John & Ann
Mary  John  Annie  Moses  Isaac  Aaron  Margaret  Harriet  Matilda  Emma  Edwin  Charles  Henry

John and Louisa Adsett of Redbank

by N. E. Adsett

John Adsett, the eldest son of John and Ann Adsett, was born at Ewell in Surrey on 19 May 1823. Used to the difficult working conditions of farm labourers in England, John was an assisted migrant on the Duchess of Northumberland which sailed from Plymouth on 27 September 1850 and anchored in Moreton Bay on 31 January 1851. Earlier in 1850 John had married his cousin Louisa whose parents were Edward and Eliza Kitchenside of Epsom, Surrey. On arrival at Brisbane, both said they could read and write and recorded their religion as Church of England. John's younger brothers, Moses and Aaron, were also amongst the total of 228 young people from England and Ireland, arriving in a new and distant land, filled with hope for the future.

As described in Chapter 1, John Adsett, often in association with one of his brothers, was involved in activities connected with the land in the areas of Breakfast Creek and Enoggera. As early as 1853, he selected an area of some fifteen acres in the County of Stanley, Parish of Toombul as a sole purchaser.1 A map showing part of the Parish of Teviot shows a selection held by John Adsett.2 It is classified as forty acres of agricultural land, ninety acres of first class pastoral land and 140 acres of second class pastoral land.3 For some twenty years after 1863, John operated a successful business as a butcher in Redbank. Adsett's slaughter yard occupied land now used for industrial purposes opposite Gailes Railway Station.

It appears John and Louisa were able to enjoy relative comfort in their later years. A biographical reference is made to John Adsett in an historical sketch of the young Queensland published in 1888:

JOHN ADSETT, retired butcher, is an old resident of Redbank, and was born in Ewell, Surrey, England in 1823. In 1851 he immigrated to Queensland and settled at Collonton. He afterwards lived at Breakfast Creek as a gardener, and commenced butchering in Goodna in 1863. This business he carried on for twenty years, and he now owns 360 acres of good farm land. In 1882 he retired on his farm at Redbank. He was married in England in 1850 to the daughter of Mr Edward Kitchenside, of Epsom, and in 1883 made a trip to the Old Country. He is a member of the Congregational Church. 4

John's father also named John, reached Brisbane in 1855. It is interesting to note that when John Adsett (senior) died at Milton in 1869, it was his eldest son, John, then of Woogaroo, who provided details for his father's death certificate.

Years later, John's elderly mother, Ann, arrived from England with her daughter Mary Rackley and they lived at Redbank. There Ann died in 1891. Her eldest children, Mary and John, would have been close by.

John and Louisa moved to Moorooka following their many years at Redbank. John died there on 9 August 1900 at the age of seventy-seven years. Buried at St Matthew's Cemetery, Sherwood, he left the sum of ten pounds to his elder sister, Mary, and the remainder of his wealthy estate to his wife Louisa.

Louisa Adsett died in 1915 at the age of eighty-seven years, having been widowed for fifteen years. Her grave is also at St Matthew's Cemetery in the Brisbane suburb of Sherwood. They had no children.

top of page


1. Queensland State Archives, SUR/4, Pre-Separation Lands Sold Lists, 9 August 1853

2. Queensland State Archives, AG3/51B, 1885

3. Queensland State Archives, LAN/P6,P7, Selection Registers of the Brisbane Land Agents District

4. Centennial History of Queensland, 1888