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Henry TOWNSEND - 1825 Voyage on The York
In June 1825 Henry took a position as Captain's Clerk on The York and in this letter describes conditions on board, names some crew and passengers and vessels he encounters. Also described are a stand off with pirates, the brutality in some graphic detail of the crew on crossing the Line; the Australian Company; dissatisfaction of crew and passengers; the slave trade and his first sight and taste of a banana. The York was a vessel bound from Gravesend to New South Wales via Rio De Janeiro. Compiled by Dione Coumbe, Kent, England.
Date: 28 Nov 1998
Subject: Townsend's Tale
Those listers who have read of Thomas Lyle will know I was very lucky to receive a collection of family documents a week ago, the earliest of which dated from 1740.
"Townsend's Tale" is from the same collection. It was written by Henry Shepherd TOWNSEND who was the son of William TOWNSEND 1770-1836, Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London. Henry was the brother of my 3 x grandmother, Hope Morley TOWNSEND who obviously was the daughter of William.
In June 1825 Henry took a position as Captain's Clerk on THE YORK and in this letter describes conditions on board, names some crew and passengers and vessels he encounters. Also described are a stand off with pirates, the brutality in some graphic detail of the crew on crossing the Line; the Australian Company; dissatisfaction of crew and Passengers; the slave trade and his first sight and taste of a banana.
THE YORK was a vessel bound from Gravesend to New South Wales via Rio De Janeiro.
Similarly to "The Voyage of Thomas Lyle" I have no objections to all or any part of "Townsend's Tale" or my notes or subscription of his letter being used as articles in family history society magazines, on web sites or placed in any suitable archive with the proviso that none of any extract or whole used be commercially exploited.
I hope everyone will enjoy this as much as The Voyage of Thomas Lyle,
Regards to all - Dione, Dover, Kent, England
June 25th. 1825
My dear Father and Mother,
I now take up my pen with an intention of preparing this letter to be forwarded to you the first opportunity as it will probably be a long one and written at intervals you must excuse all defects. In the first place allow me to return thanks once more for your Kindness on numerous occasions, I trust my last reached you time enough to prevent your forwarding the Desk and etc. to Cowes.
I felt very much disappointed at leaving that place so precipitately as I have no doubt I should have had the satisfaction of receiving communication from you before I left England. I am by this time acquainted with how I am situated on board, and though I am far from comfortable - yet I do not wish you to understand it as a complaint or dissatisfaction on my part for as I entered upon it myself I ought to put up with all the inconveniences however as you desired me to be particular in stating every thing fully, I shall relate exactly how I am circumstanced.
You are aware I mess with the Third Mate, Carpenter, Boatswain and a Boy. We have a cabin about 8 foot square one of which is monopolised by 2 Bed places one belonging to the Third Mate the other occupied by the Carpenter. We have also in this berth my chest and a box - 2 Chests belonging to the Third Mate, 1 belonging to the Carpenter, and a basket belonging to the Boatswain, he having no Chest, so that the space left in which we live, take our meals, sleep is about 6 feet long by 2.1/2 feet wide, 2 square feet which is taken up by the swing of the door and the floor is generally covered with our meat, Biscuits, Plates, Baisons, and Sauces, Mugs, Knives and forks, spoons, Water Bucket etc. We have exactly the same allowance as the rest of the Sailors, Viz, salt beef one day and salt pork the other. Flour once a week and Potatoes three times a week - 3 Quarts of Water per day - a fair allowance of Biscuit and a quarter of a Pint of Rum once a Week. Our manner of taking our meals is as follows:- The meat is in a dirty wooden Bowl that has not had the advantage of a scrubbing for at least two years - it is placed in the middle of the floor and if Potato day surrounded with Potatoes and each one helps himself by attacking the Meat with either fork or fingers, which he pleases, and after taking what he likes puts it down again, the same Custom is adopted at Breakfast and Supper and the floor is generally well greased with Rinds of Pork, Potatoes Peelings and as it is at most times a perfect Pig Sty - this is the place your humble servant is obliged to spend most of his time in. Our meals are generally garnished with the conversation of the Boatswain and the Carpenter, not of the highest description, you may be sure, and closely interlarded with Oaths and swearing.
You must naturally imagine how very uncomfortable I must have felt upon entering into such a life, but I have now become a little more accustomed to it, and although the Carpenter endeavours to annoy me in every possible way, "by the by I am rather too respectable by far for him," yet I endeavour to make myself comfortable, certain it is that if any opportunity should offer abroad for my remaining I shall endeavour to do it for this has pretty well sickened me of the Sea Service, though I doubt not had I been more comfortably situated but with regard to association and comforts not accessible, I should have embraced a sea life.
If I had gone with Mr. PALMER in the ROYAL GEORGE I an sure I should have been comfortable, I should there have had comfortable association - here in the Cabin, Gents think I suppose I am not sufficiently (un)respectable to associate with them, and though they treat me civilly yet with some diffidence and distance I assure you. This is owing to the Captain, I think for is he had proved what Mr. MOATES stated him to be, Viz, affable and encouraging then the others no doubt would have behaved more friendly, however he thinks I suppose that it would be derogatory on him to take notice of me and if that is the case I would as soon as be without his friendship than with it. I have only conversed with him since I left COWES and that would not have happened had I not been under the necessity of making a complaint against the Carpenter who was about to practise a form of villainy against me, the Captain treated me civilly and promised to take notice of my complaint, in the course of conversation I politely required a little alteration or increase in our diet. I requested him to allow us some vinegar which is necessary to prevent scurvy, it is true he gave us a bottle but gave me to understand it as a favour and though we have had a bottle or so since yet I think the Steward is the Man we have to thank for it. In fact I find I have nothing much to expect from the Captain. I think from some cause unknown to me he is prejudiced against me, though I have no business to be sure to think so. I think Mr. MOATES might have said less about comfort and association when he was aware how I should be circumstanced. He told me I should want for nothing and now I am hardly at times make a meal! Consider for instance, a piece of beef for dinner that requires some little dexterity to cut it, much more to eat it, perhaps a Potato or so with it, also some biscuits and to finish a little water not over sweet, this occurs every other day, the intervening having Pork which is eatable, and after living as you do at home I think it natural enough for me to feel the difference.
I have said much more than I have intended upon this subject but yet do not wish to construe is as complaint, for as I said before, "as I entered upon it myself, I ought not to complain", thank God I enjoy excellent health and am therefore able to sustain all inconveniences. The hard biscuit and meat does not agree very well with my bad health, but I do not think our Doctor experienced enough to allow him to operate in my Mouth. I believe I have not mentioned how I sleep. I bring my Cot into our berth at night and lay it upon the Boxes to sleep and in the Morning I take it out and lace it up over the sleep (berths). I do not work like I did at first though whenever the occasion requires I give my assistance. I have regular nightly Watch, Viz 8 hours one night and 4 hours the other, this does not agree with me in wet weather but upon the whole I do not care much about it. I have no writing whatever to do. I assist a little in serving out the Water but this is at present optional and I merely do it to take a little of the fag off the Third Mate, so altogether I am not hardworked at present.
I believe I did not state who we had on board in fact I hardly knew at that time. There are as follows -
Mr. DAWSON Chief Agent to the Australian Company.
Mr. EBSWORTH, his clerk
Mr. HALL, Woolsorter
Mr. HOLLANDE, Surgeon
Mr. SMITH, Chief Mate
Mr. WRIGHT, Second Mate
these all Mess and live in the principle Cabins on Deck beside which there are in the Cabins below a Mr. ALLEN, wife and family consisting of 6 children and 11 Men, 8 Women and 19 Children sent out by the Company. Our crew consists of 27 Captain MONCRIEFF included, so that we altogether number about 80 living persons. We have also on board 340 Sheep, 8 Head of Cattle, 10 Dogs, so many Pigs, Dozens of Geese, Ducks and Fowls.
We are now crossing the Bay of Biscay and I assure you I have seen as much motion in the Thames as there is here at present. We have but little Wind - and this may account for it in some measure.
A Short Divine Service was performed in board this Morning / Sunday June 20th / by Mr. DAWSON, it consisted of a Prayer, a Chapter and a Short Discourse which Mr. DAWSON read from a Book of Sermons.
A circumstance occurred yesterday / July 1st. / which might have proved fatal to us all in about two o'clock in the afternoon we discerned a Sail some distance to the Windward of us, She seemed endeavouring to near us, our Captain thought her action strange and Kept on Deck in the pouring rain till 10 o'clock. About this time She came near enough for the Captain to hail her which he did and She returned answer she was bound for Madeira but she still continued to bear down upon us and soon came near enough for us to have a moonlight view and our Captain immediately perceived her to be an Algerian Piratical Schooner and appeared to be preparing to board us.
All hands were immediately called up and armed, some Muskets were discharged as a signal to THE BROTHERS the vessel that sailed from Cowes in company with us which She "though at some distance" heard and made the best of her way to us. In the mean time there appeared to be a great bustle on board the Pirate, when she suddenly crossed our Bows, and having laid to a short time as if reconnoitring us, she shipped off again to the Starboard of us and went away making all sail.
It is generally supposed on board of us that she must have imagined we were transports with Cavalry on board, as We were so expeditious in firing and more particularly as she must have had an indistinct view of the HAY in our Chains. However she must have been intimidated as we have seen nothing more of her. It is quite impossible to describe the consternation that reigned on board during the late transaction. I mean among the Women and Children and it will no doubt be some time before they regain their accustomed composure. For my own part I did not feel alarmed for I thought it would come to nothing.
Came in sight of Teneriffe this day / July 5 / had an indistinct view of the Peak which is amazing high.
I forgot to mention we passed Madeira on the 3rd of this month. We had a very poor view of the Western side of it which is a rock very hight but quite inaccessible. It was the intention of our Agent to put in there at first for a supply of water and fruit, but by the time we reached it he determined to pass and will probably let us put in at Rio Janario (sic) a Spanish Port in South America. If that should be the Case, I shall endeavour to forward this letter from thence. The Day we passed Madeira THE BROTHERS came alongside and our Agent went on board and the Captain and found all well.
This morning / 11 July / The Boatswain got his Jaw Bone broken in consequence of fighting with another Man. The Boatswain gave the provocation and also struck the first blow therefore has nobody but himself to thank for his pain. 15th. We had this day the first breeze we have had since we have been on board it frightened the Women and Children a little and made them sick. The heat is very powerful hereabouts the thermometer stands between 80 and 90. We are about 12 Degrees from the Equinoctial line.
/ Aug 1 / We have had fine weather for the last three weeks but in consequence of contrary winds we have made but small progress. We are about 5 degrees from the Equinoctial Line. A great deal is said by the Sailors about Shaving on crossing the line, they swear they will serve me out and hold out many threats against me. The reason is I have to serve them out Water every other day and in consequence of refusing to give them 2 or 3 Gallons over and above their allowance they swear vengeance against me. I have offered to pay the fine but they refuse. I desired Mr WILSON to offer a gallon of rum if they would not molest me, this they refused. I hardly knew how to act however before the time comes I will make the Captain acquainted with their threats and desire his protection though he behaves so strangely to me I fear I shall only receive some evasive reply. If this should be the case I must hit upon some plan to defend myself from the violence is I can though I fear it will be useless they are such a set of desperate chaps.
/Sunday 7th August / We shall cross the line this night and the Sailors intend to shave tomorrow I have spoken to the Captain this day about the threats held out to me but he does not seem to pay much attention to it the only answer I got from him was "Sailors say more (than) they mean but I will see about it" from the careless way in which he said it I much doubt whether he will notice it at all however if I should hear more about it from him I have determined to barricade myself in our Cabin and prevent the entrance of any one I have borrowed a Pistol this I shall load with powder and threaten to shoot the first that enters and provided they are sober when they come to me and endeavour to break down the door I will fire it to awe them and they will most likely desist but should they be drunk resistance will be vain and I will give myself up to them they will not I think hurt me then as I do not resist.
/Tuesday 9th August / A have been most brutally used my life has been endangered but I must state the thing as it occurred. Yesterday the Sailors prepared to Shave as we had crossed the line the preceding night. The Passengers had all determined to make assistance and as they had plenty of fire some mischief might have ensued. The Captain therefore ordered the Sailors to leave them alone and only Shave the Ships Company. Unfortunately for me I am marked as one of them, in fact myself and the Doctor were the only 2 respectable parties belonging to the Ship who hadn't been Shaved there was also 3 Sailors and 4 Boys to Shave. The Doctor had the Captain's protection and was of course not shaved.
About 2 o'clock in the day understanding they were just beginning I barricaded the door of our Cabin with Chests Boxes etc., and loaded a Pistol with powder about 3 o'clock they began and as I was afterwards told nearly drunk I heard them beating one of their own men terribly and began to anticipate what I should receive but I thought it possible they might overlook me.
They did not come near me till about 4 o'clock when one of the named EVANS came and tried to open the door, he looked through the Doorblinds and saw me he then went away and returned immediately with 2 more named MATTHIAS and BRYAN they began immediately to smash the Door. I had now a glimpse of them and I do not remember ever having seen such a set of incarnate Devils before. Picture to yourself a set of men dressed in canvas frocks and trousers black with tar and with their faces painted with white and yellow paint and coal tar and beastly drunk though not sufficiently so to incapacitate them from carrying any mischief into effect. To make resistance I saw would be useless. I said "wait a minute and I will clear the boxes from the door and come out to you," they desired me with dreadful imprecations to be quick.
I had removed one box and was endeavouring to remove the rest thought they still continued to demolish the door I told them it was impossible for me to remove the chests while they pressed against the door so hard at this moment one of them saw the Pistol on a chest, with horrible threats desired me to fire that Pistol out of the Scuttle. Knowing the Pistol as it was useless to me I complied with his desire and endeavoured to fire it into the Sea but it missed fire they now renewed their exertions to break open the door and I did also, the clear the chests away in about 2 minutes I got the boxes away but not before they had burst a panel of the Door in. I now came out to them when they began to use me very roughly one of them struck at my head with a staff his name was MATTHIAS I bobbed my head forward and received the blow on my shoulder another named EVANS gave me a hard blow on my side with the end of his Staff which forced one with no small violence against the Wainscot of our Cabins. They were swearing at me in a dreadful way all the time I now threw myself forward toward a corner when I had seen a stave in the Morning with the intention of seizing it and selling my life as dearly as possible for they were bent upon severely injuring me but it was not there. The Carpenter now joined them in abusing me though he did not strike me I rushed upon Deck the whole of this had been the work of 5 minutes or less from the time I left my Cabin. They followed me upon Deck and were joined by several others of the same description. I was now handled roughly again some heavy blows were struck at me. The Carpenter endeavoured now to protect me as also the Third Mate Mr. WILSON came forward to interfere I got several blows about the head and ribs at last one of them named BLAKE gave me a violent blow between the eyes which laid me senseless on Deck. I remained so for a few minutes, in the mean time the Captain came forward he had witnessed the whole scene upon Deck, they told him a most infamous lie they said I had fired a Pistol at them I was just recovering when I heard the Captain say "Shave him, shave him by all means".
I was then hurried forward to the shaving place the Captain was near and I appealed to him but he took no notice of what I said. The place where they shaved was in fore part of the vessel, the four corners of a sail were supported on 4 poles, bound together by cross poles, in front of this some poles were laced up like steps. I was put on one of the supper Rounds with my back to the sail which was about half full of water. I was now saluted by Mrs Neptune by one of the sailors dressed like a Woman he gave me a few hard Gripes (sic) on my cheek. My "face"eyes"nose"mouth" even my hair was covered with coal tar by a Man named SIMMONS who was Neptune for the time but acted as barber lathered my with Coal Tar himself in consideration of serving me out well, he asked some of the foolish customary questions which the state I was in made me incapable of noticing. The Razor was now produced to shave me / it was a Copper one about a foot long with teeth regular cut in it like a saw / preparatory to ducking but some of them were so anxious to see me ducked that before the Razor could reach my face they tipped me heels over head backwards into the Sail, this I was very glad of for I felt very faint but the water revived me but I could not remove any of the Coal Tar from my face with it then. I rose in the water they set up a shout of derision and though I was extremely mortified I would not show it but though half chocked with the tar I shouted also to show the Captain I was not mortified by his spite.
When I got out of the Sail BLAKE the same man who struck me senseless on Deck kicked me and dragged me down under him three or four others throwing themselves on him and thereby pressing me with no small violence but they got off directly to make room for some one to throw water over me which they did BLAKE holding me the whole time. I then got away half choked with the Tar and fainting with the blows I had received.
When I came below to my Cabin one of the Passengers named CARTER gave me about quarter of a pint of run which I drank off directly and felt somewhat better. I then changed my clothes and wiped as much of the tar off as I could from my face. I went upon Deck and remonstrated with the Captain upon the treatment I had received but all I could get from him was that I was shaved and he had been shaved before me "very consoling truly I had been in danger of having a broken head" he seemed I thought afraid of being called to account for the treatment I have received, he asked particularly who saw the Cabin broken open and also who saw me maltreated below and I am telling him several women saw the transaction he said rather exaltingly "A Woman's evidence will not I think be taken in Court under the existing circumstances" however there was one man present who offered to make a deposition before any magisterial party in my favour. I am told in confidence by the Chief Mate that if my friends desire to take the late transaction into consideration upon my arrival in England damages to no small amount would undoubtedly be recovered and he says he has known some similar instances where Captains have been ruined in cases where parties have not been as ill treated as myself. I am told generally that no law is in existence allowing the brutal custom of Shaving and that, combined with injury sustained from blows particularly the Captain being previously made acquainted with the Men's intention of maltreating me under the circumstances doubly recoverable. I have been very particular in no allowing the least sentiment of remedy on my part against the Captain escape me but on the contrary when spoken to about it I generally say if I could make the Men smart for their brutality I would do it but the Captain is quite out of the question.
I assure you I had no small difficulty in removing the tar from my face I accomplished this however by using no small quantity of grease but could not remove it from my eyes. I forgot to mention the custom adopted by the Sailors the night before Shaving. A tar barrel is filled with old canvas, tar wood and other inflammable articles and set fire to after which it is lowered into the water, in the mean time A sailor climbs to the end of the bowsprit and hails the Ship in a gruff stifled voice as though a speaking trumpet at some distance. The Captain answers him through a speaking trumpet asking "What Ship that is" the Man answers "I am Neptune and understanding you have some of my children on board who have not crossed the Equinoctial Line before I shall pay you a visit and shave them tomorrow" The Captain answers "Very well Mr. Neptune, very well I shall be happy to see you" Neptune them says "good night Captain, good night my Sons" upon which the barrel is let down and the ceremony ends.
I think upon the whole I never witnessed such a foolish brutal piece of business as this shaving in my whole life. After the Shaving was over on Monday last the men got comfortably drunk and began fighting among themselves and the Captain interfered and was abused in the most gross and unpardonable manner. So this is the best he got for allowing the men to make brutes of themselves and injure other people. The Agent was also abused in no slight degree.
I have had a bad nights rest during the preceding one from the pain in my eyes head and side my face is also a good deal swelled and my eyes both blackened from the blows received on my nose. I have applied to the Doctor for something to relieve the pain in my head and he has given me some medicine to take every 3 hours in case I do not find relief by morning I am to apply to him again.
I have been obliged to give up my nightly watch in fact am not in a fit state for duty.
/ Wednesday 10th. August / I am somewhat better today the pain is not so violent in my head but the most pain I feel in my right side enjoyed a good nights rest last night.
/ Sunday 14th August / I am now quite recovered from the injury I sustained on shaving day and think myself fortunate that I was not more severely hurt.
I believe I have previously given you some idea of the Passengers. I will now endeavour to give you some idea of their Characters as far however as I am concerned with them. I will begin with our Captain T (I?) MONCRIEFF. I am unable to form an opinion of this party as he had acted so strangely to me - he may be a very good man but his behaviour to me has not been what I expected I know no just cause or reason why or wherefore I have displeased him I have always treated him with great respect and have never yet refused doing anything he requested me. I can only assume his motive of treatment to 2 Causes and perhaps I judge erroneously in both.
The first is I fancy he expects me to work among the rest of the Sailors for taking the Rigging down, Viz now you know well I did not accept any Situation under the Supposition that I was to work as a common sailor and though I certainly did work very hard in our passage from GRAVESEND to COWES, yet upon signing Articles before leaving there I explained to the Captain it was not my intention to work the Ship and he seemed satisfied with what I said upon it I shall instantly refuse to do any duty hard work he may chose to set me about yet I shall give assistance at time in hauling on ropes.
The second cause for the Captain's displeasure I ascribe to the following circumstance. On board the vessel there is a person of the name of ALLEN whom I shall hereafter mention more largely, from the party I have received many little attention which I have of course returned. Unfortunately he has quarrelled with the Agent of the Australian Company who is very bitter against him and finding I am in the habit of playing Chess now and then with Mr. A the Agent supposes or chooses to suppose from that circumstance that I am upon intimate terms with Mr. ALLEN and consequently he has doubtless prejudiced the Captain against me in fact every thing I observe confirms the supposition now I am rather surprised at this for some time ago when I had conversation with the Captain I mentioned to him that it had been said to me he did not approve my associating with Mr. ALLEN. I told him if he certainly disapproved Mr ALLEN and myself holding conversation together I would undoubtedly refrain from saying any thing to him the Captain stated he could have no objection whatever to my being on friendly terms with Mr. A and I was quite at liberty to associate with whom I pleased after this I felt no hesitation in playing Chess or otherwise with Mr ALLEN. The Captain appears to constantly avoid me and never passes a word with me neither do I receive any orders or communications from him whatever.
Mr DAWSON Chief Agent to the Australian Company.
This gentleman appears to be not a little proud of his appointment and from what little I can observe is of a revengeful disposition he has behaved very despotic and illiberal to Mr ALLEN. I believe him to be a severe enemy of mine on account of my not joining with others in insulting Mr. A and as I before mentioned I think he has injured me with the Captain. I could observe he was highly pleased to see me abused on Shaving Day. The Captain and Mr DAWSON are very intimate so much so that DAWSON appears to be more Captain than MONCRIEFF consequently displeasing DAWSON is making an enemy of the Captain, from several circumstances that have occurred I am well convinced I have no friend in either of them.
Mr EBSWORTH, Clerk to Mr. DAWSON
This seems to be an agreeable intelligent young man but he is afraid of passing a word with me if the Captain or Mr. DAWSON are present for fear I suppose of offending them if the slightest conversation takes place between us and either of them appears he moves off instanter.
Mr HALL, Woolsorter to the Company
This young man like the former is afraid of saying much to me and if either if the before mentioned parties appears he is off in a twinkling.
Mr HOLLANDE, Surgeon
I have been greatly deceived in this Gent during the few days I was at GRAVESEND I became acquainted with him and his professions of friendship were profuse but when he saw how the Captain used me and how I was situated on board he altered quite to the contrary and now we seldom pass a word with one another.
Mr SMITH, Chief Mate
This seems a quiet peaceable little man and hitherto he has behaved civilly to me though I much fear for his own comfort he will be necessitated to behave like the others. I think he is rather cunning and on that account I am careful what I say to him.
Mr WRIGHT, Second Mate This is a pompous consequential mean noisy little fellow and quite a party man. I can see he is no friend of mine and I think for the sake of gaining favour he would lick the Captain's Shoes I fear I shall disagree is he at all interferes with me.
Mr WILSON, Third Mate
This is a young Gent about my own age and also a messmate. We have as yet agreed very well but he is I think against Mr ALLEN and consequently I am afraid of saying much to him for I think he is rather artful. I do not mean to say he has behaved very openly to me as yet but yet it is necessary to be suspicious under the circumstances.
This Gentleman I have before mentioned he holds a Situation under the Australian Agricultural Company. He has on board a Wife and 7 children, she lost a little Girl born a few days ago.
Unfortunately for him the Agent and himself are on bad terms in consequence of not having a proper understanding. Mr ALLEN's agreement with the Company states that they are to find himself and family a passsage to NEW SOUTH WALES and upon his arrival there he is to place himself under the direction of Mr. DAWSON the Agent, here the principal quarrel lies Mr DAWSON being desirous of assuming power over Mr ALLEN during their passage which Mr. A would not submit to. A disagreement also took place between them at Cowes Mr. A not being satisfied with provision allowed his family particularly as Mrs. A was in the family way he said he was deceived with regard to his living accommodation. Two of the Directors being at Cowes and not being friends of his they treated his complaint rather contemptuously but fearing he might leave the ship altogether they sent some Poultry on board for his use and told him he was to have fresh meat wine and other convenient and other palatable articles the same as the Captain and Agent enjoyed at their table however when we put to Sea this was refused and the quarrel of course commenced.
As a beginning of what they intended to do Mr. A was forbidden to come on the poop he was by this means prevented from attending to several valuable boxes of plants which stood there some belonging to the Company and the rest private property and these plants Mr. A had experienced great difficulty in collecting before he left England many of them were presented to him by the Horticultural Society and required the care and attention of an experienced Botanist. These plants were and still are attended by the Servant who cleans Mr. DAWSON's Shoes Viz a man I (?) Day who never raised a Cabbage. Not satisfied with this they endeavoured to mortify and degrade him in every possible way.
