Rediscovering Ginninderra: A database:
Born: 1815; Died: 1876; Married: Henry Hall
Mary, born in London in 1816, was the daughter of Captain William Fisher, employee of the East India Company and later HM Customs Service, and his wife Jane (nee Smith). William Fisher was born in England c. 1783, but came to Australia to work for HM Customs. He died in Sydney in 1838.
Mary arrived at Sydney Cove on 21 December 1830 on the brig Craigevar along with two sisters, Jane and Ann, and brother Thomas, to meet up with their father already here. Tragically, their mother Jane died on the voyage out. Her father re-married in 1836 - to Elizabeth Wingate.
Mary was married to squatter Henry Hall in St Philip's church, York Street, Sydney, by Chaplain William Cowper on 22 March 1837. Henry and Mary spent subsequently forty years successfully running their property straddling the lower reaches of the Ginninderra Creek, Charnwood. They also leased The Mullion, a sheep station across the Murrumbidgee River, north-west of Charnwood, and a station at Yaouk, where he ran cattle. Yaouk was a long way south - around 75k m as the crow flies from Charnwood, just outside today's Namadgi National Park, adjacent to the Murrumbidgee River.
The couple had eleven children (4 daughters and 7 sons), the first born in 1838. The children were: Mary Elizabeth, Henry Fisher, Charles Middleton (twin), Edmund Wingate (twin), Lucy, Anne Jane, John Francis, Thomas Turner, William Sydney, Robert Leicester, and Eleanor. All, except possibly the first, were born at Charnwood. They were baptised in Queanbeyan, then at St John's the Baptist Anglican church, Canberry (now Reid, Canberra).
The Hall's became well known for their hospitality, with Mary described as a gentle, refined and gracious lady and Henry a good, all-round, rough and ready farmer. Henry may have had repairs done at the blacksmiths shop (est. 1860), still standing on the southern carriageway of the Barton highway near Gold Creek, or enjoyed a beer at the Cricketers Arms Hotel (also known as One Tree Hotel), licensed in 1864. We know he was a regular guest at George Palmer Snr's Palmerville, attending the numerous functions held there such as fundraising balls, dances and sporting events. He is thought to have played cricket with Ginninderra Cricket Club along with George Harcourt and others.
In 1873, after 40 years of ownership, the Hall's sold Charnwood to William Ralph McCarthy JP, of Glenwood. After running into financial difficulties McCarthy's mortgagees auctioned Charnwood in 1881. The buyer was Edward Kendall Crace. The Hall's meanwhile had moved to Yass, NSW, where Henry became one of the area’s first JP's and, by all accounts, they again became well involved in the community. They are likely to have worshipped and had their funeral services at St Clements church, Rossi Street, Yass.
Mary died in Yass on the 18th January 1876, aged 61, and Henry on 5th October 1880 at Devonia Villa, Church Hill, Yass, aged 78. They are buried in the Yass cemetery on Irvine Drive, which includes famous pioneers such as Hamilton Hume. are two of Henry's sons, Edmund Wingate and William Sydney, along with some grandchildren, are also buried in the Yass cemetery.
- Gillespie, L.L. Ginninderra. Forerunner to Canberra, Canberra, 1992
- Stockall, M. Two articles on Henry Hall and 'Charnwood' on the Hall community website: