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 Kathleen Irene Ashburnham “Kate” <I>Kelly</I> Newton

Kathleen Irene Ashburnham “Kate” Kelly Newton

Birth
Ireland
Death Nov 1882 (aged 27–28)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Plot plot 2903A
Memorial ID 44648763 · View Source
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Kathleen Newton was the
Irish mistress, model
and muse of the French artist,
James Jacques Tissot.

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Kathleen was descended from an
Irish Catholic medical family
and raised in India.

Kate was DAUGHTER to
FATHER -
Charles Frederick Ashburnham Kelly
(an Irish army officer)
MOTHER - Flora (Boyd) Kelly

Kathleen had two siblings:
BROTHER - Frederick W.D. "Freddie" Kelly
SISTER - Mary Pauline "Polly" Kelly (?)

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Her parents eventually retired
from India to England in the
mid-1860s. Her father promised
his sixteen-year-old daughter's
hand in marriage to a surgeon
with the Indian Civil Service
named Isaac Newton.

During the outward voyage to
be wed, Captain Palliser
became obsessed with Kate's
beauty; However, he did not
succeed in his seduction.
After the marriage to Newton
in January 1870 and before
consummation, Kate — on the
advice of her Catholic confessor
— explained to the new groom
(Isaac Newton) the situation
regarding the Palliser.

The scorned Newton immediately
started divorce proceedings.
He sent Kate back to England.
The Captain paid for her passage.
She covered this traveling
expense by promising she would
become the mistress of the Captain.
She eventually became pregnant by
him, but refused to wed the Captain.

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Kate gave birth to a daughter -
Muriel V.M. Newton -
(called 'Violet).
The child was born on Dec 20, 1871
in YOrkshire. The child's birth
also happened on the same day as
her Mother's 'decree nisi' was final.
Kate and Violet moved in with her sister,
Polly and her husband, at Hill Road,
St John's Wood.

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In March 1876 Kate gave birth
to a son,
Cecil George Newton Ashburnham.
French painter Jacques Tissot
is believed to be the father.
He moved to London in 1871
and had settled in St John's Wood.

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Kate eventually moved into Tissot's
residence at No 17 Grove End Road
(now re-numbered 44).
She was the love of his life.
She sat for innumerable paintings
with the grounds and interior of
Grove End Road as backdrops.

He called her "Mavourneen"
(a term of endearment derived
from the Irish Gaelic mo mhuirnín,
meaning "my beloved";
also possibly a reference to the
song "Kathleen Mavourneen")
and "ravissante Irlandaise"
("delightful Irish").

Tissot was distressed at the conflict
of her Irish Catholic background,
divorce and status of unmarried
mother of two children.

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Tissot was one of the most highly
regarded and successful painters
of the day. He oft described their
homelife together as ‘domestic bliss'.

Kate contracted tuberculosis.
She was unable to bear Tissot's
mounting grief as well as her own
suffering. She killed herself
with an overdose of laudanum.
Kate died in November 1882.

Tissot sat by her coffin for
four days. Because of her suicide
and religion, Kate was buried in
'unconsecrated ground' in
Kensal Green Cemetery, in London.

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***MEMORIAL WORDS***

"Life is eternal,
and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing
save the limit of our sight."

BY - Rossiter Worthington Raymond

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This biography is
humbly presented by
Audrey Burtrum-Stanley / Arkansas

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Someone Who Cares...
  • Added: 21 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44648763
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Kathleen Irene Ashburnham “Kate” Kelly Newton (1854–Nov 1882), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44648763, citing St Mary Roman Catholic Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .