Sunday, May 29, 2016

Captain Edward Goldsmith at Secheron Bay 1839

GEORGE FRANKLAND surveyor and cartographer
SECHERON estate and patent slip

Artist Joseph Lycett chose Mt Nelson near Hobart as the perspectival point of this aquatint he executed from Mulgrave Battery ca. 1825. The deep inlet just beyond the couple in the foreground is Secheron Bay, devoid as yet of foreshore activity or development.

National Library of Australia
Creator Lycett, Joseph, approximately 1775-1828
Title Mount Nelson, near Hobart Town from near Mulgrave Battery, Van Diemens Land [picture] / J. Lycett delt. et execut
Call Number PIC Volume 1103 #S446
Created/Published London (73 St. Paul's Church Yard) : Published by J. Souter, Feb.1, 1825
Extent1 print : aquatint, hand col. ; plate mark 23 x 33 cm.

Surveyor-General, George Frankland acquired seven acres of land at Secheron Bay on the south side of Hobart's harbour from Robert Kermode in 1831, part of an original grant of 90 acres passed to Robert Kermode in 1824 from land held by Lieutenant-Governor Sorell. George Frankland built a large residence on the estate, Secheron House, which is still standing today, and offered parcels along his river frontage for sale to merchants and ship builders wanting direct access to private warehouses and wharves. He was accused of using the government resources of his office to personal advantage through these sorts of land deals (Colonial Times,  29 November 1836),

Detail of map (below) by George Frankland dated 9th July 1832, amended 12th July 1841, showing, from extreme left, his property of Secheron (in the present suburb of Battery Point), bordering a large strip of private land which in turn bordered on Crown Land where the Mulgrave Battery on the point and the Port Officer's house were located. The strip of private land was offered for sale in 1836 with allotments for warehouse, wharf and patent slip development.

Map of Hobart by Surveyor-General George Frankland dated 9th July 1832, amended 12th July 1841
Archives Office of Tasmania
Ref: AF394_1_112

Despite the large number of ships docking at the port of Hobart Town, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) from the beginning of the 1800s to the 1850s, whether bringing convicted criminals under sentence of transportation, or merchandise for the settler population, there was no patent slip at Hobart where ships via South America and South Africa could be repaired safely after voyages of four months or longer. George Frankland clearly opined that the river frontage directly beneath his estate would suit the purpose. He drew up a map of his estate and marked the spot where the proposed patent slip could be laid down. The site is at the end of what is now Finlay St. Battery Point, adjacent to the A. J. White Park.

Detail of Secheron, estate of the late George Frankland, Surveyor-General, showing the suggested site for a patent slip.

Map of Secheron, estate of the late George Frankland, Sureveyor-General, showing the site of a proposed patent slip at right, and inset of allotments for warehouse and wharf development.
Archives Office of Tasmania, Estate and Allotments Plans, 1846-1851 Ref: NS596_1

George Frankland advertised the Public Auction of the wharf allotments to take place opposite his residence at Secheron, stressing their "peculiar advantages" to private mercantile interests.

Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) Tue 12 Jan 1836 Page 2 Advertising

Sale of very valuable Wharf Allotments
Has the pleasure to announce, that on Friday the 29th instant, he will offer for sale by Public Auction on the premises, opposite the residence of G. Frankland, Esq.
FOUR Allotments of Ground, fronting on the "Derwent", near Mulgrave Battery. These parcels of ground have been apportioned with a view to the construction of private Wharfs, and Warehouses on the edge of the water, and being the first allotments possessing such advantages that have ever been offered to the public, in any part of the Harbour, their value far exceeds that of any heretofore sold.
By the peculiar advantages of the situation, merchants building warehouses on this ground, will be enabled to lay vessels of large burthen alongside their Jetties to load and discharge, and will be secured from the great inconvenience and risk attendant on Public Wharfs.
Adjoining lot 1, of these allotments, is the only place in the Harbour calculated for laying down a Patent Slip.
TERMS. - A deposit of ten percent on the amount of the purchase money, to be paid at the time of Sale, and for the remainder a credit of ten years, bearing interest at ten percent, per annum, with the usual security on the property.
A ground plan of the lots, together with vertical sections of the soundings along the anchorage, may be seen at the Auctioneers.
N.B. - The title to the property is a grant from the Crown, free of Quit Rent.

The allotments at Secheron Bay were advertised again, this time for lease, as suitable for patent slips, ship-building, and careening (tidal) wharfs. In this advertisement the importance of the warehouse, also on offer, was stressed as shelter for oil casks during the "hot season".

Source: The Hobart Town Courier (Tas. : 1827 - 1839) Fri 29 Sep 1837 Page 1 Classified Advertising

Valuable Wharf Allotments
Fronting on the Harbour
To be Let, for a term of years, several Wharf Allotments, in the Bay of Secheron, calculated either for ship-building, oil wharfs. warehouses, careening wharfs, or patent slips.
Also, -
A Warehouse, measuring 80 feet by 25, adapted for oil or other colonial produce.
The great loss annually sustained by the exposure of oil casks on the public wharfs, during the hot season, renders this opportunity of securing commodious shelter and safety for that valuable staple, peculiarly deserving of the attention of merchants engaged in the oil trade.
For the purposes of ship-building, these grounds present a combination of facilities not to be found in any other part of the Derwent, as they have the united advantages of deep water frontage. shelter, gradual slope of bank, and centrical situation. Apply at the Courier office.
Aug. 15.

Surveyor-general George Frankland (1800-1838) wanted to leave the colony of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) by September 1838, feeling he had done his duty as map maker to settlers and administrators alike, somewhat tired of accusations that he was using the resources of his office for private gain. He advertised his house Secheron at Battery Point for sale in January 1838 but it did not sell, so in September he tendered it to the government for five years. He died within months, on 30 December 1838 from illness.
Frankland never seems to have thought of himself as a colonist, and soon after his appointment referred to it only as one 'likely to detain me many years in this Colony'. He took a maximum land grant, but at the end of 1835 sought two years leave to visit Europe. It was postponed until 1838, when he appeared intent on leaving for good: in January he was advertising for sale his beloved house, Secheron, designed by himself on Battery Point. It did not sell and in September he tendered it to the government for five years. Read more at ADB here...
By 1840, the point at Secheron was offered to the local government for a new battery (Colonial Times, 6 October 1840), and by July 1845, the whole seven acres of the property known as Secheron, including the house and Mulgrave Signal Station were for sale (Courier 30 July 1845).

Secheron House, Battery Point, Hobart 1920s
Photographer: Frank Heyward (1876-1942)
Early Tasmanian Architecture [album 1]
Source: Archives Office Tasmania

Captain Edward Goldsmith arrived back at Gravesend, London in command of the barque Wave, 345 tons, on 12th February 1839, completing the round trip to and from Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) just in time to see his dying father, Richard Goldsmith snr, and sign the codicils to his father's last will and testament. Richard Goldsmith snr died on the 19th March 1839 and was buried in the graveyard of St Mary Rotherithe, known as the Mayflower Church. The following week, Captain Edward Goldsmith submitted a report to the Association for the Colonisation of the Falkland Islands which was formed by his friend Lt. Capt. Wm Langdon in VDL and others who were urging the British government to establish a naval base and penal colony on the islands. His letter confirming the views of Association was published in the Colonial Gazette of the 6th April, stating from his point of view the obvious need of a supply depot midway en route to the Australian colonies:
... I cannot imagine how our Government could, for so long a time, have overlooked so valuable and important a place not only as a naval depot, but as a Colony and resort for our numberless merchantmen requiring supplies in that quarter....
On 2nd June 1839, he sailed again from London for Van Diemen's Land in command of the Wave, arriving at Hobart on 25th September 1839 with ten passengers and a general cargo.

Port Officer's Log, the barque Wave,
Sailed on 2nd June 1839, Arrived at Hobart 25th September 1839, State of Health, Good, Master, Edward Goldsmith, Owners, Phillips & Co., Tons, 345, Guns, 2, Port of Registry, London, Build, British, Crew, 16, Cargo, General Pilot, Mr. Aldridge, Record Type: Arrivals, Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:433018, Resource MB2/39/1/4 P351, Archives Office Tasmania

SEPT. 26. - Arrived the barque Wave, 345 tons, Goldsmith, master, from London, with a general cargo. - Passengers, Messrs. Barnard, Roop, Herring, Walker, W. M. Cook, Davis, Bennett, Leftwick, Roworzing, and Mrs. Bennett
Source: Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) Tue 1 Oct 1839 Page 4 Shipping Intelligence.

Within weeks of arriving at Hobart, Captain Goldsmith formed a ship building company with Messrs Bilton, Haig, Meaburn and Williamson and purchased the land on offer at Secheron Bay with intentions of constructing a patent slip. Messrs Bilton and Meaburn were shipping agents; Captain Haig had completed a warehouse on his river frontage in 1834, with plans for extension, and shipwright William Williamson had tendered for the construction of a dry dock. They purchased the private strip of land adjoining the stone wall boundary of the Secheron estate which included a house and premises, originally in the ownership of Henry W. Mortimer, butcher and gunsmith. William Williamson's tender was successful. He went ahead with the building of three wooden cargo schooners there between 1837-1839.

Source: Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 - 1844) Wed 6 Nov 1839 Page 3 V. D. LAND EXTRACTS.

LAND.-The property of Mr H. W. Mortimer,sold on Wednesday last by Mr W.T. Macmichael, realized the following prices, viz.-an allotment fronting the Derwent, 115 feet,£5 5s per foot,£903 12s do do. 115 feet, £9 10s, £1092 10s; and the dwelling house and premises, £625.-Messrs Bilton & Meaburn, and Captain Goldsmith of the Wave were purchasers, and we have been informed it is their intention to lay down a patent slip, which Captain Goldsmith will bring with him next voyage.-
Source: Southern Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1838 - 1844) Wed 6 Nov 1839 Page 3 V. D. LAND EXTRACTS.

Source: Colonial Times, Tues 29 October 1839, page 7, Domestic Intelligence

SHIP BUILDING. - A Ship Building Company, composed of Messrs. Bilton, Goldsmith, Haig, Meaburn, and Williamson, are just about to commence, on the ground lately purchased from Mr. Mortimer, where an extensive and well sheltered building yard, and patent slip, are to be erected; an enterprise very much required, and deserving of encouragement. The parties are all gentlemen of practical knowledge, a qualification very much calculated to give general satisfaction, and to ensure success, for the attainment of which they have our best wishes.

The ship building company was disbanded in 1841, as the Courier reported in this notice:
NOTICE.- The Copartnership hitherto carried on by the undersigned, under the style or firm of "The Derwent Ship Building Company", has been dissolved as on this date.
George Bilton
  for John James Meaburn
Andrew Haig
E. Goldsmith
Wm. Williamson
Witness- Robert Pitcairn
Hobart Town, March 3. [1841]
Source: Classified Advertising. (1841, March 5). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), p. 3. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from

Ship-building on Battery Point's slipyards gained considerable momentum during the peak whaling years of the 1830s, Attention turned to producing larger vessels in the 1840s. Enthusiasm for the fine barque, the Rattler, a 552 tons A1 vessel which Captain Goldsmith first sailed to Hobart on its maiden voyage in 1846, was expressed in this report on the progress of local ship-builders using the colony's own timbers, notably the blue gum (eucalyptus globulus) and Huon Pine.

