BASSETT, Mary Kate

1845 - 1942

Mary Kate Bassett nee Colchester

As Mary Kate Colchester, she was born at Ipswich on 14 May 1945 and baptised at Little Oakley, Essex on 3 August 1845, daughter of William Colchester (1813-15 November 1898), ship owner and store merchant, and his wife Mary Kate née Bright (1818-6 August 1895), who married at All Saints' Church, Maldon, Essex on 14 October 1840. Mary was schooled by governesses and in 1861 the family were leasing Grundisburgh Hall, near Ipswich, when they retained six indoor servants plus a coachman and a governess. By 1871, they had moved to the Ipswich dockside along Wherstead Road, St Mary Stoke, where 25-year-old Mary was living with her parents, 57-year-old William, a 'merchant and magistrate', and 53-year-old Mary, and her six siblings, Agnes 24, Charlotte 19, Lucy Florence Colchester 18, Alice 16, Charles 14 and George 13. Mary was a childhood sweetheart of Frederic Selous (1851-1917), the great African hunter, who was the basis of the Rider Haggard’s character Alan Quartermain in 'King Soloman's Mines' but she married at St Matthew's church, Ipswich on 17 September 1879, a prominent London consulting analytical chemist, Henry Bassett (1837-30 August 1920) and they went to live at 26 Belitha Villas, Islington, London. They were still at the same address in 1901 with the addition of three children, 19-year-old Henry Bassett (1881-1985), later professor of Chemistry at University College, Reading who married in 1915 Violet Maud Fleming; 18-year-old Kate Rose (1882-1979) and 17-year-old Mary Josephine (1884-1920). Mary Kate Bassett died at 86 Shinfield Road, Reading on 25 February 1942, aged 96.

Works by This Artist