Descendants of Edward Spencer Wills

First Generation

1. Edward Spencer Wills was born on 13 Aug 1778 in Middlesex,England. He was christened on 11 Sep 1778 in St Luke Old St,Finsbury,Middlesex,England. He died on 14 May 1811 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He was buried in Botany Bay Cem,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

son of Edward Wills, Gentleman of Broadcourt, Long Acre, Middlesex, b1741 ,Buried at St Paul's Convent Garden 9.1.1814 and Elizabeth (b 1739. buried at St Paul's Convent Garden 10.3.1822)
(info from Last Will and Testament of Edward Wills Esq of Middlesex researched by R.P Vivien-Graham, College of Arms, London - for Brian Wills in Oct 1952)

I.G.I. shows christenings for Edward Spencer Wills, 11 Sep 1778,at St Luke's Old Street, Finsbury, Middlesex
Sarah Harding, 11 Aug 1776
and Sarah Wills, 15 May 1796 at St Luke's Old Street, Finsbury, Middlesex
1795 married Sarah Harding (mother Elizabeth Harding?? maybe step mother - visited Sydney in 1810 - but I.G.I gives mother as Sarah)
January 1797 arrested for being a highwayman
on 29 March 1797 sentenced to Transportion
Lists of Convicts on Transports 1788-1800 Fiche No 618 p.324 50 334
Edward Willis - Native Place Surry
Sentenced Mar 1797 life 342,21
from Weymouth 28th Sept 1798

In January 1797 Edward WILLS, James DASHPER and William WOODHAM were arrested for highway robbery. The three men had used arms to rob John MARTIN of his watch, a half guinea, a sixpence and 18 half-pence. The money (£2.19.4) was found at Edward's residence.
Edward's trial took place at Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey on the 20th March 1797. The three men were found guilty and all sentenced "to be hanged by the neck until dead". They had the right of appeal, so Edward had a petition made. The document addressed to the Duke of Portland was supported by the Curate and Church Warden of St. Luke's, Edward's old employer Millar RITCHIE, the victim John MARTIN, Thomas LOCK.
At Whitehall on the 29th March, 1797, "Edward WILLIS and James DASHPER having been convicted of Highway Robbery, and having been humbly recommended as fit objects of the Royal Mercy His Majesty has now been graciously pleased to extend his Royal Mercy on condition of their being transported for the term of their natural lives to the Eastern Coast of New South Wales..."
On the 18th October, 1798 Edward and 55 other convicts were transferred from the hulk "Stanislaus" to the "Hillsborough". The convicts were to be housed in the lowest deck "where conditions were grim, because there were no port-holes to allow light and fresh air. For a bed each convict was given a two foot wide plank of wood, a blanket and a pillow. For clothing they each got two blue jackets, a pair of trousers, two pairs of stockings, two shirts, a pair of shoes and a cap. They were also allowed to take two gallons of wine for the voyage. Edward, James DASHPER and William WOODHAM set sail from Portland Rds. on the 23rd December, 1798.
The "Hillsborough" was to be nicknamed "the Death Ship" from their ill fated voyage. WOODHAM died on the way out of port.
There were six woman aboard, one of them being Edward's wife Sarah with their infant daughter.
The "Hillsborough" arrived in Sydney on the 26th July 1799. On the following day Governor HUNTER wrote to the Duke of Portland explaining that the ship embarked with 300 convicts but arrived with only 205, with six dying within a day of arrival. Later, in a letter to KING, HUNTER decribed the "Hillsborough" inmates as being "a cargo of the most miserable and wretched convicts I ever beheld". Edward became ill from the voyage but was lucky to become a ward of his wife Sarah who had "arrived free".

