by George J. Dance

Emily Mary Barton (November 12, 1817 - August 24, 1909)[1] was an Australian poet and painter.[2]


She was born Emily Mary Duvall in York, England, the daughter of Emily (Johnson) and Major Edward Duvall. She spent much of her childhood in France and Belgium, and received a classical education. In 1839 she accompanied her parents, two brothers, and two sisters to New South Wales, Australia, where she met Robert Barton, a retired naval officer. She married Barton in September 1840,[3] her sister Eliza marrying Herman Henry Kater at the same time in a dual ceremony. [2]

Emily and Robert Barton lived for the next 30 years on his rural property, Boree Norang, near Molong, New South Wales.[2] After Robert Barton died in 1863, Emily sold Boree Norang and moved with her children to "Rockend" in Gladesville, Sydney, where she lived for the rest of her life.[3]

Emily Barton began writing poetry in the 1840s,[3] Beginning in 1853 she began publishing poems in the Sydney Illustrated News, including several prize-winning poems in the 1880s.[2] Her first collection of poetry was published in 1885. She published a second collection, Straws on the Stream, in 1909 at the age of 90. A third collection, also called Straws on the Stream, appeared posthumously.[3]

Barton also painted, and was known in her day as an accomplished portait painter (although there are no known examples of her work in any public collections). In 1870 she exhibited at the Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition.[2]

She died in 1909 at the age of 91, and is buried in Sydney's Ryde Anglican Cemetery.[4]

She was the grandmother of Australian poet A.B. ("Banjo") Paterson.[5]


  • A Few of Granmamma's Prizes for the Little Ones. Sydney: Gibbs, Shallard & Co., 1885.
  • Straws on the Stream. Sydney: privately printed, 1907.
  • Straws on the Stream. Sydney: W.E. Smith, 1910.
    • Dubbo, NSW: Review Publications, 1986.[6]

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Australian Poetry Library.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Emily Mary Barton, Geni Inc., Web, Mar. 1, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Emily Mary Barton," AllPoetry, Web, Mar. 1, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Emily Mary Barton (1817-1909), Australian Poetry Library, Web, Mar. 1, 2012.
  4. Inscription for Emily Mary Barton, Australian Cemeteries Index. Web, July 1, 2013.
  5. Emily Mary Barton, AllPoetry. Web, July 1, 2013.
  6. Search results = Emily Mary Barton, Catalogue, National Library of Australia. Web, Mar. 18, 2013.

External linksEdit

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