Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prisoner James BRADY 1873-1874

James Brady was photographed at the Hobart Gaol by Thomas J. Nevin on two different occasions. Three extant images from those two sittings are held in three public collections, viz. the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and the National Library of Australia. James Brady was a soldier of the 2/14 Regiment, 31 years old, when he arrived in Tasmania on board the troop ship Haversham in August 1867. He was branded with the letter “D” as a deserter and sentenced to 8 years for forgery and uttering in 1868.



Detail: print of James Brady from T. J. Nevin's negative 1874
From forty prints of 1870s Tasmania prisoners in three panels
Original prints of negatives by T. J. Nevin 1870s
Reprints by J. W. Beattie ca. 1915
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176

The photograph taken in 1874
The photograph (above) is an unmounted sepia print from the negative of Thomas Nevin's sitting with James Brady taken on discharge in the week ending 21st January 1874. It is held at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.  In 1916, John Watt Beattie salvaged this unmounted print from the Hobart Gaol records for display at his "Port Arthur Museum", located in Hobart, and for inclusion in  intercolonial exhibitions of convictaria associated with the fake convict hulk, Success, in Hobart and Sydney. Beattie pasted this print on one of three panels displaying forty prisoners in total.



The print of James Brady is bottom row, second from right.
Panel 1 of forty prints of 1870s Tasmania prisoners in three panels
Original prints of negatives by T. J. Nevin 1870s
Reprints by J. W. Beattie ca. 1915
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176

Thomas Nevin also printed this photograph of prisoner James Brady as a carte-de-visite in a buff mount, now held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The mounted cdv was held at the QVMAG until it was removed in 1983-4 for an exhibition at the Port Arthur prison heritage site, returned instead to the TMAG. Both formats - the unmounted print and the mounted cdv - were pasted to the prisoner's criminal record sheets over the course of his criminal career, held originally at the Hobart Gaol and in Photo Books at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall which issued Thomas Nevin with this commission to provide police identification photographs from 1872.



Prisoner James BRADY
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol, January 1874
TMAG Ref: Q15604



Verso of cdv: Prisoner James BRADY
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin
Taken at the Hobart Gaol, January 1874
TMAG Ref: Q15604

The verso of this cdv shows evidence of removal from thick grey paper or board. Transcribed subsequently over the grey scraps with "James Brady per Haversham Taken at Port Arthur 1874" is incorrect information, written in 1916 after this cdv of Brady was exhibited by Beattie, using the terms "Types of Imperial Convicts", "Port Arthur" and the date "1874" to appeal to local and interstate tourists by association with Marcus Clarke's novel of 1874, For the Term of His Natural Life, which was filmed at the prison site at Port Arthur. Renamed as Carnarvon,  it was promoted as Tasmania's premier tourist destination. In short, the transcription of the verso of this prisoner mugshot, as with hundreds more from Beattie's estate acquired by the QVMAG on his death in 1930, is tourism propaganda which reflects neither the actual place and date of the photographic capture nor the prisoner's criminal history.

Aliases 1871-1873
When Thomas Nevin took this earlier photograph at the Hobart Gaol of a younger James Brady, 34 years old, with a full head of curly hair on Brady's petition for discharge to the Attorney-General in August 1873, his photographer's headrest was visible. James Brady's aliases were Edward James and James James. This prisoner was not sent to Port Arthur at any time in his criminal career. The Conduct Register records  (CON94/1/1  p44) show Port Arthur offences struck through because he was only ever incarcerated at the Hobart Gaol from where he lodged three petitions for discharge between 1871 and 1873 . This prisoner photograph by T. J. Nevin of James Brady is now held at the National Library of Australia.



This is an earlier photograph of James Brady, alias Edward James and James James, taken in August 1873 by Thomas J. Nevin at the Hobart Gaol.

NLA Catalogue Ref: nla.obj-142920868
Title James Brady, per Haversham, taken at Port Arthur, 1874 [picture]. NB: incorrect information.
1 photograph on carte-de-visite mount : albumen ; 9.4 x 5.6 cm. on mount 10.5 x 6.3 cm.
Inscription: "107 & 171 ; James Brady, per Haversham, taken at Port Arthur, 1874"--In ink on verso.

Police Records for James Brady
James Brady was a soldier of the 2/14 Regiment, 31 years old, when he arrived in Tasmania in August 1867 on board the Haversham from Adelaide, South Australia, where the 14th Regiment was stationed.
Brady, James
Convict No: 6647
Voyage Ship: Haversham
Arrival Date: 01 Jan 1868
Conduct Record:  CON37/1/10 p5765,  CON94/1/1  p44
Remarks: Soldier 2/14th Regiment. Tried Hobart July 1868\
Source: Archives Office Tasmania



James Brady record 1868-1873
His place of departure is not recorded. 
Brady lodged three petitions between 1871 and 1873 which were declined
TAHO Ref: CON94/1/1  p44



TAHO Ref: CON37/1/10 p5765

Within a year of arrival in Tasmania, James Brady was convicted of uttering a forged cheque on 7th July 1868, and sentenced to eight years at the Supreme Court, Hobart.



James Brady, Free to Colony [FC] , was convicted at the Supreme Court Hobart in the July 1868 sitting, sentenced to eight years for uttering a forged cheque. He was described as 34 years old,



James Brady had been discharged from sentence in July 1869. A warrant for his arrest with the alias James James was issued on 26 August 1870, charged with stealing one cotton rug and two blankets.



James Brady, alias Edward James and James James was arrested on 26 April 1871.



James Brady alias Edward James and James James was convicted of larceny at Oatlands in the week ending 29 April 1871. His sentence being longer than three months, he was incarcerated once again at the Hobart Gaol. He had given a false name, age and ship of arrival when convicted in Oatlands. The Hobart Gaol corrected his record per the police gazette notice when he was discharged in 1874.

Between 1871 and 1873, James Brady lodged petitions to the Executive Council and the Attorney-General (W. R. Giblin) for freedom, but all three requests were declined. Once Giblin's refusal was on record, Thomas Nevin was required to photograph this prisoner (among the many others with similar declined petitions) by  the A-G, W. R. Giblin who had issued the police photographer commission to Nevin in February 1872 after the visit to Hobart by the judiciary and senior officials of the colony of Victoria (former Premier O'Shanassy and A-G Spensley). Thomas Nevin took and printed this photograph at the Hobart Gaol in August 1873, and not at Port Arthur, because James Brady was never incarcerated there (item held at the NLA).





Detail: James Brady convict record Hobart Gaol 1868-1873 
Brady lodged three petitions between April 1871 and August 1873 which were declined
TAHO Ref: CON94/1/1  p44



Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime Information for Police, J. Barnard, Government Printer

When James Brady was discharged in late January 1874 with the residue of his sentence remitted, the police gazette (above, p. 16 January 1874) noted that that he was Free to the Colony (FC) and that he was tattooed with the letter "D" on his left breast: he was a deserter from the military, one of several prisoners bearing the deserter tattoo who were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin, including prisoner Denis Doherty, made famous by Anthony Trollope's visit to the Port Arthur prison in 1872.



Mark of a Deserter (Army Medical Services Museum), in Chapter 3 of Hilton, P J 2010 ,
"Branded D on the left side" : a study of former soldiers and marines transported to Van Diemen's Land: 1804-1854
PhD thesis, University of Tasmania:
Link: https://eprints.utas.edu.au/17678/2/Hilton_Thesis.pdf



Barnard, Simon Convict tattoos : marked men and women of Australia.
Melbourne, Vic. The Text Publishing Company, 2016.
Website: https://www.simonbarnard.com.au/product/convict-tattoos/

Addenda 1: The Press Reports



T. J. Nevin's second photograph of James Brady was taken on discharge from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 21st January, 1874. TMAG collection.

Private James Brady was stationed at Adelaide, South Australia, when the troop ship Haversham arrived there with a detachment of the 50th Regiment on August 9th, 1867 from the Māori conflict at Taranaki, New Zeland. War had broken out at Waitara in March 1860, fought by more than 3500 imperial troops from Australia. The second Taranaki War flared in 1863: -

A total of 5000 troops fought in the Second Taranaki War against about 1500 men, women and children. The style of warfare differed markedly from that of the 1860-61 conflict as the army systematically took possession of Māori land by driving off the inhabitants, adopting a "scorched earth" strategy of laying waste to the villages and cultivations of Māori, whether warlike or otherwise. As the troops advanced, the Government built an expanding line of redoubts, behind which settlers built homes and developed farms. The effect was a creeping confiscation of almost a million acres (4,000 km²) of land.

Source: Wikipedia - extract



Source: The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) Wed 14 Aug 1867 Page 2 SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

TRANSCRIPT
The troop ship Haversham, about which some anxiety has been evinced, having been out from Taranaki [New Zealand], with a detachment of the 50th regiment on board, since the beginning of July, arrived last night.
On the 14th August, the Haversham sailed for Hobart, Tasmania with soldiers of the 14th Regiment who were stationed at Adelaide. Private James Brady was aboard.



Source: The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) Wed 21 Aug 1867 Page 3 SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

TRANSCRIPT
SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
Adelaide, August 10.
The detachment of the 50th Regiment, which arrived in the Haversham, were disembarked at an early hour this morning, and reached Adelaide by train from the Port at 10 o'clock. The Haversham is under orders to convey the men of the 14th, at present stationed here, to Hobart Town.
The Haversham arrives at Hobart



Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Sat 24 Aug 1867 Page 2 SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE

TRANSCRIPT
THE Haversham troop transport barque, 489 tons, Captain James B. [Byron] Sherlock, from Adelaide the 14th inst., arrived on Thursday evening with two companies of H. M. 14th Regt., to join the troops already in garrison here. The detachment numbered 172 rank and file, 22 women and 52 children. The troops were under the command of Major Vivian, and there were also on board Captain Fairtlough, Mrs. Fairtlough, and servant, Assistant Surgeon Bennett, 3 children and servant, Ensign Churchward, and Ensign Barne. The troops were received on board the Twins steamer* yesterday shortly after 12 o'clock, and landed during the afternoon.
* The Twins steamer was the name used by locals for the SS Kangaroo which was built by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin's uncle, Captain Edward Goldsmith, in 1854.



Coals for sale from the Haversham
The Tasmanian Times (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1867 - 1870) Thu 29 Aug 1867 Page 1 Advertising

James Brady's crime - he couldn't spell
Private James Brady was in the 2nd detachment of the 14th Regiment to arrive in Hobart on board the Haversham. Soon after arrival, he deserted and was imprisoned, together with another deserter, and a third awaiting trial before a Garrison Court Martial. James Brady with Jones and Hagon, the two other prisoners, broke out of the Military Guard Room, and attempted to obtain cash from the publican of the Eagle Hawk Inn (North Hobart) by forging the signature of Major Vivian on a cheque.



Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Wed 10 Jun 1868 Page 2 THE MERCURY.

TRANSCRIPT
Impudent Case of Forgery.-It will be seen by our police report that the three soldiers of the 14th Regiment, Brady, Jones, and Hagon,were committed for trial, for uttering a forged cheque, and obtaining money upon it from Mr. Jones, of the Eagle Hawk, New Town Road. The document purported to be signed by Major Vivian, but the major said it was not at all like his writing, and the perpetrator had not even spelt his (the major's) name correctly. The three prisoners had broken out of the Military Guard Room, one of them awaiting trial before a Garrison Court Martial. They are all said to be bad characters.and they did not make any defence. The picket went out in search of them, and went to the prosecutor's house when he related the fact of their having changed the cheque with him, and the sergeant, believing it to be a forgery, had them escorted to the barracks, and Major Vivian afterwards had them handed over to the civil power.



The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)  Wed 10 Jun 1868  Page 3  LAW INTELLIGENCE.

Forgery by Soldiers.-James Brady, Wm. Jones, and Christopher Hagon, private soldiers of H.M. 2-14th Regiment, were again brought up charged with uttering a forged cheque for £4 17s. with intent to defraud.
Major Vivian proved that he knew nothing of the cheque produced. He had not kept an account at the Commercial Bank.
Thomas Henry Jones, of the Eagle Hawk, New Town Road, proved that on the evening of Wednesday last prisoners came to his house about six o'clock. Brady called for drink and tendered in payment a cheque purporting to be signed by Major Vivian on the Commercial Bank for £4 17s. He asked if witness would cash it ; witness asked who gave it him ; he said the Major had given it as part of his bounty money, he having enlisted again for seven years. Witness said, " Is that the Major's signature?" He replied, "Oh yes." Witness said he was not acquainted with his signature, and he did not like to cash cheques unless he were ; he asked the other two if they knew the signature and if they knew it was correct. They both said " yes." The prisoner Jones took the trouble to read over the cheque to him. Witness said he did not like to cash the cheque, in fact he had not got sufficient to cash it with. Brady then asked him to let him have part of it. Witness said he would let him have as much as £11 7s,, that would leave £3. He had made a purchase of socks, and other things down the street, and wanted to pay for them ; witness said he would let him have 50s which he consented to take, and to have the remainder next day when he cashed the cheque. They stopped some time after and had some drinks, when tho picket came and took them in charge. Witness told the sergeant Brady had cashed a cheque of the Major's, and on showing it to him he pronounced it a forgery. The Sergeant went outside and saw Brady put a paper into his mouth, he seized him, had him brought into the house aud searched, when 11s. in silver was found. Witness retained the cheque, and on the following morning went up to the barracks, and showed the cheque to the Major, who said it was a forgery, nothing like his signature, and his name  mis-spelt. Witness afterwards reported the matter to Detective Vickers, and subsequently handed the cheque to Detective Morley.
By Hagon : You were in the tap-room when the cheque was presented to me.
Sergeant Edward Johnson, 2-14th Regiment, proved that he knew the prisoners, and remembered going to the Eagle Hawk on the evening of the 3rd, in charge of the picket, when he saw them there. They had broken out of the guard-room that day. Witness took them in charge The prisoner Brady put a piece of paper in his mouth, which he thought was a £1 note ; he was unable to get it from him. On the way to the barracks under escort, Brady told witness ho had forged on Major Vivian for £7 and the ____  could not try him for it by court martial. The prisoner Brady had re-enlisted for seven years about February last.
Detective Morley produced the cheque, and deposed that on the 5th the three prisoners were handed over to his custody by the military authorities at the watch-house. The three men, who said nothing in defence, were then committed trial. This was all the business.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)  Wed 10 Jun 1868  Page 3  LAW INTELLIGENCE.

James Brady remanded for sentence



TRANSCRIPT
FORGERY AND UTTERING.
James Brady and William Jones, two soldiers of H.M. 2-14th Regt, were charged with forgery and uttering on the 3rd June.
Thomas Henry Jones, a licensed victualler in Hobart Town, said the prisoners came to his house about six o'clock on the evening of the 3rd June. Brady tendered the cheque produced which he said was signed by the Major. Jones also said it was the Major's signature. Witness gave Brady 50s. and his wife handed the man the money : there was £1 l5s. in silver and a £1 note. .
On His Honor pointing out that this could not be so, witness said he thought his wife gave Brady 30s. in silver. After he had cashed the cheque the sergeant in charge of the picket came up and pronounced the cheque a forgery.
Both prisoners cross-examined tho witness at some length, but adduced nothing now or favourable to
their case.
His Honor (to witness) : You say in one part of your evidence that Brady gave you the cheque in the tap-room, and in another part that he gave it to you in front of the bar. How do you reconcile this statement ?
The witness said that if he had made the latter statement he had made a mistake.
Major Vivian proved that the cheque was a forgery. He thought the writing was that of Brady.
Edward Johnson, a sergeant of the 2-14th Regiment, stated that when he took charge of the prisoners at the Eagle Hawk Hotel he took 10s. 8d. from one of the prisoners, and had to get a piece of paper, which looked like a note, out of his mouth.
Brady : Was I drunk or sober when you took me ? Witness (addressing His Honor): He was apparently drunk.
Brady (to witness) : You'll address yourself to me, sir, when I ask a question. This is not a Court Martial.
His Honor, in summing up, said there were two counts, the first against Brady of forgery, and the second against both prisoners of uttering. He thought, however, it would greatly simplify matters if the jury considered the case entirely upon the second count. He then proceeded to review the evidence, remarking that that of the publican was very unsatisfactory. He did not mean to say that this was intentional on the part of this witness, but there certainly was a looseness about his testimony, which should cause the jury to look at it carefully before receiving it. The facts adduced against Brady appeared to be such that he could suggest no doubt in the minds of the jury as to that prisoner's guilt. But the case of Jones was far different. His Honor proceeded to point out the difficulty which existed in connecting Jones with the offence.
The jury then retired, and after a few minutes' deliberation, returned with a verdict of guilty against Brady on the second count ; Jones they found not guilty. Jones was therefore discharged, and Brady was remanded for sentence.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Wed 8 Jul 1868 Page 2 LAW INTELLIGENCE.

Addenda 2: The Eagle Hawk Hotel
The licensed victualling house where James Brady was arrested by Edward Johnson, a sergeant of the 2-14th Regiment, was recorded in the newspaper report in July 1868 as "The Eaglehawk Hotel" in New Town Road, Hobart. By the 1930s another building on the site had become the Commercial Hotel, Elizabeth Street, North Hobart. The same building reverted to the original name - more or less - the "Eagle Hawk Inn" sometime in the late 20th century, present address 381 Elizabeth St; North Hobart, Tasmania 7000.



Item Number: PH30/1/3751
Description: Photograph - Funeral procession of A G Ogilvie in Elizabeth Street, North Hobart. Shows Commercial Hotel, Soundy's and the Liberty Theatre (Later State Theatre)
Start Date: 10 Jun 1939



Title:Photograph - Front view of the Commercial Hotel, corner of Federal and Elizabeth Streets, Hobart, 1940s?
ADRI:PH30/1/522
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania



Eagle Hawk Inn Hotel North Hobart Tasmania 2009
Copyright Glenys Cruickshank at Flickr

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Christmas Story: Captain Goldsmith, Charles Dickens and the Higham mail box.

THE HIGHAM VILLAGE MAIL BOX
CHARLES DICKENS and CAPTAIN GOLDSMITH at GADSHILL

Exactly one year ago, on December 10th, 2014, the mail box set into the wall outside Charles Dicken's house at 6 Gadshill Place, in the village of Higham, Kent (UK) where he died on the 9th June 1870, was recommissioned by the Royal Mail after more than twenty years of standing idle, decommissioned in the 1990s. The Charles Dickens Centre (Gads Hill) Charitable Trust, and the Letter Box Study Group alerted Royal Mail to the historical and cultural significance of the postbox, and asked if it could be put back into service.

