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This, the Diary of Sarah Holbeche, is unlike any that you may have seen before.  It is not only a recollection of daily events during most of her lifetime but also includes many family photos, drawings, letters, calling cards and newspaper cuttings.  Beginning in 1802, it gives a birdseye view of life in Sutton Coldfield throughout much of the 19th century and will therefore prove to be a useful tool when researching the town's history.


The following is a transcription taken from a photocopy of Sarah Holbeche's diary, which she called "Omnium Gatherum."

Please bear in mind the following points when reading it:-

  1. Some pages of the original diary were not capable of being photocopied, although most of her text is intact.
  2. I have written question marks and left blank spaces where her handwriting was not legible.
  3. Every page here is numbered with its equivalent in the original hand-written diary. Where pages appear to be missing, those original pages comprised letters, photos, newspaper cuttings, etc, which were stuck in on top of one another and could not be photocopied satisfactorily.
  4. Where newspaper cuttings, photographs, drawings, etc, do appear on the original page, here they have simply been referred to within a blank frame.
  5. There is a copy of the original diary in Sutton Coldfield Library, Local Studies Department, under the heading 'A Copy of Sarah Holbcehe's Original Diary.' (Ref: BCOLQ942.496081HOL)
  6. The Library also has a copy of a Talk based on the Diary, under the heading 'Sarah Holbeche, A Victorian Lady who lived in Sutton Coldfield, (22.9.1803-20.8.1882). A Talk (with illustrations) given at Sutton Coldfield Library on Wednesday, 27 June 2001' by Janet Jordan.
    It is also on this website in the Research Section

Janet Jordan
January 2021