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Gertrude Mary Hely (1839–1917)

A correspondent writes : —"There passed away, at her residence, Sandgate, on the 25th of July, Mrs. Gertrude May Hely, widow of Mr. Hovenden Hely, a man who wrote his name large in the annals of early Australian history. Born in London in 1837, the daughter of the head of Church Brothers, merchants and ship-owners of the largest tea clippers that sailed out of London for China waters in the days when the first ship home caught the market, the deceased married in that city, in 1856, the late Mr. Hovenden Hely, son of the Hon. F. A. Hely who arrived in Australia in 1815 as principal superintendent of convicts settlements, and brother of the late Mr. Justice Henry Lindsey Hely, who, in the early seventies and eighties, was a judge in this state. Crossing the seas to her husband's home at Wyoming, Mrs. Hely resided there until her husband's death in 1872. She then brought her family to Brisbane, where their guardian, Mr. W. I. C. Drew, C.M.G., late Chairman of the Civil Service Board of this state, resided, and at that early date occupied the position of Under secretary of the Treasury. Mr. Hovenden Hely, husband of the deceased lady, was one of the pioneer squatters and Parliamentarians of New South Wales, having been elected to the first three parliaments under responsible government in that state, the Premier of the first of which was the father of the present Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr. Donaldson. Mr. Hely was also keenly interested in the work of early exploration and devoted much of his time to opening up new country. In 1852 he was sent out by the Imperial authorities in charge of an expedition for the relief of the lost Dr. Leichhardt, one of his companions being the late Mr. William Landsborough (father of Mrs. F. North, of Rockhampton), who afterwards did much exploration work in this state and who found and named the Barclay Tableland. The Judge Hely referred to married Miss Isabella Salmon, daughter of the late Dr. Salmon, who for many years practised in Rockhampton. Mrs. Hely left a daughter and four sons. Miss Hely, of the Rockhampton branch of the Bank of New South Wales, is a granddaughter of the deceased.

Original publication

Citation details

'Hely, Gertrude Mary (1839–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Church, Gertrude Mary

17 February, 1839
London, Middlesex, England


25 July, 1917 (aged 78)
Sandgate, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death


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.