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Orphan Number: 127
Orphan: Priscilla ARNOTT
Mother:,
Father:,
Mother's ship:
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:8yrs
Date admitted:13 Aug 1839
Date discharged:21 Dec 1843
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: father
Remarks: mother dead
References: SWD7, 28


This orphan has been claimed by: Julie Collins-Skellern

Hannah and her sister Priscilla were both baptised into the Church of England by the Rev Bobby Knopwood at Clarence Plains to Thomas ARNOTT of "Calcutta" and Sarah MYERS of "Providence II", in 1829 and 1831 respectively.  Sarah was a Jewess, and when she died of "fits in bed" she became the first person, in Australia, to have her faith recognised by the authorities.  Thomas objected to an inquest, but it was over-ruled. However, it made the newspapers of the day, viz: 

HOBART TOWN COURIER Friday November 30 1832
An inquest was held on Wednesday on the death of Sarah ARNETT, a Jewess, the wife of a chair-maker at Kangaroo point, who being subject to fits, was found dead in bed.  Mr Row who attended was prevented by the form of the Jewish religion from opening the body in order to give evidence as to the immediate cause of her death, until the Coroner decided that it should be so.  

She was likely buried in the new Jewish Cemetery in Harrington Street, and disinterments from there for re-burial at Cornelian Bay, did describe a young woman, who may well have been her.  

Thomas married again, a respectable two years' later, (to Sarah AINSWORTH off "Mary"), probably with the intent to do better by his daughters in their upbringing, but five years' later she too died, and in desperation for care of the motherless ones, he had them admitted to the orphanage six months' later and it seems he went off to "greener pastures" (Port Jackson in effect) to find them another step-mother.  

On 21 December 1843 the children were removed by their father from the Orphanage, and two month's later they had a little half-sister, Eliza, to another stepmother (Christiana/Anne) whom he'd married in Sydney in 1840.  

Thomas spent the last three years of his life surrounded by growing daughters, farming his small-holding near Kangaroo Point and making chairs and he died in 1847, aged 65. He is buried in St Mathews, Clarence Plains (Rokeby). 

By then, the girls were in their mid teens, and within a few years' enarmoured by soldiers! 

Priscilla married John WALKER of the 96th Regiment, at Bethseda Chapel, Hobart on 20th December 1847 and Hannah married Thomas BROWN of the 96th regiment on 30 Jun 1849 at St Johns in Launceston.  (Their half-sister Eliza married the son of a 96th Regiment soldier too, thus completing an unusual  circle of life!)

Thomas BROWN was in hospital when the 96th Regiment left for Swan River (Western Australia) and India, and thus stayed in Van Dieman's Land with Hannah where they had seven children, but Priscilla followed "on the strength" to meet an untimely death, childless, aged only 19, in Lachore, India. 

My mother is the fourth to have the name "Priscilla" (but as a middle name).  Hannah's eldest daughter was named for her sister, as Priscilla Louisa BROWN, and her daughter (my Nana) was Priscilla Louisa MOODY.  There are other families in New South Wales with Priscilla MYERS, but despite that lead, Sarah (and Thomas') ancestry remain unconfirmed. 



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Site last updated April 2017