Thursday, August 18, 2016

B1.3 James Bradshaw


James Bradshaw was born 10th Oct 1802, but there was no mention of a father's name on his birth record.

He went to Norfolk Island with his parents, and was baptised on the island.

He returned on the Lady Nelson, in 1808.

With his brother William, he worked with his father supplying meat to the colony.

On 8th August  1827 he married Jemima Lydia Gunn, sister to Mary Jane Gunn who married his brother William.

They had 7 children:

James Thomas Bradshaw       B 1828           D 1902
Robert Jillett Bradshaw           B 1830           D 1921
Mary Bradshaw                       B 1832D
Susan Bradshaw                     B 1835           D 1835        14 days old New Norfolk
Charlotte Bradshaw Jillett       B 1835           D  1835       14 days old  New Norfolk
Louisa Bradshaw Jillett           B 1837            D 1858
Charles Bradshaw                   B 1839

In the Lands Department records of 1823 it shows that James Bradshaw was granted 60 acres at Methven (York Plains).

James was listed as a farmer/hotelier.

In 1858 records show that he occupied 600 acres at Arundel, New Norfolk, comprising 600 acres, with an annual value of 55 pounds, and the Samuel Guy of Hobart Town was the owner.  James Bradshaw was the neighbour of Thomas Shone at New Norfolk.  Mention is also make of another parcel of 57 acres which had been granted to Robert Jillett.

James Bradshaw died in 1855 in New Norfolk.

Mention is made in the book Exiled: The Port Arthur Convict Photographs of two of James Bradshaw's convict employees who were involved in a murder!

By Edwin Barnard

B1.2. William Bradshaw

William Bradshaw was born in Port Jackson,  2nd Sept 1800 and was baptised on Norfolk Island 27th March 1806 together with his brother  James and sister Susanna at Norfolk Island.

William returned with his parents in 1808 on the Lady Nelson, but maintained his name Bradshaw, presumably as his parents were still unmarried.

William married Mary Jane Gunn 28th February 1821.  She was the first born Tasmanian, so her death notice in the paper of 8th May 1873 reported.

In 1823 William Bradshaw was granted 60 acres at Methven (York Plains).

Mary Jane Gunn was the daughter of Samuel and Jannet Gunn.  Samuel Gunn was born 1781 in England and he died 15th March 1859.  It would appear from the inquest of his death on 25th March 1859 that he drowned in the Derwent River at New Norfolk.  He is buried in St Matthew's cemetery, New Norfolk.    He arrived in 1804 on the "Calcutta" having been sentenced to 7 years. 

The journey took 168 days, and was scheduled to go to Port Phillip, but Collins found it unsuitable for a settlement, and transferred the expedition to Sullivan's Cove on the banks of the Derwent River, thus becoming the founder of Hobart instead of Melbourne.

Samuel was 18 years old when he became an apprentice carpenter's mate at H.M. Dockyards at Woolwich, England.  He served on several ships as a carpenter, and went to the Battle of Copenhagen under Capt Bligh and to Gibralter with the "duke of Kent".  On 1st July 1802 while working as a labourer, he was charged by John Wright, a farmer of Forham, for stealing a saddle worth 9 shillings from his stable.  Six months after arriving in Sullivan's Cove he married Jannet Patterson, their's being the third marriage in the colony.

A report in the Hobart Town newspaper of 1804 indicates that  Rev Knopwood married Samuel Gunn (prisoner) to Janett Paterson, a free woman, and daughter of Superintendent William Paterson.  Janett and her father were on board the HMS Calcutta he a Superintendant she free.

Samuel Gunn was an ex-navy shipwright who soon became a trusted tradesman on the waterfront.  When it appeared that Janett was pregnant, a hasty marriage was arranged, and their daughter Mary Jane was born later in 1804 and Christened on 1st January 1805.  Samuel Gunn was a hard worker who soon had his own house built near the waterfront.  It was so large that he was able to rent some  space to the Grove family, another convict and trusted friend of Governor Collins.

Jannet and Samuel Gunn had 5 children, 2 married into the Jillett family. 

Mary Jane Gunn              Christened 1st January 1805 in Hobart 
                                                             (first Caucasian child born in the colony  
Jemima Lydia Gunn        Christened 22 nd June 1806 in Hobart
Samuel James Gunn       Christened 8th July 1808.  
                                                        (Nothing more has been researched about this Samuel)
Sarah Ann Gunn              Christened 26th April 1810 in Hobart
Daniel John Gunn           Christened 23rd August 1813

In 1812 Samuel Gunn built the "Campbell MacQuarie" a square rig ship.  Governor Davey granted him 50 acres of land and Samuel built a large house in Hunter Street.

Mary Jane's mother Janett Gunn died aged 46 years on 4th April 1826.  Her father Samuel then married Ann Hart in 1827 in Hobart.  In 1823 Samuel Gunn had built on land at MacQuarie Point Hobarton.

From May 1848 to October 1857 Samuel had 13 convicts assigned to him.  Records show that in 1817 Samuel Gunn departed Hobart as a seaman on the "Spring" a whaling expedition.

On 27th June 1837 a Samuel Gunn departed Hobart aboard the "Emma" for Kangaroo Island in South Australia.  This area provided the salt required for the whaling fleets.  It may be that this is Samuel Gunn Jnr.

Sarah married Thomas Green in Hobart 1827.  She died in 1840.  She had 5 children and her youngest was only 1 year old when she died.

Daniel Gunn married Emma Henrietta Proctor in Hamilton Tasmania on 24th September 1849.  Daniel died in 1852.


The Family of William and Mary Bradshaw

Green Cottage Magna home of William Bradshaw

William and Mary had 13 children.

Elizabeth Bradshaw                            B 23 Dec 1821                 d              23 Feb 1842      

                                                                m    Capt Joseph Oakley
William Bradshaw                               B 6 July 1823                  d             1895                    

                                                                m    Louisa Elwin
James Thomas Bradshaw                   B            1824                  d              10 July 1896                                                                                m   Ellen Bacon  d 1867
                                                                 m.  Jane Hay                                             
John Bradshaw                                    B 21 Dec 1827                 d             1892             

                                                                  m    Maria Bacon                                                                                                                           He was a miller in Oatlands         
Sarah Ann Bradshaw                          B 5 Mar 1830                   d             1842      

                                                                 m    Thomas Bowden
Mary Bradshaw                                   B  1830                                                                                                                                              m    Charles Bradshaw  (first cousin)
Jemima Lillian Bradshaw                  B  28 Mar 1834                d    1899                      

                                                                 m    James Bruce
Frederick David Bradshaw                 B  23 Nov 1835                 d    28 June 1869       not married
Thomas Alfred Bradshaw                   B 7 Nov 1839                    d    6 Jan  1840

Louisa Bradshaw                                B 13 July 1843                 d     1898                           

                                                     m  Capt Joseph Oakley (prev married to her sister Elizabeth)                                                                                                                                   
Harriet Mary Bradshaw                      B  13 Jan 1844                d      1883                           

                                                              m    Job Hale
Alfred Henry Edward Bradshaw          B  16 July 1846               d      12 May 1918              

                                                              m    Margaret Spelman

Between the years of 1815 and 1830 William Bradshaw supplied meats to the colony.  He also was granted several blocks of land. 

He farmed around the New Norfolk area, and grew crops (hops).
In 1819 William was the licensee of the "Jolly Sailor" hotel in Campbell Street, Hobart, near the Prisoners Barracks. 

It is just possible that this pub was the forerunner to the "royal Exchange Hotel" which was first licensed in 1860 and is located on the corner of Campbell and Bathurst Streets Hobart.  

In 1842 he purchased 640 acres at Monmouth for 161 pounds.  His brother Thomas also purchased at the same time.  

The lots were purchased from William Henry Windsor of Hobart Town.

Unfortunately he must have fallen upon hard times, as he died in 1859, and in 1860 was listed as being insolvent.
His wife Mary Jane placed ads in the press in 1860, advising that she was the only person with the authority to sell her horse, and she referred to it being at Lions Inn Jerusalem at the property of John Bradshaw, which must be her son.   

The advertisement stated she lived at Hodge Farm New Norfolk.

John Bradshaw son of William Bradshaw who worked for his uncle Thomas Jillett at the Callington Mill as a Miller

In 1861, a notice in the paper advises that Mrs Bradshaw is able to remove her crops from the lands which were leased.
In the records of lands held in the District of New Norfolk 1858, it shows that William Bradshaw snr hold the following properties:

                Proprietor/Occupier       of Hodge Farm                                  300 acres
                                                Occupier of                                                    84 acres                                                                                owned by William Young (BiL)
                                                Occupier of Crown Land lot 172              500 acres


From Ian Parce State Archivist Tasmania: .James Bruce arriving with father James a blacksmith his mother Christina, sister Margaret 10 & Maryann 7 arrived in Tasmania on the 10th August 1833 (from Scotland) marriage reg for James Bruce jr & Jemima Bradshaw  ref rgd 37/167/1857 death reg Christina 35/27/1874. & James sr 35/47/1858  

Margaret married Samuel Ricketts 24 Dec 1838 she was 17 & he was 27, Samuel was a shoe maker bullock driver for the Dept of Aborigines in 1850   also got the inquest report on Muriel Blanche Ricketts burns it is 4 pages long the poor girl really suffered i have also applied for Olive Eugenie Bruce also burns the paper says the mother neglectful (Jemima)          

                                       Thanks to Julie Williamson


James George Gregory Bradshaw  details of an entry in Cyclopaedia of Tasmania: 1900, p.537 no photograph)    Thanks to Sue Collins

Mr George Bradshaw, engineer in charge of the machine shops for the Mount Lyell Company was born in Oatlands, Midlands of Tasmania in 1858 and educated there.  His father the late Mr John Bradshaw was a miller of Oatlands, and had the first steam flour mills in that town, being one of the first to introduce silk dressing machines in Tasmania.

On completing his education he served his apprenticeship with Mr John Clark late inspector of machinery, Hobart.  He then joined the Main Line Railway Company of Tasmania, under Honorable C.H,. Grant, MLC. CE, general manager and was for 6 years the foreman of machines under the immediate supervision of Mr William Cundy the locomotive superintendent of the company.

He then started business for himself and erected flour mills in various parts of the colony.  After a short sojourn of 12 months in Queensland, he returned to Tasmania and took a position at the Golden Gate mine at Mathinna, where he remained until 1890.  He then went to Zeehan and remained in the employ of the Silver Queen Company for 12 months.  Leaving that company's employ to erect the machinery for the Adelaide Silver Mining Company, Dundas.

Mr. Bradshaw was there until the mine closed down and in 1896 he found himself working in the machine shops of the Mount Lyell Company and also assisting in the erection of the converting plant.

His abilities were recognised by the company, who appointed him engineer in charge of their machine ships in November 1897.

He was a member of the Queenstown Town Board from 1898.  In 1897 he married Miss Arnett, daughter of the late Simon Arnett, council clerk for many years for the municipality of Bothwell.

Perhaps this is William's grandson?


Historic tin mining town
Pioneer is a tiny township located 119 km north east of Launceston and 8 km from the Tasman Highway. The town came into existence in 1877 when William Bradshaw (until 1955 the town was known as Bradshaw's Creek) discovered tin at the junction of Bradshaw's Creek and Ringarooma River.

Mining the tin was extremely difficult. Conditions on the alluvial tin diggings were hard. Inevitably this attracted a substantial number of Chinese (because they worked collectively on the fields) to the area. Although there were never more than 1,000 Chinese in the entire area their contribution was vital. Many of them are buried in the cemeteries in the area.

In 1882 the Pioneer Tin Mining Company was formed to work the deposit. It did not prosper but in 1900 a new tin lode was discovered and the company then worked the seam continuously until it closed in 1932. At the peak of the operation the mine employed over 100 people and by 1910 the Pioneer company was so profitable that it built its own dam and, at Moorina, constructed its own power station which was used to power the equipment. Prior to that there had been two steam barges used at Bradshaw's Creek.

The tiny school at Bradshaw's Creek achieved some fame when its one-time teacher, Joseph Lyons, subsequently entered federal parliament and became Prime Minister of Australia.

Bradshaw's Bridge

B1.1 Mary Ann Bradshaw daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Bradshaw

Mary Ann Bradshaw was the daughter of Elizabeth and Thomas Bradshaw, and she came to Australia with her mother on the convict ship "Hillsborough"  She was born 30th January 1797, so would have been only 2 years old during the journey.

She married on 24th March 1812 at St David's Hobart Town, to Charles Horan.  His name was often recorded as Horam, Horne or Houran, they lived at Back River New Norfolk.   Charles had a land grant next to Thomas Shone.

Charles arrived in Australia in 1803 as a free man.  He was born in 1768.

One night in 1821, Robert Jillett and his sons, William and James were all charged with assault on
Charles Horne! 


They had one child, possibly  Edward Horne  b. 7th July 1813.  Tasmanian Archives also has it recorded as Edward Lorne, father Charles Lorne.  I guess it depended upon who could write!

Charles Horan was granted land in New Norfolk adjoining Thomas Shone's land.                                 

There are some interesting articles in the Hobart Press about both Charles Horan and Mary Horan.  In 1820 Charles was appointed as a constable in New Norfolk. 

On 29th April, 1826 he posted an advertisement, "I the undersigned, hereby caution the public against giving trust and credit to my wife, Mary Horan, on my account, she having left the home without any just cause or provocation, and any person found harbouring, concealing or maintain her after rhs notice will be dealt with for such offence as the law directs.

Then there are two articles in the Hobart newspapers of the day, one dated 26th January 1827, where a Peter Cleary is charged with cutting, with intent to murder, Mary Horan, formerly Gillett.  The prosecutrix, however, denied all knowledge of the statement she had made before the Magistrate, and behaved very improperly in Court, for which she was committed to gaol for one month.  The prisoner Cleary was found guilty of an assault only.  On this trial there was a great prevarication among the witnesses.

Then there is another article on 6th February 1827 where James Cleary was tried for stabbing Mary Horan on 31st July, with intention feloniously, willfully and maliciously aforth to kill and murder.  A second count charges him with assault.  He was found guilty on the second charge.

Mary Horan was committed to Launceston gaol for one month imprisonment for insolent language to the Judge and indecorous behaviour before the court.

Are these the same case?  Or are they different, did she get confused with the name of the stabber?  She landed in Launceston Gaol for this effort.

By 1837 Charles must have risen through the ranks of the Police force, as he is featured in Court proceedings, where he is recorded as questioning the witnesses, in a murder trial which occurred in New Norfolk

Charles died in 1864, in Bothwell.

Mary Ann died 2n March 1842 in Hobart

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A3.1.1 RJ Robert Jillett - From his great grandson Neil Jillett.

A Colourful Past  ……………….as written by author (retired) Neil Jillett  and as appeared in the Melbourne Age

Neil has asked that we make apologies for any errors in what he had written, but nothing much has changed even with all research!  Except nowdays it is quite fashionable to have "convicts" and "First Fleeters" in the closet!

There were no massed bands and choirs, no prime ministerial speeches, no visiting royalty.  It was even a public holiday.  Yet, for those who knew about it, it was a bi-centenary just as important as the one that 11 years ago marked the 200th anniversary of Australia's conversion into a barbarous outpost of European civilisation.

On 26 July, 1799 when the transport Hillsborough arrived in Sydney, Governor John Hunter, successor to the New South Wales settlement s founding father, Arthur Phillip, complained to the Colonial Office in London that the ship's cargo consisted of the "most miserable and wretched convicts I ever beheld".  On the 280 day voyage from England, 95 of the 300 people on board had died, most of them from typhoid (jail fever brought aboard before the ship sailed).  Four more died soon after landing.

Among Hillsborough's survivors was 39 year old Robert Jillett, shoemaker and thief.  He had already survived one death sentence (imposed in London s Old Bailey), and - before he sired the son from whom I am descended- he was to dodge the hangman a second time.

Robert s colourful life is the sort of stuff that most people would love to find in the family tree; but for many years my branch of the Jilletts found it too colourful.  This was because we have what used to be called a touch of the tarbrush, and so the family's past was hidden by silence and evasions.

My father Leslie, a journalist, brought his wife and my sister and me from New Zealand to Melbourne in 1935, the city's centenary year.  Nearly 20 years later while studying history at Sydney University, I go my first glimpse of the family's history.  It was in "The Sydney Gazette" report of Robert Jillett's journey by cart to the gallows on 13 April 1803.  He had been sentenced to death for the theft of 77lbs (pounds) of salted pork from the government store.  The weeping Jillett was attended by the Reverend Samuel Marsden, who "emphatically performed the duties of his function."  Then after Robert "had been delivered over to the executioner", a reprieve was announced.

"Convulsed with unspeakable joy and gratitude, for so unexpected an extension of mercy, he fell motionless, and for some moments continued in a state of insensibility…."

Robert's partner in crime, James Hailey, a cooper, read the Bible to him during the cart ride; but this piety did him no good.  He was still punished, 200 lashes.

When I showed the Gazette article to my father, he did nothing to discourage my assumption that the New Zealand branch of the family was probably begun by a miner who had crossed the Tasman Sea to join the mid-19th century gold rush in the South Island.  The truth, which he must have known, at least in part, was more interesting.

It began to emerge in 1965, when my father's younger brother Douglas, who was in charge of Maori education for New Zealand, died in Auckland.  As part of the tribute to him by the Maori community, Kiri Te Kanawa, then 21 sang "I know that my Redeemer liveth" at his funeral.  Sixteen year later she was to have another ceremonial outburst of Handel "Let the bright seraphim" at the Charles-Diana wedding in St Paul s Cathedral, London.

Doug s son, John was surprised when his mother Phyllis told him just before the funeral that he was part-Maori.  This ancestry may explain Doug s interest in Maori education, but he does not seem to have revealed it to his departmental colleagues.  Phyllis confessed to John that because of the Jillett family s heritage she had nearly jilted Doug; she and her English parents imposed the strict condition that the marriage would go ahead only on condition that the Maori ancestry was never acknowledged.

As children, my cousin John and I met our paternal grandfather, John Robert Jillett (1878-1950) whose "career highlights" were running, coaching and saddle-and-harness businesses as a young man.

Although grandfather was dark, it never occurred to John and me that he was part (a quarter) Maori, but it was evident enough for Phyllis, John's mother to be horrified by it.

Although my father knew that Phyllis had broken her own undertaking by revealing the family s secret, he apparently never told our English mother.  Nor did he tell my sister and me.  We learnt of it from cousin John, but we never let our father and mother know that we knew."

Meanwhile, John, a marine biologist who lives in Dunedin, decided to trace the link between convict Robert and the Maori blood.  As a result of his research, much of it carried out in Hobart s archives, we now know that the convict Robert Jillett was born in England about 1760.  At least six different spellings of his surname are used in records, and he also had an alias, Thomas Elston.

At the Surrey Assizes in 1795, Robert, who had a wife and five children, was sentenced to seven years transportation for the theft of curtains and other bedroom furniture.  Part of his sentence was to be served on a hulk moored on the coast.  In 1797 he was charged with being "feloniously at large" (he had escaped before the end of his term), a capital crime.  His death sentence was commuted to transportation for life.

Wives, having sometimes made big cash payment were allowed to accompany their criminal husbands on the journey to NSW.  There were six or seven such women aboard "Hillsborough".  Jillett's first wife was not among them, but his futures second wife, the sturdy Elizabeth Bradshaw, was.  Her husband Thomas, whom she nursed through fever, survived the journey, but disappeared soon after the ship reached Sydney.

As a free person, Elizabeth could own property and be assigned convict servants.  Robert who was presumably one of them skippered a small boat owned by her that traded between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River.  His return to thieving temporarily interrupted Elizabeth s business career.  When his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, on Norfolk Island, she, again standing by her man, sold her property and accompanied him.

Robert, who described himself as a widower, and Elizabeth lived on the island as a man and wife, and in 1808 (in conformity with the slowly implemented policy of closing the first Norfolk Island settlement) were moved to Tasmania.  There, funded by Elizabeth s property deals on Norfolk, they set up as farmers and stock-keepers.  Robert was conditionally pardoned in 1814 and died in 1832.  Elizabeth, who was 15 years his junior died in 1842.  The couple had six children before their marriage in 1812 and four after it.

Cousin John and I are descended from Robert (1812 -1860), their last child conceived out of wedlock and the first born in it.  Robert II established himself in New Zealand as a shore whaler about 1836.  His timing gave ham a status in New Zealand, pre-Waitangi settler, similar to that accorded 1788 First Fleeters in Australia.

British whalers, sealers and timber-getters had been working in New Zealand since the 1790 s but it was not until Samuel Marsden (the parson who had comforted the gallow-dodging Robert Jillett) began his missionary work among Maoris that the country s potential was appreciated.  Its attractions as another outpost of empire, coupled with a few bloody encounters between settlers and Maoris, led to the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi between Queen Victoria and most Maori chiefs.  The treaty, usually described as the founding document of New Zealand nationhood, declared that the country was a British colony in which the native people were made British subjects, but retained rights over land and fisheries.

Robert the whaler entered a common law marriage with a Maori, Etara Ta Kaea (Sarah).  They had six children.

Cousin John and I feel that the Jilletts lack only one element to make them antipodeans in every respect.  It may be, John suspects, that the element is still to be uncovered.  His research suggests there is an unsolved ethnic mystery to do with Robert the whaler's early manhood in Central Tasmania.

Aboriginal blood in the family!  That could cause a ruckus in Tasmania where there is the biggest concentration of convict Robert's descendants.

Fifteen year ago, on his first research trip to Hobart, cousin John met a leading member of the Tasmanian Jillett clan.  "We were only two minutes into our conversation", John recalls, "when he made a point of reassuring me that there were no convicts lurking in our family tree".

A great story, thanks to Sue Collins for unearthing it, so that we can share Neil's writings

A3.1 RJ 1832 The Death of Robert Jillett and his will 1842 death of Elizabeth Jillett

Robert Jillett died in 3rd November 1832 at Back River.  His burial notes indicate burial at Back River

Elizabeth Jillett died in 9th March 1842 in Oatlands, her burial notes not yet obtained.

Both Elizabeth and Robert Jillett are recognised on the end of Thomas Jillett Family Crypt in St Peter's Anglican Church Cemetery in Oatlands Tasmania.  The inscription is unfortunately very feint and was impossible to restore the wording, due to sandstone and the age.

It seems that Robert's will was not probated until after Elizabeth's death.

The Will of Robert Jillett

SUPREME COURT OF TASMANIA PROBATE OFFICE      [NOTE:  Although this will was dated in 1832, it was not presented or granted probate until 1844,  see supplementary depositions, following.]            Note at the time of the probate, both Robert and Elizabeth had died.

  WILL OF ROBERT JILLETT [1844: BK 2, p.162, No. 262]         

         "In the Name of God Almighty, I, Robert Gillett of the back River New Norfolk  Stockkeeper and Farmer of Van Diemen's Land being at this day of sound and disposing mind and memory  Thanks be to the Almighty God for the same But  Weak in bodily Health,  Do Make this my last Will and Testament  Hereby revoking All former Will or Wills if any made by me.    In the first place I recommend my soul to the Almighty God from whom I received it resting and trusting in my Salvation thro our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ        

              I Hereby give and bequeath to my Son Robert Gillett Thirty Acres of Land lying and being at the Back River Near New Norfolk Joining Thomas Shones side line, and Ten Acres more of Grant Lands bounding on the South Side by James Walsh, Grant at my decease to him and His Heirs, Executors or assigns for Ever

.   I Hereby Give at my Decease in shares to my deare Wife Elizabeth Gillett and all my Sons and Daughters and all my Grand Children Male and Female Seven Hundred and Eighty Acres of grant Lands as is hereafter described to them Each and Severally during Each of their Lives and there Successors for there Severally lifes and Enjoyment to be divided Equally at all times hereafter - Three Hundred Acres of the above Named Land Situate lying and being at York Plains bounded by William Bradshaw and James Lucas and Eighty more Joining the same bounded by Wells Grant- and the other four Hundred Acres is bounded by Wm O'conner and Haskin Morrisson the same making together Seven Hundred And Eighty Acres of Land Grants and it is my desire and determination that no part of the said Seven Hundred and Eighty Acres of Grant Lands Shall be ever made use of for any other purpose-what-ever-than-for-a general-feeding ground for all-herein named, and it is lastly more fully to be understood that the said herein described Land hereby by me bequeathed to same nor no part thereof is Ever to be Sold bartered or Mortagaged on any pretence  Whatsoever and I do hereby at my decease give and bequeath All the Horned Cattle and Sheep I may the be possessed of to my dear Wife, Robert Gillett, Charlotte Gillett, Thomas Gillett and John Gillett, and it is hereby further to be understood that as soon after my decease as it may convenients the said Cattle and Sheep are to be Equally divided amongst them  - But it is Hereby to be fully understood that I Hereby mean and direct that my Wife shall hold in her possession all such Cattle and Sheep until my said Children shall severally  Come-of-Age, But it is to be fully understood that my Wife shall be fully at liberty to sell any of the said Cattle or Sheep Hereby bequeathed by me to the said Robert Gillett, Charlotte Gillett, Thomas Gillett and John Gillett or any of there increase for the  brining them up and Support and Maintenance until they shall Severally arrive of Age but my Wife shall be fully at liberty for make use of her share of Cattle or Sheep any time or in any manner she may think proper

   I further give and bequeath all the Bearing Mares and Horses I may be possessed of to be shared as follows- one part to my deare Wife-Charlotte Gillett-Thomas Gillett and John Gillett-Share and Share Equal-the said Mares and Horses with there increase are to remain in the Charge and possession of my Wife until my herin named Children shall arrive at Age  - And I further give and Bequeath to my deare Wife The Farm where we know live containing forty three Acres of Lands to her sole Life and Benefit-during her Life time - and at her decease I give and bequeath the said Farm containing the aforesaid forty three acres of Land with all the appartenances there to now belonging to Thomas Gillett and John Gillett as also forty acres more grant Lands joing the above and last described Land to them the said Thomas and John Gillett to them and there Heirs and assigns for Ever

  - I hereby give and bequeath to my two Grand Children- Matthew and Susannah Bowden my mare Kitty to become there Joint property and to be taken in Charge for them by William Bradshaw and kept by Him until the said Matthew and Susannah Bowden shall arrive at age  and all excepting the next fole is to be considered the property of the said Matthew and Susannah Bowden   I further give and bequeath to James Bradshaw and William Bradshaw Ten Acres of Land Each bounded by James Walsh's farm at the Back River New Norfolk- to them and there Heirs for Ever and I do Hereby at my decease give to my Wife Two Dwelling Houses, one Brick House and one Wether Boarded situated lying and being in Collins Street Hobart Town- during her Life and at her decease the said described Dwelling Houses to my Two Sons Thomas and John Gillett-To them and there Heirs for Ever- but the same Houses are to be held in Charge of my Wife for there Several benefits until they shall Each arrive at Age for the purpose of my Wife's Maintenance of them

-    I do hereby Lastly wish it to be understood that I have taken into my consideration to hereby revoke my gift of the Whether Boarded House as above described to my Wife-Thomas Gillett-and John Gillett to Have and to Hold the same for any time Longer than my Son Robert Gillett shall arrive at the Age of Twenty One Years- then It shall be Lawful for the said Robert Gillett to the go and take Possession of the same which I have this day given and bequeathed to my Son Robert Gillett His Heirs and assigns for Ever and the said Robert Gillett shall have with the said House the proportion of Land as does belong to it  - I do hereby wish it to be fully understood- the Cattle and Sheep which will at my decease be committed to my Wife's Trust and Charge for my Children

- I do hereby fully recall that part Entered herein- allowing my Wife to sell any of the original Cattle or Sheep or  Sold only the increase of the same from time to time as may be necessary-   and Lastly I hereby forbid and positive say that my Wife Elizabeth Gillett shall never after my decease marry or live or cohabit with any man whatever- If she shall be so do I hereby revoke all my bequeaths and Legacys given and bequeathed to my Wife in this Will and all her part and share herein named shall become the right and property of my Two Sons Thomas Gillett and John Gillett and for the full performance of this my last Will and Testament I do Hereby nominate and appoint my son William Bradshaw and my Wife Executor and Executrix, to this my will so do and perform with the Joint consent of All and Every part of this my  will as near as possible as herein directed by me-

In witness whereof to this my last Will I have Set my Hand and Seal- this Second day of October Eighteen Hundred and Thirty Two in the Presence of Us                  R Officer                 )  Witnesses                 Thomas Shone     )                 Charles Houran    )                                                                                                        Robert Jillet(t?)  

{Notes: 1.  Charles Houran's signature appears on the original but is cropped off some copies of the will.           

     2. R. Officer, subsequently held land in the vicinity of Lagoon of Islands and Woods Lake, in the same vicinity as Thomas Jillett's run(s). 

He later became  Sir Robert Officer and was a salmon fisheries commissioner.

His portrait is displayed at Salmon Ponds, Plenty, New Norfolk.        

3. Thomas Shones' daughter married Thomas Jillett and one of his sons married a Shone (George Jillett and Laura Lavinia Shone - first cousins). 

CODICIL TO THE WILL OF ROBERT JILLETT                                                                     New Norfolk Oct 23 1832                

     I Robert Jillett of New Norfolk, Settler, in addition to my last will and Testament, doth give and bequeath unto my Son Robert Jillett, four working bullocks, a plough and a foal from out of the mare called Kitty, and to have part of the dwelling house situate at New Norfolk, and the use of the Barn and a Cart, for the space of four years, the same at the  rest of the family after my decease  

   Signed) Robt Jillet(?) Witness    J Bowden       William Bradshaw (Son-in-law and son respectively)

Also sworn affidavits regarding the validity  of the Will, presented more than 11 years after the death of Robert Jillett:               

  (1) Thomas Shone dated 20JUN1844 (cites R. Officer, Thomas Shone and Edward Houran, as witnesses), as follows:  "In the Supreme Court of Van Diemen's Land                                   

In the will of Robert Jillett of the Back River  near New Norfolk in Van Diemen's Land         Farmer deceased-     

           Thomas Shone of the Back River aforesaid Farmer maketh oath and saith that he was present at the Back River aforesaid on the second day of October one thousand eight hundred and thirty two and did  see the above named Robert Jillett sign seal publish pronounce and declare the paper writing herewith annexed to be his last will and Testament and that the signature "Robert Jillett" subscribed thereto is the proper signature and in the handwriting of the said Robert Jillett And this Deponent further saith that the signatures R Officer Thomas Shone and Edward Houran set and subscribed to the said paper Writing as the attesting witnesses to the due execution thereof are respectively the signatures and in the hand writing of the said R Officer Edward Houran and this Deponent And this Deponent further saith that the said R Officer Edward Houran and this Deponent subscribed there several and respective signatures to the same in the presence of the said Robert Jillett at his request and in the presence of each other

And lastly this Deponent further saith that Elizabeth Jillett the wife of the Testator Robert Jillett named in the said Will as Executrix thereto departed this life on the ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty two.

   Sworn ant Hobart Town this   ) twentieth day of June 1844       )

 Thomas Shone                     Before me                  )"                   
(2) William Bradshaw states that Robert Jillett departed this life on the third day of November 1832.    Dated 20JUN1844.              

    (3) William Bradshaw undertakes that he will account for the estate of Robert Jillett within six months (by 21DEC1844) and states his belief that the amount involved did not exceed 500 pounds at the time of death             

   (4) William Bradshaw swears on oath that the papers deposited are the will with codicil of Robert Jillett, Land Stockkeeper and Farmer Deceased, and that the papers came into his possession from Elizabeth wife of the said Robert Jillett.   

  A mystery regarding the contents of the Will       Why did it take 12 years for the will to be make public?  Under the terms of the will the lands were never to be sold or mortgaged.  At the time of Robert's death Robert, Thomas and John were all under the age of 21, and the contents of their inheritance would have to be held in trust for them.  What was Elizabeth doing during those years? 

Three years after Robert Jillett snr died, the sheriff’s office places a notice in the paper advising they are selling 30 acres of his lands in New Norfolk. The owner has to be Robert Jillett jnr, as this matches the contents of the will.  

He then seems to sell the property to William Morgan Orr who holds it in trust for John Beamont.  Just who were these people?  Well John Beamont was the sheriff, and as for William Morgan Orr the following information sheds some light on his character.  Who was William Morgan Orr?   It would seem he was a scrupulous business man who lived in Hobart and seemed to spend his time gaining the goods and chattels of many people to whom he must have either lent money or been very friendly.

Orr, William Morgan ( - 1843) Birth: Death:            <>
ORR, WILLIAM MORGAN (d.1843), merchant and landowner, sailed from London in the
Cyprus and arrived at Hobart Town via Sydney and Launceston in August 1825. With recommendations from the Colonial Office and assets of more than £3000 in goods, he was granted 2000 acres (809 ha) in the Hamilton district. His main business, however, was commerce and he rapidly accumulated great wealth.

Although he was seriously disturbed by Lieutenant-Governor
(Sir) George Arthur <>'s administration and Press Licensing Act, he generally managed to keep out of colonial politics. As a merchant and shipping agent he had a store on the old wharf at Hobart. With small ships like the Richmond Packet and William IV he organized much sealing and bay whaling, and by 1831 he was shipping large quantities of whale-oil to London. By 1837 he had whaling stations at Recherche and Storm Bays and became prominent as an investor in large ships for the deep-sea fisheries.

In 1838 his 289-ton
Maria Orr was launched, the first full-rigged ship built in Hobart; the government presented a suit of sails and Orr's enterprise was applauded as a benefit to the colony. On 3 June 1835 at St David's Church of England he married Maria, the daughter of Michael Lackey of O'Brien's Bridge. They had a well-appointed home at Humphrey Rivulet near New Town.

Most of Orr's profits from trade and whaling were invested in land. His holdings increased by purchase and lease to some 80,000 acres (32,375 ha) in various parts of the island. When depression struck in 1841 he was one of the biggest and wealthiest merchants in Hobart. Caught with many bad debts, he had to solicit aid from friends to meet his commitments.

When he was riding home one afternoon his horse was frightened by a gang of boys and bolted. It stumbled outside the Waggon and Horses Inn; Orr had a violent fall and fractured his skull. He was unconscious for three days and died on 2 November 1843. His death spread a gloom over Hobart that was rarely equalled, for he was highly respected by all classes for his sincerity.

Although his probate was sworn at £26,000, his death financially embarrassed some of his friends, but by 1846 all his creditors were fully paid after part of his land was sold by the sheriff for £20,000. His home at New Town was sold for £2400.

Orr was survived by two children and by his widow, who married Charles D'A. Lempriere on 13 May 1847. His brother, Alexander, who arrived in Hobart in November 1828, also became a merchant of wealth and high character; in 1846 he was nominated briefly to a vacancy in the Legislative Council. At St John's Church of England, Launceston, on 7 May 1839 he married Harriet Byron. In December 1855 Alexander Orr sailed for England in the
Heather Bell with his wife and family

A3 Robert and Elizabeth Jillett - New Norfolk and Back River

Robert and Elizabeth Jillett were given land at Back River and together with their children, set about farming, and raising stock.

New Norfolk was settled in 1807, based on land grants provided by the Government in an effort to develop the area.  Back River just two miles from New Norfolk soon became part of that development.

Why Back River?  The best explanation is that it is situated at the back of the Derwent River, amongst rolling hills, in the shadow of Mt Dromedary and fertile river flats.  Nowadays the area is known as Magna.

Martin Cash

Bushrangers roamed the area and robbed many of the early settlers.  The bushranger Martin Cash  used a sandstone cave known as Martin Cash’s Cave, to stable his horses, and further up Mt Dromadery was their hideout.

Early settlers built their homes along the flats to the foothills and were ensured of plentiful water from the streams flowing from the Mountain.  This water supply allowed the settlement to prosper.

A stroll around the cemetery behind the Methodist Church, built of brick in 1831, reveals the names of many pioneering families. 

 These include Shone, Triffitt, Hay and Clelland families.  Early settlers include members
of the Bradshaw, Cockerill and Young families, all part of the story of the Jilletts.  

Many marriages between members of these families occurred.

The following article appeared in the newspapers of 1816, surely giving an insight into the difficult time that were faced by the settlers in the New Norfolk district of Back River.

Extract from “The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter” Saturday 20th February 1819 as written.

Police Office, 9th January, 1819
“Whereas two men at present unknown did about nine o’clock on the night of Wednesday the 3rd day of this present month, burgariously break and enter the dwelling house of Matthew Wood, a settler at the Back River in the District of New Norfolk; and did then and there kill and murder the said M. Wood and afterwards rob the house of the goods mentioned underneath, with which they made off:
And whereas the said two robbers and murderers are at present at large, there are so require all constables and other so use their utmost exertions to discover, apprehend and lodge in life custody the said two felons.

A list of the goods carried off by the murders:
4 white calico shirts, 4 check co???; a piece of grey woolen cloth trousers (the cloth made in Sydney) a white double breasted waistcoat, 5 calico women’s caps, 1 woman;s cotton gown with red spots, 1 petticoat of the same, 2 brown linen sheets that were issued from the King’s stores, a pair of cotton sheets, a new tin baking dish about 1 foot across and 5 or 6 inches deep, 1 Durchmade gun with braff bands around the flock and barrel, ½ lb gunpowder in a bottle, about 20 lb of moist sugar 2 ½ lb of tea, a promissory note of hand drawn by Thomas Murphy for 5 pounds, payable in June next, a store receipt for 25 pounds signed by Mr Commiffary Broughten, 2 new calico shifts, a back of fine white thread and a quantity of red and brown thread.”

By order of A.W.H. Humphrey, Esq.  W. English Clerk.

So life was very hard in Back River.  Matthew Wood came from Norfolk Island on the Estraminas with his wife Catherine Sponsford.  They were married in 1812.

She may have been the former wife of Zackariah Sponsford, who was a Third Fleet Convict, as research shows he had married a Catherine Lewis, but he arrived back from Norfolk Island without his wife.

