St Katherine's Cemetery

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Online Data

Most of the data relates to the Beale Family as per below


This small church was build in 1856 to the memory of the wife of Major Anthony Beale, Katherine Rose Beale, and was known as "Rose Chapel". When Anthony Beale died he willed the Chapel and three acres of land to the Church of England. It was then known as St Katherine's.

Major Anthony Beale came to Port Phillip District in 1839 after serving as the Paymaster for the East India Company until 1834. He set up an estate in the north of early Melbourne and the house he built was named St Helena as the East India Company had been responsible for the island of St Helena for many years and he had served on the island. The family to the Port Phillip District came by way of Van Dieman's Land, now Tasmania.

The Churchyard was initially the burial place of the Beales and family/friends but over time this changed and the cemetery became the resting place for many other as well as a number of notable people including Walter Withers, the well-known painter and Graham Webster, a Police Magistrate for Victoria.

The church stood for many years until the bushfires in February 1957 destroyed it. Following the bushfire, the church was restored and still stands today on St Helena's Road.

You can find at the church:
* bronze plaque on the outside wall providing a chronology of history of the church.
* memorial tablets inside the church for the Beale family members and the Vicars of the church.
* a memorial for three of the great grandsons of Anthony Beale - Robert Anthony Beale, Harold Lindsay Wilcox and Robert Henry James who died in World War 1.

Mr Neil Hanson transcribed the inscriptions on all the memorials and tombstones at the Church before the 1957 bushfires and copies of his work can be found at the Genealogical Society of Victoria and the AIGS as well as at SAG in Sydney. The records now also include a list of people interred in the cemetery where there is no grave-stone. There are approximately 200 plus people buried in the church cemetery. The list of burials and memorials was later updated by C. Bromby in 1979.

Surnames found buried at the church include:
* Adamson * Beale * Brown * Evens/Evans * Fielding
* Maplestone * McLean * Maddison * Wingrove * Page
* Flintoff * Whittingham * Yeaman * Hiddlestone * Matthews
just to list up a few.

One of the memorials notes:
" In memory of
Onesephorus James
first born of Katherine Rose and Anthony Beale,
who was accidentally drowned in the River Tamar, Launceston, V.D.L
14th August, 1839, aged 24 years
In the midst of life we are in death."

This historic small church (and cemetery) has been looked after by the congregation over the years. It is worthwhile visiting the church and cemetery as it is one of the first in the colony of Victoria, or Port Phillip District as it was at the time and part of New South Wales.

David Weatherill
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia



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