Archive for January, 2007

Taken from Mal Williams on “Gencircles”

Melbourne General Cemetery, Wesleyan Compartment F Grave 1015(no
nesday, September 6, 1848 and later reprinted in A HOBART NEWSPAPER,
TASMANIA: Wednesday Evening, Sept. 20, 1848 under the heading COLONIAL

(Supplied by Miss D Smith, 21 Corella Ave, Glenalta SA 50 52)

This fine colonial-built ship took her departure from Deptf ord on the
12th May, and sighted Kangaroo Island on Tuesday the 20th August, at
four in the morning. Remarkably inauspicious weather retarded the
arrival within our harbour precincts, and eventually obliged Captain
Buckland to trust to his cables and anchors in Holdfast Bay. During
the terrific gale on Friday night, the twice parting of the small
bower cable obliged the captain to have recourse to a chain cable on
board, on freight, which by the help of the emigrants was got up and
happily rendered conducive to the safety of the ship, the best bower
holding on in the meantime, and confirming the good repute of the
“holding ground” at the anchorage.

The circumstancial history of the bulk of the migrants pe r “Harpley”
is worthy of a particular notice. With the exception of six. families,
those on board the “Harpley” had been employed in French lace
manufactories in or near Calais, some of them having been there eight
years since they left their native place, Nottingham. At the outbreak
of the French revolution the popular fury soon extended to the
hitherto peaceful abodes of the refugees, and the cry of “a has les
Anglais”(down with the English) would possibly have been followed by
actual and violent expulsion but for the timely interference of the
Consul, who besought the insurgents at least to respect the persons of
the English workmen. At that time, the number of English working for,
or dependent upon, manufacturing employers in Calais and its environs
was nothing short of a thousand souls; of whom some have gone to
Sydney, a few more are coming hither, and a ship-load were to embark
at Calais for Port Philip, a fortnight after the “Harpley” left.

In their extremity the English work people in Calais not wi lling to
return to their native town of Nottingham, or any other part of the
over-stocked English labour-market, sent a memorial to Lord
Palmerston, dated April 12, desiring to obtain passages to one of the
English colonies, and a large number wishing to make choice of South
Australia, of which they professed to have heard through our “Voice”.
In three days, an answer was returned by his Lordship, and a
government Commissioner arrived to make the requisite enquiries. He
was immediately succeeded by Mr. Cooper, a gentleman from the Office
of Her Majesty’s Land and Emigration Commissioners, who instituted
diligent scrutiny into the characters and circumstances of the
memorialists, and then arranged for their passage to England,
preparatory to emigration for these colonies. On their arrival in
London they learned that a benevolent committee was sitting daily at
the Mansion House, under the auspicies of that genuine specimen of
nobility the distinguished Lord Ashley, and eagerly engaged in getting
up a generous subscription to which the town of Nottingham contributed
300 to 400 pounds for the relief of those who were hourly compelled to
return to England from the French territory. The objections of the
Commissioners to send lace makers and their families to a young colony
like South Australia were compromised by an allowance of 5 pounds per
head from the subscription fund, and an engagement to provide a good

The details were then arranged, and the “Harpley” appointed , the
emigrants embarked, and soon the poop of the ship, to use our
informant’s words, was “transformed into a haberdasher’s shop”, from
which every thing necessary was gratuitously and unsparingly supplied
to those who were in need, Mr. Cooper being charged with Lord Ashley’s
princely commands to let the unfortunates want for nothing. Mr
Commissioner Wood visited them at Gravesend previous to their
departure, addressed to them an admirable speech full of kindness and
encouragement, assuring them they were proceeding to a land where
honesty and industry seldom failed to have their proper reward.

The only instance of death among the adults was an aged an d ailing
man (in his 67th year) who was unwilling to be separated from his
family, and to whom the Commissioner humanely granted a free passage.
He died in traversing the Bay of Biscay, the only instance of
mortality besides, being a delicate infant of three months old. A sea
apprentice and a young sailor named Bateman fell overboard during the
passage, but both were saved by a well-directed life-buoy until they
could be picked up. During the passage the ship only sighted the Cape
Verd Islands and St. Pauls. The passengers, who were scarcely becalmed
on the line, suffered little from heat in the Tropics, and as little
from cold in the southern hemisphere, 39.5 S being the most southerly
latitude attained. There was no case of serious illness during the
greater part of the passage, and 236 souls have arrived in excellent
health, in a remarkably clean and well-commanded ship, manned by a
fine crew. During the passage Mr. Spencer the Surgeon-Superintendent
read prayers every Sabbath when the weather permitted.

