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Shirley Elizabeth Fraser

Shirley Elizabeth Fraser (1823-45) was the illegitimate daughter of Hugh Baron Fraser, from Inverness, and Elizabeth Le Blair, of Demerara. When her father died in 1824, he bequeathed Shirley £4000 and a share of property in Cumingburg. [Will of H B Fraser PROB 11/1697]

In 1837, at the age of fourteen, Shirley was 'prevailed upon by Mr. [William] Dey, a journeyman cooper at Demerara . . . to leave her mother, and embark with him on board a sloop for St. Lucia, where they were . . . married'. They returned to Demerara, via Barbados, in January 1838 and in July of the same year she left her husband. She subsequently lived in Lambeth, Surrey, where she died on 18 June 1845. Shortly before her death she made a will, in her maiden name of Fraser. The validy of this will was contested by her husband and the case, which he won, hinged on the validity of their marriage in St Lucia. [Notes of cases in the ecclesiastical & maritime courts, 1849]