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Edward Withers

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Hill Green, Leckhampstead, Newbury, Berkshire, England
Death: September 11, 1921 (76)
Wanganui, New Zealand
Place of Burial: New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Withers and Jemima Withers
Husband of Agnes Mary Withers
Father of Edith Agnes WIithers and Edward Stroude WIithers
Half brother of Edward Withers; Jason Withers; Thomas Withers and William Withers

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Immediate Family

About Edward Withers

Edward Withers (b 23.7.1845 Hill Green, Leckhampstead, Newbury, Berkshire; d 11.9.1921 Wanganui, New Zealand; buried 13.9.1921 Wanganui)

1871 census: Schedule 77, Donnington Hill?

  • Edward Withers Head M 25 1846 Leckhampstead, Berkshire Miller Employing x
  • Agnes Mary Withers Wife M 27 1844 Pangbourne?, Berkshire
  • Edith Anes Withers Daur 1 1870 Donnington, Berkshire
  • Ann Smith Servant U? 19? general servant domestic? b Hants, Witten?? Be??
  • Maria Wicks Servant U? 16 nursemaid b Hants, Durham??

1881 census Dwelling Earlstok Villa London Rd, Batheaston, Somerset :

  • Edward Withers Head M 35 1846 Hill Green, Berkshire Miller Employing 2 Men 1 Boy
  • Agnes M Withers Wife M 37 1844 Kingbourne [trans. error], Berkshire
  • Edith A Withers Daur U 11 1870 Donnington, Berkshire Scholar
  • Edward S Withers Son 9 1872 Donnington, Berkshire Scholar
  • Thomas M Withers Son 7 1874 Donnington, Berkshire Scholar
  • Ida KJ Withers Daur 6 1875 Donnington, Berkshire Scholar
  • John T Withers Son 3 1878 Donnington, Berkshire Scholar
  • Jemina Withers Mother W 77 1804 Bayden, [ie Baydon] Wiltshire
  • Hannah M Williams Servant U 17 Redwye, Wiltshire Domestic Servant

The family went to NZ in 1884 with their 6 children on the ship "THE RUAPEHU".

Occupation - miller,

  • d 11.9.1921 at Wanganui Hospital from "343 [Victoria? missing name] Avenue, Wanganui of chronic endocarditis 5 yrs & corchiac? syncope 5 minutes;
  • son of Edward Withers farmer and Jemima nee Tubb;
  • Buried 13.9.1921 at Wanganui Cemetery by AO Williams Church of England;
  • Born in Newbury, England;
  • 37 years in NZ ;
  • m1 at Newbury, England aged 23 to Agnes Mary Newton;
  • m2 at Wanganui aged 52 to Gertrude Annie McEwen;
  • leaves no widow, M
  • issue aged 49,47,23,3 and F issue aged 45 & 1;
  • J Martin undertaker Wanganui.

1872-79 living with family by m1 at Donnington, Berkshire - see 1881 census above.

In 1880 he & his mother owned the Cross House in Eastbury near Lambourn, Berks built by his grandfather Jason Withers in 1789. His address was Bailbrook Lodge, London Road, Bath & his profession was miller.

Until the 1960s Bailbrook Lodge was a "Lunatick Asylum"; it is now a conference centre - (see for a photo). Was he a patient or was he just living close by?

There is quite a lot of information about Bailbroke House in the Somerset County Records Office (including some beautiful coloured plans showing rather grim looking rooms for the inmates)

In the 1881 census he was living with his wife and 6 children and mother just E of Bailbrook Lodge at Earlstoke Villa; his birthplace is listed as Hill Green, Berkshire. (Hillgreen is a parish near Leckhampstead in district of Newbury subdistrict Speen). For details of 1871 & 1881 entry see above.

For the history of Batheaston see the book by DOBBIE, B.M. Willmott & S. Catherine AN ENGLISH RURAL COMMUNITY Batheaston with Bath University, 1969.

