April 30 - May 6 2023: Issue 581
April 30 - May 6 2023: Issue 581
The First Boat Builders Of Pittwater: The Short Life And Long Voyages Of Scotland Island Schooner The Geordy
'View in Broken Bay New South Wales. March 1788' by William Bradley - Drawings from his journal `A Voyage to New South Wales',1802+ Image No.: a3461013, courtesy State Library of New South Wales.
from Pioneer watermen of Broken Bay and Pittwater series - May to June 2015
The prevalence of timbers ideal for building ships was quickly capitalised on in the colony of New South Wales. As transported convicts were of the mind to steal boats and escape, only a few were given permission to build them or procure the timber for these vessels.
The first man appointed to build vessels, by Governor John Hunter, was Thomas Moore 'Master Boat Builder' who not only harvested timbers but purportedly built the first sea-going ship in the colony, the Integrity, a cutter of 56 tons laid down in September 1802 at the newly opened King's Dockyard, launched in January 1804, that disappeared on its way to Chile in 1805.
Moore first arrived in 1792 as the ship's carpenter on William Raven's Britannia, one of 11 ships that departed from the United Kingdom in early 1791 as part of the Third Fleet. The Britannia arrived in Sydney Cove on 14 October 1791 carrying 129 prisoners and afterwards went whaling in the South Seas.
By 1796 he came ashore to be a settler in the new colony, where his 'ship building' at first was repairing all the government boats, until:
General Orders.. HIS EXCELLENCY having appointed Mr. Thomas Moore, Master Boat Builder, to be Surveyor of Timber throughout the Colony for Naval Purposes, neither him, or any Person employed under his direction, is to be hindered or molested in marking, cutting down, and removing such Trees and Timber as he may fix on. By Command of His EXCELLENCY W.N. CHAPMAN, Sec. Government House, May 7, 1803. General Orders. (1803, May 15). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625575
HIS EXCELLENCY has instructed Mr. Moore to keep a gang of men constantly employed in procuring such Timber as he may consider to be best adapted to Naval purposes. It will be deposited in the Dock Yard, and sent Home as opportunity may serve. SYDNEY. (1803, June 12). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625618
ALL Boats found afloat or on shore in Cockle-Bay, or Farm Cove, after sun-set will he seized for the use of the Crown. All Boats are to be moored within the Hospital Wharf and Hulks. The Constables and district Watchman are strictly ordered to see this Regulation car- into effect, after Monday next, the 5th of September.
By Command of His EXCELLENCY, W. N. CHAPMAN, Sec.. Government House, Sydney, Aug. 31, 1803.
COMMISSARY's OFFICE, SEPT. 2, 1803. Sydney, Sept. 3. Classified Advertising. (1803, September 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625759
And in the same Notices:
BOATS from 13 to 26 Feet Keel, adapted either to Pleasure or Burthen, BUILT on any Construction in the above Yard at a short Notice, Permission being previously obtained. Gentleman or others will be treated with by James Underwood on fair and equitable Terms.
And in the same Notice:
ALL Persons are hereby CAUTIONED and Forbidden to CUT TIMBER of any description (but such as may be required by Government for Naval purposes) or in anywise Tresspassing with stock of any kind.or any other Pretence whatsoever, on the FARM and Premises belonging to Captain ROWLEY ; Which Farm is situated on the Left-hand Side of Parramatta Road beginning at Connor's Farm, and running to the Creek at the Half-way Houses ; also, the Farm on the Right-hand Side of the Parramatta Road, which runs down to the Creek, formerly belonging to Walter Rouse, but now in, Captain Rowley's possession. Trespassers after this Notice will be prosecuted As the Law directs. Sydney, Sept. 3. Classified Advertising. (1803, September 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625759
James Underwood built boats and ships which were launched from the Tank Stream. He was sentenced to seven years transportation at Maidstone in 1790 and arrived in Sydney in the Admiral Barrington in October 1791. He learned the trade of boatbuilder, probably briefly under Stephen Todd, formerly a carpenter in the Barwell, who was engaged to build a 34-ton sloop for the Hawkesbury River trade in 1797; he built the Diana in 1798-99 which later became the property of Underwood and his partner Henry Kable, another transportee, with whom he was in partnership by 1800:
On Saturday the 12th instant arrived from King's Island, with skins and oil, the sloop Surprise (formerly the Diana), belonging to Messrs. Kable and Underwood. SHIP NEWS. (1803, March 19). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625461
On Friday Mr. J. Underwood accidentally fell from the taff rail of the new vessel building by Kable and himself and was most severely bruised by the fall. Sydney. (1803, May 1). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625549
The vessel building by Messrs. Kable and Underwood, is now nearly finished, and it is expected, will be fit to launch at the next spring tide, (in about ten days time). Her burthen is computed at about 75 tons, the largest that has ever been built in the Colony, and she is, we are informed, to bear the name of our present Governor, who was pleased to authorise the undertaking. SYDNEY. (1803, May 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625557
His EXCELLENCY having granted his Permission to H. Kable , to run a Common Stage Machine from Sydney to Parramatta and Hawkesbury, the Undertaking will be accomplished about the middle of July ; and, should the contest between Profit and Loss determine in its favour, the plan will be found of much public benefit and utility.
On Friday or Saturday next, should the tide serve, the vessel built in Underwood's Yard will be knocked off the stocks, and afterwards diligently fitted out for the oil and fur trade. Saturday, May 15. (1803, May 15). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625568
FOR SALE . By Private Contract, ONE THIRD SHARE of an unfinished HULL of a VESSEL, Standing in UNDERWOOD'S Yard. Any person inclined to become a Purchaser will be informed of Particulars by applying to James Underwood; and should the above Share not speedily be disposed of by Private Treaty, it will be put up to Public Auction, of which due Notice will be given. Classified Advertising. (1803, August 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625713
Underwood played a considerable part in the early New South Wales sealing industry. In the 1803-04 season the partners had more than sixty men employed in the trade and gathered not less than 30,000 skins. After 1805 the volume greatly increased as, through Lord, the partners had a secure market in London. Between 1806 and 1809 their London agents sold 127,040 skins, sent in four consignments, for more than £27,000; these were by no means all the skins they exported in this period and they sold a considerable quantity of oil as well. In 1807 Underwood owned a third of the Sydney Cove which the partners chartered to the government for a voyage to Sydney with convicts. Underwood sailed for England in her in October, buying out Lord's share on his arrival in London in May 1808. He returned in April 1809 on the ship's second voyage with a very valuable investment, and soon afterwards severed his connexion with Kable. Lawsuits between the partners were not settled until 1819. (1.)
These men would have both known or met Andrew Thompson of Pittwater's Scotland Island, especially Henry Kable who was based near 'Green Hills' (Windsor) as well. Andrew Thompson was also building and buying vessels to bring goods to Sydney along the Hawkesbury River. The man named as his shipwright was of the surname 'Kelly':
The New Hawkesbury Sloop, built at the Green Hills, Mr A Thompson, owner, came round for the first time on Monday 1st, with 1160 Bushels of Wheat, on from Cornwallis Farm, cultivated by Government, and could have taken in with safety 250 more. This vessel called the Nancy, was built under the sole management and direction of Mr. Kelly, formerly chief mate of the Eliza whaler, who also navigates her. Her computed burthen is 40 tons, carries 5 men, and has 4 swivels mounted on her quarter railing. Connoiseurs find no other fault with her than on account of her being rather "shallow in the Bow." SYDNEY. (1803, October 23). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625840
Another handsome Sloop built by Mr. A. Thompson, was on Thursday launched from the Green Hills; her keel was laid by Mr. Kelly, now master of the Nancy, her burthen is computed at 30 tons, and in compliment to the spot of her nativity, she has received the name of the Hawkesbury.
In the same Notice:
On Thursday the Endeavour received onboard part of the prisoners intended for Van Dieman's Land, and soon after went out of the Cove. In consequence of the loss sustained by Messrs Kable and Underwood's Schooner, of both her anchors, Mr. Moody, Master of the vessel, was under a necessity of securing her by mooring her to trees in North Harbour, where she remained until an anchor was procured. As soon as opportunity serves the owners intend to drag for one of the Anchors - were Half ANKORS the bait, North Harbour, would abound by fishermen. By the late arrival of the above vessels, one of which has performed two voyages within the space of three months, the Colony reaps an advantage of more than 1000l. estimating the Oil at 600 and the Skins at only 400l, much lower than the smu [sic] produced by the Sale. As soon as her cargo was cleared out they set about refitting her, and in the space of four days she was again ready for Sea. The Elephant Oil brought from the Southward by the Governor King is of an excellent quality, and in appearance not inferior to the best Sperm Oil. Her skins were purchased by Capt. McLennan at 4s. 6d. each, as were those brought by the Endeavour belonging to the same owners. The bargain could not fail of being satisfactory to all parties,---the Skins were of a superior quality, the Payment of an excellent SPECIE. Messrs Kable and Underwood have made application to His EXCELLENCY for Permission to build a Vessel of 60 feet Keel, 21 across the beam, and 13 feet hold, for fishery. Bench of Magistrates. (1804, February 19). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article626050
Green Hills - 1803 - Image No.: a1313052h, Courtesy State Library of NSW.
By the Charlotte, from Broken Bay on Tuesday last, we learn that the Hope and Hawkesbury, belonging to Mr. Andrew Thompson, together with his Hawkesbury accommodation boat, and upwards of twenty hands, were awaiting there a favourable opportunity for endeavouring to get off the Speedwell, which we understand he has purchased at all hazards from Grono, some time since stranded there. For this purpose he has provided himself with a shipwright and all tackling, &c. that might be wanting but while it continues to blow fresh no attempt can be practicable.
Mr A. Thompson has commenced building a vessell at the Green Hills to carry 100 tons: this undertaking ranks as a second rate in our colonial achievements, the King George being hitherto the only one exceeding her dimensions.SYDNEY. (1805, November 17). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article626963
On Monday October 22nd 1810, Andrew Thompson passed away. Scotland Island, specifically where the wharf now called 'Tennis Wharf' is, was a place where Andrew Thompson built ships. Local sources state that slips could still be seen until recently and some of the stonework incorporated into the current wharf dates from this earliest 'shipyard'. The timbers of Scotland Island then, and now, were Spotted Gum Forest, Red Bloodwood (Corymbia gummifera), Grey Ironbark (Eucalyptus paniculata) and Rough Barked Apple (Angophora floribunda). Irnbark is still used as piers in wharves and boatslips on Pittwayter now - it is a durable wood that lasts well in saltwater.
Of the ships that show up in early records as built on Scotland Island, one of 18 to 20 tons is listed in this first Notice, and another, being built in 1912 and of 90 tons, is listed among his assets when those he left in charge of his estate attempted to sell some of his property and to lease his estates:
On Wednesday, the 14th of the present month, a launch took place at Scotland Isle, Pitt Water, of a vessel of 18 tons, said to be one of the finest of her burthen ever built in the Colony.—She makes part of the devised property of the late Mr. Thompson, who at the laying down of her keel gave her the name of the GEORDY. SYDNEY. (1810, November 24). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628130
Also Mr. Thompsons and for sale: ‘six new Boats of different dimensions, one Punt’: Classified Advertising. (1810, December 22). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628149
The Fate of the Geordy
The Geordy was quickly put up for sale:
BY MR GAUDRY, At the Warehouse of Messrs. Lord and Williams, on Thursday and Friday, the 17th and 18th instants, by Order of the Executors of the late ANDREW THOMPSON, Esq. The good schooner, entirely new, called the GEORDY, Burthen 20 Tons, with all her Masts, Yards, Sails, Rigging, and Stores, the Purchaser of which will receive a Register in his own Name.
Also the WHALE Sloop; together with a number of good Horses and Mares with Foals by their sides.
Several Tons of Salt. Likewise, a quantity of excellent Houshold Furniture, consisting of tables, chairs, beds, bedsteads, &c. harness, cedar, and a variety of other articles. For the accommodation of Purchasers, 3 Months Credit will be given on approved security, on all sums exceeding Ten Pounds. - A Deposit of 25 per Cent. to be paid at the Time of Sale in Cash, Govnment Bills, or other approved Sterling Money.
On Friday will be Let by Auction, for the Term of Two Years, those very valuable Salt Works at Scotland Isle, with a good Dwelling house and other requisite Buildings attached. - Security of the Renter will be required. At Twelve o'Clock of the same Day the Vessels will be put up.
