Mental Diseases Hospital, New Norfolk – Women’s Division 1918.

Looking for  G Aunt Edie and  GG Aunt Mary Esther.

Another trip to the Hobart History Room mid 2014 to view the 1918 ward reports located on-line.

1918 significant as the only surviving ward book across the time frame the girls were there together – 1904 – 1922.

The ward book was typical for the era, enormous, heavy and well-bound for the system and purpose it served. Strangely it started in Jan and finished in Sept 1918.

January 1918 – first task, work out the acronyms associated with each ward. At the end of every night shift the charge nurse entered a brief report and head count (daily return of numbers) for the four wards.

For example on 5th May ……. LB 39 – R 63 – T 103 – MB 77…. Total 279 and 3 boys.

MB = Main Building  LB = Lodge. T ward housed the epilepsy patients based on names and number of fits recorded for each patient.

R ward recorded the drama’s of the 63 patients including the number of garments and windows destroyed on shift. At the end of each page the names/number of patients out of the hospital on excursions or attending church/concerts in the hospital also recorded. All names of those with visitors also recorded.

Jan to March, no entries of either girls evident. Only those patients acting out of the ‘ordinary’ were recorded. On my way out for a break from the reading, I commented to the historian I hadn’t seen their names, so with tongue in cheek commented that ‘my girls were going to have to play up’ for me to see them.

On returning from the break, April – nothing. Time was running out so a quick flick through to May and there they were, both names on the same page a line apart with E. Holt just above ME Stephens. Quite obvious!! Edie on T ward and Mary Esther MB ward. Edie had been physically unwell and Mary Esther with sleep disturbance and restlessness.

At least they weren’t on R ward, where the notes suggest frequent bouts of aggression, excitability, ‘noise’, frequent destroying of garments and windows, as the norm.

It turns out Edie only appeared 3 times in the book. Mary Esther appears often from May through to September due to her cycle of sleep disturbance and restlessness.

By June, Mary Esther had been relocated to T ward until the end of the reporting in September, the same ward as Edie, so here they were together, I wonder if they were aware of their mothers being good friends and neighbours………

Monthly individual records were also kept for every patient. A regular report (more like a useless note) was entered each month. The notes usually one liners and basically the same. ‘no mental improvement‘ or ‘the same‘. Still the effort was made.

Occasionally a different entry is noted, such as

5 June 1892….. Mary Esther: ‘is now in the new building’ 7 Sept 1892 ‘she continues to be quiet harmless and useful’ 22 Feb 1894 ‘continues to be industrious’ 27 Oct ‘continues to make herself industrious in the Ladies Cottage’.

19 Sept 1908…. Edie: ‘she is at times very noisy and excitable …….a person of acute mental excitement – 5 Nov ‘no mental improvement is quieter at present

Bless you both.

The family Prest! or Youl!

Prest and Youl connections

Catherine Y Prest? – who is she, how does she fit into the picture.

1888 – Valuation rolls state Catherine Y Prest owned 17 York St (East) properties. Of interest is that 37 York St was occupied by Elizabeth Youl Prest.

Elizabeth Prest owned only one property 37 Bathurst St occupied by Robert Johnson.

John Holt her son owned and occupied 45 Frederick St.

1898 – Valuation rolls state the Holt brothers own 16 York St (west) properties, 13 recorded as vacant and 3 occupied. They also owned 110 Bathurst St which was occupied. John Holt owned and occupied 74 & 76 Margaret St.

Thomas and Elizabeth were known as Prest and Youl, why and how remains a mystery. Finally finding Thomas’ Will and a few articles about Thos Youl, it appears Prest was his old name and Youl the latter one.

 Thomas Prest

Thomas Prest married Ellen Callingwood in 1859 (Launceston) There does not appear to be any record of children or Ellen’s divorce/death.

Thomas married Elizabeth Holt in 1879 and six years later in 1886 Thomas Prest is dead aged 75. Thos Prest/Youl WILL. The Will states Thomas was Prest and ‘now known as Youl’.

Thomas left money to what appeared on first reading, John Bukel and Jane Ann West wife of John West.

This 1875 newspaper article puts Thos Youl and Ann Jane Beckett together and a further look indicates Bukel is actually Becket. Thomas it seems had ongoing issues with the law from both sides as did Jane Ann Beckett.

Extract from the Examiner regarding Thos Youl at the 1882 council elections…… ‘By half-past five a large crowd, numbering some six or seven hundred persons, had assembled in front of the hall to hear the declaration of the result of the poll, and the tedium of the long wait was somewhat relieved by the manner in which Mr. Thos. Youl, who was apparently primed with beer and political excitement in about equal proportions, availed himself of his privilege as a free and independent elector to express his views upon municipal matters generally, and the result of this election in particular, Subsequent events, however, proved his “straight tips” to be no more reliable than those of other sporting prophets.

Other articles found referencing The Prest/Youl’s.

Ann Jane A’Beckett (widow) 56 died in 1881.

Effingham Prest

 Effingham Prest (Free) application to marry convict Mary Thompson (New Grove) 1836. Married in 1837 .

Mary Prest and E Prest, 2 children aboard the Shamrock to Melbourne 1852Mary died 1854 aged 44.

