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Barton, Lady Jean (Jane) (1852–1938)

Lady Barton, the widow of Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, died at the age of 86 at her home in Mona Road, Darling Point, yesterday.

Lady Barton had not taken part in public life for many years, but her keen intellect remained undimmed to the end, and she made a close study of current events. She always preferred to discuss the happenings of to-day rather than the glories of yesterday.

In May, 1935, she made one of her last appearances in public life at the service held in Centennial Park to commemorate the Jubilee of King George V. Then, as an official guest, she stood on the same spot where, in 1901, amid memorable scenes, Australia was proclaimed a Commonwealth.

Before her marriage to the late Sir Edmund Barton, in 1877, she was Miss Jean Ross, of Newcastle, the eldest daughter of Mr. David Ross.

In 1900, when her husband led the Australian delegation to England to urge the passage by the British Parliament of the Enabling Bill, which would make Australia a Commonwealth, Lady Barton accompanied him, and, during their visit, she was presented to Queen Victoria.

In January, 1920, after the death of Sir Edmund Barton, then senior Puisne Judge of the High Court, Lady Barton went to live in England. She returned to Sydney in 1927.

Lady Barton was the first president of the Queen's Club in Sydney, and was a member of the first committee of the Crown Street Women's Hospital.

Four sons and two daughters survive her. The sons are Judge Barton, of the District Court Bench, Mr Wilfred Barton, K.C., who was the first Rhodes Scholar for New South Wales, and who practises at the Bar of the Privy Council, Dr Oswald Barton, and Mr Arnold Barton. The daughters are Mrs David Maughan and Mrs Robert Scott-Skirving.

The funeral will leave St Mark's Church, Darling Point, for South Head Cemetery to- day, after a service, commencing at 10 a.m.

Original publication

Citation details

'Barton, Lady Jean (Jane) (1852–1938)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/barton-lady-jean-jane-72/text72, accessed 21 November 2017.

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