Edward and Ann Cresswell nee Eyles

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Seaview Cemetery, Stoke, Block 24: Plot 470 

Seaview Cresswell

The gravestone of Edward and Ann Cresswell

Edward, aged 15 a labourer, arrived on the Mary Ann in February 1842 along with Amelia aged 26, the wife of T. Cresswell, and four children. These children were William aged six, Elizabeth aged four, Mary aged two and Charles three weeks. Thomas Cresswell (probably brother to Edward) arrived on the Whitby in 1841, but died of typhus before they landed in Nelson, so he was buried on Haulashore Island.

Ann Eyles also arrived on the ship Mary Ann in February 1842, along with her parents Daniel and Jane, both aged 44, and children Mary, a servant aged 23, William aged 18, an agricultural labourer, Jane aged 16, a servant, Ann aged 13, John aged 11, Benjamin aged 10, and Ezra, aged two, died on the voyage.

Ann describes life, "a graphic description of a settlers hut in the earliest days," when she arrived in Nelson: “My father went near the Maitai River. Our house was part clay and part Manuka, and some were not so well as that – their houses were 4 poles stuck in the ground, with fern on top for a roof. One sick man was brought in and laid on the mud floor in our house because the rain streamed in upon him in his own. We had no fire place in the house at first, and my mother and I set to work to make one. I brought some flat smooth stones from the river, and we got some clay my father had made for the walls of the house, and so my mother and I built something like an oven, round to the wall, and put what they call a boulli tin in for a flue, and that was our chimney. There were many not so well off as us.”1

seaview cresswell1

The Cresswell family outside their home - Broadgreen Cottage, 277 Nayland Road, Stoke - c1893: Gertrude, William, Daniel (father), Reginald, Albert (leaning on a chair), Lilian (seated), Edith and Fanny (mother). Nelson Provincial Museum

There was a plague of rats not long after this which ran through the houses in swarms. Some rat killing-dogs were bought and so the rats abated.

Edward Cresswell married Ann Eyles on 12 September 1846.2

Edward is listed on the 1854, 1857, 1861 Jurors List as having property in Waimea East and Suburban South, and is listed as a labourer. In the 1870 Electoral Roll he is listed with a house on part section 52 in Suburban South.

Ann and Edward had 12 or 13 children.

Other records of the Cresswell family:

  • Jane (Cresswell) Beattie b.1847, d.1898, [a Jane Cresswell drowned in the Maitai, 2 Aug 1847 and buried at Hallowell cemetery]
  • Eliza Cresswell died 1849 aged 6 weeks, buried Hallowell Cemetery.
  • William Daniel Cresswell b.1849 d.1923. A son, Albert killed WW1. Albert Edward Cresswell, 1882-1916, was the fifth of ten children to William Daniel and Elizabeth Fanny (née St. John) Cresswell of Stoke.  Albert’s father was a gardener and worked for the Marsden family at Isel House.  At one time the Cresswell family lived in Isel Lodge, on Main Road Stoke, somewhere near the gates to Isel Park.  Albert, like his father, was a gardener.

Sources used in this story

  1. Broad, L. (1892) Jubilee history of Nelson from 1842 to 1942. Nelson: Bond, Finney and Co., p.20
    http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-LowJubi-t1-body1-d3.html
  2. Ann (Eyles) Cresswell (1828-1907) on WikiTree:
    https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Eyles-178

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