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Title:      The Irish in Australia (1887)
Author:     James Francis Hogan
eBook No.:  0500661.txt
Edition:    1
Language:   English
Character set encoding:     Latin-1(ISO-8859-1)--8 bit
Date first posted:          July 2005
Date most recently updated: March 2011

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Title:      The Irish in Australia (1887)
Author:     James Francis Hogan



PREFACE.

It is now some five years since I conceived the idea of writing a history
of my fellow-countrymen in Australasian but it was only within the last
year or two that I could find sufficient time to make any material
progress with the undertaking, although I had been collecting the
materials for some period in advance. To all those old Irish colonists,
to whom I applied for general reminis­cences or specific information, and
who very kindly, readily, and fully complied with my request, I am deeply
indebted for a variety of interesting details concerning the events of
the early days that were not otherwise obtainable. Written for the most
part in Melbourne, the work was subjected to a thorough revision during
my recent three weeks' voyage across the Pacific from Sydney to San
Francisco, and the seven days on the Atlantic between New York and
Liverpool. We are now at the close of the first century of colonization
in Australia, and the time is therefore opportune for an estimate of the
influence exercised by the Irish element of the population on the
remarkable growth and development of the Greater Britain of the South.
Having lived in Australia from childhood, I have endeavored, not I hope
without some success, to present in this volume a faithful panorama of
Irish life, Irish history, and Irish achievements in the land I know and
love so well.

J. F. HOGAN.

London, October 5th, 1887.



CHAPTER I. A SURVEY OF THE SOUTH: NEW IRELAND IN AUSTRALIA--TWO STREAMS
OP EMIGRATION--HOME RULE IN THE COLONIES--FOUR IRISH SPEAKERS--SUCCESSES
OF IRISH--AUSTRALIANS IN SEVERAL SPHERES--FRATERNAL SYMPATHY WITH THE
IRISH AT HOME--HISTORY OF COLONIZATION--BUCKLEY, "THE WILD WHITE
MAN"--SIR RICHARD BOURKE, BEST OF COLONIAL GOVERNORS--THE AGITATION FOR
HOME RULE IN VICTORIA--DISCOVERY OF GOLD--THE IRISH ARMY OF
DIGGERS--COLONIAL PROGRESS.

CHAPTER II. GREATER BRITAIN'S METROPOLIS: IRISH ELEMENT IN
VICTORIA--PROGRESS OF MELBOURNE--TRADE AND COMMERCE--ST. PATRICK'S
CATHEDRAL---ST. PATRICK'S AND ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S COLLEGES--ST.
PATRICK'S HALL--THE CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS--IRISH GIRLS, A CREDIT TO THEIR
RACE--THE PUBLIC LIBRARY, MUSEUM, AND NATIONAL GALLERY--THEIR FOUNDER,
SIR REDMOND BARRY--THE UNIVERSITY--SUCCESSES OF IRISH STUDENTS--THE TOWN
HALL AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT--MR. ANTHONY TROLLOPE'S ATTACK ON THE
IRISHMEN OF MELBOURNE--HIS UNTRUTHFULNESS EXPOSED--A RING OF PROSPEROUS
SUBURBS.

CHAPTER III. THE STORY OF BURKE AND WILLS: AMBROSE KYTE--HOW AN IRISH LAD
ATTAINED TO OPULENCE--HIS MUNIFICENT BENEFACTIONS--STARTS AN EXPLORING
EXPEDITION TO CEOSS THE AUSTRALIAN CONTINENT--EOBEET O'HARA BURKE
APPOINTED LEADER OP THE EXPEDITION--SETTING OUT AMIDST POPULAR
ENTHUSIASM--TEH PEAT SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED--BACKWARD MARCH OP THE
VICTORS--A RACE FOR LIFE--SERIES OP FATAL MISTAKES--TRAGIC CLOSE OF A
BRILLIANT ENTERPRISE--DEATH OF BURKE AND WILLS--KING SAVED BY THE
BLACKS--IMPORTANT RESULTS OF THE EXPEDITION.

CHAPTER IV. A BIRTHPLACE OF FREEDOM: AN EARLY IRISH EXPLORER--PRIMITIVE
SQUATTERS--ESMOND'S DISCOVERY OF GOLD--FEVERISH EXCITEMENT--HUSH OF
GOLD--SEEKERS FROM THE OLD WORLD--LARGE PERCENTAGE OF IRISHMEN--THE
GOVERNMENT ISSUES LICENCES TO DIG--ARBITRARY AND BRUTAL MODE OF
COLLECTING THE LICENCE--FEES--TWO ZEALOUS IRISH PRIESTS--THEIR TREATMENT
BY INSO­LENT TROOPERS--GROWING AGITATION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES--MASS
MEETING ON BAKERY HILL--12,000 DIGGERS BURN THEIR LICENCES--PETER LALOR
CHOSEN COMMANDER--IN--CHIEF--THE DIGGERS OCCUPY THE EUREKA
STOCKADE--ATTACKED BY THE MILITARY--THE STOCKADE CAP­TURED--DIGGERS
CHARGED WITH HIGH TREASON AND ACQUITTED--ABOLITION OF THE HATEFUL
LICENCE--FEE--DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM WOK BY THE DIGGERS--DEVELOPMENT OF
MINING--DEEP SINKING--REMARK­ABLE CAREER OF THE BAND OF HOPE--FATHER
DUNNE, THE PIONEER PRIEST--THE BALLARAT OF TO--DAY.

CHAPTER V. A GOLDEN CITY: SANDHURST, THE GREAT CENTRE OF QUARTZ
MINING--AN INVADING--HOST OF DIGGERS--INDIGNANT REMONSTRANCES AGAINST
OFFICIAL TYRANNY--THE BANNER OF THE IRISH DIGGERS--" BENDIGO MAC"--HOW HE
AVERTED A REBELLION--AN IRISHMAN WHO LITERALLY ROLLED IN WEALTH--AN IRISH
DIGGER'S TENT--HIBERNIAN PERSEVERANCE REWARDED--TIPPERARY GULLY--THE "
SHAMROCK"--AN ENTERPRISING IRISHMAN--SOME PROMINENT SANDHURST IRISHMEN,
AND WHAT THEY HAVE ACHIEVED.

CHAPTER VI. A FEW IRISH CENTRES: GEELONG--ITS EARLY
PROSPERITY--MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE--THREE DISTINGUISHED IRISH
PRIESTS--ADDRESS TO SMITH O'BRIEN--IRISH--TOWN--HIBERNIAN TITLES FOR
AUSTRALIAN ESTATES--ENORMOUS PRICE OF LAND--VISIT OF SIR RICHARD
BOURKE--HIS DESIRE TO MAKE GEE--LONG THE CAPITAL--ITS CATHOLIC
INSTITUTIONS--KILMORE--A TYPICAL IRISH CENTRE--LOVE OF KINDRED--LARGE
REMITTANCES TO RELATIVES AT HOME--KYNETON--A FLOURISHING
COMMUNITY--BELFAST--A CHILD OF THE ULSTER CAPITAL--AN ABSENTEE
LANDLORD--AN IMPORTATION OF IRISH FARMERS--A CELEBRATED POTATO
COUNTRY--SOBRIETY OF IRISH SETTLERS--GIPPS LAND--ITS WILD LUXURIANCE--A
MEMORABLE TOUR OF EXPLORATION--SIR CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY'S LAND ACT--HOW IT
PROMOTED THE SETTLEMENT OP GIPPS LAND--"THE GARDEN OF AUSTRALIA"--A
MILLION OF MONEY IN DIVIDENDS--THE STRANGE CASE OF PATRICK COADY BUCKLEY.

CHAPTER VII. IRISH IMMIGRANTS IN THE COLONIES: CAROLINE CHISHOLM, "THE
EMIGRANT'S FRIEND"--HER PROTECTION OF HOMELESS GIRLS--A DIVINE
MISSION--CONVERSION OP A GOVERNOR--THE SYDNEY FEMALE EMIGRANTS'
HOME--CORRECTION OF A CRYING EVIL--THE " BUSH JOURNEYS" OF MRS.
CHISHOLM--WANTED, A TIPPERARY GIRL--WHAT THE IRISH RACE OWES TO MRS.
CHISHOLM--ANECDOTES OF HER PHILANTHROPIC CAREER--LORD SHERBROOEE'S
EULOGIUM--A TRI­UMPHANT VINDICATION OF IRISH FEMALE IMMIGRANTS--OFFICIAL
TESTI­MONY IN THEIR FAVOUR--LIFE ON AN EMIGRANT SHIP--GENEROSITY AND
AFFECTION OF IRISH GIRLS--THE DANGER OF DRUNKENNESS--SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT
DURING RECENT YEARS.

CHAPTER VIII. THE VOYAGE OF THE "ERIN--GO--BRAGH:" IRISH EMIGRATION TO
QUEENSLAND--THE LABOURS OF FATHER DUNNE--OPPOSITION OF THE GOVERNMENT
AGENT--THE LAND--ORDER SYSTEM--CHARTERING OF THE "
ERIN--GO--BRAGH"--DESPATCH OF FOUR HUNDRED IRISH EMIGRANTS TO
QUEENSLAND--THEIR SETTLEMENT IN NEW HOMES.--A DIABOLICAL DEED OF A
BIGOT--NOVEL METHOD OF SETTLING DISPUTES--QUESTIONABLE SOUP--A FEMALE
PATRICK--OFFICIAL TESTI­MONY TO THE SUCCESS OF FATHER DUNNE'S EMIGRATION
SCHEME--THE "FIERY STAR"--SUCCESSFUL IMMIORANTS--PATERNAL ADVICE TO IRISH
YOUTHS AND MAIDENS--SOBRIETY, ENERGY AND PERSEVERANCE.

CHAPTER IX. THE MOTHER OF THE AUSTRALIAS: SYDNEY--THE CENTENNIAL
AUSTRALIAN CITY--ITS IRISH MAYOR--ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL--ST. VINCENT'S
HOSPITAL--FOUNDATION OF THE COLONY OF NEW SOUTH WALES--EVILS OP
TRANSPORTATION--FORMATION OF THE ANTI--TRANSPORTATION
LEAGUE--BOYCOTTING--CONVICT SHIPS--EARLY IRISH PRISONERS--THEIR UNDULY
SEVERE SENTENCES--HOW THEY PROSPERED IN NEW SOUTH WALES--THE MEN OF
'98--A WEALTHY PIKE--MAKER--TWO BROTHERS--IN--ARMS AT VINEGAR
HILL--GENERAL JOSEPH HOLT--BRAVE MICHAEL DWYER--OFFICIAL TESTIMONY TO THE
GOOD QUALITIES OF THE IRISH--THE STRANGE CAREER OP GEORGE BARRINGTON--HIS
CELEBRATED PROLOGUE--SIR HENRY HAYES--HOW HE BANISHED THE SNAKES--A
TYPICAL CELT--THE VARIED RESOURCES OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

CHAPTER X. FOUR OF THE FAMILY: SOUTH AUSTRALIA--A NOVEL EXPERIMENT IN
COLONISATION--RICH COPPER MINES--WHEAT--GROWING CAPABILITIES--IRISH
EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA--ADDRESS OF ST. PATRICK'S SOCIETY TO THEIR
COUNTRYMEN AT HOME--WESTERN AUSTRALIA: ITS IMMENSE EXTENT AND UNDEVELOPED
RESOURCES--THE LAST OF THE PENAL SETTLEMENTS--FENIAN EXILES: JOHN BOYLE
O'REILLY--J.K. CASEY--DR. R.R. MADDEN, COLONIAL SECRETARY--TASMANIA: ITS
EARLY DEGRADATION--ITS DELIGHTFUL SCENERY--THE TRANSPORTED MEN OF '48:
SMITH O'BRIEN--THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER--TERRENCE RELLEW MOMANUS--JOHN
MITCHEL--JOHN MARTIN--KEVIN IZOD O'DOHERTY--NEW ZEALAND--MAORI
WARS--CAREER OF TE KOOTI--A COURAGEOUS IRISHWOMAN--ACTIVITY AND
ENTERPRISE IN THE COLONY--MINERAL WEALTH--LIBERAL IMMIGRATION
POLICY--IRISH SETTLEMENT IN THE ISLANDS.

CHAPTER XI THE CHURCH IN THE COLONIES: DEVOTED IRISH PRIESTS--FATHER
WALSH, OF OSSOBY--THBEE UNJUSTLY TRANSPORTED PRIESTS, FATHERS DIXON,
O'NEIL, AND HAROLD--TYRAN­NICAL POLICY OF THE EARLY GOVERNORS--ARRIVAL OF
ARCHPRIEST O'FLINN--HIS ARREST, IMPRISONMENT, AND EXPULSION FROM
AUSTRALIA--INTERVENTION OF BISHOP ENGLAND--APPOINTMENT OF FATHERS THERRY
AND CONOLLY AS THE FIRST COLONIAL CHAPLAINS--ANECDOTES OF "THE GOOD
FATHER THERRY--ARCHDEACON McENCROE AND HIS LABOURS--DR. ULLATHORNE--HIS
ORGANISING WORK--SIB RICHAED BOURKE AS GOVERNOR--REVERSAL OF THE OLD
ANTI--CATHOLIC POLICY--ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGIOUS EQUALITY--ARRIVAL OF
THE FIBST BISHOP, DR. POLDING--ARCHBISHOP VAUG--HAN--CARDINAL MO
BAN--AECH--BISHOP GOOLD--THE BISHOP AND THE BUSHRANGERS--DR.
GEOGHEGAN--BISHOP REYNOLDS--THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH--THE REV. JULIAN E.
TENISON--WOODS--BISHOP WILLSON, "THE APOSTLE OF PRISON REFORM"--DR.
MURPHY, THE AUSTRALASIAN NESTOR--DR. CROKE AS BISHOP OF AUCKLAND--THE
FIRST AUSTRALASIAN PLENARY COUNCIL--TRIUMPH OP CATHOLICITY IN THE
COLONIES.

CHAPTER XII. A GROUP OF STATESMEN: SIR JOHN O'SHANASSY--ORANGE
OUTRAGES--RIOTING IN MELBOURNE--ST. PATRICK'S SOCIETY--SIR CHARLES GAVAN
DUFFY--HIS ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA--THE FATHER OF AUSTRALIAN
FEDERATION--SETTLING THE PEOPLE ON THE LANDS--THE DUFFY LAND ACT--A
SERIES OF STRIKING LECTURES--SIR BRYAN O'LOGHLEN--HIS RAPID POLITICAL
PROMOTION--WILSON GRAY, PRESIDENT OF THE LAND CONTENTION--MICHAEL
O'GRADY--THE GLENVEIGH EXILES--A BENEFACTOR TO HIS RACE--THE HON.
NICHOLAS FITZGERALD--WILLIAM CHARLES WENTWORTH, "THE AUSTRALIAN PATRIOT."

CHAPTER XIII. NOTABLE IRISH--AUSTRALIANS: THE EIGHT HON. W. B. DALLEY,
F.C.--SIR WILLIAM FOSTER STAWELL--MR. JUSTICE MOLESWORTH--CHIEF JUSTICE
HIGINBOTHAM--SIB REDMOND BAHRY--THE HON. E. D. IRELAND, Q.C.--THE HON.
JOHN HUBERT I'LTJN--KETT, Q.C.--THE HON. EDWAED BUTLER, Q.C.--SIR HOGER
THERBY--SIR PATRICK JENNINGS--DR. KEVIN IZOD O'DOHERTY--SIB MAURICE
Q'CONNELL--SIR AETHUE PALMER--SIR JOSHUA PETER BELL--HON. J. M.
MACROSSAN--IRISH--AUSTRALIAN VICEROYS--SIR RICHARD BOURKE--LOKD
LISGAR--SIR HERCULES ROBINSON--SIR DOMINICK DALY--SIR RICHARD
McDONNELL--SIR GEORGE KINGSTON--SIR GEORGE BOWEN--SIR RICHARD DRY--SIR
GEORGE GREY.

CHAPTER XIV. LITERATURE, SCIENCE AND ART: MARCUS CLARKE, AUSTRALIA'S
PREMIER NOVELIST--EDWARD WHITTY--DANIEL HENRY DENIEHY--DR.
HEARN--PROFESSOR McCOY--EDMUND HAYES--HIS COLLECTION OF IRISH BALLAD
POETRY--"THE DREAM OF DAMPIER"--WILLIAM CARLETON, jun.--JOHN
FINNAMORE--RODERICK FLANAGAN--WILLIAM VINCENT WALLACE--COMPOSITION OF
"MARITANA"--CHEQUERED CAREER OF A MUSICAL GENIUS.



CHAPTER I.


A SURVEY OF THE SOUTH: NEW IRELAND IN AUSTRALIA

TWO STREAMS OP EMIGRATION--HOME RULE IN THE COLONIES--FOUR IRISH
SPEAKERS--SUCCESSES OF IRISH-AUSTRALIANS IN SEVERAL SPHERES--FRATERNAL
SYMPATHY WITH THE IRISH AT HOME--HISTORY OF COLONIZATION--BUCKLEY, "THE
WILD WHITE MAN"--SIR RICHARD BOURKE, BEST OF COLONIAL GOVERNORS--THE
AGITATION FOR HOME RULE IN VICTORIA--DISCOVERY OF GOLD--THE IRISH ARMY OF
DIGGERS--COLONIAL PROGRESS.

"A new Ireland in America" is a familiar phrase to Celtic and Saxon ears,
but a " New Ireland in Australia" will perhaps be a rather novel
expression to many. Yet the words in the latter case convey the idea of
an accomplished fact, equally as well as in the former. For more than
thirty years two great streams of emigration have been flowing from
Ireland, the larger shaping its course across the Atlantic and
discharging its human freight on the shores of the Great Republic of the
West, the smaller in volume turning to the South, and, after traversing
half the circum­ference of the globe, striking against the sunny shores
of Australia. As a consequence of the comparative proximity of America to
the Old World, no difficulty whatever has been experienced in arriving at
a true estimate of the position and prospects of the Irish transplanted
to the West. Friends and foes alike have been enabled to closely follow
their movements, to study their mode of life under altered con­ditions,
to ascertain the opinion held respecting them by people of other
nationalities, and to determine whether or not the virtues characteristic
of the old land flourish on the soil of the new. And splendidly have the
Irish-Americans as a body borne this crucial test. Not on the authority
of friendly critics alone, but many foes of his faith and fatherland have
been forced to acknowledge the genuine worth of the typical
Irish-American. They have given, perhaps unwillingly, the most conclusive
testimony to his value as a citizen, his fidelity as a husband, his
devotion as a. father, and though last, not least, his loyalty as a
Catholic. The Irish at home are proud to know, from the mouths of
independent and even hostile witnesses, that though au stormy ocean
separates their exiled brethren from the land of their affections, they
are still as Irish in heart and feeling as ever; they still cherish the
memories of the historic past, and their aspirations for national unity
and local self-govern­ment are only intensified by distance. The poor
persecuted peasant, whom, with weak wife and helpless family, a brutal
landlord or pitiless agent has evicted in the depth of winter from the
hallowed home of his ancestors, is traced across the Atlantic, followed
into a newly-settled district and there discovered-a respected resident,
a good neighbour, and, very often, an independent man. The ardent young
patriot, who employs his talents in the cause of his country's freedom,
and pays the orthodox penalty for loving one's country "not wisely but
too well" by a compulsory residence for a season amongst convicted
criminals, is seen receiving a cordial welcome on landing in the Empire
City, and soon his name is referred to as being the occupant of a
distinguished and honourable position, won by the exercise of those
abilities for which no scope existed in the land of his birth. And it has
been a source of surprise to the host of individuals, whose knowledge of
Ireland is confined to what they read in partisan books and newspapers,
to rind that the people, who when in their native land were described as
senseless rioters and incorrigible landlord-shooters, are conspicuous in
America for their quiet behavior and respect for law and order. These
facts have come out in the published evidence of foreign tourists in
America, and are a splendid testimonial to the noble in gradients’ of the
Irish character when developed under free and favourable conditions.

But, whilst the western Irish exodus has formed the subject of much
European investigation, the southern branch of the great emigration
stream has not been traced and examined with the same attention. The
reasons are obvious. It is only of late years that the Australian
colonies have completely recovered from the delirium of the gold fever,
and have begun to assume the recognized aspect of settled com­munities.
Hitherto, it would have been unsafe to describe the evidences of possibly
fleeting appearances as facts indica­tive of the future, or to draw
elaborate conclusions in the absence of substantial information. Besides,
the immense watery gulf of thirteen thousand miles that separates the
Australian colonies from the great centres of Europe, and the anticipated
difficulty of reaching the scattered settlements of a continent only
partially explored, damped the ardour of adventurous travellers and
inquiring students. Hence the number of literary tourists in Australia
has, until very recently, been comparatively small. Now, however, the
case is far different. The Australian "Empire of the South" has advanced
to an important position; the slow and tedious voyage of several months'
duration has been superseded by the fleets of fast-going steamers, that
traverse the distance between London and Melbourne in little more than a
month. The various colonies are no longer isolated settlements; all the
leading cities of the Australian continent are connected by railway and
telegraph, and the grand idea of an "Australian Federal Union," advocated
for many years with all the earnestness of an eloquent Irish-Australian
statesman,* is rapidly approaching the practical stage of accomplishment.

*Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, who has made "Australian Federation" the
subject of several brilliant addresses.

The Irish in Australia form a most interesting study. True to their
national character, they .have come to the front in all the colonies. In
every colonial parliament, Irishmen will be found distinguishing
themselves as political leaders. Responsible parliamentary government,
or, in simpler words, Home Rule, is in operation in all the Australian
colonies save one, and it is, therefore, not surprising that colonial
legislatures should have a large proportion of Irishmen, when it is
remembered that the choice of efficient representatives is left
unreservedly in the hands of the people. As a striking proof of the
signal political ability displayed by Irish leaders in Australia, it is
worthy of note that, since the inception of parlia­mentary government in
the leading colony, Victoria, all the Speakers of the Legislative
Assembly have, without exception, been Irishmen. There can be no dispute
about the nationality of gentlemen bearing such names as Sir Francis
Murphy, Sir Charles MacMahon, Sir Charles Gavan Dufty, and the Hon. Peter
Lalor, the last mentioned being the present first commoner of Victoria.
And it must be borne in mind that the selection of these gentlemen to
fill successively so high and honourable an office, was solely on account
of their recognised superiority, as, in every case, the majority of the
assembly was composed of English and Scotch representatives. But it is
not in politics alone that the Irish in Australia have made their mark.
In colonial literature and art, not a few of the most distinguished names
will be recognised as Irish; and, in humbler capacities, the great body
of the Irish-Australians have clone good service for their adopted land
in a silent and unobtrusive manner. They were amongst the earliest
pioneers in the development of the gold-mining industry; thousands of
them wisely left the towns and, favoured by liberal land legislation,
established homes for themselves in the bush, whilst hundreds, of
scholarly attainments, found ready admission into the Government service.
But, no matter what social position they may occupy, the Irish in
Australia, no less than their American brethren, are thoroughly Irish and
Catholic; and, if any proof of this were wanting, it is abundantly
supplied by the munificent offering sent by Australia for the relief of
the famine-stricken at home. When, a few years ago, the telegraph flashed
the dire intelligence that the hideous pall of hunger was darkening the
face of the old land, a simul­taneous movement stirred the whole of the
Australian continent. Local committees were everywhere organised,
donations poured in from all ranks of society, and soon the magnificent
sum of L94,916 16s. 8d. was raised by a population of less than four
millions as a spontaneous gift of fraternal sympathy. The time has now
arrived, I think, when the record of the Irish in Australia should be
written, and I entertain not the slightest doubt that that record will
not only be perused with patriotic interest, but treasured with national
pride, wherever the sons and daughters of Hibernia have found a home.
What other writers have done for the Irish in America, I propose
attempting to do, in some measure, for the Irish in Australia; and, by
way of introduction to the subject, a few historical and descriptive
details will be serviceable.

Australia is the great island-continent of the globe. It has an area
nearly equal in extent to the whole of Europe, although its population
falls short of four millions. Until very recently, its interior was a
terra incognita, but the systematic efforts of explorers have succeeded
in thoroughly opening up the central regions, so that it has been found
practicable to run a telegraph wire across the continent from north to
south-a distance of nearly two thousand miles. The mainland of Australia
is politically divided into five colonies, which, in the order of their
birth, are as follow:-New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, South
Australia, and Queensland. There are also two insular colonies-Tasmania,
or, as it was known in bygone days, Van Diemen's Land, an island of about
the size of Ireland lying to the south of Victoria; and New Zealand, the
" Great Britain of the South," a chain of islands in the Pacific at a
distance of more than a thousand miles from the mainland in a
south-easterly direction.

Though New South Wales is the parent colony of the Australian group, she
has been outstripped in the race of progress by one of her youngest
children-Victoria, the wealthiest, most populous, and most important of
the antipodean states. Thirty years ago the present colony of Victoria
was only the Port Phillip district of New South Wales, the latter
geographical term being at that time synonymous with the whole eastern
half of the continent.

Victoria occupies the south-eastern corner of Australia, and comprises
that small but rich strip of territory lying between the 34th and 39th
parallels of south latitude, and the 141st and 150th degrees of east
longitude, embracing an area of 88,198 square miles, or 56,446,720 acres.
The noble Murray River is the northern boundary that separates young
Victoria from old New South Wales; the boisterous Bass Straits lie on the
south between the " tight little island " of Tasmania and the
mainland,whilst on the western side, South Australia-the granary of the
antipodes- displays her exuberant treasures. The first attempt to plant a
settlement in this quarter of Australia was made in 1803, when Colonel
Collins, a British officer, was placed in command of an expedition to
found a new penal colony. Three hundred and sixty-seven male convicts
were placed on board the " Ocean " transport, and, escorted by the "
Calcutta " man-of-war, 18 guns and 170 men, were despatched from England
in May, 1803. After a tedious voyage of six months, Colonel Collins
landed his party on a point at the eastern entrance to Port Phillip Bay,
the site of the present Sorrento, a fashionable sea-side resort in the
summer months. Happily for the future of Victoria, the attempt to plant a
penal settlement proved a complete failure, and the premier colony was
spared the odium of ever having given a permanent abode to the scum of
the English prisons. The reasons that induced Colonel Collins to abandon
the settlement have never been satis­factorily explained, though the
general opinion is that his inability to discover a permanent supply of
fresh water was the principal cause. He could not have made a very
diligent search for the precious fluid; for had he done so, it would have
been found in abundance not many miles from his camp. However, after a
stay of three months, orders were given to re-embark, and the two vessels
sailed across the straits to Tan Diemen's Land. In this lovely little
island, on the site of its present capital-Hobart-Collins succeeded in
planting his penal colony. Here he reigned as lieutenant-governor for a
period of six years, until his sudden death on March 24th, 1810.
Twenty-eight years afterwards, Sir John Franklin, the then governor, who
afterwards perished in the frozen wastes of the Arctic, had a monument
erected to his memory in the city whose founda­tion he laid.

For nearly thirty years after this unsuccessful attempt to colonize Port
Phillip, no further effort was made to plant a colony on the southern
shores of Australia. The blacks were left in undisputed possession of the
province, though one effect of Colonel Collins's brief sojourn was the
addition of a new chief to their ranks. During the three months that the
colonel remained encamped on the shore, several prisoners succeeded in
escaping into the bush, but, with the exception of one, the fugitives
either perished miserably in the unknown land, or returned in an agony of
starvation to the camp and begged for forgiveness. One, however, was
determined to obtain his freedom at all hazards, and this man, who had
been, a soldier, and was transported for assaulting his superior officer,
concealed himself in a cave, and managed to subsist for some time* on
berries and shell­fish. Having observed from, his hiding-place the
prepara­tions of Colonel Collins for leaving the settlement, he came
forth, when the vessels were disappearing" in the distance, and found
himself a free man. In a weak and exhausted condition William Buckley,
for such was his name, walked at random into the interior and soon carne
upon an encamp­ment of aborigines, by whom he was kindly treated and
subsequently adopted into the tribe. He was presented with two " lubras,"
or wives, and, acting in what he, no doubt, considered the most
philosophical manner under the peculiar circumstances, he completely
forgot the world of civilization, and, sinking to the low level of his
savage companions, he led a merely animal existence for the long period
of thirty-two years. This remarkable character lived to be useful in his
latter days as a medium of communication between the whites and the
blacks.

In 1835, Port Phillip was permanently colonised under the auspices of
freemen. The leader of the successful ex­pedition and the founder of the
colony of Victoria was John Batman, a young farmer resident in Van
Diemen's Land, and a man of energy, perseverance, and self-reliance. With
twelve others he formed a colonising association, under whose auspices
the country surrounding Port Phillip Bay was thoroughly explored, and the
excellence of the soil, both for agricultural and pastoral purposes, was
abundantly demonstrated. Twelve months after Batman's arrival, the
incipient colony had a population of two hundred settlers, who were
owners of fifteen thousand sheep. In March, 1837, the first
representative of Royalty visited the new settle­ment in the person of
Major-General Sir Richard Bourke,, Governor of New South Wales. Sir
Richard won his spurs in the Peninsula, and, as one of the best colonial
governors, his name will appear again in these pages. He was of course an
Irishman, having been born in Limerick in 1778, and in the same city he
died in 1855. Bourke remained in the infant colony for a month, and
during his brief stay laid out the sites of Melbourne (the metropolis),
Geelong, and Williarnstown. The first place was named after the then
English Premier, Lord Melbourne; the second was allowed to retain its
native name, whilst the third received its^ title from the reigning
monarch, William IV. At His Excel­lency's departure, the entire
population of the settlement-five hundred souls-assembled to give him a
parting cheer. 'These five hundred settlers were possessed of 140,000
sheep, 2,500 head of cattle, and 150 horses-a very satisfactory state of
progress. In this year (1837) the first government, land sale in
Melbourne took place, and the event is worthy of note as showing how
enormously the value of land may increase by unforeseen circumstances. A
small allotment in Collins Street (the aristocratic thoroughfare of
Melbourne) purchased originally for £35 was afterwards bought for
£24,000, and, at the present time, the average price of land in the same
locality is £900 per foot. A gentleman was considered very foolish for
having paid what was then re­garded as the excessive sum of £80 for
half-an-acre, but after the lapse of two years the same land realized
£5,000, and twelve years later it was sold for £40,000, These are only
two examples out of many that might be recorded. Mr. William Kelly, a
contemporary eye-witness, states the following facts: " Innumerable small
lots, making in their aggregate immense breadths of property, were sold
at nom­inal prices in the early part of 1851, which, ere its close, were
'pearls beyond price,' translated into the seventh heaven of appreciation
by the fortuitous discovery of the Ballarat shepherd. I know the
particulars of numerous cases of constrained fortune. One I will relate
which occurred in the person of an humble man from my native country, who
accumulated a very modest competence in Melbourne under the old
regime-first by manual labour and then by carting at the moderate rates
of the day. He purchased a town lot in Swanston Street, and erected a
wooden house upon it, in which during the progress of his industrial
prosperity he opened a little shop for the good woman. His decent thrift
was as remarkable as his industry, so that in homely phrase he ' got the
name of having a little dry money always by him;' and at the period in
question he was beset by im­portunate neighbours and friends, imploring
him, as he intended remaining, to purchase their town allotments at his
own price. In some cases he yielded, not so much with the view of
benefiting himself as of helping a few friends on the road to fortune,
and much against his own will or conviction he secured, for some £450,
property which in less than fifteen months he sold for £15,000, and which
was re­sold within the subsequent year for nearly three times that
amount. Had my humble countryman purchased to the full amount of his
means and held over like other stay-at-home townsmen, he might now be
side by side in the Legislative Council of Victoria with another Sligo
man who came to Port Phillip without any capital but his brains and his
hands, but who is reputed at present as possessed of property worth
half-a-million sterling."

I have now before me the official list of purchasers of land at the first
government sale in Melbourne, and, as might have been expected, Ireland
is well represented. Amongst the principal buyers I find the names of
Michael Fender, Michael Connolly, John Roach, James Connell, John
McNamara, F. R. D'Arcy, Patrick Cussen, Patrick Murphy and E. D.
O'Reilly.

In 1841 the revenue derived from the Port Phillip district had increased
to £31,799, and, consequent on increasing prosperity, the colonists
became dissatisfied with their poli­tical position. They had a nominal
representation in the New South Wales Parliament, the Port Phillip
district being allotted six members; but owing to' the distance of the
capital and the expense of living there during the session, no local
candidates, no men having a personal interest in the prosperity of the
new province, would come forward. As a necessary consequence, the
choosing of parliamentary representatives soon became a merely formal
matter in which not the slightest public interest was manifested. The
choice of candidates being practically limited to Sydney residents,
members were elected and re-elected for the Port Phillip district on the
most approved old-world pocket-borough principle. As a matter of fact,
many of the electors, probably the majority of them, were in complete
ignorance of the names of their parliamentary representatives. To put an
end to this stupid farce, a novel expedient was hit upon. In 1848, when
the time again arrived to send representatives to Sydney, an ingenious
elector suggested that they would be quite as well represented by
residents of London as by resi­dents of Sydney, and therefore he moved
that Earl Grey was a fit and proper person to represent the electors of
Port Phillip in the Sydney Parliament. This ludicrous proposal was
immediately adopted and acted upon, and it must be admitted that no
better means could be devised of showing the home authorities the
absurdity of giving the form of parliamentary representation without the
substance. When the news reached England that Earl Grey, Secretary of
State for the Colonies, had been elected member for Melbourne in the
Sydney Parliament, the irresistible drollery of the situation compelled
attention to the remon­strances of the colonists. The agitation for
separation was carried on with renewed vigour, and eventually, on August
5th, 1850, an " Act for the Better Government of the Aus­tralian Colonies
"and providing for the separation of the Port Phillip district from Nw
South Wales, and its erection into a separate colony under the name of-
Victoria, passed the Imperial Parliament. The gratifying intelligence
readied Melbourne in the following November, and it is needless to say
there were considerable rejoicings, lasting several days. The Act came
into operation on July 1st of the following year and the day has ever
since been commemorated as a public holiday, under the title of
Separation Day. Promi­nent amongst those who took an active part in
directing the separation movement were Sir William Foster Stawell
(afterwards Chief Justice, and now Lien tenant-Governor of Victoria), Sir
Redmond Barry (subsequently Judge of the Supreme Court), Sir John
O'Shanassy (three times Prime Minister of the colony), and Sir Francis
.Murphy (for many years Speaker of the Legislative Assembly)-four
Irishmen to whom reference will again he made.

In the same year (1851) that witnessed the practical outcome of the
separation movement-in fact almost coincidently with that historical
episode, an event occurred that completely altered the destinies of the
Australian colonies in general and Victoria in particular. It is
unnecessary to state that the event alluded to was the discovery of gold.
Victoria up to that time was only known for the richness of its pastoral
and agricultural resources, and the idea that mineral wealth of untold
value lay concealed beneath the verdant soil never once entered the minds
of the simple growers of wool and cultivators of corn. In 1849 the
accounts of the treasures of California attracted adventurers from all
parts of the world, and amongst those who left Australia for the American
El Dorado were two intelligent colonists, named Edward Hammond Hargreaves
and James William Esmond. They were only ordinarily successful, but their
visit to California gave them some valuable knowledge which they
afterwards turned to good account. One thing they observed was the
striking similarity in the geological formation of the two countries, and
they rightly concluded that if the precious metal existed in the one
place, it must also exist in the other. This conclusion they practically
tested on their return, and were rewarded with immediate success.
Hargreaves prospected the Bathurst district of New South Wales and found
some nuggets and gold dust.

Esmond tried his luck in Victoria near the site of the pre­sent
flourishing mining town of Clunes, then a squatter's run, and succeeded
in finding some rich specimens, with which he hurried to the nearest
town, Greelong, and made his discovery known. The news caused the most
intense excitement amongst all classes, and the " gold fever " rapidly
spread throughout the colonies. All ordinary pursuits were abandoned, and
everywhere parties for the diggings were in process of formation. The
first discoveries soon paled before the brilliant digging results that
were daily brought to the surface. It was soon ascertained that the whole
central por­tion of the colony was auriferous, and, as the various
parties spread about in the hope of finding new and richer ground, the
great goldfields of the colony became gradually opened up. Words cannot
describe the delirium that ensued on reading the reports of the
developments of the famous Ballarat, Bendigo and Mount Alexander mines.
Not only were the other colonies literally drained of their population,
but, on the wondrous intelligence being circulated at home, the old world
sent thousands to swell the mining community at the antipodes. Ireland
despatched a numerous contingent, whose members prospered in the main,
invested their savings judiciously, and founded a patriotic and
influential Irish-Victorian community. All the colonial towns were
deserted, and people in the most reckless manner sold their houses and
lands at an immense reduction on the cost price, and hastened away to the
diggings. Hobson's Bay, the harbour of Melbourne, was a forest of masts;
ships lay anchored in hundreds, unable to proceed on their voyages, the
sailors having deserted in a body for the up-country goldfields. Every
week a mounted escort brought down from Ballarat to Melbourne an average
yield of 2,500 ounces of gold, and much larger quantities were sent away
privately. But these astonishing yields were soon afterwards eclipsed by
the discoveries at Mount Alexander, which proved to be literally and
without exaggeration " a mountain of gold." The quantity sent from this
mountain during the second week of December, 1851, was 23,650 ounces,
more than one ton in weight. The influx of population consequent on the
gold discoveries may be gathered from the fact that in the one month of
September, 1851, 16,000 new arrivals appeared on the scene, whilst in the
following month the number had increased to 19,000, and each succeeding
month had to be credited with a similar rate of progress. At Bendigo, 25
miles north of Mount Alexander, 70,000 men were simul­taneously seeking
their fortune. The public revenue had jumped from L380,000 in 1851 to
£1,577,000 in 1852. Melbourne, as the commercial centre on which the
goldfields depended for supplies, and the principal point of departure
for the up-country districts, had developed into an important city. Its
streets were thronged with lucky diggers, some of whom were dissipating
their easily-acquired riches in the wildest profusion, lighting their
pipes with fifty-pound notes, purchasing gorgeous dresses for their
female companions of the moment, chartering all the private carriages
available, treating the floating population to unlimited champagne, and
generally conducting themselves as if suddenly-acquired wealth had bereft
them of their sober senses. But this high-pressure era in the colony's
history was only of a temporary character. In a few years the rich
alluvial deposits became exhausted, and a new and more scientific mode of
mining had to be adopted. Companies were organised to crush the
auriferous quartz that lay many hundred feet below the surface, and
necessarily a considerable amount of capital had to be expended before
the quartz rock was reached, before the crushing commenced, and before
the shareholders received a dividend. But once the gold-bearing quartz
was struck, the reef was worked systematically, and usually the promoters
of the company received an immense profit on the capital they had
originally invested. It is in this manner that mining as an industry is
now carried on, and though the days of rich "nuggets" (solid masses of
gold generally found near the surface) have apparently passed away, yet
the auriferous resources of the colony are being successfully developed
at enormous depths in the manner just described. The total amount of gold
produced in Victoria from the time of the first discovery in 1851 to the
year 1886 is no less than fifty-five millions of ounces, equal in value
to more than two hundred million pounds sterling. From 1851 to 1861 was
the most exciting time on the goldfields, and during that remarkable
decade, the precious metal was raised to the surface at an average rate
of L10,000,000 per year.

The unparalleled productiveness of her gold mines, princi­pally, and the
extent of her pastoral and agricultural resources, secondarily, have
combined to place Victoria at the head of the Australian colonies, and
have given her a lead that none of the others have yet been able to
overtake. She is in the full enjoyment of Home Eule, having two chambers
modelled on the principle of the British Constitution, the Legislative
Council, corresponding to the House of Lords, and the Legislative
Assembly, possessing all the powers and privileges of the House of
Commons. Her capital, Mel­bourne, is a city, whose public institutions,
principal churches and commercial buildings, will bear favourable
comparison with those of the historic cities on the other side of the
equator.



CHAPTER II.


GREATER BRITAIN'S METROPOLIS.

IRISH ELEMENT IN VICTORIA-PROGRESS OF MELBOURNE-TRADE AND COMMERCE--ST.
PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL--ST. PATRICK'S AND ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S COLLEGES-ST.
PATRICK'S HALL-THE CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS -IRISH GIRLS, A CREDIT TO THEIR
RACE-THE PUBLIC LIBRARY, MUSEUM, AND NATIONAL GALLERY-THEIR FOUNDER, SIR
REDMOND BARRY-THE UNIVERSITY-SUCCESSES OF IRISH STUDENTS-THE TOWN HALL
AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT-MR. ANTHONY TROLLOPE'S ATTACK ON THE IRISHMEN OF
MELBOURNE-HIS UNTRUTHFULNESS EXPOSED-A RING OF PROSPEROUS SUBURBS.

According to the census of 1881 Victoria has a population of, in round
numbers, 900,000*, of whom one-fifth are either Irish born, or of Irish
parentage. Melbourne, the capital, with its numerous suburbs of Carlton,
Collingwood, Fitzroy, Richmond, Hotham, Emerald Hill, Port
Melbourne,Williams-town, Footscray, Prahran, Hawthorn, St. Kilda and
Brighton, forms a splendid city of 350,000 inhabitants, embracing-90,000
of the Irish race. The principal provincial centres are Ballarat,
Sandhurst, Geelong, Castlemaine, Echuca, Beechworth, Stawell, Belfast,
Warrnambool, Kilmore, and Kyneton, in all of which the Green Isle is well
and ably-represented. Melbourne is the metropolis of Australia, the
largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, the great centre of antipodean
life and activity. When it is remembered that fifty years ago a forest of
gum-trees occupied the site on which this bustling city now stands, and
that, within the recollection of many living persons, black fellows have
encamped where colossal banks and stately public buildings now rear their
lofty heads against the blue Australian sky, it is not surprising that
visitors should be amazed at what they see before them. The progress of
Melbourne from the primeval wildness of less than half a century ago o
its brilliant position to-day in the world of culture, civilisation, and
commerce, fully justifies the epithet of "marvellous " applied to it by
the much-travelled George Augustus Sala. The rapid growth of San
Francisco is the only contemporaneous incident that suggests itself by
way of comparison, but it remains to be seen whether the great American
city of the West will eventually distance the great Australian city of
the South in the race of material and permanent prosperity. Melbourne is
situated at the head of a large inlet or land-locked sea called Port
Phillip. The River Yarra, the native name for “ever-flowing water”,
bisects it. This river is navigable for several miles, and thus the large
intercolonial steamers are enabled to come up almost to the doors of the
massive warehouses, and discharge their multifarious cargoes. But most of
the ocean vessels and mercantile marine remain in the bay, Port Melbourne
and Williamstown, the two ports of the capital, presenting all the
facilities and conveniences that could be desired. Melbourne proper is
built on two hills, gradually sloping to the river, the intervening
valley, covered with shops and warehouses, being about a mile in width.

* The latest statistical returns give the population of the colony at
upwards of a million.

Sailing up the bay from the Heads, one of the first objects that arrest
the stranger's eye is the magnificent Cathedral of St. Patrick, crowning
the summit of the Eastern Hill--a monument of the undying faith and
active piety of the exiled children of the Isle of Saints. It has been in
course of erection for more than a quarter of a century, the noble sum of
£200,000 having been subscribed in voluntary con­tributions during that
period to its building fund by the Irishmen and Irishwomen of Victoria.
Though still un­finished, the elaborate and expressive design of its
architect, Mr. Wardell, is rapidly being fulfilled. A portion of the main
building has for years been used for public worship, accommodation being
provided for a congregation of 3,000. When finished, the cathedral will
accommodate more than double that number. It occupies the site of a
smaller church which was hastily erected when Melbourne was not much
larger than a village, but the prophetic eye of faith saw in that village
not only the great southern metropolis of today, but the far greater city
of a coming time. Short-sighted people of that early period were amused
and astonished at the idea of the Roman Catholics building a grand
cathedral in the " bush," but most of them lived to see what they then
called the " bush " become the very heart and centre of the greatest city
of Australasia. Addressing a large public meet­ing of his co-religionists
on June 20th, 1880, the Hon. John Gravan Duffy, M.P. reminded his
audience of "the wonderful and magnificent basilicas and cathedrals which
Catholics in the ages of faith had erected in Europe, which were an
honour to their builders, a glory to the earth, and would last as long as
the world held together." " We have here," he remarked, " a noble site
which should be crowned by a nobler edifice. It has often struck me. when
sailing up the bay, what a thrilling spectacle it will be to a Catholic
immi­grant to see, as he approaches our shores, our noble tower crowned
by the Catholic cross, telling him that even in this remote corner of the
globe he will not be an outcast or a stranger, but will find himself
amongst brethren of the faith." As a companion picture to this may be
added the testimony of one of the ablest and most accomplished of
Australian journalists, Mr. Howard Willoughby, who, in his collected
series of sketches entitled " The Critic in Church," writes in this
graceful and appreciative strain: " St. Patrick's Cathe­dral is a pile
which looms above Melbourne, the first object starting into sight as we
approach the city from any quarter; a structure massive, isolated and
grand, like the communion it represents. It is in its infancy just now,
but the infancy is that of a giant. Already it is the wonder of the
Eastern Hill, whose summit it crowns, and some time it must be its
architectural pride. We may anticipate the day when the stranger, drawing
rein on the Nunawading heights, or the Keilor Hill, or, as off
Gellibrand's Point the liner's royals and topgallants are reefed aloft,
and the bellying canvas let fly below, will obtain his first glimpse of
the double spires and of the lantern tower, near 350ft. in height, and
will feel something of the glow of Chaucer's pilgrims when they caught
sight of the 'Angel Tower' rising far away at the head of Canterbury's
forest vista. In every way does the cathedral shed a glory on its
founders, and probably they will not live to claim more than that title.
They will begin, but others must finish. It shows how they can rise above
the prevalent meanness and littleness of the present day, the selfishness
which cares not about the future, which forgets that our buildings are
the tombstones of the generation, and that by them our children will
stand and judge us. England received cathedrals from her struggling
forefathers; Melbourne is likely, but for the builders of St. Patrick's,
to send down nothing in ecclesiastical architecture but specimens of hard
bargain-driving and cheap contracting-the greatest Kew, about, five miles
distant from the metropolis. St. Francis Xavier's College, as it has been
titled, is built on a spacious estate of seventy acres in extent, and the
view from its windows is superb, embracing the shining expanse of Port
Phillip Bay, the picturesque panorama of the city and suburbs, and the
mountain ranges in the background. Young Irish-Australians from all
quarters are being care­fully trained for a future honourable career in
this delightful spot, under the careful supervision of its
highly-successful rector, the Very Rev, C. Nulty, S. J.

Near the western end of the city proper, fronting Bourke Street, the main
thoroughfare of the metropolis, stands St. Patrick's Hall, an
unpretentious but historically in­teresting structure. Here the infant
legislature of the colony assembled, and formed the machinery by which
the measure of Home Rule granted by the Imperial authorities was brought
into practical operation. Here, in 1854, the Victorian Convention,
consisting of delegates from public meetings throughout the country, and
guided by one of the purest patriots in colonial political life, the late
Wilson Gray,* met and agitated for a reform of the land laws, and paved
the way for future liberal land legislation. Here for forty years the
Irish national sentiment has been kept alive and perpetuated by
historical lectures, inspiring speeches, and frequent gatherings of the
clans. Here every move­ment initiated in the old land has met with a
generous, ready, and sympathetic response, whether its object was to
raise immediate funds for the relief of our famine-stricken countrymen,
or to help them to conquer the tyranny of bad and brutal landlordism, or
to join with them in the righteous demand for the restitution of a native
parliament, or to cheer the declining days of the men who have suffered
for their love of country. Here is the head-quarters of the leading Irish
organisation, the St. Patrick's Society, num­bering 1,000 members, and
having an accumulated fund of £15,000. Here were celebrated with the
utmost enthusiasm the centenaries of Daniel O'Connell, Thomas Moore, and
Henry Grattan. Here, on each recurring national anni­versary, Irishmen of
all shades of opinion and diversities of creed, unite to do honour to the
common toast, " Our Native Land." And here, many a time and oft, has a
political orator addressed the surging and excited crowd of free and
independent electors, for St. Patrick's Hall is the polling-place for the
West Melbourne constituency, Which returns two members to parliament.

* Brother of the late Sir John Gray and uncle of the present Mr. E. Dwyer
Gray, M.P.

In the hollow between the two hills stands the popular Church of St.
Francis of Assisium, occupying the position on which the early Irish
Catholics first assembled in a little body to worship their Creator. A
large cross, erected in the grounds attached to the present church,
indicates the precise spot where the first Mass was offered up on
Victorian soil by the late Father Patrick Bonaventure Greoghegan, the
earliest Irish missionary to the infant settlement, and after­wards the
energetic Bishop of Adelaide, South Australia. Its historical character
as the cradle of Irish Catholicism in Victoria has made St. Francis' the
most popular church of the city, and nowhere in the colonies, or even in
Ireland itself, could a more genuinely Irish congregation be found. It
can accommodate about 2,000 persons; but as a rule, the seating
accommodation is wholly inadequate to the numbers in attendance. Not only
are the passages filled, but many are to be seen kneeling outside the
doors, unable to obtain admission. The national character of the
congregation becomes manifest, when in the course of a sermon, the
preacher makes an incidental allusion to the old land her sufferings for
the faith, the achievements of her sons her fortitude and fidelity in the
past, and her bright destiny in the future as " a nation once again." The
panegyric of St. Patrick is here an annual institution. It is preached on
the Sunday nearest the national anniversary, and then the throng becomes
something astonishing-. Several reasons have been given why St. Francis'
Church should have taken such a hold on the popular liking, but the one
advanced by a witty Irish priest, when asked his opinion, is rather
ingenious: " You see," he said, " it is a nice walk down hill to St.
Francis' from every quarter, and the people never think of the up-hill
journey afterwards." And this is literally true, for, no matter in what
direction you start for St. Francis", you walk down a decline, it being
built, as already mentioned, in the hollow between the Eastern and the
Western hills. This latter circumstance renders the locality at times
both disagreeable and dangerous during heavy rains, for the running
streams converge from all points in this hollow and flow past St.
Francis' Church in a foaming torrent to the Yarra. According to
tradition, after one of these temporary floods, a heavily-laden waggon
and a team of horses once sank completely out of sight in the soft soil
immediately in front of St. Francis'. But this occurred in the early
days, when there were no smooth, substantial pavements, and strong
macadamized roads as at present. It is in St. Francis Church on Sunday
evenings, at Vespers, that the Irish, ser­vant girls from all parts of
the city and suburbs are to be seen in force. As a class they are a
credit to their country and their creed. By the majority of Protestant
masters and mistresses, an Irish girl is preferred before all others for
her virtue, honesty, and integrity. " No Irish need apply" is reversed at
the antipodes, for Irish girls are sought, asked, and invited, even by
those who hold their country and creed in detestation.

The reason is obvious. Experience has taught them that an Irish girl, who
is attentive to her religious duties, can be trusted under all
circumstances, and in every position of responsibility in household
affairs. It rarely happens that a bigoted master absolutely refuses to
allow a servant girl to go to Mass or Vespers. Still such cases have
occurred, but the girl was usually too high-spirited and too loyal to her
faith to submit to such an unwarrantable deprivation of her liberty and
her religious rights. She has informed her confessor of the
circumstances-he has advised her to quit the place at once; she
immediately takes the course recom­mended, and very soon she obtains
another and a better situation, one in which no obstacle will be thrown
in the way of the performance of her religious duties. Taken as a body,
the thousands of Irish girls who emigrated to the Australian colonies
during the past thirty years have worthily upheld the honour of their
race.* The great majority of them married well and became the mothers of
the fine body of Irish-Australians that are now growing to maturity. But
in their material prosperity they did not forget the old land or those
they left behind them. There is no means of ascertaining the total amount
sent home by Irish girls from Victoria, but all contemporary evidence
goes to show that it must have been a very large sum in the
aggregate-many thousands of pounds. Every girl seemed to regard it as a
duty incumbent upon her to send something regularly home to her aged
parents, or to bring out a sister or a brother to the golden land. Not
only that, but these hard-toiling girls were always amongst the first to
subscribe to every national movement from the purest of patriotic
impulses. They love to dress well in public, and this has given rise to a
good deal of cheap wit at their expense, but what if they do indulge in a
little harmless finery ? It is but an innocent feminine weakness after
all, and only deserving of censure when it passes into extravagance,
which it certainly does not do in the case of the Irish girls of
Melbourne.

* "The best servants I found during my travels in the colonies were Irish
girls educated at the Roman Catholic orphanages."-Mr. G. A. Sala.

"During my short colonial experience," remarks Mr. William Kelly, in his
interesting " Life in Victoria," " I was much surprised at finding so
large a proportion of the Irish leaven in the population, which, previous
to the gold digging, I always understood was three-fourths Scotch with a
good dash of English besides, in its lower and even secondary ranks. And
the surprise was no more than natural, knowing as I did the alluring
attractions held out by America to Irish emigrants-firstly in the
extraordinary cheapness of the rate and the shortness of the passage;
secondly, in the low price and easy acquirement of land, and thirdly, in
the witching lures of consanguinity so inherent in Celtic bosoms. But
not­withstanding these advantages and the discouragements of a voyage
over five times as long and five times as costly, thou­sands of Irish
poured in, independently of those who came out as free emigrants, all of
whom were absorbed or found profit­able occupations immediately after
arrival; few, if any, con­tributing to swell the ranks of those
discontented grumblers who were most eloquent when cursing the colony
because they could not find gold on the surface, and who were always sure
to be found sunning themselves lazily in the vicinity of the labour
market, or propping up the portals of the lowest class of public-houses.
Perhaps the explanation is to be "found in the fact that any change from
the impoverished and degraded condition of the Irish peasant on his
native soil must necessarily have been one for the better, and that
therefore, on arrival, he was only too glad to embrace the first
opportunity that presented itself. However, whatever the reason, all
impartial observers will agree, and statistics will bear me out in the
assertion, that Irishmen constituted a very small proportion of the
loafing population, or of the criminal crowd that filled the gaols and
asylums; while I may affirm, without fear of contradiction, that the
proverbial chastity of the Irish female was nobly sustained by those poor
girls who found themselves standing alone, without parents or protectors,
in the midst of the staring contami­nations of the Victorian metropolis."

A few hundred yards to the east of St. Francis' is a mag­nificent block
of buildings comprising the Public Library, the Museum, and the National
Grallery, all founded by a distinguished, philanthropic, and scholarly
Irish-Australian, Sir Redmond Barry, a native of Cork, and a
fellow-graduate of Isaac Butt, with whom he was called to the Irish bar
in 1838. According to one of his biographers, "Barry had scarcely been
called to the bar when he formed the deter­mination of emigrating to some
less overcrowded field; for the Irish bar then presented no immediate
prospects, but a very long and dreary expectation of the demise of a
sufficient number of judges and leading barristers to raise the juniors
to an amount of business sufficient for their support." In 1839 he
arrived in Sydney, but only remained there for a few weeks, preferring to
make the southern city his home. Even as early as 1841 he was the
recognised leader of the bar in Melbourne. He took a prominent part in
the agita­tion for separation from the parent colony, and very soon after
the successful issue of that contest, when the settlement became an
independent colony, he was elevated to the. bench of the Supreme Court,
and creditably filled that high position for the long period of
twenty-nine years. One of Sir Redmond's ardent admirers has recorded that
one of his first actions on arriving in Melbourne was the " founding of a
reading club for working men. There were few books in the settlement, and
no place where a poor man could have easy access to books or magazines.
Barry set aside a room in his house as a little lending library, on the
shelves of which stood Frazer's Magazine, Blackwood, Cornhill, &c., and a
small selection of standard works. Here the working man of the
neighbourhood could look in and select his book, no doubt having at times
to listen patiently to one of those elaborate little addresses, in which
Mr. Barry was fond of pouring out floods of inconceivably out-of-the-way
erudition; but those who came in contact with him, all had the same
impression of him, as a man who took a pleasure in seeing folks around
him happy, even though it should be at the expense of some little
discomfort to himself. This little institution is interesting as having
been the means of sug­gesting the great library which he afterwards
proposed and helped to found." The Melbourne Public Library now ranks
among the great libraries of the world. It has a collection of 150,000
volumes and 20,000 pamphlets. All the year round it is open from ten in
the morning until ten at night, and the average attendance of visitors is
1,000 per day. The present librarian is Thomas Francis Bride, LL.D., a
distinguished young Irish-Australian, who passed from St. Patrick's
College through the Melbourne University to the



CHAPTER III.


THE STORY OF BURKE AND WILLS.

AMBROSE KYTE-HOW AN IRISH LAD ATTAINED TO OPULENCE-HIS MUNIFI­CENT
BENEFACTIONS-STARTS AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION TO CEOSS THE AUSTRALIAN
CONTINENT-EOBEET O'HARA BURKE APPOINTED LEADER OP THE EXPEDITION-SETTING
OUT AMIDST POPULAR ENTHUSIASM-TEH PEAT SUCCESSFULLY ACCOMPLISHED-BACKWARD
MARCH OP THE VICTORS -A RACE FOR LIFE-SERIES OP FATAL MISTAKES-TRAGIC
CLOSE OF A BRILLIANT ENTERPRISE-DEATH OF BURKE AND WILLS-KING SAVED BY
THE BLACKS-IMPORTANT RESULTS OF THE EXPEDITION..

"We must regard him as one of the most striking instances of success
which even Victoria affords. Of humble origin, and with but little
education and few natural ad­vantages, he, by a dexterous use of
favourable circum­stances, accumulated a large fortune and won his way to
a leading place in the community. It is gratifying to be able to reflect
that, when he had reached a position of affluence, besides performing
many acts of charity known only within a limited circle, he distinguished
himself by making several munificent donations to stimulate useful
enterprise and advance the interests of the country in which his wealth
had been won."*

* The Melbourne Argus, Nov. 17, 1868.

It was in these words that the leading journal of Victoria concluded its
account of the career of a remarkable Irish-Australian, whose life reads
like a page from the 'Arabian Nights' Entertainments." Leaving his home
in Nenagh, County Tipperary, in his eighteenth year, Ambrose Kyte was one
of a number of young Irishmen of spirit and determination who had
resolved on building homes for themselves in the distant south. On
landing in Melbourne in 1840, he hired himself at ten shillings a week,
but it was not long before his salary was doubled. In five years' time he
was able to start business on his own account, and he succeeded so well
that he gradually acquired by purchase a considerable amount of property
in the principal street of the city. Then came the gold discoveries, with
their consequent rapid rise in the value of houses and lands. Thus it
came about that the young Irish lad, who in 1840, was glad to accept ten
shillings a week for the hard labour of his hands, was enabled in 1857 to
retire from business with an annual rent-roll of L19,000, and to enter
Parliament as the representative of East Melbourne. Unlike others who
were enriched in a similar manner, he never overlooked the obligations he
owed both to his native and his adopted land.

A moralist of the era has placed on record the reflections suggested to
his mind by the contemplation of the noble philanthropy of Ambrose Kyte,
as contrasted with the miserly selfishness of many others who had been
equally favoured by fortune: " One act of splendid generosity is worthily
fol­lowed by another, and the careful maintenance of the donor's
incognito enhances the merit of the action by placing the motive beyond
the reach of imputation. In proportion as such instances are rare, so
should they be selected for special eulogy and pointed out as admirable
examples. Of the hundreds and thousands who amass wealth or achieve an
independence in these colonies, how few there are, who, by so much as a
solitary act of beneficence, acknowledge their gratitude to the country
which gave them fortune, identify themselves with its advancement, or
leave any honourable trace of their success upon its history." As was
truly said by one of his contemporaries, " It would be well for Victoria
if she had a few more such benefactors as this industrious, shrewd, yet
withal free-handed son of Tipperary." From time to time prizes of £1,000
for the encouragement of agriculture and the development of the various
resources of the colony, were. offered through the medium of the
principal metropolitan journal by " A Merchant of Melbourne." It was some
time before"people in general came to know that the anonymous merchant of
Melbourne was Mr. Ambrose Kyte. His most memorable contribution of this
kind, and the most far-reaching in its consequences, was the offer of
£1,000 as the nucleus of an exploration fund for the fitting out of a
Vic­torian band of explorers to cross the continent, and report as to
what actually existed in the great unseen interior of Australia. In the
words of an eminent Australian litterateur,* " It was the munificent, but
modest act of an Irishman--Mr.-Ambrose Kyte-that gave the first impulse
to the movement which resulted in the crossing of this continent from end
to end; and it-was also an Irishman, Robert O'Hara Burke-who commanded
that gallant band of explorers, and who, having, commenced his heroic
work, confronted death as calmly as he had conquered difficulties and
disregarded dangers."

* Mr. James Smith.

On the occasion of a complimentary address being pre­sented to him, in
the presence of more than 2,000 of his fellow-citizens, by way of
recognising the philanthropy and public spirit by which he had been
actuated in originating the first expedition across the Australian
continent, Ambrose Kyte ably vindicated the rights and duties of
Australian citizenship. He emphatically declared that every citizen owed
a heavy debt of Vgratitude to the country which had enriched him, and
that he was called upon, instead of spend­ing his fortune in distant
lands, and purchasing with it the means of indolent self-indulgence, to
apply some portion of it to promote the welfare and accelerate the
progress of the community, among whom he had risen to opulence. As to the
gift of £1,000 for exploration purposes, he looked upon that sum as
nought in itself, but it derived its value from the fact that it was the
donation of a working man, who out of the proceeds of his hard earnings
and years of toil, had made a sacrifice as soon as he was able to do so.
Out of that sacri­fice had arisen a monument which would never be
obliterated. Mr. Kyte's patriotic offer elicited a response of £3,210
from the Victorian public, and the exploration fund was further
supplemented by a parliamentary grant of several thousands. The work of
organising the most ambitious effort of exploration that had, up to that
time, been attempted by any of the colonies, was intrusted to a committee
of the Royal Society. General satisfaction was felt at the appointment of
Robert O'Hara Burke to the leadership of the expedition, for he was a man
who had given signal proofs of courage, commanding ability, and the
possession of many qualities that peculiarly fitted him to head the
daring enterprise of crossing an unknown continent from sea to sea. A
member of an old Galway family, he served in the Austrian army for some
years, and retired with the rank of captain. After a brief stay in his
native land, he decided on emigrating to the colonies. His reputation had
preceded him, and the Government of Victoria secured his services in the
capacity of inspector of police, the position he occupied when his ardent
tempera­ment and love of adventure prompted him to volunteer to take the
leadership of the contemplated exploring expedition. No expense was
spared in the equipment of the expedition, and on August 20th, 1860, the
brave little band, with the soldierly figure of Burke riding in the van,
left Melbourne, amidst the acclamations of the populace, to penetrate the
mysteries of the interior. On arriving at Cooper's Creek, the farthest
point in a due northerly direction that previous explorers were able to
attain, Burke determined to establish a depot to act as a sort of base of
operations, on which he could fall back in the event of insurmountable
obstacles opposing his progress through the thousand miles of country to
which his face was turned, and on which no white man's foot had yet been
placed. Leaving this depot in charge of Mr. Brahe and a small party,
Burke chose three companions, Wills, King and Gray (the latter two
com­patriots of his own) and, with the characteristic impetuosity of the
Irish soldier, made a bold dash into the unexplored regions ahead. Had he
been less enthusiastic in his enter­prise, and less eager to earn the
distinction of being the first man to cross the continent, the terrible
series of disasters that enshrouded the close of an otherwise signally
successful expedition would, in all human probability, have been averted.
But Burke's ardent impulsiveness was not solely responsible for the
calamitous close of this great event in Australian history. The
exploration committee sitting in Melbourne, who should have sent a vessel
round to the north of the continent to meet the explorers after they had
finished their hazardous enterprise, did not do so until it was too late
to be of any practical service. The result was that when Burke, Wills,
King and Gray stood as victors on the shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria,
on February 4th, 1861, none of their countrymen were present to witness
their triumph, no friendly steamer was at hand to bear them back to the
popular ovation that awaited them in Melbourne; and so they had no other
alternative than to retrace their steps, retraverse the overland route
with their faces now turned to the south, and make with all possible
speed for the depot at Cooper's Creek. It was literally a race for life,
and poor Gray perished on the way. The surviving three, by a singularly
sad coincidence, reached Cooper's Creek on the afternoon of the very day
on which the depot had been abandoned by the party whom Burke had left in
charge. Brahe, the officer in command of the depot, finding his stock of
provisions growing smaller, and feeling convinced that the explorers must
have either perished, or else returned to the settled districts by some
other route, had broken up his camp and started southwards in complete
ignorance of the immediate proximity of the returning heroes. Before
leaving, he took the precaution of burying some provisions at the foot of
a tree which he had marked with the word "Dig." When Burke and his
companions came up a few hours afterwards, weak, weary, and well-nigh
exhausted, and found the camp on which their salvation depended, silent
and deserted, their anguish, astonishment and cruel disappointment may
well be imagined. It was some time before the unfortunate little band
realised the full extent of this wholly unexpected disaster. After having
achieved the great work which all their predecessors in the field of
Australian exploration had failed to ac­complish, this was indeed a sad
anti-climax to all the hopes and anticipations that had cheered their
lonely march across the wide Australian plains. When, after a brief
interval of dazed astonishment, they recovered from the effects of this
terrible disappointment, they raised their weak voices in unison in the
hope that possibly some of their old comrades, who ought to have been
there to meet and welcome them, might still be within hearing. But no
answering cry brought relief to their strained ears. Then, looking
around, they descried the marked tree, and, eagerly turning up the soil
beneath, found the food of which they were so much in need, together with
a brief note from Brahe, bearing that morning's date and recording how he
had broken up the camp and started homewards with all his men " in good
condition." This latter statement was not correct, for it was afterwards
proved conclusively that several members of Brahe's party were weak and
sickly. Brahe may be acquitted of entertaining any deliberate in­tention
to deceive, but to his thoughtlessness in not setting down the plain
unvarnished truth, the disasters that immediately ensued were in a great
measure attri­butable. For the triumphant explorers held a consultation,
and the opinion of Burke unfortunately prevailed, viz., that they could
not hope to overtake a party " all in good condition " when they
themselves were in the worst con­dition imaginable. If they had only
pushed on for a few hours more they would actually have come up with
Brahe and his party, who did not travel very far the first day. As the
Eev. Father Woods remarks in his exhaustive " History of Australian
Exploration," " they were camped within a few miles of each other, and
either party would have sacrificed everything to know that the others
were so near." In deciding to remain for awhile at Cooper's Creek to
recruit their wasted strength, instead of at once advancing on the track
of their comrades. Burke, Wills and King committed the unfortunate error
that cost two of them their lives. And, when they did resolve to start
afresh, they made still another fatal mistake in branching off towards
South Australia as being, in the opinion of Burke, the nearest goal of
relief, instead of continuing on the main homeward route. Had they
adopted the latter course they would most assuredly have encountered
Brahe, who was evidently not at peace with his conscience. His desertion
of the depot, without knowing the fate of Burke and his companions, was
troubling his mind, and he deter­mined to make a final effort to
ascertain if the explorers had returned. He accordingly retraced his
steps to Cooper's Creek and, to all appearance, the site of the depot was
in just the same condition as he had left it a few days before. All would
yet have been well, if he had only thought it advisable to verify
appearances by seeing if the cavity at the foot of his marked tree still
contained what he had deposited in it on leaving. Had he taken that
simple step, he would have found to his great surprise that the
provisions and his letter were gone, and that the journals of the
expedition occupied their place, thus afford­ing conclusive testimony
that Burke and his companions had returned and were somewhere in the
vicinity. But Brahe, with characteristic thoughtlessness, forgot to do
what ninety-nine men out of an average hundred would have done under
similar circumstances. After a hurried inspection of the scene, he went
away, fully convinced from very insufficient premises that no white man
had visited the place since the breaking-up of the camp. By an
extra­ordinary piece of ill-luck, Brahe was not long gone when poor Wills
laboriously wended his way back to Cooper's Creek from the new direction
that the ill-fated explorers had taken. He, in his turn, anxiously looked
around but could see no signs of the presence of friends, Brahe, by
another grievous oversight, having left no indication whatever to show
that he had been there a second time. Then came, the tragic close of this
brilliant and successful enterprise. Burke and his two companions,
enfeebled and emaciated by fatigue and privation, struggled on in the
vain hope of reaching one of the outlying squatters' stations of South
Australia. "Wills was the first to succumb to exhaustion; Burke yielded
up his brave spirit a day or two afterwards; and King would assuredly
have shared the sad fate of his companions in mis­fortune, had he not
luckily fallen in with a party of blacks who treated him very kindly and
allowed him to live with them for several months. He was the hardiest of
the three, and by his indefatigable exertions throughout the appalling
difficulties and disappointments that met them at every step, he
succeeded in prolonging the lives of Burke and Wills for days. The last
words committed to paper by the dying leader of the expedition were: "
King has behaved nobly and deserves to be well rewarded." King was in
truth a remarkable example of the devoted Irishman of humble birth, who
conceives an ardent affection for the brave leader under whose banner he
is serving, and who is ready to follow whithersoever he goeth. As one of
the historians of the ex­pedition rightly remarks: " Having tended Burke
and Wills to their death, this brave young soldier preserved their papers
with a faithful devotion and constant heroism worthy of the Victoria
Cross."

When Brahe arrived in Melbourne with the startling news that none of the
explorers had returned to the depot at Cooper's Creek, and when no
tidings of them could be obtained from any source, the whole colony was
thrown into a state of excitement; and the exploration committee,
sud­denly awakened out of its slumbers, began to exhibit an activity that
would have prevented all the fatalities of the expedition, if it had only
been exercised at the proper time. No less than five well-equipped relief
parties were fitted out and despatched with all possible speed, each
converging on the track of the missing explorers from different points,
so as to make the search systematic and complete. The party headed by Mr.
Alfred Howitt was the only one that achieved the immediate object in
view, but it is worthy of note that the others, in searching for Burke
and Wills, still further explored and opened up the great interior of the
Australian continent. Thus, even in death, these vanished heroes advanced
the cause for which in life they had worked with so much energy,
enthusiasm, and self-sacrifice. Well and truly has Father Woods called
this " the most glorious era in the history of Australian discovery."
Howitt's party, after a diligent search of all the country around
Cooper's Creek, at length discovered poor King sitting in a native hut.
Howitt states in his diary that when they found this solitary survivor of
Eurke's party, he presented a melancholy appearance, being wasted to a
shadow and hardly distin­guishable as a civilised being but for the
remnants of clothes upon him. The kindness and presence of friends,
however, soon effected a considerable change for the better in his
personal appearance, and enabled him to accompany Howitt's party back to
Melbourne, where he received the warm and generous welcome that was due
to the sole survivor of an expedition at once so successful and
unfortunate. Parlia­ment voted him a substantial pension, and also
awarded liberal grants to the immediate relatives of Burke and Wills. A
public funeral was decreed as a national expression of the pervading
grief at the irreparable loss of " two as gallant spirits as ever
sacrificed life for the extension of science and the cause of mankind."
Accordingly, a second expedition was sent to bring back the remains of
Burke and Wills from their lonely resting-place at Cooper's Creek, for
interment in the same city, whose whole population had turned out not
many months before to gaze on the clashing leader and cheer his
cavalcade, as they started, full of life and sanguine antici­pations on
their path of discovery through the untouched heart of Australia. Now,
what a striking dramatic contrast! The city again sent forth its
thousands, and deputations attended from every place of importance; but
they all slowly followed in silence the hearse that contained the bones
of the Irish-Australian hero who was the observed of all observers on
that former day of pride and exultation. " A huge monolith of granite
marks the spot in the Melbourne Cemetery where Burke and his faithful
coadjutor, Wills, sleep side by side, and on one of the city eminences
their statues rest on the same pedestal, telling to each successive
generation of young Australians a story of dauntless courage, chivalric
heroism, rare fortitude, noble self-sacrifice, and ultimate triumph, only
to be followed by the most painful and harrowing of deaths, with friends
so near and yet so far. Burke's dashing exploit, while it unhappily
killed himself, also killed the theory that the centre of Australia was
an arid impassable desert-a theory persistently promulgated by previous
explorers, and which had met with almost universal acceptance until he
practically demonstrated its utter fallacy. The journals of the
expedition, when pub­lished, conveyed the gratifying intelligence that
Burke and Wills had, for the most part, travelled through a rich pastoral
country capable of feeding countless flocks and herds.

Settlers by the score followed in their track, and, in less than a year,
the whole of the country along their line of march was occupied by the
advanced guard of civilised pro­gress. "So rapid has been the occupation
of this hitherto unknown country," says an official report of the era,
"that, on the east coast alone, the sheep stations now taken up and
stocked extend from the settled districts in an unbroken line to within
one hundred miles of the Gulf of Carpentaria Burkes expedtion in fact
completely revolutionised the accepted notions of Australian geography,
and filled the map of the great southern continent with the host of name,
that are now seen abounding where a huge blank space had Previously
exited. It is no small honour to the Irish in Australia that one of their
number was the leading spirit in effecting so wondrous and beneficent a
transformation in the face of the country which they had made their
adopted home.



CHAPTER IV.


A BIRTHPLACE OF FREEDOM.

AN EARLY IRISH EXPLORER-PRIMITIVE SQUATTERS-ESMOND'S DISCOVERY OF
GOLD-FEVERISH EXCITEMENT-HUSH OF GOLD-SEEKERS FROM THE OLD WORLD-LARGE
PERCENTAGE OF IRISHMEN-THE GOVERNMENT ISSUES LICENCES TO DIG-ARBITRARY
AND BRUTAL MODE OF COLLECTING THE LICENCE-FEES-TWO ZEALOUS IRISH
PRIESTS-THEIR TREATMENT BY INSO­LENT TROOPERS-GROWING AGITATION FOR
REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES-MASS MEETING ON BAKERY HILL-12,000 DIGGERS BURN
THEIR LICENCES-PETER LALOR CHOSEN COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF-THE DIGGERS OCCUPY
THE EUREKA STOCKADE-ATTACKED BY THE MILITARY-THE STOCKADE
CAP­TURED-DIGGERS CHARGED WITH HIGH TREASON AND ACQUITTED- ABOLITION OF
THE HATEFUL LICENCE-FEE-DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM WOK BY THE DIGGERS-DEVELOPMENT
OF MINING-DEEP SINKING-REMARK­ABLE CAREER OF THE BAND OF HOPE-FATHER
DUNNE, THE PIONEER PRIEST-THE BALLARAT OF TO-DAY.

Situated at a height of 1,437 feet above the level of the sea, and at a
distance of 70 miles from Melbourne, is Ballarat, the centre of the
richest gold-field in the world. Ballarat is a compound native word,
meaning in our language a camp­ing or resting-place, " balla " being the
aboriginal equivalent for elbow, or, in a figurative sense, reclining at
one's ease with the hand supporting the head. No name could have been
more suitable or appropriate during the decade that the locality remained
a pastoral solitude, but it completely lost its significance when the
mineral wealth of Ballarat became known to the world, and thousands of
gold-seekers from every civilised country came rushing southwards like a
mighty human avalanche. In every infant settlement it is only natural
that adventurous spirits should be found forming themselves into
exploring parties, with the object of ascertaining the capabilities of
the back country. Such a party was organised by Mr. D'Arcy, an Irish
surveyor, very soon after the settlement of Melbourne. With five kindred
spirits he started to explore the country to the west. On the verge of
the horizon they saw a solitary peak, Mount Bun-inyong, towards which
they directed their steps. Ascending it, they gazed with delight on the
splendid expanse of pastoral country all around them, little dreaming
that they were looking on what was destined to be the greatest gold-field
of the age, and the site of the future prosperous city of Ballarat. It
would appear that the members of this expedition became separated in some
manner, and only succeeded in reaching the coast after much danger and
priva­tion. But the intelligence they brought was too valuable to be
overlooked. Several parties set out with the object of making a permanent
settlement, and the rich natural pastures of the district were soon taken
up by these early squatters, most of whom became immensely wealthy in
later years through the discovery of gold on their lands. But, on their
first occupation of the country, they dwelt in primeval simplicity, in
the midst of their flocks and herds, without a thought of the golden
treasures beneath their feet. A little township sprang into existence at
the base of Mount Bunin-yong, and became the recognised centre of the
district. Six miles to the west was the site of the present city of
Ballarat, town of Ballarat East, and borough of Sebastopol, described by
those who viewed the scene at the time as a "pleasantly-picturesque
pastoral country. Mount and range, and table-land, gullies and creeks and
grassy slopes, here black and dense forest, there only sprinkled with
trees, and yonder showing clear reaches of grass, made up the general
landscape. A pastoral quiet reigned everywhere. Over the whole expanse
there was nothing of civilisation but a few pastoral settlers and their
retinue-the occasional flock of nibbling sheep, or groups of cattle
browsing in the broad herbage."*

* " History of Ballarat," by William Bramwell Withers, t "Early History
of Victoria," by F. P. Labilliere.

An early settler has given a graphic description of the quietness that
reigned supreme: "I often passed," he says, "the spot on which Ballarat
is built, and there could not be a prettier spot imagined. It was the
very picture of repose. There was in general plenty of grass and water,
and often have I seen the cattle in considerable numbers lying in quiet
enjoyment after being satisfied with the pasture. One day I met the
keeper of a shepherd's hut, and he told me the solitude was so painful
that he could not endure it. He saw no one from the time the shepherds
went out in the morn­ing till they returned at night. I was the only
person he had ever seen there who was not connected with the station."
Mr. F. P. Labilliere, barrister of the Middle Temple, says he " well
remembers the neighbourhood of Ballarat for two or three years before
gold was thought of. Some months before the discovery he passed near the
field, if not over it, on the occasion of a day's excursion, which as a
boy he made to Lake Burrumbeet with some friends from Buninyong. The
whole country then was devoted to sheep pasture. There were no farms, and
not a fence was to be seen along the bush road, or rather track between
the lake and Mount Bunin-yong."

But a time was at hand when all this Arcadian stillness and simplicity
would have to make way for the busy hum and strange ways of camping
crowds of all nations, when the nibbling sheep and grazing cattle would
have to retire before red-shirted and loud-spoken miners, and when the
clear pellucid waters of the Yarrowee would be ruthlessly diverted and
discoloured in the eager and all-absorbing search for gold. The scene was
indeed to be changed. After ten years of silence and slumber, Ballarat
was to become a name famous throughout the world. It is now a
well-established fact that the existence of gold was known to several of
the early squatters, but such was their horror of change, and their fear
of seeing their properties overrun by hordes of lawless adventurers, that
they succeeded in keeping the important secret to themselves for some
time, and staving" off the evil day as long as possible. Some of them
certainly did communicate privately with various colonial governors on
the subject, but these latter dignitaries were still more, alarmed at the
possible consequences and the increased responsibility of their position,
if the exciting news became generally known and a rush of gold-seekers
set in from the Old World. Sir Charles Fitzr\oy, in an official despatch
to Earl Grey, informed the Secretary of State for the Colonies that he
had been shown a large mass of golden quartz, but he feared " that any
open investigation by the government would only tend to agitate the
public mind and divert persons from their proper and more certain
avocations." But when Hargreaves and Esmond returned from California,
fully impressed with the conviction that Australia also was auriferous,
it became a matter of impossibility to conceal the golden secret any
longer. Hargreaves immediately com­menced prospecting for the precious
metal at Summerhill Creek, in the Bathurst district of New South Wales,
and succeeded in finding several nuggets and a considerable quantity of
gold dust. His success naturally produced the greatest excitement
throughout New South Wales and Victoria, and a general movement of the
population set in towards the " diggings " discovered by Hargreaves.
Victoria was in danger of losing all her able-bodied men, when, at the
critical moment, Esmond published his still more astonishing discoveries
at Clunes, about 20 miles to the N.N.W. of Ballarat. This timely
intimation had the effect of not only stopping the exodus to New South
Wales, but of inducing a general rush to Victoria from the other
colonies. The result was the gradual development of the famous Ballarat
gold-field, " the riches unearthed there," according to the historian of
the era," not only quickly attracting all the other prospectors, but
setting the colony on fire with excitement from end to end." Patrick
Connor and Thomas Dunn-unmistakable Milesian names-were the leaders of
the first two parties that commenced actual work on this, the most
celebrated gold-field of our century. *Mr. Withers, in his " History of
Ballarat," expresses the opinion that "the honour of dis­covery seems to
be tolerably evenly balanced between the two parties, though it may
perhaps be held that the balance of priority inclines to the side of
Connor's party, and it is said in support of Connor's claim that he was
always regarded as leader of the diggers at the meetings held in those
first days when the authorities made their first demand for license
fees." Connor is dead, but Dunn still survives at a ripe old age, and
steadfastly maintains his claim to the title of " Father of Ballarat." "
I shall give you," he says, " a full and true account of our gold
prospecting and the first discovery of Grolden Point, Ballarat. Our party
consisted of Richard Turner, James Merrick,Greorge Wilson,Charles
Gerrard, James Batty, and myself, Thomas Dunn. We started from town
(Geelong") on Tuesday, .August 5th, 1851, met with an accident on
Batesford Hill, the loaded dray passing over the driver's stomach,
proceeded on our journey to the Clunes, but stopped at Buninyong nearly a
fortnight. The party getting dis­satisfied, Wilson and I agreed to go in
search of better diggings, so we started from Buninyong on Sunday
moraine, August 24th, 1851, between ten and eleven o'clock, with a tin
dish and shovel, reached the Black Hill * at about two o'clock, and left
at about half-past three. In coming over Winter's Flat I said to George,
'There is a likely little quartz hill; let us try it before we go home.'
It was pouring rain at the time. So with that I cut a square turf, then
partly filled the dish, and went to the creek to wash it. Oh, what joy!
there were about ten or twelve grains of fine gold. So we left off,
covered up the turf, and made for home as fast as possible through the
rain; reached home like two drowned rats; started next morning early for
our discovery; reached there in the afternoon, and had the cradle at work
next morning. I firmly believe that I, Thomas Dunn, and George Wilson
were the first men, and got the first gold, on the little quartz hill now
known as Golden Point."

* An eminence overlooking Ballarat. It was subsequently discovered to be
literally a mountain of gold.

Such is Dunn's homely narrative of the circumstances surrounding the
birth of Ballarat. The probability is that Dunn and Connor's parties were
on the field almost simul­taneously, but, at this distance of time, it is
impossible to ascertain with any degree of certainty which of them
actually raised the first gold. First discoverers, as a rule, are
singu­larly unlucky and unfortunate, and the story of Columbus is
continually repeating itself. Having sown the seed amidst danger and
difficulty, they find themselves unscrupulously elbowed aside, whilst
others gather in the golden harvest.

Such was the hard fate of Dunn and Connor, and the members of their
parties. Their immediate followers were raised to rank and opulence by
the riches of Ballarat, but they themselves were left in silence and
neglect to earn a small and uncertain daily wage. Even in later years
when the Victorian Legislature scattered thousands of pounds in rewards
for the discovery of particular gold-fields, the undeniable claims of
Dunn and Connor were completely overlooked, the prizes to which they were
honestly entitled having been showered for the most part on obtrusive
applicants, whose assertiveness, pertinacity and political in­fluence
constituted their chief claims to recognition. It was owing to the
shrewdness of one Irish digger that the underground treasures of Ballarat
came to be revealed in all their native richness. Speaking of this
important discovery in his " History of Australia," Mr. Sutherland says:
 "The first comers began to work at a bend in the creek, which they
called Golden Point. Here for a time each man could easily earn from
twenty to forty pounds a day, and crowds of people hurried to the scene.
Every one selected a piece of ground, which he called his claim, and set
to work to dig a hole in it, but when the bottom of the sandy layer was
reached, and there seemed to be nothing but pipe-clay below, the claim
was supposed to be worked out and was straightway abandoned. However, a
miner named Cavenagh determined to try an experiment, and having entered
one of these deserted claims, he dug through the layer of pipe­clay, when
he had the good fortune to come suddenly upon several large deposits of
grain gold. He had reached what had been in long-past ages the bed of the
creek, where in every little hollow, for century after century, the
flowing waters had gently deposited the gold which had been carried with
them from the mountains. In many cases these ' pockets,' as they were
called, were found to contain gold to the value of thousands of pounds,
so that very soon all the claims were carried down a few feet further,
and with such success that, before a month had passed, Ballarat took rank
as the richest gold-field in the world. In October there were 10,000 men
at work on the Yarrowee; acre after acre was covered with circular heaps
of red and yellow sand, each with its shaft in the middle, in which men
were toiling beneath the ground to excavate the soil and pass it to their
companions above, who quickly hurried with it to the banks of the creek,
where twelve hundred cradles, rocked by brawny arms, were washing the
sand from the gold." The extraordinary excitement produced by the
Ballarat discoveries is thus described in a despatch of the governor of
the period, Mr. Latrobe, to Earl Grey: " It is quite impossible for me to
describe to your lordship the effect which these discoveries have had
upon the whole community. Within the last three weeks the towns of
Melbourne and Greelong and their large suburbs have been in appearance
almost emptied of many classes of their male inhabitants. Not only have
the idlers to be found in every community, and day labourers in town and
the adjacent country, shopmen, artisans and mechanics of every
descrip­tion thrown up their employments-in most cases leaving their
employers and their wives and families to take care of themselves-and run
off to the workings, but responsible tradesmen, farmers, clerks of every
grade and not a few of the superior classes have followed; some unable to
with­stand the mania and force of the stream, but others because they
were, as employers of labour, left in the lurch and had no other
alternative. Cottages axe deserted, houses to let, business is at a
standstill, and even schools are closed. In some of the suburbs not a man
is left, and the women are known, for self-protection, to forget
neigh­bours' jars and to group together to keep house. The ships in the
harbour are in a great measure deserted, and masters of vessels, like
farmers, have made up parties with their men to go shares at the
diggings. Both here (Melbourne) and at Geelong all buildings and contract
works, public and private, are at a standstill."

When the exciting news was published in the Old World, the natural result
was an exodus on a very large scale to the Golden Land of the south. All
the nationalities of Europe were represented in this huge rush of
gold-seekers. Every county in Ireland sent its thousands. Indeed, the
large per­centage of Irishmen on the gold-fields soon became a very
noticeable feature. Mr. J. D'Ewes, who was the stipendiary magistrate in
charge of Ballarat during the early period of its history, relates that
on one occasion he witnessed a purchase, made by one of the banks, of
five thousand four hundred ounces of gold, the produce of one claim at
Eureka, discovered by a party of twelve Irishmen. The price paid by the
bank to the lucky Hibernians was £4 2s. per ounce, so that each man
received £1,845 as his share of the profits of this one golden hole.

For a time the Victorian Government, taken by surprise, was utterly
powerless in the presence of this unexpected influx of population, but it
eventually recovered its self-possession, proclaimed the right of the
Crown to the gold, despatched officials to preserve order, and issued
licenses to dig for the precious metal. At first the license fee was
fixed at Ll 10s. per month, but it was soon doubled in the hope of
thinning the crowds that continued to travel to the goldfields from all
the points of the compass. In course of time this poll-tax, as it really
was, assumed a most arbitrary and unjust character. It was levied alike
on every digger, whether successful or unsuccessful, and the brutal and
insulting manner in which it was enforced became an in­supportable
grievance, and led to a bloody conflict between the outraged diggers and
the tyrannical authorities. The ridiculous idea seemed rooted in the
minds of the governor and his advisers, that the gold-fields' population
could only be ruled and regulated on military principles. Hence the
diggers were allowed no representation whatever in the Victorian
Parliament, although the great majority of them were respectable men of
good family and education. They were tyrannised over by ignorant and
insolent officials, many of whom were originally expatriated for their
crimes, and were afterwards promoted into the ranks of the colonial
constabulary. These ex-convicts took a demoniac delight in annoying and
insulting the free-born diggers, and straining their petty authority to
the utmost. No sooner had an intending digger arrived on the field than
he was compelled to appear before one of these insolent officials, hand
over his first monthly payment of £3, and receive in return a license to
the following effect:

gold license.

No--Date--185-

The bearer --, having paid to me the sum of £3 sterling on account of the
territorial revenue, I hereby license him to dig, search for, and remove
gold on and from any such Crown lands as I shall assign to him for that
purpose during the month of--, 185-. This license is not transferable,
and must be produced whenever demanded

67 by me or any other person acting under the authority of the
government. Signed ----,

Commissioner.

It was the custom of the gold-fields' officials, supported by bodies of
armed mounted troopers, to sally out unexpectedly, surround the diggers
whilst at work, call upon them, with many oaths and insults, to produce
their licenses, and arrest all who could not exhibit the necessary
document. The prisoners would then be marched off to the " Government
Camp," and kept chained to large logs within its fortified lines until
such time as their friends came forward with monetary assistance to their
relief. One incident out of hundreds that might be narrated will serve to
show the coarse, reckless and unjustifiable manner in which these
ignorant officials carried out the duties intrusted to them, and which
eventually drove the gold-fields' population into open rebellion. Father
Patrick Srnyth was one of the first of the Irish priests to arrive on the
Ballarat gold-fields. He had a devoted personal attendant named John
Gregory, who was one day paying a visit of charity to some Catholic
friends. A license-hunting party of troopers came up, sur­rounded the
tent in which they were, and the officer in charge " commanded the
--wretches to come out of the tent and show him their licenses." Gregory
quietly told him that he was the servant of Father Smyth, and had no such
document. The troopers thereupon profusely damned both him and Father
Smyth, and took him into custody. As Gregory was not a very able-bodied
man, he asked his captors to take him to the Government Camp at once, and
not drag him after them all over the diggings in their search for
unlicensed miners. This reasonable request was refused with many curses
and blows, and the poor fellow was compelled to follow the brutal
troopers through the whole of the day's campaign. Next morning, although
it was evident at a glance that Gregory was physically unable to dig for
gold, he was fined £5 for having no license, and an additional £5 for
having committed an imaginary assault on one of the troopers! " In the
whole affair," says a contemporary account, " the Eev. Father Smyth was
certainly treated with but little courtesy, and the trumpery story of a
cripple assaulting an able-bodied mounted trooper is too ridiculous to
warrant serious atten­tion." Treatment of this description naturally
engendered a bitter feeling of resentment against the law and its local
administrators. The late Venerable Archdeacon Downing, who came up to
Ballarat almost simultaneously with Father Smyth, was frequently the
victim of the harsh tyranny of the insolent officials of those early
days. On one occasion Father Downing had pitched his tent at the Brown
Creek diggings, and, with his coat off, was hard at work digging a trench
round it to carry off the water, when a brutal trooper, coming up,
insisted that the priest was a digger, bailed him up, demanded his
license, and subjected him to the grossest indignities. Mr. "William
Kelly, author of " Life in Victoria," thus describes what happened to
himself and his friends on the very day of their arrival in Ballarat: "
While still sitting round the hole, musing and chatting on the strange
vicissitudes of life and the infinite mutability of fortune, we were
favoured with no very pleasing exem­plification in our own persons by the
unexpected appearance of a ' brace of traps ' (police), who demanded our
licenses; and, so far from being satisfied with our explanations, they
were rude and insolent, and, pretending to discredit our statements,
ordered us to march as prisoners to the camp, first to pay fines of £5,
and then to take out our licenses. Expostulation was vain; promises were
sneered at; nothing short of £20, that is £5 each, could procure our
liberation; so off we marched in the worst of humour. The first man­darin
before whom, we were brought, took the cue from the captors, pretending
to laugh at ' our ruse,' assuming at the same time an air of menace, in
which he hinted at locking up in default; but on my asking 'if one of his
brother-commissioners, to whom I had a letter of introduction from a
certain person in authority at head-quarters, was in the camp,' the
matter assumed another complexion. The other commissioner soon arrived,
and, glancing at the signature, he grasped my hand and shook it almost to
dislocation; but, had I not had the letter, the consequences would have
been both expensive and disagreeable. Reflecting on this, I began for the
first time to think that the diggers' outcry against official tyranny and
exaction was not altogether a baseless grievance. I could well imagine
the state of feel­ing likely to be generated by a persistence in such a
system of arbitrary persecution, and I was not surprised when 'it reached
its climax soon afterwards."

These are only samples of the intolerable wrongs the mining population
was compelled to endure at the hands of an irresponsible regime, and when
it is added that the diggers were not permitted to cultivate the smallest
por­tion of land for the maintenance of themselves and their families, it
may be supposed that they would have been more than human if they had
remained quiet under such grievous oppression. They organised a peaceful
and consti­tutional agitation, to which all the gold-fields of the colony
unanimously gave their assent and support. Its object was twofold-the
abolition of the oppressive monthly license fee and the representation of
the gold-fields in parliament- two very reasonable and the reverse of
revolutionary re­quests. Nevertheless, they were contemptuously rejected
by the new governor, Sir Charles Hotham, and his respon­sible advisers.
Sir Charles succeeded Mr. Latrobe on June 21st, 1854, and soon showed
himself to be eminently unfit for his position. A retired navy captain,
he tried to rule the colony like a martinet, and, by his headstrong and
senseless policy towards the exasperated diggers, he precipi­tated a
collision with the authorities. He professed to regard the agitation on
the gold-fields as the result of the machinations of foreigners and, in
the true spirit of the quarter-deck, defiantly declared his intention to
put down all seditious manifestations with a stern hand. The under­lings
bettered the instructions of their chief, and the raids by the troopers
upon the diggers became more numerous and irritating than ever. At last
the utmost limits of patience having been reached, the probability of a
success­ful insurrection was openly discussed on the gold-fields, and the
agitation came to a crisis on November 29th, 1854, when 12,000 diggers
held a meeting on Bakery Hill, Bal-larat, under the presidency of Mr.
Timothy Hayes, one of the most genial and popular Irishmen on the
diggings. After carrying a series of resolutions setting forth the
grievances of the gold-fields' population, and the unavailing efforts to
induce the authorities to redress them, the meeting unanimously
determined then and there to burn all their licenses, and thus bid open
defiance to the government. Amidst enthusiastic cheering a huge bonfire
was made, and every digger consigned his Crown permit to the flames. The
two Irish priests already mentioned, Father Patrick Smyth and Father
Matthew Downing, were present at this historical meeting, and naturally
exerted all their influence to induce the excited diggers not to take the
irretrievable step of burning their licenses. But however willing the
Irishmen, who constituted no small percentage of that crowd of 12,000
diggers, would be under ordinary cir­cumstances to heed and obey the
voice of their pastors, their blood was now boiling with indignation at
the wrongs they had so long endured from their tyrannical oppressors, and
whilst they listened to their priests with patience and respect, they
could not be diverted from their fixed deter­mination to summarily and
decisively end such intolerable persecution. Messrs. Lalor, Quinn,
Murnane and Brady were four of the principal speakers, and the most
important resolution agreed to was couched in the following terms: " That
this meeting being convinced that the obnoxious license-fee is an
imposition and an unjustifiable tax on free labour, pledges itself to
take immediate steps to abolish the same by at once burning all their
licenses, and that, in the event of any party being arrested for having
no licenses, the united people under all circumstances will defend and
protect them."

Affairs on the gold-fields had now reached a crisis, but the governor and
his advisers were resolved to pursue their tyrannical policy towards the
diggers to the bitter end. According to them, what had just transpired in
Ballarat was but a cloak to cover a democratic revolution, which must be
stamped out at all hazards. The day following the burning of the licenses
witnessed the last " digger hunt" on the Australian gold-fields. It was
carried out with a great display of military force, in the hope of
overawing the rebellious diggers and striking terror into their hearts. A
large body of police, supported by the 12th and 40th regiments of the
line, skirmishers in advance and cavalry on the flanks, advanced from the
Government Camp on the diggers to demand the production of their
licenses, knowing full well that those precious pieces of paper had been
committed to the flames on the previous day. Not expecting this sudden
attack, the diggers were unprepared for effective resistance. They
retired as the troops advanced, rallying occasionally and receiving the
enemy with a mingled fire of stones and bullets. The result of that day's
work was open war between the gold-fields' population and the Crown. No
sooner had the police and the military returned with a number of
prisoners to the Grovernment Camp, than the diggers assembled en masse on
their old meeting-ground, Bakery Hill, appointed a council of war, and
elected Peter Lalor (son of the late member for the Queen's County, and
brother of the present member) as their commander-in-chief.

Up to this point, the diggers would seem to have had no-designs of a
revolutionary character. Their sole object was to secure a redress of
their grievances and the abolition of an intolerable system of vulgar
official tyranny. Now, however, when they found themselves treated as
outlaws, the movement assumed a wider significance; a declaration of
independence based on the American model was drawn up and signed, and a
new silken flag-the Southern Cross-five silver stars forming a cross on a
blue ground-was unfurled to the breeze. Beneath this diggers' standard,
Lalor, as commander-in-chief, took his stand and administered the
following oath to his men: "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly
by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties." It was in
that portion of the goldfields known as the Eureka* and principally
inhabited by Irish diggers, that the fortified camp of the "rebels," as
they were now officially described, was erected. It consisted of an
entrenched stockade, that was capable of being made a place of great
strength if the diggers had had time to utilise its natural advantages,
and place it in a proper state of defence. It occupied an area of about
an acre, rudely enclosed with strong slabs. Within the stockade drilling
now became the main business of the hour; the diggers' council of war sat
almost continuously; blacksmiths were kept at work night and day forging
pikes. " Let those who cannot provide themselves with firearms procure a
piece of steel five or six inches long, attached to a pole, and that will
pierce the tyrants' hearts," were the words of the commander-in-chief to
his men. Patrick Curtain was the chosen captain of the pikemen, and
Michael Ilanrahan was their lieutenant. Meanwhile the authorities were
grievously alarmed at the spectre their stupidity, barbarity, and
trucu­lent insolence had created. They had never reckoned on the
persecuted diggers turning at bay and presenting an unbroken military
front to their oppressors. Sir Charles Hotham and his ministers were in
an agitated state of perplexity; Melbourne, the capital, was in a panic,
and the mayor was swearing in citizens by the hundred as special
constables to resist the victorious diggers, whom the wild rumours of the
hour described as; marching in a body from

*Why it was so designated has been thus explained: Dr. Doyle was one day
walking over the ranges when he came across a gully about two miles from
Ballarat, in which he picked up a few stray nuggets of gold. The
classical exclamation, "Eureka!" at once rose to his lips, and he
resolved to give the place that name. A rush of diggers was the natural
result of the doctor's discovery, and "The Eureka " soon became famous as
one of the richest spots on the Ballarat field.

Ballarat to pillage the city. Hearing that the rebellion was spreading
and that the men of the other gold-fields were hastening to the relief
and assistance of their Ballarat comrades, the authorities of the
Government Camp decided to attack the diggers' stronghold before any of
these rein­forcements could arrive. Early on the morning of Sunday,
December 3rd, 1854, the assault was made by the combined forces of the
military and the police under the command of Colonel Thomas, of the 40th
regiment. The insurgent diggers, commanded by Mr. Peter Lalor, made a
brave and desperate resistance; the pikemen (an almost exclusively Irish
detachment) stood their ground in double file around the enclosure and
repelled several charges of cavalry; volley after volley was poured into
the stockade and answered by the diggers, until their want of ammunition
and comparative unpreparedness became apparent. After half-an-hour's
desperate hand-to-hand fighting, the Eureka stockade surrounded and
carried by storm.

The scene that followed was of a brutal and barbarous character. The
ruffianly soldiers and troopers behaved towards their discomfited
opponents in the most cowardly fashion. Not content with making a large
number of them. prisoners, they did not scruple in their savage glee even
to shoot non-combatants down in cold blood. The official list of
casualties on the diggers' side reports 22 killed, 12 wounded, and 125
taken prisoners; but these figures must not be accepted as literally
accurate, as many lives were sacri­ficed and many persons wounded in the
encounter, whose names were not officially recorded. Subjoined are of the
names of the Irishmen who fell or were wounded in this first struggle for
freedom on Victorian soil:



CHAPTER V.


A GOLDEN CITY.

SANDHURST, THE GREAT CENTRE OF QUARTZ MINING-AN INVADING- HOST OF
DIGGERS-INDIGNANT REMONSTRANCES AGAINST OFFICIAL TYRANNY-THE BANNER OF
THE IRISH DIGGERS-" BENDIGO MAC "-HOW HE AVERTED A REBELLION--AN IRISHMAN
WHO LITERALLY ROLLED IN WEALTH--AN IRISH DIGGER'S TENT-HIBERNIAN
PERSEVERANCE REWARDED-TIP-PERARY GULLY-THE " SHAMROCK "-AN ENTERPRISING
IRISHMAN-SOME PROMINENT SANDHURST IRISHMEN, AND WHAT THEY HAVE ACHIEVED.

Much that has been said about Ballarat is equally true of the city of
Sandhurst, the second great gold-fields' centre of Vic­toria. Distant 100
miles from the metropolis, in a north­westerly direction, it is
surrounded on all sides by an abund­ance of mining wealth that will
ensure the prosperity of the place for many a year to come. Indeed, some
scientific experts have given it as their opinion that the quartz reefs
of Sandhurst are practically inexhaustible. Without acquiesc­ing in that
professional prediction, there is no denying the fact that the production
of gold from the Sandhurst mines during the past thirty-five years has
been something marvellous, and the immense depths at which the golden
stone continues to be procured at this day strengthen the belief that it
will take at least half a century to extract all the gold from the
available quartz. The first great " rush " to Sandhurst or Bendigo, the
name by which it was known for many years, happened soon after the
discovery of Ballarat, and in a few weeks' time the gold-seekers were
tramping from Melbourne in their thousands. They occupied the field in
force, and lost no time in turning up the soil in all directions, and
washing out the golden grains. To quote the words of the genial Hibernian
historian of Sandhurst, Mr. John Neill Macartney, who was the government
mining registrar of the district for many years, " all around resembled
ant-hills with their teeming numbers, and the diggers' tents reminded one
of a serried and invading army." The license-fee, or rather its mode of
collection by the insolent Crown officials, soon became in Bendigo, as in
Ballarat, an insupportable grievance, and it was only by a lucky chance
that hostilities were at one stage averted. As Mr. Macartney very truly
says, many a scholarly and polished gentleman's heart was beating under
the blue shirt of many a digger, and it is not difficult to understand
how men of that stamp were wrought into a dangerous state of exasperation
by the wanton insults of brutal and ignorant troopers. Bendigo, at that
time, numbered a considerable proportion of honest Hibernians amongst its
tent-living population, so it is not surprising to read in the
contemporary records of a great diggers' demonstration held towards the
close of 1853, that " flags of all nations were present, but a splendid
Irish, banner was most conspicuous in the van."* Deputies from mass
meetings of the diggers were sent down to Melbourne to remonstrate with
the governor in person, and to point out the inevitable consequences of
denying the gold-fields' population the rights of freemen, and of leaving
them at the mercy of a ruffianly police. But His .Excellency turned a
deaf ear to all remonstrances, and insisted on ruling in quarter-deck
fashion. If the peace was preserved in Bendigo at the time that the
diggers of Eallarat were in armed rebellion, it was not the Governor of
Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham, who was to be thanked, but the
newly-appointed resident magistrate, Captain M'Lachlan, who arrived just
in the nick of time, and, with the shrewdness of the Scotchman, took in
the situation at a glance. He saw the imperative necessity of
conciliating the exasperated diggers, and, by his first administrative
act, he won their con­fidence and appeased their indignation. That act
was the instant dismissal of a number of the black sheep amongst the
police force-scoundrels who had been transported from the mother country
for their crimes, and, by a strange irony of destiny, were afterwards
placed in a position of authority which enabled them to tyrannise at will
over men of birth, breeding, education, and honesty, to whom their touch
was contamination and their very presence an insult. This in itself was
one great stride in the direction of reform, and Captain M'Lachlan
followed it up with a distinct and deli­berate refusal to carry out the
governor's instructions to collect the diggers' license-fees at the point
of the bayonet. By this disobedience he jeopardised his position and
ren­dered himself amenable to a court-martial, but he had the
satisfaction of knowing that he had saved Bendigo from the bloodshed and
loss of life that resulted from obeying the governor's instructions at
Ballarat. When affairs cooled down a little, and the diggers were granted
those rights that should never have been denied them, every one admitted
that the captain was in the right and the governor stupidly in the wrong.
So far from suffering any official degradation for declining to enforce
an order by the representative of the Queen, which he knew meant
precipitating a civil war, he was continued in his office and applauded
on all sides for the sound common sense, tact, and discrimination he had
displayed under most trying and exceptional circumstances. " Bendigo
Mac," as he was ever afterwards familiarly and affectionately called,
presided as stipendiary magistrate over the Sandhurst court for the
succeeding seventeen years, and when he retired into private life, all
classes of citizens com­bined to present him with a large monetary
testimonial.

* "First marched the Irish-always first in every agitation"-is the
comment of Mr. William Howitt on this demonstration, in his " Two Years
in Victoria."

People who have plenty of money are often said, by a figure of speech, to
be " rolling in wealth," but the expres­sion was literally true in the
case of a certain eccentric Irishman in the early days of Sandhurst. His
name was Flanagan, and, finding that he had dug £3,000 worth of gold out
of the earth, some demon prompted him to run down to the metropolis and
enjoy himself for a season. On arriving in Melbourne he engaged a room in
a hotel, and then proceeded to the bank, where he presented his draft.
Instead of taking his £3,000 in notes, he insisted on having 3,000
sovereigns, with which he filled a sack that he had brought with him for
the purpose. Returning to his hotel, he went straight to his room, locked
the door, and emptied the sack of sovereigns on the floor. He then
stripped himself stark naked, and spent the remainder of the day in
rolling himself over and over upon his golden heap. Next day he commenced
to get rid of his golden store as fast as he could by senseless drinking,
dissipation, and extravagance of all sorts; and, before the end of the
month, the foolish fellow was trudging back to the diggings without a
solitary shilling to bless himself with.

Though the tragic element necessarily predominated in those
digger-hunting days, the comic was by no means wanting at times. Mr.
Macartney relates one amusing inci­dent that came under his personal
observation. " Early in 1854 two well-known diggers, John Murphy and
Garrett Brennan, were rounded up by the police on a part of the diggings
called Jackass Flat, and taken before Mr. Bowling, the police magistrate,
their offence being not having their licenses upon them. Although they
had paid for then-licenses, Murphy, who was a droll dog, a rough Irish
diamond, requested to see 'his honour's riverince.' Mr. Dowling replied,
' Well, my man, I am the man you want.' Murphy then asked, * Would your
honour's riverince order that fellow (pointing to the policeman on guard)
to fire on a man who had paid for his license and had left it in his
tent, if he ran away after being rounded up by the police?' Mr. Dowling
replied, ‘ Certainly not.' Murphy exclaimed, ' Thin, be jabers, I'm off,'
saying which, he knocked over the police guard, jumped the picket fence,
and ran like a grey­hound into the bush. His companion, Brennan, having
proved that he had paid for a license, was dismissed with a reprimand."

Neither was conviviality of the old-land type unknown at the close of the
day's gathering-in of the golden harvest. A contemporary eye-witness has
given a graphic description of an Irish tent, in which an old fiddler is
reviving fond recollections of a dear isle far away by play­ing the
beautiful melody of " Erin-go-Bragh." " Hold a moment ! He is resining
his bow. Now he begins, and as the charming strain falls upon the ears
of’ his sensitive country­men, they here and there chime in with a part
of the song and dissolve in tears from the warmth of their emotions. Of
what a complication of joys and sorrows is the human heart made up !
Listen. He now plays 'Paddy Carey,' and see-every face that was this
moment suffused with tears is radiant with joy,* and the tent, as a
matter of course, being now no longer capable of holding its in­mates,
throws them forth to the open air to have a trip on the gravel, which
here serves as a substitute for the bright green sod of their own native
'isle of the ocean.'"

In a community composed of so many inflammable elements, and gathered
from all the nations under the sun, with every man desperately eager to
build up a golden pile, and return home with the utmost speed to astonish
his family and friends with the richness of his rapidly-acquired wealth,
it was to be expected that there should be not unfrequently personal
disputes as to the right of possessing particular pieces of coveted
ground. As a rule the contend­ing parties were allowed to fight the
matter out for themselves; but occasionally their sympathising countrymen
would appear on the scene of strife, hot words would be interchanged, and
very soon, what was originally a purely personal quarrel would develop
into a melee between oppos­ing nationalities.

Mr. C. R. Read, an official on the gold-fields, in a work describing his
experiences in that capacity, narrates how, on one occasion, there was a
dispute between a Tipperary boy and an Englishman about a piece of
ground, and in the inevitable scuffle that ensued the Irishman fell
head­long into a hole full of muddy water, and the Englishman partly so.
This trifling incident a few hours afterwards led to a desperate fight
between the Irishmen and Englishmen on the field. One Irishman was shot
through the lungs and another in the head, whilst the leader of the
Englishmen had his head split open with an axe.

The same official states that the Irishmen were generally the most
fortunate on the diggings. The most unfortunate class of gold-seekers
were those that came under the denomination of "swell" or gentleman
diggers-members of the learned professions and younger sons of good
families, who had never before handled a pick in their lives. But, whilst
this was the rule, there were some exceptions. Mr. Bead says he was
personally aware of several instances of great success attending
gentlemen who were digging. One with whom he was intimately acquainted
cleared upwards of £3,000 in six weeks.

Perseverance was richly and deservedly rewarded in the ease of a party of
four Irishmen who sank eighteen holes in succession, and only got one
ounce of gold each for their trouble. They did not lose heart, but sank
nine more, with little better result, realising just one pound per man.
They were naturally somewhat discouraged at such poor returns after
months of labour, and believed themselves to be very unlucky indeed.
Still, they were determined to make one effort more, and, on sinking
their twenty-eighth hole, they struck a splendid patch of gold which
yielded them £1,000 per man. Mr. James Bonwick, the most industrious and
voluminous of Australian authors, visited Bendigo in 1852, and, in his
"Notes of a Gold Digger," he speaks of the Irish who occu­pied Tipperary
Gully, near his tent, as consisting entirely of families conspicuous for
their order, cleanliness, kind-heartedness and happiness.

Sandhurst is not to be compared with Ballarat for beauty of site or
surroundings, but by means of various artificial embellishments and the
almost universal planting of umbrageous trees along its thoroughfares,
its civic rulers have in great measure succeeded in overcoming its
natural defects of position, and introducing some of the elements of the
picturesque. No doubt, on entering the city the observing eye is at first
liable to be offended by the repulsive heaps of upturned earth that lie
ruthlessly scattered in all directions-perpetual reminders of the early
days when the gold was readily found near the surface, and diggers
acquired enormous fortunes without much bodily labour or risk of life.
But this is a prevailing characteristic of nearly all gold-fields, though
Sandhurst, by reason of its low, flat situation, suffers in appearance
more severely from this cause than its sister cities. But when the
visitor leaves the outskirts of Sandhurst behind him and enters the city
itself, the disagreeable impression produced by the sight of dreary
wastes of torn and disembowelled earth will speedily be dissipated. For
he will be ushered into a bustling and animated scene; he will see
himself in the centre of a well-planned and well-appointed town; a long
succession of handsome shops will spread out before his gaze, and all
around he will discern indubitable evidences of material prosperity and
intellectual life in a host of fine public buildings, imposing banks,
numerous churches, and a variety of literary and educational
institutions. That once popular Hibernian governor of New South Wales,
Sir Hercules Robinson, was perfectly right when he declared that
"Sandhurst surpassed all other districts in the mar­vellous wealth of its
mineral resources." It has been of recent years the richest and most
productive of Victorian gold-fields, and the auriferous quartz continues
to be found so abundantly at enormous depths as to lead to the
wide­spread belief that Sandhurst is in reality a series of gold-fields,
one underneath the other.

One of the great institutions of Sandhurst is the " Sham­rock," a
capacious and comfortable hostelry that, notwith­standing its
aggressively Hibernian title, has been the head-quarters of visitors from
every nation under the sun, and a favourite resort of successive
generations of gold-diggers. Its founder, Mr. William Heffernan, was an
Irishman of extraordinary enterprise, who made fortunes arid lost them
again with equal rapidity. To him Sandhurst is also indebted for a
beautiful theatre and a commodious public hall. In the palmy days of
gold-digging, he spared no expense in bringing up to Sandhurst all the
musical and theatrical celebrities who crossed the equator into the
Southern Hemisphere.

Sandhurst was constituted a bishopric by Pope Pius IX. simultaneously
with Ballarat, and its first resident prelate, the Right Eev. Dr. Martin
Crane, continues to rule the extensive diocese that was then committed to
his charge. Prior to his arrival in Australia, Dr. Crane was long and
intimately associated with the Irish Church, and was twice elected by his
Augustinian brethren to the high office of Provincial of the order. The
handsome church of SS. Augustine and John that adorns the Irish
metropolis, is a monument of his zeal and untiring energy. Bishop Crane
laboured with great earnestness and success in his new Australian sphere
until he was unfortunately prostrated by a painful affection of the eyes.
His Lordship is now assisted in the administration of the diocese by a
coadjutor-bishop, Dr. Stephen Seville, formerly president of the seminary
of St. Laurence O'Toole, Usher's Quay, Dublin. There is a prosperous
community of the Sisters of Mercy in the city of Sandhurst; and, in the
town of Echuca, at the northern end of the diocese, the Brigidine nuns
have recently established a convent. The members of both those orders
devote themselves to the education of Catholic girls. Amongst the public
men that Sandhurst has produced, the Hon. James Forrester Sullivan and
the Hon. J. J. Casey (now Judge Casey) occupy a prominent place. Mr.
Sullivan, a Waterford man, came to the front as a trusted leader of the
diggers in the days of oppression, and was chosen as the president of the
league they established for the defence of their liberties and the
assertion of their rights against official insolence and tyranny. When
the battle was over, and brutal officialdom was humbled in the dust, and
the diggers received the rank and the privileges of freemen, they showed
their gratitude to their champion by sending him first to the
newly-created municipal council, and soon afterwards to the greater
parliamentary council of the colony. Mr. William Kelly, the author of
"Life in Victoria," visited Sandhurst in its early days, and he describes
its town council at that time as being "generally composed;of most
intelligent and energetic men, but containing one master-mind in the
chairman, Mr. Sullivan, whom I yet look forward to see occupying the
highest positions in the infant state of Victoria." This prophecy
received its full realisation in after years. In parliament Mr. Sullivan
sat for many years and took office as Minister of Mines-a position he
held for a lengthened period, and for which he was admirably fitted by
the practical experience of gold-fields work which he acquired when a
young man, his intimate knowledge of the wants and the wishes of the
mining population, and the strong admixture of common sense in his
composition. His administration of the Mining Department was most
suc­cessful and satisfactory. As a leading member of the Victorian Board
of Commissioners to the Dublin Inter­national Exhibition of 1865, he
deserves a word of recognition for the devoted zeal and earnestness with
which he laboured to secure a creditable display of the productions of
his adopted home in the metropolitan city of his native land.

Judge Casey was also closely connected with the public affairs of early
Sandhurst. His daily journal, the Bendigo Advertiser, rendered good
service to the cause of the diggers, and it continues to be the leading
newspaper of the district. After serving his apprenticeship in the local
municipal council, Mr. Casey entered parliament in 1863, and held his
seat almost continuously until his elevation to the bench a few years
ago. As a Minister of the Crown, he is best known and remembered for his
able and popular administration of the Lands Department. He succeeded,
where most of his predecessors signally failed, in effectually checking
the land-grabbing propensities of unscrupulous squatters. Taking
advantage of the liberal land legislation of the colony, these wealthy
pastoral princes were in the habit of getting their hirelings to
personate bona fide selectors and take up land from the Government,
ostensibly for the purpose of settling on the soil, but in reality to
transfer the land to the squatters as soon as the Govern­ment regulations
would permit them to do so. In this fraudulent manner several of the
valuable large estates of Victoria were put together piece by piece, and
their owners, so far from being ashamed of having acquired their
possessions by such dishonourable and underhand practices, very often
glory in their successful evasion of the law, and take much credit to
themselves for their smartness. This baneful and illegal system of
land-grabbing is known thoughout the colonies by the expressive name of "
dummyism," the persons professing to be genuine selectors, desirous of
establishing themselves on the soil, being actually the agents or the "
dummies " of the adjoin­ing squatters. So craftily was the system
pursued, and so difficult was it to legally prove collusion between the
parties, notwithstanding that the facts pointed unmis­takably in that
direction, that for years this baneful practice flourished like a noxious
weed, and all the precautions of Government officers were powerless to
check it. But when Mr. Casey came into power, he firmly grasped the
nettle and saved the public estate from further spoliation. He instituted
boards of inquiry at most of the principal pastoral centres, and so
energetically were these investigations conducted that several lords of
the soil were at last con­victed of dummyism, and punished by the
forfeiture of the selections they had unjustly acquired as well as the
lands they had originally leased from the government. In thus making an
example of some of the aristocratic dummy-mongers, Mr. Casey administered
a salutary check to the pernicious practices that had previously
prevailed, and rendered good and lasting service to the colony of
Victoria. Another prominent Irishman long connected with Sand­hurst was
Judge Macoboy, who, in his early years, was an active promoter of the
Tenant League of Ireland. The names of Edward O'Keefe, founder of the
first society of Irishmen on the gold-field and chairman of the mining
board of the district, and Patrick Hayes, the present popular mayor of
the city, during whose reign many civic im­provements have been effected,
are also entitled to honour­able mention amongst the civic worthies of
Sandhurst.



CHAPTER VI.


A FEW IRISH CENTRES.

GEELONG-ITS EARLY PROSPERITY-MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE-THREE DISTINGUISHED
IRISH PRIESTS-ADDRESS TO SMITH O'BRIEN-IRISH-TOWN-HIBERNIAN TITLES FOR
AUSTRALIAN ESTATES-ENORMOUS PRICE OF LAND-VISIT OF SIR RICHARD BOURKE-HIS
DESIRE TO MAKE GEE-LONG THE CAPITAL-ITS CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS-KILMORE-A
TYPICAL IRISH CENTRE-LOVE OF KINDRED-LARGE REMITTANCES TO RELATIVES AT
HOME-KYNETON-A FLOURISHING COMMUNITY-BELFAST-A CHILD OF THE ULSTER
CAPITAL-AN ABSENTEE LANDLORD-AN IMPORTATION OF IRISH FARMERS-A CELEBRATED
POTATO COUNTRY-SOBRIETY OF IRISH SETTLERS-GIPPS LAND-ITS WILD
LUXURIANCE-A MEMORABLE TOUR OF EXPLORATION-SIR CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY'S LAND
ACT-HOW IT PROMOTED THE SETTLEMENT OP GIPPS LAND-"THE GARDEN OF
AUSTRALIA"-A MILLION OF MONEY IN DIVIDENDS-THE STRANGE CASE OF PATRICK
COADY BUCKLEY.

Geelong, once the only rival of Melbourne in the race for metropolitan
pride of place, may be described as a city of arrested development.
Beautifully situated on the shores of Corio Bay, the western arm of Port
Phillip, it was the natural port for the extensive pastoral and
agricultural district that stretched away for hundreds of miles in the
direction of the setting sun. Its progress as a commercial centre was
exceedingly rapid, and for a time it really seemed as if Geelong was
destined to wrest from Melbourne the honour of being the capital city of
Victoria. This antici­pation was materially strengthened by the opening
up of the Ballarat gold-fields fifty miles to the north. It was in
Geelong that the first glad tidings of gold were announced, and it was
from Geelong that the largest contingent of the diggers' army started to
try their luck. When they reached their destination and settled clown to
the work of gold-finding, they drew their supplies from Geelong, as being
the nearest and most accessible sea-port. Thus the lovely harbour of
Geelong became crowded with shipping, and at the western end of the town
there sprang into existence the bustling suburb of Kildare, which was
peopled almost exclusively by Irish carriers and their families. These
carriers made hay while the sun shone. They were the only means of
regular communication between the diggings and the coast, and the
storekeepers often paid them £100 per trip for the carriage of a ton of
goods. In this way many of the carriers made fortunes in a few years'
time, and, whilst some of them exemplified in their own persons the truth
of the old saying, " Easily got, easily gone," others judiciously
invested their money and estab­lished their families in opulence. For
years past nearly the whole of the lucrative carrying trade of the
Geelong district has been in the hands of one self-made Irishman, who
from small beginnings has risen to a position of wealth and influence.
Councillor Joseph Kerley, the gentleman referred to, is an enterprising
Celt, a popular president of the Geelong and Western District St.
Patrick's Society, and a generous benefactor to the Irish and Catholic
institutions of the community in which he lives.

To ensure the continuance of the prosperity enjoyed by Geelong during the
years that immediately followed the discovery of gold, two steps were
necessary-railway com-munication with Ballarat, the leading gold-fields'
centre, and the removal of a shoal or bar that formed a dangerous
impediment to navigation at the entrance to the harbour. But, with a want
of foresight they have ever since regretted, the people of Geelong took
no thought of the future. To all appearance they believed that the days
of lucky diggers, and the consequent plentiful circulation of money in
their midst, would last for many a year. They foolishly adopted no means
of removing the only drawback to the permanent utilisation of their
capacious harbour, and the result was the gradual centralisation of the
shipping trade in the metropolis. When they did take action in the other
direction, their pro­cedure was equally disastrous to the interests of
their town, for, instead of connecting themselves by railway with
Ballarat and thus securing the gold-fields' traffic, they constructed a
line to Melbourne, and only succeeded in killing the goose with the
golden eggs, that is, in diverting a most lucrative trade from their own
doors and into the coffers of the rival, Melbourne.

It took some years before Greelong recovered from this double blow
inflicted by its own unthinking inhabitants, but after a period of
depression, the place gradually regained to some degree its old position
of importance, and it is now the leading manufacturing centre of
provincial Victoria. Woollen mills, tanneries, foundries, a paper mill
and a rope factory give constant employment to a large section of its
population. The last-named is a most extensive establishment, occupying
three acres of ground, with a rope-walk of 1,650 feet in length. It was
originally founded in 1853 on a very humble scale by an honest,
hard-working Irishman, Michael Donaghy, under whose industrious hands it
grew year by year, and finally developed into the largest establishment
of its kind in Victoria. It is now directed by the founder's son, Mr.
John Donaghy, a good citizen, and one of the three Par­liamentary
representatives of the town. Geelong is also noted for the number and the
excellence of its educational institutions, its healthy and salubrious
situation inducing many inland colonists to send their children there for
scholastic training. It possesses the oldest provincial news­paper in the
colony-the Geelong Advertiser, and in it the first Victorian literary
periodical was started in 1849, under the title of the Australia Felix
Monthly Magazine. Most of the public buildings of Geelong were designed
in the hey­day of its brief period of golden splendour, when it aspired
to be the metropolis of Victoria, and it is therefore not surprising to
find that they were projected on a great scale of magnificence. But long
ere they were completed, Geelong's dream of future prosperity and
pre-eminence had vanished, and its suddenly-awakened people had the good
sense to swallow their pride, accept the situation, and suspend the
building of the gorgeous edifices they had in hand. The suspension has
lasted ever since, and the result is that every visitor to the town is
immediately struck with the quantity of ambitious architectural work left
in an unfinished con­dition. The two most striking examples of these
unaccom­plished aspirations are to be found in the Town Hall and St.
Mary's Roman Catholic Church. The former, a massive and highly ornate
structure as originally designed, has only its southern front completed,
and this presents a curious contrast to the baldness and incompleteness
that are so conspicuous on the other faces of the building. But, more
than anything else, a glance at the accepted design for St. Mary's Church
will supply convincing evidence of the strong faith in the future of
Geelong as the coming capital, that was entertained by its early
inhabitants. It exhibits an edifice of colossal cathedral proportions,
such as one might expect to find in the episcopal city of some ancient
Catholic continental nation, but which excites astonishment when
associated with an antipodean town of yesterday. Still, it speaks well
for the faith and enthusiasm of the first Catholics of Geelong, that they
planned and set about building so noble a fane, at a time when most of
their fellow-citizens were thinking of little else but the making of
rapid fortunes for themselves, when the place was in a state of continual
feverish excitement through the presence and extravagance of thousands of
returned lucky diggers, when, to quote a contemporary narrative, " men
clad in blue shirts and fustian trousers were hourly bringing into
Geelong gold dust and nuggets wrapped up in rags, old stockings, pieces
of handkerchiefs, and such like, to-the amount of thousands." In after
years the original design of the church was considerably modified to suit
the altered circumstances, and a portion of the nave was com­pleted,
sufficiently large to answer the requirements of the reduced population.
Even in this incomplete condition, the building is the most conspicuous,
commodious and elegant ecclesiastical edifice in the town. Its facade
contains a beautiful circular stained glass window in memory of a popular
pastor of the place for many years, the Very Kev. Dean Hayes, who was on
a visit to his native Ireland when he died, after having just been
designated as the first Bishop of Armidale in New South Wales. His
successor in Creelong was the Venerable Archdeacon Downing, who has
already been mentioned as one of the pioneer priests of the gold-fields,
and who endeared himself to all classes of the com­munity by his
abounding liberality and his practical philan­thropy. With him was
associated a highly-accomplished Irish priest-the Rev. B. H. Power-one of
the most accomplished preachers the Victorian church has possessed, a
musician and composer of acknowledged attainments, and in his younger
days a skilful editor of the Sydney Freeman's Journal. A sterling
patriot, he established the Geelong and Western District St. Patrick's
Society, as a bond of union amongst the Irishmen of the district, and the
organisation continues to flourish, and to maintain the principles of
loyalty to faith and fatherland which he eloquently enunciated in his
open­ing address.

From its earliest days Greelong has been largely peopled by the Irish. No
better evidence of this could be furnished than the significant fact that
the address of welcome to Victoria, presented to William Smith O'Brien on
his liberation from captivity in Van Diernen's Land, was actually signed
by every member of the Greelong Corporation. In the Corporation of
Melbourne the address to the exiled patriot was far from meeting with so
unanimous and so favourable a reception.* And further, when Smith O'Brien
visited Greeloug in person, he was received with a general cordiality,
and with popular manifestations of respect and goodwill such as are
ordinarily reserved for the repre­sentatives of royalty. For years there
was direct emigration from the home country to Greelong, and on one
occasion the local government agent thought it his duty to direct the
attention of his superiors to the fact, that " during the year 1855 the
number of Irish people brought to Greelong in the government immigrant
ships exceeded that of the English and Scotch put together." It was on
the outskirts of the town proper that the Irish immigrants mostly
settled, because there they could purchase land on reasonable terms. The
govern­ment, in the hope of raising a large revenue, had divided the town
into two parts, calling the portion near the harbour North Greelong, and
the part further back, South Geelong. The minimum price of land in the
former they fixed at £300 per acre, and in the latter £150 per acre.
These of course were practically prohibitory prices to the great majority
of the immigrants. As suburban allotments were to be had at £5 per acre
and even less, new and more populous towns sprang up outside the two
proclaimed government towns, and thus were created the extensive suburbs
of Greelong known as Ashby, Newtown and Irishtown. The latter filled a
spacious valley to the west of the government town of South Greelong, and
was apparently occupied principally by the Irish immigrants. It was there
that Mr. Michael Donaghy first started the extensive industry which has
already been referred to. When municipal privileges were conferred on the
district, in common with the adjacent but elevated suburb of Newtown, the
government thought proper to change the name from Irishtown to Chilwell,
the name it now bears. Kildare, the other Hibernian suburb, and Little
Scotland, a Caledonian centre, became merged in the extensive borough of
Ashby, or Greelong West, as it is now officially designated. Irish names
figure very con­spicuously in the first government land sales at Geelong,
and the purchasers all seem to have been actuated by the patriotic desire
to perpetuate in a new land the titles which had been familiar to their
lips in childhood's clays. On this account a large map of G-eelong and
its suburbs forms a very interesting study. There we see the " Avoca
Estate " at the junction of the Moorabool and the Barvvon, with Herne
Hill rising up abruptly in the background-a pretty spot that suggested to
its exiled owner a reminiscence of " the vale in whose bosom the bright
waters meet." An Irish-Australian author, Samuel Hannaford, describing
this portion of Geelong in his " Sea and Eiver Side .Rambles in
Victoria," says: " Here the banks remind us of the dark glen-like scenery
of some parts of Ireland; high hills whose de­clivities reach to the
water's edge, and dark hollows inter­secting, into which the daylight
scarcely seems to glance." Other suburban estates, which have since been
subdivided and built upon, originally bore such names as Kilkenny,
Eoscommon, Ballinasloe, Drumcondra, Cashel, Dunboyne, &c. As showing the
exceedingly high value that was once set upon these lands, it may be
mentioned that the late Frederick Griffin, a pioneer Victorian squatter,
refused an offer of £50,000 for a small estate of five acres adjacent to
the before-mentioned suburb of Irishtown. This was in the palmy days of
Geelong, when its people revelled in glowing anticipations of a glorious
future, and land speculation was the chief business of the hour. When the
brief period of splendour had departed, and it became evident that
Geelong was not destined to be the first of Victorian cities, the land
became in consequence considerably depreciated in value, and the little
estate, for which £50,000 had been refused, was afterwards sold for
one-twentieth of that sum.

* The address was in these terms and was presented by the late Sir John
O'Shanassy on behalf of the Irishmen of the Colony:

" To William Smith O'Brien, Esq.

"Dear Sir,-We the undersigned citizens of Melbourne and Geelong avail
ourselves of the opportunity afforded us by your visit to this country,
to con­gratulate you and your companions in exile, Messrs. Martin and
O'Doherty, tipon your liberation from a painful and protracted bondage.

" We beg to express to you our most sincere gratification for having
afforded us, by your visit to Victoria, the pleasure of offering to yon,
personally, an assurance of our sympathy and esteem; and, transient as we
know your stay necessarily is, we rejoice at the occasion which enables
us to greet you with a hearty welcome.

" We deeply regret to learn that the fond hope so long and so ardently
cherished by men of every shade of political sentiment, indeed by every
generous mind acquainted with your character and history, has not been
fully realised by the graceful concession, on the part of Her Majesty's
Ministers, of the full measure of your freedom.

" We desire to acknowledge the immensity of the sacrifice which you made
from the noblest feeling that can actuate the heart-a pure and
disinterested love of country. We appreciate and honour the manly bearing
and dignified fortitude which have characterised you under a terrible
adversity, and anxiously trust that the impolitic restriction which
debars you from a return to all you hold dear-to home and family-may be
speedily removed, and that you, consoled for the reverses and trials of
the past by a nation's gratitude, may enjoy many years to witness in your
native land the prosperity and happiness of her sons. We remain, &c."

Sir Richard Bourke, the brave old Limerick soldier who was the Governor
of New South Wales at the time,, visited the infant settlement at Port
Phillip in March, 1837, and was so delighted with the picturesque
appearance and surroundings of Geelong, and so struck with its natural
capacity for accommodating a large population, that he strongly favoured
the proposal to make it the capital in preference to Melbourne. He
advocated this view before a conference of government officials and
leading colonists, which he had convened for the purpose of finally
selecting the site of the capital. The balance of opinion, however, was
against the Governor, and having gracefully acquiesced in the decision of
the majority, he proclaimed Melbourne as the metropolis of the rising
colony. Mr. Richard Howitt, who visited the place not long afterwards,
remarks in his book of Australian impressions: " I reached Geelong in the
evening, and was much pleased with the neigh­bourhood. With the locality
of Geelong itself no one can be undelighted. The town is secondary only
to Melbourne. It has progressed wonderfully, and, should this country
become more prosperous, must at no distant date almost equal its more
fortunate prototype, the metropolitan city of Australia Felix."

To the energy and public spirit of one of its mayors of Irish birth, Mr.
J. H. Connor, now a member of the Legislative Council of Victoria,
Geelong is indebted for the existence of the massive Exhibition building,
which is one of the chief ornaments of the town. Another con­spicuous
building is the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy, a direct affiliation from
the parent house in Baggot Street, Dublin. Within the convent enclosure
are an extensive orphanage and industrial school for Catholic girls, both
of which institutions are partially subsidised by the State. St.
Augustine's Orphanage, in the same neighbourhood, is a commodious
establishment for boys, and is under the skilful management of a
community of Christian Brothers.

The typical Irish centre of the colony of Victoria is Kilmore. Its name,
its history, its people, and its general characteristics combine to make
it the most distinctively Catholic and Celtic town at the antipodes.*
Occupying an exceptionally fertile valley about forty miles to the north
of Melbourne and on the main road to Sydney, it was discovered by some
early Irish immigrants, who settled down upon the land, prospered
amazingly, and, with that generous warm-hearted love of kindred which is
one of the finest traits of the Irish character, they lost no time in
sending for and bringing out their poor and oppressed relations at home,
to share in their prosperity and freedom under southern skies. Thus
Kilmore soon became a little Irish colony in itself. To quote the words
of a book-making traveller: " It gave me the idea that Tubbercurry had
been rafted over holus-bolus from the Emerald Isle, so completely and
intensely Irish was the entire population in appearance, in accent, and
in the peculiarly Milesian style in which the shops were set out." And
this is still true, not only of the town of Kilmore, but of the whole of
the surrounding country, which is mostly in the hands of as fine a body
of Irish and Irish-Australian yeomanry as one could wish to see. When the
gold discoveries so suddenly and marvellously changed the face and
fortunes of the colony, Kilmore was lucky enough to be just in the
position to profit exceedingly by the unexpected revolution that was
brought about. It became a recognised halting-place for troops of
intending and returning diggers, and its farm produce was bought up at
fabulous prices to supply the wants of the huge mining population that
was con­gregated at Bendigo and other northern goldfields. In after years
the people of Kilmore found to their surprise and delight that there was
plenty of gold at their very doors. The mines at Eeedy Creek in
particular have produced a very large quantity of the precious metal, and
have contributed greatly to the progress and prosperity of the Kilmore
district. Rich in a double sense is the soil on which this pleasant
Hibernian settlement stands-rich in agricultural wealth and in mineral
treasure. From what has been said of the history and peculiarities of the
place, no one will be surprised at the information that the most
prominent building in Kilmore is its Catholic Church-a splendid Gothic
pile dedicated to Ireland's patron saint, and built at a cost of £19,000,
the voluntary contributions of the Irish exiles around, whose faith and
fidelity to the religion of their fathers and the land of their birth, so
far from being diminished by time and distance, became intensified by
thought and by absence from well-remembered scenes. Neither will it be
any surprise to learn that Kilmore gave to the church in Victoria its
first native nun and its first native priest, St. Patrick's Church in
Kilmore contains the remains of Father O'Rourke, the devoted Irish priest
who lovingly superintended its erection, and who, during life, was almost
idolised by his faithful Celtic flock. An antipodean Soggarth Aroon, when
priests were few and far between, he brought himself to a premature grave
by the unsparing activity with which he strove to overtake the spiritual
requirements of the extensive district which had been committed to his
charge. The present pastor of the Kilmore mission, Father Farrelly, is
the beau ideal of the genial, good-natured Irish priest, and he has
achieved a widespread popularity.

Kilmore was necessarily a place of considerable political importance
during the long period when it was represented in Parliament by the late
Sir John O'Shanassy, the head of three Victorian Ministries. It was the
platform to which the eyes of the whole colony were turned at more than
one momentous crisis, and from which more than one states­manlike policy
was propounded. When Sir John retired from its representation in order to
enter the Upper House, he was succeeded by his Attorney-General and the
most brilliant advocate at the Victorian bar, Mr. E. D. Ireland, Q.C. The
district is now well and capably represented by Mr. Thomas Hunt, the
proprietor of its Free Press, and an energetic, patriotic
Irish-Australian.

In his "Life in Victoria," Mr. Kelly gives an interesting account of his
meeting in the early days with a countryman in Kilmore, who had been a
great gainer in every respect by emigration. " During my first stroll
through the town," he says. "I observed a man following me in all my
movements...?

At last, on hearing my voice, he exclaimed, as he confronted me with a
beaming countenance, 'Arrah, sure you're Master William.' 'That's my
name, certainly,' I replied; have we ever met before?' 'Ah, thin,
blud-an-ouns, how's every inch of you? Meet afore is it ?-at Bomore, in
ould Sligo, where you carried the day on Irish­man.' 'So, you recollect
me, I see,' said I, 'though that race came off some years ago.' '
Remimber you, indeed; why thin I'd be far gone wid sore eyes if I
wouldn't know your skin on a bush. But there's no use in talkin',' he
con­tinued, 'come down wid me, sir, an' see the place an' family.'

"I went with him accordingly, and, in explanation, was enabled to bring
to mind some home reminiscences of his family and neighbourhood, which
delighted him beyond measure. His name was Carty; he lived in the town,
but had a fine block of land of sixty acres in the suburbs, all under
crop, and every inch his own. At home, a few years before, he was one of
that poor spalpeen class who rented an of land and a mud cabin, and went
over to reap the in England in order to make up the rent; but on the of
our meeting, he owned a plot in the town, and the house he inhabited by
means of his earnings the farm, which he purchased at the upset price of
£1 per acre before the diggings commenced-rather a radical in his
condition in a very brief period. He explained to me the reason of the
aggregation of Irish in the neigh-in a very simple and natural way-one
that will be very easily understood by any person familiar with the
Invariable habits of the Irish emigrants on the American continent, where
the first use an exile of Erin makes of his is to remit every penny
beyond that required for his own immediate and pressing wants to his
friends at home, to enable them to join him in the land of promise.

"In the early, or pastoral clays of the colony, Scotchmen vastly
predominated over all others in the aggregate, while the Irish counted a
miserable minority; but now the tables are turned, and the Irish, as far
as numbers go, are in the ascendant beyond any other distinct race,
notwithstanding their original poverty and the expense of the voyage, and
without seeking an explanation in any excess of partiality in the
selections of free emigration. In fact and truth it was and is altogether
owing to the national characteristic alluded to above; and in the
instance of Kilmore, Carty informed me such was the case, in confirmation
of which he ran over a list of late remittances within his own knowledge,
the magnitude of which completely surprised me, and satisfactorily
accounted for the great and growing increase of the Irish family in
Victoria."

Kilmore occupies the south-eastern corner of the county of Dalhousie, but
the south-western section of the same county, surrounding the substantial
town of Kyneton, is also largely peopled by settlers of Irish birth or
parentage. Kyneton is beautifully situated on the River Campaspie, is
connected by railway with the metropolis, and is the centre of a
far-famed flourishing community of cultivators. Its agricul­tural
show-day is only exceeded in splendour and popularity by the bright
moving spectacle seen at its annual race-meeting on each, St. Patrick's
Day. On both these festive occasions Kyneton becomes crowded with
visitors from far and near-friendly gatherings of the Irish clans,
well-fed, well-dressed, and well-behaved. Kyneton's prosperity, it has
been well said, " rests upon the firm foundation of a rich soil and a
good climate," and no inland town of Victoria is characterised by more of
the elements of permanence and stability. Kyneton is a deanery under the
jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Melbourne, and the mission possesses
quite a host of churches, but not too many in view of the numbers and the
extent of the Catholic population. Dean Greoghegan has been in
ecclesiastical charge of Kyneton for more than a quarter of a century,
and is held in the highest esteem throughout the district. Mr. Martin
McKenna, a leading local Irishman, represented the Kyneton Boroughs in
Parliament for a long series of years, and Mr. John Gavan Duffy-worthy
successor to an honoured name in the records of colonial
statesmanship-has been repeatedly re­turned for the county of Dalhousie.

The Victorian town of Belfast is a direct descendant of the Ulster
capital; but, unlike the Irish parental city, it is a quiet, peaceable,
and well-nigh unanimous community, undisturbed and undisgraced by riot or
disorder of any description. Its history is unique in the annals of the
Australian colonies. It presents the only example to be found in
Australia of a large town belonging entirely to one man, and he an
absentee landlord, living in Ireland and drawing a princely revenue from
an estate where his corporeal presence was but a memory of a
long-vanished past. The Irish people have suffered exceedingly from the
curse of absenteeism, and the inhabitants of the antipodean Belfast were
also, until quite recently, severely and unjustly handi­capped by this
incubus of a non-resident landlord. Within the last year or two, however,
Belfast, to the great joy of its people, was rescued from its anomalous
position amongst Victorian towns, its tenants being allowed the privilege
of buying out their holdings or allotments-a privilege, it is needless to
say, that was exercised with considerable pleasure and alacrity. Having
obtained the freehold of the land which they were previously only
permitted to occupy on annual leases, the people of Belfast are now
carrying out extensive permanent improvements in every direction, and
pushing their town into that prominence as a Victorian centre which it
would have attained long ago but for the adverse circumstances of its
birth.

Briefly these circumstances are the following: About the year 1840 the
Colonial Office in London, with a full belief in its own infallibility
and a self-satisfied ignorance of what it was really doing, initiated a
system of " special surveys," by which capitalists were allowed to select
blocks of 5,000 acres each, payment to be made at the rate of £1 per acre
and no competition to be permitted. The mere statement of the scheme is
sufficient of itself to show its utter stupidity and recklessness. To
part for ever with splendid blocks of land in rising colonies, and on
such ridiculously easy terms, was playing into the hands of the
capitalists with a vengeance. The Australian people, who were on the spot
and could see the injurious effects of this ill-conceived project,
naturally protested with all their strength against its continuance. The
governing authorities in London soon recognised the blunder they had
made, but not before some mischief was done. One of the few capitalists
who were in a position to seize the golden opportunity was a shrewd Irish
attorney, named Atkinson, who was living in Sydney and who had previously
made some unsuccessful attempts to acquire a large tract of land. He now
lost no time in putting in his application for a special survey of 5,000
acres on the con­ditions laid down by the Colonial Office. The locality
he chose was the land abutting on the beautiful harbour of Port Fairy, in
what is now the western district of Victoria, and which had been
described with perfect truth as "sur­prisingly fertile " by the rescued
crew of a vessel that had been wrecked in the vicinity. But it so
happened that the local government in Melbourne had also an eye to the
probable future value of this spot, not only on account of the richness
of the soil, but also by reason of the possibilities of the place as a
leading seaport in the days to come; and before Mr. Atkinson's
application received official approval, the land to the extent of five
miles around Port Fairy was proclaimed a reservation by the State for the
purposes of a future town and seaport. Most men would have withdrawn from
the field after the issue of such a proclamation as this, but Mr.
Atkinson was not to be daunted by obstacles of any shape, and he resolved
to persevere in his determination. He summoned all the influence at his
command into opera­tion, with the result that on January 6th, 1843, Mr.
Latrobe, the head of the government in Melbourne, was astonished to
receive a communication from the Colonial Secretary, instructing him to "
allow Mr. Atkinson to select his special survey." So indignant was Mr.
Latrobe at this barefaced over-riding of the government proclamation,
that he returned a reply absolutely refusing to order the survey until he
received distinct and definite instructions. He further deemed it his
duty to emphasise the injustice and the unwisdom of giving to one man a
monopoly of one of the finest harbours in Australia, but all his
remonstrances were without avail. After the lapse of a year he got the
more precise instructions without which he had previously refused to act,
and then of course he had no alternative but to order the survey and
place Mr. Atkinson in possession of his coveted and most valuable estate.

As soon as he entered into possession, the first thing Mr. Atkinson did
was to lay out a township around the harbour and give it the name of his
native Belfast in Ireland. He then sub-divided 4,000 acres into farms of
convenient size; and with the very laudable object of making the place
Irish in reality as well as in name, he went to Sydney, and, when he
returned, he brought back with him a shipload of his countrymen, their
wives and their families. It is to be recorded to his credit that he did
not insist on his future tenants being of Belfast or Northern origin. On
the con­trary, the great majority of them were Catholics from Munster and
Connaught, and to this day the Belfast district continues to be one of
the distinctively Catholic centres of Victoria. Having placed each family
in possession of its future farm, Mr. Atkinson provided them all with
seed, and with the means of maintaining themselves until the ripening of
their crops. The first harvest fully realised all the anti­cipations that
had been formed of the fertility of the soil, and at once lifted Belfast
into the front rank of agricultural areas-a pride of place that it has
continued to occupy ever since. " The farm lands on the Belfast estate,"
writes an authority on the subject, " are capable of growing excellent
crops of potatoes or wheat, and other cereals. As an instance of its
productiveness, it is related that one of the blocks has been under wheat
continually during the past fifteen years without manuring, and the crops
at the end of the period are as good as those obtained at the beginning.
Yields of 16 tons to 21 tons per acre of marketable potatoes are stated
to have been obtained from some paddocks in the district: and with regard
to the grazing capabilities of the land, it is said that in a paddock of
86 acres, about seven miles from the town, 110 bullocks are being
fattened, and 10 to 15 sheep to the acre are usually put to fatten in the
neighbourhood."

As an agricultural settlement, Belfast thus became rapidly prosperous,
but as a seaport town, In which respect It was also fully qualified to
excel, Its progress was far from being so satisfactory. The local
government being naturally in­ dignant at the manner in which their
reservation of the place for public purposes had been Ignored by the
higher authorities, revenged themselves on the successful interloper by
as little State money as possible on the development; of the natural
resources of Belfast and its harbour. But Mr, Atkinson had a firm faith
in the future, and could afford to wait. Having founded his thriving
farming colour, aid appointed an agent to collect and remit his annual
revenue of thousands of pounds from the estate, he retired to upend the
rest of his clays in his native Ireland, strong in the belief that the
town he had marked out on the shores of Port Fain- would grow of itself,
and be to him an additional abundant source of wealth. And the event
proved that he was quite right in this anticipation. An infant town in
such a commanding situation, and surrounded by the richest of
agricultural areas, could not be kept back either by government neglect
or by the ungrateful indifference of its absentee owner; and slowly but
surely building sites in wore sought after and became increasingly
valuable. Thus the town grew apace through the operation "of its own
resources, but, except to the very oldest of its inhabi­ tants, the
landlord of the place was only known through the reflected Medium of his
regularly-calling rent-collecting agent. It was apparently Mr. Atkinson's
intention to make the town of Belfast, and the neighbouring agricultural
settle- ment, a splendid hereditary estate, for, when he died, he
beqwathed the whole of the lucrative property to his son. But this
attempt to plant the evil seed of absentee landlordism on Australian soil
was happily frustrated, and the second Mr. Atkinson was induced to part
with the property for a good round sum to three gentlemen who possessed
large interests in Belfast. These gentlemen, by selling the land in small
allotments, which brought remarkably high prices gave the leaseholders
under Mr. Atkinson's sway the oppor­tunity of converting themselves into
independent freeholders and this long-wished-for opportunity was embraced
with general joy and eagerness. In this manner Belfast has been placed on
an equal footing with other Victorian towns, and is no longer drained of
several thousands of pounds annually to support an absentee owner in
idleness. The money is re­tained where it has been raised, and circulates
for the benefit of its producers. The good results of the abolition of
the old insecure tenure, one of the greatest disabilities with which
Belfast had to contend in its days of private ownership, are now seen in
a vastly increased stability and self-confidence, and in the variety of
improvements that would never have been undertaken but for the fortunate
change from foreign to local proprietorship. The Victorian Government,
too, is now making amends for past neglect by providing all neces­sary
harbour facilities, and improving the navigation of the River Moyne, so
that vessels may come up, discharge, and reload in the town itself.

Whether regarded as a maritime, a manufacturing, or an agricultural
centre, Belfast has now a most promising future before it, but it may be
hoped that in the era of its coming prosperity, it will not lose that
Celtic atmosphere and those Hibernian attributes with which the eminent
scientist, Dr. J. E. Taylor, was so particularly struck. In the record of
his tour through " Our Island Continent," he says that the suburbs of
Belfast reminded him wonderfully of a well-to-do Irish town-" The same
kind of houses and potato-patches, the same paddocks with the same kind
of cows, the same kind of stone-walls." The town of Belfast, it only
remains to add, has been represented for some years in the Victorian
parliament by its present member, Mr. J. J. Madden, a stal­wart young
Irish-Australian Catholic. The county triumph­antly returned Sir Charles
Gravan Duffy soon after his arrival in the colony, and was subsequently
represented for a lengthy period by a typical true-hearted Celt in the
person of the late Hon. Michael O'Grady. Mr. James Toohey, its present
member, has been continuously returned at all the recent elections.

Another estate known as Farnharn adjoined Mr. Atkin-son's in the early
days, and like his, it was subsequently sub­divided into small farms and
largely occupied by industrious Irish immigrants. It extends to the
eastward from Belfast towards the town of Warrnambool, and from its rich
vol­canic soil are produced the very best potatoes in Australia. As many
as 40,000 tons of potatoes have been exported from Warrnambool in one
year, and the quantity annually sent away from Belfast has, at times,
been even greater than this. "As a potato-grower the Irishman has no
equal, and as a pig-raiser he is hard to beat," was the conclusion
arrived at by a candid critic after travelling through this district.
"Leasing land for potato-growing," writes a gentleman intimately
acquainted with the locality "is the great event of the year with the
small pro­prietors in the district, and the prices paid per acre are a
source of the greatest astonishment to the residents in less favoured
districts of Australia. The leaseholders get posses­sion of the land on
the 1st July, and give it over on the 1st May ensuing, and for this they
pay the high rent of from £4 up to £8 per acre. The persons carrying on
this industry are, as might be guessed, of Irish birth or descent, and
their judgment and skill in the conduct of the business is remarkable.
Before offering for a lease of any land, they have an intimate knowledge
of the quality and depth of every yard of soil in the field, and what
crop they may expect on an average season." An eye-witness has given an
interesting description of one of these sales of annual leases for potato
land. " The whole assemblage," he says " with the exception of the
auctioneers and one or two others who like myself, are simply present
from a feeling of curiosity, are dressed in their work-a-day clothes, but
under these well-worn coats there are some deep pockets, as the
subse­quent proceedings testify. Meeting an acquaintance in the crowd, an
old resident in the locality, I remarked that there was a poor prospect
of a satisfactory sale, as the appearance of the crowd certainly
indicated no plethora of cash. He shook his head, and in a whisper
remarked, 'There will be high prices given to-day, they are all so
quiet-that means business,' and, pointing to one individual in the crowd,
who apparently was more likely to be an applicant for admission to the
benevolent asylum than a purchaser of land at extreme rates, he remarked,
'that man, poor as he looks, is worth thousands, and, take them all
round, I believe they are worth more man for man than the same number
selected indiscriminately at one of your town sales:' and the result, as
far as the prices realised were concerned, justified his prediction. A
few minutes afterwards a well-appointed buggy and pair drove up,
containing the burly and genial form of the senior partner in a leading
Warrnambool firm, who, after exchanging cheery greetings with the
assemblage, to whom he was evidently well known, at once commenced



CHAPTER VII.


IRISH IMMIGRANTS IN THE COLONIES.

CAROLINE CHISHOLM, " THE EMIGRANT'S FRIEND"--HER PROTECTION OF HOMELESS
GIRLS-A DIVINE MISSION-CONVERSION OP A GOVERNOR-THE SYDNEY FEMALE
EMIGRANTS' HOME--CORRECTION OF A CRYING EVIL--THE " BUSH JOURNEYS" OF
MRS. CHISHOLM--WANTED, A TIPPERARY GIRL-WHAT THE IRISH RACE OWES TO MRS.
CHISHOLM-ANECDOTES OF HER PHILANTHROPIC CAREER-LORD SHERBROOEE'S
EULOGIUM--A TRI­UMPHANT VINDICATION OF IRISH FEMALE IMMIGRANTS-OFFICIAL
TESTI­MONY IN THEIR FAVOUR--LIFE ON AN EMIGRANT SHIP- GENEROSITY AND
AFFECTION OF IRISH GIRLS-THE DANGER OF DRUNKENNESS-SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT
DURING RECENT YEARS.

If one were asked to name the most genuine, devoted, and unselfish
philanthropist that has ever trod Australian soil, the name of Caroline
Chisholm would at once rise to the lips.

Her affectionate title of "The Emigrant's Friend"--a title conferred with
the unanimous consent of the young nation that profited so largely from
her self-imposed mission of love--tells its own story, and will ever
remain one of the most pleasing phrases in the history of the great
southern continent. It was towards the end of the year 1838 that Mrs.
Chisholm, with her infant family (one of her daughters is now Mrs. E.
Dwyer Gray, of Dublin), first landed in Sydney, the place that was soon
to be the base of her benevolent operations. Her womanly heart was sorely
afflicted by the crying evils she saw all around her in that young
disorganised community. What horri­fied her most was the hapless fate of
so many of the helpless ones of her own sex---the poor emigrant girls who
were turned adrift without friend or counsellor in that city of sin, and
but too frequently were inveigled into houses of ill-fame in less than
twenty-four hours after leaving their ships. Against this monstrous evil
Mrs. Chisholm determined to wage a ceaseless combat. The brave-hearted
woman commenced her campaign-more glorious in its results than any
recorded in the military history of nations--by systematically meeting
every emi­grant ship on arrival, gathering the unprotected girls around
her, giving them sound motherly advice, and, when necessary, sheltering
and protecting them in her own house. She often had nine of these
friendless girls at a time under her hospitable roof; but, as ship after
ship arrived in the harbour, she saw the absolute necessity of
establishing an institution large enough to afford pro­tection to the
many who stood so urgently in need of a temporary asylum. With a view to
arousing the respect­able public opinion of the place to the pressing
urgency of what she proposed, Mrs. Chisholm contemplated pub­lishing a
large collection of letters in her possession, detailing the miseries of
young women on their first landing in Sydney, but she was dissuaded from
this step by representations of the injury that would be inflicted on the
colony by such an exposure. Then she sought the co­operation of a few
influential ladies-Lady O'Connell, Lady Dowling, Mrs. Roger Therry, Mrs.
Richard Jones, Mrs. Mackenzie, Mrs. Wallen and Miss Chambers-all of whom
promised to assist in founding a Female Emigrants' Home in Sydney.

Mrs. Chisholm has left on record a frank confession of her feelings at
the inception of the unique philanthropic movement which was ever
afterwards to be associated with her name. She says: "I felt convinced
the evil which struck me so forcibly, would soon be made apparent to the
good people of Sydney; and I felt assured that the God of all mercy would
not allow so many poor creatures to be lost, without disposing the hearts
of the people to unite and save them. I now considered the difficulties
and prepared the plan: for three weeks I hesitated and suffered much. I
was prepared to encounter the opposition of some, the lukewarm-ness or
the actual hostility of others, to the plan I might suggest. I saw I must
have the aid of the press; for I could only anticipate success by
soliciting public sympathy for the cause I had undertaken,
notwithstanding which, as a female, and almost a stranger in the colony,
I naturally felt diffi­dent. I was impressed with the idea that God had
in a peculiar manner fitted me for the work, and yet I hesitated. About
this time several young women, whom I had served, advised others to write
to me. I did. all I could to aid them in their prospects by advice, or
recommending them to situations; but the number increased, and I saw that
my plan, if carried into effect, would serve all. My delay pressed on my
mind as a sin; and when I heard of a poor girl suffering distress, and
losing her reputation in conse­quence, I felt that I was not clear of her
sin, for I did not do all that I could to prevent it. During the season
of Lent of that year, I suffered much; but on the Easter Sunday I was
enabled, at the altar of Our Lord, to make an offering of my talents to
the God who gave them. I promised to know neither country nor creed, but
to try to serve all justly and impartially. I asked only to be enabled to
keep these poor girls from being tempted by their need to mortal sin; and
resolved that, to accomplish this, I would in every way sacrifice my
feelings, surrender all comfort; nor, in fact, consider my own wishes or
feelings, but wholly devote my­self to the work I had in hand. I felt
that my offering was accepted, and that God's blessing was on my work;
but it was His will to permit many serious difficulties to be thrown in
my way, and to conduct me through a rugged path of deep humiliation. With
one exception every person I wrote or spoke to on the subject
acknowledged the need of such an institution, promised to subscribe when
one was estab­lished, though with few exceptions all declared they
thought the thing impossible."

It will thus be seen that the great difficulty Mrs. Chisholm had to
encounter, on the threshold of her noble undertaking, was to awaken the
people to a sense of the evils that were rampant in their midst, and to
communicate to them some of the reforming zeal and enthusiasm that
animated herself. The Governor of the colony, Sir George Gipps, did not
scruple to describe her as a wild enthusiast, and her letters beseeching
his patronage to a movement that he should have been the first to
encourage, were merely acknowledged with the severest official brevity.
The newspapers contented themselves with mildly debating the project, and
the clergy, whilst admitting that the idea was laudable in itself, shook
their heads and gravely doubted whether it could be made a reality. But
Mrs. Chisholm was not depressed in the least by these prophecies of
failure. Their effect was rather to make her work more energetically than
ever, and her perseverance was at length rewarded by the Governor
grant­ing a reluctant interview to the "lady labouring under amiable
delusions," to quote his own condescending phrase. "I expected," said Sir
George Gipps many years after­wards, "to have seen an old lady in white
cap and spectacles, who would have talked to me about my soul. I was
amazed when my aide-de-camp introduced a handsome, stately young woman,
who proceeded to reason the question as if she thought her reason, and
experience too, worth as much as mine."

Mrs. Chisholm succeeded in converting the Governor so far to her way of
thinking, that he consented to give her the conditional use of a
government building. True, it was but a low wooden structure; still, it
was not to be despised in a city which had a nightly average of GOO
homeless emigrant girls. With characteristic energy, Mrs. Chisholm had
soon transformed the old, abandoned store­house-for such it had
originally been-into an institution answering, in some degree at least,
to the title she attached to it-that of " Female Emigrants' Home."
Sacrificing every domestic comfort, she took up her abode in the
institution that had been called into being by her untiring exertions,
and, every night before retiring to rest, she made it a point to visit
every one of the hundred homeless girls that the place was made to
accommodate by economising space to the utmost. A number of these poor
but virtuous girls-a large proportion of them Irish girls-had, before
being admitted to the Home, slept out for many nights in the public parks
or in the sheltered recesses of the rocks around the harbour, rather than
expose themselves to the dangers of the streets. Nothing was more
discreditable than the deplorable want of foresight exhibited by the New
South Wales Government at this time, in encouraging female immigration to
its shores, whilst making little or no provision for the safety or
protec­tion of the girls, either on the voyage or when they landed.

The abuse of power by ship captains, and the immorality of the inferior
officers, were considerably checked by a prosecution, which Mrs. Chisholm
compelled the Governor to institute against parties who had driven a girl
mad by their violence. When Sir George Gipps, hesitating, said, " A
Government prosecution is a very serious matter," she answered, " I am
ready to prosecute; I have the necessary evidence, and if it be a risk
whether I or these men shall go to prison, I am ready to stand the risk."
That trial estab­lished a precedent, and corrected a crying evil.

Mrs. Chisholm, having now successfully established her Female Emigrants'
Home in Sydney, threw all her energies into the supplementary work of
obtaining honest employ­ment for her proteges. She saw clearly that, for
the most of them, the Home would be but a brief respite from destruction
unless, in their unprotected state, they were speedily removed from the
dangers and pitfalls of the city, and placed in the way of earning an
honourable livelihood in the country. To this end, the indefatigable lady
went boldly into the interior, visited every provincial centre,
established local Homes as branches of the central institution in Sydney,
and formed local committees for the purposes of management and
supervision. At first she had some little difficulty in consequence of
the natural dislike of the girls to venture into "the bush," as the whole
of the back country was called, but her commanding personal influence
always pre­vailed in the end.

Thus was commenced Mrs. Chisholm's memorable series of " bush journeys,"
during which she travelled through all the settled districts of the
colony, accompanied by successive batches of emigrant girls, whom she
placed, one by one, in domestic service, chiefly in the houses of
respectable farmers. Just as in the city she was invariably under the
roof of her Emigrants' Home, so in the country this devoted apostle of
her sex never allowed her girls out of sight, many a time sleeping out
with them in the wild bush, or occupying the dreary floor of a barn when
no other shelter for the night was available. Her contingents of girls
varied from 15 to 60 in number, but on one occasion she started from
Sydney with the little army of 147 under her command, for all of whom she
found suit­able places. On one occasion she received a batch of 64 girls
from a newly-arrived vessel, and their aggregate wealth was found to be
exactly fourteen shillings and three half-pence. And yet, through the
instrumentality of Mrs. Chisholm, for every one of the girls who thus
landed in such a miserable plight, was found a good place in the country,
and the great majority of them married well. " I have been able," she
says, " to learn the subsequent progress in life of many hundreds of
these emigrants. Girls that I have taken up country in such a destitute
state, that I have been obliged to get a decent dress to put upon them,
have come to me again, having every comfort about them, and wanting
servants for themselves. They are constantly writing home to get out
their friends and relatives."

It will hardly be believed that Mrs. Chisholm experienced most trouble in
getting places for those of her girls who were blessed with personal
attractions, but that such was the case is evident from her own words: "
Pretty girls, no matter what their qualifications or characters, were
difficult to dispose of; they are not, it appears, liked as servants,
though they are preferred as wives. Mrs. --wanted a servant. I sent one-a
good servant girl and a very beautiful girl, I must acknowledge. I
thought the place would suit her; no son in the house; no nephews; the
cook married; the groom married; in short, quite a safety. In less than
an hour the girl returned with the following note: 'My dear Madam,-What
can you be thinking of, to send such a handsome girl to my house ?
Heavens, the place would be beset! Besides, I do not like such showy
women in rny house. Send me a plain, homely-looking girl, and oblige,
yours, &c.'"

It is narrated that on one occasion, just as she came to a solitary point
of the road, near a valley, she heard a man shouting to her " Stop, stop
! " A stout, rough bushman, clearing a few bushes at a leap, placed his
hand on the horse's head, and said " Are you Mrs. Chisholm ? " " Yes;
what do you want ? " " Want-want-why, what every man like me wants when
he sees Mrs. Chisholrn. Come now, do look up that hill, and see that nice
cottage and 40 acres under crop. The land is paid for, and the three
cows-oh, it would do you good to see the cows." Then, pulling out a roll
of papers, he continued: " See what a character I have got from the
magistrates in charge of the district; and look here, ma'am, at this roll
of notes. Come now, Mrs. Chisholm, do be a mother to me and give me a
wife; the smile of a woman has never welcomed me home after a hard day's
work-you'll have pity on rne-you don't mean to say No; you'll never be so
cruel as to say No. It makes a man's heart light to look at your carnp.
Now, you don't mean to say you have not got a nice girl from Tipperary.
Never mind the breakfast; I could keep the whole party for a week; and
what peace of mind it would be to you to know what a kind husband I shall
make for one of your girls." The appeal was irresistible, and the lonely
bushman, who was so anxious to be mated with " a nice girl from
Tipperary," was gratified with his heart's desire.

At the expiration of the first year of its existence, the Female
Emigrants' Home, under the guidance of Mrs. Chisholm, had provided no
less than 735 young women with temporary protection and permanent
situations-a record of good to which no other woman of our century,
fighting similar adverse circumstances, can conscientiously lay claim. Of
these 735 unprotected female emigrants, the great majority, 516, were of
Irish birth, the minority being com­posed of 184 English and 35 Scotch.
It was the same during the subsequent years of what may be truly called
Mrs. Chisholm's missionary career. As a rule, two girls out of every
three brought by the emigrant ships were of Irish nationality. By
systematically taking these lonely exiles under her protecting roof,
saving them from the perils of a demoralised city, piloting them to
worthy households in the country, and thus fitting them to preside in the
near future over happy homes of their own, Mrs. Chisholm conferred an
amount of good on our race that is simply incalculable, and that should
ensure for her memory the everlasting gratitude of the Irish people, not
in Australia alone, but all the world over. It was she who preserved the
purity of the stream at its fountain-head, and there are thousands of
Irish home-on Australian soil to-day that, in all human probability,
would never have been erected but for her loving and prac­tical,
philanthropy. The government official records credit wonderful woman with
having settled altogether 11,000 upon the soil; but that number, large as
it is, can only be accepted as a rough estimate, falling far short of the
reality. In the later years of her mission, she added to her supervision
of the female emigrants the serious responsibility of taking whole
families into the interior, and planting them on. the fertile areas that
only needed to be tickled with a plough to laugh with a harvest. This
work needed many of the qualities that go to make up a skilful
general-tact, firmness, courage, foresight, and strong common-sense; but
Mrs. Chisholm proved herself equal to every emergency. Here is a
characteristic little anecdote, recorded by herself: "When we landed from
the steamer and entered the bush, we found there was no water. I had
thirty women and "children in the party, all tired, hungry, and thirsty,
and the children crying. Without saying a word, I sent one of my old
bushmen off on horseback three miles to get enough of milk or water for
the children. In the meantime some of the emigrants came up and said, in
a discontented tone, ' Mrs. Chisholm, this is a pretty job. What must we
do? there is no water.' I knew it would not do for them to be idle;
anything was better than that in their frame of mind; so, partly judging
from the locality, I said to them without hesitation, 'If you will dig
here I think you will find water.' Directing the tools to be got out,
they immediately set to work, and, providentially, they had not dug many
feet when they came to water. This had such an exhilarating effect upon
their spirits, that they instantly threw off their coats, began to dig
two other fresh holes, and did not leave off till moonlight."

On another occasion, when in charge of a party of emigrants, she reached
a river that had overflowed its banks during the night. There was but one
means of crossing-a punt that had been moored to the bank on the previous
night, but was now separated from the land by a hundred yards of rushing
water. It was necessary that she should get her people to the other side
without delay, and she was determined to do it. " Pick me up and carry me
to the punt," she quietly but firmly said to the man in charge of the
ferry. He was astounded at the request, but all his objections were of no
avail, and, despite his declaration that it was tempting destruction to
do what the lady asked, he had in the end to carry her bodily through the
storm-waters to the punt. The whole of her party were soon on board along
with her, and they all crossed the flooded river in safety. " Ah ! sir,
she's a bold woman," was the very natural comment of the puntman, when
telling the story in after years.

On many of those journeys with emigrant families, Mrs. Chisholm has been
known to travel 300 miles into the in­terior; but such was the general
admiration for the sterling character of the woman and the exalted
unselfishness of her colonial life, that, wherever she went, squatters,
settlers, and store-keepers vied with each other in extending unbounded
hospitality to herself and the pilgrims whom she was guiding to the
promised land. As to her paying for provisions, they would not listen to
the suggestion, and this helps to explain the otherwise incredible
statement that during seven years' travelling on benevolent expeditions
to all parts of New South Wales, her personal expenses for the whole of
that time did not amount to more than £1 18s. 6d. Sleeping one night in a
wealthy squatter's mansion, and on the next in an humble settler's hut,
she was equally welcomed and beloved wherever she went.

In the early part of 1846 family reasons induced her, but evidently with
great unwillingness, to leave the noble work In which she had so long and
so advantageously been en­gaged, and to return to the home country. Her
departure, as may easily be imagined, was regarded as a national loss,
for, through the agency of her philanthropic schemes, she had visibly
founded a new nation. The farewell addresses and testimonials that were
showered upon her but imperfectly translated the gratitude of the whole
colony to the high-minded, warm-hearted, sympathetic lady, who, unaided
by any force outside her own lofty enthusiasm and unexampled energy, had
effected an abiding moral and social revolution.

A general address was signed by members of the Legis­lative Assembly,
magistrates, landholders, merchants and representative citizens. It
tendered to Mrs. Chisholm a warm expression of thanks for her zealous and
active exertions on behalf of the emigrant population during her seven
years' residence in the colony. It was universally acknowledged that the
extraordinary efforts which she had made in the cause of practical
philanthropy had been dictated by a spirit of the most enlightened
benevolence. The address concluded by stating that signal advantages had
been conferred on the community by her establishing an Emigrants' Home in
Sydney, and procuring the satis­factory settlement of great numbers of
the emigrant population in the interior.

Out of the many eulogiums that were pronounced on Mrs. Chisholm's seven
years' work in Australia, one is especially worthy of note, as coming
from a remarkably close and critical observer. Mr. Robert Lowe, now Lord
Sherbrooke, was a young barrister, a prominent politician and a
contemporary of Mrs. Chisholm's in Sydney many years ago, and this is his
testimony: " One person only in the colony has done anything
effectual-anything on a scale which may be called large-to mitigate this
crying evil and national sin, and to fix families on our lands in lieu of
bachelors. And, strange to say, that one is an humble, unpretending,
quiet-working female missionary-an emi­grant missionary, not a clerical
one. The singularity of her mission, looking to the nature of her work,
is one of the most original that was ever devised or undertaken by either
man or woman; and the object, the labour, the design, are beyond all
praise."

It goes without saying that Irish immigrants, as a class, and Irish
immigrant girls in particular, had their detractors and calumniators in
almost all of the Australian colonies. In every quarter of the globe
there will surely be found some representatives of that prejudiced and
insignificant faction, to whom the name of everything Irish is hateful,
and whose chief delight it is to concoct vile charges against the
faithful sons and daughters of St. Patrick. At the time when emigration
to the colonies was in full swing, these ill-conditioned slanderers did
their little best to poison the minds of their fellow-colonists against
the Irish immigrants. They were never weary of reiterating sweeping
charges of incapacity, dishonesty, and immorality against the Irish girls
who were passengers in the immigrant ships. In Mel­bourne their perpetual
mud-throwing prevailed so far as to cause the city council on one
cccasion, in a moment of weakness, to carry an address to the Queen
praying for an immediate stoppage to the immigration of Irish girls. But
this unworthy act on the part of the municipal rulers of Melbourne was
promptly neutralised by the action of Arch­bishop Goold and the late Sir
John O'Shanassy, who con­vened a public meeting, at which the reckless
assertions of the bigots were shown to be a wilful contradiction of facts
and experience. A counter-memorial to the Queen was adopted by that large
assemblage of representative citizens, who further pledged themselves to
the protection and encouragement of the Irish girls as a highly virtuous
and deserving class of immigrants. The discomfiture of the cowardly
slanderers was complete when Mr. Edmund Finn, the vice-president of St.
Patrick's Society, diligently searched the records of the police-courts,
and obtained the evidence of immigration agents, detectives, and
con­stables, with the result that the good name and the fair fame of the
daughters of Erin were triumphantly vindicated on appeal to these
official sources of information. Mr. Finn laid the results of his
investigations before a crowded meet­ing in St. Patrick's Hall, and the
charges, born of malignity and prejudice, were unanimously branded as
being without a particle of foundation to rest upon. The disgraceful part
played by the city council in the matter was also strongly condemned by
the meeting, as a most uncalled-for and unjustifiable abuse of
representative power. It sometimes happened that the anti-Irish bigots
were summarily silenced by the candid testimony of honest English
immi­gration officers. For instance, Mr. Arthur Perry, secretary to the
Tasmanian Female Immigration Association, on one oc­casion addressed this
conscientious and in every way credit­able report to Lieutenant-Governor
Sir William Denison: " I have the honour to report, for the information
of His Excellency, that the conduct of the immigrants by the ships '
Beulah ' and ' Calcutta,' whilst in the depot at the wharf, was very
satisfactory. All the immigrants by those ships, with two exceptions,
have obtained respectable situations and been discharged from the depot.
The very large majority of the immigrants were Irish Roman Catholics, and
have for years past been brought up in different union workhouses and
establishments in Ireland; consequently they knew little or nothing of
domestic service; but experience has now proved that very many of these
girls are likely to make most valuable servants, particularly in those
instances where their mistresses have used kindness and forbearance
towards them, and have taken the trouble to instruct them in their new
duties. Their aptitude for and quickness at learning how to perform the
services required of them is, in many instances that have come under my
notice, surprising. The girls sent out are very well adapted for country
servants, and, as many of them have gone into situations in the country,
their conduct has been so good that many applications have been made to
me by the settlers lately with which I could not comply, there being no
girls at the depot. I must not depot to mention that the moral character
of these Irish girls has not, to my knowledge, in one single instance
been brought into question. Some few of the English girls who came in the
' Beulah ' from Portsea have, I am afraid, gone astray; but out of nearly
400 single females who arrived in the ships 'Beulah,' 'Australasia,' and
'Calcutta,' I have not heard of more than four instances where the girls
have left their situations, and preferred obtaining a livelihood in an
improper and immoral manner. If more instances had occurred, I think I
should have heard something of them, as many persons here are
over-anxious to mark anything amiss or improper in the character, conduct
or management of the free immi­grants. I consider the arrival of these
girls here, and their distribution throughout the island, has been a
great public good, and I only sincerely hope and trust that the further
supply will not be stopped."

Colonel Mundy, who had special opportunities of obtain­ing accurate
information, declares that in some cases the Irish girls were shamefully
treated on board the emigrant ships, and there are certainly cases on
record of young women being punished in the most brutal manner for
alleged breaches of discipline, at the instance of inhuman
surgeon-superintendents. Whilst many of those officials were com-mendably
strict, but courteous, in their relations with the emigrants under their
charge, there were others in whom the spirit of the petty tyrant was
uppermost, and these, par-ticularly if they had previous anti-Irish
prejudices, took a savage delight in wounding the susceptibilities and
even outraging the bodies of the Hibernians on board. As a result of
official inquiries instituted on arrival in Australia, more than one of
the privileged ruffians who thus abused their power and position, were
heavily fined and dismissed for disgraceful conduct on the voyage. A
perusal of the sickening evidence in these cases, as set forth at length
in government blue-books, leaves no room to doubt that fine and
degradation from office was too light a punishment altogether for such
offences against manliness and decency, as were sheeted home to these "
gentlemen" by Act of Parliament. However, it is gratifying to record that
the number of such scoundrelly surgeon-superintendents was comparatively
small. Colonel Mundy assures us that "the majority of the ships were
admirably conducted" * and he adds his weighty personal testimony, that
many of the Irish girls brought out in them succeeded remarkably well in
the colonies. He says he was particularly struck, on visiting the
immigration depot, with the cleanly, decent appearance of the Irish girls
as a body, as well as by their marked superiority in good looks.

*Reports to this effect, repeatedly occur in the blue-books: "The
immi­grants, with a few exceptions, were Irish nominees and conducted
themselves throughout the voyage to the entire satisfaction of the
surgeon-superin­tendent."

There are not very many accessible pictures of life on board an
Australian emigrant ship, but a few graphic examples of portrait and
character painting may be met with in a charming little collection of "
Waifs and Strays, by an Irish-Australian Emigrant." Glancing around for
the first time on his fellow-passengers, he says: " It was not difficult
to recognise the frank, intelligent face of the Irish Celt; the cold,
self-important bearing of the Englishman was equally unmistakable; upon
every side resounded the pleasant dialect of the Scot; and scattered here
and there might be seen natives of Poland, Germany, Italy and France,
still retaining a little of their picturesque national costumes. There
was a large number of my countrymen on board, and one of the few real
pleasures I enjoyed was to observe the good sense and the good nature by
which they were habitually distinguished. Avoiding every unreasonable
ground of quarrel, they associated in a kindly brotherhood with their
fellow-voyagers of every country and creed; and it was equally novel and
delightful to see Irish, English and Scotch doing justice to each other,
and avoiding the dismal feuds which originate in the vices of their
rulers. But still the exiled Celts seemed proud of their old historic
island, and evidently regarded themselves as defenders of her fame. Some
stupid insult having been offered to Ireland by a few ignorant
malcontents one evening, it was resented in a manner which effectually
prevented its repetition. 'Although we have been driven into exile,'
observed one of the actors in this scene (a fine young fellow from Cork),
' don't think that we have forfeited our nationality.'"

The departing emigrant was denied the sorrowful favour of seeing his
native shores fade away in the distance. " At about eight o'clock a.m. we
knew that the dark outline which loomed on our left was Holyhead, but not
even thus dimly could we discern to the right the ' green, holy hills of
Ireland.' At noon we saw Bardsey Island, bearing south­east, but not a
glimpse of the pleasant homes of Dublin or the romantic glens of Wicklow.
I had anticipated the sad, sweet pleasure of taking a last glimpse of the
Irish coast, and yet, although I knew we were sailing past it the entire
day, I strained my eyes in vain endeavouring to pierce the invidious
curtain of clouds that intervened."

Of that very important personage on board a ship-the cook-an amusing
anecdote is recorded: " All the passen­gers' food was cooked at the
ship's galley-a small dingy-looking apparatus enough, but which executed
its enormous task with admirable punctuality. The chief artiste was a
negro, named Bill, whose salient characteristic was a decided weakness
for rum, and it was often amusing to see him cajole some unsophisticated
passenger out of his favourite beverage. ' Massa,' said he one evening to
a group of good-natured young Celts, ' Lor' knows, I'm an Irishman
myself-only I was born in Demerara !' "

Mr. James Smith relates a touching little incident that was communicated
to him by the late Irish-Australian philanthropist, Ambrose Kyte. One
afternoon in the leading street of Melbourne, Mr. Kyte's attention was
attracted towards a group of his countrymen and 'Countrywomen. They were
evidently members of the same family, some of whom had only lately
arrived, whilst others had been in the colony for some time. The
new-comers had brought with them a little box upon which great store
appeared to be set, for, when it was opened, the eyes of the older
settlers glistened with tears, and the aged mother of the party devoutly
made the sign of the Cross. The box contained a sod of shamrock, fresh
and green as when it was first cut from the surrounding turf. "And who,"
exclaims the narrator of the story, "will refuse to sympathise with the
emotion which that simple memento of a far-distant land excited in the
breasts of those who were thus feelingly reminded of the emblem of their
country and the verdure of its soil ? "

Speaking of the strength and the perpetuity of the chain of affection
that has always connected the Irish abroad and their kindred at home, the
same gentleman once publicly stated from a Melbourne platform: " It is a
fact-without a parallel I should suppose in the world's history-that in
seven years the Irish in America sent £7,520,000 to their friends and
relations at home. The aggregate remittances from the colony of Victoria
to Ireland must be something considerable, and the eagerness with which
our Irish fellow-colonists poured in their applications and their money
for passage-warrants, under the Assisted Immigration regula­tions, is
another and a most creditable proof of the strength of their family
affections. I know of three sisters-un­sophisticated but warm-hearted
Irish girls, domestic servants in this city- who regularly remit
one-third of their earnings every year to Ireland in order to support an
aged and widowed mother in comfort and independence. Acts of filial piety
like these-and they are very common among the class I speak of-say more
for the character of the Irish people, and for the depth and durability
of the ties which bind them to their kindred, than the most eloquent
eulogy which could be pronounced upon them. These are not such actions as
court notoriety and obtain applause. They are secretly performed, and
spring from a loving impulse, while they are consecrated by a solemn
conviction of duty; and I believe that no Australian mail is delivered in
Ireland that does not carry succour to the destitute, comfort to the
aged, health to the infirm, a gleam of pleasure to many a solitary cabin,
and a sense of solace and companionship to many a lonely fireside."*

* Lecture on " The Irish Character," by Mr. James Smith.

The Irish emigrant to Australia, who systematically ab­stained from
intemperance and cultivated habits of industry, always attained to
success and frequently arrived at affluence. Thousands of such instances
might be quoted. On the other hand, it is equally true that some of our
emigrant countrymen fell victims to the ever-open public-house and the
prevailing sociable conviviality of the colonies. Drink­ing there is
quite a common practice, and what is familiarly known as "shouting" was
at one time almost universal, though of late years this peculiarly
dangerous evil has been considerably diminished in extent. To " shout "
in a public-house means to insist on everybody present, friends and
strangers alike, drinking at the shouter's expense, and, as no member of
the party will allow himself to be outdone in this reckless sort of
hospitality, each one " shouts" in succession, with the result that
before long they are all overcome by intoxication. By reason of their
characteristic temperament and. their superabundant sociable qualities,
Irishmen were peculiarly liable to tumble into this pitfall, and whenever
they did fail in the colonies, in nine cases out of ten the failure was
clearly attributable to this baneful source of temptation in their path.
In the middle of 1852, when people were hurrying from all quarters of the
globe to the newly-discovered Australian gold-fields, Patrick O'Donohoe,
one of the transported men of '48, acted like a true disciple of Father
Mathew, and, from his place of exile in Tasmania, addressed an earnest
exhortation to his emigrant countrymen to be on their guard against the
foul fiend of drunkenness. " Since the era when the standard of
temperance was first raised in the green old Western Isle- the Isle of
the Saints-at no period, and in no country, was the rigid fulfilment of
all the duties connected with teetotalism of such importance as it has
now become in the great continent of Australia and the adjacent
colonies." He goes on to declare that " very many of the political,
social and moral evils of Ireland owe their origin or continuance to the
baneful vice of drunkenness,'' and he pathetically pleads with his
fellow-countrymen who were corning out to the new southern land, to live
in accordance with the principles of Father Mathew. The only reason, he
says, that induced him to pen this well-timed address was the " hope of
lending a helping hand in the work of regeneration, and thereby laying
the foundation of great, free, and united states in the Southern
Hemisphere." Looking back at the past history of the colonies, he sees
them possessing the incalculable advantages of a pure salubrious climate,
a soil abounding in fertility, producing all the necessaries and even the
luxuries of life, and covered with flocks and herds and gathered
harvests. Then, lifting up the curtain of the future for the benefit of
the emigrating Irish thousands, the man of '48 observes: "And in addition
to all those blessings of heaven, there are now thrown open mines of the
richest metal. Isolated though you stand, deeply embedded in the bosom of
the boundless Pacific, you offer to the world an emporium of wealth. You
have become a sort of magnet which will attract tens of thousands from
the Northern Hemisphere- from the Old and New World to the Antipodes. The
pro­gress of the arts and. sciences, civilisation, liberty, and
inde­pendence ought to be the results of those unexampled sources of
prosperity, but to secure such desirable results, persever­ance,
fortitude, and wisdom must lead the way and govern your conduct. In this
incipient stage on the highway to your future greatness and renown, all
the religious and moral virtues should be encouraged and cultivated. Of
the latter class, I hold temperance and the absence of all excesses to be
of paramount importance."

Answering the question, what is the cause and source of crime in
Australia ?-an Irish-Australian judge,* in his address at the opening of
the first circuit court at Brisbane, now the capital of the .flourishing
colony of Queensland, gave his personal testimony and experience in very
startling lan­guage. " I think," he said, " I may claim some
authorita­tive right to answer that question correctly, as a person
having had an experience second to few in this or any other country in
the administration of criminal law. The result of that experience
supplies to the question just asked this answer--Intoxication is the
hot-bed from which crime springs. Directly or indirectly, all crime is
traceable to it, the exceptions being so few as to establish the general
rule. If a dray is stopped and robbed on the highway, what is the first
object of search?--the keg of spirits. If there be no spirits, the
plundered property is converted into cash, speedily to be spent in
intoxication. If a store in the country is robbed, the first plunder is
that of the cask or the bottle that contains some intoxicating liquor. A
quarrel that after a short time, with a little reflection, would be
forgotten by sober minds, is renewed and revived with fresh exasperation
in the mind at a moment of intoxication, and a thirst created for the
most disproportionate and dreadful revenge. At such a moment, too, the
jealous mind, without any real ground of jealousy, converts remote
suspicion into certain conviction, and so on through the whole range of
the human passions. Indirectly, intoxication is the cause of crime by
producing poverty, for in this country habits of inebriety constitute the
main cause of poverty, as no man here is necessitous!/ poor who does not
spend in intemperance those means by which he should support his family.
Poverty in its turn begets crime, and thus from intoxication, as from a
parental source, both derive their existence."

* Mr. Justice Therry.

These are wise and weighty words, but happily they are not applicable, at
least to any appreciable extent, to the Irish-Australians of to-day. Mr.
Justice Therry spoke at a time when colonial society was in its incipient
stage of development, and when the more animal type of Australian was in
the ascendant. Things have changed considerably since then; civilising
influences have been at work; settled and well-organised communities have
usurped the place of the wild bush; the higher rational life has the most
devotees, and the Calibans are only a small minority of the population.

Through giving way to drink, many a clever Irishman has been constrained
to earn a livelihood in some menial sub­ordinate position, entirely out
of harmony with his in­tellectual gifts and attainments. Cases of thi3
kind are very deplorable, and are also at times productive of very
comical developments. One of the most amusing scenes ever enacted in a
colonial court of justice was the direct result of placing an educated
Irishman in an office that is ordinarily filled by an illiterate person.
In its early days, the best classical scholar that Melbourne possessed
was an Irishman rejoicing in the rolling name of Daniel Wellesley
O'Donovan. He once held a good position in the colony, but he lost it
through his fondness for the bottle. He then sank by degrees in the
social scale, until finally he became a groorn in the stable of Mr.
Justice Willis, an irascible gentleman who prided himself on his
classical knowledge, and who invariably opened each session of his court
with a pedantic address crowded with Latin and Greek quotations. On one
of these occasions of state, the ordinary court crier could not attend
through illness, and His Honour, seeing that his groom was a
good-looking, well-proportioned fellow, called upon O'Donovan to take the
vacant high place in court, make the usual official announcements, and
pre­serve order and decorum in the place of justice. O'Donovan did as he
was commanded, and all went well until the judge in his scarlet robes
commenced to read his usual grandi­loquent address in the presence of a
crowded court. For the first five minutes he confined himself to the
English tongue, but soon His Honour plunged into an unlucky quotation
from Horace. Like the war-horse when he hears the sound of the trumpet,
so did the temporary crier prick up his ears at the familiar sounds. The
judge negotiated four lines successfully, but in the middle of the fifth
he floundered; and O'Donovan, forgetting where and what he was for the
moment, yelled out in indignation: " See here, your Honour, you are
murdering my favourite author, and I will not allow that to be clone by
either judge or jury. Just listen to me, and I will give you the only
true and correct version." Then, to the amazement and the amuse­ment of
the whole court, the crier recited a passage of Horace in the most
approved academic style. As for the judge, who was so abruptly,
unexpectedly, and scandalously pulled up in the course of his address, he
was for a time literally speechless with rage and astonishment, but, as
soon as he recovered the use of his voics, he roared to the Sheriff to
remove " that scoundrel" from the court and lock him up immediately.
O'Donovan was thereupon seized, dragged down from his high perch in the
court, and placed in one of the prisoners' cells, the innocent expression
of his countenance showing all the while that he was utterly unable to
com­prehend what he had done to deserve such treatment, and that he could
not for the life of him see any crime in correcting an obvious Latin
misquotation. Until the rising of the court, poor O'Donovan was left in
his solitary cell to ruminate over the perils of exhibiting classical
knowledge at unseasonable times. Then he was discharged in a double
sense-liberated from confinement and commanded by the infuriated judge
never to be seen near his private residence or his stable again. This is
perhaps the only case on record of a man losing a situation by reason of
his being a good classical scholar.



CHAPTER VIII.


THE VOYAGE OF THE "ERIN-GO-BRAGH."

IRISH EMIGRATION TO QUEENSLAND-THE LABOURS OF FATHER DUNNE--OPPOSITION OF
THE GOVERNMENT AGENT-THE LAND--ORDER SYSTEM--CHARTERING OF THE
"ERIN-GO-BRAGH"--DESPATCH OF FOUR HUNDRED IRISH EMIGRANTS TO
QUEENSLAND--THEIR SETTLEMENT IN NEW HOMES.--A DIABOLICAL DEED OF A
BIGOT--NOVEL METHOD OF SETTLING DISPUTES--QUESTIONABLE SOUP--A FEMALE
PATRICK--OFFICIAL TESTIMONY TO THE SUCCESS OF FATHER DUNNE'S EMIGRATION
SCHEME-THE "FIERY STAR"--SUCCESSFUL IMMIORANTS--PATERNAL ADVICE TO IRISH
YOUTHS AND MAIDENS--SOBRIETY, ENERGY AND PERSEVERANCE.

Queensland, the youngest of the Australian colonies, had the good
fortune, during its infancy and early growth, to receive excellent
nourishment in the shape of a steady and systematic supply of Irish
emigrants. Through the instru­mentality of a devoted Irish-Australian
priest, who is now the Very Eev. Patrick Dunne, D.D., Vicar-General of
the Diocese of Goulburn, the newly-founded northern offshoot of the
parent colony was blessed with many willing Hibernian hearts and hands,
that have done much to pro­mote its progress and prosperity, and to
accelerate its. development in various directions. Soon after the
formation of a government in Queensland, the wisdom of fostering and
encouraging immigration to so large an unoccupied territory, was
immediately recognised and acted upon. An immigration agent (Mr. Jordan)
was appointed and des-patched to London with instructions to arrange, if
possible, for a ship to leave London once a month with emigrants for
Queensland. Mr. Jordan experienced some difficulty in securing in England
the class of immigrants suitable for the new colony, and it was
understood that, in carrying out his mission, he should confine himself
almost exclusively to the selection of immigrants from England and
Scotland. About this time (1861) there was great distress in Ireland-a
partial famine, in fact-and, as usual under such painful and unforeseen
circumstances, the heartless landlords were busily engaged exacting and
exterminating the poor afflicted people who were unable to pay their
rents. On the estate of lord Digby, near Tullamore, King's County, a
large number of families were under notice to quit. Under ordinary
circumstances they would, no doubt, like thousands of their compatriots
before them, have found new homes and words of welcome across the
Atlantic, but America was then the scene of sanguinary strife between the
North and the South, and that avenue of escape was thus closed against
the persecuted people. There seemed to be no alternative before them but
the poor-house, when some of them remembered that Father Dunne was then
in the town of Tullamore. Knowing that he had spent some years as a
missionary priest in Australia, they came to him in the hour of their
affliction, and besought him to obtain passages for them to any of the
Australian colonies. Father Dunne . communicated at once with Mr. Jordan,
the immigration agent of the Queensland Government, but that official's
reply was the reverse of encouraging. It amounted indeed to a practical
exemplification of a still-cherished maxim in some quarters-" No Irish
need apply." Nothing daunted by this rebuff, the good priest lost no time
in opening up negotiations with the owners of the Black Ball line of
ships, with whom Mr. Jordan had contracted to carry his selected
immigrants to Queensland. This immigration was conducted under what was
known as the " land order " system, by which every adult paying his or
her own passage became entitled to a land order of the value of £20. This
order was negotiable and transferable, and could be sold for its market
value. The Act further provided that those who paid the passages of
others, and landed them safely in the colony, would be entitled to the
land orders of such immigrants. Father Dunne at once saw that under this
system he could take to Queensland any number of eligible Irish
immigrants, If he only had the means of paying their passages. The
circumstances of the poor people whom he wished to be­friend, could brook
no delay. He had recourse to some of his well-wishers in Ireland, and
succeeded in borrowing sufficient money to induce him to proceed with his
philan­thropic scheme. In less than a month he had received upwards of
500 applications for free or assisted passages to Queensland. It was only
natural, that he should meet with some opposition from Irish priests, who
could not but view with sorrow and pain the sad spectacle of their people
pre­paring to leave their native country for a far-distant land, Still,
with nothing before them but starvation or the poor-house, it is not to
be wondered at that the poor people were ready to fly anywhere in order
to avoid the ordeal of choosing between two such dismal alter­natives.
The landlords, with a few honourable exceptions, were inexorable in their
demands for the payment of im­possible rents after a succession of bad
seasons, and, as a result of their inhuman conduct in this respect,
hundreds of unfortunate tenants and their families were bereft of house
and home. Most of them willingly embraced the opportunity afforded them
by Father Dunne to emigrate to a new country, which freely offered them
the means of obtaining that honest livelihood which they were not
permitted to earn on the soil of their forefathers. The Queensland
Govern-ment Agent displayed to the last an ungenerous opposition to
Father Dunne's benevolent enterprise, and even went so far as to declare
that it was very doubtful if land orders would be given to any immigrants
who did not come out under the government regulations and through the
accredited agent. Undismayed by this uncharitable threat, the
indefatigable priest persevered in his arduous under­taking, succeeded in
chartering a ship, gave it the patriotic name of " Erin-go-bragh," and
placed 400 Irish immigrants on board at Queenstown. Nor did his pastoral
care and over­sight cease when he saw them all safely on board the "
Erin-go-bragh." Far from it. He accompanied them on the long voyage to
their future antipodean home, cheered them with his genial presence and
fatherly counsel, shared with them the privations and discomforts of ship
life, and, all through the dangers of the deep, showed himself to be a
genuine Soggarth Aroon. When at last they arrived in Queensland, Father
Dunne's living active interest on their behalf was naturally directed
into a new channel. He smoothed away all governmental difficulties, set
to work energetically to place his people on the road to success and
independence, and never left them until every one of the 400 was settled
in some industrial occupation in the new land of their adoption.

The voyage of the " Erin-go-bragh ' was a memorable one in many respects.
It lasted for the long period of five months. The ship, although roomy
between decks, was the reverse of a rapid sailer, and this drawback
caused a jovial immigrant to suggest to Father Dunne the propriety of
re-christening her the " Erin-go-slow." Besides, there was an almost
constant succession of head winds and calms through­out the voyage. As
there were signs of the water giving out, the ship called in at the Cape
of Good Hope, where the tanks were replenished, and a fair quantity of
fresh provisions obtained. On setting sail again, the same provoking head
winds continued to be encountered, and, what was still more alarming,
when the " Erin-go-bragh " was about 300 miles from the Cape, she
commenced to leak. The pumps had to be kept working every alternate hour,
and, strange to say, the leak appeared to be most troublesome during
cairn weather, when there was no strain upon the ship. It was afterwards
discovered, when the vessel was placed for examination in the dry dock at
Sydney, that a large auger hole had been bored through the bottom, which
allowed the water to flow in freely when the copper was displaced by the
action of the waves. This discovery pointed very plainly to foul play on
the part of some bigoted miscreant, as it was well-known in Liverpool
that the ship had been chartered for the convey­ance of Irish immigrants
to Queensland. Moreover, it was remembered, arid this intensified the
aforesaid suspicion, that a Scotch family, who had taken their passage by
the " Erin-go-bragh," were privately warned in Liverpool not to travel by
that particular ship, as it was very doubtful if she would ever reach her
destination. But a good angel watched over the Irish barque, and the
prophecy of evil was not verified by the event. It is true the ship was a
long and anxious time on the water, but she reached her destined port at
last. Captain Borlase and his mate, Mr. Myler, both Irishmen, were most
kind and attentive to the immigrants, whilst commendably strict in
preserving due discipline amongst them. There was of necessity some
little grumbling and discontent occasionally. Two sturdy immigrants
thought one day they would settle their little differences with their own
muscular arms, and without troubling any outside tribunal. But the
captain decided the dispute for them in a very practical and
good-humoured fashion. He called them both on deck, made a ring, and
ordered them both to strip and see which was really the better man. At
the same time, he quietly told the mate to put on the hose and have the
force pumps in readiness. When the combatants made their appearance
inside the ring, the captain gave the signal to the mate, the hose was
immediately brought into operation, and the would-be fighters received so
thorough a drench­ing that nothing more was heard of such personal
quarrels for the remainder of the voyage. Every Friday the passengers
were supplied with fish and pea soup. It happened on one day that a piece
of pork was found in the soup, and the alarming discovery caused
considerable commotion. Some of the immigrants lost all faith in the
Friday soup after that little accident, and could not be prevailed upon
to taste it again. Indeed, one old woman, in the height of her
in­dignation, went so far as to charge the captain with being a " souper"
in disguise, that being the repulsive epithet applied by the people to
those aggressive Protestant zealots who, with most unchristian indecency,
did their best during the famine years, but with very little success, to
pervert and demoralise the starving Irish Catholics by offering them
basins of soup on Fridays. As a rule, it took some time to reconcile the
Irish immigrants to the ship biscuits and the pea soup. They sometimes
imagined that the biscuits were the cause of their sea-sickness, and they
could not bear the sight of them. On one of the ships the immigrants
rebelled against the pea soup, waited on the captain, and remonstrated
with him for offering them such " dirty-looking stuff," and, when the
captain answered them it was the same as that used by the ladies and
gentlemen in the first cabin, an Irishman made the amusing retort that "
it might do very well for the quality and the pigs, but it was not n't
for poor people like him." During the voyage there was an outbreak of
measles and low fever that caused some mortality amongst the infants.
But, if there were some deaths, there were also births on board the "
Erin-go-bragh."

One of those interesting domestic occurrences happened on St. Patrick's
Night. When Father Dunne was called upon to baptise the child, the usual
inquiries were made as to what name should be bestowed on the infant;
and, in recog­nition of the happy coincidence that the child's natal day
corresponded with the feast of Ireland's patron saint, Patrick was
unanimously selected as a fit and proper title for the baby. Next morning
the father of the child came to the priest in an awful state of trouble
and anxiety. " Oh, your reverence," said he, " we made a great mistake
last night." " How is that ? " inquired the priest. " Oh, your reverence,
it was all through that ape of a woman who attended my wife. Sure Paddy
is a little girl!" Here was a truly perplexing state of things. A
conference of all interested was held, and the priest eventually pacified
all parties with the assurance that the little innocent victim of the
baptis­mal blunder should be registered "as "Mary Patrick."

On arrival in Moreton Bay, a large inlet about 25 miles distant from
Brisbane, the capital of the new colony of Queensland, the
"Erin-go-bragh" was subjected to a short detention in quarantine. When
the immigrants were per­mitted to land, they were taken up the river in a
special steamer and heartily welcomed by the Right Rev. James Quinn, the
first Bishop of Queensland, and the people of Brisbane. The brother of
this energetic and patriotic prelate, the Rev. Dr. Matthew Quinn, of
Dublin, afterwards Bishop of Bathurst in New South Wales, followed
immedi­ately in the footsteps of the pioneer, Father Dunne, and chartered
the " Maryborough " to carry another batch of Irish immigrants to
Queensland. The " Maryborough " made a fair passage, and reached Moreton
Bay shortly after the " Erin-go-bragh." As soon as the system inaugurated
by Father Dunne was found to work satisfactorily, and when it became
known that the Queensland Grovernment had decided to offer no positive
opposition to the movement, ships con­veying a most desirable class of
immigrants for a young colony were despatched from Ireland to Queensland
month after month in regular succession. Even Mr. Jordan, the government
agent, who was so hostile to Father Dunne's scheme at the beginning,
completely altered his views after­wards, and bore public testimony to
the. excellent results it had accomplished. Under the auspices of Dr.
Quinn, he went over to Ireland, and lectured in Dublin and Cork on the
advan­tages and prospects of Queensland as a field for emigration.

Having seen his first batch of immigrants comfortably settled on the
soil, Father Dunne hastened back to Ireland and safely brought out a
second contingent by the " Fiery Star." This vessel had the misfortune to
be burned at sea on the return voyage, somewhere between the Auckland
Islands and Cape Horn. The passengers and a portion of the ship's crew
took to the boats and were never heard of again, whilst the few who
remained on the burning hull were luckily rescued at the last moment by a
passing barque. The indefatigable priest made still another trip to the
old land, and returned to Queensland in the " Sunda," bringing with him a
band of Irishmen as noble, as earnest, as intelligent and as industrious
as ever quitted the " green shores of holy Ireland," to aid in building
up a new colony " by the long wash of Australasian seas." Thus in three
short years, and with none of to-day's conveniences for ocean travelling,
this intrepid Irish missionary accomplished six of the longest voyages
that are possible on this planet for the benefit of his poor,
sorely-tried countrymen and countrywomen, many of whom were saved by his
splendid exertions from the fearful effects of famine or the dreaded
degradation of the poor-house. Altogether, about 6,000 people were
successfully transplanted through his instrumentality from Ireland to
Queensland, and it is highly gratifying to be in a position to state,
without fear of contradiction, that all of them who per­manently settled
in the colony, and avoided the curse of their race, strong drink, have
prospered to a remarkable de­gree, and enjoyed the esteem and good-will
of their fellow-colonists of other nationalities. Many of them have risen
to wealth and opulence, and are to-day familiar, respected figures in the
commercial life of the colony; others have devoted themselves with
conspicuous success to agricultural and pastoral pursuits, whilst not a
few are to be found filling some of the highest positions in the
government service. It was unquestionably the fixed intention of the
first govern­ment of Queensland to exclude the Irish immigrant, and to
make the place as far as possible of a Scotch and English complexion,
but, thanks to the immigration scheme initiated by Father Dunne, and
followed up by the late Bishop Quinn, that narrow-minded policy was
wisely abandoned, and the young colony was allowed to assimilate its fair
proportion of the Irish element. Before the arrival of the
"Erin-go-bragh," one small church-40 feet by 25-sufficed to accommodate
the Catholics of the city of Brisbane, and outside the capital there was
but one more in the whole of the vast diocese of Queensland, viz. at
Ipswich. Not the least important of the good results of Father Dunne's
immigration scheme was the planting in the young colony of a good stock
of practical Catholics, whose presence soon became manifest in the
num­ber of Catholic churches that sprang up all over the country. It was
an essential part of Father Dunne's system to make ample provision for
the spiritual welfare of his immigrants, and, with that object, free
passages for two priests were secured on each of his ships.

Father Dunne not only laboured most devotedly in the work of rescuing
thousands of his unfortunate fellow coun­trymen and countrywomen from the
horrors of famine, and . of piloting them to " homes and homesteads in
the land of plenty," but, with a kindly sympathetic interest in their
future, he published for their benefit some weighty words of sterling
advice as to the rule of life they ought to follow, and the special
dangers they should try to avoid in starting on their colonial career. He
warned the young immigrant to guard against allowing the first feelings
of disappointment and dissatisfaction to gain upon him, but rather to
look forward hopefully to the position he might gain after a few years of
perseverance. On no account should he lose that energy which was so
essential for the ultimate success of people starting in a new country.
Some of the greatest men in Australia, both as regards their social
position and their wealth, had to commence their career in the humble
capacity of shepherds. The man most respected in Australia was the man
who had raised himself to power and prosperity by his own honest
exertions. To the young Irish girls who formed so large a percentage of
his immigrants, Father Dunne addressed these words of wisdom:

"It is a fact which very few will dispute, that ninety-nine out of every
hundred of the single females who emigrate to Australia, are more or less
influenced by the hope of getting married as soon as possible after their
arrival. I would by no means find fault with their motives, but I would
warn them to be very cautious about the selection of a husband. It is on
this point that girls should be particularly on their guard, as it is in
this they generally make their first false step. They are too ready to
accept the first proposal and to run off to get married to a man of whose
religion, country, or character they know nothing. In the majority of
such cases, the rnan perhaps has a wife in some other part of the world,
or he is a drunkard, or a bad man, and will of course give his wife the
worst of treatment as long as they live together, which is generally from
six to twelve months, and then she is deserted or discarded, to pine away
with a broken heart the remainder of her miserable existence."

Not a few Irish girls, unfortunately, have come to grief in the colonies
from the over hasty desire to change their con­dition in life, and these
warning words of a veteran Irish priest will continue to have their full
force and application for many years to come. A generous, unthinking
impulsive­ness of thought and action may be one of the strongest and most
characteristic points of the Irish character, but there are occasions
when, if not checked in time, it becomes an element of weakness and
disaster. It is a quality that has made Irishmen the very best of
soldiers, and Irishwomen the most self-sacrificing of heroines, but, on
the lower fields of life, and under less heroic conditions, its exercise
is calculated to become a source of sorrow and ruin.

After his impressive admonition to young female immi­grants, Father Dunne
proceeds:

"I will now offer a few words of sincere advice to the young men. In the
first place and before all, I would warn them to be careful to shun and
repel the snares and allure­ments of intoxication. Let temperance be
their watchword and their guide. If, after having been preserved from the
dangers of the sea, the first act, when they have put their foot on
shore, is to go to the public-house and get drunk, how can they expect
that God will bless their efforts in their adopted country ? Such conduct
is invariably the starting on the road to temporal and eternal
destruction, and Irishmen are, unfortunately, too easily led into the
snare. To ensure success, the young man must add energy and perseverance
to sobriety. Let him, under every circum­stance, pursue an honest and
straightforward course, and he need not fear for the result: success,
plenty and comfort will crown his career. Those who now hold the highest
places of distinction in Australia, to their praise be it said, landed,
as most emigrants do, without money or interest. They had to battle
against the most adverse circumstances through many anxious years; but
they had energy and perseverance, they were sober and honest, and they
now enjoy the rewards of their labour."

The motives that actuated Father Dunne in undertaking his philanthropic
immigration enterprise have been thus clearly stated by himself:

"In taking the part which I have during the last few-years in directing
emigration to Australia, let me not be misunderstood. I have neither
promoted nor encouraged it. On the contrary, if our poor people had
protection and could live at home, I would say, ' Let them remain by all
means.' But when they must leave, when there is no other alternative
except the poor-house or emigration, I am persuaded I could not employ my
time better than in directing my countrymen to that part of the world
where there is abundance of good land, a salubrious climate, where their
faith will not be in danger, and where they can enjoy peace and
prosperity after a few years, if it be not their own fault. As soon as I
see the priests and the people standing together, and firm in the resolve
to demand justice and protection for the farmers and labouring classes of
Ireland, I will become the most strenuous advocate to keep the people at
home. But I must say with all sincerity, I see no other hope at present
for the poor downtrodden people of this country but to fly to the most
distant part of the world, where there is perfect equality, civil and
religious liberty, no poor-houses to demoralise the people, and no
landlords to exterminate them."

Since Father Dunne penned these indignant words, the condition of the
Irish peasant has been somewhat improved by remedial legislation, but it
is susceptible of further improvement still. Though Irish families may no
longer be under the dire necessity of flying for refuge to the most
distant part of the world, they have yet many evils to encounter and many
trials to endure in the land of their birth. But they are consoled by the
hope and the expecta­tion, that the day is not far distant when a
domestic Parlia­ment will sit in Dublin, and pass the requisite laws for
the rectification of the long-standing evils and abuses of arbitrary
power.

To say that one of these poor and friendless Irish emigrants to
Queensland rose in a few years to be the chief guide and ex­ponent of the
public opinion of his adopted country, seems at first sight a somewhat
extravagant statement; but it is never­theless perfectly true of the late
William O'Carroll, in his time the premier journalist of Queensland. A
native of Cork, he joined one of the first emigrant bands to the new
Australian colony, where he soon found scope for the exercise of his
vigorous brain-power and his innate literary talent in the leading
journals of Brisbane. For many years, and up to the day of his death,
O'Carroll was universally recognised as the ruling literary force in the
Northern colony-a lofty altitude for an erstwhile unknown Irish emigrant
to attain in a mixed community. " What characterised him above all," said
the Brisbane Courier, the principal journal of Queensland, whose pages he
brightened with his best work and his noblest thoughts, " was the
conscience he put into his work. He was never the sort of man who would
take up a subject-like a lawyer his brief-and make the best of it without
much thought or care concerning the truth of the matter at issue. Truth
was the keynote of his nature. The same love of truth made him the most
loyal and trusty of comrades to his press colleagues. And there was a
strong strain of chivalry in his nature, which found vent in a devo­tion
to his paper similar to that which a soldier bestows upon his regiment.
Neither in himself, nor in anyone under his orders, would he tolerate
half-hearted service, or any­thing less than the very best work that
could be done. There are men holding high positions in his profession in
other countries, who will testify to the value of the sometimes sharp,
but always kindly, lessons they received from him when they were among '
O'Carroll's boys.' "

Another brilliant journalist, who was carried away in the very prime of
life, was Eobert Atkin, a kinsman of Thomas Davis and a member of the
Legislative Assembly of Queens­land. The monument over his grave by the
sea at Sandgate, thirteen miles from the capital, bears the following
fraternal inscription: "Erected by the members of the Hibernian Society
of Queensland to the memory of their late vice-president, Robert Travers
Atkin. Born at Fern Hill, County Cork, Ireland, November 29th, 1841. Died
at Sandgate, Queensland, May 25th, 1872. His days were few, but his
labours and attainments bore the stamp of a wise maturity. This broken
column symbolises the irreparable loss of a man who well represented some
of the finest characteristics in the Celtic race-its rich humour and
subtle wit, its fervid passion and genial warmth of heart. Distinguished
alike in the press and parliament of Queensland by large and elevated
views, remarkable powers of organisation, and un­swerving advocacy of the
popular cause, his rare abilities were especially devoted to the
promotion of a patriotic union amongst his countrymen, irrespective of
class or creed, combined with a loyal allegiance to the land of their
adoption."



CHAPTER IX.


THE MOTHER OF THE AUSTRALIAS: SYDNEY

THE CENTENNIAL AUSTRALIAN CITY--ITS IRISH MAYOR--ST. MARY'S
CATHEDRAL--ST. VINCENT'S HOSPITAL--FOUNDATION OF THE COLONY OF NEW SOUTH
WALES-EVILS OP TRANSPORTATION-FORMATION OF THE ANTI-TRANSPORTATION
LEAGUE-BOYCOTTING- CONVICT SHIPS-EARLY IRISH PRISONERS--THEIR UNDULY
SEVERE SENTENCES--HOW THEY PROSPERED IN NEW SOUTH WALES-THE MEN OF '98-A
WEALTHY PIKE-MAKER--TWO BROTHERS-IN-ARMS AT VINEGAR HILL -GENERAL JOSEPH
HOLT-BRAVE MICHAEL DWYER-OFFICIAL TESTIMONY TO THE GOOD QUALITIES OF THE
IRISH -THE STRANGE CAREER OP GEORGE BARRINGTON-HIS CELEBRATED
PROLOGUE-SIR HENRY HAYES-HOW HE BANISHED THE SNAKES-A TYPICAL CELT-THE
VARIED RESOURCES OF NEW SOUTH WALES.

in this year of grace 1887, Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, the
mother colony of the Australias, has for its municipal governor an active
and enterprising Irish-Aus­tralian in the person of Alderman A. J. Riley,
M.P. And it is only in accordance with the fitness of things, that the
honour of the mayoralty of Sydney should be frequently conferred on
leading Irish citizens, as a merited recognition of the prominent and
laborious part they and their countrymen have played, in building up the
greatness of the most historic city of the south. Sydney is now
approaching the close of the first century of its existence, and it may
be aptly described as a fully-developed antipodean city of great commerce
and industrial activity. Situated on the southern shores of Port Jackson,
most lovely and capacious of harbours, Sydney is able to welcome the
mercantile marine of the world, and to receive trading representatives of
all nations at her very doors. As the oldest city of the colonies, Sydney
presents a variety of quaint aspects that differentiate it from all its
younger rivals. It is not, for example, laid out on strict mathematical
lines, as are all the recent cities of Austral­asian growth, but rather
rejoices in those narrow, irregular thoroughfares that characterise
primitive cities of the northern hemisphere. This circumstance
necessarily detracts somewhat from its architectural appearance.
Nevertheless, the churches, public buildings, and business establishments
of Sydney are quite as elegant, as substantial, and as imposing as those
of its great rival Melbourne, despite the fact that they cannot be seen
to equal advantage. St. Mary's Cathedral, like St. Patrick's, of
Melbourne, is an immense, unfinished memorial of Irish Catholic piety,
destined one day to be the noblest ecclesiastical edifice in the mother
colony of the Australian group. St. Vincent's Hospital, which is under
the kind and Christian management of the Sisters of Charity, is perhaps
the institution that reflects the highest credit on Catholic Sydney. " Of
all our institutions of charity," says the foremost Irish-Australian
statesmanj the Right Hon. W. B. Dalley, " this is the one of which we
have the most reason to be proud. For nearly thirty years it has been
silently and unobtrusively doing a great work. It has received during
that period tens of thousands of patients suffering from all kinds of
diseases, and it has relieved hundreds of thousands of out-patients. Its
doors are open to those of all religions or of none. Though served by
holy women who have consecrated their lives to the care of the sick and
the relief of the suffering, it is supported by the entire community. The
Catholic Church has the merit of its foundation, and so far as the nurses
are concerned, the glory of its service; but it has no exclusive claim to
its maintenance. I believe its most generous benefactors are not of our
communion. Amongst its life-subscribers, I find that some who have
purchased that honour and privilege by contributions, are not of the
faith of those who serve it. It is thus a standing memorial of that
liberality which it is so desirable to cultivate in all the relations of
life."

St. John's College, affiliated to the University of Sydney; St. Ignatius'
College, Riverview, conducted by the Jesuit Fathers; and St. Joseph's
College, Hunter Hill, under the management of the Marist Fathers, are
three educational institutions that reflect the highest credit on the
Catholic population of the parent colony.

At the beginning of the century the name " New South Wales" was
synonymous with Australia, for no other settlement existed, and its
governor exercised jurisdiction over the whole continent. At present,
however, its area is restricted to that eastern portion of the continent
lying north of Victoria, south of Queensland, and east of South
Australia. New South Wales was avowedly founded for the express purpose
of relieving the overcrowded goals of England of their most refractory
inmates. The successful, effort of the American colonists to assert their
independence put an effectual stop to the deportation of English
crimi­nals across the Atlantic, and it became necessary to find some
other receptacle for them. Eight years pre­viously, Captain James Cook
had been sent on a voyage of discovery to the southern seas. He landed on
the eastern shores of the Australian continent, at a place whose name has
since gained a world-wide notoriety-Botany Bay, so called by Sir Joseph
Banks, the botanist of the expedition, on account of the luxuriant
vegetation all round it. Landing here he took possession of the continent
in the name and on behalf of the then reigning monarch, George the Third.
After an extensive voyage, Cook returned to England in June, 1771, and
reported his discoveries in Australia. No action, however, was taken in
reference to his report, until the loss of the American colonies
necessitated the formation of other penal settlements. Then, and not till
then, was Captain Cook's report taken from its dusty pigeon-hole and
perused with far greater interest than when it was first submitted. To
British statesmen it seemed a merciful interposition of Providence, that
a new continent in the south was thus rendered available for the
occupation of their felonry, so soon after they had forfeited their
American possessions by a pig­headed policy and tyrannical dictation. It
was immediately decided to found a penal settlement on the delightful
shores of Botany Bay. In pursuance of this object Viscount Sydney, then
principal Secretary of State for the Colonies in Pitt's administration,
recommended the establishment of the colony of New South Wales, and this
recommendation was subsequently confirmed by an Order of Council, dated
December 6th, 1785. On May 13, 1787, what has come to be historically
known as the " First Fleet," consisting of eleven ships, with supplies
for two years, sailed from England for the antipodes under the command of
Captain Arthur Phillip. The first consignment of prisoners numbered 696
-504 males and 192 females-who were guarded by 212 officers and marines.
Captain Phillip, with his living freight of exiles, arrived in Botany Bay
on January 20, 1788. But, strange to say, though the name of Botany Bay
has ever since been associated with crime and criminals, as a matter of
fact the place never was a permanent penal settlement. Two days after
landing, Captain Phillip, accompanied by several officers, set out in
boats to examine the coast to the north. This boating expedition resulted
in the discovery of a harbour, whose praises have since been sounded in
every land, and which continues to be the pride and the joy of the
Australian native-born population. Entering between two rocky headlands a
vision of surpassing beauty burst upon the gaze of the astonished
mariners. A noble harbour, dotted with islands, and encompassed by
verdant hills, expanded before them, its waters basking in the delights
of southern sunshine. As they advanced, each succeeding stroke of the oar
opened up new scenes of loveliness and fresh successions of charming
inlets all around them. On the shores of this delightful bay they
determined to build their little town, which they christened Sydney, in
honour of the nobleman already mentioned. The picturesque harbour they
called Port Jackson.

For many years the place suffered all the horrors insep­arable from a
penal settlement under an irresponsible regime. Military rule was
paramount, and the early annals of the colony literally reek with vice,
debauchery and immorality of every conceivable kind. The infant
settlement, relying on receiving supplies from the mother country, was
once almost annihilated by famine, and an infamous system of traffic in
rum, which soon became the recognised currency, was inaugurated. The
wholesale saturnalia and indiscriminate intoxication that followed on
this miserable state of affairs may be easily imagined. But in process of
time these terrible diseases in the body politic found a remedy. As the
resources of the colony became generally and better known in the Old
World, a gradually increasing stream of immi­gration began to flow
towards the settlement, and this naturally had the effect of purifying to
an appreciable extent the moral atmosphere of the colony.

The extraordinary facilities offered by the Australian soil for the
rearing of sheep and the production "of wool were speedily discovered.
John Macarthur, one of the earliest free settlers, imported from the Cape
Colony three rams and five ewes-the precursors of the immense flocks of
sheep that now roam over the plains of Australia. In 1803 Macarthur
brought to England the first sample of Australian wool. In 1834, the year
of his death, the quantity of wool, annually exported from Australia, had
reached four and a half million pounds. The latest returns show that
Australia is now ex­porting wool to the extent of 410 million pounds
annually.

The appointment of a Legislative Council in 1824 did away, to some
extent, with irresponsible military rule and its attendant evils, and
paved the way for a better state of things in the body politic. The free
settlers, becoming em­boldened by increasing numbers, and perceiving the
horrors inflicted on their adopted country, as well as the evil example
placed before their young families, by the transportation system, raised
their voices against its further continuance. They organised an agitation
and established a league with the object of achieving that desirable
result, but the ex-prisoners, many of whom had by this time become
wealthy landed proprietors, formed themselves into a counter-organisation
called the " Emancipists," and agitated for the perpetuation of the
system, so that they might have a con­stant supply of convict labour.
With undeniable truth they urged and contended that the colony was
originally founded expressly as a penal settlement, and that therefore
the free settlers had come out with a full knowledge of the
circum­stances, and had no right to object to the conditions of life in
which they had found themselves on arrival. The agitation on both sides
was vigorously maintained for many years, and it was not until the
various colonies had banded themselves together as an "
Anti-Transportation League," that the home government was compelled to
surrender and find some criminal depot nearer home. In November, 1849,
the colonists at the Cape of Good Hope refused to permit the landing of a
cargo of convicts from the " Nep­tune." John Mitchel gives a lengthy and
humorous ac­count of the " boycotting " that ensued, in his " Jail
Journal." In June of the same year the " Harkaway," with another cargo of
convicts, was refused permission to land them in Sydney. The excitement
in Sydney on that occasion was unprece­dented. An immense public meeting
was held, at which the Ven. Archdeacon McEncroe (a popular Irish priest)
de­clared amidst general applause that, rather than submit to the
treatment they were then receiving from the Imperial Grovernment, they
would follow the example of the American colonists of 1776 and proclaim
their independence. As an evidence of the reluctance with which the
Imperial authori­ties abandoned the transportation system, it may be
stated that it was not until the beginning of January, 1868, that the
last convict ship quitted the shores of Australia.

In 1843 a liberal concession was made in the matter of representative
institutions by the supplementing of the nominee Legislative Council with
representatives elected by the various districts of the colony.
Twenty-four members were chosen in this manner and twelve were nominated
by the Crown. As years rolled on and the colony settled down into a
compact community, a still further extension of political privileges was
demanded, and eventually this also was conceded in the shape of a full
measure of responsible Government. The first fully-endowed Parliament of
New South Wales was opened on May 22nd, 1856.

Reference has already been made to the discovery of gold in New South
Wales by Hargreaves. As in the case of Victoria, it resulted in a
considerable accession of population. At first the eyes of all
adventurers were turned towards New South Wales, but when the astonishing
yields of the Vic­torian gold-fields became known, the auriferous regions
of the parent colony became comparatively deserted. But in time they
again received the attention to which they were justly entitled, and a
large area of auriferous country in the south of New South Wales has
since been profitably opened up.

Sydney will ever possess an affectionate interest for the Irish heart by
reason of its having been the place of banish­ment of thousands of
Irishmen during the early years of the century. These Celtic pioneers, it
should be remem­bered, were transported in convict-ships to Australia for
alleged offences that were not crimes at all in the legitimate sense of
the word, and now-a-days are never regarded as such. Bishop Ullathorne
puts the case very clearly when he remarks:

"The political circumstances of the British' Empire were originally to a
great degree responsible for the fact of the presence of a large
proportion of the natives of Ireland amongst the first inhabitants of
Australia. Ignor­ance or violation of religions principle, the knowledge
or habits of a criminal life, were scarcely to any extent recognisable
features in this unhappy class of Irish political prisoners. On the
contrary, the deepest and purest senti­ments of piety, a thorough
comprehension of religious responsibility, and an almost impregnable
simplicity of manner, were their distinctive virtues on their first
con­signment to the guardianship of the law. In many illus­trious cases,
a long and dangerous residence in the most depraved penal settlements was
unable to extinguish those noble characteristics."

And the testimony of Sir Roger Therry, who, being an eminent Australian
judge of the Supreme Court, is entitled to speak with authority on such a
question, is equally explicit and conclusive:

"Very many Irishmen were transported for the infringe­ment of severe
laws, some of which are not now in force, and for offences for which a
few months' imprisonment would at present be deemed an adequate
expiation. In a country where abundant means rewarded industrious habits,
these men became prosperous."

As an example of the truth of this latter remark, Sir Roger mentions the
case of Edmund Cane, who had been a snug farmer in Ireland, but was
transported for complicity in an agrarian disturbance. Cane was assigned
to a settler, and became invaluable as superintendent of his master's
estate. "From his skill in agriculture, and his good temper in the
management of the men, Cane, after having served his seven years'
sentence in the settler's employment, became manager of the whole
property and received a liberal salary, which was not paid in money, but
in cattle and horses. After twenty years of service he thus became a
wealthy man. Shortly before his death, his old master had born unto him a
son, and Cane was complimented by being appointed godfather to the boy.
The old man made a will bequeathing the whole of his property, the
accumulated earnings of twenty years and upwards of arduous toil, to the
lucky little bantling, who is now the leading gentleman in his district.
The stock bequeathed to him greatly increased during his long minority,
and, on corning of age, the fortunate godson found himself one of the
most extensive stock-owners in New South Wales."

Sir Roger farther states that in 1829, many of the men exiled from
Ireland for the troubles of 1798 were still living. Amongst them some
truly good men were to be found, whose lives were unstained by the
commission of any of the ordinary felonies and baser crimes for which
convicts were usually transported. On the term of their transportation
being completed, they found themselves in the possession of competent
means-the saving of wages from indulgent masters during their period of
assignment, and their earnings on obtaining tickets-of-leave. Many of
these men testified their attachment to their native country in the best
practical shape, by sending to their families at home a portion of the
fruits of their industry, and frequently defraying the expense of the
voyage of other relatives, whom they invited to join them and share their
prosperity in the colony. As an illustration Sir Roger cites the case of
D----, who was expatriated from Ireland for making pikes in 1798.
D----was a first-rate black­smith. About the time he became free, the
charge for shoeing a horse was from fifteen shillings to a pound. He was
an adept in this, as in all other branches of his business, and in the
course of a long life of industry, he acquired property to the estimated
extent of from £20,000 to £30.,000. This was not, of course, the sole
result of manual labour. He had, at an early period, made some judicious
purchases of land, which in time had greatly increased in value. About
two-thirds of this amount, at his death, in 1843, he devoted by will to
religious and educational purposes. The remaining third he bequeathed to
some relations whom he had brought out at his own expense from Ireland.
He was wont to say quaintly that, if he left them more, it might
encourage them to an idle life. Being of the humbler class himself, he
deemed it was the duty of his relations to earn a livelihood, like
himself, by some industrious pursuit. His life was one of simple habits
and unselfish prosperity. Nor was this a solitary instance of remarkable
success and generous conduct amongst the men of '98. " The oppressor's
wrong and the proud man's contumely" drove many of these men into
insurrection, and insurrection into exile. " I might easily," says Sir
Roger, " enumerate the names of quite a legion of these exiles (for whose
errors, on account of the unjust Jaws that ground them down, no generous
mind can refuse sympathy) who became eminently prosperous in New South
Wales, and whose children there are now the inheritors of large estates
in land, and numerous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle."

On one occasion Sir .Roger paid a visit to a little cemetery crowning a
gentle Australian eminence, where he came across an humble tombstone, on
which was engraved this touching inscription:

"Here lie in one grave Patrick O'Connoe and Denis Bryan, shipmates in the
'Boyd' transport from Ireland in 1799, and compatriots in arms at the
memorable battle of Vinegar Hill."

And the sympathetic Irish-Australian Judge does not hesitate to give full
and open expression to the emotions of pity that he felt for the fate of
these exiles, not unmingled with condemnation of the Irish rulers of that
time, who were in no small degree responsible for the insurrection and
its consequences. "These attached friends," he says, "the Damon and
Pythias of humble life, on becoming free, purchased a valuable farm on
the alluvial banks of the Cowpasture River. After the death of one, by
arrangement it passed into the possession of the survivor, who bequeathed
it for the religious and educational advantage of the religious
community, of which he and his compatriot in arms were members.

"On visiting the church of St. Pietro in Montorio, at Kome, many years
afterwards, as I stood upon the ornamental and tessellated pavement, and
gazed on the spot where repose the ashes of the Earl of Tyrconnell and
Baron Dungarmon, who died in exile at Rome in 1608, and there read that
'they were brave and valorous men, often engaged in paths of danger, in
defence of their patrimony and their faith,' my mind strayed back to the
unadorned stone and homely inscription, that marked the humble grave of
Bryan and O'Connor in the little cemetery at the antipodes, their fate a
common one--exiles from their native land-sufferers alike in the same
cause--that cause the resistance to laws which Edmund Burke truly
designated as 'the worst and most wicked that ever proceeded from the
perverted ingenuity of man.'"

In addition to many of the rank and file, two of the leading spirits in
the insurrection of '98 were sent to Sydney at the close of the struggle.
They were General Joseph Holt and brave Michael Dwyer. The former
re­ceived a free pardon in 1814 and returned to die on Irish soil. His
life was prolonged for twelve years, during which he prepared his
well-known " Memoirs," which were pub­lished in two volumes under the
editorial supervision of Mr. T. Crofton Croker. Written in a simple
homely strain, they contain a large amount of valuable first-hand
information and a variety of shrewd comments on the condition of the
colony during the term of his banishment. Heroic Michael Dwyer was not
fated to see Ireland once again and to sleep in his native soil. He died
in Sydney, and his remains were interred in the Devonshire Street
Cemetery, where his resting-place is marked by a stately marble monument.
More than half a century has elapsed since he was laid to rest in the
far-away land of his exile, but still the patriot chieftain cannot be
said to occupy a grave in the land of the stranger, for his grateful
Irish-Australian countrymen con­tinue to revere his memory and to make
pilgrimages to his shrine, as this little extract from a recent issue of
the Sydney Freeman's Journal will show: " Sixty years ago there passed
away in our city one who, in his own sphere, had led a life as
adventurous, heroic, and full of romance as any recorded in the history
of struggling nationalities. Michael Dwyer, the insurgent chief of the
Wicklow moun­tains, was exiled by the British Government to this colony
in 1803, and now sleeps his last long sleep in Devonshire Street
Cemetery, in this city, ' far from the hills of Innis-fail.' His
descendants are still amongst us, and by them, as well as by his
countrymen, the virtues of the dead patriot are kept green and fresh as
his own shamrock land; and many years will pass away ere the gallant
Kosciusko of Irish history of ninety years ago is forgotten. On Sunday
last about a hundred members of the Shamrock Club as­sembled to pay a
tribute of respect to the memory of the departed patriot, and many a
Wicklow man's pulse throbbed faster and a flush of pride mantled his brow
as he gazed on the grave 'where the hero was buried.'" At the same time
Irishmen all over the world cannot help sympathising with the governing
thought in the gracefully-touching verses of Miss Katharine Tynan on "The
Grave of Michael Dwyer ":

I wish you slept where your kin are sleeping
The dove-gray valley is sweet;
And the holy mountains their strange watch keeping
Would love you lying still at their feet,
The dewy grass for your winding sheet.

You would sleep sweet with your sad lips smiling,
Dreaming, and hearing still
The bonny blackbird with songs beguiling,
The rain's light feet on the hill,
The children's laughter merry and shrill.

I have a fern that hath waved above you,
Just at your gray grave's head,
Sent to me by one who doth love you,
Bitter the tears she shed
Praying long by your lonely bed.

And now I weave of my idle fancies,
All for the love of you,
A wreath of passion flowers and of pansies
To lay on the grave I never knew,
And tears are thick on its leaves for dew.

There is a remarkable official testimony to the good qualities of the
Irishmen who were exiled to Australia in the early days, that deserves to
be dug out of the musty blue-book in which it has long been buried, and
to be placed on permanent record. In 1819 Mr. John Thomas Bigge visited
Australia in the capacity of special commissioner from King George III.
to investigate the practical operation of the transportation system. He
spent three years in making fall and exhaustive inquiries into every
phase of the question; and in his final report, dated May 6th, 1822,
occurs this significant and noteworthy passage:

"The convicts embarked in Ireland generally arrive in New South Wales in
a very healthy state, and are found to-be more obedient and more sensible
of kind treatment during the passage than any other class. Their
separation from their native country is observed to make a stronger
impression upon their minds, both on their departure and during the
voyage."

Amongst the remarkable Irish convicts who were shipped to Sydney by the
home authorities was Edward O'Shaugh-nessy, a man of conspicuous ability.
He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and, in his new sphere at
the antipodes, his talents advanced him to the position of editor of the
official journal of the colony, the Sydney Gazette. Mr. Flanagan* [*
"History of New South Wales."] describes him as "an effective political
writer, and endowed with considerable poetical talent, which he employed
for some years in cultivating a taste for literature amongst the
colonists." As showing the shameless severity of the laws during the
early years of the century, Major Marjoribanks mentions the case of an
Irish gentleman who died in New South Wales some years ago worth a
quarter of a million of money. And yet this gen­tleman, who accumulated
such vast wealth in the colonies by honest industry, was transported from
home in his youth for the alleged offence of taking a handkerchief out of
the pocket of a pedestrian. But the cleverest and most cele­brated
pocket-picker that ever landed on the shores of Australia, or the shores
of anywhere else, was George Bar-rington, the name by which he is
generally known, or George Waldron, to give him his baptismal title. His
remarkable achievements have furnished many themes for literary and
dramatic treatment, and quite recently he has received from Mr. Leslie
Stephen the crowning honour of a place in the "Dictionary of National
Biography." A native of Maynooth, County Kildare, Bar-rington's
precocious talents gained him the favour and the patronage of a
sympathetic clergyman, through whose interest he was placed in a
boarding-school at Dublin. Here he remained until his sixteenth year,
when, having been severely flogged for a violation of scholastic
discipline, he ran away, after revenging himself by stealing twelve
guineas from the master of the establishment and a gold repeater from
that gentleman's sister. He turned his steps towards Drogheda, where he
fell in with a company of strolling players, to whose ranks he became a
welcome acquisition by reason of his handsome stage presence, and his
marvellous memory. But the company got into finan­cial difficulties at
Londonderry, and Barrington resolved to replenish his empty parse by
pocket-picking. He succeeded beyond his most sanguine anticipations, Cork
and Dublin being his favourite and most lucrative fields of operation.
Ireland becoming at length too hot to hold him, Barrington crossed the
Channel and made his appearance in London fashionable society as a
handsome young gentleman of good family, a character which he was
naturally well qualified to play to the life. His ready assurance and his
polished address enabled him to fraternise on the most familiar terms
with noblemen and gentry, and to explore their well-lined pockets with an
easy grace and a boundless self-confidence, that almost inspire a feeling
of admiration at the perverted abilities of this accomplished adventurer.
Once he actually attended a Royal reception, and succeeded in the
difficult feat of cutting off" the collar of an Order of the Garter,
besides appropriating many snuff-boxes and purses from the pockets of the
distinguished company. He then attempted a still higher flight of villany
by trying to seize the diamond snuff-box presented to Prince Orloff by
the Empress Catherine, and valued at £30,000. Barrington made this daring
attempt in Covent Garden Theatre. He contrived to get a seat next to that
of the Eussian Prince, and succeeded in snatching the snuff-box, but it
was soon missed, and the culprit was caught before he had time to get
away from the theatre with his splendid prize. After a long career of
undetected pocket-picking, Barrington was now bowled out for the first
time, and just as he was essaying the most ambitious of his exploits, but
his cool self-possession did not desert him in the hour of trouble. When
brought before the court and charged with the crime he had so nearly
consummated, Barrington spoke so effectively, and concocted such a
plausible defence, that the Eussian Prince, relenting, refused to
prosecute, and the prince of pickpockets was discharged with a caution to
be more care­ful in his handling of other people's property for the
future. The publicity that this little incident acquired necessitated
Barrington's retirement for a season from fashionable and exclusive
circles, and he had to be content with exercising his talents in the
humbler and less remunerative walks of life. He made a professional tour
through Ireland and Scotland, and after this eclipse, he returned to
aristocratic society and shone with even greater brilliancy than before.
But, unrivalled artist as he was, continued success had the natural
result of making him less cautious in his operations, and one day
Barrington was caught picking a pocket on a racecourse. He was tried,
convicted, and sentenced to seven years' transportation. Barrington bade
good-bye to the old world in this clever and characteristic little speech
from the dock:

"My Lord--I have a great deal to say in extenuation of the crime for
which I now stand convicted at this bar; but upon consideration, I will
not arrest the attention of the honourable Court too long. Among the
extraordinary vicis­situdes incident to human nature, it is the peculiar
and unfortunate lot of some devoted persons to have their best wishes and
their most earnest endeavours to deserve the good opinion of the most
respectable part of society frus­trated. Whatever they say, or whatever
they do, every word and its meaning, every action and its motive, is
represented in an unfavourable light, and is distorted from the real
intention of the speaker or the actor. That this has been my unhappy fate
does not seem to need much confirmation. Every effort to deserve well of
mankind, that my heart bore witness to, its rectitude has been frustrated
by such measures as these, and consequently rendered abortive. Many of
the circumstances of my life, I can, without any violation of the truth,
declare to have therefore happened absolutely in spite of myself. The
world, my lord, has given me credit for abilities, indeed much greater
than I possess, and therefore much more than I deserved; but I had never
found any kind hand to foster those abilities. I might ask, where was the
generous and powerful hand that was ever stretched forth to rescue George
Barrington from infamy ? In an age like this, which in several respects
is so justly famed for liberal senti­ments, it was my severe lot that no
noble-minded gentleman stepped forward and said: ' Barrington, you are
possessed of talents which may be useful to society. I feel for your
situation, and as long as you act the part of a good citizen, I will be
your protector; you will have time and opportunity to rescue yourself
from the obloquy of your former conduct.' Alas, my lord, George
Barrington had never the supreme felicity of having such comfort
administered to his wounded spirit. As matters have unfortunately turned
out, the die is cast; and as it is, I have resigned to my fate without
one murmur of complaint."

On the voyage to Australia, Barrington was the means of saving the ship
from being captured by his fellow-prisoners. A few of the most desperate
convicts on board plotted to seize the vessel that was bearing them into
exile, and to steer for America and freedom as soon as they had got rid
of their gaolers. Availing themselves of the first favourable
opportunity, they made a rush for the deck, but found an un­expected
opponent in one who was wearing their own uniform of crime, for
Barrington stood at the hatchway wielding a handspike, and kept them at
bay until the officers appeared on the scene and quelled the mutiny. The
two ringleaders were executed on the spot, and their followers were
punished in a minor degree. For the great and important service he
rendered at this critical moment, Barrington naturally received a large
measure of liberty and indulgence during the remainder of the voyage;
and, when the ship arrived at Sydney, the officers warmly commended him
to the generous consideration of the governor of the colony, who not only
gave him a full and immediate emancipation, but appointed him to the
lucrative office of superintendent of convicts. Ever afterwards he was a
changed man. He kept religiously to the straight path of duty, and his
facile fingers were never known to stray into a strange pocket at the
antipodes.*

* One exception must be made to this remark. When Barrington was a very
old man, he heard that a certain lady, who held a high position in Sydney
society, had been talking about him in an objectionable manner, and
saying that, for her part, she would never believe he was such a fine
gentleman in his youth, neither would she believe any of those silly
stories about his marvellous skill in pocket-picking. A few days after
she had been speaking in this slighting strain, an elderly gentleman, of
dignified bearing and affable manners, called at her mansion and inquired
if her husband was in. "He would be presently," the lady replied; "and
would the gentleman come in and take a seat?" The gentleman did so, and
made himself so agreeable that the lady took him round to see the
pictures and curios of her house. The husband not having arrived in the
meantime, the gentleman expressed his regret, but he really could not
wait any longer. After a graceful good-bye, he suddenly retraced his
steps as if he had forgotten something, and, putting his hand into his
pocket, drew out two gold pendants of ear-rings and a massive gold
locket. "I think, madam, these are your property," he re­marked, with a
serio-comic smile, as he handed them back to the lady. "Kindly tell your
husband that Mr. Barrington called," and, with a profound bow, he
vanished. The lady could hardly believe her eyes, but one glance in the
mirror was sufficient. There were no pendants to her ear-rings, and the
chain around her neck had no locket attached to it. They had been deftly
removed by the former prince of pickpockets whilst she was amiably
showing him around, and, so skilfully was tho difficult feat
accomplished, that she had not the slightest suspicion of her loss.
Barrington had a twofold object in per­petrating this practical and
rather risky joke. It was both a rebuke and an experiment. He wanted to
mildly punish the lady for her derogatory remarks about him, and he
wished to ascertain whether both his hands still possessed their cunning
after thirty years of abstinence from pocket-picking.

He settled in the mother colony of the Australias, wrote its history in
two bulky volumes, and lived to be a patriarch in the land of his exile.
But Barrington's " History of New South Wales," dedicated to His Gracious
Majesty George the Third, is not the literary monument that will transmit
his name to an admiring posterity. He will be best and longest
remem­bered by the audaciously witty prologue which he wrote and recited
on the occasion of the first dramatic performance that was given in the
city of Sydney by a company of convicts:

From distant climes, o'er widespread seas we come,
Though not with much eclat, or beat of drum;
True patriots all, for, be it understood,
We left our country for our country's good;
No private views disgrac'd our generous zeal,
What urg'd our travels, was our country's weal;

And none will doubt, but that our emigration, Has proved most useful to
the British nation. But, you inquire, what could our breasts inflame With
this new passion for theatric fame; What, in the practice of our former
days, Could shape our talents to exhibit plays ? Your patience, sirs,
some observations made, You'll grant us equal to the scenic trade. He who
to midnight ladders is no stranger, You'll own will make an admirable
Ranger. To seek Macheath we have not far to roam, And sure in Filch I
shall be quite at home. Unrivalled there, none will dispute my claim, To
high pre-eminence and exalted fame. As oft on Gadshill we have ta'en our
stand When 'twas so dark you could not see your hand, Some true-bred
Falstaff, we may hope to start, Who, when well bolstered, well will play
his part. The scene to vary, we shall try in time To treat you with a
little Pantomime. Here light and easy Columbines are found, And
well-tried Harlequins with us abound; From durance vile our precious
selves to keep, We often had recourse to th' flying leap; To a black face
have sometimes owed escape, And Hounslow Heath has proved the worth of
crape. But how, you ask, can we e'er hope to soar Above these scenes, and
rise to tragic lore ? Too oft, alas! we've forced th' unwilling tear, And
petrified the heart with real fear. Macbeth a harvest of applause will
reap, For some of us, I fear, have murdered sleep; His lady too, with
grace will sleep and talk, Our females have been used at night to walk.
Sometimes, indeed, so various is our art, An actor may improve and mend
his part; " Give me a horse," bawls Richard, like a drone, We'll find a
man would help himself to one. Grant us your favour, put us to the test,
To gain your smiles we'll do our very best; And without dread of future
Turnkey Lockits, Thus, in an honest way, still pick your pockets.

It may be doubted whether Richard Brinsley Sheridan himself could have
bettered this original and historical prologue.

But convictism, as an institution, has long since passed away in the
parent colony, and nought remains to tell of its organised existence save
an occasional suggestive name that has survived the process of modern
transformation into prettily-sounding titles. In Sydney harbour, for
example, there stands a small rocky islet that still bears the expressive
name of Pinchgut Island. In that unpleasing and some­what vulgar
appellation is embalmed the story of the prisoners who were caught in the
act of pilfering provisions from the government stores in the early days
of the colony, and who were dramatically punished, as a warning to the
whole community, by being left without food for several days on this
solitary rock, round which the sharks were continually circling.

Vaucluse, one of the prettiest spots on Sydney Harbour, has a curious and
romantic history. At the beginning of the century it was chosen as his
place of residence by Sir Henry Hayes, an Irish baronet, who had the
misfortune to be transported for abducting the lady on whom he had set
his affections, but who did not see her way to reciprocate his tender
passion. Though technically a prisoner, Sir Henry's rank and social
position caused him to be treated by the authorities as a privileged
person, and he was allowed a full measure of freedom, on his giving his
word of honour that he would make no attempt to leave the colony and
return to Ireland. Sir Henry accepted his fate with philosophical
re­signation, and commenced to build a new home for himself on the
beautiful estate which he had purchased and called Vaucluse, But though
the place was, and still is, one of the loveliest spots on earth, it had
at that time one serious and annoying drawback. If was infested with
snakes. One day, however, a bright idea struck Sir Henry as he was
cogitating on the subject, and wondering if there were any practicable of
ridding himself of these unwelcome intruders. He resolved to try a bold
and remarkable experiment. He would see whether the virtue of St.
Patrick's prohibition of on Irish soil would extend to the same soil if
trans­ferred to the other side of the world. He accordingly sent home for
a number of barrels of Irish soil, and they arrived in Sydney in due
course. Sir Henry then spread this imported earth as far as it would go
around his residence, with the result, very gratifying to himself, that
his domestic precincts were never afterwards troubled by snakes, although
the other portions of the estate continued to be infested by the
reptiles. Succeeding occupants of Vaucluse, amongst them the
distinguished statesman, W. C. Wentworth, all in testifying to the
singular fact that a snake was never known to cross the charmed circle of
Irish earth.

The "well-known and highly popular alderman and member of the Legislative
Assembly, and of genially Mile-extraction," whom Mr. George Augustus Sala
met in Sydney and thus described, is Mr. Daniel O'Connor, a typical
specimen of the industrious and unconquerable Celt. He told the story of
his life at a banquet given last year in his honour, when he assumed
office as Postmaster-General in the Ministry of Sir John Robertson. It is
worth quoting as a characteristic specimen of the ups and downs of
colonial life, and as showing how a brave-hearted Irishman, can triumph
over all the obstacles that ill fortune may cast in his path. Mr.
O'Connor informed a distinguished company on that occasion that he
commenced to earn a livelihood for himself at the early age of ten. In
1865 he started business for himself in the city of Sydney, and he worked
with such industry and perseverance that he realised a considerable
fortune in six years' time. In 1871 he was the possessor of fourteen
houses, and had over ,£7,000 to his credit. Then he launched into mining
speculations, with the result that in five months he lost everything he
possessed. He sold all his houses, and although he paid every man as far
as the money went, he was still left very largely in debt. But he did not
lose heart at this sudden revolution in his fortunes. He set to work
again at his legitimate avocation, and, at the end of seven years, he was
in the proud position of paying everybody twenty shillings in the pound,
besides being in receipt of a clear income of £1,000 a year-the reward of
untiring industry and dauntless courage in fighting the up-hill battle of
life.

Sydney has of late years made such rapid strides in population and
commercial importance that it is now almost on an equality with its great
southern rival, Melbourne; and the competition between these two chief
centres of colonial life is now characterised by the keenest intensity.
Political considerations enter largely into this struggle for supremacy,
for at Sydney free-trade is the orthodox gospel; whereas, at Melbourne,
protection to native industries has been the settled fiscal policy of the
country for years by the deliberate vote of the great majority of the
people. Time alone will tell which of these opposing systems is the best
adapted to the development and the material well-being of the colonies.
Besides Sydney, there are several other pros­perous cities and towns in
the parent colony-notably New­castle, Maitland, Bathurst, and
Groulburn-all largely peopled by the industrious Irish, who constitute a
third of the general population of New South Wales. In the rural
districts also are numerous agricultural and pastoral settlers, either of
Irish birth or of Irish parentage, the possessors of smiling, productive
homesteads, and members of a free and inde­pendent yeomanry.

There cannot be the slightest doubt that New South Wales contains within
her wide domain all the elements of permanent prosperity. Her mineral
resources are both extensive and valuable. Her coal mines in the basin of
the Hunter river will be a source of industrial wealth for many years to
come, as on them the sister colonies are mainly dependent for a supply.
Her gold-fields are by no means yet exhausted, and the richness of her
pastoral resources is unsurpassed. Wool is her staple product, and, as is
well known, it commands a high price in the home markets. She has
acquired to a great extent the large and growing river trade of the
Murray and its tributaries, and is pushing her railways in every
direction with commendable vigour and enterprise. It is no wonder,
therefore, that her people now confidently predict that she will soon
overtake the haughty Victoria, and once more wear the laurels of colonial
supremacy.



CHAPTER X.


FOUR OF THE FAMILY: SOUTH AUSTRALIA

A NOVEL EXPERIMENT IN COLONISATION--RICH COPPER MINES--WHEAT--GROWING
CAPABILITIES--IRISH EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA--ADDRESS OF ST.
PATRICK'S SOCIETY TO THEIR COUNTRYMEN AT HOME--WESTERN AUSTRALIA: ITS
IMMENSE EXTENT AND UNDEVELOPED RESOURCES--THE LAST OF THE PENAL
SETTLEMENTS--FENIAN EXILES: JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY--J.K. CASEY--DR. R.R.
MADDEN, COLONIAL SECRETARY--TASMANIA: ITS EARLY DEGRADATION--ITS
DELIGHTFUL SCENERY--THE TRANSPORTED MEN OF '48: SMITH O'BRIEN--THOMAS
FRANCIS MEAGHER--TERRENCE RELLEW MOMANUS--JOHN MITCHEL--JOHN
MARTIN--KEVIN IZOD O'DOHERTY--NEW ZEALAND--MAORI WARS--CAREER OF TE
KOOTI--A COURAGEOUS IRISHWOMAN--ACTIVITY AND ENTERPRISE IN THE
COLONY--MINERAL WEALTH--LIBERAL IMMIGRATION POLICY--IRISH SETTLEMENT IN
THE ISLANDS.

So much of what has been said in previous chapters, con­cerning the
progress of colonisation in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland,,
and the concurrent advance of the Irish citizens of these states, applies
with equal force and truth to the other four colonies in the Australasian
dominion, that, to avoid recapitulation, it will be most convenient to
place South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand under
a general heading, and regard them as forming an harmonious family group
at the antipodes. The colony of South Australia was founded almost
si­multaneously with Victoria, but in a far different manner. In 1836 an
English enthusiast, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, propounded a new and
fantastical scheme of colonisation, which, as is usually the case,
attracted many by its novelty alone. The scheme, viewed as a theory,
looked very sound and substantial, but, as not unfrequently happens with
brilliant theories, it failed miserably when put into practice. Briefly
summarised, Wakefield's scheme consisted in placing a high value on land,
in order to attract a socially superior class of intending colonists, and
thus forming a fund by which labour, both skilled and unskilled, could be
obtained at low rates. On this novel principle it was pro­posed to form a
model community of labourers, artisans, and land-owners. The waste land
of New South Wales could be purchased without difficulty at the rate of
five shillings per acre, but, in order to carry out the rose-water theory
of Wakefield, the land of the proposed new colony was valued at twelve
shillings per acre, or 120 per cent, above its presumably actual value.
Surprising as it may appear, it is no less true that this chimerical
project made numerous converts throughout England, and re­ceived the
support of many eminent men, who afterwards no doubt wondered exceedingly
what on earth induced them to lend their names to such a hare-brained
scheme. The promoters, amongst whom were Grote, the historian of Greece,
and Henry Bulwer, had no difficulty in forming the South Australian
Association on the principles laid down by the sanguine Wakefield. Dr.
Whately was one of the most enthusiastic advocates of the scheme, and, on
one occasion, he waxed eloquent in describing its splendid ad­vantages. "
A colony so founded," he said, " would fairly represent English society.
Every new-comer would have his own class to fall into, and to whatever
class he belonged, he would find its relations to the others, and the
support de­rived from the others, much the same as in the parent country.
There would be little more revolting to the feelings of an emigrant than
if he had merely shifted his resi­dence from Sussex to Cumberland or
Devonshire." It is a great pity that this clerical orator did not
accompany those to whom he addressed these delusive words. Had he done
so, he would have discovered the enormous gulf that separates theory from
actuality, and would have been furnished by ex­perience with material for
an additional chapter to his well-known treatise on " Logic." Had he
voyaged to the anti­podes with the Wakefield pioneers, he would have come
in contact with a great many things " revolting to the feelings of an
emigrant." However, until the bubble burst, all went merry as a
marriage-bell. The association progressed splendidly in public
confidence, the prospectus of the new colony was everywhere perused, and
the scheme was puffed into a feverish existence by the promises of
promoters and the frenzy of reckless speculators.

The first practical step towards the formation of the new colony was
taken in May, 1836, when a heterogeneous collection of surveyors, clerks,
architects, engineers, teachers, lawyers and clergymen, was despatched to
the new land of promise. All these accomplished gentlemen were devout
believers in the Wakefield theory, but they would have been the last
people in the world chosen by a common-sense leader for the
rough-and-ready work of pioneer colonisation. As they afterwards learned
to their cost, it would have.been far better for them if they had had
less book-knowledge and more hand-skill before starting on their
wild-goose expedi­tion to the other side of the globe. They found on
landing, that the place of which they had heard and read such glowing
accounts, was wholly unfit for purposes of settlement. All their
delicious old-world dreams were rudely dispelled by the hard realities
that stared them in the face. They set out in search of a suitable site
for a settlement, and after exploring St. Vincent Gulf chose a position
on its eastern shore, a large fertile plain bounded on the east by a
mountain range, and traversed by a small river, on the banks of which
they settled down, and named their infant city Adelaide, in compliment to
the Queen of William the Fourth.

Whilst the first settlers were thus contending with the unexpected
difficulties of their position, the London promoters of this ill-digested
scheme continued their policy of puffing its alleged advantages, with the
result that large numbers of deluded individuals were despatched to the
antipodes before any adequate preparations had been made for their
reception. These unlucky people were discharged at Port Adelaide as so
much human freight, and found themselves compelled to drag their luggage
and merchandise after them to the little settlement. To add to the
difficulties of the situation, a most pernicious system of gambling in
land orders sprang up, and to such an extent did this mischievous
speculating proceed, that the future city was actually mapped out as
consisting of nine square miles. It would be impossible in a cursory
sketch to refer in detail to the numerous absurdities that were
perpetrated by the pioneer colonists of South Australia.

Suffice it to say that the reign of speculation carne to its inevitable
and inglorious collapse in a very short space of time, and the usual
unhappy consequences ensued. The unfortunate victims of the broken-down
Wakefield theory found that they had been living all the while in airy
castles of their own imagination, and had been trading on fictitious
capital. They were literally reduced to the direst extremities of
poverty. In the excitement of the speculation mania, the natural
fertility of the soil was lost sight of, and had had been rewarded, and
of commiseration for the dire distress and suffering with which it had
pleased Providence to afflict their brothers in blood and affection in
the old country. It was their anxious desire, they said, to make an
effort to lighten the sorrow, to cheer the hopes and to invigorate the
energies of their suffering brethren by making known to them a " land
flowing with milk and honey," a land of refuge from the political and
social evils under which Ireland groaned, a land of rest for their weary
spirits, and of promise for their rising sons and daughters.

In this fraternal address, the colony of South Australia was described as
"a country where the reward of steady industry, prudence, and sobriety,
is certain, where the labour of comparatively few years will ensure a
homestead and a competence to the working man and his family-even wealth,
abundance, and social advancement to many; where the climate is generally
salubrious and agreeable, and where none but freemen tread the soil." But
every picture must have its due proportion of shade, and in accordance
with that universal principle, the succeeding paragraph of the address
intimates to the intending emigrant that "You must be prepared to labour
hard, to endure privations, to toil occasionally under a burning sun and
a scorching wind, and to suffer loneliness in the bush (for there you
must rear your borne or work out the means of purchasing one)." A rich
recompense is predicted for the Irish emigrant who possesses the manly
qualities of resolute perseverance, sobriety, and frugality. An Irishman
of determination, undaunted by the inevitable difficulties of a
newly-settled land, would be sure in the course of time to accumulate
means, create a. property, and attain a position of security and comfort,
that would enable him to cheer the hearts, and close in comfort the eyes,
of his aged parents, besides offering unthought-of advantages to his
little ones. That this is no exaggerated statement is proved by facts
within the personal knowledge of the writers of the address. " We are
happy to state that a large portion of the Irish labourers who have
arrived in this province, have, within a period of a few years, been
enabled to withdraw themselves from the labour market, to become
proprietors of land and stock, and employers of labour. The man who on
his native soil was a careworn, toilworn being, living in a wretched
hovel, without a chance of improving his circumstances, ill-clad, hungry,
hopeless, with no motive for exertion, no work for more than half the
year, getting a pittance of sixpence to tenpence a day, yet paying a high
rent for his miserable holding, and competing to the death for its
possession-this man of despair, transferred to a land of peace, with hope
before him to stimulate his energies, and lead them into a right
direction, here at length finds his services valuable and well
remunerated; and learning for the first time in his life the luxury of
feeling that he too can earn something to save, and that he occupies a
higher position, in the social scale, unfolds qualities that never seemed
to belong to the national character."

This inspiriting address was signed by the Hon. Major O'Halloran,
President of the St. Patrick's Society; Mr. R. R. Torrens, Collector of
Customs, Vice-President; Sir George Kingston; the Hon. Captain Bagot,
M.L.C., and a number of other representative Irish colonists. Its
publication in Ireland naturally induced many intending emigrants to
select South Australia as their future home, but the Im­perial
authorities seemed to still cling to the old unfortu­nate Wakefield idea
that this particular colony must be kept socially superior to all the
rest. Acting under this excessively stupid notion, they did their best to
discourage Irish immigration, and the local St. Patrick's Society was
com­pelled to send home a remonstrance against the unfair distinctions
that were being made in the choice of immi­grants. Under date "Adelaide,
July 14, 1849," Sir Henry E. F. Young, governor of South Australia, wrote
to Earl Grey, Secretary of State for the Colonies, commending to his
favourable notice a memorial from the St. Patrick's Society of the
colony, praying that Irish labourers might be shipped from Ireland
direct, by the Land and Emigration Commissioners, in equal relative
numbers to the English and Scotch labourers who were brought out at the
expense of the colonial funds. In the memorial referred to, the members
of St. Patrick's Society directed Earl Grey's attention to the fact that
their countrymen, who were desirous of proceeding to South Australia,
were not re­ceiving a fair share of the facilities and encouragement to
which they were entitled at the hands of the home authorities. In proof
of this statement, statistics were quoted, showing that the proportion of
English to Irish emigrants was as twenty to one. The memorialists further
declared that it had come to their knowledge that English agents had in
various instances refused to give passages to Irish emigrants, qualified
in all respects, solely because they were Irish. And they concluded with
a direct intimation to his lordship that they were prepared to prove that
the Irish emigrants of South Australia were as orderly, industrious and
thrifty as their brethren of England and Scotland, and made equally go of
colonists.

On December 15th, 1849, Earl Grey replied to the effect that he thought
it right to refer the questions raised in the memorial, for the
consideration of the Land and Emigration Commissioners, a copy of whose
report he enclosed. The Commissioners admitted that taking South
Australia by itself, it had not received its equitable proportion of
Irish emigrants, a state of things which they attributed to the peculiar
circumstances under which that particular colony was founded. " The first
settlers," they remarked, " were, with few exceptions, English
capitalists, who had acquired by purchase the right of nominating
emigrants for free passages and who chiefly selected English labourers."
Taking the Australian colonies as a whole, the Commissioners alleged that
Ireland had received ample justice in the matter of emigration.

The effect of this energetic remonstrance was that some­thing more
closely resembling fair play was afterwards meted out to intending Irish
emigrants to South Australia, and a goodly number of them were brought
out and satis­factorily settled on the land. Adelaide, the capital of the
colony, grew apace, and is now a handsome, well-planned, and
well-regulated city of 120,000 inhabitants.

Western Australia enjoys the curious distinction of being at the same
time the largest and the least populous of the Australian colonies. It is
eight times as large as Great Britain and Ireland, and comprises the
immense tract of country lying between the 13th and 35th parallels of
latitude, and stretching from the 129th meridian to the Indian Ocean. Its
area is estimated at 975,920 square miles or 625 millions of acres,
whilst, in striking contrast to this immensity of space, the population
does not exceed forty thousand souls. A considerable portion of this huge
expanse is not yet thoroughly explored, and the population is practically
limited to a small sea-coast area on the south-western side. A "French,
scare" was the moving impulse that led to the foundation of this colony.
In 1829 the Sydney governor, Sir Ralph Darling, heard a rumour that the
French intended establishing a colony on the western side of the
Australian continent, and forthwith resolved to checkmate the audacious
foreigners by anticipating them. An expedition was accordingly fitted
out, a landing was effected at the mouth of the Swan River, and the
colony was duly proclaimed. However, the French never put in an
appearance in the neighbourhood, and the settlement until quite recently
had but a very precarious sort of existence. In 1849, at a critical
period in the history of the place, the colonists took the extraordinary
course of petitioning the Imperial authorities to send out a consign­ment
of prisoners. This reads strangely by the side of what has already been
said concerning the herculean efforts made by the other colonies to put a
stop to transportation, but the fact was that labour was absolutely
unprocurable at that time in Western Australia, and the colonists saw
clearly that the settlement would have to be abandoned unless labour of
some description, free or bond, was speedily introduced. The authorities
at home were only too glad to comply with a request to send out a cargo
of first-class felons and enter­prising burglars. With a celerity and
promptitude they never exhibited in redressing the substantial grievances
of the colonists, they despatched upwards of ten thousand convicts, whose
labour is described as being of incalculable benefit to the settlement,
and to have actually proved its salvation. When, in consequence of the
pressure brought to bear by the other colonies, transportation was
entirely abolished, the Western Australians went so far as to petition
against the cessation of the system as likely to prove pre­judicial to
their material interests. Fortunately for their neighbours, this selfish
prayer was not granted. Amongst the convicts transported to Western
Australia were several of the Fenian prisoners of twenty years ago, one
of whom John Boyle O'Eeilly, after successfully escaping to America
published an interesting story of Western Australian life under the title
of "Moondyne." Mr. O'Eeilly has since achieved a series of literary
successes in the United States, and now stands in the front rank of
American writers. J. K. Casey (Leo), the author of the popular poem, "
The Eisino- of the Moon," was another of the Fenian prisoners deported to
Western Australia. Dr. E. E. Madden, the writer of that splendid
monumental work, "The Lives and Times of the United Irishmen," also spent
some time in this colony, though not as a captive of the Crown. For three
years the industrious historian of '98 filled the office of Colonial
Secretary of Western Australia.

It is only within the last few years that the resources of this vast
territory have come to be estimated at their right value. The
explorations of Giles and Forrest have brought to light millions of acres
of rich pastoral country, most of which has been taken up and occupied by
enterprising capitalists from the adjoining colonies. Gold, too, has been
discovered in considerable quantities, and what is known as the Kimberley
district of the colony has been rushed by adventurous diggers from all
parts of Australasia. Eailways have been started in various directions;
public works have been com­menced on an extensive scale, and a liberal
system of immigration has been adopted with a view to supplying the
colony with its greatest need-a population in some measure proportionate
to the vastness of its area and its undeveloped resources. The olive, the
vine, and the orange grow with the greatest luxuriance, and, in the
immense forests of jarrah timber, with which the country is studded, a
valuable article of export is found. If only she can induce a full tide
of immigrants to flow to her shores, Western Australia will, before long,
rank amongst the richest provinces to the south of the equator.

Tasmania, the smallest but prettiest of the colonies, was, up to the date
of the abolition of transportation, known as Van Piemen's Land-the title
bestowed upon it by its discoverer, Abel Jansen Tasman. But, when the
colony decided on turning over a new leaf and getting rid of the
unpleasant associations of convictism, it was deemed advis­able to
re-christen the island, and thus it is now named after the enterprising
Dutch navigator by whom it was first descried. Tasmania is a small but
beautiful island situated to the south of Victoria, from which it is
separated by Bass Straits. It has an area of 26,375 square miles. Its
history is almost a counterpart of that of New South Wales, as it was
colonised from the parent settlement for the express purpose of forming a
second penal colony. This took place about the beginning of the century,
and from that time up to the year 1854, the lovely island was a theatre
on whose stage were enacted all the horrors inci­dental to the presence
of rampant convictism. In some respects the picture is even blacker than
that of New South Wales during the same period, the daughter revelling in
greater infamy than the mother. It would be impossible for any pen to
adequately describe the frightful excesses of the early days of Tasmania,
but the condition of the island may be conjectured from the following
words of Sir James Mackintosh in the House of Commons: " The settlement
can never be worse than it is now, when no attempt towards reformation is
dreamed of, and when it is governed on principles of political economy
more barbarous than those which prevailed under Queen Bess." A government
in­spector of public works describes the moral depravity as "
unparalleled in any age," and one horrified historian sums the island up
as " that den of thieves, that cave of robbers, that cage of unclean
birds, that isthmus between earth and hell." Sales of wives, public and
private, were occurrences so common as to cause not the slightest
comment. Several authenticated records of such transactions are still
extant in the colonial archives. One lady of some personal attractions
was publicly sold in the streets of Hobart, the capital of the island,
for fifty ewes; another charmer changed hands for five pounds and a
gallon of rum; whilst a third accommo­dating lady was disposed of for
twenty ewes and a gallon of rum. The present Roman Catholic Bishop of
Birmingham, Dr. Ullathorne, who was one of the earliest missionaries to
the island, in his evidence before a parliamentary committee on
transportation, horrified that body with the startling picture he
presented of the frightful immoralities connected with convict life in
Tasmania.

But this terrible state of things has entirely passed away. The dead past
has buried its dead; the island is now purified; as in the parent colony,
free immigration has gradually extinguished the evils and almost the
remem­brance of the convict days, and a new Tasmania has arisen on the
ruins of the old penal Van Diemen's Land. As the island has one of the
finest climates in the world, it is a favourite resort for excursionists
during the summer season. On the subject of the enchanting scenery of
Tasmania, many writers have exhausted the vocabulary of praise. John
Mitchel's " Jail Journal," in particular, contains some exquisite
descriptions of the loveliness of the interior of this " isle of beauty."
And his brother-exile, Thomas Francis Meagher, has written on the same
theme in this rapturous strain: "So far as heaven has ordered, and the
Divine Hand has blessed it; it is a beautiful, noble island. In most, if
not all, of those gifts which constitute the strength, the true wealth,
and grandeur of a country, it has been beneficially endowed. The seas
which encompass it, the lakes and rivers which refresh and fertilise it,
the woods which shadow, and the genial sky which arches it, all bear
testimony to the bounteous will of its Creator; and, with sights of the
brightest colouring, and sounds of the finest harmony, proclaim the
goodness, munificence and power of God in its behalf. The climate is more
than healthful: it is invigorating and inspiring. Breathing it, manhood
preserves its bloom, vivacity, and vigour long after the period at which,
in other lands, those precious gifts depart, and the first cold touch of
age is felt. Breathing it, age puts on a glorious look of health,
serenity, and gladness; and even when the gray hairs have thinned, seems
able yet to fight a way through the snows, and storms, and falling leaves
of many a year to corne. Oh, to think that a land so blest, so rich in
all that renders life happy, bountiful and great-so kindly formed to be a
refuge and a sweet abiding place in these latter times for the younger
children of the old, decrepid, worn-out world at home-to think that such
a land is doomed to be the prison, the workshop, and the grave of the
empire's outcast poverty, ignorance and guilt! This is a sad, revolting
thought, and the reflections, which spring from it, cast a gloom over the
purest and the happiest minds. Whilst so black a curse lies on it, no
heart, however pious, generous, and benignant it may be, could love this
land, and speak of it with pride. May that dark destiny of hers be soon
reversed ! From the pillar to which she is bound; from the derision and
the contumely; from the buffeting and the blows she is doomed to bear in
this her night of weakness and humiliation; from the garments of scorn,
the crown of torture, and the gall they have given her to drink; may the
brave spirit of her sons decree to her a deliverance-speedy, blissful and
eternal!"*

* Meagher to Duffy. Nation Correspondence.

As every one knows, it was to Tasmania that some of the most prominent
leaders of the Young Ireland party were expatriated at the close of" the
State trials of '48. William Smith O'Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher,
Terence Bellew McManus, and Patrick O'Donoghue reached Hobart, the
capital of the island, on October 27, 1849, in Her Majesty's steamer
"Swift." Four days afterwards the " Emma " arrived, having John Martin
and Kevin Izod O'Doherty on board, and the " Neptune " followed with the
most belligerent and irreconcilable State prisoner of all- the ex-editor
of the United Irishman, John Mitchel. On landing in their place of exile,
the Irish leaders were offered tickets-of-leave, under which they would
be severally as­signed to different districts as their place of abode,
and by the acceptance of which they would be giving their word of honour
not to leave their respective localities without having previously given
due notice of their intention to the autho­rities. As the alternative to
this arrangement was rigorous imprisonment, with the repulsive prospect
of forced associa­tion with the vilest of criminals, the exiled chiefs,
with one exception, very naturally and properly accepted the proffered
indulgence and comparative liberty. McManus was sent to the Launceston or
northern district of the colony; Meagher was appointed to reside in the
neighbourhood of Campbelltown; Mitchel and Martin were allowed to live
together at Bothwell; O'Donoghue was assigned to New Norfolk, and
O'Doherty, being an incipient doctor of medicine, was re­tained in
Hobart, where his professional services were utilised on the staff of St.
Mary's Hospital. The men of '48 were thus carefully dispersed through the
island in a manner that prevented anything like social friendly
intercourse, except on those rare and stolen occasions so sympathetically
described by Mitchel in his " Jail Journal." " I do complain," wrote
Meagher, " that having separated us by so many thousand miles of sea from
all that was dear, consoling, and inspiring to our hearts, they should
have still further increased the severity of this sentence by
distributing us over a strange land, in which the best friendship we
could form would compensate but poorly for the loss of the warm,
familiar, gay companionship we so long enjoyed together."*

* Meagher to Duffy. Nation Correspondence.

The exception to the general rule was Smith O'Brien, whose stern and
uncompromising adherence to what he con­ceived to be the right course
under the circumstances, pre­cluded him from giving a pledge of any sort
to the colonial representatives of the British authorities. The Tasmanian
Government had therefore no option but to specially guard their
iron-willed State prisoner, and they treated him like another Napoleon.
Maria Island, a lonely, cheerless spot, was made a prison for his special
benefit, and the vigilance with which he was guarded, was redoubled and
rendered more painful than ever to the high-born captive after an unlucky
and unsuccessful attempt to escape. Smith O'Brien did eventually, and
after protracted suffering, accept a ticket-of-leave like his comrades in
exile, and it is greatly to be deplored that he could not see his way to
do so in the first instance, as his refusal was a source of considerable
pain, humiliation, and annoyance to himself, and of no little
embarrassment to the colonial authorities. After five years' banishment,
Smith O'Brien, Martin, O'Doherty, and O'Donoghue received a con­ditional
pardon from the Crown, the proviso being that they must not set foot
within the United Kingdom, an unworthy disqualification that was
subsequently removed. Meagher, McManus, and Mitchel had, in the meantime,
succeeded in escaping to America, and were in consequence not named in
the Queen's proclamation of clemency. The delicate ques­tion, as to
whether the mode in which Meagher and Mitchel effected their escape from
Tasmania was in harmony with the conditions on which they enjoyed a
comparative degree of liberty, has been a subject of discussion for many
years. That the point should be a debatable one is solely due to the
different interpretations placed upon the spirit of the parole. Meagher
and Mitchel believed, and their belief is shared by the majority of their
countrymen, that the requirements of honour and of conscience would be
satis fied by giving fair notice to the local authorities of their
intention to surrender the comparative liberty which had been extended to
them, and by affording these said autho rities an opportunity to take
them into custody if they were so disposed. Smith O'Brien put the case
very clearly in his speech at the banquet given in his honour by the
Irishmen of Melbourne, on July 22nd, 1854,* when he was passing through
that city, after his release from captivity.

* On this occasion Smith. O'Brien was presented with a splendid vase of
native gold, the gift of the Irishmen of Victoria "as a trifling
testimony of our appreciation of the disinterestedness and devotion by
which your past career has been distinguished in endeavouring to promote
the ameliora­tion of the country of jour birth." As a special gift from
themselves, the Irish diggers on the Sandhurst gold-field sent the
patriot chief a beautiful nugget of their own gold, nine pounds in
weight. His two fellow-exiles, John Martin and Dr. O'Doherty, were at the
same time presented with purses of two hun­dred sovereigns each.

"I have been complimented in the House of Commons," he said, " at the
expense of my fellow-prisoners who have escaped to America, and a cheer
was raised on the occasion. I trust that there are reporters now present
who will convey to the world that I accept no such compliment. (Cheers.)
Previously to his escape, Mr. Mitchel consulted me, and I then gave it as
my opinion that if he adopted the course which he ultimately did adopt,
there would be nothing dishonourable in it. If, therefore, Mr. Mitchel
were guilty of having sacrificed his honour, I am equally guilty. The
treatment which he had received at Port Arthur, and elsewhere, was
sufficient to destroy health, and it may be a question for casuists
whether, under the cir­cumstances, a prisoner is bound by his parole.
Nevertheless, lie and his fellow-prisoners agreed to be bound by that
parole -but not beyond the letter of the parole (cheers). There lias also
been some question regarding the propriety of Mr. Meagher's escape. I
offer no opinion on that subject, for I was not consulted in the matter.
But this I know, that Thomas Francis Meagher would never have escaped in
any way that he did not deem honourable. So jealous was Mr. Meagher of
his honour that, rather than suffer any imputa­tion on it, he had
actually taken his passage in a vessel bound from California to
Australia, in order to deliver himself again into the hands of the
British Government, and he was only restrained from his purpose by the
remonstrances of his friends, who represented to him its Quixotic nature.
As regards Mr. McManus, there could be no question of parole, as he had
escaped when in custody, and when a writ of Habeas Corpus had been issued
to bring him before a judge. There are thus no grounds whatever for the
imputations cast on my fellow-prisoners, or for the compliments paid to
myself."

In his " Jail Journal," Mitchel has told the full story of his escape, of
the galling disappointments he had to endure, and the numerous perils he
had to evade, before he could contrive to get clear of his island prison.
Meagher's flight from captivity was a more lucky, neat, and expeditious
per­formance. In his own vindication he supplied the New York Herald
(June 6, 1852) with the facts in these terms:

"In consequence of some misstatements regarding my escape which I have
just seen in two or three of the European newspapers, and which appear to
have been copied from an Australian paper, I think it right to set the
true facts before the American public, to whom alone I now hold myself
responsible. The remarkable kindness I have received from the press and
the public generally, ever since my arrival in this noble country, and
the anxiety I feel to have it understood that I am not deficient in the
honourable spirit which qualifies a stranger to become its citizen,
compel me to break the silence which no act or word on the part of my
enemies could disturb. The facts are these: In the month of April, 1851,
I was called upon to renew my parole. I did so in writing in the
following words: ' I hereby pledge my word of honour not to leave the
colony so long as I hold a ticket-of-leave.' I handed this pledge to the
police magistrate in the open court. Any one can see it who wishes to
refer to it. Towards the end of December, the same year, I came to the
determination of attempting my escape. Ac­cordingly on January 3rd last I
sent the following letter to the police magistrate of the district in
which I resided: ' Lake Sorrell, District of Campbelltown, Saturday,
January 3rd, 1852.-Sir, Circumstances of a recent occurrence urge upon me
the necessity of resigning my ticket-of-leave, and consequently
withdrawing my parole. I write this letter, therefore, respectfully to
apprise you that after 12 o'clock to-morrow noon I shall no longer
consider myself bound by the obligations which that parole imposes. In
the mean­time, however, should you conceive it your duty to take me into
custody, I shall, as a matter of course, regard myself as wholly absolved
from the restraint which my word of honour to your government at present
inflicts. I have, &c., T. F. meagher.' The police magistrate received
this letter at eleven o'clock the same morning. I remained in my cottage
at Lake Sorrell until seven o'clock that evening. A few minutes after
that hour, four of my friends arrived on horse­back and communicated to
me the intelligence that the police were corning up to arrest me. I went
out with them into the bush and remained there about 300 yards from the
cottage, until my servant brought the news that the police had arrived
and were sitting in the kitchen. We mounted our horses immediately and
rode down to the cottage. 100 yards from it my friends drew up. I rode on
until I came close to the stable, which was within pistol-shot of the
kitchen door. I drew up there and desired him to go in and tell the
police I was waiting for them. He left me at once and entered the
cottage. Two or three minutes elapsed-the police appeared. The moment
they appeared I rose in my stirrups, called out to them that I was the
prisoner they carne to arrest, and defied them to do so. The challenge
was echoed by my friends with three loud hearty cheers, in the midst of
which I struck spurs to my horse and dashed into the woods in the
direction of the coast. Accompanied by my generous and courageous-hearted
friends, I reached the sea-shore on Monday afternoon at a point where a
boat was in readiness to receive me. I jumped from my horse, got into the
boat, put off to sea, and beat about there for a few days until the ship
came up which, thank God, bore me at last to a free and hospitable land.
In plain words these are the plain facts of the case, as I have written
them here. They were written by one of my friends at the house where we
changed horses on our way to the coast. The manu­script containing them
was forwarded the next morning to the editor of the leading journal of
the colony, and bore the names of my friends, written by their own hands
in attes­tation of the truth. The men who vouched with signatures for the
truth of the statement they made, and now repeated, are men of
considerable property and highly creditable position in the colony, and
no one there would be rash enough to speak a single word derogatory of
their honour." Of the little group of illustrious Irishmen who were
exiled to Tasmania forty years ago, there is now but one remaining in the
land of the living. Dr. O'Doherty, still hale and vigorous, continues in
the practice of his profession at Sydney, and, by the unanimous wish of
his Australian countrymen, holds the office of president of their
National League. The stern and unbending Smith O'Brien died whilst
travelling in Wales; Mitchel returned to his native land after an absence
of a quarter of a century, and expired just after having been elected to
the House of Commons by the men of Tipperary; he was followed to the
unseen world in a few days by his old friend and fellow-sufferer, John
Martin; General T. F. Meagher, with conspicuous bravery, led the Irish
Brigade through the great American civil war in defence of the Union,
and, by a deplorable accident, lost his life in the dark waters of the
Missouri; and McManus, having died in San Francisco, was buried with
national honours, his body having been conveyed across the American
continent, and over the Atlantic, to the Irish metropolis, from which he
had been sent into captivity thirteen years before.

The material resources of Tasmania are varied and abun­dant, though but
inadequately developed. Its tin mines have been a source of considerable
profit for years, and latterly its gold deposits, after long neglect, are
being scien­tifically and systematically worked to advantage. In making
the best use of the mineral wealth at their doors, the Tasmanians, who
are said by their neighbours to be constitutionally lethargic, have an
extensive field for the exercise of any latent energy and industry they
may possess. At present they are principally engaged in agricultural
pursuits, and Tasmanian produce always secures good prices in the home
and colonial markets.

New Zealand-the " Great Britain of the South," as Captain Cook termed
it-would probably object to be classed with the Australian colonies, for
it has always professed a lofty and sturdy independence of the big
continent in its vicinity. It consists of three islands, originally named
after three of the four provinces of Ireland. North Island, or New
Ulster, has an area of 44,000 square miles; Middle Island, or New
Minister, is somewhat larger, having 55,000 square miles; whilst Stewart
Island, or New Leinster, is very small, consisting of only 1,000 square
miles. The islands are situated in the South Pacific, at a distance of
1,200 miles from the nearest part of New South Wales. They were
discovered by Tasman in 1642, but were not again visited by Europeans
until Cook took possession of them in 1769 in the name of the British
sovereign. Numerous whaling stations were first established along the
coast by enterprising Sydney merchants, and a per­manent settlement was
eventually effected on the site of Wellington, in the extreme south of
the North Island. Wellington is now the official and political capital of
the colony, having superseded its more northerly rival, Auckland which
nevertheless continues to be the larger and more populous city of the
two. In 1848 a Scotch settlement was founded at the southern extremity of
the Middle Island, now known as the province of Otago, whose chief city
is Dunedin, the largest, most populous, and most commercial city in the
group. Almost contemporaneously, the province of Canterbury, on the
eastern coast of the same island, was colonised under the auspices of the
Church of England, a fact sufficiently denoted by its name and that of
its capital, Christchurch, one of the finest and wealthiest of the New
Zealand cities.

The history of New Zealand presents a violent and startling contrast to
that of the other antipodean states. In the work of colonising the
mainland of Australia, no opposition worth mentioning was manifested by
the natives to the coming of the whites. The aborigines retired before
the new-comers without striking one combined blow. As time passed on, the
white man's brandy-bottle did its silent work of destruction and
extermination so effectually that now, with the exception of the remote
districts of the interior, scarcely a solitary pure black is to be met
with on the continent of Australia. Not so in New Zealand. There the
whites found a warlike, active, intelligent, and high-spirited people in
possession. The Maories declined to surrender their lands at the bidding
of the invaders; a bad feeling was thus at the outset engendered between
the two races, and boat-loads of the early immigrants were surprised and
massacred as they stepped on the beach. Reprisals ensued, and, for a
series of years, the northern island was the scene of some of the most
sanguinary native wars that stain the annals of colonisation. These were
in a great measure provoked by the stupidity and arbitrary conduct of the
colonial authorities. On one occasion 200 Maories were seized as
suspected persons, and without trial, evidence, or any form of law,
banished to a penal settlement on a neigh­bouring small group, called the
Chatham islands. Amongst them was Te Kooti, a young, brave, and daring
man, whose name was in after-years a name of terror to the New Zealand
settlers.*

*"Te Kooti was not committed for trial, but, having been thus arrested
without warrant, was shipped off to the Chatham Islands by Mr. Stafford's
Government, without writ or authority of any kind, and the wrong done to
him was to be written a few years later in terrible characters of
blood."- " History of New Zealand," by G. W. Eusden, vol. ii. page 321.

Lieutenant Gudgeon, the historian of the New Zealand wars, candidly
declares it as his conviction " that all the after atrocities committed
by Te Kooti or by his orders were dictated by a spirit of revenge and
retribution against those who had caused his deportation." Te Kooti, by
his innate military genius and natural force of character, soon became
the leader of the Maori exiles. By a well-planned and skilfully-executed
scheme, a Government vessel that had brought provisions for the
prisoners, was captured by Te Kooti and his confederates on the morning
of July 4th, 1888. He immediately released his fellow-prisoners and
placed them on board the vessel. The white men that constituted the crew,
were allowed by Te Kooti to take their choice between two
alternatives-instant death or the navigation of the vessel to Poverty
Bay, the place from which the Maories had been so illegally and
unjustifiably transported. Naturally they chose the latter, and worked
the vessel in safety to Poverty Bay. Te Kooti landed, and immediately
commenced his terrible career of fanatical butchery and indiscriminate
slaughter. Having defeated the colonial forces that were sent against
him, his ranks were joined by other Maori tribes hostile to the British.
Thus recruited, Te Kooti, one night in November, 1868, de­scended like an
avalanche of fire on the unfortunate settlers in the district of Poverty
Bay. So well was the murderous secret kept, that not the slightest
precautions had been taken to guard against a Maori surprise. With the
stealthy step of the tiger, Te Kooti and his blood­thirsty band
surrounded house after house, shoot­ing down the men without an instant's
warning, and despatching the women and children with bayonets and
tomahawks. Whole families, refusing to come out when called upon by Te
Kooti, perished miserably in the flames of their burning houses. And not
only the white settlers, but a number of friendly natives, who had
accepted the inevitable, and had settled down to live, as they hoped, in
peace with the conquerors, were surprised and slaughtered without mercy.
Indeed, throughout his campaign, Te Kooti evinced an undying hatred
towards those tribes of his countrymen that had become friendly to the
British, and he never spared any of them when taken prisoners. The
morning after the Poverty Bay massacres dawned on a desolated country.
Where on the previous day there had been smiling homesteads and fertile
farms, the pleasant surroundings of rustic toil and the cheerful prattle
of innocent children, blackened ruins and mutilated corpses now told
their silent tale of savage frenzy and ruthless destruction. As
Lieutenant Gudgeon truly remarks in his history of the war, the narrow
escapes of that dreadful night would fill a volume. One Irishwoman, whose
husband hap­pened to be away from home, whilst lying awake in bed,
fancied she heard the firing of guns. Her suspicions being aroused, she
immediately got up, and one glance at the horizon, glowing with the
reflection of the incendiary fires, was sufficient to convince her of the
imminent danger in which she stood. Hastily collecting her children, she
slipped over the steep bank of an adjacent river, and lite­rally crawled
for miles under the shadow of the precipitous cliffs until she arrived
with her children in safety at the nearest town, where she was the first
to give the alarm. Many other anecdotes of that terrible time might be
nar­rated from contemporary evidence. This massacre, it is needless to
say, sent a thrill of horror through the com­munity. Operations directed
by English military officers, and supported by the colonial militia, were
commenced against Te Kooti, who, during several engagements, displayed a
surprising natural knowledge of military science. He understood
thoroughly the advantages to be gained by rapid movement and sudden
surprise, and it was on this principle that he invariably acted. No part
of the northern island felt safe from a sudden attack, and every
settlement was required to look to its defences. But, however success­ful
Te Kooti might be in prosecuting this guerrilla sort of warfare, he was
occasionally brought face to face with the British trained soldiers, and
compelled to fight a pitched battle. Though manifesting the same stubborn
and fana­tical courage, he was on most of these occasions under the
necessity of retreating before the steady battalions of dis­ciplined men
arrayed against him. In these engagements he lost many of his finest
warriors, and, as the conflict proceeded, his little army gradually
melted away, whilst the ranks of his enemies received regular accessions.
Still he continued to prosecute with success his favourite Napoleonic
plan of swift and sudden attack; but eventually his losses in the field
reduced his devoted followers to little more than the strength of a
body-guard. With this trusty few, he commenced his retreat to the
Waikato, the military and a large body of friendly natives following with
all possible rapidity, in the hope and almost certainty of effecting the
capture of the redoubtable Maori leader, for whose body, dead or alive,
the Government had offered a reward of £5,000. At this critical stage of
his career, Te Kooti seemed to possess a charmed life. There were times
when his camp was completely surrounded by his enemies, when he himself
was recognised sitting in front of his tent, and yet, when the volley was
fired, and soldiers rushed from every side, and the camp was taken by
assault, Te Kooti was never amongst the slain or captured. He had
escaped, no one knew how or whither. Several of the minor rebel chiefs
were caught and executed, but the arch-rebel him­self-the perpetrator of
the Poverty Bay massacre-was never taken. Hunted over mountain and glen,
with the bloodhounds ever at his heels, this extraordinary savage, after
enduring every privation and escaping every peril, succeeded at length in
reaching the iron fastnesses of the Waikato, where he has ever since
remained, secure under the protection of the Maori King.

