Hensman, Thomas, 1855-1939: Family Scrapbook

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Hensman, Thomas, 1855-1939

Scrapbook and visual diary created by Thomas Hensman for his family, 1907-1934. It contains mainly travel memorabilia and ephemera: tickets, stamps, programmes, and newspaper clippings. Also contains photographs, ribbons, letters, bookmarks, and short rhyming poems that describe events and explain mementos. Reflects an interest in family and friends, World War One, politics, news, bowls, twins and triplets, the British Royal Family, and local events.

All pages contain newspaper clippings, and precisely arranged tram, bus, ferry, and train tickets collected from around New Zealand and internationally. Newspaper clippings contain trivia and famous quotes. Relationship between clippings and other content may be thematic. Two pages also contain small brush-point gouache paintings on crepe paper. Painting from 1929 is of purple poppies.

Celebrated Hensman family milestones include Tom and Emma Hensman’s Silver (1909) and Gold (1934) wedding anniversaries, the Hensman childrens' weddings, the 50th anniversary of Tom’s arrival in New Zealand (1928), and the birth of grand-daughter Veda Hensman (1913). Also includes a brief genealogy.

Material related to World War One includes an image of A. A. Hensman who died at the Battle of the Somme, a programme for the first Anzac Day commemoration in Shannon (1916), photographic prints of children and Mayor William Murdoch at the Shannon war memorial (25 April 1924), and Anzac poppies collected annually (1923-1934). Several of Hensman's short verses reflect on war and the deaths of soldiers.

Other material relates to local events. These include the opening of the North Island Main Trunk and the Shannon Bridge (1908), concerts and charity shows (Wellington Professional Orchestra, Maoriland Theatre, Mardigras Art Union), the Dreadnought Bazaar (1914), weddings, debates, and Shannon Bowling Club activities.

Images of people include scientists (Antione Lavoisier, Ludwig Mond, Alfred Mond, Justus von Liebig), local personalities (Henry Burling, Mr John Bell Taylor), politicians (John Robertson, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George, Sir William Massey, Sir Charles Ferguson), and members of the British Royal Family who toured New Zealand in 1927 (George V, Mary of Teck, George VI, Queen Elizabeth). Original tintype group portrait inside back cover shows three unidentified young men (circa 1880s). A loose photographic print shows three women in a garden, possibly Emma Hensman with two grand-daughters (circa 1930s).

Mementoes from around New Zealand relate to sights and activities including the Durie Hill Elevator (Whanganui), Wellington Zoo, the First Royal Show in Palmerston North (1924), and various hotels (People’s Palace Hotel, Wellington; Hinemoa Private Boarding House, Te Aroha; The Carlton, Rotorua). Also includes business cards (R.G. Marsh, Rotorua; Cromwell Shepherd, Rotorua; Guide Molly, Whakarewarewa), and Hensman’s ticket to the 1913 Labour Party Unity Congress.

Other travel memorabilia relates to a 1907 journey to England and Europe, including an extended account of the voyage aboard the 'Bremen' from Sydney to South Hampton via ports in Australia, Ceylon, Egypt, and Italy. Possibly also visited Calais and Golfe Juan. Verses also describe a camel train near the Suez Canal.

Mementos relate to English sights including Scarborough Castle, Sutton Park, and Tyringham Lodges. Activities include the National Trades Exhibition (Birmingham), a charity picnic for poor children (Bromwich Castle), a performance by the The Black Dyke Band, and a River steamer trip (Plym and Tamar rivers). Also includes a £50 baggage insurance certificate and a tag labelled "Made at Henshaw’s Blind Asylum". One photograph shows an unidentified family on a beach, possibly Blackpool.

Arrangement: Scrapbook is chronological. Two photographs and other items found loose between pages have been housed in envelopes, numbered 1 - 16. Stored with volume.

Thomas Hensman arrived in New Zealand in 1878 and settled in Shannon in 1888. He married Emma Smith in 1884. They had five children: Thomas Valentine (born 1887), Harry (1889), Ruth (1891), Oliver (1893), and Albert (1895). Hensman was a member of the Shannon Bowling Club and Shannon Debating Society. Eldest son, Thomas, married Mary Ingram in 1912.

Quantity: 0.04 Linear Metres total. 1 volume(s). 2 photograph(s).

Physical Description: Volume consisting of two exercise books bound together, with leather spine and boards decorated by tram tickets, 22.5 x 18cm. Contains ephemera, manuscript and printed material, photographic prints, and one tintype.

Provenance: Scrapbook was given to Veda Frances Roberts (daughter of Thomas and Mary Hensman). Veda passed the volume to her eldest daughter Ngaire Florence Roberts.

Additional description

Fragile condition

Access restrictions
Partly restricted - Please use surrogate in place of original
0.04 Linear Metres total, 1 volume(s), 2 photograph(s), Scrapbooks, Ephemera, Gelatin silver prints, Volume consisting of two exercise books bound together, with leather spine and boards decorated by tram tickets, 22.5 x 18cm., Contains ephemera, manuscript and printed material, photographic prints, and one tintype.
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