Lady Mary Fitzroy & Charles Chester MastersPrint Page Print this page

Fitzroy Obelisk : 30-August-2014
Fitzroy Obelisk : 30-August-2014

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

An obelisk commemorates the accidental death of Lady Fitzroy ,wife of Governor Fitzroy, and Charles Masters, his aide-de-camp. The obelisk was unveiled on Centenary Day (Australia Day) 1888 at the site of the tree where the tragedy occured.

On the morning of December 7, 1847, the governor was driving them from the then Government House when the horses bolted. The carriage tipped, throwing Lady Mary and Lieutenant Masters headlong into one of the oak trees which formed an avenue that had been planted in Governor Macquarie`s time. Lady Mary died almost instantly; Lieutenant Masters some hours later. The governor was unhurt but was heartbroken. The funeral was one of the biggest Parramatta had ever seen, with hundreds attending.

The people of Parramatta and district have fittingly celebrated the Centenary. No public movement has ever received such unstinted all-round support in Parramatta. To Mr. Hugh Taylor, M.P., is due the lion's share of praise for taking the iniatory steps in the movement, but somebody has to be first, and although the Mayor (Mr. Byrnes) was not exactly first in the field, he soon entered into the proper spirit of the thing and lent very valuable co-operation. The Parramatta Park was the scene of the opening ceremony, namely, unveiling the memorial to the memory of Lady Mary Fitzroy, wife of Sir Charles Fitzroy, for several years Governor of New South Wales. The memorial is in the shape of a pyramid obelisk of freestone, surrounded by a dwarf wall and iron railing, enclosing what is generally supposed to be the tree against which Lady Fitzroy was thrown with such sad results. On a marble panel is the followiug inscription: — "This obelisk is erected to the memory of Lady Mary Fitzroy, the wife of Sir Charles Fitzroy, the then Governor of the colony, and Charles Chester Masters, A.D.C., lieutenant H. M. 58th Regiment, who were accidently killed by being thrown from their carriage against this tree on December 7, 1847." Mr. Richard Harper, J.P. unveiled the memorial, and addresses were delivered by Mr. Hugh Taylor and the Mayor. Archdeacon Gunther was among those present.
Excerpy from Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 31 January 1888.

Just inside the main entrance to Parramatta Park is an obelisk which marks the spot where Lady Mary Fitzroy, wife of Sir Charles Fitzroy, former Governor of New South Wales, received fatal injuries in a driving accident on December 7,1847. The Governor and Lady Fitzroy, accompanied by Lieut. Charles Masters, were setting out to attend a wedding in Sydney, when the four horses attached to their carriage became frightened and dashed wildly down the hill from Government House. The carriage struck a stump, throwing the occupants violently out. The Governor escaped practically unhurt, but Lady Mary and Lieut. Masters wore so seriously injured that they died the same day. The maddened horses careered along George-street as far as Church-street, where they crashed into a building which stood on the site now occupied by Tattersall's Hotel. As a result of the tragic happening, a gloom was cast over the whole Colony. Subsequently Governor Fitzroy had an entrance made to the Domain (the Park) at Macquarie-street, and he used this instead of the George-street one. The obelisk was unveiled on Centenary Day, 1888.
Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW),  
26 October 1933.


Address:George & O`Connell Streets, Parramatta Park, Parramatta, 2150
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.812856
Long: 151.000108
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:07-December-1847
Actual Event End Date:07-December-1847


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 26th January, 1888
Front Inscription

This obelisk is erected to the memory of Lady Mary Fitzroy the wife of Sir Charles Fitzroy, the then Governor of the Colony.

And Charles Chester Masters A.D.C. Lieut H.M. 58th Regt.

Who were accidently killed being thrown from their carriage against this tree on the 7th Decr. 1847.

Source: H,MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au