Source: Hobart Courier, 23 August 1848

- The Harpley, built by Mr. Raven, in Launceston, has been classed by the surveyors for Lloyd's A1 for ten years, the same as the Rattler and Windermere, being one year longer than the Jane Frances, Aden and Colonist. This is a gratifying fact, and will offer increased inducement to ship-building in Van Diemen's Land. The surveyors at Lloyd's are good judges of the durability and qualities of the material used; the classification of the Harpley may therefore be regarded as incontestable evidence of the applicability of the timber of this colony to purposes of shipping.

Risby Bros. timber yard showing Secheron House in background late 1800s
Archives Office Tasmania

The barque Eucalyptus on slip ca, 1862 [unattributed]
Williamson's Dockyard with Secheron House in background
Ref: AUTAS001126070440w800
Archives Office Tasmania

1849 -1855
The construction of a dry dock at Secheron Bay by William Williamson proved inadequate to the repair needs of large vessels. Captain Edward Goldsmith used the patent slip at Sydney Cove NSW on return voyages from Hobart to London via Sydney for the repair of his ships during the 1840s. While on an extended stay with the Parrock Hall from London to Sydney in November 1844, departing January 1845, he drew up a proposal for a new patent slip at Hobart to be presented to the colony’s governor Sir William Denison who reviewed it in 1849, and suggested it would best be situated on the other side of the harbour (Sullivan Cove), at the Old Wharf behind the Commissariat Stores, the site now part of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Historic Precinct. However, by 1851, with difficulties associated with modifications to the Old Wharf, the patent slip was relocated to the Queen’s Domain, on the foreshore of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Captain Goldsmith arrived at Hobart with the patent slip on board the Rattler in December 1851, and issued a notice to contractors to tender for its construction.
The New Patent Slip has been brought out by Captain Goldsmith of the Rattler. It is capable of heaving a steamer of 1000 tons burthen, or vessel of 800 tons. Hobart Town Courier
Source; Sydney Morning Herald 13 December 1849
Tenders will be received at the counting house of the undersigned, until 12 o’clock on Friday, 1st August, for the works necessary in laying down a Patent Slip in the Government Domain.
Plans, specifications, and all necessary particulars, may be learnt on application to
Davey-street, July 4, 1851
Source: Colonial Times 29 July 1851

However, construction of the patent slip at the Queen's Domain did not proceed as planned. Sir William Denison, the Colony’s governor in 1849 was most enthusiastic about Captain Goldsmith’s plans for a patent slip, but the government’s refusal to recompense him fully for expenses in building the twin steamer the Kangaroo in 1854, had already led to major disappointment. The final insult came with the government not meeting their own terms of agreement in promising assistance to build the patent slip. Sir John Franklin’s nephew, William Porden Kay, was the Director of Public Works in 1855 when he wrote the Report on Captain Goldsmith’s Patent Slip. The Report covers the years 1849 to 1855 (read the full transcript here) from the first date of Captain Goldsmith’s proposal of a patent slip, to Captain Goldsmith’s receipt of timber in November 1854 on condition work started on the slip within six months. The report details the frustrations, delays, obstacles, objections and unreasonable conditions placed on Captain Goldsmith prior to his sale of his interest and lease to the McGregor brothers. Personal tragedy also beset him: his eldest son Richard Sydney Goldsmith, a clerk at the Union Bank, died of fever in August 1854, Hobart, aged 24 yrs. By November 1855, Captain and Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith, and their only surviving son Edward Goldsmith jnr were preparing to depart permanently from Tasmania. They had auctioned the contents of their house at 19 Davey St. in mid 1855, and advertised the stock of Goldsmith's yard on the Government Domain for sale. They sailed from Tasmania as passengers on board the Indian Queen in February 1856:
Unreserved Clearing Sale of the well selected and thoroughly seasoned Gum, Planking, Knees, Treenails, English Pine Spars, Yards, Cut Deals, Huon Pine in Logs; also Pitch, New Ten-ton Launch, Punts, &c, &c,, at the Yard of Captain Goldsmith, Government Domain.
Source: Hobart Courier, 12th November 1855.

The original slipyard site on the Domain on the foreshore of the Royal Botanical Gardens commenced by Captain Edward Goldsmith in 1851 is still in operation, now owned by TasPorts.

The Domain slipyard and slip Hobart Tasmania 2014
Photos © KLW NFC 2014

The Secheron Bay Site Today

Detail: map of Hobart by R. Jarman - Battery Point ca. 1858:
Top circle = Goldsmith's patent slip and Williamson's Dry Dock on the river frontage at Secheron Bay.
Lower circle= where Ross relocated the patent slip at the end of Sloane St. in 1866.
At peak capacity, the technologically-advanced, steam-powered winch of the Ross Patent Slip had the power to manage vessels of up to 1,250 tonnes deadweight. But few ships of that size were built here - most of the slip's work was in maintenance and repair, hauling the vessels from the water in a cloud of hissing steam and billowing smoke.Ross's Patent Slip operated here from 1866 before being dismantled in 1903. Later slipways and shipyards took over the lower part of the site and are still working today.
For an overview of the function, history and preservation of the slip yards, see this Report on Battery Point Slipyards Conservation Plan 2008.

The proposed site for the patent slip in 1836, suggested by George Frankland and purchased by Captain Goldsmith and partners (see Google map below marked with a red cross), is now an empty space on the riverfront at the end of Finlay Street, Battery Point. After William Williamson sold the slip to John Ross in 1866, it was relocated to a site known as the Ross Patent Slip, now an empty stone shell located at the end of Sloane Street, Battery Point. The large cost of relocation caused foreclosure on Ross' loan in 1870, and John Lucas was next to acquire the site until its eventual sale to the Marine Board in the early 1900s. Today, the remnant of the Ross slipyard is visible from the foreshore below Sloane St. Battery Point, the last address of master mariner Captain James Day, who died there in 1882, and who must have spent many hours at the Domain and Secheron Bay slips first established by his brother-in-law, Captain Edward Goldsmith, uncle of Thomas Nevin's wife, Elizabeth Rachel Day.

A brick shell: site of the slip below Sloane St. Battery Point, Hobart Tasmania
Photo © KLW NFC 2014

The site of the original proposed slip and shipbuilding yard at Secheron Bay in 1839, situated at the end of Finlay Street, Battery Point  - marked X with a red cross.
Google maps 2016.

RELATED POSTS main weblog

Friday, May 27, 2016

Captain Goldsmith & death at sea of Antarctic circumnavigator Captain John Biscoe 1843


State Library of NSW
Mrs John Biscoe, nee Emma Crowe, ca. 1872 / photograph by J.F. Blenner-Hasset, Islington & Pentonville
Call Number P1 / 176
Digital Order No. a4176076

1842: Subscriptions
By October 1842, Captain John Biscoe was in such poor health and so impoverished from "the hardships and privations" endured on his voyages of circumnavigation and exploration of the Antarctic and desperate enough to return to England that a subscription was advertised for charitable donations to pay the costs of sending him and his family home. With urgency attending the voyage, Governor Sir John Franklin initiated the subscription and underwrote the cost for Captain Biscoe, his wife Emma Biscoe nee Crowe, and their four children to sail on board the barque Janet Izat, commanded by his good friend Captain Edward Goldsmith.

Source: Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) Tue 25 Oct 1842 Page 1 ;Advertising

THE CHARITABLE DONATIONS of the public are earnestly solicited on behalf of Captain John Biscoe, late of the Marian Watson, and formerly of the schooner Tula, of about 120 tons, in which vessel, accompanied by the cutter Lively, of forty-six tons only, he explored the Southern Regions, generally, for the space of three years; whose unexampled intrepidity on that occasion, in the search of scientific knowledge, is admitted by public testimonials from the British and foreign governments, and whose tract is marked on the present Admiralty charts; the hardships and privations of that voyage gave a blow to his constitution, which, after a long series of illness, has at last incapacitated him from following his profession.
His friends now seek the means to enable him to return with his family to England, and confidently appeal to the benevolence of the Van Diemen's Land public to effect it.
Subscriptions received at all the Banks, and by Mr. William Carter, Treasurer.
Sir John Franklin . 10 10 0 Sir John Pedder. 5 0 0 G. T. W. B. Boyes. 2 0 0 [etc]

Captain Goldsmith had departed London on the bark Janet Izat, 229 tons, on 24th June 1842, arriving at Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on 26th October 1842. A week later, on November 1st, he dined with Sir John and Lady Frankiln at Government House in the company of Messrs Calder, Boyes and Mulligan. Their plan for the safe return passage of Captain Biscoe and family with Captain Goldsmith was chief among topics of discussion at dinner, and on the topic of polar exploration, John Franklin no doubt foreshadowed his desire to reprise a commission from the Admiralty to lead a naval expedition to the Arctic. The Janet Izat stayed in Hobart with preparations for departure nearly complete by January 20th, 1843.

Source: Colonial Times (Hobart, Tas. : 1828 - 1857) Tue 1 Nov 1842 Page 2 SHIP NEWS.

Departing, the Janet Izat, Cpt Edward Goldsmith, master at Hobart
The Hobart Courier, 20th January 1843

FOR LONDON. - To Sail on 15th February - The fine bark JANET IZAT
EDWARD GOLDSMITH (late of the Wave), Commander, having all her oil and a great part of her wool on board, will positively sail as above. For freight or passage, apply to Captain Goldsmith on board, or to KENNARDS, CHAPMAN & Co.
The above vessel has excellent accommodation for steerage passengers. New Wharf, January 20.
1843: Died at Sea
The Janet Izat sailed without delay on February 15th 1843, with twelve cabin passengers - Captain Biscoe listed simply as Mr. Biscoe - and eleven in steerage.

Sailed, the Janet Izat, Cpt Edward Goldsmith, master
The Hobart Courier, 17th February 1843

15. - Sailed the bark Janet Izat, 220 tons, Goldsmith, for London, with oil and wool - passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Doughty, Mr. amd Mrs. Biscoe and family, Mr. Barnard, Mr. Tennyson, Mr. Arthur Sutherland, Miss Rowe; and eleven in the steerage.

News of Captain Biscoe's death at sea was not published until November 1843. He had died on the voyage between February 15th and the arrival of the Janet Izat back in London in June 1843.

DIED. - At sea (on board the Janet Izat.) on his passage to England, Captain Biscoe

Cornwall Chronicle, 24 November 1843

1849: Widow Biscoe in Distress

Appeal to assist Captain Biscoe's widow and children
The Nautical Magazine. v. 18 (1849). p.168

THE LATE MR. JOHN BISCOE, R.N. - Our readers who delight in deeds of charity, will find in our advertisement sheet, a tale of sad distress that will call forth all their commiseration. The case of the Widow and Four Children of the late Mr. Biscoe, Acting-Master R. N. , was happily discovered in time to prevent them from perishing by mere want of sustenance and common apparel.
So distressing a case among the widows of Naval Officers we have never before met with, and such a one is scarcely credible in this land! We trust some of the influential individuals whose name we see among the subscribers, will not stay their efforts in the good work thus commenced, until the objects expressed in the advertisement are achieved. And were those objects and the condition of Mrs. Biscoe and her children, made know to Her Majesty the Dowager Queen Adelaide, the real friend of the sailor's widow in distress, we are satisfied they would not be unheeded.

John Biscoe's discovery of Enderby Land

Enderby Land top right of map
Transantarctic Mountains, West Antarctica, East Antarctica (NASA)

Biography: John Biscoe (1794-1843)
Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography
John Biscoe (1794-1843), sea captain, was born at Enfield, Middlesex, England, the son of Thomas Biscoe of Waltham Abbey and his wife Anne, née Tibbs. In 1812 he joined the navy and served during the American war in the San Domingo, Colibri and Moselle, of which he became acting master. After the war he joined the mercantile marine, sailing as mate and master to the East and West Indies and to most parts of the known world. In 1830 he was appointed by the London whaling and sealing firm of Enderby to command the brig Tula, 150 tons, and the cutter Lively, 49 tons, on a voyage of discovery to high southern latitudes. The vessels circumnavigated the Antarctic continent, visited the South Sandwich and South Shetland Islands, and discovered Enderby Land (28 February 1831), Adelaide Island and the northern Biscoe Islands (February 1832). They also discovered and annexed part of the Antarctic peninsula (21 February 1832) in the name of King William IV, calling it Graham Land. After the discovery of Enderby Land the ships were separated during a gale. The Tula put into Hobart Town where she was eventually reunited with the Lively, which made her landfall at Port Phillip.
On return to London, Biscoe published the account of his voyage and was awarded the royal premium of the Royal Geographical Society and was similarly honoured by the Paris Société de Géographie. In 1833, despite the lack of commercial success of the previous voyage, Biscoe was nominated by the Enderbys to command a second exploring expedition to the Antarctic in the Hopefull and the Rose, but for reasons unknown the vessels sailed without him and he returned to more humdrum commands trading between Liverpool and the West Indies.
On 8 September 1836 Biscoe married Emma Crowe in London. Next year he sailed for Australia in the Superb. He made an abortive southern sealing and exploring voyage from Port Jackson in 1838-39 in the brig Emma. His family moved from Sydney to Hobart in 1840, while Biscoe became master of various intercolonial vessels sailing between Hobart, Sydney and Port Phillip. An appeal headed by Sir John Franklin was made in the Hobart newspapers of 1842 for money to send Biscoe back to England. He was described as being incapacitated by much illness due to the privations of his great Antarctic voyage. He and his family sailed for London in the barque Janet Izat in February 1843, but Biscoe died at sea. In 1849 an appeal was made in the Nautical Magazine for his widow and four children.
Biscoe followed James Cook and Fabian Bellingshausen in circumnavigating the Antarctic continent. Although organized on much smaller lines than these two national expeditions, his voyage had important geographical results. He was the first to chart portions of the Antarctic continent other than the peninsula. His courage in the face of great difficulties and dangers was admirable, and his perseverance, despite damaged ships, treacherous ice and a diminished crew, went far beyond duty.

1845-48: Sir John Franklin in the Arctic
Sir John Franklin departed Van Diemen's Land for Port Phillip, Victoria, on board the Flying Fish, in the same year, 22nd November 1843,. He embarked on the British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition in 1845 only to lose his life in the Canadian Arctic in 1847, along with his entire crew, Members of the expedition were photographed by Richard Beard before departure. Lt. Graham Gore was among those who perished.

Portrait of Lt Graham Gore
Photographer: Richard Beard. Expedition: British Naval Northwest Passage Expedition, 1845-48. Location: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. Original format: daguerreotype
Three-quarter length portrait of Lieutenant Graham Gore, Commander, seated with arms folded.
Copyright © Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Media ID 11475802

Supply ship John Biscoe 1964
In recognition of the achievements of John Biscoe, Crown agents bought a wooden, diesel-electric-powered ex-boom defence vessel, 194 feet long with a displacement of 1000 tons on behalf of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey to deliver supplies to the Antarctic bases for a year, and named it the John Biscoe.

At YouTube: The John Biscoe 1964 NB: this is silent footage

Documentation on file regarding supplying the British Antarctic Survey and refers to the Captain of 'John Biscoe' as William Johnston.
LS. Supply ship stuck in ice. LS. Iceberg and pan to men walking on ice and then the ship again. MS. Man climbing up side of ship 'John Biscoe' on rope ladder. Angle MS. Looking down on men working in ship's hold. LS. Man working winch on deck. High angle shot of supplies being raised out of hold. MS. Winch turning. VS. Supplies being loaded into smaller boat. LS. Smaller boat floating away with supplies on. CU. Pilot of supply boat. VS. Small supply boat come alongside ice pack and it's unloaded. VS. Snowmobile (Powered sledge) being pulled ashore. VS. Snowmobile in action on the snow and ice. VS. Of the snowmobile pilot and view out of window. MS. Snow mobile pulling supply sledge along. LS. The 'John Biscoe'. LS. Otter Helicopter on the snow to take away supplies. LS. R.N. Otter helicopter in flight taking the supplies away. VS. Helicopter landing on ice and supplies unloaded. VS. Small plane arriving and giving supplies to a small expedition camp and it takes off again. GV. Antarctic landscape pan.


Her Home, The Antarctic: The Royal Research Ship John Biscoe
Author: Trevor Boult, Amberley Publishing Limited, 16 Jul. 2014
Google books

The Enderby Land Project

Friday, May 20, 2016

The desecration of Minnie Carr's grave 1898


Thomas Nevin's stereo of his sister Mary Anne Nevin ca. 1870 dipping a glass at the creek, Kangaroo Valley Hobart
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012. Private Collection.

There was tragedy awaiting Thomas Nevin's younger sister Mary Ann, though they would hardly have anticipated what it might be when he took this photograph - almost as a snapshot - of her ca. 1868-1870 at the New Town Creek, Kangaroo Valley (Tasmania). The family had  already lost one sister, Rebecca Jane Nevin to illness by 1865, the year that Mary Ann applied unsuccessfully to the Board of Education to establish a school at Kangaroo Valley with the support of family friend Morton Allport. But she persisted on her own account with support from her father, John Nevin snr, and used the schoolhouse adjoining the Wesleyan Chapel close by the house her father had built on land owned by the Wesleyan Trust, up the hill from the Lady Franklin Museum at Ancanthe.

