The Age of Sail – Lt Edmund Henry Seppings’ first cousins – Lockyer side

Thomas and Ann Lockyer of Wembury. Lt Edmund Henry Seppings was raised by his grandmother, Ann


On the Lockyer side of the family, Edmund Henry Seppings (1807-1858) had two aunts, seven uncles and 45 cousins. He was raised by his grandmother Ann Lockyer (1777-1820) at Wembury House, Wembury, Devon, and grew up with his cousin William (1808-1886), Major Edmund Lockyer’s first born, and Henry Merewether Lockyer (1808-1835), Thomas Lockyer’s son of the same age, as well as Nicholas, Thomas, and Jane. The youngest of his aunts and uncles were also still living at home.

The Lockyer’s have a long history of leaving their mark on the places they lived. The earliest records show Lokiers at Much Wenlock, Shropshire, then Glastonbury, Somerset, most notably Nicholas Lockyer (1611–1685), eminent divine and independent puritan, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, preacher at Whitehall, fellow of Eton College, with several published works; later an ejected minister and nonconformist. The Lockier family next lived in Honiton, East Devon, in the 1600s, until Nicholas Lockyer (1677-1754) became Vicar of Luppit 1705-1754. He married Anne Euins (1692-1743) on 30 Nov 1706 at Honiton on Otter and of their five offspring, born in Luppit, only one son survived beyond childhood.
Nicholas Lockyer (1711-1762) married Joan Tucker (1714-1779) in 1734 at Plymouth, Devon. They had ten children, the youngest being Thomas Lockyer (1756-1806) who married Ann Grose (1755-1820) on 2 Nov 1777 at Charles the Martyr Church, Plymouth.

Members of the family – Edmund, Thomas, William and Nicholas – appear frequently on Plymouth’s list of mayors from 1803 to 1844. Thomas Lockyer’s (1756-1806) older brother Edmund Lockyer (1750-1836), was an important figure in Plymouth – a conveyancer, solicitor and district magistrate, with an office in George’s Terrace, Plymouth, and in St James Square, London – and to the Lockyer family, as he took care of the family’s legal matters. It was said he made his money ‘handling the disposal of prize ships and cargoes’ (1). He became the Deputy Lieutenant of Devon – the Queen’s representative for formal occasions; the director of the Plymouth & Dartmoor Railway; a founder of Plymouth Mechanics’ Institute, and in 1833 had Lockyer’s Quay built. He was the first Lockyer to become Mayor of Plymouth and served in this role in 1803-4, 1821-22 and 1824-25.
Edmund Lockyer was ‘one of the most energetic citizens of his day, and one of the greatest promoters of local improvements.’ In order to boost trading after the Napoleonic Wars, he proposed to the Chamber in 1814, ‘the formation of an association to build or purchase vessels to engage in the coal, Baltic, Greenland and colonial trades, for the establishment of a sugar refinery, the conversion of Sutton Pool into a wet dock, and the establishment of East India packets.’ (1a)
Edmund Lockyer married Eleanor Penrose, daughter of Francis Penrose esq, of Durian, in Cornwall, in 1782. Their son, Edmund Lockyer MD (1782-1816), studied botany, chemistry and geology, graduating as a doctor of medicine at Edinburgh in 1805. In London, in 1809, he was admitted as a Licentiate of the College of Physicians and he married Elizabeth Braithwaite at St Alphege, Greenwich, on 10 April. They returned to Plymouth where he ran a successful medical practice in George Street and at the age of 28 became mayor (1810-11). He was also a founder of the Plymouth Library, became a Fellow of the Linnean Society, and vice-president of the Plymouth Philosophical Institution twice, giving lectures on mineralogy and geology. He died of an abscess in the brain on 2 December 1816, aged 34. They had three children, Eleanor-Mary Lockyer (b. 1810), Rosa-Elizabeth Lockyer (b. 1811) and Edmund Leopold Lockyer (b. 1816).
Edmund and Eleanor’s daughter, Eleanor Margaret Penrose Lockyer, christened at St Andrews Church, Plymouth, on 24 January 1784, married Rear Admiral Sir Samuel Pym KCB on 23 May 1802. Samuel was a Plymouth mayor in 1816.
Eleanor was buried at St Andrews Church on 25 April 1807. Edmund died at home in George’s Place, Plymouth, on February 1836 and placed with her in the family vault.

This venerable and highly respected gentleman had reached the advanced age of 85 years, and was amongst the oldest inhabitants of Plymouth, a town he had seen double itself in size, and been an active promoter of all those plans that have contributed thereto, as well as increasing it in wealth and national importance. Mr Lockyer had, by persevering industry, raised himself into independence. He practised as Notary Public during the war with much success; he had been three times called to fill the Chair of the Chief Magistrate of this borough; he was also a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County, and a worthy member of the ancient fraternity of Freemasons. His remains were interred in the family vault in Saint Andrew’s Church yesterday (Thursday), when a large number of the gentlemen and principal tradesmen attended the funeral. Scarcely an institution in the town but enjoyed his great liberality; he was ever ready, with all the means in his power, to promote its general welfare and the poor will, by his death, suffer a great loss.’ (2)

Royal Hotel, Theatre and Atheneum, Plymouth, by Llewellyn Jewitt, mid 1800s

‘The immediate post Napoleonle War period saw a surge in civic pride and responsibility among the inhabitants of Plymouth, who were ably led by members of prominent local families such as the Woollcombes, the Lockyers … One of the first civic schemes was to erect a ballroom, hotel and théâtre, subscriptions being raised on the popular tontine principle.’ (3) The Lockyer family was a major contributor.
In 1810, Edmund Lockyer MD (1782-1816), as mayor, laid the first stone of the Theatre, the Royal Hotel and Assembly Rooms, on Lockyer Street, named in honour of his father.
In Plymouth there is Lockyer Street, Lockyer Road, Lockyer Close, Lockyer Court, Lockyer Terrace, Lockyer Villas, Lockyer House, Lockyer House Hotel, Lockyer Hotel, Lockyer Tavern, Lockyer Street hospital, and Lockyer’s Quay.
Thomas Lockyer (1780-1854), as mayor, opened the Plymouth Market in 1807. When William Lockyer (1785-1858) was mayor in 1815, thousands came to view Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, a prisoner of war, on board Bellerophon in the Sound. In 1843, the year Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864) was mayor, Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort, visited Plymouth.

Lockyer Mayors of Plymouth:-
1803-4 Edmund Lockyer (1750-1836) – solicitor
1806-7 Thomas Lockyer (1780-1854) – shipping broker
1810-11 Edmund Lockyer (1782-1816) – doctor
1815-16 William Lockyer (1785-1858) – Comptroller of Customs
1821-22 Edmund Lockyer (1750-1836) – solicitor
1823-24 Nicholas Lockyer (1781-1847) – Capt RN
1824-25 Edmund Lockyer (1750-1836) – solicitor
1830-31 Nicholas Lockyer (1781-1847) – Capt RN
1843-44 Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864) – solicitor

Lockyers of Plymouth Coat of Arms. The Latin ‘Sedule’ means watchful; ‘Secunde’ means happily, or fortunate.

Before the passing of the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, a Freeman of the Borough of Plymouth was ‘a privileged person who performed important functions in the Local Government of the Town. Only a Freeman could trade within the Borough without the payment of tolls and dues and only a Freeman could vote for the Councillors, Aldermen, Mayor and Members of Parliament.’ (4)

From An Alphabetical List of Freemen of the Borough of Plymouth (1817) –

Edmund LockyerGeorge Terrace, Plymouth
Thomas LockyerWembury House, near Plymouth
William Lockyer 
Nicholas LockyerCaptain, Royal Navy
Charles Christopher LockyerSolicitor
11 Harcourt Buildings, Temple, London
Henry Alworth MerewetherBarrister
51 Chancery Lane, London

In the 1820s, several Lockyers voyaged to New South Wales. In 1823, Capt Henry Frederick Lockyer (1796-1860) and family sailed from London to Port Jackson on the convict ship Henry with the 3rd Regiment (Buffs) and 160 convicts, for service in the British colony. Capt Lockyer and his wife sailed on with his detachment to Hobart on the Mariner. He built a substantial house in Frederick St with stables adjacent to St John’s church. They left when the regiment was transferred to Calcutta in 1827.
Major Edmund Lockyer, his wife Sarah and ten children arrived in Sydney in 1825. The Major led an expedition of the Brisbane River, then in 1926, Darling appointed him to sail from Sydney on the brig Amity, to establish a military garrison and settlement on the west of the continent, named Albany in 1831. There he hoisted the Union Jack, officially bringing the whole of the New Holland continent under the control of the British Crown. The expedition included his son, ensign Edmund Morris Lockyer, who was storekeeper at the settlement. In 1827, the Major sold his commission and retired from the Army, choosing to settle in southern NSW.
In 1840, Edmund Henry Seppings joined the Lockyers in NSW and bought land close to his cousin William. Four more of the Major’s children were born in Australia. The first was Louisa Harris Lockyer at the Parramatta Barracks in 1826. The second was Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer CBE ISO (1855-1933), known for his work as head of the Department of Trade and Customs.
The story of Edmund Henry and his Lockyer cousins is part of the story of the Age of Sail transitioning into the Age of Settlement. Britain carving out another colony, far from the crown; a new nation that with each new arrival and birth meant more lost and taken from an ancient continent and its first people. A history as heartbreaking as it is heroic.

The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Plymouth

The following list includes Edmund Henry Seppings’ mother, Ann Maria Marshall Lockyer (1782-1851), her nine siblings and their spouses. All of Thomas Lockyer and Ann Grose’s children were christened in St Andrews Church, Plymouth. Ann Maria Marshall Lockyer and Lt John Milligen Seppings were married there. Numerous vaults and tablets commemorate family members including Capt Nicholas Lockyer (1781-1847); William Lockyer (1785-1858), his wife Louise (1791-1845) and brother Charles Christopher Lockyer (1795-1828) were buried there.

Thomas Lockyer, Esq (1780-1854) m Jane Rivers (1783-1859)
Capt Nicholas Lockyer (1781-1847)
Ann Maria Marshall Lockyer (1782-1851) m Lt John Milligen Seppings (1770-1826)
Major Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860) m Dorothea Agatha Young (1790-1816), Sarah Morris (1784-1853) and Elizabeth Colston (1835-1884)
William Lockyer (1785-1858) m Louise Love (1791-1845)
Major Orlando Lockyer (1787-1819) m Anne Flattery (b.1871)
Eliza Maria Lockyer (1791-1837) m Henry Alworth Merewether (1780-1864)
Jane Edwards Lockyer (1793-1854) m Edward Hobson Vitruvius Lawes (1781-1849)
Charles Christopher Lockyer (1795-1828)
Brigadier General Henry Frederick Lockyer (1796-1860) m Ellis Anne Elizabeth Curry (1798-1861)

Wembury Church, South Devon (1931) linocut by Isabel de Bohun Lockyer (1890-1982), the granddaughter of Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1819-1908). 
Thomas and Ann Lockyer were buried in St Werburgh’s Church, Wembury, as was their first born son, Thomas, and his wife Jane Lockyer.

Thomas Lockyer Esq (1780-1854) married Jane Rivers (1783-1859) at St Petroc, Harford, Devon, on 1 May 1803, when she was 19 years old. Her father, Henry Rivers (1749-1830), squire of Stowford, and his first wife Elizabeth Brutton (1750-1782) had four children. Their son William Brutton Rivers (1778-1806) married Elizabeth Morris, Sarah’s sister, in 1801. The Morris, Rivers and Lockyer family were well known to each other. Henry Rivers ran the Exeter Inn at Modbury and later the London Hotel, a coaching inn at Ivybridge, Harford, in front of the bridge over the river Erme on the main coaching route from Plymouth to London. Henry was married a second time to Elizabeth Byrd (1750-1838), nee Jones, possibly a descendant of a Welsh royal harpist. (5) They had two children – Jane Rivers, her birthdate unknown, was christened on 6 July 1783, and Henry Rivers (1784-1868), the Younger, of Stowford.
In 1796, Henry Rivers purchased Stowford Estate, Harford, including Stowford House, 450 acres, a corn mill and the paper mill which he sold in 1816, declaring bankruptcy. Jane Rivers’ life begins as a mystery. The following story is passed down by Annie Frances Prynne (1844-1927), nee Lockyer.
‘One sunny day a private carriage stopped at the Ivy Bridge Arms and a gentleman got out with a young lady and a sort of nurse. The lady was taken ill and that night a baby was born. The Dr (presumably the ‘gentleman’) interviewed the landlord, a big sum of money (possibly a bag of gold coins) was paid, and he agreed to adopt the baby. Just as he left, he took from the child’s neck a chain with a locket containing a miniature of some man in court robes. It was set in diamonds. The people said the face was one of royalty.’ (5a)
Jane was a very beautiful girl. Thomas and Jane went to London for their honeymoon and she smelled a rose given to her by a small boy selling them in Hyde Park. He was recovering from small pox. She contracted it, became very ill, lost her hair and eyebrows, and her face was left deeply pitted.
Thomas continued his father’s brokerage business after his father died on 9 August 1806, and continued to reside at Wembury house, Wembury. He became a Plymouth Freeman, a Justice of the Peace, a County Magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant of Devon. On 17 September 1806, he was elected Mayor of Plymouth. 
Thomas and Jane had eight children all born at Wembury House. After his mother died in 1820, and the manor house was sold in 1822, the family moved into ‘Lockyer’s Cottage’ which he had acquired in 1804, to which he extended, creating the much larger ‘South Wembury House’ (now Thorn).
Visitors to South Wembury, with its view of the river Yealm, included Cardinal Wiseman, Mr Bastard of landed gentry, and members of the French aristocracy, such as the Duchess of Orleans, widow of the eldest son of king Louis Philippe I, who rented Kitley House, near Yealmpton, from Mr Bastard. The story goes that when the exiled king and his wife stayed at Kitley, just up the river Yealm from South Wembury House, he would meet with Thomas so they could converse in French. (Read more about Thomas’s adventures in France during the French Revolution here.)
Two of Thomas and Jane’s sons were disowned and disinherited by their father – Thomas (1805-1875) and Edmund Beatty Lockyer (1813-1891). None of the three daughters – Jane, Caroline and Helena – married; the latter two died of cancer. Their third son, Henry Merewether Lockyer (1808-1835), was in the Royal Navy and died, aged 27, in a shipwreck off Jamaica. Thomas had a butler ‘old Robert’ who had served the family from the age of 13 as a page, until 85 years old when he died in Annie F Lockyer’s arms.
Thomas Lockyer had a mistress and five children in Plymouth who were christened Lockyer and used the name after his death, which led to Lockyer becoming a common name amongst trades people. Thomas and Jane Lockyer were buried in St Werburgh’s Church, Wembury, as were his parents, Thomas and Ann, inside the church, north aisle. 

Major Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860), had 14 children to three wives. Dorothea Agatha Young, nee De Ly (1790-1816), had previously been married to Capt John Young. She married Edmund in 1806 in Galle, Ceylon. They had one child, Lt William Edmund Lockyer (1808-1886), who was born in India and raised at Wembury House, England.
In 1808, Edmund Lockyer and Sarah Morris (1784-1853) began a de facto relationship which lasted until Dorothea died in 1816 and one month later they were married at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
Sarah’s father, John Morris, owned a coaching inn at Ivybridge, on the Ermington side of the road. He was first recorded as paying land tax for Ermington in 1783. Sarah and her sisters, Elizabeth (b. 1782) and Ann (b. 1786), were baptised at the parish church in Ermington; Sarah and Elizabeth were baptised on 16 August 1784. John Morris moved to Plymouth to own the Kings Arms Coaching Inn at Bretonside. There he remarried to Ann and had twins Richard and Ann (b. 1793) and John (b. 1794). Elizabeth Rivers (nee Morris) ran the London Inn on her own after William died at 27 years in 1806, leaving her with Elizabeth (b. 1802), William (1804-1853) and Henry (1806-1816). 
Edmund and Sarah had eleven children, born wherever the British Army sent the Major and his family, including England, Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean, Ceylon, Bengal, Channel Islands, Ireland and New South Wales. Five of the children were given middle names relating to the place of their birth. One died at sea.
Major Edmund Lockyer, retired, married again after Sarah died, to Elizabeth (Eliza) Colston (1835-1884), the only daughter of James Forsaith Colston, Esq, of Edinburgh, at St James Church, King St, Sydney, NSW, in 1854. They had one son and two daughters.
Two of the Major’s sons – Lt William Edmund Lockyer (1808-1886) and Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer (1809-1872) – were in the British Army; his fourth son, Frederick McDonald Lockyer (1822-1904), was Clerk in Charge of Papers, Legislative Assembly, and his youngest son Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer, C.B.E., I.S.O. (1855-1933), was knighted for his work in the Commonwealth Public Service as Australian Chief Commissioner of Taxation and Collector of Customs, and Comptroller-general of Customs. Edmund and Sarah’s daughters married into notable families.

William Lockyer (1785-1858) married Louisa Love (1791-1845) at Tamerton Foliot.
They had one child, a son born at Newton Ferrers and baptised there in 1819, Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1818-1904).
His great-niece Mrs Annie Prynne (nee Lockyer) described her great uncle William as ‘short with bristly white hair and a red face.’ He was a collector of antique china and artworks. Annie was very proud of him and fascinated by the colourful art. ‘He gave me coral ornaments and old china … I used to love his china room. He was a very dear old man… He lived in a house in Plymouth with two maids, one Loveday was an attached old servant who I believe had an annuity when he died.’
It is not known why William did not speak to his son or why he left everything in his Will to his nephews Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864) and James Lawes Lockyer (1819-1885). 

Major Orlando Lockyer (1787-1819) married Anne Flattery (b.1871) in Banagher, Kings County, Ireland, in 1809, and they had two children, Thomas Arthur Lockyer (1811-1896) and Charlotte Lockyer (born after 1813).

