Jane Cook (nee Manley) Buried Woodburn, Richmond Valley, NSW


Per BUFFALO 1833

In 1833, Jane Manley arrived on the shores of Port Jackson per the Transport Ship HMS BUFFALO. She was 16 years old, able to read, and a nursemaid by calling. She had already served a sentence of 1 year for a previous conviction, so for the subsequent crime of ‘Stealing bacon’ she was to be transported to New South Wales for 7 years.

In 1837, Jane was assigned to Hugh Kennedy in the Illawarra. She must have made a good impression because she had an ‘Application to Marry’ made on her behalf by John Williams of Wollongong in 1837, another by John Levick of Parramatta in 1838, and a 3rd by Thomas Greenwood of Port Macquarie in 1839. Each of these Applications were granted. However, it appears that she was not of a mind to wed any of these fellows instead opting for fellow-convict Henry Cook (alias Brunman) whom she married in 1840.

Married life for Jane was spent largely in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales particularly around the Broadwater area.

One interesting event appears in her history, that being her appearance in Ballina Police Court as the licensee, with her son John Alfred Cook, of the Royal Hotel in Broadwater:

          ‘… for allowing music and dancing on her licensed premises.’

The dance was held in an adjacent hall to the licensed premises and Police maintained that the two areas were under the same license where such merriment was forbidden. Witnesses were called, the police were questioned, and the Act scrutinized. According to the Cooks they were only entertaining friends and had many witnesses to the fact. After ‘considerable argument’ the case was eventually dismissed on the grounds that the dance was:

          ‘… an invitation one, and was not “open to public resort,” and the Act was never intended to prevent publicans from entertaining their friends in a social manner.’

Mary was delivered of at least 9 children during her marriage and was the grandmother of 63 when she died, aged about 70, in 1890.

Jane Cook (nee Manley) is buried at Woodburn, Richmond Valley, NSW, Australia.