Mary Haverfield (née Ross)

???? - 1853

Claimant or beneficiary


Natural daughter and co-heir of her father Robert Ross of Henrietta Street and Bybrook (who d. c. 1821). She and her husband had £8000 settled on them at marriage by Robert Ross, and she was heir to one-third of her father's residuary estate. Her son (and her father's namesake) Robert Ross Haverfield (1819-1889) has an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography as 'grazier, newspaper proprietor and editor.' Inter alia, the entry says: 'His mother, daughter of a Scotsman and his Creole wife [sic], had inherited valuable estates in Jamaica. Robert went to a private school in Great Torrington and to the Bideford Free Grammar School where he read privately in the classics. He intended to study at Cambridge but his mother's income was cut by slave emancipation and he decided to migrate. He arrived at Sydney in the Perfect on 1 February 1838, stayed for a few months near Goulburn with a fellow passenger, Captain Kennedy, and then joined a friend in Melbourne.'

  1. The will of Robert Tunstall Haverfield, Commander in the Royal Navy, of Bridge Street, Bideford, was proved in 1839; he bequeathed everything to his wife Mary. Mary Haverfield, "widow of Comr. Haverfield Royal Navy", age 52, born Jamaica, was living at South Street, Great Torrington, Devon, in 1851 with her daughter Isabella, age 31, born Bideford, Devon, and one female servant.

  2. Will of Mary Haverfield widow of Great Torrington Devon [made in 1850] proved 26/03/1853. She left her personalty to her daughter Isabella Elizabeth, and made a trust arrangement [which unfortunately is not legible] for amounts that appears to have included £500 to each of two sons (including Robert Ross) and £300 to another two. Her residuary estate was divided into 1/10th, with 2/10ths each to three of her children (including Robert Ross) and 1/10th each (without explanation) to another four.

Sources [accessed 03/05/2018]. Haverfield House on Kew Green belonged to her father's family, who were active as gardeners at Kew and Hampton Court, Ray Desmond, Kew: The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens, p. 34.

  1. PROB 11/1918/326; 1851 census online.

  2. PROB 11/2168/391.

We are grateful to Peter Selley for his assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Maiden Name
Robert Tunstall Haverfield
Isabella Elizabeth

Associated Claims (1)

£4,511 2s 2d

Legacies Summary

Imperial (1)

Australia: Victoria 
notes →
Mary Haverfield's son Robert Ross Haverfield has an entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography ...
sources →
Carole Woods, 'Haverfield, Robert Ross (1819–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,...

Relationships (1)

Natural Daughter → Father

Addresses (2)

Great Torrington, Devon, South-west England, England
Bideford, Devon, Devon & Cornwall, England