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Edith Sutherland Bisdee (1854–1926)

by Colin McKenzie

Edith Mitchell was James Sutherland Mitchell's third daughter.

Edith was 22 when she married 26 year old Thomas Gamaliel Bisdee who was in Tasmania. The Bisdee family were farmers in Somerset. During the colonisation of Tasmania in the early 1800s several Bisdee brothers emigrated there and acquired or were granted property, and eventually they became substantial land owners.

One of the most successful of the Bisdee brothers was Edward who went to Tasmania at the age of 25. He was granted 700 acres but eventually built this up to 4,000 acres and became a very wealthy man. In 1859 Edward returned to Somerset and acquired Hutton Court the manor house near the village of his birth. Although married he had no children, so when he died he left Hutton Court to his brother Alfred. Alfred lived in Hutton Court for 30 years and left it to his son Thomas Gamaliel, who in 1898 moved in with his wife Edith Mitchell and their ten children.

Edith and Thomas and their children lived at Hutton in some style. They regularly entertained her sister Theresa (Tiddler) and her husband Edward Wylde and their children and grandchildren. Another frequent visitor was her eldest sister Eliza (Mitty) who had helped raise her in Australia. When Mitty died in 1923 she was buried in the local churchyard at Hutton. Edith's nephew William Gore Sutherland Mitchell (later Air Marshal) was another regular guest whilst he was attending Wellington College.

Edith died in 1926 and Thomas in 1933. He left the house to his eldest son Thomas Edward who was tragically killed in a horse riding accident a year later. The resulting death duties forced the sale of Hutton Court after 70 years of Bisdee family ownership. 

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Colin McKenzie, 'Bisdee, Edith Sutherland (1854–1926)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Mitchell, Edith Sutherland

24 March, 1854
Darling Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


8 January, 1926 (aged 71)
Somerset, England

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