|Ada Matilda Hickson
Joshua John Lipman
Ada Matilda Hickson was the younger of twins born on 3rd September 1869 at
Frederickton, Macleay River, daughter of Peter Hickson and Matilda Ann Sheppard. Ada
was the twin of Walter Henry and sister of my ancestor George Hickson.
Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children:
On 10th March 1880 Walter, Ada, William [Peter] George, Edward and Frederick were
admitted to the Randwick Asylum for Destitute Children by their mother, Matilda. Baby
Benjamin is not listed. It appears her address at the time was Maitland Place off Parramatta
Street, Sydney. The reasons given for the admittance of the children were mistreatment [?],
neglect and desertion by father. Their admission was noted 'To pay two pounds six per week
for each child'. This probably applied to Matilda as she later says she was the one who placed
the children in the facility. On 14th April 1880 all of the children except Edward were
discharged to their father, Peter, who gave the address 8 Glenmore Rd Paddington. What
followed then was recorded in The Sydney Morning Herald dated 18th May 1880 under the
headline "Shocking Destitution":
The truth of the aphorism that one-half the world has no idea how the other half lives was
fully exemplified at the Water Police Court yesterday morning, when a case was brought
under the notice of the magistrates which dis closed a state of misery and wretchedness
seldom heard of in this community. Peter Hickson, a middle-aged man, described as a
sawyer, together with a woman named Mary Jane Mackay, was charged with having no lawful
means of support, while five children-four boys, whose ages ranged from 2 years to 11 years,
and a girl-were also brought before the Court as destitute children, having been found on
Saturday night sleeping out in the open air. From the statement of senior-sergeant Bremner,
it appeared that he discovered the five children on Saturday night at about 8 o'clock lying in
the scrub at the water reserve, Moore Park, in company with the father and a woman of the
vagrant class. The children, who were lying asleep on the bare ground, were in a most filthy
and pitiable condition. They were wretchedly clad, what little clothing they had on being in a
state of rags, and the unfortunate waifs were shivering bitterly with the cold. One of the
children, a girl about 11 years of age, told the constable that she was sent out begging by her
father every day, and whenever she came home without either money or food she was
flogged. Whatever money she obtained by begging she always gave to her father, who
invariably spent it in drink. The children were not only disgustingly dirty, but also more or
less afflicted with blight in the eyes, the result of exposure and want. The constable had the
children forthwith conveyed to the police station, where they were washed and fed. The
father and the woman who was found lying in the scrub with the children were also taken to
the station, and were charged with having no lawful means of support. Matilda Hickson, the
mother of the children, informed the Bench that she was in service, and received a sum of
12s per week, out of which she had to pay 10s for the support of one of her children two
years of age. In March last she got five of the children into the Randwick Asylum, where they
were in good health and quite contented ; but the father took them out against her wishes
and without her consent, and since then they had been going about the streets begging. The
father stated that he was turned out of his house with his children lately because he could
not pay the rent, and that he took them out of the asylum to provide for them himself, but
had since been unable to obtain work. Mr. Marsh, in commenting on the case, said that it
was very painful to see an able-bodied healthy man like the prisoner living in such
degradation and abject misery, and allowing his children to suffer such horrible privations
through his own laziness. His personal appearance was sufficient to inspire any one with
disgust, and he was nothing better than a disgrace to humanity. Hickson was sentenced to
six months' imprisonment, with hard labour, in Darlinghurst gaol ; and the woman who was
found in his company, and who said that she had been " hired by Mr. Hickson to mind the
children," was sent to gaol for two months. The children were ordered to be sent to the
Biloela Industrial School for Girls Ada wasadmitted to the Biloela Public Industrial School
for Girls at Parramatta by order of the court on 17th May 1880. Remarks state her father is
in gaol for vagrancy. She could read and write and her religion was church of England.
She as discharged to John B Bossley on 19th July 1881 for a period of 6 years.
The Wagga Wagga Adviser dated 23rd March 1882 reports:
INDECENT ASSAULT.-John Brown Bossley appeared on summons, charged on the
information of the police with an indecent assault on Ada Matilda Hickson. Mr. Garland
appeared for tho prosecution, and Mr. Fitzhardinge for the defendant. The prosecutrix, a
Bioela girl, was examined at great length, and the Bench dismissed the charge, stating that
there was no ease.
Wagga Wagga Adviser dated 15th April 1882 reports:
BREACH OF MASTERS AND SERVANTS ACT,
Ada Matilda Hickson was charged by her late employer, John B Bossley, with disobedience
and ill-behaviour as an apprentice, absenting herself without leave, and in making a false
charge against him. T B Bossley deposed : I am the postmaster of Wagga Wagga and know
the defendant; she has been in my service as an indented apprentice from Biloela Industrial
School for Girls; defendant absented herself on several occasions from my service, and on the
18th of March she laid a charge against me for indecently assaulting her; the charge was
heard before the Police Magistrate and dismissed; it is my wish that the indenture of
apprenticeship of defendant should be cancelled. Ordered that the indenture of defendant's
apprenticeship should be cancelled, and that she be returned back to the industrial school.
Ada was returned to the Biloela school on 4th May 1882, for 'disobenience and misconduct'
Ada was again discharged to Henry Whatmore on 7th August 1883 for a period of 4 years.
She was returned on 18th October 1886 due to the death of her 'master' Whatmore and her
'mistress',his wife, being unable to control her.
Ada was finally discharged on 3rd September 1887, her 18th birthday.
Ada, aged 20, gave birth to a daughter Ruby Rebecca, on 24th January 1890. No father is
listed on the birth registration. Place of birth is 18 Gipps Street, Paddington, her parents
home at the time. Present at the birth were Mrs M A Connors and Matilda Ann Hickson
[grandmother] Ruby Rebecca died on 16th March 1890, aged 7 weeks. Cause of death was
marasmus, a server form of malnutrition usually caused by a diet deficient in calories and
protein. Length of illness was five weeks. Ruby was buried on 17th March 1890 at Church of
England Cemetery Waverley. Ada's father Peter, is the informant on the death certificate and
he is also named as father, although it would appear this is an error.
Joshua John Lipman was born 27th May 1861, at York Street, Sydney son of Lewis Lipman
and his first wife Sarah Moses. Joshua was a dealer at the time of his marriage and
according to the 1903 Electoral Roll. At the time of his death he is recorded as being a wharf
Marriage: Ada and Joshua were married at according to the Church of England rites, at
Christ Church, Sydney on 22nd March 1890. Ada's occupation is servant and Joshua's is
dealer. Witnesses were E and H Newing. This would appear to be Edward Newing and Harriet
Heaps who were the previous couple married on the same day. Joshua and Ada were their
witnesses, suggesting that the couples knew each other.
David Clarence Lipman, born 1891. Married Hilda E H Duthie in Sydney in 1913. David
died in 1977.
Police Gazette of 1894 reports that a warrant has been issued by the Water Police Branch
for the arrest of Joshua John Lipman charged with deserting his wife Ada leaving her
without means of support. He is described as being about 30 years of age, 5 foot four inches
tall, medium build dark complexion, black hair, and a brown moustache only, a Jew, a
vegetable hawker. Complainant Ada Lipman 6 Little Bloomfield Street, Surrey Hills.
The Sands Directory of 1894 shows Joshua residing at 27 Gipps Street, Paddington, the
same address given for Ada's mother Matilda Hickson. By 1896 Joshua is residing at 39
Railway Place [Sydney?] In 1899 Joshua is residing at 71 Holt Street. 1903 Joshua is
residing at 36 Kippax Street [Sydney?] The 1903 electoral rolls also shows Joshua and Ada at
3 Madeira Terrace [East Sydney] From 1905 to 1911 Joshua is living 'off' 56 Holt Street.
From 1915 until 1925 at the time of Joshua's death Ada is residing at 48 Renwick Street,
Redfern [sands Directory]
The 1930 Electoral roll shows Ada living at 61 Wells Street, Redfern. Her occupation is 'Home
The 1836 Electoral Roll shows Ada residing at 8 St Silas Place, Waterloo. Her occupation is
1943 Electoral Roll 8 Silas Place, Waterloo.
Joshua Lipman, a wharf labourer aged 64, died on 20th December 1925. Cause of death
was auricular fibrillation and myocarditis which he had suffered from for three months. He is
buried in the Independent Cemetery, Rookwood Section B grave 4021. He and Ada were
residing at 48 Renwick street, Redfern at the time.
Ada Matilda Lipman died on 4th May 1943 at the Newington State Hosptial. She was 74
years old, an old age pensioner, late of 8 St Silas Place waterloo. Cause of death was mitral
incompetence and acute glaucoma. No length of illness is given. She is shown as having one
son living [David] and one son deceased [unknown but could this refer to baby Ruby?] She
was buried on 6th May in the Independent Cemetery, Rookwood with husband Joshua
[Independent section B grave 2041
Additional information kindly supplied by Warwick.
Connected to the Lipman Family? Please contact Warwick HERE
Last Update 25th July 2013