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Obituaries Australia

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Johnston, Frances (Fanny) (1811–1896)

Mrs. Johnston, relict of Commander Robert Johnston, R.N., died on the 24th ultimo at the age of 85 years. The venerable lady, who had lived in retirement for many years past, was a daughter of Mr. Joseph Weller, of Amersham, Bucks, England, who about 1826 came to New South Wales for the sake of the health of his two sons, upon the advice of the celebrated Dr. John Hunter. Miss Weller was then about 15 years old. For a long time the family lived in Redfern at Cleveland House, and here she met Lieutenant Robert Johnston, R.N., who was on leave of absence from the Admiralty. He was a son of Colonel Johnston, who deposed Governor Bligh. They were married at St. James's in 1831 or 1832, being among the first couples wedded there, and it is interesting to record that Mrs. Johnston was, with a sister of the late Sir William Macleay, one of the last ladies in the colony to receive a grant of land upon her marriage. Owing to the death of his father and elder brother, Lieutenant Johnston retired from the navy to manage the family properties. Mrs. Johnston never left the colony, and up to the departure of Sir William and Lady Denison she was a leader of society. After this time she retired wholly into private life. Her death, which was unexpected and is believed to have been hastened by the severe weather, will cause regret to her large circle of friends and relatives, and among the poor, to many of whom she was a liberal and unostentatious friend. She leaves five sons living and two daughters, one the wife of Mr. Sam Dickinson, The Hall, Croydon, the other the wife of Mr. G. A. Murray, Roslyn Hall, Manly.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Johnston, Frances (Fanny) (1811–1896)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 September 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Weller, Frances

Kent, England


23 June 1896
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence