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Kate Emma Hursthouse was b: 23 Sep 1843 in New Plymouth to Helen and John Hursthouse; she d: 01 Jun 1863 in Symonds St., Auckland
Letters Sep/ Oct 1860 from Kate to her Aunt Lely in Dunedin reveal a vibrant 17 year old, chaffing under the melancholy of her duty to be with her mother at Nelson separated except by mail from family and her former life in New Plymouth. She voices anxiety that there might be a general war when unfounded reports spread news that Auckland and Wellington had been attacked. The "Airdale" was the life line bringing mail or returning residents from Nelson back to their homes in New Plymouth. News came of the vandalism to their former home and her mother's worry about finances and the school and concern that her father may again live with them "as if he was a proper husband or father" dominate. (John Hursthouse died due to alcoholism on 17 Nov 1860)
(Helen Hursthouse - Letter Jun 16 1861 to sister Lely Richmond in Auckland and her attempts to repay her husband's shop debts.) They returned to Taranaki to find a "disagreeable place dominated by officers, soldiers, dirty squalid shops and mud. We are living in a shop in Devon Street and the rent is fearfully high."
Kate's diary of 1863 tells of her daily events in posr-war Taranaki - household chores, sewing; French lessons, visits to family and friends, picnics, rides and dances, mild courtship, news of friends, etc.S
Percy Smith wrote this of Kate: "She was a charming woman and very good looking. Whilst on a visit to her sister, Helen, in Auckland, she died of a low fever".
Taranaki Herald, 13 June 1863: HURSTHOUSE— On the Ist instant, at the residence of C. J. Taylor, Esq., Symonds-street, Auckland, Kate Emma, aged 19 years, youngest daughter of the late John Hursthouse, Esq., of Taranaki. (Died of fever)
Presbyterian Burials: Symonds Street Cemetery in Auckland (contains transcription error of Kates birth date)
In memory of Helen Maria MACDONALD wife of A C P MACDONALD of the Colonial Secretary's Office and eldest daughter of the late John HURSTHOUSE. Deeply loved and lamented.
Born Norwich 8th March 1838
Died Auckland 11th April 1863
Kate Emma HURSTHOUSE
youngest daughter of John HURSTHOUSE
Born New Plymouth 25th Sept 1845
Died Auckland June 1st 1863