2.7    1840-1849

In the 1840’s a number of new families settled in Watsons Bay.  Some of their children and grandchildren would become major identities and personalities of the bay.  The Gibsons arrived first, the Newtons just a few years later, and by the end of the decade, the Grahams.

On the 24th June 1840, the barque “Andromache” arrived in Port Philip on her way from London to Sydney.  On board as “Intermediate” passengers were two brothers and two sisters: Charles, Henry, Elizabeth and Maria Creswick. All but Maria settled in Victoria, around the Bellarine Peninsular. 

In September or October, the barque “London” arrived at Port Philip on her way to Sydney.  She was under the command of Captain Gibson.

When the “London” arrived in Port Jackson on the18th October, one of the passengers was a “Miss Gibson”.  Henry Gibson is recorded as marrying Maria Cheswick in Sydney on the 2nd November.

“The barque London, 388 tons, Gibson, from London, the 23rd of June, arrived on the 18th of October. Passengers— Mr. and Mrs. Manton and three children, Mr. and Mrs. Clay and four children, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, Misses Wilkinson and Gibson, Messrs. R. and L. Ogilvie, Holland, West, Southey, Pike, Hobson, Joyce, Jenkins, J., H., and R. Clowe, Bishop, and Ramsden; and seven in the steerage. The following is part of her cargo consigned to parties in Sydney:— 50 hogsheads ale, 153 casks ale, 100 barrels ale, 4 hogsheads whisky,                  34 hogsheads rum, 100 casks bottled porter, 150 casks bottled ale, 100 cases gin, 12 cases   12 hogsheads 20 quarter-casks vinegar,.8 butts, 23 hogsheads-sherry, 6 hogsheads 1 pipe     23 hogsheads 60 quarter-casks port, 1 case 2 packages ironmongery, 2 casks tools, 2 cases buttons, 2 bales handkerchiefs, 8 cases stays, 11 bales shirts, 2 trunks boots and shoes,          14 cases, 2 bales, 1 cask, 12 hogsheads beer, 2 boxes glass. 1000 pieces 120 bundles iron, Order.; 4 trunks, Drake and Co.; 45 hogsheads ale, Harper; 1 hogshead I cask 1 case drugs, Foss; 16 cases, D. Fisher; 10 cases, G. Joyce; 202 cases, 13 casks, 300 barrels, 25 fiskins,       4 hogs. heads, 7 kegs, 8 tierces”                                                                                             Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 – 1840), Tuesday 3 November 1840, page 2

It would appear that within days of meeting, probably at Geelong, they decided to marry.  Geelong was the first port in Port Philip and only superseded by Melbourne in the mid-1850s when the promoters of Melbourne falsified maps to show Melbourne was closer to the Ballarat goldfields than Geelong. Maria was recorded under her maiden name in the official immigrant records as arriving at Port Philip. She would only have required a passengers name for the voyage from Porth Philip to Sydney, hence “Gibson”

William Newton arrived as a convict in 1829; an 18-year-old who was 5 foot 8 1/2 inches tall, with Light Hazel hair and a brown sallow complexion.  At the Worcester Quarter Sessions, he and Edward Freeman were jointly sentenced to transportation for 7 years on the 13th October1828. He was shipped on the “America” on the 4th of April 1829. 

His record on the “America” indicates that he was found guilty of “burglary” and that his place of origin was “Malta”.  There is a record of a William Newton serving as an assistant surgeon with the Malta Garrison and serving at Waterloo in 1815.  It is highly likely this was his father.

On arrival, he was assigned to someone named Connell at Birchgrove (spelt Birch Grove at the time) and was granted his ticket of leave in November 1833.

William Newton was next placed at the bar charged with violently, assaulting one Mary Brady on the 4th of January last, with intent to kill or injure; there was a second count which charged the prisoner with intent to do some grievous bodily harm ‘ The facts of the case were as follows. It appears that the prosecutrix, who is an aged woman, lived with the prisoner as his wife for upwards of five years; That recently Newton, who is a young man, got married to a ‘Princess Royal ; in consequence the woman annoyed him in every manner she could ‘ at one time swearing she would have his or his wife’s life. ‘at other times declaring that ‘if she had not the pleasure of him no other woman should.’ and wherever he was employed he could get no peace from her as she was continually following him. On the day laid in the indictment Newton having gone for some effects of his to Bedlam Court, where he and Brady had formerly resided, and she being in the house a quarrel ensued, in which prosecutrix swore that the prisoner cut her with a knife above the left elbow; this Newton denied and said it was produced in the scuffle from the jugged end of a broken piece of button. The Jury under all the circumstances acquitted the prisoner, and the Judge after a suitable, admonition, directed him to be discharged

Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Tuesday 9 February 1836, page 2

Ann Brown was recorded as being the wife of John McGhee when she arrived in 1829, “Brown” recorded as an alias.  She was sentenced in London to transportation for life. Ann was assigned to Elizabeth Raine who operated a boarding and day school for young ladies in O’Connell St. She was a widow and ran the business with her daughter who was a married woman. In 1832, W.J Speed married Elizabeth and paid off several hundred pounds of her debts.

Ann Brown was the “Princess Royal” reported in the court case; one of one hundred women who arrived on the ship “Princess Royal”.  She and William married in 1836 as the newspaper report stated.  We don’t know what William did for a living prior to moving to Watsons Bay.

George James (Podge) Newton who was born in 1838 claimed that his parents had moved to Watsons Bay in 1841. There is however a record of Mary Newtons birth on the 24th of May 1843 at “Longsight” Field of Mars. Longsight was a property on Pennant Hills Rd.  Mary was baptized at St Johns Parramatta and her father William Newton’s occupation recorded as “Surgeon”.  “Surgeon” was a term applied to doctors in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it would appear that he had trained by his father in Malta.

Mary Newton was christened as “Mary Gibson Newton”.  Surely more than a coincidence and a suggestion that the Gibsons and Newtons had a close connection.

William was a fisherman, establishing a tradition that his sons and grandsons followed for the next 120 years. 

William and Ann Newton kept a low profile and while Ann occasionally placed advertisements offering boarding accommodation, William only appeared in the newspapers when he was involved in rescues. William John Newton had been born in1836, Podge as noted above in 1838 Mary Gibson Newton in1843, and then at Watsons Bay, Henry T Newton in 1845, Robert Samuel Newton in 1848 and Mary Ann Margaret Newton in 1849.  They would have another three children in the 1850s.

In 1846, William and Maria Gibson began advertising that they offered boarding accommodation for invalids and families at Watsons Bay, possibly in accommodation they rented from Campbell who had been unable to sell his Zandvliet estate.  

John and Sarah Graham and their 12 children were assisted Immigrants from Northern Ireland.  They arrived on the “Crescent”, on the 11th February 1840.  We don’t know if they all settled in Watsons Bay, however by the end of the decade James McFarland Graham was working at the Signal Station.

There is some difficulty in locating where many of the new arrivals at Watsons Bay lived.  When Pieter Lorenz Campbell subdivided and sold his estate, it is almost certainly some of the new pilots who bought the smaller cottages.  The government having introduced a competitive system of pilot service, issued many new licenses in October 1840. 

Captain Richard’s, then Commander of the schooner ‘ Piscator,” and late of the ” Hope,” has been appointed by His Excellency the Governor as Pilot of this Port. There are now seven Pilots attached to this Harbour, viz :-Messrs. Moffatt, Camaron, Thompkins, Butcher, Bainbridge, Gibson, and Richards; Mr. S. Watson also holds a license, but has not acted for some time. With the above force of active men, we have little doubt but the Pilots duties will henceforth be done well; the Pilots complain, and we think justly, of the trouble and expense they are all at in getting crews for their boats, as also quarters at the Heads to accommodate themselves and men. The Government could remedy the last-mentioned inconvenience, by causing a few buildings to be erected on the unlocated land in the vicinity of Watson’s Bay and charging those Pilots who choose to re-side in them to pay so much rent yearly for them. It is not to be expected, that a Pilot who may from various causes lose his situation at a day’s notice, will erect a permanent building for his own use. We believe some alterations will shortly take place in this branch of the service.                                                                                                                          Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838 – 1841), Friday 30 October 1840, page 3

Henry Gibson is named here as being a pilot on the 30th of October and he had only arrived on the 18th of October, so he had wasted no time in finding an appropriate occupation where he could retire from voyaging and settle down with a new wife.

It is also likely that Maria and Henry Gibson became close friends of the Siddins family.  Both families and the Siddins son Joseph, daughter Jane, and son in law James Graham, were the prime movers in raising funds for the construction of the first Congregational Church in Australia.  This was not in Sydney Town but close to the Macquarie Light and Signal Station, on the South Head Rd.  (212-214 Old South Head Rd.). 

When Richard Siddins had held a service on his brig “Lynx” in 1833, one hundred sailors attended and the service was conducted by George Erskine, the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Missions.  Richard never raised enough money to create the floating chapel for sailors, however the funds were eventually supplemented by donations to build the church at the Rocks.

In 1841, the “Chapel with the chimney” was opened, with 200 people attending and a speech wase given by a Samoan Chief, Leatona.  It is highly likely that Leatona was included in the ceremony to demonstrate the success of the church’s missionaries in converting islanders to Christianity.

In February 1840, Mr. W. C. Cunningham, the survivor of a massacre in Samoa, accompanied an expedition to the islands to recover the bodies of two of the missionaries. He was accompanied by Leatona, a Samoan chief, to act as interpreter and returned in June to report that they had been successful.   

In the years prior to the building of the church the congregation regularly attended services at the Siddins home and consisted among others, of Mrs. William Charles Wentworth and her children, the Newtons, and also Mr.Thomas Sidney.

The Australian Town and Country Journal in 1903 reflecting on the early years of the South Head recorded that “in 1842 the Rev. Mr. Threlkeld, who had been aboriginal missioner at Port Macquarie, took the service, also coming weekly from town. In 1845, he went to the South Head to live, and the simplicity of the times is shown by the pastor and his family living in three small room’s, under the same roof as the church, behind the hall for worship. This has caused it to be called “the church with the chimney.”

Richard Siddins died in July 1846 and his son Joseph took over as Lighthouse keeper in October 1847.   It should have come as no surprise that he married Frances Hannah Threlkeld.  She was eighteen years old and six years younger.  In these early days with a small population living as South Head, the prospects of finding a partner weren’t easy, however as neighbours almost made it inevitable.  Their first child, Richard Lancelot was born in July 1848.

Similarly, James Graham at the signal station didn’t have far to look for a partner, marrying Jane and Richard Siddin’s daughter, Jane in 1852.

One of the new pilots was George Bainbridge. The Woollahra Councils timeline records that in 1841,     “A census conducted of the colony of New South Wales records the returns of thirteen households at Watsons Bay – among them, that of George Bainbridge, a pilot living in a tent at Camp Cove with six persons classified as either ‘Mohammedans or Pagans’. The reference is believed to be to a group of South Sea islanders who regularly crewed the pilot boats. The census records no persons with recognisably Portuguese surnames, indicating that their settlement occurred later in the decade.  Total population 122”

George did in fact employ a Portuguese crew member and probably as the coxswain for his boat.  He was John Manuel who was there from possibly around 1846.

John probably arrived in Tasmania in 1846 on a whaling ship. There was a Jno Manuel recorded as arriving in Tasmania on a whaling ship called the “Macquarie”.  On his naturalisation papers he states that he arrived in 1846 on the “Le Grange”.  He is next recorded as embarking as a steerage passenger on the “Agenoria” which sailed from Port Albert in south eastern Victoria which was then still New South Wales.  He arrived in Sydney in April 1846.

On the 12th January 1850, John was prosecuted by Wm. Arbuthnot Brassey, Esq.,for breaking into his house at Watsons Bay.  His housemaid refused to be sworn in at court however, and without her testimony, he was released with a warning. John was reported as belonging to George Bainbridge’s crew.  He was described as being a “man of colour” and “Masser Qunnimo” which might have been a derogative reference from popular literature at the time.

It is almost certain that Wm. Arbuthnot Brassey, Esq,. was actually George Ashburner Brassey whose wife Mary Ann Brassey (nee Norrie) was the teacher at the Church of England run school. There she taught 14 boys and 11 girls until she gave birth to their first child in 1849.  The Brassey’s then left Watsons Bay and at some time moved to New Zealand.

In March 1841, one of the pilots was suspended for “irregularity of conduct” and another threatened to surrender his commission because of living conditions at Camp Cove.  It is highly likely that the latter was George Bainbridge, and several months later a letter to the editor is so descriptive that we not only appreciate the conditions under which they lived by where the camp was located.

Original Correspondence.

To the Editor of the Sydney Gazette

SIR, should you consider the following remarks worthy of insertion in the columns of your widely circulated   journal, you will oblige me by so doing. Having occasion to take up my abode on the night of Thursday last at the Pilot Station, owing to the tempestuous weather, one of the pilots kindly offered me a portion of his TENT, (the only place of residence-or rather shelter he had) which I gladly accepted.

The night (as I said before) was boisterous, attended with torrents of rain, thunder and lightning, when I sat in company with the pilot, (being unable, to lay down, the bed being completely wet through) until the hour of three, a. m., when a sudden gust of wind overturned the tent, and the rain pouring down in torrents, so were compelled to seek refuge under the rocks until daylight; when we proceeded to the tent and found the whole of the provisions, consisting of flour, bread, &c. completely drenched with the rain.

On my remarking to him the wretched manner in which he lived, he informed me that an application had been made in order to obtain a small portion of ground whereon to erect a small hut for the shelter of themselves and crews, (there not being any place down at South Head to rent), while engaged in the pilot service, but had received an answer in the negative. Perhaps the situation in which the pilots are placed is better known than de-scribed, however, as far as lays in my power I will endeavour to do so-“

The bank on which their tents are pitched, is bounded on one side by a large swamp, at present covered with water to the depth of about six feet; and on the side by Camp Cove Beach, which naturally occasions a constant dampness.

Their boats crews are huddled together under a rock, some little distance from the tents, and are sheltered from the rain as it falls, but under foot a complete wash of water in wet weather. On their return from vessels (they may have occasion to board) this is the only refuge they have, and should it be bad weather they have no place either to lay or dry their clothes, and thus are compelled to remain in their wet ones.”

As the number, of vessels arriving in this port are daily increasing, and naturally the services of this useful class of men are oftener required, it would be well for Government to build them some place of refuge, and tax them with a rent adequate to the interest of the capital expended, which would be gladly paid. As the winter is fast approaching, and from the present appearance likely to be a moist one, the pilots will be compelled to desert the station and fly to Sydney for refuge or remain in their present situation and become disabled through the inclemency of the weather. No doubt, if His Excellency was aware of their situation, he would gladly meet their views by issuing an order for the erection of some small huts.

I am, Sir, yours, A WELL WISHER.1st May ,.1841.                                                                                           Tue 4 May The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser

When ships were arriving, the pilots still relied upon a signal from the station up on the cliffs above Watsons Bay.  To keep the signal pole in sight, they established their “camp” back from Camp Cove, next to the fresh water pond and closer to the cliffs.  Most likely close to where Cliff and Pacific Streets meet today.

In 1835 when convicts had stolen W.C. Wentworth boat and sailed off up the coast toward Newcastle, there was criticism of the inadequacy of the “water police”.  Criticism of the water police was increasingly linked with concern about port security.  Many were letters to the newspaper editors about the lack of fortifications to protect the harbour from attack.

Governor Phillip established the “Row Boat Guard” in 1789.  It was primarily established to detect smuggling and stop convicts exchanging letters with the crews of visiting ships.  It wasn’t until 1840 that this unit was placed under the control and supervision of a Water Police Magistrate. It was based on Garden Island, when it was still an island, however there was a lack of fresh water and timber, so relocated to Watsons Bay. 

This new site was considered ideal, as all sailing ships anchored there awaiting favourable winds and tides – it also increased the difficulties of convicts unlawfully boarding such vessels and escaping from the Colony. The section expanded and by 1841 the Water Police, comprising 20 personnel, were located at three strategic points – Watsons Bay, Goat Island, and Cockatoo Island.

Under Inspector A.H. Austin they were based at the northern end of Camp Cove.  They had slipways built on the rocks there.  Grooves cut into the stone and timber laid in them allowed boats to be slid into and out of the water

While the water police were based at Watsons Bay, they were single men and not part of the community.  They were provided with rations and housing, paid a wage and had security.  The pilot community were always totally self-sufficient, however every time they set out in a storm to pilot a ship through the heads, they were at risk.

Inspector Austin had a busy year in 1941 as he arrested people attempting to leave the colony before paying their debts. He also came under the watchful eye of the new owner of The Sydney Herald, John Fairfax.   Fairfax had arrived with his family and in-laws in 1838 with just £5.In 1842, he renamed his newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald.


Mr. William Hart was brought up before Captain Brown on Saturday, charged with endeavoring to leave the Colony in the Vanguard for New Zealand, with the intention of giving his creditors the slip. The keeper of the watch-house deposed that the defendant was brought there on Friday night by Inspector Austin, who had taken him from on board the Vanguard at the Heads, where he passed himself off under an assumed name. Mr. Nichols, who appeared for Hart, applied for his discharge, as there was no specific charge against him. The defendant was then discharged, on stating that no action for false imprisonment would be brought against any of the Water Police. On leaving the court, he was accosted by Mr. Brown, the bailiff, who marched him off to Carters’ Barracks. MONDAY, OCT. 18,1841.

To the Editors of the Sydney Herald. GENTLEMEN~ Observing in your paper of the fifth inst. an article headed CRUEL CONDUCT OF THE POLICE, respecting the detention of Mr. Hart, I beg you will admit of the following being inserted in your valuable columns. It is true, it might appear cruel on the part of those detained but what greater cruelty would have been committed on my part, had I permitted Mr. Hart to leave the colony under a False, and FICTICOUS NAME. For the benefit of the public, perhaps it would be well to give a light portion of the matter of fact.

On Friday, the 5th inst. at 4.00 pm, I went alongside the schooner Vanguard, then lying in Watson’s Bay, and bound to New Zealand, for the purpose (as usual) of seeing all correct. On my going on board, on the starboard side, I observed a person of large dimensions standing with his back to the main rigging, which drew particular attention, and by his features Immediately recognised him to be the well-known Mr. Hart, although dressed in a manner sufficient to deceive his best friends. He was dressed with a large flushing coat, buttoned up to the chin; a sort of travelling cap, to which was attached a huge pair of back whiskers, so large that his face was scarcely discernable. I immediately accosted him with “Well Mr.Hart, are you going to sea.” and on the well-known sound scratching his ear, he appeared astonished, and saying “Ahah!” took me by the elbow, and begged I would step to the other side of the deck for a moment, which I did. He then said, “it is all right, nobody knows I am on board”; ..his twenty pounds if you will clear me “Oh Mr. Hart” I replied, “not 20 times 20 – nor a fortune would ever bribe me, you must go with me to Sydney” I then, (to satisfy myself) ordered all hands aft to muster and checking the passengers’ name over, observed JOHN HOLIDAY AND Wife deficient, but on enquiring of the Captain, found that Mr. Hart and his fair lady had engage their passage under the above names. I then proceeded to Sydney, and lodged Mr. Hart in durance vile on a charge of attempting to leave the colony under a fictitious name. Mr Hart afterwards offered me ten pounds for the civil manner in which I had behaved to him while under my care, but this I also refused knowing it does not become a public officer to accept of any mark of kindness when he is but doing his duty. I shall make no remarks upon the tone of your article as affecting my reputation as a Government Officer, but merely give the above simple statement of facts, in order that the public may form a correct judgment in the matter-l am, Gentlemen, your obedient servant, A. H. AUSTIN, Inspector Water Police.

