WHO DID HENRY MARRY?


Henry Batman, the brother of John Batman, was married on Thursday the 6th March 1834 in the Court House in Campbell Town, Van Diemen's Land. But who did he marry?

The register states that he married Catherine Dutton, spinster, of the Campbell Town District. This is where the search becomes interesting because there does not appear to be any birth record for such a person.

There are baptismal records for three daughters to Henry Batman, all born prior to his marriage. The first was Mary Ann Elizabeth Batman who was born on Friday, 9th March 1827 and baptised on Thursday, 1st November 1827 in St. John's Church, Launceston. Her parents are given as Henry Batman, wheelwright, of Launceston and Catherine Sullivan.

The other two daughters were Maria Caroline Batman, born on Saturday, 11th December 1830 and Elizabeth Eliza Batman, born on Friday, 17th August 1832. Though both were probably born in the Launceston area they were not baptised until Tuesday, 17th April 1838 when Henry was Chief Constable of Melbourne. They were baptised in St. James' Church by the Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton, during his brief visit to Melbourne. By this time Henry and Catherine were married and the register shows them simply as Henry and Catherine Batman.

So did Henry marry Catherine Dutton or Catherine Sullivan?

PPPG Member No. 435, the late Mrs. Edna Batman Richards, was a descendant of Henry Batman. In her article for Pioneer Profiles (Vol. 1) she states her belief that Henry married Catherine Elizabeth Dutton, sister of William Pelham Dutton of Portland. Now William Pelham Dutton, in a declaration published 23rd September, 1874, in "The Hamilton Spectator", claimed to be the son of Henry and Margaret Dutton. He said he was born on 31st August 1811 in Sydney and that his parents moved to Hobart about 1813, but there is no record of a baptism in church registers.

There is a record of a John Dutton, son of Henry Dutton and Catherine (nee Sullivan) being baptised on 6th April 1810 in Hobart by the Rev. Robert Knopwood. This John Dutton became a sealer and is regarded by many researchers as being a brother of William Pelham Dutton. Interestingly, William did not use his middle name in official records and does not appear to be related to another family of Duttons who lived in New South Wales and who often used Pelham as a first or middle name. William Hampden Dutton was a member of that family.

Henry Dutton was a convict who had received a seven year sentence at Middlesex Court in September 1789. He was transported in the "Salamander" and arrived at Sydney on 21st August 1791. Catherine Sullivan was also a convict, having been sentenced to seven years imprisonment at Dublin Court in April 1795. She was transported in the "Marquis of Cornwallis" which arrived at Sydney on 11th February 1796.

Though Henry Dutton and Catherine Sullivan had a number of children they do not appear to have married. They spent many years together on Norfolk Island before going to live in Hobart. Many researchers believe they had a daughter named Catherine Elizabeth Dutton about 1813 but there is no firm evidence for this. Henry Dutton became a sawyer and was killed by a blow to the head from John Ryan in Hobart in December 1820.

What appears more likely is that Henry Batman took up with Catherine Sullivan after the death of Henry Dutton. The main difficulty in accepting this is the birth of Henry Batman's daughters. Assuming a birth date of about 1780, Catherine would have been in her early fifties when Elizabeth Eliza Batman was born in 1832. Though a Lucy Batman of Portland later claimed to have been born in Launceston c1835, the daughter of Henry Batman and an Elizabeth Dutton, there is no record of this birth, and she was not baptised with Maria and Elizabeth in Melbourne in 1838.

The only record known to exist for the death of Mrs. Catherine Batman is a statutory declaration discovered by PPPG President Ken Smith while researching early land records. It was made by John Moffatt Chisholm who arrived in Melbourne in March 1838. In December 1864, he stated he had known Henry Batman who had built a house in Melbourne and that Henry's wife had died in that house in October 1838.

Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes ( PPPG Member No: 52 )


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