We are grateful to Katie Devine (whose husband is a descendant of Henry & Ann Webster) & to Geoff Nicolai (also a descendant of Henry & Ann) for providing information on Henry’s life in Australia.
Henry Webster was the third child of John Webster & Frances Bailey (nee Hoare) born October 30th, 1799 at Burnham.
Henry married Ann (Anna) Franklin on April 26th, 1827 at Radford Semele, Warwick. Ann was the daughter of Mary & John Franklin christened July 13th, 1802 at Radford Semele, Warwickshire.
In 1841 Henry & Ann were living at Leamington Priors, Warwick where Henry was a grocer. They had 2 children at home – John (8) & Charles (1). Daughter Laura (6) & son Henry B (4) were visiting Sarah & John Alexander at Mill St, Leamington Priors at the time of the census. What happened to daughters Jane & Mary is unknown.
Henry’s father John died in January 1850 &, along with his brothers & sisters, Henry received a substantial legacy - £300 in cash & a share in John’s estate.
By 1851 Henry had become a tea dealer & agent & Ann was a governess. They were living at 131 Warwick St, Leamington Priors with children Laura, also a governess, Henry B, a shopman & Charles. Son John was in Wales at the time of the census, working as an apprentice draper & grocer. He was living at Rhosmaen St, Llandilofawr, Carmarthenshire with draper & grocer John James & his family.
Henry & Ann
Photograph courtesy of Geoff Nicolai & Brenda Webster
Henry & Ann, their 3 sons & daughter Laura all sailed to Australia in 1852 & 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. Two of Henry’s half brothers, John Hearne & Thomas left for Australia in 1839 & had experienced life there for a number of years – perhaps an impetus for Henry’s emigration. Another factor which may have influenced the family to move was that gold was discovered in Australia in 1851. The resulting sudden growth in population may well have suggested business opportunities to Henry.
Son John worked as a draper in Melbourne. Sadly after only 18 months in Australia, John died from a fever, aged 22 years, on February 8th, 1854 at Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne & was buried in New Cemetery, Melbourne on February 10th, 1854. At this time father Henry was living at Adelaide Park, Enfield, Sydney.
Daughter Laura married John Abraham on April 12th, 1856 in Sydney. John was an immigrant from Taunton, Somerset. Tragically just one month after giving birth to a son, John Webster Abraham, Laura died, aged just 22 years.
Henry’s death was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of April 11th, 1859. Henry had died of consumption (TB) on April 9th, aged 59, at his residence, Pitt St, Sydney. It was noted that he was formerly from Leamington, Warks. He was buried on April 11th, 1859 at the Independent Cemetery, Sydney, which is now the site of Central Station! Graves had to be moved elsewhere to accommodate the station & the present burial site of Henry is unknown. His death certificate states that Henry was an accountant & that he & Ann had just 2 sons still alive but sadly 4 daughters & 3 sons had died.
Ann died in August 1864, aged 62, at the residence of Mrs Greenwell in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.
The children of Henry Webster & Ann Franklin were:
we.3.1 Jane Webster christened April 13th, 1828 at Brackley, Northants; buried March 31st, 1829 at Brackley
we.3.2 Mary Webster christened April 16th, 1829 at Brackley, Northants; buried April 19th, 1829 at Brackley
we.3.3 Henry Webster christened October 29th, 1830 at Brackley, Northants; buried April 19th, 1831at Brackley
we.3.4 John Webster christened May 19th, 1832 at Brackley, Northants; died February 8th, 1854 at Collingwoood, Melbourne, Australia
we.3.5 Laura Webster christened November 28th, 1834 at Brackley, Northants; died May 24th, 1857 at Surry Hills, Australia
we.3.6 Henry Bayley Webster christened February 15th, 1837 at Brackley, Northants; died June 16th, 1918 at Mackay, Australia
we.3.7 James Webster born March 17th, 1838 at Brackley, Northants; died March 1838 at Brackley
we.3.8 Charles Webster born 1841 at Leamington Priors, Warwick; died March 30th, 1895 at Mackay, Australia