Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

Tulle Archive - The Eighties

Hiram Longmire 1814 - 1880
The Longmire Story From South Australia

(Tulle 11, June 1985)

In his family history "The family History of Hiram LONGMIRE 1814-1880" Adelaide 1972. Kingsley Ireland is able to trace the LONGMIRE family back to 1692 to the Lake District of Westmoreland. He follows the family down through the centuries until he reaches the central figures in his story William LONGMIRE and THOMASIN LANGWITH and son Hiram LONGMIRE. In following the earlier part of his story he mentions the names ENGLISH, HORNER, BRAITHWAITE and PAGE, folk who married into the LONGMIRE family between 1692 and 1774 in the northern countries of England. Kingsley brings to our notice that the name LONGMIRE means "Dweller at the long marsh or bog" (Surnames of United Kingdom Henry Harrison. London 1912) and tells us that in the area of Windermere there are farms noted on Ordinance maps of Troutbeck called "Longmire" and "Law Longmire".

In the beginning of the story about Hiram other families marry into the LONGMIRE FAMILY in Nottingham, CARTER AND CLARKE are two names mentioned between about 1786 and 1830.

Hiram's parents Thomasin and William were living at Gramby St. Nottingham and William worked as a FWK (framework knitter) when Hiram was born. A copy of his baptismal certificate from St. Nicholas Church is reprinted in the "history"

Hiram married Ann WHILDON and had a son Henry in 1836 and Hiram (jr.) in 1838. Both registrations in Nottingham indicate they lived in Nottingham and that Hiram was occupied as a lacemaker. In 1841 a daughter Mary was born. The 1841 census of England has them all living in Orchard Square and the Population of Nottingham 52,614.

By 1893 prices of plain net were very low, so Hiram moved his family to Calais, France where he worked in the lace industry. Two children, Elizabeth (1844) and Walter (1846) were born in France and their birth certificates were obtained by Kingsley.

At the outbreak of the French revolution against Louis Phillippe in 1848 the situation in the Nottingham lace industry had reached a state of panic. William Felkin in his book "History of the Machine-Wrought Lace and Hosiery Manufacture" (centenary edition 1967) notes that:

"No regular sales of either hosiery or lace were made in the home markets from October, 1847 to April 1848 and much distress was caused"

Needless to say this was not the place to return when the French demanded the expulsion of the English lacemakers from Calais. Hiram did not find prosperity in Calais and so joined the English workers requesting from Lord Palmerston passage to South Australia

As we know from the "Papers Relative to Emigration" (Tu11e Nos. 5,6,7) there was quite a favourable response from the Colonial Office and in due time the immigrants including Hiram and Ann LONGMIRE and their children Henry, Hiram, Mary Elizabeth and Walter, boarded the Harpley bound for South Australia. Kingsley tells us that the Harpley of 571 tons was colonial build. Her master was a man named Buckland.

"The poop of the ship was transformed into a habidasher's shop from which everything necessary was gratuitously and unsparingly supplied to those who were in need Only two deaths occurred on the voyage out, those of an older man and a delicate infant. As a result 256 healthy people arrived on Saturday 2nd September 1848, on board a remarkably clean and well commanded ship"

-Kingsley Ireland

The LONGMIRE family settled at Dry Creek near Adelaide. Annie was born to Hiram and Anne in November, 1848. Another son born in 1851 died at birth. By 1852 they had moved to Walkerville, closer to the city of Adelaide. Emily was born here in 1852 but only lived for 15 months. Following her death they moved to Riverton, about 55 miles north of Adelaide. Here Henry (Kingsley's great grandfather) married in 1357 and Mary died aged 17 in 1848.

In 1863 Hiram built the "Traveller's Home" Inn. Nantawarra and South Hummocks are each separate tiny places, distinct from Lochlet, on the Hummock's Rum, a leasehold sheep run occupied by John Ellis. A year later Elizabeth was married at the Inn. The township of Lochiel was later surveyed around the Inn.

In 1864 Ann died, aged 53. She was buried locally in what is now called Salt Lake Cemetery. In early 1869 Hiram, 55, married Caroline WARD, 34, a widow of Salt Lake at the Congregational Manse at Kadina. Later that year their only child Edwin Hiram was born at the "Travellers Home".

In February 1870 Longmires Inn was sold for 126 pounds. Hiram bought land in Lochiel in May, 1870 but soon after moved to Kadina where he was recorded in the "South Australian Directory" 1873-79 as a "chaff and corn dealer". Hiram died on 17th February, 1880 aged 66 years and was buried in Kadina cemetery. Caroline outlived him by another thirty years and died in July 1910 aged 75.

TAKEN FROM:"FAMILY HISTORY OF HIRAM LONGMIRE 1814-1880"
BY KINGSLEY IRELAND 1972.

A booklet of 52 pages including additional Biographical accounts of Hirams children and grandchildren and charts of descendants up to 1972 including GRANT CHAPMAN former M.H.R. for Kingston S.A. and ROGER GOLDSWORTHY recent deputy premier of S.A.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Bert Archer's Diary

(Tulle 15, November 1986)

This "Diary" was written by Bert Archer and was based upon a diary kept by a previous passenger on the Agincourt. It gives us some insight into the hardship and boredom that faced passengers on such long sea voyages.

On Sunday afternoon, the 11th June, 1848, the Downs Pilot came aboard at Gravesend, and reported to the Chief Officer that they would sail on the morning ebb tide. Farewells were made on Monday the 12th and the Seamen went aloft on the fore, the main and the mizzen masts to unfurl the sails and set the canvas. The crew of 34 was kept very busy - Mr. BISSETT, the Chief Officer, was the busiest of all. It was then apparent that the ship was making ready for getting under way. A steam tug was ready to tow them out into the Thames River with the turn of the tide.

The 262 emigrant passengers crowded the bulwarks on the starboard side bidding adieus to the Gravesend crowd.

The Pilot gave the order to "heave round" and the Master, THOMAS SCOTT, then gave orders to the Bosun to weigh anchor and caste off. The anchor was hove up by the capstan on the quarter-deck and from each mast rang down the call from those aloft "sheet home". Slowly the Agincourt was pulled around into midstream by the tug, which churned up the dirty yellow river water. And so with the "Blue Peter" pennant and the Union Flag (Union Jack) flying in the breeze they were on their way to a new life in New South Wales.

It was with mixed feelings that the refugee-emigrants left England: some were reluctant to leave but all were hoping for and anticipating future prosperity in the "new land": they had some 13,000 sea miles to travel and would have to adapt themselves to new and strange surroundings. It would be an entirely different life for them and soon their English-French background would all be in the past. They were leaving behind insecurity and the bitter memories of the recent terrible Calais days of the Third French Revolution, whilst ahead of them lay the prospect of a new unknown life.

Just after Barking Creek hove in sight they passed the Nore where several naval buoys were sited in the Queen's Channel. Then after passing the North Sandhead Lightship the Bosun gave the order to "bring to" when approaching Deal and by reefing the sails the Agincourt came to a standstill. Here the pilot boat brought off mail, the latest English Newspapers and such and took the Pilot ashore. Down came the Blue Peter Flag and the Agincourt got under weigh again to pass South Foreland. It was fascinating watching the bronzed, weather-beaten seamen work the sails. They were like monkeys moving swiftly aloft up the ratlines and sang Sea Chanties as they worked.

"Chant" is a French word. One chanty went as follows:

"A hundred years is a very long time,
Oh-ho! Yes! Oh-ho!
A hundred years is a very long time,
A hundred years ago.

