Tripe, Henry Richard Gawen Dr

Date of Birth/Death:


Henry Richard Gawen Tripe was born c1810 at Plymouth, Devon the son of Thomas Tripe, a surgeon, and Elizabeth Paxton White. He married Eleanor Gogay in England c1855 at an undisclosed location (although banns for marriage at Holy Trinity Church, Ryde, Hampshire were withdrawn in January 1855). A son, Henry Richard Gawen Tripe was born 18 December 1855 at Saffron Hill, Holborn, the father listed as a ship’s surgeon. This son lived to adulthood and later served in the Merchant Navy. In 1867 Dr Tripe married twenty-four-year-old Fanny Hancock in Adelaide. Their only child, Henry St Clair Tripe, was born 15 August 1868 at Queenstown, but died of cholera at North Adelaide 13 January 1880.

In 1832 in Plymouth, Devon, an intoxicated man attempted to assault Henry and his brother Thomas after leaving their uncle’s house – the uncle was also a surgeon, and this assault was witnessed by their sister Julia. Henry Tripe obtained his Licentiate of the Apothecaries Hall, London in 1834. He was in New South Wales by 1841, having registered as a Medical Practitioner. By 1851 he returned to England and was a visitor at the home of Napoleon Kennett, surgeon in London. From 1858 he is recorded as a medical practitioner of Sydney, Australia suggesting he had returned prior to this date. By 1864 he was living at Queenstown, South Australia where he also practised medicine. In October 1869 he advertised the sale or let of his house and property at Queenstown.

In March 1871 the local press announced Dr Tripe had taken over the residence and practice of the late Dr James Frederick Knipe at Aldinga. The house was located at White’s Valley. Dr Tripe was fined for keeping an unregistered dog in September 1871; and he was listed as the surgeon of the Aldinga Oddfellows Court. In January 1872 at Willunga he attended, together with Dr Richard Gardiner Jay , Adelaide’s Catholic Bishop Shiel who was described as in ‘delicate health’. Bishop Shiel died a few weeks later in Willunga, and Dr Tripe attended his funeral held in Adelaide. In July 1873 Dr Tripe purchased Dr Knipe’s house and land. He requested the council to repair the road at White’s Valley. In March 1874 twenty-year-old Mrs Amelia Mary Martin (wife of Thomas Martin) was bitten by a snake. Her brother William Howe drove her to Dr Tripe’s place, but he was absent so they went to the Aldinga Hotel. Dr Jay from Willunga attended but Mrs Martin died, possibly from too much brandy that was given by well-meaning bystanders. In April 1874 Dr Tripe attended Hugh McCallum whose right arm had been entangled in farm machinery. He was sent to the Adelaide Hospital for further treatment and survived. In October 1874 William Dunstan sustained fatal injuries following a kick from a stallion. Dr Tripe was summoned, but as he was on another case Dr Jay attended indicating a district-wide shared practice. In January 1875 Thomas Alexander Martin fell from a horse and was pronounced dead by Dr Tripe. Dr Tripe was also called to Mrs Elizabeth Knight Fidge of Aldinga who had been found deceased in her bed.

Dr Tripe died 18 May 1878 at his residence, Gawenhurst, Aldinga. A document in the Lands Titles Office indicates he left the bulk of his estate to his wife Fanny, and a small sum to his sister Julia Burrows, by then a widow in England (she later died in 1899). Dr Tripe was buried at St Stephen’s Anglican Cemetery in Willunga, his grave marked by a headstone. In January 1879 his wife advertised the sale or let of the house and property, and in March 1879 the sale of household furniture, stock, dairy utensils and Dr Tripe’s surgical instruments, drugs and vials. Also listed were three cows, two heifers and three pigs. Fanny died in May 1932 at a private hospital in Hyde Park age 87 years.


Genealogy SA,

Willunga National Trust Branch, Willunga Doctors, Folder 42:9.

Willunga National Trust Branch, Willunga District Doctors 1841-1909

Maree Winchester, Ancestry family tree and email correspondence

‘Police Intelligence’, The Telegraph, Devonport, 21 April 1832, (Findmypast).

‘Apothecaries’ Hall’, London Medical Gazette, 21 March 1835, page 895. viewed 17 February 2022.

1871 ‘COUNTRY NEWS.’, The Irish Harp and Farmers’ Herald, 1 April, p. 5. ,

1871 ‘LAW COURTS.’, The South Australian, 9 September, p. 3. ,

1872 ‘Latest News.’, Evening, 27 February, p. 2.,

1871 ‘COUNTRY NEWS.’, South Australian Chronicle and Weekly, 28 October, p. 7.

1872 ‘THE WEEK’S NEWS.’, Adelaide, 13 January, p. 7. ,

1872 ‘GENERAL NEWS.’, The Express and Telegraph, 17 January, p. 2.,

1872 ‘DEATH OF BISHOP SHIED.’, The Express and Telegraph, 1 March, p. 2.,

1872 ‘DEATH OF BISHOP SHIEL.’, Evening Journal, 1 March, p. 2.,

1872 ‘DEATH OF BISHOP SHIEL.’, South Australian Register, 2 March, p. 5. ,

1873 ‘DISTRICT COUNCILS’, The South Australian Advertiser, 2 August, p. 6.,

1873 ‘Latest News.’, Evening Journal, 3 October, p. 2.,

1874 ‘SUDDEN DEATH AT ADDINGA.’, The Express and Telegraph, 11 March, p. 2. ,

1874 ‘TOPICS OF THE DAY’, The South Australian Advertiser, 11 April, p. 2. ,

1874 ‘A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY [Inquest at Aldinga].’, South Australian Register, 23 October, p. 5. ,

‘CASE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATH AT ALDINGA.’, The Express and Telegraph, 22 January, p. 3. ,

1875 ‘Family Notices’, The Express and Telegraph, 3 September, p. 2.,

1878 ‘Family Notices’, Evening Journal, 20 May, p. 2.,

1880 ‘Family Notices’, The Express and Telegraph, 13 January, p. 2. ,

SAILIS CLXXIX/120 Hundred of Willunga, part Section 220. Later known as McGaffin’s Farm Little Road, Aldinga– see page 62 for photo and brief details.

Extracts from SA General Registry Office (GRO) Information,

Sands Directories: Sydney and NSW 1858-1933,

New South Wales, Government Gazettes, 1853-1899, March 1881.

Headstone, St Stephens Cemetery, Willunga.





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