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The Kidds of Tocal

The passing of the first generation of Kidds

From the time of the death of Charles Reynolds on 18 September 1871, followed by the death on 19 November 1881 of John Kidd, everyone on the Tocal estate was under the control of Frances Seaton Reynolds, a strong authoritarian figure.

For some two or three years before his death John Kidd had become incapacitated from active work about 1878, but was moving about up until ten days before his demise, when he took to his bed and died on the Saturday morning from old age, and a disorder of the prostate gland. The Maitland Mercury of 26 November 1881 recorded his passing:

PATERSON: DEATH OF AN OLD COLONIST.-We have to-day to record the death of an old colonist, in the person of Mr. John Kidd, who was the stud groom of Tocal for over thirty years, and who had been a colonist for over half a century. The first few years of Kidd's colonial life was spent in this district, when the site of our town and its surroundings was a thick scrub, with only two or three primitive dwellings. Kidd afterwards spent a year or two in Sydney, and then proceeded to the Goulburn district, where he remained some few years, and returned to the Paterson a little over thirty years ago, when he entered into the service of the late Mr. Charles Reynolds as stud groom, and has remained at Tocal up to the time of his death, which took place last Saturday morning. He had been incapacitated from active work for some two or three years past, but was moving about up to about ten days ago, when he took to his bed, more from the decay of nature than from any actual disease. He had retained his mental faculties up to the last, although he would have attained his eighty-ninth year had he lived a few days longer. He leaves behind him a widow, two sons, and three daughters. The funeral took place on Sunday forenoon, when the mortal remains of poor old Kidd were conveyed to their last resting place, in the Church of England cemetery, followed by a numerous company of old residents of the district, an a number of our townspeople, as well as the present proprietors of Tocal and Duninald-Mr. F. Reynolds and Mr S. Reynolds, who attended to mark their respect for an old colonist, a respected resident, and a faithful servant.

John Kidd gave loyal service to his employers, and in typical Yeoman tradition, would touch his cap in respect when Charles Reynolds addressed him.

John's wife Ann remained on Tocal for the next nineteen years with her two sons John and William, who lived and worked on the property.

The passing of John and Ann Kidd, and Charles and Frances Reynolds signalled the end of an era of development and wealth on the Tocal property. The reputation of the estate to produce wonderful breeding stock had been established by that generation working together. The association-the synergy-of the Reynolds and Kidd families would grow into the next century.

Like to know more? Buy the book! This web exhibition is based on the book "At Home Amongst the Stock": The Kidds of Tocal [details]