Water Police Station, Camp Cove, 

Mr. Austin does not appear to understand a joke, which was all that was intended by the paragraph complained of. We have no hesitation in stating that we consider Mr. Austin one of the most efficient Police Officers in the Colony.-Eds  Wed 20 October

Several months later, Inspector Austin boarded the “William Hughes” at Watsons Bay.  Captain Ameers was fined £50 and 40s. costs for trying to smuggle its owner, a Mr. Donkin out of the port.  Austin discovered Donkin hiding in the forehold and took him to the Water Police court. He owed money and the court ordered he not leave the colony till the debts were cleared.  Having surrendered the ship as security against the fine, they again attempted to leave the port and again Inspector Austin seized the ship.

THE BRIG WILLIAM HUGHES – a penalty of £50 and costs had been inflicted on the captain of the William Hughes, for attempting to take a person out of the colony who was not entered in the. clearance. The fine not being forthcoming, inspector Austin, of the Water Police, was placed on board to prevent her going to sea before it was paid, and his boat’s crew, were ordered to board her secretly after dark, and keep in readiness, for fear an attempt of the sort should be made.   Mr Austin having retired to rest in the cabin, was aroused about two o’clock on Thursday morning by some person shaking him, and whispering in his ear that all was quiet, and it was time to get under weigh. To this he made no answer, but, the other having gone on deck, he was soon followed by the inspector, who found the men busily engaged in setting sail. Thinking it time to change the aspect of affairs, he gave the signal for his men, who now made their appearance and took charge of the ship, bringing her from Watson’s Bay, where she was then lying, back to near the entrance of the Cove. As the person who roused Mr Austin called him, by some other name, it is pretty clear that their intention was to go out during the night and take him with them for the passage free of expense. It was, therefore, fortunate that his own men were on board. –Chronicle.                                                                                        Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1840 – 1845), Monday 27 December 1841, page 4

Several months later again, William Hart having served two months in jail was released and booked passage for New Zealand.  When he realised that the authorities knew he was going to leave, and the captain of the ship refused to accept a £50 bribe, he returned to shore and surrendered.

In 1841 and 1843, both the Zandvliet and Rodham Farm estates were put on the market, although the latter was withdrawn.  Despite the lack of housing for the pilots and their crews as the newly arriving families, it was likely that there wasn’t the money available for them to purchase.  The advertisements of their sale are included at the end of this chapter.

As did many of the pilots and crews, the police visited Sydney Cove when off duty and while some drowned on their return trip by boat, others finished their careers there.

Dismissal of a Policeman.-Yesterday, one of the Water Police constables named John Wootton, belonging to the station at Camp Cove, was brought before Captain Browne ,charged with drunkenness. It appeared that having obtained liberty from the Inspector, he had come into Sydney, and whilst in a state of inebriety entered the shop of Mr. Raphael, where he behaved in a violent manner, from whence he proceeded to Prince-street, and, whilst in a state of comparative nudity, challenged every passer-by to fight. Captain Browne, after reprimanding him severely, said that he should deal with him in an exemplary manner, and as sixteen days’ pay were then due to him-amounting to £2, he should sentence him to forfeit that sum, and dismiss him from the force.Friday 17 November 1843

In June 1843, Edward Edwards was born in Sydney, probably at the family home in Queen Square, off George St.  His father was a plumber; however, Edward became a boatman and in time, settled in Watsons Bay.

By 1844, Inspector A.H. Austin had left the Water Police at Camp Cove and was replaced by Inspector Isaac Nichols.  Once again, the Water Police and Pilots were drawn into an argument.  For the next twenty years or more, the press continued to criticize the pilots when it suited them.  This was primarily when there was a political agenda to introduce new administration or services.  Often, there was little investigation about an incident before the press attacked the pilots.  It might also be because any vessel that attempted to enter or leave the port without a pilot, risked forfeiting their insurance.

The Floating Beacon. — Complaints have been made that no pilot boat has been held in readiness at the Floating Light, moored in the channel up the harbour, for some weeks past. It was only a few nights ago that the schooner Terror hailed the Beacon for a pilot, but no pilot was on board, and the vessel had to grope her way out on a dark and tempestuous night, without an attempt being made to render her assistance by any on board. Another instance in which the lives of the several individuals were placed in imminent peril, and the loss of the ship and cargo almost inevitable, occurred on Wednesday night. A coasting schooner, called the Lark, in beating her way out of port, grounded on a sunken reef off Lang’s Point, and there stuck fast, evenly balanced amidships. This occurred about twelve o’clock on Wednesday night, which was so dark, that no one could see their hand before them ; and had not the cries of the crew, which were loud and piercing, reached the ears of the Water Police, stationed in Camp Cove, who, under the superintendence of Mr. Inspector Nichols, promptly rescued them from their perilous situation, every hand on board must have perished, and the schooner would have become a total wreck in less than half an hour, Great credit is due to Mr. Inspector Nichols and his gallant crew for the vigilance, promptitude, and courage they displayed in succouring this vessel in distress.                    Tuesday 24 September, 1844

There is a distinct possibility that Isaac Nichols was the eldest son of Isaac Nichols, the colonies first Postmaster.  Convict, Postmaster, ship builder and merchant.

Fortunately, there were the occasions when the captain of a ship wrote to praise the pilots, such as when a team of pilots went to the assistance of the cutter “Trial”

The Cutter ‘ Trial.’ —At daybreak on Saturday last, a cutter was discovered at anchor off the Heads, with a signal of distress flying, when the pilot at South Head, and the Water Police, repaired to her assistance, and towed her into Watson’s Bay. She proved to be the Trial.  Captain Cullum, who has handed us the following for insertion: ‘To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald. Gentlemen, On Friday last, whilst on my passage from the Hunter to Sydney in the cutter Trial, upon arriving off Broken Bay, at 3 p.m., I saw a squall approaching, and lowered the mainsail to reef it, but before we could do so, the squall caught us, and blew the sail out of the bolt ropes. Shortly after, the steamer Rose came to our assistance, but finding that we were not in any immediate danger, returned to the schooner Paterson, which was lying on her beam ends about a mile astern. A breeze having sprung up from the northward, we managed under our jib to arrive off the Heads of Port Jackson at about 3 a.m., and came to an anchor. At daylight we hoisted a signal of distress, and a short time after Mr. Gibson, the pilot, came off and got us under weigh, and was towing us in when we were joined by Messrs. Jackson and Bainbridge, pilots, and also by Mr. Isaac Nichols, of the Water Police Station at Camp Cove, by whose joint assistance we were towed safely into Watson’s Bay. I take this opportunity of publicly thanking those gentlemen for their timely assistance, and more so for having rendered their services gratuitously. I — I am, Gentlemen, yours, &c, E. Cullum, I Master of the Trial’                                                                                                                                                Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 – 1860), Saturday 23 November 1844, page 238

There were occasions when the pilots and water police worked together without incident.  Perhaps even in the 1840s, media preferred to write about controversy when the reality was that these men whose lives were always at risk, respected each other.  Certainly, that was the case when the cutter “Jane Scott” found herself in difficulties off the heads.

The Cutter ‘ Jane Scott.’— -This vessel, which was reported ashore at the Bellinger, having been got off, took in a cargo of cedar for Sydney, and left there on the 26th May; but an easterly gale coming on, she was compelled to stand out to sea. The wind soon veered round to the westward and increased to such a degree that she was driven out of sight of land and did not make it again until fourteen days after, when they put into Broulee, and obtained some provisions. There were four men and a woman passenger on board, and their sufferings must have been extreme, having been eight days with only a biscuit and half a pint of water each per diem. To add to their misfortunes, after leaving Broulee the whole of her canvas was blown clean away, and they arrived off the signal station yesterday at the mercy of the winds, when two of the pilots repaired to her assistance (Messrs. Gibson and Bainbridge), and being joined by Mr. Powell, in the Water Police Boat, they towed her safely into Watson’s Bay. One of the crew had swam through the surf at Bondi, upon whose arrival in Sydney the Sophia Jane was dispatched to bring her up to the Albion Wharf.

The John Dalton was compelled to anchor between the heads yesterday, having been becalmed, and a heavy swell setting in ; she has made a fine passage from Manila, having touched at Anjer. The brig Alfred left Manila for Sydney direct three days before, with about 90 tons sugar and 25 tons rope.                                                                                                                  The Australian, Sydney,Saturday 15 June 1844 

Even within the harbour, weather could be life threatening to experienced boatmen. The Pilots regularly rowed up the harbour to the government Dockyard.  Among other things, they had mail to collect.  While letters were delivered in most parts of Sydney, Watsons Bay was too isolated and mail had to be collected.  Maria and Henry Gibson arranged for their mail to delivered to the Dockyard and were regularly advertising accommodation available at Watsons Bay.

TO INVALIDS, AND OTHERS, REQUIRING CHANGE OF AIR.                                                 TO LET, Furnished Apartments, in Watson’s Bay, South Head, in the house formerly occupied by P. L. Campbell, Esq. Letters can be addressed, post paid, to Mr. Gibson, Dockyard, Lower George street

On one such trip:

About four o’clock on Tuesday afternoon two of the South Head pilots Messrs Gibson and Jackson left the Dockyard in their boats, with the intention of proceeding to Watson s Bay.  When near abreast of Pinchgut a sudden squall struck Mr Jackson’s boat having himself, two men, and a boy in her, when she immediately capsized. All hands stuck to the boat, and after about forty minutes, when their strength was nearly exhausted the were luckily seen from the Gas and Grove, when a boat was instantly manned and repaired to their then assistance coming just in time to rescue them from drowning.  When landing Mr Jackson, the lad and one of the men on Pinchgut, they returned to the boat, with the intention of towing her in shore, but the gale was by this time at its height and they could make no head way against it, and stood away for the North Shore, where it is to be hoped they took refuge in Mossman’s Bay, but no tidings of them had reached the ship up to last exciting. The following letter has been forwarded for insertion – to Captain Hobson of the ship Garland Grove, I lose not a moment in thanking you for the reception which I received this morning on board your ship, and also in acknowledging the timely assistance which was rendered to me he part of by our crew when I was upset by a sudden gust of wind close to your vessel yesterday afternoon to the promptness with which the boat was dispatched, I feel myself bound to say that I owe my own presentence of life as well as that of a boat’s crew and I feel in duty bound to make this public acknowledgment of your kindness and attention through the medium of the Sydney Rowing staid I have the honour to be Sir, ever -Yours gratefully Robert A. Jackson -October 16th 1844

As nothing was seen of Mr Gibson, after the squall fears were entertained that his boat had shared the same fate, but we are informed that he landed at Watson’s Bay about an hour after the accident, quite unconscious of what had occurred.                                                               The Shipping Gazette and Sydney General Trade List (NSW : 1844 – 1860)  Sat 19 Oct 1844



On Friday last, a party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont and child, Mr. Waller and servant, Mr. Stallard, and Miss New, embarked from Sydney in a boat at 4 A.M., with the intention of going on a picnic excursion to the Heads.

