Welcome to the Diary of Mary Ann Denham


Mary Denham was born on Saturday, 30th July 1836. She lived all of her life either in Wootton Common or Newport, in the Isle of Wight. Time, developers and the County Council have swept away all the physical traces of her life. Indeed, we might never have remembered her but for one piece of her life that has survived, her diary.

The diary was found in a bookshop in Norfolk, some time ago, and was given to Mr. Ken Morris who lives in Wootton Bridge. How it came to be in Norfolk is unknown.

Her diary spans the years 1857 through to the 14th February, 1859 when the last page is filled. Presumably she carried on writing in another book, but this has still to be traced, if it still exists.

Mary describes her life, as a young woman, in the then small village of Wootton. No famous people are featured or events, but it's the remarkable insight it gives to Victorian life that makes it so unique.

The Diary

The diary itself is a small leather clad book measuring approximately seven by five inches and contains 76 pages. It was written in black ink with a nibbed pen in Mary's flowery style. Over time, some of the ink has faded and the diary has suffered some slight water damage and this has been corrected in the scanning of the document.

From the diary contents we have been able to trace much of Mary's life, marriage and family history and you are invited to read the diary and find out about her short life, which was to end in tragedy in 1871.

Web-masters note - I am still researching into the life of Mary and her family and more content will be added to these pages. If you would like to be informed when new information is available, or have any of your own to add, please use the Comment Page to tell us.

New content was added on 27th February, 2020.

28th February, 2020