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Obituaries Australia

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Forrest, Margaret Guthrie (1823–1895)

In the full tide of years, Mrs. William Forrest (senr.), the mother of the Premier of the colony and of the Mayor of Perth, passed away last evening. For a week past the deceased lady had been confined to her bed. The greatest solicitude was shown for the patient. Dr. Lovegrove was summoned, and capable medical skill and assiduous and gentle nursing were invoked to ward off the inevitable end, which "cometh soon or late." Many of the sons of the old lady were summoned to the bedside of their mother, amongst them being Mr. Alexander Forrest, M.L.A, the Mayor of Perth. Shortly after his arrival at the old home at Picton, an improvement was remarked; yet the hand of death was plainly visible. Hoping against hope, it was thought the end was yet to be deferred for months, if not for years, but a relapse ensued and last evening, a little before dusk, Mrs. Forrest breathed her last.

Mr. William Forrest, senior, and his wife, accompanied Dr. Ferguson to Western Australia, in the ship Trusty in the year 1843. Mr. Forrest was a typical Scotchman of the best class. An engineer by profession, he was also well read in other branches of practical knowledge, and formed the most desirable kind of settler a country could possess. He braved the hardships and loneliness of the Australian bush with his wife as his devoted companion. In the early days they underwent a hard struggle, but the true "grit" of the Scottish nature led them to persevere, and having secured a block of land at Picton, in the South-West, they established a home and set themselves to the cultivation of the soil and the rearing of the large family of boys growing up around them. Mrs. Forrest was the thrifty housewife and the patient mother. Some thirty years ago Mr. Forrest, senior, met with a serious accident, and since that time Mrs. Forrest's responsibilities increased. She was quite equal to the trust which devolved upon her, and in no part of her duty as wife or mother was she found wanting. Like her husband, who is three years her senior, she is a native of Scotland. She was born in 1823, and was, therefore, 73 years old at the time of her death. Her maiden name was Margaret Hill, but she became married to Mr. William Forrest before they emigrated from the old country. The funeral, which takes place to-morrow, will be attended by her sons William, James, David, Robert, George and Alexander, the last named leaving the city tomorrow for that purpose, also by many of the neighbours who settled round the original farm at Picton and learnt to respect and esteem the good woman whose remains it will be their sad duty to follow to the grave.

Original publication

Citation details

'Forrest, Margaret Guthrie (1823–1895)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 5 August 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Hill, Margaret Guthrie



Bunbury, Western Australia, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship