MARGARET JUSTINA THOMSON
|Burial register ID:||5512|
|Cause of death:||Unknown|
|Date of death:||27-Nov-1889|
|Date of burial:||29-Nov-1889|
On the larger monument:-
IN MEMORY OF
On the smaller monument:-
Margaret Justina Thomson(1813 – 1889)
Margaret Justina Thomson was the oldest of six daughters of John Pratt, a gunsmith in Edinburgh.
When William’s work took him to India in 1844, Margaret followed soon after, leaving their two children with her sister, Anna.
Three more children were born in Calcutta – James, George and Elizabeth. India was considered too hot to bring up European children, so in 1853 Margaret, being pregnant again, returned to Edinburgh with the three India born children. There she gave birth to another son, also called William.
By 1863, her husband William, had built up substantial wealth and decided to leave his Indian enterprises for others to manage. She and William returned to Britain.
The family, all together again, lived in a comfortable country house, “The Cedars”, set in wooded parkland, at Enfield, Middlesex – a pleasant rural area out of London. In 1865 they moved to a very large house, “Bush Hill House”, at Edmonton, a little closer to London. The Thomsons were part of a new class of wealthy merchants, living in comfort. Margaret even held a ball at the house.
Then came a downturn in William’s business and he lost most of his capital paying off his workers.
In looking for a way of recovering his wealth William hoped to sell farm machinery in Southland, New Zealand. So he and his family set out for New Zealand with farm machinery on board the sailing ship “Maria” in December 1867. As well as William and Margaret and their children James(21), George(19), Bessie(17) and William(14), Margaret’s three young nieces, Margaret, Matilda and Elizabeth Pratt. who had recently been left fatherless by the death of her brother, went with them. Her sister Ana also started with them but after losing courage while they anchored near Greenock stayed behind
After 97 days at sea the Thomson family walked onto New Zealand soil at Bluff on 25 March 1868. Unfortunately the demand for farm machinery was no longer evident and it was sent to Dunedin and there was no realised profit. The family ended up working living and working on a 300 acre farm called “Ferndale” at Mabel Bush 15 miles from Invercargill.. During this period Margaret was knocked down by a cow and was made permanently lame, so was mainly confined to a wheelchair.
After two years the family moved to Dunedin where William set up a business, Thomson, Fox & Co. but they never became wealthy again.
Towards the end of her life Margaret suffered from a series of strokes and became confined to her bed. Even so she was the grande dame of the family, an aristocratic invalid. Her sons, George and James, read for her and played music. In October 1889 Margaret suffered another apoplectic stroke and became unconscious. After another four days she died.
Galbreath, Ross. “Scholars and Gentlemen Both, G M and Allan Thomson in New Zealand
|Surname||First names||Age||Date of death||Date of burial|
|STRANG||MARGARET STEVEN||32 Years||03-May-1906||05-May-1906|
|THOMSON||ELIZABETH ANNA||22 Years||26-Oct-1909||28-Oct-1909|
|THOMSON||ELLEN HARRIETT||37 Years||04-Aug-1918||07-Aug-1918|
|THOMSON||ETHEL MARGARET||16 Months||10-Jun-1890||13-Jun-1890|
|THOMSON||FLORENCE JANE||10 Months||29-Jul-1886||31-Jul-1886|
|THOMSON||GEORGE MALCOLM||84 Years||25-Aug-1933||28-Aug-1933|
|THOMSON||MARGARET JUSTINA||76 Years||27-Nov-1889||29-Nov-1889|