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John Hearne Webster [we.7]

John Hearne Webster was the third known child of John Webster & Elizabeth Compton Hearne born December 12th, 1805 & christened February 2nd, 1806 at Burnham.

On the 29th September 1820 John was apprenticed to Charles Norton, citizen & fishmonger of London.  The term of his apprenticeship was 7 years & for this his father had to pay £105.  The Freedom of the City Admission Papers of London of March 10th, 1826 show that John’s apprenticeship was transferred to William Biddle, citizen & fishmonger of Holborne, London to serve the remainder of his apprenticeship.  On April 16th, 1829 he was made free by service.

John & his brother Thomas emigrated to Australia on the ‘Palmyria’ from Inveresk, Scotland, arriving at Port Phillip on November 24th, 1839. 

It seems that John did not spend long in Victoria as by December 9th, 1839 he was recorded as residing at Coramandel Harbour in the North Island of New Zealand.  This is evidenced by a copy of ‘Maori Deeds of Old Private Land Purchases in New Zealand from 1815-1840’ reproduced by the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre.  John is recorded as purchasing 150 acres of land called Kopu, Puarau & Huimanuka (near to the modern town of Thames) in south west Coramandel.  He paid the native maori chiefs of New Zealand with gifts to the value of £67.  The gifts comprised:  14 blankets, 12 spades, 6 iron pots, 6 casks of powder, 10 gown pieces, 50lbs of tobacco, 10 calico pieces, 8 axes, 60 pipes, thread & 24 shir….(illegible).   

On July 11th, 1840 a deed of assignment of the above piece of land was made by John to Peter Abercrombie.  Apparently John had bought the land on behalf of Peter Abercrombie who had been living in Sydney, Australia but who was now residing at Coramandel Harbour.  Abercrombie had advanced to John the ‘gifts’ used to pay for the land in 1839.  At this time John was now living at Orau Park, New South Wales, Australia.

John married Euphemia Kay Stewart in Australia in 1846. Euphemia was born March 10th, 1821 in Scotland & christened April 8th, 1821 at Inveresk with Musselburgh, Midlothian, the daughter of Alexander & Euphemia Kay Stewart. Euphemia had also travelled on the Palmyria arriving in Port Phillip at the same time as John.  She was listed on the assisted immigrant passenger list as an 18 year old single woman & her occupation was give as housemaid.  It was also recorded that she was a protestant & could read & write.

John and Euphemia owned the Dropmore run, Victoria, until 1849, before selling to Euphemia's future brother-in-law William James Ruffy. They moved to Green Hills, a property between Penhurst and Hawkesdale. Due to an injury following a fall from a horse, John was unable to do his own farm work and because of the gold rush, was unable to obtain hired farm workers. John sold up and he, Euphemia and four daughters returned to the U.K. in May 1854 on the Marlyborough. They had six children in England, their youngest being Robert Bakewell ." (Ref Esther Byrt)

Euphemia gave birth to a son, Thomas Buckland, who was christened May 18th, 1856 in Barming, Kent.  He died aged just 9 months and was buried on February 23rd, 1857 at Alphington, Devon.

At the time of the 1861 census they were living at The Lodge, Alphington, Devon & John was described as a fundholder. Living at home were Margaret A (13), Mary A (11), Euphemia (8), John S (6), Edith (3) & Maud (1). The family had a governess, a cook, a housemaid & a nursemaid.

By 1871 they had moved to Reading, Berks & were living at Prospect St. Under John’s occupation was the description ‘dividends’. Living at home were Marian (listed as Mary A above), Elizabeth (19), Euphemia, Edith Jesse (13), Maud, Arthur Hearne (9), Jessie A (7) & Robert Bakewell (5). They now had a cook, housemaid & a nurse.

John & family continued to live at Prospect St & their house was called ‘Yarra Yarra’ at the time of the 1881 census. Still at home were Edith, Maud, & Jessie. A cook & 2 housemaids were also listed.

John died on October 25th, 1882 aged 76 at Prospect St, Reading & was buried on October 28th at London Rd. Cemetery, Reading  John’s will was proved on November 22nd, 1882 by widow Euphemia, Huson Morris (husband of daughter Elizabeth) of The Nest, Hayes Common, Kent, stock jobber, & Charles Philbrick (husband of daughter Euphemia) of Gordon Lodge, Brunswick Hill, Reading, a tanner.  His effects were £21,523.10s.3d. John left widowed Euphemia his household furniture & effects & an annuity of £600.  To his grandson, Stewart Ernest Brock, he left £300 on the death of his wife, & the residue of his estate was to be divided between his 9 children in equal shares.

In the 1901 census widowed Euphemia, now 80, was living with her daughter Maud who had married Richard Pearson, a dentist born in India. Also living with them at Ruislip, Middx was Euphemia’s daughter Edith, who was unmarried.

In 1911 Euphemia was living with her daughter Edith Jesse who had married Richard Pearson, her brother-in-law just prior to the census.  Richard’s first wife, Maud, had died in 1904.  Richard was still a dental surgeon & they were living at Northside, Green Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex.  They had a cook & a housemaid.  It was noted on the census that Euphemia & John had had 11 children, only 7 of whom were still living.

Euphemia died on April 18th, 1916 aged 95!!  She died at Northside, Green Lane, Middlesex & probate was granted on June 1st, 1916 to daughter Edith Jessie Pearson.  Euphemia’s effects were £938.10s.

The children of John Hearne Webster & Euphemia Kay Stewart were:

we.7.1 Margaret Ainslie Webster born 1847 in Victoria, Australia; died November 16th, 1910 in Chelsea
we.7.2 Mary Anne Webster born April 18th 1849 in Victoria, Australia; died October 15th, 1874 at Barrackpore, Bengal, India
we.7.3 Elizabeth Webster born May 20th 1851 in Victoria, Australia; died December 17th, 1920 at Hillsome, Tetbury, Gloucester
we.7.4 Euphemia Webster born December 21st 1853 in Victoria, Australia; died Jan-March 1942 in Reading, Berks
we.7.5 John Stewart Webster born November 10th 1854 in Maidstone, Kent, died February 21st, 1943 at Cabrini Hospital, Victoria, Australia

we.7.6 Thomas Buckland Webster christened May 18th, 1856 at Barming, Kent; buried February 23rd, 1857 at Alphington, Devon
we.7.7 Edith Jesse Webster born January 3rd, 1858 at Alphington Lodge, Devon, died December 5th, 1917 at Kingsbridge, South Devon
we.7.8 Maud Webster born July-September 1859 at Alphington, Devon, died October 29th, 1904, at Garvagh, Northwood, Middlesex
we.7.9 Arthur Hearne Webster christened May 30th, 1861 at Alphington, Devon
we.7.10 Jessie Alice Webster christened June 30th, 1863 at St Mary, Reading, Berks, died June 26th, 1914 at 6 Paget Road, Ipswich
we.7.11 Robert Bakewell Webster christened September 6th, 1865 at St Mary, Reading, Berks, died 1957 in Colac, Victoria, Australia


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