William Henry Evans (1867)

   baptised 10 Feb 1867 in Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire.

William Henry Evans (1867), son of John Evans (c1827) and Eliza Smart (1839), was baptised 10 Feb 1867 in Ross-On-Wye, Herefordshire. William was a Printer's Apprentice as a 14-year-old in 1881, living with his parents.

In 1887, at the age of 20, he boarded the ship Lusitania bound for Geelong, Victoria Australia, where his maternal aunt Susan Smart (Chapman) had been living for some time. Sadly, William died in 1889 at the age of 22 from "morbus coxae / hectic fever", which may have been a bacterial infection of the bone (coxae meaning 'hip'). William was laid to rest alongside his infant cousin, Thomas Henry Chapman, in Geelong cemetery.

The following information comes thanks to N. and friends in Australia.



Death Notice from the Geelong Advertiser, 14 Oct 1889:

Evans - On the 13th October, at the Geelong Hospital, William Henry, aged 22 years, the beloved son of John and Eliza Evans, formerly of Ross, England. The funeral will leave the Hospital, this day, Monday, at 3pm for the Eastern Cemetery. Friends are respectfully invited. Jenkins and Bennett. Undertakers, 115 Moorabool Street.

Death Notice from the Geelong Advertiser, 18 Oct 1889:

Evans - On 13th October, 1889, at Geelong, William Henry, with hip disease, aged 22 years, the beloved son of John and Eliza Evans, also nephew of Susan Chapman, late of Ross, England; much respected by all who knew him. Safe in the arms of Jesus.

Once he was a mourner here below
And poured out cries and tears,
And wrestled hard as we do now,
With sins and doubts and pains.

I ask him, whence his victory came?
He, with united breath,
Has cried, the conquest to the lamb,
And triumph to his death.

Home papers please copy

Piece from the Geelong Advertiser, 12 Dec 1889:

MORTALITY. The following deaths were reported to have occurred in the institution since last meeting:
- William Henry Evans, aged 24 years, hectic fever.

(Most likely a published hospital report)

Extract from Geelong Hospital Death Register:

William Henry Evans - aged 24
admitted 19 Feb 1889 - died 13 Oct 1889
Cause of death - Morbus Coxae/Hectic Fever

In terms of medical definitions, Morbid is diseased, or relating to an abnormal or disordered condition; Coxa refers to the hip joint. Some internet sites refer to Morbus Coxae as a tubercular disease of the hip joint, others as a form of arthritis of the hip. Hectic fever was simply a regularly recurring fever. In London at the time, Morbus Coxae was the second most common disease of patients in hospitals, with Tuberculosis being the most common.

Burial details

William was buried in Geelong alongside his little cousin Thomas Henry Chapman (his aunt Susan Smart's son) who died in 1886. Jacob and Susan Chapman (Thomas' parents) were later buried in this plot, however the headstone does not list William as resting there. The inscription on the single headstone straddling two plots reads:


In memory of Susan, beloved wife of Jacob Chapman,
died, 25th March 1921, Age 75 years
- At Rest -



At the bottom of the headstone is the following:

Thomas, son of the above, died, 21.3.1886. Age 2 years.





Jacob's burial details have never been recorded on the stone. He died in in 1925.


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