Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sepia Saturday 297 : 19 September 2015

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt is about know...that stuff that for some reason we did on Mondays....

Now we seem to do it on a daily basis.  

I love this photo of my mother hanging out the washing in Edinburgh..she looks so hip and gorgeous.

See how the clothes line is in the kitchen?  Neat huh?  For colder climes obviously.

In Australia, our clothes lines are generally in the backyard because the weather is mostly fine.  In Queensland the washing can be dry in an hour or so - bliss! In my earlier share houses in Brisbane, the laundry was always under the house - often a cool place to be in the heat of summer as in this photo from Picture Queensland....

courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Sitting in the laundry at Maryborough, ca. 1929 Negative number: 164965

This house plan, also found on Picture Queensland, shows how the laundry (if not under the house) is located at the back of the house, maybe near the kitchen. This is pretty much what our last rental property was like at 88 Leybourne Street Chelmer before we bought our first home at Taringa.

courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Approved design for a low set two bedroom dwelling with attached laundry, ca. 1945 Negative number: 126919 

When a friend and I went on the Brisbane Open House Tour last year we checked out the old laundry at Coronet Court which looks like this....not very glamorous at all....but pretty standard for the day.

Coronet Court Laundry New Farm 2014

One of my all time favourite paintings features the laundry and you can see it here...

I picked up a book about doing the laundry at a Lifeline Book Sale earlier this year.

Someone has handwritten notes about the effect of soap on hard water in the inside front cover.  That was what I noticed about moving to Brisbane.  The water is hard here.  My hair didn't lather as much in the shower when I washed it.  

But for today I wanted to tell you another was the first kind of "real"story that made me stop in my tracks when I was researching in the Queensland State Archives many years ago.

I was researching the Grieves - on my husband's side of the family.  I found a listing for a Grieve in the Inquest Index and looked it up.  You can find  the reference details here at the Archives.

It is a very sobering story.  Here is the transcript.  Please don't read it if you think you will find it too upsetting.  It isn't gory as such...just very sad.

I hereby certify that on the 28th day of September 1889, I held an Inquest of Death at Rosewood in the Police District of Marburg and that the following particulars were then disclosed: -

Name of deceased: Ernest Grieve
Profession or calling: None
Height, colour of hair, peculiar clothing, and any other means of identity: Identified. 

Where found and when: Walloon, 17th September 1889
Date of death: 17th September 1889
Supposed cause of death: Accidentally drowned
Persons last seen in company of deceased and names of suspected persons: No suspicious circumstances
Names, residences, and callings of witnesses
Andrew Grieve of Walloon, Farmer
Jane Grieve of Walloon, wife of A Grieve
Annie Grieve of Walloon daughter of A & J Grieve

Suspicious circumstances: None

Signed John Lane Justice

Andrew Grieve on oath says as follows: I am a Farmer residing at Walloon.  I knew the deceased child Ernest Grieve.  He was my Grandchild and lived with me at Walloon.  I remember the 17th of the present month about 6pm on that date I was coming home from work when I got to the gate of my house.  I saw my wife with a clothes prop lifting the child out of an underground tank in my back yard.   I ran to the place and caught of hold of him and pulled him out.  He was quite dead.  The tank was about six feet deep and had about four feet of water in it.  It is about ten feet from my house.  It is protected on top with slabs laid loose which were sometimes shifted for the purpose of getting at the water. I reported the matter to the police at Ipswich the same evening and got an order for burial.  On the following day a constable came from Ipswich and saw the body.  Andrew Grieve his mark

Jane Grieve on oath says as follows: I am the wife of Andrew Grieve the last witness.  I knew the deceased child Ernest Grieve; he was my grand-child.  I remember the 17th of the present month. I was out on the farm on that day.  I returned home between five and six o'clock.  From something my daughter Annie said to me when I came home I got a clothes prop and searched the underground tank and found the child in it.  As I was lifting him out my husband came up and took him out he was then quite dead.  I tried no means to restore life as I could see plainly it would be useless.  I saw the child alive about two o'clock the same day.  He was then all right. Jane Grieve (her signature)

Annie Grieve (my husband's great-grandmother) on oath says as follows: I am the daughter of Andrew Grieve and reside with him at Walloon.  I knew the deceased child Ernest Grieve.  I am his Aunt.  I remember the 17th of the present month.  I was at home in charge of the house on that day.  The deceased child was with me.  He was about the house by himself.  I was not taking particular notice of him.  He was four years and nine months old.  About four o'clock I missed him.  I looked all about the place but could not see him.  I sent my sister to a farmers place about a quarter of a mile from our place to see if he was there.  He was in the habit of going there.  Between five and six o'clock my mother came home.  i said to her did you see Ernest.  She said no I did not, I said I sent Harriet to Brassey's to look for him.  When I told my mother he was missing she got a clothes prop and searched the underground tank and found him.  Annie Grieve (her signature)

Taken and sworn before me at Rosewood in the said colony on the day and year first above mentioned John Lane JP

Here is the newspaper report from the time:

Brisbane. (1889, September 21). Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Toowoomba, Qld. : 1875 - 1948), p. 2. Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

So who was Ernest?  

Ernest was the son of Laura Grieve and, it would seem from this article, Robert Manthey.

Friday, May 29. (1885, May 30). Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), p. 6. Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Laura came out to Brisbane on the Wansfell in 1865 when she was 6 months old.  She came with her mother and father - Andrew aged 26 and Jane aged 22 -and her brother Phillip aged 3 from Truro, Cornwall.

Laura would have been about 19 or 20 when Ernest was born.  Her younger sister Annie or Mary Ann Grieve would have been about 17 when Ernest died. Laura went on to marry a couple of years after Ernest died.  

Family Notices. (1891, August 7). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 4. Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Annie or Mary Anna Grieve (my husband's maternal great-grandmother) married William George Cathcart later in the same year.

Family Notices. (1891, December 19). Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser (Qld. : 1861 - 1908), p. 4. Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

Here is Andrew Grieve's obituary from when he died in 1911.

OBITUARY. (1911, March 6). Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 - 1954), p. 4 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved September 19, 2015, from

For more laundry stories go here.

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