On 15 May, 1853, almost
the ship Gipsy,
bound for Adelaide. They were
Thomas Hebbert Boykett, then aged 48, his two
sisters Mary and Eleanor, (both unmarried,) three
of his sons: William, Charles and John. Thomas' wife
Hannah, whom he had married in 1826, had died in 1833. His
son Thomas hand enlisted in the Army, and did not come.
and Charles had both
recently married; John married in Adelaide a locally-born girl with
origins in Oxford. Mary found an English husband in Adelaide;
Eleanor remained unmarried.
The time was shortly
after the famine in Ireland, which
did reach England,
but whether the famine directly or indirectly influenced the decision,
we do not know.
The choice of Adelaide as his destination was no doubt influenced by
his friendship with Benjamin Boothby, who had accepted an appointment
as a Supreme Court Judge there, and travelled at about the same time.
The only known
indication of the family's motives in
contained in a letter Thomas wrote after arriving in the Colony, where
(He writes like a typical lawyer. I know the
style - I was one as well.)
The object of
our Emigration is attained by
prospect afforded to my sons of doing better than they were likely to
do at home.
Thomas had more modest expectations for himself. He was
an Attorney of the Court of Queen's Bench in England (Attorneys there
did not become known as Solicitors until 1875, although the title was
already common,) and he had been Returning
Officer for Finsbury, in North London, near his home. On arrival in the
Colony, he was admitted to practice as a member of the South Australian
legal profession, and set up practice in the city centre. He wrote that
he was "too old to make a fortune here":
Here I conduct
a quiet practice during five or
hours of the day including my attendance at the Court when sitting. I
make enough to get me a comfortable living: which is all I wished for
when I left England.
He died at his home on the Lefevre Peninsula on 27 April,
Death Certificate exists, only a formal newspaper announcement and a
funeral notice, neither of which gives the cause of his death. His
son Charles had already sailed for Victoria, and William followed a
few years later.