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Biographical entry Belfield, Algernon Henry (1838 - 1922)

December 1838
Filham, United Kingdom
August 1922
Astronomer, Pastoralist and Weather observer


Algernon Belfield was a pastoralist in the Armidale region of New South Wales who made daily weather readings on his property from 1877 to 1922 He recorded his observations in diaries as well as sending them to Henry Russell, Government Astronomer, at the Sydney Observatory. Belfield's readings are unique for the longevity of his recording and for the extensive detail he recorded of rainfall, temperature, barometric pressure, wind direction and cloud cover. His interest in scientific matters led him to build a small observatory with a refracting telescope to make observations of the 1874 transit of Venus: his reports and drawings were included in Russell's Observations of the transit of Venus, 9 December, 1874 (1892). Belfield was a Member of the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science and the British Astronomical Society. His weather diaries were donated by descendants to the Universities of New England and Newcastle.



1853 - 1856
Career position - Served with the 28th Regiment of Foot (promoted to Lieutenant June 1855)
Life event - Migrated to New South Wales
1859 - 1864
Career position - Overseer (later Manager), Saumarez, New England region, New South Wales
1864 - 1922
Career position - Lessee/Owner, Eversleigh Station, New England region, New South Wales

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Algernon H. Belfield - Records, 1860 - 1890, ML MSS 1918; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Thornton, Ken, Ashcroft, Linden, Bridgman, Howard, Oates, William and di Gravio, Gionni, 'Algernon Henry Belfield and the Eversleigh weather diaries, 1877 - 1922', Journal of Australian Colonial History, 20 (2018), 139-54. Details


McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn