Pounsett, Henry Rothwell

Date of Birth/Death:


Henry Rothwell Pounsett – Clerk, Lawyer, Post and Telegraph Station-master. Henry Pounsett was born in 1811, son of H.R. Pounsett of Surrey, England. Henry, his wife Elizabeth and two children (Margaret Eleanor and Henry) arrived in SA as cabin passengers on board the 250 ton barque Seppings (Captain Corry Rawlings from London with 60 passengers) on 23 June 1839. Henry was resident in Gawler Place, Adelaide during the 1840s and 1850s. He was described as a clerk in 1848 and he was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court in 1851. Henry was an Honorary organist at St John’s and St Paul’s Church in Adelaide and St. Stephens Church in Willunga.

Henry married Elizabeth Hubert (1816-1884). They had 7 children (5 girls and 2 boys):

  • Margaret Eleanor (1835-1907) b. in Camberwell, Surry, England, m. Harrison Powell on 26 May 1864 at St, Stephen’s Anglican Church, Willunga, d. at Adelaide
  • Henry (1836-1890) b. in Camberwell, Surry, England, m. Emma Knowling (f William Knowling) on 07 Jan 1862 at St. John Church, Adelaide, d. at Adelaide
  • Elizabeth Jane (1840-1916) b. in Camberwell, Surry, England, m. James Hughes on 26 May 1864 at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Willunga, d. at Malvern, SA.
  • Caroline Mary (1841-1877) b. at Adelaide, m. William Willoughby Shaw d. at Adelaide aged 33 years, d. at Adelaide
  • Amelia (1844-1868) b. at Adelaide, d. aged 21 years at Willunga
  • Mary Ann Alice (1848-1901) b. at Adelaide, m. Gerald Osborne Hodson
  • William Rothwell (1851-1937) b. at Adelaide, m. Sarah Ann Whitefield on 21 Dec 1876 at St, Stephen’s Church, Willunga and he was a telegraph clerk. She was the daughter of the late Rev. William Whitefield, Primitive Methodist Minister at Willunga until his death in 1871.

Henry was appointed as Willunga’s first Telegraph Station-master in 1858 when the telegraph line was built from Adelaide to Melbourne and the new Post Office and Telegraph Station opened at 62 High Street. The first Post Office and Telegraph Station on this site was a single story building and in the 1860s the present two-story building was built and the verandah was added.

Henry was the postmaster at Willunga from 1858 until his death on 27 July 1891 (33 years), aged 82 years. Elizabeth Pounsett (née Bee), aged 68 years, had died on 22 July 1884.


South Australian Births – Index of Registrations 1842-1906
South Australian Deaths Index of Registrations 1842-1915
South Australian Marriages Index of Registrations 1842-1916
Passengers in History – South Australian Maritime Museum
Ratepayer List Willunga & Aldinga Councils 1850-1888
Statton, J. 1986. Biographical Index of South Australians 1836-1885. Vol III. p.1303-4.
Ancestry (online) https://www.ancestry.com.au/
SA Genealogy database (online) https://www.genealogysa.org.au/
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1849 ‘LOCAL NEWS.’, South Australian 19 January, p. 2. , viewed 24 Dec 2023,
1849 ‘LOCAL NEWS.’, South Australian 28 December, p. 3. , viewed 24 Dec 2023,
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1858 ‘No title‘, The South Australian Advertiser 31 December, p. 2. , viewed 26 Dec 2023,
1859 ‘http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158128222.’, Adelaide Observer 25 June, p. 8. , viewed 26 Dec 2023,
1860 ‘The Register. ADELAIDE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1860.’, South Australian Register 10 November, p. 2. , viewed 26 Dec 2023,
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1891 ‘Obituary.’, Evening Journal 3 August, p. 2. (SECOND EDITION), viewed 26 Dec 2023,

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