A Scarlett Letter March 1987 1
A SCARLETT LETTER
Conducted by Erro l Lea-Scarlett, P .O. Bo x 150, Northbridge 2063
EDQUIST (née Scarlett). 28 August 1986, at Royal Canberra Hospital, to Philippa, wife of Andrew, a
daughter, Eugénie Scarlett. (Seco nd grand-daughter of Joyce Scarlett, McMahon‟s Point).
DONATIONS have been received from Murray Hyland ($20), Dorothty Scarlett, Gulgo ng ($8),
Annabel Croker ($5), Elaine Peterso n ($5), Cheryl Scarlett, Brisbane ($5).
NEWS OF THE FAMILY -
Joyce Dalley-Scarlett, after several falls in recent years, finally disposed of her home in Brisbane and
has moved into a retirement v illage. She reports that she has settled in well and enjoys the fam ily
atmosphere of the place. At Scarborough, on the other side of Brisbane, Mabel Macdonald is still living
quietly in her retirement with plenty of birds in the trees about her home to prov ide her with a daily
Charles Wilkin, eldest so n of Frederick and Henrietta (Scarlet t) is also in retirement, at P ittwood
Hostel, Ashfield. His niece, Elaine Peterson, took her collection of back issues of A Scarlett Letter to
him for Christmas reading.
Donald Macdonald, son of Mabel, mentioned above, has changed his Melbourne residence from Glen
Iris to Canterbury.
Philip Yorke Scarlett returned to Australia with his wife, Gail, a few days before Christmas, having
gained the F.R.C.S. during his years in England. He has now jo ined the staff of Royal Newcastle
Dorothy Scarlett, of Gulgong, daughter of John (1869-1958), wrote at Christmas, enclosing some fine
views of her beautiful home, Bruendah , where she lives with her brother, Georg e. (Muriel Wisbey,
their sister, lives not far away). Bruendah is a large and spacious brick home, built in 1900 in the best
Australian colo nial style, with tall chimneys, wide and shady verandahs – and no mod. cons! It was
bought by Jo hn and Lucy Scarlett in 1922 and has been the home of the family ever since. Now
declared a Heritage Home, it is woven into the historic fabric of a very historic town (Gulgong, as all
should know, is the town on the $10 note) but, as Dorothy says, living in a Heritage Home imposes
restrictio ns on the owner‟s ability to make even m inor chan ges in the interests of modernisation.
The house is surrounded by large grounds in which Dorothy has established a private park,
separate from the enclosed garden immediately adjacent to the house. The park, in which exotics
predominate, proved to be a great worry during a recent drought when use of garden hoses was
forbidden. By dint of carrying water in buckets, however, Doro thy managed to save all but two trees
and she is now rewarded for her efforts in the luxuriant green of lawns and trees surrounding her
A Scarlett Letter March 1987 2
Barbara Scarlett Allen, of Aurora, Ohio, whose visit was mentioned in the last issue, wrote just before
taking off again, for a Christmas trip to Antarctica. From what was reported of the American winter
recently, it may be that Barbara chose a warmer climate for her latest tour. E nclo sed with a letter
brimm ing over with news was a pro spectus – a very glossy o ne – for Scarlett P lace, a fourteen-storey
development of residences and offices currently under construction in Baltimore. I t occupies the site of
the old William G. Scarlett Seed Co. property, established in 1880 by Barbara‟s grandfather – hence the
name – and is somewhat rem iniscent in its advertizing of the present Darling Harbour redevelopment
in Sydney. „Scarlett Place‟, claim s the brochure, „is a $35 millio n, one-of-a-kind “urban village” situated
at Pratt Street between Jo nes Falls and the new President Street boulevard extension of I -83. As the
newest addition to the I nner Harbor scene, Scarlett Place is a str ikingly beautiful architectural
accomplishment. It maintains a link with the past by incorporating elements of the historical Scarlett
Seed Company warehouse. … Scarlett Place offers you a broad range of exciting choices among 143
exclusive luxury condominium homes – and an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy the urban lifestyle
of the future!‟
Barbara‟s plane trip from Sydney to San Francisco was, she reports, „absolutely painless. Out of
Sydney there were two hundred empty seats and I had a tier of three seats all to myself all the way to
San Francisco, so I could lie down.‟ After a short stay with her son, Peter, she set off for home via
Chicago where a delay in changing combined with the three-hours time change to make it 11 p.m.
when she reached home. The next day, the dog and three cats who complete the househo ld were
brought back from their boarding accommodation – a fam iliar theme of love for animals, which we
have mentioned often in this newsletter. Tho se pets are Blo ssom, a border Collie; Peace, a p edigreed
Burmese; Money, a stray adopted in a near-dead state, and a small striped female cat (name unknown)
also adopted as a stray and boasting an extra toe o n each of her front paws.
Another birth – On her return to the U.S.A., Barbara learnt of the birth during her absence of a son to
Rev. George Scarlett and his wife, Shirley. He was born o n 24 October and has been
named William Robert Scarlett, his seco nd name ho nouring the memory of Robert Perkins who se
tragic death was mentio ned in the last newsletter.
Scarletts in New Zealand – Beverley Morling‟s researches revealed the presence of numbers of
descendants of the U lster fam ily in New Zealand, and details o f these have been briefly recorded
earlier. Barbara Scarlett Allen accidentally discovered another of the name while she was in
Christchurch during her Pacific tour, and we hope to ascertain more about his background during the
year. Ronald Jack Scarlett, whom she met at the Canterbury Museum, is the foremost authority in the
Dominion on the extinct moa and holds in the museum the post of Research Associate in Av ian
Osteo logy. Mr Scarlett was born at Stoke, near Nelson, on 22 March 1911, son of Walter Andre w
Scarlett and Lilian Elsie (née Creswell) and he had three bro thers and four sisters. He studied
philo sophy and socio logy at Otago University and has been o n the staff of the Canterbury Museum
Murray Hyland writes from Araluen with news that all is well. He and his wife, Marjory, are due to
celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on 13 March; they will have the best and warmest wishes
of many members of the fam ily who have enjoyed their ho spitality at Condry and who were delighted
to see them in Sydney at the reunion in 1982. Noting the comment about the pronunciation of the
name in America, Murray suggests that we might consider renam ing this little publication A Scarletter.
A Scarlett Letter March 1987 3
Cecil Lang. – The mentio n of Cecil‟s death at Castlepoles evoked some memories for Murray Hyland.
„My cousin, Fred Hyland, met him‟, he writes, „when he and his wife went to County
Cavan in 1967. Cecil Lang met them and accompanied Fred to Condry where he met George Kells and
his wife, Muriel. Fred mentio ned that Cecil was then aged forty-seven and a small, shy man who
farmed forty acres at Castlepoles and milked fourteen cows‟. P hilip Yorke Scarlett, through whom the
death of Cecil became known in Australia, has added a little to the story. Cecil had a man who worked
for or with him at Castlepo les and the farm apparently co ntinues in his care. When Philip enquired the
way to Castlepoles at an hotel where he stopped for a meal, the landlord and his wife were so distressed
at having to tell him the Cecil had died that they provided him with the best and cheapest meal served
that day in Ireland.
Some „other‟ Scarletts in Australia . – From time to time we have mentio ned fam ilies of the name, not
descended from the Ulster group, who have settled in Australia
and we have had a few readers from outside our immediate circle for some years. One recent addition
to that group is Mrs Florence Ewings, of Redland Bay, Queensland, who has a theory that her
grandfather, Henry Scarlett, may have been related to David Scarlett who founded the very numerous
family belo nging in the Monaro district of New South Wales. Mrs Ewings came to Australia in 1924 at
the age of three with her English parents, James and Ada (née Ley) Scarlett, and brothers John and
William G. Her grandfather, Henry, was a Middlesex shoemaker, married to Charlotte Spenser by
whom he had nine children.
The editor can add a little to this story from notes that he made in 1956 when he v isited Mrs
Ewings‟s parents at their home, Rosev ille View, French‟s Forest. Mrs Ada Scarlett was then advanced
in years and at times a little co nfused about which relatives were her own, as distinct from her
husband‟s, but what she then said was that the earliest kno wn ancestor of her husband was a boot
manufacturer at Cranford, Middlesex, who later set up as a leather importer in Northampton and died
at the age of seventy-two. He had two sons: Ebenezer, who lived in Oxford with his wife and family,
and Henry, who lived to the age of eighty-six. This Henry is the same as mentioned by Mrs Ewings but
Mrs Ada Scarlett recalled his wife‟s name as Lo ttie Spencer Joseph. The four so ns of Henry and Lottie
known to Mrs Ada Scarlett were –
1 George, of Acton, Middlesex (died 1954), who married Lilian Shepherd and had one daughter,
2 William, who died at Cranford in 1954; married Rhoda Kent and had three daughters, Joyce,
Dorothy and Marjory.
3 Joseph, who married a lady named „Lul‟. They were both still living at Cranford in 1956 and
had two so ns, o ne named William.
4 James, of French‟s Forest, Sydney, who married Ada Ley. They had three children, as ment-
ioned by Mrs Ewings –
a John James (died 24 August 1985), married Margaret Australia (Do llie)
Rennie and had issue – Jo hn, David, Kevin, Lea (died 1951), Gwendy
b William, married Norah Crem in and has a daughter, Susan.
c Florence Miriam – Mrs Ewings, already mentio ned.
The co incidence of a child in this family being named Lea attracted attentio n when her death was
advertised in the newspaper only about a week after the death of the editor‟s father. It appeared,
however, that the poor little baby was a spactic and the doctor adv ised the parents to choose for her a
simple name which she might be able to pronounce. For this reason they selected the simple
monosyllable, but the baby did not live lo ng enough to attempt to speak.
A Scarlett Letter March 1987 4
Miss Cheryl Scarlett, of Brisbane, belongs to the Monaro district fam ily and it was through her that
Mrs Ewings was put in touch with us. David Scarlett, who se seventeen children
were listed in our newsletter in December 1981, must account for mo st people of the name in New
South Wales today. The fo llo wing obituary, from The Manaro Mercury , Friday 6 July 1906, may
therefore be of general interest:
As announced in last issue, the funeral of the late Mr Dav id Scarlett, of Oakvale, Berridale,
took place at the Gegedzerick Cemetery on Wednesday last. The remains left the residence at
10.30 a.m. and arrived at the Gegedzerick Cemetery at noon, where they were interred in the C. of
E. portion of that cemetery. The funeral was exceptio nally large and representative, being followed
by residents of all parts of the Manaro District to pay their last respect to the memory of the
deceased gentleman, who was most popular amongst all residents of the community owing to his
honourable and straightforward character.
The Rev . W. Cowan officiated at the grave, assisted by Mr Woodger, and made special
reference to the excellent qualities of the deceased.
Mr Scarlett was born in the City of Londo n and was a bricklayer by trade. He came to
Australia when he was 19 years of age and landed in Melbourne, where he remained for some
time. He then went into partnership with Mr Charles Po tter, now of Jo nes‟ Plain, Murrumbucca,
Cooma, and both went to Deniliquin where they built several houses. They they came to Cooma
having joined Mr J.J. Mawson at Deniliquin, and the three went to K iandra to the gold rush and
stayed there for some considerable time, returning to Cooma in December 1860. They had their
Xmas dinner in a tent on a spot of land now occupied and built upo n by Mr Thomas Hain, of the
Royal Stores, Cooma. The first job they had was to plaster the Royal Hotel, now occupied by Mrs
E.M. Pooley, and other work. After being in partnership for 10 years the firm was dissolved and
Mr Scarlett went to Kiah Lake, Berridale, and after being there for a few years returned to Cooma,
where he resided until 1874, and during the partnership built the Church of England, Cooma
District Ho spital, and many other important buildings. Deceased then went to Dalgety and
remained there three years, building the Court House and Horse and Jockey Club Hotel. He built
nearly all the principal statio n homesteads in Western Manaro, the Berridale Post Office, Berridale
Hotel, and the two stores now occupied by Mr T.J. O‟Brien and G. Mackay. The most important
homesteads built by deceased were tho se at K iah Lodge, Gegedzerick, and K iah Lake. Mr Potter
was in partnership with deceased for 14 years and Mr Mawson for 10 years.
Mr Scarlett selected land at Oakvale, Berridale, about 29 years ago, and carried out graz ing
pursuits, also contracting work up till recently. The deceased leaves a wido w aged 58, seven sons
and nine daughters. The sons are Messrs George Scarlett, Berridale; Henry Scarlett, Delegate; E.
Scarlett, Cooma; Arthur Scarlett, Delegate; S.T. Scarlett, Berridale; W.R. Scarlett, Berridale; and
Fred Scarlett, Berridale; and the daughters Mrs Douglass, Cooma; Mrs F.J. Co llman, Lindfield,
Sydney; Mrs T. Brackley, Sydney; Miss Ada Scarlett, Newtown; Miss D. Scarlett, Parramatta; Miss
E.M. Scarlett, Sydney; Miss E. Scarlett, Berridale; Miss G. Scarlett, Lindfield, Sydney; and Miss
E.M. Scarlett, Berridale, the youngest, whose age is 16 years.
The deceased leaves 29 grandchildren. Much sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives
and friends. Mr John Roddan, of Cooma, carried out the funeral arrangements.
Although the obituary does not mentio n it, Dav id Scarlett must have been a pugilist of some
attainment – a useful accomplishment in the places in which his early life moved. George Whiting
Crommelin, who was at Dangelo ng, Henry Wallace‟s statio n near Cooma, about 1866, mentions in his
recollections: „All the young men used to have great boxing matches. One Sunday I was boxing a man
named Dave Scarlett and in the m idst and best of it old Mr Wallace popped in on us and put a stop to
it. He gave us a great scolding‟.
A Scarlett Letter March 1987 5
THE SCARLETT “SAGA” - This is the title of a typescript of unknown provenance found among the
papers of the late Alan Scarlett. Although it records very little about any
Scarletts, it says much of the adventures of Mrs Dav id Scarlett and of pioneer life on the Monaro. –
… As revealed in the diary of Thomas Try, brother of Eliza Anne Scarlett (née Try).
Elizabeth Anne Aitchiso n wa s born and reared in the Tower of Londo n. Her father, Alexander
Aitchison, was a Warder of the Tower. He had been a Warrant Officer in a Highland Regiment and
had married a German girl.
When in her teens, Elizabeth sang in the chorus at Drury Lane, and it was there that she met her
future husband, Francis Try. They were married in the Chapel of the Tower in 1843 and lived in
Poland St. and Regent St. within the sound of Bow Bells and not far from Kensington Gardens.
They had six children. They were John A lexander Try born 8th May 1845. He died when only 18
months o ld. E liza Anne, born January 29th 1846, Thomas Richard 5th October, 1847, Elizabeth Mary
born September 2nd, 1849, John Francis born October 17th 1851 and Frances, born in Sydney April
Owing to ill health of the father, the fam ily left for Australia in 1853. Thomas Richard had his 5th
birthday while at sea, The family landed in Melbourne in December 1853 and proceeded to Ballarat
gold fields. They did no good there, so they journeyed overland to Sydney to look for employment.
Here the eldest children attended a school near where the Tivoli Theatre stands to -day. Not being able
to obtain suitable work in the city, the father accepted a job as a shepherd on a property o n Monaro –
then known as I sland Lake. This property is now known as Wambrook and it was here that the father
died and was buried, leav ing a widow and 6 young children. Eliza and Thomas took over the job of
shepherding and earned the family liv ing although they were only 8 and 9 years of age. Mrs Cassels,
the wife of the station manager, took a liking to the children and it was she who taught them to read
Elizabeth Anne Try then married Greek, Angelo Duvery, and shortly afterwards they moved to
live near Adam inaby, calling their new property Athens. On September 22nd 1862 Eliza Anne married
David Scarlett in Cooma. David was in the building trade with a partner named Mawso n and the firm
of Mawson and Scarlett built many of the early public buildings and commercial houses in the Monaro
district. Thomas Try worked for the firm and that is how E liza happened to meet her future husband.
Eliza and Dav id moved to a property near Berridale where they raised a fam ily of 17.
Thomas Try returned to Adaminaby where he married Amelia Jane Kelly in 1887. They had six
children, 4 boys and 2 girls. Elizabeth Mary Try married Samuel Kearney in 1868. He had an hotel in
Adaminaby but sold out and went to live in the Northern Rivers area.
Frances Try married George Blenman in 1874. John Francis Try married Mary Casey in 1879.
Angelo and Elizabeth Duvery had 4 daughters, Mary born in August 1857, Susannah born December
1859, Amy born October 1861 and Jessie born December 20th 1863, died March 1865. A few years
after Duvery‟s death, his widow married Thomas Locker. They had no fam ily. A peculiar thing about
Grandma Locker. All her husbands and she herself died in August.
Grandfather Try died 21 August 1855. Angelo Duvery died August 21st 1878. Thomas Locker died
21st August 1889. Elizabeth Ann Locker 20th August 1910. Also her son, John Frances Try, died
August 21st, 1887.
A Scarlett Letter March 1987 6
THE ORIGIN OF THE SCARLETTS. The fo llowing was written in December 1982 and sent to the
newsletter by Mae Guild Barrett, of Seattle. It has been laid aside
since then as it is o nly the preface to a rather elaborate pedigree of the Jamaican family which defies
the editor‟s imaginatio n when it comes to typing it or reproducing it by any other means that foo lscap
pages might contain it. Mae spent many years on fam ily research – we have mentioned her work many
times before – and this statement deserves respect:
The Scarletts were probably Celts, who se original home, before the dawn of history, was on the
north shore of the Black Sea. Here they remained during the Palæolithic period (last Ice Age), but this
great glacial period ended and the meso lithic period began with a sudden change of climate. It was
then that the Celts moved westward, following the Danube River looking for pasture lands and lands
for homes. They led civ ilisation in Europe for 7½ centuries and had settled in Switzerland, Belgium,
France, Aquitania (France), Spain, Denmark, England, Wales, Ireland and Brittany. They had settled in
Gaul (France) when they were conquered by Julius Caesar, ending their many years of power. Finally
the Teutonic tribes (Germans) swarmed southward from their homes near the Baltic Sea and
conquered the Roman Empire. Of these the Franks settled in the North of France, while the south of
France, including Aqitania, was held chiefly by the Celts.
Thus in 932 A.D. is found Bernard, Viscount of Carlat or E scarlat, Aquitaine, said to be the
forefather of our Scarletts. From him descended Richard, Gilbert and Raymond, joint Viscounts of
Carlat, who appear to have accompanied William the Conqueror, of Normandy, in 1066. From the first,
Richard, descended Hugh the Viscount (died before 1159), who had Hugh de Carlat, Count of Rhodez,
1199. In 1195 the Ho spitallers held lands in York, the gift o f Hugh Scarlett or Carlat, and at the same
time occur William Scarlet in Somerset and Kent, and Gilbert Scarlet in Middlesex.
This family thenceforth appears in various parts of E ngland. It bears the lion rampant of the
Viscounts of Carlat, Aquitaine, France. Hence the em inent Lord Chief Justice, James Scarlett, Lord
Abinger. The informatio n following pertains to the fam ily of Lord Chief Justice, James Scarlett, Lord
Abinger. There are many other distinguished Scarlett lines, also related and descending from the three
brothers, Richard, Gilbert and Raymond. After liv ing in E ngland for many centuries, the Scarlett
descendants removed to many other parts of the world, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica,
Australia etc., so that today it is difficult to trace the exact lineage of each Scarlett. However, if each
branch would trace its descent as far as po ssible, some common background could be found.
Apologies are due to Mae for the m isquitation of her informatio n (ac tually taken from an earlier,
far less complete piece of her research), in which it was claimed that she had said that Jo hn Scarlett,
son of Benjam in, of Eastbourne, had settled in Jamaica. Her later work established that Jo hn was the
only son of Benjamin who did not go to Jamaica. His brothers, Francis, Thomas, Nicho las and William
all spent some time in Jamaica, but returned to England. Thomas settled his Jamaican plantations o n his
son, William (who also inherited the estates on the island belong to his pirate uncle, Francis, who had
received one thousand acres on the Wagwater River). Francis, however, gave up both piracy and
planting and returned to Eastbourne to finish his days as an attorney. Nicho las, it appears, did not wait
for any grants of land, but after being attacked by Jamaican natives (or were they slaves?) decided that
England was far safer.
A Scarlett Letter August 1987 7
A SCARLETT LETTER
Conducted by Erro l Lea-Scarlett, P .O. Bo x 150, Northbridge 2063
Overdue credit -When our little family newsletter began publication exactly seven years ago in
August 1980 the masthead acknowledged the names of three operators. The two who
do the hard labour still functio n but in modesty they asked some years ago to have their names
withdrawn. Some readers may not realise that the management is a three-man operation, however, so
this anniversary provides the opportunity of paying tribute to –
Max Scarlett, who banks the money, addresses the envelopes, squeezes in the
newsletters and posts them;
David Scarlett, Max‟s so n, who arranges the production of the newsletter at rates
which, to say the least, require the family to find o nly the envelopes and postage
stamps. David is a partner in the Sydney legal firm , Hunt & Hunt, in which the
other partners have generously agreed to the use of the firm‟s printing equipment
for the productio n of our fam ily paper.
Without the work of Max and Dav id behind the scenes, we would probably not have the means of
sharing family information. We are all indebted to them.
ΨΫ ΨΫ Ψ Ϋ ΨΫ ΨΫ ΨΫ ΨΫ Ψ Ϋ
DONATIONS: Beverley Morling ($5), Sandra Roberts ($10).
HERITAGE HOUSE S: Sandra Roberts (grand-daughter of Henrietta Wilkin, youngest daughter of
George and Ann Scarlett) has moved with her husband, Max, into Heath House, Herberto n-avenue
Hunter‟s Hill. It is a fine co lonial co ttage, built in stone with ample verandahs in 1893 and it has been
classified as a Heritage Building. Sandra writes that she can understand Dorothy Scarlett‟s plight with
her lovely home at Gulgong (described in letter No.22) but after eighteen months spent in extension
and restoration of Heath House, Max and Sandra are at length liv ing „with o ld-fashio ned charm and
Thanks to Barbara Scarlett Allen, we have been prov ided with the November-December 1986 issue of
Southern Accents , a magazine published in Birmingham, Alabama, for those interested in the fine
Southern interiors and gardens of the United States. Needless, to say, it is a quality production, lavishly
furnished with co lour illustrations and carefully researched text. The feature home in this issue is
Whitehall, Baltimore, home of Charles Scarlett junr., great-grandson of Thomas Scarlett who se murder
by Fenians has been often mentioned. Whitehall, which represents the height of American colo nial
architecture, began its life in 1764 as a „small elegant lodge‟ of Horatio Sharpe, Governor of Maryland,
whose sense of smallness would surprise Australians. An uncertain career has left Whitehall with two
indubitable „firsts‟: the earliest modern water clo set in the New World, and the first house in private
hands to be designated a National Historic Landmark (1960). Charles Scarlett‟s part in saving the lovely
old mansion from raccoons in the basement, snakes in the attic and ivy over all is described: „A young
man fresh out of Princeton saw the languishing beauty and fell in love with it. He was reminded of a
similar house in Baltimore, which he had admired as a boy of nine. “I was go ing to buy the house when
I grew up”, he recalls. Instead, when he grew up, he bought Whitehall and sixty surrounding acres. In
the ensuing decades, he devoted him self to investigating Whitehall‟s history and restoring to perfection
the fantasy in brick and mortar that Horatio Sharpe built upon the garden acres of his peninsular
A Scarlett Letter August 1987 8
Barbara Scarlett Allen has provided enough research on the American branch of the family to keep us
in publication for years. More of that anon - and anon! When she visited Sydney briefly last year we
discovered that she is an incredibly energetic lady, interested in everyone and many subjects, almo st
constantly travelling and still fitting in time to cultivate the fam iliar family passion for cats. She has
been abroad a couple of times since her Australian visit and her next trip, set for October, is to E ngland
where she will spend a few days with Pamela and Norman Scarlett-Streatfeild at East Tytherto n, Wilts.
Pamela keeps a large store of fam ily records at The Field House and it is not hard to predict that mo st
of Barbara‟s v isit will be dedicated to Scarlett-talk.
How do you pronounce it? The mystery of why our American cousins pronounce the name with a
stress on the second syllable has been solved – by Barbara Allen again. They called them selves
originally as we still do, with a stress o n the first syllable, but when the telephone came into vogue
about a hundred years ago so many people failed to pick up the name at all over the line that the
frustrated Scarletts accommodated them by adopting a pronunciation that left little room for variation.
Those of us who endure being called Scanlon, Bartlett, Scahill and a good many other names will
Tony Fiddes sends news of his immediate family. His father, J im , who retured at an early age last year,
now leads a life of leisure while his mother, Pauline, keeps herself busy as an instructor with
Aquafitness – aided by residence clo se to Sydney‟s northern beaches. Brother Tim, who works for the
Bank of New Zealand, spent a couple of months recently trekking acro ss India and Nepal. Tony, now
well into his third year in the Faculty of Commerce at the University of New South Wales, also has
itchy feet which took him early this year to California, Mexico, Belize, Gua temala, and then back to
New Orleans and finally to New York. In Belize he found that „everyone speaks English as it used to be
British Honduras. Belize is just like a Caribbean Island stuck onto Central America. We thought
Mexicso was poor and couldn‟t believe it when people said Mexico was rich compared to the rest of
Central Am erica – but it was true. Belize city is a ram shackle town, built with wood and the houses are
all falling apart. The city is filled with con men trying to make a quick dollar – it took some getting
used to… Guatemala has to be one of the mo st pictureque countries in the world. We sat on top of a
Mayan temple at Tikal, looking out over endless jungle, listening to ho wling mo nkeys calling to each
other from m iles away. In the south we v isited a town on the edge of Lake Atitlan which is surrounded
by volcanoes. We also spent a couple of days in Antigua Guatemala which used to be the capital, an old
and very peaceful and beautiful colo nial city‟.
Those who stray less far from home include Murray Hyland and his wife, Marjorie, who were jo ined
by their family in March to celebrate their Golden Wedding. Murray writes: „Our daughter, Ruth
Gulso n, and her husband, Geoff, went to a great deal of trouble in organising a celebratio n in their
home at Goulburn, and the other members of our fam ily rallied around them and served a delightful
meal to the forty-odd people present. We were very proud of them . Our five offspring, their spouses,
fourteen of their fifteen children, my two sisters from Cairns and Melbourne, o ther relatives and the
“best man” of fifty years ago were among tho se present, really a wonderful reunion. To keep the
evening in harmony and the generation gap in low key, the big billiard room in a wing of the house
was set aside for the junior members, where they could indulge their own idea of music without
imposing it o n the more mature generatio n who preferred a good old -fashioned sing-song around a
piano. In all, it was a memorable occasio n. On Sunday morning we mustered about thirty worshippers
at the Go ldsmith Street Uniting Church where really it all began. When the first Chapel was built on
the site of the present fine church, my great-grandfather and great-grandmother were the first couple
to be married in it, in 1848. They were Henry Go ldsm ith and Sarah Ann Wallgate. The family had a
further association with Goulburn when their daughter, Ada Australia Goldsm ith, married in 1879
George Murray; they became my maternal grandparents. This marriage was so lemnised at Mona
Cottage according to the rites of the Presbyterian Church‟.
A Scarlett Letter August 1987 9
Brighto n Cemetery, Melbourne – The tireless Beverley Morling sends a record of all burials of Scarletts
in this large metropolitan cemetery. They include the editor‟s grandfather (Robert , 1924) -
Name Age Born Residence Date of death Cause Where buried Condition
1 Alice Verena 14.10.1971 Pres 11A J (ashes)
2 Albert Walker Leslie 79 Ascot Vale Kew 30.5.1968 C.of E.311 ZB invalid
3 Doris Annie 74 St Kilda Malvern 30.5.1968 C.of E.311 ZB
4 Alice Mary Anne 90 Fitzroy 9.5.1957 C.of E.2061 ZA spinster
5 Still bor n Richmond 18.1.1938 Public 167G
6 Lindsay Gordon 18 Malvern 24.10.1931 Accident Pres 11A J mechanic
7 William Rigby 58 Bendigo Brighton 21.1.1925 Stroke Pres 219 S butcher
8 Mary Anne 68 St Kilda 28.2.1925 C.of E. 9B
9 Robert 57 England S. Yarra 29.3.1924 Toxæmia C.of E. 756 ZB secretary
10 John Bradley 7 St Kilda 23.11.1923 C. of E.311 ZB
11 Emma Augusta 47 Richmond 24.6.1921 Coma C.of E.2061 ZA
12 Walter 59 Brighton 18.3.1918 Cardiac C.of E.62 D Vic Rail
13 Thomas Clifford 43 E. Melbourne 21.3.1917 Kidney C.of E.515 Z
14 Marg 46 Brighton 16.9.1908 Pres. 62 D wife
15 Elizabeth B. 3 mths. Elsternwick Elsternwick 31.1.1918 Diaorrhœa Pres 25 E
Missing Perso ns … The New South Wales Registrar -General lists the following marriages of Scarletts
whose later careers have no t yet been picked up by our dragnet:
Arthur Scarlett and Eliza Eggleso n 1854
Edward Scarlett and Margaret Finnigan 1853 (we traced this pair to New England where they
George Scarlett and Cecilia Shea 1855 (this was the detective who died in Sydney in the early
IN QUEST OF THOMAS SCARLETT
In letter No.17 we reproduced a letter of Mrs M.W. Hesketh-Williams of Lo ndon, written to
William Scarlett of Glasnevin in 1954 and found in his desk fo llowing his death nineteen years later.
Mrs Hesketh-Williams‟s report o n her v isit to Ireland has been found at Whitehall, Baltimore, and
Charles Scarlett junr. has made it available through Barbara Scarlett Allen. It makes interesting reading
as a novel and thorough piece of on-the-spot research by a lady who must rank with Miss Marple and
Jessica Fletcher as a talented fema le detective. It is dated simply 1954 but probably belongs to August,
the mo nth in which she wrote to William Scarlett. -
I arrived back last evening from Ireland after accomplishing the mo st difficult search I have ever
had to do. Contrary to usual methods when all research is carried out by means of documentary
evidence, and only such ev idence is considered authoritative, this search had to be done entirely by
traditio nal evidence and the memories of old Irishmen of 90 years of age. Added to this, I, a Protestant
and an Englishwoman, had to first of all try and make friends with these Irish people, and revive
memories which lie only under the surface and are as bitter now as they were both in 1845 -50 and in
1920. Had I been a man doing this search, I would no t have got one word out of them and I would
almost have suffered the same fate as poor Thomas Scarlett, who, however, did through foolish
indiscretio n deserve it.
I had to go over a radius of 35 miles in order to see various persons so that I could collect evidence
and patch it together into one whole. I was helped by Irishmen, by two Church of Ireland clergymen,
who to ld me what they knew in bated breath and refused to discuss the matter at all over t he phone,
and by the Ennis County Council at the Court House in Ennis. Travelling was extremely difficult as
A Scarlett Letter August 1987 10
few trains run o n these cross-country routes and buses are likewise almo st nil. County Clare is still
what it has always been – „Wild Clare‟ both in the character of the people and in the countryside.
As I have already to ld you, no records whatever exist. All Parish Registers, all Rate Books, all Wills
were kept at the Four Courts in Dublin, and the entire lo t were destroyed in 1920 when the Sinn
Feiners and the Loyal Irish fought and burned the building and the contents to the ground. That is the
reason that most people in my professio n will not touch an Irish pedigree, because they realise the
hopelessness of the task, and I must tell you what was told to me by the one or two Protestants and
Catholics whom I met there – that probably only a lady like myself who could work with great tact
and who could get „inside‟ the heart of the Irish would have accomplished what I have do ne. Before I
went over, a ll my real Irish friends to ld me that I was go ing to stir up a hornet‟s nest and I had beeter
be very careful. Fortunately I love Ireland and the Irish and my brother was a regular officer in an Irish
regiment, and these facts, coupled with making friends and sitting in the tiny thatched cabins and
talking about Ireland before I attempted to get my data, helped to open their hearts and to trust me.
Now for the tale.
Thomas SCARLETT was the son of a small tenant farmer in some other County than Clare; the
father may have lived in Dublin or more probably in County Kerry. These small farmers were very
poor people but any fam ily from which recruits were drawn for the Royal Irish Constabulary were
families of great integrity and had of course, rather more educat ion than the peasants. One day, when
he had reached the rank of a Sergeant in the R.I.C., he was sent with a couple of constables to arrest a
man at Lisdoonvarna about 6 m iles from E nnistymon and about 30 miles from Six Mile Bridge which
was at that time the H.Q. of the R.I.C. for that district. They found that Mass was on in the little
Catholic church and that their man was in the congregatio n, and instead of waiting until the Service
was over and he came out, they foolishly entered the church to take him priso ner. This was naturally
considered an act of sacrilege and the co ngregation turned o n the three po licemen and murdered them.
They were either shot or knifed or just bludgeoned over the head. They were no t po iso ned and nobody
in Ireland ever poisoned a nybody; it was just never done. Murder was always sudden and done on the
spur of the moment, and o ld-fashioned pisto ls or knives or stout sticks were the weapons.
The bodies of the three men were taken to Ennistymon, as probably that was the nearest
Protestant burying-ground, and they were buried in one grave just below the church which is now a
complete ruin, roofless with only the four walls standing. It is built on a hill and Catho lics and
Protestants are both buried there prom iscuously as is the custom in Ireland. There is no stone but I was
shown the spot by the ancient 85-year old caretaker. All you can see is a slight ho llow in the ground
where the grave has sunk in. The exact year of the murder is not known; it is just a m emory of 1845 -50
of one of the dreadful happenings of that time. But they one and all remembered that the Sergeant in
charge was Thomas SCARLETT of Six Mile Bridge.
At Six Mile Bridge, so named because is it 6 miles from Limerick by the old road, I found the
following graves and copied the monumental inscriptions. The churchyard is looked after by an old
Catholic named Bob Kelly who is just on 80 years o ld and knows all there is to know of the
SCARLETTS who once lived there. The first grave was that of William SCARLETT, a brother of
Thomas SCARLETT. He too was in the R.I.C. and old Bob Kelly told me a story about how he once
gave chase to a crim inal. They ran along the river bank and suddenly the man jumped into the river at
a place where there were quick-sands.. William SCARLETT jumped in after him and they fought there
in the river until the man was overcome. The fight was so dreadful that it is said that William went to
bed that same night with black hair and woke up in the morning with it turned white.
1 To the Memory of William SCARLETT who died at Six Mile Bridge o n 28 June 1881 and of Jane
his wife who died 3 April 1886. Also to their children, Anna who died 23 December 1860 and
Charles who died 15 April 1866.
2 To the Memory of Thomas SCARLETT who died in Dublin 31 April 1894 aged 53 years and was
brought to Six Mile Bridge for burial.
A Scarlett Letter August 1987 11
3 Jane SCARLETT who died April 1855 aged 8 years. This stone was erected by her Beloved
William SCARLETT bro ther of your great grandfather had 6 children. William Scarlett who bec ame a
doctor of Medicine. Charles SCARLETT who was „an Army Teacher‟ – in other words an instructor and
probably had no n-commissio ned rank of Sergeant or Sergeant-Major (not to be confused with
commissioned rank of Major-General). Thomas SCARLETT buried at Six Mile Bridge from Dublin.
Emma SCARLETT who became Post Mistress at Six Mile Bridge and eventually emigrated to Australia.
And Anna and Jane SCARLETT who se deaths are record above.
(To be continued)
What‟s on a Gate?
These two pho tographs of gates capture much fam ily history –
[Photograph of a gate bearing a sign, Condry]
Condry, Araluen, New South Wales, home of Murray Hyland. The name
perpetuates Condry, Co .Cavan, Ireland, home of the Elliotts for several
centuries (and still occupied by E lliott descendants). At the original
Condry lived E lizabeth (Mrs James Hyland) and Isabella (Mrs Robert
Scarlett), along with many other members of their fam ily. George Scarlett
spent his very early years at Condry in the care of an uncle before being
sent to Six Mile Bridge, where he lived in the fam ily of another uncle,
William Scarlett, until 1856.
[Photograph of double picket gates bearing the name
Whitehall, Baltimore, Md., home of Charles Scarlett junr. Barbara
Scarlett Allen took this photo early in 1987 and sent it to us along
with much other information, some of which, dealing with
Whitehall, appears in this letter.
A Scarlett Letter Christmas 1987 12
A SCARLETT LETTER
Conducted by Erro l Lea-Scarlett, P .O. Bo x 150, Northbridge 2063
DONATIONS RECEIVE D: Susan Lowe ($10), Loris Mitchell ($10), Marjorie F iddes ($5),
Ann Foster ($10), Linda McKay ($10).
