Mrs B.E. Jarvis
18 June 1862
Volume 7, page 155, sitting number 8865.
[The sitter is identified as ‘Mrs E.B. Jarvis’ in the Silvy daybooks and the following sitting is her husband, identified as ‘E.B. Jarvis, Esq.’ According to a pencilled inscription in a modern hand verso on the mount — presumably an earlier collector’s transcription from an album page — the sitter’s maiden name was Oliver and she was the ‘aunt of Rev. R.E.B.’ This is therefore almost certainly Martha Elliott Jarvis née Oliver, who in 1859 married Bertie Entwisle Jarvis, uncle of Reverend Robert Edward Blackwell.]
Born in Bristol on 16 July 1801, Martha Elliott Oliver was the third daughter of Lionel Oliver and his wife Elizabeth née Elliott. She was baptised on 24 October 1801 at St Augustine the Less in Bristol.
In 1841 she was living in Wimbledon with her elderly father, five siblings and four servants.
She appears on the 1851 census living with two unmarried sisters and one widowed sister at Wimbledon Parkside. The household included three servants.
On 2 December 1859 at St John’s Cathedral in Antigua, she became the second wife of Bertie Entwisle Jarvis of Mount Joshua, a member of Her Majesty's Council on the island of Antigua, whose first wife Lucy had died earlier that year on 2 March. Many years earlier Jarvis had claimed compensation totalling nearly £9000 for 634 slaves on three Antiguan plantations, whom he had had to free when slavery was abolished in the British Empire. His claims were unsuccessful.
Bertie Entwisle Jarvis died at sea on 15 October 1862, leaving an estate valued at £35,000. One of the executors of his will was his nephew, Reverend Robert Edward Blackwell of Amberley, Gloucestershire. The Antigua Weekly Register announced ‘the death of one of our most prominent public men, and one of the most patriotic of our resident proprietors — the Honourable Bertie E. Jarvis, senior member of the legislative council, who died on board the royal mail steamer Seine, on his outward voyage from England, two days before reaching St Thomas. Mr and Mrs Jarvis left this island on a visit to England in spring last, and they were on their return when the honourable gentleman’s life terminated' (Reprinted in the Cardiff Times, 21 November 1862).
In 1871 Martha was living with her sisters again at ‘Tudor Tower’ on Wimbledon Parkside. She was still there in 1881, now with only one surviving sister.
Martha Elliott Jarvis died ‘at Tudor Tower Wimbledon Common’ on 15 September 1896, leaving an estate valued at £1767. She was 95 years old. She was buried at St Mary’s Wimbledon on 19 September 1896.