conditionally pardoned by Governor King 4th June 1803

The "Sydney Gazette" reported on the 2nd of October 1803 that Edward was fined £5 for purchasing seven ounces of stolen silver.
On the 7th of October 1804, James BROWN and F.MOREY were sentenced to 100 lashes and three years hard labour for the robbery of copper coin and merchandise from the shop of E.WILLS.
On the 19th of January 1805 a woman servant of E.WILLS was gaoled for stealing sundry merchandise from his house. Edward's house was in George Street (later Essex Street), Sydney.
The "Sydney Gazette" in April 1805 contained an advertisement listing sugars, teas, soaps, linen, muslin, shoes, dungarees, ribbons, etc. for sale at the house of Edward WILLS.
On the 15th September 1805 the "Gazette" mentioned RABY and WILLS as being involved in the seal-skin business. Edward also advertised on the 24th of November 1805 looking for a "careful stockman".
1805 Muster Wills, Edward S A4508 E.C. came "Hillsborough" self dealer
Sarah B0036 and C1363
leg children 2 male and 2 female

WILLS also went into shipping. In 1806 the 66 ton "Mary and Sally" was built by Thomas REIBIE and Edward WILLS
In the same year these two partners are recorded as owning a sloop named "Raven". He also owned the 22.5 ton sloop "Eliza"
In June 1808 WILLS donated £30 to send John MacARTHUR to London to give evidence on behalf of Major JOHNSTON.
In April 1809 a burglar gained entry into WILLS's shop via the chimney and made off with goods to the value of £100. Natives found the items, in less than an hour, hidden in rocks.
On the 4th September 1810 Edward was pardonned, under his alias WILLIS, by Major-General Lachlan MacQUARIE, Governor of New South Wales.
WILLS was the victum of another burglary on 13th October 1810 where someone entered his unfinished premises and cut the duck covering off a new sofa.

Died 14 May 1811 aged 33 2697 Vol 2
Obituary by George Howe in Sydney Gazette May 1st,
"Died, at his home in George Street on Tuesday night, the 11th inst, Mr Edward Wills, after a painful illness of nearly three months duration in his 33rd year. The generosity of his disposition was evinced in all his actions - his integrity was un doubted and he lived universally respected, and his death must be sincerely regretted by his most distant
acquaintance; while his amiable family and those who were happy in his friendship will be devoted by the melancholy event to the length of inconsciable affliction.'

Mutch Index gives burial date as May 16, 1811 St Phillip's Sydney

When Edward WILLS died after three months of painful illness his assets were valued at more than £15,000.
Edward Wills's Headstone was destroyed in removal from Old Botany Bay Cemetry but says
Also George Howe a native of St Kitts (who was Sarah Wills 's second husband)

Edward married Sarah Harding in 1795 in ,,London,England. Sarah was born on 1 Aug 1776 in Middlesex,England. She was christened on 11 Aug 1776 in St Luke Old Str,Finsbury,Middlesex,England. She died on 8 Jul 1823 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was buried on 10 Jul 1823 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

chr 1776 Aug 11 dau of Thomas Harding watch glass grinder and Sarah
born Aug 1 (LDS microfilm 0585439)
1805 Muster Wills, Sarah type X came free on Hillsborough A4805
4 children 22 acres fallow land -purchased - 1 bull 10 cows 75 male
sheep and 75 female sheep and 1 bushel of maize

1812 married by Special Licence to George Howe widow, printer of this parish Sarah Wills widower of this parish witness M Robinson and Elizabeth Robinson

1822 muster - listed as A22894 Elizabeth Wills came free on "Hillsborough" widow of G . Howe resident
with A22895 - Edward F.18
A22896 - Horatio G. 11
buried NSW P68571/79 Number 5818 Vol:2 Sarah Howe age 44 years bur 10 Jul 1823 St Phillip's Sydney

Death Ref No NSW V18235818 2b/1823
and also V1823899 8/1823

3 May 2005 to Daniel Goonan
I have a copy of the baptism of Sarah Harding chr 11 Aug 1776 at St Luke's Old Street Finsbury, Middlesex and it gives her parents as Thomas Harding (Watch Glassgrinder) and Sarah.
This is the same parish as Edward Spencer Wills was christened and Sarah Wills chr 15th May 1796.
In her letter Sarah Wills addresses the letter to Dear Mama-in-law. and mentions Mama Wills and apologises for not naming a child Elizabeth and goes on to mention the birth of Elizabeth Selina.
I would guess that Elizabeth Harding who visited Australia in 1811 is her stepmother.
Where did you find the marriage of Elizabeth Bell to Thomas Harding?
At St Luke's Old Street Finsbury Middlesex there is a marriage of Thomas Harding to Sarah Cumber in 1766 which would fit.
Celene nee Wills