Perhaps some who receive the Letter may not appreciate the work which goes towards its final
The support of the various Scarletts and other relatives who write to the editor
with research and information about fam ily happenings. These are things which
make the Letter more interesting.
The printing, which is done by Dav id Scarlett, a senior partner of Hun t & Hunt,
solicitors of Sydney, whose firm absorbs the cost of printing. For this rea son there
have been few requests for financial help.
The work of Max Scarlett, who prepares and po sts 65-70 copies of each issue. At
37¢ postage per issue (more, if it be heav ier) we are able to cover the cost out of
donatio ns and we are always therefore glad to have this help.
Alice Mabel Yorke Macdonald who died in Redcliffe Ho spital, Brisbane, o n 11 September 1987 was
one of the senior members of the fam ily and a strong supporter of this
little publication when it was little more than an idea. Born at Five Dock, Sydney, she was the sixth of
the eleven children of Jo hn William Walter Croker and his wife, I sabella (Scarlett). Her lifelong
powers of observatio n, coupled with a fine memory, enabled her to write for A Scarlett Letter a long
series of recollectio ns of her grandparents, George and Ann Scarlett, and her various aunts and uncles.
With her husband, Malcolm, who died several years ago, she travelled from Brisbane to Sydney for the
family reunion in 1982 at which took a part in the service of thanksgiving.
Her sister-in-law, Annabel Croker (who is also a Scarlett descendant in the Woodcraft line) had
stayed with Mabel for a few days just before her death and found her still well enough to provide
bright company and cook meals, although she said that she felt she was slowing up. She died without
the embarrassment of being helpless, a strong-minded, enterprising woman who had carved her own
career in early life but did not disdain in marriage to dedicate herself who leheartedly to the needs of
her husband and two sons.
One of her so ns, Roderick, read a short account of her life at the funeral serv ice. The other,
Donald, writes: „Recently I have sensed that she felt that her work here was done, and that her physical
frailties, after such a healthy life, were becoming increasingly onerous and frustrating for her. It was
such a blessing that she was spared a lengthy period of disability at the end.‟
Mabel will never be forgotten by tho se of us who knew her. While some copies of our fam ily
paper surv ive there will be others, too, to remember with gratitude the fine lady who conveyed to
others her sense of the adventure in the recording of fam ily history.
A Scarlett Letter Christmas 1987 13
IN QUEST OF THOMAS SCARLETT
(Continued from No.23)
Thomas Scarlett, the so n of William Scarlett, above, had a daughter, Miss Mary Scarlett, who lived
and died in Dublin and was said (with bated breath) to have been mixed up with the I.R.A. during the
Irish Rebellion. She sent money every year to the present postman, whom I saw, for the upkeep of her
father‟s grave. All the above graves were curtained in thick ivy and that of William had a large elder
tree growing around it. We had to tear all these down to get at the graves.
I could find out nothing as to the widow and children of Thomas Scarlett. No doubt after his tragic
death she took herself and her children away as soon as possible and eventually made for America. But
there is no t the smallest doubt that any co nnection with the Scarletts of Jamaica , from whom sprang
Lord Abinger, was abso lutely nil. A systematic search amongs Wills and Adm inistrations in P.C.C.
might divulge when and where these Scarletts came from in England to settle in Ireland, but they mo st
certainly did not come from Jamaica.
As you know, I went over to Ireland on Monday 12th and reached Ennistymon the fo llo wing July
afternoon. I had made arrangements to return to the following Monday, thinking that would give me
plenty of time to get around. But by Wednesday I realised that I would need at least ano ther two days
and phoned and wrote to the Agent at Rosslare Harbour to cancel my reservations and make fresh ones
for the 21st instead. I t was as well. Tuesday after I arrived I tried to contact the Rector of E nnistymon
(to whom you wrote two years ago), only to find that he was not on the phone and lived at Miltown
Malbay about 10 miles away with no bus or train. So I wrote straight off to him, sending him stamps
for reply or to phone me. I did not know then that he is just on 80 yea rs of age and lived without a car
about 2 miles from the nearest post office. I eventually heard from him the following Friday and went
to church at 11 o‟clock on Sunday in order to meet him as he said in his letter that he could not
possibly write or tell me over the pho ne what he had to say. Wednesday 14th I took the early train (2
little motor coaches) into Ennis 17 m iles away and v isited the Library who were said to be collecting
all kinds of stuff printed and MSS. but we found nothing. I had passed the Protestant church on my
way and so then walked on another 1½ m iles to try and find the Rector was away in Galway for 3
weeks and the Registers all locked up. So that was that. I walked back to the station 4 miles and just
caught my train back to here, the last in the day.
Thursday I went to Ennis again first thing. The day before on my way back to the statio n I had
noticed the Town Hall and had gone in to see if they had any Rate Books. They to ld me that those for
the rural areas were kept at the Court House at yet ano ther end of Ennis. So this Thursday I made my
way to the Court House and spent the morning searching for Rate Books. The only ones I saw were all
too late. I then went to the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages only to find that these be gan too
late. A lady in there heard what I wanted and said she lived at Six Mile Bridge, that there were Scarlett
graves there, that she had a car and would I like to go back with her. So back I went having bought a
piece of chocolate for lunch, there being no time to have any and no thing to be got at a tiny place like
S.M.B. She told me about Miss Mary Scarlett sending the money for the grave, and as her driver was
the son of the Postman who received the money, he took me up outside the village to see his Father. A
tiny little cottage and I sat with them and ate my choco late and two biscuits while they had their
dinner, and they told me all they knew. If I had been stupid and stand-offish I would have learnt
nothing. After they had finished the so n Jimm ie Corry and his Father took me back in the car to the
village and routed out old Bob Kelly and the keys and we went up to the churchyard and got the graves
clear of ivy etc. I then asked about the Parish Registers which were the one thing I now needed. Of
course the Rector, Canon Fergueson, lived about 10 m iles off and young Corrie offered to drive me
there and get me back to the statio n in time to catch the last train. I accepted his offer on condition
that it was a business arrangement as up to date I had be en hav ing free rides. So off we went and
having searched the enormous garden through we found the Rector at the end of it gardening with his
A Scarlett Letter Christmas 1987 14
wife. I had exactly 15 minutes before starting for my train, and discovered of course the usual thing.
