The diaries of Maria Martin, born July 1813 in Thanet, Kent.
1833-1837 Plymouth
1875-1888 Truro
Dave's comments on this page Henry Lowry was a dyer and wrote poetry.  He went to Jamaica to look for work.  Putting a brave face on things he wrote: there are no sharp winds here which drive you to the fire, but summer, everlasting Summer.
Hespie's birthday, 1867 44 Lemon Street, Truro Marriage
Miss Hespie Lowry, Pydar Street, Truro

To Hespie

And so, my little sister dear, It is your natal day, I hear, And I, in my o'erwhelming folly, Thought you would like a note from Polly

The little house was the only in the whole of the long, hilly street which had an ivied front, and its knocker was of brass and highly polished. At the back of the house there was a cobbled court, with nasturtiums growing on the palings, and a walnut tree which never fruited. Then you came to the garden. There was a magnolia whose ivory blooms sufficed to scent the whole house in their season. There was a summer house covered with clematis. There was an apple tree that bore the sweetest and the juiciest fruit ever tasted. Maria Lowry

West Briton newspaper
21 October 1836.  On Monday last, at Truro, Mrs. Henry Lowry, of a still-born son.

Mrs Lowry's diary (above-left) records: On the 16th it pleased my Heavenly Father to disappoint me of the object of my fondest hope; it was for some wise end blighted ere yet it bloomed.  I adore and praise my God...


Jamaica   Henry Lowry

Silver Hill, Port Royal Mountains Jamaica, November 7th, 1853.

I am up every day at 6. What with mining, and writing and riding from one port of the country to another, my hands overflow with work. The Fever has been very prevalent in the Island, and a great many English people have recently died - some of the Cornish Miners who came out in the same ship with me for another Company, died a week or two ago . One only out of men has died: Hocking, the Carpenter. Should our mining prospects improve, I shall remove to the Mansion House of the Estate, which is surrounded with Orange and Citron trees, and cocoa nut trees in abundance, now very much out of repair.



With you at home it is now dull, dreary, foggy November, but here with us it is hotter than the hottest Summer's day in England. From my windows I have such a beautiful prospect. A tributary of the Yellow River flows just below them, and as it winds its silvery way among the rocks and through the thickets of Bamboo and Cedar Trees, it forms a sweet stanza in the poetry of nature.

There are many inconveniences, the heat is very intense. You cannot walk out in the day for ten minutes without being just as wet with perspiration as if you had been in a shower of rain. My hands and arms are every now and then covered with little sores arising from ants and mosquito bites. As for the rats, I am obliged to keep a whip behind my pillow to drive them off the bed.

I live in a nice little one-storied villa, in the midst of a Coffee Plantation between the Port Royal Mountains, and the Blue Mountain Range. I have a small bed room with just furniture enough and I have made it look quite natty. It has a recess where I keep some of my best books and a cabinet of Mineral Specimens. I have a good sized 'Drawing Room' with a chintz-covered sofa, couch and a few pretty books on the table with a nice bunch of flowers. We don't use carpets here. All the floors are beeswaxed and polished every morning. I have two nice horses, and a Black Man servant called Nugent, so that you see upon the whole I am pretty well circumstanced.

April 16th 1833. Chapel House, Truro.  It was in the last week of March or the first of April that friend A went to see friend B. B made a favourable impression on A, and the next week A wrote B to tell her so, a letter full of flowery and elegant pleading, and ardent and devoted Love. B wrote A and gave him permission to see her on Tuesday the 16th of April, accordingly on his way to town A availed himself of the privilege named and paid his respects to his future Juliana, the recent loss of a lover prevents Bs publicly accepting A, a correspondence only will be kept up for the next three months, and then this honor'd lover will be allowed to pay the usual attentions expected by the Betrothed. No doubt, I wish I could truly Prophesy the sequel.
TRURO to BATH, 7am Friday 5 May 1837

It was after a morning of unceasing rain, and storm (the last day of January 1833). Every bough and bursting leaf was diamonded and glistening with the thousand drops of the last refreshing shower. I walked thoughtfully up the valley that lies just below Bosvigo when I was roused by the beauty around me. I was by the side of a gentle stream. A miniature promontory divided its course. A part still flowed on noiselessly as before, while the other rolled over a rugged and romantic waterfall in noisy rapidity. While some dash on recklessly others pursue their way in peace and happiness.

  Family of Henry and Maria Lowry

Henry's father James was a master dyer and remarried in 1842 to Mary, widow of Joseph Hocking of Redruth.  Mrs Lowry died age 91 in Union Place Truro, 1891.

Maria's father was Reverend Thomas Martin (1780-1866), well known Cornish Methodist minister and poet.  He married the youngest child of John and Mary Pearce of St Austell.  His daughter Polly was the first wife of John Derby Allcroft MP of Stokesay Court, Salop.  Maria's cousin Thomas James Henwood Martin was a gazogene maker in London and married the daughter of William Palmer of New Crane Wharf, Wapping.

Henry's mother was a daughter of John and Jane Marshall of Bodmin.  John Marshall's will of 1818 divides his estate between his children, including Elizabeth HUGO, Ann SCOTT, Catherine LAWRY, Fanny BRAY and Nicholas MARSHALL.  Henry's cousin Jane Shillaber farmed at Blackadon Hill, Bolventor near the famed Jamaica Inn.

The nine children of Henry and Maria were: Harry, Tom, Kate, Edward, Alfred, Fred, Jim, Polly and Hespie.


1st Coachman Lostwithiel


2nd do to Exeter


Guard, all the way


House maid at Okehampton


do Ilminster




Fare to Bath


Breakfast, Tea, and Bed &c


Guard and Coachman to Bath


6 Missionary Services


Hair cut, curled


Caroline 6d sausages 1/-


At Bristol 1/-


Sacrement 6d