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Orphan Number: 1613
Orphan: Francis Reginald DUKE
Mother's ship:
Father's ship:
Age when admitted:4yrs
Date admitted:16 Sep 1864
Date discharged:21 Aug 1872
Institution(s):Queens Orphan School
Discharged to: John Picken, Green Ponds
Remarks: child boarded to Ann DUKE when hours old and was christened with name DUKE. Payment stopped after second year.
References: SWD26/6 & 7, 32/1, 53, HAP1871/63

This orphan has been claimed by: Joyce Purtscher

On the application form for the admission of Francis Reginald Duke to the Queen’s Orphanage in September 1864 the following was written on behalf of Ann Duke, nee Lyall.

On the 25 May 1860 the child Francis Reginald was brought to Mrs Duke by her friend who required her to take charge of it for which she was to receive £1 per week.  Mrs Duke took the child and did not see the - again for the first year.  She received the money through the post at first very regularly during the second year she received upon an amount of 15/- per week and from that time up to February she occasionally received a few ? Since then she has not received anything towards the support and there is no chance of - - who to apply to.  The child was christened by Mr Lowe and took the name Duke.  Mrs Duke is in very humble circumstances and not in a position to support the child, her husband George Duke deserted her in 1859 and he has not been heard of.  She has 3 children of her own.  One is in the Queen's Asylum the other two are supported by herself.  When Mrs Duke received the child he was only a few hours old. (SWD26/6,7)

The other children referred to were George William Duke (admitted QO 21 April 1863 with parents named as Ann Lyall, free per Mary A Watson and George de Gory Duke, convict per Pestongee Bomanjee), William Benjamin Duke and Arthur Louis Duke.

He was admitted to the orphanage on 16 September 1864 and was apprenticed to John Picken, Green Ponds on 21 August 1872. This apprenticeship expired on 2 Jun 1878 (HAP1871/63). On 26 September 1888, Frederick Reginald Duke, 20, married Alice Maud Mary Best, at Westbury. They had 4 children, Iris Lyall, 1889 at Westbury, Eric Charles 1892 at Port Frederick, Thelma Mary born and died 1894 at Westbury and Coralie Lois 1895 at Westbury.

According to the Tasmanian 22 April 1893, Francis Reginald Duke was declared bankrupt as a butcher. Later they moved to Victoria where the marriage broke up, and the following article appeared in the Argus 5 November 1909.

Divorce Court, Thursday, Nov. 4 (Before Mr. Justice Hodges) DUKE V. DUKE.

Alice Maud Mary Duke, aged 45, of High-street, Prahran, sought a dissolution of her marriage with Francis Reginald Duke, aged 49, on the ground of desertion.  Mr. Jacobs, instructed by Mr. W.E. Brunt, appeared for Mrs Duke.  The marriage took place on September 26 1888 and they had four children, the eldest being 20. Husband and wife lived about different country towns in Tasmania for some years, but the husband was frequently away for long periods working.  He came to Melbourne in 1901, and soon after wrote for his wife, saying that he had determined to settle in Victoria. In 1903 the husband went back to Tasmania on a mining venture, promising that he would return in five months’ time.  He did not come back until August last, after the papers had been served on him.  He then asked his wife if she were going on with the divorce proceedings, and she said she was.  He asked to see the children, but she declined to let him.  A decree nisi, with costs was granted.

In the Sydney Morning Herald 27 May 1929 was an obituary of his death and funeral.

MR. F. R. DUKE. – Mr. F. R. Duke, who died in the Parramatta District Hospital recently, was elected an alderman of the Holroyd Municipal Council at the last elections in December.  He was well-known in the Parramatta and Hawkesbury districts.  He prospected for oil at North Richmond, and, although it was reported that he had discovered petroleum, it was not in payable quantities.  At the funeral, which took place at the Western-road (Parramatta) Cemetery, the Rev. S. M. Johnstone, of St. John’s Church, Parramatta, conducted the service.  Aldermen and many of the Holroyd Council staff preceded the cortege in the procession to the grave.

The Mayor (Alderman Bacon) said that Mr. Duke was a man who was greatly admired by his colleagues.

The principal mourners included Mrs. F. R. Duke (widow), Mr. W. Buckley (uncle), Mesdames Randle, Sherwin, and Turner (daughters), Messrs. F. A. Randle, A. Sherwin, and V. Turner (sons-in-law). Alderman Bacon (Mayor of Holroyd), and Aldermen Warnock, Rainbow, Brett, Maunder, Shaw, and Jones; Messrs. A. D. Hume (town clerk), A. E. Bavinton (deputy-town clerk), R. H. Dunstan (electrical engineer), and N. McGilvray (assistant overseer) R. A. Johnston, E. R. Taylor, T. H. Barrett, J. M. Stahl, W. J. Fullagar, and T. McLean.


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