Biographical notesMary Elizabeth Lowe features in lists of British botanists as a result of her success in the 1864 RHS Botanical Competition. Her herbarium remains untraced. Better known is her uncle John Lowe, surgeon of Sleaford and later King's-Lynn and London, who was a member of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. He had published a paper on the Flora of the Sleaford district in their Transactions of 1856 and was, no doubt, a strong influence on Mary's botanical interest.
|1845||Brauncewell Manor, Sleaford|
|1871||Census - Rippingale, Lincs.|
|1876||New Basford, Notts.|
|1913||? UK, Swansea|
|Annotated documentation of the Lowe family of Sleaford.|
|1845 : Birth||Mary Elizabeth was born at Brauncewell Manor, Lincolnshire, the eldest daughter of farmer Ralph Lowe and his second wife Sarah Elizabeth Cox. Her birth was registered in near-by Sleaford in the second quarter of the year.|
|1864 : RHS Botanical competition||
A silver medal was awarded for her collection of Lincolnshire plants in this year -
"Miss Mary E. Lowe, Beauncrevell Manor, Sleaford"
This garbled version of her address apperared in the list of prize winners in 1865.
|1870 November 30 : Marriage to John Truman||
11870 December 9: Lincolnshire Chronicle
MARRIAGES. At Brauncewell, on the 30th ult (by the Rev M J Truman, brother of the bridegroom, assisted by the Rev H Ashington, rector), Sandel [sic] John Truman, surgeon, of Rippingale, son of Beckit Truman, esq. Nottingham, to Mary Elizabeth eldest daughter of Ralph Lowe, esq. Brauncewell.
1881 March 2 :
Death of husband
11881 March 9: Pall Mall Gazette
DEATHS. TRUMAN, Mr. Samuel J., M.R.C.S.E., son of the late Mr. Beckit Truman, of Nottingham, at New Basford, Notts, aged 35, March 2.
|1896 January 13 : Marriage to Francis Armstrong||
11896 January 15: Edinburgh Evening News
MARRIAGES. At the Central Station Hotel, Glasgow, on the 13th inst. by the Rev. J. B. Armstrong (brother of the bridegroom), Francis Armstrong, to Mary Elizabeth, widow of the late Dr John Truman.
1912 September 18 :
Death of husband
|The Bahamas Civil Registers record the death of Francis Armstrong (54), Civil Servant, at Cherokee Sound.|
1922 March 25 :
To New York
|The passenger lists of the Mauretania contain Mary Armstrong, last residence in UK Swansea, nearest relative in UK sister Mrs Sopper of Woodbridge. Her age is optimistically given as 69 years 10 months but she was actually about 77. She is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall with a dark complexion, dark hair and brown eyes. She is intending to visit her daughter Mrs. [Edith] Bethell in New York.|
1925 February 8 :
Death, Yonkers, USA
Her date and place of death are provided by the Probate Register which records that her last UK address was 11 Gwydr-crescent, Swansea, and that probate was granted to her spinster niece Annie May Sopper.
In 1911 the house was occupied by William Pickering Smith, solicitor, and his wife Edith Elizabeth (née Sykes). Their exact relationship to Mary is unclear but Edith's father, Rev. William Sykes, was at one time the incumbent of Dorrington, Lincolnshire, and had officiated at marriages of the Lowe family.
1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive
Managed by Richard Middleton : last updated 2016 February 18