Miss Jane Wake
Biographical Account: Jane Wake was born in Sheffield to Bernard and Jane North Wake. Her father was well known local solicitor and a founder member of the of the Sheffield Literary & Philosophical Society. Jane grew up living at Abbeyfield House, in Burngreave. At some point after April 1881, Jane travelled to New Zealand to meet her brother Edward Wake. According to a newspaper clipping from the Bay of Plenty Times, she stayed in the Commerical Hotel with her brother in September 1881. Jane returned to Sheffield, presumably with her brother, at some point between 1881 and 1891. This may have been a response to the death of her mother in 1886. Her father died in 1891 and her brother Edward in 1894, leaving the unmarried Jane the sole surviving member of the Wake family. Jane moved to Crowder House in Wadsley Bridge and in 1909 decided to sell Abbeyfield and its estate to Sheffield Council. She faced some criticism from councillors, as other wealthy benefactors had simply given their estates to the council, however, Jane stuck to her guns and received over £10,000. The house was turned into a school, then a library and is now sheltered accommodation. The grounds are now Abbeyfield Park. Jane donated her brother's collection of rare New Zealand birds in 1918. These form the backbone of Sheffield's collection of New Zealand birds .