The Boyketts in Australia - a short history
On 15 May, 1853, almost an entire family left Southampton on 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 eldest son Thomas hand enlisted in the Army, and did not come. William 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 migrating, is contained in a letter Thomas wrote after arriving in the Colony, where he says:
(He writes like a typical lawyer. I know the style - I was one as well.)
The object of our Emigration is attained by the 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 registered as 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 six 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, 1857. No Death Certificate exists, only a formal newspaper announcement and a funeral notice, neither of which gives the cause of his death.