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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Edward Bunbury Foster

The Watchmaker


Edward Bunbury Foster - The Watchmaker

Luke and Margaret's son Edward Bunbury Foster was born and christened in Carlow on the 20th September 1791. Like his father & grandfather before him, Edward became known as a highly skilled watch and instrument maker and practised his profession in Westminster and Australia. On 6th June 1813, he was married to Ellen Taber at St James, Westminster, London. They lived at 33 Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, where they had a daughter, Susannah (born 1st March 1814 at Tufton St, St James) son, Edward James (born 28th January 1816 at Charles St, parish of St Margaret's, Westminster).

Edward Bunbury Foster's grandparents were Joseph & Susana Foster, also of Carlow. (Information given on Luke’s baptism record http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/reels/c-317-1-2-038.pdf.) .

Edward’s daughter Susannah emigrated to Australia in 1834, and in 1836 married Dr Charles Drew Street in Sydney.


The following is an extract from Turtle Bunbury website:

After the death of his wife Ellen in 1824, Edward Bunbury Foster and his son Edward left London on the 266- ton ship Thompson, arriving in Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia, on 19 April 1829.[8] Neither Ellen or Susannah Foster appears to have accompanied them. He kept an informative and amusing diary of the arduous trip, a copy of which later passed to Pat Purcell and may now be in the possession of Pat's nephew, Michael. Whilst ashore in Capetown, South Africa on Saturday 31st January 1829, he wrote in his diary: 'On presenting my card [to His Excellency the Governor, Sir Lowrey Cole] he immediately recognised me (having repeatedly spoken to him while in Cockspurshire). In Sydney, he continued to practice as a watchmaker, based at 287 George St in Sydney by 1844/45. One of his clocks is at Old Government House in Parramatta. His residence at that time was Blackwattle Swamp, Petersham, Sydney.

Edward Bunbury Foster - The Cattle Inspector

In Australia, Edward Bunbury Foster's son Edward became a became an Inspector of Slaughterhouses and pound-keeper and in 1835 his address was 100 Elizabeth St, Sydney (now one of Sydney's busiest streets). Edward Junior apparently went bankrupt. In 1842 he married Caroline Horsley in Sydney.

Source: Turtle Bunbury


Both father & son were declared insolvent in the early 1840s. In the intervening years before his death on the 8th of September 1857 in Melbourne, Victoria, Edward Bunbury Foster was variously described working both as a watchmaker and also as an Inspector of Slaughterhouses. Following his marriage to Caroline Horsley in Sydney in 1842, Edward James became a successful publican in Albury, NSW.

They had three sons – Edward JH Foster, Charles Bunbury Foster and George Horsley Foster.

In 1995, a commemorative postage stamp was issued featuring one of Edward Bunbury Foster's 'complex' clocks.”

NSW National Trust First Day Cover showing the clock on the Stamp. This is the same bracket clock as mentioned earlier in the article, and which continues to be on display at Old Government House.

Marriage Certificate extract

Luke Foster watch maker and Margt Tyrell spr with Conl licence. By Revd Richard Drury

Source: Jenny Grant (nee Street)

(Conl licence = Conditional Licence - meaning they have not had time to check if they were ever married before.)

Source: Michael Purcell


No. 32
New South Wales
Government Gazette
Published by Authority
Tuesday, April 22, 1845.

 In the Insolvent Estate of Edward Bunbury Foster of Sydney, late Cattle inspector, now a watchmaker.

Whereas the Estate of Edward Bunbury Foster was, on the 12th day of April,  placed under sequestration in my hands, by order of His Honor Alfred Stephen, Esquire, Chief Justice, I hereby appoint a Meeting of the Creditors of the said Insolvent, to be holden before me, on Monday, 5th day of May next, to commence at 1.30p.m., and end at 2,p.m., for proof of debts, and election of an Assignee, if necessary, for collection , administration, distribution of the Estate; and unless at the said Meeting it be shewn, that the goods and effects of said Insolvent exceed £100, the Chief Commissioner will summarily proceed to rank the debts then proved, and will direct the proceeds to be distributed by the Assignee accordingly. – Dated at Sydney, this 16th day of April, 1845.

William H. Kerr,

Chief Commissioner

Assignee – Hutchinson Bell.


The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
© 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM By Pre-emptive Copyright - All rights reserved

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