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Benjamin Howe (1837–1899)

by Chris Cunneen

Benjamin Howe, senior (1837-1899) seaman, water police officer and house and land agent

Birth: 1837 at Kinsale, Cork, Ireland, son of James Roche Howe (1809-1866), of independent means, and Harriet, née Blennerhassett (1809-1885). Marriage: 1892 at Sydney, New South Wales, to Isabella Sullivan. They had one son. Death: 20 January 1899 in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. Religion: Anglican. 

  • “Held a position in the Coast Guards, under the Imperial Government” and was one time a quartermaster on one of the P. and O. Company steamers.
  • Arrived in Sydney as an able seaman aboard the Avoca on 13 June 1868.
  • Appointed water police constable on 14 June 1869. Later worked as a house and land agent.
  • Suffered a serious illness, which “had an effect upon his mind”. Was not in any financial difficulty but was “always alarmed lest some business transactions, entered upon during his illness, should prove a failure, and ruin his family and himself".
  • Cause of death: revolver bullet wound in his head, self-inflicted.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

  • inquest, Evening News (Sydney), 21 January 1899, p 3

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Howe, Benjamin (1837–1899)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Kinsale, Cork, Ireland


20 January, 1899 (aged ~ 62)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship