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Charles Arnold was born in June 1820 in a small Bedfordshire village called Barton in the Clay. Like his father Charles, he found work as a farm labourer. In 1841 he married Charlotte Palmer and they raised 9 children. For the first 15 years or so of marriage, they continued to live in Barton in the Clay and whilst Charles carried on in farm work, his wife contributed to the housekeeping budget by sewing bonnets. In about 1850 the family moved 6 miles or so to Luton where Charles found work in the local hat manufacturing industry.

Luton was the centre of the English straw hat industry.Then came a big decision when, on the 10th October 1862, the whole family left Plymouth on a ship called the Flying Cloud bound for Australia on its first migrant voyage. Almost 3 months later, Charles, Charlotte and all 9 children arrived in Moreton Bay, Queensland on the 5th January 1863.


Arnold migration to Australia

The Flying Cloud built in 1851

In 1870, he was living at 60 Goulburn Street, Sydney and is listed as a straw hat maker so it seems he continued to exercise his Bedfordshire trade once the family established in Australia.  He died in Randwick, New South Wales at the age of 84 and his death certificate records his occupation as 'retired hatter'.

The 3 eldest boys to the marriage remained in Queensland when Charles and the rest of the family moved to Sydney in the late 1860's.