Saturday, August 11, 2018

B7 Branches William Elwin William Bradshaw Lineage

This is another of the stories associated with the different
Branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family Tree

William Elwin and Family

We are all familiar with the saying "six degrees of separation".

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the world are six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.
It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929

But is it believable?

If you ever had any doubts, the facts in the story of another of the Branches of the Jillett/Bradshaw Family Tree might just make you change your mind.


The Elwin Branch began when William Bradshaw married Louisa Elwin, in 1854 at St. Davids.   Her father was noted as William Elwin of Elwin's Hotel in New Norfolk.

William was the son of Captain William Elwin of the West Norfolk Militia, and he married Sophia Gurney in July 1807 at St Dunstan's Canterbury.  William was born in 1808 and baptised at Chelmsford in Essex.

His siblings were

1.      Sophia Elwin                            1812     1901  m Disney Cathrow Disney/William Dilney                                                                                                             White
2.      Edward Elwin                           1813     1887  m  Harriot Docker
3.      Louisa Elwin                            1815
4.      Sarah Ann Elwin                      1816 - 1830
5.      Gurney Elwin                           1817 - 1896 
6.        Hatton Elwin                          1819 - 1887   m  Isabella Melhuish and Sarah Bennett
7.      John Gurney Elwin                   1821 - 1896   m  Brigit Guiron   died Victoria
8.      James Walter Elwin                  1824              m   Caroline Burt
9.      Alfred Elwin                             1825 - 1851   m   Elizabeth
10.   Elizabeth Ann Hatton Elwin     1825 - 1902   m   Robert Anderson.
Captain William Elwin was the son of William Elwin and Christian Reynolds.
William was the son of James Elwin and Susanna Jeken.  The family lived at Westcliff in Kent.

Within the family relationships, there is also a William Jekin Elwin, he was born 1812, married Elizabeth Hills, and went to New Zealand.   His parents are no doubt the sibling of Captain William Elwin, and going by a naming pattern he was the son of Thomas Elwin.  Thomas was a tea merchant. 

William  married Sarah Cobden in 1830 at St Dunstan's Canterbury and they had a daughter Louisa 1832.
Sophia was the daughter of John Halsted Cobden and Louisa Gurney  John was in the 18th Dragoon Guards.  They came from Addingborn Sussex.

Sophia and Louisa Gurney were sisters. They were the daughters of John Gurney and Sarah Nicholls.  William and Sarah were first cousins.

William and Sarah arrived in Tasmania in 1833 on board the "Warrior" It sailed with a detachment of the 21st Regiment and arrived July 1833.  There were no convicts on board.

William set up business in Hobart, firstly as Livery Stables, in 1834.  In 1836, he was insolvent. He had been living in Hobart now he was at Ashgrove, New Norfolk. By 1838 he was employed by Edward Abbott, (the Bacon/Bradshaw connection) and referencing cattle that had caused damages.

In 1839 he obtained the licence from Charles Day for the Black Snake Inn at Glenorchy.   Glenorchy is located in the undulating plains which form a narrow band between the River Derwent and the Mount Wellington range, from the southern New Town Rivulet to the northern Black Snake Rivulet.   William would not be the only member of the Jillett family to be involved with the Black Snake Inn

The owner of the Black Snake Inn was George Robinson.  He let it in mid 1830's.  Louisa Meredith drew a sketch of it in the mid 1840's.   (Louisa Meredith mother in law of Elizabeth Jillett)
In 1840, William Elwin was advertising the property for sale.


William, became another of those family members who faced the bankruptcy courts, however, William later became the licensee of "The Bush Inn" at New Norfolk and owned the Derwent Hotel later named Elwin's Hotel.

He was also involved in Racing at New Norfolk and a breeder of hounds, for hunting.

The Black Snake Inn

By 1830, the Inn was a popular stopover and important staging point on the routes to New Norfolk and Launceston. A ferry carried passengers across the Derwent River to Green Point. By 1833, the Inn was acquired by George Robinson. By August he had built a "new house' at Black Snake and advertised the lease for the old inn premises as a possible store. His new Inn was drawn by Louisa Meredith, probably in the mid 1840s and the structure depicted is almost certainly the building known as the Black Snake Inn today, showing the same form.

In 1835, when the Bridgewater Causeway was under construction, Robinson offered the Black Snake Inn for lease. He described the Inn as "that most desirable Establishment ... with all its lucrative advantages from the Coaches and Ferry. The Inn itself is a spacious Stone Building with every convenience, comprising 15 rooms, namely - 3 large parlors, 2 well-finished sitting rooms, 6 up-stair rooms, 4 of which are neatly finished. The kitchen contains a large oven and a bed-room with store-room attached.
The stables are large and commodious with coach-house, piggery, fowl-house; also a large garden well-stocked with fruit trees of the choicest kinds. The Inn has been newly stuccoed, and is pleasantly situated on a rise about 40 yards from the Derwent, with a carriage drive in front ... The Ferry crosses to Green Point and its closeness to the great undertaking at Bridgewater, now nearly complete, ensures it constant traffic. ... It is not more than 600 yards from the Bridgewater Causeway, and is rapidly increasing in business, the traffic between New Norfolk and Hobart Town constantly passing the door, which will be increased when the Bridge is opened by that from Launceston and all other parts of the country". The Causeway was completed in 1836 but it was used mainly for carts and pedestrians. The first bridge linking with the Causeway and completing the crossing was completed in 1849[1]

Glenorchy is located only 19 km north of Hobart, Bridgewater is located on the main north-south crossing of the Derwent River. As such it has been an important market town and is, today, a developing commuter suburb.

Originally known as Green Point it is likely that Bridgewater was named as a simple description of the causeway which was built across the shallow section of the river. Construction commenced in 1829. By any measure the Causeway was a remarkable achievement. 1.3 km long, it was built by a workforce of 200 convicts who had been condemned to secondary punishment. These convicts, using nothing but wheelbarrows, shovels and picks and sheer muscle power, shifted 2 million tonnes of soil, stones and clay. It is said that the punishment for not doing a full day's work was to be sentenced to solitary confinement in a cell which was only 2 m high and 50 cm square.

Upon completion of the causeway, a ferry or punt operated across the deep section of the river. The first bridge at this point across the Derwent was opened in 1849 and the town, which had been laid out on the southern side of the river, was moved (down to the last surveying detail) to the northern bank. It is still possible to see the original town plan near the Old Watch House. The settlement on the southern side of the river was originally known as South Bridgewater but is now known as Granton.
On 19th June 1840 William Elwin took over the licence of the Bush Inn at New Norfolk, and he assigned the licence of the Black Snake Inn.

Publicans' Licenses, New Norfolk.

AT a Meeting of Justices held at New Norfolk,  (by adjournment,) on Monday, the 1st day June instant, the following Transfers of Licenses to retail Wines and Spirits were approved of:
From John Dean to William Elwin, the Bush Inn, New Norfolk; from William Elwin to James Lester,  the Black Snake Inn, Bridgewater. - Dated this 9thday of June, 1840.

JOHN S. FOSTER, Deputy Clerk of the Peace.

Financial matters were not successful, and in 1841 he was again bankrupted.
But once again he recovered and in 1845 he was the owner of the Derwent Hotel on the banks of the Derwent.

A young lady had been murdered on his lands, and the court case was lengthy.  It is included in this story.

The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859) Wednesday 30 July 1845 p 4 Article

William Elwin, who keeps the " Derwent Hotel," on the banks of the river Derwent; on the 18th January last ... ; could not see the jetty. William Elwin-Keeps the "Derwent Hotel" at New Norfolk.

William was Clerk of the Course at the New Norfolk Race club, in 1850.
In October 1852, he still had the licence at the Derwent Hotel, on Hamilton Road.
Census of 1848

The property was originally a grant to a convict Cullin.

In 1824 Rev Knopwood was being sought to be chaplain at New Norfolk, he was to live at Cullen's cottage.

Cullen's cottage Knopwood wanted to be chaplain

With the support of the New Norfolk community, he agitated from early 1824 to become the Chaplain there, and he regularly conducted services. He stayed at the Government Cottage with Sorell and his family whilst awaiting the repair of Cullen’s cottage as a permanent home. His diary shows regular ministry both at New Norfolk and Hobart Gaol, and in May 1825, when Bedford was unable to
officiate at St. David’s after a fall from his horse, Knopwood stepped willingly into the breach.

The land was located on the Hamilton Road.

In 1854 William married Hannah Gatehouse who was born in Dorset in 1815.  She was the daughter of William Gatehouse and Hannah Bussey
Another family link - Gatehouse and Read.  Hannah's mother died on the journey from England in 1826

George Gatehouse

Childless, he brought a succession of relatives to the colony to share in his prosperity. The first to arrive, his brother Silas (d.1854) of Nonesuch, Sorell, and Grindstone Bay on the east coast, was said to be one of the largest landholders by 1821. A nephew, George Read, was appointed superintendent of government carpenters in 1819 and held this position until he died in 1822. Two other brothers, Clement and William, with their families, reached Hobart in the Hugh Crawford on 27 October 1826.

To both Gatehouse gave a bounty of £1000, and they took up land at Prosser Plains (Buckland), some of which still belongs to their descendants. George Gatehouse died at New Town on 13 November 1838, aged 60, and was buried in the imposing family vault in St John's churchyard. This tomb has been recently removed to the churchyard of St John the Baptist, Buckland. His widow Edith died on 6 May 1868, aged 91.

Hannah married Robert Henry MacMichael and had several children.  The youngest Mary Ann was just 2 years old when her father died in 1852.  Hannah then married William and they had a daughter who died aged one year.

Her daughter Mary Ann Gatehouse McMichael married Joseph William Pybus, in 1872  He was the uncle of Florence Pybus.  She died in 1879, perhaps in childbirth.  They had two sons who lived.  All the children were born in New Norfolk.

In 1854, his only daughter was married to William Bradshaw Junior.

1854 saw all the furniture and effects being sold, along with the livestock.
He also ran a coach service, which he sold.

In 1854 Mr Elwin was selling as he was leaving the Colony,

By 1856, he had hops growing, and also listed himself as a farmer. He was also appointed to the Electoral Roll as a Landlord.
In 1857, there was a burglary at his property, and in 1859 he was once again bankrupt.  

By 1860 he had the licence of the Kingston Hotel in Kingston from William Oakley.

From there Hunt's were organised, no doubt with his hounds.   By 1870 Hannah his wife was offering board and residence at Milton Vale

In 1872, all the possessions were being told, and in 1873, he was sending some of his hounds and deer to Adelaide.
In 1875, he sold his boat.  The Whitehouse brothers no doubt the same family who married into the Jillett/Bradshaw family
In 1867 he was transferring the Kensington Hotel at Browns River to Fisher and Lucas. 
In 1871, he sent some hounds to the Adelaide Turf Club.  It was reported he was the oldest breeder of hounds now alive in the Colony.  By 1872, he was being applauded for introducing new strains of oats to his property, with good results, and in 1873, once again Dr Moore impressed on the public how William Elwin had introduced fish manure as a crop improver.

1876 report of floods at New Norfolk and the damages caused to the Elwin, Shone and Bradshaw hop farms.

 In 1883 Hannah died.
In 1891, William died, of senile decay, with W.E. Bradshaw his grandson registering the death.

No doubt worthy Tasmanian Pioneer.

The Elwin Siblings

When researching a family, it is always interesting to discover some of the many aspects of their lives that they were involved with.

His brother Edwin Elwin became a solicitor in Dover, and married and had a family.

Among his sons was Arthur Elwin.  Arthur Elwin married Mary Jacob.  Arthur was Louisa's first cousin.

Arthur became a Missionary, and among his postings was to China.  A brave man, who took his wife with him.  They lived in China for quite some time, and to assist with the children Rev Arthur Elwin, brought a young lady from Dover.

That young lady was herself the daughter of a Cleric.

One wonders what would make a young girl travel to China in 1875?

She however was no stranger to the devotion and life of a missionary.

Perhaps she never expected to meet her future husband in such a remote outpost as it was in Haung Chow at the time.

But she did.  They married, and were expecting a baby.  Their son was born in 1882, and unfortunately she died shortly after.

