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Charles Webster [we.3.8]

We are grateful to Katie Devine for providing information on Charles Webster’s life in Australia. Katie’s husband Stephen is 2x great grandson of Charles. Thanks also go to Geoff Nicolai, a descendant of Charles' brother Henry Bayley Webster.

Charles Webster was the eighth child of Henry Webster & Ann Franklin born 1841 at Leamington Priors, Warwickshire.

In 1841 Charles (Chas in census) was living at Leamington Priors, Warwick with his parents & older brother John.

In 1851 Charles was at home with his parents & family at 131 Warwick St, Leamington Priors.

Charles sailed to Australia in 1852 with his parents brothers, Henry & John, & sister Laura.  According to the Shipping Report they arrived on the barque "Blackfriar" in Port Jackson (Sydney) on 18th  September 1852 having left London on 5th June and Plymouth on 11th June. 

Charles was living in Port Denison (Bowen) in 1862/64 & here an association began with William Marsh, a businessman from London, who was trading under the name of Warry & Marsh in Bowen at that time. Charles kept a diary & in 1865 he recorded visiting his brother Henry at Mudgee, west of Sydney.

By 1869 Charles was running a branch of the Warry & Marsh store in Mackay, Queensland.  The store dispensed goods via bullock wagon as far as Clermont.  In 1873, Marsh sold the business to Warry and travelled to England. On his return to Australia in 1875, Marsh entered a partnership with Charles Webster, registering the firm as Marsh and Webster on 1st July 1875. Their store ‘The Corner’ occupied a prime position at the corner of Sydney and Victoria streets, trading until 1963 when it was sold to David Jones.

Charles married Julia Garcia on August 22nd, 1873 at Trinity Church, Mackay, Queensland, Australia.  Julia was born in 1856 in Queensland, the eldest daughter of Johanna (known as Annie) Reeves & Captain Emmanuel (known as Robert) Garcia, a master mariner.  Captain Garcia sailed schooners between Brisbane & Mackay & the surrounding islands & was tragically lost at sea with all his crew & passengers in 1873.  Julia’s mother emigrated to Australia from County Limerick, Ireland in 1853 (aged 24) & died in 1885.

Charles & Julia lived at a villa called ‘Eulamere’ which occupied several acres on which grew more than 100 mango trees, grown from imported seedlings that were sold in the store.  The estate also contained a tennis court, coach house & stable. 


Charles Webster (published in Heritage Walk of Mackay Cemetery)

Charles was a prominent citizen of Mackay, being a  member of the Pioneer Divisional Board, School of Arts, District Hospital Committee and president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was a Holy Trinity Churchwarden at the time of his death on March 30th, 1895, aged 53 years.  He is buried in the Mackay Cemetery, his funeral having taken place the next day.  It was reported in the Brisbane Courier of April 2nd, 1895 that his funeral was attended by some 500 people, reflecting his much respected position in the community.   The diversity of floral tributes was a testament to the regard & esteem in which he was held.    Charles’ headstone is shown on the cover of a brochure of a heritage walk of Mackay Cemetery, from which the above details of Charles’ life in Mackay were obtained.   Charles was buried alongside 2 of his children, Robert Lancelot & Anna Margherita, who died in infancy & were listed on the headstone.

Seven years after Charles death Julia remarried on 1st March 1902.  Julia, now known as Julie Webster, married William Richard Onslow Hill at Eulamere.  William Hill was the Police Magistrate at Mackay.

Julia died in 1921.

The children of Charles Webster & Julia Garcia were:

we.3.8.1  Charles Franklin Garcia Webster born July 24th, 1875 at Mackay, Australia; died July 16th, 1925 at 27 Hobson St, Wellington, NZ & buried at Karori Cemetery
we.3.8.2  Harry Athelston Webster born September 2nd, 1876 at Mackay, Australia; died 1955
we.3.8.3  Robert Lancelot Webster born July 31st, 1878 at Mackay; died January 29th, 1879 at Mackay, Australia
we.3.8.4  Anna Margherita Webster born August 3rd, 1880 at Mackay; died March 7th, 1882 at Mackay, Australia
we.3.8.5  Eric Seymour Webster born June 27th, 1882 at Mackay; died 1965
we.3.8.6  Charles Goodall Webster born May 16th, 1884; died March 21st, 1971 in New Zealand
we.3.8.7  Allan Newell Webster born May 29th, 1886 at Mackay; died April 1940 in Brisbane, Australia
we.3.8.8  Beatrice Mary Gladys Webster born January 1st,1888 at Mackay
we.3.8.9  Doris Margherita Webster born February 12th, 1891 at Mackay; died July 27th, 1964 in New Zealand
we.3.8.10  Madge Vivien Webster born December 23rd, 1895 at Mackay


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