Hannah DAVEY

Hannah Davey was born in 1899 at Blessington which was over the hill from English Town in Tasmania. She was the 6th born out of 12 children to George and Martha Davey nee Colgrave.

Birth certificate Hannah Davey 1899 TAHO RGD 33/1/87 no 598

Englishtown is near the mountains of the Ben Lomond National Park in north-eastern Tasmania and would have been extremely cold during winter. The closest town is Evandale about 22kms away. Life would have been very hard for this large family. Hannah’s father, George, was mentioned in local papers as tendering for works on the roads near their land, but otherwise was a farmer.

1912 ‘EVANDALE.’, Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 – 1954), 7 March, p. 7. (DAILY), viewed 11 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article50641551

Hannah’s father died in November 1914, aged just 49 years. He died at the Launceston General Hospital and was interred in the Presbyterian Burial Ground in Evandale. Hannah’s youngest brother, Frederick, was born just one month before her father’s death so I am sure she would have been expected to help look after him when not at school.


By 1922, Hannah had moved to the big city of Hobart in southern Tasmania. She was working as a housekeeper to the Lord family in Sandy Bay. This was mentioned in the electoral roll of that year as being on the corner of Grosvenor and Lord Streets. Her future husband, Henry Lewis England, also lived in Grosvenor Street with his parents. This is probably how they met.

Hannah and Henry married on 9 May 1923 at the Methodist Church, Longford. The following article was in the Examiner dated 10 May 1923.

WEDDING BELLS: ENGLAND-DAVEY. The marriage of Hannah, fourth daughter of Mrs. Davey, of Longford, and the late Mr. George Davey, late of Deddington, and Henry L., only son of Mr. HL. England, and the late Mrs. England, of Sandy Bay, Hobart, took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Longford Methodist Church. Rev. George Arthur, M.A., was the officiating minister. The church was charmingly decorated with white roses and chrysanthemums and autumnal leaves by Misses Gladys Wheeler, and Millie Lee. The bride was given away by her young brother (Mr. Bert Davey) in the unavoidable absence of her elder brother (Mr. W. G. Davey, of Hobart). She wore a pretty frock of white organdie muslin embroidered with beads, and a wreath of orange blossoms and veil, the latter being loaned by her cousin (Mrs. Arthur Sherwood). She carried a shower bouquet of choice white flowers, tied with satin streamers. Her only attendant was her sister (Miss Doris Davey, who wore a frock of white crepe merle trimmed with blue. She carried a posey of white blossoms tied with blue streamers, and wore a gold bangle, the gift of the bridegroom. The bride’s brother (Mr. George Davey) supported the bridegroom as best man. Mrs. Davey (mother of the bride) wore a costume of navy blue serge and a black hat. Miss Gould played the “Wedding March” during the signing of the register, and as the newly-wedded couple left the church, Mrs. Davey entertained the bridal party and immediate relatives at wedding tea at the conclusion of the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. England left for Launceston, and later on the North East Coast. where the honeymoon will be spent. Mrs. England’s travelling dress was a smart navy blue costume, with cream crochet front and a navy blue and gold hat, with Oriental trimmings. She also wore the bridegroom’s gift – a handsome black fur. Her present to him was a pocket wallet and notebook.

Henry Lewis England and Hannah Davey at marriage May 1923
at Methodist Church, Longford, Tasmania.

Family life

Hannah and Henry had three daughters: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934 and still alive with stories to tell. Iris died one month after the birth of Phyllis, so my mum didn’t get to know her eldest sister. These are some memories my mum had about her mother and family life:

  • Hannah enjoyed crocheting and cooking, especially fish.
  • She always helped on committees at Sandy Bay Methodist church.
  • We always went to Long Beach for picnics – caught the double decker tram at the bottom of King Street.
  • We had no car and no phone and only once dad had built the new laundry and bathroom did we get hot running water.
  • Hannah chopped off the top of her thumb helping with the new building.
  • We walked everywhere or caught the trams.
  • Hannah’s mum lived with us for six months of the year and the other half with Hannah’s sister Lizzie who lived in Lenah Valley.
  • We grew a lot of our own food and dad had a great peach tree in the backyard.
  • We used to have lots of visitors and cousins (who were back from the war) who would stay with us – Eileen stayed for four years while doing her high school study.
  • On Sunday, dad would cook the roast on the fuel stove while we went to church and Sunday School.
  • For tea every Sunday we would have sponge cake and scones and eat at the dining room table rather than the kitchen table. It was a special event.

