I am currently examining two newspaper articles which have me a bit
perplexed. One is from the "Tasmanian Truth" dated 5 August 1959, and
the other is from the "Examiner" dated 27 December 1971.
Both articles talk about a heroic young lass called Mary CAMPBELL who
was a survivor of a ship named the "Hibernia" which -- according to both
articles -- caught fire in the Irish Sea and sank into the ocean.
The articles are very vague on dates. The only date mentioned at all is
that the disaster occurred during the "early 1830s".
Mary, who was aged nine at the time, saved two of her Campbell siblings,
but her two parents, Captain Campbell, formerly an officer in the Indian
Army, was lost along with his wife (Mary's mother).
The intrepid Mary and her siblings were then picked up and placed in an
orphanage, presumably in England somewhere. Lady Jane Franklin visited
the orphanage shortly before she and her husband set out for Van
Diemen's Land, and was so charmed by Mary that the Franklins took her
with them to VDL as a chamber maid.
The articles then go on to say that Mary married a Mr FOWLER and then a
Mr MAWMILL, and she lived at the West Tamar and had descendants (circa
1971) including a Mrs K. BROOKS of Sidmouth, Mrs G. BANTICK of
Winkleigh, Mrs D. HANDLEY of Launceston, Mrs K. HAYES of Launceston and
Miss Elizabeth WRIGHT of Sidmouth.
All this is according to the articles. But the story of the disaster,
rescue and the subsequent role played by the FRANKINS appears to be
strikingly similar but significantly at variance with the story of
another Mary CAMPBELL.
This second Mary (Anne) CAMPBELL was also the daughter of James
CAMPBELL, and she similarly survived a disaster where the ship she and
her family were travelling on caught fire and burnt at sea. This second
ship was also called the "Hibernia", but the disaster happened nowhere
near the Irish sea, it happened in the South Atlantic; The second Mary
Anne was 14 at the time, not nine; and both her parents survived, as did
three of her siblings, not two; and needless to say, there was a gap of
four years between 1833, when the survivors of the second "Hibernia"
disaster (including the second Mary Anne CAMPBELL and her family)
arrived in Hobart Town, and 1837, when Sir John and Lady Franklin
I'm thinking that the newspaper articles referred to are full of
nonsense. Are there any CAMPBELL descendants out there who can confirm
this for me?
E-mail: douglas(a)burbury.net ---------------- Launceston, Tasmania
(Burbury family research website)