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Persis Leigh

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Persis Leigh
Biographical information




Also known as

The Schoolmaster's bride

Physical information


Hair colour


Eye colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members
  • Leigh family
  • Selwyn family
"There was something so sweet and winsome about her that you had to love her, that was all."
—Captain Jim about Persis.

Persis Selwyn (nee Leigh) was the wife of John Selwyn and the mother of Alice.


Early life

Persis was born at some point in the late 1800s or early 1810s in England. Her parents died when she was young and her uncle looked after her after their death. Persis met John Selwyn and they fell in love with each other. When he proposed her, she accepted and they were engaged. John was a teacher and went to Prince Edward Island, Canada, for a job.

In 1831 she wanted to come to Four Winds to John, but her uncle was very sick and she stayed with him. After his death, she would go to Canada.

Arrival to Four Winds

Persis sailed on the Royal William on June 20, 1831. She would reach Four Winds in mid July. John finished the house on July 1, but his bride didn't come in July. The ship encountered storm after storm, so it was delayed.

"The Royal William was a week overdue - and then two - and then three... Everybody had given up hope - the Royal William was eight weeks overdue. It was the middle of September and the schoolmaster's bride hadn't come - never would come, we thought..."
James Boyd about Persis' arrival.

After a three day long storm, John saw Persis in his dream and knew that she would soon be there. The Royal William arrived the next day in the harbour and the Schoolmaster's bride came to Four Winds.

John Selwyn took her in his arms and they married that night at early candle-lighting - everybody from far and near was there to see it.

Life in Four Winds

A year after their wedding, Persis gave birth to their first child, Alice. After some time, the other children of Persis and John were born - all probably in House of Dreams.

Persis planted roses around the House of Dreams. She was very good friends with Captain Jim. When he returned from the sea, he always visited the House of Dreams and John and Persis.

Later life

The Selwyn family moved to Charlottetown in 1847, fifteen years after Persis' arrival. She died in 1860 in Charlottetown. John died a few years after her death.


Physical appearance

"She was pleasant to look at - big, clear, hazel eyes and heaps of glossy brown hair, and an English skin."
James Boyd about Persis.


Persis is a female given name of Greek origin and means from Persia.

Behind the scenes


  • Captain Jim mentioned that Persis had brown eyes. When he saw her grandson for the first time, he said that Owen had inherited Persis' eyes. But Anne described him as a man with dark grey eyes.


Book appearances

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