The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Caroline Maria Tremlett

Caroline Maria Tremlett

A cabinet card portrait of Caroline Maria Tremlett. According to an inked inscription verso in a period hand she was born on 4 October 1793 and the photograph was taken on 8 June 1894, when she was 100 years old. She died two years later, aged 102.

She never married. The 1851 census records her as a ‘Governess,’ aged 57, visiting her unmarried sister Charlotte, a ‘Retired Governess,’ at Topsham in Devon. Also present was a third unmarried sister, Lucy, an ‘Annuitant.’

Caroline’s death was reported in the Western Times, a local newspaper in Devon (17 March 1896):

’Our obituary contains a notice of the death of a very old Exonian, Miss Caroline Maria Tremlett, who has just passed away, having attainted the wonderful old age of 103 years [sic]. She was the last existing grandchild of John Tremlett, Esq., merchant of this city, who died on January 12th, 1785. Her maternal grandfather was the Rev. George Osborne, Rector of Godmanstone, and Vicar of Broadpole, Dorset. In her younger days she was associated with the Whyte-Melvilles, one member of that family being the famous novelist Major Whyte-Melville, the author of the West Country novel, “Katerfelto.” Her intellect was clear to the last. She enjoyed the personal friendship and respect of the Bishop and his family, as well as the Vicar of her parish, and by her Christian resignation endeared herself to all. She will be interred in St David’s Churchyard on Friday, and it may be of some interest to know that she is the last surviving worshipped in the old Church of St David’s, and distinctly remembered the erection of the present one, the replacement of which is now being considered.’

According to the abstract of her will, she died on 16 March 1896, leaving effects valued at £76. At the time of her death, she was living at 7 Queen’s Terrace, Exeter. The 1891 census shows that she was boarding in the home of two sisters, Dorothy and Margaret Ayres.

Photographed by John Ross Browning of Exeter.


Code: 126509
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