This was the fourth of six short pieces of writing, with a reflective statement, which was part of the first assessment for Writing the Family Saga. In this piece we were to write about a setting that was important to the family saga.
When Uriah Moses moved into his stone cottage, he had no way of knowing that he was starting a family business that would last for 150 years.
It was the mid-1820s and the house was located in the business centre of Windsor, bordering Thompson Square. It was close to the Macquarie Arms Hotel, the Court House and other government buildings, including the Government Stores. It was also a short distance from the wharf on the Hawkesbury River.
After twenty-five years in the colony, life in East London had become a blur. After being assigned to work on land near Windsor, Uriah eventually acquired his own land and was soon selling wheat to the Government Stores. Now his new project was to open a bakery at the rear of his house.
After marrying Ann Daley, Uriah and his expanding family lived in the front rooms of the cottage while operating their business from the back. No doubt the children helped in the bakery from an early age. Not satisfied with just a successful bakery, Uriah bought and sold land and was also a money lender.
Ann took charge of the bakery when Uriah died until their son, William, could manage the business. Two adjoining cottages were acquired and eventually demolished, replaced by a large two story building. This became the Moses Bakery and General Stores.
As Windsor continued to grow the town centre moved. Therefore, in the 1920s, a new generation of the Moses family built a new store in the new town centre.
In England Uriah faced the death penalty. In New South Wales he had the opportunity to start again. Establishing a bakery in Windsor was the beginning of a Moses family dynasty in Windsor until recently.
Writing this story has led to investigating life in Windsor in the early years of the town: useful information when writing about this family in the future.
However there are questions – the major one being: Why did Uriah become a baker? It was obviously a business opportunity, but there is nothing in the records to indicate any previous experience.
New South Wales and Tasmania Convict Musters
New South Wales Colonial Secretary’s Papers
The buildings in this story still stand are located at 62-66 George Street, Windsor. Information about the buildings is available on a number of websites relating to the heritage of Windsor.
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