Frances Hyde Holmes1

#927, (circa 1835-)
FatherWilliam Hyde Holmes2 (1794-1 Jul 1864)
MotherEllen O'Donnell2 (c 1799-11 Jan 1865)
ChartsDescendents of Robert Holmes
Last Edited23 Sep 2022
WikiTree ID:
     (For a brief history and context on the Holmes family see this page)

NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Frances was born circa 1835 at Ireland. Frances Hyde Holmes was also known as Fanny.3 She was the daughter of William Hyde Holmes and Ellen O'Donnell.2

Frances emigrated from Liverpool on 27 October 1841 on the 'Champion' with her parents and siblings (both biological and adopted.)2,4,5,6 After a voyage of 108 days Frances arrived at Sydney on 12 February 1842. During the voyage 5 sailors committed mutiny but were eventually released by the Attorney General.2,4,5,6
She presumably lived with her parents at Princes Street in The Rocks, in Sydney, in 1843. It is not clear that the entry refers to this family, but is a reasonable speculation given that Bridget and her husband claimed to live in this same street ten years later.7

The family soon became parishioners at St. James' Church of England, thought of as the principal church in the city and one which "the congregation usually includes the family of the Governor, and a large proportion of the leading members of society. It is also decidedly the favourite resort for the more aristocratical among the votaries of Hymen". How this sat with the Holmes family isn't known, but perhaps it sat well with William and Ellen as they contemplated the future for the eight young women under their charge. With space to seat a congegation of 1500, it would have made for a bustling centre of the community.8
Killmallock c.1821 attributed to John George Muvany
She presumably lived with her parents at Sydney in January 1851. in Macquarie street.9

She may have attended the wedding of her sister in the marriage of Henry Hugh Hill and Bridget Holmes at St. James' Church of England on Monday, 20 January 1851 at Sydney. Bridget and Henry went on to have four children together.9,10

She may have attended the wedding of her sister in the marriage of William Patrick McMunn and Albina Hyde Holmes at St. James' Church of England on Monday, 17 January 1853 at Sydney. William and Albina went on to have some 10 children together.11,12

Her father died 1 July 1864 at the approximate age of 70.

Her mother died 11 January 1865 at the approximate age of 65.

She married Edward Montgomery, on Tuesday, 28 November 1865 at the Sydney suburb of Rushcutter's Bay..13,14

