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Rebecca Hayward

Rebecca Hayward was born in Lewisham Workhouse in the Greater London area (this was later the location of London's Lewisham Hospital. The infant was christened on 24 March 1833 in the church of St. Mary, Lewisham and it is presumed she was born shortly prior to that date.

Rebecca's parents were not married. Her mother, Sylva Hayward, was 16 or 17 years of age and was residing in the workhouse at the time of the birth. Rebecca's father was identified in the baptismal register as George Hopkins, a labourer; the father's name was recorded in the case of workhouse births in order that the father could be required to contribute, if required, to the cost of raising the child.

One can only imagine the conditions in a London workhouse in the 1830s and the difficulties faced by the infant and her teenage mother.


Rebecca Hayward
Rebecca Hayward
provided by Kerrie Mullins-Gunst,
great great grand-daughter of Rebecca.


baptismal register at Lewisham

Image at left shows the first three entries on page 53 of baptismal register for 1833 in parish of Lewisham. Rebecca is third entry on this page.
Click on image for enlargement

Five years later, Rebecca's mother married Joseph Mead and people may have presumed Joseph was Rebecca'sher father. (This may explain why, on her marriage certificate, her father's name was recorded as Joseph Hayward).

Sadly, Rebecca's mother died of phthisis (tuberculosis) when Rebecca was only 13 years of age and her mother 29 years old.

In the 1851 census, Rebecca has been identified as a "house servant" residing with Mr Samuel Seymour and his wife Katherine at 28 Carter Street, in the Parish of St Marys Newington (the age is recorded as 24 which is incorrect, but birth location is correct; the name Hayward was not commonly found in this area at this time, so that it is almost certain that the age recorded in the census is incorrect; census returns were filled in by enumerators from notes made during their visits and this often lead to mistakes; the age of 24 might also have been an erroneous repetition of the age of Mrs Seymour entered in the line above in the census return).

On her marriage certificate, it is stated that she was residing with her father, a brick-layer, at the time of her marriage; this would have been Joseph Mead, her step-father. On 28 March 1853, when she was aged 20, she married James Price in St Mary's parish church in Bermondsey. Bermondsey is very close to the south eastern edge of where the famous Tower Bridge is now located in London (the bridge was not there in Rebecca's time, though she would probably have looked across the River Thames to the famous Tower of London).

In the following year they left England and arrived in Port Adelaide. It must have been a difficult voyage for Rebecca as she was pregnant, giving birth one week after the ship's arrival in Port Adelaide.

On the birth certificate of their daughter who was born in Port Adelaide, is found the "signature, description and address of informant". Recorded on 3 July 1854, there can be seen Rebecca Price's signature in faltering handwriting, and the address appears to be "Gouger Street". Rebecca's signature suggests a person for whom signing her own name was an effort and she may not have been very literate. Gouger Street continues to exist in Adelaide. At the beginning of the 21st century, Gouger Street is the "eat street" restaurant and cafe strip of Adelaide.

It is not known whether they stayed in Gouger Street for long. Rebecca's death certificate states that she stayed three years in South Australia before moving to New South Wales, and it is known that her second child was born in Noarlunga, in South Australia.

On her death certificate, Rebecca is described as "widow", living 33 years after the death of her husband. She would have been about 36 years of age when her husband drowned, at which time the eldest of her children would have been 15 years of age, and the youngest a newborn. One imagines life would have been very difficult for Rebecca; no widow's pension then. One of her children, Laura, would have been 4 years of age when Rebecca was widowed; Laura died just months before reaching age 10.

Rebecca and James were parents of  six children :

After her husband's death, Rebecca carried on, and her eldest son, Charles W. Price later operated the Prices' general store for some years.

The Municipality of Wentworth was established in 1879. In the first Rate Book, in 1879, Mrs R. Price is shown as the owner of Lot 10 section 3 (the site described above as the site of James Price's first blacksmith shop) and Lot 11 section 7 (corner of Alice and Murray Streets). It appears that Lot 12 section 7 was not taken up by the Prices, and even Lot 11 was never improved by the Prices and was probably auctioned by the Council.

As noted above, James had purchased land in the town centre and, in 1879, Rebecca was shown as owner of Section 23A, Lots 3 & 4 (information provided by Miss Maud Crang, of the Wentworth Historical Society):

In 1883/1884 there was trouble in the Municipal office and some of the entries in the Rate Book were not made until the following year. Rebecca's property at Lot 3, previously occupied by her son Charles, is shown as occupied by a tenant, and J.McLaren & Co. were operating the store.

While leased to tenants, the general store burned down in January 1885. The 1885/1886 Rate Book shows a tenant still living in the brick house on Lot 3, Rebecca living in her home on Lot 4, with a tenant in the attached office/shop, and the remaining property, presumably where the store had been, is described as a Fenced Garden and valued at 60 pounds. In the following year, 1886/1887, the Rate Book shows the Fenced Garden replaced by a Store valued at 140 pounds and operated by Price and DuRieu. (presumed to be her son and son-in-law).



JANUARY 10, 1885.

Destructive Fire.

About 2.30 a.m. on Thursday last Wentworth ..... terrible ... of fire the first one we had had for years. On arriving at the scene of destruction we found it to be one of our largest general stores that is known as McLaren & Co. fronting ... and information received from eye-witnesses who were first on the scene and raised the alarm, tends the belief that the fire must have started in or close to the verandah as that structure was .... completely consumed before any other part of the building had been properly ignited. All the available force of Wentworth was out, and owing to their great exertions the destructive element was confined to its first site, notwithstanding that the cottage of Mrs. Price with Gazeley saddlers shop in the front were only separated from the burning building by a passage not six feet wide. Some of our townspeople, by getting on the roof, and a chain being formed from Mr. Woodhead's tanks (supplied by the pump under the wharf; at which pump, exception was taken some time ago) contrived by keeping the roof and walls soaked with water to prevent any spread on that side. On the other side a cottage used by Mr. Pegler as a private residence was also saved by this same means, although a window looking towards the conflagration was literally charred out of its brick frame, and the back and front verandah, was ignited. In the case of Mr. Pegler's cottage, had the alarm not been given in time, a serious loss of life may have resulted as the whole of his young family, with their governess, were the occupants. Had not Mr. Pegler from his bedroom in the hotel opposite seen the fire and rushed over to get his children out, the probable consequence would have been fearful to contemplate. The building destroyed was a large iron structure with a brick front, extending from Darling Street back to a lane in the rear, a distance of 140 feet, being the first store of any magnitude erected in Wentworth. It was built by the late James Price nearly 20 years ago. Messrs. McLaren & Co. are comparatively speaking newcomers having bought the business from Mr. C. Price about 18 months ago. The destruction was total, only four ... in the front building left and ...     Nothing at all was saved, ... the books and over a 100 .... cash in the safe, (which by in-.... and was left unlocked) were totally d....yed as f...

(the following 16 lines are too difficult to de-cipher)

.... gallantry in maintaining his position on Mrs. Price's roof immediately alongside the burning building, others such as Messrs. Woodhead, Edwards, Bowring, Pegler, Stepney, Cameron, and Dachelley, but in fact if we kept on we should have to mention everyone who at present, as all united in doing their utmost. -and even the ladies showed great presence of mind in obtaining all the assistance they could, notably Miss E. Tonkin, Miss Brown, and Miss A. Sewart. Their reward is the knowledge of having assisted to save the whole of the block at the very least, if not the whole of the business portion of the town which must have inevitably yielded to the devouring element of the fire-fiend had the wind arose or had the exertions of those present relaxed for one moment. The loss is estimated at about 8000 pounds which we are sorry to say is only covered by insurance for something under 4000 pounds. Great sympathy is felt for Mr. McLaren, a young man whose all was invested in the business and who, since his residence amongst us, has a obtained the friendship and goodwill of all classes by his urbane manners and close attention to his business. On Thursday morning Darling Street presented a strange sight being strewn with the contents of the houses adjoining the destroyed premises. The furniture, and etc. suffered a little from the rough handling they received in the course of removal but this could not be avoided, consequent upon the excitement of such an occasion, but those who suffered in this way are all thankful it was not worse. Mr. Pegler is also a loser to the amount of about 250 pounds, having a large quantity of horse feed stored in the destroyed building. We must draw attention to the fact that had it not been for Mr. Woodhead's tanks which were supplied by the pump aforementioned all the exertions of those present would have been rendered futile from the want of water a fact which is in itself sufficient to justify us in demanding a water supply.

This newspaper extract was provided by Wentworth Historical Society. Some parts of the original could not be deciphered by the society.


Rebecca's last home
House on Part of Lot 3, section 23A; photograph provided by Wentworth Historical Society. Thought to be where Rebecca lived her last years with her son, Albert, and where she died.


In 1889/1890 and the following two years, her son-n-law, E.W. DuRieu was occupying the Brick Residence on Lot 3, which had previously been tenanted. From 1897/1898, Rebecca's youngest son, Albert Henry Price, was occupying the residence on Lot 3, and it is understood that Rebecca lived with her son for some or all of these years, and it is probably this house in which she later died. After her death, it appears that this residence became the property of her son-in-law, E.W. DuRieu, who sold it at an unknown date.

From 1890/1891 Rebecca's Lot 4 residence and shop/office were occupied by tenants, so Rebecca had obviously moved. From 1892/1893 to 1895/1896, the tenant was her husband's "brother", H.G. Price, who had been the town's mayor. Subsequently other tenants occupied the property until, after her death, it became the home of her son, Albert Henry Price. It was subsequently owned by Albert's widow and son, Lesley, until being sold by Lesley to Wentworth businessman, Harold Bear, on 24 March 1926.


store in Wentworth, NSW
picture from Wentworth Historical Society

Martin & Co. were operating the store (which straddled part of Lot 3 and part of Lot 4 in section 23A, fronting on Darling Street) in 1892/1893 and continued to do so until 1906/1907, after which Rebecca's son Albert again took over operating the store, until Wm. Bowring & Co. took over the business by 1911.  Bowrings already operated the store at Lot 5 next door.


house in Wentworth, NSW
house standing on section 3, Lot 10 in year 2002
photograph by Laura Kelly,
great great great great grand-daughter of James and Rebecca Price

The original property, section 3 Lot 10, (on Alice Street, between Cadell Street and the Darling River) had a shed in 1879, and a 4-roomed cottage valued at 24 pounds was erected by the 1880/1881 Rating Year. Rebecca's son-in-law E.W. DuRieu was the occupier from 1882 to 1886, and otherwise it was rented, with the value dropping to 10 pounds by 1907/1908. It would have been flooded in the floods of 1890, however it is believed the cottage still stands today, in renovated form. The two chimneys on the West side are very distinctive. Ms Maud Crang of the Wentworth Historical Society advised of a telephone conversation on 21 April 2000 with Mr Frank Farrar, aged 85 years, who had owned the property for many years until 1990. Mr Farrar believed it to be a very old house and thought it was the original. There had been three chimneys on the west side but Mr Farrar had removed one.


Caroline Dunne has passed on the following advertisement which Noela Griffin found in the Wentworth Telegraph in 1878 :



Rebecca Hayward's watch
Rebecca's watch
picture provided by Kerrie Mullins-Gunst,
great great grand-daughter of Rebecca
Click on image for enlargement.


The Federal Standard newspaper, published in Wentworth on Saturday 26 July 1902 contained two death notices, one of which was :

PRICE-On the 24th July, at the residence of her son, Rebecca relect of the late James Price, of Wentworth, beloved mother of Mr A.H. Price, Mrs P.A. Dunn, Moruya, and Mrs. E.W. DuRien, Adelaide. Aged 69 yrs and 4 months. AT REST.


In the same newspaper was a separate article :

Death of Mrs R. Price

It is with deep regret we have to record the death of Mrs. Rebecca Price, mother of Mr A.H. Price of this town, which occurred at the residence of her son last Thursday morning at about 2 o'clock from hemiplegia and sinile gangrene. The deceased lady had been seriously ill for about a fortnight, and though everything that medical skill and careful nursing and attention could do for her was done, it was recognised for some days before her death that the end was drawing near, consequently her death, though deeply regretted, was not unexpected. Anxious enquiries were made daily as to her condition, and several times hopes were held of her recovery, but it was not to be, for after struggling bravely and patiently against her illness, the deceased passed peacefully away as above stated, attended by members of her family and loving friends, who had watched patiently at her bedside many weary and trying hours. The deepest sympathy was expressed on all sides, and flags were flown at half mast out of respect to the deceased and her family.

The deceased lady was a very old and respected resident of Wentworth, and a colonist of 48 years standing, having landed at Port Adelaide with her husband, the late James Price, on 31st May 1854. She was a native of Lewisome, Kent, England, and after coming to Australia they lived for some time at Noarlunga, in South Australia, subsequently being attracted to the river districts, and taking up their abode in Wentworth, in 1857. Her husband first carried on business as a blacksmith and had a shop near the junction, but later on when the present business portion of the town commenced to develop itself, he acquired a property in the main street, and built a shop on the ground now occupied by the residence of Mr A.H. Price. Here he carried on his business for a few years until he launched out into the business of a general storekeeper. He built substantial premises on the present site of Mr R.A.Martin's store, in which he carried on his business until his death, and in the carrying on of the business he had a most thorough helpmate and partner, a business woman of great ability and foresight, in his wife, the deceased lady, whose demise we now chronicle. After the death of her husband Mrs Price continued to carry on the business until about 1882 or 1883, when the firm of Maclaren & Co. superceded her for a time, and during their occupancy of the premises, as is well-known matter of history, this splendid store was completely destroyed by fire in 1884. After that Mrs Price built in place of the old premises the store which now stands on the same site. Here the business was carried on by her son Chas. W. Price, deceased, and son-in-law E.W. DuRien & Co., the deceased lady herself being an interested party, so that really until the firm of DuRien & Co. gave up business she was interested in the store from the time of its first building, roughly speaking a period of 41 years. With exception of a short period of absence from the town which she spent with her daughter Mrs E.W. DuRien, in Adelaide, and with her daughter Mrs P.A. Dunn, at Tocumwal, she was a resident of Wentworth for 45 years, during which time both she and her family had identified themselves, in all ways, with all local movements of a charitable and social nature. The deceased lady was in her seventieth year. She had very many staunch friends both in and out of Wentworth, and her death, though, as already stated, not unexpected was very deeply regretted. The deceased lady had six sons and daughters, three of whom are still living namely, Mr A.H. Price, of this town, Mrs P.A. Dunn of Moruya and Mrs E.W. DuRien of Adelaide. Her other two sons, Fred and Charlie, and a daughter Laura Rebecca have been dead some years.

The funeral which was largely attended, took place on Friday afternoon, the remains being interred in the Church of England portion of the cemetery. The Rev. G.E.G. Dainty conducted the burial service at the graveside, the Rev. F.T. Walker having read the service at the house, and a very large gathering assembled at the graveside to pay the last respects to the memory of an old and worthy townswoman.



Price grave at Wentworth, NSW

The Price Family plot in the Church of England section of the cemetery at Wentworth (above). On the left is the memorial to James. In the centre is the memorial (enlargement at right) to James and Rebecca's daughter, Laura, and to Rebecca herself who was also buried in the same grave. The memorial to "dear little Milroy" at the right is thought to be the grave of one of James and Rebecca's grandchildren (son of their daughter Charlotte DuRieu).


Information on Rebecca's birth and parentage was researched by genealogist, Mr Sydney Smith, 59 Friar Rd., Orpington, Kent BR5 2BW.


Rebecca Hayward in the
Family History Index
family tree brief family tree of
Rebecca Hayward



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