2nd Edition of The Cossticks Available Now

The Cossticks 1700-1900 2nd Edition available now

The 2nd Edition of The Cossticks is now available for purchase directly from the printers. Soft and hardcovers are available. Click here or preview the book with the viewer at the right. Enlarge the preview to full screen to enable you to read the text of the Introduction.

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Tom Davis Martin and Maria Fisher

Luke Martin and Ruth Appleby married at St James Church, Bristol on 5 September 1830.

On Saturday 28 April 1832 the Hobart Courier announced the arrival in Hobart Town on 24 April of Luke Martin and his wife, Ruth Appleby, along with Henry Martin, and Ann Martin whom we might at first assume to be a son and daughter. They had emigrated from London, England, to Van Diemen's Land on a ship named the Persian.[1].

Soon after arriving in Hobart Town Luke Martin took up his trade as a Butcher and on 20 April 1835 Luke and Ruth Martin welcomed a daughter who was named Ann Abigail Martin. She was baptised at Holy Trinity on 26 May 1835[2]. The question arises about the use of the name Ann if a daughter called Ann came with Luke and Ruth on board the Persian. But this Ann may have not been a daughter.

In 1836 Luke Martin was granted a license to operate the Butchers Arms Hotel at 145 Argyle Street, Hobart Town[3]. On 21 February 1837 a son, Tom Davis Martin, was born, and later baptised at Holy Trinity on 14 October 1838[4]. Another son, James Martin was born on 3 September 1838 and baptised on 14 October (Luke was listed as a Victualler at the time). James died at the age of fourteen on 10 June 1852; George William Martin was born on 16 April 1840, and baptised on 14 February 1841, and another daughter Louisa Martin was born on 13 November 1842. Luke was a Licensed Victualler at the time[5].

Holy Trinity Church in Hobart was not opened until 1845. Before that date the only other Anglican church was St.David's but it had become too small for the needs of the growing population. Between 1831 and 1834 a small chapel called Trinity Chapel was added to the Hobart Gaol and was offered for use by the public. After a short time however the public objected to sharing their church with the convicts and pressure mounted to build a new church. Most of Luke and Ruth Martin's children would have been baptised at Trinity Chapel at the Gaol.

By 1842 the family consisted of Luke and Ruth and six children - Henry, Ann Abigail, James, Tom Davis, George William, and Louisa. The census from the following year, and Lukes obituary from a few years later, both indicate there were seven children.

What about the Ann Martin who came on board the Persian in 1832?

Ann Martin

Ann Martin's Will - Part 1 [Click to enlarge]There is a death certificate and a will existing of an Ann Martin, spinster, aged 73, who died at the Butcher's Arms, Argyle Street, Hobart on 1 October 1862. She left a will in which she appointed John Talbot Cochram and George Grant as executors and in which she demanded that Joseph Mack of Geelong, Victoria, and James Austin of Somersetshire, repay to her estate two hundred pounds owing to her, plus interest, and that this be distributed mainly to the sons of Luke and Ruth Martin - George William Martin and Tom Davis Martin - James had died in 1852 and no mention is made of the eldest son Henry - and daughters Ellen McLeod, Ann Abigail Tilley and Louisa Grant, on the condition that their husbands had no control over the bequest. She also left ten pounds to Francis Thomas Jordan for the trouble he had gone to in purchasing a piece of land for her in the Wesleyan Burial Ground. She was buried in the Hill Street Cemetery in West Hobart.

Ann Martin's Will - Part 2 [Click to enlarge]It is not known whether the two hundred pounds owing to her was ever repaid and whether the children ever received their inheritance.

It seems that the Ann Martin who came on board the Persian may have been a benevolent aunt, Lukes older sister, born around 1790.

And if that was the case we are still left asking who was the seventh child? Ann Martin's will of 1861 makes no mention of Henry Martin but still mentions six children including an Ellen McLeod.

Ellen Martin

There is a Tasmanian marriage record from Holy Trinity Hobart dated 28 May 1850 for the marriage of Ellen Martin to Charles McLeod. McLeod was a Master Mariner and Ellen was aged under 21. One of the witnesses was Ellen's younger sister Ann Abigail Martin who would have only just turned 16 at the time.

Ellen McLeod died at Liverpool Street, Hobart, on 24 May 1863. Her death certificate states she was aged 33 and was born in England. This suggests she was born during the twelve months before 24 May 1830. Luke and Ruth married in Bristol in September 1830. The death certificate also indicates that she was a Publican's wife, and that she died of disease of the liver[5b].

The question arises about why Ellen Martin was not listed among the passengers arriving on board the Persian in April 1832. She would have been nearly two years old and would surely have come with her parents. Passenger lists however, as with any transribed record, can contain errors.

Henry Martin

Why did Ann Martin leave Henry Martin out of her will? James had died in 1852. Did Henry also die before Ann? It seems not.

Henry Martin Death Notice 1898There is a Victorian death record dated 5 May 1898 for a Henry Martin aged 65, with parents Luke Martin, Hotelkeeper, and Ruth Appleby, and witnessed by his brother Tom Davis Martin. The death took place at Waterloo, Victoria, where both Henry and Tom were living. The stated age of 65 would suggest that Henry Martin was born sometime between May 1832 and May 1833, and the death certificate indicates that he was born in Hobart[5a]. Tom Martin himself was aged 61 at the time and may have forgotten that Henry actually arrived with their parents on board the Persian in April 1832. The passenger lists are lists of passengers arriving at Hobart rather than passengers boarding in England and it is possible that Henry was actually born during the voyage - closer to Hobart than to England.

It is unknown why Henry was left out of Ann Martin's will. There may have been some family tensions and that certainly appears to have been the case during the mid 1840s.

1843 Hobart CensusThe 1843 Census for Van Diemen's Land Lists Luke Martin of Argyle Street, Hobart. Luke Martin told the Census Collector that the brick building in which the family lived was owned by a Mr Pudney and there were normally eleven persons living in the house, all of whom were free (as opposed to being convicts). On the night of 31 December 1843 all eleven people dwelling there were present, as well as six others - no doubt guests in the hotel - one of whom, a single male was a Ticket of Leave holder. There was one married male and one married female aged between 21 and 45 (presumably Luke and Ruth) and eight other single males of the same age. There were four males and three females under 21 - the seven children. The Martin family therefore made up nine of the seventeen counted. It is of interest that there was no single female of Ann Martin's age - she would have been about 53 - listed for the night of the census. Of the additional eight persons, all males, two were classed as domestic servants and two as shopkeepers or retail dealers[5d].


Hobart Insolvent Court NoticeOn 19 June 1845 the case of Luke Martin was heard before the Insolvent Court in Hobart. The Hobart Courier of 21 June reported the details of an agreement with various creditors and that a discharge meeting had been called for 3 July 1845. On 18 July 1845 the Insolvent Court heard that Luke Martin had sublet a part of his premises, which he held under a lease from Mrs Pudney, and had received rent for the rooms which he had not declared. He was ordered to terminate the sublease and to declare whatever income he had received on penalty of not having his insolvency discharged.

A week later, on 26 July 1845 it was reported that the Insolvent Estate of Luke Martin was to be put up for sale on Monday 4 August at 1pm at the Exchange Market in Elizabeth Street. To be sold were, firstly, all his rights, title and interest in the lease of the Butchers Arms Public House, along with the butchers shop and other adjoining premises; secondly, all his rights and title in a one acre piece of land between Macquarie Street and Holbrook Street that he had purchased from R.L.Murray; and thirdly, the life interest of Mrs Nancy Hopwood in 66 acres of land near Crayfish Point. It is unknown what the connection with this last piece of land was.

On Saturday 20 September 1845 the Courier reported that an application by Luke Martin for a license had been withdrawn. However things must have improved and on 8 November 1845 the Courier was announced that Luke Martin had been granted the license for the Butchers Arms in Argyle Street.

Despite the apparent difficulties Luke Martin had with remaining solvent his name appears on the Holy Trinity list of subscribers to the church Building Fund between 1842 and 1846. Nevertheless the strain of being insolvent and of having seven children to support must have taken its toll, not only on Luke himself but on the family.


Butchers Arms Hotel around 1850 [Tas.Archives]On Tuesday January 26 1846 the Cornwall Chronicle, a Hobart newspaper, announced the death of Luke Martin on the previous Saturday, 24 January. He was aged forty-four and left his wife with seven children under 14. Luke Martin was buried at Holy Trinity burial ground on 28 January 1846 [6].

Just over three months later the Hobart Town Gazette of Tuesday 5 May 1846 announced that Ruth Martin had been permitted to continue the original license of the Butcher's Arms Hotel granted to her late husband. It was still in her name in 1852[7].

John Talbot Cochram

A year after Luke's death the Cornwall Chronicle of Saturday 6 Febuary 1847 announced that on 1 February 1847, Ruth Martin, then aged forty one, had married by special license, John Talbot Cochram, a butcher aged thirty seven. They married at St. David's Church in Hobart [8]. We might suspect that Ruth Martin and John Cochram had known each other for some time (The surname varies in different records between Cochran, Cochrane and Cochram). He may have even worked with Luke Martin in the adjoining butchers shop.

John Cochram subsequently became the licensee of the Butcher’s Arms Hotel, although the license name alternates between John Cochram and Ruth Cochram for the next few years. In 1857 there were no fewer than eleven hotels or inns in Argyle Street [9].

Ruth Cochrane died at Argyle Street, aged 56, on 19 September 1859. The informant for the Death Certificate was Amelia Clark of Collins Street who described herself as a friend of Ruth's. In fact Amelia Clark was the undertaker's daughter and on other certificates she signed she described herself as such [10].

Two years later, on 28 December 1861, John Cochram married Catherine Craig at Hobart [11]. The marriage certificate to Catherine Craig indicates he was aged fifty-two and Catherine was twenty-five. In the twelve years of their marriage John Cochram and Ruth Martin had no children. After marrying Catherine Craig he had one child in 1862 and another six after moving to Victoria. Catherine Craig died in Victoria aged 46 in 1883 John Talbot died five years later aged 78.


Returning to the marriage of Ellen Martin to Charles McLeod at Hobart on 28 May 1850. Ellen would have been aged about twenty at the time. One of the witnesses was Ellen's younger sister Ann Abigail Martin who would have only just turned 16.

The first child of Ellen and Charles McLeod was born in Hobart on 20 September 1851. The informant for the registrar was John Talbot Cochram. Their third child was named John Talbot McLeod. One might wonder at the use of the name of Ellen's stepfather of only four years rather than of her biological father, however the circumstances of the insolvencies experienced by Luke Martin may have strained family relationships during the mid 1840s. Ellen McLeod died at Liverpool Street, Hobart, on 24 May 1863. She was only 33.

Ann Abigail Martin married William James Tilley, a Shipwright, at Trinity Church Hobart on 7 December 1853. John Talbot Cochram was one of the witnesses [11a]. They moved to Victoria in 1853 where they had two children before moving back to Tasmania where thirteen more children were born. Ann died from breast cancer on 2 October 1883.

The youngest daughter, Louisa Martin married George Grant at Holy Trinity, Hobart, on 28 June 1860. She was aged 17, he was 27. One of the witnesses to the marriage was John Talbot Cochram[5c]. Louisa and George Grant subsequently had seven daughters.

It would seem that John Talbot Cochram was close to his step children and that they remembered him by including his name in their own children's names later. It was once suggested by one of Ruth Martin's grand daughters that Ruth Martin had been 'taken down' by one of her partners but whether this was Luke or John is unclear.

To the Gold Rushes

Several of Ruth and Luke’s children joined the rush to the Victorian gold fields after 1852 [12]. Henry Martin, Tom Davis Martin, George William Martin, and Ann Abigail and her husband William Tilley, as well as John and Catherine Cochram, made their way to Sandhurst, now known as Bendigo, where they joined thousands of others digging for gold.

It was on the goldfields of Sandhurst that Tom Davis Martin met Maria Fisher. She had been born in Adelaide [13]. Her parents were Joseph Fisher, a tailor, and Elizabeth Booth. The Fishers had also moved to Victoria in search of new wealth.

Maria FisherOn 31 August 1859, twenty two year old Tom Davis Martin married seventeen year old Maria Fisher at the Church of England at Ironbark Gully, near Sandhurst. Maria, like many others, was unable to write and signed the marriage certificate with a cross. Tom's brother, George, and a friend, Sarah Lowe, witnessed the signing of the certificate [14]. The Minister was James Stone. Over the next eighteen years Tom and Maria had thirteen children. Their first child was a girl whom they named Lucy Elizabeth. She was born on 10 July 1860 [15].

Soon after Lucy's birth, Tom and Maria, and George and his wife Mary Ann, moved to Amherst. The rushes of late 1859 to Back Creek undoubtedly presented an irresistible attraction. At Amherst Tom and Maria's first son, George William, was born in 1862 [16]. Their other children were Francis, born in 1864 and who married Hannah; Henry and Frederick; Amy, in 1871; Walter in 1873; Albert, 1876; Ellen Louisa, 1878; Charles, 1880; Mabel Evelyn, 1882; Tom Davis, 1885 who became a Church of England Minister; and Ernest Phillip, in 1887 [17].

Little is known about Tom and Maria Martin’s movements for a few years after their marriage in 1859. They may have gone to Tarnagulla as there was Tom Martin, a miner, listed at Bulwer Street, Tarnagulla between 1868 and 1870 [18]. Tom’s brother George may have gone to Amherst. A George Martin is listed as a Butcher at Foster Street, Geelong, in 1866 and 1867. As a Miner at Amherst in 1868, 1869 and 1870. But then as a Butcher at Belmont between 1871 and 1875, as a Butcher at Amherst in 1880 and 1881, back at Geelong for 1884 and 1885, then to Maryborough as a Butcher for 1888 and 1889 [19]. It is possible that he made all these moves. But it has also been known for Post Office Directories to be wrong. There is more about George William Martin below.

Mining was becoming more difficult and by 1872 Tom Davis Martin was working a fourteen acre farm at Lillicur, just west of Amherst, and later, when land for cultivation was made available under the 1869 Land Act he decided to apply for a cultivation license on twenty adjoining acres [20]. The land was next to land occupied and applied for by James Fisher. According to the rules of the Act, in order to make a claim on the land he had to, at seven o'clock in the morning of 6 June 1872, place posts bearing conspicuous notices of his intentions, on the corners of the claimed land. He did this but because the area had not been surveyed the Lands Department did not know where it was. They asked him to forward a sketch map showing where the land was. He did this on 25 September 1872 and the Departmental officials carried on some debate as to whether the land came under the jurisdiction of the Ballarat, Ararat, or Castlemaine Districts. There was a delay of nearly two months before a survey was ordered.

Joseph Fisher, a contract surveyor, finally surveyed the land on 14 October 1872 with the result that some alterations had to be made to the boundaries of the land held by James Fisher so that Tom Davis Martin could occupy a full twenty acres [21]. Further surveys were carried out on 14 December 1872 by Joseph Smith and the license was finally issued on 22 February 1873. Under the terms of the 1869 Land Act a Licensee could apply for a lease on occupied land after a period of two and a half years.

On 24 May 1876 Tom Martin applied for a lease, having spent nearly fifty pounds on fencing, twenty seven pounds on cultivating the land, and fifteen pounds on clearing it. He had placed most of the land under crops of wheat and oats. He was granted and Indenture Lease for seven years dated from 22 February 1876. The rent for the land was two shillings per acre, payable half yearly. In 1878 Tom Martin neglected to pay the rent due on 22 February, and had to seek special permission in September to pay the overdue money at the Land Office in Talbot [22].

Tom Davis Martin and Family at WaterlooTom Davis Martin continued farming the land at Lillicur for a number of years [23], but by 1883 he had taken over a Butcher's business in Amherst, possibly that started by his brother George a few years earlier [24]. Also in 1883, on 24 November, his daughter Lucy, then aged twenty three, married twenty one year old James Edward Cosstick, son of John Cosstick at St.Michael's Church in Talbot [25].

Four years later Tom Martin moved to Waterloo, a small mining town between Lexton and Beaufort, where he took over the management of the Commercial Hotel [26]. Waterloo was described as being five miles east of Fiery Creek and nine miles south west of Lexton, and “means of communication to those places are by horse and dray along surveyed but indifferent roads”. In 1892 he moved from the Commercial Hotel to the Albion Hotel also in Waterloo, taking over the management from Thomas Wright. Tom Martin remained at the Albion until 1901 [27] when he handed over the business to his son in law, George Vowles [28]. From 1902 until 1909 he ran the General Store and was Postmaster at Waterloo [29]. He retired in 1910.

In 1912 a number of Tom Davis Martin’s large family were still living at Waterloo. Albert was a miner. George James was a carpenter. Maria, Hannah, Marion Martha, and Mary were all listed as being occupied with Home Duties.

Gravestone of Tom Davis Martin & Maria Fisher, WaterlooFrancis (Frank) Martin, the eldest son, married Hannah Chapman and moved to live on a property owned by Francis Chapman at Lillicur, about two miles past Tom Martin’s property. The Chapman’s property bordered the Glenmona run and was on the Bet Bet Creek. Francis Chapman had come from Adelaide to take part in the original rush to the Charlotte Plains run. When the land was opened up for selection he tokk up the land south of Glenmona. A blacksmith by trade he was able to take advantage of the Gold Escort route through his property by repairing coaches and shoeing horses [30].

Tom Davis Martin died at Waterloo on 15 August 1913 [31]. His wife Maria died in 1914. They were both buried at the Waterloo cemetery. Their gravestone was in place until the mid 1980s after which it was removed by an apparently over-enthusiastic souvenir hunter.

George William Martin

George William Martin was born in Hobart on 16 April 1840. He moved from Tasmania to Victoria when he was aged 18 and took up his father's trade of Butcher. He married Mary Ann Clark at Talbot in 1862 and had a family consisting of Louisa Ann, Harry, William John, Esther, Amy, Bertram, Harold, and Ernest. There was another son and three daughters were listed as being deceased at the time of William's death in 1909 [32]. In 1907 after the death of his wife Mary Ann George William Martin went to Western Australia where two sons, William John and Harold Martin, were working as miners at Gindalbie. He remained there and died at Gindalbie on 8 August 1909. He was buried at Kanowna on the following day [33]. It seems that by 1912 the son Harold was a mine owner, while William John possibly moved into Kanowna, living in Isabella Street, and following his father's trade of Butcher [34]. It also seems that Harold Martin participated in the Stawell Gift foot race in 1891 and was the winner [35].


[1] Tasmanian Unassisted Immigrants Lists 1829-1862, Film 1 p.249; Hobart Courier, Saturday 28 April 1832. 'Arrivals at Port of Hobart Town the Barque Persian 21st April 1832'
[2] Archives Office of Tasmania, Letter dated 7 May 1980, Ref. 80/1314; Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1835/6176; Baptism register, Holy Trinity, 1835 #8176
[3] Hobart Town Gazette, 7 October 1836, 8 October 1844.
[4] Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1838/8541; Parish of Holy Trinity Baptisms, 1838/552.
[5] Archives Office of Tasmania, NS 349; James Martin Baptism Register Trinity Parish Register Page 40 1838 #8542
[5a] Victorian Death Certificate, 5 May 1898, Waterloo #233.
[5b] Tasmanian Marriage Certificate, Hobart Town, 1850, Trinity Church #37/0; Deaths in the District of Hobart Town, 24 May 1863, #3915.
[5c] Tasmanian Marriage Certificate, Holy Trinity 1860 Ref.37/19.
[5d] 1843 Census of Van Diemens Land.

6 Archives Office of Tasmania, NS 349; Holy Trinity Burial Register 1846 #624
7 Hobart Town Gazette, 6 October 1846, 29 September 1850, 3 October 1852
8 Archives Office of Tasmania, Letter dated 7 May 1980, Ref. 80/1314; Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1847/668; Tasmanian Marriage Certificate 1 February 1847, St Davids Hobart, #470/668 Also St Davids Parish Register #222
9 General Directory of the Residents of the City of Hobart Town, 1857, Inns and Hotels Listing for Argyle Street; Hobart Town Directory, 1859, in Hugh M. Hull, The Experience of Forty Years in Tasmania, J.Walch & Sons, Hobart, 1859; David Bryce, 'Pubs in Hobart from 1807' lists the Butchers Arms as being under Luke Martin 1836-1844; Ruth Martin 1846; J.T.Cochram 1847-1849; Ruth Cochram 1850-1852; William Guest 1854-1855; J.T.Cochram 1860.
10 Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1859/1784; Hobart Deaths Register 1859 #1704 19 September 1859 Ruth Cochram died Argyle Street, Licensed Victuallers Wife. Informant was A.Clarke, a friend of Collins Street.
11 Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1861/682; Tasmanian Marriage Certificate, Holy Trinity, 28 November 1861 #153/602
11a Tasmanian Marriage Certificate, Holy Trinity Church, 7 December 1853 #37/12
12 Tom Davis Martin's Death Certificate indicates fifteen years spent in Tasmania, followed by sixty one years in Victoria. No mention is made of any significant time spent in Adelaide. Arthur Martin of Adelaide Lead, Tom Davis Martin's grandson, stated (15 August 1981) that the family had been to Adelaide before moving to Sandhurst.
13 According to her Marriage Certificate. There is no record of her birth in the South Australian Births Index from 1842.
14 Marriage Certificate, Tom Davis Martin/Maria Fisher, 31 August 1859, Ironbark (Sandhurst), Victoria, No.432
15 Birth Certificate, Lucy Elizabeth Martin, 10 July 1860, Ironbark, Victoria, No.2744
16 Victorian Births Index, 1862, No.5877
17 Children as listed on Tom Davis Martin's Death Certificate
18 National Directory of Victoria, 1866-7 p.203; Victorian Post Office Directory, 1868 p.553; 1869 p551; 1870 p.552; 1871-2 p.266; 1871-2 p.266; 1875 p.431; There was also a Tom Martin, Publican and Hotelkeeper, listed in Brunswick between 1868 and 1875
19 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1868; 1869 p.551; 1870 p.3; 1871-2 p.266; 1875 p.431; 1880-1 p.442; 1884-5; 1888-9
20 PRO, Victoria, Land File 30083/19.20; Victoria Government Gazette, 1876, p.1257; Lands Department Maps, La Trobe Library, Vol.64, Map 42
21 It is not known whether Joseph Fisher, the surveyor, was the same Joseph Fisher who was Maria's father, or whether he was related to the James Fisher who held the neighbouring land.
22 Letter from Tom Davis Martin to Lands Department, 10 September 1878, PRO Land File 30083/19.20
23 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1875 p.127; 1880-1 p.442
24 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1880-1 p.442-3 lists George Martin as Butcher, Amherst
25 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1884 5 p.343 lists Thos.D. Martin, Butcher, Amherst; Occupation given as Butcher on Marriage Certificate, James Edward Cosstick/Lucy Elizabeth Martin, 24 November 1883, Talbot, Victoria, No.17
26 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1888 1892
27 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1893 1900
28 Victorian Post Office Directory, 1902 1909
29 Electoral Roll, Grampians Division, Beaufort Subdivision, 1908, 1912
30 Arthur Martin, conversation on 15 May 1981 at Adelaide Lead.
31 Death Certificate, Tom Davis Martin, 15 August 1913, Waterloo, Victoria, No.337
32 WA Death Register - North East Coolgardie District No.13/1909.
33 Kalgoorlie Miner, Monday 9 August 1909.
34 Unsourced notes dated 1993 - Possibly from Coolgardie or Kalgoorlie Historical Society.
35 Notes from a conversation with Margaret Britton dated 2 October 1993. See Stawell Gift web site, link to Results.

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