Portrait of George Heath
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George Heath 
1847-1923

Portrait of George Heath
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Born: 1847 and died 1923
Son of: Rev John Moore Heath (1808-1882) and Marianne Heath nee Harman (1816-1888).
Brother of:
1. Julia Heath (1848-1899).
2. Emma   (1850-1854)
3. Mary Anne Heath (1853-1928).
4. Walter Heath (1855-19??), who married Ellen Augusta Echalaz.
5. John Heath (1857-1857).
George married: Martha Charlotte Schmidt (1864-1951).
George and Martha had issue:
1. Roland Heath (1889-1975) who married Eileen Heath (nee Mills).
2. Cmdr John Moore Heath (1891-1944) who married Hilary Heath (nee Salter, ?-1984).
3. Philip George Heath MC (1895-1976) who married Olga Heath (nee Sinclair, 1896-1986).
4. Graham Douglas Heath (1899-1969) who married 1st Margret Heath (nee Harman, ?-1930) and then 2nd Joan Heath (nee Small, born 1914).

George Heath: An Overview

We know about George Heath from the following sources:

1. The book 'Records of the Heath Family Vol 1' by George Heath, 1913. 
2. The book 'Records of the Heath Family Vol 2' by George Heath, 1920.
3. A mention in the book 'Round About the Carpathians' by Andrew Frederick Crosse, published in 1878. Page 13.

Records of the Heath Family Vol 1, page 81, reads as follows:

George, born at Enfield Vicarage, March 27th, 1847.

One of my earliest recollections is a meeting with my grandfather, the Serjt., whilst I was seated with my mother over "Mama's Lessons," in easy words of two syllables, when the door opened, and my father announced the visitor. His manner was very quick, and his piercing eyes seemed to take in the details of the room in a flash. He soon took leave but I see him now as clearly as I did then, which must have been towards the end of 1851. My mother used to describe him as very restless.

My grandfather Harman again is seen a very distinct figure from the past, as I knew him well, dressed in a blue tail coat with brass buttons, a frilled shirt and a voluminous white tie, then known as a choker, twice round his neck, without any collar. A large watch in his fob, with a bunch of seals attached, and his tortoiseshell-mounted specs complete the details of his portrait in 1852.

After a course in the rudiments of learning at home, ii attended a small private school close to the Vicarage, where a graduate of Jena University, a certain Profr. Dr. Munchke, gave lessons. He had served at Waterloo, and was an excellent teacher of languages and like most Germans, devoted to his long pipe with a china bowl. After a visit to Nuremberg, I presented him with a new one, the old pipe being almost worn out. The professor's gratitude was such, that he always protested my timely gift had saved his life!

The owner of the school having met with financial difficulties, became bankrupt, and had to disappear for fear of arrest. On Sundays he was free to come home and visit his family, leaving again in the evening.

I entered Westminster School in 1858; the first boy I met there being the present Justice Phillimore, who at once treated me at the grub shop. In due course I became a Queen Scholar, and on leaving in 1865, was elected to exhibitions at Trinity College, Cambridge.

I did well enough at Westminster, where I secured three prizes, and was on good terms with the masters, especially Dr. Scott, the head. He was an Etonian, but disliked the system of the famous school, and on one occasion said "I would never send a boy to Eton, if I had one." He was a sarcastic but amusing man, and we were on very friendly terms.

At Trinity I read classics, but this evidently was not my proper vocation, as I graduated 3rd cl. In 1869.

As I then had no decided wishes about the choice of a profession, it was suggested that I should enter the business of Perkins, Bacon & Co., an experiment which I tried for three years without any satisfactory result. By this time, my father, being much involved in his unfortunate mining enterprise in Servia, desired me to  look after his interests in that country, and a lengthy term of residence abroad was the result, during which time, I was employed in various ways by the Company, but success was never even in sight whilst this connection lasted.

In 1874 I took a lease of a small gold mine in Oravicza, Hungary, and worked there for four years with disappointing results, and then abandoned the enterprise.

In 1877 I returned to Servia, and acted as manager there for one year, being joined by my sister Julia, and finally left Servia in 1878 for England.

In 1879, Sir H.H.Vivian, of Swansea, engaged me as manager of his Berg Nickel Works on the coast of Senjen Island, high up within the Arctic Circle on the coast of Norway. Here I had a very busy time, steamers arriving with supplies and fuel for smelting in summer time, and a variety of work proceeding throughout the year. Between November and February the sun was invisible, and all work was carried on by lamp light. The summer provided the strange spectacle of the midnight sun, and Aurora Borealis made a grand display in winter. The encampments of nomad Lapps with their circular huts of skin, and droves of tame reindeer, were also interesting things to behold.

My sister again shared my solitude in this desolate country, and after two winters together in the frozen North, we returned home in 1881.

After my father's death in February, 1882, I travelled for three months through Arizona, California, and back across the States to New York, visiting various mining districts, and on my return to England studied assaying for many months, and finally decided to practise as an assayer in Australia, leaving Plymouth in March, 1884, for Sydney. Soon afterwards I settled at Rockhampton, Queensland, where I enjoyed considerable success as assayer for about 6 ½ years, but the district as a whole failed to be permanently profitable for mining, with the exception of the famous Mount Morgan, which has produced many millions worth of gold, and is still working.

At Rockhampton I married on December 14th, 1886, Martha Charlotte, second daughter of J.F.Schmidt, of Orefeld, Rheniah Prussia, born at Armidale, N.S.W., and therefore a British subject. Our family consists of four sons, of whom presently.

In view of diminishing returns from my Assay Office, I decided to return home, and arrived in London with my wife and eldest son in December, 1890. We lived at Cobham for three years, and after a term of unemployment I proceeded alone to Spanish Honduras Central America, as Manager of the Victoria Mineral Concession, a gold and silver mining property, of which Company my cousin A.R.Heath was a director. This enterprise also proved a financial failure, in spite of much perseverance and hard work. Previous reports on the property proved to be unreliable, the tropical climate offered many obstacles, a neighbouring French Company involved us in lawsuits over boundary questions, and the mining results were unfavourable.

After a visitation of malarial fever, I decided to return to England, where I arrived in February, 1894, and then devoted several months to recovering my health.

In December, 1894, Dame Fortune's wheel turned in my favour, by placing before me an offer of work with my cousin C.E.Heath, of Lloyd's, a business connection which has proved to be the foundation of my  fortune; continuing, I am most thankful to say, at the present time.

 From November, 1891, we resided at Hampstead for eight years, followed by a similar term at Brooklands, Cobham. In October, 1909, we took over my sister's house called Redcott, where we are now residing.

Brooklands House Cobham
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Meeting of Managers of CE Heath at Brooklands House
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Brooklands House
Cobham

Meeting of Managers of CE Heath 
at Brooklands House

 

If you have any information to add to what is listed please contact me on jj@jjhc.info

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