Famous People – Elizabeth Hawkins Whitshed

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Elizabeth Hawkins Whitshed lived at Killincarrig House in Greystones. She was born in 1861. Her father was Sir St. Vincent Hawkins Whitshed.  He died when she was eleven. When she was eighteen she went to London in 1879 to be presented at the court of the English Queen, Victoria. She met Colonel Frederick Burnaby and they got married soon after.

She was very impressed by Colonel Burnaby. He was a celebrity of the time. He was six foot four, a soldier, an adventurer, traveller, balloonist and writer. At the time of his marriage Burnaby was working for the eldest son of Queen Victoria. He was in charge of the horses belonging to the Prince of Wales. They traveled to North Africa after their marriage. But Elizabeth became ill. In 1880, she returned to Greystones to have her only child Harry St. Vincent Augustus Burnaby.

In 1882, the doctor advised Elizabeth to go to live in Switzerland. It was thought that the climate in Switzerland would be good for her health. This seemed to work because the following winter Elizabeth climbed Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Switzerland. Elizabeth went on to become a famous lady mountaineer, a writer, a photographer and an expert on the Alps. You can read more about that time in her life if you click on this LINK . There is also a lot of information about Elizabeth HERE on the Our Wicklow Heritage in an article by Rosemary Raughter, of the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society.

Elizabeth Whitshed called the Burnaby Estate in Greystones after her husband. There is a road in the Burnaby called Whitshed Road. Elizabeth lived to be 73.

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