Alfred Rennie was the first child of Richard Hutchinson Rennie and Jane Stanbury. He was born on November 12 1859 in Buninyong (Ballarat Birth Registration 2633/1860). 

His name was registered as Alfred Rennie.  However he signed his marriage certificate as Alfred Robert Rennie and one other document records his name as Alfred J. Rennie which may be an error.

See family tree of Richard and Jane Rennie

Alfred's birth registration indicates that at the time of his birth (1859) his parents Richard and Jane were not married.  Because of this Alfred's birth was also registered as Alfred Stanbury, but using the same registration number (Ballarat Birth Registration 2633/1860).

On October 6 1886, aged 26, Alfred married Emma Mitchel Kinsman, aged 23, in the Primitive Methodist Church, Ballarat (Ballarat Marriage Registration 6?815/1886).  Emma was the daughter of Joseph Kinsman a stone mason and Emma Mitchell, of Durham Lead, Ballarat.  Alfred was a bricklayer at the time of his marriage, working for his father Richard H. Rennie.  They are said to have worked together on the Humphrey St. Bridge and the Arch of Victory in Ballarat.

The 1888/9 Postal Directories refer to Alfred as a cab proprietor of Buninyong, (a cab being a 'horse drawn vehicle kept for hire'). See image at bottom of page.

It appears he and his wife lived in Buninyong until about 1889 when they moved to Ballarat, and by 1891 he had started a livery stable (a place where horses are kept or let out for hire).

Postal directories from 1890 to 1907 indicate that these stables were at Little Bridge St. corner of Grenville St.  In subsequent years they were shifted to the other end of Grenville St.  Alfred was also a mail contractor and is said to have been an agent for Cobb & Co., although Cobb & Co. may have, at one time, had their own stables in Ballarat.

After the death of his wife Emma in 1918, Alfred married Clara Gummow in 1920.  There were no children from this second marriage.

Alfred Rennie and Emma Kinsman
Above: Believed to be Alfred Rennie and Emma Kinsman on their wedding day.

 Alfred Rennie and Clara Gummow
Above: Believed to be Alfred Rennie and Clara Gummow on their wedding day.

Alfred and Emma had a large family of eight children, but only three of them survived into adulthood.

See Alfred Rennie's Family Tree

1.  Richard Robert Alfred Rennie was born August 28 1887.  In 1913 he married Amy Edwardes, daughter of John Owen Edwardes and Emma Maria Victoria Millington of Kevington.  At the time of his marriage Richard he was a painter who painted the fine decorations on the sides of coaches including the gilt lines.  He took up farming in 1927 moving to several locations in Victoria, finishing at Yarram, Gippsland.  Richard Robert Alfred Rennie had five children.

  • Myrtle Emma Rennie (born April 26 1915)
  • Alfred John Rennie  (born July 12 1918)
  • Amy Rennie   (born June 19 1925)
  • Alice Kathleen Rennie  (born January 19 1928)
  • Dorothy Rose Rennie  (born August 2 1931)
Richard Robert Alfred Rennie died March 9 1953, aged 66, and was buried in the Buninyong Cemetery.

2.  John Charles Rennie was born in October 1888.  He died on December 8 1888, aged 9 weeks. He was buried in the Rennie family grave in Buninyong with John Riches.  (John Riches was the son of Jane Stanbury and Robert Riches.)

3.  Peter Rennie died September 10 1889, aged one day.  Peter had an unnamed stillborn sibling.  Both were buried in the Rennie family grave in Buninyong.

4.  Alfred Earnest Rennie was born 1890.  He died July 14 1891, aged 8 months and was buried in the Rennie family grave in Buninyong.

See Alfred Rennie's Family Tree

5.  Myrtle Ivy Rennie, known as Queenie or the Queen, was born July 15 1891. In 1916 she married Harry Spicer who was the brother of Albert Rennie's wife.  They had two children:

  • Bonnie Spicer  born September 28 1917
  • Harry Spicer  born August 28 1919
  • Harry Spicer was known as 'Boysy'. He died in 1929 aged 9.

Myrtle and Harry Spicer had a grocery shop in Williamstown.  Myrtle died on August 8 1972.

6.  Robert Richard Alfred Rennie was born July 4 1895 at the livery stables in Ballarat.  Robert married Dorice Clayton in 1917.  He worked at and later took over his father's stables, eventually turning them into a garage.  Robert and Dorice raised three children:

  • Doris Jean Rennie   born February 16 1918
  • Alfred Ronald Rennie   born March 12 1919
  • Edward Rennie    born August 16 1934.

Robert died February 11 1979 at Parkdale and was interred at the Springvale Cemetery.

7.  Beatrice May Rennie was born December 1896.  She died on February 19 1897, aged 7 weeks.  She was buried in the Rennie family grave in Buninyong.

8.  Alfred John Rennie was born January 1902.  He died on February 24 1902, aged 7 weeks.  He was buried in the Rennie family grave in Buninyong.


Alfred and Emma's children were

  • Richard Robert Alfred Rennie
  • John Charles Rennie 
  • Peter Rennie 
  • Alfred Earnest Rennie 
  • Myrtle Ivy Rennie
  • Robert Richard Alfred Rennie.
  • Beatrice May Rennie
  • Alfred John Rennie


Alfred's daughter Myrtle Ivy Rennie



Alfred was well known for having a wooden leg.  It is said that he first injured his leg on a stick while rabbitting.  It is said by others he lost it after a fall from a buggy on a mail run.  He insisted on being buried with the wooden leg. Alfred had a large beard.

He has been described as a 'grump', possibly due to the problems with his leg, and "would cross his fingers when he wanted people to be quiet at the table".

Alfred is said to have been given, by his father Richard, a watch which had an inscription indicating that it was a "presentation on the completion of London Bridge".  It was said that Richard Hutchinson Rennie (then Renney), or a close relative, worked on the building of the bridge and received the watch as a farewell present.  Stories about being directly related to the English bridge builder John Rennie run through several branches of the family, but they are unsubstantiated as explained in a previous chapter.


Emma died July 12 1918, aged 55.  She was buried in the Buninyong Cemetery in a grave alongside the previously mentioned Rennie family grave.

Alfred died July 22 1925, aged 65, and was buried in the same grave as Emma.  He was survived by his second wife Clara.

The stables and livery business were divided up amongst his children, but by doing this they were made unviable and were eventually sold.

Clara lived for some time after Alfred's death in Alfred's house in Ballarat along with Alfred's orphaned niece Alice 'Topsy' Rennie for whom they were caring.

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Grave of Alfred Rennie, Buninyong

Buninyong in 1888. At this time Alfred was recorded as being a cab driver. The horse drawn vehicle in the centre of this drawing could be Alfred's. The Crown hotel built by Alfred's father is the two story building to left of centre.

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