La Bella (Henrietta Coulson Pt 2)

John Phillips Coulson was born in Scarborough Yorkshire in 1845 and earned his First Mates Certificate in 1869, then Masters in 1873.

He married Henrietta Coulson in 1879 in London, and moved to New Zealand by 1887.

His wife and two younger children moved from Greytown to Auckland about 1901, after his decision to come out of retirement and go back to sea.

John was First Mate on La Bella, under George Mylius for several years.

The barquentine “La Bella” made its 201 day maiden voyage to New Zealand in 1900 from Hamburg after being purchased by shipping agent D.C. Turnbull.

(La Bella )

Her main trade was between ports in New Zealand and Australia, carrying timber and coal. The shipping log below shows her work in 1902.

29th dec 1901 arrived Sydney from Kaipara, loads coal at Newcastle for Timaru

18th Jan left Newcastle

27th Jan arrived Timaru

12th Feb sailed with grains Timaru to Auckland

24th Feb arrived Auckland

6th Mar departed for Sydney via Kaipara

17th mar arrived Kaipara

10th May arrived Sydney

4th June sailed from Newcastle with coal

21st June arrived Lyttleton

2nd July sailed to Newcastle with fodder

23rd July arrived Newcastle

30th July sailed for Timaru with coal

11th August arrived Timaru

22nd August sailed to Sydney

13th September arrived with fodder

4th October arrived Lyttleton with coal

15th October Timaru to Kaipara

22nd October arrived Kaipara

30th October loading timber at Port Stephens for Timaru

29th November arrived Sydney from Kaipara

31st December  sailed Sydney to Timaru

La Bella had been aground at least 3 times while owned by DC Turnbull & Co. In October 1903, beached for repairs at Ohiro Bay, Wellington. On 13 October 1904,stranded on Dog Island at entrance to Bluff Harbour, NZ. On 25th July 1905, stranded again at the same place.

On the 11th November, 1905, newspapers were reporting that a vessel, most likely La Bella, was on the reef at Warrnambool, Victoria in heavy seas. Rescue vessels had not been able to reach her, or her ten crew members, although several men were seen clinging to the rigging.

By the 13th November, seven men were named as victims of drowning.

John Coulson was one of them.

The inquest afterwards revealed that John Coulson had suffered a broken leg in the wrecking of her, and was unable to maintain a hold on the vessel, and by the time the rescue was successful he had gone beneath the waves. He was 60 years of age.

The story of Captain Mylius is told in news reports:

Evening Post, 1 December 1905
MELBOURNE, This Day. The Court found that Captain Mylius, master of the La Bella, which went ashore about half a mile from the Warrnambool breakwater, was guilty of gross misconduct in attempting to enter the harbour without a pilot. The Court suspended his certificate for twelve months, and ordered him to pay £28, costs of the enquiry.

Wanganui Herald, 26 December 1905
SYDNEY, December 25. George Mylius, late master of the barquentine La Bella, was charged with the manslaughter of Harold Watson, a seaman drowned at the time of the La Bella wreck. He was remanded pending the arrival of a warrant from Melbourne.

Wanganui Herald, 22 February 1906
Melbourne, February 21. Mylius, captain of the barquentine La Bella, has been acquitted on a charge of manslaughter of Seaman Watson, who was drowned at the time of the wreck.


Mylius became very ill and died in Melbourne Hospital 6 months after the wrecking of La Bella.

A widow’s fund was set up for the families of the crew who drowned.

The story of La Bella has become well known in the Museum in Warrnambool, books have been written and the reef she foundered on has been re-named La Bella Reef. It is now a dive wreck.

Only one of the drowned crew was recovered.

John has a headstone in Hastings.

Henrietta Maxton

Henrietta Maxton was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1846 to my great great grandfather Samuel and his first wife Henrietta. Her mother died when she was two years of age. Her father Samuel married Susanna Dunn and 5 half sisters and two brothers were born.
She travelled to London at least twice, and it is believed she met her husband John Phillips Coulson while on board “Lord of the Isles” returning from London in 1876.
Name:  Henrietta Maxton
Event Type: Immigration
Event Date : 1876
Event Place : Victoria, Australia
Gender : Female
Age : 28
Departure Date :29 Nov 1876
Departure Place: Plymouth
Arrival Date : 13 Feb 1877
Arrival Place :Melbourne

The couple married in 1879 in Greenwich, and their first two children were born there.
– Herbert Maxton Coulson 1879-1957, married Ilma Watkins, 2 daughters, 1 son ( Richard, one of 7 killed by Stanley Graham 1941)
– Gertrude Henrietta Coulson 1882- 1897, drowned age 15

They lived in West Greenwich, Henrietta is recorded as being 28, (although actually 35) married and son Herbert 1 year old in 1881

Photo ( right) Gertrude Henrietta Coulson in London

Photo( left) Herbert,  Gertrude and Henrietta in Melbourne, possibly in transit London- New Zealand

The family relocated to Dunedin, where the next two children were born.
-Rosa Elizabeth Coulson 1887-1978, married Alfred Hunt, at least 1 daughter, 1 son
-John Prideaux Coulson 1892-1969, married Olive Perry
At some time the family moved to Hokitika, and from there Henrietta moved to Hastings to live with her daughter Rosa.
Henrietta died on the 12th March 1911 and is buried in Hastings.

Alice Maude Roydhouse

Alice Maude Roydhouse was born in 1874 in Greytown, the last child of William and Mary.

She does not appear on any Electoral rolls, despite being eligible to vote 2 years after women received the right in 1893.

Alice does not appear to have married, as her burial on 27th October 1928 is recorded in her maiden name.

According to the cemetery records in Hokitika, South Island, her burial was under a mental hospital warrant.

In this time frame, there was a large institution called Seaview Lunatic Asylum (Hokitika Asylum, or Seaview Psychiatric Hospital)

This was founded in 1872, and at its peak occupancy in the 1950’s housed more than 500 people.

There were male and female areas, with dormitories, single rooms, dining rooms, padded cells, tennis courts, swimming pool on the 150 acres, included in the grounds was the Hokitika Goal with 30 cells.

No negative reports about the institution in its long years of operation have surfaced and for the period that Seaview operated in, it can be taken that this Hospital was well regarded.

I wonder why Alice was so far from Greytown?

Maybe, because, even in the 1960’s, many families kept mentally ill members or intellectually disabled children secret, and were advised by doctors never to visit to avoid upsetting them.

Perhaps Alice was a voluntary patient, perhaps not. Perhaps  her diagnosis was one which modern society would have found best treated with medications, rehabilitation or integration,

Perhaps she was admitted to one of the “ better” facilities of the time, regardless of the distance to travel.

New Zealand Mental Health facilities

  • Auckland Provincial Lunatic Asylum
  • Tokanui Mental Hospital
  • Oakley Hospital
  • New Plymouth Lunatic Asylum
  • Napier Lunatic Asylum
  • Karori Lunatic Asylum, Wellington
  • Hokitika Lunatic Asylum –
  • Braemar ( Childrens Hospital)
  • Nelson Lunatic asylum
  • Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum, Christchurch
  • Dunedin Lunatic Asylum
  • Seacliff Hospital
  • Cherry Farm Hospital
  • Orokonui Home
  • Queen Mary, Hanmer Springs
  • Templeton Psychiatric Hospital

Further Reading:

Photos of Seaview Asylum in 2015.

Map shows distance between Greytown and Hokitika in New Zealand

4980-maxnz mapSea view asylum

Roydhouse–What’s in a name?

Sometimes it pays to think about possible alternate spellings of a name you are researching…

For the earlier baptismaI  records I have used examples from Hemsworth, Yorkshire, where I strongly suspect that Thomas and Elizabeth ( parents of Henry born 1730) were from originally.

On the 8th January, 1627, Faith Roydhouse was baptised by her father Oursley in Hemsworth, Yorkshire.
A little later that year, on the 6th July, Francis Roidhouse baptised his son Richarde.
Mary, daughter of Thomas Ruidus, was baptised in 1665.
Margaret Roidas was baptised in 1667 by Edward her father. His daughter Mary was baptised as a Rhoidus in 1671.
In 1680, Dorothy Rhoydas was baptised by her father William, but in 1688 his daughter Margrets surname was spelt Roydous.
A John Roydus baptised his son William in 1692.
All of the above variations in spelling occurred in the space of 65 years in Hemsworth, Yorkshire records.
Later census documents from Islington, in London have revealed other errors, mostly in the transcription rather than lack of education of either the census taker or the family being recorded.
Sarah Roydhhouse, Thomas Roxdhouse, Thomas Raydhouse, Thomas Roydhover,and Thomas Roydhonte are all variations of transcription in the census documents 1841-1871 in Islington, London.


Remembrance Day

On  Remembrance Day 2018 I would like to show my appreciation of my ancestors during conflicts around the world and across the ages. Some volunteered, some were conscripted, some trained but did not  leave for war, all were ready, some gave all.

Civil War

Henry Roydhouse

Trent Affair, Canada

James Walter Smart

Boer War

Francis William Roydhouse

World War One

Albert Henry Kingsbury 1883- 1918, Cairo Egypt




John Charles Roydhouse

Reginald Walter Roydhouse

Sydney John Roydhouse

Thomas Roydhouse

Charles Walter Maxton

Ronald Ian Maxton

Korean War

William Myers

World War Two

Donald Jack Roydhouse

Peter Booth Roydhouse

Alan Roydhouse

Bernard Richard William Roydhouse

Noel Herbert Roydhouse

William John Roydhouse

Cedric Roydhouse

Donald Roydhouse

Frank Roydhouse

Rupert Roydhouse

Jeffrey Arthur Roydhouse

Garth Sutherland Roydhouse


  • This list is not comprehensive, many names are yet to be checked against Nominal Rolls and other sources.

Reginald Walter Roydhouse

My great Uncle Reginald was born on the 11th March in 1884 to parents William and Annie.

( Reginald and Bessie Roydhouse, private collection)

By the 1905 electoral rolls he was recorded as a reporter living with his parents in Carterton.
He married Elizabeth Sutherland on the 23rd February 1910 in Wellington. From 1911 their home was 1 Tyne Street, Carterton.
Their children:
Garth 1912-1981
Betty 1913-1989
Alan 1916-2000
Like many of the Roydhouse family, Reginald was active in sport in the district.
His main interests were in playing Lawn Bowls , Golf and Lawn Tennis.
Reginald was involved in newspapers all his life, as reporter as recorded in 1905 and owner later in life.

( Reginald is 2nd row from front, far right)( NIMU Conference)

In 1930 he was president of the Wairarapa Automobile Association and this position developed into a long-term association with the North Island Motor Union to improving conditions, laws and especially safety for motorists, cyclists and all road-users.
In 1934 he expressed the opinion that all cyclists should be required to carry on their machines headlights and rear red lights. This was submitted to the NIMU but was lost on voting.
By 1942 he was Vice-President of the N.I.M.U, and was re-elected in 1943.

( Papers Past)
He died on the 30th March, 1957 and is buried in Carterton.

Elizabeth died in 1973.

David Cadenhead

David Cadenhead was my great ,great, great grandfather.
HE was born in the middle of a family of 8 children to parents Isaac and May and was baptised on 28th April 1834 .
The 1841 census shows the family at 5 High Street, Auchenblae, Fourdoun, Kincardineshire, Scotland. David still lived at home in Auchenblae aged 16 in 1851, as an apprentice wright.






( Auchenblae Church)

In Govan, Lanark, he married Mary Cocher on the 22nd February 1856.
Four of the couples’ seven children were born there:
William Kerr Cadenhead-1856-1863
Mary Duncan Cadenhead-1858-1942, married Adam Donald
Helen Inverdale Cadenhead-1860-1949, (great, great grandmother) married John Crawley
John Kerr Cadenhead-1862-1940
In December,1862 the family boarded the “Sir William Eyre” bound for Bluff, New Zealand.
On 1st December, 1862, John Morrison, the emigration agent, was able to advise the Southland Government that “The Sir William Eyre receives her passengers on board this day.” Three days later, on the 4th, he wrote to Potter, Wilson and Company, (who provided the ship and equipped it) that
“It is my unpleasant duty to have to record herewith my protest against the very defective accommodation and general arrangements … on board the ship ‘Sir William Eyre’, also to inform you that until the various defects are remedied and competent persons appointed to supervise the dispensing of rations to emigrants, I protest on behalf of the Government of Southland against the ‘Sir William Eyre’ proceeding to sea.”
His protests were ignored, and the ship left Greenock on 17 December 1862. An outbreak of measles and a storm caused the ship to return to sheltered waters almost immediately, and await more settled weather before proceeding further.
By 10 March, 1863, the Provincial Superintendent was advising Morrison that the Sir William Eyre had not yet arrived, but by 6 May, 1863, he wrote:
I have pleasure to inform you that the Sir William Eyre has arrived at last relieving the anxious forebodings of numerous friends in Southland of people on board the board the vessel, she came into the Bluff on 23rd ulto. after a long and unfortunate voyage.”

( excerpts from Bryson family history blog)

22 passengers died on the journey, mostly among the children, including William aged 7.
Further reports stated that the ship was quarantined and:
“The condition in which the Sir William Eyre was when she came into harbour was most unsatisfactory … the condition of the ship was filthy, ventilation was bad, the closets were insufficient in number to permit the ordinary decencies of life to be observed. The master of the ship had failed to take on board fresh supplies at the Cape causing shortages for the rest of the voyage”. (He was fined 50 pounds for his negligence, and continued to command passenger vessels).
After the voyage, the Cadenhead family increased with the birth of three more daughters:
Jane 1864-1971, married Thomas Kirby
Elizabeth 1867-1952, married James Curtis
Alice 1869- 1948, married Charles Tomlinson

On June 15, 1871, his wife Mary died in Featherston, North Island.
David married the widowed Rebecca Sheen in 1879.
The Wairarapa Daily Times reported on the 2nd March, 1882 that the builders David Cadenhead and Adam Donald ( his son-in-law) had filed an insolvency.
Rebecca died in 1903 and is buried with her first husband Septimus Sheen.
In 1905 he was recorded in Featherston as still working as a carpenter.
Aged 76 years old , David died on the 1st May 1909, and was buried in Karori Cemetery, Wellington.

Ann Appleby

Ann Appleby ( Applebee) was my 5th great grandmother.

The Appleby name is believed to have come from Southern Denmark and imported into Britain by the Danish Vikings. One of the earliest records dates back to the twelfth century when an Olf  de Appeli was recorded in the “Pipe Rolls” in 1163.

( personal photo)

The church depicted is St Mary’s of Beenham, but is not as old as it may appear.

The medieval church, with wooden bell turret, was struck by lightning in 1794 and burnt to the ground. Even the bells melted. This was the church the Appleby families would have been associated with. It was soon replaced with a new structure featuring large Georgian windows and a bold Berkshire brick tower. However, this, in turn, caught light – cause unknown – in 1856. Only the tower survived. The rest of the building dates from 1859.

The Applebee family of Beenham, Berkshire records include the baptism of Gorge, son of Peter on the 23rd September 1591. Siblings included Robert 1593, Walter 1600 and John 1605.

One of John Appleby’s grandsons George married Bridget Rumbold and had at least 6 children, including Ann, who was baptised on the 30th June in 1728.

She married Henry Roydhouse on the 31st August 1749,in London and they had at least 8 children, although none no records have been found prior to Elizabeth’s baptism in 1760.

AN Ann Rhodus was recorded as having drowned in the Thames on Sept 30th at Southwark in 1792, and there is strong evidence to support this death being that of Henry’s widow.

Most of the other Appleby family members stayed in Beenham, and yet the cemetery did not have any legible gravestones bearing that name at the time of my visit.

Charlotte Roydhouse (nee Green)

Following on from the story of my great, great uncle Thomas R. Roydhouse over the last two weeks I decided to explore his wife Charlotte’s story in more detail.

Charlotte was one of five children born between Harriet Smith and Charles Green.

Thomas b 1856;Henrietta b 1859; Betsy b 1862; Charlotte b 1864;John b 1867

Charles died aged 36 in March 1867, in Kingswinford, Stafford, and was a glass maker (1851 census). Harriet was recorded as a glass froster in 1861 & 1871.

Harriet married the widower Samuel Rean in 1873 in Gornall, Stafford, and after the couple migrated to Napier, New Zealand they had Horace James 1874, Samuel George 1875 , Grace Elizabeth b 1878 and Henry Gray 1880.

Charlotte married Thomas Roydhouse in 1882, and their first child, Ruby was born about the time he was working in Napier as a newspaperman.

She was the first of three daughters and three sons to be born to the couple:

Ruby 1893- 1962, m Joseph Finney

Beryl 1885- 1967, nurse

Thomas 1887-1946

John 1890-1957

Nora  1892-1965

Bernard 1897-1983, m Eily  James

By 1896, Charlotte was editing the Women’s Page in the Sunday Times under the pen-name of “Vivienne” with letters from readers, recipes, articles on “women’s affairs”, competitions and many other items.

(Papers Past)

Her main charity efforts were directed towards providing cots for the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children, and from 1903 to 1910 her readers contributed upwards of 90 pounds per year to ensure at least  three extra cots were available.

( Papers Past)

“Vivienne” continued her pages until Thomas retired from the paper in 1913, with regular items such as The World and his Wife,( social diaries) The Cot Endowment report, and Home Handy Hints, as well as publishing letters with a wide range of topics from Women As Drivers, The Rights Of A Mother-In-Law, Concerning Public School Teachers and many others.

Charlotte died aged 72 on the 25th August, 1938, at her home in Broughton Road, Homebush.

Her Obituary in the Auckland Star, VOL LXIX, ISSUE 236, 6th October 1938 read:


Mrs Thos. R. Roydhouse, who died in Australia on August 25, in her 73rd year, was the wife of a journalist who has followed his profession in New Zealand, Victoria and New South Wales all his life. When he was conductor of the “Sunday Times”group of newspapers for 20 years (1893-1013) Mrs Roydhouse had charge of the first comprehensive women’s pages produced in Australia. Her pen-name of “Vivienne”was known in many places, and not a few women of today bear it-bestowed upon them by mothers who appreciated the home specialist.

In New Zealand and Victoria, where her husband owned newspapers, Mrs Roydhouse was designated a good daughter-a good mother- a good wife- a good friend.

Mr and Mrs Roydhouse had a lengthy and happy married life. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1932.


Thomas Richard Roydhouse ( part 2)

Farming and running a small community paper was not suiting Thomas, and his girls were said to be bored with the quiet life away from Sydney. In 1921 the family returned to Sydney, where Thomas continued with his involvement in newspapers.

In 1926 another paperback was published, The truth chain : spiritual healing

Electoral rolls of 1936 show Thomas & Charlotte, with spinster daughters Beryl and Norah living at

4 Broughton Rd, Home Bush

Their other children included :

Ruby Louisa 1883- 1962, married Joseph Finney, 1 known daughter

Thomas Garnett 1887-1946

John Sidney Hope 1890-1957

Bernard Richard William 1897-1983, married Ely James, 1 known son, 1 daughter

Charlotte passed away aged 73 on the 25th August 1938.

In 1943 Thomas and his two daughters Beryl and Norah were residing at the Homebush address when on the 27th May Thomas passed away aged 80.

Tuesday 1st June 1943 T. R. ROYDHOUSE.

Mr. Thomas Richard Roydhouse,a veteran Sydney journalist, who was associated with many public movements, died at his home at Strathfield on Thursday night,aged 80 years. After having served on newspapers in various parts of New Zealand, Mr. Roydhouse, who was born in Wales, went to Melbourne in 1888 and served on the Melbourne ‘Herald.’ Later he came to Sydney and was a special writer for the ‘Daily Telegraph.’

In collaboration with Mr. H Taperell, Mr. Roydhouse wrote the first book devoted to the New South Wales Labour party. He wrote other books, including ‘This Land and the People’ and ‘The Coloured Conquest.’ In October,1893, he was appointed to control the ‘Sunday Times’ group of papers and remained in that position for 20 years. For a number of years he wrote ‘Sydney Day by Day’ for the Melbourne -‘Argus.’

Mr. Roydhouse inaugurated the Boy Scout movement in Australia.

He also established; the Dreadnought Fund, and the New South Wales Girl Aids, which later became the Girl Guides. He was a foundation member, and Vice president of the New .South Wales Institute of Journalists.

Mr. Roydhouse was an extensive property owner at Woolgoolga.( 550 kms north of Sydney)

He is survived by three sons and three daughters. The funeral took place privately at Rookwood Crematorium.