Edward Montgomery was charged with having beaten Frances Hyde Holmes on 5 March 1875:
BEFORE the Police Magistrate, with Messrs. Spence
Solomon, Hale, Otley, and Charlton.
Edward Montgomery was charged with having unlawfully assaulted and beaten Fanny Montgomery, his wife. Mr.Vardy appeared for the complainant; Mr. Pigott appeared the defendant. The case was initiated on the 11th of February last, several adjournments having since taken place and the following evidence was then taken :-Fanny Montgomery deposed: the defendant is the person of whom I complain; he is my husband; for some time past he and I have lived apart; on the 29th of January I went to His residence at Waverly and took away my too children, aged 4 and 8 years respectively; I went to an empty house in Rushcutter Bay to wait until dark, so that I might get them to Kissing Point where I intended to go ; from something I heard, I went out the back way, and, upon doing so, I saw the defendant getting through the front window ; he followed me, and overtook me at the end of the house ; he was accompanied by a man named Enoch Bennett; when he came up to me he raised a walking stick that he carried, and said to me, " You drunken wretch, I'll break your bones ;" the children commenced to cry and ran away ; Enoch Bennett took the younger child, a little girl, in his arms, and my husband then beat me about my arms and face with the walking stick ; my left arm is bruised and black from the wrist to the point of the shoulder; my right arm is also injured ; it is now bandaged ; the mark on the right side of my face is also the result of his violence ; he knocked me down upon my face and hands by pushing me from behind ; he left me sitting upon the ground and I remained there for some hours, because I was unable to rise ; I then proceeded a short distance towards Sydney, but finding myself unable to walk, I sat upon a vacant piece of land till morning, when I walked into town, and consulted Dr. Rennick, who advised me to go to the Infirmary; I went to the infirmary, was admitted there, and did not leave till yesterday (February 10), when I came down to got a warrant, for the arrest of my husband ; I am still an inmate of the Infirmary; I had been in St. Vincent's Hospital, and was discharged about a week before the assault. Cross-examined : I was in St Vincent's Hospital once, and in the Infirmary twice ; it was not drink that caused me to go to the Infirmary and St. Vincents Hospital ; I did not go to Kissing Point from my husband's residence because Mr. Bennett's son was watching me ; I got down to Rushcutter Bay before dinner, and sat down on some grass there with the children ; I cannot say what I had to drink that day ; I was in two or three public-houses, and had two or three glasses of ale; I will not swear how many public-houses I was in before 9 o'clock in the morning ; I cannot say whether I had any spirits that morning before 9 o'clock ; I was not drunk when my husband came to me. To the Bench : I was going to take my children to keep them without my husband's knowledge or permission ; I gave him no provocation whatever, except that of taking the children from him. On the following day the case was continued. Andrew John Brady deposed: l am resident medical officer at the Sydney Infirmary ; complainant was admitted into that institution on the 20th of January last ; I admitted her because she was suffering from "chronic alcoholism ;" she was in the incipient stage of delirium tremens; on the 1st of February my attention was drawn to her arms ; they were black and contused from the point of the shoulders to the elbows ; one of the nurses drew my attention to the complainant's arms, for the injuries to which she has been under my care ; a few days since, in consequence of the contusions on her right arm, I opened a small tumour at the back of her arm, and found it it full of clotted blood ; it will take ten days to cure her arms; the injuries might have been caused by a stick or a clenched fist. To the Bench : It is possible, but not likely, that the injuries to her arms were caused by her falling about whilst in a state of intoxication. To Mr. Pigott : Complainant must have been drinking very hard for some days previous to her admission to the Infirmary ; there was an injury upon her face which might have been caused by a fall ; the contusions were severe, but no bones were broken ; I administered sleeping draughts for the delirium tremens. Ann June Smith, a nurse in the Infirmary, gave evidence respecting complainant's condition in the Infirmary, and said that though excited, she (complainant) was not drunk. Similar testimony was given by Julia McMab, also a nurse in the Infirmary. Mary Morgan, residing at Paddington, stated that about the 28th of January the complainant went to her place, and asked for a drink of water; she had two children with her, and was quite sober ; the time was about nine o'clock in the morning; there was no mark on her face then. Enoch Bennett deposed : l am the defendant's brother-in-law; he is at present living with me as a boarder; on the 28th of January last I was with the defendant, at Rushcutter Bay ; it was dusk ; the defendant handed two children to me out of the window of an empty house there; I saw him go in through the window; after that I saw Mrs, Montgomery at the gable end of the house ; I saw defendant strike her once with the stick ; he did not ask me for protection ; I did not see more than one blow; there might have been more; I went away; I saw defendant take his wife by the shoulders and push her, she fell ; defendant overtook me on the way home; I was taking the children ; I had gone about fifty yards along the road when the defendant overtook me; the blow was given when the complainant was down ; the stick which defendant had was a light malacca cane as thick as one of my fingers. At this stage the case was adjourned for a week, in order that a settlement might be made by the parties, the defendant promising to provide home for his wife and to live with her if she would abstain from drink, which she consented to do. When the case came on again to-day, Mr. Pigott said that the defendant had made arrangements for providing his wife with a suitable home, but that a final reconciliation had been prevented, in consequence of the complainant having given way to drink. Mr. Vardy said that the complainant bad been made drunk at the defendant's instigation ; that the lodgings into which he had temporarily put her wore of a disreputable character ; that she had been turned out of them while in tho state of drunken ness into which her husband had caused her to be put; and had for the last four have been without shelter. The Bench expressed their regret that a reconciliation could not take place ; but, as the case was of very serious character, they thought it should go before a jury. Defendant was therefore committed to take his trial at the next Court of Quarter Sessions ; bail being allowed him in the sum of £80, with two sureties in £40 each.15

On 5 April 1875, Edward Montgomery was charged with unlawfully wounding his wife Frances Hyde Holmes and was fined £5 and bound over to keep the peace at Sydney Quarter Sessions, in Sydney.16

On 29 April 1875 she entered gaol at the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst for 2 days for being drunk.17

Her husband Edward Montgomery disputed her legal fees on 21 August 1875:

This was an issue from the Supreme Court, in which plaintiff sued to recover the sum of £6 6s. 6d. for professional services rendered to defendant's wife at the Water Police Court. His statement was that Mrs. Montgomery paid him a guinea, and agreed to pay him whatever other expenses were incurred. It appeared, however, that Mr. Montgomery afterwards refused to pay plaintiff's charges and plaintiff sued him in the Supreme Court to recover the amount. The costs were reduced on taxation to the amount now sued for, and the issue was sent down to the District Court. Mr. Pigott, for the defendant, moved for a nonsuit on the grounds that a properly signed bill had not been delivered according to the Act. His Honor nonsuited the plaintiff.18

Frances Hyde Holmes was deserted by her husband Edward Montgomery on 22 September 1876:


BEFORE the, Water Police Magistrate and Messrs. Hunt, Goldring, Oatley, and Charlton.


Edward Montgomery, charged with wife-desertion, was directed to pay 10s. weekly for her support, the first payment to be made on the ensuing Monday.19

Frances Hyde Holmes was charged with stealing on 21 July 1877:

BEFORE theWater Police Magistrate, with Messrs Smart, Charlton Lester, Murray, Alexander and Goodndge
Fanny Montgomery, found guilty of stealing a bottle of brandy valued at 5s the property of James Manting, and from his public house, was sent to gaol for two months."3

Frances Hyde Holmes was sought for stealing money from her sister Charlotte Holmes on 3 February 1887:
"Sydney - A warrant has been issued by the Water Police Bench for the arrest of Fanny Montgomery, charged with stealing the sum of £3 [or £8] 15s. from the person of Charlotte O'Brien, on the 3rd instant. Offender is about 46 years of age, tall, medium build, fair hair and complexion; dressed in black dress, black cape, black and white bonnet with lace strings, and elastic-side boots with high heels. Complainant may be heard of at Mrs. Joseline, Langton place, Paddington."20

Frances was charged with drunkenness on 15 August 1888:
DRUNKENNESS. — Dealt with in the usual way — Edward Hoare, 20; John Wallace, 20 ; Ellen Mulholland, or_Go!ding, 28 ; Fanny Montgomery, 43 ; Michael Brennan, Mary Moroney, Edward O'Grady, Annie Eogers."

It appears her age was understated by about 10 years.21


1865Married Name13
1865Marriagethe Sydney suburb of Rushcutter's Bay13,14
1875Quotation type 215
1875Note memo only CR CRSydney Quarter Sessions, in Sydney16
1875Note memo only CR CRthe Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst17
1875Quotation type 218
1876Quotation type 219
1877Quotation type 23
1887Quotation type 220
1888Quotation type 221


Edward Montgomery (c 1838-c 1916)


  1. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1865 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 9 December, p. 1, viewed 27 July, 2013, (for middle name).
  2. [S272] Assisted Immigrants to NSW, Archives Office of NSW "Champion", arr. 12th Feb. 1842.
  3. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1877 'WATER POLICE COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 21 July, p. 7, viewed 26 July, 2013,
  4. [S327] My Early Pioneers and Their Lives (
  5. [S344] The Australasian Chronicle, 1842 'Shipping Intelligence.', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839-1843), 15 February, p. 3, viewed 20 February, 2011,
  6. [S344] The Australasian Chronicle, 1842 'News and Rumors of the Day', Australasian Chronicle (Sydney, NSW : 1839-1843), 3 March p. 3, viewed 20 February, 2011,
  7. [S640] New South Wales, Australia Historical Electoral Rolls, 1842-1843, Civilian Roll for Gipps Ward, in the City of Sydney, for the year 1842-43.
  8. [S1335] Joseph Fowles Sydney In 1848 Chapter VII.
  9. [S271] Parish Registers for St. James, Vol.37A No.51.
  10. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1851 'Family Notices', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 25 January, p. 5. , viewed 19 Jan 2020, (Interestingly, the newspaper stated that Bridget was the second daughter of William and Ellen).
  11. [S271] Parish Registers for St. James, Vol.39C No.913.
  12. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1853 'Family Notices.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 21 January, p. 2, viewed 17 October, 2014,
  13. [S3] New South Wales, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1865 No.1003.
  14. [S338], (…
  15. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1875 'WATER POLICE COURT.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 5 March, p. 3, viewed 27 July, 2013,
  16. [S617] State Records Authority of NSW, New South Wales Government Gazette, 1901-2001, Sydney 21 April 1875 p.119.
  17. [S952] New South Wales, Australia, Gaol Description and Entrance Books 1819-1930, Name: Fanny Montgomery; Date of Admission/Photo: 29 Apr 1875; Gaol: Darlinghurst; Gaol Location: Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia; Record Type: Entrance Book.
  18. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 21 August 1875.
  19. [S268] The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1876 'POLICE COURTS.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 21 September, p. 3, viewed 26 July, 2013,
  20. [S617] State Records Authority of NSW, New South Wales Government Gazette, 1901-2001, Sydney 9th February 1887 p.44.
  21. [S641] The Evening News, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1888 'REDFERN.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 15 August, p. 3, viewed 27 July, 2013,