Stephen Michael Barnett
Stephen Michael Barnett
157/3 Cashel Street
PREFACE TO THE 7th EDITION 2016 ONLINE
On February 11th 1990 a reunion for descendants of passengers who arrived on the "Java" which berthed at Glenelg on February 6th, 1840, was held in the gardens of Partridge House, Gardens at Glenelg. This had been organised by Neil Thomas - and the author the reunion exceeded expectations and attracted well with over 200 people attending.
The Reverend Arnold Hunt, also a descendant of a passenger, gave a thanksgiving prayer.
In 1991 the author was contacted by Mrs. Glenda Richards, who, while researching her husband's family history, had located my first edition at the Mortlock Library of South Australiana.
Glenda, had come into possession of a bible which she wished to show me …..The Richard's family Bible came into Glenda's hands in June 1991 and has provided much useful information for later editions of this work.
Glenda initially believed it to have been written by her great, great, great, grandfather(whatever) however on closer inspection/further investigation George Richards diary the likelihood is that it was indeed written by her (relative status needed here) William Richards. However, as the diary's authorship can not be proven with complete certainty, I will simply refer to it as the Richard's Diary. be more accurately called the William Richards diary or perhaps even more safely just called the Richards diary!
I had based my information for the authorship of the document from two sources, firstly that of the records of the Mortlock Library of South Australiana (MS D4718) and secondly that of the late archivist Colin Kerr in his chapter about the "Java" in his ("An Exelent Coliney, (sic) The Practical Idealists of 1836-1846) " (1968).
The family Bible gave us the following information, which I will briefly outline:
William Richards born 19/3/1796 in Cornwall married Esther Watts, born 1/2/1800.
They had the following issue:
Edward (died in Cornwall)
William Frederick born 18/1/1824 in Cornwall died 24/9/193 1893? at Gawler
Mary Louisa (died in Cornwall)
Alfred (died in Cornwall)
George born 13/3/1830 died 27/1/1917
Cyrus born 4/7/1835 died April 1901
Caroline born 8/]/ 1837?? Unknown month? died on voyage to South Australia Francis Watts born 16/61842 died 9/2/1866
Henry Michell born 1/6/1844 died about 1925 at Angaston.
It is therefore obvious from the dates that George at 9 was far too young to be the diarist and William Frederick would only have been 16 years of age.
I can only then agree with Glenda Richards that the probable author was William Richards senior. William Richards senior died in South Australia on the 17/6/1866 and his wife Esther died on 7/2/1876.
William Frederick Richards moved to Angaston where he had the occupation of tailor, joined the Police force on the first of January 1852 (a time of great movement out of the Police Force because of the rush to Victoria for gold), and he resigned in July 1858 and married on 8/8/1858. He spent the rest of his life in Gawler as a baker to 1892. A clipping held by the family indicates that William Frederick Richards was associated with another infamous South Australian ship-the Admella. He acted as organiser of the benefit evening held on September 13th, 1859 for victims of the shipwreck.
He died on the 24/9/1893.
The author also corresponded with Ms Norma Trangmar, great -granddaughter of James Trangmar and received a copy of a photograph of James in his uniform as a member of the Volunteer Artillery and additional information about James and his sister Mary Ann who according to her diary was friendly with Governor Gawler's wife and saw the first bread baked in the colony from wheat grown here. James had acquired land but this was sold when he followed his sister and her husband, George Godwin Crouch to Launceston and then to Portland.
I wish to thank these two women and also Neil Thomas with his support for the reunion and his ongoing interest and support with my research. I have made the decision with this edition to place the book online to be freely available to download. I am of course happy to receive any donations to defray costs to date and to provide the opportunity for more research!
I have spent much of my free time over the years working on this book after discovering the existence of a second diary from the "Java". I had known about the Richards' diary for a number of years, but it was the discovery of the Trangmar diary that led me to attempt this book. It would not have been possible without the encouragement of people like Joyce Lynn and Peter Trangmar, descendants of the Trangmar family who gave me valuable information; the assistance of staff at the Mortlock Library who gave assistance when it was needed, the co-operation of staff in the Public Records Office of the State Library and many, many others.
For permission to reproduce copyright material, thanks go to Dr.J.M.Tregenza for the use of copies of posters he photographed at the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro in 1975, Don Charlwood, Kevin Weldon Publishing (formerly Rigby’s) and Mrs. Margaret Goyder Kerr for use of material from her late husband's book, "An Exelent Coliney", David MacGregor in London for the use of his photograph of the "Java", Ronald Parsons, Time-Life International for material from "The EastIndiamen" and the Latrobe Collection, State Library Of Victoria for use of illustrations. Special thanks to Peter Staveley, R.N., (ret) who after making contact with me when he saw my article requesting help in the journal “Sea Breezes”, donated copies of his photographs of the JAVA, taken with his Kodak Brownie in July 1939, just before JAVA was towed to the breakers. Peter also kindly gave my wife and I a delightful stay in his home in Devon in 1996.
Thanks also to Ms. Leila Conigrave for permission to use a facsimile of a ticket with receipt held by her, originally the property of her ancestor, Benjamin Conigrave. Thanks go also to Doug Morrison of Lane Cove, N.S.W. who provided me with a copy of a diary by an ancestor of his, Henry Knight who sailed on another shipcalled "Java" to Port Jackson in 1853, and sadly lost two children on the voyage.
Because of my haste any errors are entirely my own, any omissions, my fault. If corrections of fact are indicated then I would like to be contacted as another edition could include these.
I would like to thank those friends and colleagues who put up with my enthusiasm after each new fact and find relating to the "Java" was made and relayed to them.
Finally thanks and love go friends and family for putting up with a man who spends much time on the telephone and in libraries and still has a family history or two to finish!
"That horried (sic) ship, the "Java"
The quote above, from the 'Richard's Diary', although misspelled would appear to be an apt description of this vessel, but dramatic, is a quote from a diary, Telling of a melancholy voyage to South Australia in an emigrant ship in 1839 this book]will show why a passenger would have cause to enter that comment in his diary. It is a true and sad tale.
After leaving London some days earlier, the Java commenced its onward journey to South Australia from Plymouth on DATE, arriving at Holdfast bay on February 6th 1840.
Approximately 500 passengers embarked however 30 men, women and children perished on the voyage with the greatest loss of life being among steerage class passengers. This is particularly true of the children.
Approximately 500 passengers embarked however 30 men, women and children perished on the voyage with the greatest loss of life being among steerage class passengers. This is particularly true of the children.
This is a true, sad tale of the emigrant ship, the "JAVA", which left Plymouth after leaving London, with approximately 500 passengers. It arrived at Holdfast Bay with 30 men, women and children having perished on the voyage. The greatest loss of life had been amongst the steerage passengers, particularly the children.However, the The deaths did not stop once the ship had arrived but by landfall we know that 26 children had died and that more died in ensuing days. In addition four adults had died including a Mr. Watson, a first-class passenger who had asked and paid for special care because of consumption and had been denied this.
The ship had been described to the prospective emigrants as that "fine first - class teak¬built ship, the "JAVA" and yet within days of its departure the London Press had cause to allude to it in an article entitled "Rascally condition of Emigrant ships", as " a large ship which left St. Katherine’s Dock... with upwards of 300 emigrants on board for South Australia, the sides of which were so rotten and decayed that the carpenters who were engaged in fitting her out declared that the planks would not retain a screw or nail." The newspaper the "Weekly Dispatch" went on to say that "if this ship should happen to be lost, which God forbid, we trust that certain parties will be called upon to take their trial for murder."
But it was not to be the ship that gave the passengers cause for problems, but the crew and the servant of the Colonial Commissioners, the Surgeon-Superintendent, Mr. Martin.
This story then, is an attempt to present the reader with the story of the voyage and enlarge upon an earlier essay by the late Colin Kerr, in a chapter "The Floating Coffin", published in his work "An Exelent Coliney"
My research was initially based on two diaries, one of which was written by William Richards, (possibly a cabin passenger, that is an emigrant who paid for a passage for himself and his family instead of registering for a free passage) and the other by James Trangmar a gentleman who we are lead to believe was associated with the owners of the ship.
The most striking thing about the diaries is that James (when quoting authors by name it isaccepted practice to use their surname i.e. Trangmar “Trangmar tells us that......etc) did not mention any of the deaths at sea nor the sickness that many suffered, save of course the usual malaise that usually strikes those at sea. James, in fact would seem to have taken an instant dislike to the Cornish emigrants, for he wrote in his diary on the very day that the "JAVA" set sail:
"October 28th... more disturbances amongst us. I begin to have a very bad opinion of our Plymouth Emigrants, the greater part of them are Cornish people, and many of them are miners, they are a very uncouth and dissatisfied lot of people."
William Richards does not make any such comment about his fellow passengers although he did write, "the supposed ladies in the cuddy (explanation reqd? Small cabin on a boat) discovered to be bad characters." George was to however chronicle the very sad litany of deaths, of children in particular.
It is the large number of deaths that prompted the author to bring to light as much as he could discover about the "JAVA"; in doing so I hope that we remember that our ancestors suffered greatly in many cases, to provide a new opportunity for their families, and that in some small way, we acknowledge the voyage of the "JAVA" to South Australia.
The Ship "JAVA"
The "JAVA" was built in the Calcutta Dockyards in 1811 and was launched from the yard of Blackmore and Company of Howrah, She was quite a large ship (compared to other emigrant ships that came to South Australia), of 1175 tons and 159 feet, 2 inches long, by 40 feet, 6 inches wide with 6 feet, 1 inch between the decks, built in the style of the ships of the East India Company.
David MacGregor, in "Merchant Sailing Ships 1775-1815", said that she "was licenced to trade to India... and must have been one of the largest merchantmen afloat that was not chartered by the East India Co."
David MacGregor, in "Merchant Sailing Ships 1775-1815", said that she "was licenced to trade to India... and must have been one of the largest merchantmen afloat that was not chartered by the East India Co."
There does seem to be conflicting information concerning this relationship with the East India Company. Clarence Winchester in "Shipping Wonders of the World" published in 1938 said of the "JAVA" that "she was one of the beautifully made teak ships ... launched in 1811, during the Napoleonic wars.
At that time the Navigation Acts treated India as a foreign country, and ships built there could not be given British Registry, or trade with the mother country without special permission. But the French privateers were taking such a toll of British shipping that the authorities were grateful for anything that would float.
In 1813 the JAVA was admitted to British registry in the service of the East India Company. She had an unusually long active life for an East Indiaman, remaining on this service until 1827."
This is clearly in conflict with McGregor; somewhere between the two authors must be the true situation- I believe that it was in fact an East Indiaman.
In his definitive work “Ships of the East India Company” published posthumously by the
World Ship Society, the late Rowan Hackman clearly places Java as being one of the East
India Company ships. He provides us with significant detail In Part 2 Section1 Major Ships
of the United Company 1708-1834 including the launch date of Tuesday , December 17th
He stated she was launched by Anthony Blackmore ,Calcutta for Paxton & Co., London and
Calcutta . Her first master was Captain Thomas Driver. From 1811 to 1825 she sailed in the
Indian coastal trade and from 26/7/1825-15/3/1827 she sailed between Bengal and China.
She then left the East India Company and from 1827 to 1866 traded between London and
India, the Far East and Australia. He also provided the date on which the Java was sunk by Italian limpet mines this was Friday, September 20th 1940. He states also that she was the only East Indiaman employed by the Company to have survived until the Second World War.
The "JAVA", whilst having the title of East Indiaman was perhaps better known as what has been called a "country ship". This was the name given to ships that traded between the ports of the East.
In an essay, "Extraordinary ships in an exotic commerce", in "The East Indiamen", (in The Seafarers series), by the editors of Time-Life Books, a very good description is given of the construction of the "country ships" which I cannot better for an insight into how the "JAVA" would have been constructed.
I quote: You open quotes here but I can't see where the quotes finish. "Country ships were custom-built in Indian shipyards to resemble the mighty English Indiamen that eastern pirates had learned to fear, but they were in many ways superior to their European look-a-likes. Their hull was cut from Malabar teak, a strong, oily, almost knotless wood that often lasted a century without rotting. Each plank was rabbetted into its neighbour so tightly that calking was unnecessary. Instead an iron-hard resinous glue was laid between the planks, giving the finished hull the appearance of being cut from one solid piece of wood. Below the waterline, the hull was smeared with a remarkable compound of fish oil and lime that both repelled wood devouring teredo worms and prevented the accumulation of layers of mossy sea flora that clung to the copper plating used on British vessels.
The country ships were rigged with rot-resistant rope turned from the fibers of coconut shells, and they carried sails cut from Bombay canvas - a coarse, golden hued material akin to dungaree. Many of the lighter booms and spars were made of bamboo. These colorful touches blended with banks of hand carved gilded molding to make the country traders as beautiful as they were seaworthy. One Englishman, witnessing a flotilla of country ships setting off on a voyage ... was moved to exclaim,
"Behold the finest fleet of merchant shipping in the world."
In an article "An old East Indiamen-The JAVA" by H. Fildes) the author quotes from Lieutenant W.H. Coates, R.N.R., in "The Good Old Days of Shipping" that " consistencyneeded here either single or double quotation marks...'JAVA" carried 30 guns, 12 on the upper deck and 12 on the main. The guns were not for show for at the time the ship was built, Britain was at war with France and such fine and valuable merchant ships when voyaging to and from England were liable to attack molestation from enemy frigates.
Unless they were beaten off in what was often as not a sanguinary fight, there was every chance of capture and duress in a French prison, of crew and passengers."
Coates, again in his "The Good Old Days of Shipping" records what Fildes called "a romantic and interesting anecdote", another unnamed writer said, "had the sound of a fairy tale." The story, as told by Coates is said to have been related by a French Naval captain and was the story of how the "JAVA" came to be built.
"A girl of birth and position was so circumstanced that she was carried off by savage islanders, and a British naval party, landing to effect her rescue, found her taking refuge in a bush and bereft of her clothes. As the party approached she covered the upper part of her body with her hands. Her father, allegedly a Governor, showed his gratitude for her restoration to him by building and equipping the "JAVA", providing her with a figure-head of the nude bust of a woman with her hands crossed over her breast, and gave the vessel to the gallant naval officer, the rescuer of his daughter."
Fildes states that " in 1816 the "JAVA", was owned by Parton and Company, and was in the service of the East India Company, but following the extinction of John Company's commercial monopoly in 1834 she was owned by Mr. Joseph Somes, M.P. Somes was a ship owner of fame, in fact he was a member of the East India Company, he and is said to have to have been one of the leading British ship owners of the period, his fleet encompassing most trades from the East Indiaman to the South Sea whaler and Australian convict transport.
For several years the British Government chartered the "JAVA”, besides several other of Somes' ships, as a transport for troops and ordnance at the rate of seventeen shillings and eleven pence per month, per ton."
"JAVA" also sailed to North America, the West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand as well as ports closer to England.
Migration to South Australia
For an insight into the migration of Cornish migrants, I can recommend the chapter, "The Great Migration", in Philip J. Payton's "The Cornish Miner in Australia---Cousin Jack Down Under".
Payton tells us that there was a concerted campaign of to encourage migration, in Cornwall in the late 1830's and 1840. Meetings were held in the largest Cornish towns such as Truro and Bodmin, with lecturers explaining the benefits of emigration and enthusing over the supposed magnificence of South Australia. We have available to see, examples of the posters used by one of the local agents, Isaac Latimer, who was actually a reporter for the Cornish newspaper, "West Briton" are still currently available for viewing .
Daryl Adair, in an academic paper: “Respectable, Sober, and Industrious? Attitudes to
Alcohol in Early Colonial Adelaide.'” provides us with an insight into the use of public house (pubs) as a means of promoting emigration
“Like temperance campaigners, the Colonisation Commissioners in Britain
demanded sobriety and frugality from prospective settlers to South Australia.
Indeed, the application certificate for assisted passage had to be countersigned
by two 'respectable householders', this confirming the 'general good character'
of intending emigrants. Part of the certificate read: 'N.B. This is not to be
signed by Publicans or Dealers in Beer or Spirits.’
This requirement should not surprise us since it conformed to the rhetoric of sobriety
demanded by the commissioners.
But the stipulation was ironic, for emigration agents often lectured in British public houses
about the requirements for assisted passage to South Australia - despite critics' claims that
such places promoted insobriety, improvidence, and indolence.
However, this approach to recruiting emigrants was essentially pragmatic. The pub, after
all, was where labouring people could be expected to gather routinely. Indeed, the lectures
were said to be 'particularly intended for the instruction and benefit of the working classes
What was more, emigration agents used the pub lectures to remind prospective emigrants of
the need for sobriety.
For example, one lecturer, Isaac Latimer, emphasised that 'applicants must be able to obtain a good
character as honest, sober, industrious men. They must be real labourers going out to
work in the Colony, of sound mind and body'." [This lecturer was Isaac Latimer]
As mentioned previously, publicans were deemed to be unsuitable character referees - as
purveyors of alcohol to potential emigrants they were thought to be in no position to
judge the sobriety and honesty of such people. The irony is that publicans
were probably in a very good position to make such assessments." Again, unsure as to where this quote starts and finishes...if it is not a quote, perhaps you need to briefly explain why you feel publicans in a very good position to make such assessments. Because they know who their regular drinkers were ?
Finally, the emigration lectures were also significant because of their focus on the
conduct of male labourers. This can be explained in two ways. First, the
physical labour and trade skills of emigrant males were <at the time) ascribed
greater social importance than female labour, such as domestic service.
Second, it was more common for working-class males, rather than females,
to be regular drinkers in public houses.” Labour History. Number 70 • May 1996 pp 131-154
As an agent, Isaac Latimer was appointed to select suitable migrants and arrange for the sale of South Australian land to intending Colonists. He held public meetings throughout his area and published informative posters inviting would-be migrants to call at his offices to be interviewed. Free passages were awarded to those applicants who had suitably impressed the agents and were otherwise qualified to go to South Australia.
This article was published in Latimer’s paper:
EMIGRANTS TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 1839
MR. I. LATIMER has recently been appointed by the Colonization Commissioners for South
Australia, Special AGENT for the SALE OF LAND in the rising and important Colony of SOUTH AUSTRALIA, and for conducting the EMIGRATION of LABORERS desirous of going to that flourishing and healthy country.
The necessary limits of an advertisement barely admit of more than a mere statement of a few of the advantages connected with Emigration to South Australia. The great number of settlers that have already gone out have laid the foundation of a colony, which from the fertility of the soil, its freedom from immense forests that require their clearance, incessant, and, at the commencement, unrequited labor – the salubrity of the climate – and the wise precautions taken by the commissioners to ensure an abundance of laborers to meet the demands of the many respectable Capitalists that have taken up their residence in the country – all promise not only the formation of a permanent, but of a highly flourishing community. The many evils necessarily generated under the old system of Colonial
misjudgement will be avoided by the wise and judicious plans pursued by the promoters of the Colonization of South Australia, to whose excellent management almost every emigrant, whether capitalist, artisan, or laborer, has borne his unqualified testimony.
The emigrants to South Australia will not come in contact with the mass of iniquity that prevails in the other Australian Colonies, as no convicts are permitted to be sent to this part of Her Majesty’s dominion. Those who know anything about the corrupt state of society in our penal settlements will at once see the excellence of this arrangement, as the morals of the emigrants and of their children will not be liable to receive that taint and corruption which it is impossible to avoid where they constantly associate with persons who have been transported for the most heinous offences. The Colony too is not liable to failure, as the commissioners provide that all land shall be sold at a fixed sum per Acre,
and the proceeds of every such sale are devoted to the conveyance of labourers free of expense, on certain conditions, some of which are stated below. Mr. Latimer is ready to negotiate sales of land at a uniform price of GBP4 per Acres, in sections of 80 acres each. The parties making such purchases are allowed the privilege of selecting servants and laborers for a Free Passage, at the rate of one person for every GBP 20 expended in land, conformably to the rules of the Commissioners.
With respect to laborers wishing to emigrate the following are the regulations –
1. The Act of Parliament declares that the whole of the funds arising from the sale of lands, and the rent of pasture, shall form an Emigration Fund, to be employed in affording a free passage to the Colony from Great Britain and Ireland for poorer persons; “provided that they shall, as far as possible, be adult persons of both sexes in equal proportions, and not exceeding the age of 30 years.”
2. With a view to carrying this provision into effect, the Commissioners offer a free passage to the Colony (including provisions and medical attendance during the voyage) to persons of the following description:
3. Agricultural laborers, Shepherds, Bakers, Blacksmiths, Braziers, and Tinmen, Smiths,
Shipwrights, Boat-builders, Butchers, Wheelwrights, Sawyers, Cabinetmakers, Coopers,
Curriers, Farriers, Millwrights, Harness-makers, Lime-burners, and all persons engaged in the
erection of buildings.
4. Persons engaged in the above occupations, who may apply for a free passage to South
Australia, must be able to give satisfactory references to show that they are honest, sober,
industrious, and of general good character.
5. They must be real laborers, going out to work for wages in the colony, of sound mind and
body, not less than 15, nor more than 30 years of age, and married. The Marriage Certificate
must be produced. The rule as to age is occasionally departed from in favour of the parents of
6. To the wives of such laborers as are then sent out, the Commissioners offer a free passage
with their husbands.
7. To single women a free passage will be granted, provided they go out under the protection of their parents, or near relatives, or under actual engagement as servants to ladies going as cabinpassengers on board the same vessel. The preference will be give to those accustomed to farm and dairy work, to seamstresses, strawplatters, and domestic servants.
8. The children of parents sent out by the Commissioners will receive a free passage, if they are under one, or fall 15 years of age at the time of embarkation. For all other children GBP 5
each must be paid before embarkation by their parents or friends, or by the Parish. It will be
useless to apply for a relaxation of this rule.
9. Persons who are ineligible to be conveyed out by the Emigration Fund, if not disqualified on account of character, will be allowed to accompany the free Emigrants on paying to the
commissioners the bare contract price of passage, which is usually between GBP 15 and 17
for each adult person. The charges for children are as follows: under one year of age, no
charge; one year of age but under seven, one-third of the charge for adults; seven years of age
and under fourteen, one-half the charge for adults. A passage intermediate between a cabin
and steerage passage may also be obtained of the Commissioners at a cost exceeding that of
the steerage passage by one-half. Each intermediate passenger is entitled to half a cabin with
some slight comforts in addition to those enjoyed by the steerage passengers.
10. All Emigrants, adults as well as children, must have been vaccinated.
11. Emigrants will, for the most part, embark at the Port of London, but if any considerable
number should offer themselves in the neighbourhood of any port of Great Britain or Ireland,
arrangement will, if possible, be made for their embarkation at such port.
12. The expense of reaching the port of embarkation must be borne by the emigrants, but on the day appointed for their embarkation, they will be received, even though the departure of the ship should be delayed, and will be put to no further expense.
13. Every adult Emigrant is allowed to take half-a-ton weight or twenty measured cubic feet of baggage. Extra baggage is liable to charge at the rate of GBP 2.10s the ton.
14. The Emigrants must provide the bedding for themselves and children, and the necessary tools of their own trades; the other articles most useful for emigrants to take with them, are strong plain clothing, or the materials for making clothes upon the passage. In providing clothing, it should be remembered that the usual length of the voyage is about four months.
15. On the arrival of the Emigrants in the colony, they will be received by an Officer, who willsupply their immediate wants, assist them in reaching the place of their destination, be ready to advise with them in case of difficulty, and at all times give them employment at reduced wages on the Government works, if from any cause they should be unable to obtain it elsewhere. The Emigrants will, however, be at perfect liberty to engage themselves to any one willing to employ them, and will make their own bargain for wages. This arrangement, while it leaves the Emigrant free to act as he may think right, manifestly renders it impossible for the Commissioners to give any exact information as to the amount of wages to be obtained; they can merely state that hitherto wages have been very much higher than in England.
Mr. Latimer will readily furnish any other information that may be required by persons desirous of emigrating whether as free or cabin passengers; but all communication to him on this subject must be
ROSEWYN, Truro, February 27, 1839
Source: West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser.
This document whilst detailed, will give readers and appreciation of what was involved:
"APPENDIX No 4 to the First Annual Report of the Colonization Commissioners of South Australia to His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1836 Items 37 - 57".
37. Regulations for the Selection of Emigrant Labourers.- The Act of Parliament declares that the whole of the funds arising from the sale of land and the rent of pasturage shall form an emigration fund, to be employed in affording a free passage to the colony from Great Britain and Ireland for poor persons, "provided that they shall, as far as possible, be adult persons of two sexes, in equal proportions, and not exceeding the age of thirty years.
38. With the view to carrying this provision into effect the commissioners offer a free passage to the new colony including provisions and every expense on the voyage, to persons of the following description.
39. They must be honest, sober, industrious, and of general good character.
40. They must be able-bodied, of sane mind, and not less than 15 nor more than 30 years of age.
Superior artisans, excellent agricultural labourers, or other very desirable emigrants will however occasionally be accepted, though their age may be somewhat more advanced.
41. Emigrants who are married will be preferred, but the unmarried will not be rejected.
42. They must be bona fide labourers going out to work for wages in the colony; as, for instance,
agriculturists, artisans, domestic servants and sailors or fishermen employed in the fisheries or coastal trade of the colony; and until the number of labourers required shall have been correctly ascertained by experience, it is commended that emigrant labourers should be hired by some capitalist for at least one year from their arrival in the colony, at such wages as they and their employer may agree upon.
Assistance in obtaining a hiring will be given at the office to approved emigrants.
43. The wives of labourers, if of the proper age, will receive a free passage.
44. Parents going out at their own cost to occupy land or engage in business may obtain a free passage for their children and other dependants, provided that such children or other dependants go out as bone fide labourers, to work for their parents or others, and that they conform in age and every other particular to the rules here laid down.
45. The occupations of persons receiving a free passage must be of the more common and useful kind.
Agricultural labourers of almost every description will be wanted, as well as bakers, basket-makers, braziers and tinmen, smiths, shipwrights, boat-builders, butchers, wheelwrights, sawyers, cabinetmakers, coopers, curriers, farriers, millwrights, harness-makers, boot and shoemakers, tailors, tanners, brickmakers, limeburners, all persons employed in the erection of buildings, sailors.
46. In the selection of women a preference will be given to those accustomed to farm and dairy work, to sempstresses, strawplaiters and domestic servants.
47. Persons who are ineligible to be conveyed out by the emigration fund may, unless disqualified on account of character, accompany the free emigrants, on payment of the passage money which for a grown- up person is about 15/-. The charges made by the owners of ships for the passage of children vary, but the following may be taken as an average:
Under two years of age no charge
Two, and under six 5/-
Six years of age 6/-
Seven years of age 7/-
and so on to fifteen, for which the charge is 15/-, the same as for a grown up person.
48. The commissioners will leave parents to make their own bargains with the owners for carrying out
the children, or they will give the children a passage on the following terms:
Under two years of age no charge
Two, and under 15 5/-
Those who are 15 may obtain a free passage.
49. The 5/- must be paid by the parents or the friends, or by the parish; the commissioners cannot in any way become responsible for it.
50. An applicant for a free passage must fill up the annexed form, and transmit it, properly attested, to the secretary. Should the commissioners accede to the application, due notice will be given of the time and place of embarkation.
51. Emigrants will, for the most part, embark at the Port of London, but if any considerable number should offer themselves in the neighbourhood of any other port of Great Britain or Ireland, arrangements will, if possible, be made for their embarking at such port.
52. The expense of reaching the vessel must be borne by the emigrant, but on the appointed day he will be received on board the ship, even though the departure should be delayed, and will be put to no further cost.
53. On the arrival of the emigrants in the colony they will be received by an officer, who will supply their immediate wants, assist them in reaching the place of their destination, be ready to advise them in case of difficulty, and at all times give them employment, at reduced wages, on the government works, if from any cause they should be unable to gain it elsewhere.
54. Purchases of land in this country will be allowed the privilege of selecting servants and labourers for a free passage, at the rate of one person for every 16/- expended in the land, provided that the selection is made within a reasonable time, that it is in conformity with the existing regulations for the selection of emigrant labourers, and there is at the time a want of labour in the colony.
55. After the completion of the sales in this country, the same privilege to be allowed to anyone who should invest money in the hands of the commissioners, to be employed in the purchase of land on his arrival in the colony.
56. Any emigrant capitalist or any party who may be desirous of fitting out a vessel for the colony from any port of Great Britain or Ireland will be allowed to carry out, at the charge of the commissioners, any approved emigrants who may offer themselves in the neighbourhood of such ports, provided that the arrangements for securing the comforts and safety of the emigrants on their passage are approved of by the commissioners, and that the charge per head does not exceed that for emigrants leaving the port of London. The same allowance to be made for any crew of the vessel who are of the proper description of emigrants, provided that they go out as colonists to engage in the coasting trade or fisheries, and that satisfactory security can be given for their continuing such for at least three years; provided also that their families, if any, shall be resident in the colony.
57. On the arrival of the emigrant labourers in the colony they will be at perfect liberty to work for anyone willing to employ them, unless hired in this country, and will make their own bargain for wages. This arrangement, while it leaves the emigrant free to act as he may think right, manifestly renders it impossible for the commissioners to give any exact information as to the amount of wages to be obtained; they can merely state that in all new colonies, particularly in the neighbouring settlements of New South Wales and Van Dieman’s Land, wages are much higher than in England’ and that they shall endeavour so to apportion the supply of labour to demand as to conduce in the higher degree to the advantage of both the capitalist and the labourer.
By order of the Board, (signed)
Rowland Hill, Secretary, 6 Adelphi Terrace, 15 Feb. 1836
As a result of such activity, between 1836 and 1840 some 941 applications for free passage were
made. Some 500 of these applicants were actually accepted which represented a much greater
number, as whole families were often included in a single application.
It was in response to one such campaign organised by Latimer that many were encouraged to applyfor passage on the "JAVA".This item appeared in the Cornish newspaper, the West Briton in late 1839. Latimer in fact wrote for the newspaper as well as acting as an emigration agent
“SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EMIGRATION - Mr. Latimer of Truro, has lately sent away above one hundred emigrants for South Australia, by the "Java" and "Orissa," all of whom, when they were last seen in Plymouth, were in high spirits, and expressed the greatest gratification at the liberal manner in which they were treated. Among those who have left is Mr. Burnard, of Truro, whose splendid portrait of Penhallow Peters, Esq., was exhibited at the Polytechnic Hall and obtained a prize of GBP
5. Mr. Sawle will also leave this week, and will carry with him the good wishes of all his townsmen, for no man is more respected. On Thursday last the whole of the emigrants then in Plymouth, were assembled at the School-room, in Vauxhall-street, and addressed by the Rev. Mr. Nicholson, in a very admirable discourse, and also by the Rev. Mr. Hine, of Batten-street. The church clergymen, who also generally address the emigrants, were on this occasion unavoidably absent at a public meeting of their
"JAVA" leaves London.
A card announcing the sailing of the "JAVA" is still in the hands of descendants in Adelaide, of a family that purchased cabin accommodation the card reads as shown here:
For South Australia and under an engagement with Her Majesty's Colonization Commissioners To sail positively on 1/10/1839, (Calling at Plymouth to embark passengers on 16th October,) The fine first class teak-built ship Java, Burthen 1200 tons Alexander Duthie Commander Lying in the East India Dock. This ship's accommodations are unusually spacious and lofty and are so arranged as to ensure the comfort of the Cabin and Intermediate passengers. She will carry an experienced surgeon and assistant. For freight or passage apply to R.Scott Fairlie & Co, 37,Great Winchester Street; to
John Pirie & Co., 3, Freeman's Court, Cornhill; to Ritherdon and Carr, 13, Bishopsgate Street within; or to Lachlan, Sons and MacLeod, 22 Great Alie Street, Goodman's Fields; or Lloyd's.
Benjamin Conigrave purchased a passage for himself and his wife Matilda and two children, on 16th September 1839.
On 16th September 1839 Benjamin Conigrave purchased a passage for himself, his wife Matilda and two children.
The reverse of the card announcing the sailing date of the "JAVA", has the following information: “Mr. Conigrave has taken an Intermediate Cabin No. 25 (if -it is not engaged) for himself, wife and infant child 16 months, for 77 pounds and has this day paid out 25 pounds on account. Lachlan, Sons, 16/9/1839.'
The sailing of the "JAVA" from St. Katherine’s Dock was not without controversy for an article appeared in the Weekly Dispatch" on November 3rd 1839 and later printed about the time the "JAVA" arrived in Adelaide, in which, as I have indicated in my preface, it was said that the carpenters who were engaged in fitting her out, declared that the planks would not retain a screw or nail. Whilst the article may not in truth be referring to the "JAVA", I have included reference to it as a guide to the problems facing the emigrants of the time.
The article referred to the fact that " in fitting up emigration ships, due regard is always had to external appearances; make the vessel pleasing to the eye, and the principle is accomplished. A coat of paint or varnish, like charity, often covers a multitude of faults in the shape of worm-eaten holes and other casualties. It is true that persons are appointed by the Government to inspect these ships, and report on their sea-worthiness; but unfortunately, those individuals are too apt to be deceived by their eyesight, and neglect to examine a vessel minutely. They go on board and find everything apparently fresh and new, and conclude the ship is all right, whereas, in many instances, if they would only take the trouble to raise a plank or two, and thrust a knife into the sides of the vessel, they would find the wood crumble to pieces like touchwood.”
These criticisms whilst being general in nature were probably a bit harsh in the case of the "JAVA" as she could hardly have been as rotten as she is alleged to have been, as she still managed to be afloat in Gibraltar in 1939! However the next point of comment by the journalist from the "Weekly Dispatch" had much more significance for the passengers of the "JAVA".
"The provisions doled out to the emigrants are too often of the most inferior quality; but if the ship is once at sea complaints are useless--it is Hobson's choice--that or none. A few weeks since there was a disturbance on board one of the emigrant ships bound to New Zealand, off Gravesend. The beef was so bad that the passengers declared that they could not eat it, and made their dinners off bread and butter" [and this before they had left the shores of England!], "the captain was appealed to and he said he could not remedy the evil; the deluded emigrants threatened an appeal to the Mayor and Police of Gravesend, on which the commander immediately got the ship under weigh and set sail."
The very next criticism was also sadly true of many ships, although again not necessarily so with the "JAVA', for the unnamed journalist went on to say: "The emigrant ships are often overcrowded and proper ventilation is not secured below: the consequence of this is that on reaching certain latitudes fever breaks out, and the mortality, particularly among the children is dreadful." That article concluded with a plea to the Government, who the paper said, "were extremely culpable in allowing things to go on in their present state".
The final quote is included for its pithiness:
"Our modern statesmen can legislate touching the enormity of a dustman ringing his bell in the street, and the appalling wickedness of a man slaking his thirst after twelve o'clock on Saturday night; but where there is wholesale traffic in human life, as there is with those connected with emigration ships, they are quite silent on the subject".
What were the conditions like for those unfortunate enough to be travelling in steerage? Basil Lubbock, a maritime historian of some note quoted an extract from a Parliamentary Report of 1844 in his 1924 work,” The Colonial Clippers" (Glasgow, James Brown and Son) which I will use as a guide to what the situation was like: ¬
"It was scarcely possible to induce the passengers to sweep the decks after their meals or to be decent in respect to the common wants of nature; in many cases, in bad weather, they would not go on deck, their health suffered so much that their strength was gone, and they had not the power to help themselves. Hence the between decks were like a loathsome dungeon. When hatchways were opened, under which the people were stowed, the steam rose and the stench was like that from a pen of pigs.
The few beds that they had were in a dreadful state, for the straw, once wet with sea water, soon rotted, besides which they used the between decks for all sorts of filthy purposes. Whenever vessels put back from distress, all these miseries and sufferings were exhibited in the most aggravated form.
In one case it appeared that, the vessel having experienced rough weather, the people were unable to go on deck and cook their provisions: the strongest maintained the upper hand over the weakest: and it was even said that there were women who died of starvation. At that time the passengers were expected to cook for themselves and from their being unable to do this the greatest suffering arose. It was naturally at the commencement of the voyage that this system produced its worst effects, for the first days were those in which the people suffered most from sea-sickness and under the prostration of body thereby induced were wholly incapacitated from cooking. Thus though provisions might be
abundant enough, the passengers would be half starved."
A later author, Don Charlwood in his " The Long Farewell- Settlers under Sail" (Melbourne, Allen Lane, 1981, p I), told us "Of those who set of, it is ironic that those condemned to transportation as convicts had best prospect of coming safely through. Fearful though their treatment often was - especially in the earliest years - losses among them through illness at sea averaged less than four per voyage. On an emigrant ship a surgeon would not have considered it untoward had losses run to five times this number"
It was certainly the case that the "JAVA" steerage passengers suffered from overcrowding and a lack of decent food, but more of that later.
Two passengers on the voyage have left us with very different diaries of the voyage. The first of these passengers was James Trangmar who appears to have had connections with the shipbuilding trade. He tells us in his diary that he boarded on October 12th 1839, the "JAVA" weighed anchor and was towed down the Thames by a steam tug, to Gravesend, then sailed to the Downs where the anchor was dropped for the night. On the next morning the ship got under weigh and five days later, on the 18th of October, arrived at Plymouth to take on the Cornish Emigrants. Consistency needed here October 12th 1839, 18thof October
At this point, on the 4th day of the "JAVA" being in Plymouth, the Cornish emigrants came on board, Trangmar commenting, "there has already been some terrible rows amongst them which looks rather bad for a beginning".
We presume that William Richards embarked with his family at this point.
On October the 28th, James Trangmar had the following entry in his diary:
" Hurrah! This morning the Blue Peter is hoisted at the masthead which is the signal for sailing, the sailors call it the Salt Horse Flag. More disturbances amongst us. I begin to have a bad opinion of our Plymouth Emigrants, the greatest part of them are Cornish people, and many of them are miners, they are a very uncouth and dissatisfied lot of people. At 5 o'clock we are once more underway with a fine breeze. Passed the Edystone light and standing well out to sea."
According to William Richards, the "JAVA" passed the Scilly Isles, 40 miles West, on the 29th.
William next wrote in his diary on the 31 st October, when he noted:
"Becalmed 1 1/2 days - very warm, rudderband gave way 10 at night, had dancing all the evening on the quarter deck."
James also wrote in his diary on the same day:
"Strong and heavy swell on the skirts of the Bay of Biscay - the ship rolling very much, tinware and crockery are rolling about in all directions, belonging to those who embarked at Plymouth – the emigrants who came from London are more fortunate, having had some experience in coming down channel"
The weather changes were something to note,
November 2nd N.E. Fresh gale, driving us on in style, all recovered from the sickness.
November 3rd. Strong gale all night driving before the wind".
November 4th. Fine weather, heavy sea, little wind (child died), an owl lighted in the rigging, starlings, larks and bluebirds caught.
November 5th. S.W. breeze, 10 degrees hotter than last Sunday.
November 6th. Fine thermometer 2 degrees below summer heat.
November 7th. Coats, neck cloth and stockings off."
The next day James has a detailed entry as compared to George, when the former
In the afternoon, a heavy squall struck us from the N.W. while off the Western Islands; the effect of the wind upon the sea was wonderful, the waves seeming to rise in size as if by magic.
Our foretop mast stun sail was blown from the bolt rope and the boom came tumbling down about our ears, broken in two.
William noted simply on this day:
"Rain, stormy petrel showed an approaching storm."
On the next day, William noted:
"Vivid lightening (squalls) heavy sea, ship labouring a good deal, lost our breakfast 2 mornings, teapot and cups rolled off the table."
On this next day which was the 9th November, James' entry was also noting bad weather but with a good deal more colourful description:
"Still bad weather. It blew almost a gale in the night and today we are under closed reefed topsails. A laughable scene occurred on deck this morning --- a man whose wife had been sick during the night, came on deck to empty the tin chamber into which she had cast up her accompts, and instead of going to leeward with it, he brought it to one of the ports to windward --- the wind being very stiff at the time it blew the whole of the contents back into his face making him spit and splutter all over the place --- every time the man makes his appearance on deck, he has shown the wry faces he made at his breakfast. I saw some beautiful little fishes floating by the side of the ship, called Portuguese man
of war, they appear to resemble the nautilus fish very much."
On the 10th, William noted that the weather was fine and that the ship passed Madeira.
On the 11th, his diary noted "Passed the Canary Islands, caught the trade winds, child died with whooping cough---very warm."
This simple recording of a second child's death was sadly to be one of many over the next week and it is very interesting over this time to compare the entries of the two very distinctively different diaries.
James made another observation about the Cornish on the 12th of November:
"The Cornish people are as bad as ever --- they are continually quarrelling, are dissatisfied with everything and are constantly making the most frivolous complaint to our Captain and Doctor---we also find that our ship's company are no better than they should be--¬two have already been put on irons for insubordination, and I am afraid more will follow."
I will next quote from William's diary when he consolidated comments for the period 12th to 21st of November.
"N.E. trades, nothing particular occurred except Dr. Ward's child died, (woman confined) --- twins died --- child died. Passed the island St. Antonia."
If William thought that nothing in particular had occurred even though 4 children had died, then James was of a similar mind when he noted in his diary on his next day of record, November 18th:
"Nothing of interest has occurred, till this morning, since the last date. We have had very fine weather, but the trade winds are very light, sometimes failing us altogether. I am
generally on deck of a morning between 5 and 6, and this morning I saw the most beautiful
sight you can conceive, that of seeing the sun rise with a clear sky in the tropicks (sic), the mornings have been very thick and cloudy ever since we left England, this being the first clear morning we have had, but that was not the only sight --- on our ob. bow we saw high land considered to be 90 miles ahead, it proved to be the Island of San Antonio, one of the Cape de Verd Islands, by 5 in the afternoon we were abreast of it, 18 miles from shore, having run at the rate of 8 to 9 knots an hour all day."
The next entry in the diary of William Richards was the first record by him of an adult's death:
"Mr. Bernard, gentn. passenger died 7a.m.. Committed to the deep 5p.m. The carpenter only bored holes in the foot of the coffin, which when thrown overboard whent off erect, never sank."
His next entry was quite brief:
November 23rd, "Appearance of a squall, heavy showers."
Then on the 24th, William noted that:
"Calm, thunder and lightening, heavy rain. Thermometer 80 o.
Caught plenty of water from the awning, filled 10 barrels of 180 gallons each. Very warm, shirt and pantaloons only. Child died."
James also noted a similar record of the day's events:
"Dead calm, 5 degrees North of the line, rain falling incessantly, buckets, tubs & etc. are in constant use for catching water. The ship's butcher has filled 7 casks of 200 gallons each for use of the livestock. This will be a great help towards making the water last out, as our captain does not intend putting into any port if he can possibly avoid it, being so near the Line, the men are beginning to prepare for Neptune coming on board."
On the 25th November, his diary recorded:
"There are great quantities of flying fish constantly about the vessel today. Sometimes they rise singly from the water and at other times in large flocks, looking in the distance like flocks of birds --- they look to be about the size and form of mackerel. We have a fine working breeze S. E. and by E. and are in hopes we have fallen in with the other trades although still North of the Line."
The diary entry for William Richards is so very different for the same day - even when he records the death of another "gentleman passenger" there was no matching note of the event in the diary of James Trangmar.
William's diary for the 25th November was as follows:
"Caught the S. E. trades. Child died. Mr. Watson, Gentn passenger died leaving a wife and 3 children bound to Bathurst having purchased Land there prior to leaving England. When the coffin was thrown overboard, owing to the 5, 181b shot which ran to the foot, the lid flew open and the coffin, with the Body went off erect under water but did not sink." [It was this entry, of course, which led Colin Kerr in his "An Exelent Coliney", to name his chapter "The Floating Coffin".] William continued with
"Ship in sight going west, the first we have seen since the 10th."
At some stage he added in the left hand margin of his diary, a sad note about Mr. Watson, which I alluded to in my introduction.
The note reads as follows:
"Mr. Watson was in the habit of spiting blood and nothing but a Milk Diet prevented it. Previous to his leaving England he paid £250 for his passage with a written agreement signed by the owners and Captn. that he should be supplied with a quart of Milk a day. This he had for a week or two, when it was cut off, that the calf might be reared --- he soon flaged." (Authors note, spelling as original)
It was William who was to next make an entry in his diary:
"November 26th. Fine and squally. This day, while at dinner a large ship bore on us. An alarm was given to get letters ready for England. She turned out to be a Dutchman homeward bound. Several vessels seen ahead. We are all covered with a rash which prevents fever (?). We are in the best part of the ship having free air from the cabin windows which are left open day and night. The Captain is very careful when the squalls come, to avoid them and recover his course again."would permit. 21 o 5' South lat. 32 o 41' West long. Isle of Trinidad bearing N.E. a quarter N. 139 miles.
December 9th. Passed the tropic of Capricorn this morning, steering S.S.E. with a fine wind all day.
24 of FS. lat. 30 o 2' West long.
December 10th. About 5'o'clock this morning saw the spout of a Sperm whale several
December 11th. Today at 12 we are at 30 o 7' South lat. 27 o 45 'West long." William made similar observations about whales in the same period:
13th In the latitude of The Cape but far west. Lost the trades but got a fine wind to work up the longitude.
14th. Therm. 71 o. Rather cold, more pleasant than the tropical heat. Several whales passed spurting water.
15th. Spoke with Dutch ship from North Batavia very cold 1500 miles to make the Cape being far West.
17th. S.W. Squally and cold. 18th. East wind ahead.
20th. S.W. Several albatross killed.
21st. E. Ahead, great complaints about the provisions, beef thrown overboard, pork stinking. Dr Martin very haughty. The supposed ladies in the cuddy discovered to be bad characters'.
On December 22nd, James received an invitation to dine which again may give an indication of his status on board:
December 22nd. Sunday. This morning I received a note of invitation to dine with our intermediate passengers on Christmas Day. I declined accepting it, having promised to dine with Aunt. and Uncle"
The next day also, James was to make social arrangements:
" I am already engaged to dine with our Intermediates on New Year's Day, and they have made me promise to spend Christmas evening with them. We are nearing the Cape very fast, the weather is much colder. Another man in irons for insulting the third mate."
William on the same day, December 23rd, wrote the following in his diary
"Christmas Eve(sic) A double allowance of grog, 1/21b of flour, l oz. of raisins, 1/2 oz of suet to each."
The next day, 24th of December, William recorded
"24th Xmas Day. Puddings, drunkards discovered, too many on board breaking out in
On the 25th, William recorded simply "Child died'
James wrote at length about Christmas Day
" We have had up to this day a continuation of fine breezes and are making fine progress to rounding the Cape. The day (though much colder than it has been) is so different from the weather that we have been accustomed to at this time of year, that I hardly believe it to be Christmas Day. I spent the morning with Aunt and Uncle and the afternoon and evening with the Intermediates. An unpleasant scene occurred just as we were going to sit down to tea --¬one of the French passengers came and took a pie out of the Mess chest to take to his cabin.
Mr. Walters, the president of the mess, seeing him asked him what he was going to do with it. He immediately threw the pie in his face and followed it up by collaring him and forcing him down the forms. I was the only one near him, so I plunged in, caught the Frenchman by the arms and swung him against the cabins. I stood before Mr. Walters till he had recovered his feet, but the Frenchman did not attempt to touch him. We afterwards spent a very pleasant evening and I enjoyed myself very much."
The next entries in James' diary take us to the New Year:
" December 26th today we are 38 o 13' south lat. 8 o 3' East long.
December 28th. we have been running from 101/2 to 11 knots all night, rather squally. Passed the Cape this evening
December 31 st. I have been very unwell for several days but am now much better. 38 o 45' South lat.
27o 18'East long. One of the men got very drunk this evening, went up on deck and insulted the officer of the watch --- he ordered him to go aft but the man refused to go. In the meantime the ship carpenter went and told the Captain to arm himself for the ship, was in a state of mutiny. The Captain, who from all accounts, was tipsy at the time came on deck and began lashing away at the man with his sword. The man then became very mutinous, and there is no doubt but that it would have ended badly if the Chief Mate had not intervened between the Captain and the man. Officers afterwards secured the drunk man, but not without some hazard, for he drew his knife upon them and stabbed the second mate in the leg. The others dispersed but were in a state of mutiny all night, refusing to work or do anything."
William, had recorded very different items in his diary on many days although he too recorded the drama of New Year's Eve:
" December 26th. Strong gale, going before the wind, had one roll after dinner, away went the pots, pans and kettles and everything that was loose.
“December 27th. Little Caroline ill with hooping cough (sic) very cold therm 60 degrees
December 28th Strong gale and squally rounding the Cape, gaff cracked in two hail and showers.
Today we are 39 o 22' South lat. 76 o 45' East long. We made the island of St Paul’s about 6 o'clock this evening --- it was distinctly seen from the masthead. It is fifteen days since we passed the Cape having run nearly 3,000 miles in that time.
January 17th. A South Sea whaler in sight. 96 o E. long scarcely any wind.
January 26th. For several days passed the wind has been very light but favourable. This morning it has shifted around right again against us 40 o 35 'South lat. 125 o 33 'East long.
William made the next few entries
" 28th. Discovered the main hinge of the rudder broken, rudder supported by chains, wind changed to S.E. 360 miles to go. Child died."
31 st. Girl to Bastian of Crowan died aged 11 years.'
February 1st. Child to Gahan died. 1 birth, 5pm made land in Fowlers Bay, tacked to South, wind ahead."
James was next to record
February 2nd. We have been beating about with a head wind since the last date. 35 o 30'S. lat 125 o 133' East long
February 3rd. This day we got the first sight of Western Australia ( ---- surely he meant South Australia) we passed several small islands and could just discern Cape Catastrophe, but were obliged to tack and run to the South owing to the head wind.'
Also, on this day, William wrote in his diary
"Wind changed on our furlough to the S. W. fine breeze." and on the next
" 4th This morning 8.a.m. Saw land, all hands rejoiced, headland entrance to St Vincent’s Gulf, tacked three points tacked every 4 hours."
James completed his diary with entries over the next two days
" February 5th. We have been bearing away well to the South all night, and we now have got a fair wind to run into Investigator's Strait abreast of Cape Border 5 o'clock after running 8 knots an hour, running a race with the ship "Rajasthan", who entered the Straits at the same time as ourselves --- we spoke to her with signals, she has been out 2 days more than us.'
February 6th I was on deck all last night, tracing the land (Kangaroo Island) as we ran up the strait --- at times we were running 10 knots an hour. At day break the "Rajasthan" was four miles astern, we had a beautiful view of the coast all the morning. It appears to be just what it has been described to be --- very much like parkland --- in some places there is scarce a tree to be seen for miles, but from the masthead I thought the interior very thickly wooded."
This was the last entry made in this portion of James' diary. He traveled to Tasmania, returned a few years later to England and wrote a diary of his return voyage. He returned to Australia and had a successful career in commerce as well as having pastoral interests in the Wannon and Portland areas of Victoria. He was Mayor of Portland from 1875-1878 and also 1882. He is listed in "Burkes Colonial Gentry". (See Appendix A. for more details)
William made the following final entries in his diary:
5th. Made Kangaroo Island, vessel in sight, overtook and proved to be the "Rajasthan (sic) with emigrants from London. sailed three days before us, got in abreast of the island 6 p.m. 6th. No sleep all night. Got up 3 o'clock. Beat the "Rajasthan", went up the gulf in fine style, anchored in Holdfast Bay, opposite Glenelg 1/4 before 8 a.m. and the "Rajasthan" 20 minutes after us along side, had a shower of rain just after we anchored.
We did not go on shore before Saturday afternoon. The Governor came aboard, very disgusted at the starving faces of the children, and the languishing women. We were permitted to go on shore on account of the 3 children with Hooping cough (sic) poor little things nearly starved, had we been a week longer at sea they surely must have died. George and Laura we had no hope of, but the change of air with good nourishing food got them about again.
The rest of the emigrants were not allowed to come ashore for a week or more. several of the children died since on shore but I did not keep account. I have abridged my Journal to make room for writing and have omitted the shameful conduct and treatment of the Doctor, Captain and three officers or mates towards the emigrants and crew. The crew left the ship; some are in jail and the rest in the mountains. The doctor of the ship, Mr. Smith has stayed behind in love with Miss Watson. He was obliged to keep close until the ship sailed.
[By February 8th the following advertisement was appearing in the "South Australian Register"]
FOR BATAVIA DIRECT, WILL SAIL IN TEN DAYS THE FINE TEAK SHIP "JAVA" 1200
TONS PER REGISTER CAPTAIN ALEXANDER DUTHIE. THIS SHIP, BEING UNDER
ENGAGEMENT TO PROCEED FROM BATAVIA TO ENGLAND OFFERS A MOST
DESIRABLE OPPORTUNITY FOR PASSENGERS APPLY TO CHAS. BECK AND CO.
William's diary continued
" The Captain and Emigrants Doctor Martin took their trial before the Governor. The doctor is sent back again in the ship without his certification or money. He intended to settle here, but was not permitted. I did not appear against him, Doctor Ward, who was under Dr Martin was treated by him like a dog. The Governor has taken him and Mrs. Ward into his house to instruct his children. Great blame is attached to the Commissioners in London and Doctor Broomhead for sending so many children, 3 to each adult without a sufficient quantity of food.
6 vessels have arrived since and not a single death, with better treatment. The term here is 'that horried ship the JAVA' She was certainly the finest ship that could be selected for Emigrants on account of the gun deck having the portholes constantly open, but it appears good food is the principal thing."
This was William's last entry
In a personal communication with the author, noted South Australian maritime author, Ronald Parsons made the point that the general run of medical comforts aboard any and every sailing ship of the era, were a few dozen bottles of porter, some arrowroot, some laudanum and possibly some strong laxative pills. Parsons said that "[William] did not know what to do to prepare himself and family for a long voyage. He was obviously unused to travel, had made no enquiries, and suffered accordingly.
He should have taken some comforts against possible illness among his children; that was the normal thing to do by travelers in that day and age."
The Emigration Office gave the following report of the ship's steerage passengers:
February 26th 1840
1 Hereby certify that the following free emigrants, sent out by the Colonization Commissioners for South Australia, on board the JAVA, Alex Duthie, Master, have been duly landed in the Province:
Adults Male Female Total
180 Married ... ... ... 90 90 180
75 Single 36 39 75 Children:
5 14 years and under 15 5 5
41 7 years and under 14 18 23
80 1 years and under 7 41 39
32 Under 1 yr. not counted 23 9
413 Adults 307
CLASSIFIED LIST Male Female M. S.
Blacksmiths ... 4 1
Bakers ... ... ... 2
Butchers ... ... ... 1 1
Carpenters ... ... ... 11 6
Cabinet makers ... ... 2
Curriers ... ... ... ... 2
Coopers ... ... ... ... 1
Domestic servants ... ... 24
Dressmakers ... ... ... 5
Dairy maids ... ... ... 3
Laborers ... ... ... 37 16
Miners.... ... ... ... 7 5
Masons ... ... ... 4
Midwives ... ... ... 2
Milliners ... ... ... 2
Ship carpenters ... ... 2
Shoemakers ... ... ... 5
Shepherds ... ... ... 3 4
Sawyer ... ... ... 1
Painter ... ... ... ... 1
Pump borer ... ... ... 1
Tailors ... ... ... ... 3
90 35 36
W.SMILLIE EMIGRATION AGENT
The "JAVA" having arrived, the passengers began to tell their story to the Press and others. The "Adelaide Chronicle" of February 11th carried the following article
" We regret to hear that shameful misconduct and neglect are attributed to the Captain and Surgeon of the "JAVA", now lying in Holdfast Bay. His Excellency the Governor, has taken the matter in hand and we doubt not, authentic particulars will soon be had before the public."
This article received an immediate response in two newspapers at least when they published a letter in reply from Dr. J.Phin. Smith who wrote as below
To the Editor of the Southern Australian.
I have just observed in the "Adelaide Chronicle " of yesterday, the statement that shameful
misconduct had been attributed to the surgeon of the ship "JAVA'. The paragraph referring to me, I must request you to give publicity to a complete disavowal on my part, of having had anything to do with the unpleasant proceedings that have taken place on board that vessel. As I have had nothing what ever to do with the Emigrants, I cannot consequently be affected by any complaints which they may have made. I have the honor to remain, Sir
Your most obedient servant, J.Phin. Smith M.D. Surgeon to the ship "JAVA"
The editors of the "Southern Australian" published the doctor's letter with the comment
"As a matter of justice we insert the above letter. We have also heard of the affairs on board the"JAVA" but we refrain from remarks until the pending enquiry is finished. If we understand Dr Smith aright, he is merely the surgeon of the ship, and as such, of course he had nothing to do with the Emigrants. -Ed. "
Likewise the Adelaide Chronicle on the 23 February clarified the doctors status when it ran the following article,
"The "JAVA"--Mr. Smith surgeon of the JAVA, has addressed a note to the Editor of the Southern Australian, complaining of a statement published in the Chronicle of the 11th inst., "referring to him as surgeon of the "JAVA". As we had not the pleasure of Mr. Smith's acquaintance, and were ignorant even of his name till it appeared in print, our allusion could not be personal to him; and as, at the time we wrote, we were not aware that there were two surgeons on board the JAVA, it is equally plain we referred to the doctor in charge of the emigrants. If Mr. Smith had done us the honour to point out to ourselves the mistake, we should have been most happy to have acknowledged it immediately."
How strange it seems from this author's modern perspective that a doctor who traveled on a ship on which there was so much suffering and death can say that he had nothing to with the emigrants and be allowed to rest his case!
As indicated earlier, after the "JAVA" had left London, that city's press had carried an article in the"Weekly Dispatch" on November 3rd. 1839, which was then reprinted by the "South Australian Register" on March 30th1840 in full with two supplementary paragraphs. The article, "Rascally Conditions of Emigrant Ships" was followed with this paragraph;
"The ship alluded to in the above extract was probably the "JAVA". which arrived here safe after a short passage and has since sailed for Batavia. It is a remarkable fact that all the emigrant ships bound to this Province, from its establishment to the present time have arrived safe and landed their passengers (now about 12,000), without casualty of any serious kind whatever. In the case of the "JAVA", numerous complaints were made and certainly a very large proportion of children on board died during the passage. An official investigation into the matter took place, but it has not been thought proper to publish either the evidence or the result. We can, therefore, only guess that the latter has been favourable to the master of the ship, and that there were no just causes of complaint on the part of the emigrants, from the circumstance that the usual certificates were granted and no ulterior
proceedings took place. We regret much that the investigation in this affair has been kept secret, or that it should be considered in any quarter that the public --- the party most interested, has not the foremost right to be acquainted with the facts, or the matter, involving life or death, can be satisfactorily, if secretly adjusted.
For instance, no one is ignorant of the report that the cause of the mortality in question was to be traced to the stingy and illiberal screwing of the Captain by the Colonization Commissioners with regard to the supply of medical comforts and fresh provisions; nay, that the Captain proved that to be the fact. Now surely if this is to be an unjust statement, it is of a character sufficiently grave to merit contradiction; while if it is to be founded in truth, the interests alike of the colony and of humanity require that the affair be exposed, and some public means be taken to prevent the continuance of so reprehensible a system.
---- Editors of Register"
The "Southern Australian" also carried the extract from the "Weekly Dispatch" with similar editorial
" The "Dispatch" refers to a vessel which left St Catherine's Dock for South Australia in October last,
the sides of which were so rotten and decayed, that the carpenters who were engaged in fitting her out, declared that the planks would scarcely retain a screw or nail. The vessel alluded to was in all probability the "JAVA", against the treatment on board of which a variety of complaints were preferred, when she came into port. A sort of investigation was, we believe gone into, but none of the particulars were suffered to transpire. This we deeply regret inasmuch as the parties, whether truly or falsely accused, must continue to lie under the imputation of guilt, until they are publicly and honorably acquitted.
Were the case our own--- as it was that of the officers on board the "JAVA' --- a case in which an unusual mortality of the children was alleged to have sprung from the stingy and illiberal supply of medical comforts --- no considerations on earth should have induced us to have remained satisfied with a "hole and corner" investigation, or to have accepted the usual certificates, until we were fully acquitted as we had been publicly accused. But there is we regret to say, too much of a disposition in the colony to keep the public --- the party most deeply interested--- in the dark, with respect to matters on which they ought to be more fully informed. this however, must and will have an end. We have only to add in conclusion, that we are heartily glad to see that the subject is being taken up by the Governor."
Another statement from the paper followed, and gave additional facts.
“Since writing the above, we have seen it stated that the result of the investigation was not as we had supposed, "the granting of the usual certificates" but that Mr. Martin, the Surgeon Superintendent was refused his certificate as also the payment to which he would have been entitled, had his conduct towards the emigrants been correct. As to the attempt to remove the infatuation of secrecy which was attached to the investigation, --- whether intentional on the part of the Governor or not --- we haveo nly to add that, that it was kept secret, and that even the publication of its result is owing to the animadversions made in another quarter.
The interest of all parties requires that the details should be laid before the public."
Medical Board Enquiry
Governor Gawler, as William Richards and the newspapers indicated, was very disgusted at the treatment , or perhaps better said, lack of good treatment of the emigrants. He initiated an immediate Medical Board to enquire into the events that had occurred on board the "JAVA".
Proceedings of the Medical Board.
Minutes of the Meeting of Medical Board appointed to enquire into the causes of the sickness, suffering and mortality on board the JAVA Emigrant Ship, and to report upon what appear to have been the causes of this state of things.
J.P.Litchfield, Chairman J.G.Nash,Esq. J.Knott, Esq.
The Board proceeded to examine into the cases of Jane Bassett, William Price, Mrs. Giles, Mr. Graham Poole, Mr. Landy, Mrs. Harris, Mr. McLeod, and adjourned its further proceedings until 11 o'clock a.m. on Wednesday 12th of February.
Adjourned at half past 3.p.m.
The Board met and proceeded to examine Captain Duthie and Mr. Martin and adjourned its further proceedings till 11 o'clock a.m. on the 13th of February 1840. Adjourned at half past 3 p.m. 13th February.
The Board met and proceeded to examine Mr. Ward, assistant surgeon of the JAVA.
A copy of the complaint made by the Immigrant passengers to His Excellency the Governor was requested. Motion was ordered to be given at the next day of meeting that the Board would be sending
to him any additional testimony that could be tendered. The Board adjourned for Captain Duthie's statement which is promised by Saturday or Monday next. Adjourned at 3 of clock.
The Board met at 11 o'clock and proceeded to examine James Pearson, James, George, Isaac Polkinghorne, Robert Barnard, William Hawke and George Hinde. Received from George Hall Esq., Private Secretary, Memorial addressed to the Governor containing complaints of 80 Emigrant Passengers on board JAVA. Adjourned half past 3 p.m. to 11 o'clock Monday 17th February.
Board met at 11 a.m. and proceeded to examine Captain Duthie who also handed in [illegible on original] and abstracts of the issue of stores and special comforts and a file containing the orders of Mr. Martin for the same.
Adjourned at 4 p.m.
Thursday February 20th.
The Board met at 11 a.m. and after examining George Jennett and William Payne adjourned its proceedings at 3 p.m. until Friday 21st.
Friday February 21st.
The Board met at 11 a.m. and proceeded to examine Benjamin Graham[Gahan} ---[illegible]
Superintendent upon the issue of stores confided to him.
The evidence was considered sufficient and the proceedings adjourned at 3.p.m. for the preparation of the Report until Monday the 24th inst.
The Board met and proceeded to consider their Report, adjourned at 2.p.m. to 7.p.m. until the attendance of Mr. Knot. Report completed at 9.p.m.
J.P. Litchfield M.D. Chairman
During the course of the enquiry, according to Colin Kerr, " It was revealed that farinaceous food together with porter and other medical comforts had been squandered during the early part of the voyage. No less than thirteen cases of porter had gone off in the first fifteen days, and the stewards responsible for this "lavish " expenditure was dismissed. Pieces of meat had been selected for the cuddy and intermediate passengers out of the steerage emigrants stores."
The arrogance of the Master of the ship, Captain Duthie is shown in the next quote from Kerr:
"... Captain Dutton (Kerr had it wrong , it should be Duthie) had eight sheep of his own, as well as a cow and calf on board (presumably the calf which was reared on milk that might have assisted the consumptive Mr. Watson) but so far from having these animals killed and given to the people suffering from lack of fresh provisions, and claiming fair compensation from the authorities, Captain Dutton was reported to have said it was no part of his duty as master of the ship to know the condition of the passengers on the lower deck."
What an outrageous state of affairs ! Both the ship's doctor and the Captain accepted no responsibility for the sad fate of their passengers. The person who was officially given the blame was the Surgeon Superintendent, that is the Colonization Commissioner's doctor on board the ship, Mr. Martin.
I will quote in full from the letter that George Gawler, the Governor, or as he signed himself the Resident Commissioner, wrote on 3rd March 1840, addressed to the Secretary, Colonial
In consequence of an application from Mr Beck, agent for the Ship "JAVA", I am induced to state for the information of the Commissioners that the particular remark at the bottom of the Immigration Certificates for that ship is not made under the impression that the claim of the owners to the whole or any part of the Charter-money has been forfeited.
It was inserted under the consideration that as great misconduct took place on board of the "JAVA" during her passage from England to South Australia, it was proper that the Commissioners be made acquainted with the fact in time to effect to the owners, if they should think proper to do so.
The affair has been thoroughly investigated and the consequent conclusion on my mind is that the blame legally considered, rests altogether on Mr. Martin, the Surgeon Superintendent, to whom I have refused to give a certificate.
All the proceedings of the investigation will be forwarded to England with as little delay as possible; they are only detained for the purpose of taking copies.
I have , etc., George Gawler Resident Commissioner
The above letter was sent on the "Katherine Stewart Forbes" on the 7th April.
The Colonization Commissioners wrote to the owners of the "JAVA", Scott Fairlie & Co. on November 4th 1840. A duplicate of this letter was sent to Gawler on the ship "Lord Glenelg", which arrived on 10th May 1841.
Per ‘Lord Glenelg’
South Australian Colonization Office
9 Park Street
4th November 1840
In reference to your dispatches Nos 20 and 24 Immigration dated 3rd and 30th March 1840 regarding the sickness and mortality aboard the JAVA, we have the honour to transmit to you for your information the enclosed copy of a letter which we have addressed to the owners of the JAVA, embodying the observations which we have felt it right to make in this case.
We have the honour to be Sir,
Your most obedient servant
Despatches from the CC
Colin Kerr referred to this correspondence and it is perhaps best to use his words:
"The Commissioners' letter was icily polite but it amounted to a real rocket. They were angry that their cherished ration scale which worked so well when it was properly allocated had been so scandalously mismanaged."
Kerr then quoted directly from the letter to the owners:
"The appearance of want under which the people are said to have reached the Colony,
notwithstanding the liberality of the rations they were entitled to receive, suggests a doubt whether the people really had their due allowances."
Kerr told us that the Commissioners agreed with Gawler that the chief culprit was their own official, the Surgeon Superintendent Martin, but held that the owners must bear an equal share of blame for having selected ships' officers who abused their position. They were particularly scathing about Captain Duthie's contention that it was not his job to know how the lower deck passengers were getting on . The Commissioners they said "...can in no way recognize the doctrine.", and threatened the strongest action against any master who might take such an attitude in the future.
It is assumed that the owners of the ship were eventually paid for the use of their ship as, according to Kerr, correspondence explaining the matter was lost. It seems that Governor Gawler, by blaming Dr Martin , prejudiced any opportunity by the Colonization Commissioners , to refuse to pay the owners, because of the ill treatment of their passengers. The Commissioners said in their letter
" The Commissioners therefore, while they record the opinions above expressed, are precluded by Governor Gawler's decision from questioning the right of the owners of the "JAVA" or their representatives to the remaining moiety of the passage money for that vessel."
The suffering of the passengers continued for many months. Almost immediately many of them sought relief from the Government, for in many cases the husband was unfit for work and his wife had children to look after, many of them still suffering from the effects of the voyage.
I have included as many passengers' names as possible in Appendix B.
In a document at the Mortlock Library, one can read the names of the passengers from the "JAVA" who made application for relief. The document, "Return of sick and destitute Emigrants who have received relief from the Emigration Department" [for the half years to June 30th, December 31st], gave details of name, by what vessel arrived, date of arrival, cause of relief, what period relief given, and numbers involved and remarks. To show the numbers involved only the name, period, numbers and remarks will be given below:
Name Period of Relief Numbers Remarks
Elizabeth Trileggen 10/2/40 - 11/3/40 1
Candy 10/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Harnagin 10/2/40 - 24/3/40 1
William Harris 10/2/40 - 10/3/40 2 Wife supported during husbands illness. HUSBAND'S
Price 14/2/40 - 28/2/40 1
Joseph Stanton 15/2/40 - 11/6/40 1 Wife supported during husbands illness. HUSBAND'S
McCanock 15/2/40 - 22/2/40 1
Thomas Sleep 17/2/40 - 24/2/40 1 Died from a severe attack of typhus on the 13th April and was buried by this department, also a child on the 16th May. Wife appointed nurse to the male ward in the hospital. She is allowed rations and one pound per week. She has one child living. At the time of his death he was attended by a private medical practitioner.
Huxtable 18/2/40 - 16/5/40 1
Pease 18/2/40 - 29/2/40 1
Lightfoot 18/2/40 - 11/6/40 1
Philipia Bastian 19/2/40 - 14/3/40 1
Hawke 19/2/40 - 26/2/40 1
John Coad 19/2/40 - 24/3/40 1 Died on 24th March and buried by this department. wife receiving support, she has had a child since her husbands death. HUSBAND'S
Eliza Bastian 19/2/40 - 26/2/40 1
Elizabeth Axford 19/2/40 - 30/6/40 5 Landed a widow in the Colony. she lost her husband on the voyage out, and one child on the 18th June, since her arrival in the Colony. Herself and four children entirely supported by the department. Being a respectable women she is occasionally employed in nursing and washing to enable her to procure clothing for her family.
James Pearce 20/2/40 - 5/3/40 2 Wife supported during husbands illness. HUSBAND'S
Grace Gillard 20/2/40 - 7/3/40 1
Ann Coutts 22/2/40 - 1/3/40 1
William Francis 22/2/40 - 17/2/40 6 Wife supported during husbands illness. HUSBAND'S
Higgins 24/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Ann Dennis 24/2/40 - 2/4/40 1
Austin 24/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Dunstan 24/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Alice Polkinghorne 25/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Grace Polkinghorne 25/2/40 - 3/3/40 1
Cocking 26/2/40 - 4/3/40 1
Major 26/2/40 - 11/3/40 1
Langcake 27/2/40 - 5/3/40 1
Jammett 2/2/40 - 7/4/40 1
Bassett 29/2/40 - 7/3/40 1
Edwards 29/2/40 - 7/3/40 1
William Renwells 3/3/40 - 10/3/40 1
Thomas Williams 18/3/40 - 3/6/40 5
Benjamin Gahan 28/3/40 - 18/4/40 3 Family supported during his illness, child died on the 23rd April [he had already lost another on the voyage], buried by this department.
Bennett Johns 1 8/3/40 - 13/5/40 2 Relief approved to this person upon an application by Mr.Ward.
Thomas Chanter 31/3/40 - 7/4/4 1
James Edwards 16/4/40 - 30/4/40 2 Wife supported during husbands HUSBAND'Sillness.
Elizabeth Sleep 30/4/40 - 14/5/40 1 Widow of Thomas Sleep, nurse of the male ward in the hospital.
E.Hailey 6/4/40 - 13/5/40 1
Thomas Major 7/5/40 - 14/5/40 3 Family supported
Sampson Bastian 28/5/40 - 18/6/40 1 Received relief after application from Dr Ward.
Robert Dunstan 27/5/40¬-11/6/40 7 Wife and 5 children received relief upon an application from the Private Secretary
Lightfoot 4/5/40 - 11/7/40 1 Received relief upon an application from the Private Secretary
(The date of arrival for some reason was incorrectly shown in these records as 28th January, but the ship, according to William Richards, was still 360 miles out on this date, arriving officially on February 6th., the manifest showing it reported on the 11th.
Advertisements were to appear in the newspapers as passengers became established, and in the case of the ship's doctor, Dr. J. Phin. Smith he began his medical practise.
Dr. J. Phin Smith, graduate of the University and MRCS, Edinburgh, takes this opportunity of intimating to the inhabitants of Adelaide that he has commenced the practise of his profession at Mrs.Bathgates, corner of Pulteney Street, and Rundle Street.
Adelaide, March 1840
The Frenchmen, mentioned in the diaries were the Doiron brothers and an advertisement appeared in the South Australian Register 18th April 1840 for their business.
Messers Doiron Brothers have the honour to in form the public that they have just opened a shop in King William Street, near the Post Office, where the following articles may be procured: a splendid assortment of jewellery, gold and silver watches, guns and pistols, a fine assortment of cutlery, kangaroo knives, musical paintings, clocks and repeaters, silver, tortoise-shell, and other snuff boxes: work boxes, stationery, perfumery, and other articles. They also manufacture cutlery, arms &c, and turn all kinds of metals. Watches repaired, and blades replaced in knives and scissors, and penknives.
Instruments of all kinds sharpened twice a week. Old gold and silver purchased.
The 1841 census gives us the information that there were two males with the surname Dorion living in Hindley Street, one with his age stated as under 21 the other under 35. The same census indicated that J. Trangmar was living in Hindley Street also.
Isaac Latimer continued to promote emigration, see this from the West Briton newspaper:
FREE EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA - No charge for children above the
age of seven years.
Married Labourers, Artisans, and other Working Men, may have a Free Passage to this
flourishing Colony for themselves, their wives and such of the children as are above the
age of seven years or under one. The applicants must be people of good character, and if
above 30 years of age they must have a family. Every particular, and the necessary
papers, may be obtained free of expense on applying postage paid to Mr. I. LATIMER,
Rosewyn-row, Truro. Mr. L. is also Agent to the Commissioners for the sale of Land in
the Colony. Every person who purchases a section of eighty acres is entitled to take out
four full grown people. The demand for working men is greater than ever, and those
who have written home state that the wages continue very high (as they always must
while labourers are wanted); and that the colony is in the most prosperous condition.
Vessels leave London for South Australia, about the 1st and 15th of every month.
Agricultural laborers, Shepherds, &c., may have an early passage if they make
immediate application. February 4, 1840.
TYWARDREATH - On Tuesday evening, Mr. I. LATIMER, of Truro, delivered a lecture in the Market house, at Tywardreath, before an exceedingly large audience, on the subject of
emigration, especially in reference to South Australia, explaining fully the admirable
principles upon which that colony has been established. The lecturer read many interesting
and valuable letters which had been recently sent home. The Rev. T. PEARCE, Perpetual
Curate of Tywardreath, occupied the chair, and at the close warmly expressed the interest he
felt in the subject of the lecture and in the colony itself, as many of his parishioners had gone there. The Rev. Gentleman concluded by proposing the thanks of the meeting to the lecturer for the interesting and instructive matter that he had laid before them. The proposition was cordially seconded by Mr. W.E. GEACH, and responded to by three hearty cheers from the meeting. There were a large number of ladies present.
Latimer also needed to defend his work and the young colony in this lengthy exchange in
1841 that appeared in the ‘West Briton’:
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA - As we have given insertion on several occasions to
letters from emigrants to this colony, which have contained favourable accounts of the state
of things at Adelaide, we feel ourselves obliged in fairness to insert the following letter from
Mr. SAWLE, who emigrated from Truro a short time ago. The letter, it will be seen, is
without a date, but it was brought by the last arrival, and may therefore, be considered as
having been written about five or six months ago:-
To Mr. MATTHEW COURTENAY, Adelaide, South Australia.
Ten thousand times I thought on you since I left Truro, and so often have I longed for
your society and enlightening conversation. I owe much to you or your support. I am
also indebted to a great number of the inhabitants of Truro for some degree of
confidence which they repose in me. I would not attempt to lessen that debt, by the only
way in which I am capable, that is simply by its acknowledgment, and by conveying
some information respecting South Australia, which may be serviceable in assisting to
settle the minds of many who may have some thoughts of leaving their native land. The
statements which I am about to make shall be strictly correct, and therefore I call upon
you, I entreat you as a public man, as a friend to the human family, to give them the
utmost publicity. It is necessary that the public should know what to expect on the
voyage, and, if spared, on their arrived in the colony.
When you are put on ship-board, you are, with all you have and with all, that is put on
board for you, entirely under the control and disposal of the Doctor and the Captain, so
that your every comfort, even life itself, is dependent on the disposition of those, under
whose care you are placed; and hence hundreds have found a watery grave through the
unkindness and neglect of those under whose care they have been placed. It is true you
have a scale of rations which you may think should be the guide of all on board, and the
due proportions of which you may reasonably demand; but when at sea, it is in vain to
urge the fulfilment of the contract between yourself and the Commissioners; you are
told the things are not on board for you, and, therefore, it is vain to ask for them; and if
you had them they would only be luxuries. You may urge the failure of your nature, the
weak state of your family, but it is in vain. There is a grave deep enough in the ocean;
and should you reach the land with a broken constitution, which has been the lot of
many, you will find a grave there. But it is exceedingly painful to see the things put on
board for you, wantonly consumed by those who feed almost wholly on luxuries; in fact
the emigrants are the subjects of plunder from the forecastle to the cabin, and if you
speak you are often called d---d convict, and treated in the most shameful way by the
Then the afflictions you may expect on the voyage; few ships, if any, are free from
diseases; some have lost 30 or 40, others a great many more on the voyage. We were
afflicted with typhus fever, through which we lost seven, and one fell overboard and was
drowned; we expected to lose a great many more; three of my family were distressingly
ill; we expected the death of my little boy every moment, but God has spared him. To
describe to you my feelings amidst the groans and cries of the afflicted and the dying is
impossible; I would make extracts from my journal to describe my feelings at the time,
but I have not room.
Then the funeral. this is shocking, the poor body sewn on in a sack, its form exposed,
placed on a plank on the weather-gangway, with a few shot at the feet, and then to be
interred in the turbulent fathomless ocean ? never shall I forget a funeral at sea.
Then your accommodation, when you reach the land of promise.
Visited by the agent appointed, you are told when you are to land; early in the morning you have to get everything ready, and to take your family with you; you have not time to get breakfast,
or in the bustle of reaching the harbour you have no rations nor water served out, all
hands being so engaged; you may take a little bread with you. It may happen, as it did
with me, that your luggage and family are not to be taken by the first draw that is going
up to town, which is distant seven miles; the day is far spent, and towards evening, your
luggage and family are placed on a bullock draw, and move onwards towards the
After some delay and insolence on the part of the driver, you are brought into
the midst of some very poor looking wood huts; you ask what place this is, and you are
told this is the square. At a certain place your luggage is taken, or rather thrown down,
so that your little glass, or whatever else you may have, is often knocked to pieces. After
selecting what you can find of your things for the night, you ask where you are to lodge;
you are directed to a wood hut; there may be a casement in the window-place, or there
may not; however, there is no chimney for you to burn a little fire, and if there was one
it would be of no use to you for the night; you are now exhausted with hunger and
fatigue, your dear children crying with hunger and cold. You now enter into a place, out
of which, perhaps, two or three or more of a family have been carried dead, probably
some of the old dirty garments remain; your floor is nothing but the earth and dust; the
smell from the burning of the oil and other causes is almost insufferable. Bad as it is, it
is the only shelter, and you are obliged to enter; you want something now for your
family to make use of; your enquiry is for a little wood, but you are told by the man who
looks after the square, that there is no wood provided for the emigrants, and if he
should give it to one he must give to all, - you may have some to-morrow from the
natives, for a little bread; you ask for a little water ? you are told that there is a well in
the centre of the square, but the water is brackish and you cannot drink it, you can get
some from the Torrens, but you must go across the country for half or three-quarters of
a mile and the person thinks it so dark you cannot find it. You at least want a little light,
but you cannot obtain a candle without going to the city (so called) which is distant
about half-a-mile; a step of the road you are not acquainted with, so that you must sit
on your box without fire, light, or meat, with a thousand hungry mice and fleas playing
around and feeding on you during the night; whilst the cold, coming in from so many
openings, would make your bones ache; in this place you have no bedstead nor anything
of the kind. We are served with a weeks rations.
On entering the colony you are pleased with its appearance, the loveliness of the
country, the largeness and greenness of the trees has a very imposing appearance, and
the country too is really fine; but still there are many drawbacks. And first, I think the
public should know that the statements put forth by the agents at home are not true,
especially as it regards the healthfulness of the place. We are subject to diseases, painful
and distressing; I could name many who left Cornwall, who left Cornwall, who have
found a grave in Australia. I, myself, have had a narrow escape; my affliction was that
of dysentery, in its most painful and distressing form; then there is fever, to which we
are subject, and what takes off a great many more is weakness occasioned by (letter
illegible). This, with broken spirits, superinduces disease, and thus many find a
Then with regard to the abundance of labour, this is not true; when we first landed, I
might have obtained work with a master-mason, who came out from the neighbourhood
of Bodmin, but as I was engaged by a gentleman on board who came out with us, and
who was about to put up a brick machine worked by steam, I declined the mastermason’s
offer. The wages I obtained was 12s. per day, and 6s. for my boy; I worked on
for about eight weeks and then was taken ill, which put myself and boy out of employ. I
was the only mason my master employed; my illness obliged him to take other
tradesmen to carry on his work, which was nearly finished before my recovery, and
therefore his work was closed. On my recovery, I was anxious to obtain labor for myself
and boy, having nothing scarcely to live on by this time; we went to all the master
tradesmen in the city, and could not obtain one day’s work, and this is the case with
many, very many, tradesmen in the city who have been of some standing here; so that it
is now in the eighth week since I have done but one day?s work, and I have travelled
scores of miles in town and country seeking work, but cannot obtain any up to this time.
To give you a proof of the scarcity of work, I have only to say that there are now one
hundred men and upwards employed on government works to keep them from
starvation and crime, receiving only 10s. per week and rations. Now it will take a young
man 7s. per week to pay for the dressing of his meat and bed; and what can a married
man do with this? He cannot shove his family into any hole for less than 8s. or 10s. per
week, so that it would take the whole of his money in rent, not leaving sixpence for the
support of his family. It is all credit in the colony, and there are so many of the leading
men breaking, that there is little or no confidence. Besides, it should be known, that
while there are many very honest men here, there are a great many whose object it is to
get money, and money they will get, no matter at whose expense, their only care is to
keep out of the clutch of the law, and they laugh at you to your face. The master
tradesmen say we may have plenty of work, but there is no money; and how should
there be? The colony produces nothing, every article of consumption is brought from
some other colony, and you have nothing to offer in exchange but money, and that, as
much as those bringing in their goods may demand; and there is no alternative, you
must have them, that is their goods, or starve ? thus you perceive the colonist has not
the means of employing the labourer, and if he employs him, he has not the means of
paying him his wages, the money being taken away as fast as it is brought in. I can
assure you there is a very great want of work amongst all classes of workmen at this
time. I would work at any thing could I find employ.
I went into a quarry last week.
There were two men at work from Perranwell, who told me they had not had half work;
they then had a hundred load of stones in the quarry, and might have had as many
more if they pleased, but there is no demand for them. It is truly distressing to be out of
employ in this place. We have a small house for which we pay 16s per week; water cost
us 2s. per week; wood upwards of 3s. per week. But you are ready to ask cannot you cut
your own wood for your own use? I answer no; the wood standing on the park grounds
you are forbidden to touch, while the land beyond that is the property of gentlemen, it
all being bought up, so that you cannot go there; and therefore, you cannot have any
wood but what is brought you, at a dear rate. Flour is 9d. per lb; meat, 9d. per lb;
potatoes, 3 ? d. per lb., and we are told that before the close of this week they will be 8d.
per lb; butter, 2s. 2d. per lb.; and everything else in proportion, so that you cannot live
for a trifle I thought, previous to my coming out, that I should have a garden, and raise
everything of the vegetable kind, but I have now found out my mistake; you cannot
obtain a garden, and those who have had them have not planted them a second time, so
that I have thought they have not been remunerated for their labour. As to fruit, I have
not seen a tree bearing fruit since I have been here; there is no native fruit, not native
anything that is worth your trouble of taking.
I should like, if I was able, to give some faint description of the splendid city of
Adelaide. Talk about streets, indeed, - we have streets, if the rooting up of trees in a
straight line, about fifty fee wide and a mile long, will constitute streets, then we have
plenty of splendid streets However, there are two that resemble streets so far as
buildings are concerned, and business is conducted; but even these are almost
impassable for man or beast. The city is founded on a slimy clayey bottom, and the
quantity of rain that has fallen these three months past has completely saturated the
land, and the streets being nothing but this slimy soil, and being the common
thoroughfare, they are cut beyond description. I would rather walk from Truro to St.
Agnes, a distance of nine miles, at any given hour of the night, than walk through
Hindley or Currie-street, at the same hour; I believe I could complete the journey with
less difficulty and far less danger. I saw a flock of sheep stuck fast in the middle of
Hindley street, and neither dogs or men could get them out while I was there. But
difficult as the voyage is ? round as your first reception may be ? painful and lingering
as your afflictions are,- yet the whole put together is not equal to the disappointment
you feel, and the unhappiness you experience, arising from a want of employment in a
strange land, without a friend. All this want of employ has arisen within this twelve
months or less than that time. Any man professing to be a mason or a carpenter was
eagerly sought after, and readily employed; but the tables are turned, and there is
scarcely an establishment in the colony but what are weekly discharging labourers or
tradesmen, and the consequence of which is an attempt to lower the wages; and the
wages will be lowered, so that a man and his family, after enduring the difficulties of the
voyage, and parting with all that (..?..) fear on earth ? relatives and friends, will be no
better off than at home.
Though things are in such a state, yet ships are constantly coming out, bring our
countrymen and country women to new scenes of sorrow and conflict, while at this time
there are hundreds upon hundreds here more than can find constant employ. A person
from Weymouth told me that a man in Adelaide, coming from that place, sent home,
requesting his father and brothers and all of his family to come out. The consequence
was, one brother took a wife, and landed safely in the land of promise; but, on their
arrival, through want of work, the man and his wife were obliged to be separated, she
going into service.
There is another thing, - I would not recommend any young females to come out on any
consideration; the danger and evils to which they are exposed, both on the voyage and
after their arrival, are many. The natives are peaceable because they are few, and are
not prepared for war. Some say that they are Jews, but they are Jews no further than
they submit to the rite of circumcision, and do not shave.
Most happy should I be to give a very different account of the colony, and to be able to
say to many of you, come out and better your condition; but this cannot be done at
present. Should any improvement take place, I shall, if I live, be most happy to convey
the pleasing intelligence. I might notice the situations and prospects of those who, with
myself, have left Truro; but I will not do so, lest I should offend. I will leave every man
to tell his own tale. I can tell you that I often wish, with them, that we were once more in
our native land, - no difficulty at home should drive me ? no gilded toy should allure
There is one thing favourable to the colony, that is, the Governor is a very good
gentleman; he is believed to be pious, as are also his family. The minister of the
Episcopal Church appears to be desirous of doing good; his sermons are excellent. The
church is very full, with a most respectable congregation. The morals of the colony are
very bad; there is a very great want of (torn) ; there is not the least dependence to be
put on scarcely any one. This is generally acknowledged. The Sabbath is awfully
desecrated ? shooting, or any thing else which their fancies lead them to, is eagerly
engaged in. I have much more to write, but at present I have not room; but which I
shall soon communicate to some friend at home. I have now some work for about three
weeks ? began it three days past. I took it at contract, but the master, after I began if,
was afraid that I should do too well, although it had been put up to public tender, and
desired that I might do it as day work, to which I was obliged to consent.
