Robert Hayball
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Isaac Hayball
(1752-1817)
Mary Forsey
(1751-)
Robert Hayball
(1789-1839)
Mary Lucas
(1786-1816)

Robert Hayball
(1815-1887)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
Eliza Thompson

Robert Hayball 5

  • Born: 3 Mar 1815, Coombes, Somerset, UK 1 6 7
  • Christened: 5 Mar 1815, Chard, Somerset, England 8
  • Marriage: Eliza Thompson on 30 Aug 1840 in Chard, Somerset, England 1 2 3 4
  • Died: 20 Sep 1887, New St, Brighton, Melbourne 9 10 11
  • Buried: 21 Sep 1887, Brighton General Cemetery 1 11
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  General Notes:

The following entry appears in the 1888 publication Victoria and its Metropolis: Past and Present........................

"Hayball, Robert
(deceased) was born in 1814 near Chard, Somersetshire, Eng, where he served his apprenticeship to the building trade, being sprung from a race of builders. In 1840 he married Eliza Thompson of Tiverton, Devonshire and came to Australia in June 1841 in the Duchess of Northumberland. For a time he carried on building in Melbourne. On 7th Jan 1843 he moved to Brighton where he followed his calling (with the slight interruption of a visit to the Forest Creek diggings in 1852) until 1882. In that year he retired altogether from business and died on the 20th September 1887.... During a business lifetime of continuous activity and of so long duration, many buildings have been erected by him, amongst which are one of the first houses in Richmond built for Caption McCrae, and, to some extent, the well known Apollo Hotel in Russell St, Melb. Out of a large family 5 sons and 3 daughters are still living, all of whom save the eldest who was born in Melb, were born in Brighton. The sons are as follows: - Edwin born 7th Dec 1842, Robert born 29th April 1850, William born 16th April 1855, Alfred Harry born 17th Jan 1863 and Herbert Walter born 12th August 1864. The 3 eldest are builders while the 4th is a law student at Melb. Uni., and the youngest, who was for several years at Messrs Robertson & Moffat has now the management of the office of Hayball Bros, timber merchants. On the retirement of their father in 1882, Robert & William Hayball carried on the business under the trade title of R & W Hayball. In the following year the eldest son joined them and an alteration was made to Hayball Bros in the name of the firm. In 1882 they opened a timber yard at the corner of New and Lewis streets, Brighton, but were ccompelled by the rapid increase of business to purchase the present site - four acres of land in New street near Bay street. Shortly afterwards what had previously been a vacant paddock was covered with extensive workshops, timber racks, steam sawmill and planing sheds, stables, storerooms &c., this establishment being one of the largest in Victoria, the whole being connected to the Melbourne Exchange by telephone. In addition, they have been appointed agents by the patentees of several of the latest improvements in general furnishing ironmongery, of which they keep a large and varied stock; they are also agents for the company who manufacture the costly hydraulic freestone so much used at present for building purposes. This firm gives employment to a great number of men. In all parts of Brighton and surrounding districts can be seen buildings which have been erected by them, the most prominent of which are the new Brighton free library, three two story shops (now in the occupation of Messrs. Hicks, Snead and Miller) in Bay-street, and a great number of villa residences at Brighton Beach."



Grandaughter Doris Hayball remembered in about 1964 .....

"The poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon, was a great friend of theirs and must have been talking of suicide for, when the shot that killed him rang out in the silent air, grandmother cried, "Adam's done it"! Grandfather had to identify the body.

In my childhood there was a small iron building on the beach at Middle Brighton which my father would point out as the place where Gordon shot himself. He had a cottage which later belonged to my cousin Roy. When it was demolished, the bricks were taken by Cecil Goods (a verse writer) to his home in Williamstown to keep as a memorial."
12

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  Chronology:

Occupation in England The exact details of Robert Hayball's occupation before arriving in Australia are a little clouded. His entry in "Victoria and its Metropolis" mentions "his apprenticeship to the building trade, being sprung from a race of builders". Doris Hayball's research in Somerset revealed that he was a foreman at a lace factory and this seems to be borne out by the lace patterning tool/s still in his possession in Victoria (apparently donated to the Brighton Historical Society). This may not altogether contradict his occupation in lace with it quite likely requiring skills of carpentry which he turned to his benefit on arriving in the colony. He may have been unexpectedly desperate for a means of earning an income on arriving in Melbourne. A family story has it that he converted his substantial inheritance to gold coins which were subsequently stolen on the voyage out. 13 14



Arrival in Melbourne On 7 Jun 1841 he arrived in Melbourne from Plymouth on the on the "Duchess of Northumberland". Accompanying him were wife Eliza and sister Charlotte "who married a German and went to live in Port Adelaide", half brother Frank "who died after arrival" and Eliza's brother (probably James age 19).Also on this voyage were some of Henry Dendy's immigrants and it is probable that Robert heard from them about the building work to be done on the Brighton Estate. 1 15 16 17 18 19

From Jun 1841 to Jan 1843 the family resided in Lonsdale Street , Melbourne (next door to "present" Law Courts) on the south side near the corner of William St. 20

Builder in Brighton By 1842 Robert Hayball was building houses on Henry Dendy's "Special Survey" covering the Brighton area. Except for a short stint at the Forest Creek diggings in 1852 Robert continued to work mainly in the Brighton area building many Brighton houses as well as the Apolllo Hotel, Melbourne and the Richmond residence of pioneer George McCrae. Doris Hayball recalled that he originally went to Brighton to build Moorabbin House for J. B. Were, Henry Dendy's agent, and on seeing the potential for a builder in the area decided to settle there. If he had been a builder for only a year or so it seems unlikely that he would have been the prime contractor on this job. Were's "'Moorabbin House' was built in a commanding position two hundred yards from the shore, where Maysbury Avenue is now. Stone from the beach was used in the walls, which were three feet thick, partly for coolness in summer and partly, it is said, against the possibility of an attack by aborigines, who were frequently numerous in Brighton when the house was being built in 1842. Inner defensive sliding doors were fitted at the front entrance and there was a secret refuge chamber. The house was beautifully appointed , with spacious rooms and extensive panelling, but there was nothing ostentatious about it" (Bate p43).

He retired in 1882. His three oldest sons who had followed him into the trade, expanded the business to include a timber yard (for more on this see the notes for Robert, "the second" including the Hayball Bros entry from Victoria and its Metropololis). 21 22 23



New Street Brighton From January 1843 until his death in 1887 Robert lived in New St. It seems that there were at least two different houses if not three. There's still some work to be done to sort out which was which but the following gives some idea.

Robert's entry in "Victoria and its Metropolis" has him living in Brighton from 7th January 1843 and this is supported by the Brighton registration of his son Edwin's birth in the same month. It is likely that he had stayed in Brighton even earlier while working there during 1842. This was the year that Were's house was begun and a time of rapid growth in the area. Doris Hayball mentions him leaving the family and going off building shortly after arrival in Melbourne.

In about 1965 Doris Hayball wrote "Grandfather took up land in Brighton and lived first in a cottage in Carpenter St which still stood in empty paddocks when I was a child - this land was bounded by New St. and Wells Street. It is now all built on." Her notes also state that he paid seven pounds an acre and also bought land in North Brighton. She goes on to note that her grandfather's first daughter, Mary, was born there which would date Robert's time at the location to as early as Aug 1844. On the 1842 "Plan of the Brighton Estate" (Bate Plate I) this land is shown as belonging to Henry Dendy and is just over New Street from the main part of Dendy's home estate which ran down to the water between Dendy and Park Streets.

In about 1965 Doris Hayball described her father's birthplace as being at "the old home in New Street .... now has flats ... erected on it and is named "Halen" - it is next door to Major Gen Tovell's home. Grandfather bought the land from the first Major Tovell ........." . The photo (above right) taken about the 1880s shows Robert's wife Eliza, daughter Alice and son Alfred in front of what is most likely that house described as the "all cedar" cottage.

(The 1868 Sands&McDougall entry lists Robert hayball of New Street as "carpenter and undertaker". This side of the business probably needs a better look.)

The following entry referring to Robert appears in the Miles Lewis database "By 1870, he had built a 10 roomed brick mansion to the north of his timber yards. The house at 343 New St was later known as 'Trafalgar'." As at August 2006 this house was still standing although the adjacent shops mentioned in the record have recently been demolished. It is likely that this is the "New Street, North Brighton" given as Robert's place of death.

Helen and William Wells mention the family living in "a wattle and daub hut in New Street, close to what is now Tovell Street." This may be the case but it seems to hard to reconcile with Doris Hayball's notes which place the family further south in the early days and only moving to the Tovell St area later.

(Note that Elizabeth Hale, Robert's daughter and the widow of Thomas Mitchell Hale was living at 254 New Street from 1913. That number is now part of Brighton Grammar School) 24 25 26



343 New Street in 2006


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Robert married Eliza Thompson, daughter of John Thompson and Sarah Avery, on 30 Aug 1840 in Chard, Somerset, England.1 2 3 4 (Eliza Thompson was born on 15 Feb 1820 in Tiverton, Devonshire,11 27 28 died on 10 Jul 1901 in New St, Brighton 11 and was buried on 11 Jul 1901 in Brighton Cemetery 11.)


