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vol; ii.








IT 11 b ir


[The Eight of Translation and Reproduction is re.Krved.]

I n 11 9 a 1) :





GOVERNOR DARLING ... ... ... ... ... 1


GOVERNOR BOURKE ... ... ... ... ... 50


GOVERNOR GIPPS ... ... ... ... ... 179












Governor Darling arrived in New South Wales in Decem-
ber 1825, after touching at Hobart Town and conveying the
instructions of the Colonial Office as to the separation of the
island government from that of New South Wales. He was
a military man and much influenced by military ideas. A
presentiment that he would be so influenced seems to have been
instinctive with the leaders of the popular party, — the eman-
cipists and self-styled patriots. Brisbane had warmed their
sympathies by cordiality on his departure, and they were in no
humour to welcome his supplanter. The incoming Governor
was received like the outgoing king :

" As in a tlieatre the eyes of men
Are idly bent on him that enters next . . .
E'en so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Ricliard. No man cried, ' God save liim ! ' "

Darling bore with him a Royal warrant appointing his Legis-
lative Council, consisting of the chief military officer (Stewart,
who had in that capacity administered the affairs of the colony
in the brief interval between the departure of Brisbane and the
arrival of Darling) ; the Chief Justice ; Archdeacon Scott ; the
Colonial Secretary, Mr. Alexander Macleay (who arrived in
January 1826, and was to succeed Major Goulburn) ; John
Macarthur ; Robert Campbell ; and Cliarles Throsby. The
Executive Council was to consist of the same persons, with the

exception of the three last-named colonists. It must have been
VOL. ir. B

2 Australia.

with strange feelings that Macarthur and Campbell on the 20th
December, 1825, were sworn as members of the Legislative
Council, In 1808 Campbell had been one of the few respect-
able persons who abetted Governor Bligh when, under the
guidance of Crossley the convict, Macarthur was lawlessly
imprisoned. Campbell had given evidence in favour of Bligh
at the trial of Colonel Johnston. In 1825, both Macarthur and
Campbell were styled "trusty and well-beloved," in a warrant
under the hand of the King appointing them members of the
Legislative Council of the colony ; and the warrant was sub-
scribed by Lord Bathurst, from whom it had been so hard to
wring consent that Macarthur should be permitted to return to
the colony in 1817. The warrant of 1825 was revoked in 1827,
and a new one was issued ; but the change was merely formal.
Stewart was no longer named in it, but the " officer next in
command to the Commander of the Forces " was placed in the
Council, and Colonel Lindesay (39th Regiment) in that capacity
took his seat. The other members were re-appointed. Soon
after Darling's arrival it was thought advisable to present an
address to him, and a public meeting was called, at which
William C. Wentworth was the moving spirit. He admitted
that the new Council was an improvement on its predecessor,
but advocated agitation for an elected Assembly, and sounded
the popular note of taxation by representation. Darling replied
to the address in general terms ; and, without committing him-
self to either party of colonists, proceeded with his new Colonial
Secretary to introduce administrative reforms which previous
laxity had made necessary. In this, as in his task of raising
the tone of society, the Governor was to look for aid from the
Colonial Secretary, who was noted as a man of science, and in
addition to his services under the Crown had been for many
years the highly esteemed honorary Secretary of the Linna3an
Society, which unanimously ordered a painting of him by Sir
Thomas Lawrence. That two persons freshly arrived from the
mother country should concur in removing from the public
offices some relics of the convict element introduced by Macquarie
and untouched by Brisbane, can hardly be wondered at ; yet
Darling and Macleay incurred the odium of the emancipists
by weeding the departments. The order which they had not

Discoveries. 3

found they attempted to secure by a system of checks and
counter-checks. They effected much good by infusing a higher
sense of duty among officials. The emancipist and self-styled
patriot party turned savagely on the Governor, and Dr. Wardell
and William Wentworth ere long vented their fury in the
columns of the * Australian.' After this introduction of the
Governor to his new sphere of duty, the progress of discovery
during his rule must be alluded to.

