Birth: 28 September 1850
Place or Registered Place of Birth: Trenwainton, (Madron) Cornwall
Baptism: Not Known
Place of Baptism: Not Known
Death: 26 December 1933
Place or Registered Place of Death: Bryanstone Square, Marylebone, London
Father: Thomas Simon Bolitho
Mother: Elizabeth Robins
Spouse(s): Henry Edward Clarence Paget
Date of Marriage: 5 July 1899
Place or Registered Place of Marriage: St. George's, Hanover Square, Middlesex
The Times - January 1, 1934
An Adventurous Traveller
In Maria Caroline Paget, who died on December 26 at her residence in Bryanston Square, an interesting personality has passed away. In days when adventurous travel by women was much more rare than it is to-day, she journeyed through regions well beyond the ordinary range of travelers of the time. Born of a well-known Cornish family-she was a daughter of Thomas Simon Bolitho, of Trengwainton - she had all the Cornishman's irresistible desire to see for himself, at whatever personal discomfort, the less known regions of the world, In 1896 she set out with a friend for Ladakh,on the border of Tibet. Here she spent three weeks at Leh. She saw the great Lamaserai at Hemis and the wonderful devil dances, and was admitted to the sacred treasure room, which had not previously been opened for nine years. She returned to Simla through Rupshu over passes of 17,000ft. and 18,000ft, enduring intense cold and many hardships.
A year or two later these tireless ladies set out to visit the ruby mines of Upper Burma. The road is infested with dacoits," she was told. "No one travels on it without being accompanied by military police; and yet you two ladies, with your two Madrassi servants, are going to ride to Mogok absolutely alone." "Nonsense," Miss Bolitho retorted, “we shall get on all right, women always do. Besides. what else is there to be afraid of besides dacoits?” Undaunted by. rats which infested the rest houses and swarmed over her bed; and by more dangerous adventures with a tiger, Miss Bolitho, who was a keen gardener, found intense enjoyment in the trees and plants of Burma. It was the same attraction which drew her on her next journey alone to the rhododendron country of Upper Sikhim. With a little company of 22 bearers, the majority of which were Sikhim Butias and the rest Lepchas, she rode as far as the borders of Tibet before returning to Darjeeling. She found in the wonderful varieties of rhododendron and, above all, the delight of being off the beaten track, ample reward for the discomforts cause4 by leeches and almost incessant rain.
Miss Bolitho next visited Peking as the guest pf the late Sir Robert Hart. With some hesitation, in view of trouble with the Boxers, consent was given to her making the journey to the Great Wall of China. On her return journey Miss Bolitho and her friend found themselves surrounded by hostile Boxers (who shortly after murdered some missionaries at the same spot). They faced a threatening situation, however, with bold faces and succeeded in getting through with no worse consequences than violent abuse. Miss Bolitho wrote clever and amusing articles in the Cornhill and Longman's about her Journeys.
In 1899 Miss Bolitho married Sir. Henry Paget, Commissioner of Police at Calcutta, who survives her. Mrs. Paget, with Miss Gertrude Bell, was one of the first women elected to, Fellowship at the Royal Geographical Society. In spite of her love for untrodden paths Mrs. Paget had a great gift for society and friendship. She was keenly interested in every social movement of her time, and a large number of friends will sorely feel the loss of one whose talk was always vivid and rich with recollections spreading over many years of people and places.
Maria Caroline Bolitho