Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988

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Record title

Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988

Call numbers

MLMSS 8424/Boxes 1-3 , MLMSS 8424/Box 4X

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Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988


Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988

Full title

Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988

Author / Creator


ca. 1940-1988

Call Numbers

MLMSS 8424/Boxes 1-3 , MLMSS 8424/Box 4X

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1.06 metres of textual material (3 boxes, 1 outsize box)

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Copyright status : In copyright - This collection has multiple rights owners

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Folder 1
History of Henry and Susannah Kable and Family, 1788-1988 by Zillah Estelle Campbell; Kable Family Register, 1788-1983, by Bryan Thomas, 1983-1988

Folder 2
Research notes on Henry Kable and Susannah Holmes, William Littleton Gaudry and Diana Kable, Eunice Kable and William John Fritz, John Benton Wild and Emiline Ann...


Full title

Kable family papers, ca. 1940-1988


Author / Creator


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Information upgraded as part of the Manuscripts Unprocessed eRecords Project 2011-2012



Presented by Zillah Campbell, March 1990

Administrative / Biographical history

Henry Kable (1763-1846), businessman, was convicted of burglary at Thetford, Norfolk, England, on 1 February 1783 and sentenced to death. This was commuted to transportation for fourteen years to America, but he remained in prison until he embarked in the transport Friendship, in which he sailed in the First Fleet to New South Wales.

On 10 February 1788 he married Susannah Holmes, a convict from the same village, who had already borne him a son. This was the third marriage (of a group of five) of the new colony.

In 1791 Kable was made a constable and nightwatchman, and a further three years service saw him elevated to chief constable. He was dismissed in 1802 for misbehaviour, after being convicted for breaches of the port regulations and illegally buying and importing pigs from a visiting ship.

Like Simeon Lord and other early Sydney entrepreneurs, Kable always had a substantial landholding. He had been granted farms at Petersham Hill in 1794 and 1795, and in the latter year bought out four near-by grantees within a week of their grants being signed. In 1807 he owned at least four farms of about 170 acres (69 ha); in 1809 in addition he held five farms at the Hawkesbury and 300 acres (121 ha) at the Cowpastures, with a variety of real estate in Sydney itself including his comfortable house and extensive stores.

In 1811 Kable moved to Windsor where he operated a store and brewery, the latter in association with a partner, Richard Woodbury, and his Sydney warehouse was let to Michael Hayes. He was never again a prominent businessman, although he signed a petition in distinguished commercial company for the granting of an auctioneer's licence to William Baker of Windsor in 1821.

Henry and Susannah had ten children. At least two of them, Henry junior and James, were mariners, commanding vessels owned wholly or in part by their father. James was murdered by Malay pirates in the Straits of Malacca on a return voyage from China about 1810, but Henry remained prominent in Sydney mercantile circles for some time after his father withdrew to Windsor. There are some signs that the elder Kable may have transferred much of his property to his eldest son to avoid having to pay a judgment of £12,000 awarded to Lord in 1811. The property probably included the schooner Geordy which Henry junior owned jointly with William Gaudry who had married Kable's daughter in 1809, and the schooner Endeavour, of which Henry junior was sole owner, and which he employed in the Tahitian pork trade in 1812. A third son, John, known as 'Young Kable', was a prominent pugilist of the 1820s. Susannah Kable died on 8 November 1825, aged 63, but Henry, who was described as a farmer at Pitt Town in the 1828 census, survived her for twenty-one years and died on 16 March 1846 at the age of 84.

Hainsworth, D. R., 'Kable, Henry (1763–1846)', Australian Dictionary of Biography online, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/kable-henry-2285/text2941 (accessed 23 April 2012)...



Call Numbers

MLMSS 8424/Boxes 1-3 , MLMSS 8424/Box 4X

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