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View of the Lady Nelson in the Thames, from a painting in the possession of the Victorian Government
The objects for which the Lady Nelson's voyages were undertaken render her logbooks of more than ordinary interest. She was essentially an Australian discovery ship and during her successive commissions she was employed exclusively in Australian waters. The number of voyages that she made will perhaps never be accurately known, but her logbooks in existence testify to the important missions that she accomplished. The most notable are those which record early discoveries in Victoria: the exploration of the Queensland coast: the surveys of King Island and the Kent Group: the visits to New Zealand and the founding of settlements at Hobart, Port Dalrymple, and Melville Island. Seldom can the logbooks of a single ship show such a record. Their publication seemed very necessary, for the handwriting on the pages of some of them is so faded that it is already difficult to decipher, and apparently only the story of Grant's voyages and the extracts from Murray's log published by Labilliere in the Early History of Victoria have ever before been published. In transcription I have somewhat modernized the spelling where old or incorrect forms tended to obscure the sense, and omitted repetitions, as it would have been impossible to include within the limits of one volume the whole of the contents of the logbooks. The story of the Lady Nelson as told by Grant has in places been paraphrased, for he sometimes writes it in diary form under date headings and at others he inserts the date in the narrative. The entries from the logbooks of Murray, Curtoys and Symons, in the Public Record Office, with such omissions as I have specified, are printed verbatim.
Murray's charts now published are distinctly valuable, as in the fourth volume of the Historical Records of New South Wales, where they should be found, it is stated that they are "unfortunately missing."
On my inquiring at the Admiralty, Mr. Perrin, the Librarian, to whom my cordial thanks are due, made a special search and was fortunate enough to discover them. Thus, after a long separation, Murray's charts and his journal are united again in this volume. Perhaps the most important chart, and the one which should appeal especially to the people of Victoria, is that of Port Phillip showing the track of the Lady Nelson's boat when the brig entered the bay for the first time. Murray's log telling of this discovery ends on March 24th, 1802. In writing later to the Duke of Portland, Governor King says: "The Lady Nelson's return just before I closed my letters enabled me to transmit Acting-Lieutenant Murray's log copies of the discoveries of King Island and Port Phillip. These important discoveries, being combined with the chart of former surveys, I hope will convince your Grace that that highly useful vessel the Lady Nelson has not been idle under my direction." The charts were sent home in charge of Lieutenant Mackellar, who sailed in the ship Caroline on March 30th, 1802, six days after the Lady Nelson's return. Duplicates were forwarded by the Speedy, which left Sydney in June, but a comparison of those at the Admiralty shows that King added nothing further to this second series.
My thanks are also due to Lieutenant Bell, R.N., whose researches have enabled me to publish the charts of the Queensland coast. These old charts cannot fail to interest students of Australian history. It is possible that they do not include all that were sent home at first, nor are the Lady Nelson's logbooks complete; those however of Grant and Murray, Curtoys and Symons, give us the story of the work carried out by those energetic seamen. They are writings worthy of being more widely known, for they are records left by men who sailed uncharted seas along unknown coasts in days which will not come again--men who have helped to give to later generations a spacious continent with a limitless horizon.
THE LADY NELSON BUILT WITH CENTREBOARDS.
HER VOYAGE TO SYDNEY UNDER JAMES GRANT.
THE FIRST SHIP TO PASS THROUGH BASS STRAIT.
RETURNS TO EXPLORE THE STRAIT.
HER VISITS TO JERVIS BAY AND TO WESTERN PORT IN 1801.
COLONEL PATERSON AND LIEUTENANT GRANT SURVEY HUNTER RIVER.CHAPTER 4.
MURRAY APPOINTED COMMANDER OF THE LADY NELSON.
HIS VOYAGE TO NORFOLK ISLAND.
MURRAY'S EXPLORATION OF BASS STRAIT.CHAPTER 6.
DISCOVERY OF PORT PHILLIP.CHAPTER 7.
THE LADY NELSON IN COMPANY WITH H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR EXAMINES THE NORTH-EASTERN SHORES OF AUSTRALIA.CHAPTER 8.
THE FRENCH SHIPS IN BASS STRAIT.
THE FOUNDING OF HOBART.
SYMONS SUCCEEDS CURTOYS AS COMMANDER OF THE LADY NELSON.
HIS VOYAGES TO PORT PHILLIP, TASMANIA AND NEW ZEALAND.
THE LADY NELSON IN TASMANIA.
THE FOUNDING OF PORT DALRYMPLE.
THE ESTRAMINA IS BROUGHT TO SYDNEY.
THE LADY NELSON VISITS NORFOLK ISLAND AND PORT DALRYMPLE.
TIPPAHEE AND HIS FOUR SONS ARE CONVEYED TO NEW ZEALAND IN THE LADY NELSON.CHAPTER 13.
THE LADY NELSON ACCOMPANIES H.M.S. TAMAR TO MELVILLE ISLAND.CHAPTER 14.
THE LOSS OF THE LADY NELSON.
1. THE LADY NELSON. From a painting in the possession of the Victorian Government.
2. LIEUTENANT JAMES GRANT'S CHART OF THE AUSTRALIAN COAST.
2a. Jas Grant autograph facsimile.
3. EYE-SKETCH OF THE LADY NELSON'S TRACK ON HER FIRST VOYAGE THROUGH BASS STRAIT.
Drawn by Governor King. Writing of this chart, he says that the longitude in which Lieutenant Grant placed Cape Otway was about a degree and a half in error. He also made the land to trend away on the west side of Cape Otway to a deep bay, which he named Portland Bay. An examination of modern maps will show that the name Portland Bay has been retained for a bay to the westward of Grant's Portland Bay, which is now called Armstrong Bay.
Chart of the track of His Majesty's Armoured Surveying Vessel Lady Nelson Lieutenant James Grant Commander. From Bass's Straits between New Holland and Van Diemen's Land on her passage from England to Port Jackson. By Order of His Grace The Duke of Portland. In December 1800.
4. CHART OF WESTERN PORT SURVEYED BY ENSIGN BARRALLIER IN 1801.
5. CHART OF BASS STRAIT SHOWING THE DISCOVERIES MADE BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 1800 AND MARCH 1802.
Drawn by Ensign Barrallier, New South Wales Corps, under the direction of Captain P.G. King, Governor of New South Wales." This chart is generally referred to as "Barrallier's Combined Chart." King doubtless alludes to it when writing to the Duke of Portland in May 1802. See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 761.)
5a. THE EARLIEST CHART OF KING ISLAND.
(CHART OF KING'S ISLAND IN BASS'S STRAIT. This earliest chart of King Island was drawn by Alexander Dalrymple from a sketch made by Flinders of Murray's original chart. Flinders added to it the west coast unseen by Murray, though it had been sighted by both Black and Buyers. The details given by Flinders were supplied by William Campbell, master of the Harrington, who, in March 1802, found a quantity of wreckage there. Nothing remained to show the name of the lost vessel, nor was any clue subsequently discovered by which she could be identified. The Harrington lay at anchor at New Year's Isles for over two months, but could not trace the nationality of the vessel or her crew except in the language of the Harrington's captain, "one dead English cat." See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 780.)
6. THE LADY NELSON AND THE FRANCIS SCHOONER ENTERING HUNTER RIVER.
7. COAL HARBOUR (NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES), SURVEYED BY ENSIGN BARRALLIER IN 1801.
Coal Harbour and Rivers on the Coast of New South Wales. Surveyed by Ensign Barrallier, in His Majesty's Armed Surveying Vessel Lady Nelson: Lieutenant James Grant Commander. In June and July 1801, by Order of Governor King.
High Water Full and Change in the Harbour 9 hours 45 minutes. Rises 6 feet.
Remarks on Hunter's River: The entrance of Hunter's River is in latitude 32 degrees 57 minutes south, distinguishable by an Island on the south-east side of its entrance which in coming from the northward appears like a castle, being perpendicular on the south-east side and 203 feet high: the north side is steep and covered with grass. It is the northernmost high land from Sydney to the Heads of Port Stephens from which it lies north-east 6 leagues. The intermediate space being a sandy beach. The tides both in the harbour and entrance runs very strong, and in some places not less than four miles an hour and sometimes from four to five. The ebb in general is much stronger than the flood: 9 3/4 hours in the harbour makes high water full and change, and rises six feet perpendicular where the Lady Nelson anchored, and four feet when she was higher up the river. In the harbour there is good shelter from all winds and plenty of room for more than 100 sail of shipping. There is plenty of water to be had on the north shore by digging a very little way down. There are three wells already dug, and the water is very good. On the south shore there are plenty of runs of fresh water.
For further information refer to Colonel Paterson and Lieutenant Grant's Narrative.
8. ROUTE OF H.M.A.S. VESSEL LADY NELSON ALONG THE COAST OF NEW SOUTH WALES ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY IN 1801, undertaken by Command of His Excellency Governor King. By Jno. Murray Acting Lieutenant and Commander.
Note the Coast is according to Captain Cook. Jarvis Bay was visited by ye Lady Nelson in March 1801. Twofold Bay is from Bass's track in the Whale Boat.
9. KENT'S GROUP. By John Murray.
10. KING ISLAND FROM JOHN MURRAY'S CHART.
11. CHART OF PORT PHILLIP SHOWING THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON'S BOAT IN 1802.
In this chart by Murray, sent to the Admiralty from Sydney by Governor King in 1802, few names appear, although Murray named Point Palmer, Point Paterson, and Point Nepean, and the fact that it bears the date January 1802 seems further evidence that it is the first chart of Port Philip drawn by its discoverer. It is one of those referred to as "unfortunately missing" in the Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 764.
12. CHART OF BASS STRAIT, INCLUDING THE DISCOVERIES OF ACTING-LIEUTENANT JOHN MURRAY IN THE LADY NELSON, between November 1801 AND march 1802.
By command of His Excellency Governor King. This chart, which bears Murray's autograph, shows his explorations of Western Port, Port Philip, and King Island. It should be noted that Flinders' Island is named Grand Capuchin. This is one of the charts referred to as "unfortunately missing" in the Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 764.
13. TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON IN COMPANY WITH H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY along the coast of New South Wales.
By John Murray. This chart also bears Murray's signature, as well as the outward and return track of his ship.
14. CONTINUATION OF THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON IN JULY 1802.
15. SKETCH OF PORT NUMBER 1 (PORT CURTIS), FACEING ISLAND AND KEPPEL BAY.
By John Murray, made on board H.M. armed surveying vessel Lady Nelson.
16. THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON TO PORT NUMBER 2. (PORT BOWEN). By John Murray.
This chart and the one in Illustration 15 differ in delineation from the rest of Murray's charts of his voyage northwards, and are beautifully drawn and coloured. Probably they were the work of Westall, the artist with Flinders, Murray merely adding to them his homeward track.
16a. Facsimile signature Jno Murray.
17. THE LADY NELSON'S ANCHORAGE AT HUNTER RIVER.
18. APPENDIX. H.M.S. BUFFALO, SHIP'S MUSTER.
18a. Facsimile signature James Symons.
The logbooks of the Lady Nelson bear witness to the leading part played by one small British ship in the discovery of a great continent. They show how closely, from the date of her first coming to Sydney in 1800 until her capture by pirates off the island of Baba in 1825, this little brig was identified with the colonisation and development of Australia.
In entering upon her eventful colonial career, "the Lady Nelson did that which alone ought to immortalize her name--she was the first ship that ever sailed parallel to the entire southern coast line of Australia."* (* Early History of Victoria by F.P. Labilliere.) She was also the first vessel to sail through Bass Strait. But discovery cannot claim her solely for itself. While she was stationed at Sydney there was scarcely a dependency of the mother colony that was not more or less indebted to her, either for proclaiming it a British possession, or for bringing it settlers and food, or for providing it with means of defence against the attacks of natives.
In the early history of Victoria the Lady Nelson occupies a niche somewhat similar to that which the Endeavour fills in the annals of New South Wales, but while Cook and the Endeavour discovered the east coast and then left it, the Lady Nelson, after charting the bare coast-line of Victoria, returned again and again to explore its inlets and to penetrate its rivers, her boats discovering the spacious harbour at the head of which Melbourne now stands.
The Lady Nelson also went northward as well as southward, and though many of her logbooks are missing, some survive, and one describes how, in company with the Investigator under Captain Flinders, she examined the Queensland shore as far as the Cumberland Islands. Later she accompanied the Mermaid, under Captain King, to Port Macquarie when he followed Flinders' track through Torres Strait, and during her long period of service she visited different parts of the coast, including Moreton Bay, Port Essington, and Melville Island. Precisely how many voyages she made as a pioneer will probably never be known. The ship, at least, played many parts: now acting as King's messenger and carrying despatches from the Governor to Norfolk Island; now fetching grain grown at the Hawkesbury, or coals from Newcastle for the use of the increasing population at Sydney; and at another time carrying troops and settlers to the far distant north. She made other memorable voyages; for example, when she conveyed bricks burnt in Sydney brick kilns to Tasmania and to New Zealand, in order to build homes for the first white settlers in those lands. She helped also to establish Lieutenant Bowen's colony at Risdon. On that occasion we read that the little ship lent the colony a bell and half a barrel of gunpowder. The logbooks do not record to what use the bell was put, but whether it served as a timekeeper or to call the people to worship, it was doubtless highly valued by the early Tasmanian colonists.
At the time of her sailing to Australia the Lady Nelson was a new ship of 60 tons. She was built at Deptford in 1799, and differed from other exploring vessels in having a centre-board keel. This was the invention of Captain John Schanck, R.N., who believed that ships so constructed "would sail faster, steer easier, tack and wear quicker and in less room." He had submitted his design to the Admiralty in 1783, and so well was it thought of that two similar boats had been built for the Navy, one with a centre-board and one without, in order that a trial might be made. The result was so successful that, besides the Cynthia sloop and Trial revenue cutter, other vessels were constructed on the new plan, among them the Lady Nelson. She was chosen for exploration because her three sliding centre-boards enabled her draught to be lessened in shallow waters, for when her sliding keels were up she drew no more than six feet.
In 1799 the news reached London that the French were fitting out an expedition to survey unknown portions of Australia; the Admiralty were quickly stirred to renewed activity, and decided to send the Lady Nelson to Sydney. At first it was believed that Captain Flinders would be placed in charge of her, but he was eventually given a more important command, and Lieutenant James Grant was appointed to the Lady Nelson. She was hauled out of Deadman's Dock into the river on January 13th, 1800, with her full complement of men and stores on board. She carried provisions for 15 men for a period of nine months, and enough water for three months. Her armament consisted of only two brass carriage-guns.
On January 16th she sailed to Gravesend. So small did she look as she made her way down the Thames that the sailors on board the ships in the river ridiculed her appearance and ironically christened her "His Majesty's Tinderbox." Grant says that many expressed a doubt that she would ever make her port of destination.
A heavy gale was blowing when she reached the Downs, but from the first she proved herself a good sea-boat, and it was found that lowering the keels greatly steadied her. Grant now had a good opportunity for testing her capabilities. A large convoy ready to sail for the West Indies lay at anchor here, and on the evening of the 23rd, as the fury of the wind increased, many signals of distress were seen flying in the offing. Finding the Lady Nelson drag very much, her commander let go another anchor, with the result that she rode out through the gale with ease, although next morning six vessels were ashore dismasted, while two others had lost both their masts and bowsprits. He then decided to take shelter in Ramsgate, where he remained until the 7th, when he sailed to Spithead and thence to Portsmouth. Here four more guns were placed on board and some oak planking, which caused the brig to lie deeper in the water, so that Grant writes "there were then only 2 feet 9 inches clear abreast the gangway." He believed, however, that the consumption of coal and provisions would soon bring her to a proper degree of buoyancy.
During her stay at Portsmouth the Lady Nelson lost two men, one through illness, the other by desertion. On March 15th, when she was quite ready for sea, Captain Schanck and Mr. Bayley* (* W. Bayley, formerly astronomer on board the Adventure.) paid her a visit. Orders had been given for her to leave port in company with H.M.S. Anson, Captain Durham, who (as the Powers were at war) was to convoy a fleet of East Indiamen, then on point of sailing, and with whom was H.M.S. Porpoise, bound to New South Wales. The wind being fair, on the night of March 16th, 1800, the signal for sailing was given by the Commodore. While all hands were busily engaged getting up the kedge, the carpenter made his escape in the darkness. Anxious to avoid further delay, and somewhat consoled by the thought that the vessel was new and that he had already tested and found out her good qualities, Lieutenant Grant decided to put up with the loss of the man's services.
At 6 P.M. on the 18th the ship finally bade adieu to England. At first she was scarcely able to keep pace with the big ships which bore her company, and very soon the Commodore despatched an officer to her commander to suggest that he should go into Falmouth and await there the departure of the West India Fleet. But, as the final decision was left with Lieutenant Grant, he preferred to go on, believing that he could keep pace with the convoy. During the afternoon of the 19th a namesake of his, Captain James Grant of the Brunswick, East Indiaman, hailed him and informed him that he had orders to take the Lady Nelson in tow. The commander of the brig did not at all relish this news, but dreading further detention as he was in the track of the enemy, he took the proffered hawser on board. The brig towed well as long as the sea was smooth, and at first no discomfort was felt. Then a continued spell of bad weather ensued, and a driving rain, which found its way under the covering boards and along the gunwale of the ship, caused great unpleasantness. Worse was to follow, for it began to blow very hard, and the Brunswick set off at high speed, dragging the little brig mercilessly through the heavy seas which almost enveloped her. The sight evoked much amusement among the passengers on board the big Indiaman, who frequently visited the stern galley to watch the waves wash completely over the Lady Nelson.
On the 23rd of March an unusually heavy sea strained the brig to such a degree that Grant ordered the hawser to be let go, and bade the Brunswick farewell. It was imagined by those on board the larger vessel that the Lady Nelson, deeming it impossible to proceed, had turned back to Portsmouth. Grant, however, had determined to continue his voyage alone.
He lost sight of the fleet during the night, and next day, in latitude 43 degrees 55 minutes north and longitude 14 degrees 17 minutes west, the weather being fine and clear, he ordered the saturated bedding to be brought up from below and placed on deck to dry. This practice was continued throughout the voyage, and to it, and to the care taken to prevent the men sleeping in wet clothes, Grant attributed the healthy state of the crew on reaching Sydney. When the sea moderated it was also possible to stop the leaks on deck.
On the 25th a strange sail was sighted, and from the masthead a large fleet was soon afterwards made out bearing north-north-east. One ship detached itself from the rest and gave chase to the Lady Nelson, gaining fast upon her. She was perceived to be an English frigate. At 6 P.M. she fired a shot which compelled Lieutenant Grant to shorten sail and to show his colours. As a second shot was fired it was clear that the frigate still mistook him for one of the enemy, so he wore and stood towards her, when she proved to be H.M.S. Hussar, acting as convoy to the West India Fleet. Her commander informed Grant that he had mistaken the Lady Nelson for a Spaniard, and expressed his regret for having given so much trouble, and after the usual compliments they parted. Grant adds that he did not learn the name of the courteous commander,* (* It was Viscount Garlies.) but again at daylight the Lady Nelson came on part of his convoy, which, not knowing who she was, crowded sail to get out of her way, "with," says Grant, "one exception, this being the ----, which, much to his credit, hove to and fired a shot almost plump on board of us. Another vessel, the Hope of Liverpool, I could hardly keep clear of, for the more I attempted to avoid him the more he attempted to get near me, so much so that we were near running on board each other." The Hope's captain asked Grant very peremptorily who he was and where he came from, to which Grant replied by hoisting his colours and pendant; but even this did not satisfy the irate merchant skipper, who appeared to have had very decided intentions of running down the Lady Nelson. Eventually, however, he rejoined the convoy, which stood to the westward under close-reefed top-sails.
On the 1st of April the Lady Nelson fell in with another heavy gale which raged till the 3rd, and finding that his ship was drifting south of Madeira, Grant shaped a course for Las Palmas.
On the 8th he crossed the Tropic of Cancer.
On Sunday the 13th he came to an anchor in Port Praya, St. Iago, where the Governor received him with much politeness and gave him permission to replenish his ship. While in this port Grant discovered that the second mate had sown seeds of discontent among his crew, so he promptly handed him over to the Governor to be sent back to England. Two boys, however, deserted and ran off with a boat. Several parties were sent out in search of them by the Governor, and the two deserters were eventually caught and brought home by the natives--both riding on one ass. The sight of the bluejackets in such a predicament vastly amused the Portuguese seamen in port, who ridiculed them to such an extent that Grant did not think it necessary to punish them further. Grant describes the natives of Port Praya as resembling negroes, and remarks that the females seemed to spend their time in spinning cotton from a distaff with a spindle. The ship's keels were examined here and one found to be broken, but the repairs, owing to the assistance given by the Governor, were finished in two days.
Having taken in a sufficient supply of water, the Lady Nelson left St. Iago on April 27th. The Governor, who seems to have been most polite and obliging to everybody, permitted two Portuguese sailors to be entered on her muster-roll, which brought her crew up to twelve. Soon after leaving port, one of the seamen became ill, and as his temperature rose very high the commander gave orders for him to be immediately isolated, though he was fortunately cured in four days. The food served to the men then underwent some alteration. It was thought that oatmeal was too heating in the humid weather of the tropics, and tea was substituted for it at breakfast, wine supplemented with spruce beer being issued instead of spirits. Not one man fell sick afterwards.
As the ship neared the Equator various cross-currents were frequently met with, and "heavy squalls with rain" and a very disagreeable sea arose, the result of a sudden change of wind from north-north-east to south-west and south-south-west. The Lady Nelson pitched and rolled considerably, and nearly every one on board was sea-sick. On the 6th it fell calm again.
At 6 A.M. on the 9th a schooner was sighted, and shortly afterward a brig, which stood towards the ship. Believing that the latter was an enemy, Grant was glad when a storm hid her from view. On the 10th, however, a glimpse of the brig was again caught, and on the 13th two more sail were descried standing to the westward, but they finally disappeared. The Lady Nelson was now surrounded by flying-fish and tropical birds in great numbers, the latter being of the species mentioned by Captain Cook as seen by him when he traversed this route.
On May 16th a long, heavy swell was experienced with light airs, and the sea took a luminous appearance. A spell of bad weather followed, ending on the 23rd, when, the day being fine, the boats were lowered and the keels overhauled and repaired, and it was then found that a new piece of wood which had been put on the after keel at Port Praya was missing. Not having sufficient timber on board to repair it as before, the keel was let farther down in the well and a breadth of planking was joined to it with iron hooping and nails, with the result that it extended three feet below the vessel.
On the 28th, when nearing Rio de Janeiro, an inspection was made of the bread and water, and as the latter was found to be in good condition Grant decided not to enter the port. Some of the bread was a little damaged by leakage into the bread room, but a more water-tight place for storing it was soon found. About the same date birds were again observed, particularly the hoglet: the men caught many of these and made caps of their skins. Mother Cary's chickens* (* Procellaria pelagica Linn.) were also met with in great numbers. Gales and calms now alternated until June 11th, when there were frequent squalls, the wind finally blowing with such violence that at 3 P.M. it was thought advisable to heave to. Later the storm abated, and the vessel was able to make good progress until the 18th. A curious sea followed the ship on this day, the waves rising perpendicularly, so that the commander conjectured that there was ground at no great depth. He put the deep-sea lead over, but no soundings could be obtained.
On the 23rd at 3 P.M. a vessel was seen bearing down before the wind towards the Lady Nelson. The stranger proved to be a Spanish brig carrying prize colours. She had been captured in the River Plate by a privateer which had been fitted out by a merchant at the Cape of Good Hope, and was commanded by Mr. John Black. She was then on her way to the Cape of Good Hope. On coming within hail her master informed the Lady Nelson's commander that he had neither book nor chart on board, and wished to know where he was; he also begged some twine and canvas to repair his sails. The prize was of about 70 tons burthen and was loaded with beeswax, hides, tallow, and tobacco. She was without a boat, as it had been washed overboard, so Lieutenant Grant shortened sail and desired her captain to keep near him and gave him the latitude and longitude. On the following day the Lady Nelson lowered a boat and brought the prize master on board, to whom Lieutenant Grant gave a chart of the Cape and several other necessaries. He asked Mr. Black why he had so boldly approached the Lady Nelson, since his ship was painted like a Spaniard, and so might well have been taken for one. Black's answer was that he knew from her canvas that the Lady Nelson was not an enemy. When he was shown over her he expressed his astonishment at her centre-boards, and her construction was therefore explained to him. But evidently he was not favourably impressed, for when he was being escorted back to his ship he asked one of her sailors if his commander was not mad, for he could not believe that such a small ship as the Lady Nelson could ever accomplish a voyage of discovery.
The vessels continued to sail in company towards the Cape of Good Hope.
At 5 A.M. on the 7th land was seen from the Lady Nelson, the information being signalled to her companion. Soon after daylight the Lion's Rump was perceived south-east by east 1/2 east, distant five leagues. A little later the ships parted company. Lieutenant Grant had intended to anchor in Simon's Bay, but having discovered that the Lady Nelson had lost both her main and after keels during the voyage, he sailed to Table Bay. On his arrival there Admiral Sir Roger Curtis, who was in command of the station, gave orders for two new keels to be built immediately, and it is recorded that so well did Mr. Boswell, the builder's assistant (the builder himself being absent) perform his task that the new keels reflected the greatest credit on him.
On the 16th, her repairs being completed, the Lady Nelson sailed for Simon's Bay and anchored there at 9 A.M. on the following day. Here was found H.M.S. Porpoise, also bound to New South Wales, which left the bay for Sydney in advance of the Lady Nelson. During his stay Lieutenant Grant met a relative, Dr. J. R. Grant, with whom he made several excursions into the interior of the colony.
While the Lady Nelson was at the Cape of Good Hope a ship named the Wellesley arrived from England with despatches from the Admiralty. She had narrowly escaped capture by a French man-of-war which gave chase to her after she had parted from her convoy, but fortunately she had been able to beat off the enemy and to effect her escape. The instructions brought to Grant from the Duke of Portland directed him to sail to Sydney through Bass Strait instead of sailing round the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land (as Tasmania was then called).*
(* The following extract is from the letter from the Duke of Portland to Grant:--
"WHITEHALL, 8th April, 1800.
"SIR, Having received information from Port Jackson in New South Wales that a navigable strait has been discovered between that country and Van Diemen's Land in latitude 38 degrees, it is His Majesty's pleasure that you should sail through the said strait on your way to Port Jackson. I am, etc., PORTLAND.")
No ship had yet sailed through this strait, which had been discovered only a little more than a year before by Dr. George Bass. Grant was also instructed to take particular notice of the Australian coast, and especially of the headlands visible on either side of the strait. During his stay at the Cape numerous volunteers offered to accompany him to Sydney, many from on board the ships in the bay. He says that he declined them all except a carpenter and an eccentric person named Dr. Brandt, who might, he thought, be useful as a scientist, and who came on board accompanied by his baboon and his dog. To oblige Sir Roger Curtis, he also consented to take a Dane sentenced to transportation.
On the 7th of October the Lady Nelson left the Cape and proceeded on her voyage to New South Wales. Soon after leaving port bad weather set in and continued until the 12th, but, on the 14th at noon, when the ship was in 38 degrees 1 minute latitude, the sea moderated and the bedding was again brought up on deck while the cabins and berths were washed with vinegar. On the 24th the weather turned extremely cold with snow at times. A heavy cross sea was running, which gave the little brig another opportunity of displaying her good qualities. On the 28th at noon she was in 38 degrees 54 minutes south, and towards evening on the following day she encountered a heavy gale which obliged her commander to heave her to. Violent gusts with showers of sleet blew continually, and the seas were so heavy that often in striking the bow they threw the ship so far over as "to expose her beam." A drag-sail was then used in order to steady her, and it answered remarkably well. The fore-top-sail yard was also got on deck and eased the ship wonderfully; fortunately little water was shipped, as, owing to her small draught and flat bottom, she rose like a piece of cork on the top of every wave.
On November 1st, in accordance with expectations, the island of Amsterdam was sighted. The Lady Nelson steered a lonely course along its high, inaccessible shores, and beyond seeing that it was covered with grass, those on board could observe little. A flagstaff with a flag flying came into view, but not a single human being could be seen through the telescope, although a party of sealers was known to visit the place frequently. As the ship left the coast a boat's thwart with a piece of rope wound round it was observed floating in the water, and its presence caused some curiosity on board. Within the next few days a shoal of whales known to sailors as the Right whale was sighted, and later in the month several other whales of various species with two threshers at work upon one of them were seen.
On the 23rd Vancouver's track was crossed, and then Grant gave orders for a strict look-out for land to be kept from the masthead by night and day.
Still the Australian coast remained invisible.
LIEUTENANT JAMES GRANT'S CHART OF THE AUSTRALIAN COAST
On the 29th the sea was so calm that there was not a ripple on its surface, and nothing worth noting occurred until December 1st, when a large spermaceti whale passed, and at 3 P.M. a seal. At 5 P.M. another appeared; this seal swam after the ship for some time, gazing after it in a curious way and shaking its head as it leapt from the water. On December 2nd the birds which till then had followed the ship disappeared, and in the evening a horse-fly settled on the main-sail and showed that land was near. The same night heavy squalls arose and blew until morning. At 8 A.M., to the great joy of all on board, land was sighted from the masthead. It appeared to take the form of four islands, some six or seven leagues distant. At noon the ship was in 38 degrees 10 minutes south and longitude by account 142 degrees 30 minutes east, and the following notes are recorded in the journal of Lieutenant Grant,* as his first impression of the land of New Holland (Australia). (* The Journals and logbooks are not printed in extenso. A few passages of minor importance that in no way affect the general course of the narrative have, for want of space, been omitted.)
THE LADY NELSON TO PORT JACKSON.
"December 3rd, 1800. At daylight made all possible sail judging myself to be in latitude of 38 degrees south.* (* (Note in log.) Longitude worked back 141 degrees 20 minutes east.) At 8 A.M. saw the land from north to east-north-east appearing like unconnected islands, being four in number, which on our near approach turned out to be two capes and two high mountains a considerable way inshore. One of them was very like the Table Hill at the Cape of Good Hope, the other stands farther into the country. Both are covered with large trees as is also the land which is low and flat as far as the eye can reach. I named the first of these mountains after Captain Schanck and the other Gambier's Mountain. The first cape I called Northumberland, after His Grace the Duke of Northumberland. Another smaller, but very conspicuous jut of the land, which we plainly saw when abreast of Cape Northumberland I named Cape Banks.* (* Grant named the two points first sighted Cape Northumberland and Cape Banks and the two mountains behind Mount Gambier and Mount Schanck, names they all still bear. Grant came in sight of Australia near to the present boundary of Victoria and South Australia.) When the former Cape bears north-west by west distant 8 or 9 miles, Schanck's Mountain loses its table form and appears like a saddle. There does not appear to be a harbour here, but vessels may find shelter under Cape Northumberland from north and north-north-west winds. The shore is in general a flat sandy beach, the sea at present making no breach upon it.
"December 4th. As we stood along the shore steering eastward, the land as far as we could see bearing south-east. Hauled close up for it. This forming a conspicuous cape, I named it Bridgewater* after the Duke of that title. (* This cape has been described since as having "a bald pate and shoulders besprinkled with white sand." Cape Bridgewater forms with Cape Northumberland another bend called Discovery Bay where the tides meet and create a very turbulent sea. The bay receives the waters of the River Glenelg.) The shore is a sandy beach from where we made the land to this cape, with bushes and large woods inland. Finding we could not weather Cape Bridgewater, got four oars on the lee side, which were employed all night. At daybreak in the morning we weathered the cape when another cape appeared bearing east by north about 15 or 16 miles distant forming with Cape Bridgewater a very deep bay and to appearance had shelter for anchorage. The land appeared beautiful, rising gradually and covered with wood. Being anxious to examine whether it was safe to venture in or not, I ordered a boat out and took two hands with me armed.
"After getting inshore about five miles we found there was not any shelter from southerly winds; the water was very deep and apparently so all the way in. We plainly saw several fires. At noon it was a matter of great doubt whether we should not be forced to anchor--the bay being very deep we could hardly clear it even with a steady breeze. Our latitude was 38 degrees 20 minutes south. Cape Bridgewater then bearing north-west by west 12 or 13 miles. I called the other Cape, Nelson, after the vessel.
"December 5th. Saw several fires. This is a very deep bay and with southerly winds ought carefully to be avoided. Cape Nelson bears from Cape Bridgewater east-north-east 15 or 16 miles. The country is beautiful, apparently a good soil, plenty of grass, and fine woods. Towards evening saw many fires a little way inland. Many seals and porpoises about to-day. At 5 A.M. saw another cape not unlike the Deadman in the English Channel: it runs a considerable way into the sea. When to the west it appears like a long barn arched on the top with a high bluff and next the sea resembling the gable end of a house. I named the land Sir William Grant's Cape.* (* Lieutenant Grant also called this cape, Cape Solicitor. This name did not survive--the cape being known as Cape Sir W. Grant.) Off this Cape are two small islands (the largest appears like two) having two hummocks joined together by a neck of low land which is not seen till pretty close. On approaching, the smaller island is seen--a little nearer the shore. These I called Lawrence's Islands after Captain Lawrence, one of the Elder Brethren of Trinity House. As they will be an excellent mark for making this part...and Cape Northumberland, and being very remarkable, navigators will know where they are as they draw abreast of them, the largest being to the Southwards. Its outer end appears like a square-topt tower, very high, with a white spot in the middle of it. The other end is also very high. Lawrence's Islands bear from Cape Sir William Grant south-east or south-east by south 12 miles distant and there appears no danger between them and the shore. The cape now loses its long form as the vessel gets to the eastward and its particular shape changes to a high bluff point, steep and inaccessible. Many fires were seen about this cape. The land from it runs to the northward as far as the eye can reach or discern from the masthead.
"December 6th. At three made a considerable large island high and inaccessible on all sides. It was covered with grass, but no trees. This island bears east-south-east from Cape Sir William Grant. By a good observation at noon following I made its latitude to be 38 degrees 29 minutes south longitude...I made 144 degrees 40 minutes east. I named this island Lady Julia's Island in honour of Lady Julia Percy. Observed we ran faster along the land than our distance by log gave us, probably owing to drift from the East.
"December 7th. At daylight we saw the land making a cape ahead; hauled up to clear it. This cape is due east-south-east with a moderate offing from Cape Sir William Grant, distant by log 70 miles. It is the eastern promontory of this deep and extensive bay. I named it Cape Albany Otway (now Cape Otway) in honour of William Albany Otway, Esquire, Captain in the Royal Navy and one of the commissioners of the Transport Board.* (* Governor King says that Lieutenant Grant placed the longitude of Cape Otway in about "a degree and a half in error": he also made the land to trend away on the west side of Cape Otway to a bay in 38 degrees south latitude which he named Portland Bay.) Another very high and considerable cape I called Patton's Cape. I also distinguished the bay by the name of Portland Bay in honour of His Grace the Duke of Portland. The land is here truly picturesque and beautiful, resembling very much that about Mount Edgcumbe, near Plymouth, which faces the Sound. It abounds in wood, very thick groves and large trees. It is moderately high, but not mountainous. We did not see any fires on it, probably from the shore being inaccessible and much surf breaking on it. From Cape Albany Otway east-north-east 10 or 12 miles is another point of land which appears as a vessel rounds the former cape to the east. It is rather high land with a clump of trees--as if regularly planted on its brow. Thinking we could find an anchorage, I bore in pretty close, but as we approached I found several heavy breakers at least 6 miles from the shore, but not a rock to be seen. I therefore hauled and named the point of land Point Danger. In getting to the eastward I could not find any shelter nor any place where there was a likelihood of anchoring but from the number of little juts and low points of land further to the north and east I was determined to try if any such place could be got.
"I never saw a finer country, the valleys appeared to have plenty of fresh water meandering through them. At 11 A.M. I ordered the boats out manned and armed, and went in search of a place to land or anchor in. We got within a cable's length and a half of the beach, but finding the surf breaking heavy I deemed it not prudent to attempt a landing. The shore was a sandy beach with small rocks interspersed here and there. In trying for soundings with a lead line none could be found, so that I really think the beach is steep also. I was very disappointed in being so near and obliged to return on board without setting foot on this beautiful spot. It resembles the Isle of Wight as near as possible from the water. I called this part of the coast (which falls into the bottom of a small bay from Cape Danger to the very low land), Wight's Land in honour of Captain Wight, R.N., son-in-law to Commissioner Schanck.
"December 8th. At one made sail to the eastward. At 8 P.M. Cape Albany Otway bearing west 18 or 20 miles we made a very high and lofty cape covered with trees to the water's edge as is all the country round it. From this cape the land breaks short round to the northward when I lost it. We had now a fair wind and might have done a great deal during the night but I had my doubts whether this land which fell off to the northward should not have been followed and kept on board, as from a small chart given to me by Sir Joseph Banks I found that, as far as the coast had been surveyed the land trained off to the northward in the same form nearly as it did here from Cape Patton--with this difference that the cape I allude to on the chart had several islands lying off it. Neither did the latitude exactly correspond and the land which it laid down running to the northward was low and bushy, whereas that which I saw was high with large forests of trees and no islands near it. I therefore chose the middle road. Made sail and ran 60 miles eastward judging if it was a bay I should see the eastern extremity of it. At daylight, however, we could see nothing anywhere from the masthead, but the looming of the land we had left behind. We now bore up and ran north by west and at six we saw the land again ahead forming a very deep bay, which I could not see the bottom of from the masthead.* (* (Note in log.) Had Grant penetrated this bay he would have made a great discovery for he would have found Port Phillip. However, from the evidence contained in his chart he named the indentation in the coast Governor King's Bay. In Grant's narrative appears the following note by Governor King. "If such a deep bay as this actually exists it favours the idea of New South Wales being insulated by a Mediterranean sea. However, this the Lady Nelson must determine in the voyage she is now gone upon. P.G.K.") At eight the land was observed bearing from us east-south-east extending farther to the southward than I could see. Being now certain of our route I hauled up east-south-east and named this bay after Governor King. It is one of the longest we have yet met with. Cape Albany Otway forms the westernmost and the South Cape the easternmost headlands, the distance of about 120 miles due east-south-east.
"December 9th. At 4 P.M. saw several islands bearing east-south-east. The mainland seemed to have an opening in it to the northward of them, which we stood in for, but I found it was another bay with low land. I named the northernmost cape after my friend, John Liptrap, Esquire, of London. The mainland now extended a considerable way to the southward with several islands off the cape. Judging this was the point of land we looked for, from the colour of the water, we sounded and had 50 fathoms with fine sand. South Cape distant 9 or 10 miles. The land abreast of the ship appearing to be at no great distance, and it being quite calm I got the boats out and sent the launch ahead to tow.
Thinking I should have the pleasure of setting my foot in this fine country, I set off in the gig with two hands ordering the vessel to tow in after me and should a breeze spring up to get the launch in and stand after me for the bay. We pulled inshore for some islands lying off from the main at the western side of the South Cape. Making for the largest of them, which appeared to be the most fertile, on it I meant to have sown some seeds which I took with me should I be able to land. The distance I could not have believed was so great as it proved to be--at least 12 miles from where we quitted the vessel, which we lost sight of before getting near the shore. Although we had not a breath of wind we found it impossible to land on this side, the shore being very steep and a heavy surf running on it. Therefore as the ship was not in sight, and as it was 2 P.M., I judged it prudent to get back as soon as possible, which we effected at 4 P.M.
"In the morning it was calm with hot sultry weather. At noon I had a good observation in latitude 39 degrees 30 minutes south. The south part of the main or South Cape bearing north-west by north distant 20 miles and the longitude 147 degrees 18 minutes from a good lunar observation taken on the 8th instant. All round the western side and even thus far south of the cape there are soundings of fifty fathoms, 45 and 40 white sand and shells. I called that space between Cape Liptrap and the South Cape, King George's Sound.
I have no doubt but that there is good anchorage in the bight to the northward of South Cape on the western side of which Cape Liptrap makes the northern head. The land here is high and the mountains covered with wood. Cape Liptrap is low and flat as is the land in this Bight where I suppose there is shelter. There is an island bearing from the western part of the South Cape--south, a little easterly, 12 miles from the shore. It is round and inaccessible on all sides. The above mentioned island I called Rodondo from its resemblance to that rock well-known to all seamen in the West Indies. A set of breakers to the southward and eastward of that rock, on which, though calm, the sea breaks much, bears from us north-north-west 1/2 west distant 6 miles.
To the eastward there are five islands, the largest of which from its resemblance to the Lion's Mount at the Cape of Good Hope I called Sir Roger Curtis's Island, who then commanded on that Station. It is high and inaccessible on the north-west side and covered with small bushes at the top. Two other islands like haycocks, only higher and more perpendicular, standing a considerable distance from each other, the largest of which bore us south-east 1/4 south distant 16 or 17 miles and the other south-east by east about 10 miles. The latter is nearly shut in with the south-east end of Sir Roger Curtis's Island. The fourth is a rock standing a considerable height out of the water nearly in a position between the two haycocks or rather sugarloaf-like islands bearing from south-east 1/4 south. The fifth is a high perpendicular barren cliff which, as we get almost abreast, looked like two islands joined together at the bottom, rising to a sharp edge ragged at the top and resembling a large tower or castle. This island I named The Devil's Tower. An island inshore was observed, it bore west-north-west distant 10 miles: I called it Moncur's Island in compliment to Captain Moncur of the Royal Navy, and another was visible bearing north by east 16 or 17 miles.
Land, apparently an island to the southward and eastward we can just see from the masthead. It may be necessary to observe that these bearings were taken at noon, and as it was then a stark calm the vessel was nearly stationary. By a good observation the latitude was 39 degrees 30 minutes, longitude 147 degrees 18 minutes east, calculated from lunar observation 2 days before. But I take it to be correctly 147 degrees east from my making the Ramhead according to the best charts, therefore the bearings are laid down in my chart from 147 degrees east.
"Wilson's Promontory was so named by Mr. George Bass of H.M.S. Reliance who was the first navigator that ascertained the real existence of a strait separating Van Dieman's Land from New Holland in his voyage in a whale boat from Sydney to Western Port.* (* "Mr. Bass places Wilson's Promontory in 38 degrees 56 minutes south, Lieutenant Grant in 39 degrees 17 minutes, and Mr. Black in 39 degrees 8 minutes. As Mr. Bass's latitude is by computation from the whale boat, I think a preference may be given to Lieutenant Grant's position, as he had the advantage of a good sextant." P.G.K.) Having made it I set off in one of my boats early in the morning of the 10th* (* Grant now abandons the plan previously used of heading each entry in the diary with the date of the day on which it was written, and includes the dates of the various events in the text of his narrative.) to endeavour to land on one of the islands lying off it; but after a long pull found the one I judged from its sloping aspect to be the easiest for that purpose, a solid rock for a considerable height with surf too powerful for such a small boat as mine. After several fruitless attempts I was obliged to abandon the idea, contenting myself with taking a view of it--and those contiguous. One of them was an immense rock; on one side perfectly round, with a large hole in the other in the form of an arch with a breastwork rising high enough above the level of the sea to preclude the water from getting into it; the hollow appeared as scooped out by art instead of nature. I gave it the name of the Hole in the Wall and to the range of islands stretching along the main--the name of Glennie's Islands after Mr. George Glennie, a particular friend of Captain Schanck's to whom I was under personal obligations. On the summit of all these islands there was a thick brush growing, whereas the land off Cape Liptrap already mentioned exhibited a fine level country. The day being far spent in this survey I deemed it best to get on board as the vessel was just visible with her head towards us and becalmed. On the 12th we had fresh gales and cloudy weather, the shore we were running along was low and covered with thick brush training in a north-east direction which Messieurs Flinders and Bass have given very accurate descriptions of."
Of his coming to Sydney, Grant writes, "Governor King had taken the precaution of leaving a letter for me at the Cape, describing the particular marks for knowing the entrance of the Port, which no doubt saved us much trouble. They consisted of a flagstaff erected on the South Head or left hand side of the entrance, and when vessels are seen the flag is hoisted. This land being high may be seen at a considerable distance on a clear day. In the afternoon of the 16th saw the flagstaff as described by Governor King. At six in the evening we entered between the Heads of Port Jackson. We found much swell in going in but were soon in smooth water and an excellent harbour, perhaps one of the finest in the known world. As the wind was from the south and contrary to getting into Sydney Cove we were obliged to beat up to it, and at half-past seven in the evening (on Tuesday December 16th) we let go our anchors in 8 fathoms water after a voyage of 71 days from the Cape of Good Hope, and with the satisfaction of being the first vessel that ever pursued the same track across that vast ocean, as we have no traces of its being done particularly from the Island of Amsterdam, namely; between the degrees of latitude 38 and 39 1/2 degrees south until the Lady Nelson made the coast of New Holland in latitude 38 degrees and steering to the eastward along a tract of land nearly four degrees to the westward of any seen by Messieurs Flinders and Bass."
Following the example of many a first discoverer, he ends the account of his voyage with an expression of thankfulness to God for the protection shown him "during the whole passage."
The Lady Nelson's arrival at Sydney gave great satisfaction to the colony, and Colonel Collins remarks that a few such vessels were much needed there in order to obtain a necessary knowledge of the coast. Governor King naturally was most interested in Grant's description of his passage through Bass Strait, and the news that the Lady Nelson had passed deep indentations with beautifully wooded shores and rocky islands lying off them pleased everybody. But King did not conceal his disappointment that her commander had been unable to land anywhere or to penetrate the deep bay called Governor King's Bay. The Admiralty had instructed the Governor to have the whole of the south coast properly charted, and he determined that Grant should return in the Lady Nelson and thoroughly survey it. King also made an eye-sketch of the land, for he saw that Grant's chart was imperfect. For that reason he sent Ensign Barrallier, of the New South Wales Corps, who was a competent surveyor, in the brig, and it is, chiefly, to Barrallier we are indebted for our earliest and most authentic charts of the places which the Lady Nelson visited in the second voyage.
Grant, however, had to contend with many difficulties in both voyages. First and foremost he had to face the risk and dangers of an entirely new coast, and this without a companion ship. King was aware of this for he wrote to Banks: "It is my intention to despatch the Lady Nelson to complete the orders she first sailed with. I also hope to spare a vessel to go with her which will make up for a very great defect which is the utter impossibility of her ever being able to beat off a lee shore." It is, therefore, well to remember that although Grant did not enter Port Phillip he was the first to see the indentation in the coast within which Port Phillip lay hidden.
Grant had been instructed by the Admiralty to join H.M.S. Supply at Sydney. On his arrival he found this ship laid up as a hulk and unfit for sea. He says that he felt completely adrift until Governor King invited him to continue in his position as commander of the Lady Nelson but, in the colonial service and on less pay. As there was no one in the colony then fitted for the post, and as he did not wish the service to suffer from delay, he accepted the offer. Matters being thus arranged he was re-appointed to the Lady Nelson, his new commission dating from January 1st, 1801.
On January 11th Captain Black, from the Cape, arrived in Sydney in the Harbinger, having followed the Lady Nelson through Bass Strait. On his way through the strait Black met with an island which he named King Island in honour of the Governor. Mr. Reid, of the Martha, however, had first discovered it in 1799.
The Margaret, Captain Buyers, from England, was the third vessel to sail through Bass Strait, arriving in Sydney on February 7th, 1801. Buyers fell in with the Australian coast about Cape Bridgewater eastward of where the Lady Nelson had made it and westward of the point reached by the Harbinger.
Governor King allowed Grant the use of Garden Island in Sydney Harbour for the purpose of raising vegetables for his crew, an article of diet of importance to them; and here in "the shell of a tolerable house" was installed Dr. Brandt, who, with his dog and baboon, had joined the Lady Nelson at the Cape of Good Hope.
The chart (Illustration 2.) is a copy of one published in the narrative of Grant's voyage, and his autograph has been reproduced from a logbook at the Record Office.
[Jas Grant autograph facsimile.]
Governor King, in addition to ordering Grant to return and survey the deep bay which he had passed in Bass Strait between Cape Sir William Grant and Wilson's Promontory, instructed him to ascertain the correct latitude of the promontory and of the islands lying off it. He was also told to survey King Island, then to sail to King George's Sound and, in returning to Wilson's Promontory, to make a general survey of the whole of the south coast, going to the head of every inlet as far as possible. Dr. Bass, when discovering Bass Strait, had rounded the promontory and entered a harbour which, as Grant has told us, he named from its relative situation--Western Port. In his journal Grant says that it was reserved for the Lady Nelson to ascertain accurately the extent of Bass Strait, but he did not carry out the whole of King's instructions on this second voyage although his examinations of Jervis Bay and of Western Port proved of great value and added much to the knowledge of both harbours.
"Eye sketch" of the Lady Nelson's track through Bass Strait, drawn by Governor King. Writing of this chart, he says that the longitude in which Lieut. Grant placed Cape Ottway was about a degree and a half in error. He also made the land to trend away on the west side of Cape Otway to a deep bay, which he named Portland Bay. An examination of modern maps will show that the name Portland Bay has been retained for a bay to the westward of Grant's Portland Bay, which is now called Armstrong Bay.
Besides Ensign Barrallier, Mr. Caley, botanist, four soldiers of the New South Wales Corps and two natives (Euranabie and his wife Worogan) went with the expedition, and Mr. John Murray joined the ship as first mate* (* Formerly Master's Mate on board H.M.S. Porpoise.). The Bee, of 15 tons, formerly a ship's launch, was also fitted out to accompany her.
The two ships left Port Jackson on March 8th, Lieutenant Grant particularly wishing to make the examination of Jervis Bay* (* Jervis Bay, named in honour of John Jervis, Lord St. Vincent, was discovered by Lieutenant Richard Bowen in 1791.) on his way southwards in order "to secure a harbour" if obliged to run out of Bass Strait. The Bee, however, did not stay long with the Lady Nelson. On the morning of the 9th the Master hove to and informed Grant that he had shipped much water and that the sea was too heavy for him. Before sending the vessel back to Port Jackson Grant wrote a letter to the Governor at Sydney stating the reason of her return. He placed the letter between two flat pieces of lead, and running close to the Bee threw it on board. The Lady Nelson then continued her voyage, and at 4 P.M. on the 10th sighted the north head of Jervis Bay bearing west-south-west 8 or 9 miles distant. At seven o'clock on the following morning the first mate was sent in the boat to look for an anchorage, and returned at nine with one of the natives, bringing the information that there was good holding ground in the southernmost cove between an island and the main. At half-past ten the Lady Nelson anchored in this cove in four fathoms water, fine sandy bottom, having run over a shallow some four cables' length which was easily distinguished by the colour of the water. The native who came on board was a middle-aged man, stout and muscular, who showed no symptoms of fear. It was evident that he had seen white men before and he often repeated the words "blanket" and "woman."
Grant tells us that he was much surprised at several articles on board particularly the compasses in the binnacle. "On my conducting him down into the cabin and placing him before a looking-glass he expressed wonder by innumerable gestures, attitudes and grimaces. He narrowly examined it to see if any one was behind it; and he did not seem satisfied till I unscrewed it from the place it was fastened to. The sound of a small bugle horn had a very great effect on him, and he endeavoured, by applying it to his own mouth, to make it sound, but without effect...This stranger whom I had placed near the natives of Sydney, sat by them, without saying a word, for about half an hour, soon after the expiration of which time, great familiarity took place betwixt them. It appeared evident to me that...the stranger's attention was directed to the woman, though like the rest of her countrywomen, she was, according to our notions, far from being possessed of any beauty: however, not only this man, but many other natives who visited us at this place, thought her very handsome; nor was I surprised at this when I saw some of the females here...It appeared as if they did not readily understand each other...
"Before we got to an anchor several canoes came round us, in one of which was an old man whose hair had become perfectly white with age, which, joined to his long white beard, made him a very interesting figure. The natives appeared to pay the old man great respect and obedience of which I saw more afterwards...I admitted some of the natives on board but the old man could not be prevailed on to be of the party. They all testified much surprise at what they saw."
The natives of Jervis Bay seemed to be stronger and more athletic than those at Sydney, and in the management of their canoes--they differed from any Grant had ever seen, "particularly in paddling, sometimes making use of an oval piece of bark, and at others, of their hands, sending the canoe along very swiftly by either means. When paddling with the hand they were apt to throw more or less water into the canoe, which, with a small calabash, they dexterously threw out by a backward motion of the other hand without turning their heads." At one end of their canoes he observed two or three wooden pins which he thought were designed to steady their fish-gigs or to receive the heads of their spears.
He tells how the sailors clipped their beards: "From observing the smoothness of our chins, they all expressed a desire to have theirs the same, which some of my people instantly set about, clipping them close with scissors. Not seeing any of these people painted, I was desirous of knowing if they were addicted to it. I accordingly got some red paint which as soon as one of them saw, he immediately made signs for me to rub his nose with it. About our settlements they are often seen with their noses painted with a red gum. They likewise form a circle nearly round their eyes with a whitish clay. The latter, it is said, is by way of mourning for the death of a friend...The women also paint their noses red, and their breasts with a streak of red and white alternately. Having occasion to leave the deck for a while, one of my young men (who had contrived to get hold of some of the vessel's paint pots) very deliberately painted the man (whose nose I had rubbed with red paint) with different colours from head to foot while he grinned his approbation at his own motley appearance. His comrades seemed to enjoy it as much as he did and they quitted the vessel in great glee."
"The Lady Nelson lay abreast of a fine sandy beach suitable for hauling the seine, and the commander's party, which included Mr. Barrallier and the Sydney native, went on shore. A number of blacks immediately surrounded Euranabie and began to converse with him, using many words that seemed to resemble the Sydney dialect, such as 'Bail,' which Grant says signified 'No,' and 'Maun' to take off or carry away. These natives, when the seine was hauled, showed their delight by gathering round and giving their assistance unsolicited. A few large whiting were caught, and except three that were kept back for the white party, were distributed among them.
"Shortly afterwards, other natives arrived who also wished to have some fish, so the nets were cast a second time, and the whole of the catch was handed to them without division."
Their number was so considerable that it was believed that many more were concealed in the bushes...They were all perfectly naked except one young fellow who had a bunch of grass fastened round his waist which came up behind like the tail of a kangaroo. He was very merry, and from his gestures, possessed a keen sense of humour. "He would throw himself into a thousand antic shapes, and afforded no small entertainment."
"Having sent the boat on board with the seine," continues Grant, "I was anxious to get some kangaroos which, from the appearance of the shore, I made no doubt were to be found in plenty. I made signs to the natives for that purpose, and one of them offered his services. We walked towards the end of the beach we were then on, and entered the woods. We saw several parrots and smaller birds of beautiful plumage. Mr. Barrallier fired at one of the latter, which so frightened our guide that he took to his heels and ran back to his companions."
In this excursion the explorers were impressed by the silent grandeur of the forest trees: there was no underwood, but there was excellent grass, from which sprang coveys of quail, or partridges of New Holland.
The trees in general were the tall she-oak so common in the neighbourhood of Sydney.* (* Casuarina suberosa, commonly known as Beefwood.) Grant returned to the beach and went on board to dinner. In the afternoon he again made a party for the shore, consisting of Mr. Barrallier, Mr. Caley, botanist, and two soldiers. They entered the woods at the same place as before, intending to make a circuit back to the boat. Again, beautiful birds were seen, among them, some cockatoos which were perfectly black "excepting the breast and a few feathers on the wing which were yellow." They were so shy that no one could get near them. Other birds were killed--whose flesh, when cooked, was very palatable; that of the parrot resembled our pigeon in taste--"possibly because they feed on seeds of wild plants."
According to Grant, "no country in the world abounds with a greater variety of insects. We saw numbers buzzing about the trees...Having pursued our walk inland we fell in with a swampy land in a valley with much brush wood; a rivulet of excellent fresh water ran briskly through it, emptying itself in the sea near to where I had ordered our boat to haul the seine. We found the track of the natives and fell in with several of their gunnies or habitations. These are constructed with a few boughs stuck up to screen them from the wind; bones of beasts, birds and fish were lying about them. On the return to the boat, Mr. Barrallier shot a large hawk. Our fishing-party had caught some fish, and would have been very successful, but two sharks got into the seine and tore it in several places: they were both brought on shore, one measuring seven feet in length. The liver I ordered to be carried on board, to be boiled for the oil and used in our lamp.
"On the 11th of March, the wind still hanging to the south, I took some hands on shore to cut a boatload of wood and fill our water casks...Messieurs Barrallier and Caley, with two soldiers, accompanied me on another excursion. We took another direction inland...but saw no kangaroos. We met with two small lagoons and several streams of good water running through the thickest part of the woods. In this excursion we saw the Laughing Bird so called from the noise it makes resembling laughter.* (* The Giant Kingfisher or Kookaburra.)
"On our return to the boat we fell in with a spot of ground which appeared to have been selected by the natives for the purposes of festivity. It was a small eminence having no habitation near. We counted the marks of fifteen different fires that had been employed in cooking fish and other eatables, the bones of which were strewed about. Among them we picked up part of a human skull--the os frontis with the sockets of the eyes and part of the bones of the nose still attached to it. A little distance from where we found this we discovered a part of the upper jaw with one of the molars or back teeth in it, also one of the vertebrae of the back having marks of fire which the others had not.
"The grass was much trodden down, and many of the bones of the animals eaten appeared fresh...I brought off the human bones and on getting on board showed them to Euranabie. Finding two of the natives from the shore in the vessel, I desired him to ask them whether these bones belonged to a white man or not, and if they had killed and eaten him. I was anxious to have this cleared up, as the ship Sydney Cove from India to Port Jackson had been wrecked about twelve months before to the southward and it was reported that some of the crew were killed by the natives near this place."* (* The Sydney Cove from Bengal to New South Wales was wrecked on Preservation Island, Tasmania, on 8th February, 1797. Her long-boat was equipped and despatched on 27th February to Sydney, but the boat filled and went to pieces at a spot called Ninety Mile beach. Out of the crew of seventeen, who started to walk to Port Jackson, only three lived to reach their destination--some dying of fatigue and hunger, the others were murdered by the natives.)
Euranabie, who spoke English, made inquiries, and a soldier who understood the Sydney dialect, also endeavoured to extract the truth regarding the bones, from the two black fellows, who said that they were those of a white man that had come in a canoe from the southward where the ship "tumble down," meaning that it had been wrecked. Lieutenant Grant also questioned Worogan, and was informed that "the bush natives (who appeared to be a different tribe of people from those that lived by the seaside) did eat human flesh."
He now prepared to leave the port. "On the 12th, we got into a clean berth for getting under weigh, but in the morning the wind being variable and light we were prevented sailing. I went on shore with Mr. Barrallier to make a survey of the cove we were lying in. When preparing to return to the vessel we were joined by several natives who appeared anxious to go on board with us. Two of these were strangers who signified that they had come a long way to see us and that they were very hungry. They were both young, stout men with longer hair than the natives generally.
"In the afternoon...it was needless to attempt sailing till the wind abated. I therefore proposed to survey...the western side of the island which lies in the mouth of the harbour and shelters the cove from easterly winds. This island I named Ann's Island, in compliment to Mrs. King, the wife of the Governor.
"In putting the surveying instruments into the boat the chain was found missing; we were of opinion it had been left on shore by the soldiers who carried it in measuring the distances. A boat with one of them was sent on shore. After a fruitless search they were returning when a canoe put off from the island with a man in it who held up the chain in his hand. The boat's crew brought him on board to me. On looking at the chain it was made up in the usual way...and tied with a piece of string; but in undoing it I found that the natives had untwisted every bend of the wires which contained the brass markers and after taking them off bent the wires back into their original form, with this difference, that they placed the end which is carried in the hand in the middle. This was the first instance I had experienced of their pilfering anything and I did not chuse to proceed to extremities. I gave the native a blanket and some biscuits and the mate gave him an old hat.
"We got into the boat to prosecute the intention of surveying the island...the native with us, towing his canoe astern. On landing we were joined by a great number of natives who seemed glad that the man had been rewarded for carrying back the chain. The blanket attracted their notice much, the use of which they appeared to know. The old man whom I formerly mentioned was among them; he made signs for me to sit down at a distance from the rest and by pointing to his white beard signified a wish to have it cut off, which I immediately did with a pair of scissors, and he expressed much satisfaction at being rid of it."
Observing some of their women in the distance and wishing to see what they were like, signs were made to the old man to ask them to come nearer. He called to them, whereupon they seated themselves close to the visitors. They seemed nervous as the white men approached them, but when the old chief spoke to them sat down again composedly. One of them had fastened to the neck of her child a brass marker which had been taken from the stolen chain. Grant says: "They examined my buttons and the head of my dirk and seemed much surprised at my watch chain which I began to think they had an inclination for, but I was soon relieved on pulling out my watch. They did not seem to like it and talked very gravely among themselves; they were all anxious to listen to the noise of the watch, yet they would pull their ear from it and look at the watch with symptoms of fear...and then return to it again. I attempted to point out the use of it and pointed to the sun, but I am led to think that they believed it to be something we worshipped. The old man particularly pointed to the sun and appeared anxious to know more of it."
A boy about twelve years of age who was a little deformed, carried a sharp pointed stick in his hand which was the only weapon of defence seen but it was soon perceived that they had weapons not far distant. The Lady Nelson's commander by signs told the chief that he wanted fresh water. "The old native readily understood and getting up made me follow him to the side of a hill where some water had settled, but it not appearing to be from a spring, I expressed my desire to be taken to a rivulet. A native stept forward, as I supposed, to show me, but on my following him he turned back and left us. Thinking from the direction we were in that water was not far distant I took one of my men with me to whom I gave my fowling-piece to carry...We saw another native a little way before us to whom I signified what I wanted." As Grant approached, this native, by a sudden jerk of the foot, raised and caught up in his hand a spear; the weapon rose within six inches of the Lieutenant's face and caused him to turn and grasp his gun from his attendant. The native, however, merely put the spear on his shoulder and walking leisurely towards a cliff stood looking at the sea. It was not supposed anything hostile was meant but the action showed that the natives had weapons concealed.
"At 5 A.M. of the 13th, we weighed anchor with light variable airs and got clear out of the cove by ten, when we found a moderate breeze from north-east, and we made all possible sail to the southward."
Grant then gives his opinion of Jervis Bay, a place destined to be much more important in the future of the continent, as it will serve as port to Canberra, the seat of the Australian Government. "It is worthy of remark that Jarvis's Bay* (* i.e. Jervis Bay.) or sound is large, commodious and easy of access, affording shelter from all winds and having room for upwards of 200 sail of ships with plenty of wood and water. When this bay comes to be more known, it will be found eligible for vessels bound to Port Jackson after a long passage from England...and will be the means of saving many lives."
From Jervis Bay the Lady Nelson continued her voyage southwards and, on the 19th of March, off Point Hicks, she met with a strange sail which proved to be the ship Britannia, Captain Turnbull, from England, bound for the whale fishery. She was going to Sydney to refit, and thus gave Grant an opportunity to send a letter to Governor King. He wrote as follows:
POINT HICKS, NORTH BY EAST 12 MILES.
"18th March, 1801.
"SIR,--Seeing a vessel to windward, and judging you would wish to hear of us...I sit down to write you a few lines before she joins us, as I suppose she is bound to Sydney, and from her situation, I presume she is one more who has come through the Straits. The Bee, no doubt, has arrived long ere now. I, on the Tuesday morning after she parted, got safely into Jarvis's Bay, and sailed early on Friday with the wind at the north-east which only lasted 30 hours so that we have been nearly 5 days beating in sight of Cape Howe and could not weather it, the wind being now south but moderate.
"During our stay in Jarvis's Bay we were by no means idle, which you will be convinced of, I hope, when we arrive. The weather I have had these 5 days convinces me that the Bee would have been a very great retard to us...for the sea here, when it blows hard (owing, I presume, to the current setting strong against the wind) makes it run confused and break much...Mr. Barrallier has got nearly well of his seasickness and we have had the azimuth compass to work, which he now understands thoroughly. Murray is well, and all my people are comfortable and happy.--I am etc. JAS. GRANT."
On their parting, the Britannia steered to Sydney, while the Lady Nelson stood to the southward, meeting with a southerly wind and being so retarded that it was 8 A.M. on the 21st before Wilson's Promontory was sighted. When close to the rock which he had named Rodondo, Grant observed the latitude to be south 39 degrees 4 minutes.* (* The latitude of Wilson's Promontory is 39 degrees 7 minutes 55 seconds and the longitude 146 degrees 25 minutes east. In the log, Lieutenant Grant gives the former as 38 degrees 59 minutes and longitude 146 degrees 6 minutes east.) From Wilson's Promontory, the land sloped to the north-north-west as far as eye could reach, becoming low and level towards Cape Liptrap and from Glennie's Islands. The Lady Nelson now followed the coast towards Western Port. On the way her commander named a point Cape Paterson in honour of Colonel Paterson of the New South Wales Corps.
He thus describes the manner of his coming to Western Port: "At 4 P.M. of the 21st we had sight of the island which forms the south head of Western Port having the likeness of a snapper's head or horseman's helmet. By eight we were up with it. On opening the entrance of the port I found two small islands situated about three quarters of a mile from the South Head with apparently a good passage between them and the island forming the harbour. From its likeness, as above mentioned, to a snapper's head, I named it Snapper Island.* (* The Phillip Island of Bass which even at that time was called Phillip Island, a name it is still known by. Its eastern extremity resembled the head of a snapper and was known as Snapper Head. Bass himself had, in discovering the Strait, noticed the resemblance.) It falls in a high clay bluff down to the water's edge. The small islands lying off it were covered with seals, numbers of which, on our approach, precipitated themselves into the sea, covering the passage, while others remained on the rocks making a very disagreeable noise, something like the grunting of pigs. They were of a large size, many of them being nearly equal to a bullock. I judged them to be of that species of seal called by fishermen sea elephants, accordingly I named these islands, Seal Islands. I sent a boat ahead to sound...and found between the Seal Islands and the South Head, 12, 9, 6, 5 and 3 1/2 fathoms of water which last was shoaled in mid channel. This passage will shorten the distance when there is a leading wind but standing round to the westward of Seal Islands there will be found sufficient room for any number of vessels to beat in. Mr. Bass, when he visited this place in the whale boat, entered the port by the eastern passage which is much the smallest, and coasting the western shore, from whence he made his remarks. It is probable that these islands, lying so close to the western side of him, did not show themselves to be detached...It had rained constantly and heavily all night and...we could not see any great distance from the vessel therefore I kept the lead going as she worked up the harbour."
At half-past five she was "brought to" opposite to a sandy point which he named Lady Nelson's Point "as a memorial of the vessel as she was the first decked one that ever entered this port...Mr. Barrallier went on shore with the second mate. They saw black swans and redbills, an aquatic bird so called whose back is black, breast white, beak red and feet not fully webbed. On Sunday 22nd or, according to our sea account the 23rd at noon, I went with two of our crew in the smallest boat to search for a river or stream described by Mr. Bass."
[Note: Illustration 4, described in List of Illustrations as being after Page 48, was missing from the book.--CHART OF WESTERN PORT SURVEYED BY ENSIGN BARRALLIER IN 1801]
In proceeding along the shore Grant passed a muddy flat, and fell in with an island* (* The log says this island bore north-north-west, 2 miles.) "separated from the main by a very narrow channel at low water."...On this he landed. "The situation of it was so pleasant that this together with the richness of the spot made me conceive the idea that it was excellently adapted for a garden." The island was called Churchill's Island after John Churchill, Esquire, of Dawlish, in the county of Devon, who, when the Lady Nelson left England, had given her commander vegetable seeds, the stones of peaches, and the pips of several sorts of apples, telling him "to plant them for the future benefit of our fellow-men, be they countrymen, Europeans or savages." Captain Schanck had also supplied him with seeds. A very rare apple, having seldom more than one pip in each fruit, was named by Grant "Lady Elizabeth Percy's Apple," because, "it was owing to her Ladyship's care and attention in preparing the pepins that I was enabled to introduce it."
On this day several good observations were obtained. Grant placed Western Port in latitude 38 degrees 32 minutes south and (by chronometer) in 146 degrees 19 minutes east of Greenwich. He did not, however, discover the stream for which he was looking. On the following morning the second mate (Mr. Bowen) tried to find the stream but was also unsuccessful. During his absence the Commander explored the banks of a creek "which opened abreast of the vessel" and Barrallier and Murray surveyed the harbour while Caley searched for new plants wandering as far as Snapper Island. Barrallier and Grant also made collections but Governor King afterwards wrote that "Caley received everything they found--and refused to give up or part with a duplicate."
Wet weather set in until the 25th. The day following, search was again made for fresh water, and Grant went up the creek which was found to terminate in a salt marsh. The trees on the bank were not large but the underwood was thick. He penetrated inland for some distance and saw spots "as if cleared by manual labour...covered with good tender grass," a delightful sight to him. The open land had the appearance of being frequently overflowed and he thought it was well adapted for the purpose of fattening cattle; numbers of black swans and other water-fowl were seen in the creek, the length of which was about two miles and a half, its waters, which were salt, ended in a small run some 12 feet in breadth. It was Bowen, the second mate, who at length found the fresh-water stream originally discovered by Bass, and on the same day he captured a couple of cygnets one of which was presented to the Governor at Sydney.
On 27th March, Murray accompanied by Barrallier and Caley set out to explore the stream. They went up its windings as far as possible passing no less than 42 short reaches. Its breadth at the entrance was about half a cable's length and at the farthest part reached by the boat not more than 18 or 20 feet, the passage being there impeded by trees lying across it.
While his party were exploring, the commander with Euranabie made excursions along the shore to the mouth of the harbour. "The beach was covered with shells, many of them beautiful and some of them entirely new to me. I observed another creek not so large as the former which I have described but having its entrance quite filled up...so that the sea could not enter it...the land in general was above the level of the sea and the soil was in some places light and black, in others a red clay. We fell in with a rocky point about which I observed playing in the water a number of fishes called salmon in New Holland. I expressed a desire to the native of having some...and no sooner expressed my wish than I missed my companion from behind me. I halloed...upon which he instantly presented himself from the wood with a small stick in his hand. Asking for my knife he presently sharpened one end to a point and then, stripping himself, he leaped from one point of the rock to another until he met with an opportunity of striking a fish which he did, the stick penetrating right through it. I could not but admire the keenness of his sight and his ability to preserve the steadiness of his position, standing as he did on the rough edge of a sharp rock, the sea washing above his knees, his eyes intent on the fish, very difficult to strike from the smallness of its size, presented to him in a narrow back. Though I pressed him to take the fish several times he constantly refused it but accepted some tobacco."
Next day Grant went on shore at Churchill's Island with a party to clear a space for a garden. Some twenty rods were burnt after the larger trees had been felled. The soil on the island was found to be rich and loose and easy to dig. On the 29th Murray was sent to ascertain particulars "respecting the entrance of the port and with regard to Seal Islands" on which he was instructed to land. Barrallier accompanied him. Soon after their departure bad weather set in which prevented their landing. They eventually anchored off a sandy beach which appeared to have no surf, but were suddenly surprised by a heavy swelling sea that rolled upon it, followed by another which filled the boat, upsetting it upon the beach. Fortunately no lives were lost though all "were immersed in the water from which the native Euranabie...first escaped to shore." The provisions, however, and the ammunition were lost or spoiled. At turn of tide they launched the boat and returned on board. A black swan and four ducks, which they had shot on their way out, afforded a savoury meal for those in the ship.
On the 31st the commander went up the freshwater river with Mr. Barrallier.* (* This river had already been seen by Mr. Bowen.) At night they encamped on its banks when there came on an exceeding heavy storm of rain with thunder and lightning and high wind. They traced a branch of the river on the right as far as their boat could go and then followed its course on shore along the bank and found it was fed by the greater river only. This carried them inland and they discovered marks of fires made by the natives. The log book records that they met none of the blacks at any place though there were native dog tracks in abundance. "Towards the end of this branching stream the country appeared to afford plots of very rich pasture. At some considerable distance the land rose to a height, and being covered with large trees which appeared to have been shattered by storms had for this reason obtained the name of Mount Rugged. We marched pretty far inland and found the country everywhere free from inundations and exhibiting a very picturesque appearance. The day was remarkably fine but in the woods the air was close and disagreeably sultry. My people had killed a small black snake...the same kind...is common about Sydney. We pursued our course up the river and Mr. Barrallier completed his survey."
The water in the river was found to be good and perfectly sweet, and the casks were filled. Among the birds seen was a bell-bird which has "no remarkable plumage but a note not unlike the tinkling of a bell, so that when a number of these birds are collected together the noise they make is similar to that made by the bells of a team of horses." The laughing-bird (whose note can only be compared to the ha! ha! ha! of a hearty laughing companion) was the first to salute the explorers in the morning. The whistling duck, so called because of the whistling noise made with its wings when flying, was shot here, and a grey parrot was caught alive. Mr. Barrallier shot a rare cockatoo.* (* It was stuffed and afterwards given to General Davies, R.A., by Governor King.) The wet weather afterwards gave little chance of meeting with birds, and the explorers made their way through the woods until they reached an extensive level country. This plain extended out of their sight on the one side and on the other was bounded by hills. Paths beaten down by kangaroos crossed and recrossed it. The face of the country was almost everywhere level and productive, free from swamp and secured from inundation.
Grant thus describes the journey back to the ship: "We returned to the river-side and ordered the boat to drop lower down a few miles through a forest of stately timber trees. I had a few of them cut down and brought on board...I brought Governor King specimens of light woods and a species of sassafras discovered by my second mate...On our way down the river we stopped at the place where we had passed the preceding night and found our fire still burning. To this spot we gave the name of The Halfway House, being halfway up the river."
The commander now revisited Churchill's Island: "I found my people had cleared the spot I had laid out for a garden, and that there was nothing wanting but to prepare the ground to receive such seeds as I should choose to plant...It was no easy matter...for we had neither hoe nor spade with us...however, we were in possession of a coal shovel which, though it was thin and much worn, served the purpose.
"My men, who slept on the ground they had cleared...in a hut built for the occasion, informed me that one of their comrades was awakened out of his sleep by some animal that seemed to be gnawing his hair. He supposed it to be the bandicoot rat. I sent on board for a dog which we had brought with us from Sydney. This dog remained with the people on the island, and, as they reported to me, was one night engaged with some animal apparently of equal strength, for it brought him to the ground and made him howl...The ground was now prepared and I sowed my several sorts of seeds, wheat, Indian corn, and peas, some grains of rice and some coffee berries; and I did not forget to plant potatoes. With the trunks of the trees I felled I raised a block house of 24 feet by 12 which will probably remain some years, the supporters being well fixed in the earth."
Full of enthusiasm regarding his visit in general, Grant is more so about Churchill's Island: "I scarcely know a place I should sooner call mine than this little island." And he also tells how he planted the stones of fruit trees round the hut which his men had built there. Of the traces of iron seen, he adds: "We turned up a few stones and some interspersed with veins of iron ore, indeed so rich in metal that they had a visible effect on the needle of our compass; stones of a like kind are found about Sydney." In the pages of his journal and also of his log he describes very minutely the manner in which European seeds were first sown in the soil of the British colony of Victoria. That they were successfully planted we learn from a subsequent page in Murray's log when he, in command of the Lady Nelson, visited the same spot.
To return to the narrative. "On the 12th* (* In the narrative, through a printer's error, this date appears as 21st.) of April Mr. Bowen, while seeking for water in the ship's launch, discovered near the mouth of the freshwater river part of a canoe which had sunk near the mouth. He brought it back to the ship together with two paddles and some fishing line." The canoe differed greatly from those made by the natives of Port Jackson, being framed out of timber, and instead of being tied together at the ends "was left open, the space being afterwards filled with grass worked up with strong clay."
At the termination of the voyage, it was handed over, along with the other specimens collected, to Governor King.
The Lady Nelson now changed her berth and moored close by the opposite shore, "in order to be near a small island lying in the opening of the extensive arms described by Mr. Bass of which this port has two branching out to the northward." Grant named this island Margaret Island in honour of Mrs. Schanck who had given him several articles which proved useful on board the Lady Nelson.
CHART OF BASS STRAIT SHOWING THE DISCOVERIES MADE BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 1800 AND MARCH 1802
Drawn by Ensign Barrallier, New South Wales Corps, under the direction of Captain P.G. King, Governor of New South Wales." This chart is generally referred to as "Barrallier's Combined Chart." King doubtless alludes to it when writing to the Duke of Portland in May 1802. See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 761.)
The tide ebbing very fast, the brig was soon in shoal water, but the bottom being a soft mud and the weather calm there was no danger to be apprehended, yet, says Grant: "As I am no friend to vessels being on the ground by carrying out a hawser I soon hauled her off and brought yet her nearer to Margaret's Island. We found this island to be in general flat, but well covered with wood. Here we deposited some seeds but did not find the soil equally rich with that of Churchill's Island." Having lost some of their drinking water, the Commander writes: "Luckily I heard the bullfrog, which is common in New South Wales, and I made towards the thicket from whence his croaking issued and there found a present supply. This arm reminded me of the appearance of Porchester Lake when the tide is out. Indeed the entire view of Western Port has no small resemblance to Spithead and Portsmouth Harbour. On the 17th we got under weigh and at night brought up in 12 fathoms water with rather a foul bottom. In the morning we discovered a sand shoal whereon the waves were breaking very heavily close to us...We shifted our berth and brought up in a small nook or bay which I named Elizabeth Cove in honour of Miss Elizabeth King, daughter of Governor King, then at Sydney." The greater part of Grant's survey of Western Port was completed by April 22nd, but the Lady Nelson was detained there by bad weather until the 29th, when, at break of day, she weighed and stood out of the port, passing to the westward of Seal Islands.
Grant then proceeded to make a survey of the coast from Western Port eastward as far as Wilson's Promontory, which he says he carried out for a distance of seventy miles, but winter being now advanced little more could be done in the way of surveying, and as the wet weather was prejudicial to the instruments, he resolved to make the best of his way to Sydney; bad weather caused the ship to put into Botany Bay, but she eventually arrived on May 14th, 1801.
On his return to Sydney Grant refers to the good health of those on board: "I had not from the time of my departure a sick man among my ship's company, one man only excepted, whose skull had been fractured." He also tells us that while in Botany Bay he had the satisfaction of receiving a letter from Governor King, in which he expressed himself well pleased with what had been done.
We know that the Governor was keenly disappointed that Grant had failed for the second time to explore Governor King's Bay and to fulfil other duties which had been expected of him. The voyage, however, must have had its compensations, as Barrallier was able not only to survey Jervis Bay and Western Port (the map of the former is not at the Admiralty), but also to obtain much of the information contained in the combined chart of his "discoveries made in Bass Strait up to March 1802," reproduced above.
THE EARLIEST CHART OF KING ISLAND
(CHART OF KING'S ISLAND IN BASS'S STRAIT. This earliest chart of King Island was drawn by Alexander Dalrymple from a sketch made by Flinders of Murray's original chart. Flinders added to it the west coast unseen by Murray, though it had been sighted by both Black and Buyers. The details given by Flinders were supplied by William Campbell, master of the Harrington, who, in March 1802, found a quantity of wreckage there. Nothing remained to show the name of the lost vessel, nor was any clue subsequently discovered by which she could be identified. The Harrington lay at anchor at New Year's Isles for over two months, but could not trace the nationality of the vessel or her crew except in the language of the Harrington's captain, "one dead English cat." See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 780.)
During the month of May the Lady Nelson became more closely associated with the town of Sydney, with whose fortunes her own were ever afterwards identified.* (* The Lady Nelson was borne as a contingent expense of the colony from the time of her arrival at Sydney until the 16th October, 1802, then as tender to H.M.S. Buffalo by order of the Admiralty. See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 901.) From Sydney she set forth on her many voyages of exploration, and to Sydney she returned. In many an old print she is depicted lying at anchor there almost alone--a small ship in a great harbour--with the Union Jack flying at her stern, and in the small Sydney newspapers of those early times her comings and goings are recorded, and her discoveries related with the keenest interest.
By the Governor's command May 28th, 1801, being the King's birthday, was observed as a holiday. It was a memorable occasion, for on that day the Royal Proclamation announcing the Union between Great Britain and Ireland was read in public by the Provost Marshal. At sunrise the old Union Jack was hoisted as usual, but at a quarter to nine it was hauled down and the new Union run up at Dawes Battery and on board the Lady Nelson to the accompaniment of salutes from the battery and from the brig.
Shortly afterwards Grant received orders to take Colonel Paterson, the Lieutenant-Governor, to Hunter River, then better known as Coal River.* (* From the abundance of coal found on its banks. Flinders says its native name was Yohaaba. The Hunter River was discovered and named by Mr. Shortland in 1797.) The object of the voyage was to make a survey of the river and to gain some knowledge of its natural productions, for at this time much of the coast, both to the north and to the south, was chiefly known from Cook's chart, and the geography of the more distant parts, marked but not explored by him, was still as he had left it. Governor King was also anxious that the Lady Nelson should discover a passage at Port Stephens (called by the natives Yacaaba), and wrote to Paterson requesting him to complete the exploration of this port before September, "for," he said, "it will then be necessary to despatch Her Ladyship (i.e. the Lady Nelson) to the southward."* (* This particular voyage to Port Stephens does not appear to have been carried out, for in August the brig was "refitting." (See Historical Records of New South Wales.) The Francis, schooner, was equipped to accompany the Lady Nelson, and orders were given that the schooner should be loaded with coals immediately on her arrival at the Hunter River and sent back to Sydney without delay. Dr. Harris and Ensign Barrallier of the New South Wales Corps (who were appointed to execute the survey) accompanied Colonel Paterson. A number of workmen and labourers were also received on board together with a native of Rose Bay named Bungaree.
The Lady Nelson left the harbour on June 10th, and as she passed out between the Heads, met the ship Cornwallis inward bound from England. On June 11th she made North Head of Broken Bay distant 10 or 12 miles.
On the next day the weather was variable, but as there was a Sydney pilot on board Grant thought that the ship would be safe in his hands. The man, however, mistook his course at a place called Reid's Mistake, which lies to the northward of Broken Bay. He imagined that he had arrived at Hunter River, and was not convinced of his error till the vessel was within half a mile of an island at the entrance.* (* Reid's Mistake was so called because a seaman of that name had previously made a similar error, and lost his ship there. The island lies at the entrance of Lake Macquarie (and still bears the name). The wrecked vessel was the Martha, 30 tons, and doubtless was the ship which first saw King Island in 1799.)
Here, as the Lady Nelson was in 17 fathoms water, and the weather was fair, a boat was lowered and Dr. Harris was sent to explore the place. On his return the doctor reported that there was not the least sign of a river here, but that the sea broke heavily over an inlet behind the island. He brought with him a native, who on first seeing the boat had run towards it crying out alternately "Whale boat" and "Budgeree (i.e. good) Dick." It was supposed that this native had been given this name by some of the people sent in search of the convicts who had run away with the Norfolk. Be this as it may, Budgeree Dick had some fish with him, which he threw into the bottom of the boat, and then without the least hesitation jumped in himself. As soon as he had got on board the brig he continued to cry incessantly, "Whale boat, Whale boat." In order to find out his meaning he was introduced to the Sydney native Bungaree, who was directed to question the visitor. Bungaree, by signs, invited him to sit down, an invitation, observes Grant, which, according to native ideas, "implied that a stranger was received with friendship." But it was useless to ask Bungaree to proceed with his inquiries, for another item of etiquette demanded that a profound silence should follow, which lasted for twenty minutes. By degrees the two black men entered into conversation, drawing nearer to one another as they began to talk. The information sought was not obtained, and it was inferred that they did not well understand each other's language.
The ship got under way about 3 P.M., and two hours later another high perpendicular island bearing north 8 or 9 miles came into view. It was thought to be the real entrance of Hunter's River. At half-past ten, in company with Dr. Harris, the Commander went in a boat to discover if it was their port of destination. The entrance was narrow with a heavy sea running through it. It had a reef on one side, over which broke a very heavy surf, and on the other side were some sand-breakers. At one time Grant put the boat's head round to the swell and "pulled out," but the risk of bringing in the two ships without knowing the size of the channel made him determine to ascertain it, and accordingly he pulled through and found from 5 to 4 and 3 1/2 fathoms close to the island. It was high water when he landed with a party on the island and climbed to the top of its steep side. The side near the entrance was covered with grass, although everywhere else the island was perpendicular and crumbled away by degrees into the sea. From the highest point a beautiful view of Hunter's River, and of the surrounding islands was obtained. Here Lieutenant Grant hoisted the Union Jack as a signal to the vessels that this was the right entrance to the river. He thought, as have most people since, that this island had been separated from the mainland "by some violent convulsion of nature." It was named Coal Island by Colonel Paterson, but is now known as the Nobbys. The commander's journal tells how plentiful wood and coal were on the mainland, and thus describes his coming:--
"We returned on board and set about towing and sweeping her in with all possible dispatch. At noon the latitude was by observation 32 degrees 57 minutes 34 seconds south, the island which we named Coal Island bearing west-north-west distant 3 or 4 miles. By the time we approached the entrance the ebb had set strong out and ran with much force; however, by dint of warping we brought up under the island for the night within pistol shot of the shore. At daylight we proceeded up to a saw pit (made for the purpose of cutting cedar of a large size and excellent quality, which is growing in abundance on the banks of the river) and came to abreast of it in 3 fathoms water, steadying the vessel by a hawser made fast to a tree on the shore. The harbour is of several miles extent and capable of containing many sail of shipping, and well sheltered from every wind that blows.
THE LADY NELSON AND THE FRANCIS SCHOONER ENTERING HUNTER RIVER
"We immediately set about making the different arrangements for completing the objects of our voyage. The Colonel and I went on shore to examine the different strata of coals, taking with us a miner who pointed them out to us very distinctly. We found them running from side to side of the mountain of various qualities and degrees of thickness. At low water coals proper for fuel were to be gathered up from the reef before-mentioned, and when the tide was up we could work a pier. Accordingly, having orders to load the schooner...with coals and wood, I had the satisfaction to see her sail with a cargo of both on June 26th, eleven days after her arrival.
"It may be imagined that coals were found in great plenty when I mention that the schooner sailed with forty tons, and that we had only one man employed to dig the mine. The spot where these coals are found is clear of trees or bush for the space of many acres, which are covered with a short tender grass very proper for grazing sheep, the ground rising with a gradual ascent intersected with valleys on which wood grows in plenty, sheltered from the winds, forming the most delightful prospect. This place might serve as a station for the woodcutters and colliers.* (* The point of land where the colliers were put to work was named Collier's Point by Colonel Paterson. Newcastle now stands on this site.) It affords pasture for sheep, its soil in general being good...Dr. Harris and Mr. Barrallier penetrated to some distance inland and met a native who followed them for some time and left them. Our native Dick also thought proper to leave us in an excursion we made with him into the country. Colonel Paterson discovered some copper and iron ores, the latter strongly impregnated and rich in metal. The seine was hauled and plenty of excellent fish caught, particularly mullet, with a fish much resembling the herring which I am inclined to think go in shoals. On an island in the harbour a tree is found, the quality of whose timber much resembles that of the ash, and from the great numbers growing there has given this name to the island.
"Of this timber I had orders to send a quantity to Sydney, and had brought out sawyers for that purpose, but as every object could not be at once accomplished they were employed in the meantime in cutting down and sawing into planks a tree, the bark of which is much like cork. The timber...is light, close, and durable, and promises to stand against the effects of worms on the bottoms of vessels. I had a boat built of this wood which proved it to be good...this wood has much the resemblance of wainscot with us.
"Mr. Barrallier's survey was all this time going on. Nearly abreast of the vessel was a creek which Colonel Paterson and I penetrated for a considerable way. On its banks we found part of a net made of strong grass, apparently the work of a European. We likewise found marks of fires having been lighted there, and in the stream the remains of a weir, the work of the native inhabitants...We concluded the net had belonged to the unfortunate men who ran away with the Norfolk...On examining Ash Island we found many large timber trees intermixed with ash, one of which I took on board...it has much the likeness of hickory. I found several other woods, some of them light and pretty, and in particular a tree, the leaves of which sting like nettles. This acquired from us the name of Nettle Tree."
The native, Budgeree Dick, now reappeared after 48 hours' absence, with two companions. One had been at Sydney and was known to Colonel Paterson, with whom he was able to converse. Fires and occasionally the natives themselves were observed opposite to Ash Island. A party from the ship went up an arm of the river in order to try and meet with them, but were disappointed, as at the entrance there was barely water for the boat. The opposite (or north) shore to which they now proceeded was found to be full of flats and shoals over many of which the boat had to be dragged. Between these flats were gullies of deep water, but there was no regular channel. Here the trees were encrusted with oysters, and the shore covered to a great depth with oyster shells. The work was vigorously pushed forward. Some woodmen were placed on Ash Island to fell and saw timber. They took a week's provisions, arms, and ammunition, and were warned to guard against an attack by the crew of the Norfolk or by the natives. Meanwhile the commander and Paterson visited the coal mine and found veins of coal of excellent quality, and among the rocks what is known as "liver of iron." They also saw strange birds, as well as the wild or native cat, which has been such a pest ever since in most parts of Australia.
On June 22nd Colonel Paterson took some men, one of whom was a miner, to look for coal on the island, while Grant and Barrallier with Dr. Harris sounded the entrance of the harbour. The coal found on the island proved to be of an inferior kind. On his way back to the ship, Lieutenant Grant met a stranger named John Loft, who had been wrecked out of a boat belonging to Mr. Underwood of Sydney. She was cast on shore to the northward of Port Stephens, and he had been thirty-two days in travelling to this place from there. He had had two companions, one of whom, he said, was killed by the natives, the other had eaten a toad fish and died. The emotions that he felt on meeting his countrymen can be better imagined than described. "The laugh and the tear had their repeated place in turns, and his first utterance was, 'I am starving with hunger.'"
On the 23rd Mr. Barrallier and the second mate met a native in the woods whom they brought on board. "He was a little elderly man, strait made, and spoke not one syllable that was intelligible." His legs and arms bore no proportion in length to the rest of his body, and his manner of ascending the ship's ladder was remarkable and proved that he was much accustomed to climbing. His method was "to stretch out his arms as far as he could reach and then bring his feet to the same place with a jerk." Grant says: "He spoke a jargon of simple sounds as I particularly observed only a few words that came from him were composed of more than one syllable. He could eat nothing; but upon two crows, which some of the people had shot, being given him, he stuffed them in the fire feathers and all. which after burning off and heating them a little he ate...The Colonel gave him a tomahawk which he seemed pleased with and showed that he understood the use of it. He was put on shore near the place where they met him...He was quite naked and had no ornament through the cartilage of his nose. Colonel Paterson declared that he had never met a native who differed so widely from the rest of the New Hollanders." Before he disappeared he gave the boat's crew an exhibition of his climbing powers, for they pointed to a tree, making signs that they wished to see him climb it. This he quickly did, first cutting a notch with the axe and continuing thus to make footholds until he nimbly reached the top--the tree being without branches to a height of 40 feet. About this time there appeared a small party of woodmen who had been sent to cut cedar for Mr. Palmer. These men had intended returning to Sydney, having run short of provisions, but seeing the Lady Nelson they joined her.
On June 28 the Lady Nelson advanced up the river and moored in one of its branches about 6 miles from the entrance, Mr. Barrallier surveying while Colonel Paterson with Dr. Harris and Mr. Lewin (the artist who had joined the Lady Nelson after the sailing of the Francis) went in the launch to examine the river and inspect the country.
On the 7th the Commander himself in company with Mr. Barrallier set off to join Paterson. They found the country level and swampy near the river, but with delightful views in the distance. "The river took a serpentine course, and for many miles appeared to be as broad as the Thames at Kingston. From the marks on the trees it would seem that it is subject to be greatly overflowed at times. The cedar (or rather the mahogany of New Holland) appeared to have been immersed in water to the height of 50 or 60 feet. On our way up we landed at a small creek which we traced for a considerable distance coming to a gradual ascent covered with the most luxuriant grass. There was an extensive view from this height of a fine champain country. I named the eminence Mount Egerton after a seat belonging to the Duke of Bridgewater. In the evening we found by the sound of the bugle that we had reached the Colonel's headquarters. We answered the welcome signal and before it was quite dark we joined them.
"The Colonel had erected a comfortable hut. The cedar grew here in great plenty, and Mr. Palmer's party sawed many fine planks from these trees. Colonel Paterson, Dr. Harris, Mr. Barrallier and myself penetrated 30 miles farther up the river in the course of which we met with many rapids which obliged us to get out and drag the boats up. We had hitherto seen none of the natives, but discovered places where they had been by the marks of their fires. We now descried some of them at a distance, who fled on our approach. We came to a spot which they had just quitted and observed the marks of children's feet. The ground was covered with freshwater shells of the sort found in the rivers of England and Scotland and called the horse mussel, having sometimes small pearls in them.
COAL HARBOUR (NEWCASTLE, NEW SOUTH WALES), SURVEYED BY ENSIGN BARRALLIER IN 1801
"We ascended two heights which commanded views of the country for several miles on every side. To one, Colonel Paterson gave the name of Ann's Mountain after Mrs. King, the other he called Elizabeth's Mountain, that being the Christian name of Mrs. Paterson. We now found that we had got behind the range of mountains extending along the coast to the south and west. We likewise saw the coast of Port Stephens and the chain of hills inland stretching in a direction towards the north-east. Between us and the hills was a space perfectly level for many miles, and to appearance swampy. The land on the south side of the river was interspersed with lagoons on which we killed some ducks but found them very shy. The country seemed not to be destitute of inhabitants, some of whom we descried at a distance. The river here meandered so greatly that to have pursued its course the boats must have been pulled a whole day to have gained a direct distance of four or five miles from our present station.
"The time limited for our departure for Sydney approaching very fast and the survey still to be made not being less than 70 miles up the river, it was judged prudent not to proceed any further. Passing the night upon the banks of the river we descended it the next day to our former rendezvous, Schanck Forest, Pasture Plains, where preparations were made for a general embarkation.
"The next morning I left Colonel Paterson in company of Mr. Barrallier, who then proceeded on the survey of the river. On our passage down it, we saw several natives with their canoes...In many of them we saw fires, and in some of them observed that kind of eatable to which they give the name of cabra.* (* Teredo.) It appears to be abominably filthy; however, when dressed, it is not disagreeable to the taste. The cabra is a species of worm which breeds in the wood that happens to be immersed in water, and are found in such parts of the river wherein trees have fallen. They grow to a great size and soon reduce timber to the appearance of a honeycomb. They are of a glutinous substance, and after being put on the fire harden to the consistence of the spinal marrow of animals. When fire is not at hand, the natives eat them raw; some of them being found at a fire near one of the canoes, I tasted them on the recommendation of one of my men and found them not unpalatable...
"We saw several natives at a small distance; one of them looked earnestly at us and seemed to be waiting our approach. One of my men called to him in his own language to stop, but at length he got behind a tree whence he presented only his head and shoulders, brandishing a fish-gig in his hand. He waited our landing, and seeing we were unarmed threw down his muton (so they named the fish-gig) and came readily to us. For what reason I know not (for we appeared without any marks of distinction) he addressed himself first to me, and taking from his forehead a small net which their women weave from the fur of the opossum he bound it round mine. In my turn I took out my pocket handkerchief and bound it round his head which pleased him very much, and we became from the moment the best of friends. I invited him on board the boat, and he readily accepted my invitation. When on board he was called to from the woods on the opposite shore by a number of voices which surprised us a little as we did not expect they were in such numbers. My new acquaintance called out in his turn to those on shore, and their cries immediately ceased. I have reason to think...that he assured them he had nothing to fear, which quieted their alarm.
"Proceeding further we saw a flock of ducks and I ordered one of the people to fire which he did and was lucky enough to kill two. Never did I witness stronger marks of surprise than were depicted on the stranger's countenance when he heard the report of the gun and saw the two ducks fall into the water. His astonishment was increased when he got on board the vessel; everything...seemed to fill him with wonder and amazement. During the time he stayed on board he never quitted my side, and at the hour of rest he laid himself down near my bed place. I presented him with a small tomahawk which pleased him very much and he pronounced with much earnestness the word...'Mogo.' He readily ate of whatever was set before him; spirits he would not touch, but sugar he took freely. He endeavoured to repeat our words after us; and was infinitely more tractable than the native last described. He was an elderly man, short in stature but well made; his arms and legs were long in proportion to his body which was slender and straight. Having occasion to despatch my first mate in a boat to Colonel Paterson I took that opportunity of sending off my New Hollander with directions that he should be landed on the precise spot from whence he was taken...When the first mate was returning he was surprised to find his passenger of the day before on the banks, who begged to be permitted to return to the vessel with him; he had a young lad with him whom he desired might accompany him and they were both brought on board. This lad made me understand that he wished to have a mogo and I soon found that I could not make a more acceptable present to a native...
"On the 19th we were rejoined by Colonel Paterson with the whole of his party. The Colonel had explored a branch of the river on the banks of which he found a species of flax growing which he thought was valuable. He had collected specimens of many rare and uncommon plants particularly some varieties of fern, but unfortunately was deprived of the fruits of his industry. His servant had made use of the bundle of plants as a pillow and having placed it too near the fire it was soon in a blaze, and he was awaked only in time to save his face from being scorched...
"We were now growing short of provisions and no vessel arriving from Sydney we set about making preparations for our return thither. There was now a small establishment made for the colliers.* (* At Collier's Point.) I had built them a convenient hut to shelter them. I left them a boat and seine with what provisions I was able to spare. We took our departure for Sydney on the 22nd of July 1801, and arrived there on the 25th."
Six weeks after his return to port, Grant sent in his resignation on the ground that he had so "little knowledge of nautical surveying." The resignation was accepted by King, who wrote in reply: "I should have been glad if your ability as a surveyor or being able to determine the longitude of the different places you might visit was in anyway equal to your ability as an officer or a seaman."
A very slight perusal of Grant's narrative of his voyage enables us to grasp the state of his feelings when he sent in his resignation. It is evident that he thought he had not been treated fairly, and was glad to quit New South Wales. He writes of his departure: "The mortifications and disappointments I met with...induced me to seize the first opportunity of leaving the country." And it seems possible that when he told King that he had no knowledge of "nautical surveying," he said so because he knew King thought he had not, and it looks as if the admission was made as a pretext to obtain his passage to England, rather than for the purpose of belittling his own capabilities. That Grant was a fine seaman goes without saying. That he was personally courageous, his subsequent naval services proved. He seems to have handled his ship at all times with extraordinary care, and it may have been that he had studied marine surveying with less assiduity than seamanship, for the chart that he made must be admitted to be very imperfect.
Murray, his successor in the command of the brig, is best remembered as the discoverer of Victoria, and "yet," writes Rusden, "he (Murray) merely obeyed a distinct order in going thither to trace the coast between Point Schanck and Cape Albany Otway noticing the soundings and everything remarkable." Rusden might have added, that Murray probably received some benefit from Grant's experiences, for at that time he was equally incompetent as a marine surveyor. It is Flinders who has credited Grant with the discovery of the coast of Victoria "as far as Cape Schanck," and Flinders was most competent to judge as to whom the honour should belong. On the great seaman's chart published in 1814 (Terra Australis, by M. Flinders, South Coast, Sheet 5) is inscribed, "Coast as far as Cape Schanck discovered by Captain James Grant, 1800," in which track, of course, is included the entrance to Port Phillip, although Flinders knew that Grant had not penetrated to the bay itself.
Grant sailed from Sydney in the Anna Josepha, Captain Maclean, an old Spanish brig, belonging to Mr. Simeon Lord. She had been taken off the coast of Peru by the Betsy whaler, and on her arrival at Sydney was renamed Anna Josepha in honour of the Governor's wife. Loaded with coals and spars, the ship left Port Jackson for the Cape of Good Hope on November 9th, 1801. She steered southward of New Zealand, made Cape Horn, and then sailed to the Falklands. Grant quitted her when she reached Tristan D'Acunha and obtained a passage in the Ocean as far as Table Bay. There he shipped on April 12th, 1802, in H.M.S. Imperieuse for England, where he arrived safely, and, in due course, reported himself to the Admiralty.
Three years later he obtained his rank of Commander on January 12th, 1805, with a pension for gallantry in a spirited action off Holland, when in command of the Hawke cutter he was badly wounded. He subsequently commanded the Raven and Thracian and died at St. Servan in 1833, aged 61.
On Grant's resigning the command of the Lady Nelson, Governor King appointed John Murray to succeed him. As has been told Murray had formerly been Master's mate of the Porpoise and had accompanied Grant when he went for the second time to try and explore Governor King's Bay, and the Governor apparently thought him a capable officer. His appointment is dated September 3rd, 1801, so that he seems to have taken over the new post about two months before his predecessor finally left Sydney.
When, however, the Lady Nelson sailed to the Hawkesbury in September to load the settlers' grain and to bring it to Sydney, Grant appears to have been still on board her, as he was enjoined to ensure her safety at that place by Governor King. "You are not to leave the vessel yourself or suffer any other person to leave her while in the river nor let any strangers or visitors go on board...Your board netting is to be kept up while in the river." King evidently was determined to guard against the capture of the brig by runaway convicts, a fate which had overtaken the Norfolk. Murray succeeded to the command of the brig on her return from this Hawkesbury trip. His first voyage was to Norfolk Island, when he carried orders and instructions from the Governor of New South Wales to Major Foveaux, the Lieutenant-Governor. Before leaving Sydney, Captain Abbott, Ensign Piper and Mr. John Roberts (surgeon's mate) were embarked as passengers on board the Lady Nelson, and in the afternoon of October 1st she set sail for her destination. The following account of her voyage is extracted from the log:--
H.M.A. SURVEYING VESSEL LADY NELSON.
From Port Jackson to Norfolk Island.
"October 2nd, 1801. At 3 P.M. got under weigh and stood out of ye Heads. Observed ye Porpoise to be in the offing. At 5 P.M. passed under the stern of the Porpoise and Mr. Murray went on board and waited on ye Commander of that vessel. At 6 Lieutenant Murray returned on board, hoisted in our gig and gave the Porpoise three cheers, which was returned--made sail at half-past 6 P.M.--ye North Head of Port Jackson bore to west by north distant 6 miles, the South Head of Broken Bay bore north by west distance 6 leagues.
"Saturday, October 3rd. Fresh winds and clear. About half-past 4 P.M. the wind shifted to north-west with light rain and thunder and lightning. At 8 A.M. the wind rather took off and we had clear weather, but with a very heavy sea on. At noon we had a strong gale with a high sea on, our Latitude 33 degrees 55 minutes south.
"Sunday, October 4th. Strong gale with heavy squalls at intervals with a very high sea running. Very heavy squall attended with thunder and lightning, large hail stones at ye same time. At 10 A.M. Mustered ye Ship's Company and read the articles of war being the first Sunday of ye month.
"Monday, October 5th. Fresh breezes and heavy squalls with flying showers of rain and heavy sea running. At 4 P.M. saw Lord Howe Island bearing north-east distant 16 or 17 leagues. At 10 P.M. when it cleared saw Balls Pyramid bearing north by west distant 6 or 9 miles: at 12 had another sight of it on our larboard quarter--at daylight again saw the Pyramid distant 10 or 12 leagues...At noon lost sight of Island.
"Tuesday, October 6th. Fresh breezes and clear--squally. At noon light airs.
"Wednesday, October 7th. Light airs and inclinable to calm.
"Thursday, 8th October. Fresh wind and clear high sea. Keeping good look out for Island of Norfolk. At 4 A.M. made sail--at 6 A.M. saw Norfolk and Phillip Islands distant 12 leagues--at noon, being 9 or 10 miles off ye town, fired a gun and hoisted signal for pilot.
"Friday, 9th October. Moderate weather--at half-past 2 P.M. fired a 2nd gun for pilot--at half-past 3 seeing no boat and judging of the appearance of the sea there was no landing at Sydney Bay,* (* Sydney, Norfolk Island.) bore on for Cascade, and by 5 got in sight of ye Storehouse--fired another gun--at 7 P.M. John Drumond, pilot, came on board, took charge as pilot--sent our boatswain's mate on shore in pilot's boat with letter to Lieutenant Governor--kept standing off all night--at daylight the Storehouse distant 3 miles--at 6 A.M. landed Captain E. Abbott, Ensign Piper and Mr. John Roberts--at 9 A.M. boat returned bringing with them ye pilot's assistant who told us ye landing was good at Sydney--bore up for Sydney. By 11 got round and a boat coming off we discharged a number of articles into her belonging to the different officers. At noon they went on shore.
"Saturday, 10th October. Observed the flag for indifferent landing--hove up, put ye vessel under snug sail and stood off and on during night--at 4 P.M. Phillip's Island bore north distant 6 miles. A boat came along, into which we delivered a part of the officers' baggage.
"Sunday, 11th October. Moderate winds and weather--a confused sea. P.M. A boat came off--sent in her ye officers' baggage--at 6 P.M. the weather looking rather unfavourable ran the vessel into Hunsons Bay--stood off and on during night--at daylight went round to Sydney Harbour.
"Monday, 12th October. Variable winds, fine weather. P.M. a 2nd boat came with Ensign Baillie's baggage. Stood off and on during night--in the morning went into Sydney Bay--a boat came off with Mr. Baillie's baggage, also received for boat 4 rough spars for sweeps.
"Tuesday, 13th October. Standing off and on Cascade Bay--at 4 the vessel's signal for a boat was made from ye shore--lowered down our gig and sent the boatswain on shore in her. In a little time he returned and informed me it was the Lieutenant-Governor's orders that I should stand to sea and await boat--made all sail and stood to sea till sundown, when seeing no signs of a boat made sail for ye island. Saw a large ship in the offing, she proved to be the Earl Cornwallis from Sydney.
"Wednesday, 14th October. A.M. Seeing no signs of a boat went around to Sydney Bay and observed Cornwallis lying to off Northern Island.
"Thursday, 15th October. At 5 P.M. Ensign Bayley embarked on boat and the boat brought remainder of his baggage--all the other passengers came on board--discharged the pilot. At 6 made sail--at 7 P.M. Mount Pitt bore north-east by east distant 4 leagues--at sundown ye Earl Cornwallis out of sight.
"Friday, 16th October. Fresh gales--cloudy and rain--a high sea running--strong gales. The vessel laboured a great deal.
"Tuesday, 27th October. Fresh winds and hazy--at 2 A.M. saw land north-west 10 or 11 miles--at 8 A.M. south head of Broken Bay bore to north-west 6 miles--at noon fine--got within Heads and made all sail.
On his return to Sydney on the completion of the voyage Murray was ordered by Governor King to proceed in the Lady Nelson and finish the exploration of the south coast, which Grant had not been able to complete. The instructions issued by Governor King were very precise.
"You will proceed without loss of time to Basses Straights and observe the following directions for prosecuting discoveries in those straights on the south-west coast of this country...When you are between Ram Head and Western Port you will proceed to Kent's Group and ascertain the size of those islands (particularly the easternmost)...From Kent's Group you will run on a straight course to Wilson's Promontory noticing the course and distance, soundings and quality of the bottom...From Wilson's Promontory you will trace the coast between Point Schanck and Cape Albany Otway...From thence you will run to Harbinger Rock lying off the north-west point of King's Island...You will make the circuit of that island or islands in addition to the King's instructions respecting new discoveries...You will carefully examine...all within 6 miles round the island to ascertain whether a vessel may anchor. Having completed the survey...you will ascertain the time of bearing...between the south westernmost point and Albatross Islands, the northernmost of Hunter's Islands and the Pyramid. Having completed...your survey thus far you will ascertain to what distance soundings may be got to the westward of the Norfolk's and Lady Nelson's passages taking care to traverse across to the latitude of 42 degrees on the south side and within sight of land on the north side or coast of New Holland (Van Dieman's Land) until between 38 and 42 degrees...As you stand in on the New Holland side you will examine the coast between Cape Albany Otway and Cape Solicitor which Lieutenant Grant named Portland Bay the bottom of which he did not see. Should you have time I would wish you to run due south from Cape Solicitor as far as 40 degrees and work back again to Cape Bridgewater...you will employ another month...in tracing the coast from Cape Banks...In returning to this port you will deliver all such journals and charts as may have been completed...during your intended voyage.
"Should you fall in with H.M.S. Investigator you will communicate these instructions to the Commander...and put yourself under his command. And in case you fall in and are come up with by the Naturaliste and Geographe, French vessels on discovery, you will produce your passport from His Grace the Duke of Portland to the Commander of that expedition.
"PHILIP GIDLEY KING.
"SYDNEY, October 31st, 1801."
The Lady Nelson set forth from Sydney on her mission on November 12th, 1801. Obeying Governor King's orders, Murray steered first towards the Kent Group.* (* The Kent Group was discovered by Lieutenant Matthew Flinders in the Francis, and named by him in honour of Captain William Kent of H.M.S. Supply. The group was subsequently visited by Mr. Rushworth and other sailors.) His log shows how he mistook other islands, probably the Sisters* (* The Sisters Islands were so named by Captain Furneaux in 1773 from the resemblance they bore to each other. Peron calls them two small islands escarpes.) at the northern extremity of the Furneaux Group, for his place of destination and how, when 25 miles to the northward of Cape Barren, on seeing smoke rising from an island, he sent a boat ashore and found living there two men, a woman and a child, the men, Chase and Beven, being sealers in the employ of Messrs. Kable & Underwood, of Sydney. The Lady Nelson was then brought to and moored in Diana Bay, a well-known anchorage in Furneaux Islands.
Murray, at this time, seems to have been much farther southward than Governor King intended him to go, for the island which he writes of as Grand Capshine was undoubtedly the Grand Capuchin, the largest island of the Furneaux Group, now known as Flinders Island.* (* Named Flinders Island by Captain Flinders in honour of his brother, Lieutenant Samuel Flinders, R.N.)
Diana Bay, the bay in which the Lady Nelson stayed for some days, was formed by the shores of the Grand Capuchin and Storehouse and Cat Islands, the last named islands being the Babel Islands of Flinders. In very early days this bay was much frequented by sealing vessels and in 1801 gained its name from the ship Diana, a small vessel belonging to Messrs. Kable & Underwood, of Sydney, which afterwards stranded on the Grand Capuchin and which had a curious history. A French schooner named L'Entreprise of Bordeaux, under the command of Captain Le Corre, last from the Isle of France, while sealing in these waters was also wrecked about a year later off one of the Sisters, 30 miles to the northward of where the Diana went ashore. Le Corre and two-thirds of his crew perished. The supercargo whose name, according to Peron, was Coxwell, but which the Sydney Gazette prints as Coggeshall, was among the saved and was brought with the other rescued men to Sydney. Coggeshall returned with Mr. Underwood to endeavour to save the hull of the vessel, and though they failed to float L'Entreprise, they were more successful as regards the Diana which was repaired and renamed the Surprise, the name by which the lost French schooner had been known by the English from Governor King downwards. In order to pay expenses she was put up to public auction in Sydney and purchased by one of the officers of L'Entreprise for 117 guineas, but was afterwards resold to her original owners, Messrs. Kable & Underwood.* (* See Sydney Gazettes, March 12th and March 19th, 1803.)
Murray did not name the Grand Capuchin, for it was so called before the time of his visit. Nor did Flinders or Bass give it that name, which was probably derived from the cowled peak of a mountain on it, one of three christened by Flinders the Patriarchs, combined with the fact that Furneaux had already named some black rocky islands that lay off the entrance to Storm Bay Passage, The Friars.* (* The Boreels Eylander of Tasman.) It seems likely that Barrallier in the Lady Nelson's previous voyage or some French sailor bestowed the name Capuchin upon Flinders Island, and Murray wrote it on his chart, although it was afterwards erased from the maps and replaced at first by the name of Great Island and later by that of Flinders Island.* (* The Sydney Gazette of March 31st, 1831, in giving the names of the Furneaux Group transfers the name to Babel Islands, i.e. "Babel Islands or Capisheens as called by the sealers," but, as Murray's Chart, page 146, and Sydney Gazettes of an earlier period will show, at first Flinders Island alone was called Capuchin.)
Leaving Diana Bay on November 25th Murray saw the easternmost members of the Kent Group and steered through the passage which separates the principal islands and which was named in his honour, Murray's Passage. Flinders had passed through the same passage, when he discovered the group, in the Francis in 1798, and named a rock to the south of it the Judgment Rock "from its resemblance to an elevated seat."* (* The Australian Sailing Directory, Admiralty.)
After surveying the Kent Group, Murray started to carry out his survey of Western Port and Port Phillip. On December 5th he sighted Sir Roger Curtis's Island and on the 7th reached Western Port where he was detained by bad weather until the first week in January. On January 5th* (* The logbooks were kept in nautical fashion, the day beginning at noon before the civil reckoning, so that Port Phillip was really discovered on the afternoon of Monday, January 4th, 1802. According to the Admiralty librarian the change from nautical to civil reckoning in the logs did not take place until 1805.) as the vessel ran along the Victorian coast towards Port Phillip dense smoke from native fires hid the land from view. At 3 P.M. the smoke had cleared away and Bowen, who was at the masthead, espied an opening in the land ahead which "had the appearance of a harbour." Keeping close in for it Murray saw inside a fine smooth sheet of water. An island lay at the entrance but the waves were breaking high on the rocks so the brig was hauled off and taken out to sea. Murray then steered to King Island deciding to return again later to explore the newly discovered harbour. He surveyed the east coast of King Island from Cape Farewell to Seal Bay. Some sea elephants were lying on the beach of the bay that he first entered, and this was named Sea Elephant Bay.* (* Murray's survey of King Island was an important one and Governor King refers to it as "giving to the British priority of discovery over the French ships" when eleven months afterwards Baudin came to the island.) The following pages describe Murray's exploration of King Island and of his first sight of Port Phillip.
ROUTE OF H.M.A.S. VESSEL LADY NELSON ALONG THE COAST OF NEW SOUTH WALES ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY IN 1801
H.M.A. SURVEYING VESSEL LADY NELSON ON DISCOVERY. LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER JOHN MURRAY.
Sydney Cove to Bass Strait.
"Thursday, 12th November 1801. Working out of ye Heads at 1 P.M.--at 2 P.M. ye South Head of Port Jackson bore north-north-west 11 miles. At 4 P.M. ye weather began to look squally and black from ye south-west with now and then lightning...At 5 it thundered and the lightning increased...During night fresh winds and a heavy sea up; in the morning no land in sight.
"Friday, 13th November. Fresh winds and clear with heavy tumbling sea...At sundown Mount Dromedary 9 or 10 leagues N.W.W. During night unsettled weather and a confused sea. At noon Cape How bore West distance 7 or 8 leagues.
"Saturday, 14th November. Light airs inclinable to calm, a very heavy sea from south-west. At sundown Cape How bore north-west distant about 7 leagues...We hauled in for the land this morning, the Longitude by Governor King's timekeeper was 149 degrees 30 minutes 45 seconds east, Latitude by anticipation 38 degrees 00 minutes 00 seconds south. At noon calm fine weather. Latitude observed 38 degrees 06 minutes 43 seconds south.
"Sunday, 15th November. Moderate fine weather and smooth water...At 9 A.M. we had a curious squall at every point of the compass, it did not blow very hard and seemed to settle in the south-east quarter.
"Monday, 16th November. At half-past 5 P.M. saw a thunder squall rising in western quarter. The squall passed over the land and thundered a good deal with much lightning, at half-past 7 it took a north-west turn and at 8 P.M. passed over our heads, though with no great deal of wind...In the morning made sail...Latitude 38 degrees 32 minutes south.
"Thursday, 19th November. Moderate and hazy. At 6 A.M. saw Kent's Group bearing south-west distances 8 or 9 leagues--their appearance was like a great number of small islands being nearly south-east and north-west; at 8 A.M. the easternmost island of Kent's Group and the largest bore south-south-west distance 7 or 8 leagues. At 9 A.M. the whole chain of islands, 13 in number, bore from south by west to west the large island as above.
"Friday, 20th November. Light variable winds and fine weather. Kept working up to the land but were surprised to find that instead of being a small group of islands, ye body of the land was very large and whatever appeared as islands began to connect itself into one island, the latitude not agreeing with Lieutenant Flinders, concluded it could not be Kent's Group. Kept working up to it and by daylight was within 5 miles of ye northernmost island, passed close to it and seeing an immense number of birds on it sent the boat on shore to procure some; in a short time after this I saw a smoke arise from the small island just passed, sent ye boat and ye first mate there where they found two men, one woman and a child, of Henry Kable's employ; assisted them as well as we could--by noon worked into a good harbour and moored between Storehouse and Cat Island--got the Latitude by going on shore 39 degrees 57 minutes 46 seconds south. When moored, the Grand Capshine bore west-north-west distant 1/2 mile--Cat Island bore north by east 1/4 mile and Storehouse Island south-east quarter of a mile. Cape Barren the east point south 1/2 east distant 25 miles.
"Saturday, 21st November. Employed taking on stone for ballast. Carpenter fitting places for sweeps to row in and on the longboat. P.M. Broke Farmer Barnes for contempt and disobedience of orders. Rated Robert Warren boatswain's mate in his room. A.M. Sent the first mate and a party of hands (with one of the people found here) and some dogs to get kangaroo being informed that great plenty was to be found in the country.
"Sunday, 22nd November. The first officer and his party returned on board; they shot 2 wambucks,* (* Presumably wombats.) a kangaroo, a porcupine, a swan and some birds--in the evening sent the second mate and some hands on shore to get mutton-birds, and eggs. On account of the great plenty of fresh provisions served no salt meat this day. I went and measured a base line from the south end of Storehouse Island due East and West 2 miles to a point on ye Grand Capshine and from thence surveyed this harbour more for the sake of practice than any use it could be, this place being well-known by the name Diana Bay.
"Monday, 23rd November. At 6 P.M. sent party on shore with the first mate to procure mutton-birds for officers and people. At 9 P.M. the officer and party returned on board, having got near 100 birds and some eggs. As I was at supper, I received the following note from R.B. Wood my clerk:
"'SIR,--Under the unfortunate situation in which I am placed as a prisoner and a convict it may appear strange my presumption in observing that something serious I wish to communicate to you. Pardon me saying that secrecy is requisite--and that after you have supped and alone will be best. I am, Sir, Your humble servant,
"On receiving this, a little time after, I sent for him and he informed me that he had seen Mark Clark, soldier, and Robert Warren, who was only two days ago rated boatswain's mate, pumping off spirits from a cask in the hold; that he suspected this business had been carried on for some time and believed more than those might be concerned. In addition John Johnston, cabin servant, informed me that he had seen a number of the people at different times half drunk when on their watch below; in consequence of these circumstances I turned the hands on deck and read the Articles of War to them, put Mark Clark, Robert Warren and Farmer Barnes in irons, he being drunk; and in the morning I hoisted on deck all the casks of spirits, overhauled them and found one with the bung just out and about 4 1/2 inches dry in it; nailed lead over the bung and tossed them below again. On questioning Clark on this affair he confessed that he and Warren had pumped spirits out of the cask last night, and George Yates informed me that Warren had made a practice of it for some time back. On investigating the matter closer it appeared that Barnes had nothing to do with it. I accordingly released Barnes and again rated him boatswain's mate--turned the hands up and punished Robert Warren with four dozen lashes for robbery, drunkenness, etc., and Mark Clark with one dozen lashes only as it appeared that he had been prompted to this when drunk.
"Tuesday, 24th November. First and middle parts fine weather and mostly calm, latter hazy. Half-past 9 anchor and made sail out between the Grand Capshine and Cat Island, hoisted up our gig and stowe her. At 10 A.M. Cat Island bore south-east distant 5 miles and the peak of the Grand Capshine south-south-east distant 6 miles. At noon the Grand Capshine bore south-east distant 16 or 17 miles and the west end of ye Sisters west by south distant 8 or 9 miles. The harbour we have just left is formed by the Grand Capshine Island, Cat Island and Storehouse Island. Between the Grand Capshine and Cat Island is a narrow channel with deep water through which we came to-day--it lies about north-west by north a few hundred yards. Between Cat Island and Storehouse Island is a two-fathom channel, one-sixth of a mile broad through which Kable's schooner has passed to the South. The harbour is very open and a good deal of sea heaves in, but small vessels can up anchor and just run round to the opposite side of Cat Island--there is a snug cove entirely secure from all southerly winds where they may anchor, taking care to be off from this last place, if the wind comes from the northward. From the Grand Capshine the land trends away in a south-east and south direction as far as Cape Barren; from where we lay the Bay of Shoals bore south by west distant 15 miles. A vessel of a large draught would have to lie a good deal further out in the Bay than we, as we rode in one quarter less than 3 fathoms.
"Wednesday, 25th November. Fresh breezes and hazy weather. At half-past 3 saw a single rock bearing south-south-west distance 9 or 10 miles, and an island on our beam south-east...haze very thick and scud flying thick. At 4 P.M. saw a rock lying to north of Kent's Group about 3 miles...At half-past 4 saw easternmost island of Kent's Group bearing west by south distance 8 miles, by half-past 5 P.M. having come nearly up with the land, passed in between the group and a rock that lies to the north and by 6 opened the Sound that passes through the Islands...As we approached the first cove saw a large part of the island on fire from which we conceived there might be people on shore--kept standing up the Sound and had furious gusts of wind at every point of the compass. We proceeded up with sails, sweeps and boat till we opened the second cove but found it impossible to get to anchorage in it as violent gusts constantly came down it. At 7 P.M. bore away for the cove on the west side and at half-past 7 P.M. came to anchor in 7 fathoms.
"Thursday, 26th November. Moderately fine weather in general. At 2 P.M. the officer and his party returned on board having found no water--every part of the cove was overhauled and only rainwater could be found here, the rocks being strongly marked with the stream of water that will naturally fall from such a high land in heavy rain. From the mate's finding a small quantity of Queyha rope in this cove, and seeing a dog dead on the beach, I fancy the Harrington must have been here, the dog being much like one of Mr. Cumming's. In the afternoon I sent the first mate to the second cove on the east side to overhaul it for water, but on the strictest search they found nothing, but a brackish kind of spring...they however shot and caught three kangaroos.
"Friday, 27th November. Sounded the channel that divided this group right through...At the southernmost end lies a bank of 10 fathoms. As you approach the East Cove the water gradually shoals from 30 to 40 fathoms...and as you advance on West Cove the water suddenly falls from 30 to 16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5-4 and 3 fathoms, close to the beach the bottom consists of sand mixed with small shells and stones--the East Cove the same and small seaweed, the West Cove is strong, coarse sand and where we anchored quite covered with black kelp so much so that at first I was not clear but it might be rock...
"Saturday, 28th November. Measured a base line of 324 fathoms in length from one point of the cove we lay in to the other, it was measured with small line and every five fathoms of it was a chip of light wood in length 120 fathoms. We had the boats employed in this business; alternately anchored them till we got across to the southern end of the point of the cove; and as the water was smooth I fancy the length of base line to be correct. I then surveyed the eastern side of the Sound and Cove. Sent the first mate and some hands to the north-east cove to cut some of ye wood growing there...I sent the carpenter with him--overhauled our bread and found...some had got damp and mouldy, got it out from the rest, but owing to the bad weather could not air it on deck...
KENT'S GROUP. By John Murray
"Sunday, 29th November. Hard gales and gloomy weather throughout with a swell heaving in through the northern entrance of ye sound. P.M. The first mate returned on board having cut down two spars...The party with the dog caught two large and 3 small kangaroos. At 8 P.M. as usual set a third watch with an officer. A.M. I went over to Harrington (or East) Cove,* (* Named after Captain Campbell's ship the Harrington to whose presence in these waters Murray often refers.) measured a base line and surveyed the western side of this sound. I also overhauled every part of the Rocks all round the cove and without it examined every drain that I fell in with and although I saw at different parts of the under rocks and in holes perhaps enough water to keep a few men alive yet no quantity that could be much use to a ship's company. In East Cove there is a good anchorage all over it for ships of any size, and they may exactly choose what water to be in from 3 fathoms close in to ye beach to 14 in ye mouth of it. I sounded every part of it and ye bottom is sand with small stones and shells much covered with black seaweed that might at first be thought to be rocks...West Cove is almost the same...East Cove is ye best to lie in as it entirely shuts in sea gates and moreover has little ground swell to which both other coves are subject. With respect to the tide in the coves little can be perceived, the perpendicular rise at full moon may be 10 or 11 feet, with us it sometimes was 8 or 9 feet, and that in ye course of ye hour...At all times it is imprudent to carry sail on a boat in this sound; the puffs come so violent that before anybody could take in her sail she would to a certainty be overset; even ships, in my opinion, would do well before they enter this sound to take in all their small sails and keep all hands at the braces fore and aft as well as hands by the top-sail halyards, and it is necessary to handle the yards quick otherwise a large vessel will be sure to rub sides with ye rocks if it has blown fresh outside all day...The kangaroo seems to be most plentiful at this time in the north-eastern cove owing, I fancy, to their being less disturbed there than in the other coves, but with good dogs and a little trouble they may be had on the hills in the vicinity of either cove. Wood is plentiful and no trouble in getting it.
"Monday, 30th November. Hard gales, hazy weather with rain throughout. The soil throughout this sound is nothing but sand a good way up the hills and after that you chiefly find rocks with here and there a shott of grass. The hills are covered very thick with brushwood, a great part of which is decayed and rotten and renders it a business of labour to ascend any of them. They are also very high--we have seen nothing new on them. A few parrots are to be seen and now and then a snake of a large size, these with kangaroos, gulls, redbills, form the inhabitants of these islands, sometimes a seal comes in shore but very seldom and with much care.
"Thursday, 3rd December. Warped a little way out and finding could get no more of the warp sent hands in the gig to stand by...she drove and we were obliged to let go small bower again. At this time wind increased to a gale...P.M. Got altitudes for Governor King's chronometer. A.M. Sent the first mate and a party to get kangaroos to the opposite or west side of the land from the cove we lay in and for fresh water.
"Friday, 4th December. At sundown party returned--reported no fresh water to be found on that side of island, got 3 kangaroos, some shell-fish, and knocked down 2 seals. A.M. Hove up our B.B.* (* Best bower, that is the starboard bower.) At 11 weighed and made sail through sound, at quarter past 11 clear through, strong wind at east. Got sight of rock laying off this island. At noon bore up to survey small island.
"Saturday, 5th December. Strong winds, hazy. At 1 P.M. hove to...At 3 P.M. body of Kent's Group bore east by south distance 15 or 16 miles. At half-past 4 the five Seal Islands bore north-north-east distance 8 or 9 miles...Saw Sir R. Curtis's Island west by south 10 miles. At 7 P.M. saw Wilson's Promontory bearing west-north-west 13 or 14 miles...Stood on till 9 P.M. when it being thick and almost calm hauled close to ye wind off and on...At 4 A.M. the Promontory bore west 7 or 8 miles. Made all sail at 8 A.M. rounded and intending to run between the mainland and ye islands having a fine breeze was surprised to lose all ye wind in an instant as we stood in under ye land--although we were not less than 3 or 4 miles from ye mainland it fell calm...Put the helm a starboard, put sweeps on her, and pulled her out into ye wind again...At 10 A.M. passed a remarkable rock with a hole in it. Latitude 39 degrees 10 minutes 0 seconds south.
"Sunday, 6th December. At 3 P.M. saw Cape Liptrap bearing north-north-west distance 6 or 7 miles...Stood in round Phillip Island and by 8 A.M. got close up with Grant's Point and Seal Island.
"Monday, 7th December. At 5 P.M. a breeze sprung up at south-west. Stood in for the entrance with all sail and the sweeps. At 6 P.M. gained entrance and passed between Grant's Point and Seal Island which island seemed as full of seals as when we were last there, a circumstance that almost made me conclude that neither the Harrington or Mr. Rushford* (* Presumably Mr. Rushworth.) had been here. Kept standing up the harbour with a south-west wind, at 7 came to anchor in Elizabeth's Cove in 6 fathoms water with the small bower; lowered down the gig and I went on shore to observe if any signs of strangers were to be seen. Saw nothing to make me think the cove had been visited since we left in May last, in short the only difference was that the land appeared in a higher state of verdure now than it was at that time. At 4 A.M. out launch and sent the first officer and five armed men to the river for fresh water...at 10 A.M. stood further up the harbour.
"Tuesday, 8th December. At 4 P.M. came to an anchor off Lady Nelson's Point and I went on shore and shot a few birds. At 2 P.M. came on board; up anchor and ran over into 2 fathoms water as near the mouth of river as possible. A.M. I went in the gig to Churchill's Island and there found everything as we left it--I mean the remains of our fires and huts; the wheat and corn that Lieutenant Grant had sown in April last was in full vigour, 6 ft. high and almost ripe--the onions also were grown into seed; the potatoes have disappeared--I fancy that the different animals that inhabit the island must have eaten or otherwise destroyed them. I regret not having time or men to spare to clear a large spot and sow the wheat already grown, as the next crop would be large. I never saw finer wheat or corn in my life, the straw being very near as large as young sugar-cane.
"Wednesday, 9th December. At 1 P.M. the first officer in the launch returned on board with a load of water; on his examining the river he reported that everything seemed the same as when we left it--a strong presumption that no vessel had been there, as naturally they would have replaced their water. The river has been flooded since last April, as a temporary hut we built was found with part of the bank washed away; the banks of the river were found all in a high state of verdure and in many places the view is truly romantic and wild. No signs of native canoes or huts have been discovered, indeed, there is less appearance of natives now than when we were here last; for then many remains of huts, part of a canoe and their beaten tracks were to be found on all parts of the banks of this little river, all of which have vanished. The party caught and shot 5 pairs of swans, out of which 3 pairs were young, and brought on board alive, the others were old and we made some fresh meals from them; they also brought on board a pair of young geese which however are very scarce, but few parrots--the ducks are as shy as ever...At 3 P.M. sent the second mate to Churchill's Island to cut down the wheat on purpose to feed the young swans with it, at sundown they returned on board with it in the whole perhaps a bushel in quantity with a good deal mixed with oats and barley all fine of their kind--some potatoes were also found and 2 onions. At 8 A.M. the launch returned with a load of water, the officer reported that George Yates had gone to sleep on watch, left the launch deep loaded in imminent danger of being swamped as the tide rose, and moreover the whole boat's crew in danger of being surprised by natives if any should be about, for which crimes I punished him with two dozen lashes this being an old offence of his--I pardoned him three different times some time back for sleeping on his watch at Sydney...
"Friday, 11th December. The very favourable weather we have had since our arrival here is to be thanked for enabling us to so soon fill our water as I expected this business would have detained me 9 or 10 days. At noon ran over to Lady Nelson's Point and there anchored in the mouth of Salt Water Lagoon--7 fathoms.
"Saturday, 12th December. Sent the first mate up Salt Water Lagoon to get swans; he, however, found none but in afternoon and evening shot two large ones at Lady Nelson's Point. P.M. Having discovered that Robert Warren had laid an infamous plan to get the first mate, Mr. Bowen, broke and otherwise disgraced by acquainting me and all the company belonging to the vessel that he was a notorious thief and embezzler of King's stores, I, upon the fullest and clearest investigation of the matter, finding it to be a most diabolical falsehood put Warren in double irons intending to deliver him up to the rigour of the civil law on our arrival at Sydney should a speedier way of sending him not occur during the cruise. A.M. Sent the first mate to the north-west Branch in the gig to look for water swans and birds.
"Sunday, 13th December. At 8 A.M. the first mate returned in the gig having shot 9 large and small swans, the large ones when fit for use weighed 8 and 9 pounds each. At sunset native fires on ye distant hills.
"Monday, 14th December. Sent the first mate and party in a launch to overhaul the back of Tortoise Point.
"Tuesday, 15th December. A.M. Hove up and ran over into Elizabeth's Cove where we anchored. Sent first mate and boat's crew down to Seal Island to procure some skins...
"Wednesday, 16th December. I walked along the beach 6 or 7 miles, but saw no signs of any strangers being here since we left this place.
"At 4 P.M. I returned on board, the launch also came on board, they knocked down a few seals but there was too much surf, in consequence the officer returned, he reported that no person could have visited that island since we left this harbour as the seals were as plentiful as ever and several thousand pups lying on shore. As it continued calm all night, and seeing we could proceed to sea this day; I again sent him with a party to Seal Island to get some of the skins both as specimens for Government and for our own uses as several of the people were without hats or shoes...Served out fishing line and 4 hooks to each mess, the crew of the launch having yesterday caught several rock fish at Grant's Point.
"Thursday, 17th December. Making ready for sea. Observed that for these several days past the native fires had advanced nearer to us, and this day saw one fire that could be no more than 4 or 5 miles inland.
"Friday, 18th December. At 2 P.M. the first mate and party returned from Seal Island with some skins which run very small...This time the officer found remains of fires and a number of bamboo pegs, also a club. The Harrington must have been here, but where she could have lain at anchor we could not discover; if any place along this beach, it is curious that not the least signs of her are to be found--as I walked down from one end almost to the other. P.M. I sent Bond and Missing, two soldiers, to cut some more wood, doing which they were fortunate enough to discover a spring of water...I went on shore and found on clearing it with our hands that at once we got 100 gallons of very good water...In the morning a spring was found that proved equal to the watering in a few days a line of battleships. Pleased with this circumstance took a gang of hands on shore and made a good road to it, we also cleared the spring of all the dirt, roots and boughs of fallen and decayed trees that had got into it...we bailed out of it at least 2 or 3 tons of water and found the bottom to be a rock of very large stones collected together...in half an hour after it was entirely empty it was again quite full of clear good water. We now filled all our empty casks and everything on board that would hold water intending to go to sea when the wind would permit. As in this cove wood is in plenty, and the water is not above 50 yards from the seaside; a vessel of any size may be wooded and watered in two or three days and ride secure from all wind either close in or further out. It is the best place in the harbour for any vessel to lay in whether her stay is short or long...The soil of this island as far as we have penetrated is very sandy; no black mould is seen, the trees are very small and very decayed, nor does the small shrubbery grow with much vigour although pleasing to the eye; in short this cove and island can supply a ship in abundance with what is generally considered the greatest of her wants yet I fancy it would poorly pay a settler. To-day we saw a fire which I fancy could not have been more than 4 miles from Tortoise Point and perhaps 7 from the vessel.
"Saturday, 19th December. Finished the pathway to watering-place, having made it level and fit to roll butts on. At 5 P.M. saw a large fire lighted on the opposite beach nearer the entrance of the harbour, it might be 6 or 7 miles from the vessel, and in a little time it was left, and nearer to us, at a little distance from the beach, another very large fire was made. Expecting from this that in the morning I should be able to speak to them I made a large fire abreast of where we lay, the natives could not miss seeing it. In the morning no fires were to be seen which was rather odd, as besides this nearest fire, last night there were several others in sight...A.M. I got a large board hung up at the entrance of the road to the well or spring on which was painted, in oil colours, directions for any stranger how to get to the watering-place...
"Friday, 25th December. At noon suddenly taken with most violent squall at West...this hurricane of wind increased so rapidly and with such fury that we were obliged to let go the best bower and till all 3 anchors bore the strain she dragged a little, struck top-gallant-mast. This squall continued for 4 hours, then settled into a westerly gale with constant thunder and lightning and at intervals very hard rain and also more sea than I supposed possible in this cove. At 11 P.M. parted our warp, my uneasiness at this was not a little however the S.B.* (* Small bower, that is the port bower.) a little relieved by best bower held on at night...
"Saturday, 26th December. From noon till 3 P.M. the gale continued to increase and a sea got up still higher than it had yet been at any time since the gale began...Made all as snug as possible for riding out the gale, the hardest by far I ever saw in this country, and as it blew dead on the shore outside nothing less than the greatest providence could have saved us had we got to sea either of the times I attempted it. At half-past 6 P.M. a lull with the appearance of good weather...7 P.M. the weather looking very bad, made a run for Lady Nelson's Point, the gale following us as hard as ever, at half-past 9 came to an anchor off Lady Nelson's Point--at noon gale continued, however, we felt little here as we lay right under the land.
"Sunday, 27th December. Between hours of 12 and 2 A.M. having caught Henry Willis and John Missing asleep in their watch, put both in irons.. 8 A.M. vessel drove...she tailed in on a mudbank, which obliged us to weight the best bower and with the long boat lay it ahead to heave her off. At noon hove into 1/2 2 fathoms.
"Monday, 28th December. Wind at south-west at 3 P.M...up anchor and ran to leeward of Lady Nelson's Point.
"Tuesday, 29th December. Winds at south-west. Shifted to north-west and freshened into a gale with cloudy weather: thus has this kind of weather bound us here this last 12 days...Sent the first mate and a party to see and shoot some birds.
"Wednesday, 30th December. First part the wind veered to south-west and blew so hard that we were obliged to give her the long service of the cable although we lay under the land and not half a mile from it. No fires have been seen these last three or four days.
"Thursday, 21st December. First and middle parts fine weather--at 3 P.M. seeing a number of swans near Churchill's Island, sent the First Mate in the boat to see and get some of them; he was lucky enough to catch six...Up anchor and run down into Elizabeth's Cove. At half-past 6 P.M. came to an anchor in 7 fathoms. By half-past 7 P.M. got on board two or 300 gallons of water and some wood. The well was in fine order, overflowed and water clear. We here discovered another spring the banks of which were covered with water-cresses and wild blackberries, got some of both on board. I had intended going inland on the island some way, this was baffled by a strong wind coming from west-north-west which threw the sea into the cove--not at all pleasant. I therefore up anchor and again ran up under Lady Nelson's Point.
"Friday, 1st January 1802. All this 24 hours it has been blowing a hard gale...The New Year was ushered in with us splicing the main brace and three cheers; by the weather with a black squall of wind and rain. Released Robert Warren.
"Saturday, 2nd January. Strong gales with hard squalls, later cloudy. New slung our two Nun buoys; sent officer and some hands to cut wood. Observed fire a long way off in north-east Branch.
"Sunday, January 3rd. P.M. Sent the 1st Mate with 4 hands in launch to the River to try for some birds.
"Monday, 4th January. Variable weather. At 2 P.M. the launch returned. We have got at last some knowledge of the natives of this part of the country. The following is the substance of the report of Mr. Bowen, 1st Mate:--
"At 7 A.M. left the head of Fresh Water River having in vain looked for some of the crowned birds, and having been able to shoot nothing (a few ducks excepted), having proceeded down the river, and being nearly half-way on board he observed a fire lighted on the beach between Crownhead and the entrance of the River and thinking it could be nothing but natives he immediately put back to prove this. As the boat approached the beach these blacks were perceived sitting in the same form as those of Sydney, and each of them had a bundle of spears in their hands. Our people hallowed them which they instantly answered and did not seem at all alarmed on the nearer approach of the boat, three boys made their appearance. As between the beach and the boat there lay a bank of mud about 200 yards across, Mr. Bowen could not get quite so close as he could wish, however, he singly got out and began to walk towards them, which when they perceived, they jumped upon their feet and it was now perceived that one of them was a very old man with a large bushy beard and the rest of his face besmeared with red ochre. The others were young men. They were all clothed with the skins of oppossums as far as their middle, and this old man seemed to have command over the others. As Mr. Bowen advanced they all pulled off their dress and made signs to the officer that before he came any nearer he must do the same; this was immediately complied with.
"They then all sat down again and Mr. Bowen, plucking a root of fern, advanced pretty close to them holding it up; they seemed to understand it as it was meant. When he got within a few yards of this party the old man seemed rather uneasy and began to handle his spears. Mr. Bowen then threw them a tomahawk, and one of the young men picked it up; on Mr. Bowen beckoning them to sit down, he doing the same, they again threw him back the tomahawk, and all except the old man sat down. Mr. Bowen then broke a piece of stick and cut it with the tomahawk and tyed a handkerchief to it and again reached it to them; on this, one of the young men ventured to reach his hand and take it out of the officer's but would by no means be so familiar as to shake hands. Mr. Bowen then ate some bread and then gave them some which they did not eat, but carefully laid it by under some fern roots or leaves; on getting some ducks they took no other notice of them than to examine in what manner they were killed, what their ideas on that head were we know not as they did not take the least notice of our firearms even when, towards the latter end of the parley, it was found necessary to point one at the breast of the old man who all along was very suspicious of our designs.
"All this time they expressed a good deal of wonder at the colour of Mr. Bowen's skin, and one of the young men made very significant signs to him that he must have washed himself very hard. They now made signs for Mr. Bowen to go back to the boat and pointed down along the beach to Crown Head. Mr. Bowen accordingly went into the boat and pulled down as they walked, after pulling about 1 1/2 miles they stopped and beckoned for the boat to come in--here 3 women made their appearance each with a child at her back. Mr. Bowen went on shore here, little passed on either side further than on Mr. Bowen asking for fire to warm himself. They pointed to the boat and made signs for him to go there and get it the women sometimes shook their hands to him, and the boys laughing and hooping. A few more trifles were here given to them. A little before this all our people got out of the boat stark naked as was desired and walked somewhat near the natives, on which the old man sent the boys away to the women, and he, after having been in a great passion, made signs for us to go to the boat, began to retire with his face to us and brandishing his spear as that everyone thought he would heave it, when our people turned their backs the young men seemed more quiet. As we saw that all hope of further intercourse for the present was at an end Mr. Bowen ordered Bond to fire his piece over their heads in order to make good his retreat to the boat. This had the desired effect, as they one and all were out of sight in an instant. Before this they must have taken the musket for nothing but a stick. All the weapons they possessed were their spears (of a small size) and a stone tomahawk along with the wumera they throw with. With respect to their size the young men were much the same as those of Sydney or Jarvis Bay. They were not deficient in making out our signs, and we were easy able to understand from their motions what they would be at. From there being but little food for them on the beaches here, and their being clothed in the skins of the oppossums, I presume they are Bush natives, the women, I forgot to mention, appeared to be middling well shaped, and good-looking children, they were, however, always at some distance.
"Mr. Bowen and the people having joined the boat came on board. Observed all the remainder of the day they retired back into the woods and about 6 P.M. dous'd their fire at once although it must have covered an acre of ground. At 4 A.M. a light wind sprung up at east, got our kedge hove short, loosed sails and hove up--made sail for Elizabeth's Cove..."
"Tuesday, 5th January. Winds from south-east to east with cloudy weather. At quarter past 1 P.M. Cape Shank bore north-east by north 9 miles. Kept running down along the land steering west and west by north in order to traverse the whole of this land, found it impossible to survey any part of the coast as yet from the numerous native fires which covered this low shore in one volume of smoke. At 3 P.M.* (* i.e. 3 P.M. on January 4th by the civil reckoning. See above note.) we saw ahead land bearing west-north-west distant 12 miles, and an opening in the land that had the appearance of a harbour north-west 10 or 12 miles, bore away for this last it having the appearance of fine steady weather...Accordingly kept standing down for this entrance which every minute from its appearance made us sure it was a good harbour.* (* The entrance to Port Phillip; Murray returned here January 30th.) At 5 P.M. saw a small island in the entrance and observed that between it and the main lay a reef...the 1st Mate and the the Boatswain's Mate at the masthead looking out. At this time I suppose we were within 1 1/2 miles of the entrance...and I perceived that the sea broke short and was withal heavy--hove the lead and found only 10 fathoms water...Astonished at this, I hauled our wind and called out to them at the masthead to know if they saw any danger, but none was seen. I bore away and deepened into 11 fathoms when Mr. Bowen called out "Rocks ahead," immediately hauled our wind and stood off...going often to the masthead I saw that the reef did nearly stretch across the whole way, but inside saw a sheet of smooth water of great extent. From the wind blowing dead on this shore, I was obliged to haul off to clear the land, but with a determination to overhaul it as no doubt it has a channel into it and is apparently a fine harbour of large extent. Kept pressing sail and by 8 P.M. the extremes of land bore from north-west to west distance 20 miles...the wind blew about as much as our vessel likes and I am convinced that no vessel would have done more--I wish I could say as much for her in light winds...At daylight the haze over the land at east, and east-north-east with a heavy sea. I did not like to bear down on a lee shore and so kept our wind stretching for the westernmost side of the bay...no part of this bay as yet has been surveyed owing to the sea, wind and the before-mentioned numerous fires of the natives, but as our courses and distance were all with a free wind till we hauled off...there will be no great mistake found in that part of this bay laid down. Till 8 P.M. from our run from Western Port the soil of all the land from abreast of Elizabeth's Cove to Cape Shanks is excellent; after you round Cape Shanks and stand to west the land is invariably low and sandy with little hummocks here and there of grass and small bushes till you get down as far as this supposed harbour; on the opposite side the land gently rises a little for about 10 or 12 miles, seemingly good ground, it then sweeps away in a long bight of low land which we could just perceive at sundown...At noon saw the distant appearance of land on our larboard beam and from latitude observed 38 degrees 48 minutes 14 seconds, I take it to be somewhere near about Cape Shanks; bore away for Cape Albany Otway. Altitudes for Time-keeper one giving Longitude 144 degrees 35 minutes 00 seconds and the second Longitude 144 degrees 35 minutes 45 seconds east. All these 24 hours sound ground from 45 to 33 fathoms. Sand mixed with shells and brown specks.
"Wednesday, 6th January. Kept running for Cape Albany and by 7 P.M. having nearly run into its latitude stood off and on during night. In the morning it was very hazy otherwise would have seen the land. At half-past 9 A.M. saw Cape Albany, bearing west-north-west 10 or 12 miles distance and Cape Danger north-west 16 or 17 miles; both these capes marked with white sandy front and middling high, all the land between is sandy hills and long sandy beach, as also what part of the land we saw stretching into Portland Bay. Ground invariably mixed with shells and brown specks, sometimes a little gravel, till the last time when we had 24 fathoms fine sand. At the time Cape Albany bore 26 or 27 miles. At noon hauled our wind for Harmingar Rock* (* Harbinger.) but owing to heavy sea and wind did not make better than south-east course--the vessel labouring and pitching a great deal.
"Thursday, 7th January. From noon till 5 P.M. strong winds at north-north-east and a confused heavy sea...This weather settled into hard gale at south-west by 7 a tumultuous sea up and we laboured much and lurched very heavy. At 6 A.M. it cleared--set sails, out all reefs intending to make Governor King's Island while this clear weather continued; as it will be seen, unfavourable winds and weather has prevented me either tracing coast from Cape Shanks to Cape Albany, as after making Cape Albany from being able to run a straight course to Harminger Rock; both of these points will be attempted.
"Friday, 8th January. Altitude 145 degrees 07 minutes 15 seconds--this confirmed me that we must have been driven eastward.
"Saturday, 9th January. Saw the loom of the land from the masthead which I take to be Governor King's Island--its southernmost point bore S.W.S. distant 16 miles. We could only see it now and then as the squalls passed over. Kept working to this land which I rather think is part of the same that on the 6th I saw and supposed it to be the northernmost cape, Cape Danger, and another Cape Albany. I...will in making circuit easily know them, both being sandy bluffs.
"Sunday, 10th January. Kept all night working up to land and by 7 A.M. got within 6 miles of the body of the island; kept edging down along it a 4 or 5 miles distance; the land in general high and covered with brush and now and then spots of large trees very tall. At 8 A.M. we saw two rocks we had passed at 7 A.M.--make out exactly like 2 boats under sail, they are both very near the land...As we kept running down along the land I saw a low point of rock make out with a good deal of surf and the land lay so far back that I concluded at least a deep bight must be there--this proved true, as we rounded it the swell of the sea which before was high greatly took off and although the wind blew hard yet as it was off shore...lowered the boat and sent Mr. Bowen and two good hands in her on shore...At half-past 11 the weather looking worse instead of better made a signal for our boat which they noticed and came off--by noon they got on board, and Mr. Bowen reported that wood and excellent water was in abundance, that safe anchorage and good ground was close into the beach--the soil is middling good, in short, it is an excellent place to take shelter in from all worst winds that blow in this country...Latitude of this bight is 40 degrees 00 minutes 09 seconds south and Longitude 143 degrees 57 minutes 45 seconds east.
"Monday, 11th January. Running along shore at a distance of 4 miles at 1 P.M. Saw a rock bearing west distant 10 miles and a low point north-north-west 9 or 10 miles--as we run down, this point still making out made us begin to think that we should here find a bay or harbour. By 2 P.M. we completely opened it and saw it was a bay of large extent and fine shelter...where we came to anchor. Found the tide of flood running to the Westward nearly done (4 P.M.)--the different parts of the bay bore as follows: Elephant Rock* (* (Note in log.) So named from resemblance to that animal.) north by east distant at 5 miles north part of the bay north 1/2 west distant 6 miles--the bottom of bay west-north-west 2 1/2 miles distant and the south point of ditto south-south-east, or 4 miles. I now went on shore, found a good deal of surf on the beach till we got on the southern side...here we landed and the first thing we saw was a number of sea elephants* (* The Phoca proboscidea of Peron.) of an immense size lying asleep on the beach, each of them, Barnes the boatswain's mate told me, would make 8 or 9 barrels of oil; as we rowed down the shore we took them to be bluish rocks. We found along this beach two freshwater lagoons full of those animals which made it taste brackish...We could not get near the upper part of them on account of the number of elephants playing in them both. I named the bay Elephant Bay from this circumstance.
"Tuesday, 12th January. Boat returned on board, they caught 4 badgers and saw several kangaroos, but were not able to get any from the thickness of the brush--they also found feathers of emus and a dead one. Snakes are here, as the skin of one was found. We got several gallons of elephant oil out to-day as a specimen to Government and for our own use...some wood growing here reported different to any seen before...
"Wednesday, 13th January. Received some specimens of wood and some water. At half-past 10 up and run out of bay, hoisted in gig, running down shore; surveyed as well as weather would permit.
[Note: Illustration 10, described in List of Illustrations as being after Page 118, was missing from the book.--KING ISLAND FROM JOHN MURRAY'S CHART
"Thursday, 14th January. Fair wind and cloudy. Running along shore 3 or 4 miles off and surveying it. At 4 P.M. having run as far as North-West Point, and seeing a number of breakers ahead, hove to. We could have done nothing by standing on in such weather. At 5 P.M. dropped kedge with the warp to see if that would ride her and found she would ride by it very well, furled sail and pointed yards. The land from Elephant Bay to here is rather low of sandy soil and a very long white sandy beach all this distance. The two sandy capes or rather bluffs are about 20 miles from Elephant Bay and are so remarkable that I think no person could be well mistaken in them. The course to Elephant Bay is nearly south-east by compass; no person need mistake the bay as Elephant Rock lies in the mouth of it about 3 miles from its north part. The bottom is sand gravel mixed with broken shells...At 7 A.M. got nearly as far as the second rocks and breakers, found a very high sea up. At this time saw an island bearing south-west by south. The island presents a bold rocky front to the sea and foul ground--breakers and rocks lie off from it a long way. Not less than 10 miles from here, on looking to the southward, a low island is seen and due south the furthest point of land--it appears altogether rather a dangerous place unless a vessel has a good breeze that can be depended on. A calm with such a current as we found here might chance to run her upon one rock or another...
"Friday, 15th January. Moderate fair weather. At 3 P.M. tacked in shore and at 4 P.M. shortened sail and stood off and on within 2 or 3 miles of the sand bluffs; lowered gig and sent the First Mate in her on shore to examine this part of the island, found the variation to be 8 degrees 54 minutes east. At half-past 6 P.M. the boat got on board. Mr. Bowen told me that there was a very high surf on the beach, that those bluffs were entirely sand, no shells were on the beach--inland he said the soil was good--he found no water here, some kangaroo were seen but could not be got at, the officer shot one but it got away; he said that on going up one of the trees he perceived inland a large sheet of water which he thinks must have some entrance into it from the other side of the island. I rather think it a lagoon or swamp, nevertheless we will give the other side of the island a strict search when wind and weather will permit us to go round.
"Saturday, 16th January. At quarter past 4 A.M. breeze from north-east, hazy weather and rain, stood in for Elephant Rock. At half-past 5 A.M. made sail down the coast of island to the southward, surveying it and sounding every half-hour...From 10 to 11 A.M. standing in for land. The weather at this time cleared a little and from the masthead a low point seemed to form a kind of entrance...into a deep bight or bay, a reef of rocks was also seen to the westward of it. Stood in pretty close along the edge of the reef and sent Mr. Bowen in the gig to overhaul the place. Observed the rocks of this reef to be full of seals, sea horses and elephants. The appearance of this place being favourable...stood further in and perceived it was a deep bay.
