New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 252, 29 December 1847, Page 3
[From the Atlas, December 11.] The late Melancholy Catastrophe. — A gloom has been cast over society by one of the most melancholy and distressing accidents which it has ever come under oar province to have the painful office of recording. On Tuesday morning, the 7th instant, his Excellency the Governor and Lady Mary Fitz Roy were about to proceed in their carriage from Parramatta Government House to Sydney, to honor with their presence, it is said, the nuptials of two young friends. They were accompanied by Lieutenant Master, A. D. C, who sat on the box with Sir Charles, who was driving, and Mr. George Fitz Roy in a gig which left immediately afterwards. The horses, which were exceedingly fresh, were led for two or three yards by grooms, who did not let go until told by Sir Charles to do so. Immediately the horses dashed down the road leading from Government House at a quick pace, which was soon increased to such a frightful degree, that it became evident that the horses had become I uncontrollable, and had in fact run away. j Upon reaching the oak avenue at the bridge' near the Domain gate, the horses still maintaining their furious pace, caused the carriage to strike with such violence against one of the trees, that those who were in it were precipitated from it to the ground with fearful force, and the carriage itself shattered. The leading horses broke away, and rushing through the Domain gate down George-street, dashed against the shop window of Mr. Rowling, Chemist and Druggist, at the corner of Church and George-streets, where they broke gome panes of glass, and one of them left deep marks of his teeth in the woodwork of the window. Here, howerer, they were secured. Immediately upon the occurrence of the unfortunate accident, Mr. Joseph Walford, who witnessed the most of the transaction, hastened to the spot, and rendered all the assistance in his power to the sufferers. His Excellency escaped with a slight bruise on his knee, but Lady Mary and Mr. Master were injured in the most shocking manner. Blood flowed profusely from her ladyship's mouth, ears, and nose, and notwithstanding the
prompt attendance of Drs. Hill and Clarke, she did not survive the accident many minutes. The injuries which Mr. Master received were also of so serious a nature that his life was despaired of. The scene of misery that ensued was of the most heart-rending description. The feelings of the husband, the son, and friends, may be better conceived than expressed. Let us dwell no longer upon this painful, this harrowing picture. Assistance was promptly obtained, and the sufferers were conveyed to Government House. His Excellency, from the nature of his injury, and still more on account of his agonised state of mind, had to be conveyed in a chair. Lieutenant Master lingered till the evening, when death terminated his sufferings. An inquest was held upon the body of Lady Mary on the same afternoon, when a verdict was returned to the following effect j — "Lady Mary Fitz Roy came to her death in consequence of having been accidentally thrown from her carriage." On Wednesday an inquest was held upon the body of the deceased MrJ??Rf aster, and a similar verdict was returned. We understand that with the exception of the lacerated state of his feelings, his Excellency is as well as, considering everything, could possibly be anticipated. The deceased Lady was the daughter of the late Duke of Richmond and sister to the present Duke, and was about fifty-seven years of age, at the time of her death. If any circumstance is calculated to alleviate the poignant distress of the relatives of those who have come to so sad and untimely an end, it must be the knowledge that their distress is deeply sympathised with by persons of all classes. As soon as the unfortunate occurrence was made known every shop in Panamatta was closed. In Sydney the flags were hoisted half mast high on board of all, the shipping, and the bells of St. James's and St. Maiy's tolled for the dead. On Wednesday all the shops were partially shut, and on Thursday there was almost a total cessation of business. In the bosoms of all persons grief has found a home. Such universal sympathy is not excited by the rank or the situation which the deceased held. The tears of compassion which have fallen are the tribute to her virtues. Short as is the period she has been with us she has endeared herself to all classes by her courtesy and unaffected beha- i viour, and by her kindness and charity. Such virtues although they cm receive no addition from rank, yet reflect the highest lustre upon it. We can ill spare one who was so well qualified by her rank, education, and disposition to give a superior tone to our female society. As the funeral was announced to take place at one o'clock upon Thursday, great numbers of people repaired to Parramatta by every possible conveyance. At an early hour the bells of St. John's Church began to toll, and numbers of people flocked to Government House to witness the obsequies. The procession formed at Government House and proceeded thence to St. John's Church in the following order : — The Rev. H. Bobart, M.A., Rev. J. Vincent, Rev. Jamts Walker, M.A. : Rev. C. P. N. Wilton, M.A. ; Rev. J. Troughton ; Rev. W. H. Walsh ; Rev. J. K. Walpole : Rev. Dr. Steele ; Rev. Thomas Bodenham : Rev. Thomas Horton ; Rev. P. P. Agnew ; and Rev. G. E. Turner.
Mr. James Byrnes, Conducting the Funeral. 1 < r a 's < » © ,q» pj Lieutenant q q Lieutenants ° P* ' De Winton. q |jj Gall, |t,£ S | S'S w-3w -3 f« & « § S?1 O'Reilly. 2| •go EUiott, « > 5 H « S f 8 § I 8 1 •2 Johnson. S o ■ Lieutenant | So 1 *- 3 ** W H « s Soldiers. "8 s ■& q s PQ o tsj pq Its s I * -- 2 a « •o S S S "=< « q s « » First mourning coach, conveying Mr. George Fitzßoy, Lieut. Robert Chester Master, the Honorable the Colonial Treasarer, and the Inspector General of Hospitals. Second mourning coach, conveying Capt. Jenner, Brigade Major ; the Attorney General; Mr. H. Macarthar, M. C. : ' and <Mr. Icely, M. C. Carriage, conveying Capt. M. C. O'Connell, M.C.; Captain W. Bligh O'Connell ; Mr. Charles O'Connell, and Adjutant M'Lerie, Mounted Police,
Carriage, conveying His Honor the Chief Justice, His Honor Mr. Justice Therry, andthe Speaker. Carriage, conveying D. C£ G. Hamsay and Lieutenant-Colonel Despard. K.C.B. The late Lady Maty Fitzltoy's private, carriage. His Excellency's private carriage* Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, commanding R.E. ; Captain Armstrong, H.M. 99th Regiment ; Brevet-Major Reed, H. M. 99th Regiment Capt. Pratt, Paymaster HaM, 99th Regiment ; Quarter-Master M'Donald, H.M. 99th Regiment : D.A.C.G. Swan ; A.C.G. Owen; D. A. C. G. Walker ; Mr. Walker, Commissariat ; Mr. Richard Rogers, Mr. Wilkinson, and Dr. Padley— walking. Carriage, conveying Major Nicholson, Mounted Police : Captain Day, 99th Regt,, and Major Last, 99th Regiment. Mr. H. H. Macarthur's carriage. Mourners walking six abreast, in number" about eight hundred. Children of the Female and Roman Catholie Orphan Schools). , ■ The Mounted Police. The procession proceeded along the Bo* main, down George Street, and thence along Church Street to St. John's Church, where it was met by the Churchwardens. The Rev. Messrs Vincent and Bobart read the service appointed for the solemnity. Mr. Master's coffin was borne into the church by soldiers ; on the coffin rested his hat and sword. The pall-bearers of Lady Mary's coffin were — The Chief Justice Mr. Justice Therry D. C. G. Ramsay Mr. Icely The Sheriff Colonel Despard Mr. Fitzßoy and Lieut. R. Master followed as chief, and Dr. Dawson, Mr. Riddell, Captain Jenner, the Attorney General, Cap ( t# O'Connell, Captain W. B. O'Connell, Mr. Macarthur, Mr. Icely, Mr. C. O'Connell, and Adjutant M'Lerie, as the other mourners. The service was then read by the Rev« Messrs. Vincent and Bobart. The church was densely crowded* The galleries were principally filled with ladies, all of whom were more or less 1 in mourning. At the conclusion of the service in the church, the procession proceeded to the burial ground, and the bodies were placed in the vault ; the concluding portion of the solemn ceremony was then performed. The coffin of Lady Mary Fitzßoy was covered with black velvet, with .plain black,furnitur — that of Lieutenant Master with black cloth and gilt furniture. The former bad on it the following inscription :: — > TO THE MEMORY OF LADY MARY FITZ ROY, OBIIT 7TH DECEMBER, 1847, jETAT 57 YEARS. The latter, the subjoined !—-CHARLES CHESTER MASTEIt, DEPARTED THIS LIFE 7TH DECEMBER, 1847, AGED 27 YEARS. We may safely say that Parramatta was never visited by so many people before at one time, as had congregated together on this mournful occasion ; there must have been at least 4000 persons present at the funeral.