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Title: The Coming of the British to Australia 1788 to 1829
Author: Ida Lee (Mrs. Charles Bruce Marriott)
* A Project Gutenberg Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 0900091.txt
Language: English
Date first posted: January 2009
Date most recently updated: January 2009

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Title: The Coming of the British to Australia 1788 to 1829
Author: Ida Lee (Mrs. Charles Bruce Marriott)

First Governor-General of the Commonwealth


[Illustration 0900091h-01: Monument to Captain Cook at Sydney.]


Australia has reached an interesting stage in her history. She has
completed the first five years of her life as a Commonwealth, a
sufficiently long period for her to gain a consciousness of her duties
and her destinies as a united nation. The volume of her annals up to the
1st of January, 1901, while she was still composed of separate Colonies,
is finished. But it is not closed and done with. On the contrary, its
early chapters have acquired a new meaning and value. Australians should
look, backwards as well as forwards. They will find in the records of
the discovery and settlement of their country guidance and inspiration
for the future. They will understand more clearly how their land and
people have been moulded and fashioned in their present shape by
climate, soil and circumstances. They will also be reminded, should that
be necessary, how old and close and intimate are the ties that bind them
to the Mother Country.

The narrative of the Old Colony Days, which the author has prepared,
will be found fascinating in style, accurate in statement, and fair in
judgment. The tale of the first discovery and settlement of Australia is
one long romance of pioneering. We share the enthusiasm of the early
voyagers, as they trace the outlines of the island continent. We read of
the first impressions made on the mind of Dampier and of Cook by the
peculiar flora or fauna of the country, and by the not less singular
appearance and customs of the aborigines. Then we are introduced to the
early Governors, all of them sailors or soldiers. To them Australia owes
much, for they laid deep and wide the foundations of the future

Mrs. Marriott describes the foundation of the early fortunes of some of
the older settlements, and the beginnings of Victoria and Queensland,
Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. She has notes on the
first churches; the first regiments; the bushrangers and the police of
the good old times. She gives a vigorous sketch of the physical
features, and of the animal and vegetable life of the country.

To Australians, the volume should be of absorbing interest; to other
citizens of the Empire, much pleasure and profit should come by a
perusal of it; and, as an educational work for the rising generation, it
should be most valuable, as it appears to be specially adapted for a
reading-book in schools.

Higginsfield, Cheshire, April 1906.





Australia--The country disappointing to its first explorers--Captain
Arthur Phillip--The first fleet--Botany Bay--First meeting with the
natives--Removal to Port Jackson--Founding of Sydney--Arrival of La
Perouse--Phillip's voyage to Broken Bay--The planting of the first
grain--Description of the kangaroo--The aborigines--Their character and
mode of Life--Attack on the _Fly_--Opossum hunting--Gathering
honey--Native method of fishing--Canoes--Native weapons--Rock
Paintings--Native beliefs--Attempted attack on the settlement--Disaster
to H.M.S. Guardian--Governor Phillip wounded--Matthew Flinders and
George Bass--Captain Vancouver--Tasmania visited--Bass reaches Port
Western--Discovery of the Mount Keira coalfield--Flinders and Bass
circumnavigate Tasmania


Arthur Phillip--His early career--Appointed by Lord Sydney--Lord Howe's
letter--Success of the voyage--Proves to be an excellent ruler--Francis
Grose--William Paterson--John Hunter--His previous career--Encourages
exploration--His hunt of the wild cattle--Philip Gidley King--His
difficulties with the New South Wales Corps--William Bligh--His
incompetence as a ruler--Prosecution of Captain Macarthur--The governor
deposed and sent out of the colony--George Johnston--Joseph
Foveaux--William Paterson again acts as governor--Lachlan Macquarie--His
masterful ways and enlightened policy--His attempts to reform the
currency--Thomas Makdougall Brisbane--His distinguished career as a
soldier--His devotion to astronomy--Founds Parramatta
observatory--Encourages immigration--Improves the breed of
horses--Difficulties with the currency--William Stewart, acting
governor--Ralph Darling--His troubles with the press--Encourages
exploration--Attacked by Wentworth--Peter Cunningham's eulogy of Darling


Site of the city--Its narrow streets--Parramatta--The first land
grants--The first settlers--Flocks and herds begin to flourish--The
printing press first used--Architecture--Storehouses and
factories--Péron's description of Sydney--Froude's impressions


The _Lady Nelson_--Built with centreboards--Her voyage out under James
Grant--Traces the north coast for some distance west of Western
Port--Ordered to continue his explorations--John Murray appointed to the
command--Discovery of Port Phillip--The French expedition--Napoleon's
objects--Voyage of the _Géographe_ and _Naturaliste_--Flinders reaches
Australia in the _Investigator_--Surveys the coast from Cape Leeuwin
eastwards--Meeting with the French in Encounter Bay--Arrives at
Sydney--Sails to survey the eastern and northern coasts--Returns to
Sydney--Wrecked on the voyage home--Returns to Sydney in a boat of his
own building--Again starts for England and is imprisoned at
Mauritius--The French claims to his discoveries fortunately disproved by
prior publication


The mountains described--The many attempts to cross them--Phillip--Tench
and Arndell--Dawes--Tench and Dawes--Tench--Paterson--Hacking--Bass--
Caley--Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth at last succeed--Evans reaches
the Bathurst Plains


Macquarie's road-making policy--His methods contrasted with the old
colonial ways--The Great Western Road--The Great Southern Road--The
Great North Road--Macquarie selects the site for the town of
Bathurst--Evans ordered to survey the Macquarie River--Oxley's
expedition--Discovers the Wellington Valley--His second expedition--His
description of a native burial ground--Allan Cunningham north of
Bathurst--Oxley explores the Brisbane River--Sturt and Hume discover the
Darling River--Sturt explores the Murrumbidgee and reaches Lake
Alexandrina--Mitchell's explorations


The old parishes--The Cow Pastures--The Hunter River and Newcastle--The
Hawkesbury floods--Macquarie's townships--Liverpool--Campbell
Town--Goulburn--Parramatta--Bathurst as a centre of
exploration--Governor Darling's visit in 1829--Wellington--Western
Port--Tasmania--The Tasmanian natives--Mosquito, the native
bushranger--Governor Arthur's attempt to localise the
natives--Robinson's remarkable scheme succeeds--Hume and Hovell's
discoveries--Second attempt to reach Port Phillip by sea--Philip King's
voyage to North-Western Australia--Port Essington--Melville
Island--Voyages of the Mermaid--A very much ship-wrecked
mariner--Western Australia--Norfolk Island


The early settlers--Their houses and estates--Attack on Campbell's house
at Goimbla--A cattle station in the bush--The natives of the Bathurst
district--Their primitive beliefs--Their intelligence and
character--Disputes with the settlers as to ownership of the
land--Cattle stealing--Native method of cooking mutton--The chiefs at
Bathurst--The corroboree mourning customs--Native modes of
burial--Native songs--Canoes--A commissioner of Crown Lands crosses a
river--The natives as hunters


The Marines--The New South Wales Corps--The 73rd--The Royal Veteran
Corps--The 46th--The 48th--The Buff's--The 40th--The 57th--Death of
Captain Logan--The 39th--Bushrangers--Poaching of cattle--Bush
constables--Mounted police--Appointment of Captain Forbes


The first chaplain--Richard Johnson--Builds the first church--It is
burnt down--Services held in a store--Service held at the Orphan
School--Samuel Marsden arrives--Building of St. Philip's--The first
church at Parramatta--Henry Fulton--Marsden visits England--William
Cowper--Robert Cartwright--Marsden as a farmer--Marsden founds a
mission station in New Zealand--St. Philip's at Sydney enlarged--St.
Matthew's, Windsor--Christ Church, Newcastle--The first churches at the
Castlereagh, at the Hawkesbury, at Campbelltown, at Port Macquarie, at
Bathurst--St. James's, Sydney--Archdeaconry of New South Wales
formed--Bishop Heber--Thomas Hobbes Scott appointed first
archdeacon--Number and character of the churches--Prominent
laymen--Captain Wallis--Sir Edward Parry the arctic explorer--His life
at Port Stephens--Lady Darling--Roman Catholic churches--Presbyterian
churches--Dr. Lang--The Wesleyans


General view of the continent--Traces of volcanic action--Its harbours
and inland valleys, due to marine denudation--Snow on the
mountains--Bush fires--Grain and the weeds--Gardening--Gardens of Port
Jackson--Trees--Grasses--Wildflowers--The horse and its
riders--Mustering cattle--Hunting--The dingo--Fruit-bats and their
devastations--Birds--Familiar names of unfamiliar species--Conclusion

APPENDIX. List of towns and stations and the distance in miles from


* * *


[Images of the illustrations can be found in the html
version of this ebook at ]

01 Monument to Captain Cook at Sydney

02 William Dampier

03 William Dampier reaches Australia

04 Captain Cook

05 The First Known Pictures of Australia. Wreck of the Dutch
Ship _Batavia_ near Geraldton, West Australia, in 1628

06 Captain Cook lands in New South Wales. (From an old print, 1807)

07 Sydney Heads

08 Natives fishing at Port Jackson

09 Sydney Natives climbing Trees

10 Tracing of an Egyptian Missile which was supposed by some old Writers to
resemble the Boomerang

11 Natives of Australia smoking out the Opossum

12 Natives fishing with the Fiz-gig

13 Captain Phillip finds the Carvings on the Rocks at Sydney. (From an old
print, 1807)

14 Cave Drawing discovered by Sir George Grey in West Australia

15 Cave Drawing discovered by Sir George Grey in West Australia

16 Count de la Pérouse, the French Navigator who reached Botany Bay Six
Days after Captain Phillip had anchored there, and afterwards landed in

17 Arthur Phillip, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of New South

18 Bennilong, one of the Natives who accompanied Governor Phillip to

19 Captain John Hunter

20 Captain Philip Gidley King

21 Captain William Bligh. (By kind permission of Messrs. H Graves
and Co., Ltd.)

22 Major-General Lachlan Macquarie

23 Sir Thomas Brisbane

24 Sir Ralph Darling

25 Sydney Cove. (From an early painting)

26 Sydney. (As Péron saw it)

27 The _Lady Nelson_. (By kind permission of Messrs. Longmans, Green,
and Co.)

28 An Exploring Party with Phillip and Hunter. (From a sketch by Captain

29 Australian Natives spearing Parrots in the Blue Mountains

30 Sketch Map of the Country West of the Blue Mountains. (Discovered by G.
W. Evans)

31 A Native Chief of Bathurst. (From "Oxley's Explorations")

32 Devices carved by the Natives on the Trees at Wellington

33 Lachlan River at Condobolin

34 The Tank Stream, Sydney

34a A Road through the Forest in Tasmania

35 Captain Cook landing at Adventure Bay, Tasmania. (By R. Caton Woodville)

36 Vlamingh's Plate Giving an Inscription of Hartog's Plate Found by Him on
Dirk Hartog Island, and also a Second Inscription of His Own.

37 Natives of Australia on Trial

38 Native Burial Ground near Wellington, N. S. Wales. (From "Oxley's

39 Natives spearing the Kangaroo

40 The 3rd Regiment of Buffs in 1823

40a Government Notice re Bushrangers

41 St. Philip's Church, Sydney

42 St. John's Church, Parramatta

43 Windsor Church

44 Holy Trinity Church, Kelso (Old Bathurst)

45 Richmond Church

46 Bishop Reginald Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, under which See the Diocese
of New South Wales was placed by Royal Charter in 1823

47 St. Leonard's Church

48 Rear-Admiral Sir W. Edward Parry

49 The Scotch Church, Parramatta

50 The Opossum

51 The Vampire

52 The Duck-billed Platypus

53 The Wonga-Wonga Pigeon

54 The Giant Kingfisher

55 The Emu

* * *


The colonisation of Australia has been entirely the work of the British,
Whatever may have been the nationality of its first discoverer, its
subsequent development has been under the British flag alone.

Thevet, the French geographer, as far back as 1550, tells us of the
discovery of an Austral Land by an English pilot, but who the pilot was,
is not easy to affirm, nor is there as yet positive proof that the
Austral Land was Australia. So far as is known the first Englishman to
visit the continent was William Dampier who arrived on the north-western
coasts in the _Cygnet_ commanded by Swan, the buccaneer, in January, 1688.

Following him after a long interval, in 1770, came Captain James Cook,
in H.M.S. _Endeavour_, who, as has been told so often and with so much
detail, after circumnavigating New Zealand, examined the whole of the
eastern coast of Australia and gave it the name of New South Wales from
a supposed resemblance to the South Wales of Great Britain.

Australia appears, however, to have been disappointing to its first
discoverers. Not only was it much smaller than had been imagined by
geographers, but it was found wanting in the natural productions
necessary for the welfare of Europeans. Compared with the first points
of land reached in America, it was barren and unfruitful. The Dutch
would not have neglected their discoveries on the west coast had they
not believed the descriptions of their seamen, who spoke of the "barren,
sandy shores and wild, rocky coasts inhabited by naked black people,
malicious and cruel". Besides these rocks and barren sand hills there
seems to have been little for the Dutch to describe; the other details
in the old journals only tell of mishaps to their ships, and the
difficulty of finding fresh water.

Dampier's account is more interesting. In it we obtain glimpses of "the
land of indifferent height with many gentle risings neither steep nor
high--with white sand near the shore, but further inland red,--producing
grass in great tufts, with heath and shrubs about ten feet high having
their tops covered with leaves...and bushes of divers sorts with yellow
flowers, or blossoms, some blue and some white--most of them with a very
fragrant smell"[*]. This description answers to many a spot on the
western coast. Yet neither the English nor the Dutch (after 1628)
attempted to colonise it.

[* _Trigonella suavissima_. "Exactly resembling new mown hay in perfume
which it gives out even in the freshest state of verdure. When at sea
off Cape Leuwin in September, 1827, after a three months' voyage I was
sensible of a perfume from the shore" (see Mitchell's _East Australia_,
vol. ii., p. 65).]

[Illustration: 0900091h-02 William Dampier.]

[Illustration: 0900091h-03 William Dampier reaches Australia.]

In the log of his first voyage Cook has told us simply and faithfully in
sailor language what the eastern coast appeared to him. He saw its long
low shores "all white with sand" fringed with foaming surf and farther
off the Blue Mountains, part of the Great Dividing Range, which as they
roll back from the moving waves, appear a finer sea of richer blue
although they here "look out upon the greatest and deepest mass of water
on the globe--the Tasman Sea and South Pacific". It was not until
twenty-eight years after Cook and Banks had seen and written so
favourably upon the newly discovered land that the British Government
attempted to make use of their discoveries.

The loss of the American colonies induced the authorities to turn their
attention to these distant possessions. The first proposal, made by Mr.
Matra, afterwards British consul at Tangiers, to form a settlement as a
home for the loyal Americans who, during the War of Independence, had
lost their fortunes in supporting the king's cause, was favoured by Lord
Sydney. The latter, however, saw its usefulness for another purpose,
and suggested it as a suitable region for the reception of criminals
condemned to transportation, a class formerly sent to the American

[Illustration: 0900091h-04 James Cook.]

[Illustration: 0900091h-05 The First Known Pictures of Australia. Wreck of the Dutch
Ship _Batavia_ near Geraldton, West Australia, in 1628.]

The French, at this time, were also preparing to form settlements in the
Pacific. Owing to their activity, the Sydney scheme was the more readily
accepted and, in August, 1786, orders were given to equip an expedition.
Captain Arthur Phillip, R. N., was selected by Lord Sydney for the
command, and appointed "governor and commander-in-chief of the territory
of New South Wales and of his Majesty's ships and vessels on that
coast". No time was lost and a fleet left England in 1787, consisting of
H.M.S. _Sirius_,[*] frigate. Captain John Hunter, and H.M.S. _Supply_,
tender, under Lieutenant Ball, with three store ships and six transports
carrying the prisoners, making about 1,163 persons. H.M.S. _Hyaena_
bore the vessels company for some little distance, returning to England
with despatches from Captain Phillip, while the fleet, touching for
supplies at Teneriffe, Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope,
directed its course to New South Wales.

[* The _Sirius_ was originally _The Berwick_ and intended for the East
India Company. Meeting with an accident by fire she was purchased by the
Government and her name changed. She was of about 520 tons burden.]

At Rio plants and seeds, amongst others, of coffee, cotton, banana,
orange, lemon, guava, tamarind, prickly pear, pineapple and ipecacuanha
were obtained. At the Cape other seeds and fig-trees, sugar-canes,
bamboos, Spanish reeds, various grape vines, apple, pear, quince and
oak-trees, myrtle shrubs and strawberry plants were placed in the ships,
and in the space of a month 500 domestic animals, chiefly cattle and
horses, were taken on board.

[Illustration: 0900091h-06 Captain Cook lands in New South Wales. (From an old
print, 1807.)]

On 25th November when eighty leagues eastward of the Cape, Captain
Phillip left the _Sirius_, and went on board the _Supply_, taking with
him Lieutenants King and Dawes of the Marines, with all the best
engineers and artificers, to hurry on and choose a place for the
reception of the fleet. The three fastest vessels followed in his wake,
while Hunter, in the _Sirius_, took charge of the remaining transports.

Since Cook coasted the eastern shores no ships had visited that part of
Australia. The natives had probably forgotten all about the coming of
the white men in the _Endeavour_ until, early one midsummer morning, on
18th January, 1788, the _Supply_ arrived.

The first impressions of the place were disappointing. The green meadows
described by Banks were found to be barren swamps and sterile sands,
owing doubtless to a drought that had befallen the country; and the
bay itself, although extensive, was exposed to the full sweep of
easterly winds which blew violently and rolled a heavy sea that broke
with tremendous surf against the shore.

Owing to the many shallows the _Supply_ was compelled to anchor a little
distance from land. Some forty natives were fishing near the south
shore. When they saw the ship they ran along the beach and appeared to
be greatly frightened. Dragging their canoes out of the water, the men
placed them upon their backs and ran off with them into the bush, while
the women saw that none of the little children or any fishing tackle was
left behind. A few bolder spirits remained and ventured down to the
water's edge, brandishing spears of amazing length, clubs, sticks and
wooden pommellers of a vast weight, and in threatening attitudes shouted
"Warra, warra," "Warra, warra"--"Begone, begone"--at those in the
ship, exactly the same words that Captain Cook had heard the natives use
years before when the _Endeavour_ anchored in Botany Bay, words which
neither he nor Tupia could understand.

On the north side of the bay only six or seven natives were observed,
so it was at this point that, during the day, Captain Phillip with
Lieutenants Ball, King and Dawes of the Marines, prepared to land. In
consequence of the hostility of the small band of blacks who kept up a
continuous attack with stones, the sailors, to avoid a quarrel, rowed
along the shore for some little distance until the boat came to a spot
where Phillip thought he would find water. The search was unsuccessful,
and about sunset the party re-embarked and rowed back to that part of
the beach opposite which the _Supply_ had anchored.

More natives, armed with spears and waddies, had gathered there and
gazed in wonder at the ship. Phillip beckoned to them and by signs told
them that he wanted water; but they still gazed on. Growing impatient
Phillip sprang out of the boat, handed his musket to the man nearest him
and, without showing the slightest fear, walked towards the black men,
offering presents in order to show them his friendly intentions. Seeing
at last that the governor frequently waved his hand to his own party to
retire, one of the oldest blacks came forward and giving his lance to a
younger man advanced alone.

When the natives understood what Phillip wanted they placed their spears
and clubs upon the ground and led the governor and his party to a
rivulet of fresh water. This party of blacks appeared peaceably
inclined, but on Phillip's return to the beach other natives were found
gathered who seemed to resent the landing strongly, and to reach the
boat it became necessary to fire off a gun, which quickly dispersed

On the following day, 19th January, three transports, which the _Supply_
had outsailed, arrived, and reported that the hay for the cattle on
board was almost exhausted. A small party was consequently sent to cut
grass for the animals and Captain Phillip made a tour of the south of
the bay, his visit of the day before having been to the northern side.
In this second expedition the governor saw the inhabitants again and
advanced alone to meet them. A green branch was used by both parties as
a sign of friendship, and the blacks also threw down their lances to
show they were amicably disposed. Meanwhile the sailors gave the natives
pieces of coloured flannel, red baize, paper cut like stars, and beads,
with which they promptly adorned themselves, binding the baize round
their heads and causing considerable amusement to their comrades. They
showed that they were excellent mimics and could take off the marines to
perfection. The sound of the fife delighted them; but when the drum was
played they hastily fled into the woods and would not return until it
ceased. The headgear of the strangers seemed also to please them, and
several hats were stolen from their owners' heads, and whenever an
Englishman took off his hat they gave shouts of approval.

The governor displayed great energy in his attempts to conciliate the
Australians and to explore the country. With two boats he coasted along
the shore for twelve or fourteen miles and found two rivers, one running
in a north-easterly direction, the other seeming to trend to the
south-west. As he was going up the former stream for some six miles
numbers of natives were seen, some fishing in their canoes, others
drying the fish on the banks. A few large fish (snapper), were hanging
from the trees. The natives ran away as the British approached, and made
a curious noise as they hid themselves in the wood. For the first time
it was noticed that they possessed dogs covered with long shaggy hair.
As the boat returned down the river the blacks reappeared on the banks,
running and shouting "Warra, warra" as before. There were some miserable
huts to the south-west, and the country beyond appeared to be very

"Heavy in clouds came on the day" (20th January) of the arrival of
Hunter in the _Sirius_ with the remainder of the fleet. "To us," wrote
Captain Tench, "it was a great and important day and I hope will mark
the foundation...of an empire."

[Illustration: 0900091h-07 Sydney Heads]

The stream of fresh water on the north side of the bay which the natives
had shown Phillip proved a fairly good one, but the approach was so
narrow and covered with undergrowth that it was with difficulty the
boat could be forced along. The banks proved soft and spongy and unfit
for building operations. Point Sutherland, where the best water was to
be had, was unapproachable by the ships. For these and other reasons
Phillip determined to find a better and more convenient landing spot.
Accompanied by Collins and Hunter, he set out from Botany Bay on 21st
January, in three open boats to survey the coast higher up. An opening
marked Port Jackson on Cook's chart first attracted notice, and the
governor determined to explore it. The weather was mild and clear, and
the boats sailed close to the land until they reached the two rocky
headlands which guard the entrance. Both the headlands were very steep,
the sea breaking on the rocks with great force and sending showers of
spray into the air. The wild cries of the natives on the cliffs above
were heard as the white men entered the harbour.

Gesticulating and shouting the natives followed the boats for some
distance. But the long heavy swell of the ocean subsided and the shouts
of the blacks and the deafening roar of the surf grew fainter as the
sailors found themselves crossing smooth clear water and beheld in front
of them a most beautiful harbour around which were bays and coves with
yellow sands and rocky points, many of them covered with soft green
foliage to the water's edge. Farther away were hills on which grew
tall trees with leaves of faint green like those noticed along the outer
coasts. The governor was struck with the loveliness of the scene, and as
he had found a safe harbour and both wood and water he decided to make
it the site of his settlement. The spot chosen was at the head of the
cove near a spring which stole silently through a thick wood, the
stillness of which was for the first time broken by the sound of an axe.

The cove was given the name of Sydney in honour of Thomas Townshend,
Lord Sydney, then Home Secretary in Pitt's government. To him Phillip
wrote: "We got into Port Jackson early in the afternoon and had the
satisfaction of finding the finest harbour in the world in which a
thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security ". He
called the stream of fresh water the Tanks, known later as the Tank

Three days were spent in surveying Port Jackson and many of the
aborigines grew well disposed towards the white men, while a chief, who
went along with Phillip to inspect the camp where the men were boiling
meat for dinner, gave evidence of both intelligence and courage. At
another point a party of twenty natives waded into the water to receive
the gifts offered them, and showed such manly trustfulness in the
British sailors that the governor afterwards gave the spot the name of
Manly Cove.

On the evening of the 23rd Phillip returned to Botany Bay and directions
were given to prepare to proceed to Port Jackson. On the following
morning there appeared in the bay two strange vessels the arrival of
which in this far-off land caused great surprise. They were not, as
some at first thought, Dutch ships or store ships, but two French
men-of-war, the _Boussole_ and _Astrolabe_ under the Count de la
Pérouse, then on a voyage of discovery. Phillip recollected that they
had left France in 1785, some two years before the English fleet had
sailed. La Pérouse knew of the intended settlement at Port Jackson and
told Phillip that he had heard of it at Kamchatka and expected to find a
town built, and a market established. Visits were exchanged, and the
British prepared to move on to Sydney, while the French remained at
Botany to overhaul their ships and take in water and provisions before
continuing their voyage. They had last left Samoa where at the island of
Maouna they had lost De l'Angle, commander of the _Astrolabe_, with
several other officers and seamen and both their long boats in an attack
made by natives while searching for water. La Pérouse had sailed thence
to Botany Bay guided by Cook's chart, which lay before him on the
binnacle, and on his way had anchored off Norfolk Island but had not
landed on account of the surf.

During their stay the French were not idle. The officers pitched their
tent on shore, set up a small observatory, and put together the frames
of two large boats which they had brought from Europe. Their chaplain,
Pere Receveur, who had acted as their naturalist, shortly after landing
died of wounds received at the hands of the Samoans. They nailed two
pieces of board to a tree as a memorial, and when in time these fell
off, Phillip replaced them with a plate of copper which, in turn, gave
place to the present monument, the expense of which was partly defrayed
in 1825 by the French officers in the expedition under De Bougainville.

After a stay of seven days at Botany Bay, Phillip sailed in the _Supply_
to Port Jackson. Captain Hunter followed next day, and the passage
taking only a few hours, the convoy entered the harbour on a bright and
beautiful evening and anchored in deep water close to the head of Sydney
Cove, On the following day, 27th January, the landing was effected.

The first undertaking was to clear the ground and erect houses, the
framework of which had been brought from England. Meanwhile the
settlers encamped in tents and under the trees "in a country resembling
the woody parts of a deer park in England"; and, to begin with, there
was a good deal of confusion mingled with amusement at the novel
experiences. In one place were "a party cutting down wood, another
setting up a forge, a third dragging a load of provisions; here stood an
officer pitching his tent, with his troops parading on one side of him
and a cook's fire blazing furiously on the other ". On the Sunday after
landing divine service was held under the shade of a large tree at which
the Rev. Richard Johnson, chaplain to the settlement, officiated.

On 7th February, the judge advocate read before the whole community the
proclamation and took possession of the colony of New South Wales in the
name of Great Britain and appointed Captain Phillip governor-in-chief
with Major Ross as lieutenant-governor; at the same time letters patent
were issued for establishing courts of civil and criminal judicature
and a vice-admiralty court for the trial of offences committed on the
high seas.

Phillip, having seen that his orders were being carried out, started to
explore the country along the coast, and, in March, with a long boat and
cutter, made an expedition to Broken Bay; but the rain and the
difficulty of working among deep mud and sandbanks prevented him from
making a detailed survey. The land there appeared to be higher than at
Port Jackson; a fine harbour was discovered, and some interviews with
the natives took place. On 10th March, amid the regrets of the whole
community, the French ships sailed; their course took them to Tasmania
and ended in their being wrecked on the coral reef off Vanikoro, north
of the New Hebrides, where their remains were found in 1826, their fate
having been a mystery for nearly forty years.

One of the first orders Captain Phillip gave, as soon as land enough had
been cleared, was to plant the rice, wheat and barley purchased at Rio
and the Cape, the first land cultivated being at Farm Cove. The harvest
was bad, and none of the larger plants throve or came to maturity. The
pasture was so thin and poor that of their forty-four sheep, thirty four
died before the ships which had brought out the expedition left Sydney,
and the cattle, much reduced during the voyage, did little better. Six
of the herd, through the neglect of their keepers, strayed into the bush
in June. Five hundred men were sent in pursuit for some fifteen miles,
but no trace of the cattle could be found and the general opinion was
that the natives had driven them farther up into the country.

All the stock were kept upon the East Ridge of the cove. The natives
took a lively interest in their disembarkation and cried out "Kangaroo!"
again and again when they saw the sheep. The pigs seemed to thrive better
than the other animals, and multiplied exceedingly; twenty-eight were
originally landed, but five of these, which were in a pen beneath a large
tree, were soon afterwards killed by lightning. Thunderstorms were very
frequent in this year (1788) and the effect of the lightning visible on
every hill was most startling. During the first six months three
earthquakes were felt, the most severe happening on 22nd June, in the
forenoon, when the settlement was clouded in sulphurous vapour for some
time after the shock.

On 4th June, 1788, that portion of the settlement lying between the
northernmost point of Broken. Bay and the southernmost point of Botany
Bay, and extending westwards to the Lansdowne and Carmarthen Hills was
named the county of Cumberland. At the same time in honour of the king's
birthday the usual salutes were fired, and, as there was plenty of
timber, bonfires were made in the evening, according to the old English
custom, to celebrate the occasion.

From time to time many large birds appeared in the harbour, and brown
wedge-tailed eagles from the interior were seen as well as parrots and
other bright plumaged birds, but all of them kept well out of danger.
Near Sydney, the fish locally known as bream and mackerel were commonly
caught, and they formed the chief food supply.

To the British when they first arrived in New South Wales, as to Dampier
when he visited the western coast, the most remarkable animal was the
kangaroo, quaintly described as "a quadruped as large as a sheep, the
neck, head and shoulders small in proportion to the remainder of the
body, the tail long and going off to a point...The fore-legs only
measure eight inches long and are kept bent close under the breast and
seem to be only used for digging in the ground, for the animal never
walks but leaps like a frog in an erect posture; the hind legs are near
twenty-two inches long and serve to make a seat for the animal which is
always discovered in that posture when he is not leaping along. The skin
is grey, of a mouse colour, the ears are like those of a hare, and the
flesh is like venison only with a brackish taste." The great grey
kangaroo, the finest of the group, is probably the one thus described.
It feeds upon the native grasses and the leaves of shrubs, possesses an
acute sense of hearing, and is wonderfully swift in its spring; the
older ones are very wary, and it is seldom that an "old man" kangaroo is
taken. The skin, when tanned, is valuable for its elasticity and
softness. The rock wallaby is smaller, being only about three feet in
length, while the kangaroo rat is about twice the size of an English
water mole.

We learn from the earliest records that the Australian aborigines at
Sydney Cove varied in height from about five feet four inches to five
feet nine inches, but some would measure six feet. The men were of
slight build and fairly well made, the women scarcely so tall. Generally
speaking they had the projecting brows, broad noses, wide mouths and
thick lips which led the colonists to compare them to the negro; but
their hair and beards were short and curly, not woolly, their eyes dark
hazel, and their skin a deepish brown. They appeared to practise curious
ceremonies such as punching out the two front teeth on the right side of
the upper jaw of the men, and the amputation of the joints of the'
little finger of the left hand of the girls who were appointed to catch
fish for the tribe; while scars upon the body seemed to be considered

In course of time the colonists became acquainted with the character and
mode of life of the Australian natives at Port Jackson. They made no
attempt to cultivate the ground, but depended for food wholly on the
fruits, roots and animals the country produced. Fishing, indeed, seemed
to occupy most of their time, probably because it yielded their chief
sustenance, and also because it afforded them sport. They seldom ate
food raw unless pressed by hunger; and broiled their meat, fish and
vegetables, many of the last being poisonous to white men. The natives
appeared to feel the cold acutely, and when not round the fire sheltered
themselves in bad weather among the caves and rocks. In winter they
slept in round huts constructed of boughs and bark about four feet high
and open on one side only.

Many quarrels occurred between the settlers and the blacks, and the
white men would, perhaps, have been more severe upon the aborigines for
their depredations had not several settlers been convicted in the year
1800 of the murder of a native boy. Before that year Europeans at the
Hawkesbury River had their huts burned, their stock stolen, and their
cornfields despoiled by members of the tribe. The settlers were
compelled to use their firearms and a reward was offered for the head of
the chief of this tribe, and was afterwards claimed when his head was
brought into Sydney.

[Illustration: 0900091h-08 Natives Fishing at Port Jackson]

In April, 1808, the _Fly_, a Government vessel, sought refuge at
Bateman's Bay from bad weather, and three of her crew were landed to
search for water; it was arranged that in case of danger a musket should
be fired. The men had left their boat when the seashore became suddenly
thronged with natives. The musket was accordingly discharged, and the
sailors, reaching the boat, were putting off when they were assailed by
a flight of spears. The three unfortunate men fell back dead from their
oars. Seizing-the boat the savages went off in it together with several
canoes to attack the ship; and they were so numerous that the crew cut
the cable of the _Fly_ and made for the open sea.

Once the natives grew familiar with the presence of the Europeans, they
gave less trouble in Sydney. Their principal acts of hostility were to
expel the white men from the fishing grounds which they justly believed
to be their own property. Crops were sometimes set on fire, possibly
more through ignorance than malice. A settler at Parramatta once noticed
a chief passing too near his haystacks with a lighted firebrand. He
called to him and spoke to him about the danger of fire, but the chief
calmly replied: "The country is ours, we must have our fire, so you must
take care of your corn".

When Cook saw notches in the trees he probably did not know that they
were made by the natives when searching for food. This method of
hunting is only practised by the Australian aborigines. The opossum,
kangaroo rat, flying squirrel and other animals which live in the trunks
of hollow trees were obtained in this manner. Most of them, being
nocturnal in their habits, sleep during the day, and therefore become an
easy prey to the hunter, who can tell by the freshness of the scratches
on the stem of the tree when the animal ascended it. What expert
climbers the aborigines were may be guessed by the height of the trees,
the blue gum, measuring sometimes over sixty feet in one smooth shaft.
Unslinging his stone hatchet from his belt the native prepared to
climb the tree, cutting notches as he ascended. The first and second
notches were cut as he stood on the ground, the first notch being level
with the thigh on the left hand, the second opposite the right shoulder;
the two cuts were made with the hatchet to form each notch, one
slanting, the other horizontal. Into these the big toe of each foot was
inserted while the climber, stretching his arm round the tree, made the
ascent to the uppermost outlet, where he waited until the rest of his
party had set fire to the dried grass or reeds which filled the lower
part of the trunk. Then the animal, in its _Endeavour_ to escape from
the smoke, rushed up the hollow trunk through, the hole at the top, to
be promptly killed by the native watching for him. When cutting the
notches the whole weight of the climber rested on the toe, and in moving
upwards he held the hatchet between his teeth. The hatchets used before
the coming of the white men were of stone, but afterwards iron ones took
their place.

[Illustration: 0900091h-09 Sydney Natives Climbing Trees]

Of all the natural produce of the forest there was nothing-the natives
liked better than wild honey, and in traversing the woods, their eyes
were almost always looking up into the trees in search of it. This
almost black honey was the produce of a small stingless bee which made
its hive in the hollow trees. It was obtained in much the same fashion
as the opossums, but when the bees made their hives in the slender
branches the gin (or woman) being the lighter climber usually did the
work. She would wind her left arm round the body of the trunk, holding
the hatchet between her teeth, and would, if she could reach the hive,
place the honeycomb in a sort of calabash slung round her neck, but if
not she would lop off the branch, letting it fall at her husband's feet.
The natives ate the honey as they found it and made a beverage of the
refuse comb called "bull" which possessed intoxicating properties.

Throughout New South Wales the throwing stick and spear served the
purposes of the bow and arrow of other nations. The natives at Sydney
also carried shields, painted red and white, oval or triangular in
shape, made of the outside of hard wood, the bark being left on, making
them almost impenetrable. The best known weapon was the boomerang of
which there were several kinds, some for throwing at birds or animals,
some for war, some so contrived that after circling through the air for
several feet they would return to the thrower if they did not strike
anything in their course. Some writers have dwelt on the similarity
between the boomerang and a missile used by the ancient Egyptians for
killing ducks as represented on the walls at Thebes. The annexed
illustration of this missile may therefore be of interest as showing
that the resemblance, if any, is somewhat distant.

[Illustration: 0900091h-10 Tracing of an Egyptian Missile which was Supposed by Some
Old Writers to Resemble a Boomerang]

When only a small child the Australian black learns to notice the
faintest tread on the grass, or on the bare soil, from a stone upturned
or from the broken dry leaves, to know how many men have passed and how
long since. As a child he is taught to catch a native bee at the
waterside, to attach to it the soft tiny white feather or thistledown
and when he sets it free to follow, running swiftly to find the hive.
Hiding' in the grass or reeds he lies waiting patiently for hours for
the wood pigeon or brush kangaroo, while the men of the tribe spread
themselves in a circle at some distance, hidden by the boughs of the
trees, until they can with certainty spear the marsupial, when the boy
rushes in to help deal the deathblow. In the rivers where the large fish
gleam the black boy learns to swim and dive and sometimes spears a fish,
taking his aim from the white boulders in the middle of the stream.

[Illustration: 0900091h-11 Natives of Australia smoking out the Opossum.]

The natives, according to the old reports, caught their fish in several
ways; first by the hook and line, in which sport the females also
joined, one girl in each family being entrusted with the duty; secondly
with a net or seine; and thirdly by means of weirs. The hooks were of
pearl oyster-shell, cut or ground to the required shape, and the lines
were made from the bark of trees, beaten until it was fibrous, when the
finest strings were drawn out and twisted into strands of any length.
The best bark for this purpose was that of the currajong tree
(_Sterculia diversifolia_). From the same fibrous bark the nets were
constructed, the meshes being knotted like, and sometimes quite as
neatly as, those of European fishermen. The natives also fished with the
fiz-gig or fish-gig, a jointed spear which could be made any length from
three up to fifteen feet, and was armed with two, three or four prongs,
each barbed with shell or fish bone.

The canoes of the natives were made of bark in the south, and of hollow
tree-trunks in the north; those of bark had the ends securely lashed
together with vine trailings and were cemented with yellow resin; they
were stretched to the proper width, sometimes having small ribs of wood
or thwarts to keep them open. Occasionally they were made large enough
to carry four persons, and two small paddles were used in propelling
them. These canoes were seldom seen on the fishing grounds without a
fire burning, a heap of seaweed or a sheet of wet bark and mud placed at
one end of the canoe serving the purpose of a hearthstone.

Hunting the kangaroo was the chief sport of the natives around Port
Jackson. The animals were so wild that it was only with great difficulty
the hunters were able to approach them. A number of natives would,
therefore, surround some well-known haunt, and armed with spears try to
drive in the kangaroos which would go springing off, bound after bound,
from ten to twenty feet at a time, and by clearing the bushes many were
able to escape. If the hunters were fortunate enough to catch them they
afforded a sumptuous feast. The brush kangaroo was the species most
hunted by the aborigines of the interior, where, the climate being less
mild, it was prized not only as food but also for its skin.

The spears were made chiefly from young shoots from the root of the
yellow gum, selected with great care; those most easily made were from
the reed or stalk of the grass tree. The spears of each tribe were of a
special pattern recognisable by other tribes. Some were simply pointed;
some were barbed six or seven inches from the point with from half a
dozen to a dozen sharp bits of stone, shell, or bone like a fish-gig;
others had a star cut out of a fish bone at the end. The natives were
expert marksmen and rarely failed to hit their object at fifty or sixty
yards. By the aid of the womerah or throwing-stick, which was a short
piece of wood twenty-four to thirty inches long with the end a little
hooked like the point of a crochet needle to fit into a hollow formed at
the base of the spear, great velocity was given to the weapon. The
womerah was generally ornamented profusely, back and front, and was held
horizontally in the right hand, the stout end of it passing between the
first and second fingers while the finger and thumb supported the spear
in a line above it. The left hand adjusted the elevation, and the aim
was instantaneous, the spear being discharged with a sudden jerk. One of
the simplest Australian weapons was the nulla-nulla, in shape like a
child's rattle, with a sharp rim round the end of the knob, the wood
from which it was made being either myall or myrtle. The leaves of the
wild fig were used for polishing the throwing-sticks, the points of
lances and other weapons; such leaves biting the wood almost as keenly
as the shave grass used by joiners in Europe. Upon many of the rocks
around Sydney and at Broken Bay were examples of the artistic efforts of
the aborigines. Figures of men, birds, fishes, etc., were cut upon them,
but the designs were in general extremely poor and rude, the best,
perhaps, being some which showed the natives either dancing or fighting.
Governor Phillip mentions in his dispatches one drawing, that of a
kangaroo and a figure as if beginning to dance as uncommonly well done,
and Bennett mentions the representation of a sperm whale on a rock
opposite Dawes Battery at Port Jackson. The figures were cut on the
smooth surface of large stones and representations of themselves,
canoes, fish and animals were tolerably good drawings. In other places
there was only a single hand upon a rock; the "white hand" most often
met with was, the natives declared, executed with a mixture of ashes,
burnt shells or pipe-clay; the "red hand" showed the hand large and
brick-red with the fingers widely extended, the pigment, as an old
aboriginal explained, being a mixture of blood and ashes. Mr. Westall,
the artist who was with Captain Flinders, saw similar rude drawing
representing turtles, kangaroos, etc., and human hands on the north
coast near Cape York and the islands close by. Sir George Grey found
others in West Australia which are supposed to have been drawn by
shipwrecked mariners, as one face is that of a European and a figure is
garbed as a priest.

[Illustration: 0900091h-12 Natives Fishing with the Fiz-gig.]

[Illustration: 0900091h-13 Captain Phillip finds the Carvings on the Rocks at
Sydney. (From an old print, 1807.)]

The first aborigines seen by the white men knew nothing of the origin of
these curious paintings, and said that they were the work of "old
people," meaning people of a race extinct before the arrival of
Europeans, and perhaps destroyed in early wars or driven out to another
country. It is possible that these native artists dipped their hands
first in red pigment, then placed them against a rock and left the
impression there. "Red hands" were usually found in dry caves or rock
shelters among the harbours of Port Jackson and Botany Bay. Various
animals such as emus, kangaroos, dingos[*] and opossums, as well as
fishes (snapper and sting-ray), weapons of war, sacred circles, dances
and deities formed picture stories in these rock shelters. They were
drawn as a rule on the fine-grained sandstone which afforded excellent
opportunities. These rock shelters were generally far from trees or
undergrowth; the carvings were sometimes found upon the tops of cliffs
near the sea, and, if in the interior, among the ridges of hills on the
higher tablelands. Occasionally, however, the bare smooth ledge of a
rock on the mountain side or the stepping-stones in the bed of a river
were used by the artist whereon to display his skill.

[* The only domestic animal the people possess is a dog which in their
language is called dingo (see Phillip, _History of New Holland_).]

[Illustration: 0900091h-14 Cave Drawings Discovered by Sir George Grey in West

[Illustration: 0900091h-15 Cave Drawings Discovered by Sir George Grey in West

In these outdoor pictures it would seem as though the object (in the
case of a man or woman) had been traced on its shadow, the stone being
punched or pricked with small holes from one to three inches apart along
the outline and then a groove cut from hole to hole. In the sandstone
drawings, the stone being porous, charcoal and red ochre seemed to have
been most frequently used, white pictures being rarer. The outlines were
at times drawn in a brown tint and fairly broad, the rest of the figure
being filled in with charcoal or red lines on solid black or red colour.
It is difficult to arrive at the age of these drawings, the rate of
decay differing in different rocks and different localities, but many
hundreds of years have undoubtedly elapsed since they were made, and the
colouring matter must have possessed some power which time could not
destroy; in this respect the rock pictures of America and Australia are

Many of the natives painted their bodies with pipeclay and adorned their
hair which was greasy and matted, A curious way of keeping a calendar by
the aborigines in the southern portion of New South Wales was to number
the days in red pigment upon the body of a man. Beginning with the
forefinger of the right hand, the marks were passed up the whole length
of the arm and over the head, then along the left arm to the tip of the
forefinger of the left hand, and it was the duty of this living calendar
to keep the tribe informed of the lapse of days.

The character of the aborigines at Sydney after they came in contact
with Europeans was by no means attractive. Their unprepossessing
appearance--their indolent habits--their cunning and duplicity gave them
a degraded social position from the first; their history was
uninteresting, and they had no records which to Europeans seemed worthy
of study. It has been asserted that no country yet discovered is without
some trace of religion, but apparently the natives of New South Wales
are an exception. They worship neither the sun nor the moon, nor the
stars, nor could there be found, says an old writer, any object that
impelled them to do good or deterred them from committing evil. People,
however, learned that they possessed some idea of a future state, from
the old belief among them that when a black fellow died, "He," as they
expressed it, "tumbled down a black man, but jumped up a white one ".
Colonel Collins, our earliest historian, tells how in order to gain more
insight into their theories upon religious subjects, he questioned
Bennilong, a native who had journeyed to England with Governor Phillip,
as to the black fellows' ideas about death, and another existence.
Bennilong replied that, "The black fellow came from the clouds and
returned to the clouds," but further than this his answers appear to
have afforded Collins little satisfaction.

When the natives saw that the white people had taken up a permanent
residence in their land, their behaviour changed. They withdrew
altogether from the settlement, and seemed to give themselves up to
fishing, probably because they had had so many quarrels with the PVench
during the stay of La Pérouse. During the following five months they
paid only one visit to Sydney, when, according to Captain Tench, in the
middle of the night the sentinels on the East Ridge were alarmed by the
voices of aborigines near their post, and orders were given to take
necessary precautions. When the bells of the ships in the harbour were
struck and the sentinels called out "All's Well" the natives observed
a dead silence for some minutes, though a moment before they had been
talking with earnestness, and soon afterwards quietly departed, having
evidently guessed that the settlement was prepared for an attack.

Port Jackson prospered greatly under the wise rule of Phillip. At first
no serious attempts at agriculture could be made, and grave disaster
through want of provisions more than once threatened. It had been
arranged that the settlement should never be left without twelve
months' provisions, but H.M.S. _Guardian_, a forty-four-gun ship
commanded by Lieutenant Riou, despatched from England in the autumn of
1789 carrying stores, convicts, "and a complete garden for the colony,
prepared under the directions of Sir Joseph Banks," was nearly wrecked
after leaving the Cape of Good Hope. Her enterprising commander on
Christmas Eve met with an iceberg from which he determined to fill his
watercasks, but unfortunately the ship struck one of its submerged
promontories and began to leak so heavily as to be in danger of sinking.
Next day Riou sent away some of his boats to try and reach Table Bay,
but only one of them survived. This was picked up by a French
merchantman, the _Princess of Brittany_, carrying troops, and landed at
the Cape on 18th January, 1790. By skilful seamanship Riou brought the
almost helpless _Guardian_ within sight of land, and on 21st February
two whale boats came out from Table Bay and towed her in. Her
preservation was attributed to the casks in the hold pressing down the
lower deck, the hatchways of which were caulked down, so that she
practically became a raft. With those who remained on board was Mr.
Pitt, afterwards Lord Camelford, to whose influence her commander
probably owed his promotion, he being "the gallant good Riou" of H.M.S.
_Amazon_, mentioned in Campbell's poem, who was killed at Copenhagen and
buried in St. Paul's.

In the meantime the people at Sydney reached the verge of starvation,
and only kept themselves alive by shooting and fishing. Vessels were
despatched to Batavia for supplies, and the _Sirius_ was sent to the
Cape; but the whole of the valuable live stock which had been brought to
the colony at so much expense had to be killed to sustain the
population. It was not until the 3rd of June that relief came, and the
safety of the settlement was assured.

Three months afterwards Captain Phillip was present at a whale feast in
the harbour, and whilst Bennilong was presenting to him some other
aborigines, the governor was wounded by one of them who imagined he was
being taken prisoner. The spear which entered above the collar-bone and
came through on the other side was immediately broken by Mr. Waterhouse,
and though the affair took place some five miles from Sydney, in two
hours Phillip was back in his house where the spear was extracted. In
ten days he had completely recovered, and hearing from Bennilong that
the man attacked him from fear Phillip forgave his assailant and made a
present to the natives as a token of goodwill.

Hunter returned to Sydney in command of the _Reliance_, landing on 7th
September, 1795. With him were Matthew Flinders, midshipman, and George
Bass, surgeon, who rank among the most able and daring of Australian
navigators. Within a month after they arrived at Port Jackson they
fitted up a boat, only eight feet in length, called the _Tom Thumb_, in
which they set sail and explored George's River for a distance of twenty
miles beyond Captain Hunter's Government survey. In March, 1796, they
again put to sea in the _Tom Thumb_, with a boy to bear them company,
and gained a minute knowledge of the coast south of Botany Bay. They
explored Port Hacking and met with many adventures, falling in with some
savage tribes unseen before, but their poor equipment forced them to
curtail their journey. The dangers they escaped were many. When their
light boat was tossed on land, their muskets rusty and their powder wet,
Flinders cleverly amused the natives, who were inclined to be hostile,
by clipping their beards while Bass dried the powder and laid in a store
of fresh water. Fortunately they did not know what the powder was, but
they became so excited when their visitors began to clean their muskets
that the muskets had to be left as they were.

The next year, 1797, Lieutenant Shortland, also of the _Reliance_, while
in pursuit of some run-aways, came upon an unknown river about one
hundred miles north of Port Jackson, to which he gave the name of the
Hunter, and also a harbour where, in the cliffs, a stratum of coal was
found. Here a settlement was formed named Newcastle--afterwards, but
only for a time, known as Kingstown.

Meanwhile further discoveries of the Australian continent were made by
Captain Vancouver, who had sailed from England in December, 1790, in
command of H.M.S. _Discovery_ and _Chatham_, and reached the south coast
of Western Australia. He took possession of King George's Sound. Having
anchored on the anniversary of Princess Charlotte's birthday he called
the place Princess Royal Harbour. "To commemorate our visit," he writes,
"near the stump of one of the trees we had felled, in a pile of Stones
raised to attract any European, was left a bottle sealed containing
parchment inscribed with the names of the vessels and their commanders
with the name given to the Sound and the date of their arrival and
departure. Another bottle was deposited at the top of Seal Island and a
staff erected to which was attached a medal of the year 1789."

In 1789 Captain Cox in the brig _Mercury_ had entered several bays in
Tasmania, and on account of its numerous oysters named one of them
Oyster Bay. Captain Bligh, in the _Bounty_, on his voyage to Tahiti had
also touched at Tasmania, anchoring and planting fruit trees near
Adventure Bay, which he visited again in 1792.

Tasmania was next visited by the French in search of La Pérouse, an
expedition having been sent out under Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in the
_Recherche_, and _Esperance_, for the purpose of learning the fate of
the _Boussole_, and _Astrolabe_, and making further discoveries. The
admiral anchored in Storm Bay in 1792, and discovered the river Derwent
which he called Riviere du Nord, giving his own name to the channel
between Bruni Island--also called after him--and Tasmania.
Labillardiere, the botanist to the expedition, in his _Voyage in Search
of La Pérouse_ mentions the prodigious height of the trees, some being
one hundred and fifty feet, and says that during an expedition inland
the fruit trees that Bligh had planted were noticed, as well as the name
and date of the expedition, cut into the forest trees, but only one
native was seen. They found no trace of the lost ships or of their
crews, but in the year 1809 when Captain Bunker of the _Venus_ put into
Adventure Bay in Bruni Island he noticed the stump of a tree carved with
French words which he deciphered sufficiently to induce him to dig in
the ground beneath. There he found a sealed bottle containing three
letters left by La Pérouse--one to the French Government, the others
merely mentioning his voyage, all three being dated a month after their
departure from Sydney in 1788.

[Illustration: 0900091h-16 Count De La Pérouse, The French Navigator who reached
Botany Bay Six Days after Captain Phillip had anchored there, and
afterwards landed in Tasmania.]

In December, 1797, while Flinders was absent at Norfolk Island, Bass
made another adventurous voyage. Gaining permission to take a whale boat
manned with eight volunteers from the _Reliance_ he coasted along to the
south and saw Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay and Twofold Bay, Continuing his
course he found the coast more exposed, and became convinced that a
channel existed between the mainland and Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania),
He touched at Wilson's Promontory[*] and Port Western, but, in spite of
the fish, birds, and seals obtained for the crew, want of provisions
compelled him to turn back from surveying the "very good harbour" which
he had found, otherwise he would have reached Port Phillip (Melbourne).
He returned in the following February, and on approaching one of the
small islands at the south-east angle of New South Wales was surprised
to find seven convicts who had escaped from Sydney, two of whom, as they
were suffering from illness, he brought home with him, the others being
given provisions and firearms to help them on their way back to the

[* Mr. William Wilson of H.M.S. _Reliance_ was one of the crew in this
expedition. After passing the straits named in honour of Dr. Bass, a
headland of the Australian continent was sighted, and Bass and Wilson
went off in the cock-boat to explore the coast. When they reached the
small beach on its northern side Wilson jumped ashore first and the
point was henceforth called Wilson's Promontory.]

Meanwhile the colonists in Sydney were much interested in other
discoveries of which they had heard. Mr. Clark, supercargo of an East
Indiaman from Bengal to Sydney named _The Sydney Cove_, which was ashore
on Preservation Island, one of the Furneaux Group, attempted with a
portion of the crew to reach Sydney in the long boat. They were wrecked
at Cape Howe, some three hundred miles from Port Jackson, and were
compelled to walk to their destination. Several perished by the way,
some being cut off by the natives, and only three, picked up by a
fishing boat, reached Sydney, although others were afterwards rescued.
The three who first arrived told of a number of rivers they had crossed
on their way along the coast, one or two of which they had had to
explore for some distance inland in order to cross them. They also
reported that while endeavouring to light a fire one night they found
coal among the stones on the beach. This was an important discovery, and
eventually led to the opening up of what is now known as the Mount Keira

The voyage of Bass, just referred to, extended along three hundred miles
of coast; and, to complete the exploration, he and Flinders set off
together early in October, 1798, in a small schooner of some twenty-five
tons, built of Norfolk pine and named the _Norfolk_. Touching first at
Twofold Bay, where they took refuge from a storm, they surveyed it, and
running south saw many of the small islands north of Tasmania afterwards
known as the Kent Group. Sailing along the northern shores of Tasmania
they discovered Port Dalrymple, and the mouth of the Tamar. Driven back
by gales to Furneaux Island on 21st November, they left again for the
south on 3rd December, and on the 6th discovered Circular Head, where
they saw the wombat for the first time and numbers of petrels. On the
9th, while passing south of Three Hummock Island, a long swell was
perceived to come from the south-west, and Flinders hailed it as "the
completion of our long-wished-for discovery of a passage into the
Southern Indian Ocean".

On the day on which Cape Grim was seen and named the land was observed
to be washed by ocean breakers, which proved that a navigable open
channel separated Australia and Tasmania. The channel is still known as
Bass Straits. Following the west coast first to South-West Cape and past
South-East Cape they saw the opening of Storm Bay and the river
discovered by D'Entrecasteaux and called by him Riviere du Nord which in
1794 Captain Hayes had named the Derwent. Bass and Flinders sailed up
this river, anchoring at its mouth on 21st December. On 3rd January,
1799, they resumed their exploration of the eastern shores, and Tasmania
was completely circumnavigated.

They reached Sydney on 12th January after a voyage of five months,
during which they had obtained much information about the island. Traces
of inhabitants were observed, and important facts were gleaned about the
fauna. Dr. Bass gave such a flattering description of the country that
it was formally taken possession of by Lieutenant Bowen in 1803 and a
settlement was established there in 1804.

Later in the year Flinders again set forth from Sydney to explore the
east coast. He left on 8th August to sail north to Moreton Bay, so named
by Cook, but his ship sprang a leak a few days after leaving Port
Jackson and he was compelled to put into a bay where many aborigines
were seen of finer physique than those at Sydney. They turned out to be
expert fishermen, living in villages consisting of circular huts, the
framework of each being made of vine shoots crossed and bound over with
grass to keep out wind and rain. Glasshouse Bay and Harvey Bay were also
explored. After his return to Sydney from this expedition Flinders
sailed for England almost immediately, reaching home at the end of 1800.
The charts of his discoveries were published, and the home authorities,
for the further exploration of Australia, fitted out an old ship of 334
tons, the _Xenophon_, bought into the navy some years before, and
renaming her the _Investigator_ appointed him to her command.


Upon the walls of many of the public buildings in Sydney and in various
rooms at Government House may be seen the portraits of the first
governors of Australia. One glance at these old pictures will show that
the first governors were either sailors or soldiers and were taken from
the quarterdeck of a man-of-war or from the head of a regiment. Being
little encumbered with administrative councils or advisory committees,
much had necessarily to be left to their discretion and therefore a
short sketch of the career and character of each officer will help us to
better understand the fortunes of the colony. The first four, Phillip,
Hunter, King and Bligh were naval officers, possibly because the
maritime position of Sydney made it at that time either the
starting point or the head-quarters for every voyage to the southern
hemisphere whether English or French. Macquarie, Brisbane and Darling
were soldiers, and were appointed when attention was turned from the
surveying of the coast to the exploration of the interior.

Captain Arthur Phillip was born in London where his father, a native of
Frankfort, taught the German language. His choice of a profession and
his early success are perhaps due to the influence of his mother who had
been the widow of Captain Herbert of the Royal Navy. Educated at
Greenwich, he joined the frigate Buckingham and saw service first under
the flag of Admiral Byng. In 1776 he offered his services to Portugal,
but hostilities breaking out between Great Britain and France he
returned to England to fight for his own country, and was made commander
and master of the _Basilisk_ in September, 1779. In 1781 he was promoted
to the rank of post-captain; and in 1786 he became governor of New South

[Illustration: 0900091h-17 Arthur Phillip, Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of
New South Wales.]

Lord Sydney, who selected him, evidently thought him a capable man, but
the appointment seems to have surprised Lord Howe who wrote to Sydney a
curious letter containing something like a remonstrance: "I cannot say
that the little knowledge I have of Captain Phillip would have led me to
have selected him for service of this complicated nature, but doubtless
you know more of his abilities," etc. Lord Sydney, however, had no
occasion to regret his choice. No sooner was Phillip appointed than he
began preparations for the expedition, and urged the admiralty to grant
the necessary rations and medicines and to provide the needful
accommodation so that the fleet might reach its destination with little
sickness or loss of life. The voyage proved an unqualified success, and
the commanders and officers well earned the credit it brought them.
Never before had so large a fleet been taken so skillfully half round the
globe to an almost unknown shore. Its safe arrival was at the same time
a tribute to the draftsmanship of Captain Cook, by whose charts Phillip
was guided.

From the first the governor's actions were tempered with discretion,
firmness and kindliness. On the day he landed, at no little personal
risk, he secured the friendship of the blacks; which he retained
throughout his stay in the colony.

During the years of famine his energy relieved the settlers and helped
the colony to tide over calamities until relief came. Collins assures
us: "The governor from a motive that did him immortal honour in this
season of distress gave up three hundred-weight of Hour which was his
private property as he did not wish for more at his table than was
received in common from the public store"; to this resolution he
strictly adhered in order that "want should not be unfelt at Government
House" and rich and poor alike were cared for, and upon those occasions
when the established etiquette rendered it necessary that he should
invite the officers of the colony and their wives to dine with him at
Government House, he usually informed his guests that they must bring
their own bread as he had none to spare. It is told how he jokingly
wrote upon the invitations to Captain and Mrs. Macarthur, "There will
always be a roll for Mrs. Macarthur".[*]

[* See Rusden.]

The colony under Phillip was of comparatively small dimensions, but
fresh arrivals, mostly prisoners, necessitated the formation of new
settlements, which until the Blue Mountains had been crossed were
generally near the coast. In 1790 and subsequent years large
reinforcements reached the colony, and the governor had instructions to
make free grants of land to discharged marines and others who were
willing to reside there permanently. The powers entrusted to him have
seldom if ever been conferred upon any other in the British dominions.
He could sentence, fine, pardon those under his charge as he thought
fit; he could regulate customs and trade, bestow money or land, create
monopolies; all stores, grants, places of honour or profit, and even
justice itself were placed in his hands. The friendly tone of the
dispatches to Captain Phillip showed the confidence which the home
authorities placed in the colonial governor.

In 1792 Phillip's health, which had been much tried during the term of
office, gave way, and he asked the Home Government to be allowed to
return home. Leave was granted with much reluctance and he left Sydney
in the _Atlantic_ on 11th December, 1792, and took with him to England,
besides kangaroos and other native animals, many beautiful birds, and
numerous specimens of native workmanship. Two natives who accompanied
him were well received among all classes of society. In London
Bennilong, clothed in the garb of civilisation, was a great favourite.
On returning to Sydney with Governor Hunter, however, while keeping upon
good terms with the British, he discarded his clothes and took again to
the bush where he lived with his tribe. Captain Phillip was promoted to
the rank of rear-admiral, and died a vice-admiral in September, 1814, at
Bath, in his seventy-seventh year.

[Illustration: 0900091h-18 Bennilong, one of the Natives who accompanied Governor
Phillip to England.]

Between the departure of Captain Phillip and the arrival of the second
governor, Captain Hunter, there was an interval of about two years and
nine months during which the settlement was administered successively by
the senior officers of the New South Wales Corps. The first of these was
Major Francis Grose, eldest son of the well-known antiquary of the same
name. He continued in office till December, 1794, when, finding that his
authority among the settlers was weakening, he resigned and sailed for
England. His successor as lieutenant-governor was Captain William
Paterson who was popular with all classes. In early life with the 98th
regiment he had seen service in India and had been at the siege of
Caroor, afterwards becoming a lieutenant in the 73rd foot. He had
arrived in Sydney three years before and was therefore well acquainted
with the condition and the wants of the colony at the time of Grose's
retirement. The latter had practically suppressed civil government and
in its place set up a system under which the administration of justice
was entrusted to the officers of the New South Wales Corps. Paterson
made no attempt to reform these errors, but he did useful work in
exploring fresh territory and also in protecting the settlers around
Port Jackson and on the Hawkesbury River from the raids of the natives.

Commercial dealings had, however, become complicated. When vessels
arrived with stores to which all the free setters should have had access
on equal terms, the officials, having the control of the customs, easily
obtained advantages over the rest of the community. This monopoly caused
widespread evil.

In those days coin was scarce, not only because the settlers were poor,
but because, in accordance with well-known economic principles, it was
difficult in the circumstances to keep money in circulation or even to
retain it in the colony. Things of daily use, and even landed property,
were therefore valued and paid for in spirits and other commodities.
Such was the state of affairs when on 7th September, 1795, Captain John
Hunter arrived and assumed authority as governor.

Hunter, the son of a captain in the merchant service, was born at Leith
in 1738. His parents intended him for the Church, but, nevertheless, he
was entered on the books of the sloop _Grampus_, and subsequently served
in the _Neptune_ as a midshipman under Jervis, afterwards Lord St.
Vincent. After various experiences he was appointed to command the
frigate _Sirius_, with the rank of post-captain, but when that vessel
was assigned to Captain Phillip for the expedition to New South Wales,
Hunter was, for the time, second in command.[*]

[* When the colonists were landed he resumed his post as captain of
H.M.S. _Sirius_, and held that appointment until the vessel was wrecked
at Norfolk Island in 1790. Afterwards he returned to England in a Dutch
ship, but early in 1795 again voyaged to New South Wales. This time he
went in the _Reliance_, on board of which was his nephew, Lieutenant

Upon assuming the governorship Captain Hunter had instructions to
reinstate the civil magistracy; to direct the judge advocate to
discharge his duties relative to the administration of justice and to
_Endeavour_ to suppress the illicit traffic. But the governor soon
discovered that, although the officials received him with great respect,
they were inwardly determined that the regulations of trade which had
become common in the colony should not be materially altered. His orders
were not always carried out. Reforms he tried to introduce were often
opposed. He perceived that influences not in accord with his own views
were working against him and with success. It became clear that his
action was deliberately clogged by military opposition, and in one of
his dispatches home he wrote, "There exists I believe a jealous
antipathy against naval government"; and he advised that the New South
Wales Corps should be relieved of their duties and their place taken by

In the meantime the fortunes of the land began to improve; the forests
were cleared and cultivated, wheat-growing extended and Indian corn
was found to be wonderfully productive. The white population increased
by leaps and bounds, for the immigration scheme recommended to the
authorities by Phillip was being carried out and new settlers made
their home in the Hawkesbury River district at Portland Head. Hunter
made voyages of exploration along the coast, travelled into the country,
marked out districts, and encouraged further discoveries. He took the
greatest interest in the voyages of Shortland, Flinders and Bass. He
praised the hard woods of the colony. One he thought similar to Indian
teak, and most of the gum trees he declared to be not only fit for
ship's timber but for blocks, gun carriages or anything else subject to
great friction. He himself raised the frame of a vessel of 160 tons
which for want of strength he could not finish, "but she stood in the
frame upwards of two years exposed to the weather, apparently without
the smallest decay". He recommended the native flax, the indigo, which
grew "spontaneously," and the astringent bark of trees "well adapted
for tanning". He presumed that furnaces would soon be erected for
smelting-the abundant iron ore by means of the equally abundant coal.

[Illustration: 0900091h-19 Captain John Hunter.]

Five years passed, and being still dissatisfied with the results of his
rule and the way in which his wishes were carried out Hunter determined
to return to England and represent in person to the Government the state
of the colony. He sailed in the _Buffalo_ in September, 1800, leaving
the administration in the hands of Captain King, who, when Hunter did
not return from England, was appointed to succeed him. Captain Hunter
subsequently rose to the rank of vice-admiral. He spent his declining
years at Leith, the scene of his boyhood, and, in the enjoyment of
universal esteem, died in London in his eighty-third year.

[Illustration: 0900091h-20 Captain Philip Gidley King.]

The new governor. Captain Philip Gidley King, was a native of Cornwall
who had passed a considerable portion of his naval career under Captain
Phillip. He first served under him in the East Indies as far back as
1783 where he had been lieutenant of the _Europe_; and accompanied
Phillip in his voyage to New South Wales; Phillip had sent him to make
the first settlement in Norfolk Island, had appointed him commandant
there in 1788, and had despatched him as special envoy to England to lay
before the Home Government the needs of that island, with commendation
as "a very steady officer ".

On assuming office as governor. Captain King found himself in a
difficult position. He was honestly desirous of effecting improvement,
but the conditions required sagacity and skill, and King proceeded with
a high hand. He made strict regulations and any disregard of them was
punished. The monopolists were enraged at what they considered an
interference with their rights, but their discontent did not burst out
until the rule of his successor, Captain Bligh.

Governor King possessed a fiery temper which sometimes tended to put him
at a disadvantage. On one occasion the Rev. Samuel Marsden happened to
be present when a violent dispute occurred between King and the
commissary-general. Mr. Marsden could not leave the room, but retired to
a recess at a window so as not to witness the storm. In the heat of
passion the governor seized the commissary by the coat-collar and the
commissary in turn thrust him away, "Did you see that, sir?" King
shouted to the chaplain. "I see nothing," said Marsden in solemn tones,
still looking through the window. Fortunately the words were accepted by
both disputants as a dignified remonstrance, good humour was restored,
and the incident closed.

King gave much encouragement to exploration which made great advance
during his term of office, and while John Franklin, the youthful officer
in charge of Captain Flinders' observatory, was at Sydney, spent much
time in assisting him with his wide experience and knowledge. He
jokingly christened Franklin Tycho Brahe. Captain King retired from the
governorship in August, 1806, and died in England two years afterwards.

The new governor, Captain William Bligh, arrived in August, 1806. Like
Captain King he was a Cornishman, and had seen service in various parts
of the world. He had fought with distinction in two naval engagements,
and his name had become famous in connection with the mutiny of the crew
of the _Bounty_, which had been despatched under his command on a
semi-scientific mission to the South Pacific. The mutineers had sent him
and about twenty officers and sailors adrift in the long boat, and the
skill and resourcefulness which he displayed in navigating this frail
craft over 3,500 miles of ocean to the island of Timor gained him
considerable reputation. To the British Government he seemed to be the
very man to pilot the Australian settlement out of its sea of troubles
into quiet waters, and he entered on his new duties under the most
hopeful auspices.

[Illustration: 0900091h-21 Captain William Bligh. (By kind permission of Messrs. H.
Graves and Co., Ltd.)]

But to succeed in this task required tact and a temperament which he did
not possess. As he had lost command over the mutineers of the _Bounty_,
so he very soon ruffled the military officials at Sydney into a
commotion which he could not control, and most of the settlers engaged
in the practical work of the colony, in tilling the soil and reaping the
harvests, rightly or wrongly sided with the military faction against the
governor. Yet he was their friend.

When the settlers had produce to dispose of there was no market for them
except in Sydney, no purchaser except the dealers there, and no hope of
payment in sterling coin. In exchange for wheat the dealer gave, with
immense profit to himself, tea, sugar, or other goods which the farmer
required, and oftener rum, a fruitful source of mischief. Bligh went
round among the colonists learning what commodities and how much they
required for their own use, and also what produce they would be able to
supply to the Government stores in return. He then fixed the rates at
which the various productions were to be exchanged for the needful
necessaries. Among the poorer classes of the community these proceedings
effected some improvement, but in other quarters they stirred up

In January, 1805, the great friction between the military and the
governor led to the arrest on a trifling charge of Captain Macarthur of
the New South Wales Corps. The regiment naturally sided with Macarthur.
Directly after the trial, erroneously assuming that Governor Bligh
intended to set aside the criminal court altogether and to invest the
magistrates with its powers, Colonel George Johnston put the seal to the
act of revolution and assumed the governorship. Orders were given for
the regiment to form in the barrack square and, with the band
playing martial airs, the soldiers marched to Government House
where the governor was arrested. Johnston then took the reins as
lieutenant-governor and soon afterwards Macarthur was appointed
colonial secretary.

Governor Bligh was kept within his own house for twelve months by a
military guard, his daughter Mrs. Putland, widow of Lieutenant Putland,
R.N., remaining with him. When Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Foveaux arrived
in the colony on 28th July, on his way to take up the governorship of
Norfolk Island, he learned the turn events had taken, and being senior
officer assumed the governorship. He in turn was succeeded by Captain
Paterson, who arrived from Tasmania, where he had been acting as
commandant. Otherwise few changes were made in the general
administration of affairs.

The three officers. Johnston, Foveaux. and Paterson, appear to have
endeavoured to obey the instructions found in the dispatches from the
Secretary of State. Bligh, however, had sympathisers who wished for his
reinstatement, and Paterson in 1809 decided to send him as well as
Johnston and Macarthur to England to account to the authorities for what
had happened. In accordance with Bligh's wish he was placed on H.M.S.
_Porpoise_ a sloop-of-war of which he took command, and in which he
promised to proceed direct to England. But instead of doing so, he
landed at Derwent River in Tasmania and was still at Adventure Bay in
that colony when Governor Macquarie arrived at Sydney, on 28th December,

Macquarie had been instructed to send Johnston home for trial and to
reinstate Bligh for twenty-four hours, the latter order he could not, of
course, carry out, since the ex-governor was not there. Lord
Castlereagh, Secretary of State for the Colonies, informed Bligh by
letter that this arrest had excited a strong sensation among his
Majesty's ministers and he was empowered to carry home to England with
him all such persons as he should think necessary to strengthen his
case. Bligh was received by England with open arms, and died in
London--a vice-admiral--in 1817.

Colonel Paterson left the colony in 1810. He is one of the best known
and most popular of the lieutenant-governors, but his kindliness of
heart often prevented him from doing useful work for fear of giving
offence. When he left Sydney ten boats crowded with people followed his
pinnace to the ship "cheering him all the way". He died during the
homeward voyage.

Lachlan Macquarie, the new governor, came of the old Scottish family
settled at Ulva, his father being the sixteenth, and last, chief of the
clan, and a tendency to rule and enforce obedience was part of young
Lachlan's natural inheritance. He entered the army in 1777, and saw
service in America and in India, where he was present at Cananore and
both sieges of Seringapatam, and he was in Egypt at Alexandria in 1800.
He returned from India to England in 1807 to take command of the 73rd
and in 1809 received orders to proceed to New South Wales with that
regiment, his further promotion to major-general taking place while he
held the governorship.

[Illustration: 0900091h-22 Major-General Lachlan Macquarie].

His first step was to issue three proclamations with which he had been
charged by his Majesty's ministers. The first was to declare the king's
displeasure at the late proceedings in the colony. The second rendered
void all acts of the interim governors. The third invested the governor
with power to act at his own discretion with regard to the past and
future. The governor had thus a free hand and adequate means of carrying
out the measures he deemed expedient.

The affairs of the colony had been much neglected; commerce was in its
earliest stage; there was no revenue; several districts were threatened
with famine; and Sydney was distracted by faction. Public buildings were
in a state of dilapidation; the few roads and bridges were almost
impassable. The whole population was depressed by poverty; there was
neither public credit nor private confidence; the morals of the mass of
the population were debased; public worship had been abandoned. Indeed
there is nothing more dismal in the story of Australia, and it is
refreshing to read how, under Macquarie's able guidance, the country
started upon an entirely new and improved career. His energies found
scope in many directions. He found the town of Sydney composed of mean
houses or huts scattered about or huddled together on no particular
plan. Under his hand it began to be a fair city with well-ordered
streets and handsome public buildings. He aimed at the formation of
agricultural settlements, not so much by the introduction of free
colonists as by grants of land to deserving men already settled there.
These grants were of small extent, thirty or forty acres of forest to be
cleared and occupied by the men to whom they were allotted.

Food stuffs were still a medium of exchange. The economic difficulty had
not been overcome; coin was scarce so that workman were paid, at least
to the extent of half their wages, in commodities, a system wasteful to
the workman and injurious to the whole community. There could hardly be
said to be any coin in circulation, but English shillings and copper
coins an ounce in weight were sometimes available. The money within the
colony was either English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or Indian, every
coin having an official value. There was no export of merchandise in
those days, and no import of coin except in Government ships. Payments
began to be made by means of promissory notes which passed from hand to
hand. These were easily forged, and in 1810 Macquarie issued a
proclamation requiring that for promissory notes of five pounds and
under printed forms should be used. The governor's next step towards a
currency was the introduction, in 1813, of 10,000 dollars from India for
the retention of which within the colony elaborate precautions had to be
taken. A small circular piece of silver was struck from the centre of
each of the coins; the coin was then stamped on one side with the words
"Five Shillings" under which was a branch of laurel; on the other
side was "New South Wales," and beneath it the date, 1813. This coin
became known as "the holey dollar". The small piece knocked out of its
centre was dealt with in a similar manner. It was impressed with the
words "Fifteen Pence," with the name of the colony and the date. Its
popular name was "the dump".

It would be difficult in a short space to portray the character or do
justice to the work of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. He has received,
perhaps, more praise and more blame than any colonial governor before or
since. He has even been likened to Napoleon in his methods, and has been
called narrow by one and broadminded by another. But no one can read his
correspondence with the home authorities without admitting that he
possessed an aptitude for ruling, and that he used the gift wisely and
well for the land the destinies of which he had to guide. Passionate,
punctilious, obstinate he may have been, but he was strong and capable;
a man of foresight who used the best means in his power to obtain his
object, even if in so doing he exposed himself to condemnation. H is
aims were always high, and he always set before him the good of the
people. Industry particularly appealed to him. If a man were industrious
and endeavouring to live honestly, whatever he was, Macquarie would
reward him and raise him in the face of all opposition. No one was more
generous or liberal in praise to those who deserved it, more watchful
for miscreants; but all who endeavoured to escape from what he
considered to be their duty, or their particular work, paid the penalty
for their misdeeds. In his last speech at Sydney he openly stated his
strong attachment to the settlement.

His governorship, which extended over twelve years, was of greater
importance to the colony than that of any of his successors. He died in
London, two and a half years after his departure from Sydney in
December, 1821, and was buried at his old home among the Argyllshire

Macquarie's successor was another Scot, but of an entirely different
type. Scholarly, humane and an experienced officer, Sir Thomas
Makdougall Brisbane, although perhaps he had the good of the country as
much at heart, lacked those characteristics which won for Macquarie the
people's love and at the same time guided the colony out of its
difficulties. He was a son of Thomas Brisbane of Brisbane House,
Ayrshire, who had fought at Culloden. Gazetted to the 38th regiment in
1789 he had been sent to Ireland where he met Arthur Wellesley and the
two became lifelong friends. During-the Peninsular War Wellington asked
for his services, and he held a command with Picton's division. He made
himself useful during the campaign by taking regular observations with
his pocket sextant, and, as Wellington remarked, "kept the time of the

[Illustration: 0900091h-23 Sir Thomas Brisbane]

While a student at Edinburgh he had distinguished himself in mathematics
and astronomy; and when he returned from the West Indies in 1805 he
devoted his leisure to building an observatory at Brisbane House, little
thinking that he was destined to build another on the other side of the
world. In 1821 he was appointed governor of New South Wales. Soon after
he arrived in the colony he built the observatory at Parramatta at his
own expense, obtaining valuable instruments for it, and the skilled
services of Messrs, Runker and Dunlop. It was opened in 1822. Here Sir
Thomas spent most of his spare time and Parramatta soon began to be
called in Europe "the Greenwich of the Southern Hemisphere".

But Brisbane's fondness for his favourite science somewhat lessened his
popularity with the people who, having been accustomed to seeing
Governor Macquarie so much among them, considered that he was neglecting
their interests. Dr. Lang described Brisbane "as a man of the best
intentions but deficient in energy". The finances of the colony became
involved and the revenues diminished. Yet many improvements were made,
and institutions which afterwards formed the basis of self-government
were founded during his governorship.

Under the New South Wales Judicature Act, which received the royal
assent in 1823, the supreme courts, each with a chief justice and if
necessary two other judges, were created for both New South Wales and
Tasmania. The Legislative Council then instituted was to consist of
five, six, or seven members nominated by the Crown on the recommendation
of the Colonial Office, the governor being left with powers to act as he
thought best, irrespective of the advice of the council, and any serious
difficulty or disagreement between the governor and his council was to
be referred to England.

One of Brisbane's first actions has earned the gratitude of numberless
colonists. He had fixed to the rock on the very spot where Captain Cook
first landed at Botany Bay a brass tablet in commemoration of that
navigator's discovery of Australia's eastern shores. It bore the
following inscription: "A.D. 1770. Under the auspices of British
Science--these shores were discovered by James Cook and Joseph
Banks--the Columbus and Maecenas of their time. This spot once saw them
ardent in their pursuit of knowledge; now to their memory this tablet is
inscribed in the first year of the Philosophical Society of Australasia.
Sir Thomas Brisbane, K.C. B., corresponding member of the Institute of
France, A.D. 1821."

Sir Thomas Brisbane also encouraged immigration, and the population of
23,000 people which he found upon his arrival in the colony had
increased to 36,000 when he left for England. He was most successful in
advancing new industries. He promoted the cultivation of tobacco,
sugar-cane and the grape.[*]

[* He made several tours into the interior, and in 1822, accompanied by
Major Goulburn and Mr. H. Grattan-Douglas, crossed the Blue Mountains.
The county of Roxburgh and the village of Kelso on the banks of the
Macquarie received their names in honour of Lady Brisbane's home in

The biographer of Sir Thomas Brisbane writes that Sir Thomas always
regarded two acts of his in New South Wales with "great gratification".
These were the laying of the foundation stone of the first Presbyterian
church in Sydney, and, in 1824, the removing of the censorship of the
press. Brisbane also praised the country. He had himself seen the stone
of a peach placed in the ground and in three years had eaten ripe fruit
from it--he had seen fields which produced white crops for twenty-eight
years successively without any artificial manure or stimulant. Horse
owners in New South Wales owe much to him, for on his arrival, finding
the breed of horses inferior, he took measures to import, at his own
expense, the best bred Arabs he could obtain at Mocha and Calcutta.

Explorations of importance were also carried out. The Monaro plains were
reached, the Great Stock Route to Queensland was established, the first
overland journey to Port Phillip was accomplished, and the Goulburn,
Brisbane and Murrumbidgee Rivers were discovered.

Brisbane left Sydney in December, 1825. During the three weeks' interval
which elapsed between his departure and Darling's arrival, Colonel
William Stewart of the Buffs acted as governor of the colony. On his
return to Scotland Brisbane lived principally at his home in Ayrshire
and died at the ripe age of eighty-seven in the very room where he was

[Illustration: 0900091h-24 Sir Ralph Darling]

General Ralph Darling had joined the 45th regiment after serving in
other regiments, and was in command of the 51st when it formed part of
Sir John Moore's army at Lugo and fought at the battle of Corunna. After
much administrative experience on the staff he became lieutenant-general
in May, 1825, and in the following August was appointed governor of New
South Wales.

He arrived at Sydney on 18th December, and landed in state on the
following day, the streets being lined with soldiers from the King's
Wharf, then the chief point of embarkation, to the gates of Government
House. His rule was unfortunately full of unpleasantnesses--the greatest
troubles that he experienced being occasioned by the freedom of the
press. For the heavy punishment meted out to deserters popular feeling
was excited against him. The accusations became so persistent that they
were eventually brought to the notice of the House of Commons and
discussed in England, where the governor was pronounced free from blame
by the committee appointed to investigate the charges, and he was
afterwards knighted.

At the head of the opposition was William Wentworth,[*] then a young man
whose ability had already won for him a prominent position in the
colony. It was probably due to his influence and power that General
Darling was recalled.

[* He was born at Norfolk Island, and was the son of D'Arcy Wentworth,
an Irish gentleman who had arrived in the colony in 1790, a scion of the
great Yorkshire family of Wentworth. When he was only twenty he joined
Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson in their exploration of the Blue
Mountains. Each of the three was presented by Governor Macquarie with a
grant of a thousand acres of land as a reward for their success. But
even before this Macquarie had been struck with young Wentworth's
capacity and had actually made him deputy provost-marshal. In 1816
Wentworth, who had as a boy been sent home to school at Greenwich,
returned to England and spent several years at Cambridge, where in 1823
he competed for the Chancellor's Medal for the poem on Australia, the
prize for which was awarded to Winthrop Mackworth Praed, Wentworth being
placed second out of twenty-five competitors. He was called to the
English Bar in 1823, afterwards returning to Sydney, where in 1828-29 he
concentrated his energies on overthrowing the governor.]

General Darling is often described as a rigid disciplinarian, exacting
in trifles, exclusive and reserved. But on the other hand we are told
that to the people with whom he came in contact he was a firm friend--"a
just and good man"--and gave most liberally to the needy. He embarked
for England on 21st October, 1831. Neither joy nor regret was manifest
at his departure. The six years of his rule were, however, rich in
geographical discoveries, due not only to the energy of Captain Sturt
who was his military secretary, but to Darling's active support and

Darling encouraged the explorations of Sturt. He visited many of the
settlements, made journeys through the different districts and inspected
many of the homes of the colonists. He was always deeply interested in
the improvement of land, the increase of cattle and sheep, and the
beautiful fruit and flowers grown in the gardens.

In 1827, in company with Captain Rous[*] of H.M.S. _Rainbow_, he made a
tour of the settlements in the north, and instituted much-needed reforms
and improvements in order to attract European settlers. Captain Rous
discovered the Richmond and Clarence Rivers in 1829. Ipswich (in
Queensland), Stradbroke Island and the county of Rous were named in his
honour, he being a son of the first Lord Stradbroke and a native of

[* This was the Rous who brought H.M.S. Pique across the Atlantic
without a rudder, and afterwards, as Admiral Rous, became so well known
in English racing circles. Even in those early years he showed interest
in the turf and became a member of the Parramatta Jockey Club. One horse
which he imported to Sydney named The Emigrant or (Rous's Grey Emigrant)
is still famous in Australian sporting annals.]

Dr. Peter Cunningham's eulogy in the preface of his work is perhaps one
of the most flattering the governor ever received. "I have," says
Cunningham, "travelled over the greater part of the colony and resided
there for two years, so that I may claim some acquaintance with the
manners, pursuits, etc., of the various classes resident in Sydney. The
justice of the laws governing the colony and the wisdom displayed in
their administration have greater influence upon the prosperity of an
infant state than even the resources of climate and soil. The admirable
system pursued by the present governor must be encouraging to those who
purpose to emigrate...I found my opinions almost solely upon the
official orders promulgated by him, to which every one has access, but
it is only individuals who know how much his efficient reforms were
wanted by whom their value can be appreciated...In New South
yet immature...although destined perhaps to become the seat of a
powerful empire we require a governor possessed of ability to discern
and activity to awaken its dormant energies; and although Lord Bathurst
conferred many benefits upon the colony during the period of his
holding office, a greater could not have been conceded by him than the
appointment of General Darling."


In a setting of hill and valley, at the head of a magnificent stretch of
water, Sydney is endowed by nature with all the requirements of a great
port. When Phillip called the harbour, "the finest in the world," his
praise was rather that of a sailor beholding the waters of a great
haven, than of a discoverer commending the site of a future city.
Extending inland for a distance of some twelve or thirteen miles from
the Heads that guard the entrance, around its shores are over a hundred
bays and coves, intersected by slender well-wooded promontories
affording shelter from every wind.

From the Heads to the site chosen for the city is a distance of about
four miles with an average breadth of some three miles, but the
navigable waters extend nine miles beyond the cove to the Parramatta

The old saying, "Where nature gives most, man does least," does not
apply to Sydney's early existence. Although the beauty of the spot first
made it famous in Europe, the work of the colonist soon became known and
appreciated. Lanes, cut on shore for the passage of timber, developed
into streets; the woodmen's huts were replaced by houses; and the
building of the town proceeded according to the plan designed in
England, with materials brought to the colony for that purpose,
supplemented with native woods. Parties sent out to examine the soil,
found earth from which bricks could be made and dry marl and chalk which
yielded lime. From some fireclay sent to England, Wedgwood caused a
medallion to be modelled representing Hope encouraging Art and Labour
under the influence of Peace; in allusion to which medallion Erasmus
Darwin wrote the well-known lines beginning with:--

Where Sydney Cove her lucid bosom swells.

A portable canvas house for the governor's residence, with the framework
all ready to be fixed, was erected on the east side of the cove, and
upon some ground near were planted fruit trees which had been collected
at Rio and the Cape of Good Hope. The town, built on the banks of the
Tank Stream, spread over the space in the valley between the two ridges
lying to the east and west. At first the houses were rudely designed and
lacked regularity, but the narrow streets were kept in good order and
fairly clean. The chief street was twenty feet in breadth and was named
George Street after King George III. Another was called Pitt Row after
Mr. Pitt. George Street extended from the sea along the hollow between
the two ridges and was rather more than a mile long, the other streets
either intersecting it at right angles and extending up the hills, or
else running parallel to it, so that rain water drained into the Tank

The portion of the town built upon the eastern ridge near the water's
edge contained most of the principal buildings and residences. The live
stock had been removed to the head of the adjoining cove, called Farm
Cove, which had been cleared for farming purposes. The west ridge was
called the Rocks, and here many of the prisoners lived; the place where
the colonists first landed was known as the Camp. The more valuable
portion of the ground was that close to the harbour, and was much sought
after and closely built on.[*]

[* Mr. Alt, who came to the colony with Phillip and afterwards Mr.
Grimes, his successor, were the chief surveyors and architects of
Sydney's first buildings.]

Meanwhile a settlement was made at Parramatta in 1788. On the 2nd of
November the governor and three officers with a party of marines visited
the spot and named it Rosehill after George Rose, then Secretary to the
Treasury and the intimate friend of Pitt. The same year the governor's
land at Farm Cove, which had been sown with seed, produced only
twenty-five bushels of barley. In 1790, as already related, the stock of
provisions from England failed. So great was the anxiety that a
flagstaff was erected at the South Head to be ready to make known to the
people the first appearance of a vessel from home. The signal flags,
however, were afterwards stolen by the natives, who used them as
coverings for their canoes.

Sydney soon became the head-quarters of the English race in the southern
hemisphere. Thence, while the city was yet in its infancy, the exploring
expeditions of Phillip. Hunter, Bass, Flinders, Murray and Shortland by
sea, of Tench, Dawes, Caley. Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson by land,
went forth, many of them with only such rude equipment as the colony
could provide. Here, too, in the small observatory established and given
into his charge by his cousin Matthew Flinders, the young midshipman.
John Franklin, worked out those difficult problems of navigation which
afterwards helped him during his arctic voyages. Here also came
Napoleon's expedition with Baudin and De Freycinet in the _Géographe_
and _Naturaliste_ to seek refuge and provisions for their weather-worn
ships, and to gain the knowledge of the new continent of which so much
is made in their journals.

It has been said of England that she gave to Australia only her worst
in those early days; but the mother country also gave the young country
some of her very best as the deeds of the pioneers bear testimony.
Rarely in history can be found types of men more patient than Phillip,
more heroic than Bass or more persevering than Flinders. There is
nothing brighter in maritime discovery than the story of these few
British seamen in a distant land, planting the flag of Great Britain
over a large portion of her present empire. Whatever else was then
wanting at the settlement it certainly was not the spirit of enterprise
or courageous loyalty to the motherland; and it was among such scenes
and in such stirring times that the seed of Australia's first history
was sown.

The first step to render Sydney self-supporting had been to grant land
to settlers for agricultural holdings. In December, 1792, when Phillip
left, there were sixty-seven settlers who held 3,470 acres, of which 417
were under cultivation, but the greater part (now of course within the
city) proved miserably barren. These settlers were clothed and fed from
the public stores, furnished with farming implements, with grain to sow
their land, and with such stock as the governor saw fit to give
them--the young animals raised from this stock having to be offered in
return to the Government authorities at market prices. Every man also
had a hut erected on his farm at the public expense. After Hunter's
arrival an extension of land for cultivation by settlers along the rich
banks of the Hawkesbury River was made, and this district became one of
the first, if not the very first, to yield a good return, it being so
fertile that it became known as the granary of New South Wales.

Flocks and herds also began to flourish. In 1796 Captain John Macarthur
obtained from the governor's nephew, Captain William Kent, R. N., eight
sheep which had been brought from the Cape of Good Hope in the _Supply_
and the _Reliance_. They were part of a fine-fleeced flock belonging to
the widow of Colonel Gordon, a Scotch gentleman who formerly resided in
Cape Town. The original stock had been presented by the King of Spain to
the Dutch Government, who had sent them out to their South African
colonists. In the same year a few English sheep and others from Bengal
were crossed with these, the result being a great improvement in the
breed. Macarthur, who took infinite pains to form his flock, was thus
the founder of the Australian wool trade, for the sheep brought out by
Phillip had been eaten during the famine.

The houses were mainly detached cottages of white freestone or brick
plastered over. They were built one or two storeys high and surrounded
by verandahs; in many instances they had well-kept gardens enclosed by
wooden palings or hedges. The streets were as yet unpaved, but at night
were well lighted with lamps. Government House, in brick and plaster,
was also built, its gardens and shrubberies extending over four acres.
In the garden was a huge pine tree originally brought from Norfolk
Island, and a flagstaff used for signalling: between the shore and the
men-of-war at anchor in the cove. The high road to Parramatta led
through the Barrack Square. Immediately below the barracks, which were
well built, were a large warehouse and the residence of Mr. Simeon Lord,
known as the White House.

In 1801 a range of storehouses was completed on the banks of the
Parramatta River, and another was commenced close by the wharf at
Sydney, These were urgently required, as most of the Government
warehouses were built so far from the waterside as to render the
unloading of ships burdensome and expensive. A factory had been
established this year for coarse woollen blanketing, rugs, and a linen
called drugget which was much bought by the settlers; but the progress
of this industry was retarded by the destruction of the building by

[Illustration: 0900091h-25 Sydney Cove (_From an early painting_)]

The leather made from the skins of cattle, kangaroos and seals, and
tanned with the bark of the wattle tree proved good. Several potteries
were established, and many articles of crockery manufactured. Salt was
taken in abundance from the salt water, the pans being at Rose Bay and
Newcastle. During Hunter's governorship the printing press was first
used, and the newspaper called _The Sydney Gazette_ was instituted.

Of the work accomplished by the first settlers in New South Wales much
has been written; perhaps justice can best be done the colonists by
quoting from an author who saw Sydney soon after their work had
commenced and knew well the nature of their hardships: "A single glance
is sufficient to show that the hills upon the southern shore of the
port, now covered with houses and spires, must once have been gloomy
woods. The labour and patience required and the difficulties which the
first settlers encountered must have been incalculable. But the success
has been complete---a very triumph of human skill and industry over
Nature itself The cornfield and the orchard have supplanted the wild
grass and the brushwood, a flourishing town towers over the ruins of a
forest, the lowing of herds has succeeded the wild whoop of the savage,
and the stillness of the once busy shore is now broken by the busy hum
of commerce."

Francois Péron, the naturalist of the _Géographe_, in his _Voyages_
published in 1824, described Sydney and the harbour, and though he was a
member of a rival expedition, his account is entirely impartial. He
dwells on the pleasant and picturesque position of the town, its natural
advantages, defences, hospital, warehouses, public buildings and
gardens. "The wooden bridge at the bottom of the valley," he tells us.
"has been removed to make room for a new stone bridge; at the same time
a water mill has been constructed at this spot by the Government, and
strong sluices have been made to keep back the fresh water and to
restrain the incursions of the tide which used to flow a considerable
distance up the valley. Beyond and towards the bottom of the port is a
dock called the Government Dock on account of its being exclusively
appropriated for Government vessels. The wharf adjoining this dock
naturally slopes in such manner that without any labour or expense on
the part of the English the largest vessel can be laid up without
danger. Near the Government Dock are three warehouses. In one are stored
articles required for domestic use, such as crockery and furniture, the
property of the English Government, who deal in these articles for the
purpose of supplying the settlement at stated prices, some being even
less than those given for the same articles at home. Kettles, farming
utensils, etc., are kept here. The second storehouse contains clothing,
sail-cloth, etc., for Government ships. The third is where prisoners are
taught trades. Behind these stands the Government House, built in the
Italian style, surrounded by a colonnade and having in front a very
beautiful plantation which slopes to the seashore. In this plantation
are a great variety of trees. A Norfolk Island pine and the superb
_Columbia_ are seen growing side by side with bamboos of Asia. Farther
on the orange of Portugal and the fig of the Canaries ripen beneath the
shade of apple-trees from the banks of the Seine. Not far from a
neighbouring cove, at a spot called by natives Woolloomooloo, is the
residence of Mr. Palmer, the commissary-general. The great road to
Parramatta passes through the middle of a brickfield where numbers of
tiles, bricks and squares are made. This is also crossed by a small
rivulet before its fall into the end of a neighbouring cove. Between
this village and Sydney Town is the public burial ground.[*]...In port
we saw several vessels from different quarters of the world, the
majority destined for new and hazardous voyages. Here were some from the
banks of the Thames or the Shannon ready to proceed to the shores of New
Zealand, and others after landing freight about to sail for the Yellow
River of China; some laden with coal intended for the Cape of Good Hope
and India. Many small vessels were ready to depart for Bass Strait to
collect furs and skins, obtained by men left on different islands to
capture the seals which made them their resort. Others of of greater
burden were intended for the western shores of America. Others again
busily fitting out as store-ships for the Navigator or Friendly Islands
and Society Islands to bring back pork for the colony. At the same time
Captain Flinders was preparing to resume his great voyage round New
Holland. This assemblage of operations, this constant movement of
shipping impressed these shores with an activity which we were far from
expecting in a country so lately known to Europe, and our interest
increased our admiration."

[* Where the Town Hall now stands.]

[Illustration: 0900091h-26 Sydney, (_As Péron saw it._)]

It is interesting to compare with this description of Sydney in the
early times, written by a Frenchman, Froude's impressions eighty years
afterwards. He quickly found the secret of Sydney's charm for his
countrymen. "One sunset evening in the exquisite botanical gardens,
warm with the scent of tropical flowers, the vessels at anchor in the
cove, their spars black against the evening sky, with their long
pennants drooping at the masthead, the _Nelson_ in the midst like a
queen with the admiral's white flag flying over the stern, and steam
launches gliding over the glassy waters which were pink with the
reflection of the sunset," he looked upon the harbour, and was evidently
fascinated by its beauty, while the boats bringing off the officers
and men of the men-of-war who had been on leave on shore reminded him of
the old order and discipline in the new land of liberty--"the shield
behind which alone the vaunted liberty is possible". And he found the
reason why the Briton of the north is attracted to this city of the
south. "These are the associations of home...we are among our own
people; in a land which our fathers have won for us."

In that quiet sea garden--which is perhaps more like home to the
Englishman than any other spot in the southern hemisphere--those scenes
are teaching the youth of Australia another lesson. We who have
witnessed them, who have watched the sunset as Froude watched it and
seen the red glow reflected in the waters and spreading over the broad
leaves and green grass, do not forget them when in the motherland we
gaze on similar scenes in the old harbours of Portsmouth, Plymouth or
Harwich, and as we think of our country re-echo Froude's refrain: "We
are among our own people--we are in the land of our Fathers".


News having been received of the intention of the French to send an
expedition to the Australian Seas while the _Investigator_ was being
prepared for her voyage, the Admiralty quickly fitted out the _Lady
Nelson_, a brig of sixty tons, which differed from other exploring
vessels in having a centreboard keel. This was the invention of Admiral
John Schank, the ingenious Scotsman who had submitted his idea to the
Admiralty after attaining captain's rank in 1783, and so well was it
thought of that two similar boats had been built for the navy, one with
a centreboard and one without in order that a trial might be made. The
result was so successful that the _Cynthia_, sloop, _Trial_, revenue
cutter, and other vessels were constructed on the new plan, one of them
being the _Lady Nelson_, which was chosen for the service because her
three sliding centreboards enabled her draught to be lessened when in
shallow waters.

She left Portsmouth on 18th March, 1800, her commander Lieutenant James
Grant having orders to sail through the newly discovered straits between
Australia and Tasmania. The _Lady Nelson_ reached the shores of
Australia on the morning of 3rd December, 1800. Grant sailed along the
coast and saw two capes which he named Cape Banks after Sir Joseph
Banks, and Cape Northumberland, after the duke who then commanded the
army. He also noticed and named Mount Gambier after Admiral Gambier, and
Mount Schank, after the centreboard's inventor; farther east he named
Cape Bridgewater, Portland Bay and Cape Otway. He passed during the
night from Cape Otway to Cape Liptrap without exploring Port Phillip
although he described the land as running northward and judged it to be
a bay which he named after Governor King. Having traced the coast from
141° E. longitude to Western Port he continued his voyage to Port
Jackson, and arrived there on the evening of 16th December, 1800.

While passing through Bass Strait he made land 4° farther to the
westward than Flinders and Bass. The commanders of two other vessels,
Captain John Black of the _Harbinger_, from the Cape of Good Hope, and
Captain Buyers in the _Margaret_, which arrived from England shortly
after the _Lady Nelson_, had also sighted land on their voyage through
Bass Strait; and the governor, convinced of the need of a thorough
exploration of the south coast, now ordered Grant to return and
carefully survey the bay between Cape Otway and Cape Schank, besides the
land which had been seen by Captains Black and Buyers, then to sail to
King George's Sound and, in returning, to explore the whole south coast
to Wilson's Promontory, going to the head of every bay or inlet as far
as possible. Mr. Caley, the botanist, and Ensign Barrallier of the New
South Wales Corps, one of the governor's aides-de-camp, went with the
expedition. The _Bee_, a decked boat of fifteen tons and formerly a
ship's launch, was also fitted out to accompany the _Lady Nelson_, but,
being unable to keep pace with her and proving unseaworthy, was sent
back before leaving New South Wales.

[Illustration: 0900091h-27 The "_Lady Nelson_". (_By kind permission of Messrs.
Longmans, Green, and Co.)_]

The _Lady Nelson_ returned in May, 1801, after a voyage of about two
months, having failed to explore Governor King's Bay. Lieutenant Grant
retired shortly afterwards and went back to England, whereupon
Lieutenant John Murray, Grant's second in command, a former Lieutenant
of H.M.S. _Porpoise_, took over the _Lady Nelson_, and in October, 1801,
was ordered to make the explorations which Grant had left unfinished. He
was instructed to follow the coast between Cape Schank and Cape Otway,
to take soundings and make notes of everything he saw. Portland Bay,
named by Grant, was to be explored, and a look-out was to be kept for
Flinders from whom further instructions would be taken. The French ships
_Géographe_ and _Naturaliste_ were then known to be in these waters, and
Murray was warned how to act if he fell in with them.

The _Lady Nelson_ left Sydney on 12th November, 1801, and while the
vessel was at Western Port on 7th December, seeking refuge from the
heavy gales, natives were encountered. One old aboriginal leader
incited his followers to show resistance, but on a shot being fired they
dispersed. At the entrance to Port Phillip on 5th January the bay within
could be plainly seen, but as the waves broke high on the rocks it was
thought wise to take the brig out to sea again. Next day, however,
King's Island was explored and, on the 31st, Murray returned to Western
Port and anchored there.

Eventually, on 1st February, Murray sent Mr. Bowen, his mate, with five
men--in a whale boat--to survey Port Phillip harbour. The boat returned
on the 4th and Bowen reported that he had seen "a most noble sheet of
water," but nothing of the aborigines, although some huts were examined;
and he so highly praised the new discovery that Lieutenant Murray wrote
in the log: "It would be unpardonable in me not to give this new harbour
a strict overhaul". On 15th February he himself entered it in the _Lady
Nelson_ and recorded that he had named it "Port King," in honour of the
governor, P. G. King, "under whose orders I act,"--a name which the
governor changed to Port Phillip.

A meeting with the natives took place on 17th February. The sailors in
their endeavour to make a good impression and in order to find out where
fresh water could be obtained, made many overtures to the blacks; but
they were thoroughly hostile and threw spears at the sailors, so that
Murray ordered small shot to be fired among them. They were believed to
be of the same tribe which had threatened Bowen at Western Port, but
were not met with again though their fires were frequently seen. On 9th
March Murray hoisted the British flag, and landing under a discharge of
three volleys took possession of the port in the name of King George

On 11th March the _Lady Nelson_ weighed anchor, and arrived at Sydney
thirteen days afterwards. On 29th March Governor King sent off his
report on the discoveries made by Murray to the Admiralty, and on that
day there arrived at Port Western the French ships whose proceedings now
claim our attention.

When Napoleon turned longing eyes upon Australia his interest in the new
country soon became known in England. It is said that he took with him
to Egypt the newly published volumes of _Cook's Voyages_, and, soon
after he became First Consul, he gave orders for the equipment of an
expedition to explore and claim for France the yet unknown portions of
New Holland. The full text of his scheme was never made known; but the
map accompanying the volume of French voyages, published by the Imperial
Press at Paris, claimed quite half the Australian Continent for France.

Two French vessels left Havre on 19th October, 1800. The _Géographe_,
commanded by Captain Nicholas Baudin, was a corvette mounting thirty
guns, and the _Naturaliste_, Captain Hamelin, a ship specially suited in
every way for her task. They reached Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia
by way of the Canaries and Mauritius on 27th May, 1801. Here they landed
and explored part of the coast, visiting and giving its name to
Géographe Bay. The ships parted company on 8th June, in a storm. The
_Géographe_ went north to Eendracht's Land and entered Shark's Bay. The
_Naturaliste_ entered Swan River and waited three weeks for her consort,
then continuing a northerly course she also bore for Shark's Bay,
missing the _Géographe_ by one day. The ships met and wintered at Timor,
whence they sailed to Tasmania, which they saw first on 13th January,
1802. Here they spent three months, but parted in a gale off Cape

Péron writes that on 6th March the largest boat from the _Géographe_,
was sent off to survey the south and east coasts of Tasmania and, a
storm arising, the ship was blown out to sea. The _Naturaliste_ by
violent squalls was separated from the _Géographe_ during the night
between the 7th and 8th; Captain Baudin being ill at the time De
Freycinet, his first lieutenant, took over the command, with orders to
pursue the search for the lost boat which with its crew was eventually
picked up not by the French but by Mr. Campbell of the brig
_Harrington_, who afterwards met the _Naturaliste_ in Banks Strait off
the north-east of Tasmania.

The _Naturaliste_ awaited the _Géographe_ in Banks Strait, but not
meeting her sailed to Port Jackson, where eventually the two ships met.
The _Géographe_ in turn had, after parting-company with the
_Naturaliste_, entered Bass Strait, crossed to the Australian coast, and
traced it as far as Encounter Bay in the hope of finding that the
continent was divided by a long strait running from north to south. When
no indication of this was discovered the _Géographe_ turned eastwards
and arrived at Sydney on 20th June, 1802.

The French officers appeared delighted with Sydney, and Péron, to whom
we are indebted for the history of their voyage, who liked new
enterprises, marvelled that no new expeditions were beingplanned to
ensure the crossing of the mountains. Before the close of his stay he
induced Governor King to issue orders for another journey of
exploration, the command of which was given to Barrallier, an English
officer of French extraction and an expert engineer. Péron, however, was
not granted permission to accompany the explorers, who proved no more
successful than their predecessors.

Baudin's inquiries, before he left Sydney, as to the extent of the
British claims in the Pacific were so pointed that they elicited from
Governor King the definite statement that the whole of Tasmania and
Australia was British territory. King also notified the Home Government
of the suspicious actions of the French, and when they left Sydney on
17th November, 1802, to explore the southern and western coasts, a ship
was sent to watch their proceedings.

The _Géographe_ accompanied by the tender _Casuarina_, which had been
built in New South Wales, arrived in Bass Strait on 7th December and
anchored at Kino's Island. The English there hoisted their colours
during the stay of the French ships, and these colours were saluted
daily as a sign of prior possession, the reason being that the French
commander told Governor King that his Government had no designs upon
Tasmania, but wished for a whale fishery in Bass Strait, and he did not
know what their plans were with regard to King's Island. It was upon
seeing the British flag flying at this island that Baudin is said to have
observed "that the English were worse than the Pope, for whereas he
grasped half the world the English took the whole of it".

The instructions given to Flinders were to examine the southern coast of
Australia and then proceed north-west and survey the Gulf of Carpentaria
and Torres Straits. He left Spithead on 18th July, 1801, accompanied by
Westall, the landscape painter, and among his officers were no less than
eight midshipmen, one of whom was his cousin John Franklin.

The _Investigator_ arrived at Cape Leeuwin on 7th December. Flinders
anchored in King George's Sound, where he stayed to careen his ship. He
searched for a bottle containing the parchment reported to have been
left by Vancouver, but saw no trace of it, although he found a sheet of
copper recording the visit of the ship _Elligood_ in 1800. The
_Investigator_ was taken into an inlet called Princess Royal Harbour to
refit, whence Flinders attempted to explore the interior but was stopped
by a chain of marshes. Many kangaroos, emus and lizards were seen,
similar to those described by Dampier. Leaving King George's Sound on
5th January, 1802, he voyaged along Pieter Nuyt's Land, which had also
been coasted by D'Entrecasteaux, and filled up occasional omissions in
his charts. From Fowler's Bay (named after his first lieutenant Robert
Merrick Fowler) Flinders proceeded along the south coast, sometimes on
land as well as by water, and explored and named Spencer and St. Vincent
Gulfs (after Lords Spencer and St. Vincent of the Admiralty), named
Mount Lofty, near which Adelaide now stands, and disproved the existence
of the supposed strait dividing Australia from north to south. He thus
annexed the whole of South Australia for his country.

After making these interesting and important discoveries he met the
_Géographe_ under Baudin. The meeting on 8th April, 1802, took place in
Encounter Bay, east of Kangaroo Island, so named because of the numbers
of dark brown kangaroos that were seen there. Flinders hailed the French
ship and inquired if she was one of those the news of whose departure
from France had reached New South Wales. He afterwards went on board,
paid his respects to the French commander, and gave information
regarding portions of the country surveyed by him, and of Bass's voyage
in the open boat. The whole coast from Cape Leeuwin to the place where
the _Géographe_ and _Investigator_ met had been explored by Captain
Flinders, and the French made no geographical discovery in the country
they called Napoleon Land. This should be borne in mind, as Flinders
found years afterwards on his return to Europe that French charts had
been published by the Government of Napoleon, ascribing all his
discoveries on this coast to Baudin. "My Kangaroo Island," he says, "a
name which they openly adopted in the expedition, had been converted in
Paris to L'Isle Décres; Spencer Gulf is named Golfe Buonaparte, the Gulf
of St. Vincent, Golfe Josephine, and so along the whole coast to Cape
Nuyts, not even the smallest island being left without some similar
stamp of French discovery." At the interview, Captain Baudin conversed
in English upon the new discoveries, and informed Flinders that he had
coasted along from Port Western and found no inlet whatever; and his
first lieutenant, De Freycinet, afterwards went so far as to remark to
Flinders when they met at Government House in Sydney: "If we had not
been kept picking up shells and catching butterflies in Van Diemen's
Land, captain, you would not have discovered the south coast before us".

After leaving Captain Baudin, the English commander's attention was
turned to a fine harbour which he found near the western entrance of
Bass Strait. He imagined it at first to be Port Western, surrounded by
beautiful country and capacious enough to admit the largest fleet, but
detected his error, for the latter port could be seen to the south-east
from the hills round the coast; he was then unaware that Lieutenant John
Murray in the _Lady Nelson_ had seen it ten weeks before. Flinders grave
names to the various hills; Murray's Bluff Mount, more than 1,000 feet
high, he named Arthur's Seat, because he fancied it resembled the hill
near Edinburgh, and he placed the name of his ship upon a pile of
stones at the top of what he named Station Peak. He left on 3rd May, and
reached Sydney Cove on the 9th of that month.

On 22nd July, 1802, the _Investigator_, with the _Lady Nelson_, left
Sydney to survey the eastern and northern coasts of New South Wales, and
carry out the instructions which Flinders had received before leaving
England. On 7th August, Port Curtis was discovered and on the 21st Port
Bowen, but the _Lady Nelson_ had become so unfit for service that on
17th October she had to be sent back to Sydney. Flinders rounded Cape
York and sailed along the shores of the whole of the Gulf of
Carpentaria. In Malay Roads, a strait in a group of islands called the
English Company's Islands, he saw several Malay proas. After stopping at
Cape Wessel to repair his ship, he returned to Sydney by way of the west
coast, calling at Timor, and reaching Port Jackson on 9th June, 1803,
where the _Investigator_ was condemned as unseaworthy.

Captain Flinders desiring to lay his charts before the Admiralty
embarked on 10th August, 1803, for England in H.M.S. _Porpoise_,
commanded by Lieutenant Fowler, who had been his first lieutenant. At
the same time the _Cato_ of London and the _Bridgewater_, a vessel
belonging to the East India Company, under Captain Palmer, left Sydney,
all three vessels sailing northwards. After being a week at sea, when
200 miles from land off the north-east coast of Australia, the
_Porpoise_, followed by the _Cato_, but two cables away, struck on a
coral reef called afterwards Wreck Reef, the _Bridgewater_ just clearing
the danger. The _Cato_ went down in deep water, but the _Porpoise_ only
heeled and fortunately a portion of the reef, although only a few feet
above the sea, was dry sand and afforded a resting place for the crew.
Flinders almost directly after the ship struck started in the gig to
inform the captain of the _Bridgewater_ of their plight, but seeing that
it was impossible to reach the vessel he returned to the wreck and found
that the _Porpoise_ still held together, so he was able to board her.

It is difficult to say whether Captain Palmer of the _Bridgewater_ saw
what had happened to the two ships. Flinders believed that he did see
them strike the reef, and that he bore away without attempting to render
aid to the wrecked crews or work up to them in smooth water, and those
of the _Cato_ also thought that he was unwilling to help them, for his
ship made straight off on her voyage to Batavia; and, as Flinders
prophesied, Captain Palmer reported the loss of the _Porpoise_ and
_Cato_ upon his arrival in India. Flinders was not the man, however, to
sit still and wait for passing vessels to rescue him, but immediately
set to work to build a cutter out of the disabled vessels. The cutter
was launched on 26th August, and named the _Hope_. On that day the
ensign with the Union downwards, which had been hoisted in the first
instance as a signal of distress to Captain Palmer, was lowered and
immediately re-hoisted with the Union in the upper canton.

Flinders sailed in the _Hope_ to Sydney, taking with him a young officer
named FitzDaniel and thirteen seamen; they arrived safely at Port
Jackson on 8th September, after a wonderful voyage of 800 miles in the
tiny craft. For the relief of the shipwrecked men Governor King
despatched the ship _Rolla_ and two schooners, the _Cumberland_ and
_Francis_. Flinders reached Wreck Reef in eight days, and the crews were
taken on board the vessels.

The _Francis_ with some of the men returned to Sydney, and the
_Cumberland_ and _Rolla_ sailed together from the reef, the latter going
to China, while the _Cumberland_, with Flinders on board, directed her
course to Torres Straits. Lieutenants Fowler and Flinders (brother of
the commander) and John Franklin had embarked in the _Rolla_. They
afterwards took their passage from China for England in the _Earl
Camden_ an East Indiaman, and when Commodore Dance fell in with the
French Admiral, Linois, Fowler took command of the upper deck while
young Franklin was in charge of the signals, and they undoubtedly
contributed to the success gained by the British over the French.[*]

[* The success was highly appreciated in England. Captain Dance was
knighted. Fowler was presented with £300 by the East India Company for
the purchase of a piece of plate and the Patriotic Society presented him
with a sword of honour.]

Flinders, meanwhile, on his voyage to England, through the leaky state
of the _Cumberland_ was, on 17th December, forced to put in at Mauritius
where he was kept prisoner by the French for seven years, the treatment
he received from Decaen, the Governor, forming a striking contrast to
the hospitality shown to Baudin and his brother officers at Sydney. He
kept the English commander two hours in the streets waiting an audience,
pretended to disbelieve that he was the officer named in the passport,
and seized his vessel and all his books, charts, manuscripts, etc., and
sent them to France. It is said that several French officers applied for
his release and that instructions were sent out to Mauritius to that
effect which Decaen disregarded; but, anyhow, his base conduct was
approved in Paris, and the motive soon became apparent. The issue of the
French _Voyage of Discovery_ was pushed forward, and Napoleon granted a
considerable sum to hasten its publication. French names were given to
all the English discoveries, but fortunately Flinders had succeeded in
sending a duplicate of his charts and papers to England before reaching
Mauritius, and the whole imposture was exposed. Flinders died in England
in July, 1814, four years after his release from the long imprisonment
which hastened his end and a few weeks before the publication of his
_Voyage to Terra Australis_, which holds a foremost place in the history
of Australian exploration.


The first governor soon discovered that though he had been set over a
vast country there was only a narrow strip within his grasp. Within a
few miles of Sydney Cove there ran a range of mountains rising in places
almost perpendicularly to a height of from 4,000 to 5,000 feet. Curving
above Broken Bay on the north and below Botany Bay on the south, in the
form of a crescent, they completely hemmed in the settlement and cut off
all advance into the interior. From the heights of Sydney on a clear day
glimpses could be obtained of their level line of cobalt. They formed
part of the chain of the Great Dividing Range which runs with scarcely a
break down the eastern side of the continent from Cape York--the most
northerly point--to Wilson's Promontory at the southern extremity. Seen
at a distance these mountains present the appearance of a bluish curtain
raised but a little above the horizon; twenty-five miles nearer, their
bare summits appear less regular, and at intervals a few peaks are
perceived. The different tiers rise in height as they recede deeper into
the country beyond. Cook and those with him in the _Endeavour_ caught
glimpses of these hills through the clear atmosphere when their ship lay
becalmed off the coast on her way northwards.

The Blue Mountains had a wonderful charm for the colonists; the rocks,
precipices, and thick scrub might repel them; but when days bright with
sunshine revealed gleaming torrents and smooth green plains among the
ranges, the desire to explore them became irresistible. Time after time
expeditions left Sydney to penetrate into the forest, increasing in
number as fresh vessels arrived bringing more settlers desirous of
becoming farmers. The boundaries of the colony were enlarged to their
utmost to sustain the flocks and herds which increased with marvellous
rapidity and from the sea coast on the east to the river Nepean on the
west, a distance of between forty and fifty miles from the capital,
little or no land remained for grazing purposes. Fields of wheat,
lucerne, and clover bordered one bank of the Nepean; on the other stood
the mountains.

Water, as well as grass, became hard to find. Where no rain had fallen,
the power of an almost tropical sun and the sandy nature of the river
beds rendered drought inevitable and the settlers were compelled to look
beyond the narrow coast line for sustenance. Many and various were the
speculations as to what might lie on the other side of the ranges. Some
believed that a white settlement would be found there, others that there
existed an inland sea, or a country unfit for human habitation, and some
condemned all projects of exploration as foolhardy. A few only were of
opinion that open grass country would be discovered suitable for
pasture. No warnings could prevent the colonists from trying to force a
passage into the unknown bush. Many perished in the attempt. Sometimes
an escaped prisoner in search of freedom, sometimes a visionary or too
ardent explorer, starting without proper equipment, disappeared for ever
in the labyrinth of forest; but their disappearance caused little
surprise, and the Bathurst Plains remained undiscovered.

It was held as a fact that there was no break or pass in the mountains
and to surmount their unbroken ridge seemed almost impracticable. There
is a legend to the effect that a freed convict really penetrated the
barrier and discovered the Lachlan River, having learnt the way from a
black fellow; but Cunningham says that "the first known aborigines
declared that there was no pass over the mountains, and held a tradition
that malignant spirits resided there ".

The first attempt to explore the Blue Mountains was made long before by
Governor Phillip who on 15th April, 1788, set out with provisions for
four days, attended by several officers and a small party of marines. In
three days they passed the swamps and marshes near the harbour and found
themselves in a rocky barren country, the hills of which were covered
with scrub, but the rocks and dense bush made ascending and descending
difficult and often impossible. Fifteen miles from the coast Phillip had
a fine view of the country and he gave names to several mountains,
calling the most northerly the Carmarthen Hills, those to the south the
Lansdowne Hills, and one between Richmond Hill.

[Illustration: 0900091h-28 An Exploring Party with Phillip and Hunter. (_From a
sketch by Captain Hunter_.)]

On the 22nd he started again, taking with him some small boats in order
to cross the river, and found good country, densely wooded, but after
spending nearly a day in fruitless attempts to make his way through it,
he was obliged to return. Setting out afresh on the morrow, the party by
keeping close to the banks of a small creek continued their course
westward for three succeeding days. On the fifth day they ascended a
small eminence whence they saw the Carmarthen and Lansdowne Hills, the
farthest point reached being called by them Belle Vue, but even there
they were still apparently thirty miles from the mountains which it had
been their object to visit. Having only six days' food with them they
were obliged to return, having fully proved the extraordinary difficulty
of penetrating into the interior. Unexpected delays from deep ravines
and other obstacles had frequently forced the travellers from the direct
course, and baffled every calculation as to the time required for
passing from one point to another. The distance covered by the
expedition was not more than thirty miles, and it took five days. The
return was easier, the track being made and the trees marked, so that
the explorers reached the boats in a day and a half.

In June, 1789, Captain Watkin Tench and Mr. Arndell, the surgeon,
reached the bank of a river "nearly as broad as the Thames at Putney" to
which the governor gave the name of Nepean, but it was not until the
month of December that Phillip resolved seriously to undertake further
exploration. Lieutenant Dawes was despatched with a detachment of troops
and a stock of provisions for ten days; but after much fatigue and many
dangers he returned to Port Jackson, having penetrated only nine miles

Eight months later, in August, 1790, Tench and Dawes set out with a
strong escort, carrying ropes and other appliances for the attempt to
pass the mountains; and they failed. Next June Tench went westward to
find out whether the Hawkesbury and Nepean were one river. Twenty-one
persons were of the party, which included the governor and Dawes.
According to Tench: "Every man except the governor carried a knapsack
(which contained his provisions for ten days), a gun, a blanket and
canteen: these weighed not less than forty pounds. Slung to the knapsack
was a cooking kettle and a hatchet to cut wood to kindle the nightly
fire and build the nightly hut. Every man was garbed to drag through
morasses, tear through thickets, ford rivers and scale rocks." The march
began at sunrise and halted an hour and a half before sunset with only
an occasional pause. Preparations were then made to camp for the night.
The method of travelling was to steer by compass, noting the different
directions taken as the party proceeded, and counting the number of
paces, "of which 2,200 on good ground," says Tench, "were allowed to a
mile. At night, when all were resting, these courses were separately
cast up and worked by a traverse table in the manner that a ship's
reckoning is kept, so that by observing this precaution we always knew
exactly where we were and how far from home--an unspeakable advantage in
a new country where one hill and one tree is so like another." This
arduous task was allotted to Dawes and he performed it with wonderful
precision. Whenever Colber, a black fellow who had been taken with the
party, was asked the names of the tribes who lived inland he would
answer with a shake of the head, "Boorooberongal," and add in English
"bad"; "whence" adds his chief, "we conjectured that they sometimes made
war upon those on the sea coast". The expedition proved successful, for
Tench ascertained that the Nepean was an affluent of the Hawkesbury.

For some time little was done to scale the barrier, but on Captain
William Paterson of the New South Wales Corps calling the attention of
the Home Government to the Blue Mountains, and to the pressing need of
more pasturage, he was placed in charge of a new expedition which was
fitted out with much care. His plan was to ascend the Hawkesbury River
as far as possible, so that he might reach the foot of the range, and he
took with him two boats and a strong escort of soldiers. Among them were
many Highlanders who, like Paterson himself, were accustomed to the
Scottish hills. Some natives acted as guides, and it was thought that
Paterson, whose extensive travels in South Africa had brought him fame,
would succeed. The river Grose, so named after Major Grose, was
discovered and traced to its junction with the Hawkesbury above Richmond
Hill, and the advance was then made up the river, but did not continue
far on account of the numerous cataracts, one of which fell sheer down
some 420 feet, and the precipitous ground made further progress

In 1794 Quartermaster Hacking of the _Sirius_ with some companions
started with the idea of forcing a way over the barrier. They spent ten
days in searching for a pass, and eventually travelled twenty miles
beyond any previous attempt, but tiers of forest and thicket compelled
their return. During the journey they saw a red kangaroo and also one of
the natives, who, catching sight of the white men, fled in haste.

Two years afterwards Mr, Bass, the discoverer of Bass Strait, made the
next attempt, with a few men on whose courage and skill he could depend.
On this expedition he used iron boat-hooks on his hands and feet in
climbing the steep sides of the rocks, and when stopped by ravines
caused himself to be lowered by ropes, but after fifteen days of danger
and fatigue he also returned to Sydney, declaring these singular
mountains to be impassable.

In 1805 the Government botanist, Mr. George Caley, then in Sydney
collecting new plants and seeds for Sir Joseph Banks, was seized with a
desire to explore the western ranges and applied for permission to
Governor King, who provided him with the four strongest men in the
colony to help him cut a passage through the bush. He succeeded in
gaining a footing on the dividing range at Woodford, as the place is now
called, close to the spot where the railway passes, and after very
trying experiences his party reached Mount Banks twelve days after they
had left Richmond. Caley here looked westward, "I saw no large
valleys," he says, "except the one close to us from which the ground
rose gradually as far as the eye could reach. In a few places there
appeared swamp, in others no trees and very scrubby ground. By these
appearances the country might be imagined easy to travel over, provided
the inaccessible valley close at hand was crossed, yet there is no doubt
others of a similar nature would present themselves as I am too well
conversant now with their rugged impassable state which at every step
becomes a ha-ha."

It took him several days to cut a path from the spot where he had left a
pile of stones, now known as "Caley's Repulse," to the Hawkesbury
River, a distance of less than nineteen miles. Deep gorges were
frequent. Sometimes upright walls of rock would suddenly confront him;
at others, the ground under his feet would crumble away. In despair, he
at last returned to Sydney, where Governor King sympathetically stated
that in his opinion the idea of attempting to cross such "a confused and
barren assemblage of mountains with impassable chasms between was as
chimerical as useless," and that "nothing but enthusiasm could have
enabled Caley, well equipped as he was, and with the strongest men in
the colony to assist him, to perform the journey ".

The route taken by Caley across the mountains was in 1813 chosen by a
fresh band of explorers to whom his experiences were doubtless of great
advantage. On his return to England, he gave it in evidence before a
committee appointed by the House of Commons that New South Wales was
bounded on the west by a range that was impassable. Lieutenant William
Lawson of the Veteran Company was in London at the time, and frequently
discussed with him the possibilities of finding a pass through the
barrier. Lawson soon afterwards returned to Sydney, and evidently did
not forget these conversations.

In the year 1813, three years after Governor Macquarie arrived, a severe
drought such as Australia has since, unfortunately, too often known,
carried off numbers of sheep and cattle, and the scarcity of grass
threatened to ruin the settlers. This induced Lawson, with William
Charles Wentworth and Gregory Blaxland as companions, to follow up the
efforts of Bass, Barrallier, Dawes and Caley. and before the marks cut
by them had disappeared from the tree trunks, to try once again to find
fresh country.

Starting at four o'clock of the afternoon of 11th May, 1813, from
Blaxland's homestead at South Creek, near Penrith, with four servants,
five dogs, and four pack-horses, the explorers crossed the Nepean at Emu
Island, some thirty-six miles west of Sydney, to find a way between the
Western River and the Grose. Passing a large lagoon full of coarse
rushes and some thick scrub they were soon entangled among intricate
gullies and deep ravines. "Narrow, gloomy and profound, these rents in
the bosom of the earth (as Count Strzelecki describes them) are enclosed
between gigantic walls of sandstone rock--sometimes receding from and
sometimes overhanging the dark bed beneath with its black, silent
eddies or its foaminor torrents of water."

In one of the gullies was found a dead kangaroo which had just been
killed by an eagle. Numbers of the brown wedge-tailed species made their
nests in these mountains whose rocky ledges with overhanging foliage
sorely tried the patience of the men. When through the gullies, good
grass country, extending apparently as far as Grose Head, made a
pleasant change in the travelling. Europeans had evidently marked the
trees, and here and there were native huts. But two miles farther on a
deep impassable precipice compelled them to turn back to the spot where
they had left the thick brush-wood.

It seemed then as if the expedition were doomed to fail when fortunately
Lawson thought of a method which had never yet been tried. While gazing
despondently around him he noticed that the spine of the mountains
trended westward and believed that if only his party could gain the top
of the ridge and push their way along it, success would ultimately
attend their efforts. He at once decided to try; but the small party
were then worn out with the exertions of the morning and it was thought
wise to encamp at four o'clock and rest for the night.

Lawson pondered over the direction their path should take on the morrow,
and thought it best to cut a road to what he believed was the Main
Dividing Range, and, if possible, ascend it near the Grose River,
keeping in sight the heads of the gullies which were supposed to empty
into the Western or Warragumba River on the left hand and into the Grose
River on the right. There were, however, other difficulties, and what
troubled the explorer most was the way in which the horses travelled.
From the first they had stumbled continually, and, so far, the start had
to be postponed each morning on their account until nine o'clock when
the dew was well off the grass. And he knew that the rocky hillsides,
difficult enough for the men to climb, would prove still more trying for
the animals. Next day he finally decided to leave them, as well as the
provisions and five muskets in charge of two men, while the rest of the
party (taking with them only two muskets) cut a way through the bush.

The work was unflinchingly got through, although there was not a man who
was not wearied, nor a hand that was not blistered and sore. On this
memorable day, Friday, 14th May, a path extending for five miles was
completed, wide enough to allow the pack-horses to pass, and at five
o'clock the explorers returned to camp. On the following day, leaving
the camp as before in charge of the men, they cleared two more miles,
but as there was no sign of grass for the horses they returned again at
five o'clock. On Sunday they rested.

The whole party pushed on and encamped on a narrow mountain ridge
between two very deep gullies, where some of the men descended a
precipice to a depth of 600 feet to look for water, but none could be
found. On the 18th, two miles farther on, their path became buttressed
on both sides with precipices. Creeping along the narrow edge of the
ridge, the men removed some of the larger pieces of rock, and eventually
got over in safety, but in the evening returned to the camp tired and
out of spirits.

Next day, on their leaving camp and looking back from the second ridge,
a distant view of the settlement now a minute speck beneath them, met
their eyes. Not far from this spot, while busily cutting trees along a
narrow ridge, they came upon a cairn of stones, shaped like a pyramid.
One side of it had been opened and the stones scattered around,
evidently by natives. Lawson thought then that it had been built by Bass
to mark the end of his tour and that they were following in his tracks;
but Governor Macquarie explained afterwards that this pile of stones was
Caley's work, and called it Caley's Repulse.