And now, my dear friend, I must conclude by desiring you to give our kindest regards
to all our Christian friends, to the Minister of the Gospel, the congregation worshiping
with you, and to the thousands in Truro, to whom I feel the strongest attachment. My
heart beats with joy when I think of them, and cherish the thought of seeing them again;
and believe me, though dwelling in the uttermost parts of the earth, I am, as ever, your
affectionate brother, JAMES SAWLE.
P.S. ? The prospects of the colony are getting worse and worse every day; those who
were thought the richest men in the colony, are now proved to be worth nothing, so that
trade is at a standstill. Do not let any of my neighbours be deceived by false
representations. The ?William Mitchell? is arrived, and will land the emigrants this day
I know not whether there are any persons from Truro on board. This is the fourth letter
I have written , one to my dear parents, one to Thomas CROCKER, and one to Mr.
BATH. Let my dear parents know of this.
Latimer had to respond in kind!!
SOUTH AUSTRALIA. To the Editor of the West Briton, Truro, Feb. 27, 1841. Sir, In
your paper of yesterday, there appeared a letter respecting this colony from Mr. James
SAWLE, a mason, formerly of Truro, who was sent out under my agency in the autumn
of 1839. In that letter, the writer, among many other things, warns the public that the
statements put forward by the agents at home are not true, and leads his readers to
suppose that the most unfair means have been resorted to by the agents in order to
induce people to leave their native country. As such has never been my practice, and as
I have never written or published a line about the colony of South Australia which I
have not believed to be strictly correct, I feel little disposed to allow any stigma to attach
to my character upon the representations of Mr. Sawle; and it is with a view to clear
myself of so dishonourable and so unfeeling a course of conduct, as well as to remove
some aspersions which have been most unjustly cast upon the colony of South Australia,
that I now claim your indulgence, while I lay before your readers opposite evidence of
the most incontrovertible nature, from persons standing as high in the opinions of those
who knew them as ever Mr. Sawle did.
On reading over Mr. Sawle's letter again, I cannot help remarking the extremely
disingenuous manner in which he has spoken of every-thing that he has touched upon.
We all know that most things have their dark as well as their bright side. He had chosen
to select, on this occasion, only the dark; and in many cases he has, by his "perhapses,"
his "probablies," and his "maybes," led people to an opposite conclusion to what the
facts of the case, if fairly stated, must inevitably have led them. Is not such a course the
worst king of falsehood, because the least easy to be detected and refuted? He has, for
instance, spoken of ill-treatment on board the emigrant ships, as if it were common,
merely because the people on board the "Java" were not well used, and when he knew
that immediately that ship reached the colony, the principal surgeon was cashiered
without receiving any remuneration, that the captain was also dealt with in a proper
manner by the resident commissioner, and that, on the other hand, every thing was
done that could be done to compensate the emigrants for the sufferings they had
experienced from the heartlessness of a grasping captain and a selfish surgeon.
With respect to his own ship, the "Warrior," Mr. Sawle, in his first letter to Mr. CROCKER,
of Truro, spoke favourable, as I believe, (for I cannot now obtain his letter); and his
son-in-law, Mr. S. HALL, who accompanied him, wrote several letters to his parents,
while on the voyage; and in these letters, which are now before me, there does not
appear a single word of complaint! Would not any one have believed, from a casual
reading of Mr. Sawle's last letter, that the disasters, the robberies of provisions, the
deprivation of comforts, had all happened to him?
Mr. Hall, in his third letter, dated April 30, 1840, says, "After a very long and tedious
voyage, we landed at Holdfast Bay, distant about six miles from Adelaide, on Monday
last. We sent on our luggage on the carts provided by Government to Emigration square
with the women. I walked myself in company with two more, and was much
pleased with the appearance of the country generally. It has the look of park-land, as
you seen mentioned in the accounts of the country. The town appears to be in a thriving
condition, and carpenters and bricklayers are much in request, they make _4. 10s. a
week wages! Mr. Sawle was engaged at once, and will no doubt do well; and indeed all,
excepting myself, are engaged. I hope, however, to be able to do something shortly,
either in my trade or some other way. I have no doubt that John and Erastus (two
brothers) if they come will do capitally. Mary Sawle (a daughter) is going to have _10
or _12 a year at once, and more if she likes the place. I cannot advise any to come, as
the difficulties to be battled with are great; yet I should like to see you all here."
Not a word is there in any one of these letters of Mr. Hall's to bear out the dissatisfied
tone of Sawle's communication. Not a word about bad provisions, or a scarcity; not a
word about the horrible mode of burial adopted on board ships (but which has been
adopted from time immemorial, and before emigration was heard of,) or about the
rapid deaths of people in the colony, although it is to be believed that they will died
there as they do elsewhere; not a word about the wretched accommodations, or no
accommodations, in Emigration-square, or of their being obliged to sit on boxes all the
night in filthy rooms, with the stinking clothes of dead people covering the floors, and
without light, fire, or food _ the prey of fleas, and the entertains of mice! No, indeed; all
these are after-thoughts of Mr. Sawle, who has carried that dissatisfaction, for which he
was unfortunately so notorious, from his native county to the distant shores of South
Australia. All this has sprung up since he wrote his first letter to Mr. CROCKER, in
which he spoke satisfactorily of the colony which he now condemns.
Mr. Carleton TUFNELL, one of the Assistant Poor Law Commissioners, in speaking of
dissatisfied persons like Mr. Sawle, says "Some of these characters have at times been
included among the emigrants, and the result is, that they are always dissatisfied with
the provisions on board ship, with the accommodation, and with the captain; on
landing, they are dissatisfied with the work, the climate, and their employers; they seem
totally unable to bear the slightest variation from their usual habits, have no power of
adaptation to circumstances, or of putting forth energy to overcome obstacles, and send
home letters full of complaints of every thing and every body. Letters of this sort do
infinite harm to the cause of emigration, and in fact one such letter will suddenly stop
the emigration from a large district." Is not the whole of this most justly applicable to
Other persons have, like Mr. Sawle, written home bad accounts of the colony in the first
moments of their depression. Some of those accounts have been published and have
reached the province where their mis-statements have been exposed in the local papers.
The last number of the South Australia Register having refuted the statements of a Mr.
MAGGOWAN, which he had sent home in the bitterness of disappointment, that
person writes to the editor, and say, "I now think that very few are disappointed in the
colony, except for a short time at first, while they are not fully acquainted with the state
of things around them. As to the agricultural capabilities of the soil and climate, I am
satisfied that as good crops of grain may be raised, and are now to be seen here, as in
England. Turnips are now as cheap here as in Liverpool, and of much better quality.
When I said that farmers required a very large capital, I meant those who were to set
up at once as gentlemen. Much more depends on the habits and ingenuity of the colonist
than on the amount of his capital. I know some who, with the present year, arrived
without a pound in their pockets, but who, by a few months' service, have bought fiveacre
lots of land, and are now cultivating their own little farms.
It is quite evident that Mr. Sawle went out with the most absurd notions. He supposed
that he, a common mason, was to receive four pounds twelve shillings a week for doing
little or nothing. He supposed that people were to take care of his glass and crockery;
that they were to see after and to carry his luggage; that they were to go into the fields
and procure wood for him, and then, "may be," light his fire and boil his kettle; that
they were to fetch his water for the use of his household; and, above all, that he would
find a city like the metropolis, or the large towns of the most civilized country in the
world, with streets so beautifully paved that after heavy rains such as we Englishmen
have little idea of, there should be no difficulty in a flock of sheep wending their way
from one end of them to the other. He ought to have known, and he was told, that
labour was wanted, that it would be well paid for, but that there would be very many
hardships, and much want of comfort to be endured. He ought to have known that it
was not probable he would find fruit trees with fruit ready to be plucked, or gardens
ready laid out for the poorer emigrants to occupy, or potatoes waiting only to be dug, or
ripe and laughing corn fields anxious for the sickle. All these things betoken an
advanced state of civilization, and are the result of much labour and time. For a long
while, where colonization is carried on upon a large scale, the settlers must be
importers, and as they will have but few exports to send in exchange, things will most
likely obtain a high price, and there will be a scarcity of many articles, which we, in a
well-organized old community, may obtain in almost any village.
But Mr. Sawle acknowledges that the emigrants received a week's rations, although he
omits that they were nearly all engaged immediately they put their feet on shore; and he
also says that "on entering the colony you are pleased with its appearance; the
loveliness of the country, and the largeness and greenness of the trees; but still (of
course!) there are many drawbacks." Whatever these drawbacks may be, they are not,
according to his own showing, physical ones, and we know that he found many
drawbacks here as well as there. It would be inferred from his letter that he was
inveigled into leaving this country by the agents; whereas he was several times rejected,
and it was only by repeated applications, and the most strenuous exertions, in
compliance with his earnest entreaties, and those of his friends, that a passage could be
obtained for him.
Before I give the closing letter of Mr. Hall, written about the same time as the letter
which I have been noticing, I wish to call attention to a few passages from the last letter
sent home by William CANDY, a carpenter, formerly of Truro, and who has written
two letters to his mother, Mrs. Candy, of Lemon row. In the last letter, dated June 1st,
1840, written, as I suppose, about a month before Sawle's letter, Candy says, "I am glad
to inform you, I am in the same place to work as what I was when I first came in the
colony, at 14s. a day. I am saving about 2 pound. Or 2. 10s. a week. There is plenty of
money to be got working home at night.
I have bought a corner piece of land in Gilbert street,32 feet, six feet frontage, by 70 feet back; so I have got two fronts. I am to give_40 for it. I have got four months to pay it in.
I have 11 pound paid towards it. Onthat I have built myself a wooden house worth 30 pound,
and thanks be to God, we are in a far better way of doing that ever I was. It is a beautiful country, and getting to anice city. There are many pretty houses here. On the 24th of May, being the Queen's birth-day, we had a dinner given us by the Governor, upon finishing his house.
We were 134 men. Town land that was bought at _1 per acre four years ago is now selling at
from _600 to _1,000, and persons now that have got a little money can soon double and
treble it, as there are so many ways of making money. It would be a good job of
STANAWAY and family (of Probus) were here, or any one else out of that starving
country. Things are a good deal cheaper than when I wrote to you last."
Such is the evidence of Mr. Candy, but as this communication has already run to a
much greater length than I anticipated, I will at once proceed to lay before your readers
Mr. Hall's last letter, which reached Cornwall on Thursday last, the 25th instant. The
letter is addressed to his sister, 23, Paul's-row, Truro, and the original my be seen by
any one who is desirous of inspecting it: "Currie-street, Adelaide, August 2nd, 1840.
Dear Mary, you will, perhaps, think I ought to have written you before, but our time is
so engaged that it is scarcely possible to collect our thoughts, when we have a little time
to do so. I hoped also that our affairs would have taken a more decided turn by this
time. But we are still living, thanks to Providence, and getting forward. Trade is rather
dull at present, but I hope it will be better soon. I feel exceedingly anxious about affairs
at home, and am expecting to hear of John arriving here shortly, as he talked of leaving
in February last. This is the reason of my not writing him. Masons and carpenters are
well paid. But painters are very plenty, there are too many for the place.
You willperceive from the letters I have formerly written home that we are in the way of shopkeeping;had it not been for this we should fall rather short. But I hope to do better
soon, and without painting. I shall not cease to endeavour to do something for father
and mother; I do not, cannot forget them. I should be most happy to see you all here,
but fear to advise father to come, I should be afraid the voyage would be too much for
him. Yet you might have a better passage then we had, ours was unusually long and
painful. I very much wish that we had you here with us. It is now the rainy season, and
we have had some tremendously heavy showers; you can form no idea of their force
from English rain. We have been both of us very ill lately, but we are now much better.
Mr. Sawle has also been dangerously ill, but is now recovering. All the family are very
well, and in a fair way of getting on!! Provisions are reasonable for the place. We sell
flour at 8 d. per lb., sugars from 3 d. to 4d., soap 6d., and other things in proportion.
Bricklayers and carpenters wages are 12s. and 14s. per day; Erastus, if steady, would do
well here. Write us as soon as possible, and mention all possible news. I send a letter to
Mr. TRUSCOTT (of Pydar-street) with this. Mr. and Mrs. Sawle and family give their
kind love to you, and all friends. With assurance of lasting love and esteem to father,
&c. &c. &c. Your's very affectionately. S. R. and EMMA Hall."
The facts mentioned in the foregoing letters appear to me to be most conclusive. They
are in keeping with their writers' former communications, while that of Mr. Sawle is in
opposition to himself when writing to Mr. Crocker. To me this is a matter of utter
indifference. But I owed it to the friends of the numerous emigrants that have gone from
this county, and who now form a very large body, to disabuse their minds of the
prejudices and the distress which Mr. Sawle's letter was likely to occasion. I owed it to
the commissioners whom I have the honour to represent, to endeavour to remove unjust
aspersions cast upon the mode in which emigration is conducted; and, above all, I owed
it to myself to endeavour to show that the agents of this county are not so callous to the
proper feelings of humanity as to seek their own aggrandisement in the ruin or misery
of their fellow men.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, I LATIMER.
Other ships had great loss of children's lives.
In researching this book, the author discovered that another vessel, the barque "Asia", a much smaller ship than "JAVA", at 525 tons, had, in a voyage that lasted from March 4th, 1839 to 16th July 1839, a very similar loss of children. There were 139 adult emigrants on board with 97 children as well as about 12 Cabin passengers. Twenty three children died at sea. Food and medical supplies were in short supply as well as there being an epidemic of measles on board. The ship's surgeon, Dr George Mayo, kept a diary and it does seem he was kept busy with measles, pneumonia, typhus, dropsy, scarlet fever. His diary is available in the Mortlock Library and portions of it are quoted in "My Mother Said", by Betty Reddin.
Ronald Gibbs, a South Australian historian, mentioned in his "A History of South Australia " that, in a voyage lasting from October 4th 1852- January 19th 1853, a large ship, the "Shackamaxon", carrying 696 emigrants, had arrived with 65 people (57 children, 8 adults) having perished.
Another "JAVA" !
The author had brought to his attention the sad coincidence of another emigrant ship with the name "JAVA" that had a very similar loss of lives on a voyage to Port Jackson in 1853. I believe that this ship was in fact a German registered vessel which was smaller than the English "JAVA", being 968 tons against the 1175 tons of the English ship. This ship, which sailed from Hamburg and a had a German captain, then, after picking up Government passengers from Gravesend on the 21st November 1852 with over 500 passengers, had lost 32 young children and two adults by the time it had reached the Cape Province on the 25th February 1853.
By the time it reached Port Jackson on the 24th April 1853, this death toll had reached 45 children and 15 adults.
As with the other ship, "JAVA", an inquiry was held and the verdict was that the passengers suffered "chronic diarrhea" but no blame was placed on the Captain, Surgeon Superintendent or others, so again we find the passengers had no recourse in justice.
A very sad diary was kept by a passenger, Henry Knight who had the misfortune to lose his son Henry and daughter Susan on the voyage due to chronic diarrhea and nearly lost another son Charles.
Henry's diary is sad to read:
"Charles expressed to me that he was sorry he left Penshurst as there were plenty of nice things to eat. Here there is nothing for me to eat. Poor little fellow, he could take but little now, if he had it. Dear child he is getting very weak, trouble to speak. I was obliged to go to a private place in the ship to give vent to my feelings, seeing to that I was deceived by the Commissioners at the nourishment for children."
Another quote from the same diary is equally as emotional:
'I hope when the Commissioners send out another ship with emigrants they will send out a proper portion of nourishment. A proper Superintendent one that has humanity about him. These expressions are hurtful to the feelings especially to the Mothers who are weeping over their dying Children, for such is the case on Board this vessel."
The expressions that Henry referred to are such as he quoted when a fellow passenger Mr. Agur (?) asked the Doctor for a little porter "...the reply was I will see you damned first".
It seems that even 13 years after the earlier voyage to Australia of a ship called "JAVA", lessons had not been learnt about supplying food and care to emigrant passengers.
" JAVA" after 1840
What was the fate of the "JAVA" after it left Adelaide ?
From what the author can discern from the various copies of Lloyds Registers held at the State Library of South Australia, the "JAVA" had a 25 year history after its ignominious voyage to South Australia trading between London and many other ports and then a further sixty five year history as a coal hulk. The year after it came to South Australia, the "JAVA" was sold to Joseph Somes and was to return a number of times to Australia as a troop ship, carrying troops both to New South Wales and to New Zealand. Its last such journey to Sydney appears to be in 1856. Several sources give the charter rate as being seventeen shillings and eleven pence per ton per month.
In a paper, "An Old East Indiaman", supplied by the editor of ‘Sea Breezes” for which I can find no citation, H. Fildes gives an example of one of the troop carrying voyages of the "JAVA". Fildes tells us that the "JAVA", with Captain J. Parsons, left London bound for Gibraltar with troops and stores on December 19th 1841. It arrived at Gibraltar on New Year's Day, 1842. The ship then left for Barbados with the 46th Regiment, stayed there for a month and took on board the 81st Regiment for St Johns , New Brunswick and from there conveyed the 36th Regiment to Cork. Continuing a regular shuffling around of troops, the "JAVA" took from Cork the 20th Regiment to Bermuda and then took
the 60th Regiment from Bermuda to Halifax, there taking on board the 69th taking these troops to Cork. From Cork some troops were then embarked to Portsmouth, where the "JAVA " was refitted and on the 16th November the 2nd Battalion , 12th Regiment were taken on board to the Cape Province.
I have deleted any further reference to troop movements on this voyage -- there were more, but suffice to say that she was well used.
On 18th May 1846 "JAVA" left Woolwich with the headquarters staff of the 65th Regiment of Foot, arrived in Sydney on the 15th October and then was rechartered to take the 65th to New Zealand According to an article published in ""'Sea Breezes'( in 1939) the Java carried between 700 and 800 troops out from England to Hobart, where they arrived on the 8th October, 1846, making the passage in 138 days. She went onto Sydney, where the troops disembarked for health and exercise reasons, and after a couple of weeks she re-embarked them with an addition of five officers and 122 more men.
Hugh and Lyn Hughes in their recent "Discharged in New Zealand" , stated that 900 troops were taken on board and she sailed on 8th November. Two companies left the ship at the Bay of Islands and the rest disembarked at Auckland on November 27th, 1846.
In 1854 "JAVA" visited Victorian and New South Wales ports. The "Argus" and "The Australian and New Zealand Gazette" recorded that "JAVA" was in Hobson's Bay (Victoria) from February 17th 1854 and that it sailed for Bombay on April 12th. It had arrived from London with one first class passenger and 73 steerage passengers and general merchandise. The master is recorded as being J.Robertson.
We learn from an examination of "Lloyds Register" for 1854 that the ship had been repaired (felt and doubled in 1836, and felt and clad with yellow metal) in 1853. Again in 1850 it had minor repairs reported.
Another author, in an unsigned article with the title "What is in a name ", suggested that "JAVA" had called into Sydney previously in 1833 carrying 201 convicts from Cork (Ireland). However I believe he must have mistaken this "JAVA 'for another with the same name but smaller tonnage. In fact Bateson, in his definitive work, "The Convict Ships", indicated that on 18th November 1833, a ship with the name "JAVA", built in Calcutta, but of only 411 tons, landed 201 male convicts, having lost 5 males who died on the voyage.
I have accepted that sometime around 1854-5 Somes sold ” JAVA" to Mr. John Hall of London who in 1857 sold it to Mr. Smith of Gibraltar and it eventually left the Lloyds Register in 1865 Basil Lubbock, in his "THE BLACKWALL FRIGATES" said of perhaps the most famous of the owners of the "JAVA", Mr. Joseph Somes that it was "personalities rather than companies that swayed the destinies of British shipping." He said that the "old ship owners ruled their firms like autocrats, and built up the British Mercantile Marine just as the great Empire builders built up the British Empire." He said "that with the demise of the Old John Company these men found their opportunity and one of the first was Joseph Somes. Somes had begun his career as an India husband, but with his enterprise it was not before long that he had ships trading to every part of the world. He was well known for the number of ships taken up for various purposes by the Government. Many of his ships were hired for the transport of convicts.
His house-flag, which only differed from the White Ensign in having an anchor instead of the Union Jack in the canton, is supposed to have been granted to him as a reward for his many services to the Government in time of need. [Winchester in Shipping Wonders Of The World said that the Admiralty granted the anchor in recognition of some piece of meritorious service during one of the Indian Wars in connection with the transport of elephants.] When the Honourable East India Company sold it's fleet, Joseph Somes bought some of its finest ships such as the "Earl of Balcarres", "Thomas Coutts",
"Abercrombie Robinson", "Lowther Castle", "George the Fourth”, and "JAVA". Lubbock went on to quote Lieut. Coates' tour of the "JAVA" in the '90s. He noted also that "Joseph Somes was one of the promoters of Lloyd's Register of Shipping and that in his old age he was partnered by his sons and that the firm, at his death had the name 'Merchant Shipping Company'."
I have mentioned a number of times the maritime author, W.H.Coates, F.R.G.S., Comm., R.N.R. It was Coates who probably led to Basil Lubbock and others repeating the story of the "JAVA". Coates wrote a whole chapter in his "The Good Old Days of Shipping" about the "JAVA" giving the ship and the chapter, the title "The Last of the Old East Indiamen".Coates, writing in 1899, gave a wonderful word picture of the ship when he wrote as follows:
"On a visit to Gibraltar, however, a few weeks ago, a most strange coal hulk attracted my attention. Her shortness, her low bluff bow, and tumble -down sides, her square stern, and the fact of her being pierced by gun- ports on two decks, all pointed to a bygone date. An accommodation ladder hanging down, I went on board, and the appearance of her upper deck confirmed the impression I had already formed of her from outside.
The waist, from the break of the poop to that of the forecastle, was so short as to seem almost a square. On this upper deck were 12 gun-ports, and in the stanchions on either side of them were still to be seen the heavy iron eyebolts for securing the breeching of the guns. One mast still stood, which being of teak, might be reasonably assumed to have been the original stick. By courtesy of her master I was shown all that was visible, her hold, being full of coal, checking all exploration below the main deck. On her forecastle head were still showing her knightheads, a stump of a bowsprit protruded from the bow, and one of the original catheads, the other, I was told had been torn off by a passing steamer. Her windlass though antiquated, seemed massive enough to have held the "Great Eastern".
We descended then into her main deck. On this deck she had apparently carried twelve guns, and here, as on the upper deck, the breeching bolts for securing her guns to the side still remained, a silent testimony to the stirring times in which she had been afloat.
... We found, during our wanderings, the old pair of double steering wheels which had formerly had their place, as was the custom in those days, under the break of the poop. Now, in the closing days of this grand old ship, they had been removed from their place and utilised as the wheels of the hand winch. The upper and main deck beams were supported by massive teak stanchions handsomely turned. On emerging from below, we found the present owner Mr. W. J. Smith, the well known P.& O agent. This gentleman, who takes a keen interest in old ships generally, takes an especial interest in this one which came into the hands of his firm some time ago."
Coates then said Mr. Smith told him the previously mentioned story of how the "JAVA" had been named, and how, he, Mr. Smith, had given orders for the figurehead to be dug up from the hold where it had lain for many years under the coal cargo, and it was found to represent a woman, her hands crossed over her breast as if hiding her nakedness.
Coates then went on to point out the robustness of construction when he said the following :-"A curious fact which speaks volumes to the excellence of her scantling, and to the skills of her builders happened on her passage out to Gibraltar, laden with coal. She struck on Pearl Rock, which , as most readers are aware, lies to the southward of Carnero point and a mile from the shore. She got off, however and came into Gibraltar Bay. It was the intention to dock her at Cadiz, but the underwriters insisting on her returning home to dock she sailed to England. There on being docked, she was found to have a large piece of rock sticking into her bottom. Even at her present age, eighty-three years, her only leak is in the vicinity of this spot, as the planking put in by the repairers has not stood the test of time.
As an almost forgotten hulk she lies now, a link in the chain of progression in the art of ship buildinga ship that when built was considered a triumph of skill, a credit alike to designer and builder, but now a floating monument to the palmy days of shipping, and a reminder of the ceaseless changes in the phases of commerce."
Coates, writing in another of his works "The Old Country Trade of the East Indies" (London, Imray Laurie, Norie & Wilson Ltd, 1911) said "...she is the last of the old East Indiaman." (This author's emphasis)
Amazingly the "JAVA" was to remain at Gibraltar until 15th July 1939, when at 1530 hours, having been sold to the Genoan shipbreaker, Riccardo Guisseppe Sarnpierdarena on the 5th July for £500 , she was towed out of Gibraltar. An article published in October 1939 in "Sea Breezes said "hundreds of people regretfully watched her silent departure from the Rock and as the article said, another Gibraltar landmark-or as one shrewd observer suggested, a watermark had gone, never to be replaced.
Mr. W.H.Smith, of Smith, Omossi & Co., stated that it had become apparent that she could not withstand another winter's storms, and with great reluctance the firm had felt compelled to send her away.
This was certainly a historical moment and even the "Times" newspaper of London carried a number of mentions about it including on the 26th of July, an article with the title " The Last Indiaman ---
JAVA of Gibraltar to be broken up". The article began with "The "JAVA" believed to be the last East Indiaman still afloat has been towed out of Gibraltar Bay to be broken up. The ship, which has been moored in Gibraltar Bay for more than 80 years, was perhaps the most familiar mark in Gibraltar territorial waters. She was used exclusively as a coal-hulk and was known to generations of merchant seamen as hulk No. 16, for from her spacious holds thousands of merchant vessels have been supplied with bunkering coal for the best part of a century" . The rest of the article went on to give the romantic history of the naming of the vessel, I suspect a direct and unacknowledged "lift" from Coates " The Good Old Days Of Shipping."
So to close, I believe that the story of the "JAVA" had to retold, bringing together the aspects of her history that many did not know and to show the "JAVA" in a way, by serving as a coal tender vessel and outlasting its sister ships despite the sad and little recorded episode in the history of the ship when it was used as an emigrant vessel, deserves a greater recognition in maritime history.
CREW LIST 1840 VOYAGE OF "JAVA"
The "Java" manifest listed the following crew members:
J.H.Bird 1st Mate
J.Thomson 2nd Mate
Chas. Bucklan 3rd Mate
Robert Gheates 4th Mate
Jno. Baird Carpenter
Thomas Johnson Boatswain and 86 able and ordinary seamen
In a personal communication with the author, noted South Australian maritime author, Ronald Parsons made the point that the general run of medical comforts aboard any and every sailing ship of the era, were a few dozen bottles of porter, some arrowroot, some laudanum laudenam and possibly some strong laxative pills. Parsons said that "Richards did not know what to do to prepare himself and family for a long voyage. He was obviously unused to travel, had made no enquiries, and suffered accordingly. He should have taken some comforts against possible illness among his children; that was the normal thing to do by travellerstravelers in that day and age."
James Trangmar, a brief history.
James Trangmar is described in Burkes Colonial Gentry as "Trangmar of Burswood". We learn that he was born at Brighton, in Sussex, on the 10th March 1820; and that his first marriage was at Longford, Tasmania to Mary Ann Coulston, on the 17th July, 1849. The children of this marriage were James William, Henry Watson, George Charles, and Ann. Mary Ann died on the 6th. July 1861.
He then married Catherine McKery and they had one son, Ernest Albert. His rural interests included land at Burswood, Portland; Bochara, River Wannon, Violet Creek, on Violet Creek, Hamilton and Morgiana also at Wannon and also Cape Nelson, Trewalla.
He set up a general merchants business with George. G Crouch (his brother-law) in Portland, Victoria in 1846, but was in England from 1848-1849. In 1850 he was elected to the Portland Shire Council. In 1853 he dissolved the partnership with Crouch. He handed over his merchandising concerns to Charles Marshall in 1862, and took up pastoral pursuits. He was appointed Captain with the Portland Detachment of the western Artillery on the first day of June 1871 and was promoted to Major in 1879 and retired as Colonel in 1883. He was Justice of the Peace for the Western Bailiwick, and Returning Officer for Portland.
He became chairman of the municipality of Portland in 1860-61, and was the Mayor of Portland 1875-78 and again in 1882. He passed away on the 16th. December, 1888.
His family has a long history, originally coming from Normandy, settling both in Portslade, Sussex and another branch in York, England with a family crest- "A dexter arm embowed to armour holding in the hand, a sword."
As early as the 16th century, the family were associated with shipbuilding, the family name then being known as Trankmore. A book, published in 1683, with the title "Mr. James Janiway's Legacy to his Friends ( Containing Twenty Seven Famous Instances of God's Providence in and About Sea dangers and Deliverances; with the names of several that were eyewitnesses to many of them"), mentions Captain John Trankmore who had been thrown overboard and somehow was rescued by another ship.
These notes were supplied by Peter Trangmar, a descendant.
PASSENGER LIST OF THE "JAVA".
For the Voyage October 1839-February 1840
As no complete passenger list is known to exist the following list is provided to provide a listing as complete as possible from remaining published sources.
The "JAVA" manifest gave the following information.
Miss Jane Cotter, Miss Ellen Cotter, Miss Charlotte Guy, Miss Mary Guy, Mrs Mary Watson, two Misses Watson, Master Watson, Mrs Bernard, Mr. Grote, Mr. McLeod, Mr. Baddockby, Mr. Charles Barlow.
Mr. Benjamin Conigrave, Mrs. Matilda Conigrave, (and two children), Mr.J Crews, Mr. A. Walters, Mr. Graham, O.E.Dorian, Alfred Dorian
Mr. and Mrs. Goulding, Roderick McLeod, Hugh Dunstan, James Trebilcock, Mrs Harding, Mr(?)
Mitchell and 460 Commissioners passengers in the steerage.
This last comment on the manifest has of course made any complete listing likely to be a "Herculean" task.
Other sources have provided the following names in addition to those shown;
James and Thomasina Crowle, ancestors of the author were on board, as of course was William Richards (the diarist), his daughter Caroline having died at sea. William had also William, Jnr., Laura,
George and Cyrus as well as presumably his wife on board. James Trangmar and his sister Sarah and his aunt and uncle were passengers but I am unsure of their location on the ship. We know that there was the widow to Mr. Oxford of Bideford and his four children. Also George mentions Mr. Bastian of Cowan whose daughter aged 11 years died, a Mr Gahan lost a child and Mr. Carbins also lost his wife.
Opie in S.A Records Prior to 1841 listed the following passengers not listed above:
William Francis, Alice Nixon, Sarah Thomas, Charles Tonkin, James Tonkin, Mary J. Hocking, T.Wallace, Henry Veal, Peter Williams, Robert Dunstan, C. Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, W.Edwards and W.Edwards jnr., John Moore, W.H.J Paine George Porter, Joseph Stanton, Bernard Greig, Mary Dutch, H.F.Francis, Mary Jane Jose, Jane Atkinson,R.L Low,.Mrs S.Downs, Thomas Hannigan, Mary McCarthy (nee Burnard), R. Burnard and E. Burnard, Mrs Eliza Barlow, John Coad and Thomas Polkinghorne.
From the records of the Pioneers Association of South Australia, the following names can also be added:
Enoch Tonkin, William Bassett, James Shakes, Samson Bastian, Joseph Chivell, John Germein, John Downing.
From the Medical Board enquiry, the following names can be added:
Jane Bassett, William Price, Mrs. Giles, Graham Poole, Mr. Landy, Mrs Hames, James Pearson, James, George and Isaac Polkinghorne, Robert Bernard, William Hawke, George Hinde, George Jennett, William Payne, Benjamin Graham.
And from the Register of Sick and Destitute Emigrants the following sad list is provided (some names can been found in other lists above, but are shown here again as some descendants may not be aware
of this register:
Lightfoot, Candy, Harnagin,, Pleas ,McCanock,,E.Hailey, Philipia Bastian, Eliza Bastian, John Bastian and family, Samson Bastian Thomas Sleep and wife and child, Hawke, John Coad and wife, (space) Elizabeth Axford (husband died on voyage (not mentioned by William Richards), and five children,
James Pearce and wife, Grace Gillard, Ann Coutts, William Francis, wife and four children, Elizabeth Trillegen Robert Dunstan and wife and five children, William Huxtable, wife and six children, Alice Polkinghorne and infant, Grace Polkinghorne, John Bennett, James Elvery, Ann Dennis, Austin, Coking, Thomas Major and wife and child, Langcake, Jammett, Thomas Chantie, Bennett Johns, Benjamin Gahan and wife and two children (third died on voyage), William Renwells , James Edwards, William Harris and wife, Joseph Stanton and wife.
Following publication of a letter to the Editor of the Messenger Press during December/January
1987/88, the following list of names were provided by descendants:
William and Elizabeth Reynolds, James and Harriet Shakes (from Kent), Robert Dunstan with his wife Elizabeth and their children Robert, Elizabeth, Luke, Thomas and Mary who died on February13th 1840 ( a week after the "JAVA" arrived); William and Elizabeth Edwards, whose daughter
Caroline died at sea, and sons Henry and William. Also on board were Richard and Sarah Perkins, with two children Richard Anstice Perkins and Mary Ann Perkins. ( Mr. Perkins, according to the Perkins family history had been in the employ of the East India Company) , Mr. Simon Dalgleish.
Other names to be given to the author include that of Nicholas and Susan Player, who came from Kenwyn, Truro in Cornwall with their children, Ellen, Elizabeth, Nicholas, John, and another male child. John Wills arrived with his wife Eliza and a daughter Eliza and a son John from Devonshire.
This listing of passengers name(s) from research undertaken by Mrs. Patricia Button. Spellings as from originals and many variations will have to be allowed for. Prepared from lists of applications for free
passage and matched with embarkation numbers.
NAME OF APPLICANT
NUMBER SHIP SOURCE NO. OF
FEMALE CHILD APP. NO. DATE
3517 RICHARD AXFORD JAVA 1 1 4 3885 25/1/39
3518 ? JAS. BIRELL JAVA 1 1 1 5022 25/5/39
3519 JAS. BATES JAVA 1 1 5728 8/8/39
3520 Wm. BASSETT JAVA 1 1 4 5597 29/7/39
3522 ROBT. BURNARD JAVA BISA 1 1 6 5891 26/8/39
3523 SAMSON BASTIAN JAVA BISA 1 1 7 5398 8/7/39
3524 ELIZABETH BASTIAN JAVA BISA 1 5399 8/7/39
3525 SAMSON BASTIAN Jn. JAVA BISA 1 5400 8/7/39
3526 JANE BASTIAN JAVA BISA 1 5953 6/9/39
3527 WILLIAM BASTIAN 1 1 2 5475 11/8/39
3527 JOHN CHISHOLM 1 6153 28/9/39
3528 MAHALOE CARBIN 1 5938 6/9/39
3529 THOS. CARBIN 1 1 5937 6/9/39
3530 ELIZA COLE 1 5677 2/8/39
3531 NICHOLAS COLE 1 1 1 6196 4/10/39
3533 RICHD. CRABB JAVA BISA 1 1 2 5837 19/8/39
3534 WM. CRABB JAVA BISA 1 1 4 5839 19/8/39
3535 WM. CRABB JAVA BISA 1 5838 19/8/39
3536 THOS. CARBIN JAVA 1 5959 6/9/39
3537 JOSEPH CHIVELL JAVA BISA 1 1 5 5363 3/7/39
3538 JAMES CHIVELL JAVA BISA 1 5364 3/7/39
3539 JOSEPH CHIVELL JAVA BISA 1 5366 3/7/39
3540 WM. CHIVELL JAVA BISA 1 5365 3/7/39
3541 JOHN COULLS 1 1 2 5748 11/8/39
3542 JANE COULLS 1 5751 11/8/39
3543 JAS. COAD JAVA BISA 1 1 3 4071 10/5/39
3544 RICH. COCKING 1 1 4 5963 6/9/39
3545 GEO. COCKING 1 1 5994 12/9/39
3546 JOHN CHANTER JAVA BISA 1 1 1 5255 19/6/39
3547 WM. CANDY JAVA BISA 1 1 1 6027 13/9/39
3548 JAS. CROWLE 1 1 6055 14/9/39
3549 ELIZA COOMBE 1 6329 1/11/39
3550 THOS. DONOUGHUE 1 1 1 6079 18/9/39
3551 JOHN DOWNING 1 1 1 5969 9/9/39
3552 ROBERT DUNSTAN 1 1 5 5990 12/9/39
3553 ANNA DENNIS 1 6144 26/9/39
3554 JAMES ELVERY JAVA BISA 1 1 1 5705 15/8/39
3555 WM. EDWARDS 1 1 2 6112 23/9/39
3556 JAMES EDWARDS 1 1 1 6298 24/10/39
3557 WM. FRANCIS JAVA BISA 1 1 4 5048 25/5/39
3558 RICHD. GILES 1 1 5894 26/8/39
3559 JOHN GRIGG 1 5162 12/6/39
3560 BENJAMIN GAHAN JAVA BISA 1 1 3 5603 29/7/39
3561 GRACE GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 2 5392 8/7/39
3562 JOSEPH GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 5393 8/7/39
3563 MARY GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 5394 8/7/39
3564 JOHN GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 5395 8/7/39
3565 SALLY GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 5396 8/7/39
3566 ELIZA GILLARD JAVA BISA 1 5873 22/8/39
3567 JOSEPH GATLEY 1 1 3 6029 13/9/39
3568 JOHN GERMAIN 1 1 6331 1/11/39
3569 ANN GERMAIN 1 6330 1/11/39
3569 JAMES GEORGE 1 1 2 6267 18/10/39
3570 THOS. HINIGAN 1 6109 23/9/39
3571 ELIZABETH HAMLYN 1 5968 9/9/39
3572 WM. N. HARRIS 1 1 6151 28/9/39
3573 JAMES HARRIS 1 1 1 5871 22/8/39
3574 CONSTANCE HALES 1 5741 11/8/39
3575 WM. HAWKE 1 1 3 5961 6/9/39
3576 WM. HUMBERSTONE 1 1 1 6253 14/10/39
3577 JOHN HUXTABLE 1 1 5 5952 5/9/39
3579 WM. HILL 1 1 2 6058 15/9/39
3580 MARY ANN HILL 1 6113 23/9/39
3581 EDW. HARRIS 1 1 2 6155 30/9/39
3582 GEO. HAINES 1 1 2 5930 2/9/39
3583 GEO. HAINES Jnr. 1 5935 2/9/39
3584 GEO. HUNT 1 5929 2/9/39
3585 GEO. HARFORD 1 5931 2/9/39
3586 ALEXENDER JOHNSTON 1 1 1 5266 20/6/39
3587 BENNETT JOHNS JAVA BISA 1 5155 6/6/39
3588 GEORGE R.H. JEMMELL 1 1 3 6328 1/11/39
3589 JOHN KELLOCK 1 1 3 5267 20/6/39
3590 CHARLES LOW 1 1 5 5347 1/7/39
3591 WM. LIGHTFOOT 1 1 4 6295 23/10/39
3592 ANDREW McKISSOCK 1 1 5308 22/7/39
3593 WILLIAM MOORE 1 1 5977 9/9/39
3594 HARRIET MOORE 1 6082 13/9/39
3596 JOHN MOORE JAVA BISA 1 1 1 5685 2/8/39
3597 WM. MITCHELL 1 1 3 4962 Pays own
3598 JOHN MITCHELL 1 4963 16/5/39
3599 THOS. MAGOR 1 1 2 5472 11/8/39
3600 HENRY MALLETT 1 1 4511 30/3/39
3601 WM. MUNDY 1 1 1 5925 2/9/39
3602 WM. MUNDY 1 6063 15/9/39
3603 ANNE MUNDY 1 6064 15/9/39
3604 SARAH MUNDY 1 6065 15/9/39
3606 MGT. NEVILLE 1 6080 18/9/39
3607 JAMES ORROCK 1 1 5 5265 20/3/39
3608 JOSIAH ODGERS 1 1 5119 6/6/39
3609 GEO. PORTER 1 1 1 5722 8/8/39
3610 ELIZABETH A. PORTER 1 5727 8/8/39
3611 EMILY PORTER 1 5726 8/8/39
3612 HENRY JOHN PORTER 1 2 5725 8/8/39
3613 WM. H. PORTER 1 5724 8/8/39
3614 GEO. WM. PORTER 1 1 5723 8/8/39
3615 R. PERKINS JAVA BISA 1 1 2 5976 9/9/39
3616 WM. PHILIP 1 1 2 6057 14/9/39
3617 RICHD. PARSONS 1 1 2 5254 19/6/39
3618 JAMES PEARCE JAVA BISA 1 1 2 5596 29/7/39
3619 JOHN PLEASE 1 1 2 6221 7/10/39
3620 STEPHEN ENGLAND 1 1 5880 22/8/39
3621 ISAAC POLKINGHORNE JAVA BISA 1 1 1 5879 22/8/39
3622 W.H.J. PAIN(E) JAVA BISA 1 1 1 5391 7/7/39
3624 NICHS. PLAYER JAVA BISA 1 1 5 6040 14/9/39
3525) JOSIAH PENGILLEY(Jack) 1 1 6137 26/9/39
3525) JOHN ROBERTS 5962 6/9/39
3526 JOHN RANDELL 1 2411 16/5/38
3627 WILMOTT RANDALL 1 5281 24/6/39
3629 PETER ROWE 1 1 5960 6/9/39
3630 J.W. ROWE 1 1 4 5921 2/9/39
3631 WM. REYNOLDS JAVA BISA 1 1 6016 13/9/39
3632 JOHN RUNDLE JAVA BISA 1 1 6 5657 31/7/39
3633 JOHN RUNDLE
3634 JOHN RUNDLE 1 5678 2/8/39
3635 JOHN ROBINS RUNDLE(nephew) 1 5663 31/7/39
3636 ELIZABETH RUNDLE 1 5659 31/7/39
3637 JANE RUNDLE 1 5660 31/7/39
3638 MARY RUNDLE JAVA BISA 1 5661 31/7/39
3639 JEMINA STEWART 1 5349 1/7/39
3640 WILLM. STEWART 1 5348 1/7/39
3641 JAMES SHAKES JAVA BISA 1 1 1 6078 18/9/39
3642 JAMES SLEEP 1 1 2 2123 3/4/38
3644 JOSIAH STANTON(Joseph?)JAVA BISA 1 1 2 5118 6/6/39
3645 JOHN H. TAYLOR 1 5730 8/8/39
3646 WM. H. TAYLOR 1 5731 8/8/39
3647 JAS. TRANGMAN(R) 1 6013 13/9/39
3648 MARY ANN TRANGMAN 1 6081 20/9/39
3649 WILLM. TRELEGGAN 1 1 5918 30/8/39
3650 FRED TRELIGGAN 1 1 3 6023 13/9/39
3651 MARY TRACY (nephew Will Thomas) 1 5019 25/5/39
3652 WILL TONKINS 1 5851 19/8/39
3653 ENOCH TONKIN JAVA BISA 1 1 6 5899 26/8/39
3654 WM. H. TONKIN JAVA BISA 1 5900 26/8/39
3655 AMELIA TONKIN JAVA BISA 1 5953 5/9/39
3656 JOHN TREGEAGLE 1 1 4 6091 21/9/39
3657 LUKE VEALL 1 1 1 5917 30/8/39
3658 ELIZ. WARD 1 5979 10/9/39
3659 Robt.(Thomas?)WILLIAMS JAVA BISA 1 1 3 5149 6/6/39
3660 WILLIAM WILLIAMS JAVA BISA 1 5154 6/6/39
3661 SALLY WILLIAMS JAVA BISA 1 5153 6/6/39
3662 GRACE WILLIAMS JAVA BISA 5151 6/6/39
3663 HONOR WILLIAMS JAVA BISA 1 1 5150 6/6/39
3664 WILLIAM WELCH 1 1 2 5744 11/8/39
3665 JOHN WILLS JAVA 1 1 2 5221 13/6/39
3666 THOS. WALLIS(Wallace) 1 1 2 6332 1/11/39
3669 THOMAS CARBIN(PP Passage) 1 1 5957 6/9/39
3670 DANIEL COULLS 5747 11/8/39
3671 JOHN GOYAN (PP Passage) 5870 22/8/39
3672 ROBT.ISBEL(Morphett?) BISA 1 6217 5/10/39
3673 ELIZ. BRYDEN 1 6219 4/10/39
3674 JAMES LAVIN 1 5758 12/8/39
3678 WM. RICHARDS 1 1 5 5719 7/8/39
3679 HELEN STEWART 1 5350 1/7/39
HOLDFAST BAY OR PORT MISERY?
Some clarification is perhaps needed over the anchorage point of the "Java". William Richards in hisdiary said that it was Holdfast Bay despite the fact that the poster advertising the sailing of the vesselssaid it was bound for Port Adelaide. Richards clearly indicates Holdfast Bay in his diary entry:
“ No sleep all night got up 3’oclockbeat the Regesthran, whent up the Gulph in fine style, anchored in Holdfast Bay opposite Glenelg . before 8:15am and the Regesthran 20 minutes after us along side, had a shower of rain juts after we anchored. We did not go ashore before Saturday afternoon”
What might be a good guide is in an article which appeared in the "Adelaide Observer", 3rd April 1880, page 567.
John Bond Phipson, writing of the day he arrived in 1838 in the "Rajasthan" said the following :"We anchored, as all other vessels over 300 and 400 tons did, at Holdfast Bay, several miles from shore. Vessels of smaller tonnage would proceed up the stream, cross over the bar and go to the Old Port, then situate a mile or two inland than the present Port. Boats would convey the passenger's, luggage, &c., to land. the wooden framed houses manufactured and packed in England to be at once put up on landing here and other floatable articles were generally pitched overboard and then tided in to what is now known as Patawalonga Creek."
It is my belief that the "Java" then, two years later on February 6th, in fact on the day that the"Rajasthan" made its return visit to Adelaide (,) did in fact anchor at Holdfast Bay. Other authorities have indicated that it was at Port Misery but I cannot verify this.
Books, Pamphlets and Articles
ANONYMOUS What is in a name (No citation found, copy held by this author ANONYMOUS The Last East Indiaman Sea Breezes- The Ship Lovers Magazine, October 1939, pages 235-236.
BATESON, Charles, The Convict Ships 1787-1868, Sydney, A.H. & A.W.Reed, 1974
BOWEN, Frank ' End of a famous ship. last survivor of East India Company's fleet. ( No citation given, stamped 22nd July 1939)
CHARLWOOD, Don, The Long Farewell [ Settlers under sail] Ringwood, Victoria Allen Lane/Penguin Books, 1981
COATES, W. H., The Good Old Days of Shipping, Bombay, 1900
COATES, W.H., The Old 'Country Trade' Of The East Indies, London Imray , Laurie, Norrie
FILDES, H. An old East Indiaman (no citation found, copy held by this author)
GIBBS, R.M. A History of South Australia, Adelaide Balara Books, 1969
HUGHES, Hugh and Lyn Discharged in New Zealand -Soldiers of the Imperial Foot Regiments who took their discharge in New Zealand 1840-1870, New Zealand Society Of Genealogists, 1988
KERR,Colin An Exelent Coliney The Practical Idealists of 1836¬
Adelaide, Rigby , 1968
LUBBOCK, Basil The Colonial Clippers, Glasgow, James Brown & Son, 1924
LUBBOCK, Basil The Blackwall Frigates, Glasgow, Brown, Son & Ferguson 1922
MACGREGOR, David Merchant Sailing Ships 1775-1815 Their design and construction, London, Model and Allied Publications, 1980
MILLER, RUSSELL The EastIndiamen, Amsterdam, Time-Life Books, 1981
OPIE, E. A. S.A. Records prior to 1841, Adelaide, Hassey and Gillingham, 1911
PARSONS, Ronald Migrant Ships For South Australia 1836-1850, Magill, 1983
PAYTON, Philip J. Cornish Miners in Australia --- Cousin Jack Down Under Trewolsta, Cornwall,1984.
REDDIN, Betty My Mother Said --- an Anecdotal History concerning South Australia from 1838-1910 Published by Betty Reddin, Adelaide., 1985,
WINCHESTER, Clarence ed. Shipping Wonders Of The World London, The Fleetway House, c 1938.
KNIGHT, Henry [Journal of a voyage to Port Jackson aboard "JAVA" ] retold in a letter of October 1853] Held Private hands, transcript in Mitchell Library , N.S.W.
MAYO, Dr. George Diary kept on board the "Asia", March 4th 1839 July l6th 1839 Mortlock Library of South Australiana, State Library of South Australia
RICHARDS, William Journal of a voyage to South Australia on board the "JAVA" Monday October 28th, 1839 February 6th 1840 Ms D 4718 Mortlock Library of South Australiana, State Library of South Australia. [called incorrectly the George Richards diary]
TRANGMAR, James Log while on the "JAVA" outward bound, Gravesend October 12th 1839- Holdfast Bay February 1840 Typescript copy held by author, copy also in Mortlock Library of SouthAustraliana, State Library of South Australia.
THE ADELAIDE OBSERVER APRIL 3RD 1880
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER February 8th 1840, February 11th, March 30th 1840.
SOUTHERN AUSTRALIAN February 12th 1840, March 30th 1840. THE TIMES (London) July 26th, 1939.
Despatches to the Commissioners, 1838-1841 No. 20, March 3rd 1840 and No. 24, March 30th 1840,
Resident Commissioner , George Gawler to the Secretary, Colonial Commissioners Public Records Office of South Australia
Despatches to the Resident Commissioner, 1840-1842 No. 69, November 4th, 1840 from Robert Torrens and others to Governor Gawler. Public Records Office of South Australia.
Copy of card showing departure date of "JAVA" with receipt for Intermediate passenger, Benjamin Conigrave and family written on reverse. D 6713 (Mist), held in Mortlock Library, used by kind permission of donor, Miss L.M.Conigrave.
Proceedings of the Medical Board
Minutes of the Meeting of Medical Board appointed to enquire into the causes of the sickness, suffering and mortality on board the JAVA Emigrant Ship, and to report upon what appear to have been the causes of this state of things. 1839/312a 27 (Note this is incorrectly dated- it should read 1840) Public Records Office, of South Australia.
Return of sick and destitute Emigrants who have received relief from the Emigration Department for the half years 1/1/40-30/6/1840 and 1/7/40¬31/12/1840. Mortlock Library of South Australiana, State Library of South Australia.
A prayer of remembrance for our pioneers
Prepared by Dr. Arnold Hunt
Almighty God, before whom the generations rise and pass away.
We remember today and give thanks to you for our forebears through whom the gift of life came to us.
For those who journeyed across the seas
to the uttermost parts of the earth and settled in this our land
(Response) We remember and give thanks, O God
For their courage in adversity, their persistence in the face of sickness and
death, their determination in the presence of discouragement
(Response) We remember and give thanks, O God
For the work to which they set their hand in a new country, the hard toil they were prepared to undertake
and their contribution to the society of which we are now members
(Response) We remember and give thanks, O God
For our inheritance that has come to us from the pioneers and all who have gone before us
(Response) We remember and give thanks, O God
O God, make us grateful for all that has come to us from our ancestors.
We thank you for their faith in you which was a source of courage and comfort in. days of distress.
Grant that this faith may also be a reality to us so that we too may find the strength that we need through our trust in you.
Through ,Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
JAVA MASTERS AND OWNERS
YEAR MASTER OWNER DESTINATION
1814 DENNISON PAXTON LONDON-INDIA
1818 HODGE PAXTON LONDON-INDIA
1825 DRIVER FAIRLIE & CO. LONDON-CALCUTTA
1833 DRIVER HARE & CO. LONDON-INDIA
1836 DRIVER SCOTT & CO. LONDON-INDIA
1839 DRIVER SCOTT & CO. LONDON-LONDON
1841 PEARSON SOMES LONDON-MAURITIUS
1843 LOCKE SOMES LONDON-MAURITIUS
1846 W.PARKER SOMES LONDON-SYDNEY
1849 W.PARKER SOMES LONDON-CALCUTTA
1850 GILBERT SOMES LONDON-EAST INDIA
1852 GRAY SOMES LONDON-LONDON
1854 ROBERTSON SOMES LONDON-SYDNEY
1857 SMITH HALL&CO LONDON-MED.
1865 SMITH SMITH