Female portrait placeholder image

Name: Mary Pettitt

Burial Number: 1309

Gender: Female

Distinction: Born in India

Born: 09/08/1839

Died: 14/10/1927

Buried: 17/10/1927


Mary Louisa Pettitt was born on 9th August 1839 in South India, Tinnevelly, Cowlallam, she was baptised on 8th September 1839 at Palamcottah, Madras, India. She had 4 siblings, Caroline Emily, born 1844, and 3 brothers, George, born 1835, William, born 1838, and Edward, born 1847, who died in infancy. Their father was the Reverend George Pettitt, a Christian Missionary, 1808 – 1873, (see below) and their mother was Louisa Hare, 1805 – 1892.

In 1853, due to ill health, George Pettitt returned to Birmingham, England, with his family, where he was Clerk Incumbent of St. Jude’s Church.

Mary and her sister, Caroline, lived with their parents, neither of them appeared to follow any occupation and both remained single. After the death of their father in 1873, they moved with their mother to Kent where she had family and remained in Tunbridge Wells until her death in 1892.

By 1901 the sisters had returned to Birmingham, and in 1911 they were living together in Leicestershire.At some point they moved to Worthing, Sussex, living at Binfield, Rugby Road, where Caroline predeceased her sister, aged 79yrs, on 21st February 1924.

Mary Louisa remained in Rugby Road and died 3 years later, on 14th October 1927, aged 88yrs.

Probate was granted to Amy Louisa Pettitt and Edith Rose Caroline Pettitt, spinsters, effects £4724 14s 3d. Value 2023 – £379,700.

Researcher: Maggi Martin

The Grave

No headstone image available

Location in Cemetery

Area: SES Row: 8 Plot: 16

Exact Location (what3words): lodge.solo.once

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



None Found - Listed in Heene Cemetery Index of Graves


None Found - Listed in Heene Cemetery Index of Graves

Further Information


Name: Mary Louisa Pettitt

Gender: Female

Born: 09/08/1839

Town: Madras

County: Unknown

Country: India


Maiden Name: Not applicable

No marriage information is available for this burial record.

Information at Death

Date of Death: 14/10/1927

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: Binfield

Address line 3: Rugby Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £4724 14 s 3 d

Current value of effects: £379700

Census Information


Living at 31, Bath Row, St. Thomas, Birmingham, Warwickshire. George Pettitt, Hd. 62yrs, Vicar of St. Jude, wife, Louisa 66yrs, daughters, Mary L. 31yrs, Caroline E. 26yrs, plus 2 domestic servants.


Living at 8, Park Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Mary L. Pettitt, Hd. 41yrs, single, Income from dividends, 3 nieces, Alice M. Pettitt, 8yrs, Maud H., 6yrs, Ethel B.H. 4yrs, plus cook and nurse.


Living at 10, Park Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Louisa Pettitt, Hd. 86yrs, widow, living on own means, daughters, Mary L. 51yrs, living on own means, Caroline E. 46yrs, living on own means, plus 1 domestic servant.


Living at 319, Summer Lane, St. George, Birmingham, Warwickshire. Mary L. Pettitt, Hd. 61yrs, single, sister, Caroline E. Pettitt, 56yrs, single, both living on own means, plus 2 lodgers and 2 domestic servants.


Living at 14, Kimberley Road, Leicester. Mary Louisa Pettitt, Hd. 71yrs, single, private means, sister, Caroline Emily Pettitt, 66yrs, private means, plus 1 domestic servant.

Miscellaneous Information

The History of Christ Church, Galle Face (Formerly called the Colombo Mission Church of C.M.S)

Author: Napoleon Pathmanathan

On Friday, April 12th, 1799, sixteen Anglican clergymen and nine laymen met at Castle Falcon Hotel, Aldersgate Street, England, and founded the world’s largest missionary society called “The Church Missionary Society” or “The C.M.S.”, with the objective of sending missionaries around the world. On the request of Sir Alexander Johnston, the Chief Justice of Ceylon, the Church Missionary Society in England sent four missionaries to Ceylon to start schools and to work among the natives.There were no CMS missionaries stationed in Colombo until Rev. George Pettit arrived in 1850, but small scattered congregations met irregularly in Colombo, ministered to by Tamil and Sinhalese native catechists, supervised by Rev. Cornellius Jayasinghe from Cotta Mission Station (Kotte).

Rev. George Pettitt, born at Birmingham, arrived on 20.03.1850 as Finance Secretary to the Mission. He was very fluent in Tamil since he worked for fourteen years in CMS’ Tinnevelly and Madras mission, in South India, and started working with the assistance of catechists on his arrival in Colombo. Rev. Pettitt’s first priority was to build a church in Colombo for the C.M.S.

The foundation stone of the mission church was laid on 21st January 1853 by the Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Rev. Chapman. The Church was opened with a dedicatory service on Thursday, October 13th, 1853, at 4 o’ clock by the Bishop of Colombo, the Rt. Rev. Chapman, in the presence of a large congregation representing all three nationalities, including the governor, many chief government and military officers, and Europeans.

Rev. George Pettitt was compelled to move back to England on 09.01.1855 due to bad health.