This latter remark demands a little explanation. New Zealand is classed
as a British colony, but there is a portion of it over which neither the
Queen of Great Britain nor her representative, the local governor, can be
said to exercise any actual jurisdiction. This district is situated in
the centre of the North Island, and is known as the Waikato, or " King
Country." After a long and brave, but unsuc­cessful, resistance against
the encroachments of the whites, a number of the leading Maori Chiefs
met, and with a view to the erection of a last barrier against the
invaders of their soil, resolved to proclaim the mountainous Waikato
country as their sacred territory, to elect a king of their own, and to
make all necessary laws for themselves. The agitation was sedulously
promoted by the more turbulent and war­like chiefs, and the result was
the election and pro­clamation of a Maori King, who took up his residence
at the Waikato. The colonial authorities at first did not know how to
regard this unexpected movement on the part of the Maories, and the
mischief was all done before they had recovered their wits. They then saw
that a fatal mistake had been committed in tacitly consenting to this
assumption of independent power within the confines of the colony. Ever
since, this portion of New Zealand has been a sort of "refugium
peccatorum for Maori offenders. The present Maori King-Tawhiao-has dwelt
there for years in sullen seclusion, surrounded by the surviving veteran
war chiefs. Here Te Kooti is somewhere concealed from the vengeance of
the colonists. As long as he remains within the charmed circle of the
King Country he is perfectly safe; but once he steps outside, is
recognised and captured, a swift and summary penalty will be exacted in
atonement for the lengthy and diabolical catalogue of crime attached to
his name. It is characteristic of the dare-devil disposition of the man
that, with a full knowledge of the fate in store for him, he has
occasionally ventured out into the settled districts, and regained his
retreat before a pursuit could be organised.



CHAPTER XI


THE CHURCH IN THE COLONIES.

DEVOTED IRISH PRIESTS-FATHER WALSH, OF OSSOBY-THBEE UNJUSTLY TRANSPORTED
PRIESTS, FATHERS DIXON, O'NEIL, AND HAROLD-TYRAN­NICAL POLICY OF THE
EARLY GOVERNORS-ARRIVAL OF ABCHPBIEST O'FLINN-HIS ARREST, IMPRISONMENT,
AND EXPULSION FROM AUSTRALIA -INTERVENTION OF BISHOP ENGLAND-APPOINTMENT
OF FATHERS THERRY AND CONOLLY AS THE FIRST COLONIAL CHAPLAINS-ANECDOTES
OF "THE GOOD FATHER THERRY-ARCHDEACON McENCROE AND HIS LABOURS-DR.
ULLATHORNE-HIS ORGANISING WORK-SIB RICHAED BOURKE AS GOVERNOR-REVERSAL OF
THE OLD ANTI-CATHOLIC POLICY- ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGIOUS EQUALITY-ARRIVAL
OF THE FIBST BISHOP, DR. POLDING-ARCHBISHOP VAUG-HAN-CARDINAL MO
BAN-AECH-BISHOP GOOLD-THE BISHOP AND THE BUSHRANGERS-DR. GEOGHEGAN-
BISHOP REYNOLDS-THE SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH-THE REV. JULIAN E.
TENISON-WOODS-BISHOP WILLSON, "THE APOSTLE OF PRISON REFORM" -DR. MURPHY,
THE AUSTRALASIAN NESTOR-DR. CROKE AS BISHOP OF AUCKLAND-THE FIRST
AUSTRALASIAN PLENARY COUNCIL-TRIUMPH OP CATHOLICITY IN THE COLONIES.

Just as in other distant parts of the world, the light of the Gospel has
been principally spread and preserved throughout the Australian colonies
by the apostolic zeal and energy of Irish priests. True sons of St.
Patrick, they triumphed over the grievous official persecution of the
early days, they over­came the prejudices of race and creed, and they
established themselves in the land by the main force of personal merit,
generous self-sacrifice, and unceasing labours for the moral and
spiritual welfare of their Catholic countrymen. The governmental policy
at the period of the colonisation of Australia, and for a generation
afterwards, was openly and avowedly to refuse to recognise the Catholic
religion at all, and to regard everybody in the settlement as belonging
to the Church of England, whether he liked it or not. It was in pursuance
of this shameful policy that the request of Father Walsh, of the Diocese
of Ossory, Ireland, to be permitted to accompany the " first fleet" to
Australia a century ago was churlishly refused by the reigning powers.
Nothing but blind bigotry could have suggested such a refusal, for the
request was an eminently reasonable one in the circumstances, and should
have been conceded, not so much as a favour, but as a matter of strict
right, and a plain duty towards the Catholic members of that pioneer band
of exiles, going forth to found a new nation in an unsettled land 12,000
miles away. It was not until 1799, twelve years afterwards, that the
Catholic population of the infant settlement were gratified with the
sight of three ordained clergymen of their church. But it was not as
clergymen that the home government had sent them out, but as convicted
prisoners. Father Dixon, Father O'Neil, and Father Harold, along with the
Reverend Mr. Fulton, a Protestant minister, were transported for their
alleged complicity in the Irish rebellion of 1798. It has since been
proved, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that these three pioneer priests of
Australia were unjustly convicted, and compelled to submit to the
indignity of transportation. Father Dixon was a Wexford priest and had a
brother who did engage in the rebellion, but he himself exercised all his
influence to keep his people within the limits of the law. Nevertheless,
he had a rebel brother, and that was sufficient to condemn him in those
dark days of unchecked martial law. The case of Father O'Neil was harder
still. His treatment throws a lurid light on the unprincipled and
unscrupulous measures that found favour in Irish governing circles
towards the close of the last century. A soldier happened to be murdered
in the neigh­bourhood of Youghal, and, as the actual culprit could not be
discovered, the authorities resolved that some one must suffer for the
deed, and accordingly made an indis­criminate arrest. They seized an
idle, worthless scamp, and threatened him with a flogging if he did not
give informa­tion as to the perpetrator of the murder. Under the
influence of this threat, he promised to disclose everything, and he
actually had the sacrilegious audacity to name the parish priest of
Youghal, Father O'Neil, as the murderer. On the strength of this reckless
assertion, and with nothing more substantial to go upon, Father O'Neil
was arrested, and, horrible to relate, was cruelly flogged in the vain
hope of compelling him to confess the crime or give informa­tion
concerning it. After being kept in prison for a time, Father O'Neil was
sent away in a felon-ship to the new convict settlement at the antipodes,
but in less than a month after his departure from Ireland, his innocence
was com­pletely demonstrated. He was at once liberated by order of the
Crown, brought back from Australia, and re-appointed in his old parish of
Youghal, but no recompense or apology did he receive from the government
for the harsh, unjust, and scandalous treatment to which he had been
subjected. The impious scoundrel who bore false witness against him was
subsequently convicted of heinous crimes and executed in Cork.

The case of Father Harold, though not so painful, was equally unjust. He
was a hard-working priest in the parish of Dublin, and, because some of
his people joined the rebels in '98, he was arrested and transported on
the mere gratuitous supposition that they had taken that course with Ms
knowledge and by his advice. After Father O'Neil's departure from the
penal settlement in Sydney, his brothers in misfortune-Fathers Dixon and
Harold-re­mained there as prisoners until April 19th, 1803, on which date
the Governor of the colony, Captain P. Of. King, of the Royal Navy, was
pleased to issue a proclamation grant­ing " unto the Reverend James Dixon
a conditional emanci­pation to enable him to exercise his clerical
functions as a Roman Catholic priest, which he has qualified himself for
by the regular and exemplary conduct he has manifested since his
residence in the colony." Father Dixon of course availed himself of this
permission to resume his sacred functions in a place where they were so
sadly needed, the more especially as he had received faculties from his
ecclesiastical superiors at home to officiate at the antipodes as soon as
he was allowed to do so. At about the same time, Father Harold's clerical
status was recognised by the government, and he was placed in charge of
the Catholic prisoners at Norfolk Island, a delightful spot a thousand
miles away in the Pacific, which had been profaned and degraded by being
perverted into a prison for the worst and most irreclaimable of convicts.
Fathers Dixon and Harold were thus the first duly-appointed Roman
Catholic clergy­men in the Australian colonies. The former laboured
devotedly for several years amongst the Catholic population of Sydney and
its vicinity, but, as an historian of the era has truly remarked, "the
hatred, bigotry, and jealousy with which he was surrounded, soon found a
pretext to deprive him of the power of doing good." This pretext was
found in certain malicious and groundless reports that reached the ears
of the authorities, to the effect that Father Dixon's congregations at
Mass on Sundays were in reality meetings of rebels and traitors, and that
the peace of the settlement would be endangered by their continuance.
Without hold­ing any inquiry into these spiteful allegations, the
Governor jumped to the conclusion that they must be correct, and, by an
order in the Government Gazette, he suppressed the public celebration of
the Mass throughout the colony. There was not a shadow of j ustification
for this high-handed proceeding, which was only possible under a system
of military despotism such as then prevailed in New South Wales. It is
quite true that a convict outbreak had to be suppressed soon afterwards,
but the disturbance had no connection whatever with the meetings of the
Eornan Catholics for public worship. Indeed, Father Dixon accom­panied
the commanding officer and exercised all his influence on the side of
order and humanity. Neverthe­less, the story that this was an attempted
repetition under southern skies of the Irish insurrection of '98 received
the stamp of official approval, and has been accepted as gospel by
several historians who did not care to inquire too closely into the
facts. But nobody believes that silly story now, for direct appeals to
contemporary evidence have shown con­clusively that the " Colonial
Vinegar Hill," as it was long the fashion to call this convict outbreak,
was not traceable either to race or creed, but was the immediate and
natural result of the tyranny and the brutality of heartless overseers
towards the prisoners in their charge. Father Dixon tried every possible
means to obtain the removal of the govern­mental interdict, but without
the slightest success. He was forbidden to offer up the Holy Sacrifice,
to preach, to bap­tise, or to visit the sick. The good priest soon found
his position to be intolerable, and he applied for leave to return to
Ireland-a permission which was granted with a readiness and an alacrity
that showed pretty plainly how the wind was blowing in high quarters.
Father Harold, hear­ing of the sad turn affairs had taken on the
continent, left his little island prison in the Pacific, in the hope of
being allowed to minister to the spiritual wants of the larger Catholic
population around Sydney; but, immediately on his arrival, he was
suppressed and interdicted like his pre­decessor; and like him, too, he
refused to remain in a place where his hands were tied, his mouth closed,
and his eyes bandaged by order of an autocratic governor. With Father
Harold's departure for Ireland, the Australian continent was left without
a solitary Catholic priest, and it continued in that hapless condition of
spiritual destitution for no less than nine miserable years. During the
whole of this ter­rible time, the country was compulsorily Protestant,
that is to say, prisoners of every religious belief were obliged to
attend the service of the Church of England. The penalty for refusal was
a flogging of twenty-five lashes. A second refusal was visited with fifty
lashes, and third would have to be expiated in the chain-gang or in the
solitude of the prison cell. In these latter days, Australian Anglicans
have frequently laboured hard to whitewash this foul page of their
history by contending that the foregoing penalties were never actually
enforced, and they have been consider­ably aided in this contention by
the care and completeness with which the compromising records in relation
to this unpleasant business have been committed to the flames. But the
first quarter of our century is not so remote from our day as to preclude
the possibility of reliable evidence on the point being forthcoming; and
whenever the allegation has been made in the press or on the platform
that the penalties for staying away from the Church of England service
were not enforced, witnesses were not wanting to come forward and
declare, either from their own personal know­ledge or on the solemn
testimony of departed friends and relatives, that these abominable
penalties were enforced, and in a merciless manner too. Mr. James
Bonwick, himself a Protestant, and one of the most industrious
investigators into i he facts of early colonial history, does not
hesitate to say, in speaking of this persecuting era:

" All had to go to church; they were driven as sheep to the fold.
Whatever their scruples, they had to go. Fallen as many were, they were
not to be regarded as aliens alto­gether in principle and indifferent to
faith. In some the very consciousness of crime had developed an eagerness
after faith, and that the faith they had known, the faith of a mother.
But expostulations were unheeded. If a man humbly entreated to stay
behind because he was a Presby­terian, he incurred the danger of a
flogging. It is said that upon a similar appeal from another, who
exclaimed, * I'm a Catholic!' he was silenced by the cry of a clerical
magis­trate, ' Go to church or be flogged!'"

In several places in his " Memoirs," Joseph Holt, or " General" Holt, as
he was most frequently styled, from his being one of the chief leaders in
the rebellion of '98, men­tions the shocking brutality with which his
fellow Irish-Catholic prisoners were treated in those dismal days. Here
is one harrowing instance out of several that might be quoted: " I
marched to Toongabbee, where all the govern­ment transports were kept,
who were called out to witness the punishment of the prisoners. One man,
Maurice Fitzgerald, was sentenced to receive 300 lashes, and the method
of punishment was such as to make it most effectual. The unfortunate man
had his hands extended round a tree, his two wrists tied with cord, and
his breast pressed closely to the tree, so that flinching from the blows
was out of the question, for it was impossible for him to stir. Two men
were appointed to flog, namely Richard Rice, a left-handed man, and John
Johnson, the hangman from Sydney, who was right-handed. They stood on
each side of Fitzgerald, and I never saw two thrashers in a barn move
their flails with more regularity than those two man-killers did,
un­moved by pity, and rather enjoying their horrid employ­ment than
otherwise. The very first blows made the blood spout from Fitzgerald's
shoulders, and I felt so disgusted and horrified, that I turned my face
away from the cruel sight."

After nearly a decade of attempted wholesale Protestantising through the
agency of the lash and the dungeon, a cheering and most welcome ray of
light to the sorely-afflicted Catholics appeared on the horizon. Their
pitiful condition had been made known in the centre of Catholicity, and
relief was at hand. In 1817 there arrived in the settle­ment at Sydney
the Very Rev. Jeremiah O'Flinn, with the jurisdiction of an
archpriest-the first ecclesiastic who carne to Australia with a direct
commission from. Rome. But he soon found that something more than a Papal
commission was necessary for his protection in a despotically-ruled penal
colony. It had struck him before sailing from Ireland that it would be
well to obtain a permit of some sort from the British Government, and he
forwarded an application to that effect; but he made the mistake of not
waiting for a reply, and this mistake was the source of all his
subsequent misfortunes. He, in fact, regarded this permit as a mere
formality, and, asking a friend to forward it to him when it was
prepared, he set sail in the first ship for Australia.

When he arrived in Sydney and took a survey of the situa­tion, he
realised the supreme importance of the absent docu­ment, and wisely
concealed himself until it should come to hand, as he expected, in a few
months' time. While lie was in hiding, the leading Catholics and the
liberal Protestants presented a memorial to the Governor of the day,
General Macquarie, stating the circumstances of the case, and
respectfully asking him to recognise the newly-arrived arch-priest. True
to the discreditable traditions of his office, the General's only reply
to this very reasonable request was that the memorialists were guilty of
a gross piece of presumption. This answer sufficed to show what would be
the fate of Father O'Flinn if his hiding-place became known to the
authorities. The secret was well kept for a couple of months, during
which the Catholics of Sydney, in regular batches, enjoyed the unwonted
and unspeakable blessing of assisting, though by stealth, at the
celebration of the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Father O'Flinn also
succeeded in baptising hun­dreds of young Catholics who had grown up in
the ten years of spiritual darkness that had covered the land. Getting
bolder by degrees, he ventured into the out-settlements, collected his
scattered people, celebrated mass for their benefit, and gave them
instructions both in the English and the Irish language. Long years
afterwards, a venerable old man told Dr. Ullathorne, now Bishop of
Birmingham, that Father O'Flinn " had the sweetest and the swiftest
tongue of Irish that ever I heard." The same aged colonist gave an
additional significant piece of information, viz.: that he " never spoke
a word of English himself until it was made fifty lashes to speak a word
of Irish." When, in his zeal to remedy the mischief of the past, Father
O'Flinn ventured out into the open and went about doing good, he ran the
risk of arrest at any moment; and it was not long before the
priest-hunters laid their impious hands on this inoffensive clergyman and
lodged him in the common goal. There he was kept a close prisoner until a
ship was about to sail for England, when he was escorted on board and
sent back across the seas by the arbitrary act of a despotic governor.
Thus, once again were the hopes of the Australian Catholics dashed to the
ground, but they had one great consolation in their distress. Father
O'Flinn had left the Blessed Sacrament in the house of one of their
number, Mr. James Dempsey, of Kent street, Sydney;* and there, in the
Divine presence, the bereaved flock reve­rentially met on Sundays and
holidays, practised the simple devotions of their Church, and kept the
lamp of faith steadily burning. Worthy descendants these of the steadfast
men and women of an earlier generation, who, throughout the long dark
night of the penal code, worshipped and prayed in the caves and on the
hillsides of Holy Ireland ! As Dr. Ullathorne has sympathetically said: "
It was remarkably beautiful to contemplate these men of sorrow round the
Bread of Life, bowed down before the Crucified; no voice but the silent
one of faith; not a priest within ten thousand miles to offer them that
pledge of pardon to repentance, whose near presence they see and feel."**

* Traditions differ on this point. Some accounts state that the house in
which the Blessed Sacrament was preserved was occupied by Mr. William
Davis, and that it stood in close proximity to the present site of St.
Patrick's Church, Sydney.

** "Father O'Flinn was the first clergyman who came to the colony
expressly with the view of ministering to the spiritual wants of the
Roman Catholic part of the population. He occupied in his church the
position of arch-priest, an office which enabled him to perform some of
those higher functions which ordinarily belong to a bishop. This, among
other circumstances, made it clear that his coming was directly
influenced by the great and pressing wants of that large section of the
population, both free and bond, who professed his faith. The compulsory
retirement of this clergyman is the greatest, if not the only slur ou the
administration of Macquarie. The proceeding adopted by the authorities in
forcing him to quit a community where his ministrations would have been
not less valuable in a social than in a religious point of view, was the
more inexcusable, inasmuch as the character and conduct of Father
O'Flinn, alike as a priest and a subject, were irreproachable."-" History
of New South Wales," by Roderick Flanagan, vol. i. page 215.

When the banished Arch-priest returned to Ireland, the illustrious Dr.
England, Bishop of Charleston, in the United States, happened to be on a
visit to his native land, and to this able and accomplished prelate,
Father O'Flinn narrated the ill-treatment and the injustice he had
received at the hands of the governing powers in distant Australia.
Intense was the bishop's indignation at the recital of the persecution to
which the good priest had been subjected, and of the grievous wrongs
inflicted on the Catholic population of the colony through being deprived
of the ministrations of a clergyman of their faith. Dr. England brought
the case under the notice of Lord Donoughmore, then member for Cork, by
whom it was ventilated in the House of Commons, with the result that the
grievance under which the Catholics of the colony had so long laboured
was fully recognised, and an act of tardy justice was performed by the
Imperial Government in becoming responsible for the sending out to
Australia of two salaried and accredited priests. The Rev*. John Joseph
Therry and the Rev. Philip Conolly were the clergymen who offered to
devote their lives to the service of their exiled countrymen at the
antipodes. Father Therry, whose long and laborious career amidst many
clangers and difficulties has justly won for him the high title of the "
Apostle of the Australias," was a native of Cork, like Bishop England,
the Apostle of the American Church. He entered Carlow College in his
seventeenth year, and had the good fortune of studying for the priesthood
under the famous theologian and controversialist, Dr. Doyle, more widely
known under his episcopal initials " J. K. L." Ordained in 1815, Father
Therry was appointed to a curacy in his native city of Cork, and it was
there he met the returned Archpriest O'Flinn, the victim of governmental
intolerance at the antipodes. This memorable meeting was the
turning-point in the young priest's career. He listened with intense
interest to the sad account of oppression and cruel wrongs in a faraway
land, and his sympathies were powerfully excited on behalf of his
suffering countrymen in Australia, whom he pictured in his mind as
holding out their hands, like the vision of St. Patrick of old, and
crying out in piteous accents, " Come and abide with us! " Having got the
consent of his bishop, and being provided with the necessary credentials
from the Imperial Government, the devoted missionary, in company with his
colleague, Father Conolly, sailed from the Cove of Cork in the ship
"Janus" on December 5th, 1819, They arrived safely in Sydney Harbour at
the beginning of May, and presented their credentials to General
Macquarie, the same governor who had behaved so badly towards Arch-priest
O'Flinn. Commissioned as they were by the home authorities, the governor
had no option but to receive and recognise Fathers Therry and Conolly,
but he showed that his prejudices were as strong as ever by sending them
a series of dictatorial written instructions for their guidance. The two
newly-arrived priests were warned on their peril " not to try to make
converts from the members of the Church of England or from Protestants in
general." They were enjoined not to celebrate Mass publicly " except on
Sundays and the holidays of the Church of England." But the most
outrageous restriction of all was that Fathers Therry and Conolly" were
not to interfere with the religious instruction of the Catholic children
in the orphan schools, all the inmates of which are to be instructed in
the faith and doctrines of the Church of England." Father Therry never
lost an opportunity of protesting with all his might against this
tyrannical and infamous decree. In punishment of his pertinacity, he was
once suspended from, his clerical office by the government for a
considerable period, and it was only after an appeal to the Imperial
authorities that he was reinstated. It is needless to say that the
indomitable priest triumphed eventually, and vindicated the right of the
Catholic Church to the spiritual control and training of her own
children.

Soon after their arrival, the two priests resolved to separate in order
that they might achieve a maximum of good, Father Conolly taking charge
of the growing settle­ment in Van Diemen's Land in the far south, whilst
Father Therry remained in the parent settlement at Sydney. He lost no
time in setting about the erection of a suitable church, for, up to that
time, the Catholic population of Sydney, though numbering 10,000, had no
ecclesiastical edifice they could call their own. So much success
attended his exertions that, in the year after his arrival in the colony,
the foundation-stone of the old St. Mary's Cathedral-the precursor of the
present noble structure-was laid amidst great congratulations and
rejoicings. For five long years did Father Therry labour devotedly,
without the assistance of a brother priest, amongst the Catholics of the
settled districts of New South Wales. Many are the anecdotes related of
his uncompromising zeal, energy, and determina­tion in the discharge of
his sacred duties. Mr. Bonwick records that on one occasion the good
priest received a message that a convict, who had been sentenced to
death, had expressed a desire to see him and make a last confession. The
time was short; a long distance had to be traversed; the roads were in a
very bad condition, and the rivers were flooded. After a weary day's
ride, Father Therry found his progress barred in the evening by a raging
torrent, into which his horse could not possibly go, and on which no boat
could live. But the brave priest was determined to reach his destination,
and carry succour to a departing soul at all hazards. Seeing a man on the
opposite side of the torrent, he asked him for help in God's name. The
man, under­standing the urgency of the case, procured a rope, and by
means of a stone attached to a cord, threw it over to Father Therry, who
hesitated not an instant, but tying the rope around his body, jumped into
the swollen stream and was dragged across through the foaming waters.
Without stopping for rest or changing his clothes, the Soggarth Aroon
mounted another horse, and arrived just in time to give absolution to the
doomed convict on the scaffold.

At another time, during the period of his unjustifiable suspension by the
reigning governor, Father Therry was informed that a Catholic was dying
in a prison hospital. It was late at night, and, when he came to the
door, an armed sentry opposed his entrance. " I must come in," said the
zealous priest. " My orders; I cannot permit you to pass," was the
soldier's reply, as he brought his weapon into position. " But," Father
Therry persisted in tones of anguish, " a Catholic is dying within-I am
the priest-his eternal loss or salvation may depend on you-now which is
your first duty ?" The soldier was unable to resist this pathetic appeal.
He clapped his musket to his side, and Father Therry walked in to give
consolation to a departing soul.

A contemporary of this distinguished Irish-Australian missionary has
summed up his character and career in a sentence: " Neither time, nor
distance, nor danger-and his duties were often performed at the real
peril of life- ever impeded or obstructed him in the zealous performance
of the sacred duties of his mission." It was his custom on Christmas-day
to celebrate his midnight mass in Sydney, a second mass in Liverpool, and
a third at Campbelltown, spending the whole of the subsequent week
amongst the scattered Catholic families in the interior. Wherever he
went, every door was ready to receive him, and Protestants vied with
Catholics in extending assistance and hospitality to the general
favourite. Disputes arising between neigh­bours were as a rule referred
to him for arbitration, and Father Therry's decision was invariably
accepted as final by both parties. Truly has it been said of him that "
in the days of transportation he was the chief comforter and friend of
the convicts of his creed, and no minister has enjoyed, in a larger
measure than this truly reverend man has done throughout his long career,
the confidence and affection of both bond and free."

In 1826 Ireland sent the indefatigable pioneer a helper in the person of
Father Daniel Power, and, a few years after­wards, a still more important
acquisition arrived, the Eev. John (subsequently Archdeacon) McEncroe. A
native of Rathsalla, near Cashel, in Tipperary, Father McEncroe devoted
the early years of his priesthood to missionary work under Bishop England
in the United States. There for seven years he preached and lectured,
established a Catholic newspaper, and combated the now overthrown
institution of slavery with a vigour and determination that made him an
object of numerous threats from the exasperated dealers in human flesh.
Unceasing work at high pressure almost ruined his health, arid he was
forced to return to Ireland. After an interval of comparative repose, he
was nominated to a vacant bishopric in the United States; but, acting on
a providential inspiration, and with the approval of the then Archbishop
of Dublin, Dr. Murray, he declined the proffered well-earned promotion,
and accepted the hard lot of an humble missionary amongst his exiled
countrymen in Australia. Years before, he had seen in Clonmel, Tipperary,
a prison-van full of unfortunate fellows about to be trans­ported to the
antipodes. Eunning into a neighbouring bookseller's shop, the thoughtful
priest soon emerged with three dozen Catholic prayer-books, which he
threw into the van as so much spiritual bread upon the waters. Years
afterwards, he had the supreme satisfaction of seeing several of these
identical prayer-books in the houses of prosperous settlers in the far
interior of New South Wales-a remarkable transformation of that dismal
and discouraging scene in Clonrnel, when he first saw the men and handled
the books. Apart from his conspicuous services on behalf of the moral and
spiritual elevation of the Catholic prisoners that were sent to
Australia, Archdeacon McEncroe will long be remembered for the prominent
part he played in the establishment of the leading charitable
institutions of Sydney. He was also the founder of the Sydney Freeman's
Journal, a high-class literary weekly newspaper, which, to­gether with
the Melbourne Advocate, has for many years ably and consistently upheld
and defended Irish and Catholic interests in the southern hemisphere.
During his lifetime he was himself the chief, the most scholarly, and the
most extensive contributor to its columns. One of its editors was a
distinguished member of an Irish literary and patriotic family, viz.,
Richard O'Sullivan, a brother of that lamented orator, author, and
journalist, A. M. Sullivan, and of that, happily, still living devoted
Nationalist leader and patriotic poet, T. D. Sullivan, M.P., editor of
the Nation. When he revisited Ireland in 1859, he brought back with him
to Australia the Rev. Dr. Forrest as the first rector of the
now-flourishing St. John's College, affiliated to the Uni­versity of
Sydney. In short, Archdeacon McEncroe is fully entitled to share with
Archpriest Therry in all the posthumous honours that are justly due to
the self-denying, successful pioneer, each having been largely
instrumental in laying the sure foundation on which the imposing edifice
of the Australian Catholic Church of to-day is built. The Eight Hon. W.
B. Dalley, soon after the decease of the twin founders of Catholicity on
the southern continent, reminded a large gathering of his co-religionists
in Sydney of "the privilege of having possessed two such pure, simple,
heroic confessors as the two great priests whose memory we wish to
perpetuate. They are endeared to us by lives as blameless as they were
beautiful, and identified with everything of interest in our
ecclesiastical history."

With the arrival in Australia, more than half a century ago, of Dr.
Ullathorne, now the aged Bishop of Birmingham, in England, another
important stage of Church development was reached. Dr. Ullathorne, then
an active young man of twenty-six, came out in the capacity of
Vicar-General of the Bishop of the Mauritius, who at that early period
exercised a sort of nominal jurisdiction over the whole of Australia and
the South Sea Islands. The organising faculty was possessed in no small
degree by Dr. Ullathorne, and he was fortunate in receiving material
assistance from the new Governor, Sir Richard Bourke, who, though not a
Catholic himself, had sympathies in that direction by reason of his many
Catholic relatives and friends around his native city of Limerick. The
coming of Sir Richard Bourke was coincident with a complete reversal of
that avowed anti-Catholic policy, which previous governors took a
shameless delight in ad­ministering. A powerful despatch of his to the
Eight Hon. E. G. Stanley, Secretary of State for the Colonies, under date
September 30th, 1833, dealt a knock-down blow to the pam­pered little
state Church which his predecessors had laboured so hard to erect on
Australian soil. He pointed out with clearness and effect the grossly
unfair manner in which, the annual grant from the public treasury for
Church purposes was distributed, £11,500 being grabbed by the Church of
England, whilst the .Roman Catholics, notwithstanding their large
numbers, received only £1,500, and the Church of Scotland £600. " The
chaplains of the Church of England," he proceeded, " are provided with
glebes of forty acres each, or with a money allowance in lieu, and with
houses or lodging money. No advantage of this kind is possessed by the
clergy of the Church of Scotland, or by the Roman Catholics. Such an
unequal distribution of support cannot be supposed to be acceptable to
the colonists, who provide the funds from which this distribution is
made. Accordingly, the magnitude of the sums annually granted for the
support of the Church of England in New South Wales, is very generally
complained of, and a petition to the governor and the Legislative Council
has been lately prepared at a public meeting, and very numerously signed,
praying for a reduc­tion of the expenditure. In a new country, to which
persons of all religious persuasions are invited to resort, it will be
impossible to establish a dominant and endowed church without much
hostility, and there is great improbability of its becoming permanent.
The inclination of these colonists, which keeps pace with the spirit of
the age, is decidedly adverse to such an institution; and I fear the
interests of religion would be prejudiced by its establishment. If, on
the contrary, support were given as required to every one of the three
great divisions of Christians indifferently, and the management of the
temporalities left to themselves, 1 conceive that the public treasury
might in time be relieved of a considerable charge; and, what is of much
greater im­portance, the people would become more attached to their
respective Churches, and be more willing to listen to, and obey the
voices of, their several pastors."

This brave and statesmanlike description of the situation, Sir Richard
Bourke followed up with a plan of his own devising for the future
equitable distribution of the Govern-ment grant for religious and
educational purposes. The Imperial authorities in London took some time
to digest the most momentous despatch they had yet received on Australian
affairs, but at last came the reply from Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of
State for the Colonies in Lord Melbourne's Administration. It bore the
date of November 30, 1835, and was a complete and highly satisfactory
en­dorsement of the broad liberal views that had been enunci­ated by Sir
Richard Bourke. Writing on behalf of his colleagues in the cabinet as
well as for himself, Lord Glenelg thanked Sir Richard for the " full and
clear statement" which he had transmitted to them, with respect to the
existing means of religious instruction and education in New South Wales,
and for the suggestions with which that statement had been supplemented.
"I am disposed," his lordship continued, "to commit to the Governor and
the Legislative Council the task of suggesting and enacting such laws and
regulations for the distribution and appropri­ation of the funds
applicable to the general purposes of religion and education, as they
consider best adapted to the exigencies of the colony. In the general
principles upon which your plan is founded as applicable to New South
Wales, His Majesty's Government entirely concur. In these communities of
the Australian colonies, formed and rapidly multiplying under most
peculiar circumstances, and comprising great numbers of Presbyterians and
Roman Catholics, as well as members of the Church of England, it is
evident that the attempt to select any one church as the exclusive object
of public endowment, even if it were advisable in every other respect,
would not long be tolerated. To none of the numerous Christians of those
persuasions should opportunities be refused for worship and education on
prin­ciples which they approve."

This unmistakable official sanction cleared the path for local
legislation. The Church Act, establishing religious equality on the lines
laid down by Sir Richard Bourke in his despatch, was speedily introduced
and passed by the Legislative Council. It came into operation on July 29,
1886, a red-letter day in the annals of Australia, for it witnessed the
close of the long, dark, and sanguinary era of ecclesiastical supremacy
and intolerance, and the beginning of the benign reign of religious
liberty throughout the Australian dominions. It is true that a few years
later, when the first Roman Catholic prelate, Dr. Polding, arrived in
Sydney and assumed his legitimate title, the local head of the Church of
England, Dr. Broughton, made one last desperate attempt to reanimate the
ashes of sectarian strife and to regain his vanished position of
pre-eminence in the religious world. Standing on the north side of his
altar and surrounded by his clergy, the Anglican prelate made a public
and somewhat theatrical protest, " that the Bishop of Rome has not any
right or authority, according to the laws of God and the canonical order
of the Church, to institute any episcopal or archiepiscopal see or sees
within the diocese of Australia and the province of Canterbury." This
silly performance produced a little temporary turmoil, and that was all.
It did not alter the opinion of the general com­munity in the least, but
rather confirmed the majority in the wisdom of their action in placing
all denominations, without exception, on an equal footing in the eye of
the law. In after years the two Sydney prelates-Roman Catholic and Church
of England-entertained laudable feelings of mutual respect and esteem,
and contrived to work harmoniously within their respective spheres of
action.

It was during the governorship of Sir Richard Bourke that large numbers
of free immigrants from Ireland and England commenced to pour into New
South Wales, and to remove the hitherto conspicuous convict element into
the background of affairs. In other words, the country was emerging from
the sullen, chilly gloom of the penal settle­ment, and advancing rapidly
into the bright sunshine of a free state. This happy change in the
condition of the colony was reported to the Roman authorities, with the
re­sult that Dr. John Bede Polding was delegated and appoin­ted as the
first Roman Catholic Bishop of the Australian continent, with Sydney as
his cathedral city. He was sub­sequently elevated to the dignity of
Archbishop, and, for the long period of forty-two years, he was a
commanding force in the fostering and development of the Australian
Church. And yet so scrupulous was he in avoiding even the appearance of
offence to his fellow-colonists of other beliefs, that he became one of
the most popular and universally respected of the leading men at the
antipodes. When he passed away in March, 1877, at the patriarchal age of
eighty-three, all Sydney turned out to honour his remains with a public
funeral. He was succeeded by his brilliant young coadjutor, Dr. Vaughan,
whose episcopal career in Sydney, though short, was distinguished for
bounding ec­clesiastical progress and the greatly-increased influence of
Catholicism in the land. Dr. Moran, Bishop of Ossory, Ire­land, was
called to be the third occupant of the primatial see of Australia, and on
him the present Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII, has conferred the
highest of honours, the dignity of the Cardinalate. His Holiness, by that
generous act, lifted the young Church of Australia to the same level with
those great historical churches of the old world, that can gaze back
through long centuries of growth and vicissi­tude, of faith and fidelity,
of triumph and toil.

As the Catholic population of New South Wales increased, three provincial
sees were constituted-Maitland, which is governed by the Right Rev. James
Murray, formerly private secretary to the late Cardinal Cullen, in
Dublin; Goulburn, which continues to be administered by its first
diocesan, Dr. Lanigan, from Cashel, Tipperary; and Bathurst, which was
organised by the late Dr. Matthew Quinn, and is now pre­sided over by the
Right Rev. Dr. Byers, one of its pioneer missionaries.

One of the first duties that Dr. Folding discharged on his arrival in
Sydney was the dedication of a church to St. Patrick at Parramatta.
Finding intemperance to be lament­ably prevalent amongst the colonists,
the Bishop availed himself of this opportunity to preach a powerful
sermon on the subject. In the name of their glorious St. Patrick, he
entreated his people to show forth the power and the purity of their
faith in the propriety of their conduct, to shim all excess and
drunkenness as most offensive to the Almighty, derogatory to the memory
of a, saint distinguished for his abstemiousness, and degrading to the
descendants of those noble men whose holy lives obtained for Ireland that
most cherished title of the Island of Saints. This advice was urgently
needed, for the free immigrants who were con­stantly arriving were in
great danger of being demoralised by the scenes of debauchery they were
compelled to witness in the streets of Sydney. But, fortunately, the best
friends and protectors of the Irish Catholic immigrant were
simul-.taneously making their presence felt in the now growing community.
Dr. Ullathorne, who assumed the office of Vicar-General on the arrival of
Dr. Polding, made several voyages to the home country, and returned on
each occasion with a further supply of Irish missionary priests, several
of whom were destined to fill high places in the Church of the future.
Thus it was that, wherever a settlement was formed, the -priest was soon
on the spot, collecting the Catholic people together, building a modest
little church, and establishing a school for the young ones. Many now
prosperous and popu­lous cities and towns in New South Wales, having
large and wealthy congregations and numerous Catholic institutions, began
life in this humble fashion under the presiding care of a pioneer Irish
missionary priest.

One of the young clergymen, into whom the untiring Dr. Ullathorne infused
some of his own abounding enthusiasm for the promotion of the cause of
Catholicity in the colonies, was the Rev. James Alipius Goold, a member
of an old Cork family, who had been educated for the priesthood on the
continent. Meeting him one day on the steps of the church of St.
Augustine in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Dr. Ullathorne pourtrayed so
vividly the need of labourers in the distant Australian mission-field,
that Father Goold did not hesitate to volunteer his services on the spot.
It was this providential rather than accidental meeting in the Eternal
City, that gave to the Church in Victoria its pioneer bishop. For, when
in the course of a few years the Port Phillip district of New South Wales
became prominent and promising, the Holy See, on the recommendation of
Dr. Polding, decided to erect it into the bishopric of Melbourne, and to
appoint Father Goold as its first prelate, though he was then but
thirty-six years of age. After his consecration in St. Mary's Cathedral,
Sydney, Dr. Goold undertook the long drive of 500 miles through the
roadless bush to Melbourne, and accomplished the distance in nineteen
days. He will live in history as the first man who had the hardihood to
essay that then perilous, but now comparatively easy feat. Many Catholic
citizens of Melbourne went a long way into the country to meet their new
bishop, and he was escorted into his cathedral city by an imposing
cavalcade. He found his diocese extending from the River Murray to the
Southern Ocean, manned with less than half a dozen priests, and
possessing but a few scattered places of worship to meet the requirements
of so large a district. He immediately commenced the work of organising
the church in a land that, he foresaw, was destined to make marvellous
strides in the immediate future. In the early years of his episcopate, he
did an enormous amount of rough bush travelling, the era of roads and
railways not having yet arrived, sleep­ing out at night camped under the
gum-trees, officiating in primeval huts during the day, and personally
visiting the most distant and outlying portions of his diocese.*

*A venerable Australian missionary writes: "In 1850 and part of 1851
Father Dunne had the whole of the Geelong district to attend, the nearest
priests being at Warrnambool on the one side and Melbourne on the other.
Archbishop Goold was then in the prime of life, and besides his episcopal
duties, he did as much clerical duty as any priest in his diocese. When
visiting the remote districts, he often had to be content with the
accommoda­tion of a shepherd's hut. There were no railroads in these days
or even passable roads after heavy rains in winter. On one occasion when
his lord­ship and Father Dunne were returning from Colac to Geelong, they
were over­taken by a severe storm, and had to take shelter in the hut of
a Tipperary man named John Ryan. There was only one bedroom, which was
given up to the bishop and Father Dunne. The Bishop, of course, got the
bed, Father Dunne slept on the boards, and Mr. Ryan and his family sat up
all night at the fire drying the bishop's and priest's clothes."

The fact so frequently noted and commented on by literary travellers,
that in almost every Victorian city and town the Roman Catholic Church
occupies the premier site, is an evidence of the activity and the
shrewdness with which Bishop Goold in those early days gauged the
probabilities of the future, and made ample provision for the populous
times to come. The golden discoveries of 1851, the consequent vast influx
of people from all quarters of the globe, the bursting into existence of
new centres like Ballarat, Sandhurst, Castle-maine, &c., considerably
enlarged the sphere of the Bishop's activity, and found him equal to the
unexpected and extra­ordinary emergency that had arisen. A large
percentage of the diggers, he knew, was composed of Irish Catholics, and
in order to minister to their spiritual necessities, he speedily planted
priests on each of the permanent gold-fields, and sent to Ireland for
more clergymen to keep pace with the urgent requirements of the new
colony of Victoria, into which the Port Phillip district had now bloomed.
Dr. Goold was in short the pioneer prelate that was demanded by the
difficult circumstances of the time; and the host of churches, schools
and religious houses for which he secured sites all over Victoria, and
which, thanks to his keen and intelligent prevision, are flourishing
institutions to-day, will, be long-standing memorials of his organising
and ad­ministrative abilities. His Honour Judge Quinlan, an old Victorian
colonist, has supplied some interesting remini­scences of Dr. Goold's
early episcopal career. "I had the good fortune/' he says, " of making
his lordship's acquain­tance in the latter part of the year 1853. He was
a bishop whose duties can never be equalled, by reason of their
inseparable association with the circumstances of the early days. The
whole face of the colony is now changed, and the circumstances of the
diocese have so altered, that it is im­possible that any of his
successors can labour in his footsteps. The reason is this. He came at a
time that was most exciting in the history of this colony, when people
were pouring in at the rate of a thousand a week. He had to supervise a
territory of enormous extent, teeming with human souls that wanted
saving, and with children that wanted education. It was a task for a
Hercules, but he did it. He was obliged to do all his travelling on
horse­back, and he did it. I remember his excursions through the bush in
the olden times. How unostentatious he was ! How zealous ! How
indefatigable ! How under his mild bland exterior he carried the heart of
the Christian warrior ! I remember his coming to Ballarat at the time of
the Eureka riots and I know for a fact that his presence and influence
there had more effect in upholding law and order than all the soldiers
and police put together. I remember when he went to Mount Eversley during
the disturbances in that neighbourhood, and can recall the enthusiasm of
the people-how they determined to build a church, and that the only place
where the church should be built was Tipperary Flat. I have a vivid
recollection of the kindness and courtesy with which he was treated by
the English officers in the camp, and of their anxiety that the bishop
should stay with them, but his lordship politely but firmly declined
their kind invitation, remarking, "I must go to my own people." And he
went to his own people, and slept that night amongst them in a little
tent. On the following morning I was present when he spoke. A more
unobtrusive orator I never heard, and yet I do not think I ever heard one
more effectual. I was assured by the officers and others that Dr. Goold's
advice and exhortation to the people effected a revolution for good, and
they personally expressed their gratitude to him for his timely visit and
his tranquillising words." In those early days referred to by Judge
Quinlan, Dr. G-oold could easily have become a mil­lionaire, or, to use
the words of the Hon. John Gavan Duffy, "the richest bishop in the
Christian world," had he preferred to place in his private purse the
golden gifts that were showered upon him by lucky diggers during his
periodical visits to the gold-fields, when they were at the height of
their splendour and productiveness.* But all the riches he acquired were
utilised in the building up of the Church throughout the extensive
district that had been committed to his pastoral charge; and, after
governing his Victorian diocese for thirty-eight years, he passed away in
June, 1886-the Archbishop of Melbourne-leaving an honoured memory, but
little of worldly wealth beyond a few thousands of pounds to be devoted
to works of religion and charity. His mortal re­mains fittingly rest
within the walls of that noble Cathedral of St. Patrick in Melbourne, of
which he was the founder and the chief builder in life. An able and
accomplished, member of the Irish hierachy, the Most Eev. T. J. Carr,
Bishop of Galway, has been appointed as his successor in the see of
Melbourne.

* The Rev. Dr. Backhaus, the priest whom Dr. Goold placed in charge of
the Sandhurst gold-field, died a few years ago, leaving £250,000 for the
building of a cathedral and the endowment of the newly-created diocese of
Sandhurst.

The Rev. John Brady, a brother Irish priest, who was a fellow-voyager
with Dr. Goold to Australia, also became a pioneer bishop, the scene of
his labours being the vast and remote colony of Western Australia. Two
Spanish prelates -Drs. Serra and Griver-succeeded him in the
administra­tion of a diocese almost equal in area to half the size of
Europe; but now the Western Australian Church is once again ruled by an
Irish ecclesiastic in the person of Dr. Matthew Gibney, the recently
consecrated Bishop of Perth. His name is associated with one of the most
heroic incidents recorded in colonial history. An orphanage near Perth,
having been almost destroyed by lightning, Father Gibney was deputed to
collect in the neighbouring and richer colonies sufficient money for its
restoration. Whilst he was engaged in this duty in Victoria, a band of
outlaws -" bush­rangers," as they are colonially termed-who had long
defied capture, and had carried on a career of murder and robbery,
descended from their haunts in the mountain ranges and took possession of
the village of Glenrowan, in north-eastern Victoria, making all the
inhabitants prisoners. They cut the telegraph wires and tore up the
railway track; neverthe­less the authorities in Melbourne were apprised
of the daring outrage, and despatched a large force to the locality. The
bushrangers, taken by surprise, threw themselves into the village hotel,
which they defended against the besiegers for the greater part of the
day. Father Gibney, who happened to be in the neighbourhood at the time,
hastened to the scene of strife, so that the services of a priest would
not be wanting, if required. At an early stage of the conflict, he
endeavoured to advance through the open to the hotel, and exert his
influence with the besieged bushrangers to induce them to surrender, and
thereby avert further bloodshed. He was con­fident that even such
desperadoes as they would not fire upon a priest, but the officers in
command thought differently, and declined to allow him to place his life
in jeopardy. When, however, late in the afternoon, the hotel was seen to
be in flames, the brave priest refused to be kept back any longer, and
rushed across to the burning building in the hope of still being able to
administer the last sacraments of the Church to any surviving bushrangers
within. He was watched with eager and breathless attention as he crossed
the open space in front of the outlaws' citadel, the general fear being
that he would be shot down before he reached the house. A cheer went up
from the excited spectators as they saw him rush through the flames into
the interior of the hotel, and a number of them were emboldened to follow
in his footsteps. When Father Gibney got within the blazing building, he
saw the bodies of the bushrangers lying on the floor, they having
apparently preferred to shoot themselves or each other, rather than fall
into the hands of the authorities. He had just time to touch their bodies
and ascertain that they were lifeless, before the advancing flames
compelled him to beat a hasty retreat in order to save his own life. The
courage and intrepidity displayed by Father Gibney on this occasion won
universal [admiration, and the news of his elevation to the mitre was
received with cordial approval by the press and the public of all the
colonies.



CHAPTER XII.


A GROUP OF STATESMEN.

SIR JOHN O'SHANASSY-ORANGE OUTRAGES-RIOTING IN MELBOURNE-ST. PATRICK'S
SOCIETY-SIR CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY-HIS ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA-THE
FATHER OF AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION-SETTLING THE PEOPLE ON THE LANDS-THE
DUFFY LAND ACT-A SERIES OF STRIKING LECTURES-SIR BRYAN O'LOGHLEN-HIS
RAPID POLITICAL PROMOTION-WILSON GRAY, PRESIDENT OF THE LAND
CONTENTION-MICHAEL O'GRADY-THE GLENVEIGH EXILES-A BENEFACTOR TO HIS
RACE-THE HON. NICHOLAS FITZGERALD-WILLIAM CHARLES WENTWORTH, "THE
AUSTRALIAN PATRIOT."

The somewhat remarkable and frequently quoted fact that Irishmen attain
the most exalted positions in every country save their own, has been
consistently exemplified throughout the Australian colonies, and nowhere
more strikingly than in the career of the late Sir John O'Shanassy,
thrice Prime Minister of Victoria. For more than thirty years he was the
commanding figure of Victorian public life-brilliant in speech, ready in
debate, able in administration, skilful in organising, a popular leader
of his countrymen, and an ardent defender of Catholic rights. His first
appearance on the scene of his future energetic and useful life is thus
graphically narrated by his old and intimate friend, Mr. W. H. Archer:

"When John O'Shanassy sailed from Plymouth in the * William Metcalf on
July 26, 1839, he never thought of settling in Melbourne. A near relative
of his had already emigrated to New South Wales, and had induced him to
go out to Sydney. The voyage was a long one, and it was not till nearly
four months afterwards-that is, on November 15--that the ship cast anchor
in the bay of Port Phillip. The young emigrant, who had barely reached
man's estate, was noticeable not only for his fine manly bearing, but for
his peculiarity in dress. It was also observed that among his several
hundred fellow-passengers he was very reserved, and that, book in hand,
he generally kept retired from all. His favourite practice was to climb
up high in the rigging, and thus secure his studies from interruption. He
was arrayed in a blue swallow-tailed coat adorned with brass buttons; and
his garb and position must have often stimulated the curiosity and the
gossip of those beneath him. Among the first of the visitors to the ship
was a Catholic priest. As soon as he stepped on board, he called on all
who might be Catholics to corne forward. The most stalwart of the group
of emigrants advanced at once and grasped the hand of paternal welcome
held out by Father Geoghegan. That meeting was the commencement of a
lifelong friendship. The discerning eye of the wise ecclesiastic took in
at a glance the promising look of the new arrival; and his satisfaction
was not lessened when he learned that the young emigrant had brought with
him a young wife. Long years afterwards, Dr. Geoghegan told me how he was
struck by the appearance of them both. As he gazed upon the young man,
who was tall, athletic and of intelligent appearance, and on the young
girl, who had more than an ordinary share of good looks, and whose face
was beaming with hope and gladness, he felt instinctively that those two
were cut out by nature to help in making a new community prosperous, and
he lost no time in trying to persuade them to cast their lot on the banks
of the Yarra Yarra. He told them that Sydney was overdone, and Melbourne
would prove a richer field for young folk such as they. In the end he
prevailed, and they permanently united their fortunes with the few
hundred persons who had already settled in the straggling township which
is now a great metropolis."

He had no sooner settled clown in his new home, than his success in
business and his innate capacity for public life made him a man of mark.
In all the great movements of the early days, such as the agitations for
the legislative indepen­dence of Victoria, and the abolition of the
transportation of British criminals to the colonies, he bore a leading
part; but it was not until Victoria was granted a parliament of its own,
that an opportunity was afforded of bringing his great states­manlike
abilities into play. As one of the members for Mel­bourne in the first
Legislative Council, he gave abundant evidence of his intellectual
qualifications for popular leader­ship. He was one of the committee who
drafted the constitution under which the Government of Victoria has ever
since been administered, and to his wise suggestions many of its most
admirable features are to be attributed. As soon as it came into
operation, he was elected to the popular chamber by Melbourne and Kilmore
simultaneously. He chose the latter seat, to the great delight of its
warm-hearted Hibernian electors, who continued for years to return him
whenever he presented himself for re-election. O'Shanassy was the first
Victorian member of parliament to hold office as Premier by a vote of the
majority of the people's represen­tatives. The three governments, of
which he was the head, have been credited by friends and foes alike with
placing on the statute-book some of the most beneficial and enduring
pieces of legislation, notably the Local Government Act and the Crown
Lands Act of 1862. To O'Shanassy himself belongs the credit of
successfully negotiating the first public loan (eight millions) that the
young colony asked from the capitalists of the old world. He was mainly
instrumental in securing the simplification of official oaths, and the
recogni­tion of the equal rights of all classes of colonists,
irrespective of religious belief. As an Irish-Catholic leader, it could
hardly be expected that he should escape calumny and mis­representation.
At the very outset of his public career, the report was industriously
circulated that he was working to become President of an Australian
republic, and that he was in reality a Jesuit whom the Pope had allowed
to marry, as a convenient cloak for the concealment of his diabolical
designs. The Orange Society in Melbourne assumed at first a very
aggressive and deliberately offensive attitude; and it required the
exercise of all O'Shanassy's personal influence, together with that of
the zealous and patriotic Father Geoghegan, to prevent blooodshed.
Collisions between the insulted Catholics and the overbearing Orangemen
were not unknown; and at one Twelfth-of-July demonstration, serious
rioting was the result of a premeditated display of Orange banners and
emblems from the upstairs windows of the hotel, in which the disciples of
King William were toast-Ing the " pious and immortal memory." Impulsive
Irishmen indignantly heard the news, and hurrying to the scene from all
quarters, surrounded the hotel, and succeeded in forcing ad­mission. In
the meantime Father Geoghegan had been in­formed of the disturbance, and,
dashing into the hotel, he en­deavoured to separate the combatants, who
were by this time fighting in close quarters. One scoundrel deliberately
fired at the heroic priest. Providentially, he missed his aim, but the
bullet struck and wounded David Hurley, who,with O'Shanassy, had just
rushed in to the protection of the Soggarth Aroon.

Eventually the military put in an appearance; the com­batants were
separated, and the Orange leaders arrested. The Catholics withdrew to the
north of the city, and the Orangemen to the south. Martial law was
proclaimed, and the military encamped for the night in the heart of
Melbourne, midway between the two forces. Fortunately, the influence of
Father Greoghegan and John O'Shanassy prevailed, and the exasperated
Irish Catholics were induced to return to their homes and their
distracted families. The result of that day's work was disastrous to the
influence of the Orange Society in Victoria. It never raised its head in
public afterwards. The Peace Preservation Act was passed for the express
purpose of proclaiming the illegality of displaying Orange flags and
emblems, and, though attempts have now and again been made to repeal that
wise enact­ment, they have all deservedly failed, because the
common-sense of the community was opposed to giving any secret society
the power of making itself offensive and provoking breaches of the public
peace. By a strange irony of late, the hotel which was the Orange
head-quarters, and the scene of the riot just described, is now, and has
been for several years, known as the " Harp of Erin," with a pronounced
Pamellite as its proprietor.

On only one occasion afterwards were these arch-disturbers permitted to
resort to their traditional tactics. Forbidden by law to show themselves
as an organisation in public, they built a Protestant Hall, and within
its walls they were, of course, free to meet, drink, and talk as much and
as often as they chose. But, on the evening of November 27,
1867-twenty-one years after the riot just referred to-all Melbourne was
illuminated in honour of the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of
Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria; and the followers of King
William, under the pretence of demonstrating their ultra-loyalty, seized
the opportunity to once more outrage the feelings of Irish Catholics.
Outside their hall they exhibited a most offensive design, which
naturally provoked a counter demonstration. This was resented by the
Orangemen within the building, and the murder of an inoffensive boy was
the result of their indiscriminate shooting amongst the crowd below. By a
regrettable miscarriage of justice, the ringleaders in this disgraceful
affair escaped the punishment they so richly deserved. The Protestant
chaplain who accompanied the Queen's son, was himself deeply disgusted at
the misconduct of the Orangemen on this occasion. At the 245th page of
his narrative of the Prince's travels, he thus severely com­ments on the
occurrence, and shrewdly philosophises on the evil results of the Orange
organisation from its beginning: ,1 "A serious disturbance, resulting in
the loss of life, took place in front of the Protestant Hall in |the
course of the evening. On the night of illumination the front of the hall
had been decorated with a large transparency, representing William III.
crossing the Boyne, with a figure of Britannia on one side, and the
motto, ' This we will maintain.' The exhibition of a design of such a
decidedly party character had been generally condemned as likely to
provoke the animosity of an opposite faction, and the authorities tried,
but without success, to prevail upon the Orangemen not to exhibit it. On
the night that it was lit up a few of the more excitable Ribbonmen loudly
expressed their indigna­tion at the party emblem, and threatened to
destroy it, but contented themselves with throwing a few stones and
slightly damaging it. On Wednesday night, however, a large crowd
collected in front of the building, abused the Orangemen and their
picture, sang 'The Wearing of the Green,' and ended by throwing a shower
of stones at the obnoxious device.
The people within the building immediately fired an indiscriminate volley
in amongst the crowd. Two men and a poor boy were seriously wounded, and
the boy even­tually died from the effects of his wound. One man was
arrested as he was escaping from the building, and others were
subsequently captured who were known to have been inside at the time when
the shots were fired. They were tried some weeks afterwards, but, for
some reason or other not ascertained, were acquitted. Nothing can excuse
the Orangemen for having in the first instance exhibited a party device,
which they knew would provoke retaliation and lead to a breach of the
peace. Amongst the numerous causes which may have combined to produce
Fenianism, it becomes a question whether the constant irritation and
annoyance inflicted on their enemies by Orangemen, in their noisy
celebration of the 'Battle of the Boyne,' for the last two hundred years,
have not had a much greater effect than all other grievances, fancy or
real, put together. It is scarcely possible to conceive that even less
excitable people than the Roman Catholic population of Ireland would
tamely submit to incessant taunts and most provokingly contrived devices
and emblems to remind them of defeat and subjection."*

* " Cruise of the Galatea in 1867-8," by the Rev. John Milner, chaplain
of the expedition.

Reverting from this digression to the career of Sir John O'Shanassy, it
has to be recorded of him that no man in his lifetime laboured more
earnestly or more successfully to build up a new Ireland at the
antipodes. Seeing around him a wide expanse of rich undeveloped country,
he wisely encouraged emigration from the oppressed old land to the free
and hospitable soil of Victoria; and, as Prime Minister of three
Victorian governments, he facilitated, by every means in his power, the
transit of Irish families over twelve thousand miles of water to the
homes and homesteads that awaited them in the land of plenty. Thanks to
the system of open competition for appointments in the Civil Service,
thousands of young Irishmen were enabled to out-distance all competitors
at the prescribed examinations; and, whenever John O'Shanassy was in
power, they had not long to wait for the prizes to which they were
entitled. Nothing pleased him more than the satisfaction he felt in being
instrumental in advancing young Irish-Australians who exhibited ability
and promise. One of the last acts of his busy life was to preside at a
convention of delegates (of whom the present writer was one) which was
held in St. Patrick's Hall, Mel­bourne, for the purpose of drawing up a
scheme of federation for the Catholic Young Men's Societies of Victoria.
All who were present at that gathering could not fail to be impressed
with the deep sympathetic interest evinced by the veteran statesman in
the welfare of the young Catholics of his adopted land, and with the
sound practical advice embodied in his presidential address.

No higher compliment has ever been paid to an Australian statesman than
the large gathering, representative of all classes and creeds in the
community, which entertained Sir John O'Shanassy in St. George's Hall,
Melbourne, when he was about to revisit the land of his birth, and seek
the restoration of that once robust health which had become shattered in
the service of his adopted country. Accom­panying a munificent public
testimonial was an address, signed by the foremost men of the colony and
couched in these most appreciative terms:

"Whatever differences of opinion may divide us-differences perhaps
Incidental to the working of constitutional government in a young
com­munity-we must all concur in testifying our admiration of a gentleman
who has dedicated to the honourable, but arduous and unthankful, labours
of political life, great abilities, vigorous thought, anxious study, and
long expe­rience, unquestionable honesty of purpose, indomitable energy,
and a resolute devotion to what he believes to be the true and permanent
interests of the country. In pro­portion to the rarity of such efforts as
these must be the sincerity of our acknowledgments. To have spent the
best years of existence in the service of the State, and to have done so
at a time when innumerable avenues to fortune were opening on every side,
and when comparatively few were found capable of exercising the
self-denial implied in remaining faithful to the duties of a political,
leader, would alone constitute a strong and lasting claim on our esteem.
As one of the principal framers of our constitution, and of a system of
administration on the gold-fields, under which disaffection was replaced
by loyalty and order; as the strenuous opponent of transportation to
Australia, and the earnest friend and zealous promoter of the principle
of local self-government, and of every undertaking calculated to advance
civil and religious liberty, sustain the reputation and accelerate the
progress of the colony of Victoria, we offer to you this sincere
expression of our regard, and ex­press the hope that we may soon have the
pleasure of welcoming your return to a country which can ill afford to be
deprived of the services of such an experienced and able politician."

From the earliest period of his colonial career we find Sir John
O'Shanassy consistently fostering the sentiment of Irish nationality, and
eloquently advocating the claims of every philanthropic movement that was
originated in the old land of his birth. As one of the founders and first
mem­bers of the St. Patrick's Society, he was the moving spirit in
organising one of the strongest and most representative bodies of
Irishmen in the world. His thoughtful, racy speeches at the banquets that
have been regularly held by that society for many years past in St.
Patrick's Hall on the evening of the national anniversary, have a high
educational value for his countrymen, and would, if collected, form an
appreciable addition to our already rich stores of Irish oratory. Of his
services to Catholicity, and the great cause of Catholic education many
pages might be written, but it will suffice to summarise them in the
words of the Rev. Thomas Cahill, S.J., as spoken, in the presence of an
immense and sorrowing audience, over the mortal remains of Sir John
O'Shanassy as they lay in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, on the
morning of May 7, 1883: "I deem it unnecessary to speak of his career as
a politician, as a legislator, as at times the head of the government in
this colony. His name and his merits are well known, and throughout his
whole career not only his friends who agreed with him, but those who
differed with him, found a man faithful in all things, faithful to his
principles. But it is when I think of him as a Catholic that the words, '
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life,' are
in a more marked manner verified. When I look back to the past I see him,
as I heard him sometimes describe himself, standing on the spot where now
stands St. Francis' Church, forming one of a congregation of three, when
for the first time the Holy Sacrifice was offered in Melbourne. I see him
bear the banner of St. Patrick's Society, as was his pride and privilege,
when the first stone of tins great cathedral was laid-that banner a
symbol of the faith which he loved and kept to the end. I see him
throughout life faithful to his duties as a Catholic. In every year, and
throughout his life, he was the true and consistent Catholic, a man who
gloried in his religion and never had the weakness to be ashamed of it."

Sir Charles Gavan Duffy is a familiar name in both hemispheres. As the
founder and editor of the Nation; the lieutenant and coadjutor of Daniel
O'Connell; the organiser and biographer of Young Ireland; the compiler of
the " Ballad Poetry," and himself the author of a number of vigorous
popular poems, Gavan Duffy belongs to Irish his­tory; but as Victoria's
successive Minister of Lands, Prime Minister, and Speaker of the
Legislative Assembly, the founder of her National Picture Gallery and the
most earnest worker In the cause of colonial federation, lie stands in
the front rank of the representative Irishmen of Australia. It was in
November, 1855, that Mr. Duffy, heartsick at the numerous defections from
the Tenant League, and seeing no ray of hope in the political future of
Ireland, voluntarily expatriated himself and sought a new home thousands
of miles away at the antipodes. To use his own mournful lan­guage on
bidding farewell to the familiar scenes of Dublin, he left Ireland "a
corpse on the dissecting-table." On arriving in Melbourne, in the early
part of 1856, he was accorded a most enthusiastic reception at the hands
of his fellow-countrymen. He was entertained at public dinners in
Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Sydney. At the time of his arrival, the
election of the first Victorian Parliament under the new constitution was
in progress, and there was a universal desire to see Mr. Duffy returned
as a member.

But a property qualification was necessary, and immediately committees
were formed throughout the colonies, and, in a remarkably brief space of
time, the sum of £5,000 was raised. With this a property in Hawthorn, a
pretty suburb of Melbourne, was purchased, and Mr. Duffy entered the
first Parliament of Victoria as member for the combined counties of
Villiers and Heytesbury. The presentation of the title-deeds of his
Hawthorn property was made the occasion of a grand demonstration in Mr.
Duffy's honour. It took place in Melbourne on August 20th, 1856. Mr.
(afterwards Sir John) O'Shanassy presided, and made a graceful reference
to the enthusiastic manner in which Mr. Duffy had been welcomed to the
colonies, and how he had been everywhere spoken of as a valuable
acquisition to the ranks of their public men. The large gathering of that
day was meant to testify their regard for genius, talent, honour and
fidelity shown in a good cause. It was their object in making that
presentation to endeavour to attach Mr. Duffy to Victorian soil. All
parties, all creeds and all classes had united in doing honour to their
guest, and wishing him many happy days in his new home.

The speech that Mr. Duffy delivered on this occasion is of historical
value, as it sounded the key-note of his future honourable and lengthened
political career in Victoria. He said, and said truly, that such a
generous gift as a freehold estate to a man in his position had no
parallel for munificence in the history of Australia, but its weight in
solid gold was not its chief value. The immense constituency it
represented, in upwards of 100 districts of Victoria and New South Wales,
made it a political demonstration of peculiar weight and significance. He
trusted he would never forget, as a stimulus to worthy courses, that he
had had the happiness to possess, and must be careful not to forfeit, the
wide­spread confidence of which it was the token. His new home would
remind him habitually that he could not become slothful or selfish, or
embark in any slothful or selfish cause, without base ingratitude to the
men of many nations and creeds who had opened its doors to him. He
accepted the gift as frankly as it was given; he would accept it as a
noble retaining-fee to serve the interests of Australia according to the
best of his abilities. He had hoped that night to speak of the future
destiny of the Australian colonies, not only of the political liberty in
store for them, but of the precious opportunity they enjoyed in the new
social experiment of adopting whatever was best in the habits of kindred
nations, and rejecting whatever was deleterious or dangerous, till a
national Australian character would grow, which, once created, would
probably prevail on the shores of the Southern Ocean after the last stone
of the city of Melbourne had crumbled into dust. They might imitate the
energy and decision of America, which exhibited themselves as much in the
arts of locomotion and commercial enterprise as on the battle-field, and
their love of simplicity, which had given them codified laws and cheap
effective government, without adopting the servile fear of the majority
and the indifference to spiritual aims which seemed to be the dry rot of
their system. From the old country they carried whatever was best, and,
he feared, often whatever was worst. Let them be careful not to revive
its parliamentary system steeped in corruption, its government by one
favoured class, its bigotry which taught men to hate their neighbours and
to love themselves, nor to perpetuate its northern life under southern
skies. What good was it to them that their soil teemed with gold if it
would not purchase settled liberty and the rational enjoyments of life?
These were the topics on which he had proposed to address them that
night, but he had a nearer duty to discharge. One of the duties he owed
to the mixed community from whom that splendid gift had come, was to
protest against the attempt visible in several places to introduce
religious feuds and distinctions. He could not see what any man, high or
low, wise or foolish, hoped to gain by setting Protestant against
Catholic, and Catholic against Protestant. They might destroy peace and
prosperity in their country, but they could not possibly destroy one
another. After a generation of bad blood and wasted energies, the
struggle would end in leaving every one who outlived it in a worse
position than if it had never taken place. The rival creeds had
quarrelled in Canada for twenty years, and with what result ? The
prostration and the pro-vincialisation of that fine country. But they
gave up the contest, united on terms honourable to both, and the country
commenced to outrun the neighbouring great republic in growth from that
hour. In the name of common-sense, what justification was there for
raising the anti-Catholic cry in Victoria ? If the Catholics were aiming
at some undue or unreasonable power, he could understand it, but no one
could pretend that such was the case. Since he had landed on Australian
shores, he had constantly urged that it was the interest and duty of all
classes to fuse into one common Australian nationality. No men were
better disposed to do so than the men of his own race and creed, but they
were not members of the Peace Society, and if they were mis­represented
and assailed without cause, they would naturally stand on the defensive.
If they were threatened with political extinction, they were entitled and
bound to answer, and all fair men of whatever creed would applaud them
for answering: " To make Helots of us is what you cannot do and shall not
do." A fair field for each man according to his capacity was all they
demanded. It had been insinuated indeed that Catholics should be deprived
of political power, because political and religious liberty had been
denied in Catholic countries. That meant repealing the Emancipation Act.
For his part he would as soon sell his children as slaves, as allow them
to live in a country where such a doctrine prevailed. But was it true
that political and re­ligious liberty had been denied in Catholic
countries ? It was as true as that witches ride on broomsticks, that one
Englishman could beat five Frenchmen, or any of the hundred other fables
of ignorance and prejudice. There had been bigotry and cruelty wherever
uncontrolled power had existed, no matter to what creed it belonged. But
he could answer unhesitatingly for the Catholics of Ireland and affirm
that they never denied civil and religious liberty. When any­one spoke to
an Irish Catholic of his creed being the symbol of persecution, and
Protestantism the symbol of liberty, he might well think the speaker mad.
Why, in the reign of Queen Mary, English Protestants fled to Dublin and
were sheltered in that Catholic city, and in the reign of Queen Victoria,
a large number of Catholic constituencies elected Protestants as their
chosen representatives. For 300 years the Irish Catholics had been robbed
and oppressed because they were Catholic, down to that very hour when
they were compelled to support the richest church in the world for a
handful of the population.*

* Happily Sir Charles Gavan Duffy has lived to see that monstrous
injustice swept away by the disestablishment of the State Church in
Ireland, thirteen years after these words were uttered.

It was realising the fable of the wolf and the lamb to raise the cry of
intolerance against those who had not inflicted but endured the pains of
ascendancy. A ludicrous charge had been made against him­self, that he
had come to Australia to promote sectarian triumphs. He would not descend
into the kennel even to defend himself, but let his life answer it. There
were ten thousand Irish Protestants in that country, who were his
contemporaries at home. They were to be found at the bar, in the church,
behind the counter, and in the workshop. Let them answer it. Their
opinion, whatever it was, would infallibly prevail in the end, and he was
content to abide by the verdict. When canvassing in the west a few weeks
pre­viously, a local bigot had raised the same cry, and he answered him
by appealing to his career in Ireland. Three gentlemen, then unknown to
him, at once came forward and confirmed his words. The first declared
that he was one of the young Protestants of Dublin, whom the Nation had
won to nation­ality. The other two were the resident Presbyterian
ministers, who declared that they were among the Ulster clergymen who had
acted on the Tenant League, of which he was one of the founders. He was
perfectly satisfied to leave his character to witnesses of that sort
scattered over Australia. They could tell how the main part of his life
in Ireland had been spent in combining hostile sects into a national
party, and how in furtherance of that object he had co-operated with men
of honour, wholly irrespective of creed. They must not shrink from the
work before them, if they would not have that fine country swayed by the
narrow spirit of a parish vestry, instead of the generous ambition of a
young nation.

The above is only a summary of a very notable speech- the forerunner of
many others based on the same theme, and preaching similar noble
sentiments-compiled from the newspaper reports of the day; but it is
sufficient to show that, even at this early period of his colonial
career, the grand idea of a federated Australia was occupying a large
place in Sir Gavan Duffy's thoughts. For the practical realisation of
that idea, he worked consistently and well for many years at the
antipodes, and, though he has not yet had the satis­faction of seeing a
second Dominion of Canada established in the south, he has the
satisfaction of knowing that, through his instrumentality, many
preliminary difficulties have been removed, many intercolonial jealousies
smoothed down, and the way paved for a United Australia in the near
future. In a special manner has he exerted himself to put down that curse
of all new countries, the revival, or the attempted revival, of those
bitter feuds and religious prejudices that have worked so much mischief
in old and historic lands. Mr. Duffy's arrival was most opportune and
beneficial to the newly-born colony of Victoria. He was the only member
of its first Parliament who had sat in the House of Commons, and the
knowledge and experience he had thus acquired naturally gave him a
preponderating influence and prestige. It was owing to his advice and
suggestions that the Victorian Legislative Assembly was made almost an
exact counterpar of the House of Commons. The painful recollection of the
terrible evils of unbridled landlordism in Ireland, determined Mr. Duffy
to do all in his power to prevent the possibility of such inhuman scenes
being re-enacted on the colonial soil of his adoption. From the first he
was a vigorous land reformer, and he laboured with might and main to
destroy the monopoly of the pastoral tenants, and settle the people on
the lands. To him the colony was indebted for its most liberal land
law-the Land Act of 1862-a measure which, if it had only been accorded
fair play, and administered in accordance with the wishes of its framer,
would have opened up the country in all directions, and planted a
prosperous agricultural popu­lation on the soil. But, unfortunately, the
monopolists' gold and the cupidity of the people whom the Act was
in­tended to benefit, defeated in a measure the statesman's magnanimous
design. Bribery was resorted to on an exten­sive scale, with the result
that a large part of the finest agricultural land in the colony-the
western district-fell irrevocably into the hands of the monopolists. In
the east these unworthy influences were less actively at work, and the
success of the Duffy Land Act was unequivocal in that quarter.
Describing, in April, 1877, a tour through the vast and still undeveloped
province of Gripps Land, which occupies the south-eastern portion of
Victoria, Sir Gavan Duffy thus spoke from the platform:

"I travelled from Briagolong to Maffra, and thence to Cowwar, a district
justly called the granary of the East; I afterwards visited Bruthen and
Lindenow Flat, at the other end of the electorate, which rivals the
Farnham Survey in fertility, and in all these places I had the
inexpressible pleasure of being assured by legions of prosperous farmers
who possess the soil, that they obtained their homesteads under what has
been named the Duffy Land Act. All the unaccustomed toil of a long
journey was repaid by the picture I had imagined long ago, realised under
my eyes- the picture of happy homes possessed by a free, manly, yeornan
proprietary. And why have we not Maffras and Lindenows in the West as
well as in the East? Because the very class for whom we legislated, sold
their inheritance for some paltry bribe."

As a leading member of the three O'Shanassy Ministries, Sir Gavan Duffy
proved himself an administrator of the first order, and when, in 1871, he
became Premier himself, he formed a government that would have
indubitably exercised a lasting influence for good on the progress of
Australia, had it not been stopped short in its career by an
unprin­cipled parliamentary combination. The Duffy Ministry held office
for a year in the face of such virulent and factious opposition as was
unparalleled in the political history of Victoria. A perusal of the
parliamentary debates of the period will afford ample corroboration to
every unprejudiced mind of the truth of Sir Gavan's remark: " They hated
the Ministry mainly because I was an Irishman and a Roman Catholic."
These rabid opponents of a clever Irish-Australian Premier pretended to
believe, and tried their little best to make the public believe, that the
patronage of the govern­ment was exclusively conferred on Fenians-a name
that was as continually in their mouths as the catch-word of a play. One
appointment in particular-that of Mr. John Cashel Hoey to a position in
the office of the Victorian Agent-General in London-was made the
battle-ground of a most bitter and acrimonious discussion, for no other
reason than that the gentleman appointed was at one period of his life
connected with the staff of the Nation. According to the logic of the
bigots, he was therefore necessarily a self-condemned Fenian. On a motion
of want of confidence, Sir Charles exploded this ludicrous charge, and
thus narrated the circumstances under which he first became acquainted
with Mr. Cashel Hoey:

" It is said by the hon. member for Williamstown: ' "Was not Mr. Cashel
Hoey engaged in stimulating rebellion in Ireland ?' Sir, for the Nation
newspaper which existed before the attempted insurrection in 1848, I may
be held responsible, and I never did shrink from the responsibility. But
for that insurrection Mr. Hoey is no more responsible than the hon.
member for Williamstown, because he was then a boy at school or a lad at
college. I never set eyes upon him till 1850, when the Nation, under
altered cir­cumstances, had to apply itself to what it was possible to
hope to accomplish then-the disestablishment of the Irish Church and
security of tenant-right for the Irish tenants. One day in that year I
had the good fortune to secure the co-operation of three young rnen-none
of them being over twenty years of age, Mr. Hoey being the youngest-as
writers for the Nation. Mr. Cashel Hoey was one; another was Mr. Edward
Butler, who was last week sworn as Her Majesty's Attorney-General in the
colony of New South Wales; and the third was Mr. James Doyle, who died in
the employment of the identical journal which is now assailing Mr. Cashel
Hoey."

This speech was throughout a masterly defence of the policy of the Duffy
Ministry. It represents one of the highest flights of political oratory
recorded in the pages of any " Hansard." It proved beyond the shadow of a
doubt that no Victorian government administered its patronage or
conducted the national affairs in a more honest and unex­ceptionable
manner than did the Cabinet presided over by Sir Charles Gavan Duffy. But
it was thrown away on the bigoted majority who selected " abuse of
patronage " as the most convenient excuse for ejecting an
Irish-Australian statesman from power. A subsequent parliament made some
amends for this unjust and contemptible conduct, by electing Sir Charles
to the high office of Speaker of the Legislative Assembly-a position
which he continued to fill with great credit to himself and to the
general satisfaction of the House, until he determined to re-cross the
equator, and spend the evening of his busy public life in peaceful
retirement and the cultivation of that literary leisure which is denied
to the active politician.

In any review of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy's Victorian career, it would be
an unpardonable oversight to omit some reference to his unique and
sparkling lectures, which, after having amused and instructed large
audiences in theatres and public halls, continue, in their published
form, to amuse and instruct later generations as well Theirs is not the
temporary interest of the superficial address, but the abiding popularity
of the thoughtful essay. Hence their happy incorporation in the
literature of the colonies. " Why is Ireland poor and discontented ? "
was a trenchant analysis of those preventible evils that transformed one
of the fairest and most fertile spots in God's creation into an island of
misery, destitution, and periodical famine. This lecture was eminently
serviceable in dissipating the many erroneous impressions concerning
Ireland and Irish affairs, that were current in the mixed Australian
community of the time. " The National Poetry and Songs of Ireland " was a
congenial theme to the early friend and familiar of Thomas Davis, and it
is needless to say it was treated with sympa­thetic force and feeling. "
Popular Errors Concerning Australia " was addressed to a London audience,
and it was efficacious in dispelling a host of strange delusions that
pervaded the British mind with respect to the political and social status
of the colonies. " Something To Do " was the suggestive title of a
lecture that took a comprehensive and statesmanlike view of the
possibilities of future colonial development, and clearly indicated the
means by which these possibilities could be turned into potent realities.
The sound advice then given has since been partially adopted in several
of the colonies, but much yet remains to be done before Sir Gavan's ideal
can be said to have been realised. " The Birth and Parentage of Colonial
Eights," though delivered as a popular lecture in all the leading centres
of Victoria, is really a most interesting and instructive chapter in the
history of colonisation in the nineteenth century, and as such deserves
to be as well known and as widely read in the northern, as it is already
in the southern hemisphere.

Though Sir Charles Gavan Duffy is no longer a resident of Victoria, he is
represented there by two worthy sons of their sire. The eldest, the Hon.
John Gavan Duffy, after a distinguished University career, succeeded Sir
Charles in the representation of the county of Dalhousie, and, having
served a few years' parliamentary apprenticeship, was pro­moted to the
office which his father had filled a quarter of a century before-that of
Minister of Lands. He still retains his seat in the House, and is one of
its most effective and accomplished speakers. His brother, Mr. Frank
Gavan Duffy, has so far eschewed politics, preferring to devote his time
and attention solely to his extensive practice at the Victorian bar. Both
have gained honours in English litera­ture, the former by carrying off
the prize offered by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne
for the best essay on " The Death of Cagsar," and the latter by winning
the first prize presented by Sir George Bowen, Governor of Victoria, for
an essay on " Captain Cook and his Discoveries."

Sir Bryan O'Loghlen, Baronet, the third and last of the Irish Premiers of
Victoria, only entered public life quite recently, and the rapidity with
which he ascended to the top of the political tree is almost without
parallel in colonial history. For a period of fourteen years-from 1863 to
1877 -he was only known as a most industrious and successful Crown
Prosecutor for the Melbourne district. In the be­ginning of 1877, on the
eve of a general election, he resigned that office, and surprised
everybody by offering himself as an ultra-Radical candidate to the
electors of North Melbourne, a division of the metropolis in which the
Irish vote is particularly strong. Although he polled 1,470 votes, he
failed to secure a seat on that occasion, being in a minority of 16. Not
long afterwards, however, a vacancy occurring in the representation of
the neighbouring electorate of West Melbourne, he was returned after a
brisk and exciting con­test. He had in the meantime succeeded to the
baronetcy on the death of his eldest brother, Sir Colman O'Loghlen, the
representative of the County Clare in the House of Commons for fourteen
years. The generous men of Clare paid Sir Bryan the high compliment of
electing him in his absence to fill the seat that had been vacated by the
death of his brother, but he never went home to take the seat, and it
remained unoccupied for a lengthened period, until the House of Commons
interposed and declared a fresh vacancy. Sir Bryan had the choice between
a seat for Clare in the House of Commons and a seat for West Melbourne in
the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. He chose the latter, and passed in
quick succession from the ministerial office of Attorney-General to that
of Acting Chief-Secretary. In the middle of 1881, Sir Bryan received a
commission from the Queen's representative, Lord Normanby, to form a
govern-t on his own account. Thus, in less than four years public life,
Sir Bryan O'Loghlen had attained the highest See to which any colonist
could aspire. In the new ministry he filled the offices of Prime
Minister, Treasurer, and Attorney-General. Two of his colleagues, it may
be added, were Irish Catholics like himself, viz., the Hon. Henry Bolton,
Postmaster-General, a native of Galway, and the Hon. Walter Madden,
Minister of Lands, whose early days were spent by " the pleasant waters
of the river Lee." The O'Loghlen Government ruled Victoria for nearly two
years, and its career is now invariably referred to as the era of "
peace, progress and prosperity." Sir Bryan's policy was the exclusion of
all burning questions calculated to disturb the peace of the community.
He sought the progress of the colony at large, the development of its
manifold resources, and the prosperity of all its interests. Though he is
not now at the head of the State in Victoria, Sir Bryan has the
satisfaction of seeing the policy he initiated accepted and maintained by
his successors in office.

"When the political history of Australia is written, I believe Moses
Wilson Gray, or, as he was familiarly called, Wilson Gray, will occupy no
mean position in its pages." These are the opening words of Sir Eobert
Stout's sympathetic memoir of one of the ablest and most magnani­mous
Irishmen that have adorned the public life of the antipodes--Wilson Gray,
the man to whom Thomas D'Arcy McGee dedicated his " Gallery of Irish
Writers." He was the brother of the late Sir John Gray, and the uncle of
the present editor and proprietor of the Dublin Freeman's Journal, Mr. E.
Dwyer Gray. Born in Claremorris in 1813, and educated at Cork, he
graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, in company with his friend, Isaac
Butt. Soon afterwards he visited America with the object of studying the
formation of the new settlements on the western prairies, and the results
of his observations are embodied in a thoughtful essay entitled "
Self-paying Colonization in North America." In this publication, whilst
advocating emigration as beneficial in the main, he was careful to point
out that it was not in his opinion the true remedy for the evils that
afflicted his native land: "In closing, allow me to say that I am not one
of those who look to systems of emigration as likely by themselves to
prove in any considerable degree an efficient corrective of the evils of
this country. Such systems can plainly be made vastly advantageous to the
parties emigrating; and whenever, upon really overcrowded estates, it is
desired to procure larger accommodation for men (and not for cattle),
emigration can be made the means of serving the parties who remain
behind, by facilitating such re-arrangement of farms as may be necessary
for the purpose. In the case of an individual pro­prietor, whose estate
is not sufficiently extensive to afford the means of living to all the
population who now occupy it, it is plainly the only remedy that, as an
individual, he can use. Single-handed, he cannot stimulate general trade
or manu­factures so as to absorb his people, but he can help them to
emigrate. I am anxious that it should not be inferred from this, that I
join in the cry of over-population. Over­population was accounted the
great source of evil in Ireland when she numbered little over two
millions of inhabitants. If her present eight millions were reduced back
again to two, it would be a remedy for over-population strong enough, to
satisfy the most drastic practitioners; but what would it do, after all,
but put the country back a century ? I believe her disease is
constitutional, and that other remedies than emigration are required for
its eradication. I believe, how­ever, that emigration may be made a most
effective topical cure for certain topical sores."

Wilson Gray sailed for Australia almost simultaneously with Sir Charles
Gavan Duffy, and, very soon after his arrival in Melbourne, he was found
in the front rank of the land reformers--the democratic party that had
for its watchword the expressive phrase, "Unlock the lands." When the
Victorian Convention met in Melbourne in 1857, with the object of
securing a reform of the land laws, Wilson Gray was chosen one of the
delegates from the metropolis, in company with three brother
Hibernians-Michael Keeley and Stephen Donovan, city councillors, and
James Doyle, one of the men of '48. At its first meeting the Convention
elected Wilson Gray as its president, and it had no reason to regret its
decision, for during a session of three weeks he guided its deliberations
with gentlemanly tact and skill. Liberal land legislation was not secured
without a protracted struggle with interested wealthy monopolists, but
the ultimate success of the people was due in no small degree to the
impulse given to the movement by that historical body-the Convention-and
to the stirring addresses of its president, Wilson Gray. An agricultural
constituency-the county of Rodney-gratefully returned him to Parliament,
and he entered that higher sphere with fond hopes of advancing the
popular cause. The crooked ways of politics, however, did not accord with
his simple honest nature, and it would perhaps have been much better if
he had continued to fight outside the Parliamentary arena. The measures
on which he had set his heart were not passed into law; politicians on
whom he had relied for co-operation proved faithless; and so, with a
heavy heart, the popular tribune resigned his seat, bade farewell to
Victoria, and made the distant colony of New Zealand his home for the
remainder of his life. He never again interfered in politics, but,
accepting the position of District Judge of the province of Otago, gave
himself up to the conscientious discharge of his official duties until
his death on April 4th, 1875. His statue has an honourable place in the
Trades' Hall of the capital of Victoria, and his portrait hangs on the
walls of the University in the principal city of New Zealand. As
illus­trating his extreme conscientiousness, it is a fact that he
insisted on going circuit whilst almost too ill to walk. At Lawrence, the
last town in which he sat, he was carried from his bed to the court, and
having performed his last judicial act, was carried back, never to rise
again. As a judge he had a great detestation of mere technical defences,
of which the following is a humorous instance in point:

There was a case in which a plea of infancy had been put forward. He
wanted to know why such a plea had been advanced, and asked if there was
no other defence to the action, which was one for goods sold and
delivered. The facts were explained to him, showing that the technical
defence was set up on the ground that the plaintiff was not morally
entitled to recover, if he were legally. The next case on the list was an
action for calls due. After hearing the evidence, the defendant's counsel
raised a large number of nonsuit points-the company had not been properly
registered, the calls not duly made, &c. Turning to the defendant, Judge
Gray said: " I want to know why all these technical defences have been
raised. Why do you not pay as other shareholders have done ? " The
defendant replied: "Well, I have never had any objection to pay with the
rest; but when the secretary of the company called on me, he said I was a
puppy, sir ! A puppy!" "Oh," quietly remarked the judge, "another plea of
infancy, I see. I must nonsuit. Call the next case."

Sir Kobert Stout, Premier of New Zealand, thus admirably sums up the
career of a man, of whom Irishmen all the world over may well be proud: "
His distinguishing characteristic was his extreme conscientiousness. This
made him doubtful of his own powers and ever prone to underrate himself.
He had been offered a seat on the Supreme Court bench of New Zealand, but
this he refused. When the Liberal party in Victoria got into power, to
their great honour, he was offered a county court judgeship, and this
also he declined. Another of his characteristics was his entire
unselfishness. At one time, when the business of the court was light, he
thought it wrong for the government to keep a district judge for such a
small number of cases, and he wrote offering to resign, notwithstanding
the fact that, if his resignation had been accepted, he had no means and
no business to maintain himself. His benevolence was unbounded. No one in
distress who requested aid from him ever met with a refusal. Here then
was a politician-radical in his opinions, pure in his life, unsullied in
his character, not a self-seeker, and ever modest and humble. Is it not
the duty of Australians to cherish his memory ? Amidst all the turmoil of
party war­fare, no one doubted his sincerity. Am I wrong, then, in
thinking that, when the impartial historian comes to record the early
struggles for Liberalism in Australia, the name of Wilson Gray will stand
high amongst the statesmen and politicians of the past? I know of no
one's career better fitted to inspire our young colonists with enthusiasm
and with a desire so to act that their lives may not be forgotten. Gray
strove to so frame the laws and carry on the adminis­tration of the
government, that the evils which had afflicted European countries might
be unknown in these southern lands. He was a Liberal; he was poor; he was
conscientious; he was modest; he was able; he was learned. Let our young
colonists, remembering him and his life, ask themselves what idea
inspires their lives, and what have they done, and what are they doing to
elevate their country ? "

In the most pathetic and powerful chapter of "New Ireland," the one
recording the fate of Glenveigh, the late A. M. Sullivan penned a
handsome recognition of the warm­hearted, practical patriotism of the
Hon. Michael O'Grady, the man who, when scores of poor families in
Donegal were evicted from the homes of their fathers, under the most
harrowing circumstances, by a landlord of infamous memory, came at once
to the rescue, organised the Victorian Donegal Relief Fund, and succeeded
in bringing out in a body to the sunny skies and fertile fields of
Australia, the unhappy victims of a grievous old-world tyranny. With
Michael O'Grady at their head, the Irishmen of the south gave this little
band of persecuted emigrants a reception fraternal and cheering in the
extreme. Everything that a sympathetic patriotism could suggest was done
to efface the memory of the bitter wrongs of the past, to lead the
newly-arrived immigrants to look forward to a bright future in Australia,
and to settle them in good agricultural holdings on the soil. This policy
was successful in every respect, and it is admitted on all hands that no
body of immigrants ever gave more satisfaction to the land of their
adoption, or reflected greater credit on the land of their nativity, than
did these per­secuted exiles from Donegal. What Mr. O'Grady reported of
them to A. M. Sullivan twenty years ago is just as true to-day of them
and their descendants: " They are all doing well, a credit to the old
land." But this was far from being the only occasion on which Michael
O'Grady exerted himself for the benefit of his emigrant countrymen and
their families. Not only in his own colony of Victoria, but, scattered
all over Australia, there are thousands of sturdy Irish yeomen, planted
firmly and prosperously on the soil, who owe their success primarily to
his helping hand and sagacious counsel at the critical moment of their
arrival in a strange land. He knew well the dangerous propensity of the
average Irishman in a new country to linger about cities and towns, to
thoughtlessly cultivate chance acquaintanceships, to give too free a rein
to his convivial temperament, and possibly to fall into the terrible gulf
of drunkenness, which is the bane of his race. Hence, like the true
philanthropist that he was, Mr. O'Grady spared no effort to get his
countrymen out of the city as speedily as possible, and to establish them
on the 640-acre land selections that were awaiting them in the country.
The amount of good and abiding work that he thus achieved in a quiet way
will never be known, but it is sufficient to entitle the name of Michael
O'Grady to the lasting respect of the Irish in Australia. Though he
successively represented South Bourke and the counties of Villiers and
Heytesbury in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria, and also held office
as Commissioner of Public Works in the Ministries of Sir Charles Sladen
and Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, he was never a prominent politician, and
never pretended to be such, When his faith or his race was assailed in
parliament, he was always ready with a vigorous defence; but his true
vocation was outside the political arena altogether, the trusted adviser
of his countrymen, the peace-maker in their little differences, the
reliever in their distresses, and their best friend in all conditions of
life. Springing himself from the people-he was the son of a Roscommon
farmer--no one knew better their virtues and their failings, and this
knowledge he utilised to the very best advantage for his
fellow-countrymen in Australia. An Irishman distinguished for the
unblemished integrity of his political life, his sound common-sense, his
honest, practical, open-handed charity, his deep attachment to the land
of his birth, and loyalty to the faith of his fathers, Michael O'Grady
was a typical Celt of the first order, and he died all too early, at the
age of fifty-four.

One of the foremost Irish orators of Australia at the present time is the
Hon. Nicholas Fitzgerald, the son-in-law of the late Sir John O'Shanassy,
whose mantle, it is admit­ted by colonists of all classes and creeds, has
fallen on no unworthy shoulders. For more than twenty years, Mr.
Fitz­gerald has been an active and leading member of the Legislative
Council of Victoria, occupying a place in the front rank of its debaters,
and contributing greatly to the promotion of useful legislation by his
keen logical insight into the measures devised by successive governments.
Gifted with a fine presence and a voice of unusual power and flexibility,
he is at his best when addressing a vast gathering of his countrymen arid
countrywomen on some subject that appeals to their national sympathies.
Few will forget it, who witnessed that grand and cheering spectacle on
New Year's Day of 1885, when ten thousand,Irish-Austra­lian men and women
assembled in the heart of the city of Melbourne, to see the first stone
laid of a new central Hibernian Hall, and to hear from the eloquent lips
of Mr. Fitzgerald such noble sentiments as these: " Yet another object of
the Hibernian Society has to be told, and without it our rules, however
sound, wise and benevolent, would have their completeness tarnished. I
need hardly say I refer to the duty enjoined on our members to cherish
the memory of Ireland. We, men of Ireland, claim no monopoly of
patriot­ism, but we do say no country is more loved by its people than
our dear old Ireland, whose brave generous children have at all times
regarded their country with a loyal love second only to their love of
God, and never with greater-intensity than at the present time, for
assuredly we look for­ward to a serene and happy future beyond the
tearful cloud& of this troubled present. We as Australians delighting in
the glorious climate of this favoured land, rejoice at, and, with all our
energy and all our strength, standing shoulder to shoulder in muscular
rivalry with our fellow colonists, assist in every work for the
advancement of our adopted country, loyally striving for and proud of its
progress, the report of which reads like a chapter of romance. We feel in
our hearts that we do not waver in loyal genuine attach­ment to this our
home-the birthplace of our children, the land to which we owe so many and
so weighty obligations, when we, as Irishmen, look with eyes of fond
loving interest-to the land of our birth. To the women of this country-
Irishwomen and their descendants-I make a special appeal to nurture and
cherish this patriotic sentiment. I ask them to instruct their children
never to forget the land that gave their fathers birth, to rejoice in her
prosperity and condole in her sorrows, to watch with keen sympathetic eye
her struggles, and to pray for her deliverance from her troubles. and her
woes."

"The Australian Patriot" is the affectionate title which accompanies the
name of William Charles Wentworth along the stream of colonial history.
And whoever studies the lengthy career of that remarkable man, and
estimates at their right value his persistent and eventually successful
struggles to rid Australia of a hateful military system of government,
and to replace it by one worthy of the confi­dence and the allegiance of
free-born men, will at once admit that the title bestowed upon Wentworth
by a grateful people was indeed well deserved. The son of Mr. D'Arcy
Wentworth, an Irish surgeon who received an official appointment in the
early days of the colonies, he visited England in the dawn of early
manhood, studied at the University of Cambridge, and published in London
his "Statistical, Historical and Political Description of New South Wales
"-a work that did excellent service in dispel­ling the ignorance that
prevailed in the old world with regard to the actual conditions of life
in the newly-settled southern continent. On returning to New South Wales
he threw all his efforts into the struggle for the liberty of the press,
and, having achieved this first great victory, he estab­lished the
Australian newspaper, and entered with patriotic earnestness and vigour
on his career as a reforming journalist. In carrying out his mission of
freedom, he necessarily came into collision more than once with the
military autocrats of his time, whose sole desire it was to maintain and
to per­petuate the gross abuses of irresponsible power and that
detestable system of governmental despotism, against which Wentworth
directed a galling, unceasing fire of rebuke, denunciation, and sarcasm.
As an orator too, the mother-colony of Australasian has never had his
equal. The leader of the Patriotic Association, Wentworth, by voice and
pen, laboured unceasingly for the recognition of the right of his
countrymen to the possession of the self-same privileges as were enjoyed
by the subjects of the British Empire in other parts of the world. How he
succeeded in his patriotic en­deavours is best shown by his own
nobly-pathetic summary of his career in a speech to the electors of
Sydney towards the close of his public life, when an unprincipled
combina­tion made a desperate effort to prevent the return of the veteran
statesman to the legislature of which he was the father, the emancipator
and the guardian:

"When, five-and-twenty years ago, I devoted myself to public life, I knew
fall well the vicissitudes of public opinion to which it was exposed, and
I was prepared to encounter them. I knew the proverbial inconstancy of
the popular gale, that the breeze which filled my flowing sheet to-day
might become a head wind tomorrow. I had learned from the unerring
history of the past that, whilst the misdeeds of public men are graven on
brass, the records of their virtues and services are traced on sand. I
had been instructed by the same stern teacher that the lauded patriot of
to-day--the benefactor of his country and his kind-might be the despised
exile of to-morrow. I foresaw, too, that in a shifting population like
this, where circumstances and interests were in a state of rapid
transition, I should be particularly subject to events of this
description. But with all this knowledge of the fate to which public men
are so often subjected, I now fearlessly submit myself a second time to
the ordeal of your opinion. From that tribunal I know there is no appeal;
but I am content to rely on the merits of my public life. If you consider
that that life has been devoted to your service, if you consider that my
labours have not been unfruitful of good to this our native and adopted
country, you will not on this occasion forsake me. (Cheers and cries of '
No, no.') But whatever your verdict may be with regard to myself, if it
be the last public service I am to render you, I charge you never to
forget your tried, devoted, indefatigable friend, William Bland. No man
has ever served a country in a purer spirit of patriotism; no man ever
more deeply deserved the gratitude of a generous people than he has. You
may cause it to be written on the tombs of my friend and myself-Here lie
the rejected of Sydney. But I will venture to prophesy that in
juxtaposition with these words posterity will add--Who gave to those who
deserted them the liberty of the press, trial by jury, and the
constitutional right of electing their own representatives. (Tremendous
cheers.) You may put it out of my power to serve you again; you cannot
erase from memory the services of the past. I can truly say the love of
my country has been the master passion of my life. No man's heart has
ever beat with a more ardent love of his country than mine, and it is on
my native soil that I here stand. From boyhood up to manhood, I have
watched over its infant growth as a mother over her cradled child. Its
welfare through life has been the object of my devoted love and
affection, and now, when my days are in the autumn of their cycle, that
welfare is the object of my highest hopes and most hallowed aspirations."
His unscrupulous opponents on the same occasion indus­triously circulated
the report that Went worth had spoken disparagingly of the land of his
forefathers, and this was his indignant reply to that malevolent
aspersion:

"It has been said that I have misrepresented and slandered the Irish
race. Why, some of the best blood in my veins is Irish, and who will
venture to tell me that I am bold enough or base enough to calumniate the
land of my fathers?"

It is a pleasure to place on record the fact that the people of Sydney
did not at this juncture exhibit the proverbial in­gratitude of the
fickle populace towards its noblest and most unselfish benefactors.
Wentworth was returned at the head of the poll.

The Australian Patriot's last service to his country was the framing of a
constitution based on the British model, and extending to the colonists
the amplest measure of political freedom. Though marred considerably in
its progress through, the legislature of New South Wales, and still
further varied from its original purpose by the Imperial Parlia­ment,
some of its best features were retained and have worked admirably ever
since. The only regret in after times was that Wentworth's statesmanlike
proposals were not more closely adhered to. But it was his fate to be
systematically thwarted by little-minded men who could not sympathise
with his breadth of vision, understand the generosity of his nature, or
rise to the loftiness of his aims. The peroration of his final
parliamentary speech on the bill for the introduction of the new
constitution is well worthy of quotation, as a typical specimen of the
Grattanesque character of the eloquence of Wentworth:

"Sir,-I will trouble the House with but a few more observations. This is
probably the last occasion-at all events, the last important
occasion-upon which this voice may be heard within these walls; and the
time cannot be far distant when this tongue will be mute in death. In the
short interval which must elapse between me and eternity, on the brink of
which I now stand, 1 would ask what low motives, what ignoble ambition
can possibly actuate me? The whole struggles and efforts of my life have
been directed to the achievement of the liberties of my country; and it
is with this constitution, which I now present for its acceptance, that
this achievement will be consummated. Sir, it has not only been my
misfortune, but it has been the misfortune of all in countrymen, that we
have not lived in troublous times, when it became necessary by force to
repress domestic faction or treason, to repel invasion from without, or
perhaps to pour out our chivalry to seek glory and distinction in foreign
climes. This is a privilege which has been denied to us. It is a
privilege which can only belong to our posterity. We cannot, if we would,
sacrifice our lives upon the altar of public good. No such opportunity
has occurred, or probably will occur, to any of us. Yet, Sir, there is
one heroic achievement open to us, and that is to confer upon this
country that large measure of freedom, under the protecting shade and
influence of which, an ennobling and exalting patriotism may at last
arise, which will enable the youth of this colony-the youth of future
ages-to emulate the ardour, the zeal and the patriotism of the glorious
youth of Sparta and of Rome, and teach and make them feel that ennobling
sentiment which is conveyed in the line of the Roman lyric, Dulce et
decorum est pro patrid mori. Sir, this is not our destiny, but I trust it
will be the destiny of another generation who shall arise with. larger
feelings and, it may be, purer aims. Sir, this great charter of liberty,
which I believe will be pregnant with these results in after ages, I
leave now as my latest legacy to my country. It is the most endearing
proof of my love to that country, which I can leave behind me. It is also
the embodiment of the deep conviction which I feel, that the model, the
type, from which this great charter has been drawn is, in the language of
the eloquent Canning, the envy of surrounding nations and the admiration
of the world. Sir, in the uncertainty which hangs over the destiny of the
country-in this awful crisis of our fate-I can only hope that the
deliberations of the country may be guided to a safe conclusion upon this
vital question, and that by a large, a very large majority of the House,
and of the community beyond it, the constitution will be gratefully and
thankfully received."

The contemporary records declare that during the delivery of this speech
there were enthusiastic bursts of applause from the spectators in the
crowded galleries, and, at the orator's pathetic allusions to his past
career and the probability of his public life being brought to a speedy
termination by the hand of death, many of his fellow-members were moved
to tears. When he resumed his seat, the Speaker was unable to suppress
the tumult of applause that broke forth from all quarters of the House.

Wentworth lived to the patriarchal age of eighty-one, and his remains
were honoured with a public funeral by the decree of the Parliament of
New South Wales. A noble statue of the "Australian Patriot" is one of
Sydney's proudest possessions. "Wentworth's great public services must
never be forgotten. He who obtained for his country trial by jury and
other free institutions, including the blessing of Home Rule, which
Ireland even now cannot obtain, will ever occupy a prominent position in
the history of Australia."*

* Sydney Town and Country Journal, June 15, 1872.



CHAPTER XIII.


NOTABLE IRISH-AUSTRALIANS.

THE EIGHT HON. W. B. DALLEY, F.C.-SIR WILLIAM FOSTER STAWELL-MR. JUSTICE
MOLESWORTH-CHIEF JUSTICE HIGINBOTHAM-SIB REDMOND BAHRY-THE HON. E. D.
IRELAND, Q.C.-THE HON. JOHN HUBERT I'LTJN-KETT, Q.C.-THE HON. EDWAED
BUTLER, Q.C.-SIR HOGER THERBY-SIR PATRICK JENNINGS-DR. KEVIN IZOD
O'DOHERTY-SIB MAURICE Q'CONNELL -SIR AETHUE PALMER-SIR JOSHUA PETER
BELL-HON. J. M. MACROSSAN -IRISH-AUSTRALIAN VICEROYS-SIR RICHARD
BOURKE-LOKD LISGAR-SIR HERCULES ROBINSON-SIR DOMINICK DALY-SIR RICHARD
McDONNELL -SIR GEORGE KINGSTON-SIR GEORGE BOWEN-SIR RICHARD DRY-SIR
GEORGE GREY.

If Australian citizens were asked to name the most popular man on their
continent at the present time, William Bede Dalley would assuredly be the
reply in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred. He may be said to be the
legitimate successor of Wentworth, and to have inherited the choicest
gifts of the "Australian Patriot." No public man's speeches are more
universally read than his, or have exercised a more ennobling influence
on the formation and development of the Austra­lian character. A born
orator, he has supplemented his natural gifts with a rare and ripe
scholarship, that enables him to draw from many sources a lavish wealth
of illustra­tion, a pleasing facility of application, and a command of
the choicest and most convincing language. While yet a young man, he
attained at a bound a place in the front rank of the public men of the
colony, and, amidst the acclamations of thousands, was sent to the first
Parliament as a represent­ative of his native city of Sydney. Thirty
years have passed since then, but never once has Mr. Dalley lost his hold
on the sympathies and affections of his admiring countrymen. Whether
valiantly defending his ministerial policy on the floor of the
Legislature; or lucidly pointing out the path of progress to his
fellow-countrymen in public meeting assembled, or in the hushed silence
of a crowded court earnestly addressing a jury on some momen­tous issue;
or at a great Catholic festival bearing eloquent testimony to the
all-pervading truth and traditional grandeur of the Church of his
fathers; or at a national demonstration, now recalling the pristine
glories of the historical past, and anon making every one joyous through
the instrumentality of his inherited Hibernian humour, Mr. Dalley has
ever been an orator with a nation for his audience, and the most
interesting figure in the eyes of his countrymen. He enjoys the unique
distinction of being the only Australian citizen who has been called to
the Privy Council-an honour conferred upon him mainly in recogni­tion of
his promptitude in organising and despatching an Australian contingent of
soldiers to the seat of war in the Soudan a few years ago. Without
expressing any opinion as to the propriety of his policy in this
particular, concerning which there has been considerable discussion
throughout the colonies, it is. unquestionably true that Mr. Dalley's
action in despatching a contingent to the Soudan had the effect of
bringing Australia very prominently and dramatic­ally before the eyes of
the world, and of demonstrating to the older countries that a new nation
was beginning to put forth its strength at the antipodes. Mr. Dalley was
Acting-Premier of New South Wales at the time, in the absence of the head
of the Government, Sir Alexander Stuart. It is related that Sir Alexander
was one day last year escorting the Queen over the Indian and Colonial
Exhibition in London. A large picture of "The Australian Contingent to
the Soudan" attracted Her Majesty's attention, and she paused in front of
it for several minutes. Noticing a portrait affixed to the frame, Her
Majesty inquired the name of the gentleman it represented. " That, Your
Majesty," said Sir Alexander, "is the portrait of Mr. Dalley, which I
have placed here to-day, because, though I am the Prime Minister, he it
was who actually sent this body of men and officers to the Soudan." "An
Englishman, I presume," remarked the Queen. "No, Your Majesty; Mr. Dalley
is a native of New South Wales, and a man of Irish parentage, and a Roman
Catholic, and there is not a more loyal subject of Your Majesty in all
the British dominions." The Queen said no more, but Her Majesty may
possibly have thought a little on the causes that operate to make
Irishmen poor and discontented at home, but loyal and prosperous citizens
abroad.

Speaking at the celebration of the national anniversary of 1886, at
Sydney, at a time when Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues were engaged in
drafting their scheme of Home Rule for Ireland, Mr. Dalley, in proposing
"The day we celebrate," observed: " There has been perhaps no period of
Irish history when this festival day of national and patriotic memories
has been celebrated amid circumstances of such absorbing interest,
widespread anxiety, and I may also say, of reasonable hope of a final and
satisfactory settlement of the Irish question by the Imperial
Govern­ment, as it has been to-day. That question is at this moment the
one upon the solution of which the genius, the wisdom, and the liberality
of Imperial statesmen are employed, for the twofold purpose of
tranquillising Ireland and consolidating the Empire. It is admittedly a
question of the supremest importance, and therefore of the greatest
difficulty. It can only be determined by men who are prepared to do
everything which the situation demands from their courageous
statesmanship, and which a con­scientious sense of duty requires. Should
it be the privilege and, I may say, the blessing of those statesmen to
deal with it successfully, their works will unfold a new page in the
history of the achievements 'of modern legislation, and in the glory of
the Empire. And in the stupendous work upon which great men are at this
moment, while we sit here banqueting, engaged-to which they are devoting
the experience of illustrious lives--the statesmanship which has built up
the grandeur and protected the renown of the Empire-and to which they are
giving the value of services which are a kind of consecration of any
cause-I say in this, perhaps of all works of modern times, the greatest
in its difficulty, and the vastest in its consequences, they should be
supported by our warmest sympathies and our purest prayers. It is under
these circumstances that we are here this evening to celebrate a festival
which appeals, and ever has appealed, to the emotional sentiment of one
large section of the community, and the kindly feeling of all just and
gentle men of all parts of the Empire. How different is our fortunate
condition here to that of the Imperial statesmen who are called upon to
face the situation in England. If this were a political
demonstration-which it is not, and never should be-I might properly say
that while our immediate duty is to provide for the removal of a paltry
pecuniary deficit, which can be instantly effaced by a little self-denial
and a slight immediate personal sacrifice, there, at the heart of the
Empire, the deficit to be met is one which has gone through centuries of
accumulated indebtedness--a deficit which retrenchment cannot help to
extin­guish nor fresh taxation efface; which can only be met and removed
by heroic justice, and a statesmanship little short of inspiration."

Mr. Dalley was recently offered the high position of Chief Justice of New
South Wales, in succession to the late Sir James Martin, but, with
characteristic generosity, he declined the honour in favour of the
present holder of the office-Sir Frederick Darley, a Dublin man, who
followed the Munster circuit for nine years, and afterwards attained
considerable distinction at the colonial bar.

"The ability of our countrymen in the administration of government and in
the science of politics has been ex­hibited in our colonies, as well as
in numerous instances at home. It was shown by Lords Wellesley, Lawrence
and Mayo, in an empire which was founded by Olive and Hastings, and
extended by Wellington and Gough. In Canada it was proved by Lords Monck
and Lisgar, where also Sir Garnet Wolseley maintained the national
reputation. In Australia, under circumstances of almost unparalleled
difficulty, similar powers were exercised by several Irishmen in the
civil and legal organisation of a new society, notably by the subject of
the present sketch."

It is in these words that the Dublin University Magazine introduced its
illustrated sketch of the colonial career of Sir William Foster Stawell,
the recently- retired Chief Justice of Victoria, and now the Lieutenant-G
overnor of that colony. As a junior member of the Irish bar, he thought
he saw a quicker way to fame and fortune in a young and rising colony,
and he was not disappointed in his anticipations. From his first
appearance in Melbourne, he took a leading posi­tion at the bar, and on
the erection of Victoria into a separate colony in 1851, his appointment
as first Attorney-G eneral of the newly-born state was only what every
one expected. He had a herculean task before him, for the gold
discoveries, happening at the same time, caused an immense influx of
population, disorganised the whole machinery of government, and threw the
colony at large into dire confusion. But, as his biographer has truly
remarked: " The master mind of Sir William Stawell rose to the occasion,
and it is with honest pride we record that some of his most efficient
col­leagues were Irishmen. Perseverance, integrity, and ability crowned
an arduous struggle with success. Light and order were educed from
darkness and chaos, and the prosperous and magnificent colony of Victoria
emerged from the hope­less confusion in which it had its birth. To none
was this more attributable than to Sir William Stawell,' Perhaps in his
dealings with the diggers he was somewhat too arbitrary at times; and it
might have been better if he had not shared in the official impression
that the gold-seekers were an essentially dangerous class, and must be
kept in constant fear of the law. The unhappy collision between the
diggers of Ballarat and the Imperial troops would never have occurred if
this erroneous idea had been dissipated in time, and a more conciliatory
policy adopted towards a large body of adventurous freemen, the great
majority of whom were untainted by crime. At the same time, it cannot be
denied that there were not a few lawless elements amongst the
heterogeneous crowd that assembled with such marvellous rapidity on the
Victorian gold-fields in 1851; and things, after all, may have been
ordered for the best when the helm of public affairs in the new and
suddenly famous colony was intrusted to the safe and steady hand of Sir
William Stawell. So experienced a judge as Sir Charles Gavan Duffy would
seem to be of the same opinion, for, in one of his histo­rical essays, he
says: " It is certain that Mr. Stawell, who, as Attorney-General, long
continued to direct the public affairs of the colony, was a man in many
respects singularly well qualified for his office. Of a vigorous
intellect, inde­fatigable industry, and clear integrity, he only wanted
more sympathy with the mass of the community and less of that love of
victory at all costs which is the weakness of strong men, to be an
eminent ruler." Soon after this troublous epoch, Victoria received her
new constitution, and Sir William Stawell entered the first Parliament as
member for Melbourne, in company with his countryman and old opponent in
debate, Sir John O'Shanassy. He at once resumed the Attorney-Generalship
in the first responsible government that was formed, an office that was
soon to be exchanged for the exalted one of Chief Justice, which he
filled with honour and credit for well-nigh thirty years. In Mr. Justice
Moles-worth and Mr. Justice Higinbotham, both Dublin men, he had two
accomplished colleagues on the bench of the Supreme Court. The former is
a judicial authority of the highest standing, and he is said to be the
only judge in the colonies whose decisions have invariably been upheld by
the Privy Council. The latter is the idol and the champion of the working
classes. As a visible testimony of their gratitude and esteem, they have
erected his statue in the Trades' Hall, one of the most unique and
extensive buildings in Melbourne, and a striking illustration of what the
organisation of labour can accomplish. In the days when Mr. Justice
Higinbotham was an active politician, and a democratic leader in
parliament during a grave constitutional crisis, the fiery eloquence with
which he espoused the popular cause, and resisted what he conceived to be
the unjust and tyrannical interference of the Colonial Office in London
with the legisla­tive independence of the colonies, secured him the
confidence and the attachment of the great bulk of the people to an
extraordinary degree. Though no longer in Parliament, and though now
hampered with judicial restraints, he is still their leading platform
orator whenever the interests of labour are endangered or some new reform
has to be gained, and the enthusiastic cheering that greets his
appearance at a great public meeting in Melbourne is a pleasing proof
that the populace is not invariably fickle. Mr. Higinbotham may be the
exception that proves the rule, but here at least is one public man who
has never forfeited the favour of a democratic people, and whose
popularity has only been mel­lowed by time. On the recent retirement of
Sir W. F. Stawell from the bench, Mr. Higinbotham was at once appointed
to the Chief Justiceship.

To the cultivated tastes of Sir Redmond Barry, one of the first of
Victorian judges, Melbourne, as is narrated elsewhere, is indebted for
the possession of two of its noblest institu­tions-the public library and
the university. A judicial Irishman of lesser degree-Judge Bindon-is to
be credited with having established that splendid system of technological
training, which has been in successful operation throughout Victoria for
years, and which has done so much to elevate the tastes and improve the
workmanship of thousands of young colonial artisans. The Hon. II. D.
Ireland, Q.C., a member of the Irish Confederation of 1848 (as was also
Judge Bindon), was for many years the most famous advo­cate at the
Victorian bar, and one of the wittiest speakers in the Legislative
Assembly. Many anecdotes of his readi­ness at repartee are narrated. On
one occasion, when he occupied a seat on the front Opposition bench, a
member of the government of the day, who bore a reputation for cunning
smartness in political life, began to indulge in some depreciatory
personal criticism of his parliamentary opponents. Said he, in pompous
style: " On the front Opposition bench, Mr. Speaker, I see neither a
Pitt, nor a Burke, nor a Sheridan." "No," quietly retorted Mr. Ireland,
looking straight across the table with a twinkle in his eye, " but I see
a Fox on the other side of the House." Every one present felt that this
happy pun upon a great states­man's name fitted the ministerial speaker's
public character like a glove, and he immediately subsided amidst general
laughter. As senior law officer of the Crown, Mr. Ireland was the
colleague of Sir John O'Shanassy and Sir Gavan Duffy in two Victorian
Ministries. Sir Gavan was Minister of Public Works, and in that capacity
had occasion to call for tenders for the completion of the Houses of
Parliament in Melbourne. The bluestone found in the colony being rather
difficult to work, the architect, a staunch Protestant, suggested
alternative tenders, with Carrara marble as the material of construction.
Some Scotchmen, who were in­terested in the selection of the local
article, set the story afloat that His Holiness the Pope was the secret
proprietor of the Carrara quarries, and that Sir Gavan's real object was
to try to put Victorian money into the Pope's pocket. A " Papal
Aggression " agitation on a small scale sprang up, and when, a few weeks
afterwards, tenders were called for the construction of another public
building, a no-Popery member rose in the House and gave notice of his
intention to ask what material Sir Gavan meant to employ in this
particular case. Sir Gavan happened to be absent when the question was
formally put, but his colleague, Mr. Ireland- an Irish Protestant--was
there, and he gave the honourable and suspicious member an answer that,
if it did not remove his doubts, made him look supremely ridiculous, and
squelched the stupid anti-Papal agitation amidst universal merriment.
"Nothing was yet determined," said Mr. Ire­land, " as to the material,
but the Minister of Public Works was strongly suspected of meditating the
use of Roman cement."

Daniel O'Connell once publicly complimented a young Mr. Plunkett as " the
man who had liberated the county of Roscommon," meaning thereby that the
young man to whom he referred had been chiefly instrumental in inducing
his native county to follow in the footsteps of historic Clare, and send
a Catholic representative to the House of Commons. In after years that
young man became the Hon. John Hubert Plunkett, Q.C., Attorney-General of
New South Wales, a position he filled for a quarter of a century under
circumstances that are thus described in the representative organ of the
colony, the Sydney Morning Herald: (e As Attorney-General under the old
regime, Mr. Plunkett was both grand jury and public prosecutor, and it is
something, indeed, to say that in those days of irresponsibility, Mr.
Plunkett showed not only great ability, but the highest independence and
impartiality. Nothing could have been more high-minded or public-spirited
than his official con­duct." In one conspicuous instance he vindicated
the outraged majesty of the law with a spirit and determination that
brought him some temporary odium, but which, when angry passions gave
place to quiet thought, won him the respect and admiration of every
honest man on the Aus­tralian continent. In these early days, the
unfortunate aborigines were treated as worse than dogs by the white men
who had dispossessed them of their hunting-grounds, and had done them the
still deadlier wrong of familiarising them with the worst vices of
civilisation. They were indis­criminately shot down on the slightest
provocation, and often without any provocation at all. The loss of a
white man's sheep or bullock was deemed sufficient justification for
murdering in cold blood every black that could be found for miles around.
Mr. Plunkett resolved on exercising his authority to check this wholesale
destruction of human life, and, by a salutary lesson, to teach all
inhuman white scoun­drels that the blacks, equally with themselves, were
under the protection of the law. An outrage of more than ordi­nary
atrocity soon gave him the opportunity of enforcing this much-needed
lesson. A party of ten Europeans, hearing that a number of aborigines
were encamped in their neigh­bourhood, sallied forth with loaded guns to
have what they called a " little sport." Stealing on the unsuspecting
savages, they opened fire and shot down thirty of the hap­less creatures,
men, women, and children being included in this frightful and unprovoked
massacre. The " sportsmen. " returned to their homes well pleased with
the success that had attended their shooting excursion. So blunted was
their moral sense, that the thought that they had committed a great crime
would probably be the last to enter their minds. Hundreds of blacks had
been murdered in a similar manner, and the law had called no white man to
account. So what reason had they to fear punishment for what they had
done ? But in this anticipation they were we fully mistaken, The ugly
facts somehow leaked out and reached the ears of Mr. Plunkett, whose
indignation was fired by the recital. He there and then determined that
these horrible offenders should not go unpunished. Setting to work
immediately, in spite of the formidable obstacles that were thrown in his
way, he succeeded in collecting sufficient evidence to place the whole
party on their trial. At every stage he was ob­structed by influential
friends of the prisoners and numerous sympathisers, who refused to
believe that killing the blacks was really murder. Every effort was made
to suppress the evidence, but without avail. With invincible courage and
determination, Mr. Plunkett prosecuted his self-imposed mission of mercy
to a dying race, elicited link by link the whole dreadful story, and
awakened the slumbering con­science of the nation to the iniquity that
was working in their midst. Truth and justice finally prevailed; seven of
the murderers expiated their crime on the scaffold, and the poor blacks
were in the future treated more like human beings and less like
legitimate game for every white scoun­drel in possession of a gun.

When parliamentary government came into operation in New South Wales, Mr.
Plunkett sat for some years in the Legislative Assembly, and at a later
period he became a member, and was for a time president, of the
Legislative Council. Throughout his political career he was distinguished
for the same sterling honesty of purpose, strict impartiality, and
generous consideration for all classes of citizens, that signalised his
official actions as permanent Attorney-General of the colony. " I
confess," said Sir Gavan Duffy, in speaking of Mr. Plunkett at a public
gathering, " I am proud to see a man of my own creed and nation, who for
five-and-twenty years had a power almost uncontrolled over the course of
legislation, secure for himself the adherence of the most adverse classes
by his systematic liberality and justice. Every clergyman of the Church
of England voted for this Irish Catholic; the Wesleyans supported him;
the Jews supported him. And why? Because when power was centred in his
hands, he protected and secured their re­ligious liberty." To the sorrow
of the nation whom he had served so well, John Hubert Plunkett died in
Melbourne in 1869. His funeral oration was pronounced by Father Isaac
Moore, an eloquent Jesuit then attached to the Australian Church, but who
was subsequently recalled to Ireland, and was one of the select preachers
on the memorable occasion of the opening of the great cathedral of
Armagh. Father Moore truly remarked of the deceased statesman that "his
example, his integrity and his blameless life, secured for him, and
indirectly for us, the respect of those who by their early associations
and early training, had imbibed, against Catholics a host of prejudices.
Nor during his sway of high office has he been associated with anything
questionable. He was esteemed by all, and by all beloved. When he came to
these colonies, he found the Church which did. not need aid richly
endowed, while the Roman Catholics, -who were poor, were obliged to
provide for the education of their children and for divine service
unassisted. Not only this, but in other things they were made to feel
that they were not on a footing of equality, Even in such a state of
society, one liberal spirit can do a great deal towards a reform. One
such spirit alone, so isolated and against such odds, did produce a great
effect. It is mainly to him whose memory we honour, to him and his great
fellow-champion of liberty in the parent colony, Sir Richard Bourke, that
we in common with other denominations, owe the religious free­dom we now
possess."

The Hon. Edward Butler, Q.C., is another cherished name in the annals of
the bar of New South Wales. As a young man fresh from Kilkenny College,
he was the coadjutor of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy in reviving the Nation,
after the storm of '48 had passed away. Amongst his contributions were
the graceful ballads that appeared in the new Nation, over the signature
of "Eblana." When he made the parent Australian colony his home, he wrote
extensively for the Sydney press, besides occupying a seat in Parliament
and appearing as counsel in most of the important cases that came before
the higher courts. In 1873, whilst he was holding office as
Attorney-Greneral in the Ministry of Sir Henry Parkes, the Chief
Justiceship became vacant, and every one expected that Mr. Butler, by
virtue of his position as senior law officer of the colony and his
acknowledged pre­eminence at the bar, would have received due promotion
to the bench of the Supreme Court. But the Premier, Sir Henry Parkes, an
unscrupulous politician who, on more than one memorable occasion, has
exhibited a rabid anti-Irish and anti-Catholic bias, to the astonishment
of all Australia, passed over his gifted Attorney-Greneral and gave the
highest of judicial offices to a man who was Mr. Butler's junior at the
bar. Naturally after such an unwarrantable reflection, and such a gross
violation of the proprieties, Mr. Butler at once severed his connection
with the Ministry, and never held office again during the few remaining
years of his existence. Sir James Martin, the barrister who was so
unjustly promoted to the Chief Justiceship over the head of Mr. Butler,
was also an Irishman, but one of a different stamp to the noble-minded,
unselfish, and patriotic Edward Butler. Sir James delivered many able
addresses from time to time, but there is little in any of them to
suggest that their author was a native of Cork. In this respect he
differed very much from his colleague, Mr. Justice Faucett, a Dublin man,
who is frequently the chosen mouthpiece of his countrymen and
fellow-Catholics. In the early autocratic days of the colony the Irish
Catholics were fortunate in having a valiant defender on the judicial
bench in the person of Sir Roger Therry, whose vigorous addresses and
well-reasoned pamphlets did much to stem the tide ot intolerance that at
one time threatened to flood the country. For kindred services to the
faith of his fathers in subsequent days, Sir Patrick Jennings, the Prime
Minister of New South Wales last year, was highly honoured by the late
Sovereign Pontiff. Besides being in the front rank of the politicians of
the parent Australian colony, Sir Patrick continues to sturdily champion
the interests of Catholicity, when assailed from time to time for
political or party purposes. At the present time (April, 1887) he is
attending the Imperial Conference in London as the representative
delegate of the senior colony of Australasia.

Queensland, though the youngest of" the colonies, is not without its roll
of distinguished Irishmen. At the head of its list of honour stands the
valued name of the Hon. Kevin Izod O'Doherty, M.D. The doctor's first
exile to Australia, as most people know, was the reverse of voluntary,
for he was sent out by the British Government in a convict ship, in
company with honest John Martin, under a sentence of ten years'
transportation for his connection with the events of '48. The year 1854
brought a conditional pardon to such of the Irish exiles as had not
escaped to the " land of the free and the home of the brave." Liberty was
given them to reside anywhere " out of the United Kingdom." Dr. O'Doherty
then took up his residence in Paris, and very justifiably ignored the
condition attached to the Queen's pardon, in snatching a stolen visit to
his native city of Dublin, and returning to the conti­nent with a
faithful and gifted bride-" Eva," the poetess of the Nation-who had
promised the young medical student when he was going into captivity, that
she would wait for him, and who had devotedly kept her word. Two years
later the pardon was made wholly unconditional, and Dr O'Doherty, after
spending some time in Ireland, resolved to establish his home in the new
colony of Queensland, which had just been called into existence.
Brisbane, the capital of the infant state, presented him with a seat in
the Legislative Assembly, where for years he showed in a marked manner
the innate capacity of the Irishman to work with perfect harmony a
complete system of local self-government in a mixed community. The doctor
has himself given an inte­resting and humorous account of his first entry
into colonial political life. " When I had been only a short time in the
colony, and before I had connected myself in any way with public affairs,
I was bodily laid hold of and forced into public life, simply because I
was known as an Irish exile. I warned my friends who had invited me to
take part in public affairs that I was no orator, and that all I could do
was to give them an honest vote, but they replied that that was all they
wanted, an honest vote being a great deal better than a glib tongue with
no honesty in it. A stalwart Irish Orangeman went round and got
signatures to the requisition inviting me to stand, and another
Protestant, a wealthy native of the colony, insisted on proposing my
election, not only on that, but on every subsequent occasion, during the
six years that I represented the constituency of Brisbane. It must not,
however, be imagined that all the Orangemen in the colony were like my
friend. I had rather a comical experience to the contrary. On the day of
the first election, before the result of the poll was declared, I had to
attend a meeting at some distance from Brisbane, and on my way back that
night, meeting on the road a car coming from the town, I shouted to one
of the occupants, ' Pray tell me how the election has gone on ?' 'Oh,'
said the person addressed, with a fine North of Ireland brogue, 'bad
enough. That b--y Papist, O'Doherty, has got in.' This story, however,
would not be complete if I did not add that this same man, black Northern
as he was, voted for me at the next election, and, moreover, became a
very good patient of mine." The doctor was subsequently invited by the
Governor of Queens­land and the Executive Council to take a seat in the
Legislative Council, and he continued to be a member of that chamber up
to the date of his departure from the colony. From the beginning of his
Australian career Dr. O'Doherty has been an avowed Irish Nationalist, and
the acknowledged leader of his countrymen in Queensland; but, though he
never concealed the strength of his con­victions on the great question
that lay nearest to his heart, he at the same time never forfeited the
goodwill and esteem of his fellow-citizens of other nationalities. They,
in fact, admired him all the more for his life-long consistency in being,
to quote the phrase of one of themselves, "as ardent in the cause of his
youth as though his head were still untouched by the snows of time." The
crowning honour conferred by the Irish in Australia on this true and
tried champion of the liberties of their race, was on the occasion, of
the great Irish-Australian Convention held in Melbourne towards the close
of 1883, when delegates from all parts of the southern continent and the
adjacent islands assembled in force, and enthusiastically elected the
aged " Young Ire- lander " to the presidential chair.

Other Irishmen, whose names are prominent in the history of Queensland,
are Sir Maurice O'Connell, a relative of the Liberator, and a European
soldier of distinction, who was on four occasions the acting-governor of
the colony, and one of the first presidents of its Legislative Council;
Sir Arthur Palmer, Prime Minister for five years, and one of the most
successful pioneer colonists; Sir Joshua Peter Bell, a Kildare man, who,
after holding office in the lower house as colonial treasurer, was called
to the presidency of the upper chamber; the Hon. H. E. King, a Limerick
man, who for years was the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; the Hon.
John Murtagh Macrossan, a working miner, who, by force of character and
natural gifts, rose to the position of political head of the Mining
department; the Hon. Patrick Perkins, the ministerial colleague of Mr.
Macrossan and administrator of the department of Lands; and Denis
O'Donovan, parlia­mentary librarian, and the accomplished author of "
Memo­ries of Rome."

Oftentimes has it been remarked how Irishmen are so singularly successful
in governing the Greater Britain that occupies so large a share of the
world's surface; whilst they, themselves, have been systematically denied
the privilege of ruling in the land of their birth. It is a strange and
strik­ing anomaly that Ireland should be the only place on the face of
the earth where Irishmen are not permitted to govern. History shows how
Irish governors have been mainly instrumental in building up and
consolidating the colonial empire of Britain, and yet, during the
currency of the nineteenth century, Ireland has never had a viceroy
chosen from her own distinguished sons. Englishmen and Scotchmen have
been regularly sent to govern a nation that supplied rulers to every
quarter of the civilised globe. Carrying coals to Newcastle were wisdom
in comparison with this, and it is no small satisfac­tion to know, that
such a ridiculous and exasperating state of things is visibly coming to
an inglorious end, It is a matter of absolute certainty that the Irishmen
who have manifested the highest qualities of government in distant
colonies, and gained the esteem and affection of the mixed communities
whom they were appointed to rule, would have been equally successful in
the land of their birth, if only the opportunity had been given them at
home for the exercise of their commanding abilities. Foremost in the list
of those Irish-Australian viceroys stands the honoured name of Sir
Richard Bourke the most able and the most popular of all the Sydney
governors. " He had," says Mr. Sutherland, in his " History of
Australia," "the talent and energy of Macquarie (one of the early
governors of New South Wales), but he had in addition a frank and hearty
manner, which insensibly won the hearts of the colonists, who, for years
after his departure, used to talk affectionately of him as * good old
Governor Bourke.' During his term of office, the colony continued in a
sober way to make steady progress. Governor Bourke, on his landing, found
that much discontent existed with refe­rence to the land question. It was
understood that any one who applied for land to the Government, and
showed that he could make a good use of it, would receive a suitable area
as a free grant. But many abuses crept in under this system. In theory,
all men had an equal right to obtain the land they required; but in
practice it was seldom possible for one who had no friends among the
officials at Sydney to obtain a grant. An immigrant had often to wait for
months and see his application unheeded; while in the meantime a few
favoured individuals were calling day after day at the Land Office, and
receiving grant after grant of the choicest parts of the colony. "
Governor Bourke made a new arrangement.

There were to be no more free grants. In the settled districts, all land
was to be put up for auction; if less than five shillings an acre was
offered, it was not to be sold; when the offers rose above that price, it
was to be given to the highest bidder. This was regarded as a very fair
arrangement; and, as a large sum of money was annually received from the
sale of land, the government was able to resume the
practice--discontinued in 1818-of assisting poor people in Europe to
emigrate to the colony. Beyond the surveyed districts, the land was
occupied by squatters, who settled down where they pleased, but had no
legal right to their 'runs,' as they were called. With regard to these
lands, new regulations were urgently required, for the squatters, who
were liable to be turned off at a moment's notice, felt themselves in a
very precarious position. Besides, as their sheep increased rapidly and
the flocks of neighbouring squatters interfered with one another, violent
feuds sprang up and were carried on with much bitterness. To put an end
to these evils, Governor Bourke ordered the squatters to apply for the
land they required. He promised to have boundaries marked out; but gave
notice that he would in future charge a small rent, proportioned to the
number of sheep the land could support. In return he would secure to each
squatter the peaceable occupation of his run, until the time came when it
should be required for sale. This regulation did much to secure the
stability of squatting interests in New South Wales. After ruling well
and wisely for six years, Governor Bourke retired, in the year 1837, amid
the sincere regrets of the whole colony."

A contemporary eye-witness, Mr. Marjoribanks, speaks of Sir Richard
Bourke as being " extremely popular amongst all classes. He was a man
that scorned oppression of any kind, but he was remarkably conscientious
in endeavouring to do justice to all. Whatever he considered right, he
carried into effect boldly and fearlessly, disregarding equally threats
and flattery. He was so much beloved, indeed, and his character for the
conscientious discharge of his duty is still held in such veneration,
that I have seen tears come to the eyes of many of the people in that
country whenever his name was mentioned. They collected several thousand
pounds for a monument to him, which was on the eve of being erected when
I left Sydney, and he will be the first governor to whom that honour has
been paid. He returned. home by way of Chili, on the west coast of South
America, and his fame had gone before him, as, when he landed in
Valparaiso, the authorities there turned out to pay him every respect in
their power."

The monument here referred to assumed the form of a splendid statue,
erected in the Sydney Domain, and bearing an inscription which is an apt
summary of the good work achieved by this great Irish-Australian
governor: "This statue of Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Bourke, K.C.B.,
is erected by the people of New South Wales, to record his able, honest,
and benevolent administration from 1831 to 1837. Selected for the
government at a period of singular difficulty, his judgment, urbanity,
and firmness justified the choice. Comprehending at once the vast
resources peculiar to this colony, he applied them for the first time
systemati­cally to its benefit. He voluntarily divested himself of the
prodigious influence arising from the assignment of penal labour, and
enacted just and salutary laws for the ameliora­tion of penal discipline.
He was the first governor who published satisfactory accounts of the
public receipts and expenditure. Without oppression or detriment to any
interest, he raised the revenue to a vast amount, and from its surplus
realised extensive plans of immigration. He established religious
equality on a just and firm basis, and sought to provide for all, without
distinction of sect, a sound and adequate system of national education.
He constructed various works of permanent utility. He founded the
nourishing settlement of Port Phillip, and threw open the wilds of
Australia to pastoral enterprise. He established savings banks, and was
the patron of the first mechanics' institute. He created an equitable
tribunal for determining upon claims to grants of lands. He was the warm
friend of the liberty of the press. He extended trial by jury after its
almost total suspension for many years. By these and numerous other
measures for the moral, religious and general improvement of all classes,
he raised the colony to unexampled prosperity, and retired amid the
reverent and affectionate regrets of the people, having won their
confi­dence by his integrity, their gratitude by his services, their
admiration by his public talents, and their esteem by his private worth."

Amongst the successors of Sir Richard Bourke in the governorship of New
South Wales, Sir John Young (after­wards Lord Lisgar), a County Cavan
man; and Sir Hercules Robinson, a son of Westmeath, were perhaps the most
con­spicuous for their executive ability and the widespread popularity
they acquired. A ripe scholar and a gifted speaker, the public addresses
of Sir Hercules Robinson were invariably of a high order of excellence,
and well merited the honour of collection and republication in permanent
form that has since been paid to them. His brother, Sir "William
Robinson, who now rules over the extensive colony of South Australia, has
attained distinction in another field as a musician and a composer. South
Australia was governed for a number of years previously by a genial
Galway man, in the person of Sir Dominick Daly, "a thorough Irish.
gentleman, who during his term of office endeared himself to take people
of South Australia by his courtesy and affability, and by the great
interest he always manifested in everything affecting the welfare of the
colony." Even Mr. Gr. W. Kusden, who, in his voluminous" History of
Australia," has but too frequently allowed his anti-Irish and
anti-Catholic bias to warp his calm and critical judgment, admits that
"the urbanity of Sir Dominick Daly won golden opinions, and his death at
the close of the customary term of government, elicited such earnest
feeling as to prove the hold he had gained upon the people by his genuine
sympathy with their interests."

Another authority declares: " Of all the different gover­nors of South
Australia, none had been more generally esteemed than Sir Dominick.
Combining the most genial manners with the greatest tact-thoroughly
comprehending the nature of a constitutional government, and having no
political prejudices, he managed in a remarkable degree to gain the
sincere good-will of all classes in the colony."

Sir Dominick's immediate predecessor, Sir Richard M'Donnell, was an
Irishman of the most active and energetic type. Not content with
governing the settled districts of South Australia, he engaged personally
in several exploring tours through the unknown regions to the northward,
and thus added a large extent of valuable pastoral territory to his
colony. It was during Sir Richard's administration that responsible
government was inaugurated in South Australia, and, by his wise guidance
and conspicuous tact, the system soon worked as smoothly and as
successfully in South Australia as in the other colonies. The first
parliament elected under responsible government appointed as its Speaker
the foremost Irish colonist of his time, Sir George Kingston, who
presided in that capacity over the House of Assembly for many years. Both
Sir Richard McDonnell and Sir George Kingston rejoiced in their
nationality, and, during their residence in the colony, invariably took a
leading part in the Hibernian festivals on St. Patrick's Day. It was
another Irish governor-Sir George Bowen-who, as has been remarked by Dr.
O'Doherty, " well and duly laid the founda­tion of a free government in
the colony of Queensland," and who in after times was a popular ruler in
New Zealand and Victoria. More than one Irishman has been placed over the
little island colony of Tasmania, but the greatest name in her history
belongs to the son of a United Irishman, who was expatriated by the
British Government during the early years of the century. The infant son
accompanied his exiled father to the antipodes, and took a glorious
revenge on the Imperial authorities by becoming in course of time Sir
Richard Dry, first Speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, and Prime
Minister at the time of his lamented death. Mr. Fenton, the historian of
the colony, describes Sir Richard as the " most popular statesman
Tasmania ever possessed. He was known and beloved by all. He inherited a
magnificent estate from his father, and possessed ample means wherewith
to indulge the generous impulses of his warm-hearted nature. His
liberality knew no bounds. Indeed, at one time it had well-nigh crippled
his resources." In New Zealand, Irishmen have always been well to the
front, and in consequence the Hibernian roll of eminence in this
enterprising State would occupy a large amount of printed space if given
in full. Sir George Grey, son of an Irish mother and one of the most
ardent of antipodean advocates for home rule, has a unique record,
extending over half-a-century, as a fearless explorer, a versatile
author, a successful governor and a distinguished statesman. He is the
Gladstone of the south, the " grand old man" of New Zealand. Sir James
Prendergast, Chief Justice; Sir Or. Maurice O'Rorke, Speaker of the House
of Representatives; the Hon. P. A. Buckley, Colonial Secretary; the Hon.
John Ballance, Native Minister; the Hon. Alfred Tole, Minister of
Justice; and the Hon. J. E. Fitzgerald, first Superintendent of the
Province of Canterbury, and an orator of great power and pathos, worthily
uphold the reputation of the old land amongst the public men of New
Zealand.



CHAPTER XIV.


LITERATURE, SCIENCE AND ART.

MARCUS CLARKE, AUSTRALIA'S PREMIER NOVELIST-EDWARD WHITTY- DANIEL HENRY
DENIEHY-DR. HEARN-PROFESSOR McCOY-EDMUND HAYES-HIS COLLECTION OF IRISH
BALLAD POETRY-"THE DREAM OF DAMPIER "-WILLIAM CARLETON, jun.-JOHN
FINNAMORE-RODERICK FLANAGAN-WILLIAM VINCENT WALLACE-COMPOSITION OF "
MARITANA " -CHEQUERED CAREER OF A MUSICAL GENIUS.

Colonel Sir Qndrew Clarke, the son of the first Irish governor of Western
Australia, was a man who rendered very efficient service to the young
colony of Victoria as its first Surveyor-Greneral and Chief Commissioner
of Crown Lands. To him was delegated the herculean task of organising
municipal government throughout the country amongst a promiscuous
population drawn by the golden magnet from, all points of the compass.
How well he succeeded is shown by the host of cities, towns, boroughs and
shires, that are spread over the face of the land, each locally
self-governed, each raising its own revenue, and controlling the
expenditure of its own funds. Science also owes him a debt of gratitude,
for he was the founder of the Philosophical Society of Victoria-the
earliest organisation for the collection of scientific data on all
matters connected with the colonies. Under the title of the Royal Society
of Victoria, the insti­tution continues to flourish and to publish a
yearly volume of its " Transactions." Sir Andrew's near relative, Marcus
Clarke, is the only novelist of the first rank that Australia has yet
produced, and it will be many years before the colonies cease to mourn
the early death of that gifted son of genius. Though born in a London
suburb, Marcus Clarke was always proud of his Irish lineage, and, at the
outset of his literary career, he had the good fortune to secure the
friendship and patronage of Sir Redmond Barry and Sir Charles Gavan
Duffy, who were instrumental in procuring for him a con­genial
appointment in the Melbourne Public Library.

It was to Sir Charles Gavan Duffy that he dedicated his most powerful and
thrilling work of fiction-" His Natural Life"--a book familiar as a
household word throughout Australia, and almost as widely known in
America, where it was republished by the Harpers. Three editions were
issued in London, and the story was also translated into several European
languages. It is a tale told with a pur­pose, and that purpose was to
unveil before the eyes of the world the horrors of the English
transportation system. Seeing that Marcus Clarke had not been born into
the world when these horrors were in full blast, and that he had to
search through a multiplicity of old newspapers, prison records, and
blue-books, for the facts that formed the ground­work of his story, the
realism of the narrative and the enthralling interest it excites in the
mind of every reader, are calculated to excite a feeling of wonder at
such a brilliant performance on the part of a young man of
five-and-twenty, coupled with a feeling of deep sorrow that a life so
rich in promise and possibilities, should have been ex­tinguished so soon
after the threshold of fame was passed. But, if it was impossible for him
to witness the fiendish cruelties, by which the hapless convicts were in
bygone days systematically goaded to madness or murder by inhuman
military tyrants, he could at least visit the scenes of those dismal
tragedies of a terrible past, and this he did by spending some time on
the sites-physically beautiful but morally detestable-once occupied by
two of the most in­famous of the " convict hells" of Van Diemen's Land,
viz., Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour. He thus ac­quired valuable local
knowledge, and assimilated all the local traditions, besides ensuring
that topographical accu­racy of description which characterises the
premier novel of Australia. All who have read " His Natural Life " will
have no difficulty in agreeing with the dictum of Lord Rosebery that: "
There can indeed be no two opinions as to the horrible fascination of the
book. The reader who takes it up and gets beyond the prologue, though he
cannot but be harrowed by the long agony of the story and the human
anguish of every page, is unable to lay it down: almost in spite of
himself, he has to read and to suffer to the bitter end. To me, I
confess, it is the most terrible of all novels, more terrible than
'Oliver Twist' or Victor Hugo's most startling effects, for the simple
reason that it is more real. It has all the solemn ghastliness of truth."
And Mrs. Cashel Hoey, than whom there is no more competent judge,
published this high estimate of the deceased young author in her "Lady's
Letter from London," which has for years formed one of the most
attractive features of a leading weekly journal of Melbourne: * [* The
Australasian] "His tales of the early days of the colonies, and his very
striking novel, * His Natural Life,' made a deep impression here. We were
always expecting another powerful fiction from his pen. I fear he has not
left any finished work, and I regret the fact all the more deeply that I
have been allowed the privilege of reading a few chapters of a novel
begun by Mr. Marcus Clarke, under the title of 'Felix and Felicitas.' The
promise of those chapters is quite exceptional; they equal in brilliancy
and vivacity the best writing of Edward Whitty, and they surpass that
vivid writer in construction. It is difficult to believe, while reading
the opening chapters of this, I fear, unfinished work, that the author
lived at the other side of the world from the scenes and the society
which he depicts with such accuracy, lightness, grace and humour." Though
it is on " His Natural Life " that the literary reputation of Marcus
Clarke will permanently rest, he is perhaps seen at his best in those
thirty shorter tales and sketches which he wrote during his brief but
industrious lifetime. In these minor efforts, the versatility of his
genius is strikingly displayed. Some of them are tenderly pathetic,
whilst others are gro­tesquely humorous, and several may be described as
wildly imaginative, but all are essentially Australian in their
character, and each of them happily illustrates some par­ticular type or
phase of colonial life. They afford abundant evidence that if the life of
their talented author had been prolonged, he would, with matured powers
of study and observation, have diligently explored the virgin fields of
fiction at the antipodes, and enriched Australian literature with more
than one book racy of the soil.

Edward Whitty, the "vivid writer" with whom Mrs. Cashel Hoey compares
Marcus Clarke in the foregoing ex­tract, also lies in a Melbourne
cemetery, where his last resting-place is pointed out by a column of
white marble that was placed over his grave by the well-known,
warm­hearted, sympathetic Irish actor, Barry Sullivan. Like Marcus
Clarke, Edward Whitty was born of Irish parents in London, and, by a
strange coincidence, both died in Melbourne at precisely the same
premature age of thirty-four. Whitty's father was a journalist who did
good service in the cause of Catholic emancipation, and Whitty the
younger adopted the paternal profession at an early age. When he was
nineteen, he joined the staff of the Times, "the youngest man that the
Thunderer ever entrusted with literary functions of any kind." He was
successively editor of that most outspoken of journals, the Leader, and
the radical Irish organ known as the Northern Whig. A sad domestic
calamity, the death of his wife and two children within a short period of
each other, made the old scenes unbearable to his sight, and he wandered
away to the antipodes, only to find an early grave awaiting him. The book
by which Whitty is best known is his " Friends of Bohemia," a series of
powerful and graphic sketches of adventurers in politics and. literature.
" The Governing Classes" is another work of his that attracted some
notice. Montalembert speaks of it in the highest terms in his "
Constitutional Government in England," and describes its author as " the
most original and accomplished journalist of the day." Just as in the
case of Marcus Clarke, poor Whitty's fruitful mind was full of ambitious
literary undertakings in the new land of his adoption, when he was
suddenly struck down in the flower of early manhood. A brilliant
Irish-Australian friend and contemporary has placed on record this by no
means exaggerated estimate of his abilities: "There is no story in the
whole melancholy chronicle of misfortunes of men of genius so sad as this
of Edward Whitty. That he was something more and some­thing higher than a
man of genius, that his nature was moulded of the profoundest
sensibilities, and that he alto­gether lived upon deep and passionate
affections, is evinced by the utter shattering and subversion of health,
hopes, and interests in the world, which followed the loss of his dear
ones. Others, and men of fine mind and fine feeling too, would perhaps
have come out of the typhoon dismasted and with broken timbers, but
eventually to regain and to ride quietly for years on the world's waters.
So young, too--so gifted-so abounding and ebullient with the life-blood
of intellectual power, not the mere faculty of writing graceful. verses
or beautiful trifles of any kind, but with that power, disciplined by
learned experiences of the ways of life," to deal with men and things,
hard and cold and clear, and bright, warm and joyous, just as they are.
His creation of Nea in ' Friends of Bohemia'-the poor girl-wife that her
father, a selfish peer, deeply in debt to an old commercial speculator,
had given to the latter's Bohemian son-though but a sketch, is a creation
of the very highest beauty and a posi­tive contribution to imaginative
English literature."

The hand that penned this fraternal criticism belonged to Daniel Henry
Deniehy, and the mention of that honoured name, in conjunction with those
of Marcus Clarke and Edward Whitty, completes an ill-fated trinity of
Irish-Australian genius. Born in the capital of the parent Austra­lian
colony, he mastered several European languages at an early age, and, in
his twenty-fifth year, gave his countrymen the first glimpse of his
oratorical powers in a striking course of lectures on " Modern
Literature." His fresh and vigorous eloquence made him, at the outset of
his career, the idol of the people, and, unfortunately for himself, he
was triumphantly elected to a seat in the first representative assembly
of New South Wales. Mr. Frank Fowler, in his " Southern Lights and
Shadows," passes in review the leading-politicians of New South Wales,
and describes Deniehy as the "most accomplished man in the popular
chamber. Brought up under the care of the best of guides, philosophers
and friends, his sweet home, overlooking the waters of Port Jackson, is
the happy refuge of all poor workers in the field of art or letters. Mr.
Deniehy has attained the subtle critical faculty of a De Quincey, with
conversational powers as brilliant as they are profound. His grasp of
subjects is wonderfully extensive, while his rare and highly cultured
intellectual faculties dart into every nook and cranny of a topic,
convexing its hidden recesses into sharp and vivid relief." His future
would perhaps have been far brighter and happier, had he eschewed
politics and devoted his splendid abilities to his practice at the bar.
Retiring after a few years from public life, he took up his versatile
pen, established the Southern Cross, and in its pages, and those of other
Sydney journals, poured forth that graceful, scholarly series of
critical, historical, descriptive, and satirical papers, the perusal of
which induced an English author-statesman* [* The late Lord Lytton.] to
exclaim: " Had Deniehy lived, he would have become the Macaulay of
Australia, the first of critics and essayists." But fate had willed it
otherwise; the once bright and powerful intellect went out in deepest
gloom, and the once favourite pet of the populace was found one morning
in the streets of an inland city, and carried, like another Edgar Allan
Poe, to a public hospital to die, in his thirty-fifth year. Truly a sad
ending to a career that opened with such exceptional sunshine and
promise."

Deniehy, then a young man of twenty, spent the opening months of 1848 in
the land of his forefathers, and became acquainted with the leaders of
the Young Ireland party, with whose views he was in enthusiastic
sympathy. In one of his most interesting sketches, he describes John
Mitchel as le beau sabreur--the Murat of the movement; Charles Gavan.
Duffy as showing a literary character, broad, abundant, lumi­nous as a
river, and yet chequered with soft, sad autumnal hues; and Thomas Davis
as the archetype of Young Ireland culture, and of the masculine purity of
genius hal­lowed to lofty purposes-the scholar and the poet of his party.
He thus admirably hits off the leading characteristics of John Mitchel's
energetic journalism in 1848: " Splendid sarcasm, vitriolic in its
specific quality as a destructive; argu­ment close and conclusive,
couched in eloquent execration, taunt and curse and defiance, jest and
jeer, as grim in their way as attainders or excommunications; but above
all, history -Irish history-pointed out week after week in such a light
as, from the flames of a burning church, one might see the inscriptions
on mural tablets a minute ere the slabs crack, and drop into the blazing
chaos. Compared to them, the thun-derers of the Times were weak
rum-and-water to Russian quass or the Tartar distillation from equine
milk. The denuncia­tions of Junius, whose flimsy pretensions to power as
political literature De Quincey has, among a host of similar services,
shown the world, were as lemonade, and inferior lemonade, too, beside the
arrack of the Mitchellian diatribes."

And in his elaborate review of the journal kept by John Mitchel during
his detention as a prisoner of state, he soliloquises:

"Even to me, an Australian, who spent but a swallow's season in Ireland,
there are passages in Mitchel's' Jail Jour­nal ' that set my memory
retouching Irish landscapes. They conjure up the places I know best in
Erin-the brimming Lee with a midnight flash of the mill-wheels at
Dripsey; Gougane Barra, with its 'pomp of waters unwithstood,* sung by
Callanan in strains where, as often in martial music, the victorious
mingles with the plaintive; the black waters shimmering by the home of
Raleigh, and those sacred shades, the wizard woods of Kilcolman, that,
with useful and shadowed beauty, closed in about the visions of the dying
Spenser."

Contemplating in another essay the extent of the un­explored regions of
Irish literature, he exclaims:

"What a tract of imaginative grandeur, lying away dim, sublime and
gloomy, like the isle O' Brazil of popular legend, Irish writers of
poetry have left untouched in portions of the early religious history of
Ireland ! Lough Dearg, with so much of what is mightiest and most lasting
in relation to the heart and soul floating dimly about it, is an
instance. Calderon, the Catholic, soars into this region for the poetic;
but the Purgatorio del San Patricia, though Shelley dug the finest image
in the 'Cenci' from it, is only a scratch on the surface of an auriferous
soil."

In the ranks of Australian scholarship no name stands higher than that of
Dr. W. E. Hearn, a county Cavan man, and a distinguished alumnus of
Trinity College, Dublin. Selected at the age of twenty-eight, by a
committee presided over by Sir John Herschel, to fill the chair of
history and poli­tical economy in the newly-founded University of
Melbourne, Dr. Hearn has for more than thirty years been one of the chief
bulwarks of that institution, and one of the great intel­lectual forces
of the southern continent. " The Government of England," " Plutology,"
and " The Aryan Household," are three works from his pen, displaying an
erudition which has won for them a recognised position as text-books on
the subjects of which they treat, in European seats of learning. His
colleague, Professor McCoy, is a Dublin man, and was chosen at the same
time by Sir John Herschel to occupy the chair of natural science. The
scientific attainments of Professor McCoy are widely known, and the
splendid Aus­ tralasian museum which has been established in Melbourne
under his fostering care, whilst being a source of delight and
instruction to thousands, is a standing monument to his painstaking
industry and his scientific enthusiasm. It is to a Victorian citizen that
the Irish race is indebted for the best and most complete collection of
national poetry in exis­ tence, viz., " The Ballad Poetry of Ireland," in
two volumes, compiled by Edmund Hayes, a long-time resident of Mel­
bourne. Conversely, the native-born Australian race is under an
obligation to an Irishman resident in their midst-Gerald Henry Supple-for
the only national poem of the first order of merit they possess. " The
Dream of Dampier " is styled by its author " An Australasian
Foreshadowing," and, in its full and flowing verse, there seems to throb
the ardent life- blood of the youngest of the nations; the vision of the
future rises before the dreamy gaze of the hardy buccaneer as he skirts
the shores of Australia, and he sees in wondrous anticipation the golden
glories that were destined to remain hidden for two centuries before
being revealed to mortal eyes.

William Carleton, jun., and John Finnamore are two Irish-Australians who
have also attained distinction in the field of colonial poetry. The
former is the son of the great Irish novelist of the same name. His chief
work is entitled " The Warden of Galway." , It is a metrical romance
founded on a remarkable incident in Irish history-the execution of his
own son by an inexorable father, who sacrifices all the feelings of
nature in order to vindicate the law. Mr. Finnarnore's two
well-constructed tragedies," Francesca Vasari" and " Carpio," have a
circle of admirers that increases in circumference with the progress of
the colonies, and the extension of the higher education. In the realm of
Australian history, " there is no more reliable chronicler," to quote the
words of a literary critic in the Argus newspaper, " than Roderick
Flanagan, whose two well packed volumes," he adds, " will always be
treated with respect by reason of their honesty, their modesty, and their
simple dignity." Flanagan's " History " is, in fact, a mine of
information on colonial subjects, from which many valuable pieces of
rough gold have been extracted, and briskly polished, and brightened up
by a later generation of literary artists, and made to appear as much as
possible like original discoveries.

It is something to be proud of that the two most popular English operas
of the century-" The Bohemian Girl," by Michael William Balfe, and "
Maritana," by William Vincent Wallace-are the products of Irish musical
genius; and it is a fact not generally known that it was in an Australian
city, Sydney, that the delightful music of " Maritana " was mainly
composed. Wallace seems to have caught a happy inspiration from the
serene and sunny skies of Australia, and the lovely surroundings of
Sydney, which are reflected in the airiness, the brightness, and the
vivacity that distinguish his magnum opus. Though he achieved distinction
as a young violinist in Dublin, Wallace seems to have emigrated to
Australia in 1835, with the fixed determination of abandoning a musical
career, and turning himself into a hard-working pioneer colonist. Anyhow,
it is certain that he buried himself for some time in the bush country to
the west of Sydney, and it was whilst paying a brief visit to this
metropolis that a lucky accident revealed his secret, and opened the eyes
of his fellow-colonists to the fact that they had a musical genius of the
first order in their midst. The discovery was the turning-point of his
life. Tinder the patronage of Sir Richard Bourke, the reigning governor
and an admiring compatriot, he gave a concert in Sydney that was so
suc­cessful from every point of view, as to convince the young Irish
emigrant that he had been allowing a God-given talent to lie
unproductive. As if to make up for lost time, Wallace now applied himself
with much industry to the work of composition in private and
violin-playing in public. He travelled professionally through the
Australian colonies, and he more than once placed his life in jeopardy by
a reckless disregard of necessary precautions, when passing through
districts where the natives happened to be in a belligerent humour at the
time. On one of those occasions, he was on the point of being sacrificed
by a party of Maories who had made him prisoner, and it was only the
opportune interces­sion of the chief's daughter that saved him from a
horrible death. After this, his Bohemian temperament prompted him into
the eccentricity of embarking on a whaling voyage, and this also was very
nearly ending fatally for him. The native crew mutinied in mid-ocean and
seized the vessel, and Wallace was one of the four white men who barely
escaped with their lives. We next have a glimpse of the wandering
minstrel crossing the Andes on the back of a mule, and traversing the
whole distance from Valparaiso to Buenos Ayres in this primitive fashion.
Other romantic episodes in the chequered career of this erratic genius
might be narrated, but, to turn from the man to the music, it is a safe
prophecy to assert that many a year will elapse before the works that he
has given to the modern lyric stage will cease to charm the popular ear.
Such widely-known and such favourite airs as "Let me like a soldier
fall," "There is a flower that bloometh," " In happy moments, day by
day," "Alas, those chimes," "No, my courage," and "Sainted mother, guide
his footsteps," throb with the life-blood of humanity, and will long
perpetuate the name and fame of William Vincent Wallace.

The evidences of such, prosperity--such level prosperity, such level
comfort; no great heapings of wealth, but then no great poverty--I asked
what share Irishmen could fairly claim in the development of this great
continent, in the discovery of its hidden wealth, in the enterprises of
com­merce, and in maintaining its peace and prosperity; and I found on
inquiry that foremost amongst the explorers who opened up the central
regions of Australia were Irishmen- I found that many of the wisest heads
and most respected members of the legislative assemblies were Irishmen,
that they were luminaries on the bench and leaders at the bar, and that
men for places of trust and positions of responsibility were chosen from
the ranks of the Irish. These Irishmen- why do they come here ? They come
from our native country. And in what spirit do they leave it ? They leave
it because they have no home in the land of their birth, because they
have no scope for the exercise of their mental and physical energies. And
it is for a home and a livelihood that they cross the Atlantic and the
Pacific Oceans, and enter the Heads of Sydney, where they see, as though
inscribed above their rocky portals, the words, 'Ye who enter leave
despair behind.' They were poor and unappreciated at home; but they come
here, and what is the result ? They prove themselves to be most valuable
citizens-good, loyal, hard-working members of your great progressive
com­munities."

These reflections of a shrewd and much-travelled observer received ample
corroboration at the recent Indian and Colonial Exhibition in London, in
which Irish art and industry in the colonies formed no inconsiderable
portion of a brilliant and effective display, and at which representative
Irishmen from the various divisions of the colonial empire attended
officially on behalf of their respective states. In welcoming to Ireland
a large contingent of these colonial visitors, Mr. T. D. Sullivan, M.P.,
Lord Mayor of Dublin, referred to the many reasons that actuated the
Irish race at home in giving the heartiest of greetings to their colonial
guests. " We know," he said, " that crowds of our expatriated countrymen
have found freedom and happiness in these distant lands. Our exiled
people have been kindly and well received in these countries, and I am
proud to-night to hear it said that they have given good and honourable
services in the lands where they have made their homes. Yes, gentlemen,
they form a large portion of the working population of these countries,
and have formed no incon­siderable portion of the brain and intellect
that have helped to make these countries free and great and prosperous.
We have here to-night amongst our visitors Irishmen who have rendered
good service in these countries, and who have won distinction there. We
are glad to know and to hear from themselves that they do not forget, and
that they do not ignore, the little island of their birth. Gentlemen, it
befits a man, whatever his nationality, to remember his own country, and
to call it by its own name, not to ignore it, not to seem to think that
no such geographical entity exists on the face of the earth. You are
citizens of the British Empire, subjects of the British Crown, but, I ask
you, are you not proud to be self-governing communities ? Gentlemen, your
connection with the British Empire is a link of love and affection; that
is the bond which unites yon to the Crown, and to the Empire of which you
form a part. The bond is not one of force, not one of compulsion, but it
is one of good-will, and the good-will is there because you get
fair-play, fair treatment, and freedom to develop the resources of your
own country according to the power within yourselves. May such be the lot
of every portion of the British Empire. May we see the day when it can
truly be said that no portion of the Empire is held within its bounds by
any other tie but the tie of good-will and affection. (Cheers.)
Gentlemen, in many of the dark and troubled periods through which we have
passed in Ireland, our sufferings would have been far harder, were it not
for the large and abundant gifts that were poured in upon us in our day
of distress with generous hands, by our kindred and sympathisers, and
friends abroad. From Australia, from New Zealand, from Canada, and from
the great free republic of America, have come to this country generous
gifts, and largely have they come from our own people-from the sons and
daughters of exiled Irishmen."

One of the chief characteristics of the Irish in Australia is
felicitously indicated in the foregoing remarks by the Lord Mayor of
Dublin-the remarkable manner in which they have succeeded in rendering
full and satisfactory allegiance to the land of their adoption and all
its local institutions, whilst never forgetting the filial loyalty they
owed to the land of their fathers and all its cherished traditions.
Whilst bravely doing their part in building up new states in faraway
lands, founding fresh cities, taming the wild bush, and developing all
the natural resources of the fifth division of the globe, they have at
the same time religiously preserved a deep and abiding interest in all
that pertained to the old land of their affections, in every national
movement, in every patriotic undertaking, in every successive advance
towards. the goal of legislative freedom. If any proof of this assertion
were wanting, it is abundantly supplied by the active and continuous
interest that has been manifested by the Irish race throughout the
colonies in the present national movement ever since the first day of its
inception, and by the thousands of pounds that have been remitted from
time to time in support of that movement to the parent National League in
Dublin by its scores of colonial children. When Mr. J. E. Redmond, M.P.
and Mr. W. H. K. Redmond, M.P., visited the colonies a few years ago, as
the delegated representatives of the Irish National League, they were
everywhere received with a generous welcome and a rousing enthusiasm,
that were the most eloquent of testimonies to the depth and the strength
of the sympathy and the affection, subsisting between the Irish in
Australia and their brethren in the old land. The recent intercolonial
tour of the Earl and the Countess of Aberdeen affords another evidence of
the solidarity of the race. The knowledge that Lord Aberdeen was the
first Irish Viceroy, for many long years, who had honestly striven to
rule Ireland in accordance with Irish ideas, secured him a princely
reception at the hands of grateful Irish-Australians in all the colonial
cities that were visited by the Countess and himself. The moment a
patriotic note is sounded in the home country, it immediately finds a
responsive echo in the hearts and deeds of the Irish in Australia showing
how thorough is the sym­pathy, and how magnetic the influence, that bind
together the " sea-divided Gael." The same fraternal feeling finds
expression in the loving conservatism which has led to so many
distinctively Irish customs and festivals being trans­planted to the
antipodes, and taking deep and lasting root in the soil. This striking
characteristic of colonial Irishmen- this measure of equal justice meted
out to the land of their birth and the land of their adoption-did not
escape the notice of Smith O'Brien during his tour in Victoria after his
recall from a five years' exile. "It has caused me intense satisfaction,"
said the leader of '48, " to find that in this colony the Irish have
distinguished themselves by their industry, intelligence, enterprise, and
good conduct, as well as that their exertions have for the most part been
rewarded with success; but the satisfaction is greatly enhanced when I
perceive that they retain in this hemisphere those features of the
national character-those noble impulses, those generous emotions, those
genial susceptibilities-which I have been elsewhere accustomed with
loving pride to extol as the attributes of our race."

A second conspicuous feature in the character of the typical
Irish-Australian is the remarkable facility, and the pronounced success,
with which he has adapted himself to the administration of municipal and
parliamentary forms of government in these newly-created states. Coming
from a country in which the fewest possible governing privileges are
grudgingly granted to the people, the signal all-round ability displayed
by the Irish settlers in Australasian, in the work of both local and
general government, is little less than marvellous, considering the
previous absence of any adequate training for such positions of authority
and responsibility. They seem to possess an intuitive acquaintance with
the rules and forms of popular government, and a ready tact by which this
invaluable knowledge becomes easily trans­lated into action for the
benefit of their fellow citizens. Special references have been made in
preceding pages to the number of Irish-Australians who have distinguished
them­selves in the parliamentary arena, but it must not be forgotten that
there are hundreds of their brother Celts all over the colonies doing
equally good and useful work on a less lofty platform as mayors,
presidents and councillors of cities, towns and shires. Many a business
Irishman in Australian centres works hard all day for himself and his
family, and gives his evenings to the service of the community that has
called him to a foremost place in its Town Hall; and many an Irish farmer
in thinly-settled districts travels twelve or fifteen miles at periodical
intervals to take his seat in the shire council, of which he is an
elected member. Facts like these are the strongest possible condemnation
of the traditional policy, which has so long and so unwisely refused to
Irishmen in their own native land, those legislative and municipal
rights, which they have proved themselves fully competent to exercise in
all other English-speaking dominions. As Sir Charles Gavan Duffy once
told a Melbourne audience, " the history of the Irish race in Australia
was one they might fairly be proud of. They exercised a large influence
in public affairs, and he challenged any man to say it was not a
bene­ficial and a salutary one. Every enlargement of Australian liberty
had them for zealous friends; every enemy of Austra­lian rights had t hem
for uncompromising antagonists."

One further characteristic of the Irish in Australia must not be
overlooked, and that is the general good-will, the prevailing amity of
their social relations with their fellow-citizens of other nationalities.
It is unfortunately true that, in times of exceptional political
excitement, it is possible for unscrupulous agitators to raise and profit
by an anti-Irish or anti-Catholic cry, but, viewing the colonies in their
normal condition, the harmony that subsists between the inhabitants of
Irish birth or parentage and the other com­ponent parts of the
population, is one of the most noticeable and gratifying features of
Australian life. In every colonial centre, Irishmen are found associated
on the most amicable terms with their fellow-citizens of other
nationalities in the management of public and charitable institutions,
and in every movement devised for the furtherance of the common weal. Not
a few Irish-Catholic charities in the principal Australasian cities
number Protestant ladies and gentlemen amongst their most generous
patrons and subscribers. This well-known and pleasing fact was once
felicitously referred to by Mr. Dalley, in addressing a Sydney audience,
as '' a proof of their enjoyment of a civilisation which made the efforts
of the intolerant and the fanatical mere exhibitions of im­potent
malignity, which could have no effect whatever upon the actions of the
good and the gentle."

Lady Wilde (" Speranza "), writing a few years ago in a London magazine,
prophesied that "the Australian Irish will in time be as powerful a
people as their American kindred," and expressed her conviction that "
the chances of wealth are even greater in Australia " than in the
republic of the west. The famed poetess of the Young Ireland era went
further, and anticipated a day when the Australian Irish would " return
to green Erin and buy up the estates of the pauperised landlords." This
would certainly be a, sensational dramatic revenge-the evicted coming
back with well-filled purses to enter into possession of the properties
of the once harsh but now humble evictors-but it is by no means beyond
the range of probability, in view of the remarkable rapidity with which
large fortunes have been accumulated in Australia by Irishmen who landed
there with nothing to bless themselves with, save the clothes on their
backs and the few shillings in their dilapidated pockets.

When it is remembered that the marvellous progress detailed in the
foregoing pages, to which Irish brains, courage, and enterprise
contributed so much, has taken place within the lifetime of a single
generation, no one will be surprised at the glowing anticipations in
which many writers have indulged, regarding what the future has in store
for these great southern lands. There is, it must needs be admitted, a
substantial foundation on which the prophet is at liberty to build.
Abounding in vast and still un­developed resources, possessing large
areas of unoccupied territory, blessed with many safe and commodious
harbours, and enjoying the freest of free constitutions, there is nothing
to prevent the Australian colonies becoming, at no distant date, a second
America, a national safety-valve, a home for millions. Manhood suffrage
is the almost universal law, and no restriction whatever is placed, nor
would it be tolerated for an instant, on the free and untrammelled
exercise of the franchise. Practically, every man who can sign his name,
and is not suffering under any legal disability, has a potential voice in
the making of the laws by which he is governed. It is to the operation of
this grand principle, that the Irishmen of the antipodes have been
enabled to exert their due influence on the conduct of public affairs; to
send, as representatives to their local parliaments, men of ability
chosen from their own ranks; and, on occasions, by the weight of their
united sentiment and generous indignation, have succeeded in keeping off
the colonial statute-book some of those legislative enactments that have
been productive of lamentable evils in the land of their birth. The
Celtic element of the Australian population has, in fine, proved a
valuable factor in the work of building up new states, and founding free,
intelligent and enlightened communities beneath the Southern Cross.



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