Jemima Hazeland belonged to the English colony in Bruges. She was quite young when she married the older alcoholic Matthew Hazeland. He died four years later. She remarried her brother-in-law, the brewer Abraham Hazeland. This marriage continued to agonize her since it was not authorised by the English law. It made her so nervous that she wanted to dissolve her marriage. Her husband had her declared insane by a number of doctors, and as a consequence she had to stay at a psychiatric hospital near Bristol for three months. Her husband died three years later of a heart disease. Around 1850 Jemima was solely responsible for the brewery and a household of six children from her second marriage. She converted to catholicism around 1854. She fell ill again and the guardians of the family had her hospitalised again for two weeks. For a little while she considered a third marriage to Thomas Jacobs, who managed the brewery for her. In the end she broke off the engagement because of his protestant faith. She lived in Bruges with her children around 1860-1861. She first lived at the Grote Markt 63 and in lodgings in the St Jacobsstraat nr. 3. Later on she moved to a residence in Spermalie. Encouraged by the English bishop Thomas Grant she contacted Gezelle shortly after arriving in Bruges. He would become her confessor. The correspondence with Jemima Hazeland and her children consists of about 40 letters and constitutes one of the most extensive corpora within the Gezelle correspondence. She mainly writes about her younger children Samuel, Richard, Edward and Alfred. Jemima is a restless soul, wandering from place to place and staying in monasteries for health reasons. In June 1861 she is living in Namur. In July 1861 she is staying in the spa town of Wiesbaden and by September and October she has moved to a convent in Boulogne-sur-Mer. At the end of 1861 she is back in Namur. In the middle of 1862 she is living in Paris and by the winter of 1862-1863 she has again returned to Namur. Eventually she returns to England where she finally does marry Mr. Jacobs Clifton around February 10th, 1864. Shortly after that she broke all contact with Gezelle.
Letter of Jemima Hazeland to Gezelle Bruges
Spermalie instituut in Bruges where Jemima stayed for a while