Henry William Richard Farre

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Henry William Richard Farre

Birthplace: London, Greater London, UK
Death: Died in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Immediate Family:

Son of John Richard Farre and Ann Elizabeth Farre
Husband of Susan Farre and Hannah Maria Farre
Father of Henry Crawley Farre, SV/PROG
Brother of Elizabeth Mary Johanna Farre; Frederic John Farre; Edmund Farre; Alfred Farre; Arthur Farre, Dr. F.R.S. and 2 others
Half brother of Martha Frances Hornidge; Richard John Farre; Albert Johannes Clarke Farre; Joanna Farre and John Pinder Farre

Managed by: John Sparkman
Last Updated:

About Henry William Richard Farre

British Settlers in Natal


Volume 6 1824-1857 Eagle-Fyvie A Biographical Register

FARRE, Henry William Richard

Born 19 Apr. 1799, London. Died 21 Nov. 1882, Funchal, Madeira.

Farmer. He was the son of Dr John Richard Farre (1775, Barbados - 1862 London), and his wife Ann Elizabeth Crawley. Dr Farre (MD Aberdeen, 1806 and LRCP, 1806) practiced in the Barbados for a time. He was a co-founder of the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital (1804), and physician there for fifty years. Two of Henry Farre's brothers also became doctors, viz. Frederic John Farre (1804-1886), physician at St Bartholomew's Hospital 1854-70 and at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, 1843-86, and Arthur Fare (1811-1887), an obstetrician, and physician extraordinary to Queen Victoria.

Henry was baptized at St Botolph's Church, Bishopsgate in London. He was educated for the medical profession but it is not known where, (both his brothers studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital), or whether he actually qualified or practiced. Family information has it that he gave up his medical training because he developed a violent dislike for surgical procedures.

It would seem that from medicine he moved to farming. From a letter to Henry written in Aug. 1822, and which has survived in the family, it appears he had been living in the household of a Yoxford farmer, H. Read, and learning farming techniques. This letter was written by Read, and is superscribed Yoxford (Suffolk). It is addressed to Farre in Demerara. British Guiana, and is in answer to his of 19 April presumably 1822) describing his voyage from England. Evidently Henry had gone to Demerara to "acquire knowledge in New Agricultural Pursuits". Farre was back in Yoxford in 1832 when he married a Yoxford girl, Susan Braham (c. 1797 - c. 14 Apr. 1848, Brockville, Ontario). They were married in the Yoxford parish church on 6 .Aug. 1832.

Farre had apparently been farming near Yoxford on a 500 acre property. By the time their only child was born, in the year after their marriage, the Farres were in Ontario in Canada. Here they lived in or near the town of Brockville. It was in Brockville that Mrs. Farre was buried fifteen years later in 1848.

After his wife's death Henry farmed in the Bahamas. He was back in England by July 1854 when Bishop Colenso, recently returned from Natal after his ten-week assessment of the needs of his new diocese, offered him a post in his missionary team. Writing to Farre from London on the day following his proposition, Colenso confirmed it on paper, viz. the job of general superintendent of the mission "in a domestic and economic point of view", on a footing of equality with the other clergy missionaries.

Although Farre did not take up Colenso's offer, he did come to Natal. One presumes he was the Mr. Farre who landed at Durban in Mar. 1 855 (a couple of months before the Bishop and his party arrived) on the Gitana"

The first definite reference found to his presence in the Colony comes on 24 Jan. 1858 when he married in Durban. He was then resident in Smith Street. His bride was Hannah Maria Payne (born 4 Aug. 1826, Atherstone, Warwickshire). She was the daughter of William and Sarah Ellen Payne, and was baptized on 10 Sep. 1826 at the Mancetter parish church in Warwickshire.

A brother of hers was T.A. Payne. Hannah had come to Natal from London in Oct. 1855 on the "Lady of the Lake". C. W. Edmonstone and his wife were fellow passengers and references dating to June 1856 and Apr. 1857 show that she was living with the Edmonstones.

The Farres were evidently resident at the Umgeni, near Durban by June 1858. A letter written by Bishop Colenso of this month reveals that Mrs. Farre was conducting a school there. In this month too, Farre was licensed as a lay reader "to conduct service in his own house or neighbourhood, by reading Prayers and a sermon".

By about Jan. 1859 the Farres were living at Montpelier on the Berea near Durban. They were still there in August, when Farre appeared on the Durban County jury list as a renter of property. He appeared in the Pietermaritzburg County jury list for 1860-61 as a property owner, resident in Durban. In all the jury lists Farre appears as a "gentleman", while the press notice of his marriage describes him as an "esquire". Family information has it that he unsuccessfully tried cotton cultivation while in Natal, but nothing definite has been discovered about this.

The Farres seem to have left Natal in the early 1860s, judging by the fact that no further entries for Farre have been found in jury duty lists, and no further references to him have been discovered in Natal sources.

Apparently they went to the Cape Colony. Farre's only son Henry Crawley and his family arrived in Port Elizabeth early in 1862 and went to live near Somerset East. Family information relates that Farre sen. leased the farm Glen Avon near Somerset East

Farre left the Cape in 1882 bound eventually for England. He broke his journey at Madeira, intending to winter on the island. Here he died. The inscription on his tombstone at Madeira describes him as a widower. A puzzling factor, therefore, is the entry in Saul Solomon's South African Directory for 1883-84 for a Mrs. Farre residing at Somerset East. It is reported by descendants that in Somerset East he leased a portion of the farm "Glen Avon" owned by Robert Hart (Refer to Robert Ruben Hart, II SV/PROG)


Henry Crawley Farre (3 May 1833, Brockville, Ontario - 1 5 Sep. 1905, East London) m. 2 Oct. 1856, United States, Ann Wiltse (22 May 1838, Canada - 14 Oct. 1922, East London).

It would seem that Henry's young adult years were spent in Canada. Late in 1861 he and his family travelled to New York, from where they took ship for the Cape, arriving at Port Elizabeth in late January or early Feb. 1862. From there they went to Somerset East.

By Mar. 1871 they had moved to Bedford, while by about 1887 they were living in Queenstown. Their final move was to East London, where they had settled by 1904

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Henry William Richard Farre's Timeline

April 19, 1799
London, Greater London, UK
May 17, 1799
London, UK
May 3, 1833
Age 34
Brockville, ON, Canada
November 21, 1882
Age 83
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Charterhouse School, Aldresgate, London UK
Qualified as a Medical Doctor