In 1875, her father John Nevin snr was granted a license to teach adult males at night at the Wesleyan schoolhouse, Kangaroo Valley. His wife Mary Ann nee Dickson, (sister of the Newtonards nurseryman Alexander Dickson) and mother to Mary Ann and her two brothers, photographer Thomas Nevin and Constable John Nevin, had died in the same year. By May 1877 their surviving sister Mary Ann Nevin had married mariner Captain John Carr at the Wesleyan Chapel, Kangaroo Valley, and moved to Victoria. In 1878, she died of peritonitis 22 days after delivering her daughter Mary Ann Carr at Railway Place, Sandridge. Her husband, mariner John Carr, remained in Victoria and surrendered the child to his father-in-law. Her daughter was returned to the care of Thomas and Jack Nevin's father John Nevin snr in 1879 at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania. John Nevin snr made the heartfelt decision in 1879 to remarry in order to provide his grandchild Mary Ann Carr with a maternal presence. He married Martha Genge, the widowed daughter of his close friend, Wesleyan preacher William Genge. At the time of their marriage and their adoption of his daughter's daughter, John Nevin snr was 71 yrs old, and Martha Genge, (widowed as Salter) was 46 years old. The grandchild was named Mary Ann after her mother (Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, 1845-1878), her grandmother (Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson, 1810-1875) and later nicknamed Minnie after her cousin Mary Anne Drew nee Nevin (1884-1974), who was born to Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin in 1884.

Archives Office of Tasmania
Marriage of John Carr to Mary Anne Nevin, 3 May 1877
Resource RGD37/1/36 no 359

[Above:] Marriage of Mary Anne Nevin, 31 years old, gardener's daughter, to John Carr, 37 yrs old, seaman, on 3rd May 1877 at the Wesleyan Church, Kangaroo Valley, New Town Hobart.
Witnesses were her father John Nevin snr, her brother John Nevin jnr, her sister-in-law Mary Sophia Day (sister of Thomas Nevin's wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day) and Mary Hurst  (1839-1925), sister of Thomas Nevin's friend, surveyor John Hurst.

Thomas Nevin's niece, known thereafter as Minnie Carr who survived her mother's death three weeks after birth was raised by her grandfather John Nevin snr and his second wife Martha Nevin, formerly Salter,  nee Genge, When John Nevin snr died in 1887 (b. 1808), Martha Nevin moved from Kangaroo Valley (New Town) to 76 Patrick Street, Hobart and continued to care for her step-granddaughter Minnie Carr, but within a decade Minnie Carr would also "join the great majority", to use her grandfather's poetic turn of phrase. In 1898 and just  20 yrs old, she died suddenly of gastric poisoning and haemorrhage. The funeral notice simply stated that at the time of her death she was living at her mother's house, though that was not strictly correct. Martha Nevin was her step-grandmother by way of her grandfather John Nevin snr's 'second marriage, not her mother or even step mother, but because of Martha Nevin's relative youth in 1879 when she married John Nevin, she was most likely considered a step-mother rather than step-grandmother to the child whom she had raised, practically from birth.

[Above] Thomas Nevin's stereograph of his sister Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1870
Photographed with four children, one holding a toddler, and a tall man in shirt sleeves at the Kangaroo Valley school (in background) where both she and her father John Nevin snr were teachers.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.1.2 [scan 2015]. Verso below.

Verso: Thomas Nevin's stereograph of his sister Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1870
Photographed with four chidren, one holding a toddler, and a tall man in shirt sleeves at the Kangaroo Valley school (in background) where both she and her father John Nevin snr were teachers.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.1.2 [scan 2015].

Death of Thomas J. Nevin's sister Mary Ann Carr (1845-1878)
Public Records Office of Victoria No. 9830

Details: Death certificate of Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, of Railway Place, Borough of Sandridge (Victoria), dated 27th July 1878. Buried at Melbourne General Cemetery. Registered as a married woman, 33 years old, born in County Down, Ireland, formerly of Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania, lived 6½ months in Victoria. Wife of mariner John Carr. Death due to peritonitis 22 days after the birth of her daughter, Mary Ann. Parents registered as John Nevin, listed here as a labourer, and mother Mary Ann Nevin formerly Dickson.

Mercury, 9th August 1878
CARR. - On July 27, at her residence, Sandridge, Victoria, in the 34th year of her age, Mary Ann, the beloved wife of John Carr, the only surviving daughter of Mr. John Nevin, Kangaroo Valley, New Town.
The Grandfather's Second Marriage
Four years after the death from bladder complications of Thomas J. Nevin's mother Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (1810-1875), his father John Nevin snr (1808-1887) re-married, and to a much younger woman, widow Martha Salter nee Genge (1833-1925), daughter of his close friend, Methodist lay preacher and church sexton William Genge. At the time of their marriage in October 1879, John Nevin was 71 yrs old, and Martha Salter was 46 yrs old. The age difference  might even stir comment in this day and age, but there was an urgent reason behind this marriage which centered on John Nevin's grand-daughter, Minnie Carr.

John Nevin snr, (1808-1887)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/155 copy
Original photo by his son Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012

Martha Nevin, formerly Salter, nee Genge (1833-1925)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/194 copy
Original photos by Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2012

Archives Office Tasmania
Marriage of John Nevin snr and Martha Salter 23 October 1879
Kangaroo Valley New Town Tasmania
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:888757
Resource RGD37/1/38 no 711

[Above]: The marriage registration of John Nevin snr and Martha Salter nee Genge, 23rd October 1879 at Kangaroo Valley New Town. His age was 71, and his status/rank was listed as gardener. Her age was 46, living with her father, Sexton of Church, Description given was John Nevin, widower, Martha Salter, widow. Her mark X was inserted between her first name and surname, possibly indicating that her maiden name was to be added. Witnesses were James Genge, Martha Salter nee Genge's father, and F. R Alomes, a 30yr old farmer. Henry Moore officiated as Clergyman.

Disambiguation: Mary Ann Carr
Four women across three generations in Thomas Nevin's family were given the name "Mary Ann" at birth:

1. Thomas J. Nevin's mother, Mary Ann Nevin nee Dickson (born Edinburgh 1810, sister of Alexander Dickson, nurseryman of Newtonards, Ireland) who died in Hobart on 13th April 1875, aged 65 yrs, wife of John Nevin snr, and mother of Thomas James, Rebecca Jane, Mary Ann and William John Nevin. The family arrived as free settlers on board the Fairlie in July 1852.

[Above:] Thomas Nevin's photograph of his mother Mary Ann Nevin ca. 1873
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint and Shelverton Family Collections 2007

2. Thomas J. Nevin's sister, Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin (born Newtonards Ireland 1847) who married John Carr, son of Captain James Carr, at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Hobart in May, 1877 and died at Sandridge Victoria in 1878 giving birth to her daughter, also named Mary Ann Carr..

[Above] Thomas Nevin's mounted carte-de-visite portrait of his sister Mary Anne Nevin ca. 1874
Married John Carr 1877. Photo copyright © KLW NFC 2005. Private Collection.

3. Thomas J. Nevin's daughter, Mary Ann Nevin (Hobart 1884-1974), known as Minnie to the family, and as Minnie Drew when she married. Grand daughter of John Nevin snr, and cousin of Minnie Carr.

Minnie Nevin (1884-1974), aged 15yrs, ca. 1900
Daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin
Photo by Thomas Nevin, New Town Studio
Tasmanian Archives Collection (TAHO)
Black and white copy deposited 30/8/1974
Ref: NS434/1/230

4. Thomas J, Nevin's niece, Mary Ann Carr, known as Minnie Carr (born Sandridge Victoria 1878 - died Hobart 1898), daughter of his deceased sister Mary Ann Carr nee Nevin, She was brought back to Tasmania in 1879. Her grandfather John Nevin snr  married Martha Salter nee Genge in October 1879, who then became her "mother", young enough at 46 yrs old to cope with a  toddler, hence the reason for the marriage between John Nevin snr  and Martha Salter nee Genge, sister of Mary Chandler nee Genge.

The loss to Thomas Nevin and his younger brother Jack (William John) of their sister Mary Ann in childbirth in 1878 was a sudden shock,and yet one more loss to the family of immediate female relatives. Their only other sister Rebecca Jane Nevin had died in 1866 at Kangaroo Valley, aged 18 years, and their mother had died in 1875. In 1879, their father John Nevin made the in loco parentis decision to adopt his motherless grand-daughter Mary Ann Carr by bringing her back to Tasmania from Victoria, and marrying Martha Salter nee Genge, as a means of providing the child with a maternal carer. She became the fourth female in the Nevin family over three generations to be known as Mary Ann, and the second with the moniker "Minnie".

Mary Ann poisoned
Living at Kangaroo Valley, New Town Tasmania, Mary Ann or Minnie Carr, John Nevin's granddaughter was brought up within the family circle of her cousins of about the same age, the children of her aunt and uncle, Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day and photographer Thomas J. Nevin. But she was soon to lose her grandfather John Nevin. When he died in 1887 at Kangaroo Valley, she moved to 76 Patrick Street, Hobart, with her step-grandmother, Mrs Martha Nevin (formerly Salter, nee Genge) who was a widow again at 54 yrs old. Minnie Carr was not listed in the Post Office Directories at Martha Nevin's house in 1898, the year of her death or earlier because she was under 21 years old.

Martha Nevin, mispelt as NIVEN, 76 Patrick St Hobart
Post Office Directories, p.100, 1897 and p.106, 1898

At 76 Patrick Street, Hobart, widowed Mrs Martha Nevin took in a lodger, a young clerk called Arthur William Thomas Edwards, aged 22 yrs old. He was living there under the same roof in 1898 when Mary Ann or Minnie Carr, 20 years old, died suddenly of gastric poisoning and haemorrhage. The funeral notice said she died at the home of her mother, which was incorrect because her mother had died giving birth to her in 1878, twenty years previously. Her step-grandmother, Mrs Martha Nevin, 63 years old by this time, was regarded as her mother. The Post Office directories of the years preceding and following 1898 mispelt her name as Mrs Martha "Niven". Other variations recorded in 19th century documents for Thomas Nevin's family include "Nevan" and "Navin".

So what really caused 20 year old Minnie Carr's death in 1898? Had she self-administered poison because she might have fallen pregnant to the 22 yr old Arthur W T Edwards? Did Minnie Carr want to end an affair going on under the nose of her "mother" Mrs Martha Nevin  because the eligible Arthur W. T. Edwards had  met Jane Wale and loudly proclaimed his intention to marry said Jane. who also resided in Patrick Street. Strange indeed that Arthur W. T. Edwards had moved out of Mrs Martha Nevin's house to another lodging in Melville Street between the time of Mary Ann's death and his marriage to Jane Wale just a few months later, on February 19th, 1899. Had Mary Ann been raped, to have suffered such haemorrhaging? Had he poisoned her? Was Arthur more than just a cad? Was he totally innocent of the misadventure, or was his fiancee the perpetrator and his accomplice?

Marriage certificate of Arthur William Thomas Edwards to Louisa Jane Wale, 19th February 1899.
Marriages, Australia, Tasmania, Hobart. Archives Office Tasmania.

