Tuesday, 23 May 2017


 on 16 October 1863 in Tipperary, Ireland, 
daughter of James Edward O'Dwyer, gentleman, 
and his wife Marguarette, née Hunt.

'Her mother died in Daisy's infancy and she had an unstable childhood. On the death of her maternal grandmother she was put, aged about 8, in the care of Sir Francis Outram's family in London.'

 (Is she familiar to you? Perhaps a little more of her biography might help...)

'On the death of her maternal grandmother she was put, aged about 8, in the care of Sir Francis Outram's family in London.
Suspected of having contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, she migrated to Australia in 1884 and lived briefly at Townsville, Queensland, as a guest of Bishop G. H. Stanton. On 13 March 1884, at Charters Towers, Daisy May O'Dwyer married Edwin Henry Murrant. It is almost certain that this was Harry Harbord Morant. Shortly afterwards, he and Daisy separated. Late that year she was employed as a governess at Berry, New South Wales.'

Maybe just a little more...

On 17 February 1885 at Nowra she married Jack Bates, a cattleman. When he resumed droving she travelled to Sydney where, on 10 June 1885, she married Ernest Baglehole. Within months she was back with Bates; they had a son Arnold in 1886. She showed only a distant attachment to husband and son, leaving both in Australia when she returned to England in 1894 for what turned out to be a stay of five years. In London she worked on the Review of Reviews, learning the craft of journalism which was to become a crucial source of income when she lived with the Aboriginals.
Daisy Bates returned to Australia in 1899. Interested in an allegation in The Times about atrocities against Aboriginals in north-west Australia, she went to the Trappist mission at Beagle Bay, north of Broome. Here she had her first long contact with Aboriginals while working at this decaying settlement and its market gardens. '

 You can read a lot more about the energetic Daisy May Bates
here in her biography, though TROVE also has numerous articles...
I knew of her as grandmother or 'kabbarli' as Australian natives called her. I knew she was always working to improve their standards of living and health care, as I was taught in school, but not a lot more. These articles helped me to learn more.

West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954), Friday 19 October 1934, page 24

nla.news-article52258038.3 Daisy Bates 1939

nla.news-article47243762.3 Daisy Bates 1940

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Saturday 28 September 1940, page 2

 Apologies for the awkwardness of the clippings positions...


nla.news-article48196528.3 Daisy Bates 1951

nla.news-article48196528.3 1951

nla.news-article49026922.3  1952

Despite other memorials that were dedicated to Daisy O'Dwyer Bates, I somehow think that this one may have pleased her the most...


You can find further information at 


From Wikipedia...
BornMargaret Dwyer
16 October 1859
RoscreaTipperary, Ireland
Died18 April 1951 (aged 91)
Adelaide, Australia
Resting placeNorth Road CemeteryNailsworth, South Australia
Other namesDaisy May O'Dwyer, Daisy May Bates
Spouse(s)Harry Harbord 'Breaker' Morant, bigamous marriages to John (Jack) Bates and Ernest C. Baglehole
ChildrenArnold Hamilton Bates

North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth, S.A. 5083

Daisy Bates (centre, in the hat) with a group of Aboriginal women, circa 1911. PD-Australia as a photograph taken before 1 Jan 1955.
Courtesy of Wikimedia


  1. I'm pleased to say that a new biography of Breaker Morant (aka Edwin Murrant) and his wife Daisy May O'Dwyer (aka Margaret Dwyer) was published in 2016. It is called "Breaker Morant: the last roundup" by Joe West and Roger Roper. They go into some detail about Daisy's background and show that she was born in Roscrea, Tipperary in 1859. Her father was James Dwyer, a shopkeeper who had a business as a boot and shoemaker at 2 Main St, Roscrea. Her mother was Bridget Hunt. West and Roper describe Daisy as "a fantasist and inveterate liar". She married three times, twice while her first husband, Morant, was still alive. The book is a jolly good read, and demolishes some myths about Daisy and the Breaker with very careful research.

    1. Thank you for that, Lenore. You have summed it up well. At least the father's name is the same.. She certainly did have a reputation for, how shall I put it, fantasy.. I read so many summaries, but didn't come across Bridget as her mother. There were/are many conflicting stories and so much more on her than I could post here.
      She was an interesting character, and it seemed, not bothered by the 'rules' of society. I will look forward to reading the book you suggest. I appreciate your comments.


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