John Snaith Rymer was born on the 5th December 1806 in Wolsingham, Co. Durham, England.
He became a prominent London solicitor and on January 27th 1854, the Lord Chancellor appointed him to be a London Commissioner to administer oaths in the High Court of Chancery.
For some years John had had a fascination with Spirit Manifestation, such as table-rapping, séances, hands coming out from curtains touching people, and the like. In 1857 he published a lecture entitled “Spirit Manifestations”, was discovered as a fraud at a manifestation event, and doomed his London career.
By 1859 John was in Bendigo with an office in Pall Mall Sandhurst, where he applied to the colonial Government to practice as a solicitor. He quickly became an influential and highly respected solicitor on the goldfields, operating his practice with his son. There is no indication that he carried on with “spirit manifestation” in Bendigo.
His personal life in Bendigo was spent in White Hills where his house was on the corner or Lyons and Napier Streets. In 1861 he became a Trustee for the land on which the Church of England in White Hills was built and was a founding member of this church. In 1872 he signed a petition requesting the council to “put the road to cemetery in proper repair” in White Hills. He was very passionate about all matters relating to the development of White Hills.
John’s wife Sally “Emma” Underhill predeceased him in 1873. Three years later, after a long illness, John passed away on the 14th of May 1876. He was survived by his three children. In his obituary in The Bendigo Advertiser on 16th May 1876 he was described thus: “The deceased gentleman was of a particularly happy and genial turn of mind; and relished a laugh and joke, even though at his own expense, with the zest and good humor of a thorough Englishman and a gentleman.
John was interred with his wife Emma at White Hills Cemetery on Wednesday, 17th May 1876, in section L5, grave 7804. This is on the hill in the bushland, under an old gumtree, with a broken monument.
A well respected pioneer solicitor.