William Aspland

M, #682, b. 27 July 1870, d. 24 July 1959
William Aspland - taken in 1955
FatherLofts Aspland b. 1841, d. c Sep 1893
MotherSusan Jessup b. 1851
ChartsDescendants Chart - William Aspland
Birth*William Aspland was born on 27 July 1870 at Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England
(Witness) CensusHe appeared on the census of 1881 in the household of Lofts Aspland and Susan Jessup at New Barnes Cottage, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.1 
Emigration*William Aspland emigrated on 13 March 1888 from England. He sailed from Plymouth aboard the Scottish Lassie which arrived in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia on 8 June 1888.
Click on the following icon to read a description of the voyage. 
Marriage*He married Rosina Amelia Deans in 1894 at QLD, Australia.2 
Marriage*William Aspland married Harriet Pikett in 1927 at Australia.3 
Newspaper*William Aspland was mentioned in an article in the Redcliffe Herald, QLD, Australia, in 1957 as follows:

Those interested in Redcliffe's early history may tap an inexaustible stream of reminicental information by yarning with Mr and Mrs W Aspland of Woody point, as both lived here nearly 70 years ago.

Mr Aspland landed first on the peninsular in 1887, when but a seventeen year old lad.

He is now approaching his 87th birthday, and his memory is rich and unimpaired.

Born in England, Mr Aspland came to Australia in the sailing ship "Scots Lassie" and disembarked at Bundaberg after a voyage lasting three months.

"I was more than relieved to reach our destination, as like many others on board, I half believed that we were not meant to do so," Mr Aspland said.

He explained that England at that time was overcrowded, and a strong rumour was rife that emigrants were being enticed onto old vessels which would be scuttled en route by arrangements between the owners and the authorities.

Mr Aspland also believed the tales he had heard of gold nuggets waiting to be picked up almost antwhere in Australia.

He spent the first few weeks at Bundaberg searching along the river banks for his share of the treasure, and had hopes raised to the zenith only to be later disillusioned, when he discovered deposits of "munic" or "Chummies Gold".

A few months later, after finding work on the cane fields, Mr Aspland came to Redcliffe with a mate who had relatives living here, and camped with them on the "Black Flats", or "Perkin's Paddock", an area near the aboriginal Kipper-ring.

Young William aspland, like his father before him, had been raised as a gardener and groom, and one day, (from a conversation overheard while unloading timber from the SS Garnet on Redcliffe Jetty), he was led to believe he might obtain employment at his chosen occupation.

A distinguished resident known to all as "Lady Robertson" - Mr Aspland believes this to have been a courtesy title - needed someone to care for her property "Ferny Lawn" at Margate.

William interviewed the lady, was given a week's trial and remained in her employment until her death nearly five years later.

Robertson Avenue is named after this Identity. Mr Aspland claims to have made this Margate Thorough, helped to clean and form the avenue, and planted lawns and trees on the footpaths.

"Ferny Lawn homestead was cut into two houses, and they still stand, one on each side of Robertson Avenue" Mr Aspland said.

Mr Aspland was caretaker as well as gardener of the property while Lady Robertson paid a visit to England.

On her return, she brought back from the old country a smart carriage, and Mr Aspland - in full livery, with cockaded top-hat - acted as coachman in addition to his other duties.

Mr Aspland continued to look after "Ferny Lawn" for the next four years during which time it was owned by the Mitchells and Cobbleds respectively.

He then worked for several years for Mr P Silcock, whose farm was where the Peninsula Golf Club is situated.

Mr Aspland landed on redcliffe Peninsula with only sixpence in his pocket, he started work at Ferny Lawn at fifteen shillings a week and keep, and finally earned twenty-five shillings and keep, which was considered a very good wage in those times.

After his marriage to Miss Rose Deans (who was born at Woody Point), Mr Aspland learned carpentry, and took on building jobs, in between tending his own market garden, in the Nambour District.

He carted his produce to Brisbane via Petrie by horse and cart and remembers receiving as little as threepence a pound for butter, and threepence a dozen for eggs.

Mr Aspland lost his first wife while living at Nambour and was left a widower with twelve children, four boys and eight girls.

Three years later he married his present wife, a Miss A Pickett, who came to Australia three years before Mr Aspland from the same district in England.

She was a close friend of the first Mrs Aspland, and both attended the first provisional school in Redcliffe run by Mr Ashmole.

The Asplands lived in the Nambour District for 30 years, fruit, vegetable and cane farming and building.

During that time they paid many visits to Redcliffe, and then came back here to live in retirement, thirteen years ago.

The Herald representative stayed talking with Mr and Mrs Aspland for more than an hour, learned a great deal of conditions in pioneering days and found at the end of that time this well of information had by no means run dry.

He was told of the tribes of wandering blacks who roamed the Peninsula and of their customs.

There was always a large camp at Bells Paddock. Mrs Bell, wife of a Dr Bell, mothered them and saw to their welfare. The blacks held her in reverance and always congregated near her home.

They were for the most part, friendly and obliging.

Mr Aspland said that Joe Perren prevailed upon the blacks to shin up the tall trees and lop off the tops, in order to provide a clear vision out to sea and make perfect his unusually constructed home.

Mr Perren was the retired gold miner who first owned what is now known as the "wedding Cake House" on Victoria Avenue.

"Dr and Mrs Bell had the best home on the Peninsula at the time, but it was flattened and completely destroyed by a cyclone during the 1893 flood" Mr aspland said.

Sixty years ago there were no roads on the Peninsula, only bush tracks, less than half a dozen dwellings between Clontarf and Woody Point, about as many from there to Margate and not more than a dozen from Margate to Redcliffe.

Mr Aspland said that he could not get bushed in the district when he was a young man as he knew every gum tree and gully on the Peninsula, but today he gets lost in Redcliffe township, with all the new buildings that have been erected.

It is worthy to mention that these two pioneers, aged 87 and 77 respectively, after a life time's service in Australia do not draw the old age pension.

"Although far from wealthy, we have never been compelled to do so, and hope we never will" Mr Aspland said.
Death*He died on 24 July 1959 at QLD, Australia, at age 88.4 

Family 1

Rosina Amelia Deans b. 19 Dec 1876, d. 1924

Family 2

Harriet Pikett b. 1879, d. 1968


  1. [S30] 1881 England Census, RG11/1684/F35 P29.
  2. [S837] Qld BDM Database, online http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/bdm/IndexSearch.htm, Marriage Reg # 1894/C001479.
  3. [S830] John Douglas Aspland, "The Family of John Douglas Aspland," e-mail to Robert Mote, Sept 2006.
  4. [S819] Ian Aspland, "The Family of William & Rosina Aspland," e-mail to Robert Mote, March 2006.