Broughton diary | State Library of New South Wales

Broughton diary

This diary was kept by Mary Phoebe Broughton in 1839-1841. It is one of a series diaries she kept between 1834-1841 as a record of daily events.

Prior to marriage, the daughters of gentlemen were shielded from contact with strangers and, ideally, met no one who was not a relative or a close family friend. Mary Phoebe's diary shows that in social situations she & her sister always remained safely within a circle of family & friends.

In this section of her diary, Mary Phoebe records the Broughton family's visit to the Allyn River in January 1841. She documents the journey to and from Sydney, and the endless round of visits to and from other settlers. It provides wonderful insight into the social world of early colonial rural NSW, and suggests that the presence of two eligible young ladies might have caused some excitement amongst the many bachelors in the region.

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Transcript: Diary, 1839 - 41, by Mary Phoebe Broughton
Manuscript  MLMSS 4010

p.30a [January, 1841]
10th  Mama, Emily, Miss Macquoid and Louisa went into Sydney in our carriage - I was not well in the morning with a pain in my side, & Mama sent for Mr Mitchell, who came to see me.
11th  Mr Mitchell, & Mr R. Campbell called - Papa went into Sydney twice - Mr Lethbridge sent his carriage to take us on board the steamer at 7, our's having gone to be put on board first - Mr Townshend, Miss Bell &etc. were on board with us - we had a very rough night.
12th  Sunday - We arrived at Newcastle between 10 and 11 & went to Mr W. Scott's, where we had breakfast - Papa went to church & preached. We were too tired to go in the morning, but all went in the afternoon. Papa preached again - Mr & Mrs Erskine and Captain Hollingsworth called. A brickfielder & rain in the afternoon.
13th  A very showery day - The Confirmation was obliged to be put off on account of the rain. In the afternoon we managed to walk as far as Mrs Erskine's and Mrs Croasdill's - Emily & I drank tea at Mrs Erskine's - Mr Digby, Miller, Miss Bidwill & Miss [Tuches] were there. Mr Spencer dined at the Scott's.
14th  Mama, E & I went for a walk on the sands
with Mr Scott, after which we went to the church, where Papa held a confirmation - we called on Mrs Wilton & visited the school - Mama, E & I, Mr Scott & Mr Spencer went over to the other side of the harbour by water in the afternoon. Many persons called whilst we were out. Mr Wilton and Mr Spencer dined with us.
15th  A showery day - We left Newcastle in a large six oared boat with Captain Furlong, Mr Spencer & Mr Nagel, & a large party on other boats followed - We all landed at Ash Island, where we had luncheon under the verandah, soon after which we took our leave & were conveyed by water to Mr Scott's stables, where our carriage met us, & took us to a little inn near, to sleep - we were prevented from going on to Morpeth by the rain which continued all night.
16th  Another showery day - We proceeded to Mr Rusden's at East Maitland, where we had luncheon, & then went on to Mr Close's at Morpeth - Mr Spence dined there.
17th  Papa went over the West Maitland to hold a confirmation - Miss Grace Rusden, & Mrs Rusden called
at Mr Close's, also Mr Smith from Paterson - Mr & Mrs Rusden, Mr Stack, Mr Bolton & Mr Spencer dined with us. We spent the evening in the verandah.
19th  Sunday - A very warm day, particularly towards afternoon - We attended service at East Maitland school house. Mr Rusden read, & Papa preached - after which we took leave of Papa & returned to Mr Close's to dine - We attended after[noon] service in the school house at Morpeth - Mr Rusden read & preached Miss Georgiana came over with her papa to church.
20th  A tremendously hot wind all day - we could not leave the house The Dowling's arrived at Aulaby's Inn from Camyr Allyn, & proceeded to Sydney next morning in the Steamer - Mr Townshend arrived at Morpeth late in the evening.