After fishing in Middle Harbour a considerable time, the weather assumed a threatening aspect, and at 10 A.M , they made sail on the boat to return to Sydney. On reaching South Head, through some mismanagement the boat went ashore on the rocks, a short distance inside the South Reef, where she stove the whole of her larboard quarter in. Luckily, they all gained the shore with little damage, and after some difficulty Mr. Waller and servant climbed the rocks, and walked to the Water Police station at Camp Cove, where they made the accident known. Captain Nichols immediately launched his boat and repaired with his crew to the assistance of those left on the rocks, who were soon rescued from their dangerous situation and taken into Camp Cove, with the remains of their shattered boat, when everything was speedily offered for their comfort. Tuesday 4 February 1845

Another future resident of Watsons Bay was in the news in Van Diemen’s Land in 1845.  Emanual Jacinto had arrived as a young convict some years earlier and had become a repeat offender: Emanuel Jacinto, and Emma Loyd, were discharged by proclamation. Jacinto, who had been for these several past sessions a sort of standing culprit for the dock, was cautioned by the Attorney-General not to show his face there again, a recommendation we imagine not likely to meet with much attention. The majority of the fellows discharged being convicts, they must find the repose In gaol equal to the pleasures of a Castle of Indolence                        ” Where for a little time, alas ! They lived right jollily.”                                                                  The Observer (Hobart, Tas. Friday 25 July 1845 – Page 3                                                      

Emanual stole the till from a bakery in this year, and was sentenced to the reopened Norfolk Island. Seven years later, he would be freed and allowed to settle in Sydney.

In 1847, the Australian newspaper devoted half a page to an article about the establishment of St Peters Church. The first part of the article is revealing about the fact that school was being taught in “Clovelly”.  Most likely only occupied by the Macarthur’s during the hot summer months and used as a school the rest of the year, it was still owned by Hannibal Macarthur in 1847. In 1848 when Hannibal fell on hard times, it was sold to Henry Watson Parker, Elizabeth Macarthur’s son in law, and Elizabeth spent every summer there till her death there in 1850.


Oh Monday, the 27th Ultimo, about one hundred ladies and gentlemen (members of the Church of England), interested in the erection of a suitable Church in this beautiful spot, the

establishment there of a permanent School, and the placing of the District under the charge of a Clergyman of the Church of England, left Sydney for the purpose of attending a Public Meeting, to be held at -Watson’s Bay on that day, in furtherance of these praiseworthy objects, in the following order: —

From the Circular Wharfs:                                                                                                    Steamers Native and Gipsey with numerous visitors.

From Mr. Campbell’s Grounds, at Darlinghurst Point:                                                           Pinnace from H. M. S. Bramble, Lieutenant ,Yule, R. N., 4 oars, conveying, the Lord Bishop, and the Rev.R. Allwood.

In H.M.S. Bramble’s Second Boat, 4 oars, conveying the Rev. W. H. Walsh, and others.         The Colonial Secretary’s Boat, 4 oars, conveying the Rev. Mr. Naylor, and others.                 The Port Master’s Boat. M. Moriarty, Esq.R.N., 4 oars.                                                         Pilot’s Boat, (Gibson’s,) 4 oars, conveying various visitors.

The steamers and boats were met at the entrance to Watson’s Bay, by a second, Pilot Boat, (Jackson’s,) 4 oars. The Bramble’s pinnace having been conducted to a suitable landing place by Mr. Jackson, the Bishop found himself welcomed by a numerous party, assembled on the lawn before Captain Scott’s house, where the children of the school. (The boys under the charge of Mr. Basil Kendal, their master, and the girls in the care of Mrs: Kendal), about 36 in number, were placed on either side of the door. The Bishop having given an interview to the Pilots and other inhabitants desirous to see and know his Lordship, proceeded to the temporary school at Clovelly, and passed. there nearly an hour in the examination of the children. This duty having boon concluded, the Bishop returned’ to the Bay, by which time a numerous party had collected in Captain Scott’s house.  His Lordship having opened the Meeting with prayer, delivered an Address, of which the following is the substance:

Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 – 1848), Saturday 10 July 1847, page 3

On Friday 8th January 1847, George Pettit placed an advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald. This was the first of two hotels that would be built on the South Head Road opposite the Signal Station. It would later be renamed as “The South Head Family Hotel” when Mr. E. Applewhaite bought the business in 1859.

SOUTH HEAD HOTEL, SOUTH HEAD.                                                                            GEORGE PETTIT returns thanks to his old friends and the public, who have kindly patronised him in his new establishment, and begs to inform them that his house is enlarged, and that he can accommodate wedding and other parties with bedrooms, from which they have a view of the South Pacific, with the benefit of its salubrious breezes.                                                     Picnic and other parties supplied with Spirits, Wines, Ale, and Porter, at Sydney prices.

Pidgeon shooting became a popular sport among Watsons Bay men and may have begun with an event at the South Head Hotel. James and Jane Graham’s son Charles Graham worked at the Watsons Bay Post Office for 20 years as a postman.  When the post office was closed, he was presented with a shotgun as he had a reputation as a Pigeon Shooter.  His brother Robert Graham also worked for the Post Office in various parts of country New South Wales, and when he retired at Wallsend, he was presented with a shotgun with which he won numerous national shooting competitions. 

A Mr. Hall appears to have taken over the hotel from Mr. Pettit.  It is also likely that the Mr Underwood who attended this event might have been one of the Underwood men who were the most successful ship builders and merchants in Sydney.  Or, their brother who ran a hotel and died drunk in the gutter, or one of their sons.

Sporting of the Week

PIGEON MATCH. -The lovers of this sport mustered in goodly numbers at Mr. Hall’s, the South Head Hotel, on Monday last, when several sweepstakes were shot for, and a variety of other engagements made for a future time, which will tend to advance the interests of this branch of sporting. The day was unluckily rather blusterous, which deterred some persons from attending who had the bad taste to prefer a Brickfielder in Sydney to a ” blow on the Heads,” but this circumstance only redoubled the exertions of those present to carry out the object for which Mr. Hall had made the best arrangements that time and opportunity permitted. A first-rate cold collation was spread on the board, at which the pigeon shooters began to peck with wonderful rapidity, and many a Byass and Dunbar popped off their shots before the cocks took wing for the shooting ground. This commanded a view of the broad ocean which (although looking grey under the influence of a somewhat sombre sky ,) presented a thousand charms for the lover of nature, and with a magical wand conjured up ” imaginations soothing sweet” to the reflective. The beautiful creation of Dickens, ” Little Paul Dombey” listening to the drowsy booming of the waves stole over the mind, and one could almost believe that the pale young enthusiast reclined upon the rocky highlands which overlook the wide watery expanse beyond the Heads. This feeling was rendered stronger by the observation of a talented friend (unhappily an invalid) who narrated the soothing influence which the set had shed over him when lying for mouths on a sick couch at a watering place in England ; and ” Romance” absorbed us, for the moment, so intensely, that we were only recalled to ” Reality” by the discharge of Mr. Underwood’s crack double which brought down both his bird. We then turned our attention to business and the arrangement of the necessary preliminaries of the day.

The first match shot was Messrs. Whitfield, Warris, Fitchett senior, and Mikey, against Messrs. Underwood, Martin, Lowater, and Fitchett junior, at three birds each, twentyone yards. This, after a very spirited contest, was won by the latter, Messrs. Underwood and Fitchett killing all their birds. Mr. Lowater lost one from not attending to the strict rules of pigeon shooting ; the bird was a ” dead one” to all intents and purposes, but Mr. L. forgot that caps (except upon guns) are not allowed to go off on these occasions. The next match was, Messrs. Underwood and Whitfield against the Messrs. Fitchett, at three birds, same distance, and was won by the former gentlemen, who killed all their birds. The shooting on the part of the Messrs. Fitchett was good, and the match was only lost by a hair’s breadth. The elder Mr. Fitchett brought down two birds at long distances in first rate style, several other byes were shot with equal success, and so strong were the powers of the ” deadly tube” directors that the scouters found their fingers cramped for want of practice, and themselves a little out of humour for getting such bad payment for their toddle through the sand from the metropolitan pavement. However, their ill humour was banished before they quitted Mr. Hall’s roof, and as lite generous fluid began to warm them up, they recorded many a tale of what they had done in times of yore, and what they would have done that day if the match gentlemen had allowed them. The shadows lengthened considerably before all parties got upon the road; but once fairly started, away they flew at a break-neck pace, headed by Mr. Underwood’s spicy turn-out-drag unexceptionable and trotter warranted a fifteen mile-an-hourer. Tommy Martin and the Rose Bay Villa pulled them up for ten minutes chat and etceteras; then again they went “the pace” past Double Bay, the Cooperian Laving House, Mort’s Fancy, Cheeke’s Tusculum, Smart’s Delight, the Vite Condick, and the fifty other interesting monuments of human ingenuity which the road presents, till they found themselves safely landed at John Barnett’s cosy establishment, yclept the “Barley Mow,” though why so baptised would puzzle a philosopher to tell, as ” barn-door savages” never make their appearance in the place-on the contrary, swells of the first water only are admitted. Here the party, having once more opened the ” Sluice House,” shook hands and parted, considerably gratified by the events of the day-and promising to give Mr. Hall another turn whenever the Juror pigeon-is (there’s Latin for you,) should steal over them. In connection with the sport, two things must be mentioned, namely, that a new road is about to be cut to Mr. Hall’s bouse from the Bay by the Vaucluse property where a jetty will be erected for the convenience of passengers by steamer, and that Cankett’s slashing Bus which did its duty so well on Monday, will continue to run over the same ground for the future on every needful occasion.

RIFLE.-A gentleman is open to shoot a Rifle Match with any other in the colony upon the following terms :-Twenty shots, at one hundred yards distance, for Five Pounds aside ; to come off once within a month from the time of making the match. The necessary arrangements, can be made through the office of ‘. Bell’s Life in Sydney.                                                                Bell’s Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 – 1860), Saturday 11 November 1848, page 2

In 1836, responsibility for all fortifications in the colony was transferred to the newly installed branch of the Board of Ordinance and placed in the charge of Captain George Barney who turned his attention to defence of the harbour entrance.   He recommended building a Martello tower on the Sow and Pigs. In 1839 however, two American warships entered the harbour at night and circled Pinchgut Island. Barney then recommended building one on Pinchgut. Fortification of the island began in 1841, however was not completed. The colonial government entered into a decade of correspondence with the British government for funding to fortify the harbour.  It was only in 1855 when Britain and Russia went to war in the Crimea, that they resumed construction of the Martello tower, and it was completed on 14 November 1857.

With the threat of war between Spain and France in 1847, Governor Fitzroy commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, to report on the fortification of Port Jackson.  His report was critical of the siting of the existing defences and proposed locating defensive installations at the mouth of the harbour, including installations on the Sow and Pigs and Inner South Head overlooking Camp Cove.

Governor Fitzroy wrote to the British government requesting funds to build the defences. Despite the fact that the British government had provided funding for the defence of Halifax and Quebec, Earl Grey denied it was a precedent to justify funding Port Jacksons defence. In fact, he argued that the colony had a large enough population and healthy economy to fund it’s own defence. 1849 ended with no resolution.

From the very early days when Elizabeth Macarthur and Elizabeth Macquarie made leisure trips to Watsons Bay, it has always been a “tourist“destination, so why was a visit from H.M.S. Rattlesnake different to any other?

PLEASURE PARTY-On Saturday, Captain Stanley and the officers of H.M.S. Rattlesnake invited a large number of friends to a party of pleasure. The guests assembled on board the ship about twelve o’clock, and shortly afterwards proceeded in boats to Camp Cove, where a splendid repast had been prepared, of which all partook with an appetite sharpened by the pull down the harbour. After rambling about and enjoying the scenery for a short time; they returned to the Rattlesnake, the deck of which had in the meantime been converted, by a tasty arrangement of the flags, into a ball-room, in which dancing was kept up until near twelve o’clock, when the patty broke up, all declaring that they were indebted to their gallant hosts for a most delightful day’s amusement.Monday 6 September 1847

Built in 1822, she was converted into a survey ship in 1845.  Under the command of Captain Owen Stanley, she and H.M.S. Bramble were used to map and study the coast of Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. In 1849, Stanley rescued Barbara Crawford, who had been shipwrecked on Prince of Wales Island, in Torres Straight, when aged 13 in November 1844. She spent the next five years living with the local Kaurareg people.

The H.M.S. Bramble would be reassigned to the colonial government in 1859 and used as the lightboat anchored on the Sow and Pigs, replacing the Rose.

On Friday night the 8th of July, a Sou’wester was blowing so fiercely, that when the people of Watsons Bay went to bed, they would not have been able to see their neighbour’s houses.  The men on the Rose couldn’t even see Laings point.  It wasn’t until around 8:00am that Mr Petit on the light-boat “Rose” saw a mast protruding from the water just off Middle Head. It had been 14 years since the wreck of the Edward Lombe and the greatest loss of life since then.


It is with regret we have to announce this morning, the total wreck of the schooner Wanderer, 131 tons, Captain Crosten, and the Elizabeth, 32 tons, Captain Barter, both within this harbour.

The Wanderer left Launceston on Wednesday last, and entered the Heads about half-past eleven o’clock on Saturday night, during a heavy gale from the south-west. The captain having, we suppose, great confidence in the sailing qualities of the vessel, and possessed himself of a thorough knowledge of the harbour, attempted to work her up, but when off inner Middle Head, about twelve o’clock, she missed stays, and being close to the land and unable to get the main stay off her in time, her starboard bow struck, and  is supposed the vessel almost immediately sunk. At daylight yesterday morning, the main-topmast of the wreck was observable from the floating light-ship, with a man clinging to it.  Mr. Petit with great risk, instantly proceeded to his assistance in a boat with three hands, and fortunately rescued him. When got on board the lightship he was in a state of great exhaustion, having been in the position he was found eight hours; he then gave the above particulars, stating that he was a foremast hand, and that there were two passengers on board, besides the crew, in all nine persons excepting himself ; their names we have been unable to ascertain. She had met with very bad weather along the coast, and off Wollongong lost her fore trysail, which in some measure accounts for her missing stays. On reaching the light ship Mr. Petit made the signal for a pilot, when Mr. Gibson immediately went off, and on ascertaining particulars returned to Watson’s Bay, for the assistance of the other pilots, all of whom in two well manned boats proceeded to the wreck, in order to ascertain if any of the unfortunate people had reached the shore. After a short stay Messrs. Gibson and Jackson returned to their duty leaving Messrs. Moffitt and Bainbridge to continue the search, which they did for some time, but were unable to discover anything, except a boat that was stove, and a few packages floating. It is therefore almost certain that the whole of the persons on board with the exception of the man now on board the light ship, have all perished. The vessel is the property of Mr. Cook and is insured in Sydney. Her cargo consisted principally of grain. Captains Moriarty and Browne, with several other persons from Sydney, proceeded to the wreck during the afternoon, but of course could render no assistance.

Whilst Messrs. Moffitt and Bainbridge were on Beilby’s Beach they observed another schooner ashore on Little Manly Beach, to which they afterwards repaired, and found that it was the Elizabeth, Captain Barter, from Twofold Bay and Pambula, having left there on Friday last. She entered the Heads about one o’clock yesterday morning, and the Captain finding that by the violence of the wind it would be running a great risk if work up, anchored in Middle Harbour, where she rode in safety till ten A.M. at that time the chain of one of her anchors parted, when the captain slipped the other, with a view of working the vessel out, but being unable to do that, she drove on the rocks, where the whole of the passengers (nine in number) and the crew, consisting of four, were landed. Captain Barter afterwards finding that the vessel forged off the rocks, went on board again himself, and ran her on to the beach where she now lies bilged, with loss of rudder, She is the property of Mr. C. Prout, and was rented by the captain for a certain sum per month. Her cargo consisted of potatoes. The passengers started from the wreck yesterday afternoon, to a walk to Sydney, one of whom got into town during the evening, and stated that he had parted company with the others on the road.                                                                  Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Monday 10 July 1848, page 2

Six days later Henry Gibson found the body of Captain Crosten among the rocks on Laing Point.

The wreck of the schooners “Wanderer” and “Elizabeth” dominated the news,  and it was days later before the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the barque “William” had been struck by lightning.  In the same gale on that Saturday night, the Captain of the “William” decided against trying to leave the harbour and took shelter off Bradleys Head.

The electric fluid split the main top-gallant mast, passed down the tie which it has completely cut to pieces in five or six places; it also used several links of the top-sail sheet, being chain. A piece of the latter struck the steward on the head, and he is otherwise much injured. The cook was also struck by the fluid, and knocked down the hold, but fortunately fell on a bale of hay; his body and arms, however, were severely scorched. Several of the islanders by were stunned by the shock for a short time. Dr. Mackellar was immediately sent for, and with his usual promptitude attended, and remained with the sufferers all night. Yester-day morning they were removed to the hospital, and we are happy to say are: doing well. The vessel was otherwise uninjured, the fluid j, having passed down the cabin, and out through one of the stern windows. She has 180 head of cattle, 700 sheep, and 2 horses onboard, but only one of the former died from the effects of the shock. The damage sustained was nearly repaired yesterday, and the vessel will proceed to sea as soon as the weather moderates.                                                    The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser Saturday 15 July 1848 –

This was also the year when Hannibal Macarthur was forced to sell “Clovelly”.  He’d lost much of his grazing properties in the recession of the early 1840s and became insolvent.  The advertisement for sale of “Clovelly” gives us an idea of what it looked like before being bought by his aunt’s son-in-law. This is included in the addendum to this chapter.

With an increasing number of free settlers arriving in the colony, the government reopened Norfolk Island and established a settlement at Moreton Bay for reoffenders.  In 1846, they decided to open it up to free settlers.  When Hannibal Macquarie sold up at Watsons Bay, he took up a new grant at Ipswich, and there was a great shortage of manual workers, shepherds, tradesmen and domestic servants.

The Reverend Dr John Dunmore Lang, had sponsored German missionaries to the Moreton Bay in 1835, and when he visited the district again in 1845, decided to travel to Britain to recruit free settlers for Cooksland, the name he had given to the north-east of the colony. He was personally disliked by colonial and imperial authorities, so rather than support him, they set up their own scheme to settle the north.

The first ship bringing free settlers to Moreton Bay …was the Artemisia, 558 tons, Captain Ridley, from Plymouth the 15th August bound for Moreton Bay, with 241 emigrants, Mr. G. K. Burton, Surgeon-superintendent. She hove too within three miles of the heads about 6, P.M., and made the signal for a pilot, when Mr. Gibson immediately proceeded to her. Upon getting on board, however, he was informed by the captain, who was ill in bed from a disease of the liver, that it was not his intention to come into this port, and that he wished him to proceed in the vessel to Moreton Bay, having no chart of the place himself, and his chief officer knowing nothing of the coast. This Mr. Gibson declined doing, and advised the captain to allow him to take the vessel into harbour, when he would be able to obtain a competent person to do the duty he wished. Captain Riddle not falling in with Mr. Gibson’s suggestion, the latter quitted the vessel, and had a narrow escape of losing his own life, and those of his boat’s crew, for, on the boat entering the heads, a gale commenced from the south-ward, and a terrific sea instantly rising, the men were unable to pull against it. On two or three occasions they were almost buried in the sea; but fortunately, with a great deal of exertion, were enabled to run up North Harbour, where they encamped for the night, returning to Watson’s Bay, yesterday morning. The only recompense we believe Mr. Gibson received from Captain Ridley was £2. With the strong southerly wind of Saturday night, the Artemisia, is doubtless now a considerable way on towards her destination. She spoke no vessels on the passage connected with the colonies. Three deaths and four births occurred on the voyage.”