Her husband returned from China, and lived in London, where his sister brought up his son.  Later he rejoined the Ministry and was sent to Palestine.  There he discovered some amazing archaeological structures.

His son by now a young 19 year old, handsome man, joined the British Army and as his father purchased his commission, he went to South Africa in the Boer War as a Lieutenant.

But not all stories have a happy ending.  He decided to steal over £2,500 of the soldiers pays and entitlements.  That didn't go down to well, and he was court martialled, and cashiered out of the army.

From there he boarded a ship, and came to Australia.  He was the son of an aristocrat, and he, so the story goes, decided to become a jackaroo in Western Queensland.

While there he met a young lady.  Of all things that lady was none other than Robert and Elizabeth's great grand-daughter.

What does all this have to do with Rev Arthur Elwin?  Well the governess who went to China, was his mother.  Her name was Ellen Dumerge Jennings, and her husband was Rev. James Henry Sedgwick.

He on the other hand, decided to live a life of deception.  He was, he insisted Claude Jennings Annesley.  That story remained as it was for over 100 years, the family none the wiser as to their real ancestry.

That was until his grand-daughter-in-law broke through a brick wall.  He was Harold Jennings Sedgwick.  He married Katie Isabelle Jillett, and he was the grandfather of the Herron children.


In the Cadbury Library at the Birmingham University, there is stored in numerous drawers and filing cupboards, thousands and thousands of loose leaf sheets of paper.  Letters, written way back in 1880, on rice paper from China.  In amongst those papers are many letters, reports and suchlike all written by Rev Arthur Elwin.

By absolute fluke, these letters two of thousands in one box, revealed why Ellen Jennings went to China.  Daughter of Rev Peter Jennings, himself a missionary. 

Nobody will ever know whether Katie Jillett ever knew the truth about her husband.  .

He had "form".  He did however leave a huge gap in the historical background of his descendants, by his actions.  It is not easy telling a family that they are "not who they think they are".



While he masqueraded as another person, one whose identity he stole, from a fellow soldier in the Boer War.  He did, enlist in World War I and he returned.

He perhaps did not fool everyone, as Edwin Elwin's legal practice were writing letters to him in 1915.  They had his address and they knew his new identity, the question remains though, what was in those letters that they wrote to him from Dover?

Shortly after receiving them, he vanished, and in 1928 went to New Zealand, and bigamously married twice more.  He died a lonely old man, and one who denied his family the truth of their existence.

Six degrees of separation?

There is more.

Clergy in China 1906

His wife's father
William Stephen Jacob (1813–1862) was an English astronomer, director of the Madras Observatory from 1848 to 1859. His early claim of 1855 to have detected an exoplanet, in orbit around 70 Ophiuchi, is now thought to have been mistaken.  After Jacob's arrival at Bombay in 1831, he spent some years with the Great trigonometrical survey in the North-West Provinces, and established a private observatory at Pune in 1842. Bad health meant he took sick leave at the Cape of Good Hope. He became assistant to Andrew Scott Waugh, but again fell ill. In 1843 he went back to England on furlough, married in 1844, and returned in 1845 to India, but left the Company's service on attaining the rank of captain in the Bombay engineers.

Jacob concentrated on science, and was appointed in December 1848 director of the Madras Observatory. In poor health, he was sent home on sick leave in 1854–5, and again in 1858–9. A transit-circle by William Simms arrived from England in March 1858, a month before he finally left the observatory, resigning on 13 October 1859.

For the solar eclipse of July 18, 1860, Jacob joined the official expedition to Spain aboard the steamer Himalaya.  His project of erecting a mountain observatory at Pune was funded by parliament in 1862. He engaged to work there for three years with a 9-inch equatorial, his own purchase from Noël Paymal Lerebours, and landed at Bombay on 8 August, but died on reaching Pune on 16 August 1862, aged 48. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1849.

When Elwin and Sarah took over the Derwent Hotel, they renamed it Elwin's Hotel.
Over time it has had some name changes but is a beautiful old home, lovingly restored, and now Heritage Listed.  For many years it was a hop growing farm. 

These old homes are unique, and for those owners who have invested huge amounts of money, love and care into a restoration, they are a credit to them.
Being able to visit them is a priviledge.

Lovely old stone wall, adjoining the old trees in the yard.  The art of replacing the stone wall is rather difficult.  The photo is almost a duplicate of one at Callington Mill.

Where is this beautiful home that William, Sarah and Lousia lived.   It is known as Glen Derwent!
Owned by Rob and Liz Virtue, and would you believe Rob's uncle and Aunt were clients of mine back in the days of my real estate career.


Glen Derwent Historical Links

From the Website
An Inn for Weary Travellers and Irish Revolutionaries

The property was sold to Judah Solomon in 1829 and a licence was obtained to trade as an Inn.  The first licensee was a former convict named Oscar Davis, who came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1815 as a convict sentenced to 14 years for forgery.  He named the Inn “The King of Prussia” after his birth place.  Oscar Davis retained the licence of the Inn until 1835.  It was licensed to H G Wallis in 1835 and Emanuel Benjamin in 1836.
In October 1844, William Elwin became licensee of what became known as Elwin’s Derwent Hotel and Elwin’s Hotel.

It was during the property’s life as “Elwin’s Hotel” that it became home, for two and a half years, to its most famous inhabitant – the Irish aristocrat and revolutionary, William Smith O’Brien, following his release from Port Arthur.

William Smith O’Brien
Smith O’Brien was the leader of the failed Irish uprising and rebellion in 1848. For his part in the rebellion, he was exiled to Van Diemen’s Land but being part of the educated aristocracy and a former member of the British Parliament, he was not treated as an ordinary convict, more as a political exile. In his book The  Great Shame, Thomas Keneally describes Smith O’Brien as “the Mandela of his age”.  Smith O’Brien spent some time at Maria Island, then Port Arthur for a few months, then came his time at Glen Derwent, where he rented a room (the current Green Room) with adjoining lounge for £6 per month.  Although still a convict and in exile, he was permitted by the authorities to roam the district.
In 1850 Robert Armstrong was having financial problems and sought to sell both “Elwin’s Hotel” and “Bingfield”.

A Century of the Downie Family

William and Mary Downie purchased Elwin’s Hotel in 1854, renamed it “Glen Derwent” to reflect their Scottish heritage, and the Downie family successfully farmed the land and lived in the house for the next 106 years.  To this day, descendants of the Downies continue to have pastoral interests in the Derwent Valley.

Glen Derwent and hop fields (with Valleyfield behind) from New Norfolk 1880. Portion of photograph at LINC.
During the Downie family’s time, Glen Derwent was an extensive hop farm, with the hop kiln being built in 1870.  Other evidence of the property’s hop growing past is in the large cast iron gate valves that can be seen in paddocks, and closer to the house near the mulberry tree next to the tennis court.  In the western paddock on the southern end, a slightly raised bank can be seen running between the valves.  This was to retain the water for the flood irrigation of the hop fields.  The open channel beside the tennis court carried water, pumped up from the river.  As the hop industry declined after the Second World War, The Downies gradually changed to dairy farming, and parts of the land were sold.  The property once extended over the highway and included land that is now the New Norfolk Golf Club.

“A VISIT TO NEW NORFOLK.” The Mercury  28 February 1870 describes Glen Derwent’s operations, including the construction of the Hop Kiln.


The property of W. Downie, Esq. About thirteen acres of ground in this estate are under hop-cultivation, the greater part of which is looking very healthy. Picking has been commenced amongst the young hops, and upwards of eighty persons are employed in the work. The ground is well irrigated from tho Derwent by tho employment of a powerful steam engine capable of pumping 700 gallons per minute. Considerable outlay has been entered into by Mr. Downie during tho past two years in bringing the property to what might almost be called a state of perfection. Upwards of 400 yards of cast iron pipes are laid down through the ground, and the water reticulates through them to nearly every part of tho estate. Just on the point of completion is also a large substantial stone kiln for the drying of hops. The kiln is constructed on the ordinary principle, and the furnace is built so as to secure the greatest economy of heat, and at the same time to avoid too rapid drying, a very essential point to be observed in the preparation of hops for the market. The kiln measures 24 foot square, and is capable of drying 650 bushels at a time, whilst the dimensions of the cooling room are 42 feet by 21 feet.”
In 1961 the property was sold to the Oakley family who ran the property as a dairy, with part of the house converted to flats, until the property was put up for sale in July 1989.


Malcolm and Barbara Lewena purchased the property in 1989 and immediately commenced restoration and conversion of Glen Derwent to once again provide accommodation.  Work on the Main House, Tank Cottage and Master’s Stable was completed in 1990.  The restoration was consistent with the colonial craftsmanship and methodology used in the construction of Glen Derwent. Their son Stuart recalled chipping in stripping back all of the red cedar doors, some of which were unfortunately repainted by later owners.

The Lewenas added to the already extensive landscaping around the house, including rose gardens around the circular drive and between the house and the road, and deepening of the natural “billabong” to create a more permanent ornamental pond.  Some compromise was required for modern practicalities, since the Regency period was not known for such luxuries as bathrooms with hot and cold running water. In total, 38 trades persons and sub-contracting firms were involved with 15,000 man hours spent “on site”.

Carol and Stan Durkin purchased the property in December 2002 and ran it as a successful bed and breakfast until they sold it in 2009.  Glen Derwent once again became a private residence but the owners were unable to keep up with the maintenance, and once again the buildings became run down and the garden overgrown with the loss of many of the rose bushes and some major trees. The speed and density with which assorted noxious plant can grow at Glen Derwent in only a few seasons are testimony to the fertility of the soil!

The Current Restoration

Rob and Liz Virtue purchased Glen Derwent in November 2016 and have begun to once again restore the house, outbuildings and grounds to their former glory. Along with more prosaic works, such as updating fire safety and hot water systems, restoration has included removing carpets and exposing the original, albeit somewhat paint-spattered, pit-sawn floorboards, held down by hand-forged iron nals.  Ongoing works include once again re-stripping and polishing the red cedar and Huon pine joinery and restoring rooms to their original colour schemes.

The initial works in the gardens  started with clearing the waist-high grass, hemlock and blackberry. This work has been akin to an archaeological dig exposing Incan ruins.  Hidden beneath the overgrowth were old sandstone steps and retaining walls, some dating back to the original convict construction, and later pathways, ponds and iris beds planted by the Lewenas and Durkins.
A decidedly non-Georgian and little-used swimming pool set in to one side of the front lawn has been removed and replaced by a parterre garden, more in keeping with Regency aesthetics. This has been planted with annuals and roses to complement the slowly recovering remnants of the formerly extensive rose gardens.

A Learning Process

We are always learning more about Glen Derwent and its history, so if you want to know something of its past or features, please ask. Conversely, if you notice some feature or have some knowledge of why things may be as they are, please tell us. We would love to know

Further Contemporary Research    Glen Derwent (then the Elwin's Hotel)

Irish rebel, William Smith O’Brien was subsequently assigned to the New Norfolk district where he took up residence at Elwin's Hotel on 20 November 1850, where he lived for two years. Apparently reconciled to his new status O'Brien then set about enjoying the company of the local aristocracy who appeared to reciprocate these feelings. Mitchell visited O'Brien several times and was introduced to O'Brien's friends.

An unauthorised visit to O'Brien here in December 1850 led to Terence Bellew MacManus's arrest and his subsequent charge on 18 December with misconduct for being absent from his assigned district on 3 December. He was subsequently sent to a convict chain gang on the Tasman Peninsula (December 18, 1850).

