Francis, Grace Charlotte - I798

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First Class Passenger 
Grace Charlotte Francis
1853 – 27 Aug 1890
Nationality Unknown
Born 1853
Islington
Died 27 Aug 1890
Lost at sea with 'Roman Empire'
Genealogy Data
Person ID I798
Birth Family
Francis Family - F130
Father William Francis
Mother Mary Ann
Marriage Family/Families
Alston Family - F129
Spouse Edward Daniel Alston 
(b. 8 Apr 1842)
Nationality  English
Married 20 Mar 1877
Richmond, Surrey

Children:  
Roland Athel Edward Alston (18 Dec 1877 – 16 Jan 1885)
 
Voyage Data
Voyage to Adelaide in 1877
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1878
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1879
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1880
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1880
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1881
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1881
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1882
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1882
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1883
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1883
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1884
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1884
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1885
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London
Voyage to Adelaide in 1886
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place London
Left place Adelaide
Voyage to London in 1887
Personal role First Class Passenger
Name on list Mrs. Alston
Travel Family Alston Family - F129
Joined place Adelaide
Left place London

The master of the City of Adelaide on the last eleven annual London-South Australia return voyages was Captain Edward Alston. On 20 March 1877, within weeks of returning to London from the first of these trips, 34 years old Edward was married to Grace Charlotte Francis in Richmond, Surrey (now Greater London). Grace had been born in Islington early in 1853 to William Francis, a watch case maker, and his wife Mary Ann.

Grace joined Edward on the next voyage leaving London in mid-April 1877, and they spent their honeymoon on the ship. On 18 December 1877, while the ship was at sea on the return trip from South Australia, Grace gave birth to a son Roland Athel Edward Alston, who was their only child.

She continued to accompany her husband on his voyages to Adelaide, and missed only two of the nine trips that followed. The first of these two was in 1878-79 following the birth of her son. Infant Roland travelled on board the City of Adelaide with his parents and a nurse for the next three years then, as a young boy without the need for a nurse, over a further three years.

As the turn-around time between voyages was normally only two to three months at each end, it is most unlikely that Edward and Grace Alston ever set up a land-based home of their own together, but stayed with relatives or friends. On the night of the 3 April 1881 census, Captain Alston 38 with Grace 28 and 4 years old Roland were staying with Edward’s parents in Essex at Great Bromley Hall where he had been born and brought up.

Master Roland Alston arrived with his parents on 10 August 1884 at Port Adelaide where the ship unloaded, moved on to Port Augusta to take on her return cargo, and left for London again on 4th October. On that return leg, seven years old Roland died at sea of “stone” on 16th January 1885.

Grace Alston missed the trip that followed, but she did rejoin her husband on the last City of Adelaide voyage to South Australia in 1886-87.

Captain Edward D. Alston and Grace Charlotte Alston were both lost when his next command, the Roman Empire, disappeared without trace after 27 August 1890 while carrying coal from Liverpool to Peru. They, and their son Roland Athel Alston (b. at sea 1877, d. at sea Jan.16th 1885) are commemorated by a large and ornate memorial in the churchyard in Alston's home village of Great Bromley, Essex, UK. On this memorial the date of the loss of the Roman Empire ('with all hands') is given as August 27th,1890 - the date of the last confirmed sighting of the ship, although there was a sighting of a ship presumed to be the Roman Empire in September.