Name/TitleCarte de visite [Edith Lush]
About this objectThis sepia-toned carte de visite pictures eight-year-old Margaret Edith Lush. On the reverse of the photograph is written “Margaret Edith Lush, [photograph] taken when 8 years old, born July 5 1859, entered into rest 22 April 1876 aged 16 years.”
Margaret Edith was the daughter of the Anglican minister Vicesimus Lush and his wife Blanche. Tragically, Margaret Edith died from scarlet fever in 1876. While the death of a child was not unusual during the Victorian era, this does not mean that the loss was not felt greatly by parents and family members. In his journal, Margaret Edith’s father wrote openly of his grief as he struggled to come to terms with the loss of his daughter, ‘”The child is not dead but sleepth” This has been the burden of my thought ever since 9 oclock when my dear dear dearest Edith Fell asleep.’ (1)
Margaret Edith's death was reported in the local newspaper which made note of the young girl's "kind, amiable, sweet and gentle manners." The newspaper remarked that "she was greatly beloved by the children of her class, and indeed by all who knew her, and will be missed by many." A great number of people attended Margaret Edith's funeral with the newspaper reporting that "every shade of nationality and creed were largely represented, and the streets were lined with ladies, children and others who could not join in the procession." (2)
In the Lush family archives held at Ewelme Cottage, there are a number of mementoes which serve as poignant reminders of the family’s tragic loss, including her schoolbooks, photographs, memorium cards, and inscriptions in books.
(1) Vicesimus Lush, 22 April 1876, ‘LUSH Family Papers, MS780-Box3-Folder26, Auckland Museum Library, quoted in Gillian Nelson, ‘”In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”: Vicesimus Lush and his journals, 1850-1882,’ Master’s thesis Victoria University of Wellington, 2012, p. 31.
(2) Thames Advertiser, "Fatal Case of Scarlet Fever," 24 April 1876, p. 3.
For more information about the Lush family and Ewelme Cottage, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.
Date MadePre 1876
Medium and MaterialsPaper
Inscription and Marks"Edith Lush"
Measurements11 x 7cm
Subject and Association KeywordsGirlhood
Credit LineCollection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga