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Private Henry Best (.1821.......1895.)

Back to . . .North Devonshire Regiment
  • Born : 1821
  • Where Born : Salisbury England
  • Occupation : Tailor / Soldier / Policeman
  • Date Arrived : 25. Aug. 1845
  • Ship Arrived on : " David Malcom"
  • Rank attained : Private
  • Regimental # : 1324
  • Date of Enlistment : 31. Jan. 1839
  • Where Enlisted 11th : England
  • Date of Discharge : 31. Oct. 1850
  • Where Discharged : Adelaide, South Australia
  • Died : 20. Apr. 1895
  • Where Died / Buried : Destitute Asylum, Adelaide/ West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.
  • Parents Names :
  • Spouse's Name : Mary Flynn
  • Born : 1828
  • Where Born :
  • Occupation :
  • Date Arrived : 25. Aug. 1845
  • Ship Arrived on : "David Malcolm" then to Adelaide on the "Louisa" Brig (1849).
  • Date Married :
  • Where
  • Died : 22 Mar 1898
  • Where Died / Buried : Destitute Asylum, Adelaide/ West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.
  • Spouse's Parents :
    This information was kindly supplied by Peter Stewart Email Address........ . Peter is a descendent of Private Henry Best and has a web site which is at For further details please contact Peter
    Area Settled :
    Adelaide. South Australia
    Children :
    1 . Eliza Best (b. 6 Sep 1846 Norfolk Island. ...d.22 Apr 1853 Adelaide, South Australia )
    2 . John Henry Best (b.19 Jul 1848 at sea....d. 9 Sep 1921 Mental Hospital Parkside )on 28 Jun 1873 Trinity Church, Adelaide Sarah Jennings (b. 27/5/1850 ...25 Nov 1891 in Adelaide Hospital.) 2nd m 3 Jun 1902 John St Hindmars Susan Churcher (b. 1868 Surrey, England. ...d. 10 Feb 1943 in Lourdes Valley, Glen Osmond, SA)
    3 . Mary Ann Best (b. c 1850 Adelaide South Australia...d.10 May 1926 Rose St Mile End SA from Mitral Insufficiency. m 10 Jun 1872 SA Charles Edward Wilson Morgan (b.c 1849 London England.....d.25 Dec 1918 in Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia.)
    4 . Catherine Best (b. 5 Nov 1851 Adelaide, South Australia. ...d.12 Apr 1853 Adelaide, South Australia. )
    5 . Harriet Best (b.11 Oct 1855 Adelaide, South Australia.... d .22 Nov 1855.)
    6 . Louisa Best (b. 24 Nov 1857 in Adelaide, South Australia....d. 16 Oct 1915 West Terrace ) m 8 Nov 1877 Trinity Church, Adelaide Charles Mathew Fillmore,(b. 1850....d.4 Dec 1907 Louisa St, Goodwood, SA
    7 . Charlotte Best ( b.25 Jun 1859 Adelaide, South Australia.....d.12 May 1864 Adelaide, South Australia. )
    8 . Emma Best (b. 24 Jun 1863 Adelaide, South Australia. ...d. 8 Jun 1864 Adelaide, South Australia.)
    9 . Agnes Best (b.5/3/1865 ....d.) m 20/1/1892 Wilhelm Ludemann (b.1862. Hanover Prussia ...d.15/12/1929 Charles St Forrestvill South Australia

    History & Achievements :

    Henry was originally a tailor in England before joining the British 11th Regiment.(Reg No 1324)

    He arrived at Norfolk on the 25th August. and served as a guard on the Penal settlement at Norfolk Island for about 3 years. In 1848 Henry went to Sydney and served at the Victoria Barracks where family history tells his new born son John Henry was the first baby born at the Barracks. He was then transferred to Adelaide in 1849 and the following year was discharged from the Army due to a reduction of the regiment on 31st October 1850.
    Henry is recorded as serving as a Police Constable on and off from 1851 to 1877 after which he worked as a tailor, which was his trade in London where he partnered his brother John in the business until they had a falling out.
    From records from the SA Police Historical Society and the Police defaulters book at the State 31st Jan 1839.
    He embarked for Norfolk Island on 8th May 1845 and the ship "Archives", Henry first joined the Police 1st February, 1851. He resigned in March of the following year, 1852, then re-joined in November the same year. He was dismissed in December 1856 for being drunk on duty, which occurred several times during his career. Only 3 months later in 1857 he is listed as becoming 3/c Constable then in 1859 2/c Constable. 3 months later he was dismissed again. 5 years later in 1864 he rejoined as a 3rd class constable and made 2nd class constable on 1st July 1865 then 1st class on 9th December 1867. Unfortunately Henry was disiplined twice in 1872 for being under the under the influence of alcohol. The first time reducing him back to bottom level 1st class and the second time was fined 3 days pay. He finally resigned in 1877 around age 55-56.
    Records show that in 1870 that Henry took out a mortgage with the National Building and Investment Society for a part acre block in Selby St Adelaide and sold it in 1877.

    Henry, like his wife, ended his days in the Destitute Asylum. To quote the records from the Asylum "Suffering from senile debility and loss of memory. This old man has been allowed outdoor relief for a considerable time, but is now without a home or shelter of any kind, his children are too poor to afford him shelter and he states that he has been sleeping out in the open for several nights."

    Religion: Church of England

    Henry Best signed his name on his daughter Louisa's birth certificate as "John Henry", the name of his son.

    Henry married Mary FLYNN. Mary was born in 1828 and died on 22 Mar 1898 in the Destitute Asylum, Adelaide and was buried in West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide.

    Royal Adelaide Hospital records show that Mary was admitted to hospital on several occassions. Once for a broken leg in Jan 1864, and twice for an ulcer on the leg, in 1887 and 1894 and for Bronchitis 1898, the same year she died.
    The following is taken from Marys notes from the Destitute Asylum where she died.
    Sailed to Sydney on the ship "David Malcolm" then to Adelaide on the "Louisa" Brig to Adelaide (1849).
    Prior to the Asylum she was noted as living at Gouger St Adelaide (probably with son John Henry). Her occupation, was listed as domestic duties.

    * Records vary as to the name of the ship "David Malcolm" or "David Galveston" or variant *

    E- mail address
    Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
    Last revised: January 05, 2004.