Daniel Milverton was born on 1st February 1822 in Tash Street, Holborn, London, England. He was baptised on 21 April 1822 at St Andrew’s Holborn.
Daniel was the son of James Milverton, a carpenter (1776-1831) and Ann Nancy Membry (1778-1859). Daniel was one of nine children born to the couple.
James and Ann were from Winsham, Somerset, but had moved to London around 1807, and lived in Holborn, London.
Daniel’s father James died in September 1831 when Daniel was only 9 years old, leaving his mother Ann to bring up the nine children alone. He died by falling off a ladder while working for the same master for 24 years.
The family were now obviously struggling to make ends meet with no father to support them. Did this make one of the boys turn to a life of crime?
Daniel’s brother William born in 1816, was convicted of larceny and transported to Australia as a convict.
Read more about his life here.
In a letter from Daniel’s mother Ann, writing for clemency for her son William’s sentence in 1840, she states the family had never had a criminal in their family for many generations, and it was only because of the dire poverty caused by her husband’s death that William resorted to stealing. She stated with no income they couldn’t afford to apprentice William to a trade, so sent him to sea. When he returned from sea, he got into bad company, and in an ‘evil moment’ stole the next door neighbours property.
Poor Ann begs for mercy and that her son will once again see his native land. She states he will not see her again as she is sinking into her grave with despair. The letter is dated 31st March 1840, and was sent from 91 Brittania Street, City Road, Holborn. Click on the letter to read it.
The family struggles, living off the parish, and Daniel appears in the 1841 census apprenticed as a tailor to Mr George Byfield at 166 Goswell Street, St Botolph Aldersgate, London.
On 22 September 1844 Daniel married Mary Ridge at St Lukes, Finsbury, London. Daniel gave his residence as 166 Goswell Street.
Mary was the daughter of William Ridge (b 1794), a labourer and Elizabeth Wyatt (b 1784). She was one of four children born to the couple.
Mary was born on 6 Dec 1820 at Paul Street, Taunton, Somerset and was baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Taunton on 24 November 1822 at the age of two, the same day as her sister Ann born in 1822.
On her baptism parish register her father William’s occupation is given as a labourer.
In the 1841 census, Mary, a dressmaker, is living with her brother John in East Reach, Taunton.
Living in the house next door is her future husband’s mums family the Membry family.
Daniel and Mary had eight children –
- Jane b 1847 Islington d 1929 Ryde, NSW marr Thomas Hutchinson
- Francis Daniel b 1848 Islington d 1867 Concord NSW
- Julia Mary b 1849 Islington d 1896 Hurstville NSW marr James George
- Emily Frances b 1851 Islington d 1927 Darlington NSW marr William Pacey
- Harriet b 1855 Sydney d 1924 Ashfield NSW marr Sydney Raynes
- Mary b 1859 Newtown, Sydney d 1910 WA? marr Charles Pickering
- Matilda b 1861 Sydney d 1928 Rockdale NSW marr George Willison
- Annie b 1865 Glebe NSW, d married James Denny
The family lived at 32 Charlotte Street, Islington from 1847 to 1854. Four of their children were born at that address.
Daniel was working as a journeyman tailor in Islington, and Mary was working as a laundress in the 1851 census. The family were well off enough to afford a 14 year old Irish house servant Bridget Keefe.
The term Journeyman generally applies to a man who had served his official apprenticeship, was skilled in a given trade, and is a qualified worker in another’s employ.
They earned their license by education, supervised experience and examination.
Although journeymen have completed a trade certificate and are allowed to work as employees, they may not yet work as self-employed master craftsmen.
Daniel in 1854 made the momentous decision to immigrate to Australia, so he applied for a loan with the Family Colonisation Society for 48 pounds, which was granted.
Caroline Chisolm, had arrived in NSW in 1838 with her husband and became aware of the plight of settlers, struggling to find the money to immigrate.
Renting a modest home near the London docks, she started a Family Colonisation Society helping poorer families to settle in Australia, commissioning ships with clean and adequate accommodation, and establishing a London hostel next to her own home where families could stay while waiting to sail.
Eventually settling back in London, she died in 1877 and is buried in her native Northampton where her grave names her as “The Emigrant’s Friend”.
Daniel was then able to immigrate aboard under the scheme aboard the “Marchioness of Londonderry” passenger ship with his family, which arrived in Sydney on 10 December 1854. Daniel and Mary also travelled with their children Jane 9, Frances 7, Julia 5 and Emily aged 3. He partly paid his fare of 48 pounds, and was loaned 48 pounds by the society, the total fare required being 96 pounds for the six of them to travel to Australia.
The family settled in Sydney and by 1859 were living in Alma Street South Sydney (Government Gazette). Daniel appears in the 1865 Sands Directory at that address working as a tailor.
In 1867 the family suffered a tragedy when their son Francis was found drowned on 3rd January 1867 at Five Dock in Sydney.
Daniel seemed to have a taste for politics, and can be found many times in the newspapers nominating for Darlington council elections in 1857, 1864, 1868, and 1874.
Daniel’s wife Mary died at Alma Street, South Sydney in December 1871 aged 51 and she was buried in the Rookwood Cemetery at Plot B, Zone B 304 on 23 December.
Daniel lived for another 28 years, dying at the age of 77 on 28 May 1899 at Leichardt, Sydney. He is buried in the same grave as Mary in Rookwood Cemetery at Plot b, Zone B 304. His death notice describes his death as ‘falling asleep’.
I wonder – did Daniel ever see his brother William, the convict, again in Sydney? Did they reunite? I like to think so.