We have seen in the hands of the refugee Emigrants, some o f the
certificates granted by employers and municipal officers in France,
and they speak well for the character of the people, who we hope will
find they have exchanged the inhospitable treatment of the French for
a hearty welcome in a British colony. Their’s is an instance calling
for especial sympathy and spirited exertion on behalf of the
colonists, and we shall much mistake if the newly-arrived do not in
their case confirm the assurance, that any honest men and women who
venture to South Australia with their off-spring will be likely to
find the right hand of fellowship extended towards them in a land of
peace and plenty.

We have elsewhere published the names and shall be exceedin gly glad
to assist, through our office, in facilitating engagements between
employers and those who assure us they are anxious to make themselves
useful in any capacity.


ARRIVED…. Saturday, September 2nd – The ship “Harpley” 5 7 ?tons,
Buckland, master, from London.
Dr John Spencer, surgeon superintendent, and John Spencer , in the
cabin; and the following refugee emigrants from France – John Barnet,
wife and six children, John Brown, wife and four children, Wm Burgess,
wife and four children, Joseph Clarke, wife and child, John Clarke,
wife and three children, Wm Cobb, wife and two children, Henry Cope,
wife and seven children, Joseph Cope, Ann Cope, Henry Cope jnr, ?Fanny
Cope, Wm Cope, Cornelius Crowder and wife, Hannah Crowder, Emma
Crowder, Mary Crowder, George Dennisthorpe, John Davis, wife and four
children (one born on the passage), Mary Ann Dennisthorpe, Richard
Dixon, wife and two children, Sarah Dixon, Richard Dixon jun, David
Dixon, Joseph Dixon, George Dormer, wife and six children, Thomas
Dormer, Ellen Dormer, Thomas Dunk, wife and five children, John
Freestone, wife and five children, Richard Goldmark, wife and four
children, Jas. Hall, wife and child, John Hemmingway, wife and two
children, Wm Hirold and wife, John Hibbert and wife, Humphrey Hopkins,
wife and adult daughter Mary, Philip Hickey, wife and two children,
James Henslie, Caroline Henslie, John Henslie, Benjamin Holmes, wife
and three children, Hariet Holmes, John Irons, wife and child, Joseph
James, wife and two children, Edward Lander, wife and six children
(one born at sea) and Mary Ann (adult), Henry Lee, wife and child,
Hiram Langmore, wife and five children, Matthew Matthew, wife and
three children, John Mountaney, wife and three children, Thomas and
George (adults), Emma Needham, Wm Paul and wife, Wm Parsons, wife and
seven children, Sarah, John and Ellen, adults (the youngest, three
months old died at sea), Louisa Peat, Emily Peat, George Pike, wife
and child, John Revel, wife and three adult daughters (Elizabeth, Anne
and ?Mel…sen), Wm Henry Sanson and wife, John Sanson, wife and four
children, William Sanson, Jane Sanson, Thomas Sibley and wife, John
Shaw, John Smith, wife and four children (one Mary Ann, adult), Thomas
Street, wife and four children, Wm Stubbs, wife and three adult
children (Francis, Robert, Henry and Edward), George Saunders, wife
and three children, Elizabeth (adult), John Sweeney, Theresa Sweeney,
Mary Ann Sweeney, Robert Taylor, Walter Wells wife and seven children,
Henry and John (adults), Thomas Wells, wife and ten children, Sarah,
Richard, Thomas and Rebecca (adults), Thomas Widderson, wife and six
children, Henry Watts, Charles Richmond, wife and eight children,
Henry and Eliza (adults), Esther Samuels.

