John and Ellen Crothers
... Jospeh and Ellen Crothers ...

Robert Crothers and Elizabeth Hope Garland

2-Robert Crothers was born on 24 Dec 1859 in Brighton, Tasmania and died on 7 Nov 1927 in Gipps Ward, Melbourne Hospital at age 67. Robert married Elizabeth Hope Garland, daughter of Peter Garland and Isabella McKay, on 2 Feb 1897 in Melville Cottage, Clifton Hill.

Elizabeth was born in 1870 in Abbotsford, Victoria, the tenth of 12 children of Peter Garland and Isabella Mackay, died on 11 Mar 1936 in Mercy Private Hospital Melbourne East at age 66, and was buried on 12 Mar 1936 in Melbourne Cemetery Carlton. Robert and Elizabeth had no children.

(Peter Garland was identified as a drayman on his son John's marriage certificate in 1886, a carrier (deceased) on Elizabeth’s marriage certificate in 1897, and as an Able Seaman on Elizabeth’s death certificate in 1936. He married Isabella Margaret Mackay in 1851 in Victoria. Isabella, daughter of John Mackay and Margaret Munro, was born about 1834 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and died in 1879. Their third child, John, married Elizabeth Crothers.)

Robert was aged 4 years and 5 months when his mother died in 1864 and 12 years and one month when his father died in 1871. It is not known who looked after him during his remaining years of childhood, but it was possibly Edward and Elizabeth Thwaites, who had taken in his infant brother, William, when their mother died. Thwaites, a shoemaker of Pontville, already had Henry as an apprentice and indicated his willingness to take on Robert as well. The authorities, however, believed Robert was “too young to apprentice” and needed “more schooling.”

At some stage, Robert left Tasmania for the mainland. The most likely year for his transfer to Melbourne was 1879. His death certificate of 1927 shows he had lived in Victoria for 50 years. This time is probably approximate. It would seem most likely that Robert crossed Bass Strait together with his sister, Elizabeth, either just before or after brother John’s wedding on 23 January 1879.

Robert returned to Tasmania at least once. In 1887, he and his brother, William, from New Zealand, petitioned for the release of their shares in their father’s estate. On 13 May, the brothers were in the Hobart office of solicitors Finlay and Watchorn, where they signed a letter authorising payment to their legal representatives. Each received 54 pounds 16 shillings and 2 pence - about $7 230 in 2016 value.

No doubt, Robert became acquainted with his future wife through his sister’s friendship with, and eventual marriage to, John Garland. At the time of this first Crothers-Garland wedding, Robert was 26 and Elizabeth 29. By the time Robert married John Garland’s sister, Elizabeth Hope Garland, 10 years later, he had three nieces - Ida, Alma and Iris Garland - and possibly a nephew, John Eric Garland. Back in Tasmania, his brother, John, had seven daughters and 2 sons.

Robert Crothers and Elizabeth Garland married on 2 February 1897 in Melville Cottage, Edmond St., Clifton Hill, Melbourne. Robert was 37, a bachelor and clerk, living in Abbotsford Street, Abbotsford. Elizabeth was 25, a spinster and "daughter at home" in Hoddle Street, Abbotsford. The fathers were shown as Joseph, Sergeant (sic) of Police, deceased, and Peter, carrier, deceased. The service was conducted by a Congregational Minister "after declaration on oath" and "according to the rites of the Congregationalists." The witnesses were J. M. Garland, H. Clay (or Clayton), Jeanie (?) Garland and A. I. Pegg. (John Mackay Garland would have been about 40 and Jean about 32. The Pegg may have been a son or daughter of Samuel and the eldest daughter, Isabella Margaret.)

Robert and Elizabeth had no children.

The 1903 Commonwealth Electoral Roll has Robert, accountant, and Elizabeth, home duties, living at 39 Stuart Street, Malvern, in the District of Kooyong.

Robert died on 7 November 1927 in Gipps Ward, Melbourne Hospital, from injuries received when he was accidentally knocked down by a train in East Melbourne. An inquest was held on 23 November. His father, Joseph, was noted as a Superintendent (sic) of Police. His address was Scott Grove, East Malvern, and his occupation was traveller. His age was given as 65, not 67, and he had been married at 35, not 37, according to his death certificate.

The funeral, by undertaker Gordon S. Sleight, was held on the day of death, at Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton, with the service conducted by A. Hay, Methodist Minister. Robert was noted as a resident of Victoria for 50 years.  Probate was granted on 13 Dec. 1927 for Robert Crothers, gent, of East Malvern.

Elizabeth died on 11 March 1936 in Mercy Private Hospital, Grey Street, Melbourne East. The Death Certificate gave her usual residence as 30 Scott Grove, Glen Iris, City of Malvern, with her age as 67 (or 65 if age 25 at her marriage was correct.). She had suffered a cardiac failure 2 weeks before. She was buried on 12 March 1936 in the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton.