised church. Those of the poor class who professed any religion were either Wesleyans or Baptists. All those who had any pretention to a higher position went to the church of England, the old church on the hill.

Australian author LES. HUGHES has painstakingly followed in Henry’s footsteps, from those humble beginnings in Bow Brickhill, to the deserted streets of the old gold towns. He has  gathered photographic evidence along the way that serves to corroborate every detail recounted in Henry’s hand-written manuscript.

Aided by newspaper clippings and stories handed down by the Mundy generations Les. has been able to fill in the missing years, for Henry had only just attained the age of 27 in his memoirs when he tragically died, mid-sentence. Now we can appreciate all he lived through and put it into context in our modern world.

Throughout his own journey Les. came to know Henry intimately. After devouring the closing paragraph of, ‘Henry Mundy – A Young Australian Pioneer’, so, too, will the reader.

Take a virtual tour of Bow Brickhill following in the steps of Henry - and the route he so clearly describes in his memoirs.

Details of those researching the Munday family - and links to family photos of branches in Australia and UK

To the Genealogy page 

 

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