James Rouvray (1813 - 1869)

View Life History for James Rouvray

James (Joseph) Rouvray was born 5 October 1812 and is the son of  Joseph. He was baptized 23 January 1813 in the Parish Church of St Mary-Le-Bone, Middlesex, England.

James is the sole direct ascendant of the entire Australian branch of the Rouvray family. His brother Louis is the direct ascendant of the modern day English branch of the Rouvray family.

James Birth certificate, 5th October 1812
James birth 1812


James married Frances (Fanny) Gray on 21 December 1834 at
St Anne’s Church, Soho, Westminster, London. Frances Gray was born 23 March 1814 in Edinburgh, daughter of James Gray and his wife Barbara Henderson who were married 1st November 1808 in Edinburgh.


St Marylebone church, Middlesex, 1750, 1814 (rebuilt), 2014

St Marylebone church 1750, 1814 (rebuilt), 2014

St Anne's Church, Soho, Westminster 1841, 1941 (bombed), 2014

St Anne's church Soho

Westminster Parish boundaries 1870

Marriage 1834 to Fanny Gray

Westminster Parishes 1870 St Anne's church Soho

James and Frances had twelve children, four of whom (Elizabeth, Frederick, Louis and Mary Ann) died in infancy:

Elizabeth					b. 21 August 1835			d. 17 May 1837
Frances Emma				b. 5 August 1837			d. 1910
James Alexander			b. 30 December 1838		d. 20 May 1906
Rachael 					b. 10 October 1840			d. 12 March 1901
Frederick					b. 27 July 1842			d. 13 August 1842
Agnes Sarah				b. 22 September 1843		d. 1905
Adolphus George			b. 3 October 1845			d. 12 January 1915
Louis					b. 16 December 1846		d. 16 December 1846
Charles Peter				b. 16 December 1847		d. 24 Sepember 1919
Alfred Andrew			b. 23 October 1849			d. 3 June 1906
Eliza Ann				b. 20 July 1851			d. 1905
Mary Ann				b. 7 July 1853				d. 10 April 1854

The family moved frequently (see below), presumably following work.

1838		35 Mary St
1840		21 Southampton St, Pentonville
1845		40 Ernest St
1851		132 Lillington St, Westminster
1851 Census - 132 Lillington St, Westminster
Census 1851

The entire family eventually emigrated to Australia in 1854, departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "James Carson" on the 4th April and arriving in Melbourne, Australia in July, where they settled. Unfortunately Mary Ann did not survive the voyage and died onboard six days into the journey aged just 9 months. She was, presumably, buried at sea.

Just why the family became so uprooted as to leave London for Melbourne and undertake such a long, dangerous and arduous voyage is unclear, but it may have been to seek out better work and life opportunities.

The passenger list of the "James Carson" (see opposite) 
includes the following:

	James Rouvray 			41	Storekeeper
	Frances Rouvray			39
		Frances Rouvray		16
		James Rouvray		13
		Rachael Rouvray		12
		Agnes Rouvray		10
		Adolphus Rouvray	 8
		Charles Rouvray		 5
		Alfred Rouvray		 4
		Eliza Rouvray		 2
		Mary Ann Rouvray	 1 	(died during voyage)
     1854 James Carson passenger list

The system of transporting prisoners to the Australian colonies began in 1788 and continued until 1868. Prisoners were placed aboard specially equipped convict ships and began the three month voyage to either Sydney or Hobart. Victoria was part of New South Wales until 1851 after which it became a separate colony. Transportation to New South Wales, however, only continued until 1840. The emigration of James and family in 1854 was therefore not part of any convict shipment.

James was variously described as being a chairmaker (on three of his children’s baptism records), a pianoforte maker (1851 census, London), a storekeeper on his arrival in Australia and a carpenter on his death certificate. James died on the 18th April 1869 at Nelson St, Windsor, Melbourne. Fanny remained a widow for the rest of her long life and died at the home of her daughter, Eliza Ann Thirlwell 183 Richardson St, Middle Park (South Melbourne) on 20th November 1904, aged 91.

Both Fanny and James were buried in St Kilda Cemetery, Melbourne. In 2006 their Gravestone was painted and refreshed by Rouvray enthusiasts. A poem on it, which had been barely legible, was restored and now reads as follows:

Why should we start and fear to Die?
What amorous worms we Mortals are
Death is the Gate of endless Joy
And yet we dread to enter There
Gravestone James and Frances James Death Certificate 1869
Gravestone James and Frances James Death certificate 1869

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