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Henry Hopwood
1813 - 1 January 1869
Pioneer


Hopwood
monument
in Echuca

Henry Hopwood was one of the many colourful characters associated with the early settlement of Victoria. In 1834 he was sentenced to 14 years transportation to Australia from England for the crime of receiving stolen silk.

Such were his powers of persuasion and manipulation however that he had become a police constable in Tasmania by 1835! He was sentenced at least twice after that as a result of various liaisons with women. He married three times - once in England and twice in Australia. He spent two years in the infamous Port Arthur penal settlement before finally being released in 1846.

He moved to the Port Phillip settlement (later to be called Victoria) and became the archetypal small businessman. Over the years he established a bakery, boiling down works, butchery, several hotels as well as functioning as a postmaster, vintner and organising a school.

He is probably best remembered for his establishment of a ferry (at the place now known as Hopwood's Ferry) as well as establishing bridges over the Murray and Campaspe rivers

Stories abound regarding Hopwood's antics. For instance, when the battered bucket he used for sounding the river depth on his ferry went missing he closed the ferry until it was returned thus halting much of the commerce between Victoria and New South Wales for a number of days.

As befits this bustling man who was always doing deals, he has two graves - one in Melbourne and one in Echuca. (Henry Hopwood is acknowledged as the founder of the border city of Echuca, and any visitor to Echuca cannot help but become aware of Hopwood's influence). The records seem to indicate, however, that Hopwood's body was buried in the grave at Melbourne Cemetery.

 

Henry Hopwood - tombstone
Henry Hopwood's tombstone in the
Melbourne General Cemetery

HENRY HOPWOOD
FOUNDER OF ECHUCA
DIED 1ST. JAN. 1869 AGED 55 YEARS
Also their only daughter
ALICE BOLTON
Wife of James McCulloch
Died 3rd. April 1895 Aged 51 years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MARTHA BOLTON
Wife of
HENRY HOPWOOD
HOPWOOD'S FERRY
ECHUCA, RIVER MURRAY
Died 3rd. Feby. 1857
AE 33

Henry Hopwood's cenotaph at Echuca Cemetery
Henry Hopwood's tombstone at Echuca Cemetery

You can find a copyright photograph of of Henry Hopwood at Picture Australia.