CHARLES LONSDALE 1760-?
The Lonsdale branch of the family can be traced back to about 1760, to the birth of Charles Lonsdale, in Oakley, Hampshire, England. His mother's name is unknown, as is his father's first name, because it is impossible to decipher them in the old Church register. The spelling of the family name appears to be Lonsdell, this may be due to a spelling error on the part of the person entering the information, or the pronunciation of the name by the person giving the information at the time.
Nothing is known of the life and times of Charles, until he married Hannah Woodhouse in the Parish Church at Oakley, Hampshire on 21st September 1780. Hannah's parents and birthplace are unknown.
Charles and Hannah had eleven known children. The dates given below are Baptism dates taken from the Oakley Parish register.
1. Sarah, 17th February 1784.
2. Maria, 23rd October 1785.
3. Jane, 3rd June 1787.
4. Amelia Ann, 20th April 1788. Married James Sims at Deane, 14th April 1813.
5. Harriet, 25th December 1790.
6. Hetty, 26th July 1793.
7. Charles, 26th February 1795.
8. William, 26th February 1795. Married Ann Morris at Deane, 4th October 1830.
9. Mary, 20th November 1796. Married John Hunt at Deane, 26th March 1813.
10. Charlotte, 28th January 1798.
11. Thomas, 2nd June 1799.
WILLIAM LONSDALE 1795-1870
William Lonsdale was born in 1795, at Oakley, Hampshire, England. He was baptized at the parish Church in Oakley on 26th February 1795.
Not a lot is known of William's early life, but he was probably a farm labourer in his teen age years as there was not a lot of work for young men in the small villages of England at this time. He would have worked very long hours, daylight until dark and probably six days a week, but not on Sunday, as the Church was very strict about the observance of the Lord's Day.
Also as he was from such a large family he would have been expected to help out with the supply of food for the family table.
Although he would have worked hard long hours, William did find time to court Ann Morris, whom he married at Deane in Hampshire on 4th October 1830.
Ann was born in 1805, at Steventon, a small village about 2 miles from Oakley, where the Lonsdale family was living at this time. She was baptized at the Parish Church there on 3rd November 1805. Her parents were Richard Morris and Elizabeth nee Adams. William and Ann had 7 children.
1. Henry, born 1831,baptized 30th October 1831, Steventon, Hampshire.
2. Charlotte, born 1833, baptized 13th September 1833, Deane Hampshire.
3. William, born1833, not baptized, probably died at birth.
4. Ann, born 1835, baptised 23rd August 1835, Deane, Hampshire.
5. Evelina, born 1837, baptised 6th August 1837, Deane, Hampshire.
6. Leonora, born 1841, baptized 26th November 1843, Deane, Hampshire. Married George Barnaby at Basingstoke, Hampshire 29th April 1865, they had one known child, Leonora, born 1st July 1868 at Deane by Basingstoke, Hampshire.
7. Emma, born 1843, baptized 26th November 1843, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
William must have had some education, he must have been able to read and write, because by the time he was married, he had the job as the local postman. He was apparently good at his job as he later became the mail carrier for the distict, picking up the mail at Basingstoke and distributing it to the smaller villages around Deane and Steventon.
William died in the Union workhouse, Basingstoke on 17th May 1870. The cause of his death is given as Senile Decay, what we know today as Alzheimer's disease. His occupation on his death certificate is given as general labourer. It was not unusual for men to be still working at this age as there was no such thing as the old age pension in those days.
THE LONSDALE FAMILY IN AUSTRALIA
HENRY LONSDALE 1831- 1900
Henry Lonsdale was born in Steventon, a small village in Hampshire, England in 1831. The eldest of the seven children of William Lonsdale and Ann Morris. He was baptized at the Parish Church there on 30th October 1831.
Not much is known of Henry's early life. He would have attended the village school where he would have received a basic education, such as reading, writing and arithmetic.
After leaving school, Henry obtained an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker. It is not known with whom, but it was probably with the local cabinetmaker. It was not unusual in those days for the village cabinetmaker to also be the undertaker. This is probably where Henry would have also learned the skills of embalming along with the other things necessary for him to become a successful undertaker later in his life.
Sometime before 1854 Henry moved to London, probably because there would have been more money to be made from his trade there than in a small Hampshire village. He must have done reasonably well, as in 1854 he decided to emigrate to Australia, not as an assisted migrant, but paying his own fare as a cabin passenger. He embarked aboard the “Medina”, leaving London on 27th March 1854. He arrived in Melbourne in July 1854.
Henry would have had no trouble finding work with his trade qualification, as there was a shortage of skilled tradesmen in Melbourne at this time, caused by the fact that most of the able bodied men had gone to the gold fields of Bendigo, and Ballarat. It is not known for certain, but Henry probably set up his own cabinet making business in the City of Melbourne. He would have done quite well, as there was plenty of money about due to the gold rush and Melbourne was growing at a very fast rate.
For at least the first two years after his arrival in the Colony, Henry lived in Melbourne, at that time a large part of what is now the Central Business District was residential area. In 1856 he was living at 229 Lonsdale Street East, Melbourne; this address is thought to have been somewhere near where the Myer's Lonsdale Street store is situated today.
Henry married Martha Pater at the home of the Reverend Dr. Cairns in East Melbourne on the 17th of December 1856.
Martha was born on 28th October 1828, in Bethnal Green, London, England, the second child of William Henry Pater and Mary Ann nee Freeman.
Martha arrived in Melbourne in 1855, aboard the “Ocean Monarch”, along with three other young women who were destined to marry prominent men in Williamstown society.
Martha's ancestry can be traced back to the early 1700's in and around the Stepney and Shoreditch areas of London. Most members of the family being involved in the silk and dying trades.
Not long after their marriage Henry and Martha moved to Williamstown, where Henry once again set up his cabinet making business at 69 Ferguson Street. In 1857 Henry expanded his business to include undertaking and embalming.
At that time it was usual for undertakers to use a relay of coffin-bearers to carry the deceased to the cemetery, or by use of a four-wheeled pushcart, but soon prestige and decorum demanded a more dignified way. By 1862 Henry was using a specially constructed horse-drawn hearse and he soon graduated to the use of matched pairs, or even fours, to draw his elaborate hearses to the cemetery, with drivers and attendants in top hats suitably swathed in black crepe.
At first Henry ran the business under the name of the “Williamstown Funeral Establishment”, later he expanded this to the “ Williamstown, Footscray and Yarraville Funeral Establishment. He soon became the leading undertaker in the district. During the 1870's, he advertised in the local papers. This one in the “Williamstown Chronicle” in 1869 offering.
Children's Funerals Performed, including Coffin, Mourning Coach, Crepes, etc, from £1-2s-6d. Adult Funerals Performed at equally low prices.
Martha died of heart disease at Williamstown on 22nd November 1878. She was buried in the Williamstown cemetery on 24th November 1878.
Henry married for a second time on 3rd January 1882, when he took for his wife a widow, Helen Gahagan. Helen was born in Scotland about 1848, the daughter of John Mathewson and Margaret nee Mintiply. There were no children from this marriage.
In 1884 an outbreak of smallpox occurred in Melbourne. A sanatorium was set up near Williamstown. When a person died of smallpox at the Williamstown Sanatorium, none of the undertakers in Williamstown were interested in burying the bodies. Except Henry, who made and supplied the coffin free of charge, but refused to have anything to do with the body until it was sealed in the coffin, ready for burial.
When the sloop “Queenie” founded, during a race on Hobsons Bay, with the whole crew being drowned, Henry was approached to carry out the funeral. It was the biggest funeral ever held in Williamstown, with all the Melbourne and local newspapers covering the story. There is a monument in Ferguson Street Williamstown, commemorating the event and the loss of so many young lives.
The first cemetery in Williamstown was established on Point Gellibrand in 1842 as a burial ground for victims of an outbreak of fever aboard the “Manlius”
, which had anchored off the point. The victims of this plague were literally buried where they fell, just being pushed into a hastily dug grave.
Later the cemetery was enclosed by a stone wall, constructed using convict labour, as were most of the public works at that time.
This cemetery was abandoned in 1858 with the opening of the new one at Champion Road, North Williamstown. It was finally abolished in September 1899, to make way for new grain stores for the Victorian Railways.
Old Williamstown Cemetery
The contract for the exhumation and reinterment of the bodies at the new cemetery at Champion Road, North Williamstown was let by tender. Henry Lonsdale and Son won the tender and were kept busy for quite some time.
