Henry Bushell was born 1803 in Dover, Kent, England. He and his wife, Charlotte (nee Phillis), son John Phillis Bushell and daughter, Caroline Elizabeth, arrived in South Australia in 1836 aboard the ship Africaine, under contract to the SA Company as a whaleboat builder on Kangaroo Island. One of his vessels is reputed to have been the first to enter the Murray Mouth from the sea.
With the death of sister-in-law, Susannah Phillis, Charlotte assisted her brother, James with the 8 children he had in his care. In 1840 the Bushell family moved to an imported prefabricated home, which Henry Bushell erected on the Port Road in the vicinity of present-day Woodville. In the early 1843 the Bushell family then became some of the earliest settlers in the Mount Pleasant district, and Henry farmed there for the rest of his life, on a property called Kent Farm.
Charlotte Bushell was the first burial in the St John Anglican Cemetery in 1863.
Mount Pleasant, June 10,
A considerable amount of gloom has been spread over an extensive circle in this neighbourhood by the decease of an old and respected resident—Mrs. Bushell—the wife of one of the first persons who settled in this district some three or four and twenty years ago. She had stood in the relation of foster-mother to two successive generations, and died on Friday last when on a visit at her daughter’s house, where she had gone, with entire self-forgetfulness, for the purpose of nursing a sick grandchild. Her relations and friends to the number of nearly 80 assembled on occasion of the funeral, which took place yesterday at St. John’s Church, in the cemetery comnected with which her remains found their last resting-place. This burial-ground has been opened for the purpose of removing the disadvantages of distance and position which were found to render the Government cemetery inconvenient; and it was made use of on this occasion for the first time.
Henry Bushell died 1875.
DEATH OF ANOTHER OLD COLONIST.—An occasional correspondent at Mount Pleasant has favoured us with the subjoined note:—” Death has been busy lately here, and has carried away among others a worthy colonist, Mr. Henry Bushell, who died on the 3rd instant, aged 73 years. The deceased arrived in the barque Africaine, commanded by Captain Duff, in November, 1836, and landed at Kangaroo Island, where he resided for three years. Subsequently he lived at Port Adelaide, having been engaged by the South Australian Company as boatbuilder for the Whale Fishing Company at Encounter Bay, for which enterprise he made several boats. Afterwards he made a Government craft, of which Captain, now Admiral, Pullen took the charge, and who was the first to enter the River Murray from the sea. For 30 years Mr. Bushell resided at Mount Pleasant, where he was highly respected.