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Reiby Hall
Mary Reiby

Mary Reiby is present in every twenty dollar note which is published from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Mary Haydock was a mere girl of thirteen when she was transported to Australia. She was shifted to this remote land for stealing horses as Australia was a penal colony at that time. Mary had a phenomenal rise from this humble past and became one of the most famous Australians. After her marriage in 1794 her maiden name was changed from Haydock to Reiby. She was the biggest entrepreneur of that period in Australia and contributed a lot in the process of building the nation.

Mary Haydock was born on 12th of May in 1777. Her place of birth was Lancashire in England. After arriving in Australia from England as a convict she worked in a household as a housemaid. When first arrested she was disguised as a boy but later the truth was discovered during trial. Mary was an orphan under the guardianship of her grandmother before getting arrested. Her life changed with her marriage to Thomas Reiby who was then a junior officer in a British ship. Initially the newly wed couple settled down in the region near the Hawkesbury River from where he started his first cargo business from Hawkesbury River to Sydney. The business witnessed good profit within a short time which made them shift to Sydney. Very soon the trading house called the Entally House was established.

The business of Thomas Reiby grew significantly in a few years and he became an owner of three boats, a stone palace and numerous farms. Furs, skin, coal and cedar were the most important items of trade. Pretty soon the business crossed national boundaries and ventured in to the foreign lands. There was a development of trading relations with China, India and other Pacific islands. In 1811 Thomas Reiby died at an early age leaving the entire responsibility of his children and business on his wife Mary Reiby.

Mary took up the task and was extremely successful in it. Her hard work and intelligence made her one of the business pioneers in this new colony. She not only maintained the existing business but also made a significant expansion. It was not that she was venturing in to an unknown territory as she was used to looking after the business even when her husband was alive.

The most extraordinary step in the Mary Reiby’s career began from 1812 and continued till 1817. Various shipping operations and warehouses were established by her. Since 1828 she began to part away from business and gradually retired. During her retirement she was the owner of huge property in the cities.

In her later life Mary was associated with various charitable organizations and became famous for her deeds in the field of education and religion. The most successful business person in the colony of New South Wales saw her end in 1855 at Sydney.

The Newtown RSL sub-Branch occupies Mary's old home on Station Street Newtown.

Watch a video on Mary Reiby here. Mary Reiby on YouTube

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