William Eliza Rowland
|Frances Corney Budge||
Richmond Easto Rowland
|William A Rowland|
|Frances Corney Budge|
in Antony, Cornwall, Britain.
in Antony, Cornwall,
in Avoca, Victoria.
in Moores Flat, Victoria.
story of our family has been compiled as a result of stories handed down
generation to the next. While
the facts are essentially correct, some embellishments may have
1799, at the age of 20 Richard Rowland
born in 1777. Rebecca
's mother Elizabeth
was born at Antony
in 1747, however her father William
was born on February 17th 1743 at Botos Fleming
which was further inland from the coast, situated on one of
the estuaries of the Tamar River
far as the crow flies, but a longer trip, unless one travelled by boat,
around the waterways. After
William Launder's marriage to Elizabeth, they must have settled in
Antony, as it is there that Rebecca and her brothers and sister were
born. It looks as though Richard and Rebecca also settled in the
Antony area. Richard was
still farming, possibly working for someone else as a tenant.
He would have needed to be quite well off to move from his
father's farm in Poughill and purchase one of his own at Antony.
was in Antony
that Richard and Rebecca
's six children were born.
of the children it looks again as though traditional naming patterns
were followed. The first
born was Richard (born December 29th 1800 ), followed by
(born February 15th 1803 died March 6th
), Mary Ann
(born January 28th 1805 died February 10th
1805 Antony), John
(born June 18th 1806 died January 1836 South
Wilcove buried January 5th 1836 Antony), William
(born March 17th 1807) and Elizabeth
(born November 14th 1811). According to the 1851 Devon Census, Richard was at the
time, married to Elizabeth (no maiden name) and living at 19 Prospect
Row, Devonport with their four children, Elizabeth Ann (born abt. 1830),
Richard (born abt. 1832), Thomazin (born abt. 1834) and Thomas William
(born abt. 1838). Richard’s
occupation was given as a garden labourer. William most likely grew up
in Antony, however as he reached an age where he would have had to earn
a living for himself, he may have had to leave home.
While it was originally thought that his eldest brother Richard
would have probably stayed to look after his father's farming interests,
this now appears not to be that case, and the more likely son would have
been John. This of
course is pure supposition at this stage as little is known of the
family. Whatever the
circumstances, William married Frances Corney Budge
in Devon in 1834. Frances`
parents were farming people as well.
, Frances` father was born at Yealmpton, Devon
on July 9th 1780, which is possibly where his
daughter married. Frances`
mother Jayne Haynes
had her origins in Cornwall being born at Pillaton
on November 22nd 1772. When Jayne was very young her family moved to St. Mellion
, a town nearby, where the rest of Jayne's sisters
and one brother were born. As to how Jayne's father Richard Haynes and her mother
Elizabeth supported their family, nothing is known. As for George Budge, his family appears to have been
settled in Yealmpton, possibly farming.
It is known that George was an Innkeeper, for a time at Wilcove,
before returning to farming. George
had a brother William Algar Budge who was christened on December 5th
1778 at Yealmpton, and the boys' father also George, married Susanna
Algat or Algar at Yealmpton on May 2nd 1775.
all this farming background, it would have been natural for William
to turn to farming for their livelihood.
However, circumstances most likely conspired against them. During
the 1830`s in England there was a large rural recession helped along by
conditions brought about by the industrial revolution.
In 1837-38 the poor harvests made things worse.
Living conditions on the land were very poor and there was very
little prospect for self-improvement.
By the time of the birth of William
and Frances` first son George
on July 25th 1835, it looks as though they had
already left the land, as George was born in Devonport, which even in
those days was a large town, known mainly for its shipping.
Two years later the family was back in Antony
, possibly even back with William's family where
was born on June 6th 1837 and another boy
on September 22nd 1839. The effects of the poor harvests were probably the last
straw. During these hard
years’ sales of land in Australia in England, especially the opening
up of land in South Australia
would have attracted the interest of people finding themselves in
declining circumstances. Meetings
and lectures were held at the principle towns proclaiming the virtues
and prospects of the new colony, South Australia in particular, and the
flow of emigrants started. When combined with the failure of the potato
crop in 1840 and the resulting hardship this flow became a flood.
Also as the need arose for workers in the Australian colonies and
the British government wanted to improve the image of Australian convict
society in New South Wales, England encouraged emigration as well.
British government financed an emigration scheme between 1837 and 1840
government of New South Wales organised the Bounty Scheme from 1835 to
1841. Both schemes offered incentives to emigrate.
The amounts offered were: -
£36 for a man and wife
under 40 years;
£18 when the husband was
over 40 years;
£18 for each unmarried
female 15-30 years of age;
£10 for each child 7-14
£5 for each child 1-7
added up to a large amount of money when the average labourers` wage was
about 7s.6d. a week. Emigration to Australia must have been a topic of
discussion between William
and Frances. Life
was becoming more difficult and one couldn't live off possible family
charity or nothing at all with two small boys to feed and one on the
way. The decision to leave,
not made lightly, was most likely made before Richmond's birth. A journey like this was a one-way trip, as most families
would not have had the means to return to England if they were not happy
in the new land. So with
two small boys and a two-month-old baby, William and Frances left with
all that they owned for South Australia
, probably more appealing than Melbourne or Sydney
due to its lack of convicts and the stigma that went with it.
On November 17th 1839, William
and Frances with their young family sailed from
on the SS "Warrior
" under the command of Captain Joseph Beckett.
The ship's first port of call was London where it picked up
remaining passengers and cargo. The
"Warrior" left London on November 27th 1839 bound
for Port Adelaide
, South Australia
. The ship was carrying a general cargo and two hundred
passengers including Surgeon Superintendent, Dr. Kent, his wife and two
children and other important people.
One hundred of the passengers would have gone steerage
, the most uncomfortable part of the ship.
nearly a century, following the first settlement of Australia, every
or free, had in common an experience none could forget – a passage
under sail, lasting anything from 2 months to six, a passage from the
old world to the new. Though nearly all had set out as strangers to the sea, they
had crossed the world’s most tempestuous oceans by a route not long
before sailed by explorers. They
had lived, during the voyage in a state of limbo, out of touch with
everyone but their ship mates, no longer belonging to the old world, nor
yet to the new. Day after
day they lived under conditions they could scarcely have imagined before
their departure. When at
last they had landed, they were by no means the same people who had
boarded ship months before. Of
all who set out it is ironic that those condemned to transportation, as
convicts had the best prospect of coming safely through.
Fearful though their treatment often was – especially in the
earliest years – losses among them, through illness at sea, averaged
less than four per voyage. On an emigrant ship, a surgeon would not have considered it
untoward had losses run to five times this number. The transport system also lost remarkably few convict
ships. In a total of some
825 passages, only 5 were wrecked, and on one of these, there was no
loss of life. In all,
shipwrecks cost less than 550 convict lives.
It is difficult to compare this record with that of emigration,
since free people came on a wide variety of vessels, not only on those
given solely to carriage of emigrants, but it is known that at least 26
ships carrying emigrants failed for one reason or another to arrive.
The loss of life involved in some of these is not known, but it
is certain that over 2,500 people drowned in total. A ship could be wrecked without people in Britain being
aware of the loss for six months or more.
Those waiting in the colonies for her arrival would be expecting
to see the ship in about three months, but no real anxiety would be felt
until at least another month had passed.
Ships waiting in Australian ports, to make the return voyage,
would carry back word of this to Britain, but it often proved
unnecessary – the overdue ship might have suffered dismasting and be
limping out under jury rig and would arrive weeks or months later.
But with some there could no longer be a reasonable doubt that
the awaited vessel had been lost. The
homebound ships would carry back word of certain disaster, certain
though its cause might not be known, indeed might never be known.
This was so in the case of the “Guiding Star
”. Her first voyage to
Australia was advertised as “about to make the quickest passage on
record”. The last ship to
sight her read a signal from her master – “he was going as far south
as possible to shorten his route and gain the most favorable winds”.
” sailed from Liverpool on January 8th 1855 with 546
crew on board. She was last
heard of on February 15th, in latitude 26 longitude 34 west,
since which period no tidings have been received of her.
The cause of this deplorable catastrophe can only be conjectured,
in all probability it has been owing to a collision with ice.
Many vessels reported vast quantities of ice in unusually low
latitudes and some had suffered injury in passing among these floating
masses. Many ships bound
for Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and other east-coast ports, were without
sight of land since leaving Britain.
Many a ship passed through without incident, though too close a
sighting of one coast or the other dismayed many a mariner.
Most of those that failed were lost on the low coast of King
, and a few others struck the Otway coast.
By far the worst of those that failed was the “Cataraqui
”, lost in 1845. For 105
days the “Cataraqui” had laboured out from Liverpool, carrying 369
emigrants for Melbourne. Captain
C.W. Finlay being uncertain of his position in the darkness, decided to
wait for daylight. Unfortunately,
he reversed his decision at 3 a.m. and sailed on.
He was much closer to King Island than he suspected and about 4:
30 a.m. the ship struck, taking the ground heavily and the sea breaking
right over her. A scene of
utmost confusion ensued, as passengers attempted to rush the deck.
There was four feet of water in the hold when the ship was
sounded. The ladders
leading to the deck were soon knocked away, leaving many passengers
trapped below. About 5 a.m.
when the ship tipped over to her port side, boats, bulwarks, spars and
part of the cuddy (a cabin in a ship where officers and passengers take
their meals) were carried away. The
passengers who were unable to reach the deck were all drowned.
The ship was scarcely a hundred yards away from the King Island
shore, but within that distance laid rows of serrated granite peaks with
scarcely a break between them. On
to these, living and dead alike were pounded, so that, in the end 399
people perished. Nine men
were swept through the reef and survived.
pangs of departure for the emigrants were almost inevitably overwhelmed
by seasickness. Unused to
sea, seasick, homesick, cold and wet, fearful and battened down, few
aggravations of human wretchedness could be much greater than was to be
found in the close darkness, between decks of an outward bound emigrant
ship. While the passengers
were enduring this misery, the coast of England was likely to be in
sight still, in fact, dependent as a ship was on the wind it might be
becalmed or even moving backwards.
A week or more might be spent with the home shore tantalizingly
close at hand – seen, but beyond trending upon.
When England at last fell from sight people began to realize,
even more fully, the extent of the step they had taken.
Soon, for all emigrants, nothing remained on the heaving sea to
remind them of home. Between
the bouts of seasickness, it dawned on them that these few square feet
of space were to be their home for months of travel, a home that would
seldom be still. Products
of their time, as they were, it probably didn’t surprise the emigrants
that life on board ships mirrored the class structure of Britain.
The masses below deck represented the masses at home.
At the other extreme, the Captain’s Table was the sea-borne
equivalent of a manor house, the captain its squire.
The aristocracy was rarely represented on the run to Australia;
the upper classes infrequently. But
hierarchy had to be established; the passengers’ habits of life
demanded it. There must be
some to look up to, others to look down upon.
emigrants well knew the
axiom “I have learned in whatever state I am, there-with to be
content”. Sometimes there
were annoying incongruities to be sorted out.
The best accommodation – cabins, saloon, or first class was
located under the raised poop deck in the stern of the ship.
level most of Australia’s
ancestors under sail made the long journey.
shared dormitory style accommodation, based on Government experience in
transporting convicts. They
were classed not as to how many bodies, but to how many “statute
adults”. Children under the age of twelve counted as half adults in
the numbers the law permitted a ship to carry.
To gain some idea of the dimensions of between deck quarters we
can do no better than read a description of the Sailing Ship St. Vincent
. The between decks are 12 feet in length, the breadth at the main
hatchway twenty five feet, three inches; the height of the deck that is
walked upon to the deck overhead – six feet four inches.
