Harker, Henry

Date of Birth/Death:


Henry Harker was born in Toddington, Gloucester, England c1813,  the oldest son of Edmund Harker and Elizabeth (nee Jones). Henry Harker (22) together with his father Edmund, mother Elizabeth and four children (Ann, Elizabeth, Mary and Edward) arrived on 26 July 1838 aboard Duke of Roxburghe from London. By 1841 Edmund Harker had moved to Port Lincoln and some of the family later moved back to England.

Henry Harker was a wheelwright and blacksmith with his business located on lots 56 (owned by Henry) and 55 (owned by his father Edmund) in High Street, Willunga between about 1846 and 1860. He lived in the cottage at 13 High Street (lot 48). Henry was certainly resident in District C by 1846 (Memorial), he was resident in Willunga by 1847 and is listed as “Henry Harker, Willunga” in the 1848 Directory. He advertised for a blacksmith to work alongside him in both 1847 and 1853. He was granted a timber licence on 10 Feb 1849. In January 1851 the Colonial Treasury owed Henry Harker 18 shillings for works associated with “Police and Gaols”. He was the secretary of the McLaren Vale Union Flour Mill Company when it was dissolved in December 1855 and he suffered considerable financial losses. As a result, he may have sold his blacksmith business in Willunga to Henry Gepp in 1855.

In the 1850s Henry also acted on behalf of his father Edmund who owned section 495 (near McLaren Vale) and lots 18 and 19 in Gloucester (McLaren Vale) as well as part of section 157 and lot 55 in Willunga that were later sold at auction in 1865 and 1874. Mary Ann Pethick, aged 33 years, (1823-1886) married Henry Harker, aged 38 years, at the residence of her older brother John Pethick, Bowithick Farm on 31 May 1855. They had one son:

  • Henry Edward (1857-1858) who died as an infant.

In 1860 Henry’s brothers–in-law John and William Pethick petitioned for Henry to be declared a lunatic and they testified that Henry’s wife was of “infirm health” and possibly suffered from epilepsy making her unable to care for Henry. Henry was tried in the Supreme Court on charges of Lunacy caused by “hard living and intemperance” and he was admitted to the Parkside Lunatic Asylum. Lot 56 was sold in 1861 by William Pethick, acting on behalf of Henry Harker (then incarcerated in the Asylum), to Harrison Powell for £250.

Henry Harker died, aged 46 years, on 9 Jan 1862 in the Adelaide Asylum and he is buried in West Terrace Cemetery. Mary Ann Harker (nee Pethick), aged 64 years, died at the residence of her brother John Pethick, (Bowithick Farm) Aldinga, on 30 July 1884.


Passengers in History, South Australia Maritime Museum, https://passengers.history.sa.gov.au

SA Census 1841, Index for GRG 24/13 Census Returns – 1841 Census

FamilySearch – Returns of Census compiled in January 1841 GRG24/13

Genealogy SA, https://www.genealogysa.org.au/resources/online-databases.html

Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888, Willunga National Trust Branch

1841 ‘CRIMINAL SESSIONS.’, Adelaide Chronicle and South Australian Literary Record, 3 March, p. 4. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195860609

1847 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 15 December, p. 1. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48543532

1850 ‘Advertising’, Adelaide Observer, 22 June, p. 1. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article159532851

1853 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 18 May, p. 2.,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38464080

1853 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 20 May, p. 2. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38461824

1854 ‘Advertising’, Adelaide Observer, 25 November, p. 6. ,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158099952

1855 ‘Family Notices’, South Australian Register, 11 June, p. 2. ,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49302804

1855 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 31 August, p. 1. ,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49297129

1855 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 25 September, p. 3. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49298141

1855 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 26 December, p. 3. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49300068

1860 ‘SUPREME COURT.’, The South Australian Advertiser, 20 December, p. 3. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article828107

1860 ‘SUPREME COURT.’, The South Australian Advertiser, 31 December, p. 3. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article828497

1865 ‘Advertising’, South Australian Register, 20 April, p. 4. ,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39120911

1886 ‘Family Notices’, Evening Journal, 30 July, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197821040

Extracts from SA General Registry Office, Memorials:

  • HARKER, Henry blacksmith Willunga 1849[-1854] Memorial 421/14
  • HARKER, Henry wheelwright Willunga 1851[-1857] Memorial 306/33
  • HARKER, Henry a lunatic owning land in Willunga 1861 Memorial 79/175
  • HARKER, Henry formerly wheelwright Willunga, died 9/1/1862 Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, of diarrhoea, aged 46 Application 23897
  • HARKER, Mary Ann nee PETHICK, of Willunga 1875, by the will of Abraham PETHICK of Willunga, who died 27/1/1855, entitled to £20 annuity from part Section 247 Willunga (she was his eldest daughter), released Sarah Ann Pethick, widow of William Pethick (died 8/1/1862), from continuing paying the annuity (in settlement of £89/10/-). Mrs William Pethick had sold the land to Henry PETHICK 11/10/1875 Deposit 223/1875
  • See also:
  • HARKER, Edmund and Henry wheelwrights Willunga 1859 Memorial 15/158
  • HARKER, Edmund wheelwright Willunga, about to leave the province for a time, power of attorney to Richard Bowen COLLEY land agent Adelaide, to attend to his SA business affairs 3/9/1859. He was at Winchcomb, Co Glos, by 27/10/1864, when RB Colley again received appointment as attorney. E Harker could not write Deposits 24/1862 & 101/1865
  • HARKER, Edmund gentleman Gretton near Winchcomb, Glos, England. Father of the late Henry Harker formerly wheelwright Willunga but now deceased 1865 Memorial 242/203
  • HARKER, Edmund formerly wheelwright Willunga 1859 but now gentleman Winchcomb, Glos, England 1865. Linked with Henry Harker wheelwright Willunga in the 1850s Application 6340
  • HARKER, Edmund formerly blacksmith Willunga 1860 but now of parts beyond the seas 1872 Application 12031
  • HARKER, Edmund gentleman Gretton, Winchcomb, Glos, England, died 26/3/1873. His executor, Richard Castle gentleman Winchcomb, appointed Richard Chaffey Baker and William BARLOW solicitors Adelaide, as his attorneys to wind up the Harker Estate in SA 20/10/1873 Deposit 43/1878


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