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Sutherland, Caroline (1834–1928)

Miss Caroline Sutherland, whose death occurred last Sunday, was a colonist of 88 years, her sixth birthday anniversary having occurred soon after the arrival of the family by the ship William Nichol (Capt. William, Elder), in June, 1840. Miss Sutherland well remembered the landing in the ship's boats at Glenelg (then Holdfast Bay), and being carried ashore by sailors. Her father, Mr. David Sutherland, of Wick Caithness, Scotland, was then a partner in the firm of Forbes, McNeill, & Co., merchants, of London, and the ship was chartered to bring his family and merchandise to the new province. After living several years in a house formerly occupied by Col. Frome (and still standing at corner of Hurtle square and Halifax street), Mr. Sutherland took his family to live on his own estate at Dunrobin, near Brighton. There Miss Sutherland lived many years, until she went to keep house for her brother James, who was practising law at Mount Gambier, where her parents afterwards resided with them.

Miss Sutherland's mother was formerly Miss Caroline de Zouche, of a good Huguenot family, a woman of high character and education, who personally undertook the instruction of her children, and was full of kindness and hospitality. In addition to his business and farming interests, Mr. David Sutherland was a member of the first Adelaide Hospital Board, the Emigration Commission, and the Road Board; also for many years he represented the districts of Noarlunga and Encounter Bay in Parliament. Miss Sutherland remembered with pleasure her father's warm friendship with Governor Sir George Grey, and how once when labour was scarce, owing to the rush to the Victorian goldfields, the Governor sent his regiment of soldiers to help reap with sickles her father's wheat crop. Miss Sutherland, who was always lame, owing to an accident in early childhood, was a great favourite of the Rev. Ridgway W. Newland, and his learned and accomplished wife. Mr. Newland was then stationed at Encounter Bay, and farmed his land as well as conducting his ministry. He would ride, or sometimes walk, to the city from Encounter Bay, bringing his young cattle to the Adelaide market, and would spend a night at Dunrobin in coming or going. Miss Sutherland, then a child, was delighted to be given a calf as a pet by Mr. Newland.

Among many friends of this period the families of Mr. Stevenson (first editor of The Register), Dr. Everard, Mr. Henry Watson, Mr. Joseph Howard, and Mr. Hector McFarlane were those of whom Miss Sutherland retained during her later years many pleasant reminiscences as visitors to her own home, and at the early celebrations of Proclamation Day at Glenelg and later at riding picnics and jolly excursions to the beach in bullock drays, when all the world was young.

Despite her lameness, Miss Sutherland was full of energy and spirit. She was an indefatigable horsewoman, was fond of gardening; and of the care and welfare of animals. All her life she devoted herself to the interests of her home, and was generous and charitable to any needing help. She frequently mentioned the delight of the incoming English mail in the days when her father would read aloud to the household the latest novel of Charles Dickens; then being published in serial parts. Miss Sutherland shared the views of her brother, Mr. James Sutherland, in the direction of land reform, and was for many years earnestly devoted to the cause of land values taxation, free trade, and effective voting. In her old age she did much knitting for the soldiers. She retained all her faculties until about a year before her death, when her memory began increasingly to fail; but even quite recently she mentioned her regret at being unable to attend the last performance of Mr. Allan Wilkie's Shakespearian plays, and greatly valued the friendly attention of the actor and his gifted wife. Miss Sutherland was the last remaining member of her immediate family. The chief happiness of her closing years was in the loyal and lifelong friendship of her cousin, Sir Josiah Symon, who came out from Scotland in his youth to her father's care, and was for years closely connected with the interests of her family. Miss Sutherland's only other near relation is her niece, Miss Betty Leundy (daughter of her only sister), and her adopted niece, Mrs. George Evers (a daughter of her girlhood's friend Mrs. Mary Sargent Neass), whose home she shared for many years.

Original publication

Citation details

'Sutherland, Caroline (1834–1928)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/sutherland-caroline-14739/text25897, accessed 15 November 2019.

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