Monday, August 10, 2015

Amelia Lydia Dare & her Cape Town connections

In 1882, Eliza Jackson wrote to her daughter-in-law, Amelia Lydia Dare:  In my simplicity, I thought that Tom was a Bank Manager, but it seems he is also a hotel keeper. At the time, her son, Thomas Jackson, was the Chief Manager at HSBC in Hong Kong, and his wife Amelia had recently been suffering from some kind of illness. It was a fair dig on Eliza’s part, since both Thomas and Amelia were renowned for their entertaining, first in Yokohama, and later in Hong Kong at Creggan, their home on The Peak. A few years earlier, the London Manager David McLean had written to Thomas Jackson:
I hear you have been entertaining all Hongkong with dancing parties almost weekly. Save your coin is my advice. You will find the dollars useful when you come Home.
March 8, 1878. David McLean Papers (SOAS MS 380401).

Clearly McLean’s advice had been ignored.

India House on Rotherhithe Street - great place for gossip and one of the places where Amelia's grandfather worked.
Amelia was born to be a child of the British Empire. Her grandfather, William Tollemache Parke (1790-1852), had been an innkeeper at India House on Rotherhithe Street, in his early thirties. This was near the docks in south-east London. He was a tradesman, not a person of wealth, but a person of some means, who then moved his family, including Amelia’s mother – one of his daughters - to South Africa in 1834. A few years later, Amelia’s grandmother, Elizabeth Parke née Bush (1790-1880), started a boarding house at Grahamstown. She and her husband moved to Capetown in 1838, where she started a boarding house in an old brewery at Papenboom, Newlands, a suburb of Capetown. At first, these boarding houses were modest operations. In a 1907 letter, Lizzy Arbuthnot née Ball, one of Elizabeth’s nieces, described one of them as a place where her grandmother took in a few Indian people as borders when they were at The Cape for healthThen Amelia’s grandmother opened what would become the world-famous Parke’s Hotel in Cape Town – it was featured in recommendations from as far away as Bombay.

Parke’s Hotel built on the success of a previous establishment that was similarly well known, Mrs. Van Schoor’s boarding house. It had hosted (decades earlier) both Clive of India and Prince Frederick Hendrick of Holland. After Elizabeth retired, her hotel was managed by her daughter, Mary Bush Sedgwick née Parke (1822-1901). Mary’s husband had opened a tavern called the Captain’s Room in 1850, and later had owned Sedgwick’s Wholesale Wine and Spirit Merchants. All are now long gone, but you can still buy Sedgwicks Old Brown Sherry.
A glimpse of the style with which Elizabeth Parke and her daughters entertained in the 1830s & 1840s can be found in the account of a dinner she hosted in honour of Sir Benjamin D’Urban
They say Mrs. Parke excelled all former efforts on this occasion, both in the extent and variety of her Bill of Fare. “A spirit that walketh abroad unseen and unmolested” tells me that there were – 10 Hams, 12 Turkeys, 12 Tongues, 28 Ducks, 28 Fowls, 3 Rounds Beef (large), 6 Joints Lamb, 6 ditto Veal, 6 ditto Beef – these were roasted – 32 made dishes, 6 Raised Pies, 12 Tureens Mock Turtle Soup, 5 Giblets ditto, Game, 10 Dishes Vegetables, 3 Large Cake, and 1 Small ditto, Jelly Blancmange, Pastry, and Fruits of all descriptions. No wonder after such a dinner as this, that the floor should require sanding here and there in patches the next morning, and that with the vibration of the “hip, hip, hipping” the glass before the East India Company’s Rules and Regulations should be smashed into shivers. April 2nd, 1846 Sam Sly’s African Journal
This hotel was key to the survival of the Parke family. Regrettably, William seems to have had mixed success with his enterprises, even before he emigrated to The Cape.
An interesting thing to note about the baptism records is how William’s profession changes. For the Saffron Walden baptisms he was a carpenter, but for the baptisms between 1822 and 1824 he was an inn keeper or “victualler”. Then by the time the youngest two came along he was a carpenter again. This pattern seems to have repeated itself in the Cape. Email from Mark Sherbrooke. July 23, 2015

The year that Elizabeth hosted the banquet celebrated in Sam Sly’s African Journal, was the same year that her husband was £697.5.11½ in debt and declared officially bankrupt. Not that he was the first member of his family to suffer this fate. His older brother Samuel Fenning Parke, a thrice married Liquor Merchant, Dealer and Chapman (a peddler) at East Smithfield, had declared bankruptcy in 1808. It is clear that his younger brother William Parke’s bankruptcy, some decades later, had been some years in the making:

Nov 3, 1837: From what has appeared before me in the Resident Magistrate’s Court I have reason to believe the Memorialist is in great pecuniary difficulties. He brought little or no capital into the Colony and his affairs seem not to have prospered since his arrival. Therefore as far as poverty is in question I believe he may be admitted with the class of persons comprehended in the Circular of last September. His family consists chiefly of females, who reside with him and to whose exertions he owes his support. I also believe him to be industriously disposed but that his health does not permit him to follow his trade of a carpenter. He is also subject to occasional deprivation of reason which renders his case the more deserving of commiseration.

That last sentence - subject to occasional deprivation of reason - only hints at one of the many challenges that Amelia’s grandmother had faced. Elizabeth Parke had arrived in South Africa with her husband in 1834, and with eight children, a flock of lambs, and a shepherd, despite the fact that there is no record that William had ever tried his hand at farming. They did have reason to be optimistic about their prospects. William’s older sister, Anna Maria Parke (1788-1843), had arrived at The Cape with her husband, William Kidson (1784-1869), a grocer and wine merchant, more than a decade earlier, part of the 1820 wave of about 4,000 English settlers who had emigrated there as part of a plan to enable the British to maintain their colonizing foothold in the south of Africa. They had done well during the fourteen years they spent in The Cape before William, Elizabeth and their children arrived.

Anna Maria Kidson (1788-1843)
Amelia’s mother, Sarah Shrieve Parke, was about sixteen years old when she arrived with her family in Grahamstown, a settlement of about 6,000 people. Her two older sisters were eighteen and twenty, and she had three younger sisters aged twelve, ten and seven. Her brother Joseph isn’t mentioned. The family lore is that he had run away to sea, so perhaps he was already up and gone. It was quite a shift from the Parish of St. John’s Wapping where they had last lived in London. It was also a great place to live if you were a British male, didn’t mind a dash of danger, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. The scenery was also stunning, but other than that, there was little in the way of amenities that would have interested most of the women:

In Grahamstown there are two or three English merchants of considerable wealth, but scarcely any society in the ordinary sense of the word. The Public Library is a wretched affair. So after the circulation of private collections of books, and such occupations as newspapers and billiards afford, one gladly turns to the untiring amusements and ever-varying excitement of the rude hills and lonely plains.
Littell, Eliakim; Walsh, Robert; Smith, John Jay (1834). "Wild Sports in the Cape of Good Hope". The Museum of Foreign Literature, Science and Art 25. Philadelphia: E. Littell & T. Holden.

Not long after they had settled there, the Parkes were attacked by men they referred to in their letters as “Kaffirs”. These were members of the Xhosa tribe who had traditionally raised cattle on land that the Parkes were trying to farm, albeit ineptly. For decades before the Parkes had arrived, battles between the Xhosa and the settlers had been a regular occurrence and when there wasn’t outright fighting, there were ongoing skirmishes over cattle rustling. Without access to grazing lands, it would seem that the Xhosa had few other options for feeding their families. Of course, this part of the local history wasn’t mentioned in the promotional material that encouraged British families to emigrate.

The Parkes, of course, were caught in the middle of all this. There are two versions of what happened to them next, but they are remarkably similar and easy to visualize:

His [Sarah’s father, William Parke’s] daughters were handsome young women, or rather girls, and it was brought to his ears that the Kaffir Chief then besieging the town had made it known that he would have his choice among them when he got into the town. William Parke ordered his six daughters to accompany him to the powder magazine where he made them kneel down in a row and swear to accompany him there again to be blown up with the magazine should the Kaffirs succeed in entering the town. Fortunately this histrionic effort proved to be unnecessary. Email from Heather McAllister – verbatim from a descendent of Mary Bush Sedgwick

The father feared for the safety of his daughters and would rather see them dead than abused at the hands of assailants.  The Dare family version is that a gun was given to the eldest daughter and should they be overrun, that she was to shoot her sisters and then herself rather than be at the (less than mercy) of their assailants. At the time, they were on the other side of the river from the relative safety of the white settlement, possibly outside Elizabethville.  William Parke was injured while escaping and went down to Capetown and bought property outside Capetown. Email from Pamela Dare

William had fallen off a wagon, and this injury plagued him until he died at age 61. He had intended to return to England after the attack since they had run down their meagre capital, but for reasons unknown, he was persuaded to stay. It was then that he and his wife started the first of their two boarding houses and subsequently the hotel they became famous for. The hotel in particular was a great place for their six young daughters to meet prospective husbands, and were then used as staging grounds for their weddings. Not surprisingly, four of the daughters, including Amelia’s mother, married ship’s captains. 

Sarah Shrieve Parke, the third daughter and wife of Capt. George Julius Dare, was as resilient as her mother. She and her sister, Mary Bush Parke, had been married on the same day and immediately the two young brides had set sail with their newly minted husbands on the Addingham, under the command of Capt. Sedgwick, husband of the sixteen year old Mary. 

It was arranged that the sisters should be married the same as Aunt Sedgewick’s 17th birthday 31st of May and your father and mother sailing as passengers with uncle Sedgewick so the two sister brides were together. On the way they fell in with a derelict, and your father said he could navigate her to the port if he had crew and Uncle Sedgewick gave him one. He took the ship to Ireland and was much feted by owners and got a large sum of money as salvage which of course had to be shared with Uncle Sedgewick’s owners. … Both left in father's ship “Addingham”.
Extract from letter to Amelia Lydia Jackson née Dare from her cousin Lizzy Arbuthnot née Ball.

NOTE: The two sisters were actually married on January 22, 1839, not May 31st. The rest of Lizzie’s story can be corroborated by Maritime law records:

[The Madra 1839] Damaged by collision and abandoned by all her crew except two seamen and three boys, 6th May. Fallen in with by the Addingham and boarded by a passenger (who was a ship master) and his apprentice from that vessel, and also by a seaman of the Addingham, who by 25th May brought the ship to Dublin. Promptness shown and risk run. Awarded 250l to the owners, captain and crew of the Addingham. The owners had previously paid the passenger 262l 10s 25d to the seaman and 5l to the boy. A digest of maritime law cases, from 1837 to 1860. Arthur Young.

On March 18, 1840, Sarah and George’s first son, George Mildmay Dare, was born either at sea or shortly after arrival at Elm Grove at Peckham, in South London. His middle name came from an uncle on his father’s side, Paul Mildmay Pell. Before he was a year old, his parents left the relative safety of England, and sailed with him for Singapore on his father’s barque, the Marsden. The voyage was not without risks for the young family:

The Alfred reports a vessel named the Marsden, as taking in cargo at the Cape for Sydney; but did not speak any vessel on the passage. She put into the Cape for fresh provisions. Four deaths took place during the voyage — two infants and a male and female adult, the former named Keith, and the latter Martin.
 The Australian. 21 January 1841.

Most of the Dares’ children, including Amelia, were born in Singapore. The family of three arrived there in August of 1841, and John Julius Dare was born a month later, on September 19th, at a boarding house kept by Mrs. Clarke at the south west corner of North Bridge and Middle Road. On Christmas day, at the age of twenty-three, Sarah headed out with her sons – George aged one and a half and John just three months old - to join her husband in Lascar.

