Australian Women's Register

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Griffiths, Glynde Nesta (1889 - 1968)

4 July 1889
Double Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
4 June 1968
Bellevue Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Author, Historian and Philanthropist


Nesta Griffiths wrote Point Piper: Past and Preset in 1947, followed by Some Houses and People of New South Wales in 1949 and Some Southern Homes of New South Wales in 1952. The stories of various well established families recounted in each publication were partly informed by society gossip, and partly by research conducted by Griffiths in Sydney's Mitchell Library.


Glynde Nesta Griffiths - always known as Nesta - was the daughter of London-born merchant Frederick Close Griffiths and his wife Annette Agnes. Nesta and her sister Gwendolen were raised at Point Piper, near Sydney. Neither married, and they lived together at Bellevue Hill from 1929 until their deaths, just five months apart, in 1968.

The Griffiths sisters (known 'affectionately and disrespectfully as the Griffs' according to Helen Rutledge) were members of the Royal Sydney Golf Club. Passionate about family history and heritage, they supported the National Trust and Nesta was a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Her books on southern and northern homes in New South Wales were sometimes self-published and not well edited, but their value lies in the author's personal acquaintance with her subjects.

The sisters, who had received little inheritance, came to live quite comfortably thanks to a number of Gwendolen's shrewd investments on the stock market. Both made significant contributions to Sir Lorimer Dods' Children's Medical Research Foundation during their lifetimes. In her will, Gwendolen provided for Dods' grandchildren, while Nesta bequeathed her residual estate - valued at $300,000 - to the Foundation itself.

Sources used to compile this entry: Rutledge, Helen, My Grandfather's House, Doubleday, Sydney, 1986.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Letter from Nesta Griffiths, 1942 - 1977, MS 4829, folders 46-47 (correspondence 1942-1977); Papers of Douglas Stewart; Griffiths, Glynde Nesta (1889 - 1968); National Library of Australia. Details

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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