Thomas FLINT John FLINT Thomas FLINT Amelia FLINT Jeremiah McLelland BELL Amelia Agnes BELL Adelaide BELL William BELL Mary Hutchison BELL Alicia FLINT William FLINT Betsy FLINT Martha FLINT Amelia HODGES treeI82.gif

Mary Hutchison FLINT

12th Aug 1825 - 1878

Life History

12th Aug 1825

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland

15th Aug 1851

Married Jeremiah McLelland BELL

1852

Birth of daughter Amelia Agnes BELL

about 1853

Birth of daughter Adelaide BELL

about 1856

Birth of son William BELL

about 1861

Death of Jeremiah McLelland BELL

about 1866

Birth of daughter Mary Hutchison BELL

1878

Died

EVELYN: My grandmother [Mary Flint] married Jeremiah Bell. He came from Donegal, and was apprenticed to his uncle who was a jeweler in Edinburgb.. He lived with this uncle. After their marriage they lived in Queen Street, which was completely residential in those days. She made her will before her first child was born, because she thought she would never survive it - she survived it four times!

When Tom died (he seems to have been a very much beloved brother) she [Mary] and all the family went to Australia. I think Amelia and Adelaide were born then, and Willie was born in Australia but don't know.

Our grandfather went into “real estate” with a partner and grandmother started her school for girls. I believe she paid Tom's debt to John, and am sure made quite a bit herself. Then our mother came along ten years after Willie, when grandmother was 40. I wonder what she thought about that! She carried on the school until mother was two, and then grandfather fell ill. His partner absconded with all the money, and whether Jeremiah had sunstroke, a cerebral haemorrhage or a brain tumour I don't know, but he was ill.

Grandmother decided to go back to Scotland and they took a house at Croy in Ayrshire, called Greenfalls or Greenfaulds. It must have been a fair sized house because there was a farm and a drive. Grandmother brought her coachman, Black Bob, with her. Mother told us that Black Bob lifted, her out of the horses' drinking trough when she thought she could stand on the ice, which was on it, and fell in instead.

From Croy they went to Kelvinside House just outside Glasgow, and it was there that blind Aunt Martha and Jeremiah Bell died. Mother said she was five when her father died, and that she and Alicia were afraid of him, for he strode through the grounds and looked so wild. There seems no doubt that his brain was affected in some way.

NAENA: Aunt Mary, married to Jeremiah McLelland Bell, came to Australia with her 3 children, young Amelia, Adelaide and Willie and her father Thomas. Another child, Mary, was born to her in Australia in 1866 when she was about 40.

My grandmother was very successful with her school, and we have a tray [see below] presented to her by pupils when she decided she must go home, because of my grandfather' s health. I have heard that the voyage back was very trying, and that the sailing ship - with what sort of accommodation for a family with young children, and the servants that everybody had then -you can imagine. Auntie Adelaide told me once that the ship lay outside Cape Town, becalmed, for a longtime, and they were indeed lucky, to be there, where with little two and fro boats provisions could be taken to the bigger ship.

She brought with her from Adelaide her coachman, an aborigine, called Black Bob. Young Mary was about 4 when she was playing on the ice formed on the deep horse troughs when it broke and she nearly drowned when Black Bob saved her. Her mother managed to pay her beloved brother Tom's debt to John [sic. but presumably should be 'Tom's debt to John'] and when the family home Kelvinside again became vacant they moved in.

Jeremiah and his wife's unmarried sister, blind Martha, were both seriously ill in this house. One night the heavy, slow tread of horses hoofs was heard coming up the long drive from the lonely road. The full harness of horses could be heard jingling as they pulled up at the door then slowly moved off. As it left another was heard to come up the dark drive. It too drove off after a brief pause. By this time everyone was terrified and nobody dare go near the door. Aunt Martha said to whoever was looking after her, “Yes I heard them. One is for Bell (as she called Jeremiah) and one for me.” They died within a few hours of each other and a few days later two real hearses were drawn up one after the other before the door of Kelvinside House.

Young Mary was 5 when her father died and her impression of him was that of a rather wild and frightening man (no doubt from the affects of his illness.) It is fortunate that Kelvinside House was large for beside Mary's own children young Mary and Adelaide who remained a spinster in spite of being a tall auburn hair beauty. [sic]

Grandmother took Alicia to live with her and brought her up. She seems to have taken all the orphan children of her family under her care, and when she left Australia and lived in Kelvinside House - where there was plenty of room - she had Aunt Martha and Aunt Alicia there, as well as her own family, as well. Then she welcomed your father there, to call it his home, when he came to Glasgow to take up his chemist's work. Aunt Alicia was only there for a few years, when she had a school in Glasgow. She had had a very successful school in Paris before that, of which more later.

I think that, after grandfather's death, and other troubles, my grandmother felt financial problems becoming rather hard, with daughters to marry and younger children growing up, and so she and Aunt Alicia shared part of the expense of the house. Also she wasn't in good health, and she died when my mother was only 12, in 1878, I think of cancer.

After grandmother's marriage they lived in Queen Street, Edinburgh, which at that time was entirely residential. She seems to have been very anxious about her first confinement, because she made her Will before her first child was born, being sure she would not survive. She arrived that ordeal four times! For some reason we do not know, after Uncle Tom (your grandfather) died, she and all her family, including great-Grandfather Thomas Flint, went to Adelaide. The voyage in those days was a terrible one, in every respect, and something very urgent must have taken them out there. Grandmother's two older children, Amelia and Adelaide, were already born and I think her son Willie, and certain my mother were born in Adelaide. There is a rumour that Mr Bell went into 'Real Estate' with a partner, who let him down - as might be expected in all the circumstances. But our grand mother started the first real girl's school in Australia, on first class English lines.

Grandmother, as has appeared before, died at the age of 52, in 1878. By that time, for a year or two, she had not lived at Kelvinside House, because the owners of the property had decided to sell for “development” on the rising outskirts of Glasgow. Actually their development was very fine indeed, and the Kelvinside Terraces are almost the only fine private architectural part of Glasgow. The first to be built was Derby Crescent - which suggests that Lord Derby's family, the Stanleys, may have been the absentee owners. Our grandmother, whose lease of Kelvinside House had not run out at this time, was asked to take the first house built in the new Crescent, and I think it was a very fine house. She did so, but did not live long to enjoy it. It must have been so much more convenient and modern than Kelvinside House in those days!

She is buried in the family vault in the Necropolis, Glasgow - which John Betjeman says is the finest cemetery in the British Isles - and where Aunt Alicia is buried too.

I have the tray referred to above by Naena. It is a large, oval, tray which, once upon a time, was silver plated. It is elaborately engraved and has this inscription; Presented to Mrs J.M. Bell by her pupils and friends in affectionate appreciation of her goodness and ability on leaving South Australia for Scotland. Adelaide South Australia. 30th December 1868.