Hannah Roberts



Date of birth: 17 March 1841

Maiden Name: HURST

Birth Location: Lutterworth, Parish of Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England.

Baptised: 2 May 1841

Age at Burial: 76 years

Date of Death: 14 August 1917

Death Location: Marsden Private Hospital, West Perth, Western Australia.

Date of Burial: 15 August 1917

Denomination: Anglican B

Row/Grave: Row 11 Grave 142

Grave Transcription:

At Rest

In Loving Memory of


Dearly beloved wife of








Father: Unknown

Mother: Eliza Hurst born: 22 January 1823 Died: 1850 Lutterworth, Parish of Claybrooke, England.

Grandfather (Mother): Abraham Hurst born: 13 April 1777 Died: January 1852. Lutterworth, Parish of Claybrooke, England.

Grandmother (Mother): Hannah Holmes born: 1785 Died: January 1856. Lutterworth, Parish of Claybrooke, England.

Siblings: Nil.

Spouse: Charles Fox Roberts born: 22 February 1844 North Capel Farm, Stirling Estate, Capel. Died: 20 January 1923 Buried Capel Cemetery.



William Charles Fox Roberts born: 21 July 1865 Capel. Died: 8 January 1946. Buried Nannup Cemetery. 1. Married 1888 Mary Longbottom. 2. Married 19 July 1909 Alice “Maud” Hambridge.

Clara Ann Roberts: born: 1866 Capel. Died 11 January 1931. Buried Karrakatta Cemetery. Married 10 September 1888 William James Bovell.

Susan Sophia Roberts born: 1867 Capel. Died 7 September 1928. Buried Brighton Cemetery Melbourne. 1. Married 3 May 1892 George Crampern Rosselotty. 2. Married 28 February 1898 Rev. John “Jack” Beukers.

Herbert Henry Roberts born: 21 March 1869 Capel. Died: 20 October 1942. Buried Capel Cemetery. Married 22 June 1898 Rose Campbell Forrest.

Frank Albert Roberts born:17 March 1871 Capel. Died: 22 January 1939. Buried Capel Cemetery. Married 18 September 1894 Mary “Jane” Higgins.

Capel Hannah “Pink” Roberts born: 1872 Capel. Died: 17 December 1920. Buried Karrakatta Cemetery. Married 10 September 1904 James Hargrave Shekleton.

Charles Basil Roberts born: 1873 Capel. Died: 5 December 1873. (6 weeks old) Buried Bunbury Pioneer Cemetery.

Edith Isabella Roberts born: 1874 Capel. Died: 27 November 1953. Buried Bunbury Cemetery. Married 1893 Arnold William “Jack” Chapman.

Catherine “Emily” Roberts born: 1876 Capel. Died 15 October 1954. Buried Old Mandurah Cemetery. Married 22 March 1899 George “Melville” Tuckey.

Baby Girl Roberts born/died: 15 July 1878 Capel. (14 hours old)

Grace Elizabeth Roberts born: 1879 Capel. Died: 23 July 1928. 1. Married 1900 James Phillip Shiel. 2. Defacto/Married David John “Peter” Chapman.

Charles Basil “Bon” Roberts (2) born: 1881 Capel. Died: 29 August 1936. Buried Capel Cemetery. 1. Married 19 March 1907 Margaret Emily Roberts. 2. Married 1911 Elizabeth Ellen “Sis” Thompson (nee Nelms)

Ilma Jane Roberts born: 1886 Capel. Died: 18 December 1920. Buried Karrakatta Cemetery. Married 26 December 1913 Thomas Evans “Jack” Glynn.

Occupation: Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Home duties.

Their Story

Hannah’s Grandfather, Abraham Hurst was born 13 April 1777 to parents Abraham and Anne (nee Brown) Hurst.  He married his first wife Alice Brown, 16 August 1802. They had 5 children. Basil born: 1802, Abraham born: 1805, Daniel born: 1808, Ann born/died: 1809 and John born/died: 1810. Alice died 21 March 1811 at the age of 30.

Abraham then married again on 1 January 1813, to Hannah Holmes daughter of Reverend Thomas and Martha (nee Wood) Holmes. Their first child Thomas was born in 1813. Joseph and William followed in 1815, Samuel and Richard in 1818, Elizabeth in 1821, died in 1822. Then lastly Eliza was born 22 January 1823.

Hannah Hurst was born 17 March 1841, in the village of Lutterworth, the Parish of Claybrooke, Leicestershire, England. At Hannah’s christening 2 May 1841, Eliza is listed as her Mother. It appears from the May 1841 English Census, that Hannah’s 18 year old mother Eliza, was unwed. Hannah is listed as 3 months old and living with Eliza, her parents and siblings. Hannah’s grandfather Abraham is listed as a Tailor and occupying his own Freehold House.

There is a death registration in 1850 in Lutterworth for Eliza Hurst. In the English Census of 1851, Hannah, Granddaughter, is 10 years old. She is listed as a scholar and still living with Grandparents, Abraham, 74, and Hannah, 66, Hurst and two of their children William 35 and Samuel 32. Grandfather Abraham died 1852 in Lutterworth and Grandmother Hannah died January 1856. As a 14year old this must have been a difficult time for young Hannah.

Hannah’s Uncle Abraham, from Grandfather Abraham’s first marriage, had migrated on the ship Diadem in 1842, with his wife Ann (nee Howlett) and children Basil, Abraham, Alice, Elizabeth, Thomas, Sarah and John. They landed at the settlement of Australind, Western Australia.

In 1859, 17year old Hannah is listed as a general immigrant on the Bride Ship “Hamilla Mitchell”. Passengers included 76 married couples, 5 single men, 114 single women, 27 boys, 22 girls and 4 infants. They left the port of Plymouth on January 14, 1859, arriving in Fremantle, Western Australia on April 7 1859. She then boarded the Schooner Amelia to Vasse on April 9. This must have been an enormously frightening journey for young Hannah, travelling alone to a country on the other side of the world and to relatives that she had never met.

Trove Article Passenger List

She joined her Uncle Abraham and Aunt Ann and family at their property “Riverbend” near Boyanup. Sadly, Hannah’s Aunt died 13 July 1860, just over a year after Hannah had arrived. Her Cousin Elizabeth Hurst had married William Jenkin Roberts (Jnr) in 1850 and they lived and farmed at “Trencreek” neighbouring North Capel Farm. He had also come from England with his parents and siblings on the Diadem in 1842. William’s youngest brother, Charles Fox Roberts, was farming at “North Capel Farm” with his parents. Family gatherings and social outings must have introduced Hannah and Charles.

On 22 September 1864, 23year old, Hannah Hurst married 20year old, Charles Fox Roberts in Bunbury. They lived with Charles’ parents, William and Isabella Roberts and his sister Elizabeth, in the small wattle and daub house that was built in 1843 when the Roberts Family took up the leasehold on “North Capel Farm”. Life would not have been easy for the new bride but her mother-in-law, Isabella, would have helped and guided Hannah through many trials and hardships and the challenges of farming life. By July 1865 Hannah and Charles had become parents to a son William Charles Fox Roberts. Followed closely by Clara Ann in 1866, Susan Sophia in 1867, Herbert Henry 1869, Frank Albert 1871, Capel Hannah 1872, Charles Basil born and died 1873, Edith Isabella 1874, Catherine Emily 1876, Baby Girl born and died 1878, Charles Basil (2) 1881 and then finally Ilma Jane in 1886. Hannah had 13 children in 21years!

Charles’ parents, William and Isabella and his sister Elizabeth moved to their small cottage, on the South East Corner of Wittenoom and Wellington Streets, Bunbury, in the early 1870’s. This must have given Hannah extra room in the small wattle and daub house, but she probably missed the help and the extra pair of eyes on her young family. It was around this time that her young son Frank Albert Roberts burnt down the original house. Another home was soon built about 30metres from the old house.

As the children grew, they would have helped on the farm and in the house. Maybe the children attended the Gynudup Brook Public School when it reopened in 1871 or they joined in lessons with their cousins at Stratham. William Charles Fox Roberts the eldest of Hannah’s children must have gone to Bunbury for his later schooling, as he attended school with James Mitchell (later Sir).

Hannah’s mother-in-law, Isabella passed away in August 1875. Then Elizabeth, her sister-in-law in 1877. Her Uncle Abraham died in April 1881 in Bunbury and then her Father-in-law, William, in April 1883. Hannah had shared a home and family life with her in laws for nearly 10years before they retired to Bunbury in the 1870’s.

Hannah’s life was busy! She would have made and produced all that the family needed, the bread, the butter, preserved fruit and vegetables that were grown, salted meat and much more that we now take for granted. Even making all the children’s clothes and washing by hand! Hannah must have looked forward to visits from friends, family and even the Anglican clergy of the time. Picnics were something that the family enjoyed. Charles’s siblings lived in the area and Hannah’s cousin Elizabeth, was not far away at Trencreek.

North Capel Farm did not belong to the Roberts Family, it was a leasehold. This uncertainty must have been worrying to Charles and Hannah. As the farm became more successful, they were able to save some money. Each time the Executors of Governor James Stirling’s Estate advertised the “Ribbon Grant”, which North Capel Farm was part of, they must have wondered if they would be looking for a new home, but for whatever reason no one bought the land and the Roberts Family remained leasing the Farm.

By 1886, Charles and Hannah had saved enough money to buy “Stratham Park”. Several years previous this had been farmed by Charles’s sister Catherine and her husband John Scott and family. Charles and Hannah built a new 3 bedroom house and moved the family to Stratham. Their last child, Ilma Jane also came into the world during that year. Two of their sons, William, 21 and Frank, 15, remained farming at North Capel Farm which adjoined Stratham Park. Also, around this time they bought a property in Balingup which they named “Golden Valley” after the wattles growing there. Charles and the boys spent much time developing Golden Valley and building a house. Hannah was at Stratham with the younger children.

In 1888, Hannah’s eldest son William Charles Fox Roberts, then 22, married Nannup girl Mary Longbottom. They continued living at North Capel Farm. In late 1888 Hannah became a Grandmother when William and Mary had a daughter, Muriel Florence Roberts.

Also in 1888, Clara Ann Roberts married William James Bovell who had the Ship Hotel in Busselton.

In 1890, William and Mary had another daughter, Evelyn Mary Roberts, and Clara and William had a son Charles Joseph Bovell. Two more grandchildren arrived in 1891.

May 1892 another wedding took place in the Roberts family. Susan Sophia married George Crampern Rosselloty of Busselton.

Trove Article – Rosselloty / Roberts Wedding

With each marriage Hannah’s grandchildren started to increase rapidly. Susan and George were expecting their first baby in early 1893. Tragedy struck the family in November 1892, when George was thrown against a tree and killed whilst riding home along the Bunbury Vasse Road with his brother-in-law Herbert. Susan and George’s baby daughter, Sylvia Crampern Rosselloty was born in March 1893. Also in 1893, William and Mary had another daughter, Clara and William had another son, and Edith Isabella Roberts married Arnold William “Jack” Chapman.

Another wedding took place on September 18, 1894 when Frank Albert, 23, married Mary “Jane” Higgins. Janie was the daughter of another old Capel Farming family Henry William and Lavinia Higgins of “Springfield”.

Trove Article Roberts – Higgins Wedding

The younger children, Emily, 17, Grace, 14, Bon, 12, and Ilma, 7, were now attending the Stratham School which was not too far down the Stratham Boyanup Road. Herbert, 25, was still at home, running Stratham and often going out to work at Golden Valley. Pink, 22, was also at home helping her mother. Hannah often went with Charles to Golden Valley to “run the house” for the men. The children accompanied Hannah during school holidays.

Hannah’s social life seemed to be a busy one. Charles was involved in the local agricultural societies and the local turf clubs, so there was always a Show Ball or Race Ball to attend. They all seemed to enjoy picnics and boating on the swamps. Often the day before was spent preparing food for the occasion. The mail, which came every Wednesday, to Stratham, was anticipated with great excitement. Hannah and Charles stayed with their daughters, Clara or Susie, who were both at the Vasse or the girls and the grandchildren came to stay with the family at either Golden Valley or Stratham. Edie and her two children came down from Northam for holidays and to catch up with the family or sometimes Hannah and Charles travelled to Northam. Susie became unwell and Hannah asked Pink and Emily to take turns in looking after her. Once recovered, Susie and Sylvia returned to live with the family and then to work at “Minninup” for the Ramsay’s. She became unwell again and the Doctor ordered her to go to Golden Valley for 3 months rest! In November 1896 Hannah and Charles attended the opening of the Augusta Lighthouse.

In 1897 a congregational cleric, Jack Beukers, began to appear in their home life. He was a widower with a young son. His interest seemed to be in the widowed Susie. Pink sailed to Sydney, in October 1897, to train as a nurse but got very homesick and returned in early March 1898. Herbert was courting Rose Forrest from “Seaview” and poor Bon was spending time in hospital in Bunbury with a poison foot. Emily was being courted by George “Melville” Tuckey from Mandurah and reports not being able to go walking over the hills at Golden Valley unless accompanied by Mother as there are so many men about!

Susie married Reverend Jack Beukers in the Congregational Church Bunbury in February, 1898. Little 5 year old Sylvia was bridesmaid. Sadly two months later, Sylvia died of diphtheria and was buried next to her father in Busselton Pioneer Cemetery.

Trove Article Rossellotty – Beukers Wedding

The Roberts family were very committed Anglicans and it was said that they were not sure that the Congregational faith was in fact a true religion. Rev. Jack Beukers baptised one of William and Mary Roberts’ children but because of the uncertainty they apparently had the child rebaptised by an Anglican minister at a later date.

In March 1898, Hannah was at Golden Valley and wrote home to Stratham to the family. She had an abundance of fruit and was busy making apple jam, apple and pear jam, dried apples, and pies and complains she hasn’t got enough time to do all she wants as she has to pick potatoes as well. The girls have been helping her when they have been staying. She also says she hasn’t had much time to do her sewing and has only made half a pinafore and 3 pillow cases! She asks those at Stratham to look after 11 year old Ilma and that she is clean and tidy and her hair is done up before she goes to school and “tell her to be good”. Hannah must have been selling eggs and reminds the girls that they must pick up the eggs every day as she wants some money when she comes home.

Herbert Henry married Rose Campbell Forrest in June 1898 at St Mary’s Church Busselton.

Later that year Hannah was unwell. The doctor told her it was from “too much driving about”, going back and forth between Golden Valley and Stratham. Emily told the doctor that her mother was lost when parted from her father, so I guess the driving about continued. At that time, the “driving about” was by horse and cart!

Catherine “Emily” married George Melville Tuckey in 1899 and moved to Mandurah. Melville worked in the family’s fish canning factory.

Trove Article Roberts – Tuckey Wedding

In 1900, Grace Elizabeth married young policeman James Phillip Shiel. Their first child, a girl, as born and died in 1901 in Busselton.

In 1901, Hannah was 60 years old and by the end of that year she was Grandmother to 24 children, sadly 2 had died. The “Ribbon Grant” had been purchased by the Government and was being divided into smaller farms. North Capel Farm, Hannah’s home for more than 20 years and home to her sons, William and Frank and their families was up for sale. William had purchased a farm at Nannup and moved his family. 1902, Clara’s husband William Bovell died leaving her with a very young family.

The 1903 census shows Hannah, Charles and children Pink and Bon at Golden Valley. At the end of that year Charles and Hannah sold Golden Valley and moved back to Stratham. The only children remaining at home were Pink, Bon and Ilma. In 1904 Pink married James Hardgrave Shekleton who was now running the Ship Hotel in Busselton. Also in 1904, Charles and Hannah bought a large residence on the corner of West Street and Myles Street, Busselton from Dr Hungerford and decided to retire. Hannah named this house “Ullesthorpe”. In later years, it was to become the Busselton Nurses Quarters.

In 1905, Frank and Janie were successful in purchasing the homestead and surrounding 215acres and remained on North Capel Farm. They also bought some other land at the time. Herbert bought land just north of the old farm and established Greenfields. Bon remained at Stratham.

It looks like Hannah’s life slowed a little and she was not “driving about” as much. In 1906, the census shows she was at Ullesthorpe in Busselton. 1907 was another year for celebration, Bon married Margaret Emily Roberts of Capel, but no relation. Also, that year Mary, wife of William, died of pneumonia whilst being taken from Nannup to Busselton Hospital. Sadly in 1909, Margaret Emily died after an illness lasting most of her short married life. William married again to school teacher Alice Maud Hambridge. Hannah was still in residence at Ullesthorpe, Busselton. Ilma was the only child left at home with Hannah and Charles. Also, November 1909, Hannah’s cousin Elizabeth died. She was married to Charles oldest brother, William and lived at Trencreek.

Hannah was back at Stratham in 1910. Bon met and married widowed Elizabeth Ellen “Sis” Thompson (nee Nelms) in 1911 and continued farming at Stratham. At the time of the 1912 census, Hannah, Charles, Bon and Sis were at Stratham. On Boxing Day 1913, Ilma Jane married Thomas Evans Glynn at Busselton. Thomas worked in the timber industry.

Trove Article Roberts – Glynn Wedding

Hannah and Charles celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on September 22, 1914. Hannah was now 73 year old, Grandmother to 40 living Grandchildren and a Great Grandmother!

World War One was declared and Hannah saw some of her Grandchildren enlist and go off to fight. One of William’s daughters, Evelyn Mary Roberts, a trained nurse, enlisted and was sent overseas, along with one of his sons William Alexander Roberts. Vernon, Roy and William Bovell, Clara’s sons also went. Sadly, Vernon did not come home, he was killed in Belgium, one month after Hannah died. Relatives and friends’ children and grandchildren went to war, many did not return.

Also in 1914, Capel Hannah “Pink” Shekleton, filed for divorce from her husband James Shekleton on the grounds of desertion. Baby Irma Shekleton had been born and died in 1908 and it appears around this time that Pink being unwell went home to Hannah. James Shekleton then went to Sydney but did not return for more than 5 years.

Trove Article Shekleton Divorce

1915 saw a decision made to sell “Ullesthorpe”, Hannah and Charles retirement property in West Street, Busselton. From 1910 to 1914 they are listed in each census as being in residence at Stratham. An auction was held selling the furniture and machinery that was no longer needed. Now the only family left at Stratham were Bon and his wife Sis. In 1916 Pink is living in Subiaco with her sister, Ilma and her husband Thomas Glynn.

In early 1917 an opportunity arose for Charles and Hannah to buy a small, 14 acre block, Location 63 Stirling Estate, Capel. This block had been part of North Capel Farm’s original leasehold of 4400 acres that had been divided by the government and sold in 1905. This is where they intended to settle into full retirement. Hannah named the property “Lutterworth”, after the village where she grew up in England. It was here that Hannah became unwell and was taken to Marsden Private Hospital in Perth. Hannah died August 14, 1917. When probate was granted, Hannah left Charles 375 pounds.

Trove Article Obituary Hannah Roberts

Information and Story compiled and researched by DC (CDCP team member and Great Great Granddaughter of Hannah)

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© Capel District Cemeteries Project 30/06/2021

Hannah Roberts Headstone
Family of Hannah Roberts 1900
1904 Capel Hannah Roberts Wedding
ROBERTS Charles Fox