Eliza, Esther and Margaret were all part of the scheme. I mention their sister Emma as well as she joined her sisters later in Melbourne. Parents to the girls were William Vincent Burney, a gunner in the Royal Navy and Elizabeth Webster. He had served on the Brittainia.
Eliza was born 27 July 1817 at Stoke Damerel in Devon and was baptized with a brother and sister in 1820 at the Mount Street Independent Church in Devon. The family was living at Plymouth dock. She was the second child and eldest daughter of the Burney’s.
Esther was born and baptized in 1820 at the Mount Street Independent Chapel in Devonport. The family was living at Plymouth dock when she was born.
Margaret was born in Torpoint, Devon. The four sisters also had two brothers Henry Duncan and Charles.
William was a widow by 1841 and the family were living at the Royal William Victualling yard for the Royal Navy. William was the Police Inspector at the Plymouth victualling yard, in charge of three sergeants and twelve constables. He was declared bankrupt in July 1841 and died in 1845. Henry had married Philadelphia Skardon, from a neighbouring village in 1840 and was a captain in the navy by the time their father died. Their younger brother Charles also went into the navy. By 1849 the four sisters were in London.
Charles went on to be the head of the Chelsea Pensioners Hospital at Greenwich. The girls came from a naval family of at least several generations. Their uncles, including Charles Fox, were masters of ships with their brother Henry also a naval commander. Their nephew, Cecil, was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet in 1920 and created a Baronet in the 1921 New Year Honours, then Knighted in 1922. He was the son of their younger brother Charles.
work in progress…..