Agnes Rutherford and Henry Parker

Agnes Rutherford was born on 11 April 1827 in St. Boswells, Roxburgh, Scotland, the second child of Maney Easton and George Rutherford.1 Agnes Rutherford and her sister Isabella both came to Tasmania, arriving in Hobart from Liverpool on 2nd December 1856; they had traveled on the Sir W.F. Williams, Agnes' age was given as 27 (she was, in fact, 29 by then), Isabella's, correctly, as 17. Both were 'of the Church of Scotland, could read & write, were single, and had been born in Roxburghshire'; both were also described as 'needlewoman and domestic servant'. Each had paid £16-0-0d for their passage and, in the column for 'Name of Person on Whose Application Sent Out' was written the name of their aunt, Isabella Oliver.2

Agnes had an extended relationship with one Henry Parker as no marriage registration can be found for the couple. Their first child, Manny Parker, was born on 1 November 1858 in Hobart, Tasmania. Henry Parker, the father, was recorded as a timber merchant. Agnes registered the event and her address was recorded as 42 Bathurst street, Hobart.3 The use of the name Manny was in honour of Agnes Rutherford's mother and grandmother.

A second child followed but was registered as an un-named female, born 4 September 1860 in Hobart, Tasmania. Once again, Henry was recorded as a timber merchant, and Agnes registered the event with the same address in Bathurst street.4

Henry Parker next appears in the newspapers as a witness in a case involving a simple fraud.

BEFORE the Stipendiary Magistrate. Mr. Power, and Mr. Morrison.

AN ALLEGED SWINDLE.-Isaac Simpson, an elderly person, appeared to answer a charge by Patrick Breslan of Port Cygnet, for that he being the bailee of certain money, namely £5, did on the 11th July fraudulently convert £4 thereof to his own use.

Mr. Moriarty defended the accused, who pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor deposed that he resided at Port Cygnet and was a splitter and farmer. He came to town on Tuesday, and on Friday drew some money from Mr. Parker, timber merchant ; namely three £5 notes, two half-crowns, and one shilling. He changed one of the £5 notes to pay for the freight of some timber, and for the stacking. Witness went to prisoner's shop and bought some things to the amount of 5s, he gave him a £5 note to pay the 5s. with, and after going into a back room returned into the shop and said he must go for change, as he had not change enough, he returned again and handed witness 15s, witness asked him for the rest of the change, he said, what change? Witness said the £4. He said witness must have made a mistake. He went out again for the £4, as he said, and came back, when he ordered witness out of his place as it was only a swindle. Witness went away. Prisoner did not give him the £4. Witness went to Mr. Boyd, the Superintendent of Police and reported the case to him. A woman was in the shop when witness was there. Witness had not known prisoner before. He was quite sober, and the prisoner appeared to be sober.

Cross-examined : I did not go across to the public house where the note was changed. I do not know Simmon's public house, there is a public house at the corner. I have no recollection of writing my name across a note at a public house as the one you sent to get changed, it never happened. I went up Bnsbane-street to this man's house, I had another £1 note which a man at Port Cygnet gave me to buy some things with. I was lodging at the house of a man named John Monks. I did not tell what money I had. It was between one and two in the afternoon when I went to prisoner's house. The reason why I changed the £5 at prisoner's was that I wanted £1 notes. A woman and a big boy came across as I was going away, the woman having a bundle of notes in one hand, and one £1 note in another hand, which note she shewed me and asked if that was not the note I had given to the prisoner; I said by no means. I heard Simpson say "mark that note," but what note it was I can't say. I went away for the woman began to abuse me.

Mr. Moriarty submitted that there was not evidence to show a larcenous intent, he had a whole body of evidence to adduce, but it would be only taking up time unnecessarily.

The Bench said that there was nothing at present before them to warrant them in discharging the prisoner.

Henry Parker, timber merchant, proved that he paid prosecutor the three £5 notes and 6s yesterday. The £5 notes were two of the Union Bank, and one of the Commercial Bank.