To be Sold by Private Contract, One Half Share of the Good Schooner Endeavour, with her Masts, Yards, Rigging, Apparel, &c. compleit, belong to Mr. Henry Kable, now being in Sydney Cove. Every particular may be known on application at his House in George-street. - If not disposed of, the above One Half will be put up at Public Auction on Friday the 18th instant, by Mr. Wm. Gaudry.Classified Advertising. (1811, January 12). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628168
The Geordy became Henry Kables for a while
Mr. Kable having two Vessels in the Hawkesbury River, wishes all Settlers and others who are indented to him, to take advantage of the same, as no better Opportunity can be afforded them of discharging the Claims he has upon them. The Masters of the Endeavour and Geordy, sloops are authorised to give Receipts for whatever may be intrusted to their Care. Classified Advertising. (1811, February 9). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628188
and a William Mason seems to have stationed workers on Scotland Island to keep the salt works still working until this tragedy:
Last Thursday se'nnight, a man employed at the Salt Works of Mr. Wm. Mason, at Scotland Island, was killed on the spot by the fall of a tree. We can learn nothing farther than that his Christian name was Dennis. Sydney. (1812, August 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628523
At the same Time will be Rented, for the Term of One Year, the Farms of Agnes Bank, Creek Retreat, Wardel Bank, Killarney, West Hill, and Scotland Island. - From the difficulty that has been found in collecting the Rents of these Farms, proper Security will be required for the due Payment of the Rents when they become due, which must be paid in Cash, as no Grain will be received. Classified Advertising. (1812, October 17). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628555
There is also a record that another Hawkesbury gentleman resided on Scotland island a little later on:
Solomon Wiseman had a brother who resided at the entrance to the Hawkesbury River (at Scotland Island). Captain William Wiseman was his name, not to be confused with Captain William Wiseman, eldest son of Solomon Wiseman. Well, this Lieutenant S. G. Dalgety, who was in charge of portion of the 45th (English) Regiment, guarding the convicts forming the road, became acquainted with Captain William Wiseman's (the elder) daughter, who was frequently at the 'King of the River's' mansion, and the couple's marriage is thus recorded in the 'Sydney, Herald,' of March 16, 1840:— . DALGETY— WISEMAN.— On the 11th instant (March 11, J.84Q) at 'Cobham Hall, Wiseman's Ferry, Lieutenant Dalgety, late of the 45th Regiment, to Miss Elizabeth Wiseman, niece of the late Solomon Wise man. WISEMAN'S FERRY. IN THE THIRTIES. (1925, November 27). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85901110
Although another article opines the other Wiseman was the man who made use of the tucked away green jewel:
THE RUM-RUNNERS OF SCOTLAND ISLAND
SCOTLAND ISLAND, Broken Bay, possesses a unique history, both romantic and picturesque. ANDREW THOMPSON, whose lengthy epitaph is one of the curiosities, of St. Matthew's churchyard, Windsor, arrived in Sydney, a lad of 17, during 1792. He soon began to prosper, became Chief Constable and Magistrate of Windsor, and acquired considerable property, including farms, ships, salt; pans.
Very early in this State's history there arrived another notable personage, Mr. Solomon Wiseman, who, because 'of a difference of opinion with the British' Government over a shipment or two of contraband spirits, was induced to transfer his' energies to New South Wales, where he flourished exceedingly as a contractor, storekeeper and hotelkeeper on the Hawkesbury River. He was also a magistrate, being called because of his power 'King Sol of the River’.
