Boydell illustrations | State Library of New South Wales

Elizabeth Boydell illustrations

Charles Boydell’s wife, Mrs Elizabeth Boydell, drew several scenes of life on the Allyn River, which were published in the Illustrated Sydney News on November 24 and December 24, 1870.

Charles Boydell (1808-1869) emigrated to New South Wales in 1826 accompanied by George Townshend, a fellow Welshman, and both took up land grants on the Allyn River, at Gresford, NSW. In 1837, Boydell married Elizabeth Macdonald Ritchie (1817-1899) and they settled on his property Camyr Allyn. Socially well-connected, Elizabeth was the daughter of Harriott Mary Dowling and grand-daughter of John and Harriott Blaxland of Newington, Sydney.

The newspaper engravings below are taken from the pencil drawings of Mrs Boydell, who was described as a ‘lady resident in the district’. A keen amateur artist, her drawings capture the beauty and picturesque nature of the Allyn River region.

"The whole course of this beautiful mountain stream is bordered on its banks by foliage such as is not common to most Australian rivers. No description can adequately paint the variety of tints, and the elegance of the creepers which hang in wreaths from tree to tree…" (Illustrated Sydney News, 24 Nov, 1870)

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The first drawing is of Durham Falls, ‘a spot much frequented by anglers’. The falls were named by Charles Boydell and the location is included in his original land grant from the Crown. The second drawing features the water mills beside the river, also situated on Boydell’s property.

"It is a peculiarly placed bit of scenery – where –

 Forest and meadow, and slope of hill
 Around it are lonely, lovely and still
 Lonely – save when by the rippling tides
 From thicket to thicket the angler glides.”

(Illustrated Sydney News, 24 December, 1870)

After Charles Boydell's death in 1869, Elizabeth Boydell sold the contents of the property and moved to Sydney during 1871-1872. She died in 1899.