Robert Osborn Dempster

(1 November 1796 - 20 June 1837)
Willingdon church, Sussex
     Robert Osborn Dempster was born on 1 November 1796 in England. He was the son of James Dempster and Sarah Osborn.
     In James Dempster's will dated 6 May 1819 in Mitcham, Robert Osborn Dempster was named as heir; James' will mentions his wife Ann, his eldest son James, his mother Elizabeth, his four sons James, Richard, John & Robert, daughters Sarah Norris & Mary Ann Dempster, his grand-daughter Frances (daughter of his son James by Augusta Frances his first wife) and his grandson George, son of James; his brother John & his sister Elizabeth Smith. James Dempster the elder of Mitcham in the county of Surrey schoolmaster I give all the manors messuages lands and hereditaments which are now vested in me as a Trustee or Mortgagee only unto Jackson Walton of Warnford Court in the City of London, Gentleman, John Parrott the elder of Mitcham Surgeon and Richard Barnett of Clarence Row Pentonville in the county of Middlesex Gentleman upon such Trusts and subject to such equity of redemption... and I give my copyhold messuage at Carlton Place Brighthelmstone in the County of Sussex now in the occupation of Mr Knowles ... upon trust that they permit my wife Ann Dempster to receive the rents for her life or permit my wife to reside therein during her life without paying rent and do after the decease of my wife assure the said messuage to such one or more of my children as my wife shall by her will appoint And I give my messuage called Baron House situate at Mitcham with the Gardens and all the lands adjoining held by me as tenant from year to year together with all my furniture, fixtures, plate, linen, china and books in and about the same (except such parts hereinafter given to my wife and grandson) and the goodwill of the business or concern now carried on at Baron House unto my eldest son James Dempster subject to the payment of an annuity of £40 to my mother during her life ... to each of my four sons James Dempster, Richard Dempster, John Dempster & Robert Dempster successively in the order in which they are here named or or such of them if any as shall have obtained the age of 25 years at the time of my decease ... six equal shares ... sons James, Richard, John at 25, Robert at 25, daughter Sarah Norris the wife of Thomas Norris, late of Holborn, Mdx, upholsterer, daughter Mary Ann Dempster ... and whereas by indenture of settlement dated 12 July 1811 made between me and my wife Ann ... after her decease to my eldest son James and his wife and children ... for my granddaughter Frances Dempster, the daughter of my son James Dempster and of his first wife Augusta Frances ... the large silver cup to my grandson George Dempster, son of my son James Dempster, and I give unto my mother Elizabeth Dempster, to my brother John Dempster, and to my sister Elizabeth Smith £20 a piece for mourning ... to my friend John Peter Cook of Brighthelmstone, schoolmaster £20... Signed and witnessed at Brighton by Charlotte Annan, Marlbro' Place; Robert Rogers, North St, Brighton, draper, William Scott, New Street, Brighton, artist...
     Robert Osborn Dempster married Mary Ann Denman, daughter of John Denman and Ann Heatherly, on 17 November 1825 in Willingdon, Sussex. Married by licence. They were both single of this parish and the ceremony was witnessed by Richard Dempster & her brother and sister Arnold & Louisa Denman. The marriage licence dated 15 November stated that Robert Dempster of Willingdon was aged 29 and upwards and Mary Ann Denman of same was aged 22 and upwards, spinster, for Willingdon church. He was a churchwarden in Willingdon, in March 1828. Robert was a tenant farmer in Willingdon. Robert Dempster shared the tenancy of Park Farm with his wife's family, managing the estate for the Lords of the Manor of Willingdon, absentee owners. He was not eligible to vote in the 1832 election, although his brother-in-law, Arnold Denman was.
     He first appears as a tenant of Offimgton Farm in Jan 1833 paying rates for land, by June he was payimg taxed on a house & land.
     He had a fall from his horse at Worthing Sands and he was mentally deranged and suffered subsequent depression culminating in his death. Robert was a yeoman farmer in 'Offington Farm', Broadwater, in 1836. He was of Offington Farm, Broadwater near Worthing and a tenant of James Daubuz of Offington House. The farm was assessed at £343.10s. with the Poor Rate due to be collected on 18 Oct 1837, £25/15/3.
     Robert Osborn Dempster made a will dated 6 May 1837 in Broadwater. Robert Dempster of Offington in the parish of Broadwater in the county of Sussex yeoman I give all my estate and effects whatsoever unto my dear wife and I appoint my said wife and Arnold Denman of Willingdon in the county of Sussex yeoman and George Dempster of Brighthelmstone in the county of Sussex executrix and executors. Signed Robert Dempster. Witnesses: Richard Dempster & Thos. Turner.
     Robert died by suicide on 20 June 1837 in 'Offington Farm', Broadwater, Sussex, aged 40. He threw himself down an 80 foot well on his farm. He had been depressed since a fall from his horse two years earlier. A coroner's inquest was held regarding his death. Distressing suicide - An inquest was held on Wednesday at Hill Barn, near Broadwater upon the body of Mr Robert Dempster, of Offington. The deceased had for some years past, been the tenant of Offington Farm, and it appears that nearly two years since, he fell from his horse on the Worthing sands, and somewhat disordered his mental faculties and from that time his spirits have been more or less depressed; but as it was usual for him to be in a low state, any particular behaviour or appearance were not noticed by those about him. Mr Dempster, in April last, went away for the benefit of his health, and had lately returned; during his absence, Mr Turner, (a gentleman who has recently retired from the farming business) a friend of the deceased, managed the farm, and has remained there to the present time. On Saturday last, when Mr T was passing near the Well-house at Hill Barn, he heard some one inside - he went in and saw the deceased looking down the well, deceased said he was merely admiring the buckets, they being made in a superior manner, - they both went out together and no more notice was taken of the circumstance. On Tuesday morning, deceased rose unusually early, and Mr Turner saw him coming down stairs, and observed that he was suffering very much from "lowness of spirits"; they took breakfast together, after which deceased appeared better and said he sould ride out, (which he had not done before since Mr Turner's stay there) when Mr T offered to go with him, but the other declined; deceased accordingly went, in a different direction from Hill Barn. About one o'clock, a woman living at Hill Barn, saw the deceased sitting on a stile near the well-house, and almost immediately afterwards he was seen by her child to go into the house and get down the well, 80 feet in depth with 6 or 7 feet of water; the child instantly informed the mother, who communicated the circumstance to a workman who had just returned from his dinner. He directly went to the well, and looking down heard a commotion of the water, as if some one was struggling, - assistance was immediately sent for, but her place being a considerable distance from deceased's residence and from any other houses, it was some time before the deceased was got up; he was quite dead. It is supposed that as there no bruises on his person, he hung with his hands on each side of the well and then dropped down; he had taken off his coat, and his horse was hid up close by. The jury returned a verdict that he destroyed himself in a fit of temporary derangement. He was buried on 24 June 1837 in St Mary's, Broadwater. The gravestone reads: Sacred to the memory of Robert Osborn Dempster who departed this life on the 20th June 1837 in the 41st year of his age. Also of George, youngest son of the above who died at sea on his passage from Melbourne 5th Dece 1861 aged 31 years.
     The entire, execellent, true Southdown stock ... belonging to Mr Robert Dempster, lately deceased will be offered at Offington Farm, near Worthing, consisting of about 700 ewes and young sheep to correspond and some rams.
     The Sussex advertiser & Brighthelmston journal Monday October 8, 1838 announced: Sales by Auction, Offington, near Worthing. Genuine modern and valuable household furniture, capital bedding, new patent mangle and effects. By Verrall and Son. On this day Monday 8 Oct 1838 at 12 o'clock precisely.
The genuine and valuable household furniture, excellent brewing utensils and other effects of Mr R Dempster, deceased, at Offington Farm, in the parish of Boradwater.
The furniture of the dining and drawing rooms includes a capital set of mahogany telescope dining tables, ditto pedestal sideboard, ditto set of chairs and elegant rose-wood loo table, set of imitation ditto chairs in green morine, sofa, curtains etc, (to march) two brilliant chimney glasses, large Brussels carpet *nearly new), hearth rugs, fenders, fire bras, etc. two capital four post bedsteads with morine furniture, prime goose feather bed, horse-hair and wool mattresses, large Witney blankets, mahogany wardrobe, large clothes press, chest of drawers, commodes, dressing and washing tables, glasses, Brussels and Kidderminster carpets, the furniture of the servants' bed room, a (nearly new) patent mangle, good set of brewing utensils, box church, diary articles, kitchen and pantry requisites, and numerous other valuables.
