Edwin Compton


Edwin Compton
, the son of Lewis (a farmer and general labourer) and Mercy (née Palmer) Compton, was born in the September quarter of 1851 in the civil parish of Ashwick, Somerset. When the 1881 census was taken, he was working as a labourer and living with his parents and his sister Emma in Nettlebridge a hamlet between Oakhill and Stratton-on-the Fosse, Ashwick. He married Ellen Moon, the daughter of John (a miner) and Elizabeth (née Chard) Moon, in the September quarter of 1883 in Ashwick which was also his wife’s birthplace.

Soon after their wedding Edwin (aged 32) and his pregnant wife Ellen (33) set sail for Australia as bounty immigrants on the 856-ton barque Scottish Hero (Captain J Fraser). The ship left London on 28 October 1883 and anchored at Sea Hill on 29 January 1884 before proceeding up the Fitzroy River to Rockhampton on the following day. At a time yet to be established they moved to Brisbane and settled in Acacia Ridge, Cooper’s Plains, where Edwin earned his living as a timber-getter.

Their children were as follows: Elizabeth Palmer (b. 30 April 1884), Ellen (b. 23 July 1885; d. 4 November 1964), John Lewis (b. 21 November 1886; m. Morea Lucas 11 June 1918; d. 26 October 1950), Martha (b. 10 October 1888; d. 12 December 1955), and Henry Richard (b. 8 February 1892; bur. 28 September 1967). Note that Edwin’s death certificate refers to 2 males and 3 females deceased. As there is no mention of these details on Ellen’s certificate, one might ask whether Edwin married twice.

Two of the above children have links with God’s Acre not only because their parents were interred there but also because they married into the Calam family. Elizabeth Palmer Compton, married George Calam on 16 December 1908. She lived at ‘Greenvale’, Acacia Ridge; and after her death on 19 November 1946 she was buried in the South Brisbane Cemetery (9A 516B).

Ellen Compton (daughter) married Arthur Calam on 3 April 1915. They were living in Birnam Rd, Beaudesert, when Ellen died in the local hospital on 4 November 1964 having endured a long illness. After a service in the local St Thomas’s Church of England on the following day, her remains were cremated at the Mount Thompson Crematorium in Brisbane.

Edwin and Ellen’s elder son, John Lewis (known as Jack) Compton, married Morea Lucas, daughter of Paulo and Mary (née Hannan?) Lucas on 11 June 1918. Born in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales about 1875, Morea was the widow of Thomas Pennington Lucas Jr (b. 1869; d. 1906), the son of Dr Thomas Pennington and Mary Francis (née Davies) Lucas. After the death of her first husband, Morea moved to Brisbane with their two children—Reginald Thomas (aged 6) and May Morea (aged 4)—and lived with her in-laws.

For many years John Lewis Compton ran the controversial Dr Thomas Pennington Lucas’s Papaw Ointment factory at Acacia Ridge, an enterprise which continues to this very day. Morea died at the age of 66 on 27 March 1941 and was buried on the following day in the South Brisbane Cemetery (O 75). Her husband passed away on 26 October 1950 and was laid to rest in the same grave.

Ellen Compton died in the Mater Misericordiae Public Hospital on 19 July 1925, aged 74 years and 4 months, and was buried in the Cooper’s Plains Cemetery two days later. Present in an official capacity were: T Foley (undertaker), the Reverend Stephen Larkin (Methodist minister), Tom William Spring and J Dwyer (witnesses).

Edwin Compton died in the Fellnaw Private Hospital, Annerley, on 14 September 1942. His funeral took place on the following day at the Cooper’s Plains Cemetery in the presence of HW McDowall (undertaker), the Reverend Father John Massingberd Teale of the Church of England, G Hughson and J Dunstan (witnesses). This death notice appeared in the Courier Mail:

COMPTON.—On September 14th, Edwin Compton of Acacia Ridge, Cooper’s Plains, Father of Jack, Henry Richard, Martha, Elizabeth, and Ellen, aged 91 years.

Compton Road, which was gazetted in 1972, recalls the memory of these doughty pioneers. It services the Brisbane suburbs of Sunnybank Hills, Runcorn, Kuraby, Woodridge, Slack’s Creek and Underwood, linking Beaudesert and Logan Roads.