Annie Euphemia Dunsmuir

Annie Euphemia Dunsmuir (1868-1952), also known as “Effie”, moved from Nanaimo to Victoria with her parents and sisters in 1882. Three years later she moved to England to complete her education. She returned to Victoria and lived in Craigdarroch until 1900. A very sociable person, Effie participated in the family’s frequent garden parties, ‘At Homes’, dinners and balls. She and her sisters sometimes invited friends to the Castle for afternoons of music, billiards, and tennis. 
In 1896 Effie, her sister Jessie (Lady Musgrave), and friend Kathleen O’Reilly of Point Ellice House traveled to Ireland. Kathleen’s letters reveal the opulent lifestyle Effie and her sisters had become accustomed to. After her presentation to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Cadogan at Dublin Castle, Kathleen wrote, “There were some magnificent dresses and diamonds, and some beautiful women...Effie had a costly and elaborate gown of blue and silver”.
Kathleen’s letters offer the first hint of Effie’s mental illness. “...the Dublin Court Journal said Lady Musgrave and her beautiful Canadian sister[Effie] were among the best dressed at the first drawing room...Effie has simply been on the go since we came here...she is not looking well... She is as thin as a knife. The people here seem to think she is rather mad to hunt all day and dance all night, any spare time being filled up by bicycling, at homes, or skating!!...her appearance is quite sad and Jessie is worried about her”.
In February, 1900 Effie married Royal Navy Commander Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, son of the 7th Baron Calthorpe. Her mother established a $200,000 trust in Effie’s name.  A story passed down through the family is that Effie witnessed a riot in St. Petersburg, Russia. A severed hand flew through the window of her carriage and landed on her lap. Her family says this traumatic event lead to Effie’s mental breakdown. She visited Victoria periodically until 1908 when she was declared irrecoverably insane. A ‘Certificate of Lunacy’ was issued by the Court, and Effie spent the rest of her long life in institutions.
Her husband was eventually titled the Honourable Sir Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., C.V.O. His posts included: Aide-de-Camp to the King; Assessor on the Wreck Commission appointed under the Right Honourable Lord Mersey to inquire into the loss of the Titanic; Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in the Mediterranean 1917-1919; and Admiral of the Fleet 1925.
1868 – 1952