BASSETT, Mary Kate

1845 - 1942

Mary Kate Bassett nee Colchester

As Mary Kate Colchester was born at Ipswich on 14 May and baptised at Little Oakley, Essex on 3 August 1845, daughter of William Colchester (1813-1898), ship owner and store merchant, and his wife Mary Kate née Bright (1818-1895), who married at Maldon, Essex in 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 Colchester 18 [q.v.], Alice 16, Charles 14 and George 13. She was a childhood sweetheart of Frederic Selous, 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 (1837-1920) and 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). Henry died at Islington on 30 August 1920, and Mary Kate died at 86 Shinfield Road, Reading on 25 February 1942, aged 96.





Works by This Painter