As they gazed around them the three leaders might well have been
overawed by the task that they had set themselves. What lay beyond
Caley's Repulse was mystery! Possibly the explorers remembered the old
stories of the blacks at Port Jackson who said it was the abode of evil
spirits who hurled thunder, floods,[*] and burning winds upon them, or
the pleasanter fables that a white people dwelt there upon the banks of
a great lake, a people who dressed like the English and had large towns
with houses built of stone.

[* The blacks held a tradition that once long ago the floods had
overtopped the Blue Mountains and that only two men of the tribe there
had escaped alive in a "Koboa Noe" or large ship.]

Yet all was not mountain and forest. In the midst of what was to English
eyes perhaps weird and strange there occasionally opened amid the
transparent atmosphere scenes which would have lent grace to many a
garden in a civilised land. In parts of these mountains, both in the
deep gullies and upon the high slopes, ferns and rare plants are to be
seen growing in their native state. Groups of tall tree ferns flourish
beneath the shadow of massive rocks, their rough brown trunks
contrasting strangely with their delicate green fronds and deeper tinted
leaves; and numerous species of maidenhair fern hang down over the
pale-faced sandstone or creep round the bronze-green moss which covers
the dripping ledges. Here is also to be seen growing upon the heights of
the mountains the waratah, or native tulip. The crimson colour of the
flower gives the plant its name of "Telopia," meaning "seen at a
distance". The trunks and branches of the eucalyptus trees are often
overgrown with creepers, and many descriptions of palms fill the
crevices among the rocks, and give an almost tropical appearance to
these bush scenes. Such scenes, after journeying over tracts of uneven
country, after scrambling up and down stony hillsides and cutting paths
through the scrub, must have often appeared a restful sight to the first

From Caley's Repulse the travellers were able to advance four or five
miles a day, and soon noticed with delight that the ridge was widening
before them. New birds, parrots of varied plumage, attracted them. Emus
were heard calling, and once the sound of a native chopping wood near at
hand excited their curiosity, and told them, although they could not
catch sight of the black fellow, that the mountains were inhabited. The
next day, 25th May, the track of a wombat was seen; later they saw the
smoke of fires curling upwards through distant trees and apparently
thirty natives moving about, but so far off that it was impossible to
ascertain with certainty anything regarding them.

[Illustration: 0900091h-29 Australian Natives Spearing Parrots in the Blue

On Friday, 28th May, to the explorers' joy, they beheld grass country in
the valley below them. It was clear of trees and covered with loose
white pebbles and stones. At first it looked barren and sandy, but they
soon perceived that it really was grass of a light straw colour, and in
the evening they descended the mountain which was high and steep in
order to examine it more closely.

On Saturday, 29th May, at seven o'clock in the morning they began the
descent of the valley through a passage in the rocks, thirty feet wide,
which they had discovered the day before. A low slanting trench had to
be cut with a hoe along the mountain side for the horses to walk in as
there was no sort of foothold for them. The grass proved to be green
underneath, and there was also a clear and rapid stream of water. The
natives were evidently still moving before them, as smoke was again
seen to the west; on the 31st remains of their old fires were found and
traces where they had been sharpening their spears, and from the marks
on the trees they did not appear to climb like the blacks at Sydney.

There were two streams here and the explorers encamped by the faster
flowing one at a short distance from the High Hill. This high mountain
was afterwards called Mount York by Governor Macquarie, although it
became more familiarly known to travellers as the "Big Hill". It rose
sharply 798 feet from the valley below, which Macquarie named the Vale
of Clwyd. The passage was afterwards given the name of Cox's Pass, but
Blaxland in a letter to Governor Macquarie, dated 15th June, 1815,
stated that the passage was actually discovered through a suggestion of
Wentworth's, and that the river was found by Lawson, while the others
were bringing the horses down the mountains.

After once more surveying the newly found pasture the explorers, now
sorely in need of provisions prepared to return to Sydney, For a time
they satisfied their hunger by eating the flowers of the honeysuckle
tree which are shaped like a bottle brush and are full of honey. The
natives still camped a little distance away, evidently possessing no
huts, and would not allow the white men to approach them. On Tuesday,
1st June, the party again ascended the mountain ridge and started
homewards, carefully marking the trees to show each mile of the road,
and reached their home on Sunday, 6th June, 1813, with all their party
well. There may still be seen on the Old Bathurst Road the tree called
the "Explorer's Tree" upon which Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth carved
the initials L.B.W. Standing on a high point of the mountain it is
plainly visible from the windows of the railway carriage.

Thus the mystery concerning the Blue Mountains was solved, and the
discovery of the new territory soon led to important results. On 20th
November, 1813, acting on instructions from Governor Macquarie, George
Williams Evans set out from Emu Island to make a survey of the road, and
to explore the country from the point where Lawson's party had turned
back. On the fifth day he reached the valley containing the rapid
stream, the limit of Lawson's expedition. On 27th November he discovered
another valley with fine grass. Leaving his horses in this valley with
some of the party, Evans set out to select a track where they could more
easily ascend the mountain.

Curious high ranges to the south were seen from one point, the pasture
covering their tops and sides being very green, but no better road was
found, and the party again set forth over hills as steep and stony as
the others. Some small clear streams and grassy valleys were passed, and
from a high hill Evans perceived a peculiar mist in the distance, so
unlike smoke that he believed a river would soon be reached. From this
point a clear view of country for forty miles to the west was obtained,
and the travellers began to meet with good sport. Each day many ducks
were shot and the fish in the streams were both large and plentiful.
Other high hills appeared, and on 1st December he reached a remarkable
mountain with a stone on the top like a sugar-loaf or as some have
described it an Indian fort, which was called after the discoverer
Evans's Crown. He walked to its summit and looked down upon the western
landscape for a distance of some fifty miles. The trees grew farther
apart but the pasturage was thick and the soil looked fertile; the wide
expanse still farther off afterwards gave rise to the story that, when
he first saw it, he believed that he was gazing upon a vast inland sea.
That his pleasure was very great is evident in his writings. "I am more
pleased with the country every day," he says, "it far surpasses in
fertility and beauty any I have yet seen."

His first sight of the river almost inspired him to be poetical. "The
river winds through fine flats and round the points of small ridges
which gradually descend towards it. They are covered with the finest
grass intermixed with the white daisy as in England. It is a most
picturesque spot with gentle rising hills and dales well watered. The
distant hills, which are about five miles south, appear as grounds laid
out, divided into fields by hedges. There are few trees on them and the
grass is quite green. I still keep near the river, and at times I walk a
few miles south or north as seems to me requisite; I now find the mimosa
in clusters on the banks. The country continues good, in some places
overrun with the shrub among the grass the same as on the cow pasturage
at Stone Quarry Creek. I shall not name the river until I am certain of
its real course."

At this time Evans had met with no natives, although he had observed
their tracks. On 4th December the night was very wet and the party
suffered much discomfort from the rain, the thin leaves of the
eucalyptus trees affording little shelter. After a violent thunderstorm
the clouds dispersed and a fresh westerly wind blew throughout the day.
The horses benefited by the good pasturage, but their backs showed signs
of soreness, as the saddles had not been lined and the straw stuffing in
them was so hard that the party were forced to use their blankets as
saddle cloths.

Evans called the first track of clear land O'Connell Plains alter the
lieutenant-governor. Here numbers of wild geese were seen, and the
discoverer writes: "This place is worth speaking of as 'Good and
beautiful' it surpasseth Port Dalrymple (Tasmania) and the clear land
occupies about a mile on each side of the river". Farther on he found
another plain still more pleasing and very extensive which he named
Macquarie Plains. In this region he saw numbers of wild geese and fish
were abundant and easily caught. This river Evans named the Fish River.
It flows westward from the Clarence Range. He wished to cross it, but it
was too deep, and as he could see no signs of a ford he contrived a
bridge. The diary states that "By driving two forked logs into the mud
as far as we dared venture and by laying a piece of wood in the forks we
formed a gallows: a party swam across the stream and did the same on the
opposite side. We then felled trees as large as six of us could carry
and rolled them down the bank. As soon as one end of the trees was in
the water the current sent it round and the ropes which had been made
secure round it prevented it being carried too far down. We lifted two
of these trees up, which reached from one fork to another, and placed
two more trees from the banks on either side to join the forks, over
which we passed our necessaries and then swam the horses, first tying
ropes to them and drawing them to the opposite bank; otherwise the force
of the water might have carried them a great distance down the stream as
it did some of the men who swam over."

[Illustration: 0900091h-30 Sketch Map of the Country West of the Blue Mountains
(_Discovered by G W Evans_)]

At sunset they reached another stream which Evans called the Campbell.
The two streams soon joined and formed what he called the Macquarie. It
flowed across an extensive plain which he describes as "excellent good
land overgrown with the best grass I have seen in any part of New South
Dales. It might be mowed, it is so thick and long. These plains I called
the Bathurst Plains."

Soon afterwards Evans decided to return to Sydney. His party were then
almost barefoot, for the stones and grass had cut their shoes to pieces,
and the horses' backs were in a bad condition. Little else claimed their
notice. Emus were very numerous, one day forty-one were counted, and on
21st December they met two native women and four children, the first
natives spoken to by white men on that side of the Blue Mountains. They
fell down in fright on seeing the white people, and though they received
several presents could not be induced to impart any information, or even
to remain.

The sketch map of this journey (see p. 134) is in the British Museum,
and was taken from an original draft probably in the possession of the
Colonial Office either in London or Sydney.


The colony had made little progress during the first few years of the
nineteenth century, but Macquarie's energy brought about a change. The
public works which he ordered, the improvements of the city, the manner
in which he encouraged the exploration of the interior, and visited the
settlements whenever it was possible to do so, made each year
noteworthy. His activity found scope in many projects which cannot be
enumerated here, but the making of the roads from the capital to the
remote settlements must not go unmentioned. There was not a pioneer in
the country who did not in his heart thank the British Government for
placing such a man at the head of the infant colony. Macquarie's insight
told him that roads and bridges being the natural ducts of a new country
should precede rather than follow colonisation, and if made upon a
moderate scale would constitute capital in the best form for the
country's interests. Had he not recognised their necessity in New South
Wales progress would have been slow.

Before his coming road-making round Sydney was of the simplest kind.
Wherever a road was wanted, the trees were notched, and the marked trees
served as a guide to all who desired to travel that way. Horses and
carts passed along and in a short time a bush-track became visible. The
grass was soon trodden down and disappeared. If a stream happened to
cross the track, branches were lopped off the trees growing on the banks
and laid across it. On them smaller logs were placed with a little more
regularity, and when a sufficient covering of earth was thrown over
them, formed a rough culvert or bridge.

Roads made in this fashion were not approved by Macquarie, though they
had been thought good enough by some of his predecessors. His were on a
different plan. First the route was marked by the compass-line and by a
careful survey to the right and left of the old "blazes" on the trees in
order to make certain that the shortest and best direction had been
obtained. Then the creeks and gullies were measured; the swamps drained;
the brushwood cleared to allow space for three carts to pass and to give
light and air overhead Tree stumps were uprooted, leaving the earth as
little broken as possible; dangerous ground filled in; and preparations
made for bridges. When the whole road was cut level and macadamised in
the old-fashioned way it was strewn with gravel of the best and most
binding description and well-rolled.

These methods were so successful that many roads made during Macquarie's
rulership are still wearing well. At Sydney mail coaches soon began to
run over them and the sound of the post-horn was heard in the streets as
the vehicles made their way carrying post-bags and passengers into the
interior. Then the beauty of the land became known to those who followed
the tracks of the coaches and drays and caught glimpses of those grand
vistas which are Australia's glory to-day, the shadows on the hills, the
windings of the valleys, the waterfalls--Katoomba, Govett's Leap--and
other scenes which were then revealed to the eyes of the white people.

The Great Western, the Great Northern and the Great Southern Roads were
the first to be made. Of these the Great Western as far as Parramatta
was the oldest in the colony, although for twenty-five years the Blue
Mountains formed a barrier to its advance. In 1814 the Great Southern
Road to Liverpool was opened, and it was afterwards continued to Camden
and Goulburn. In 1823 Major Morrisett made his first overland journey
from Newcastle to Sydney over what eventually became the Great North
Road, reaching Windsor in nine days after travelling 169 miles. Major
Mitchell was ordered by Governor Darling to survey this track and the
first section, which reached to within six miles of Parramatta Ferry,
was opened in July, 1829. It made a saving of fifteen miles of road
northwards by way of Windsor. The new Great North Road, as it was
called, was made in order to form a direct communication by land with
the central and upper parts of the Hunter River, including Morpeth, and
the township of Maitland; but it was not wholly completed until 1832.

The Great Western, on the other hand, was extended from Emu Plains to
Bathurst immediately after Evans's return from his first expedition to
the interior. It took only six months to make, the work being carried
out by Mr. William Cox, J.P., of Windsor. Two hundred and fifty-seven
miles of thick bush were cleared, fifty-eight of which spanned the
breadth of the Blue Mountains; viaducts were built round giant rocks,
chasms were bridged and difficulties overcome in a fashion that even
to-day would be considered remarkable. As each section of the road was
ready, a small band of privileged settlers[*] followed to make their
homes in the new country. The road descended by zigzags into the valley
running parallel to what was afterwards called Darling Causeway.

[* Macquarie recommended that the number of settlers be limited to
fifty, with small families, each to receive fifty to a hundred acres of
land, and that no others were to go for two years.]

It was completed on 21st January, 1815. On 25th April, the governor,
accompanied by Mrs. Macquarie and a numerous suite, among whom were
Captain Antill and Lieutenant Watts, A.D.C.'s., and Messrs. Oxley,
Redfern, Evans, Lewin, Meehan, and Campbell left Sydney on their tour to
the new settlement. The route they took was not that which is now
followed by the railway line, but the older one known as the Mount York
Road which was abandoned in favour of an easy descent by Mount Victoria
executed later by Sir Thomas Mitchell, the road by Mount York being so
steep that bullock drivers used to cut down trees and attach them to
their drays as a substitute for a drag. We are told that General and
Mrs. Macquarie were able to drive all the way to Bathurst in their

Upon reaching Evans's Crown and the high lands above Bathurst the
governor was greatly pleased with the view of the rivers Fish and
Campbell, and the Macquarie, which was known to the natives as the
Wambool or Wandering River from its winding course. Along the banks of
the rivers little dark hillocks or knolls and peculiar fairy rings were
occasionally seen. Long furrows at regular intervals marked the plains.
The furrows were remarkable, and in civilised countries would have been
taken for plough ridges; and it is worthy of mention that in New South
Wales on either side of the dividing range they preserve the same
direction from north-east to south-west.

The course of the Macquarie could be traced for miles by the tall
upright oaks that grew upon the banks. Flocks and herds now roam across
the Bathurst Plains, and post and rail fences mark with regularity the
estates of the squatters and settlers, whose homes are encircled by
trees from Europe and America, and by orchards, vineyards and fields of
wheat and maize. But when Governor Macquarie first saw the plains they
were simply an expanse of waving grass. The first glimpse of the high
banks of the Fish River gave him the idea that the stream was of
considerable magnitude, but, owing to the dry weather, scarcely any
water was running and the river might have been more properly described
as a chain of pools. In the reaches there were great numbers of that
curious animal the duckbill or water-mole, and upon the banks grew many
different kinds of shrubs, strange grasses and flax with its
sweet-scented purple and white flowers--the lilies of the Australian
children to-day.

At a distance of seven miles from the bridge which had been made over
Campbell's River a little to the south of its junction with the Fish
River, the view was again admired. Waves upon waves of grass reaching
like ocean billows as far as eye could see, whispered of prosperity and
dispelled any doubts suggested by the barren regions of alternate rock
and thicket. We need not wonder that the general openly expressed his
pleasure when he saw the country. Years after it was written of him that
"he constructed roads like a Colossus and covered the Blue Mountains
with corn"; but at this time his work was only beginning and he knew
little of the interior.

The open country began and the ranges ended, as it were, in a dense blue
wall around a sea of grass. The Macquarie River showed to advantage. The
view of its waters and winding course from the crest of the hill named
after Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connell was extensive; a few trees were
dotted about here and there, chiefly the tall white eucalyptus, the most
beautiful of the gum-trees, whose snow-white trunks and long branches
could be distinguished at some distance; the other trees growing along
the river banks being the wattle or mimosa and the swamp oak, a species
of Casuarina, tall and picturesque as the pine, its dark foliage making
the course of the river easily distinguishable.

On 4th May the party encamped on an open space on the left bank of the
River Macquarie whence the governor made excursions along both banks and
saw many of the natives. He had the portrait of the native chief drawn
for him, and in one of his letters to the Home Government vouched for
its being an excellent likeness.

On Sunday, 7th May, he fixed on a suitable site for the erection of a
town to which he gave the name of Bathurst in honour of Henry, third
Earl of Bathurst, then Secretary of State for the Colonies.[*] Within a
distance of ten miles there were not less than fifty thousand acres of
plain, quite half of which was fit for cultivation. The site designed
for the town was found to be, by observation taken at the selected flag
staff, twenty-seven and a half miles north and ninety-four and a half
miles west of Government House, Sydney. On 11th May the governor and his
party set out from Bathurst and reached Sydney on the 19th.

[* The earliest settlers who formed the nucleus of the population lived
at first in what is known as the county of Roxburgh and built their
church there; the spot is now called Kelso, but when a heavy flood
submerged this bank of the Macquarie they moved to higher ground on the
opposite side of the river nearer to where the town of Bathurst now

[Illustration: 0900091h-31 A Native Chief of Bathurst
(_From "Oxley's Explorations"._)]

As the Macquarie River flowed with such strong current and volume past
the new settlement Evans was despatched to trace it and explore the
country to the west and south-west. He and his faithful man Appledove
leaving Bathurst on 13th May, 1815, passed through the valley called
Queen Charlotte's Vale and discovered a small tributary and then a
larger one which Evans called Limestone Creek. On the 25th he fell in
with a creek bearing south, joining a water-course rising in a
north-easterly direction. It was dry. But the banks were seventy-nine
feet apart, and large swamp oaks growing on either side made it evident
that it was the bed of a large river. Evans named it the Lachlan in
honour of Governor Macquarie and established a military depot at a spot
which he called Byrne's Creek. He discovered many hills or as he
describes them "conical pics" and named the highest of them Mount
Lachlan, Mount Molle and Mount Lewin. Many emus and kangaroos were
seen, and there were remains of burnt-out native fires, around some of
which he counted no less than twenty-three large heaps of emu feathers.
A few days before his return he met three natives, a man, woman and
child; the man ran off and climbed a tree, the woman and her infant
remained terrified at the sight of the white man. Evans succeeded in
getting on good terms with the child, but the man in the tree cried so
loudly that he might have been heard half a mile away. On 1st June,
Evans after carving his name and the date upon a tree, left the Lachlan
River on his return to Bathurst where he arrived on 12th June.

In 1817 Lieutenant Oxley was sent to trace the course of the Lachlan and
Macquarie. He took Evans with him and also Allan Cunningham, the king's
botanist, who had been sent to collect plants for the Royal Gardens at
Kew, Frazer, colonial botanist, and Parr, mineralogist. Leaving Sydney
on 6th April they reached Bathurst on the 14th, pack-horses with
provisions and two boats having been sent beforehand to a depot already
established on the Lachlan. Heavy rain detained the party for five days,
but they reached the Lachlan on 25th April. Finding that the land became
flatter, the river being only 600 feet above sea-level, Oxley traced the
main stream of the Lachlan for 150 miles,--naming Mount Amyot, Mount
Melville, Mount Cunningham and Mount Maude--until the waters were lost
among reeds and trickling marshes. He passed many other mountains, met
several different tribes of natives, and came upon a curious burial
ground; but though he found many swamps, drinking water was scarce, and
believing that the Lachlan ended in marsh he turned back to the
north-east on 18th May, to ascertain what became of the Macquarie.

At first there seemed little hope of finding wood, grass or water, and
on 21st June, Oxley wrote that the land he now passed through was
uninhabitable for civilised man, but then he suddenly came upon rich
country watered by the Lower Lachlan, his farthest point being latitude
33° 57' 30" S. and longitude 144° 31' 15" E.

From here he returned to seek the Macquarie, and discovered a lake which
he called Lake Campbell. After some difficult exploration he reached a
clear stream of water running through a valley amid rocks, which he
believed must flow into the Macquarie; and on 25th August he found a
much larger stream from the east south-east which actually proved to be
that river. The smaller stream he called the Bell River after Major
Bell, and he named the beautiful valley through which it flowed
Wellington Valley.

Oxley returned to Bathurst on 29th August. Although little was
ascertained respecting the course of the rivers, Governor Macquarie felt
justified in despatching him on a second expedition into the interior.
This time he was accompanied by Dr. Harris. Leaving in May, 1818, they
traced the Macquarie, crossing a stream on 11th July called by Oxley the
Erskine. They sailed down in boats beyond Wellington until further
progress was stopped by swamps and high reeds. Here, on the north bank
of the Macquarie, Oxley observed a hill, 210 feet high, apparently the
beginning of a range. From this hill, to which was given the name of
Mount Harris, the party struck in an easterly direction for the
sea-coast, while Evans went off alone on a route rather more to the
north-east, across the stream known as Wallis Ponds and Morrisett Ponds,
the boats being left behind at Mount Harris. On 27th July, Oxley crossed
and named the Castlereagh forty-five miles from the Macquarie, and then
fell in with a range of hills which he called Arbuthnot's Range. He now
came upon many small streams and beautiful plains of great extent,
alternating with chains and ridges of low forest, with woods of cypress
and eucalyptus, and myall (_Acacia pendula_) in full flower. There were
natives seen, the first party of whom, about twenty in number, near
Wellington, proved most friendly. From their behaviour it was thought
that they had formerly encountered white people from Bathurst. Many were
well featured and some of them were big stout men. Curious to know the
mode in which they buried their dead, Oxley opened a grave which
differed from those of the natives on the coast. It was found after the
soil was removed that four layers of wood supported the conical pile of
earth above. "Then came numerous sheets of dry bark, beneath which was
the body with the feet bent towards the head and the arms placed between
the thighs. It lay towards the east and was wrapped in opossum skin,
wearing a girdle and also a net about the head in the manner usual with
the natives. The sides of two trees facing this tomb were barked and had
curious characters cut upon them.

[Illustration: 0900091h-32 Devices carved by the Natives on the Trees at

The portion of the valley where this burial-ground lay was beautifully
situated in a secluded part of the forest, "near the rich banks of the
river Macquarie". A long, straight avenue of trees about a mile in
length led up to it; the trees were carved on each side with various
devices, most of which were apparently intended to represent serpents in
different attitudes. At the extremity of the avenue there were fifty
graves and the ground was marked in curious ways. One grave had a ring
300 feet in circumference; one was in a ring of fifty feet, in the
centre of which rose a large pile of earth where many bodies had been
buried. Near the centre of the ring was a small opening; and a pathway,
made by raising the earth very compactly on each side, led directly
through the burial-ground. At the end of it were two graves fenced in by
sticks and tied with ropes of bark. About 100 trees in the neighbourhood
had the trunks marked according to the different totems of the tribes. A
great number of spears, waddies, wome-rahs, nulla-nullas, etc., were
scattered on the ground.

Oxley traversed the mountains for 100 miles of the journey and from
Mount Exmouth, the central point of Arbuthnot's Range, his party
discovered and crossed Liverpool Plains and many woods and valleys, and
on 2nd September found the Peel River. Travelling over rough desolate
country they passed other streams and mountains, and the explorer was
led to believe that these ranges divided the drainage of the eastern and
western waters. Again following an easterly route Oxley met another
river, called by him, after the Governor-General of India, the Hastings,
which he found also took a due easterly course and finally emptied
itself on the east coast at a spot named Port Macquarie. Moving along
the coast the party found a boat[*] which the men carried for ninety
miles from one inlet to another. As there were many of these, it proved
of great service. They had no conflicts with the natives of the
interior, but those on the coast proved treacherous and troublesome. The
journey ended at Port Stephens whence the party were conveyed to
Newcastle and thence to Sydney.

[* This boat belonged formerly to a vessel from the Hawkesbury River the
property of Mr. Mills which was lost. Here an axe and a hut built by
Europeans were seen. The spot was near Cape Hawke.]

Evans, who had been separated from Oxley for some part of the journey,
reported that the river Castlereagh flowed through reeds which stopped
his progress to the north-east. From this information Oxley inferred
that the three rivers, the Lachlan, Macquarie and Castlereagh,
terminated in swamp and that their united waters formed an inland sea.

In 1826 Allan Cunningham traversed the interior to the north of
Bathurst, and again in 1827 obtained much valuable knowledge of the
country. He struck out in a northerly direction towards what is now
Queensland. Crossing Oxley's route of 1818 and pushing across the Peel
River (also discovered by Oxley) he fell in with a stream which he
called the Gwydir which joined another called the Dumaresq[*];
continuing still north he turned slightly more to the east and found the
Darling Downs, one of the best pasture lands in Australia. Still going
north along the western side of the ranges which traverse the eastern
coast he discovered a pass, known afterwards as Cunningham's Gap, which
led to the sea and provided a way of communication from the interior to
the coast district of Moreton Bay. Oxley had meanwhile prepared an
expedition by sea, had sailed to Moreton Bay, explored the Brisbane
River and learned that it flowed from the eastern side of the great
chain of mountains which cut off the east coast from the Darling Downs.

[* Major Sir Thomas Mitchell found that these two rivers, the Gwydir and
the Dumaresq of Allan Cunningham joined and formed the Darling River of

On 7th December, 1828, acting under instructions from Governor
Darling, during Cunninghams's absence, Captain Sturt (accompanied by
Hamilton Hume, the explorer who accompanied Hovell to Victoria in 1824)
set out from Wellington Valley into the interior, their stores being
drawn by bullocks. On 22nd December they proceeded from Buddah Lake, the
burial-ground of the blacks, close to the south bank of the Macquarie,
and traced the river until, on 17th January, 1829, they found themselves
under the hills named by Oxley New Year's Range, of which the first
elevation is Mount Harris. From the summit of this mountain Sturt
sighted a stream of water and accordingly went towards it and gave it
the name of New Year's Creek. This creek Major Mitchell afterwards
crossed, calling it by its native name, the Bogan.

On leaving the creek Sturt noticed gum-trees around him and tall
saplings in places that by the State of the lower leaves were evidently
subject to floods. The party soon after they set out suddenly found
themselves by the side of a noble river the banks of which stood at
least forty-five feet higher than the level of the stream. The channel
was seventy to eighty yards broad, and enclosed an un-broken sheet of
water literally covered with wild fowl; the paths of the natives on
either side of it were like well-trodden roads, the overhanging trees
being of gigantic growth. The banks were far too steep for the cattle to
descend to the water but the men scrambled down to quench their thirst
which increased every moment under the heat of a powerful sun. Sturt
writes: "I shall not forget the cry of amazement and dismay that
followed! The water was salt, and not fit to drink! The cup of joy was
dashed out of our hands as it was raised to our lips. Nor would the
horses drink of it, although they stood in the stream covered in it for
hours with only their noses exposed above the water. Sticks were placed
to ascertain if there was a rise or fall of tide, but no satisfactory
conclusion was arrived at; yet as I stood upon the banks at sunset,
while not a breath of air existed to break the stillness of the waters
below me, their surface kept in constant agitation by the leaping fish,
I doubted if the river could supply itself with such an abundancy of
water, and imagined that the great volume, which the presence of
pelicans seemed to indicate was constant, was rather due to some
mediterranean sea or lake. Beyond the extremely limited extent of
alluvial soil between the inner and outer banks of the river, the plains
of the interior Stretch far away in the distance. There is no life on
this vast expanse and the stillness of death reigns in its brushes and
over its wildernesses,"

The connection between the Darling, as he named this river, and the
marshes of the Macquarie River was ascertained on Sturt's return
journey. He writes: "The result of our journey up the creek was
particularly satisfactory both to myself and Mr, Hume, since it cleared
up every doubt regarding the actual termination of the Macquarie and
enabled us to connect the flow of water at so interesting a point. The
waters after trickling through the reeds of the marshes form a small
creek which carries off a superfluous part of them into Morrisett's
chain of ponds which latter falls again into the Castlereagh River at
eight miles to the W. N.W. and all three join the Darling in a W. by N,
direction in latitude 30° 52' S., and E. longitude 157° 8' at about
ninety miles to W.N.W, of Mount Harris,"

Captain Sturt, having thus discovered an outlet from the Macquarie
Marshes, turned homewards. On 16th April, 1829, he wrote to Governor
Darling: "The cause of our return is solely to be attributed to the want
of water. Lagoons have dried up in our path and we have exhausted pools
almost before we could find another to enable us to move forward...The
natives are wandering in the desert...birds sit gasping in the trees and
are quite thin, the wild dog prowls about in the daytime unable to avoid
us, and is as lean as he can be in a living state, while minor
vegetation is dead and the very trees are drooping...I observe the sun
does not lose his power when setting nor does the air begin to cool
until long after he has disappeared. Thermometer 137° in the sun, 116°
in the shade and 102° at 7 p.m."

In 1829 Sturt was commissioned by the Government to explore the
Murrumbidgee. Hume was also asked to go, but it was harvest time and he
could not leave home. Sturt, accompanied by M'Leay, started on 3rd
November, 1829, from Liverpool, going thence to Yass, pushing along the
right bank of the river until he reached a point near its junction with
the Lachlan. Here he established a depot some 450 miles south-west of
Sydney; and putting together the frame-work of an open boat which he had
brought with him, launched it on the newly discovered stream and sailed
down past the mouth of the Lachlan. Below the junction they saw in
February, 1830, a river already found by Hume, which Sturt called the
Murray in honour of Sir George Murray, then Secretary of State.

He strongly suspected that this was the river the upper waters of which
he had himself explored three years before, and carefully traced its
course for some days, but he did not reach the spot at which he had
previously touched and was therefore unable to state with certainty
whether the fresh-water river which joined the Murray in 141' E.
longitude was identical with the Darling, the waters of which were
brackish. Passing the junction with the Darling he sailed down the
Murray till it entered Lake Alexandrina[*] after a journey of 1,950
miles, lasting over thirty-two days. Thence he crossed the lake to its
south shore and although he found no practicable outlet to the sea, he
ascertained beyond dispute that he had reached the southern coast of
Australia at a point much farther westward than Hume had touched at.
That point is now the portion of the colony of South Australia on
Encounter Bay. Having discovered where the Murrumbidgee, Murray and
Darling, united in one river, and where they discharged their waters,
Sturt returned on 26th May, 1830, under circumstances of great
difficulty. His valuable discoveries and the courageous way in which he
carried them out, surrounded as he was by many uncivilised tribes, place
Sturt in the foremost rank of Australia's explorers.

[* The native name, according to Sir Thomas Mitchell for Lake
Alexandrina is Kayinga, meaning a lake with an outlet to the sea. It is
twenty-seven miles long and twenty-three broad.]

[Illustration: 0900091h-33 Lachlan River at Condobolin]

Major Mitchell in his first expedition in 1831-32, ascertained that the
rivers discovered by Cunningham were all sources of the Darling, and
consequently that the Dividing Range which separates the waters flowing
to the southward from those flowing to the north must be situated much
farther to the north than had been supposed. In his course northward, on
turning the Lindsay Range in search of the mysterious river called by
natives Kindur (the Gwydir) he reached a stream which he considered to
be the Gwydir discovered by Cunningham when on his journey to Moreton
Bay. The banks were low, the bed contracted and muddy. Crossing this
river and travel-ling northward, Mitchell in latitude 29° 2' came upon
the largest river that he had yet seen, named by the natives Karaula
(the Dumaresq). Tracing it downwards he found that it joined the Gwydir
only eight miles below the point where he had crossed the latter stream.

Immediately below this junction, which is in S. latitude 29° 30' 27", E.
longitude 148° 13' 2", the river took a south-westerly course directly
to where Captain Sturt discovered the River Darling, and Mitchell could
no longer doubt that this was the same river. He therefore decided to
explore north-ward, "since the results obtained proved that the division
of the waters falling toward the northern and southern shores of
Australia is not as has been sup-posed in the direction of the Liverpool
and Warra-bangle Range, but extends between Cape Byron on the eastern
shore towards Dirk Hartog's Island on the west...It appears, therefore,
that all the interior rivers we know of to the northward of the
Murrumbidgee belong to the basin of the Karaula which flows southward,
and hence the disappearance of the Macquarie and other lower rivers may
be understood, as all along the banks of the Karaula, the Gwydir and the
Nammoy, the country, though not swampy, bears marks of frequent
inundations--thus the floods occasioned by these united rivers cover the
country and receive the Macquarie, so that no channel marks its course."

Mitchell's party for 300 miles below the Bogan (the New Year's Creek of
Sturt) drank no other water than that of the Darling in places where
there was only a slight current, enough to turn a mill. The water was as
transparent as the purest spring well and lost all its brackish taste
below the extreme point of the Dunlop Range. Mitchell ascertained,
however, that the principal outlet of the marshes of the Macquarie was
not the one Sturt imagined, by Morrisett Ponds and the Castlereagh River
to the northward, but by Duck Creek considerably farther west, and
Mitchell also found that Duck Creek conveyed the surplus waters of the
Macquarie to the Darling, a separate channel altogether, to the west of
the marshes. Duck Creek was, therefore, practically the Macquarie
reappearing and pursuing its course to the Darling after passing through
the marshes.

The courses of all the principal rivers of New South Wales are first
northerly then north-north-westerly and finally south-westerly. They
describe curves which add greatly to their length, and their long
windings enable them to water a very much greater extent of country than
if they were more direct. The whole of the western slope is drained by
the Darling and its affluents. This river is called the Barwon when it
enters New South Wales at 29° S. latitude and 149° E. longitude. It
receives towards the south-west the McIntyre, Gwydir, Nammoy,
Castlereagh and Macquarie. The next of its feeders are the Bogan on the
left and the Warrego on the right. From the last-named river it receives
no other tributaries until the Murray joins it, where it is naturally
increased in volume by the number of streams which drain the southern
portion of the western slope of New South Wales. Of these the Lachlan
and Murrumbidgee are the most important.


The first book ever printed in Australia, _The General Standing Orders
of New South Wales_, 1802, states that Sydney and Parramatta, or
Rosehill, were first divided into two parishes, Sydney being called the
Parish of St. Philip in honour of Governor Phillip, and Parramatta the
Parish of St. John in honour of Captain John Hunter. Sydney Parish
included Petersham, Bulanaming, Concord and Liberty Plains (named in
1793); while Parramatta Parish included Banks Town, Prospect Hill,
Toongabbie, Seven Hills, Castle Hill, Eastern Farm, Field of Mars (the
name given by Phillip to land granted by him to eight marines), Northern
Boundary, The Ponds, and Kissing Point. Each of these places was little
more than a hamlet, and consisted of a few settlers' houses.

The Hawkesbury or St. George's Parish was made the third parish of the
new colony during the rule of Major Grose in 1794. In this region the
cattle which, as we have seen, strayed in the early days of the colony
had sought a retreat, and here they, or their descendants, were
discovered in the year 1795. The country over which they ranged became
known under the name of the Cow Pastures, and it not only formed a happy
hunting-ground for the governors, but supplied them with the rare luxury
of fresh meat. At Greenhills, its principal town, re-named Windsor in 18
10, Captain John Hunter built a country seat in 1800, and here he seems
to have spent much of his time. There exists an old sketch of the Cow
Pastures known as "John Hunter's Chart" on which is shown a lagoon with
the name "Black Swan Lake," and at some distance from "Mount Taurus"
where the bull had been killed, various inscriptions such as "here a
bull was seen," or "beautiful country "--all conveying the idea that
this chart was not made for the benefit of geographers alone.

[Illustration: 0900091h-34 The Tank Stream, Sydney]

The Hunter River, also known as the Coal River, which was discovered and
named by Mr. Shortland on 19th September, 1797, flows into the harbour
at Newcastle, and in 1801 the governor declared that its timber and
coals were the exclusive property of the Crown. Newcastle, the second
port in New South Wales, was founded by Governor King in 1804,
Lieutenant Menzies being appointed commandant, and sworn in as a
magistrate to control the work of the coal mines at Coal River. "The
coal mines at Newcastle," the old book states, "have been dug in the
most shameful manner, without leaving props, which has occasioned much
labour to remedy the mischief caused by these neglects, and the
commandant is directed not to allow coal to be worked by individuals."
Evidently until this time the people of Newcastle obtained coal with
very little exertion.

The site of the town and its environs had been surveyed in June and
July, 1801, by Ensign Barrallier in one of the _Lady Nelson's_ voyages
under Lieutenant Grant; Colonel Paterson and Mr. John Harris being of
the party. Barrallier, in a note written on his chart, describes the
entrance of Hunter River and its harbour, "the tides very strong but in
the harbour there is good shelter from all winds and plenty of room for
more than 100 sail of shipping". Newcastle now exports large quantities
of coal to many parts of the globe and supplies the Royal Navy at
several stations in the southern hemisphere. The Hunter is 300 miles in
length and drains 8,000 square miles. It is navigable by sea-going
steamers to a distance of thirty-five miles from the sea, the lower part
being divided by a number of islands into two streams, which re-unite
near its mouth.

Barrallier's survey of the Hunter did not extend much above Mount
Grant--named, of course, after the _Lady Nelson's_ commander--"progress
being stopped by a cascade or fall of about four feet, after which the
stream ran to the N.E."

In one of Macquarie's letters home, he says: "A small brig from India
sank in the entrance of New-castle harbour about 1815 and a sand bank
accumulated and affected the depth of the channel, rendering navigation
insecure for this reason ". After a personal survey of the harbour, he
decided on building a breakwater of massive stone-work to shut out the
flowing tide and stop the discharge of the waters of the Hunter by the
narrow channel between the main-land and the rock called Nobby's Island,
whereby the scour of the current in the other channel might remove the
sand deposit caused by the sunken brig; the work was carried out under
successive command-ants of the port.

But Newcastle was as famous in early days for its supplies of wood as
for its coal. It Nourished exceedingly under Captain Wallis who was
commandant there from June, 1816, until December, 1818--and the
governor wrote home to Earl Bathurst recommending that it should be
made a free settlement on account of the fertility of the country and
its convenient situation for the collection of produce and its
conveyance by sea to Sydney. "The plains near Newcastle along the
principal sources of the Hunter River are valuable because of the large
quantities of timber fallen there for consumption at this place," wrote
Macquarie, who visited Newcastle three times and in November, 1821,
sailed up the Hunter for seventy or eighty miles.

Governor Macquarie was almost as active in forming settlements as he was
in making new roads. Great floods had occurred at intervals throughout
the colony and in the Hawkesbury district in particular. The first took
place in 1796. During another flood in 1806 the water rose near the
town of Windsor, seventy feet above the ordinary level; the people took
refuge on the tops of houses, chimneys, barns, haystacks, etc. In many
cases there were no boats to go to them; and, when they could go, the
rushing water frequently swirled round the houses and other obstacles in
its path, so that the boats were swamped and overturned before a rescue
could be effected. Horses, cattle and sheep were lost in great numbers
and the roar of the waters could be heard for many miles.

This Hawkesbury flood hastened the building of many new towns. A curious
old notice, dated Government House, 15th December, 1810--runs as
follows: "The frequent inundations of the rivers Hawkesbury and Nepean
having hitherto been at-tended with the most calamitous effects with
regard to the crops growing in their vicinity and in consequence of the
most serious injury to the necessary subsistence of the colony the
governor has deemed it expedient to erect certain townships on the most
contiguous and eligible high ground for the better security of the
settlers whose farms are exposed to the floods". Five townships, one
for the Greenhills district, called Windsor; one for Richmond Hill
district, called Richmond; one for the Nelson district, to be named
Pitt Town; one for the Phillip district, to be called Wilberforce; and
one for the Nepean or Evan district, to be called Castlereagh, were
marked out by the governor. A plan of a house was left with each
constable of the district, and the settler was expected to conform with
its measurements when building. Orders were given that the dwellings
were to be of brick or weather-board; to have brick chimneys and
shingled roofs, and that no house was to be less than nine feet high.
Macquarie evidently possessed a progressive mind from a present-day
point of view, as we find that this rule was also carried out in some of
the districts of the interior. Hut in spite of his forethought and
the damage that the floods had done, the Hawkesbury settlers could not
be induced to leave their old homes for the opposite banks of the river.
In Wilberforce and Richmond they were more sensible and took possession
of the new houses.

The town of Liverpool was founded in 1810. For some time afterwards its
name had to be indicated by a post with the inscription, "This is
Liverpool," but when on 22nd February, 1814, the road was opened, the
district began to grow into importance and in the twenties it was "a
pretty little country town built on a green with a cool stream gliding
between deep sloping banks".

In 1813 Macquarie marked out and named Campbell Town in honour of his
father-in-law. In 1818 the Goulburn Plains were discovered and named
after the Colonial Secretary, the native name for them was Mulwarree
after one of the rivers which ran through them, and the foundation of
the now well-known town of Goulburn was laid.

Large tracts of pastoral land within the southern portion of the colony
were explored. Goulburn in the south, like Bathurst in the west, became
the starting-point of many of these expeditions. Governor Macquarie and
his suite left Liverpool, then the nearest inland town, on 16th October,
1820, to visit the site of the future town of Goulburn. In the account
of the early history of this place we are told that the party slept at
night in the open country and were disturbed by the noise of cattle,
probably the wild cattle of the cow pastures and that "there were many
kangaroos ". On the 18th Throsby's Country (so called after Mr. Charles
Throsby, a settler who had discovered it and who possessed even in those
early days a splendid herd of 500 bullocks) was reached. The governor
called upon Mr, Throsby, went over his domain at Throsby Park, and was
greatly interested in his large herd. On the 22nd the party reached open
plains named by Hume the Goulburn Plains, and others the Breadalbane
Plains, which the governor named, and on the 23rd they arrived at Lake
Bathurst. On the journey over the Goulburn Plains natural furrows or
ridges were crossed similar to those on the Hunter and at Bathurst. Here
they were called "the ploughed land", Macquarie also formed half a
dozen agricultural establishments or Government farms, but they
consisted of little more than a few farm buildings and huts for the

The first governors had their country-seat at Parramatta, eighteen miles
from Sydney. It was a place of great importance, especially during Sir
Thomas Brisbane's tenure of office. There he built his famous
observatory and devoted so much time to his favourite science that he
was called the first astronomer of Australia. He seems to have lived
altogether at this country-seat, studying the heavens, and was away from
Sydney for long periods. One old writer says that "Sir Thomas Brisbane
was so much occupied in looking up at the stars that he seldom saw the
earth beneath his feet". This absence may have been excusable on
account of the building operations which were being carried out at
Government House, Sydney.

The Bathurst Settlement soon occupied a prominent position, as most of
the explorations in the west of the colony started from here.

Its importance may be inferred from the vast extent of territory of
which it was the administrative head-quarters, which was then called the
Bathurst District. Stations and out-posts were dotted over the country
for hundreds of miles, and, in some directions, the boundaries of the
district were simply the geographical limits of the colony.

Barron Field, a friend of Charles Lamb, has left a description of
Bathurst in 1822. "I could hardly believe that I was in New Holland
this day," he wrote: "so different, so English is the character of the
scenery--downs, meads and streams in the flat--no side scenes of
eucalyptus but the white daisy of the sod,[*] you may see as far as the
eye can reach. Stockmen with cattle and sheep occasionally appear upon
the horizon as in old Holland--a Paul Potter or Cuyp effect rare in New
Holland. At sunset we saw wooded hills displaying in the distance the
golden blue or purple which landscape painters love...the smoke of
the little village of Bathurst is seen for miles off as that of no
other town in Australia is seen at this time."

[* Quoted from Evans who, he thinks, must have meant a species of
_Gnaphalium_ or _Aster_.]

It was after Sir Thomas Brisbane's visit in the same year that the order
to divide the plains into districts or counties, as they appear on the
early maps, was given. But perhaps the visit of Governor Darling is more
noteworthy, as it marked the progress of the colonisation in the
interior. In company with his brother-in-law Colonel Dumaresq and
Lieutenant de la Condamine, General Darling left Parramatta on 4th
November, 1829. The governor spent the first night at Regentville with
Sir John Jamieson, and on the following day explored the banks of the
Nepean and the vale of Mulgoa. Mulgoa seemed to him particularly
beautiful. "The waterfalls were overflowing after the splendid rain, and
the landscape looked rich beyond description. Farther along, the
dark-green orange trees were laden with golden fruit." On Monday, 9th
November, he reached Bathurst.

Major Macpherson, with Lieutenant Browne in command of the Mounted
Police, and Lieutenant Moore of the 39th regiment, rode out early in
order to be first to bid him welcome, and we are told that three miles
outside the town forty of the settlers on horseback were drawn up in
line on either side of the road to form a guard of honour. They saluted
the general as he passed and then joined in the procession to the
Government Domain where several native tribes had assembled and
presented a "novel and interesting spectacle".

On the following day at noon an address was presented to him by a
deputation consisting of:--

John Street, J.P. George Suttor. A. K. Mackenzie, J.P. William Lee.
Thomas F, Hawkins, J.P. John William Gosling.

_The Sydney Gazette_ gives a copy of it--it ran as follows:--

"To His Excellency Lieutenant General Ralph Darling, Captain-General,
Governor-in-Chief, etc.

"May it please your Excellency, We the undersigned Landed Proprietors
of the District of Bathurst beg leave respectfully to approach your
Excellency with the expression of our unfeigned gratitude in hailing the
safe arrival of your Excellency at this Settlement, and of our grateful
sense of that solicitude for its prosperity which has prompted your
Excellency at much personal inconvenience to confer upon the Plains of
Bathurst the distinguished honour of your presence.

"We rejoice by the fall of recent and provident rains your Excellency is
enabled to view our pastures clothed with verdure and our cultivated
lands teeming with a reasonable prospect of an abundant harvest.

"We avail ourselves of this acceptable opportunity to convey to your
Excellency our special acknowledgment for the advantage which this
District is deriving from the rapidly improving state of our Mountain
Road, and for the persevering exertions which have been directed under
your Excellency's auspices towards the completion of an undertaking
upon which our comfort and welfare so essentially depend. We look
forward with satisfaction and pride to the approaching period when our
District will not only possess a comparatively good road to Sydney but
also a splendid and permanent memory of that zealous anxiety which your
Excellency has always manifested to promote the interests of our adopted

"We desire further to offer to your Excellency our sincere thanks for
the institution of local Courts of Quarter Sessions and Requests,
accompanied by our humble though confident hope that these valuable
arrangements may be speedily extended to this populous and important

"We finally entreat permission to assure your Excellency that we are not
insensible of the security which we derive both in person and property
from the effectual and combined exertions of our Civil and Military
Police Establishment, to add our most cordial wishes for your health and
happiness, and to subscribe ourselves with every sentiment of respect
and esteem,

"Your Excellency's very obliged and obedient servants"

(here follow the signatures of the settlers).

The Governor's reply was as follows:--

"To the Landed Proprietors of the District of Bathurst,


"I receive with the truest satisfaction this kind expression of your
sentiments. Your loyalty to your King required no proof. Your goodwill
to me could not have been exemplified in a manner more flattering than
that which has marked my reception in your District.

"I have long wished for an opportunity of assuring you personally of the
interest I take in your welfare, and it is particularly gratifying to me
to have visited you at this time when after the severe trials to which
you have been subjected a bountiful Providence has promised to replenish
your granaries with the fruits of an abundant harvest. Your personal
comfort and the security of your property are objects of no common
interest to the Government, and you may be satisfied as far as the means
of Government permit that these objects will not be neglected. I cannot,
Gentlemen, close my reply to your Address without endeavouring to
express the satisfaction I feel in observing the part which native-born
Australians have taken on this occasion. It is a proof that they have
not suffered themselves to be misled by the arts which have been used to
prejudice them against the Government. They may depend on my solemn
assurance that their prosperity and happiness are connected with the
first objects of its care and solicitude.

"Hoping, as I sincerely do, that the bright prospect now-opening to
your view may be confirmed by years of plenty crowned with peace and
happiness, I beg, Gentlemen, to assure you collectively and
individually, of my unfeigned esteem and regard.

"I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen,

"Your most faithful and obliged,

"Ralph Darling.

"Bathurst, 10th November, 1829."

"During his Excellency's stay," says _The Sydney Gazette_, "Major
McPherson, the commandant of the district, gave a 'dinner-party' every
day, so that the governor had an opportunity of meeting all the
neighbouring magistrates and gentry, besides visiting the estates of
Messrs. Icely, Rankin, Street, McKenzie, Jemmett-Browne, Hawkins,
Perrier, Lee and many others, at all of which his Excellency was
received with the utmost hospitality and every demonstration of sincere
respect. Our old townsman, Captain Piper, had the honour of dining with
the governor, who afterwards paid the captain a visit at his estate at
Alloway Bank...The fatigues of the journey were borne by the governor
uncommonly well, although he walked up most of the steep mountain

Since those days Bathurst has greatly altered. A large thriving town now
looks forth over the open plains. But no change has come over the silent
blue mountains which for so many years held back the knowledge of that
land's existence and so severely taxed the powers of the explorers.

The settlement at Wellington, that is Wellington in New South Wales, was
formed in March, 1823, and Lieutenant Percy Simpson appointed
command-ant. It had up to then been a military depot. The country
between Bathurst and Wellington was comparatively easy to travel over,
and we are told with satisfaction by contemporary writers that
Lieutenant Simpson, in making his first journey to take up his duties
there, "was able to drive the whole way in his gig," and informed the
governor that "only one bridge would be required for the road between
the two settlements ".

The word "district," which Macquarie said was synonymous with town,
more aptly described the first divisions of the interior than the
territorial terms "counties" and "parishes" which the officials gave
them. The districts of Sydney, Parramatta,[*] Hawkesbury, Hunter River,
Bathurst, Argyle or Goulburn, and Illawarra or Five Islands were the
best known. Besides these, there were plains and downs, and grazing
properties or stations, named after their owners, or after the rivers
whereon they stood, the names of some in these later days have entirely
disappeared. These old names appear in the Government Notice
reproduced at the end of this volume. In this small gazetteer many of
the names of rivers or stations are the original native names; some of
them fortunately are still preserved. The English names were apt at
times to be bewildering to new arrivals in the colony. While a
traveller, for instance, might not object to pass through Penrith to
reach Kelso he might remark on the absurdity of taking a boat to
Newcastle in order to reach Twickenham. Some of the native names for the
rivers have long been displaced.

[* Modern writers state that Parramatta meant in aboriginal language the
place of eels, but an old historian says: "Parramatta is a compound
word meaning the head of the stream". The native name for the
Hawkesbury River was Deerubbun, and for the Murray, Millewa. The main
portion of the Hunter was called the Coquun and its first branch
Dooribang (Williams River), another branch the Yimmang (Paterson).
Warragamba is the name of the Wollondilly and Cox Rivers joined before
they meet the Nepean. The Darling was named by the blacks Calle-watta or
Watta; the Macquarie, the Wambool or Wandering. The Molong was
re-named the Bell. Murrumbidgee, meaning "beautiful river," retained its
native name; the Lachlan is in the native language the Colare. A portion
of the Darling is known to the natives as the Barwan.]


The new colony had practical reasons for exploring the land on which it
had gained a foothold, for, like the mother country, it had an
irrepressible desire for expansion, and, not content to work within the
limits which Cook had set down on his charts and maps, it sought regions
for fresh settlement wherever habitable land was found. We have already
mentioned the discovery of Western Port in 1798, and of Port Phillip in
1802, though this fine harbour was not then fully explored. In 1803 Mr.
Grimes, the surveyor-general of New South Wales, visited the region and
found "a small river falling into the north head of the harbour" which
was probably the river Yarra Yarra. The name means waterfall in the
native language, and the Yarra is generally regarded as one of the
constant streams of Australia. Melbourne now stands upon its banks.

The first attempt to form a settlement here was made by the Home
Government in 1803, when H.M.S. _Calcutta_ under Captain Woodriff
accompanied by the ship _Ocean_ brought some three or four hundred
persons (including convicts) from England. Colonel Collins, formerly
judge advocate of New South Wales, was in command of the expedition in
the capacity of lieutenant-governor. A landing was made on the narrow
strip now called Sorrento, about five miles from the entrance to the
harbour, but Collins, after a few months' sojourn, finding no fresh
water nor a suitable site for a town, despatched an open boat to Sydney,
to Governor King, asking permission to find a better situation. Soon
after-wards the whole party, except some prisoners who had escaped, were
transferred to Tasmania. Among the prisoners left behind was a soldier
named William Buckley who years afterwards did good service to his
countrymen in their first interviews with the blacks.

Buckley was a native of Macclesfield, and enlisted in the Cheshire
Militia. He afterwards entered the King's Own Regiment, but falling into
disgrace was sent to Australia in the _Calcutta_ and was one of the
convicts landed at Sorrento in 1803. With two companions he escaped into
the bush. Being separated from them he wandered alone through the
country for a whole year. He lived in a cave which is still called
Buckley's cave. One day while near his primitive dwelling he saw three
natives gazing down upon him in astonishment from the hill above. He
endeavoured to hide from them in a cleft rock but they quickly traced
him out. From that time forth Buckley lived as one of them. He probably
owed his preservation to the awe of the natives at his remarkable
stature, being 6 ft. 5 in. They looked upon him as a returned spirit.
When discovered by Batman's party in June, 1835, he had almost forgotten
his own language and in appearance resembled a black man, his body
being painted over with red ochre and pigment. He afterwards re-turned
to Tasmania.

Tasmania's rugged southern shores like those of Tierra del Fuego present
a bold rocky front to the Pacific. The northern coasts appear like the
inner shore of a cluster of islands whose outer parts have been broken
away by the waves. The southern coast on the other hand abounds with
peaks and ridges, gaps and fissures. When Bass and Flinders entered
Herdsman's Cove and sailed up the Derwent in a small boat they saw smoke
arising at the back of one of the bights which told them that the
mainland was inhabited. The river, 230 yards in breadth and about three
fathoms deep, lay between high grassy green hills that descended in
steep straight slopes on either side. There were just a few level
patches of land which looked fit for cultivation here and there amid the
defiles and at the edges of the water. As the explorers drew to the
shore, a human voice suddenly saluted them from the hills.

Taking with them one of the black swans which they had just shot (being
then short of provisions) they landed and started to climb the hillside,
and had nearly reached the summit, when they saw at some little distance
away two aboriginal women conversing together. At the sight of the white
men each snatched up her small basket and scampered off hastily. They
both wore a short covering which hung loose from their shoulders.

Shortly afterwards a black fellow was seen. He stood still and watched
Bass and Flinders approach with indifference, but when they offered him
the swan, appeared delighted. The doctor and lieutenant tried to
converse with him, but he understood none of the dialects of the natives
of New South Wales nor even the most common words of the South Sea
Islanders. With some difficulty the officers asked him to show them the
way to his home. He pointed over the hill and went on before them, but
walking so slowly and stopping so often under pretence of having lost
the track that they suspected he was unwilling to grant them their

Remembering that they must not lose the tide to carry them back to their
ship they parted with him and said farewell with as great a show of
friendship as was possible. The man was short of stature, slightly built
and less like a negro than those whom they had caught sight of
elsewhere. His face was blackened, and the top of his head plastered
with red earth. His hair was short and curly, and he carried two
spears--rather badly made--of solid wood. This was the first man to whom
Bass and Flinders had spoken in Tasmania and they were favour-ably
impressed. Many native huts were observed, badly constructed and like
those of Port Dalrymple, but with fewer heaps of mussel-shells around
them, as if the natives existed chiefly upon opossums, squirrels,
kangaroo rats, etc., many small bones being strewn around the deserted
fires. No canoes were seen. The grey and red kangaroo and bandicoots
and the black swans, upon which the English-men lived, were numerous,
and there were some rather venomous snakes. There was a special black
snake which so resembled a burnt stick that one day Dr. Bass stepped
over one and would have passed on without noticing it, had the snake not
raised itself and hissed loudly. The doctor determined to try and take
it alive in order to see to what species it belonged and in the contest
the reptile bit itself. Dr. Bass thought at first that he had killed it
and wondered why so large a snake should die so easily, for he had hit
it very lightly with a rotten twig. Three hours afterwards in order to
find out the true cause of death he stripped off its skin. It had
evidently terminated its own life, for the flesh round the marks of the
puncture was found to be inflamed and discoloured.

The discovery of Bass Straits soon brought English ships on their way
to Sydney past the northern shores of Tasmania instead of by the longer
route round the southern extremity of the island. One of the first ships
to sail through the Straits was the _Margaret_, in command of Captain
Byers or Buyers, with Mr. Turnbull on board. This gentleman was in
charge of a valuable cargo sent as a mercantile speculation to the south
seas. The ship, after calling at Port Jackson, was wrecked at Tahiti.
(See Turnbull's _Voyages_) Foreign vessels followed.

In the fourth volume of the _Quarterly Review_, issued in August, 1810,
we read that a few months before the retirement of Mr. Pitt and the
succession of Mr. Addington in June, 1800, Monsieur Otto, the resident
commissary for French prisoners of war, obtained the necessary passports
for the _Géographe_ and _Naturaliste_ to put into any of his Majesty's
ports in case of stress of weather, or to procure assistance to enable
them to prosecute their voyage round the world. As already stated, the
expedition reached Cape Leeuwin on 27th May, 1801. The whole of the west
coast of New Holland was explored and charts made giving it a variety of
new French names. Having reached N.W. Cape, Captain Baudin in the
Gographe stood for Timor where he arrived on 18th August, 1801. The
_Naturaliste_, which had parted from the _Géographe_ on the coast of
Leeuwin's Land, in the meantime, before joining the _Géographe_ at
Coupang, had examined Swan River, discovered by Vlamingh in 1697, and
among other zoological discoveries met with the pearl oyster in
considerable quantity on the coast of Endracht. The two ships left Timor
on 13th November, 1801, made Cape Leeuwin January, 1802, and proceeded
to the southern extremity of Van Diemen's Land, Here they explored the
coves and harbours of Storm Bay and D'Entrecasteaux Channel. M. Peron
writes of this strait: "Crowded on the surface of the soil are seen on
every side those beautiful mimosas, those superb correas unknown till of
late to our country but now become the pride of our shrubberies. From
the banks of the ocean to the summits of the highest mountains may be
observed the mighty eucalyptus--those giant trees many of which measure
from 160 to 180 feet in height. Banksia of different kinds with creeping
plants form an enchanting belt round the skirts of the forest. Here the
casuarina exhibits its beautiful form, there the elegant exocarpus
throws into a hundred different places its negligent branches.
Everywhere spring up delightful thickets, all equally interesting either
from their graceful shape, the lovely verdure of their foliage or the
character of their seeds." After examining the channel the French
proceeded round the southern point of Maria Island and anchored in
Oyster Bay. Peron here thought the natives were savage and ferocious and
unlike those met with at D'Entrecasteaux Channel. The discovery of human
bones in the form of ashes gave rise to many speculations on the origin
of the custom of burning the dead.

[Illustration: 0900091h-34a  A road through the forest in Tasmania]

But to return to Collins, the locality chosen by him for the new
settlement was in the south of Tasmania on the banks of the river
Derwent. To make sure that the French should not anticipate them, a
small company had been despatched from Sydney in August, 1803, to occupy
the place. The colonists from Port Phillip reached their new destination
in two shiploads, one in February, and the other in June, 1804, and
found there settlers from Sydney who had come with Lieutenant Bowen,
R.N., at a spot they had called Risdon[*] (or Restdown). The name was
shortly afterwards changed to Hobart.

[This place was called Risdon Cove by Mr. Hayes, Commander of the ship
_Duke_, in 1793. See Flinders, _Observation on the Coasts of Van Diemens
Land_, p. 5.]

Collins made a survey of different parts of the country; and chose a
spot called Sullivan's Cove as the best site for his head-quarters. He
also named his little camp "Hobart Town" in honour of Lord Hobart, who
was then Secretary of State, transferring the name Hobart from Risdon to
Sullivan's Cove, and acting as governor of both settlements until he
died. Such was the first formation of the community in the southern
portion, which, in a few years, was to become the capital of Tasmania.

It was thought unwise to leave the northern shores of the island
unpeopled and open to the designs of other nations, so after a survey of
the entrance of the Tamar, executed by Lieutenant Simmons, a settlement
was made at Port Dalrymple. Colonel Paterson was appointed commandant
and in October, 1804, landed at George Town on the Tamar. Thence he
removed to York Town, whence in 1806 he shifted his camp to the site of
the present city of Launceston. From these early settlements at Hobart
and Launceston Tasmania was colonised. Before re-turning to Sydney,
Simmons surveyed King's Island and the islands of the Kent Group, and
also took soundings in Bass Straits.

Great privations were experienced at Hobart Town, particularly in the
years 1806 and 1807. When Norfolk Island was evacuated in February and
March, 181 3, most of the settlers, who numbered 145, were with their
stock transferred to Tasmania, the tract of land given them being called
Norfolk Plains. The cattle of Tasmania like those of New South Wales
were at first inferior, being mostly of the Bengal breed; but English
shorthorns were afterwards imported at Port Dalrymple. In 1807 sheep
were first introduced in considerable numbers.

The west coast of Tasmania was explored in 1815 by Captain James Kelly
who left Hobart in a whale-boat and sailed to George Town, and on his
way round named Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour. The discovery of the
whale fisheries to the south of Tasmania increased its importance, and
Hobart be-came the principal port of call for the whaling ships. During
the governorship of Colonel Sorrell merino sheep were introduced from
New South Wales and wool became one of the principal sources of the
wealth of the colony.

Bass and Flinders learnt that the Australian blacks were better armed
than the Tasmanian natives; the latter had neither the boomerang nor the
womerah and they climbed the trees in a somewhat different way from the
Australians. The women especially had a peculiar method--instead of
cutting holes for the thumbs or the great toe as in New South Wales
(excepting where the bark is rough and loose at the base of the trees),
a rope formed of a twisted strip of kangaroo skin or grass twice as long
as was necessary to encompass the tree was thrown round it. Later
explorers found that their only weapons were spears and waddies and
probably at no time of their existence did they exceed 8,000[*] in
number. They were divided into tribes, many of whom resembled the
African negroes. Mr. Leigh, the missionary, de-scribing the natives of
Tasmania, says: "Both men and women are of low stature, of better
appearance than those of New South Wales. They have woolly heads, their
limbs are small, and the thinness of their bodies arises from the
poorness of food, which consists of fish, chiefly mussels, fern root,
and 'native bread'--the fungus which grows round the roots of large
trees. Their skin is as black as that of the African negro. Their hair
is kept short by cutting it frequently with large shells. In winter they
dress in skins and in summer cast off their clothing. They believe in
two spirits--one governs the day which is the good spirit, the bad
spirit governs the night. They possess musical voices, far more so than
the Australians." Many people, including Flinders, believed that the
Tasmanian native sprang from an entirely different race from that upon
the continent of Australia, and that his ancestors had been blown there
in canoes--but Dr. Anderson, who was with Captain Cook at Adventure Bay,
thought that both races came from the north and mentions as one reason
that the kangaroo[**] was called by the same name in both Australia and
Van Diemen's Land. (In West Australia it is Yangore or Yangory.) He also
thought that all people in that portion of the globe from the shores of
New Holland to Easter Island sprang from one source, for example, the
word "cold" was almost the same in far distant portions, in New
Zealand being "Mak kareede," in Tahiti "Marreede," and in Tasmania

[* Historians disagree as to the numbers, some giving 8,000 and others

[** The kangaroo, however, seems to have been called different names by
different tribes as were other birds and animals, etc.]

In 1824 the Tasmanian blacks were as trouble-some to the settlers of
that island as their dark brothers were in New South Wales. They appear
to have broken laws, taken lives, and plundered the white people oh
every possible occasion, much after the same fashion as their
neighbours. But until then they seem to have been a rather more
peace-able race than the natives of Port Jackson. Quaint stories are
told of the thefts that they committed, before the spirit of revenge had
so completely asserted itself that Governor Arthur was compelled to make
stringent laws for the protection of the settlements. One relates to the
loss of a valuable horse, which after it had been taken from the stable
was not seen until one day a native black girl, perhaps the first of her
race ever to mount a horse, rode the animal at full speed, without
bridle or saddle and with only a rope halter round its neck, down the
valley in front of Allen Vale House the home of the owner. A servant was
immediately despatched on horseback to demand possession of his master's
property, but the girl continued to gallop onward urging the animal
along so fast that, hard as the groom rode, he found that it was
impossible to come up with her, Although a reward was afterwards
offered for its recovery, the horse does not appear to have been

[Illustration: 0900091h-35 Captain Cook landing at Adventure Bay, Tasmania.
(By R. Caton Woodville.)]

A Sydney native named Mosquito became a daring leader of one of the
Tasmanian tribes. His history is curious. Transported from New South
Wales for some offence he was made a stockkeeper, and then Governor
Arthur employed him to assist in capturing the bushrangers. He thus
became instrumental in bringing many criminals to justice. No sooner was
this accomplished than the friends of the bushrangers jeered at him for
the services which he had rendered their enemies--the soldiers. Such a
life to such a wild creature was insufferable, and he took to the bush
and became chief of a tribe which were described as harmless and
inoffensive--"the most peaceable creatures in the universe"--until they
were corrupted by Mosquito, the Sydney black. They then grew violent,
hunted the country for plunder, and every white person was counted an

The colonists became alarmed. The police force was inadequate and the
military only consisted of a few detachments, the greater part of which
were stationed in Hobart and Launceston. The audacity of the blacks
increased until at last a raid was made upon a sheep run at a place
called Grindstone Bay. This sheep run was in charge of a white
stock keeper named Radford and it belonged to Mr. Silas Gatehouse. When
Mosquito's black tribe arrived, Radford had with him two men, a
fellow-servant named Mammoa, a native of Tahiti and a white stockman
named William Hollyoak, servant to Mr. George Meredith at Swan Port, who
was returning home from the colonial hospital, and, being weak and only
able to travel slowly, had begged to be allowed to remain a day or two
at Radford's. He arrived on a Wednesday, and on the following Saturday
Mosquito with his tribe, numbering some sixty-five blacks, reached the
place. Some were armed with spears and waddies while others had sticks;
the spears were from six to twelve feet long. The sticks in some
instances had wooden heads carved like an axe. At first Mosquito merely
begged provisions, planting his blacks upon the opposite side of the
creek which divided the sheep-yard from the stock-yard. He interviewed
the men in the hut and said he was going to Oyster Bay, and that he
would not kill their sheep. In the hut were a small fowling-piece and a
musket, which evidently attracted Mosquito. At dawn on Sunday morning,
when Radford looked out of the door of his hut, the blacks had lighted
their camp fire in the sheep-yard and some were sitting round it eating
breakfast, while others were running about playing games.

An hour later they came over the creek. Radford with Mammoa walked out
to watch their sports, and Hollyoak afterwards joined them.
Unfortunately he forgot to fetch the firearms as Radford had desired
him to do should he leave the hut. Shortly afterwards Mosquito walked in
the direction of the hut. Radford noticed this and, remembering the
guns, ran quickly to the dwelling, only to find that in his short
absence the firearms had been stolen and that a number of blacks had
crept round unseen to the back and others were joining them there.

The white men and Mammoa now stood un-armed among the armed natives. The
black leader first proceeded to untie several sheep dogs that were tied
to a tree at a little distance away. When the men asked him to leave
them alone he made no answer, but took the dogs with him to the
sheep-yard. Meanwhile the blacks raised their spears menacingly. Radford
cried to Hollyoak to seek a place of refuge, but the weapons began to
fall thickly around the two men and both were speared. Stopping to pluck
out the spear which had wounded his companion Radford raised him, urging
him to hasten, but Hollyoak was doubtless weak and unable to keep up,
and when Radford next looked round he saw that a considerable number of
natives had closed upon the fallen man. Radford was lucky enough to
elude his pursuers. He hid for ten days in the bush, then cautiously
made his way back to his home and found that both Hollyoak and Mammoa
the Tahitian had been killed. Mosquito was soon captured by a native
named Teague near Grindstone Bay. He was charged with killing Hollyoak
and executed on 24th February, 1824.

Some years afterwards the blacks were still troublesome, and more than
once martial law was proclaimed. Sir George, then Colonel, Arthur at
last resolved to drive all the natives to Tasman's Peninsula and keep
them there. They were to be told that they could do as they liked within
this peninsula, which was to be regarded as their own territory, but
they were never again to set foot on the rest of the island. The
governor and suite with the settlers and 300 soldiers arranged to form a
cordon and drive the natives before them to their new territory. The
enterprise failed; the natives knew the woods and mountains better than
the whites and their dark forms easily escaped through the trees at
night without being seen, and they eluded their pursuers, so that upon
the arrival of the governor and his troops at Tasman's Peninsula, the
natives were found to be behind, and not in front of them. The
expedition cost the colony £36,000 in direct expenses alone and only two
natives were captured. Wild and foolish as the scheme appeared to all
who were familiar with the rugged mountains and deep defiles of that
part of the country, what seemed a more foolish proposition was made to
the governor. Mr. George Augustus Robinson, a builder residing at
Hobart, offered to go out alone and bring in all these blacks
single-handed, on condition that they should be forgiven the murders and
robberies which they had committed and be allowed to settle somewhere
outside the Island of Tasmania. The governor smiled at the proposal, and
both governor and the general public regarded the scheme as that of a
visionary enthusiast, but as there could be no harm done in gratifying
his strange request the governor consented. Mr. Robinson, with Messrs.
John Batman and Cotterell set out with a few pack horses laden with a
tent and provisions while a few friendly natives accompanied them for a
part of their journey. Scarcely a soul expected to see them return alive
considering the exasperated temper of the whole black population at that

Time passed and to the astonishment of the community Robinson and his
party returned sound and well, leading with them whole tribes of blacks
numbering 250 in all. Mr. Robinson's good opinion of these people had
proved correct. He knew that everything that violence and hostility
could do had been tried, and he had a profound faith in the power of
kindness. The secret of his success lay in the patient and persuasive
arguments used by him and his few companions.

In the first place he knew the native language and went boldly among
them without a single weapon of any sort. Then he told them that if they
persisted in their present warfare against the white man they would be
exterminated, for if they killed the whole of the white men, ten times
as many more would come, as in their native land in the north they were
innumerable. He also told them how he had come almost alone to them; how
he had en-treated the governor to offer them an island absolutely for
themselves and had asked for food for them. Lastly he told them that if
they were afraid of being ill-treated they might keep him among them as
a pledge for their own safety. These persuasive endeavours succeeded,
although the winning over of the whole of the blacks was not effected
with-out many other dangers, and many tiring journeys into the
bush--where Mr. Robinson was often menaced by death and the utter
failure of his scheme.

At length all obstacles were surmounted and the day was won. Every
native man, woman and child was brought in peacefully, and conveyed to
Flinders Island which was given up exclusively to the black population.
Some sixty natives joined the party later, making 316 in all who were
removed to their new home. The achievement is unique of its kind.
Robinson was appointed their preceptor and instructor and they were
taught Christianity. Un-fortunately in spite of all the kindness shown
them, they began to dwindle rapidly, as all the native tribes in the
southern continent seemed to do wherever the white man appeared. They
numbered only forty-five when the settlement was removed to Oyster Bay.
Their protector later on returned to England and died at Bath in

[* The Tasmanian blacks are now extinct. The last man, William Lanne,
died in 1869 and the last woman in 1876. She was called Truganini and
was the daughter of a chief named Mangana.]

On 30th April, 1824, a public meeting was held in Hobart, when it was
resolved to petition his Majesty that the island should be made a
separate colony from New South Wales and be allowed to administer its
own affairs. The request was complied with in a proclamation, dated
Carlton House, 14th June, 1825, and published on 3rd December,
announcing that Van Diemen's Land and the islands thereunto adjacent
were to be independent of the Government of New South Wales.[*]

[* After the death of Colonel Collins, the Government was administered
until 1813 by three commandants, viz.: Lieutenant Edward Lord, Captain
William Murray and Colonel Andrew Geils.

Captain Thomas Davey, the second governor of Tasmania, arrived on the
4th of February, 1813, and held the office until 9th April, 1817.

Colonel William Sorrell succeeded Colonel Davy. He was sworn in on
Wednesday, the 9th April, and continued in office until 14th May, 1824.

Colonel George Arthur, the fourth lieutenant-governor, succeeded
Governor Sorrell on 14th May, 1824.]

In the year 1813 when Evans journeyed over the Blue Mountains, Alexander
Hamilton Hume, the native Australian explorer, born at Parramatta, a
youth of seventeen, was exploring to the south-west of Sydney around
Bong Bong and Berrima. In 1819, with Mr. Meehan, the Government
surveyor, he reached the Goulburn Plains and the country of Argyle as
far south as Lake Bathurst.

In 1824, accompanied by Captain Hovell, he left his home at Appin,
thirty miles from Sydney, to march overland to the southern shores of
the continent. Six convicts were of the party, and two bullock drays
carried the provisions. They traversed Yass Plains to the Murrumbidgee
which they crossed with difficulty. Unable to make a raft because the
trees would not float, they took the axle, wheels and shafts from a
cart, and used the body covered with a tarpaulin, as a punt. Hume,
taking between his teeth a small line to which was attached a tow-line,
swam with one of his men, and in this way the boat made its first trip
across the stream. The bullocks and horses were induced to swim and all
got safely over. For days they traversed dense forests--through which
they caught glimpses of snow-clad mountain peaks. On 16th November they
discovered the beautiful river now known as the Murray. It was 240 feet
in breadth with a current of about three miles an hour, and of clear
water. Again they had to improvise boats to cross. The banks were
clothed with long grass to the water's edge. On each side of the river
there was a succession of lagoons within elbows formed by its windings,
most frequently in the shape of a crescent with an inlet from the river
and an outlet into it. The spaces between the lagoons and the main
stream were sometimes more than a mile in breadth but irregular, the
ground between being partly swamped, sandy and unsafe for cattle,
thickly wooded with blue gum-trees, and overgrown with vines of various
kinds, ferns, flax and currajong. The natives made fishing lines and
nets from the flax.

Hume really first discovered this river although both he and Hovell had
looked for it, and not far from the spot where the explorer first struck
the stream Hovell carved his name upon a tree thus: "Hovell, November
17, 1824". This was seen eleven years after by the first party taking
cattle overland to Port Phillip. It is near the crossing place at
Albury, the border town between New South Wales and Victoria, and a
monument to Hume is placed close by.

On the 2ist they reached another river, no feet wide, naming it the
Ovens after the governor's secretary, Major Ovens, and on 3rd December
another which they called the Goulburn after the Colonial Secretary.
Continuing the journey they noticed snow-peaked mountains forming part
of a high range trending to the left, while in front there lay open
country with a sward of fine grass, like English rye grass, mixed with
lucerne and clover.

After many miles of travel they came to a lofty mountain, which the two
leaders ascended, hoping for a view of the sea from the summit, but they
saw nothing of the kind and therefore christened it Mount
Disappointment. On 16th December, they proceeded south-west by south
and noticed at a great distance what looked like water. They thought at
first that it was smoke, but upon nearer approach it proved to be the
ocean. Hovell decided that the spot was Western Port but Hume maintained
that it was Port Phillip. The place really reached was Corio Bay, near
which Geelong now stands. The surroundings were almost clear of timber
and they described the water near the shore as covered with wild fowl
and looking like a large lake in a beautiful park. On 18th December,
after cutting their initials on a tree to mark the end of their journey,
they started homewards across Iramoo Downs near the Werribee River and
recrossed the Goulburn on Christmas Day. Twelve years afterwards people
travelled in their gigs all the way to Port Phillip--"the long journey
being so little obstructed by impediments".

French ships, fitted out to all appearances for the purposes of
exploration but also suspected of the intention of forming a
settlement, were met off the south coast in 1826. Governor Darling,
therefore, gave orders for a second attempt to reach Port Phillip by sea
in that year. The narrative of the expedition which was under Captain
Wright of the Buffs, Captain Wetherall and Mr. Hovell, is interesting,
as it describes the Victorian coast in much the same manner as Cook did
the eastern coast. But Wright's failure lay in his mistake in landing at
Phillip Island, near the entrance of Western Port, instead of at Port
Phillip itself.

The expedition left Sydney Harbour on 9th November, 1826, in H.M.S.
_Fly_, followed by the colonial brig _Dragon_ freighted with provisions
and stores for Western Port, and the brig _Amity_ with colonists who
intended to settle at King George's Sound.[*] The weather outside the
heads being rough the _Dragon_ lost sight of the _Fly_ on the third day
and did not see her again until the 23rd, when the two ships entered
Western Port in company. The _Amity_ was lost sight of on the 18th when
the other vessels were off the Kent Group, and she was not seen again by
either of the ships. After this stormy voyage the two vessels found a
refuge behind Phillip Island which forms a natural barrier across the
mouth of the harbour. When the ships drew close to the shore, men
dressed in seal-skins with a number of dogs appeared from several rude
conical huts, half hidden among a profusion of honeysuckle, mimosa, and
gay-coloured myall which had evidently sprung up and bloomed unhindered
and untended. The men were sealers who had come from Port Dalrymple and
were about seven in number; they stated that they had lived there two or
three years.

[* Major Lockyer was appointed commandant at King George's Sound. He
abandoned this settlement and removed to Swan River in 1830.]

The vessels anchored to the north of Phillip Island after passing a wide
stretch of sandy beach Thick woods on one side trended towards a shallow
lagoon of salt water, where flocks of ducks and sea fowl skimmed and
swami, and on the other side the shore boldly sloped to the east until
shut out by a swamp of mangroves. A great part of the _Dragon's_ freight
was landed on a sandy point about a mile from the ships, and two
soldiers and a prisoner were left in charge. Near this spot the country
was covered with long coarse grass. There were a few trees and a hut
which had been built there some time before, besides a well dug and used
by the sealers, A survey party cleared four acres of the high land
opposite to the landing, a flagstaff was raised, and two long
six-pounders were dragged up the steep sides of the hill and mounted
facing the harbour. On Sunday, 3rd December, the British flag fluttered
on the hill amid the smoke and thunder of a salute; and after further
clearance of the wood on the hill-sides a sort of glacis was formed, and
the battery was named Fort Dumaresq.

On the eastern side of the harbour and on Phillip Island the military
party, prisoners, Government stock, and provisions were landed under
Captain Wright. Home wheat and maize were sown; a vegetable garden was
made and did well. Here also Captain Wetherall erected a flagstaff to
communicate with that on the north-western side of the island and, when
the guns were landed the settlement had an appearance of being defended.
Soldiers and prisoners built huts on Phillip Island; the officers and
men of the _Fly_ encamped near Fort Dumaresq; roads were cut and wells
sunk. The sealers claimed to have thoroughly explored the island and
believed that a stream of water was hidden behind the range of hills
which looked out to sea. The soil seemed fertile; there were honey
trees, beef-wood or red-wood, and several species of mimosa. In the
woods were many wallabies, king-fishers, lories, paroquets, black
cockatoos, and quail were also said to be numerous; cranes and pelicans
and black swans lived on the mud flats. On the appearance of the boat
the swans flew off in different directions and could only be pursued two
at a time. As it was moulting season the birds flew indifferently; but
by paddling against the wind and dodging, immersing their bodies so
that the water overbridged between their necks and backs, some escaped
from the sailors. They flapped and swam alternately. Bass once made a
rough calculation of the number of swans on the opposite side of the
straits and estimated them at 300, all swimming within the space of a
quarter of a mile square, and heard, says Collins, "the dying song of
some scores; that song, so celebrated by poets of former times, exactly
resembled the creaking of a rusty alehouse sign on a windy day". The
seine brought ashore sting-ray, dog-fish, mullet, sword-fish, trumpet
eels and a beautiful fish resembling a sea leopard which Captain
Wetherall skinned and preserved as a curiosity. Lizards were plentiful
and brown snakes were seen, one of which bit a soldier who recovered
after treatment by Dr. White, though a bitten pig soon died.

Mr. Hovell intended to explore the distant ranges which stretch north of
French Island into Argyle and horses had been brought from Sydney in the
_Dragon_ for his use. These ranges he named the Australian Alps. At
Phillip Island from a height, where a rustic hut of palisades woven
together with wicker-work had been set up, the view was magnificent,
extending over the scarcely ruffled surface of Western Port, the blue
waters of which sparkled in the sun or in the moonlight, the background
lost in rising wood while the bold profile of the mainland opposite
broke in between the sea and sky.

After a careful examination Captain Wright wrote to the New South Wales
Government: "I selected the site for a settlement, the only one
possessing requisite advantages, viz., good anchorage and fresh water.
Rich open ground to the west of a line passing from Bass's River due
north to the east arm of this port, some five miles square, is of
excellent quality, well watered by lagoons and small streams. On the
north shores of this square, two miles east of Kangaroo Point on which a
battery of two QTuns has been constructed, the settlement is now
established. By the master of the _Dragon_ I have sent specimens of coal
produced by Mr. Hovell from Cape Paterson."

In spite of the flattering accounts by the two leaders of the
expedition, the disadvantages subsequently discovered led to the
settlement's abandonment.

The aborigines of the country where Melbourne now stands consisted of
only two tribes, about 200 in each tribe. They were not unfriendly and
lived on opossum and kangaroo and birds such as the quail and
bronze-wing pigeon, as well as water-fowl, and fish, which seemed to be
obtained in great quantities.

In 1818 Captain Phillip King, son of the late governor of New South
Wales, sailed in the cutter _Mermaid_, with Mr. Cunningham. With them
went Boongaree[*] who had accompanied Captain Flinders.

[* Boongaree's grave is at Rose Bay, Sydney. Governor Macquarie gave him
a brass medal engraved to the effect that he was chief of the Broken Bay
Tribe. He always wore it hanging from his neck.]


Their object was to examine the unexplored coast of North-West Australia
where Flinders had left oft. King was particularly instructed to explore
the archipelago about the Rosemary Island of Dampier, as an idea
existed that the river Macquarie might discharge its waters there. He
touched at Twofold Bay and sailed through Bass Straits to King George's
Sound, where he began his survey of the coast. He looked first for
Vlamingh's Plate and the more recent French one said to have been placed
on Dirk Hartog Island, but found neither, and learned afterwards that
they had been taken back to Paris by M. de Freycinet. Leaving North-West
Cape he examined Exmouth Gulf and passed the Dampier Archipelago and
Rosemary Island.

He surveyed Port Essington on the north side of the Coburg Peninsula on
the northern coast. The port at its entrance is seven miles wide: the
southern end forms three spacious harbours each extending for three
miles with a width of about two miles. "There is no harbour except Port
Jackson," says an old writer, "to compare to it in Australia. It may be
approached in all seasons and would make a convenient place of call for
vessels proceeding from Sydney through Torres Straits to Java, Singapore
and India." Its one serious disadvantage is the scarcity of fresh water.
The soil is excellent on the low flats and hollows and near swampy
places on either side of the port. The trees are clear of undergrowth
and the grass even in a dry season is good. The natives subsist chiefly
on nuts, roots and seeds of a water-lily which abounds in the vicinity
of the lagoons. This port is--as it were--"the friendly hand of
Australia stretched out towards the north and openly inviting the
scattered islanders of Java and the Malayan, Celebean, and China Seas to
take rest and shelter in its waters, to bring to it the productions of
their inter-tropical isles for barter and exchange for such European
goods as are known to be prized by the inhabitants of those far-off

[Illustration: 0900091h-36 Vlamingh's Plate Giving an Inscription of Hartog's
Plate Found by Him on Dirk Hartog Island, and also a Second Inscription of
His Own]

The following is a translation: "1616: On the 25 October came here the
ship Eendraght of Amsterdam. Chief Merchant Gilles Miebais of Luck;
Skipper Uirck Hatichs of Amsterdam. On the 27th ditto sailed for Bantam
under Merchant Jan Stins; Upper Steersman Pieter Dookes of Bil. Anno,

In English Vlamingh's inscription runs: "1697: On the 4th of February
arrived here the ship Geelvinck of Amsterdam, Commander and Skipper
Willem de Vlamingh of Vlielandt; Assistant Joannes Bremer of Copenhagen;
Upper Steersman Michil Bloem van Esticht, Bremen the hooker of the
Nyptangh. Skipper Gerrit Colaart of Amsterdam; Assistant Theodoris
Heirmans of ditto; Upper Steersman Gerrit Geritsen of Bremen; the
Galliot, the Weeseltie, Master Cornehs de Vlamingh of Vlielandt;
Steersman Coert Gerritsen of Bremen. Sailed from here with our fleet on
the 12th to explore the south land and afterwards bound for Batavia."

Vlamingh's plate was discovered by Baudin's Expedition in 1801, and it
was said the French Commander replaced it by another. It was for this
plate Captain Phillip King searched but without success.]

The north coast of Australia was, strange to say, never inhabited as
were the Malay Islands close to its borders. The wild people in the
north of Australia strongly resembled the Malays, and most likely the
lands were peopled from the same source. But those who settled in the
islands dwelt in a fruitful land, while those who settled in Australia
in their poverty developed into wild men and became a terror to the
islanders who visited the Australian trepang fishing grounds, where on
calm days they searched for the sea slug. If the water is shallow they
bring the fish to the surface with a sort of eel spear. They also fish
in the moonlight when the fish come out to feed, looking like huge
caterpillars crawling in and out the sandy rifts in the coral.

King ascended Alligator River in a boat for forty miles, and after seven
months' voyaging returned to Sydney with interesting collections of
plants and animals. He next spent two months surveying the Tasmanian
coast, and then, accompanied by Oxley in the _Lady Nelson_, followed the
track of Flinders through Torres Straits and discovered Liverpool River on
the north coast, up which he sailed between the mangrove covered banks
for forty miles, and found many remarkable fish and birds. After
touching at the Island of Savu, King turned homewards and reached Sydney
in January, 1820. On his third voyage he sailed from Sydney in the
_Mermaid_ in June the same year, but the vessel proved unseaworthy and
he had to return in the following September without finishing his
exploration. In 1821, however, Governor Macquarie fitted out a vessel
named the _Bathurst_, or _Earl Bathurst_ it is sometimes called, 170
tons, especially for him, and sailing by way of Torres Straits he again
visited the north-west coast and established Port Cockburn settlement in
Western Australia.

Two experimental settlements were formed on the north coast between the
years 1824 and 1828. One was placed at Apsley Strait on Melville Island
and the other in Rafiles Bay, the latter being abandoned in 1829. In
1824 Captain (afterwards Sir James) Gordon Bremer left England in the
_Tamar_ for New South Wales. He sailed from Sydney to establish
settlements on the outlying portions of the Australian coast, and on
21st October, 1824, he landed some guns and fixed up houses at Port
Dundas, the settlement being placed in charge of Captain Barlow. Major
Campbell succeeded Captain Barlow, but the settlement was afterwards
abandoned owing to the hostility of the natives and the privations
caused by the loss of the _Lady Nelson_.[*] She had been sent by Captain
Bremer to fetch supplies from the island of Timor and was taken by
pirates off the west coast of that island on her outward voyage. This
was the last heard of the little brig which was perhaps more closely
connected with the exploration of Australia than any other vessel.[**]

[* Another settlement was made in 1831.]

[** The _Lady Nelson_ was built at Deptford in 1799, but, for ten years
before King took her over, was used as a coal ship. In the _Sydney
Gazette_ a writer states that "When leaving Fort Dundas for the last
time those on board the _Lady Nelson_ were warned to avoid an island
called Babba. This order was not obeyed. Every one in the ship was
massacred, and the hull of the vessel was seen some time afterwards with
the name painted on her stern."]


In 1823 Oxley in the cutter _Mermaid_ explored the shores of Moreton
Bay. He had sailed as far north as Curtis Bay, had examined its coasts
and then turned south, reaching Moreton Bay in December. Here he rescued
four colonists who had left Sydney in an open boat to fetch cedar from
Illawarra (a harbour about fifty miles to the south). They had been
driven out of their course and, after much hardship, from which one
member of their party died, had been wrecked on Moreton Island where
they would have perished had they not been aided by friendly natives who
supplied them with fish and dingowa, or fern root. From Pamphlet and
Finnegan, two of the rescued men, Oxley received information inducing
him to ascend a river which discharged into the bay. The river was of
large size, flowing through beautiful scenery, alternately hilly and
level. Oxley ascended to a distance of about seventy miles and found the
land covered with brushwood, cedar, tulip-wood, and bamboo, with timber
of great height, the most noticeable trees being _Cupressus australis_
and the pine now known as _Araucaria cunninghamii_, having from fifty to
eighty feet of trunk without a branch. He named the river the Brisbane
and chose a site for a settlement at Redcliff Point on the north side of
the entrance to Moreton Bay.[*] Taking with him the two rescued men
Oxley returned to Sydney on 13th December.

[* This was Oxley's last expedition--he died at Kirkham near Sydney on
25th May, 1828.]

In 1825 Major Lockyer in the _Mermaid_[*] made further researches on the
Brisbane River. The first commandant appointed from Sydney at Redcliff
was Lieutenant Millar. He was followed by Captain Bishop and then by
Captain Logan, after whom the Logran River was named and in whose time
the massive barracks were built and cotton cultivated with success. In
1830, after Logan had been killed by the natives, it was decided to do
away with convict labour at this settlement, and not long afterwards a
settlement was made at a more suitable place on the Brisbane River where
Captain Clunie was appointed commandant. This new offshoot from Sydney
became so prosperous that it developed into the capital of Queensland.

[* The _Mermaid_, colonial cutter, so well known in maritime
exploration, and a vessel in which Captain King took many voyages, was
finally wrecked in 1829. This wreck constituted the first of what was
according to an article printed in the _Sydney Gazette_, "a record of
mishaps which overtook one ship-wrecked mariner". Captain Nolbrow left
Sydney in the _Mermaid_ in 1829 for Port Raffles or Raffles Bay, a
settlement which as has been already stated was evacuated in 1829. On
entering Torres Straits the _Mermaid_ ran ashore and was lost. All on
board were saved, and in three days the ship _Siviftsure_ hove in sight
and took Captain Nolbrow and his crew on board. In three days she too
ran ashore and the crew were saved and taken on board by the ship
_Governor Ready_ which was hailed by the ship-wrecked people. Within a
few days the _Governor Ready_ ran ashore. All were again saved and the
ship _Comet_ soon afterwards took the crews of the lost ships on board,
but in a few days she was wrecked. Again every one was saved. At last
the ship _Jupiter_ came in sight and taking the now numerous crews on
board steered for Raffles Bay. At the entrance of the port this vessel
also ran ashore and received damage. Captain Nolbrow here, however,
found the Government brig _Amity_ and, strange to say, this vessel was
nearly wrecked in Gage's Roads. One must bear in mind that the passage
where most of the ships ran ashore is one of the most intricate
waterways in the world; and ships at that time--when so few ports
existed, and there were no docks near at hand to allow them to be
cleaned or repaired--often put to sea in a very unseaworthy condition.]


King George's Sound was found by both Vancouver and King to be a very
good harbour, and in 1826 a small settlement, under the command of Major
Lockyer was made there by New South Wales. Flinders Land, as part of
South Australia was then called, extended in a south-easterly direction
to Grant's Land, which now forms part of Victoria.

One of the most important expeditions to Western Australia was that
which sailed from Sydney in 1827 under Captain Stirling in H.M.S.
_Success_, Mr. Frazer, the colonial botanist at Sydney, being a member
of the party. The country along both sides of the Swan River on which
Perth and Fremantle now stand was carefully explored for some sixty
miles and the Canning or Moreau[*] was also surveyed for forty miles.
Captain Stirling reported that he had found a beautiful country where he
had seen many turtles and kangaroos and myriad black swans, besides
cockatoos different from any met with elsewhere. In returning to Sydney
the _Success_ touched at Rottnest or Rat's Nest Island, on 6th March; it
was found to be barren, with the Horseshoe Reefs on either side nearly
connecting it with the mainland. On receiving Captain Stirling's account
of the west coast the New South Wales Government despatched him to
England to advise that a settlement should be made there. Captain
Fremantle of the _Challenger_ was afterwards sent from the Cape of Good
Hope to take formal possession of the country; his ship anchored off the
Swan River on 2nd May, 1829. On 2nd June, 1829, the ship _Parmelia_
under Captain Luscombe arrived with Lieutenant-Governor Stirling and his
family, a small detachment of the 63rd regiment and some sixty-nine
settlers, and thus began the settlement of another colony of Australia.
The governor's commission, however, limited the boundaries of the new
colony to the Meridian of 129° E., thus leaving a gap in the interior
between 129° and 135°. This portion of Australia was Noman's Land until
1855 when it was included in the boundaries of the parent colony.

[* The Canning River was taken by the French to be an outlet which they
called Moreau.]

The population of the Swan River Colony in December, 1829, numbered 800
people, including a detachment of sixty soldiers under the command of
Captain Owen and Lieutenant Peddar, The latter officer afterwards was
appointed A.D.C. to Lieutenant-Governor Arthur in Tasmania. The large
grant of land, 250,000 acres, which had been allotted Mr. Peel was, it
was thought, to be thrown open to small settlers on 2nd November, 1829,
as that gentleman had not arrived from England to take possession of it
according to the terms under which it was granted to him. It was stated
that his expedition to West Australia had been countermanded by the
British Government because an outcry had been raised and questions asked
in Parliament by Mr. Joseph Hume as to the legality of granting away
such large tracts of territory. Several cartoons appeared in the London
papers representing Mr. Peel with a black swan under his arm while he
plucked feathers from its tail and underneath was printed "Cousin Tom
feathering his nest". These undesirable caricatures brought forth a
speech from the Secretary of State for the Colonies disclaiming any
participation in the proceedings of his fifty-third cousin, or, as Mr.
Hume called it, the Peel Colony. However an understanding was come to
between Mr. Peel and the Government, and he arrived in the ship
_Gilmore_ in December, 1829, with a large establishment of 170 people,
and settled at Clarence or Peel Town, a harbour on the coast twenty-five
miles south of Swan River. The grant of 250,000 acres was made to Mr.
Peel on condition that he took out 400 emigrants to the colony. The
first governor, Captain James Stirling, received a grant of 100,000
acres from the Home Government as a reward for his services in exploring
West Australia, and he settled at Isle Buache.


Governor Phillip before leaving England had been instructed to occupy
Norfolk Island and on 6th March, 1788, Lieutenants King and Ball with a
party of twenty-three landed in the _Supply_ and took possession. The
settlement in October of that year had sixty-two inhabitants and
continued to increase by additions from Port Jackson. On Sydney Bay on
the south side of the island log huts were built and thatched with
bulrushes and flags. The cabbage palm and flax plant were found growing
in great quantities. In January, 1790, the population had increased to
149 persons. Governor Ross, who arrived in the _Sirius_ and _Supply_
with a large body of marines and convicts, was ordered to take command
in March, 1790, and Lieutenant King, after visiting the governor at
Sydney, returned to England to give such information to his Majesty and
Ministers respecting the settlement as could not be conveyed by letter.
The _Sirius_, after landing the passengers from Port Jackson, was blown
upon the rocks and became a complete wreck[*] and only a little of the
cargo was saved. In 1791 Lieutenant King returned to the island as
governor, and in 1796, Captain Townson succeeded him. An order for the
evacuation of the island was issued by the authorities in 1803. The
settlers were to have been removed to Tasmania and to Sydney but the
fulfilment of this purpose was long delayed. It was partly carried out
in 1803, in 1813 and in 1825, but the island was used as a penal
settlement down to the year 1855. Lord Howe Island was surveyed and
named in March, 1788, by Lieutenant King.

[* The anchor of the _Sirius_ was discovered in 1905, and has been
placed in the museum at Sydney.]


When it became known in England that white men could live in New South
Wales, and that the country was fertile, emigrants and capital began to
flow thither, though slowly at first. Even in the very early days,
following upon the visit of La Pérouse, the stranger came there, and
Spanish, Russian and other ships of war dropped their anchors in Neutral
Bay, the name given to the lovely spot set aside for ships of foreign
nations at Port Jackson, But, after the Blue Mountains were crossed and
the vast interior began to be explored, the real growth of Australia
began. Not only prisoners and soldiers and sightseers filled the ships
which passed the heads of Port Jackson, but sturdy farmers with their
wives and families smiled from the deck and gazed wonderingly upon the
straggling settlement as the vessels drew in to Sydney Cove. Few seemed
to regret writing those letters to Lord Bathurst which may still be
read, along with the accompanying recommendations from influential
people in towns or villages, begging that the applicants might be
allowed to settle in New South Wales. The fort crowning the hill, the
high stone windmills, the tower of the little church of St.
Philip with its square-faced clock; the barracks in long white rows,
where at nine o'clock each night was heard the beating of drums,
followed by the sounds of the bugles and the simultaneous cry of "All's
well" from the sentinel; and, lower down, the one-arched bridge spanning
the stream, all told plainly that they were among people of their own
nationality. While a short distance away, shrouded by the grove of trees
and distinguishable by the national flag, stood the modest little villa
called Government House where the ruler of the colony dwelt in state.

Before long the new settlement began to be content; a spirit of local
patriotism towards their new country was awakened within them, and while
they remained loyal to their motherland they learned to love their
southern homes.

The first settler and his family, his servants, if he were fortunate
enough to possess any, his horses, the cattle grazing in the paddocks
(excepting the few first brought to the colony), the flowers, among them
the sweet violet, the rose, the wallflower and the pansy, in the newly
made garden were either British or of British parentage. Small things
many of them, but they played their part in helping on civilisation and
giving colour to the minds of the children in this far off land. The
pioneer settlers who opened up the west, the south and the north, those
who followed Wentworth, Evans, Oxley and Cunningham, Sturt and Mitchell,
and later, Burke and Wills, were kept busily employed. Their work in
smoothing the way for younger generations, and laying the foundations
of future cities and communities, deserves, and perhaps will some day
obtain, fuller recognition than has yet been accorded to it.

The names of some of the pioneers are now heard in the great wool marts;
they distinguish many of the herds in the southern hemisphere, and are
spoken of at Randwick or Flemington when the representative of one of
the old colonial studs wrests a victory from the progeny of some English

For these early settlers and squatters the pastoral occupation was beset
with difficulties. In addition to the privations incident to their
manner of life, they had to lay their account with drought, bad seasons,
and fluctuations in the prices of cattle and wool. They had not seldom
to contend with financial troubles, debts due to the bank or to the
Government, and, all the while, it w-as to them that the population at
Sydney looked for their food supply.

It is true that in the early days grants of land[*] were liberally given,
and sometimes to people who could not or would not turn the property to
profitable account, but sold their rights at ridiculously low prices.
Thus at times wide tracts would be in the hands of a few, and this fact
has been pointed to as hurtful to the interests of the community,
though there is no reason for supposing that the original owners of
either large or small grants could have turned them to better account.
From the first, land has changed hands freely, though the change has not
always been for the better, but the settlers who have clung to their
farms and homesteads appear to have been the backbone of the colony,
securing by their prudence and industry the welfare of those who were
dependent on them, and thus advancing the general prosperity. In New
South Wales there are families who, after a hundred years of good and
evil fortune, still hold the lands granted to them in the days of
Macquarie and Brisbane, and by their foresight and unremitting labour
have increased the resources not merely of their own land but of other

[* See _State of Agriculture in New South Wales_, by H. Dangar. 1828.]

The first homes of the settlers were of very simple design. If the
settler were a rich man, a weatherboard house divided into four or five
rooms on the ground floor with wooden walls and ceilings and floors, and
a verandah running round, was considered worthy of his wealth or
position, but most of the houses were built of wooden slabs with roofs
of thatch or of bark, a smaller building to serve as a kitchen being
sometimes added. A few yards off was a hut to house the handy man.

Then stockyards and fences made their appearance, and, as flocks
increased, a modest wool-shed, which was as small compared with the
sheds of to-day as were the quaint buildings which first encircled
Sydney Cove compared with the great warehouses that now surround the
Circular Quay. Yet these small sheds and scattered flocks and herds were
the beginnings of the vast sheepfolds and the stockyards of the southern
continent. The style of the houses quickly improved. When soil from
which bricks could be made was discovered, and builders
and workmen arrived from England, the architecture became picturesque
and comfortable. Many bore a resemblance to the better class of
farmhouses in England, or were built in approved Indian fashion after
the manner of a large bungalow. All without exception possessed a wide
shady verandah which ran almost round the house. And up the wooden posts
roses and creepers were carefully trained, and as Australia is a
flower-growing country of the first rank they lent additional beauty to
the landscape.

In the country parts the favourite flowers were roses--the old monthly
rose grew to perfection--and scarcely one of the old homes was without
their red or white blossoms. They trailed over the long low roof and
spread around the white house-front and along the short fences and
twined among the thorn hedges[*] enclosing the garden. The yellow and
white banksia, and the white or pink moss rose scented the air.
Australian gardens of to-day are filled with the choicest flowers that
can be obtained in Europe which flourish in a way that puts to shame
their representatives in older countries, but there was no prettier
sight than these old homes in the "time of roses".

[* Both the whitethorn and blackthorn were first introduced by Mr.
Nicholas Bayly at Bayly Park.]

Many of these old homesteads are now dilapidated. Well built as some of
them were, a blazing sun and semi-tropical rains have destroyed the
shingled roofs and white plastered walls. They are Australia's first
ruins. Different as they are from the castles and manor houses which are
the glory and pride of England, the old squatters who dwelt in them
loved them as dearly and defended them with as much spirit as the feudal
lords in olden days defended their homes. Whoever has read of the attack
at Goimbla near Forbes in New South Wales, when David Campbell defied a
set of ruffians of the worst description, who, daunted by the squatter's
brave attitude, left off their assault on his house and set fire to the
stables, will admit the truth of this statement. Shot for shot, bullet
for bullet was returned by the squatter, while his wife at his side,
loading and re-loading his weapons, and with her life openly exposed to
danger, encouraged him in his resistance. The old verandah's wooden
battlements still bear the marks of the lead where it splintered the
wood or lay imbedded in it. The owner of Goimbla felt dismayed as he
watched the glare of his burning stables, but was almost overwhelmed
when he saw his favourite horse pay forfeit with its life for his own
daring. The space between the stables and barn formed a quadrangle.
Round and round this enclosure the animal raced, trying vainly to break
away from the scorching heat, while one of the bushrangers stood looking
over a paling fence to gloat upon the result of his handiwork. But Mr.
Campbell was an expert shot and in the firelight night was as clear as
day. One angle at the end of the house close to where the bushranger
watched the horse, lay in shadow. Leaving his barricade the squatter
crept round the verandah. The flames leapt up brightly as he marked his
man. A sharp report rang through the air. The squatter knew that he had
not missed his aim, for the palings suddenly assumed a straight line
again and the bushranger vanished. That smile at the dumb creature's
sufferings was the last and crowning act of his inhumanity. In the
morning, when relief came, his body was traced to where it had been
dragged by his mates, deep down in a field of growing oats, ripe and
ready for harvest.

How even a small homestead can improve a new land has been described by
Sir Thomas Mitchell in the story of his first expedition into the
interior of Australia during the years 1832-35. Returning after a long
weary journey in the far west, in the midst of the dense bush on an
unsurveyed part of the Bogan River, the exploring party suddenly saw
smoke rising from a chimney among the trees and, meeting a tribe of
blacks, were informed that they were near a cattle station where two
white men lived. They hastened towards the dwelling of these men, and
the symmetrical appearance of the stockyard fence when it first caught
the eye so long accustomed to the lines of simple nature, delighted them
as did the sight of the chimney. The two stockmen, however, for such the
white men proved to be, seemed to have enough to do in keeping the
natives in good humour and securing their own safety. From these
stockmen Mitchell first heard authentic news of the murder by blacks of
Mr. Cunningham, one of his party.

Major Mitchell[*] goes on to relate that the cattle
station was occupied by the stockmen and cattle of Mr. William Lee of
Bathurst who had followed him on his outward journey. Sir John Jamieson
had a station on the Nammoy; and Mr. Pyke had one also on the Bogan.
These were the first pioneers to follow where Mitchell had led the way.

[* See _Three Expeditions into the Interior of New South Wales, 1832-35_,
by Major Sir Thomas Livingstone Mitchell, vol. i., p. 331; Favenc's
_Australian Exploration_, p. 109.]

While the first settler worked cutting down trees, building his house
and laying out his stockyard, small groups of natives came from their
retreat to gaze on the transformation. The natives beyond the Blue
Mountains differed in many respects from the Sydney blacks, although
they resembled them in person. They wore square cloaks of kangaroo skin
sewed together with the sinews of the emu and worn loosely over the
shoulders, some turning the fur side inwards with curious devices on the
outer side. In this attempt at ornament they seemed more advanced than
the coast natives, these devices being first traced by cutting or
raising lines on the skin with a sharp instrument and then top-sewing
them with threads of emu sinews. Governor Macquarie described one to
Lord Bathurst which he said bore "as regularly formed a St. George's
cross as could be made".

The Bathurst blacks were cheerful and good-natured and were not warlike.
Their spears were heavy and clumsy and could be thrown only a short
distance, like those of the Maoris; they hunted the kangaroo with dogs
which were as a rule either black or white with red spots. They spoke a
different language from their brethren at Sydney, and the native whom
Macquarie took up with him in 1815, hoping, that he would be of use as
an interpreter, could not understand them at all. This man was very
agitated when he saw the strange blacks who at first were nervous also,
particularly at the sight of the horses, but soon became friendly and
seemed proud of any little articles given them.

The inland natives, like those of the coast, had few ideas on the
subject of religion. They had no word equivalent to the word God in the
sense which we use it, but they bestowed the name Piame, Baiamai or
Byamy on the good spirit of the black people on the Lachlan. He was
regarded by them as the father of their race, and was believed to have
sojourned amongst them. Mudjegong or Coppeer or Mannai (all three names
are used) was an evil spirit; a Wellington tribe said that he, having
derived his existence from Piame, declared war upon him, and now
endeavoured with all his power to supplant him. The offspring of Piame
were numerous they said; but the whole, except two, were destroyed by
Mudjegong, who converted them into different wild animals. A number of
the devices carved by these blacks on the trees were intended to
represent these transmigrations; such as the snake, the opossum, the
emu, the kangaroo, the cockchafer, etc., while others were said to
indicate forked lightning, weapons and falling stars. The evil spirit
seemed to be described under the form of the eagle-hawk, an imitation of
his eyrie forming a conspicuous object in their burial-grounds. The
natives about Bathurst and Wellington, when near a river, frequently
made a circle with their womerahs and, seating themselves on the ground,
each in turn cast a stone into water, saying, "That is to appease the
wrath of the Evil One". Sometimes they would make the circle on the open
plain and as they said "try to reason with the Evil Spirit".

They had no symbol for numbers above five; above that number the only
word used meant many and might mean ten or twenty or a thousand. In all
pertaining to abstract ideas they were deficient, but in perceptive
powers they were more highly gifted, a fact proved not only in their
tracking man or beast, but also in their acquaintance with natural
objects. The native knew every flower, plant, or tree, every bird,
insect or reptile; he appeared to look upon them as his own and to
regard them with the greatest interest. When asked the name of a flower
or butterfly he could answer immediately, and, in describing them,
would call one good and another bad, would tell whether it was rare or
common, and mention many facts concerning it, showing that he loved and
knew the natural world around him.

Seen in their natural state in the bush the black fellows appeared to
greatest advantage; those at Bathurst were a simple, superstitious race,
eager to show their skill and not ungrateful for kindness.
They were indeed in many respects the very reverse of some of the
miserable buffoons to be met in the streets of Sydney. Yet, like all
savage races, the bush people were vindictive and the spirit of revenge
in them was not easily subdued.

Quarrels with the inland natives may be said to
have begun in the days of the first governor. The first attacks upon the
whites were those already mentioned which broke out on the Hawkesbury.
On the Nepean River in 1816 a band of thirty plundered a settler's home
and the seven white men who followed the robbers were ambushed and
killed. The blacks, elated with their success, attacked every house in
the neighbourhood and robbed the teams passing along the Great Western
Road on their way to Bathurst with provisions. Gradually increasing in
numbers to ninety or a hundred they grew more daring, and closed round
the outlying settlers near Sydney, until Governor Macquarie called a
meeting of the friendly coast natives, offering them rewards for the
ring-leaders of the revolting tribes; and in this way, with the aid of
the soldiers, order was restored.

On the western side of the mountains the settlers were out of reach of
such protection, and, prior to 1824, twenty Englishmen had died at the
hands of the blacks in that region. In August, 1824, over 600 natives
assembled to proclaim their hostility to the white men. No doubt they
had received provocation, for the servants of the settlers, instead of
endeavouring to conciliate them, acted as if they were the "lords of
the soil". The natives naturally resented this and argued that though
the things which the white man had brought over the mountains were the
property of the white man, the country itself and the wild animals,
birds, native plants, and all that was there before the strangers came
belonged to the black fellow. Unfortunately they did not consider
that the produce of land tilled and sown by white men belonged to the
settlers, and they made frequent raids upon the young crops. Once an
overseer came suddenly on a tribe of blacks retreating with their nets
filled with cobs of young green corn--a great delicacy which they were
fond of roasting at their fires. Irritated at the sight of the
destruction of the cornfield and at their open boldness, the man fired
at them. The gun was loaded with small shot, which the blacks coolly
received on their oblong shields and with jeers taunted him as a bad
shot. On the following day the same man found them again pilfering the
field and fired upon them, this time seriously wounding a black fellow.
Long afterwards, when people had forgotten the quarrel, the man's body
was found speared, and there was little doubt as to the culprits.

In 1824 the natives hunted cattle into the bush and, when detected,
urged as an excuse that the white men had driven away their kangaroos
and opossums, and that the black man must now have beef. The manner in
which they killed the cattle and sometimes strove to avoid detection
was, says a Sydney paper, ingenious. They managed to perforate the
animal's skull with a spear, making a hole about the size of a musket
ball. When the carcase of the animal was found, and they were arrested,
they calmly answered that the beast had been killed by a white man, at
the same time pointing to the spot where they said the ball had entered.
They killed the sheep and cooked them in large holes which they dug out
of the earth, making fires and laying the meat--which was
quartered--upon the burning wood; then a few sheets of bark were placed
over the meat and covered with earth, so as to form an oven.

The most famous chief at Bathurst was a black fellow named Saturday who
was a very strong man, tall and muscular. Helped by another chief known
as Sunday, who was also well-built but more thickly set, he was very
troublesome to the settlers, and his robberies were so frequent that the
police received orders to arrest him, 500 acres of land being offered by
the Government for his apprehension. The _Sydney Gazette_ relates that his
strength was so amazing that it took six men to secure him. He was
awarded a month's imprisonment, and soon afterwards, on 28th December,
1824, he made his submission to Sir Thomas Brisbane at Parramatta,
riding into the town at the head of his tribe, bearing a branch of a
tree as a peace-offering.

There was another equally troublesome chief known as Blucher, who with
his tribe made a raid upon the cattle station of a squatter at
Clarendon, near Mudgee, Driving off all the stock that they could find
the blacks had proceeded some distance before Chamberlane, the overseer,
with two men came up with them. They met in a densely wooded part of the
bush. Seeing that he was followed Blucher with thirty blacks turned back
and attacked the horsemen. A shower of spears penetrated the bushes and
boomerangs hurtled through the boughs; one of the latter wounded the
overseer's horse badly, which so enraged the man that drawing his pistol
he turned in his saddle and fired among the blacks, at the same time
urging his men to retreat. "Three times," says the Sydney writer, "he
retrograded and faced the fierce onslaught of the blacks, and eventually
the white men escaped." Blucher, however, was shot in the affray. Upon
hearing of this encounter Major Morrisett with a large party of soldiers
and settlers set out from Bathurst to restrain the attacks of the

Apart from their thieving propensities, the blacks were helpful to the
white people. They fished and hunted, and the women were taught domestic
duties by the wives of the settlers. Their extraordinary powers of
mimicry afforded amusement, and they could sing a song or repeat a
phrase in English with astonishing quickness after hearing it only once
or twice, but like a parrot without grasping its meaning.

Their corroboree, or principal war dance, was performed all over the
country in much the same way, being usually danced at night, and as a
rule in moonlight. For some little time before the spectators sat
waiting in semicircular rows, three or four deep. A large fire was
kindled and a space kept clear by men wrapped in opossum skins, while a
monotonous chant or tune was played by beating sticks upon shields made
either of gum-tree bark or of solid wood. The musicians were usually
women, hidden amongst the brushwood. The bodies of the dancers were
painted white in various devices, which generally extended from the
shoulder to the hip, and their faces were usually red or white. The
figures, slowly advanced from the obscurity of the trees into
the firelight, coming at first by twos and performing curious motions,
one by one others joined in and the dance would quicken gradually into a
sort of short stamp backwards and forwards, increasing in vigour until
at last the ground seemed to shake, and the corroboree jump or spring
was attained. Grasping a weapon and raising their arms on high the
natives would then incline the head from one shoulder to another,
keeping each jump and inclination in perfect time with the beats and
voices of the singers. Although at first the dancers kept to one long
line and sprang only six inches aside, as the line doubled, trebled, or
quadrupled, they varied their formation and the first line would jump to
the left, the second to the right, and the third and fourth to the left
and right alternately. After nearly exhausting themselves they would
stop simultaneously and, sinking on their knees with a sort of dismal
wail, bend themselves forward to the earth, and disperse.

Sir Thomas Mitchell observed that the natives on the Darling River
expressed hostility by throwing up dust with their toes, and dislike by
spitting, symbolic actions resembling those practised in the East. In
this region many graves were marked with white casts of burnt gypsum,
probably deposited by the widows of the men buried in them. The widows
of certain tribes on the Darling and at Fort Bourke in New South Wales
plastered their heads, renewing the plaster for six or seven months, and
would not remarry for seven months after the casts had worn off. The men
wore round the head a neatly wrought bandage or fillet whitened with
pipeclay as a sign of mourning for the dead. Pipeclay was very highly
valued by them and the natives of the Darling kept it in a hut specially
set apart for its storage.

[Illustration: 0900091h-37 Natives of Australia on Trial]

The natives buried their dead differently on different rivers. On the
Bogan the graves were covered like our own and surrounded with curved
walks and ornamented ground. On the Macquarie and Lachlan Rivers they
were lofty mounds with seats around them. On the Murrumbidgee and Murray
they were covered with thatched huts containing dried grass enclosed
like the inside of a whale boat. On the Darling they were in mounds
covered with branches and surrounded by a ditch and sometimes a fence.
The natives of the Macquarie River made the graves always from east to
west with the head to the east. Captain Bligh was struck with a similar
custom at Tahiti when a grave was dug by the natives for one of his
officers who had died there. The chief asked if it was made in
accordance with the captain's wishes, because, said he, pointing first
to the east and then to the west, "There the sun rises and there it
sets". Captain Bligh thought then that the custom might have been
learned from the Spaniards who buried the captain of their ship on the
island in 1774, but it is clear that the Australian native knew nothing
of any white men's habits. The tumulus Oxley saw on the Macquarie was in
the form of a semicircle of which three rows of seats occupied one half,
the grave and more seats the other half The seats formed segments of
circles of fifty, forty-five and forty feet each and had trenches
between them. In the centre was the grave five feet high, and nine feet
long, forming a curve.

The natives were certainly not musical, although their voices at times
were soft and pleasing. Their songs, as translated, generally contained
much repetition. According to Mrs. Meredith, an early writer, they were
generally of feasting, for example:--

Eat a great deal, eat, eat, eat,
Eat again, plenty to eat,

which they sang over and over again. This, she says, far exceeded the
weary echo of love-lorn drawing-room ballads. Dr. Lang, on the other
hand, says that the song, although it often consisted of but a single
couplet, was the outcome of inspiration, and that one tribe taught their
song to another who, when they had learned it passed it on to others, so
that songs sung by the natives were sometimes in the language of a
far-distant tribe.

It is true that they repeated the same words over and over again, and
upon the death of a chief would weep and lament, crying, "Where is he,
where is he?" but Dr. Lang gives what he says is a pretty free
translation, or paraphrase, of a song sung by a tribe in the Sydney
district of the Cow Pastures to show that the natives were not
altogether devoid of poetical sentiment:--

A warrior lies in yonder dell,
His eyelids closed for ever,
Heroes! I slew him and he fell
Near Warragumby River.
Who is he, ere we dig his grave?
Come tell me in the song,
Oh! he is like a warrior brave
Bold Barrabooriong.

[Illustration: 0900091h-38 Native Burial Ground near Wellington, N. S. Wales.
(From "_Oxley's Explorations_")]

In 1830 several blacks from the Hunter districts travelled to Windsor,
Parramatta and Sydney to teach other tribes a new song-which had lately
been brought to them from far beyond Liverpool Plains where the
song existed although the dialect was not the same. Captain Flinders
encouraged some natives to sing to him and his companions while
exploring Pumice Stone River near Glasshouse Bay, and they began in
concert and sang very pleasingly, "not descending by thirds in the
diatonic scale as did the natives at Sydney but in a waving soothing
strain ". Letting their voices down to the lowest pitch, they began
again at the octave and accompanied their song with slow and not
ungraceful motions--it was not confined to one air but three. Observing
that they were listened to attentively after the first song had been
sung, they each selected a white man and placed themselves beside him,
and with much earnestness, fixing their eyes on his face all the time,
sang into his ear as if trying to teach their song to him.

As an example of the songs which the old tribes used to chant around
their fires, when tired out with their wanderings, the following may be
given. It was translated by Mrs. Dunlop and published in an Australian
paper. A very old black named W'ullati repeated the verses to her: the
tribe has been long extinct:--

Our home is in the gibber-gunyah[*]
Where hill joins hill on high
Where the boomerang and womerah
Like sleeping serpents lie:--
And the rushing of wings as the wangas[**] pass
Sweeps the wallaby's print from the glistening grass.

Ours are the great fish gliding
Deep in the shady pool,
For the spear is sure and the prey secure
The eel and the bright gherool;[***]
Our children sleep by the water clear,
Where the white-fellow's track hath never been near.

Ours is the hive o'erflowing
With precious honey stored,
For fleet the foot and keen the eye
That seeks the wild bee's hoard;
And the glances are bright and the laughter free,
When we meet 'neath the shade of the karrakun tree.[****]

[* Rock-house.]

[** The flight of the wanga or wonga-wonga pigeon is not unlike the whir
of the partridge.]

[*** A species of mullet.]

[**** The swamp oak.]

The natives had a superstitious dread of entering any of the limestone
caves. During cold or rainy weather they protected themselves by sheets
of bark placed so as to support one another, of sufficient dimensions
inside to admit a single individual, and these being left standing,
indicated for a considerable time afterwards the sites of their
encampments. They used canoes to cross the deep rivers, building them
differently in different parts of the country. Those at Wellington were
merely fresh single sheets of eucalyptus bark, carefully taken from a
twisted tree, and prevented from rolling up by two slender boughs or
thwarts which kept them apart. The canoe was generally about six feet
long, by two and a half wide, with the head made round like that of a
boat, and higher than the stern, which hid a low wall of clay to
prevent the water from rushing in. The passenger was forced to sit
perfectly still, while a native by means of a paddle guided this very
primitive boat across the stream with considerable dexterity. When the
stream was high its crossing was, and is, by no means easy, and the
difficulties may be greater at some times than at others. As a case in
point we may quote the following story told by an English officer of how
he and a commissioner for Crown lands were carried over a big river.
"We came to a large river which could only be crossed in a canoe. The
proprietor was a big black fellow. The commissioner was determined to
pass over. Being a fat and portly personage his unwieldy size and
weight, added to the black's, brought the light structure to the water's
edge, and they had much difficulty in keeping her afloat. At length the
signal was given to push off which the black laughingly did, and the
fragile bark with its goodly freight was launched into the current of
the stream. The canoe with gyratory motion whirled rapidly along the
centre of the river which happened to be unusually high. In vain the
black fellow plied his paddles. In vain he strove to guide his unruly
charge to the opposite bank. They were borne helplessly on like a huge
bubble on the tide. One fearful look was cast by the commissioner at the
foaming flood, another full of envy, regret and despair at his companion
on the bank. Then the slender skiff was impelled more fiercely, causing
him to lose his equilibrium, and before he could recover himself he
pitched headlong into the stream, upsetting with the surge both blacky
and his canoe; and shooting with great velocity into the depths below,
he disappeared as if he had been an expert pearl diver. The black
scarce wetted his head and seemed simply disporting in the water. After
a while, many yards away from the scene of the capsize, up bobbed the
commissioner, then bobbed down again almost immediately into the
elements below. Again he appeared; when in an instant, with the speed of
an arrow, the black dived and dragged him to the bank, looking far more
like a sea king or a river god than a commissioner for Crown lands."

Before the white man crossed the mountains the natives may be said to
have lived an idyllic life, spending their days roaming through the
woods whither their fancy led them. The bush was thronged with birds,
many species of which have since become extinct, while others have been
frightened away by the sound of the settler's gun. Here in the long
summer days, the voices of the black man mingled with the chattering of
the parrots, until the deep banks of the river, the low sandy shallows,
the fiat-topped hills, and the wild bush beyond rang with the echoes of
their mirth. Eating at every opportunity, as long as there remained
anything for them to eat, they would stretch themselves down to rest
under the shade of the trees until hunger once again called them to
action. Then, shaking off their inertness, they arose as famous hunters
and appeared almost a different people. Along each bend of the river
banks, each turn of the stream, they paced the narrow, well-trodden
paths seeking for their food. As the swarthy savages swept
swiftly through the foliage, or peered into the undergrowth, or with
womerah and spear pursued the game across the white boulders or up the
hill-sides, their efforts were seldom unrewarded. They would encircle or
sweep the bush which the victim had skirted, running at topmost speed
through the long grass, through scrub and stream, over sand and rock, to
disappear finally into the thickest of the forest where death awaited
the object of their pursuit.

[Illustration: 0900091h-39 Natives spearing the kangaroo]

At evening they would return with their spoil to the camp in the open
air, for they seldom dwelt in the rude gunyahs, as the doubled-up pieces
of bark which served them for dwellings were called. The greater part of
the year they spent the night around their open fires, seeking no
particular shelter, save a bush or tree to screen them from the piercing
wind or the frosty air. The height of their attainments was to make a
good canoe or shield or spear. It has been well said of them that "they
had no home yet every place was home: if thirsty, the yellow sand in the
bed of the river formed for them a golden drinking bowl; if hungry, the
spoils of the chase sustained them; the leaves of the trees served as
dishes for their food; the sun in the heavens told them the hour". Their
greatest excitement was in fighting a neighbouring tribe,
but for the settlement of disputes they were sometimes willing to
parley with their adversaries.

It is difficult now amid these same scenes to realise that such people
ever existed. The fairy rings, "the ploughed furrows," and the tall
clusters of rushes remain, the river meanders as in the past, the swamp
oak sways with all the dignity of former days above the rippling water,
the wind chants the same flute-like melody through the moving boughs.
But otherwise the great silence is unbroken. The black man has all but
passed away. His voice is never heard. Out on the plain his lithe form
will never again bend low in the reeds to await the coming of bird or
beast; never again will his boomerang float through the air or his
womerah speed the spear to stop the career of some wild animal. The
sweet warm evenings will come and go; the opossums which have slept
through the long hot days will spring unmolested from tree to tree, and
hang head downwards from the boughs; but he whose joy it was to hunt
them is passing away with many of the animals which once peopled his
kingdom. The land acknowledges a new master; the change is inevitable.

But as we press forward let us turn to the few that remain and watch
their vanishing figures. Let us ask, we who have scattered them and who
now possess the country which they so dearly loved, "Is it well with the
land?" The white townships growing where once all was dark with forest;
the axes ringing through the backwood; the network of masts fringing the
busy port; the golden corn colouring the grassy plains; the wealth of
the mine drawn from the barren waste, all unite in the full, clear
answer "It is well".


While naval officers were surveying the coast of Australia, army
officers were not only assisting but often entirely directing
expeditions into the interior. Unfortunately authoritative writers of
Army Records give little information concerning operations which opened
up vast areas to colonisation. The duties of the small military force
were various. The soldiers not only guarded the prisoners and lent due
dignity to state ceremonies in Sydney, but they were stationed
throughout the country in detachments, which rendered such good service
that towns like Newcastle, Bathurst, Goulburn and Maitland soon sprang
into existence. Officers and men acted as engineers, architects, and in
remote regions kept order among the natives, or put down bushrangers.
The men also often helped the settlers at harvest time. The troops which
had accompanied Governor Phillip were Marines. When European wars made
the presence of every soldier necessary at home, the Marines were
recalled and an irregular force was raised in England for special
service in the colony. This irregular regiment was called the New South
Wales Corps; it was recruited principally in London. Chatham and
Portsmouth, and came into existence in 1789; was increased in 1797, and
was embodied as the 102nd regiment in 1809.

The following were the first appointments[*]:--

[* See _London Gazette_.]

Major Francis Grose, from half-pay of the late 96th regiment, to be major

First Lieutenant Nicholas Nepean, from the Marines, to be captain of a

Lieutenant William Hill, from the 6th regiment of Foot, to be captain of
a company.

Lieutenant William Paterson, from the 73rd regiment, to be captain of a

Ensign John Macarthur, from the 68th regiment, to be lieutenant.

Ensign Michael Stovin Fenwicke, from the 22nd regiment, to be

Ensign Joseph Foveaux, from the 60th regiment, to be lieutenant.

Ensign George Richard Marton, from the 22nd regiment, to be lieutenant.

Quartermaster William Duberly to be ensign.

John Thomas Prentice, gentleman, to be ensign.

Francis Kirby, gentleman, to be ensign.

C. de Catterel, gentleman, to be ensign.

John Bain, clerk, to be chaplain.

Thomas Rowley, gentleman, to be adjutant.

William Duberly, gentleman, to be quartermaster.

Surgeon's Mate James Macauley, from 33rd regiment, to be surgeon.

But on 24th October, eight days afterwards, the following exchanges were

Lieutenant Edward Abbott, from half-pay of 73rd regiment, to be
lieutenant _vice_ Michael Stovin Fenwicke who exchanges.

Lieutenant John Townson, from half-pay of the 50th regiment, to be
lieutenant _vice_ George Richard Marton who exchanges.

The formation of this corps has been so much discussed and so many
writers have said that the officers had never served in the army before,
that the old list is worth attention as showing that they were not only
officers but belonged to regiments of repute. It is evident, too, by the
exchanges that these officers were appointed by the authorities.
Possibly few of the men had previously seen service, but were chiefly
recruits who volunteered spontaneously to voyage to New South Wales in
order to help form a garrison for the new colony.

The first detachments reached Sydney in June, 1790, by the ships
_Surprise_, _Neptune_, and _Scarborough_. In October, 1791, another
detachment arrived by H.M.S. _Gorgon_, which brought also the New South
Wales territorial seal. In December of the same year the _Gorgon_ put
to sea on her return voyage, taking with her most of the officers and
men of the Marines. Those who did not then embark were purposely
detained, because it was thought wise to keep a strong garrison at Port
Jackson until the whole of the new regiment should have replaced them.
They comprised a captain, three lieutenants, eight non-commissioned
officers, fifty privates and thirty-one retired soldiers who desired to
settle in the colony.

Two officers of the New South Wales Corps administered the affairs of
the colony after Phillip's departure, but the regiment is best known for
the quarrels that took place between its officers and Governor Bligh.
Some of its officers and many of its men, however, turned colonists, and
did much for the country, notably Captain John Macarthur. When Governor
King paid a visit to New Zealand in 1794 a guard of the New South Wales
Corps accompanied him, and probably these were the first British
soldiers to set foot in that country after Cook had landed there.

The command of the batteries and defences of the harbour was given to
Francis Louis Barrallier who was gazetted to the corps, as ensign, on
the 14th of August, 1800, He made the first survey of the Hunter River
in June, 1801, and also surveyed Western Port in Victoria. In 1802, as
already mentioned, he attempted the crossing of the Blue Mountains,
afterwards accomplished by Blaxland, Went worth and Barrallier's brother
officer. Lieutenant Lawson. Among the other officers were
Lieutenant-Colonel Foveaux, Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson and Major
Johnston who became notorious in setting Governor Bligh's authority at
defiance; Dr. Harris, who accompanied Oxley, the explorer, and Ensign
George Bellasis, who succeeded Barrallier and built the battery on Dawes
Point, also belonged to this regiment, as did Lieutenants Cox and
Minchin, who afterwards settled in the country.

In December, 1808, orders were received by the 73rd regiment to proceed
to New South Wales to replace the New South Wales Corps. Mustering,
besides officers, 1,000 rank and file, it embarked on 8th May, 1809, at
Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, on the ships _Hindostan_ and _Dromedary_ with
Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie who had been appointed governor of
the colony in succession to Captain Bligh. The ships reached Sydney on
28th December, 1809, and on New Year's Day, 1810, Macquarie took over
the reins of government. The first battalion of the regiment was
considerably reinforced upon its arrival by men of the New South Wales
Corps, who had accepted an offer to remain in the colony, so that in 181
2 the 73rd numbered not less than 1,200 rank and file. On its departure
the men of the New South Wales Corps were transferred to the 46th
regiment when it arrived in 1814, and they became then known as the
Royal Veteran Corps.

This corps was disbanded in 1823 by the advice of Governor Macquarie,
given some years previously, on the ground that the expense of so many
old soldiers and their families was too heavy a burden for the
Government resources. On 24th September, 1823, the corps under Captain
Brabyn was marched from the Barrack Square where it had paraded for the
last time in the presence of the governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, who
addressed it, and there was much interest in Sydney at the sight of the
old regiment on its way to dissolution.

After the 73rd had been in New South Wales and Tasmania about four years
Macquarie asked for its removal, and the first detachment sailed in the
_Earl Spencer_ in January, 1814, to Ceylon, two detachments following
in March in the _General Hewett_ and _Windham_ transports. The
_Windham_ touched at the Derwent to embark the men who were serving in
Tasmania; the _General Hewett_ with the detachment under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice O'Connell sailed by way of New Guinea to
Colombo, A fourth detachment left Sydney for Ceylon in 1815 in the
_General Brown_ and the colonial brig Kangaroo.[*]

[* Captain Antill of the 73rd was A.D.C. to the Governor; Lieutenant
Skottowe of the 1st battalion, was commandant at Newcastle; Captain
Haddon was in 1813 commandant at Parramatta; Lieutenant James Primrose
succeeded Lieutenant Ovens, also of the 73rd, as inspector of public
works, and many other officers held posts of importance under the
Government. Captain, afterwards Major, Antill died in August, 1852, a
few days before Lieutenant-Colonel Morrisett of the 48th.]

The 46th (South Devonshire) regiment of Foot, commanded by Colonel Molle
(afterwards lieutenant-governor) arrived in New South Wales in February,
1814. One of its officers, Lieutenant Watts, was aide-de-camp to
Governor Macquarie, and another. Lieutenant Thompson, who had preceded
the headquarters, was commandant at Newcastle in 1814. Sergeant R.
Broadfoot and six privates of the regiment were sent from a detachment
at Hobart Town in Tasmania into the interior to suppress bushranging,
and succeeded in taking two ringleaders, Maguire and Burne, who were
tried and executed, the sergeant and his men receiving £100 and the
thanks of Governor Davy. In April, 1816, the flank companies of the
regiment under the command of Captains Shaw and Wallis were sent into
the interior of New South Wales to reduce the aborigines to obedience.
In February, 1817, Corporal McCarthy and his party at a place called
Black Brush in Tasmania fell in with a gang of bushrangers who under
Geary, a deserter of the 73rd regiment, were well armed, each having a
musket, a brace of pistols and plenty of ammunition. The fight raged for
an hour and a half, the old soldier fell mortally wounded, two men were
captured, the rest escaping. A few days afterwards the gang were again
attacked, and again one man fell wounded and another was captured.

The regiment under Colonel Molle embarked in September, 1817, at Sydney
in the _Matilda Lloyd_ and _Dick_, transports which had brought the 48th
regiment under Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine to New South Wales, but a few
of the 46th, officers and men, remained in the colony, attached to the
48th regiment, and gave great help to the exploring expeditions which
took place in the years 1817-21. Both the 46th and the 48th provided
colonists as well as excellent soldiers, and many public works were
designed and built by them.

Under Captain Wallis of the 46th the wharf at Newcastle, called
Macquarie Pier, was begun in August, 1818. The engineers were subalterns
of both regiments, the mechanics being under the orders of an old
sergeant of the 46th. The work was suspended in the early part of the
year 1823. the length of the pier being then 350 yards or some 400 yards
from Nobby's Island. Until then no vessels above fifty tons had ventured
into the harbour without a flood tide and a leading wind. The wharf was,
however, continued at intervals and finished in 1827.

Lieutenant-Colonel Morrisett of the 48th was commandant at Norfolk
Island, at Newcastle, and at Bathurst. He made the first overland
journey from Newcastle to Sydney and later lived altogether at Bathurst
with his family. No officer was better known in the western district. He
had seen much service and bore upon his face the traces of a wound
received in action. He died in 1852 and was buried at the Old Bathurst
Church now known as Kelso Church. Years after his death the present
writer, then a child, was shown several military relics of this gallant
officer in the possession of his son and daughter-in-law at the town of
East Maitland.

The 3rd regiment (the Buffs) went to New South Wales from Liverpool in
September, 1821, and were stationed in various districts--the ship
_Commodore Hayes_ landing the head-quarters staff at Sydney on 18th
September. Lieutenant-Colonel Cameron of the corps took command of the
garrison in Tasmania, and Lieutenant-Colonel Cimitiere became second in
command at Sydney after the departure of Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine of
the 48th. Major Wall lived near Rooty Hill which was a military depot at
that time. Detachments were also quartered at Bathurst and Wellington
until the year 1827. At Bathurst Lieutenant Evernden and some settlers
of the district captured the bushrangers Carter and Johnstone on 6th
July, 1826. This capture was one of the first made in the district.
Captain Rolland, also of the Buffs, succeeded Captain Allman as
commandant at Port Macquarie in April, 1824. The regiment was increased
by the arrival of several drafts, and in 1825 its establishment in New
South Wales consisted of ten companies, and in 1826 of eleven. One wing
embarked for the East Indies at Sydney early in 1827; the other left on
28th November of the same year and arrived at Calcutta in February,
1828. Lieutenant-Colonel, afterwards Major-General, Stewart of this
regiment acted as Lieutenant-Governor from the departure of Sir Thomas
Brisbane in 1825 until the arrival of Major-General Ralph Darling in the
same year. He settled at Bathurst, and was buried at Mount Pleasant, so
called by Mr. G. W. Evans upon his first expedition to the west of the
Blue Mountains. The general's coffin was drawn up the mountain to its
last resting-place by bullocks as the sides of the hill were too steep
for horses to gain a footing there.

[Illustration: 0900091h-40 The 3rd Regiment of Buffs in 1823.]

The 40th regiment, a single battalion corps, received orders in March,
1823, to proceed to New South Wales and was sent out in small
detachments. Lieutenant-Colonel Thornton with the head-quarters staff
landed at Sydney on 27th October, 1824, and found a large portion of the
regiment distributed over the colony. A detachment under
Lieutenant-Colonel Balfour went on 23rd March, 1825, to Tasmania, and in
July was followed by another under Major Kirkwood. Captain Turton was
appointed commandant of Norfolk Island, whither, accompanied by
Lieutenant Richardson of the 40th regiment, he sailed in May, 1825.
Captain Bishop was ordered to Moreton Bay on 27th July, 1825, as
commandant to reinforce Lieutenant Millar.

The 57th regiment arrived at Sydney in 1825-26, under Colonel Shadforth
and detachments were sent to the different small settlements at Moreton
Bay, Melville Island, and other places. The soldiers were employed in a
variety of ways, but were chiefly active in exploring undiscovered
tracts of country, and as engineers, as well as in other duties
connected with the development of the colony; while some were employed
in hunting down bushrangers.

On this service Ensign Shadforth, who afterwards fell at the Redan in
1855, had a very narrow escape. In following a bushranger his party came
across a boat lying on the shore, bottom upwards; Shadforth put his head
under the gunwale to see if the man they were looking for was hiding
there. The bushranger was a very small man, and instead of lying on the
ground under the boat he had curled himself up on one of the thwarts. He
related after he was captured that when he saw the ensign's head appear
under the boat he immediately covered it with his gun, determined to
shoot if discovered. Fortunately the officer did not see him and
withdrew, little knowing how narrowly he had escaped.

Captain Logan, who commanded the detachment at Moreton Bay, was an
energetic and successful explorer. During the year 1826 he discovered a
portion of Darling River, fifty miles north of Moreton Bay, which he
named after the governor who had recently succeeded Sir T. Brisbane.
Strong detachments of the regiment were sent to Norfolk Island and
Tasmania. The head-quarters at Sydney took part in a number of
field-days and reviews.

The anniversary of the Battle of Albuera, always celebrated by the "Die
Hards," was kept with great ceremony, both by them and the 39th, who
this year were quartered in the same barracks, the officers of each
giving dinners to the civil magistrates and principal private
inhabitants of Sydney. Festivities were also held at the barracks, which
were brilliantly illuminated at night, the word "Albuera," being
surmounted by a crown in a number of different coloured lamps. Colonel
Shadforth and Captain Jackson, who had both been severely wounded in the
battle, were chaired by the men of the regiment, and carried amidst
cheers to the steps of the mess-house, which was gaily decorated.

Major Ovens who held the appointments of private secretary to the
governor of the colony, brigade major, and chief engineer, died at
Sydney on the 7th December, 1825, and was buried at Garden Island as the
old cemetery on the mainland had been done away with. He came to the
colony as a subordinate officer of the 73rd regiment in 1810. Two years
afterwards he returned to England in company with Captain Piper and
Major Cleaveland, who died in the China Seas. Major Ovens obtained his
commission in 1822 and returned with Sir T. Brisbane.

In October, 1830, the regiment had to deplore the loss of Captain Logan,
who fell a victim to his zeal in exploring the country near Moreton Bay.
On the 18th of the month he left the station, attended by a boat's crew
and a private servant, intending to make his final survey (the regiment
being shortly about to leave the colony for India), where the party
encamped. On the way a body of natives was encountered, whose demeanour
was unmistakably hostile, and his men endeavoured to dissuade Captain
Logan from his determination to proceed from the camp on his survey
unattended. Their entreaties were, however, of no avail, and, laughing
at their fears, saying he had often frightened natives off by merely
pointing an empty bottle at them, he set out alone on the survey, from
which he never returned. Alarmed at his non-appearance, his men went in
search of him, but being unsuccessful returned to Moreton Bay and
reported what had occurred to the officer left in command there, who at
once sent out numerous search parties to look for the missing
commandant. At length on the fifth day of the search his body was
discovered with many native spears in it and partly covered with leaves
and earth. It was evident that he had been murdered by the natives. The
remains were removed to Sydney, and buried beside those of his old
friend Mr. Justice Bent.

On 21st December, 1830, the regiment was transferred to the Indian
Establishment and left Australia on the 31st of the following March.
Lieutenant-Colonel Shadforth, who had been in command, retired and
settled in Australia. He had been succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Allan
in November, 1828. Major Lockyer, who was in 1828 appointed surveyor of
roads and bridges, carried out many explorations by land and sea in
Queensland and Western Australia as well as in the mother colony.[*]

[* At the commencement of 1825 this regiment was stationed as

Lieutenant-Colonel Shadforth; Captains Donaldson and Hartley;
Lieutenants Donelan, Ovens, Condamine, and T. Shadforth; Ensigns W.
Lockyer, Benson, Kidd, E. Lockyer and Wood, twenty-one sergeants, eight
drummers and 277 rank and file, (head-quarters) Sydney. Major Campbell,
Lieutenant Bate with detachments, was stationed at Melville Island.
Captain Logan, Lieutenant Bainbrigge and detachments at Moreton Bay.
Lieutenant Browne with detachments at Bathurst. Lieutenant H. Shadforth,
one sergeant and detachments at Cox's River. Lieutenant Taylor, and
detachments at Western Port. An officer with a detachment was also
stationed at the follow mg places: Walh's' Plains (now Morpeth),
Longbottom, Parramatta, Globe farm, Emu Plains, Molong Plains, Fish
River, Weatherboarded Hut, Springwood, Port Macquarie and Wellington

To relieve the 40th regiment, the first detachment of the 39th left Cork
for New South Wales in the _Woodman_ on 4th November, 1825, other
detachments following during the next year. The head-quarters under the
command of Colonel Patrick Lindsay arrived at Sydney in the _Cambridge_ on
7th September, 1827. Detachments were stationed in Tasmania, at King
George's Sound, and on the northern coast. Captain Charles Sturt, the
explorer, Captain Joseph Wakefield, who established a settlement at King
George's Sound, Captain Henry Smyth, who formed a settlement named Fort
Wellington on Raffles Bay on the northern coast of Australia, were
officers of this regiment. The medical officer, Dr. Macleod, became a
settler in a southern district, and Captain Thomas Wright succeeded
Captain Turton as commandant at Norfolk Island.

On 16th May, 1831, the anniversary of the battle of Albuera in which the
2nd battalion had distinguished itself twenty years before, new colours
were presented to it by Governor Darling in the Barrack Square of
Sydney. Before the presentation, the ceremony of consecrating the
colours was performed by the Venerable Archdeacon Broughton. The
festivities afterwards were unfortunately clouded by the news of the
death of Captain Collett Barker near Spencer's Gulf. Captain Barker had
succeeded Captain Stirling as commandant at Fort Wellington, and when
that settlement was abandoned in 1829 had gone to King George's Sound as
commandant. In returning to Sydney Barker landed for the purpose of
making a survey of Lake Alexandrina, Spencer's Gulf, where his party
unfortunately fell in with natives at whose hands he lost his life. On
30th May, 1831, the regiment proceeded to India. Colonel (afterwards
Sir Patrick) Lindsay, however, acted as Lieutenant-Governor after
General Darling's departure from New South Wales until the arrival of
Sir Richard Bourke, and during this period the command of the regiment
fell upon Major Macpherson who had been withdrawn from Bathurst.

Early in the twenties the settlers had to contend not only with the
attacks of the natives but with the lawlessness of their own countrymen.
Bands of convicts, many of whom were the settlers' own servants, seeing
how successfully the blacks carried out their raids upon the industrious
inhabitants bade farewell to all authority and took to the bush. The
Bathurst and Goulburn districts were for some time overrun with these
disturbers of the peace. Near the head of Campbell River, where it
inclines towards the Lachlan, a small piece of land about two miles in
diameter was called Wildhorse because, when the commissioner travelled
from Bathurst to Argyle in October, 1820, one of the baggage horses was
hurt and being unloaded was left loose while the party proceeded on
their journey. Here for years afterwards this horse was to be seen,
grown fat and sleek, with his tail long and sweeping, and perfectly
wild, for he would gallop oft at first sight of man. He seemed always to
be near the place. It was in this same spot that much cattle-stealing
and bushranging began and ended, and hither, because of its lonely and
inaccessible surroundings, were driven alike the stray bullocks,
valuable racehorses, and, on occasions, flocks of sheep, stolen from the
paddocks and stables of the settlers, taken sometimes while the owners
slept or sometimes even, when the desperadoes were sure of safely
landing their spoil, during broad daylight.

Herds of cattle thinly scattered over the wide pastures with only a few
men in charge soon became the prey of the Australian cattle poacher,
whose ingenuity was chiefly exercised in altering the brand marks upon
the stolen cattle. A bit of hoop iron applied to the old brand soon
turned the letter C to G, O to Q while other letters were only slightly
more difficult to change. With a little practice the thieves became
almost perfect in the art, and, at the worst, made the letters
indistinguishable. The excitement was quite equal to that of poaching
game in the mother-country, while the poacher was not half so heavily
handicapped at the outset. It is true that the Australian poacher
occasionally fell in with the bronzed owner of the cattle or the lithe
officer of the mounted police, and then "things" were more even, but the
new country on the whole gave the pursued far better chances of escape
than the old. Once the cattle stealer was well away from the fold, after
passing through a few slip panels, a log fence or a stream or two he
would gallop fast over the plain, to the sound of ringing hoofs, the
cracking of whips, and the shouting-of men. It took little time to alter
the brands, dip a white hoof or paint out a star or a blaze, and then
the chances were that if any of the stolen animals happened to be seen
alive it would be a difficult task for the owners to recognise them, or
if dead to distinguish their hides.

Tracing these bushrangers to their lair was a most difficult task. Had
it not been for the help of the natives the police would have often
found it impossible to get near them at all, as, when suspected, they
separated in two and threes, and waded a river for some distance so as
to leave no foot marks. This was particularly necessary in order to
screen their movements from the keen eyes of the blacks, who were
marvellous trackers and could discover the trace of man or animal where
a white man could see nothing. Once, while busily following up a
robbery, a black fellow stopped and told the police that the bushranger
they wanted to arrest was knock-kneed simply from the impression made by
his foot, and the information afterwards proved to be correct.

Trusted natives were created bush constables by the Government, and were
allowed guns and ammunition. At first they were given a brass plate,
shaped like a crescent, which they wore suspended on a chain round their
necks, and upon which was written the name of the wearer, his tribe, and
the purpose for which the plate was given him. In later
days it was not worn by the "black tracker," as the native mounted
policeman began to be called.

On account of these outbreaks settlements of veteran soldiers were
placed throughout the colony, one being placed at Black Rock near
Bathurst where the land granted them might have made many independent. A
number of free settlers also were given grants at Queen Charlotte's Vale
which a writer described as "approaching nearest in its original state
to the _beau ideal_ of natural scenery". But it was not only at Bathurst
and Goulburn the bushrangers carried out their robberies. They were even
more frequent around Newcastle and along the Hunter where gangs met and
divided the spoil, and in this part of the colony deeds of greater
violence than those of the western and southern districts were frequent,
and constituted a real anxiety to the inhabitants.

The corps of mounted police which was raised for the repression of these
crimes was soon largely increased. The officers, constituted also
magistrates of the colony, were chosen from the regiments of the Sydney
garrison; the troopers being obtained from the same source. No soldier
was chosen or allowed to serve in the mounted police unless he bore a
good character. Dressed in a smart serviceable uniform, each carried a
carbine, sabre, and a pair of pistols, and all were splendidly mounted
on the fastest horses that could be obtained. The nature of the country
and the recklessness of the bushrangers soon taught them to be
wide-awake and cautious, and most of them became good riders and expert

The daring deeds of those early times would put all later bushranger
stories in the shade. The raids were skilfully planned, generally taking
place when the police were at a distance from the settlement, and
courage and not a little unselfishness were needed for one settler to
go to another's assistance. Not only did many of the community refuse
aid through fear of being robbed, but it was believed that the
bushrangers were often informed how to carry out their plans with
success. In 1825 and 1826 they had become a terror in all the country
districts. The bushrangers' greeting "Bail up" very soon sounded more
familiar than pleasant to the settlers' ears, and on returning after a
day's toil among his herds it was not an uncommon occurrence for the
colonist to find his home looted and his family in hiding, if nothing
more serious had happened.

In July, 1825, Messrs. Rankin and Perrier at Bathurst captured
Blanchfield, one of the leaders, but Mr. Rankin had a narrow escape, for
the bullet fired at him by the bushranger only missed him by a hair's
breadth. In 1826 Lieutenant Evernden of the Buffs, when
acting-commandant there, was most energetic in endeavouring to crush the
outlaws with large detachments of that regiment. In March he fell in
with seven bushrangers, captured Morris O'Connell, leader of another
gang, and took many runaways. In July this officer, accompanied by Mr.
William Lee of Claremont, Bathurst, and assisted by a party of natives,
after a smart three days' chase captured Carter and Johnstone, who had
escaped from an escort six months previously. In recognition of this
capture of the bushrangers[*] a quaintly worded Government notice
appeared in the _Sydney Gazette_, acknowledging the activity of the
settlers and the usefulness of the mounted police under Mr. Evernden.

[* Governor Macquarie seems to have been the first official to make use
of the word "bushranger". Writing home in March, 1815, he remarks:
"There have been small bands of robbers, since the original establishment
of the settlement, infesting the colony who have generally gone by the
name of 'bushrangers'".]

The following reprint is only a portion of the original notice:--

[Illustration: 0900091h-40a Government Notice re bushrangers]


Colonial Secretary's Office, 6th July, 1826.

The Governor has again
the Satisfaction to notice the successful Exertions of the Mounted
Police, under Lieutenant Evernden, at Bathurst.

A Party of Bushrangers, armed with Musquets, have been taken, after a
Pursuit of three Days. They had seized some Horses, and were driving
off a Number of Sheep.

* * *

Those who, from Supineness, or any unworthy Motive, do not at once come
forward, but acquiesce in the Aggressions of the Bushrangers, in the
Hope of conciliating them, will meet the merited Reward of their
Baseness, by being plundered by those whom they have endeavoured to
screen, and being held up to the just Reprobation of the Public.

* * * * * * *

By His Excellency's Command,


* * * * * * * * * *

A portion of the 39th regiment under Major Donald Macpherson and Captain
Horatio Walpole were some three years later quite as enterprising,
pursuing gangs of bushrangers, many of whom were caught and executed. In
1830 both Captain Walpole and Lieutenant Browne, aided by Mr, Suttor of
Brucedale near Bathurst, and other settlers, succeeded in tracking a
gang of desperadoes through the bush, who, after having successfully
robbed the Bathurst settlers, managed to escape before the soldiers
arrived. Making their way to the far west, they fled for many miles
through densely wooded country, providing themselves with fresh horses
during the chase. Lieutenant Macalister moved out from the military
depot at Goulburn and met them on the Lachlan River where a sharp fight
took place in which he as well as many men on both sides were wounded.
The following morning the bushrangers surrendered to Captain Walpole
who had now caught them up, having followed from the Bathurst side.

In consequence of the boldness of the outlaws Captain Forbes was on 16th
October, 1830, by a general order, appointed to command a large body of
men drawn in equal numbers from the regiments and garrison. They were
mounted by the Government and dispersed over the various settled parts
of the colony. Before this appointment was made, the police had no
recognised commanding officer, but were nominally under the
superintendence of the brigade major at Sydney. After Captain Forbes
became their chief they improved wonderfully in discipline and
efficiency, and the whole colony acknowledged their usefulness.

Many of the officers and men did not return to
their native country. Some became colonists, others died before their
regiments left Sydney. Many were laid to rest in those outlying military
depots where duty had called them to serve. But England can not regard
them as entirely lost to her. Over the country where they died her flag
flies proudly and in the little old-fashioned churchyards where they
sleep many a sunburnt Australian child has bent over their graves and
with tiny fingers brushing away the bramble has traced the quaintly
worded inscriptions and learnt yet another reason why Australians call
England "home".


Church service was first held in Sydney "under a shady tree". There was
only one clergyman, Richard Johnson, chaplain of the _Sirius_, and he for
years undertook the religious duty at the settlement. Even the one
clergyman would have been forgotten had not Wilberforce drawn the Prime
Minister's attention to the fact that no provision had been made for a
chaplain. The requisite authority was given, and Mr. Johnson, a graduate
of Cambridge University (Magdalene College, B.A., 1784, Senior Optime),
was chosen.

It was not a post that would have attracted many men, however imbued
with a sense of duty. Apart from its responsibilities, it entailed heavy
sacrifices. It meant breaking with ties of home, friendship, or
professional companionship, and the loss of all the comforts of life, of
the chances of gaining distinction or promotion, and the ministering to
over one thousand persons, the majority of whom were prisoners.

The choice turned out well. No one in that small colony proved more
earnest, more painstaking, or held office so faithfully as the chaplain
of the _Sirius_. Every Sunday after the first landing at Sydney Cove,
at a very early hour and before their various occupations had scattered
the people to different parts of the settlement, he would gather his
flock together around him beneath some large tree, there to worship in
the manner they had been accustomed to do in their native land. The
sight was a strange one, and we are told that when the Spanish warships
the _Descuvierta_ and the _Atrevida_ anchored in Neutral Bay in 1793,
the priest belonging to the commodore's ship lifted his eyes in
astonishment on observing no church there, and seeing the English pastor
each Sunday seek a shady spot, declared that "His nation would have
erected a House for God before one for man".

Johnson's steadfastness developed the seeds of Christianity,
notwithstanding the drawbacks with which he had to contend, and perhaps
in some future age his work through those tedious years, in that rough
bare land, will appeal to the hearts of the Australian people and save
his memory from the oblivion into which it has partly fallen. If there
was no chiming of the Sabbath bell; no dome overhead but the green
boughs and the blue sky; no music but rustling leaves and the lapping
waves in the cove, and nothing to attract the congregation except his
quiet voice, the Church of England can claim that where he first began
to preach there are now thickly populated parishes owning churches the
services of which would satisfy the most devout worshipper. "Owing to
his splendid energies," says Colonel Collins who knew him intimately,
"the early Sabbath days at Sydney were not allowed to pass over without
the ordinary observances of a civilised land. They were never omitted.
All that he could do he did. He visited the sick, went from settlement
to settlement, from hut to hut; rode to distant stations and assembled
at each place as many as could be got together to read the service to
them and exhort them to live the lives of Christian people."

As Phillip promoted the social welfare of the country so Johnson helped
forward its spiritual life. But while the governor was aided by civil
and military officers to carry out his designs, Johnson was dependent
upon himself alone; even his small income was employed in uses which
might be termed "Church expenses" if a church had existed. At last 400
acres of land were set apart by Governor Phillip for the maintenance of
a clergy fund, but not for some time afterwards was it deemed necessary
to begin to build a church. Six years, nearly seven, went by and divine
service was still held in the open air, subject to all changes of
climate. Then, in despair, Johnson, who had made repeated applications
both to Governor Phillip and Major Grose to provide him with a place of
worship, began at his own expense a temporary building, intended chiefly
to shelter the congregation from the inclemency of the weather. The spot
chosen was on the east side of Sydney Cove, not far from what is now the
corner of Hunter and Castlereagh Streets, near the Circular Quay. It was
seventy-three feet long and fifteen wide, with one extension forty feet
long by fifteen wide running at right angles from the centre. It was
built of posts, wattles and plaster, with a thatched roof and is said to
have resembled a barn more than a house of prayer. But it was the first
Christian church in that part of the globe. The chaplain consecrated and
opened it on 25th August, 1793, and for five years, although so roughly
built, it proved fairly comfortable within, and a great boon in wet

On 1st October, 1798, it was unfortunately burned down, history says by
an incendiary. The governor then allowed a newly built brick store to
be fitted up to take its place. In 1800, when the Orphan
School was completed, the fittings were removed from the brick
storehouse to the school, as it was the larger building. This stood on
what now is the corner of George and Bridge Streets and served as a
house of divine worship until Governor Bligh's departure.

[Illustration: 0900091h-41 St. Philip's Church, Sydney.]

In 1794 the Rev. Samuel Marsden (Mag. Coll., Camb.) arrived in Sydney in
the _William_ and the work was divided between the two clergymen. Mr.
Bain, the chaplain of the New South Wales Corps, who received his
appointment also through Wilberforce, had arrived in the _Gorgon_, but
he appears to have fulfilled his duties simply as chaplain of his
regiment in Sydney and Norfolk Island, and he returned to England with
Lieutenant-Governor Grose. A temporary church similar to that built by
Johnson in Sydney was opened at Parramatta in 1796, and meanwhile
preparations to build St. Philip's Church were taken in hand. The tower
which was of brick was built first in 1797, three years before Governor
Hunter laid the foundation of the main building on 27th June, 1800. A
clock with a square face was placed in the steeple in 1798. Owing to bad
workmanship and to its being built on a hill-side the south side of the
tower fell in June, 1806, during a severe gale. The clock, however,
escaped injury; and the steeple was soon rebuilt of stone. In 1800
Captain Hunter laid the foundation stone of another church at Parramatta
where service was held for the first time in 1803. The Sydney church was
called St. Philip's in honour of Governor Phillip, and the church at
Parramatta St. John's after Captain John Hunter. A silver communion
service which was presented by King George III. to St. Philip's arrived
in October, 1803, by H.M.S. _Calcutta_ and is used in the church at the
present time. The walls were finished in April, 1804, but the church was
not consecrated until 1810. St. John's, therefore, was finished
first--it could hold nearly 400 people; two steeples were added to it

[Illustration: 0900091h-42 St. John's Church, Parramatta.]

In 1801 after thirteen years of hard work Mr. Johnson returned to
England and the Rev. Samuel Marsden became the senior chaplain. For
seven years he ministered almost entirely alone. In 1805 the Rev. Henry
Fulton, who had in 1801 been appointed chaplain by Governor King at
Norfolk Island, arrived in Sydney. Mr. Marsden obtained two years' leave
of absence in 1807 and proceeded to England to obtain assistance for
the church in Australia, and also to advocate a Christian mission in New
Zealand. Mr. Fulton officiated in his place until the arrest of Governor
Bligh. During the troubled state of the colony under Bligh, when public
worship was suspended (January, 1808, to December, 1809), Mr. Fulton was
the governor's staunchest friend, and he returned to England with him in
1810. He came back to the colony in 1812 and was made incumbent of the
church at Castlereagh.

Mr. Marsden left for England in the _Buffalo_ accompanied by Mrs.
Marsden; Mrs. King, the wife of Governor King, being also a passenger by
the same ship. After leaving Sydney a heavy gale threatened, and it was
proposed that the passengers should quit the _Buffalo_, as she was an
old ship and thought unseaworthy, and go on board a stauncher vessel
which bore her company. The governor's wife, however, was an invalid and
could not be moved, and Mrs. Marsden would not leave her, so the
chaplain refused the offer and remained behind. Throughout the night the
gale blew strongly. Danger appeared to threaten them, and the creaking
timbers of the _Buffalo_ groaned as the huge waves lashed the sides of
the vessel. When morning dawned all eyes sought for the companion ship.
But in vain. She was nowhere to be seen nor was she ever heard of again.

While in England Marsden did not appeal unsuccessfully either for
Australia or New Zealand. The Church Missionary Society decided to
accept the call to New Zealand, and the Episcopal authorities agreed to
send more clergymen to aid Marsden in his work at Sydney. The Rev.
William Cowper, whose family were afterwards closely identified with
"Church and State" in the colony, reached Port Jackson before Marsden's
return and took duty at St. Philip's Church. Mr. Robert Cartwright
followed in 1810, and Marsden, resuming his duties as incumbent of St.
John's at Parramatta, also preached regularly once a week in Sydney. In
addition to his ecclesiastical duties Marsden was an enthusiastic farmer
and was one of the first clerical magistrates appointed. Such
appointments called forth much criticism in England and were
discontinued in the colony by the order of Lord Bathurst during the
governorship of General Darling. Dr. Lang united in the censure against
Marsden's accepting the post and also against his agricultural
enterprise, but Mr. Robert Montgomery Martin, in his work on Australia
written in 1851, says that Dr. Lang appears to have forgotten the
peculiar circumstances in which both Marsden and the officers of the New
South Wales Corps were placed, having nothing but their pay and
"rations" to rely on for the support of themselves and their families,
when the rations were salt pork or salt beef, and fresh mutton two
shillings a pound, a cow brought £80 and so on. "This state of things,"
says Martin, "compelled them to rear their own stock and it was
fortunate that they did so."

In 1814 Marsden fitted out the brig _Active_ and, accompanied by two
missionaries, founded a mission station in New Zealand. This really was
the first attempt at British colonisation in that country, and although
no Government was set up, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New
South Wales was extended to residents in New Zealand who at that time
were chiefly the crews of fishing vessels and missionaries. The success
that attended Marsden's dealings with the Maoris was remarkable, and he
proved himself most energetic in good works both at home and abroad. He
had visited Norfolk Island as far back as 1795, and the traders and
missionaries in the south seas were wont to send him articles to sell or
exchange for them in the market at Sydney. The Maoris trusted him
implicitly and in return for his straightforwardness allowed the
missionaries to come and go freely among their tribes. The European
sailors, however, behaved very differently and, in spite of precautions,
murders and outrages took place.

In 1810 on Christmas Day Mr. Marsden consecrated St. Philip's Church
which had been enlarged and improved. When the alterations were finished
it was a substantial stone building with a round tower. The interior,
however, probably still contained either the old fittings of the Orphan
School or temporary ones, as some years later we find that Macquarie
mentions in his report that "the old church at Sydney was repaired
inside and out with new galleries and new pews". In another report we
read that "St. Philip's resembles an English church and would
accommodate a thousand people".[*]

[* Mr. Bigge says about eight hundred in his report.]

Wooden churches, however, were built inland before the days of
Macquarie, The earliest appears to have been at Parramatta. It was used
in 1796 and another built at Windsor was used as early as 11th
August, 1805. In the book entitled _General Standing Orders of New South
Wales_, 1803--the first book ever printed in Australia--a notice appears
with respect to the school-house and wooden church or chapel at the
Hawkesbury to the effect that, "All who wish to become subscribers to
support the institution and maintain the chaplain may do so by paying
2d, for each acre of land they possess".

The foundation stone of St, Matthew's, the first stone church at
Windsor, which took the place of the above-mentioned wooden church was
laid by Governor Macquarie on 11th October, 1817. It was opened for
service on 8th December, 1822, when Mr. Cartwright, who was also
appointed to act as magistrate, was installed as first incumbent. In
1817 Christ Church at Newcastle was completed, but it was not opened
until 1821.

A wooden church was in existence at the Castlereagh in 1812 and on the
return of the Rev. H, Fulton from his voyage to England with Governor
Bligh he was appointed to officiate there.

[Illustration: 0900091h-43 Windsor Church.]

St. Luke's Church at the Hawkesbury, St. Peter's at Campbelltown, St.
Thomas's at Port Macquarie, and the Church of the Holy Trinity at
Bathurst were all built during the rule of Macquarie or that of
Brisbane. The Bathurst church, a wooden one, where now stands the
well-known Kelso church was the first to be built on the western side of
the Blue Mountains. Its register is still in existence and dates back to
1826, when the first death occurred, fully twelve years after the
discovery of the plains. There is, however, reason to believe that the
church was used for many years previously, although it does not appear
in the list of those actually completed during Macquarie's rule, nor had
it a permanent chaplain until some years afterwards. Captain John
Fennell, civil commandant of the town and A.D.C. to Sir Thomas Brisbane,
and Lieutenant Gore, who died there, were both buried in the old
Bathurst Churchyard, Kelso, in 1826. The Rev. Thomas Hassall, formerly a
missionary, was the first clergyman and permanent chaplain; the Rev. J.
E. Keane, a graduate of Dublin University, being the second, and was
appointed to the district in 1828. The brick church now standing at
Kelso was built in 1835 and was consecrated by the Rev. Samuel Marsden.
The Rev. Joseph Walpole of Cambridge University, probably a relative of
Captain Walpole who served with his regiment in that district, succeeded
in 1840, and the Rev. T. Sharpe then took duty at Bathurst itself,
service being held in the house of the commandant.

[Illustration: 0900091h-44 Holy Trinity Church, Kelso (Old Bathurst)]

Governor Macquarie on 7th October, 1819, also laid the foundation stone
of St. James's Church, which stood at the north end of Hyde Park,
Sydney, but it was not opened until 11th February, 1824, when it was
dedicated to St. James. The building was designed for a court house and
the alteration marred its architectural features. It was finished after
the arrival of Mr. Bigge the royal commissioner who visited Sydney in
February, 181 9. He had been sent out to report to the Home Government
upon the various public works then in progress, and stopped the building
of St. Andrew's Cathedral, planned by Governor Macquarie to be erected
at the corner of Church and Bathurst Streets. Mr. Bigge thought that
there was no need for such a large building in the colonies at that
time, and the proposed expenditure far exceeded the sum that the British
Government desired to spend upon a cathedral for so young a settlement.
The work at St. James's was not interfered with, but the tower and spire
were not added until some years afterwards, when a contemporary report
speaks of its being built in Grecian style with a lofty spire and
belfry, constructed of bricks and strengthened by large freestone
pillars. Between 1810 and 1818 the Revs. B. Vale, J. Youl, R. Hill and
J. Cross came to the colony. Mr. Youl had been appointed to Liverpool,
but he went at first to Port Dalrymple, Tasmania, for duty there,
returning to Liverpool later. In 1820 the Rev. R. Reddall arrived.

[Illustration: 0900091h-45 Richmond Church]

While Messrs. Cowper and Hill divided the duty at St. Philip's and St.
James's in Sydney, Mr. Marsden continued to officiate at St. John's,
Parramatta. The services for the troops in Sydney were held at seven
o'clock in the morning; that for the prisoners at nine o'clock, and
besides the ordinary morning service at eleven, there were services held
in the afternoon and evening. "Sunday was scrupulously kept," and in
September, 1825, shops of all kinds were formally prohibited from being

In 1823 an archdeaconry for New South Wales was created by Royal Charter
and placed under the See of Calcutta. Bishop Heber did not forget or
overlook his distant charge. On his way to India to take up his duties
he wrote to a friend: "How strange to recollect the interest I used to
take in southern India and its oceans, in Polynesia and
Australasia! I used to fancy I should like to see them, now it seems not
improbable that I shall see many of these colonies if life is spared
me." In a letter to the Right Hon. R. J. Wilmot Horton he wrote: "I hope
that I may carry my Australasian visitation into effect ". And again:
"Shall we forget while every sea is traversed by our keels and every
wind brings home wealth to our harbours that we have a treasure at home
of which those from whom we draw our wealth is in the utmost need?"

Unfortunately the bishop did not live to carry out his intentions,
although we are told by one of his editors that he often studied with
him the map of New South Wales in the hope of voyaging there. His sudden
death in 1826, after only two years' work in India, may have been a
greater loss to Australia than might be now supposed. New South Wales
had many Churchmen employed in religious work, but the bishop's presence
there, even for a short time, would doubtless have made its influence

[Illustration: 0900091h-46 Bishop Reginald Heber, Bishop of Calcutta, under which
See the Diocese of New South Wales was placed by Royal Charter in 1823.]

The Rev. Thomas Hobbes Scott, who with Mr. Bigge had travelled from
England to New South Wales, was upon his return ordained and appointed
first Archdeacon of Australia. Like the first governor he was invested
with extraordinary powers; he was directed to make an annual visitation
of all the churches throughout the colony, and throughout Tasmania,
where he was given orders to appoint a rural dean to officiate in his
absence, the expense of the appointment to be paid by the governor. He
was to recommend to the Government the several stations where it might
be desirable to place chaplains, and all the appointments of inferior
offices of the Church nominated by the officiating ministers were to be
subject to his approval. All schools maintained by the Government were
to be placed under him as a visitor. In point of rank, the archdeacon
was to hold that next in order to the lieutenant-governor. Regarding
questions of a legal nature the attorney-general and solicitor-general
were to give him advice freely, and in special cases to act as his
assessors. In the event of a clergymen being suspended by him, he was to
signify the case to the governor, who was to act on the archdeacon's
responsibility. "The letter from Lord Bathurst to Sir Thomas Brisbane,
which conveyed these instructions," an old writer says, "forms a
somewhat curious document in the history of the Church in the colonies,
since it gave to the Archdeacon of Australia powers which exceeded those
conferred on the Bishop of India."

With the coming of Archdeacon Hobbes Scott, who arrived in Sydney on 9th
May, 1825, in the ship _Hercules_, the Church took her rightful place
in the colony. The archdeacon held his primary visitation at St. James's
Church, on 19th June, 1825; the Rev. Mr. Wilkinson preached the sermon.
Services were held regularly and Church work was carried out with order
and to the people's benefit. At the second visitation held in September,
1827, the Rev. C. Pleydell Wilton preached, and at the third, on 3rd
December, 1829, the Rev. Joseph Docker of Windsor, who had arrived in
1828. At the conclusion of his sermon in St. James's the whole of the
clergy then in the colony, except two who were excused by the archdeacon
because of the long distance they lived from Sydney, advanced to the
communion table and stood around the semi-circular railings to hear the
address. While the archdeacon remained seated by the holy table, Mr.
James Norton, the registrar of the Archdeacon's Court, called over the
names of the clergymen, to which each one answered by an obeisance to
the archdeacon, who, in conclusion, delivered his charge to them. Mr.
Docker afterwards left the Church to enter Parliament, and proved
himself a most consistent statesman.

In 1828 the Established Church consisted of one archdeacon and fourteen
chaplains; there were eight churches, six chapels and seven parsonages,
two clergymen had temporary parsonages found for them, and four were
allowed the equivalent for a house. The chaplain's house in Sydney faced
Bridge Street. It was a small white cottage, surrounded by a garden with
orange bushes growing in front, which probably were planted in the
first instance by the Rev. Richard Johnson who had introduced the orange
into New South Wales, having obtained the seed from Rio de Janeiro when
he voyaged out with Captain Phillip.

The Rev. W. Grant Broughton arrived in Sydney in 1829. He became
Archdeacon of Sydney in succession to Archdeacon Hobbes Scott, and was
afterwards first resident Bishop of Australia. Before his death he had
charge over six bishoprics and 200 clergy. Sir Alfred Stephen, Chief
Justice of Sydney, afterwards in his eulogy asserted that no man ever
went down to his grave carrying more deservedly the respect of his

We have described the houses of the settlers in the interior as bearing
a strong resemblance to an English farm-house of the eighteenth
century. But perhaps the building that bore the strongest resemblance to
the English original was the church where for one day in the week at
least the whole of the settlers, rich and poor, master and servant, met
together. The carved baptismal font, the high old-fashioned pews, the
wide gallery and spacious organ loft, the communion table with its
railings, the pulpit surmounting the reading-desk, fenced round again by
the wide square pew reserved for the chaplain, and the two large
calf-bound books with their long markers resting upon the red velvet
cushions, needed but one glance to tell the nationality and creed of the
people who worshipped there.

The Church of those early days owes so much to laymen that two at least
of the most prominent must be mentioned: Captain Wallis who is said to
have founded Christ Church, Newcastle, in which he held services when
the incumbent was absent, a matter of frequent occurrence, since there
were so few clergymen then in the colony; and Sir William Edward Parry,
the arctic explorer, who accepted in 1828 the managership of the
Australian Agricultural Company which had been established at Port
Stephens five years previously for the purpose of promoting the growth
of fine merino wool. Sir Edward and Lady Parry spent four years in the
colony. A few days before leaving England Sir John Franklin, who was on
terms of great friendship with them, wrote them a letter of farewell.
Both of these great explorers, Franklin and Parry, held posts in
Australia and endeavoured to do all in their power when there to forward
religious education among the people.

[Illustration: 0900091h-47 St. Leonard's Church.]

Sir John Franklin wrote from Gedling Hall, Nottinghamshire, on 9th July,

"My dear Parry,

"I cannot allow you and Lady Parry to leave the shores of England,
although it is to embark in a very interesting pursuit, without the
hearty good wishes and best desires of Lady Franklin and myself, and
that our prayers will often be offered up for every blessing to attend
you. You will have a wide field for the exercise of Christian virtues,
and I am sure you will have full experience of the delight arising from
contributing to the moral improvement and happiness of those under your
command. When I reflect on the change effected by my little party on the
habits and manners of the people during a hasty progress through the
wilds of America I feel that in the evening of your life you will look
back upon the time you may spend in Australia with the warmest feelings
of gratitude and joy."

On the 13th December the _William_ reached Sydney, where Sir Edward and
Lady Parry were invited by Governor and Mrs. Darling to stay at
Government House. Here Lady Parry spent some time after having given
birth to a twin son and daughter. Owing to the care and attention of the
governor's wife, the little son who was a very delicate child, was
nursed safely through a critical illness.[*]

[* In after years this son became Bishop of Dover.]

On the 28th of March they embarked in a small cutter belonging to the
Agricultural Company and arrived at Port Stephens after a voyage of
fifteen hours. The harbour, some ninety miles north of Sydney, is
guarded at the entrance by two conical hills, called by the natives
Yacaba and Tomare. The estuary is fifteen miles long and near the centre
contracts to the width of a mile.

[Illustration: 0900091h-48 Rear-Admiral Sir W. Edward Parry]

The Parrys lived here for four years, and their first step was the
establishment of regular Sunday service. As there was no church nearer
than Sydney, ninety miles distant, and no chaplain, Sir Edward fitted up
a carpenter's shop in the village and there conducted service himself.
His friend and assistant, Mr. Ebsworth, says: "I scarcely ever heard the
liturgy read with so much reverence, feeling and apparent delight ". A
choir was formed and the members practised at Sir Edward's house. A
school was also opened by Lady Parry and a library formed. Later when
writing to his father-in-law. Sir John Stanley of Alderley, Sir Edward
says: "In our character of the parson of the parish and his wife we have
visited, admonished and assisted everybody within our reach. My duties
have been somewhat arduous. I have written one and preached two sermons
every Sunday--christened a great many children--visited the sick--buried
the dead."

The success which attended their combined efforts rendered the years
spent at Tahlee among the brightest of their married life. Parry's
letters home show how thoroughly he entered into the religious work.
"Send out more Bibles," he writes, "I never before so fully felt the
truth of its being the sword of the spirit...In this country almost more
than any other whatever fruit is brought forth God shows that the praise
and glory are, as they ought to be, His alone."

Sir Edward and Lady Parry shared the joys and sorrows of the people, and
constant entertainments enlivened the everyday life. Lady Parry's
birthday was always a gala day. Sir Edward describes the first festival:
"We had a large dinner and ball of all the company's servants...being
the first ever given here. Isabella and I danced away with them at first
to set them going. Our great object is to make them all sociable and
happy." And in another letter writes: "Yesterday was the breaking up of
our school...We had a kind of tent rigged up on the middle of the flat
at Carribeen which is a place something like an English common, and the
head carpenter entered into it with great spirit, decorating the place
with boughs and bunches of wild flowers which to an English eye were
greenhouse plants and some of the rarest kind. There were flags flying
and an ensign upon a flagstaff not far away. Altogether it had a
beautiful effect with the woody scenery around. Fifty-two children sat
down to dinner and no Cheshire children could have done greater justice
to the beef and plum pudding. After dinner we set them to play games at
which blacks and whites joined, both old and young. Mr. Ebsworth (the
assistant manager) was delighted with the fête. They all said it
reminded them of England and was the first of the kind Port Stephens had
ever witnessed." Lady Parry also took evident interest in the
natives..."There are a great number of natives about the place and they
have an encampment between us and the village, their huts being formed
of two pieces of bark placed upright against each other. They appear to
be harmless, quite different from those near Sydney who are so bad and
horrible looking. I think I may even learn to admire a little native
black child. I often long for--to see the small black things running
about like little imps." Another letter describes Christmas in
Australia, "Christmas Day is passed...we have commemorated it with
pleasure and interest, though in this distant land, and have endeavoured
to make it like an English Christmas. We did not wish for your frost
and snow, but we did wish that the sun had not been quite so hot. The
thermometer registered 87° in the shade of our verandah...Our singers
had prepared hymns for the season and on Christmas Eve we had the
carols, which they sang very well indeed, going round to all the houses,
seventeen in number, where every one seemed quite happy to be reminded
of England. We also had our church decorated with evergreens. We could
not get holly or yew, but there is a shrub which is very common here,
like the laurel, only I think handsomer...It was a beautiful evening".
and when we were all sitting out on our lawn we could not help thinking
of the difference of your climate to ours just then."

Sir Edward was often away. Long expeditions were made through the bush
to unknown tracts of land.

After one of these expeditions through the company's estate Lady Parry
describes some of their experiences. "We heard tidings from our absent
party three days after they had left us, and they were going on
prosperously, having reached Myall River. They are obliged to make short
journeys each day as eight pack bullocks which carry their goods travel
slowly. They are travelling through an untracked country and have
frequently to cut their way through the bush. Their party consists of
twelve, including blacks--of whom they have three--as they are of great
service when they fall in with other natives. They have two tents to
pitch at night. It was like a large caravan moving when they set
out--all the bullocks in a string, each laden, and a man to every beast,
the attendants with guns slung over their shoulders and the others
riding. The blacks were dressed for the occasion and looked so proud of
themselves! They soon get tired of their clothes, but always want to
have them at first and it is one inducement to make them go! We are now
in the middle of winter but we have had no cold as yet. The thermometer
having never been below 50°, but it feels colder here than it would do
at that temperature in England from our being" accustomed to such hot

On one occasion on a trip to the colliery at Newcastle the party who
were as usual all on horseback had to wade through a swamp. The horses
were floundering in the soft black earth when the guide remarked that
"there was after all a good bottom". "No doubt," replied Sir Edward as
his horse up to the girths in mud gave a fresh plunge to try and get out
of the slime, "no doubt, but I have not found it yet."

Another night they encamped by the side of a creek. It was raining. The
explorer was standing at the door of the tent watching the rising of the
stream below them. All at once the water came down "like an immense
wave" and in a few minutes the party were deluged and found themselves
wading about up to their knees in water. The dray which carried their
baggage had to be hastily fastened to a tree to prevent its being washed
away while the bullocks were turned loose to find safety for themselves.
Those of the party who could, swam over the creek; the rest were hauled
across by means of a rope secured to a tree on either side.

Carribeen or Carrington was not the only part of the settlement which
profited by their visits. In March, 1831, Lady Parry writes: "On Tuesday
we set off in the boat for Booral, another of the company's farms, where
the river navigation ends. The scenery is beautiful the whole way, and I
quite longed to get out of the boat to examine the beautiful vines and
plants, all quite new to me, which were growing along the shores...Our
boat, the six-oared gig, had an awning, a very necessary comfort with an
Australian sun shining full upon us. At Booral I met an old Alderley
acquaintance, who had been transported for poaching; and when I asked
whose pheasants he had been taking, he said, 'Sir John Stanley's!' I
felt quite kindly disposed towards him, and glad to see one whose face
reminded me so strongly of old Alderley! The distance from Booral to
Stroud is about eight miles, along a most beautiful bush road. In many
parts you might fancy yourself in an English park, the trees being not
too close and interspersed with green slopes. I heard for the first time
the bell bird and coachman's whip (coachwhip). The former is found near
fresh water so that his note is a cheerful sound for travellers. We also
saw quantities of parrots and cockatoos. Stroud is charming, but I have
no wish to live there instead of Tahlee, for the sea is everything to

The want of a regular church and minister being more and more felt as
the time drew near for Sir Edward's connection with Port Stephens to
cease, he determined to build a church to leave as a legacy for the
people. A site was fixed at Stroud near Carrington, and on Monday, 29th
April, 1833, the first stone was laid by Sir Edward Parry, and a service
for the occasion read by the Rev. C. Pleydell Wilton, chaplain at

In the spring of next year Sir Edward's engagement with the company
closed, and Colonel Dumaresq was appointed as his successor, but the
work of Sir Edward and Lady Parry was a lasting one. A visitor to Port
Stephens after they had left wrote: "At Port Stephens Sir Edward Parry
found a wilderness and left it a land of hope and promise...He erected a
small but beautiful church on the calm Karuah...where never prayer was
heard before...and his example in making improvements everywhere has
animated others to do likewise."

Among others who took an interest in Church affairs was Lady Darling.
She and her family, with the governor, attended service twice every
Sunday, and at Government House the day was held sacred. The help she
gave to charitable institutions, as well as the widespread influence her
example shed upon the women of the land, bore emphatic testimony to her

The foundation stone of the first Roman Catholic Church in Sydney was
laid on 29th October, 1821, by Governor Macquarie. The first mass is
said to have been performed in Harrington Street by a priest belonging
to one of the French war-ships which came to Sydney in 1802; but it is
more than likely that the devout priest in one or other of the Spanish
ships the _Discovery_ and the _Intrepid_ which remained for some time
in the harbour held service and that some of the colonists were present.
The Rev. James Dixon, an Irish priest (a political prisoner), was
permitted by the governor to hold Roman Catholic services in 1803. In
1817 the Rev. Jeremiah O'Flynn was appointed archpriest at Sydney, but
having no formal permission from the home authorities was obliged to
return to England. In 1820 the Rev. J. J. Therry was appointed and
arrived with the Rev. Philip Connolly, the first Roman Catholic chaplain
of Tasmania, In 1829 the Rev. J. V. Dowling and three other priests
reached Sydney, and a second church was then built at Parramatta. At
that time one-third of the population were members of the Church of
Rome. The Cathedral of St. Mary was situated in a commanding position in
Hyde Park--the land whereon it stood having been granted by Governor

The first Church of Scotland in Sydney itself was St. Andrew's, better
known as Dr. Lang's Church. It was erected near St. Philip's upon the
hill which was afterwards called Church Hill, but before this a
Presbyterian Church of wood had been built at Portland Head on the
Hawkesbury by free emigrants from the South of Scotland in 1809, one of
their number, Mr. Mein, acting as voluntary catechist. Mr. Andrew
Hamilton Hume, the father of Alexander Hamilton Hume, the explorer, was
also a Presbyterian who helped his Church. He lived at Parramatta.

The first minister of the Presbyterian Church at Sydney was Dr. John
Dunmore Lang. He was born at Greenock in Scotland in 1799, educated at
Glasgow University, and ordained and appointed as minister of the Scots
Church in Sydney in 1822. He reached the colony in 1823 and at once gave
evidence of strong personality. He attracted a large congregation and in
a few days the subscriptions for the erection of a church amounted to
£700. The list was headed by the Governor, Sir Thomas Brisbane, a
Scotsman and a Presbyterian, but in consequence of a serious
disagreement the subscription was withdrawn. Dr. Lang, however,
proceeded to England, and, after laying the matter in dispute before
Lord Bathurst, returned to Sydney in 1826, bearing instructions to the
colonial authorities to pay one-third of the cost of the church, and
also an annual stipend of £300 to Dr. Lang. Along with his church Dr.
Lang introduced his school system, and through his efforts the
Australian College in Sydney was established in 1832.

[Illustration: 0900091h-49 The Scotch Church, Parramatta.]

The controversies respecting the relation between Church and State which
culminated in the disruption of the Church of Scotland were not excluded
from New South Wales. Dr. Lang, finding himself at variance with his
brethren, severed his connection with the State Church, but later on
when the various Presbyterian bodies in the colony became one, Dr. Lang
entered the union. He wrote many books and pamphlets, the best known
being his _History of New South Wales_, first published in 1834. After
a long and useful career he died in Sydney, 8th August, 1878, and was
accorded the honour of a public funeral.

The population of the colony contained a considerable proportion of
Scotsmen whose numbers had been from time to time increased through the
influence of Dr. Lang during visits to his native country. To minister
to the increasing flock came other Presbyterian clergy. An early and
important addition to their number was the Rev. J. M'Garvie who settled
at Portland Head; some years later the Rev. T. Thomson arrived, who
became minister at Bathurst, and the Rev. W. Pinkerton, whose sphere of
labour was at Maitland on the Hunter.

The first Wesleyan prayer-meeting was held in Sydney on 7th February,
1812, and the first minister of that denomination, other than
missionaries who had come there from the South Seas, was the Rev. Samuel
Leigh who arrived in the _Hebe_ on 15th August, 1815. The Rev. B.
Carvossa came in 1820, and touching at Hobart held his first service
there in August of that year. Colonel Waddy and Mr. Nokes held prayer
meetings at Hobart in October, 1820. The first Wesleyan resident
minister in that colony was the Rev. William Horton.

On the removal of the Port Phillip settlement to the banks of the
Derwent, Tasmania, the Rev. Robert Knopwood accompanied the expedition
as chaplain. At first the services were held in a large tent. Later the
good deeds of Colonel David Collins were perpetuated by the dedication
of St. David's Church at Hobart Town. The foundation was laid on 19th
February, 1817, and the consecration was performed six years later by
Mr. Marsden, and the Rev. William Bedford was appointed chaplain. St.
John's Church, Launceston, was opened in 1827 by Archdeacon Hobbes
Scott, the Rev. John Youl being the first incumbent.

By 1824 the Wesleyans possessed no less than six chapels in New South
Wales. One at Parramatta, twenty-one feet by thirty feet, was opened on
21 St April, 1821. It was built of stone and the fittings are said to
have been "well finished ". The second, built three years afterwards,
also of stone, stood in Macquarie Street, Sydney; it was very much
larger than that at Parramatta. Another chapel, built of brick, at
Windsor, measured thirty-two feet by sixteen feet. The cost of these was
defrayed by public subscription. A chapel built of wood at Castlereagh,
fifty miles from Sydney, in a very solitary neighbourhood, was erected
by Mr. John Lees, a settler of the district, at his sole expense.
Another, also of wood, was built at the Nepean.

Messrs. Hayward, Erskine, and Hutchinson, Wesleyan missionaries, were
then in the colony, and were among those who welcomed Messrs. Tyerman
and Bennet upon their visit to Sydney in 1824.

A chapel was opened at Hobart in February, 1826, and one at Launceston
in 1827.

There were also in Sydney a Baptist Chapel, a Friends' Meeting House and
a Jewish Synagogue.


Geographically Australia lies between the tenth and fortieth parallels
of south latitude. Surrounded on all sides by the ocean it measures
1,900 miles from north to south and 2,400 across from east to west. In
shape it has been compared to a dish or pancake--a plain in the middle
and fringed around the edges. The interior is somewhat elevated above
the level of the sea and studded here and there with small groups of
hills---not high enough to yield the rivers which are so much wanted to
fertilise the arid wastes of the central plain. Commencing at the
northern extremity of the east coast, this central table-land is
bordered by ranges, which run downwards through the colony of
Queensland, where they are covered with trees and foliage of tropical
growth. Maintaining a fair average height they continue their course
through New South Wales until, in the colony of Victoria, Mt. Kosciusko,
called after the Polish patriot, rises to 7,308 feet, which is only 700
feet short of the limit of perpetual snow. Here they turn westward
towards South Australia where there is much high ground, and in that
colony meet the slope of outlet by which the three large rivers from
the east, whose waters unite and form the Murray, find their way to Lake
Alexandrina. Farther west of this break, the table-land is more broken,
the mountains being rarely high; and in Western Australia they sink to
mere hills.

Captain Sturt had been led to believe that Australia was a basin; that
an unbroken range of hills lined its coasts, that the rivers flowed only
to the centre and contributed to the formation of an inland sea; but as
he proceeded with his explorations he found that there was, especially
near the junction of the Castlereagh with the Darling River, a rapid
fall of country to the south. His barometer told him that the cataract
of the Macquarie was 680 feet above the level of the sea, and that
Oxley's depot on the Lachlan was only 500--the fall being still greater
beyond these two points, the maximum of the fossil bank through which
the Murray passes being only 300 feet. Many of the rivers are connected
with lagoons, the lagoons possessing salt or brackish water, but having
no communication with the sea, affording vast quantities of salt so
beneficial for sheep. Some of these lagoons are small and dry up in the
hot summer months altogether; others are really lakes. The largest
inland stretch of water is Lake Torrens, near the head of Spencer Gulf,
being nearly as large as the Lake of Geneva. Lake George when full of
water is twenty-one miles long and in one part five miles wide.

There are signs of volcanic action in many parts not only in the rocks
but in the isolated hills, the "conical pics" of the first explorers.
The burning hill, Mount Wingen (native name for fire) near the valley of
the Hunter River, like similar elevations elsewhere, contains sulphur in
a continual combustion, without eruption but throwing out smoke. The
hill was discovered in 1828 by a settler who one day while out shooting
noticed the smoke arising from it and asked a native whether the bush
was on fire, but the black replied "No," adding that the mountain had
been burning a very long time; it was subsequently visited by three
settlers, Messrs. Mackie (father and son) and Dixon who took with them a
party of labourers and made an examination of the place. The opening in
the hill was approached by a steep ascent and the ground about it was
black and tarry. It was twelve feet wide and thirty feet long, lying
between the peaks of two mountains which the natives called Wingen. Five
feet from the opening the party threw up a barricade to protect them
from the heat which was like that of a furnace, and then they began to
explore under the surface. Eight feet down they came on a rocky
substance which they blasted and then found coal, saltpetre, alum and
sulphur. The settlers, thinking that it was a volcano, were disappointed
at not finding lava, but, near the bed of the river, stumps of petrified
trees and fossil woods were discovered. The petrifaction presented
stripes and coloured bands like beautiful ribbons; there were also
sandstones, limestone, beautiful specimens of J asp-agate or Egyptian
pebble and amorphous nodules, the interior being filled with the finest
crystals. Sandstone and granite were also found in oval or round masses
varying from two to twelve feet in circumference. These balls of granite
were exactly like the cannon balls used by Cromwell, and when displaced
from the sockets appeared as if they had been thrown there by artillery.

Between Glendon and the Hunter River and in the immediate neighbourhood
of Mount Wingen the soil was thrown up in regular ridges or furrows
similar to those on the Bathurst Plains, and the natives when asked if
they knew the cause, explained that corn was grown there a very long
time ago, and holding up their fingers exclaimed "Murrey, Murrey, many
years gone by!" But this seems incorrect as the undulations preserve
the same direction on each side of the mountains and there is little
doubt that they were formed by the subsidence of the water after
terrible floods from the mountains. An old geologist[*] declares that in
his opinion "it may have been at the same time and perhaps by the same
catastrophe as that which separated Nobby Island at the mouth of the
Hunter from the mainland".

[* The Rev. C. Pleydell Neale Wilton, M.A. Camb.]

In Illawarra, New South Wales, and at Mount Barker there are ranges of
hills with abrupt precipices of unstratified igneous rock which has been
forced up through marine strata. When Flinders explored Pumice Stone
River in the neighbourhood of Glasshouse Bay, he was surprised not to
find a volcano. The pumice stone in the river and the situation of the
tremendous peaks standing on the low flat ground led him to believe that
there must be one there.

The curious harbours with their equally curious branches and inner
branches connected with the sea by comparatively narrow openings present
a great likeness to the valleys or depressions found in the Blue
Mountains, which, like them, says Charles Darwin, are also due to marine

Snow is found upon the peaks of the Australian Alps, and during the
winter upon many of the smaller ranges. It is also no uncommon sight
upon the highest peaks of the Blue Mountains while the wintry blast of
the Canoblas nearer Orange is too icy not to be quickly identified. When
it blows the newcomer from Great Britain is unmistakably reminded of the
north-easter of his native land, while the suntanned face of the
Australian turns blue under its sharpness, and his keen eyes measure the
white snowcaps on his blue hills with much the same expression as they
watch the glittering ring of bush fires encircling the ranges in summer.

Bush fires, like snow, may have serious consequences for the stock.
During the hot months fires are not uncommon, for the sun's rays are so
powerful that they set the dry grass burning. Then the heat is extreme,
the air like that of a furnace; there is no breeze, even the smallest
leaf is unmoved. The sun appears as a copper disc through the brown haze
of smoke. The clouds hang low in the sky which is of a smoky colour, and
the same coloured mist rises from the ground. Even at a distance these
signs show that the bush is on fire. As darkness sets in a peculiar
redness glows like a halo above the horizon. The sight at night is
magnificent if the fire increases and becomes serious, for the trees
contain so much resin and turpentine that when once ignited they burn
fiercely and rapidly. Long tongues of flame leaping and flashing envelop
the blue foliage. From rock to rock, from bush to bush they spread until
the tall forest trees come crashing to the earth .beneath a deluge of
sparks and falling timber. But the train of fire continues onward, with
fierce energy, taking new paths, and doing enormous damage.

Farmers and squatters seldom prepare for the snow even in the districts
where as a rule there is at least one fall during the year; but the
touch which winter lays upon the land as a rule is comparatively tender
and gentle; the thaw being rapid and the ice quickly disappearing.

[Illustration: 0900091h-50 The Opossum.]

The coldest months are June and July, when the roses are in bloom and
the young birds are twittering in the trees in England; just as in
January while "at home" the northern farmer is shaking the snow from his
boots and the village children are sliding across the pond--the sun in
Australia is throwing its dazzling rays over fields of golden wheat,
over gardens and orchards in which the fig, almond, grape, mulberry,
melon and orange, as well as the apple, pear, plum, peach, and many
other fruits that Great Britain has given her colonies, are ripening.

To quote the words of an old writer: "Besides the trees and fruits all
kinds of grain flourished among dingy forests which until now had
yielded barely enough to support a few wandering savages". But with the
good seed sprang up the tares. In the early days the weed known by the
familiar sobriquet of "fat hen" (_Chenopodium album_) throve so well
that dozens of acres were to all appearance one mass of it and reapers
were unwilling to undertake work in the fields where it grew. It took
deeper root than the wheat and chose the best land for itself. The
Scotch thistle increased far too abundantly in the new soil and was so
disliked by the cattle that they would starve rather than eat it. So it
was with the thistle of the Argentine, the seed of which was originally
brought to Bathurst matted in the tails of cart horses imported from
South America. From these few seeds there has spread what is now known
in Australia as the "Bathurst burr," regarded as a great evil, because
of the havoc it creates in the fleece of the fine woolled sheep; it has
often been known to ruin a clip for seasons together. Instead of the red
poppy, and hardly so ornamental, the tall yellow buttercup seen in
English cottage gardens invaded the wheat fields; called in many places
"Mackenzie's buttercup," after the settler who first grew it on his
land, its long stalk and green leaves make it noticeable, and even in
the great heat and dry weather it holds its own among the wild flowers
of its adopted country.

The produce of the first wheat grown was most disappointing. But the
seed sown had been damaged by the long sea voyage. We learn from an
article headed with Thomson's quotation, "Ye hardy Britons venerate the
plough," that fifty sheaves made but two bushels of grain. In another
instance twenty-two sheaves produced but one bushel. Cape wheat of a
good appearance required eighty good-sized sheaves for two bushels;
white Lammas wheat somewhat less. The general average seemed to be from
thirty to forty sheaves to the bushel and in one place in a previous
year (1828), and when exposed to blight, 160 sheaves were thrashed for a
bushel. People were also deceived by the length of the straw. A great
deal of the wheat grown around Windsor went to stalk. One country clown
six feet high boasted that his wheat was the best in the parish: "It
is," said he, "as long in the stalk as myself". In return he was told if
it were "as light in the head it would be of little value". The maize
which Captain Hunter praised so highly grew well everywhere; the banks
of the Nepean especially produced large fields of it, and its tall
stalks and shining green leaves, surmounted with bursting cobs out of
which peeped tiny silky tufts, gave the crop as handsome an appearance
as the orchards of oranges growing near by.

The year 1829 seems to have been a bountiful one--the potatoes were of a
larger and better description than the country had ever before grown,
and all the field and garden crops seem to have thriven. From the first
the governors had encouraged gardening. As far back as 1790 Governor
Phillip held that it was an absolute necessity for every man to
cultivate his own garden. To the few who had not shown signs of
industry, had not sown any ground or planted any vegetables, he allotted
a small but sufficient plot and encouraged their labours not only by
directions but with his presence; and in 1815 Governor Macquarie showed
the same interest in gardening. Mrs. Macquarie in her efforts to
civilise and improve the condition of the aborigines, had wooden
cottages built for them at St. George's Head near the harbour, and
allotments laid out, the seeds and plants for these being furnished from
the Government store. But the kindness shown both by the governor and
his wife to the blacks seems to have been wasted, as in 1824 the gardens
and orchards were overrun with weeds, and had become little
wildernesses, while not a sign of the dwellings remained. When the land
was first cleared British fruit trees were planted and it is still not
uncommon to find hedges of ungrafted quince or plum, sometimes along a
public road where, their green hue is a pleasant change from the sombre
tint of native grass.

Macquarie not only tried to improve the Sydney gardens but also made
walks and drives wherever they would command views of the shores of Port
Jackson. Mrs. Macquarie had the drive in the Domain laid out after her
own plans; the road had to be cut through rocks and underwood and many
trees were destroyed; seats were placed at intervals and lodges built at
the entrances. On the extreme point overlooking the harbour some
horizontal rocks formed a sort of natural seat which has ever since been
known as "Mrs. Macquarie's Chair," as the carved inscription bears

There are over ten thousand species of plants in the Australian flora,
and a description of the flowers of New South Wales that attracted Sir
Joseph Banks, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Caley and other botanists, would alone
fill a volume. Many collections were sent home by Governor Macquarie, one
at Lord Bathurst's request being made for the Emperor of Austria and
another for M. Goiim, the French King's gardener in Paris. With so many
good local plants it is not surprising that Sydney gardens have always
been beautiful. They run down to the edge of the water where ships of
all descriptions have their anchorage. Men-of-war, famous liners, yachts
and weather-beaten vessels from distant ports lie quite close to the
land. Wavelets wash the edge of white sand and beat against the brown
rocks and quaint boat-houses and rustic steps, and gardens encircle the
various coves and promontories, and encroach as it were upon the very
borders of land and sea.

Here and there straggling masses of foliage break through the barrier
fences or creep over the stone walls and sweep the surface of the waves.
Ferns and sea plants cover the rockeries and ornament the borders of the
red paths which cross and re-cross the green lawns between the houses
and the beach. The tree fern, the bird's nest, the maidenhair, the
stag's horn and bright lichens like stars on the grey stone, all seem
to be growing as Nature placed them. Higher up, bushes of geranium, soft
fragrant oleanders; magnolias laden with yellow flowers scent the air;
fuchsias of the richest reds and purples droop on thin stems, and the
prickly pears add a touch to the wealth of colour. Besides the
indigenous plants, others of northern climates flourish in happy
contrast, and lend to the gardens a double charm,--among them the rose,
the violet and the English honeysuckle, while trailers and climbers of
mountain rockeries, such as bougainvillea, clematis and Virginia creeper
hide the porches and cover the white walls of the houses many of which
have green shutters and quaint gables.

The eucalyptus trees, of which there are numerous kinds, are the largest
trees in the country. These were first called gum-trees by Captain
Cook's party, from the quantity of astringent juice or gum which most of
them contain, and they are popularly known by that name. Besides gum
several of the species also yield manna which is generally found in tiny
pieces, dry and crisp, beneath the tree amid the dried leaves and pieces
of bark. And in addition to the gum and manna, some yield the well known

To one kind, _E. piperita_, the name of peppermint tree was given by
Mr. White, surgeon of the _Sirius_, and afterwards Surgeon-General of
New South Wales under Governor Phillip, on account of the resemblance
between the oil drawn from its leaves and that obtained from the
ordinary peppermint plant. The best known sorts are the red gum (_E.
rostrata_) and the blue gum (_E. globulus_); the yellow gum was
formerly used by the natives in making their spears; the white gum (_E.
haemastoma_) is a big tree with wide-spreading branches, the bark
covering the trunk and limbs is white and smooth, the leaves deep green.
In the Dandenong ranges peppermint trees have often attained 420 feet
and near Healesville a fallen tree measured 480 feet or 76 feet higher
than the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.

There are numerous Australian species of acacia. The wattles are most
valued because the bark is used in tanning, and the myall has the
hardest wood with a very fine grain. When Captain Cook's party saw the
polished weapons of scented myall wood in the hands of the natives they
declared that they shone like musket barrels in the sunlight. Ornaments
made out of this wood are much sought after. The natives formerly carved
these articles neatly; and formerly there were few stockmen who did not
carry a myall whip handle. The valuable acacia cedar, found chiefly in
Queensland and the northern portion of New South Wales, represents
another genus. The Norfolk Island pine is a tree allied to the bunya
bunya which the Government will not allow to be felled on Crown lands as
the seed is eaten by the natives. Both are picturesque trees, but the
former is not indigenous to Australia. We are told that it was first
planted on the banks of the Parramatta by Mr. Wilson of H.M.S.
_Reliance_ who had brought many seedlings of the tree from Norfolk
Island, and it has done well in New South Wales.

One of the chief peculiarities of Australian vegetation is that ferns,
nettles, and even grasses have the form and habits of trees. The
grasses, like the numerous sedges, thrive best in places liable to
inundation. In summer time the green sward or turf is unseen. It lies
hidden beneath a taller grass of a yellowish brown tint. This long
herbage--as the stock well know--protects the short grass from the
fierce sun rays. Were you to uproot the brown grass, to plough the land
and sow it with artificial seed to obtain the effect of an English field
you would reap no reward for your pains, as the native grass would be
destroyed and the foreign grass, the seed of that grown in colder
climates, would perish under the summer sun.

It is remarkable how in Australia, in the midst of luxuriant growth,
bare patches, due perhaps to the quantity of salt impregnating the soil,
are to be seen in places on which, says an old writer, "even the
grasshopper would starve". The kangaroo grass is one of the chief
grasses grown, but a small fine barley and the yellow or brown oat-grass
are the prettiest. Mitchell thought the latter when ripe resembled a
crop of grain; when it is young and after a shower of rain it
overspreads the plains with a brilliant green.

The land around Sydney and the eastern shores of Port Phillip, like
Western Australia, are famous for their wild flowers, those known as
Christmas bush, the uncommon flannel flower, and many species of heath
and everlasting growing in comparatively sterile soil. The grass tree
(_Xanthorrhaea arborea_) is also noteworthy; when young it seems to be
merely a large plant without a stem, with long, narrow, sharp leaves;
but as it becomes older the lower leaves curve down and the young growth
rises from the centre, and soon a thick stem appears bearing a cluster
of leaves. From the centre of this rises a scape like an enormous
bulrush, frequently ten feet in height, the spike being a foot long. In
perfection it is erect, in old age it becomes crooked and sometimes
deformed but it always gives a truly Australian aspect to the scenery.

There are many wild herbs which are favourable to sheep almost
everywhere. Wild thyme, native hops, the plant from which the first
house-wives raised their yeast, and mint also thrive well, and a fruit
commonly called "five corners" is eaten by the children of the poorer
settlers, who also gather manna and the gum of the wattle which has a
flavour not unlike wild honey.

No book about Australia would be complete without some reference to the
horse. Of all animals, indigenous or otherwise, none was of such use
and importance to the pioneers. Neither the kangaroo which is, as it
were, looked upon as part of the soil, nor the sheep which has brought
wealth to her pastures has entered into the joys and labours of
Australia's people in anything like the same measure as the English

Whether it be in rearing sheep, raising cattle, or growing wheat--or
almost any _Endeavour_ he undertakes--the Australian must have the
assistance of a horse. Railways now spread their long lines through the
interior of the country, carrying travellers from place to place, but in
those early times when a man wanted to visit in the country he packed
his bag, strapped it to his saddle, mounted his steed and rode away.

The population in the "twenties" was scattered far inland, many stations
being "nearly beyond the pale of civilisation," and a ride of a hundred
miles was not thought an unusual journey.

The soil, the climate, and the general surroundings of the greater part
of the country was only fitted for pastoral occupations. Some of the
sheep-runs of the settlers were enormous, and immense flocks of pure
merino sheep roamed over open land; old stockmen and drovers, worn-out
adventurers, human waifs and strays, spent their last days shepherding
and many were laid to rest beneath the shade of the mallee and wattle
trees with "never a stone or rail to fence their bed". Cattle raising
soon became an important industry. English breeds were first introduced
for King George's farms, and in congenial surroundings quickly
multiplied. For the management of these cattle stations and sheep runs,
horses were required in large numbers, and, in addition to mounts merely
serviceable for stockmen at their work, the land could soon boast its

The descendants of the horses taken to Australia thus early soon gained
a reputation far beyond local bounds. Good and fast mounts were found to
be necessary when bushrangers and cattle stealers had to be watched and
pursued. The bushrangers were especially attracted by the horses, for
their lives often depended on the possession of a fleet steed,
and few of the famous racing stables escaped a visit from them.

Mustering cattle came to be regarded as an exciting chase, many of the
open lands being little more than a vast prairie where the herds became
as wild as deer, and, when it was necessary to collect them for sale, it
meant a hard day's work for the owner and his men, and required a rider
possessed of a tolerable share of nerve, and a good horseman into the
bargain. A mob of bullocks is not easily brought to a stockyard. They
try every conceivable manoeuvre to evade their pursuers, and start off
with a fleetness quite unexpected in animals of such size and weight.
But fox-hunting cannot provide more exciting sport, and Adam Lindsay
Gordon, who rode after cattle every bit as well as he could write about
them, brings such scenes vividly before us in his lines:--

'Twas merry in the backwoods when we spied the station roofs
To wheel the wild scrub cattle at the yard
With a running fire of stockwhips and a fiery run of hoofs
Oh! the hardest day was never then too hard!

The first cattle muster took place at the Cow Pastures when in November,
1795, the sailor governor, Hunter, learning that wild cattle had been
seen there, set out with a small party to satisfy himself as to their
origin. Uncertainty existed as to whether the cattle were descendants of
those brought from the Cape or belonged to some wild breed peculiar to
the country. After a search of two days they were discovered, grazing
knee-deep in thick grass. As light was failing the governor decided
to wait until next day to get a better view of them. When the cattle
were rounded an order was given to kill one of the calves, but in the
attempt a full grown animal attacked the hunters and had to be killed. It
was found to resemble the Cape cattle, having wide-spreading horns and
the hump between the shoulders. Only twenty-three pounds of beef could
be sent into Parramatta, forty miles away, and the party were compelled
regretfully to leave the rest to be devoured by crows. Hunter, as we
have already mentioned, called the mountain near this spot "Mount
Taurus," and the plains the "Cow Pastures", Thick grass covered the
ground, and the trees, though thinly scattered, were shady and free from
undergrowth; there were many level strips with open clear lagoons where
wild ducks in myriads and black swans were swimming, and sedges and
shrubs of the brightest hues fringed the margins of these miniature
lakes. Captain Hunter was as fond of riding as of boating. Many horses
were imported during his term of office; and besides these we read
praises of the Arab Derwent, a son of White William, the property of Mr.
Paymaster Birch; of those brought from India and Arabia for Sir Thomas
Brisbane; of the English race-horses of Captains Piper, Macarthur and
Rous, R.N., while Colonel Morrisett possessed numerous chargers, two of
which were lost in a gale between Sydney and Norfolk Island.

The vehicle most generally used at first was the gig. According to the
_Quarterly Review_ "the outward sign of respectability in New South
Wales meant dining with the governor or driving a gig". In later years,
behind the stables of some of the old homesteads quite an array of these
vehicles in all stages of dilapidation could be seen, some mere
skeletons of rusty iron which might have been driven in the days of
Macquarie, Brisbane or Bourke, and others less dilapidated, with the
horse-hair gaping from the tattered cloth of what once had been a
cushion. Here the children loved to sit and play at driving to town, and
if sometimes there was one found sound enough for a pony to drag about
the yards the youthful joy knew no bounds.

Hunting was enjoyed from the very early years. As far back as October,
1811, a good day's sport was obtained on the banks of the Nepean. The
dingo escaped, but the hounds "found" a kangaroo along the sands of the
river and killed at Mr. Throsby's after two hours' run. Before foxes
were introduced into Victoria, the dingo or native dog was hunted, but
unfortunately the hounds were severely bitten at times and this made the
sport unpopular, so that kangaroo hunting took its place. Foxhounds were
introduced at Bathurst by the 73rd regiment a little before 1820. The
members of the Bathurst hunt wore green coats with velvet collars
ornamented with a dingo embroidered in gold. Each member was responsible
for the upkeep of a certain number of hounds. They were hunted on
various days and not only was good sport obtained, but an enemy to the
flocks of the squatter was destroyed. The pack of the 73rd was broken up
when that regiment quitted the colony (writes Wentworth) "as their
successors had no taste for the sport," but the breed of foxhounds was
not allowed to die out.

[Illustration: 0900091h-51 The Vampire]

The most characteristic of the Australian animals are, of course, the
marsupials, carnivorous and vegetable-feeding, of which nearly the whole
mammalian fauna consists. Australia has no native monkeys or ruminants.
There are no tigers, leopards or other large cats; the almost extinct
dingo, probably landed by the Malays years ago, is the only
representative of the canine race. There are many bats, fruit eating and
otherwise, the largest of the fruit-eaters being the flying-fox which
does as much damage in a garden as the English fox in a farmyard. It
seems to delight in settling upon the choicest fruit trees and in one
night stripping them of every apple or pear in a spirit of
destructiveness no other animal can equal, and so it is watched for and
promptly shot. But the most extraordinary animal is the duck-billed
platypus described first as "a quadruped with the beak of a bird"
which, says the old writer, is "contrary to known facts". So singular
did the quadruped's head terminating in a duck's bill appear to the late
Dr. Shaw of the British Museum that when it was shown to him he
suspected it to be an attempt to impose upon his credulity as a
naturalist. Sir Everard Home, too, who gave a minute description of the
anatomy of a platypus said that "it could not be classed among the
mammalia, aves or pisces, but if it belonged to anything it must be to
the amphibia".

The bird-life of Australia is seen at its best among the great trees in
the distant bush. Flocks of cockatoos--the sulphur-crested, the
crestless long beaked, and the rosy species known as Leadbeater's or
Major Mitchell's, crimson-winged lories with backs like velvet, and the
beautiful and perfectly shaped rosella--that most graceful of all
parrots, fly from tree to tree. Through the monotonous green foliage the
bronze-winged pigeon (the dove of the first explorers) passes with its
peculiar beating of the wings. Close by on the flats the
peevish cry of the peewit arises, protesting loudly that
its solitude is disturbed, while down among the sandy shallows of the
rivers skim the sandpipers and sandlarks and water wagtail, their white
and black markings making them clearly discernible from a distance. In
the rings of mud, as though dreaming through the long day, but really
silently watching for food, the tall white crane stands immovable with
its soft unruffled plumage, its calm demeanour contrasting with the
chattering and ceaseless activity of its smaller companions. When the
red sun sinks in the western sky, it rises majestically and flies slowly
homewards. Soon there pass the flocks of ibis and wild duck in angles of
dark specks against the pink heavens, and the sun sets to the shrill cry
of the morepork, followed by the quaint laughter of the brown
kingfisher--the settler's clock--telling the birds that another day has

[Illustration: 0900091h-52 The Duck-billed Platypus]

Australia has very few hedgerows, no mossy banks, no lanes or dells, but
long lines of fences, miles of posts and rails with here and there a
gate or slip panel dividing the land into paddocks or cornfields. And
yet there are spots as innumerable as in other lands for birds to nest
in. There are tall sedges and clumps of rushes out on the plains, the
haunt of the emu and the pelican where close by in hidden pools the
frogs sprawl and swim all day. There are marshes for the crane--"the
native companion"--and "flats" for curlew and plover.

[Illustration: 0900091h-53 The Wonga-Wonga Pigeon.]

In the wide creeks martins build their mud nests in myriads; and
kingfishers gaily flash in and out of the holes in the banks; while
beneath where the stream flows cheerily, the wildest birds can drink
undisturbed. Crows and magpies often swarm round the homesteads. The
Australian magpie is most docile; it seems to prefer domesticity to a
life in the silent bush, and is the most petted bird. In the morning and
evening the laughing jackasses (kookaburra) also come round the country
homes and they too are most sociable; not only inland are they heard
close by, but along the unsettled par of the coast rivers they will
venture near to a tent or a yacht and laugh long and loud as if for the
special edification of the visitors. Perhaps the warbling of the magpie
is the sweetest sound one can hear in the bush; not even the pretty
chime of the bell-bird or the song of the skylark can compare with the
flute-like note of "maggie" on a bright summer morning. And the chief
attraction about the magpie's song is that the birds sing in chorus;
numbers will start off at once and although often a great many sing
either behind or before the main body of singers, there is no shrillness
or discordancy so often heard with the song of English birds when many
sing together. Vlamingh and the Dutch sailors were not quite wrong when
they likened the song of the "piping crow," to that of the nightingale.
Altogether there are more than 650 species of birds, while Europe has
but 500. The settlers have given European names to many of the smaller
kinds, though the species in many instances are not identical. For
example, the local robin, which has a breast as bright as that of its
namesake on a Christmas card, is not the English redbreast, but a
_Petraeca_, the wren is a _Malurus_, the blackcap a _Melithreptus_;
finches, flycatchers, swallows, kingfishers, bee-eaters are none of them
of European species; and the landrail, quail and snipe vary, although
many have a more or less distant resemblance to their English namesakes.

[Illustration: 0900091h-54 The Giant Kingfisher.]

The commonest eagle is the brown wedge-tailed species which was seen at
Sydney Cove and described by Captain Phillip. No more appropriate bird
could have been chosen to balance the kangaroo on the national coat of
arms than the emu. The bird has been identified with southern lands for
centuries. Ever since the first coming of Europeans to the East Indies
the emu, eme or emeu has been described by historians. Leonardo de
Argensola in his work, _The Conquest of the Moluccas_, published in
1609, shows that the "emeu" of those islands, and which is depicted in
many old histories, bears a very close resemblance to the Australian

[Illustration: 0900091h-55 The Emu.]

Nothing has been said here of the mineral wealth of the continent, as
the discoveries of gold and silver belong to a period subsequent to that
dealt with in these pages.

It was, however, no lifeless, unprofitable island to which Phillip took
the first fleet, but a continent abounding in possibilities which must
inevitably be developed. No region of the earth is of greater promise,
none in all her empire more in need of Britain's surplus people. Its
future importance is unmistakable. As an indication of what is thought
by its friends take President Roosevelt's recent message: "Next to my
own nation I am interested in the progress, success and safety of
Australia...Tell them I wish them all good things. Open your doors to
immigration. Beware of keeping your far north empty; encourage the
influx there of Southern Europeans. They will cultivate that rich
country and become good Australians. That is my message."

In the old days there were those who advocated the recall of the colony
from Port Jackson as man could not live on scenery. The scenery remains,
but the struggling settlement has been replaced by a mighty city with
nearly as many people as London had when Phillip set sail. And that city
is the mother of many cities, most of them growing as fast and some of
them as much grown up. And yet the history of Australia is only



_Colonial Secretary's Office, Sydney, June 1st, 1829._

His Excellency the Governor has been pleased to direct, that the following
List of Towns and Stations, with the Distances in Miles from Sydney, be
published for general Information.

By His Excellency's Command,


* * *


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