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Martin Deveny Part 1 – Martin Senior

Martin Deveny came to Pentland Hills as a 41-year-old after a full and adventurous life in England.

After serving in the military for over 17 years as a Private in the 88th Infantry he married Mary Cannon in 1854. Their first son, Patrick, arrived in mid-1856. Early the following year, the family headed to Australia for the 3-month journey, boarding the “Anne Roydon”. They landed in Melbourne in April 1857 and shortly after arrived in Pentland Hills.

Martin quickly made connections with the locals, renting land from Robert Lawson before acquiring pastures of his own. He purchased many hundreds of fenced acres in Blackwood and Pentland Hills, as well as acres for the family homes. The family home was eventually settled at “Churchbank” which is still present today, located at what was referred to as “Deveny’s Corner”.

Once settled in Pentland Hills, Martin and Mary added another eight children, including one set of twins – their last child being born when Martin was 62 years of age. This baby was named "Martin" and he went on to live a long life until he passed at age 82 years, the same age that his wife, Margaret died! All of the Deveny children lived long lives, most of them well into their 70s.

Martin & Mary raised their eldest daughter’s baby as their own. Born on 13 June 1877 at Mount Blackwood, Elizabeth Therese Deveny became one of the tribe of children within their household, which included two newborns that year.

Martin & Mary were renowned as being the most successful settlers, particularly with their sons taking over the smaller blocks of land. Just like many other early settlers of the area, the Devenys can credit their success to hard work and a commitment to minding their own business. The district definitely reaped the benefits of these pioneers!

Martin Snr. died at Myrniong in January 1902 aged 87 years, and his wife Mary died 9 years later in 1911 at Churchbank aged 77 years. Both Martin Snr. & Mary are buried at Greendale Cemetary/.

Next week we delve further into the Deveny family and their fabulous contributions to early-Victoria settlements.

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