Born at the tail end of the 18th century Sarah W was the daughter of a reverend, and made a good match with a metal merchant from Birmingham. His business was successful, and she might have expected to comfortably live out her life in the city, until they made the decision to emigrate to South Australia in 1840.
South Australia was never a penal colony, instead offering land and living to those willing to travel to take it. Many men who took up this offer later called themselves “gentlemen” as they now owned land. She, her husband, and their four sons all underwent the months-long voyage to the other side of the world, and settled in Adelaide. They were among the first settlers there, as the city had been founded just three years earlier in 1837.
The family thrived in their new country, with one of her sons becoming the premier of South Australia on several occasions.
Sarah returned to the UK in the 1850s when her husband was seriously ill and advised to come home for an operation – medical care being sparse compared to that available in Britain during the earlier years of the settlement. He died in London, and she subsequently went to live out her final years in Scotland with her second son, who had also returned from Australia and settled in Edinburgh.
Her passion was collecting silver teapots. She bought them with the help of her sons, who she owed money for various vessels after her death.
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