This was an extremely grim job. The workmen, wearing respirator masks and working with picks and shovels, trenched the whole of that part of the cemetery containing the graves. As they came across a body, the position was marked and a cheap pine coffin was placed beside the spot. The remains were then literally shovelled into the coffin with as much dignity and respect as was possible.
The remains were then transported to the new cemetery, were they were reinterred in a special section, this being enclosed by a railing and marked with the few headstones that survived.
Henry was becoming a wealthy man from his business. In 1890 he opened a second undertaking parlour at Davis Street, Newport. On 20th March 1893 Henry took on his son Thomas as a full partner. The firm from then on was known as Henry Lonsdale and Son, with Thomas running the Newport branch of the firm.
Henry retired from active participation in the business in 1898. In 1900, leaving the firm in the capable hands of Thomas, Henry went back to England to see his family.
Henry died at the home of his sister Leonora Barnaby, at Essex Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, on the 6th of June 1900. His body was returned to Australia, where he was buried in the Williamstown cemetery on the 15th of August 1900.
Henry was such a well-known and liked person in Williamstown, that a very large crowd of friends and people who had come to know him over the years attended his funeral. The Reverend Handel read the eulogy, referring to Henry as “Williamstown's premier undertaker”
Funeral of Henry Lonsdale with Thomas Lonsdale at the reigns
CHILDREN OF HENRY & MARTHA LONSDALE
Emma 1857- 1945
Emma was born at Williamstown in 1857. Nothing is known of her early life. She married William Emery Armstrong at Williamstown in 1887. William was born at Williamstown in 1861, the son of Emery Armstrong and Charlotte nee Davis, who were the founders of the Baptist faith in Williamstown.
Emma died at North Williamstown in 1945. William died at Williamstown in 1949. They are both buried in the Williamstown Cemetery.
William and Emma only had one child. Martha Davis, born at Williamstown in 1889. She married Randolph Malcolm Gibson about 1921. Randolph was born at Kew in 1891, the son of John Malcolm Gibson and Martha Jamieson nee Foubister.
Randolph died at Camberwell in 1963. Martha Davis died at Glenhuntly on 6th March 1968. She was cremated at the Western Suburbs Crematorium, Altona on 9th March 1968.
Randolph and Martha had three children. Jeffrey Donald, born in 1926, Ruth Margaret, born in 1929 and Robert William, born in 1936.
Leonora was born in Williamstown on 21st September 1859. She married James Lee at the Williamstown Manse on 9th October 1878. James was born at Collingwood on 27th July 1854, the son of William Lee and Elizabeth nee Bevan.
The wedding would probably have been a social highlight as Henry Lonsdale was a reasonably wealthy and well-known person in Williamstown and Newport.
James and Leonora were to have five children. Charles Henry, born 1880. Eva, born 1883. James William, born 1885. Arthur Lonsdale, born 12th March 1888. Thomas Frank, born 19th December 1890. All were born at Williamstown.
James died at his home in Thompson Street, Williamstown on Wednesday 1st May 1895, and was buried at Williamstown Cemetery, on 4th May 1895.
Leonora was to marry again in 1904, to Samuel Oak. She died on 6th June 1918 whilst on holiday in Sydney, she was visiting her daughter Eva Barron. Her body was returned to Williamstown and is buried in the Williamstown Cemetery with James.
William Henry 1861-1934
William Henry was born in Williamstown in 1861. He died at St.Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy on 29th August 1934 and was buried in the Box Hill Cemetery the next day. He never married.
Thomas was born in Williamstown in 1863. He married Ada Jane Wade at Williamstown in 1885. Ada was born in Williamstown on 28th November 1860, the daughter of William Wade and Sarah nee Wenden.
Ada died at Williamstown on 11th March 1887, shortly after the birth of their only child, William Henry born in February 1887. William only survived a few months, dying on 23rd December 1887.
About two years after Ada's death, Thomas married Mabel Annie Rich in 1889. Mabel was born in Williamstown in 1869, the daughter of Richard James Rich and Mary Francis nee Chaplin. Mary's father, Richard was a Port Phillip pilot.
In August 1900, Thomas had the sad duty of burying his father. He would have been gratified by the large number of mourners that lined the streets along which the funeral cortege passed and that followed the procession to the cemetery in Champion Road, North Williamstown.
Thomas now had the job of running the family business on his own. Even though he had retired, his father had been there to lend a hand when it was needed.
