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Lily Poulett-Harris
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Birth: Sep. 2, 1873
Tasmania, Australia
Death: Aug. 15, 1897
Tasmania, Australia


Harriet Lily Poulett-Harris (known as Lily) was the youngest and twin daughter of the famous Tasmanian educationalist Richard Deodatus Poulett-Harris. Her father (who was born in Canada to an English father and Cape Breton-born mother of American loyalist ancestry) was an Anglican Priest, first Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge in Tasmania, founder of a Hobart boys' high school (located on the Domain) and one of the co-founders of the University of Tasmania. (He is remembered for sermons in which he critiqued the American Civil War and Crimean Wars for their futility and called for responsibility on the part of both rulers and citizens in mutual respect for each other as a form of living in a Christian way.) Lily's mother, Eleanor (nee Milward), was born in Tasmania in 1833.

Lily's father, Richard, relocated to Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge, upon his retirement. Tragically, all of his personal papers were destroyed in an 1896 house fire, meaning that information about Lily is somewhat scant. It is not known if any photographs of her exist.

A spinster, Lily was only 23 years of age when she succumbed to Tubercular Peritonitis in 1897. She, along with two of her sisters, was a teacher at the Ladies' Grammar School and Kindergarten, founded in 1896 and located at 26 Davey Street, Hobart.

Lily's older sister, Eleanor (Nellie) Mary Poulett-Harris (born 1862), was the headmistress of the school (having previously worked at the Hobart Ladies' College, now known as Collegiate). Nellie was one of the first women educated at the University of Tasmania. Lily's older twin, Louisa Violet, also worked at this school. They may have been instigated to found the institution by a Canon Shoobridge, who was rector of Holy Trinity in North Hobart during the 1890s. It is documented that, at this time, Shoobridge was desirous that a school for the teaching of girls and infants be established. Because of Richard Poulett-Harris' work at the parish, it seems likely that the Ladies' Grammar School was at least partly the result of Shoobridge's advocacy.

Both Nellie and Louisa lived well into the Twentieth Century. Nellie eventually retired in New Norfolk whilst Louisa occasionally performed in light comic musicals at the Theatre Royal in Hobart, particular during the First World War period.

Nellie relocated the school to 4-6 Albeura Street in 1903 after a period of rapid expansion, pupil numbers growing from 10 students in 1896 to 70 in 1900. The school was taken over by another family some time before 1920. It does not exist today.

A large memorial plaque for Lily is located in All Saint's Anglican Church in Macquarie Street, South Hobart. All Saint's is an Anglo-Catholic parish and it is notable that her memorial is there, given that her father preached at Holy Trinity in North Hobart, a resolutely Low Church parish. The plaque clearly indicates the great love felt for Lily by her family and colleagues and gives an insight into the personality of this somewhat obscure member of a family of great educationalists. It reads:

Dedicated to the memory of Lily Poulett Harris
by her fellow teachers and the students of the
Hobart Ladies' Grammar School and Kindergarten.
Always remembered for her bright and lovable nature.
Aged 23 Years.

Death Notices for Lily as they appeared in the newspapers of the time:

Mercury Newspaper on Tuesday August 17, 1897 (Vol. LXX / No. 8569).

Sunday evening
26 Davey Street
Twin Daughter of Rev R D Poulett-Harris
Funeral left from 26 Davey Street

Tuesday August 17th, 1897

'POULETT-HARRIS - On Sunday evening, August 15, at 26, Davey-street, Lily, the youngest and twin daughter of the Rev. R. D. Poulett-Harris. M.A. The Funeral will leave 26. Davey-street, TO-DAY, at 2 p.m., for Cornelian Bay Cemetery.'

‘The inhabitants of Woodbridge and neighbourhood desire thus to express their sincere sympathy for the Rev. R. D. Poulett-Harris and family in their recent sad bereavement.'

Grave location:

Lily's grave is located at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart, Plot J80. She was buried on August 17th 1897 at 3:00 pm in an Anglican service.

Cornelian Bay Cemetery And Crematorium
Hobart City
Tasmania, Australia
Plot: J80
Created by: D. L.
Record added: Mar 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25517234
Lily Poulett-Harris
Added by: D. L.
Lily Poulett-Harris
Added by: D. L.
Lily Poulett-Harris
Added by: D. L.
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Another cricket-themed tribute image, perhaps a little more appropriate to the era! RIP.
 Added: Jan. 3, 2010
Just read your fascinating more detailed story about this early teacher and pioneering woman cricketer on your other site. Fascinating - we don't think of stereotypical Victorian ladies being so sporty and outgoing. Sad she died so very young.
 Added: Jan. 3, 2010
Merry Christmas, Victorian lady.
 Added: Dec. 24, 2008
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