Detective Morley proved that in consequence of information, he apprehended the prisoner, the prosecutor accompanying him to point him out.

Mi\ Moriarty again submitted that the case was not made out, and then there should be some confirmatory evidence of the prosecutor. Possibly in this case there was a mistake ; and if the Bench were to treat this case harshly, no tradesman in the town was safe. And persons charged under the Act ought to be dealt with, with caution. There should be the strictest proof of guilt, but there was no such proof in the case. He complained that Mrs. Simmons had not been called, and also that the prpsecutor had not given the statement respecting the woman and the boy until it was dragged out of him, which was a suspicious circumstance. It was clear that he had never tendered the £5 note, and the prisoner, a respectable tradesman in this town, ought not to be called upon for a defence, he (Mr. Moriarty) could not see that upon the evidence before them, there was any implication of guilt against tho prisoner, and nothing showed guilty knowledge. He said if every inhabitant of Hobart Town who had passed away a bad shilling had been dealt with, he had no hesitation in saying that nine-tenths of the citizens would have 'been at Port Arthur (a laugh).

Mr. Jones': I should be sorry to think there was so much bad money about.

Mr. Moriarty said he hoped the Bench would take his view of the case, and prevent the necessity of his calling evidence for the defence.

The Bench thought for the prisoner's own sake he had better call evidence.

Mr. Moriarty then asked for a remand to enable him to subpoena witnesses.

Their worships acceded to this request, and adjourned the case until Tuesday.

Mr. Moriarty applied for bail, but Mr. Jones observed that at present the case appeared so clear against the prisoner that he could not consent to bail him.

The prisoner was then remanded.5

The outcome of the case is unknown. The year after that event Henry and Agnes had their third child and first boy when an un-named male was born on 6 January 1863 in Hobart, Tasmania. Henry was still a timber merchant and the family were still in Bathurst street, except this time Henry registered the event, signing with his mark, meaning he couldn't read or write.6

A fourth child, and third daughter, Violet Robina Selby Parker, was born 16 November 1864 in Hobart, Tasmania. Henry was a timber merchant but a friend, H. Warner living in Melville street, registered the event.7

Six months later Henry was back in court, this time attempting to reclaim outstanding funds from a business transaction.


Mr. Graves appeared for the plaintiff, who claimed £16 5s. 10d. balance on the sale of certain timber.

Plea, not indebted, except as to £6 15s., which was paid into Court.

Mr. Crisp for the defence.

The plaintiff proved the sale of the timber at the price named.

Cross-examined : Defendant did not see the timber before he bought it. The plaintiff paid the freight, which with £6 15s. paid into Court, made £13 9s. 10d., but that was less than the value of the timber.

Alfred Burbury, who had inspected the timber, proved the value, and that some of the posts were bad.

The defence was that the sum paid was all that the timber was worth.

Henry Parker, the defendant, proved that in December last he purchased certain timber which was in Mr. Lomas's craft ; he did not see it. 25s. was the market price of posts and rails at the time, but witness offered 30s. on the assurance that it was good marketable timber. The full value of the posts and rails was 15s., and the boards 6s. not 8s. as charged.

George Green, builder, valued the boards at 6s., and Henry Marsh also valued the timber.

Mr. Graves having replied, the Commissioner summed up, and the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, damages £6 18s. in addition to the amount paid into Court.8

Agnes and Henry fifth child and third boy was Gilbert Ernest Parker, born 17 November 1866 in Hobart, Tasmania. The boy's father was recorded as Henry Parker, timber merchant, and his mother Agnes registered the event, with the family's address still Bathurst street, Hobart.9

In February 1869 Henry was once again in court, this time being sued by a former business partner and friend over lost funds through a shared business transaction.


BEFORE Mr. Commissioner A. B. Jones.

The Court resumed at 2 o'clock.


Mr. D'Emden for plaintiff. Mr. Gill for defendant.

Henry Joseph Warner, sued Henry Parker, for £6 5s. for goods, money paid, money received by defendant and on account stated.

Henry Joseph Warner, timber merchant, New Wharf, the plaintiff, proved that for some years he had had dealings with defendant in business; they had had joint speculations together; but those were specific transactions without a general partnership. About the 24th September, 1867, witness was going to New Zealand. He went on the 19th October. They were jointly interested in a galvanic battery and a pump. The 90 apple cases named in the particulars, the 1000 ft ½-inch boards, were witness's property, and also 250 5-ft. palings; he sold them to defendant at the prices named. Witness owed Mr. Parker something at that time, and gave him part of the things in payment, and to make up a sum of £30, leaving £3 10s. a balance in witness's favor, and the amount now claimed was made up of that sum and £1 5s., half of the battery, and £1 10s., half of the value of the pumps.

Cross-examined: I owed defendant £4 14s., and the articles I gave in payment were the apple cases, half Hutton's account 12s. 9d., and 250 palings. We were jointly interested in a barge, I contracted with defendant to buy his share at £350, he took a mortgage to secure £250, leav- ing a balance to be paid in cash of £100. I gave him a cheque for £70, leaving £30 to settle. That £30 was not for the purchase of my office, and the whole of the goods therein and there- upon. This is an account of what defendant bought for the £30, namely, the office and part of the goods therein. I sent this letter to de- fendant. I made no demand on him till I re- turned. (Letter read) I was in good circum- stances when I went away. I had a transaction with Mr. Colvin, paid him some cash, and was on his books for £30.

Re-examined: The ship was turned on my hands at New Zealand, Mr. Parker did not comply with the request in my letter to send a transfer of the ship and release the mortgage. It was afterwards sold for £525, and Mr. Parker was paid off with all interest.

By His Honor (at Mr. Gill's request): Mr. Parker was there when the account was made out. I have not brought this action from ill feeling towards Mr. Parker.

(At the request of Mr. D'Emden): Dr. Smart is the possessor of the galvanic battery, and the pump is in possession of Mr. Hawkesford of the Petrel.

Samuel Cantwell, carpenter, proved that on one occasion defendant desired him to tell his sister (Mrs. Warner) he had not forgotten that pound or two he owed her.

Cross-examined: I have no ill-feeling against Mr. Parker, and am perfectly friendly with him. I did not know what the money was.

Abraham Hawkesford, master of the Petrel, proved that he purchased the pump for posts and rails value over £3; before Mr. Warner went to New Zealand I agreed with him for the purchase of the pump.

Cross-examined: The price named by Mr. Warner was £2 10s.

This being the case for the plaintiff.

Mr. Gill expressed regret that disputes should have arisen between parties who had been so long friends. What Mr. Parker said, was, that he bought the office and other things of Mr. Warner for the £30, and before Mr. Warner went to New Zealand all the transactions between them were settled up.

Henry Parker, the defendant, stated that he bought the office for £10 and the other odds and ends for £20, the boards, pump, and battery were on the premises at the time, and were in- cluded. Witness denied Mr. Cantwell's statement that he had told him to tell his sister he would send up the pound or two.

Cross-examined by Mr. D'Emden: After I got that cheque, I did not sell Warner any sacks. He had sacks before then. I sold the galvanic battery to Dr. Smart for £2 10s.

Re-examined: I have always trusted to Mr. Warner in making up accounts.

Mr. D'Emden replied upon the case, and ex-pressed his confidence that the verdict must be for his client.

