Margaret Torrens Stewart

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Margaret Torrens Stewart (Miller)

Also Known As: "Margaret Torrens Edwardes | Mabel Florence Edwardes | Mabel Florence Paul"
Birthplace: Desertlyn, County Derry, Ireland
Death: July 28, 1914 (79)
Grey Lynn, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Place of Burial: Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Rowley Miller, JP and Emily Charlotte Miller
Wife of George Vesey Stewart, OBE
Partner of Frederick Edward Dunston Paul
Ex-partner of Cecil Ambrose Frederick Hornidge Gledstanes
Mother of Emily Charlotte Sophia Surtees; Mervyn Archdale Stewart; George Vesey Stewart, Jnr.; John Rowley Miller Stewart; Frances Vesey Montgomery Moore Stewart and 10 others
Sister of Rowley Miller; Sophia Louisa Miller; Mary Stewart Miller; Henry Rowley Miller; Emily Charlotte Miller and 1 other

Occupation: Ladies Nurse
Find A Grave ID: 215969807
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Margaret Torrens Stewart

Margaret Torrens Miller was the wife of Katikati founder George Vesey Stewart. They had nine children together before an application was made for divorce, citing Margaret's adultery with her nineteen year old nephew by marriage - biography by Debbie McCauley

Margaret Torrens Miller was born on 29 March 1835. Her parents were John Rowley (J.P.) and Emily Charlotte Miller. John Rowley Miller was the son of Major Rowley Miller (J.P.). Rowley Miller was Agent for the Draperers' Company, London and managed their Moneymore Estate in Londonderry, Ireland. Upon his death, the position of Agent passed to Margaret's brother Henry Rowley Miller. On 17 April 1856 Margaret married George Vesey Stewart (1831-1920) at Desertlyn, County Derry, Ireland. The children of Margaret Torrens Miller and George Vesey Stewart:

  1. Emily Charlotte Sophia Stewart (1857-1957).
  2. Mervyn Archdale Stewart (1859-1951).
  3. George Vesey Stewart (Jnr) (1861-1892).
  4. John Rowley Miller Stewart (1862-1945).
  5. Frances Jane Montgomery Stewart (1864-1947).
  6. Mary Phoebe Stewart (1865-1962).
  7. Hugh Alexander Montgomery Moore Stewart (1867-1954).
  8. Andrew Charles Henry Arbuthnot Stewart (1870-1961).
  9. William Nassan Stewart (1873-1954).

On 8 June 1875 the Carisbrooke Castle left Belfast with 238 settlers bound for Katikati. These included Margaret, George Vesey Stewart, and their nine children aged between 2 and 19. George applied to divorce Margaret, charging her with adultery with his nephew Cecil Gledstanes. The case was reported in the Auckland Star on 14 November 1876:

Divorce Case. G. V. STEWART V. STEWART AND GLEDSTANES. For some months back it has been rumoured that a notable divorce case was likely soon to come into Court, affecting certain of the principal settlers at the special settlement of Katikati, near Tauranga. Up to the present time we have carefully refrained from publishing any of the reports we heard, and it is only now when we hear that it is arranged for the suit to be heard at the Civil Sessions in January next, that we are led to mention it in our columns. The petitioner in the case, which we may say presents most extraordinary features, is Mr George Vesey Stewart, the pioneer of the Katikati settlement, who sues for a divorce from his lawful wife, Margaret Torrens Stewart, on the ground of her adultery with Mr Cecil Gledstanes, of Katikati, a youth about 19 years old, who is one of Mr Stewart's cadets, and has been residing in his house. The following is the main substance of the petition: 22nd August, 1876. The Petition of George Vesey Stewart, of Katikati, in the Province of Auckland, Settler, Sheweth—"1. That your petitioner was on the 17th day of April, 1856, lawfully married to Margaret Torrens Stewart, then Margaret Torrens Miller, a spinster, at the Church of St. John Moneymore, in the County of Derry, Ireland. 2. That after the said marriage, your petitioner lived and co-habited with his said wife at Lisbeg House in the County of Tyrone, Ireland, and at other places and latterly from about the month to September 1875, until the month of July 1876, with her at Katikati, in the said province. 3. That your petitioner and his said wife have had issue of their said marriage, to wit, nine children (the names follow). 4. That on the tenth day of July, 1876, and divers times between the 10th and 15th days of July, 1876, the said Margaret Torrens Stewart committed adultery with Cecil Gledstanes, of Katikati, settler at Katikati, aforesaid. Your petitioner therefore humbly prays: 1. That your Honor will be pleased to decree that the said marriage of your petitioner with the said Margaret Torrens Stewart shall be dissolved. 2. And that your petitioner may have such further and other relief in the premises as to your Honor may seem met. G. Vesey Stewart." It will be seen from this that the rumour that the co-respondent was a young man named Wilson, and that he went home on the ship 'Carnatic' is totally unfounded. The crime of which Mrs Stewart is accused is intensified by the fact of Mr Gledstanes being her own nephew. The respondent's reply to the petition is a complete denial of the charge. We are informed on good authority that some of the allegations are so singular, that the case is bound to provoke great public interest. The suit is yet very young; indeed the issues for the jury are not quite settled, so that we are able to say very little about them. The citations were served on the respondent and co-respondent, at Katikati, on the 25th August last, and the answer was delivered by the respondent on the 27th September. As soon as Judge Gillies returns from Wellington the issues will be definitely shaped, and the case will be ripe for a jury. Messrs Hesketh and Richmond are the solicitors for the petitioner, and Messrs J. B. Russell and A. Devore for the respondent. (Auckland Star, 14 November 1876, p. 2)

However, it appears that the divorce was never finalised and Margaret moved to Auckland where she lived with Frederick Edward Dunston Paul (c1855-1911) (also known as Frederick Edward Dunstan Edwardes) and worked as a Ladies Nurse. Frederick had arrived in New Zealand aboard the 'Glenora' in January 1877. Other names that Margaret used whilst in Auckland include: Margaret Torrens Edwardes; Mabel Florence Edwardes and Mabel Florence Paul.They appear to have had one child together and adopted or had custody of others. Margaret ran a boarding house situated at 34 Ponsonby Road, Auckland. She died in Grey Lynn, Auckland, aged 81, on 28 July 1914. Biography by Debbie McCauley.

Possible foster children of Margaret and Frederick:

  1. Elsie Maria Sybil Frances Stewart (1884-1885). Born on 16 October 1884 to Frederick Edward Paul and Mabel Florence Stewart. Baptised at St Francis in Auckland on 11 December 1884. Noted illegitimate under baptism record's comments. Sybil Paul died at Pollen Street, Surrey Hills, on 16 March 1885.
  2. Robert Henry Stanley Paul (1885-1938?). Born in Surrey Hills, Newton on 22 March 1885 (reg. 1885/4644) to Frederick Edward Dunstan Paul and Mabel Florence Paul (formerly Miller). Robert married Catherine Clark in 1900 (reg. 1900/1738). They have a child named Robert William Paul in 1905 (reg. 1905/1976) and another one named Evelyn Roma Paul in 1912 (reg. 1912/5645). There is a death for a Robert Henry Paul, aged 60, in 1938 (reg. 1938/20232), but his age is not quite right.
  3. Frederick Edward Patrick Edwards (adopted March 1897).
  4. Sybil Frances May Neilson (adopted from a Wellington convent by Frederick c1882). Apparently she was the illegitimate daughter of a discharged policeman. Widowed, she later married John McClure in 1916 (reg. 1916/7540).
  5. George Allan Wills (adopted). Born in Auckland on 21 June 1898. Adopted by Frederick Edward Dunston Edwardes and Margaret Torrens Edwardes. He died on 9 October 1900.
  6. Daphne Edwards (adopted?). Born 28 March 1901. She died on 6 December 1991.
  7. It appears that Frederick left Margaret, possibly running off with his adopted daughter, as on 5 May 1902 (reg. 1902/1947) Frederick married Sybil Frances May Neilson, in St Peter's Church, Wellington.
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Margaret Torrens Stewart's Timeline

March 29, 1835
Desertlyn, County Derry, Ireland
August 1, 1857
Moneymore, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

STEWART – On the 1st inst., at Moneymore, the wife of George Vesey Stewart, Esq., of a daughter (Londonderry Sentinel) (Artrea Parish, Cos. Tyrone & Londonderry (inc. Moneymore), Northern Ireland, Birth Announcements 1816-69, August 7 1857)

January 3, 1859
Martray House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

January 3, at Martray House, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., of a son (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, January 14 1859)

March 7, 1861
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland

March 7, at Lisbeg, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., of a son (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, March 15 1861)

November 25, 1862
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

At Lisbeg, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., of a son (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, December 5 1862)

March 28, 1864
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland

March 28, at Lisbeg, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., J.P., of a daughter (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, April 1 1864)

November 22, 1865
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)

November 22, at Lisbeg, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., of a daughter (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, November 28 1865)

November 3, 1867
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Ireland

November 8, at Lisbeg, Ballygawley, the wife of GEORGE VESEY STEWART, ESQ., of a daughter (Ballygawley & Errigal Keerogue Parish Births Annnouncments 1838-69, November 8 1867)

September 3, 1870
Lisbeg House, Ballygawley, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom)