Daily Archives: December 24, 2009

Anne Drysdale’s Christmas 1841

There shall be more about Anne Drysdale anon, as I have bought Bev Robert’s recent book Miss D & Miss N: an extraordinary partnership.  Enough for now to say that, emigrating at 47 from Scotland and taking up land near Geelong in partnership with another woman (Caroline Newcomb) ,  Anne Drysdale is an inspiration to  ladies of a certain age like myself.

So, picking up on my timeworn (well, last year’s) theme of Christmas in Port Phillip, how did Anne Drysdale spend her Christmas in 1841?

On Friday last Dr & Mrs Thomson came down to tea & insisted on our going with them as the next day was Christmas, so we drove up with them, had roast goose & plumb pudding. Mr Tuckfield and Capt Pollock dined, the latter was with us on Thursday night.  As the next day was Sunday we remained & went to church.  On Monday morning Caroline rode down early.  Jane & I walked down after breakfast.  Dr & Mrs Thomson have given Caroline as a Xmas box the present of a mare called Fanny which she had been riding for some time.  It had a filly foal some days since.  She is to return the foal when it is weaned.  Fanny is a handsome black mare, a very pleasant ladies horse to ride & has been tried in harness & is perfectly quiet, so if we ever get a pony chair she will do nicely.  On Monday we expected Mr & Mrs Fisher to dinner to bring down Charlotte.  After dinner Mr F &  she arrived on horseback.  They had all got into a gig with in the intention of coming to dinner but the horse wouldnot go.  Mr F remained to tea & left Charlotte.

… Mr & Mrs Love & 2 children came to tea.  Capt Pollock was here Monday night. This morning before breakfast a party from Corio arrived on their way to the lakes for a pic nic. The 2nd carriage or cart had not come up, so the contents of the 1st 8 in number, breakfasted with us.  They have had a very hot day for their pic nic.

So-  a traditional hot Christmas dinner on a hot Australian day and people popping in on the way to a pic nic.  Sounds familiar really.  But this is the only Christmas day described in any detail in the diary, which becomes more business-like each year with sheep, sheep, sheep.

No sheep for me- Happy Christmas everyone

And I’ve now read Bev Roberts’ book Miss D & Miss N and you can read my review here.