Saturday, August 11, 2018

B13 Branches The Shone Branch from Thomas Jillett/Mary Ann Shone



The Shone Branch



Very often when stories of our convict forebears are related, they reflect a hard life, in a rough country, with little hope for the future.

 Certainly not many of their descendants can boast that they have stayed in their 3rd Great Grandparents home, let alone slept in their bedroom!

A visit to the beautiful property "Stanton" in New Norfolk, is a step back in time.  A home with lots of memories, and a reminder of how life was 200 years ago.

It was the home of Thomas Shone, from Shropshire in UK,  who managed to become a very successful farmer on lands he was granted in Tasmania.

He married Susannah Westlake, and they had two children.  

We stayed in the B&B, and enjoyed the experience immensely, their grandson John Herron had difficulty in fitting through the small doorways!  A reminder of the days when people were not so tall.

There are of course lots of questions in telling this story.  How did a convict from Shropshire afford to build a substantial home.  Sure it has been modernised over time, to present as it does now.

In 1817 when Thomas left Sydney to take up the lands, there was  no such thing as money, a currency as we know it today.  Rather, it was a system of "barter" from the Commandant's stores. 

But even more interesting about Thomas's story is the Family reunion that occurred in Tasmania between 1817 and 1850.

No fewer than 5 of his immediate family were convicts.  Generally their crime was stealing livestock.
His brother was pardoned, and then in 1841 found himself back in prison, at Port Arthur, for stealing cattle.
Seems that old habits were hard to break. 



Thomas Shone   His Life in Shropshire


The Shone Family history begins in Whitchurch, a Market town in North Shropshire.

On 10th December 1752, William Shone and Mary Grindley were married.  Mary was born in 1727.

William Shone was born around 1726.  In all likelihood his father was also a William Shone, given the naming patterns of the children.








Whitchurch[1] is the only town in Shropshire on an original Roman site. A selection of Roman burial vases are on display at the Civic Centre, excavated during refurbishments at 33 High Street in the early 1980’s, leading us to believe that this site was the Roman burial site below the fort at the top of the High Street. Many more artifacts have been unearthed in the aptly named Roman Way, now a housing estate beyond the top of High Street. The Roman fort of Mediolanum (‘town in mid-plain’) was a day’s march between Chester (Deva) and Wroxeter (Viroconium).


The Saxons called their village Westune (‘west farmstead’). The surrounding hamlets became townships and Dodtune (‘the settlement of Dodda’s people’) is now fully integrated into Whitchurch as Dodington. The first church was built on the hill in AD912. After the Norman Conquest a motte and bailey castle and a new white Grinshill stone church were built. Westune became Album Monasterium (‘White Church’). In 1377 the Whitchurch estates passed to the Talbot family. The town was granted market status in the 14th Century. The replacement third church collapsed in July 1711 and the present Queen Anne parish church of St Alkmund was immediately constructed to take its place. It was consecrated in 1713.

In the 18th Century many of the earlier timber-framed buildings were refaced in the more fashionable brick. New elegant Georgian houses were built at the southern end of the High Street and in Dodington.

As dairy farming became more profitable Whitchurch developed as a centre for Cheshire cheese production. Cheese fairs were held on every third Wednesday when farm cheeses were brought into town for sale. Cheese and other goods could be easily transported to wider markets when the Whitchurch Arm of Thomas Telford’s Llangollen Canal was opened in 1811. The railway station was opened in 1858 on the first railway line in North Shropshire, running from Crewe to Shrewsbury.

Whitchurch is located 14 miles from the town of Stanton Upon Hine Heath were Thomas Shone was born.  The area is close to the Welsh border. 

Mary Grindley's family may have originated in the Grindley Brook area
Grindley Brook Locks, bottom pond. The Shropshire Union Canal descends to the Cheshire Plain through a staircase and a succession of locks separated by lock ponds which help to conserve water



[1] http://whitchurch.info/history-of-whitchurch/



William Shone and Mary Grindley had at least three children"

Ann Shone                   b 1756
William Shone              b 1757
Thomas Shone              b 1760 - 1837


Thomas Shone married Hannah Massie (Massey)
Their children were
1.      William Shone                          1785  - 11 June 1862 Campbell Town Tasmania
2.      Thomas Shone                          1789  -  10 June 1862  Magra Tasmania
3.      Hannah Shone                          1791 -               1793
4.      Elizabeth Shone                                    1796  -              1806    
5.      Robert Shone                            1797                 1831 Tasmania
6.      Samuel Shone                          1798                 after 1830 Tasmania

Who was Hannah Massey?    She was the sister of John Massey. 


There are literally hundreds of entries for Shone and Massey family in the Salop and surrounding areas of Shropshire .  Amongst the various Shone family members a great many were convicted.
Times must have been difficult.


In 1810, at the Salop Assizes, Hannah Shone was charged with having a forged bank note in her possession.  Her sentence was 14 years transportation.  There is no record of a person of the name of Hannah Shone being transported.

Thomas Shone was also charged with having a forged bank note in his possession.  His sentence was 14 years transportation.  The assumption is that they are mother and son.  Thomas would have been 21 years of age.


They were not the only two of the family to be convicted.


William Shone born 1785 was convicted in the Assizes of 1817 and transported
Robert Shone born 1795 was convicted in the Assizes of 1830 and transported
Samuel Shone born 1798 was convicted in the Assizes of 1823 and transported.

In the Cheshire Assizes of 1826,  another William and a Richard Shone were convicted of cattle stealing and sentenced to death


The Shone story commences with William Shone who married Mary Grindley on 10th December 1752, at Whitchurch, Salop, England.  They had three children Thomas Shone born 7th January 1760 at Whitchurch, Ann Shone who was Baptised 30th December 1756 and William Shone who was baptised 13 March 1757.


Their son, Thomas Shone who was baptised on 7th January, 1760 married in 1784, Hannah Massey.


They had 5 children.  William, Thomas, Hannah, Elizabeth and Robert.

Of the 5 children, all the sons were tried and transported to Australia

Hannah Shone was baptised on 22nd August 1791 at Stanton-upon-Hine Heath, and she died 23rd May 1793 at Stanton-upon-Hine Heath. 

 She is buried in the Church of England Church and her headstone is still visible

Elizabeth Shone was baptised on 11th September 1794 at Stanton-upon-Hine, Heath, Shropshire
Today the Village of Stanton-upon-Hine Heath is a quite rural place.


William Shone   born  1785


William was baptised on 26th July 1785 at Stanton-upon-Hine Heath.  He was a labourer and was transported to Tasmania aboard the Woodford in 1826. 

William Shone was tried in summer Assizes in Shropshire of 1817  


He was convicted of Horse stealing and was placed on the Leviathan, a prison hulk. 


William arrived in Hobart Town by the ship Woodford in 3 April 1826 .

William was 5ft 10 inches in height, had dark brown hair, hazel eyes and was 40 years of age, and was by trade a farmer’s labourer, butcher and shepherd.  He had a wife and child at his native place Stanton, Cheshire

 In October 1827 Thomas Shone applied to have his brother assigned to him.  This was not allowed because two of Thomas’s assigned men had just been sentenced to the chain gang for harbouring a runaway convict (CSO 1/208/4935). 

In May 1828, H.R. Oaks of ‘Rodlands’ wrote to W.H. Hamilton, Police Magistrate at New Norfolk recommending that William be made a Special Constable.  Lieutenant-Governor Arthur objected saying”…that I find the convict he recommends is a “second transport” and ought to have been sent to Macquarie Harbour on his arrival and I am at a loss to know how he escaped a fate which he so justly merited.  But at all events, had his character been unobjectionable, the measure is deemed unadvisable by the Police of appointing any “Special Constables”

During his time, he was arrested for drunk and disorderly, for stealing a bullock the property of Samuel Guy, sentenced to Port Arthur for 3 years, by 1842 he is again arrested for being drunk when on duty.

In 1832 and 1833  he was an assistant to Mr O'Connor according to the Australian Convict Musters
By 1835 he had his Ticket of Leave  


He had formerly been pardoned after serving four years and five months of a fourteen year sentence for horse stealing. 

Of interest, Robert Jillett's son in law was defending him at the Supreme Court on the charge of stealing a calf.  For that he was sent to Port Arthur.

William’s subsequent career was not good and on 1st June 1837, he was again sentenced to transportation for life, this time for cattle stealing.  At that time he was holding a Ticket of Leave and leasing a farm at Back River, New Norfolk, from his brother Thomas. 

Upon his conviction the Crown took possession of his effects, but his brother Thomas claimed that William’s farm had in fact been largely stocked by him and that at the time of the trial he was owed £95.  The matter was eventually referred to the Attorney-General who stated that Thomas had no title to the property. (CSO/5/59/1343).


In 1847 he received a pardon   and in 1848 was living on Thomas Shone's property 



Robert Shone  b  1797



Robert Shone was baptised 13 August 1797, Stanton-upon-Hine Heath, Shropshire, England.
Robert married Sarah Cliff (baptised 19th September 1798 Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, opn 24th July 1823 at Whitchurch, Shropshire, England.  Sarah died around 1827, probably in childbirth.

They had two children,  Thomas Shone born 1824 and John Shone born 1827.

Sarah Cliff came from a family that had lived in Whitchurch area for many generations.  Her parents were Thomas Cliff and Martha Dickens, who were married on 31st October 1775.

Their son, Thomas was baptised on 27th June 1824 at Tilstock, Shropshire, England and he died 25th October 1890 in Nelson, New Zealand.  

Thomas married Sarah Ann Leech who was baptised 15th March 1829 in Manchester, she died 15th February, 1891 in Nelson, New Zealand. 

Robert Shone was a ploughman and a butcher by trade in the village of Tilstock, near Whitchurch, in the county of Shropshire, England.  On 19th March 1830, Robert was convicted of cattle stealing, (at the Salop assizes in Shrewsbury) and was sentenced to be transported for life to Van Diemen’s Land.  



He was sent on board the ship “Clyde’ which sailed from Portsmouth on the 20th August 1830.  110 days later the ship was at anchor in Hobart Town.  On the 14th January 1831 Robert died in the Colonial Hospital in Hobart.


Robert Shone  1797 m Sarah Cliff    His Son Thomas Shone


Their son Thomas eventually settled in New Zealand, and was a cabinetmaker by trade.  His wife, Sarah Ann Leech, was the daughter of Jonathon and Elizabeth Leech.  Jonathon Leech was a Wheelwright by trade.



Records indicate that Thomas and Sarah had two children in England.  Sarah, born 19th September 1850, at Hulme, Manchester, Lancashire, and who died on 11th March 1852. Her twin John also died on 17th March 1852.  Thomas Shone and his wife Sarah, left England in 1855 to settle in Melbourne, Victoria.

It was in that city that Thomas Henry and Alfred were born.  On 7th September, 1861, Thomas set sail from Melbourne on the ship ‘Hydra’.  The ship arrived into Port Chalmers on the 24th September.  A few months later, Sarah and the two children, Thomas Henry and Alfred, also departed from Melbourne bound for Otago..  They travelled on the ship ‘Commodore Perry’ arriving at Port Chalmers on 18th January 1862.  Later in 1862 the family were resident in Nelson, New Zealand, where their daughter, Eliza Emily was borne - the very first New Zealand born Shone!

Thomas, meanwhile had set up in business as a cabinetmaker by late 1862.  As was often the case in those times, this line of work encompassed Undertaking as well.  The funeral side of his business was to predominate in later years, especially once the business had been handed on to his sons - Alfred in particular.


Their children

Thomas Henry Shone was born 2nd July 1857 in Melbourne, and he died 6th August 1923 in Richmond, New Zealand.  Thomas married Elizabeth Stanton who was born 26th December 1856 in Motueka, New Zealand, on 12th October 1879 in Nelson New Zealand.  Elizabeth died 13th October 1910 in Nelson NZ

They had seven children. 

Maud Shone who was born 14th June 1880 in Nelson, and who died 31st May 1941 in Auckland.  She married Henry Joseph Murphy who was born 1884 in Napier, on 16th April 1909.  Henry died 16th May 1936 at Gisborne.  They had two children Nina and Pax.


Alfred Edward Shone was born 12th July 1881 in Nelson and died 7th July 1956 in Nelson.  He married Bridget Mary Hannagan who was born 25th October 1884 in Waitara, Taranaki, on 27th September 1905.  Bridget died 12 March 1981 in Nelson.  They had 10 children:  (Thomas) Cliff, Kathleen, Nora, (Edward) Brian, (Eva) Elizabeth, unnamed infant boy who died, Patrick, (Alfred) Phillip, James, Peter.


Patrick was born in 1915 in Nelson and he married Georgina Mary Elizabeth Brailey in 1940. 

Their son, John Christopher Shone has provided this valuable information.

Eva Emily Shone was born 14th January 1883, in Nelson, and she died 5th March 1936 in Auckland.  She married Thomas Charles Beaumont who was born 26th May 1890 in Wellington, on 22nd June 1920 in Gisborne.  Thomas died 23rd July 1974.  They had three children (Winifred) Joan, David and Olive.

Olive May Shone was born 24th February 1886 in Nelson, and died on 23rd August 1950 in Wellington.  She married Charles William White born 1877, on 9th March, 1905 in Nelson.  Charles died 16th July 1938 in Wellington.  They had three children, Alan, Kelvin, Hazel.

Thomas Leslie Shone was born 1st April 1889 in Nelson, and died 21st August 1929 in Gisborne.  He married Frances Bell Poppelwell born 18th April 1890 in Napier, on 29th January 1913 at Hastings.  They had 4 children, John, (Elizabeth) Marie, Margaret, (Thomas) Alan.  Frances died on 14th October 1961 at Pahiatha.

Ivy Sefton Shone was born 8th July 1890 in Nelson, and died 31st May 1951 in Nelson.  She married (Marmaduke) Alfred Pike born 20th June 1890 on 23rd February 1912 in Nelson.  They had two children, Betty and Nancy.


Harry Ashton Shone was born 15th October 1891 in Nelson, and died 14th June 1950 in Hamilton.  He married Josepha Marie (Dolly) Meekan born 8th March 1901 in Auckland, on 1st June 1920 at Otorohanga.  Josepha died 29th October 1974 in Hamilton.  They had 4 children, Marjorie, Leslie, Stanton, Neville.

b. Alfred Shone was born 6th June 1859 in Melbourne and died 3rd April 1949 in Nelson.  He married Phoebe Parkes who was born 18th December 1857 in Wakefield on 24th May, 1883 in Nelson.  Phoebe died 26th February 1937 in Nelson.

They had 4 children:

Lillian May Shone who was born 1st January 1886 at Nelson, and who died 29th August 1977 in Havelock North, NZ.  She married David Henry Hooker on 6th October 1910 in Wellington.

Florence Emiy Shone was born 27th November 1888 in Nelson, and died 28th October 1956 in Christchurch.  She married Robert Collingwood Cartner who was born 27th March 1885 in Durham England, on 19th January 1916 in Nelson.  Robert died 27th May 1960 in Christchurch in NZ.  They had two children, Murray and Shona.

John Alfred Shone was born on 29th June 1890 in Nelson, and he died 2nd December 1914 in Nelson.


Ethel Beatrice Shone was born 26th January 1893 in Nelson, and died 16th January 1977 in Nelson.  She married David James Hogg on 2nd July 1919.  He died 14th October 1972 in Nelson.  They had one child J.S.Peter.

Alfred Shone, who was a cabinetmaker by trade, later was to concentrate the business that his father, Thomas had established into the wellknown Undertaking firm A.Shone & Co.  During his long lifetime, Alfred was involved in the Foresters Lodge, lawn bowls, and as a young man in his late teens and early twenties, was a member of the local Naval Brigade.  It was as a member of this brigade, that he took part in the rescue of passengers from the wreck of the ship ‘Queen Bee’ off French Pass, north of Nelson, in 1877.  For this action, he and his naval companions were awarded gallantry service medals and given a heros welcome on return to Port Nelson.



It was due to the fact that Alfred’s only son, John, who died young, meant no heir to leave his business to, together with advanced age, that the business was sold out of the Shone family around 1927.  At one time Alfred did have one of his nephews in the business, Alfred Edward, but the nephew later moved into another line of work altogether.


c. Eliza Emily Shone was born 25th November 1862 in Nelson, and she died 16th November 1930 in Wellington.  She married John Richard Jones who was born around 1845 in Aberystwyth, Wales on 29th April 1885 in Nelson.  John died 19th August 1919 in Wellington.





