Martin & Hungerford

Francis Martin  & Eliza Hungerford 

Married: 1850, Cork

Born: ca 1830, Ireland (probably Cork) Born: ca 1832, Ireland (probably Cork)
Died: 2 Jan 1908 at Donald, Vic, Australia Died: 5 May 1886 of cholera, at Avoca, Vic, Australia
Father: John Martin Father: Lt. John Hungerford, RN
Mother: Norah ? Mother: Catherine Hackett
Francis Martin was, according to family tradition, a baker from Cork, Ireland. However, family lore states that he was a house servant when he met his wife Eliza, who was a maid in the same house. Apparently they just went out and got married one day and came back to work the next. This was in ca 1850. It was an unequal match, but appears to have been a successful marriage. He was an ardent Catholic, she a Protestant. He was from an ordinary family, whereas Eliza's father held a commission in the Royal Navy and came from a long line of naval and military men. Indeed the Hungerford lineage can be traced back to the 12th century and includes castles, knights and nobility!

It was a hard time in Ireland, with famine and unemployment, and this may have led the Martins to emigrate. They arrived in Melbourne in October 1852 on the Maria. Francis was 22 and Eliza 20. They probably spent some time in Melbourne before heading for the goldfields. Francis settled in Avoca in the central goldfields region of Victoria, where he is variously described as a fruiterer, storekeeper or produce merchant. Francis would go now and then, perhaps once a year, on a hawking trip up to the Mallee country in his covered wagon. He was well known for his ability to "cooee" loudly. He would cooee and those who heard would send word to their neighbours and everyone would come to barter their goods for silk or other material or whatever it was that Francis was selling (perhaps a bit of sly grog on the side?).

Apparently on one of these trips he took his daughter Eliza (my great grandmother) with him. Periodically he would go on a bender. He might be dry for years and then break down and binge. On this occasion, Martin and his daughter were staying in a hotel. He gave her a bag of gold (or money) and told her to hide it. She knew then he was going to drink. She was terrified because there was a crowd of miners in the hotel, so she barricaded the door with the dresser and whatever else she could. In the morning when she went down, she found Francis asleep with his head on the table. He had curly hair, and the hotel's "pot boy" came along and grabbed him by his curls and lifted his head off the table, telling him to "get up you old drunken bastard." At this Francis opened his eyes and said in a broad Irish brogue, "Swear not unless ye be provoked..." and immediately fell asleep again.

In 1886 Francis' wife Eliza died. He was to outlive her by 18 years. According to Avoca Historical Society cards she died of exhaustion after cholera. In 1890 his daughter Eliza married Edwin Charles Glover. They moved to Donald in 1892.

In 1900 the Postal Directory has Francis still at Avoca as a "fruiterer & grocer."

Apparently, in his dotage, Francis used to wander off, and generally they would eventually find him sitting on the steps of the Catholic Church. Rumour has it that he left all his money to the church when (or before) he died. From Maryborough Hospital Records (via A.H.S.), Francis was admitted to Maryborough Hospital 3 Jan 1906. The records describe him as "76 years, hawker, Avoca. Port of embarkation: Liverpool, ship "Mari-", 50 years in colony, married, RC, native of Ireland." 

Francis Martin died in 1908 of "general debility" according to hospital records. His death certificate states cause of death as senility and hypostatic pneumonia. He was buried by Father Marshall at Avoca. The inscription reads: 
"Eliza Martin Died May 5th 1886 age 54 years Also Francis Martin Died Jan 2nd 1908 age 78 years"

The Photo of Francis above was taken by J Weller in his first year of operation in Maryborough, in 1867. The number on the back, 79, indicates it was probably taken in the first week the photographer opened. The one of Eliza is probably taken ca. 1870, and recopied late 1870s.

John Martin

Born: 1853 

Robert O'Hara Martin

Born: 1862

Henry Wardell Martin

Born 1854/5 Died: 1869

Edith Martin

Born: 1869

Jane Mary Martin

Born: 24 May 1856

Eliza Martin
Born: 10 Apr 1865 Avoca Died: 3 Jan 1963 Parkes

Submitted by  Greg Munro