Daniel Denny

#482, b. 1803, d. 23 July 1885

The treadmill

Individual's Timeline

Birth1803Daniel Denny1
EmigratAUcirca 1823Daniel Denny2
Marriage9 March 1824Daniel Denny3
Death5 July 1837Elizabeth Denny4
Marriage of Daughter9 October 1844Ann Denny5,6
Marriage of Daughter28 March 1854Sophia Denny7,8
Marriage of Son24 July 1855William Denny9,10
Marriage of Daughter5 November 1861Elizabeth Denny11,12
Marriage of Son4 January 1867Daniel Filby Denny13
Marriage of Son2 May 1872James Denny14,15
Death23 July 1885Daniel Denny16

Primary events

  • Birth: Daniel Denny was born in 1803 in London, Greater London, England.1
  • Marriage: He married Elizabeth Cato, daughter of William Cato and Hannah Dumpleton, on Tuesday, 9 March 1824 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, when they were 21 years ~&~ 22 years, 4 months and 4 days old. Indexed as 'David'. I have checked original from church, and the name appears distinctly as David. There is no doubt this is Daniel and Elizabeth's marriage as his record in Tasmanian Family Link shows marriage to Elizabeth Cato in Hobart in same year and all children are fathered by Daniel. This means he either changed his name or the parson recorded it incorrectly. Witnesses to the marriage were Sarah and W. WORTHY. Ceremony performed in St David's by Wm Bedford. Date may be May? Record reads Elizabeth CATO, free 23 years old, married David DENNY, free 21 years old, at St David's Church Hobart Town. Film 36 Record #713.3
  • (Widow) Death: In 1837, at the age of 34 years, Daniel was left a widower by the death of Elizabeth Denny; aged 38? register says date is 10th July 1837.4
  • MARR_NOT: Daniel Denny and Anne McClean were not married, but were a couple. . Anne's name has been recorded as Ann Armstrong ??? Maybe she was a widow when she was living with Daniel.
  • Marriage of Daughter: His child Ann Denny was married on 9 October 1844 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.5,6
  • Marriage of Daughter: His child Sophia Denny was married on 28 March 1854 in Wesleyan Chapel Melville Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.7,8
  • Marriage of Son: His child William Denny was married on 24 July 1855 in Hamilton, Tasmania, Australia.9,10
  • Marriage of Daughter: His child Elizabeth Denny was married on 5 November 1861 in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia.11,12
  • Marriage of Son: His child Daniel Filby Denny was married on 4 January 1867 in Sandhurst (now Bendigo), Victoria, Australia.13
  • Marriage of Son: His child James Denny was married on 2 May 1872 in Victoria, Australia.14,15
  • Death: Daniel died on 23 July 1885 in Maldon, Victoria, Australia, Mother and father left blank on death index. (Aged 82 years, worked back from recorded birth date).16
  • Burial: He was buried on 25 July 1885 in Maldon Cemetery, Maldon, Victoria, Australia. Full inscription on 2 tombstones on 1 plot in Maldon Cemetery. "In Memory of Daniel Denny who died 23rd July, 1885 Aged 84 years. Also his son ?? who died 9th May, 1894, aged 64 years. Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Jane beloved wife of James Denny Died 21st June 1881 aged 30 years also their daughter Hannah Jane died 24th December 1879 aged 15 months SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS. Also John White father of above died 31st December 1869 aged 55 years.

