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This blog will be a record of stuff I find interesting, discover or write. Interested in family & local history, cemeteries, reading & libraries, old stuff, research & writing, photography, wine and fine dining plus lots more! Immersed in local history, fascinated by technology and social media and would like more time to spend doing the things I love!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Dr Robert Havens in Sydney ~ Trove Tuesday

Robert Havens is one of my most intriguing ancestors and although I know a fair bit about him, it astounds me the interesting snippets that can be discovered in Trove that expand and extend the knowledge about ancestors.

Born into an old and respected family with roots in Donylands in Colchester, Essex, Robert Havens was the only son of Robert Havens 1771-1818 and Janet Crabbe 1783-1855. Although the family resided in Whitehaven (Cumberland), Robert was born in 1809 in Edinburgh in 1809.

Robert was apprenticed for 7 years as an apothecary to John Stanley of Whitehaven for seven years from 1822. He then attended St Bartholomew's Hospital for practical training and admitted as Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) in 1831 and later appointed as resident Apothecary to the Kendal Dispensary in 1834. He married Esther Lee in 1839 at Kendal and shortly after their wedding the couple migrated to Australia. His widowed mother, Janet plus his three sisters, travelled with the couple on the Orient which arrived in Sydney in December 1839.

He was registered as a qualified Medical Practitioner by the NSW Medical Board in 1840 and quickly established premises and was advertising in the newspapers for patients According to the Sydney Morning Herald in 1840 he specialised in Operative Surgery, Medicine, and Febrile Diseases especially Midwifery and the Diseases of Women and Children, especially in the latter during the period of Teething, bone setting and the Diseases of the teeth &c &c 

Advertising from the Sydney Herald 8 June 1840 p. 1.

Robert was also able to supply recommendations of his professional skill and moral Character but also gave advice gratis to the poor, at his residence, Kent-street north, first house on the hill, directly behind the Military Hospital, on Tuesday and Friday mornings from nine to ten o'clock.

He did not stay in Sydney for long and by 1841 having recently discontinued practice in Sydney and removed up the country to the [Braidwood] district advertised to inform the inhabitants he was ready and wishful to resume and follow his profession with assiduity among them on reasonable charges.

A middle-aged, Dr Robert Havens

Robert continued to practise in Reidsdale, a small village located on the outskirts of Braidwood whilst raising  a large family which included:

Ann Eliza b. 1841; Lucy Jessie 1845, Esther Robertha Janetta 1847, Mary Jane Lee 1850, Thomas James Daniel 1852, Philip Colchester Donyland 1854, Katianna Badgery M. 1856 Paulina Melita 1858, Victor Ard Bomble 1861 and Amniona Victoria Regina 1864

He was recorded in the newspapers of the day as giving evidence in the murder trial where stonemason Thomas Williams was charged with attempting to murder John Jones. Robert practised for many years to come but that is another story for another time.

Nameplate of Dr Robert Havens from Reidsdale NSW. Photo: M. Nichols, 1983.

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