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William Kenyon
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Birth: Sep. 30, 1844
Victoria, Australia
Death: Nov. 14, 1915
Port Melbourne
Victoria, Australia

Born Rye, Port Philip Heads (also shown as "The Heads"), Victoria, Australia, September 30, 1844; son of Richard and Jane Courtney Kenyon; baptized December 21, 1849 at St. James Parish, Melbourne; his mother, Jane, later remarried, in 1853, to John Penlington; his mother indicated to the Police Department at Melbourne, in early 1865, that Kenyon had been in the Victorian (Sandridge) Naval Brigade; boarded the CSS Shenandoah at Sandridge, sometime between 10 and 11 p.m. on the night of February 17, 1865; shipped as private, Confederate States Marine Corps aboard the cruiser, February 18th, 1865, at the rate of $18.00; placed his mark against his name; left the vessel at the end of her cruise, in November, 1865, at Liverpool, England; William's step-father, John Penlington, died in Melbourne in 1865; William remained in the United Kingdom for several months, before taking occupation as a seaman aboard the Martha Birnie, sailing from Plymouth and London, England, June 15, 1867, to Sydney, New South Wales, where he arrived on September 3, 1867, and immediately returned to Melbourne; Kenyon returned to the Sandridge Naval Brigade, and, on Saturday, September 7, 1867, was awarded first prize in a cutlass drill competition, as he was quite obviously a first class swordsman; by March 21, 1868, the steamship City of Adelaide arrived from Sydney, carrying cargo which included a chest of clothes, belonging to Kenyon, which he had left in Sydney after he had left the Martha Birnie, six months before; employed as a wood and coal dealer, 1869 - 1870; later took up the occupation of landlord of the Happy Home Hotel, at Sandridge; reported to the United States Consulate at Melbourne, on March 25, 1872, for an interview with the consul, Thomas Adamson, jr., about his (Kenyon's) service aboard the CSS Shenandoah, in 1865; Kenyon gave details of his enlistment and service, but, when asked to sign a declaration about his service, vacillated and then refused unless a large sum of money was discussed in relation to this matter; fined 40 shillings, at the Sandridge Police Court, on Monday, April 9, 1872, for allowing liquor to be sold on a Sunday, at the Happy Home Hotel; married Sarah Caroline Stenneken, June 13, 1872, at Sandridge, Melbourne; occupation, at the time of his marriage shown as hotelkeeper; Kenyon's estate was sequestrated, and he was declared insolvent, at the Melbourne Court of Insolvency, on February 26, 1873, reasons given as the loss of his license for the Happy Home Hotel, and bad debts; a few days later much of his personal property, such as furniture, crockery, ornaments, etc., were put up for sale by auction to cover costs; in 1888, Kenyon was shown as being president of the Port Phillip Stevedores' Labourers' Eight-hours Association, the group holding their half yearly meetings at the Ship Inn, Sandridge; Kenyon owned and sailed the schooner Gertrude in the Centennial regatta, in 1888, winning a prize in the trawler's race; he was also a member of the Freemasons; resided for many years at Nott Street, Sandridge, before removing, in 1898, to Rouse Street, Sandridge (Port Melbourne); occupation shown between 1898 and 1910, as a butcher; William Kenyon was fined, in the Port Melbourne Court, on Monday, September 16, 1901, for not closing his butcher shop at 1 p.m., on Wednesday, August 28, 1901, as required by law; a newspaper report, dated in January, 1914, gives an interesting account of six young men who were involved in an incident at Port Melbourne, when they annoyed Kenyon; the report states: "A batch of six young men appeared before the local court on a charge of behaving in an offensive manner in a public place. Their names were John Caldwell, Harry Henningson, Raymond Birch, Michael Howlett, Daniel McCourt and Thomas Duffy. They pleaded not guilty. The evidence given by the police was to the effect that accused were annoying an old man named William Kenyon, by calling him ‘Chips,' and ‘Hoppy Chips,' and throwing stones after him. The stones were thrown simply to annoy him and not to strike him. McCourt and Duffy were not nearly as bad as the rest and did not throw stones. William Kenyon, who hobbled into the witness box, leaning heavily on a stout stick, said he had lived in Port Melbourne for about sixty years. In answer to Sergeant Nugent, witness said, ‘He was the oldest resident in Port Melbourne, and the hardest working man in the world.' Each of the accused went into the witness box and individually denied having annoyed the old man. The charges against McCourt and Duffy were dismissed. Each of the other four was fined 10/-."; Kenyon died of vascular disease of the heart and heart failure, at his residence at 188/190 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne, November 14, 1915; buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery; his obituary describes him as a prominent figure in Port Melbourne who was involved in all election campaigns in the district in bygone days.


Alabama Claims 1, 815, 816, 818 & 977;

birth and baptismal data from copy of his baptism certificate, in the possession of this author;

marriage and birth details from copy of Kenyon's marriage certificate, in the possession of this author;

death details from copy of Kenyon's death certificate, in the possession of this author;

see also Argus newspapers (Melbourne), dated Tuesday, September 10, 1867, Monday, March 23, 1868, Wednesday, April 5, 1871, Tuesday, April 9, 1872, Saturday, February 22, 1873, Tuesday, March 4, 1873, Tuesday, April 3, 1883 and Tuesday, September 17, 1901;

Standard (Port Melbourne, Victoria) dated Saturday 3 January 1914, page 2, article entitled "Hoppy Chips!", "Oldest Resident in Port Melbourne", Young Men Fined for Annoyance, and the issue dated Saturday 27 November 1915, page 2;

see also web site at URL:;

1869 Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory, page 457;

1870 Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory, page 480;

1897 Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory, page 874;

1898 Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory, page 944;

1910 Victorian Sands and McDougall's Directory, page 1146;

shipping details for the Martha Birnie from the Sydney Morning Herald dated Thursday, September 5, 1867;

see also, consular dispatch of Thomas Adamson, jr., dated at the Consulate of the United States of America, at Melbourne, March 28, 1872, in the United States Consular Despatches;

Government Gazette, for the state of Victoria, dated Friday, February 28, 1873, page 406. 
Melbourne General Cemetery
Melbourne City
Victoria, Australia
Plot: Church of England Section NN, grave no. 540.
Created by: Terry Foenander
Record added: May 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19379175
William Kenyon
Added by: James Gray
William Kenyon
Added by: James Gray
William Kenyon
Added by: Terry Foenander
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