Descendants of Edward Spencer Wills

Second Generation

2. Sarah Wills (Edward Spencer ) was born on 23 Apr 1796 in Middlesex,England. She was christened on 15 May 1796 in St Luke Old Str,Finsbury,Middlesex,England. She died on 10 Jan 1875 in Roke Manor,,Hampshire,England.

Baptism from LDS microfilm 0585440 Baptism and Burials of St Luke's Old Street Finsbury Middlesex 1776 - 1810

from Mutch Index
Married William Redfern 4.Mar.1811 by Rev William Cowper by Special Licenc, witness Edward Wills and Henry Colden Antill St Phillip's Sydney.
1828 census
Redfern Sarah Protestant came "Hillsborough" 1799 living at Airds
William Redfern no age settler at Airds protestant occup surgeon came ship "Minorce"
Redfern James, age 5 years resident at Airds ship arrival "Alfred" 1824 prostestant - editor's remarks - Joseph Foveaux

from Ancestor Treasure Hunt
married James Alexander 24.June.1834
inherited from her mother Sarah Wills nee Harding 30 acre farm adjoined 100 acres behind Cleveland House, Cleveland and Elizabeth Street, Sydney, estate of William Redfern
death from Terry Wills Cooke's book The Currency Lad living in London in 1837
??"Letters from Victorian Pioneers", by Thomas Francis Bride.
??"She (Sarah) administered Redfern's estates with Thomas Wills, her brother, and William Charles Wentworth. Sheep from the Redfern Estates near Bathurst formed part of the original flocks at Ledcourt (taken there by Robert Briggs in her name_ At Lexington for Horatio Spencer Wills, her brother, and at Swanwater, north of St Arnaud, for her brother-in-law, Captain John Harrison.
Redfern's son William with his stepfather, James Alexander, held Emu Plains and the Upotipotpooon runs in the Benalla District, 1844-53.

also in 1861 wrote to Cedric Wills in Germany about father's death saying his uncle Thomas Wills too ill to bear tidings in person Deaths Dec Quarter 1876 Sarah Alexander St Giles London
Middlesex. aged 82

Sarah married (1) William Dr Redfern on 4 Mar 1811 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. William was born in 1774/1775 in Canada. He died on 17 Jul 1833 in ,,Edinburgh,Scotland. He was buried in ,Edinburg,,Scotland.

from the Scretary of Public Record Office, london
Muster of Logs of H.M.S. "Standard", 1797
Name William Redfern
Quality Surgeon's 1st Mate
Date of Joining 23rd January, 1797
Age on joining 22 years
Place of birth Canada
Date of discharge 14th June 1797 at Gravesend. Wages to be forgeited for mutiny and rebellion."

Transported on "Minorca" which left England 21 Jun 1801 and arrived 14 Ded 1801 and sent to Norfilk Island arriving there in Jan 1802.
Free pardon granted in 1803.
returned to Sydney 1808 on "Estramina" with "wife" and servant. [ "wife" never heard of again.]
Appointed Assistant surgeon in Sydney on 1 Jan 1812 recommended by Joseph Foveaux.

In May 1811, the colony's best known physician, Dr William Redfern, was granted 800 acres (320ha) covering much of the modern-day Minto suburb. Like Campbelltown his property of Campbellfield was named after the Governor's wife, Elizabeth Campbell.
Dr Redfern, a man of great compassion and integrity, is believed to have been born in Canada about 1774, and qualified as a doctor in Britain in 1797. A closer examination of his late life will be undertaken later in this chapter.
By 1820, Redfern's Campbellfield property had greatly developed and expanded under the guidance of the aging doctor and his able young wife, Sarah. Their splendid homestead was built on a high hill overlooking the farm paddocks and Bow Bowing Creek valley. (Parts of this historic house still survive behind Minto Mall shopping centre).
Campbellfield, often called "Campbellfields", became one of the finest vineyards and sheep farms in NSW, and at its peak would stretch from the modern Ingleburn to Leumeah railway station.
But the property lost much of its impetus and prestige after the much mourned death of Redfern in 1833, and Sarah's subsequent departure.
Redfern Road was named after the good doctor, while Minto Road was created parallel to the railway and ran north to Ingleburn.

5 December, 1816 formation of the Bank of New South Wales and shares for fifty pounds each were issued
Dr Redfern 2 shares

1822 census at Liverpool grant not residing there had 64 acres of wheat,10 acres of pease, 2 acres of potatoes and 5 acres of garden/orchard had 400 acres cleared total 5,850 acres, 16 horses, 985 cattles, 3210 sheep, 210 hogs, 900 bushels of wheat in hand

Returned to Sydney in July 1824 on the "Alfred" with 9 rams and 5 ewes as well as various kinds of grapes and fruit trees from Madeire.. Accompanied by Emily and Selina Willey (her cousins)
July 1825 went to London and returned in June 1825
He died in Edinburgh (1833) where he was supervising his son's education.
His executors were H.C. Antill and Thomas Wills (his brothers-in-law) and Messrs. Gilchrist and Alexander, Merchants of George St, Sydney were Agents. [the original firm, Redfern and Alexander was founded in 1838 and in 1852 became Gilchrist Watt and &Co and later Gilchrist, Watt and Sanderson.
Redfern estates were sold 12 Sept 1842.

