Francis Henry Burslem

BURSLEM, Francis Henry (1807-1888) — Adelaide

Surveyor, land-agent, civil engineer and lithographer. Produced Chart of Port Adelaide, South Australia 1839 — engraved by William Moffitt; J. McLaren, Plan of the country south of Adelaide 1840; A. H. Davis, Plan of the Angas special survey 1842; Plan of the Green Hills 1842; Outline plan of the Milner special survey 1843; Outline sketch of the settled portions of the colony 1842 1843; Outline plan of the Barossa special survey 1843; Outline plan of Rapid Bay 1845; Plan of mineral lands in Kapunda Mines District, South Australia 1846 and similar mining maps.

Born 24 Jan 1807 and baptised 24 Feb 1807 at St. John, Portsmouth, Hampshire — the son of James Godolphin Burslem, an Irish-born artillery officer, and his wife Nancy Dent. Francis Burslem followed his father into the army. He married (1) Sarah Richardson at Stockport 19 Apr 1828 — according to a later report in the Stockport Advertiser, reprinted in many English newspapers as well as the Moreton Bay Courier 11 Sep 1860, his wife was the daughter of a local confectioner with whom he lived in some style until his money ran out, and then, ostracised by family and fellow officers, he opened his own confectionery shop which soon failed. He abandoned his wife, who died shortly thereafter, but took their son, also Francis Henry Burslem (1830-1901), to Australia, where he gave him away to a stockman “to make the best of him”. The son, alerted by advertisements in the Australian press, turned up in Stockport in 1860 to claim an inheritance from the Richardson family. Burslem married (2) Anne Boodle at Liverpool 10 Jul 1834. He served as a soldier in Australia in 1829 and later became a draughtsman in the Surveyor General’s Office 1 Jan 1839. At Adelaide he was unsuccessful in suing a man called Lowe over the purchase of a parcel of land in 1848. In 1849 he appeared on behalf of the Australian Mining Association in another court case. Burslem worked in Adelaide until the early 1850s and Burslem Hill and Burslem Creek are said to be named after him. He subsequently moved to Tasmania, marrying (3) Susan Fynes (d.1862) at Hobart 12 Oct 1852. He both farmed and continued surveying and appears to have run a hotel at one time, serving on local committees and acting as local registrar. He married (4) Anne Elizabeth Anderson (1826-1878) at Hobart 7 Apr 1862. Burslem then moved to Auckland, New Zealand, working as a surveyor and civil engineer, particularly involved in the “Thames Waterworks” scheme for supplying Auckland with water. He retired to New South Wales in 1883, where he died at Woollahra in 1888.

Morphett Street, Adelaide — 1842
Rundle Street, Adelaide — 1846-1847
Port Cygnet, Tasmania — 1855-1863
Grafton Road, Auckland — 1881-1883
Rushcutter’s Bay, Sydney — 1885
46 Denison Street, Woollahra, Sydney — 1888

BNA. COPAC. LG. NLA. Tooley. Trove.