Edward went to NZ in 1884 with his 1st wife Agnes nee Newton & their 6 children on the ship "the RUAPEHU".

From the Comber Index - In 1884 the RUAPEHU made two voyages to New Zealand:

  • 27.2.1884 Arrived Auckland
  • 8.3.1884 Arrived Wellington
  • 13.3.1884 Arrived Port Charmers
  • 25.3.1884 Arrived Lyttelton
  • Departed from Plymouth 31.05.1884

(confirmed by off "Immigrant Ships to NZ" at states  "In the Auckland Research Centre you will find:   Passenger lists from newspapers indexed for 1840-1899. Almost complete."

Auckland Passenger Vessels 1838-1885 gives the 2 visits by the RUAPEHU:

  • Vessel: RUAPEHU
  • Captain's name: W. C. CRUTCHLEY
  • Port of departure: London via Plymouth and Teneriffe via Hobart
  • Date of arrival: 27 February 1884
  • Port of arrival: Auckland
  • Vessel type: Steamship
  • Tonnage: 4162
  • Notes: 2 NZL IMM, NZShCo, 17, 10 January 1884
  • Source: New Zealand Herald, 28 February 1884
  • Vessel: RUAPEHU
  • Captain's name: H. E. GREENSTREET
  • Port of departure: London via Capetown, Hobart, Dunedin and Wellington
  • Date of arrival: 10 December 1885
  • Port of arrival: Auckland
  • Vessel type: Steamship
  • Tonnage: 2655
  • Source: New Zealand Herald, 11 December 1885

Reply from Library_Family_History"att" in 2003 - Kit Withers

Our databases 'Auckland Area Passenger Arrivals 1838-1886' and 'Auckland Passenger Vessels 1838-1885' is compiled almost entirely from newspaper shipping announcements. The newspapers noted as the source will list the passenger list of each ship.

You will find the 'Southern Cross' and 'New Zealand Herald' on microfilm at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington.

Wise's NZPO directories: 1891-7 Nixon Place, Wanganui;

  • 1901-4 flour-miller at Upper Tutaenui Rd, Marton: going N from Marton turn R onto Somersal Lane (before Jefferson's Rd) & L immediately to Fitzherbert's farm, Somersal, & mill location -no longer there. The mill was started 1864 by farmer W GALPIN. 1908 flourmiller 225 Victoria Ave.,Wanganui; (this site opposite the St John PO became the Red Pepper Inn and in 2000 is a gas station; this is contradicted below.)
  • 1912-20 settler 229 Victoria Ave. The mill was in Taupo Quay, & later was Smith's Carrier yard opposite the old railway station. It had a long roofline. It is now the site of K-mart. Most wheat he milled was grown up river by Maori. Later the Maori established 2 small mills at Tokorima & Pipiriki. The Wanganui Herald of 12.9.1921(?) p5 col.1 notes that after retiring from the flour industry he was on the clerical staff of the Borough Council, that he had played Poobah in The Mikado, & was a layreader at Christ Church. Ted 571 had receipt for 3 pounds for a burial site dated 22.12.1906 bought by Gertrude.

The Rangitikei Advocate of 12.9.1921 notes that he was well-known in Rangitikei. They are both buried at the old cemetery at Heads Rd & Guyton St, Wanganui. He is in plot Row (LS) 10 (43 feet from aisle) LOOK FOR ROW 10 - Row numbers are marked in aisle/grass corridor) with his 2nd wife Gertrude.

See there for the grave inscription & a photo: it does not acknowledge that he was buried there. In Nov 2005 I had erected a stone on their grave. Also buried there is "stillborn of Mr WITHERS buried 28.10.1896" (22 feet from aisle - sextant's notes). Kit Withers

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Edward Withers's Timeline

July 23, 1845
Berkshire, England
January 17, 1870
Age 24
Berkshire, England
November 11, 1871
Age 26
Berkshire, England
September 11, 1921
Age 76
New Zealand
September 13, 1921
Age 76
New Zealand