Himself and family like the rest of the Passengers was allowed a certain quantity of spirit per day his share was taken off and soon after supposing he had some of what the rest of the family had it was all taken off. They had nothing but water to drink the Agent also laying strict injunctions on the Rest of the passengers not to sell or give any to Mr A or family on pain of having their allowance stopped and incurring his displeasure. Thus was a man his wife and large family who had always lived respectably in England compelled to drink only water in a Warm climate and Mrs. A upon the verge of 7 months pregnancy. I will mention one or two more circumstances to prove how far they were inclined to injure the party.
Mrs. ALLEN feeling one day very poorly and having unwisely salt beef for dinner / which is at times hardly edible / sent to the Captain and DAWSON who were at dinner and desired the favour of a small piece of their fresh meat - this was contemptuously refused. Another circumstance occurred which proved their extreme meanness - Mr ALLEN while at Cowes went to a friend and procured a quantity of vegetable mould he put this in some square boxes and sowed it with Mustard and Cress. He was allowed to reap the first of this for the use of the Agent and Captain, however he was surprised one morning upon going to water some salad to find somebody had been there before him and had cut it. Upon enquiry he found it had been cut by DAWSON's Servant orders having been given to the effect by his Master after this they took possession of the boxes and mould and actually sent to him to demand him to deliver up the Seed to sow them with.
Many other overbearing circumstances have occurred but I have mentioned sufficient to show their malice.
Mrs ALLEN is undoubtedly a sufferer as she is confined 2 months sooner than expected. I must say Mrs. A is a Woman I do not admire though I must say I have received many little attention from her and Mr. A. I have returned them as far as laid in my power. I fortunately had it in my power to give Mrs. A. A few bottles of wine which I assure you were highly prized for altho (sic) she in confined she does not receive a bit or a drop from the Agent or Captain fortunately she is a strong healthy person had it been otherwise she would have been in a pitiable Situation.
Mr A is a good hearted friendly man. I think but rather hasty he is undoubtedly a clever man in his profession he has received acknowledgements from the Society of Arts for his communications on Botanical Subjects he has also received the strongest recommendations from the DUKE OF CLARENCE whom he was Head Gardener and Botanist to for 11 years. The Company received many recommendations from several other eminent men. Mr. ALLEN is also a Freemason and holds the dignity of Knight Templar in the extensive society, he is also something of a mechanic and has made an improvement in BRAMAH's PATENT LOCK which has been acknowledged to have increased the value of that article greatly, he is certainly a man of ability but yet were I differently situated I should not choose him for an associate, it is true our intercourse is limited principly to playing a game of Chess now and then yet this has made Mr DAWSON an enemy of mine.
We have on board besides the above mentioned persons 11 Men 8 Women and 19 children principly Farming People and Mechanics. They are all dissatisfied and swear they have been deceived and had they known what was the Company's intentions with regard to them they would have done anything sooner than left England.
Mr ALLEN tells me he will leave the ship at RIO JANARIO where we are going to take in water and are within a few days sail. I expect there will be a piece of work about it he intends he tells me to prosecute the Captain and Mr DAWSON and the Company for the injuries himself and family have sustained on the board the vessel.
/ August 15th / I am surprised to find the Sailors still hold out threats against me particularly after having accomplished their purpose with me on Shaving Day by beating and otherwise ill using me, but what seems more surprising is the cause they have now and that is they have taken it into their heads that I am here in the room of a Sailor and consequently ought to work as one, they take every possible method of insulting me and seem to say unless I work as they do, they will drive me out. I shall write to the Captain about it before we reach Rio where we expect to be in about a week.
/ Tuesday 16th. August / This being Nancy's birthday I supped my last bottle to drink her and William's health.
/ 19th. August / Land in sight this day being some part of the Coast of BRAZILS.
/ 20th. August / All preparations are made for coming into port, Anchors hung on the bows, cables bent and everything ready for casting Anchor in RIO JANERIO, where we expect to be tomorrow or next day.
/ 22nd. August / On this day I sent a letter to the Captain MONCRIEFF / as per copy at the end of this letter page 48 / About 5 in the afternoon the Second Mate called to me below saying, "the Captain desires you will come up and help to put the Ship about / ie tack / this I determined not to do as I had declined working Ship in my letter to him in the morning, however I went on the Poop and asked him if he wanted me - he replied in a surly passionate manner - "I can't talk to you now don't you see I am putting Ship about" upon this I went below to my Cabin I have heard nothing more from him this day, though, I went on the Poop in the evening supposing he would speak to me but though every facility of opportunity offered he did not say a word - I feel anxious for an explanation I shall request it in the course of two or three says if he still remains silent upon it - he has endeavoured to lower me before the sailors many times and to that I ascribe a great deal of acrimony on their part against me - particularly in one instance which was some time since I stepped into a boat where some Partridges were in a Coop belonging to the A.A. Co. Even the boys of the Ship were in the habit of going into the boat to look at them, in fact any body went who chose - however the Captain seemed desirous of picking a quarrel with me for when he saw me in the boat he ordered me in a stern imperious manner to get out of the boat said I had no business their and in a very insulting manner desired me to go forward and assist in setting up the fore rigging - one of the Men was present who of course told the rest and I was most grossly insulted by three or four of them but I knew complaining to the Captain would be useless. I therefore took no notice but determined if I heard much more of it to complain to the Captain and request his interference - how it turned out I have before mentioned I mean as to the Shaving - I most assuredly do ascribe a great deal of their ill usage to the Captain's mortifying treatment of me for had he treated me like he does the rest of his officers they would not have presumed to molest me.
/ Tuesday 23rd August / We entered the Harbour of RIO JANERIO this forenoon and a beautiful morning it was the views are grand in the extreme Mountains of amazing heigth (sic) covered with verdure hills dales and vallies (sic) most beautifully formed by nature in fact the sight was quite enchanting upon getting opposite the principal Fort called SANTA CRUIZ we laid to, furled sails and waited about an hour when the Captain of the Fort came on board and we were ordered to drop anchor which we did between the Fort and the Town. The Customs Officers came on board and I left an officer and 2 soldiers on board to prevent any one going on the shore till the proper forms of entering at Customs then are accomplished and product allowed - Some Captains and Lieutenants of the Men of War in this station boarded us and other official persons also came on board. We were allowed though under that inspection to purchase fruit which came out to us in Bum Boats - Oranges seem very plentiful here, they sold them at about 20 for 4 Vintons or in English money 6d. (Sixpence) - I understand you can purchase them as cheap again on shore - Cucumbers and Limes seem very plentiful as also a fruit called a Banana's this is a most delicious fruit in the shape of a Cucumber and growing in large bunches. As the evening precursed some Grog and what with that and smoking we soon became "half seas over" we began singing and continued some time when a little after ten o'clock the Captain called below "it was past ten and time to give over Sea Singing" The Carpenter answered him saying, "If we can't sing Sea Songs shall we wing anything else then" however we didn't leave off immediately and the Captain shortly afterwards ordered us to put out the light - this was immediately done but being in the midst of a Song I was pressed to finish it this I imprudently did and the Boatswain sing a Song afterwards we then went to bed.
/ Wednesday 24th August / After Breakfast I went upon the Poop as usual when the following words took place between myself and the Captain -
Captain - "So Townsend you don't choose to obey my orders"
Answer - "In what way do you mean Sir"
Captain - "Why did you not desist singing when I ordered you last night"
Answer - "I must own Captain that I did not but I was not the only one however I am very sorry to have distracted you by it but we were all rather too merry and this is the only excuse I can make"
Captain - "You do not obey my orders in other respects in working Ship I ordered you to help put ship about but you did not do it"
Answer - "Truly Captain I did not but you received my petter previous to that and the letter explained my reasons I did not come here as a Sailor"
Captain - "You are not the fist Clerk I have had and I have had Clerks work Ship and do anything I desired them.
Answer - "Well Captain I don't mean to dispute it but I must beg leave to say that I consider what they did is no rule for me to act by"
Captain - "Well as you do not choose to obey my orders I shall not allow you to come any more on the Poop"
Answer - "Very well Captain" and went directly off the Poop - I have now only access to the same part of the vessell (sic) as the Sailors and am consequentially more exposed to their insult - I shall request of course to go on Shore but I suppose the Captain will refuse to allow me - for he seems determined to mortify me in every possible way and degrade me in the eyes of the whole ship's Company in fact nothing could be more so than ordering me off the Poop as that's the only place for the respectable persons on board to remain unmolested his treatment is most unaccountable for I never to my knowledge did any thing to displease him nor have I think disobeyed his orders altho (sic) his coolness to me has been remarkable.
/ Sunday 28th. August / We have had a great deal of dissatisfaction on Board since our arrival at Rio there has been all but mutiny on board and the Captain has been ever to blows with some, one man has left us, and volunteers on board a Man of War called the DIAMOND and several others seemed much inclined to follow his example their general complaint as "bad living" and if they complain how much more need have I to complain as I have exactly the same allowance as they do I have never been used to such living before as they have however their seems to be general dissatisfaction on board, not only among the Crew but also among the Passengers who are continually condemning themselves for having ventured into such a berth. Having previously mentioned Mr ALLEN's disagreement with DAWSON and the Captain I must now relate what has taken place between them.
The Captain has prevented any body from going on Shore except the Cabin Passengers did yesterday Mr Allen has of course been anxious to go on Shore to apply to the British Consul for redress and get released from the Ship but they would not allow him to leave the Ship however they went themselves to the Consul and laid some frivolous charges against him in consequence of which he went before the Consul yesterday but they were wholly disproved and Mr. Allen was allowed to state his case upon which he is allowed to leave the Ship and a Cabin passage to England for himself and family is to be found at DAWSON's expense. I find he intends to seek for redress in England as he says he may probably call on me as witness to come transactions that have taken place thus I cannot refuse and shall consequently trouble him with the carriage of this letter which will save some expense. I have within this last few weeks made a discovery about him which I not at all relish but yet as I have all along been social with him and himself and family have treated me well and also so we are to near parting I have taken no notice of it, what I mean is I find he is on friendly terms with WILLIAM YANDALL, their friendship commencing when YANDALL was in business at KINGSTON - ALLEN was also a Wine and Brandy Merchant of the same place and consequently they became acquainted. ALLEN speaks well of him and unfortunately as the discovery was made by my mentioning him first I have spoken casually of him but far from highly of his family quite the contrary. I said I had spoken in two or three instances to Mr. YANDALL I always found him a gentlemanly well behaved man but as to the mother and rest of the family I had heard various reports about them and I had also understood that YANDALL had become latterly a constant attendant at a Public house in his Vicinity. I believe this is the substance of the only conversation that ever took place about him between us. Knowing your antipathy to YANDALL's family had I been aware of Mr. Allen being in terms of friendship with any branch of them I should have studiously avoided any association with him but it is one of those unforseen (sic) evils when strangers become acquainted, very often a circumstance of the sort intervening and makes one party on the other regret ever having met.
This day the Captain has allowed part of the crew to on Shore the remainder are to go tomorrow and I expect as the Crew have permission I shall get leave tomorrow.
I believe I have not previously mentioned the Vessell (sic) which left England in Company with us called THE BROTHERS arrived here 2 days after us all well with the loss of 4 Sheep we have lost 3 - some of our Passengers have gone aboard THE BROTHERS today and others have gone on Shore. The Captain, Mr. DAWSON, his Clerk, Mr HALL and the Doctor spend most of their time on Shore and generally return to the Sip in the evening pretty merry.
There appears to be a great many Negroes here - in fact most of the boats here are worked by them. Canoes are also in general use amongst them. Thur/ 3 or 4 English / 74 Guns / Men of War here as also several Gun Brigs belonging to the English and a small number of English Merchant Vessells (sic) outward or homeward bound also a similar number of French Hurricane Vessells (sic). There are a great many vessells (sic) of war belonging to the Government some day hundreds of them, but we are not far enough in the Harbour to have a view of them. The Meat is not good for much here nor is the Bread which is made from Indian Corn but they have Plaintain here in abundance - Sugar is also very plentiful as is a very strong spirit called Casash which is more than three to four shillings a gallon English Money. Wine something of a pretty good port, wine at about 1/- a bottle English Money. The Rate of Exchange is here very high, you get for 1 shilling 8 Vintons each of which are about the weight and size of an English Halfpenny consequently all articles when purchased in the Coin of the country are very cheap. I understand all articles of Travelling are remarkably reasonable and of exquisite workmanship. I mean those trinkets manufactured of gold which is plentiful in some parts of this country - if my pocket stood high I should purchase some little articles of the description and send them to you but as it is you must take the Will for the deed.
We have 2 soldiers always on hand and a Customs Officer who examines seriously every thing that comes on board the Ship and leaves it and if any thing contraband should appear they would undoubtedly seize it.
We had nothing but quarrelling and fighting the whole of this evening. The sailors drunk and fighting amongst themselves one swearing he will murder another for Stealing and the Captain his adversary had stolen some cheese after a great disturbance between the Carpenter and the Steward with some heavy blows passing between them. The Steward using gross language and blackguarding the Captain Carpenter and whole Ship's Company. The Sailors coming foreward and laying heavy charges of Roguery against the Steward and the Captain intends to have him before the British Consul about it tomorrow.
Tuesday 30th. August / I must now bring my letter to a close as I must entrust it to Mr. ALLEN who leaves the Ship this day - he goes on board THE SISTERS a brig bound direct for England and will it is supposed sail tomorrow. I have the Captain's leave to go on Shore I went on Shore yesterday afternoon I was then 2 or 3 Hours and had some slight opportunity of noticing a little of the Portuguese who are the natives and Inhabitants of this place. Upon landing I was informed I was in the Palace Square and of all the dirty holes I ever saw I do not remember seeing its equal. I think the noted WEBB SQUARE in the vicinity of SHOREDITCH is about such another place the Palace standing on the left side as you enter is a building not half so good or grand as the Poor House School situated in the Back Road at ISLINGTON. There is also a large building opposite you as you land I do not know what it is called but there is a large Copper Bell in the centre of it painted green. I am told their Churches are grand and as I shall most likely be on Shore tomorrow I shall endeavour to get a sight of one. The Streets like the Square are miserable dirty places but so much alike that if you ever got in amongst them you will hardly find your way back again. They are swarming with slaves both Male and Female most of them employed fetching Water from a fountain in thew Palace Square you will also see 10 or 12 Slaves every here and there chained together carrying large buckets of water on their heads and guarded by a soldier. These men have committed crimes and are working this instead of transportation. The Portuguese Women dress without Stockings but have large folds of Black Cloth over their Head and Shoulders you will also see those of higher rank in kind of grand sedan or palanguean dressed in white. They seem fond of Jewellery and wear plenty of it. The Slaves wear neither shoes nor stockings and many of them are in a state of nudity and almost in fact some are quite so. There appears to be a great many soldiers about but their accoutrements are not very splendid - Officers excepted - but our Naval Captains, Lieutenants and Officers seem to make a grand appearance amongst them - it seems LORD COCHRAN has turned tail upon them for a short time ago he left with a large sum of their money in his possession and we understand he has arrived in England but they swear vengeance against him if he should fall into their hands but yet they acknowledge he has done much for them and had it not been for him they would not have gained their independence because as they did not pay him properly for his services he has taken the liberty of paying himself. I expect we shall not leave RIO this Week or 9 days as we have not taken in any Water yet and besides as there seems so much dissatisfaction among the Crew it would not be safe to sail with such a Set and we shall most likely have a new Ship's Company or partly so - Some have left already and others about going - The Boatswain will I think leave us and you may be sure I shall not be sorry for that as he messes with us and is a low drunken filthy Man and quite a disgrace to an Englishman. This place is very dangerous for an Englishman for as soon as it is dark and the Portuguese can do it conveniently they glory in whipping a knife into a Christian and if they do not choose to do it themselves - a Slave will do it for them for the value of 2 or 3 Vintons or 6d - Repeated instances of this continually occur and it is a Mercy our Boatswain did not get murdered.
I have not time to read and correct this long letter as Mr. ALLEN has just told me to be quick,
Your affectionate Son
Henry Shepherd Townsend
I fear you will never be able to decipher the following-
Boatswain has left us and entered as volunteer on board THE BLANCH Man of War - The Steward is about to leave in consequence of charges of roguery brought against him - Another of the Men had left for fear of being murdered by his messmates for stating their (sic) having stolen cheese and other things. Mr. Allen is going on to NEW SOUTH WALES therefore this letter will reach you by post - Dissatisfaction still reigns on board but I hope all will be settled before we leave the place.
Copy of a Letter sent to Captain MONCRIEFF
August 21 1825
I beg leave to trouble you upon a subject which I supposed the "brutal treatment" I received upon crossing the line would have entirely set at rest. I mean the threats held out against me by the Sailors. These menaces have been renewed, and the cause is it seems, they have taken up the mistaken idea, that I am here in the room of another Sailor I ought consequently to work as they do.
I believe I need not state to you that Mr. MOATES did not put me on board his vessel as a "Sailor before the Mast" on the contrary he never hinted in the slightest degree, either to myself or friends, that I was to give the least assistance in way of working Ship - nor is it at all likely, that I should leave a home where I enjoyed the comforts of life and an improving mercantile situation to enter as a Sailor on board the YORK.
It is true hitherto I have given some assistance in working the vessell (sic), but it has been voluntary and not from a supposition that it was my duty.
I must now beg leave to decline giving any assistance in future in working Ship - My real capacity being that of Captain's Clerk, I am ready and willing to act up to it as far as I am able, but as to manual labour it is quite out of the question except for self preservation should the vessell (sic) be in danger.
I do not request any favour, but am desirous of remaining unmolested by the Crew - I therefore most respectfully beg you will desire them not to interfere with me in any way - I cannot conclude without mentioning another subject - I am extremely sorry to find I have from some unknown cause incurred your displeasure, your pointed silence to me upon all occasions and several combined circumstances make it apparent to others as well as myself - Several persons have said your displeasure is created by my associating with Mr. ALLEN - this I cannot credit, because I made a point of speaking to you about it in a conversation I had with you some time ago, when you told me you could have no objection to my associating with him whatever.
My intercourse with Mr. ALLEN has been very limited and principly (sic) extends to playing a Game of Chess. I have always avoided as much as possible entering into any argument with him about his disagreement between Mr DAWSON and yourself, and though, I could not at times avoid hearing what he had to say upon the subject, yet I have been tenacious in not giving any opinion upon it.
I cannot help lamenting having given you cause for displeasure, but yet, I am at a loss to know what the real cause is.
I am aware I have no friend in Mr DAWSON, yet, I am sure you cannot be prejudiced by him against me, particularly, as I am not in any way concerned with him, but wholly under your protection.
The peculiar manner in which I am now situated has emboldened me to speak plainly but I fully rely upon your giving consideration to the above
and am Dr Sir
Yours Most Respectfully
H. S. Townsend
To Captain JOHN MONCRIEFF, delivered 22nd. August 1825
James DUGMORE (1834-1903) - Memoir of his life and travels in Victoria
The journal begins with a description of mia mias near La Trobe's cottage and tells of the formation of Melbourne in the very early days.
In the Days when the world was wide
A narrative of the Pioneering Experiences of Patrick Costello 1841-1856
Hugh GRAY - 1852 letter from Geelong
A staunch Glasgow liberal has just received a long letter from the Antipodes from a well-known Glaswegian of the same school, the leading features of which we have been requested to publish. He writes from Geelong, on arrival, and says I will now give you my experience since our arrival.
Letter written after his arrival in Victoria, back to Scotland and published in an 1852 Glasgow Newspaper.
PROGRESS AT THE DIGGINGS
A staunch Glasgow liberal has just received a long letter from the Antipodes from a well-known Glaswegian of the same school, the leading features of which we have been requested to publish. He writes from Geelong, on arrival, and says I will now give you my experience since our arrival.
