Tagged (None yet)

Add Tags

Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

No corrections yet

LIFE IN ALBANY IN THE EARLY DAYS

Lady Grey's Association.

rpHE presentation recently to the Old Colonists' Museum, at Auckland, New Zealand, of the copy of an engraving by B. Eyles, of a portrait of Lady Grey,

painted last century ;by William Uusn, pt London, recalls an interesting link be tween the Dominion of New Zealand and of the State of Western' Australia. Lady Grey was the wife of Sir. George Grey, twice Governor and one-time Pre mier of New Zealand, and the daughter of Captain Sir Richard Spencer, R.N., one-time Government Resident at Albany. On the death of Sir Richard, in 1839, Sir George (then Captain) Grey succeeded him as Resident, and it was about that time that he married the1 handsome Miss Eliza Lucy Spencer, whose portrait ap pears on this page. Captain Grey had recently been engaged on explorations in Western Australia. ^ In 1840 he, was ap pointed Governor of South -Australia, whither his bride accompanied him, and five years later they were transferred to New Zealand. A son had been born to them at Adelaide, but the child lived only a few months. ? Sir George remained in New Zealand for eight years as Governor, and during this time Lady Grey became very well known for her gracious dualities, and for the in terest she took in church matters. They were recalled to England in 1853, and on arrival were immediately sent to Cape Colony. In 1859 they .were .once more re called home, only to be, sent out again to Cape Colony. As far as can be ascer tained. Lady Grey did not accompany her husband on this second trip, an estrange ment, apparently, having arisen, which lasted for over 30 years. , It is said that it was through the intervention of Queen Victoria and the Gladstones that . Sir George and Lady Grey became reconciled during the last year or two of their lives. Sir George spent his last days' at the Norfolk Hotel, ;:South Kensington, .enjoy ing a pension from, the British Govern

ment for some years. He died at Bath on September 18, 1898, having been nursed during his last illness (which lasted 18 months) by his wife. She, however, pre deceased him by 14 days. Lady Grey's Family. Captain Sir Richard Spencer, R.N., ac cording, to George Edward Egerton War burfon's 'Albany, Past and Present,' was a Companion of the Bath and Knight

'My New Hat': A charming study of Babyhood. Axel Poignant Home Portrait..

'My New Hat': A charming study of Babyhood. Axel Poignant Home Portrait..

Commander of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. He was born on De cember 9, 1779. Although it. was intended that he should follow in the footsteps of his father, who Vas a London merchant, his inclination for' the sea proved too strong, ''and at- the age of 14 he was en tered . as a midshipman on board the Arethusa. He had a distinguished navnl

had been sent out by the Duchess of Kent and other charitable ladies, were distributed to the native women.' 1837.— 'The Government Resident wrote to the Bishop of Australia with a view to obtaining assistance in building a church. He states in his letter that there are now in Albany 45 houses and 180 in habitants.' 'Soap tendered to the Government for the use of prisoners in Albany at lid. per lb.' 1836. — Extract from a letter written by Sir Richard Spencer to a friend in the Isle of France (Mauritius): — 'You appear to be astonished that I should emigrate. What could a poor man in England do better to provide for 10 children? The best prospect I had for my eldest son was to get him the appointment of clerk in a public office, and to obtain that seemed almost impossible. In the Admiralty, Sir James Graham positive!^ refused it; from Lord Grey I had some hopes, but the pain and annoyance of/ making application quite upset me, and I thought it better to make farmers of them all. The advantage of this place over the 'Swan' is the climate. Without any exception this is the finest in the world ... I have one of the most beautiful and fertile spots in the world, about 1J miles from the town, and the same distance from Middleton Bay, which is in front of our windows . . . We have as fine a crop of wheat- as ever was seen ready for reaping in New Year'B day, and we have eaten sea-kale, asparagus, figs and almonds, all of our own growing. When you consider this was a wilderness when we arrived, and only 17 persons in the colony, you will see that we have not been idle. Our sheep are now thriving wonderfully; they have only been a year and eight months at Hay (the Hay River west of Albany), and they have trebled their number. Our inhabitants have not increased in numbers so fast as we. might have hoped, and I am sorry to say not one farmer has yet come out.' Development of Albany. When Sir Richard Spencer died on July 24, 1839, Albany had 60 dwelling houses, many of which were built of ' stone and brick, 139 settlers, 103 head of cattle, 2,200 sheep, 18 horses, 15 donkeys and pigs and poultry in abundance. There were also some 70 or 80 acres of land under cultivation. When he arrived, five or six years before,- there were 17 settlers, no cultivated land, -no sheep and only three cows, three horses and a few pouj-' try. ? ? , '?'?? On 'August 14. 1839, Lady Spencer wrote to Messrs.' Philip and Henry Mules, solici tors, of Honiton, Devonshire, noti fying them, of her husband's death. 'I have met with the greatest loss possible for . a wife and mother, in the person of my heloved hus band, who was suddenly taken from us

A reproduction of a recently discovered portrait of Lady Grey; wife.of Neyv.Zealand's first Governor, Sir George Grey, Lady Grey was the daughter of Captain Sir Richard Spencer, Government;- Resident at Albany from 1 833 to 1 839.

A reproduction of a recently discovered portrait of Lady Grey; wife.of Neyv.Zealand's first Governor, Sir George Grey, Lady Grey was the daughter of Captain Sir Richard Spencer, Government;- Resident at Albany from 1 833 to 1 839.

after an illness of 48. hours,' she wrote. 'On the- evening hte* wai taken ill he was sitting', laughing and - talking, in ' the midst of his family, apparently in excel lent health. This was on July 22 and on the 24th he was gone I to his long account . .;. Augusta and Eliza (later Lady Grey): were with him till all was over. ., The cause of his death was another stroke of paralysis brought on by over excitement . . . Edward and two others of our boys arrived from the Hay River a few hours before he breathed his last . . . We have buried him a short distance from the house in a spot he pointed out to Eliza not very long before his death; it is on

a hill - at the top of the garden, which commands a beautiful and extensive view ? of the sea, and when a ship of war ar rives,, a flagstaff is to be. erected ? ' .Lady Spencer, on her death, was buried beside her husband, but most of the children were buried in. the Albany ceme tery. Aboy 50 years ago it was pro posed to remo.e the remains of Sir. Richard and Lady Spencer to this more public resting place, but nothing came of it. Thus, Sir Richard's last wish, that he should be buried overlooking the sea on the Strawberry Hill property on which he had laboured so hard, is still observed.— 'HALSTED.'

Zoom

plus
thumb
minus
left
thumb
right
up
thumb
down