Miss Sarah Harriet Florence REED (1850–1875)
St Giles (Ss Philip & James) section: Row 28, Grave J30

Sarah Reed





only daughter of
of Westerfield, Canterbury,
New Zealand:










Sarah Harriet Florence Reed was born a British subject at sea on 1 May 1850, the only daughter of Charles Reed (born 1824, probably at Tresillian in Cornwall) and Sarah Jane Andrews (born in Exeter in 1819/20). Her parents were married in the Kingsbridge district of Devon in 1847, and had at least two children:

  • Sarah Harriet Florence Reed (born at sea on 1 May 1850)
  • Charles Francis Reed (born at Canterbury, New Zealand in 1854/5)

Sarah's father Charles Reed was an Australian squatter who had settled in New Zealand: more can be learnt about his land on this index card in the Canterbury Museum. His wife may have been coming home to have her baby when she gave birth at sea to Sarah Harriet Florence on 1 May 1850. Certainly she was back in England at the time of the census in March 1851 when (a 31-year-old annuitant described as both the head of the household and married) she was living in Devon at Fore Street, Kingsbridge with her ten-month old daughter and her widowed mother Mrs Harriet Andrews (67). The family had one servant.

Sarah's father took up a large property in New Zealand in 1854 and named it Tresillian after his home village in Cornwall. It appears that by this time Sarah and her mother had come out to New Zealand, as their next child Charles was born there in 1854/5.

Eventually Sarah's father owned several large farms (called stations) in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. On his station called Westerfield in the Ashburton district his land covered 40,000 acres, and his ambition to ultimately work the place like an English country estate and let the land in farms is reported here.

At the time of the 1861 census it appears that Mrs Reed had come back on her own to England with the two children. Described as the wife of a landed proprietor and living near Torquay at a house called Haytor at St Mary Church with Sarah (10), Charles (6), and two servants. She does not appear in the 1871 census, and had probably returned with the children to New Zealand, as Sarah’s gravestone states that at the time of her death her parents lived at Westerfield, Canterbury.

It is unclear why her daughter Sarah was living at 34 Park Town (then numbered 11 Park Crescent, in the smartest area of Oxford) at the time of her death in 1875:

† Sarah Harriet Florence Reed died at 11 Park Crescent at the age of 25 on 7 June 1875 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 10 June (burial recorded in the parish registers of Ss Philip & James’s and St Giles’s Church).

Sarah's parents
  • Charles Reed died at New Zealand at the age of 56 on 5 February 1880 and is buried in Barbadoes Street Cemetery, Canterbury (see his headstone)
  • Mrs Sarah Jane Reed nee Andrews decided to return to England with Sarah's brother Charles, but she died during the journey while on board the SS Somersetshire on 17 November 1880.
Sarah's brother
  • In the second quarter of 1888 at St George's, Hanover Square, Charles Francis Reed married Alice Cecilia Augusta Johnson, who had been born in South Torrington, Devon but now lived at Warwick Street, Eccleston Square, Middlesex. At the time of the 1891 census Charles (36) was living at Bradford House, Brandis Corner, Holsworthy, Devon with Alice (29) and their children Lilian Alice S. Reed (2) and Charles James J. Reed (six months). In 1892 he returned to New Zealand to try and buy back Westerfield but could not raise the finance. He returned to England and died at Bradford House on 21 December 1894 at the age of 39. His effects came to £5,719 0s. 4d., and his executor was his widow.



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