Printed catalogues to be had at the Norfolk Arms, Arundel : Mackenzie's Printing Office, Worthing ; and of the Auctioneers Lewes.
     Robert Osborn Dempster was mentioned as being deceased in the will of James Dempster dated 18 August 1841.
     His will was proved on 24 July 1860 at the Principal Probate Registry, London. 24 July 1860 the will of Robert Dempster proved by Mary Ann Dempster of Osborne Villas, Cliftonville, Hove, widow & relict & one of the surviving executors power reserved of a like grant to Arnold Denman the other surviving executor. Effects under £300.

Children of Robert Osborn Dempster and Mary Ann Denman

Mary Ann Denman

(2 August 1804 - 9 January 1891)
     Mary Ann Denman was christened on 2 August 1804 in Willingdon, Sussex. She was the daughter of John Denman and Ann Heatherly. Mary Ann Dempster witnessed the second marriage of James Dempster and Sarah Johnson on 28 June 1815, Ifield, Surrey; He was described as a widower of Mitcham.
     Mary Ann Denman married Robert Osborn Dempster, son of James Dempster and Sarah Osborn, on 17 November 1825 in Willingdon, Sussex. Married by licence. They were both single of this parish and the ceremony was witnessed by Richard Dempster & her brother and sister Arnold & Louisa Denman. The marriage licence dated 15 November stated that Robert Dempster of Willingdon was aged 29 and upwards and Mary Ann Denman of same was aged 22 and upwards, spinster, for Willingdon church.
     In Robert Osborn Dempster's will dated 6 May 1837 in Broadwater, Mary Ann Denman was named as executrix of the estate; Robert Dempster of Offington in the parish of Broadwater in the county of Sussex yeoman I give all my estate and effects whatsoever unto my dear wife and I appoint my said wife and Arnold Denman of Willingdon in the county of Sussex yeoman and George Dempster of Brighthelmstone in the county of Sussex executrix and executors. Signed Robert Dempster. Witnesses: Richard Dempster & Thos. Turner. She was widowed on 20 June 1837 on the death of her husband Robert Osborn Dempster.
     Mary Ann Denman appeared on the 1841 census in Willingdon, Sussex. Mary Dempster 35, Ind; George 9; Fanny 4; Ruth Mewett 15 servant, all born in Sussex. William and Robert were at their uncle John's school at Turnham Green.
     Mary Ann Dempster was mentioned in the will of James Dempster dated 18 August 1841.
     Mary Ann Denman was assessed under the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836 on 15 July 1842 in Willingdon, Sussex. Theh property was owned by Samuel Newnham and others also occupied the site.
     Mary Ann Denman lived at Willingdon, Sussex, 1845. Mrs Dempster headed the listing for Willingdon in the Post Office directory.
     Mary Ann Denman was recorded on the 1851 census in Risden House, Hawkhurst, Kent. Mary Ann Dempster, widow, aged 46, born Willingdon, was housekeeper to George French, unmarried aged 30, a landed proprietor and fundholder of 500 acres employing 18 labourers, plus five servants.
     Mary Ann Denman lived at 6 Osborne Villas, Cliftonville, Hove, from 1858-1860. She proved her husband's will from this address. She was an executor of Robert Osborn Dempster's estate on 24 July 1860 in the Principal Probate Registry, London.
     Mary Ann Denman appeared on the 1861 census in 6 Osborne Villas, Hove, Sussex. Mary Ann Dempster, head, widow, 56, lady, born Willingdon, Sussex. She had two general servants William Farmer (or possibly Turner) aged 42, born Hants, and his wife Ann, aged 39, born Hungerford, Berkshire. Living next door were Ellmans.
     Administration of the estate of George Dempster was granted to Mary Ann Denman, on 22 January 1862 in PPR, Administration of the personal estate of George Dempster late of Emerald Hill Melbourne in South Australia (sic) bachelor deceased who died 5 Dec 1861 at Sea was granted to Mary Ann Dempster of 6 Osborn villas Cliftonville Brighton SSX, widow, mother. Effects under 300 pounds.
     Mary Ann Denman appeared on the 1871 census in 34 York Rd, Hove, Sussex. She was living alone in a lodging house, aged 66, no occupation, born Willingdon.
     Mary Ann Denman appeared on the 1881 census in 34 York Rd, Hove. Mary Ann Dempster, aged 76, a shareholder, born Willingdon.
     Mary Ann Denman made a will dated 10 July 1890 in Guildford, Surrey. This is the last will and testament of me Mary Ann Dempster residing at Guildford, Surrey, widow I appoint my son Robert Dempster of Glenthorne Guildford executor and I bequeath my property of every description to my two sons Robert Dempster now residing at Guildford and William Dempster now in Australia in equal shares. Witnesses: Hannah Davis, Glencairn, Martyr Rd., M E Jakes, Glencairn, Martyr Rd.
     Mary died on 9 January 1891 in 'Glencairn', Martyr Rd, Guildford, Surrey, aged 86. Death of Mrs Mary Ann Dempster widow of the late Mr Robert Osborn Dempster.. She was buried after 9 January 1891 in Willingdon, Sussex.
     Her will was proved on 24 January 1891 at PPR. The will of Mary Ann Dempster late of Glencairn, Martyr Rd, Guildford Surrey, widow who died 9 Jan 1891 at Glencairn proved by Robert Dempster of Glenthorne Guildford retired medical officer the son, sole executor. Personal estate £1452.13.4. Duplicate issued Feb 1891, resworn Aug 1891 £1015.3.4.

Children of Mary Ann Denman and Robert Osborn Dempster

William Dempster

(14 December 1829 - 16 June 1898)
     William Dempster was born on 14 December 1829 in Willingdon, Sussex, England. He was the son of Robert Osborn Dempster and Mary Ann Denman. William Dempster was christened on 12 January 1830 in St Mary, Willingdon.
     William Dempster appeared on the 1841 census in the household of John Smith Dempster and Catherine Lee Wafford in 'Falkland House', Turnham Green, Chiswick, Middlesex.
     William Dempster arrived between 1851 and 1852 at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A Mr Dempster departed Adelaide for Melbourne per Marchioness of Duoro, barque Woodford 27 September 1852.
Argus passenger index 1846-1851: Dempster, per Victoria Packet departed Melbourne 29 Jan 1851 for Hobart Town.
He possibly followed his cousins - Richard Alfred who went to NSW in 1846, John Wafford to SA in 1846, James Edwin to SA by 1851. Another cousin Charlotte went to NSW in 1867 from NZ..
     The argus advertised on 24 May 1856: A general meeting of the Ship wrights of Melbourne, Williamstown, and Sandridge, will be hold at Mr. O'Farrell's large Iron Store, Bay-street, Sandridge, on Tuesday, 27th inst., at Seven o'clock p.m. As business of importance will be brought before the meeting, all shipwrights are parti- cularly requested to attend.
By order of Committee of Management,
William Dempster.
     He may have been the Mr Dempster, Defence Forces Gunner, Victorian Volunteer Artillery Regiment, who was a volunteer to quell the convict uprising when Inspector General of Prisons John Price was murdered.
     He applied for the posiiton of Town Clerk of Williamstown in May 1857 but did not succeed. William was a bank manager for the ES&A Bank from November 1857, in Williamstown, Victoria. In February 1861 he was first placed in charge 'temporarily' at the Williamstown office of the Bank and took up residence in the quarters supplied by the Bank in that location. His salary at that stage was recorded as £300 p.a. "with house, fuel and £50 p.a. for servant". In April 1873 his basic salary was £400 p.a. It appears that he remained in that post (on a permanent basis) until Feb 1897, when as seen in a photostat copy of letter, it was recommended to the Bank's Board in London that after 40 years in the Bank and at the age of 67, he be retired on a pension of £150 p.a. after a period (indefinite) of leave on full pay. The reference to a reduction in salary in the letter is, in part, also related to the fact that in 1893, during the "financial crisis" of that year, the E S & A Chartered Bank after closing its doors for several months, was reconstituted under the name of E S & A Ltd.
     Letter dated 16 Feb 1897 from E S & A Bank to London Board: I have now to make some arrangements for the retirement of Mr William Dempster who for many years has been our manager at Williamstown but whose age & health make it impossible for him to continue his duties. He is 67 years of age, has been in the service of the Bank for 40 years, and has always been one of our must successful and valued branch managers. Of late years the business at Williamstown has considerably decreased owing to he removal of the greater part of the shipping trade to Port Melbourne and two years ago upon a general revision of salaries Mr Dempster was reduced from £400 to £300 to make it proportional to his decreased responsibilities. I propose, with the directors sanction for which I now ask, to allow him leave of absence for a time on full pay & then give him a pension of £150 a year.
According to a letter from the Town Hall, Williamstown in 1961, in 1860 he succeeded F A Stratford as manager of the Williamstown branch of the English Scottish & Australian Chartered Bank which was then in Thompson Street and later moved to 139 Nelson Place. He was a close friend of the Rev. George Wilkinson and acted as Clerk of Works when the present Holy Trinity Church was built. On his arrival in 1851 he accepted an appointment as counter assistant and clerk in the ship-chandlery of Probert & Verdon at Port Melbourne. It was George F Verdon who secured his appointment to the Williamstown Bank after William had assisted him in a political campaign. He resigned from the bank in 1897 due to ill-health. He was prominent in local affairs - municipal, industrial & charitable.
     The E S & A Chartered Bank was the first banking concern to open a branch at Williamstown in 1854 as their second branch outside Melbourne. According to the City of Williamstown Conservation study the former E S & A Bank at 139 Nelson Place, Williamstown was constructed in 1873 under architect Leonard Perry. It was of brick and contained 10 rooms and was increased to 14 rooms in 1893. Terry was also working on the Anglican church at that time. The branch was sold in 1943 and subsequently used as a seamen's mission after renovations and then became a Navy Club.
     William Dempster married Margaret Herbert Davies, daughter of Rev Thomas Davies and Mary Reddish, on 1 May 1861 in Holy Trinity Church of England, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia. William Dempster was listed in a directory dated 1868 as a bank manager at Thompson Street, Williamstown, Victoria.
     The Williamstown Chronicle on 10 Ict 1874 reported: PRESENTATION TO MR DEMPSTER.- The happy consummation to the wishes and efforts of the parishioners of the Church of England in Williamstown, as seen in the handsome church now ornamenting the town, is very greatly due to the unflagging energy of Mr. W . Dempster, formerly church
warden and now guardian, and we are glad to see that the members have recognised the good services rendered the church by that gentleman. On Thursday evening a very chaste epergne, procured for the purpose by a few of the leading churchmen, was presented to Mr. Dempster by the rev. incumbent, who fully expressed the feelings of the donors in the merited compliment he paid the recipient for the strong interest he had taken in the welfare of the
church.
. He was an executor of Mary Reddish's estate on 25 November 1881 in Victoria.
     He was the subject of Sketches of local celebrities as a prominent local banker in The Williamstown chronicle on 1 Oct 1887..
     In Mary Ann Denman's will dated 10 July 1890 in Guildford, Surrey, William Dempster was named as heir; This is the last will and testament of me Mary Ann Dempster residing at Guildford, Surrey, widow I appoint my son Robert Dempster of Glenthorne Guildford executor and I bequeath my property of every description to my two sons Robert Dempster now residing at Guildford and William Dempster now in Australia in equal shares. Witnesses: Hannah Davis, Glencairn, Martyr Rd., M E Jakes, Glencairn, Martyr Rd.
     William Dempster in Toorak, Victoria, sent a letter dated 14 March 1893 to Mary Frederica Dora Dempster. A letter from William Dempster to his daughter Dora on her departure for England reads:- .
My dear Dora
A few last words before you finally start. Your telegram confirmed ... impressions of your ... to Adelaide. It is nice to have such a good beginning to a voyage enabling you to ... and to know people before they disappear from the scene for a time longer or shorter as the case may be.
