Katherine Isabella Townshend (5D25)

Date of Birth: Jul 1852
Date of Death: 26 Oct 1896
Generation: 6th
Residence: Emu Bay, Tasmania
Father: Richard William (Dick) Townsend [5D03]
Mother: Hebbert, Laura
  1. Armitage, Joseph
  1. Alan
  2. Kathleen Mary
  3. Mary Dorothy
  4. Lettice Margaret
  5. Helena Rhodes
See Also: Table VD ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Katherine Isabella Townshend

Katherine's birth was recorded in the diary of Agnes Townsend - 'July 1852 Mrs RWT had a second daughter.'

Married (1) 27 December 1878 at Christ Church (2), High Harrogate. Dr Joseph Armitage BA (3) of New College, Oxford.

Katherine, Joseph, their daughter Kathleen May and nurse Eliza Watson set sail for Tasmania on 15 Feb 1882 on board the SS Potosi. The family emigrated to join Katherine’s sister, Laura Townshend, who was married to the Rev Bernard Bourdillon, and living in Emu Bay (4) on the north coast of the island. Bernard was Vicar of St Georges church and suffered from tuberculosis. Whilst staying at the parsonage, with Laura and Bernard, Katherine and Joseph built a fine house in Emu Bay.

According to her daughter Lettice, Katherine was always very delicate, longed to return to England and could hardly restrain her tears whenever thoughts of England to mind. She contracted influenza and died on October 26th 1896.

Realising that his days were numbered and that he would not live more than a year, Joseph asked his younger brother Ted to come to Tasmania and help him get the children back to England. Ted and his wife arrived aboard the French ship Amand Belic and the whole family set sail for England in 1897; sadly Joseph died during the return journey and is buried in the municipal cemetery in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Of the children:

Alan Armitage died young of meningitis and is buried in Hampstead cemetery..

Kathleen Armitage (1880-1962) married Rev John Gibson and had at least three children (Katherine, Patrick & Lettice). She died aged 82 in Yorkshire in 1962.

Mary Dorothy Armitage (1885-1972) married Francis Bernard Bourdillon, a nephew of Bernard keene Bourdillon husband of Laura Townshend in 1910.

Lettice Armitage (1886-1972) studied art and married Norman Campbell of Loch Dochart.

Helena Rhodes Armitage (1890-1981) lived for a time with Dorothea, wife of Richard Baxter Townsend [5D15 and spent most of her life undertaking further research on 'An Officer of the Long Parliament'. Her research was focused on the origins of Colonel Richard and much of it is now in the possession of Colonel John Townsend.

(1) Report in the Harrogate Herald - 2nd January 1878 - "Dec 27, at Christ Church, High Harrogate, by the Rev F J Armitage, MA, of Casterton, father of the bridegroom, assisted by the Rev C M Bevan,MA, cousin of the bride, Joseph Armitage, BA, of New Coll, Oxon, Esq., to Katherine Isabella Townsend, daughter of the late Richard William Townsend, of Derry, Ross-Carbery, in the County of Cork, Esq."

(2) Katherine's sister, Mary Townsend was married in the same church in 1882. After their father died in 1855 their mother married the Rev Rev WW Gibbon, Vicar of Christ Church, High Harrogate.

(3) Born in Yorkshire, Joseph Armitage was educated at Rugby School and New College, Oxford. He got a First Class Honours BA Degree in Natural Sciences in June 1876 and was Burdett-Coutts Scholar in geology in 1877. He studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London and qualified in 1880. He was House Physician at St Bartholomew's, then Resident Clinical Assistant at the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest. Joseph developed an infection while at Bart's, which in later years developed into locomotor ataxy (a degenerative disease of the nervous system). He could only walk with sticks.

(4). Emu Bay is now called Burnie. Katherine's sister, Laura Townshend and her husband were living at Emu Bay 1881 to 1886.