In the same gale that night, the Police schooner “Satellite” capsized and went down off Bradleys Head, and a small coasting vessel of about ten tons, was driven ashore on the rocks near George’s Head. The telegraph mast at Fort Phillip, was carried away by the violence of the gale and three crew of the “Satelite” drowned.  The Colonial Secretary, Captains Browne, Innes, Batty and a Mr Mann, had transferred from the “Satellite” to Captain Browne’s ship just half an hour earlier, so the death toll could have been far greater.

The decade came to a close with the Catholic community of Watsons Bay granted land on which to build a church, the appointment and arrival at Watsons Bay of George P Keon as the “Tide Surveyor” based near the water Police at camp Cove. The Water Police were also again in the news and there was another boating collision near the Sow and Pigs.


Five seamen of the brig Cockermouth Castle, were yesterday brought up at the Water Police Court before Captain Browne, charged under the information of the master of the Teasel, Captain Adam Wood, with haring refused to go to sea, and with general insolence and dis-obedience of orders, contrary to the articles signed by the said seamen.

Mr. NICHOLS appeared for the prosecution, and each of the seamen was brought up under a separate information.

The circumstances of the case, which were of the grossest nature we hara seen for some time, were as follows :

The seamen had been shipped in this colony, and had received an advance note of £3, pay-able three days after the departure of the brig. On Sunday last they were very insubordinate, and used gross insolence to the captain and his officers ; on the night of Monday, the captain went on deck and insisted on a double anchor watch being kept, the ship lying in Watson’s

Bay. The defendants refused to’ comply, saying it was not colonial fashion. They then went down below, but were shortly after summoned on deck and ordered to man the windlass, but the order was after-words revoked, and a little more chain was payed out. The next day, when the order was given to weigh the anchor, the whole of the defendants refused to do so, or to proceed to sea. The only defence offered was that the Captain, when they refused.to keep double anchor watch, called them & set of mutinous vagabonds.

Mr. NICHOLS remarked that a case of conspiracy was clear against all the defendants, and he should have felt it his duty to ask for a committal, but for the inconvenience that the

captain and sixteen passengers, who were on board, would have been put to if obliged to remain and prosecute.

Captain Browne fully concurred in the opinion of Mr. Nichols, that a case for committal was clearly made out. It was about the grossest case he had heard of for a long time. There was not the slightest excuse for the conduct of the men, who might, if they felt aggrieved by the treatment of the Captain or any of his officers had their legal remedy on the arrival of the ship at Port Phillip. But the vessel had been detained,, to the great expense of the owners and large number of passengers.  In consequence of the behaviour of the defendants, It was a case which demanded the full penalty of the act, and he should inflict it, regretting indeed that the forfeiture of the advance money, which had been received by the men, would fall upon those who had cashed their notes.  The sentence of the Court was, that each of the prisoners be imprisoned for the period of thirty days ; and considering the aggravated nature of the case, he should decline making any order with respect to their clothes.                                                                        Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Thursday 3 May 1849, page 2

Saturday 8 September

About half-post eight o’clock on Thursday evening the steamer Phoenix, in proceeding out of the harbour for the Clarence River, ran afoul of the ketch Fanny, lying in Camp Cove, abreast of the Sow and Pigs, and did considerable damage to her bulwarks and rigging. The steamer immediately rounded to, and asked if assistance was required, but on finding the damage was confined to the rigging and upper works, proceeded on her voyage. Almost immediately after the collision took place a boat arrived from the Floating-light ship, for the purpose of rendering assistance had it been needed..

Pilot Board.- His Excellency the Governor has nominated .and appointed the following gentlemen to constitute a Board, to be called the Pilot Board, for Port Jackson, vis. : John George Nathaniel Gibbes, Esq., Collector of Customs, Chairman; Merion Marshall Moriarty, Esq., R.N., Portmaster; Hutchinson Hothersall Browne, Esq., Water Police Magistrate ; William Salmon Deloitte, Esq. ; and Robert Towns, Esq.



Friday 25 June 1841

WATSON’S BAY. The beautiful Estate of P. L. Campbell, Esq., comprising the Mansion, Grounds, etc, known as ‘ ZANDOLIET,’ divided Into Seventeen Allotments, admirably adapted for Marine Villa Residences, MR. SAMUEL LYONS. will sell by Auction, at his Mart, George-street mid Charlotte- place, on MONDAY, the 5th, of July, at Eleven o’clock precisely.

This property is situated at Watsons Bay, and occupies the most central spot in that far-famed picturesque, part of Port Jackson Harbour. The romantic house and grounds of the Hon. H. H. Macarthur, M C. bound it on the north, and to the south Is the beautiful Demesne of ‘ Vaucluse,’ the seat of W. C. Wentworth, Esq.

Lot1,. Comprises the house and grounds, with frontage to the beach of Watson’s Bay of one hundred and fourteen feet, by an average depth of three hundred and ten feet. From the house there is a delightful view of the Harbour of Port Jackson, with the North Shore, and picturesque little promontory of Langs Point, with Camp Cove, and the Sydney Heads. It is most substantially built of stone, and contains on the ground floor one drawing room, thirty feet eight inches by sixteen feet four inches ; one dining room twenty three feet five inches by sixteen feet three inches, one store room, sixteen feet four inches by six feet; and good servants’ room and butler’s pantry. : .The first floor consists of four good bedrooms, each seventeen feet- four inches by fifteen feet six inches; and one dressing closet. There are three attics overall, and commodious cellars are provided- under the ground floor. Attached to the home ia a force pump for supplying water, erected at an expense of nearly two hundred pounds, which supplies a water closet, and other parts of the building. A flagged verandah extends round three sides of the house. The offices comprise — A well built larder. protected by juloiule skreen ; excellent kitchen, admirably fitted with range, etc. laundry ; four stall stable, coach house etc. ; in fact, everything requisite for a family of first-rate respectability. The garden is most tastefully arranged, and contains a great variety of fruit and flowering trees with a lawn in fine order, sloping down to the beach from which it is separated by a light ornamental fence of wrought battens, painted N. B.— The house is furnished, and the purchaser will have the option of taking the furniture at a valuation { if not agreed to be taken on those terms at time of safe, possession of the premises will not be given for fourteen days, to allow for its removal. Also, may be taken at a valuation by the purchaser of this lot. Two boats, oars, and sails Three cows (not at present in milk), and one heller, accustomed to the place, which, If not agreed to be taken on those terms at the time of sale, by the purchaser of this lot, will be forthwith disposed of to the highest bidder.

Lots 2 and 3, Are situate between Lot 1 and the Government road, by the obelisk by which Lot 3 is bounded, and have a front of fifty-three feet six inches to the beach of Watsons Bay.

Lots 4 and 5, Are vacant allotments abutting on Lot 1, fronting the road, with a frontage thereto of seventy. five and seventy feet respectively, and divided from Lots 2 and 3 by a reserved road sixteen feet wide.

Lot 6, Has one hundred feet front on the Government road. Upon this allotment is built A NEAT COTTAGE, containing four rooms on the ground floor, the two front rooms being sixteen feet five inches by thirteen feet the two back ones sixteen feet five inches by ten feet six inches. Underneath are a kitchen, servant’s room, and cellar to correspond. An excellent well of water is upon this lot, and it is of sufficient capacity for the erection of stables, gardens, etc. N B. — -In the cellars are a quantity of doors and window frames, sufficient for offices to the house, which may be taken at a valuation by the purchaser of the lot; but if not agreed to be taken at time of sale, possession of the premises will not be given for fourteen days, to allow for their removal. The same conditions apply to the carpets now fitted to the apartments in the cottage.

Lots 7, 8, and 9, Abut on the Government road, and possess frontages on it of seventy five feet each running back to Lots 17 and 16, by which they arc bounded — depth one hundred and four feet. A pump and well on Lot 7.

Lot 10, is the end Allotment, adjoining the Government reserve ; specially retained for public purposes. It has a frontage of fifty feet to the road.

Lot 11, A bijou of an Allotment, abutting on a road reserved, separating it from Lot 1 and the beach, along which it fronts. sixty feet.  Mr. Macarthur’s property bounds, this on the north. It extends one hundred and sixty-four feet six inches along the reserved roads twenty feet wide.

Lots 12, 13, and 14, are situate between the reserved road and Mr Macarthur’s property, and are one hundred feet square.

 Lot 15, Abuts upon Mr Macarthur’s land, the chapel land, and the road, to which it has a frontage of one hundred and twenty nine feet, depth ninety nine feet ten inches.

Lot 16 and 17, Are situated in the center of the property, sloping down from the Government reserve to Lot I. Lot -16 extending along the reserved road communicating with the beach and Government reserve two hundred and six feet. Lot 17 has one hundred and sixty eight feet frontage on the road, and backs up  Lot 1. There Is an excellent well and pump on, this lot (17) ) also,

A NEAT STONE COTTAGE, twenty-nine feet by sixteen, containing two rooms, and which might easily be converted into a small comfortable family residence, All the Waterside Allotments are entitled, by the deed of Grant, to be carried out to deep water.