After the quarantine deity had been propitiated by the sacrifice of about half a dozen human beings, the employers were allowed to come on board for the purpose of hiring the passengers. They who were willing to engage got work at once. I engaged with a man as a blacksmith in Geelong; but how was I to get ashore, the charge being 5s in the steamer, and I had only three-halfpence (which I got from a fellow passenger for a fish-hook). The captain would not put the passengers on shore free of charge till the following Monday, and this happened on Wednesday. What was I to do? I never felt the curse of poverty so much as at this time. I took my watch with me, and gave it to the steamboat keeper. I might have got as much from the person who engaged me if I had asked, but I wanted to step ashore independent, and did so at half-past eight o'clock p.m. 15th September 1852, leaving Mrs. G and the children aboard. I followed the "boss" to his place of business through mud holes, and what they called streets, for about a quarter of an hour, and got introduced to Joe, who got orders to make some tea, and accommodate me as well as possible. Joe did so. After tea he got a quantity of wool-sacks, but minus the wool, for a bed. I lay down with my clothes on, for the first time in my life, to sleep, but got very little. Recent events and the novelty of my position banished sleep. Joe lay down on his stretcher, and I lay alongside on the wool-sacks, when he entertained me with some information which did not act as a narcotic. The sum and substance was as follows:- Our "boss" is a coach and dray maker, Henry Palmer, a good enough man, but the better to be taken care of. This painter is Joe, who was banished from London about sixteen years ago for theft, and only escaped the gallows on account of his youth. After a good many ups and downs, floggings, and punishments, he became a Methodist, got a ticket-of-leave, and finally a free pardon. He kept a Sunday School in Van Diemen's Land, married a wife, has four children ( whom he expects in a few days from Van Diemen's Land ), has been trying to convert some natives, and wishes me to accompany him on Sunday first to assist in the good work of saving souls. I told him I would see when Sunday came, if I got my clothes ashore, especially my black coat, before then, as the influence on the savages would be heightened by appearing respectable. I did not get my coat in time, and so the souls that we intended to save are not saved yet, at least by us. Such is a short sketch of the first person whom I was introduced to on my arrival in Australia. Neither of us having any inclination to sleep, we lay and chatted, and smoked, keeping the candle burning until four o'clock. I arose about six, went out to see the place, and came back for breakfast, which Joe had ready. I commenced to work at nine, and got on very well, considering my hands suffered much from blisters. on Monday the family came on shore, and I got two pounds from the "boss". He gave me a house, next door to Joe at 10s per week. Having saved some biscuit and other little things from our rations, we saw we could get on for another week. When Saturday came, I wanted to see how the "boss" and I was to settle, when he paid with four pounds per week which I had to accept, not having made my bargain about wages. I left him in consequence, but William, my son, was with him at two pounds, so I let him stop. On the Monday I went to Melbourne to deliver some letters of introduction to parties, and to see what was to be done. I found the whole of them, with one exception, not worth a breakfast, and that was the one for your daughter. I had a good deal of seeking before I found her, but knew her at once. Her husband is at the diggings, and is doing very well. She seems very comfortable, and would like to see you all out. I told her how hard it was to live in Glasgow, and she said when Robert came back they hoped to be able to send you a few specimens. I gave her my address, and she was to send it to her husband, and that he would give me a call as he came from the gold fields. He has never done so, and I have never been in Melbourne since. I got work when I came back to Geelong to put up a weather board store at six pounds per week. We were a fortnight at it, and then I had to look for another house. I took one for a month at 30s per week, got a bench made, and my lathe fitted up, and got as much wood-work to turn as I could do. I likewise mended parasols, and other small jobs. I was getting on very well, when they unfortunately raised our rent to three pounds per week. This I would not stand, and looked out for another shed, which I got for two pounds per week. We have four rooms and an outhouse, and I built a small workshop, where I turn and do any jobbing. Robert is with a butcher, and has two pounds five shillings with his board, per week. William is with a smith and dray-maker, and has three pounds per week. Janet is with a family, and has 6s per week. I am at present building a house for William's master, and can make about seven pounds per week out of it. I have other three to begin to when this one is done, if we can settle regarding the terms, about which I have no doubt we will agree. our livestock at present consists of four hens, thirty chickens out, and fourteen eggs set, a he and she goat, a dog and cat, and I expect a cockatoo. We have the two front rooms let at present for 25s a week, so that gives us a lift in our rent. You will see from this statement that we have bettered our condition considerably, and so will the most of people who have hard work in Glasgow who are able to do anything here. A man with a family has every chance to get on well, employment being for all, old or young. A lady beside us gave little Elizabeth 3s and her meat per week to keep her children company. Such is the history of our adventure since we left the ship. I will now give you a description of the country so far as I have seen. I must confess I was somewhat disappointed at the appearance of the country at first, but the longer I am in it I like it the better. Geelong is placed at the head of a large bay, which would form a fine harbour, but a bar of sand runs across the entrance, which prevents large vessels from entering; inside the bar there is water for any size of ships. You will see by the newspaper I have sent you that the bar is to be removed. The town is built on a rising ground all round the bay, not unlike Rothesay bay, but a vast deal larger. There are a few stone and brick buildings, but most of the houses are built of wood, not by any means so comfortable or roomy as the houses in Glasgow, and the rents-oh! what do you think for a room and kitchen, each twelve feet square, and a small yard for holding wood and water? At the present time they cannot be under three pounds per week, and an assessment of 5 per cent. on rental. Before the gold-digging commenced the same premises were let for 5s. I have had but few walks yet, only a few miles around the town, but nothing is to be seen except gum trees, and ugly, twisted things they are. The wind blows so strong at times that respectable (that is, trees with a good coat) could not grow; but they make excellent firewood, and cost about 30s for what a horse can pull on a dray through a clay hole, and which serves a single fire about four weeks. I have been at the Barwon River, about two miles from towns, but such a river! The same description will serve for the yarra at Melbourne. They are both slow running, Lethe-looking things about the breadth of Cart at the water neb, but very deep. The nature of the soil supports the banks; they are like canals, the banks are so steep, and, like them, the home of every dirty thing - dead dogs, bats, snakes, bullocks, sheep, goats, and a host of other animals I don't know the name of, and, mind you, the above are in abundance. This is the water we pay 6s a load for, about a hogshead. I cannot drink it; either of the canals about Glasgow is much better. oh, for a drink of Glen Sannox water here! We catch the rain water and filter it, and it is very good, at least we know it is clean. So much for wood and water; next for grub. Beef and mutton are plenty, but not so good as at home, being tough and dry, and 5d a pound. Fish nobody has time to catch, although plenty in the bay; when they are to be had, is 6d for a fish about the size of a Lochfine herring. Eggs, 5s per dozen. Butter, eatable, 3s 6d per pound; not eatable, 3s. Cheese, stinking, 2s 6d; not stinking, but full of mauchs, 2s. Red herrings from home, 4d each; can hardly stick together. Bacon, is 8d per pound. Potatoes, 4d per pound. Cabbages, of seven and eight leaves, no heart is. Onions, is 6d per pound; very good. 2 pound loaf, 10d.; about three weeks ago sold for is 6d. Chickens, 14 s per pair. So much for grub, now for drink. Brandy 7s 6d the bottle; very good, but can't drink it. Gin ( to drink it is like pulling a cat by the tail up your throat), 7s 6d the bottle. Whisky, is the glass; common malt. London porter, 2s 6d the bottle. Ale, horrid trash, is the quart. From this you see how we have to pay; but, mark you, we have something to buy with. Clothing is not so far out of the way. Shoes and boots are very dear: shop shoes about a month ago sold for 30s; they are cheaper now, but trysted shoes are still dear The shoemakers get 20s for making shoes; boots are very high; closing costs 30s, and so on. "The climate is not what I expected it to be. We have warm days and cold nights; but I have suffered more heat more in midsummer in Scotland than I have done here. The nights are always chilly; not having a thermometer I judge the degrees by the butter - 6 a.m., wont spread on the soft bread; 8 a.m., at breakfast spreads easily; 1 p.m., runs like treacle; 4 p.m., about the thickness of sour milk, and keeps as such till the evening, when it again hardens throughout the night. Cannot do without flannels next to the skin, nor blankets at night; and when the hot winds come they are very nasty. I have experienced them twice since I landed; they don't last above twelve hours, then a flash of lightning, then a rumble of thunder, then a shower of rain; but such lightening, thunder, and rain, I had no idea of. I have seen in the short time I have been here more lightening, and heard more thunder, than I have done in all my life, put all together: this continues about five or six hours, then we have two or three weeks of fine weather, only very blowy throughout the day, calm in the morning until about ten, when it begins to blow steadily till the evening, then it dies away. To sum up, this is a glorious place to make money in and "flee dragons!" "Since the gold diggings commenced labour has been high; carpenters and anybody who can handle a plane and saw well do earn from 20s to 25s a-day; blacksmiths, not very nice, from 18s to 25s; common labourers, Ss to 10s a-day and so on. "I have not made up my mind when I shall go to the diggings, I want to get thoroughly climatised before I go, and earn something to keep the family while away. No doubt you will hear great things about the gold that is got, but plenty have been unsuccessful and lost all, and this is not a place to be in and have a "toom pouch." The highest diggings is about 50 miles from Geelong. The distance can be walked in two days with ease, this being the highest port, for the best gold fields create a good deal of stir in town. My two sons are anxious to try their hand, but I should like to go with them, for it is a ticklish place to a new chum. I think we will be able to start in a month or six weeks, to be up before the rainy season sets in, which is in April. You will see by the papers I sent you that three large nuggets had been found, weighing 134, 98, and 74 lbs. respectively; they say there are some even larger. On the whole, the diggers are doing pretty well at present. Doubts are expressed by some of the old hands as to the future yield of the diggings, but I have none; I believe that larger amounts will be produced for years to come. Of course I am not speaking from my own observations, but from a description of the country by parties who know the region well. Yet, though the gold may get scarce, this will be a great country. I thank my stars that I am in it. I have placed my family in a position of independence - as every person may be who can or will do anything. Black coats and idlers are at a discount here. It is no disgrace to be working man in this country, labour being the true capital. In this respect, as in many others, we are quite the reverse of you. It is not the coat that makes the man here as with you. I know men worth thousands of pounds, with lands and houses, you would not give five shillings for boots, trousers and all they contain to appearance. This is one cause why I like the place so well; a fast man has no chance above a slow one. Another cause why I like this place is the perfect freedom on religious matters. You may go to church, or go to fish on Sunday, or work if you have a mind, and nobody interferes with you. It would shock some of my pious friends were they to know that I played the fiddle lately from Saturday night at eight o'clock till four on Sunday morning. The cause was this: a poor old man and woman who are hard-up beside us was to have a benefit- that is, a few neighbours subscribed to have a ball and they requested that I would do the Apollo part of the business; which I did till the time aforesaid. Dancing was kept up with great spirits and glee the whole time. The parties got about eight pounds, which gave them a lift. There are no beggars here; I have not seen one. When any are unfortunate, the custom is to get a subscription for them and sometimes as much as fifty pounds is got in a few hours. On one occasion of burning, lately, a hundred and thirty pounds were collected in a forenoon, and that to a man who had not been in the town a year. We have lots of Mormons, Catholics, Methodists, &c, but the most intolerant here, as at home are the Freels; but, praise to the good sense, they are not very plenty. We are not troubled very much with vermin- not so much as I expected. I have not yet seen a snake, although they are very numerous in the bush, and very poisonous. I have killed several centipedes, whose bite is much dreaded as that of the snake. They are brought in with the wood, and lie under the bark until it is laid on the fire, when they come out and run like devils for the first hole. The ants are very plenty and troublesome; they bite hard. But these are small matters, and we can afford to put up with them. "Since we came on shore we have been very healthy, but I don't think the place so healthy as some books say it is. Rheumatism and inflammation are as common as at home, consumption is not unknown, and we have fever - at which I do not wonder, considering the quantities of decaying animals lying in every direction, the amount of animal food eaten, and how much brandy is used." "H.G". 19th December 1852.
Thomas LYLE - 1852 voyage to Australia
The story of Thomas LYLE, his wife Sarah COUMBE, daughter Anne 13, sons William 11 and Henry 9, and their voyage to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1852. Compiled by Dione Coumbe, Kent, England.
Date: 26 Nov 1998
Subject: The Thomas Lyle Affair
I recently asked for help in tracing Thomas Lyle who emigrated to Australia from the Kent FHS, UK; AUSTRALIA-L and GENANTZ-L. Within 24 hours I had learned he was a carpenter, his children and grandchildren, a little about the gold rush in Melbourne and much else besides. I was asked if I would make a transcript available to the Museum in Victoria, Australia and also to the AUS/GENANTZ maillists. Correspondents who have also given me much help at Kent also want to see it. Rather than have a duplication of effort I'll be putting the transcript through email in instalments as subject "The Voyage of Thomas Lyle" so if anyone has no interest they can now delete before opening.
I was also asked how the find was actually made and for permission to use the story in a Family History Magazine. I have no objection to anything I have written or transcribed being given to any Museum or being reproduced in any Family History Magazine. You will understand I would have to object if it were used in any other capacity. Below is the story of how this find occurred. There's a bit of a preamble because the account isn't otherwise understandable. Suffice, without computer technology, Thomas's memoire would never have come to light.
My grandfather Edward Holton Coumbe (EHC) 1865-1942 was a keen genealogist. He had many other attributes amongst which was a dedication to serial philandering. He had one legitimate and five illegitimate families but was prepared to pay for his pleasures and they all enjoyed a very affluent lifestyle during his lifetime. Some knew nothing about the others, and some had a vague suspicion but whatever their minimal contact it ended during wartime with his death. You will know how many problems this delicate type of situation can cause in researching family history. This was doubly the case because EHC was a mayor of two London Boroughs at different times, a founder of the Greater London Council, held three academic degrees and lectured in law and history here and in the United States besides being a society barrister. Have to admit we've all often wondered how he found the time. Amazingly no one in his public life ever knew any details of his private and even less about the circumstances of his various children's birth's whom he openly acknowledged at various Society gatherings. After his death, the fact of illegitimacy was enough for all the male children to retire from a "Society" which regarded legitimacy as a guarantee of integrity, probity and morality. All have lived quiet lives and some have become almost total reclusives.
A few years ago through researching family history we found a cousin from looking in a guest book at an obscure church. We spoke by telephone, pooled information but only met in the summer of this year. Matt brought with him an Infodisc and we looked up the name of one of the illegitimate families. There was only one shown in the whole of the UK. We elected my brother Clive who is the most diplomatic and tactful of us and he wrote to AF who replied quickly evincing no interest but wishing us luck. We thought this was the end of the matter but three weeks later a JW wrote asking our relationship to EHC. He was known to us only as a secondary beneficiary in EHC's Will. The correspondence was passed to me as the current family archivist and there was an exchange of several letters. Now I realise as the very experienced, astute, legal man he is JW was sounding me out to determine whether I was the "right" person. He is distant relative through my great grandmother and a Godson of EHC.
Last Saturday, the 20th. November my brother Clive, husband and I visited JW for lunch at his invitation and within 15 minutes he had produced the documents and photographs which included Thomas Lyle's memoire. He then told us how he came to have them.
At the funeral of EHC, given the circumstances, the mourners were very unusual. There were probably more unknowing relatives at such an affair, before or since. JW had leave from his army unit (he was a paratrooper, one of the first on the beaches on D-Day as we learned quietly from his wife) to attend. He was unsure who was at the funeral himself, but as a friend and to an extent in a legal capacity he had perhaps more idea than most. JW had worked for EHC's solicitors who had drawn up EHC's Will. When EHC had become too ill to keep up his barrister's chambers in Essex Court, The Temple, JW took on the duty of visiting him at his home in Stoke Newington on a fairly regular basis until he enlisted. He knew that towards the end, what with the war and other family circumstances it was likely there would be no-one to look after any personal effects which EHC had valued and they would almost certainly be destroyed as a result. With the exception of a few bequests, EHC had put all into the hands of the Public Trustees to be sold to finance two Trusts.
Immediately after the funeral, JW went to the house at Stoke Newington, took a horrified look at the stacks of papers and books & decided to concentrate purely on the contents of the desk. He removed several large packets of documents and photographs and a portrait, returned to his own home and put all with the exception of the portrait which he later passed to AF's family, into a tin trunk. This with the contents of his family home went into storage at Battersea throughout the war & JW returned to his army unit. The war ended and he resumed his career, still preserving the tin trunk and unable to pass on any of it's contents since all contact was lost with the Coumbe family with the exception of AF's who had no interest. For 56 years the trunk travelled alongside JW & his wife wherever they lived, it's contents undisturbed. Then we made contact.
No one had looked at the contents of these packets until they were sorted into a loose kind of filing system by EHC. Whilst my brother & I were stunned just browsing, JW was pretty surprised himself because there were documents relating to himself and his own family with them which he hadn't known existed. JW said for years he'd wondered what to do about the tin trunk and had finally decided to hold on to it in the hope that one day someone from the Coumbe family would appear to whom he could relinquish his custodianship. In his eyes he was simply returning property to its rightful owners. I doubt he ever dreamed it would take 56 years. He said he had taken the action he did because EHC did a lot for him as a young man, had been responsible for introducing him to Emmets where he began his legal career and had always been a good friend to him. It was his way of saying thank you to someone he valued. He even arranged and paid for the memorial to EHC and his wife which we saw in the Devon churchyard, knowing this was what his friend and mentor wanted. We still simply can't believe the stroke of luck which brought an honourable man like JW onto the scene at just the right moment to conserve these records & the subsequent chain of events which have put them into our hands.
And the portrait. I've had photocopies of a photograph of this portrait for some years which is of a forebear we know as Thomas Coumbe III, the Smuggler Squire 1620 - Abt. 1690. He's portrayed in a wig and wearing the eye patch necessary after he lost an eye fighting a duel. It's an original oil painting and AF and his brothers want me to have it.
Sorry this is so long, hope this hasn't been a bore for anyone,
regards - Dione, Dover, Kent, England. Web Page
Text written by Edward Holton Coumbe 1865-1942 at the top of the first page of the account, "Sent to my grandfather* who had helped Thomas Lyle to emigrate. *Edward Coumbe (1804-1873)
Thomas LYLE emigrated with his wife Sarah COUMBE, daughter Anne (13), sons William (11) and Henry (9). This is his account:-
On Tuesday July 6th 1852 we left the East India Docks in the afternoon and reached Gravesend in the evening where we cast anchor. Wednesday, went to London to Vote at the General Election and returning the same morning went on shore in the afternoon to buy two Camp stools with other little things, meeting with Mrs. CHURCHER a sister of Mrs. HARRISON and having Anne with me we took tea with her at her lodgings.
Thursday we were visited by the Officer of Health and Emigration who inspected each of us and gave permission to proceed to sea, we were also visited by Mrs. CHISHOLM who requested the Emigrants to chose 12 individuals to frame Rules for the preservation of order and to see to the serving out of provisions and she then took them on thence to her Hotel that she might more privately give her advice and to reap the experience of remarks which had been sent home from the other vessels, after which lunch was ordered in and having partaken of same we went into the town to purchase what we might be in want of, and meeting at the Boat we then quitted the Soil of Old England. Shortly after we came on board, we were addressed by a Mr. SIDNEY, Mrs. CHISHOLM then made a speech full of feeling pointing out the necessity of promoting a liberal spirit towards each other and above all to refrain from speaking ill will of another and to endeavour to seek the blessing that is sheltered beneath every apparent evil (being an allusion to complaints that had been made to some fresh beef which had become a little tainted by the excessive heat of the Sun, telling them that the same Sun was ripening at the same time the fruits of the earth for themselves and their fellow creatures and that the Beef to which some of them had turned up their noses was the best that could be got in the Market ), pointing out to all the utility of pursuing order and morality. She was listened to with great attention and at the conclusion she was rapturously cheered. Three cheers were then given for Old England and God Save the Queen having been sung, Mrs. CHISHOLM then wished us a prosperous voyage and left for the shore.
The steam tug having arrived we raised anchor and our noble ship proceeded on her destined course being cheered by the different vessels as we passed. When we reached the Nore Light we cast anchor until Daylight when we started and passing Margate and Ramsgate and going onto Dover we discharged the Pilot and proceeded down Channel with fair winds.
On Sunday the 11th. instant we spoke to APPOLINE from London, an Emigrant ship, but going to call in at Plymouth. Our Captain sent on Board for a Nautical Almanack, Service was performed on the Prop in the Afternoon, but this day like all subsequent Lord's Days was absorbed in late Breakfasts preparing meals for the Cook and waiting for them, washing up etc. and which more or less engrossed the whole of the time during the voyage, we were all divided into messes of twelve in each. Messes, then being 26 Messes in all one half being termed even, the other half odd who took their meals 1 hour before the other which obligated all to be punctual for should anyone not be there when his name was called he would have to stay until all was served. There was also a Captain of each Mess to attend to the delivery of provisions and if not there to receive them when his number was called the whole Mess would lose what was being delivered and it was very often the case that we had to wait an hour or two whilst the purser opened a fresh cask which was difficult to be got at or something or other which proved a complete nuisance. It also came hard on those with families as the Captainship lasted but one week to each Male adults, the office would fall on the single men but once in 12 weeks whereas in my Mess there were only three Male adults, the rest being women and children. 12 Males also had to sweep the ship all through 4 times a day, the same 12 the next day had to pump the cisterns and keep them full during the Day, and the next Day they were succeeded by another 12 until it went the whole round of the ship. Twice a week we had to go on our knees and scape the Berths and deck throughout and strewed over with Chloride of Lime so altogether there was a great deal to do, which I have no doubt was the best for us but widely different to what I had expected, for I was in hope of having plenty of time for reading and study, but was never more disappointed, nevertheless it brought us into port a clean and healthy ship while some of the ships had suffered severely from fever for one ship buried one for every day she was out, 3 ships that came in with us were obliged to go into Quarantine.
On Monday, July 12th. We were in Lat. 48-54N - Long. 6.39W, the morning was fine afterwards some slight showers and then a thick fog which obliged the Captain to order the fog whistle to be fixed to the pump, the water being prevented from escaping the air or water passes hearing the whistle which makes a sharp shrill sound to be heard at a long distance as a warning to other vessels that may be near. In the morning it cleared up very fine. Sea Sickness was experienced by nearly all on Board. Myself and children were very sick but kept about pretty well with the exception of Ann who was much debilitated which attracted the notice of the Captain and ordered the Doctor to give her some chicken broth, the Captain was very kind to the passengers in giving up several of his fowls, with several Bottles of Wine for the benefit of the Women and Children, the Men, poor Souls were to be satisfied with a smell of the lug it had been in for many of them were so ill that they could not eat any thing of the ships provisions and the Doctor could not or would not find the little necessaries put on Board for that purpose but after a week or 10 days they made up for past deficiencies.
On the 20th. July the Death of Miss ROACH at the early age of 14 years of Consumption. She was buried the Same Day and from the novelty of the sight nearly all the passengers were on Deck to see her put over the Vessel's side. It was a solemn Sight to witness such a stillness pervading the whole of the Emigrants befitting such a sorrowful occasion, the night was Beautiful and the sea as calm as the Thames on a Summer Eve.
Wednesday 21st. The principal part of this Day was occupied in raising the Boxes from the Hull of the Vessel and examining the same. Our boxes being made strong and nearly Air tight we found our things in a pretty good condition with signs here and there of a little damp, but a very great many of the Boxes being weak were much broken and a great deal of injury done to things of Colour and delicate tints with the Damp, both from bad packing and the dampness of the Hull. It is a great requisite to pack on a very dry day and to air everything well, either in the Sun, or before a good fire as Merchants here can always tell the nature of the Atmosphere in England at the time the goods are packed from their appearance on arriving here although packed in the Cases. It was with some degree of satisfaction we were able to get at the Biscuit as our appetites could not touch the Ships provisions, they then became out principal food for some time by cracking them and adding Butter and Salt so making a kind of broth which had we brought some onions would have been very nice.
Saturday, 24th. We sighted Madeira first appearing like dense masses of dark Clouds looming in the distance. As we neared The Island, the effect was more pleasing and on leaving it left an impression that we had seen some enchanting fairyland. As soon as we cleared the Island a strong breeze sprang up which lasted for about 3 days which enabled us to plough over about 700 miles.
Sunday 25, the infant Daughter of Mrs. WOOD died in Convulsions I think from eating indigestible bread and pudding and was Consigned to the deep on the same day. The Christening of Mr. SMITH's Son took place in the Captain's Cabin and was named by him William Neale Nepaul in commemoration of the noble Ship and worthy Captain.
We have been much amused for some days by the quantity of Porpoises playing about the Vessel.
Monday, July 26th. We reached Lat 27.30N and Long 19.51W. Nearly all the Emigrants on Board were about this time much affected with Diarhorrea. I cured many obstinate cases which was beyond the control of the Doctor with Dulcamara and Begonia. I found out that there were several believers in the Science on Board. By the 30th. We reached Lat 18.48N Long 24.9W. The appearance of the Heavens about this time was exquisitely grand beyond description, the clouds assuming the most various and beautiful tints while a part of the Western Horizon was bedecked with a cloud of Pitchey Blackingness such as I had never seen before with a broad line of scarlet underneath. The appearance of the Moon here was very large and shone with a brightness which almost prevented our looking at it without injury to our eyes. The water as it passed the Vessels side appeared full of Phosphoric Lights all having a tendency to lead the mind to the contemplation of Him who spoke all things into existence.
We experienced many wet and uncomfortable Days about this time by having no waterproof clothing. We can scarcely call it rain or rather of a pouring description. Light winds having prevailed for some time we have made but little progress.
August 7th a Shark was caught by the Captain which was accompanied by some boisterous merriment by the rushing of the passengers upon Deck amidst pouring rain at the sound of a Shark, a Shark with the sound of the Heavy Boots of the Sailors dragging it along the Deck. The fish was soon killed and being Cooked, all were eager for a taste.
9th. We had another birth on board; spoken and passed the CONQUEROR bound for China with three other vessels in Sight. The Captain now informed is that we had passed the line nearly 10 degrees but kept us all in ignorance up to this time because there should be some of the old usages, performed on board. We had Electioneering entertainments about this time with selections from Shakespeare and recitations after which were Sung God Save the Queen and Rule Britannia. The Captain kindly had the lifeboats cleared away that was laying on the front of the poop in order to give the effect of a stage to act upon, we had lectures on Natural History, Poets and Poetry, Music, Songs and Songwriters with accompaniments; several Nigger Lectures in Character with Concerts and Dancing once a week, weather permitting.
August 10th. Another female was Consigned to the deep from Consumption.
22nd. Very squally with rain which carried away Misen Top and foresail.
Sunday 29th. We were in Lat 23.52 Long 32.55.
Monday 30th we spoke the CHOICE OF JERSEY and offered to take letters, it was a beautiful sight to see her playing around us while we made up the parcels, and the Boat which took it on Board the sea running so high that although nearly close we often lost sight of the Boat and the wind blowing strong, from the N.W. Next Day the wind had increased and as the Day advanced it increased in violence about 11 in the morning the wind Carried away our Main Top Sail Yard, the Waves still increasing in size until it was supposed they had reached the altitude of 30 ft. During the night the chains of the Wheel became deranged which took away all command of the vessel, and being left to the waves they struck her most fearfully, and breaking over her and poured down the Hatchways like a Cataract inundating the Cabins and the Vessel rolling most fearfully, the Cooking Galley turned over with a tremendous Crash carrying away the Water Closets and Washhouses, it was fortunate it did not fall down the fore Hatchway as it might have stove out the bottom of the vessel.
The Casks and timber were rolling about in all directions Whilst below it was an awful sight to see the water as the vessel rolled rushing in and out of the Cabins, the Boxes, Water Cans, Mess Dishes were flying around in all directions, the passengers holding tenaciously to any thing they could lay hands of. When it was near daybreak the Captain came below to comfort us a little saying his glass was going up, and having restored the chains of the winch we felt confidence somewhat restored. All were anxious for the morning and daylight portrayed the greatest confusion. Broken boxes, Doors, Jars, spilt Rice, Biscuits, Peas, Coffee, Pepper, Knives and Forks, Dishes, Plates etc. were strewed about in all directions, the Continual Rolling of the Vessel still making confusion more confounded; by the evening of the next day the violence of the storm having abated we soon forgot our troubles and set ourselves to work to restore to order and to make more secure our various articles of Utility.
Those who were Carpenters on Board were set to work to make new Yards and repair the Bulwarks. The engineers to repair the Galley; I would here hint to any one coming out not to chose a berth opposite the Main Hatchway as they are subject to such various temperatures and inconveniences; it is very pleasant in fine dry weather, but let the weather be wet the outside of the Berth is always wet consequently you can never keep your Berth clean and dry, and should a sea break over you it is sure to come slap down against your Door, but the worst of all is the cold that you experience, it was very Hot when we were at the north of the Line, it was rather cold on the Line and became colder as we went South so as to have chilblains on my feet and the Rheumatism in my face for about 2 Months.
Early on the 15th.of Sept. The GEORGIANNA Emigrant Ship was seen at some distance on our Starboard Bow. The Captain takes a look at the sails as is usual when he gets up in the morning and very discriminating when there is a sail ahead you will be sure his thundering voice and quick as lightning for the setting of Royals rigging and stern sails crowding all sails until he has overtaken it. So as the Day wore on we came up to her, preparations were made for speaking but both parties perceiving they were Emigrants a Simultaneous cheer burst from both vessels and before the exhibition of feeling had subsided we passed her. We again made up to each other and order being restored we ascertained her to be GEORGIANNA from GLASGOW for of 700 Tons burden with 400 Government Emigrants for PORT PHILIP. She followed us till night when we lost sight of her. While in her Company much good humour and cordiality were expressed. They being Scotsmen played on the Bagpipes and dancing was Carried on upon the forecastle. Whilst we had our Violins, Harp, Cornopeans and a large Potato Can for a Drum. So we spent the afternoon keeping close to each to her, but she beat us by 2 or 3 Days arriving in PORT PHILIP.
The next Day it blew a gale from 12 until 6 the next morning, then increasing in the afternoon and carried away a boom, increasing with the Hour of the Night until it blew most terrific. Although we had but one sail set we were fearful the Masts would go.
Sunday it had subsided to a perfect calm which was almost as disagreeable as the storm in consequence of the Sea not having gone down, for the Rolling was most fearful and to give you some idea it was just like a Cradle gone beyond its equilibrium on the Rockers for you could neither lay, sit or stand and was the cause of great laughter to see individuals slipping down on the deck, the water rushing in at the Sides of the Vessel and giving them a regular Ducking, while many got nearly scalded by the Boiling Water pouring out over the tops of the Coppers. We had another birth on the 15th also on the 20th.
On the 21st. We had a heavy squall about 2 in the morning lasting until about 6. The Man at the Wheel lost all power over it. Consequently the Vessel veered round, which made the sails flap and roar most terrifically, the Captain rushed out of his Cabin and on the Poop in his shirt and for some time shouting out orders to the Men.
22nd. Lat 39-11S Long 48-53.
23rd. Very high wind increasing in the night to a gale.
24th. Blew a Gale all Day still increasing towards night until it blew, to use a Nautical phrase, Great Guns. Coming events were casting their shadow before, by the Hatches being partially put down and every preparation made to make her tight and snug. The sky from the Quarter which the wind blew was dark and heavy and as the (night) neared the violence of the storm increased, the sea rising in waves more Huge dashed with Fury against her sides, breaking over her to the discomfort of all especially to those who had to be on deck, and pouring though every opening down between deck.
On the 25th. the storm still raging a heavy Sea struck her with a tremendous Crash carrying away nearly the whole of the Bulwarks on one side, and breaking away the sail that covered the opening left in the Hatchway, and pouring down knocked three Men off the Ladder and completely inundating the Lower Deck, rushing in and out the cabins and up and down the Deck like a River. One of the Men that was knocked down whilst he lay on the deck and the Sea pouring upon him said it appeared to him as though the ship had parted in two and he in the depths of the Sea. Sailors were busy above and the passengers below trying to get rid of the water. Basins, Plates and Dust Pans were put in operation for the boiling up of the Water with swabs and Mops etc. but no sooner had we got nearly all up before we should get another edition. We had also to consign to the deep the body of another young Woman of Consumption, a Sister of one we buried before during this Gale. But the most lamentable circumstance was the loss of one of the Sailors who a few hours before put a hand to put the corpse over the side of the vessel.
During the heavy seas that broke over the vessel the Scupper Holes that let off the water on Deck became choked and from the quantity of water on Deck they could not unstop them, and he, young and venturesome with heavy Water Boots and thick clothing, got over the side of the Vessel having a hold of a Rope. Another Sea Struck her and made her lurch over and remained in that position for some time, he diving off with the rope, and hold(ing) (with) all his might on it. The Captain seeing his perilous condition begged him to hold on a little longer but before the (Captain) could render effectual assistance he was obliged to let go and passed away behind her, she going at a rapid rate. The Captain also had a massive escape for when endeavouring to save him a Sea broke over him which nearly took (him) away, suffering only the loss of his cap. He was much cut up about the Man as he was the best and most respected of them belonging to the ship.
A sad gloom covered the faces of all the next morning at the news and to see the miserable plight we were all in, with the Berths and ourselves drenched and every other place Cold and wet added to the difficulty of getting any thing warm as the Cook could not get the fire to burn from the fierce wind and the sea continually making it out. We felt that we could have given any money for a little of something warm early in the morning, but it was nearly 11 o'clock before we could get any, and that not half boiling. But amidst all we were somewhat consoled that worse things happen at Sea. As the Captain told us that once before on those seas he had the whole of what was on deck swept clean away, the Cooks Galley, pots, pans, Boats, spars, not a vestige was left, and was obliged to go without any thing warm for 3 weeks. Which made us feel somewhat more satisfied after this relation.
The Day following we had a fine day but still very cold. We passed PAUL'S ISLAND which was not in sight on the Tuesday 28th being in Lat 38.14S Long 75.44. Thursday 30th it began to blow hard again and continued until Saturday eve with the sea again pouring down the Hatchway, and begin to feel it was only to be expected and became somewhat seasoned to it.
Sunday October 3rd we reach Long 99-11E Lat 40.31S. Wind and Sea much abated but very Cold with Hailstones, many complain of Chilblains Monday 4th we were in Long 103-12 Lat 40. Death and burial of the first Child born on board the Ship and named Neale Nepaul. A pig killed and sold for 1/- on board. A general looking forward and calculating when we reach Australia, Rain and Hail prevail for some days.
Friday the 8th. Long 121-21E. Saturday 9th. 125.22 and very much warmer. Monday 11th. 134. Tuesday 12th. 138.5, on the 13th. 142.35 - Lat 38.0. Land was seen from the Mast Head which acted like Magic on the passengers, many crowded the rigging but it was scar cely perceivable but the Green appearance of the Water and Sea Weed told us it could not be very far off. In the morning the Mate mounted the Rigging and saw the revolving Light at Cape Otway. All was in anxiety and every elevated place was crowded, there was a general feeling of joy in all. It was useless to think of going to Bed for merry tongues were going all the night.
An Irishman was continually pacing up and down before the Berths during the night crying like a Match Seller. Otway Lights. Otway Lights about 4 on the Thursday morning we had passed it. The Captain got up and from the very great Brilliancy of Venus he thought he was near the Lighthouse and became somewhat alarmed, but the Officer of the Watch soon put him right on the matter the sound of the Captain's voice soon brought all both old and young about half past 4 on the Poop and so before it was daylight was able to distinctly to behold the promised Land. We sailed along at some little distance from the shore and for the first time beheld the rising of an Australian Sun coming up in all its splendour dispelling the gloom that hung along the rocky sides; and at some little distance we could see large flocks of birds. I should think there must have been some millions in a flock. As the Sun rose higher and became warmer the Deck became covered with flies also a large quantity of Butterflies of the red description which we sometimes see in England. Sometime in the forenoon the Wind changed and blew against us, and having to beat we made but little progress, and we experienced some little disappointment when we saw the whereabouts to the entrance of PORT PHILIP BAY with little chance of reaching it that night. About 11 o'clock at night a squall came on which blew a perfect Hurricane which soon took away our Main topmast causing the greatest consternation by the confusion of the Ropes and being pitch dark and obliged to have lanterns to go up the rigging to lower down the Mast. The limited space we had to tack in and the impossibility of doing so before the Ropes were set right, the shouting of the Captain telling them what to do, which the winds prevented them hearing, the unwillingness of many of the Sailors to do nay thing as they wanted the Ship to go on shore that they might make their escape, and ashore we should have went had it not being that about a dozen of us turned to and done their work, the officers were looking in all directions for them and when they came, they would not half pull, for when the tackle was somewhat clear, on orders being given to boat ship it was with difficulty we could get her round, which made the Captain swear most awfully and why did they not pull such and such ropes and finding she did not come round he came down to see the cause, being so dark he could not see from the Poop. He found us minus the sailors, trying all we could, and some more of the passengers came up which enabled us to effect it and so rescued from a watery grave. For on one of the passengers going on the forecastle he could see the Land close upon us and the Man that ought to be on the look out laying on the deck. The Captain then, his position of probably being left without a sailor, he abraded them in the morning and told them that he owed the safety of his ship to the passengers. It was not long after we got her round that the wind abated and at daylight the next morning there was not a breath stirring and the water like a pond and we were also very near the shore and rather inclined towards it so that we obliged to be continually sounding which was about 10 fathoms; we had arrived at the mouth of the Bay and could see some ship a little way up. The wind rose a little which enabled us to keep farther off, but the tide was reversing out and seeing a wreck inside we were afraid to venture. About the middle of the Day some more vessels came up and the tide running in, a pilot came out and took us in a little distance and anchored.
We had not been inside above an hour, before it blew again. Passed away the evening and we had a good view of the Country around, also the Lighthouse which is a handsome one with beautiful walks and Garden, seeing the great difference between the Cultivated and the not. The boat at the Lighthouse which is also in connection with the Pilot came off to us and brought large and beautiful nosegays and gave to us, and the Captain (a sprat to catch a Herring) and begged some flour which he gave them it being a dear article at Melbourne. He then went ashore and got some more and brought to us, and as you might expect entirely surrounded with all manner of questions put to them, and answers given quite in accordance with the wish of the party asking. It was a fine night and we stopped up late discussing all the news we had heard.
The next morning we hoped to have had the pilot to take us up, the Boatman came off with a Leg of Mutton for the Captain and said there was no Pilot down but expected one about the middle of the Day bringing down some vessels, but none came. The next Day Sunday 17th of October a most beautiful Day but no Pilot. We begin to feel impatient. In the evening comes on to blow a Gale and being at anchor made a most fearful noise. The next morning we were alarmed at finding the vessel was drifting towards the shore, the Captain order 60 fathoms more chain to be let out but she still dragged and the Gale more fierce we then let go another anchor which put a check on her. One of the Men belonging to the Boat came off to us with the dangerous condition we were in and stayed on Board and took charge of the Ship and ordering the Yards to be put in certain positions to take the strain of the Cable as much as possible. The Gale still blowing with all its fury across the Bay. Had the wind blown outward I think the Captain would have went to Sea again for he seemed very much alarmed about the Ship at the time we were drifting.
Thursday morning, still blowing and found that the vessel had shifted her position by the tides and that the Cables had crossed and become twisted in each other. Between 9 and 10 o'clock in an instant as quick as thought the wind chopped right round blowing as hard as ever and then gradually went down. We then saw some vessels coming down which had been obliged to anchor during this gale. We then proceeded to clear the Cables by cutting one away and drawing in the other till we came to the twist and managed to get all in safe by the time of the pilot from the other vessel came on Board.
The chief part of all this was done by the passengers. The crew being sulky he gave them a regular broadside with a promise that he would have then all Ironed and sent ashore if they did not mind themselves. They then saw that is that was the case their chance of running away would be entirely cut off, stood somewhat better to their work.
The breeze gradually rising we went up in Gallant stile (sic) the other ships that came in with and after us were ordered to follow in our track, the Bay widening as we went up the forty miles and about 50 miles wide. As we neared Melbourne we began to see the fleet of ships that lay off Williams Town, a place about 9 miles from Melbourne. We lay about a Mile and a half from the shore so as to give the sailors a good swim if they went off. We had not been long at anchor before the Medical Officer came on Board and finding we had a clean Bill of Health gave us permission to go on shore when we liked. While the Officer was on Board, the Boats' crew was surrounded to gain information, besides what they had drawn from the pilot coming up the Bay, who was not very communicative, convinced a great many that the eggs they had been sucking down by the Lighthouse were all raddled. As they had been expecting that Captain CHISHOLM would do a great deal for them but were told to their dismay there were Hundreds of CHISHOLM protégées breaking stones on the Road, a general gloom pervaded the whole ship and I must confess that we had some unpleasant feelings come over us about the matter notwithstanding of my intention willingly to do that if I could get nothing better.
The sight which we had of the City of Melbourne had lost half its charm and became a sorry sight for all, the Captain went on shore at Williamstown and some of the passengers to get some fresh Beef for all, both crew and passengers. They bought a loaf or two with them at half a crown a loaf and from the enquiries they made there was too confirmatory of what we had heard before, not a Lodging to be had for any money. A very few who had tents, soon brought the Aristocratic notions of some of the fine gentlemen to a perfect stand who had plenty of show but little money and when they came to hear the charge of two Pounds per ton of 40 ft exclusion of wharf fees, which is about half as much, were terror stricken.
The next Day almost every one were trying to dispose of many things. The next Day the Captain went on shore to see Captain CHISHOLM in the ships boat. The steamer came along side in the morning to see if any wanted to go on shore, those that had friends or relatives went the fare, being 4/-. Some took their Carpet Bags and one his Mattress. Those who had the C. Bags had to pay 2/6 extra with 1/- Wharfage; the Man with the Mattress 4/- and 2/6 Wharfage, the Article only cost him 4/- in London. When some of them came off in the evening they had to walk to Williamstown 9 miles before they could get a boat, and then would not take them there being about 7 of 8 of them for less than 10/- each. Another smaller party had to pay a Sovereign each. A Carpenter went on shore (who was considered a fool on board and made the laughing (stock) of all, with his basket having a White Cap similar to what I wore in my work on his head. No sooner had he Landed than there was 2 or 3 after him to know if he wanted work and made an engagement for 20/- per Day and his Board and went right off to work.
I would have gladly done the same if I could, had all my tool being in the Hold the Captain would not allow any one to go down for fear of injury the Boxes of others. While the Captain was on shore, Captain CHISHOLM came on board and said the tents were ready for us and that when he got on shore he would arrange for a lighter to come off the next day for our luggage. Nature has been somewhat singular towards he and his wife, for he is as much like an old woman as you ever saw a Man, whilst she appears the bold daring of a Yorkshireman.
The Captain went on shore the next day after the C was landed. One of the crew with a pipe in his hand said to the officer in the Boat he just wanted to light it, he would not be a minute instantly, jumped on shore goes off as fast as he could and got clear off. That wetted the appetite of those left in the ship. Those in the Boat being apprentices except the one gone whom the Captain had a better opinion of. But while the Captain was on shore, he called on Cpt. CHISHOLM to know when the Lighter would be alongside of the ship as he wanted to clear out and be off again. Oh he was not going to engage any Lighter he, the Captain, or as had better do it, which promise he made to me and others outside our Cabin. The Captain went and engaged one at once which came off the next day. On the Captain coming on board he caused all the Boats to be chained and Locked. I went up on deck between 12 and 1 at night and seemed somewhat surprised at so many Sailors being up at that time. What I had not seen before during the voyage, for I have walked the decks all Hours of the night and my suspicions were somewhat aroused, but could not see what chance they had of escape.
I went down and turned in when about an hour afterward, I heard the Captain having a Row on Deck telling them that if they did not turn in he would arouse the passengers and have them all Ironed. One of them had a long dagger Knife and threatened to stick the Captain is he attempted to touch him. The Doctor who was with the Captain at the time went to the Cabin and brought out a Loaded Pistol and presented to the Head of the Man and threatened him that if he did not instantly give him the Knife by the Handle, he would blow his brains out. The Man, daunted, gave up the Knife.
The Captain and Officers keeping themselves well armed during the night, early the next morning a flag went to the Mast Head for the Water Police to come on board, who took away a half dozen Men, but the Man that had the knife could not be found and it was supposed that fearing the consequences he jumped overboard as he was not seen or heard of after.
After the other men were gone the Captain calls the rest on the forecastle and told them he would give them Eight Pounds per month if they would stop. The Captain of a vessel that lay next to us, shot one of his men dead that was making his escape in the Steamer that went alongside of her.
Friday 22nd the Lighter having come, were busy getting up the Luggage and worked until 3 the next morning, lay down in my clothes for 3 hours and went at it again until 6 at night. A great many went on shore and never lent a hand whilst some of them had a great deal of luggage. Others who loudly complained of such Conduct schemed it that each should get their own together as much as possible and when they had managed to get theirs up, acted the same as others and left us in the lurch.
On Sunday 24th. blew very hard, obliged to give her more cable.
Monday 25th October we came on shore in the Steamer, but blowing so hard, the Lighter could not get alongside the ship to get what few things were left. It is a pleasant ride up the Yarra Yarra which is very narrow and some places room for 2 vessels to pass. On arriving at Melbourne we went up to CHISHOLM'S tents, we beheld those who had so shamefully left the Ship complaining of Rheumatism and that the place was swarmed with Lice, and not having my own tent on shore and not knowing when I should get it; and if I had it I should hesitate about fixing of it as the ground was very damp and another important reason was that the Bushrangers were continually coming in and pull(ing) the inmates out of them to some distance in a state of nudity while others would remain and Rob you of all that was worth having; so it became the usual thing for those who had tents to shop up half of the night with loaded guns keeping watch and continually firing them off all night; when another set would take your place and do the same and it was really alarming to hear guns going off almost every minute with the expectation of a chance shot about your head.
I left the tents in disgust and came out to Collingwood about 2 miles from Melbourne in search of a place to put our Heads in and found a place called a two roomed House, weather boarded, with no ceiling and plenty of crevices for Lights by Day and the cold wind by night, a fireplace, but no stove.
The Carpenters were working on it, on asking the rent was 25/- per week, but on asking if it would be less if I took it for a term, they could not let it that way as it was likely to be much higher in a week or two, and I must pay a week in advance. I took it and hastened back for my Wife and family and then 5 o'clock I got one or two to help me out with the bedding and before we got there I did not know the name of the place or the name of the landlord. We pitched our things on the Common while I went to look for the place, everything had such an altered appearance that I became quite confounded and perspiring with fear we should be obliged to go to a Police House for the night; but luckily I was Close to it and recognised it. I hastened back and found them shivering with the cold and almost given me up for lost.
I begged some sticks and a Kettle, lit fire, made tea and lay down in our shed to sleep but could not for the incessant firing of Guns. I loaded my own pistol ready for a shot if any one that came, went to the woods and got (some) firing for the next two Days.
Thursday the luggage came on shore and (we) brought it Home. Friday went to town and got down to work and went to it on the next Monday morning where I am still working for 20/- per Day.
Rev Theophilus TAYLOR - 1853-1856 journals
Rev Theophilus TAYLOR (1829-1859), a Wesleyan Minister in Ballarat over the Eureka period left a valuable record of his journey to Australia and life in Ballarat and Creswick, in which he makes observations on incidents in the Eureka Rebellion.
James FERGUSON - 1854 letter from McIvor
Transcript of an 1854 letter from James Douglas FERGUSON about the goldfields of McIvor, Victoria to his parents in Northumberland, England and a letter (1878) from his daughter, Esther with a Heathcote address.
James Douglas FERGUSON emigrated to Australia from Rothbury, Northumberland in 1852.
James wrote a letter to his mother, Elizabeth Ferguson (Nee Robison), my great great grandmother, from Australia. Elizabeth Ann Taylor (Nee Nichol), a grand daughter of Elizabeth Ferguson, kept this letter. The envelope she kept it in had the following inscription:
First letter received by my Grandmother (Mrs. Elizabeth Ferguson) from her eldest son (James Douglas Ferguson) who emigrated to Australia in 1852 with his wife and 3 children. My Grandmother had mourned for him as dead. This letter was in a shipwreck and among other mails thrown into the sea and later rescued.
My mother Dorothy Ferguson was a child of 9 years when her brother J D Ferguson sailed [always?] remembered him. She treasured this letter for her mother's sake, who always spoke of it as a letter from the grave.
My connection with this is that James Douglas Ferguson's mother is my Great Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Ferguson. Paul Kennerley, West Midlands, UK.
Further information contact Paul Kennerley, - EMAIL
Letter from James Douglas Ferguson
McIvor, June 4th 1854.
My Dear Father and Mother,
I am almost ashamed to write to you but if I could ever found a lasting place in this country I should have wrote but we never could till now, it is an old saying and true one that a rolling stone gathers no moss. I will tell you about our passage out, we had a good passage all the way to the line, where we were becalmed and during that time we had a fire on board a most alarming thing at sea but thanks be to God, they got the fire put out before much harm was done, there was a quantity of burnt stuff put over board. The great sharks was swimming about the ship for their play but thanks be to God they got no human beings there, after the fire was out one of the men baited a hook and caught one. We got him on board. The carpenter said as he would weigh 16 stones. We just had one death on board a boy 2 years of age. The body was committed to the deep at 12 o'clock at night a most solemn scene to see. We thought that would have to be our poor little Lizzie Tate the ships doctor could do nothing for her. Annie was sick about an [?]. The wife was ill for a month, very ill indeed. God fits the back for the burden. I kept my health. I never was sick. After we landed we got a house in Collingwood close to Melbourne, which we paid £2.10 per week. I left the wife and children. I started for [Fryars?] Creek digging. I was there 3 months I made out pretty pretty well. I got a letter from the wife to say that if I wanted to see Lizzy alive I was to make my way to town there and then. Off I started that was a hundred miles when I landed who should I find attending the child but [?] the Doctor from Rothbury. Gave up the house then and there, got a double horse dray loaded with stores of all sorts wife and children started for the diggings again that cost me £70 to the Bendigo. We were there 10 weeks when the McIvor broke out 40 miles from Bendigo. I paid £40 down there, just to remove us and ours two or three [ropes?] a pound a mile. Do not be alarmed at that. There is plenty of money in the colony. Here the wife and I had yellow jaundice there. I lost 6 weeks work all the best of the diggings was over. Next the [Boulbousne?] broke out. I left the wife and children at the McIvor and carried 60 lb weight on my back 40 miles was there 6 weeks, did no good there, left my things to come with carries and started to the McIvor again to walk the 40 miles no one with me but my faithful dog through a country where you cannot see more than two or 3 100 yds before you. I got within 2 miles of McIvor. By sunset when I lost the sun I lost my way and travelled all night in the bush when I found myself the next morning 14 miles back over. I turned round with the rising sun and piloted myself straight through the bush to the very place where I lost sight of the sun the night before and landed home at 11 o'clock p.m. after walking full 80 miles without a bite of meat from the morning before. My feet was like two beef steak I made up my mind to leave off diggings and I started a [east?] on the road carrying up to the diggings. So I got all put to rites bought a horse and just had one turn to town out of him and lost him Five months ago I bought him very cheap £45 if I could get him. Now he is worth £100 in Town. I bought him of a mob of 60 horses 3 weeks after I was in Town I could had £80 for him and it takes two good horses to bring a van up from Town to the diggings and it is £25 a van just now as the wet weather is set in there is a mint of money to be made at it. Men that is steady, two horses Dray and harness stands me to £250 I am going to start before long
Price of Provisions
Flour £12 a bag 16 stone bags
Potatoes 1s per lb 1 cabbage 2/6
Sugar 1/3 per lb Tea 3/4 per quarter
Coffee 3/6 quarter Soap 1/4 quarter
Bacon 3/- quarter Salt 1/-
Herrings 6d Eggs 1/-
Butter fresh 6/- per quarter Milk 2/- per quart
Butchers Meat per lb £1.3 at the diggings In Town £1.1.3
3 Fowls Chickens £1 per couple Geese £2 ditto
Turkeys £4 Ditto
Oats £2 per bushel Bran £1.5 on the diggings
There is nothing in the shape of game here but ducks.
Blacksmiths £1.5 per day Carpenters the same Masons £1.16 per day. Farm servants men £50 to £100 per year with meat found. Servant girls £35 £45 ditto. Labouring men from 12/- 15/- per day - The few hints I have given you here will give you some idea about things here. Any things that I can say is everything in proportion to what I have named. I am only sorry that my poor brothers and sisters is where they are. Had I one of my brothers with me when I first landed we might been worth 5 0r 6 hundred £ by this time. You cant gold dig without a mate you cannot go on the roads with drays without one. The roads is so bad and to meet with an honest man here they are very thin sown. Drinking is the ruin of most men in the colony. Ale and Porter 1/- per glass. Spirits 1/6 the same measure as in England. There is some of the parties that landed with us done well. in fact man or woman that is steady here can save money in the course of ten or 12 years to keep him or herself comfortable for the remainder of their lives. My wife thinks nothing of making £2.10 a week. Now she has the offer of teaching the girls to sew at school three afternoons in the week she has £40 per year for that and other needlework she can get at home. Our own children is at the school. We have been 2 years without being within the walls of any place of worship till now we have got a church here now, a very good homely man for a clergyman, but believe me for wickedness and vice this crowns the globe. We all live in tension the diggings that you will know I should not think there is a man on the diggings but has a brace of pistols ready for action under his head every night. I have 3 dogs round our tent there is nothing in the shape of beast or body can get near the tent for them, any one was to lay me down £20 for the 3 I would not take it. Some time ago these two men on horseback stuck us up. My dog did his duty she got one of them to an out she made him ten thousand murders. I like a fool had not my pistol charged, perhaps just as well it was not for I should have fired as sure as I am writing this letter to you, anyone comes round your tent at night you are justifyable in shooting them, this was between 12 and 1 o'clock in the morning. I got up and opened the tent door and give my faithful old dog the word of command and got the axe for a weapon myself, I darted out from the side of the tent and got a slip at one of them with the axe, the next moment the dog made the other shout like a bull they did not know that I was up ready to receive them. The wife and children screaming the dogs barking. People came rushing from all quarters, believe me the fellow would not forget that blow I gave him for sometime. You know I am pretty sharp mettle when set on my pins. They were both armed with pistols but had not time to make use of them. We let them go quietly as there might be a party and some of them come at another time and call on us. I have this day made £10 worth of gold got it in two pieces one of them 1 oz and the other 1 oz - weights. A man on the diggings thinks he is not doing well if he does not make £10 per week but I am satisfied with £6. There has been men got five and six hundred pounds within a day or two, but that is not for everyone. The most I've ever got in 1 day was £6 worth and there was 5 of a party of us for it, some can not go long digging where they will, they will get gold, others will work hard and cannot hit it, know where it is all a lottery - a single man is the man for this colony. Would not persuade any man out here with a small family the getting here 16000 miles it is a long way this tossing about on the sea for four months. I have got mine with me, nearly all the children is dead that landed with us and olsd people as well. You would be surprised to know that there not 10 women out of every hundred but drinks and many of them dies from the effects of drinks and to see the way that they bury the corpse in this colony would make anyones heart ache just 2 sheets of bark and a blanket about them and tumble them into a hole, cover them up a coffin cost £10 [easy]. This is diggers burial. I will write again before long. Should this find you all well as I hope it will and Thomas should think of coming out to me I would recommend him to come by Government Emmigration ship as they are so much better taken care of in every respect, you save £20 or £25 by coming out by Government, We should have come out Govern had we knowen what we know now. If Thomas would get another young man to come out with him for company on the passage, it is not likely that they would both be sick together, and the one could do for the other when sick. Should you think of coming get yourself two good large bacon hams and herrings and potatoes. Those are things we were most in need of on the passage out. Do not bring any fine clothes out with you but working clothes and shoes, you cannot bring too many. Should you Thomas and your mate get here it should be the making of you both and me here before you and getting to know the colony. Write as soon as you get this and let me know how things is going on with. Should you come must advertise for us in the newspaper the Argos Newspaper. Mind should you come take every man to be a rogue and your enemy till you find him out to be an honest man.
Letter from Esther Ferguson, in Heathcote, Victoria, Australia,
daughter of James Douglas Ferguson,
to her Grandmother, Elizabeth Ferguson (nee Robison).
You cannot imagine how glad we all were to receive a letter from you and hope the shock of our Dear Father's death has not been to much for you. We are very sorry to hear of Aunt Eleanor's late bereavement, mind and tell us next time you write if either her or Aunt Dorothy has got any children, if they have we would very much like if some of them would write to us. My eldest sister Annie's husband went home to Scotland about the end of April 1878 and returned on the 7th December he spent a very merry time in Scotland with his mother and all his relatives. Annie's husband's name is Christie he is a partner with two others in the largest firm in Heathcote they have 7 children alive and one dead the eldest is 10 and the youngest is 3 weeks old. My second sister Lizzie is married to a W. Hamilton he keeps the No. 2 Branch of the same store that Annie's husband has, so that we are all in the same township. Lizzie has 3 children alive and two dead the eldest is 14 years and the youngest is 8 months.
My sister Nelly that is at home with us has very bad health there is hardly aday that she is well, but my brother George and myself have very good health.
We send you a Post Office Order for £2.10 and hope next time to be able to send more but expenses have been so heavy lately that we cannot afford any more and hope Dear Grandmother that you will be pleased to receive the small amount. I send you the portrait of our shop with my brother and I under the verandah, also the one of our grave yard it has not got Father's name on the tomb stone yet. I suppose you have one of Dear Father's portraits.
It is now a little before Christmas and people all seem to be busy it is very dry and hot here we have not had any rain here for about 4 weeks and every thing is very dry and the dust is some thing dreadful. Are things very dear in England just now we get choice beef at 5 pence and mutton at 3 and 1/2 per pound, butter 7 pence a pound eggs 10 pence a dozen bread 4 pence the 4 lb loaf. I have told you all I can think of at present so conclude with love from all my sisters, brother and myself to our Aunts and Uncles and accept the same Dear Grandmother.
James SNEDDON & Maria McGEE - 1854 voyage to South Australia
The emigration of James SNEDDEN, his wife Maria McGEE and infant daughter Mary from Glasgow to South Australia in 1854, followed by gold mining in Vic and NSW. Article by Annie Stuart.
In 1854, my great great grandparents James and Maria Snedden left their Scottish homeland forever and travelled half way around the world to Australia in search of a better life. They were both Glasgow born and bred. James was a coal miner and the son and grandson of coal miners. Maria was the granddaughter of a silk weaver and the daughter of a carpet weaver.
James Snedden and Maria McGee were married on the 27th of June, 1852 in the Barony Parish, Glasgow. They were both living in the Glasgow village of Bridgeton at the time of their marriage.
On the 7th of August, 1853, their first daughter Mary was born at 52 Savoy Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow. Mary Snedden was the only one of James and Maria's eleven children who was not born in Australia.
Emigration from The United Kingdom in 1854, the year that James and Maria Snedden came to Australia, was under the authority of Her Majesty's Colonial Land and Immigration Commission. This scheme had been in operation since 1841 and was set up by the British government because of mounting dissatisfaction with the previous government scheme. This earlier scheme was attacked for being very expensive and for bringing out too many children, unskilled workers, middle aged people and paupers. Most of the following information is taken from a colonisation circular issued by the Commissioners of the scheme which contained information for people leaving Great Britain in 1854. To be eligible under this new scheme, prospective migrants had to be sober, industrious and furnished with character references. Married adults had to be under forty years of age and single adults under thirty. The men and single women also had to have work skills which would made them productive in Australia. Emigrants also had to be of general good moral character and have been in the habit of working for wages. They were also required to be in good health and free from all bodily and mental defects. The most preferred candidates were respectable young women trained to domestic or farm service and families in which there was a preponderance of females. Emigrants who were excluded were unaccompanied single women under 18, single women over 35 years, single women with illegitimate children, single men unless they were sons in eligible families containing at least a corresponding number of daughters. Families with more than 2 children under 7 or 3 children under 10 years of age or in which the sons outnumbered the daughters, widowers and widows with young children, persons who intended to resort to the goldfields, to buy land or to invest capital in trade or who were in the habitual receipt of parish relief or who had not been vaccinated or not had the small pox were also ineligible. In 1854 The Emigration Commissioners were granting passages to New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Van Diemen's Land.
Passengers were expected to pay the following contributions towards their passages. The commissioners provided bedding and mess utensils for the voyage from these contributions.
Passenger's contributions to passages.
- Passengers under 50 years of age - one pound.
- Passengers between 50 and 60 years of age - 5 pounds.
- Passengers 60 years and upwards - 17 pounds.
- Single men - 2 pounds.
- Children under 14 years - 10 shillings.
For South Australia.
- Passengers under 45 years of age - 1 or 2 pounds depending on their occupations. (A miner's passage for himself and his wife was one pound.)
- Passengers between 45 and 50 years of age - 5 pounds.
- Passengers between 50 and 60 years - 11 pounds.
- Single men - 2 pounds.
- Children under 14 years of age - 10 shillings.
Passengers over 14 years of age to New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land were expected to repay the greater part of the cost of their passage money or to take service with some employee in the colony who would engage to repay the money for them.
Passengers to South Australia were not required to repay their passage money but they had to sign an agreement that if they went to the goldfields or if they quit the colony within four years of landing they had to repay a large proportion of their passage money.
I think that in James and Maria Snedden's case it was much cheaper for them to travel to South Australia or to Victoria but although miners were not wanted in Victoria they were certainly needed in South Australia because copper had been discovered there around 1852.
On the eighteenth of August, 1854 a ship named The James Fernie left the Birkenhead Docks at Liverpool, England carrying amongst her passengers James and Maria Snedden and their infant daughter Mary. The James Fernie was bound for Adelaide in South Australia.
A part of the passenger list shows James, Maria and Mary Snedden listed about half way down the page as follows:-
Snedden, James; age 23; Married from Miner; from Lanark.
Snedden, Maria; age 22; Married; from Lanark.
Snedden, Mary; Infant female under one year.
The James Fernie was built in 1854 at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada by the shipbuilding company Collins Brothers of London. She was a three masted ship of 1037 tons. The length of her lower deck was 16 feet and the last cargo she had carried before this voyage was timber.The height between her decks was 7.8 feet and her lower deck was 162 feet long and 31.9 feet wide. The ship's charter for The James Fernie specified that there had to be a certain amount of deck space for each passenger and proper bed places with curtains, seats, desks, tables and a school.
There were separate hospitals for males and females, a zinc lined bathroom for the females, water closets, an oven for baking bread and a specified amount of luggage space for each passenger.
A certain quantity of medicine was to be provided for each one hundred passengers and the passengers were not to be molested on crossing the line (equator). The ship's master was required to prevent and prohibit "any intercourse whatever" on the part of the crew or the officers and the female passengers.
Rations provided per week per adult passenger over 14 years were as follows:-
- 56 ounces of biscuit
- 6 ounces of beef, 18 ounces of pork
- 24 ounces of preserved meat
- 42 ounces of flour
- 21 ounces of oatmeal
- 8 ounces of raisins
- 6 ounces of suet
- three quarters of an ounce of peas
- 8 ounces of rice
- 8 ounces of preserved potatoes
Children between ten and fourteen years received two thirds of this allowance and children between two and ten years received half.
Children between four months and two years of age were allowed weekly:-
- 3 pints of water
- One quarter of a pint of milk daily
- 3 ounces of preserved soup and one egg every alternate day
- 12 ounces of biscuit
- 4 ounces of oatmeal
- 8 ounces of flour
- 4 ounces of rice
- 10 ounces of sugar
Listed among the medicines carried on the ship were:-
- Acetic, citric and nitric acid.
- Linseed meal
- Morphine hydrochloride
- A bleeding porringer
The British Government paid the owners of The James Fernie eighteen pounds, two shillings and sixpence for each adult passenger's fare. Children between the age of one and fourteen years travelled for half fare and infants under one year were free.
The Captain on the voyage was Bartholomew Daly and the ship's surgeon was Charles H. Graham.
The thought of leaving home and travelling by sea on a long and difficult voyage with a baby to an unknown land may seem to be a discouraging prospect, but it must be remembered that the Scottish people were conditioned to hardship and at least they carried with them the hope of a better life.
On board The James Fernie were three hundred and seventy six passengers consisting of eighty eight adult males, one hundred and ninety adult females, thirty seven male children and sixty one female children.
The occupations shown for the immigrants were:-
- Domestic Servants 88 females.
- Farm Servants 6 married, 4 single, 34 females.
- Gardeners 1 married.
- Carpenters 8 married, 2 single.
- Agricultural Labourers 9 married, 7 single.
- Miners 3 married, 3 single.
- Blacksmiths 2 married.
- Milliners 2 females.
- Shepherds 3 married, 4 single.
- Stonemasons 4 married.
- Labourers 5 married, 4 single.
- Lawyers 2 married.
- Bakers 1 married.
- Shoemakers 1 single.
Voluntary constables were selected from amongst the married men to receive and carry to and from the galley the provisions for the chefs to prepare the food for the ninety two single female passengers. This was to try to prevent all opportunities for communication between the single women and the part of the ship used by the crew. The single women frequently used the excuse that they needed to be in the forepart of the ship to cook their food, when in reality, they were there to consort with the crew. Despite the strict travel conditions, there were thirty deaths, twenty two from cholera and four miscarriages on The James Fernie. Other causes of death are listed as "teething", malassimilation of food and congestion of the brain.
Sadly, amongst the dead was little Mary Snedden, aged twelve months. She died on the fifteenth of September, 1854 from exhaustion following a bout of diarrhoea. We can only imagine the feelings of James and Maria as they stood by unable to help their dying child and watched as she was buried at sea. Mary's name can be seen crossed out on the passenger list with the word "dead" written in the far left column.
The clothing and bedding of the cholera cases was destroyed to prevent contagion. There were also three births on the voyage.
On the sixteenth of November, 1854, after ninety one days at sea The James Fernie reached the Port of Adelaide in South Australia. A muster of the passengers on the day after the ship's arrival shows:-
- 54 married adult males.
- 52 married adult females.
- 31 single male adults.
- 129 single female adults.
- 30 male children between the ages of one and fourteen.
- 45 female children between the ages of one and fourteen.
- 3 male infants(under one year)
- 5 female infants.
After nineteen days of quarantine, on the fifth of December, 1854, the remaining three hundred and forty nine passengers at last set foot on Australian soil. The average length of the voyage to Australia in those days was one hundred and eleven days while the shortest voyage on record was eighty three days.
James & Maria Snedden in Australia
It is not known whether James and Maria Snedden ever lived in South Australia, the place of their arrival in Australia. James Snedden appears on a Victorian electoral role in 1856 as follows:-Snedden James. Long Gully (Miner) Miner's Right, Long Gully Division.
By the time their second child Frances (Fanny) Robertson Snedden was born on the third of December, 1856, the Snedden family were living at Long Gully in Victoria so they may have gone straight overland to Victoria, lured by the gold which had been discovered there in 1851. Long Gully was a part of the city of Bendigo in those days but it is also a descriptive name given by gold diggers in numerous places where gold was found-1853 at McIvor-Heathcote; 1854 at Stieglitz and Creswick and 1855 at Blackwood so Fanny's birthplace may have been Heathcote or Bendigo.
In 1858, James and Maria's third child Margaret was born at Moliagul, another gold town in Victoria and she died in that same year. The family were living at McIvor-Heathcote (now known as Heathcote) when James and Maria's first son, my great grandfather also named James Snedden was born on the twenty first of September, 1859. James senior was the informant on the birth certificate of his namesake and he gave his occupation as "gold miner."
The Snedden family were still living at Heathcote, when James and Maria's second son George Walter Snedden was born and died in 1861. Heathcote, on the Kilmore-Bendigo road, began as a large gold rush and became an important goldfield in 1853. The town was however a disappointment to the thousands who flocked there expecting another Bendigo. It was a much smaller field and not nearly as rich. Maria Snedden probably had to give birth to and raise her children under very primitive conditions and the family most likely lived in tent accommodation.
Gold had been discovered at Young in New South Wales in 1860 and by 1863 James and Maria had moved to this town with Fanny aged seven and James junior aged four. They apparently travelled to Young by horse or bullock drawn dray. The "roads" of the time would probably only have been the tracks of the teamsters and the distance about 400 kilometres. In Young, Maria gave birth to six other children. James died from influenza in 1891 and Maria died in 1892. They are both buried in the cemetery at Young.
P H BRAIN - 1855 letter from Alma
Transcript of an 1855 letter from P H BRAIN on the Alma Goldfield near Maryborough, Victoria to his friend George WORLOCK back in Gloucestershire, England. The letter contains candid observations of life on the diggings in 1855.
|In June 2005, Jane Worlock wrote ...
Excuse me writing but I have noticed your link (through the Wotton under edge site) and noticed BRAIN as a family name linked there. My father's cousin has some letters sent to my Great Great Grandfather (George WORLOCK) from Australia by a friend who had gone there to prospect. This letter is dated 1855 and the return address was Newton Brothers General store, Prahran, near Melbourne though it sounds as if he is quite a distance from there. It describes life out there then. I've sent a copy to a museum in the area but wondered if there was any direct family who may be interested. It creates quite a vivid picture. The correspondent signs himself as P H Brain.
Alma May 31st 1855
James DAVIES - 1855 letter from Ballarat
Transcript of an 1855 letter from James DAVIES about the trip from Wales to Ballarat in 1855. Also, a letter (undated) from his son, James about the trip from Geelong to Ballarat and a few events in his early life on the diggings.
|Ballarat April 23rd, 1855.
Report written by their son, James about their trip to Ballarat and the early times there, the Mary Ann mentioned is my gggrandmother. Jacqui.
|Statement by James DAVIES (Jnr) Longhand, undated
I was born at Llanover, Monmouthshire, South Wales on the 16th November 1846. My father was foreman sawyer at the Varteg Ironworks. In 1854 when the gold fever was at its height the family consisting of my parents three daughters & one son sailed for Australia in the sailing ship Marchioness of Salisbury We had a good passage & uneventful except when Neptune came aboard when crossing the Line. We landed at Geelong on the 1st March 1855 & proceeded to Ballarat forthwith. Our trip to Ballarat on a two horse dray was something to be remembered. The wayside water supply was of a very inferior quality & most repulsive in looks & taste. But there was no other so had to be accepted under protest.
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James LETCHER - 1857 journal to Ballarat
Transcript of the journal of James LETCHER from Cornwall to Ballarat in 1857. His two younger brothers, John and William, had already preceded him to Ballarat.
My address is "Dalton's Flat" Ballarat Victoria Australia. Dated 10th. October 1857.
This is a journal of my travels since I left you my dear wife and little offsprings which was from the 13th. May 1857. This day I left Penzance from the old quay in a pitch boat at six o'clock in the morning to be conveyed to the Steam Boat which was lodging in the Mounts Bay "Empress Euginia" by name. When I got in her I agreed for a second cabin passage because I could not have a steerage which berth cost me 15 shillings. I was very glad I engaged it afterwards on account of wet cold weather. Them that were on deck against morning were looking bad for they had no shelter but the sky and one poor old fellow had his meat stole from him by some of the sailors and did not get much after till he reached Liverpool. I was very sorry for him indeed and would have given him some of my bread and cheese which I took from Penzance, but I had it in the lower deck in my box before I knew it and could not get it for myself and it was very little that I eat from Penzance to Liverpool distance about 300 miles, took us about 32 hours. I may just mention just as I got off the Lands End, I was taken a little seasick in consequence of rough seas over her bows, I got very wet and the smell of the grease from the engine I got a bit sick which did not last more than 20 minutes, I can tell you I was very glad to have a little purging in the stomach. I hasten on to say a few things which I saw while on this short voyage. We sailed close by the land for many scores of miles. It looked very beautiful and especially to see so many wind mills going at full speed, I counted 10 just in a line a short distance from each other in the side of the Welsh Highland. Water is very smooth, now sailing very pleasantly. While going on I saw a vast variety of different descriptions of birds and an Island surrounded with the sea, a place inhabited and a large Light House fixed on it-a very remote place. A few miles farther we got in sight of Holy Head, a fine place for foundry work and railway run out a good bit in the sea. About this place the Welsh land is one side and the Irish on the other. I must close up here and try to go a little farther. I am not going to give a full detail of ail I do see it is impossible, but if ail be well I am intending to give you a little information each day while far away.
May 14th. Thursday - This day I reached Liverpool in the afternoon about 4 O'clock, when I reached here I had so heavy a weather as ever I saw. Thunder and lightning and a torrent of rain, rode through Liverpool Streets with full speed in a Spring Cart with my luggage. Got at the White Star Line Office and secured a passage in the "Titan" for to leave the 20th. of this month, which cost me 17 pound, intermediate passage. The next thing was to get lodgings while staying in Liverpool for the time of embarkation. I went to Mr. Joseph Martins, put up there while at Liverpool and had first rate entertainment. He lives in Juke Street N°89 in a splendid house, it was the best furnished house that ever I was in, they have every appearance of Gentry, and as free with me as if I were there own. I put up there 6 days which cost me nothing.
May 15th. Friday - I shall mention a few things which I saw while at Liverpool. It is a wonderful place, most the first things that attracted me to notice was the splendid and most noble horses which draw groceries and drapery and every kind of thing through those paved Streets. There is a continual traversing with them every day and they will singly draw with them 3 tons and to my appearance go on with it as easy as if they had but very little. I never saw such horses before and they are as fat as feeding pigs. The next I shall mention is the shipping and the Docks which will almost surprise a stranger coming in the place. I can't mention to you half as it is but I may say that the ships are here lying in the Docks for 7 miles long with their masts as thick as a grove of trees with their leaves off them for that distance. The next is the Exchange which is a noble 3 square Building, with Nelson the Warrior's monument erected in the front of it and slain with him chained, and St. George's Hall a splendid building with large lions engraved around and about it, and the sailor's home another, and the head exchange post office and money order office all in one building. And the first inventor of Railway which was killed by it Hiskison by name engraved in full portrait in front of it for his being a great mechanic and inventor of railways.
May. 16th. Saturday - I might write you a good deal more than what I shall but it will take up my room for some other things which when I see you my dear wife I shall be able to tell you if all be well. If a person while at Liverpool don't mind while walking the streets and look behind very often he will be rode over. The cabs, spring carts and conveyances here is thick enough. The people is so thick in Liverpool walking the streets every day, as you have see them coming out of Ludgvan Chapel in the height of summer of a Sunday evening, and all nations black and white, rich and poor ail colours and climes. It is nothing strange to see lower class many hundreds walking the streets here with no stockings nor shoes nor hat on their head, some with a basket on their head selling, some one thing and some the other, and on a Sunday as well as any other day. I have seen them selling in the public street and sweeping the streets on a Sunday, and the shoe blacks, you can hardly escape from them.
May 17th. Sunday - This day I was to Rock Ferry with Uncle Henery Gates across the Mersey River which is in Cheshire which cost me 4 pence for a steam boat. Liverpool is in Lancashire. We had a pleasant trip. Many thousands go to different places in Cheshire on Sunday for pleasure and excursion. I should like for you my dear wife to have been there with me to see the antiquities and ancient buildings which was there and the grandeur of the places, it was a fine day. They have twelve Church bells in Liverpool which struck out this morning in full strain, it was delightful to hear them echo through the City of Liverpool with a calm and still morning. I went to the Methodist Chapel this evening and the Minister preached from the last chapter of Revelations 17th. verse, The Spirit and the bride say "Come".
May 18th. Monday - I am still walking Liverpool streets all strange faces which I never saw before, many thousands of policemen in this place. Vaults, hotels and taverns in Liverpool, I am told 4 thousand beside the small pot shops which is not licensed, how many I know not.
May 19th. Tuesday - This day I carried my luggage on board the "Titan" and slept in the ship in the queen's Dock for the first time, not many there beside myself. I have thought about you my dear little family a good deal since I have been in Liverpool than I did upon leaving, but I trust by separating for a little while it will be for our future well-fare.
May 20th. Wednesday - This is the day appointed to sail but she is not going out the docks today. I wrote a letter to you today expecting it to be the last for awhile, but not so. On this letter I wrote to you saying not to write me till I land in Australia or at least till you receive one from me from Australia, but if I had thought about it as I have since you should have written me in two months after you received my last letter and addressed it as I did for my brothers Ballarat Victoria, Australia. I hope you have still because I shall be so long before I hear from you which will be no less than 8 months.
May 21st. Thursday - This morning we heaved out of the docks into the Mersey River with upwards of 700 passengers on board, decks crowded with people and about 50 sailors which makes the crew. Likewise 300 Office bearers such as stewards, purser, and deliveries of stores, minister and doctor. This the first day we got provision from the ship which was fresh beef, and potatoes and on account of so many passengers and throng we had hard work to get to our cooking galley to get any. It was a regular rush with most all on board although a plenty cooked but many got none. Now at this time a man must be pretty active or else he would starve in a plentiful land, we did each carry our plate and the first get in the first have, I never went short while fresh beef was issued out - more than I could eat but I felt very much to see some poor women with their families going out to their husbands trying to push through the crowd and could not. There was one family in particular which would sit down long side of me and cry, man wife and two children which after I have eat my meal I have gone and brought them meat when they could not get any themselves.
May 22nd. Friday - We are still in the Mersey River fine weather but wind low, long looking to be gone. This day we had preaching below deck on the water with a minister which generally preach in ships bound for foreign lands before they leave, name James Buck, preached from Hebrews 4th chapter 16th. verse "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of Grace etc." he was I believe a good man. We are just opposite a place, a town called Birkenhead. Today the government inspecting Officer of health came on board and performed his duty to see that everyone was fit to undertake the voyage and likewise to see that we had a plenty of food to make use of for the journey of 16000 miles.
May 23rd. Saturday - This day we was conveyed by a tug steam boat out of the Mersey River Liverpool for Australia, I trust we shall have good speed and a quick and safe voyage. About 6 O'clock A.M. we left. We have had a very rainy day and very low wind all day. Steam boat have enough to do to pull us along, we was tugged for many miles or else we should not have sailed far on account of low wind. It was a very foggy close day, could not see far over the water, saw a few birds close by the ship, and some saw a dead man floating down the river. Steam boat took us as far as the Irish coast and then left us and went back. There was different kinds of games carried on today, some playing the fiddle and some cards, others dominoes, others jumping over the backs of one the other, and a variety of other amusements, and in the evening the minister on board for the voyage read prayers which was took but very little account of with the majority, which was Saturday evening. This noble ship carries between 7 and 800 souls, she is 145 feet long and 45 feet deep, 8 feet between decks, draws 25 feet of water and 20 feet out the water that is from waters edge to the top of her bulwarks and carries when in full sail 11OOO yards of canvass and about 5000 tons burthen, she is a fine ship. This ship brought to Liverpool from New Orleans the largest cargo of cotton that was known to be brought there to one time.
May 24th. Sunday - We are got in St. Georges Channel, but very light wind going very slow, we have got sight of the Welsh high mountains, at the distance. We have clear sunshine weather now, some sickness on board today for the first time.
May 25th. Monday. - This day we have a good breeze sailing fast. I saw land today in the distance but did not know what land it was. A good deal of sickness on board today, but thank God I am first rate. They say we are going 16 knots a hour, the fore part of this night the wind blew so hard that we expected to go to the bottom, great cry with a good many for the Lord to have mercy upon them, held blowing most all night, tossed up and down upon the great sea like a cork and to hear some crying and some poor women almost vomitting the innards and the wind roaring in the rigging it was a most shocking place you must think but we had different squalls so bad as that which was not took much account of after.
May 26th. Tuesday the wind ceased got in the midst of a deep ocean of waters, this day two sailors fought on deck. Going slow now squally to times in the course of the day furling and reefing the sails very often sailors have enough to do, ship very slightly manned. We have on board 13 pigs alive, 3 sheep, fowls and ducks a quantity, none of them come to my lot and the fresh beef coming done, while that held we lived very well but the biscuits is so hard that a man can hardly tell what to do by them, ought to have a double set of grinders and leverage like a bull dog for to make way with them.
