the son of John Weeks (a labourer), married Mary Ann
King, the daughter of Thomas and Ann (née Gribble)
King, in Cockington, Devonshire, on 28 February 1861. At
that time Mary Ann was aged 21 and Henry, a widower, was
a 28-year-old servant. The Reverend Philip Walter Doyne
of the Church of England conducted the service which was
witnessed by William Davy and Elizabeth Weeks. In
October of that year the bride’s parents and her sister
Elizabeth emigrated to Queensland—a step that Henry and
Mary Ann, leaving behind their home in Torquay, were
themselves to take more than a decade later.
Then aged 42 and 33 respectively, Henry and Mary Ann
came to Australia as remittance passengers on the
666-ton clipper barque
(Captain WJ Wakeham). The ship set sail from London on
15 August 1873 and dropped anchor at the Bar in Moreton
Bay at 5 p.m. on 16 November 1873. According to the
82 passengers were brought up to Brisbane by the little
on the following evening; and the remaining passengers
(about 220 in number) were transported to Ipswich by the
early on the morning of 18 November.
Travelling with Henry and Mary Ann Weeks were their
children: Elizabeth Sarah Ann (b. 9 October 1861, known
as Annie; m1. James Sheffield 2 April 1885; m2.
George Wilkinson Campbell 23 May 1900; d. 16 February
1956), Henry John Thomas (b. 15 June 1863; d. 26 March
1884), Richard James Robert (b. 22 August 1865; d. 27
February 1884), Adelaide Ellen Augusta (b. 10 March
1869, known as Ellen; m. James Price, son of William and
Hannah Price, on 14 May 1892; d. 10 August 1951), and
Susannah1 (b. 22 February 1872; d. 16
September 1873) who was one of five passengers who died
en route. According to her death certificate, Susannah
succumbed to dysentery at Lat. 5 30 N Long. 21 30 W and
was buried at sea in the presence of official witnesses,
Dr KT Freeman (the Surgeon-Superintendent) and Mr James
After their arrival in Australia, the Weeks family,
settled in Oxley; and it was there that four more
children were born: Susannah2 Thomasin (b. 3
October 1874; m. Elijah Sidney Massey on 29 May 1901; d.
21 July 1954.), Eliza Jane (b. 25 February 1877; m.
Julius Frank Behrens 4 September 1895; d. 21 May 1962),
Edwin Albert (b. 1 September 1879, known as Jack; m.
Edith Quick 18 March 1906; d. 28 April 1955), and Mary
Ann Jessie (b. 6 June 1883; m. Frederick William
Fredline 19 November 1898; d. 16 August 1972). The Weeks
children attended the Oxley State Primary School.
Henry and Mary Ann’s story is told in this passage from
the pen of Lona Grantham:
When they first arrived, they resided on 50 acres at the
Blunder, Oxley, which was owned by Mary Ann’s father,
Thomas King. They helped to farm the property and saw
aborigines and corroborees and must have found life very
strange to what they had left in England. On 9 May 1888,
the property was transferred into the name of Mary Ann
Weeks and, on 9 August 1920, the property was
transferred to Edith Weeks, the wife of Mary Ann and
Henry Weeks’s son Edwin Albert, known as Jack. About
1874, Henry and Mary Ann, along with their two daughters
(and families), bought a farm at Seventeen Mile Rocks,
Oxley. This venture did not last long as the daughters’
husbands were not interested in farming, so the farm was
sold and each family went its own way. Henry and Mary
Ann bought property in Bannerman Street, Oxley, where
Henry did a lot of market gardening. He was also a
coachman for the big house on Cliveden Avenue, Corinda,
which is now Hopetoun Home. He was also a gardener and
coachman at ‘Springfield’ which was a big estate on
Oxley Road, Oxley. Henry gave each of his daughters a
house when they married and the only condition he
imposed on them was that they would pay their mother 2/6
per week (25 cents today) for the rest of her life. What
an amazing accomplishment for a man who was a milkman,
farmer, coachman and gardener!
Henry Weeks died on 12 December 1910 at the age of 84
and was laid to rest in the Cooper’s Plains Cemetery on
14 December. The Reverend Edward Oerton of the Church of
England presided; and the official witnesses were JH
Cripps and TG Johnston.
Mary Ann Weeks
lived alone after her husband’s death until failing
health forced her to move out of the family home to the
residence of her daughter Ellen Price. She died in her
86th year on 20 August 1925. Her remains were
interred in the Cooper’s Plains Cemetery two days later.
The Reverend WEC Barrett of the Church of England
conducted the service; and the official witnesses to the
burial were Tom William Spring and JG Gallein. That she
was well known and respected in the district is evident
from the following two obituaries that appeared in
THE LATE MRS. M. A. WEEKS
An old resident and pioneer of the Oxley district, Mrs.
Mary Ann Weeks, died in hospital at Oxley last Thursday
night. The deceased lady, who was 85 years of age,
arrived in Queensland by the sailing ship
in 1873. Both she and her husband were natives of Devon,
England. After their arrival in the country, they
settled in the Oxley district, and battled bravely
against the many hardships confronting the pioneers.
Their holding was flooded three times, and in the
earlier days of their colonial life the aboriginals were
practically their sole companions. The family, which has
been highly respected in the Oxley district for over
half a century, comprises one son, Mr. E. A. Weeks,
Oxley, and five daughters, Mrs. G. Campbell, Mrs. J.
Price, and Mrs. J. Fredline, all of Oxley, and Mrs. E.
Massey and Mrs. F. Beherns [sic], of Greenslopes. There
are also 27 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.
The late Mrs. Weeks’ husband predeceased her 15 years
ago. Until two years ago she remained in residence at
her old homestead, when illness compelled her to undergo
medical treatment. Since that time she has been living
with her daughters. The funeral took place on Saturday
to Cooper’s Plains cemetery.
DEATH OF A PIONEER
The death of a pioneer of Oxley, in Mrs. Mary Ann Weeks,
aged 87 [85 is correct] years, relict of the late Mr.
Henry Weeks, of Oxley, who died in 1910, occurred
recently. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks arrived in Queensland from
their native Devon in 1873 by the ship
Gauntlet, and they resided in
Oxley until the end of their lives. Mr. Weeks in the
early days did gardening work, and in his later years
was engaged in farming at Seventeen-mile Rocks. They
were thrice flooded out, and they had exciting
experiences with the blacks. Mr. and Mrs. Weeks were
highly respected in the district. Five daughters and one
son survive. The daughters are Mrs. G. Campbell (of
Oxley), Mrs. J. Price (of Oxley), Mrs. E. S. Massey
(Greenslopes), Mrs. F. Behrens (City View Estate), and
Mrs. W. Fredline (of Oxley). Mr. E. A. Weeks, the only
surviving son, lives at Oxley. Two sons, Richard and
Harry, are dead. There are 27 grandchildren and 15
great-grandchildren. Mrs. Weeks lived by herself after
her husband’s death until about two years ago, when she
suffered a paralytic stroke. After which, she resided
with her eldest and then her second daughter.
Richard James Robert Weeks,
the son of Henry and Mary Ann Weeks, was employed as a
labourer when he contracted typhoid fever. Despite the
ministrations of Dr Albert Emmelhainz, he succumbed to
his illness on 27 February 1884 and was buried on the
following day in ‘Grenier’s Cemetery, Cooper’s Plains’.
Assisting at his interment were: William Francis Lyon
(undertaker), J Pascoe (lay reader) and Edward Freney
and George Donaldson (witnesses).
Barely a month later tragedy struck the family again
when Richard’s older brother Henry John Thomas Weeks
(also a labourer) passed away from the same illness on
26 March 1884. His burial in ‘Grenier’s Cemetery,
Cooper’s Plains’ took place on the same day in the
presence of: William Francis Lyon (undertaker), the
Reverend James Samuel Hassall (Church of England
minister), and Martin Freney and John Cundy (witnesses).