This researcher has serious doubts as to whether any of
the five Webbers identified in the heading are buried in
the Cooper’s Plains Cemetery. Their death certificates
give their place of burial as Brown’s Plains, the
district in which they lived. In Thomas Edworthy
Webber’s case this is further specified as ‘Brown’s
Plains Private Cemetery’. It may also be significant
that Arthur William Webber’s birthplace is given as
‘Brown’s Plains, Yeerongpilly’.
Diligent inquiry on the part of the researcher has not
been able to establish that there was such a place as
the Brown’s Plains Cemetery. It is possible that the
Webbers were laid to rest on their own family property.
As was noted in an article on Louisa Duesbury Coote,
quoted earlier in these pages: ‘During the pioneering
days, settlers were to be found in isolated places and
lived, died and were buried on their properties, and
near their homesteads’.
There are some grounds for believing that the Cooper’s
Plains Cemetery, which was variously named, and the
so-called Brown’s Plains Private Cemetery could be one
and the same place. In this connection it is interesting
to note that James Sheffield’s funeral notice refers to
his burial place as ‘Grenier’s Cemetery, Eight Mile
Plains’. It is also relevant that the Webbers were
closely linked through friendship and marriage to
families (including the Sideys, the Hockings and the
Catchpoles) associated with God’s Acre.
All in all, it seems to the writer that it better to
include the following material than to omit it.
the son of William and Grace Webber, and his wife
Elizabeth Ann Edworthy, the daughter of John and
Elizabeth Edworthy, emigrated to Australia with their
children on the
(Captain Robert Spencer). The ship sailed from Plymouth
on 2 March 1858 and arrived in Brisbane on 19 June 1858.
In the shipping records,
the Webbers are listed as follows:
William (47, labourer), Elizabeth (52), Thomas (19,
labourer), Emma [=Emily] (17, domestic servant), Mary
Jane (14, domestic servant), and Harriet (9).
The newly arrived passengers soon obtained employment at
what was probably the going rate—£32-40 per annum for
single men and women and at £50-60 for married couples.
In time William took up land at Brown’s Plains where he
named his property ‘Kitchen Farm’.
After their deaths on 28 July 1881 and 23 May 1887
respectively, Elizabeth and William were laid to rest in
the South Brisbane Cemetery (8A 146).
Thomas Edworthy Webber,
the son of William and Elizabeth Ann (née Edworthy)
Webber, was born in South Molton, Devonshire about 1840.
He married Elizabeth Ann Sidey, the daughter of
Thomas and Ellen (née Bleakley) Sidey, on 2 January 1871
in Beenleigh; and they became the parents of a large
family: Annie May (b. 26 January 1872; d. 9 February
1926), Arthur William (b. 13 September 1873; d. 29 June
1874), Alfred Edward (b. 12 December 1874), Dora Ethel
b. 3 July 1877; d. 24 September 1954), Henry James (b.
31 October 1879), William John (b. 28 September 1881),
Squire (b. 21 September 1883), John1 (b. 21
February 1885; d. 18 March 1885), John2 (b.
30 January 1886; d. 11 March 1886), Ernest (b. 23 April
1887; d. 1 November 1963), Arthur (b. 18 July 1888), and
Coral Vivian (b. 14 August 1890).
Thomas was the licensee of the Brown’s Plains Hotel
(also know as the Stretton Hotel) between 1882 and 1885
when the license was transferred to John Johnston. The
hotel was established by Thomas’s brother-in-law George
Stretton who held the license from 1875 to 1882 until he
became the licensee of a hotel in Beaudesert. Thomas
also took over from George the role of postmaster and
successfully tendered as mail contractor for the
Cooper’s Plains to Brown’s Plains run which, for an
annual fee of £39, he undertook to do in his spring cart
thrice weekly. He was chairman for a time of the Brown’s
Plains State School Committee.
Elizabeth Ann Webber was 10 years old when she migrated
to Australia with her family on the 1346-ton Black Ball
(Captain WH Yule). Her brother Alfred Oswell Sidey
married her sister-in-law, Harriett Webber. Elizabeth
Ann passed away on 4 September 1891 as a result of
complications in childbirth and, according to her death
certificate, was laid to rest at Brown’s Plains
(Cooper’s Plains?) in a service witnessed by her husband
and William Orr.
After the death of his first wife Thomas married
Priscilla Isabella Kerslake (a house keeper), the
daughter of William George and Mary Ann (née Chapman)
Yates, on 21 May 1892. The ceremony was conducted by the
Reverend James Stewart at his residence, Arthur Street,
New Farm, according to the rites of the Presbyterian
Church and was witnessed by BF Hill and Margaret
Stewart. Thomas died on 3 November 1912 and was buried
two days later in a ‘private cemetery at Browns Plains’
from his late residence at the Brown’s Plains Post
Office. William Henry Wright Lavers of the Joyful News
Mission presided at the graveside in the presence of JW
Cordingley and William S Smail (witnesses).
Priscilla Webber passed away of 3 June 1925 and was
buried in the Nundah Cemetery.
As noted above, the burial place of the three children
who died in infancy is given as Brown’s Plains. The
burial of Arthur William Webber took place on 29
June 1874, the day after his death. His father acted as
undertaker and John Orr and Henry Cronk filled the role
of witnesses. Henry Cronk, the son of John and Ann (née
Mills) Cronk, was the first husband of Harriet Webber
who, after his death on 10 January 1877, married Oswell
Sidey, Elizabeth Ann’s brother.
was buried on 19 March 1885 in a service conducted by
John Orr (lay reader) in the presence of William Orr and
John F Anderson (witnesses). John Webber2
was laid to rest a year later on 13 March 1886 in
a service witnessed by Alfred Sibley (his uncle) and
Robert Catchpole and conducted by John Orr (lay reader).