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Title: Donnithorne, Eliza Emily (1826 ? - 1886)
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S  (author)
Publication Date: 1972
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Abstract: Donnithorne, Eliza Emily (1826 ? - 1886), recluse and eccentric, was born at Cape of Good Hope, youngest daughter of James Donnithorne and his wife Sarah Elizabeth, née Bampton. Her father, descendant of an old Cornish family, joined the East India Co. as a writer in 1792 and became master of the Mint and then judge and senior merchant in Mysore. About 1836 he retired to Sydney where he joined many public movements and won renown for his 'unbounded hospitality'. He invested in real estate and twice visited Melbourne to buy land. He settled at Cambridge Hall, 36 King Street, Newtown, where he died on 25 May 1852. Predeceased by his wife, whom he had married in 1807, and by two daughters in 1832, he was survived by two sons who had joined the British army and later settled in England, and by Eliza who inherited most of his estate. Eliza was to have married in 1856. On the morning of the wedding 'the bride and her maid were already dressed for the ceremony; the wedding-breakfast was laid in the long dining-room, a very fine apartment. The wedding guests assembled - the stage was set, but the chief actor did not turn up to keep his appointment'. From that time her 'habits became eccentric'. She never again left the house, finding solace in books and opening the door only to the clergyman, physician and solicitor. The wedding breakfast remained undisturbed on the dining table and 'gradually mouldered away until nothing was left but dust and decay'.
Publication Type: Entry In Reference Work
Source of Publication: Australian Dictionary of Biography, v.4, 1851-1890: D-J, p. 86-86
Publisher: Melbourne University Press
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
ISBN: 0522840345
Field of Research (FOR): 190399 Journalism and Professional Writing not elsewhere classified
160301 Family and Household Studies
160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: N Entry In Reference Work
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