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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Beddome, Robert Winter

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1816
Place of birth Romsey, Hampshire, England.
Date of arrival 1839
Principal occupation Farmer, post-master, special land agent and later author.
Date of death 1889
Place of decease Adelaide, South Australia and he is buried in West Terrace Cemetery.

Robert Winter Beddome was born on 17 November 1816 in Romsey, Hampshire, England. His father was John Reynolds Beddome (1787-1859) and his mother was Rebecca (nee Winter) (1787-1821). They were both resident in England for their entire lives. His maternal grandfather was the Rev Robert Winter D D, a Methodist clergyman. Robert had 3 sisters – Louisa (1813-1815), Marianne (1825-1912), who emigrated to Canada, and Fanny (1819-1852), who was born in England and emigrated to South Australia in 1851 with her husband Joseph Bompas.

Robert Winter Beddome, aged 23 years, arrived in Port Adelaide on 20 September 1839 from London. He had travelled via Gravesend aboard the barque Anna Robertson, carrying cargo and 111 passengers under the command of Captain Augustus Munro. According to the South Australian Census of 1841, Robert W Beddome was resident in Willunga for a period around 1841.

He appears to have returned to England, where he married Mary Ann Kingham (1819 – 1899) at St Clement Danes, Middlesex, England on 27 March 1843. He returned with his new wife to South Australia, arriving on 12 September 1843 in Intermediate class aboard Madras from London and Plymouth.

Robert worked as a farmer, post-master and special land agent. He was resident in Currency Creek before 1845 and remained there until at least 1857, as five of his six children were born at Currency Creek:

  • Mary Ann Fanny (1844-1920)
  • John Winter (1846-1934) married Fanny Louisa Buttfield (1853-1926) on 19 October 1884 at Blinman SA.
  • Sarah (1849-1911) married Thomas Coombe (1847-1925) on 18 December 1872 at Adelaide.
  • George Kingham (1852-1923) married Emily Bates in 1877 in Victoria.
  • Martha Ann (1855-1935) married William Henry Cox at the residence of R W Beddome, Adelaide, in 1875.
  • Robert Winter (1857-1934) married Elizabeth Sillett (1856- ).
  • Marianne Sophia (1861-1862) was born in Willunga. She died, aged 14 months, in Willunga and is buried in grave 42 in the Uniting Church [Wesleyan Methodist] Cemetery.

In 1850, Robert was involved in the establishment of the River Murray League and he signed the petition in support of the establishment of the Goolwa railway.

Robert W Beddome appears to have been resident in Willunga again from about March 1861 until at least September 1863. His land in Currency Creek was for sale in June and July 1861. James Brown(e) leased lot 82 in the township of Willunga, now 10 Bishop Street, to storekeeper Robert Winter Beddome, late of Currency Creek. This three-year lease* was effective from 1 March 1861 for 50 pounds per annum, payable quarterly.

During 1862, several lectures for the benefit of the Mechanic’s Institute were given in a building that was described as “Mr Beddome’s News and Lecture Room”. These included Mr George French Angas speaking on "The Amazulu Kaffirs” in January, Mr Townsend, MP speaking on “Lights and shadows of London life” in February and Dr MacIntosh speaking on “Recollections of the East” in May. The last trace found of Beddome’s Reading Room was as the site of an event following the laying of the Foundation Stone of the Oddfellows Hall.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Robert Winter Beddome wrote four literary works, mainly of poetry and songs: The Adelaide of the Future in 1873; A Group of Songs for the Local Forces (Military and Naval) of the Australian Provinces in 1878; Appeal for union! To the British Australasian colonies, within, or near to Australia in 1887; Ode to the river Murray in 1887.

Robert Winter Beddome, aged 73 years, died on 14 February 1889 at his residence in Howard Street, Roseville, Adelaide, South Australia. He is buried in West Terrace Cemetery.

*Lease No 1783 dated 1 March 1861


  • Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
  • South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
  • South Australian Marriages – Index of Registrations 1842-1937
  • South Australian Deaths – Index of Registrations 1842-1972
  • SA Census 1841
  • Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
  • Family Histories. C. Manuscript folder held by the National Trust (Willunga Branch). Blue folder 40-
  • Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Volume 1
  • Adelaide Observer 13 Jan 1844:1
  • South Australian Register 9 August 1861:2
  • South Australian Register 20 March 1850:1
  • Adelaide Observer 6 July 1861:1
  • South Australian Register 24 February 1862:3
  • Adelaide Observer 17 May 1862:15
  • South Australian Register 8 September 1863:3

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