The Bevis Family

Henry Bevis was born at Bath in Somerset in 1825 and tried and convicted at the Bridgwater Assizes on 31 July 1849 for stealing ‘plate and goods’ worth £73 from Messers Moore and Angel at Bath. At the time he was 24 years old and single black hair dark eyes and fair complexion. He could read and write and had a tattoo of a man holding a sword and flag on his arm. He was sentenced to seven years transportation but was initially imprisoned at Shorncliff, Millbank and Dartmoor. It is believed that he was employed as a stonemason in converting the prison at Dartmoor from its initially status as a prison for captured French soldiers to a civilian gaol. It was not until 1852 that he left Plymouth on the Lady Montagu bound for Van Dieman’s Land.

He arrived in Hobart on 9 December 1852 at a time when transportation was coming to an end. Despite a few minor offences he quickly obtained a Ticket of Leave – granted 1 August 1854. He was then employed by J Cruttenden in Buckland where he served a weeks gaol in solitary on bread and water for being drunk and disorderly. He got his conditional pardon in August 1856. By May 1858 he was working as cook and owned a cottage on an acre of land in New Street with an annual value of £12. On 21 October 1858 he married a twenty-nine year old widow, Mary Taylor, who followed the same trade.

Mary was born in Selby, Yorkshire and christened there on 24 January 1825. Her mother was Sarah (nee Mottashad) father Matthew Harrison. (They were married at nearby Thorne on 14 July 1797. Mary was the second of seven children had three brothers Thomas, John and Robert and three sisters Hannah, Harriett and Sarah,. In 1841 she was living with her parents and grandparents in Paradise Square Selby. Her grandfather, Richard Mottashad died on 21 May 1842 and her grandmother Elizabeth four years later on 3 December 1846. Mary's father had died in September 1844 and about this time Mary Harrison left home and moved to Lincoln where she lived with William MacDonald and adopted his name. In 1849 they charged with street robbery and sentenced to 10 years transportation in July of that year. The convict indent describes her as being 5 ft 3 inches tall with black hair, dark complexion and light hazel eyes. Her occupation was recorded as 'housemaid and plain cook' and indicated that she was a Protestant and could read and write. When the 1851 Census was taken Sarah Harrison was living at 27 South Parade Selby with her daughter Sarah and making a living as a charwoman.

She arrived in Hobart on 4 April 1850 on
St Vincent and was immediately sent to Swansea. There she met another convict Thomas Taylor (Waterloo and Cape Packet) and the two were married on 23 April 1851 when she was 25 and he 31. Taylor came from Marsham in Derbyshire where he worked as a farm labourer. His conviction was for poaching and releasing another man held by a gamekeeper. He was tall and fair and had a wife, Mary, but no children. He had arrived in Hobart on 24 November 1842 having survived the shipwreck of the Waterloo. Initially he was sent to Southport and then to New Norfolk where he worked for a Mr Jervis. In July 1846 he was charged with cattle stealing but was acquitted of the charged and sent to the Cascades Station for a year on probation. By late 1847 he was working for Rev Joseph Maylor at Swansea. After his marriage he was working at Redlands for the Shaw family. (Redlands was situated on the ocean side of the highway on the banks of the Meredith River near Swansea.) Taylor got a ticket of leave in July 1850.

A year after his marriage he served 21 days in gaol for minor larceny. Mary worked as a cook and gave birth to her first child, Mary, on 3 Jan 1854. She received a ticket of leave on six months later and a conditional pardon on 3 June 1856. Nine days later her first son William, was born. Thomas Taylor died on 28 March 1858.

Mary, then 33, obtained her freedom 20 July 1859 and a month later married Henry Bevis, her third husband. It seems likely that Mary and both her second and third husbands all worked at Redlands. Henry continued to work there after his marriage but the property was destroyed by fire in 1866. Records show he voted in the municipal elections in 1860 and received stores from Morris’ store. Mary was the midwife for the district.

Mary and Henry had five children and all were baptized in the Swansea Parish Church.
Maria born 2 March 1859
Henry (b. 10/1/1861, d. 30 May 1891) married Jane White (26) in Hobart on 13 Sept. 1883 and had two daughters - Agnes May (b. 9/11/1883-d. 12/2/1885) and Violet Mary (b. 31 Dec 1885 d. 21 Feb 1887).
John (b. 11/6/1864, d. 4 July 1894) married Mary Ann Dooey 16 April 1890. They had two boys John William b 9 dec 1891 and George also born in 1891.
George (b. 14/5/1866, d. 9 Nov 1935) married Minnie Thorpe (18) on 11 February 1886 and they had fourteen children (Robert Henry, Atholl,. Mary Hannah, Minnie, George, Albert John, Victoria Pearl, Cornelius, Francis, Percival, Roy, William, Gwendoline and another who died as an infant in 1913..
Thomas (b. 14 /9/1868, died 3 Sep 1932) married Henrietta, 'Et', Diefenbach, and had two children Gertrude and Thomas.

The Bevis family moved to Hobart around 1875 and settled into a house in Bathurst St. where Mary died in July 1881. She was buried at Cornelian Bay (C of E B63) with her mother Mary and father Henry. Just over 2 years later it seems Henry remarried. His bride was Jane White. At 26 she was just a little older than her stepchildren.
Jane was pregnant but her daughter died as an infant as did a second baby girl. Agnes May (b. 9/11/1883 d. 12/2/1885) and Violet Mary (b. 31 Dec 1885 d. 21 Feb 1887)
Henry died two years after the wedding and his eldest daughter Mary Jane, then 18, probably took over as head of the family.

It seems that Jane Bevis (nee White married a 50 year old famer, John Connell in June 1890. Jane died in 1905 and John 3 year later. They were buried together at Cornelian Bay in O 17.