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Hawken, William

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1835
Place of birth St. Teath, Cornwall, England
Date of arrival 1857
Principal occupation Quarryman, slate carver and monumental mason
Date of departure c. 1876
Date of death 1905
Place of decease South Melbourne, Victoria

William Hawken and his wife Jane Ann (nee Male) (1839-1923) arrived in Port Adelaide as government sponsored emigrants aboard the ship Royal Albert in March 1857. Jane Ann’s parents, quarryman Francis Male, his wife Harriet (nee Percy) and their two sons John Roberts Percy and William Bonear, had also arrived in South Australia in Feb 1857. Both families moved to Willunga where William and Francis worked as quarrymen in the Willunga slate quarries.

In April 1858 William purchased lot 72 (now 9 St Judes Street) in Wllunga for 22 pounds. He owned this property from 1858 until June 1883 when he sold it to licensed victualler William Matthew Oliver of Hutt Street in Adelaide.

William worked as a slate quarryman, slate carver and monumental mason. He carved many slate headstones (tombstones) that still survive in the cemeteries of Willunga and surrounding districts. He also exhibited a handsome slate mantelpiece at the Willunga Agricultural Show in 1868 that attracted considerable admiration. William also trained his son Thomas Hawken to carve slate.

William was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites (IOR) - Salford Unity which was a Friendly Society founded in England in 1835 as part of the wider British temperance movement. He was actively involved in the establishment of an IOR “Tent” called the “Aurora Australis” at Willunga and he was elected to office for a term as a “Deputy Ruler”.

Between 1857 and 1882 William and Jane Ann had a total of 15 children of whom only 6 grew to be adults (including Albert William Bonear Hawken). 10 children were either born and/or died while in the family lived in Willunga. Sadly the Hawken family lost 4 children while living in Willunga including John Francis Hawken (aged two years) who was drowned in a water well on the property. The four very young Hawken children (Albert William, John Francis, William John and Cornelia May) who died at Willunga between 1858 and 1872, for example, are commemorated in a single headstone that was carved by their father William and this headstone is currently located in St. Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery in Aldinga Road.

The Hawken family was resident in Willunga for around 18 or 19 years between 1857-58 and 1875-76. By April 1876 the family had moved to Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) in Victoria where William continued to work as a monumental mason. He died, aged 69, in June 1905 at South Melbourne and was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery.

Sources

  • Biographical Index of South Australians. 1836-1885. Vol II. p. 698
  • Land Titles Office - Old System - Certificate of Title (Register Book Vol LVIII
  • Births deaths and marriages – South Australia
  • England - Births deaths and marriages



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