In 1827, Allan Cunningham combined his botanical researches
with a spirit of discovery. He traversed with six men the
affluents of the Nammoy and the Gwydir, discovered Darling
Downs, and after a severe journey returned to his starting-point
at the head of the Hunter river. Two years afterwards he
went to Moreton Bay by sea ; and, exploring the sources of the
Brisbane river, connected his two expeditions, and named Cun-
ningham's (Pass or) Gap in the cordillera near Darling Downs.
Darling selected, for the command of another exploring party,
Captain Charles Sturt of H.M. 39th Regiment. With this leader
Mr. Hamilton Hume was associated. In 1828, a time of drought,
they started for the interior, where Oxley had found unending
marshes and expanse of water. They found a waste of dry poly-
gonum scrub with patches of reeds and a small muddy channel
to which the Macquarie had dwindled. An attempt by Sturt
to follow its course failed. Hume made excursions, and after
much hardship the explorers suddenly came upon a large
river, which they named the Darling. To their horror they
found the water salt. They were in sore straits for themselves
and their cattle ; and the unerring skill of Hume was never
more welcome than when he discovered, not far from their
camp, a pool of fresh water which relieved their distress. Striking
the Darling first in long. 145-33 E., lat. 29-37 S.,they descended
many miles without finding any alteration in the character ot
the river. They turned and explored northwards. They again
encountered the Darling, salt as before. After four months and
a half they returned to the settlement, having ascertained that
the Macquarie and Castlereagh rivers, and, inferentially, the
Nammoy, Gwydir, and the Darling Down rivers, flowed into this
new great river, now called the Darling, below the confluence of
the rivers converging from the slopes of the cordillera.

4 Australia.

Sturt was again commissioned in 1829 to explore the more
southern rivers. The Lachlan had been essayed vainly by
Oxley. Sturt sought the Murrumbidgee, whose waters, fed
from the Snowy Mountains, were to bear him to a new and
unexpected terminus. Hume could not accompany him, though
asked to do so. Not only his skill in the bush but his know-
led'^e of the natives caused regret at his absence. On the
Darling Sturt and Hume had seen many natives, and no
hostilities had taken place. Mr. {afterwards Sir) George Macleay
was Sturt's companion and friend in his new undertaking.
Forming a depot on the Murrumbidgee, near its junction with
the Lachlan, Sturt with a chosen band started down the river
in a boat. They passed the junction with the river which
Hume had named after his own father; but Hume was not
there to recognize it, and Sturt unfortunately, but unwittingly,
discarded Hume's patronymic, and named the river the Murray,^
in honour of Sir George Murray, then Secretary of State. The
boat bore them bravely downwards; they saw hundreds of
natives ; they were saved from an attack of one tribe by the
heroism of another native (of a tribe recently seen), who dashed
across the river and arrested the uplifted arm of a leader. They
returned in 1830, amidst much privation and in great prostration,
and Sturt published his narrative which proved him as modest
as brave. They had traced the united Murrumbidgee, Murray,
and Darling waters into Lake Alexandrina, and thence to the
sea in Encounter Bay. They had connected their journey across
the land with the labours of Flinders, and the footsteps of other
white men. They had found on the coast that the natives had
seen white men before, and, unlike their brethren in the interior,
had been made to dread fire-arms. Sturt's people were watchful
and returned safely ; and in all his explorations Sturt never took
the life of a native. Governor Darling acknowledged Sturt's
services by an official notice of his exploits, and the Colonial
Secretary, Mr. Macleay, had the pleasure to see his son's name
included as that of one who had done the State some service in
the expedition. A sad fate awaited the next explorer who
visited Lake Alexandrina. Captain Barker, a brother officer of

1 The colonists have an unfortunate tendency to supplant the aboriginal
names. IIuw much better a name is Karaula than Darling for a river!


