Henry Walsh GAGGIN 
- Born: 30 Jul 1829, Clifton Cottage Windsor NSW
- Christened: 24 Sep 1829, St Matthew Windsor NSW
- Marriage (1): Sarah Jane HOWDEN  on 20 Mar 1851 in Clarence Town NSW
- Died: 11 Apr 1910, Clarence Town NSW aged 80
- Buried: 12 Apr 1910, Clarence Town NSW
Henry went to Kings School in Parramatta Sydney as boarder, with his cousin Charles Mason Marsden . Family lore has it that they both ran away from school catching a steamer to Newcastle, then travelled up the Williams River to Clarence Town. A local shipbuilder named Lowe, had advertised for young lads to be apprenticed as shipwrights.
After weeks of worry by their parents the boys were located, Charlie Marsden was returned to school but Henry was allowed to stay and take up the apprenticeship with Lowes shipyard.
Henry lived with the Lowe family and when Mrs Lowe died a young Sarah Howden came to live in the large house and look after the Lowe family.
Henry and Sarah were married at Clarence Town on 21 May 1851
In 1854 Capt John Mills , Henry's cousin invited Henry to come down to Port Fairy, Melbourne which at that time was a very important port. He went down in John's ship, "Essington", and wrote the following letter to his mother some months later.
August 20th, 1854
Having been very punctual in answering your letter of 18 May, I am rather surprised at not receiving one from you. I have written twice to Sarah, the first letter was returned from Melbourne, not being posted according to the Act. I should very much like to know how Philip [sic] and party are doing were [where] they are now, how my Father and all are at home, and how you are yourself.
I am stopping longer at Port Fairy than I expected when I first arrived, always as yet getting my share of public patronage. I have entered into partnership with a respectable young man, a shipwright too and am now conducting businefs under the style of Gaggin and Gorringe, Shipwrights and Boat Builders, but timber is too scarce and provisions too dear ever to make a fortune. I am paying L.2.0.0 per week for Board and Lodging and 8 shillings per doz. for washing.
I am beginning to wish to get home - if it were not for contracts we have to complete I would start immediately. Every letter from Mr Gaggin strengthens my desire, but this is it, I shall not get back before Xmas. The money my father promised to lend me would have been great service to me at first. I could have got some from John but I do not like to impose upon good nature. He has been very kind to me in many ways and Mrs Mills also. I like her very much.
Their eldest son, Johnny, met with a serious accident about a fortnight since through playing with gunpowder in a bottle. It exploded, blowing the glafs in his face and left eye and the hand he held the fire in. He is now recovering. Charles Mills is quite well but Mrs C.M. has been very ill from premature confinement. The child died.
Tell Lucy (?) Doctor Hume died on the 10th April on his pafsage from here to England. What do you think of the War with Rufsia? We have had a day of fasting and humbleness on this side and collections made for the relief of soldier widows. I think it is everybody's duty to give according to their means. I hope they will never disturb our happy country.
Mrs Gaggin and son have had a severe attack of measles since I left but thank God are quite recovered. Do you ever hear from Mamre? Now it seems an age since I heard of Uncle or Aunt. Sammy must be a big chap now.
As my budget is empty I shall say adieu, hoping this will receive an answer, scrawl as it is.
With kind love to all at home and my respects to enquiring friends.
Your affectionate son.
H W Gaggin
Henry again visited Port Fairy c1870.
Henry returned to Clarence Town, however the shipbuilding business he was involved in closed, financial backing from his father evaporated with his father's insolvency and subsequent problems, so he turned to working as a carpenter and undertaker in Clarence Town
Ref: Life & Times of John Brabyn by Betty McGrath 1995. ISBN No 0 646 25116 3
St John's Anglican Church, Dungog, NSW, Australia
In the Church there's a plaque dedicated to Henry: In loving memory of HENRY WALSH GAGGIN. For nearly half a century a tireless Christian worker in this Church who was laid to rest April 11th, 1910. Donated by the parishioners.
Image courtesy book Life & Times of John Brabyn by Betty McGrath 1995
Henry married Sarah Jane HOWDEN  [MRIN: 3535], daughter of Robert HOWDEN  and Mary TOUCHER (DOWNING) , on 20 Mar 1851 in Clarence Town NSW. (Sarah Jane HOWDEN  was born on 14 Aug 1833 in Sydney NSW Australia, christened on 30 Jun 1839 in St John Paramatta NSW, died on 18 Sep 1911 in Clarence Town NSW and was buried on 19 Sep 1911 in Clarence Town NSW.)