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 Baptised 15th
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 Henry born 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

Below Right Macleay Argus dated 29th October 1898