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National Trust Willunga branch.

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National Trust of South Australia


Hunt, Matthew

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth 1814
Place of birth Dorsetshire,England
Date of arrival 1847
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1905
Place of decease Myponga

Matthew Hunt was born 28th March 1814 in Dorset. In about 1845 he married Elizabeth Lemon (born 1820) and they lived at West Orchard in Dorsetshire. They opened their house to Primitive Methodist services, putting themselves in danger of being turned out of the farm they rented.

It is said that conditions were hard, and two of four children died of malnutrition, so they emigrated to SA, arriving on 23 March 1847 on the David Malcolm, after a three-month journey. Their two surviving children, Emma and Edwin, came with them. Elizabeth sewed their savings of three or four sovereigns into a calico belt worn around her waist.

Matthew and Elizabeth Hunt had 12 known children:

1. Emma Jane (1844-1913) born in England, married William Bailey.

2. Edwin James (1846-1918) born in England, married Alice Hoskin.

3. William George (1849-1926), married Catherine Dyer.

4. Elizabeth (1851-1939), married Thomas Eatts.

5. John (1853 - 1902), married 1 Emily Cameron. 2 Martha Barker.

6. Mary Ann (1854-1901), married Archibald Sinclair

7. Edward (1856-1925), married Mary Needham and settled in Willunga.

8. Thomas (1857-1922), married Thirza Reed.

9. George (1859-1939), married Medora Chenoweth.

10. Sophia (1861-1951), married John Chenoweth.

11. Matthew (1864-1941), married 1 Louisa Cant, 2 Elizabeth Haskett.

12. Robert Henry (1865-1938), married Annie Martin.

Again, conditions were tough. When the sovereigns were spent, Elizabeth traded her wedding ring for a bag of flour. They initially lived in Marion where Matthew worked for Mr Sutherland at the rate of £25 per year. In 1850, after they had saved £18, they were able to move to Aldinga on Section 385, of 80 acres. They then moved to Tapley's Hill, and, on New Year's Day 1860, Matthew bought Retreat Farm at Myponga, where they stayed for 20 years. Several members of the Lemon family (Elizabeth's relatives) also emigrated and settled nearby. In the 1880s Matthew Hunt owned nearby sections 576 and 577 at Sellicks Hill. After moving to Inman Valley for 14 years, Matthew and his wife returned to spend their later years at Myponga.

Matthew Hunt supported the work of the Rev. James Way in SA For some years. Primitive Methodist preachers came from Willunga to hold services in his house at Myponga. He supported the erection of Myponga Bible Christian Church and liberally contributed to the building fund.

Elizabeth Hunt died on 15 July 1898, aged 78 years. Matthew Hunt died on 18 May 1905, aged 91 years. Both were buried in the Methodist Cemetery at Myponga.


  • Australian Christian Commonwealth Friday 21 July 1905 Page 10
  • R W Williams To Find the Way Yankalilla and district 1836-1985 page 245-6
  • Folder 40-9 Willunga Courthouse Museum
  • Coral Eden The Hunts of Delabole
Mathew and Elizabeth Hunt
Mathew and Elizabeth Hunt
Matthew Hunt with daughters, c 1904
Matthew Hunt with daughters, c 1904

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