Lady Francisca Adriana Mawson

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Lady Francisca Adriana Mawson (Delprat)

Also Known As: "'Paquita'"
Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, UK
Death: May 26, 1974 (82)
Brighton, South Australia, Australia
Place of Burial: Brighton, South Australia, Australia
Immediate Family:

Daughter of ir. Guilaume Daniël Delprat and Henrietta Maria Wilhelmina Sophia Jas
Wife of Sir Douglas Mawson, OBE FRS FAA
Mother of Patricia Marietja Thomas and Jessica Paquita Mawson
Sister of Theodore Daniel Delprat; Dr Elizabeth Theodora Johanna Stoffelina 'Lica' Sprod; Elizabeth Francisca Carmen Teppema; Dr Mary Wichers (Delprat) and Madeleine Prouisette 'Leintie' Willekes MacDonald

Managed by: Peter James Davidson
Last Updated:

Over Lady Francisca Adriana Mawson (Nederlands)

Francisca Adriana "Paquita" Delprat was born on 19th August 1891 at London, Middlesex, England. She was the sixth of seven children of Dutch-born parents, Guillaume Daniel Delprat, engineer, and his wife Henrietta Marie Wilhelmine Sophia, née Jas.[1] Paquita spent the first eight years of her life in Andalusia, Spain, where her father was working as a mining engineer. In 1898 Delprat moved to Broken Hill, New South Wales, where he had joined the Broken Hill Pty Co. The following year, his wife and five of their children arrived from Europe.

Paquita married Antartic explorer and geologist, Douglas Mawson, on 31st March 1914 in the Holy Trinity Church of England, Balaclava, Victoria.[2] Not long married, Douglas was knighted, entitling Paquita as Lady Mawson; a title she wore with distinction for sixty years. The war years, 1914-1919, became hectic years for Paquita. Their first daughter, Patricia, was born in her parents' Toorak home in Victoria in 1915, following which the family travelled to England, where Douglas took up a military posiiton with the Department of Munitions. Their second daughter, Jessica, was born in London in 1917. The family returned to Australia in 1919, settling in Brighton, South Australia, where Douglas was on the fraternity of the University of Adelaide.

Lady Mawson took active roles in the University Wives', the Lyceum and the Queen Adelaide clubs. For thirty years she was involved with the Mothers' and Babies' Health Association, including nine years as president. During the Second World War she also worked tirelessly as the convenor of the civilian relief department of the South Australian branch of the Australian Red Cross Society. She was appointed Officer of the Order of Oranje-Nassau (1946), in recognition of the help she gave to Dutch refugees, and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1951. Lady Mawson made her own contribution to Antarctic knowledge in writing Mawson of the Antarctic (London, 1964). She also wrote A Vision of Steel, a biography of her father (Melbourne, 1958). For most of her life, she travelled extensively throughout Europe and America, maintaining strong connections with the Netherlands, and with her far-flung brothers and sisters and their families.

Having outlived all of her siblings, she passed away, aged 82 years, on 26th May 1974 at her home at Brighton, South Australia. She was buried with her husband in St Jude's Church of England churchyard cemetery, Brighton.[3] Lady Mawson was survived by her two daughters, seven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.


  1. "England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," database, FamilySearch ( : 1 October 2014), Francisca Adriana Delprat, 1891; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Brentford, Middlesex, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.
  2. Victoria Marriage Index #518/1914
  3. Francisca Adriana Delprat Mawson, 1974; Burial, Glenelg, , South Australia, Australia, Saint Judes Cemetery, Brighton; citing record ID 67585905, Find a Grave,

"Mawson of the Antarctic" the biography of Sir Douglas Mawson by Paquita Mawson

See also

Emma McEwin and Nancy Robinson Whittle, 'Mawson, Francisca Adriana (Paquita) (1891–1974)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 2005, accessed online 7 Feb 2019. Wikipedia profile: Douglas Mawson. Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938) Wed 30 Jan 1935 Page 22 Lady Mawson and Her Daughters Patricia and Jessica; accessed 7 Feb 2019.

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Lady Francisca Adriana Mawson's Timeline

August 19, 1891
London, Greater London, England, UK
April 13, 1915
Toorak, Stonnington City, VIC, Australia
Kensington, England, UK
May 26, 1974
Age 82
Brighton, South Australia, Australia
Brighton, South Australia, Australia