Saturday, 9 November 2013

Frederick Adolphus Bartley

An informal family photo of Fred Bartley abt 1893

Frederick was the second child of Edward Bartley and Elizabeth Hannken. He was born 16 February 1862 at Union St in Auckland

When he was aged about 8 the family moved to Devonport, where Frederick attended the local public school. Later he worked with his father, becoming a draughtsman. Frederick shared his father’s interests in science, music and the arts. 

two images taken by Fred on one of his last outings with the Photographic Club, abt 1892, site unknown

With his Hannken cousins and brother Alf, Fred formed a string band which was very popular for functions and musical evenings in Devonport. The whole family were active members in the Devonport Musical Society as well as participating in musical events further afield.

Observer 30 April 1887 Fundraising concert for Devonport Tennis Club featuring Fred and Alf Bartley
Waitemata Minstrels - the Bartley/Hannken Band Observer 9 May 1885

On 26 November 1890 Frederick married Janet Shearer. The ceremony took place at the Shearer home in St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. Janet was born in Edinburgh and christened there on 5 April 1861. She had an elder sister Alison. Her father John was a joiner by trade and he was born at Keith in Banffshire. He had married Janet Johnston of Haddington at Tranent in 1856. The family had come to Auckland about 1862.
Observer 26 July 1890. The engagement notice of three Bartley siblings

Three years after their marriage Janet died of heart disease on 2 February 1893. It was a very difficult time for Frederick. Along with this personal tragedy financial conditions were very tight in Auckland at this time and he could find little employment with his father.

 Later in 1893 he left Auckland for Australia. This decision was made in a climate of excitement generated in the press concerning the potential of the Queensland gold fields. Many single men had already left New Zealand during the previous two years, spurred on by success stories such as these reports from across the Tasman:
Thames Star 17 April 1890
Thames Star 14 December 1892

Alf had made the trip to Sydney with him but decided to return home. Fred went on traveling towards the Queensland gold fields. 
From his letters home it is clear that he had a good deal of trouble finding work there. He kept himself in funds by playing his violin when there was no other employment.

 While he was staying at Croyden he met Katherine Bergin. She worked for Mr & Mrs Morgan there. For some reason Kate used the pseudonym Mirrigan on her marriage certificate. She may have gone under this name with the Morgan’s as well. They were married by the Anglican vicar at the Morgan home on 5 July 1896.

Soon after this Frederick went further north to Thornborough where he knew there would be work. From there it was his intention to send money back to Kate so that she could join him there. While he was away their son George was born on 19 February 1897 at Harp of Erin, Croydon, probably at the Morgan home where Kate was still living. Two years later Fred was killed in an explosion at the General Grant Mine in Thornborough on 26 June 1899.

George and Kate came to New Zealand and lived at Devonport.

An informal family photo of George Frederick Bartley at his grandfather's house in Devonport