They hung a man for making steam,
Oh-ho! Yes! Oh-ho!
They cast his body in the stream,
A hundred years ago "

Other favourites included:

The sailors were adept in putting a clew or reef cringle in a sail, in turning up a shroud, in grafting a bucket rope, in fitting a mast cover, in fishing a spar, in gammoning a bowsprit, and in making various kinds of knots.

The decks, each day, were washed down and swabbed at 6.30am. This woke the passengers. At 5 pm the decks were cleared up and the sails trimmed for the night. The log was hove every two hours to ascertain the ship's speed.

On Wednesday and Saturday the 'tween decks were cleaned and holystoned and inspected by the Master.

On Sundays no work was allowed, except that which was essential, such as trimming the sails. Each Sunday the crew was mustered and inspected before the Church Service by Captain Thomas Scott, wearing his starched stock (collar) and tight buttoned uniform frock coat.

The Agincourt was a privately owned barque of 669 tons, registered at London. It was built in 1844 at Sunderland shipyards on the Wear River in the County of Durham by CHARLES LAING for the Duncan Dunbar line, one of England's wealthiest ship owners. It was considered to be well fitted out and was said to be "well found" in every particular. It was well suited for the conveyance of Immigrants, although the arrangements of the berths amidships, owing to her small size, was deemed by the Immigration Board to be not so advantageous as the usual method of placing them on the sides.

The Ship's Doctor was RICHARD ATKINSON - one of his assigned duties was the appointment of a passenger as a Teacher for the children and another passenger to assist him as an Orderly in the Ship's Hospital. He selected two emigrants whom he considered best suited to the jobs. At the completion of the voyage the Doctor recommended that a gratuity of 5 be granted each.

The emigrants found that except for one side of the Poop Deck, which was reserved for the Ship's Officers, they had practically a full run of the Ship. For the first few days they became absorbed in observing the crew at work, holy-stoning the decks, etc., and listened to the sailors singing sea chanties, whilst the children explored the ship and relayed their findings to the grown ups.

There were skylights to let in light below deck and also "bull's eyes", which were thick rounded glass inserts in the ship's deck.

Two anchors were carried in the bow of the ship, the heavier or "best bower" on the starboard side. In addition to these two anchors was a larger sheet anchor and a spare lashed to the deck to be used for an emergency.

The mess tables were long wooden benches with raised edges to counter rough seas and their seats were fixed long planks.

Each meal time had two sittings as follows:-

Breakfast:8am and 9am
Dinner:1pm and 2pm
Supper:5pm and 6pm

Two daily medical parades were scheduled - one at 10 am and the other at 5 pm.

There were no special baths; it was either saltwater showers on deck or basin and sponge in the cabin. Fresh water was very limited, the issue being one gallon each per day for drinking, cooking and washing. There were, however, some salt water closets available.

The sleeping quarters had long wooden bunks set in tiers and partitioned off into cabins along the centre of the ship. Mattresses were of fibre and were removable for airing. Each passenger was issued with a blanket and each family was issued with a commode.

The barque made good time sailing down the River on the ebb tide. The North Downs were on their starboard side. When they were opposite the Village of Sheerness and its old Fort they had reached the mouth of the River and found themselves in the North Sea. After passing North Foreland they sailed along the Kentish coast through the Strait of Dover past Goodwin Sands with the White Cliffs of Dover on the starboard side and the then "hated" Calais on the port side next into the English Channel.

On the 4th June they passed a lighthouse probably Beachy Head. Next they passed St. Catherines and then for three days they had light winds and were able to follow close inshore along the southern coast of England past Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

Saturday, 16th, saw them opposite Start Point, Devon, where they put letters ashore by a fishing boat and the course was set for the open Atlantic Ocean and the hills disappeared on the northern horizon.

To a favourable breeze and the crew setting studding sails on both sides of the vessel, it was goodbye to England.

On Sunday, 18th, the Surgeon Superintendent held their first Church Service with the Captain reading the prayers, psalms and liturgy. The Church Service became a regular Sunday event.

The denominations of the emigrants as entered in the Ship's Register were:

Wesleyan:40
Baptist:6
Roman Catholic:7
Church of England:209

It was Monday, the 19th June, when little Mary Shaw, who had been born in Calais and who was only four years of age, daughter of JAMES and SARAH SHAW died of convulsions during an epileptic fit, only one week after they had left Gravesend. Following a burial service, her body sewn up in a canvas hammock was committed to the Ocean depths and was watched by emigrants with solemn awe. This occurred off the Bay of Biscay.

For the next two days the seas were rough and most of the emigrants suffered sea sickness (mel de mer) not being accustomed to the rough pitch and tossing of the vessel - some were advised to take a quantity of bottled porter to combat the sickness. Anything not fastened or battened down was scattering and rolling about the Ship - the fore and main topsails had to be reefed.

Opposite Cape Finisterre (Spanish for edge of the world) the wind continued strong, about 10 knots an hour, as they sailed off the west coast of Spain and Portugal, visible on the Eastern horizon. Occasional buildings, painted white, were seen along the coastline.

When opposite Gibralter, the weather became cloudy and schools of porpoises sported on both sides of the Ship.

On Monday, 26th June, a couple of days after passing the Straits of Gibralter a son was born to WILLIAM and EMMA BROWNLOW and was named GEORGE AGINCOURT. WILLIAM BROWNLOW was a big man, well over 17 stone in weight. Many of the male passengers were over 6 feet in height.

The Ship carried its own small printing plant and produced a weekly news sheet called the "Weekly Weed". The passengers took part in working the press and in writing articles. Practically all of the adults and most of the older children aboard could read and write.

The Isle of Madeira was passed on Tuesday 27th and the mountainous part of the island was clearly seen, as far as 20 miles to the west. By this time they had reached the Atlantic Ocean Trade Winds, the average limits of which ranged from latitude 10oN to 30oN.

Rough seas followed and many again suffered seasickness. Then came a calm of several days; the vessel hardly moving. Portugese "men-of-war", which looked like tiny sailing ships were numerous near 36oN Latitude. At night there was a phosphorescent wake, a fascinating sight, especially when viewed from the bench by the taffrail.

Next they passed to the west of the Spanish Canary Islands, situated Lat. 28o28'N and Long 16o 16'W, over a dozen in number, of which the principal are Great Canary, Teneriffe, Fortaventure, Palma, Ferra Gomero and Lancerotta, about 50 miles to 250 miles off the west coast of Africa. The circumference of the Great Canary is about 150 miles and that of Teneriffe is just under 120 miles. The peak of Teneriffe, covered by perpetual snows ("Tener" means snow and "iffe" means mountain) 12150 feet above sea level, was quite prominent.

Shortly after passing these Islands some more porpoises and a whale were sighted and the sky became overcast with an ENE wind springing up. The course was then set at SW by S. Here flying-fish and Portugese men-of-war became prevalent. It was fascinating watching the porpoises frolicking in the water and following alongside the Ship for a couple of days; they appeared to be staging a show for the passengers. The flying fish, in shoals of 50 - 60, would fly only a couple of feet above the Ocean surface for up to 100 yards and at other times landed on deck, 12' up.

On Wednesday, the 23rd June, they passed three inaccessible rocks up to 600 feet high and 1 mile Long, called "Martin Yez" a resort of abundance of sea fowl. A day later they crossed the Tropic of Cancer and the weather had become noticeably much warmer. A large canvas awning was stretched from the fore-mast to the mizzen-mast to give protection from the heat. Loose clothing was worn.