The high estimation in which this beautiful part of our noble harbour is held by the public, is so amply testified by the numerous improvements and splendid mansions In its vicinity, that any commendations  from the Auctioneer would be superfluous. Terms— Twenty per cent, cash deposit, the residue by approved endorsed bills at three, six, nine, and twelve months, from day of sale the two latter bearing ten per cent, interest. A Plan may be seen at the Auction


Tuesday 14th February

RODHAM FARM , between Watson’s Bay and Camp Cove, a Marine Site, adjoining the Property of H. H. Macarthur, Esq., including Laing’s Point,, near the Inner- south Head, Harbour of Port Jackson.MR. STUBBS has the honour of instruction placed in his hands from Judge Donnithorne, to bring to public competition, at the Mart, King-street, on THURSDAY, the 2nd day of March, 1843, sale at Twelve o’clock, as per plan and description by Mr. Armstrong, Surveyor, ALL the above superb PROPERTY, subdivided into portions suitable for MARINE VILLA RESIDENCES, varying in size from half to one acre each. The general character of the allotments is, that, they have exquisite frontages to the Bay and Cove, towards the latter they have a singular advantage, by falling back on a rich swampy spot, in the centre of which, for general use, a circular spot is kept back as a RESERVOIR.  This part is known to many a sportsman of former days as the Wild Duck Pool.

THE ACCESS BY LAND is along the favourite South Head Road by way of the Lighthouse. The soil varies in quality as you ascend the gentle rises or undulating portions of the property, and changes consequently from darker to lighter quality as you proceed. BOTH BAYS are, the well-known anchoring ground of vessels coming in and going out of the harbour, ” taking up berth” here under adverse winds for security and convenience, the perpetual shipping business of which adds much to the reputed beauty of the place.

THIS SELECTION is nearly as old as the colony, and must have been obtained under very “SPECIAL FAVOUR ;” it is the point d’appui of the head land, and commands both -ways. A better or easier made place of defence for the harbour, or fortification, could not possibly be, and will have to become so yet, someday or other.

THE ALLOTMENTS (ALL BUT A FEW) for sale, commence at Mr. H. H. MacArthur’s residence and grounds; and sweep from thence all-round the beach of, and approaches to, Watson’s Bay, doubling Laing’s Point, curving the still more interesting fisherman’s home, Camp Cove, as far as the water police station, and here it ceases, finishing the most extraordinary termine retreat, where the “cliffs begin to rise,” on one side, and where the “rocks of coral grow” on the other. At the back of this estate, only a few minutes ‘walk, you find yourself at a most romantic opening of the range called the “GAP “which throws open the whole of the ocean at one view, as it were from your very feet! – Indeed; it is the pilot’s’ “look out'” for vessels.- Those who like water excursions, or picnic parties of pleasure; need not be reminded that this is the happy spot where many a “WATER SCENE “had been fixed upon as the only place where true “harmony’ has reigned.

THE LOCALITY is excellent indeed as to neighbourhood. There is nothing of ” the deserted village” of by-gone days, but everything contiguous (with respect to both security and society), is prospective of its becoming one of the most fashionable resorts of every family of taste and fashion in town. Those who may not have visited this enchanting and interesting MARINE SPOT are requested to take a boat and enjoy the sail down the harbour–it will well repay them; if not practicable to do so, that they will call at the Mart,King-street, and inspect the landscape attached to the plan, and they will be much gratified, and be completely unembarrassed in their judgment as to any sum they will go to in becoming the lucky purchasers of any part of it.  Note.*. It is lamentable that such a “decoration” of the “blue waves” of the harbour should have been unnoticed so long (gorgeous in description, as many have been portrayed with all their vivid colours).Sheltered from all the “cabo tormentoso” of dreadful gales–almost whisperless in the “echo of the storm’ – behold this place inhaling one uninterrupted succession of the gentle renovating seabreeze –such, then, as this “marine” recherehd place is, so is it offered now as a property to any individual who may be wise and prudent enough to buy it; a very little architectural skill; or ??? is required to finish that which Nature has already half done to one’s hands ‘Terms, very liberal, and will be made known at sale.


Saturday 1 April The Brig ” SKERNE ‘-This vessel left the Heads” on Thursday last, for Newcastle and Launceston, and alter being about five hours at sea, it falling calm, with a heavy easterly swell, she was set close into the shore, and-was placed in such a predicament that not the slightest hopes were entertained of saving her. The following is the official report from””” the Inspector of the Water Police Station at the Heads ” Water Police Station, Camp Cove, 30th March, 1813 At 7 30 AM, searched and cleared the brig Skerne, Shell, master, bound to Launceston via Newcastle, when she got under weigh and proceeded to sea, with a light breeze from the W S W , and stood off the land. At noon she passed the Heads, with an offing of about two miles and a half, with a light breeze from the S E ,and at 1 30 pm, the mate and one hand arrived at the Station in a small boat, with the brigs chronometer, &c, and requested that I would immediately render my assistance, as the brig Skerne was lying within five fathoms of the shore, to the northward of the North Head, and he was fearful by the time he reached the station she would be total wreck. I immediately ordered the mate to proceed on board the barque Amwell, then lying off Watson’s Bay, and obtain assistance from her, go on shore to the pilots, and afterwards to the Signal Station, at South Head, and report the circumstance.  During this interval, I proceeded with my force on board the Light Vessel and obtained the large boat and four hands, and at 2:30 PM, we were abreast of the brig, which I found with her starboard anchor down, close in to the shore, her larboard quarter not being- more than six feet from a large rock, her topsails and top-gallant sails lowered on the cap, and her ensign union down. The master and crew were in the long-boat, about a cable’s length from the brig, lying on their oars, with some chests, &c , in her , and from the master’s report, the crew refused to go alongside. I then requested the master to come into my boat, for the purpose of boarding her, and prepare a tow-line before the other boats came to our assistance, which was done. By this time the Amwell’s boat, with chief officer (Mr Forrest)and four hands, and Mr Moffatt, the pilot, with his crew, had arrived, and went onboard, rolled the sails up, passed a large warp out, which was made fast to the Light Vessels boat and having arranged the boats we commenced towing, the vessel shooting a head, the chain was unshackled (I believe at forty fathoms) and slipped; and after towing her sufficiently off shore, the canvas was set, and Mr. Moffatt, the pilot, took her up the harbour and anchored her off the owner’s wharf in Darling Harbour –


InspectorWater Police, Camp Cove


Friday 7th April


To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald. \Gentlemen,-A copy of your journal of the 3rd instant has this morning come to hand, containing an official report of Mr. Pilot Moflitt, respecting the brig Skerne, and from the incorrectness of it I feel it my duty to reply, you will therefore oblige me by inserting the few following remarks, &c, at your earliest convenience. In the first place, I beg leave to state that my report inserted in your journal of the 1stinstant was an official one, and as such was founded on the basis of truth, and not deviating in the slightest matter from the transactions as they occurred. Secondly,-I most positively deny having made use of the assertion reported by Mr. Moflitt, ” that nothing could be effected without a steam-vessel’;” but on the contrary, urged the necessity of making an attempt to tow the vessel with the boats, and if that did not succeed I would immediately despatch my boat, and have the necessary signal made. Thirdly,-With regard to my not having anything to do with arranging the boats for towing, I would call Mr. M.’s particular attention as to whose boat the hawser was first coiled in, and the reply made by him when asked by me if he intended to make it fast to that boat, to the best of my belief it ran thus,” No, let one of the Government boats take it, I am not going to tear my boat to pieces,. This is my private properly and cost me close on £100.”Fourthly,-What was done with the haw-ser? How and by whom were the boats arranged, and a strain got on the hawser previous to his boat leaving the vessel’s side to put the chief officer of the Amwell in his boat,-which was then the headmost one? What orders-were given by him to me when I took the hawser out of his boat?  These few remarks might have been of service to Mr. Moflitt if they had been placed before him previous to sending in his official report, and no doubt will at once convey to his memory that such is the truth. I feel myself warranted in replying to his  statement, and which, should have done ere this, had I been aware such an one was in existence, in order that he may be enabled for the future to contain himself to matters of fact. _

I remain, Gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,

A. H. AUSTIN, Inspector Water Police.

Water Police Station, Camp Cove,

6th April, 1843.Monday 10 April


To the Editors of the Sydney Morning Herald.

GENTLEMEN, – Mr Inspector Austin, having by his reply to my observations on his official letter, in reference to the Skerne, brig, expressed himself as desirous of settling the matter upon the “basis of truth”, I feel equally desirous of meeting him upon the same principle. In the first place, in Mr Austin’s original report, he states “that from the master’s report, the crew refused to go alongside,” to which I reply that the master informed me that the crew never refused in his hearing.  Secondly, – Mr Austin states, ‘ I then re-quested the master to come into my boat for the purpose of boarding her, and prepare a tow-line before the other boats came to our assistance, which was done;” any person reading this paragraph, would suppose that Mr Austin, or some of his force had boarded the brig along with the master ; but I argue that any seaman like Mr. Austin, must have known that the master could not do anything on board by himself, and the master stated to me that he would be upon his oath, that Mr. Austin was never on board the said brig until the time stated in my letter to the Port-master, namely, when the vessel was riding in safety.  And Mr Austin will remember that when he came on board the brig he informed me that he had been on board her before my arrival – so much upon the “basis of truth. “Thirdly, – In reply to Mr Austin’s subsequent communication in this day’s Herald, he states that he did not assert that ” nothing could be effected without a steam vessel; “but he does not state that the master proposed such a measure, and that he (Mr Austin) was concurring therein, but I state most positively that Mr. Austin was not only concurring in the measure, but expressed his opinion thereon in words. Fourthly, – Respecting Mr Austin’s query, as to whose boat the hawser was first coiled in? I reply that it was first coiled in my boat, and passed from thence to other boats -my boat being the only one alongside. Fifthly, – I remember well the reply I made when Mr Austin required the hawser to be made fast to my boat, I admit fully that I refused to allow it because my boat was light built, and all the accompanying boats were strong and heavy, except Mr Austin’s, and it is known to all seamen that the heaviest boat is put nearest to the ship in towing. Another reason that prevailed with me was, that my boat was private property, and I have to support myself and family by it, whereas if  Mr.Austin’s or other government boats had been stove in, their pay would still be going on; but I deny, in the most positive terms, ever having set the value of one hundred pounds upon my boat. But the best reason that his sign for not lumbering my boat, was, that in case of emergency a boat might be handy to take all hands off the brig in case of danger. I will ask Mr Austin how was it that after his having been three quarters of an hour off the vessel, before my arrival, he did not go onboard with his force, and furl sails, and unshackle the chain, and get all ready against the other boats came up, which had to be done after my arrival, and which was done by my orders? Why did not Mr. Austin do this? He must, as a seaman, been well aware of the imminent danger the vessel was then in, for had the breeze sprung up, which it did shortly after the vessel was in safety, nothing could have saved her from becoming a total wreck.  It is far from my wish to enter into a paper controversy, it being quite out of my element – fair play, justice, and truth, is all that I wish or desire. I remain your obedient servant,


April 7.[.We cannot insert any further communications upon this subject.-ESs.]

