State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 15 April 1975



(I) From Sarah Docker, Diary of a voyage from London to Sydney on board the ship Adams, 16 June–11 November 1828.
Friday 20th
After remaining all night at anchor we set sail this morning about half past 9 and passed Dover Castle and Cliffs about one oclock. At night we drifted back a considerable way, and when we were retiring to bed there was almost a dead calm.
Saturday 21st
We had this day contrary winds came up to Beachy head, and at 8 oclock had a near view of the Forts which are built at equal distance along coast. Mrs D. Jane and myself continued very sick. The young men amused themselves with cockfighting and Cards.
Sunday 22nd
Brighton was seen this morning. Mr D. read prayers, the Captain, Passengers, and some of the Sailors attended.
Friday 27th June
Nothing particular occurred during the week. I still continued very sick and became so weak that I could scarcely sit up. About 6 oclock this morning I felt very unwell and had the Doctor and Mrs. Davies called up, and a little after six Mary-Jane was born. She was so very small that I was inclined to think she was born a month too soon, but the Doctor thought it was owing to my have been so very sick.
At 9 oclock Mr. D. baptized our little girl and gave her the name of Mary Jane. After my confinement I never was the least sick, and should have up in a day or two but that the weather was exceedingly stormy, and the Ship was very much tossed. Mr. D. was so very unwell that he almost thought he should not survive the passage.
Sunday 6th July
I went into the Cabin for the first time after my confinement, and looked so well that the Captain said he should scarcely have known me for the same person. We were this day about 90 miles from Cape Finistere.
Wednesday 9th July
We had a fair wind for the first time during our passage. I went on Deck and remained there several hours. Mr D. was quite recovered.
Saturday 12 July
Mrs. Davies took Mary on Deck for the first time.
Saturday 26th July
About one oclock we met with the Ganges a ship sailing from Calcutta to London, we were sufficiently near to speak them with a trumpet, and could plainly see the Passengers on Deck; one of them, a little boy, clapped his hands, and seemed quite delighted with seeing us. I believe I was the only person on board who did not heartily enjoy the sight, but I felt so disappointed at not being able to put a letter which I had previously written on board the Ganges that I could scarcely bear to look at it.
Tuesday July 29th
For the last few days the heat has been quite overpowering. The Sailors took a young Shark, and cooked it for their breakfast, they consider it quite a Luxury after having had nothing but salt meat. We frequently amused ourselves with playing at Chess Mrs Rogers being quite a scientific player.
Sunday 10th Aug. 1828
About six P.M. a small Schooner passed us, and caused some alarm among the passengers, as she showed no colours, and we could see
nearly thirty men on board. The Captain thought she was a Spanish Ship, either a Pirate or in the slave trade; after she had passed some of our passengers showed their valour by talking how they would have defended themselves with Guns etc I did not feel the slightest degree of alarm. We passed the Line about 9 P.M. being exactly two months since we left London
Monday 11th Aug.
Having passed the Line yesterday all the passengers, myself and Mary excepted went through the ceremony of ducking. I sat on Deck and was much entertained with seeing them all one by one brought up blind folded and well drenched in water, out of respect to Mr. D. the sailors only threw a tub of water on him, but most of the others had their faces pitched and were thrown backwards into a sail full of water. When all was over Mr. D. gave the men £1.10. The other passengers gave some 10/ and some 20/
Thursday 21st 1828
Nother particular has occurred for the last ten days. The weather has been very fine, and all of us in good health. We did find the heat intolerable as we expected when crossing the Line. This morning we met with an American Whaler, she came up close to us, and asked many questions about the politics of Europe etc. Upon taking leave they civilly asked our Captain if they could supply us with anything which we wanted as we had a long passage before us.
Wednesday Aug 27th
We had this morning a dead calm & the water was just like a sheet of Glass the Captain lowered his boat and took a sail for some miles about the Ship. The gentlemen amused themselves with shooting. Mr D. shot two Cape Pigeons; they are very pretty Birds, much like our English ones. I had a constant amusement in Mary who improved every day. Jane is a very nice girl, and I find her of great use, as we are constantly employed in nursing, sewing and washing for Mary.
Saturday Aug 30th
This morning Jane fell from the top of the Cabin stairs to the bottom, and hurt herself very much, we thought it very fortunate that she had not Mary in her arms, as she had previous to this time frequently carried her up and down.
