Emma Browning

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Emma Sharpe was born around 1832 in Surrey, England. She married Thomas Browning at the Independent Congregational Church in Melbourne within a week of her landing in the Colony of Victoria in 1852. They immediately went to live on the Ballarat goldfields.

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

Emma was an eyewitness to events connected with Eureka.

Post 1854 Experiences

She produced six sons and six daughters: James (lived WA); Mrs W J Cooke (lived Woomargama); Mrs H Story (lived Qld); Mrs J Semple (lived Qld) and Mrs W Walker (lived Sydney). The youngest of the children was Alice Lawson born 11 September 1878. Alice married John Semple and had eleven children. [1]

After spending 27 years in Victoria she married again to George Lawson, a well known blacksmith from Albury. Emma kept a boarding house in Smollett Street, Albury for 29 years. The last 14 years of her life were spent with her daughter Mrs W J Cooke.

Emma was highly respected, took a keen interest in patriotic work and was always to the fore in time of trouble. During WWI she had 30 grandsons and nephews fighting for their King and country, one grandson being killed at the landing at Gallipoli. Emma who was a widow at the time of her death died at Holbrook, NSW on 18 January 1918 aged 86 years. [2]


Ballarat Star Monday 4 March 1918, page 2 News has been received of the death at Mr W. J. Cook's Mountain Farm, Woomargama (N.S.W.). of Mrs Cook's mother, Mrs Emma Lawson, formerly Mrs T. Browning, who was an eye witness of the Eureka Stockade fighting and of various public incidents that led up to the riot. Mrs Lawson lived for 29 years at Albury. Thirty grandsons and nephews are taking part in the war.[3]

See also


Further Reading


  1. Letter dated 30 January 2013 from Neville Semple
  2. Dorothy Wickham, Women of the Diggings: Ballarat 1854, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2009.
  3. Transcribed by Chrissy Stancliffe

External links

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Caption, Reference.