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Armytage, Mary Susan (1836–1924)

The death occurred yesterday, at a private hospital in Malvern, of Mrs. Frederick William Armytage, aged 88 years. She was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Simon Staughton, who owned Wooloomanata, Lara, and who came to Victoria in 1841 with his wife and Mrs. Armytage (then Mary Susan Staughton), and three sons (Simon Frederick, subsequently of Staughton Vale; Samuel Thomas, of Eynesbury, Melton; and Stephen George, of Queen's road, Melbourne). The party, after a long journey from England in the sailing ship Himalaya (450 tons), landed at Liardet's Beach, now Port Melbourne. Their first residence was one of a few brick houses situated in Little Collins street near King street, then known as Twopenny row. Tallow candles standing in bottles represented the only means of lighting the rooms. The same year Mr. Simon Staughton purchased Eynesbury, a property which is now held by one of his sons. lt was originally purchased from Dr. Walton, one of the Batman syndicate. Mary Staughton began her studies at Mrs. Donald McArthur's school in Little Collins street, and completed her education in England and France. She married Mr. F. W. Armytage in December, 1859. She was in Germany at the outbreak of war, and lost her luggage there.

Mrs. Armytage contributed largely to charity. Apart from endowing a number of cots at the Caulfield and Alfred Hospitals she established life scholarships at the Melbourne University and the Geelong Church of England Grammar School. In earlier years she was an accomplished and fearless horsewoman. Some of her oil and water colour paintings and ornaments are to be seen in the Geelong galleries. She was keenly interested in photography, having thoroughly studied the art. It is interesting to note that the span between the birth of her father and her death was 127 years.

Mrs. Armytage leaves three sons - Frederick Lara, of Sydney, Harry (England), and Frank (Drysdale). Another son, Bertram (now deceased) accompanied the late Sir Ernest Shackleton on one of his Antarctic expeditions. The funeral will leave the residence of Mrs. Armytage's grandson (Fred) at the corner of Burke road and Pine avenue, Camberwell, at half-past 3 o'clock this afternoon for Boroondara Cemetery.

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Citation details

'Armytage, Mary Susan (1836–1924)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 October 2020.

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