Former resident Olive Tate wrote poems of endearment about Hanworth. These poems are scattered around the House for the serendipitous enjoyment of those who discover them. There is one in the foyer.


Through the course of researching past residents of Hanworth and The Hospice, Marisa and Shelley tracked down some former employees of the Theosophical Society. They were invited to revisit the ‘Home’ and one sunny afternoon, after a grand afternoon tea in ANNE DINING ROOM of course, during a tour of the rooms, the stories flowed like Brisbane River during a January flood! The happiness was abundant, but never so much as when viewing room 14W. “BUTTERCUP!” came the unison cry. Buttercup was the endeared name of this room’s resident due to her gentle, pleasant and sunny nature. Who could resist?


Henrietta Hemming is a previous tenant who resided in this very room. There are photos of Henrietta and her family in the foyer.
More information on Henrietta coming soon.


Under quite serendipitous circumstances, Marisa and Shelley discovered a couple who used to work at Hanworth during the custodial ownership of the Theosophical Society. They had some delightful and insightful stories of the tenants and staff of TOS. Matron Sharples was revealed in these conversations, but memories of anything specific had long faded. Matron Sharples’s Granddaughter may be residing near Brisbane and remains a person of interest for discussions in the near future.


The couple who knew of Matron Sharples during the Hospice days also knew and loved Joyce Turner, whom room JOYCE is named for. These discoveries are only as recent as January 2014. This former resident Joyce, lived in this very room and she also passed away in this very room. Joyce was an uneducated woman with no known family, who had worked as a maid all her adult life to one particular woman. On the death of this woman, Joyce was taken into Hanworth where she lived out her days. It is only fitting to honour Joyce with her actual room and although this room is Hanworth’s allocated linen store, it is both ironic and serendipitous that Joyce was known for her exceptional care of all things starched and white.

‘Louise’ has become known as Hanworth’s Defender. The mighty Louise Harris was a member and conveynor of the Royal Queensland Historical Society. There is a very small reference to Louise and her relationship to Hanworth in Miss G. G. Luttrell’s paper HISTORIC HOMES AND BUILDINGS OF BRISBANE which was read at a Meeting of the Historical Society of Queensland on 24 October 1974.


The Hospice at Lytton Road, East Brisbane, is now a home
for elderly Christadelphians. It was built for Captain George
Heath, R.N., who named it “Hanworth”. He arrived in
Brisbane in 1860 and became Queensland’s first Port Master
in 1862. He had a telescope installed in the attic. This graceful
house lay right in the path of one of the proposed new
bridges and was most forcefully defended by the late Louise
Harris, former secretary of the Royal Historical Society of

Thank you eternally, Louise.


Lilian Violet Cooper (1861 – 1947) was Queensland’s first female registered doctor. She embodies the spirit of Hanworth House – strong, dedicated, entrepreneurial women who pave the way to better things.
The Australian Dictionary of Biography says of Lilian:
“Cooper settled again in Brisbane after the war and … won a large and successful practice. A tall, angular, brusque, energetic woman, prone to bad language, she travelled first by bicycle but became an early motorist and did most of her own running repairs. In 1926 she bought a house called Old St Mary’s in Main Street, Kangaroo Point, and settled there in semi-retirement, becoming a foundation fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1928.