ZACHARIAH SCROPE SHRAPNEL (c1816 – 1859)

 

In 1810 HENRY, the General, at the age of 49 married ESTHER SQUIRES, 19 years his junior, at St Mary's Lambeth. That union produced 5 children the youngest of whom was ZACHARIAH SCROPE SHRAPNEL. He went to Peterhouse College at Cambridge in 1834 at the age of 18. Matriculating in 1834 with a B.A., the next year he married EMILY BRACHER at St Michaels, Paternoster, London. During the following 11 years they had 5 children including JOSEPH NEEDHAM SCROPE SHRAPNEL in 1838. Sadly ZACHARIAH's wife EMILY died in 1846, leaving ZACHARIAH with a young family. It would appear that EMILY had a sister AMELIA and the next year a disputed marriage took place with ZACHARIAH at St Alban's Wood, London.

Shortly after 1851 ZACHARIAH SCROPE SHRAPNEL, the quiet scholar, with his new wife AMELIA moved to the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England together with some of his children. These included JOSEPH (q.v.) at the time in his mid teens who was to become the controversial local doctor, subsequently emigrating to Australia. The family settled in the picturesque seaside town of Ventnor for what must have been a completely different lifestyle, seemingly remote in those days with lack of transport and communication. Their residence was Grove Cottage opposite the Church. Only a few years later in 1859 ZACHARIAH died at the early age of 43. I recently visited the peaceful St Catherine's Church where he was buried. The family memorial still stands clearly legible on the hillside at Ventnor Cemetery.

 

JOSEPH NEEDHAM SCROPE SHRAPNEL (1838 – 1885)

 

Son of ZACHARIA (q.v.) and EMILY SHRAPNEL and grandson of the General, JOSEPH was born at Felpham , Sussex in 1838. Little is known about his early life but in 1862 when he was a Medical Student at St Pancras JOSEPH married AMELIA MARY HADFIELD, a local girl from the Isle of Wight. AMELIA was one of the descendants of the powerful banking and commercial HADFIELD family amongst whose number was the enigmatic and colourful Bishop of New Zealand about whom much has been written.

 

During the next 7 years JOSEPH and AMELIA had 5 children, whilst Joseph had qualified as a medical practitioner setting up practice in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight where he was held in high regard. Anyone who has visited Shanklin 'Old Village' can vouch for the charm of the place. I am fairly certain I have identified the large thatched building in the High Street (now an upmarket restaurant) where they may have lived.

 

However, this seemingly idyllic state did not last for long. We can only speculate on the cause of what happened. We can guess that JOSEPH must have become disenchanted with his position because he left the family on The Island and set sail for Australia in 1869. His companion on the journey was ESTHER VOICE who was to be his partner for the rest of his life. ESTHER was then aged 21.

 

They went to a pioneering town called Jerilderie which at the time consisted of just a few shacks. Even today the population is only 900. Joseph was the town's doctor for at least three years living in a small lathe and plaster house which was the town's very first proper building. Life must have been very much different to that in the sedate Victorian town of Shanklin which he had left behind in England. He and his companion ESTHER were to have three children. The second of these was JOSEPH BIDDULPH SCROPE SHRAPNEL (1879 – 1955) father of the Tardent Shrapnels of Australia of whom there are at least 26 living descendants.

 

HENRY BIDDULPH SCROPE SHRAPNEL (1866 – 1951)

 

Born on the Isle of Wight, Henry was the son of  JOSEPH NEEDHAM SCROPE SHRAPNEL (q.v.) and Amelia. With his mother and 4 siblings he set sail for Australia on the S.S. Great Britain in 1871 at the age of 5. It is believed that the family visited Amelia’s relations the HADFIELDS and settled with them. Henry saw military service and took appointments in the banking world of which the Hadfields were part. He became very interested in horses and for many years was President of the Narnnargoon Racing Club at a small town in Victoria where the family used to have apple orchards.

He married Emma Catlin in 1911 and they raised two daughters.

SCROPE TREE (AUSTRALIA)