The information is taken from “Blue Gum Clippers and Whal e Ships of
Tasmania”, a book by Will Lawson and The Shiplovers’ Society of
Tasmania, published by Georgian House, Melbourne in 1949… and
borrowed from my ship loving neighbour Vic Brownlie who has a whole
library of ship books! Thanks to Vic.

THE HARPLEY (page 151)
Fired no doubt by the spirit of competition and not wishin g to see
the bulk of the London trade handled by Hobart ships, the people of
Launceston became possessed in 1847 of a fine ship, only 15 tons
smaller than the Tasman and, moreover, built on the Tamar.
This was the Harpley, 545 tons, owned by James Raven and bu ilt by
Patterson Brothers. She left Launceston early in 1847, with a full
cargo of wheat and wool, and reached Hobart, where she had to pick up
as passengers 50 soldier pensioners, 26 women and 40 children, on
March 26. She sailed again on March 29, under the command of Captain
Buckley, and made a good passage. It was a shock to the owners and
builders when their ship, on arrival at London, was condemned by
Lloyd’s surveyors as unfit to carry emigrants, some of her beams being
declared to be rotten. In a new ship this was inexplicable, and seemed
to point to some prejudice against colonial-built vessels.
Hobart Town master builders and merchants were very jealou s of the
good name that their blue gum vessels had earned in all parts of the
world, and they talked of loading one of the oldest vessels and
sending her to London for Lloyds to take her to pieces and satisfy the
English authorities that blue gum built ships were second to none,
including English oak and teak. One of the shipbuilders went to
Launceston to make enquiries and found that the Harpley had been built
of swamp gum, which southern builders considered totally unfit for
ship building.

This builder turned out the largest vessel to be built on t he Tamar
and the second largest in Tasmania – the barque Harpley, of 545 tons.
She was launched to the order of James Raven, a merchant of
Launceston, on Feb 5, 1847. Her length on keel was 133 feet.
The firm’s yards were at Blackwell where, in 1848, they bui lt a
schooner of 130 tons, and in 1851 launched the schooner Pearl, 200
tons, for Charles Weedon and John Griffiths….!DEATH:Victoria
Australia 6100\1808

Extract from a letter to Mignon Preston [descendent from Sarah (nee
Wells) Hutchinson, the fifth child of Thomas and Sarah (nee Cresswell)
WELLS], written by Elizabeth Simpson FSG, “Peapkin’s End”, 2 Stella
Grove, Tollerton, Nottingham NG12 4EY England… dated 30 Sept
1986….(includes references to John Boyland, 3 Eggeling St, Esperance
WA 6450, also descendent from Sarah).

…the colony of South Australia – celebrating their 150 years this
year, had hoped to hold a big meeting of descendants of all those who
had arrived per the Harpley in 1848. A letter was published in the
newspaper THE ADVERTISER on 20 Sept 1983 written by a Mr John
Donisthorpe, 26 Adelaide St, Magill SA 5072 asking folk so descended
to get into touch with him. I also gave him the address of the
secretary of the Lacemakers Association which was formed in Sydney
several years ago, Mrs Gillian Kelly, 10 Sorrell Place, Queanbeyan,
NSW 2620. I would urge you to get into touch with Gillian … she is
at present doing a BA in Applied History and using the arrival of the
Nottingham/Calais Lacemakers to her thesis. She is intensely
interested in what happened to them all after their arrival and I know
she would like to hear from you with the story of the WELLS family.

Their search for the right place and occupation to follow tells such a
lot about their plight. The lot who landed at Adelaide came to a
colony only 10 years old – they were sophisticated folk who had led a
very good life in Calais – they were used to travelling, but in a
superior way – they were fairly affluent – their work in France paid
off – they were better off than their families left at home in
Nottingham – they grasped at the straw and hope of ‘going to
Australia’ because they feared that revolution was about to break out
in France again in real earnest – trade was very bad at home – they
would have had to go onto the Poor Law and seek relief – no jobs – no
where to live save possibly back at home (very cramped) with any
relatives still there – they appealed to be sent to Australia – at
this time all she wanted was labourers – farmers in particular –
domestic servants, menial posts – they DID not want lacemakers… who
was wearing lace?

