On Thursday in the Open period of 1 August 2019, students from St George's Grammar School accompanied by their teacher Mr Stephen Bornman visited the Museum at Bishops. The reason for their visit was to do some research on Mrs Sophie Gray, the wife of Bishop Robert Gray, ahead of National Women's Day which comes up on Friday 9 August. Ahead of the scheduled talk on Sophie Gray presented by the archivist at Bishop, Dr Paul Murray, the students from St George's and the members of the Museum & Archive Society from Bishops, enjoyed some refreshments and some time to socialise. Then they were given a tour of some of the latest acquisitions in the Museum after which the Bishops students left to attand lessons and the St George's students stayed for the talk.
In the photograph above are From L. to R. Mr Stephen Bornman, Saskia Bormans, Nuriyya Kagee, Zoë Long and Jessica Rubidge; David Allardice, Tristan Barow, Stuart Stevens, Dylan Barow, Neil du Toit and Jonty Wright. All the students are from Grade 11.
One of the two new cabinets in the Museum. This one houses very important items from Bishops history, for example a silver tea set presented to Mr Hubert John Kidd on his retirement as Bishops' seventh Principal (1943-63).
One of the two new cabinets in the Museum. This one houses very rare items from Bishops Gray's time. These include rare theological texts from Bishop Gray's grandfather and father, who themselves were Bishops. In the same cabinet are some of the books of Professor James Brierley Leonard Smith, at Bishops from 1912-14, renowned as an ichtyologist and the person responsible for identifying the coelecanth in 1938 whereas it was though to be extinct.
The front cover of the book on the life of Sophie Gray written by Thelma Gutsche, published by Citadel Press, Landsdowne, Cape (undated) - 'The Bishops Lady'.
One of Sophie Gray's many sketches ... this is of Bain's Kloof (plate between pp 96 and 97) in the Gutsche text.
This sketch is by A.A.Telford, of Sophie Gray at her draughtman's desk - the layout plan in the sketch is of Protea the residence of the Archbishop of Cape Town, where the Grays lived and where Bishops was founded. In fact Bishops was founded in Mayniers Cottage on 15 March 1849 - the cottage is visible in the sketch by Telford. The plan that Sophie Gray sketched somewhat simplified the interior of Protea. She was responsible for designing many of the early Cape churches, including St Thomas, Rondebosch.
The double volume on the 'Life of Robert Gray', its title - the volumes were edited by The Rev. Charles Gray the son of Robert Gray, published by Rivingtons in England, 1876.
The students from St George's discussing the topic, with Mr Bornman.
Gutsche writing of Sophie says: 'The Bishops Lady, the blue-blooded Sophia Wharton Myddleton stands revealed as onje of the most singular characters in South African history'.