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Marian Fleming Harwood (1846–1934)

The death occurred on Sunday at Quambaar, Bellevue Hill, of Mrs Septimus [Marian Fleming] Harwood, M.A., who was noted in Sydney and elsewhere for her munificent gifts to hospitals, charities and various public movements. Born in 1846, she very early espoused the cause of women and assisted in pioneering the way to many reforms. Lord Kelvin, Lord Bryce, and his brother, Annan, were companions of her brothers. She counted among her friends Professor Dowden, Matthew Arnold, and, later, Norman Angel and Sir Phillip Gibbs. In 1885, her husband, Dr Septimus Harwood, was ordered a long sea voyage and they came to Australia. Subsequently, Dr Harwood died and Mrs Harwood went back to Ireland, returning to Australia after the death of her mother. In 1896 she graduated B.A. from Sydney University and later gained the M.A. degree at Melbourne University. In 1910 she went to the Stockholm Conference as delegate of the National Council of Women, and upon her return instituted a series of lecture in foreign languages each year, until 1917, when they were merged into the Modern Languages Association. Mrs Harwood gave generously and endowed beds in perpetuity in many children’s homes, and in most of the metropolitan hospitals. Her chief interest lay in the Queen Victoria Homes for Consumptives, in each of which she endowed a bed. She was a foundation member of the Sydney branch of the Peace Society, of which she was vice-president for some years. She invested £1800 in perpetuity to provide funds to pay the rent of the Sydney office of the society, and £1000 to provide prizes for essays on peace. 

The funeral took place yesterday morning at the Crematorium, Rookwood, the service being conducted by the Revs H. S. Grimwade and Wm. Coleman. 

The chief mourners were Messrs J.C. Davis and Guy Moore (cousins) and Raymond Littlemore. 

The directors of the Sydney Hospital were represented by Mr. D. G. Donald and Mr S. J. W. Harrison; the Bank of Australasia by Messrs A. R. L. Willshire and H. M. Henry; the Royal North Shore Hospital by Mr. Arthur C. Russell; the R.P.A. Hospital by Dr Allan B. Lilley and Mr. F. W. Wilson; the Benevolent Society by Mr. Walter Rodd; the Council of Churches by Mr. William Cooper; the Peace Society by the Rev. Wm. Coleman; the New South Wales Home for Incurables by Mr. F. de V. Lamb; the St John’s Ambulance by Mrs John Maund and Mr A. Wilkinson; the Forest League by Mr F. Berman; and the Wildlife Preservation Society by Mr David Stead; the Royal Alexandra Hospital by Mr Clarence Moss. 

Others present were: Mr and Mrs J. Scott, Miss Lessing, Miss Blomfield, Miss F. S. Wearne, Mlle Niau and the Misses McPhee.

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Citation details

'Harwood, Marian Fleming (1846–1934)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Reid, Marian

9 March, 1846
Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland


29 July, 1934 (aged 88)
Bellevue Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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