Fidelia Hill (née Munkhouse)

1794 - 1854

Claimant or beneficiary

Biography

Fidelia Hill (née Munkhouse), pioneering Australian poet, claimed for part of the compensation for Strawberry Hill in Port Royal Jamaica with her husband Robert Keate Hill (in whose name alone the award was made, q.v.); she was one of the nieces of Arthur Savage, the deceased owner of the estate.

  1. Arthur Savage of Arthur Savage & Co. Kingston Jamaica, a merchant and coffee planter of Strawberry Hill died c. 1815 and after specific bequests to among others his nieces left his residual estate to his sister Faith (later Fidelia, who married the Rev. Richard Munkhouse), and to two natural sons, Arthur and Richard by Jane Bowie: his will also provided for them to be educated in England. The first Arthur Savage was the son of an American loyalist, in turn also Arthur, who was originally a merchant 'in the West India way' in Boston. The London merchant firm of Bird, Savage & Bird was clearly connected to the family given the evidence of naming practices including 'Bird' among the children of Faith/Fidelia Munkhouse. Fidelia Hill (née Munkhouse) was the oldest daughter of Faith/Fidelia Munkhouse and the Rev. Richard Munkhouse.

  2. 'A lieut[enan] in the Royal Navy', Robert Keate Hill was the son of William and Elizabeth Hill born 23/03/1798, baptised 08/05/1798 Westminster. Married Fidelia Munkhouse 24/07/1830 at St Dunstan in the West, City of London.

  3. The couple moved to Jamaica 'shortly after' their wedding (although they were identified as of London in their claim). In the mid-1830s they travelled to Australia 'on the understanding that Robert Hill would be given a position in the new colony of South Australia.' They were in Adelaide 1836-1838, then, Hill having died, Fidelia remarried in Tasmania, where she died in 1854. Hill's 'Poems and recollections of the past' (Sydney, 1840) was the first volume of poetry by a woman published in Australia.  

Sources

T71/864 Port Royal no. 9, which identifies Robert Keate Hill & uxor as 'London'.

  1. Lawrence Park, Thomas Savage of Boston and his descendants (Boston, David Clapp & Son, 1914) pp. 28-30.

  2. Ibid. p. 29; Ancestry.com, England and Wales Christening Records 1530-1906 [database online]; Ancestry.com, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921 [database online].

  3. Australian Poetry Library, 'Fidelia S. T. Hill (1794-1854), http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/hill-fidelia-s-t [accessed 09/05/2012]. This site describes Robert Keate Hill as 'a captain in the service of the East India Company.'


Further Information

Absentee?
British/Irish
Maiden Name
Munkhouse
Spouse
Robert Keate Hill

Associated Claims (1)

£2,040 1S 1D
Beneficiary

Legacies Summary

Historical (1)

BooksAuthor?
Poems and Recollections of the... 1840 

Imperial (1)

Australia: New South Wales 
notes →
The first woman in Australia to publish a volume of poetry ('Poems and Recollections of the Past', Sydney 1840)....
sources →
Australian Poetry Library, 'Fidelia S. T. Hill (1794-1854),...

Relationships (2)

Wife → Husband
Sister → Brother

Addresses (1)

London, London, England