Saturday, December 26, 2009

Children of Lawrence Bourke & Hannah Mulcahy continued

2.The second child of Lawrence and Hannah was a daughter whom they named Margaret after her paternal grandmother, Margaret Meaney Bourke. Baby Margaret was born in Campbellfield in 1848.
She married James Lewis in 1872, and in their nine years of marriage the couple had the following children:
Catherine Mary 'Kate' born 1873, Woodstock, Victoria
Lawrence James Joseph born 1875, Epping
Hannah Elizabeth born 1876
Margaret born 1878

James Lewis died at the young age of 34 years on July 29, 1881.The Argus carried the news on August 2, 1881:
"DEATHS: LEWIS- On the 29th ult, at his residence, Summerhill, Epping, James Lewis, age 34 years. R.I.P."
James died without a will, and administration of his estate was granted to his wife Margaret. Also entitled to a distribution of the estate were their children Kate Lewis aged 8 years; Lawrence James Joseph Lewis aged 6; Hannah Elizabeth Lewis aged 4 and Margaret Lewis aged 2.

Margaret Bourke Lewis never remarried, and died in 1927.

3. The third child and second daughter born to Lawrence Bourke and Hannah Mulcahy was Ellen Bourke, who at times had the additional names 'Mary Josephine' added to her moniker.She was born at Kilmore in 1850. The Catholic Baptism register of Kilmore has the following entry for Ellen Bourke:
" Ellin, daughter of Lawrence Bourke and Honorah Mulcahy, born January 10, 1850, baptised January 14, 1850. Sponsors Edward Bourke and Catherine Devine.
In 1875, aged 24 years, Ellen Bourke married Michael O'Connor:
MARRIAGES: O'CONNOR-BOURKE: On the 29th ult., at St. Patrick's Church, Kilmore, by the Rev. P. Moran, Michael, eldest son of John O'Connor, Esq, Chewton, to Ellen Mary Josephine, second daughter of Laurence Bourke Esq. J.P, Keira-vale, Kilmore."
-Argus, January 4, 1875.
Children born to Michael O'Connor, who was a school teacher, and Ellen Mary Bourke were:
William Laurence O'Connor born 1876. (Died Queensland in 1939)
John Ambrose O'Connor born 1877.(Never married. Died in Queensland in 1970)
Catherine Hannah O'Connor born 1879. (Married school teacher Walter Leslie Hawkins in 1912)
Laura Blanche Violet O'Connor born 1881
Mary Agnes O'Connor born 1883
Sophia O'Connor born 1884 ( died in Queensland in 1890)
All of these children were born in Victoria. Soon after Sophia's birth, the family moved to Queensland, where a final daughter named Ellen Evelyn was born on April 15, 1889.(She married Samuel George McMunn in 1915)

Ellen Bourke O'Connor died in Queensland in 1938, aged 88 years.

Theresa Bourke was the fourth child and third daughter born to Lawrence Bourke and Hannah Mulcahy, and the only one of nine children who did not survive infancy.
Theresa was born on the goldfields at Bendigo whilst her father was having a stint at being a miner.She was born on June 18, 1852, and was christened in Bendigo on August 1, 1852.
By the time she died eight months later, the family were back in the Melbourne district. Theresa was buried on February 2, 1853,in Melbourne.

Named after her mother, Hannah Bourke was born at Campbellfield in 1854, the fourth daughter and fifth child of Lawrence and Hannah Bourke.
Hannah married John Meagher in 1879 when she was 25 years old. They had three children...Honora Catherine born 1882; Mary Frances born 1883 and John Francis born 1885.
Hannah Bourke passed away in 1885, aged 31 years, at Belfast, a settlement which is now known as Port Fairy. Because she gave birth to her son in the same year, I thought that there was a strong possibility that her death may have been childbirth related.When she died, Hannah's three children were aged between infancy and three years of age.
I obtained her death certificate, and Hannah did indeed die from an illness caused by giving birth to her only son, John Meagher.
Hannah Bourke Meagher died on May 20th, 1885, aged 31 years.The cause of her death was given as "Pueperal mania, 2 days, seceded by peuperal fever,3 days". She was attended by Dr. J. Baird, who last saw her on the day of her death. Hannah was noted as having been born at Campbellfield, Victoria, and had married John Meagher at Warrnambool at the age of 25 years.She was buried in the Belfast Cemetery on May 22, 1885, and her children were listed as being Honora Catherine, 3 years; Mary Frances 1 year; and John aged 2 weeks.
The following year, in 1886, John Meagher married again.His new wife was an Irishwoman from County Clare named Charlotte O'Brien. They only had three years of marriage together, for John Meagher died on September 1,1889.He left a very substantial estate, which was mainly distributed amongst his children and his wife Charlotte.
As well as raising her stepchildren, Charlotte had also given birth to a daughter, Eileen Marie, in Belfast in 1887.When her husband John died, Charlotte was left guardian to Honora aged 7; Mary Frances aged 6; John aged 4 and Eileen aged 2.
Charlotte O'Brien Meagher remained a widow for nine years after her husband John's death. In 1898 she married Thomas Francis Bride, a widower and father of five children to his first wife, Mary Clare Newton, who had died in 1895. Thomas Bride was a very interesting character. Following is a brief description of his life as taken from :-

