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Balfour, Frances Charlotte (1838–1925)

The many friends of Mrs. James Balfour will regret to learn of her death, which occurred at her residence, Windella, Kew, yesterday. She was the widow of the late Mr. James Balfour. M.L.C., who was for 40 years a member of the Legislative Council of Victoria, and died in 1913. Mrs. Balfour was born in Launceston, Tasmania, 87 years ago, and was the eldest daughter of the late Mr. James Henty, M.L.C., the eldest of the Henty brothers, who were the pioneers of Victoria, and landed at Portland in 1834. In early girlhood Mrs. Balfour was taken to England to be educated, and on her return came with her parents in the year 1851 to reside in Melbourne, where she had lived ever since, with the exception of one other visit to England. Mr. James Henty's first residence was in Spring Street, opposite the present Treasury Buildings, where, in those days, the aborigines held their corroborees. He afterwards removed to Richmond Hill, where the family resided for many years. Mrs. Balfour had very vivid recollections of the stirring days of the colony, and as she had an excellent memory could recall many of the historic events in connection with the foundation and early days of Melbourne. She was a passenger in the first railway train run in Australia. Her father, who was a director of the railway company, and later chairman, and her husband were also passengers on that train, which left Sandridge for the first time 71 years ago. Mrs. Balfour and her brother taught for some time at the common school in Richmond, because of the difficulty in getting teachers, and their pupils numbered more than 300. She remembered the opening of the first Parliament of Victoria, of which her father was a member, in a little hall in Bourke street, below Elizabeth street.

Mrs. Balfour retained all her mental faculties to the last. Although, owing to rheumatism, she was unable for some years to get beyond her own garden, she continued to take a keen interest in all that was going on in Church and State, and was a liberal supporter of all charitable and philanthropic work. She is survived by five sons, four daughters, 20 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Original publication

Citation details

'Balfour, Frances Charlotte (1838–1925)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/balfour-frances-charlotte-1531/text1542, accessed 25 May 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Henty, Frances Charlotte
Birth

1838
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

Death

21 June 1925
Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia