• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: PR00642

Newcomb, Caroline Elizabeth

(1812 – 1874)
  • Born 5 October, 1812, London England
  • Died 3 October, 1874, Brunswick Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Church worker, Community worker, Pastoralist, Philanthropist


Caroline Elizabeth Newcomb ran the early Port Phillip properties Boronggoop, then Coryule, in partnership with Ann Drysdale, from 1840 until after Ann’s death in 1853.  In 1855 she founded and became the inaugural president of the Geelong Ladies Benevolent Society, now Geelong and Western District Ladies Benevolent Society. In 1861 she married the Rev James Dodgson.


Caroline Newcomb was the daughter of the British Commissary in Spain. She arrived in Van Diemen’s Land in August 1833, at the age of 20, and moved to Port Phillip with the Batman family in April 1836, as governess. She moved  to Geelong as governess to the Thompson family, where Ann Drysdale met her upon her own arrival in the colony in 1840. The two women formed a successful partnership, running first Boronggoop,on the Barwon River, which they extended to Leep Leep near Lake Connewarre, then Coryule, building both homesteads. A devout Methodist, she joined the Wesleyan Church Society in Geelong on 4 January 1839, and was the first secretary of the Methodist Church at Drysdale, the town named after her partner.  On Ann Drysdale’s death in 1853, Caroline inherited the property, which she continued to manage. She took an active interest in local affairs, giving land for the Wesleyan Church in Drysdale, and seeking the formation of the Port Arlington Road Board, becoming its Secretary, and presiding over its first meeting. In June 1855 she formed the Geelong Ladies Benevolent Society, and became its inaugural president. She married Rev. James Dodgson in 1861, and followed him on his circuit, passing away at Brunswick Wesleyan Parsonage in 1874, aged 62. In 1956 the Geelong suburb of Newcomb was named after her.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • Geelong Heritage Centre
    • Victorian Pioneers Cutting Book vol.1
  • State Library of Victoria
    • Diaries of Anne Drysdale 1839-1854. [manuscript].

Related entries

  • Founding President
    • Geelong and Western District Ladies Benevolent Association (1855 - )
  • Partner
    • Drysdale, Anne (1792 - 1853)