|Dr. William Foxton Hayley
was the son of Caroline
Foxton (born 1790) and William Hayley, and grandson of William
Foxton, (born 1755). He was born about 1808 and died in 1878 in
Sydney. He arrived in Sydney in 1836 on the ship "Henry Taner", after qualifying as a surgeon in
Middlesex Hospital, London. He married Elizabeth Davis
in 1843. They had twelve children:-
- Frances Hayley, born 1843, married Anthony
- Alice G Hayley, born 1845, married
- Florence Jane Hayley, born 1847, married
Francis Robert Louis De Rossi (see
- William Henry Foxton Hayley, born 1848, and
died in 1924, and is buried at Wellington Cemetery, NSW. He married
Arabella Wilmot Rotton. He was the Manager of the Commercial Bank in
Wellington, NSW, for a number of years.
- Mary Madeline Hayley, born 1850, married
- Frederick Ernest Hayley, born 1853, married
[Most of the above families married in the
Goulburn - Yass-Canberra area
- Laura Emily Hayley, born 1855, died
young or at childbirth
- Henry Percy Hayley, born 1857, died young or
- Alfred Reginald Hayley, born 1859, died young
or at childbirth
- Sydney Victor Hayley, born 1862, died young or
- Unnamed Hayley (twin) born 1862, died young or
- Walter Harold Hayley, born 1865, died young or at
The family lived at "The Oaks" Queanbeyan. He
was was also the owner of the "Springbank" property at Canberra
for a time, and it was sold in 1875.
Alice Hayley married a Thomas Dawson. Interestingly, two
of Wilhelmina Foxton-Jones' (nee
Fox) daughters in NSW married Dawson brothers - John and Henry.
Dr. William Foxton Hayley, possibly
at the home of Augustus Gibbes (1828-1897) - Yarralumla.
|Medical and Personal Life
He was the first doctor in the Queanbeyan - Canberra
region pf NSW, having qualified as a surgeon at the Royal College of
Surgeons London in 1835, after which he came to Australia. Dr.
Andrew Morton joined the practice ten years later.
In 1847, he Queanbeyan
Benevolent Asylum was established and Drs Hayley and Andrew Morton were
both medical officers for the facility.
In 1858, Drs Hayley and
Andrew Morton first used chloroform as a general anaesthetic, and this was
only ten years after it had been first introduced in Australia.
1861, Drs Hayley and Morton performed one of the first plastic surgery
operations in Australia. Their patient had an ulcerated lip and chin. The
successful surgery removed the lip and fashioned a new one. This was a
remarkable achievement for country practitioners with limited facilities
available to them.
He continued his
practice in Queanbeyan until 1868 when he left for Goulburn. He
established a practice there and continued until his death in 1878.
Dr. Hayley was the personal physician of Colonel John
Gibbes (1787-1873) and Mrs Elizabeth Gibbes of Yarralumla, Canberra, and
their youngest son, Augustus Gibbes (1827-1896) , pictured at right,
and his family. Augustus Gibbes was the owner of "Yarralumla" ( right)
from 1859 to 1881.
Dr Hayley also looked after the medical needs of Augustus'
frail sister, Mary "Minnie" Murray (1817-1850) -- the first wife
of Canberra pioneer Sir Terence Aubrey Murray. Hayley was considered
a family friend and attended the funerals at Yarralumla of the Colonel and
Mrs Gibbes in 1873 and 1874 respectively.
Yarralumla is nowadays the site of Australia's
Click here to view more pictures of the Gibbes family and Yarralumla
Jerrabomberra and the Gold Snuff Box
Dr Hayley also owned "Jerrabombera" at Queanbeyan,
which is now a housing estate. The family of Brian Smith, a descendant,
still owns a gold snuff box that was presented to the Doctor on his
departure from England. Following is a copy of an article from "The
Bulletin" of about 1881:
In a recent issue of the Bulletin, there was noticed
"The Disinterment at Jerrabomberra" of a long-long gold snuff box. We are
now informed by an obliging corespondent that the box in question, which
belonged to the late Dr. Hayley, was presented to that gentleman on
his departure from England in the year 1835 and bore the following
Presented by the Governor and
Physicians of the Middlesex Hospital, London, to Dr. Hayley, for his
attention and zeal in the discharge of his duties as house-surgeon to the
On 24th of March 1836, during
Dr. Hayley's absence from his residence "Jerrabomberra", the box, with
other valuables was stolen by an assigned servant. none of the
stolen property was ever recovered until 24th of March 1881 - the same
date and month on which the robbery was committed, forty-five years
before. On that day, a labourer on the "Jerrabomberra" Estate in digging a
post hole turned up the missing snuff box. Apparently none the worse for
its long interment. Search was made about the spot for a gold watch and
other stolen jewellery, but none was discovered.
My thanks to
for the above additional information. (April 2006)
- appointed Commissioner for Crown Lands for the Police
District of Queanbeyan in 1853
- closely associated with the Church of England, and
was a member of the Church of England School Board in 1865
- an active supporter of the Queanbeyan Cricket Club,
when social cricket was played by the professional men of the district
on the market reserve in Morrisset Street.
Jane Hayley and FRL DeRossi
The de Rossi family descended from the Corsican
aristocracy (the family held the title of count.) Intensely pro-British,
they came to Australia in 1825. They made their home at Rossiville -- a
large sheep-farming property near the NSW town of Goulburn (which is on
the road to Canberra-Queanbeyan). Part of historic Rossiville house is
still standing, but it is owned these days by other people.
The de Rossis were close friends of the Gibbes and
Murray families during the 19th Century, and were no doubt well acquainted
with the Hayleys, too. Indeed, Dr Hayley died in the Goulburn area
in 1878. Interestingly enough, after he had sold Yarralumla in 1881 in
order to travel to England for an extended holiday, Augustus Gibbes
bought a property close to Rossiville, called Braemar, where he lived with
his wife and four sons until his death in 1896.
The full name of Florence Jane Hayley's husband was
Francis Robert Louis (de) Rossi (1823-1903), of Rossiville. He died
in Sydney and is buried at Waverley cemetery in Sydney. In 1896, two years
after marrying Florence in Sydney, he inherited his Corsican title and
henceforth styled himself the Comte de Rossi. His marriage to Florence was
controversial as Rossi had divorced his first wife, Jane -- the daughter
of an Anglican dean, William Sowerby -- whom he had wed in 1847.
Moreover, Jane Rossi was still living at the time of her ex-husband's
second marriage. As a consequence, the Bishop of Goulburn famously refused
Holy Communion to Rossi and Florence at a service in St Saviour's
Cathedral in 1896. Rossi, his Mediterranean blood aflame, counter-attacked
with a Supreme Court writ and it took the intervention of the Bishop of
Sydney to resolve the dispute. Florence de Rossi (nee Hayley) died
in Sydney (Marrickville) in 1920. (Rossi's first wife, Jane, had expired
at Hunter's Hill, Sydney, in 1913.)
Rossi served as Registrar of the District Court of
Goulburn and captain of the Goulburn Volunteer Rifles. He was a major
benefactor of the Anglican church in Goulburn.
Rossiville was established on the Wollondilly River in
the early 1830s by Rossi's father, Captain Francis Nicholas Rossi, who had
been appointed Superintendent of Police for NSW following his arrival in
the colony in 1825. The current owners of Rossiville have turned part of
the homestead into a b&b place.
Times, February 15, 2000)
Thank you to Stephen Gibbes for additional information
on the DeRossi and Gibbes families. 27 Dec 2004