The daughter of a naval officer, Francis was born in Halifax in 1848. At age 21, she travelled to England to marry Edgar Crow Baker, then a naval officer. A marriage in England suggests that Francis’ family had substantial social status and wealth. She returned to Canada with her husband a few years later, and the couple settled in Victoria in 1872. Francis gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Cecelia, in 1881. Census records from that year show that Francis listed her heritage as Bermudian. In July 1884, when Elizabeth was three years old, she became sick with a sore throat and died of diphtheria a few weeks later. A calling card from Mrs. Edgar Crow Baker in the collection at Point Ellice House very likely belonged to Francis. The card is surrounded by a black border, indicating that she was in a period of mourning, most likely for her young daughter. Ten years after Elizabeth’s passing, Francis succumbed to a heart condition and died in Victoria. She is buried in Ross Bay Cemetery.
List of Calling Cards
The Point Ellice House collection contains hundreds of calling cards left for the O’Reilly family by visitors. This initial research was conducted by Public History students at the University of Victoria, and these biographies constitute only a portion of the individuals represented by the calling cards within the collection.