Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Prisoner James ROGERS forges into the leap year 1868

Being bissextile, it was the year James Rogers learnt that making his own addition to a £1 note passed at the Help Me Through The World Hotel for a pint with his mate Fred Foster would subtract eight years from his life lived free from incarceration.
1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1868th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 868th year of the 2nd millennium, the 68th year of the 19th century, and the 9th year of the 1860s decade. As of the start of 1868, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

The Mugshot

Prisoner James ROGERS (1825-1899)
Police mugshot taken by T. J. Nevin of James Rogers at discharge from the Port Arthur prison
Date: 23 -27 May 1874
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Ref: Q15597

Verso: Prisoner James ROGERS (1825-1899)
Police mugshot taken by T. J. Nevin of James Rogers at discharge from the Port Arthur prison
Date: 23 -27 May 1874
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Ref: Q15597

The number inscribed recto on the mount - "136" - was an archivist's number which was shown to be one of dozens of  missing mugshots when the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, compiled a list of their holdings of these prisoner mugshots in the 1980s of all those donated from the estate of convictarian John Watt Beattie in 1930. Those that were missing - including this one of James Rogers - were removed in 1983 from the QVMAG and taken down to the Port Arthur prison heritage site for an exhibition,and never returned. They were deposited instead at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, along with another fifty (50) or more taken by Thomas Nevin in the 1870s, which were collected by John Watt Beattie in the 1900s, and are still held there today. See this collection by Nevin acquired as copies for this website in 2015 from the TMAG.

The inscription on the verso - Taken at Port Arthur 1874" - is usually factually incorrect, bearing little relation to the date and place of photographic capture and/or the criminal history of its sitter. Most of those extant were taken in Hobart at the Supreme Court, the Hobart Gaol and the Mayor's Court, Hobart Town Hall. The inscription was uniformly applied as so much touristic spin on the versos of  hundreds of these police photographs in buff oval cdv mounts, originals of which, taken by Nevin in the 1870s, were salvaged from the Hobart Gaol and Sheriff's Office. They acquired heritage value as penal history artefacts to be exhibited and offered for sale in the early 1900s, at John Watt Beattie's "Port Arthur Museum" located in Hobart, and for inclusion in travelling convictaria exhibitions associated with the fake convict hulk Success in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide etc.

On this occasion, however, Thomas J. Nevin was on site at the Port Arthur prison, 60 kms south of Hobart on the Tasman Peninsula when James Rogers was discharged from there on 27th May 1874. Nevin's several trips to Port Arthur under the auspices of the Port Arthur Surgeon-Commandant Dr Coverdale in 1874 commenced more than a fortnight earlier, on the 8th May, 1874, in the company of a prisoner whom he had photographed with the alias William Campbell but who was executed at the Hobart Gaol in 1875 with the name Job Smith. Thomas Nevin was in the process of photographing the prison inmates and updating police records against aliases, physical descriptions, and convict shipping records at Port Arthur when the birth of his son Thomas James Nevin jnr, was registered at Hobart on the 26th May 1874 by his father-in-law, master mariner Captain James Day. As a widower, Captain Day was residing at the Elizabeth Street photographic studio with his daughter Elizabeth Rachel and son-in-law Thomas when not at sea. His grandchild Thomas James Nevin jnr, (1874-1948) was born at his father's studio, the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, on the 16th April, 1874 and given the exact same name as his father but because Thomas Nevin snr was still at Port Arthur during May working with Dr Coverdale, it was Elizabeth Nevin's father, Captain Day, who signed on the 26th May 1874 the registration of the birth as the informant. It was the only birth registration of all his seven children that Thomas Nevin snr did not personally sign as informant.

Convict Record of Arrival at Hobart, 1852
James Rogers was tried at Birmingham on 12th July 1849 for stealing monies. He was sentenced to seven years, arriving at Hobart on 9th December 1852 on board the Lady Montague. Details on this record show he was 27 yrs old, a lamp maker by trade, 5ft 7in tall, and literate, with a speech impediment. According to this record, he was convicted twice - Again convicted Vide Misc. No. 2725 and again No. 8 No. 2885 - was written across this page.

Prisoner James ROGERS, arrived Hobart per Lady Montague on 9th December 1852
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: CON33-1-110_00231_L

Forging a Fiver: press accounts
When James Rogers was convicted of uttering a forged note in February 1868, and sentenced to 8 yrs, he was about 43 years old. The press paid close attention to this case, reporting on the court's decisions and witness depositions almost daily during February. Lavington George Roope's deposition in particular demonstrated how the Bank of Australasia one pound note, similar to the Victorian one below,  was modified by James Rogers when he tried to pass it off as a fiver.

Above: A rare 1866 Bank of Australasia one pound note issued at Warrnambool, Victoria. The Bank of Australasia Tasmanian issue of the one pound note would have been very similar.
It is likely to be a proof used for the bank archives and was probably contained in a vault for decades upon decades....One pound in the mid-1860s would be directly comparable to $325 in 2015 money.... The note was produced by the Bank of Australasia on September 14, 1866. It reads: “a promise to pay the bearer on demand one pound here or at Melbourne.”
Source: Rare 1866 Warrnambool pound note for sale

Wednesday, 26th February 1868
UTTERING A FORGED BANK NOTE - James Rogers and Frederick Foster were charged on the information of Detective Morley with having on the 21st February inst feloniously uttered a forged bank note for £5 with intent to defraud.
On the application of the informing officer they were remanded to next day.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)  Wed 26 Feb 1868  Page 2  LAW.

Thursday, 27th February 1868
UTTERING FORGED BANK NOTES - James Rogers and Frederick Foster were charged on remand with having uttered forged notes of the Bank of Australasia.

On the application of Detective Morley the prisoner Foster was discharged, there being no evidence available against him.

Lavington George Roope deposed : I am a clerk of the Bank Of Australasia, in Hobart Town. The note produced is a £1 note of our bank which has been altered to a £5 note. In the right hand corner the figure 1 has been erased and the word "Five" has been written in. One of the numbers has also been erased in two places. The O and part of the N in the body of the note have been erased, and an F and an I have been substituted. The letter S has been added to the word pound. The word " at" has been erased in the body of the note. The words one pound in the left hand bottom corner of the note have been erased, and the words five pounds have been written in in old English letters. In the genuine £5 notes these words are in old English letters. The letters O and part of the N printed in green across the note have been erased, and the letters F and I have been substituted, making the word " Five". I can trace the erasures in most places but not distinctly in the large letters.

John Hutchinson deposed : I am cashier at the Commercial Bank in this town. I know Timothy Troy now present. I recollect his coming to the bank last Monday morning to make a deposit. A five pound note attracted my attention. It was originally a £1 note, and now purports to be a £5 of the bank of Australasia. I called Mr. Troy's attention to this circumstance, and asked him where he got it. I cautioned him, took the number of the note,and forwarded information to the police. Troy then left the bank.

Alderman Cook here took his seat on the Bench. The prisoner in the last case was removed a time from the Court.

UTTERING FORGED BANK NOTES.-The hearing of the previous case was then resumed.

Timothy Troy, licensed victualler, deposed ; I keep the Help me through the World hotel in Liverpool-street. I remember the prisoner coming to my house between nine and ten in company with Frederick Foster now present. The prisoner called for a pot of beer, which I served him with. He paid me 6d. for it. Afterwards the prisoner asked whether I could change a bank note, saying that if I could he would have some more drink. I said " Oh, yes, I will change it." He then called for another pot of beer, and I served him with it. He then gave me the note and I brought him down 19s. 6d. change. Prisoner said, " I gave you a five." I got a candle, brought the note back and four other notes, and said, " you are right, it is a five." I then gave him the remainder of the change. That was the only £5 note I remember having in my possession for months. The men had some more drink after that, and the prisoner paid for it. I think they went away together. They both came again on the Monday night, and had some drinks. The prisoner paid for them with a £1 note. I said, " is this another five ? " He, said not, but you can have another if you like, and putting his hand in his pocket produced another note. I gave him change of the £1. The men went away together again. On the following Monday morning I went to the Commercial Bank to pay in some money. I handed the deposit to Mr. Hutchinson. I told him I had got it on the previous Friday night. Mr. Hutchinson called my attention to the note, and told me it was a £1 note altered to a £5 note. I went to the shop where the man was working to see him, Mr. Swain's foundry, and not finding him their I handed the note over to Detective Morley. The note produced is the same. The prisoner has been several times at my place-not very often.

Frederick Foster, deposed : I am an iron moulder residing in Upper Liverpool-street. I know the prisoner. He has been a fellow work-man of mine for the last six years. He came to the gate of my house last Friday night. He said, " Will you go and have a drink of beer?" I said " Yes." We went to the house of the last witness, Troy. We had a pot of beer and the prisoner paid for it. We had another pot of beer, and the prisoner tendered something similar to a note. Mr. Troy went away, was absent a short time, and then came back with 19s. 6d. which he put on the counter. The prisoner said " It was a £5 note I gave you," Troy said, "Was it, Rogers, I am very near sighted." He also said to his daughter, "Light me a candle, Mary Ann." He then took the candle and went up stairs to the box, as I supposed. In a short time he came back with a note in his hand, and said, " All right, Rogers, it is a £5 note." He gave it to his wife, who looked at it, and said, " Oh, yes, Rogers, it is a £5 note." The mother gave it to her son, who was sitting behind her, and he looked at it and said, " Oh, yes, it is a £5 note." The son gave it back to his mother, and I saw no more of it. Mr. Troy gave Rogers the balance of the note, deducting the price of the pot of beer. Rogers then paid for another pot of beer, had a drink out of it a then left me there. I went with the prisoner to Troy's on the following Sunday night. We had some more drink there. Rogers paid for it with what I believe to have been a £1 note. There was nothing said that I remember about £5 notes at that time. The prisoner was not at work after dinner time last Thursday. He had not been discharged to my knowledge. I don't think he had been. I did not see any more money with the prisoner on the Friday or Sunday than the £5 note and the £1 note. I think the prisoner's wages were 5ds 6p a day. I knew no other means that he had making money beyond his trade. He has been in the habit of earning a few shillings in the beer-engine way, and in repairing pipes and the like, in over hours work. He is a brass-founder. He worked for anyone who would give him a job. I never saw him write. I know he used to put down his time for Mr. Swain on a Saturday.

