Your memories will live for ever
For how could we forget
Your deeds of love and kindness
Until life’s sun has set
(In loving memory of our dear parents – 1928)

Grace Mitchell Trezise and Henry Leggo

Grace was my great great aunt and after delving into her past I think Betty Butcher’s statement about her mother Ida Leggo reflects the values that Grace and Henry lived by and raised their children with – “She always chose parents on the basis of a loving home rather than material wealth”.

Grace Mitchell Trezise b. 8 Nov 1851 St Just, Cornwall d/o James Trezise and Margaret Mitchell.  Arrived in Australia 1866 on board the Great Britain with mother Margaret, brother Thomas, his wife Elizabeth, brother Hugh and nephew John Veal (b. Nov 1850).

Henry Leggo b. 1846 St Just, Cornwall s/o Richard Leggo, a blacksmith and Amelia Wearne.  Arrived in Australia 23 Jan 1865 with his father and brothers Christopher and Maddron Henry.  Richard died later that year in Daylesford, aged 59.

After marrying at Buninyong in 1870 Grace and Henry returned to Daylesford where Henry had settled five years earlier with his two brothers.  Here over a twenty two year period they raised eight surviving children after losing three to early childhood deaths.

A mining accident in 1879 which took the life of Henry’s brother Christopher may have been the impetus for Henry to change his occupation.  “There was a fatal accident at the Cornish claim, Daylesford, on 4 December1879 when stones fell from a bucket being landed at the top.  One struck Christopher Leggo on the back severely injuring him that he died soon after he was taken home”.  Henry and Mary Ann Leggo were named as executors of Christopher’s Will.  Christopher held a mortgage over Thomas Muir’s real estate at Musk Vale, Leonard Hill Road valued at £285.  His own house in Victoria St East held under Miner’s Rights was valued at £20.  Interestingly he lent money on interest to the Trustee of the Wesley Church property at Daylesford £125.

A grocery business in Vincent Street was procured.  The retail trade proved to be a gold mine – Henry owned the brick and weatherboard shop in Vincent Street to which was attached a six roomed dwelling with stables along with three allotments of vacant Crown Land.

Supporting the ideals of the Women’s Suffrage movement, Grace’s signature appears on page 788 of the 1891 petition.

1889 – Grace’s older sister Lavinia arrived in Australia with family members.  A bond developed between Grace and nieces Ellen Trezise Veal and Lavinia Margaret Veal with both being left a bequest in Grace’s Will.  Perhaps Grace’s nieces spent time at Daylesford.  I can imagine many happy nights around the piano.

Before the end of the century Henry lost his surviving brother Maddron, 6 September 1899.  Maddron left amongst other things, a seven roomed weather board dwelling house and residence area fenced (under the Mines Act) which had a frontage to Daly Street, Daylesford valued at £150 to his wife, Eliza Jane.

In declining health Henry signed his Will on 13 February 1906.  The carefree childhood days of the two youngest, Gordon and Ida were coming to an end –

“There was a large population of miners, including Chinese workers, who lived along the Jim Crow Creek that was later converted into the present day Daylesford Lake. Ida remembered visiting the Chinese settlement with her brother, Gordon, and playing tricks on the workers (knick knack on their doors).  Ida attended Daylesford state school but left at an early age to assist in the family shop and help her mother with the housework. At that time it was a common practice for girls to stay home whilst boys continued education”. [1]

A partnership between Henry, Gordon, Richard and Ida was formed to run the business.  Ida maintained the accounts of the partnership and each partner had a £250 share in the business.

A blow was dealt the family in May 1907 with the death of eighteen year old son Henry Almond Stanley at Ruby Cottage.

Love never dies
Although eight years
Have slowly passed away
We still think of you, dear Stan
And miss you every day

And even thirty three years later Ellen still paid tribute to her brother His life a beautiful memory.

The business expanded in 1908 with Grace purchasing a two storied building containing a brick shop and 4 rooms also kitchen (of wood) having a frontage to Vincent St for £104 and at some stage another two vacant blocks of land.

On 29 September 1911 Henry lost his battle –

Calmly sleep, dear loved one
Pain no more shall mark thy brow
All your toil is o’er for ever
You are happy resting now (1916)

Inventory of Henry’s Will: personal property valued at £1,579/13/40 and real estate valued at £420/.  Amongst Henry’s personal possessions was an old silver watch about 50 years and gold chain valued at £2.  Grace was the sole beneficiary.

Nephew James Trezise Veal devoted a few chapters in the 15th series of Descriptions and Reflections, published late c.1912 about a visit to Daylesford.   “A residence in Daylesford had been called at – approach to the house had been made at a side gate.  Leaving by the front door and turning round, a full outpouring of beauty assailed me.  The grounds of the house sloped down towards Wombat Hill and a lovely avenue of trees was in direct line with the Hill and the avenue was properly supplemented with select shrubs etc.  It was near noon and the sun shone quietly and the air was serene after the wind and rain”.

Grace signed her Will in May of 1925 appointing son Richard and nephew Edwin Ernest Leggo a real estate agent, Executors.  Son Albert specially requested Grace not make a gift to him because he was in good circumstance.

Grace joined Henry in September

Our truest, dearest, and best for ever with the Lord
(In loving memory of our dear parents – 1927)

Belonging to a One Name Group has many advantages, amongst them the sharing of information.  This was the first article I wrote for the Trezise ONG in April of this year and although it goes for pages, I wanted to showcase Grace and Henry in today’s post.

The Trezise family were, perhaps the descendants still are, Wesleyan Methodists and I truly believe that Grace Mitchell Trezise and Henry Leggo, lived by, practicsed and imparted those principles onto their children.

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