The Registers of that date and earlier up to 1881 had all gone to Dublin and been burnt. This is typical
Irish research. So there was no thing for it but to get back again and hav ing told young Corrie that I
would probably be in Six Mile Bridge again on the fo llo wing M onday to take down the inscriptions on
the stones and in case Canon Ferguso n phoned me further.
By this tim e I had put an advertisement into the local County paper, a copy of which I have just
posted to you. Friday morning I went down to the town in Ennis tymon to try and see the great local
authority, Mr Joe Connole. A great fisherman and Clerk to the District Council, living in the usual
mud-floored cabin with his 8 dogs, his wife and his daughter. You have to see and do all this to know
just what it was like. It was so dark we could hardly see each other. Nancy Conno le the daughter had
been to the States and writes up the weekly paragraph about all the gossip of E nnistymo n. I made
friends with the fine o ld man, talked fishing (I was once a fisherwoman when my brother was alive),
shooting, to ld him how my bro ther was in the 1st Batt. Royal Munster Fusiliers and how he loved
Ireland and would be liv ing in Co. Clare if he were alive. After that we started off on Thomas Scarlett
and he told me the whole story of Lisdoonvarna as it still remains in the memories of the people. If you
can imagine an o ld Irishman in whom 1920 is still a bitter memory and the happenings of 1850 as clear,
sitting and digging all this out and telling it to an Englishwoman, a non-Catholic and one of the British
who „had shot and burned his brother in the sack of E nnistymon in 1920‟ you will realise what I was
up against. It was o nly my heaven-sent gift for which I have always been grateful and not conceited, of
getting „inside‟ people, that made it po ssible to get this old man and others to make friends and talk to
me and ask me at the end if I had not got Irish blood in me.
He gave me the name of a Mr Patrick (Pappy) Lynch, a butcher and the owner of one of the ho tels
at Lisdoonvarna whose great aunt had been arrested for her part in the murder of Thomas Scarlett, but
of course I was no t to mention this to Lynch. So that afternoo n I went over to see him , found a stout,
very dour man who couldn‟t look me in the face, saw me in the passage with about 5 men as witnesses
and would tell me nothing except that if I visited Mrs Burke alias Jane Molloney aged 85, the Caretaker
of the old graveyard, she would be able to show me where the grave was.
Saturday I again went in to Ennis to see if the Courthouse had any further documents and went all
through two old Rate Books lent me by Mr Joe Connole to see if I could find in 1853 or 1855 any more
Scarletts in Ennistymon or elsewhere. I went through these two tomes page by page but found nothing
(To be concluded)
Mary Scarlett, of Dublin. There is a touch of Sherlock Holmes in the story told by Mrs Hesketh-
William s, not least in the shadowy Mary, the Dublin-based lady who suppo sedly supported the I.R.A.
That part of the story is highly improbable, but the rest is true. In 1955 Mabel Macdonald, in quest of
history, visited Rev. Douglas Roberts, who had married K itty Woodcraft, grand-daughter of William
Scarlett of Sixm ilebridge, and was to ld by him that Thomas junr. had a daughter, Mary, who had
graduated M.A. from Dublin University and lectured there. Whether she was a lecturer we cannot say,
but she appears among the list of graduates in the Calendar of the Royal University of Ireland as M ary
E. Scarlett, B.A. 1889, M.A. 1892.
The Fiddes Clan. James Fiddes, the Wagga Wagga photographer, and his descendants are well known
to us, and Tony Fiddes regularly supplies news for this publicatio n. A new subscriber, Mrs Linda
McKay of Upper Beaconsfield, Vic., reveals, however, that there are more of the fam ily in Australia
than had been suppo sed. Mrs McKay was referred to the editor by Dr Patrick Fiddes, of Wangaratta,
and she has been put in touch with Tony who will be able to share with her the fruits of his work. It
appears that James had a bro ther, William Fiddes, who settled in Beechworth and had a family of ten
children. Mrs McKay descends from Richard and Annie Fiddes, also the parents of ten children, who
arrived in Australia in 1852 and spe nt their lives in northern Victoria.
A Scarlett Letter Christmas 1987 15
Joyce Dalley-Scarlett, who moved last year to a retirement village at Carindale, near Brisbane,
writes that she has been sick twice during 1987 and has just recovered from
bronchitis in time for Christmas.
Sandra Roberts recently celebrated a birthday which need no t be described chro nologically, although
the invitation to her party reproduced the newspaper notice of her arrival a few years
before. Her Hunter‟s Hill home which has been mentioned before here, formed the setting for a
gathering of relatives, including her cousin, Kathy Wilkin, who travelled from Bathurst for the
Beverley Morling continues to add to the vast registers of descendants of William Scarlett, of Mirboo
North. She has now also tracked do wn all the relatives of her husband, Max, using
the scientific method that she developed in her Scarlett research. She may be able to identify for us
some of the mystery Scarletts listed in the Commonwealth Public Service List at 30 June 1951 –
George Scarlett, Taxation, Victoria. Born 18.7.1933; appointed 17.3.1950. Junior Assistant
Patrick John Scarlett, Air, Central Staff. Born 8.12.1929; appointed 31.1.1951. Base-grade clerk
Reginald James Scarlett, P.M.G., Victoria. Born 22.8.1912; appointed 8.7.1927. Supervisor,
William George Scarlett, P .M.G., N.S.W. Born 4.7.1917; appointed 1.4.1949. Linesman, grade I.
New South Wales Post Office Commercial Directory 1900 -
SCARLETT George and David, builders, Berridale
David, Oakvale Station, Berridale
Eliza, confectioner, Gladsto ne St., Newto wn
George, stationmaster, Palace St., Petersham
Miss, dressmaker, 308 Point P iper Rd., Paddington
SCARLOTT Ernest, farmer, Dry Plain
G., Railway Hotel, Greta.
*+ *+*+*+*+*+*+ *+ *+ *+ *+ *+ *+ *+ *+*+*+*+*+*
[Manuscript page] 1 ST FLOOR AMP CENTRE
50 BRIDGE STREET
TELEPHONE 239 0711
24 Feb 88
P.S. I write this postscript to A Scarlett Letter No 24 to apologise for its tardy appearance which should be laid at my door not Errol’s.
I am sur e our best wishes and our prayers go out to Errol’s mother who is far from well.