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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.

Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood, New South Wales, Australia

Rookwood Cemetery, Rookwood, New South Wales, Australia



 



Tree: 8. Essex Enevers (4)
Notes: The Europeans who died in the first few years of the settlement at Sydney Cove were buried at Dawes Point (at what is now the southern end of the Harbour Bridge) and at land near what is now Erskine and Margaret Streets (near Wynyard Station). In 1792 the main burial ground for the colony was established on a site which is now occupied by the Sydney Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral. By 1818 the cemetery on the Sydney Town Hall site was full, so governor Lachlan Macquarie established a new one near the brick-fields, known as the Sandhills or Devonshire Street cemetery. By the 1840’s, it became clear that this new cemetery was running out of space and so the search began for another, much larger site for a cemetery. In 1848 a new site on the road to Randwick was chosen.  However, it was a controversial choice and after complaints from the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, government surveyors and local residents, this site was abandoned in 1859 without a burial having taken place.
The Local Area
The earliest references to the district around what is now Rookwood Necropolis, occur in 1793 when the first land grants to free settlers in the New South Wales colony were made nearby.  As a result of its association with the first free settlers, the district was given the name of Liberty Plains.  One of the smaller grants in the area was made to a Samuel Haslam. The land, which was eventually to make up a large part of the cemetery, was granted to a prominent doctor, Parramatta magistrate and member of the legislative Council, Henry Grattan Douglas, in 1833.  His grant, called “Hyde Park”, was soon leased to small farmers, charcoal burners and woodcutters. In 1834, Joseph Potts, Bank of New South Wales accountant, bought land next to Douglas’s grant from the government.  A few years later, both the Douglas and Potts estates were bought by a Sir Charles Nicolson and then passed to Edward Cohen.  In 1851, there were only about 270 people living in the district.  Most were timber cutters who shipped timber along the Parramatta River. In 1861, Cohen’s brother and agent, offered the land to the government for a cemetery. In 1855 the railway between Sydney and Parramatta had opened and, four years later, a station was opened at Haslem’s Creek (misspelt from Haslam).  Once the site was chosen by the government for a cemetery, the settlement around Haslem’s Creek grew as people who worked in jobs connected with the cemetery moved nearby.  These residents, however, didn’t like the name of their village being associated with the cemetery at Haslem’s Creek, and so lobbied politicians to change the name of the settlement to Rookwood. In 1879 they were successful but, unfortunately for them, the cemetery then became known as Rookwood Necropolis.  Another new name was sought for the settlement and in 1913 it was named Lidcombe (adapted from the names of two mayors, Lidbury and Larcombe.
The Development of Rookwood Cemetery
In 1860, the government advertised that it wanted to purchase land along  the railway line between Petersham and Parramatta for use as a cemetery.  Various landowners offered their land to the government.  A number of sites were inspected and found unsuitable but in April 1862 the government purchased 200 acres of the “Hyde Park” estate from Edward Cohen.  This site was seen as good because it drained into salt in the Parramatta River, was isolated from existing homes and was close to the railway line. Work quickly commenced on the cemetery. In addition to an area set aside as a general section for those without a religion or denomination (58 acres), areas were allocated to the Church of England (53 acres), the Roman Catholic Church (35 acres) and various other denominations or religions according to the proportion of the population they had in the 1861 census, and each was made responsible for the preparation of their own area. The cemetery was fenced, roads constructed, railway access provided and an overseer’s cottage built. In 1867, the government passed the Necropolis Act.  This came into force on 1st January 1868 and stated that separate boards of trustees were to be set up by each of the denominations to manage and maintain each area, and to set and collect fees. The original 200 acres was in the north-western corner of the present cemetery.  Within ten years, however, it was clear that more land was needed, and in 1879 the government purchased an additional 577 acres of land adjoining the cemetery from the estate of Edward Cohen and his partner J. Benjamin.  The areas controlled by each of the trustees was then expanded. By 1890 there were a number of buildings in the cemetery. The Roman Catholic Church had constructed the St Michael the Archangel Chapel (commenced in 1886), while the Independents had built a timber Chapel and the Jews a brick one.  The Presbyterians had a ladies’ waiting room and in the General Cemetery, the Chinese community had erected a 2.6m high brazier topped by a pagoda dome. In addition, manager’s residences had been built by the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church and the Independents, and a residence for a Sexton by the Presbyterians. In 1925 the State Government created a Joint Committee.  Its task was to collect a levy from each of the Trusts annually for the construction and maintenance of roads, fences, paths, drains and other “common property” within the Necropolis.  Today the Joint Committee is comprised of one representative from each group of Trustees and nominees of the State government, National Trust, Heritage Council and the NSW Crematorium Company. In 1926 four acres were set aside for a crematorium.  The NSW Crematorium company was established to run what was then only the second crematorium in Australia.  Today, approximately half the funerals at Rookwood are cremations. In 1948 the railway line into the cemetery, together with the stations on it, were closed down - a victim of the increasing use of motor funerals. Four of the five station buildings (excluding a dilapidated one of timber) were offered to the Joint Committee for one pound (two dollars) each.  This offer was declined because of the high maintenance costs.  Three of the stations were then demolished.  The surviving station was sold in 1951 to a Reverend Buckle for one hundred pounds.  He had it demolished, transported to Canberra and rebuilt as All Saints Church of England in the suburb of Ainslie.In June of 2009, the Repeal of the Rookwood Necropolis Act was passed. This replaced the Joint Committee of Necropolis Trustees with the Rookwood Necropolis Trust on 1 July 2009. Today, the Cemetery has a total of 8 Chapels for indoor funeral services, 5 denominational Open Air Chapels for special ceremonies , 3 Florist Shops and 2 Cafes/Condolence Rooms.

Source: http://rookwoodcemetery.com.au/

OpenStreetMap

Latitude: -33.0000000, Longitude: 146.0000000



Cemeteries

   Name   Location 
1.Rookwood CemeteryNew South Wales, Australia

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