28 Apr St. George Creaghe’s Signet Ring
According to family legend as related to me by my grandmother, Nellie B. Creaghe (1895-1977), Richard F.H. Creaghe (1804-1890) gave each of his sons a signet ring as they left to make their way into the world. The seal on the ring is a horse head with laurel branch taken from the family crest. This seal is the basis for the logo of the CFHS. As I heard the legend in the 1950’s, if the ring was lost, the wearer would face very bad luck, even death. This legend had basis in fact in that Gerald “Paddy” Creaghe, St. George’s younger brother was presumably killed by Indians and his finger cut off to steal the ring. There was a vague story of another brother who lost his ring and was killed by a horse in Australia. Then, in 2015, a copy of “The Diary of Emily Caroline Creaghe” was donated to the CFHS Library by her grandson, Michael Barnett. On page 109, the following is related.
The explorer David Lindsay, who had met the Creaghes during their expedition in the Northern Territories, many years latter reported the death (of Harry A. Creaghe) as follows:
While breaking a young mare he was wearing a ring, an heirloom, about which there was attached a tradition that he who lost it would meet with a violent death. In a struggle with the mare, Creaghe who had become thin through fever, lost the ring. He then related the prophecy, saying ‘I expect that mare will be the death of me’. Next day she dashed into a tree and Creaghe was killed.
That happened on August 6, 1886, and Harry, age 37, left a wife (Emily Caroline Creaghe) and two young sons (Gerald Harry Creaghe and Harry Percy Archer-Butler Creaghe).
The ring was passed to me from my above mentioned grandmother (Nell B. Creaghe) and it is still in my archive. I have never worn it: and, actually, I don’t think I will.
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