Henry and Georgie Martin

TLM-P visited his sister-in-law and her disgraced husband Henry in Birmingham, England in July 1882.1) He described her and the children in detail, presumably for the benefit of his wife. There was:
1. Willie, about 2 months younger than 9 year-old Meta, and not so stout and strong as his siblings;
2. Sissy, 7 years old, a similar age to 'lost litttle Emeline' and a 'stout, clever child';
3. Hilda, about 5 years old and 'a stout little girl, very strong full of life and good looking, puts me in mind of one of Rose Patersons girls (Rose was another sister of Nora's and Georgie) with dark eyes'; and
4. Claude, about 3 'a fine sturdy little fellow full of health'.
TLM-P was pleased that 'They all made friends with Uncle Tom'.

Georgie he found looking 'well and very nice, quieter than of yore' - that she was quieter was not surprising given what she had faced after they left Queensland. First, sailing from Plymouth to the next English port, she had been told by the ship's second mate, 'that he feared greatly that there was great trouble in store for her'. They then discovered that Henry faced criminal charges, accused of embezzlement, and was under police surveillance. Sometime after that she had had a 'very long and dangerous illness', facing the prospect of leaving her children motherless and with little support in England - given Henry's mother had died, and his step-mother was hostile. TLM-P considered that the Martins lived in 'very uncomfortable lodgings', though they had found a better place to rent and planned to move soon. TLM-P thought that Georgie had a hard life compared to her one in Australia, but 'she had risen to the circumstances and done her work'. To make matters worse, TLM-P had a chat to an old soldier in Henry's office, discovering that Henry's employer had recently died and that consequently Henry might lose his job.

On 5 July, the day after his arrival at the Martin's home, and having delighted in their children, TLM-P met with Henry in his office. Firstly, TLM-P asked him to prepare the legal documents required so that Henry could relinquish his role as Nora's trustee under their marriage settlement on the grounds that he had returned to England. Henry said he had already written to 'Mrs Barton … to relinquish his Trusteeship', so it appears his mother-in-law was not backward in protecting her daughter's interests.

TLM-P then had the unpleasant task of asking Henry Martin to explain the missing cheques for £740, telling him 'exactly and plainly' why government ministers, including Sir Arthur Palmer and Sir Thomas McIllwraith thought he was guilty of embezzlement. Henry denied he had long been in debt or that he had left the country hurriedly. He explained there was only a junior officer to hand-over to when he left; that he had seen no reason to report to the Audit Office before his departure; and that he could not afford to return with his family to Queensland to face the charge - a process that would take up to a year and require £150 for the trip, leaving him with less than £300 to support his family for the year and pay for their return passage. Sadly, Henry could not account for the missing money. TLM-P concluded Henry was innocent, 'or a much more clever villain than I could have imagined him … I think with the Commissioner [of Works] Mr A. O. Herbert that some great blunder has been made which will some day come to light but that H.S.M[artin] has not been guilty.' Fortunately, when TLM-P called in to the Queensland Office when visiting on 10 July, he found the official also 'did not think him guilty'. On 31 July TLM-P cautiously raised the matter with Georgie as she had told Campbell Praed that she did not know the details of the problem. While it was conventional at the time that women were not necessarily told about their husband's work-related problems, TLM-P thought she should know given 'so much hinged upon' the issue. After he found out she did know, he said as little as possible not wishing to ruin their outing. TLM-P also discovered that payments made been made by her husband in Queensland without vouchers [invoices] which meant the issue would be hard to resolve.2)

The other event of note during TLM-P's visit, was that Henry's brother, an engineer, had been on a train when they saw a capsized boat: Henry's brother leap out of the train and ended up rescuing the two boys in the boat, along with another would-be rescuer.(7 July)

In 1917, we have another view of Georgie, after a visit by her nephew R.A. (Max) Barton while he was on leave in London. He wrote to his mother, 'I went out to see Aunt Georgie a few days ago and found her much more cheerful than I expected her to be in the midst of her troubles. She has had rather a bad time of it lately with car and eye trouble. She and Connie and her 3 children are living in rooms in a house at West Kensington and seem fairly satisfied with it. I like Aunt Georgie very much and she seemed to me ridiculously like Aunt Nora in some of her mannerisms and in her love for anecdote and reminiscence.3)

all the following is from TLM-P, Diary, 4-5 July 1882, ML
TLM-P, Diary, 31 July 1882, ML.
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