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Isabella Love’s tale of tragedy

June 25, 2019

Travel, travail, and tragedy- the story of Isabella Love, neé Ewart, encompasses all these elements in her life.

In 1849 aged 12 years she embarked in London on the ship “Anne Milne” with her parents Jane and William Ewart, and two younger siblings, Mary, 10 and James 4 years of age. Her father, William died during the voyage to Australia.

Sadly, on August 10 1849 Mary also died. She was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery Free Presbyterian section. It is possible her remains have been removed from this site now occupied by Victoria Market, to the Fawkner Cemetery.

The family disembarked at Melbourne and little is known of their whereabouts until Jane was employed as housekeeper to William Kissock.

On November 24, 1881 Isabella married John Love, whose family had also travelled to Australia on the “Anne Milne,” in the Baptist manse at 36 Condell Street Fitzroy.  They were both in their forties and no children were born to the couple.

John Love had extensive land holdings in the Essendon, Bulla and Tullamarine areas and employed men to manage the farms.

After the death of her husband Isabella lived on at their house located at 25 Brewster Street Essendon although her death certificate records the place of death as Bolinda.

In her will Isabella left an amount of money for the erection of four cottages to be named “the Isabella Love cottage”; the “William Kissock Cottage”; the “James Ewart cottage” and the “Jane Ewart cottage”.

Sadly, James Ewart died of acute peritonitis aged 48 after a “dissolute life” of excessive drinking and gambling. James and his wife, Catherine Fitzpatrick had twin daughters, but the two girls within days of each other aged 17 months.

Isabella’s mother died as an inmate of the Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum.

A tragic family tale, but also a tale of great generosity with Isabella endowing four cottages here at the Old Colonists village.

The apartments are beautiful, with lovely, open and bright rooms, and a balcony for growing plants in pots. I am starting to make my apartment into a home.

– Catherine, Leith Park

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