Sunday, March 12, 2023

Launceston, Tasmania 1870, or dolly came too


So much information. I wonder who inscribed all that ... to send it back to Ireland? In 1870, aged 12, Mary Grace was a fatherless child of a well-established (maternal) Tasmanian family ...

Her father was William Shaw Madden the son of Dr William Ryves Madden of Celbridge, near Dublin. The Dr was a medical, not churchified, label. Father Madden had studied medicine in Edinburgh, had an LRCS after his name, and rooms in London. Young William (born 1831) was educated at Dungannon College, Rugby School and passed a year (and his exams) at Caius College ... and then ... I don't know what caused him, in 1850 or soon after, to change course. My next sighting of the lad is in 1854, in Melbourne, then in Launceston, in barracks. 1857 (6 June) he married Eliza Atkinson (b Launceston 14 December 1834), daughter of John Atkinson, a local worthy, and 17 April 1858, in Upper Charles Street, Mary Grace was born. On 28 July, W S Madden died, at the age of 27. 
Widowed Eliza apparently moved in with her brother in High Street. I see in 1863 them being named in a letter by a dismissed servant, and the following year Eliza advertising for another. 'Mrs Madden and child' appear regularly taking ship from Tasmania to Victoria or New South Wales. 

Mary Grace was eventually, however, to have a stepfather. Eliza's sister, Charlotte Hope Atkinson had married John Francis Hobkirk (b Rio de Janiero 2 August 1829) and spent most of her life thereafter pregnant until, at the age of 35 (25 November 1871), she cried enough, leaving her husband with the remnants of their large brood. On 2 May 1877, Eliza married her sister's widower. She took up where poor Charlotte had left off and, 15 August 1879, produced a son, Neville. Mary Grace's half-brother, however,  died at the age of five. Hobkirk (d 11 September 1912) and Eliza (d 9 May 1918) both survived into the new century.

And Mary Grace herself? Where did she spend the next 20 years? I don't know. But in 1892 she married. Her husband was a grazier in Queensland, by name Herbert Charles Richardson and there they lived until 1920 when they bought a property at 11 Airlie Avenue, Armadale, near Melbourne. Herbert 'of Wunnadoo Downs, Longreach' died there in 1925, intestate, and Mary Grace was removed to a hospital for the insane. She died 9 February 1932.

Their one surviving child, Eileen Mary (23 April 1898-30 October 1944), wife of Alan Herschell Geddes (d 1956), can be seen living at Airlie Avenue after her parents' death.

Well, I wanted to know. I wonder what became of Dolly.

No comments: