Bray Family - F1

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Bray Family
Thomas Cox and Sarah - F1
Marriage 22 Jul 1838
John Cox Bray.jpg
The Honourable Sir John Cox Bray, KCMG, JP - the first native-born Premier of South Australia. Son of Tom Cox Bray. Source: Wikpedia
Name Thomas Cox Bray
Lived 8 Jun 1815 – 4 Jun 1881
Nationality English
Name Sarah Pink
Lived (1813 - 1877)
Thomas William Bray (11 May 1840 – 24 May 1887)
George Bray (1845 – 1847)
Charles Bray (1846 – 1854)
Blanche Louisa Bray (1848 – Feb 1930)
Sarah Ann Bray (Mar 1844 – 1908)
John Cox Bray (May 1842 – 12 Jun 1894)
Voyage to Adelaide in 1864
Under command of Captain David Bruce
Departure port London
Departure date 6th August 1864
Arrival port Port Adelaide
Arrival date 7th November 1864
Voyage duration 93 days
Port of Call
Port of call Plymouth
Arrival 12th Aug 1864
Departure 12th Aug 1864

Thomas Cox and Sarah Bray

Thomas Cox Bray, cordwainer, and his wife Sarah had migrated from Hampshire, England to South Australia as a newly married couple in 1838. In Adelaide they had raised four children – two boys, then two girls.

Then Tom inherited from his grandfather Charles Bray a large sum of money that had been earned from investments in shipping between England and Australia. Leaving son John in Adelaide to further his law studies, the parents, elder brother and two sisters had returned to England to live comfortably and to provide the children with a better education.

Tom Cox Bray (1815-1881), was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire and as a single man he lived at St Georges Square, Portsea working as a cordwainer (shoemaker).

Sarah (Pink) Bray (1813-1877) was from Widley, also in Hampshire. The couple were married at St Mary's parish church, Portsea, Hampshire, in 1838, just prior to their embarkation for Australia in the Prince George from London in September. They arrived at Holdfast Bay SA on 26 December 1838.

Sarah’s father, William Pink (d. 1853), also settled in Adelaide, and was employed as a labourer on survey work in South Australia.

In his early years in Adelaide, Tom Bray worked as a shoemaker, following in the footsteps of his own father, William Bray, who had worked as a cordwainer and cabinet maker prior to his early death in 1816, aged about 26 years.

In Adelaide, Mr & Mrs T C Bray first lived in Rundle Street in 1840, in Hindley Street from 1841-1847, and subsequently in East Adelaide. Back in England following his good fortune, Tom Cox Bray lived the rest of his life as a gentleman. The family lived in comfort first at Shooters Hill Rd, Blackheath in Kent and, after 1869, at Cobouy House, Harrogate, the Yorkshire spa town where Sarah died. After the death of his wife Tom moved to Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire in Scotland, where he died four years later. He was buried with his wife in Grove Road Cemetery, Harrogate.

Tom Cox and Sarah Bray had six children in all. Besides the two daughters who returned with them on the City of Adelaide, there were four sons, but the two youngest boys died in infancy. George (1845-1847) died at 19 months, Charles (1846-1854) at 7 years & 10 months, and both were buried in the West Terrace Cemetery.

Sarah Ann Bray

Sarah Ann Bray (1844-1908) was born at Adelaide in March 1844. She married John Smith Kerr (1840-1918) in December 1869 at Kidbrooke in Kent. He was a tea and sugar merchant from Greenock, Scotland. They had 5 children, two sons and then three daughters, all born in Scotland at Garnethill, Kelvinside, Glasgow:

  • Sarah Ann’s younger son, Charles Ferguson Kerr (1873-1923) married Kathleen Marie Taylor in 1907 in Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, Ulster. He died in Scotland at "Egremont", Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.
  • The three girls - Ethel May (1875-1942), Alice Violet (1877-1948), and Amy Edith Kerr (1879-1954) never married and, like their parents, died at "Rosemount", Greenock in Renfrewshire, Scotland.
  • The elder son John Henry (1871-1934) became The Honourable Sir John Henry Kerr, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., colonial governor in British India. He was created a Knight Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, and a Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India in 1922. He was married in 1898 at Christ Church, Muzaffarpur, Tirhut, Bihar, India, to Minnie Julia Wilson, grand-daughter of the Chief Judge of Mauritius. They had two daughters and two sons, the elder of whom, John Minden Kerr, was a brigadier in the British army. Sir John died in April 1934 at his residence “Fairstead” in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. He was survived by Lady Kerr until January 1957.

Blanche Louisa Bray

Blanche Louisa Bray (1848-1930) was born in Adelaide in May 1848. In May 1887 she married Alexander Donaldson at the Holy Trinity Church of England, and Her Britannic Majesty's consulate in Florence, Italy. She was widowed within 3 years when her husband died at Edinburgh, Scotland in 1890.