History of Shone and Shirley funeral business: Started by Bridge St  cabinetmaker, upholsterer and undertaker Thomas Shone in 1862.

After his death in 1890, business taken over by his sons. Alfred Shone relocated business to Collingwood St about 1900.

Business sold in 1922 to John Bredbury and then to F S Campen in 1936. Shone & Co, as it was known, then bought out the Richmond based funeral operations of W E Wilkes Ltd. Ted Shirley acquired Shone & Co in 1970 and added his family name to the company.

Ted's sons Don, Graham, Ken and Ian operated Shone & Shirley Ltd as a family business until 2000 when the MacDonald family purchased the business.

In May 2005 the business was sold to Ian and Suzanne Bell and Craig and Tracey Hames of Christchurch.

August 31 2012, Shone & Shirley bought by former Nelson moteliers and garden centre owners, Bev and Gary Boucher.


John Shone

Their son John was born 7th February 1827 in Tilstock, Shropshire England and he died 13th November 1897 at Bronington Flintshire Wales.  He married Sarah Pover on 14th January 1858 in Bronington Flintshire, Wales.  Sarah died 30th October 1879 again in Bronington, Flintshire, Wales.

John Shone remained in England and was a farmer who farmed for many years at ‘Crab Mill’ farm in Bronington, a place only a few miles from Tilstock over the border into Flintshire Wales.

He and Sarah had a son John Shone born 29th October 1858 at Tilstock, Shropshire, England, died 9th February 1937 at Denbigh,  Denbighshire, Wales. 

He married Elizabeth Jane Large born 1857 in Broningon, Flintshire, Wales,  on 20th January 1881 at Ellesmere, Shropshire, England.  She died on 27th January 1936 in Bronington, Flintshire, Wales.  They had no children.

John Shone senior then married Sarah Woollam, born 17th December 1847 at Wuxhall, Shropshire, on 18th November 1880 in Ellesmere, Shropshire.  Sarah died on 20th November 1911, at Bronington, Flintshire Wales.  They had no children.



Samuel Shone  born 1798


In 1820, Samuel Shone was convicted of Larceny in the Lent Assizes and imprisoned for 15 months.

He was sent to the Prison Hulk, Retribution on 2nd September 1823.

Samuel Shone was charged at the Salop Assizes 16th July 1823 and sentenced for 7 years.
He arrived on Sir Charles Forbes

Conduct record . 1825-1829  Linc
Tasmania
Taken from Tasmanian records con/31/38 page234 entry 687


(30 Nov 1827).
  Convicted of Sheep stealing property of Jno Leake Esq-sentence cancelled.

(03 Sept 1828 )Absconded from his masters service-50 lashes and sentenced to work in Irons for rest of sentence.

(06 April 1829 )Absconds from the Oaklands chain gang on the 5th inst  apprehended by a William Shone at the Back river  Norfolk-to be examined before the police magistrates.13 April 1829 chain gang/after volunteering his services  from the chain gang to show the police constables where outlaw male and female convicts were concealed near Jacobs-Suger loaf. Absconded from the Constables and took to the Bush apprehended near to Norfolk. Sentenced to serve in irons on the chain gang for the duration of his transportation.

(06 Aug 1829.)

Chain gang/falsely accusing Hayman of having given information against his fellow prisoners with the intention of bringing upon Hayman the faked complaint of the Peters ? gang: Sentence 50-lashes.

(12 Aug 1829)

Chain gang/charged with breaking his Irons on the 11th inst with intent to escape from the chain gang at Oatlands: Sentence 50-lashes.

Also shown on records Samuel Shone age 27, convict taken ill at sea, sick or hurt, vomiting of grumous blood mixed with bile accompanied by palpitation and pain in the region of the heart, put on sick list 14 January 1825,discharged 21 Jan 1825.

In 1829, he had been apprehended


In 1842 he was living in George Town with a family in a house owned by John Wright



Thomas Shone


Thomas Shone lived in Shropshire in England.  He was tried aged 21, at the Lent hearings of 1810.  He was sentenced
to 14 years transportation.  He arrived in Australia in 1812 aboard the Guildford.  He arrived in Tasmania aboard the Kangaroo.

On 23rd December 1816, Thomas Shone arrived in the Derwent Valley, at what was to become the property Stanton.

Thomas was born 12th April 1789.  His parents were Thomas Shone B 7th January 1760, in Whitchurch, Salop.  He married Hannah about 1784.

They had the following children:

William   b  26 July 1785  
Thomas   b 12 Apr 1789             m  Sussanah Westlake.
Hannah   b  22 Aug 1791  d   25 May 1793
Elizabeth  b 11 Sept 1796 
Robert      b  10 Nov 1797      m  1823  in Whitchurch, Sarah Cliff.  
He was sentenced for cattle stealing and sent to Van Diemen's Land.  He died in Hobart in 1831.  They had one son Thomas b 1824
He married Sarah Ann Leech in Manchester.  They emigrated to New Zealand. 
This Thomas died in 1890, and Sarah in 1891


All were born at Stanton Upon Hine Heath, Salop, Shropshire.

Also convicted at the same time for having a forged note was Hannah Shone.  (His mother) She was also convicted and sentenced to transportation for 14 years.  However at this time there is no further records of her transportation.



When applying for an additional grant of land in August 1830, Thomas told the land board that he arrived at Sydney as a prisoner in 1812.  He remained there as an assigned servant to Mr Secretary Campbell for six years, and upon receiving his conditional pardon in 1817, came on the brig "Kangaroo" to Van Diemen's Land, were he was granted 80 acres of land by Governor Macquarie.

In 1821 he received an additional 80 acres from Macquarie, and in 1825, Lieutenant Governor Arthur allowed him a further 200 acres.  The first two grants which adjoined were at New Norfolk, while the last grant was situated in Ouse.

He stated that he had always resided at his New Norfolk farm.  In January 1825 fifty acres of this was under cultivation and he was preparing to fence the remainder.

At this time he was married and had a family of three children.  His stock consisted of about 100 head of cattle, 80 sheep and three horses.

He had erected in addition to some stock yards, his two story brick house forty three feet long by sixteen and a half feet wide.  He named it Stanton.

Because of the distance he sold the Ouse farm before 1830 to David Jamieson.  Before doing so he had made considerable improvements there including a log house of three rooms (where his brother in law resided as overseer for some time) and seventy acres of cleared land.  With the money made from this sale he purchased two small farms of thirty acres each which adjoined his land at New Norfolk.

In this application, Thomas claimed that he had produced a thousand bushels of wheat last season, and expected to increase this  by half in the next.  He added that he had three children of his own, and also had to maintain a child of his sister in law, who had been left a widow with six children.    (Probably Mary Westlake m John Boothman, he died 1829).

Because of his good character and industrious habits, the Board recommended that Thomas be given an additional grant of two hundred acres next to his present farm.  Gov. Arthur allowed this grant.  (CSO) 1/370/8428)

Thanks to Keith Reeves for this information

In the Living Room
“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.



 Stanton
 One of the town's oldest registered properties. This historic home began life in 1815 as a cellar for storage of hops and was later extended with a mud brick lower floor. The convict brick upper floor was added in 1835 which now proudly houses our colonial accommodation.

The original land grant was to John S Hampton and William Courtney who were overseers of the convict stores, two of our suites have been named in their hounour to acknowledge the part they played in the history of New Norfolk.
New Norfolk was founded to receive the convicts and free settlers who arrived on the Lady Nelson from the penal colony of Norfolk Island when the penal colony closed on the 29th of November 1807.
Thomas married Susannah Westlake on 27th November 1820. Thomas came from Sydney, having served four years of a sentence for passing a forged note in Shrewsbury,  England, where he worked in a solicitors  office.

With his pardon he was given a 60 acre land grant and three convicts, and with the government  trying to  settle  the areas outside of Hobart Town, Thomas was given a wooded tract of land  just outside of the new settlement of New Norfolk.

The area today, still is home to many of the descendants of the settlers who relocated from Norfolk Island.

The name  Stanton  was chosen by Thomas as an acknowledgement of his home village  of Stanton-upon-Hine, in the old county of Salop, England.    

He wasted no time in clearing land, erecting rough fencing for stock, finding a water supply (the area now known as Magra was originally called Back River, after the small river near Stanton) and erecting rough shelters.

Using a north/south alignment (as was the custom in England), a house site was chosen on gently sloping land above a spring creek, surrounded by hills, and facing towards the opening to this  hidden  valley.

The bricks were made by the convicts on the property, and the two-storey Georgian Stanton dates from the following year, 1817.

There is some evidence that the front of the house may have been built first, and then when more bricks and money became available,  the back sloping section was added.

The original kitchen was a separate building at the rear, and a variety of outbuildings were erected nearby, including an oast (hops) house, stables, shearing sheds and quarters, barns, and smaller homes for other family members and retainers.

A subsequent additional land grant of 60 acres, and Shone s success at raising sheep and cattle, and growing wheat, barley, hops, vegetables and soft fruits, meant that he was in a position to purchase further land totalling approximately 200 acres in the Back River area.

(He also owned farms at Ouse and further along the Derwent towards present day Bridgewater.)



 Thomas Shone's family owned Stanton until 1935, when the three brothers who conjointly owned the property, decided to sell up.

But … by the terms of their father s will, they were bound to  allow their mother and any unmarried sisters to have the use of the house until such time as they died, remarried or chose not to reside there.   By 1935, their mother had passed on, but two spinster sisters remained.

Their solution was to sell to a distant cousin, James Cockerill, but with very strict provisos regarding the division of the house - the Shone sisters had the use of the sitting and dining rooms downstairs, and the three bedrooms across the front of the house.

The Cockerill family lived in the three back bedrooms, and the two larger rooms downstairs, with all residents of the house having common use of the front hall and staircase.

Eventually (in their 90s!) one of the sisters passed away and the other moved into New Norfolk, and the Cockerills gained the use of the entire house.






Thomas Allen Shone and Eliza Cockerill had Eliza, Thomas Henry, Laura Lavinia, George Westlake, Alfred Edward,Walter Allen, Amelia Matilda, Amy Letitia Lilian Mary, Henric Stanton, Minna Estelle, Albert Charles.     George Jillett married his first cousin Laura Lavinia Shone.

George and Laura are the couple to the left hand side of the photo, then Eliza Shone, Susie, Thomas Alan, Minna, Amy in the doorway, Tom and his wife, Alfred, George and Henric Shone, in the front is Millie, Lily and Walter and the dog.   (From Ann Jillett's records)
Susannah had a daughter in 1815, named Amelia Westlake.  Susannah would have been 16 at the time of this birth.  Another of the mysteries of this family.







Around 1940, the 2 storey wooden verandahs were added to Stanton, and unfortunately paint was applied to the beautiful honey-coloured bricks.

We have restored the verandahs, but removing the paint has been put in the ‘too hard’ basket for now – convict bricks are notoriously brittle and the cure may be worse than the disease.

The Cockerills remained at Stanton until 1988, when the house and its remaining 16.5 acres were purchased by Ian & Bev Rumley from Bushy Park.

Much work was required to halt the building’s decline and the Rumleys were responsible for building the sympathetic outbuildings and single storey extension of today, and with their convict brick facings and period fittings forming a sort of courtyard, they mirror what was a common arrangement of buildings in working properties.

For Stanton was always that – not a grand manor house like Tynwald, no history of being a large and prosperous inn like Glen Derwent, no huge estate like Askrigg, Stanton was a family property, prosperous yes, but always full of life, love, children and music.

Being the owners of a property with such a long history is wonderful – we still pinch ourselves to believe that we live here.

But it is also a huge responsibility, not just to the past, but to the future.
We have met so many descendants of the Shone family, and are friends with the Cockerill/Burn families, that it is almost like having extra families.

Indeed when tracing the Shone family tree, it occasionally feels like mine! It has been an honour to open the house to the public for the first time in its history, and we derive much joy from watching guests’ faces when they realise that they are actually going to sleep in one of the oldest houses in Australia.

It still blows me away too.

Helen McDairmid.


She and Mark were the owners for about 10 years, and responsible for collating and gathering much of the history of the Shone family. 

Sadly she passed away, but her legacy lives on.  We certainly enjoyed our stay at Stanton with Mark as the host!
















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