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The Purvis Family Genealogy Pages John Purvis  

Edward William (Toby or Ukelele) Purvis

Edward William (Toby or Ukelele) Purvis

Male 1857 - 1888  (31 years)

 

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M-1.1.3.5.2.1.3.

Edward William (toby Or Ukelele) Purvis

Biographical Information: EDWARD WILLIAM PURVIS (TOBY or TOODLES or UKELELE), Lieutenant, born 4th July 1857 at Padang, Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), died 16th August 1888 at 222 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado, of tuberculosis, having moved there from Hawaii (8th May 1888) for treatment shortly before his death. Buried 17th August 1888 in Evergreen Cemetery (Block 5, Lot 3), Colorado Springs. Entered (12th February 1876) the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire, England, joined (February 1877) the 70th (Surrey) Regiment in Bengal, India, as Sub-Lieutenant (learning to speak Hindi), and transferred (July/September 1879) to the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment at Chatham, Kent, England, as Sub-Lieutenant. He then resigned his British Army Commission and travelled across the U.S.A. to settle (probably c.1879/80) in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii), where he was successively a government clerk, a Major in the Palace Guard and Vice Chamberlain to King Kalakaua (died 20th January 1891 in San Francisco, California). He resigned this position (September 1886 - see letter dated 2nd October 1886 to his brother-in-law Jules Ratard (see 1.1.3.5.2.1.1. above)), following the dismissal of Chamberlain Charles Hastings Judd by the King at the instigation of the prime minister Walter Murray Gibson. On 4th December 1886 a comic opera burlesque entitled The Grand Duke of Gynbergdrinkenstein was published and attributed to Edward William Purvis or Alatau T. Atkinson, editor of the Hawaiian Gazette, or both of them in collaboration. This thinly disguised parody of the situation in Hawaii, of the regime and its principal participants, was sent by the British Commissioner to his government in London, England (and by other envoys to their governments) as being a valid picture of the Hawaiian Kingdom. This was followed by The Gynberg Ballads, with satirical verse and cartoon illustrations attributed to Edward William Purvis and published in San Francisco by Alatau T. Atkinson (900 copies arrived in Honolulu on 13th May 1887 and went on sale despite legal attempts to prevent their circulation), contributing to the downfall of the Gibson regime and to the Bayonet Constitution of July 1887. From 1886 to 1888 he participated with Charles Hastings Judd in a cattle rearing operation on Kauai. Known in Hawaii as "Ukelele", which means "Jumping Flee", he popularised a musical instrument introduced into Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants and which was therefore called after him (see American Heritage Dictionary, bi-centennial edition, where his name is misspelled "Putvis"). See A Scottish-Hawaiian Story written and published 1994 by Nancy Oakley Hedemann (see OA.55). Probably unmarried (death certificate states single) but may have secretly married (c.187? in ? Malta) or had a liaison with a Mrs Gwynne-Howell (see OA. 218) and may have had issue:-

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