To commemorate the occasion, a plaque was attached next to the box, stating that -
‘This letterbox outside Gad’s Hill Place, home of Charles Dickens, was used by the author and his family between 1859 and 1870.
‘Proudly restored in his memory by Royal Mail, 10.12.14’
- and a special postmark was applied to mail posted in the box from the 15th to 18th December 2014 bearing the letters ‘CD’, in tribute to the way Dickens used to seal his mail before he posted it.



Source: right: The short-term handstamp, "CD" Postmark Bulletin, London Special Handstamp Centre, Ref 13298.
Source: left: Envelope front to Mr Sly, dated 1st October 1869. John Wilson Manuscripts

The postbox was officially opened by great-great granddaughter Marion Dickens who said on posting the first letter:
"In our digital world, handwritten letters are more appreciated than ever. Being able to post mine in the letterbox regularly used by my great-great-grandfather makes me feel thrillingly close to him.

He wrote a dozen letters every day and made excellent use of this box, and the new postal services that were developing all over the country in his lifetime.

144 years after he posted his last letter from Gad’s Hills, it’s wonderful that the Royal Mail have made it possible for me to do exactly the same..."
Source: The postbox of Christmas past: Royal Mail recommissions Charles Dickens’ postbox



Source: Charles Dickens’s personal postbox, outside his Kent home, has been recommissioned ahead of Christmas. Photograph: Royal Mail/PA



Source: Video at YouTube: Charles Dickens postbox reopened at Gad's Hill

Connections past and present
On January 18th, 2014, this weblog posted an article with reference to two of Charles Dickens' letters complaining about his neighbour, retired master mariner Captain Edward Goldsmith at Gadshill, in the village of Higham, Kent (UK). The first letter dated 1857 concerned Captain Goldsmith's monopoly of the water supply in the village, and the second dated 1859 concerned the location of the village mailbox outside Captain Goldsmith's house. It took just a few months in 2014, from January when we first posted the reference to Captain Goldsmith and the Higham mailbox in Charles Dickens' letters, to December 2014 when this now famous mailbox found restitution as a fully operational service of the Royal Mail. Perhaps we played a small part in bringing the mailbox back into service. Our generous Captain Goldsmith, without doubt, is the ancestor who keeps on giving.

For Captain Goldsmith's nieces Elizabeth Rachel Day and Mary Sophia Day, daughters of Captain Goldsmith's wife's brother, Captain James Day back in Tasmania, the relocation of the mailbox from Captain Goldsmith's house to the wall outside Dickens' house in 1859 would have been more than newsworthy concerning this famous neighbour of their illustrious uncle. It meant he would not be as closely associated with their family mail arriving and leaving the village as before. Both nieces at Captain Goldsmith's death in 1869, including photographer Thomas Nevin, husband of his niece Elizabeth Rachel Day, were named as beneficiaries to eleven houses in Vicarage Row (Kent) in Captain Goldsmith's will, an indication that correspondence between these family members in Hobart  Tasmania and Higham Kent was constant from February 1856 when Captain Goldsmith, his wife Elizabeth and son Edward Goldsmith jnr departed Tasmania for good to settle permanently at Gadshill.

Extracts from Captain Edward Goldsmith's will:



Pages 1,Captain Edward Goldsmith's will, 1871 and Bill of Complaint 1872
(Ref: National Archives UK C16/781 C546012)
TRANSCRIPT Frontispiece  1872
1872 D. 50
In Chancery
Between Mary Sophia Day (an infant under the age of 21 years) by Thomas Butler her next friend .. Plaintiff
and
Elizabeth Goldsmith, William Bell Bentley, Alfred Bentley, Edward Goldsmith and Sarah Jane his wife, Caroline Tolhurst, Matilda Tolhurst (inserted), Edward Tolhurst, Richard Tolhurst and Thomas Nevin and Elizabeth Rachel his wife (the four last named defendants being out of the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court) ... Defendants
I the undersigned Thomas Butler of No. 9 The Grove Gravesend in the County of Kent Genteleman (inserted) hereby authorize and request you Mr Thomas Sismey of No. 11 Sergeants Inn Fleet Street in the City of London Solicitor to institute the above suit on behalf of the above named infant plaintiff Mary Sophia Day who is now residing at Hobart Town in Tasmania and is a spinster and to use my name as her next friend for such purpose
Dated this twenty fifth day of March 1872
Thomas Butler



Page 4 of Captain Goldsmith's will re Vicarage Row.



Captain Goldsmith's will to bequeath 11 houses to Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin in Vicarage Row, near Gravesend. Google maps 2013.

