Laban White 1794-1873
Laban ( pronounced Law-Bawn) WHITE was born in Pedington, Wiltshire, England in 1794,the son of Robert WHITE 1754-1829 and Mary HOLLOWAY 1752-1844, Laban was in his early twenties when he married Jane WILLIAMS nee EVANS 1778-1846, a widow with a daughter called Mary Ann born in 1801 and Jane was aged about thirty-eight. There was one child from this marriage, also, Jane WHITE, baptised in Bristol in December 1817.
Laban WHITE had served an apprenticeship as chemist and druggist in Bristol but is listed in a Bristol directory as china and glass dealer. In October 1821 he was committed to Bristol Gaol on a charge of embezzlement. He was sent to trial the following January and sentenced to fourteen years transportation. He left in the convict ship "Eliza" on her second voyage to New South Wales. The ship arrived in November 1822. Laban was assigned to a wealthy landowner, William Cox, who also happened to be a friend of Laban's parents,and sent inland to Bathurst.
His wife Jane, daughter Jane, and step-daughter Mary Ann WILLIAMS were left behind in England. It was probable that the women were virtually destitute. Some support came from Uncle William WILLIAMS and his wife Harriett, nee BALL-WILMOTT. A sentence of fourteen years meant that Laban could never return to Britain. The women had not expected to ever see Laban again.
However by 1828 the NSW Governor Sir Ralph DARLING was encouraging families to emigrate and join their convict menfolk. Jane WHITE with her daughters Jane White and Mary Ann Williams embarked for Sydney on the "Borneo". After various mishaps, the ship arrived in port. Laban WHITE drove to the docks to meet them.
In the intervening time Laban had been employed by William COX, first as butler and then estate manager at Clarendon, near Windsor. However while at Bathurst he had fathered a child, Lydia Jane,1827-1862 to a young convict woman named Mary JOHNSTONE. The child was adopted into another family, although Laban acknowledged and supported his daughter.
In 1845 Laban began a relationship with Lucy BROWN 1814-1876 The wife of Jesse UPTON 1806-1872 and just coming out of a relationship with William NORRIS 1813-1843 Lucy and Laban produced a son Laban WHITE b: 5 June 1846 3 months after his wife Jane died on 12 March (probably wishing she'd stayed in England)June was a big month for Laban for just 25 days after Laban junior was born, on the 30 June Laban walks down the aisle with the twice widowed Mary HOWE 1798-1882 Mary's previous husbands had been firstly George LODER 1796-1894 then Thomas DARGIN 1800-1843 both very famous and prosperous men in the Hawkesbury district.
Laban too became a prosperous and well respected member of the community. He was local chemist, druggist Auctioneer and in 1860 appointed the Coroner for the district of Windsor.
Laban's daughter Jane WHITE married George GUEST at St Peter's Church of England, Richmond in 1834. There were fourteen children, all (half) nieces and nephews of Mary Ann WILLIAMS. Laban's daughter Lydia Jane WHITE married Richard EDWARDS 1823-1862,a chemist from Herefordshire, the son of Thomas EDWARDS and Susan BENNETT. There were five children from this marriage.
Mary Ann sought employment in NSW. She was appointed by the Misses MARSDEN to be the first matron of the Parramatta School of Industry, which opened in June 1829. The school was troubled financially, but Mary Ann received a glowing report from the trustees.
In September 1831 Mary Ann embarked for Paihia in the Bay of Islands, where she was to assist with the European "Girls' School" of the Church Missionary Society. She later transferred to Kerikeri Mission where she assisted with the "Native Girls' School".
In January 1833 she married Catechist James PREECE in the CMS chapel overlooking the Kerikeri Basin. It was said that her young Maori pupils helped to stitch her wedding dress.
Mrs Jane WHITE died in 1846.Buried at Richmond
Her tombstone bears the words "Thy Will By Done".
Laban WHITE died in 1873.also interred with his wife Jane and daughter Jane and and son-in-law George GUEST
Oh! Yes and Jesse UPTON in 1853 was indicted for bigamy at the Central Criminal Court, in Sydney Before Mr. Justice THERRY. The first witness (Jesse Upton's sister Ann BOLLARD nee UPTON, called failed to produce proof of marriage to Lucy Brown and the charge was abandoned and prisoner acquitted. Including Lucy Brown, Jesse had three wives and died at Emu Plains on the 15 November 1872, without ever having divorced Lucy who died four years later.