Social Life | State Library of New South Wales

Social Life

Darling Point society was small and exclusive, made up of some of Sydney's most successful and wealthy individuals. It was said that Darlingpointonians had laws, manners and customs all of their own - liberal laws, graceful manners and pleasant customs. 'Outsiders' were not admitted without some trouble, however once in their circle no-one cared to leave, according to an 1857 article in the Sydney magazine Month.

Social life revolved around families and entertainments such as dinners, balls and concerts. They even had a popular song named after the area, "The Darling Point Polka" was published in the Australian Musical Album for 1863.

Many families intermarried and close friendships developed amongst residents. "There was a snug coterie of society... at Darling and Potts Point and the South Head Road which had something more than the ordinary, loose, cold-hearted friendship, which commonly binds what is called 'society' together", wrote Nehemia Bartley in the 1890s.

Blanche Mitchell, youngest daughter of Sir Thomas Mitchell, records in her diaries and notebooks her close friendships, daily activities and social events in Darling Point and environs. Her days are spent visiting the Bradleys at Lindesay, attending St. Mark's Church and a dizzying array of social events including dinners, dances, boating and picnics.

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