"Sunday, 17th January. At 1 P.M. came to anchor--the bottom coarse sand--from where we lay East point of land bore east-north-east distant 10 miles, the Seal Reef south by east 3 or 4 miles...we sounded every part of this place where a vessel would most likely anchor and found it 14 to 7 fathoms. At 2 P.M. Mr. Bowen came off, he brought on board 3 seals with hair of prime fur and told me there was a vast quantity on shore. Elephants are also in abundance and the woods full of kangaroo, emus, badgers, etc., some few shells were found, no water seen as yet. After dinner I went on shore: the brush is very thick which rendered it impossible to get any way in, there is little doubt of plenty of water being here as we in our search started 15 or 20 kangaroo from 30 to 40 pounds weight. An emu was caught by the dog about 50 pounds weight and surprising fat. At one place on this beach an acre of ground at least was covered with elephants of a most amazing size and several were all along the beach and playing in the water. At 7 P.M. I came on board. A sea watch with the proper officer had been set as has been usual ever since we made this island...At midnight the wind increasing made sail out of the bay as I preferred riding out the gale in Elephant Bay. At 11 A.M. came to anchor in Elephant Bay. We have now overhauled and surveyed this island from its north-west and west points to its south-west points being in length about 55 or 60 miles, and although westerly winds that have blown for such a length of time have retarded our voyage yet they have enabled me to strictly search every part of the island between aforementioned points, and should a north-east wind come and remain steady for a few days we will be able to overhaul the remaining part of the island with equal accuracy. Of the advantages to be derived from this fine island I shall say but little, the plain truth is to be seen in this journal. It contains plenty of wood and water, the woods are full of animals and excellent of their kind, the shores are lined with fine oil (if I may be allowed the expression) and this part of the island has two good bays in it well sheltered from all the dangerous winds. A vessel may anchor as I did unless the wind blows from the east, south-east or north-east or north points of the compass. I named this last discovery the Bay of Seals from the number of these animals on the shores of it, and the rocks outside the bay Seal Rocks.
"Monday, 18th January. First and middle parts it blew a gale but with long lulls at times, latter a harder gale with much heavier squalls than I have yet seen in this country (the Western Port gale excepted) and it is with great satisfaction that I am able to say that our little vessel has rode it out as yet with one anchor and half a cable--a proof of the goodness of the holding ground...At 8 the boat brought on board a turn of water and 2 kangaroo were caught--the increase of the gale hindered the boat from returning on shore.
"Tuesday, 19th January. From noon till 4 P.M. the gale continued. By sundown it was moderate weather; the boat returned on board...a wambuck was caught, served it, a swan and a kangaroo to ship's company.
"Thursday, 21st January. A.M. Sent Mr. Bowen in the gig to Elephant Rock with directions to sound all the parts of this bay we did not run over in the vessel.
"Friday, 22nd January. P.M. The boat returned on board. Mr. Bowen found the soundings all the distance from the vessel from 9 to 10 and 11 fathoms and good ground. Close to the Elephant Rock there are 10 fathoms. This rock is about 1 1/2 miles in circumference and it is entirely covered with seals of prime fur some of which the officer brought, there might be 6 or 7,000 seals of different sizes on shore. A.M. Sent boat to Elephant Rock for skins and another for wood and water.
"Saturday, January 23rd. P.M. The launch returned with some sealskins of prime fur and I was told that the Rock was full of mutton-birds, in consequence of this I had the boat on shore and procured 80 or 90 of them, served ditto to the people.
"Sunday, January 24th. Throughout this 24 hours the weather has been remarkably thick and hazy...stood off and on till 4 P.M...then we made some sail to get sight of land if possible before dark and by 8 P.M. saw the north-west point of the Bay of Seals being north by west distant 5 miles, 2 Seal Rocks distant 6 miles north by east...at 2 A.M. found the vessel close to the breakers and a strong ripple of a current with a very confused jump of a sea. Tacked and stood off till daylight. By 6 A.M. we saw the distant looming of the land, bearing north-west, and perceived that all round us...lay rocks and dangerous breakers, one bore south-west (a large rock 3 miles) another south-south-west 3 1/2 another south 4 miles and one west 5 miles, that one which bore south-south-west, John Johnson told me he thought it Harbinger Rock, having seen it when with Mr. Black, commander of the Harbinger. At 8 A.M. made sail to the north-east...At noon strong winds at south hauled her off East.
"Before I close this log it may be proper to observe that from the very long run of bad weather we have had and being so often baffled in our attempts to get round the end of the island which is full of danger and moreover have seen all the land that lies between its north-west and west points to its south-west points from which these dangerous rocks and breakers lie about 7 or 8 miles I now determined to stand off to Albatross Island in a straight line for this reef for we could not venture too close unto land it having every appearance of a gale from south or south-east either of which blow in on the shore. This reef I named Lady Nelson Reef from our so narrowly escaping being on shore on it, this however is only to distinguish it from others for I have not the least doubt but it is what Mr. Bass gave me a sketch of, the latitude and longitude so well correspond with his. I fancy also it is what was seen in the Martha schooner in 1799 along with the land, all of which is one island...Thus we took leave of this large and fine island where the benevolent hand of Providence has fixed the chief necessaries of life and the means to procure some of its luxuries. We kept on East expecting it would soon blow a gale and a heavy sea up. I much lament not having as yet had it in my power from the series of unfavourable weather we have had so exactly to comply with the Commander-in-Chief's orders as I could have wished.
"Monday, January 25th. From noon till half-past 1 P.M. we run due east 8 miles, we then saw from masthead Hunter's Islands bearing (the middle of them) south-south-east distant 5 or 6 leagues...Under the lee of Three Hummock Island in smooth water we laid under easy sail off and on all night--found the tides here to run very strong. In the morning I sent boat on shore with the First Mate and 2 hands, by noon they returned having shot 2 ducks and found a spring of water, some small kangaroo were seen but not worth shooting even could they have been got at. The footsteps of a man were seen on shore, perhaps one of the Harrington's Lascars as the foot was measured and found very small. The shores of this island are bold rock and some dangerous reefs lie off it, one of which (a sunken one) we did not escape by 10 yards...Lady Nelson's Reef is east-south-east and west-north-west distance about 30 miles in Latitude 40 degrees 20 minutes 30 seconds south and Longitude by Time-keeper 145 degrees 40 minutes 53 seconds, it has many sandy bights in it where I would not scruple to anchor in south-south-west, south-east and east winds.
"Tuesday, January 26th. At half-past 12 bore away for Elephant Rock. At 5 P.M. the south extreme of Three Hummock Island bore south by east distance 19 or 20 miles...At sundown extremes of Governor King's Island bore south-west to west by north distance 11 or 12 miles. At 8 P.M. shortened sail and threw her head off shore intending to have lain off and on all night, this was done. At 4 A.M. made sail for land and we exactly made Elephant Rock right ahead therefore the distance between Three Hummock Island and Elephant Rock is north 65 west distance 44 miles true by compass north-west by west. We then stood on for the sandy capes or bluffs and by half-past 9 A.M. the largest and perpendicular one bore south by west distant 8 or 9 miles, this I named Cape Farewell. I took a departure from it intending to run to Cape Albany (Otway); the wind from 4 A.M. has blown at east-north-east and from that to north-east with its usual hazy dirty weather, in consequence of which we kept our wind till noon to be certain of clearing the shoals and breakers lying off this end of the island. At noon saw the looming of the western end of the island bearing distant perhaps 12 miles, the direct distance from Mid Hummock of that island to Cape Farewell is north 51 degrees west distance 56 miles true but by compass north-west a little westerly."
On leaving King Island, Murray, on January 30th (civil time),* (* In this chapter civil time is given in the author's observations. The time in the logs throughout is according to nautical reckoning, i.e. the day beginning at noon before the civil reckoning.) returned again to Western Port and next day, at 4 A.M. he sent Mr. Bowen with 5 men in the launch to examine the harbour to the westward which is now known as Port Phillip and at the head of which stands the city of Melbourne. On Wednesday the launch returned and the first mate reported that he had found a good channel into the harbour which was "a most noble sheet of water." He also reported that he saw no natives but only their huts. Shortly afterwards Murray himself entered the newly discovered Port in the Lady Nelson.
Murray arrived there on February 14th and anchored at 3.30 P.M. in a sandy cove off a point of the shore which lay distant a quarter of a mile to the south-west. He named a high mountain Arthur's Seat; a cluster of islands where black swans were plentiful Swan Isles; a bold rocky point to the east-south-east Point Paterson and a long sandy point Point Palmer.
The chart of Port Phillip (Illustration 11) is possibly a reproduction of the track of the Lady Nelson's boat when the bay was explored for the first time. Arthur's Seat and Watering Place apparently are the only names placed on it by Murray* (* It is preserved at the Admiralty.) as Swan Pond and "Point Repear" are in a different handwriting. At "Point Repear" the long boat of the Lady Nelson may have been repaired or the name may have been written in mistake for Point Nepean, also named by Murray.
CHART OF PORT PHILLIP SHOWING THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON'S BOAT IN 1802
In this chart by Murray, sent to the Admiralty from Sydney by Governor King in 1802, few names appear, although Murray named Point Palmer, Point Paterson, and Point Nepean, and the fact that it bears the date January 1802 seems further evidence that it is the first chart of Port Philip drawn by its discoverer. It is one of those referred to as "unfortunately missing" in the Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 764.
The following entries describe his coming to Port Phillip.
"Wednesday, January 27th. From noon till 8 P.M. variable winds, hot sultry weather, dull fiery sky and so thick that we could not see above a mile ahead; kept making for Cape Albany (Otway). At 8 short sail and hove to...at 4 A.M. the wind settled into a westerly gale attended with heavy squalls and rain. By 9 A.M. it turned into a clear gale and a very high sea up which makes us labour a good deal. Had altitude longitude by then 143 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds, these agree with the dead reckoning within 3 or 4 miles. Latitude 39 degrees 12 minutes 33 seconds. This weather has again rendered abortive my plan of getting the direct line of bearing and distance between Cape Farewell and Cape Albany Otway. I shall only observe that I never experienced such length of bad weather at any time of year or in any country since I sailed the seas.
"Saturday, January 30th. At half-past 9 A.M. the north point of land bore north distant 12 miles--made sail for it. At 10 A.M. perceived with surprise that it was Cape Shanks and Grant's Point instead of Cape Albany. I now judged it prudent to send our boat down to overhaul for a channel into the harbour mentioned in the Log of the 5th of this month, accordingly stood in for it and by noon Cape Shanks bore north-west distant 6 or 7 miles and Grant's Point north-east by east 10 or 11 miles. We had a very heavy swell and perceived the surf about Seal Islands breaking in a fearful manner; sounded every hour.
"Sunday, January 31st. At 2 P.M. passed Seal Island. Observed the long range of breakers on the western side of the Port: several of them had shifted their berths nearer to mid channel...the whole of them for several miles broke incessantly and remarkable lofty--we passed within 2 miles of them. The reefs on the eastern side also broke much further out. In short the mid channel up this port has (by the immense run of bad weather) been made narrower. By 5 P.M. got to anchor in Elizabeth's Cove...out boats. Got the launch ready for sailing in the morning to explore the channel of the western harbour before mentioned. I went on shore in the gig. Found the well as we left it full of fine clear water and our board of directions hanging at the entrance of the pathway. At 4 A.M.* (* It will be seen that Bowen left to explore Port Phillip at 4 A.M. of January 31st and not on February 1st.) I sent the launch with Mr. Bowen and 5 men armed with 14 days' provisions and water down to the westward giving him particular instructions how to act both with respect to the harbour and natives should he fall in with any, the substance of which was that in finding a channel into the Port he would take marks proper for coming in with the vessel and immediately return to me and at all times to deal friendly with the natives. It may now be proper to observe that my intentions are that if a passage into that harbour is found I will take the vessel down into it and survey it as speedily as circumstances will allow, from that trace the coast to Cape Albany, from Cape Albany run strait to Cape Farewell and Harbinger Rocks, and if time, after that follow up the remainder of my orders.
"Monday, February 1st...A.M. I walked along the beach for 8 miles up to Lady Nelson's Point and observed that a great variety of birds were in the brush and their notes very different; flights of white cockatoos of perhaps 100 were often seen. At Lady Nelson's Point we saw 20 or 30 swans in the salt-water lagoon...one and all of the birds we have seen were so shy that...we did not shoot one (a single pigeon excepted). The trees also were all in bloom. I am apt to think that summer does not begin in this part till January. On penetrating further into this island the soil was found to be good.
"Tuesday, February 2nd. P.M. I sent a hand on shore to the well in order to see if any birds were to be got by his sitting there a few hours steady as numbers towards sundown came in to drink. The plan had the desired effect, 4 pigeons were shot, a dozen of parrots; these latter were common, I dined on them, the pigeons were preserved. On opening them all were found to feed on seeds of various kinds.
"Wednesday, February 3rd. P.M. As I was walking along the pathway to the well I nearly trod on a snake about 6 feet long, the first we have seen on the island. It made its way into the brush.
"Thursday, February 4th. Throughout these 24 hours we have had calms with hot sickly weather and thick fiery haze. At half-past 9 P.M. the launch returned on board, all well. Mr. Bowen reported that a good channel was found into this new harbour, water from 10 fathoms to 6 and about a mile and a half broad, and according to his accounts it is A MOST NOBLE SHEET OF WATER larger even than Western Port, with many fine coves and entrances in it and the appearance and probability of rivers, a number of shells were found on its beaches--swans, pelicans and birds of various sorts were seen in great numbers. The boat's crew lived on swans all the time they were away.
"No water was as yet found--the officer having no time to spare, nor no natives seen but numbers of their huts, in short from such a report as I have received and of the truth of which I have no doubt (as the attention and care of this officer has always been conspicuous) it would be unpardonable in me not to give this new harbour a strict overhaul, in the meantime as it was calm and no appearance of getting out, at 8 A.M. hove up and towed the vessel up to Lady Nelson's Point in order to send the boat up the river for birds such plenty of various kinds being on this island. At noon dropped our anchor in 6 fathoms, Lady Nelson's Point bearing west by south half a mile and Crown Head 9 miles north-east by east and Margaret Island north-east 1/2 north 7 or 8 miles--moored with kedge.
"Friday, February 5th. Variable flaws of wind all round the compass this last 24 hours and hot sultry weather. Employed overhauling our bread which we found in good order. A.M. Sent the launch with the First Mate and 4 hands armed up the river to try and shoot some birds, it ought to be observed that the past two or three days we were here numbers of native fires were seen on the coast and up both arms, since then they have disappeared.
"Monday, February 8th. At 3 P.M. the launch returned, all well, having got a live swan, some dead ones and 4 crowned parrots, a single duck was shot. No fresh water was to be got even at dead low water and up as far as the boat could be pushed between the boughs of the fallen trees. At A.M. took up our kedge, weighed our anchor, made sail for Elizabeth's Cove and at half-past 6 A.M. came to anchor...sent empty cask on shore to complete our water--also a party to cut wood, we filled our casks from this excellent spring. Longitude by chronometer 145 degrees 13 minutes 53 seconds.
"Tuesday, February 9th. Calm weather, constant thick fiery haze, very close and sultry. By 3 P.M. secured everything for sea intending to sail in the morning, took a haul of our seine, caught one whiting only and two remarkable curious fish.
"Wednesday, February 10th. P.M. Sighted our Bower anchor suspecting it to be foul, found it so. Having found a quantity of oysters, mussels and shellfish at low water to-day gave the shore a strict search at low water and plainly perceived that a company of 6 or 8 men would not run any hazard of being starved here for several months from the vast quantity of shellfish to be found. We also have these some days past found feeding on seaweed many hundreds of a very handsome shell very scarce where we were in April last.
"Thursday, February 11th. This evening a snake 6 feet long was killed in the road to the well.
"Friday, February 12th. A.M. Hoisted in launch, took up kedge intending to sail if wind came to anything, it however kept constantly falling calm and then a light air would spring up for a few minutes; this kind of weather obliged me to keep fast. At noon heard distant thunder around us.
"Saturday, February 13th. From 7 P.M. till 10 P.M. constant loud thunder, vivid lightning and very hard rain later part, till 9 A.M. Was calm then. A breeze sprung up at east. Hove up our B.* (* Bower, that is anchor.) and hung by the kedge, by this time it fell calm and our hopes of getting to sea vanished, needless to observe this kind of weather is as destructive to the intent of this cruise as gales at sea. I took a walk along the beach far enough to see all the entrances to this port and by ascending an eminence was confirmed in my opinion that several of those dangerous sand rollers had shifted their berths and by so doing had rendered the channel narrower than hithertofore.
"Sunday, February 14th...At 5 A.M. weighed and made all sail down the port, by 8 A.M. Grant's Point bore east by north distant 10 miles and Cape Shanks north-west distant 7 miles; kept running down the land. A.M. At half-past 10 South Head of the new Harbour or Port north by east 8 miles distant; by noon the island at entrance of harbour bore north half a mile distant. At this time we had a view of this part of the spacious harbour, its entrance is wide enough to work any vessel in, but, in 10 fathoms. Bar stretches itself a good way across, and, with a strong tide out and wind in, the ripple is such as to cause a stranger to suspect rock or shoals ahead. We carried in with us water from 14 to 16 fathoms. Kept standing up the port with all sail set.
"Monday, February 15th. P.M. Working up, the port with a very strong ebb against us, we however gained ground. The southern shore of this noble harbour is bold high land in general and not clothed as all the land at Western Point is with thick brush but with stout trees of various kinds and in some places falls nothing short, in beauty and appearance, of Greenwich Park. Away to the eastward at the distance of 20 miles the land is mountainous, in particular there is one very high mountain which in the meantime I named Arthur's Seat from its resemblance to a mountain of that name a few miles from Edinburgh...to the north-east by north, about 5 miles from the south shore lies a cluster of small rocky islands and all round them a shoal of sand; plenty of swans and pelicans were found on them when the boat was down, from which I named them Swan Isles. To the north-east by east there is an opening, and from our masthead no land could be seen in it. The northern shores are low with a sandy beach all along. At half-past 3 P.M. we got to anchor in a sandy cove in 7 fathoms water, bottom fine sand--Swan Isles bearing north-east by north distance 5 miles, a bold rocky point which I named Point Paterson east-south-east 1 1/2 miles, a long sandy point named Point Palmer west, 1 1/2 miles, and the nearest point of the shore south-west 1/2 of a mile distant.
"I went on shore and walked through the woods a couple of miles. The ground was hard and pleasant to walk on. The trees are at a good distance from each other and no brush intercepts you. The soil is good as far as we may be judges. I saw several native huts and very likely they have burnt off several hundred acres of ground. Young grass we found springing up over all the ground we walked; the only birds we saw were a few parrots. We found some shells on the beach and returned on board. I have named this harbour Port King* (* Governor King afterwards renamed the harbour Port Phillip in honour of the first Governor of New South Wales.) in honour of Governor P.G. King under whose orders I act. Set a third watch of the people with an officer. In the morning sent the gig to Swan isles for swans and on board we caught a few rock fish. At noon the gig returned with 3 live and 4 dead swans.
"Tuesday, February 16th. After dinner I took a walk through the woods of this part of the country, attended by one soldier and our carpenter to examine the wood. To describe this part I walked through is simply to say that it nearly resembles a walk on Blackheath and the Park if we set out of question the houses and gardens of the latter. The hills and valleys rise and fall with inexpressible elegance. We discovered no water nor any new wood of consequence, but it is impossible that a great want of water can be here from the number of native huts and fires we fell in with in our march. From the top of a high hill I ascended and casting my eyes to the north-east a large sheet of water was seen which I am inclined to think is either a harbour or large river; we also perceived that this port trained away under Cape Shanks.
"On our return to the boat Andrew Luck found a perfect nautilus shell; he made me a present of it, indeed it is but common justice to observe that the invariable good, attentive and decent behaviour of this old man ever since he joined this vessel renders him a fit object of mercy. This day a few snappers were caught and some rock fish. At sundown a native fire was seen about a mile inland, in the morning early I sent Mr. Bowen and Bond armed to speak them, neither fell in with them. At 9 A.M. hove up our Bower with a light air at north-east and dropped a few miles further up the Port. We now saw the same fire just lighted by the natives and presently perceived several of them come out of the Bush, but the moment they saw the vessel they sprang into the wood out of sight. At 11 A.M. we came to an anchor in 5 fathoms water, handed sails, etc., as there was a native fire burning a little way inland.
"I sent the launch with Mr. Bowen and 4 hands armed to see if any natives were here, and before the boat was half-way on shore we had the satisfaction of seeing 18 or 20 men and boys come out of the wood and seat themselves down on a green bank waiting the approach of our boat with which I had sent some shirts and other trifles to give them; the boat accordingly landed in the midst of them and a friendly intercourse took place with dancing on both sides--in an hour the boat returned. Mr. Bowen had dressed them in our white shirts and invited them on board, this however they declined, but exchanged for all this. Got a basket of straw neatly enough made. They were all clothed in the skins of opossums and each had a bundle of spears, a stone mogo and one basket. They wished much to know what our arms were and their use and did not seem entirely to believe Mr. Bowen that they were only walking sticks--no women were amongst them. I sent the boat again with some bread, looking-glasses, tomahawk and a picture as presents to induce them to part with their weapons and dresses as also to inform us where there was water. This day all hands put upon two-thirds allowance of bread.
"Wednesday, February 17th. Fresh light airs inclinable to calm throughout this 24 hours. The boat (as mentioned in latter part of yesterday's log) proceeded to the shore and was as before received in a friendly manner by the natives, all of whom were seated in a circle on a beautiful spot of grass near a high point of land. Mr. Bowen and all the crew consisting of 5 men and the boy, Mr. Brabyn, went up with their dinners in their hands and sat down in the midst of them (18 in number) and began to eat showing the natives how to eat bread, etc., and gave them anything they chose to ask for. Mr. Bowen gave them all the things I had sent as well as several of his own things--stripping himself almost naked to comply with their wishes, and his example was followed by the whole of the boat's crew. As there was two fine-looking boys amongst them I sent Mr. Brabyn on shore purposely to see and gain their confidence by his attention to their youngsters, both of whom he dressed in his shirts, handkerchiefs, trowsers, etc.
"All matters continued in this state while our people had anything to give and all we got was 2 spears, a basket and a mogo and even these they again took from the seamen that had them in keeping, this however the officer took no offence at being determined if at all possible to keep on friendly terms with them. It was in vain that the officer and crew tryed by signs too significant not to be understood to gain intelligence where water was to be found or on what beaches shells were most plentiful, to all such enquiries they turned a deaf ear and only seemed intent on getting what our people had even to the last shirt; by this time our people had nearly finished their dinners and Isaac Moss having the boat in charge got up and was walking slowly down to her. At this time the Boy Brabyn happened to turn his head towards the wood and saw a man in the very act of throwing a spear at Moss as well as a large body (not before seen) behind a large fallen tree with their spears all in readiness for throwing. The boy immediately cried out to Mr. Bowen who was at that very time in the act of serving out bread to all the party he was sitting among that he would be speared, but before the words were out of his mouth, a spear of a most dangerous kind, was thrown at and did not escape Moss by a yard and in an instant the whole of the treacherous body that Mr. Bowen and 4 of our people were sitting in the midst of opened out to the right and left and at once left them all open to the party in ambush who immediately were on their feet and began to throw spears; still such was the forbearance of the officer that only one piece was fired over their heads but this was found only to create a small panic, and our party were obliged to teach them by fatal experience the effect of our walking sticks.
"The first fire made them run and one received two balls between his shoulders, still some of them made a stop to heave; the second fire they all set off with astonishing speed and most likely one received a mortal wound. Before another piece was fired Mr. Bowen laid hold of one of their number and held on till three of our people came up and also grappled him, strange to tell he made such violent struggles as to get away from them all nor did the contents of the officer's piece bring him up although one ball passed through his arm and the other in the side--he was traced a good distance by his blood--the remaining pieces were by this time fired and our party gave chase to them all.
"On board I kept a strict look-out with the glass and we lay only a little more than a quarter of a mile off the point where they were seated on. I plainly saw the natives running through the wood which was by no means thick--one fellow in particular had been dressed in one of my white shirts and the officer had tyed the wrists of it with string, which hindered his getting it off--him we plainly saw from the vessel pass the roots of black trees with such speed as more to resemble a large white bird flying than a man. To increase their panic as they passed along I gave them a discharge of our guns loaded with round and grape but am almost certain that they did them no damage; by this time our people returned from the chase, having found on the way back a number of spears, dresses and baskets, etc. Made the boat signal and they came off.
"Thus did this treachery and unprovoked attack meet with its just punishment and at the same time taught us a useful lesson to be more cautious in future. With respect to the size of these natives they are much the same as at Sydney, their understanding better though, for they easily made out our signs when it answered their purposes or inclination. When it did not they could be dull enough. They were all clothed in opossum skins and in each basket a certain quantity of gum was found. Not the least sign of a canoe has been seen. I conclude they live entirely inland, and if we may judge from the number of their fires and other marks this part of the country is not thin of inhabitants. Their spears are of various kinds and all of them more dangerous than any I have yet seen. The workmanship of their dresses, their lines and baskets are far from despicable, their mogo or stone axes are such as common at Sydney.
"In the afternoon the boat went to Swan Isles and caught three live swans of a large size, and in the morning the launch went with Mr. Power and a party well armed to sound for a channel round which the vessel might sail in order to survey the port. Usefully employed on board. Latitude 38 degrees 20 minutes south.
"Thursday, February 18th. Pleasant weather throughout. The launch returned having been fortunate enough to discover...fresh water and a channel all round this part of the Port from 10 to 14 fathoms. I took a long range through the woods attended with an armed party. We discovered nothing new but found several of the things we gave the natives which in their fright they had dropped. The ground we walked over was open and the same as before described, with good soil. The tide where we lie flows full and changes at 3 hours in the afternoon, and its perpendicular rise is about 6 feet up and down.
"Friday, February 19th. Another overhaul of the woods took place but nothing (not before mentioned) was found. Numbers of native tracks, fires and huts were seen. One native fire in sight on Arthur's Seat distant about 10 miles.
"Saturday, February 20th. Sent an armed party and our carpenter a long range through the woods to try the different kinds of wood, none however was found of use, the trees being almost invariably oak and other wood quite common at Sydney. A red waistcoat of Mr. Brabyn's was found with some bread in each pocket, in this he had dressed one of the native boys, who in his fear left it I fancy, as soon as he had found how to get it off, for it was buttoned on him.
"Sunday, February 21st. Finding we could not move higher up the port with the vessel I sent the launch over the western side to examine the passage into a harbour or river I saw from the hill on 16th inst.
"Monday, February 22nd. At noon the launch returned, having found an entrance into the sheet of water they were sent to overhaul, but only at high water, 7 or 8 feet of it, consequently no harbour for shipping. The boat proceeded a mile and a half, and, in running that, caught 20 swans of a large size without wasting one charge of shot, which by-the-bye is now become a scarce article, not above 3 or 4 pounds being in the vessel; however from the report made of this place it may lead to something of more consequence. I shall after the survey of the Port is completed give it a good overhaul. I must mention here that both our boats are now in such a state of decay from age and constant mending and patching that they both keep a hand constantly bailing when pulling or sailing, this circumstance it is needless to mention in a certain degree retards our proceedings.
"Tuesday, February 23rd. I went in the launch and sounded a few miles of the Port up towards the watering place. The soundings were 9 feet to 6 fathoms, bottom fine sand, further out perhaps a deeper channel may exist (this will be ascertained in the survey). Afterwards we walked through the country some distance, found the soil invariably good, the ground almost clear and the ranges of trees as regular as they are in general in the Park, with fine strong short grass underfoot.
"Wednesday, February 24th. First part of these 24 hours had a great deal of thunder and lightning and rain, middle and latter parts it blew a hard gale at south-west with squalls at intervals. We held on although all ataunto with the small bower and one-third of a cable out, a proof of the goodness of the holding ground.
"Thursday, February 25th. First part the gale continued, latter fair winds. Observed several very large native fires at the foot of Arthur's Seat and on the western side of the port, hauled our seine several times along the shore nearest us but caught no fish owing probably to there being flats of sand lying off them to the distance of 200 yards.
"Friday, February 26th. Examined the beach and land for about 8 miles. A.M. Sent our long boat on shore, turned her up and set our carpenter to work on her, she leaking so much as to keep a hand constantly bailing, and our small boat is so bad as to render it hazardous to go any distance from the vessel in her.
"Saturday, February 27th. Fine weather and moderate winds. Both boats sounding and on survey of harbour. A number of very large native fires on the hills round the eastern and western shores of the Port have been seen these two days past. Sent Mr. Bowen and Mr. Brabyn in the gig to get the Latitude of the north end of Swan Isles and at noon I got the Latitude of a point about 7 miles North and South of them from which a base line was got for the survey of the harbour.
CHART OF BASS STRAIT, INCLUDING THE DISCOVERIES OF ACTING-LIEUTENANT JOHN MURRAY IN THE LADY NELSON, between November 1801 AND march 1802
By command of His Excellency Governor King. This chart, which bears Murray's autograph, shows his explorations of Western Port, Port Philip, and King Island. It should be noted that Flinders' Island is named Grand Capuchin. This is one of the charts referred to as "unfortunately missing" in the Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 764.
In this chart by Murray, sent to the Admiralty from Sydney by Governor King in 1802, few names appear, although Murray named Point Palmer, Point Paterson, and Point Nepean, and the fact that it bears the date January 1802 seems further evidence that it is the first chart of Port Philip drawn by its discoverer. It is one of those referred to as "unfortunately missing" in the Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 page 764.
"Sunday, February 28th. Gave some of the people liberty on shore.
"Monday, March 1st. At 5 A.M. took up our kedge, hove short, loosed sails and sheeted home the top-sails, weighed and made sail up the port, intending to run as high as the watering place. The wind in a little time flied away and the tide ran so rapid as to sweep the vessel on a shoal of sand with only 5 feet of water on it, as it was perfectly smooth we immediately hove her off without her sustaining the least damage and dropped back into our old berth between Point Paterson and Bowen's Point so named from Mr. Bowen's skirmish with the natives in it. The flies are now so troublesome as to almost hinder a person from sitting a moment in one place.
"Tuesday, March 2nd. Employed getting on board stones for ballast and stowing them away. At 4 A.M. sent the longboat for a turn of water and to sound that part of the harbour between the vessel and it; by noon she returned on board with a turn of water, it was found that a bank of sand lay from shore to the distance of a mile or a mile and a quarter with only, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 feet on it at low water and it extends nearly 4 miles along shore. When you have passed this there is from 5 to 9 fathoms water abreast of the watering place, there is however little doubt of a deep channel being outside of this shoal, and this point will be ascertained in the course of to-morrow.
"Thursday, March 4th. P.M. The launch returned on board with a turn of water but had not been able to find a channel for vessel of any draught of water though she stood well out from the shore to at best 3 miles. This bank has only from 4 to 8 feet water on it and in many places is not above a hundred yards broad.
"Friday, March 5th. I went in the launch in search of a channel by which vessels of a larger draught than ours might be got up abreast of the watering place and was fortunate enough to find one a mile at least in breadth lying off the southern shores of this Port about 3 miles and having from 16 to 6 fathoms water in at low water and neap tides; and in this water a vessel of any draught may be secure from all winds at about a mile and a half from the spring at which to-day I loaded the boat with water and examined it. As far as we are judges it is most excellent water as clear as crystal--lies from the beach about 10 or a dozen yards and plenty of it to water the Grand Fleet of England; it is nearer the entrance than the foot of Arthur's Seat by about 2 miles, and can easily be found out by the land which for a few miles before you come to it is low whereas all the other land on both sides is high with bold points; if a boat then East or east by south from Point Paterson 9 miles puts into the shore they will not be far off it, there is plenty of duck about it, but so shy that only two have been shot, a circumstance we did not a little regret as they exceed in flavour any I ever eat. We are now complete in water and will soon be wooded.
"Saturday, March 5th. Employed on board fitting new waist-cloths, the others being decayed and her sides and bends being very bare I gave them a coat of red (the only colour we had on board) and blacked the bends and upper works. A.M. I went in the launch over to the sheet of water* (* Mentioned on 22nd.) (as I intended) with an armed boat's crew and by noon got to its entrance. This day has been so clear that we are able to see the land all round the Port and in many places very high headlands. In those low places, where we could not be certain of the land by the eye there were numerous native fires and some of them very large.
"Sunday, March 7th. By one P.M. I got into the sheet of water and by pulling all round it found it to be very extensive but, in no place more than 6 feet water and the greatest part of it so shoal as to ground the boat. In the entrance at one place there is a small channel of about 50 or 60 feet in breadth with 9 feet to 2 1/2 fathoms water in, but of no use as it shoals to a couple of feet before you get in. The soil of the land all round the extensive place is good and its appearance exceeds in beauty even the southern shores. The number of large swans seen almost exceeds belief, but by this time most of them could fly, we caught 11--10 of which were large. All of us slept this night on a pleasant little island with a few handsome trees on it, soil good and so clear as to be fit for the hoe at once, I named it Maria Isle after a sister I lost some years past.
"Monday, March 8th. As we now intended sailing in a few days I judged it consistent with His Majesty's instructions (a copy of which I was furnished with from the Governor and Commander-in-Chief of New South Wales) to take possession of this port in the form and manner laid down by the said instructions, and accordingly at 8 o'clock in the morning the United Colours of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland were hoisted on board and on Point Paterson, and at one o'clock under a discharge of 3 volleys of small arms and artillery the Port was taken possession of in the name of his Sacred Majesty George the Third of Great Britain and Ireland, King, etc., etc. Served double allowance of grog. In the afternoon I went on shore attended with an armed party and passed the remainder of the day about and under the colours flying on shore, at sundown hauled down the colours on board and ashore.
"Tuesday, March 9th. Employed getting ready for sea. Overhauled our keels fore and aft, cleaned them. We have now expended 19 weeks and one day's provisions out of 24 weeks. We were victualled for commencing on 27th October 1801 and owing to the quantity of bread decayed, along with what the swans and other birds have eaten, we are rather short, even what we have left is very bad, therefore it will not be in my power at this time to prosecute the object of our cruise much further. It is in vain I regret so little being done in such a length of time, the weather and other circumstances have been rather against us the whole cruise, however the little that is performed of the original instructions is pretty accurate and I trust will give the Commander-in-Chief some satisfaction.
"Wednesday, March 10th. For these last two or three days great numbers of native fires have been seen all round the Port except between Arthur's Seat and Point Palmer.
"Thursday, March 11th. At 7 weighed and made sail down the port by 8 A.M. with a strong tide of ebb running out we got into the entrance carrying all the way from 9 to 16 fathoms water, we then fell into such a ripple that we expected every minute it would break on board--got clear and by half-past the point of entrance bore north-east by east 4 miles and a remarkably high nob of land (if not an island) west-north-west 4 or 5 miles, by noon the entrance north-east by west 9 or 10 miles.
Wednesday, March 24th. Fine weather though inclined to calm. At half-past 3 P.M. South Head bore south-south-west the North distant 4 or 5 miles. At 4 P.M. passed Bradley's Head, at 6 passed Garden Island and by half-past 6 P.M. came to an anchor in Sydney Cove with the best bower, moored with the kedge. The Commander waited on His Excellency the Governor and Commander-in-Chief."
Murray's voyage ended on March 24th, and on the same day he waited on Governor King at Sydney, with the news that his orders had been carried out. The Governor must have been greatly pleased, and the more so because only a month later the French ship Naturaliste put into Port Jackson.* (* The French ships Geographe and Naturaliste had left France in October 1800 on a voyage of discovery.) Hamelin, who commanded her, was, however, in sore straits. He had parted from Commodore Baudin in a gale off Van Dieman's Land and had traversed the whole of Bass Strait without meeting the Geographe, his boats having visited Western Port* only a month after Murray had left there. (* French Island preserves the memory of their visit, but Murray's Chart shows that the English (contrary to Peron's assertions) knew that this island was separated from the mainland before the coming of the French.) Finding his provisions exhausted, in his extremity the French Commander, although he knew that France and England were at war, steered to Sydney. The English, we are told, received him with noble and large-minded (grande et Loyale) liberality, and the sick French sailors were received at the Government Hospital. Hamelin was busily engaged in replenishing his ship when Captain Matthew Flinders arrived in H.M.S. Investigator on May 9th and was able to give him news of his consort which he had met in Encounter Bay. Flinders also informed Captain Hamelin that Baudin had said that it was his intention to proceed to the Isle of France. The Naturaliste therefore, hastened her preparations and sailed from Sydney on May 18th.
In the meantime the Lady Nelson had been to the Hawkesbury and back again, arriving on April 21st and bringing a cargo of wheat and some cedar logs. The remarks in the log may prove of value to those who study the early history of the Colony, for Murray gives the names of the different reaches in the river, and it would be interesting to know whether these old place-names are still used. Murray does not tell us of the arrival of the Naturaliste, though he must have been in Sydney then, but various entries show that the brig conveyed the Governor and his party to the Naturaliste's anchorage in Neutral Bay to visit Captain Hamelin and brought them to Sydney again.
Another voyage to the Hawkesbury River was carried out, and then the ship was put into preparation for a voyage of exploration, in company with the Investigator, to the North coast.
Sydney Cove to the Hawkesbury.
"Thursday, April 1st. Fine weather. Getting ready for sea. At half-past 5 A.M. up kedge and weighed and turned out of ye cove. The Cumberland got under way and proceeded down the harbour. At 8 A.M. (We having the Cumberland in company) cleared the heads of Port Jackson, and at half-past 8 parted with Cumberland, leaving her with a fine moderate breeze at south-south-east, and by half-past 9 she bore Sydney 4 or 5 miles. By 11 A.M. got abreast of Barren Jowie* (* Barrenjoey.) and by noon passed Pittwater, here we found at anchor Mr. Commissary Palmer's vessel the George.
"Friday, April 2nd. Proceeding up Harbour and by 2 P.M. came to anchor under Mullet Island, in the evening Raby's boat passed us, and in a little time after we hailed and brought alongside a fishing boat with three soldiers in her, at 8 P.M. she left us. A.M. Got under way and at the end of tide came to in the westernmost end of Spectacle Reach.
"Saturday, April 3rd. At 3 P.M. got under weigh and proceeded up the river--came to in Mangrove Reach, set as usual an armed watch with an officer and proceeded up the river and at noon came to in Milkmaid Reach.
"Sunday, April 4th. At 6 A.M. got under weigh and proceeded up the river as far as the first branch and there from the darkness of the night came to. At 5 A.M. up anchor and by 11 got as far as Shot Snake Reach.
"Monday, April 5th. Fine weather. At 8 A.M. got under weigh and...proceeded up the River, by 11 A.M. passed the upper branch and by noon gained two following Reaches. Latitude observed 33 degrees 28 minutes 26 seconds south.
"Tuesday, April 6th. Fine weather throughout. At 4 P.M. came to in Belloe's Reach and at half-past 9 P.M. got under weigh and gained Portland Reach. At 10 A.M. got under weigh and by noon got one reach above Portland Reach--as yet we have not seen one log of cedar.
"Wednesday, April 7th. Proceeding up the river--by 4 P.M. came to in the Reach above the first settlers--fired a gun.
"Sunday, April 11th. At half-past 12 hauled the vessel in close to Government House and began to take in wheat and by sundown got in 311 bushels. At daylight again began to receive grain and by noon received on board to the amount of wheat 774 bushels.
The Hawkesbury to Sydney Cove.
"Monday, April 12th. Preparing to drop down the river. At 6 A.M. made the signal for sailing with a gun.
Hawkesbury River to Sydney Cove.
"Tuesday, April 13th. At 9 A.M. hauled up to get down the river but the wind blew so strong in our teeth that we were obliged to come to a few hundred yards below Government House.
"Wednesday, April 14th. At half-past 12 P.M. the tide having made down hove up and began to tow down the river and by 5 P.M. got down to the lowest settlers. At 8 P.M. fired a gun and set an armed watch; at 9 P.M. having a fair breeze of wind, got under weigh and by noon cleared Lover's Leap Reach.
"Thursday, April 15th. At 5 P.M. from the strength of the wind were obliged to come to in the upper end of Sackville Reach.
"Friday, April 16th. At one P.M. a short lull taking place, hove up and tried to tow down but immediately obliged to bring up from wind blowing so strong as to render our getting down the river an entire impossibility.
"Saturday, April 17th. At one P.M. it lulled and we got under weigh, by 6 P.M. we came to, at midnight on the turn of tide again hove up and towed down, at 3 A.M. passed the Francis schooner at anchor, at 4 A.M. came to.
"Sunday, April 18th. Fine weather throughout. Proceeding down the river. At 4 P.M. came to in Barbin Reach--towed down till half-past 4 A.M., at half-past 9 A.M. again got under weigh and by noon got within the reaches of Mangrove Point; one of the Hawkesbury boats passed us.
"Monday, April 19th. Working down the river. By 2 P.M. we gained one reach below Sentry Box and there came to. Sent on shore and cut down a few cabbage trees for the people. At half-past 7 two boats passed us going to the Hawkesbury. Half-past one A.M. got down as low as the Barr Reach where we brought up, at 9 A.M. again got under weigh and by noon we gained Spectacle Reach.
"Tuesday, April 20th. Proceeding down the river as far as Mullet Island and at half-past 1 P.M. came to. Hove up and made sail down as far as Flint and Steel Cove and then came to; at 9 A.M., in boats, and hove up, made sail out of Broken Bay wind at north-west, at 11 A.M. passed Barren Jowie, by noon the north head of Port Jackson bore south by west 1/2 west.
"Wednesday, April 21st. Hauled our wind close tacked occasionally till 6 P.M. when we entered the Heads, kept working up the Port and by 7 P.M. got as high as Garden Island, and at 8 P.M. came to an anchor in Sydney Cove.
"Thursday, April 29th. First and middle parts calm, latter part small breezes, proceeded down the river as far as the French ship on board of which the Commander-in-Chief went and other gentlemen. At 2 P.M. they returned on board and we tacked and stood up for Sydney again, at half-past 2 P.M. the breeze dying away His Excellency and the other gentlemen left us and went up in their boats. At 4 P.M., a small breeze springing up, we were enabled to proceed up, and by 5 P.M. came to an anchor in Sydney Cove.
Sydney Cove to the Hawkesbury.
"Friday, April 30th. At 11 A.M. again received orders to get under weigh, loosed sails, hove up and made sail down the Port. At noon the Commander-in-Chief with a company of ladies and gentlemen came on board and we proceeded down the Harbour all sails set.
"Saturday, May 1st. Kept standing down the Harbour and at one P.M. came to an anchor in Lookout Bay where the Commander-in-Chief and party went on shore. At 4 P.M. weighed and stood up the Harbour and at 6 came to off the Pinch Gut Island in 12 fathoms of water.
Sydney Cove to Hawkesbury River.
"Saturday, June 12th. First part strong gales at South, middle and latter more moderate. At 6 A.M. began to work out of the bay, at 7 weighed and made sail and by 8 cleared the heads, at 9 the head of Port Jackson bore south-west by west distant 3 1/2 miles, half-past 9 passed the Long Reef and by about 11 was abreast of the South Head of Broken Bay. At noon nearly reached Barren Jowie.
"Sunday, June 13th. Kept standing off the Bay and by 3 P.M. entered Mullet Island Reach, at 5 P.M. came to in Lay Island Reach, perceived a fresh to be in the river. At 2 A.M. weighed and got a small distance in but the wind freshening ahead obliged us to come to.
"Monday, June 14th. At 3 P.M. weighed and began to tow up the River and by 7 P.M. came to in Bow Reach. At 5 A.M. weighed and proceeded up the river, by 9 A.M. came to in Sentry Box Reach.
"Tuesday, June 15th. At 3 P.M. weighed and made sail proceeding up the river--at half-past 7 A.M. passed the first branch, and at 11 came to.
"Wednesday, June 16th. At 4 P.M., hove up and at 8 P.M. passed the second branch, at 10 came to, at 1 A.M. hove up, and by noon passed Portland Head.
"Thursday, June 17th. At 2 P.M. came to one reach above Portland Head. At 7 P.M. hove up and by one A.M. came to among the lower settlers. At 9 A.M. hove up and got a couple of reaches higher when we anchored, owing to the strength of the wind against us, one hour. People in the launch pulling.
"Friday, June 18th. At 2 A.M. dropped the settlement and at daylight began to deliver the provisions.
"Saturday, June 19th. Finished the delivery of the provisions and began to take in corn from His Majesty's store.
"Tuesday, June 22nd. Employed taking corn. Made the signal for sailing with a gun, by noon we finished loading having got on board 520 bushels corn; hauled off to the stream.
Hawkesbury River to Sydney Cove.
"Wednesday, June 23rd. Employed getting ready to drop down and at 9 A.M. hove up and began to tow down the river; by noon got as low as Simpson's farm.
"Thursday, June 24th. By 2 P.M. got down as low as the lowest settlers and then came to, the tides being done. At 3 P.M. hove up and got down a couple of reaches when we grounded on a mudbank, hove her off and at 8 A.M. hove up and at 10 got past Lover's Leap, at noon got down another reach.
"Friday, June 25th. At one P.M. came to in Portland Reach. At 8 A.M. hove up and by noon got two reaches below Sackville Reach.
"Saturday, June 26th. Proceeding down the river, at 3 P.M. came to and at 9 A.M. hove up and by noon got below the first branch.
"Sunday, June 27th. At 9 A.M. hove up and proceeding down the river and by noon passed the lower reach.
"Monday, June 28th. At 10 A.M. hove up and attempted to work down; by noon gained two reaches.
"Tuesday, June 29th. Gained one reach more in working, when from the sudden gusts of wind and lulls we were obliged to bring up. At 10 A.M. the Cumberland passed us bound up. At 10 A.M. hove up and gained by noon only one more reach and there was forced to let go our anchor.
"Wednesday, June 30th. At 11 P.M. hove up and towed down a couple of reaches when we were obliged to bring to. At 11 A.M. hove up and by noon nearly reached Mangrove Point; wind favouring us, set main-sail and stay sails.
"Thursday, July 1st. At 3 P.M. came to below Mangrove Reach, 6 A.M. hove our small bower to the bows and found its stock gone.
"Friday, July 2nd. Tacking down the river--by 3 P.M. came to at Long Island; at 10 A.M. weighed and made sail down the river. At noon passed the Francis schooner lying at Mullet Island.
"Saturday, July 3rd. At 9 A.M. the Francis weighed and stood up the river; at noon weighed and towed down towards Broken Bay.
"Sunday, July 4th. At 6 P.M. after having attempted to get out were obliged to come to in 4 fathoms water. At 6 A.M. hove up and made sail down the bay, at 7 A.M. passed Pittwater, at 8 got abreast of the South Head, at 10 the North Head of Port Jackson bore west-south-west 4 miles.
"Monday, July 5th. Fresh winds and a high sea. By 4 P.M. entered the heads and at half-past 7 P.M. came to at Garden Island. Commander waited on the Governor and Commander-in-Chief.
In the previous chapter it has been told how Captain Flinders arrived at Port Jackson on May 9th, 1802, ten days before the departure of the Naturaliste and how he had brought news to Hamelin of his meeting with the Geographe in Encounter Bay. On his way to Sydney, Flinders had charted nearly the whole of the South Coast of Australia from Cape Lewin to Wilson's Promontory--a small portion only escaping his notice--and had entered and surveyed Port Phillip.
Immediately on his arrival he consulted with Governor King as to the future explorations of the Investigator. They came to the conclusion that it would be injurious both for the ship and for her crew to attempt another survey of the South Coast at that season of the year, and decided that the Investigator, in company with the Lady Nelson, should proceed to the northward along the Australian coast and then to the westward, if it were possible, to examine the Gulf of Carpentaria before the November following when the north-west monsoon might be expected.
There was at this time a very great need of a proper survey of these shores, particularly of the portion which now forms the Queensland coast and of the reefs that skirt it. Since the days when Cook in the Endeavour had discovered these reefs, except when Flinders sailed to Hervey Bay in 1799, little had been done to make this part of Australia better known, although in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef both land and sea were alike dangerous to seamen and disasters were of frequent occurrence. Cook himself had met with a mishap in these waters, and Flinders afterwards was totally wrecked on the inner edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Consequently, in agreeing to Flinders' proposal, King was conferring a real benefit upon the whole of the shipping community. It was also decided that in the event of Flinders' progress being retarded, or if he were unable to examine the Gulf of Carpentaria, he should either explore Torres Strait or return and survey Fiji. Eventually, however, it was found possible for him to carry out the exploration of the Gulf.
TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON IN COMPANY WITH H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY along the coast of New South Wales. By John Murray. This chart also bears Murray's signature, as well as the outward and return track of his ship
Mr. Westall, landscape painter, with Mr. Robert Brown, botanist, and other scientists, sailed in the Investigator. Bungaree, the Rose Bay native who had accompanied Flinders on his voyage in the Norfolk to Hervey Bay also went with him as well as a Sydney black fellow named Nanbury. Murray was given a code of signals for the Lady Nelson and was directed by Flinders, in case of the ships being separated, to repair to Hervey Bay, which he was to enter by a passage between Sandy Cape and Breaksea Spit said to have been found by South Sea whalers.
The two ships left Sydney together on July 22nd, 1802, but the Lady Nelson was soon in difficulties, and was left astern at Port Stephens. Shortly afterwards the Investigator lay to, to await her coming. On Saturday 24th--writes Flinders, "our little consort being out of sight we stood an hour to the southward, and not seeing her in that direction bore away along the coast." Meanwhile on the afternoon of July 26th, Moreton Island at the entrance of Moreton Bay was passed, and on Wednesday the 28th, Flinders reached Sandy Cape where he immediately began to seek for a passage into Hervey Bay. One was found but proved too shallow for the Investigator to pass through, so the ship was brought to two miles from the Spit.
On the 30th the Lady Nelson came up with the Investigator anchoring near her at sunset. After leaving Sandy Cape, Captain Flinders found that the trend of the land differed noticeably from that laid down by Cook in his chart. On August 7th Port Curtis was discovered and on the 21st Port Bowen, but by October 17th, when off the Cumberland Isles (a group off the east coast of Queensland in 20 degrees south), the Lady Nelson had become so unfit for service that she had to be sent back to Sydney.
The vessels at the time were within the Great Barrier Reef, and Flinders states that he kept the brig with him until a passage out to sea clear of the reefs could be found. "It is a matter of much concern to me," he writes to Banks,* (* See letters of Flinders to Banks. Add. manuscripts, British Museum.) "that this navigation could not be surmounted without such a loss of anchors to both vessels and of damage...to the Lady Nelson in the loss of her main keel and the damage done to the trunk." It was also found that her capacity of beating to windward, never great, was much reduced. And again in his journal he says, "the Lady Nelson sailed so ill and had become so leewardly since the loss of the main and part of the after keel that she not only caused us delay but ran great risk of being lost." Therefore, much as he desired the aid of the small vessel, Flinders decided to proceed on his voyage alone.
Soon after he had separated from Flinders, Murray, in order to spare the Lady Nelson's sole remaining anchor, gave orders for two swivel guns crossed, to be lashed together, and when winds were light and waters smooth, he anchored with the swivels until the carpenter was able to make an ironbark anchor to take their place. In the following pages Murray relates the full story of the Lady Nelson's voyage both when she was with the Investigator and also after the two ships had parted company.
WITH THE INVESTIGATOR.
THE LADY NELSON ON DISCOVERY IN COMPANY WITH H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR.
"Thursday, July 22nd, 1802. Preparing for sea. At 2 P.M. the Investigator made the signal for all persons to return on board. At 3 P.M. weighed and made sail down the harbour: by 1/2 past 7, cleared the Heads; 1/2 past 9 North Head of Port Jackson, south-south-west distant 18 miles.
"Friday, July 23rd. At 4 P.M. the Coal Island bore north by east 15 or 16 miles and the South Head of Port Stephens north-north-east 20 or 22 miles...Received orders to keep ahead during the night and show a light now and then, steering north-east by east. At 8 spoke the Commander who told us to keep in his wake.
"Saturday, July 24th. At half-past 5 P.M. the Commander made the signal to come within hail, spoke him and was ordered to keep near him during night.
"Sunday, July 25th. From noon until 11 P.M. gale continued with a high sea which continually broke on board. At daylight we perceived from the land that a southern current ran so strong that we were nearly in the same place as at noon...
"Monday, July 26th. Standing down along shore. By 4 P.M. saw what we supposed was a ship and supposed it to be the Investigator, accordingly stood in for her, but a squall of rain coming on hindered our seeing her; fired a gun but no answer was received, at 8 fired a second gun with a light at the masthead but got no answer...Bore north-north-east and to our surprise by midnight found ourselves close to a very high head of land which owing to being covered with clouds we did not before see.* (* Point Danger.) Turned up the hands and made all sail and by 1 A.M. with much difficulty we cleared it...
"Monday, July 27th. At 2 P.M. Solitary Islands bore west by north distant 7 miles.
"Wednesday, July 28th. At 1 P.M. Mount Warning bore west by north distant 15 or 16 miles...At daylight saw the land from west-south-west to N.W.S., noon the northern end of Moreton Island bore west by north distant 5 or 6 leagues.* (* Flinders examined Moreton Bay and Pumicestone River in 1799 but Oxley made the discovery that Point Lookout was situated on Stradbroke Island and that Moreton Bay extended as far south as 28 degrees where it communicated with the sea.)
CONTINUATION OF THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON IN JULY 1802
"Thursday, July 29th. At 8 A.M. Double Island Point bore north-west by west about 5 or 6 miles. Stood into Wide Bay in hopes of finding the Investigator there, as we stood round the northern end of Double Island saw a number of natives who waved their hands to us; all round the bay were numbers of fires. In the mouth and on the south side of Wide Bay* (* Coast of Queensland.) lie two rocks with bold water round them, not laid down in the chart, and those rocks bare from the north end of Double Island north-east by north distance 1 1/2 miles.
"Friday, July 30th. At 5 P.M. the north extremes of the land bore north 1/2 east distant 15 or 16 miles. Observed numerous natives all along the coast. At sunrise Indian Head bore north-north-west distant 3 miles, as we neared it, counted 25 natives on it. Made all sail for Sandy Cape and by 11 A.M. entered a passage between two reefs, at the same time from the masthead saw the Investigator bearing north-west distant about 10 or 11 miles.* (* The Investigator had anchored under Breaksea Spit about 9 miles north-north-east from Sandy Cape.)
"Saturday, July 31st. Fine weather. At 2 P.M. on the turn of tide sent the boat ahead to tow, hove up, and made all sail; cleared the shoals that surrounded this reef. The Investigator standing down to us sent a boat with the Master on board to give assistance if wanted, at half-past 4 P.M. ye Commander came to; at 5 P.M. we also came to in 4 fathoms of water--bottom fine sand and waited on ye Commander. At half-past 6 A.M. hove up and made sail in shore and at half-past 8 A.M. came to near enough to cover the landing of the boats of both vessels. Captain Flinders and a number of the officers and gentlemen landed and I went on shore with an armed party in order to get wood. In a little time Captain Flinders and his party were joined by about 30 of the natives all of whom laid down their arms and we continued on friendly terms with them all the time the parties were on shore. Captain Flinders made them presents of red caps, tomahawks, etc. with which they were much pleased and gave back some baskets and nets. With respect to the persons of these natives, I perceived little or no difference from the Sydney blacks; their language is much different, as Bungaree could not understand a word they said.* (* "These people were entirely naked but were more 'fleshy' than those at Port Jackson perhaps from being able to obtain a better supply of fish with "scoop nets" which are not known on the southern coast. A species of pandanus grew here in abundance and the valleys contained trees of the Casuarina and Eucalyptus." Flinders.)
"Sunday, August 1st. Fine weather. At 2 P.M. the gentlemen with their parties returned to the beach. We all embarked in the Investigator's boat, got on board the Lady Nelson; at 3 P.M. came to in 5 fathoms, Captain Flinders then left us. At 7 P.M. the Commodore weighed; hove up and followed him with all sail. At noon saw the looming of Sandy Cape east by south 7 or 8 leagues.
"Monday, August 2nd. Fine weather. At 1 P.M. Commodore on our lee beam 2 miles; quarter past 5 P.M. the Commodore came to, at half-past we came to under the stern of the Commodore. At 6 A.M. got under weigh. At 10 A.M. answered signal to come within hail, the Commodore desired we would keep in shore of him.
"Tuesday, August 3rd. Fine weather. At 4 P.M. Bustard Bay bore west-north-west distant 3 or 4 miles. On this point a very large fire was burning and numbers of natives were there. Hauled in for the Bay and shoaled our water; came to in 5 fathoms water. At sundown lowered down small boats and waited on the Commander. At 6 A.M. made sail with the Investigator, passed the first rock lying off the western point of Bustard Bay.
Wednesday, August 4th. At half-past 3 perceived one of the Investigator's boats to be adrift, bore away to pick her up. At sundown the western extremes of the land bore west-south-west distant 15 miles. At 8 P.M. passed the stern of the Commodore who hailed us and told us he would tack every two hours during the night. At daylight saw the land bearing south-south-east. At noon the northern point of Bustard Bay bore south-south-east distant 4 or 5 leagues.
"Thursday, August 5th. Kept slipping along the land. At half-past 6 P.M. having run under the stern of the Commodore came to.* (* "This anchorage was 5 or 6 miles from Gatcombe Head and the chain of hills which rises near Bustard Bay was seen to stretch westward behind the shore at the back of Mount Larcom. These hills had a barren appearance, the coast being more rocky than sandy." Flinders.) At quarter past 10 A.M. the Commodore made signal I see an opening, answered ditto. Immediately after answered signal "steer in shore and look out for anchorage." Observing numbers of natives and canoes on the beach, kept running in. At quarter past 10 A.M. beheld from our masthead a large sheet of water with a rocky island in the entrance and seemingly got shelter.* (* Port Number 1 in the chart is Port Curtis so named by Captain Flinders after Sir Roger Curtis.) At 11 A.M. came to in 3 fathoms water and made the signal to the Commodore "come no nearer in," and he came to--lowered down our boat, I went and sounded in shore and found the water to deepen to 8 fathoms. Waited on the Commodore, received orders to follow his boat into the harbour--sent our people to heave up. At noon one of the Investigator's boats went on shore to the beach where the natives and their canoes were.* (* "There were seven bark canoes lying on the shore and upon a tree near hung parts of a turtle and scoop nets similar to those at Hervey Bay." Flinders.)
"Friday, August 6th. At 1 P.M. hove up and run further into the opening. I then went on shore to a small rocky island on which Captain Flinders was taking angles and we got some firewood. I went in Captain Flinders' boat across to a middling high hill* (* Called in the chart Hill View.) on the opposite side of this stream, got to the top and saw that the sheet of water ran into several serpentine branches and that apparently the deepest water was to the south-east of us; and that this south-east entrance and the one in which we lay formed a pretty large island lying in a north-west and south-east line. We joined the boat and sounded in a traverse to ascertain whether it was possible for the Lady Nelson to move higher up. We found however only from 3 to 5 feet of water and foul ground throughout a narrow space through which the vessel must pass. In consequence of which Captain Flinders desired me to get under weigh and work round the island to the south-east entrance and to find a channel into the harbour. Accordingly weighed, by 7 P.M. passed the Investigator. At daylight made all sail to gain the entrance and by 9 A.M. nearly fetched it, from the masthead at the time I saw a long range of breakers from the entrance stretching away south-east to east-south-east which made me to be in some doubts as to an entrance existing, however I sent Mr. Hacking in the boat to sound and almost immediately we struck on a sandbank. Immediately hove up our keels and she luckily veered round in 6 feet of water and went off although we still had no more water for some time, it then gradually deepened into 6 fathoms. Fired a gun for the boat who got on board by noon and informed me that a good channel did exist, and from where we were it lay about south-south-east and may be 3/4 of a mile broad--out sweep and sent the boat ahead to tow.
"Saturday, August 7th. Fine weather. Standing into the entrance south-south-west. On putting our helm to starboard we immediately had from 1 1/2 3, steering west-north-west, the Investigator on our beam bearing about north-north-east distant 8 miles, and finding our water suddenly to shoal came to in 2 fathoms and observed that a little way ahead lay a long sand sheet almost dry. Tripped our anchor and run into 5 fathoms water and there came to.* (* Off South-trees Point.) Fired a gun as a signal to the Commodore; observed a boat under sail a considerable distance from us in a westerly direction which I fancied was Captain Flinders in his whaleboat examining the harbour. At sunrise had out our launch and sent the First Mate in her with an armed party in search of water.
"Sunday, August 8th. After dinner I went in the small boat to examine an opening on the South shore of the harbour and to look for water of which I found some, on proceeding about a mile and a half up the opening perceived it branched into several different directions. I imagine it runs some considerable distance up into the country. On returning to the vessel I found Captain Flinders with a midshipman and boat's crew on board.* (* "The country round Port Curtis is over-spread with grass and produces the Eucalyptus. Much of the shores and low islands are overspread with Mangroves--the most common being the Rhizophora Mangle of Linn." Flinders.) At daylight Captain Flinders left us desiring me to get under weigh as soon as possible and get round to the Investigator. In working down we sounded constantly and found from 10 to 4 fathoms on each side, a safe channel for any ship and sufficiently broad to work in.
SKETCH OF PORT NUMBER 1 (PORT CURTIS), FACEING ISLAND AND KEPPEL BAY. By John Murray, made on board H.M. armed surveying vessel Lady Nelson
"Monday, August 9th. At 3 P.M. got under weigh and made sail out of the harbour tacking occasionally. At 4 P.M. our boat came on board from Faceing Island having found water in small quantities. By 6 P.M. we weathered the south-east point of Faceing Island and stood down towards the Investigator. At 15 past 7 P.M. struck on some sunken reef of rocks about 2 miles from the shore but immediately heaving up all our keels she went over them into deeper water without any damage.* (* See August 22nd. Half of the main keel was afterwards found gone.) At half-past 8 P.M. fired a gun and hoisted a light at the masthead which was answered by the Investigator. By midnight came to with the small bower about 2 cables lengths from the Commodore. At daylight hoisted in our boat, on the Commodore getting under weigh, we did the same. At half-past 9 A.M. passed in between the Rocky Island and Cape Capricorn. At half-past 10 Captain Flinders hailed us and told us to try for a passage in between some rocks and the main of Keppel's Bay. At 50 minutes past 11 A.M. perceived all foul ground ahead in this passage, hauled out and informed the Commodore. At noon bore up for the western part of the Bay, Cape Capricorn bearing east by south distance 10 or 11 miles.
"Tuesday, August 10th. At half-past 3 P.M. came to one cable length from the Investigator, lowered our boat and I waited on Captain Flinders. At half-past 4 P.M. Captain Flinders, some of his officers and I went on shore. On ascending one of the highest hills,* (* Named by Flinders Sea Hill.) we perceived the bay to be very extensive with several openings. Here we found a fresh water swamp and saw some ducks and redbills. At sundown Captain Flinders and party returned on board, and Captain Flinders came on board. Weighed and made all sail up the bay. Come to in 3 fathoms a large island in the mouth of the bay North distance 7 or 8 miles.
"Wednesday, August 11th. Saw Captain Flinders come out of the entrance he yesterday went into and stand along the south shore of the bay.
"Thursday, August 12th. At 3 P.M. Commodore made the signal "I want to speak to you." Immediately got the vessel under weigh and by half-past 4 P.M. passed his stern when he hailed us to come to an anchor a little distance from him. I waited on Captain Flinders who told me that at daylight I was to get under weigh and proceed to a large island* (* Hummocky Island.) (one of Keppels) and overhaul it for turtle for the use of both vessels and to get the bearings of all the islands in sight from the top of the said island as also to find whether there were wood and water upon the island. When we anchored Outermost Rock east-south-east 2 miles.
"Friday, August 13th. At 1 P.M. I went on shore to the island, on examining the beaches and rocks no water was found. I ascended all the hills and walked from one to the other nearly the whole length of the island but found no water or wood. The hills are covered with thick shrubbery and grass and full of stones, from the top of the highest part of it and looking towards the sea no more islands are to be seen than those we saw coming in. On going down to the rocks that lead to the beach we fell in with some slight drains of fresh water and further discovered two chasms in the rock, in each there might be 150 or 200 gallons of water but the difficulty of getting it to a boat hinders it being of use to vessels. On the west side is a small bight with a sandy beach in its centre but the bottom is loose and always a swell tumbling into it, indeed anchorage all round it is indifferent.
"Saturday, August 14th. By 4 P.M. having run nearly into our anchorage by the Investigator came to in 5 fathoms water. Lieutenant Fowler came on board and informed me that Captain Flinders was not yet returned from examining the harbour.
"Sunday, August 15th. Fine weather throughout. Received orders to be ready to get under weigh at daylight to-morrow morning.
"Monday, August 16th. At sundown observed all the seamen on liberty from the Investigator and Lady Nelson coming along the beach accompanied by a number of natives. Immediately Lieutenant Fowler and some of the gentlemen of the Investigator along with myself went on shore but on seeing us they began to run; however on all the seamen being sent away they suffered Mr. Brown to go near enough to reach them a few red night-caps and a tomahawk.* (* "I offered a boat to the botanists to visit South Hill. A part of the Ship's Company was allowed on shore for no Indians had been seen, but towards evening about 20 were seen with the sailors. They had been met near Cape Keppel and at first menaced our people, but finding them friendly laid aside their arms." Flinders.) They then made signs to us to be gone. They began running and were soon out of sight. These natives are a much stouter class of people than any I have yet seen (those of Jarvis Bay excepted). On returning to the beach Mr. Evans, mate, and one of the seamen belonging to the Investigator were missing. Lieutenant Fowler and the rest of the gentlemen waited until dark in hopes of their appearing and then went on board and a boat with a midshipman was immediately sent to wait at the beach but as neither appeared the boat returned. In the morning two guns were fired from the Investigator as signals and we saw two boats go to shore we supposed to search for those missing.
"Tuesday, August 17th. Seventeen of the natives came down to the beach. On seeing them a number of the officers of the Investigator went on shore. I also went.* (* Captain Flinders took a boat to Cape Keppel in order to obtain bearings.) We continued on friendly terms with them all day, and it is worth remarking that they having met Mr. Evans and the one seamen led them down to the beach and even gave them a duck each to eat on their making signs of their hunger. We had a drum, fife and fiddle on shore with us but on playing and beating they signified their displeasure and some of them ran off but on our ceasing returned. We made them presents of caps, tomahawks, etc., but they would give nothing in return. Their spears and waddas are much the same as at Sydney, they don't use the throwing stick. At daylight weighed. Came to again.* (* It took the whole day to get into the offing. A sketch of the island and of Cape Keppel was made by Mr. Westall while beating out of the bay. "After the mangrove the most common trees round Keppel Bay are the eucalyptus and a species of Cycas bearing poisonous nuts. There are Kangaroos in the woods and several bustards were seen near Cape Keppel. About the native fireplaces were the shells of crabs, the bones of turtle and remains of fern root." Flinders.)
"Wednesday, August 18th. At 1 P.M. hove up in the company with the Investigator tacked occasionally. By 4 P.M. cleared the bay and at 5 P.M. fell calm. Came to with kedge Cape Capricorn bearing south-east by east 13 or 14 miles, Cape Keppel south-south-east distant 5 or 6 miles and a large inhabited island, one of Keppel's, north-north-west distant 6 or 7 miles. At daylight again in company with Commodore made all sail. By noon passed abreast the northernmost Keppel's Island. Observed two natives on the highest part of it bellowing to us, no canoes in sight. Latitude 23 degrees 4 minutes 37 seconds south.
"Thursday, August 19th. Fine weather. Answered signal "Steer in shore and look out for anchorage" a bluff head making with the low land of the main like an entrance. As we stood in shoaled our water to 7 fathoms, made the signal to that purport. Saw a sand shoal ahead; the Investigator immediately hauled off and we did the same, saw plainly no anchorage was there, stood in and by 5 P.M. we dropped our kedge, at half-past 5 P.M. the Commodore also came to near us. At sundown the easternmost of Keppel's Islands bore south-east by east distant 10 or 12 miles the shore point south distant 2 miles. At 7 A.M. weighed in company with the Investigator.
"Friday, August 20th. At sundown the Commodore bore north distant about 3 miles, the Sugar Loaf Island north-north-east 1/2 east distant 4 miles, and two rocky islands north-east by east distant about 3 miles. At quarter-past 9 P.M. saw a light in the north-west quarter and heard a gun fired. Immediately hoisted a light in the main top gallant masthead and fired a gun; heard no second gun. At 12 passed a low island bearing east distant 3/4 of a mile. At daylight perceived we were much farther from the land than the Log gave. Commodore not in sight. Latitude observed 22 degrees 41 minutes 28 seconds south.
"Saturday, August 21st. At half-past 4 P.M. saw the Investigator bearing north-north-west, at sundown the Investigator bore north-west by north distant 10 miles, the Sugar Loaf Island bore west by north distant 4 or 5 miles, the Low Island south-west by west distant 3 or 4 miles. At quarter past 8 P.M. heard a gun fired from the Commodore which we answered. At 9 P.M. heard a second gun fired which we answered. At daylight made all sail to come up with Commodore. At 20 past 11 came to with small bower in 7 fathoms.
THE TRACK OF THE LADY NELSON TO PORT NUMBER 2. (PORT BOWEN). By John Murray
This chart and the one in Illustration 15 differ in delineation from the rest of Murray's charts of his voyage northwards, and are beautifully drawn and coloured. Probably they were the work of Westall, the artist with Flinders, Murray merely adding to them his homeward track.
"Sunday, August 22nd. A.M. Sent the First Mate and a party to water and wood the vessel; hoisted our main keel* (* That is the middle centre board.) out of the trunk and found half of it gone, this must have been occasioned by the shock it received at Faceing Island on Monday 9th instant, when running down to the Investigator. It also accounts for her not sailing so fast as formerly. A.M. Received one boat-load of water. I went on shore to the watering-place, it lies between two hills of a considerable height and springs out of a rock--the water is both good and clear, it is convenient to be got at.* (* The ships anchored in Port Bowen or Number 2 Port, named by Flinders in honour of Captain Jas. Bowen of the Navy, and the hilly projection on the side of its entrance, Cape Clinton after Colonel Clinton of the 85th Regiment. "The water was very good. It drained down the gully to a little beach between two projecting heads. The gully will be easily known, but Mr. Westall's sketch will obviate any difficulty. There were pine trees in the gully, but the best were on Entrance Island, some being fit for topmasts. I was surprised to see trees (upon Hervey Isles) resembling the pines of Norfolk Island." Flinders.) Latitude (good) observed 22 degrees 28 minutes 58 seconds south.
"Monday, August 23rd. Reported our main keel to Captain Flinders being gone.
"Tuesday, August 24th. P.M. Hoisted in our launch and secured everything for sea. At daylight weighed and made sail in company with the Investigator. By half-past 7 A.M. got out of the bay and at 11 A.M. came to Pine Island bearing south by east 1/2 east. Distant 1 1/2 miles. Hope Point south by west 6 or 7 miles and the northern entrance south-south-west 2 miles.
"Wednesday, August 25th. At 2 P.M. weighed in company with the Investigator and made all sail. At 7 came to...At daylight weighed in company with the Investigator, worked to windward until 10 A.M. when the Investigator came to in the offing and we came to...between Rocky Island and the main, Rocky Island bearing north-east by north distant 2 1/2 miles...the nearest of the Pine Islands, south-east by east distant 3 miles.
"Thursday, August 26th. At 3 P.M. the Investigator lifted her anchor and worked to windward. At half-past 4 P.M. saw a native fire ahead. At daylight weighed with a light air at north-west. By 6 A.M. the Investigator got close into an opening (seeming a large bay* (* Shoal Water Bay or Number 3 discovered port. See Flinders.)) and hoisted out 2 boats, at 8 A.M. she bore up for the entrance and we followed without sweeps rowing. At half-past 8 A.M. observed the Investigator to anchor and shortly after we were obliged to drop our kedge close to the rocks of the south-eastern entrance. I went on shore with a small party.* (* On this day Mr. Westall made a drawing of Shoal Water Bay and the islands here. Flinders named a high hill Mount Westall in compliment to his landscape painter.) I saw on the beach the footmarks of natives and the tracks of turtle, but nothing else worth mentioning. Apparently this is a place of very huge extent and safe for shipping. Latitude observed 22 degrees 19 minutes 33 seconds south.
"Friday, August 27th. At 2 P.M. the tide having somewhat slackened and a breeze of wind coming from the north-east weighed and made all sail up the bay; by half-past 2 P.M. having passed the Investigator by about a quarter of a mile came to in 6 fathoms water. At 40 minutes past 2 P.M. the vessel swung to the flood and in half an hour its rate was found to be 3 1/2 knots per hour, it increased from that very nearly 5 knots and its rise 11 feet.* (* This place was named by Flinders Strong Tide Passage.) At 6 P.M. one of the Investigator's boats got upset under our stern and one man thrown into the water by the accident. He drifted down with the tide and our boat picked him up with some of the boat's gear. At 6 A.M. got the vessel under weigh and let her drift up the bay with the tide having from 6 to 10 fathoms and from that to 5 and 8 where we anchored. The Investigator anchored a little before us. From where we lay the east point of bay bore north 47 degrees east.
"Saturday, August 28th. At 2 P.M. I received orders to get the vessel under weigh and proceed up the bay--half-past 2 P.M. weighed and made sail, the Investigator following us. At half-past 3 P.M. perceived the Investigator to be aground in consequence of which we let go our kedge and I went in the boat ahead. At 5 P.M. on the Investigator floating; again got under weigh, kept standing up the bay sounding and making signals. At 6 P.M. anchored with the small bower in 5 fathoms of water.
"Sunday, August 29th. At daylight weighed in company with the Investigator and moved up a little further, sounding from 3 fathoms to 7, where we anchored. Latitude observed 22 degrees 20 minutes 56 seconds south.
"Monday, August 30th. At 4 P.M. in company with the Commodore made sail a little further up the bay; we perceived a shoal nearly dry on the south-east end, it seemed to lie nearly in that direction for perhaps two miles. Waited on Captain Flinders who desired me to send our main keel on board in order to be repaired and at the same time he informed me that he would be on board in the morning and move the Lady Nelson for the examination of the bay. At daylight sent our keel on board and at half-past 6 Captain Flinders came on board, immediately weighed and made all sail to the south-east part of the bay. At half-past 10 entered a large branch or arm of the bay or river following Captain Flinders in his boat steering east and east-south-east we anchored per order of Captain Flinders and he continued on in his boat.* (* Flinders went two miles up the river, landed, and took a set of angles here. He describes an islet with "signs of visits of the natives" and on the main, in low grounds, were holes where they dug for fern root. An iguana 2 or 3 feet long was the sole animal killed, but the mud banks here were frequented at low water by various sea birds.) Double Peak* bore 1/2 west by south. (* The Double Mountain of Flinders in Shoal Water Bay is not the Double Mountain shown on his earlier chart inland from Hervey Bay.)
"Tuesday, August 31st. At half-past 2 P.M. Captain Flinders on board, and he began to work out of the branch. At 6 P.M. the tide being down came to...at daylight weighed and made sail to south-east, passed here a flat of mud with only from 8 to 9 feet water on it; by 7 A.M. having got nearer to the south shore found a channel that had from 2 to 9 fathoms.
"Wednesday, September 1st. At 7 P.M. Captain Flinders, a midshipman and boat's crew on board. A.M. Dropped our small bower it blowing fresh. At 5 A.M. hove it up again, and the wind blowing strong from north-west and tide done, hindered our working down to the Investigator.
"Thursday, September 2nd. At half-past 12 P.M. weighed and began to work to windward with the ebb tide in our favour; at half-past 4 P.M. Captain Flinders and his people left us; continued until 7 P.M. working to north-west and there came to in 7 fathoms. At daylight weighed and stood over to the Investigator and at 7 A.M. came to lowered down boat and I waited on Captain Flinders, he informed me that the Investigator would get under weigh at 9 A.M. and would run over as near to the bottom of Sugar Loaf Hill* (* Pine Mountain (of Flinders) described by him as "a single round hill with a high-peaked top standing inland 2 miles from the West Bight and composed of the greenstone of the German mineralogists.") as the water would permit and requested I would run ahead of him in the Lady Nelson and show soundings quick. Passed the Investigator astern, Captain Flinders hailed and desired me to stand up towards Sugar Loaf Hill until we had left less than 6 fathoms, did so and as it almost immediately shoaled to 4 fathoms wore round and made all sail to work back.
"Friday, September 3rd. At half-past 1 P.M. came to with small bower and I waited on Captain Flinders.* (* Flinders was then one mile from the shore and 2 from Aken's Island, the east end of which bore north 27 degrees west.) A.M. Hauled the seine, caught no fish and the ground being foul damaged the net.
"Saturday, September 4th. Waited on Captain Flinders who told me he shortly intended to weigh in order to proceed to Thirsty Sound and at 10 A.M. weighed in company with the Investigator. Since our arrival here on Thursday the 26th August few native fires have been seen and only once some of the Investigator's gentlemen had intercourse with a party of natives on the shore. From their report those natives are inferior to the natives of Keppel Bay...and if we may guess from their lean appearance much worse off with respect to food; the soil of all this part of the country appears to be very indifferent and for a considerable distance from shore, low swampy mangrove clay. All round the bay are high hills, on one of the westernmost tall pines seem in abundance, the bottom is invariably blue clay...From the number of shoals lying in this place it is necessary to keep the lead constantly going, and from the great rise and fall of the tide to be careful not to anchor in less than 5 fathoms...we have experienced some sea riding at anchor the fetch being pretty extensive.
"Sunday, September 5th. Standing through Northumberland Islands towards Thirsty Sound.* (* Thirsty Sound, Hervey and Bustard Bays among other places on the coast were named by Captain Cook.) At dusk the entrance of Thirsty Sound west by south distance 3 miles, Sugar Loaf Hill, or hill of Pines,* (* The Pine Mount of Flinders.) south-east by east and the Investigator east-north-east distant three-quarters of a mile. At daylight weighed in company with the Investigator made sail in for the entrance. Received our new keel from the Investigator, and on trying to fit it to the case found it obstructed from going down by some of the copper being rubbed off and having got into the trunk, this was found to be the case by one of the people who dived under her bottom.* (* The carpenters had for some time been employed in making a sliding keel for the Lady Nelson from the pine logs cut at Port Bowen, and being now finished it was sent on board. Flinders.)
"Monday, September 6th. A.M. On ascending the hill, named by Captain Cook the Pier Head--had a fine view of this and Broad Sound, the former appearing like a serpentine river to a great way inland and its banks showing apparently a fine country. A number of the adjacent hills are covered with long sunburnt grass that appears at a little distance like a heath or common at home, with here and there a small cluster of palm trees. Traces of the kangaroo have been seen. We have neither seen natives, their fires, nor marks here. No water has yet been found, wood is in plenty.
"Tuesday, September 7th. At 3 P.M. I received orders to get under weigh and move out ahead of the Investigator...At 5 P.M. weighed and at half-past 6 P.M. came to...At 5 A.M. finding she drove, let go our small bower. At 6 A.M. perceived the Investigator attempting to weigh, on which we (after some difficulty) weighed and began to work to windward. Observed the Investigator to drop her anchor again and clew down her sail. Came to in 6 fathoms with the small bower. Answered signal "I want to see you." Immediately went on board the Investigator and Lieutenant Fowler informed me they had parted a Bower Cable, that, their Stream not bringing her up, a second Bower was gone and that they were in 1/2 2 fathoms water, as the tide was rapidly falling it was obvious that she immediately must be got off. For this purpose I immediately, according to Lieutenant Fowler's plan, returned on board, veered away on our small bower to the end and let go our best bower; we then received a warp from the Investigator, made it fast on board and she was enabled to heave off into deeper water by the Lady Nelson. At noon she dropped her bower a little from our stern, cast off her warp and lifted our best bower...
"Wednesday, September 8th. Cloudy weather. At half-past 9 A.M. the Investigator shifted her berth into the stream...At half-past 6 A.M. weighed in company with the Commodore made all sail out of the Sound. At noon a large island in the entrance of Broad Sound south distance 5 miles, and the Investigator east distance 1 mile.* (* At this time the ships were within 2 miles of the north-east point of Broad Sound.)
"Thursday, September 9th. Stretching across Broad Sound, at half-past 1 P.M. suddenly shoaled our water at the same time saw the appearance of broken water ahead. At 2 P.M. spoke the Commodore who told me to steer west. A round mount north-west by west distance 3 miles. At 11 P.M. came to in company with the Commodore with best bower in 7 fathoms water. In the course of the forenoon saw several native fires on this part of the coast. Latitude observed 21 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds south.
"Friday, September 10th. At 2 P.M. weighed and made sail to the south-east sounding from 1/2 3 at low water to 1/4 less 2 on the edge of a sand shoal on which the Investigator touched but immediately swung off, we continuing. At half-past 5 A.M. perceived the Investigator to be getting under weigh, made all sail down to the Commodore. Spoke him; he told me to work between the main and one of Northumberland Islands, and said he would follow us. Stood on to windward and tacked occasionally anchored in company with the Commodore at half-past 11 A.M. under a pleasant little island.* (* "The 4th flat Island is about one mile long and there is a smaller lying off it's south-east end. They are a little elevated and bear grass and small trees, but the shores are covered with mangroves and surrounded with flats of mud and sand." Flinders.) Observed Captain Flinders to go on shore, shortly afterwards I went on shore, some turtle shells were seen and the marks of natives of an ancient date. It appears that the whole of the distance between the Pier Head at Thirsty Sound and to the round mount before mentioned between the Northumberland Islands and the main has a number of sand shoals that can only be avoided by keeping the lead constantly going and a good lookout at the head otherwise a vessel would get aground, and the water falling so much and so rapidly would leave her high and dry...
"Saturday, September 11th. At 6 A.M. weighed ill company with the Investigator but she (on account of the shoals that lye off from the mainland to the island we anchored under) was obliged at 7 A.M. to drop her anchor. In the Lady Nelson we crossed the shoal in only 9 feet immediately on being over it we fell into 3, 4, and 5 fathoms. Again crossed it and ran up to the Investigator at 9 A.M., the flood having made strong over the shoal again.
"Sunday, September 12th. At quarter-past 5 P.M. tacked and stood on ahead of the Investigator until we were close to a very extensive sheet of mud lying all the way from the mainland. At this place an inlet of shoal water appeared to run a good distance into the country. At sundown tacked in company with the Investigator and stood off. At 8 A.M. tacked and stood into an inlet with several dry lands appearing in it, found a good strong flood against us. At half-past 9 A.M. came to.* (* "At 9 A.M. passed a fifth opening: anchored abreast of a hilly projection which I have named Upper Head." Flinders.) Lowered our boat and I went on shore with a couple of hands. Saw or found nothing worth notice--the soil is sandy, the shores lined with mangrove trees and inland a little distance we found gum trees and the palm; a few curlews and redbills were shot.
"Monday, September 13th. At half-past 8 weighed as per signal in company with the Commodore; found when near the Investigator the water suddenly to shoal from 6 to 3 to 1, where we touched the ground, however on heaving up our keel she went off into 2 fathoms, when we came to, observed the Investigator to ground, she was caught on a bank of quicksand in 11 feet at half-past 10 A.M. she floated, a little after Captain Flinders went away inshore, sounding. Several native fires in sight in different directions.
"Tuesday, September 14th. At half-past 1 P.M. made sail in company with the Investigator and worked to north-west where we anchored. On passing her Captain Flinders hailed us and told me to be ready at 8 o'clock in the morning to proceed to the south-east up the arm on Broad Sound. At 8 A.M. Captain Flinders and Mr. Brown on board. At half-past 8 A.M. weighed and made sail, at 40 minutes past 10 A.M. grounded in 8 feet of water, at 40 minutes past 11 A.M. weighed and made sail across the entrance of the river. From noon until 40 minutes past 1 P.M. stretching across the flats of this arm, sounding from 9 feet to 3 1/4 fathoms, where we anchored. Immediately moored with the kedge which in a little time she brought home, moored with the bowers per cable one way and 25 fathoms the other, found the tide of ebb to run at 4 P.M. 5 knots and 6 fathoms. At 5 P.M. we began to touch the ground and perceived that our main keel was gone, part of it coming up alongside. Sent some of the people out to look in what situation our anchor lay and it was found that the best bower had come home and the small parted 12 fathoms from the ring. I conclude the ragged part of the main keel must have done it when she swung in ground, we tried in vain with 10 or 11 hands to lift it out of its bed. As the whole of this part of the flats are quicksands with a strong suction, bent a good warp to its crown to weigh it by when the tide rose. At half-past 1 A.M. the flood came to us with much noise and about a foot high, in 15 minutes we floated and hove up to our best bower. By 5 A.M. began again to ground, by 6 A.M. fast: at half-past 7 A.M. Captain Flinders went in his boat in search of deeper water and found one place nearer inshore where he thought it advisable to shift the Lady Nelson to, when the tide would permit. Upon the south shore we saw several native fires.
"Thursday, September 16th. At 2 P.M. loosed sails, sheeted home and hoisted them, weighed and stood in shore. Found the strength of the tide here to be 3 1/2 knots.
"Friday, September 17th. At half-past 5 P.M. Captain Flinders returned having found the arm to terminate in shoals of sand. At 3 A.M. weighed and made sail in order to join the Investigator but by half-past 4 A.M. we grounded and there were obliged to lye from the ebb falling so fast. Captain Flinders, Mr. Brown and the boat's crew left us. Here we had an opportunity of looking at the vessel's bottom, the sand being firm. Found one sheet and a half of copper torn off her garboard streak, one off the starboard bow, and on the bows the anchor had torn the copper in some degree; from the want of copper nails could not repair those hurts until we joined the Investigator.
"Saturday, September 18th. At 2 P.M. weighed and began to work to windward...anchored near the Investigator. A.M. I waited on Captain Flinders and was advised to lay the Lady Nelson on shore in order to repair her copper; in consequence of which Lieutenant Fowler and I went to examine a sand inshore of the vessels and finding that sand fit for the purpose, reported the same to Captain Flinders; got our main keel out of the trunk, found 4 feet of it gone and also 4 feet of the after keel carried away.* (* "The Lady Nelson...required some reparation, I therefore desired Lieutenant Murray to lay his vessel on shore and get these matters arranged to cut wood and be ready to sail in a week for the Torres Strait." Flinders.)
"Sunday, September 19th. At half-past 6 A.M. weighed and ran into 5 feet water. At half-past 8 A.M. the Investigator weighed and stood to the eastward. At 9 A.M. we grounded; by noon we were able to replace part of the copper torn off her bottom.
"Monday, September 20th. Fine weather throughout. By 3 P.M. she floated, weighed, ran into 5 fathoms water and anchored. At 6 A.M. weighed and grounded.
"Tuesday, September 21st. At 3 P.M. she began to float, by 4 hove her off, weighed and ran into 5 fathoms water where we anchored. A.M. Sent a party on shore to cut wood. Investigator still in sight.
"Wednesday, September 22nd. A party on shore cutting wood and stuff for brooms. A.M. Received on board two boat-loads of wood; sent a party after kangaroo, some were seen at a distance but none were shot. Shifted the fore keel aft and the after one (when we had repaired it as well as we could) forward. The main keel we could not make fit after our carpenter had worked on it several days, I rather suppose the trunk is injured in its inside.
"Thursday, September 23rd. Set up our rigging and stays fore and aft; sent the carpenter on shore to cut spars to fit our several guns on.
"Friday, September 24th. Fine weather, moderate winds throughout. A.M. Perceived the Investigator under weigh standing over to us.
"Saturday, September 25th. The Investigator in sight working towards us; at half-past 8 A.M. she came to an anchor within half a mile of us. I waited on Captain Flinders and informed him we were ready for sea.
"Sunday, September 26th. The Investigator struck her tents on shore. Received from her gunner half a barrel of gunpowder and one quire of musket cartridge paper, and 17 fathoms of old rope for lashing beams.
"Monday, September 27th. At half-past 6 A.M. Weighed in company with the Investigator made all sail to the north-west. We were both obliged to come to; the wind freshening, we weighed, but it again dying away we anchored. At half-past 9.A.M. made sail.
"Tuesday, September 28th. At half-past 3 A.M. weighed in company with H.M.S. Investigator and made sail to northward. At 6 A.M. spoke the Commodore and received orders to keep ahead. A high island we passed this morning south by west distant 12 or 14 miles,* (* North Point Island.) a high short island under our lee north-west by west distant 10 or 11 miles. Long high land on our weather bow north-east by north distant 11 or 12 miles.* (* Percy Islands.) Latitude observed 21 degrees 52 minutes 41 seconds south.
"Wednesday, September 29th. Stood after the Commodore. At this time I perceived that several of the islands in sight were covered with pines of the same kind as Port Number 2. At half-past 7 P.M. anchored with the kedge; answered a signal light from the Investigator with one at the main. At daylight weighed and stood towards the Investigator. At half-past 5 A.M. she also weighed and we proceeded a little nearer to the large island mentioned in yesterday's log and on turn of tide we came to. Observed Captain Flinders* (* "Not a single native was seen either on the shores of Thirsty or Broad Sound during...our stay." Flinders.) in his whale-boat go ashore with several of the officers and gentlemen, not to the large island but to a small island within about 2 miles of it and from which it bore west-south-west.* (* "We landed first at the islet where the same kind of pine is seen as at Port Bowen." Flinders.) At half-past 9 A.M. hove up and made towards the Commodore who was under weigh, standing on to the body of a large pine island. Kept standing up for a sandy beach on the southern end of the large Pine Island and at half-past 11 A.M. the Commodore dropped anchor; stood on past him and at noon came to with the kedge* (* At Number 2 Island, the largest of the Percy Islands.) the small Pine Island bearing south-west by west distant 1 1/4 miles Peak of Pines like a sugar loaf north distant 5 or 6 miles.*... (* "To the northern Percy Isles, each of which is a hill somewhat peaked but that on Number 3 is much the most so and the highest...is called Pine Peak." Flinders.)
"Thursday, September 30th. I went on shore and by a narrow passage entered a sheet of water entirely surrounded by the mountainous part of the island, with here and there pines which on the whole has a beautiful and romantic appearance. I searched for fresh water but found none, however Captain Flinders found plenty. A.M. I went on shore with a party in order to clear a rolling way for our casks as also did captain Flinders and Lieutenant Fowler with 20 men, by noon this was completed and the well began to be dug and cleared out; by an unlucky accident the dry grass with which most of the ground is covered caught fire and burnt with great fury driving the people away from the principal watering-place.
"Friday, October 1st. On shore digging wells and clearing them out. By half-past 3 P.M. the fire had increased so as to make us retreat to the sandy beach and even here it nearly reached us by 7 P.M. It continued to burn all night...covering the whole of the hills (particularly the tops) with a fringe of white fire while all the way down to the bases resembled a large town on a dark night well lighted up. By the morning it had considerably abated.
"Saturday, October 2nd. Employed completing our water which was done by sunset and the hold stowed. Secured everything for sea. The Investigator continued watering. Found a part of our best bower cable so much decayed from wear that I cut off, from the anchor end, 15 fathoms and fresh bent it again. Before we leave this island I think it proper to observe it lies (from where we lay at anchor) about north by east and south by west its latitude is 21 degrees 40 minutes 02 seconds south and its longitude by Timekeeper 150 degrees 23 minutes 27 seconds east, it will easily be known from a high peak of stones that at a distance will look like its northern end. On this peak several pines are growing. On its northern end is a sandy beach from which the entrance of the circular sheet of water is immediately seen. On this beach we caught the first day plenty of fish and it is remarkable that since few have been caught. Bearing south-west from this place at about 2 miles distance is a small island of pines with two or three rocks lying about it, to the westward at a distance of 8 or 9 miles is a rugged island with two peaks covered with pines, one of them much higher than the other, and to the north-west about 10 or 11 miles is an island of table-land with a bluff head on its southern end all round are islands of different sizes but this watering island cannot be mistaken or missed.
"Monday, October 4th. At 6 A.M. weighed in company with the Investigator and made sail to the Northward.
"Tuesday, October 5th. Worked to windward...at 5 P.M. tacked. At sundown the Stony Peak on watering island bore south by west high peak of Pines west distant 2 1/2 or 3 miles. At noon the high Peak of Pines bore south-west by south distant about 17 or 18 miles, the peak on Watering Island south-south-west distant 19 or 20 miles.* (* Mr. Murray seems to have given Number 2 offing the name of Watering Island.)
"Wednesday, October 6th. At half-past 1 answered signal "Follow me," answered signal "Make sail ahead." At this time we saw a long range of sand reefs in the east and west direction and three small rocks bore north-east by north distant 2 1/2 or 3 miles.* (* "They were not those seen by Mr. Campbell though they form part of the same barrier...The reefs were not dry with the exception of some black lumps which resembled the round heads of negroes, these being dead coral." Flinders.) Answered signal of 'Danger,' following the Investigator and keeping a good lookout from the mast-head. At half-past 1 P.M. the high peak of pines bore south-south-west distant about 22 miles which proves those extensive reefs to be placed very erroneously on the chart owing to the incorrectness of Messrs. Swaine and Campbell, they having laid them down nearly 2 degrees off the land instead of which they are only distant 20 miles from the nearest island. Quarter past 6 P.M. came to in 28 fathoms with the kedge; the Investigator north-east by north quarter of a mile distant.* (* "At six anchored in 27 fathoms coarse sand." Flinders.) At daylight the Investigator began to heave up and we did the same, by 6 A.M. made sail. Received orders to keep ahead with a good lookout for shoals. Saw a shoal of sand with two small rocks on it from north-east; at half-past 10 A.M. being within 2 miles of the shoal tacked. At noon the rocks on the shoal bore north-west a little westerly distant 2 miles. Received additional instructions signals and cd. from Captain Flinders.* (* "I sent a boat with instructions to Lieutenant Murray...in case of our separation." Flinders.)
"Thursday, October 7th. Stood on after the Investigator and weathered the last-mentioned reef of coral. At half-past 4 A.M. weighed and made sail to the south-east. At half-past 10 A.M. saw a reef of coral ahead, several parts of which were above water considerably much like the appearance of boats under sail.* (* "Upon these reefs were more of the dry black lumps called negro heads." Flinders.)
"Friday October 8th. At half-past 5 P.M. tacked to the northward, reefs still in sight. At 9 A.M. tacked after the Commodore, a reef of coral rock bearing east to east-north-east distant 4 or 4 1/2 miles. At noon the Investigator bore north by east distant 1 1/2 miles, a shoal of sand apparently bearing north distant 5 or 6 miles, another bearing north-east by north distant 4 miles and a small rock on an extensive shoal of sand east by south distant 1 1/2 miles, this shoal seems to stretch a long way from east-south-east to north-east. Latitude observed 20 degrees 54 minutes 42 seconds south.
"Saturday, October 9th. From 2 P.M. until 3 (after having weathered the East point of this shoal) we ran along its other side. At half-past 5 P.M. came to. From the mast-head shoals in every direction. At half-past 5 A.M. weighed in company with the Commodore and stood to the north-east. 9 A.M. Perceiving a strong ripple close to us and supposing it to be shoal water let go our kedge and made the signal of danger to the Commodore who also came to and sent his boats to sound as did we but found no less than 15 fathoms. At 11 A.M. the Investigator's whale-boat made the signal for shoal water and the Commodore made the signal to anchor which we immediately did in 22 fathoms, bottom small coral and shells. The Investigator also anchored. We found ourselves within a cable's length of a shoal and all round shoals of sand and extensive coral reefs. Latitude observed 20 degrees 51 minutes 38 seconds south.
"Sunday, October 10th. P.M. Sent the boat to examine the reefs of coral near us. At 4 P.M. the boat returned on board; found the coral to be of many different colours--blue, yellow, green, and in short in every colour we know of--found some very large cockles and a few small shells--found the tide to ebb to run due north-east not less than 2 1/2 knots but when it sallys over the flats and reefs it may be 5 knots. At half-past 4 P.M. weighed and sent the boat ahead to tow and got our sweeps on. At 45 minutes past 5 A.M. made sail in company with the Commodore stood on ahead with the Investigator's boat ahead of us sounding. This morning we passed a great deal of suspicious water but saw no rocks or shoals dry.
"Monday, October 11th. Stood on ahead of the Investigator broken water and reefs on both sides of us. At half-past 4 P.M. saw some very extensive reefs ahead, they seemed to train as far aft as our beam one each side of us. An appearance of an opening shows itself to the west-north-west as also one to the North, all else is broken water, reefs of coral and patches of coarse whitish sand or more probably coral. At half-past 5 A.M. weighed and made sail to the northward keeping ahead of the Investigator half a mile, and her boat ahead of us sounding.* (* "Next morning the brig and whale-boat went ahead and we steered after them. The east opening was choaked up and we had scarcely entered that to the West when Mr. Murray made a signal for 'danger' the Lady Nelson was carried rapidly to the south-east seemingly without being sensible of it...I made the signal of recall." Flinders.) After running on this course about a mile and a half and being then close up to the tail of the coral reef north-east of us we suddenly found ourselves in 4 fathoms of water and plainly saw the bottom consisting of large rocks of coral. Immediately made the signal of 'Danger' to the Commodore. We shoaled into 2 fathoms tacked and running south we found a very rapid tide with us and on passing between two reefs the current of tide I imagine could not be less than 6 knots. During this time the Investigator followed after us, but at 7 A.M. she made the signal to anchor. When she was a little brought up we had no bottom with 50 fathoms of line and on her breaking her sheer she at once broke the warp 65 fathoms from ye kedge, both of which we lost. I fancy it got round the top of a rock of coral as we have reason to suspect it foul ground. Immediately made all sail and stood towards the Investigator and the wind fortunately freshening we passed her and acquainted Captain Flinders with our loss. He told me to anchor near him.* (* "We rode a great strain on the strain cable, it parted and we lost an anchor. Mr. Murray had lost a kedge and was then riding by a bower." Flinders.) Accordingly at 9 A.M. we anchored but she quickly drove into the stream of tide, and there, to my surprise, the anchor held on. Answered signal 'Weigh,' tried to do so but found it impossible--held fast--in a little time the tide slackened somewhat and Captain Flinders sent a boat and men to assist in getting up our anchor, began to heave up and were fortunate enough to get it with the loss of one arm, the cable not much damaged--made sail after the Commodore. Received from H.M.S. Investigator 2 grapplings.* (* "Our anchor had swivelled in the stock. Sent Mr. Murray 2 grapnels, which were all that our losses could allow of being spared." Flinders.)
"Tuesday, October 12th. At daylight weighed in company with the Investigator and made sail to the northward. At half-past 7 A.M. We both came to...
"Wednesday, October 13th. At 1 P.M. weighed in company with the Commodore and made all sail; by half-past 2 P.M. reefs in sight from north to east-north-east..At daylight lay to for the Investigator who joined us by 7 A.M. On sounding we found the bottom altered from coarse sand, coral and broken shells to very fine sand and small shells...the wind favouring us the Commodore stood on. The appearance of the water this morning has been suspicious, however, I imagine it is caused by the sun's reflection, and being calm, the Investigator's boat has been ahead all morning. At half-past 10 A.M. the Commodore came to and we did the same with the two grapplings backing one another, and they held on.
"Thursday, October 14th. At half-past 5 P.M. reefs of coral in sight; body of them distant 2 1/2 or 3 miles. At daylight weighed in company with the Investigator and stood to southward; at half-past 7 A.M. reefs of coral in sight, three middling large rocks seen bearing south by east; we also at this time saw the land bearing west-south-west distant 14 or 15 leagues, made the signal of seeing it to the Investigator: by 8 A.M. perceived it was islands, three in number. At noon one island bore west by north distant 6 or 7 miles. This island appears very barren and rocky, and an island that, from its appearance took to be the Isle of Pines, next Watering Island south-south-east distant 16 or 17 miles.
"Friday, October 15th. 6 P.M. What I suppose to be the Peak of Pines near Watering Island bore south by east distant 22 or 24 miles: Barren Island west by south distant 6 or 7 miles: high hummocks of land west distant about 9 miles.
"Sunday, October 16th. At 4 P.M. a large island with a fire on it bore south-west by south distant 6 or 7 miles: a lowish island of rugged land south by east distant 7 or 8 miles: an island with two hills on it south-west by west distant 5 or 6 miles: a low island with several hillocks west-south-west distant 8 or 9 miles. At sundown passed within a quarter of a mile of a high perpendicular peak of one of Cumberland Isles, and at half-past 6 P.M. anchored in 20 fathoms with the small bower, bottom fine blue sand. Commodore anchored distant 1/4 of a mile. At 6 A.M. I went on shore in order to look for water as well as to see what the island produced, we cut down a couple of pines, fit one for a top-mast the other for a top-sail yard. On this island a number of pines are growing, some palm trees one of which Mr. Brown, the naturalist of the Investigator, thinks is not common. This island is not inhabited but seems occasionally to be visited. Two of the other islands are inhabited as on both of them were fires last night. On the north-west side is a beach of coarse coral and sand, on which a few dried shells were picked up, from this beach a considerable way out the bottom large coral rocks. A number of porpoises and sharks were seen about us this forenoon but none caught.
"Sunday, October 17th. At 6 A.M. weighed in company with the Investigator, made sail to northward; by noon the Cumberlands from south by south-west to west by north; and the Investigator east by south distant 4 miles. From the colour of the water and a long steady swell I judge we are nearly clear of the northern extremity of the reefs. I have now had several opportunities of seeing that from the want of our main and after keels we are so leewardly that the Investigator in 6 hours will get with ease 4 miles to windward of the brig.
"Monday, October 18th. Stood on after the Investigator. At 6 P.M. she anchored within half a mile of us, on which I immediately came to in 34 fathoms with the small bower. Saw a boat lowered and in half an hour Lieutenant Fowler came on board and informed me that Captain Flinders meant to part company in the morning with the brig and therefore to get all ready for that purpose.* (* The Lady Nelson sailed so ill "that she not only caused us delay but ran great risk of being lost. The zeal he (Lieutenant Murray) had shown...increased my regret...at parting from our little consort." Flinders.) At daylight hoisted out our long boat and sent her on board the Investigator. I received from Captain Flinders orders to proceed to Port Jackson with the Lady Nelson as fast as circumstances would allow. I also received a letter on service to His Excellency Governor King, as well as some private letters. Half-past 8 A.M. I took leave of Captain Flinders and returned on board, hove up. At this time the Investigator hoisted her colours and we did the same, she standing away to the westward and we to the southward. By 40 minutes past 10 A.M. we took our last view of H.M.S. Investigator, her top-gallant-sails just being in the vane of the horizon.* (* At "9 o'clock got under weigh and showed our colours to bid farewell to the Lady Nelson." Flinders.) At noon Cumberland Island in sight, a large one distant 10 or 11 miles. Discharged to H.M.S. Investigator, Mr. Lacy, Henry Willis and Thomas Shirly and received in lieu Jeremiah Wolsey and Nanbury (a native).* (* "Nanbarre, one of the two natives, having expressed a wish to go back to Port Jackson was sent to the Lady Nelson in the morning." Flinders.) Latitude observed 20 degrees 178 minutes 16 seconds south.
"Tuesday, October 19th. By half-past 5 P.M. having run in between two very high islands covered with pines, came to in 10 fathoms water with the small bower, as the highest of the islands was in several places on fire. I lowered our boat and sent the First Mate in her to speak to the natives who I supposed must be on the island but when he returned, he told me few of their traces were seen. A part of one of their canoes was found and brought on board, from its appearance I deemed it not much superior in structure from those of the natives of Sydney. From where we lay (which is safe and secure anchorage with a blue clay bottom) the high peak of the nearest or eastern of those islands bore east-south-east, the rest of the Cumberlands lying in all directions of us. At daylight weighed and stood to the north-north-east, kept tacking occasionally to windward as it was my wish to get sight of the island we last watered at chiefly to ascertain whether the Timekeeper had kept its rate. At noon wore as she repeatedly missed stays from the want of her keels and a short confused sea ahead.
"Wednesday, October 20th. From noon till 2 P.M. kept trying to work to windward but she refusing stays I bore away for our former anchorage which having gained at 3 P.M. came to. Lowered down the boat and I went on shore unarmed supposing that should the island have any natives on it, they might be induced to show themselves. I was disappointed for I neither saw them or anything of consequence, one tree or plant excepted, which I had never seen before: as Nanbury, a native of Sydney on board, said he knew nothing of such a tree, as well as some people who had been a long time in New South Wales...I took a large specimen of it on board and hope it will keep.
"Thursday, October 21st. P.M. Sent a party on shore to examine the highest peak of the island to look for water and to get the bearings of the island. When they returned I was informed that the southernmost point of the main (which I presume is Cape Hillsborough) bore south-east 1/2 east. It was the mate's opinion natives had been there a few days ago, as round their fires were plenty of turtle bones scattered about. Our anchorage last left bore south by west distant 2 miles.
"Friday, October 22nd. At 8 P.M. came to in our old anchorage. At 8 weighed, cleared the narrow passage between the islands we anchored under...we had chosen the worst place they afford: as on this side from the number of islands that lie all around as well as Cape Hillsborough and the island off it, we found the water quiet and smooth. 9 A.M. Made all sail for a large island to the south-east and by noon were abreast of its eastern extremity. This island has the most romantic and beautiful appearance of any I have ever beheld and from its north-west point to its north-east point is nothing but a continuation of safe and well-sheltered bays, the shores of which consist of white sand beaches intercepted here and there with patches of coral rocks: the edges of these in several places are lined with low mangroves, behind which tall pines rise, forming a beautiful contrast, these however rise not so high as to intercept our view of bold front-land which much resembles the hills of Norfolk when the grain on them is ripe, and over all these towering to a great height rise the inland hills covered with very high pines, on the whole I scarcely ever saw so fine a view. At noon the body of it bore north 1/2 east distant 3 miles, island of anchorage north-north-west distant 14 miles, an island at which I mean to anchor for the night (if we reach it) east by E. distant 6 or 7 miles. Latitude observed 20 degrees 48 minutes 44 seconds south.
"Saturday, October 23rd. By half-past 4 P.M. came to with our broken bower and it held her safe all night although the remaining arm did not take, a thing by the way rather odd as I had a short boom slung to it. 4 A.M. weighed and made all sail for Watering Island. By noon a remarkable peak on the mainland south-west, several other islands in sight in different directions. Since leaving Broad Sound until now the sea had been constantly covered in different places with an oily brown slime insomuch that it has often occasioned me to suspect shoal water.
"Sunday, October 24th. At sundown the body of Watering Island bore distant 10 or 11 miles, some other of the Northumberland islands bearing from north to south-west. We found the soundings to be from 18 to 10 fathoms, being inside some of the Offing Islands and within the westernmost edge of the extensive barrier reefs 20 miles. At 6 P.M. came to with our broken anchor. At midnight weighed and made for Watering Island with all sail. By 6 A.M. got within three miles of our late anchorage where we came to, body of Stony Peak of the Island bearing east-south-east. At 40 minutes past 9 A.M. again weighed...At noon got within one mile and a half of the anchorage.
"Monday, October 25th. By half past 1 P.M. having with the help of our sweeps gained nearly our old berth came to, I went on shore, found our well overflowing with good clear water. By noon our water was completed. A duck, pigeon and pheasant were shot on the hills to-day.
"Tuesday, October 26th. At daylight weighed and made sail. By 8 A.M. the rocky peak on the north end of Watering Island distant 10 or 11 miles. Stood on through the Offing Isles of Northumberland Islands.
"Wednesday, October 27th. At 6 P.M. it being nearly calm came to in 17 fathoms with our broken anchor, Cape Townsend* (* Cape Townshend.) bearing south-east distant 3 or 5 miles, hill of Pines (its base) south-west distant 9 or 10 miles. A confused sea made me determined at slack water to weigh and run into better anchorage, at half-past 10 A.M. weighed and made sail up under Cape Townsend.
"Thursday, October 28th. At 1/4 past 1 P.M. came to with our broken anchor, veered away, but on her bringing up the cable parted although the strain was very trifling. The other bower was let go and it did not for some time bring her up. Perceiving all hopes of regaining our anchor or cable to be in vain, from our having so considerably shifted our berth as well as our having only one small boat, she almost in pieces, and it being absolutely necessary to get from here into a place of safety, I got two of the swivel guns cross-lashed, in short made as good an anchor of them as their nature would admit of, hoping that in light winds and smooth waters they would somewhat save our only remaining anchor. At 3 P.M. made sail further up into Shoal Water Bay, where we anchored with the swivels; they held her, there being no tide and but little wind. At 40 minutes past 7 P.M. let go the bower anchor and in the morning weighed it as well as the swivels and made sail up the Bay, where we anchored; lowered down the boat and sent the seine to haul, also the carpenter to look for a tree that might make a wooden anchor which with being loaded would answer in case of necessity.
"Friday, October 29th. Carpenter employed on the iron-bark anchor.
"Saturday, October 30th. At half-past 10 A.M. weighed and made sail towards the southern outlet of the bay. By the time we got within a mile and a half of it we had light baffling flaws all round; this outlet is narrow and several sunken rocks lie scattered about. We anchored as much out of the tide as possible.
"Sunday, October 30th.* (* Evidently meant to be the 31st.) 1 P.M. hove up and made sail into snug anchorage, came to in 1/4 5 fathoms...By 5 P.M. the wooden anchor being finished bent our small bower cable to it, hove up the bower and let go the wood anchor which however did not ride her, we therefore dropped the bower again and let the other remain in hopes that by getting the water lodged (as its weight would consequently increase) it might ride us in soft ground.
"Monday, November 1st. P.M. The party that were on shore returned, they informed me that one very large kangaroo was shot but escaped owing to the thickness of the bush, some small ones were also seen; a couple of pheasants and a pigeon were shot. A.M. sent two men on shore in order to try for a kangaroo.
"Tuesday, November 2nd. I would have gone to sea had the tide not been running strong into the Bay. Weighed our wooden anchor and loaded it with two swivels, this I would imagine would ride her in moderate weather.
"Wednesday, November 3rd. At 8 A.M. weighed and made all sail to windward. By 10 A.M. flood having made in we were obliged to come to with our wooden anchor which I had the satisfaction to see held on.
"Thursday, November 4th. Half-past 3 P.M. weighed and worked to windward the outlet of the bay. By 5 P.M. gained the narrows of the entrance. Found a very strong tide running out. By 6 P.M. cleared the outlet.
"Friday, November 5th. From 1 P.M. to 5 running through Keppel's Islands south. At daylight land in sight from West to south by west; set studding-sails.
"Saturday, November 6th. From noon to 3 P.M. fresh winds and gloomy weather with dripping rain and some distant thunder. Saw Sandy Cape bearing east-south-east distant 10 or 11 miles could not see the land...came to with our wood anchor in 12 fathoms, Sandy Cape bearing south-east by east distant 10 miles...
"Sunday, November 7th. Until half-past 3 P.M. we stood along the northern edge of Breaksea Spit when, it being calm, came to in 14 fathoms water with our wood anchor, Sandy Cape bearing south-east by south distant 10 or 11 miles...
"Monday, November 8th. At half-past 9 A.M. Sandy Cape bore south distant 18 miles. At 10 A.M. saw Breaksea Spit breaking from south-west by south to West distant about 6 miles. At noon tacked to the northward, Sandy Cape bearing south by west distant 10 miles.
"Tuesday, November 9th. A high sea throughout. At noon no land in sight. Latitude observed 24 degrees 19 minutes 58 seconds south.
"Wednesday, November 10th. At Sundown Sandy Cape bore west 1/2 south distant 10 miles Sandy Point west distant 10 or 11 miles, spit breaking very high out to west by north, the southern extremes of land bearing south distant 14 miles, favourable.
"Thursday, November 11th. At noon fine weather and moderate winds with a confused sea. All sail set, the extremes of the land bearing from south-west to north-west distant each 7 or 8 leagues. Latitude observed 25 degrees 38 minutes 50 seconds south.
"Friday, November 12th. At sundown Double Island Point west 1/2 south distant 6 or 7 leagues; at 10 P.M. tacked to the southward...At noon the Glass Houses on Glass House Bay south-west by south distant 6 or 7 leagues.
"Saturday, November 13th. At daylight no land in sight, at 8 A.M. saw land bearing south-west distant 6 or 7 leagues.
"Sunday, November 14th. At 10 A.M. after a deal of rain a light air sprung up at north. Observed Latitude Dead Reckoning 26 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds south.
"Monday, November 15th. At 8 A.M. saw some high land bearing west-south-west distant 8 leagues. Until noon we had light squalls and very hard rain. No observation of Latitude 27 degrees 35 minutes 00 seconds: I conclude myself to be one degree more to South than the D.R.* (* Dead Reckoning.) gives and not so far East by about 14 or 15 miles.
"Tuesday, November 16th. At 4 A.M. tacked to southward, set top-gallant-sails and stay-sails; no land in sight. Latitude observed 29 degrees 07 minutes 28 seconds south.
"Wednesday, November 17th. At 4 P.M. tacked to south-west.
"Thursday, November 18th. At noon fresh clear wind at north-north-west and a high confused sea on, set all sail we could.
"Friday, November 19th. Saw land bearing west by south distant 4 or 5 leagues this I take to be Smoaky Cape, if it is, a strong westerly current must have run, for by account when I made the land our latitude was 30 degrees 46 minutes 39 seconds south 3 miles to the westward of Smoaky Cape but our longitude deducted from yesterday's time-keeper 153 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds east 40 miles to the eastward of it which makes the current to have set us west 28 miles. At noon Smoaky Cape bore west 1/2 south distant 6 leagues.
"Saturday, November 20th. At noon what I supposed to be the Brothers bore west-south-west distant 6 or 7 leagues.
"Sunday, November 21st. Fresh breezes and cloudy, latter part variable wind and thick weather. No land in sight.
"Monday, November 22nd. At 5 A.M. the north head of Port Jackson...bore south-west distant 4 leagues. At 8 A.M. the north head bore West distant 1 league. At 40 minutes past 10 A.M. came to with the bower in Sydney Cove abreast of the Governor's wharf, found lying here H.M.S. Buffalo which was returned.
"Tuesday, November 23rd. Winds all round the compass with much thunder and lightning. Employed preparing for sea."
[Facsimile signature Jno Murray]
On Murray's return to Sydney on November 22nd, 1802, after his parting with Flinders, he learned that Commodore Baudin's ships had left the harbour four days previously. The French vessels had made a lengthy stay in port. The Geographe entered the Heads on June 20th, 1802, during the absence of the Lady Nelson at the Hawkesbury, and for that reason we find no record of her arrival in Murray's log; eight days afterwards the Naturaliste came to Port Jackson for the second time, and joined her consort at the anchorage in Neutral Bay.
In consequence of foul weather, Hamelin could not double the South Cape of Van Diemen's Land, and the meeting of the ships at Sydney, after their long separation, gave great satisfaction to those on board. The French officers and sailors were most hospitably received by the Governor, although England and France were still supposed to be at war, and many of the French officers were soon on friendly terms with the chief residents and officials. The news that peace had been concluded between the two countries, which arrived shortly afterwards, Peron says "could add nothing to the friendly sentiments of the English at Port Jackson but was a subject of rejoicing on the part of our companions."
At Sydney Baudin became aware of the full extent of the English discoveries on the southern coast. Not until then could he have known all the results of the explorations of Grant and Murray in the Lady Nelson, for up to the time of the arrival of the French at Sydney, only two ships had ever visited Port Phillip. One of these was, of course, the Lady Nelson, the other the Investigator under Captain Flinders.
Flinders had, as we have seen, met Baudin in Encounter Bay, when the commander of the Investigator was himself ignorant of the fact that Port Phillip had been discovered and entered by Murray. At this interview Baudin informed Flinders that the Geographe had "explored the south coast from Western Port to our place of meeting without finding any river, inlet or other shelter which afforded anchorage.--This statement of Baudin's is contradicted by Peron in his history of the voyage, who says, that on March 30th Port Phillip was seen from the masthead of the Geographe and was given the name Port du Debut, "but," he adds, "hearing afterwards that it had been more minutely surveyed by the English brig Lady Nelson and had been named Port Phillip we, with greater pleasure, continued this last name from its recalling that of the founder of a colony in which we met with succour so effective and so liberally granted." Louis de Freycinet also states that the entrance to the Port was seen by those on board the Geographe. A drawing of Port Phillip afterwards appeared under the name Port du Debut on his own charts.* (* Through the kindness of M. le Comte de Fleurieu some extracts from Baudin's journal have been placed in the writer's hands. From these it would appear that the Geographe passed Western Port without recognising it, and in continuing to voyage westward saw a port which those on board imagined to be Western Port, but which possibly was Port Phillip.) Freycinet denied that the map had been plagiarised, as was generally believed in England, by the unlawful use of Flinders' charts,* (* See Atlas, 1st Edition Voyage de Decouvertes aux Terres Australes, 1807. F. Peron and L. de Freycinet. Freycinet was not in the Geographe when she met the Investigator, he was then in the Naturaliste. He acknowledged that the drawing of Port Phillip in the Terre Napoleon was taken from a manuscript chart made on board the English ship Arniston and found among the papers of the Fame captured by the French in 1806 (Voyage de Decouvertes 3 430). The Arniston was one of a fleet of ships under convoy of H.M.S. Athenian which was sent to China via Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island.) and there is no reason to disbelieve him; but it is quite possible that Flinders did show Freycinet either his own chart of Port Phillip, or one made by Murray, during the stay of the French at Port Jackson.
When Baudin sailed westward along the south coast from Wilson's Promontory towards Encounter Bay--before his meeting with Flinders--he bestowed French names upon places that had been already discovered and named by the English, giving to Cape Patton (of Grant) the title of Cape Suffrein, Cape Albany Otway (of Grant) that of Cape Marengo, and Cape Schanck (of Grant) that of Cape Richelieu. Portland Bay, also named by Grant, became Tourville Bay; Montaigne Cape took the place-name of Cape Solicitor; Lady Julia Island became Fourcroy Island; Lawrence's Island, Dragon Island; and Cape Bridgewater, Cape Montesquieu. In this manner nearly the whole of Grant's discoveries were rechristened.* (* Some writers give the French name of Cape Desaix, bestowed in honour of one of Napoleon's famous generals, to Cape Albany Otway. Pinkerton's translator of the History to Southern Lands, however, states that the French named Cape Otway, Cape Marengo.)
The presence of Baudin's expedition in Australian waters may be said to have considerably hurried on the British colonisation of Tasmania. Although Bass and Flinders had in 1798 circumnavigated the island, adding extensive discoveries to those already made by Furneaux, Hayes, Bligh, and other British seamen, it was realised in Sydney that the French might lay claim to some portion of the island.
During Baudin's visit his officers surveyed the eastern coast more thoroughly than any previous navigators, although they must have known that Tasmania was then regarded by the British as their territory.* (* The commission of Governor Phillip, read publicly when he landed at Sydney in 1788, had proclaimed him ruler of all the land from Cape York to South Cape in Tasmania.) Baudin's enquiries elicited as much from Governor King at Sydney. It was natural therefore that after the departure of the French ships, when King heard a rumour that they intended to take possession of a port in Tasmania,* (* Baie du Nord.) he should send Acting-Lieutenant Robbins in the Cumberland after the vessels, who, finding them at anchor at King Island, immediately hoisted the Union Jack there and daily saluted it during their stay. It was upon seeing the British flag flying on this island that Baudin is said to have observed "that the English were worse than the Pope, for whereas he grasped half the world the English took the whole of it."
Commodore Baudin afterwards wrote to Governor King assuring him that the rumour as to his intentions was without foundation, but, he added, "Perhaps he (Robbins) has come too late as for several days before he hoisted the flag over our tents we had left in prominent parts of the island (which I still name after you) proofs of the period at which we visited it." This insinuation evidently raised King's ire, as he made a note on the margin of the letter, "If Mr. Baudin insinuates any claim of this visit the island was first discovered in 1798* (* King writes 1799 in the chart.) by Mr. Reid in the Martha and afterwards seen by Mr. Black in the Harbinger and surveyed by Mr. Murray in February 1802." Baudin seems to have totally ignored what could not have been a secret at Port Jackson, namely, the fact that the Lady Nelson had surveyed King Island from Cape Farewell to Seal Bay.
To return to the story of the logbooks. After another voyage to Norfolk Island, whither the Lady Nelson conveyed troops to relieve the men there, Murray was forced to resign his command, the Governor being informed, in despatches from the Admiralty, that he had sent them an erroneous statement of his services. In writing to Secretary Nepean, King remarks, on April 12th, 1803, "I had the honour of receiving yours respecting the discovery...about Mr. Murray's statement of servitude which appeared in his passing certificate at the Cape of Good Hope, in consequence of which he has been superseded in the command of the Lady Nelson and goes home a passenger in the Glatton. He promises himself being able to clear the point up to their Lordships' satisfaction. Should he be able to accomplish this, I consider it but doing common justice to his perseverance and good conduct while in command of the Lady Nelson to say that his future services in that vessel would be very acceptable to me and beneficial to the service that the vessel is employed on. In consequence of Mr. Murray's being superseded from the Lady Nelson, I applied to Captain Colnett for a person to command her not having anyone who can be spared, either from the Buffalo or Porpoise. He has appointed the master's mate of the Glatton, Mr. George Courtoys,* (* The name is spelt Curtoys in the Commander's own log.) who is passed and appears equal to the charge of Acting-Lieutenant and Commander of that vessel."
Murray's charts and the journal of his discoveries were sent home to the Duke of Portland by Governor King. They were committed to the care of Lieutenant Mackellar, who embarked in an American vessel named the Caroline,* (* Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4 pages 734 and 764.) which left Sydney on March 29th, 1802, and we know that they reached Whitehall safely. After his arrival in England, Murray seems to have been able to clear up satisfactorily his misunderstanding with the authorities, for shortly after his return he was appointed an Admiralty Surveyor, and his name is found upon several charts of the Home Coasts executed by him in 1804, 1805, and 1807.
In 1803 the Governor gave orders to the Commanders of H.M.S. Porpoise and of the Lady Nelson to embark the first colonists and proceed with them to Tasmania. The Lady Nelson, under the command of Lieutenant Curtoys, and having on board Lieutenant John Bowen,* (* Lieutenant John Bowen, R.N., came to Sydney in H.M.S. Glatton and was a son of Captain John Bowen and nephew of Lieutenant Richard Bowen, R.N., Admiralty Agent on board the Atlantic, which visited New South Wales in 1792.) the Commandant of the new establishment, as well as several other persons chosen by Governor King to accompany him, left Sydney early in June, while the Porpoise followed a few days later. Both ships returned without being able to make their port of destination. The Porpoise was seventeen days out and foul weather compelled her to return to Sydney, which she reached on July 3rd, while the Lady Nelson came back the next day, having been unable to proceed farther than Twofold Bay, where she waited for a change of wind. Upon putting to sea again, her main keel was carried away and she was then forced to abandon her project.
Governor King chartered the Albion whaler 326 tons, Captain Ebor Bunker, to take the place of the Porpoise in the next attempt to send colonists to Tasmania, and both ships reached Risdon safely, the Lady Nelson arriving on the 7th of September and the Albion, with Lieutenant Bowen on board, five days later.* (* Risdon (afterwards called Hobart by Lieutenant Bowen) was so named by Captain John Hayes of the Bombay Marine, who, in command of two ships the Duke of Clarence and the Duchess, visited Tasmania in 1793. The name was given in honour of Mr. William Bellamy Risdon, second officer of the Duke of Clarence. Captain Hayes also named the River Derwent.) The people were safely landed, but unfortunately much of the stock in the vessels was injured during the gale that raged after leaving Sydney. Many eligible places for a settlement presented themselves, and the Commandant eventually chose Risdon, because there the best stream of water ran into the cove and also because there were extensive valleys behind it. A few natives were seen when the Lady Nelson came into the harbour, but they quickly retired into the woods. The delay in the Albion's passage was caused by Captain Bunker putting in to Oyster Bay to avoid the bad weather. He stayed three days in the bay, where his crew killed three large spermaceti whales.
LOG OF THE LADY NELSON IN SYDNEY COVE.
GEORGE CURTOYS, Commander.
"Friday, 10th June (1803). P.M. Moderate and cloudy. Came on board Lieutenant Bowen, 10 convicts and 3 soldiers for Van Dieman's Land: at 6 A.M. hove short; 1/2 past fired a gun and made signal for a pilot, at 1/2 past weighed and made sail out of the harbour.
"Wednesday, 15th June. Fresh breezes and cloudy: at 8 squally, bore up for Twofold Bay the wind seeming to be set in from the Southward and likely to blow hard.
"Friday, June 24th. Moderate and clear at 5 and found the Bay at 5: came to with best bower and moored ship 1/2 cable's length from the shore. Employed making a raft of our spars and main keel: sent the carpenters on shore to build a punt.
"Saturday, 25th June. Down long top-gallant mast and up short ones.
"Sunday, 26th June. Sent empty casks on shore.
"Monday, 27th June. Employed setting up the lower and top-mast rigging: received wood and water.
"Tuesday, 28th June. Saw a sloop in the offing standing in to the Bay made signal for all persons to return on board.
"Wednesday, 29th June. Got all ready for sea: unmoored and shoved further out. A.M. Strong breezes; made signal for the sloop to come down--proved to be the John of Sydney.
"Friday, 1st July. Light breezes; at 3 weighed and stood out of the Bay; at 3.30 reefed top sails: at 11.30 saw part of the main keel go astern: bore for Port Jackson.
"Monday, 4th July. Moderate and clear: running along-shore; at 11 standing into Port Jackson.
"Tuesday, 5th July. Moderate and clear weather: at 2 came to above the Sow and Pigs: at 3.50 weighed and made sail up the harbour. Came on board the Pilot: at 5 got on shore on Bennilong's Point; carried away the fore foot and fore keel: at 6 came to in Sydney Cove. Moored in Port Jackson.
"Monday, 29th August. Fresh breezes and cloudy: at 5 got under weigh, tacked occasionally--at 7 South Head west by north 5 miles.
"Tuesday, 30th August. Fresh breezes and cloudy weather. 3.20 wore round on starboard tack.
"Wednesday, 31st August. Moderate and cloudy; at 4 carried away the fore top-mast: at 5.30 carried away the gaff.
"Thursday, 1st September. Fresh gales and cloudy; at 11 saw the land about the Eddystone Point: Noon, fresh breezes and cloudy.
"Friday, 2nd September. Fresh breezes and clear; all sail set.
"Saturday, 3rd September. Fresh breezes and cloudy, at 2 handed the top sail and hove to, at 11 set the fore-sail: at 10 Oyster Island north by west 7 or 8 miles.
"Sunday, 4th September. Light breezes and cloudy: at 2 down boat: at 4 got the sweeps out: carried one of them away. At 7 came to with the kedge in 29 fathoms, the tide setting us on an island: at 9, a breeze springing up, weighed and made all sail.
"Monday, 5th September. Light breezes and cloudy: at 4 calm, out sweeps to pull ahead: at 8 a breeze, made all sail up Frederick Henry Bay, at 6.30 out long boat, up main keel.
"Tuesday, 6th September. Ditto weather, at 1 hauled into the Bay: at 2.30 came to in Ralphes Bay in 8 fathoms.* (* Relph's Bay was named by Captain John Hayes in honour of Captain Relph, Bombay Marine, commander of the Duchess.)
"Wednesday, 7th September. Moderate breezes and cloudy: sail-maker making a main top-mast stay-sail. At 10 unmoored and made sail across the bay.
"Thursday, 8th September. Ditto weather, came to in the bay in 8 fathoms 1/2 past 3 breeze from the eastward, weighed and made sail up the Derwent: 6.30 came to in 8 fathoms above Stainforth's Cove.
"Friday, 9th September. Light breezes and cloudy weather: at 4 made sail for Risdon Cove: at 3 came to in the cove in 4 fathoms.
"Sunday, 11th September. At 8 came on board Captain Bowen from the Albion sent the longboat to assist in getting her into the Cove.
"Monday, 12th September. Sent some of the stores belonging to the colony on shore: the longboat assisting the Albion discharging.
"Tuesday, 13th September. Moderate and cloudy weather. Employed landing stores.
"Monday, 19th September. Struck lower yards and top-gallant mast. A.M. Fresh breezes and squally, landed bricks for the colony.
"Tuesday, 20th September. Moderate breezes and cloudy. Supplied the colony with 1/2 a barrel of Powder and a bell.
"Thursday, 29th September. Getting ready for sea: 10.30 in long boat. A.M. fresh breezes and cloudy with rain: 1/2 past 5 weighed and made sail down the Harbour: out longboat to tow, at 7 made sail in boat.
"Friday, 30th September. P.M. Strong gales with heavy squalls of rain: 1/2 past 1 a heavy gale from south-east bore up for Ralphes Bay.
"Saturday, 1st October. A.M. Pleasant weather: up lower yards, set the rigging up, moored: at 7 weighed and made all sail down the river.
"Sunday, 2nd October. Let go the kedge the vessel drifting on Risdons Island, shortened sail: 1/4 before 12 a breeze from the north-west up kedge. Made sail down River Derwent.
"Tuesday, 11th October. P.M. Strong gales and clear weather: at 6 Pigeon House west 10 or 12 miles.
"Wednesday, 12th October. Strong gales and cloudy. At 10 saw a schooner to windward.
"Thursday, 13th October. Calm and cloudy: 1/4 before 8 strong gales with heavy squalls of rain. A.M. North Head 12 miles.
"Friday, 14th October. Moderate and cloudy with heavy swell from south-east: at 1 the Pilot came on board: 1/4 past 4 came to in the cove with best bower.
"Saturday, 15th October. Light breezes and cloudy. Moored in Port Jackson.
"Thursday, 27th October. At 5 slipped the mooring and made sail out of the cove: at 10 the South Head, Broken Bay north-north-west 12 miles.
"Friday, 29th October. Saw a schooner to northward, at 5 hove to, spoke her, found her to be the Resource from Wreck Reef: at 10 came to in Broken Bay in 5 fathoms. Working up the river to Hawkesbury.
"Tuesday, 1st November. Moderate and clear weather. At 2 came abreast the Wash in 4 fathoms: moored. Down top-gallant yards, found the top-gallant yard sprung.
"Wednesday, 2nd November. Fresh and squally with thunder, lightning and rain: came on board carpenter to build a bulkhead forward for the corn.
"Friday, 4th November. Moderate and fair, at 4 furled sail. Hauled alongside wharf to take in the corn, received 710 bushels.
"Monday, 7th November. Light breezes and clear. Received 210 bushels of corn.
"Tuesday, 8th November. Light breezes and dark cloudy weather with heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. A.M. At 8 made ye signal for sailing with a gun. At noon strong breezes.
"Monday, 10th November. P.M. At 5 weighed and made sail: at 4 came to with the best bower in 3 fathoms.
"Friday, 11th November. P.M. Light breezes and clear: at 11 weighed and towed down the river. A.M. Calm and foggy: 1/2 past 3 came to in Sackville Reach in 2 1/2 fathoms.
"Saturday, 12th November. Calm and hot sultry weather, 1/2 past 12 weighed and towed down the river.
"Sunday, 13th November. At 1 weighed and towed down the river, at 4 came to. A.M. Calm and cloudy weighed and made sail down the river.
"Saturday, 19th November 1803. At 2 weighed and made sail down the river. Up top-gallant yards, at 7 came to in Pitt's Water. A.M. Light breezes and cloudy. At daylight weighed and made sail: at 4 calm and cloudy: came to.
"Sunday, 20th November. P.M. Calm. At 1 a breeze from the north-east. Weighed and made sail, at 2 all sail set, standing out of the Bay at 4 ditto weather: at 9 came to in Sydney Cove: furled sails and took in the moorings. A.M. Strong breezes and cloudy, down top gallant yards.
"Friday, 25th November. Employed receiving the wood and water. Delivering the iron and wine received for Norfolk Island and got ready to go to Port Phillip.
"(Signed) GEORGE CURTOYS."
The log of George Curtoys ends on November 25th when he was taken ill and went on shore to the Naval hospital at Sydney. We hear little of his subsequent career, beyond that he retired from the Royal Navy and settled down at the island of Timor,* (* The Sydney Gazette (1814) says that the ship Morning Star, Captain Smart, brought the above news concerning Captain Curtoys to Sydney. Captain Curtoys' brig had left Surabaja for Timor three months before Captain Smart's arrival at that port.) becoming commander of a brig, which occasionally traded with Surabaja.
George Curtoys was succeeded in the command of the Lady Nelson by Acting Lieutenant James Symons, who, like himself, had come to New South Wales as a midshipman in H.M.S. Glatton under Captain Colnett. Symons afterwards served on board the Buffalo, and doubtless gained much knowledge of the Australian coast while he was in that ship. She is well known on account of her many pioneering voyages, and it is also recorded that her figure-head was the effigy of a kangaroo, and for this reason, on her first arrival in Sydney, she became an object of no little interest to the natives. Symons' appointment was somewhat hurriedly made, when, after Curtoys had been sent to sick quarters on shore, the ship Ocean arrived from Port Phillip. Her commander, Captain Mertho, brought important despatches to the Governor from Colonel Collins, who had been instructed by the British Government to form a settlement at that spot.
The establishment had been conveyed from England in two ships, H.M.S. Calcutta, Captain Woodriff, and the Ocean, Captain Mertho.* (* The ships left England in April, 1803, and arrived at Port Phillip on the 7th and 8th of October.) Colonel Collins now reported that the site at Port Phillip, which he had originally chosen, was unsuitable, and asked King's permission to move the whole settlement to Tasmania.* (* Collins settled at what is now Sorrento. It is curious that no proper examination of the northern shores of Port Phillip was carried out by Colonel Collins. Had he done so, he must have found the Yarra.) His cousin, Mr. William Collins, who had accompanied him to Port Phillip, "in a private capacity," first volunteered to bring this despatch round to Sydney, and set forth in a six-oared boat. He was delayed by bad weather, and he and his party of six convict sailors were overtaken and picked up by the Ocean at Point Upright.
Governor King complied with Colonel Collins's request, and in replying to his letter acquainted him with the circumstances that had induced him to send Bowen with settlers to Hobart. At the same time he left Colonel Collins to decide whether he would move his people to that place or to Port Dalrymple on the northern shores of Tasmania. The Governor also gave orders for the Lady Nelson, then on the point of sailing to Norfolk Island, to be cleared of her cargo and to be made ready to sail with the Ocean back to Port Phillip. Two other ships--the colonial schooner Francis* (* This ship had been brought from England in frame in 1792, the Edwin was locally built, the property of Mr. Palmer, and commanded by Captain Stuart.) and the whaler Edwin--were also sent to render Colonel Collins all the assistance in their power.
The Lady Nelson left Sydney on Monday, November 28th, 1803. Among those who sailed with Lieutenant Symons was the well-known botanist, Mr. Robert Brown, late of H.M.S. Investigator, who wished to examine the neighbourhood of Port Phillip and also to visit Port Dalrymple in search of new plants.* (* Robert Brown, formerly an ensign in the Fifeshire Fencibles, was granted leave of absence to go with Captain Flinders in the Investigator.) The brig was singularly unfortunate in her passage to Port Phillip. So rough was the weather on arriving in Bass Strait, that "after beating a fortnight against a south-westerly wind," she was eventually obliged to bear up for the Kent Group.* (* Robert Brown's Manuscript letters to Banks, describing the voyage, are preserved at the British Museum.) Twice she left her anchorage there in order to try to reach her destination, and twice she had to return to port again. Meanwhile the Ocean, with Mr. William Collins and his sailors on board, arrived at Port Phillip on December 12th, and the Francis, bringing Governor King's despatches, on the following day.
On his way to Port Phillip, Mr. Rushworth, the Master of the Francis, in passing Kent Group, had observed smoke rising from one of the islands, and being apprehensive for the safety of the Lady Nelson, he informed Colonel Collins of this fact. Accordingly, when Mr. William Collins sailed in the Francis for Port Dalrymple on the 24th, and with a view to reporting upon its suitability for a settlement, the Master was directed to call at the Group and ascertain who was on shore there. This he did, and he found the Lady Nelson still in the cove where she had sought refuge. Mr. Brown, during his enforced stay there, had explored all the islands of the group in search of botanical specimens, but he tells Banks that his collections were enriched by only "twelve new plants and nothing else." On her arrival the Francis was in a very leaky condition, so that at the suggestion of Mr. Collins she was sent back to Sydney, and the party appointed to survey Port Dalrymple was embarked in the Lady Nelson.
Two days later Lieutenant Symons sailed to Port Dalrymple, which he entered on January 1st, 1804, and where he remained until the 18th. A succession of gales made it quite impossible to put to sea after the survey of the shores had been completed. While the brig lay at anchor, Mr. Collins explored the River Tamar as far as One Tree Reach, and Mr. Brown resumed his botanical researches; his letters show that he made several excursions into the inland country in order to examine its flora, which, however, he found disappointing. He writes to Banks: "The whole number of plants observed in this port did not much exceed 300, of which about 40 were new to me and, I believe, nondescript. From Port Dalrymple we had a short passage to Port Phillip."
On January 21st, Colonel Collins was highly pleased at ascertaining the safety of the Lady Nelson, "of whose appearance," he writes to King, "I had for some time despaired." The account of Port Dalrymple, given by the surveying party, was favourable, but Colonel Collins had already decided that he could not do better than repair, with his establishment, to the Derwent. He came to this decision on account of some of the military at Port Phillip "manifesting an improper spirit," and he believed that on their joining the detachment of the New South Wales Corps at Hobart, then under Bowen, "a spirit of emulation would be excited and discontent checked."* (* See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 4, Collins to King.)
On January 25th all the settlers ordered to embark in the Lady Nelson went on board, and on Monday, 30th, in company with the Ocean, conveying Colonel Collins, she made sail out of Port Phillip Bay.* (* See Knopwood's Diary, edited by J. Shillinglaw, Melbourne. The Reverend R. Knopwood was the Chaplain of Collins' establishment.) After a passage of ten days, the brig anchored in Risdon Cove, the site of Bowen's settlement, the Ocean arriving a few days later. Colonel Collins did not think Risdon the most eligible spot for the purpose of a settlement, and he encamped "on the banks of a small but apparently constant stream, which empties itself into the second cove below Stainforth's Cove." Collins named this place Sullivan's Cove,* (* After Mr. John Sullivan, Permanent Under Secretary for the Colonies.) "the settlement at Risdon remaining in every respect as he found it until Governor King's pleasure is known."* (* Brown's manuscript letter to Paterson.)
On Tuesday, March 6th, 1804, the Lady Nelson left the Derwent on her return voyage to Sydney. By that time all the Port Phillip settlers and half the establishment had arrived in Tasmania, and the Ocean was about to put to sea again in order to convey the stores and stock remaining at Port Phillip to Sullivan's Cove. Collins's settlement at this place, and the original colony at Risdon, were then fast becoming united. A little later, Bowen's settlement was moved, by Governor King's orders, down the river to Sullivan's Cove and the two establishments really became one, Colonel Collins retaining for it the name of Hobart, and Bowen with his officials returned to Sydney.*
(* Sydney Gazette, August 26th, 1804. On Friday arrived the Ocean Captain Mertho, from the Derwent with Lieutenant Bowen, Commandant of the settlement at Risdon Cove, which has become part of Lieutenant Governor Collins' settlement, being only six miles from Sullivan's Cove. In the same ship came Lieutenant Moore with a detachment of the New South Wales Corps on duty at Risdon, Mr. Jacob Mountgarrett, surgeon, Mr. Brown, naturalist, and several persons who composed the settlement. The Ocean arrived at Sullivan's Cove from her second voyage to Port Phillip on June 25th after a tempestuous voyage of 32 days in which most of the stock for the colony was lost.
Lieutenant Bowen was on his way from Sydney to the Derwent at the time of Collins' arrival in Tasmania. He seems only to have voyaged as far as Port Dalrymple in the Integrity for he returned to the Derwent in the Pilgrim (Sydney Gazette, April 22nd, 1804). Eventually he came, as stated above, to Sydney in the Ocean. See Historical Records of New South Wales volume 5 pages 451 and 676.)
The Lady Nelson reached Sydney on the 14th of March after a passage of eight days, and no sooner had she anchored in the harbour than Governor King instructed her commander to refit and prepare to embark yet another colony of settlers. These he proposed to send to Newcastle.* (* Or Kingstown, as it was then called, in honour of Governor King; shortly afterwards he renamed it Newcastle.) Hitherto only some colliers and a guard had been stationed there, in order to ensure a supply of coals for Sydney and for the Government ships, but now the Governor directed that the spot should be raised to the dignity of a settlement. The colonial cutter Resource, and the James sloop, belonging to Mr. Raby, were ordered to sail with the Lady Nelson. The three vessels got under weigh to sail to Newcastle on Tuesday, March 27th, having on board all the persons appointed by the Governor, to proceed there. Embarked in the Lady Nelson were:--
Lieutenant Menzies, Commandant.
Mr. Mileham, Surgeon.
Mr. F. Bauer, natural history painter.
Mr. John Tucker, storekeeper.
One overseer, two carpenters, three sawyers, a gardener, a salt bailer and sixteen prisoners.
In the Resource were one sergeant and four privates of the New South Wales Corps:--
Mr. Knight, superintendent.
In the James:--
Mr. George Caley and three miners with implements, and stores and provisions for six months.
In consequence of a north-east wind, the ships were not able to leave Sydney harbour on that evening, but were obliged to anchor in Lookout Bay until the following morning, when they again weighed and in a short time cleared the Heads. They arrived at Newcastle safely on the day after their departure, and disembarked the little colony. All three vessels were then loaded with coals and cedar for Sydney, the Lady Nelson receiving on board "twenty-six fine logs of rich cedar." The homeward voyage was unfortunate, as the James was lost off Broken Bay. Leaving Newcastle in a very leaky condition, and encountering a gale, the water gradually gained fast upon her and stopped her progress. Two days afterwards the pumps became choked, and the five men who composed her crew had to bale with buckets. Eventually they stood on to a sandy beach where their vessel, being nearly full of water, was dashed to pieces by the tremendous surf. The crew were picked up on the north head of Broken Bay by the Resource and brought to Sydney.* (* For this portion of the Lady Nelson's story no log has been available. The material has been derived principally from the columns of Sydney newspapers.)
The voyage of the Lady Nelson to Norfolk Island in April and May, 1804, was one of the most tempestuous the brig ever experienced. She sailed with the Francis on April 30th, but the two ships soon parted company. Their cargo consisted of stores and a quantity of salt staves and hoops for the purpose of curing pork, a supply of which was greatly needed for the colony. For eighteen days continuous gales buffeted the ship and drove her so far northward that she could not make her port of destination. Besides bad weather, she had to contend with further misfortunes, for three casks of water in the hold--part of the supply for the voyage--were found to have leaked entirely away, and the allowance of fuel ran so short that her Commander was forced to cut up one of the top masts for firewood.
Situated thus, Lieutenant Symons decided to bear away for New Zealand and to return later to Norfolk Island, when it was hoped the weather would have moderated sufficiently to enable him to land his passengers. On the 3rd of June he made Three Kings Island, and two days afterwards North Cape. He then steered alongside as far as Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands. On coming to an anchorage in a small bay on the north-west side of the River Thames, nearly two hundred natives surrounded the brig and were welcomed on board. They brought with them potatoes, and other vegetables, as well as mats and native curios to barter for nails, buttons, etc. At sunset they left the vessel. On the following morning the Commander went on shore and the natives following him quickly found him a watering place. On being offered a pig by one of the Maoris in exchange for a new razor, he accepted it, but a chief afterwards requested him to return the animal (as it had been a present from Captain Rhodes)* (* Captain Rhodes of the Alexander South Sea Whaler, traded with New Zealand.) and it was immediately given back to its former owner. Next morning the New Zealanders flocked on board in such numbers that Lieutenant Symons decided to quit the bay.
On the 9th a strong breeze necessitated anchoring in Cavalli Bay* (* So named by Cook.) where the natives were no less friendly and came to trade with the crew. On the 12th a strong gale and heavy sea drove the Lady Nelson four lengths towards the shore. Her commander was forced to cut the cable after beating for two hours, weathered the land and bore up to run between Cavalli Island and the mainland. Eventually the Lady Nelson arrived at Norfolk Island on June 22nd, when it was found possible to land the officers of the New South Wales Corps and to embark others from the same regiment for Sydney, among them being Ensigns Piper and Anderson. The brig sailed on the 29th, and in passing the entrance of Hunter's River, on the evening of July 8th, she sent a boat off to the settlement at Newcastle, where it was reported that all was well. She arrived in Port Jackson on July 9th. She was then overhauled, and on September 8th sailed for the Hawkesbury in order to fetch a cargo of wheat for Sydney.
LOG OF THE LADY NELSON.
J. SYMONS, Acting Lieutenant and Commander,
Port Jackson, New South Wales.
Sydney to Norfolk Island.
"Monday, 30th April 1804. P.M. Left the Heads. Winds variable. At 4 North Head of Port Jackson 4 leagues. At 8 the Francis in sight. At 1 A.M. light breezes and clear. At noon the Francis in company.
"Tuesday, 1st May. In company with the Francis at 5 lost sight of the Francis.
"Friday, 4th May. Fine clear weather: at 5 A.M. saw How's Islands upon the weather bow bearing north-north-east distant 5 leagues, Ball's Pyramid bearing north-east 1/2 F. distant 6 leagues. At noon abreast of How's Island east: distant 3 leagues.
"Saturday, 5th May. Tacked ship and stood in for How's Island.
"Sunday, 6th May. P.M. Hard squalls of rain. How's Island west by north 7 leagues.
"Monday, 7th May. P.M. Still blowing hard: at 6 took in the fore-top-sail: at 4 split the main-sail and fore-top-mast stay-sail. At 9 fine pleasant weather: employed about a new main-sail and bending a fore-top-mast stay-sail.
"Tuesday, 8th May. P.M. Fresh breezes and fine clear weather: at 4 bent new main-sail: at 10 bore away for New Zealand. Have but 2 casks on board and no wood.
"Tuesday, 29th May P.M. Cloudy weather with squalls.
"Wednesday, 30th May. Small breezes and fine weather. At 8 A.M. tacked ship: at 9 split the fore-top-gallant-sail and carried away the main-top-gallant-yard.
"Thursday, 31st May. Moderate winds and cloudy weather. At 7 set up the main-top-gallant yard and set the sail: at 4 A.M. set the lower and fore-top-mast studding sail. At 8 carried away the fore keel pendant and lost the keel, at 10 took in the studding sail.
"Friday, 1st June. Small breezes. At 3 calm, light breezes and fine weather.
"Saturday, 2nd June. Cloudy with squalls of wind and rain. At 5 took in the main-top-gallant-sail.
"Sunday, 3rd June. P.M. Fresh gales with squalls and bad sea from east-south-east. At 2 saw the Three Kings being south-west by west 3 leagues.
"Monday, 4th June. P.M. Bore away to leeward of the Three Kings and in search of wood and water, sent boat ashore, lost 4 oars overboard. At 7 P.M. the boat came on board with wood.
"Tuesday, 5th June. At 1 made sail close under shore of New Zealand.
"Wednesday, 6th June. Land distant 2 leagues: came to anchor in bay on the east side of New Zealand: went ashore, got some wood and water: at 6 A.M. went on shore again and got some water: at 9 A.M. got under weigh and bore away for the River Thames.
"Thursday, 7th June. P.M. At 6 came to anchor in a small bay to the northward of River Thames. At 7 went on shore, found it a bad landing: could not get water: got some wood. At 9 got under weigh and stood round for the mouth of the River Thames.
"Friday, 8th June. P.M. At 3 came to anchor on the north-west side of River Thames with the bower anchor in 11 fathoms water and sent boat ashore for wood and water. At 11 weighed anchor and made sail out of the river on account of the natives being so numerous on board.
"Saturday, 9th June. Cloudy weather: all sail set standing along the coast. At 12 A.M. Cavill's Island bearing north-west distant 10 miles. At daylight made all sail into the bay bearing west: tacked occasionally: at 11 shortened sail and came to in 10 fathoms of water with best bower anchor.
"Sunday, 10th June. Moderate breezes: at 2 sent boat ashore: at 6 returned with wood and water.
"Monday, 11th June. Got some wood and water: at 10 wind north-north-west--hard squalls of wind and rain.
"Tuesday, 12th June. At 6 the boat came on board with wood and an account that James Cavanagh a prisoner who was sent to cut wood had run into the Brush and that a party of men had been in pursuit of him and could not find him and he was left behind: at 1/4 past 9 a heavy squall: gave the vessel more cable: found her driving in shore very fast: the gale continuing and a heavy sea. Set the top-sail, main-sail and fore-top-stay sail and cut the cable, not being able to get anchor on account of vessel driving so fast: the anchor was lost, 120 fathoms of cable. 1/4 before 10 tacked ship, 10 past 10 began to run between Cavill's Island and mainland, not being able to work out of the bay, up keel and fore-sail down jib and main-sail. At 11 being quite clear of land shortened sail and hove to.
"Wednesday, 13th June. P.M. At 9 more moderate. Latitude by observation 33 degrees 8 minutes.
"Thursday, 14th June. P.M. Fine clear weather: at 8 took one reef in the main-top-sail and set the stay-sail.
"Friday, 15th June. P.M. Light airs, clear weather: set the fore and main courses: at 9 fresh breezes: took in top-gallant sails: at 10 strong breezes and squally: at 12 A.M. tacked ship and close reefed top-sail, furled the jib and main-sail and sent down top-gallant yards.
"Saturday, 16th June. P.M. Fresh breezes and clear: at 1 got main-top-gallant yard up and set the sail.
"Sunday, 17th June. Light airs from northward. Set the square main-sail: at 12 tacked ship.
"Monday, 18th June. P.M. Light wind and clear weather: at 8 wore ship.
"Tuesday, 19th June. P.M. At 12 saw Norfolk Island bearing south 1/2 east distant 7 leagues.
"Wednesday, 20th June. P.M. At 5 Norfolk island distant 6 leagues. At 8 Norfolk island distant 4 leagues.
"Thursday, 21st June. P.M. At 4 Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at sunset Norfolk Island distant 5 leagues: at 8 Norfolk Island S.E.E. 3 leagues: at 9 fired 3 guns as signal for a boat.
"Friday, 22nd June. P.M. A boat from Cascade boarded us and took on board the officers of New South Wales Corps and baggage and left a pilot on board: at 10 A.M. a boat came and took on shore more baggage belonging to officers of New South Wales Corps.
"Saturday, 23rd June. P.M. Stretched off land to get round to Sydney (Norfolk Island) but the wind and weather not permitting stretched off and on all night: at 6 close in with the land: at 8 A.M. tacked ship and stood off from the land: at 10 A.M. lowered the boat and sent her with second mate and four men on shore.
"Sunday, 24th June. P.M. Stretching off and on the land to the windward. At 8 A.M. a boat arrived from the shore with a cask of pork and biscuits, the 2nd mate and 2 men brought the account that the boat was lost and that 1 man George Cockswain was drowned. At 10 loaded the boat with sundries for the shore but not being able to make good her landing returned to the ship. We stood off for Governor King's island with the boat towing astern.
"Monday, 25th June. P.M. Fresh breezes. At 4 P.M. stretched under Nepean island and left the boat waiting to land at Sydney if the swell abated: stretched off with ship to windward between 2 islands to keep her ground: at 10 A.M. got under Nepean Island and boat came on board with water which was loaded with iron and sent ashore.
"Tuesday, 26th June. P.M. At 2 loaded the boat with flour and sent her on shore: at 8 A.M. towed in for Nepean Island and the boat came on board.