It was a minor miracle that they were allowed to go – their arrival
must have shattered them! What had they come to? It has always been my
belief that the coming of the gold rush so soon after their arrival
was the salvation of a lot of them – a boom was created and through
this they could learn how to survive. I am thus delighted to see that
this is exactly what helped the WELLS family.

…. Walter Wells I have not linked to Thomas – but it is very likely
that they ARE related. The lacemakers who went to France went as
family units – extended family units – and they recruited more of
their own kin all the time. The names are too close to be ignored –
and the coincidence of both being on the Harpley helps too to
strengthen the idea that they belong to each other – I suspect that
they are probably brothers – or at the very least first cousins. Work
needs to be done on the background of the Wells in Nottingham. Up to
now I only do this kind of work if asked to by Australian descendants
– I don’t have the time to spare just to potter about on my own too
much! I used to work a lot on these Lacemakers – but I have had two
whole years off ill…. which brought my activities to a total
halt….. I am pleased to find that the descendants of these
lacemakers have not lost all hope and are still actively interested in
their incredible story.

I shall be in Sydney for the bi-centenary in 1988 and it is possible
that I will deliver a paper on these lacemakers. It is a story which
has to be told – a unique migration of a very particular group of
people. Nothing like it has occurred anywhere else in the world – I am
delighted and proud that I was the one to bring it to the notice of
the Australian people in the first place.

.. extra info…(from Elizabeth Simpson)

Walter & Sophia WELLS baptised a bunch of their kids all together at
the ‘English’ church in Calais: Robert, Elizabeth Maria, Edward
Howell, Walter & Winifred on 16th November 1847… no ages given for
the kids but the name HOWELL might be a help..

The CRESWELLS were also in Calais: There was a Charles Bilston
CRESSWELL born France c1828 (details per 1851 census of Wednesbury,
Staffs. He was living in the home of his Mother Ann who was then 59
and a widow. He was a ‘fitter of steam engines’ – had a wife called
Harriet who was born Birmingham c1830.

A David CRESSWELL born c1792 was buried in Calais 3rd January 1842 aged 50.

A Rebecca CRESSWELL, the daughter of a DAVID, married a Levi TURNER on
22 Nov 1842 in Dover.

A Rebecca CRESSWELL daughter of David married Thomas TODD 19 Nov 1838 in Dover.

Ann WELLS daughter of Thomas & Sarah (Cresswell) – birth registered in
civil records Calais 8 Feb 1846 – father then aged 42, mother 30.
Residence rue Lafayette, section G No 470. Witnesses Charles GIRUAD 37
lacemaker, Reuben Jennings 37 lacemaker.

Lucy WELLS bapt Calais 27 Feb 1826 daughter of William and Charlotte.

James WELLS son of Thomas & Sarah (Cresswell) birth reg 15 Feb 1833
Calais, residence as above. Witnesses John Webster 35 and Henry Hill

John WELLS son of Walter & Sopies (Basford) birth registered 15 Feb
1833 Calais, residence: rue Lafayette Section G No 364. Witnesses John
BASFORD 38 and John Vicary 36.

Sophia WELLS daughter of Walter & Sopiea buried 1 Oct 1841 Calais died
29 Sept 1841 aged 6 months.

William Henry WELLS son of Walter & Sophia (Basford) birth reg 3 Nov
1830 Calais. Witnesses Robert William Pechell 39 and James Trees.

SNIPPETT (taken from Tulle magazine, November 1998 pg26)

In 1841, according to the census of Calais, Rachael Basford, nee
Stevens, and the widowed mother of Sophie Wells, was living with her
youngest son George, in the home of Thomas Goldfinch and his first
wife, Anne Farley.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
– – – – –


Title: Sourced from Bronwyn Thomas

Title: VIC BDM Register
Author: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Victoria
Publication: A database of births, deaths and marriages recorded by th
e Registry of Births,Deaths and Marriages, Victoria.
Page: 1894/13059
Quality: 3

Title: Of All The Mad Pursuits
Author: Mignon Preston
Publication: T & M Preston

papatoetoe, new zealand
researching Winters, Wells, Benger, Le Blond, Hayes, Davern and Furness


Read Full Post »