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Annie Cowan Guildford & Arthur Westbury

 Annie Cowan Westbury

Four generations: Jane Cowan (nee Barry); daughter Jane Guildford (nee Cowan); daughter Jane Annie Cowan Westbury (nee Guildford) holding daughter Annie Guildford Westbury

ANNIE COWAN GUILDFORD (b: July 18, 1876 at Sandymount, Otago, was the first child born to Henry John Guildford and mother Jane nee Cowan; She d: Feb 29, 1908 at Wanganui)

Annie received her schooling first at  Dunedin's George Street School.; Admiss; 26 Sep 1881, parent H J Guildford; home address N E V; and in 1884 Fortrose School, Invgl. then attended Kennington School 1885 - 1887.

Annie's parents next lived at Brunswick and it was here aged 17 yrs, Annie met and in 1893 mar: ARTHUR WESTBURY (he was b: Mar 16, 1865 at Worcester, England) At Invercargill he attended the Invercargill Middle School in 1875. At this time Arthur and his brother Edward Westbury (b: 1868  at Worcester) were both employed at Woodlands as ploughmen.

Arthur's parents were Frederick William Westbury (1835-1917) occ: labourer and mother Hannah Maria nee Eason (1842-1889) left London on the ship "Bebington"  (Captain Bruce) from London on 15 Jun 1873 for Port Chalmers arriving on 26 Sep 1873. Recorded on the ships list : Westbury Frederick 33Y England Ganger; Ann 30Y; Luther 7Y (this is son Arthur); Emily 3.Y. Infant Minnie was born 12 Feb 1873 before leaving (unrecorded).. Frederick along with some others on this voyage signed promissory notes on board prior to sailing and were engaged to work for Messrs Brogden and Sons. The family lived first at Invercargill where children Edward (1874-1962);  Anne Maria (1880-1880) Charles Ernest (1877-1diphtheria Jun 1889) Eliza Catherine (1883-1967) were born.They lived at Woodlands and mother d: 16 Sep 1887 and she was bur: there. Father William did labouring work but was a bootmaker by trade and then had his store and a 4 roomed home at Edendale (Section 18). In 1883 he became bankrupt and was forced to sell . He d: 12 Nov 1917 Woodslands, 83 yrs and was bur: with his wife who d: 16 Sep 1887 aged 48Y..

Frederick, daughter Annie, Mother Annie Cowan Westbury, Henry John and Arthur

Arthur and Annie Westbury had 4 children in quick succession: Annie Guildford Westbury (b: 7 Jan 1895); Henry John Westbury (b: May 29, 1896, Otautau); Arthur Guildford Westbury b: 1 Apr 1898; Frederick William Westbury b. Apr 26, 1900 Orepuke. Work took Arthur away from home for much of this time. and Annie struggled in isolated and primitive conditions to care for her 4 infants.

Southland Times, 10 Sep 1904: Axe and Saw Notes: The Southland Timber Co.'s mill at Otapiri Gorge is situated some seven miles behind Centre Bush in the Hokonui Hills, Southland. The mill was started a number of years ago by Mr John Thompson, who for many years was was sawmilling in the Catlins River district. After working the mill for some time, he sold out as the bush was being rapidly cut out and removed to the Otautau district were there was an up-to-date mill operated by skilled hands; J Carroll is sawing and Sam Gill is tailing out. F Smoothie is driving the engine and J Jacobson carried the slabs which at times are by no means small. W Dryden works the planing machine and generally supervises the mill. Mr W H Mason is in charge of the yeard and Messrs Butts brothers, J Dally and Arthur Westbury constitute the staff. The sawn output is taken by wagon to Centre bush.

Arthur George Aitken, father Rocert Aitken, b: 10 Sep 1871, occ: labourer served 1899 - 1902 in South Africa Boer War. On his return to New Zealand, he was living with his mother Mrs Agnes Aitken at Jackson St, East Invercargill. He met Annie Westbury, She was visiting she was visiting her mother and their relationship blossomed . George and Annie were to find happiness together - and he distanced her from her past by taking her and her children to live at Wanganui where Annie had family support - Guilford first cousins, the family of her uncle James.

The few years George and Annie shared together sadly was not to last and she died 29 Feb 1908 at Wanganui Hospital and was bur: at Aramoho Cem. George registered her death under her assumed name i.e. Annie Cowan Aitken aged 32 years.    

Repercussions swiftly followed after George's public declaration of his regard for Annie - below, the court proceedings at which husband Arthur was required to attend.

5 May 1908:Wanganui Herald:  Mr E. L. Stanford, S.M., was occupied for some time this morning in hearing a case in which a man named Aitken was charged, under section 44 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1875, with having caused some false particulars to be supplied to the Registrar in reference to the death of a Mrs Westbury. Evidence was given by Mr Westbury and the Deputy-Registrar (Mr C. E. Hylton) after which the accused made a statement frankly admitting his guilt, and he was remanded for sentence to the next sitting of the Supreme Court at Wanganui.

26 May 1908:Wanganui Herald: SENTENCE: Geo. Aitken, pleaded guilty in the lower court to making a false entry in the declaration of the death of Mrs Westbury, who had lived with him for several years as his wife. Mr Treadwell appeared on his behalf, and after pointing out the mitigating circumstances of the case, asked his Honor to deal leniently with his client. His Honor said the prisoner had committed a very foolish act, but the circumstance justified his Honor in not imposing any sentence of imprisonment. First - because the accused had undertaken the support of the woman and her children during a period in which they were practically abandoned by husband and father, and despite the accused living improperly with the woman, he had supported her properly and respectably, while the father did not care what became of his wife and children by neither making inquiry nor troubling himself about them. The second mitigating feature was that the woman died, and on her deathbed, requested Aitken to keep her identity from the public, and this had no doubt influenced the accused for the sake of the mother and children. Thirdly, the prisoner had been of good character, and did not evidently appreciate the fact that he was committing a serious breach of the law. In certain cases of false declaration under the marriage, births and deaths regulations, there might be an element of criminality, which would prevent, entirely, a judge from dealing leniently with the matter, but in the present case, that was absent. The public however should not think such an act could be committed with impunity, there being heavy penalties provided. He inflicted a fine of L2, with 2 guineas costs. Westbury's expenses, in coming up from the South Island to give evidence, were not allowed, his Honor stating that the man was not entitled to sympathy in that matter. Mr Treadwell undertook to pay the amount, and prisoner Aitken was discharged. He died May 1951, Wanganui. Grave Aromoho Cem Plot 34 RSA Lawn B

Yrs 1920 to 1930:: WEstern Star, Wallace County: Officer receiving fee registration of dogs for the County of Wallace., Arthur Westbury of Orepuke for Orepuke and Waiau Ridings.

Dec 1912: Waverley Notes: Mr G. Aitken, who owns a herd of 130 cows and supplies to the Stanley Park Dairy Co. did well last month, his cheque amounting to L210. George never remarried. He took an interest in the community and was a steward in 1919 for the Waverley-Waitotara racing club and the Dog Trial club. and he d: 1851 aged 75 yrs He was crem. Wanganui Aramoho Cem.

Following Annie's death, Arthur went to Wanganui and returned with his children to Orepuke. Difficult financial times followed - Arthur Westbury was declared bankrupt.

27 Nov 1907: Meeting creditors: Sawmill hand Te Tumutu. A meeting of creditors in the estate ot Arthur Westbury, sawmill hand, of Te Tumutu, was to have been held yesterday in the office of Mr C. B, Rout, Deputy Oflicial Assignee. Only one creditor was present and the meeting therefore lapsed. Bankrupt was represented by Mr W. V.Hall, explained that the built of the debt had been contracted by his wife unknown to himself during his enforced periods ot absence from home. He was now in steady employment and given- health and a reasonable amount of good fortune, he willingly undertook to pay off as large a percentage of the debt as he was able. The principal unsecured creditors were Thom. Steel (Otautau) L2O, E. Matheson (Otautau) Ll3, Mrs Gardiner (Otautau) L8 10s 9d, E. Kidd (Winton) L7 10s; A Tull L6 18s 9d, Officer (Otautau) L6 10s, J. H. Geddes L5 6s, F. W. Gresham L5 5s, and sundry smaller creditors L29 15 11d. (Assets) nil.

7 JUNE 1910: WESTERN STAR: OREPUKI FATALITY; INQUEST The adjourned inquest on the body of James Dowling,,who met his death on May 25th while employed on Messrs Broad, Small and Go's tramway near Orepuki, was held at Orepuki  before Mr G. Cruickshank S. M. (Coroner;. Mr Meredith was present on behalf of Messrs Broad Small and Co., Mr 11. A. Macdonald, on behalf of a dependent, and Mr T, OByrne represented the Southland millers' Union. Evidence was given by a number of witnesses, which showed that on the occasion of the accident the engine was taking a load of logs on three trolleys from the bush to the mill. The shoes were on the engine, on which there was no brake, and the back trolley had also a set of shoes. A drum of the engine with four turns of rope also acted as a brake. The grade of the tramline was one in six at the steepest places, deceased had whistled for the brake, and Arthur Westbury, brakeman, attempted to apply them, but the train had got too much way on before he could reach them. About a mile further down the line the brakeman found the whole train off the line, and the deceased lying alongside the tramway. In reply to witness, deceased said he was done for, and asked the brakeman to stay with him. Deceased died about two hours afterwards. A verdict of death its the result of an accident was returned.

3 Oct 1910: Invercargill Bankruptcy Files: Westbury, Arthur - Te Tumutu - Sawmill Hand 1911 - 1911 agency series accession box / item record part alternative no. DAFG  9125  D341  85 67

1 Mar 1911: SOUTHLAND TIMES: An order was made releasing the Deputy Official Assignee in respect to the administration of the following bankrupt estates;Arthur Westbury, of Te Tumutu, sawmill hand:

He found employment as a drover and daughter Annie looked after the family.

Western Star, 27 Aug 1912: At the monthly meeting of the Southland Land Board held at Invercargill, Applications to purshase Lease; Sect. 6, Block 1, Longwood district, 325 acres, R . and J. Carmichael to Arthur Westbury was granted.

15 Oct 1919: Southland Times; CLEARING SALE AT BROWN'S FARM, OREPUKI:  At 12.30. THIS NATIONAL MORTGAGE AND AGENCY CO., LTD., have received instructions from Mr Arthur Westbury, whose lease has expired, to sell: 15 DAIRY COWS, 3 HEIFERS, 3 BULLS, 20 Head MIXED CATTLE, 3 Draught MARES and GELDINGS, 70 S.M. EWES (with lambs). IMPLEMENTS; DF. Plough, Discs, Tine Harrows, Milk-cart, Gig, Harness, Chains, Trees, Milk Cans, Water Ram and Piping, Potatoes, Chaff, etc. NOTE; The above Dairy Cows are a specially selected line, just coming to profit, and those on the lookout for tip-top cows are advised to attend this Sale. LUNCHEON PROVIDED.

Years 1920 to 1930; Western Star, Wallace County. Officer receiving fee registration of dags for the county of Wallace: Arthur Westbury of Orepuke for Orepuke and Waiau Ridings.

Southland Cemeteries: Death: Name WESTBURY Arthur Date 1 Jan 1935, aged  70 years; His bur: Orepuki Cemetery Block Section ANGL Plot 183.

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