Title: Photograph - Panoramic view of Hobart from Holy Trinity tower- shows Church Street and Patrick Street buildings and details of St Andrew's burial ground and city centre in background
Description: 1 photographic print
Format: Photograph
ADRI: NS2960-2-3
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

Desecration of Mary Ann's grave
By the time of his cousin Minnie Carr's death in September 1898, Tom Nevin, known as Sonny (i.e. Thomas J. Nevin jnr), the eldest son of photographer Thomas J. Nevin was the closest she had to an older brother. The death notice stated that her mother's residence was at 76 Patrick Street, Hobart but in fact that was the address of her grandfather's widow, Martha Nevin who became her step-parents when Minnie's mother Mary Ann Carr died soon after giving birth in Victoria. Family members had left ribbons and cards at her graveside but within days, these tokens were stolen.

Death notice for Mary Ann Carr
Mercury 30 September 1898

CARR. - On September 28, 1898 at her mother's residence, 76, Patrick -street, Mary Ann Carr (Minnie), aged 20 years. Funeral will leave her late residence on SATURDAY, at 3 p.m., for Cornelian Bay Cemetery.
Sonny Nevin inserted an angry notice in the Mercury, offering a reward to anyone who knew about the thief responsible for the desecration of his cousin's grave.

Sergeant Thomas James Nevin jnr, aka “Sonny”  ca. 1940s, in Salvation Army uniform.
Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin, and cousin of Minnie Carr,
Taken shortly before his death in 1948.
Copyright © KLW NFC Pivate Collection 2009 ARR.

Sonny Nevin's notice in the Mercury 3 October 1898
Not to be confused with his father with same name
Desecration of his cousin Minne Carr's grave at Cornelian Bay cemetery.

Ribbons and Cards have been STOLEN from the grave of my cousin, Miss M. A, Carr, who was interred in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery on Saturday last, a reward will be paid for information as to the thief.
T. J. NEVIN, Elizabeth-street.
Source: Mercury 3 October 1898

Martha Salter nee Genge, relict of John Nevin snr
Martha Salter, widow, 42 years old, sailed from Plymouth (UK) on 21st June 1878 on board the Somersetshire. She disembarked at Melbourne (Victoria) and boarded the Tamar for Hobart Town, arriving on 16th August 1878 (Edward Freeman, agents). She was listed an an immigrant, 43 yrs old, without children, a Wesleyan who could read and whose stated qualification was "needlewoman".  She was born in Taunton, Somersetshire, England, to William Genge, her father who was already resident in Hobart, the sponsor who paid the bounty of £16 for her ticket (No. 215). His application, as noted on this document, was signed off by B. Travers Solly on 16th August 1878, and forwarded to Treasury on 22nd August 1878.

Salter, Martha
Record Type:Arrivals
Arrival date:16 Aug 1878
Departure port:London
Record ID:
CB7/23/1/1 p124
Archives Office Tasmania

Little more than a year after arriving in Tasmania, Martha Salter nee Genge, daughter of William Genge stonemason at the Wesleyan Chapel, Melville St. Hobart, Tasmania, married John Nevin snr of Kangaroo Valley (now Lenah Valley), Tasmania.

John Nevin snr, (1808-1887)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/155 copy
Original photo by his son Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2012

Martha Nevin, formerly Salter, nee Genge (1833-1925)
Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/194 copy
Original photos by Thomas J. Nevin taken at his New Town studio October 1879
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2012

 Martha Nevin formerly Salter nee Genge, was photographed at Thomas Nevin's studio, New Town in 1879, aged 46 years, on the occasion of her marriage to her second husband John Nevin, aged 71 yrs.

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca 1900

Martha Nevin nee Genge widow of John Nevin, taken ca. 1887-1890
TAHO Ref:NS434/1/194

By the early 1920s, Martha Nevin, formerly Salter nee Genge (1833-1925) was in her late eighties when her nephew James Chandler photographed her with his mother, Mary Chandler nee Genge.

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca 1920

Martha Nevin nee Genge ca. 1920
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/248

Martha Nevin nee Genge and Mary Genge ca 1920

Photographer: James Chandler
TAHO Ref: NS434/1/103
Martha Nevin nee Genge (left) and her sister Mary Chandler nee Genge (right) at Mt Stuart, Hobart – ca. 1920.
Photos copyright KLW NFC 2012

Start Date: 01 Jan 1910
End Date: 31 Dec 1935
James Chandler was a Hobart photographer. For many years he was a member of the Photographic Society and well-known on the Hobart waterfront as a marine photographer in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He was the youngest son of William Chandler, a bootmaker, and his wife Mary (nee Genge), the first couple married at the New Town Methodist Church on the 14 Jan 1868. His uncle was Jacob Chandler, a ship builder in Battery Point. He died in Hobart on 8 July 1945 and was cremated at Cornelian Bay 9 July 1945 aged 67, having been born on the 12 August 1877 in Hobart
Information Sources: Mercury 30 March 1945 p16 [Archives Office Tasmania]
 A short notice reporting the death of Martha Nevin nee Genge appeared in the Mercury, 9 March 1925, with incorrect information. It stated she was the relict of William Nevin: she was the relict of the late John Nevin snr, father of photographer Thomas J. Nevin.
NEVIN. -On March 7, 1925, at the residence of her brother (Mr. J. Genge), Boden [sic- should be Bowden]-street, Glenorchy, Martha, relict of the late William [sic – should be John] Nevin, in the 92nd year of her age.
Source: Family Notices. (1925, March 9). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from

Martha Nevin nee Genge burial 1925

Cemetery record for Martha Nevin, 9 March 1925

Sandridge, Victoria, 1870s,  a busy port where Mary Ann Nevin's husband, mariner John Carr worked, and where he remained after her death, surrendering his new-born daughter to his father-in-law, John Nevin snr, back at Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania in 1878.

View Sandridge Pier Melbourne (c. 1870s)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Accession Number 2002.406

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