During this period rum played an important part in the economy of things; men were often paid in rum, and with rum was a hospital erected in Sydney. Both Thompson and Wiseman were interested in the manufacture and sale of rum, and when the former added Scotland Island to his worldly possessions, he invited his brother magistrate to visit it. When Solomon Wiseman saw the island, with its picturesque nooks and beaches, his mind reverted to his old free- trade enterprises along the- English Channel. He saw again his saucy schooner creep into Home Bay, and his merry men landing its cargo of precious silks and spirits under the shadow of the twin towers of Reculver Church; and he agreed to join Thompson in business on Scotland Island. That is over 113 years ago, but old hands have told us that oft on a stilly night a rakish looking schooner might have been seen creeping around the shadows of Scotland Island, and underneath her cargo of corn and pumpkins reposed many kegs of rum, which the next night were deposited safely in the cellars of' certain 'Black Dogs' and 'Whalers' Arms' that flourished in old Sydney town. Yes, Scotland Island has its romance, and its old associations, whose standards must not be measured by those of to-day. Perchance some day a temperance hotel may overlook the spot where the swarthy minions of Thompson and Wiseman worked for truly, the times have changed, and we with them. ,—WILLIAM FREAME. THE RUM-RUNNERS. (1924, October 14). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119970793
Henry Kable sent the Geordy south and his son, on returning from a stint in vessels overseas, took her over for a while:
WANTED, for the Geordy, schooner, Mr. Robert Crombre, master, to proceed to and return immediately from Norfolk Island, and to sail in company with the Endeavour, schooner, Three good seamen. For particulars enquire either at No 2 George-street or of Mr. Henry Kable junior. Classified Advertising. (1811, May 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628240
THE numerous Persons indebted to Mr. Henry Kable, of Windsor, are informed that the Geordy Schooner is in the Hawkesbury River, for the purpose of receiving Grain from those WHO may be inclined to settle their Accounts in that manner to prevent further trouble. Classified Advertising. (1811, December 28). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628387
THE numerous persons indebted to Mr. Henry Kable, of Windsor, are informed that the Geordy Schooner is in the Hawkesbury River, for the purpose of receiving Grain from those who may be inclined to settle their Accounts in that manner, to prevent further trouble. Classified Advertising. (1812, January 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628390
Wanted in the course of a Fortnight, Two able hands for the schooner Geordy.—Application to be made to Mr Henry Kable, junior. Classified Advertising. (1813, April 17). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628667
SHIP NEWS. On Sunday last arrived the American brig Hannah and Sally, captain Cogswell, from Rio de Janeiro four months. Mr. H. Kable,jun. returns in her, being an officer on board, after an absence of nearly four years, having then accompanied Mr. Cogswell to China in the Rolla. SYDNEY. (1807, April 12). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article627435
She was then placed on the market for sale again:
To be SOLD, the Sloops Fly and William and Anne, and Schooner Geordy.—Apply to Mr. Robert Campbell. Classified Advertising. (1813, August 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2 Supplement: Supplement to the Sydney Gazette, and New South Wales Advertiser. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article628751
and went south again, permanently, and transported goods to and from Hobart as well as people:
The Geordy, belonging to Mr. Dennis McCarthy, had arrived from hence a few days prior to the sailing of the Henrietta Packet, whose arrival was mentioned in our last Number, and proceeded to the settlement of New Norfolk, up the River 25 miles from Hobart Town. Sydney,. (1815, May 6). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629106
ADVERTISEMENTS. The Persons undernamed intending shortly to depart the Colony in the respective Vessels beneath which their Names are placed, it is their request that those to whom they may be indebted will present their Accounts to each severally, in order to their speedy Arrangement; and also, that such Persons as maybe indebted to either of them, the said Persons undernamed, will settle their Accounts forthwith. In the Schooner Geordy, Mr. James O'Byrne Christopher Aiken Thomas Jones William Reed William Burgess John Lindsey. Classified Advertising. (1815, March 11). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629077
SHIP NEWS. This morning arrived from Hobart Town, the schooner Geordy, Mr D. McCarthy, master and owner, with a cargo of wheat and potatoes. She left the Derwent the 1st instant, and was driven by a northerly wind up Bass's Straits as far as the entrance of Port Phillip. Sydney. (1815, September 30). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629191
CLAIMS AND DEMANDS. THE several Persons under-named intending to depart the Colony in the Vessels beneath which their Names are placed, request all Claims and Demands , against them may be presented for Payment forthwith ; and all Persons indebted to them are requested to settle their respective Accounts immediately. In the Geordy Schooner, Mr. James Parish, James Carrott, Charles Shore, Wm. Clark, Phelix M'Cunnangh, Jas. Carbery. Classified Advertising. (1815, October 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629197
Dennis McCarty was convicted at Wexford, Ireland, and arrived in Sydney in February 1800 in the Friendship. He was sent to Van Diemens land in 1803, pardoned in 1810 and built the first house at New Norfolk, 25 miles from Hobart up the Derwent River.
In April 1808 he was appointed constable at New Norfolk where he built the first house. In June 1810 he was pardoned. On 30 November 1811 he presented an address of welcome to Governor Lachlan Macquarie at Hobart Town on behalf of the New Norfolk residents. The governor had previously referred to the 'hearty rural and honest welcome' he had received when he and his wife had stayed for a night at McCarty's comfortable farm house. (2)
This day arrived from Hobart Town whence she sailed the 13th ult. the schooner Geordy, Mr. Kelly master, who brings the unpleasant information of the non-arrival at Hobart Town of His Majesty's armed brig Kangaroo, having sailed from Port Dalrymple the middle of September, with a number of persons on board, for that Settlement. Mr. Kelly further states that a vessel, supposed to be the Kangaroo, was seen off Betsey Island, near the entrance of the River Derwent on the 2nd of October; since which time no further account had been received of her. William Broughton Esq., Assistant Commissary General, landed from her at Port Dalrymple, and went to Hobart Town over land. Sydney. (1816, November 2). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176873
The Kangaroo turned up and Mr Kelly or his son, aboard another Dennis McCarty vessel, also came into port:
SHIP NEWS. - This morning arrived His Majesty's armed brig Kangaroo, Capt. JEFFRIES, from Port Jackson; having on board 30 male prisoners, in a healthy state. - Passengers, Mr. Tress, brother-in-law to William Broughton, Esq. Commissary; Doctor Luttrell; Mr Alfred Luttrell, and family; and Mrs P. G. Hogan. She sailed from Sydney the 17th inst making her destination in 11 days. On Sunday last returned from Port Jackson the brig Sophia, Mr. James Kelly master, laden with coals, the produce of that Colony, and merchandize. Spoke the Surry transport, Capt. Raines, 5months from Ireland, with 200 male prisoners on board, 6 lawyers, and a great number of settlers, 4 days previous to her arrival, in Bass's Straits, bound to Port Jackson.
We mentioned in our last Gazette of a boat with two men having gone along-side the American ship Enterprize, laying in Adventure Bay, saying they belonged to the brig Sophia: On particular enquiry we find that no such men were attached to that vessel; and from the description given of the vessel seen by the Entetprize, it is supposed to have been the brig Trial; and we should be happy to have communicated to the owner a more favourable account.
The Mariner transport which arrived in Port Jackson in October last, having touched at the Cape, brings the unpleasant information of His Majesty's armed brig Emu (which sailed from that port for England the 15th of April last) having got on a rock at night in Simon's Bay, in which situation she remained till the morning following; when it was found necessary to heave her down for repair. - She had previously encountered one of the most dreadful hurricanes remembered for the last 60 years, off Cape Logulios, in which she carried away a topmast. Hobart Town; SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28, 1816. (1816, December 28). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter(Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651800
William Freame, born in c.1867 and a painter by trade, settled in Sydney during the 1890s. He made his living as a journalist and local historian and later was Mayor of Holroyd in 1909. Mr. Freame again gives an insight into the Kelly family, and although there is no indication that the elder Kelly is the gentleman who was Andrew Thompson's shipwright, they were certainly in the same place at the same time doing the same thing and associating with the same people who later owned the Geordy, or had use of her, for a while.
James Kelly (1791-1859), sealer, pilot and harbourmaster, was apprenticed to Kable & Underwood on 27 January 1804 to learn 'the Art of a Master Mariner'. His father, also named James, may have been the gentleman who was on the whaler 'Eliza' and the shipwright referred to above. Of his son:
We last week mentioned the arrival of the Geordy schooner, Mr. M'Carthy owner, from Hobart Town, which she left the 1st Of September, and owing to the prevalency of contrary winds was obliged to take shelter in Oyster Bay, where she found a party sealing and swanning, under the direction of Mr. Charles Feen, the black swan being at the time very abundant. Shortly after leaving the Bay a northerly wind obliged her to make for the land. Thirty miles south of Cape Barren an opening presented itself, which proved to be a very fine river, and was of so inviting an appearance as to induce Mr. M'Carthy to take the vessel up 5 miles, where she anchored. The following morning Mr. M. penetrated 2 (?) miles further in the vessel's boat, and found immense numbers of swans ; the boat's crew caught a great many, and after dieting upon them during the remainder of the passage, Mr. M. landed six pair of these fine birds in Sydney. After leaving this very fine river she was driven by adverse winds as far as Port Phillip: She wanted wood and water, and it was determined to procure a supply at the first place that appeared favorable to the purpose. She accordingly came to anchor off Green Cape, and landed her boat's crew, four in number, at a small cape a little... southward of the former.
