page updated 24th February 2005
ELIZA ELIZABETH SMELLIE
information on this page is based on the research by John Leckey.
Lizzie has been a mystery to those descended from her brothers as so little was known about her. But thanks to John Leckey's detailed book about his family we now know a bit more.
ELIZA ELIZABETH SMELLIE 1866 - 1920
Eliza Elizabeth (Lizzie) was born 31st July 1866 at 4 Bedford Court, Covent Garden, London, the only daughter of John Smellie and Mary Chedzoy, but not an only child, she had 3 brothers. Lizzie was well educated as the 1881 census shows, she was 14 and a scholar visiting the Spicer family in Kensington, probably because the Milliner from Somerset had taken her room at home. Later Lizzie would be a Milliner herself. Lizzie kept a diary and recorded a long visit to her cousins in Edinburgh, she was also very musical and taught piano.
Lizzie sailed from London to Brisbane on 23rd December 1898 on the Duke of Devonshire a steamer operated by Eastern Steamships. The ships records describe her as 32 years old, C of E, a Milliner and a "remittance" passenger. The journey took 57 days, arriving at Brisbane 18th February 1899. "A remittance passenger was an emigrant supported or assisted from remittances from home, sometimes arising from a 'social indiscretion'." Surviving letters give us some clues as to why Lizzy went to Australia, but not the exact circumstances. Several references were made to Sidney Chedzoy her cousin, and certainly some letters were addressed to Lizzie as Mrs. Chedzoy. Sidney did go to Australia and became a sheep farmer, he never married. Perhaps Lizzy was to meet him in Australia and marry, but changed her mind, as letters say that her mother is pleased that she had refused Sidney and her father is not surprised as he thinks things were not quite right.
Lizzie stayed in Brisbane and carried on her trade as a Milliner, although it may not have been very lucrative. However on 19th October 1900 she gave birth to a baby boy she named George William John Smellie, she doesn't name the father but Lizzie left a clue in a personal seal which suggests the Prance family. John Leckey after careful consideration decided that William Leckey was indeed his father.
The following year Lizzie married widower William John Leckey on 19th June 1901 at St Mary's Anglican Church at Kangaroo Point, they were both aged 34. Frederick Clarence was born 1st July 1903. In 1906 Lizzie and her two sons sailed back to London on the 'Rippingham Grange'. They stayed at Falkland Avenue and Bosworth Road, staying in England for about 3 years in all.
Lizzie's father died in 1910 and her mother 3 years later in 1913, she received her share of the legacy and used it to buy a house in Annerley, Brisbane. In 1918 she transferred the house to joint ownership with her husband William.
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