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1 Letter - Doris Hayball 1960 2 sided typed sheet, 1.5 pages handwritten - incomplete Given to RB 1960s.

2 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Death (RH 1887).

3 Hayball, Eugenie, Family Tree, Somerset UK, 1986, 30 Aug 1840 S. Chard.

4 FreeBMD Online Index of BMD, England & Wales, www.freebmd.org.uk, Marriages Sep 1841 Hayball Robert Chard 10 450 Tompson Eliza Chard 10 450.

5 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R) www.familysearch.org/, Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

6 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Death (Age is 72).

7 Hayball, Eugenie, Family Tree, Somerset UK, 1986, Birth 5 Mar 1815.

8 The Church of Latter Day Saints, International Genealogical Index, www.familysearch.org/, There are 5 entries on IGI (all "member submitted") for christening of RH. Two have 5/3 and three 3/3. Taken with other family information the most likely scenario is birth 3/3 and christening 5/3.

9 Letter - Doris Hayball 1960 2 sided typed sheet, 1.5 pages handwritten - incomplete Given to RB 1960s, DorisHayballText2b.

10 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, 1887/9252.

11 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Death.

12 Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its metropolis : past and present 2 v. (Melbourne : McCarron, Bird, 1888), p 641.

13 Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its metropolis : past and present 2 v. (Melbourne : McCarron, Bird, 1888), Apprentice builder.

14 Doris Hayball (c1965); Wells, Helen and William (2006), Various Others, Hayball Family File at Brighton Historical Society, Lace pattern maker.

15 http://www.records.nsw.gov.au (state records of NSW), HAYBALLCharlotteDuchess of Northumberland1841 2143A
HAYBALLRobert and ElizaDuchess of Northumberland1841 2143A

.

16 Doris Hayball (c1965); Wells, Helen and William (2006), Various Others, Hayball Family File at Brighton Historical Society, Doris Hayball "Hayball Family History" 1962.

17 Public Records Office - Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au/, Index to Registers of Assisted British Immigrants 1839-1871. THOMPSON JAMES 19 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 469
THOMPSON JAS 19 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 477
THOMPSON PAUL 31 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 477
THOMPSON MARIA 28 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 463
THOMPSON MARIA 28 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 477
THOMPSON PAUL 32 JUN 1841 DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAN 2 463

.

18 Web (Misc), http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/shipping/mig-vic.htm#Top. DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND 02 06 1841 Port Phillip ... ... AL 2143A ... ... ...
.

19 Bate, Weston, A History of Brighton (Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1963).

20 Doris Hayball (c1965); Wells, Helen and William (2006), Various Others, Hayball Family File at Brighton Historical Society.

21 Doris Hayball (c1965); Wells, Helen and William (2006), Various Others, Hayball Family File at Brighton Historical Society, Various papers by DH c1965 in BHS file.

22 Kenyon, Alfred S, Founders of Australia and their Descendants (Hayball) (Adelaide, University of South Australia, 1941), Copy in BHS files annotated by Doris Hayball.

23 Bate, Weston, A History of Brighton (Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1963), page 271 Hayball Bros.

24 Kenyon, Alfred S, Founders of Australia and their Descendants (Hayball) (Adelaide, University of South Australia, 1941), Photo of what is possibly the house.

25 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate, http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/home, Various RH children's births/marriages show "New Street Brighton" / RH death 1887.

26 Lewis, Miles, Melbourne Mansions, Record 6188. Record No.: 6188 Old municipality: Brighton Architect: Year: 1870 pre House Names: Trafalgar Owners & Occupiers: Hayball, Robert Street Address: New St, 343 EAD: Alt Year_alt: House Name_alt: Illustrations: Allom Lovell, City of Bayside Heritage Review, II, ii, p 691. modern photo, 2 storey sym rendered house with hipped roof. Sources: Allom Lovell, City of Bayside Heritage Review, II, ii, p 692. Robert Hayball, a carpenter, established a business as a timber merchant in New St. By 1870, he had built a 10 roomed brick mansion to the north of his timber yards. The house at 343 New St was later known as 'Trafalgar'. Suburb: Brighton Features: other archts: Agent: 2nd agent: MMBW 160: MMBW 40: Property no: Melway: 67 D9 standing: inspection: record created: 07/06/1999 old: New municipality: BAYSIDE continued:
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27 Letter - Doris Hayball 1960 2 sided typed sheet, 1.5 pages handwritten - incomplete Given to RB 1960s, Tiverton, Devonshire.

28 Doris Hayball (c1965); Wells, Helen and William (2006), Various Others, Hayball Family File at Brighton Historical Society, born 15th feb 1820.