21st  Altogether a much cooler day - We were up very early, & expected Mr Townshend at ½ past 6, but he was unable to come till about ½ past 7, when we left Mr Close's & after crossing the river in the punt, found Mr T's Carriage waiting for us, in which we proceeded to Paterson where we had luncheon & called on Mrs Smith & family - a few miles from Paterson we met the two Mr Boydells, & Mr B brought us the rest of the way to Trevallyn in his carriage with four horses - We walked in the garden before dinner - Mr & Mrs Boydell & Mr W. Boydell dined with us. A wet night.
22nd  Cloudy day - Mama was not well, & was obliged to remain upstairs - Mr R Massie called. Mr & Mrs Townshend, E & I took a drive over to Mr Boydell's in the afternoon - John Lyon dined and slept at Mr Townshend's A thunderstorm in the evening & a great deal of rain.
23rd, 24th, 25th  Very wet days - we could hardly get out even into the garden.
26th  Sunday - Mr Townshend read prayers & a sermon in the morning - A very wet day - Mr Crowder arrived from Merton - wet through. Mr Townshend prayer & sermon again in the evening.
27th  Showery day - the two Mr Boydell's called - Mr B took Mr Crowder away with him - Wm Boydell stayed to dine and sleep. Mr Durbin also dined and slept at Trevallyn.
28th  Rain again - We played billiards in the morning - Mr Durbin and B went away after luncheon -
29th  Very wet day - The two Mr Boydells rode over to Trevallyn in the afternoon.
30th  Mr Durbin called - Wm Boydell took me for my first ride on Hector, & afterwards Emily took a ride - A very pleasant day - Mr & Mrs Boydell, Mr Crowder & Mr Durbin called at Trevallyn in the evening. Wm B. dined with us.
31st  Wm Boydell came to fetch Emily & me for a ride & we rode with him to Camyr Allyn - Mama, Mr & Mrs Townshend came over to dine at the Boydell's & returned to Trevallyn at night, but E & I remained.
1st  Mr Boydell went to fetch Mama in his carriage. The two Mr Bs, E & I took a delightful ride to the water-fall in the evening. A strong southerly gale in the evening.
2nd  Sunday - Mr Boydell read prayers in the morning - John Lyon came over from his brother's to stay at Mr Boydell's - We dined early & afterwards all went for a walk. Captain Evans & Mr Russell arrived at Camyr Allyn.
3rd  Mama, Mr & Mrs Boydell & Captain Evans went in the carriage & Emily & I, B & Mr Russell rode to the village of Gresford that is to be - John Lyon came to meet us & rode back with us. Mrs Townshend called.
4th  Captain Evans & Mr Russell left Camyr Allyn - Mr Boydell & John Lyon went to a sale of cattle & did not return till late to dinner - Emily & I & B took a ride to Caergwyrle (sic).
5th  Dr Campbell called - Mr & Mrs Boydell, Wm Boydell, Mama, E & I & Mr Lyon went in the afternoon to the water-fall where we had our dinner, & afterwards a delightful walk home in the cool of the evening - Emily had a letter from Louisa Macquoid.
6th  A hot wind. Mr Townshend, Mr Glennie, Mr Fenwick, two Captain Champagne's (sic), & Mr goldfinch called. Emily wrote to Louisa Macquoid & sent it by Captain C. A delightful southerly breeze in the evening.
7th  Mrs Wright's birthday 23 7th E & I & Wm Boydell & John Lyon rode over to Trevallyn to see Mrs Townshend. Mr L went on to Paterson & we returned without him - Mr Boydell went over to Glendon to fetch Papa. Mr Taylor & Mr Durbin called - Mr Hamon Massie & Mr Crowder came to dine & sleep at Camyr Allyn.
8th  E & I & Mr Lyon & Wm Boydell rode over to Caergwyrle (sic) after breakfast - Mr Durbin & Mr Taylor called - had luncheon. Mr Townshend called & Mr Crowder called & Mrs T, Mary & Georgy - Mr H. Massie, Mr Arnold, Mr Crowder called - Mr Durbin & James Lyon dined with us - the latter slept here. Mr Boydell returned without Papa.
9th  Sunday - A very hot day - Mr Boydell read prayers in the morning - James Lyon dined & slept at Camyr Allyn, his brother also being with us.
10th  Another very hot day - we could not go out. James Lyon returned home after breakfast. Mr Durbin dined with us.
11th  Emily & I went for a ride with Wm Boydell to the top of a hill from which we had a beautiful view of Trevallyn &etc. Rather a cloudy day. Mr Robert Massie called. Mr Rolleston dined with us.
12th  Mr Durbin called. E & I & B & Mr Lyon went for a ride after luncheon. Whilst we were at dinner Mr & Mrs A. Glennie passed by on their way home & left a letter from Papa dated Dulwich.
13th  A hot day. Mr Townshend and Captain Champaine called on their way down from the Allyn Dr Park dineed with us. Mr Rolleston dined with us and remained all night. A thunderstorm in the afternoon.
14th  It rained hard nearly all day. Mr Boydell, Wm. Boydell & John Lyon went off early to meet Papa on his way from Glendon & after meeting with many difficulties on account of the state of the road they arrived at Camyr Allyn late to dinner.
15th  It rained on the morning, but was fine in the afternoon. Mr Townshend called Emily & I went out riding in turns on Hector with Wm. Boydell. Mr & Mrs Tonwshend & John Lyon dined with us.
16th  A most beautiful day - Papa & Mama went over to Trevallyn in Mr Townshend's carriage,
Emily & I followed with the Boydells in their carriage with 4 horses - Papa performed service in the Townshend's verandah & in the afternoon they came over to Camyr Allyn where Papa again performed service. Mr & Mrs Glennie, Mr Durbin, Mr John Lyon dined and slept.
17th  Another beautiful day - Emily & I went out riding with Wm. Boydell. Mr Townshend fetched Papa & Mama in his carriage to see the Village and they went on to dine at Trevallyn. Emily & I went with the Boydells in their carriage. The two Mr Lyons, Mr & Mrs Fenwick, Mr Durbin also dined at Mr Townshends.
18th  Papa , Mama & Mr & Mrs Boydell drove the Caergwyle (sic). Emily & I & Bo, set off after them on horseback but Hector gave me a hurdle just as we were starting which delayed us, so we were only able to go to meet them as they returned.
19th  Bo. went to Caergwyle (sic) before breakfast. A very hot day and a very unhappy one. Poor Bo. left Camyr Allyn at 2 o'clock on Thursday in order to get to Morpeth in time for the Sydney steamer.
20th  Dreadfully hot morning - This day was 4 years we went on board the Camden. Mr Boydell drove Papa to Paterson. A southerly wind & rain came on soon after they were gone. Mr B. returned to dinner.
21st  Mr Boydell, Emily & I rode to see Mr Fenwick,
afterwards went to the Village & Gresford Lodge. Mr Townshend & Mr Fenwick rode with us. Mr Crowder & John Lyon dined and slept at Mr Boydell's.
22nd  Mr Boydell, John Lyon & Mr Crowder went away before breakfast, & went down in a boat with Mr Townshend to meet the William steamer coming up to Paterson. Mama, Mrs B., E & I walked in the garden in the afternoon. The three gentlemen returned to dinner - 23rd Sunday Mr Boydell read prayers in the morning . A very hot day - Mr & Mrs Townshend, John Lyon Hamon Massie & Mr Durbin dined with us. Mr Crowder went home afterwards.
24th  Mr Boydell drove Mama, E & I to Paterson after breakfast. John Lyon & Hamon Massie went with us. We went on board the William the 4th to go to Morpeth but the steamer stuck several times & we were at last obliged to leave her & go to the Inn at Paterson to sleep.
25th  We went on board the steamer between 5 and 6 in the morning, and arrived at Mrs Close's to breakfast where Mr Boydell, Mr Lyon, & Mr Massie took leave of us. It rained nearly all day - the Earl Grey arrived at Sydney from England & Miss Davies went to Mr E. Manning's
26th  Mama, E & I left Morpeth in the Tamar - Papa came on board at Raymond Terrace & Mr Bloxsome etc. at Newcastle - we arrived in Sydney between 11 & 12 o'clock - came home in a hired carriage - brought Mr Bloxsome as far as King Street with us.
27th  Willam Boydell called before returning to the Paterson - Mr Dunn, the Macquiods, Mr Crawley, Mrs Jones ….