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Stories of Emma Featherstone Barrows

Emma is the only child in the family of William Jacob and Sarah Barrows to have a second name, “Featherstone”
It is interesting to note in the 1851 census, when Emma was 3 years old, the family had been living at St Mary Cray for some years. The family is listed as living at "Educational Institute" along with one other person, John Featherstone, unmarried, 46 years old, an "Independent Minister".
'Featherstone' appears on the records of the ATKIN family in 'South Australians 1836-1885', page 18, as family oral tradition.
Another reference suggested that her marriage to ATKIN was her second marriage. It was in fact her first and only marriage. She was, however, ATKIN's second wife.

Emma registered the birth of her illegitimate daughter, Lillian Dew BARROWS; County Grey Births register Book 2, Number 2283; 22 Aug 1868 as follows; Father: John Dew, blacksmith, Mother: Emma Featherstone Barrows, signed by Emma.

She also registered the birth of her nephew Walter Barrows, in the County Grey Births register Book 3, Certificate Number 4196 and signed Emma Featherstone BARROWS, on 17 July 1873.

Parish Register / Mt Gambier death register:- Lillian Dew Barrows; illegitimate daughter of Emma, 5 months, cause of death, Marasmus 25th January 1869. (Marasmus is the gradual loss of flesh and strength from no apparent cause; occurring chiefly in infants)

MOUNT GAMBIER POLICE COURT. (1868, October 7).Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 13, 2012, from was adjourned for a week.


MOUNT GAMSTER POLICE COURT. (1868, October 14).Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved April 12, 2012, from First hearing.


MOUNT GAMBIER POLICE COURT. (1868, October 31).Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from Re-Hearing.


Wednesday, October 28th, 1868

Before J.S. Browne, Esquire., Stipendiary Magistrate.

(As reported by "The Border Watch", 31October, 1868)


Emma Barrows v. J. Dew.

The defendant was required to show cause why he should not support the child of the plaintiff, he being the punitive father.

Mr. Dawson for plaintiff, Mr Burton for Defendant.

The case had been before the bench on a previous occasion and dismissed, but what was considered, important evidence having being since discovered, an order for a rehearing had been obtained.

Emma Barrows, plaintiff - Was in Mr. Dew's employment in 1867; defendant took liberties on a Sunday morning; he went with the others, going to Chapel, and returned about half-past 11; I was alone; he came up to the chair on which I was sitting and kissed me; he then carried me into the bedroom and had connection with me; he used to come to my bedroom afterwards; told the defendant the state I was in, in December last, he laughed at me and said he would make it all right; he did nothing to that effect; he gave me some gin and asked me to take it and see if that would do; it was to destroy the child; he said so; took the bottle home to my brother and showed it to him; defendant did not deny that he was the father of the child; heard the defendant give evidence at the last trial; he said he was in receipt of 8s. a day; the child was born on 23rd of August last.

Cross-examined by Mr. Burton - The bedroom he carried me to was in the house, and I and Miss Dew slept there; I was sitting in a chair reading the Bible when he carried me into the bedroom; I saw him fasten the door and the window; he locked the door when I was in his arms; can't say where I was when he fastened the window; I screamed out once; know Wilkinson and Underwood; Wilkinson lived at Dr. Wehl's; never went to see him there; told my state to defendant first, and then his sister and mother; it was in January; it was not with my consent the first time, but it was afterwards; did not tell Dr. Graham and ask him for medicine to destroy the child; he asked me so often that at last told him who was the father; did not tell him defendant was not the father; went to church every Sunday; was never out at one o'clock at night, nor do I think at 11 o'clock; was never out with Wilkinson or Underwood at that hour. Re-examined - Wilkinson said if I had not been with child he would have married me; he was in a good position.

To the Bench - Mrs. Dew told me I might go out every night if my work was done; used to be late on some occasions at the Baptist Chapel, as after service there might be singing classes; did not think it affected my character being out late; defendant had connection with me several times after the first; was sometimes late when going to a party, but Mrs. Dew knew where I was going; did not stipulate with her that I might go out certain nights in the week, she had said I might go when I done my work.

James Gersham Smith, livery stable-keeper - Have seen plaintiff and defendant together at and before November, 1867; have seen defendant 'larking' with plaintiff; it was after tea; he was not kissing her; he met her in the porch and I think she caught him by the hand and he caught hold of her, that was all; never saw them larking on any other occasion; remarked at the time that I thought he was rather thick with her; had a few words with him about it; can't say defendant was engaged to be married; did not say I would not give much for the other young lady's chance; defendant always denied to me being the father of the child, and never admitted it; the only words I had with him were that I said I would tell 'Mary,' and he told me to mind my own business.

Cross-examined - Live close to Dew's, that was the only net of familiarity at the time that I saw; it did not lead me to suppose that there was any improper intercourse between them; have see plaintiff walking out with Underwood at half past eight o'clock; never saw her out with Dew; when I said 'at that time,' I meant any time; I swear that I never said to Mr. Billing that I had seen improper proceedings between plaintiff and defendant; we had a conversation after the first trial; did not say I wondered I was not called as a witness; never told Billing that I had seen Dew pulling and rolling her about; never did see anything improper between them except the larking to which I have alluded.

Alfred Billing - Since the trial, that day or the next morning, Smith told me that he had seen improper proceedings between plaintiff and defendant, and that he had seen defendant pulling or rolling plaintiff about; he said he was afraid he should have been called as a witness.

Cross-examined - Feel certain that he used the words 'improper proceedings'; we only spoke for a few minutes; defendant is Smith's brother in law.

William Barrows - About January, when my sister came home to me, I went to defendant and told him that he had got my sister into trouble and he should get her out of it, was he going to do anything? he said no, he would do nothing; asked him if he had any connection with her, he said if he had he was not the only one, and if it came to Court I could not prove it; he admitted giving the gin to my sister; I tasted it and there was something more than gin; I poured the rest away; he said he gave her the gin because she was not well; told him he gave it to her to destroy the child; he said he did not; Gersham Smith told me before the previous case that he had seen plaintiff and defendant very thick; he said he had seen defendant's arm around my sister's waist and that they were behaving very improperly; and that he and defendant came to words about it; he said he had seen improper conduct between them more than once; never knew anything light in my sister's character; defendant did not say where he got the gin; the features of the child are like Dew's; the eyes are dark; if the child was undressed the limbs would speak for themselves; it is the very image of him; Wilkinson left for the diggings after the case had begun but before it came off; he used to work for me; if the case had not been adjourned Wilkinson could have been present.

Cross-examined - My sister gave me the gin after she had been home two days; did not get it analysed; did not think it necessary, the bottle was used for yeast afterwards, and rolled off the dressed, and was broken.

To the Bench - Thought there was something besides gin in the bottle; did not think gin would be brought in question; have known my sister to go out at nights to chapel.

Re-examined - Never thought the bottle would be brought in evidence; never knew it was criminal to give a girl medicine to kill a child; know it now.

Ann Walker who first declined to give evidence, on the grounds that she could not swear that the child was Dew's on account of physiognomy, was reassured by the S. M. informing her that she was only to swear to what she knew, and was thereupon sworn) - Have known plaintiff for two years; never knew anything against the plaintiff; the child bears a great family likeness to the Dew's; it is about two months old. Mr. Davidson offered to produce the child, although they had no notice to produce.

His Worship declined to admit such testimony.

Cross-examined - The face and eyes and all over are like John Dew.

John Underwood, shoemaker - Have known plaintiff two years; never saw nor heard anything against her character; I was keeping company with her; she broke it off herself; she wrote to me telling me why she discontinued keeping company with me; believe I should have married her had it not been for this; she told me in December or January that she was pregnant.

James McRostie, contractor - Have known plaintiff seven or eight years; she bore a good character.

This was the plaintiff's case. Mr. Burton said there was no corroborative testimony to support the direct testimony of the plaintiff and did his worship think there was a prima facie case calling upon them to reply? The S. M. said he could not say there was no evidence, but it was very slight, nevertheless he would hear evidence for defendant before giving a decision.

Dr. Graham - The plaintiff consulted me on two occasions within a few days of each other, about the time she left Dew's; thought her symptoms related to pregnancy, and told her so; she denied it stoutly and a doubt arose in my mind; spoke to Mrs. Dew to send her back again to clear up the doubt; she came and again denied it; about a fortnight afterwards I was visiting a patient, and plaintiff was there with others; returning home, passed her, when she said 'you were right in what you told me the other day, and I told who it was last night;' I asked who it was, and she said John Dew; she asked me if I would give her something to put it away, when I told her it could not be done; she said she knew the Dew's would try to put it on Dick Wilkinson, but, she remarked, 'I don't think it's Dick's;' never spoke to her since; could not tell by the features of the child that John Dew was the father; I don't think anyone could conscientiously do so; there are family likenesses.

Cross-examined - I had previously told her what my suspicions were; asked her the name of the father of the child two or three times; when she asked me for the medicine, I told her it could not be done and rode away; the conversation lasted four or five minutes; at previous meetings she was very boisterous, and denied her state; she said 'I don't think it's Dick's;' I and Dr. Wehl joked about it afterwards.

Mr. Davidson then addressed the Bench, contending that he had fixed the paternity on the defendant. His Honour would make an order of dismissal with costs, the case could not be sustained; also, on the application of Mr. Burton, he would grant a certificate which would be a bar to all future proceedings.

Costs 1 pound 17 shillings.


Some notes regarding the Dew family

BIOSA Vol 1, p 401
DEW John, par: Jesse & Ann, b: 16.2.1844 Wil Eng, d: 24.2.1935, bd: Mt Gambier, SA, arr: 1857 MARION, occ: blacksmith, farmer, res: Mt Gambier, rel: Presb, m: unknown, ch: Archie, Mrs Bodey, Sarah, another.

DEW Job, par: Jesse & Ann, b: 1842 Wil Eng, arr: 1857 MARION, occ: Labourer, Railway worker, res: Gawler, rel: Sof

'DEW - PITMAN - On the 22nd of March in the Wesleyan New Church, Gawler, by rev. Thomas Lloyd, Mr Job Dew, son of Mr George Dew*, of Cockatoo Valley, to Miss Pitman, daughter of Mr John Pitman, of Mount Gambier. This being the first marriage celebrated in the new church, a Bible and Wesleyan Hymn Book were presented to the married pair by the trustees.' ('Register' personal notices - 23 March 1869)

DEW Mr Jessee Dew died age 63, from Wiltshire. (Border Watch Feb 10th 1875)

Obituary - Mrs. E. F. ATKIN

The South-Eastern Star, July 12, 1910

Mrs. Atkin, who passed to her rest on Friday morning, was an old and highly esteemed resident of the district. She was a sister of Mr. W. Barrows of Pine Hill, Mount Gambier, and had a wide circle of friends.

She passed away at the age of 62, after only a brief illness. She had been a little out of health for some time, but heart failure carried her off with unexpected suddenness.

The interment took place on Sunday, the Rev. W. H. Cann officiating.

Seven children survive:— Messrs. Caleb, Walter, and Stanley Atkin, and Mesdames Doyle (Sydney), Henstridge (Adelaide), and W. Spehr (Glencoe), and Miss Atkin, of Mount Gambier.