About this time two whales of the Spermatic type, feeding on a floating kelp, and schools of porpoises were sighted, followed by a few dolphins sporting around the Vessel. Porpoises and dolphins became a frequent source of amusement, especially when they leaped out of the water, at times as high as the fore-yard. They then had a week of good sailing with both the weather and the Trade Winds being favourable. Some days they sailed up to 200 miles still on the SW by S course. This took them well to the west of the Verdi Islands of St Fago and St Jago.

To while away the time they sometimes played games such as chess, backgammon and cards. On deck they played shovel-board, i.e. the sliding of round flat wooden discs along the deck into 9 numbered squares. Reading was always popular. Daily constitutional walks along the main deck were taken when weather permitted.

The emigrants never grew tired of watching the crew performing its daily tasks and listening to the Officer of the Deck shouting orders such as "ready about", "tacks and sheets", "main sail haul", "let go" and "belay".

On Sunday, 4th July, ROBERT AGINCOURT WOODFORD, two years old, died from a Liver Disease or a Fever and after a very sad funeral service his tiny body was buried at sea.

About this time, sharks, bonetus and dolphins were seen swimming around the Agincourt. Then followed days of storms, with vivid lightning, heavy rain and bad squalls. They were on the edge of a hurricane or cyclonic disturbance. The rain was especially welcomed, as it allowed the Ship's water tanks, square iron ones of 1,000 gallons and more in capacity, to be topped up.

EMMA JOHNSON, the youngest child of THOMAS and PHEBE JOHNSON died on Sunday, 11th July, after suffering for several days from a severe attack of dysentry and her body after being weighted and committed to the depths of the Ocean. EMMA had been born in Calais. The JOHNSON1S other three children had been born in Nottingham.

On this same day at Latitude 11oN and Longitude 20oW, they passed or really overtook and spoke with the "Castle Eden", a barque of 930 tons, when it was carrying out repairs having been struck by a heavy squall, 7 days previously, whereby she had lost her three top masts. She had 302 Government Assisted Emigrants aboard and was bound also for Port Jackson, where she arrived three days after the Agincourt, having left Plymouth on Thursday, the 15th June.

For one week the Agincourt sailed through the Doldrums luckily there was a light breeze and good headway was made. The weather, however, continued warm and several water spouts were seen when they were between 3o and 4o Latitude north of the Equator. A few turtles were also seen floating by.

They reached the Equator at Longitude 27oW on Thursday 20th July, and a "Crossing the Line" Ceremony was enacted. There was much speculation amongst the crew as to whether the ceremony was to be permitted, due to the attitude of the Ship's previous captain, Henry Neatby, to such frivolity. It was learned from the crew that Captain Neatby would not entertain any sort of tom-foolery liable to foster a drunken revel or cause ill blood; he would stamp out such affairs and the passengers, having to abide by his decision, would in lieu, collect 5 to indemnify the crew for the loss of their frolic.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Those Ships

by Robert Wilson

(Tulle 16, February 1987)

The search for pictures and facts about the Harpley, Fairlie and Agincourt continues. Some recent investigation in Mildura may yield a picture of the two barques. We still have not found a trace of the Harpley.

A barque is a three-masted sailing ship which is square-rigged in the fore and mainmast. The Fairlie and the Agincourt would have looked very much like the illustration.

Random searches of Lloyds Register revealed some information about our three ships.1

The oldest of the ships was the Fairlie. She had been built in Calcutta in l812 and was rated at 756 tons. In 1848 her owners were Sames Bros. and she was registered in the port of London. She seems to have been a regular visitor to Australia. Fairlie made the voyage from London to Hobart Town in 1836 and l852 and was in Australia in 1864 and 1865, as well as her Sydney visit in 1848. I am sure that she made many other visits.

The Harpley was built on the River Tamar, in Tasmania, in 1847 and was described as a ship of 547 tons, owned by J. Raven, and registered in Launceston. She made voyages from London to Launceston in 1848 and 1852 under Captain Buckland. She made a further voyage to Melbourne in 1853. She broke up on the bar of Realejo harbour, Canary Islands in 1862.5

I must confess that I have much more information on the Agincourt, as it is the barque which brought my ancestors to this country. Unlike the other two ships there was another craft with a similar name. This other ship was larger - 958 tons, and had been built in London in 1841. Fortunately she seems to have been used on the London/Calcutta run as she made voyages to Calcutta in 1848 and 1852. However, she came to Adelaide in 1865.

Our Agincourt seems to have been a familiar sight in Australian ports. She is recorded2 as having her jib-boom snapped at Gravesend before sailing to Australia, arriving in Sydney 25th June, 1846. Her 1848 voyage to Sydney is well known to all of us.

In 1850 she arrived in Adelaide, bringing to this country one of Nick Vine Hall's ancestors.3 She also took fortune hunters from Adelaide to California during the American gold rush. The Agincourt arrived in Sydney in 1852 out of Hamburg.

Another of my ancestors arrived on the Agincourt in 1855 when she docked in Adelaide. The Agincourt transferred to the London to Aden run in the 1860's. The legislators of those days seem to have fiddled with tonnages, as in l843 the Agincourt was described as "543 tons (old Act), 669 tons (new Act)." By 1852 they were back to using the old Act and in 1884 she was rated at 562 tons. Her dimensions were length 127 ft, breadth 30.5ft, and depth 2lft4 and she had been built in Sunderland in 1844. Laing and Company owned the ship in 1848 and it operated out of the Port of London. However in l884 it was under Spanish registry.

There must be many more records of these ships and maybe somewhere there are some sketches of the actual craft. Let us hope that one day they come to light. Sources:

  1. Lloyds Register, editions of 1834, l836, 1848, 1852, 1864/5
  2. Our Antipodes by Godfrey Mundey
  3. Buxton Forbes Laurie by Nick Vine Hall
  4. Lloyds Register 1884/85 edition
  5. Enid Bastie

top

back to contents page

back to main page


This item is an extract from AUSTRALIA VISITED and REVISITED

(Tulle 16, February 1987)

"Australia Visited and Revisited" is one of the first guide books about Australia. It was first published in London in 1853, three years after the authors began their hazardous voyage out.

After visiting the goldfields, sheep and cattle stations in Victoria, they returned to Melbourne, and travelled through Victoria to Albury on the new Sydney Road, eventually arriving at Sydney.

Gold again!! And on they travelled to the Ophir diggings, the Turon, Sofala, Pyramul, and Louisa Creek at Hargraves. The following quote is interesting, because of the reference to a "lacemaker family", living at Warragunya, a station belonging to Mr. Suttor.

To quote:

"On the following morning we proceeded to Warragunya, about three miles farther on, a station belonging to Mr. Suttor, and situated on Crudine Creek - a tributary of the Turon - which is joined by Cunningham's River. The storekeeper at this station is a native of Nottinghamshire; he was one of the men who were compelled to leave France during the revolution of 1848, and whom the British Government assisted to emigrate to this favoured land. His wife, a native of France, though born of English parents, is an interesting woman. They are, indeed, a contented couple; and it was quite refreshing to hear them speak in greatful terms of the consideration extended to them by their country. A son of theirs, a smart boy, accompanied us on the road towards Pyramul, another station of Mr Sutton's, which lay on our road.....They continued on their journey speaking to shepherds working for Suttor and said: "The shepherds spoke of their employer, Mr Suttor, with great respecty; they called him a fair man to labouring people; which in these times is a character of great value for a master who wishes to retain his men. As we approached Pyramul, we were surprised to see a flock of sheep under the care of a young woman, the first shepherdess we had met on our travels. Her father she told us, had gone to Louisa Creek with some neighbours, and left her in charge of the flock.