Eliza Maria Lockyer (1791-1837), also known as Mary, married Henry Alworth Merewether (1780-1864) of the Inner Temple, London, Attorney General and Town Clerk of London, of Southhampton St, Bloomsbury, in 1809 at St Werburgh’s Church, Wembury, Devon, by special license. They had ten children, including Henry Alworth Merewether (1812-1877) who served as the recorder of Devizes, a bencher of the Inner Temple and Queen’s Council; John Robert Merewether (1818-1841) who drowned while saving 30 people from a shipwreck off the Cape of Good Hope; Edward Christopher Merewether (1820-1893) aide-de-camp, colonial secretary and Commissioner for Crown Lands who married Augusta Maria Mitchell (1834-1922); Major General Sir William Lockyer Merewether (1825-1880), an Indian military officer and administrator; and Capt Alworth Merewether (1826-1861) of HEICS, 61st Reg 1, Bengal.

Jane Edwards Lockyer (1793-1854), married Edward Hobson Vitruvius Lawes esq (1781-1849) of the Inner Temple, London, barrister-at-law, on 17 Sep 1815 at St George, East Stonehouse, Devon. They had nine children – Edward Lawes (1817-1852), Jane Lawes (1818-1882), Maria Lawes (1819-), Vitruvius Lawes (1821-1890), Thomas Lawes (1822-), Eliza Lawes (1824-), William Lawes (1828-), Henry Lawes (1832-1834) and Charles Lawes (1833-).

Brigadier General Henry Frederick Lockyer (1796-1860) married Ellis Anne Elizabeth Curry (1798-1861) on 5 May 1819 at the British Embassy Chapel and House of HBM’s Ambassador, Paris, France. They had one child, Ellis Ann Sophia Lockyer (1820-1859), who died in Malta aged 39.

Wembury House, Wembury, Devon

Lockyer cousins

Thomas Lockyer, Esq (1780-1854) m Jane South Rivers (1783-1859)

  • Jane Lockyer (1804-1874)
  • Thomas Lockyer (1805-1875)
  • Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864)
  • Henry Merewether Lockyer (1808-1835)  
  • Edmund Beatty Lockyer (1813-1891)
  • Caroline Lockyer (1815-1870)
  • Helena Lockyer (1817-1867)
  • James Lawes Lockyer (1819-1885)

Jane Lockyer (1804-1874) did not marry, however, from 1844, she raised two nieces and a nephew at South Wembury House – Eliza Jane Lockyer (b. 1840) who was partly paralyzed, Thomas Gerard Lockyer (b. 1842), and Annie Frances Lockyer (1844-1927) – the children of her brother Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864) and his wife Eliza. Annie was born 11 August and baptised 10 September. She was not expected to live, so a small silver (lead) coffin was made to bury her with her mother, Eliza, who died 5 September following the birth. 
Annie lived with Jane until her death in 1874 in Wyndham Square, Plymouth.
On 23 Feb 1876, aged 30, Annie married Dr Edward Michael Prynne, aged 60, a surgeon from Cornwall who practiced in Plymouth. He was a widower with four sons close in age to Annie. He died aged 70, in 1886. They had a son, Major Alan H L Prynne, and a daughter. Annie’s brother and sister did not marry.

Thomas Lockyer (1805-1875) studied at Oxford University and while there he signed a guarantee for a debt for a friend that went wrong. This greatly upset his father, enough to disinherit his son. Thomas joined the Belgian Army for some years, he lived away from England until his father died, and taught French in Liverpool where he died.

Nicholas Lockyer (1806-1864) trained and practiced as a family lawyer in Plymouth where he was Mayor (1843-44). He resided at Princess Square, Plymouth. On 21 Nov 1839, Nicholas married Eliza Sykes Jackson (1808-44), third daughter of the late William Jackson, barrister-at-law, at Kingsbridge in 1839. They had three children, Eliza Jane Lockyer (b. 1840), Thomas Gerard Lockyer (b. 1842), and Annie Frances Lockyer (1844-1927). As the mayor’s wife, Eliza took charge of preparations for a reception for Prince Albert’s visit to Plymouth. She was heavily pregnant with Annie and over did it, resulting in her death in childbirth aged 36 years. The children were raised by their aunt Jane Lockyer (1804-1874).

Henry Merewether Lockyer (1808-1835) was born at Wembury House, the same year as his cousin William Lockyer ((1808-1886), who came from Ceylon, just a few weeks old, to live at Wembury House. Henry joined the Royal Navy and in 1831 held the rank of Mate on the sloop Racehorse at Dominica and at sea in the West Indies.
On 4 June 1835, it was reported in Trewman’s Exeter Flying Post, that Henry Merewether Lockyer, aged 27, Mate of His Majesty’s late schooner Fire Fly, which was wrecked on the Northern Triangles (off Jamaica) in the Bay of Honduras on 27 February, died. ‘This meritorious young officer had been employed during a period of twelve years on foreign service: his death is most grievously lamented by his bereaved relatives and much regretted by all who knew him.’

Edmund Beatty Lockyer (1813-1891) studied medicine at Edinburgh University but never practiced. His life was fraught with disappointment – a long court case over a breach of promise action, imprisonment twice for debt, and disinheritance.
In July 1839, while a student of medicine, Edmund became acquainted with Miss Janet Sinclair Traill Sinclair of Freswick in Scotland. Her father, Dr William Sinclair, had died in 1838 and Janet was in the care of her uncle Sir John Sinclair in Thurso. Edmund visited her while she was staying with her aunt, Miss Maria Sinclair, in lodgings in Edinburgh. Janet was under age. When she returned home, Edmund took up residence in a hotel in Thurso. From 1839 to 1841, he courted her and they both signed and exchanged written declarations to be husband and wife. No cohabitation followed. (6) He had given her an engagement ring which spelt ‘Regard’ in ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst and diamonds, and an amber necklace, which she returned.
In 1842, Edmund B Lockyer, residing at 101 Princes Street, Edinburgh, raised an action of declarator of marriage in the Court of Sessions against Miss Sinclair whom he claimed he was married to and had a Contract of Marriage with. At trial, Janet testified that she signed the document at the request of Edmund for the purpose of convincing his father to make a settlement. In the process, Edmund assigned to his father the whole of his interest in his mother’s estate. ‘The screw was put on me to make me give up the marriage,’ he said at the Edinburgh Bankruptcy Court 25 years later. His treatment of Miss Sinclair at the trial was denounced by the Judge as ‘impertinent and disgusting.’ (7)
‘It was my misfortune to contract a marriage of which he disapproved. I could not draw back from the marriage, and at the suggestion of the late Town-Clerk of the City of London (his uncle Henry Alworth Merewether (1780-1864)) I followed it up. I was bound by a dreadful oath to do so, and it proved an awful curse to me. My father forsook me, but he said that “the moment you drop this you are the same to me as ever.” I could not break my most dreadful oath, or God Almighty would have struck me dead if I had, and from that moment I have been as exile from my home. This case has completely unhinged me.’ (8)
Edmund B Lockyer, ‘set all his schemes to work in order to persecute the lady he had unsuccessfully claimed as his wife. His stalwart form, his acquiline features, his long and well-greyed black beard, his ‘loud’ style of dress, and his swaggering gait, distinguished him on the streets of Edinburgh as one likely to have “a bee in his bonnet.”’ (9)
In March 1846, Edmund B Lockyer lost the case. Disowned by his father, he lived off money given to him by family members and friends. In 1854, after his father died, his mother paid the debts Edmund had accrued, including to a wine merchant, brewing company, tailor, hairdresser and hotel keeper. He became a public figure again as a great ‘Railway Economist’ and ‘advertised threats of exposure against the Chairman of the North British Railway Company’, and threatened to upset the ‘bank monopoly’ of Scotland. He became a candidate to represent the Northern Burghs and later described himself as a ‘Political Social Expert’. He tried to unseat his opponent, Mr Loch, with bribery and corruption accusations, but then Edmund bribed the postman to intercept six letters addressed to Miss Sinclair, and opened them. They were arrested on 8 September 1868. He stood trial on 1 March 1869, was found guilty and sentenced to jail in Exeter for a year. The postman received 9 months.
Janet Sinclair died in June 1870 in Torquay, unmarried. After her death, Edmund brought a case against the Trustees of her estate in June 1876 which he lost. In the 1871 census he is recorded as widower with property in Scotland and England. 
He was staying with the Trotters as a lodger in Thurso for six years before he married the daughter Jane Sinclaire Trotter (b. 1857) on 12 Jun 1877 at 72 Princes Street, Edinburgh, when she was 21 years old. Edmund was 63. They had four children. Jane M A C M Lockyer (b. 1879) and Mary Nazareth Lockyer (1881-1974) were born in Edinburgh, Martha Lockyer (b. 1888) in Leith, and their only son Thomas Edmund Lockyer died in 1881 at 37 London Street, Edinburgh.
Edmund appeared at the Edinburgh Bankruptcy Court in 1879, described as residing at 6 Gladstone Place. He went to prison for debt in Holyrood and Exeter. He died 21 January 1891 while living at Chancelot Terrace, Ferry Road, Edinburgh.

James Lawes Lockyer (1819-1885) trained as a solicitor but never practiced. Later in life he had a stroke which left him paralyzed and his niece Annie Frances Lockyer (1844-1927) nursed him through a long illness until he died. He was the last to live at South Wembury and is buried in the churchyard. 

South Wembury House, now Thorn House, Wembury

Major Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860) m Dorothea Agatha Young (1790-1816)

  • Lt William Edmund Lockyer (1808-1886) British Army

Lt William Edmund Lockyer (1808-1886) was born in India, the only child of Major Edmund Lockyer and Dorothea Agatha De Ly. He was brought to Wembury House, Devon, at barely five weeks old, and christened there. He lived there for the next four years while his father Edmund was home from Ceylon and continued to live there when Edmund and Sarah and their children travelled. The family returned home to Wembury again in 1818 before Edmund served in Ireland. Edmund Henry Seppings was also raised at Wembury House to keep his cousin William company. According to a great great grandson (unknown), William said of his grandmother, Ann Lockyer, ‘she was my best friend.’
William joined the same regiment as his father, the 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot and became a lieutenant on 9 April 1825 on their voyage to the colony of New South Wales. They sailed on HMS Royal Charlotte from London on 12 November 1824 with 34 men of the 57th Regt, composing the guard of 136 male prisoners, and stores for Government. William arrived in Sydney on the 29 April 1825 with a detachment of the 57th and with his father and step-mother Sarah, and nine siblings.
William’s younger brother Edmund also joined the 57th Regiment and they were both listed as lieutenants on 29 Sep 1930.

Major Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860) m Sarah Morris (1784-1853)

  • Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer (1809-1872)
  • Ann Morris Lockyer (1810-1833) 
  • Sarah Ermington Lockyer (1812-1867)
  • Helen Kandiana Lockyer (1815-1886)
  • Eliza Lockyer (1816-1817)
  • Fanny Oceanna Lockyer (1817-1888)
  • Emily Catherine Jersey Lockyer (1819-1906)
  • Charles Weedon Lockyer (1821-1898)
  • Frederick Macdonald Lockyer (1822-1904)
  • Hugh Henry Rose Lockyer (1824-1908)
  • Louisa Harris Lockyer (1826-1911)
King Georges Sound sketch by Major Edmund Lockyer, 1826, where his son Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer was storekeeper.

Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer (1809-1872) was the first born son of Major Edmund Lockyer and Sarah Morris. Like his older brother William, Edmund joined his father in the 57th Regiment as an ensign and was also an adjutant, a military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer. The regiment travelled to New South Wales in a detachment of the 57th, of 34 men as escorts to 136 male prisoners on HMS Royal Charlotte in 1824-25. Edmund arrived in Sydney on the 29 April 1825 with the detachment and with his father, mother, and nine siblings.
Edmund Morris Lockyer was assigned to his father Major Edmund Lockyer, appointed Commandant on the brig Amity, to establish a penal settlement at King George Sound which he was involved with from 25 December 1826 to 23 February 1827. Although a member of the 57th Regiment of Foot, he was temporarily attached to the 39th as Storekeeper. The original military post comprised of Captain Joseph Wakefield, one sergeant, two corporals and 16 privates of the 39th (Dorsetshire) Regiment; Ensign Edmund Morris Lockyer, 57th Regiment on detachment to 39th (Storekeeper); William and Thomas Wood, Royal Veterans Corps (Convict Overseers); a surgeon, a gardener and 23 convicts.
Edmund returned to Sydney on Isabella and there rejoined the 57th – known as ‘The Die Hards’ – which also served in small guard detachments on convict transports to Moreton Bay, Melville Island and Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land.
Edmund became a lieutenant on 29 Sep 1830 before going to Madras, India, in 1831. The 57th Regiment was one of a few British regiments to serve in Australian colonies until all garrison forces were withdrawn in 1870. By 1835, Edmund Morris Lockyer had settled in New South Wales and was granted 1,000 acres at Argyle.

NSW Government Gazette 21 July 1857

On 14 July 1857, Edmund Morris Lockyer, esq, was appointed by the Governor General to be Second Lieutenant in the Native Police for the District of the Lower Darling. (2)
He married Emily O’Reilly in Queensland on 19 Dec 1866. His last occupation was as a Tide-waiter, HM Customs – a customs officer who checked the goods being carried when a ship landed in order to secure payment of customs duty.
‘In 1872 the barque Tyra arrived from the (South Sea) islands with a shipment of ‘boys’. The vessel had very bad weather coming across, and for some reason was taken over by the authorities, none of the cargo being allowed to be removed from the vessel. Mr Lockyer was taking his turn as guard one night, and being lonely his wife accompanied him. They sat in a cabin on deck. He had to go round on a tour of inspection at regular intervals. As he seemed to be much longer than usual on one of these tours, his wife grew anxious and left the cabin to find out the reason. The night was dark and the light indifferently lighted. Hearing a moan she made for the direction of the sound, and in doing so fell down a hatch-way, the cover of which had been left off. It was down this that her husband had fallen, and she fell on him. The result of this accident was that Mr Lockyer received serious internal injuries, from which he died about a week later.’ (11)
Edmund Morris Lockyer died 28 June 1872, aged 62, at his home on Birley Street, Spring Hill, Queensland.

Ann Morris Lockyer (1810-1833), eldest daughter of Major Edmund and Sarah Lockyer, did not depart England for New South Wales on 5 January 1825 with her family, she sailed instead with her fiance, Captain James Brown, on the next convict ship to leave Portsmouth, Norfolk, on 17 April. They arrived in Port Jackson on 18 August 1825. The Guard was a detachment of the 57th regiment under orders of Capt Brown; he had been appointed captain in the regiment on 17 January 1822. Ann Morris Lockyer married Capt James Brown on 9 January 1827 at Sydney, and they sailed for Madras with his regiment in 1831, which included her brothers, Lt William Edmund Lockyer and Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer. (12)
Ann wished to escape the heat of Madras and return to New South Wales, so they left on Lady Munro, under the command of Captain Aitkin, leaving Calcutta for Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s land, on 27 June 1833. The trading ship took many passengers on board at Madras, making it very crowded. The 96 passengers and crew consisted of the captain, two officers, 7 ladies, 9 gentlemen, and 11 children. There were also 10 European convicts, 4 European servants, 13 native servants, and 40 Lascars – Indian sailors.
The cargo of sugar was delivered at Port Louis, Isle of France, after which they sailed on, looking forward to meeting up with family members at the end of the journey.
On 11 October, after midnight, the barque struck rocks close to the Island of Amsterdam ‘with such violence that she went down in a moment, stern foremost – pitching some persons who were in the fore part of the ship right out upon the rocks. But few escaped as most of the persons on board were in bed.’ In less than a quarter of an hour the ship went to pieces.

‘The ship staggered about from rock to rock, groaning and labouring, writhing from side to side, like a dying thing in its last agony; the sails and rigging were torn to tatters; the masts and yards went crashing over board piecemeal, one after another, and fell sea ward. Cries and shrieks of despair were now heard in the cuddy, – and the mother’s cry of “Save my children! oh, save my children! ” pierced me to the very soul. The united roar of the surf, the wind, and the crash of falling masts and spars, drowned every human cry; and the hull, at one time heaved high into the air, at another dashed with destructive force upon the rocks, gave one last lurch, and went all to ten thousand shivers.
An excerpt from J M’Cosh’s recollections. (13)

Amsterdam Island, an active volcanic island, is amongst the most isolated in the world. Located in the southernmost Indian Ocean, bordering the Antarctic Ocean, approximately halfway between South Africa and Australia, it is 3,370km from Perth. After managing to live 14 days upon the island, the 22 survivors were rescued by an American whaler and taken to Hobart Town.
Ann Morris Lockyer, aged 23 years, and her four infant children, Ellis, Martha, Edmund, and Ann, drowned – ‘to the great sorrow of her afflicted parents and relatives – Major Lockyer with his family, in this colony; and her disconsolate husband and brothers with their Regiment, at Madras.’ 75 perished, several of them officers of the 39th Regt who were well known in Sydney. (14)

Sarah Ermington Lockyer (1812-1867) was born in Ermington, Devon. She was 12 years old when she arrived in Sydney on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with her family. She married Dudley North (1805-1845) of the East India Service, younger brother of Frederick North, MP of Rougham Hall, Norfolk, and Hastings Lodge, Sussex, at the Field of Mars church, Sydney, in 1835. They had five children. Arabella Frances North (1836-1885) and Frederick Edmund North (1838-1842) were born in Parramatta; Sarah North (b.1839) and Dudley North (1840-1917) were born in Goulburn, and Helen Margaret North (1842-1912) was born in Deptford, Kent. The family returned to England in October 1842, the year their son Frederick died.
Following the death of her husband from a coach accident a Ipplepen on 25 January 1845, Sarah lived at Garden cottage, Hastings, with three of her children, Sarah aged seven, Dudley aged six, and Helen aged four years. They lived only 200 yards away from their grandmother, Dudley’s mother, Mrs Elizabeth Wilson, and her daughter Miss Arabella North, with whom Arabella Frances North aged ten years was residing, and maintained by her grandmother. Siblings Sarah and Dudley spent many hours there, daily.
Sarah Ermington North and her late husband were nominal members of the Church of England, attending infrequently. On Monday 16 November 1846, when the children stayed the night at their grandmother’s house, Mrs Wilson asked Sarah whether she had conformed to the Roman Faith. For about two months before Dudley’s death, he and Sarah had visited, with the children, a Roman Catholic chapel at Plymouth, and since her husband’s death, she had been received into the Roman Catholic Church. Mrs Wilson said she could not permit the children to be brought up in that religion.
The following day, Sarah sent for the children, but her messenger was told by a servant that they were ‘gone away’. She went to the Vice Chancellor’s Court and her solicitor obtained a writ of habeas corpus commanding Mrs Wilson and Miss Arabella North on the following morning to produce the children. Their conduct in abducting the children was enough to induce the Court to say, that they were ‘no longer proper persons with whom to intrust them.’ His Honour directed that Arabella Frances North be placed under the care of Lady Waldegrave (Mrs. Wilson’s sister) and added, ‘with the most perfect respect to Mrs North, but as he understood she has become a Roman Catholic he could not place the infants with her.’
Sarah’s counsel argued that the Roman Catholic religion was not only a legal religion, but since the passing of the first Toleration Act (1689), it was an established religion, and the Court, should not hold that the religion was a ground for the removal of a guardian. 
Dudley had not left any instruction as to the religion in which his children were to be educated, so it was presumed that his wishes were that they should be educated in his own religion. It was seen as the duty of the Court to direct that the children would be brought up as members of, and in the religion of the Church of England. Speaking again of her most respectfully, ‘I cannot avoid being strongly impressed with the opinion that, consistently with the most conscientious, kind, and best motives on her part, the children, if placed with her, may receive an inclination and a disposition towards that religion in which, in my view of the duty of the Court, it should see that they should not be educated. The custody of the infants in the meantime shall be with Mrs Wilson (Mr Wilson consenting), Mr Frederick North, and Miss Arabella North, at Hastings; Mrs Dudley North to have access to them daily for two hours, but in the presence of one or more of those parties, and all topics of religion to be avoided at such interviews.’ (15)
All their children died in England. Sarah died in Sydney.

The Kandyan convention 1815 and Town and lake of Kandy 1864

Helen Kandiana Lockyer (1815-1886) was born at Trincomalee, Ceylon, after her father Major Edmund Lockyer fought in the campaign to subdue the old Sinhalese capital, Kandy. Helen (sometimes named Ellen) was given the middle name of Kandiana. She was ten years old when she arrived in Sydney on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with her family. She married Captain Robert Jobling (1803-1862), of Newton Hall, Northumberland, on 21 May 1835. He was HCS captain of Duchess of Northumberland, and Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office of the port at Newcastle. Following his death in 1862, she married George Henry Stace in 1866.

Eliza Lockyer (1816-1817) was born at Trincomalee, Ceylon. On 16 September 1817, at fourteen months old, at Kedgeree, Bengal, India, whilst at anchor at the mouth of the Hoogly, waiting for the pilot to take them to sea, she went to bed in perfect health. The next morning she was found dead, ‘having no doubt during the night been seized with convulsions.’ (16)

HMS Ajax. Fanny Oceanna Lockyer was born in 1817 aboard Ajax in the Bay of Bengal

Fanny Oceanna Lockyer (1817-1888) was born aboard HMS Ajax in the Bay of Bengal and christened 26 Jan 1820 at the Parish Church of St Helier, St Helier, Isle Of Jersey, Channel Islands. She was seven years old when she arrived in Sydney on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with her family.
She married William Montagu Rothery (1809-1899) on 9 May 1834 at Cliefden, Mandurama, in the Central West region of NSW. William named the homestead after the summer residence of Frederick, Prince of Wales, father of George III to whose entourage, family tradition relates, a Rothery ancestor was attached. (17) Fanny and William settled at Cliefden in 1842 where they had 15 children (three died in infancy) and took care of three of his brother’s children. Their children were – Edmund Montagu Rothery (1837-1902), St Gerge F Rothery (1838-1909), Ada Fanny Rothery (1840-1888), Albert Rothery (1841-1924), Laura Rothery (1845-1888), Eliza Emily Rothery (1848-1899), Louisa R Rothery (1849-1929), Caroline Lea Rothery (1851-1899), Helena Augusta Rothery (1853-1921), Francis William Rothery (1854-1929), Adelaide Sophia Rothery (1857-1888), and Henry Alfred Rothery (1862-1938).
William Rothery was the first squatter in Australia who sent wool direct to England. He dealt with Messrs Balme and Co, London wool brokers, for 68 years. When he died, he was the oldest member of the Australian Club.

Elizabeth Castle, Jersey – pencil and watercolour by D A B Gould. Emily Catherine Jersey Lockyer 

Emily Catherine Jersey Lockyer (1819-1906) was born at Elizabeth Castle, St Aubins Bay, St Helier, Isle Of Jersey, in the Channel Islands and christened on January 26, 1820 at the Parish Church of St Helier. She was six years old when she arrived in Sydney on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with her family. In 1836, aged 15, she married Captain George Potter (1810-1849) of HM 28th Regiment, son of Major Leonard Busteed Potter, at the Church of England in Marsfield, Ryde, NSW. They lived at Cavan Station along the Murrumbidgee River in the Southern Tablelands, south of Yass, NSW. The property was leased by Capt George Potter and his father-in-law Major Edmund Lockyer, from 1836 until 1857. (Cavan is currently owned by Rupert Murdoch.)
Emily and George had eight children – Eleanora Potter (1837-1926), Emily Susannah Potter (1838-1918), Charles Edmund Potter (1839-1925), George Thomas Potter (1841-1931), Frederick Leonard Lockyer Potter (1842-1874), Louisa Catherine Potter* (1845-1926), Nicholas Lockyer Potter (1846-1927), and Alfred Augustus Potter (1849-1921).
After the riding accident death of George on 20 October 1849, Emily, widowed with eight children, and pregnant, married Henry Snodden (1822-1881) on 31 Mar 1851 at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Yass. Henry was a bounty immigrant and farm servant on Cavan Station. They had seven children – Martha Snodden (1851-1927), Alexander Scott Snodden (1853-1916), Maria Harriss Snodden (1854-1934), Robert Sloane Snodden (1856-1926), Joseph Snodden (1859-1861), Mary Jane Snodden (1861-1864), and Emily Isabel Ada Snodden (1869-1845).
In a letter written by George Thomas Potter (1841-1931), he described his stepfather as an ‘illiterate, drunken bully.’ According to descendent and family historian Shirley Finnel, Emily was severely physically abused by Henry Snodden, and her daughter Louisa was deemed unsafe.
In 1860 Emily and Henry moved to the Tumut district, where Emily died at her residence, Newtown, Tumut, in 1906. She was described as ‘of a retiring disposition, and spoke very little on matters concerning herself. Was a devoted and kind mother to the whole of her children.’ (18)
*Louisa Catherine Potter (1845-1926), was christened at ‘Lockyersleigh’ and spent her early years on Cavan Station. Soon after the death of her father (1849), Louisa was sent to live with her godmother, Aunt Louisa McWilliam (nee Lockyer), in Dungog, in the Hunter Valley, where she married George, the eldest son of Arthur and Margaret Brown, in 1871. Louisa and her infant son, Walter, journeyed to New Zealand with George Brown’s parents and siblings in 1873 and settled with them in Tuakau.

Lockyersliegh, near Goulburn, home of Major Edmund Lockyer and family

Charles Weedon Lockyer (1821-1898), born at Weedon Barracks, Northamptonshire, was four years old when he arrived in Sydney in the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with his family. He was educated in King’s School, Parramatta, and afterwards undertook the management of several stations, mostly properties owned by his father. One of these was Lockyersliegh, near Goulburn. ‘Charles worked for a number of years an officer of HM Customs. On retirement, he volunteered his services in connection with the Maori war, serving three years under Colonel Hamilton. For his services he received a grant from the Crown of 50 acres of land and a silver medal. On returning to Sydney, he took up an appointment in the Stamp Office, under Mr. Hemming, but on account of ill-health he was compelled to resign.’ (19)
His first marriage was to Susanna Wilson (1830-1853) on 13 May 1847. They had three sons. His second marriage was to Eliza Rowe (d. 1901) on 4 Mar 1856 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Surry Hills. They had one son and four daughters. He died at his residence, 21 Womerah Avenue, Darlinghurst, NSW.

Frederick McDonald Lockyer (1822-1904) born in Dublin, Ireland, was Clerk in Charge of Papers, Legislative Assembly, NSW. He was three years old when he arrived in Sydney on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 with his family. He married Amelia Newcombe, second daughter of George William Newcomb, Esq, of Sydney, on 15 Apr 1857 at St James’ Church, Goulburn, NSW.

Hugh Henry Rose Lockyer (1824-1908), born at Westport Barracks, County Mayo, Ireland, on 11 June 1824, was probably named after Lt Hugh Henry Rose of the 19th Regiment of Foot who became captain, by purchase, on 30 June 1824, the same day Edmund Lockyer became a Major, by purchase, at the War Office, with the 19th Regiment of Foot. (20)
Hugh arrived in Sydney with his family on the Royal Charlotte on 29 April 1825 when he was six months old. One of his early memories was of the first steam boat Surprise which ran on the Paramatta River, a paddle-wheel with a treadmill inside for an engine, and a mule for motive power. (21)
He married Margaret Malcolm Wallis on 20 July 1876 at St. John’s Church, Hinton and they had two children – Henry (Harry) Edward Wallace Lockyer (1877-1924), and Marion Rivers Lockyer (1879-1964), both in Newcastle, NSW.
Hugh was a resident of Orange, NSW, for fifty years.

Parramatta Barracks 1860

Louisa Harris Lockyer (1826-1911) was the first of the Lockyer’s to be born in the colony of New South Wales, at the Parramatta Barracks, and was ‘the first white child to see the light in that district.’ (22)
On 10 April, 1853, Louisa gave birth to a son, Edmund Henry Lockyer (b. 1853) at Paramatta. On 31 Jan 1854, she married Thomas McWilliam (d.1883), a noted business man. They went to Dungog and soon became well-to-do as they owned several valuable properties. These, however, were eventually lost.
‘Louisa was seen as representing one of the most prominent families of early colonial history, moving in the highest military and gubernatorial circles of her day, coming in contact with all the prominent figures of the early times, and gathering a mass of interesting information. She was a most cultured woman, who moving in the high circles of Sydney, and London of the early forties, cultivated a charming personality. Her later years were spent in Dungog in unfortunate circumstances that were relieved and brightened by the good offices of a wide circle of friends.’ (22)
They had one son, Thomas Morris McWilliam (1854-1933), of Cangai, Grafton, who served through the South African war.

Major Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860) m Elizabeth Colston (1835-1884)

  • Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer, C.B.E., I.S.O. (1855-1933)
  • Ellis Sophia Lockyer (1857-1909)
  • Marion Joan Lockyer (1859-1946)

Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer, C.B.E., I.S.O. (1855-1933) born in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, was the son of Major Edmund Lockyer and his third wife Eliza, nee Colston. He was educated at Fort Street Model School and the Lyceum Academy, Sydney, and was a leading oarsman and shark-hunter in his youth; ‘a lithe, vigorous athletic man who had spent one holiday cycling through the inhospitable Moreton Bay country explored by his father.’ (23)
At the age of 13 he joined the civil service as a cadet and in 1870 was appointed clerk to the Treasury Department of New South Wales, where he was closely associated with Sir George Reid.
‘In September-November 1883 he was an inspector of public revenue accounts, in December he was appointed receiver of revenue and in 1886 accountant to the Treasury. He was responsible for the reorganization of the taxation department under the Land and Income Tax Assessment Act of 1895. In 1896 he was appointed to the combined positions of collector of customs and first commissioner of taxation in New South Wales. After Federation Lockyer transferred to the Commonwealth Public Service and in 1908 was appointed assistant comptroller-general of customs. He was by now an impressive, disciplined figure who, despite pince-nez and drawling accent, was credited with the ‘penetrating power of a hundred-ton gun’.’ (24)
Together with Charles C Kingston (SA Premier and leading advocate for Federation) and Sir Harry Wollaston (Chairman of the Committee which reported on the Federal Constitution Bill before it was adopted by the colonies, and first Comptroller-General of the Department of Trade and Customs, 1901-11), Lockyer had been responsible for framing the first Federal customs tariff. When Wollaston retired, Lockyer became Comptroller-General of Customs, and head of the Department of Trade and Customs, between 1911 and 1913, and a member of the inter-State Commission 1913-20.
‘During six months furlough in 1916 Lockyer, with the honorary rank of major, was honorary comptroller of the Australian Imperial Force’s garrison institutes in Australia, troopship canteens and prisoner-of-war canteens. From 1917, as first controller of repatriation, he was largely responsible for the organization of the Repatriation Department. In 1920-33 he was chairman of the A.I.F. Canteens Funds Trust and of the Sir Samuel McGaughey Bequest for the education of soldiers’ children.’ (25)
Lockyer was awarded an Imperial Service Order (1906) whilst Collector of Customs NSW, he was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1918) and was made a Knight Bachelor in 1926.
In 1885, Nicholas Colston Lockyer married Mary Juliet Eager, a daughter of Geoffrey Eager (an accountant, colonial politician and NSW civil servant, son of Edward, an emancipated convict who helped found the Bank of New South Wales. Edward left Australia to take a legal battle over the rights of freed convicts to London, and didn’t return. His mother Jemima then married William Wentworth). Mary died in 1898. They had two daughters, Dorothy Hope (who married leading Arts and Crafts architect Rodney Alsop) and Ellis Marion. In 1908 Nicholas married Winifred Wollaston, a daughter of Sir Harry Wollaston. They had one son, Nicholas Lockyer.

Ellis Sophia Lockyer (1857-1909) was born at home at York House, Bay St, Woolloomooloo. On 17 Jan 1888, Ellis married Jerome Walford at St. Andrew’s Church, South Brisbane. They had three children – Nicholas L Walford (1891-1891), Edward J S Walford (b. 1892), and Marion Joan Walford (1896-1973).

Marion Joan Lockyer (1859-1946) was born at home at York House, Bay St, Woolloomooloo. Marion was a respected member of the Royal Australian Historical Society, ‘who in her own person constituted a remarkable historic link with early Australian history. She possessed a bright and cheery personality, and had the great gift of seeing the lighter side of life. She was never happier than when with many a quip and joke she spoke with friends.’ (26) Marion died after a short illness in Sydney.

William Lockyer (1785-1858) m Louise Love (1791-1845)

  • Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1818-1904) Royal Navy 
The Hastings seventy four. Lying in Ordinary in the Medway. William Nicholas Love Lockyer served as a lieutenant on HMS Hastings April 1848 – February 1849.

Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1818-1904) was born at Newton Ferrers to William Lockyer (1785-1858) and Louisa Love. He entered the Royal Navy in 1832 and passed his lieutenant’s exam in 1838. From 2 November 1838 – 10 June 1840, he served on HMS Melville, a 74-gun, third-rate, ship of the line, as a midshipman, mate, and A.B. From 6 November 1840 to 26 August 1841 he served as a mate on HMS Excellent a 98-gun, second-rate, ship of the line. From 27 August 1841 to 3 October 1844 he served as a mate on HMS Aigle, a 36-gun, fifth-rate frigate.
William’s uncle, Nicholas Lockyer (1781-1847) was captain of HMS Albion from 10 November 1843 to 27 February 1847. William served as a mate under Capt Lockyer on this largest two-decker warship built in England, from 4 Oct 1844-31 Oct 1845 and as a lieutenant from 18 Jan-5 May 1846, in the Channel squadron. This 90-gun second-rate ship of the line was fast but had ‘a tendency to roll excessively in heavy weather, making her an unstable gun platform.’ (27)
William Nicholas Love Lockyer became a lieutenant in 1845 and served on the following ships in that role:
21 November 1845 – 17 January 1846 – HMS Bittern a 12-gun sloop brig.
6 May 1846 – 29 October 1847 – HMS Excellent a 98-gun, second-rate, ship of the line.
30 October 1847 – 13 April 1848 – HMS Caledonia a 120-gun, first-rate, ship of the line.
14 April 1848 – 19 February 1849 – HMS Hastings a 74-gun third-rate, ship of the line, built of the highest quality teak wood in Calcutta originally for the East India Company, following Sir Robert Seppings’ principles, which resulted in both longitudinal and transverse support in a vessel. 
Between 20 February 1849 and 8 July 1850, William was Acting Commander and Commander (1849) of HMS Medea, a 179 foot long steam-driven sloop, to suppress piracy in Chinese waters. Following a salt boat stolen from Hong Kong harbour and several vessels sailing from Hong Kong for Singapore reported missing on 28 July, Capt Edward Norwich Troubridge, senior officer in China, sent Cdr Lockyer and Medea down the coast to make inquiries.
‘Reaching Tienpakh, on September 7th, Lockyer found the inner harbour crowded with fifty heavily armed junks, the town deserted by the mandarin for fear of the pirates, and upwards of a hundred trading junks held for ransom.’ (28)
Although he was given some useful information by the mistress of an American master named J. B. Endicott, without sufficient facts on which to act, he prepared to resume his voyage. But with further news of trading ships with British goods on board being seized by the pirates, ‘he returned, manned and armed his boats, and proceeded to search for the prize containing the British property. Five junks fired at him, whereupon he attacked and boarded, and, within half an hour, made himself master of all five, losing, however, one man killed, and nine people wounded. As the main body of the fleet then got under way as if to cut off his boats, he burnt his prizes, and withdrew to his ship. She drew too much water to be able to enter the harbour; and the boats were obviously not strong enough to contend with so numerous a force. 
Lockyer failed to gain news of the ships which he had been detached in search of, and, having gone back to Hong Kong, was sent thence to Whampoa to relieve the Columbine. There he saw six junks which he had noticed at Tienpakh, and informed against them; but the Chinese authorities allowed them to weigh and make off. When at length, on September 28th, the Chinese despatched five war junks after the fugitives, the pirates captured the admiral and his entire squadron, massacred the crews, and roasted the mandarins and officers alive.’ (29)

Capture and destruction of thirteen Piratical Chinese Junks, in Mir’s Bay, by H. M. Steamer Medea

In March 1850, HMS Medea came across a fleet of 17 pirate junks at anchor in Mirs Bay, 30 miles east of Hong Kong. On seeing the warship, many of the pirates jumped overboard in an effort to escape. Volleys from Medea’s guns and musket fire reportedly killed 150 of the fleeing pirates as they swam towards shore. (30) These actions were looked on favorably by the Qing officials, who offered the crew of the Medea gifts of tea, dried oranges, sugar candy, and sixteen oxen and sheep. (31) The British declined the gifts, as the Medea had already sailed for England by the time the offer arrived. The crew were eventually awarded £1,900 in head money by the Admiralty. (32)
By the early 1850s, the Royal Navy with their new steam-powered, screw-driven vessels proved they could destroy large pirate fleets if found. The navy, however, was unable to completely eradicate piracy and it continued with small groups of opportunistic pirates attack mainly opium smugglers and others engaged in illicit activities.

HMS Colonial War Steamer Victoria, Melbourne, 1867

On 14 November 1852, Capt Lockyer sailed from London aboard the ship Dinapore for the colony of Victoria. Established as a colony separate from New South Wales in 1851, Victoria realised it required its own navy. By mid-1852, an appeal was made to Britain for an armed vessel to be stationed in Port Phillip. With the Victorian gold-rush attracting tens of thousands of people from all over the world, local authorities could not enforce control over the port waters. HMS Electra arrived at Williamstown in April but was inadequate.
In the minutes of the Estimates for 1853 submitted to the Legislative Council in November 1852, Governor Latrobe wrote ‘… it is proposed to appropriate sum’s sufficient to purchase and keep in commission a Government steam vessel which if the Council thinks fit, can be procured from England without delay.’ Hearing about the proposed purchase of a war steamer, Capt Lockyer wrote to La Trobe in April 1853, offering his services as her commander. He was prepared to go to England at his own expense and ‘without pay or allowance until he was able to personally supervise the construction of the vessel’. (33)
£11,500 was set aside and Commander Lockyer had been commissioned to procure the required steamer before LaTrobe’s successor Sir Charles Hotham left England to assume office in Victoria. Lockyer departed for Britain on 26 July 1853 aboard the Extreme American Clipper Eagle to supervise the construction of Australia’s first warship, the 580 tons combined steam/sail sloop-of-war HMCSS Victoria. It was the first British-built warship purchased by a British colony.
Soon after his arrival in Victoria, Hotham wrote to Lockyer on 19 July 1854, informing him that the amount placed at his disposal had been increased to £27,000 and he might spend up to £30,0000 if absolutely necessary. He was no longer to consider ‘a light draught of water as a necessity’ but to obtain a ‘good seagoing vessel fitted for general service.’ (34)
Lockyer was named the future Captain of HMCSS Victoria at her launch on 30 June 1855 at the Limehouse Dockyard on the Thames, however he declined the position. The ship was praised by the English press as ‘the foundation of a new naval power in the Southern Seas’. (35) The Victorian Navy had begun and following the success of Victoria in its employment of assisting shipwrecked mariners, carrying out coastal surveys, storing lighthouses, and as a water police ship, the Victorian colonial government ordered an ironclad ship, HMVS Cerberus.
William Nicholas Love Lockyer married Elizabeth-Selina Bell, youngest daughter of Lt-Col Thomas Bell, CB, late of the 48th Reg, in Plymouth, Devon, in 1848. They had four children, the first three born in Plymouth, Devon – Mary G Lockyer (b. 1849), Madeline Lockyer (b. 1852), William Lockyer (b. 1853) and Sidney Lockyer (b. 1856) in Surrey.
On 16 November, 1868, William Nicholas Love Lockyer was promoted to the rank of Retired Captain.

Major Orlando Lockyer (1787-1819) m Anne Flattery (b.1871)

  • Thomas Arthur Lockyer (1811-1896)
  • Charlotte Lockyer (after 1813)

Thomas Arthur Lockyer (1811-1896)
In 1837, aged 27, Thomas Arthur Lockyer was indicted for a fraud to which he pleaded guilty. He was confined six months; six weeks solitary. (36)
In 1843, Thomas Arthur Lockyer married Maria (Harriet) Catchlove (1816-1882) and had one surviving child, Edward Charles Catchlove Lockyer (b. 1839) who owned the Unicorn Brewery in Burra, Clare Valley, SA. (37)


Eliza Maria Lockyer (1791-1837) m Henry Alworth Merewether (1780-1864)

  • Henry Alworth Merewether (1812-1877)
  • Francis White Merewether (1813-1835)
  • Herbert Walton Merewether (1816-1843)
  • Elizabeth Mary Ann Merewether (1817-)
  • John Robert Merewether (1818-1841)
  • Edward Christopher Merewether (1820-1893)
  • Lucy Eleanor Merewether (1821-)
  • Richard Thomas Merewether (1822-1823)
  • Major General Sir William Lockyer Merewether (1825-1880)
  • Capt Alworth Merewether (1826-1861)
  • John Lockyer Merewether (1829-1829)
  • Edmund Robert Merewether (1829-1829)

Details of the Merewether family will appear in the next blog post


Jane Edwards Lockyer (1793-1854) m Edward Hobson Vitruvius Lawes (1781-1849)

  • Edward Lawes (1817-1852)
  • Jane Lawes (1818-1882)
  • Maria Lawes (1819-)
  • Vitruvius Lawes (1821-1890)
  • Thomas Lawes (1822-)
  • Eliza Lawes (1824-)
  • William Lawes (1828-)
  • Henry Lawes (1832-1834)
  • Charles Lawes (1833-)
The Act for Promoting the Public Health; 1849 & 1850 by Edward Lawes

Edward Lawes (1817-1852), eldest son of Edward HV Lawes sergeant-at-law, was born at Serjeants Inn, Sydenham Hill, and christened at St Andrew, Holborn, London. He became a barrister-at-law and married Caroline Sophia Bowen in 1843, in Lewisham. They had two children, Edward Bowen, baptised on 9 Aug 1848, and Caroline, born in 1850.
‘In March, 1850, a local Admiralty preliminary inquiry into the merits of the “Tyne Navigation Bill” was held by Edward Lawes, Esq., barrister-at-law, and James Abernethy, Esq., civil engineer, who sat for eighteen days, going fully into all the points which Captain Washington had investigated in the previous year. The Admiralty report on the Bill recommended strongly that the management of the River Tyne should be vested in a commission, that the new commissioners should be the parties to judge of the requisite measures of river improvement, and that consequently the works proposed by the Bill should not be sanctioned. Their Lordships also recommended that the greatest possible amount of dues then levied on shipping in the Tyne should, consistent with legal rights, be applied to the new conservancy.’ (38)
In 1851, Edward had a book published, The Act for Promoting the Public Health, 1849 & 1850. He resigned as chairman of the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers in December, 1851, and died aged 35 in 1852 at Sydenham-hill. (39)

Vitruvius Lawes (1821-1890) was an assistant surgeon in the Bombay Army. He died aged 69 years. His wife Jane died 10 September 1898.

Brigadier General Henry Frederick Lockyer (1796-1860) m Ellis Anne Elizabeth Curry (1798-1861)

  • Ellis Ann Sophia Lockyer (1820-1859)

Part 5 of ‘The Age of Sail – Lt Edmund Henry Seppings’ first cousins Lockyer side‘, is the Lockyer-Merewether family.

Illustration Credits

‘Thomas and Ann Lockyer of Wembury.’ Sources unknown
Royal Hotel, Plymouth, by Llewellyn Frederick William Jewitt – Day & Son (lithographer)
Llewellynn Jewitt –
Lockyers of Plymouth Coat of Arms
An Alphabetical List of Freemen of the Borough of Plymouth, published in August 1817, a copy of which is held in the Plymouth Local Studies Library.
‘The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Plymouith.’ From a postcard.
Wembury Church, South Devon (1931) linocut printing in water-based inks by Isabel de Bohun Lockyer (1890-1982)
‘Wembury House, Wembury, Devon’ –
‘South Wembury House, now Thorn House, Wembury’
Portrait of Major Edmund Lockyer from Battye Library
Portrait of Sarah Lockyer from the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
King Georges Sound sketch by Major Edmund Lockyer, 1826
NSW Government Gazette 21 July 1857′
Isle D’Amsterdam Amsterdam Island, Indian Ocean, Jacques Nicola Bellin antique map 1753′ from ‘Amsterdam Island & St. Paul Island’ old antique copperplate engraving with hand coloring and taken from Prévost’s “Histoire générale des voyages 1753.
The Kandyan convention 1815
Town and lake of Kandy 1864 Lithograph by Jonathan Needham (fl.1850-1874) after Charles D.C. O’Brien of the ‘Town and lake of Kandy’ in Sri Lanka, dated 1 January 1864.
HMS Ajax
Elizabeth Castle, Jersey – pencil and watercolour by D A B Gould.
Emily Catherine Jersey Lockyer – source unknown
Lockyersliegh – National Library of Australia
‘Parramatta Barracks 1860’ –
‘Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer’ – source unknown
‘The Hastings seventy four. Lying in Ordinary in the Medway’ A scene of the Hastings lying in ordinary (meaning a vessel out of service for repair or maintenance) at Medway with men climbing onboard beside her. She is depicted port-bow, whilst various sailing boats are scattered disparately in the background and in the foreground. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
‘Capture and destruction of thirteen Piratical Chinese Junks, in Mir’s Bay, by H. M. Steamer Medea‘ Antique wood engraved print, 1850, London Illustrated News
‘HMS Colonial War Steamer Victoria, Melbourne, 1867.’ Her Majesty’s Colonial Steam Sloop Victoria, dressed with flags for the visit of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh to Melbourne in 1867. The photograph was hand-tinted for presentation to the ship’s commander, William Henry Norman. Reproduced courtesy of Captain Norman’s great-grandson, Martin Lemann for ‘The Crown and Kangaroo Victorian Flags’, Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, issue no. 11, 2012. ISSN 1832-2522. Copyright © John Rogers.
Cover of The Act for Promoting the Public Health; 1849 & 1850 by Edward Lawes

Research Resources
Wembury Local History Society –
Robert Rowland, Traine Farm, Wembury, Devon
Sue Carlyon, Wembury, Devon
Shirley Finnel, NZ historian (Lockyer descendent) 
Letters written by Annie F Prynne (nee Lockyer) to Isabel de Bohun Lockyer, 1926
John Millwood
Colston & Wenck families in Australia
Pat Majewski, Australian historian (re Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1818-1904) RN) 
Keith Quinton, Australian historian and author (re Capt William N L Lockyer (1818-1904) RN)

(1) – Crispin Gill commenting on Edmund Lockyer (1750-1836) in Brian Moseley’s post.
(1a) Plymouth at Work: People and Industries Through the Years by Ernie Hoblyn Amberley Publishing (2019)
(2) – Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Death announcement
(3) – The History of Libraries in Plymouth to 1914 – Thesis submitted for the External Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts of the University of London by Margaret Ivy Lattimore, April 1982
(4) – Brian Moseley, Plymouth –,%201817.htm
(5) – In a letter written by Annie F Prynne (nee Lockyer) to Isabel de Bohun Lockyer, dated 4 July 1926, she recalled a harp at Stowford belonging to Elizabeth Rivers (1750-1838), nee Jones, possibly a descendant of a Welsh royal harpist.
(5a) – Excerpt from letter written by Annie F Prynne to Isabel de Bohun Lockyer 4 July 1926
(6) – A Treatise on the Conflict of Laws of England and Scotland, Part 1 by John Hosack
(7) – ‘The Common Law Marriage Contract’ Ch 6 P344-45
Common Law Marriage: A Legal Institution for Cohabitation by Goran Lind
(8) – The Dundee Courier & Argus Northern Warder 29th March 1881
(9) – source temporarily unavailable
(10) – NSW Government Gazette 1857 p.1441
(11) – The Brisbane Courier Sat 28 Nov 1925
(12) The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British and Foreign …, Volume 24
(13) An excerpt from Narrative of the wreck of the lady Munro, on the desolate island of Amsterdam, October, 1833 by J M’Cosh, W Bennet, Free Press Office, Glasgow 1835
(14) – Perth Gazette 30 November 1833
(15) – Yorkshire Gazette 26 December 1846
(16) Lockyer Family Papers 1498-1918, Nicholas Colston Lockyer, compiler, (Mitchell Library MSS 2513, digitised), pp 177/178.
(17) –,_Mandurama
(18) – 1906 ‘DEATH OF AN OLD PIONEER.’, The Tumut and Adelong Times (NSW : 1864 – 1867; 1899 – 1950), 16 March, p. 2. , viewed 30 Dec 2018
(19) – Australian Town and Country Journal 9 Apr 1898
(20) – THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Monday, August 9, 1824
(21) – Obituary – The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser Wed 26 Aug 1908 p 538
(22) – Dungog Chronicle and Durham and Gloucester Advertiser 1 Sep 1911
(23) – ‘Lockyer, Sir Nicholas Colston (1855–1933)’ by D I McDonald. This article was first published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986
(24) – Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986
(25) – Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986
(26) – Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society vol 32, pt 4, 1946, page 269
(27) – source temporarily unavailable
(28) – Lockyer to Troubridge, Sept. 8th, 1849 ; Hay, ‘ Suppression of Piracy.’
THE ROYAL NAVY, A History from the Earliest Times to the Present by Wm. Laird Clowes in Seven Volumes. Vol. VI. London. Sampson Low, Marston and Company 1901
(29) – Cdr. W.N.L. Lockyer, Captain of HMS “Medea” to Capt. J.W. Morgan, Senior Naval Officer, China, March 5, 1850. FO 17/166 [110]
(30) – Sū to Bonham, March 14, 1850. FO 17/166
(31) – Bonham to Sū, March 15, 1850. FO 17/166; Fox, British Admirals and Chinese Pirates, 1832-1869, 110–111.
(32) – Victorian Public Records Office (VPRS 1189 PO Unit 580 A53/4698) courtesy of Pat Majewski.
(33) – ‘Our First Warship’ by A.W. Greig The Argus Saturday 3 May 1919 p6
(34) – The Gentleman’s Magazine, Volumes 183-184 p423
(35) – ‘Our First Warship’ by A.W. Greig The Argus Saturday 3 May 1919 p6
(36) – Central Criminal Court. Minutes of Evidence, Volume 7, by Henry Buckler, p115
by Great Britain. Central Criminal Court
(37) –
(38) –
(39) – Justice of the Peace and Local Government Review, Volume 13, 1849 p788

Edmund Beatty Lockyer (1813-1891)
Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Courts of Scotland and in the House of Lords on Appeal from Scotland Volume 18 1846
Listing compiled from articles in the Exeter Flying Post. Provided by Lindsey Withers Wednesday, December 4, 1861 – Edmund Beatty Lockyer – Plymouth, Devonshire
Falkirk Herald Stirlingshire, Scotland 6 Mar 1869
Elgin Courant, and Morayshire Advertiser Moray, Scotland 5 Mar 1869
The Dundee Courier & Argus Northern Warder 29th March 1881

Lt. William Edmund Lockyer (1808-1886)
A List of the Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines
by Great Britain. War Office 1827
A List of the Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines
by Great Britain. War Office 1832

Lt Edmund Morris Lockyer (1809-1872)
A List of the Officers of the Army and Royal Marines on Full, Retired, and Half-pay.
Great Britain. War Office. F. Pinkley, 1840
NSW Government Gazette 21 Jul 1857, p.1441
Brisbane Courier 28 Nov 1925

Ann Morris Lockyer (1810-1833)
NSW Archive film of Reports of Vessels Arrived, 1833 – ‘Loss of the Ship Lady Munro’
Sydney Herald, Thursday 26 December 1833, page 4 –
Perth Gazette 30 November 1833 –
Narrative of the wreck of the lady Munro, on the desolate island of Amsterdam, October, 1833 by J M’Cosh, W Bennet, Free Press Office, Glasgow 1835

Sir Nicholas Colston Lockyer (1855–1933)
‘Lockyer, Sir Nicholas Colston (1855–1933)’ by D I McDonald. This article was first published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986
Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), Monday 28 August 1933, page 6

Capt William Nicholas Love Lockyer (1818-1904)
The Argus, 20 November 1852 
The Argus, 27 July 1853
The Argus, 28 November 1854 
National Archives of the United Kingdom

Edward Lawes (1817-1852)
The Act for Promoting the Public Health; 1849 & 1850 / by Edward Lawes : 1848-1851 / by Cuthbert W. Johnson Hardcover – 1 Jan. 1881 by Edward (1817-1852) Lawes (Author)
Justice of the Peace and Local Government Review, Volume 13, 1849 p788
The Jurist, London, 3 March, I860.

Vitruvius Lawes (1821-1890)


About Katherine Seppings

Artist, Writer, Photographer
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4 Responses to The Age of Sail – Lt Edmund Henry Seppings’ first cousins – Lockyer side

  1. Thank you so much Katherine for your latest post. I admire the depth of your research and the clarity with which you have presented it. I have been researching the Lockyers on behalf of a close friend who is descended from Thomas Lockyer and Ann Grose through the Annie Frances Lockyer Line. I just happened to check your website yesterday before posting off my own research to my friend, when I came across all your new work. It is brilliant. Thank you. K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bernadette Nelson says:

    Thank you so much Katherine for this fascinating and immensely full account of our family – I am also descended from Thomas Lockyer and Ann Grose through the Annie Frances Lockyer Line, and so am naturally intrigued who Katherine Orland’s friend might be! Wonderful historical research, which will be of enormous interest to many of us, I know. I happened on your website in a search about the Devon Lockyers (Wembury) this evening. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bernadette. I’m glad you found the website. There are other posts with Lockyer stories, and where they lived, and there is the listing of family members under ‘Family Names’ – the Lockyer tree as far as leads to the arrivals in Australia. Perhaps you could ‘reply’ to Katherine Orland’s comment with your interest in members of your family line.


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