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Elizabeth Anne Bawden (1838–1896)

We briefly referred, in our last issue, to the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Anne Bawden whose charitable deeds and intimate connection with the progress of this city and district, stood out prominently and won her deep seated affection, reverence, regard, and esteem. Mrs. Bawden was the second daughter of Walter and Elizabeth Hindmarsh, born on the Macleay River in 1838. She came to this district, with her parents in 1842, first settling at Fairfield, and subsequently at Travellers' Rest, and Gowan Gowan, in the Casino district. The late Mr. Hindmarsh was one of the pioneer sheep graziers; but tiring of that pursuit, he in 1852 purchased the general storekeeping and agency business of the late Joseph Sharpe in Grafton, then carried on where the N.C.S.N. Coy's, wharf and premises now are. Upon arrival in Grafton the Hindmarsh family took an active part in the setting up of the first Church of England building in the district; the deceased and her sister taking a prominent part in Sunday school teaching and other work, under the guidance of the present Dean of Newcastle and Mrs. Selwyn. In 1855 the deceased was married to Mr. Thomas Bawden, who then had just commenced business at South Grafton. For a time, Mr. and Mrs. Bawden resided at Lawrence, but subsequently returned to Grafton, where they have resided ever since. While prosperity was with her Mrs. Bawden never spared herself, though at all times she was particularly careful against waste, having a judicious discrimination when aid should be given, and when it should be withheld. For the last 17 years, she has been prevented, through limited means, from doing all she would have done in the way of charitable effort, but we believe that no person, white or black, was ever sent from her door wanting bread and meat, if they needed it. She was outspoken in her opinion; but she scorned the doing of an injury to any person. She was greatly beloved by the aborigines, in whose welfare she took a warm interest. In former years, along with her sisters, striving to teach them some of the noble principles of' christianity and christian morality. She has brought up and educated at different times waifs, containing European and aboriginal blood. She took a keen interest in everything that was calculated to promote the progress of the district. The matter of railway connection with Glen Innes and the improvement of the river entrance had no warmer or more outspoken advocate when opportunity offered. This was recognised some few years back by the presentation to her by the Railway delegates for Glen Innes and Inverell of a very handsome piece of plate. During the last seventeen years no one but her very intimate friends knew what her work has been—unthoughtful of herself, but thoughtful for others. The tributes of esteem which Mr. Bawden and family have received from all quarters, and the very large attendance at the funeral on Tuesday afternoon, are a recognition of the love and esteem in which deceased was held.

Mrs. Bawden's eldest sister is now the widow of the late Mr. Barnes; other sisters are married respectively to Mr. James Black, of the Tweed; Mr. John McLeod, of Woodville, Maclean; and Mr. John Fulford, of Lyndhurst; while one sister is unmarried. The brothers who survive are Mr. John Hindmarsh, of Milaquin, Bundaberg; Mr. William Hindmarsh, of Rawbelle, Gayndah; and Mr. Walter Hindmarsh, of the Income Tax Department, Sydney. Her children surviving her are six daughters—two of whom are married, Mrs. Duckett White and Mrs. Ventry Smith—and five sons, one of whom only is married. These, with one daughter and two sons-in-law—who shared with her own children the love of a mother—six little grandchildren, and her husband and aged mother form the family of the deceased.

Notwithstanding the limited notice, a large number attended the funeral on Tuesday afternoon, and deceased's buggy—drawn by her favourite ponies—conveyed over sixty wreaths and crosses and other floral tributes to the cemetery, following immediately after the plain hearse. The body was taken to the Cathedral, where service was conducted by Rev. T. E. Fox and Rev. E. H. Webber, the Ven. Archdeacon delivering a short address, in which special reference was made to Mrs. Bawden's interest in Church work and in the welfare of the aborigines.

Original publication

Citation details

'Bawden, Elizabeth Anne (1838–1896)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hindmarsh, Elizabeth Anne

New South Wales, Australia


November, 1896 (aged ~ 58)
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia

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