Hawken, William

Date of Birth/Death:


Principal occupation=Quarryman, slate carver and monumental mason |

William Hawken was born at St Teath, Cornwall in 1835 the son of John Hawken and Sarah Bonney. He married Jane Ann Male (1839-1923) at St Teath, Cornwall on 29 July 1855. William Hawken and his wife Jane Ann arrived in Port Adelaide as government sponsored emigrants aboard the ship Royal Albert in late March 1857. Jane Ann’s parents, quarryman Francis Male, his wife Harriet (nee Percy) and their two sons John Roberts Percy and William Bonear, had also arrived in South Australia on the Burlington in February 1857. Both families moved to Willunga where William and Francis worked as quarrymen in the Willunga slate quarries.

In April 1858 William purchased lot 72 (now 9 St Judes Street) in Willunga for 22 pounds. He owned this property from 1858 until June 1883 when he sold it to licensed victualler William Matthew Oliver of Hutt Street in Adelaide. William worked as a slate quarryman, slate carver and monumental mason. He carved many slate headstones (tombstones) that still survive in the cemeteries of Willunga and surrounding districts (for example see Thomas Trenowth). He also exhibited a handsome slate mantelpiece at the Willunga Agricultural Show in 1868 that attracted considerable admiration. William also trained his son Thomas Hawken to carve slate.

William was a member of the Independent Order of Rechabites (IOR) – Salford Unity which was a Friendly Society founded in England in 1835 as part of the wider British temperance movement. He was actively involved in the establishment of an IOR “Tent” called the “Aurora Australis” at Willunga and he was elected to office for a term as a “Deputy Ruler”. Between 1857 and 1882 William and Jane Ann had a total of 15 children of whom only 6 survived to adulthood (including Albert William Bonear Hawken):

  • Albert William (1857-1859) born at sea on the Royal Albert and died at Willunga aged 2 years
  • John Francis (1858-1860) born and died at Willunga aged 2 years
  • Albert William Bonear (1860-1936) born at Willunga, married 9 August 1882 Emily Morris at the residence of F Male, Willunga. Second marriage to Mildred (Tillie) Grey (ca1864-1939) . He died at Elwood, Victoria
  • Sarah Jane (1862-1949) born in Willunga, died at Box Hill, Victoria; she married Walter Bartlett in Victoria in 1882
  • Thomas (1864-1882) born in Willunga and died in Melbourne, Victoria aged 17 years 9 months
  • William John 1866-1867) born and died at Willunga aged 1 year
  • Willoughby (1868-1943) born in Willunga and died at Ascot Vale, Victoria, he married 1st in Victoria to Jane Hazel (1862-1889) in 1887; and 2nd on 29 January 1891 to Violet Celia Harris (1870-1940) at Fitzroy, Victoria
  • Eva Ann (1870-1959) born in Willunga, died at the Central Mission Old Folks Home at Payneham, South Australia; she married William Bennett Hall in Victoria in 1889
  • Cornelia (1871-1872) born and died at Willunga aged 1 year
  • Beater (1873-1971) born in Willunga and died at Surrey Hills, Victoria, she married Duncan Fraser Burr in 1902 in Victoria
  • Cedric John Percy (1876-1876) born in Emerald Hill, Victoria and died at South Melbourne aged 6 weeks
  • Cornelia May (1877-1945) born at Emerald Hill, Victoria and died at South Melbourne, Victoria, married Harry Windley in Victoria in 1896. The couple had seven children of whom only three were alive at her decease
  • Cedric Eugene (1879-1879) born at South Melbourne, Victoria and died at Emerald Hill, Victoria aged 6 weeks
  • Blanch Buckingham (1880-1881) born at Emerald Hill, Victoria and died Eastern Hill, Victoria aged 5 months
  • Hector Percy Buckingham (1882-1891) born at Emerald Hill, Victoria and died at South Melbourne, Victoria aged 9 years 10 weeks

Ten of the children were either born and/or died while the family lived in Willunga. Sadly, the Hawken family lost 4 children while living in Willunga including John Francis Hawken aged two years who was drowned in a water well on the property. The four very young Hawken children (Albert William, John Francis, William John and Cornelia May) who died at Willunga between 1858 and 1872, for example, are commemorated in a single headstone that was carved by their father William and this headstone is currently located in St Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery in Aldinga Road. The Hawken family was resident in Willunga for around 18 or 19 years between 1857-58 and 1875-76.

By April 1876 the family had moved to Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) in Victoria where William continued to work as a monumental mason. He died, aged 69, on 6 June 1905 at South Melbourne and was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery. Jane died 14 November 1923 at Northcote, Victoria and left a will.


State Records of South Australia, Passenger Lists, https://www.archives.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/831651/GRG35_48_1_57-4_Royal-Albert.pdf

Genealogy SA, https://genealogysa.org.au/

Statton J. (ed) 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. SAGHS.

Land Titles Office – Old System – Certificate of Title, Register Book Vol LVIII

Victoria Births, Deaths and Marriages, https://www.bdm.vic.gov.au/research-and-family-history/search-your-family-history

Ancestry.com.au – Family Trees – Paddy O’Toole ‘Hawken Family Tree’

Ancestry.com. Victoria, Australia, Cemetery Records and Headstone Transcriptions, 1844-1997 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

1924 ‘Family Notices’, The Age, 14 November, p. 1. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155550096

1936 ‘Family Notices’, The Age,  8 June, p. 1. ,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article204827017 [Albert W B Hawken]

1945 ‘Family Notices’, The Argus, 12 September, p. 13. , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article971927 [Cornelia May Windley]

Public Record Office Victoria, Probate and Administration Files (VPRS28), 192/767 Jane A Hawken: Grant of administration, https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/wills-and-probates

Public Record Office Victoria, Wills (VPRS7591), 192/767 Jane A Hawken: Will; Grant of administration, https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/wills-and-probates

FlickR: 15876145934 – Thomas Hawken in the Willunga Band of Hope, 1873, Willunga National Trust; ref 0173.

FlickR: 16472722266 – Albert Hawken in the Willunga Band of Hope, 1873.Willunga National Trust; ref 0173.

FlickR: 7013416001 – Slate practice piece. Slate practice piece carved by Thomas Hawken

Search Our Web Pages