Your going has left a great hole which it does not seem possible to fill but appearances are well maintained but there are ton hearts beneath them.
I must now introduce you to my people. Rob is a round ball of a fellow who had had to give up tennis on account of the rotundity. He is a straight out sort of fellow. Very ... and the enemy of humbug & a firm believer in his wife who I fancy you will like. Katie and Annie two daughters are with them. The former being a good little mother to two grandchildren, double orphans. Rose the mother died just after they left India and Frank Hebbert not long after her. Mary and her husband Capt. Dawson are home from India for a year or two. The latter a son of General Dawson, late of India, and now retired in England. And there you have them all except for offshoots. Robert's address is Glenthorn Rd, Guildford, about 20 miles from London. I am sending your portraits on so that they may know what they have to expect.
The carrier has just brought the cargo of logs and there is to be a grand ...
Tell Maimee that Clara Kelly is to have her boat and I expect she will cherish it jealously
One more goodbye, God bless & keep you all
Your loving father
. The Williamstown chronicle on 14 April 1894, reported that Mr Dempster the genial manager of the E S & A Bank, left this week to enjoy his annual holidays at Table-Top, one of the prettiest colonial health resorts. Mr F Power has taken charge of the Nelson Place bank in conjunction with his branch in Ferguson Street during Mr Dempster's absence... William Dempster was widowed on 25 May 1896 on the death of his wife Margaret Herbert Davies. A Williamstown newspaper dated 26 Feb 1898 reported in the Corresoondence column: The Messrs [Misses?] Dempster, who have been staying at Cowes, Phillip Island, accompanied by their little nieces for the last six weeks, returned to 'Oma' Toorak on Wedensday last. Mrs Arthur Hooper and her children who were staying with them, returned to 'Enmore'm Toorak, on the same day.
     William Dempster made a will dated 5 June 1898 in Toorak, Victoria. He left all his property to his daughters Georgia Frances May, Fanny Madeline Elma, Margaret Kate Lilian, and Maria Huon & appointed his daughter Georgia Frances May executor. The will was witnessed by J W Hall & A F Hooper.
     William died on 16 June 1898 in 'Stratford', Bruce Street, Toorak, Victoria, aged 68. On 18 June 1898 the Williamstown chronicle reported Obituary - Death of Mr W Dempster. After a lengthy illness, Mr W Dempster, late manager of the local branch of the English and Scottish Bank passed away peacefully at this residence "Stratford", Bruce Street, Toorak, at 9 o'clock on Thursday evening last from exhaustion, at the age of three score and eight. Mr Dempster arrived in Victoria in 1851, when he accepted an engagement under Probert and Verdon (the late Mr George Verdon) ship chandlers, Port Melbourne, which firm shortly afterwards made their headquarters at Williamstown. In the year 1860 he was appointed manager of the local branch of the English and Scottish Bank - due to a very large extant to the influence that the late George Verdon had, which position he occupied till March 1897, when he was compelled to retire through ill-health. Mr Dempster was one of the originators of the Gas Company and was appointed managing director upon its being established, which he filled until shortly after his retirement from the Bank, when his health would not permit of him carrying out the duties any longer. Ads manager he worked the institution up from its infancy and through zeal, perseverance and energy he succeeded in securing for the shareholders dividends ranging from 9 1/2% to 12 1/2%. He also supervised the building of the Holy Trinity church and for years acted as an elder in the church. For many years Mr Dempster filled the office treasurer to the Town Council, who has since been succeeded by Mr power, the present manager. He was a son of the later Robert Osborne Dempster, Willington, Sussex, and a brother to the late Surgeon General Dempster, of the 34th Indian Regiment. The deceased remains will leave his late residence tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) at 3 o'clock for the Booroondara Cemetery, where his late wife was buried two years ago.. He was buried on 19 June 1898 in Boroondara cemetery, Kew.
     His will was proved on 11 August 1898 at Victoria. Proved by Georgia Frances May Dempster of Bruce Street, Toorak, real estate less than £35 and personal estate worth £921. During probate of his estate, his daughters May, Daisy & Malla were living at Boundary Rd, Toorak. Note that Malla's middle name was given as Huon not Hunn in his will.

Children of William Dempster and Margaret Herbert Davies