Glen Derwent timeline

c1808   James Bryan Cullen (former convict - First Fleet) granted 65 acres. Builds current stables      possibly as first residence. 
1815-1818 Cullen has current Georgian residence built. 
1821     Cullen dies  (Lease to Thomas Triffitt)
1824     Cottage being repaired awaiting for Rev Knopwood (who doesn't take the position)
1829     Property sold to Judah Solomon
1829     Oscar Davis licensee of King of Prussia 
1835     property advertised to let by Solomon (with Davis still licensee)
                                                            (Sale Solomon to Armstrong)
1837     advertised to let by Captain Robert Armstrong of neighbouring Bingfield (now Valleyfield)
                                                            (occupied by Armstrong)
1840     licensee Sarah Anson 
Oct 1844 licensee William Elwin
Jun 1851 Sarah Elwin dies
1853     for sale with Elwin as licensee, let to him at 100 pounds per annum until “September next”
1854     Louisa Elwin his daughter marries William Bradshaw Junior
1954     William Elwin marries Hannah MacMichael (nee Gatehouse)
1854     Elwin selling furniture and effects
1854     Sold to Downie   Used for growing hops.
1961     Sold to Oakley
1989                Sold to Lewena - major restoration 

In 1821, ELIZABETH CULLEN, the Widow of James Brian Cullen, late of New Norfolk, deceased, hereby gives Notice of her Intention to apply to the Supreme Court for Letters of Administration to the Estate and Effects of the said Intestate.  Geo. CARTWRIGHT, Solicitor, Davey-street

She then leased the lands to Thomas Triffitt, the uncle of Phoebe Triffitt, who married John Jillett.

Sarah Anson the licensee, in 1840 was the mother of Amelia Anson who was the third wife of Joseph Oakley, after Susannah Jillett died.

William Elwin was licensee of the Derwent Hotel later he changed the name to Elwin's Hotel.

Murder at Elwin's Hotel

In 1845, Mrs Hathaway, the American Consul's wife was involved in the horrible murder of her servant.
William Elwin and his wife Sarah were witnesses at the murder trial in 1845, another story revealing the difficult life our ancestors had.  More importantly, Louisa would have been living there as well, aged 13 years.
Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), Wednesday 30 July 1845, page 4
Before His Honor Mr. JUSTICE MONTAGU and the following Jury:—
H. S. Hurst, foreman.
U. B. Barfoot. D. Kelly. H. Mills.
W. Montgomery. J. Hudson.
B. Walford. H. Wilks.
T. Holmes.
A. Livingston. J. Stephenson. J. Lester.

Isaac Lockwood, Thomas Gomm, and William Taylor were this day arraigned. The indictment contained five counts, each charging the prisoners with the wilful murder  of Jane Saunders, at New Norfolk, on the 18th January last. The prisoners entered the dock in a brisk manner and severally pleaded Not Guilty in a firm tone of voice.
Lockwood then presented a petition praying that counsel might be assigned them, urging, also, their inability to plead their own cause, the serious situation in which they were placed, and that the boy Keo, who was to be brought against them, was not a Christian and would swear anything.
His Honor saw no reason in their case to cause him to depart from the usual custom, and appoint counsel to defend them at the expense of the crown.
The Attorney-General then addressed the jury, giving them a brief outline of the evidence be intended to adduce in support of the case. The boy Keo, he was happy to tell them, was a Christian. He explained the reason why the indictment contained so many counts, and also the nature of those counts, and concluded by bespeaking their patience, and close attention to the case. The learned gentleman then proceeded to call his witnesses.
Sarah Elwin—Is the wife of Mr. William Elwin, who keeps the " Derwent Hotel," on the banks of the river Derwent; on the 18th January last Mr. Hathaway and his family, with their servant, Jane Saunders, were stopping at the house of witness ; on that evening witness last saw   Jane Saunders alive ; it was in the evening as she was coming from the kitchen fire with an iron in her hand.
This was about a quarter past ten o'clock at night ; the housemaid, Eliza Benwell, was in the kitchen, also Isaac Lockwood ; there were two travellers on the premises at the time, but witness did not see them ; does not know where Gomm and Taylor were at this time ; Jane Saunders went through the pantry, which leads to the nursery ; did not see her again ; witness then went to her own sitting room ; about a quarter past eleven o'clock witness came down to the kitchen ; Eliza Benwell, Gomm, and Lockwood were in the kitchen ;
Witness said, " Do either of you men know where Jane is?" witness should say they both said "No." Did not know where Taylor was; he might have been in the kitchen. (Lockwood was waiter, Gomm cook, and Taylor was the hostler.)
Witness said, " the girl is not in the habit of leaving the place ; if she has gone out, you must know where she has gone to;" one or more of them said they did not know where she was; witness said, "Why don't you go and look for her?" The men then rose up and went out by the back door ; Jane Saunders had been four months at the house ; witness thought Gomm and Jane Saunders were familiar and attached to each other.
Cross-examined by Lockwood—On the night spoken of Lockwood had two trays to prepare for two suppers; cold suppers; Lockwood always answered the bell when called, but whilst witness was at supper, Lockwood was not required for forty minutes or half an hour.
Elisha Hathaway—Stated that he never gave Lockwood charge over the boy Keo, and described the premises ; behind the house was the garden, next to that was a paddock, and at the foot of the paddock was the river Derwent.
 [We shall also take the liberty of condensing the statements of Evans and Dolan.]
William Evans (a drover, who came to Mr. Elwin's on the 18th January, about five o'clock in the afternoon with some sheep stated, about ten minutes after the girl went into the pantry with the iron, Lockwood (whom the witness had seen go into the pantry shortly after the girl) came into the kitchen in a great bustle and said he wanted Gomm, and called "cook ;" Gomm was upstairs over the kitchen ; Lockwood went up and fetched Gomm down and they both went out together; Taylor was in the kitchen when Lockwood and Gomm went out ; they came back in about half an hour; witness thought Taylor was in the kitchen the most of the time that Lockwood and Gomm were out, barring the time Taylor went to give a horse ; Keo went out about five mintutes after Gomm and Lockwood went out ; the boy was out about five or ten minutes and came back before the two men did ; Taylor came in after the two men did, but by a different way ; after this Lockwood and the others came in ; witness saw Lockwood sit down and play cards with Keo ; Keo asked where Jane was ; did not hear Lockwood make any answer; before the girl came in for the hot iron Keo was in the kitchen, and Lockwood checked him for wanting to go out ; the boy Keo slept in the same room with witness and Dolan ; the window of the room looked towards the Derwent ; it was a moonlight night ; swears that Lockwood said that Mr. Hathaway had given the boy into his charge; about half-past five or six o'clock next morning saw the boy (Keo) peeping into the river in several places; when Taylor was called, understood Taylor to say that it was Mr. Barker's horse that was wanted.

Patrick Dolan was at the "Derwent Hotel" with Evans in January last ; witness and Evans went into the kitchen about five or ten minutes after 10 o'clock; about five or ten minutes after this Jane Saunders came in for a heater ;
Lockwood gave the girl the heater and she went out of the kitchen into the pantry ; Lockwood followed her immediately after; never saw the girl alive again ; when the girl went into the pantry thinks the cook was in the kitchen ; Lockwood returned from the pantry in about ten minutes, and then went up stairs where witness understood the prisoner Gomm was making beds ; Lockwood came down with Gomm and both went out ; the boy (Keo) was not in the kitchen whilst Gomm and Lockwood were out; they were out half an hour or twenty minutes; Taylor was not in the kitchen after Lockwood and Gomm were out; on coming back Lockwood played cards with Keo who came in about the same time ; Lockwood told witness that he had charge of the boy; after playing cards the boy wanted to go out, but Lockwood would not allow him ;
the boy asked where Jane was; Lockwood said, " our master will want you, you shall not go out;" the boy tried to go out a second time, when Lockwood again checked him ; cannot say where the boy slept ; he was in the bedroom when witness went to bed, and was talking to him ; thinks the boy left the room ; the men were strangers to him; he remarked no agitation in their behaviour ; did not hear the girl was lost until Sunday morning; on going to bed, after 11 o'clock, saw Lockwood, Gomm, and the woman Benwell, in the right hand bedroom, talking. In the stable next morning witness remarked to Taylor that he had seen him lying on the bed with his clothes on the night before; Taylor said that there had been a great bother after witness had gone to bed, in consequence of the absence of Jane Saunders; witness asked where she had gone to ; Taylor replied he did not know, but when she would be found it would be in the river; witness said "a girl like that would most likely run away with some young fellow, she had no disappointed love to make her do like that," understanding from the prisoner that the girl had made away with her-self. Witness said she might have run away with a young man at the house that night; Taylor said "no," he was sure she had not, stating that he had sent Mr. Barker away with his horse.
Edmond R. Wilson—Was at the "Derwent Hotel" on the 19th January last; witness went into the kitchen ; saw the three prisoners, Eliza Benwell, the gardener, and two strangers there at breakfast ; the cook, Gomm, gave witness some tea; the gardener asked if witness had "heard tell of the confusion that they had here ;" they or we, he said, had been up all night looking for the girl ; witness said, " Pooh, she has run away with someone." Lockwood said, " Not she, there was no one here last night but young Barker;" witness turned to Lockwood and said, " Do you mean to say that she has no correspondence with any one while carrying that child out ?" Lockwood said, " Nothing of the kind—she is at the bottom of the b_y river." Gomm was at this time standing by the fire, and might hear what Lockwood said. Taylor and Eliza were bitting on the other side of the table from witness.
Samuel Batherstock—On the 19th January was in a boat pulling up the river at New Norfolk after some ducks, and thought he saw something like a bundle or a woman's gown at the bottom of the river; witness went home to breakfast, and after a constable had told him what had happened he went with the constable and searched where he had seen the bundle, but the tide had come in and the river was muddy ; where he had seen the bundle was about fifteen or twenty yards from Mr. Elwin's jetty. The river was dragged, but they found nothing.

