Henry Scroop, Cherry Gardens Pioneer


The Scroops of South Australia and certain parts beyond, all descend from one Henry Scroop, a new name only 2 generations old. Henry was born at Pear Tree Court, Shoreditch, in the poorer East End of London, on March 27th 1818 and during his teenage years earned a precarious living as a chimney sweep with his father or “dodging” in the street markets. Several appearances before the Old Bailey Courts ultimately led to a conviction for stealing a handkerchief for which he was transported on the ship ‘Royal Sovereign’ to a boy’s prison in Tasmania where he spent 7 years.  

Two years after release he arrived at Port Adelaide on February 23rd 1846 at the age of 28, and spent the remaining 50 years of his life as a farmer at Cherry Gardens, nestling in the picturesque Adelaide Hills.

He married twice and was a father to 12 children and stepfather to 8. He eventually bought a farm of 151 acres bordering Cherry Gardens Main Road, adjacent to Weymouth Road and extending north-east down into Broadbent Gully where he built his home, “Woodlands” where ruins still exist. Despite being unable to read or write he was twice, in 1861 and 1862, elected as District Constable for Clarendon and led an exemplary life. He died on March 22nd 1898 aged 80 and is buried in the Cherry Gardens Cemetery where his grave has recently been restored.

My book, “Henry Scroop, His Life and Times” (ISBN: 978-0-646-98487-2) presents ~100 pages of Henry’s life story illustrated with ~100 photographs, images and tables combined with a further ~65 pages of Scroop genealogy illustrated with ~ 68 photographs.

The book was launched on Sunday afternoon May 6th 2018 as part of the 2018 History Festival with the delightful and appropriate venue being the Meeting Hall of the Cherry Gardens Uniting Church at 87 Hick’s Hill Road.

Approximately 80 relatives and interested historians attended where I presented a brief PowerPoint presentation followed by coffee and refreshments, leading to many rewarding interchanges. They were entertained by Sam (Scroop) Sirenko on the bagpipes and Mayor Rosenberg received a gift presentation, made by Bella (Scroop) Stephenson, of a copy of the book.  Some 70 copies of the book were sold.

Anyone interested in a copy of the book can contact me by email ortholux@optusnet.com.au

Garry Scroop M.D.; PhD.