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Quin, Edith (1850 - ?)

London, United Kingdom
Grazier and Pioneer


Edith Quin emigrated to Australia from England and, with her husband, was one of the first graziers in the Wilcannia district.


With her parents and brothers, Edith Quin left England for South Australia in 1853 and settled in Adelaide. There her mother had three more children before Edith's father died in 1860.

At the age of eighteen Edith began work as a governess for the family of Mr. J. J. Bonnor, a solicitor living at 'Strathalbyn', 65 kilometres from Adelaide. After five months she moved to Wentworth to teach at the local school. In January 1871, Edith travelled up the Darling River to the budding township of Wilcannia, almost 200 kilometres from Broken Hill. There she was married, and with her new husband she moved in November 1872 to 'Tarella', a pastoral station 80 kilometres north of Wilcannia.

Conditions were very tough at 'Tarella'. The delivery of stores was reliant on river transport and in years of drought, low river levels caused long delays that often lasted months - the longest was two years. The Quins experienced extreme weather conditions including periods of drought, dust storms and floods, as well as plagues of grasshoppers, locusts, rats, mice and rabbits.

Edith and her husband stayed at 'Tarella' until 1908, and eventually sold the property at the end of 1910 after moving to a farm in the Lysterfield Valley in Victoria. Before she died Edith composed a brief memoir, currently held by the Outback Archives in Broken Hill.

This entry was prepared and written by Georgia Moodie.

Sources used to compile this entry: Quin, Edith, 'Memoirs to my Dear Children', in Lindsay, Robert (ed.), Material Relating to the History of Wilcannia, vol. 1, Wilcannia & District Historical Society, Wilcannia, NSW, 1979, pp. 46-52.

Barbara Lemon

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