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  • Title
    Diary by a servant of the Scott family, 8 Aug. 1821-Mar. 1824 (written after 1825), with notes, 1832 / attributed to John Brown
  • Creator
  • Call number
    SAFE/MLMSS 7808 (Safe 1/403)
  • Level of description
  • Date

    8 Aug. 1821-Mar. 1824, 1832
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    0.03 metres of textual material (1 volume in box)

    The diary is written by an unnamed servant [attributed to John Brown] of the Scott family. He was servant to Dr Helenus Scott who died in 1821 on a voyage to Sydney in HMS Britomart. After reaching Sydney the writer made several journeys of exploration with Robert Scott (1799-1844). The Scott family established a homestead at Glendon in the Hunter Valley where the servant stayed until he ran away to Sydney to work his passage back to England, via New Zealand, on the ship Berwick.
  • Scope and Content
    Fair copy manuscript account written in a notebook. The diary starts with the departure of HMS Britomart from London for Sydney on 8 August 1821. The writer records the death of Dr Helenus Scott and his burial at the Cape of Good Hope. He describes life on board and the ship’s arrival in Hobart and Sydney. He then writes of two trips inland from Sydney undertaken with Robert Scott. The first account, undated, concerns a journey to the Bathurst area and return to Sydney. On the second journey a party left Sydney on 24 May 1823 and, after reaching the Hunter River by boat, selected a site to establish the farm which Scott named Glendon. The last part of the journal describes the servant’s departure for England on 6 Feb. 1824 and events in New Zealand to March 1824. The opposite end of the notebook contains copies of verse and notes of dates in 1832. A pencil sketch of Tippahee [Te Pahi] is pasted onto page 69.

    There are few dates mentioned; some of those which are cited do not agree with the dates given in Robert Scott’s diaries (A 2266). The servant’s diary includes many descriptions of encounters with Aboriginal people. These encounters are much more frequent than those in Scott’s diaries, and may have been added from the wider experience of the writer or others. The diary seems to have been written out after 1825, possibly with a view to publication.
  • Finding Aids
  • General note

    Microfilm copy available at: CY 4858, frames 14 - 58
    The journals of Robert Scott are located at A 2266 (microfilm CY 2178).
    Digital order no: Album ID : 874467
  • Signatures / Inscriptions

    Watermarks: ‘W&C 1825’
  • Attributions / conjectures

    Attributed to John Brown from internal evidence of the diary, supported by research into shipping records relating to his departure on the Berwick in 1824, and passport issued for travel to Newcastle accompanying Robert and Helenus Scott on the Eclipse, 11 June 1823 (State Records NSW: Colonial Secretary; NRS 937; Item 4/3508 p.485, SR Reel 6010). Research compiled by Library volunteer, May 2010.
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