Jessica Piazzi Smyth

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Jessica Piazzi Smyth (Duncan)

Birthplace: Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire , Scotland, United Kingdom
Death: March 24, 1896 (83-84)
Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Duncan and Jannet Lumsden
Wife of Charles Piazzi Smyth
Sister of Mary Elizabeth Kilgour; Margaret Duncan; Janet Duncan and Ann Walker Duncan

Managed by: Robin Clay
Last Updated:

About Jessica Piazzi Smyth

Aberdeen Press and Journal

2nd January, 1856

Rejoicing in Leith Lumsden

25th December, 1855 - Yesterday was a great day in our village. Even a passing stranger would have seen at a glance that some matter of more than ordinary interest was occupying the intention of it's inhabitants. Here was seen a band of juveniles with merry faces and in holiday attire, and there a group of riper years conversing merrily together.

In one place were seen flags streaming in the breeze, and in another a party busily employed in rearing a vast pile of firewood, giving indication that, for one evening at least, our village and neighbourhood were not to sit in darkness.

From one quarter were coming parties bearing many a basket well filled with all that the "baker's art" can furnish, and from another quarter came others groaning under huge burdens of the finest fruit. From "a' the airts the win' can blaw" were gathering gay parties in gay attire, bringing kettles many - large and small - with all the stores and implements needed for making an overwhelming abundance of the "cup that cheers but not inebriates."

The happy event causing all this joyful excitement, lively interest, and busy preparation, was the marriage of a lady very highly respected and much beloved in this quarter. Miss Duncan, late of Clova, was this day to be united at the hymeneal altar to Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, of the University of Edinburgh, Astronomer-Royal for Scotland. Miss Duncan, during her long residence in this locality, endeared herself to all around her by her incessant and unwearied efforts to promote their good, temporal and spiritual.

She "went about doing good." Wherever suffering, from whatever source, was known to exist, Miss Duncan was found using every kind and fitting means to alleviate or remove it. Her attention was specially directed to the religious and secular instruction of the young, and in this field of Christian usefulness her labours were very abundant and much blessed.

When she ceased to be resident in this district, she still manifested the deepest interest in it's welfare, and especially in the education of the young. Through her efforts and liberality, an Infant and General Day School has been established and supported in the village, a dwelling-house provided for the teachers, and every practicable provision made for the religious and secular instruction of the young.

As soon as the happy news of the approaching marriage reached our village, preparations began to be made for giving expression, on the auspicious day, to the warm feelings of respect and gratitude felt for Miss Duncan, and to the general joy at the happy union then to be formed.

The day, eagerly expected, at length arrived, and we have seen how joyous and busy it found so many of our village population. Soon as night began to spread her sable covering over us, the huge bonfire began to blaze forth, fiery combustibles enclosed within adding to it's brightness.

The bells of the village churches rung right many a loud and merry peal; gay companies of young and old came crowding in from every side. In a little time all were seated at a first-rate soiree. The meeting having been opened with devotional exercises, all present were supplied with excellent tea, with all needful and pleasing concomitants

About 400 were present, more than half of whom were children attending the Day and Sabbath schools of the village, all these having been invited to the happy meeting. Various appropriate addresses were delivered in the course of the evening by the Revs. Mr Thomson, Lumsden; Mr Nicoll, Auchindoir; Mr Nicoll and Mr Mackay, Rhynie; and Mr John Laing, Macharshaugh.

A choir, under the direction of Messrs Laing, Castell, and Sim, delighted the meeting, at intervals, with various pieces of finest music, exquisitely performed; and several hymns were sung by the children with sweetest melody.

A copy of "Cobbins Portable Commentary," bound in the highest style of art, and with a suitable inscription, was handed in by the children, as a nuptial gift to Mrs Piazzi Smyth. A magnificent portfolio, a similar gift from the children attending the Infant School, was also shewn, and many a hearty cheer was given for Professor Piazzi Smyth and his accomplished lady.

In the course of the evening, all were supplied with a service of fruit and confectionery, and a religious tract was given to each of the children. Our village has seen many a large and excellent soiree, "but never aught like this." It will not soon be forgotten by any who had the happiness to be present on the joyful occasion. A happier Christmas eve was not spent in all broad Scotland, nor even in the "merry homes" of old England itself.

Home News for India, China and the Colonies

Thursday, 10th January, 1856

SMYTH-DUNCAN - Dec 24, at Edinburgh, C. Piazzi Smyth, Astronomer Royal of Scotland, second son of Rear-Admiral W.H. Smyth, K.S.F., to Jessie, third daughter of the late Thomas Duncan, Esq., Aberdeen.

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Jessica Piazzi Smyth's Timeline

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire , Scotland, United Kingdom
March 24, 1896
Age 84
Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom