Robert Mosely Heath

Father: Samuel Rodier Heath
Mother: Mary Mosely
Born: __/__/1837 ?
Died: 16/1/1896
Buried: 17/1/1896St Kilda
Married: __/__/1862 Susannah Ellen Willson
Children: __/__/1864 Robert (Bert) Willson Heath
__/__/1865 Ellen (Nellie) Clara Heath
__/__/1867 Katie Rodier Heath
__/__/1869 Henry Parker Heath
__/__/1871 William Moseley Heath
25/08/1872 Charles Samuel Rodier Heath Birth announcement
__/__/1873 Andrew Reed Heath
__/__/1875 Howard Russell Heath
__/__/1878 Frederick Verrell Heath
__/__/1881 Lillian Maxwell Heath
Another Photo

Robert Mosely Heath was born around 1840 somewhere on the coast of Devon (his father, Samuel, was in the leathergoods trade and moved between coastal cities, except for a period in London). Robert's twin sister died at birth.

He married Susannah Willson in Totness and emigrated from Devon when she was four months pregnant, arriving in Port Fairy in January 1864 on the Kent (the Australian Public Library has an 1890 painting of the wreck of the Kent). The shipping details are from the Public Records Office, code B fiche 228 page 1

He stayed with his brother Andrew and his wife in Collingwood until Bert was born on the 4th of April, and Berts birth was registered there.

He shortly moved to 70 Grattan St in the heart of what is now Carlton (three doors east from Lygon St), and was in trade as a draper. He was listed in the directory for several years.

He moved to Kilmore with three children around 1868 and stayed for over eleven years, fathering five more children there. He founded the town band and was president of the football club and the kindergarten superintendent. For this last role he was presented this mantel clock which is still keeping perfect time (in my possession), thanks to uncle Michael's attentions - it's almost 140 years old.

In 1879 he moved the family to Port Fairy (then called Belfast), arriving by sea on the Julia Percy in Portland on 13 October. On the same boat were some of the Duncan family, though I haven't ascertained whether these are the same Duncans that figure later as his third grandson's Noël's wife.

I don't know how long they stayed, but when his oldest son (Al)Bert was married in 1892 (to Zoe, who had grown up in Maldon but had moved with her family to Geelong), he was back in Melbourne living in South Yarra, according to The Leader of 17 September.

It seems likely that this house was photographed with the family on the wedding day of Bert and Zoe. RMH and his wife and two older daughters are all dressed outside the house, with the youngest (Lillian Maxwell) not dressed up. If the date is right, Lillian would be 11 years old, and hence not yet "out".

After he returned to Melbourne he worked as a "floor-walker" at the Ball & Welch department store in Flinders St.

Robert Mosely might have moved to Prahran before dying in 1896 aged 58.