 On Monday witness saw something about the same place, and hooking it up with a boat-hook found it was the body of a female whom witness had known to have been Mr. Hathaway'a servant; took the body up to Mr. Elwin's house; there was a boat at Mr. Elwin's jetty, which had been there the day before ; the body was picked up about ten yards from the outer edge of the boat. The jetty was bare at low water.
John Cawthorn-A ropemaker, living at New Norfolk, was out eeling on the night of the 18th January, from seven till half-past eleven ; he was in a boat about eighty or a hundred yards above Mr. Elwin's jetty; it was a still night and not very light at the time ; heard a noise in the bushes in Elwin's paddock, and in five or ten minutes after heard a splash in the water, which witness thought was fish ; could not see the jetty.
William Elwin-  Keeps the "Derwent Hotel" at New Norfolk. On the 18th January Mr. Barber stopped at his house ; he left on horseback about half past 10 at night ; witness desired Taylor to get his horse; Taylor was in the kitchen, also Lockwood and Eliza Beawell. The girl was not at this time missed. An hour after Mr. Barker left, witness heard that the girl was missing. Does not remember seeing Keo after dark that evening. Last saw Lockwood about 2 o'clock in the morning. (The plan of Mr. Elwin'a house and premises was produced and explained by witness, who said it was a correct one.)
About half-past 11 met the prisoners coming from the river; met Taylor first at the garden gate, asked him where he had been ; he said to look for the girl ; witness asked why he went to the river? he said he did not know, but be went because the others did. Gomm and Lockwood than came up by the path from the river. These men were two minutes behind Taylor. It takes three minutes and a few seconds to go from the back door to the river. Witness said it was a curious thing they should go to the river, and sent them to look about the hay stacks and buildings. The boat was fast to the Jetty, with a rope about five or six yards long. Mr. Hathaway and witness then went down to the river; Taylor asked if he should come with them ; witness told him there was no occasion. There were some calves in the paddock that night.
The boy Keo was then called and appeared, accompanied by the interpreter, Mr. Howard. Keo is an intelligent looking, copper-coloured lad, with black hair and dark eyes, stands somewhere about four then on the island.
Keo was then sworn by the interpreter in the native language, and the interpreter being charged by the Court to be careful to render literally everything the boy said, the examination commenced.
Moi Tiki was big native name. He was servant to Mr.Hathaway in January last. Jane Saunders look care of Mr. Hathaway's child ; remembers her being missing, it was on a Saturday ; had seen her that night with an iron in the kitchen or room of the cook. There were in the kitchen three men. Eliza, Jane and himself. In the evening he saw the cook and Jane Saunders laughing. Jane then went up stairs, the waiter then went up after her; the waiter told the cook the girl had gone into the yard. The cook asked "whereabouts the girl was?' the waiter said she was in the garden. The next thing he saw was a woman named Eliza, talking to Jane Saunders in the garden ; he was standing up stairs by the window looking through ; he then went down stairs and went into the yard and saw the three men go out ; Jane went down to the gate ; the cook was down at the tree, and as the girl was walking by the fence after going through the gate, when opposite the tree, the cook (Gomm) came from be-hind the tree and took her by the arm and pulled her towards the tree; she was bracing herself up against the cook pulling her towards the tree ; the cook tried to kiss her, and she struggled to prevent it ; previous to this time she had allowed the cook to kiss her often, and had only laughed about it ;
After the kissing was over Lockwood and Taylor came down from behind the stable and lifted her up, laying hold of her under the armpits ; the cook took his black handkerchief and put it over her face Keo's attention was then drawn off by the woman Benwell, who was standing in the garden, and when he looked again at the girl, he saw her face, which was white, and about two inches of the black silk handkerchief hanging out of her mouth ; he then saw the cook put his hand over her nose and mouth ; the waiter had her by her left arm, and the cook by her right arm ; Eliza was in the garden looking on.
[Here the plan of the house, &c, was exhibited to Keo, who pointed out the relative positions and movements of himself, Eliza Benwell, Jane Saunders, and the prisoners.] The hostler (Taylor) was behind, supporting Jane up ; they dragged her along, with her toes on the ground, towards the river ; she had no motion in her; Keo then went and got up a tree ; when he got up he saw four persons in a boat in the river ; the girl was in the boat's stern sheets on the gunnel with the cook's arm round her; the waiter was in the fore part of the boat; the hostler being on a middle thawt ; Keo then saw the boat "wabbling" in the water, and he saw the boat coming back from the middle of the stream ; the boat came along-side the jetty, and the three men came back without the girl; Eliza Benwell had left the garden and was standing by the stable until the men were returning; Keo then went direct to the house ; the men came up and went round to the house in the same way; Keo saw nothing more.
They told him to be off to bed ; previously Eliza Benwell had seen him dodging about the stable and told him to be off to bed ; Keo was up the tree until they went into the house; then he came down from the tree, put on his shoes, and went into the kitchen ; he did not play cards that night himself, but he saw Gomm and Lockwood playing cards, but this was before the girl was dead;
did not speak to Gomm or Lockwood on coming home; the  cook was first at the tree to the girl ; the other men came up after the cook and girl were there; the handkerchief was all into her mouth, and swelled her cheeks out ; her head hung down to her shoulders as they carried her off, the whole distance ; before the handkerchief was put on her face she was crying but not screaming, as he could tell by her whining; when Keo came back to the kitchen Gomm asked him where he had been, and someone else spoke to him, but what it was he has forgot; the cook told him to mind what he was about-to be on the look-out; told the constable on Sunday (the next day); when the kissing was going on Jane Saunders was sitting on the ground ; the cook was sitting also ; when the other two men came the cook jumped up, but Jane sat still ; he could not tell how long she might be struggling-it might be an hour, or it might be half an hour-he had no idea of the minutes, and had learnt to distinguish the hour and half hour since the time of the murder ; as soon us she was lifted up Keo observed the handkerchief pushed into her mouth, and then she hung her head down ; she had neither bonnet nor cap on ; she did not stir whilst they were dragging her off to the river; Keo could see the figure of the girl in the boat, but could not distinguish her features ; he saw the cook's arm round her because it was darker than the girl's dress; the girl was moving until the hand-kerchief was pushed into her mouth.
By Lockwood-Keo did not leave the kitchen before the two travellers went to bed ; he went up stairs with them but did not go to sleep; when Lockwood told Gomm that the girl had gone into the garden, the travellers had gone to bed ; he did not play cards that night, or touch them the travellers were not tipsy ; did not remember being told by Lockwood not to go out. [Here he deposed to some skylarking between Lockwood, June Saunders, and Eliza Benwell, when the girl Jane came a third time for a hot iron.]

When Jane and Eliza went out Keo went up-stairs to the bedroom, and that was how he saw them in the garden ; did not see Gomm in the garden ; he saw him in the paddock ; he did not tell Mr. Hathaway that night because he never saw him ; in the morning he did not tell him because Gomm threatened him ; at that time he could speak a little English, but he could understand a great deal more; at the inquest Mr. Baker was interpreter; he could talk to him (Keo) pretty well, but be only rendered in English half what he (Keo) said; out of court Baker could talk very "straight" to him, but in doors he could only talk " crooked."
James Weston, surgeon.-On the 21st January attended an inquest at Mr. Elwin's on the dead body of a female ; made an external examination of the body, and found two small punctures in each upper eyelid, and several small wounds on the left side of the neck. The wounds on the eye were made by a pointed instrument, also those on the neck. The eye wounds might have been done with a fork or a penkuife. He discovered on the inside of the upper part of the right thigh marks of violence, as if a hand had been firmly pressed against it. There was a scratch on the left labia pudenda, as if done by a (finger) nail. Afterwards made a post mortem examination, and traced the eye wounds, but they did not go through the eyelid. The eye was it a natural state, contracted if any-thing.
There was a fullness and redness of the blood vessels round the neck, more or less all round, there was a trifling discoloration in front of the neck, but it was not so strong or extensive as it was in the back part. The blood-vessels communicating with the head were in a very full and turgid stale. The lungs were in a natural state. There was no water in the air vessels or in the stomach. He believed death proceeded from a rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain, at the back part of the head, between the pia mater and the inbalance of the brain; the pia mater was ruptured. Believed the girl was dead before she was put into the water. There were about two ounces of extravasated blood on the brain ; the other blood-vessels of the brain were in an apoplectic state. The rupture might have been caused by suffocation-by stopping up her mouth and nostrils in the manner described by the boy Keo, or it might have been caused by being strangled round the neck. The discoloration about the neck might have taken place after death ; he was of opinion that it had, and that the deceased had not met her death from drowning. He had omitted to mention that there was a bruise upon the inner side of the scalp, corresponding with the rupture of the brain, occasioned by a blow or fall ; the injury resulting from which bad, in his opinion, been the cause of her death, and that the rupture was not caused by suffocation. The girl was not pregnant, and he saw no evidence of violation on her person.
Dr. Bedford was then placed in the box-He had been in Court during the examination of all the witnesses; he had heard last witness say that two ounces of extravasaled blood were found on the brain of the deceased girl, but that might not cause immediate death, as a necessary consequence.
If the state of syncope was so profound when she was thrown into the water that the was not roused to breathe, no water would be found in her stomach, although she might have died from the effects of drowning, as the immersion would pretent the return of animation. From Dr. Weston's evidence the only appearance indicating the cause of death was the extravasated blood on the brain. It would take three minutes to suffocate a girl in the manner described, and then the proceeding; must be effectively executed.
Mr. Malcolm proved the correctness of the plan of Mr. Elwin's house, &c, and confirmed the story of Keo by stating the ability of the boy to witness the tragedy front the positions he said he had occupied.
At the request of the prisoners the evidence given by Keo at the inquest was now read.
Keo was then recalled, and examined in reference to his statement before the coroner. He said he could not remember all he had said at the inquest, part of it was correct; Baker did not speak straight, but told lies; he told Baker about the handkerchief, but Baker did not mention it ;
 and that he did not tell Baker that Jane went quickly down to the river, but that the men took her down in a hurry to the water side.
Upon being called upon for their defence, Lockwood put in a written statement of the manner in which he had been occupied on the evening the girl was missed, and stating that on the evening in question Eliza Benwell had called him out of the kitchen and told him that Jane had told her (Benwell) a secret, viz., that Jane said she was going to hell. Gomm and Taylor also put in written defences to a similar purpose, Taylor's story being fortified with the introduction of an episode about meeting some ducks on the path in the paddock when he was looking for the girl, and his arguing to himself at the time, from that circumstance, that the girl had not gone down that way.
At the request of Gomm, Eliza Benwell was called. After being sworn His Honor said, that if Keo was to be believed, she ought to occupy a place with the prisoners in the dock. Her being allowed to give evidence in the witness box was no pledge from the Court that she was not to be prosecuted ; she was not bound, therefore, to answer any question. But His Honor warned her, that if she answered but one question, she should answer all that might be put to her, whether they might tend to criminate herself or not, and that such would be used in evidence against her if she should be hereafter tried. The creature muttered something about " telling the truth as far as she knew," and the examination then proceeded.
Eliza Benwell- Remembers on the 18th January last Jane Saunders being missing; knew nothing about her death ; saw her in the paddock below the garden that evening. Gomm made the beds for the travellers; Gomm was out between nine and ten o'clock; he was most of the evening reading a book at the corner of the kitchen table. Witness was up stairs between ten and eleven o'clock that night.
Mrs. Elwin recalled and examined by His Honor When she sent the men to look for Jane she did not desire them to go to any particular place ; should say that Gomm had on that evening a black handkerchief. Previous to supper time Lockwood could not have been absent half an hour without being missed ; about eleven o'clock he brought in some slippers for Mr. Wells.
The case was closed about ten o'clock, and His Honor proceeded to address the jury. He said, that although the case resolved itself into small compass, resting after all upon the credibility of Keo's testimony, yet he felt it necessary to revert to the evidence from the commencement.
With reference to the counts in the indictment, His Honor said that the second and third were unsupported ; the fourth count was abandoned by the Attorney-General ; and it rested for their consideration, therefore, only to say whether the deceased met her death in the manner charged in the first count by suffocation, from stuffing a handkerchief into her mouth and holding her nose, or that she was drowned, as laid in the fifth count.
He was of opinion that there was abundant reason to conclude that the deceased died from suffocation, and that there was no use in straining conclusions in search of any other cause.
His Honor read over all his notes carefully, commenting on the evidence as be proceeded, stating, that if Keo was right, a great mistake existed as to the time that the girl was murdered, for that a great portion of the evidence went to fix the time to have been before the two travellers were in bed.
Mrs. Elwin had the best reason for forming an opinion, for she had a clock in the parlour. It was extremely suspicious on the part of the prisoners, that they should so soon have determined that the girl had drowned herself, and their early and repeated visits to the river.
When Mr. Elwin questioned them why they had been down to the river, why not have said at once that Mrs. Elwin had sent them if such had been the case. His Honor then read over the written documents put in by the prisoners in defence, commenting upon the absurdity of Lockwood's story of the girl's saying she was going to hell, and his concluding from that-that she had drowned herself; and the ingenious coincidence put forth by Taylor about the ducks.
The truth or untruth of Keo's story was for the jury to deter-mine. It was His Honor's duty, however, to offer any suggestions that might occur to his mind. He desired the jury to sift the story; to look at the manner of the boy's delivery, and then to say if he did so as if he were relating facia or concocting lies. If the latter, would they not think that in the-course of so long an examination they would have caught him tripping? His Honor saw no reason to discredit his testimony ; but he put the jury on their guard by saying, that if the lad was disposed to play false, it was evidently not want of intelligence that would prevent him.
They would also bear in mind the statement the boy had made at the inquest, and the explanation he had just given them of it. It was all guess work as to the motives which had led to the com-mission of the murder. The evidence was deficient of every particle of information on this head. The exactness with which the punctures in each eyelid had been inflicted evidenced a cool and deliberate hand. His Honor concluded by urging the jury to give the case their deepest consideration, and if any doubt should arise in the minds of any one of their number, to weigh it carefully among themselves, as upon their verdict in fallibly depended the lives of the three prisoners.
After an absence of about half an hour, the jury re-turned a verdict of Guilty against all the prisoners.
The usual question being asked, if they had anything to say why sentence should not be passed on them, Lock-wood said, in a deep tone of voice and agitation, " If he suffered for it, he would be a murdered man-he never went out until sent by his mistress."
Gomm and Taylor said they should die innocent.
Before sentencing the prisoners, His Honor expressed his conviction of the justice of the verdict, and urged them to disburden their minds by confession. They were then sentenced to be hanged and their bodies given over for dissection.
Thus ended a trial which, on account of the age and tender sex of the victim, has occupied a more than ordinary share of the public attention. We have only space left lo remark upon the singular providence which has brought to light a murder enveloped in mystery, by the accidental means of a demisavage, whose characteristic and unconquerable spirit of curiosity alone impelled him to be a witness of the tragedy.


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