email contacts
from Australian Dictionary of Biography online
REDFERN, WILLIAM (1774?-1833), surgeon, was born probably in Canada, and bought up at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, where his brother lived later. His letters show a command of English and acquaintance with the classics which suggest that he was well educated.
In June 1797 after passing the examination of the London Company of Surgeons, the predecessor of the Royal College of Surgeons, he was commissioned surgeon's mate in the navy. He joined H.M.S. Standard, whose crew a few months later took part in the mutiny of the fleet at the Nore, which followed the success of the mutiny of the Channel Fleet at Spithead. In the course of the trouble Redfern advised the men 'to be more united among themselves', so he was included among the leaders to be tried by court martial. On 27 August a scrupulously fair court sentenced him to death, but because of his youth he was reprieved. He was kept in prison for four years until sent to New South Wales in the "Minorca", on whose indent his name is bracketed with thirteen others as 'Mutineers'. On board he helped the surgeon and reached Sydney on 14 December 1801.
In May 1802 he commenced duty as assistant surgeon at Norfolk Island. He attracted the attention of Lieutenant-Governor Foveaux and soon received a conditional pardon; on 19 June 1803 he was given a free pardon by Governor King .
For five years he worked hard there and gained a good medical reputation; when he returned to Sydney in 1808, Foveaux, then in command at headquarters, appointed him assistant surgeon, owing to 'the distress'd State of the Colony for medical aid' since 'his skill and ability in his profession are unquestionable, and his conduct has been such as to deserve particular approbation'. As he had no documentary evidence of his professional qualifications Surgeons Jamison , Harris and William Bohan examined him in 'Medicine, Surgery and other necessary collateral Branches of Medical Literature'. They found him 'qualified to exercise the Profession of a Surgeon etc.'; the examination set a precedent followed for many years for testing anyone who wished to practise medicine in the colony.
During 1809 Redfern attended John Macarthur 's daughter and earned her father's deep gratitude for 'the skill he … manifested in discovering and applying an efficacious remedy to her extraordinary disease'. Macarthur promised to use his influence in Redfern's favour 'whenever Mr. Bligh 's affair is settled', but by that time Governor Macquarie had recommended the confirmation of Redfern's appointment, and to this the secretary of state agreed.
Since 1808 Redfern had been working in the old and dilapidated hospital at Dawes Point. The building of an urgently needed replacement was one of the first tasks Macquarie put in hand. When it was completed in 1816 Redfern took charge of it, and D'Arcy Wentworth , the principal surgeon, only occasionally visited the wards as a consultant. Redfern was assisted by his apprentice, Henry, son of Rev. William Cowper, who after three years training was appointed assistant at the hospital. After two years in this post Redfern regarded him as a particularly well-trained practitioner. Cowper, as Redfern's apprentice, had succeeded James Shears who, commencing in 1813, was the first Australian medical student, but had died a year later. Occupation of the new hospital did not end the appalling conditions which had existed in the old place; there remained inadequacies of diet and sanitation, and the nursing care provided by the unreliable and often disorderly staff of convict attendants and nurses was very rough. Stealing was so rife that Redfern, having no trustworthy person on his staff—even Cowper was in trouble for supplying medicines, stockings and other items from the store to his friends—had perforce to issue all stores and supervise the making of medicines to check the theft of drugs.
In addition to his work in the hospital wards, Redfern conducted a daily out-patient clinic for men from the convict gangs. He also had the most extensive private practice in the colony, for he was the most popular doctor in the settlement and his services were widely sought. He was the family doctor to the Macarthurs and the Macquaries and attended the birth of Governor Macquarie's son. His professional skill was highly regarded by his colleagues and he had the reputation of being the best obstetrician in the colony.
Since Redfern was concerned with convict health it was natural that he should have been asked to investigate the heavy mortality suffered on the calamitous voyages of the convict transports Surry, General Hewitt and Three Bees in 1814. His report is one of the major Australian contributions to public health. His recommendations on the ventilation, cleanliness and fumigation of the ships, on the diet and clothing of the prisoners and the need for permitting them on deck were all important, but even more noteworthy was his insistence on the need for 'approved and skilful' surgeons in each ship and for defining clearly their powers vis-à-vis the ships' masters. To provide men for this service he recommended naval surgeons, 'Men of Abilities, who have been Accustomed to Sea practice, who know what is due to themselves as Men, and as Officers with full power to exercise their Judgment, without being liable to the Controul of the Masters of the Transports'. This advice was followed, and the appointment of surgeon-superintendents of convict, and later emigrant, ships put an end to most of the abuses of the past.
When D'Arcy Wentworth resigned as principal surgeon in 1818 Redfern expected to succeed him; but despite his previous promises to Redfern and a very strong recommendation from Macquarie, Bathurst appointed a naval surgeon, James Bowman, probably because of his dislike of employing former convicts. Redfern thereupon resigned as assistant surgeon. On 14 October 1819 he left the government medical service, to which, declared Macquarie in a General Order, he had been 'so great and valuable an acquisition' thanks to 'his superior professional skill, steady attention and active zealous performance of the numerous important duties entrusted to him'.
As a solace next month Macquarie appointed Redfern a magistrate, despite the warnings of Commissioner Bigge against doing so; next year Bathurst, expressing his disapproval of 'nominations of Convicts to the Magistracy', ordered his removal from the bench. Unfortunately Redfern had become a provocative symbol of the governor's emancipist policy.
Redfern always took an active part in the life of New South Wales. He was an honorary medical officer of the Benevolent Society, a member of its committee and that of the Aborigines' Institution. He was one of the first directors of the Bank of New South Wales. He and his wife had an estate of 100 acres (40 ha) which gave the name of Redfern to the Sydney suburb which later developed about it. In 1818 he was granted 1300 acres (526 ha) in the Airds district. This he called Campbell Fields in honour of Mrs Macquarie, and it was praised by Bigge as one of the best developed properties in the colony.
In 1817 the status of emancipists was shaken by a ruling of the King's Bench that persons freed by the governor's pardon, unlike those under pardons issued under the Great Seal in London, could not maintain personal action at law or acquire, retain or transmit property, and Judge Barron Field followed this in a decision in Sydney in 1820. At a meeting held in January 1821 it was decided to send Redfern and Edward Eagar to present a petition appealing against this to the King. Redfern sailed for England on 27 October. The delegation was successful and the position was rectified by the New South Wales Act of 1823. While in England Redfern prepared an indictment against Bigge and a book criticizing his methods of inquiry, but did not publish it.
After a sojourn in Madeira for his health he returned to New South Wales in the "Alfred" in July 1824, received a further grant at Campbell Fields and acquired land near Bathurst and Cowra. He lived at Campbell Fields and devoted more time to his farming activities, which included cultivating the vine as well as fine wool and cattle; he gradually withdrew from his medical practice, which he entirely gave up in September 1826. Two years later he took his son William to Edinburgh to be educated. Though he intended to return, he died there in July 1833. He left 23,190 acres (9385 ha) in New South Wales, including 6296 (2548 ha) at Airds and 11,362 (4598 ha) at Bathurst.
When Redfern came from England in 1801 he was single. When he returned from Norfolk Island in 1808 in the schooner "Estramina", according to the passenger list he was accompanied by his wife, but no other record of his marriage is known.
On 4 April 1811 he married Sarah Wills of Sydney, and had two sons, William Lachlan Macquarie (b.1819), who later lived in Edinburgh, and Joseph Foveaux (1823-30). In June 1834 Sarah married James Alexander of Glasgow and later returned with him to Sydney.
Redfern had great forcefulness and independence of character; Bigge, who found in him a proud and inflexible opponent, said he was the only person in the colony to resist his authority. He had kindliness and integrity, attributes that gained for him the support and enduring friendship of Macquarie, which was steadfastly maintained in the face of often bitter opposition from those who detested the rise of ex-convicts. He lacked a gracious bedside manner, but on his retirement the Sydney Gazette, 6 September 1826, commented, 'his experience and skill made ample amends for any apparent absence of over-flowing politeness'. Disdained by many as an emancipist, Redfern was always ready to reply brusquely to men like Bigge and Bowman who were offensive to him.
In 1827 he horsewhipped Robert Howe for attacking him in the Gazette, and was fined 30s. He was one of the greatest of the early medical practitioners of the colony, the first to receive an Australian qualification, the first teacher of Australian medical students, and the author of important reforms in the convict transports. Nevertheless, as a result of his youthful actions at the Nore, which, however justified, were naturally resented by the government, his later important services in New South Wales were ill requited.
Select Bibliography
Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 6-10; E. Ford, The Life and Work of William Redfern (Syd, 1953); N. J. Dunlop, ‘William Redfern, the First Australian Medical Graduate’, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, 14 (1928); E. Ford, ‘Medical Practice in Early Sydney’, Medical Journal of Australia, 9 July 1955; Australian, 23 Jan 1828; Bigge Report, evidence, Bonwick transcripts (State Library of New South Wales).
Author: Edward Ford
Print Publication Details: Edward Ford, 'Redfern, William (1774 - 1833)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press, 1967, pp 368-371.

William and Sarah had the following children:

+ 8 M i William Lachlan Macquarie Redfern was born on 27 Jul 1819. He died before 1900.
  9 M ii Joseph Foveaux Redfern was born on 7 Feb 1823 in England. He was christened on 1 May 1825 in St Luke's Church, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia. He died about 1830. He was buried on 11 Apr 1830 in St Phillip's, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Mutch Index
Joseph F Redfern infant d 1830 Church of England St Phillip's Sydney
BDM Index V18309010 2C

1828 census
Redfern James age 5 years resident at Airds - ship arrival "Alfred"
1824 protestant - Editor remarks - Joseph Foveaux.

Sarah married (2) James Alexander on 24 Jun 1834 in ,Barony,Lanarkshire,Scotland. James was born in 1800 in ,Barony,Lanarkshire,Scotland. He was christened on 15 Mar 1800 in ,Murroes,Angus,Scotland. He died on 29 Jul 1877 in ,,,England.

Christening as per I.G.I.
had been in partnership with William(the son) Redfern as merchants - a firm
named Redfern and Alexander of George Street Sydney, founded in 1838

Redfern, Alexander and Co mentioned in "The First Settlement of the
Upper Murray 1835-1845 p . 99

1871 census of England
James Alexander head age 65 b. Scotland
Sarah wife aged 72 b. London Middlesex (b. 1799 whereas b. 1796)
at 10 Porchester Terr, Paddington, London Merchant Australian
with 5 servants
Jane Baker b. Dover Kent age 36
Richard Bores 25 b. b. Riston Kent
Jessie Cumming 54 b. Scotland
Jane Franklin 46 b. Dorset
Alice Handly 22 b. Ireland

James and Sarah had the following children:

+ 10 F iii Sarah Alexander was born on 9 Feb 1835. She died on 8 Oct 1905.

3. Thomas Wills (Edward Spencer ) was born on 5 Aug 1800 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 26 Sep 1802 in StPhillip'sCofE,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He died on 29 Jul 1872 in ,Melbourne,Victoria,Australia. He was buried in Kew,Melbourne,Victoria,Australia.

baptism records from Mutch Index does not give Spencer in name.
Spencer was there for Edward and Horatio but not Thomas or the girls.
Thomas born Aug 1800 but baptised Sep 26 1802 on the same day as
first marriage from Mutch Index by Rev W Cowper witness H Antil M Reiby and Geo Reiby
by Special Licence 14 th June 1822.

1822 census B02121 had Grant of land at Liverpool with a residence had 95 cattle and 150 sheep.

1828 muster was age 28 free born in the colony - protestant - tenant of Wm Klensendorlfe at Lr Minto *W2004
Mary Ann aged 26 (also says B.C. - not correct) as says came by ship "Orpheus" 1827 Catholic - W2005
William H.R. age 1 born in the colony Protestant W2006
920 acres, 3 horses, 300 horned cattle and 1,150 sheep.

1833 became the first Australian born J.P.

1837 Muster
Master Thomas Wills at Liverpool had
William Barber age 72 arr "Somerset" 1813 from Gloucester
Richard Card aged 40 "Lady Melville" 1830
Michael Connors aged 23 "Roslyn Castle" in 1832

In the third land sale on Melbourne land on 13 September 1838 Thomas Wills purchased Section 11 Lot 16 in Bourke Street for 83 pounds 12 shillings.
In the fourth land sale on 14th February 1839 Thomas Wills purchased one block in Flinders Street Section 7 Lot 4 for 110 pounds.

1841 census Wills, Thomas age 36 at Lucerne, County Burk, District Port Phillip item ID [4/244A] page no 73 Reel No 2509
also Town Melbourne County Bourke, District Port Phillip [X949] page no 119 reel 2222

The Varro Ville homestead was constructed of rendered sandstone bricks on a stone foundation. The frogs of indentations to hold the mortar in the bricks are in the shape of diamonds, spades and hearts. The cedar joinery indicates the early age of the house, but other additions suggest some alterations around the 1870s. A second cottage, thought to date from 1810, and the old coach house are still standing. original grant made by Macquarie to Dr Townson 1 January 1810.
When he died in 1827, Townson left behind a thriving vineyard and sheep/cattle farm. Varro Ville became the property of Thomas Wills, a brother of Sarah Redfern, and in 1837 in was purchased by one of the greatest Australian explorers, Charles Sturt.
Long Point is the only suburb of Campbelltown that is named after its geographic location. When Campbelltown Council proposed making the Long Point name official in 1975, it showcased an old plan of the Campbellfield estate dated from 1844. It was prepared for E.J.H. Knapp, a Sydney land surveyor, and showed the north-west portion of the estate as "the long point forest land". Long Point was frontier life, with stock theft often reported. As late as the 1960's, but drivers warned they would omit the area from their route unless the "shocking state" of the roads improved. Today, the tiny suburb still only boasts three roadways. Wills Road gets its name from Thomas Wills

1861 census of London England
Name Thomas Wills Age 58 Estimated Year of Birth 1803
Relationship to Head of Household HEAD
Address 4 BRIDGE ROAD District Marylebone, St John Parish Administrative County London
Birth Place -- Birth County AUSTRALIA

Condition as to marriage:
Registration district: Marylebone Sub registration district: St John ED, institution, or vessel: 19 Neighbors:
Household schedule number: 146 Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Wills 58
Mary Ann Wills 31
Arthur Wills 4
Harry Wills 2
Frederick Wills 9 Mo
Jane Buttress 19 was a visitor
Matilda Sadler 24
Mary Ann Butt 21
Elizabeth S Rae 27
Caroline Brodpeck 26
Caroline Winsor 28

Victorian Death Registration 1872/07080 says father Edward, mother Sarah Hardy born Sydney aged 71

Thomas married (1) Celia Reibey on 14 Jun 1822 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. Celia was born in 1803 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 28 Sep 1823 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was buried in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

daughter of Mary Riebey
burial from Mutch Index
Sydney Gazette recorded "This amiable young lady was united to Mr thomas Wills, to whom she has bequeathed a pledge of her tenderest affection, a sweet little girl. Prior to her confinement, Mrs Wills caught a violent cold, which fastened on the lungs and originated rapid consumption. The delineate the grief of the astonished widower and young father is a task to which our pen is incompetent".

Thomas and Celia had the following children:

  11 F i Alice Wills was born on 6 May 1823 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was christened on 1 Jun 1823 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 14 Apr 1824 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was buried in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

baptism and burial from Mutch files

Thomas married (2) Marie Anne Barry on 19 Feb 1827 in ,Port Louis,,Mauritius. Marie was born on 21 Sep 1801. She died on 19 May 1870.

sister to Dr Richard Barry, Professor of the Colonial college, Port Louis, Mauritius
married Thomas Wills 19 Feb 1827 at Port Louis Mauritius
left Mauritius aboard "Orpheus" on 11 March 1827 arrived Sydney in May'27

1828 census Wills Mary Ann came "Orpheus" in 1827 catholic age 26

1861 was living with Catherine and Lewis Conran and children in England at Civil Parish: Bishops Waltham Town: Bishops Waltham County/Island: Hampshire Country: England (says she was 59)

Thomas and Marie had the following children:

  12 M ii William Henry Redfern Wills was born on 1 Dec 1827 in ,Lower Minto,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 1 Feb 1828 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He died on 28 Nov 1828 in Campbell Field,New South Wales,Australia. He was buried in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

baptism and burial from Mutch Index of Parish Records
+ 13 F iii Catherine Spencer Wills was born on 24 Nov 1831. She died on 22 Dec 1884.

Thomas married (3) Mary Ann Mellard. Mary was born in 1829 in Peckham Surrey,England. She was christened on 4 Oct 1829 in Saint Giles, Camberwell, London, England. She died on 2 Feb 1903. She was buried in Cemetery,Wimbledon,,England.

biography of Arthur Wills gives mother Mary Ann Mellard of Welsh
extraction and details of death and burial
1841 census
Name: Mary Mellard
Age: 12
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1829
Gender: Female
Where born: Surrey, England
Civil Parish: St Giles Camberwell
Hundred: Brixton (Eastern Division)
County/Island: Surrey
Country: England
Registration district: Camberwell
Sub registration district: Peckham
Household Members: Name Age
John Sodd 25
Mary Sodd 20
John Sodd 1 6 Mo
Amelia Nevill 20
Mary Mellard 12


Name: Mary Ann Wills
Age: 31 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1830
Relation: Wife Female
Where born: Peckham, Surrey, England
Spouse's Name: Thomas Gender:
Civil Parish: St Marylebone Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints County/Island: Middlesex Country: England

Name: Amelia Wills Age: 7
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1854
Relation: Boarder Gender: Female
Where born: London Nk, Middlesex, England
Civil Parish: Kingston On Thames
Ecclesiastical parish: St Peter Town: Kingston County/Island: Surrey
Country: England

Household Members: Name Age
John Barker 43
Mary Barker 40
Elizabeth Barker 11
Henry Hampton 4
William Skill 27
Eliza Skill 37
Amelia Wills 7

(Fairfield End District Norbiton, Kingston)

1861 census
Name: Mary Ann Wills Age: 31 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1830
Relation: Wife Female Where born: Peckham, Surrey, England
Spouse's Name: Thomas Gender:
Civil Parish: St Marylebone Ecclesiastical parish: All Saints County/Island: Middlesex Country: England
Condition as to marriage:
Registration district: Marylebone Sub registration district: St John ED, institution, or vessel: 19 Neighbors:
Household schedule number: 146
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Wills 58
Mary Ann Wills 31
Arthur Wills 4
Harry Wills 2
Frederick Wills 9 Mo
Jane Buttress 19 b. Mile End Old Town London (dau of sister Jane)
Matilda Sadler 24
Mary Ann Butt 21
Elizabeth S Rae 27
Caroline Brodpeck 26
Caroline Winsor 28

1871 census of England
Mary Ann Wills age 41 b. Peckham, Surrey, England [ same birthplace as Mrs Jane Butterss]
living at Leyton, Essex with
Arthur Wills 14 b. Hammersmith son
Charles E Wills 9 b. St John's Wood, son
and Amelia Wills , 17, b. Paddington Middlesex daughter.
[Note Thomas Wills returned to Victoria in Feb, 1863 on "Northam" with child aged 4 and died 1872]

1881 census of London Mary Ann was wife of George Barker b. abt 1831
Peckham Surrey living at Waterden Rd, Church Hill, Stoke, Surrey. His occupation General Practitioner LSA
and having in the household Amelia Wills b. abt 1854 step daughter b.
Bayswater Middlesex.
[possible Amelia Mary Wills b. March quarter 1853 St James
Westminister, London Middlesex]

1891 Mary Ann Barker aged 59, pauper, b. Croydon Surrey was living as a
boarder with Eliza Bignall Head of House, also born Croydon Surrey
at Cherry Orchard Rd., 4 Lees Cottage, Croydon , Surrey.

1901 census living at St Mary's Wimbledon, Surrey as Mary A Barker,Head of house
with Amilia Wills aged 46 dau b. Bayswater, London
and Charles E Wills 38 b. St John's Wood, London, England

1903 Death March quarter at Kingston, Middlesex. Surrey.

Thomas and Mary had the following children:

+ 14 M iv Arthur Wills was born on 18 Feb 1857. He died on 14 Oct 1932.
+ 15 M v Harry Spencer Wills was born on 13 Sep 1858. He died on 23 Jun 1914.
  16 M vi Frederick Thomas Wills was born on 19 Jul 1860 in ,,,England. He died about 1860 in ,,,England.

died in infancy
  17 M vii Charles Ernest Wills was born on 15 Nov 1861 in ,,,England. He was christened on 26 Jan 1862 in St Dunstan,Stepney,London,England. He died about 1930 in ,,,England.

christening from I.G.I.
died in infancy from Ancestor Treasure Hunt - Incorrect

1861 census at Marylebone
Thomas Wills 58
Mary Ann Wills 31
Arthur Wills 4
Harry Wills 2
Frederick Wills 9 Mo
Jane Buttress 19 was a visitor

1871 census of England living at Leyton, Essex with
Mary Ann Wills age 41 b. Peckham, Surrey, England
Arthur Wills 14 b. Hammersmith son
Charles E Wills 9 b. St John's Wood, son
and Amelia Wills , 17, b. Paddington Middlesex daughter.

in 1881 census was residing with Robert F Butters , at Holly Bush Hill
Eddeson Villa, census place Wanstead Essex England, -
nephew of the head of the household, occupation clerk age 19 birthplace St John's Wood
(brother Harry married to daughter of house and residing in Tasmania at
this time - therefore Harry and Alice must have been cousins)
possible - Mr C.E. Wills age 20 arrived in Victoria July 1882 ship Potosi into Port B fiche 406 p. 7

1901 census was living with mother Mary Ann Barker and Amelia Wills at St Mary's, Wimbledon

biography of Arthur Wills says visited "Amelia & Charlie" at
Hamersfield, Suffolk on 16.6.1930.