The firm of Henry Lonsdale and Son went on and prospered until Thomas retired in 1918 and sold the business to Ernest Jackson an employee of the firm.
Thomas died at Williamstown on 14th November 1929. He was laid to rest in the family plot in the Williamstown Cemetery on 16th November 1929.
His wife Mabel died at Williamstown on 26th July 1944 and was buried in the Lonsdale plot on 28th July 1944.
CHILDREN OF THOMAS & MABEL LONSDALE
Martha Pater 1890-1970
Martha was born at Williamstown on 2nd July 1890. She married Henry Francis Ackary at Scot's Church, Melbourne in 1912. Henry was born at Richmond, Surrey, England on 22nd July 1882, the son of Joshua George Ackary and Emily Mary nee Wright.
Henry died at Northcote on 23rd July 1965. Martha died of cerebral thrombosis at Thornbury, Victoria on 27th June 1970. She was cremated at the Fawkner Crematorium on 29th June 1970.
Henry and Martha had six children.
1. Dorothy Mavis, born at Murrumbeena on 22nd November 1912.
2. George Harold Thomas, born at Murrumbeena on 3rd June 1914.
3. Frances Emily Mabel, born and died at Northcote in 1915.
4. Lillian Helen May, born at Northcote on 21st May 1918.
5. Henry Rich Lonsdale, born at Northcote on 16th February 1920.
6. Noel Wenden, born at Northcote on 30 September 1931.
Henry Rich 1892-1917
Henry was born in Douglas Parade, Williamstown on 20th February 1892. He was educated at the Williamstown Grammar School and Longerenong College.
He became a successful pastoralist at “ Braeside Farm”, Blowhard, near Ballarat. He was also a noted athlete, footballer and Medal winning rifle shooter.
Henry Rich, like most of the young men of the time, was caught up in the patriotism of the Great War. He enlisted at Ballarat on 31st March 1916. He did his basic training and was assigned to 21st Company, 8th Battalion on 13th August 1916.
He embarked aboard the “Nestor” on 2nd September 1916, arriving in England on 16th November 1916. Marched out to a camp at Fovent.
Proceeded overseas to France aboard “S.S. Victoria” on 2nd February 1917. Joined the 8th Battalion at the front 16th February 1917.
On the 5th April 1917, Henry was charged at A.I.F. headquarters, that on the 21st February 1917 he neglected to obey an order given by an N.C.O. and refused to give his name. Sentenced to seven days confined to barracks. It is not stated in the records, but it was probably a British N.C.O., and Henry like most of the Australian volunteers, had no time for the strict regimentation of the British army, often refusing to obey what they thought were frivolous orders.
Henry was wounded in action at Bullecourt on 11th May 1917, he was admitted to the 3rd casualty clearing station, where he died on 12th May 1917.
For his service Henry was posthumously awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal, these were presented to his father, along with a Memorial Plaque and Scroll. His father being his next of kin as Henry had never married.
Claude Mathieson 1893-1944
Claude was born in Williamstown in 1893. He married Dulcie Eliza McLeod at East Melbourne in 1926. Dulcie was born at Williamstown in 1899, the daughter of
Donald McLeod and Helen Margaret nee Smith. Dulcie died at Williamstown on 30th May 1942. Claude died of heart failure at his home at 52 Hannan Street, Williamstown on 4th September 1944. According to his death certificate Claude was a Clerk by profession. Both Claude and Dulcie are buried in the Williamstown Cemetery.
Claude and Dulcie had two children. Margaret born at Williamstown in 1930 and Mabel born at Williamstown in 1933. After the death of their parents the two girls were brought up by their 1st cousin, George Harold Thomas Ackary and his wife
.Mary Chaplin 1895-1963
Mary was born in Williamstown on 20th August 1895. She married John Stanley Spittle at Williamstown 26th April 1916. John was born at Creswick, Victoria in 1890, the son of Samuel Spittle and Henrietta nee Richards.
John and Mary had three children. Lloyd Thomas Samuel born at Coghills Creek, Victoria, in 1917, Helen Mabel Henrietta also born at Coghills Creek, Victoria, in 1920 and Harold Stanley born in 1928, birth place unknown.
Mary died at their home at 3 Canberra Road, Toorak, Victoria on 21st April 1963. John died at the Alfred Hospital, Prahran, Victoria on 21st July 1983. They are both buried at Springvale Cemetery.
Thomas Lonsdale and family