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John Hooke

Birthplace: Worcestershire, England
Death: May 1845 (55)
Dungog, Wirragulla, New South Wales, Australia
Place of Burial: Dungog, New South Wales, Australia
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Hooke and Elizabeth Hooke
Husband of Mary Ann Hooke
Father of John Hooke, II; Henry Guy Hooke; Alfred Hooke; Benjamin Hooke; James Hooke and 7 others
Brother of Thomas Hooke and Benjamin Hooke

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Hooke

background - Crookes Park to Wirragulla

Added by Wendy_Ralph on 3 Jun 2008

Originally submitted by deborahparry57 to Parry Family Tree on 18 May 2008

John of Crooks Park Sold Crookes Estate to his yst brother Benjamin of Norton Hall, Worcs - 9 & 10 th March 1827.

Emigrated to Australia in 1828 took possession of Wirra Gulla Estate , Dungog, NSW - confirmed by Governor Sir Richard Bourke 30th May 1837

Married Mary Anne Beale aged 55, having had issue, nine sons and 3 daughters

From Burkes Landed Gentry pg 313 

Records of Hookes in Australia - John and Mary Ann Hooke

deborahparry57added this on 27 Jul 2008

In a document entitled, “Records of the Hooke Family, Dungog, N.S.Wales”, Miss Ruby Mary Doyle, of Dungog, N.S.Wales, and great granddaughter of Mr. John Hooke, of Norton Hall, Worcester, England, (he sold Crookes Park to his brother Benjamin in 1827), lodged particulars of the family on 5 February 1932 at the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Leaving aside the opening paragraphs which are of no historical validity, we come to an interesting account of the Australian cousins of the Hookes.

Miss Doyle wrote:


“One branch of the Hooke family came to Tasmania in 1823 when Mr. John Hooke of Norton Hall, Worcester, sold four estates for the venture, Norton Hall, Croom Park, Crookes Park and Netherlands. Norton Hall was sold to his brother Thomas Hooke. (This is incorrect. John mortgaged his estates for his first venture to Australia in 1823, and later sold them to his brother Benjamin to finance his second venture in 1827. L.B.)

In Tasmania Mr. John Hooke was granted land on the main road to Hobart, near St. Peter’s Pass, in county Somerset, with Oatlands as his nearest township. ‘Hookes Marsh’ is still known, though this particular place did not belong to him. Here Mr. Hooke settled with his wife and four young sons, John, Henry, Alfred and Benjamin. His wheat crop being accidentally burned, he was forced to return to England where he remained for a year or two. (In Tasmania John Hooke was granted on 11 August 1823, 400 acres of land, at Methven - Early Land Grants of Tas. Vol. 8, page195 and Tasmanian Records LSD 1/73, page 31).

During his stay in England two more sons were born, James and Theodore, the latter dying a few months later.

Wishing to return to Australia Mr. Hooke booked passages for himself and his family. He wished to bring the body of his son, Theodore, but the Captain being a superstitious man, objected, whereupon, Mr. Hooke cancelled all passages, forfeited the passage money and purchasing his own brig, the “Courier”, commanded by Captain Finnis, sailed for Sydney, arriving there on March 2nd 1828. The child Theodore was buried were the Sydney G.P.O. now stands.

The “Courier” brought everything considered necessary to settlers in the new country, and much that was not. There were merino sheep, purchased at great risk from an agent of the King of Spain, cattle and horses, among the latter Mr. Hooke’s carriage horses. One of which he had paid 800 guineas, survived the trying voyage until Sydney Heads were reached, and then died. But his blood horse, ‘Chiltern’, survived the trip and later sold at a good price in the colony. Mention is made of this horse in an early copy of ‘The Australian’ newspaper. (Chiltern was a thoroughbred horse of best racing stock and is listed in the A.S.B. I can remember that at “Wirragulla”, an old mare called Play Girl died in the 1970’s. She was the last of the bred of one of the horses brought out by John Hooke. There was also in the Dungog area heavy set, dune coloured ponies that came from another of John’s horses brought out to breed smaller cart or riding ponies. L.B.)

Mr. John Hooke settled first at ‘Bayley Park’, Parramatta N.S.W. Not being a businessman he engaged an agent named Hickey. This man played a scurvy trick on his employer when he brought a paper for Mr. Hooke’s signature supposed by the latter to be a document relating to ordinary estate matters. To late, Mr. Hooke learned that he had signed away his Sydney property as a Deed of Gift to the agent, Hickey. The matter was brought to court, but the Judge (Judge Dowling) ruled that although Mr. Hooke had undoubtedly been cheated, the law must stand, since the document had been signed in the presence of a lawyer and two witnesses.


Mr. Hooke was forced to retire to the country, where he had already been promised a grant of 2,560 acres on the Williams River. Authorised to take possession of this grant on July 25th 1828, he had allowed the matter to stand over, and “Wilhurgulla”, as the estate was then called, was ‘awarded’ to Daniel Cooper. Subsequently, however, Mr. Hooke took possession, and this possession was confirmed on 30 May 1837, by Sir Richard Bourke, Governor. In a N.S.Wales Directory of 1832, we find the following entry, ‘Mr. John Hooke, William’s River, Maitland.’ (One wonders when the name, ‘Dungog’ – that being the present name of the nearest township – came into general use).

The native name ‘Wilhurgulla’, now known as ‘Wirragulla’, meant, ‘a place of little sticks’, from the habit which the natives had of making their fires with the little sticks which dropped from the trees growing there. (The Dungog polo club was called the “Wirragulla Polo Club” due to the meaning of the native name and also because several members of the club were the Hooke boys from the Wirragulla property. L.B.).

During Mr. Hooke’s residence in Sydney, a daughter, Adelaide, had been born, and a son, also named Theodore. But the name Theodore was unlucky, for this child also died and was buried in the little cemetery at “Wirragulla”, where a small headstone may still be seen, dated 1832. A second daughter, Emily Isabella, was born at ‘Wirragulla’ in 1835, and a third daughter, Leonora. Two more sons were also born, Augustus and Charles Albert, the latter dying at the age of 1 year 3 months.

Mr. John Hooke died at the age of 55 at ‘Wirragulla’ in 1844. Mrs. John Hooke (nee Miss Mary Anne Beale) died in November 1864, aged 70, and was buried with her husband on the ‘Wirragulla’ estate. Their twelve children were as follows”:

1. John Hooke, born England 21-12-1817, registered at Newent, Gloucestershire, England. Died 9-4-1878 at “Dingadee”, Dungog NSW. Married Mrs. Susan Jane Simpson (nee Sippe) and had three children.

2. Henry Guy Hooke, born 8-2-1819 at Newent, died 4-8-1895 at ‘Rocky Hill’, Dungog NSW. Married Miss Mary Jane Walker, 28-4-1849 and had twelve children.

3. Alfred Hooke, born 4-6-1821 at Newent, died 28-8-1881 at ‘Phoenix Park’, Morpeth NSW. Married Miss Eliza Hanna of Dungog and had seven children.

4. Benjamin Hooke, born at sea off the Cape of Good Hope 5-4-1823 and registered at Hobart, Tasmania and christened at Norton Hall, Norton, Worcestershire, England. Benjamin died at “Wirragulla”, Dungog NSW on 12-4-1908. Married Miss Barbara Cook, of Dungog and lived at “Wirragulla”, they had five children.


5. James Hooke, born 17-2-1825, baptized at Norton, Worcestershire, England. Died at Dungog NSW 16-9-1912. Married Miss Charlotte Sophia Sippe 28-12-1864 (sister to Mrs. Susan Jane Hooke, 1 above) and lived at “Crookes Park” Dungog NSW, they had seven children.

6. Theodore Hooke, born 29-4-1827, baptized at Elkington, Worcestershire, died 1-8-1827 in England and his body taken to Australia and buried where the Sydney G.P.O. stands.

7. Theodore Hooke 2nd, born March 1828 at Sydney, the first child born in Australia, died at “Wirragulla” 1-4-1832.

8. Augustus Hooke, born 1831 Dungog NSW, died 14-10-1906. Married Louisa Barbara Mackay 1864 and lived at “Tia Tia” station at Walcha NSW. Nine children.

9. Adelaide Hooke, born 31-10-1833 in Sydney NSW, died 1922 at “Bungay Bungay” Wingham NSW. Married George Snell Hill 1849 and had ten children.

10. Emily Isabella, born at ‘Wirragulla’, Dungog NSW 31-8-1835, the first white girl born in the Dungog district. Emily died 26-4-1919 at “Cangon”, Dungog. She married John Kenneth Mackay 18-6-1856 and had two children.

11. Frances Leonora Hooke, born at ‘Wirragulla’, Dungog NSW 1-11-1837, died Sydney 31-8-1915. Married Duncan Forbes Mackay 14-6-1860, and later established “Minimbah” at Singleton NSW. They had seven children. Duncan was the nephew of Duncan Forbes Mackay, bachelor, of ‘Melbee”, Dungog.

12. Charles Albert Hooke, born October 1840, died 14-1-1842 at ‘Wirragulla’, Dungog NSW.

view all 17

John Hooke's Timeline

May 4, 1789
Worcestershire, England
May 4, 1789
Worcestershire, Worcester, England
December 21, 1817
Age 28
Newent, Gloucestershire, England
Age 29
Age 31
Age 33
Born at Sea en route to Australia
February 17, 1825
Age 35
Newent, Gloucestershire, England
April 24, 1827
Age 37
Elkington, Worcestershire, England
March 1828
Age 38