William Howlett

(1819 - 1884) of Ampton, Suffolk in England, Macclesfield and environs of South Australia

William Howlett is my great great grandfather.

William Howlett was born in Ampton, Suffolk, England on 7 January 1819, the son of Charles Howlett (1792) and Temperance Channel (1794).

On the 14th April 1841 William Howlett and Mary Hogben on licence number 452 were married at the Holy Trinity Church Adelaide South Australia by Colonel Chaplain B. Howard. William Roberts and Ann Colls were witnesses.

More about William Howlett soon... but in the interim you can take a look at some Howlett family notes given to me around 1990 by the late Bill Howlett, of Flagstaff Hill SA, the original handtyped notes of which I re-transcribed in 2003. There is also an entertaining story of William Howlett and Mary Hogben also largely compiled around 2003, after many years of research, also by Bill Howlett and which I also assisted with the research at that time. Please note that this material was compiled some considerable time ago and since that time more material and records are available which may indicate some inaccuracies which could not be confirmed at the time.

From various research avenues, it appears that William was earlier a crew member on several ships under Captain Walter Watson Hughes. William later became a shepherd for Walter Watson Hughes in the Macclesfield area near Adelaide. Sir Walter Watson Hughes was noted in later times with the discovery of copper in South Australia.

In a diary entry of 1848, mention is made of a visit to William Howlett and David Harvey by William Dorling which I have copied here as I think it presents a small window of that period.

".... on 4th November I started for Mount Barker township... here are valleys that are scattered over with here and there a tree or shrub which exceeds in beauty half the gentlemen's parks in England ... - about two miles before I came to Macclesfield I stop at a small viallage (W   gate) with a man who came from Clare in 1840 Suffolk - he told me he had a wife and 9 children and the amount of capital that he and his family had on arrival was 1s -6d and now he has got two secytions of land a section is 80 acres he has two houses and a splendid crop of wheat all his own (is this not an independent man) so I bid him good morning and pressed on for Macclesfield and arrived safe at 12 o'clock morn.  I made enquiries for David Harvey and William Howlett and I found Harvey had moved 6 miles further to Strathalbyn and Willm Howlett had gone this day to visit him.  But I found their dwelling house and had dinner with Howletts wife.  The first thing I had give to me at Macclesfield was a glass of wine and the last thing my dinner... as soon as the rain was over I started for Strathbyn... I could see two men ... respectfully drest pacing slowly as if for pleasure down this natural park I fancied it might perhaps be Harvey coming a short distance with Howlett and so I found it to be and as I drew near to them I began to think I was mistaken at last I met them and asked them if they could tell me the where D harvey lived yes he answered - AH - WHAT - is this a Dorling - it is so I replied and this proved to be two of my fellow countrymen - you cannot conceive the pleasure we had for about an hour and quarter in this pritty valley - chief of or conversation was about old England and the friends we had left behind wishing them all to enjoy as good health as we do   at last we bid farewell to Wm Howlett then DH and I went to his new home ... he took a good section of land the 25th March 1948 and has built a house and ploughed  5 50 acres and has got a good crop of wheat and barley and an abundance of wood for fencing and the fire - all it costs him is the trouble to cut and cart it he has got 9 cows 5 calfs 8 bullocks for work and 5 pigs hens and chickens in abundance.  He has formed a first rate garden and has grapes figs peach apricots nectarines mulberry trees all growing in the natural soil.  He has currants gooseberries of different sorts and every variety of fruit and vegetables.. I stood at his front door and see the bank of the river murray 32 miles distant I also see that great lake victoria.  ...we had very little time to sleep that night he sends his kindest love to his beloved mother and to all his friends at Ampton or elsewhere.  D.H. sends his respects to brother Samuel and he say he should like to have a tune with Samuel on the pleasant woods of South Australia it would echoe through the valleys... "