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Maria Cobcroft (1818–1903)

One of the best and most loveable old natives of the Hawkesbury, in the person of Mrs. Maria Cobcroft, relict of the late George Cobcroft, passed away at Wilberforce on the 5th instant, after a short illness. The deceased was 86 years of age, and had spent the whole of her life in the Hawkesbury district, living some time at Colo, and for a lengthy period at Wilberforce. She leaves a numerous line of descendants, including eight sons and daughters, 54 grand-children, and 17 great grand-children. The late Mr. George Cobcroft died some 20 years ago. The name of the late Mrs. Cobcroft was synonymous with all that was good and praiseworthy, and perhaps no family is more respected in this district than the Cobcroft family. They have been associated with the Hawkesbury from its earliest settlement, and it is a name that is known and venerated throughout New South Wales. The subject of this notice was one of the finest characters in the district, and go where you will you hear the same story: "She was a grand old soul, and will be missed by scores whom she has befriended and helped." And so she was, and died as she lived — an honest, charitable, Christian woman. There was none of the namby-pamby sort of religion in her; she made no outward show of her good works, nor sought praise for what she did. She cared not what people thought of her, and never offended her own conscience in order to gain popular approbation. Her life was a grand example to all, and those who knew the bright-spirited, big-hearted, benevolent woman loved her best. She has been laid to rest, and though she had been permitted to live beyond the allotted span, general regret is expressed at her death. She had a family of nine, one of whom (the late Mrs Andrew Stephens) pre-deceased her. Those living are: Mrs. Paul Bushell, Mrs. John Turnbull (Wilberforce), Mrs. W. J. Farlow (Freeman's Reach), Mrs. F. E. Barker (Moorbank, Liverpool), Mrs. George B. Johnston (Wilberforce), Miss Maria Cobcroft (who has always lived at home, and was deeply attached to her mother) and Messrs. Samuel and John Cobcroft, of Wilberforce. All of these are well-known throughout the district, and are worthy descendants of the good woman. The burial took place on Wednesday afternoon of last week, and a very large concourse of people assembled to show their respect for the deceased and her living relations. Messrs. G. Nicholls, J.P., G. Greentree, J.P., F. Stubbs, and T. Bowd acted as pall-bearers. The cortege proceeded to the pretty Church on the hill, and a service was conducted therein by the rector, Rev. W. S. Newton, M.A. Miss L. E. Buttsworth played the "Dead March " as the mourners entered the Church, and again as they came out. The minister took occasion to refer to the beautiful life that had just closed, and to her noble and self-denying character, putting her Christian life forward as an example for all. He then announced that the departed lady had expressly asked that her favorite hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus," should be sung at her funeral, and the choir rendered it with feeling. The last sad rites were performed at the graveside by the rector, and the funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. R. W. Dunstan, of Windsor.

Original publication

Citation details

'Cobcroft, Maria (1818–1903)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • McGinnis, Maria

13 October, 1818
Wilberforce, New South Wales, Australia


5 October, 1903 (aged 84)
Wilberforce, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

kidney disease

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.