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Charlotte Josephine Prinsep (1849–1929)

from Western Mail

Another link with the past and early pioneers of Western Australia was broken with the passing away of Mrs. Charlotte Josephine Prinsep, at Little Holland House, Busselton, on Christmas Eve.

The late Mrs. Prinsep was the youngest daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Garrett Bussell, of Cattle Chosen. Busselton. Mr. Bussell was one of the earliest settlers in that district, and Busselton was named after him. Mrs. Prinsep was the daughter of his second wife whose maiden name was Miss Spicer. She, too, had been married before and was the widow of Dr. Cookworthy when she married Mr. Bussell.

Mrs. Prinsep was born at Cattle Chosen, and spent most of her girlhood there. She married the late Mr. Henry Charles Prinsep, who had come out from the old country and gone on the land. He came out to an uncle here and Prinsep Park and Dardanup, near Bunbury, were owned by the Prinseps. However, they, like others of the early pioneers of their time, were not very successful on the land and lost much money and property in the South-West.

Early in their married life Mr. and Mrs. Prinsep went on a few years' visit to India, where Mr. Prinsep's father was a Judge. Later they returned to Perth, where Mr. Prinsep occupied a position in the Lands and Survey Department. Later, he was Under-Secretary for Mines, and later on again, Protector of Aborigines.

During their long residence in Perth Mr. and Mrs. Prinsep were loved and respected by all who knew them. Their friends name truly was legion, and the hospitality so generously dispensed at The Studio, their home in Hay-street (still standing) is still remembered by a great many people in Perth and, in fact, all over the State.

They were an unique couple; types of the old school of gentlefolk, courteous, kindly and gentle in the truest and widest sense of the words.

Both Mrs. Prinsep and her husband were ever-welcome guests at all the old homes in Perth, and to the older generation they were just an integral part of the life of the community of Perth, and among their most intimate circle of friends they were affectionately known as "Prinnie" and "Josephine." Their position in Perth certainly was a unique one, and since they left it, their places have never really been filled. Young and old, rich and poor of their day, still have the happiest memories of Mr. and Mrs. Prinsep, their charming home and their wonderfully attractive personalities.

Mr. and Mrs. Prinsep were stay-at-home folk, but they made some visits to England. After Mr. Prinsep's retirement from the Government service, they decided to return to Busselton and spend their declining years there. They built Little Holland House, which was their home until they died; Mr. Prinsep preceding his wife several years ago. Little Holland House was a replica of a house of that ilk in Kensington, London, where Mr. Prinsep was brought up by Mr. Thoby Prinsep, his uncle, who was president of the East India Company.

Mrs. Prinsep was 80 years of age and she was the half-sister of Mrs. Francis Cookworthy, who passed away at Sandilands, Busselton, a short time ago. She leaves three daughters (Mrs. P. S. Brockman, Miss Emily Prinsep and Mrs. T. H. Reynolds), to whom sympathy goes out from all parts of the State. The funeral took place in the quiet little cemetery at Busselton, where she was laid to rest beside her husband, and where so many members of her family have found their last earthly resting place. So has passed on another of the brave little army of pioneer Western Australians and truly may it be said of her she was greatly loved by all who knew her.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Charlotte Josephine Prinsep

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Prinsep, Charlotte Josephine (1849–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Bussell, Charlotte Josephine

30 August, 1849
Busselton, Western Australia, Australia


24 December, 1929 (aged 80)
Busselton, Western Australia, Australia

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