At this stage the prisoner was remanded to Friday next, to afford the police time to make some further enquiries,

The Court then rose.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)Thu 27 Feb 1868 Page 2 LAW.

Saturday, 29th February 1868
BEFORE the Stipendiary Magistrate.

UTTERING A FORGED BANK NOTE - James Rogers was brought up on a charge of uttering a forged promissory note on the Bank of Australia.

The prisoner was the same man who was examined on a similar charge on Wednesday last, and who was then remanded for the production of further evidence.

Edward Daniel Swan, a clerk of the Bank of Australasia deposed that the note produced was a £1 note of the Bank to which he belonged which had been altered as to resemble a £5 note. It was presented to him by Mr. Barclay, a clerk of the Commercial Bank, to be unchanged. When it was recognised as a forgery Mr. Barclay took it away.

Mary Linton deposed : I am a married woman residing with my husband Samuel Linton, a shoemaker. I know the prisoner, who has been in the habit of coming to my shop to make purchases. About 8 o'clock last Saturday evening week he came and bought things to the amount of 19s.6d., which he paid in silver. He came again between 9 and 10 o'clock to exchange a coat he had bought from me the same evening for another worth more money. He gave me what appeared to me to be a £5 note. Not having change myself I went into Mrs. McLaren's to procure it. She said she had not change. She handed the note to my daughter, who goes on errands for her, to go out for change, my daughter went and returned with the change to my shop and I handed it to the prisoner. I believe the change was four notes and £1 in silver. My husband refused to let the prisoner have the coat, and the prisoner then went away. The prisoner was dressed in working clothing when he came to make the first purchases that evening. I don't think I should know the note presented by the prisoner to me. The note produced is like it.

Mary Ann Linton, daughter of the last witness, deposed : I am 12 years old. On Saturday night week last, my mother came to Mrs. McLaren's for change of a note. Mrs. McLaren had not change, and she gave the note to me to get change at Mr. Sherwin's. Mr. Sherwin changed it for me, giving me four £1 notes, and £1 in silver. I gave the change to the prisoner in my mother's shop. My mother and father were present at the time.

John Thomas Hutchinson deposed : I am cashier of the Commercial Bank. I know Mr. Sherwin now present. He came, to our bank on the 20th instant to make a deposit. I counted the money over in his presence. There were two £5 notes in it, one of which attracted my attention. It was on the Bank of Australasia, and just such another as that now produced. The other was I think on the Bank of Van Diemen's Land. I saw there was some peculiarity in the Bank of Australasia note, but I told Mr. Sherwin I could not see what it was. I did not take the number of the note at the time. I took the note intending to look into it, but being, I think, past 3 o'clock at the time, and being very busy, it entirely slipped my memory. Next day it went up in the usual course by the exchange clerk to the Bank of Australasia to be exchanged. It was Mr. Barclay who look it. He brought it back immediately afterwards. In consequence of what he told me I said, " That is the note I took from Mr. Sherwin last night; take it back to him at once." I saw no more of it after that.

William Sherwin deposed : I am a butcher carrying on business in Liverpool-street. I know the little girl, Mary Ann Linton, now present. On the evening of last Saturday week she came to my place for change of a £5 note.  I looked at the note against the gas-light, but could not detect anything wrong in it. I don't remember noticing what bank it was on, I changed it, and the girl went away with the change. I don't exactly remember what the change was, but I gave her some silver I know. I cannot say positively that the note produced in the same, but I have every reason to believe it is. I put the note with my other money. There was only one other £5 note amongst the money, and that was on the Bank of Van Diemen's Land. I took it to the Commercial Bank with the other money on the following Thursday.

His Worship the Mayor here took his seat on the Bench. Witness continued: I handed the notes to Mr. Hutchinson. I saw him looking at tho note I took from the girl. I asked what he was looking at? He said "Nothing particular. but I thought it looked rather queer." I asked if it was right, and he said, " Yes. it would pass". I then left the bank. Next day young Barclay brought me up the same note I paid, and which I received from the girl Linton. Barclay said he wanted me to change the note because it was a forgery, I gave him another  note for it. I handed the note to Mr. Propsting."

Police Superintendent Propsting deposed : I know Mr, Sherwin, the last witness. On Friday last he gave me the bank note note now produced.

Detective Morley deposed that on Monday last in consequence of information received he went with Detective Tickers to the prisoner's place in Campbell-street. He found prisoner in the yard, and apprehended him for uttering forged bank notes. He said nothing. Witness took him up stairs to a room, and told him he would search it. After witness had been searching for about five minutes prisoner said, " You'll not find any notes'." Vickers was afterwards turning over some rubbish in a corner when prisoner said, "You will find no thing there but some screws belonging to me." I then saw Vickers find a bunch of skeleton keys. I brought the prisoner to the watch-house. On searching him there found two £1 notes in his right sock, two half-crowns in his left sock, and £1 and some silver in his pocket, making a total of £3 15s. 12 1/2d. Two hours prior to the prisoner's apprehension I received from the witness Troy's bank note purporting to be for £5, which Mr. Troy marked and took tho number of in my presence.

The prisoner was then committed for trial.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Sat 29 Feb 1868 Page 4 LAW.

Wednesday, 8th July 1868
BEFORE His Honor Sir Francis Smith.
James Rogers pleaded guilty to uttering a promissory note, knowing it to be forged.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Wed 8 Jul 1868 Page 2 LAW INTELLIGENCE

Thursday, 9th July 1868
James Rogers, convicted on his own confession of uttering, was sentenced to be imprisoned for eight years.

Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Thu 9 Jul 1868 Page 3 LAW INTELLIGENCE.

The sentence at the Supreme Court, Hobart, was recorded in the Police Gazette in this notice:

Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, J. Barnard, Gov't Printer

At the criminal sittings of July 1868 at the the Supreme Court, Hobart, James ROGERS, per Lady Montague, Free in Servitude, was sentenced to eight (8) years for  uttering a forged order. Several other prisoners convicted on this date were later photographed for police records by Thomas J. Nevin at the Supreme Court, the Hobart Gaol and Mayor's Court during incarceration and on discharge, and again if a repeat offender. James Rogers' further convictions - if any - prior to his death in 1899 - will be added in this space if discovered from primary sources.

Along with James Rogers in the above list of those convicted in this month of July 1868 are at least nine more men, all recalcitrants, whose photographs are also included on this website. Commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin was the government contractor for this purpose at the commencement of  legislation in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania from February, 1872:

William (Emmanuel) BLORE cattle stealing, 8 years
James BRADY uttering a forged cheque, 8 years
William CLEMO carnally assaulting a child under 12 years, 7 years
James GEARY stealing a cow, 6 years
William HALL uttering a forged order, 8 years
Charles WARD alias HAYES burglary, 7 years
William WELLHAM larceny 8 years

At the Hobart Gaol & Port Arthur Prison
Prior to sentencing in 1868, James Rogers was convicted and imprisoned at the Hobart Town Gaol in 1855 and 1856 for stealing monies, a watch and house breaking. This document shows his earnings from arrival at Port Arthur on 16th August 1868 as a result of the eight year sentence:

James Rogers, Folio 177
Port Arthur Conduct register 1868-69
Archives Office Tasmania
Ref: CON94-1-1 Image 378

Discharged, 27th May 1874
James Rogers was discharged from the Port Arthur prison during the week ending 27th May 1874. He was 48 years old, FS (free in servitude) according to the notice published in the weekly police gazette. He was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin in the previous week, as per regulations, between 23rd May and the date of discharge, 26th May 1874, from the Port Arthur prison. Had Nevin still been in Hobart before that date he could have registered the birth of his son, Thomas James Nevin jr, born on the 16th April, 1874 to his wife Elizabeth Rachel Nevin at their studio, the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town,  in April. But because of his government contractor commitments to photograph prisoners and update records, he was detained at Port Arthur, 60 kms south of Hobart. His father-in-law, (his wife Elizabeth's father) master mariner Captain James Day, signed the birth registration of Thomas James Nevin jnr as informant instead, the only birth registration of all his seven children that Thomas Nevin snr did not personally sign as informant.

Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, J. Barnard, Gov't Printer

In all probability, James Rogers committed further offences well into his senior years, and when or if the primary documents are located, they will be added. He seems not have married nor, it would seem, did he leave the colony of Tasmania, dying as a pauper at the New Town Charitable Institution at the relatively healthy old age of 74 yrs, give or take the onset of senility, registered here as the cause of death.

Death, 28th July, 1899
James ROGERS, male, 74 yrs old, laborer, born in England, died of senilis at the New Town Charitable Institution,  once the Queen's Orphan School which closed in 1879.

James Rogers, 28th July 1899
Deaths in the district of Hobart, 1899:
Archives Office Tasmania
Ref: 007368138_00548

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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Captain Goldsmith, AWOL seaman Geeves, and HMS Havannah

AWOL SEAMAN Henry Geeves, January 1851
H.M.S. HAVANNAH at Hobart etc December 1850-January 1851
AUTHOR Godfrey Charles MUNDY in Hobart 1850-1851

H.M.S. Havannah 1812
Source: Wikipedia
HMS Havannah was a Royal Navy 36-gun fifth-rate frigate [948 tons]. She was launched in 1811 and was one of twenty-seven Apollo-class frigates. She was cut down to a 24-gun sixth rate in 1845, converted to a training ship in 1860, and sold for breaking up in 1905.
Henry Geeves was an articled seaman, one of twenty-two (22) crew members who sailed from the Downs (UK) on 22nd August 1850 on board the barque Rattler, 522 tons, Captain Edward Goldsmith in command, arriving at Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on 14th December 1850. Cabin passengers numbered seven, with four more in steerage. The return voyage of the Rattler to London would commence on 19th March 1851, after three months at Hobart while Captain Goldsmith attended to his construction of the twin vehicular ferry SS Kangaroo and the development of a patent slip at his shipyard on the Queen's Domain.

Henry Geeves, however, had no intention of joining the crew on the Rattler's return voyage to London when he went absent without leave (AWOL) on 31st December 1850. He returned to the ship three days later for his clothes. Appearing as the plaintiff in the Police Magistrate's Court on January 20th 1851, his complaint against Captain Goldsmith was for wages which he claimed were due to him because he felt he had been discharged by the Rattler's chief officer, having volunteered as an "old man-of-war's man" to join the frigate H.M.S. Havannah when an officer from the Havannah boarded the Rattler seeking additional crew. Captain Goldsmith did not pursue the charge on the grounds that Geeves was never discharged from the Rattler's crew in the first instance, and as he had not been accepted by the Havannah, he was to return to the Rattler.

The "Rattler" at Hobart, December 1850

Henry Geeves listed among crew:
Signature of Captain Edward Goldsmith on list of crew and passengers per Rattler from London, at Hobart, 26 December 1850. Crew listed by name: 22; passengers listed by name: 12, one more than was reported in the Mercury, 18 Dec. 1850, a T. B. Watern [?]
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania
Cargo, Passenger and Crew Lists
Customs Dept: CUS36/1/442 Image 203

Arrived the barque Rattler, 522 tons, Goldsmith from the Downs 26th August, with a general cargo. Cabin - Mr. and Mrs Cox, Mr and Mrs Vernon, Matthew and Henry Worley, C. J. Gilbert; steerage, Mrs. Downer, John Williams, Wm. Merry, Charles Daly.
Source: The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859) Wed 18 Dec 1850 Page 2 SHIPPING NEWS.

Customs House at London recorded on the Rattler's Entry and Cocket documents a staggering quantity of spirits, beer, wine and alcohol-related products for duty-free shipment to Hobart on this voyage cleared on 22 August 1850 at London Docks, in all, sixty-seven cockets were signed by exporters and 530 listed items were cleared. Aside from the predominant cargo of alcohol, there was a case for the Governor of VDL, Sir William Denison; a box for the Royal Society; iron and coal from the Welsh "Iron King" William Crawshay II; and drugs from Mr. Lucas of Cheapside. There were transhipments too from Rotterdam ex-Apollo of Geneva spirits, i.e. gin, the English word derived from jenever, genièvre, also called Dutch gin or Hollands, British plain malt spirits distilled from malt ex-The Earl of Aberdeen, and Mr Cheesewright's cargo of Spanish and Portugal wine from Jersey in the Channel Islands. A quantity of this shipment of hogsheads of beer, casks and barrels of wine and spirits was bound for Captain Goldsmith's licensed wholesale business conducted jointly with brewer John Leslie Stewart at their premises, Davey Street, Hobart.

Without doubt, however, the most unusual consignments of this voyage were the three 3yr old fillies purchased by John and James Lord from the bloodstock of the Duke of Richmond, Goodwood House, West Essex, UK, carefully tended by passengers Matthew and Henry Worley, immediate relatives of Hannah Lord nee Morley, the mother of John and James Lord. Their safe arrival was paramount, yet while the Rattler was hove to in the River Derwent waiting for the Pilot to board, the departing barque the Derwent, 404 tons, Harmsworth, master, was caught in a strong wind while attempting to "speak" the Rattler. The Derwent struck the Rattler, carrying away the larboard gallery at the stern near the rudder. The collision resulted in repairs to both vessels and especially to the Rattler which remained in Hobart at Captain Goldsmith's shipyard below the "paddock", the Queen's Park/Domain, until ready again for the return voyage to London on 19th March 1851. The Cornwall Chronicle syndicated this report of the incident from the Advertiser:

The Rattler, Captain Goldsmith, arrived on Saturday, after an average passage of 110 days, having left on the 26th August. She consequently brings no additional items of intelligence, but several intermediate papers. Capt. Goldsmith has on board three very fine blood fillies purchased by Mr. John Lord, from the stock of the Duke of Richmond. The fillies are three years old, and have arrived in first rate condition, sufficiently evidencing the care and attention which have been paid to them on the passage. One was purchased for Mr. James Lord, and the other two for Mr. John Lord's own stud. They will prove valuable additions to our stock, the Duke of Richmond's stock comprising the best blood of England. Captain Goldsmith, to whom the colony is much indebted for many choice plants and flowers, has brought out with him seven cases of plants this voyage, all of which are in good order. On coming up the river, the Rattler got into collision with the Derwent, and had her larboard quarter gallery carried away. The Rattler was hove to waiting for the Pilot to come on board, and the Derwent coming down with a fair wind came rather too close, for the purpose of speaking her, and struck her on the larboard gallery, carrying it away. — Advertiser.
Three blood fillies for the Lord brothers on board the Rattler
Source: The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) Thu 19 Dec 1850 Page 920 SHIP NEWS.

Geeves v. Goldsmith
Was blame assigned to any crew member of either vessel for the collision? Nothing was reported, though the logs of both ships would provide important details, if they are at all extant and available to the public. Perhaps Henry Geeves felt himself culpable in some small way, hence the desire to leave the Rattler. He gave no reason why he went absent without leave when he appeared in court on 20th January 1851, apparently having misrepresented himself to the officer of HMS Havannah about being an experienced "old man-of-war man". Then again, life on board such an illustrious frigate as the Havannah which had taken pirate ships in all the seas, salvaged wrecks and fought in great battles in the Napoleonic era, would be far more rewarding. For example, in July 1851, the crew of HMS Havannah received a cheque for £52.10 from Messrs Smith, Campbell and Co. Sydney for floating and towing the wreck of the brig Algerine to safety. Not to mention the glory of experiencing first-hand the pomp and ceremony of the vessel's VIP celebrity status, and the excitement of locals when arriving at port. Even in the tiny port of Hobart, the Havannah officers and crew were living it up.

EXTRACT from Geeve's complaint against Captain Goldsmith

Extract: Police - Geeves v. Goldsmith
Britannia and Trades' Advocate Hobart Town, Tas: Monday 20 January 1851, page 2.

A MAN-OF-WAR's MAN, - Geeves v. Goldsmith. - This was an information by an articled seaman of the barque Rattler, against Captain Goldsmith, for 7l, odd, amount of wages due on his discharge of the vessel. Mr. Perry appeared for the captain and owners; and Mr. Brewer, on behalf of complainant, arrived during the progress of the case.

After the reading of the information, and a plea of Not Guilty recorded, Mr. Perry made an objection to the proceedings on the ground that Geeves had not been discharged, and consequently still belonged to the Rattler. A long discussion here took place as to the circumstances under which complainant was alleged to have been discharged from the ship, when it appeared that an officer of H.M.S. Havannah, now in this harbour, came on board the Rattler, and mustered the men, when complainant volunteered for the frigate, and was desired to go board, the captain telling him that he might come back for his money and clothes if he passed muster for the Havannah. This was on the 31st December; and three days afterwards he returned and took away his clothes, since which he had neither been at work in the Rattler, nor the Havannah. Extracts from the log of the barque were read by Mr. Perry in proof of those facts; and that gentleman, on behalf of Captain Goldsmith, now demanded the plaintiff return to the Rattler, as it does not appear that he had been accepted in the Havannah.

Police Magistrate (to Geeves) - You must prove that you have been received into her Majesty's service.

Geeves said, Captain Goldsmith told him to quit the ship, and he had been refused permission to go back.

Mr. Perry was proceeding to cross-examine the claimant, and had proved the articles, when Mr. Brewer entered the court, and at Mr. Wilmot's request repeated the grounds of his opposition to the claim.

Mr. Brewer observed that, in fact, Geeves had not been accepted on board the Havannah, and on going back to the barque the chief officer would not receive him; he had been willing to go back all along.

The chief officer (who was standing near the captain) here made a remark denying in part - this statement.

The Police Magistrate asked complainant if he was still willing to go back to the ship?

Mr. Brewer replied in the affirmative, and said the truth was, the officer of the Havannah had heard there was an old man-of-war's-man on board the Rattler, and complainant had been selected under the impression he was the man, but not turning out to be him, they would not have him on board the frigate.

After some further conversation as to the right of the owners to deduct a portion of wages for the time complainant had been absent, the information was withdrawn, on the understanding that he was to return to his ship.

Captain Goldsmith (to Geeves) - Go on board at once, and mind you don't quit again without leave.

Geeves (to his worship) - How am I to manage about my clothes, your honour; I left them at the place where I've been lodging?

Mr. Wilmot: - Oh, I've nothing to do with your clothes. The parties then retired.
Source: The Britannia and Trades' Advocate (Hobart Town, Tas. : 1846 - 1851) Mon 20 Jan 1851 Page 3 Police.

H.M.S. "Havannah" at Hobart, VDL
The frigate's arrival in the Derwent on 26th December, 1850, and the landing of Major-General Wynyard was heralded by a salute from the vessel and the battery, witnessed by a crowd which no doubt included the intended deserter of the Rattler, one Mr. Henry Geeves.

THE HAVANNAH. - H.M.S.Havannah, having on board Major-General Wynyard, who is on a visit of inspection, arrived yesterday from Sydney. The appearance of the vessel entering our noble harbour, with royals and studding-sails set, and a gentle sea breeze making the waters of the Derwent to dance and glitter in the sunlight, was beautiful. At three o'clock the Major-General landed under a salute from the vessel and the battery. He was waited upon by his Excellency's Aide-de-Camp and a guard of honor, and immediately proceeded to Government house on horse back. A large concourse of people gathered together to witness his landing.
Source: THE HAVANNAH Colonial Times Fri 27 Dec 1850 Page 2 Local Intelligence

The following evening, a grand ball was held at the Military Barracks in Davey Street for the officers of the Havannah, including the wife and daughter of Major-General Wynyard. Dancing was "kept up until 4 o'clock in the morning":

Hobart Courier, 27 December 1850
Ball at the Military Barracks, Hobart for officers of HMS Havannah

BALL AT THE MILITARY BARRACKS.- Lieut. Colonel Despard and the Officers of the 99th Regiment, gave a grand ball at the Military Barracks on the 14th instant. His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, the Commander of the Forces, Lady Denison, Mrs and Miss Wynyard and suite, the Officers of the Havannah, and a large company comprising nearly all the beauty, fashion and intelligence of Hobart Town were present. The dancing was kept up until 4 o'clock in the morning. The refreshments were provided by Sergeant Cleary, on whom they reflected infinite credit.

Another frigate, HMS Meander - sometimes written as HMS Maeander also visited Hobart in 1850; one its officers, Josiah Thompson, found himself the object of diarist and socialite Annie Baxter's affections.

H.M.S. Maeander 44 Guns, in a Heavy Squall (Pacific July 9th 1850)
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Object ID PAH0902
Description Hand-coloured. This print depicts the HMS ‘Meander’, a 44-gun 5th rate frigate. She is sailing in a heavy squall or storm in the Pacific, and is depicted listing dangerously to port with her sails billowing and in chaos. The ship is shown dramatically as being on the verge of being lost at sea, but for the skill and determination of her crew. This is said in the inscription, which also dramatizes the orders given to the men aboard in such a situation. The painting dramatizes an actual situation the ship was in on July 9th, 1850.

Date made 13 Dec 1851
Artist/Maker Dutton, Thomas Goldsworthy
Rudolph Ackermann
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials lithograph, coloured
Measurements Sheet: 381 x 551 mm; Mount: 18 15/16 in x 25 in
Parts H.M.S. Maeander 44 Guns, in a Heavy Squall (Pacific July 9th 1850) (PAH0902)

H.M.S. Meander 44 guns shortening sail for anchoring (Rio, June 9th 1851)
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Object ID PAH0898
Description Hand-coloured. This print depicts the HMS ‘Meander’, a 44-gun 5th rate frigate. She is shown anchoring in the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shortening her sails in preparation – an actual scene on June 9th, 1851. A view of the port of Rio is shown in the general background, which includes buildings and the city skyline as well as other docked vessels. Among the other vessels depicted is a two-masted paddle steamer, directly to the right of ‘Meander’ in the background. Also on the right is a small two-masted sailing boat in the foreground. Another small boat can be seen close to the stern of the subject ship.

Date made 1 Jan 1852
Artist/Maker Dutton, Thomas Goldsworthy
Rudolph Ackermann
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials lithograph, coloured
Measurements Sheet: 371 x 461 mm; Mount: 480 mm x 631 mm
Parts H.M.S. Meander 44 guns shortening sail for anchoring (Rio, June 9th 1851 (PAH0898)

Francis Guillemard Simpkinson de Wesselow,(1819–1906), naval officer, artist and nephew of Sir John Franklin, arrived in Hobart, VDL on the Pestonjee Bomanjee in 1844 and departed in 1849 on the Calcutta. He devised this panorama of Hobart Town in 1848 as a watercolour viewed from the Ross Bank Magnetic Observatory where he worked and lived. In 1900 he wrote from London to the Bishop of Tasmania:
I happen to have several volumes of drawings and sketches made during the years I passed there – 1844 to 1849 – which have been lying packed away almost ever since my return. I am exceedingly glad there is now a chance of their being of some use or interest, I forward them to you with much pleasure.

Hobart Town in 1848 (detail), 1848, F G Simpkinson (de Wesselow), pencil, watercolour and chinese white on six sheets.
Royal Society of Tasmania Exhibition 2019, TMAG. Link:

Simpkinson de Wesselow captured the scene above in 1848. The photograph (below) undated, unattributed and printed from a glass negative, captured the same scene with the addition of the names painted on the side of the sheds which were allocated to the naval frigates HMS Havannah and HMS Meander in 1850 at the time of their visit. If the photograph was taken in 1850-51, the ship closest to the Battery at Secheron Bay would therefore be HMS Havannah and the steamer moored at the Regatta Point jetty would most likely be the government's PS Kangaroo, sold out of public service in July 1851.

HMS Meander and HMS Havannah, ship's names on shed, Hobart
Undated, unattributed, print from glass negative
Archives Office Tasmania Ref: NS1013-1-991

This panorama taken by John Sharp in 1857 shows HMS Meander and HMS Havannah, the ship's names on shed in the foreground of the image on extreme left, but details in the distance of the jetty, if it was there, are indiscernible.

8. Hobart from the Domain (panorama) / Sharp photo ca. 1857
Archives Office Tasmania$init=ABBOTTALBUM_AUTAS001136186327

The cattle jetty and walkway, which was not yet built in 1848 when Simpkinson de Wesselow painted the scene, appears clearly in the black and white print from a glass negative (above) taken in the 1850s, but when commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin photographed the same scene in the 1860s, the cattle jetty was no longer there. He devised this hand-coloured stereograph of the cattleyards and abbatoir, now located on the foreshore directly below the boat sheds.

Stereograph on arched buff mount of the Abbatoir, Queen's Domain, Hobart
Photographer; Thomas J. Nevin late 1860s for the HCC, Lands and Survey Dept
Unstamped, and hand-coloured 
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.25

State of the Colony 1850-1851
Below is an extended extract from Godfrey Charles Mundy's publication Our Antipodes or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies, with a Glimpse of the Goldfields (London, Richard Bentley 1852). The illustrations are from the third edition published in 1854.

Deputy adjutant general Godfrey Charles Mundy arrived at Hobart on board HMS Havannah with Major-General Wynyard on 26th December, 1850. His lively observations by way of the short history of the colony are remarkably accurate and familiar in tenor, even today. The account (below) of his experiences in Tasmania begins on 23rd December 1850 and ends on January 18th, 1851, when he departed for Port Phillip, Victoria. He would have made the acquaintance of Captain Edward Goldsmith during a very busy festive season, if Annie Baxter's diary is any indication, and he would have learnt that the small paddle steamer PS Kangaroo (52 tons, ex the Sydney-Parramatta river service) which was placed at his disposal by Lieut.-Governor Denison for the overnight trip down the Derwent estuary to the Iron Pot, Betsy's Island, Slopen Island and Norfolk Bay would be decommissioned and sold in July 1851.  It would be replaced by Captain Goldsmith's larger vehicular twin steam ferry SS Kangaroo, funded in part by an Act legislated in July 1850 to subsidize a loan from Treasury of £5000 with interest. Captain Goldsmith's twin ferry SS Kangaroo was launched eventually in 1854, after severe personal, financial and political setbacks.

Paddle steamer PS Kangaroo ca. 1850
National Library of Australia nla.obj-147501557-1.jpg

BIOGRAPHY: Godfrey Charles MUNDY (1804-1860)
Godfrey Charles Mundy (1804-1860), soldier and author, was born on 10 March 1804, the eldest son of Major-General Godfrey Basil Mundy and Sarah Brydges, née Rodney, daughter of the first baron Rodney (1718-1792) who defeated the French Fleet under Comte de Grasse off Dominica in 1782.
Mundy entered the army as an ensign in 1821, was commissioned lieutenant in 1823, captain 1826, major 1839, lieutenant-colonel 1845, and colonel 1854. In 1825-26 he was decorated while serving in India as aide-de-camp to Lord Combermere at the siege and storming of Bhurtpore. He was later stationed in Canada and arrived in Sydney from London in the Agincourt in June 1846 as deputy adjutant general of the military forces in Australia. He left in August 1851 and during the Crimean war was appointed under-secretary in the War Office. On 4 April 1857 he was appointed lieutenant-governor of Jersey in the Channel Islands with the local rank of major-general. He died in London on 10 July 1860 survived by his wife Louisa Katrina Herbert, whom he had married in Sydney on 6 June 1848, and by their son.
In 1832 Mundy published Pen and Pencil Sketches, Being the Journal of a Tour in India, and in 1852 Our Antipodes: or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies. With a Glimpse of the Gold Fields. He illustrated Our Antipodes with landscapes and lively scenes engraved from his own sketches. The first book went through three editions and the second four, not counting translations in German (1856) and Swedish (1857).
In Australia Mundy accompanied his cousin Governor Sir Charles FitzRoy on several outback tours in New South Wales, and he visited Victoria, Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand. Aristocratic by birth and conventional in temper, he showed in his books a discerning eye, a lively pen, a keen sense of humour and a marked streak of sturdy common sense. Our Antipodes still makes entertaining reading and is an invaluable source of information for the Australian social historian. To read the book is to like the author.
Source: Australian Dictionary of Biograph (Ken Macnab and Russel Ward 1967)

Third edition cover of Godfrey Charles Mundy's publication, Our Antipodes or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies, with a Glimpse of the Goldfields
Author: Mundy, Godfrey Charles (1804-1860)
Published at London, by Richard Bentley 1852-1854

Extracts from the 1852 edition

"Chapter V. [1850–51.]

 IN the Australian summer of 1850–51, the chances of the service threw
in my way an agreeable opportunity of visiting Van Diemen's Land, as
well as Port Phillip, a province of New South Wales on the point of
being erected into a colony under the title of Victoria. Major General
Wynyard, commanding the forces in the Australasian colonies, having
resolved on a tour of inspection to the former island, I had the honour to
accompany him on that duty.

 The elements did not favour H.M.S. Havannah, which frigate
conveyed us to our destination, for she commenced her voyage with a
terrific thunder-storm, in which the electric fluid flirted most desperately
with the conductor on the main-mast, and during the rest of the voyage
she had calms and adverse winds to contest with, so that no less than
eleven days were expended in performing the 600 miles between Sydney
and Hobart Town. But if the southerly breeze resisted our progress, its
fresh breath proved a charming relief to us, after the heat of Sydney. A
day or two before we left that (at this season) sudoriferous city, the
thermometer stood at 97° and 98°, yet at sea we enjoyed the bracing
effects of a temperature from 50° to 48° between decks; — enjoyed, I can
hardly say, for to most of us this degree of cold seemed well-nigh
inclement. On the 23d December, harassed by continued foul winds,
Captain Erskine closed in with the land to seek an anchorage, and we
soon found ourselves surrounded on the chart by names commemorative
of the old French surveyors and discoverers. Leaving behind us
Freycinet's Peninsula, and beating to and fro between the storm-lashed
Isle des Phoques and Cape Bougainville on the mainland of Van
Diemen's Land, we at length gained a snug berth off the settlement of
Darlington on Maria Island, about a mile and a half from the shore, and
half that distance from L'Isle du Nord.

 December 24th. — The wind continuing both foul and fresh,
Havannah remained at anchor during the morning; and landing after
breakfast, we seized by the forelock this unlooked-for opportunity of
visiting the island and its chief town. Singular enough! in one of the
latest numbers of the Illustrated London News on board was found a
short account of Maria Island, with a woodcut of the settlement, which
had become interesting as the prison of Mr. Smith O'Brien.

 The island is about twenty miles long, and is separated from the
mainland by a channel varying from four to eight miles in breadth. The
land is elevated and covered with wood. Maria Island derives its
feminine appellation from Miss Van Diemen, whose charms appear to
have so deeply impressed the heart of her compatriot the great navigator,
Abel Tasman, that in his oceanic wanderings, not finding it convenient
“to carve her name on every tree,” he recorded it still more immortally
on different headlands and islands newly discovered, — inscribing it, in
its full maiden length, on the northern-most bluff of New Zealand, Cape
Maria Van Diemen. Whether he assisted the fair lady to change it
eventually, I cannot depose.

 In 1825 this island was made a penal settlement for convicts whose
crimes were not of an aggravated nature, — a purpose for which it is
admirably adapted by its isolated position and its ready communication,
by telegraph or otherwise, with Hobart Town. The establishment was
broken up in 1832, and the land was rented to settlers; but it was resumed
when the Probation System was introduced, and has since again been
vacated as a Government station.

 The soil is fertile. About 400 acres have been cleared round
Darlington; and the crops in both field and garden have been most
plentiful. Forty bushels of wheat per acre is accounted a high average in
any of the Australian colonies; and that average is common here. The
timber is magnificent, but so much has been already taken that the larger
blue-gums and iron-barks must now be sought in the distant gulleys of
the mountains. The largest I saw was about eighteen feet in girth, — a
slim-waisted sprig in Tasmanian estimation. There are many rivulets and
lagoons of excellent water on the island, — an advantage by no means
generally conspicuous in Van Diemen's Land. There is plenty of fish,
eels and oysters, quail and wild fowl, as well as wallabi, — a small kind
of kangaroo. The climate is about the finest in the world, — a fact
admitted by Smith O'Brien himself, who, among all his Jeremiads indited
from Maria Island, could not resist doing justice to the picturesque
beauty and the salubrity of his place of exile.

 Aware that Darlington had been a Probation Station containing some
four hundred prisoners, and unapprised of its abandonment; and,
moreover, giving our ship and ourselves credit for being a sight worth
seeing and seldom seen by the supposed inhabitants, good and bad, bond
and free; we were not a little surprised — perhaps the captain was a little
nettled — at perceiving in the settlement no commotion arising from the
advent of H.M.S. Havannah. The tall flag-staff was buntingless, the
windmill sailless, the pretty cottages and gardens seemed tenantless, “not
a drum was heard” in the military barracks, and the huge convict
buildings seemed to be minus convicts. At length, through a telescope,
was observed one canary-coloured biped, in the grey and yellow livery of
the doubly and trebly-convicted felon. There had perhaps been an
outbreak of the prisoners, for the military force in Tasmania had lately
been reduced to the very lowest possible amount! The magistrates,
superintendents, overseers, officers, and soldiers had all been massacred;
and the revolted convicts having afterwards fought about the spoil,
— there stood the sole survivor! Our suspense did not last long, for
presently a whale-boat came slowly off, and there appeared on the
quarter-deck, a hawk-eyed and nosed personage, about six feet and a-half
high, who seemed as if he had long lived in indifferent society, for his
eyes had a habit of sweeping around his person, aside and behind, as
though he was in momentary expectation of assault. This was an overseer
left in charge of the abandoned station, with a few prisoners to assist
him. He proved an obliging and intelligent cicerone, showing our party
over the different buildings of the establishment, and guiding us in a
delightful walk over part of the island. The position of Darlington is truly
delightful — airy, yet sheltered, with a splendid view of the open ocean,
of the straits, and of the fine blue hills and wooded bluffs of the
mainland. A clear stream of fresh water meanders among the houses, and
loses itself in a snug little boat harbour.

 Pity that, as in Norfolk Island, a paradise should have been converted
into a pandemonium; and yet again it seems a pity that so extensive and
expensive an establishment — hospital, stores, chapel, school, military
and convict barracks, houses of the magistrate, surgeon, superintendent,
&c. — should be abandoned to ruin. It would be more satisfactory to see
them all swept out of sight — obliterated from the soil — and this lovely
isle allotted to a population worthy of its numerous advantages. There
was one feature of this defunct convict station that I viewed with
disgust — a single dormitory for four hundred men! The bed places were
built of wood in three tiers, the upper cribs being reached by two or three
brackets fastened to the stanchions. Each pigeon-hole is six feet and a
half long, by two feet in width, and separated from its neighbours by
double, open battens. The prisoner lies with his feet to the outer wall and
his head towards the centre of the apartment — like a bottle in its bin.
This nocturnal aggregation of brutalized males is a feature of penal
discipline that I was astonished to find had been so lately in operation.

 The accommodations allotted to Mr. William Smith O'Brien, the state
prisoner, were of course pointed out to us. They consisted of two small
rooms, with a little garden in the rear, wherein he might take his exercise.
Few field-officers of the army obtain better quarters, and many worse.
He was waited upon by a constable, who cooked his convict ration of
beef, bread, and potatoes, and, I suppose, made his “post and rail” tea
sweetened with brown sugar. The prisoner was as poor a philosopher as a
patriot. He had not courage to reap what he had sown. He refused, as is
well known, to accept the ticket of leave offered him by Government,
and yet winced under the consequent and necessary hardships incurred
by this refusal.

 A medical gentleman, whose duty it is to visit periodically all the
convict stations, related to me a curious interview he had with this
political delinquent. On announcing his desire to see Mr. O'Brien, he was
politely received by that person, and conversed for some time with him.
The prisoner complained of his rations, of the coarse tea and sugar, said
his health suffered from the bad food, and from confinement to the small
strip of garden. The doctor, who is not a man readily put off his guard,
admitted that it was not impossible that the long continuance of an
existence of privation and humiliation might indeed affect injuriously
both mind and body; and added that he should be happy to do anything in
his power to alleviate his sufferings. O'Brien was glad to hear such
sentiments from his visitor, and expressed a hope that he would apply to
the Governor to sanction some relaxation of discipline. The doctor,
pointing to two prisoners in the yard, said — “If the health of those men
was, in my opinion, injured by their imprisonment and punishment, I
should represent their cases, because they cannot help themselves. You,
Sir, on the contrary, have your health and comfort in your own hands;
— one word, and you may live as you please on this island.” The poor,
vain, egotist, replied that he must be consistent, that the eyes of the world
were upon him, that the acceptation of his ticket-of-leave would amount
to an admission of the justice of his sentence. “But you speak, Sir,”
added he, “as if I had committed a crime! What crime have I
committed?” “A monstrous one,” replied the good Medico — “you have
broken the laws of your country, and stirred up your ignorant fellow
countrymen to break them also.” He moreover assured the prisoner that
Europe was in no disquiet as to his fate. The latter, however, remained
obdurate on the subject of his ticket — preferring to retain his grievance
with the accompanying possibility of escape. The miserable attempt
which he shortly afterwards made will not add to his character for
ingenuity or fortitude. A cutter appeared in the bay. Smith O'Brien, duly
warned of its approach, contrived to procure a small boat, and was in the
act of pushing off, when a single, armed constable, came up and stove
the boat with a blow of an axe, while a whale-boat, well armed, pulled
away and captured the cutter.