Wednesday September 17th
Jane is now perfectly recovered from the effects of her fall. The weather is now very cold; and the thick Fogs which come over the sea almost every quarter of hour remind us forcibly of a November day.
Friday 26th Sept.
Very early in the morning several Whales were seen at a distance, and one in particular, lifted his head above the water a considerable way, and remained in that position a considerable time to the great delight and astonishment of all on deck. In the evening the first Mate took a Porpoise, there was great rejoicing on the occasion, as we were all anxious to have a near view of this singular Fish it was soon killed and bled more than any Pig our butcher then cut it up; the flesh had exactly the appearance of Pork, particularly about the face. The Sailors were very glad of it to eat, and we all tasted the liver which you would not have known from that of a Pig. Numbers of sea Birds were Shot. Last Sunday I put Mary into short petticoats, she is grown very fat, and has Aunt Elizabeths double chin, but it is impossible say who she will be like. The Captain and all the passengers seem very fond of her, she is so very quiet and good humoured.
Sunday 28th Sept.
We sailed all day with a fine breeze, about four in the afternoon the wind became much higher, and the sea washed over the Deck so that we were obliged to go into the Cabin. About twelve oclock I was awaked by a quantity of water pouring upon my bed; we called for a light, and were informed that the Companion door had been left open and the sea had rushed down the stairs. It is difficult to describe the scene of noise and confusion which we witnessed, the rattling of Boxes, Chairs, and decanters, as they rolled about the Cabin; the creeking of the Ship, together with the frequent rushing in of the water. There was an almost continual glare of lightening. It may appear strange, but I was
more inclined to laugh at the noise and confusion than to feel the slightest apprehension of danger.
Saturday 4th Oct.
Nothing particular has occured since Sunday nights storm. The weather has been rather stormy. This morning being a complete calm, the boat was lowered, and Mr. D. and one or two more, taking with them their guns sallied forth on a shooting expedition. One of the birds shot measured upwards of seven feet from the tip of one wing to the other.
About this time we lost many of our comforts, our white Biscuits, Cheese, Porter, and desert were all finished, and the Coals were getting very low so that we could have nothing but boiled Meat. Some of the passengers appeared very much disconted, but as Mr. D. was well, and Mary very fat I did not mind.
Monday 13 Oct 1828
This morning we met with a Dutch Ship, and sent out a boat to enquire if they could let us have some coals. The Captain gave us 3 baskets but would not sell any.
Tuesday 14th Oct 1828
This morning we saw another Ship, but were too far distant to make out what she was. About 4 oclock we came in sight of the Island of St Pauls, and before dark we came close under the land. We tacked about all night, and as soon a daybreak came, we were right before the entrance of the Bason. The chief Mate 2 of the men and one of the Passengers were sent out to explore the Island, and if possible procure a little wood for firing. About ten they returned, bringing with them 10 fine Codfish, and a quantity of Craw-fish. They informed us that the Island was completely barren without a single Shrub they saw several wild Hogs. About 20 yds from the place where the boat landed they met with a Hut about 8 yds square supposed to have been built by some American Sealers. This they plundered of the few pieces of timber which had been put up as a temporary roof. There are hot springs, and although it may appear improbable, they boiled one of the Fish which they caught, in them and we most of us tasted it, as soon as they came on shore. We had now no chance for gaining more firing, and were therefore obliged to be as careful as possible to prevent our being entirely without. We were well off in having plenty of water, and it was as good as when we left London.
Wednesday 5th Nov.
We have had very fine weather without any particular occurrence since we left St. Pauls. Today I drank my Brother John's health, and wished Bella and he many very happy returns of that day. About 4 oclock A.M. we had the first sight of New Holland, and at 11 we came in sight of King's Island; the day was delightful, and we hacl a moderate breeze.
Thursday 6th Nov.
About 4 this morning the Mate informed us the land was very near. The morning was very fine, and we were all soon on deck Nothing could exceed the beauty of the scenery, we passed on the left, Wilson's Promontory, and the Coast of New Holland, about 4 miles distant, to the right we saw Rotondo; Sir Roger Curtis's groop, and the Moncccr Islands.
Saturday 8th Nov.
We had this morning a fine view of Cape Howe and Eastern coast of New Holland. The weather was particularly fine, not a cloud to be seen.
Sunday 9th Nov.
We had this morning got to the north of Jervis's Bay. We could plainly see the the smoke from numbers of fires along the Coast. You can form but little idea of the joy which we felt at being so only a few hours sail distant from Sydney. Yesterday we expected to be at Sydney today and even talked of going to Church. But today the wind being quite contrary we were obliged to tack about, and made very little progress.
Monday 10th Nov.
We rose early this morning and found that we were still about the same place, and the wind blowing right against us. In the evening we were opposite the entrance to Botany Bay.
Tuesday 11th Nov.
We were this morning wakened by a violent storm of Thunder and Lightening. The Thunder broke just over our heads, and the heavens
appeared to be in one continual blaze. The Captain who had been frequently to the East Indies said he had never before witnessed anything to equal it. About 4 the rain fell in torrents, and the thunder and Lightning gradually ceased. An hour after we had a violent Hail storm, which however lasted only a few minutes, but the hailstones were some of them the size of large marbles. We now slept for a couple of hours, and upon waking found ourselves close to the Habour of Port Jackson, before which we were detained some time during this time Jane and I were very busy packing up our bedding etc and dressing ourselves and Mary for our first appearance in Sydney. We had just completed our preparations when we entered the Harbour. The scenery became every moment more and more beautiful reminding us forcibly of the Lake scenery in Cumberland. Hill above Hill rose on each side of us; the three Islands named Shark, Garden and Pinchgut now presented themselves. Pinchgut took its name from having been in former times the prison for the worst of the Convicts. We anchored between the entrance of the Cove and Pinchgut Island, when a Customhouse officer came on board and politely congratulated us on our safe arrival. After taking charge of Letters of which the Captain had, he civilly offered to convey any of us on shore in his boat. Mr. D., myself, Jane, Mary, and Tom accepted his offer and were soon landed at Sydney. Mr. D. proceeded immediately to the Colonial office, and we walked up to the Rose Inn, where we thought we might possibly lodge, as the woman came from Birmingham and we brought a letter from her father. It was a hot summers day, so that we soon felt much tired with walking, we arrived at last at a wooden Cottage which we were told was the Rose, after waiting a considerable time at the door we were shown into a little room and told that Mrs Still would be with us in a moment, in about half an hour Mrs. St. made her appearance after asking a few questions about Birmingham etc she begged to be excused a few moments longer that she might change her dress which indeed I thought highly requisite, I will now give you an idea of her appearance, she had on a dirty thin muslin gown, confined at the waist by a string, and a still dirtier chemise peeping below it, and as she was immensely fat you may imagine what an appearance she would make, without stays, and without stockings. Mr D. then joined us, and informed me that finding the Governor and Archdeacon were both absent from Sydney he called upon Mr Cowper one of the Senior Chaplains who went with him and engaged rooms for us at the principal Hotel. Mr Cowper is a plain, quiet, puritanical sort of character, and Mrs C. rather formal they have four Sons, and one Daughter who is lately married, and was presented by the Governor with a grant of land on the occasion; the Sons are most of them settled in the Colony. They politely invited to dinner at four. In the evening the Rev T Hill called upon us and invited us to dine with them on the following day.
(II) From Annie M. Riddell's Journal.
Feb. 8th, 1847.
I have been married now upwards of three months dating from the “happy day” viz the 22nd Oct. 1846 and every day seems to grow happier in our little wooden cottage, log hut outside but neatly and prettily furnished within.
We have received letters from home congratulating him from Hamiltons and his father. Ditto from one of his sisters a Mrs. Rind in India which I have answered a few days ago. Uncle George wrote me a very kind note.
Our wedding day was as fine as a hot sun and wind could make it but indeed I was not intensely happy as I ought to have been. I became most dreadfully nervous in the morning early and never thoroughly recovered myself. I thought whole histories in the short half hour that intervened between my dressings being finished and the arrival of Mr. Forbes the Scotch Minister and when I heard his voice it sounded like a knell, not that I had any earthly reason to feel so. I had no doubts of Riddell even then—No fear of unhappiness but everything was so new, so strange, the
dress the bustle and preparation all struck the same chill into my heart as if I had been a condemned criminal and heard them putting up the gallows. And when I did come out I could scarcely walk — As to seeing there was a darkness like night around me. I got into a chaise (a wrong one) and could have fainted with the greatest satisfaction. Riddell looked quite composed however and his kind manners made me think how absurd it was of me to be so frightened.
Mr. Forbes gave a beautiful prayer and then addressed each of us on our respective duties in a very affectionate and impressive manner. The ring was put on and I was married. My first feeling was like poor Mr Man-talini's “Its all over with our handsome friend” but as Riddell behaved most considerately and did not take the usual salute (for the benefit of the public) I became all of a sudden perfectly cool and complacent and felt as if after all getting married was not a very dreadful thing.
We started in tandem with Nancy Hill my maid behind, accompanied by Frank & Willie the latter of whom was rather the worse for champagne and who was a la Pickwick smiling most benignantly on every thing and swaying backwards and forwards so much as to frighten me. We arrived at the Deep Creek in a hour and a half and stopped for refreshments. I wrote to Bessie and felt very low but still more so when Frank & Willie rode off and we went on with John Gall the overseer as an escort. I could have cried and never said a word the whole way scarcely until we arrived when the sight of everything so neat and comfortable and my piano all unpacked and ready put me into good spirits and after playing a few waltzes I sat down to dinner with Riddell vis a vis with a good appetite and wonderfully reconciled to my lot.
The next day both Riddell & myself verged strongly on the sentimental after a walk to the washing place where some unhappy sheep were fulfilling their destiny with very little of that resignation which poetry accords them under similiar trials.

(III) From Anne Gratton, Diary of a voyage on the Conway from Birkenhead to Melbourne, 1858.

Dear Friends,
I am about to make a few remarks on our Voyage to Melbourne. It will not be a log nor yet a Journal but merely the incidents of the Voyage at the particular request of my dear Freinds; we went on Board the Conway on Saturday the 5th of June & were not a little delighted to get out of the Depot we then spent the time as well as we could until Tuesday the 8th when we hauled out of Birkenhead Dock & went down the river it was a beautiful evening & many people had assembled to watch us go it was very affecting to see those who had freinds waving their handkerchiefs & weeping as thay Gazed at them perhaps for the last time on earth.
Wednesday 9th very wet morning but cleared up during the day. all very anxious now to be off. The muster roll called over & the rules read. we then had to go on deck whilst the Officers looked if there was any Stowe aways. the Steamer then went away took letters & Government Inspectors to whom we gave 3 hearty Cheers, we could not help feeling it deeply as the Gentlemen took off their Hats in return and wished us a pleasant voyage, in the evening we all felt rather dull and disappointed as we fuly expected to sail to day.
Thursday 10th. Many rumours as to wether we shall go to day or not, received letters from our dear Freinds & hear they are to be the last at presant. the Steamer is come to tug us out on our long voyage, we all assembled on deck to take a long Farewell of our dear & native Land we had some very appropriate songs sung by the young Ladies who all appeared very merry.
Friday 11th. this morning all or nearly all felt the effects of a nights shaking at sea, which lasted through the day the packet left us a 2 o'oclock called for letters but many were too ill to write. we are now left to the mercy of the wind and waves, the Dr. visits us often & tell us to keep on deck as much as possible
which we find much the best it is a splended evening & we are making about 2 knots an hour the sea looks magnificent & we are far out of the sight of Land….
Tuesday 7th. another wretched night the worst we have ever had it is useless to attempt to describe it the wind howled & the sea did roar & make a noise & we rolled from side to side most fearfully sometimes she went completely on her beam end & then she Jerked & appeared as tho she would divide the Dr. came down twice during the night & spoke very encouragingly to us he also sent us some Brandy as many were very ill some from fright & others from the continual rocking the Hatches were kept down & the Lamps lighted all day & we all kept in our berths as the water kept pouring down; one getting out at Meal times to receive our rations, which were handed downstairs.
Wednesday 8th. we have had a much quieter night but the wind is getting up again & they have taken in all the sails. The Dr. tells us it is astonishing the progress we have made the last 3 days & that we must prepare to Land next Tuesday I can give no idea of the sensation these words produced some Jumped and clapped their hands others screamed some sat down & cried. all were excited. all affected, we had another Birth on board last night.
Thursday 9th. We are now all preparing for the end drawing out nails & packing our things together but we are only making 4 knots an hour.
Friday 10th. we have got a south wind this morning which is blowing us along at the rate of ten knots an hr we are having our Cabin whitewashed to day & to morrow we shall have a thorough cleaning, it is still intensely cold but we had Tea by daylight for the first time.
Saturday 11th it is amusing how busy we all were for we all helped to clean & we worked with spirit too, we did not leave a Joyce nor beam unscoured.
Sunday 12th. we were mustred on deck today & never shall I forget what poor sickly looking Creatures all looked when out in good daylight I had no idea the cold weather and close confinement could have had such an effect we had prayers on deck, being a very fine day with such a clear Sky but a sharp wind which if it continues will we hope bring us to our destined port thay tell us we shall sight Cape Ottway during the night.
Monday 13th we were all disappointed this morning, instead of seeing Land as we expected we hear we have been becalmed since midnight this has been a very busy day as we had our Boxes up to put all our things away & get out others to Land in the wind is dead against us so that we are going back.
Tuesday 14th Still No Land in sight all is anxiety and preparation wind rather more favourable going about 6 knots Sighted Cape otway at 12 oclock It appeared like a cloud we were then becalmed until midnight.
Wednesday the 13th we had not much sleep all night we heard the pilot come on Board and also the anchor dropped at Port Phillip heads & oh how anxiously we longed for morning we were up early & ready to go on deck as soon as the doors were unlocked & never shall I forget the lovely sight or the pleasure beaming faces together with the beautiful bay The Medical officer came on board early & soon after 8 we weighed Anchor & off we go to Hobsons Bay where we cast anchor after 1 oclock we were glad to find we were just in time for the Mail & most of us had letters ready and dispatched them to our dear Freinds at home. I then for the first felt the importance of leaving Home in pursuit of the Object of my affections I knew not what change 6 months might have made & I might be landed a stranger in a strange Land, but thank God these melancholy feelings were soon dispersed by one of my Ship Mates bringing down to me a baskett containing pairs apples, oranges biscuits etc. & the bearer wanted to see me I rushed on deck and was surprised when the mate told me to go down & speak to him Need I say it was my intended Husband & in another moment I was in his arms in the presance of all the passengers & ships crew words would be insuficient to give any description of the excitement of that moment but if ever I did feel proud in my life it was when I came on deck again all the passengers rushed round me to congratulate
me on our happy meeting & all said he is a noble fellow.
Thursday 16th the Gov Inspectors are on Board & we each had to pass separately & answer the questions as to who we were going to & those that were going as servants what situation they would take, which was all wrote down & occupied a considerable time it was very exciting all day so many Freinds coming alon side in little Boats. We had also fresh Bread and Beef for dinner
Friday 17th, the Inspectors were on board at 11 oclock we had to pass before them thay asked each one if thay were in good health also if we had any complaint I think all were not only satisfied but highly delighted with the arrangements throughout we had Bread Beef and potatoes from shore, which was a great treat, it was a beautiful clear day & Mr. & Mrs. H. Wilson came out to see me I sat a long time in the little Boat with them & Mrs. Dyer — also — this was the most exciting night we have ever had we presented the Captain & Dr. with an address and all were much affected we shook hands and said goodbye to many again & then for fear we should not be ready we packed up our beds and cooking things and tried to sleep on the boards in our bearth, but it was useless to attempt so we passed a sleepless night & were not a little pleased when morning broke and we were to go ashore.
Saturday 18th, all is bustle and confusion breakfast over & all up on deck waiting for the Steamers which are to be alongside at 10 oclock at last the time is come & all the Luggage on & married people first then the Captain hands us down from the ship & the first mate receives us on the Steamer, wishing all good bye when we began to move we gave 3 cheers for the Captain & 3 for the Conway & crew — the Sailors responding heartily it was very pleasant down the river & many of us enjoyed it very much we were not a little delighted on arriving to see our dear Freinds waiting for us on the Wharf & accompanied us to the depot where we all had to pass through and leave them to wait 2 hours whilst the Luggage all arrived This appeared a long suspense but at length they were admitted to help us to seek our Luggage this done our Freinds had to get a pass and tell the Inspectors where they were taking us to and now we are Free take a Car and drive to No 7 Lygon Street where everything that heart could wish awaited me but I was so overcome with excitement that I was obliged to go straight to Bed & now dear Freinds I must conclude this imperfect sketch of our Voyage to Australia hoping that all into whose hands it may fall will be most charitable towards it bearing in mind that I am not learned but mearely wrote this at the request of my nearest and dearest Freinds and should it afford them the least pleasure to peruse it then my object is gained, although I must confess that it has afforded me many a half hours pleasure as well as employment to note down each little incident for their future perusal and now I remain yours
Very sincerely Anne Gratton.

(IV) Catherine Helen Spence to C. H. Pearson

College Town W. Adelaide My Dear Professor,
Although I did not go with you in your land tax, and brought forward my own theory in the Melbourne Review, I think I scarcely deserve to be called an aristocrat when I have been such a consistent advocate of ‘pure democracy’ if by an aristocrat the Leader means the Govt of the best, that I certainly aim at, but I believe that we can only reach that permanently by making the best of our democratic institutions
I was amused at the “Argus” picking out the passages which suited its politics for praise, and over-looking the main scope of the paper — the distribution after death of large properties—I think I made my scale too high so as to tempt to evasion, but the scale might be easily modified — the principle is the main thing I wished to lay down.
I want you to read an article and two letters which I published in the Register lately, which I have [thrown?] off in a separate form — it is on “Govt by Party” which I do not think can be carried out at all satisfactorily in the
Colonies. I had not read Goldwin Smith's paper in August Macmillan when I wrote the series, but he bears out, and more than bears out all I say. We have had a hand to hand fight of the Colton & Ayers ministry for existence for 16 months with both newspapers dead against them and I think much unfair & h [arsh] criticism. The Education department especially came in for great censure and I think most undeservedly.
The ministry is now displaced by Boucaut & Morgan, and the press is jubilant, but the ousted ministry with ‘Ebenezer’ as their spokesman are going to show fight for the remainder of the session.
I wish that there could be evoked in the people and the press a higher tone, a loftier ideal of public spirit and political morality — and it seems to me that every scrap of influence I possess should be directed to this end. I know that you have such ideas, and although you are allied with politicians from whom you differ as to “free trade and protection” I do not consider that such a very vital question as the Argus does. The Argus works that question far too hard — and tries every matter by that standard and I consider the tone of its criticism towards yourself personally exceedingly bad.
The Article which heads the list is the only political writing of all I have done in my life (and that is a good deal) for which I have been paid. The Register would not endorse the ideas in the letters and so they had to appear as letters.
I am a member of the Board of Advice for the School District of East Torrens — and I hope in time to have a seat on the Council of Education itself — but I must wait. I send you an education debate containing a speech of Mr. David Murray's formerly a member of the Council — but the comparison of the different systems was drawn up by myself, and given to him. He recollected most of my points — but he omitted one which is that the double Govt by the Council and by the Ministerial department, prevents parliamentary influence from being brought to bear on appointments and promotions — irrespective of merit. The Council deals with all these.
I like our system of fees, and until our Boards of Advice become rating boards I should be inclined to make them higher rather than reduce them — they are now 6d and 3d a week, according to age. The large model schools take £20 a week in fees — which half pay their expenses.
I do not like too much to be taken from the general revenue — and if I had my way, every boy and girl at school should receive instruction in morals and in the duties of a citizen, especially with regard to govt property govt patronage and govt money being a trust for the benefit of all, and not plunder to be scrambled for by the strongest and most unscrupulous.
If you have any reports or information with regard to Education matters that you think would be valuable to me as a worker in the cause here, would you send them to me. I had your last Melbourne Report from the Ed. Office here — and was interested in it. One part I took special note of that the pupil teachers in metropolitan schools were neglected. It is the pupil teachers in country schools who do not pass here. My great fear is that the system will become too mechanical — but our much abused President, Mr Hartly is fully alive to that danger and will do all in his power to promote variety and individualism, so far as it can be done with any Govt system at all.
It seems cool to write to you at such length and to expect you to sympathize with my crotchets after writing that paper in the M.R. — but let every man and woman give out honest opinions — and even where they differ in detail there will be grand points of union.
Believe me therefore yours very sincerely C H Spence

(V) From Fanny H. Barbour, ‘Jottings’, 12 July 1887–20 May 1888.

Emily & I are thinking of gathering up the different anecdotes of the family and writing them all down. I think it will be awfully nice. It is nice to know who your people are. Its more than a good many of the Melbourne swells care to know who their grandfather's
are. We have a lot of interesting storeys in our family. There was the original Kennedy who compiled an appendix or something to the Bible in the reign of the Georges — he & his daughter came out & she married Greatgrandfather Hume who was first Commissary General here a very handsome man with a very vile temper, he was a descendant of Sir Patrick Hume who came over with William of Orange.
Then there was some legend in the Kennedy family about calling the eldest son James & making him a clergyman and who ever was called different would not be a clergyman & so it turned out. Then there was great-grandfather Barbour who was Captain of some East India merchantman & was lost at sea, & Great grand mother married again Dr Throsby — & so Grand papa ran away to sea to look for his father — And some friend of his fathers made him a middy & he was in some skirmush off the coast of Portugal & was taken prisoner & kept in a monastery there, & the monks were awfully kind to him & then he came out & married Miss Hume. & he was drowned one night crossing a river — I should awfully have liked to have know Grand papa Barbour — he was so handsome & so nice they all said. Grandpapa Hume was too scotty — & Grandmama Hume too particular. It seems funny all the Barbour family had queer deaths. Uncle George was the only one who died in his bed and he died alone in a strange town, without a friend or a soul that knew him. Grand papa was drowned Uncle John thrown from a horse Uncle Edward killed by a rock & Papa had a stroke in the street. I think it is the best way for some things. I should like to be thrown from a horse, and then you'd have a little bit of excitement before you died. I believe there is a Marquis of Cassilis in England a distant connection & an Earl of something else.
Wednesday evening 21st Dec. oh dear. So tired & starting a pig farm in one eye. been such a hot day & have been on the tramp all day and I shall be on the tramp all to-morrow & the next day. Ethel Webb is down from Humewood & is staying out at Armadale & she wrote to ask me to come & see her so I am going out to-morrow afternoon, and then Mrs Lind wants me to go & have dinner with her on Friday night. They are off to Portsea on Saturday I have spent 3/1 on rubbish this afternoon. I feel so tired after our Grosvenor gallery jaunt last night & I didn't enjoy it very much — Old Taylor Badham “Mac” — Jean Florrie & I went. We called for Miss Horne. Robbie has gone away & she was all alone. Badham tried to do a “mash” with Miss Home, I wrote to Frank Cox to come with us, but I suppose he had another engagement has he didn't turn up. Old Taylor tried to do a mash with Miss Horne too. two beautys. Looking at the pictures made my eyes sore I was at the studio all day — I made a little sketch of the studio in the afternoon. We had great fun with the old woman. She recited for us, after Catani had gone. Catani came in in the afternoon & was yarning away for a long time to Miss Frances & I …
Last night we were at the Boyd's I went with Ern. Minnie wrote to Ern to ask him and Frank & me. There were more people there than I expected to see. Captain Mayne & Miss Mayne the Miss Jennings en masse; Miss Wade & Captain something or other & Colonel something else, old Indian officers Mr and Mrs Goodmans. Arthur & Minnie Boyd. Miss Boyd and old Captain and Mrs. Boyd. We were out in the verandah first and went inside to have some tea. The Miss Goodmans sang & played; one of them plays very well. Miss Boyd recited two little short peices rather well. She is a massive handsome girl with a quantity of golden hair. All the Boyds are massive. Their room is laden with things but all the things are interesting because they all seem to have a little story of their own. When you first go in the effect strikes you as being heavy & cumbersome, something like the family themselves, but after awhile you feel as if you could wander about & study the different things with an interest. The walls are covered with pictures plaques & all sorts of curios. Minnie showed me some of Arthur Boyds sketches. I like his style.
It is so clear & bold & clear much like Mather's style. If there is anyone I admire much it is Minnie I dont know much of her. But I always feel such an admiration for her. She is my idea of what a woman should be, so sharp, original, & witty yet something about
her that makes one feel they wished they were better.
You feel as if she can see all through ones little shams & makeshifts she has such large clear brown eyes. I always feel the better & higher for her companionship and I don't think I am given to hero-worship. Annie Inglis is something like Minnie but she is like a younger more crude edition. She does not think as Minnie does she hasn't the same charm & fascination that Minnie has for some people, but she is very sweet and little monkey as she often seems is under it all a fine pure character. If I were a man I should be awfully fond of Annie very very fond of her, but I should be devoted to Minnie.
And so poor old An has gone & got a baby. It does seem ridiculous, a bit of a thing like that. I'm sure if she wasn't married she'd just be a madcap school girl. I haven't seen her yet. I went to ask. Tom Roberts has painted a portrait of her I don't admire it, It does not do her justice. I had a letter from Mr & Mrs Johnstone last week Annie sent me no message. I don't think Annie & I would get on if we saw too much of each other she is a funny girl — I've got a beastly cold in me ‘ed—, I went to the McCulloughs to luncheon on Thursday. Tuesday night Mrs. Hutchins took me to the tableaux at Hawksburn, it was very nice. Especially the tableaux of the picture “Too Late”….