"Wednesday, 27th June. P.M. Employed landing goods and getting water: at 8 A.M. got under the land and fired a gun: at 9 A.M. the boat came on board with baggage for officers of New South Wales Corps for Port Jackson.
"Thursday, 28th June. P.M. Received orders and passengers on board: made sail for Port Jackson.
"Wednesday, 4th July. P.M. Light breezes and clear weather. Punished J. Druce with 24 lashes for theft.* (* Druce subsequently deserted.) Sold clothes and bedding of George Cockswain.
THE LADY NELSON'S ANCHORAGE AT HUNTER RIVER
"Thursday, 5th July. P.M. Light airs and clear weather. Exercised guns and small arms.
"Friday, 6th July. P.M. north-north-east. Light winds and cloudy: small breezes with some rain and from then until noon calm with some rain.
"Saturday, 7th July. P.M. Strong breezes: at 6 A.M. saw the land, Port Stephens bearing north by east 5 leagues: at 11 A.M. off the Coal River, fired 2 guns, hoisted out boat and sent her on shore. Light winds and cloudy weather.
"Sunday, 8th July. P.M. Small breezes: at 2 tacked ship: at 6 the boat came on board: hoisted her in and made sail for Port Jackson. At 12 A.M. light winds: at 7 made the North Head of Port Jackson: at 12 came to with the kedge between the Heads.
"Monday, 9th July. P.M. At 3 got under weigh and at 6 arrived in Sydney Cove, hauled alongside the Supply and made fast. The officers of New South Wales Corps went on shore. At 8 A.M. cast off from the Supply and anchored off the dockyard with the Bower, sent passengers on shore.
"Tuesday, 10th July. P.M. Small breezes and showery. Employed clearing decks and putting things to rights and sending things on shore belonging to the officers of the New South Wales Corps.
"Wednesday, July 11th. Overhauling ship at the dockyard and refitting, etc. until September 7th.
Sydney Cove to the Hawkesbury River.
"Friday, September 7th. P.M. Employed getting on board water and getting ready for sea.
"Saturday, September 8th. At 12 A.M. got clear of the Heads.
"Sunday, 9th September. At 4 stood in between the Heads and came to off Camp Cove: at 8 A.M. got under weigh for the Hawkesbury.
"Monday, 10th September. P.M. Came to between South Head of Broken Bay and Ballinjoy*: (* Barrenjoey.) at 12 came to off Mount Elliott. At noon under weigh.
"Tuesday, 11th September. P.M. Came to off Britannia's beach at 2: at 5 came to with the kedge in Barr's Reach--at 10 under weigh.
"Wednesday, 12th September. P.M. Came to at 3 in Freshwater Bay: at 9 winds more moderate: Got under weigh and towed ship up river to Seven Reaches: at 10 A.M. got under weigh.
"Sunday, 16th September. P.M. Came to anchor off the Greenhills.
"Monday, 17th September. P.M. Fine pleasant weather. Got out flour and bricks: 3 carpenters came on board to work.
"Tuesday, 18th September. P.M. At 8 hard gusts wind with rain: at A.M. more moderate.
"Wednesday, 19th September. P.M. At 9 got under weigh for Cornwallis Farm. At 1 came to anchor: at 8 A.M. hauled in shore and got out remainder of flour and cleaned hold to receive wheat.
"Thursday, 20th September. P.M. Received wheat and dropped down river: at 9 came to anchor: at 6 weighed: at 7 ran aground.
"Friday, 21st September. P.M. At 2 got off and towed down river: at 5 moored off Greenhills: at 7 A.M. received wheat on board.
Greenhills to Sydney Cove.
"Saturday, 22nd September. P.M. Moderate breezes. Fired a Royal Salute in commemoration of the King's Coronation: received remainder of wheat: at 5 A.M. unmoored and went down the River.
"Monday, 24th September. P.M. Small breezes and moderate: half-past 3 got under weigh: at 10 came to with the kedge in Pugh's Reach: at 5 A.M. got under way: at 11 A.M. came to in Sackville's Reach.
"Tuesday, 25th September. P.M. Small breezes: at 4 endeavoured to weigh anchor: parted hawser: lost kedge and 116 fathoms of it: proceeded down the River. At 11 came to anchor: at 5 under weigh: at 12 we came to anchor in reach above Sentry Box and went up a creek in a boat 5 miles. Discovered at the head of the creek a fine spring of water; brought on board a Gigantic Lily of a species unknown.
"Wednesday, 26th September. P.M. Fresh breezes: at 4 got under weigh; at 11 came to anchor above the Bar: at 5 A.M. weighed; at 8 passed Mullett's Island: at 10 spoke a sloop of Ballinjoy bound for Hawkesbury: at 11 cleared the Head of Broken Bay and stood off for Port Jackson.
"Thursday 27th September. P.M. Fresh breezes: at 2 made Heads of Port Jackson and proceeded up the Harbour: at 3 P.M. came to anchor in Sydney Cove: at 6 A.M. hauled into the wharf: at 9 discharged cargo."
[Facsimile signature James Symons]
The beginnings of Hobart and Launceston are singularly alike. The first attempt of the newly appointed Commandant of Port Dalrymple to reach the site of his intended settlement in the colonial cutter Integrity, having "ended in failure owing to adverse winds," Lieutenant-Governor Paterson left Sydney on October 15th, 1804, in H.M.S. Buffalo. The Lady Nelson went with her as tender, as the Navy Board had notified Governor King that their Lordships wished the brig to accompany the Buffalo while on survey, and for this reason 15 supernumerary seamen were allowed to the flagship in order to provide a crew for the Lady Nelson.* (* In consequence of this order the Lady Nelson, after October 16th, was discharged from the list of colonial vessels.) The colonial schooners Integrity and Francis also received orders to sail with Captain Kent to Port Dalrymple.
On Sunday morning, the 14th, Lieutenant-Governor Paterson went on board the Buffalo with Ensign Piper and Mr. Mountgarrett under a salute of 11 guns from the Fort, which was returned. Forty-six officers and men of the New South Wales Corps had previously been embarked and twenty prisoners, while the Lady Nelson also carried troops and settlers to the settlement. That evening the fleet came to at the entrance of the harbour, being unable to clear the Heads until the following morning. Outside a high sea was running, and as the ships voyaged southwards the bad weather increased. It is recorded that on the night of the 20th a heavy gale almost "blew the ships back to Port Jackson." A few hours before this gale commenced the Francis had parted company with the Buffalo, but the Lady Nelson and the Integrity remained with the king's ship until the end of the storm, when both vessels lost sight of her. The Lady Nelson, having split her fore-and-aft mainsail, bore up for Twofold Bay to refit. On the 21st she again put to sea only to meet with another storm of still greater violence, which stove in her bulwarks, washed overboard her boats, compasses, and many articles belonging to the Government. The ship consequently returned once more to Twofold Bay to effect repairs. In lieu of a boat, a raft was rigged up to carry the men on shore to obtain water, and at the same time the carpenter was sent to cut spars from "Ruff trees." On November 3rd, after having made a fruitless attempt to face the gale, she weighed and sailed out of the bay. At the entrance she met the George, schooner, from Sydney bound to the Derwent, and was supplied by the master with a boat's compass and other much-needed articles. Bad weather continuing until Flinders' Island was sighted, Symons decided to beat up through the narrows into Kent's Bay, where he found the Francis also seeking shelter. On the 13th the two vessels left Kent's Bay in company to try and reach their port of destination, but as the storm had not yet abated they bore away for Waterhouse Island and took refuge there. Finally, on November 21st, the two little ships with torn sails and splintered masts arrived at Port Dalrymple, both in a thoroughly disabled condition, but those on board, in coming into the harbour, saw with satisfaction the British colours flying on shore, and the Buffalo and the Integrity lying safely at anchor.
Lieutenant Symons learned that the Buffalo had arrived alone on the evening of November 3rd and had moored four miles within the port. Next day she dragged her anchors, and in spite of every exertion, touched, fortunately, upon a flat rock. By a spirited effort on the part of the crew she was floated undamaged, her anchor was slipped, and she was taken three miles higher up the harbour. On the 4th the Integrity arrived, and on the 10th possession was taken of the country on behalf of Great Britain with the usual formalities.* (* Captain Flinders had already taken possession of this port and Governor Hunter had named it after Alexander Dalrymple.) The Lieutenant-Governor was saluted with 11 guns by the flagship as he landed, and a Royal Salute was fired when the Union Jack was hoisted. On the 13th the general disembarkation took place from the Buffalo and Integrity at a spot called Outer Cove, where Lieutenant-Governor Paterson had fixed his camp. Its surroundings were delightful, the harbour extending inland for many miles without interruption. A party of Tasmanian natives on the 14th were encountered by some of the colonists in the bush. At the sight of the white men they gave a furious shout and 200 of their number followed the British back to their camp. Here overtures were made, and they grew somewhat more conciliatory. But Paterson's friendly endeavours were now and then interrupted "by an indignant clamour which, beginning with a single individual, ran rapidly through their lines accompanied by excited gesticulations," the natives "biting their arms as a token either of vengeance or defiance.* (* Letter describing the founding of the Port Dalrymple settlement. Sydney Gazette December 23rd, 1804.) The blacks withdrew peaceably, but were positive in forbidding us to follow them."
On November 22nd the officers, soldiers, and prisoners were sent on shore from the Lady Nelson, and on the following day the baggage as well as the bricks brought from Sydney to build the houses of the settlers. On November 29th the Buffalo and the Integrity left Port Dalrymple. The Lieutenant-Governor, Ensign Piper and Mr. Jacob Mountgarrett then went on board the Lady Nelson and proceeded to examine the harbour and the upper reaches of the river. On this expedition Colonel Paterson occasionally went on shore, sometimes taking Lieutenant Symons with him, and penetrated some distance into the surrounding country. Several places were named, and land suitable for cultivation was seen. The pasturage was very luxuriant. Fresh water too was found in sufficient abundance and, added to these natural advantages, good stone and timber were plentiful, the latter growing on the high ground. In surveying the country the Lieutenant-Governor found a more suitable site for a settlement "at the head of the Western Arm" between two "runs " of fresh water which were named by him Kent's Burn* (* Discovered by Captain Kent.) and M'Millan's Burn.* (* Called after Mr. M'Millan, Surgeon of the Buffalo.) He decided to move the people to this spot without delay,--giving the place the name of Yorktown.* (* Yorktown settlement soon gave place to Georgetown, and in 1806 the settlers were moved to the spot where Launceston now stands.) The main river he called the Tamar, two other streams the North Esk and the South Esk, a neighbouring mountain, Mount Albany, and the hills to the westward, the Rothesay Hills.* (* Sydney Gazette, January 6th and 25th, 1805.)
On the return of the expedition to Outer Cove the bricks and other articles which had been left at the camp there, were removed to the Western Arm. The mud flats proved rather an obstacle in the way of the vessels' progress, and we read that more than once the Lady Nelson ran ashore during the undertaking; however, eventually the passengers, bricks and baggage were safely landed.
On December 29th the Francis sailed for Port Jackson, but the Lady Nelson was detained by the Lieutenant-Governor until January 11th in order that Lieutenant Symons might assist in carrying out further surveys, and also to erect beacons in the harbour to facilitate the safe entry of ships into port.
The important work carried out by the Lady Nelson at Port Dalrymple will be found recorded in the log of her Commander, which is as follows:--
THE LOG OF THE LADY NELSON.
AT ANCHOR IN SYDNEY COVE.
JAS. SYMONS Lieutenant and Commander.
"Tuesday, 2nd October 1804. P.M. Got on board 2 cables, 1 hawser, 1 anchor, 1 grapnel and provisions for 6 months. Received order from Governor King to act as Lieutenant and Commander.* (* The Governor had then received an Admiralty order to make the appointment.)
Sydney to Port Dalrymple.
"Sunday, 14th October. At 5 A.M. got under way: at 8 fresh breezes: came to with the small bower in company with the Buffalo, Francis and Integrity.
"Monday, 15th October. At 6 A.M. got under way: made sail occasionally to work out of Harbour.
"Tuesday, 16th October. At 6 A.M. squally with heavy rain. Cape Dromedary bearing south-south-west: ships all in sight.
"Wednesday, 17th October. P.M. Fresh breezes and cloudy: land in sight. Lay by for the Francis.
"Thursday, 18th October. Squadron in company: set main top-gallant sail: saw the land off Ramhead distant 12 leagues.
"Friday, 19th October. P.M. Split fore-and-aft main-sail at 7...hove to. At 11 lost sight of the Buffalo--at 8 made sail and bore away for Twofold Bay. At noon strong breezes: Cape Howe distant 4 miles.
"Saturday, 20th October. P.M. Past Green Cape--at 5 came to with the small bower on the east side of Twofold Bay: got under way and stood out of Bay. At noon off the Isles.
"Sunday, 21st October. P.M. At 6 Cape Howe 5 leagues. At 3/4 past 10 A.M. perceived a heavy gale coming on westward, up courses: shortened sail. At 11 strong gales with thunder and lightning and rain: hove to under balance: reefed main-sail.
"Monday, 22nd October. Strong gales with a heavy sea from south-west--at half-past 8 shipped a very heavy sea on the starboard quarter, stove in the bulwark on the quarter gangway. At 3 A.M. shipped another heavy sea which washed overboard the boat, a chest of carpenter's tools, one fore-top-sail, one top-mast studding-sail, 1 tackle, 3 oars, 1 boat-hook, 2 brass guns, one cask of rice, 3 chests belonging to passengers and several things belonging to Mr. Piper and 4 sows, the property of Government, and washed overboard the binnacle, 2 compasses and lamps. At half-past 3 carried away main sheet and broke the tiller, down main-sail: bore up and set the fore-sail not being able to keep the sea found the larboard side of the waist covering board split and leaking a good deal. At 8 heavy gales with squalls and a heavy sea: found the breakers in the hold had raised the water casks and everything in the ship was moved. One cask of rice in the spirit room above, and rice totally lost.
"Tuesday, 23rd October. P.M. Strong gales with a heavy sea. At 2 P.M. close reefed top-sail...carpenter and people employed stopping leak...at noon hoisted up fore keel and found it broken off.
"Wednesday, 24th October. At 8 A.M. bore up for Twofold Bay.
"Thursday, 25th October. Opened the Bay, hauled our wind and set main-sail to work up into the Bay. At half-past 6 came to in 5 fathoms on the South shore with small bower anchor. A.M. At 6 rigged a raft to go on shore: at 9 sent casks on shore for water: sent carpenter to cut spars from Ruff trees: at 10 raft returned with water and at half-past set off again and in going ashore Charles Abercrombie fell overboard and was drowned.
"Friday, 26th October. Fresh breezes: carpenter employed fixing Ruff trees.
"Thursday, 1st November. Broke up the raft and got under weigh to work out of Harbour.
"Friday, 2nd November. P.M. all sail set standing to South. At 2 squally with rain: bore up for Twofold Bay...at 6 came to with small bower in 12 fathoms in Twofold Bay.
"Saturday, 3rd November. P.M. Perceived at 2 a sail to south-east: found her to be the George, Schooner, of Sydney bound to the Derwent: got from her a boat's compass and sundry articles: made all sail out of the Bay, the George in company, at 12 Haycock Rock West 3 miles: the George in sight.
"Sunday, 4th November. Fresh breezes and hazy. At noon Cape How distant 4 leagues.
"Monday, 5th November. P.M. Slight breezes, all sail set: at 8 squally: the main top-sail blown out of the bolt rope and was lost.
"Tuesday, 6th November. P.M. At 4 took in all sail.
"Wednesday, 7th November. P.M. Strong gales and bad sea. At 8 blew the fore stay-sail totally away and split the main stay-sail.
"Thursday, 8th November. P.M. At 9 saw Flinders' Isle bearing south-west by south 15 leagues. At noon distant 9 leagues.
"Thursday, 9th November. P.M. At 6 A.M. saw the land: at 8 clear weather, made Cape Barren and beat in through the narrows: at 12 under sail beating up to Kent's Bay.
"Saturday, 10th November. Came to in Kent's Bay with small bower anchor alongside the Francis, schooner.
"Sunday, 11th November. At 3 sent women and soldiers on shore. Mary Poor died suddenly: carpenter made coffin: at 12 went on shore and interred body with funeral solemnities.
"Monday, 12th November. P.M. Sent carpenter to put bilge pieces on boat's bottom.
"Tuesday, 13th November. P.M. Strong gales: at 3 light breezes: hove up best bower and got all clear for getting under weigh in company with Francis: at 8 made Hunter's Island.
"Wednesday, 14th November. P.M. Fresh breezes and fine: at 2 bore away for Waterhouse Island: at 4 came to anchor in 4 fathoms.
The Lady Nelson to Port Dalrymple.
"Tuesday, 20th November, 1804. A.M. Close in with northernmost of Waterhouse's Islands: 12 Waterhouse's Island 3 miles. Francis in company.
"Wednesday, 21st November. P.M. Small breezes, at 3 past the island of rocks: at 6 saw the colours flying at Port Dalrymple: fired a gun for the Francis to bear down: at 8 came to anchor in the River in 27 fathoms of water: at 9 A.M. weighed anchor and ran up into the Bay and came to anchor in company with the Buffalo, Francis, and Integrity.
"Thursday, 22nd November. Sent officers, soldiers, prisoners and baggage on shore.
"Friday, 23rd November. P.M. Employed landing bricks and baggage, etc. clearing ship.
"Wednesday, 28th November. People on board the Buffalo endeavouring to work out of Harbour.
"Thursday, 29th November. Boats returned from Buffalo, brought to line and kedge P.M., and got small bower anchor and cable: the Lieutenant-Governor came on board from Buffalo: Ensign Piper, Mr. Mountgarrett; five soldiers and 5 boat's crew. At 5 weighed and proceeded up the River: at 10 came to.* (* Off Middle Island.) At 6 A.M. got under way, at 11 let go in 20 fathoms: Lieutenant-Governor went on shore.
"Friday, 30th November. P.M. At 2 boat returned with Lieutenant-Governor and Company: at 3 beat up the River: at 9 came to with a bower and sent boat on shore with Lieutenant-Governor and Company.
"Saturday, 1st December. P.M. At 2 Lieutenant-Governor returned, at 3 got under way, at 11 ran aground and sent out kedge to get off ship. Lieutenant-Governor went on shore. At 12 A.M. we got the vessel afloat, came to with kedge in 2 fathoms.
"Sunday, 2nd December. P.M. Lieutenant Governor came on board. At 10 P.M. got under way: at 7 came to anchor about quarter of a mile below the Cataract River and moored head and stern in 2 fathoms. At 8 A.M. sent off boats with Lieutenant-Governor and Company to survey the River, Land,* etc. (* Paterson began his survey at one Tree Reach where Collins's survey had ended.)
"Monday, 3rd December. P.M. Light airs, making ready to set up rigging.
"Tuesday, 4th December. Employed as before.
"Wednesday, 5th December. At 2 P.M. boats arrived with Lieutenant-Governor from surveying the River to the southwards* (* The South Esk.) and country, at 6 A.M. got under way and proceeded down the River--at 11 came to in the third Reach below the Cataract Falls.
"Thursday, 6th December. Boats went on shore with Lieutenant-Governor at 3, returned, at 4 got under way, at 6 ran on shore on a mud flat, at 11 got afloat at 6 A.M. Boats went on shore with Lieutenant-Governor, at 11 returned, at noon got under way.
"Friday, 7th December. At 5 ran on a mud flat: at 12 P.M. got afloat; at 1 came to anchor in Channel--at 5 A.M. got under way and proceeded down the River.
"Saturday, 8th December. P.M. at 5 got under way: at 8 came to: at 6 A.M. got under way: at 9 came to, and sent Lieutenant-Governor on shore.
"Sunday, 9th December. Two boats returned with Lieutenant-Governor, at 5 got under way: at 8 ran on shore on a reef of rocks, carried out kedge and got off: at 10 came to anchor in Snug Cove: at 5 A.M. boats went on shore with Lieutenant-Governor: at 7 returned and took in seine. Current hove ship on shore. At 10 carried out kedge and warped out of Cove.
"Monday, 10th December. P.M. At 1 boat returned with Lieutenant-Governor: at 7 ran on shore on a mud flat in the mouth of the west arm, at 2 A.M. hove off and rode by kedge: at 5 under way and proceeded up the west arm: at 10 sent Lieutenant-Governor on shore.
"Tuesday, 11th December. P.M. At 2 boats returned with Lieutenant-Governor: at 3 left ship and went to camp in Governor's wherry.
"Wednesday, 12th December. At 5 light airs and fine, got up anchor and made sail. At 10 came to abreast Storehouse Island. At 6 A.M. weighed and towed ship for Harbour: at 7 warped into Harbour.
"Thursday, 13th December. At 5 Lieutenant-Governor came alongside and the Captain accompanied him surveying River.
"Tuesday, 18th December. People taking in bricks, etc., for Western Arm.
"Wednesday, 19th December. At 2 ran on shore on a mud flat in the Western Arm, landed passengers, bricks and baggage: at 11 got ship afloat and came to: at 4 A.M. towed down the River.
"Thursday, 20th December. Proceeding up the River for ballast: at 11 came to in a bay in 4 fathoms water.
"Friday, 21st December. P.M. At 2 all hands getting ballast on board, took ground on mud flat: at 5 proceeded down River: at 8 came to abreast Storehouse Island in 18 fathoms.
"Saturday, 22nd December. At 5 under way and came to at 9 in 12 fathoms water.
"Sunday, 23rd December. P.M. Weighed and got into a cove abreast the Settlements in company with the Francis, schooner, at 8.
"Saturday, 29th December. At 10 A.M. the Francis sailed for Port Jackson.
"Sunday, 30th December. A.M. Got ballast on board to put into the River.
"Monday, 31st December. P.M. Carpenter employed making Beacon to put on Shag Rock.
"Tuesday, 1st January 1805. P.M. Light breezes...carpenter as before.
"Wednesday, 2nd January. P.M. Fresh breezes: setting up the rigging.
"Thursday, 3rd January. A.M. at 7 laid down Beacon on Shag Rock.
"Friday, 4th January. P.M. Carpenter making chocks for boat.
"Saturday, 5th January. P.M. Light breezes and cloudy. A.M. Getting water and wood on board.
"Sunday, 6th January. At 9 cloudy with thunder.
"Monday, 7th January. Light breezes. All hands away in boats on survey.
"Tuesday, 8th January. P.M. Fresh breezes. At A.M. hauled the seine, carpenter making oars.
"Wednesday, 9th January. P.M. People making booms and getting water. A.M. Got on board a spar for sprit-sail yard: carpenter making new one.
"Thursday, 10th January. P.M. Thunder and lightning and rain: received on board dispatches. A.M. Light breezes getting ready for sea, tried to warp out of cove, Government boat and crew assisting.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney.
"Friday, 11th January. P.M. Strong gales. A.M. Moderate: at 5 unmoored ship and worked out of the Cove: at 6 came to abreast the Green Island: at 9 worked out of Harbour, Government boat assisting: at 10 made all sail: at noon the Seal Rocks bore south distant 5 miles: all sail set for Cape Barren not being able to weather the Sisters.
"Saturday, 12th January. P.M. A fresh gale at 1: at 5 Waterhouse Island bore south 3 leagues, wind dying away came to in Kent's Bay, Cape Barren. A.M. At 6 under way: at 9 got out of the Harbour. At noon Cape Barren bearing west, distant 2 leagues.
"Sunday, 13th January. Furneaux Island south-south-west 7 leagues, at 8 Cape Barren bore south-south-west 6 leagues.
"Monday, 14th January. P.M. Lost sight of land at 6. At 6 A.M. saw the land again. At 9 Port Hicks distant 3 leagues.
"Tuesday, 15th January. P.M. At 4 wore ship and stood off the land: at noon we found we had lost nothing during the night.
"Wednesday, 16th January. P.M. At 3 lost sight of the land. At 3 A.M. fresh gale.
"Thursday, 17th January. P.M. At 12 fresh gales.
"Friday, 18th January. P.M. Cape Howe bore north-north-west 3 leagues. A.M. At noon spoke the sloop Nancy to Port Dalrymple.
"Saturday, 19th January. P.M. Saw the land of Cape Dromedary. At 11 A.M. close in with land.
"Sunday, 20th January. P.M. At 4 close in with land--at 8 Cape Dromedary 4 leagues distant.
"Monday, 21st January. P.M. At 7 close in with the land, hauled off at 11, saw Port Aikin.* (* Port Hacking?) At noon saw the heads of Port Jackson.
"Tuesday, 22nd January. Close in with the Heads. At 2 came to anchor abreast of Camp Cove. At 8 A.M. endeavoured to work up to Sydney Cove.
"Wednesday, 23rd January. At 4 came to anchor in Sydney Cove."
When the Lady Nelson came to in Sydney Cove, after completing her voyage to Tasmania,, the Governor gave orders that she should be at once placed in dock and overhauled. For the time being, her crew was distributed among the king's ships in port, the Buffalo and Investigator, and the colonial schooner Integrity.
By March 30th the little brig was again afloat. She was made ready for sea in consequence of the news brought to Sydney that an armed schooner, called the Estramina, belonging to the King of Spain, was lying in Jervis Bay. It was also reported to the Governor that the vessel had been seized off the American coast by order of Captain Campbell of the Harrington, who claimed to have taken her as a prize, and that she was in charge of one of Captain Campbell's officers. Uncertain whether hostilities had actually broken out between England and Spain, His Excellency sent Mr. Symons to Jervis Bay to ascertain whether the schooner was there, and if so to take possession of her and bring her to Port Jackson.
The Lady Nelson sailed to execute this mission on April 3rd. On the evening of the following day she sighted Jervis Bay and, shortly after entering it, a strange vessel was perceived at anchor at the north-west end of the bay. No sooner did the stranger see the Lady Nelson approaching than she hurriedly weighed, and attempted to leave the bay. The attempt was frustrated, however, by Lieutenant Symons, who made sail after her and fired a gun to bring her to. Seeing that flight was useless, the schooner hoisted a St. George's Jack, and eventually came to under the lee of the Lady Nelson. The commander, finding that she was the Harrington's prize, went on board her, hauled down the English colours, and in their place hoisted the Spanish flag. She was in charge of Mr. William Tozer, one of the Harrington's men, from whom Lieutenant Symons received the log-book and charts. The second mate of the Lady Nelson and three of her crew were placed in the Estramina, and she left Jervis Bay for Sydney in company with the Lady Nelson.
On the arrival of the vessels in the Cove on the afternoon of April 10th, Governor King and the Judge Advocate went on board the Spanish ship to take Mr. Tozer's depositions. As a result of this visit, orders were given that the schooner was to be detained at Sydney "for and on behalf of the Spanish sovereign." At the same time Governor King declared that if it were proved hostilities had already broken out when the seizure of the Estramina took place, the ship would become the property of the Admiralty, because the Harrington possessed no letters of marque. The Governor also made known his intention of detaining the Harrington at the first opportunity so that she might "answer for the event." The prize, which is described as a beautiful schooner, was never released and eventually became the property of the Government.
The Lady Nelson remained in Sydney Cove from April 10th until May 7th, and during her stay she was freshly painted. On the latter date, on the arrival of the Buffalo, she weighed anchor and sailed down the harbour, coming to below Garden Island. She returned again to the Cove on the 10th and then prepared to take salt and brine on board for Norfolk Island. These were needed by the settlers for curing their bacon. The brig sailed on June 2nd and, as usual, discharging the cargo at the island proved a difficult task. Before he could land all his stores, Symons was forced to stand on and off shore for several days. He finally left on July 7th in company with the Governor King for Sydney.
A cargo of wheat from the Greenhills, and a cargo of coals, cedar logs and spars from Newcastle, both of which were brought to Sydney for consumption there, kept the Lady Nelson busily employed until September 27th, when she again cleared the harbour with settlers and stores for Port Dalrymple.
The following logs are interesting, because they tell of these visits, and in them we also find recorded some of the first names bestowed upon this part of Tasmania by Flinders and Paterson.
Sydney Cove to Jervis Bay.
"Tuesday, 2nd April 1805. A.M. 11 weighed and proceeded down the Harbour.
"Wednesday, 3rd April. P.M. Came to anchor off Camp Cove. A.M. at 8 cleared the Heads: at noon heavy sea from southward.
"Thursday, 4th April. At daylight extremes of land distant 8 miles.
"Friday, 5th April. P.M. Running along-shore: at 4 altered course south by west at 8 North Head of Jervis Bay south-west 2 leagues. At 10 hauled into the bay and stood over to the West shore. At 11 saw a vessel at anchor at north-west end of bay.
"Saturday, 6th April. Perceived vessel getting under way and making sail towards us, hove to, hoisted out boat, perceived vessel to be a schooner, all sails set, hove to and hoisted out colours, the schooner lowered her top-gallant-sail and hauled her wind to stand out of the bay: filled and made sail after her, fired a gun, shotted, to bring her to--she hoisted a St. George's Jack. At 1 P.M. hove to--the vessel bore down and hove to under lee quarter, hailed her and was answered that it was the Estramina, a schooner a prize to the Harrington, went on board her and gave the prize mate, Mr. William Tozer, the memorandum and received from him the vessel's Logbook, the Spanish log papers and charts. Mr. William Tozer said he had no orders from Captain Campbell, that Mr. Cummings had them. At 2 bore up and made sail and came off the island. At 6 sent the 2nd mate and 3 men on board and took out 3 men. At 8 supplied the Estramina with 1 week's provisions.
"Sunday, 7th April. A.M. Carpenter repairing boat.
"Monday, 8th April. At 3 weighed and set sail to work into the bay to see if any more vessels were there: schooner in company. At 6 shortened sail and came to: saw no vessels in the bay. At 3 A.M. fired 2 guns and hoisted a light as a signal for the schooner to get under weigh. Weighed anchor and made sail, at 4 hove to for the schooner to come up. At noon the North Head of Jervis Bay bearing north-west 5 miles, the schooner in company.
"Tuesday, 9th April. Altered course. At 11 North Head of Port Jackson distant 9 miles.
"Wednesday, 10th April. P.M. At 1 made the Heads of Port Jackson: tacked ship occasionally to work up into the Harbour: the schooner in company: at 2 abreast Bradley's Head: at 3 came to anchor in the entrance of the Cove: at 6 weighed and got further up into the Cove: at 7 came to the Moorings.
"Thursday, 11th April. P.M. Light breezes and clear, people overhauling the schooner for a survey.
Sydney Cove to Norfolk Island.
"Thursday, 23rd May. Sailed the Investigator for England.
"Sunday, 27th May. Unmoored and hauled out of Cove.
"Thursday, 31st May. Received passengers for Norfolk Island, fired a gun, made signal for sailing.
"Saturday, 1st June. P.M. Weighed and towed to Shark Island.
"Sunday, 2nd June. P.M. Half-past 12 made sail down the harbour, at North Head, Port Jackson 7 leagues.
"Tuesday, 4th June. At 7 A.M. saw strange sail, hauled up for her and spoke the Ferret, Whaler, last from Norfolk Island bound to England.
"Sunday, 9th June. P.M. Strong gales: at 4 heavy squalls with rain, split the main stay-sail all to pieces, at 5 broke the tiller, heavy sea.
"Monday, 24th June. P.M. Cloudy with rain: at 6 A.M. saw Phillip's Island bearing east-north-east 4 leagues, Mount Pitt 7 leagues: at 11 between the Islands, bore up to Cascade: saw the Governor King standing off and on the Island. At noon Pilot came on board.
"Tuesday, 25th June. P.M. Standing off Cascade. At 6 Point How N. by S. 2 miles: standing under the lee of the Island: Governor King in company these 12 hours. At noon standing off and on Cascade: fired 2 guns for boat.
"Wednesday, 26th June. P.M. Fresh breezes and cloudy. Point How bore south-south-west 8 leagues: sent boat on shore to repair.
"Thursday, 27th June. P.M. At 8 light breezes. Abreast of Mount Pitt standing for Sydney: bent the warps to kedge. At midnight between the Islands: at 8 A.M. got one boat alongside to discharge stores.
"Friday, 28th June. P.M. At 4 people on board discharging stores for the island at 8 standing to westward, Phillip Island distant 5 miles--at 8 brought up abreast Sydney, Governor King in company.
"Saturday, 29th June. P.M. At 8 slipt the small cable. A.M. Beat up under lee of Nepean Island.
"Sunday, 30th June. P.M. At 4 parted the best bower close to the clinch and stood away to Phillip Island; Norfolk Island west by north 6 miles. At midnight wore ship and stood to South.
"Monday, 1st July. P.M. Strong gales, stood to south; Norfolk Island south-west distant 20 miles, at midnight wore ship to Harbour.
"Tuesday, 2nd July. P.M. Stood to southward; Norfolk Island 24 miles, these 18 hours wore ship and made sail occasionally.
"Wednesday, 3rd July. Repairing rigging. Norfolk Island south-west by south 14 miles.
"Thursday, 4th July. At noon employed getting the settler's goods, the Governor King in company.
"Friday, 5th July. Received settlers and goods with 4 soldiers. At midnight standing to north-east. At 11 A.M. got a boat on board with the raft.
"Saturday, 6th July. At 4 A.M. standing in and off Island and fell in with Harbour Buoys.
"Sunday, 7th July. P.M. Clearing the boats. Receiving passengers and prisoners on board for Port Jackson. Governor King in company: at 4 and 8 A.M. made sail, at noon Phillip Island 7 leagues.
Norfolk Island to Sydney Cove.
"Wednesday, 17th July. These 2 hours light breezes and squally. At noon found the current set to northward about 11 miles.
"Thursday, 18th July. Calm and cloudy, at 6 Mount Gore about 7 leagues, at 4 A.M. How's island north-north-east 21 leagues.
"Thursday, 25th July. Port Jackson 74 miles. Noon, calm and cloudy.
"Friday, 26th July. At 11 A.M. saw the land of Port Stephens 15 miles.
"Saturday, 27th July. P.M. Bent best bower. Extremes of land west by south.
"Sunday, 28th July. P.M. Standing in for land. At 4 Rabbit Island 7 miles. At 12 Boxhead about 8 miles west-south-west, Long Reach south-west by south 15 miles.
"Monday, 29th July. P.M. At 4 hove up and made sail for Pittwater, at 6 came to, saw two vessels coming in, fired 3 guns to bring them to: at 6 weighed and made sail for Port Jackson: North Head south-south-west.
"Tuesday, 30th July. At 2 set steering sails for Port Jackson Heads, fired 2 guns for a light. At 11 came to between the Heads, two schooners in company. At 4 working up the Harbour. At 10 came to in Sydney Cove.
"Monday, 5th August. P.M. Weighed and made sail out of Cove. At 2 came to in stream with small bower in 9 fathoms. At 8 made sail down the Harbour--at 10 North Head of Port Jackson south by west 5 miles. At 1 came to in Broken Bay not being able to work up the river.
"Tuesday, 6th August. P.M. At 4 weighed and made sail with the flood tide. At 7 came to in Mullet Island Reach. A.M. Endeavoured to work up, the wind blowing strong came to again, passed by a schooner.
"Friday, 9th August. P.M. At 6 made sail up River: at 1 came to abreast of Green Hills. Employed clearing the hold to take in wheat.
"Monday, 12th August. P.M. Calm and cloudy, unmoored ship and towed up river. A.M. Came to abreast of Cornwallis Farm.
"Tuesday, 13th August. At 8 hauled alongside the wharf and took in 157 bushels of wheat for Government.
"Wednesday, 14th August. P.M. At 2 up anchored and towed down to the Greenhills: received Government order to deliver over main-sail and main-top-sail. At noon received wheat, stowing it away, and hemp for Government.
"Thursday, 15th August. P.M. Fresh breezes. Received 800 bushels wheat. At 8 made sail down the river.
"Friday, 16th August. P.M. At 5 towed down the River. A.M. at 1 came to in Portland Reach to get on board cedar for Government: at 11 hoisted in 3 logs.
"Monday, 19th August. At 7 weighed and made sail down River: at 1 A.M. came to in Branch Reach: at 11 going through the narrows grounded, ran the kedge out and hove off.
"Tuesday, 20th August. At 3 cleared into Port Jackson: half-past came to in Sydney Cove. Employed delivering wheat.
"Monday, 26th August. Working down Harbour: at 4 came to off South Head: at 5 made sail out of the Heads.
"Tuesday, 27th August. North Head, Broken Bay west-north-west 7 miles, at 3 the Coal Island west-north-west at 5 miles--at 10 A.M. hauled in between Heads, a boat came off from shore from Kingstown.* (* i.e. Newcastle.)
"Wednesday, 28th August. Found the vessel driving in shore. Found 2 vessels laying there.
"Thursday, 29th August. At noon, sailed Contest schooner.
"Friday, 30th August. People employed getting on board coals and cedar for Government.
"Thursday, 5th September. Received on board 8 tons of coals, employed stowing cedar.
"Friday, 6th September. P.M. Sailed the Governor Hunter, schooner, for Sydney. Employed stowing cedar.
"Saturday, 7th September. P.M. At 4 heavy squalls, hove up the best bower and hauled out in the stream, at 6 made sail, shaped our course for Sydney. At 1 A.M. the wind hauled round north-east. At 8 Broken Bay west 8 miles North Head Point south-south-west 6 miles, at noon hauled in for Heads.
"Sunday 8th September. P.M. Working into the Harbour: at 2 rounded the South reef: at 3 came to in Sydney Cove. Employed getting the cedar out and spars for the Resource.
Sydney Cove to Port Dalrymple.
"Saturday, 14th September. Received on board for Port Dalrymple 16 casks flour.
"Monday, 16th September. A.M. Went on board the Harrington to unmoor her by Government order and lashed her alongside the Supply.
"Tuesday, 17th September. At noon strong breezes.
"Wednesday, 18th September. Provisioning ship, puddening the anchor.
"Thursday, 19th September. Received on board for Port Dalrymple 12 Bales Slop Clothing, bar iron and other stores, A.M. 150 new hats, one cask nails and hoes, carpenter making gun carriages.
"Friday, 20th September. Received 10 casks, one of salt for Port Dalrymple, sailed the Honduras, packet for England.
"Thursday, 26th September. P.M. Hove short. A.M. Towed out of the Cove, at 9 came to in the stream. Received on board 2 settlers and 1 prisoner for Port Dalrymple.
"Friday, 27th September. P.M. Weighed and made sail, at 7 North Head north-north-west 2 miles. At noon Pigeon House west-south-west 7 leagues.
"Tuesday, 1st October. P.M. Heavy gale and sea, at noon bore up for Twofold Bay.
"Wednesday, 2nd October. P.M. Made all sail for Snug Cove. Found the Governor Hunter lying there.
"Saturday, 5th October. At 2 made sail out of Bay, schooner in company. At 12 schooner out of sight astern.
"Sunday, 6th October. P.M. At 6 saw the land, Kent's Group south-south-west 10 miles, bore up for Group--at 9 came to in East Cove.
"Friday, 11th October. P.M. At 7 weighed and made sail out of Kent's Group.
"Saturday, 12th October. P.M. At 6 saw the flag-staff on the west head, at 8 fired a gun to make the people on shore make a fire, half-past 8 fired another, at 9 entered the Heads, came on board a Pilot, at 1 got on shore, out kedge to warp off, at 2 came to in Western Arm, at 8 weighed and kedged up the Arm to the Settlement, at 11 came to in 3 fathoms water. At noon calm and cloudy weather.
"Sunday, 13th October. P.M. Moderate and cloudy.
"Monday, 14th October. P.M. Fresh breezes and variable. A.M. Calm and clear, got cables on deck to discharge cargo.
"Monday, 21st October. A.M. Weighed and towed down the arm, at 11 fired a gun, made sail up river.
"Tuesday, 22nd October. P.M. At 7 calm and cloudy, came to abreast of Swan Point. At 7 weighed and made sail, found the small bower anchor stock broke off and totally gone. Came on board Colonel Paterson, 3 soldiers, settler and boat's crew, Mr. Williams, the Surveyor and 3 men.
"Wednesday, 23rd October. Weighed and made sail up the River, at 11 came to above Upper Island in 3 fathoms water.
"Saturday, 26th October. P.M. Weighed and towed down the River, at 10 grounded on a mud flat.
"Sunday, 27th October. P.M. At 1 hove off into the stream, at 5 weighed and made sail down the River--at 6 came to, found we could not beat down. A.M. At 4 towed down the River--at 10 came to in the Crescent Reach.
"Monday, 28th October. P.M. At 5 weighed and made sail down the River. At 10 came to off Point Rapid, at 5 towed down River, at 11 came to in Western Arm.
"Thursday, 31st October. P.M. Cutting spars for beacons. Employed down the harbour putting up the beacon.
"Friday, 1st November. A.M. Down the Harbour at the beacons. Erected two beacons, with flags on, below the Islands, one white flag the other red.
"Thursday, 7th November. Put up altogether four beacons with flags with 20 yards of bunting.
"Monday, 11th November. At 8 A.M. unmoored ship.
"Tuesday, 12th November. P.M. Strong gales, at 2 weighed and made sail down the River, came to in Barran's Pool.
"Wednesday, 13th November. People on shore filling water.
"Thursday, 14th November. Came on board 11 prisoners and other passengers for Port Jackson.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney Cove.
"Friday, 15th November. P.M. Came on board Colonel Paterson and delivered the dispatches, at 6 weighed and made sail down the Harbour, at 9 came to abreast of Lagoon Reach. A.M. At 6 made sail.
"Saturday, 16th November. Heavy sea, at 10 saw the Pyramid bearing north by east 6 miles, half-past saw Kent's Group.
"Sunday, 17th November. P.M. At 2 saw a sunken reef north-north-west of the Stuck Rocks and from Kent's Group, about 15 miles, two miles from the Big Stuck, the sea breaking over them; at 5 Kent's Group bearing west-south-west. At 9 saw two vessels on the larboard bow: fired a gun to bring them to, spoke them, the one the Nancy and the other the Fly, sloop, from Port Jackson.
"Monday, 18th November. At 6 Cape How north at 7 miles, at 7 altered course, at Cape Green west-south-west. At noon Twofold Bay south-west about 4 leagues.
"Tuesday, 19th November. At noon moderate and cloudy weather, Mount Dromedary distant 6 or 7 leagues.
"Wednesday, 20th November. P.M. At 6 Pigeon House north-west at 4 leagues. Jervis Bay west-south-west about 10 miles. At noon Five islands west about 7 miles.
"Thursday, 21st November. P.M. At 7 South Head, Port Jackson, north about 13 miles, at half-past 9 bore up for the Harbour, half-past 11 came to Sydney Cove with the best bower.
"Monday, 25th November. Received on board 4 sheep for the ship's company. At 8 came alongside the punt with flour for Port Dalrymple.
"Wednesday, 27th November. Arrived H.M.S. Buffalo from the River Derwent, at 4 weighed and towed out into the stream.
Sydney Cove to Port Dalrymple.
"Thursday, 28th November. P.M. At 3 weighed and made sail, at 7 came to between Heads. A.M. At 4 made sail.
"Friday, 29th November. P.M. Heavy sea. Standing to Southward, at 7 Botany Bay 4 miles, Point Hicks south-west 11 miles. At noon Justice's Bay west 15 miles.
"Wednesday, 4th December. At 6 saw the land Kent's Group, South Hogan's Group west-south-west 4 leagues; at half-past 7 a heavy squall with thunder and lightning and rain from the north-west. At noon saw the Sisters.
"Thursday, 5th December. Heavy sea running, the Sisters west-south-west about 4 miles, at 6 hauled up for a sandy beach bearing S.S. Found this place a good shelter from the wind and good riding, found the tide setting about cast and west, at 4 made sail, Rocky Island south-east 1/2 east 4 miles standing alongshore, Gull Island south-south-east 5 miles.* (* Islands of the Furneaux Group.)
"Friday, 6th December. At half-past one passed between Gull Island and the main--found a good channel with 4 fathoms at low water, at 4 tacked to work up the narrows; at 9 came to in the Village not being able to work up, the tide having made.* (* Probably the Lady Nelson anchored in Kent's Bay, where there was a sealing village.) Saw a small vessel laying in the Head of the bay.
"Saturday, 7th December. P.M. At 5 the tide having made, made sail up the bay: found the vessel to be the Raven of Port Jackson. A.M. Tacked to work out of bay. At noon moderate breezes and cloudy. Preservation Island north-north-east 3 miles.
"Sunday, 8th December. P.M. At 4 Waterhouse Island about 10 miles. A.M. At 6 saw Head of Port Dalrymple south-west about 4 miles. At noon came to in Western Arm in 2 fathoms with best bower.
Port Dalrymple to Sydney Cove.
"Friday, 13th December. At 5 weighed and towed down Harbour, at 9 came to in Barren's Pool, at 9 cleared the Harbour, Marcia, schooner, in company. Stoney Head south-east 4 miles.
"Saturday, 14th December. Twentyday Island south-east by east about 10 miles, at 6 set leeward steering sails--Waterhouse Island south-south-east 4 miles, at 10 hove too off Preservation Island,* at 4 made sail for Cape Barren. Clark's Island* south-south-west about 10 miles.
"Sunday, 15th December. At noon weighed, and dropped farther down the Bay.
"Wednesday, 18th December. Light airs and thick, at 7 weighed and made sail, at 12 Sea Lyon Island* south-south-west about 10 miles. (* Islands of the Furneaux Group.)
Saturday, 21st December. At 4 heavy sea, at 5 saw strange sail, found the same to be the Estramina, at 8 lost sight of her.
"Sunday, 22nd December. At sunset saw the land extremes from south-west to north-west by north distant off shore 7 leagues. A.M. At 8 made all sail for Port Jackson: at 9 hauled in for the Heads: at half-past 11 came to in Sydney Cove."
The following months were months well spent by England's little ship; months which, like many others, left their mark on the early history of Australia and New Zealand, when seed was sown in England's name that was afterwards to bear fruit and extend her power and prosperity.
Empire builders to-day may well envy those whose lot it was to be the first in that vast southern field.
They were a gallant little band who, in early days, carried the mother-flag from New South Wales to lands and islands yet more distant, discovering the shores, planting the first settlements and moulding them into shape--men who worked with such untiring energy that succeeding generations found a city, where lately had stood a few miserable huts, and a flourishing seaport surrounding a once silent cove.
Looking back across one hundred and twenty years of time, we can picture the empty spaces on the sea-shore, which are now towns, and the monotonous wildernesses of bushland, which have been replaced by smiling landscapes; and we can realise the enormous difficulties that had to be overcome before houses could be built, or the bushland cleared and cultivated.
One of the first letters (perhaps the very first from a woman's pen to be handed down to us) written from Sydney, in November 1788, thus describes the Mother-settlement at the beginning.
"We have now two streets, if four rows of the most miserable huts you can possibly conceive deserve that name. Windows they have none as from the Governor's house (now nearly finished) no glass could be spared, so that lattices of twigs are made by our people to supply their places. At the extremity of the lines where since our arrival the dead are buried there is a place called the churchyard..." and then, telling of the only food obtainable there, in addition to the hard fare provided by the Government, the writer continues, "Our kangaroo cats are like mutton but much leaner and there is a kind of chickweed so much in taste like spinach that no difference can be discerned. Something like ground ivy is used for tea but a scarcity of salt and sugar makes our best meals insipid...Everyone is so taken up with their own misfortunes that they have no pity to bestow on others."* (* To-day Sydney is the seventh city of the Empire.) What was written of Sydney may be said to have been true of all the settlements. Everywhere hardships were encountered, and everywhere they were surmounted.
The Lady Nelson's log will show how in 1806 she paid a second and perhaps a more important visit to New Zealand. Her commander was instructed by Governor King to convey Tippahee, a New Zealand Chief of the Bay of Islands on the north-east coast, back from Sydney to his own dominions. At some time previously a son of this Chief had been brought to Port Jackson in a whaling vessel. The Governor had shown him kindness and had ordered some pigs to be sent from Norfolk Island to New Zealand for his father, and Tippahee, on receiving the present, had himself resolved to pay a visit to Governor King. He embarked with his four sons in a small colonial whaling vessel bound for Norfolk Island. The voyage was hardly a success, for on his arrival there he complained to the authorities that the master of the ship had treated them badly and had detained his youngest son. Captain Piper, the Commandant, gave them a very kind reception, and it is said rescued the youngest son from the master of the whaler. Shortly afterwards, H.M.S. Buffalo called at Norfolk Island, when Tippahee, with his sons, was received on board by Captain Houston, and after the Buffalo had visited Tasmania, the New Zealanders were brought to Sydney, where, dressed in the costume of a Chief of his country, Tippahee did homage to Governor King. We are told that this meant laying a mat at Governor King's feet and performing the ceremony of "joining noses." The Governor seems to have developed a great admiration for Tippahee. He allowed the Maori Chief to remain, along with his eldest son, as a guest at Government House, and provided his other sons with suitable lodgings. The Chief is described as being 5 feet 11 1/2 inches high, stout and athletic looking, and about forty-six years of age. His face was completely tattooed. Among other things, King writes of him that he was "a constant attendant at Divine Service," and he adds, "he had a contempt of the Australian aborigine."
The Reverend Samuel Marsden, then chaplain in Sydney, became intimately acquainted with Tippahee, and he, too, states that he found him "a man of very superior understanding and capable of receiving any instruction. His companions also manifested strong mental faculties." When the Maoris had remained in the colony as long as they wished--by that time becoming familiar figures to all the citizens of Sydney--the Governor gave instructions for the Lady Nelson to be fitted up to convey them back to their own country. Before their departure they were loaded with presents by the Governor and other friends, the gifts being carefully packed in chests and put on board the brig. On this voyage Governor King also ordered some bricks and the framework of a house for New Zealand to be received as part of the cargo.
On February 25th, Tippahee and his sons bade farewell to New South Wales and their numerous friends there, and on their going on board, the Lady Nelson immediately set sail for the Bay of Islands.
During the voyage the Chief was taken ill and Mr. Symons ordered a young man named George Bruce to nurse him. So well did Bruce carry out his duties, that Tippahee afterwards requested that he might be allowed to remain in New Zealand.* (* The request was granted, and Bruce was afterwards given Tippahee's daughter in marriage. How badly the pair were treated by the captain of a British vessel, which called at New Zealand to refit, is told in the Sydney Gazette, which states that Bruce and his wife were carried away from New Zealand in the Wellesley, first to Fiji and afterwards to Malacca, where Bruce was left behind. His wife was taken on to Penang, but on his making a complaint to the commanding officer at Malacca, that gentleman warmly espoused Bruce's cause and sent him to Bengal, where the authorities extended him aid, and eventually his wife was restored to him.)
The Chief's illness may have been an attack of sea-sickness, due to the roughness of the passage, as the log records that the weather was very squally.
On March 2nd the Lady Nelson made a great deal of water and had to be pumped out. The vessel still remained in a leaky state, and this drawback, in conjunction with the cross currents and heavy gales that she encountered, greatly retarded her progress.
A succession of gales followed, consequently the land of New Zealand was not sighted until March 30th, when at noon it was observed for the first time, trending from east-south-east to north-east.
At eight o'clock in the evening a prominent cape was seen eight miles distant, which Symons records was North-West Cape (or Cape Maria Van Diemen). At eleven the ship hauled round to the eastward and hove to. Native fires were seen burning on land. Next morning at six o'clock the Lady Nelson made sail and stood in shore, and as she made her appearance she was met by two native canoes, but perceiving that the coast was very rocky and a gale arising the commander stood to the westward, Tunitico then being east-south-east half a mile. At five o'clock in the afternoon he again endeavoured to anchor, and the Lady Nelson was brought to in a bay "in 15 fathoms of water, sand and shells." Five canoes came alongside, and as the Maoris appeared very friendly a boat-load of wood and of water was obtained.
Working his way round the coast, which he says he could not "fetch," on April 3rd Lieutenant Symons made all sail for a bay to the south-east, and in the evening the ship came to anchorage, being then eleven leagues from North Cape. Of this place her Commander writes, "There are three islands laying to the south-east by north; one to the north which will break off all sail from this point of the compass. One of these islands is very thinly inhabited." The boat was lowered to sound between the island and the main, as a reef was perceived running out astern, and the soundings gave ten to five fathoms. At ten o'clock on April 4th the Lady Nelson again weighed and made sail to work to windward, and at eleven came to in eight fathoms of water--the bottom being "fine sand and shells."
At four o'clock two canoes containing only three men came alongside the ship, and early on the following morning three New Zealand Chiefs from the Island of Titteranee, friends of Tippahee, came to welcome their countryman on his return.
On the Island of Titteranee the natives were very friendly. One of their number, who had spent some time at Norfolk Island, came on board,* (* He was named Tookee.) and the Chiefs supplied the ship with a quantity of fish, for which Lieutenant Symons gave them bread in exchange. During the vessel's stay, the Chiefs of Titteranee were not only constant visitors, but some appear to have remained altogether in the ship. Possibly the Commander saw a little too much of Tippahee and his friends, as while the boats were on shore cutting brooms and obtaining water, the former was exceedingly troublesome on board--two or three times causing a disturbance by lifting up weapons and threatening the seamen at their work. At noon on the 12th of April, Mr. Symons records that he became very mutinous. An Otaheitan in the ship informed the Commander that he had asked one of the Chiefs to go on shore and bring his men to attack the vessel. Tippahee's residence was at the Bay of Islands, and it seems fortunate that Lieutenant Symons was able to land him safely among his own people, for according to the Sydney Gazette he wielded great power and was acknowledged to be a great Chief by the New Zealanders "from the North Cape to his own dwelling place."
On April 20th, before reaching the Bay of Islands, the Commander of the Lady Nelson went to examine a deep bay to the south-west, which he explored. He found at the bottom of this bay a river which "ran south-south-east and north-north-west about three miles and one from the west-south-west to west-north-west...after the first Reach the River runs flat and 3 or 4 leagues. On the larboard shore of the river it is not safe for any vessel, drawing more than 12 feet, to attempt entering." He also mentions a lagoon which ran at the back of the beach to the eastward of the River and a deep bay; these were about one mile apart.
In returning from this little expedition of exploration--which was a very early one--the boat was upset and two muskets, three powder horns, and two pistols were lost. Symons had already lost the stock of the small bower anchor, the deep-sea lead, and the seine among the rocks. On April 22nd the ship took her departure from this harbour, leaving behind her here a seaman named Joseph Druce who deserted and could not be found.
On the evening of the same day Cavill's or Cavalli Island was sighted, and a native fire could be seen burning there. At noon the latitude observed was 34 degrees 43 minutes 57 seconds south. Next morning, while working off and on the shore, Cape Brett, some fourteen miles distant to the eastward, and at noon Point Pocock (of Captain Cook) which lay to the south-east came into view.* (* The Point Pocock of Cook is now Cape Wiwiki.)
On Friday the 25th April the Lady Nelson, escorted by three canoes bore up between two islands in the Bay of Islands and came to under the Island of Matuapo in two fathoms. Tippahee's home was situated on the north side of the Bay of Islands, just within Point Pocock, and is described as "a considerable Hippah strongly fortified." The district extending to the northward was called Whypopoo, but Tippahee claimed the whole country across the island from Muri Whenua.* (* The name for the land's end or most northern part of New Zealand.) At the same time he admitted that his two great rivals were Mowpah, who was Chief of the territory in the neighbourhood of the River Thames, and Moodee, Chief of the territory to the northward.
Lieutenant Symons lost no time in sending the presents given to the Maoris at Sydney on shore, and at daylight on the day after his arrival he also landed the bricks and the framework of the wooden house. The house, by Governor King's orders, was to be erected in the most suitable spot possible, and was intended for the use of any officials who might be sent from Sydney, or for any missionaries whom the Governor might permit to dwell there. The carpenter was sent on shore to carry out the Governor's instructions, and he built the house on an island in the Bay of Islands on a site selected by Mr. Symons, who afterwards stated that the island was a very small one, but he believed that the house would be impregnable, and able to withstand the attacks of any force that the country at that time could bring against it.* (* This house was one of the first, if not the very first house, to be built in New Zealand. We do not hear even of a single sealer's hut then at the Bay of Islands, but shortly afterwards settlers and missionaries from Sydney arrived there, and in 1815 (see Calcutta Gazette, April 27th), after the missionaries arrived, houses began to grow up, and the Bombay Courier, November 20th, 1819, says of it, "The settlement at New Zealand appears to have assumed a regular form and to be regarded as a British Colony regulated under the control of New South Wales Government Authority. On September 29th the Missionaries, sent out by the Church Missionary Society, took their departure from Sydney for the Bay of Islands on board the American brig General Gates, one of them, the Reverend J. Butler, having previously been appointed by Governor Macquarie to act as justice of the peace and magistrate of the Island of New Zealand.")
The Lady Nelson waited for five days in the Bay of Islands, until the carpenter had completed his work, and during that time Tippahee, who seems to have overcome his fit of temper, brought on board many presents for his friends in Sydney, sending one to each person individually; these were for the most part weapons of war, which, observes the Sydney Gazette, "must have somewhat diminished his native armoury." A sample of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) was also brought back from Tippahee's dominions. The flax was used by the Maoris not only in weaving mats and kirtles, but also for making fishing lines. The lines, although they were twisted entirely by hand, resembled the finest cord of European manufacture, The most useful presents, however, sent on board by Tippahee were some fine ships' spars, which New Zealand produced in great abundance, and also a quantity of seed potatoes, then very scarce in Sydney, and consequently greatly appreciated.
Leaving New Zealand, and after passing Three Kings' Islands, Lieutenant Symons steered to Norfolk Island, where he embarked some men of the New South Wales Corps under Ensign Lawson for Sydney. During the long voyage of four months, the brig sustained no material damage, though she met with continuous bad weather, "thus preserving her character," says the Sydney Gazette, "as being a vessel of the greatest capability, considering her small dimensions."
This log throws fresh light on the character of Tippahee, who had been overwhelmed with kindness at Sydney and on board the Lady Nelson. Notwithstanding this, Symons seems to have very narrowly escaped being attacked by the Maoris. In 1809, when almost every person on the Boyd was murdered at Wangaroa, Captain Thompson was almost universally blamed for being too hasty with Tippahee. He had previously resented some slight theft, and on the old chief's coming to pay his respects, had told him "not to bother him as he was too busy." Possibly Captain Thompson's critics judged him too harshly, for had he been as watchful of Tippahee as Mr. Symons apparently was, the massacre of the Boyd might not have occurred.
From Sydney to New Zealand.
Laying at Port Jackson.
JAMES SYMONS, Commander.
"Sunday, 19th January. 1806. P.M. At 1 fired a salute in honour of the Queen's birthday.
"Tuesday, 21st January. Received a boatload of bricks for New Zealand and stowed them away.
"Wednesday, 22nd January. Received boatload of bricks for New Zealand, sent for a boatload of firewood.
"Thursday, 23rd January. Strong breezes and cloudy with a great smoke in the woods.
"Friday, 24th January. Received on board part of a house for New Zealand.
"Saturday, 25th January. P.M. Received the remainder of the house.
"Monday, 27th January. A.M. Received 2 chests on board for Tippahee going to New Zealand.
"Monday, 10th February. Sailed the Estramina, Spanish schooner, for Port Dalrymple.
"Wednesday, 12th February. Arrived ship Sophia and a boat from Tellicherry, a ship on the coast which was short of water.
"Thursday, 13th February. Made the signal for sailing, arrived the Tellicherry from England.
"Friday, 14th February. Came into the Cove the Sophia and Tellicherry.
"Saturday, 15th February. Fired a gun and made signal for sailing.
"Sunday, 16th February. Received from Tellicherry on account of Government, 3600 pounds bread.
"Sunday, 23rd February. Arrived the Star Whaler from England in 18 weeks.
"Tuesday, 25th February. Weighed and made sail down the Harbour--came on board Tippahee and his 4 sons for their passage to New Zealand.
"Wednesday, 26th February. P.M. Port Jackson at 4 north-west 6 miles: at 7 North Head bearing south-west by south about 12 miles.
"Saturday, 1st March. P.M. Fresh breezes. At 12 strong gales: found the current had set the vessel to southwards: the rate of 10 miles per day.
"Sunday, 2nd March. P.M. Strong gales heavy sea: found the vessel had made a great deal of water, pumped her out: found the vessel's deck leak very much.
"Monday, 17th March. Heavy sea still running: found the current had set to windward about 40 miles. 35 degrees 35 seconds south.
"Friday, 21st March. Noon, moderate breezes, the current set to the northward, 3/4 mile per hour. 33 degrees 11 minutes 30 seconds south.
"Saturday, 22nd March. At 9 A.M. capsized boat, got the main keel up, carpenter repairing it. 33 degrees 40 minutes 48 seconds south.
"Sunday, 30th March. North Cape distant 47 miles.
"Monday, 31st March. P.M. Strong breezes and squally, bore up and ran alongshore, slit the main top-gallant sail, employed getting the stirrup down and another up, at 8 North-West Cape or Cape Maria van Dieman north-west by north 8 miles at 10 wore and stood to the Westward Tunitico on east-south-east about 1/2 mile. Two canoes alongside.
"Tuesday, 1st April. P.M. Made and shortened sail--at 5 found the wind hang to south-east. At 10 found the vessel driving, wore away 2 thirds of the cable. At noon tide flows northward and alongshore about 5 feet, 5 canoes came alongside, the natives appear very friendly.
"Wednesday, 2nd April. P.M. Strong gales. At 4 came to in 20 fathoms of water, fine brown sand, the bottom appears in general very good and clear of rocks. Any ship or vessel may lay here with the wind from south-west to south-east in safety.
"Thursday, 3rd April. P.M. Tacked to work round the North Cape, at 8 North Cape south 2 miles. At noon about 15 miles.
"Friday, 4th April. P.M. At 4 fresh breezes and squally. At 6 shortened sail and came to at all leagues from the North Cape. There are three islands laying to the south-east by north one to the north which will break off all sail from this point of the compass. One of the islands is very thinly inhabited. At 10 weighed and made sail, to work to windward, at 11 came to in 8 fathoms of water--fine sand and shells.
"Saturday, 5th April. P.M. At 4 came alongside 2 canoes with only 3 men. Lost the stock of the small bower anchor, unstocked the kedge and stocked the small bower, at 8 A.M. came alongside 3 chiefs from the Island of Titteranee, friends of Tippahee. Latitude of anchorage 34 degrees 47 minutes 20 seconds south.
"Sunday, 6th April. On the Island of Titteranee found the natives very friendly, the native Tookee that went to Norfolk Island came on board, the chiefs supplied the ship with fish, gave them bread in lieu.
"Monday, 7th April. P.M. Employed watering vessel, people on shore cutting brooms.
"Tuesday, 8th April. P.M. Several canoes alongside. Three chiefs on board. Boat returned having lost the seine among the rocks.
"Wednesday, 9th April. A.M. Sent people on shore to cut firewood.
"Thursday, 10th April. Moderate and cloudy. Painting ship.
"Friday, 11th April. Strong gales with rain. The 3 chiefs still on board.
"Saturday, 12th April. A.M. Tippahee 2 or 3 times attempted to raise a disturbance in the vessel, lifted up weapons against some of the men whilst putting their orders into force. At noon Tippahee became very mutinous. I have understood from an Otaheitan on board he told one of the chiefs to go on shore and bring his men to attack the vessel.
"Sunday, 13th April. P.M. Ditto weather with a heavy sea in the offing, the wind has not changed more than 2 points these six days, sent the boat for greens for the Brig's company.
"Monday, 14th April. P.M. Strong gales with heavy rain. Painted ship, sent boat for greens.
"Tuesday, 15th April. At 8 A.M. sent for water.
"Wednesday, 16th April. Received boatload of water, people cutting wood on shore.
"Thursday, 17th April. At 4 sent boat for greens.
"Friday, 18th April. Sent boat for cask of water. A.M. Sent boat for greens, 2 chiefs on board.
"Saturday, 19th April. P.M. Sent boat for water. Strong breezes and squally.
"Sunday, 20th April. P.M. Went with the boat to examine a deep bay to the south-west. Found at the bottom of the bay a river to run south-south-east and north-north-west about 3 miles, and one from the west-south-west to west-north-west there is about 4 fathoms water, it is not safe for any vessel drawing more than 12 feet to attempt entering, the tide runs out at 2 knots and flows about 8 or 10 feet. There is a shoal running off towards the starboard shore about west from the leeward shore, half-way up the bottom is a fine sand. There is a lagoon runs all along the deep bay aback of the beach; to the eastward of the River there is a deep bay runs in, about one mile apart. In returning on board the boat upset and lost overboard 2 musquets, 3 powder horns and 2 pistols.
"Monday, 21st April. Lost overboard 2 woodaxes.
"Tuesday, 22nd April. A.M. Weighed and made sail out of bay. Run from the ship Joseph Druce.
"Wednesday, 23rd April. P.M. Strong breezes with heavy swell--at 6 Cavill's Island about 6 leagues--at 12 tacked ship, saw a fire on shore, at 8 Cavill's Island about 10 miles. Noon. Latitude observed 34 degrees 43 minutes 57 seconds.
"Thursday, 24th April. Standing off and on working in shore, Point Pocock* (* Point Pocock of Cook now called Cape Wiwiki.) east-south-east Cape Brett east 14 miles. At 6 Cavill's Island south-south-east about 8 miles, at 12 fresh breezes and squally, at 4 ditto weather, tacked Cavill's Island south-west about 6 miles, at 8 tacked moderate, squally. At noon Point Pocock south-east Cape Brett about 14 miles. Latitude observed 35 degrees 3 minutes south.
"Friday, 25th April. P.M. Moderate breezes and cloudy. Point Pocock about 6 miles, Cape Brett east by south 18 miles. At 8, 3 canoes alongside. At noon bore up between 2 islands and came to under the island Matuapo in 2 fathoms water.
"Saturday, 26th April. P.M. Light winds and variable. A.M. At daylight got the house on deck and sent on shore the carpenter to build. Sent on shore all the tools and articles belonging to Tippahee.
"Monday, 28th April. A.M. Got on board 7 spars from the chief.
"Tuesday, 29th April. P.M. Strong breezes and squally weather. Stowed and lashed the spars. Carpenter about the house.
"Wednesday, 30th April. P.M. People stowing away wood. At noon hauled the boat on shore to repair--carpenter about the house.
"Thursday, 1st May. P.M. Small rain. Stowing away fire-wood, launched the boat. A.M. At 6 towed out in the stream, at 8 came to, Cape Brett east-north-east 8 miles. At noon sent back on shore for potatoes.
"Friday, 2nd May. At 6 made sail to work out of Cove, finding we could not weather the Cape Brett, bore up to come to an anchor, bore up for a bay to leeward.
"Saturday, 3rd May. P.M. Sounded in 24 fathoms sandy bottom, the soundings run from 24 to 13 fathoms, very regular until you shut the Southern Island and Point Pocock in, then shells from 10 to 5 fathoms sand bottom.
"Sunday, 4th May. Several canoes alongside. Sailmaker making canvas buckets.
"Tuesday, 6th May. At 8 A.M. 30 canoes alongside: at 11 strong breezes from westward, in boat.
"Wednesday, 7th May. P.M. At 2 A.M. made sail out of the bay: at 5 Point Pocock south-south-west 1 1/2 miles: at 8 Cavill's Island west-north-west 8 miles. At noon 7 canoes alongside.
"Thursday, 8th May. At 10 light breezes from the southward: weighed and made sail between Cavill's Island and the main, current not less than 5 fathoms mid-channel: at 6 ten canoes alongside. Wongoroa Island bearing south-south-west about 12 miles, Cavill Island south-east 4 miles.
"Friday, 9th May. P.M. Several canoes alongside. At 4 Wongaroa Island south-east about 3 miles: at 5 light breezes, made all sail along the coast, at 6 Cavill Island east by south. Wongaroa south-east by south. Knuckle Point west 5 leagues, A.M. Knuckle Point south 3 miles: set up. At noon North-West Cape about 6 miles: 5 canoes alongside.
"Saturday, 10th May. At 2 bore up and made sail for Norfolk Island.
"Friday, 16th May. Light breezes and variable, thunder and lightning. Found the current setting to north-east about 10 miles. By double altitude latitude 29 degrees 30 minutes 32 seconds. Latitude by observation 29 degrees 23 minutes 57 seconds.
"Monday, 19th May. Fresh breezes, wind and rain--at 4 Norfolk Island west-north-west and Phillip Island west 4 miles--at 5 bore up for Sydney. At 6 fired a gun and made signal for a pilot, at 7 a boat came off from the shore and received a pilot.
"Wednesday, 21st May. Calm and dark cloudy weather with heavy showers of rain at times. At daylight saw a strange sail to south-east. At 7 joined company and proved to be the Ocean Whaler, from New Zealand.
"Thursday, 22nd May. Strong breezes and cloudy. Working between the islands. Noon, received no boat these 24 hours, landing being so bad.
"Friday, 23rd May. At daylight bore up for Sydney finding they would not send off a boat from Cascade, at 6 working in for Sydney.
"Saturday, 24th May. P.M. Working in for Sydney. Received from Ocean Whaler 4 gallons of oil for use of vessel, at midnight stood in for bay, the flagstaff north-east by north. At noon received 2 boatloads of sundries.
Norfolk Island to Sydney.
"Monday, 26th May. Received on board Ensign Lawson New South Wales Corps with 6 privates and their baggage for a passage to Port Jackson, discharged the pilot, at 7 weighed and made all sail for Port Jackson.
"Thursday, 5th June. Heavy sea from north-east. At 1 wind shifted to the south-east. Wore ship, Ball's Pyramid, at 6 distant off shore 10 miles, at 11 found main keel gone.
"Monday, 9th June. P.M. Fresh breezes, quarter past 3, Point Stephens bearing west-north-west about 12 miles. At noon fresh breezes and squally weather, Collier's Point north-west 1/2 west about 7 leagues, found the current setting to the northward about 18 hours this day.
"Tuesday, 10th June. At sunset Cape Three points south-west 1/2 west, Bird Island S. by S. about 5 miles.
"Friday, 13th June. Light breezes and cloudy. At 8 saw the light on the south head of Port Jackson, came on board pilot and took charge of the vessel, at 9 came to finding the tide done. At noon Bradley's Head 2 miles.
"Saturday, 14th June. Half-past 1 weighed and made sail up the harbour, at half-past 3 came to in Sydney Cove.
"Sunday, 20th July. A.M. Received orders to take the crew of H.M. brig Lady Nelson on board the Estramina, colonial schooner, to fit her out. Sent the schooner anchor and a cable per order. At noon sent the officers and men on board to assist--they are to be considered as lent for H.M. Service.
[Facsimile signature James Symons]
Lieutenant Symons' logbook closes with the entry dated July 20th, 1806, and is the last log of the Lady Nelson preserved at the Public Record Office. It is quite possible that others are in existence, either in England, or in Sydney, although the present writer has not been able to discover them.
It must not be supposed that the useful work performed by the little vessel ended at this date, as for years she continued to sail into and out of Port Jackson. For a short time Lieutenant Symons and her crew were turned over to the Estramina, the Spanish prize appropriated by Governor King, and used in the colonial service until 1817, when she was lost while coming out of the Hunter River with a cargo of coal.
But in November 1806 we again find the Lady Nelson carrying stores to Newcastle, and on her return voyage she brought Lieutenant Putland, R.N. (Governor Bligh's son-in-law), with other passengers, back from the Settlement.* (* Sydney Gazette, December, 1806.)
Shortly afterwards Mr. Symons joined H.M.S. Porpoise as Lieutenant, being appointed Commander of that ship in 1807, and the Lady Nelson was then placed in charge of Lieutenant William George Carlile Kent, who subsequently superseded Symons as Commander of the Porpoise by the orders of Governor Bligh.
In 1807 and 1808 the little ship's Commanders appear to have often changed, and her fortunes, like those of her officers, experienced a wave of uncertainty during the stormy period which marked the rule of Governor Bligh. Eventually by his orders the Lady Nelson was dismantled. It is well-known that Governor Bligh was deposed and kept a prisoner in his own house for twelve months by the officers of the New South Wales Corps. During this time the colony was governed by three officers, Johnston, Foveaux, and Paterson.
On the arrival of Major-General Macquarie from England to take over the reins of Government, he caused inquiries to be made concerning the use of the brig, to which Colonel Foveaux replied on January 10th, 1810, "I have the honour to inform your Excellency that the Lady Nelson brig was sent from England seven or eight years since by the Admiralty as an armed tender to the ship of war on this station. On the departure of H.M.S. Porpoise in March last, Commodore Bligh ordered her to be dismantled and laid up in ordinary in the King's Yard. The Commodore gave her in charge of Mr. Thomas Moore, the master builder, with directions to hand her over to Colonel Paterson should he require her for the service of the colony. Colonel Paterson applied for her immediately after the Porpoise sailed hence, manned her with hired seamen, and she has since continued in the employment of the Government for the use of these settlements."
From this time forward we hear of Governor Macquarie frequently taking excursions in the Lady Nelson, and in October 1811, he, with Mrs. Macquarie, proceeded in her to Van Diemen's Land, where he made an extensive tour of inspection of the settlements, and every Governor in turn seems to have used the brig for work of this character.
It is not easy to trace, subsequently, the doings of the Lady Nelson, and presumably for a year or two she lay dismantled in Sydney Harbour, and during that period is described as "nothing more or less than a Coal Hulk."
By the Governor's orders, however, in 1819, when Captain Phillip King left Sydney in the Mermaid to explore Torres Strait and the north coast of Australia, the Lady Nelson was again made smart and trim and accompanied the Mermaid as far as Port Macquarie. Lieutenant Oxley, R.N., sailed in the Lady Nelson, and after making a survey of the shores of the port he returned in her to Port Jackson.
Until she set forth on her last voyage, the Lady Nelson continued to ply between the settlements, carrying stores to them from the capital, and bringing the settlers' grain and other produce to Sydney for sale, and as the expansion of the colony proceeded, her sphere of usefulness naturally became greatly enlarged.
In the year 1824, the British Government determined to form a settlement on the north coast of Australia in the vicinity of Melville Island, with the object of opening up intercourse between that district and the Malay coast. On account of the nearness of the place to Timor, it was believed that some of the trade of the East Indies would be attracted to its shores. For some time previously small vessels from New South Wales had traded regularly with certain islands of the Indian Archipelago chiefly in pearls, tortoise-shell and beche-de-mer.
In order to carry out the intentions of the Government, Captain James Gordon Bremer left England in H.M.S. Tamar on February 27th, 1824, for Sydney, where the establishment was to be raised. The Tamar brought a number of marines who were to form part of the garrison for the proposed settlement. Meanwhile, the authorities at Sydney had chartered the ship Countess of Harcourt, Captain Bunn, in which to convey the settlers as well as a detachment of officers and men, then quartered in the colony, with their wives to Melville Island. After taking supplies on board, the following were embarked in the Countess of Harcourt, Captain Barlow, Lieutenant Everard, and twenty-four non-commissioned officers and men, all of the Buffs. Dr. Turner, Royal Artillery; Mr. George Miller, Commissariat Department; Mr. Wilson and Mr. George Tollemache, Storekeepers. In all the Countess of Harcourt carried 110 men, 40 women, and 25 children.
The colonial brig Lady Nelson, in command of Captain Johns, also received orders to accompany the expedition. She had returned from a voyage to Moreton Bay on August 12th, and, heavily laden with passengers, soldiers, and stores, sailed with the Tamar and the Countess of Harcourt on August 24th, 1824.
The Lady Nelson then left Sydney for the last time.
In reading Captain J. Gordon Bremer's logbook, we are reminded of a similar voyage, taken by the Lady Nelson along this coast twenty-two years before, in company with H.M.S. Investigator. Captain Bremer had the same trouble with the brig as Captain Flinders then experienced, as he was continually forced to wait for the Lady Nelson. In the Captain's log often appear the entries "took the Lady Nelson in tow," and "cast off the Lady Nelson," showing that the little brig was unable to keep up with the larger vessels. The fleet sailed between the Great Barrier Reef and the mainland, at times only a narrow strip of coral separating it from the breakers, which rolled against the outer side of the reef. At other times it was impossible to see across the great breadth of the coral barrier.
On the 28th of August, Mount Warning was passed and the ships skirted Moreton Island in remarkably fine weather, which by the 1st of September turned very hot. The vessels continued to sail near the coast, and steered between two rocks called Peak* (* Now Perforated Island.) and Flat Island and the main. During the forenoon more rocky islands were observed, with a few trees growing on the very top--their outline having the appearance of a cock's comb. It was noticed that the water here was streaked for many miles with a brown scum supposed to be fish-spawn. At evening one of the Cumberland Islands, named Pure Island, provided an anchorage for the three ships; possibly the Lady Nelson alone had been in these waters previously, and it will be remembered, that it was hereabouts she had parted with the Investigator in the expedition of 1802. On September 6th, Cape Grafton was made, and as the ships coasted the land, the smoke of the native fires were seen on shore. At 9 o'clock on the 7th the ships passed Snapper Island and then Cape Tribulation, and at 6 P.M. anchored near Turtle Reef opposite to the mouth of Endeavour River.* (* Cooktown.) At 10 o'clock next morning Cape Flattery came into sight. Some of the ships' company landed on one of the Turtle Islands, further northwards, to examine it, and it was found to be formed of coral and shells. This night, "a fine moonlight night," the sailors spent in fishing, and several fish, marked with beautiful colours, were caught. Noble Rock or Island was seen next day, when the vessels came to an anchorage close to an island of the Howick Group. At evening, a very large native fire, a mile in extent, was seen on the mainland. On Saturday, September 11th, Cape Melville and the cluster of islands known as Flinders Group was passed. At this time sand banks surrounded the ships on all sides. They anchored in 14 degrees south latitude and next day ran through the islands known as Saxe Coburgs Range, and came to about 6 o'clock off Cape Direction. A fine run made by the vessels on the 13th, left Forbes and Sunday Islands behind, and they were brought to at night under one of the Bird Islands. At 4 o'clock on the 14th the Commander first saw Cape York, and at 5 o'clock anchored under Mount Adolphus. Some of the company went on shore in the evening, but met none of the natives, though traces of their visits were observed. Next day at 9 o'clock, Wednesday and Thursday Islands as well as numerous other islands lying to the north-east of the Gulf of Carpentaria were passed.
At 2 o'clock on September 17th, the west head of the Gulf of Carpentaria was seen; on the 19th the vessels reached Croker's Island, and anchored on the 20th at Port Essington. The Captain's log contains this entry on that day: "Took possession of the north coast of New Holland; and Lieutenant Roe buried a bottle containing a copy of the form of taking possession--and several coins of His Majesty--on a low sandy point bearing east from the ship which was named Point Record."* (* Captain's log, H.M.S. Tamar, Public Record Office.)
The following account of the proceedings was published in the Sydney Gazette:--
"The north coast of New Holland, or Australia, contained between the meridian of 129 and 135 degrees East of Greenwich with all the bays, rivers, harbours, creeks, therein and all the islands laying off were taken possession of in the name and right of His most Excellent Majesty, George the IV, King of Great Britain and Ireland, and His Majesty's colours hoisted at Port Essington, on 20th September, 1824, and at Melville and Bathurst Islands on 26th September, 1824, by James John Gordon Bremer, Commander of the most Honourable Military order of the Bath, Captain of H.M.S. Tamar and Commanding Officer of His Majesty's Forces employed on the said coast.
"His Majesty's colonial brig, Lady Nelson, and the British ship Countess of Harcourt in company.
"September 26th, 1824."
During the stay of the ships at Port Essington, Captain Bremer sent boats in every direction to search for fresh water, knowing that, unless it were found, it would be impossible for the people to remain there permanently. On the 21st of September at daylight four boats went to examine the eastern shores. The soil on this side proved to be sandy and interspersed with red sandstone rock, which, it was thought, contained particles of iron. The trees were not very tall, and resembled those of New South Wales. But no water was found. Next day the boats went westward, and the search was still unsuccessful. On this side the country was superior to that to the eastward; it was more open, and the trees were of magnificent height.
To discover water now became the chief object of everybody. On Point Record, a water-hole fenced round with bamboos was at last found. In it was some thick water, which had a brackish taste, and it was thought that this water-hole was the work of Malays, and not of the Australian aborigines, of whom traces were observed in various places, though, as yet, none had been seen. Captain Bremer described Port Essington as being "one of the most noble and beautiful pieces of water that can be imagined, having a moderate depth and a capability of containing a whole navy in perfect security." The lack of fresh water was its drawback.* (* It turned out afterwards that there was plenty of water and of good quality, but unfortunately it was not then discovered.) As the season was far advanced, the Commander decided to leave this beautiful bay and sail to Apsley Strait, which divides Melville and Bathurst Islands.
On the 23rd the ships left Port Essington, and after making Cape Van Diemen of the old charts entered the strait and on the 26th anchored off Luxmore Head. On this day Captain Bremer went on shore and took formal possession of Melville and Bathurst Islands on behalf of Great Britain. On the 30th, Captain Bremer discovered a running stream on Melville Island in a cove to the southward of the ships. The water fortunately was fresh. The south-east point of the cove was pleasantly situated on a slight rise, and was tolerably clear of timber and suitable for a settlement. Captain Bremer therefore took the ships into it, and he gave the cove the name of King's Cove, in honour of its discoverer, Captain Phillip Parker King.
The point chosen as the settlement was called Point Barlow, after Captain Barlow; and the part of the strait between Harris Island and Luxmore Head where the ships anchored was named Point Cockburn, after Sir George Cockburn, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. The harbour was not equal to Port Essington, as the entrance was intricate, and a dangerous shoal, rendered perilous by the rapid tides, extended some miles distant from the land. It was formed by the shores of Bathurst Island, as well as of Melville Island. To the northernmost point of Bathurst Island Captain Bremer gave the name of Cape Brace.
On October 1st, parties were landed on Point Barlow to clear the ground and to lay the foundation of a fort, for it was believed that the Malays, who fished annually in these waters, would soon come in great numbers, and hostility was also expected from the aborigines. A fort, therefore, was constructed so as to command the whole anchorage, and when finished it was possible to fire a shot from it on to Bathurst Island. In its building, timber of great solidity was used. On it were mounted two 9-pounder guns and four 18-pounder carronades, with a 12-pounder boatgun, which could be shifted as the occasion required. These were supplied by H.M.S. Tamar.
The boat-gun was fitted so that it could be placed on board the Lady Nelson, whenever it should be necessary to detach her to the neighbouring islands. Round the fort there were soon built comfortable cottages for the settlers, and, when completed, they gave the place the air of a village. The fort was rectangular, and within the square were erected barracks for the soldiers, and houses, the frames of which had been brought from New South Wales. The climate was found to be "one of the best between the tropics," particularly at dawn, "when," says Captain Bremer, "nothing can be more delightful than this part of the twenty-four hours." In spite of many mangrove swamps that existed there, much of the soil on Melville Island was excellent, and in it the plants brought in the ships flourished luxuriantly; they included the orange, lemon, lime, and banana. Melons and pumpkins sprang up immediately, and maize was "upon ground" on the fourth day after it was sown. The native forests were almost inexhaustible, producing most, if not all, the tropical fruits and shrubs of the Eastern Islands, chief among them a sort of cotton tree, a species of "lignum vitae," and the bastard nutmeg.
While Captain Bremer explored the country, the work at the settlement was carried out without loss of time. On the 8th of October a pier, for the purpose of landing provisions and guns, was begun, next a Commissariat store; and by the 20th the pier, bastion, and sea face of the fort were completed. Captain Bremer writes, "I had the satisfaction of hoisting His Majesty's colours under a royal salute from the guns mounted on Fort Dundas, which I named in honour of the noble Lord and the Head of the Admiralty."
On November 10th Captain Bremer, having carried out his duties in accordance with the instructions that he had received from the Admiralty, took leave of the settlement. He handed over its charge to Captain Maurice Barlow. The Tamar then dropped into the stream, being saluted by 15 guns, which she returned. Two days afterwards she left Port Cockburn for India in company with the Countess of Harcourt, bound for Mauritius and England.
The Lady Nelson remained behind at Port Cockburn, partly to act as a guardship and partly to bring to the settlement the needed stores and supplies from the islands to the northwards. These islands, as well as Coepang, afforded fresh meat in the form of buffalo beef, and it proved an inestimable boon to many ships which traded in these waters. Fresh provisions being scarce at the settlement* (* See Major Campbell's report.) Captain Barlow sent the Lady Nelson for a cargo of buffaloes. In February 1825, the little ship set forth on her mission, from which she was doomed never to return. As she left Port Cockburn her Commander was warned to avoid an island called Baba, one of the Serwatti Islands, which was infested with pirates who were very daring and very cruel. It is supposed that the warning was unheeded, for there the little vessel met her end.
The schooner Stedcombe, Captain Burns (or Barnes), from England, arrived at Melville Island when anxiety was being felt there regarding the Lady Nelson's fate. After her stores were landed, as scurvy was increasing among the colonists, Captain Barlow chartered the vessel on behalf of the Government and despatched her to Timor for buffaloes: she was also instructed to search for the missing Lady Nelson. Her captain remained at the settlement, and the chief mate took charge of the schooner. The Stedcombe never returned, and later it was learned that she too had been captured by pirates, off Timor Laut, about sixty miles eastward of Baba, where the Lady Nelson had been taken.
The Serwatti Islands form a chain which stretches from the east end of Timor as far as Baba. When Lieutenant Kolff of the Dutch Navy visited Baba in July 1825 the inhabitants were shy and deserted the village of Tepa on his landing. He was convinced that a crime had been committed, and learned that "some months previously an English brig manned by about a dozen Europeans had anchored off Alata on the south-east coast and had engaged in barter with the natives who were on board in great numbers, and who taking the opportunity of 5 men being on shore...attacked and killed the people on the brig as well as those in the boat when they returned." Earl, who translated Kolff's journal, says that "the natives received not the slightest reproof from Lieutenant Kolff for this outrage."
Fourteen years afterwards, when Captain Gordon Bremer was acting as commandant at Port Essington,* (* Melville Island was abandoned in 1829 for Port Essington.) Captain Thomas Watson arrived there in the schooner Essington, bearing the news that Mr. Volshawn, master of a small trading vessel flying the Dutch flag, had seen an English sailor on the island of Timor Laut when he visited it in February of the previous year.* (* Captain Watson's journal is preserved at the Admiralty.) The Englishman was kept captive at a native village on the south-eastern side of the island, and stated that he had belonged to the Stedcombe. Mr. Volshawn also declared that he had seen there articles which had been taken from the Stedcombe.
Captain Watson decided to try and rescue his countryman, and on March 31st, 1839, when off Timor Laut he stood in for the island. The plan he proposed to adopt in order to carry out the rescue was to entice a chief or Orang Kaire on board and hold him as a hostage until the English sailor was produced. As his ship came in shore three canoes under Dutch colours put out to meet him with twelve to thirteen men in each. In answer to Captain Watson's inquiries whether there was a white man on the island some of the natives replied, "Certo; Engrise; Louron," which was translated as meaning that there was an Englishman at Louron.* (* Lourang.) Other canoes came alongside the Essington, whose crew had been put under arms, and an Orang Kaire was allowed to come on board. Captain Watson writes: "Now was the time for carrying my plans into effect...and I told the Orang Kaire if he would bring him (the captive) to me I would give him a quantity of trade which was shown him." To this the chief agreed. But as no great faith was placed in his assertion, Watson then told him that he must send his canoes and fetch the Englishman, when he would receive his reward, but if they did not bring his prisoner he would be hung from the yard-arm, and that "we should fire our great guns on the village." The ship was now surrounded by canoes and no one was allowed to come on board excepting a very friendly chief. This man immediately pulled from his bosom a small basket of papers which were found to consist of loose scraps written by the crew of the Charles Eaton.* (* The Charles Eaton was wrecked in Torres Strait in 1834.) Beside these the basket contained a letter written by Lieutenant Owen Stanley, of H.M.S. Britomart, stating that he had called here and had examined and copied the scraps of paper. As night was coming on the canoes were dismissed and all the natives sent away excepting the Orang Kaire who had first arrived. The other chief was anxious to remain on board with him, but Mr. Watson would not allow him to do so.
After pacing the deck, the chief made a resolute attempt to follow his companions, tearing off the few garments which he was wearing and endeavouring to jump into the water. Early on April 1st the Essington was brought abreast of Louron. Not a canoe hove in sight until nine o'clock, when two belonging to the prisoner came alongside and the crews asked that he might be allowed to go on shore. This request Captain Watson refused, and shortly afterwards the friendly Orang, who again visited the ship, promised to deliver up the Englishman. At 2.30 P.M. two canoes were observed approaching the Essington, in one of which was the captive. He was dressed as a native, and when they drew close to the ship it was seen that he was in a most miserable condition. He was of fair complexion and his hair, which had been allowed to grow long, was "triced up in native custom with a comb made of bamboo," and being of a light yellow colour "it resembled the finest silk." His only garments were a sort of waistcoat without sleeves and a blue and white dungaree girdle round his loins. He looked delicate, and his face wore a woebegone expression, which apparently was habitual, while his body was covered with numberless scars and sores. The sinews of his knee-joints were very contracted, because, he told Captain Watson, he had to sit fishing so long in one position in the hot sun so that he was almost unable to walk. His ears had been perforated after the custom of the natives, and in the lobe of each he wore a piece of bamboo at least an inch in diameter.
As was to be expected, from having been fourteen years on the island, he had almost forgotten his native language and with difficulty could make himself intelligible. He was, however, able to give the following account of his life there. The Stedcombe, on leaving Melville Island, had gone to Timor Laut for live stock and had moored off Louron. Mr. Bastell, the mate in charge, then proceeded on shore with the crew, leaving on board the steward, a boy named John Edwards, and himself. As Mr. Bastell and the crew did not return he (Forbes) looked through the glass and then beheld their bodies stretched out on the beach--the heads severed from each. As a canoe was perceived approaching the ship, he proposed to the steward and to John Edwards that they should arm: but the former paid no attention to him. He then proposed that he and John Edwards should punch one of the bolts out of the cable and liberate the ship. They were in the act of doing this when the natives, among whom was the Orang Kaire whom Watson had detained, boarded the Stedcombe. The unfortunate steward was killed on the spot, and the two boys, expecting to share his fate, betook themselves to the rigging and were only induced to descend upon repeated promises that they would not be injured. Strange to say, the natives kept their promises, and after plundering the ship they burnt her. The boys were kept in the capacity of ordinary slaves until about four years before the coming of the Essington, when Edwards died, and since that time Forbes had been unable to move in consequence of the stiffness in his legs. The scars were caused by the natives when he incurred their displeasure. One of their common modes of punishment was to take hot embers from the fire and place them on some part of his body until it was severely burned. When asked how he was treated generally, he replied "Trada Bergouse," meaning very badly. Some few natives, he said, were kind to him, among them the chief who had produced the papers. Speaking of the chief of Louron, he remarked, "Louron cuts me down to the ground" which was thought to imply that he flogged him and knocked him down. Whenever a vessel hove in sight the chief would have him bound hand and foot and keep him so, as long as the vessel remained at the island. This explains why Lieutenant Stanley did not see him when he called in H.M.S. Britomart. Some of the crew of the Charles Eaton had come there and wished him to leave with them, but permission was refused. Lastly a Chinese trader had wished to purchase him and had offered several "gown pieces" as the price, but this offer too was declined. When Kolff called with two Dutch men-of-war, he and his men would have nothing to do with him, nor would they assist him to escape.
Forbes gave accounts of many ships having been cut off by these pirates but only two clear accounts--the one of a China junk which they boarded, murdered and plundered the crew, and eventually burnt, and the other a schooner manned with black men, which they plundered afterwards liberating the men. He also said that a whaler had been cast away seven moons ago, and that two whale-boats and one jolly-boat with only five people in all arrived at Timor Laut. This story, however, was confused and incoherent.
When Captain Bremer arrived at Sydney in H.M.S. Alligator about the same time as the Essington, he had Forbes placed in the hospital there and wrote to the Admiralty asking for inquiries to be made about his relatives and to inform them of his existence. In his despatch Captain Bremer remarked that even Forbes's features seemed to have "assimilated themselves" to those of the islanders.
The kindly chief was afterwards rewarded, as was Captain Watson, by the Admiralty. The Orang Kaire of Louron seems to have escaped scot free, having left the Essington as Forbes was being brought on board. Forbes afterwards retired to Williamstown, Victoria, where he spent the rest of his life as a fisherman, and it is said that he never quite recovered from the effects of his harsh bondage.
The last news of the Lady Nelson was brought to Sydney some time after her capture by a ship called the Faith, which reported that the hull of the Lady Nelson was still to be seen with her name painted on the stern at the island of Baba.
It was an unworthy end to a very gallant ship, but the record of the useful work that she accomplished survives and will have its place in every history of Australia.
No separate muster of the ship's company of the Lady Nelson can be found among the Public Records, but during the period that she was attached to H.M.S. Buffalo in New South Wales the names of her crew and of the supernumeraries sailing in her were inscribed in the books of that ship, four pages from which are here reproduced. The first three of these give the names of the officers and seamen who composed the complement of the Lady Nelson in 1801, 1803 and 1804. The fourth page is an extract from the Buffalo's own muster-roll when she conveyed the first Norfolk Island settlers to Port Dalrymple in 1805, the Government having decided to break up their settlement. Among the passengers on board the Buffalo were Mrs. Elizabeth Paterson the wife of the Lieutenant-Governor, Mr. Williams, Acting Surveyor-General, and Ann Williams, possibly a relative of his. With the Norfolk Island settlers was William Lee, to whom this volume is dedicated, then a lad ten years of age, who afterwards became one of the first pioneers in the Bathurst district.
The story of the Buffalo's arrival at Port Dalrymple is told in a letter written to Earl Camden by Colonel Paterson from Yorktown as follows:--
"On the 4th April H.M.S. Buffalo arrived from Port Jackson by which conveyance I received a proportion of such stores and provisions as could be spared, 120 ewes, 2 rams, 6 cows, 2 bulls, 1 mare, and 1 horse: 50 prisoners were also sent.
"Five settlers arrived at the same time from Norfolk Island with the Acting Surveyor-General to measure out the allotments necessary for them. Soon after their arrival I accompanied them to different situations as far as Supply River, which is about 10 miles from Headquarters. After examining the ground they chose their allotments on the banks of a run, 2 miles to the south-east of this place. Mr. Riley, Acting Deputy-Commissary, recommended also to have the advantages of free settlers, chose his ground also in this situation. They proceeded to clear the ground and to cultivate. Everyone exerted themselves as much as possible, but those who cultivated on the sides of the hills were deceived in their choice and too much disappointed in the first appearance of their crops, the low ground being also found subject to temporary floods. AS THEY WERE THE FIRST SETTLERS, I have recommended them to his Excellency, as a remuneration of their losses, to have grants of land on the north side of the main river Tamar extending up the river South Esk. My motive for recommending this situation is that they cannot fail in success as it is a part of the country the colony must look to for grain. The first twelve months being now past I have every reason to believe the greatest of our difficulties have been surmounted...It is not for me to presume to be acquainted with the particular causes which rendered it necessary this colony should be established, but if its desirable situation in the important passage of Bass Streights was one of the objects, it appears to me necessary that a large establishment should ever remain here while the interests of Great Britain are to be effected in this part of the world, and I can assure your Lordship I have seen no country yet that offers such inducements to be retained.*
I have, etc.,
(* The remaining Norfolk Island Settlers were later on removed to Tasmania in different ships, the Lady Nelson conveying many of them to their new home. Historical Records of New South Wales volume 5 page 732.)
H.M.S. BUFFALO, SHIP'S MUSTER
Abbott, Captain E.
Albany Otway, Cape.
Amsterdam, Island of.
Babel Islands, see Cat Islands.
Baie du Nord.
Banks, Sir Joseph.
Barlow, Captain Maurice.
his valuable charts.
shoots a hawk.
suffers from sea-sickness.
surveys harbour and river.
Bass, Dr. George.
discovers Bass Strait.
in Encounter Bay.
writes to Governor King.
Bay of Islands.
Bay of Seals.
Bay of Shoals.
Big Stuck, the.
Bowen, Lieutenant John.
his Colony at Risdon.
sent to Hobart.
finds a canoe.
his adventures among Bush Natives.
Bremer, Captain James Gordon.
leaves England in the Tamar.
at Port Essington.
arrives at Sydney.
Bunker, Captain Ebor.
Cape of Good Hope.
Carpentaria, Gulf of.
Coal River, see Hunter's River.
Cockburn, Sir George.
Countess of Harcourt, the.
Curtis, Admiral Sir Roger.
Curtoys, Commander George.
Derwent, the (river).
Devil's Tower Island.
Double Island Point.
Dragon Island, see Laurence's Island.
Duke of Portland, the.
Earl Cornwallis, the.
Enterprise of Bordeaux.
Flinders, Captain Matthew.
arrives at Port Jackson.
reaches Sandy Cape.
names Port Bowen.
names Mount Westall.
loses his anchor.
separates from Murray.
meets Baudin in Encounter Bay.
Flint and Steel Cove.
Fourcroy Island, see Lady Julia Island.
France, Isle of.
Frederick Henry Bay.
Fresh Water River.
Freycinet, Louis de.
George IV, King.
Giant Kingfisher, the.
Glass House Bay.
Governor Hunter, the.
Governor King's Bay.
Governor King's Island.
Grand Capuchin Island, see also Flinders' Island.
Grant, Captain James.
Grant, Dr. J.R.
Grant, Lieutenant James.
appointed to Lady Nelson.
meets Dr. J.R. Grant.
letter to Governor King.
describes Churchill's Island.
meets John Loft.
receives a pension.
Great Barrier Reef.
Great Islands, see Flinders' Islands.
Halfway House, The.
Haycock Rock, West.
Hole in the Wall, the.
with the Lady Nelson.
fires her guns.
Joseph Druce, the.
Kable & Underwood, Messrs.
Kent, Captain William George Carlile.
King, Captain Phillip Parker.
King George's Sound.
letters to Grant.
instructions to Grant.
letters from Grant.
appoints John Murray Commander of the Lady Nelson.
confirms appointment of Symons.
instructions to Murray.
consulted by Captain Flinders.
charters Albion Whaler.
arranges for settlement at Newcastle.
King of Spain.
King's Yard, the.
Lady Julia Island.
Lady Nelson, the.
first vessel to sail through Bass Strait.
important part in the discovery of Australia.
charts the coastline of Victoria.
nicknamed "His Majesty's Tinderbox."
fired on by the Hussar.
anchors at St. Iago.
at the Cape of Good Hope.
falls in with whales.
at Jervis Bay.
meets the Cornwallis.
Murray succeeds Grant as Commander.
voyage to Norfolk Island.
in Diana Bay.
at Kent's Group.
at Port Phillip.
sails to the Hawkesbury.
with the Investigator.
at Sandy Cape.
explores coral reefs.
loses an anchor.
commanded by George Courtoys.
in Sydney Cove.
commanded by James Symons.
repairs in Twofold Bay.
last voyage from Sydney.
Lady Nelson Reef.
Lady Nelson's Point.
Lady Nelson's Port.
Lay Island Reach.
Le Corre, Captain.
Lord Howe Island.
Lover's Leap Reach.
Marengo, Cape, see Albany Otway.
Maria Van Diemen, Cape, see North-West Cape.
Marsden, Reverend Samuel.
Millet Island Reach.
Montesquieu, Cape, see Bridgewater, Cape.
Mullet Island Reach.
Murray, Lieutenant John.
appointed Commander of the Lady Nelson.
receives instructions from Governor King.
first sight of Port Phillip.
enters the Port.
letter from R.B. Wood.
punishes the crew for drunkenness.
for falling asleep on watch.
names Elephant Bay.
returns to Western Port.
sees a snake.
superseded by George Curtoys.
Nepean, Point, see Repear, Point.
New South Wales Corps.
Nobby's, the, see Coal Island.
North Head Point.
North Point Island.
Northumberland, Cape of.
One Tree Reach.
Otway, William Albany, R.N.
names Ann's Mountain.
Peak of Pines.
Percy, Lady Julia.
Pinch Gut Island.
Pines, Hill of.
Port Number 2.
Portland, Duke of.
Port du Debut.
Port Jackson Heads.
Rio de Janeiro.
Salt Water Lagoon.
Saxe Coburgs Range.
Schanck, Captain John, R.N.
Sea Elephant Bay.
Sea Lyon Island.
Sentry Box Reach.
Shoal Water Bay.
Shot Snake Reach.
Sir Roger Curtis's Island.
Sir William Grant's Cape.
Solicitor, Cape, see Montaigne Cape.
South Hogan's Group.
Sow and Pigs.
Stanley, Lieutenant Owen.
Storm Bay Passage.
Strong Tide Passage.
Suffrein, Cape, see Patton's Cape.
Sugar Loaf Hill.
Sugar Loaf Island.
Surprise, the, see Diana, the.
Swaine and Campbell, Messrs.
Symons, Lieutenant James.
sails to Port Dalrymple.
sent to Jervis Bay.
leaves for Sydney with Governor King.
Three Hummock Island.
Three Kings Island.
Timor, Island of.
Titteranee, Island of.
Tourville Bay, see Portland Bay.
Tozer, Mr. William.
Van Diemen, Cape.
Van Diemen's Land, see also Tasmania.
Watson, Captain Thos.
Wednesday and Thursday Islands.
Western Arms, the.
West India Fleet.
Wiwiki, Cape, see Point Pocock.
Yacaaba, see Port Stephens.
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