I have written before about my Jewish family who went as business entrepreneurs to Tasmania, then called Van Diemen’s Land, in the early 18540’s. They were probably quite well off when they went, but in Hobart they became extremely wealthy as merchants, ship-owners and traders.
They were so wealthy in fact that when they returned to London in the 1850’s and 1860’s they had properties overlooking Regent’s Park in London, beautiful terraces built by the Regency architect John Nash. They bought such properties because they were used to living in some style while they were in Tasmania. They had a house called Boa Vista.
So with their mansion in Hobart, their wonderful property overlooking Regent’s Park, how come my family were brought up always having to work for their living? Oh, I forgot to mention (although I have mentioned it before!) that my great-grandfather Louis, son of the owners of these magnificent houses, omitted to marry my great-grandmother, Lois, probably because she was not Jewish .. he then tragically died while my grandmother and her four brothers were young children…
If he had not died, no doubt my grandmother would have received a private and expensive education, maybe she would have met an important and rich young man who moved in the same social circles, maybe she would have met – hold on! If that had happened I wouldn’t be here!!
The past might seem cruel and indeed it was, Lois was estranged from her own family and never welcomed in Louis’s, she lost the love of her live, my grandmother and her brothers grew up without a loving father… But I wouldn’t change the past if I could, I really wouldn’t!!