On retirement from the merchant marine trade in 1856, Captain Edward Goldsmith (1808-1869) returned to the area around Chalk in Kent where he was born, settling back at Higham with Elizabeth his wife, to oversee his extensive freehold and leasehold properties. They were resident once more at Gads Hill House by 1857 when Charles Dickens made mention of Captain Goldsmith's abundant water supply, but by the 1861 Census, the Goldsmiths' were resident at Higham Lodge while renovations were made to Gads Hill House. The brick wall of Higham Lodge is visible in this postcard view (1905), adjacent to the Sir John Falstaff Inn at the corner of Telegraph Hill and Gravesend Road when the inn's wall was plastered with theatrical bills.



Postcard: Sir John Falstaff Inn, Gad's Hill, Published by Hartmann Saxony, 1905



Postcard, Gad's Hill, 1907. Source: CityArk, Medway, UK.



1861 UK Census: Captain Edward Goldsmith, retired master mariner, age 56, resident of Higham Lodge, together with his wife Elizabeth, age 54, and servant Louisa Eatten, age 21.



Higham Lodge 
Source: Medway Archives, Couchman Collection. Ref: DE 402/24/37 (L)

Higham Lodge and conservatory is clearly seen in this undated photograph taken before the cedar trees further down the Gravesend Road were removed in 1907.



Source: Medway Archives, Couchman Collection
The Gravesend Road, Gadshill cedars trees where Dickens' chalet was located.

Those cedar trees were located in the "Shrubbery" opposite Charles Dickens' house, accessed from No. 6 Gad's Hill Place by a tunnel under the road leading to his Chalet, 1865-1870. Dickens referred to the chalet's location as his "Wilderness", so it was not without an ironic nod to Dickens when John Nevin snr, father of photographer Thomas J. Nevin and soon-to-be father-in-law of Elizabeth Rachel Day, Captain Goldsmith''s niece, published his poem titled "My Cottage in the Wilderness" in 1868, referring to the family home he built in a real wilderness situated on land next to Lady Franklin's museum at Kangaroo Valley, Hobart, Tasmania.



Higham Lodge, foreground on right, Falstaff Inn on right in distance opposite Dickens' former house, Gadshill Place, now a school with sign where the mail box is located a little further down the Gravesend Road. Google maps 2013.

Gads Hill House was listed in Captain Goldsmith's will, 1869, as leased to Mr Andrew Chalmers Dods on a piece of land measuring 6a, 3r, 28p which was undergoing extensions and enlargement, payment for which was to be executed out of the Captain's other estates, excluding Vicarage Row. Originally named Mount Prospect, Gads Hill House was located at the top of Telegraph Hill with commanding views of the Medway to the north and Cobham Hall to the south west, hence Charles. Dickens' description of it as "that crow's-nest of a house". Outside the gates was a beacon and a ship's bell on a metal stand at the front door. Although Captain Goldsmith was one of the first owners of the house, if not the original owner in 1825, Mr John Townsend, MP for Greenwich and a Shakespearian actor of note ca. 1842, was thought to reside there. Captain Goldsmith's generosity in easing Townsend's considerable debts, among other acts of kindness in the district for which the Captain was known, was mentioned by  Cecil Fielding in 1882 on page 7 of his publication,  A Hand-book of Higham: Or the Curiosities of a Country Parish.



Cecil Fielding on Captain Goldsmith at Gadshill, A Hand-book of Higham: Or the Curiosities of a Country Parish (1882: 7)

A real estate journalist described Gads Hill House in these terms in 2002:
Gads Hill House, near Rochester, Kent. A long, sweeping drive, six bedrooms, magnificent full-length hall, huge reception rooms - what more could a City commuter want in a country residence? Land? There are more than four acres of woodland and gardens, including a croquet lawn and orchard. Somewhere to lay down the claret? There are three cellars and a wine store. And with regular commuter trains from Higham, two miles away, to London, you could still be back to bath the kids.
In 2009, Gads Hill House Telegraph Hill, Rochester, Gravesham, Kent, ME3 7NW was the most expensive house purchase in Telegraph Hill, sold for £1,395,000.



What remains of Captain Goldsmith's property at Gads Hill. 
Gads Hill House with yellow gravel in front and acreage behind
Google maps capture 2016





Captain Goldsmith's will 1872, Item 7: Gadshill House 

Charles Dickens' Water Supply and the Letter Box
When Charles Dickens (1812-1870) settled finally into the house at 6 Gad's Hill Place, Higham, Kent (UK) in 1857, his attention was drawn to Captain Goldsmith on two most urgent matters - the water supply to his house and the location of the mail box, both of which Captain Goldsmith seemed to monopolise.



Victoria & Albert Museum
Charles Dickens,
Coloured albumen carte-de-visite, J & C Watkins,[1863]
Museum no. 1712:21-1956

At first, Dickens' excitement at buying the property knew no bounds. These extracts are from his letters. On January 17th, 1857, he wrote -
[Sidenote: M. de Cerjat.]

TAVISTOCK HOUSE, _Monday Night, Jan, 17th, 1857

MY DEAR CERJAT,
...Down at Gad's Hill, near Rochester, in Kent--Shakespeare's Gad's Hill,
where Falstaff engaged in the robbery--is a quaint little country-house
of Queen Anne's time. I happened to be walking past, a year and a half
or so ago, with my sub-editor of "Household Words," when I said to him:
"You see that house? It has always a curious interest for me, because
when I was a small boy down in these parts I thought it the most
beautiful house (I suppose because of its famous old cedar-trees) ever
seen. And my poor father used to bring me to look at it, and used to say
that if I ever grew up to be a clever man perhaps I might own that
house, or such another house. In remembrance of which, I have always in
passing looked to see if it was to be sold or let, and it has never been
to me like any other house, and it has never changed at all." We came
back to town, and my friend went out to dinner. Next morning he came to
me in great excitement, and said: "It is written that you were to have
that house at Gad's Hill. The lady I had allotted to me to take down to
dinner yesterday began to speak of that neighbourhood. 'You know it?' I
said; 'I have been there to-day.' 'O yes,' said she, 'I know it very
well. I was a child there, in the house they call Gad's Hill Place. My
father was the rector, and lived there many years. He has just died, has
left it to me, and I want to sell it.' 'So,' says the sub-editor, 'you
must buy it. Now or never!'" I did, and hope to pass next summer there,
though I may, perhaps, let it afterwards, furnished, from time to time....

But serious issues soon emerged "on the great estate" a few months later. On June 6th, he wrote -

[Sidenote: Mr. Henry Austin.]

GAD'S HILL, _Saturday, June 6th, 1857._

MY DEAR HENRY,
Here is a very serious business on the great estate respecting the water
supply. Last night, they had pumped the well dry merely in raising the
family supply for the day; and this morning (very little water having
been got into the cisterns) it is dry again! It is pretty clear to me
that we must look the thing in the face, and at once bore deeper, dig,
or do some beastly thing or other, to secure this necessary in
abundance. Meanwhile I am in a most plaintive and forlorn condition
without your presence and counsel. I raise my voice in the wilderness
and implore the same!!!

Wild legends are in circulation among the servants how that Captain
Goldsmith on the knoll above--the skipper in that crow's-nest of a
house--has millions of gallons of water always flowing for him. Can he
have damaged my well? Can we imitate him, and have our millions of
gallons? Goldsmith or I must fall, so I conceive.

If you get this, send me a telegraph message informing me when I may
expect comfort. I am held by four of the family while I write this, in
case I should do myself a mischief--it certainly won't be taking to
drinking water.

Ever affectionately (most despairingly).



In a letter to Henry Austin on 15 August 1857, the water supply problem had been solved with a bore. Dickens wrote -

[Sidenote: Mr. Henry Austin.]

GAD'S HILL PLACE, _Saturday, Aug. 15th, 1857.

MY DEAR HENRY,
At last, I am happy to inform you, we have got at a famous spring!! It
rushed in this morning, ten foot deep. And our friends talk of its
supplying "a ton a minute for yourself and your family, sir, for
nevermore."

They ask leave to bore ten feet lower, to prevent the possibility of
what they call "a choking with sullage." Likewise, they are going to
insert "a rose-headed pipe;" at the mention of which implement, I am
(secretly) well-nigh distracted, having no idea of what it means. But I
have said "Yes," besides instantly standing a bottle of gin. Can you
come back, and can you get down on Monday morning, to advise and
endeavour to decide on the mechanical force we shall use for raising the
water? I would return with you, as I shall have to be in town until
Thursday, and then to go to Manchester until the following Tuesday.
I send this by hand to John, to bring to you.
The cause of the water supply problem for Dickens' house at Glads Hill Place at the bottom of Telegraph Hill is best explained by former resident Carole Turner in the 1980s of Captain Goldsmith's Gads Hill House at the top of Telegraph Hill:

The water table at the top of the hill was very high and the cellars of the house regularly flooded. The strange thing was that they only flooded in times of drought not in times of very wet weather. I researched it and there is a suggestion that in drought times they stopped pumping from Higham marshes and this somehow caused the water table to rise at the top of the hill. Presumably properties at the bottom i.e Dickens Gads Hill Place would have had empty wells. There were three wells at Gads Hill House and they were always full....as was the cellar for a good deal of the time! as once flooded the water did not drain away for a very long time. Suddenly in the middle of a very hot summer I would go down to the cellar and find it flooded...quite bizarre. 
Source; courtesy of Carole Turner, personal correspondence, 4th February 2016

The second problem Charles Dickens discovered with regard to Captain Goldsmith's dominating presence in the village was the location of the mail box. Dickens is thought to have sent 2000 letters through the mail box at Gad's Hill Place, Higham between its installation there in March 1859 and his death in 1870. Before its installation in his wall fronting Gravesend Road which he requested from the Post Office, the mail box was located outside Captain Edward Goldsmith's house, the garden wall of which abutted the high road, but the box itself was located some distance up Telegraph Hill. Dickens wrote this letter complaining of the inconvenience to Edmund Yates of the Post Office, dated 29th March 1859: -



[Sidenote: Mr. Edmund Yates.]

