Eliza Fraser

Eliza's portrait depicts her as a classical beauty, with long neck, sloping shoulders, oval face, straight nose and ringlets. Her father died when she was six, and she went to join her uncle in Madras when she was fifteen, where prospects of marriage were better than in Inverness. She married at eighteen, and bore thirteen children of whom eleven survived her, dying suddenly at 42 when the eldest was 21 and the youngest was one. It sounds like a hard life, but she had a husband who loved her dearly, who made her wealthy, and who considered himself 'blessed... in the knowledge that my Eliza considered herself a happy wife'. I hope he was right!

Lived
4 March 1792-1834
Origin
Inverness
Father
Donald Fraser, (1760-1798) writer (solicitor) of Inverness. At his death he was found to be owed £42, but no other property was listed (4)
Mother
Mary Ord (1768-1842), daughter of Richard Ord, overseer of the salmon fishing on the River Ness; and Elizabeth Mackenzie, daughter of John Mackenzie, son of Alexander Mackenzie 7th of Davochmaluach
Address
Her mother-in-law's, 48 Queen Street
Story
Mary went out to Madras in in 1807, apparently visiting her uncle Dr William Ord, surgeon. She married George in 1810 and had her first daughter Mary in 1812. George was eager to return to Britain before she was 4, and they returned to his mother's house in Edinburgh in 1816, moving to London in 1819. In 1833 her husband wrote in his diary, 'the anniversary of the birth of my excellent wife... She has given birth to 13 children, of whom eleven are now alive, the eldest near 21 years old, the youngest little more than a month.' She died suddenly the following year, while George was away. He wrote, 'I have lost more than half of myself, -- she was my oracle, -- she was the staff on which I leant... On the whole, I feel that my Situation is far happier than many a one who has been left a widower, that I ought to be thankful for the happy period of 24 years of my married life, blessed as I am in the knowledge that my Eliza considered herself a happy wife!'
Chapel connection
1816 (baptism)
Married
26 April 1810
Spouse
George Arbuthnot
Children
Mary (1812), Robert (1813), George (1815), Jane and Anne (1816) Coutts (1818), Elizabeth (1820), John (1822), Catherine (1824), William (1826), Elizabeth (1828), Laura (1830), Eleanor (1833)

Eliza Fraser

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. P. Arbuthnot, Memories of the Arbuthnots of Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire (London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd 1920) p.357-368
  4. Donald Fraser's Inventory, National Archives of Scotland CC11/1/6/471

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