4. Eliza Wills (Edward Spencer ) was born on 10 Sep 1802 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was christened on 26 Sep 1802 in StPhillip'sCofE,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 30 Sep 1858 in Pictonville,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia.

from Mutch Index
born Sept 10 1802
bap Sept 26 1802
married Oct 9 1818 at St Phillips Sydney
Married Henry Colden Antill by Special Licence. Witnesses William
Redfern, Sarah Redfern (sister) Thomas Wills (brother) and John T
Campbell (Macquarie's secretary)
1828 muster aged 26 *A0487 Protestant
from Pockley's Ancestor Treasure Hunt "the diary of Robert F Pockley -
"my wife's dear mother died here" - "Lorne" on the North Shore
daughter Selina Antill married Pockley

Death Reg No NSW 2411/1858 died at St Leonards

Eliza married Henry Colden Antill on 9 Oct 1818 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. Henry was born on 1 May 1779 in United States of America. He died on 14 Aug 1852 in Jarvisfield, Picton,New South wales Australia. He was buried in Picton, New South Wales Australia.

Born in New York in 1779, Henry Colden Antill (Australian Pioneer) was the second son of John Antill and Margaret Colden. John was a Major of the Second Battalion of the New Jersey Volunteers (Loyalists). Margaret was the granddaughter of Cadwallader Colden. The family was deported to Canada in 1783 after being on losing side in the American War of Independence
Henry Antill enlisted with the British Army as an ensign in 1796 and served with the 73rd Regiment. He was promoted to Captain in 1809 and received a medal for bravery following the storming of Seringaptam in India, where he had been badly wounded. He arrived in Sydney aboard the HMS Dromedary in December 1809 with his regiment, and was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Governor Lachlan Macquarie on January 1, 1810. Governor and Mrs Macquarie had also travelled to the colony aboard the HMS Dromedary. Henry Colden Antill was one of a party led by Governor and Mrs Macquarie to the Macquarie River Valley when on 7 May , 1815 Governor Macquarie proclaimed the site for a town. The town was called Bathurst in honour of the Earl of Bathurst, who was Secretary of State for War and the Colonies at that time. Bathurst holds the honour of being the oldest of our Australian inland cities. The road the Governor and his party took to the Macquarie River Valley was the one built and completed by William Cox in January 1815.
5 December, 1815 the formation of the Bank of New South Wales and
shares of fifty pounds each were issued.
Capt. H.C. antill, A.D.C. to the Governor 2 shares.

from Mutch files - free settler Capt 73rd Regt
married Eliza Wills , free, by Special Licence 9th Oct, 1818 witness
William Redfern, Sarah Redfern (nee Wills, sister) Thomas Wills, brother
and J.T. Campbell - Macquarie's secretary - (there was a family of
Campbell - merchant of George Street, Sydney )
In 1821 Henry Colden Antill retired from the Army and in 1822 was the first to receive a grant of 2,000 acres of land in the area we now know as Picton, which he named after a former General under whom both he and Macquarie had served in the Peninsular War. His property was later called 'Jarvisfield' after Marquarie's first wife Jane Jarvis.

For the period 1821-1823 Henry Colden Antill was a director of the Bank of New South Wales and later became Police Magistrate for the county of Camden from October 2, 1829 until his death in 1852.
1822 census 300026 at Liverpool
had 9 acres in wheat, a Quarter acre in Oats, 1 Pease/Beans, 1 acre of potatoes, 3 acres garden/orchard, 100 cleard total of 6,200 acres,
4 horses, 234 cattle, 300 sheep, 90 hogs, 25 bushels of wheat in hand and 5 bushels of maize.

from 1828 muster
Antill H.C, free aged 49 came on Dromedary 1807
was a landholder at Camden *A0487 Protestant
2,900 acres 142 cleared 72 cultivated
18 horses, 232 cattle 1400 sheep
A0488 Eliza 26 B.C. Protestant
A0489 Margaret 8 B.C. "
A0490 John 6 B.C. "
A0491 Alice 4 B.C. Protestant
A0492 Gordon 2 B.C. " [name should be Colden]
A0493 William 1 B.C. "

In the 1828 drought Henry was forced to send his sheep and cattle to the Molonglo Plains. He established an estate at Primrose Valley that remained in the ANTILL family until 1862 when it was absorbed into “Carwoola” by Thomas RUTLEDGE.
1841 census Antill, H.C. return 58 residence Jarvisfield County Camden,
District Picton. Item ID [X949] page 73 reel 2222
Death Reg No NSW V18521140 38B/1852 - aged 73

from Australian Dictionary of Biography online
ANTILL, HENRY COLDEN (1779-1852), soldier and settler, was born on 1 May 1779 in New York of British stock, his great-grandfather, Edward Antill, having migrated from England to America in 1680. His father, John Antill, a major in the New Jersey Volunteers, fought under the King's banner in the war of American independence; as a result his property was confiscated and after the war he and his family removed to Canada where Henry Colden spent his youth. In 1796 he joined the British army as an ensign in the 73rd Regiment. He served in India and at Seringapatam was severely wounded in the shoulder. In 1799 he was promoted lieutenant and about this time became associated with Captain Lachlan Macquarie, with whom he formed a firm friendship.
In 1807 Antill returned to England with his regiment and on 11 January 1809 gained his captaincy; later that year he sailed to Australia with the 73rd Regiment, now commanded by Macquarie.
On arrival in Sydney on 1 January 1810, Antill was appointed aide-de-camp to the governor, and in 1811 promoted Major of brigade. He accompanied the governor on his tours throughout the settled areas and on a visit to Van Diemen's Land in 1811. In 1815 he was in the vice-regal party which officially opened the road to Bathurst. In 1818 he accompanied Macquarie on an inspection of Newcastle and in 1820 he took part in an excursion to the newly-discovered land south of the Cowpastures as far as Lake George. Antill was also a member of various committees concerned with the welfare of orphans, public schools and Aboriginals. He was involved in much work as co-executor with Thomas Moore of the estate of Andrew Thompson. He was a close friend of William Redfern, and firmly supported the emancipist cause. He was a director of the Bank of New South Wales in 1819-21.
On 9 October 1818 at St Philip's Church, Sydney, he married Eliza Wills, the daughter of an emancipist. In 1821 he retired from the army on half-pay. He settled on the land first at Moorebank near Liverpool, and then in 1825 on his estate near Picton, named Jarvisfield in honour of Macquarie's first wife, Jane Jarvis, whom he had known in India; its 2000 acres (809 ha) were granted on 9 July 1822 and enlarged by an additional grant of 900 acres (364 ha) in 1826. Antill was appointed a justice of the peace in 1821 and in 1829 became resident magistrate and superintendent of police for the district at a salary of £150, whereupon he relinquished his half-pay. As a magistrate he was painstaking and unlike most of his fellows was even accused of showing undue sympathy towards the convict servants who were brought before him, though that did not prevent his being described as 'grossly ignorant or culpably capricious' when in 1839 he refused to allow a free man to be represented by counsel.
In 1844 Antill subdivided part of his estate on the north side of Stonequarry Creek and so made possible the founding of the town of Picton. His agricultural and pastoral pursuits flourished. He took up more land on the Molonglo where several of his sons received their early pastoral training. He was well known for his generosity and for his earnest religious outlook which included a strict Sabbatarianism.
He died at Jarvisfield on 14 August 1852 and was buried in the family vault which he had built on his estate. His wife died on 30 September 1858 and was buried beside him. One daughter had predeceased them, but they were survived by six sons and two daughters.
Select Bibliography
J. M. Antill, ‘Major Henry Colden Antill’, Journal and Proceedings (Royal Australian Historical Society), vol 32, part 3, 1946, pp 172-200; Stonequarry Bench books (State Library of New South Wales). More on the resources
Author: J. M. Antill

Henry and Eliza had the following children:

  18 F i Margaret Campbell Antill was born on 27 Jun 1820 in ,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She was christened on 31 Jul 1820 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 22 Jul 1849 in Jarvisfield,Stonequarry,New South Wales,Australia. She was buried on 24 Jul 1849 in Jarvisfield,Stonequarry,New South Wales,Australia.

from Mutch files
- J.T.Campbell was a witness to parents marriage -
baptised 31st July 1820 St Phillips Sydney
Death Reg No NSW V1849 789 34B/1849 aged 29 buried by Rev E Rodgers
+ 19 M ii John Macquarie Antill was born on 30 May 1822. He died on 4 Jun 1900.
+ 20 F iii Alice Sophia Antill was born on 27 Mar 1824. She died on 30 Jan 1920.
+ 21 M iv Henry Colden Antill was born on 7 Apr 1826. He died in 1913.
+ 22 M v William Redfern Antill was born on 3 Jan 1828. He died in 1905.
+ 23 M vi Thomas Wills Antill was born on 24 Nov 1829. He died on 18 May 1865.
+ 24 M vii Edward Spencer Antill was born on 20 Jul 1832. He died in 1917.
+ 25 M viii James Alexander Antill was born on 7 Nov 1834. He died in 1920.
+ 26 F ix Selina Antill was born on 17 Oct 1837. She died on 1 Dec 1924.
  27 M x Loftus Cliffe Antill was born on 6 Dec 1839 in Stonequarry,Picton,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 5 Jan 1840 in CofE St John's,Camden,New South Wales,Australia. He died in 1840 in ,Stonequarry,New South Wales,Australia. He was buried on 23 Jun 1840 in ,Stonequarry,New South Wales,Australia.

from Mutch files
Birth Reg No NSW V18401255 24A
Death Reg NO NSW V1840978 24A/1840

from Mutch files
baptized by Rev F. Wilkenson
Birth Reg No NSW V18401255 24A
Death Reg NO NSW V1840978 24A/1840 buried Oakes & Stonequarry

7. Horatio Spencer Howe Wills (Edward Spencer ) was born on 5 Oct 1811 in Sydney,,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 7 Jun 1815 in St Phillip's,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He died on 17 Oct 1861 in Cullin-la-ringo,Springsure,Queensland,Australia. He was buried in Garden Creek,Springsure,Queensland,Australia.

Mutch Index b. 1811, Oct 5
bap June 7, 1815 St Phillip's Sydney P.B.
1822 Census living with mother listed as Elizabeth Wills and brother

Mutch Index - married 1833 Dec by banns
First Settler in Arrarat District of Victoria
Member of Leglislative Council of Victoria for County of South Grant
tenth 10 day of December 1854
1837 Muster Horatio at Newcastle had one convict
4968 Catherine Cochrane age 20 came on the "Caroline" in 1833
Victorian Immigation records
1860 Mar, Mr Horatio S Wills age 54 entered Victoria on "Agincourt"

Massacred by Aborigines at Garden Creek, on the Property
Cullin-la-Ringo, Springsure
Queensland Death Reg No Qld 06/000356
buried Garden Creek Cemetery - Ungazetted cemetery R126 - 551
National Trust of Queensland - part of Horatio's run in 1861 - Portion 4
Coorabelle - 2560 acres

Australian Dictionary of Biography online
WILLS, HORATIO SPENCER HOWE (1811-1861), pastoralist and politician, was born on 5 October 1811 in Sydney, the sixth child of Edward Spencer Wills and his wife Sarah, née Harding. His father was transported for life for highway robbery and arrived in Sydney in the Hillsborough in July 1799 accompanied by his wife and eldest child, Sarah. He appears to have been assigned to his wife and they were soon in business as general merchants and ship-chandlers at 96 George Street North, their premises abutting on Sydney Cove. He also owned several small trading vessels in partnership with Thomas Reibey, merchant. Wills was given an unconditional pardon in 1803 and a full pardon on 30 May 1809. He died on 14 May 1811.
On Horatio Wills's first birthday his mother married George Howe , printer-editor of the Sydney Gazette, then being published at 96 George Street. Howe's fortunes were greatly changed by the trading and ship-owning business that Sarah Howe continued to conduct after her first husband's death. Social prestige came to her from the marriage of her eldest child Sarah to Dr William Redfern , and of Elizabeth,[ Eliza] her fourth child, to Major Henry Colden Antill .

