Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in People - Historical | No Comments

Kathleen Barnard 1910 – 2011

Great granddaughter of Henry Trevor, Kathleen Barnard (nee Trevor) died peacefully in February at the age of 100. Many members will remember her from her various visits to the Plantation Garden from her home in Cheshire. Kathleen may well have inherited her longevity gene from her great-grandmother Mary Trevor, wife of our founder Henry Trevor.

Kathleen was the daughter of one of Henry’s two grandsons, to whom he left the residue of his estate when he died in 1897. Not only did Kathleen supply our only photo of Henry Trevor, but indeed most of our information about the family history of the Trevors comes from her. She painted a vivid picture of Henry’s disapproval of the marriage of his and Mary’s only daughter, Eliza, to her first cousin, to depart for Australia and America. But, as happens so often, the daughter’s determination overcame the objections of her father and John returned and married Eliza. Nowadays there are historians who find John of greater interest than Henry because, after several shaky starts, John found his vocation as a Unitarian preacher in Manchester and became the ‘first Labour minister’, sharing a platform with Bernard Shaw and Kier Hardie.

Kathleen knew that her great-grandfather had lived in Norwich, so was able to make the connection when she suddenly saw an article in a Sunday supplement in the 1980s describing the discovery and restoration of a Victorian garden in Norwich. She immediately made contact and was generous with her information and support for many years. She gave a bench to the garden, in part because she felt that she wanted the name of Henry Trevor to appear in his garden: later she said that she regretted not mentioning Mary in the inscription.

Words by Sheila Adam. Photo taken 1994