Sunday, 21 October 2012

Mary Ann Butler- Ch. 3: Kenric Edmund Brodribb, husband No. 2

Mary Ann Butler's Second Marriage, to Kenric Edmund Brodribb:

In the 1852 Hobart Directory, Ann was listed as the owner, printer and publisher of the "Colonial Times" and she was living at the "Times" office at 80 Collins Street, Hobart. The “Trumpeter” ceased soon after John’s death, but the “Colonial Times” remained under Ann’s management until February 1855 when it was sold to Henri James D’Emden- the “Colonial Times’ continued production until 1857. There were several references in the newspapers, involving the insolvency of D’Emden, who complained that he was sold the “Colonial Times” on the basis that it was a going concern financially, which he had since found was not correct.
An insolvency case against Mr D’Emden in 1857 gave some information about the sale of the newspaper.

 The Courier Thurs 21 May 1857 p3:
In 1854 Mr Dawes paid Mrs Macdougall £500 on my account. At the beginning of the present year Mr Dawes paid £100 to Mrs Brodribb on my account, for which I gave an acceptance.

Hobart Town Mercury Mon 29 June 1857 p2/3
D’Emden said he knew Mrs Macdougall and had every reason to believe that the paper was a paying concern at that time. Mr Brewer said that that had nothing to do with it. The nsolvent had sworn that it had been a losing speculation ever since he had had it. He had believed that Mrs Macdougall had extricated herself from difficulties by it, and he thought he could do the same. He had represented it as being a profitable business.

The Colonial Times Sat 27 June 1857, p3

I had some acquaintance with Mrs Macdougall, the former proprietor of the Colonial Times- that was the paper I conducted; I had, from the representations made to me, every reason to believe that the paper paid Mrs Macdougall, the former proprietor; I was aware that the former proprietor had had very serious difficulties to contend with, and had extricated herself from them all; I certainly believed the paper to have been profitable to the former proprietor- she represented it to be so.

 Ann had employed Kenric Brodribb, a lawyer, as editor of the newspaper. Brodribb/Broadribb was part of a well known and highly respected long term resident family of Hobart.

Kenric’s brother, William Adams Brodribb Junior mentioned Kenric in his book “Recollections of an Australian Squatter”:
On my way home I met Kenric, in the street, on his way to celebrate some public national affair at the Domain. At this time Kenric was up to his eyes in local politics. He edited the “Colonial Times”, and wrote the two leaders to this paper per week. In fact, the whole arrangement of the paper was under his control, for the benefit of a widow and large family. The paper was in debt. At this period the colonists were opposed to the continuation of transportation to Tasmania, and the Governor, Sir William Denison, was in its favour. A paper war broke out on this question. Kenric wrote some thundering articles, and showed the fallacy of transportation in a moral point of view on the destinies of a young colony.”

Portrait of William Adams Brodribb Junior, brother of Kenrick

 After the sale of the newspaper in 1855, Ann married  Kenric Edmund Brodribb in Melbourne. Kenric Brodribb, eight years younger than Ann, was born 21 March, 1825 at Green Ponds, Tasmania to parents, William Adams Brodribb and wife, Prudence Jane Keen. Kenric was the eighth of nine children, the first four of whom were born in England. William (1789-1861) was the first solicitor in Tasmania.  William Adams Brodribb Snr, from Morton House Thornbury in Somerset, had been given seven years transportation for administering an unlawful oath of secrecy in 1816.[1]  Brodribb, in his capacity as a lawyer, had been asked to administer the oath of secrecy on a group of men who intended to poach deer at Berkley Castle. While there, a gamekeeper was shot and killed and thus the men were found guilty of murder. Brodribb was guilty by association and on 3 April 1816 sentenced to seven years transporation to Van Diemen's Land. As luck would have it, he travelled on the same ship as the new Lt. Governor William Sorrell with whom he formed a friendship and made himself of use on the voyage. Shortly after their arrival in Sydney in March 1817, William was appointed to act as clerk to the Bench of Magistrates. He then travelled to Hobart as part of Sorell's party arriving in Hobart in February 1818. He was pardoned 14 December 1818 and permitted to practice as an attorney, and received a Full Pardon on 7 August 1821.

It had been reported that during the flood of the Hobart Town Creek in March 1836, “Mr Brodribb, some of whose family had a narrow escape for their lives, when the back part of his house was carried away. Almost every individual living on the edge of the creek has suffered more or less severely.”[2] Collins Street backed onto this creek.
Coincidently, William carried on his business in a house named “Verandah House” until 1821 when it became the “Ship Inn and Family Hotel”, the pub licensed to Ann’s brother Walter during the 1860’s until his death in 1870. Ann’s brother, Walter, also moved permanently to Hobart by 1854, having travelled back and forth between Sydney/Hobart and Melbourne/Hobart from 1832 onwards.

Just a couple of months before this marriage to Kenric Brodribb, MaryAnn was living at Audley Street, New Town, which was coincidently the same address as her brother Walter Butler, who had returned to live in Hobart the previous year and built his home 'Newbury House' in New Town Road (Elizabeth St.)/Audley Street. 
A newspaper, the “Hobarton Mercury” Fri 12 Jan 1855 page3 wrote:
“The burglary at the residence of Mrs M.A. Macdougall in Audley-street, New Town Road, and stealing therefrom a silver sugar basin, some silver forks and spoons, and other articles. A son of Mrs Macdougall proved the burglarious entry and the loss of the property and a person named Carroll residing in Collins-street stated that the prisoner (James Taylor) left the things in a bundle at his house for a man named Trout; when Carroll discovered the miscellaneous contents he delivered them to the Police and gave such information as led to the apprehension of the prisoner.”
It would therefore appear that Ann was living very close to Walter’s house at the time of the robbery.

The Colonial Times ( 24 Jan 1855 p3) reported on the outcome of the burglary case:
James Taylor charged with a burglary at the dwelling-house of Mary Ann Macdougall, on the night of the 4th January, and stealing a quantity of plate, her property.
Constable Bailey produced a silver sugar bowl, 3 silver forks, 1 silver salt spoon, 1 metal dessert spoon, received with other articles from Patrick Carrol, a lodging-house-keeper, in Collins-street, on the 6th January.
Michael Bright, a constable deposed to having apprehended prisoner on Saturday evening, 6th inst. At nine o’clock, in Collins-street, Carroll having given him in charge.
Mary Carroll, wife of Patrick Carroll, identified prisoner as having on Friday evening 5th January, come to her husband’s house at half past nine o’clock, and asked for one William Trout, steward on board the steamer. Witness said Trout was on board, and prisoner went away, but returned shortly afterwards requesting witness to take care of two parcels (produced) for Trout, saying he would call for them next night. He did call next night before nine o’clock. Witness’s husband left the house with him. On the Saturday morning Constable Bailey called, and saw the parcels containing the articles of plate, a bottle of pickles, and some bread.
Patrick Carroll deposed to giving prisoner in custody to Constable Bright, having previously delivered up the things to Bailey. Witness, before he gave prisoner into custody, had some conversation with him and told him the things he had left were very “unbecoming” things to leave at his place. He said he would go with him, and make them all right. Witness accompanied him to the watchhouse after apprehended by Bright; on his person were found a knife, a box of matches, and a piece of candle rolled in a rag.
By prisoner- Can’t say if it was a piece of candle, or a piece of candle grease in the rag. (Laughter)
Eliza Dunn, in the service of Mrs Macdougall, Audley-street, stated that, about 7 o’clock in the morning of the 5th when she went into the kitchen, she found the window raised up and the door open. She had left the window fast with a ketch the night before, and the door locked, with the key in it. A pane of glass over the ketch had been broken, so that a hand could be put in to open it. The window was propped up with a tea canister. Witness missed the three forks and salt-spoon produced, out of the back parlor from a small basket, and the sugar basin from the front parlor. She also missed some bacon, and a bottle of pickles.
By His Honor (viz questions_- My Mistress was the last person in the room the night before. I was not disturbed in the course of the night. The window looks into the enclosed yard. There is a dog in the year sometimes, but he went away to the house in town in the course of the day. He was ___ ___ up. The kitchen-door leads to the yard. I don’t know anything of prisoner.
William James Macdougall sworn- I reside with my mother, a widow in Audley-street. I believe the basin produced to be my mother’s property, also the forks. I produce one of the same pattern. Saw the basin on Thursday night five minutes before I went to bed in the front parlor, almost half-past eleven o’clock, my attention was called to the open window in the kitchen some pots had been removed from the ledge, and a barrel placed under the window. It is my belief that the pane was broken when I saw the window on the night of the 4th, but I cannot be positive about it.
By the Jury- The window is about 30 yards from the street, the yard is inclosed and fastened.
By His Honor- The dog was not there that night.
Prisoner (who asked no question of the witnesses) made a statement as to how the articles came into his possession. He said he found a fork near the Eagle Hawk, and the other things near a fence. He also found a box with some things in it, which he discovered belonged to the landlord of a public house, the Queen’s Arms, to whom he returned that box and then set about trying to find the owner of the other property. He could not tell the name of the landlord, and, therefore, had not subpoenaed him.
At the request of the prisoner, Constable Bright was recalled as to the piece of candle when he swore it was not merely candle grease but a piece of candle two or three inches in length.
His Honor summed up, and the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Ann left for Melbourne shortly afterwards- 'The Courier' Thurs 29 March 1855 p2, reported the marriage of Kenric E. Brodribb to Mary Ann, relict of Mr J.C. Macdougall late proprietor of the “Colonial Times” on 20th February at the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel Great Collins Street Melbourne.[3]

Kenrick Edmund Brodribb

They lived in St Kilda. 

The Courier Tues 25 December 1855 p3 reported:

Mr Kenric Edmund Brodribb of Melbourne Victoria, has been appointed one of the Commissioners of the Supreme Court of this colony for Victoria, Port Phillip, for taking affidavits, &c.

Mary Ann’s Death:

Mary Ann and Kenric’s first son, Frederick William, was born  7 December 1855 and died nearly a year later on 24 November 1856, in St Kilda, Melbourne, and buried at St Kilda Cemetery.[4]
The following year, “The Courier” Wed 4 November 1857 p2 reported the death of a second child:
 BIRTH: On 25th ultimo at St Kilda Victoria, Mrs K.E. Brodribb of a Son, still born.”

Mary Ann died on the 1st November that same year in 1857, at the young age of 40, only two years after marrying Kenric. She died of disease of the heart, and had been ill since the 31st October, only 5 days after giving birth. Her death was reported by her father-in-law, William Adams Brodribb. Notably her death certificate states that: her parents were unknown”; she was born in Sydney; husband named as Kenric Edmund Brodribb, married at 37 years of age at St Kilda; children- none living (presumably referring to the issue of this marriage). Her first marriage was not listed, and curiously, nor were her children by her first marriage.  She was buried 3rd November in St Kilda Cemetery. [5]

At the time of Mary Ann’s death, her children were aged between 9 and 21. According to youngest son, Ormond, in an interview, the younger children were enrolled in 1857 in the Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne under the Rev. Dr. Bromby, who would later conduct daughter Emily's two marriages. Ormond stated that he remained there until the end of 1863, and then for a term under Mr A. Robinson M.A. at Brighton Victoria. William Adams Brodribb Jnr lived at Brighton and it appears that the Brodribb family continued to care for Mary Ann’s younger children, as the daughter, Emily was married to Brodribb’s brother-in-law.

 Kenric Brodribb remarried in 1861 to Wynnie, daughter of Colonel Robert Lathorpe Murray, (editor to John C. Macdougall), with no issue (refer to Aust. Dictionary of Biography entry for Robert Lathrop Murray).

In 1859, Kenric established the firm of Brodribb, Crisp and Lewis, which was dissolved in 1866. He became President of the Law Institute Victoria in 1862. Kenric stood as a member of parliament in 1860 (sworn in August 1861), continuing until 1864 as the member for St Kilda. (
His brother William Adams Brodribb Jnr was MLA for Brighton in 1861, but resigned in 1862. Kenric also stood unsuccessfully for Brighton in 1868. 
In “The Victorian” newspaper July 19, 1862, Kenric is named in an advertisement for “The Australian Alliance Assurance Company”, as a Provisional Director K.E.Brodribb, Esq., M.L.A., and again in “The Talbot Leader & North-Western Chronicle” March 3 1863, in another add for the Australian Alliance Assurance Co., Solicitor: K.E.Brodribb Esq., M.L.A.

Kenric Edmund Brodribb died 3 July 1898 at Steyning near Brighton in County Sussex England, aged 73. [6]
An advertisement in The Melbourne Argus Wed 24 Dec 1890 p2 (previously advertised early in December) -
Trustees of the Estate of the Late Kenrick Brodribb Esq, to sell the very desirable and valuable Freehold Property CAMELY, on half an acre of city land, fronting the Wellington Parade and George street, East Melbourne.
 (Advert then describes the property in detail- notably the estate was named after Camely House in Somerset, the birthplace of his father William Adams Brodribb.).
This would seem to indicate that Kenric left Melbourne for England in late 1890.

The following brief notice appeared in The Western Australian, Fri 8 July 1898 p5

© B. A. Butler

Contact email:

butler1802 (no spaces)

[1] Janet Finch, Ruth Teale, Brodribb, William Adams (Junior) (1809-1886),Aust. Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3, Melbourne University Press, 1969, pp237-239
[2] Joan Goodrick, Life in Old Van Diemens Land, Rigby 1977, p319
[3] Also Vic Registry of BDM- 1855/360
[4] Victorian Registry of BDM- 1856/4269 & 1856/4967
[5] Victorian Registry of BDM- (reg. No 1629)
[6] Free BMD Death Index, Kenric Edmund Brodribb, July-Aug-Sept Quarter, 1898 Sussex, Vol 2b Page 167