The Mashford Family

 In 1854, a whole family uprooted from Coldridge and emigrated to South Australia.

The Mashfords had long been associated with mid Devon, especially around Zeal Monachorum and Coldridge.


Mary Mashford, nee Cann, was born in Nymet Rowland in 1798. She married John Mashford in 1818 in Coldridge, where their seven children were born. John was a tailor in the village, where he died aged 39 in 1836.


His widow Mary remained in Coldridge. In 1841 she was a publican (probably assisting her brother in law Josiah Mashford). She was then living with her three daughters Elizabeth (21), Mary Ann (10) and Jane (8). Her sons had left home: John Cann (18) was an apprentice to William Clotworthy, a tailor in Zeal Monachorum, George May (16) was apprenticed to John Harris, publican of the Taw Bridge Inn, West of Coldridge and Josiah Labbett (13) was a servant at Birch Farm near East Leigh, South of Coldridge. (Her youngest daughter, Emma, had died aged 2 in 1837.)


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In 1846 she and her six children left the Mother Country with a free passage to the new colony of South Australia. The ship “Princess Royal” left Plymouth on 15 November with 236 passengers, 50 of whom had boarded in London, and arrived at Port Adelaide on 16th March 1847. Many of the passengers were miners from Devon and Cornwall. They had been recruited by newspaper advertisements and posters placed in various villages

James Blackmore Willcocks (1809-1880) was the Plymouth agent for the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners.


He gave a speech to the emigrants just before the "Princess Royal" set sail for Australia.

Charles Lewis van Zuilecom was the ship’s captain. The owners had been paid £2,000 by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commission to transport the emigrants – who only had to pay one pound each for cutlery and a blanket  - which they were able to keep at the end of the voyage.