suffrage_petition
Surname: 
Keown
Given names: 
M.
Given address: 
Greymouth
Sheet No: 534
Town/Suburb: 
Greymouth
City/Region: 
West Coast

Click on sheet number to see the 1893 petition sheet this signature appeared on. Digital copies of the sheets supplied by Archives New Zealand.

How to cite this page

'M. Keown', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/suffragist/m-keown, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 8-Sep-2011

Community contributions

2 comments have been posted about M. Keown

What do you know?

Dianna Box

Posted: 19 Feb 2020

Alan, I am also related to the Keown's of County Down and you met my mother Mavis Box in the 90's to discuss the family tree. I have continued to research the family archives but would love to get in touch with you to discuss. I only have your address from 1991. Any chance you are still there?

Alan Stewart

Posted: 21 Apr 2012

This is Martha Keown, wife of Robert Keown who owned the Australasian Hotel at South Beach, Greymouth.
Martha Ann Ball was born on the 25 November 1836 in Lambeth, London, England, and was the oldest from a family of 8 children. Her father was Alfred Ball and her mother Martha Ann Hedgley married on 31st January 1835 at St Mary's, Lambeth. Her father was a police inspector in London although he was born in Southampton on 22 April 1811 to James Ball and Elizabeth. Martha Ann Hedgley was born 4 January 1816 and her parents were Thomas Hedgley and Ann.
She left her home in London on the 11 June 1858. She left Liverpool on the ship the "Shooting Star" as an assisted migrant on 18 September 1858 and arrived in Melbourne on 11 December. The ship was 1160 ton and was captained by E J Ellen and it carried 414 government assisted immigrants, mostly girls. The girls were in charge of a Doctor and a Matron, who were very strict, the girls were not allowed up on deck after sunset. Martha was always anxious to see the sunsets while at sea but was never able to see them. Two days after she arrived she was signed on as a domestic servant to a Mrs Haymanson of Alan St Collingwood, Melbourne, for a period of one year at a salary of 25 pound. She continued to work for a time in Victoria including some time at the gold fields of Bendigo.
Later Martha went to Hokitika on the 497 ton ship "Alhambra", coming into the port on a lifeboat which was tied to a tree, and a day or so later she went on to Greymouth on the "early day tug" P.S. Persevere in June 1867. On arrival at Greymouth the boat was kept tossing about outside the Greymouth bar all night and Martha recalls being in a poky little cabin. When they finally landed on the waterfront it was across the decks of two small schooners which acted as a gangway or wharf for the tug. The actual wharf at the upper end of Mawhera Quay was as little used by shipmasters as possible as it was located in a most unsuitable place, though the Customs Dept insisted upon dutiable goods being landed there. After she arrived she stayed at the "White Horse Hotel" until a gentleman, Andrew Threadgold, dressed in 'riding clothes' called looking for a woman to housekeep for himself, his partner Robert Keown and two other men.
She had 6 children:

1 Alfred John Keown
Born: 26th October 1869
Married: Margaret Ann Davis
Died 11th April 1930
2 Mary Jane Keown
Born: 17th April 1871
Married: Francis Nicol Stewart
Died 25th July 1942
3 Robert Edward Keown
Born: 20th October 1873
Died: 18th November 1936
unmarried
4 Lucy Emma Keown
Born: 12 January 1875
Married: George Frederick Bell
Died: 12 August 1960
5 Thomas Alexander Keown
Born: 5th September 1876
Married: Ellen Hearn
Died: 5th August 1967
6 Frederick Arthur Keown
Born: 22 October 1878
Died: 30 June 1917
unmarried

Her husband Robert died 5 March 1906.
After Robert’s death the Hotel licence was continued by Martha and she is believed to have been the only woman in New Zealand holding such a licence. However, she only kept the hotel for a year or so before building a house next door.
Martha died aged 87 on 4 November 1924
Martha appears to have been strong willed and a very dominating influence on the life of her children. None of them married young and even when they did they never strayed far from home. She encouraged them in their limited education and to learn music, as well as keeping them all away from any more than limited social drinking. She is fondly remembered by her grandchildren as well.
It is not surprising to us that she went to the effort to sign the Women's Suffrage petition.
Collated by her great grandson Alan Vincent Stewart.