The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Find the Lady!

1873 Diary of Sybilla Mary (Fluder) Shrubb


A correspondent sent me a transcript of the 1873 Diary maintained by Sybilla Mary (Fluder) Shrubb. He describes the diary as follows:

"This is a transcription of the Diary of Sybilla Mary Shrubb which she kept in the Year 1873. She and her family lived during this year at Rodleaze House – but there are frequent references in the diary to “ the House”(also ”the Drive”). The property in question is Boldre Grange which was being built during the year. There are references to visits by Mr. Shaw who was the architect for this house.

The diary is of very limited size and the entries made on most days are just about all that could be put in the space, Sundays having the least space. The diarist gives an almost daily comment on the weather and the principal activities of her husband and herself – on the whole pretty boring stuff. However it does give some idea of the social contact the diarist had – if not their content.

In general names are quite easy to make out – Surname and title for most non family, and no title if a servant/employee. The diarist has very frequent contact with “Annie” who must be her stepmother, Mrs Fluder, who was only her senior by 3 years, ”Bella” was Annie’s daughter. Almost as frequent a contact is “Mrs. St. Barbe” but which of the St. Barbes this is never becomes clear. Immediate relatives referred to are her sisters Bess and Al with their husbands, Hay (Morant)and Wal (Walter Wykesmith).

There is a confusing use of names for the diarist’s children, only her 12 year old son is consistently referred to by one name: “ Peyto”. Her son of 5 is most referred to as: “Titt” sometimes, “Titten” and also as: "Beverley": only once is his first name, Henry, used: this being when he was photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron at her home on the Isle of Wight. ( The photographer’s son was married to a cousin of Sybilla.) The daughter aged 3 is referred to as “Sister” and later as “Dickie.” On March 11th she had a second daughter, my grandmother, who seems to either become one of the “Dickies” or later in the year gets to be called “Grizzlekin.” Only on the day of her Christening are her given names mentioned. There are some names that are hard to place Craig, Harrie, etc.

Sybilla and John her husband lived not far from his father, Rev. Charles Shrubb, who was vicar of Boldre and lived at Vicar’s Hill. It appears to be part of the Sunday routine that John dined with his father. Charles’ brother, Rev. Henry Shrubb, is referred to by Sybilla as: “Uncle Henry” and it is he who seems to have enabled the building of Boldre Grange."

The transcript and a Names Index may be viewed:

Transcript of Diary

Names Index for Diary

Colin Bower
31 October 2009

Links to:

Shrubb and Fluder Families Index

Final Report

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