William Effingham born 1838 and died 1851 aged 12

Peter Henry born 1840 – unsure how it is know to Peter Henry as name not recorded??1881 Peter Prest (43) is admitted to the New Norfolk Hospital for the insane – brother – named as Effingham

Effingham Charles born 1844

Jessie born 1846

Female unnamed 1868

Effingham (51/farmer) remarried Catharine (33/widow) Pearse in 1856.

Is this the notorious Catherine Prest!! I think so. Effingham dies 1880 aged 75. 1869 Catharine Prest is charged with stealing from Effingham Prest – the plot thickens!!

There is no record of death for Catharine at this stage.

The whaling barque Runnymede

The barque Runnymede 284 tons was another blue gum clipper crafted and launched from John Watson’s yard, Battery Point, March 19 1849, christened by Captain Charles Bayley and named after Morrison’s Estate on the East Coast of Tasmania. According to the book Blue Gum Clippers and Whaling boats the Runnymede was highly successful in the whaling industry, under the Bayley Brothers.

John Holt was aboard the Runnymede as a seaman in 1857, signature for allocated rations can be found on REF: MB2/33/1/355 reel, Z267. The men signed up to join Runnymede did so late Jan or early Feb in preparation for sailing on February 10 1857.

John Holt, interests in the fishing industry, sets up around the early 1860’s the Oyster Bar, trading fresh fish from Hobart to sell at his shop the Oyster Bar L’ton. By 1862 is married to Elizabeth and step father to her three young sons.

The  fishmonger theme continues and by the mid 60’s John moves to secure Little Dog Island where he would make his fortune in the lucrative mutton bird industry.

More Collis and Wells photo’s from Hannah’s album

album01 01-03

1) London Palace of Art 10 Park St Sydney 1888-1892. 2) Mendelssohn and Co 80 Swanston St Melbourne ‘Queens Walk Studio’ 1889-1900 3

album02 04-06

Duval and Co 1883 and 1898.

album07 32-37

W Burrows operated out of Melbourne and Sydney Portrait Rooms, Launceston 1878-1895. Duvall & Co was 11 Quadrant, Launceston 1883-1890ish also with A.E. Burrows. There were many S Spurlings across the years Spurling the 2nd had Studios in Launceston St Johns St 1873-78 then Brisbane St 1878 -1900, Spurling Studio was 93 Brisbane St 1902 – 24 Spurling S the 3rd L’ton 1902 – 1941 at various locations.

album09 44-50 album10 51-57

58, 61 & 63 - Charles Wherrett senior 83 Elizabeth St 1872 - 1881 his son Charles Wherrett with various others at various locations in Hobart 1884 - 1897. W Burrows and Co was W.H. Burrrows at Wherretts; Melbourne & Sydney Portrait Rooms, Launceston 1878 -1895. Duval and Co with Burrows 1888 - 1900

58, 61 & 63 – Charles Wherrett senior 83 Elizabeth St 1872 – 1881 his son Charles Wherrett with various others at various locations in Hobart 1884 – 1897. W Burrows and Co was W.H. Burrrows at Wherretts; Melbourne & Sydney Portrait Rooms, Launceston 1878 -1895. Duval and Co with Burrows 1888 – 1900

George and Georges Federal Studio. Emberson and Son

Henry and Hannah Collis aboard the ‘Fair Tasmanian’ 1852…..

Henry and Hannah Collis made their way from Canterbury to Hobart aboard the  ‘Fair Tasmanian’ in 1852. (Image 072)

The book ‘Blue Gum Clippers and Whale Ships of Tasmania’ found at a local market’s a few weeks back has a little history about the Fair Tasmanian.

The launch of the ‘Fair Tasmanian’ in 1848 was a double launch.

It seems the ‘Fair Tasmanian’ a 200 ton Barque was a Tasmanian crafted Blue Gum Clipper and launched from John Watson yards at Battery Point in a double launching with the 160 ton Schooner Circassian’ in Hobart on 22 January 1848. The ‘Fair Tasmanian’ was besieged by bad luck just after launching, a fire started on board and one of the crew grabbed a bucket of what he thought was water?? however it was a bucket of tar??, thus causing the fire to rage out of control. A decision to scuttle the Fair Tasmanian was made to put out the fire. She was later raised and repaired. The Fair Tasmanian sailed 4 months later 21 May 1848 to Port Albert in Victoria where she loaded with livestock bound for New Zealand. She had on board 62 cattle that arrived in good health, with a loss of 65 sheep.

The Fair Tasmanian sailed to Mauritius, London and San Francisco with all types of cargo. such as sugar, potatoes and timber. She returned to Hobart on 17 August 1850 after a deal with a load of timber didn’t go as expected.

In 1852, she loaded with stock at Twofold Bay (near Eden NSW) to recommence trading livestock to New Zealand, the first trip ended in disaster for the stock that simply didn’t survive a heavy gale, the ship returned to restock then went on its way. I note Henry and Hannah returned to Hobart along with a handful of other passengers and ballast, no stock.

The ‘Fair Tasmanian’ was wrecked of Warnambool  on 6 June 1864 after her anchor broke.