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Edward John Hawksley (1807–1875)

Mr. Edward John Hawksley who died (after a long and painful illness) on the 2nd of July, at his residence in South Levuka, on the Island of Ovalau, Fiji, was born at Nottingham, in the year 1807, and early evinced a decided taste for literature, which he cultivated with assiduity and success during a long, laborious, and useful life—the greater portion of which was spent in this colony. Emigrating with his family from his native town to Sydney, between thirty and forty years, ago, he was first engaged as a schoolmaster at Maitland, and next as a paid contributor to the Atlas newspaper, then under the guidance of Mr. Robert Lowe, and the present Chief Justice of New South Wales, Sir James Martin. Subsequently, in 1843, he became associated with Mr. Pickering and others on the staff of the Australasian Chronicle, at that time edited by Mr. W. A. Duncan (the present Collector of Customs in Sydney) and the late Archdeacon McEncroe. Afterwards, in conjunction with Mr. Francis Cunninghame, he established the People's Advocate, a journal which enjoyed much popularity for many years, but which eventually succumbed to the depression of the times, and a general mortification of political ideas. He continued to write for the Press, until he was taken on as an employee in the Government Printing Office, where he remained for many years; until his advanced age making his retirement appear to be desirable, he received a gratuity for his long service, and so followed his friend Mr. Charles St. Julian to Fiji where he remained until his death. Mr. Hawksley was the first mayor of Waterloo, about fourteen years ago, and, in conjunction with Messrs. Reeve, Byron, and others, gave his son-in-law Mr. St. Julian, important assistance in drawing up a Municipality Act, the greater part of which is still in force in this colony. Mr. Hawksley wrote sterling English, with remarkable ease and rapidity, up to within a few months of his decease. He was much respected and esteemed by all who knew him. Originally a Unitarian, he became Roman Catholic by conviction, prior to his departure from England, having been converted by the arguments of the Right Rev. Dr. Ullathorne. In his religious opinions, however, Mr. Hawksley was as liberal as he was in his political views and very seldom, if ever, entered upon controversy of any kind. The deceased was twice married. He leaves two daughters by his first wife, and three young children by his widow. He was buried, on the 3rd ultimo, at the Nautoto cemetery, on the south of Levuka, near to the resting place of Mr. St. Julian, and a considerable number of persons followed his remains to the grave. The funeral service was performed by the Very Rev. Father Breheret, the Marist priest in charge of the French Mission at Fiji.

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'Hawksley, Edward John (1807–1875)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hawkesley, Edward John

Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England


2 July, 1875 (aged ~ 68)
South Levuka, Fiji

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.

Political Activism