Wills's youth was spent on Sydney's waterfront. He had little formal education, and at 12 was employed in the Gazette office. His mother died on 8 July 1823, two years after George Howe. Soon afterwards young Wills was apprenticed to Robert Howe, who inherited the Gazette and the George Street premises from his father. Wills never liked the trade and quarrelled often with his stepbrother-master. A legend has him running away to sea, shipwrecked in the South Seas and rescued dramatically after living with islanders for two years; none of the dates mentioned accord with actual happenings in his early youth, although he did abscond from his apprenticeship at least three times for short periods. Once he shipped in a sealing vessel, the other times he was at the homes of his sisters, Mrs Redfern and Mrs Antill. Brought to court by Howe in 1827, Wills was defended by William Charles Wentworth and agreed to return to his master's service. His apprenticeship ended about the time of Robert Howe's death on 29 January 1829.
Although printer and publisher of the Gazette in 1832 Wills also edited, published and printed the Currency Lad from 25 August 1832. This four-page weekly journal, whose motto was 'Rise Australia', ceased after eight months. Wills's connexion with the Gazette ended in June 1833.
Wills married Elizabeth McGuire, aged 16, at Parramatta on 2 December 1833. At first they lived at Varroville in the Minto district, then owned by his brother Thomas. From 1834 he held a pastoral lease in the Molonglo district. It was from this holding that Wills overlanded to the Port Phillip District with 5000 sheep and 500 cattle. The journey began on 29 December 1839 and lasted four months. His wife and first child, Thomas Wentworth Wills , aged 4, were in the party, which included drovers, shepherds and Aboriginal stockmen. Wills's party wintered in 1840 near Mount William in the Grampians district; he noted in his diary some years later that he named a near-by hill, Mount Ararat, 'for here, like the Ark, we rested'. In December 1842 he took over a run of 120,000 acres (48,563 ha), which he named Lexington. There he lived for ten years greatly improving the holding, experimenting with wheat, fencing some paddocks with netting that he ordered from England, importing Saxon sheep, and building a fine homestead. He sold Lexington with 28,000 sheep and 3000 cattle for £35,000 in November 1852, and for the next eight years lived on Belle Vue, at Point Henry near Geelong. He made this small property a model farm, and himself something of a country squire, taking active interest in church, agricultural, immigration and charitable movements.
Wills was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council on 10 January 1855, succeeding William Clarke Haines who had become colonial secretary. Next year with Haines he was elected for South Grant to the first Legislative Assembly of Victoria, one of its three native-born members. He made no mark in its deliberations, but actively canvassed land reform, exclusion of Chinese from the goldfields, defence and penal reform. When parliament was dissolved on 24 February 1859 he was in Germany where he placed his three younger sons at school. He did not seek re-election.
In 1860 Wills twice visited central Queensland seeking land. He took over the lease of four blocks, each of twenty-five sq. miles (65 km²), from Peter Fitzalan Macdonald on the Nogoa River, 25 miles (40 km) south-west of the later town of Emerald. The selection was named Cullinlaringo. In January 1861 Wills, his son Thomas, and a party of stockmen, shepherds, other servants and their families left Geelong by ship for Brisbane. The twenty-five men, women and children left Brisbane on 5 February 1861 in bullock wagons and drays with stores for a new station. Some stud rams had been brought from Geelong. Sheep, horses and cattle were bought along the track, mainly in the Darling Downs and Burnett districts. Sixteen weeks later the party reached Rockhampton with 10,500 sheep. Thence they moved slowly along the Dawson track, south of the Fitzroy River, to Cullinlaringo, 250 miles (402 km) west. The expedition was one of the most lavishly equipped seen along the Dawson, and it attracted much attention from settlers, travellers and Aboriginals who became camp followers. Wills ignored warnings not to encourage them or to display supplies of food, clothing, blankets and other stores.
Cullinlaringo was reached in October 1861, eight months after leaving Brisbane. Immediately the building of stock yards, huts and store-rooms was started. A party of Aboriginals settled into a camp near by. Little attention was paid to them; they were friendly, seemed harmless, and had free run of the station. Wills and his people settled to a regular routine, with a rest after each midday meal. In the early afternoon of 17 October the peace of the station was broken by a woman's scream; Wills, resting in his tent, picked up a pistol and fired at an Aboriginal but was battered down with tomahawk and nulla-nulla. With tragic speed eighteen other people were killed. Only three men on the station escaped death. Thomas Wills and two stockmen were away from the station. It was the worst massacre of white men in the history of Australian pioneer settlement.
Wills's careless, lavish display of food, firearms, blankets and clothing had excited the greed of the Aboriginals. Study of the station habits made the raid an easy matter; it was not resisted because there was no preparation against attack. After the massacre the Aboriginals hastily plundered the stores, wagons, tents and huts, and hurried to the ranges. They were followed by a large party of police and settlers, trapped in a valley, and shot down. Few escaped this act of revenge. Wills and his people were buried in a grave at the scene of the massacre, which is remembered in a headstone.
Ironically, transfer of the Cullinlaringo leases was dated 18 October 1861, the day after the massacre. The leases remained with Wills's sons until 1877. Cedric, the second son, worked the property after his father's death and remained in the Peak Downs district all his life. Descendants are still there. Cullinlaringo was sold for £49,000 to the British Food Corporation in 1949 for grain-sorghum growing. The venture failed; later the property was cut up for closer settlement.
The eldest son, Thomas Wentworth Wills, was a noted cricketer at Rugby School, England, and in intercolonial matches for Victoria in the 1860s. Elizabeth Wills died in 1908. Amongst her memorials to her husband is a cottage in the Old Colonists' Homes, Melbourne.
Select Bibliography
T. F. Bride (ed), Letters from Victorian Pioneers (Melb, 1898); J. T. S. Bird, The Early History of Rockhampton (Rockhampton, 1904); R. V. Billis and A. S. Kenyon, Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip (Melb, 1932); W. R. Brownhill, History of Geelong and Corio Bay (Melb, 1955); L. L. Banfield, Like the Ark: The Story of Ararat (Melb, 1955); Wills family papers (privately held). More on the resources <../references/A020548r.htm>
Author: C. E. Sayers
Print Publication Details: C. E. Sayers, 'Wills, Horatio Spencer Howe (1811 - 1861)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, Melbourne University Press , 1967, pp 605-607.

Horatio married Elizabeth Wyer on 2 Dec 1833 in Parramatta,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. Elizabeth was born about 1818 in ,,New South Wales,Australia. She died on 28 Dec 1907 in Retreat Road,Kew,Victoria,Australia. She was buried on 30 Dec 1907 in Boroondara Cemet,Kew,Victoria,Australia.

must have been born in N.S.W. Australia - her father was a convict -
Michael Wyes 23 married Jane Wallace 22 April 11th, 1815. - drowned
when Elizabeth was about 5 or 6 and her sister Catherine was 7 or 8
1822 muster - A23420 Elizabeth Wyer aged 3 was living in Sydney with
father Michael Wyer, Catherine and Ann

Michael Wyre's wife called herself Dwyer and put the girls into an
orphanage - entered as McGrth -1826 remarks on Index to Orphan School
- widow hard struggle deserving woman -
both were entered into service as domestics. Elizabeth at 11 years old
went to Mrs MacGillavery who was a witness at Elizabeth's marriage to
Horatio Wills.
Catherine married William Roope as Catherine Dwyer.
extract from letters from Cedric to his mother - Elizabeth had not
visited her husband's grave but had had three trips to England - Victorian
Immigration - Elizabeth Wills aged 60 1885 Aug Ship Orient into Port B
fiche 454 p 6

Horatio and Elizabeth had the following children:

  28 M i Thomas Wentworth Wills was born on 19 Aug 1835 in ,Lower Minto,New South Wales,Australia. He was christened on 11 Jan 1837 in St Andrew's Church,Sydney,New South Wales,Australia. He died on 2 May 1880 in ,Heidelberg,Victoria,Australia. He was buried in Warringal Cemete,Heidelberg,Victoria,Australia.

from Mutch Index
born 19 Dec 1835
baptised 11 Jan 1837 by Rev John McGarvie (minister who performed marriage of parents)
Founder of Aussie Rules Football

from Graham-Vivian, M.C. 20 Sept 1951
quote"I find in the Register of Rugby School that there were only two Wills entries before 1867
William Wills son of William Wills esq Norton hall Cannock Staffordshire age 12 jan 19 Entrances after Midsummer 1817
Thomas Wentworth Wills son of Horatio Wills Esq Australia age 15 Aug 19 (Entrance in Feb 1851)

Queensland Justice of Peace 27 May 1863 A/4833 225

Victorian register of deaths no 4455 Thomas Wentworth Wills aged 45 b. Ararat (incorrect - Born while parents at Burra Burra, Molongo Disrict
baptised Sydney)
??? marriage to Sarah Theresa Barber at Castlemaine Vic
From The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Wentworth Wills dated 22nd February, 1877
" Now I hereby give, devise and bequeath the income arising from the said sum of One thousand, five hundred and fifty pounds unto and to the use of Sarah Theresa Barber (formerly) Sarah Theresa Duff, my Housekeeper now residing with me at Geelong for and during the term of her natural life absolutely for her own sole and separate use and free from the control of her present and any future husband.

from Australian dictionary of Biography online
WILLS, THOMAS WENTWORTH SPENCER (1835-1880), cricketer and footballer, was born on 19 December 1835 at Molonglo Plains, New South Wales, eldest son of Horatio Spencer Howe Wills and his wife Elizabeth, née McGuire. He was educated in Melbourne until 1852 when he went to Rugby School where he played football and captained the cricket XI. Intended for Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1856, he did not matriculate but he was included, by Oxford's permission, in the Cambridge XI in the inter-university match of that year. In 1853-56 he became a notable amateur cricketer in England, playing mainly for the gentlemen of Kent, but also for the Marylebone Club and on one occasion for United Ireland.
Wills returned to Melbourne late in 1856 and played twelve games for Victoria against New South Wales in 1857-76, scoring 319 runs at an average of 21.27 and taking 72 wickets at 10.23. He played for several teams, but mainly for Richmond and for the Melbourne Cricket Club, of which he was secretary in 1857-58. Although articled to a Collingwood solicitor in 1859 he seems never to have practised. In 1861 he accompanied his father and others overland to take up a property at Cullinlaringo, Queensland; in October all but Wills and two others who were absent from the camp were killed by Aboriginals. After helping his brother to run the property he returned to Melbourne in 1864.
Wills then became a cricket coach and trained the Lake Wallace region Aboriginal side that toured England in 1867. As a batsman he could be crudely effective, 'He uses a three pound bat and hits terrific' said James Lillywhite, but he was noted more as a bowler. Wills introduced round-arm and over-arm bowling into Victoria and was constantly accused of throwing, especially his faster deliveries. But fast or slow, thrower or bowler, he returned some devastating analyses at all levels of cricket.
A frequent and cantankerous letter-writer to the sporting press, Wills's most famous letter was in Bell's Life in Victoria, 10 July, 1858, calling for cricketers to take up a winter sport for fitness' sake. The response to this letter enabled him, his brother-in-law H. C. A. Harrison, and others to meet and draw up rules for a football game later to be known as Victorian or Australian Rules. Wills played over 210 games, mainly for Geelong, until he retired in 1876.
The indulgence in drink that seemed inseparable from the cricket of those days found a too-eager practitioner in Wills. As early as 1873 there were thinly veiled public accusations that colonial beer was affecting his cricket and in later years he had to be put under restraint. On 2 May 1880 at his Heidelberg home he eluded the vigilance of a man set to watch over him and stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. The inquest returned a verdict of suicide while of unsound mind caused by excessive drinking. For one who had been called 'the Grace of Australia' and 'a model of muscular Christianity' it was a sad end. He was buried in the Heidelberg cemetery after an Anglican service, survived by his wife Sarah Teresa, née Barber, whom he had married at Castlemaine, aged 32. Only one Melbourne paper, the Argus, acknowledged her existence and she finds no mention in Henderson's chapter on the Wills family. There were no children of the marriage.
Select Bibliography
F. Lillywhite, A. Haygarth, Cricket Scores and Biographies,vols 4-5 (Lond, 1863, 1876); A. Henderson (ed), Early Pioneer Families of Victoria and Riverina (Melb, 1936); D. J. Mulvaney, Cricket Walkabout (Melb, 1967); Bell's Life in Victoria, 1857-68; Australasian, 8 May 1869, 8 May 1880; Age (Melbourne), 3 May 1880; Argus (Melbourne), 4 May 1880; Leader (Melbourne), 8 May 1880. More on the resources
Author: W. F. Mandle
+ 29 F ii Emily Spencer Wills was born on 25 Dec 1842. She died on 6 Dec 1925.
+ 30 M iii Cedric Spencer Wills was born on 1 Dec 1844. He died on 23 Jan 1914.
+ 31 M iv Horace Spencer Wills was born on 16 Jun 1847. He died on 8 Oct 1928.
+ 32 M v Egbert Spencer Wills was born on 11 Nov 1849. He died on 11 Sep 1931.
+ 33 F vi Elizabeth Spencer Wills was born on 7 Jan 1852. She died on 21 Nov 1930.
  34 F vii Eugenie Spencer Wills was born on 28 Jan 1854 in ,,Victoria,Australia.

marriage reg no Vic 1877/3923 - divorced
no marriage to T.C. Cue found
        Eugenie married Peter Tyson in 1877 in ,Point Henry,Victoria,Australia. The marriage ended in divorce.Peter was born about 1850.

married 1877/3923
+ 35 F viii Minna Spencer Wills was born on 1 Mar 1856. She died in 1943.
+ 36 F ix Hortense Sarah Spencer Wills was born on 16 Aug 1861. She died in Sep 1907.

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