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Georgiana Huntly Gordon McCrae (1804–1890)

Author of Georgiana's journal: Melbourne, 1841-1865

Includes the names: Georgiana McCrae

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Georgiana Huntly was born in London, the illegitimate daughter of George, Marquis of Huntly and afterwards 5th Duke of Gordon, and his lover Jane Graham. She was educated at a convent school and then at boarding school. She excelled at languages and music, and studied art at the Royal Academy. She spent several years in one of her father's Scottish castles and then went to Edinburgh, where she established a reputation in the 1820s as a talented portrait painter. Her public career ended with her 1830 marriage to Andrew Murison McCrae, with whom she had nine children. They moved to London in 1834. After a few years, McCrae decided to emigrate to Australia, and he settled in Melbourne, where he practiced law and later became a magistrate. Georgiana and her children were supposed to have gone with him, but she was ill after the birth of her latest child and it was considered unsafe for her to risk the sea voyage then. She embarked with her four sons in October 1840 and landed at in March 1841. Georgiana does not seem to have painted many portraits after she arrived in Australia. However, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne has in its collection an oil painting done by her of her brother-in-law Dr. Farquhar McCrae. She did a large number of watercolor paintings and drawings, many of which are in the possession of her descendants, as well as some fine miniatures. Her private journals, which she kept all her life, were edited by her grandson, Hugh McCrae, and excerpts were published as "Georgiana’s Journal, Melbourne, 1841–1865" (1966).
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