Posted by: gypsytales | January 26, 2009

Port Elizabeth – South Africa

Modern day view from the lighthouse at the Donkin Reserve

Modern day view from the lighthouse at the Donkin Reserve

Port Elizabeth – South Africa

 

British newly weds, Sir Rufane Donkin and Elizabeth Markham married in 1815.  Shortly afterwards Sir Donkin, a military man, was commissioned to India; accompanied by his new bride.

 

Christmas eve of 1817, Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, a son – George David.  August of the following year, Elizabeth succumbed to a fever, leaving behind her baby boy and grieving husband.  Elizabeth was buried in India and a devastated Rufane left for England with George and Elizabeth’s embalmed heart.

 

Two years later, Sir Donkin was Acting Governor for the Cape Colony, while Lord Charles Somerset returned to England for discussions.  It was during the time of the British settlers, on 6 June 1820, that he named Port Elizabeth, an emerging sea-port, in memory of his beloved young wife.  On a green knoll, with a view of the ocean, he erected a stone pyramid in her honour. 

Stone pyramid at Donkin Reserve

Stone pyramid at Donkin Reserve

 

 

In time, Rufane returned to England and did re-marry 14 years after his first wife’s passing.  It is believed that he couldn’t quite get over the loss of Elizabeth and at the age of 68 he committed suicide.  Her heart is buried with his in England.

 

Sir Rufane Donkin (1773 – 1841)

Elizabeth Donkin (1790 – 1818 )

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: