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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Broome, Mary Anne, Lady

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Broome, Mary Anne, Lady, the wife of Sir Frederick Napier Broome, K.C.M.G., the late Governor of Western Australia, was the eldest daughter of Hon. Walter G. Stewart, Island Secretary of Jamaica. She was sent to England to be educated when two years old, and returned to Jamaica in 1850. She married first, in 1852, Colonel Sir George Barker, B.A., K.C.B., an officer distinguished for his Crimean and Indian services, who died at Simla in 1861. She married secondly, June 21st, 1865, Sir (then Mr.) Frederick Napier Broome, whom she accompanied to New Zealand the same year. Returning with her husband to England in 1869, Lady Barker, as she was then styled, became well known as a successful authoress. She has published "Station Life in New Zealand" (1870), followed by "Stories About," "Ribbon Stories," "A Christmas Cake," "A Year's Housekeeping in Natal," "Letters to Guy," descriptive of life in Western Australia, and other works. She published a useful manual in 1874, entitled "First Principles of Cookery," and was appointed Lady Superintendent of the National School of Cookery at South Kensington, a post she relinquished on accompanying her husband to Natal in 1875. Her next home was in Mauritius, 1878-83, when she organised a fund for the relief of the sick and wounded in the Zulu war. For this service she received a special official acknowledgment in a despatch from the Secretary of State for the Colonies. A movement in favour of the higher education of women was also initiated by her in Mauritius.