Blanche died in February 1930 at Nethern House, Bath in Somerset, and was buried with her parents in the Grove Road Cemetery at Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Reverend Thomas William Bray

Reverend Thomas William Bray (1840-1887) was born on 11 May 1840 at Adelaide, SA. The elder son who returned to England with his parents, Thomas was sent to Clare College, Cambridge, and later became an Anglican clergyman. He was Curate of St Paul Bedford, 1863-6, and of Papworth St Agnes, 1866-70.

Thomas W Bray married local girl Rachel Le Mesurier at St Paul's, Bedford on 1 January 1867. When he died in May 1887 at Midland Road, Bedford, Bedfordshire aged 47, he left 5 sons and a daughter:

  • Arthur le Mesurier Bray (1868-1901) was born at Papworth St Agnes in Cambridgeshire, and died of a gun accident at Freshwater on the Isle of Wight.
  • Gildart Harvey Bray (1870-1915) was born at Horne Lane, Bedford and died in Laverton, Western Australia.
  • Dorothy Mabel Bray (1871-1940), who was born at Brigg, Lincolnshire was married in December 1897 at the parish church of Stoke, near Guildford, Surrey, Her husband was Edward Alexander Irving who had been born at "Bukit Tunggal", Singapore in the Straits Settlements. Dorothy died in April 1940 at Fairfield Road, Littleham, near Exmouth, Devon.
  • Paul Dudley Bray (1873-1928) was born at Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire, and died in Durban, Natal. In 1914 he had married Florence Isabel Parry at a civil ceremony in the Marriage Court, Christ Church, Durban.
  • Denys de Saumarez Bray (1875-1915) who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland was married to Celestina Montgomery Leigh in December 1903. He became Sir Denys de Saumarez Bray K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., C.B.E., sometime Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, and Indian delegate to the League of Nations during the British colonial period. He died in November 1951 at Winchester in Hampshire.
  • Kenneth Augustine Bray (1876-1953) was born in the St James's Church of England parish vicarage, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. He became a Chaplain in the United States of America, and he died in January 1953 at Honolulu, on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii territory.

John Cox Bray

John Cox Bray (1842-1894) was born in May 1842 in East Adelaide. He remained in Adelaide when the family returned to live in England. Educated at St Peter's College, Adelaide and in England, Bray read law in South Australia. He married Alice Maude Hornabrook (1850-1935) in January 1870 at St Michael's, Mitcham.

He was called to the South Australian Bar in November 1870. However he practised law only briefly, as a solicitor, before being elected to the South Australian House of Assembly as M.P. for East Adelaide in December 1871, a constituency he was to hold until his retirement from politics in January 1892.

Bray served as Minister of Justice and Minister of Education in 1875, and as Attorney-General (1876-1877), when he introduced an "Act to provide for the formation and registration of trades unions", the first such legislation in Australia. He was Leader of the Opposition (1877-1881), and Premier & Chief Secretary of South Australia (1881-1884). He visited England and the United States from 1884 to 1885, returning to serve as Chief Secretary of South Australia (1885-1887), and Treasurer (1886-1887). He was acting Premier during Downer's absence in England during 1887. Bray was elected Speaker (1888-1890), then was Chief Secretary again until 1892, when he left politics.

John C Bray attended the Sydney Intercolonial Conference in 1883, and was one of the South Australian representatives at the first Federal Convention in Sydney in 1891. He was appointed Agent General for South Australia in London (1892-1894), but resigned early because of ill health. He was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George by Queen Victoria in the New Year's Honours List for 1890.

The Honourable Sir John Cox Bray, KCMG, JP was the first native-born Premier of South Australia. He was also the first South Australian-born man to serve as Speaker, and Agent-General for the State. Sir John died on 12 June 1894 aboard the S.S. "Oceana" at sea between Suez & Ceylon bound for South Australia from England. He was buried at sea on the following day. His wife Alice, Lady Bray, survived him until 1935.

They had three sons and one daughter:

  • Cecil Thomas Bray (1874-1937) was born and died in Adelaide.
  • Arthur John Bray (1875-1879) died in Adelaide at the age of 3 years & 8 months.
  • Harry Midwinter Bray (1879-1965), was born in Adelaide and became a stock-broker there. He married Gertrude Eleanor Stow about 1909. Among their children was the Honourable Dr John Jefferson Bray (1912-1995), a poet, lawyer and judge who served as Chief Justice of South Australia and Chancellor of the University of Adelaide. Harry W Bray, the father, died in Adelaide in October 1965 and his widow Gertrude survived him by five years. Both were buried in West Terrace Cemetery.
  • Blanche Ada Bray (1881-1908), their only daughter, was born November 1881 in Adelaide. In April 1904 she married John Lavington Bonython (1875-1960), also known as Sir Lavington Bonython, sometime Lord Mayor of Adelaide, and member of the well-known family of newspaper proprietors, philanthropists, and art connoisseurs.



External links


Researched by Ron Roberts, Adelaide, SA. 2008