1884: St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Inglewood, Victoria.

Artist/Studio: Brooks, Robinson & Co, Melbourne, c.1884.
Location: Inglewood, Victoria, Australia.
Building: St Augustine’s, Anglican Church.
Memorial: John & Margaret Catto.
Photos dated: 2nd January 2014.

Photos taken: 2nd January 2014.

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On the evening of the 2nd of October 1884 a three light memorial stained glass window was unveiled in St Augustine’s Anglican Church at Inglewood in Victoria.

The window was erected by the Brooks, Robinson & Co stained glass company of Melbourne and cost £250. It depicts the Virgin Mary, The Good Shepherd and St John and is dedicated to the Loddon district pioneer John Catto (1802-1872) and his wife Mary, (nee Lyell 1826-1883). The window was donated by their two surviving children, John Catto (1854-1926) and Ann ‘Annie’ Catto (1862-1929), both of whom died in England in their later years.

The memorial text across the base of the windows reads:


John Catto (1802-1872):

Scottish pioneer John Catto arrived in Tasmania in 1833 and later at Port Phillip in 1839. He became one of the first pioneer squatters in the Loddon district where his land holdings in 1848 were estimated at 64,000 acres and known as “Catto’s” station or run[1].

At Melbourne, on the 9th December 1852[2] he married Margaret Lyell, the daughter of Scottish manufacturer Alex Lyell of Fifeshire and they had four children, only two of whom would survive to dedicate the stained glass window to their memory .

John Catto was remembered as a pioneer settler of the Loddon and a charitable and generous patron to the districts local institutions. For many years the annual Inglewood Church of England Sunday school picnic was held on his property where he also provided an abundance of fruit from his award winning gardens.

On the day of his death, 16th July 1872[3], he claimed to know that he was dying and made the unusual request that he should be buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. His funeral procession stopped at the town of Newbridge for his funeral service and on the day of his interment, 20th July 1872, the procession departed for the Melbourne General Cemetery from the residence of his brother in-law, George Lyell, at Fitzroy[4].

His wife Margaret died 19th November 1883 at her residence, Koort-Koort-Nong, Queen’s-terrace, St. Kilda Park, aged 57[5] and she was interred with John in the Melbourne General Cemetery on the 21st[6].

The Catto memorial monolith at the Melbourne General Cemetery is made of polished pink granite and includes the names of all their immediate family members, although not all are actually interred there[7].

Their daughter Annie later married an officer of the Royal Engineers, Major (later Colonel) Ernest St. Clair Pemberton (1857-1950), at Holy Trinity, Sloan-street, London, on the 17th March 1896[8] and she remained in England until her death in Somerset on the 26th October 1929 aged 67. Her estate was valued at over £60,000 and from this, in memory of her mother, she bequeathed the sum of £2,000 to the University of Melbourne[9] for the establishment of the “Margaret Catto” Scholarship for Zoology science[10].

The Catto scholarship still exists to this day as does the magnificent stained glass window to their memory in St. Augustine’s at Inglewood.

Significant transcriptions:

Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Friday 3rd October 1884, page 3.


 The consecration of the new chancel of this church was arranged to take place last night, and several Sandhurst residents left town to be present on the occasion. The Bishop of Ballarat was appointed to preach, and special music by the choir was also arranged for. The alterations at this church comprise a new chancel, vestry, and organ loft. The window of the chancel consists of cement mullions and stained glass, and is really a fine piece of workmanship. The most prominent of the subjects are the “Virgin Mary,” The Good Shepherd,” and “St. John,” all life size. In the tracery the subjects are not so large; they comprise angels, etc. This window is, there is no doubt, the best of its kind out of Melbourne, and reflects great credit on all concerned. There is a very neat piece of work in the shape of a “Reredos” at the back of the altar. It is of the most unique design, finished in Kean’s cement. The approach to the chancel is all paved with Minton’s encaustic tiles, which has a very pleasing effect. Provision has been made for the comfort of the congregation in the shape of ventilation, for which purpose patent air-pumps, etc., have been provided. A number of fittings for the choir have been added, ornamented gothic style. The whole of the alterations (41 by 25) cost upwards of £1,000, the chancel windows alone costing about £250. Miss and Mr. J. Catto, of Memsie, Bridgewater-on-Loddon, are the donors of this alteration, in memory of their late father. The work has been carried out under the supervision of Mr. W. C. Vahland, architect, of Sandhurst. The contractor for the general work is Mr. N. Longstaff, Sandhurst, and for the glass Messrs, Brooks, Robinson, and Co., of Melbourne”.

Bendigo Advertiser, Vic, Monday 22nd July 1872, page 3.


We are sorry to have to record the death of Mr. John Catto, who died suddenly at his residence, West Loddon, on Tuesday evening last, after a short illness of twelve hours. He was quite well on Monday, and slept well on Monday night, but on rising next morning he complained of a pain in the chest, and his son at once rode into Inglewood for Dr. Starke, who administered medicine, but without avail. He was not in much pain, but said he knew he was dying, and he expired without a struggle, after having expressed a wish to be buried in the Melbourne   Cemetery. He was 70 years of age, and leaves a wife, and a family of three children, a son and two daughters. Mr Catto was about the first settler in the Loddon district, and one of the early pioneers of the colony, having arrived in Port Phillip from Tasmania in 1839, and taken up the station on the Loddon, since known as “Catto’s Station,” in 1840. He landed in Tasmania in 1833, and had thus been thirty-nine years in the Australian colonies, and thirty two years a settler on the Loddon. In the early part of his career as a squatter in this colony, he had great difficulties to contend with. The Loddon tribe was then numerous and warlike, and the bush swarmed with dingoes, which ravaged his flocks; but by his kindness and liberality he soon won the affection and respect of the aborigines, and by a different system, but one quite as effectual, he rid himself of his four footed enemies. Danger and hardship had constantly to be met and overcome in those early days, and Mr. Catto had his share of them. At one time, owing to a heavy flood in the Loddon, he had to take refuge in a tree for twenty-four hours, with no hope of release, except from the subsidence of the water. Notwithstanding, such drawbacks as these, his career a whole was a prosperous one, and at his death the whole of the land held by him was his own purchased property. The liberality of his sentiments was conspicuously shown of late years, by his ready acquiescence in the various Land Acts framed with a view to agricultural settlement, and he never showed any jealousy, or threw any obstacle in the way of any selector who wished to take up land near him. He was a most liberal patron of our local charitable institutions, and was ever ready with his purse to assist in any good object which might be brought under his notice. The children of Inglewood have reason to remember him with affection, for the anniversary picnic of the Church of England Sunday School was every year held in his paddock, on which occasions Mr. Catto delighted in providing them with an abundant supply of grapes and other fruit from his well-stocked garden. He took great interest in agricultural progress, and was every year a prize-taker, both for fruit and stock, at the Newbridge Agricultural Show. His death will be felt throughout the district as a heavy public loss.
In compliance with Mr. Catto’s dying request, he will be interred in the Melbourne Cemetery, but the funeral procession, which starts from his residence today, will stop at Newbridge on the way, where a funeral service will be held, in which his numerous friends in this locality will be able to join. – Inglewood Advertiser.”

The Catto Memorial, Melbourne General Cemetery: [View]

As per his dying wish, John Catto was interred in the Melbourne General Cemetery. The Catto gravestone is an imposing four sided monolith of pink granite and is set amongst many other notable Melbourne identities who coincidentally also have stained glass memorials to their name. The memorial transcription reads:

(West face of monument)

Sacred to the memory of John CATTO of Catto’s Station Loddon River who died 15 Jul 1872 age 69 years.

Margaret his wife who died at South Yarra 19 Nov 1883 age 67 years.

Also John their elder son who died in London 5 Feb 1926 age 71 yrs.

(North face of monument)

Also Cecilia Mary their daughter who died 5 Jul 1878 age 20 years.

(East Face of monument)

Also Annie their daughter, wife of Colonel E. St. C. PEMBERTON who died in England 26 Oct 1929 age 67 yrs.

(South face of monument)

Also Alexander second son of John and Margaret CATTO who died at sea 26 Apr 1857 age 13 mths.


 [1] The Argus, Melbourne, Vic, Friday 29th September 1848, page 1.


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