George & Margaret Colliver
|First name||George & Margaret|
|Country of Origin||England|
|Date of Birth||1804/1809|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1849|
|Submitted by||Judy Wallace|
George Colliver was born in the parish of Kingston near Ivybridge, Devonshire, England, and was baptised there on 16 September 1804. He was one of 11 children of John Colliver, a farmer, and Mary (nee Veale).
Margaret Stabb was also born in Kingston and was baptised on 14 May 1809. She was the daughter of Joseph Stabb and his wife Margaret (nee Rundle). Margaret could not read or write and signed her marriage certificate with a cross.
George and Margaret were married in the nearby parish of West Alvington on 29 January 1829. They had eight children who were baptised in Malborough – Mary (1830), Jane (1832 and died 1833), George (1834 and died 1838), Jane (1836), Elizabeth Lucretia (1838), George Vale (1840), Richard (1843) and John (1845).
George Colliver was a flour miller and lived with his family at Boltbury (ancient spelling of Bolberry) Mill at Malborough. Malborough is close to the sea and set high on a hill, overlooking Thurlstone Sands. When his first children were baptised, George is recorded as a “thatcher” and there are still a lot of thatched houses in the area. Smuggling was rife during this time and almost everyone was involved, so it is a fair bet that the Collivers were too. Life was very hard, and the staple diet was pilchards, bread, cheese and cider (or “scrumpy” – rough cider). The miller’s house which George and his family occupied, and the mill, are still standing, although the house has been renovated.
By the middle of the 1840s, the “corn laws” had pushed the price of flour through the roof, and the Lord of the Manor took a huge cut to the amount paid to the millers. Mills were closing and by the end of the century all small mills had closed down. The Collivers made the decision to emigrate to Australia and on 21 September 1848, they boarded the sailing ship “Lysander” at Plymouth and arrived at Port Phillip, Victoria, on 13 January 1849 – a journey of 114 days. The family’s religion is given as Episcopalian.
The Collivers are believed to have gone first to Heidleberg, then settled about 50 miles from Melbourne at Lancefield. Melbourne was then known as “Canvas Town” because of the large population living in tents and the children would accompany their parents on necessary shopping trips to the metropolis. The only means of transport was by bullock wagon. A son, William, was born and died in Melbourne in 1849. Their last child, Margaret, was born at Will Will Rook in 1851. Their three sons, George, Richard and John, became farmers and farmed around Toolamba.
George Colliver is believed to have died about ten years after coming to Australia, but no record of his death has been found. Margaret died on 17 January 1872 at Springfield, at the age of 63, and is buried in Lancefield Cemetery. Her descendants erected a headstone on her grave in 2010.