Arthur, Thomas, Dianne, Ellen, Margaret DENSLEY

Arthur Densley                        1879-1898

Thomas Densley                     1873-1879

Dianne Densley                       1872-1872

Ellen Densley                           1873-1877

Margaret Densley                   1875-1877

Arthur and Thomas were the sons of John Patrick Densley and Harriot Cott and the great-grandsons of Thomas Densley and Hannah Hemming, aka Hannah Carter

Thomas Densley was born on 29th May 1802 in Whately, Somerset.  He had been sentenced to death in Somerset in 1817 for the theft of three pounds nine shillings. Fortunately, for the large number of Densley descendants, so many of whom have been valuable citizens of this country, his sentence was commuted to transportation. He was fifteen years old.  He was imprisoned on a hulk on the Thames River prior to being taken on board ‘The Lady Castlereagh’ convict ship.  Thomas arrived in Tasmania in 1818.  He married his wife, on 21st January 1820 in Hobart when he was 17 years old, Hannah’s name was spelt, Hannah Hemmings.

Hannah’s mother, Elizabeth arrived in this country on 12th January 1803 and Hannah was born on 12th May 1803.  Hannah’s biological father is not known.  On both Hannah’s birth and baptism records her family name is written as ‘Emmins’ but this would appear to be an error by the Registrar.

On her arrival in Sydney, Elizabeth Hemming was partnered with a convict named Thomas Carter and they did have four sons together.

Thomas and Hannah had a large family.  For the births of the first three children she is recorded as Hannah Densley and for the birth of the latter three, she is recorded as Hannah Carter.  Their eldest son, James, married Mary Doughney and had three children, one of whom was John Patrick Densley who married Harriot Cott.

The James Densley who had first married Mary Doughney was married a second time to Sarah Halliday.  They had a large family.  Dianne, Ellen and Margaret Densley, who are buried at Hopetoun Cemetery, are their daughters.  The Densley home was across the road from the cemetery.  Dianne Densley’s father was known as ‘Charles Carter’ possibly because he was a cartage contractor.  Charles Carter was listed on the West Burke Electoral Roll of 1856 as a farmer (freehold).  Dianne’s death was the subject of an inquest and at that time she was referred to as ‘an infant named Carter’.  ‘The Express’ reported the inquest on Saturday 21st September 1872.  It read: ‘On Wednesday an inquiry was held by Dr Rae at Vallence’s hotel, Bacchus Marsh concerning the death of an infant named Carter, whose parents reside near the brewery.  The mother of the child deposed that she left home on Monday, about 10, with her child for the purpose of showing it to the doctor. Went to Thomas Mason’s and stayed there until 11.  Then went to Mrs Rochford’s on Stamford Hill.  Had one pint of beer.  Had no more drink all day.  Went to Mrs Low’s about 4 in the afternoon.  The child had a bad fit of crying; gave it a teaspoonful of bread and water; it had nothing else; it gave over crying; put it on the bed.  Did not see the doctor; heard he was from home; did not call on him.  Between 6 and 7 intended to go home; lifted the child and found it dead; it had been ill with a bad cold for about a week; had been until then a healthy child.  Sent for the police and the sergeant came about 8 o’clock.  Was quite sober all day.

Mrs Low deposed: Mrs Carter came to my house about 2 o’clock on Monday, with her child; it did not appear well; had a fit of crying; it got a little bread and water; we had no milk.  It was laid down on the bed.  Between 6 and 7 Mrs Carter went to lift the child, when she cried out, ‘My child is dead.’  Sent for the doctor; could not think it dead.  None of us had any drink.  Mrs Martin gave the same evidence.

Senior Constable Bradley said the women were sober when he saw them.  Dr Lewis of Ballan deposed that the child was well developed, and about two months old.  There were no marks on the body.  Made a post mortem examination.  Found the lungs, particularly the left one much congested; the pleura adhering to the left side; heart and liver healthy.  Found no froth in the air passages, which would have been the case had the death been caused by suffocation; nor was the countenance of the child unnaturally livid.  Has no hesitation in saying the child died from natural causes; it must have been ill some time.  Verdict – Died from congestion of the lungs.’