Decision reserved until Thursday next...10

Agnes and Henry's last child, their sixth and fourth daughter, was Nina Melgund Parker, born 12 June 1869 in Hobart, Tasmania.11 The unique given names have heavy associations with Roxburgh, In the mid 1800s Emma Eleanor Hislop, known as Nina and wife of William Hugh Viscount Melgund, was a writer of biographical studies. The Viscount later became the third Earl of Minto, the location of Agnes Rutherford's ancestral family.12

Agnes and Henry's eldest daughter Mannie, or Manie, married Henry Clarence White on 11 September 1877 in Hobart.13

WHITE-PARKER. - On the 11th September, at the residence of the bride's father, by special licence, by the Rev. J. Storie, Henry Clarence, son of Captain B. White, to Manie, eldest daughter of Henry Parker.14

Just over four years later Henry Parker died on 31 December 1881 in Hobart, Tasmania. He was recorded as 64 years old, a timber dealer, born in England. The cause of death was Cirrhosis.15

PARKER.-On December 31. at his late residence, 87 Campbell street, Henry Parker, aged 64 years. The funeral will leave his late residence THIS MORNING at 8 o'clock, when friends are respectfully invited to attend. Colonial papers please copy.16

Henry Parker's Last Will and Testament17

Agnes Parker, nee Rutherford, died on 16 April 1882 in Hobart, Tasmania. Agnes was recorded as the widow of a timber merchant, was aged 48 years, and was born in England. The cause of death was apoplexy, an archaic term for a stroke. The informant was the undertaker and in part this explains the incorrect location for Agnes' birth.18

PARKER.-On April 16, at her residence, Sandy Bay, Agnes Rutherford, widow of the late Henry Parker, aged 48 years.19

Agnes and Henry's daughter Manny Parker died the year after her mother on 9 December 1883 in Hobart.20

WHITE. On December 9, at her residence, 223, Macquarie-street, Manie, the beloved wife of H. C. White, in the 24th year of her age.21

Manny's sister Violet Parker must have emigrated from Tasmania as she married John James Wilson on 5 February 1886 in Geelong, Victoria.22

WILSON - PARKER. -On February 5, at the High Church, Presbyterian Manse, Geelong, by the Rev. J. U. Wardrop, James John, oldest son of Andrew S. Wilson, draper, late of Fitzroy, and grandson to the late Rev. William Wilson, to Violet Robina, third daughter of the late Henry Parker, of Hobart.23

Also in Victoria, the following news item from December 1889 probably refers to Henry and Agnes oldest son whose birth was registered as an un-named male.

PARKER.-On December 30, at Melbourne, of consumption; Henry, eldest son of the late Henry Parker, Hobart.24

In March 1890 the probate on Henry Parker's will was published:

TESTAMENTARY.-The following Probates and Letters of Administration have been issued : - Probates - ...Henry George Parker to Violet Robina Selby Wilson, £275;25

Later that same year, on 27 September 1890, Manny Parker's husband Henry Clarence White died in the Huon district.26

WHITE.-On Saturday, September 27, at his brother-in-law's residence, Huonville, Henry Clarence, only son of the late Captain Brydge White, in the 38th year of his age. The funeral will leave the above place for St. James' Church, Huonville, on TUESDAY, September 30, at 3 o'clock.27


The death is announced at Hobart of Captain H. C. White, a well.known shipmaster, the only son of Captain Brydge White. He sailed out of Hobart for many years as an apprentice and mate in the barque Helen, then under the charge of Captain George Evans, whoso position he afterwards took. He ultimately became master of the brigantine Camilla, and later of the barque Bella Mary, and afterwards entered the service of the T.S.N. Company. He was last in command of the steamer Southern Cross. He had been in the employ of Messrs Huddart, Parker and Co. as an agent, at Huonville. While travelling on the North-west Coast he had a fall from a coach, which injured his chest, and brought on again an old complaint, to which he ultimately succumbed.28

Two years later, Agnes and Henry's son Gilbert died in Launceston in May 1892 (formally registered under the name Ernest Parker).29

PARKER.-On May 4, 1892, at Launceston, Gilbert Ernest, youngest, son of the late Henry Parker, Hobart, aged 23 years.30

Nina Parker also moved to Victoria and died in a railway accident on 6 March 1945 in Collingwood.31


Struck by a truck being shunted at a rail crossing in Lulie st, Collingwood, about 10.30am yesterday, Nina M. Parker, 75, of 45 Maugie st, Abbotsford, was killed instantly. The truck was being shunted from a flour mill siding.32