Here an immense crowd of natives made their appearance, and invited them on shore-one, who appeared their chief, at first requesting, but soon after demanding, that Mr. M. should leave his gun (which was the only one they had) in the boat. Becoming very importunate for presents from the strangers, the latter gave them their handkerchiefs from off their necks ; but this was not sufficient, they soon assumed a more turbulent, and at length a desperate manner and as all but Mr. M. were unarmed, at one instant all were seized upon, and had no other expectation than that of being immediately overpowered and destroyed. The chief seemed to have reserved the attack on Mr. M. personally for himself: he accordingly seized upon his Musket with one hand, while with the other he held him by the arm, they both stood on a rock Which was of ... on one of its sides, which circumstance tended not a little to the rescue of the assailed party for Mr. M. still keeping a firm hold of the musket, threw himself off the rock, which freed him from his adversary’s grasp. Collecting himself as soon as he... all his company escaped, and .... as the whites ... themselves, from the blacks the missile war commenced, the whirling spear whistled about their ears in all directions from three or four hundred savages, and one solitary musket was their only impediment to a ... manner of attack, from which it would have been impossible for any to have escaped. Hie retreat towards the boat was nevertheless so well managed that only one received a spear wound, which was in the arm. One of the spears split a plank of the boat, and after a necessity of answering the attack with seven discharges, Mr. M., got into the Vehicle, and was soon out of the reach of further danger, leaving behind his watercasks and axes, the latter of which might have possibly stimulated the nature to the desperate aggression. -This instance adds to the numerous previous accounts of the same natives, and some of which have been truly tragical in their catastrophe, that should, serve as a caution to our crews against trusting themselves among the natives of these coasts without being sufficiently prepared against attack which experience has acquainted us is almost certain when the difference of number, ...confidence, or any other circumstance affords the prospect of a successful issue to the contest. Sydney. (1815, October 7). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629198
While earlier in the same year, 1815:
On the 25th April the band-consisting of John Whitehead, Richard M'Guire, Hugh Burne, Richard Collier, Peter Septon, John Jones, James Geary, a deserter from the 73rd regiment, and Howe, accompanied by a native girl named Mary, with whom he cohabited-again appeared at New Norfolk, and robbed the house of a Mr. Carlisle, a settler there, who communicated the circumstance to his neighbour, Mr. M'Carthy. The latter, being apprehensive of the safety of his schooner, the Geordy, lying in the River Derwent near at hand laden with valuable property, determined to meet the robbers, and, accompanied by several persons on the spot who immediately volunteered, commenced a pursuit. McCarthy's party-consisting of himself, Mr. Jemott, Mr. James O'Birne(master of the Geordy), Keith Hacking(the mate), Messrs. Carlisle, Murphy, Triffit, Brown, and Tooms-armed with fowling pieces and pistols, soon came lip with the robbers and commanded them to surrender their arms. The gang immediately commenced firing, under cover of and through a hollow tree, and wounded five of the party, who had the disadvantage of being fully exposed to the fire of the former on every attempt to get a shot at them. Carlisle received a ball in the groin and three slugs in the breast, of which wounds he died within an hour.
Jemott was badly wounded by a ball passing through the thick part of his thigh, in which part Triffit was also wounded, and Murphy in the abdomen. O'Birne received a ball in the cheek, which perforated the tongue, and lodged in the neck, causing his death in a few days. The banditti, availing themselves of the disabled state of M'Carthy's party, in turn demanded him to lay down his arms, which was refused, and a slight firing continued until the wounded were removed, with the exception of Murphy, whose state obliged him to remain at the mercy of the gang, who were about to add corporal punishment to their victory, but were prevented, by their leader, Whitehead.
In consequence of these murders military parties were sent in all directions in search of the banditti. A party of the 23rd Regiment in a few days came so close up to them as to find the remains of their fires and the skin of a sheep recently killed. A party of the 46th was also in pursuit, and a number of the inhabitants of Hobart Town, well armed, went in search of the murderers of Carlisle and O'Birne. Prior to this last outrage a proclamation had been issued, offering a reward of 50 guineas to any one, free or bond, who would apprehend a bushranger and lodge him in safe custody; holding out also encouraging prospects to such of the offenders themselves-not personally implicated in any act of felony-as should procure the apprehension of any of their associates. Moreover, it having been represented that the bushrangers derived supplies from settlers and other fixed inhabitants, a further reward of 50 guineas was offered to any person giving information of such abettors ; for without secret assistance the depredations, which had become so frequent and so daring, could not long have continued.