Monday 17 April


To Mr. Joseph Moffit, Pilot.

SIR,-I am surprised at your re-opening the controversy relative to the above vessel, after having expressed your dislike to launch upon an element you are unaccustomed to, and more especially, as in my last, I stated myself willing, in order to end all paper disputation, to meet you on fair ground.With respect to your wish to be furnished with a statement of the services rendered by me, I merely refer you to my official report, which contains the facts of the case. In using the expression in your letters, ” If it be necessary to call in the aid of a third party, ” you have evidently misread my letter by reciting the last word in the singular instead of the plural number, in which last tense I used if, and of course intended it to apply to witnesses. You seem anxious that the public should be aware of the services you rendered to the vessel, and express yourself perfectly satisfied with its opinion, and in the concluding paragraph of your letter, you state your desire ” to vindicate the service to which you belong” I must suggest to your mind whether, after I had despatched the mate of the above vessel to obtain the assistance of all the pilots, it would not have been your duty as well as have shown your disposition to render all assistance obtainable, if you had let him proceed on his mission to the other pilots who were on the beach instead of taking him off in your boat, thus preventing any further assistance being rendered should it have been required, knowing (as you have stated in your official report) the dangerous situation the vessel was in.

Yours, Sec, A. H. AUSTIN.


Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Thursday 14 January 1847, page 2


” sworn to no master, of no sect am I”


THE intelligence regarding the disturbed state of Spain, which we published yesterday, is highly important and has induced us to solicit the attention of the Colonial Government to the defenceless condition of Port Jackson. Should a war break out between France and Spain it is not improbable that England may be induced to take a part with one or other of those nations. For some years past the total absence of any fortification for the Harbour has been matter of complaint, and, in some degree, of apprehension on the part of the colonists. True, their expectations were raised for a time by the show of operations which were commenced upon Bradley’s Head, and also upon Pinchgut Island; but even these attempts, inefficient as they were pronounced to be by many scientific men, have been allowed to drop, and nothing has in fact been done to prevent the intrusion of vessels of war belonging to unfriendly powers.

We are aware that it may be urged that we are discussing a very delicate question in too public a manner ; but we feel it our duty no longer to abstain from urging the Executive Government to act decisively in the matter. There are obvious reasons why the Legislative Council should not be driven to take any proceedings which would make still more public the nakedness of our position. The question is peculiarly one for the GOVERNOR to deal with, and we are persuaded that any representation that Sir CHARLES FITZROY may make will be attended to.

During the last Session of the Council, we were glad to perceive that the subject was brought pointedly under the GOVERNOR’S notice by a question put to the COLONIAL SECRETARY by Mr. COWPER. On the 23rd October Mr. COWPER begged to ask the Colonial Secretary whether the authorities here had drawn the attention of the Home Government to the defenceless state of the harbour of Port Jackson, and whether intimation had been received of the intention of the Home Government to erect fortifications.

The COLONIAL SECRETARY, in reply to the question which had been put to him by the honorable member for Cumberland, begged to say, that the subject of the defences of the harbour had long attracted the attention of the Government, and it had been the intention of his present Excellency to make a representation upon it to the Home Government from private information, however, which had reached the colony, there was reason to believe that a sum of money had been placed upon the Parliamentary Estimates for the ensuing year, for the purpose of fortifying the harbour, and His Excellency had waited to have this report confirmed before making any representation to the home authorities.

As Parliament had closed its sittings before the last mail left England, ample time had been afforded for the Government to ascertain whether any vote was passed, as suggested by Mr. THOMSON and if no provision has been made for the service on the Parliamentary Estimates for 1847, we would earnestly request His Excellency the GOVERNOR to recommend that steps be taken for authorising the erection at the expense of the Home Government of such defences to the harbour as qualified persons may consider necessary.



The Rattlesnake has been-absent from Sydney since the 8th of May, last, and, in conjunction with the Bramble, has. been making some very important and valuable surveys about the vicinity of New Guinea. From this she proceeded to Moreton Bay, and, after remaining there a few days, resumed the voyage until reaching the easternmost end of the Louisiade Archipelago, near which, it was supposed that no certain passage existed ; but, after a minute survey, it was found that a channel, of forty miles breadth, from the land to seaward, extended to Cape Possession, on the south-east coast of New Guinea, and at which point Captain Blackwood’s survey terminated. There was also a good and clear passage inside Sud Est Island, at which was found a spacious harbour, with good anchorage, which was named by Captain Stanley the Coral Haven, in which they anchored on the 14th of June. The inner part of the reef was then surveyed, and intercourse was had frequently with the natives of the group, both on board and on shore, who were of a superior description, being well-proportioned and of an amicable disposition, bringing off in their canoes (which were of large dimensions, some measuring 55 feet in length) flax, arrowroot, yams in abundance, tortoiseshells, and all the varieties of tropical fruits, which they eagerly sought to barter with ; tomahawks, red cloth, &c, were offered, but the only article they seemed to prize was hoop iron, and that which was rusty pleased them best. The canoes were well built, and elaborately carved and coloured. Upon landing, the inhabitants were found residing in well-constructed houses, in a most comfortable manner, and in a cleanly state. From thence they proceeded to Bruinie Island, where they remained a fortnight, the natives behaving most friendly. Ranges of mountains were seen on the coast of New Guinea, from the Cul de Sac de l’Orangerie to Cape Possession, ranging in many parts to the height of Tenerife.

Having completed the survey, the expedition left the coast of New Guinea, the latter end of September, for Cape York, and arrived there on the 1st October, at which place the brig Sir John Byng arrived the following day from Sydney, with provisions, which having discharged, she left on the 17th October for Port Essington and Manila. Cape York is described as being a very eligible place for a military post, the surrounding country being well wooded and watered, and the natives most friendly.

Whilst lying there the watering party of the Rattlesnake brought off a white woman, and some of a native tribe who had come over from Prince of Wales Island to the main land. Upon coming on board, she could scarcely make it understood that she would wish to be retained from the natives, as she had almost forgotten the English language; but she has been brought up in the vessel, and, having again acquired her native tongue, states that her maiden name was Barbara Crawford, the daughter of a tinman, a Scotchman, residing in Sydney, who arrived in the John Barry, as an immigrant ; that she was married to a man named Thompson at Moreton Bay, which place she left with him and some other men, in a small cutter called the American, for Port Essington, at which place they intended settling, but were unfortunately castaway on Prince of Wales Island, when all but herself were drowned; that the natives behaved very humanely to her during the five years she was among them, but refused, until, the present occasion, to allow her to have any .communication with the several vessels passing.

At length, seeing the Rattlesnake anchored at Cape Yorke, she induced them to take her on board, saying she wished to shake hands with her countrymen. Captain Stanley rewarded the natives liberally with axes, knives, &c, as an inducement for them to behave similarly should another wreck happen. From her great information has been obtained relative to the manners and customs of the inhabitants of the islands in Torres Straits. The discovery of these channels through the Louisade Archipelago will considerably shorten the voyage from this to India, and from the description given of the fertility of the islands and of the coast of New Guinea also the strong inclination of the natives to trade, it will likely tend to send some of our colonial vessels among them to traffic ; but they should go well armed, as hostile intentions were often shown towards the Urambie when in shore among the reefs. The Bramble may he expected in a few days. A great quantity of curiosities obtained. S. M. Herald, Feb. 6.





Has received instruction to sell by public auction, at his Rooms, George-street,

ON MONDAY, THE 28TH AUGUST, At 12 o’clock,

ALL that parcel of Land, containing by admeasurement TWO ACRES AND A-HALF, more or less, situated in the parish of Alexandria, in the county of Cumberland aforesaid; bounded on the north by Laing’s farm, ten chains ; on the east by a line two chains fifty links to Siddon’s north-east corner; on the south by Siddon’s allotment ten chains, to high water mark at Watson’s Bay ; and on the west by that bay to Laing’s south-west corner, which said last mentioned parcel of land was conveyed unto and to the use of the said mortgagee, his heirs and assigns, by indenture of lease and release, the latter dated the 20th day of March, 1838, made between Thomas Watson and Hannah his wife, of the one part, end the said mortgagee of the other part.


Is approached by a handsome flight of steps, and is fronted by a handsome and extensive verandah, and contains –

Dining and drawing rooms, Two bed-rooms, Two attic bedrooms Closets and cellars

Kitchen and room over,

 In the rear is Large court yard, Four-stall stable Coach-house, Laundry and bake-house

Stores over ditto, Two servants’-rooms, School-room, 20 feet long

Three rooms out of school-room A capital pump, out-houses, &c.


offers one of the most charming retreats that can possibly be met with, and especially recommends itself as a SEA BATHING-HOTEL, SEA SIDE BOARDING-HOUSE OR MARINE VILLA.

It opens out upon the most beautiful views which our Harbour affords, commanding from its sheltered nook the whole of Watson’s Bay and the magnificent scenery in its immediate neighbourhood, whilst the village at its foot, and the constant passing and repassing of the shipping within a stone’s throw of the grounds, lends to the whole a life and a charm of no ordinary character.

ITS HEALTHFULNESS is a proverb, and two or three families combining for the purchase of this property as an occasional residence would find their outlay amply repaid by the benefits resulting from so delightful a change.

The communication is constant by water, and the distance by land is only a pleasant ride.

Terms very liberal at sale, or on application to the Auctioneer, who will also give cards to view. 


MR. MORT Will sell by public auction, at his KOOIUB, on SATURDAY, 26TH AUGUST,

At 12 o’clock,

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