Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Prisoner John NOWLAN alias DOWLING 1870 - 1876

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS stenographers and photographers

In 1873, stenographic services were not paid for by the colonial governments of Tasmania or NSW. Transcriptions of Parliamentary debates, of Supreme Court trials, of Governors' levees and dinners held by the colonial elite were provided by freelance journalists who syndicated their reports to the local and intercolonial press. Despite requests from public service officials to the Tasmanian Colonial Treasurer for the funding of a government reporter in 1873, no provision was made in the estimates that year or next, nor indeed for supporting a Hansard service. Tasmania's Hansard did not officially commence until mid-1979, such was the trust placed in Mercury reprints.
He (Mr. lnnes) thought it unfortunate that they had not a Hansard, in order that they might have an accurate and reliable record of what took place in that House. In the absence of that, however, he had referred to the journals to what he said on that occasion. (House of Assembly, Mercury Sat 19 Jul 1873)
The author of a letter to the editor of the Tasmanian Tribune, (Tue 25 August 1873) writing under the pseudonym "Monitor" made a case for the appointment of a Government stenographer on three grounds: expediency, impartiality, and accuracy: expediency, in reducing time spent on recording government returns from two days to two hours; impartiality, in forestalling personal bias and vested interests in decisions made by the Board of Investigations into suspensions of officials; and accuracy in recording in full all details of judgments in Supreme Court trials. "Monitor" also made the case for the records to be offered to lawyers etc as compilations for future reference, their purchase a means to off-set costs to the Treasury for their production. Belief in the realism of photography ensured its adaption to the judiciary process.

The South Australian government also stalled on the full-time appointment of a government reporter with shorthand skills, employing stenographers as well as photographers on a per contract basis instead. Frazer Crawford (1829-1890), for example, was commissioned by the Surveyor-General's Department to photograph prisoners incarcerated at the city Gaol and Yalta Stockade in 1867. He bought a 16 x 18-inch camera for the purpose. In Tasmania, commercial photographer Thomas J. Nevin was contracted under a similar arrangement from 1872 to photograph prisoners incarcerated at the Port Arthur penitentiary and House of Corrections, Hobart Gaol, as well as prisoners convicted at Supreme Court trials and those discharged at the Mayor's Court in the Hobart Town Hall, consolidating his commission from 1868 with the Lands and Survey Dept.

Prisoner DOWLING, John, also recorded as John NOWLAN
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection Ref: Q15586
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, December 1874

Verso: Prisoner DOWLING, John, also recorded as John NOWLAN
Not "Taken at Port Arthur"; taken at the Mayor's Court, December 1874
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection Ref: Q15586
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin

This prisoner stated that he arrived free in Tasmania as a sailor on the Bangalore with the name John Dowling, but he might have arrived as a convict with the name John Nowlan on the transport London in March 1851. Shipping documents testifying to his arrival on the Bangalore at any port and under any circumstance unfortunately, if true, are not extant. He was sentenced to five years in March 1870 for indecent assault as John Dowling. He was photographed as John Dowling by T. J. Nevin on release from the House of Corrections, Hobart in December 1874, and convicted again in February 1875 for larceny. A year later, in February 1876 he was convicted at the Supreme Court, Hobart, for rape of a girl between 10-11 yrs old, this time as John Nowlan, alias John Dowling. The sentence for rape was death, commuted to life imprisonment. John Nowlan alias John Dowling was sent to the Port Arthur prison on 25th February 1876 and transferred back to the House of Corrections, Hobart Gaol, Campbell St. on 17th April 1877. A prisoner who called himself John Dowling died at the New Town Charitable Institution, Hobart in 1906 of senilis.

The Mugshot
Thomas J. Nevin photographed this prisoner as John Dowling at the Mayor's Court, December 1874 on Dowling receiving a certificate of freedom. This photograph is now held in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection (Ref: Q15586). It was originally acquired by convictarian and landscape photographer John Watt Beattie from government estrays in the early 1900s for display in his "Port Arthur Museum" located in Hobart and for inclusion in travelling exhibitions associated with the fake convict hulk "Success" to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Hobart.

J. W. Beattie's collection of more that 300 Tasmanian prisoner mugshots, taken originally by T. J. Nevin in the 1870s, including this one of John Nowlan as Dowling, was acquired by the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania (QVMAG) in the 1930s. The capture by Nevin on glass in the one and only sitting with Dowling in 1874 was printed as a sepia cdv in a buff mount to be pasted to the prisoner's rap sheet in the first instance, its principal use. When Beattie organised exhibitions of these mugshots in the early 1900s, the versos of at least two hundred mugshots were duly inscribed with this fake information - "Taken at Port Arthur 1874" - purely to whet the appetite of tourists taking penal heritage tours to Port Arthur. As artefacts associated with Marcus Clarke's novel, For The Term of His Natural Life, published in 1874, which was filmed at the Port Arthur prison in the late 1920s, these mugshots were re-invented with false information to heighten the tourist's experience - a commercial imperative which has certainly waxed rather than waned in recent decades.

Frame-Up at the TMAG
In 1983, this mugshot of John Dowling and fifty or more were removed from Beattie's collection at the QVMAG in Launceston and taken down to the Port Arthur prison site for an exhibition. It was not returned to the QVMAG, deposited instead along with the fifty or more at the TMAG in Hobart. Already compromised by being removed from its original accession in the Beattie Collection at Launceston, its integrity as a vernacular police document was further violated with a fake photographer attribution to the Port Arthur prison's commandant A. H. Boyd, originating from his descendants wishing to launch him into the history books as some sort of photographer/artist.

In the late 1990s, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery constructed four wooden-framed collages under glass from their collection of Thomas Nevin's prisoner mugshots for an exhibition titled Mirror with a Memory at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, in 2000. John Dowling's image was placed in the bottom row, centre in one of the frames (see below). . However, for reasons best described as blind-sided or parochially naive, the TMAG staff who chose these mugshots sent the four frames to Canberra - five cdvs in the first, six per frame in the other three - with labels on the back of each wooden frame stating quite clearly that the photographs were attributed to A. H. Boyd, the much despised Commandant of the Port Arthur prison who was not a photographer by any definition of the term, nor an engineer despite any pretension on his part and especially despite the social pretensions of his descendants who began circulating the photographer attribution as a rumour in the 1980s to compensate no doubt for Boyd's vile reputation.