Start, had succeeded Captain Stirling as commandant at Raffles
Bay, and when that settlement was, like its neighbour at Mel-
ville Island, abandoned in 1829, Barker was stationed at King
George's Sound. Governor Darling instructed him to hand over
the last-named settlement to Captain Stirling, who had become
Governor of (Western Australia or) Swan River, and then to
make a more accurate survey at Lake Alexandrina than time or
provisions had made possible for Sturt. The gallant officer,
who was reputed to be well acquainted with the aborigines, and
kindly disposed towards them, fell a sacrifice to the hatred
inspired by less humane visitors. Being the only one of the
company who could swim, he crossed the channel, which connects
the lake with the sea, alone, taking his compass on his head.
His companions saw him no more. The gallant Sturt bewailed
the loss of one so true and just, so intelligent and dauntless, so
kind and indefatigable. Sturt thought it probable that the
" cruelties practised by sealers had instigated the natives to take
vengeance on the innocent as well as on the guilty." Lieutenant
Kent, the second in command, prevailed upon a sealer at Kan-
garoo Island to go with him and a native woman to inquire
concernincf Barker's fate. She was told that he had been
speared and thrown into the sea.

Numerous attempts to form settlements during the govern-
ments of Brisbane and Darling evinced the desire of English
Ministers to exclude foreign nations from Australia, as well as
to furnish fresh outlets for British enterprise. There is docu-
mentary evidence to show that to the promptness of Lord
Liverpool's Administration it was due that only the flag of
England was permitted to float over Austialian soil. The
traditions of the sway of Pitt, who first erected it there, still
prevailed in the Cabinet which comprised Mr. Goulburn, Lord
Bathurst, the great Peel, and the briUiant Canning. What
Governor King implored the Addington Ministry to do in order
to extinguish French pretensions in 1802, while Lord Liverpool
(then Lord Hawkesbury) was Minister for Foreign Affairs, the
same Minister while Premier sanctioned in 1826, when those
pretensions were believed to be revived.^

1 I observe that credit has been given to Lord John Russell for asserting
the British claim. He may have made it in words, after it had been estab-


Early in 1826 Lord Bathurst wrote publicly and privately
to Governor Darling. Establishments at Western Port and Shark
Bay were contemplated. These, with the post at Melville
Island, were to secure the whole territory from the intruding
French who were sending out discovery ships. Darling promptly
pointed out that as the western boundary of his Government
was the 129th degree of East longitude, "it will not be easy to
satisfy the French, if they are desirous of establishing themselves
here, that there is any valid objection to their doing so on the
West Coast ; and I therefore beg to suggest that this difficulty
would be removed by a Commission . . , describing the whole
territory as within the government." Darling at once sent
expeditions to occupy Western Port and King George's Sound.
He confidentially enjoined the officers in command to be careful,
if they should see the French, " to avoid any expression of doubt
as to the whole of New Holland being within this government,
any division of it which may be supposed to exist under the design-
ation of New South Wales being merely ideal, and intended only
with a view of distinguishing the more settled part of the country.
Should this ex2:)lanation not prove satisfactory it will be proper,
in that case, to refer them to this Government for any further
information they may require."

If the French should be found landed, — " you will, notwith-
standing, land the troops (two officers with eighteen rank and
file) agreeably to your instructions, and signify that their
continuance with any view to establishing themselves, or colo-
nization, would be considered an unjustifiable intrusion on His
Britannic Majesty's possessions."

The French corvette ' L' Astrolabe ' arrived in Sydney soon
afterwards. Darling was informed by her commander that the
expedition was scientific only, but lie wrote that it was perhaps
fortunate that the British ships, ' Waropite,' ' Success,^ and
* Volage,' were lying in Sydney. That fact, with a knowledge
that H.M.S. 'Fly' had sailed for Western Port, might make the
French captain " more circumspect in his proceedings than he
otherwise would have been."

Captain Wright took charge of the settlement at Western

lished in fact ; but Lord Liverpool's Ministry had placed the matter beyond
doul)t, and there was no room for anything afterwards except words.

New Settlements. 7

Port. Captain Wetherall of H.M.S. 'Fly' assisted in forming it.
Hamilton Hume was asked to go, but " impaired health pre-
vented his complying." Hovell (his fellow-traveller in 1824)
was engaged to accompany Captain Wright. Some sealers who
had crossed from Van Diemen's Land were found at Phillip
Island, where they had two acres of wheat and maize growing

Captains Wetherall and Wright furnished exhaustive reports.
The former spoke of the " prospect of rendering Port Phillip in
some degree tributary to the establishment " at Western Port.
He soon perceived that Mr. Hovell was at fault. The
difference of opinion between Hovell and Hume as to the
point they reached in 182-1 has been related. When Hovell
had an opportunity, in 1826, of testing the point he made
further blunders.

Wetherall reported : " It is very evident that (Western Port) is
not the country described by Messrs. Hume and Hovell, and
that they could never have been there, as their accounts are not
applicable to a single point either of it or to the anchorage."

Wright wrote (27th March, 1827) that the country was scrubby,
and that his own and Hovell's researches had failed to reveal
the fine pasture land seen in 1824. Hovell had been " occupied
twelve days in looking at the country north between Western
Port, the mountains, and Port Phillip, but never got to the
latter." Wright resigned his charge to his successor. Lieutenant
Burchell, and Hovell prosecuted his researches, which were duly
reported to the Colonial Office. He thought he had found
Hume's terminus on the Bay near "a very extensive fresh-
water marsh, twelve to fifteen miles long, separated from Port
Phillip by a narrow ridge or bank of sand not more than from
two to three hundred yards wide." This was the Carrum
Swamp, which bounded Tuckey's explorations in 1803 under
Colonel Collins ; but though Hovell, in one of his reports (27th
March), alluded to Tuckey's narrative, he appears to have been
incapable of perceiving that Tuckey's land journey from Collins'
Camp was perforce confined to the eastern shore of Port Phillip,
while the journey of Hume was entirely on the Avest. Having,
as he thought, "near the head of the Bay, ascertained the
spot which terminated the journey of Mr. Hume" and himself

8 Australia.

— he returned, unconscious of the fact that between him and
any part of the country traversed by Hume, ran the ever-
flowing Yarra-Yarra river, and that the waters of Port Phillip
lay between him and the place he thought he had reached.

It must seem strange to those who know the country that he
could stand on the ridge of sand which he described, near the
Carruni Swamp, without recognizing on the eastern side of Port
Phillip the Station Peak of Flinders, close to which he passed
with Hume, and which Hume learned was called Willanmanata
by the natives.

Darling saw no encouragement in the reports he received.
Ho thought Hovell's services of little value. He told Lord
Bathurst (April 1827) that it appeared " that Western
Port does not possess the necessary requisites for a settle-
ment," and " should your Lordship consider that the object
of taking formal possession has been answered," the persons
sent to establish the settlement might perhaps be withdrawn.
He " had not found any disposition on the part of the inhabit-
ants to settle that part of the country." Lord Goderich, in
July 1827, authorized the abandonment of the place, and early
in 1828 Darlinor withdrew the whole establishment. Regret

O o

was expressed at the Admiralty at the deserting of a situation
which guarded the communication with Van Diemen's Land.
But in Van Diemen's Land John Batman, one of those men
who (on account of the faculty possessed by Hamilton Hume of
divining their way through unknown tracts) were called " good
bushmen," had in January 1827 applied for a grant of land at
Western Port. He induced Mr. J. T. Gellibrand to join him.
They owned valuable sheep, and proposed to take live stock to
the value of from £4000 to £5000 to the spot, where Batman
would reside. But Governor Darling's interest in the matter
had vanished with the questioniog of French pretensions.

He wrote : " Acknowledge, and inform them that no determin-
ation having been come to with respect to the settlement at
Western Port, it is not in my power to comply with their
request." Batman, thus foiled for the time, nursed his project
until 1835, when he was more successful.

The settlement formed at King George's Sound was not pro-
ductive of immediate results, but so magnificent a harbour could

Swan Eiver Occupied. 9

not be derelict. Major Lockyer, the commandant, selected the
site of Albany, where a military post was kept until, in 1830, it
was transferred from the control of New South Wales to the
young colony formed at Swan River in Western Australia,
whose fortunes claim attention.

Captain Stirling, R.N., had joined in exploring expeditions in
New South Wales, and had subsequently formed a settlement
at Raffles Bay. He had also surveyed Swan River itself in
1827. His report led to a project to form a settlement there
when French intrusion was anticipated. Mr. Barrow wrote
from the Admiralty to the Colonial Office (1828), that with
Western Port, King George's Sound, and Swan River " on the
south and west, and Raffles Bay on the north, I think we
may consider ourselves in unmolested possession of the great
continent." ^

Financial considerations arrested the proposed official settle-
ment. But private speculators stepped in. Mr. Thomas Peel,
with several others, offered to provide shipping to carry ten
thousand emigrants to Swan River at the rate of £30 a-head.
In return they asked for grants of land, of which they calculated
the value at eighteenpence an acre. They were thus to receive
four millions of acres for three hundred thousand pounds.
They offered two hundred acres free of rent to each male
emigrant. The scheme was not carried out, but it led to
another in which Mr. T. Peel was the leader, and which the
Government approved.

Captain Stirling was to be Governor of the first free settlement
in Australia. No convicts were to go thither. Immigrants
were to receive, in the order of their arrival, grants of land

^ The Earl of Ripon in 1833 came to the conclusion that the anxieties of
1826 were groundless. He wrote: "The present settlement at Swan
Kiver owes its origin, you may perhaps be aware, to certain false rumours
which had reached the Government of the intentions of a foreign power to
estabhsh a colony on the West Coast of Australia. The design was for a
time given up entirely on grounds of public economy, and would not have
been resumed but for the offer of a party of gentlemen to embark in an
undertaking of this nature at their own risk upon recei^^ng extensive grants
of land, and on a certain degree of protection and assistance for a limited
period being secured to them by the Government (Parliamentary Paper,


proportioned to the capital they were prepared to invest. They
were to satisfy the Governor as to the capital they possessed,
and to receive forty acres for each £3 of invested money ; but
they were not to receive the grant in fee simple until they had
expended at the rate of eighteenpence an acre in improvements.
There were conditions of reversion to the Crown in case of
default of expenditure. To Mr. Peel were assigned a quarter
of a million, with possible extension to a million, of acres on
condition of taking out emigrants, at a graduated scale, by
which for all persons over ten years of age Mr. Peel was to
receive 200 acres. The Governor was enabled to acquire a
hundred thousand acres. He landed on the 1st of June, 1829,
to found the new settlement ; and before the end of 1830, thirty
vessels had arrived with more than a thousand claimants for
acres. Captain Stirling did what he could to satisfy them ; but
what he did was of no avail. In proportion as a man had
more land he was in more difficulty as to its use.

Every man's neighbour was in dim distance. Spread over
illimitable tracts, and commanding no labour, the puzzled land-
holders had neither roads nor markets. They gazed in stupor
at their unprofitable wastes. The old problem of labour
assumed a new phase under new conditions in a new land.
Land — the presumed wealth of the colony — could purchase no
labour, and yet land was the commodity with which it had been
hoped to buy everything. Contractors for building, surveyors,
and others were to receive payment in the same barren element
of exchange. Many immigrants had property of some kind,
but few carried with them the means of building houses, or
commanding labour. Land in proportion to attracted capital
was the loadstone; but the attracted capital in vain sought
congenial employment. There was no hope of profit from it.
Some settlers fled from a colony whose hardships were intoler-
able. The few sheep and cattle seemed likely to fall a prey to
the teeth of the few colonists, and starvation would ensue.
Some who fled retained their grants nominally.

Mr. Peel, after taking £50,000 and three hundred servants to
the colony, was left without a servant, while his property was
wasted ; and when it had been wasted, the servants who had
abandoned him returned, starving, to demand employment and

Edward Gibbon Wakefield. 11

food. He, the victim of an experiment to which he had so
largely contributed, was as helpless as the men who had
abandoned him. The inexorable laws of correlation between
capital and labour had never been more notably violated, or
more notably avenged themselves. Governor Stirling was driven
to seek assistance from England in an emergency which neither
he nor his employers understood.

The root of the failure was to be explained by a man then
rising into notoriety — Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Commencing
an inauspicious career by being convicted of abduction in 1826,
(unattended, however, by the coarser constraints often resorted
to by abductors), this remarkable man became the life of a
Colonization Society, whose labours were to influence, though
not control, the Colonial Office, the Parliament, and the colonists
themselves. They furnished ideas ; and in a world of red tape
and routine, to furnish an idea is to create. Wakefield's first
trumpet-sound in the arena of colonization was an anonymous

Online LibraryGeorge William RusdenHistory of Australia (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 74)