TAVISTOCK HOUSE, TAVISTOCK SQUARE, LONDON, W.C.,
Tuesday, March 29th, 1859.

MY DEAR EDMUND,
1. I think that no one seeing the place can well doubt that my house at
Gad's Hill is the place for the letter-box. The wall is accessible by
all sorts and conditions of men, on the bold high road, and the house
altogether is the great landmark of the whole neighbourhood. Captain
Goldsmith's house is up a lane considerably off the high road; but he
has a garden wall abutting on the road itself.

Source: Letters of Charles Dickens 1833-1870



The Higham mailbox, Google maps photo, May 2014 before its renovation and recommission in December 2014.

Were Charles Dickens and Captain Edward Goldsmith well-acquainted, even on close terms? Most assuredly, it can be assumed at this point, and for these reasons:

WATER SUPPLY: Dickens would have approached Captain Goldsmith as soon as he realized he had a problem supplying water to his new purchase at Gad's Hill. Captain Goldsmith was knowledgeable about springs, bores, pipes and pumps; his own household enjoyed "millions of gallons", as Dickens complained at the time. Only a skipper of great merchant and passenger ships at sea for months on end would understand pumps, not to mention 20 years' experience on the driest continent on earth, the Australian colonies, where bores provided the only solution to endless drought. And as a shipyard and patent slip operator, he was handy with machinery. Dickens would have welcomed his assistance as one of his "friends" who had overcome the problem with a bore by July and promised him "a ton a minute for yourself and your family, sir, for nevermore".

LETTER BOX: The village mail box was still located up the lane outside Captain Goldsmith's house in 1859 until Dickens requested its placement at his wall on the Gravesend Road. In those two years or so, from 1857, Dickens would have needed to post and collect his burgeoning mail daily by visiting Captain Goldsmith's house. And while the Captain might have put questions to Dickens about his fictional characters, Dickens in turn would have learnt a great deal from Captain Goldsmith about transported convicts' miseries and settlers' prosperity in the Australian colonies. During the Gad's Hill Place years until his death, Dickens wrote these great works of fiction:

Little Dorrit (Monthly serial, December 1855 to June 1857)
A Tale of Two Cities (Weekly serial in All the Year Round, 30 April 1859, to 26 November 1859)
Great Expectations (Weekly serial in All the Year Round, 1 December 1860 to 3 August 1861)
The Uncommercial Traveller (1860–1869)
Our Mutual Friend (Monthly serial, May 1864 to November 1865)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Monthly serial, April 1870 to September 1870. Only six of twelve planned numbers completed)

There were tales too told of Sir John Franklin, Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) who was a close friend and dinner companion of Captain Edward Goldsmith. Franklin's disappearance in 1847 in the Canadian Arctic inspired Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens to write and perform the drama, The Frozen Deep (1856). Their performances in the play bookend the 2013 film The Invisible Woman  (dir. Ralph Fiennes).



Tom Hollander as Wilkie Collins, and Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens in The Invisible Woman (BBC Films)

CHALK CHURCH: Both men favoured the little Chalk Church (St Mary's) above all others in the area. Dickens would make a greeting to the carving of a tipsy monk above the Church  porch on his walks back from Rochester. Captain Edward Goldsmith, his wife Elizabeth, and their son Edward Goldsmith jnr were all buried in the Chalk Church graveyard.

RENOVATIONS, extensions, leases on meadows and fields etc: These were extensive on the part of both Captain Goldsmith and Charles Dickens, intertwining their lives right up to their deaths, respectively in 1869 and 1870. In the 1881 UK Census, Edward Goldsmith jnr, aged 44 yrs,  and his wife Sarah Jane Goldsmith, aged 43yrs, born at Deptford, Kent in 1838, were resident at 13 Upper Clarence Place, Rochester, Kent, next door to the house at No. 11 Upper Clarence Place where Charles Dickens’ mistress Ellen Ternan was born (she first met Dickens in 1857). Edward’s income was “HOUSES” in 1881. He had inherited extensive leaseholds and real estate from his father Captain Edward Goldsmith, and mother Elizabeth Goldsmith nee Day, but by 1883, Edward was dead, aged 46yrs old. He was buried with his parents at Chalk Church.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
And many thanks to Carole Turner, former resident of Gads Hill House in the 1980s. for personal communications.

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