 The “Inspector General of the Confederated Clubs of Munster,” and the
descendant of Brian Boru, behaved on this occasion like a petulant child.
He ran into the sea some paces, and, when compelled to re-land, refused
to walk, and, having thrown himself down on the ground, suffered
himself to be carried like a sack back to his cell by three or four men;
— a mode of bearing reverses by no means heroical. The fact of a
ticket-of-leave having been accorded to this troublesome gentleman not long
after this effort at evasion, is proof enough of clemency on the part of
Government; yet while he was enjoying himself in almost perfect
liberty — in liberty as perfect as that within the reach of any professional
man, whose duties bind him to one district — a letter, addressed to “My
dear Potter,” was running the round of the English papers, wherein he
descants on “the inhumanity of the Governor of the colony,” and on “the
inhuman regulations of the Controller-General of Convicts”
— concluding by the doleful prophecy, “I see no definite termination of
the calamities of my lot, except that which you and other friends took so
much pains to avert — the deliverance which will be effected by death.

 The English are, indeed, wonderful curiosity-mongers, especially in
matters connected with crime and criminals. A Nineveh of relics
appertaining to murders and murderers would find scores of Layards to
grub them up and set store by them. Pieces of blue crockery on which the
convicted traitor was supposed to have dined, shreds of the scuttled boat
in which he hoped to have fled from his South Sea Chillon, with other
trivial mementos of the kind, found their way on board the frigate. But in
this trumpery reliquiarium I read only a sly mockery of that vulgar
mistake, pseudo-dilettanteism.

 It was really melancholy to see the beautiful gardens around the houses
of the departed officers of the penal station, “wasting their sweetness on
the desert air,” and reverting to the original wilderness. On this day,
however, the luxuriant flowers did not bloom in vain; for the sailors,
pillaging the gardens of the deserted villas, carried off to the ship whole
arm-fulls of their produce to decorate the tables for their Christmas
dinner on the morrow. And indeed never, I suppose, did the 'tween-decks
of a man-of-war resemble half so much —

“A bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,”

 as did, on this festive occasion, that of H.M.S. Havannah, off a ruined
convict station on a wild island of Tasmania.

 Our tall overseer welcomed us to his house, or rather to that of the
absent superintendent, which he was permitted to occupy, and gave those
of the party who had not lately been in Europe a real treat by turning us
loose into an acre of gooseberry and raspberry bushes, fruits unknown in
New South Wales. The family consisted of three generations, the
overseer's half-dozen children being perfect models of bloom — bloom
quite as rare in New South Wales as the English berries above
mentioned. The eldest generation was represented by a tall, stout, and
dignified matron, with whom I had a long and pleasant talk about old
England. In the course of the domestic revelations I elicited from this
truly venerable lady, she now and then startled me by the expression
— “Our connexion with royalty” — which seemed to weave itself
unconsciously into the web of her discourse, and which jarred somewhat
discordantly with the comfortless state of their abode. For want of a
clew, my imagination took the liberty to follow up a fancied resemblance
to the Guelph lineaments in the comely profile of the portly dame before
me; and I was glancing towards two well-painted kit-cats — one
representing a gentleman in powder, frill, blue coat, and buff vest; the
other a boy in light blue tunic, hat, feather, and dog — and I was running
“full cry” on the trail of my theory, when she at once “whipped me off,”
by informing me that the first was her deceased husband, who was
“page” to his Majesty George the — — to the day of his death; the latter
her son, the overseer. Poor people! It was clear they had seen better days.

 Having passed a very pleasant and a very beautiful day on Maria
Island, we repaired on board at 6 P.M., up anchored, sailed, dined, and
slept, rocked by old Neptune, our marine cradle making bows to every
point of the compass as she rode on the swell left by the departed
southern gale, during a breathless night.

 Christmas Day. — Our hopes of participating at Hobart Town in the
joyful rites of the day were frustrated; for the light north-east airs that
arose in the forenoon, carried us no further than Cape Pillar and Tasman
Island — the former the extreme salient angle, the latter the uttermost
outwork of Van Diemen's Land towards the boundless ocean of the
south. I have passed this great festival of the Christian world in many
diverse scenes and under diverse circumstances. Amid the old-fashioned
hospitality and the ice and snow of old South Wales; in the Antipodal
sultriness of New South Wales — (Nova Cambria, she should be styled;)
I have joined in the service of the day on the brink of the Falls of
Niagara — the drum-head, the reading desk, in the centre of a square of
infantry — the thunder of the great cataract hymning in sublime diapason
the omnipotence of God. I have eaten my Christmas dinner at the
presbytère of a French Roman Catholic establishment — not the less
jovially because the mess was composed of a grand vicaire and a score
of prêtres and frères. I have passed the evening of this anniversary with a
knot of Mussulman chiefs, gravely smoking our hookahs and sipping
sherbet, while a group of Nautch girls danced and sang before us; have
stood with uncovered head at the foot of one of New Zealand's
volcanos — the fern our carpet, the sky our canopy — listening with a
congregation of baptized Maoris to a tattooed teacher expounding in their
own tongue the law of Christ on the anniversary of His birth. How
seldom since boyhood have I celebrated it in the happy circle of my own
quiet home! It was certainly never pre-revealed to me that I should spend
one of the few Christmas days accorded to man, at sea off the
southermost point of Van Diemen's Land!

 The crew of the frigate, as I have said, decorated their feast of roast
beef and plum-pudding on this occasion with the ravished sweets of
Maria Island. It was a singular and pleasant sight, passing down the
various messes, to see the hungry, happy and hearty faces grinning
through the steam of their holiday viands, and through garlands of gay
coloured flowers and shrubs, lighted up with wax candles. The captain's
table was not without its épergne, the ladies without bouquets, (for Mrs.
and Miss Wynyard were of the party,) nor the gentlemen without a
flower at their button-holes on this South Sea Christmas evening.

 Cape Pillar and Tasman Island, close to which we passed, have a
singular appearance, their southern extremities terminating in abrupt
basaltic walls, whose tall upright columns bear a resemblance to the
pipes of a huge cathedral organ. My sketch, wholly unworthy of so fine a
subject, was taken through the porthole of my berth — a long thirty-two
pounder disputing with me the somewhat circumscribed view.19

 December 26th. — At early dawn we were rounding Cape Raoul, a
twin of Cape Pillar; and the sea breeze setting in soon carried us up the
river Derwent, or rather the magnificent arm of the sea and harbour into
which that stream empties itself, and on the extreme north-western
corner of which stands the city of Hobart Town.

 With studding-sails set alow and aloft the Havannah — like a swan
swimming before the wind — glided past the Iron Pot lighthouse and
between high and wooded shores, the splendid harbour gradually
narrowing from seven or eight miles to one or two, until, at about
eighteen miles from the Heads, she rounded a bluff promontory on the
port side, and in an instant dashed into the midst of a little fleet of
merchant vessels, in the snug inlet called Sulliven's Cove. The chain
cable rattled out of the hawseholes in a volume of rusty dust, and the old
ship swinging to her anchor brought up with her cabin windows looking,
at no great distance, into those of Government-house. There was but one
momentary interruption to her stately approach as observed from the
shore; her feathers fluttered for an instant and were almost as quickly
smoothed again. In relieving the man at the lead line, one of them fell
overboard; the ship was thrown up into the wind so as to check her speed
almost before the splash was heard; the young fellow held on to the line
and was dragged for some distance under water; but he was soon noosed
by his ready messmates, and spluttering out “all right,” was jerked on to
the quarter-deck like a two-pound trout, none the worse for his ducking.
“Did you think of the sharks, Bo?” asked a joker as he helped him down
the hatch-way to be “overhauled” by the doctor. “Hadn't time,” gasped
the other.

 The harbour of Hobart Town is as commodious and safe as it is
picturesque. The well-worn expression that all the navies in the world
might ride in it would not be extravagantly applied to it. I am loth to
yield my predilection for Sydney harbour which is quite unique in my
eyes; but nautical men seem, I think, to prefer the Derwent. There is
more space for beating, and no shoal like the “Sow and Pigs” lying
across its jaws.

 The land in which the port is framed is three times higher than that of
Port Jackson, the soil better, the timber finer, and the grand back-ground
to the town afforded by Mount Wellington — cloud-capped in summer,
snow-capped in winter — close in its rear, gives the palm of picturesque
beauty, beyond dispute, to Hobart Town and its harbour over its sister
port and city. The land-tints disappointed me entirely — nothing but
browns and yellows — no verdure — everything burnt up, except where
an occasional patch of unripe grain lay like a green kerchief spread to dry
on the scorched slopes.

 The water frontage of the city does not afford a tenth part of the deepwater
wharfage possessed by Sydney. The site of the town is healthy,
well adapted for drainage, perhaps somewhat too near the storm-brewing
gulleys of the mountain, from whence occasional gusts sweep down the
streets with a suddenness and severity very trying to phthisical subjects.

 The population may be about 20,000, convicts included, or
considerably more than one-fourth of the whole population of the colony.
The streets are wide and well laid out, nearly as dusty, and the footpaths
as ill paved as those of Sydney, which latter defect, with so much convict
power at hand, is disgraceful enough.

 Some of the suburbs are very pretty, the style of architecture of the
villas, their shady seclusion, and the trimness of their approaches and
pleasure-grounds far surpassing those of the New South Wales capital.
But more pleasing to my eyes, because more uncommon than the
ordinary domiciliary snugness and smugness of the villas of the richer
English, was a large quarter outskirting the town, consisting of some
hundreds of cottages for the humbler classes, pleasantly situated on the
slope of a hill, all or nearly all being separate dwellings, with a patch of
neat garden attached, and with rose and vine-clad porches, reminding one
of the South of England cotters' homes.

 The extraordinary luxuriance of the common red geranium at this
season makes every spot look gay; at the distance of miles the sight is
attracted and dazzled by the wide patches of scarlet dotted over the
landscape. The hedges of sweet-brier, both in the town-gardens and
country-enclosures, covered with its delicate rose, absolutely monopolize
the air as a vehicle for its peculiar perfume: — the closely-clipped mint
borders supplying the place of box, sometimes, however, overpower the
sweet-brier, and every other scent of the gardens.

 Every kind of English flower and fruit appears to benefit by
transportation to Van Diemen's Land. Well-remembered shrubs and
plants, to which the heat of Australia is fatal, thrive in the utmost
luxuriance under this more southern climate. For five years I had lost
sight of a rough but respected old friend — the holly, or at most I had
contemplated with chastened affection one wretched little specimen in
the Sydney Botanic Garden — labelled for the enlightenment of the
Cornstalks. But in a Hobart Town garden I suddenly found myself in the
presence of a full-grown holly, twenty feet high and spangled with red
berries, into whose embrace I incontinently rushed, to the astonishment
of a large party of the Brave and the Fair, as well as to that of my most
prominent feature!

 The fuchsia, the old original Fuchsia gracilis, attains here an
extraordinary growth. Edging the beds of a fine garden near where I
lived, there were hundreds of yards of fuchsia in bloom; and in the
middle of the town I saw one day a young just-married military couple
smiling, in all the plenitude of honey-lunacy, through a cottage-window
wholly surrounded by this pretty plant, which not only covered the entire
front of the modest residence, but reached above its eaves. And this
incident forces on my mind a grievous consideration, however out of
place here, namely, the virulent matrimonial epidemic raging lately
among the junior branches of the army in this colony. “Deus pascit
corvos,” the motto of a family of my acquaintance, conveys a soothing
assurance to those determined on a rash but pleasant step. But who will
feed half-a-dozen raven-ous brats is a question that only occurs when too
late! At this moment the regimental mess at Hobart Town is a desert
peopled by one or two resolute old bachelors and younger ones clever at
slipping out of nooses, or possessing that desultory devotion to the sex
which is necessary to keep the soldier single and efficient. Punch's
laconic advice “to parties about to marry,” which I have previously
adverted to, ought to be inserted in the standing orders and mess rules of
every regiment in H.M.'s service.

 Here, too, to get back to my botany, I renewed my acquaintance with
the walnut and the filbert, just now ripe, the Spanish and horse-chestnuts,
the lime-tree with its bee-beloved blossom, and the dear old hawthorn of
my native land. As for cherry and apple-trees, and the various
domesticated berry-bushes of the English garden, my regard for them
was expressed in a less sentimental manner. I defy schoolboy or
“midship-mite” to have outdone me in devotion to their products,
however much these more youthful votaries may have beaten me in the
digestion of them.

 From the grounds of the hospitable friend who made his house my
home during the fortnight I stayed at Hobart Town, the landscape was
extremely beautiful and much more European than Australian in its
character. Looking over villas and gardens and wooded undulations, with
glimpses of the town through vistas of high trees, down upon the bright
waters of the wide and hill-encircled harbour, I recalled to mind various
kindred prospects in older countries, — none more like than a certain
peep from a campagne near Lausanne over the village of Ouchi upon the
broad expanse of “clear, placid Leman.” Behind the house, Mount
Wellington, step by step, rises to the height of four thousand feet and
upwards, throwing its grand shadow, as the sun declines, right across the
city and harbour. Bristling with fine trees and brushwood, this range,
which can never be cultivated, will always supply the town with fuel and
timber for building.

 If no other public act of the present Governor may gain him
immortality, — which I am far from supposing, — the plan and
establishment of an ice-house near the summit of the mountain will serve
that purpose. It is the only one at the Antipodes. During the winter the
“diadem of snow” which crowns the top is pilfered to a trifling degree,
and the material well jammed into the ice-house. In the hot weather a
daily supply is brought into town on a pack-horse — (it ought to be done
by a self-acting tram-way) — early in the morning, and its sale and
manufacture is permitted by general consent to be monopolized by the
chief confectioner of the place, who sells it in the rough or in the smooth,
reasonably enough, to those who can afford ice creams, hard butter, and
cool champagne. This now respectable tradesman and citizen, once a
prisoner of the Crown, enjoys, moreover, another important and lucrative
monopoly. He is the cook as well as pastrycook of the Hobarton
aristocracy, — the only cook in the place. I sat at not a few “good men's
feasts” during my short stay here, and am not wrong, I think, in saying
that from the Government-house table downwards, all were covered with
productions of the same artiste. I recognised everywhere the soups, the
patés; I ventured upon this entremêt, avoided that, with the certainty of
prior knowledge; plunged without the shade of a doubt into the recesses
of a certain ubiquitous vol-au-vent, perfectly satisfied that a vein of
truffles would be found, which had not crossed 16,000 miles of ocean to
be left uneaten, although their merits seemed to be unknown to some.
The cook, it is needless to say, is making, if he has not already made, a
considerable fortune.

 It were well if those professions which administer merely to the body
had alone fallen into the hands of persons bearing upon them the convict
taint; — the reverse is, however, the case. What would an English
mother think of admitting to her drawing-room or school-room, and
entrusting the education of her daughter in music, dancing, or painting, to
men who are or have been felons? Yet at present this is almost a
necessity in Van Diemen's Land. Few or no accomplished freemen are
likely to come to a penal colony in the hope of making a livelihood by
imparting the more elegant branches of education. They are wrong,
however, for if their expectations were moderate such men might realize
handsome incomes.

 A lady told me that she had been compelled to employ, for the purpose
of teaching, or taking the portrait of her daughter — I forget which — a
person convicted of manslaughter, and suspected of murder by
poisoning. One of her sons usually remained in the room when this
agreeable guest was present; but, on one occasion when the ladies
happened to be alone with him, the mother was alarmed by seeing him
rise and approach the window where she sat, with an open knife in his
hand. She started from her chair with such visible affright, that, making
her a polite bow and with a grim smile, he begged to assure that “he
merely wanted to cut his pencil — not her throat!”

 I had the honour of being a fellow-traveller and dining several times at
a public table with a transported professor of one of those lighter
sciences usually inflicted upon young ladies, whether or not they have
any natural talent for them. What was the immediate cause of his exile
from home my neighbour and informant could not tell me, “but I believe
it was the gentleman's crime — forgery,” said he. Be it as it may, this
“gentleman” was in excellent and full practice, although in this
hemisphere, it was said, he had repaid the indulgence of the Government
and the confidence of one of his most respectable patrons, as well as one
of the kindest friends the convict class ever possessed, by debauching the
child entrusted to his tuition.

 In the streets of Hobart Town the stranger sees less of the penal
features of the place than might be expected. Possibly every other person
he meets on the wharves and thoroughfares may have been transported;
for the population of the island has been thus centesimally divided:
— free immigrants and born in the colony, 46 per cent.; bond and
emerged into freedom, 51 per cent.; military, Aborigines, &c. 3 per cent.
But there is of course no outward distinction of the classes except in the
prisoners under probation, who are clothed in the degraded grey, or grey
and yellow, according to their crimes and character. And these men,
being either confined within walls, or in distant stockades, or being
marched early in the morning to their place of work and back again at
sunset, fall but little under the observation of the public. Now and then
may be seen, indeed, the painful spectacle of a band of silent, soured, and
scowling ruffians — some harnessed to, others pushing at, and another
driving a hand cart, with clanking chains, toiling and sweating in their
thick and dusty woollens along the streets — each marked with his
number and the name of his station in large letters on his back and on his
cap. Here a gang may be seen labouring with shovel and pick on the
roadside, or sitting apart breaking up the metal. There is no earnestness
or cheerfulness in compulsory labour; and accordingly, however active
and ruthless these fellows may have shown themselves in the
commission of violence against their fellow-men, they are most merciful
to the macadam, only throwing a little temporary energy into their action
when the appearance of a carriage or a horseman suggests the possible
advent of some person whose duty or pleasure it may be to keep them up
to their work. As for the convict sub-overseer, who, one of themselves, is
appointed without pay to coerce the rest — no very active control can be
expected from him.

 To the colony the amount of solid benefit performed by these slow, but
sure and costless operatives, on the roads, bridges, and other public
works, must have been, and still be, immense; even where, as is
sometimes the case, the settlers of a district have to provide tools and
subsistence for the gangs employed in the improvement of their locality.
It is only this powerful application of penal slave-labour, and the vast
Government expenditure accompanying it, that have given to New South
Wales and Van Diemen's Land a rapidity of progress and a precocity in
importance that leave the march of other colonies comparatively very far

 But to the Mother Country the cost of creating nations by the thews and
sinews of her expelled, but by her still maintained, criminals, must be
enormous. The result of their labour compared with the outlay would be
pitiful indeed, but for the concurrent advantages — namely, the annual
riddance of a huge per-centage of rogues from her shores and from their
old haunts, their punishment and possible reformation, and the creation
of new dependencies of the Crown, and, therein, new markets for
England's exports. The clearing of an acre of land by a chain gang, under
bad surveillance, may cost, and indeed has often cost the Home
Government ten times as much as would have been paid to free labourers
on the spot; but the privilege of shooting so much moral rubbish upon
other and distant premises is cheaply bought at such a rate. It is cheaper
at any rate than a revolution; and it is an old newspaper story that the free
convicts of Paris bore no unimportant part in former as well as the late
overthrow of the Government of France. Van Diemen's Land, however,
like New South Wales, (if one may judge from the exertions made by a
tolerably influential section of the inhabitants,) is striving to shake off the
system, which, incubus though it be, warmed her into life.

 Looking at the question from the station of a spectator, I must say it
seems to me rather an unreasonable expectation on the part of those
truant Englishmen, who, well knowing the penal structure of Van
Diemen's Land as a colony, voluntarily settled there, that at the mere
signification of their pleasure the Imperial Government should be
compelled to raze in a moment the great insular penitentiary erected at
such prodigious cost, and hand over its site to the adventurers whose
tastes and consciences have so suddenly become squeamish about
convict-contact. Their grandsons or great-grandsons might, perhaps,
prefer the petition without incurring a charge of presumption; but the
present incumbents have no such claim — unless, indeed, they have
received an imperial pledge to that effect. Like the “Needy Knifegrinder,”

 “I do not want to meddle With politics, Sir.”

 The colonists know their own business best, and it is none of mine: but
it appears to me that their aspirations are somewhat premature. The
ground-floor of their social edifice has been built of mud. Let it at least
have time to harden before they attempt to superimpose a structure of

 December 30th. — It is curious to find oneself in a country with a
capital containing 20,000 inhabitants, a harbour full of shipping, and
teeming with evidences of wealth and comfort, and yet without a history;
that is, without a manual, a hand-book, or indeed any publication suited
to the reference of a travelling stranger. Mr. Murray must make a long
arm and supply this deficiency. In vain I perambulated the libraries and
stationers — in vain searched the book-shelves of the few residents I was
acquainted with. It was with some difficulty that I obtained the loan of an
old almanack — Ross's almanack — eleven years old. One day, indeed, I
espied in the window of a shop the title, “History of Tasmania,” on the
back of what appeared to be a well got up two-volume octavo work. It
was only the husk, however, the empty cover, no more, of a work that
had not yet seen the light. Subsequently I encountered the author in a
steam-boat, and was by him kindly permitted to look over one of his
well-written and diligently-collated volumes.

 Before pressing my reader to accompany me further into the island, I
will, if he pleases, make him a partner in such information as I could
glean regarding earlier events in the history of the colony; whereof,
however, I do not propose troubling him with more than a meagre

 It appears that in 1803, fifteen years after the first settlement of New
South Wales, to which place some 6,000 or 7,000 persons had been
transported, and which had suffered under the horrors of famine,
insurrection, and other troubles, it was found desirable to relieve Sydney
of a portion of the pressure, and to disperse the more turbulent of the

 Van Diemen's Land, from its salubrious climate, insulated position, and
its paucity of natives, being considered highly eligible for the erection of
a penal establishment, an officer of the navy, with a body of troops and
convicts, was despatched there with that view, and in August of that year
landed and camped his party on the eastern bank of the river Derwent, at
a spot called by him Rest-down, since abbreviated to Risdon, where there
is now a ferry across the stream.

 Early in 1804, an expedition, which had left England in 1802 for the
purpose of forming a penal settlement at Port Phillip on the southern
coast of New Holland, not finding water there, removed to this island,
and felicitously enough fixed upon Sulliven's Cove for their location;
where the first Lieut.-Governor of Van Diemen's Land, Colonel Collins,
landed with a few officers, civil and military, forty-four non-commissioned
officers and privates of the royal marines, and 367 male prisoners;
and where a settlement was founded and called Hobart Town,
after the then Secretary for the colonies. In the same year the river
Tamar, which on the northern coast of the island discharges itself into
Bass's Straits, was surveyed, and a small party of the 102d regiment from
Sydney, under Colonel Patterson, formed a convict station near its
mouth. Launceston, situated about forty miles inland on the Tamar, is the
next large town to the capital, containing at present about 7,000

 Thus Van Diemen's Land is a child of Botany Bay, born when the latter
was still in her teens. The babe of grace continued to thrive, although
very nearly starved to death in its earlier days while still at nurse under
the elder colony — kangaroo flesh being then greedily bought up at 1s.
6d. per pound, and sea-weed (laver, I suppose) becoming a fashionable
vegetable for want of better food. After about three years, however, cattle
and sheep were introduced into the island in considerable numbers, and
were found to flourish exceedingly wherever the most moderate degree
of care was bestowed upon them. Tasmania is a more musical alias
adopted by the island. It has been given in titular distinction to the first
bishop, my excellent and accomplished friend Dr. Nixon, and will
doubtless be its exclusive designation when it shall have become a free

 The ports being closed against any but king's ships, the colony received
but few recruits except by successive drafts of doubly-distilled rogues
from New South Wales. After a few years, however, the interdict against
commerce was removed. Many military officers serving there settled
down on grants of land. A considerable band of emigrants was brought
by the Government from Norfolk Island, when that place was selected
for a penal settlement. Freed prisoners increased and multiplied, and
spread themselves over the interior; but no direct emigration from the
British isles occurred before 1821, when a census being taken, the white
population was found to amount to 7,000 souls. The live stock consisted
of 350 horses, 35,000 horned cattle, and 170,000 sheep; acres in
cultivation nearly 15,000.

 In 1824 a supreme court of judicature was established from Home
— judges having thitherto been sent from Sydney to hold occasional
sessions at Hobart Town. In the same year, having attained her majority,
she petitioned for release from the filial ties connecting her with Sydney;
and in 1825 she was by imperial fiat erected into an independent colony.
 The progress of the island has been surprisingly rapid; although, like
New South Wales, its prosperity as a colony has been checquered by
occasional reverses, referable perhaps to similar causes — namely,
excessive speculation, rash trading on fictitious capital, extravagance in
living, the common failing of parvenus to wealth, bad seasons, and, in its
early days, the fearful depredations of white bush-rangers and of the
Aborigines. Money must have been plentiful in 1835, when a piece of
land at Hobart Town sold for 3,600l. per acre!

 The blacks, never considerable in numbers, and ferocious in their
conduct more on account of outrages received by them from the brutal
convict population, than by nature, were gradually got rid of — chiefly
no doubt by indiscriminate slaughter in fights about their women with
bush-rangers and others, and by the determined steps taken by the local
government for their capture and compulsory location in some secluded
spot, where their small remnant might be prevented from collision with
the Christian usurpers of their country. At one time a sort of battue on a
grand scale was undertaken by the Lieut.-Governor, not for the
destruction and extirpation of the unfeathered black-game, as has been
sometimes unjustly supposed — but for the purpose of driving them into
a corner of the island and so making prisoners of them. Not only redcoats
and police, but gentry and commonalty, enrolled militia-wise, were
brought into the field on this occasion. A grand movable cordon was
formed or attempted to be formed across the whole breadth of the land,
and was designed to sweep the native tribes before it into the “coigne of
vantage” prescribed by the inventor of the plot. It was fishing for
minnows with salmon nets! The cunning blackeys soon slipped through
the meshes, and intense confusion and perhaps some little fright arose
when it was discovered that the intended quarry had got into the rear of
the line of beaters, and was making free with the supplies! This grand
extrusion plan failed, then; — but 30 or 40,000l. of public money was
disseminated through the provinces, and a good many civic Major
Sturgeons got a smattering of “marching and counter marching” that they
will never forget, and that may be of service in the next Tasmanian war.
The poor Aborigines were not the less, in course of time, all killed,
driven away, or secured. Those who fell into the hands of Government
were humanely treated, fed, clothed, provided with medical aid, and
located in a sequestered spot where they might sit down and await — and
where they are now comfortably and most of them corpulently awaiting,
their certain destiny — extinction.

 The present native settlement is in Oyster Cove in D'Entrecastreaux's
Channel, an arm of Storm Bay, the mouth of the Derwent. In 1835, the
numbers were 210. In 1842, but 54. In 1848, according to statistics
published by the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land, the numerical
strength of the natives had fallen to thirty-eight — viz. twelve married
couples, and three males and eleven females unmarried. Thanks to
idleness and full rations, many of them, unlike the wild blacks, have
grown immensely fat — although not fair, nor, as I have just shown,
quite forty!

 Among the black ravagers of the rural settlers the most ferocious was a
native of Australia surnamed Mosquito, who had been driven from New
South Wales on account of some outrages committed there. In due time,
however, he was caught and hanged.

18 It will be recollected that the original sentence was “Death.”
19 Omitted

Chapter VI.

 BUSH-RANGING commenced in 1813, but was suppressed pretty
vigorously. In 1824 this practice had again attained a fearful height. The
insecurity of life and property, the murders, burnings of houses, stacks
and crops, the robbery and destruction of live-stock, must have seriously
impeded the advance of the colony. The military officers and men took
an active part in hunting down the most desperate ringleaders, and some
of them became famous as gallant and successful thief-takers. Martial
law made short work with those who were captured.

CONTINUED .... read the rest of this article

Extracts from:
Our Antipodes or, Residence and Rambles in the Australasian Colonies, with a Glimpse of the Goldfields
Mundy, Godfrey Charles (1804-1860)
London, Richard Bentley 1852

Source Text:
Prepared from the print edition published by Richard Bentley London 1852
3 Volumes: 410pp., 405pp., 431pp.

A digital text sponsored by Australian Literature Gateway
University of Sydney Library, Sydney 2003
Copyright © University of Sydney Library. The texts and images are not to be used for
commercial purposes without permission

HMS Havannah Figurehead
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On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872