Joseph Weller was born on 1st March 1766 in High Wycombe,Buckinghamshire,
England. He was the fifth child of 13 children born to William Weller and Ann House, a wealthy middle classed Georgian family
. Joseph's father was a brewer and the family lived in High Wycombe until Joseph was 9 when they shifted to the neighbouring
town of Amersham. The family remained in Amersham where the brewery fluourished, until it was eventually sold by
descendants of the family in 1929. Little is known of his childhood but as a young man Joseph appears to have chosen a military
career and he enlisted as an officer in the Bucks yeomanry, eventually retiring as a lieutenant colonel .
There is an entry of a Joseph Weller marrying a Sarah Childs in 1791 in High Wycombe but it is not known if this is our Joseph Weller
or not . There were no offspring as Sarah died shortly after the marriage. Our Joseph did marry Mary Brooks on 9 September 1801 in
St. Mary's Chuch, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. He was 35 years old and Mary was 22. Mary was the daughter of Joseph Brooks, a
malster/ farmer and Mary Cheese. The first three children were born in Aylesbury, but the family were shortly to shift. Joseph's
health had not been good and when he was diagnosed as having consumption (pulmonary tuberculosis), he was advised that he should shift
to a warmer coastal climate.
LIFE IN FOLKESTONE, KENT
When his father
died in 1802, and bequeathed him considerable money, he decided to purchase a sizeable estate near Folkestone, Kent. The family
shifted to the estate around 1806 and the last 6 children, including Edward, were born here. Unfortunately wealth doesn't
buy health and three of the 6 children died in infancy. An interesting story happened while the Wellers lived here.
One day a stranger came to the door of the Weller home and threw himself into the arms of Joseph, seeking mercy from the French agents
who were chasing him. Joseph took him in and hid him from the men who were pursuing him. That night he helped him to a boat and on
to France. The man turned out to be Marshall Ney, one of Napoleon's most famous generals, who was in England on a secret mission while
Napoleon was on Elba. This would have been around the year 1815.
The family lived in Folkestone for about 20 years, and generally the family prospered, but Joseph's health did not improve.
On the advice of a famous doctor of the time, Doctor Abernathy, he was advised to take a sea voyage to the warmer, drier climate of
Australia. Joseph Brooks Weller had already departed for Australia on the 20th October 1823 and arrived in Hobart, Tasmania on 4th
February 1824. He applied for and was granted 2500 acres on the South Bank of Iron Bank Creek between East Maitland and Newcastle
which he named "Wellesley". He looked into various business opportunities for the family and informed the family by slow
return boat mail. Joseph Brooks returned to England after 18 months arriving in England on 7th July 1825. George also made a
reconnaisance voyage to Australia in 1826, returning to England on 20 December 1826 .Shortly hereafter arrangements were made
for the whole family to make the shift to Australia. The Kent estate was sold to the Earl of Radnor (One of the wealthiest families
in England) for the massive sum of 80,000 pounds which Joseph brought to Austalia in sacks containing 12,000 sovereigns.
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