Edward and Sarah had the following children:

+ 2 F i Sarah Wills was born on 23 Apr 1796. She died on 10 Jan 1875.
+ 3 M ii Thomas Wills was born on 5 Aug 1800. He died on 29 Jul 1872.
+ 4 F iii Eliza Wills was born on 10 Sep 1802. She died on 30 Sep 1858.
  5 M iv Edward Spencer Wills was born on 16 Feb 1805 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 14 Jul 1805 in StPhillip'sCofE,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He died in 1828 in London,,,England. He was buried in Devonshire St cemetery,.

from Mutch Index
baptised as Spencer Wills born 16 Feb 1805 and baptised July 14th 1805
baptism record V18051453 1A Sydney St Phillip's as Edward Wills
Also recorded as 1805 baptism of Spencer Wills
went to England to study first at Cambridge and then at Lincoln's Inn.
He was considerably in debt and committed suicide in 1828.

Evidence of outbursts of disrespect or violence of children towards parents is rare, and when
such incidents took place between young and old of means or rank, they were treated very
seriously as breaches of proper conduct. Just after his stepfather George Howe died in 1821,
young Edward Spencer Wills, seventeen years old, stood at the side door of the house where

Page 14
the auction of Howe's goods was proceeding. He refused to allow Joseph Underwood,
Howe's executor, to come in, slamming the door in his face. Underwood was outraged by
this rudeness, calling Edward 'Puppy' and demanding an explanation. Wills opened the door
and threatened to knock him down if he called him so again. 'You axe a puppy!' roared
Underwood, so Wills promptly 'struck me in the face and cut my mouth'. THe court ordered
him to pay a fine of fifty pounds.325 Even in such glimpses of struggles and tension, as well
those of harmonic family relationships, it is clear that the role of aging and old people was
not passive or superfluous, but continuous, active and integral.
325 Papers from trial of Edward Spencer Wills, 8 November 1821, CCJ R1976 p288

Sydney Gazette 18th August 1831.
The lamented death of that amiable and promising young Australian, Mr. Edward Spencer Wills, was an- nounced in this journal some weeks ago ; but the particulars have not, we believe,been hitherto recorded in any of the Sydney journals. Among some of tho old parcels which arrived from London by one of the last ships, but which, being quite out of date, were laid aside un- opened, we have accidentally discovered a slip cut out of the Times newspaper, containing a detailed report of the Coro- ner's Inquest. Though it comes much after the proper time, we think it will still be read with mournful interest by many of our readers.
There is an inaccuracy in the state- ment of Mr. Wills' family connexion : his mother was married to Mr. George Howe, the original proprietor and founder of the Sydney Gazette, and father to the
lat3 Mr. Robert Howe, whose untimely death is mentioned by Mr. Cosgrave.
  6 F v Elizabeth Selina Wills was born on 30 Nov 1807 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 18 Jan 1811 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was buried on 18 Jan 1811 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

from Mutch Index
name Elizabeth Selenia
Baptised Jan 10 1808 born Nov 30 1807
Buried 1811 Jan 18, aged 3 years all from St Phillips Sydney
In a letter from Sarah Wills nee Harding to her Mother (step mother??)
named Elizabeth
she Quoted "I think you and Mammy Wills found yourselves offended at not having a namesake and on that account we put ourselves to the expense of buying another little girl - and a very pretty little girl we have bought- her name is Elizabeth Selina - Selina is added by the request of a gentleman, her Godfather.
(Godfather is not mentioned in Mutch Index)
+ 7 M vi Horatio Spencer Howe Wills was born on 5 Oct 1811. He died on 17 Oct 1861.

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