Top, left to right: prisoners James Glenn, William Ryan, Alfred Doran
Bottom, left to right: prisoners William Dawson, John Dowling, James Merchant

Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 10 November 2014

Transportation and Police Records
The document below, from the Archives Office of Tasmania Hobart Gaol book recorded that a prisoner named John Dowling stated he had arrived "free" as a sailor on the Bangalore. He was tried at Launceston on 30th March 1870, sentenced to 5 years for indecent assault. He arrived at the Port Arthur prison on 26th April 1870, received at the House of Corrections Hobart on 20th December 1873 and discharged to freedom on 20th December 1874. He was tried for rape of a young girl at the Supreme Court Hobart with the name John Nowlan alias John Dowling on 10th February 1876. The sentence of death for rape was commuted to life in prison.

Archives Office of Tasmania
Record: CON37-1-10 Image 458
Name: Nowlan, John
Record Type: Convicts
Also known as: Dowling, John
Ship: Bangalore
Remarks: Tried Launceston Mar 1870
Index number: 53297
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:1422829

The header of this record contains these details:
John Nowlan alias Dowling "Bangalore"
 Arrived  P.A. 25th Feby 1876
Rape upon a Girl between 10 & 11 years of Age.
Tried Hobt S.C. 10th February 1876 Sentence "Life" (commutation)

Nowlan, John alias Dowling - Folio 67
Item: CON94-1-2
Conduct Port Arthur Register Con 94-1-2 1873-76

Press and Police Gazette Notices
The prisoner called John Dowling, ship not listed, free, was convicted in the Recorder's Court, Launceston, on 30th 1870. He was discharged as John Dowling in January 1875 and reconvicted days later as John Dowling for larceny, sentenced to six months and discharged in July 1875, but when he was convicted for the rape of a child in 1876, the police noted his name for the first time as John Nowlan, and John Dowling as his alias.

Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, J. Barnard Gov't printer

Launceston, Wednesday, 30th March. (Before the Recorder, J. Whitefoord, Esq.)
The court was held at the Police Office, and was opened at 10 o'clock. The Solicitor-General, R. P. Adams, Esq., conducted the Crown prosecutions.
INDECENT ASSAULT. John Dowling was charged with having on the 8th January assaulted Deloranie Boss, a girl under 12 years of age, with intent to commit a rape ; in a second count he was charged with indecently assaulting the girl. He pleaded not guilty, and was defended by Mr Crisp.
Jury : Messrs Philip Pitt (foreman), Geo. Scott, jun., Thomas Ridge, John Bennett, James Cavanagh, W. F. Wathen, John Kilgariff, John Frost, Thomas Clarke, Samuel French, Thomas Bryant, Benjamin Williams. . The witnesses examined were — Deloranie Boss, Jane Thomas, and Elias Boss, the father of the girl : at least he said he believed so, but that it was difficult for a father to swear to his own child; as he appeared so doubtful on this material point, the Solicitor-General did not trouble him with many more questions.
It appeared that the defendant had been drinking at Williams's public-house, near the Don, and the girl having been sent on a message three miles from home, called at the public-house and had dinner there. The defendant had dined first. He said, 'Here you are,' and gave the girl some lollies. The girl left the public-house in company with a much younger sister, named Corolando La-? a and they were on their way to their aunt's, about half a mile off, when, they looked back and saw the defendant following them. They then began to run; the defendant fol-lowed, ?me up with them, and pushed the elder one down. The younger one ran back to Williams's public-house, and told Jane Thomas, housekeeper to Mr Williams, who went with the child, and found defendant in the act of assaulting Deloranie when she arrived. In her passion, Jane Thomas said, she seized a stick and struck Dowling on the head with it, and he then got up and went away. She then went some distance on the Tarleton road with the children, to see them safe to their aunt's, and afterwards, reported the assault to the police.
Mr Crisp had very poor materials with which to construct a defence, but he made the most of them. It was that the defendant had been drinking so long that he was in a maudlin state of drunkenness, and the girl offered him some of the lollies and sat down beside him voluntarily, when he might have done sufficient to amount to taking an indecent liberty, but no more, and that there was a house in the bush within forty or fifty yards of where they were, and if she had called out she would have had assistance.
The jury found the prisoner guilty on the second count, and he was remanded for sentence.
Source: Cornwall Chronicle Launceston, Tas.Saturday 2 April 1870, page 5
INDECENT ASSAULT. John Dowling was then placed at the bar to receive sentence, he having been convicted of an indecent assault on a girl, near the Don. Mr. O.Crisp, who defended: the prisoner at his trial, said Dowling had been convicted of a criminal assault, which was not a very grave offence. At his trial the prisoner labored under many disadvantages, he having had no witnesses, nor was he allowed to make any statement or produce certificates as to prisoner's character. Mr. Wedge was named to him (Mr. Crisp) .by the prisoner as being the only person in town who could give evidence as to the character prisoner bore previous to the alleged assault, but he was sorry to say the gentleman referred to was at present out of town, The prisoner had been in the colony for a number of years, and never before had his name appeared on the criminal records of the country. Then respecting the evidence, everything which had been said in Court could not be true, or the prisoner would be guilty of nothing short of an attempt to commit a rape. Neither could the girl's statement be believed, because if she had screamed as she said she had, she would most certainly have been heard at the house which was so near the spot where the alleged offence was committed. The object of all punishments he 'presumed was the suppression of crime. He hoped that in passing judgment his Honor would consider that the prisoner had been already imprisoned for several months. The Recorder said he could not agree with the remark just made as to the offence not being a grave one. In his opinion the crime was one of the most serious which had come before the Court during the session. Had the prisoner succeeded in doing what he had 'evidently attempted to, he would undoubtedly have been hanged. No evidence had been brought to show the previous character borne by the prisoner, but he (the Recorder) would accept the statement made by the learned counsel on the subject. The full term of imprisonment to which the prisoner was liable was seven years, but the maximum punishment would not be inflicted. The sentence of the Court was that he be imprisoned for five years.
Source: Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Sat 2 Apr 1870 Page 3 RECORDER'S COURT.

Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, J. Barnard Gov't printer

This is the notice in the weekly police gazette, week ending 6th January 1875, of John Dowling's discharge from the five year sentence imposed in 1870 for indecent assault. Within days he was re-convicted for larceny and sentenced to six months.

Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, J. Barnard Gov't printer

Convicted at Kempton, Green Ponds, Tasmania, as John Dowling, labourer, Free to Colony (FC) per the Bangalore, native place Kildare (Ireland), 46 years old, 5ft 7¼ins tall, with a prior conviction recorded on 30th March 1870, was sentenced to six months for larceny in the week ending 9th January 1875. He was discharged from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 7th July 1875 (below).

Source: Tasmania Reports for Police, J. Barnard Gov't printer

John Dowling per Bangalore was discharged from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 7th July 1875. Six months later he was convicted of the rape of a child in the Supreme Court, Hobart. This was the first instance in the police gazettes of police noting that the name John Dowling, free to the colony on the Bangalorewas John Nowlan's alias.


"Supreme Court, Hobart Town
List of prisoners arraigned at the above-named Court on the 10th, 11th and 12th of February, 1876
Names, Nowlan John, as Dowling; Age 45; Ship Bangalore; Conditions F.C.; Offences Rape; How Disposed of; Death recorded."
Source: Tasmanian Reports of Crime for Police (police gazette), J. Barnard, Gov't printer

The intercolonial press ran a simple syndicated notice of Nowlan 's sentence for rape of a child:

Hobart Town. Februarv 12.
John Nowlan, formerly convicted of a
similar offence, has been sentenced to
death for a rape on a child.
Source: South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail Sat 19 Feb 1876 Page 7 TASMANIA.

The sittings of the Criminal Court begin this morning, at 11 a.m. His Honor Sir Francis Smith, Chief Justice, will preside in the First Court, and Mr. Justice Dobson in the Second Court. The following is the calendar :
John Nowlan, Bellerive, rape.
Patrick Lamb, Franklin, wounding.
Robert Hopper, Oatlands, robbery and wounding.
Patrick Powell, Oatlands, housebreaking, Honora Tracey, Hobart Town, perjury.
Eliza Ann M'Kenzie, Hobart Town, perjury.
Stephen Spurling, Hobart Town, false pretences. Patrick Walsh, Oatlands, breaking a store and larceny.
William Sainsbury and Harriet Sainsbury, Oat-lands, housebreaking. ,
Ellen Waller, Franklin, perjury.
Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Thursday 10 February 1876, page 2

John Nowlan, Bellerive, rape.
Patrick Lamb, Franklin, wounding.
Robert Hopper, Oatlands, robbery and wounding.
Patrick Powell, Oatlands, housebreaking,
Honora Tracey, Hobart Town, perjury.
Eliza Ann M'Kenzie, Hobart Town, perjury.
Stephen Spurling, Hobart Town, false pretences.
Patrick Walsh, Oatlands, breaking a store and larceny.
William Sainsbury and Harriet Sainsbury, Oat-lands, housebreaking. ,
Ellen Waller, Franklin, perjury.

Source: The Tasmanian Tribune Hobart Town Wed 9 Feb 1876 Page 2 The Criminal Sessions.

The Criminal Sessions were opened yesterday morning, at 11 o'clock, by his Honor Sir Francis Smith, Chief Justice, who presided over the First Court. The Attorney-General prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. John Nowlan was found guilty of having committed a rape on Caroline Agnes Welch, 10 years of age, at Cambridge, on the 29th December. His Honor passed sentence of death on the prisoner, who maintained a stolid appearance during the whole trial.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954)Fri 11 Feb 1876 Page 2 THE MERCURY.

On the 12th February 1876, the Mercury published this notice regarding the death sentence passed on prisoner John Nowlan, presumably to allay the prisoner's fears:

Source: Mercury (Hobart, Tas.), Saturday 12 February 1876, page 2

THE CONVICT NOWLAN.- In reporting that the Chief justice had "passed" sentence of death on Nowlan, for criminal assault on a child, an error was made. It should have been that the sentence of death was "recorded", a very different thing, in so far as the convict is concerned.

The Legislation
This is the ACT of 1863 under which John Nowlan alias Dowling was sentenced to five years in 1870 for the indecent assault of Deloranie Boss, a girl under 12 years of age. The first count - intent to commit a rape - would have incurred a sentence of ten years, but he was sentenced instead on the second count of indecent assault which should have incurred the full sentence of seven years instead of five: see Clauses 48, 49, and 50 below. When found guilty of having committed a rape on Caroline Agnes Welch, 10 years of age in 1876, the full force of the law - Clause 45, the death sentence - was applied, yet a reprieve followed. The sentence of death on John Nowlan alias Dowling was commuted to life in prison.


AN ACT to consolidate and amend the Legislative
Enactments relating to Offences against the
Person. [31 July, 1863.]

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the Legislative PREAMBLE.
Enactments relating to Offences against the Person: Be it enacted .
by His Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, by and with the advice
and consent of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly, in Par·
liament assembled, as follows :-

Rape, Abduction, and Defilement of Women.
45 Whosoever shall be convicted of the crime of Rape shall be
guilty of Felony, and being convicted thereof shall suffer Death as a

46 Whosoever shall, by false pretences, false representations, or
other fraudulent means, procure any woman or girl under the age of
Twenty-one years to have illicit carnal connexion with any man shall
be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable
to be imprisoned for Ten years.

47 Whosoever shall unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any
girl under the age of Ten years shall be guilty of Felony, and being
convicted thereof shall suffer Death as a Felon.

48 Whosoever shall unlawfully and carnally know and abuse any
girl being above the age of Ten years and under the age of Twelve years
shall be guilty of a Misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be
liable to be imprisoned for Seven years.

49 Whosoever shall be convicted of any assault with intent to
commit Rape, or of carnally knowing and abusing any girl being above the
age of Ten years and under the age of Twelve years, or of any attempt
to have carnal knowledge of a girl under Twelve years of age, or of any
attempt to commit Rape, shall be liable to be imprisoned for Ten

50 Whosoever shall be convicted of any indecent assault upon any
female shall be liable to be imprisoned for Seven years.

READ the full ACT here {pdf}
"An Act To Consolidate And Amend The Legislative Enactments Relating To Offences Against The Person"(27 Vic, No 5) Austlii Database

Capital Punishment
Photographer Thomas J. Nevin was exposed to the most pitiful of criminals if not to their actual crimes when he captured their likeness for police records in Tasmania from the 1870s to the 1880s. Sexual crimes against children were prosecuted without much consistency as to the punishment or length of sentence, despite clear legislation guidelines. Two prisoners also photographed by T. J. Nevin - Henry Page and Charles Downes - were convicted of rape of a child in separate crimes, and initially sentenced to death. When their sentences were reprieved in 1875, public outrage ensued regarding inconsistencies in sentences, sparked by the execution of Job Smith on 31st May 1875 whom Nevin had photographed under the alias of William Campbell. Letters to the Mercury published on 29th May 1875 protested the planned execution of Job Smith in the face of reprieves granted to Charles Downes, as well as Marsh and Henry Page.

Sir,-Since the Executive have shut their ears to all appeals to spare the life of the condemned Job Smith, I cannot refrain from asking, upon what principles the death penalty has been, and is to be hereafter, inflicted, or commuted, in Tasmania. The man Marsh, who was tried on the same day as Smith, and found guilty of the same offence, has been reprieved-not for any extenuating circumstances in connection with his crime, but, apparently, because no great amount of violence was used by him, the fear of his victim having rendered it unnecessary. In December, 1873, Henry Page was tried and found guilty of rape upon a child under age, under circumstances the most horrible and revolting that ever came before a Tasmanian jury. This inhuman monster was sentenced to death, but was reprieved on account of his great age, and is now confined at Port Arthur. In February, 1872, Charles Downes was tried and found guilty of carnally knowing a child under ten years of age, under circumstances which amounted to nothing short of a violent rape. This man was also, after being sentenced to death, reprieved.

In the presence of these three reprievals, I look in vain for the principle upon which the Executive have decided to hang Job Smith. If in anyone, of the four cases now under notice, so far as they are to be compared with each other, there was any palliating circumstances, it was surely in the case of Smith. He had been removed by the strong arm of the law from all the opportunities left open to the other three of sinning at pleasure without rendering themselves liable to arrest for crime. It must also be confessed that had strict discipline been in force in regard to Smith, the offence for which he is about to suffer would not have been committed.

What then is the particularly dark feature in the case of Smith for which the Executive have determined that he shall die? Is it because he struck his victim on the arm with a piece of batten? Then it is not the rape for which they are punishing him. Or, are the Executive carrying out the extreme penalty of the law in the present instance because the Judge who tried the case thought fit to say, that if ever there was a case in which it was proper to do so, this was one? Then the Executive had better, for the future, resign their prerogative into the hands of the Chief Justice. But until they think fit to do so, it is to be demanded of them that they mete out to all persons who come under their jurisdiction an equal administration of the law; but how the reprieving of Downes, Page, and Marsh, and the hanging of Job Smith, can be proved to be that, I, for one, cannot see.

I am, yours truly,
Source: CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. (1875, May 29). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from

Prisoner SMITH, Job alias CAMPBELL alias BRODIE executed 31st May 1875
TMAG Ref: Q15572
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin 1874

Left: prisoner Charles Downes per Rodney 2, death sentence reprieved
Right: prisoner Henry Page per Phoenix 2, death sentence reprieved
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin 1874
Collection: National Library of Australia

Charles Downes died in custody at the Hobart Gaol. The inquest into his death was published in the Mercury on 13th August 1878. The last man hanged in Tasmania was Frederick Henry Thompson. He was put to death at 6:00am on February 14, 1946 inside the Hobart Penitentiary. Queensland abolished capital punishment in 1922. Tasmania followed in 1968, Victoria in 1975, South Australia in 1976 and New South Wales and Western Australia in 1984. The federal government abolished capital punishment in the territories in 1973, and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Torture Prohibition and Death Penalty Abolition) Act 2010 blocked any state or territory from reintroducing it.

Buried as John Dowling 1906
Presumably, prisoner John Nowlan served his life sentence at the Hobart Gaol, and relocated to the New Town Charitable Institution in advanced age. Was John Nowlan alias John Dowling this prisoner whose last known residence was recorded in 1906 as the New Town Charitable Institution?

John Nowlan
Date of Birth:1824
Crime: Assault and theft
Convicted at: Ireland, Waterford
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: London
Departure date: 20th December, 1850
Arrival date: 19th March, 1851
Place of arrival Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest Travelled with 272 other convicts
Trial date: 02/03/1848
One of 288 prisoners embarked on Ship London at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire), Co. Dublin on 13th and 16th December 1850 from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin. Ship sailed 20th Dec 1850 and was 89 days at sea reaching Hobart Town on 19th March 1851.
Source: Community contributed record at -

The cemetery record gives this deceased person buried with the name John Dowling the age at death in 1906 as 82 yrs old, born therefore ca. 1824. This birth date accords with the information about a prisoner called John Nowlan, born 1824, convicted of assault and theft at Waterford, Ireland on 2nd March 1848, sentenced to 7 years, arrived at Hobart, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on board the London, on 19th March 1851 with 272 other convicts. In other words, the association of this prisoner with the alias John Dowling and his arrival on the ship Bangaloreas a sailor - i.e. "free" - may have been all of his own invention, an attempt to create a new identity at the expiry of his seven year sentence in 1858 before his first conviction of attempted rape of a child in 1870.

Name: Dowling, John
Record Type: Deaths
Age: 82
Description: Last known residence: New Town Charitable Institution, New Town
Property: Cornelian Bay Cemetery
Date of burial: 21 Aug 1906
File number: BU 15322
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1546107

Title The Canterbury Association ships Bangalore, Dominion, Duke of Portland, Lady Nugent, Midlothian and Canterbury in the East India docks [picture]
Call Number PIC Drawer 6694 #U3364 NK4182/8
Created/Published [London : Illustrated London news, 1851]
Extent 1 print : wood engraving ; 12.6 x 23 cm\
Location: National Library of Australia

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Prisoner William SAYER or SAWYER 1875

William Sawyer, also known as Sayer(s), arrived in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Chapman in 1824, transported for seven years for theft of money. When Thomas J. Nevin photographed him for police records in 1875 at the termination of a sentence passed in 1868 at the Supreme Court Hobart of ten years for sheep stealing, he was 76 yrs old.

Prisoner SAYER or SAWYER, William
TMAG Ref: Q15615
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, 1875

Verso: prisoner SAYER or SAWYER, William per "Chapman"
TMAG Ref: Q15615
Photographer: Thomas J. Nevin, 1875

Transportation Records
Crime: Theft
Convicted at: Suffolk Quarter Sessions
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Chapman
Departure date: 6th April, 1824
Arrival date: 27th July, 1824
Place of arrival: Van Diemen's Land
Passenger manifest: Travelled with 179 other convicts

Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/5, Page Number 145 (74)

Name: Sawyer, William
Record Type: Convicts
Departure date: 6 Apr 1824
Departure port: England
Ship: Chapman (1)
Voyage number: 35
Remarks: Tried Hobart Oct 1838
Index number: 62456
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1432240

Marriage of William Sayer to Sarah Wickham 1836
William Sayer married Sarah Wickham at St. John's Church, New Town, Hobart, on 21st July, 1836. She would have been no more than sixteen years old whereas William Sayer/Sayers/Sawyer was 36 yrs old, born in 1799 and 24 yrs old when he was transported on the Chapman in 1824 to serve seven years. Witnesses to the marriage were John and Mary Baily of Hobart Town. William Sayer had gained a Ticket of Leave three years earlier, on 10th May 1833, and a Free Certificate on 21st October 1833.

Name:Sayers, William
Record Type: Marriages
Gender: Male
Spouse: Wickham, Sarah
Date of marriage:21 Jul 1836
Registration year:1836
Record ID:NAME_INDEXES:822703

Police Record of William Sawyer or Sayer 1868-75
William Sawyer/Sayer was residing with his co-offender John Bradley and John Bradley's wife when he was arrested for theft of a sheep and mutton.

John Bradley and William Sayers were charged with having on the 19th January stolen a sheep, the property of Daniel Reynolds, and in a second count with having on the same day stolen 20lbs. of mutton, being part of a sheep, the property of the said Reynolds.
Sayers pleaded guilty, and Bradley not guilty. The former was remanded, and the trial of the latter was proceeded with.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Thu 13 Feb 1868 Page 2 LAW.

The Police Gazette records of convictions and discharges are the most reliable means for accurately establishing the dates on which Thomas J. Nevin produced the several hundred mugshots of Tasmanian prisoners during his commission as commercial photographer, government contractor and civil servant, 1872-1886. This record dates the photograph of William Sawyer or Sayer to March 1875, taken in the fortnight before his discharge.

Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, March 1875, J. Barnard Gov't Printer

William Sawyer or Sayer, originally from Ipswich (born 1799, Suffolk, UK) and transported on the ship Chapman in 1824, was tried in the Supreme Court, Hobart on 11th February 1868, sentenced to 10 years. He was 76 years old when he was discharged with a ticket of leave (TOL) in 1875. The police recorded his height on discharge as 5 ft 11½ inches tall, with grey hair and a scar on right of upper lip. He was photographed by Thomas J. Nevin on discharge from the Hobart Gaol in the week ending 17th March 1875. He died in 1883, apparently with no further convictions recorded by the police from the date of discharge which occasioned this mugshot and no other subsequently.

Divorce of Sarah and William Sawyer or Sayer 1870
At some point after their marriage in 1836, William and Sarah Sawyer lived at Bothwell, Tasmania. He worked as a shepherd for E. Nicholas at Pine Tier (central highlands) but by 1862 he was thought to have departed the colony.This notice appeared in the weekly police gazette of 30th November 1866. But by 1868, he was resident at Broadmarsh in Tasmania when he was arrested, convicted at the Supreme Court,  and incarcerated at the Hobart Gaol.

INFORMATION is requested as to the whereabouts and circumstances of William Sawyer, formerly residing at Bothwell, and employed as shepherd by E. Nicholas, Esquire, of the Pine Tier, Marlborough. He is supposed to have left this Colony in 1862 or 1863.
William Sawyer reported missing,
Source: Tasmania Reports of Crime for Police, 30th November 1866.

When Sarah Sawyer applied for divorce in September 1870, the judgment was reserved with no explanation, but possibly because William Sawyer was incarcerated, currently serving ten years, and possibly because his wife Sarah Sawyer/Sayer was dying of rectal cancer.

Source: The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) Wed 21 Sep 1870 Page 3 No title

The divorce case, "Sarah Sayer v. William Sayer", was heard to-day. Judgment was reserved. The parties were married in Hobart Town.
Death of Sarah Sawyer/Sayer 1873
On the 19th November 1873, Sarah Sawyer died at the General Hospital, Hobart of cancer of the rectum. She was 53 yrs old, a servant,  born in Belfast ca.1820.

Name:Sawyer, Sarah
Record Type: Deaths
Gender: Female
Age: 3
Date of death: 19 Nov 1873
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1873
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1151040
Resource: RGD35/1/8 no 1789

Death of William Sawyer 1883
William Sawyer died of "senilis" at the New Town Pauper Establishment on 14th May, 883. He was 84 yrs old. His burial record stated he was a Protestant.

Names: Sawyer, William
Record Type: Deaths
Gender: Male
Age: 84
Date of death: 14 May 1883
Registered: Hobart
Registration year: 1883
Record ID: NAME_INDEXES:1230474
Resource: RGD35/1/10 no 880

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thomas Nevin, Sam Clifford and the Flying Squadron at Hobart, January 1870

MUSIC manuscript of the GALOP by W. H. SPILLER
BOOK The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870
DIARY of Midshipman Marcus McCausland

Abbott Album
171. Flying Squadron in Hobson's Bay 1869 (Victoria)

Press Reports
Source: Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899), Saturday 29 January 1870, page 3

VISIT OF-THE -FLYING SQUADRON TO HOBART TOWN. . The Flying Squadron arrived at Hobart Town on Sunday 2nd January. The Squadron consists of H.M.S. Liverpool, 30 gun steam, frigate, 2,056 tons; -H.M.S. Endymion, 21-gun steam frigate, 2,480 tons; H.M.S Scylla, 10-gun steam- corvette 1,467 tons; H.M.S. Liffey, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,654 tons; H.M.S. Barrosa, 17-gun steam corvette, 1,700 tons; H.M.S. Pheobe, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,800 tons. Large numbers of spectators assembled in various spots to watch the little fleet coming up the harbour under full sail. His Excellency the Governor and suite paid a visit to Rear-Admiral Hornby on board the Liverpool. During the stay of the Squadron, the vessels were thrown open for public inspection and thousands of persons availed themselves of the opportunity. The Liverpool was of course the ship which attracted the greatest number of visitors. The officers had a gay time of it during their eight days stay. They were entertained by the Governor to several dinner parties, to a grand ball at Government House, to a lawn party at the same place, followed by an old colonists' ball, a regatta, a cricket match, in which both the Governor and Admiral Hornby took part, concerts theatrical entertainments, a picnic at Fern Tree Gully, &c., so that time did not by any means hang heavily on their hands, and they must have left the "tight little island" with the impression that they had a jolly time of it, and had been exceedingly well treated. But if the officers passed a pleasant time of it, the crews did not find it a dull visit, but were at various times allowed, leave of absence, and enjoyed themselves in their own style, keeping the City in a lively state, Sometimes the streets were "alive", with sailors. The blue jacket was everywhere to be seen, and as usual, when on shore, Jack was up to all sorts of pranks. The tars caused a considerable amount of amusement. They were all very jolly, and ready to fraternise with one and all, and to the credit of the fleet it may be said there was no misconduct to , complain of. Man-of-wars' men on shore-are always allowed a certain amount of license, and sometimes they abuse the privilege accorded to them; but the men of the Squadron who were on shore in Hobart Town behaved themselves admirably. Of course they had their larks, add they "punished " a considerable quantity of liquor, but there was no rowdyism amongst them. The Barrosa after remaining a few days proceeded to Melbourne to pick up deserters at that place. She got four, but lost twelve twelve of her own men, so her voyage did not, prove very successful. , During the time the fleet was in Melbourne they lost a hundred and sixty men, of whom twenty-nine were from the Liverpool. The Scylla lost 24, and the other vessels in proportion. The Flying Squadron left Hobart Town on 10th instant. His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Du Cane, Archdeacon Reibey, Mrs. Lambert, and Mr. Chichester, his Excellency's Private Secretary, proceeded down the harbor on board the Liverpool, and returned in the T.S.N. Co's. steamer Southern Cross in the afternoon. In going down a collision occurred between the Liffey and Scylla, which were on different tacks; the Liffey had her jibboom carried away, and a portion of the Scylla's bulwarks was smashed and her mainsail damaged. A new sail was bent, and the other injuries speedily repaired, and the wind being light the ships came to an anchor off the Iron Pot. Three men belonging to the Liffey were injured by the collision. The S.S. Southern Cross and steamer Monarch accompanied the Squadron down the river, and had on board a large number of passengers. The Squadron finally got away on 11th instant.
Source: Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Sat 29 Jan 1870 Page 3 VISIT OF THE FLYING SQUADRON TO HOBART TOWN.

Source: Australian National Maritime Museum
Flying Squadron Special Regatta program
Date:7 January 1870
Medium:Silk, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Royal Hobart Regatta Association
Object Name:Silk program
Object No:00048313
Related Place:Hobart
Description: This silk program with a red fringed border was produced for a special regatta to honour the visit to Hobart of five British warships known as the Flying Squadron. The regatta was held under the patronage of the Governor Chas. Ducane. Esq. and Rear-Admiral Hornby on 7th January 1870. It was organised by the Hobart Regatta Association and Lieutenants Watson, Parker and Roberts from HMS LIVERPOOL, LIFFEY and PHOEBE respectively.
The program details various squadron rowing and sailing events as well as a novelty duck hunt. It is type set in two columns and was printed at the Mercury steam press office in Hobart.

Extracts and Plates 1871
These extracts, map and lithographs are from the official account of the Flying Squadron in Hobart, Tasmania, January 1870, The  Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G.T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J.B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.] Publication date 1871 Publisher London : J.D. Potter

Map of the Cruise Round the World 1869-1870:

The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G.T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J.B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.]
Publication date 1871 Publisher London : J.D. Potter
Link to full text:

The beauty of Tasmanian women
Some Tasmanian women were pretty, but so few beautiful according to the authors:


Pages 136-137

... a distinguished captain of a frigate, whose previous
diplomatic career now stood him in good stead,
and His Excellency continued his round, calling on
the captains of each ship, and returning to Govern-
ment House about six o’clock, preparatory to the
ball, which was to take place that evening at
Government House, where, at nine o’clock, the doors
were opened, and the company poured in to be
astonished at the beauty of the room, or, as our
correspondent of the Press mentioned, struck with
the floral decorations, in which nothing was left
undone to dazzle the vision with the splendours
of the vice-regal palace. Our correspondent was
assuredly there, but as we had not the pleasure of
seeing him, we conclude he came with the fern trees
that were placed at the back of the dais, which, with
the lights behind them, produced a very desirable
effect, and the room itself looked as well as a pretty
room can look, decorated with an amount of flowers,
in the profusion of which Tasmania stands unrivalled,
and arranged with the greatest talent of artistic taste ;
we may thoroughly congratulate Mrs. Du Cane on
a rare thing — perfect success ; and as we had heard
one constant cry in Australia about the beauty of
Tasmanian women, of “ Wait till you go to Hobarton,”
we waited ; and as the day drew near, anxiety
increased to see the room which was to be full of
dazzling visions, and like most other things in this
life that you look forward to with interest, we hope it
will not be considered heresy to say that we were a
little disappointed as to the amount of beauty in
it. That there were pretty girls is undeniable, but
that they were very scarce we think is equally so.
What nature had not lavished, artifice had usurped the
place with little winning ways, and many hearts beat
a shade quicker at the sight of a well-remembered
Melbourne face; and, without making invidious selec-
tions, we doubtless think that the Misses R ----e were
quite the belles, inclusive of the suffering Aunt
Laura, who betrayed the sagacity of a great instinct
on more than one occasion ; and, with all going merry
as marriage bells, dancing was kept up, with only a
partial suspension at midnight, when, according to
our Mercury friend, supper was served in the most
superb style, the wines and champagne being of the
choicest qualities, and iced — the fact of the iceing
having struck the gentleman so much, we are afraid
he must have bolted a bit in the pantry ; and by
three o’clock the last white slipper had fled en route
to its nest, leaving us alone with the thought of what
we had done which we ought not to have done ; and
while we were ruminating over the pros and cons

Captain Goldsmith's SS "Kangaroo"
The vehicular steam ferry built by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin's uncle Captain Edward Goldsmith at his slipyard on the Queen's Domain, Hobart, in 1854 was still in operation between the wharves at Hobart and Rosny (Bellerive) on the eastern shore of the Derwent up to the early 20th century

Page 138

Wednesday, January 5th. — The town was kept
alive during the day by Jack, who was on leave, and
who also was affording great amusement to the
people ashore ; and in the afternoon was the picnic,
given to the squadron by the citizens of Hobarton,
at a place — Rosny — the opposite side of the harbour
to the town, where, shortly after one o’clock, the
“ Kangaroo ” steamer took the givers and their
guests across, who were shortly afterwards joined by
the vice-regal party, and to the immense amusement
of the spectators, many of the squadron, including all
the supposed stern and unyielding naval post-captains,
save one, played at the scientific game of duckstone.
Great was the company of spectators, and loud the
applause, when a bearded and decorated captain was
seen fleeing heedlessly down the lull, pursued by an
impetuous and hairless midshipman, one of whom, in
his anxiety to do for the duck, hurled a large portion
of a rock, without looking to see if anybody’s head
was in the way ....

The vehicular steam ferry built by Elizabeth Rachel Nevin's uncle Captain Edward Goldsmith in 1854 was still in operation in the early 20th century, photographed here as S.S. Kangaroo, Hobart to Bellerive ferry, Hobart, ca. 1913
Source: National Library of Australia

The Ladies' letter to the Admiral to move his ships

Pages 140-141

The Admiral received a letter, through the Tasmanian Times, from the ladies of Hobart Town, and for their sakes we must regret the sometimes hardness of the human heart.

“ Dear Admiral, —

“We have a favour to ask at your hands,
“ and knowing how kind and gallant all members of
“ your profession are to such petitioners as we, it is
“ with the better grace and more confiding spirit
“ that we pray you to grant our request. Do, dear
“ Admiral, move those fine ships of yours from their
“ present anchorage, where nobody can see them at
“ advantage, and where they are so difficult of access
“ to the ordinary anchorage near the wharf, where
“ the whole town can have a fine view of them, and
“ where all can conveniently reach them. You must
“ know we like to look at the blue coats and gold
“ buttons (people say the owners of the said coats
“ and buttons like to look at us), but modesty forbids
“ our putting this forward as a plea; and we also
“ like to view their floating home, especially when
“ they come in a fleet to our shores. Now, please
“ do be compliant to our earnest wishes, and be
“ assured every hospitality we can offer will be the
“ more readily extended to the whole of the crews
“ under your command.

“ And your petitioners will ever pray for fair
“ winds for your squadron when at sea, and sweet
“ smiles to welcome it at every port it enters.

“ The Ladies.”

The result, if any, was not apparent, the anchors remaining where they were, and the ships as before obscured from the light-blue eyes of Hobart Town.

Thursday, January 6th. — The day was devoted to the great cricket struggle between the Southern Tasmanian Cricket Association and the Flying Squadron, the Governor leading his Kingdom and the Admiral his Squadron. [etc etc]

From: The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G.T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J.B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.]
Publication date 1871 Publisher London : J.D. Potter
Link to full text:

The Three Lithographs
These images in this publication The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G.T. Phipps-Hornby (1871) are from the British Library at Flickr: Link:

Caption on mount:
Standidge & Co. Liths London
Image taken from page 187 of 'The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G. T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J. B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.]' 1871

There is nothing in the published text dated 1871 about the Flying Squadron's visit to Tasmania which refers to this lithograph of a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman or which can account for the image's inclusion in the publication. Aborigines are mentioned in the section on Victoria, Maoris in the New Zealand section, and the Japanese "race" in that section. Even the Anglo-Saxons are mentioned as a "race" but the authors are silent about the Tasmanian Aboriginal woman who appears on page 187.

As for identification of both the subject and the photographer, their source of this photograph was the Hobart studio of Charles Alfred Woolley (1834-1922). He took three photographs of each of five Tasmanian Aborigines in 1866. This one is of Wapperty, female of the Benlomona Tribe, 70 yrs old.

Source: State Library of NSW
Tasmanian Aborigines, 1866 / photographed by Charles Alfred Woolley | PXB 435
7-9. [Wapperty?] or [Wonoteah Cortamena?] (Human [& Lightning?]), female of the Benlomona Tribe, 70 yrs old

Caption on mount:
Standidge & Co. Liths London
Image taken from page 151 of 'The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G. T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J. B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.]' 1871

Caption on mount:
Standidge & Co. Liths London
Image taken from page 177 of 'The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G. T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J. B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish.) [With plates and a map.]' 1871

Photographs of the Flying Squadron
Hobart photographers George CHERRY, Samuel CLIFFORD and Thomas NEVIN produced souvenirs of the Flying Squadron's visit in all formats, e.g. as cartes-de-visite, as postcards, as panoramas and as stereographs.

Caption: "Flying Squadron in the River Derwent, Hoabrt Town, 7th January 1870"
Printed below image from left to right: "Scylla, Phoebe, Liffey, Liverpool, Edymion"
Photographer: George Cherry 1870
Source: Maritime Museum of Tasmania

The Flying Squadron from Rosny
Publication Information: 1870.
Physical description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm.
Tasmanian scenes" also known as "Clifford album 1".

Clifford and Nevin's prints as prototypes
Compare the photographs (below) produced as stereographs by Samuel Clifford and Thomas Nevin in January 1870 and the two coloured lithographs (above), published in London, 1871 in the account of The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G. T. Phipps-Hornby. (Compiled by J. B., with the assistance of Henry Cavendish). The stereograph of the ships by Clifford viewed from the Queen's Domain, and the stereograph of Government House taken by Nevin at the Queen's Domain, appear to have been used by the London publishers as the prototypes for the lithographs in 1871. All three photographers - Cherry, Clifford and Nevin would have received some instruction to supply the local press, the visitors, and the colonial Government with these items. Thomas Nevin, in particular was under contract to the Lands and Survey Dept. by 1870, commissioned by Surveyor-General of Tasmania, James Erskine Calder.

The Flying Squadron in the Derwent January 2-10, 1870
Carte-de-visite printed on mount at right "SAMUEL CLIFFORD"
From the family album of Jean Porthouse Graves 1870s-1940s
Photo © KLW NFC 2015 in KLW NFC Private Collection

Flying Squadron on the Derwent River.
[STEREOSCOPE] CLIFFORD, Samuel (attributed) Hobart? 1870.
Stereoscope, card mount measuring 175 x 83mm.
Source: Hordern House Rare books Sydney NSW

Commercial photographer Thomas Nevin and his friend Duncan Chisholm were captured with Nevin's own camera by a third person (possibly Thomas' younger brother Jack Nevin) as they watched the Flying Squadron in the River Derwent from their vantage point on the Queen's Domain during the week of 2nd-10th January, 1870.

Detail of stereograph below, Thomas J. Nevin, ca. 1870
Self portrait (foreground, in hat) and male friend reclining on the Queen's Domain, Government House in distance.
Verso blank, inscription "Domain Hobart per G. T. Stilwell, Librarian, SLT."
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
Taken at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 10 November 2014
TMAG Ref: Q16826.3

Stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin, ca. 1870
Self portrait (foreground, in hat) and male friend reclining on the Queen's Domain, Government House in distance.
Verso blank, inscription "Domain Hobart per G. T. Stilwell, Librarian, SLT."
Photos recto and verso copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2014-2015
TMAG Ref: Q16826.3

The new Government House in the background of this "selfie"  was photographed again by Thomas Nevin as the more formal subject of this stereograph (below) which was used as the prototype by the London publishers in 1871 for the coloured lithograph (above) on page 177 of The Cruise round the World of the Flying Squadron 1869-1870, under the command of Rear Admiral G. T. Phipps-Hornby

Government House from Domain
Stereograph by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870
TMAG Ref:Q1994.56.18 [scans recto and verso 2015]

Midshipman Marcus McCausland's Diary
The Cruise of The Flying Squadron 1869 – 1870
A Midshipman's Diary by Marcus McCausland
Edited by Charles Fountain, May 2002.

Editor's Note from Introduction
This article is drawn from the diary written during the cruise of the Flying Squadron by Marcus McCausland a midshipman on board the frigate "HMS Liffey". All the illustrations and photographs used in the text were bound into the diary and were either taken by McCausland or obtained by him on route. Considering how early the photographs are and the deprivations they must have suffered during the cruise, they are in remarkable condition. The diary content has been reproduced faithfully and with only very minor editing. It is hoped that by keeping the content true to the original diary and complete, the reader may gain some idea of the rhythm of the cruise with periods of tedious sailing followed by the short sharp adventures experienced in the ports. Explanatory notes draw on information contained in two other logs from the cruise and other miscellaneous sources as indicated in the bibliography.
© Copyright Charles Fountain May 2002

EXTRACTS from the Diary
December 26th
"We left Sydney under steam followed by steamers and the same sort of procession of boats as when we arrived. After we rounded the heads we made sail with all the bands of the fleet playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’, ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’ etc. Much waving of pocket-handkerchiefs and I’m afraid many left their hearts behind them. Had a very fair passage to Hobart Town – seven and a half days."

Sunday Jan 2nd
"Arrived off Hobart Town. Crowds of people down by the water side watching us come in. In fact the churches were empty and they say the Bishop cut his sermon short by saying, "Dearly beloved brethren the Flying Squadron are coming in and I must be off to see them". I watched the Admiral as he landed and saw him surrounded by women."

"Government house is the most prominent feature onshore but the whole harbour is very pretty. Invitations came onboard at once for every sort of amusement. I went onshore the first day after arrival and just came in in time for a private picnic that was being got up. We had a very jolly day of it. We went to the top of mount Wellington the highest peak in the place, the carriages started at 11am."

I found myself in a carriage with three ladies and two little girls who made themselves very agreeable - lots of chat. In fact I was very sorry when we had to leave the carriage and take to climbing. We had to climb up a gully for about two hours and I must say I was rather ashamed of myself because the three girls I was supposed to be taking care of were assisting and taking care of me. I thought I would drop down with sheer exhaustion several times and they were mounting higher and higher and seeming to enjoy it, (jeering me in fact). But when we got to the top such a splendid luncheon was laid out under the gum trees (a peculiarity about these trees – they shed their bark instead of their leaves) which being finished the gentlemen smoked and the ladies had some small talk. Then we walked down to the carriages and drove back."

"My next debut onshore was to the theatre to act my inimitable part of swashbuckler."

"This country is a great place for lags or in other words, men who have been sent out here at their countries expense and, their time being up, have settled here. You cannot look into a mans antecedents out here."

"The next thing of importance here was a Regatta given in honour of the fleet. It was a decided success. One little incident in the day’s amusements might have proved fatal but for the pluck of one of our men. An old gentleman fell overboard and was just sinking when this man jumped in and saved him."

"We acted a second time before the Governor The Honourable Mr DuCann and Lady DuCann, Admiral Hornby and all the elite of Hobart town. The proceeds of the performance went to the organ fund the members of which stood us a great supper at the Bird in Hand Public House after which we paraded the streets during the night singing squadron songs. I then retired to my hotel and spent the remainder of the night with a mess-mate in trying to enter the landlady’s room where the poor unprotected female slept with two pretty barmaids. We wrenched the alarm bell off her door and then got in through the window but cowardly wretches as we were, we beaten off by her ladyship a big stick in one hand and a jug of water in the other - and she only in her nightgown. We kept the attack up till daylight and then had to desist."

Sunday evening
"Came off to the ship after having procured a kangaroo as a pet to bring home. A jolly little fellow about 18 inches high, a slight keepsake of one of the nicest places I have ever visited." [etc etc]
Courtesy of Charles Fountain © Copyright Charles Fountain May 2002
Source: 2002

Music: The Flying Squadron Galop

Flying squadron galop by W.H. Spiller.
Hobart Town : J. Walch & Sons, [18--]
"Most respectfully dedicated to Admiral Hornby and the officers of the squadron in commemoration of their visit to Tasmania"--Cover.
In Tasmanian music.

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