Fifth Generation (Continued)
WJK: “David Kerr ... was sent home [from Jamaica] to Scotland very young [about two or three, in fact]. He was kindly taken charge of during the voyage by Rosa Baillie, who handed him over to his grandparents at St Ann’s Cottage, near Brechin ... He went with ... [his grand parents when they moved] to Edinburgh [a few years later], and they took charge of him till the coming home of his parents [when he was about ten]. He was a nice boy and a general favourite.”
Later, when he was 15, it “was decided that he should go out to Jamaica to his uncle, William Kerr, [to learn the trade of a planter], and he sailed from Leith for that island in the barque Columbus on 19 January 1862. She met with head winds and very bad weather, and on 28 January the vessel was totally wrecked on the Skerries in the Pentland Firth. All on board perished with the exception of one man, who said (whether truly or not) that the last he had seen of the poor David was that he was clinging to the rigging of the ship.”
On 2 May 1867 when Marcella was 19, she married Alexander Hill GRAY in St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh. Residence/Property: East Ferry Cottage, Dunkeld, Scotland.
WJK: Marcella Kerr and Alexander Hill Gray “lived chiefly at East Ferry Cottage, near Dunkeld, Perthshire. [But] Mr Gray, being of a roving nature, determined to go the Cape diamond fields and to this place [his wife, Marcella,] accompanied him and went through many hardships and adventures with a cheery heart. On their return home to Southampton, they stayed with us at Hythe House. We saw many of the diamonds, but not those of any great value, the more valuable stones having been sent to their bankers. They returned to East Ferry and here their child [Alister Stella Gray] was born. She [Marcella Kerr, the mother], alas! died four days afterwards. ... [She] was a very handsome woman and much liked by all who knew her.”
Alexander Hill Gray was educated at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. According to the Stonyhurst website: “A remarkable collection of early photographs was bequeathed to the school in 1928 by the famous traveller and writer Alexander Hill Gray. From 1857, when he joined the Sikh Cavalry as an interpreter, he roamed the world, taking and buying photographs wherever he went, collecting some 6000 images from a time when photography was in its infancy. These include rare, if not unique, scenes in Bhutan, the Himalayas, Kimberley, Sarawak, Russia and Poland, India, Constantinople and the Holy Land in addition to more familiar views of the capitals of Europe and the scenery of the British Isles.33”
Shortly before his death, he published his memoirs: Sixty Years Ago: Wanderings of a Stonyhurst Boy in Many Lands, Being the Relation of Some of the Travels and Adventures of Alexander Hill Gray, John Murray, 1925. Family legend has it that he was a friend of Rider Haggard and was part inspiration for the character of Captain Good in King Solomon’s Mines. He certainly played the same trick with his false teeth that Captain Good plays in Rider Haggard’s novel: see pp277ff of Sixty Years Ago.
On 20 Sep 1877 when Herbert Jarrett was 26, he married Henrietta Theresa Helen Whitlock VIDAL, daughter of George Barnes VIDAL & Henrietta PHILLIPS, in Falmouth Parish Church, Jamaica. Born on 6 Jul 1847. Henrietta Theresa Helen Whitlock died in 1926; she was 78.
They had the following children:
WJK: Herbert Jarrett Kerr III (“Puppa” to his grandchildren) “was educated at The Academy in Edinburgh and was on 8 October 1868 [at the age of 17] apprenticed to Lindsay, Jamieson & Haldane, chartered accountants, in that city. After serving his time in this office, he went out to his uncle, William Kerr, in Jamaica and took up the business of a planter. ... Mr and Mrs Herbert Jarrett Kerr are at present (1909) residing at Phoenix Estate, Jamaica. He is, together with his brother, William Louis Kerr, the owner of Orange Valley, at one time the family estate of the Jarretts.”
For more about the Vidals, see this website.
On 3 Jan 1878 when William Louis was 24, he married Amy WHITTINGHAM, daughter of Joseph WHITTINGHAM. Born on 8 Sep 1857 in Jamaica. Amy died in 1957; she was 99.
They had the following children:
WJK: “William Louis Kerr ... like his brother ... was educated at The Academy, Edinburgh. At an early age, he went out to Jamaica to with his uncle [William Kerr] and aunt and learnt the business of a planter. ... Mr and Mrs William Louis Kerr reside (1909) at Orange Valley, of which estate he is owner in conjunction with his brother Herbert Jarrett Kerr.”
The photograph shows the young William Louis (on the right) with his sister Marcella and brother Herbert Jarrett Kerr. Note the Highland dress.