On Christmas Day 1841 Mrs. Dare embarked on the ship Viscount Melbourne to join her husband in China. On the 1st January 1842 this unfortunate ship was wrecked on the Laconia Shoal, and the passengers and crew left her in five boats, Mrs. Dare and her two children being in the first long-boat with Captain McKenzie, twenty-three of the crew, and another passenger. On the 9th they were attacked by Lanun pirates and made prisoners, but managed to cut the rope and escape in the night. After thirteen days at sea in this open boat they fetched Singapore, and Dr. Little handed Mrs. Dare out of the boat, the little baby being apparently dead. However, Dr. Little was able to resuscitate him. George Mildmay was quite lively, having eaten all the bananas while hidden under the sail at the bottom of the boat! SOURCE: George Mildmay Dare’s wife’s diary

A longer version of the fate of Sarah and her sons on the high seas is even more horrifying. After the cook had used his cutlass to cut the rope securing their long-boat to that of the pirates, they set sail, paddling to the best of their ability, but the pirates immediately gave chase. The pirates, having more men at the oars, gained on them, and:

… they opened fire on us, first from their rifles, and finally from a swivel, the last shot passing through a blanket that was rigged as a screen from the sun at the back of the captain and passengers. It passed betwixt the captain and Mrs. Dare, and then scraping a piece off the skull of one of the lascars, who sat in the bow of the boat, it buried itself in the water. Another shot cut away the leech of the second cutter’s lug.

The pirates then did what pirates do – took their valuables, and set their victims adrift on the open seas. For the next twelve days, this party of twenty-seven adults and children survived with no more than a small basket of sago (looks like tapioca) and three pints of water. Small wonder that baby John, who was still being breast-fed, was presumed to be dead when they pulled into Singapore at three o’clock in the afternoon. One family version has it that his mother was so weakened, that he was inadvertently dropped into the sea as they stepped onto the dock.

1846 Map of Singapore. SOURCE: Handbook to Singapore 1892 with my edits. In this format, the detail is hard to see, but Mrs. Clarke's house is mentioned in the top reference; next is Robert Scott's place; then, Capt. Dare's chandlery; and finally, Hurricane Hill where William G. Scott lived, and where - in a future generation - Winnifred Maud Allan was born.
After this episode with the pirates, Amelia’s family experienced a period of relative peace and prosperity. They lived for a while in a 10-room beach house originally owned by Robert Scott, whose son William Ramsay Scott would later marry Amelia’s older sister Blanche. The guest house had been built at the corner of Beach and Bras Basah Road by Robert Scott, sometime around 1830. At the time, Beach Road was Singapore's principal residential quarter with large, well-tended gardens separating the houses from the sandy beach. Decades later, land was reclaimed, swampy bits near the beach were drained, and in 1887, the Scott property was bought by Armenian Sarkies Brothers. The guest house, where Amelia had probably been born, was then replaced with the Raffles Hotel, birthplace of the Singapore Sling. No wonder Amelia grew up knowing how to make large numbers of guests feel at ease. 

Before Amelia was born, her father had often been away at sea. First, he was a navigating officer with the navy, then he captained a ship owned by one of his uncles, and finally he took command of a ship that one of his uncles had helped him to finance. This kind of family financing was common in his extended family. The extended Julius and Dare families had been successful in international trade for several generations, and both families supported their business interests by having sons tactically based in the Caribbean, France, India, and the Far East. They all depended on the success of the British Empire. 

Capt. Dare launched his career of sailing between Singapore and China just after the first Opium War, a time when British traders were successfully exploiting new markets. Thanks to the financial backing of uncles who were trading out of Singapore, he soon owned three of his own ships. In the meantime, his wife was engaged with giving birth every second year, and taking care of the growing brood. In the end, he and Sarah had ten children, with the five youngest, including Amelia, born after their father had ceased earning his main living as a sea captain and had begun his chandlery business, likely with the able assistance of his wife:

Captain Dare sold his vessel for a very handsome price, remitting home the money at the exchange of about six shillings to a dollar! In 1845 he went home, and returned and settled down in Singapore in February 1848. These particulars are found in the evidence he gave in favour of Sir James Brooke, on the famous enquiry related under the year 1854. He commenced business in Singapore as a ship chandler and commission agent in the Square. There were then four ship chandlers' firms, namely, W.S. Duncan, John Steel & Co., Whampoa & Co., and Mr. Dare.
An Anecdotal History Of Old Times In Singapore. Vol I. Charles Burton Buckley. Singapore. 1902. p 373

In his testimony at the Enquiry Into the Facts Relating to Sir James Brooke, Dare says that he had sailed out of Calcutta to China &c from 1823 until 1839. After that, his trips were between Singapore and China. This change in career happened, perhaps not coincidentally, in the same year as his marriage. Also in his testimony, the names of two of his ships are mentioned:

Q. Did you authorise this description of yourself—" G. J. Dare, Ship-chandler, sole partner in the firm of G. J. Dare & Co., late Master of the "Masdeu," "John Bagshaw" and other vessels, and has sailed exclusively in the Archipelago for 10 years."? A. No, it must have been added, I did not authorize it—I never traded in the Eastern Archipelago—my voyages have all been to China.

An entry in Allen’s Indian Mail, 1845 mentions his Masdeu logbook:

To prove that good anchorage had been found there, the logbook of Capt. Dare, when he visited that part of the coast of Cochin-China in the Masdeu, in 1842, was sent to Capt. Hayes… The refusal of Capt. Hayes to proceed to the relief of his unfortunate countrymen is very extraordinary, seeing that the first ground of his hesitation, which might have been of some little weight, if correct, is completely void of any foundation, it having been shewn to him that several vessels of late years have visited Padaran Bay and found anchorage there, besides the Masdeu-the Prima Donna, the Peruvian and the Vestal, may also be mentioned as having remained there for several days…. That Capt. Hayes should seriously put forward his second reason as an excuse, shews that he must either have very little sympathy with his fellow-countrymen, or be in a most lamentable state of ignorance in regard to the character of the Cochin-Chinese government and people, and of their general treatment of foreigners. The Masdeu's Log-book would shew him with how much hospitality people in distress are there treated – when they were denied all provisions whatever. We do not know in what light the admiral will view the conduct of Capt. Hayes, or how far the rules of the service bear him out, but a very considerable feeling has been produced among those in Singapore who are acquainted with the circumstances.

Dare returned to England in 1845, presumably sailing on the Janet Wilson – a ship that he captained.

It set sail from Singapore on December 14, 1844, and returned in 1846. Amelia’s second eldest sister, Louisa Caroline Dare - named after her Aunt Pell - was born in London on June 24th, 1845, probably at the family home at Belgrade Place. The next daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Dare was born in Bombay on April 17th, 1847. At present, I don’t know when or why their mother Sarah was in Bombay when her daughter Sarah was born. It is possible that Capt. Dare had left England sometime after August (assuming a nine month gestation), and that Sarah had been on her way to join him in Singapore. We do know from his testimony that shortly after his daughter Sarah’s birth, he started up the chandlery business in Singapore. In his own words: I have been settled on shore here since February 1848.  
Dare’s chandlery business supplied ships with everything they might need from needles to anchors, a business that his wife Sarah would have been well acquainted with. There had been such a shop on the Strand in Cape Town, next to her parent’s hotel. An ad placed in the Strait Times on September 6, 1848 details the provisions offered for sale:

C.J.DARE & Co. HAVE just received a few Choice superior small sized Yorkshire Hams; also Berkely Cheeses, Salted Rounds of Beef. Raisins, Walnuts, Filberts, Manilla Rope from 1 ½ inches to 3 inches. ALSO Some No. 3’s Old Manilla Segars; and superior Port Wine, which G.J. DARE & CO. can strongly recommend.
A second advertisement in the same paper indicates more of the scope of the business:
SHIP CHANDLERS, AUCTIONEERS, AND COMMISSION AGENTS with a large and well selected assortment of Marine and General Stores… Auctions will be held every WEDNESDAY and SATURDAY; account sales rendered and net proceeds paid three days after Sale. Commercial Square, 1st Aug. 1848.
The chandlery was located at the corner of Flint Street and Battery Road, and was only 100m away from where HSBC, under the future management of his future son-in-law Thomas Jackson, erected their offices in 1892. There is no surprise in this. Amelia had several family members still living in the neighbourhood where she herself had lived for the first four years of her life. As realtors say: Location. Location. Location. As family historians say: follow the money.

In the early 1850s, even though Amelia’s father was more likely to be at home running the chandlery, his children were now the ones sailing back and forth between England and Singapore, with stop-overs with relations at The Cape. We do not know how young they were when their schooling abroad was begun, but already by 1851, when George Mildmay Dare was eleven years old (the census incorrectly has him as age 15), he was a pupil at Berkely Villa, Berkeley Street, Cheltenham. In 1854, he came home after another six month absence;

George Mildmay's next appearance in Singapore was not so tragic. He left London in the barque Royal Shepherdess, Captain Napier, on the 9th October 1854, and arrived in Singapore on the 28th March 1855. The boy had grown so tremendously during his six months' voyage that the nice suit of clothes he had kept to land in and make a good impression on his parents was too small to get into, and he landed in a suit of sailcloth made by the sailors on board! Captain and Mrs. Dare were then living in a house at the corner of Beach and Bras Basah Roads, where the present Raffles Hotel stands. Beach Road was the principal residential quarter in those days, with houses standing well back from the road and gardens in front, and beyond the road was only the sandy beach.
Diary of Mrs. G.P. OWEN, her 1st husband was George Mildmay Dare.

Disaster was once again just around the corner. Amy Lloyd’s history of the Dare family tells the tale of how her grandfather had returned to England, suffering from severe blood poisoning of the hand. While he was undergoing treatments, he lived at Upper Clapham. Unfortunately, the treatments were not successful. Capt. Dare died, aged forty-nine, on September 27th, 1856. Soon afterwards, his wife Sarah, now thirty-eight years old, suffered the stillbirth death of her tenth and final child, a son. She also suffered the death of their chandlery business, and with it, most if not all of their family fortune. 

In 1855 Mr. Dare went to England, leaving a man in charge, whose name there is no necessity to mention. He was a very plausible man, with a particularly pleasant manner, but he turned out untrustworthy and ruined the business, as well as his employer. Charles Burton Buckley. One Hundred Years of Singapore.

After her husband’s death, there was little reason for Sarah to continue to stay in England. Except for Louisa Caroline Pell (1802-1882), her husband’s sister, most of the people she depended on for both practical and emotional support still lived and worked at The Cape. She did have to break up the family, leaving the two oldest boys in the care of their Aunt Pell while they finished their education at Cheltenham, while she set sail for the Cape with the other seven children. Incredibly, as if she had not already had enough loss and upheaval in her life, there was one more maritime crisis that she faced while on the voyage:

The crew mutinied and put the captain in irons. Her English nurse, Caroline, remonstrated furiously with the crew and said: “You can have as many mutinies as you like later, but I will not allow a mutiny when MY babies are on board.” This so amused the crew that they made terms and the mutiny ended.

An extract from a 1907 letter to Amelia, written by her cousin Lizzy Arbuthnot née Ball describes these events from her perspective as a ten year old:
I remember the news of his death, and you all arriving in the Wanata & the baby brother being born dead & then you all went to Singapore in that awful ship Elizabeth Martin, when the crew mutinied and put the captain in irons. You had a cross English nurse called Carolyn and she brought the men to reason.

Painting of Elizabeth Martin by Joseph Heard.

Going by the painting done of the Elizabeth Martin, it seems to have been a substantial sailing ship, but I have yet to find any independent verification of this mutiny. Still, it does have the ring of truth.

Amelia lived at The Cape with her mother, and those sisters and brothers who were not in England getting an education, or else starting out in business in Singapore. In 1864, when her oldest brother, George Mildmay Dare was well established in Yokohama, she and her mother and the younger children moved in with him. 

Like his father who had taken advantage of getting in on the ground floor early after the Opium Wars in the early 1840s, George jr had the benefit of starting his business as a British citizen just after military campaigns had secured Yokohama as a treaty port. He began as an assistant of William McDonald, a Yokohama bill broker who had previously been a surveyor for Lloyds. Soon they merged into McDonald and Dare, a bill, bullion [gold] and ship brokering company with a strong focus on exporting silk to Lyons and tea to England. 

In 1866, HSBC, whose interests were complementary, opened a branch in Yokohama. In 1868, Thomas Jackson was appointed Acting Manager. Obviously, he would have done business with Dare. At the time of his appointment in Yokohama, Amelia was seventeen years old. Three years later, she and Thomas would marry. Their new home would be just doors away from the home of her mother and brothers and sisters.

Their mother Sarah died at home in Yokohama at age sixty one, of cholera, after nursing her son, John Julius. He had died of cholera just five days earlier. He was her much cherished son, a bachelor, who she had kept alive on the open seas for twelve full days when he was a nursing baby. She couldn’t save him now. During their illnesses and deaths, Amelia couldn’t join them. She was 28 years old, and living in Hong Kong with her first four children. She was also pregnant with her fifth. 

Photo credit: Find-A-Grave
Had it not been for the cholera, Sarah would have likely lived to a ripe old age, just as her sisters did. In her middle age, she continued to be a going concern, and a photo of her shows her sitting erect at a desk, but leaning forward, still ready for action. There is even a family story that an old flame, a Capt. Nicholson, came back into her life, and proposed to her when she was already fifty-one years old, and the mother of nine living children:

I believe he was the same man whom she met going back to the Cape after taking Aunt Lydia home and got engaged to, but his brother persuaded him she was too old and had too many children and it was broken off this was about 1869. You very nearly had a rich stepfather, he is dead now. She had a beautiful oil painting of Capt. Nicholson but in your father's last illness he got peevish a fraction and persuaded her to burn it.

As a final word on her life, perhaps it is best to close with a comment from a daughter of her sister, Eliza Lake Ball née Park (1824-1919). Her daughter Lizzy Arbuthnot knew Sarah well through a mix of letters, family tales, and brief visits. She wrote to Amelia in the early 1900s when Amelia was in her late fifties, and curious about her own family history: Did you ever hear your mother had such a gentle nature, her name in her family was “Sarah the peacemaker”.

Some of the research that made this post possible was first recorded sometime between 1859 and 1882. It seems to have been written for George Mildmay Dare (1840-1907), probably by his aunt Louisa Caroline Pell (1811-1882).
Then, in 1907, Amelia Lydia Dare – wife of Sir Thomas Jackson – exchanged letters with various cousins, as well as a hired researcher in order to verify what she could.
In the mid-1950s, her daughter, Amy Oliver Lloyd, picked up the torch and wrote down a history which was then passed on to me by her grandson, Pat Roberts.
Fifty years after Amelia Lydia Jackson added her insights, it is now my turn. Fortunately, I am assisted by a clutch of other researchers writing from New Zealand, Australia, USA, South Africa, England, the Canary Islands, and Canada – to name a few of the countries where far flung family members currently reside.
If you spot any errors, please let me know.
NOTE: References to the Marsden and the Masdeu are likely both referring to the same vessel, and the first name is most likely the correct one.

An article published in the Strait Times December 23, 1856, Tigers Roamed Singapore in mid-fifties, mentioned that Captain G.J. Dare lived in a house on the corner of Beach Road, now part of the Raffles Hotel property.
George Mildmay Dare’s wife’s diary, published as A Mid Century Diary, a chapter in One Hundred Years of Singapore Vol II,

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