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THE LATE LORD SEAFIELD

('North Otaijo Timea. l! ) There is something that is truly pathetic, if not tragical, m the recent history of the ancient and noble house of the Grants of Clan Grant, m Scotland. It happens, too, that we m this particular and far away portion of the Queen's dominions have been m intimate touch with this history, owing to the fact that the latest head of the house has for many years been familiar as a fellow colonist to the people of Oamaru and North Otago. The " sense of tears m mortal things " has, however, not always been a characteristic of the history of the Grants, for many centuries — six or seven at least — the family has been noted for the robustness of its physical rigor and the sinewiness of its mental power. The still existing emieence of the house testifies to the pervasiveness of those traits, for without them the Grants of Grant would not occupy, as they do to-day, a leading position among the aristocracy of Great Britain, nor be owners of one of the i princeliest estates m the Highlands of Scotland. The family, too, has long exhibited those humanities whose effect is to keep the most privileged m friendly touch with the humblest. It is going on for three centuries since Taylor, the Water Poet, made his celebrated tour through Scotland, and the grace and graciousness of the patriarchal family life at Castle Grant are spoken of by him with particular emphasis; and quite recently, yet before the days of aggressive agrarian demands, the Chief of the Clan was amongst the very first of British landlords to attempt compre hensively to adjust the rents of tenant farmers to the conditions of the times. That such traits are still paramount m the family we have had evidence at our own doors m the character and local career of Francis William, 29 th Chief of Clan Grant and 10th Earl of Seafield, who, we regret to say, died at his residence, Humber street, Oamaru, about the hour of noon yesterday, His uncle, the seventh Earl, died m February, 1881, his cousin the eighth Earl, m March, 1884, and his own father, the ninth Earl, on the sth of June of the present year ; and now he himself, within ei'x months after his accession to the family honors, and m the 42nd year of his age, has passed into the silent land. Such a succession ot deaths would be sad m any case, buc m a family of noble historic associations, and endowed m an eminent degree with the power and the will to exercise humanising influences, it iB more than ordinarily touching and lamentable. 'J he nobleman who has just died was m the navy m his earlier years. While still quite a young man he came to New Zealand, and he spent a considerable sum of money m the purchase and management of a larm m this district, a few miles out of Oamaru. He did not succeed, however ; nor need that be wondered at, for the qualities — fine and noble as they may be — inherited through many generations of gentlemen are not the qualities most likely to enable a man to make money, or even to keep ifc while m business, m a matter of fact colonial community. However, though the late Earl lost his money, he never parted company with his high character as a gentleman ; and it was with manly cheerfulness that he did whatever rough and ready work came to his hand. As regarded himself he tried to make the best of things, and did his best for those from whom he undertook any duty. When on the death of his cousin m 1884 he became Viscount Reid haven the news of the event found him at work m the country, and, like a man of true spirit, he finished the job m band before turning to the enjoyment of his new circumstances. Ever since he has lived at leisure here, and m great simplicity, never shunning old friends nor seeking those new ones who-— through his changed circumstances — might bo willing enough to seek him. tie has 4ons much good m a quiet way, and he will be * s sincerely lamented by true hearts here as ha would have been by his own loyal clansmen of Strathspey and Glen Urquhart had his death occured among them. It may be mentioned that Lord Seafield, when Lord Eeidhaven, stood twice for the representation of Oamaru m the New Zealand Parliament, and that, though not elected, he ran his opponents, both, old local politicians, very close on the polling days, Had he lived, and tried again for the honor, his character with the people of Oamaru would without doubt have assured his success. Lord ISeafield leaveß a family behind him, he haying married m 16/4 his cousin Ann Trevor Corry only daughter of our fellow colonist, the venerable Major Evans. Seven children have been born of the tnar jriage ? and the eldest, James, now a boy of twelve, becomes 80th Chief of Clan Grant and J lth Earl of Seafield. A great career lies before him, and m order to comply with its conditions he will, no doubt, ere long have to leave Oamaru, his native place ; but he will carry with him even from here something greater still m the memory and example of his father, who, like C»sar and every true man, pioved himself nobly equal to either fortune ; the bitterest struggles of personal ill success never demeaned his high character, and when better timeß came — like another notable nobleman of similar experiences, Lord Clifford of Brougham CastleHe did not change, but Jiept m lofty place The wisdom which adversity hu4 bred. An example like this is m itself a high inheritance, and the thought that such was the conduct, and such the character of the dead, cannot be without consolation to the living — to the widow and the fatherless— even m the day of their bitter bereavement. The people of Qamaru at any rate will truly wish that tjaat *a,d gyery other alleviating influence moy now i?e t wis, »pd remain with, the Countess of &oftfis4 f°s j}?? family m tbejr deep affliction^ "'__ '

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18881206.2.21

Bibliographic details

THE LATE LORD SEAFIELD, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2006, 6 December 1888

Word Count
1,044

THE LATE LORD SEAFIELD Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2006, 6 December 1888

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