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Eliza Baglin (1840-1929) was born about 1840 to George and Sarah Baglin in Uley Gloucestershire.
In the 1851 census she was listed as a resident aged 11 in the Dursley workhouse along with a Thomas Baglin aged 9, possibly her brother? Dursley being the main town in the surrounding area is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) west of Uley.
In about 1855 Eliza immigrates to Victoria, Australia on the ship Stebenheath, possibly through an assisted immigration programme.
Prior to Eliza’s birth Uley had been the centre of a thriving woollen industry that was in decline due to growing competition from the Yorkshire mills with their easy access to coal for steam power. The decline of the local cloth industry began about 1810 when Yorkshire started to make fine cloth cheaper and quicker than could be achieved by the Uley mills and local cottage industry. Over a thirty year period the water powered mills in Uley slowly crashed, first with the small mills and later the big ones; the last mill to crash being the Sheppard’s in 1837.
The economic collapse of the local cloth industry caused high unemployment and great hardship. At first to combat this Uley parish council raised rates on local land owners to pay poor relief, at one point the poor-rate was set at 27/- (£1.35) in the pound on the value of the land but land owners with no other means were also ruined, making matters worse.
Then in 1830 Uley Parish repaired the old workhouse, at the top of Fop Street and re-opened it as the poorhouse to support three families at a time. Later, to ease the local situation further an assisted immigration programme was operated.
Life in Australia
In Australia in 1857 Eliza meets William Rutter (1826-1901) and they live as man and wife; the following year, in September 1858, Eliza gives birth to the first of eleven children by William.
William was previously married to Jane Firstbrook (c1819-1886) on the 15 June 1853 at St.Erth, Cornwall. The following year, on 17 March 1854 he left his wife Jane pregnant with child and sailed for Liverpool on the ship Saldanha, bound for Australia and the gold fields of Victoria, arriving at the Port of Melbourne 16 June 1854.
William and Eliza living together have eleven children, on the birth certificate of their first-born, William James Rutter (1858-1913) they listed St.Erth, Cornwall, England, 1857 as their place and date of marriage. On later entries for their other children they list their marriage as 1857 in Sandhurst, Bendigo, Australia and on one give the date as 15 November 1857. But no record of their marriage has been found for St.Erth, Cornwall, or Sandhurst, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia?
William Rutter his wife Eliza and their children move to Walhalla in the gold rush of the 1860's following the discovery of gold in the area in 1863. As a Stonemason by trade William built the historic stone wall in Walhalla; the large stone retaining wall erected to avoid a steep gradient on the original road into the township.
William died on the 3 September 1901 in Walhalla, Victoria, Australia and Eliza died 27 May 1929 in Victoria, Australia.