Sophia WALTERS
Name Variations WALKER,1 WATTER2
Father Samuel WALTERS b.c. 1808 m. (1) c. 1828 (2) 18433 (3) 1854 (4) 1863 d. 18984
Step-mother Ann LUXFORD5 b. m. (1) c. 1828 d.
Mother Martha CHANDLER b.c. 1824 m. (2) 1843 d. 18536
Step-mother Jane CURRAN7 b. 18278 m. (3) 18549 d. 186210
Step-mother Jane Crosby KEMP b. m. (4) 186311 d. 190412
Half-brother Frederick WALTERS b. 183513 m. bef. 1861 Catherine or Kate14 d. 190915
Sister Harriett WALTERS b.c. 184216 m. (1) 185817 (2) 188818 (1) William WHITE (2) William MORTON d. 191519
Sister Sarah Jane WALTERS b. 184420 m. none - d. 184821
Brother Samuel James WALTERS b. 184722 m. none - d. 185423
Brother William Samuel WALTERS b. 184824 m. 1879 Annie Florence GREY d. 192625
Sister Sarah (Jane) WALTERS26 b.c. 1848 m. (1) 187027 (2) 187028 (1) William LANCASTER29 (2) William Augustus SMITH d.
Sister Elizabeth WALTERS30 b. 184931 m. 187032 Donald BRADLEY d. 188833
Inmate Sophia WALTERS34 b. 185135 m. (see below) d. 193936
Step-sister Susan HYNDES37 aka HOAD b.c. 1852 m. none - d. 185538
Half-brother Charles James WALTERS b.c. 185639 m. d. 191740
Half-brother James WALTERS b. 185641 m. d.
Half-brother Joseph J. WALTERS42 b. 185943 m. (1) 188444 (2) 192745 (1) Charlotte Jane BODELL (2) Sarah Jane CALVERT d. 193346
Half-brother Robert WALTERS b. 186147 m. 188448 Sarah Jane HAYNE d. 191149
Half-sister Ann Sarah WALTERS50 b. 186351 m. William Henry HANNAM d. 1947
Half-brother Thomas Henry WALTERS52 b. 186753 m. d.
Half-brother Alfred Arthur WALTERS54 b. 1872 m. 189255 Esther56 SMITH d. 192957
Husband William Joseph SCRIVEN b.c. 1842 m. 187158 d. 191359
Daughter Mary Adelaide SCRIVEN b. 187660 m. 190661 David A. JONES d. 191462
Son William Charles SCRIVEN b. 187863 m. 190964 Holly Ethel BLENMAN d. 194265
Son Alfred George SCRIVEN b. 188066 m. 1910 Gladys S. BARKER d. 192867
Son Samuel Thomas SCRIVEN b. 188268 m. (1) 191869 (2) 192270 (1) Agnes Grace SAVAGE (2) Alice Maude BARKER71 d. 195672
Daughter Elsie Annie SCRIVEN b. 188373 m. 190874 Walter Henry HILL d. 197175
Son James Joseph SCRIVEN b. 1886 m. (1) 191576 (2) 192377 (1) Esther Ellen TOMLINSON (2) Eva Caroline Ruth GARLAND d. 195478
Son Arthur J. SCRIVEN b. 188879 m. none - d. 189080
Son Walter Herbert H. SCRIVEN b. 189381 m. bef. 192282 Nancy aka Annie JOHNSON d. 196383
Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Samuel84 28 5' 4¾" dark chestnut dark brown dark ruddy mark of a scald under chin; similar mark inside lower right arm; severe scar inside left arm; scar on right shin

Four years before Sophia's arrest under the Industrial Schools' Act, Sophia85 was the victim of an assault upon her by John KILDUFF, of Pitt Town,86 who was found guilty and sentenced to two years in Parramatta Gaol as a result. By 1869, Sophia was living in Bathurst and family stories indicate that she had run away from her parents. It is considered likely that at this time she had run off to be close to her sister, Sarah Jane SMITH nee WALTERS, who was living in Bathurst.87

Sophia was arrested on 4 August 1869, on warrant by senior sergeant WATERS of Bathurst police, charged with having no visible lawful means of support.88 WATERS stated that Sophia had been taken from a brothel in Ranken Street, Bathurst,

… the same house in which an attempt at murder and suicide had lately been committed. … [Sophia was seen] wandering about with other prostitutes, and she was in company with some of them when … [he] apprehended her. He had known defendant about nine months, and had frequently warned her to give up her evil life. She had no visible means of support, and witness believed she was under sixteen years of age. Jane Walters a sister of the defendant, corroborated the testimony of sergeant Waters, and said her sister was only sixteen years of age. Defendant had been in service, but had been discharged through bad conduct. Witness had often tried to induce her sister to live respectably, but had never succeeded in making any impression upon her. The father of witness and defendant was in a position to support them, but would not do so, as he had married again since their mother's death, witness said, and did not care for his first family. (Sophia) pleaded that she had to take to her present means of subsistence or starve.89

There is no doubt that Sophia's arrest was illegal under the terms of the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children as by July 1869 she was three months over 17 years of age so had been arrested and transferred to Newcastle when she was over the age of 16. There is also no doubt that the attempted murder and suicide referred to was the sensational incident involving Susan ATKINS, who had been admitted to Newcastle in 1867 and released early.

Sophia's actual date of arrival in Newcastle is uncertain and it is unknown why there was such a long period of time between her court appearance and her admission to Newcastle. Her name would have been located in the missing section of the Entrance Book, so her family, educational, religious and discharge details can’t be confirmed using this source. While waiting for an escort for her transfer from Bathurst to Newcastle to be arranged, Sophia was admitted to Bathurst gaol.90 The list compiled by LUCAS from the Entrance Book in April 1872, which does contain some transcription errors,91 indicated that Sophia had been admitted to Newcastle on 4 October 1869.92 On this date Sophia was still in Bathurst Gaol as, on 18 October, whilst still in the gaol, Sophia and Susan ARROW, the cousin of the HOWARD sisters, were punished with 24 hours in the cells with labour for 'creating a disturbance in Yard and dancing in cell'.93 Her arrival in Newcastle was therefore after this event occurred.

On 16 February 1871, after nearly two years at Newcastle, CLARKE requested permission to place Sophia into the service of Wm. M. HAYNE of Scone at a weekly payment of 6 shillings a week. His letter doesn't identify any date of arrival in Newcastle and contains no further communications from the Colonial Secretary other than his approval. CLARKE does clearly state that: 'Walters is over eighteen years of age and therefore cannot be apprenticed.'94 This statement reflects the best indication of the age provided to authorities when Sophia arrived in Newcastle. The original of this letter in the CSIL has been recorded on the index under the name Sophia WATTER.95 Sophia was discharged shortly before the school transferred to Cockatoo Island so she was never admitted to Biloela as on 1 March 1871, she was sent to Mr. H. HAYNES [sic] in Scone.96 This connection to the HAYNES family continued throughout her life as they were identified in one of her obituaries97 and her brother, Robert, married an Elizabeth Jane HAYNE in Scone who may have been connected so it is safe to assume that her apprenticeship was happy albeit short. Just over seven months later, at the Bellevue98 Church, Gundy, on 21 October 1871,99 Sophia was married to William Joseph SCRIVEN by William WHARTON. William was identified as a stockman from the Hunter River and Sophia as a domestic servant from the Pages River. No parents were recorded on the church record.100

During her life Sophia remained in the Scone area of the Hunter Valley. She and William initially resided at Belltrees before moving to the property, Fairlight.101 Baptisms of many of their children occurred in the St Luke’s Church of England at Scone.102 William died in Scone on 23 October 1913. She died at Muswellbrook on 3 July 1939, at the age of 88. Her death was registered in Muswellbrook as Sophia SCRIVEN and both her parents were confirmed on the death registration. Sophia's memories included mentions of her associations with the bushranger, Thunderbolt.103 One of Sophia's three obituaries appeared in the Muswellbrook Chronicle on 7 July 1939.

It is with deep regret that we record the passing of one of the district's oldest identities in the person of Mrs. Sophia Scriven, which sad event took place at the Brentwood Hospital, Muswellbrook, on Monday last. The deceased was the wife of Mr. William Joseph Scriven, who predeceased her 26 years ago. Before her marriage Mrs. Scriven was Miss Walters, and hailed from Burwood. She was married 68 years ago, when her husband was an employee of Messrs. White Bros., of Belltrees. In 1902 the family left Belltrees and took up land at Lower Rouchel (now known as Dangarfleld), and have followed farming pursuits ever since. In the early days in this district facilities for medical attention were not available at short notice, and Mrs. Scriven is remembered by many for the skilful and kindly attention she was ever ready to extend to those in need in this direction. In cases of distress of any kind she was always glad to extend a helping hand. The funeral took place on Tuesday at the Church of England cemetery, at Aberdeen, and the service at the Church and graveside was conducted by Rev. Mackinlay, assisted by Canon B. C. Wilson, of Scone. The cortege was one of the largest seen for some time. Feeling references were made by the clergy, and the Rev. Hamilton (Presbyterian) was in attendance, and also spoke of the good qualities of the deceased.
There was a family of eight children, of whom the following survive: William Charles (Aberdeen), Samuel Thomas (Dangarfield), James Joseph (Hebden), Walter Herbert Scriven (Bankstown), and Mrs. Walter Hill, of Brushy Hill. There are 28 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.104

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Sophia's headstone at Aberdeen General Cemetery
Photograph courtesy of Australian Cemeteries Index (http://austcemindex.com)

Family

Sophia was the daughter of Samuel WALTERS and Martha CHANDLER. She had been born in Newtown, Sydney, on 19 April 1851, and was baptised on 4 May 1852, by Thomas STEELE of Petersham.105 Her father was identified as Samuel, a brickmaker from Newtown on this record. The family had been at this location and Samuel's occupation also matched the information provided on the 1849 baptism of Sophia's older sister, Elizabeth, where the family surname was recorded as WALKER.106 The WALTERS family often moved around the country during her early life but eventually her father settled in Sydney. Samuel WALTERS and Martha CHANDLER had been married in the Parish of All Saint's in County Cumberland, by Banns on 23 July 1843, by W. STONE. Samuel was recorded as free by servitude and Martha was identified as an immigrant. The witnesses were Henry[?] or Fanny OSMOND and William CLOAT.107 Because this record (NSW Marriage: V27 1843/364) transcribed from the original in the NSW BDM records is so poorly written and because the exact church is unclear, an attempt to view the original record, thought to be located in the registers of the All Saint's Church of England, Sutton Forest, [SAG: 0172] will be made when time permits.108

Samuel WALTERS had been tried in Surrey Quarter Sessions and transported for seven years in 1836 on the Moffat (2) for stealing saplings. Samuel had been born in Kent, was a brick and tile maker but was also identified as a married Protestant with one son.109 Samuel began his life in NSW in the Berrima region between Goulburn and Sydney. This area was recorded on his 1841 Ticket of Leave and his subsequent Certificate of Freedom. Eventually Samuel settled in and prospered as a resident of Sydney. In 1843, about six years after his arrival, Samuel made his first marriage in NSW to Martha CHANDLER. Birth registrations for their children were subsequently made in both Sydney and in country NSW. The births or baptisms of some children have not been identified. The baptism of Samuel and Martha's daughter, Sarah Jane, on 2 November 1844, occurred in the Parish of Petersham. Samuel was described on this record as a brickmaker from Newtown.110 On 10 February 1854, shortly after Martha's death, Samuel was married to Jane CURRAN by L. HAND, the minister of St Bernard's, Hartley. Jane was recorded as a Catholic. The witnesses were Francis CURRAN and Julia FINN, who were both from Hartley.111 The family were living in Newtown in 1855 when Jane CURRAN's daughter, Susan HYNDES, was accidentally shot and killed by Samuel's daughter, Harriet.112 In 1856 Jane WALTERS and her eleven-year-old daughter, Sarah, were admitted to Darlinghurst gaol for a theft of drapery. Gaol records indicated that Jane had arrived aboard the Fairlie and Sarah had been born in Dungog in the Hunter Valley.113 Jane appeared was seventeen when she was listed on the Fairlie indent in 1848. She had arrived with her sister, Susannah, and their parents were identified as James and Sarah who were still alive and living in Armagh, Ireland. At the time of this gaol admission Samuel was operating a boarding house in Newtown.114 By October 1858 Samuel had advertised to others about not giving his wife, Jane WALTERS, any credit115 so life was probably not content in the family.

In 1863, after Jane's death in 1862, Samuel was married again to Jane Crosby KEMP. Statements made by Sophia at her court appearance strongly suggested that this step-mother, Jane KEMP, was less interested in the welfare of her step-children than Jane CURRAN had been.116 By the time of Sophia's arrest in 1869, when she and at least one sister, Jane, were in Bathurst, newspaper reports suggested that Samuel was nearby although this hasn't been verified.117 Samuel died at his residence Spring Street, Burwood, on 4 July 1898, at the age of 90-and-a-half.118

In 1860 Samuel sponsored the immigration to NSW of his oldest child, his son, Frederick, from his first marriage. Frederick, his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Mary Ann, arrived aboard the Telegraph. His will and Family Notices identified Samuel's connection with Frederick and the marriages of Frederick's daughters, Mary Ann and Eliza.

MULDER – WALTERS. – March 22, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. T. J. Curtis, William John, second son of Alderman John Mulder, of Waterloo, to Eliza, second daughter of Mr. Frederick Walters, of Cooper-street, Waterloo, and granddaughter of Samuel Walters, Esq., of Burwood.119

Martha CHANDLER, Sophia's mother, had arrived as a 18-year-old assisted immigrant, almost certainly aboard the Fairlie in 1841. She was a Protestant who had been born in Sandhurst, Kent. Martha had arrived alone but was under the protection of Stephen VIDLER and his wife, Sarah. Neither of her parents were recorded on the indent.120 Martha died at the age of twenty-nine on 5 August 1853. Her abode at the time of her death was Wattle Flat in the Parish of Sofala, County Roxburgh, and she was identified as the wife of Samuel WALTERS, licensed publican.121 Because this was a burial and not a registration, no indication of her parents were identified.

Note: Some online trees suggest that Samuel had previously married Elizabeth ISAACS in Morpeth near Maitland in 1842 but this Samuel was a publican who remained in the Hunter Valley all his life122 so he is not known to be directly connected to Sophia. This Samuel was the owner of the George and Dragon Inn in Clarencetown near Maitland, and while the Newtown man also operated a public house, the man who lived in Clarencetown died in 1890 and was born in about 1818.123

Updated October 2016

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