BRIDE, THOMAS FRANCIS (1849-1927), librarian, was born on 1 October 1849 at Cork, Ireland, son of Henry Nelson Bride and his wife Ellen, née Bourke. He was brought to Victoria while 'too young to walk'. After brief schooling at Hawthorn he attended St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. In 1870 he enrolled as a law student at the University of Melbourne and after winning scholarships and exhibitions graduated with first-class honours in 1873. Six years later he qualified as doctor of laws, the third Victorian student to do so. Bride served as assistant librarian at the university in 1873-81.When the position of librarian at the Melbourne Public Library became vacant, Bride was selected from thirty-seven applicants and appointed in August 1881. He brought enthusiasm and method to his new task.
In 1895 after fourteen years of hard work Bride resigned from the library to become curator of estates of deceased persons. He retired to private life in November 1909.
In 1885 he was appointed a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was a member of the councils of the University of Melbourne from 1887 and of the Working Men's College for many years, serving as its president in 1912. As a member of the Antarctic Exploration Committee in 1886 he contributed to the recognition of Australia's interests in the Antarctic, with special reference to the development of the whaling industry and the use of guano deposits. He was an impartial but understanding chairman of the board appointed by the government in 1896 to investigate the conditions of white and Chinese labour in the furniture trade. During his term as librarian at the Public Library he edited the Letters from Victorian Pioneers, a collection of colonial reminiscences gathered by Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe.
In 1924 Bride made an extended visit to Britain and Europe. Soon after his return to Melbourne he suffered a short illness and died on 7 April 1927. He was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Boroondara cemetery, Kew. He was twice married: first to Mary Clare Newton by whom he had five children, and second to Charlotte Meagher O'Brien. He was survived by Charlotte and two sons of his first marriage."

These two sons were Hubert and Kendall Bride, children Annie, Leo and Doris having predeceased him.

John Meagher, the only son of Hannah Bourke and John Meagher Senior, had a sad but eventful life. In September 1910, newspapers from Sydney to Adelaide carried the story of John Meagher and his inheritance from his father's will. His father had died 21 years previously, but he had made a stipulation in his will regarding his son John inheriting..." I declare and direct that my said son before he gets possession of the said estate shall acquire and learn the profession of a barrister and solicitor, or surveyor, or other profession".
John Meagher Junior had matriculated in c. 1906, but his health had been very poor and he was unable to complete his law studies at University.In the year 1910, he was 25 years old and eligible to claim his inheritance, but had not been able to be admitted to any profession.
Mr Justice A'Beckett concluded that when viewing the will as a whole it was obvious that John Meagher Senior wanted his son to have the absolute gift of the property, and that the provision that he afterwards enacted in his will was merely something for his son's own benefit.This ruling enabled John Meagher to come into his inheritance and made him a wealthy young man.
John Meagher tried to enlist for service during World War 1, but was refused because of his poor health. He married Marjorie Kathleen Smith in Melbourne on November 15, 1918, and the couple moved to Coogee in Sydney, NSW.
In November of 1919, John Meagher's world was shattered when he returned home to their flat in Coogee to find his young wife lying dead on the bed in a nightdress, pools of blood everywhere and four long wounds in her head.
John was arrested on suspicion of murder, despite even his mother-in-law insisting that he could not possibly be the murderer.The case was given Australia-wide coverage, and even received publicity in New Zealand.
In the following blog entry I will transcribe several of the many newspaper articles about the murder trial of John Meagher,son of Hannah Bourke and grandson of Lawrence Bourke.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting all this information. I am a granddaughter of Catherine Mary (Kate) Lewis, granddaughter of Lawrence Bourke. The detail you have uncovered is amazing; must have taken you years!

Christine Yeats said...

Thank you for your blog. Do you know what happened to John Meagher after the court case?