May 27th. Wednesday - We have fine weather at this time and wind almost fair, the after part of the day sailing very slow. On Sunday last the ship's carpenter working the same as if it was a week day alongside of the minister while preaching, to all appearances makes no difference on board ship.
May 28th. Thursday - We are sailing very slow now, we are now down in the western ocean. This day we are put out by the purser 6 persons in a mess what we call for to get our provisions from the stores which is 3 days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We are 5 Cornish men and one Scotch chap. Two from St. Dye, one from Chasewater, one from Yermo and myself which makes the six and when able we take it in turn each two to cook the meat and get provisions from the Store but very often one and sometimes two of our mess is very bad and not able to assist in nothing. I saw a fine sight of fish today for the first since I have left Liverpool, the looked splendid in the sun, a great quantity of them came in close by the ships side.
May 29th. Friday - We are now on the outskirts of the Bay of Biscay, we are sailing slow making very little progress in our journey, sun very warm at this time. Today there was a thief detected and tied in the riggins for a spectacle for all the passengers for a hour for stealing clothes and different things from the passengers, he was an assistant to the cook in our galley. After his punishment he was put with the deck sweepers to do the same. The minister comes below deck and read a chapter and makes prayer before you go to bed and some parties who do not attend is just over head dancing and carrying on different kind of play and -taking no account of him no more than if he was never in the place, females as well as the males and worst of the two, and some married women with their husbands not far off them, straying away with the sailors and other men, any person would not think it was so on board a ship, but it is the worst place for all kinds of practices that ever I saw and especially with the female sex
May 30th. Saturday - This day we got a good breeze but not fair we are in the tacking list. Saw a good many fish again today, seasickness not so prevalent as it have been. Today the Boson of the snip got put in irons for offending the 2nd. mate, they are very strick on board of a ship I tell you.
May 31st. Sunday - This is Whitsunday - not much like it with me I think. We have fine weather overhead at this time, passengers, chief part of them on deck, we are crossing the North Atlantic Ocean. We hear different stories every other day, some says we have sailed fast and some say we have sailed slow, some saying one thing and some saying another which I don't take much account of them for a great quantity of them would so soon say wrong as right.
June 1st. Monday - We are sailing slow at this time, we have a long way to look forward for, still, but it is like many other things it will pass away.
June 2nd. Tuesday - This day we have a good breeze but not fair. I saw different ships today, some small and some large bound for different places, the small ships have enough to do to steer whilst the "Titan" is sailing along very smooth and pleasantly.
June 3rd. Wednesday - Wind still unfavorable, sailed but very little all night, the second mate says we are today about 1500 miles from Liverpool, been sailing slow most of the way as yet. My dear wife you would laugh if you were to see me this day with my hands in the flour. This day I made two Fig puddings and a cake and very good they were. Some females along side me when I was making them and they laughed to see me going into it with my sleeves picht up to my elbows, and so would you if you did see me, it is a new thing to many a chap beside myself, it would be far different if you were here but far rather for you to be where you are, but still there isn't a day pass away without my thinking very much about you my dear wife and dear little children, but I hope over awhile we shall embrace the smiles of each other again.
June 4th. Thursday - This day we got a very strong breeze but not in its right course, wind so strong that it carried off one of the outriggers nigh the Main Royal Yard arm, obliged to draw in a good deal of canvas, heavy seas going today "Titan" tossed upon the swell a good bit, a good many sick still especially females, as soon as we get a breeze some is sick to once.
June 5th. Friday - I am still in the enjoyment of good health thank God for it. The sea at this time is very calm and everything looking very pleasant and the wind changed more in its right course than it was. We had a rough night, the boxes that was not tied and the cooking utensils was knocked about very much and some could not lie down in their beds with the ship rolling from side to side, you would laugh if you were to here the Welsh men gabbing. We have 6 of them joining berths with ours and in the next berth there is 5 more and one is from Southampton and one from Staffordshire and another from Cumberland and another from Gravesend, where the other is from I know not and the passengers and crew is from all parts and tongues, English, Irish, Scotch, Dutch, French, Germans, Russians and Welsh but the chief part of the Welsh can talk English and Welsh language too and very comfortable with us so them have got a chance to we so you see how I am mixed up with all nations and rather deal with any of them than the lousy Irish.
June 6th. Saturday - This day we have a good breeze gained more today than we have before since we left Liverpool, my turn to be cook today, had meat and fig puddings boiled in a bag with a plenty of suet, but I don't like the mode they have for dressing the meat here, put into a large chaldron called copper many hundreds in bags and boiled with sea water, a very pig like way to me, we have a plenty of sugar, tea and coffee and oatmeal served out every week and good many other things but there is so many passengers on board this ship that we can get our meat dressed as we ought, a person that goes to sea he must be rough both in manners and appearance and eat everything that will come along for the first, I can get along very well, but I have to eat here what I should not at home, but some folks here can't eat the meat we have.
June 7th. Sunday - We have fine weather but very calm going ahead very slow the wind changes very quick at sea. This day I felt a little head ache, I caught a little cold, hope I shall not feel much illness while far away in a foreign land.
June 8th. Monday - We are getting to have warm weather now very nigh fair wind at this time but wind light going the say about 7 miles a hour, I am got first rate again, I some of my hair taken off my head it was causing me to be uneasy.
June 9th. Tuesday - This day we have faie wind almost for the first time since we left Liverpool but the wind is low, the sun is getting warmer a good bit. One of the Irishmen was discovered with lice about him today for the first time, he was obliged to throw his clothes over board and all was obliged to get on deck to have their places thoroughly cleaned out to prevent sickness and disorders, we was all called on deck last Sunday for to pass the inspection of the doctor for cleanings, some Irish was obliged to go below and change their shirts or else be put in irons. The doctor looks into these things very much and it is as well he did or otherwise the would bring a plague in the ship.
June 10th. Wednesday - still fair wind it is very beautiful to be on the water at this time. Saw a good many fish today it was a very pretty sight to see them spring out of the water, the were about the size of some of them great fish you have seen pulling down Penzance street before now almost as much as a man could pull along the ground, we saw a large ship today very close by ours the say she left Liverpool 3 days before us bound for Calcutta, we are leaving her behind fast, we have a very good going from 10 to 12 knots a hour with fine weather overhead. I hope it will continue.
June 11th. Thursday - Last night the head cook in our galley was put in irons for not doing his duty and for taking bribes for liquor and baking for them which did not belong till some other day in their turn, some one told him about it and he threw a fork at him and he last his berth and then placed with the deck sweepers with a besom in his hands and told with the second mate if he did not use it and that speedy that he would put him in double irons and give him a dozen lashes.
June 12th. Friday - I am still enjoying the beautiful weather which we have got, a fair breeze but not strong, thank God I am still in good health, some difficulties to put up with and so we shall have be where it will. There is a quantity of the Irish got very lousy and I expect we shall all be soon for we are obliged to mix up with them in getting provisions from the stores. We passed the Canary Islands last night. Today I saw a good sight of flying fish for the first, they are not larger than a long rock scad but fly a good bit out of the water, had a full sight of them for some yards and sinked again.
June 13th. Saturday - Warm weather now, this day we crossed the sun. The ship carpenter was put in irons today and close confined for striking the doctor's assistant and 2nd. mate, and a Irish man put in at the same time for insulting some passengers in the lower stearage, the Irish are so numerous with us that they seem to think they can do just as the like but they are told if they do not be civil they will be made to.
June 14th. Sunday - We have sailed a long way this past week although we have not had a strong breeze bur fair, very warm now, we see a few flying fish to time. We do have Divine Service twice every Sunday but he is a very slight minister, he takes delight in card playing and other amusements when he ought to try and stop it.
June 15th. Monday - Still fair wind out very light going slow today, a good many obliged too stay on deck by night in consequence of warm weather. They carries on a good many of them fiddle playing and dancing very frequently every night except Sundays.
June 16th. Tuesday - This day sailing slow getting very hot now I thank God I am still in the possession of good health, for my part I do complain more with the noise every night lying down than with hot weather. This day we sailed within a few miles of Cape Verde Islands very lofty mountains about this place the say it is very unhealthy, it looks so we are about 15 degrees now from the line which is about one thousand miles. Cape Verde is part of Africa. This day I washed some of my changes and mended my stockings, the sun is so warm the quickly dried. My dear Grace I would rather be looking at you doing of it a good deal. Today two of the deck sweepers was hand cuffed both together back against back and put in the lock up ail night for fighting, both Irish and one is a very bad thief and well known.
June 17th. Wednesday - Wind very light sun very warm sailing very slow, we do expect without a change of weather to have along passage, the great ocean is so still as a mill pool. I do see a few flying fish every other day and that is just ail, I like to see them.
June 18th. Thursday - The wind much the same as yesterday fair what it is this evening the breeze got up, sailing now about 10 knots a hour, we expect to have a good breeze all night very keenly at the present I hope it will be so.
June 19th. Friday - This day we got a change of weather rain for the first time this fortnight we all hope to sail fast now after this. Today two of the sailors fought and were put in irons, they are very often disagreeing here, I am very sorry to see some of them Knocked and kicked about like they are with the mates of the ship and for scarce anything, it would not do for mine agent to do the like I have seen carried on here, we rather expect it will be a rebellion before we reach Melbourne, I hope not.
June 20th. Saturday - 7 weeks today since I left Liverpool, Mersey River, we are going very slow the rain we had yesterday was not much. Warm again now we have had slight speed so far on our journey, saw a large ship today homeward bound from some place, a good many complaining with the heat now especially at night.
June 21st. Sunday - Today fair wind and sailing speedy we go faster by night than day heat of the sun takes of the strength of the wind in this climate. The boson of the ship have been in irons all day for getting intoxicated and not minding his duty. Church service twice today opposite the poop deck sun very warm at this time.
June 22nd. Monday - This morning early we had a good deal of lightning and the previous night, we are very nigh the equator. This morning early we had a heavy fail of rain, it changed the wind contrary for us, going slow now wind very much inclined to ship.
June 23rd. Tuesday - This day we are scarcely making any progress at ail, a large ship just before us in the same state, ships are very scarce about here, and fish also, I thought to see them a good deal more than what we have so far.
June 24th. Wednesday - Midsummers day we are in a tropical climate and sailing very slow but thank God we are exempt of all diseases with all the hot weather and sultry climate and scarce any sickness, our drinking water now is very bad and some feels the need very much and especially those that eat the salt beef, I don't eat but very little of it. Lime juice is made a good use of now with most all on board, but I don't like it.
June 25th. Thursday We are sailing a little faster today than what we have been, the breeze we have got now is fair but light wind we had a heavy fall of rain this morning early. I trust we shall get out of this warm climate soon for to have stronger winds, there are a good many that sleeps on deck and do not go to bed at all but I have not done so as yet. A rainbow got up this morning and changed the weather a little.
June 26th. Friday - This have been a very wet day rain in torrents, this morning early a child died in the saloon belong to one Mr. Shepherds, a child from 8 to 9 months old the first death we have had yet its body was committed to the great deep at half past five in the evening of the same day, the ship's bell foiled just as if it was home to any other funeral, the body was kept longer a good deal than any poor person would for with them on board of a ship they are put over board as quick as possible, birth, death is no respecter of persons. The parents of the child was in much trouble. I think it looked more melancholy than buried in the earth, the passengers ran in crowds from fore to haft of the ship to see it consigned to the great deep sea. I thought very much about my dear children at the time but no children come as near as everyones own, I find it so for my part.
June 27th. Saturday - We have got a fine breeze at this time but not quite fair although slipping over the water very speedy. Tell James Curnow we are going over the water just like our skip slipping over the runners but far better to be riding in the "Titan". I should write a little more concerning different things but I have very much inconvenience not so good a chance for writing as I thought I should have when at home. The say we crossed the line today but we had no shaving on board like of ships to leave us know,
June 28th. Sunday - We have got a strong breeze today, we had a squall about dinner time and rifled our fore to gallant sail, a weather sheet it split it like a siviling, then the sailors was obliged to go every man aloft in the gale and get another in the place of it, the squall was not very lasting, obliged to reef royals and sky sail and sail with top sails. Sunday we passed inspection for cleanliness by the doctor before Church from ten to half past ten and then go to Church but it don't but a slight congregation attend.
June 29th. Monday - We have the east trade winds at this time some squalls but not lasting, those squalls sometimes does a good deal of harm. We are on the African coast between the equator and the Cape of Good Hope now hoping if the breeze continues we shant be long before reach the Cape. Saw two large ships last evening nigh, one homeward bound and the other bound off. Ships look very beautiful at a small distance on the water.
June 30th. Tuesday - Last of the month. This day we sailed very close to a island or a reef of rocks, it caused very great consternation in the ship, he was steering direct for them and we expect if it had been by night as it was by day we should have been lost but providence guided us and we escaped them, they about ship at once and no delay. A quantity of birds of different sizes flew around the ship almost in the riggins, from this place the looked very pretty. The captain is not thoroughly acquainted with the road he has taken a course but few do take to go to Australia for speed, trust the Lord will guide us safe to our port. The black cook killed a pig today on board but not very fat,
July 1st. Wednesday - We have a good breeze at the time but not fair wind, but it is not much satisfaction to write. I do hear so much different stories in the course of a day but I don't intend to write no more than I can get the fact of. I saw a ship today homeward bound going before the wind splendid. I saw a good many fish today kept up with the ship for many miles, it was a good sight to see them springing up out of the water. This evening I saw land not a great distance of for many miles long, we sailed south east of it, it is belonging to the Brazils in South America- Some of the passengers is getting tired, and sayinq they wisht the would put them into the Brazils.
July 2nd. Thursday - We have still contrary winds tacking very often. The land is still in sight sailing very close to it, we were as far West as we can go. Today we see Param Bocoa harbour in South America the land we have seen for some hundreds of miles the sailors say it is a fine place for fruit, I think it is a beautiful place I can see the trees that is surrounding it and the state land looking very fertile, we see a ship just ahead of ours bound just in our course for same place.
July 3rd. Friday - We are still tacking of the land we have in sight, it is nothing new to see the inexperienced sailors on board the "Titan" to be knocked and kicked up and down like any other dog, the 2nd. mate is a barbarous rogue, I should be very glad to see him tied up by the heels and whipt for his illusuage to the crew. I saw a large bird this evening, the say it was a eagle it was a very large bird flew very high just over the ship.
July 4th. Saturday - South America in sight and not far off. Wind ahead drifting us on to the shore obliged to tack very often, This morning we saw some men making towards us on the water, supposed them to be in distress first sight of them, but they were the natives of the place in a kind of boat or canoe fishing, 4 of them, they had red clothes on but their boat looked more like a raft tied together than anything else till the heaved up close by us, large swells going and sometimes could not see them for a good bit, many in our boat would not like to be in their place, l shall remember the 4th. July 1857 perhaps as long as I live while on the water leaving my native home, it is a day kept up by the Americans for gaining their independence, this day all the crew had a holiday and the was ail obliged to dress up in ribbons and masks and disguise themselves to please our captain as being a Yankee and the gentry for amusement, in the first place there was Washington that was the greatest of there men at the time, stricked up in large letters and Independence and Liberty around the ship and the sailors and young women passengers draped themselves as gay as they could to dance with the sailors and then one of the pigs took on deck and its tail greased to run after, some fun amongst so much people you must think, one of the sailors caught the tail in his mouth and held him and then a great laughter and likewise a greasy pole or spar fixed perpendicular on deck to climb for anyone who chose to do so, a French chap sailor mounted it after a long time trying it, with a tidy mess about him and many other exploits which I need not make.
July 5th. Sunday - We are still sailing very slow belong tacking still. South America still in sight most so hot as when we crossed the line and that is a week since. I saw a fine town belonging to South America, sailed very little the past week.
July 6th. Monday - We sailed fast last night, today sailing slow very nigh her right course to within a point or so, if the same wind was coming over her stern as it is her bows we should be travelling fast. The black cook killed a sheep today, poor as a crane.
July 7th. Tuesday - This day we are sailing a good bit faster than what we have been. Thank God I am still in full possession of good health and have been ever since I left home. My sickness have been nothing to mention of. We have lost sight of South America. I was hoping I should see Rio Janeiro the Brazil harbour but we got of to sea in deeper water and a good job too for us.
July 8th. Wednesday - We are in the South Atlantic Ocean going very speedy at this time we hope to reach the Cape in a short time may God speed us safe over the mighty waters. This day the 2nd. mate illused one of the quarter masters very bad for no offence and the passengers rose against him and hissed at him as he would another dog. He is the worst captain that ever I saw to them that is under him, when he speaks there is but few that understand him and there is but few that have any respect for him.
July 9th. Thursday - today we have a very wet day and wind light when we get a heavy fall of rain generally it goes calm, they say we are about three or four and twenty degrees south of the line, we passed Trinadada Islands yesterday, in the morning early, some saw it but I did not, the weather is changing now going colder days short dark, with clear weather about 6 in the evening. The Doctor's assistant put in irons last night for stricking a passenger a very forward chap he, it is scarcely a day pass away without some occurrence some way or another, it is a great many bad exercises carried on here and especially with the females sex, up by night and in bed by day.
July 10th. Friday - We are sailing slow and still inclined to rain we have got loud thunder and heavy rain this afternoon, I never saw it rain so heavy at home.
July 11th. Saturday - today we have got more breeze than we have had, we was almost becalmed this past two days, going from 6 to 8 knots a hour now but the wind is very fluctuating change quick, this evening we had a heavy gust of wind which sent us over the water very fast but not in its course by two points.
July 12th. Sunday - We have a very squally day, this morning it was so heavy a gale that it split our foremast stay sail sheet like a thread and after this it rained heavy and changed the wind right ahead, the sailors were busy today securing the damages, wind blowing strong still but sailing very slow on account of heavy wind.
July 13th. Monday - Wind almost ahead still going slow, according to the wind we have got, I like to be riding fast be where it will if it is in a donkey cart.
July 14th. Tuesday - Today we have got a beautiful day but wind low and sailing slow.
July 15th. Wednesday - we have fine weather and scarce any wind and last night the same, the great ocean is so still as a mill pool, "Titan" rolling from side to side and scarcely moving at all. Saw some Cape pigeons today they are pretty looking bird something larger than our pigeon at home. We are now about 30S, Latitude, if we reach 25 then we shall take our degrees East Longitude, there was a Irish chap put in irons over night for insulting someone, it caused a very great noise in the ship I thought it would be a uproar all through and worse than what it was but ended.
July 16th. Thursday - a warm day today and sailing slow wind very little what it is fair but it is so changeable that it cant depend but a short time together. I lost my old Hymn Book today, fell overboard my best companion I had. The captains gig boat was lowered today with 4 sailors the chief mate, doctor and purser and some saloon passengers for a excursion trip as it was fine weather and so mild, they sailed a good piece from the ship, the looked very pretty on the water.
July 17th. Friday - this day a good breeze going about 9 knots a hour with stensails set, passengers cheered up again very much as they was very much down hearted this past two days, I shall be very glad to reach Melbourne myself for to get out of this sinful wicked place, it is the worst place I ever saw for all sorts of exercises, there is not much rest at night or day with the card players females as well as the men nor can hardly come to table at meal time with them so thick and if the table is not fitted out at meal times they are close to elbows end they can hardly find time a good many of them to eat their meat much less fit it.
July 18th. Saturday - Fair wind now sailing fast, we reached the Cape of Good Hope but a good bit from it, we shall steer in another direction now shortly, 8 weeks this day since we left the Mersey River Liverpool.
July 19th. Sunday - This day the stensail boom parted, sailors very busy most of the day on account of a squall which arose in the morning, they were obliged to get another as quick as possible. I saw some Albatrosses and Cape Pigeons today and a large shark going with the ship with full speed, a good many whales have been seen with the passengers but I have not seen either one as yet. A fight took place last night in lower steerage with two men from Newcastle one of them had his bag cut in pieces and a bottle of liquor sealed down taken out of it by his comrade which was sent by him as a present for a neighbour in Australia, and some other things stole as well, and that begun the fight.
July 20th. Monday - fair wind now going fast heavy swells of seas going, did not sleep much last night in consequence of her rolling from side to side. Today the weather is colder than last week, take a jacket again now. A woman fell over the steps today and got hurt very much in the back.
July 21st. Tuesday - Many could not stay in their beds last night on account of her going so fast and rolling in the water going now from 14 to 16 knots a hour. it is nothing very strange now to see a man or women deprived of their meal especially if it is skiffy or anything or anything wet in a open vessel and a heavy fall to their backside over the bargain and then laugh at with them that is on their legs afraid to move, it is very familiar here to see women's garters and higher up too, I have been very sorry to see them poor things, many a time I am glad my dear wife that you are not here. I have been very sorry to see old men thrown from their legs when the ship have been lurched very much, there is two or three here as old to look at as Uncle Tommy Harry Frenchmen, weak eyes like him too. We have a cold day today and a person would never think the weather would change so quick, last week hot and this week cold.
July 22nd. Wednesday - Wind still fair but not sailing so fast as yesterday, days are short, sun rises about 7 sets about h past 5, very strange to me to see such short days in July, albatrosses and Cape pigeons very numerous, it is a pretty sight to see them flying around the ship. Cape hens are also mixed with them.
July 23rd. Thursday - Passed Gough Islands between Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope in 40s. Latitude, weather very cold and wet the greater part of the passengers remained below deck, several birds were caught, they looked beautiful swimming in the water close to the ship like ducks. 2 months today since we left Liverpool.
July 24th. Friday - Wind changeable and weather cold snow and sleet a great part of the way. I expect it is hot at home my dear wife, blew very hard while getting tea but no harm done.
July 25th. Saturday - Wind fair but not much of it, weather still cold, passengers greater part below deck. Birds still plenty sailing through the Southern Oceans.
July 26th. Sunday - a good breeze of wind but still cold. We have been as far as 50s. Latitude. Melbourne stands 38 East Longitude.
July 27th. Monday - Wind still fair sailing from 14 to 16 knots an hour, it is pleasant to see our ship going over the water so fast.
July 28th. Tuesday - Wind not quite fair, sailing slow, fine weather overhead, air sharp just like it is between Michaelmas and Christmas good weather for running after the hounds or going about shooting, or travelling a long journey but can't exercise ourselves much here. Passengers hopes blighted on account of calm weather, very little will do this.
July 29th. Strong wind near by head the severest day since we left Liverpool. The strong wind broke the main top sail yard arm and carried away one of the jib sheets, sails most ail furled, the great pool which was so still yesterday is now foaming with white water, ship leaning on one side just like the roof of a house, men and women falling over one another, seas running very high. A great many short of meat by means if the rough weather.
July 30th. Fair wind today going fast more pleasant sailing than yesterday, a very rough night last night not many slept in bed, a good many things broke up in consequence of her rolling from side to side, almost think we were going to capsize. The stensail boom strike the water, all damages erected again at this time.
July 31st. Friday - The conclusion of another month and I am still in the possession of good health, we have had some sickness since this cold rough weather is come in, seas running very high and wind very cold today.
August 1st. Saturday - The seas is got more peaceable than yesterday but very cold wind, wind very nigh fair, days very short and nights long 10 weeks this morning since we left Liverpool, I hope we shant be long going to Melbourne now to get out of cold weather.
August 2nd. Sunday - A dirty cold day this day wind very sharp and not much dinner to warm our stomachs, not much like Sunday at home, I think.
August 3rd. Monday - This day head winds, things looking rather against us at the present but we must look for ward for the better, birds still plenty.
August 4th. Tuesday - This day very rough, hard to stand on the deck although not seeming much danger, going about 14 miles a hour I think. I never saw the Almighty's power displayed so much before as those few weeks while here on the seas. One day have seas running in swells like mountains and the next day the great ocean is so still as any pond, and many other things I might describe if time and paper would permit me. This is a fine place for what the world calls "Life". Plenty of fiddle playing and dancing here, and whoreing carried on to a great excess. There is one wench in particular here who is married and going out to her husband from about Yorkshire, a worse female I never saw, in the bed by day and up most all night they say with the men.
August 5th. Wednesday - I saw some fish today for the first time this good bit, and a large bird, the largest I ever saw, today one of the deck sweepers was put to stand up against a post and his arms put around it and hand cuffed for some hours, till he shook like a leaf on a tree, because he did not attend to his place. A good many here at this time very lousy, I think not many except.
August 6th. Thursday - Fine weather today for winter, ship sailing fast now. We are gone many miles since last evening but the Captain keeps us in ignorance very much.
August 7th. Friday - Fair wind but very cold, good hearty weather, we should not feel it so cold if we could exercise the blood but my feet chilled sometimes very much, I expect my dear wife you have fine weather. This is harvest month with you. I hope you will have a plentyful harvest and likewise have bread at a cheap rate.
August 8th. Saturday - We have got fair wind and a strong breeze. I hope it will if please God continue with us for a little while. I am longing to hear the sound of land ahead to have a release from this confinement and likewise to be working,
August 9th. Sunday - We have snow today standing on the deck, sleet and ice most of the day, a very bleak and cold day, not much congregation assembled to Church today.
August 10th. Monday - I think this is the coldest day I ever saw, It is here I know chief part of the passengers below deck cant shew up, and a good many of them in the bed hardly seem to know how to pass away their time.
August 11th. Tuesday - Fair wind but not very strong a very gloomy day thick with sleet and ice coming down, a great many suffer from cold feet at this time.
August 12th. Wednesday - It come to blow very hard after dinner yesterday and still continuing rough last night. I never saw the ship go so fast before since we been out. Against this morning decks almost covered in snow, we are in a very cold climate, we are down south so far, sheets most ail furled and going over the water like a bird.
August 13th. Thursday - Wind a hurricane today, I believe this is the severest day we have had, seas running in mountains sheets flying like riselings, carried off jib sheet and the chief mate obliged to cut many other sheets to save maps and ship.
August 14th. Friday - A rainy day wind changed, got side wind now this last to days, the sailors and passengers been nearly washed off the decks with the seas breaking in over her and likewise breaking in the lower deck causing of us trouble to dip and clean it up and pick up broken fragments of earthenware, another thing this night have been a very heavy night of weather which caused the passengers to be in great fear that they were going to be drowned, this have been a long and heavy gale but no wreck without canvass, we had a great deal of canvass carried away, we ought to be going in this gale under close reef topsails, but our Captain is a very venturous fellow. This is Lelant Fair Day. I hope my dear family you have beautiful weather and that you are all in good health as I am at this time.
August 15th. Saturday - The wind is ceased a little to what it was but a strong breeze now, I trust we shant have such a gale no more while going to Melbourne.
August 16th. Sunday - Twelve weeks since we left Liverpool, it is very long to be on the water, getting very tied so long we have scarcely any day today so far.
August 17th. Monday - This day we have a strong and pleasant breeze sailing very fast. We have a quantity of birds still which have kept up with us some hundreds of miles, some are very much like our snipes at home about the bill and head but all duck feet.
August 18th. Tuesday - Weather a little warmer again than it was, we are in the Pacific ocean now, this is the best ocean of the four, very little wrecks here.
August 19th. Wednesday - Days getting longer again now very pleasant and beautiful now to be on the water. The ships carpenter and sailors got drunk this day and neglected their duty, sailors and carpenter put in irons in the lockup which caused a very great uproar, and it caused the Captain to be on his guard with his revolver pistol if anyone did look to interfere with him, the rest of the sailors struck on need of it.
August 20th. Thursday - We are sailing fast today going between 9 & 10 miles a hour. I saw the largest fish today I ever saw before a large grampus fish, it looked as large in the water as one of our 20 inch pumps in West Whlalfred. The sailors which were put in irons, one of them got flogged today for being saucey.
August 21st. Friday - We have a fine day the warmest we have had this sometime, with a pleasant breeze, so you see it is different changes of climate in going to Australia. I think we must be coming very nigh at this time according to climate. I saw the splendid sight of fish today I ever saw before, they were many thousand they would spring out of the water like hounds coming out of a brake in full chase after each other.
August 22nd. Saturday - We have pleasant weather now 13 weeks expired since we have been on the water which will make 91 days, this is a long fatigueing journey, but thank God still in extreme good health.
August 23rd. Sunday - This is 14 Sundays on the water hoping it will be the last, they say we have from 4 to 5 hundred miles more to get to Melbourne. The sailors is to be kept in prison on hard biscuit and cold water the remaining of the voyage. The minister preached a farewell sermon today.
August 24th. Monday - We have fine weather now to see days lengthening a good bit, and moon light nights. A half allowance of stores delivered this, we expect now we are getting very nigh. The ship sprung a leak today all hands of crew and passengers to pumps, it is a good thing we have got nigh our journey, they was a good while before they could find it out but at last it was discovered and stopped.
August 25th. Tuesday - We have fine weather and fair breeze now but I think we have been here most long enough for the rats, bugs and lice is in this ship thick as the can well be, one young man in the steerage had his best coat torn in pieces with the rats and a good job he was not torn up too for they are most thick enough to eat a man or anything they meet with.
August 26th. Wednesday - There was a very great excitement today with the passengers, that is the cable chain getting under way that is giving us to suppose we are getting very nigh, most everyone on board getting very dissatisfied with the seafaring life. You would laugh if you was here to see us at a early hour getting skilly for breakfast and it is who and who for life can get in first at 5 and before in the morning.
August 27th. Thursday - It is nigh time to reach our port for it is a proper destruction here every other night, on tables forms benches partitions and old utensils that is done for use, a great many is in to move fearing they will have their legs broke or if got to bed to have the screening knocked in upon them, those riotous parties are obliged now to eat their meat on the floor. Like any other dog. This day there was a women delivered of a double birth a boy and girl, the first we have had since we have been to sea, poor thing she have had a bad place for her confinement with the tumult and noise which is here every day and night.
August 28th. Friday - We have got very warm weather now but sailing very slow. If it is so warm in proportion in the summer as it is here now in winter it must be very warm. 97 days gone, it is a long time to be on the water, it will be giving you all to think that I am lost but thank God it is not so. We have a christening on board today of two twins, they are called after the ships name Henry Titan Leech and Elizabeth Titanias Leech. The saloon passengers came down to see them baptised and gave the parents of the children 4 pound, to help them and doctor's expenses all free of charge, the women is very well in her circumstances. Seven weeks since we saw a ship before today, today with some suprise we saw some.
August 29th. Saturday - sailing very fast now, this morning got sight of the main land Australia about 8 o'clock, a very cheering day this 98 days since we left Liverpool. The first land we saw was Cape Northberland and then Cape Ottoway and light house, a splendid light revolving, see it a long way over the water and the land looking beautiful,
August 30th. Sunday - This morning about 4 o'clock we have signal for pilot, on the quarter deck with all colors of fire and rockets, when the pilot came he enquired if there was any sickness on board - the answer was I, o ", then he came on board and took charge of the ship and about 9 o'clock we reached Port Phillip Heads which will make 99 days, when we got inside the Heads the Inspector of health came on board, turned the ship against the wind a small time for him and performed his duty and then we left for the main port, we went with cheered spirits and delightful weather. It appears the water here is shallow and dangerous, but a most beautiful Bay, This evening about between 8 and 9 o'clock we dropped anchor in Hobson's Bay and slept on board all night which is Sunday night which is 15 Sundays on the water. We had a most beautiful night and a splendid sight of lights which surround Melbourne and Williamstown, not many slept tonight.
August 31st.  and last, which is Monday after an elapse of 100 days sail. Thank God safely arrived at the town of Melbourne and in extreme good health. We have had a long and tiresome journey but have had good speed on account of sickness and disorders, we have not had but one death and one double birth. I shall not give you much description about Melbourne but it is the largest and finest town I was ever in before, it is impossible to describe the sceneries and sights which I have seen since I have left you my dear wife. This evening I reached Collingwood and slept at cousin Elizabeth Trythalls where I was entertained first rate, her was glad to see me after so long a time.
September 1st. Tuesday - I am still at Collingwood and they are all first rate.
September 2nd. Wednesday - This day I left for Ballarat distance about 80 miles which cost me 4 pound to be conveyed there with my luggage, a costly place this. Had a wet day to set out with and bad roads drays going very slow.
September 3rd. Thursday - and September 4th. Friday - We cooks our meat now on the road and sleeps in the bush by night by furze fires something like the gipsies at home, fix our abode which we can make it most convenient. It is no easy matter to go abroad in a foreign land I can assure you.
September 5th. Saturday - We have very fine weather today but in consequence of so much rain we have had, the roads are dreadful bad for cattle. We cant go with four horses in a dray more than 10 or 15 miles a day so you must think. September 6th. Sunday - This morning we started 3 of us through the bush to walk it. Distance somewhere about 30 miles and a very dirty heavy road and the afternoon came to rain and held till we reached Ballarat which was in the evening of the same day. After I got in the town I made enquiry after my brothers and neighbours, I was very quickly taken to where Zacharias Williams did put up and then I was alright and then very soon I got to the tent with brothers John and William and found them both well,
September 7th. Monday - This day very much fatigued after my journey. This day I have seen cousin Jane Mary and John Semmens and at their houses and tell Aunt Betsy or cousin Grace that I have given them their parcels all and that they are well.
September 8th. Tuesday - This day walking about Ballarat diggings and township, meet with a great many neighbours in my travels and all very free. Ballarat is a splendid place but a quantity here doing very bad indeed.
September 9th. This evening Wednesday I got my luggage in the tent which was a week coming here from Melbourne, I paid my passage to ride here and then obliged to walk.
September 10th. Thursday - This day we commenced enlarging our tent, we made an addition of ten feet more which is composed of calico and furniture lining, we are not long fixing up a dwelling house in this country, the greatest part of the houses in this country is built with calico.
September 11th. Friday and 12th. Saturday - those days we completed our tent and built out beds a double one and a single one, William and myself do sleep together and John by himself, and we are very comfortable, and then we made our table firm and stools, but not drilled legs and fine work like at home but answer our purpose just the same. I suppose you would laugh if you could form any idea of things in this country, and we have a nice little stove to cook our meat with if we can get any to cook, but that is the grave point. Four months this day since I left England and since I left you my dear wife and little family. This day I delivered the box to Mrs. Nicholls which Jenkin sent with me.
September 13th. Sunday - and September the 14th. Monday - This day I washed all my dirty clothes which I wore while on ship board.
September 15th. Tuesday - And this day I commenced at work in Ballarat for the first this 4 months. We are four men took to drive under a hill. I have agreed for certainty for a small time, I thought that to be the best for me at the time. the hill is called Pennyweight Hill, it have been a good deal of gold raised on the surface and we have some at this time, but it is a good deal of old ground here now which we have to drive in, but it is still paying for working, the wages is come down a good bit to what it was some little time ago in all the diggings but have agreed for 3 pound, 10/- pr. week or $14. pr. month, that is for each 4 weeks, no five weeks months here 13 months to the year and paid every succeeding week, at the close of the week according as I am told my wages will exceed the average diggers in this country and some have ventured so far that the scarce tell which way to have any meat, and that is not all, some is in debt scores of pounds, this is a bad country for a men that has no money nor friend.
MORMEROD - STEWARD Family Letters.
Transcripts of letters from the ORMEROD - STEWARD Family Letters
Michael GUINANE - 1867 letter from Ballarat, 1881, 1882 letters from Williamstown.
Transcripts of letters from Michael GUINANE in Ballarat and Williamstown regarding gold mining and later joining the Navy.
Transcripts of letters from Ballarat & Williamstown, Victoria, Australia back to Ballina, Tipperary, Ireland in 1867, 1881 & 1882.
Letter transcripts contributed by Margaret Malloy - EMAIL
I have three letters written by Michael Guinane to his family back in Ballina, Tipperary. The earliest is dated 1867 and speaks of the hardships he has endured and the bad luck he has suffered in the gold fields. The other two are from the early 1880s and give another brief history of his bad luck and go on to describe his entering the navy and serving on the Cerberus.
"Father" is Matthew Guinane
"Mother" is Honora Cooney
"Brother" is Matthew Guinane/Gannon b. 1838 in Ballina, Tipperary
"John Matthew" is John Matthew Gannon b. 1865 Brooklyn, NY (which is also where the Bartons were)
All of the above are my direct line. Most of what I know of them is from these letters and a few other things we found in an old box that my great aunts (daughters of John Matthew) had stashed away in their Manhattan apartment.
I don't know much else about Australian connections so i won't be much help to anyone looking for that type of info but I'm happy to share what I do have. - Margaret Malloy (Aug 2002)
Ballarat January 25th, 1867.Dear Father,
Dear Father I hope this letter will find you well I received the sad news of me Poor Mothers death May the Oalmighty god have mercy on her Soul It is now seven years since I have written to home I am grieved to say it It is the reason that I have Ben so unlucky on the digging I often thout of writing But was Disapointed in not sending you money I know a letter from me would be welcome without I supose a few years ago you heard I was married I was Married in Saint Francis Chappel Melbourne to Mary Courtney in February 1859 Shortly after I went to the New Zeland Gold fields But did not stop long things looked Bad there I am very Unsuccessful for the last 7 years [Direct Ballarat Post Office Victoria Ausralia]
I have lost some few hundreads of Pounds But there is thousands more as well as me & do not despair yet I was away of Ballarat for 3 years and had a severe fit of feaver I met with some severe hardships We had too very good children Honora and Anne But and we returning Back to Ballarat the Booth Cauth a cold and Died of Scarlet Feaver it was a severe blow to us I had Doctors and done all I could as I touth the were Both Called after their grand mother Honora was aged 4 year 9 months Anne 3 years 6 months Matt was god Father for the eldest Dear Father I am Sorry I cannot send you any Money at Present But will not Forget you when I have it I have met with so many reverces that I am only recovering meself the wages here at Present is 7 shillings 6 Pence 8 hours work or 2£ 5shilling a week but there is a great deal of broken time in many places do not average 1£ 17 shilling aweek often less every thing here is very Dear A man withe 2 or 3 Children at the Present rate of wages can hardly keep out of dept The mines outside Ballarat is very near all failures there is some Million of money lost and more there is at Present over 4 to 5 hundread miners out of employment in Ballarat there is a great deal of ups and downs here But If ever I get a rise again I will look for something Better than mining Mary has had very Poor health since the Children Died but is getting Better If ever I do well again I hope to return but not to work for me liveing I wish you to Keep yourself as respectable as you can and as well clothed as you Can you have no one know to lok to But yourself Dear Father Send kind love to Matt James and Dennis I hope the are doing Better than here I never wished them to come here For I thout to return If I done well Give my kind love to Me Aunt Winney I supose I can well tell her grief since she lost me Poor Mother I have never felt so lonely in all me life as I have this day Give me Best respects to uncle Patt Parton give me kind love to Mary Barton James Patt John Michael I hope the are well In America I hope all the old Neghbors that is alive is well Dear Father Meself and Mary send our kind love to you and also to her aunt Honora but for her reverses she would not have forgotten her She will Soon write her a letter Honora and Michael is Maried we have not heard of her the 5 years No more at Present Your Affectionate Son Michael Guinean
Williamstown January the 2, 1881.
Adress HMSS Cerberus
HMSS Cerberus To Matthew Guinane
Dear Brother I hope this letter will find you and Mrs and Family well it was but yesterday I received your Adress I received a letter from Miss Honora Tirney from Killaloe It is scarce 12 month ago since I received an acount of of me Brothers James death it grieved me very much I heard he was lost at sea I rote to me Farher then I received the letter Back marked dead in this letter I hear he sold his Place and went to liverpool als that Dennis was Married to Michael Quilligans Daughter and going to sea I wonder I never redeived a letter from him since he left here over 10 years ago Dear Brother it is over ( 7 ) years ago Since I left of Mining and went to Sea I was running Between Melbourne and Sydney als to Sanfrancisco For the last 3 year I am Joined the Victoria Navil Service as Fireman where I am at Present I am Sorry to tell you Me Poor Wife Died the 22 of last June She has been in bad health for the last few years Some 4 years ago before her death we removed to Melbourne She has been the Kindest of Wifes and Best but her health has been bad thes ( 8/10 ) years it Kept me Back very much I whish you to rite to me as soon as you can let me know all the Particulars of Poor James the name of the vessell was there any saved it apears that his wife rote to her sister in Melbourne but she never sent me word as I used not to visit her house I als wish to know all the Particulars of me Father is he alive In his last letter your adress was in it I did not know it untill 2 months ago I got a letter from Killaloe Informing me of his Marige before I read his letter through e left it down Give me kind love to Dennis I hope he is well an Mrs and Family I heard Poor James left one little girl But I will Say more about her some other time This is one of the lovely Christmasts and New Years time I ever had Since I left home I think very much of the Past I cannot enjoy meself This country Is going behind very much I had to Puch to get a long very often there is a great many steamers leaving for all Parts from Melbourne and always a number of idle while I am to sea I have got on Pretty well I have met with but few acidents I had one narow escape in the Citty of Melbourne In a heavy Gale I must Conclude this untill the ( nicet ) Me kind respects to Your Wife I hope you are kind to her you used to be very quiet I would like to now if the likeness of James brought by Dan Cooney to me is it a faithfull one of him I have got Poor health lately I got a sever Cold I am getting better as I rite Me Kind love to Father If alive also your affectionate Brother
Williamstown April the 18th 1882
Dear Brother I hope these lines you well Since I received your letter last month I was gold to hear from you and that and that you were well I wrote you a few hurried lines some time ago Frank Father arived here he said one of me brothers died at sea and ther ther was drowned I am glad it is false I am at Present in the navy I can leave when I like were sworn in every 12 months our pay is 5 shillings a day we have to find our own clothes Why I joined the Navy was to be near me Poor Deceased Wife I could not better meself at that time this Country is not what you think I did not leave of Mining until I had in dept and could not get a living at it Ballarat and the surrounding districts was very bad I went to the Queensland Diggins and failed Came Back to Sydney and joined a steamer I have got on better than Mining the Death of me Poor Wifecost me all had and left me det I wish you to let me know the name of the vessel Brothe James was in when he died where she was bound for was he long sick what he died of and his treatment in general als Me Father if he diedin Liverpool where he is burried how he was situated at the time of his death what happened to his wife I am sorry to have to ask for such aperson it made me sorry to think he should Marry again what he sold the Place for Thomas Guinane Died at Ballarat some time ago I went to Bring the remains of me too Children to Melbourne tohave them placed with their Mother He was buried the day I got to Ballarat I was sorry to hear of Patt Barton's death I heard of Mary and James death when I was in the Sydney side years ago also Aunt Winiford and Uncle Send me kind remembrance to John at New York also to Michael and their Familys I often of late sit and think of the Past. I wonder I never received a letter from Dennis since he left Australia If I was at Sea at the time he was here I would not let him go back I stopped at Mining to long Many men was killed in the mine I was working in after he left I will send you a caple of Paper of St Patrick Day I would wish to hear from you again as soom as you receive this I was Disapointed in getting me likeness taken to send and als of me Deceased Wife this time any likeness you wish to send me I will be glad of them The Cooney are all well John Wife Died years ago he is single Michael turned out a very low caracther through drink I would like to know if the likeness of me Brother James that Dan Cooney brought out with him is a correct one of him Give me Kind love to Brother Dennis also kind respects to his wife and children is her Father and Mother alive Tell James Child her uncle send his Kind love to her I would like her likeness her mother did not stop long single would very much wish she would stop the 12 months I hope young Matthew is a growing a good young man that he is Joined the Catholic young men Society of Liverpool I have no more to say My kind respect to your wife Mrs. Guinane also to John Matthew Your Affectionate Brother Michael Guinane HMSS Cerberus Williamstown
WALLACE / WALLIS family - 1863-1884 letters from McIvor Goldfields
Transcripts of letters from WALLACE family members on the McIvor Goldfields, Heathcote, Victoria to family members in England. Contributed by Sue HOLLOWAY, Nth Qld, Australia.
The WALLACE (sometimes spelt WALLIS) family goes back to a John WALLACE who married Jane SODA. To date, from the letters, we know that they had Mary Elizabeth WALLACE (b. Abt. 1834 Sunninghill, BKS) m.William CHOULES, 1863, Odiham HAM; Frances Joan WALLACE nothing known of her to date except she was a School Teacher, and of course my 2 x G.Grandfather, William WALLACE b. Abt. 1832 Surrey who married Matilda Maude PETERS, 1854, Hampstead MDX. William and Matilda sailed to Australia around 1854, settling around the Heathcote area of Victoria where they had 6 known children. William died of Bronchitis in 1896, aged 64yrs and is buried, with his wife in the Heathcote Cemetery.
My dear Mother I received your kind letter and was glad to hear from Mary that you was better though sorry to hear that you would be obliged or talked of being an out patient at the brompton hospital but sincerely hope that you will soon regain your usual strength I hope dear Mother that you do not want for anything, the first rise that I get I think I must have you out here but I should like to get a permenant home or fixed way of living first the climate of Australia would I am sure agree with you though the society of home you would miss at first though we are growing more civilized every year Mary would do as well out here if not better than at home I do not think the little journey would improve her situation in life but of course when one comes all must come you know dear Mother while one has health you can never want in this colony meat & flour being as cheap as at home meat 4d lb flour 30s 200lb Tea 3d sugar 6d per lb so what we call being hard up out here is having to do without bread & meat & Tea & Sugar butter is a Luxury Cheese & Bacon also butter 2s per lb Cheese 1s 9d Bacon 1s & 6d per lb vegetables are dearer then at home you would buy 3d at home you would lay out 1s here the season are very precarious out here the dry weather at time destroys everythink farming they say does not pay out here but the real money making business is the breeding of sheep always sale for the tallow & wool ultimately this will be one of the richest countries in the world the vine and the Olive will flourish Cotton will grow in some parts Tobacco also the Gold fields will when things fall down to the level of at home in price or in fact they ought to fall lower,, will start with renewed vigour, in fact this country if properly managed ought literally to flow with milk & honey, it will do so some day I am sure, though it may take years to accomplish it, I only want one middling start of about 200£ or I would not say no to one but with the two I think I could soon rear a good home over my head and be able to welcome you all to Australia it does not take a very rich claim to do that if you are only lucky enough to find it, one of my neighbours has made 500£ this last 9 months had that have been my luck I would soon have had you out here but hope on,, the next letter I send will please God contain our portraits that is if no unforseen accident occurs I am still at the Sludge Drain my contract expires July 13th it is pattys birthday today she is 3 years old the children are all quite well and send their love and lots of kisses to their Grandma & Aunts dear Mother I want to ask you somethink about my little willie he is tolerably healthy and very active sharp & quick at learning but his stomach gets large at times medecine does not reduce it in fact he always had a large stomach the doctor here could not tell us the reason but you might have heard or seen some such case,, if you have please let us know I will write to Mary the next mail give my love and Matildas to Mary & Fanny and accept the same yourself dear Mother wishing you health and renewed strength & God bless you all I remain your affectionate son William Wallis.
Dec 21st 1863
My dear Fanny I received your kind letter & 3 Illustrated Papers with the coloured Pictures but no little tale Book it has miscarried, but thank you kindly for the Newspapers & Pictures indeed it made my heart leap with joy on going to the Post Office two letters & 12 Newspapers a double Allowance from dear Mother, your news did indeed cheer my heart, right glad was I to hear such favourable accounts of dear Mothers health and both you & Mary will be blessed here and hereafter for your kindness and thoughtfulness towards her and your brother thanks you and blesses you as tis my place by rights, to guard & tend my Mother the time may come when it may Please God that I may be able to do so well dear Fanny I see by Mothers letter you hardly recognise your brother, tis the beard and Moustache that changes ones appearance the next one I send I will shave and then perhaps you will know me but I suppose I must be changed for I was only a boy when I left home, but I knew your dear face directly I saw it though one would have thought you would have changed more than me though changed in form I knew you by your smile still the same as in the days of merry childhood, you must send this letter to Mother as I have to write to Mary this mail as she has sent me out our new brothers portrait I like the look of him but shall expect your opinion in the next letter he is stouter then you old brother but then your country is not quite so hot as this he looks young how old is he, I hope them all the joy that this world can afford and may God bless them and prosper them in health and wealth and if thay place their trust in him most assuredly he will that must have been a fearful young scamp that tore your dress, I should thought that boys of that description would be sent to where there was masters it must have alarmed you greatly but I am happy he did you no harm. Beyond the tearing of the dress, you talk about a letter from Willie but I am afraid you will have to wait for her writes so badly though quick at learning his books I send Harry to school but neither gets on so fast as I should wish the schools are very roughly managed out here I am afraid . I shall have to take to give a little teaching of an evening I have no news to send for I see by the papers I have from home that tell you more than I can Matilda will write some of these times to someone of you but she is to busy this mail the cold weather is with you now, the hot with us a Merry Christmas & happy New Year to you all from us all, Matilda, & the children send their love to Mother & Mary not forgetting yourself they are all well I am thankful to say, I am also gald to hear such a good acount of your own health and sorry to hear of Mary suffering with boils but hope they are better ere this when I have any I poultice with Linseed of a night and use Holloways Ointment in the day time, and now with kind love to dear Mother & mary and dear little Fanny I remain your affectionate brother W Wallis PS I had almost forgot it is ten thousand kisses from the little ones. That I shall be able to do so I shall never forget it when my children gets a little older I shall not be tied so heavily down and I may then with the blessing of God go ahead the New Zealand diggins are very expensive for a poor man to start at,, but the Gold is not all taken out of Victoria yet we will have our time yet patience & perseverance as made your son a good hardy little man and will yet make his pile a big chap tried my sludge drain for one week & could not keep it and though little I can do it in ease at ½ the days work sometimes 3 hours the stalwart Puddlers look on the little sludge contractor with respect for we pride ourselves on being good men at work,, Puddling machines is the heaviest work in the colony requiring pretty stout men and willing to,, the shovelling in my Drain is very heavy but then I know at what part of Drain to do the work and the sludge does the rest and they seeing me do so easily imagined a big fellow would do it in less than no time twice the big men tried it and the sludge beat them and the Drain choked,, so they say I am the best little man they ever saw excuse me this Colonial blowing but if I did not tell you no one else would at least not just yet With kind love from Matilda and the little ones to you Mary and Fanny Love to you all from me I remain your affectionate & Young son William Wallis
Nov 23rd 1865
My Dear Sisters I received the registered Box with dear Mothers watch and the Brooch for little Paty quite safe may the time come when I shall be able to repay you for your kindness in sending it out to me we shall value the precious relics highly. I thought when I gazed on the watch, had you a tongue to speak what you might be able to tell me about my dear Mother.how often has her dear face looked upon yours mayhap had you the sense of hearing you might have told me of the deep heartfelt sigh that arose as her thoughts wandered to Australias shores, but that dear old Brooch brought my mother more before mine eyes often have I seen her wear it as we wended our way to church sole ornament in our early troubles. many thanks to you dear Mary for sending the watch and brooch I hope your dear little girl is getting along nicely I am thankful to say we are all well everything is very dear owing to the dry weather but I hope it will please God to send us wet before long Flour is £3-8s per 2 hundred pounds 4d per lb by small quantities meat is 6d per lb such as it is being very poor owing to there being so little feed for the cattle Potatoes 12 shillings per hundred pounds Butter 1/6 per pound the gardens all dried up there will be little or no fruit this year in our district but it is not quite so bad else where I have no sludge Drain now nothing but the Pick and shovel as there is no work to be got in fact I am hardly fitted for the heaviest kind of labour in the colony even if I could get it but those that are able are not always sure to get it at least not for any length of time. I hear meat is very dear in England but I hope the cattle Plaguewill soon be stayed. Wilie will write next mail but we delayed to long this give my love and thanks to Aunt betsy for the papers. I am glad to hear dear Fanny you have such affectionate scholars may God Bless and prosper you and them and may God Bless and prosper yourself and husband dear Mary in this world and that one to come the mail was late this time and I am somewhat hurried so I must conclude with kind love from Matilda and all the little ones to you dear Mary and you dear fanny I was very much pleased to hear of your kind reception by your friends at Cookham dear dear Fanny give my love to all Uncles and Aunts I hope Uncle William is alright as you have said no more about his illness and now goodbye and God bless to you both my best respects to your dear husband dear Mary with fervent wishes for your welfare I remain your affectionate brother William Wallis, dear Fanny and Mary my love to you also the watch one of Maffysand Windhams Cornhill,, No 1931 Silver lever may you soon see it again for I or Willie will not be far off.
March 22nd 1866
My Dear Aunt Fanny I received your kind letter with the card quite safe and sound for which we all thank you kindly with our love Dear little Fanny thought it was something to eat when I showed it to her she put it into her mouth little Fred was very pleased with his; and Patty sends her love to Dear Aunty and thinks her picture the prettiest of them all harry does not care much about his because they are all little girls Dear Aunty I like mine very well indeed Dear Aunty you wished to know how far I was in arithmatic I am in compound addition I am in Geography and Grammer and I am in the fourth class Now Dear Aunty I must say something about Henry he has been through the second book once and he his in seven lines of addition and he reads very nicely patty is in ba freddy is learning his ABC Mother has but little time to teach them they are not so forward has they ought to be Mother thanks you kindly for little fannys lace she is such a fat little girl and always laughing but she is not so fat as freddy is, we all send our love and a kiss to cousin Edith I must now conclude with harry and Pattys and Freddys and Fannys and Mothers and my kind love to Dear Aunt Mary and yourself and remain your affectionate Nephew William John Richard Wallace
June 26th 1867
My dear Fanny
Bald Hill Heathcote
June 19, 1868
My Dear Aunt Fanny and Mary I received your nice letter and also the Book for which I thank you kindly you wish to know which boy I thought the best I think James was the best boy although like myself they both had very bad tempers but I will try like them to govern mine, there was a Concert at the Town hall for the Amataur Band we could not afford to go in but a friend of Fathers was at the door taking the tickets and he saw Harry and I and he passed Mother and Harry and I in patty went home I liked it very well I am not away from home now am working with father but we have not got any gold for a long time Dear Aunt Fanny will you please to enclose the little piece of paper to Aunt Betsy for Mother, Mine and my Brothers and sisters love to my Cousins and to Aunt Mary and except the same Dear Aunty from your affectionate Nephew William John Richard Wallace
Dear fanny will you pleas to send the little Note to my sister Betsy I am sorry to be so troublesome but I cannot think why she has not written nor you either Dear fanny when I wrote to my Sister I enclosed yours in hers has William did not write that Mail because he was not in very good spirits I must now conclude with my fond love to Mary and yourself from your affectionate Sister Matilda Wallace
October 5th 1884
My Dear Sister Mary the years roll by and age comes on, but it will be sweet if we meet beyond bye on the Golden Shore of heaven for I fear we shall meet no more in this world but if we meet on the banks of the Beautiful River the greeting will be all the sweeter after so many years absence from each other, I did not think when I left England that I should never see you again this side of the grave but it is a blessing that we can write to each other occasionally I hope you received my portrait safe, you will percieve by that the grey hairs are coming fast I hope my brother and my nieces are well yourself also for health is a great blessing,, I enjoy very good health though my life at times is rather more solitary than I should choose if I had the power to choose, I am thankful to say Matilda and the girls, Boys,, Grandchildren are all in first class health, I hope trade is prosperous with you,, the Girls get plenty of work,,but the pay is very cheap out here My two sons Harry and Fred are shearing they make very well at it Fred is a first class Shearer,, Willie has left the police force through his accident his pension is 89£ per year he has started Hotel keeping at a place called Tallangatta he is doing very well he has a good business wife he rents the house and tells me has laid away lately between 900 and 1000£ lately but now he is quite clear and hopes to see Europe in five years I wish his hope realized and then you will have the pleasure of seing my son youur nephew and one of the boldest Troopers of Victoria,, at least was at one time a young man universally liked a good son and kind brother. But my other Boys are good, a little of the Wallace temper in them is their only fault the Girls are two good Girls too My two nieces by their kind loving letters to their cousins are real Good also I am sure forgive this prattle about my children,, I think the Bush man is getting old I hear you may say but the welfare of our children is I am shure all in all both to yourself as well as ourselves I know I wish my two nieces a safe journey through life,, you will see by this though I have not made money in the Colony one of my children is in a fair way to do it Fred has a little money also but Harry with his three children the Girls and myself our account at the bank is very small,, but thank God for good health a good house to live in and plenty to eat,, and we may still hope for the pile Claim yet while Health hold Good and now good bye God Bless you all Love from Matilda and the whole of us to the whole of you I remain dear Mary your loving brother.
Susan Welsford WENBORN (nee GULLOCK), journal
Transcript of the journal of Susan Welsford WENBORN (nee GULLOCK), 1844-1925 covering the voyage from England to Sydney in 1843 and life in the Colonies, particularly at Bendigo, Victoria.
"It was in the year 1844; the writer of this narrative first saw light of day, born on a Sunday the 22nd of December. The old saying is, to be born on a Sunday, is to be bright, bonnie, and Gay.
At the age of nine, I left England with my Mother. My Father had left the year before with his Brother, they like many more wanted to see the new land of Australia where the gold fever was raging. The ship in which they sailed was named the 'Gibson Craig'. They landed in Sydney on the 1st April 1852, and like many, more went down to Victoria where the yields of gold were much larger. My Mother and I left England in March 1853, sailing from Liverpool in the Barque 'Bloomer' (three masted with no squaresails on the mizenmast). I can remember the 'Great Britain' being build. It was pointed out to me, and being a child of keen observation, it made quite an impression on me.
We arrived in Sydney on the 29th July 1853 after being on the water for five months, and I remember getting down the side of the vessel into the boat, which took us to the Quay at the bottom of George Street. It seemed a very long street and there at a Fruit Shop, I first saw the fruit 'Loquat'. George Street had many Gum Trees, but very few shops. We had a Cottage at Balmain next to the Parsonage, and had to get to it by Steamboat. I remember our first Christmas Dinner was a disappointment as the Duck left at the Boat Office, had been half eaten by rats. Mother bought it all ready for cooking, and of course, no Plum Pudding. The heat being so great in Sydney when my Father returned from Victoria, he took Mother and I over to Tasmania as the climate there was more like England. He bought a weatherboard house opposite 'Lipscomb' with it's well known garden, and noted for it's jams and preserves.
Many a time I have gone over and been given a pear. I can almost taste the flavour now as I write, and it was from there that Joshua gave me a Spaniel Dog.
While in Hobart I went to school at Madame Petingall's in Macquarie Street, and it was there I took the measles. I had to stay in bed and while there, the great Flood came. It was just after the Market was opened, and it did a lot of damage.
I remember a house floated down the river, which ran through the town. I also remember going to the Cathedral and seeing the consecration of the new Bishop. It was there that a mass of pink and white roses grew to perfection. I remember seeing Mount Wellington with the snow, and seeing the 'Ticket of Leave' with Yellow Stripes on their Blue trousers and a servant was not allowed out after 8 o'clock at night.
'Watchorn' was the name of the Draper there. After about 18 months, my Father sold the property, and we sailed in the 'Brigantine Emma' (2 Masted Square Rigged Vessel) to Victoria. We landed at Geelong, and my Father left us to return to the Goldfields. Later he sent for us and we met him in Melbourne. My Father got a Wagon and Horses, but first stored some trunks at a place named Pictsford Savage & Co and then we started on the way to Bendigo. I shall never forget that journey.
After going over the Keilor Plains and even through the Black Forest over the Corduroy Roads. Just at nightfall, a storm came on, thunder and lightening, and the rain came down in torrents. My father got my Mother and I a bed in what would be now, a 'Shanty' in Black Forest. I can remember the bed with two gutters each side for the water to run away, and the heavy falling of trees. I fell asleep until morning broke, and then all trace of the Storm had faded from my recollections. I sat in the Wagon and learnt the song 'Ben Bolt'. Nothing failed my memory. At last, Eaglehawk was reached, it was evening and the lights were burning in the tents.
A Brother of my Father met us and helped us to get settled, but my Mother felt lonely, but her brave heart soon got reconciled, and going to Mr. Simpson's Store she got some 'Drugget' (Course woollen cloth) with which Father lined the tent and afterwards, he got some Slabs and built two rooms. It was about where the Cemetery now stands.
After a while, the Township was formed, and a Mr Simpson moved his store. He had a dog called 'Trusty' and when his master used to go to Bendigo, for Eaglehawk was 4 miles from the town, he would leave his Store in charge of this man, and his two nieces would stay and mind it for him. I used to go too, and the fun we had, with 'Trusty' and my dog. After awhile some girls told my Mother of a school they went to at Sailors Gully, a 'Mrs Mac Whirters', (Her son is now at the Beehive Store). The girls, now Mrs Glen, and Mrs Weir took me with them. My Father would meet me at Lightning Hall and take me across the gully, it was very wide, and the number of Miners very large but the Gold taken from there was very rich. It was from there that I would walk with my Father, and Mother into Bendigo to attend Church. It was a Slab building in Bridge St, and the Clergyman, and old white haired man, and afterwards, 'All Saints' was erected. At first, a large tent served for the purpose, and the Rev Gregory officiated. Stumps of trees served as seats, and I remember the Rev Gregory used to always give me a piece of bread and butter. Finding it too far for my Mother to walk he kindly said he would come to Eaglehawk as he found so many adherents willing to attend, and at 3 o'clock every Sunday, he would walk in his white surplice to the service. A Mr Lowde and his son used to get the place cleaned and ready, but being only a child I cannot say that much about it. I do know his son was killed in the Clarence Mine, much to his father's grief. Mother eventually got tired of the 'Diggings' so my Father left and went to Prahran and bought a small house in a little street off Chapel Street, which was then noted for an Auctioneer named 'Zorab'.
There the Church of England was built in Chapel Street, and strange that our Rev Gregory was moved there by Bishop Perry. While we were there Mother heard of the death of 'Grandpa Welsford' who died at a terrace in Latterdown, Bristol. He fretted after we left. He had a very successful Merchant at 144 Leadenhall St London. He was in the Wool, and Wine business with the Cape of Good Hope. His Brother 'Samuel' being amongst the earliest settlers there. Then the Wars began with the 'Hottentots' (Natives of the Cape of Good Hope), and while they lasted, business must have been very quiet. It was during those Wars that the ship 'Walsford' was lost at sea with a very valuable cargo, but as a child, and only writing from memory, it seems so long ago. I can remember my early days better than anything happening lately. I can remember Grandpa 'Welsford' had a 'Family Tree' tracing back to 'William the Conqueror'. He was born at Crediton in Devonshire, a fine built man with lovely white hair. 'King William' used to wear a Blue Coat with Gold Buttons.
Once when Grandpa wore the same type of clothes, the people took him for the King.
Grandpa 'Thorn' said he was too vain. My Grandma was a very pretty woman and in her younger days, was considered 'The Belle of Wincanton'. She was one of the 'Thorns'. They were millers and owners of 'Thorn's Mill', so I think Mother told me. She said it was lovely to go and spend a holiday with them. The London house was at 144 Leadenhall Street, opposite the 'East India House', and it was 400 years old when they lived there in 1770. They also had a country house at 'Peckham Grange', but it matters not for they have all passed away, and so also have my Uncles at 'The Cape of Good Hope'. Well after Grandpa 'Welsford' died my Mother took an illness, and on getting better, she and I walked as far as the 'Esplanade' at St. Kilda where a lot of tents were erected where the Grandstand (Bandstand) is now situated.
My Mother had a chair given to her, and they brought her a few Oysters and some bread and butter, which seemed to refresh, and make her feel better. We then walked home again and ever after, she always said it was the sea air, so that is why I always liked St. Kilda. After selling the house at Prahan, we retraced our way back to 'New Chum Gully' Bendigo, where my Father bought two 'Puddling Mills'. Then fresh Quartz began to be heard of and he, with Gibbs and Lazarus, marked out a Claim on the now well known 'New Chum' line. I think 'Fortuna Villa' (Lansells) is built there. There used to be one called by the name of 'Hanging Rock Mine' after it's appearance, just as if it was likely to do so for a long time. It remained till Mr. Lansell I think, bought the ground and the Rock was cut away, and perhaps it added to the immense yield of Gold which built 'Fortuna Villa'. We first had a Store where Dr Penfold's Surgery now stands. I remember once Mother asked the price of a Cauliflower, only 5/-, and Mr Macord a Greengrocer in Pall mall, charged 6d for a bunch of cherries, this was in 1854. I remember Mr. Macord used to march at the head of the 'Fire Brigade', but I think the prettiest sight I can remember was when the Gold Escort left from the 'Treasury' in about 1859, which was very near where the new High School was built in 1914. I think it left either Monday or Thursday.
There were six men on each side on White Horses, and their Swords flashing in the sunshine. It may have been the Soldiers as there was a Regiment. They lived in tents on top of the hill in Rosalind Park, and where the Central School now stands.
When the War broke out in New Zealand the Regiment was sent there, and the Sunday before they left they assembled in 'All Saints Church' and Crabtree who had a Military Spirit (and should have been one of them) had the Hymn sung 'Oft in Sorrow, Oft in Woe'.
The inhabitants in the early days were of 'Genteel Families', the Gold Rush being the great attraction. Those that made their 'Pile', re-shipped to the Homeland, some returned again and settled here, but time has made a void in many homes, and very few of the old 'Bendigonians' remain, except in the sleeping place of 'God's Acre', sweetly sleeping till the 'Insurrection Moon'. Little Ernest, and Albert are buried in the 'Sandhurst Cemetery', while in Melbourne lie the bodies of my dear Father and Mother, and if when I die I hope to be buried with them. Our first little one called was little 'Alfred'. He was scalded through the carelessness of Bessie the Servant. Then in 1891 the blow fell on myself, and the children in losing my Husband, and their father at a time when they needed his advice, but their Uncle Frank, (Charles Francis) came to my help, and 'God' was with him as he helped both them, and myself, and after his departure for New York, I missed a true friend and advisor.
His death at last closed my source of help and advice. My Sons were then old enough to come to my aid and help, and I thank God for his care and protection over us all. In time, they met with wives of goodminded parents, and now I have seen my 'Eldest grandson' at the age of 15, apprenticed and a 'Bugler' for King George.
'Australians', being his subjects. My daughter 'Amy' has won the esteem of many by proving a good wife, and mother, and may her children live to say to her that they owe their bringing up to their Father's advice, and being guarded by the hands of love, and the Almighty's guidance in the home. 'Josiah' also had a wife and son, who I hope one day may become a good citizen, a prosperous Colonist, and a credit to the name he bears. My son 'Willis' has a happy knack of being a favourite with his fellow man. He has good thoughts, and tries to do good. His home life is a happy one, and may it ever be so. His Wife and her dear little darlings, may she be spared in bringing them up top be useful home girls, and credit.
I have now come to another sad entry with reference to my Son - 'Frank' - Frank - (Rev Frank Arthur Wenborn) whose Ministry closed suddenly. One of God's ways sent for a wise purpose, the mystery of which no human being can say why. I know that it is divine strength that has kept me from grieving more. He is at rest, but it is his dear Wife (Ada Florence May Wenborn) and the little darlings (Wilfred John & Frank Sutherland Wenborn), I only pray they will be led through life and become good citizens and a credit to the family.
Now, my last pet of the family. She is in my thoughts morning, noon, and night - my 'Daisy'. My thoughts now take a leap and go back many years. Incidents I can remember, such as going to School, and having a governess at home. I must say from dear Mrs. Shiress I learnt my first song, and she was the reason why my scales were so tuneful. In 1858, I was sent to Kyneton at the age of 14 years. My first School was at the Misses Thompson where I remained for over a year. I then took a fancy to be at Mrs. Fleck's 'Campaspe Villa', dear old spot; I was happy there and remained till I was nearly 20 years old. I had a good and sound constitution built up in the air of that salubrious district. It is now many years ago, but remembrance often comes and takes me back. 'Fidlers's Green' (Which is a Sailor's name for a place to frolic on shore) where Mr. Archer of the Bank of New South Wales, used to allow Mrs Fleck to take her pupils, and the Summer House which was marked with the names of the girls, those happy school days. The games we played in the Raceground, 'Prisoners bar the Case', oh those happy days. I can recall when happiness reigned over us all in this dear old home while it brings back memories happy and bright, and my thoughts go back. When home once more my time was never idle, always at some pleasant toil, Music, Darn, Reading, Fancy Work till the greatest gift came and took me as his Bride, and then began the love of my own home. Then the children came to share our love, and some grown in Men and Women with families of their own, and they all bear good names, and have turned our well, a blessing to me.
Their Father (Walter Arthur Jones Wenborn) was a gifted Musician, and noted for his Organ Playing. He was Organist at St Paul's Melbourne before it was rebuilt as the Cathedral then at Kew under Rev Wayward also at the Baptist Church Eastern Hill where on leaving he had a beautiful 'Gold Watch' given him by the Congregation, and a Scarf Pin by the women at Sangon's Foundry. This was when he was a Traveller for Sands & McDougall Ltd. He was first Organist at St Jude's Carlton.
He left Sands & McDougall Ltd and bought a Book Selling Business with M Casey & Son at Pall Mall Bendigo. He was also organist, and Choir Master at St Paul's Bendigo, Correspondent of the Board of Advice, organist for the Golden Corinthian Lodge, he was also the first to start the Citizens Excursion win Bendigo, and in the Musical Circles he was selected to organize which he did with credit and enjoyment. He was a man gifted in Artistic Works, Novel Ideas, Taste, and Skill, quick in Thought and Action but had to relinquish through his Health failing due to injury to his Spine caused through falling through an aperture in an upstairs room while getting his Samples ready for the Western District when he was a Traveller for Sands & McDougall Ltd in 1867. Not thinking it serious he never thought any more about it till he began to feel pains in his back, and legs in 1875. When Dr Hinchcliffe asked him if he had had a fall at any time, it then occurred to him about the one at Sands & McDougall Ltd, then Dr. Hinchcliffe immediately said, that was the cause, and then said he must give up the Organ Playing. This was a grief to him he had just bought in England a small Church Organ, and strange to say rebuilding it in our house in Forest Street, he found it was one he used to play in London.
Oh what lovely evenings we used to have, sometimes the Choir came, and sometimes a Quartette Party of Male voices. When G. Pallett, J. Nipper, Mr Long, Dr. Hinchcliffe, Mr. Casey, Mr. Stephens, and others came, it was delightful as I loved good singing and music. Strange, not any of the children took up Music, not like their Father.
'Painting' seems more their line.
WALTER has made a name for himself 'Painting'
JOSIAH in his 'Bookbinding' and 'Illuminations'
FRANK who took up 'PHOTOGRAPHY' until the Rev Wheeler of Broken Hill invited him to join in the Ministry and in which he had made a name for his work for God till the Master called him home on the 2nd Jan 1914
WILLIE has made a name for himself 'Bike Riding' and won a number of Trophies and now he is an 'Electrician', and 'Cinematograph Operator'
ERNEST-ALBERT My other son only lived a few months.
AMY is married and has some children of promise
DAISY my Baby is single, but I hope one day she may find as good a man as I did.
My Father (Thomas GULLOCK) was a man of thought and fond of study, 'Astronomy' being one of his pastimes. He was a 'Digger' in the early days through not very successful, yet he felt his health was better at hard gradt as he called it. He would study till the early hours of the morning, and then rise early, and as my Mother (Susan WELSFORD) was the same, having Breakfast at 7 o'clock to half past, Dinner at the old fashioned hour 12 noon to 1 o'clock, and Tea at 5 o'clock, and a Supper Tray at 8 o'clock. Through my Father getting Deaf he was not able to take any part in Public Life, though he had been repeatedly asked to, but for advice on almost any subject - he could give advice, an in Bible Knowledge he was a deep thinker. Every night a chapter was read, and when his Boys were living with my Mother and Father before going to bed, they had to say the 'Commandments' and read a Chapter, and if not in from school at the right time, Father wanted to know the reason, and the cause.
A pity more of this was not known, in this rising generation - Veneration is forgotten. But I do hope this time will come again when Old Ties, Old memories, Old Friends, and last but not least, 'The Old, Old, Story of Jesus and His Love'
It seems I have such a short while to write the incidents of this, in the course of over the 70 years I have lived. The course of my memory of younger days is very vivid. After we left the 'New Chum' the streets were being formed and the land sold. My Father bought a piece of ground in View Street, or more properly known as 'Yew Street', which we named after the trees as Forest, Wattle, Vine, Myrtle, Rose, Lily, Shamrock, and Thistle, from Mr. Morris, he was the first 'Postmaster' and Vibert and Johnson were the Clerks. On the 12th January 1855 he built a 4 roomed building of Weatherboard and Slate with Stone Chimneys. He let the front part in View St. to Mr. Buckingham who put up a tent when his wife died. Bricks were then being made, the first in Bendigo. Mr Aitken, then said he would move, and so he did and remained there fore many years. He married, and his children were born there. Then Father sold a section of his holding, 30' x 106' to Mr Armitage and let him have the use of the 9' Right of Way. My Mother not liking to live at the back of the block, then heard about the Parsonage at Sailor's Gully. The Rev Stone had been transferred to 'All Saints', Bendigo, on the departure of the Rev J. Brennan. The Parsonage was a Canvas structure, but the doors and windows pleased Mother, so it was moved to where 'Devon Cottage' now stands ('Devon Cottage') now demolished, and replaced by the new Commodore Motel in View Street). In 1859 Father (Thomas GULLOCK) rebuilt 'Devon Cottage' in Brick with a Slate Roof on the front part of the block in View Street.
When Father bought the whole block he had to go to Maryborough about it, and finished up paying £82-10/- for it. After getting what Alluvial Gold the allotment in Forest Street would yield, Father sold 54' x 135' of it to 'Watts' the iron Founders, on the 9th Oct 1865 (Susan Welsford GULLOCK would have then been 21 years old. She didn't get married until she was 25 years old in 1869). The ground Father sold in Forest Street to 'Watts' was part of the original 'Commissioners Gully'. The amount of Gold taken out of Forest St to Bridge St was immense, and it is the part now used for the Swimming Baths in Lake Como. Boats used to be allowed on it until the water was found to be stagnant. I can remember Father taking a bottle of it to the Council, and Dr. Cruikshank the Medical Officer said it was foul and that it had no lime in it.
These are some of the names of the girls at Mrs Fleck's 'Campaspe Villa' School, at Kyneton in 1862.
'SUSAN GULLOCK' - Pattie Wooley - Kate Crawford - Emma Smith - Georgie Smith - Bettie Youl - Kate Farie - Margaret Moorhead - Margaret Bodkin - Lonie Boundy - Alice Saunders - Alice Jones - Effie Croxton - Lanie Croxton - Laura Jones - Nellie Swanwick - Minnie McGuire. "
Emma Shepherd's Letter Ballarat to England 1870
John Henry SHEPHERD married Emma Esther SHAW in the September Qtr of 1869 at Reading, Berkshire, England. The newly-weds may have arrived in Melbourne in October 1869 aboard the Great Britain. In January 1870 Emma wrote to her Aunt telling her of the voyage and how they settled on Soldiers Hill, Ballarat.