Edith Bernal-Osborne

Is your surname Bernal-Osborne?

Research the Bernal-Osborne family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Edith Bernal-Osborne

Also Known As: "Lady Edith Blake"
Death: 1926 (79-80)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Ralph Bernal-Osborne, MP and Catherine Isabella Bernal-Osborne
Wife of Sir Henry Arthur Blake GCMG
Mother of Olive Arbuthnot; Lieut. Arthur Blake and Maurice Bernal Blake
Sister of Grace, Duchess of St Albans

Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
Last Updated:

About Edith Bernal-Osborne

Edith BERNAL-OSBORNE (daughter of Ralph BERNAL-OSBORNE and Catherine Isabella OSBORNE)1 was born Abt. 1845 in Newton Anner, Kilsheelan, Tipperary, Ireland, and died 1928 in Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Cork, Ireland. She married Henry Arthur BLAKE on February 07, 1874 in Upton Cum Chalvey, Berks, England, son of Peter BLAKE and Jane LANE.

Children of Edith BERNAL-OSBORNE and Henry Arthur BLAKE are:

  1. Arthur BLAKE [LIEUTENANT], b. January 15, 1877, d. Aft. 1904.
  2. Maurice Bernal BLAKE, b. June 06, 1878.
  3. Olive BLAKE, b. Abt. 1881, Belfast, Antrim, Ireland


From http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/art-nature-imaging/collections/art-themes/drawingconclusions/more/lifecycle_more_info.htm#

Edith Osborne was born at Newtown, Anner, Ireland in 1845, into a family of moderately wealthy land owners. She developed an interest in painting at an early age and was much encouraged by her family and also by artists such as the Swiss landscape artist Alexandre Calame and the Thomas Shotter Boys who visited the family home.

Although Edith's parents had been negotiating an arranged marriage for her, in 1874 she eloped with Captain Henry Blake of the Royal Irish Constabulary. Appalled at Blake's lower social status the family immediately disinherited Edith from a considerable fortune. At first the newly married couple had a difficult life, having to use Blake's low income to also support his widowed mother and 12 brothers and sisters.

During the 1870s Ireland was in political turmoil and unrest was widespread. As part of an attempt to restore law and order, Henry Blake was appointed as a Special Magistrate. Although this post was to place him under the threat of assassination from extremists, Edith's response was characteristically brave, as she would accompany her husband on his duties many a time with a concealed revolver.

A few years later, Blake entered the Colonial Service of the British Empire, and was promoted to the post of Governor of the Bahamas in 1884. It proved to be the beginning of a spectacular career that would take the couple to many exciting parts of the British Empire including Jamaica, where Blake served as Governor between 1889-1897.

Throughout their travels Edith Blake took an avid interest in the fauna and flora. It was during her time in Jamaica that she was able to combine her artistic abilities and her interest in butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) to produce a collection of nearly 200 watercolours.

In retirement the Blakes returned to their native Ireland to a much-loved house in Youghal, County Cork. Following Henry's death in 1918, Edith became a sad recluse wearing only mourning black for the rest of her life. She died at home in 1926.


view all

Edith Bernal-Osborne's Timeline

February 7, 1846
November 5, 1875
Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland
January 15, 1877
June 6, 1878
Age 79