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Daniel was a shoemaker in 1824, a constable in the town surveyor's department in 1834, an overseer in the same Department in 1835, a labourer in the Colonial Stores in 1836, an overseer of the treadmill in Port Arthur Prison in 1839, an overseer of the Flinders Bay Convict Dept in 1841. He worked as an overseer in various places within the Tasmanian prison system until after 1848. By 1856, he was in Melbourne, where he had a boot and shoe store in Bourke Street.
  • Name Variation: He was also known as Daniel (Filby) Denny.
  • EmigratAU: Daniel Denny emigrated to Australia circa 1823 from England. possibly a sailor going to Port Jackson in 1823 from Tasmania. Details of a Daniel Denny (no proof this is ours) arrived in Hobart 7th July 1823 on the Avon, commanded by Mr H Sumner. This was a small barque, and was recorded in Bent's almanac 1824 HTG 12/7/1823. This same ship sailed to Port Jackson on 25th July 1823, and Daniel is shown as being on board. Tasmanian Archives - Denny, Daniel - Seaman - Avon - 25 Jul 1823 from Hobart to Port Jackson.2
  • Owner: In 1831 Daniel Denny was the owner of an allotment, situated in Melville Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.17
Some aspects of Daniel Denny's life. Daniel was in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1846 and in Melbourne by 1858. Amongst Daniel's children are twin girls, Elizabeth and Sophia. In 1858 they would have been 24 years old. Sophia married in Hobart in 1854 and Elizabeth married in Victoria in 1861. Whilst Daniel could have traveled to Victoria any time after 1846, I expect it to have been after 1854.

Voter Enrolements

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: Daniel's son William left a will in which he left 6 equal shares. The first 5 shares went to his siblings, one of whom was named as Francis Letitia Armstrong DENNY. This proves the relationship between Daniel and Ann McLEAN or ARMSTRONG who was Frances' mother. The 6th share was divided between 5 others who appear to be nephews and nieces. Follow-up on these last names will bear fruit..
  • Research note 02: His Bourke Street Boot shop would have been servicing those on the way to the gold diggings, as well as the general Melbourne population. Daniel then went to Malden where he, or his son, had a boot and shoe repair business.

    When he first went to Port Arthur, it was as the overseer of the treadmill.

    Port Arthur was a place of punishment for convicts who had re-offended whilst serving their time in Tasmania. When a convict first arrived in the colonies, they were apportioned out to work for free settlers, and ex-convicts whose sentence had expired. Those so assigned were not behind prison walls, but if they committed a new crime, they received very harsh treatment.

    The treadmill was used in many prisons at the time simply as punishment; with no 'output' as such, only the torture of severe physical exertion. Port Arthur however, used the treadmill to grind flour.
Background information on ship 'Midas' - Built in Hull in 1809 and was originally registered in London. The vessel was 426/430 tons, with 4-6 guns, a crew of 25, and first arrived in Sydney (from London via Cape of Good Hope) on 14 February 1820. James Underwood was the master and owner at this stage; Capt. John Beveridge was appointed master of the Midas for voyages to Van Diemens Land in 1820, 1821 (with Governor Macquarie & his party as passengers) and Macquarie Island in 1822. In April 1822 command of the Midas was assumed by William Kirkus for a voyage to Ile de France (Mauritius), with additional voyages under the command of Joshua Underwood to the same destination in December 1822, and Van Diemens Land and Macquarie Island May 1823. In June 1824, the Midas (and her cargo of seal oil skins and sundry merchandise) was sold by James Underwood to Icely and Hindson for £12000 (see Sydney Gazette 10 June 1824). She sailed on 18 August 1824 for London and returned to Hobart on 23 November 1825 from London via St. Jago (Cape Verde Is.) as a convict transport, with 109 female prisoners. Fifty-eight (58) convicts were disembarked at Hobart before the ship sailed on to Sydney (arriving December 17). Ownership had changed once again with vessel now belonging to James Baigrie. The Midas departed for Calcutta and London on 29 January 1826.

The Midas returned to Sydney, again as a convict transport, on 15 February 1827, with 145 male prisoners on board (three (3) had died during the voyage). The ship departed again for Batavia on 29 March/3 April 1827 and this appears to be the last mention of the vessel in Australian waters.

Background information on Maldon, Victoria, Australia, - Prior to the arrival of the first squatters in 1840 the area was occupied by the Dja Dja Wrung aboriginal people. An Aboriginal Station operated near Mt Tarrangower from 1841-1849. The area was known as Bryant's Ranges. However, the town really began when John Mechosk, a German prospector who had already struck gold at Dunolly, Maryborough and Kingower, discovered gold at the foot of Mt Tarrangower in 1853, thereby initiating a rush of some 20,000 diggers who initially devoted themselves to alluvial mining. By the end of 1854 the tide had receded to some 2000 prospectors and a township of sorts had developed around a narrow road.

The settlement was initially known as Tarrangower. A townsite was surveyed in 1854 but the location was rejected and ignored by locals. Consequently the de facto township established by the diggers was surveyed in 1856 (which explains the irregular street patterns which evolved organically as routes between the diggings). It was renamed after Maldon in Essex, England.

In 1856 Nuggetty Reef was uncovered to the north of town and companies entered the picture, supplying the capital to unearth the gold-bearing quartz reefs which proved to be among the richest in the country. In the 1860s Maldon rivalled Bendigo for returns but, by 1870, the gold had begun to dwindle. More information on gold mines at Maldon can be obtained from the www.maldongold.com website. In the subsequent years mines began to close and the population declined. The last operating mine was the North British which closed in 1926.

It is this absence of growth after the late 19th century which has facilitated the preservation of the town's historic features.

Noted novelist Henry Handel Richardson (nee Ethel Richardson) spent a portion of her childhood at Maldon. Her recollections of Maldon in those days are contained in her book "Myself When Young".

From - http://www.maldonvictoria.com/.

Children of Daniel Denny and Elizabeth Cato

Children of Daniel Denny and Anne McClean


  1. Tasmanian Family Link, online http://www.eos.tased.edu.au/pioneers/taslink3
  2. Tasmanian Archives database: CSO 61/1/p3 record not viewed.
  3. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1824/713.
  4. Digger - Tas BMD Digger databases on CD, Surname: DENNY
    Given Names: ELIZABETH
    Event: Burial
    Father/Spouse Surname:
    Mother/Spouse Given Names:
    Day: 10
    Month: 7
    Year: 1837
    Age: 38
    Sex: F
    Spouse Age:
    Spouse Sex:
    Registration Place: HOBART
    Registration Number: 4865/1837
    Reference: RGD 34.
  5. Digger - Tas BMD Digger databases on CD, Surname: DENNY
    Given Names: ANN
    Event: Marriage
    Father/Spouse Surname: PRINCE
    Mother/Spouse Given Names: THOMAS
    Day: 09
    Month: 10
    Year: 1844
    Age: 21
    Sex: F
    Spouse Age: 30
    Spouse Sex: M
    Registration Place: HOBART
    Registration Number: 1204/1844
    Reference: RGD 37.
  6. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1844/1204.
  7. Digger - Tas BMD Digger databases on CD, Surname: DENNY
    Given Names: SOPHIA
    Event: Marriage
    Father/Spouse Surname: BECKWITH
    Mother/Spouse Given Names: JOHN CLARKE
    Day: 28
    Month: 3
    Year: 1854
    Age: Minor
    Sex: F
    Spouse Age: Adult
    Spouse Sex: M
    Registration Place: HOBART
    Registration Number: 814/1854
    Reference: RGD 37.
  8. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, BECKWITH, John Clarke     CM 53607          Age:     A     Marriage
         Spouse:     DENNY, Sophia          Age:     M
         Marriage Date:     28 Mar 1854     
         Reg Year:     1854     Reg State:     Tasmania
         Ref Number:     814.     
  9. Conclusion of, Shirley.
  10. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1822/135.
  11. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 3518.
  12. Digger - Vic BMD Digger databases on CD, 1861/3518.
  13. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1867/348.
  14. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1872/1580.
  15. Digger - Vic BMD Digger databases on CD, 1872/1580.
  16. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, Middle name listed as Tilby, possible transcription error. reg number 9190.
  17. Tasmanian Archives database.
  18. Australian Voter Rolls 1901 - 1936, online http://search.ancestry.com.au
  19. BDM in Australia, Aust Vital Records 1788-1905, 1846/497.