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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 advan-
tage 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 to-
wards the completion of an undertaking upon which our comfort
and welfare so essentially depend. We look forward with satis-
faction and pride to the ajjproaching 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 country.

" ^^'e 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 District.

" 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).


district, gave a "dinner-party" every day, so that
the governor had an opportunity of meeting all the

The Governor's reply was as follows : —

" To the Landed Proprietors of the District of Bathiirst,
" Gentlemen,

" I receive with the truest satisfaction this kind ex-
pression 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 observ-
ing 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

" I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen,

" Your most faithful and obliged,

" Ralph Darling.

" Bathurst, \oth November, 1829."


neighbouring magistrates and gentry, besides visit-
ing 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 de-
monstration 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 moun-
tain roads."

Since those days Bathurst has greatly altered.
A large thriving town now looks forth over the open
olains. But no chang-e 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 Wellinorton, that is Wellino-ton
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 com-
paratively 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/ Hawkes-
bury, 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 dis-
appeared. These old names appear in the Govern-
ment 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 steamer to Newcastle in order to reach Twicken-

^ Modern writers state that Parramatta meant in aboriginal
language the place of eels, but an old historian says : " Parra-
matta 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 WoUondilly 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.


ham. Some of the native names for the rivers have
long been displaced.

Victoria and Tasmania.

The new colony had practical reasons for explor-
ing 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 men-
tioned the discovery of Western Port in 1801, 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 and which, as the name implies, is ever
flowing, the Yarra being 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. CalaUta under Captain Woodriffe accom-
panied 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

Buckley was a native of Macclesfield, and enlisted
in the Cheshire Militia. He afterwards entered the
Kincr's Own Reofiment, 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 separ-
ated 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 re-
markable stature, being 6 ft. 5 in. They looked
upon him as a returned spirit. When discovered
by Batman's party in June, 1S35, he had almost
forgotten his own language and in appearance re-
sembled a black man, his body being painted over
with red ochre and pigment. He afterwards re-
turned to Tasmania.

Tasmania's ruofcred 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 ed^es of the water. As
the explorers drew to the shore, a human voice
suddenly saluted them from the hills.

Takinof wnth 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 two
aboriginal women at some little distance before them.
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

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 un-
willing to orant them their wish.

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 bandi-
coots 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 thouo-ht 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 evi-
dently terminated its own life, for the fiesh round
the marks of the puncture was found to be inflamed
and discoloured.

The discovery of Bass Straits soon brought Eng-
lish 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. lurnbull on board. This gentle-
man 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 TurnbuH's J^oj'ao-es.)

In the fourth \'o]ume of the Quarterly Revieiv,
issued in August, 18 10, 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 GdograpJie
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 expedi-
tion reached Cape Leeuwin on 27th May. 1801.

1 2 *


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 G(^og7^aphe stood for Timor
where he arrived on i8th August, 1801. The
Natiiraliste, which had parted from the G^ographe
on the coast of Leeuwin's Land, in the meantime,
before joining the G^ographe at Coupang, had ex-
amined 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 Chan-
nel. 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
savao-e 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 specu-
lations on the origin of the custom of burning the

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 de-
stination 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.

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, trans-
ferring the name Hobart from Risdon to Sullivan's
Cove, and actinof as crovernor 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 called Restdown as it was the first resting-place for
Bowen's party when they had been partially shipwrecked.


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 settle-
ment was made at Port Dalrymple. Colonel Paterson
was appointed commandant and in October, 1804,
landed at Georo-e 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 Launces-
ton. 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 181 5
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 subsequently 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 exist-
ence 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 con-
sists 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

1 Historians disagree as to the nunil)ers, some giving 8,000
and others 3,000.


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 Adven-
ture 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 Tas-
mania " Mallareede ".

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 on 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,

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


(A'l' A'. Cahm W'oodville.)


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.
Althoupfh a reward was afterwards offered for its
recovery, the horse does not appear to have been

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.

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Online LibraryIda LeeThe coming of the British to Australia, 1788 to 1829 → online text (page 10 of 20)