About Edward Biddulph, Commander, RN
Edward was formerly of Westminster and was educated at Rugby. He entered the navy in 1803 and served on many ships. In 1810 he was on the Onyx and took part in the defence of Cadiz for which he received many medals. He assisted with the landing of emigrants at Algoa Bay and in surpressing the slave trade. He was placed out of commission in 1823 and retired at age 41. He bought a small paddle steamship called the Sophia Jane. On 18 Dec 1830 he left England for Australia with his wife and family. They arrived in Sydney on 14 May 1831. His was the first paddle steamship to arrive in Australia. He started a regular trip between Sydney and Newcastle. The ship caused alarm to the aboriginies and they named it "fire devil" due to the smoke and sparks billowing from the funnel. He sold the ship in 1840 and retired near Maitland where he was Harbour Master for a short time.
There is a grave in the old Christ Church Cemetery in King Street, Newcastle, with headstone inscribed:
on the south side:
"Mary Stewart Biddulph widow of Edward Biddulph Commander Royal Navy Died September 21st 1878 Aged 50 years [a likely transcription error, given the dates of her marriage, etc, could be a mis-read 86 years?] In her tongue is the Law of kindness Proverbs 31. 26th Verse. The path of the just is as the shining Light. That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Proverbs 4. 98th Verse."
also her husband's inscription on the East Side:
IHS Erected by his wife and children to the Memory of Edward Biddulph Commander Royal Navy who died January 28th 1851 aged 61 years. The Lord redeemeth these ___ ___ his servants .. And those of them that trust in Him shall be _____. Psalms. XXXIV. V. 22
- from a list of Old Christ Church Cemetery (King Street, Newcastle) headstone inscriptions at http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/72722/List_of_graves_and_inscriptions.pdf