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Ann Eliza Montague

1839 - 1903

Mrs Annie Montague the founder of the Brixton Orphanage was born
Ann Eliza Lawson on 16th August 1839 at Southwark
and was  the eldest daughter of William Lawson, a  Hat  
Manufactuar and Ann Eliza Lawson ( nee Chapman)
She marriedThomas Howard Montague at  Llambeth
on the 18 August 1857 and although they had no
children  of their own they did adopt Ernest Fox
Montague (b.7/6/1869) the son of Fanny Kemp Fox
on her death in 1869. He contracted TB and was sent
to Annies younger brother in Australia in the hope it
might cure him but sadly he died in the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia on 28 December 1888 from Phthisis (TB) at the age of 19 years.  A lot of this information was kindly provided by Mary Beaumont the great, great niece of Thomas Howard Montague and Audrey Gibson the Great Niece of Annie Eliza. They both have a considerable amount of information with regard the Montague name marybeau@alphalink.com.au & bonnie005@optushome.com.au  for the Lawson/Kemp names and both will be happy to hear from anyone who may have an interest in these names

She was obviously a remarkable lady and I think it may be easier to let those who knew her speak, the following extract is taken from the preface of a book entitled Songs from the Heart written by Annie and published after her death in February 1903 both in her memory and of course to help raise funds for the orphanage.

Mrs Annie Montague was called to her long rest on February 4th 1903.  From the time when Mrs Montague in a simple and unostentatious way founded the great and good work known as the Brixton Orphanage for Fatherless Girls, she never failed in her labour of love, until illness compelled her to relinquish her trust -having put her hand to the plough, she never looked back. Although, early in the history of the Institution the property was vested in a Board of Trustees yet whilst Mrs Montague had health and strength - for more than a quarter of a century - she never laid aside the burden of care and responsibility for her large family, and counted it her peculiar privilege and duty to personally guide and govern the arrangements and administration of the Orphanage. This she did with all the energy, wisdom, tact, and judgment which she possessed to an extraordinary degree.
Mrs Montague never disguised the fact that even more than the relief of the temporal necessities of the orphans, she sought their spiritual welfare. By prayer, and by personal influence and teaching, she strove to lead the children into the Kingdom of Christ, and knew no greater joy than to find that these efforts were owned of God.
Mrs Montague excelled in one of the loveliest of Christian graces - the grace of gratitude. The most trivial service rendered to her orphans always met with the warmest thanks and appreciation, not superficial, but transparently sincere and genuine. This grace of gratitude, which is by no means common to humanity was one of the most delightfid and refreshing features of Mrs Montague’s disposition, and she was so completely identified with the work to which she had given her life, that, any gift or service rendered to the Institution she instinctively regarded as a personal favour
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