Peter Higson/Hickson [senior] & Hannah Thwaite/Waite/s
- a cotton spinner from Bolton, Lancashire -
My Great Great Great Grandparents
Peter Hickson/Higson [Snr], born Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire, England and Baptised15th December 1813 at St Peters, Bolton Le Moors, the son of Benjamin HIGSON and Alice HOLME/S of Great Bolton, father a weaver. It is interesting to note that in Lancashire, England the majority of records show the spelling of the surname as HIGSON
Hannah [Anna] Thwaite [Waites/Wait/e] was born about 1816 in either Manchester or Bolton Lancashire, [e, b] the daughter of Thomas Th/Waite [Waites] and Mary [b]
NEW Marriage: Peter Higson, a bachelor married Hannah Thwaite, a spinster on 17th October 1836 at Christ Church, Ainsworth, Lancashire. Both were said to be of the parish. Both made their marks rather than signed. Witnesses were Thomas Harwood and John Hardman [who appears to be a parish clerk as he witnessed several marriages] [viewed Ancestry]
The 1841 census shows Peter aged 25, Anna aged 25 and children Thomas aged 5 Mary aged 3 and Jane aged 6 months living at Back Ormrod Street in Great Bolton East. Also in the household were Richard Higson aged 30 and John Holme aged 4. The 1841 census rounded aged up or down to the nearest five years for adults. Both Peter and Richard are listed as 'cotton spinners'. This was probably a factory position rather than a cottage industry trade. At the time Lancashire was in the grip of the industrial revolution and Bolton was well known for its large cotton mills.
Immigration: Peter and Hannah Hickson and family arrived in Australia in 1842 aboard the Agnes, The Agnes was a Barque; sheathed in copper in 1841. She weighed 593 tons using old measurements and 691 tons using new measurements. She was constructed in 1839 in New Brunswick, using Oak, Spruce, Black Birch & Yellow Pine; some repairs were carried out in 1841. Her owner was H Pooley and her Port of Registration was London. Peter and Hannah travelled as assisted immigrants under the Bounty Scheme. They were listed under the name HIGSON. Their young family consisted of Thomas aged 4, Mary aged 3 and Jane aged 1. Peter was 28 years old. His occupation was listed as farm labourer, somewhat different from his previous occupation of 'cotton spinner', a fact which appears to have caught the attention of the authorities. A notation on his shipping indent states that Peter is recorded "In Baptismal register of children as spinner" then "This must be his father" then "No". Both his parents were deceased. His faith was Methodist. Hannah [nee Wait sic] was 26. Her occupation was laundress. Both her parents were deceased. Her faith and that of the children was Presbyterian [b]. The family's previous place of residence was Bolton, Lancashire. Neither Peter nor Hannah could read or write. James Laptrot, parish clerk, Bolton le Moors certified their baptismal register entries, Jacob Lomax Heap, of Great Bolton was the surgeon or physician who certified them healthy. Benjamin Brown or Maudsley Street and John Bradshaw of Back Street, Little Bolton were the householders who certified their good character. R Walsh of Park Hill and J. Slade, vicar of Bolton were the magistrate and clergyman who certified the correctness of the form.
The Agnes sailed from Liverpool. Her Master was Robert Davidson. Divine Service was held every Sunday. A committee was established to oversee the health and cleanliness of the passengers. The surgeon's report shows that the principal disease aboard was 'common continuous fever'. A school was held and 20 children attended. Occupations and amusements that occupied the passengers are shown as singing, dancing and being employed cleaning. The Agnes arrived on in Botany on 13th February 1842. Peter Hickson and his family were brought out by Mr George Townsend. A note on Peter's indent states: "What is his engagement?" underneath is written: "[unknown symbol]48 [unknown word] John Grinds? p?pert? [possibly John Grinds/Grimms property]
Peter and Hannah had the following children: Name variations include HIXSON and HIXON
Hickson/Hixson/Hixon: Thomas Henryborn and baptised 9th July, 1837 St Peter, Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire. Father a spinner of Great Bolton. [Register viewed] Married Ann Fogarty 10th November 1856 at Kempsey.
Hickson/Hixon: Mary B born 15th June, 1838 Bolton Le Moors according to shipping records. No baptism found. [Not baptised St Peters -register checked] [b] Married Edward B Woolmer, Macleay River 1857.
Hickson: Jane B born 16th January, 1841 Bolton Le Moors according to shipping records, no baptism found.[Not baptised St Peters -register checked][b] Married William Samuel Miles, Macleay River, 1860.
Hickson: Alice born 16th February, 1843 Macleay River. Baptised 28th July 1854, St Thomas, Port Macquarie [g]. Alice probably died in infancy as Hannah later names another daughter Alice with second husband Henry Batterson.
Hickson: Benjamin Baptised 28th July 1845, St Thomas Port Macquarie. Married Martha Hinder at Macleay River, 1871.
Hickson: Sarah Ann born 24th December 1845, baptised 27th August 1846 St Thomas' Port McQuarie. In 1862 she married Thomas Arthur Jerrett. Died 2nd November 1912.
Hickson: Peter [Junior] born 7th August 1847, Yarrabandini NSW, six weeks after the death of his father. Married Matilda Ann Sheppard.My Great Great Grandparents
Death: Peter was drowned at the Macleay River, at Yarrabandini on the night of 27th June 1847 and was buried on 28th June 1847 aged 36 in the Frederickton cemetery. There is no headstone. At the time of death his occupation is listed as labourer. The Coroner's Inquest on 24th July records a finding of accidental drowning. The report records Peter as Higson aka Hickson. Hannah gave birth to son Peter junior, six weeks after her husband's death. His place of birth 'Yarrabandini" was a station of 19,200 acres was leased by W.H. Chapman.
Second Marriage: Hannah remarried on 16th February 1848 to Henry BATTERSON. They went on to have seven more children. Hannah died in 1898.
The following advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 16th, Monday 19th, Wednesday 21st and Saturday 24th March 1860 in the Persons Advertised For column:
Anna HIGSON: - Any persons who can afford information respecting the whereabouts of Anna HIGSON, widow of one Peter Higson [who drowned in the river Yarrabandinny [sic] on the night of the 27th June 1847] is requested to communicate with Messrs Dunsmure and Stafford, solicitors, Castlereagh Street, as enquiries have been made relative to her from Bolton England. NB- Mrs Higson was last heard of in September 1850 when she was residing with her seven children at Austral Eden, Macleay River, District of Macquarie.
Frederickton [from Kempsey Shire Council website] Frederickton was named after Frederick William Chapman. He wrote in his manuscript Early Days on the Macleay 1836-1908 that: ‘I decided to subdivide a small portion of my property into township lots and call it Frederickton…they sold very well and a nice little village had soon formed.’ He had apparently surveyed the 170 acres several years after his marriage to Jane Agnes Scott in 1853. Prior to this the locality had been the site of a ship building enterprise - a ‘river town’ based around ship building, timber getting and pastoral pursuits. Sugar cane was also grown here from 1871 until it was found that the climate was unsuitable. John Gillies had the lease of 50 acres on the riverside. Major Henry Oakes, Commissioner for Crown Land, noted in his log book in 1837 that the settlement was well conducted and the ‘proprietor was engaged in ship building’. The name of the settlement was Klywooticka and that it was 2 miles from Yarrabandini Station.
Below Left: Parish register entry for the marriage of Peter and Hannah