From the stern of the ship away to the stern on the larboard side
and back again to the stern of the starboard side, the space is entirely
occupied by a double tier (one above the other) of standing bed spaces,
etc. There are forty eight
bed places, six feet by three feet each for married people above and for
their children below, every bed place divided from the next adjacent by
stout planks from the deck below.
we analyze the dimensions of the St. Vincent
Steerage Quarters, typical
accommodation a cleared picture emerges of its packed nature.
To begin with, headroom of only six feet four inches was
claustrophobic, though on many ships it was more than this.
Heavy beams cut into this headroom.
Within this vertical space fitted the two levels of bunks, the
lower one with a space of six inches beneath it for the passenger’s
heavier possessions. This
left five foot ten inches for two bunks or two feet eleven inches from
lower bed board to upper bed boards, reduced to perhaps eighteen inches
when occupants and bedclothes were in place.
The bunks themselves were three feet wide – shared by a couple
or by two girls. Children
occupied lower bunks in the married couple’s section; this allowed
little real privacy. The
law demanded nothing more than a dividing plank twenty-three inches high
(earlier requirements had only been ten inches).
Thus, on most ships a couple had not only another couple below or
above them, but also a second couple within arms reach to one side.
Within a six-foot square four people slept; four more lay
directly below them. Close
packed though the steerage
was, there is evidence that
as early as 1839 some of the Government emigration agents were doing the
best they could for the passengers.
the single women and girls above fourteen were placed in the after
berths, on the
of the ship next to the female hospital, two in each berth. The single
men and boys above fourteen were berthed in the forepart of the ship, in
a space partitioned off for the purpose of separating them from the rest
of the people, two in each berth. The
water closets for women were provided in steerage
, but those for men were on the upper deck.
Many males made little attempt at night, to use them.
Filthy though the consequences were, one must recognize that it
was expecting a great deal to have men make the night journey onto an
open deck when the ship was in heavy seas, or among ice-bergs.
What was to be done, anyway, on these occasions, night or day,
perhaps several nights and days, when the decks were awash with seas and
steerage passengers were battened below?
heard the essentials of steerage
we can visualize every peg with its
coats and headgear hanging from it, every shelf laden with such home
made food stuffs as passengers were able to bring.
The wide table strewn with metal mugs, plates and cutlery; each
bunk occupied by men, women and children – some sitting, some lying.
Then we can imagine the whole in motion, rolling from side to
side, timbers creaking loudly as seas rise, children falling and crying
and seeking comfort from parents, who only want to lie down or to vomit
– and where is there to vomit? As
the seas rise higher, scuttles must be screwed down, plunging the whole
into some darkness while
utensils are dashed into the long passageways.
Give the prudishness of the time; it is easy to imagine the daily
embarrassment in the simple business of dressing and undressing.
A man could pull on a pair of trousers while lying down, provided
his spouse afforded him something more than his eighteen inches of bunk
space. But a woman’s
voluminous clothing, there was no chance of concealment.
All were probably thankful for the dimness of the light!
By night, the teeming married quarters must have blessed the
screen of background groans from the ship’s timbers, as they argued,
wept, urinated, broke wind, copulated, snored, vomited, prayed or cried
out in dreams of the land they would never see.
It was their only screen and even it was stripped away when the
fetid doldrum days were on them.
the tropics, many of the male passengers slept on the open deck, willing
to risk the
downpours of rain for the sake of fresh and reasonably cool air.
One passenger wrote, amusedly, to his brother of a scene when the
men returned to their bunks at daylight and tried in the over-powering
heat to resume their sleep. “They
lay without a single stitch of bed clothing on them and the majority of
their shirts were very short or tucked up.
By their twisting and turning – it would do many good to see
the number of “blue bottles” exposed to view”.
Improbable though it may seem, most steerage
passengers did adapt
themselves to between deck conditions, nor were most days unbearably
rough. Although close
confinement inevitably led to fighting, it also led to friendships and
independence, and interdependence that led some groups to stick together
in the new land. Given the
ships that were available and the masses of people that were to be
carried, the passage under sail would have been a sore trail even if
ship-owners had done everything possible to alleviate discomfort. Of
course, few ship-owners did anything of the kind, had it not been for
the Government’s watchfulness, they would have done little at all that
would have reduced profits.
era of sail was also the era of patent medicines.
A typical concoction was the
Holloway’s Pills. Thomas
Holloway, a young Cornishman purchased in1828 the recipe for a patent
herbal medicine from an Italian. The
success of his venture turned his mind to other quack medicines – a
laxative pill that contained castor oil and ginger.
This sold very profitably at the docks to people setting out on
long sea voyages. Some of the home remedies mentioned by diarist’s
sound as if they might have been no worse than bought potion.
a few fresh figs, reduce them to a pulp and mix them with a little rum
of champagne, wine diluted with 10 or 12 drops of lemon juice.
Let the “seasick” drink of it and they will speedily recover.
a cold Dissolve
Narbonne honey with the juice of a lemon.
Take a spoonful night and morning.
A single dose of 3 or 4 grains of sulphur will arrest the
most malignant attack of cholera.
drops every night and morning (during exposure) of a solution of 4
grains of the extract of belladonna in half an ounce of distilled water
for adults, 5 drops for a child 4 years old and upwards, and 3 drops for
among well-informed emigrants, standards of hygiene were primitive, as
by many cabin passengers to use the “patent water closets” in
preference to chamber pots. The
device was admittedly no more than a flushable chute to the sea, with a
leather strap to protect the posterior, but at least it kept odours from
the living quarters. Add to
these odours those of the livestock carried on deck above, and the
result boggles the imagination. The smells were, of course, among the
most notable features of life on board.
The combination of animal, human excrement, foul water from the
bottom of the ship, below pump walls, which never came out, the remains
of old cargoes and the perpetually rotting structures of the vessel
herself must, between them, have produced a dreadful stench, unrelieved
by any kind of ventilation system in the ship.
People were accustomed to this ashore in towns and villages,
which stank, it is said, like an Oriental slum.
Lousiness on board ship was scarcely to be avoided, even if one
were a cabin passenger; lice were waiting in every crevice for the
embarkation of fresh victims. It was useless for angry viragoes, with arms akimbo, to
shout taunts of lousiness to their next-door neighbours (bed mates).
Ah no! For all
shared the attention of parasites of the best-known brands.
As one passenger declared that when the sweeping of the between
decks took place, he had looked into the line of dust and seen mobs of
their little guests crawling about.
He advised the men to have their hair cut very close, but with
the women the days of bobbed hair had not yet arrived and he feared that
“Glory of womanhood”, long locks made fine converts for those little
brothers of the poor and dirty!
there were great differences throughout the era of emigration by sail,
of food served to cabin class and steerage
passengers, this did not
always apply to the quality of water. Water was always a problem.
Even on the strictly controlled convict transports; it was drawn
from rivers not far upstream from the crowded English ports.
The water was often foul before Cape Town was reached.
It became very offensive in smell, as well in taste, and
deposited dark peat-like sediment on the bottom of the cask.
Thames water was so unreliable that many masters and surgeons
preferred to call at Tenerife (Canary Islands) to complete their water.
The surgeon-superintendent of an emigrant ship in 1839, on
removing the bung of a water barrel was able to ignite the escaping
gases. They went off with a
tremendous flash and report. All
water after being at sea for a length of time decomposes and forms gas,
but if that were permitted to escape, and the free circulation of pure
air act upon it, it becomes speedily purified.
Water was supposed to be filtered before being taken on board.
Filtering being carried out with a colander-like device which
allowed droplets to fall a distance through the air.
Either the equipment was not always used or it was inadequate for
the purpose, or perhaps the water was beyond this rather crude means of
emigrant ships began distilling fresh water from the sea, but it failed
to provide water in sufficient quantities, and complaints about the
drinking water were made throughout the entire period of sail.
Emigrants regularly used limejuice and other additives to render
it palatable. Steerage
passengers washed their dishes and clothes in salt water; consequently a
downpour of rain brought them streaming onto the decks with tubs and
dishes. Although the water
held a flavour of old canvas from the sails, it was much to be preferred
to the ship’s water – even for drinking!
, on the way to an unknown country, were, more than usually
the burial service in the open deck was stark.
Unless the bereaved family could afford to have the ship’s
carpenter make a coffin, the body was wrapped in canvas and weighted at
the feet; this the sail-maker stitched up.
It was placed on a grating at the bulwarks on the main deck and
covered with a Union Jack. Often the ship’s bell was tolled, but the ship itself
raced on. A clergyman or
the captain read the service; the grating was tilted and the body
launched into the sea. If
the deceased person’s next-of-kin had little money, it was usual for
some of his belongings to be auctioned and passengers were often
generous in what they bid.
enjoyment there was fairly regular alleviation of segregation, when
women were “released” for dancing on warm evenings.
A program that survives from an 1853 voyage lists the dances. 1. Country Dance. 2.
Polka. 3. Quadrille.
4. Country Dance. 5.
Waltz and Gallop. 6. Polka.
7.Quadrille. 8. Reel
or Schottische. The larger
ships often carried a German band, but its services usually went to the
cabin passengers. Sometimes
three distinct parties could be seen, each dancing their own measure to
their own music – Quadrille on the poop, Polka in the waist and a
rattling Irish jig before the mainmast.
The parties were distinct because they were divided into
shipboard classes. When passengers of cabin class held their own ball, rails,
suspended so to prevent the vulgar gaze of the “common” passengers,
partitioned off the poop.
time for “lights out” approached, segregation was strictly enforced.
females (single) over the age of twelve were conducted to opposite ends
of the ship. One can easily find what results the abolition of
segregation would have had by glancing at the case of German ships
running to Australia. In
using her own ships, Germany was an exception among the nations of
continental Europe. It was usual for other European emigrants to make their way
to British ports of departure. But
use of her own ships by Germany was warranted by the large numbers of
emigrants leaving the country for Australia – leaving partly because
of religious persecution, partly because efforts were made by Australian
vintners to attract workers experienced in German vineyards. Eventually the Germans were to become Australia’s largest
population group of non-British origin.
Since the ships in which they came were not subject to British
law, they were run according to German practices at sea – and
segregation of the sexes was not one of them.
There arose such a spate of complaints by newly arrived
immigrants about this and other aspects of the journey, that an inquiry
into German immigration took place in Sydney in 1858.
The second mate was asked if lack of separation of males and
females had been very injurious to the moral condition of the emigrants. He answered, “It was shocking in that respect. There were
about forty young girls on board, some of them not more than ten to
twelve years old, and I am sure, and can lay oath upon it, that everyone
left the ship a prostitute”. These
girls belonged to families, and some had their parents on board! The crew consisted of about twenty-four and when the Watch
went below, twelve sailors, twelve girls went with them and when they
came up, the other twelve took down their twelve girls.
The second mate stated that four of these girls became common
prostitutes in Adelaide. One
cannot suppose that the results would have been any different on an
unsegragated British ship. Incarcerate
scores of men and women in a ship at sea for three or four months:
subject them to fear of shipwreck, allow them no privacy and the outcome
is easily predictable.
were many humorous interludes on the voyage, but when three storms
situation passed beyond humour.
Then every effort of the crew could not prevent seas cascading
among passengers already prostrated by seasickness and fear.
