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John Frederick Cobcroft (1797–1881)

Mr. John Cobcroft, of Charlton, near Singleton, expired at his residence on Saturday last, at the great age of 85 years. The deceased gentleman was born at Wilberforce, on the Hawkesbury River, in the year 1795, six years after the foundation of the colony by Captain Cook, and he was therefore one of the oldest, if not the oldest, native-born white man in the colony at the time of his death. Mr. Cobcroft was one of the few remaining specimens of the old Hawkesbury natives, a genus of old colonists which is every day becoming scarcer. In his early days he belonged to the police force, and rose to the rank of chief constable; but his restless and energetic spirit required a wider field of labour, and after retiring into private life he devoted himself to agricultural and squatting pursuits. His efforts were crowned with success, and he subsequently settled down in this district, where he became the owner of a valuable freehold property at Charlton, which, under his careful personal supervision, has been much improved and enlarged during the last 20 years. The deceased gentleman enjoyed excellent health up till about twelve months ago, but for the last nine months he had been confined to his bed, and although not suffering from any particular illness, it had for months past become evident that a general decay of the system had set in; and becoming gradually weaker and weaker, he passed peacefully away to another and better land about noon on Saturday last. The deceased gentleman leaves a widow and a large family of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The remains were interred in the family vault at the Fordwich Church of England cemetery, on Monday last, in the presence of a large concourse of mourners.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Maitland Mercury (NSW), 10 February 1881, p 1

Citation details

'Cobcroft, John Frederick (1797–1881)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


15 May, 1797
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


5 February, 1881 (aged 83)
Singleton, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.