A few other pictures of Hannah and the family:

Iris and Margaret in the backyard at Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay
Iris and Margaret at Long Beach, Sandy Bay, Tasmania.
Henry, Hannah, Iris and Margaret at Hobart Regatta about 1929
Henry, Hannah, Margaret and Phyllis about 1937

Henry Lewis England died in March 1963 aged 74. Nearly four years to the day Hannah died March 1967 aged 67.

Henry Lewis ENGLAND (junior)

Henry Lewis England was the only son born to Henry Lewis and Julia Charlotte England nee Chandler. He was born 12 December 1888 in Hobart when the family lived in Regent Street, Sandy Bay.

Henry’s other siblings were Ruby May b. 5 July 1886, Gladice Emily b. 4 August 1891 and Lucy Grace b. 22 October 1894. When Ruby was born the family were living in Union Street, Sandy Bay.

Henry’s father was a labourer and a road man according to the children’s birth certificates. In fact, he worked for the Queenborough Town Board in various capacities including rent collector and foreman of the works.

When Henry junior was only 17 years old, his mother passed away in March 1905 at her residence in Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay. By the time the war years came around, Henry, at age 27, was given an exemption due to him having to look after an invalid father.


In 1923, Henry married Hannah Davey who was working as a housekeeper to the Lord Family in Grosvenor Street, not far from where Henry lived. The marriage took place at Longford where Hannah’s widowed mother was living. See my post about Hannah for all the details of the marriage including newspaper report and a photo.

Family life with Hannah

Three daughters were born to this couple: Iris Alston 1924 – 1934, Margaret Grace 1928 – 2017 and Phyllis Joan born 1934. Below are some memories from both Margaret (M)(interviewed a year or so before her death) and Phyllis.

  • Dad worked for the Hobart City Council as a street sweeper.
  • He was a volunteer fire fighter and went up Mount Wellington to fight a large fire when Phyllis was about 8. I wouldn’t go back inside our house till I saw him come home.
  • Dad loved his fishing in Sandy Bay but none of us could swim and we didn’t have life jackets. We’d go fishing with Uncle Percy Chandler. Phyllis used to take the fish to neighbours in a heavy steel bucket.
  • During the war years we had a trench dug in our backyard but it was usually full of water so it probably wouldn’t have saved us if the Japanese arrived.
  • Dad pulled down our toilet and laundry, then built a new toilet, bathroom and wash house still out in the back yard, not attached to the house. He made the cement blocks by hand.
  • When the war was over, he taught returned soldiers how to make cement articles.
  • He broke his arm at work and had to spend a few days in hospital.
  • Dad would visit his mother’s grave in Sandy Bay and his daughter Iris’s grave at Cornelian Bay every month.
  • He made model yachts and gave them away. Philip (my brother) has one and he gave it to his son Alexander.
  • We travelled everywhere by either tram or walking as we didn’t own a car.
  • Dad didn’t go to church but cooked us a roast every Sunday when mum, Margaret and I went to Sunday School and church.
  • Dad had pigeons in a pigeon loft and he’d get the pigeons out and I would run up to Fitzroy Gardens and stand in a special place. I’d let the pigeons go and dad would see who got home first, me or the pigeons. That was about a weekly event. (M)
  • He always wore his watch with the chain on it, the fob watch. He always had that on where ever you wore a collar and tie. (M)
  • Hobart City Council had a picnic day once a year down at Long Beach, just where the roundabout is. Dad was a good runner often winning the races. (M)
  • When you went to Long Beach on the trams, us kids would all go upstairs on the double decker tram and when we got to Wrest Point, “There’s Uncle Harry out there!” Everybody knew dad. (M)
Pa England with his four grandchildren
Philip, Bronwyn, Suzanne and Leigh
Margaret and Phyllis fishing with their dad, Henry
Margaret, Phyllis and Pa England fishing off Long Beach, Sandy Bay
Pa England with his pigeons
Winning a running race
Think these are his workmates.
Can you find him with his hat at an angle?
Yacht made by Pa England and
given to his grandson Philip.
An official portrait of him found in an attic,
hence the spots.

My memories

Henry Lewis England was my grandfather and he bequeathed his piano to me. I remember as a child learning and practising those scales and even now, after many years of not using the piano, I can still play most of Fur Elise from memory.

Mum’s parents were still alive while I was a child but had died by the time I was 10. I can remember visiting them at their house and having meals there. The main thing I remember is their toilet was outside. Pa England had lots of birds and loved growing fruit trees while Nanna England kept the house tidy and it was always warm and welcoming.

Henry Lewis ENGLAND (senior)

Henry Lewis England was the second of 8 children born to convicts John and Rebecca England nee Jackson. He was born on Boxing Day 26 December 1854 but not registered until 1855. His father was a moulder and the family were living in Molle Street in Hobart.

His parents were married just two months before the birth. Henry had already had an older brother William born 1852 but he had died of convulsions in March 1854.

Henry was christened at St Georges Church, Battery Point in Hobart, Tasmania on 11 June 1855. So in reality, he was the oldest child and here are his other siblings:

  • 1857 Elizabeth
  • 1859 Edward
  • 1861 Mary Ann
  • 1864 William James
  • 1866 Lydia
  • 1868 George

Henry’s mother Rebecca died in 1887 and his father John died in 1905.

At the age of 30, Henry married Julia Charlotte Chandler on 14 October 1885 at St Georges Church, Battery Point. It is at this church where they probably met for the first time.

Four children were born from this marriage:

  • 1886 Ruby May
  • 1888 Henry Lewis
  • 1891 Gladice Emily
  • 1894 Lucy Grace

By 1891, Henry was employed as foreman of the works for the Queenborough Road Trust and this often got him in trouble.

On 17 January 1891, Henry had apparently used threatening language and had been brought up in front of the court.

In the Government Gazette of 10 Jul 1894, Henry was appointed Inspector of Health for the Town of Queenborough now called Sandy Bay. From 1895 he is often mentioned in the local papers as attending the monthly meetings of the Queenborough Town Board.

By 11 Jun 1895, Henry was now appointed as rate collector by the Queenborough Town Board.

Henry was back in court on 3 August 1899 in his role as Health Inspector. He had caught a resident depositing night soil on his property which was a breach of the health act.

Henry, by October 1899, is also a member of the Hobart Fire Brigade and is one of two firemen in charge of the reel held in Grosvenor Street.

In July 1900, Henry, as foreman of the works for the Queenborough Town Board, was accepting tenders for the erection of a post and rail fence between the properties Derwentwater and Lambert Park.

But at the end of March 1901, Henry must have been dismissed from the Queenborough Town Board. Many of the local residents got together to present him with a gift and best wishes for him and his family.

special meeting of the Queenborough Town Board was also held after the above report came out in the local paper. They felt Henry had been warned often of his bad behaviour and gross misconduct, so finally they had to dismiss him.

On Saturday 13 April 1901, the Queenborough Town Board met to get nominations to fill three vacancies. All were accepted except for one from H.L. England as it was considered to be an informal nomination.

February and March 1905 were not good months for Henry. First his father passed on 10 February then his wife Julia passed away on March 3, just 20 years into their marriage.

In February 1905, Henry was again in court but for an alleged assault on an architect who was inspecting a building in Regent Street, Sandy Bay.

In late April 1905, Henry was on the ballot paper to join the board again but missed out, gaining only 164 votes.

On Thursday May 11, Henry was found guilty of the assault and ordered to pay a fine of 10 shillings and also 9 shillings and sixpence as costs.

Henry was again putting himself forward as a candidate for the board in April 1906. Here is what he said when called upon to talk.

Henry was troubled with rheumatism and partial paralysis and on 9 April 1914, he took part in a demonstration of the Veedee specialist. This was by using a curative vibrator on the afflicted areas of the body.

In December 1914, his third daughter, Lucy Grace England, died just 8 months after giving birth to her son Lewis Maxwell England.

In October 1916, Henry’s son, Henry junior applied for exemption from going to war as he was the sole support of an invalid father and the only son in the family. Exemption was granted.

On 29 August 1932, Henry senior passed away at his son’s residence at 16 Grosvenor Street, Sandy Bay in his 77th year. A patient sufferer gone to rest as mentioned in the death notice.

Henry Lewis England Senior