They had been very successful, getting some days as much as seven ounces of gold among four of them."

The family mentioned would have undoubtably arrived on the Agincourt, and were in the district where the Kemshalls finally congregated. But the description of the family excludes any members of the Kemshall family. Perhaps some member of the Lacemakers can identify this as one of their forebears.

The book was reprinted in 1974 by Ure Smith in conjunction with the National Trust of Australia (NSW) Library, number 994-03 MOS. The title of the reprint is "Australia, Visited and Revisited" by Samuel Mossman and Tho Thomas Banister.

The above article commences at the last paragraph on page 241.

BRUCE GOODMAN

top

back to contents page

back to main page


More "Fairlie" Gossip

(Tulle 18, July 1987)

From the Immigration Board List for the Fairlie there was a couple of "Remarks" about two of the unmarried males: Robert Alexander Whitfield, a blacksmith from Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, who complained of "harsh treatment on the part of the Surgeon"; and James Wilkie, a sawyer, of Kilmore, Forfarshire, who complained "that his rations were stopped and that he was put on an allowance of bread and water for six days".

Oh! Oh! What had they been up to? I wondered.

But had they? From "Papers Relative to Emigration" the remarks for the Fairlie run as follows:

"The Fairlie is extremely well suited for the emigration service, and was in a very cleanly state on arrival.

The general appearance of the vessel, and of the immigrants, indicated a very effective discipline on board, for which it is but just to award considerable credit to Mr. Wilkinson, although, for the reasons below stated, the authorities here considered it undesirable that he should be again employed in this service.

The provisions and water proved to be of excellent quality, and no complaints were made as to the regularity of their issue.

With two exceptions, the people expressed themselves fully satisfied with their treatment during the voyage. The exceptions referred to, were complaints made to the board by two of the single men, that the Surgeon-superintendent treated them harshly, and applied abusive and irritating language to them. The Board were satisfied at the time that the punishment inflicted upon those men was well merited, and they did not therefore attach much belief to the statement made respecting the use of improper language by the Surgeon. I am now, however, inclined to believe, that the men's complaint was well founded, since I have had before me a specimen of the violent and grossly offensive language which Mr Wilkinson is capable of using, even in letters not unreflectingly written.

I considered it my duty to lay the letters to which I refer before his Excellency the Governor, because they appeared to me to indicate so serious a want of temper and discretion, as to render it undesirable, even if it were not unsafe, that their writer should be again placed in the charge of emigrants. Concurring in this view, his Excellency the Governor has recommended that Mr Wilkinson should not be again entrusted with the superintendence of an emigrant ship to this colony.

Mr Wilkinson reports, that he received all requisite assistance from the master and officers of the ship.

The immigrants generally were of a good description. Two of the single females were delivered of children on the voyage; another in an advanced state of pregnancy was sent to the General Hospital at Parramatta, and a fourth (Harriet Lawrence), who was sent to Maitland by the Government, and who refused to take service there, returned to Sydney, and is believed to be on the streets. The principal diseases, as reported by the Surgeon-superintendent, were "simple functional fever, diarrhoea, dysentery, catarrhs and sore throats."

Immigration Office, Sydney,FRANCIS L.S. MEREWETHER
29 October, 1849.Agent for Immigration

Barques and Ships defined

BARQUE
A vessel with three masts, with her foremast (front mast) and mainmast (centre mast) square-rigged and her mizzenmast (aftermost mast) schooner-rigged (ie. with sails fore and aft rigged - running along the centreline of the vessel).

The Agincourt was a barque, of 669 tons.

SHIP
A vessel with a bowsprit and three masts, each composed of a lower mast, a topmast and a topgallant mast, and square-rigged on all three masts, ie. with square sails, normally rigged across the width of the hull. Such vessels are sometimes known as "square-rigged" or "full-rigged" ships.

The Fairlie was 756 tons "old measure", three-masted square-rigged ship. The Harpley, like the Fairlie, was a three-masted, square-rigged ship, of 547 tons new measure.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax
Village Life and Customs

Whitsun there was the lambing feast, and on Midsummer Eve wrestling and dancing round the midnight fire in the village street. Every season in and event of the agricultural year was celebrated in due form, with mumming plays, hobby horses, fiddles and bagpipes, and though the music was not always of the best, and many of the ancient rites were wearing thin1 there was still life and zest in it and common national social tradition.

At night there was dominoes, cribbage, gleek (an ancient game of cards for three, each player having 12 and 8 for stock), backgammon, ombre (another card game for three played with a pack of forty cards). Singing was universal, while every village had its bell-ringers and its string-choir.

The Yule Log was brought home, and tales told over posset and frumenty (milk curdled with ale or wine and hulled wheat boiled in milk). The carollers and string choirs went their frosty rounds. The farmhouses and cottages, full of greenery and the kissing bush hanging from the rafters. The mummers in painted paper and floral headgear recited traditional words and banged one another with their wooden swords.

On New Year's Eve the wassailers came round with garland bowls, cleaving the winter sky with their song: and neighbours made kindly by the season, sat in one another's houses "fadging" over cakes and wine, "crotcheting" or similar hobbies.

The same gatherings were repeated with differences on Twelfth Night, when fires were lit and farm beasts and apple trees carolled.

On Distaffs Day the resumption of work was celebrated by labourers going around the parish in animal masks, blowing cow's horns and cracking whips.

On Shrove Tuesday miners visited one another's houses to turn their pancakes and "stang" whoever had not eaten theirs (carry astride a long pole), the laggards (with laughter) to the midden (dung heap).

Mothering Sunday was commemorated with a simnel cake (sweet cake of fine flour); Good Friday, by children going round with a fiddler "Peace Egging". There were dozens of other regional or special commemorations, such as "Tandering Day" when school children barred out their teachers, and men and women spent the evening drinking hot elderberry wine in one another's clothes. Sounds like a wild night!! There was also the Mischief Meet on May Day when, so long as one was not caught, it was lawful to pay off old scores.

In most areas there were the Mumming players, the May Birchers, the Club Walks, the Wakes, the Rush Festivals, Hiring Fairs, Goose Fairs, Harvest Festivals, and the marvellous get-togethers that weddings provided for even the poorest families. The main ingredient of all these activities was personal involvement, community spirit, and joy and comradeship in simple pleasures. Most of these elements are lacking in our present society, where the majority have become onlookers rather than participants, and thus become isolated from the community, in which they live.

In many of the English villages there was a team of Mummers. These were local men who had learned the traditional dances and words of the Mumming Plays from their fathers and grandfathers. The Mummers performed at Christmas time, going from house to house, crowding in from the dark winter night with a good deal of laughter and talk, and acting in hall or kitchen wherever there was space for them. Everyone knew what the play was about, for it had been acted year after year for centuries. It concerned St. George and the Turkish Knight, and was really a sort of parable on the growing corn. But few thought of its inner meaning, as they watched the fight between the two chief characters and saw the dead hero raised to life by the doctor's magic art. The visit of the Mummers was one of the great excitements of Christmas time. Robin Hood, Maid Marion and other characters of Sherwood Forest were also featured in Mumming Plays.

In some villages it was the custom for the May-Birchers to tour the village on the 30th April, leaving branches of different trees outside the cottage doors. This was something more than a pleasant way of decorating the village. The name of the branch chosen rhymed with what was supposed to be the house-holder's chief characteristic; and what was left therefore expressed what they, the villagers, thought of those that lived in the house. Thus, the fair of face or character had their doors adorned with pear; those who were admired or esteemed, had branches of lime. But plum meant that the inhabitants were glum or bad tempered, and a thorn bough that the family, or some member of it, was an object of scorn throughout the Parish. Some house-dwellers must surely have opened their cottage door with some apprehension on May Morning!

There were also Club Walks and Wakes. Nearly every village had its Men's Club - sometimes more than one - and quite often there was a Women's Club as well. These clubs existed to help their members in sickness and unemployment at a time when State help was not available. Once a year the Clubs had a grand procession and feast.

Dressed in their best, and carrying white rods, posies and banners, the members marched first to the Church where a special service was held, and then to the local inn for dinner and ale.

The Wakes were a more general holiday, which fell on the festival day of the saint in whose nam the Church was dedicated, or perhaps we should say, it began then, for sometimes it lasted several days. It was a great time for family reunions and hospitality, when all who could invite friends and relatives from other parishes; everyone did his or her best to provide a generous spread at table. Booths were set up in the village for the sale of cakes, ale, ribbons and trinkets; cheapjacks9 fortune-tellers and side-shows came from nearby towns, and every sort of jollification was indulged in: from racing, and dancing, to grinning through a horse collar, or climbing a greasy pole to win a fat pig.

Like the Club Walks, the Wakes began with a Church service and in many districts rushes were still brought to the Church, though the real need for them had long since gone. In earlier days most Churches had floors of beaten earth or stone, and rushes were strewn on the floor to keep the feet of the worshippers warm and dry. The rushes had to be changed from time to time, and it was customary to bring in the rushes with a great deal of ceremony at the Wakes and other festivals. About the middle of the 18th century most of the church floors were boarded over, so the rushes were no longer needed; but rush bearing was too lovely and loved a custom to be abandoned immediately, and in many parishes it was carried on to near the end of Queen Victoria's reign.

Every outlying hamlet contributed its quota of reeds, as well as the Church town itself. The reeds were stacked in towering piles onto decorated harvest wains, bound down with flower wreathed ropes and drawn by the best horses the village could provide. Before each cart went the Morris dancers and villagers carrying garlands; and on top of the load a bower of green branches was built, in which a man sat directing the procession. During the day, rush carts went all around the Parish, stopping outside farms and houses to allow the dancers to perform. Towards evening they returned to the Church, where the reeds were strewn on the floor, and the garlands were hung up in the chancel and the side chapels.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Thomas Stanley Summerhayes (1880-1950)

by Pat Stewart, 23.3.1987

(Tulle 21, May 1988)

I wonder how many members of the Australian Society of the Lacemakers of Calais learned their business skills at the Metropolitan Business College in Sydney; possibly when it was situated at 6 Dalley Street. Perhaps they remember the Principal, Mr Summerhayes ... if not for some act of kindness, then surely for his dark brown eyes! Some of our younger members may have learned Summerhayes Shorterhand, which he invented, but did they know that he was a fellow descendant of the lacemakers from Nottingham and Calais?

When George and Isabella Saywell and their family arrived in Sydney on the "Agincourt" on 6th October, 1848, their youngest child was Isabella, aged six months. Seventeen years later she married George Summerhayes in Young.

Thomas Stanley Summerhayes was born at Pioneer Farm, Monteagle, on 16th March, 1880, and baptised at St. John's Church of England, Young. There were twelve Summerhayes children: Thomas was the second son and eighth child.

Two more sons were born at Pioneer Farm: Arthur in 1882, and Jasper in 1884. A year or two later their mother decided to move into the town of Young "to educate her young sons". She opened a Boarding House which she named "Pioneer". (There were two more daughters: Ruby born in 1887, and Lucy Emma, who was born on l3th October, l889, and died five months later.)

In l888 "The Young Chronicle" published lists of Prize Winners from the Superior Public School. The third class list includes Thomas Summerhayes, who won 2nd Prize for "marks". His brother, Arthur, appears under the heading "Babies Classes". (It would seem they all won prizes for "attendance and general proficiency")

Tom Summerhayes, aged 14, commenced work at "The Young Chronicle" in 1894. The Newspaper had been established in 1874, but conducted from 1860 to 1913 by Mr George Reynolds, Snr., and later by his sons.

A special Diamond Jubilee Number was published by "The Young Chronicle" on 25th May, 1934, and provides some information of interest, including a Staff photograph of Mr George Reynolds and some of his sons, the young Tom Summerhayes and other employees.

Following are extracts from an article on the part of the late George Reynolds:

Some Old Employees

Others who went through the old office.... were....
. . and Tom Summerhayes, now principal of the Metropolitan Business College, with an enrolment 2500 students. Mr Summerhayes early showed his keen desire to progress, for he voluntarily added shorthand and reporting to his office duties, and filled many a long column with the speeches of the political and other leaders of the day.

The learning of Pitman Shorthand, the stepping stone to success of many thousands of ambitious youths - especially in the old days - was warmly encouraged by Mr Reynolds, and all his children who entered the office were required to know its elements. Mr Summerhayes, we believe, learned the winged art from Mr J.C. Daley, a schoolteacher for some time at Monteagle. Mr Tom Reynolds, who had previously been taught by the Rev. Robert Edgar, claims the privilege of having assisted Mr Summerhayes in his early struggles.

A Stepping Stone

Shorthand was certainly the stepping stone to greater things in the case of Mr Summerhayes, for the Metropolitan Business College was started originally as a shorthand school. Its development was amazing, and today no commercial or related subject is beyond its scope. Its large staff now comprises specialists in every branch of commercial work, and despite the depression it is still growing . . . . . "

The Metropolitan Business College was not established by T Stan1ey Summerhayes as commonly believed, but began under the name of the Metropolitan School of Shorthand, in a small room in Rowe Street, Sydney. At this time Business Education had to be pioneered. The typewriter was in its infancy, Shorthand writing was confined to Newspapermen and a few individuals who followed it as a hobby. Double-entry Bookkeeping was little used."

(Ref. History of the M.B.C. l895-1921)

In 1907 Thomas Stanley Summerhayes won a Silver Medal for his ability to write Pitman's Shorthand at the rate of 200 w.p.m., and transcribe the same accurately into longhand.

The M.B.C. came under the Proprietorship of Thomas Stanley Summerhayes and J. Arthur Turner in 1908. They had "resigned their headships of Shorthand and Commercial Departments of another large Business Training Institute in Sydney, where they had laboured successfully for many years"
(Ref. M.B.C. Annual Report 1908)

Mr Turner remained an active partner until 1924. He died in 1927.

In 1915, Thomas S. Summerhayes began his search for a Shorthand System that would "give the brevity of the Pitman method, with none of its disadvantages". By 1939, he was satisfied with his new system, and the following year it was introduced into the College, which continues to teach both Pitman's and Summerhayes shorthand systems.

Now located in the A.M.P. Centre in Bridge Street, Sydney, and combined with the Hales Secretarial School, the M.B.C. is governed by the Council of the MBC Business Col1ege Limited, a non-profit membership organisation. The elected Council is loyal to the expressed wishes of Thomas Stanley Summerhayes, and mindful of his educational philosophy. His lifelike portrait hangs in the main office.

He was twice widowed. His first wife, Margaret Stewart, was the mother of their four children, one of whom died in early childhood. His second wife, Marjorie Byrne, had been his Secretary at the College.

Having realised his life's ambition, and settled his affairs, Thomas Stanley Summerhayes retired to his holiday home at Springwood, in the Blue Mountains, in 1958. He died in hospital on the fourteenth of March in the following year, just two days prior to his 79th Birthday.

Today's students who choose to learn Summerhayes Shorterhand are honouring a mastercraftsman of the winged art, and a grandson of a lacemaker. Could there be a connection?

I think my Uncle Tom should have the last say, so will conclude with some extracts from an article he wrote for the "Young Chronicle's Special Diamond Jubilee Number (Vol.60 No.44 May 25 1934).

'Prentice Boys and "Dello"
Old Days in the "Chronicle" Office
By T. Stanley Summerhayes

My recollections of the "Chronicle" are many and varied, and interesting. and inevitable, and frequent, because the training I got in that dear old office has been of constant value in certain details of my work today, embracing as it does the printing of so much literature, booklets concerning the activities of the College, inspirational or otherwise.

Punctuation, how particular "Delo" was; how he and I waded through the galley proofs, he with spectacles on, reinforced by a huge magnifying glass. No wonder we found all the errors and misprints! And how I loved his comments, most uncomplimentary to the offenders, particularly the apprentices.

I hope you don't feel that I am irreverent or disrespectful in giving your father the nickname we all used. I reverence his memory. I think as a boy I loved him. He gave me a great chance - he was always kind to me. I can see him now walking up Wombat Street -homeward bound - holding himself very straight. It seems to me now symbolic of the straight path the dear old man always followed in life -in journalism, in business.

The Nickname Explained

To your reading public may I explain the Nickname. The sign used in proof correcting in a newspaper office is a peculiar sort of D - for "delete", meaning "cut out" or "Take out", whether the thing to be taken out or "cut out" is a word or a letter. You can understand its significance. Like most boys we were often doing things in the absence of the "boss" that had to be "cut out" immediately we sensed his approach along that little passage leading from his editorial sanctum - and so it was often "deee-loh!" or shorter and sharper; but over the years it became a term of endearment or affection.

Dogs and Tin Cans

One thing I really regret. The passage at the side of the street consisted of two brick walls, and a cement floor - and the passage was narrow. I regret the number of dogs that emerged from that passage into Burrowa Street with tins on their tails. I regret the perfection of the combination of narrow passage, brick wall, cement floor in making a really hellish noise. I regret the howls, and now I know something of the psychology of humans, I regret extremely the state of mind of those dogs.

We were all in it. Setting type from wretched manuscript can be a very wearisome and monotonous business, and to wearied boys before they have acquired "feeling" a dog and a tin, and good conditions, can be a really spicy interlude.

Pleasant Memories

I don't know whether these are the recollections you asked for, but they are my recollections of valuable and valued years, under a good old boss, a fine gentleman - and pleasant relations with some very worthy people.

I learned to be industrious, to value industry, to concentrate, to be patient, to appreciate the value of earnestness, the value of co-operation and team work, and, incidentally, I learned some things to avoid - meanness, selfishness, conceit. I learned to think.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Nottingham Machine Lacemakers

A Lecture by Elisabeth Simpson at Our October Meeting.

(Tulle 24, February 1989)

This is a story about some lace-makers ... in particular machine-lace-makers.

Not those who sit with a cushion on their laps carefully twisting bobbins, creating fine and beautiful hand-made lace, but those who learnt to operate enormous noisy machines, which miraculously could produce the finest, most delicate and beautiful lace fabric.

We have to go back in time to the tail end of the eighteenth century - say the 1770s onwards.

Nottingham was then a renowned centre of the hosiery industry. Hundreds and hundreds of ordinary men and women sat all the daylight hours, hunched over enormous, oily, heavy machines - knitting stockings.

Frame Work Knitting Industry was at its height.

The "frames" on which these stockings were knitted were extremely cleverly designed machines. The fabric they produced lay flat. In order to make this into a stocking, it had, of course, to be seamed; hence those seams going up the backs of legs, which a lot of the more mature ladies present (and perhaps gentlemen too) will no doubt remember!

This job of seaming was children's work. As soon as they were able to hold and manipulate a needle, they were set to work.

Whole families worked together at this trade, on a hired machine set up in their own home.

The men or women of the family worked equally on the machine -- knitting was not then "woman's work". Payment was by result - piece work - the more pairs of stockings produced - the greater the income. A "good" family could do reasonably well.

The cotton yarn, with which stockings were made, was imported from India and spun very fine. Used as a single thread it broke on the machines.

Two, three, four or even more threads would be worked together. The more threads, the stronger, thicker and more hard wearing the stockings.

The hosiery industry evolved a simple method of indicating how many threads there were being used together. A row of eyelet holes was set in the top of the stocking, forming a running pattern of groups of 2, 3, 4 or more holes. The more holes, the more threads and thus the stronger the fabric and in this case the stocking.

The buyer was able to "see" the quality for himself. To make these holes, 2 or more stitches were knitted together - exactly as we hand knit today -- and then a loop picked up to create a replacement stitch in the fabric.

There were always good and clever operatives - men and women with ideas. It wasn't long before one of them realised that if the knitting machine could be made to make a hole on purpose, perhaps it could be used to produce a net to use as a basis for lace making.

I am sure that you all know that one of the simplest kinds of lace is produced as a form of embroidery onto net.

What is net after all but a whole lot of holes? The best began to experiment.

But the first net fabrics had one major fault - if one thread was caught, the whole fabric unravelled, being woven with one continuous thread, as is all knitting.

It was necessary, therefore, to knot the threads somehow.

In the early 1770s then it was already possible to produce "net" using a knitting machine.

By 1775 warp net was being imported from England into France. Onto this the French lace makers embroidered beautiful lace designs.

By 1777 there were over 200 stocking frames suitably adapted to make bullet hole net fabric, working in Nottingham.

Both the English and French courts were renowned for their extravagant clothes. Rich fabrics - bold colours and masses of fine hand made lace were used....lace which took hours and hours to produce.

The question now in the minds of the entrepreneurs was, "If these machines could be further adapted, could they possibly make proper lace as fast as they can now make the net?"

As early as 1774 King Louis XVI had sent the Duc de Liancourt to England with an operative named Rhambolt. Rhambolt came to Nottingham and learnt to work a pin machine owned by HARVEY & ELSE. On his return to France he took this newly acquired skill to produce point net, and thus the French began their competition with the English machine lace makers.

You will notice all these different "nets" mentioned: Warp-net; Bullet-hole net; pin-net; point-net....all slightly different kinds, as the machine makers and operatives together worked out the "how" of this exercise.

Many patents were taken out over the years between the 1770's and the 1840's and are a good source of research if you've a mind to wade through them.

There is evidence that at least one Eng1ishman, George Armytage, reached France as early as 1802 with his wife and three children, preceded by his machinery. This had been smuggled through Holland and Belgium. He set up as a point net lacemaker in Paris, with a man named James Moore.

Moore, it seems, was a rather doubtful character involved in smuggling and the partners fell out, Armytage accusing Moore of trying to scuttle the firm by smuggling in machinery! Armytage actually took legal action against Moore, won and requested per mission to move to Brussels.

This was granted, with the proviso that if he were not put in charge of a factory under the responsibi1ity of a man named Gillet, then he must go to Verdun.

The reasoning behind this is that during the Napoleonic wars from 1803 to 1814, Englishmen living in France were not allowed to do so in the coastal regions, they had to move well inland - hence Verdun! Oddly enough Felkin tells us that Armytage

about the year 1850, and at the age of 82, announced his intention to make a voyage to Australia, "to make himself acquainted with the country"

He is said to have died there in 1857 ... presumably aged 89.

Another man, Samuel Brodhurst, a London stocking maker, went to France with his son, "for health reasons" in 1802. Both Brodhursts, father and son, worked for Armytage and Moore for a time, but were sent to Verdun with all of Moore's employees after the partnership between Armytage and Moore broke up.

Just exactly who it was who set up the first lace making machinery in France is still in doubt. Perhaps if the Napoleonic wars had not happened about this time it might all have been easier to work out!

The next step, however, in this industry, is to progress from the making of these "nets" to the reproduction of lace itself. The width of the fabric which could be produced on a stocking frame ranged from an inch to the size of the machine - an enormous width compared with hand made lace.

If the machine makers could work out the "how" of producing lace designs with their machines, the industry would simply take off.

Many men worked at this.

One notable name is that of JOHN LEAVERS.

He was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire in 1786 and learnt his trade as a "setter-up" of lace machines in Radford.

Much has been written about him, his ingenuity, his patience, his withdrawal from the mainstream of the industry. He liked to work alone - some say to protect his patents - some because he was just that sort of man. But we have to remember that he was trying to build this machine during the time when the Luddite rebels and frame breakers were smashing everything they could lay hands on.

Is it particularly remarkable then that he seemed to be working in secret? Undoubtedly he was a genius and is recognised today as the "Father" of the modern lace industry.

By 1815 he had built a prototype of the machine which would become world famous and stamp the name LEAVERS for ever into the industry . . this he did in a tiny garret in a building in Nottingham which can still he seen today.

A machine which was later described as combining the strength and intelligence of the elephant with the delicacy, patience and artistry of the spider.

Leavers "Improved" machine was first used in a factory belonging to STEVENSON and SKIPWORTH in Nottingham ...this about 1815... and the machine-made lace industry "began" in Nottinghamshire.

A lot of people prospered, but strangely the story relates that John Leavers often hadn't two half-pennies to rub together.

By 1821 he was thoroughly disillusioned and with two of his brothers, Thomas and Joseph, moved over to France.

There they built a machine at Grande Couronne, a suburb of Rouen. Later, it is said, these machines formed the basis of the Calais lace industry.

This new lace fabric could be produced so fast now that it was possible for designers to incorporate lace cloth into fashion on a really large scale. No longer was lace used only for edging or insertion - but whole garments could be made of it - and even household items like curtains and bed-spreads were possible.

Veils and scarves, small and very easy to mass produce, flooded the lower end of the market - anyone could afford to buy and wear one. Fashion really caught hold of lace.

As the machine made lace industry boomed, the stocking makers industry declined. Lace making required a superior skill - all the better operatives moved over from stocking making to 1ace making. They became the new elite, attracting better wages and thus affording better living conditions.

A gulf between stocking makers and lace makers began to yawn.

As far back as 1792, 1,500 acres of Basford had been enclosed and a whole new suburb erected, known as New Basford.

Amongst the first to move into this area were the better off lace makers with their families. A new, prosperous and smart Nottingham suburb began to flourish.

But by about 1810, there was a great deal of unrest amongst the stocking makers. In their individual efforts to make more money, they were over-producing.

Warehouses were stocked high. Demand could not keep up with supply and so prices fell and with prices wages. It now became virtually impossible to make enough pairs of stockings per week to obtain a living wage.

Angry men began to smash up the stocking frames, mindlessly taking their fury out on the actual machines with which they earned their livelihood!

The coming of power-driving changed the life-styles of all the operatives. It was much more economical to house the machines all together in a "factory shed" and keep them going.

24 hours a day even, if this was possible.

In effect it was usual to shut them down for at least 4 hours through the night, unless demand was really high and then they often were run right through the whole night!

Single frames, worked by hand in the family home, were no longer viable.

operatives now found themselves s1aves to the machines, working 8 hours on and 8 hours off. Suddenly the pattern of their lives changed disastrously.

Frustration caused discontent to simmer. Even more frames than ever were now destroyed, as mobs of men attacked the hated "factories". As we move into the nineteenth century, this then is the picture of life in Nottingham for the stocking maker and the machine lace maker.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Continuing Dr Bob Burgess's Story
The Maiden Voyage Of The Harpley

(Tulle 24, February 1989)

The Harpley (Launceston Examiner of 11th September, 1847): The "William" brought unwelcome intelligence of the Harpley. We give elsewhere as much of the particulars as the Sydney papers afford and regret to add that private advices are less favourable.

The vessel experienced strong easterly gales, and about 18 days after leaving Hobart Town was struck with a heavy sea which carried away a portion or her bulwarks (the sides of the ship above its upper deck). From that time she continued to leak to such an extent that the pumps required constant working. It was decided to proceed to Valparaiso, but contrary winds thwarted the design, and Captain Buckland decided it more advisable to bear up for Tahiti, where the ship arrived on the 28th June, about forty-six days after she had sprung a leak, during the whole of which time the pumps were vigorously worked by the crew and the military.

We understand that in consequence of the absence of the chief authority from Tahiti, a difficulty occurred as to the landing of the cargo, and she had to remain there idle for two or three days until the "Governor" returned. Upwards of two hundred tons of cargo had been landed, but the leak had not then been discovered: it wee feared that the whole of the cargo would have to be discharged and the vessel hove down. We need scarcely add that this intelligences has been received with general regret, from the painful frustration of the many anxious hopes of a prosperous voyage which attended her departure from this island. We subjoin an extract from the letter of a passenger to an officer of the 11th, by which it will be seen that the respected proprietor, Mr Raven, had exhibited the same spirit of liberality which distinguished him in this town.

"Sixteen days after leaving Port, have sprung a leak; all hands work the pumps night and day; for eight days often obliged to be lashed to the pumps to prevent being swept off, as the sea continued breaking over the deck: obliged to heave part of the cargo and guns overboard to lighten the ship: got to Tahiti on 28th June; landed the troops and passengers on the 1st July, who were placed in the mission-house, while the Harpley was being discharged and refitted. The soldiers speak highly of Mr Raven's kindness, who supplied the men with grog four times a day, and oftener during the roughest of weather, and allowed them an extra supply of provisions. The crew of the H.M.B. (Her Majesty's Britannic) ship-of-war "Grampus" assisted the Harpley's crew."

The above accounts are really only precis of the incredible drama. The real flavour of what it meant to be at sea in a howling gale that threatened to destroy the ship is captured in the amazing tale of an unnamed passenger aboard the Harpley on it's maiden voyage and published in the Launceston Examiner on 15th September, 1847. This is an extract of a letter dated Tahiti, 2nd July, 1847.

"This is a brief account of our voyage and the disasters connected therewith, compiled from the best authorities, for the use and edification of my Tasmanian friends. We sailed from Hobart Town at noon on Thursday, 29th April.

We had fair winds and strong for some time, and in six days passed the longitude of New Zealand. Sometimes it blew very hard; in fact we sailed more frequently under double-reefed topsails than in any other manner. Till the 18th May we managed to keep our course, although for the last ten days we have been continually amongst rain, squalls and gales, but on that day it blew a gale indeed, which staggered us altogether. Our topgallant bulwarks, though strongly built, were washed away like so much brown paper, and the stout iron staunchions snapped like carrots. The sea washed the vessel fore and aft, and at every plunge we shipped many tons of water. We had grown accustomed to having two or three feet of water in the lee scuppers constantly; but we objected strongly to the huge breaches the waves had made in our side, and the mountain seas which continually broke over our ship. One of these filled and broke down the larboard quarter, and the other was very much damaged.

To crown all, we found, on sounding the well, that the ship had sprung a very extensive leak, and that water was coming in at the rate of one inch a minute (i.e. five feet per hour); and moreover, we feared that we should be unable to keep the ship afloat until we could reach the nearest land. However, the pumps were manned instantly, and they have been going night and day without a moment's intermission ever since, and they are going now. A detachment of the 96th, consisting of 36 men divided into four watches of 9 men each, was appointed to pump constantly; and by dint of continued and unwearied exertions (and extra beer), they have just managed to keep the ship clear. Had the vessel made three inches per hour more water, we never could have been able to keep her afloat until we made land. Had we not been so fortunate as to have the soldiers on board, we must inevitably have perished, for it would have been utterly impossible for the crew and passengers to have kept her afloat for a week, even in fine weather (which we never saw), much more during the succession of storms, gales and squalls which attended us for more than a month from the time we sprung the leak.

Our distressed situation, the tremendous hole in the bottom of the ship, and fears for the safety of our lives induced the Captain to bear up for Valparaiso, as he was afraid to risk going round the Horn. Though only ten days sail from New Zealand it was not, of course, practicable to reach it on account of the prevailing westerly gales. We stood on, therefore, through storm and rain towards Valparaiso; but at the end of a week, the continued bad weather, the continued bad seas we shipped, the state of the men who had hardly ever been dry since leaving Hobart Town, and our apprehension that the pumps and the soldiers would both be worn out, were considerations sufficient to make us alter course, and bear up for Tahiti, as the nearest harbour and the best place to fly "for safety and for succour", though we had no chart of the island, and did not know the least in the world how the chances of obtaining assistance might stand in such a half-civilised out-of-the-way part of the world. After we had made a northerly course for two days we had a gale - such a gale! - to use the sublime words of Euripides, -

"I've been in many a breeze before,
But never sitch a blow."

All the other gales and squalls, etc., were insignificant by comparison with this one; it laid our blessed ship on her beam ends, washed me out of my cot (at about 3 o'clock in the morning), and frightened almost every one to a fearful extent - that is, to the full extent of fear. I rushed out of my cabin, in which my boxes and clothes were floating about four feet from the deck, found the cuddy full of water, women weeping and screaming, and men in great bodily fear, - and went upon deck, where I saw a picture I shall not forget in a hurry.

The ship was lying right down on her larboard side, all her quarter-deck (on that side) under water, and also a great part of the poop, and a mountainous sea washing right over her. The soldiers, unable to stand, or work the pump., were holding on as they best might to anything within their reach. Captain Buckland told the carpenter to fetch his axe to cut away the masts, but by the time all was ready the wind lulled a moment, and the ship righted a little. The sight was magnificent; sea and sky seemed all one mass; and it blew so hard that you could not look to windward nor stand for an instant without holding on vi et armis (i.e. with all the strength of your arms -vide new translation). We were skudding under two close reefed topsails and fore-topmast-staysail when this occurred. Afterwards we lay to for a couple of days under a storm trysail, when the wind was abating, we made sail, and about five weeks afterwards - having experienced nothing but foul winds - we arrived at Tahiti. We never had (for more than six weeks) one day's fair wind; or even one day's wind sufficient to enable us to lay our course; and what is more, the wind was not only generally blowing in our teeth, but mostly blowing so hard that it was impossible to carry sail. Even after we got within the tropics, when we confidently hoped to meet with a south-east trade, which would have been fair for us9 we still had foul wind (though not gales), and storms of rain accompanied by a great deal of thunder and lightning, which lasted for nearly a week. Nay, misfortune pursued us so far that, although we saw Tahiti at daylight on Wednesday morning, and were close to it (within ten miles) at night, yet we were unable, in consequence of calm. and light baffling winds, to get in until Saturday, and in all probability should have been outside the harbour till this very minute had it not been for the brickish conduct of the French and Englishmen-of-war lying here, who manfully and without any provocation whatever, sent 8 boats (4 French and 4 Eng1ish) pulling from 12 to 18 oars each, who towed us into the harbour in gallant style, to our great joy and immense satisfaction,. And here we are; amongst cocoanuts, plantains, bananas, oranges, limes, pineapples, arrowroot, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Yankeemen, Danishmen and le Kanague as the natives of these islands are called."

After such excitement the rest of the voyage was more routine. The Harpley was refitted and sailed from Tahiti on 12th September, 1847. (Launceston Examiner 20th September, 1847). She apparently called in at Rio de Janiero (Miss Wayne's file note say. "all well at Rio" with a newspaper reference of 26th February, 1848 - this does not seem to be the Launceston Examiner, but it may be another newspaper).

The Harpley reached England on 8th February, 1848 (L.E, 10th June, 1848). Here she must have been given a very thorough going over by the Surveyor for Lloyds of London, and was classed as Al for ten years (Cornwall Chronicle 26th August, 1848 - this is a Launceston newspaper).

Researched by Dr. R.J. Burgess.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


Cousins? Which One?

from Richard Lander

(Tulle 24, February 1989)

Have you ever experienced difficulty in determining the exact cousin relationship between two family members? There is a simple mathematical formula for doing so.

  1. The first step is to trace their lineage back to a common ancestor. Make sure that this is their nearest common ancestor and not his or her parent or child. By counting one generation too many, or too few, one will get the wrong number. Number this common ancestor "0" to ensure that this generation is not included in the arithmetic.

  2. The next step is to count the number of generations separating each person from the common ancestor.

  3. If the two numbers are the same, then the order of cousinhood is one less than the number. For example, if the common ancestor is a great grand-parent of each person. The number of generations is three and the order of cousinhood is two - so they are second cousins.

  4. If the two numbers are not the same, then the order of cousinhood is one less than the smaller number. For example, if the common ancestor is a great-great-grandparent of one person and a grandparent of the other, the number of generations are four and two respectively. Consequently, the order of cousinhood is 2-1=1 and the degree of removal is 4-2=2. They are first cousins twice removed.

  5. The children of first cousins are second cousins to each other.

  6. The children of second cousins are third cousins to each other.

  7. The children of your first cousins are first cousins once removed to you and you are the same to them.

  8. The children of your second cousins are second cousins once removed to you and you are the same to them.

  9. Grandchildren of your second cousins are your second cousins twice removed and you are the same to them.

  10. Great grandchildren of your second cousins are second cousins thrice removed.

top

back to contents page

back to main page


School Days

(Tulle 24, February 1989)

Ruby Collins delighted in telling this tale of what she called the happiest day in her childhood.

At her suggestion, she and two small boys wagged school. They spent the day climbing and swinging on the trees, and generally enjoying themselves on the banks of Spring Creek in Main Street, Young.

Ruby reported home "from school" and her mother boxed her ears and sent her to bed!

Mother (Isabella (Saywell) Summerhayes) had watched all the fun from her kitchen window!

P.S. Mary Collins, Ruby's only child, died on 22nd October, 1988.

Thank you, Pat Stewart.

top

back to contents page

back to main page