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Obituaries Australia

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Hay, Lady Jessie Sinclair (1845–1930)

The death occurred on Tuesday, at her historic old home at Crow's Nest, of Lady Hay, widow of Sir John Hay. Lady Hay was in her 85th year.

Lady Hay had been ill for a fortnight, but until then was particularly alert and active taking a keen interest in the numerous charitable movements with which she was associated. She was conscious to the last.

Lady Hay (nee Sinclair) was the daughter of a Paisley thread manufacturer, and on her father's death accompanied her mother and other members of the family to Auckland, New Zealand, where they Joined Dr. Andrew Sinclair. R.N., the first Colonial Secretary of New Zealand, an uncle of Lady Hay. and a member of the ship's company of H.M.S Beagle, on which Darwin made his historic voyage.

While in Auckland she met and married Mr. John Hay, who came to Sydney, on the invitation of Mr. David Berry, to manage the Coolangatta Estate, on the South Coast. Later Mr. Hay was appointed to administer the large benefactions made by Mr. Berry to the University of St. Andrew's, the Berry Hospital, and the Church of Scotland, the amount being about £300,000. Mr. Hay, who was then residing at Crow's Nest, had the honorary degree of LLD, conferred on him, for his work in that connection, and subsequently received a knighthood for services rendered to the State.

Lady Hay was actively and practically interested in every movement for the welfare of North Sydney. She had 25 years' association with the Benevolent Society, of which she was president for a long period, and was a vice-president of the Fresh Air League, and of the Girls' Realm Guild. She was also keenly interested in the Children's Hospital.

The Interment will take place to-day in the burial ground of the Berry family at Coolangatta. A short service was conducted yesterday in the old home at Crow's Nest, by the Rev. J. Calder, Minister of St. Peter's Presbyterian Church, North Sydney, of which Lady Hay was an adherent.

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Citation details

'Hay, Lady Jessie Sinclair (1845–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 October 2020.

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