William and Betsy Crisp

William And Betsey Crisp

William and Betsey Crisp had married in Soham 4th June 1842. William and Betsey were our only British migrants arriving in Sydney town with a family of five children on the “Blemheim” in 1855. The “Blenheim” was a large vessel of 808 tons vessel built in1845. It had been a convict ship in1849 and 1850 taking just over 100 days for the trips. The family was from Soham in Cambridgeshire. Even today Soham is a very pleasant but small rural village situated in beautiful countryside. William then 12 was the eldest son followed by Henry Malden, Ellen Julia, Vanity (Emily) and young Catherine then only a year old. In the next few years the family was to swell to twelve children.

On the passenger list it states that Betsey’s parents were Henry and Mary Malden. On Betsey’s death certificate it states that her father Henry Malden was a Miller in Soham.

William Crisp’s father was also called William and he had married a Mary White in 9th December, 1811. They had had nine children including two boys, William and Robert. William senior was a farmer from Soham. It is almost certain that they had been reasonably successful as they were able to raise a very large family and their children married very well.

In the year after their arrival that their first Australian child was born, Agness who was born in 1856.In the next few years others were to follow, David in 1858 Eliza in 1859. All in all they had twelve children all healthy and living to marriageable age. This points to the fact that the Crisps were more well off than other immigrant families as they needed good funds to support such a large family and have pleasant living conditions. After the death of Betsey in 1881 William married again to a Catherine May Reid having another child in 1886 but unfortunately he only survived four months after the birth of his new young son, also called William. He married Catherine in Goulbourn, the child William (2) was born in Young and William died in Young.

The Crisp Children.

Many of the children of William and Betsey also had large families.

The family must have done well in Mittagong and been fairly prosperous for several of the girls married very well into well-established local families. Our Emily married George Troy. (Catherine Crisp married George’s brother Thomas) Although George Troy’s father had been sent to an orphanage at 9 been indentured off at 10 he had made a real success of his life. Thomas married into another convict family, the Hanks who had been an incredibly successful family. By the time George married Emily he was well educated and very outgoing. George and Emily were to join quite a few of both families in moving west based around the Cootamundra area setting up very successful farms as the land around Cootamundra was very fertile and this district grew to be a highly populated and progressive area (even bigger at the turn of the nineteenth century than it is today).

William married Francis King at Wingecarribee the same day as his sister Ellen married George Stanford. William moved to the Wagga Wagga region but his daughter Grace had a son James Joseph (Alf) who was born at Cootamundra 18.8.1900. Grace married an Albert Spencer Troy and had four children and later moved to Rockdale. Her sister Emily had a son, Kenneth Frederick who was born in Cootamundra in1902.

Eliza Crisp married Joseph Corby and sister Mary Jane married his brother William Corby while sister Elizabeth married Archibald Hutchinson while brother Robert married Matilda Hutchinson and brother David married Ester Hutchinson. The Corbys and the Hutchinsons were well to do families.

From Pat Cuskies book on Cootamundra history 1901-1924 these families get frequent mentions. Joseph Corby in particular held important positions in the community. It appears he lived in Stockinbingal along with a number of relatives on nearby farms. Joseph was a committee member on the Stockinbingal Progress Committee. He was voted unopposed on the Permanent Councillors of Cowcumber, A Riding 1906 then Shire Councillor for Jindalee again voted unopposed all the way through to 1914 when he again was voted in unopposed. He was listed as a JP and on the list of Magistrates in 1901at the formal opening of the Court House in Stockinbingal and was on the planning of a School of Arts in 1911.

Eliza does get one mention as Mrs Joe Corby organising a Ball at Stockinbingal as a fund raiser for the local hospital. Joseph’s farm was called “Sunnydale.” At the farm in 1904 there was a dreadful fire which wiped out sheds and considerable farming equipment. (It may have been suspicious as there was a similar fire at a nearby farm.

William Corby, husband of Eliza was also a prominent local identity. He was president of the Narrandera Farmers and Settlers Association in1905. He was on the organising committee of the Jindalee Fire-fighters assn In 1903.He was one of the first to have a telephone and it was his warning by phone in 1919 with his warning of an approaching flood which alerted local townspeople. There was a demonstration of land clearing by explosion on his property in 1905. His son also William was a keen breeder of purebred Clydesdales and also selling trotting sulkies. Another son Vernie traded as a butcher in 1922.

Archibald Hutchinson gets a mention as on the Committee of the Muttima Racing Club.

In 1915 Arthur Crisp son of David Crisp and Ester Hutchinson was on the list of wounded soldiers in the Second World War.

John Crisp was on a jury in 1904. Most of the rest of the family lived in Berrima, Wagga Wagga, Murrumburrah (Where Besey Crisp died), and Yass.

William and Betsey Crisp were to have more than 80 grandchildren.

What brought the Crisp To The Colony of NSW? Maybe they had a convict relative.

Some Crisp convicts.

John Crisp 1838 TOL caught 1831 stealing watches. Came from Suffock bricklayer and weaver heavily tattooed.

John Crisp caught stealing money a merchant clerk born 1818 5’11” cross eyed, scar on bridge of the nose.

There was an Eliza Crisp who married a Richard Cartwright in Berrima in 1834 and a John Crisp from a Robert and Sophia Crisp who died in Berrima in 1862 who may have been relatives who came before our William and Betsey.

Probably not but they did extraordinarily well.

Anthony Laffan (Copyright)