The Norfolk Islanders

Settlers who were brought to Van Diemen’s Land from Norfolk Island played a major part in the expansion of the New Norfolk district.  The isolation of Norfolk Island, the difficulty of getting stores ashore, and the inability of the settlement to support itself became insuperable problems, and a complete
evacuation of the island was ordered in 1806.  And so, in November 1807, the Lady Nelson arrived,
carrying the first 34 of the Norfolk Islanders to settle in the district.

By October the following year 544 people had arrived, to the great consternation of Luit. Governor Collins, as the colony was in the grip of a famine.  To add to Collin’s problems all kinds of promises of assistance had been made to the Islanders, which Collins simply could not keep.

Many settlers, and even the soldiers, were reduced to clothing themselves in skins, and if it had not been for the vast numbers of kangaroo, duck and swan, they might well have starved.
New Norfolk Historical Centre.. New Norfolk

A Short History of New Norfolk

Reproduced from a booklet Compliments of the Derwent Valley Visitor Information Centre, Circle Street New Norfolk
Some facts and features are:

It has had three names - The Hills, New Norfolk, Elizabeth Town (after Governor Macquarie’s wife)

Governor Macquarie requested that it be re-named Elizabeth Town and be made the capital of Van Dieman’s Land.  The Colonial Secretary in London denied his requests.

When Norfolk Island was closed many of the Norfolk Islanders were resettled at The Hills and they subsequently asked that the settlement be named New Norfolk as a reminder of their previous home.

There was a settlement prior to the arrival of the Norfolk Islanders in 1805 - 1806.

The road from Hobart to New Norfolk was the first constructed in the colony.  It has been realigned in some sections.  Between Granton and New Norfolk there is a rock cairn as a memorial to the road contractor, Denis Mc Carty. 
McCarty insisted that part of the contract payment be in barrels of rum.  There was a dispute over the quality of the work and McCarty died in a drowning accident before it was settled.

Willow Court, a former barracks is the oldest building in an asylum institution in Australia, (closed 2000, and is being developed  into tourist facilities and businesses) 

Note Harry Jillett was a inmate, and died in 1942

The Bush Inn is claimed to be the oldest continually licensed hotel in Australia.  Dame Nellie Melba stayed there when on her farewell tour, she entertained the guests by singing “Scenes that are Brightest”.  The guests sat on the staircase leading to her private suite.

The Anglican Church of St Matthews in Bathurst Street is the oldest church in Tasmania, and has magnificent  stained glass windows.  It is open for inspection with no charge.  A particularly interesting window is in the  eastern end.  This is a memorial to Nancy Hope Shoebridge, who died at sea at the age of nine years, while on the way to England to visit her grandparents.  This was in 1890 and she was buried at sea.  Her parents  had the artist reproduce a picture of their child in the window.  She can be seen in the background of the  Nativity scene.

 The Close next to the church is also an historic building built in 1866.  Crafts,  many made by local residents, and souvenirs are available, at reasonable prices, at the Close, operated by volunteers, proceeds are used for  upkeep and  restoration of the church.

There are many historic and heritage buildings within the town and throughout the Derwent Valley.

The hop industry was established firstly at New Norfolk and then at Bushy Park.  An oast house (hop kiln) built at Bushy Park by one member of the Shoebridge family has biblical texts set in the external walls.
(Thomas Shone also had oast houses at his property Stanton)At Salmon Ponds a few kilometres from New Norfolk was the first trout fish hatchery in the southern hemisphere.  In a beautiful setting visitors can view the fish in ponds, read the history of the hatchery, visit the museum, have a picnic in the grounds or dine in the restaurant. 

No other country town in Tasmania can offer so many historical features and beauty as New Norfolk.

Two substantial homes built in the district were Stanton, a brick residence, and home of the Shone family for 130 years, and Denmark Hill, a brick and freestone buildings.  These two building still remain as historic landmarks of the pioneering times.

“Stanton” was built on land granted by Governor Macquarie to Thomas Shone shortly after he arrived in the colony in 1816.   It is constructed in red brick in a Georgian design, with a stone staircase of circular design, found only in two or three other homes in Tasmania.  The bricks were made by convicts on the site, using local clay.  A hand-press was used to form the bricks.  The two story house haw a vast cellar whose barred windows peep little above ground level.  At the back of the property was an old hop-kiln, built of stone with brick corners and window openings.

By 1843 Thomas had more than 300 acres under cultivation, and his sheep and herds of cattle grazed the river flats.

The first school was established in 1849, under difficult conditions, and in 1863 the Board of Education announced that the school would be closed due to insufficient attendance.  In 1884 Thomas Shone wrote to the Board of Education requesting a public school in the area.  He offered ¾ acre of land if the Board would erect a school.  The school and a master’s residence were erected and Miss Ada Wills was appointed teacher.  There were 20 boys and 11 girls enrolled.  Miss Wills was paid 31 pounds 3 shillings and 4 pence for the 160 ½ days of school remaining in that year.

By the 1870’s hop growing was introduced, and by 1874 thee were over 50 acres under cultivation.  The Shone’s had seven acres, E.A. Bradshaw had 3.5 acres, Mr. E. Cockerill had 5 acres and Mrs. C. Cockerill had 2.5 acres.

Hop growing was very hard work, involving the use of young saplings and rushes to tie the vines.  Everyone helped with this task.  A sickle was used to harvest the hops.

Disaster struck the industry when in 1916 there was a huge flood which swept into the valley, destroying the livelihood of the farmers.  Then in 1919 the area was struck with the pneumonic flu, known then as “the plague”.   So many people perished and tales of unselfish heroic acts amongst neighbours allowed  many stricken families to survive.    Back River today is a scene of pleasant pasture, surrounded by fruit orchards.