One lady passenger emigrating steerage
to Rockhampton, experienced
successive days of storm, and wrote in her diary “about 4 o’clock
yesterday morning we were aroused from sleep by a huge wave, coming down
the main hatch, and completely flooding the inmates of the berths on the
lee side of the vessel. The
screams of the women and children were terrible. Next afternoon, “the storm increased all day and many
tons of water came down among us. The
hatches were closed and our windows darkened in case the heavy seas
should break the glass. One
of the lifeboats was smashed to pieces, and the hen house carried away. Though we had no canvas up we made 268 miles, fairly flying
before the wind. The
captain never was in bed for two nights and stood at the wheel himself.
decks, where the emigrants were all stowed away (sometimes a man, his
and two children in one bed) were in a most horrible condition.
The sea washed down the hatchways and the floor was a complete
pond, many of the beds drenched through and through. In addition to all these “delights”, with some four or
five exceptions they were violently seasick, some had women fainting,
and two going into convulsions. The
squall had come on so suddenly that their boxes were all adrift, flying
about from one side to the other, with nearly 50 whining, sick,
squalling children to complete their misery”.
On calm days despite the inevitable quarrels between decks, most
of the time was spent reading, knitting and laying plans.
Undoubtedly the chief pastime was endless yarning.
Nostalgic recollections were shared, hopes and fears for what lay
ahead. Many people
developed friendships that lasted for the rest of their lives in their
adopted country, and led to reunions of passengers till old age ended
them. Finally, when
journey’s end was near, there was a watch for land long before it was
due to come into sight, and there was mounting impatience with adverse
winds. Well before land
showed over the horizon, there came shouts even when the ship was still
ninety miles out to sea, an aromatic odour as of spicy flowers blown
from the land, apparently the scent of the yellow wattle, which was now
in flower all over the valleys.
though blessed with scents and signs of land, ships bound for the
still had the final bogey of entry into Bass Strait.
The master’s great fear was King Island
, which he hoped lay forty miles to starboard.
There is a reef, which runs out about 2 miles from the island on
which the female convict ship “Neva” was lost, and nearly every soul
perished. The “Neva”
was transporting female convicts and their children from Cork to Sydney
in 1835, when it struck the Navarine Reef off Cape Wickham.
Of 241 passengers only fifteen survived.
was possibly a little less dangerous for the migrant disembarking at
after surviving the innumerable trials of the passage out from Britain
– seasickness, measles, fever, becalmed in the Doldrums for days, then
lashed by storms and gales to mention a few, he (or she) found much
hardship and discomfort in landing in their adopted country.
the late 1830’s Port Adelaide
was known with some
justification, as “Port
The water close to shore, was too shallow for loaded boats, hence
the predicament of these new arrivals!
There was no “red” carpet treatment for immigrants landing in
A lady who landed there that year wrote that as far as the eye
could see, a mangrove swamp extended.
She had to disembark from a small boat into the arms of a long
, upon a damp mudbank, under the persecuting assault of mosquitoes.
On this mudbank lay heaps of good of all description, half
covered in sand and saturated with sea water, broken chests of tea,
barrels of flour, cases of hardware, furniture of all kinds, pianos, and
empty plates, chests, plough and thrashing machines.
Further on, at the commencement of the muddy track, which leads
to Adelaide, bullock drays
stood, ready for hire, for
conveying the baggage. The
lowest charge a load was £10. All
along the side of the track were strewn baggage and broken conveyances,
abandoned by their owners. Not
a very happy landing for our ancestors who had endured so much to reach
their adopted land.
worked for Colonel
Beaucaire, as a gardener, for a few
before he and his family left South Australia
for Victoria and the gold
diggings in October 1853. The
eldest son, George
, was the first to leave for the gold diggings.
He arrived at Avoca
when only the prospectors
Bell, Burns and Co
. opened a small gully, so he claims to be next to the first prospectors
in Avoca. He finally went
back to Adelaide with them – they being old neighbours in South
Australia. By this time
there were 10 children in the family of William
The last seven children were all born at Mount Barker
. A month after George
arrived back at Adelaide, he returned overland to Avoca, with his
father, mother and their children.
Just imagine 10 children in a bullock dray. Along the track they met many tribes of aborigines
, who at that time were rather troublesome and treacherous, so the
journey was not without incident. Having
settled down the family in Avoca, George then started with a bullock
team headed for Geelong, for a load of goods.
The price then for carting was £90 per ton.
The trip would take from seven to eight weeks in winter.
The first bag of flour the family bought cost £18.
and other brothers worked for some time on the “Avoca
” Lead. Then, having
that gold was found at “Simpson’s Ranges
” now called Maryborough
, the whole family left Avoca
for that place, camping at
Deep Creek, where the township of Carisbrook
is now situated. George
and a mate camped in Maryborough near where the hospital now
stands, working the “Blackman’s” Lead and other places.
In these times, they were paying one shilling for a bucket of
water. In the beginning of
the year, 1854, George and his brothers opened up a lead that was known
as the “Tucker Bag”, just where the rail line crosses the
“Avoca” Lead. Having
worked out the “Tucker Bag” and knowing that prospectors at Avoca
had found gold at the top end of “Homebush
” Lead, the whole family shifted to Homebush, before the rush set in.
They worked here until the year 1864.
Their father William
had died on March 26th, 1855 aged 47.
He was buried at Avoca. In
1864, George Richard, knowing that his mother could then manage her
large family, decided to marry. He
married Mary Ann
Smith, eldest daughter of John
and Sarah Smith of Bung Bong.
George and his brothers then selected land at Rathscar in 1865,
where they carried on farming for many years.
They were some of the good old pioneers to whom the present
generation owes so much. In
those days a farmer laboured under many difficulties, which seemed
insurmountable, yet with grit, pluck and determination, they toiled and
eventually won through. George
Richard carried on farming for almost 40 years, he then retired from
hard work, and in his 70th year he transferred his land to
his two sons, Albert and Cecil. Making
his home with his younger son Cecil at Rathscar, his wife having pre
deceased him. George Rowland was once the victim of a would-be assassin,
who tried to shoot and rob him, whilst he was resting in his tent on the
George was lying on his stretcher, with his right arm across his chest,
and the bullet intended for his heart was deflected when, it penetrated
two fingers on his right hand. On
that occasion when George returned to Adelaide he traveled with his arm
in a sling. When the bullet
wound healed, two of the fingers on his right hand were “fused
much for the courage and endurance of our forefathers.
Born: 25/7/1835 Devonport,
Mary Ann Elizabeth Smith
Born: 7/9/1846 Died: 24/7/1905 Died: 31/5/1928
Born: 1851 Died: 23/9/1935 Died: 17/2/1923
Elizabeth Sarah Squires
Born: 28/9/1841 Died: 5/5/1938 Died: 22/3/1892 Homebush, Victoria.
6/11/1841 Mt. Barker,
Born: 23/10/1835 Died: 11/2/1916 Died: 18/3/1892 Homebush, Victoria
9/9/1843 Mt. Barker,
John Thomas Squires
Married: 29/10/1863 Amherst,
Died: 30/10/1914 Homebush,
Born: 26/5/1845 Mt.
Barker, South Australia.
Born: 1856 Died: 1950 Died: 22/7/1923
Born: 1/5/1847 Mt.
Barker, South Australia.
Marie Louise Courboules
1854 Died: 3/2/1925
Died: 18/8/1914 Fitzroy,
26/6/1849 Near the
Sturt River, South Australia.
Married: 1/1/1874 Maryborough,
Born: 7/5/1851 Died: 5/5/1935 Died: 4/5/1928 Rathscar, Shire of Avoca.
Born: 2/8/1851 Sturt
River, South Australia.
Born: 28/2/1858 Died: 6/6/1938 Died: Nov 1918 Homebush, Victoria.
25/7/1853 On the
Sturt River, Sth Australia.
Mary Eady Gilsenan
Married: 31/1/1879 Moore’s
Born: 1855 Died: 1935 Died: 31/3/1933 Maryborough, Victoria.
Submitted by: Neville Rowland