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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Alfred Titheridge's Journey - From Winchester to Melbourne in 1854

Old House in Winchester
Family Life in Winchester, Hampshire

Daniel Titheridge was born in 1807 and was one of six children born in New Alresford, Hampshire to Ann Pett and James Titheridge.  Daniel married Charlotte Duffer (also written as Duffen or Duffin) on 3 February 1831 at Winchester St Thomas.  Daniel and Charlotte had 5 children
Alfred Titheridge born 1833 Winchester
Henry Titheridge born 1836 in Winchester
Robert Titheridge born 1839 in Winchester
Arthur Titheridge born 1843 in Romsey
Daniel Pitt Titheridge born 1850 in Winchester

The 1841 census showed Daniel and Charlotte living in Middle Brook Street Winchester with Alfred, Henry and Robert. The 1851 census showed Daniel and Charlotte still living at Middle Brook Street now with all five children.  On the 1851 census Daniel is a brewer, Alfred an apprentice coach trimmer and Henry an apprentice tailor.  Tragedy struck the family in 1852 when 9 year old Arthur died.

Charlotte died of epilepsy on 13 June 1864 in Snow Hill, Winchester.  Four years later Daniel remarried Ann Davey, a widow 9 years his junior, at Pimlico St Peters Church in London.  In later life Daniel’s occupation is given a Verger in Winchester Cathedral.  From the 1861 census onward Daniel lived at 7 Sussex Street in Winchester. Daniel died in Winchester on 27 March 1872 and Ann died in 1885.

Life in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

It is Daniel’s 4 children that emigrated to Australia.  The first to leave England was the eldest child Alfred Titheridge. At the age of 21 Alfred sailed from England to Melbourne, Victoria Australia aboard the ship “Champion of the Seas”.  Alfred settled in Melbourne and on 21 April 1857 he married Alicia Hughes at St Peters Eastern Hill, Melbourne.  During his life he resided at Nicholson Street Carlton, Abbotsford Street Hotham and 18 Wellington Street Newmarket, all places around the Melbourne area.

In September 1875 Alfred had a brush with the law when he was accused of abetting and assisting in an illegal marriage at Hotham between Thomas Downard and Lucy Murray.  Lucy was just 15 years old and she married without her mother’s consent.  Alfred had been a witness at the marriage and was therefore prosecuted. The defence said the marriage was perfectly legal: that no case had been made out against the defendant, Alfred, and the case was eventually dismissed.

Alfred’s wife Alicia died in 1875, aged 42, and was buried in Kew Cemetery also known as Boroondara General Cemetery.
Her death was announced in the local newspaper.
The Argus Melbourne 11 December 1875
The friends of Mr Alfred Titheridge are most respectfully informed the remains of his late beloved wife will leave the Kew Asylum for the place of internment in the Kew Cemetery this day Saturday 10 December at three o’clock.  Thomas Jennings Undertaker 128 Queens Street.

Two years later in 1877 Alfred remarried to Jane Gardiner Metcalf. On the 1851 census in Winchester Alfred was an apprentice coach trimmer and by 1857 his occupation was coach maker.  By 1863 he was working for the Victorian Railways.  The following article was found in the Australian Newspapers. presumably celebrating his retirement
North Melbourne Advertiser 5 May 1893
Mr A Titheridge late of the Carriage Shops Spencer Street and upwards of thirty years in the Department was made the recipient of a silver mounted umbrella the gift of his fellow workmen.


Ten months later, on 7 July 1894, Alfred died at Newmarket, Victoria.  The cause of death was heart disease.  He is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery.  His death was announced in the local newspaper.
The Argus Melbourne on the 9 July 1894
Death announcements
Titheridge – On the 7 inst. at 18 Wellington Street, Newmarket Alfred Titheridge late of the Victorian railways aged 61 years.


Alfred's widow, Jane, lived for another 23 years dying in 1917.  I have a copy of Alfred’s will showing that he left his money to his widow.  The will says he “left real estate in the colony of Victoria not exceeding the value of one thousand and sixty six pounds and personal property not exceeding the value of two hundred and twenty pounds”.  

As far as I am aware there were no children from either marriage.

Champion of the Seas

While writing this article I wondered about Alfred's voyage on, Champion of the Seas and found that both the ship had a claim to fame. 

In a local Hampshire paper I found the following advert for the ship's voyage, Alfred probably read some similar advert
Liverpool “Black Ball” Line of Australia packets
“Champion of the Seas”
The largest and finest merchant ship now in England.  For Melbourne forwarding passengers to all parts of Australia and Van Diemans’s land at ships’ expense the splendid new Clipper ship “Champion of the Seas”.  She beats every other ship on her passage from New York to Liverpool.  Her passenger accommodation is unequalled. The promenade on deck is more extensive that any ship in England.  Her cabins are superior to any ship in the trade.  Plunge and shower baths are fitted up for all classes of passengers and a milch  cow will be provided .  James Baines and Co 6 Cork Street Liverpool

The Champion of the Seas was a sailing ship, Clipper, built in  America in 1854 for the Black Ball Line.  It was to sail the route Liverpool to Melbourne.  Alfred was on her maiden voyage leaving Liverpool on 11 October 1854 and arriving in Melbourne 75 days later.  She was a big, fast ship Captained by Alexander Newlands. She set the record for the most distance travelled in one day under sail, covering 465 nautical mile on 10- 11 December 1854.  On this 1854 voyage the ship carried 780 passenger 45 in cabins and the rest in intermediate and steerage, (“steerage” was the cheapest way to travel, on the lowest deck beneath the water line).  Even on this new ship life at sea was far from comfortable and often hazardous.  Stormy seas and treacherous oceans were common on route and the Champion of the Seas' maiden voyage was no exception.  In the Bay of Biscay the ship met a severe gale which caused damage to the ship and the loss of life of one of the sailors.  Hygiene on board any ship was poor leading to disease and even death.  The maiden voyage of Champion of the Seas was better than most trips  - only four people died during the journey.  However, they did have a case of small pox on board and when the boat arrived in Melbourne it was put in quarantine for a week.  They finally embared on 29 December having spent Christmas Day on board.  The newspapers reported the way they dealt with the small pox “It was thought advisable to do away with any chance of infection by fumigating the mail and having the passenger’s clothes passed through boiling water before proceeding to destinations.”  From reading the newspaper articles it was interesting to realise that the “Champion of the Seas” brought news from England (shipping was their means of communication).  The Champion of the Seas brought news of the Crimean War and the Battle of Alma. 

So Alfred was lucky to arrive in Melbourne, a journey of nearly 12,000 miles, alive and healthy  and ready to settle in to a new and better life.

If you can give more details of Alfred's life please contact us.

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