Friday, September 26, 2014

Francis Farewell's wife

Was Francis Farewell married? - asks a reader of this blog. Yes, he certainly was. Shelagh Spencer gives the details (Vol 6 of British Settlers in Natal) as follows:

1822 Aug 17 - Farewell married Elizabeth Schmidt, daughter of Ludwig Wilhelm Schmidt ... and his wife Carolina Petronella Wolhuter, aunt of F M Wolhuter* who in later years was a prominent Pietermaritzburg resident. 

Schmidt had come to the Cape as a soldier, and afterwards had farmed at Stellenbosch. He died when Elizabeth was a child, and her mother then married Johann Ludwig Petersen, of Magdeburg, who had also been a soldier. He and Carolina had a boarding house in Cape Town, at which Farewell had been resident, hence his encountering Elizabeth. ... Under their marriage contract Farewell settled 3 000 pounds on Elizabeth.

For much more on this fascinating topic, as well as information on Farewell's rarely discussed earlier naval career, see the above source.

*F M Wolhuter is of particular interest to Mole as he claimed to have known Captain William Bell when the latter was serving on the vessel Thorne at the date of her wreck in 1831.

Mrs Farewell as she might have looked when out of doors at the encampment at Port Natal in 1826. She wears a simple muslin dress, the waist a little higher than normal,  and the sleeves with high puffs. These had been popular since the beginning of the decade. The typical long sleeves have cuffs which fall over the wrists and one wonders how the daily tasks were carried out with this extraordinary impediment. Mrs Farewell wears a Cape-made plaited straw bonnet over her white cornette cap. [Drawing by Daphne Strutt.]

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