On the 10th of May, 1815, the robbers plundered, for the second time, the house of Mr. Humphreys, at Pittwater, after having secured his servants. Shortly afterwards they visited New Norfolk; and knowing Mr. M'Carthy was absent, and meditating revenge for the opposition they had met with in their late encounter, they repaired to his premises by night and wantonly fired a volley in at the window, luckily wounding only a soldier who was therein. On this occasion they met with a reception rather warmer than they anticipated, for a party of the 46th Regiment, which had been stationed in the house, immediately commenced a brisk fire, which resulted in the death of Whitehead, the captain of the gang. The soldiers then rushed from the house for the purpose of cutting off the retreat of the banditti, but from the darkness of the night they were unable to effect this. When Whitehead received the fatal shot he ran a few yards towards Howe, crying" Take my watch, take my watch," and then dropped. Howe immediately cut off his head, as well, perhaps, to prevent the body being recognised by their pursuers as in pursuance of a bond made between them, that upon any one of their number being killed, a survivor should do this, to prevent any person from benefiting by rewards for taking in their heads. The head of Whitehead was, a considerable time afterwards, found in the woods; his body was brought to Hobart Town, and gibbeted at Hunter's Island, on which a portion of the wharves of the city now stand. From this period Howe was looked upon as the leader of the gang.
Early in 1816 Lieutenant Governor Davey, in order to put an end to the frequent outrages which were committed, established martial law throughout the colony ; but this was considered a stretch of authority by Governor Macquarie, and was repealed. Soon after a party in quest of the banditti, in the neighbourhood of Tea-tree Brush, descried their place of retreat by the ascending smoke from fires which they had made. Near the hut from which the smoke proceeded were
M'Guira and Burne-the remainder being absent-and they immediately darted into the woods, and disappeared. In the hut were found a number of articles belonging to various individuals whom they had plundered at different periods, besides ammunition, musket balls, firearms, and several kangaroo dogs. The pair were soon afterwards taken, convicted of being two of the banditti who had murdered the unfortunate Carlisle, sentenced to death, and executed, their bodies being gibbeted on Hunter's Island, near that of Whitehead, their leader at the time the murder was committed. The gang was now reduced to Howe, Septon, Jones, Geary and Collier….. THE STORY-TELLER. (1873, June 14). The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser (NSW : 1856 - 1861; 1863 - 1889; 1891 -1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article189987402
New Norfolk Nearly Capital. The principal event In New Norfolk's early history was that it very nearly became the capital of Tasmania, said Mr E. T. Emmett In an Illustrated lecture on New Norfolk and its history at a meeting of the Royal Society at Hobart last night. The Governor (Sir Ernest Clark)presided. Mr Emmett said in 1825 Governor Arthur instructed that inquiries be made on the removal of the capital from Hobart to New Norfolk. A commission advised against the change. Work on the first road to New Norfolk began in 1808, and was completed in 1819. Dennis McCarthy, the contractor, demanded 2,000 acres of land and-a substantial quantity of rum for the work. He was granted the land, but not the rum. Dealing with early communications to New Norfolk, Mr Emmett said the first ferry from Hobart was in 1820,and in 1829 a coach service. began. About 11 years later a steamer service was established; and In 1887 railways operations to New Norfolk began. New Norfolk Nearly Capital. (1945, April 10). The Mercury(Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26054615
On Wednesday morning early, Major BELL, C. B. Acting Engineer, THOMAS ARCHER, Acting Deputy Assistant Commissary General, and Mr. G. W. EVANS, Deputy Surveyor General, left town to survey the new road formed by Mr. Dennis McCARTY, under proposals to Government, from Hobart Town to New Norfolk. No title. (1819, July 3). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article656403
And then the Geordy, the first recorded launching of a vessel, from Scotland Island, went on another adventure, which records something quite unusual and where James Kelly, mariner, comes into the life of the Geordy again:
On the 21st ultimo the Geordy, Mr. McCarthy owner and master, sailed from Hobart Town for the purpose of narrowly examining the South west coast of the Island of Van Diemen, intending, as our Correspondent informs us, to run through Storm Bay Passage, pass the South Cape, and bestow particular attention on the coast facing the Isle of De Witt, and thence round Cape St Vincent, inspecting every bay and inlet that shall present itself on that part of the Coast. The brig Sophia, Capt. BLIGH, remained in Sullivan's Cove the 21st of November; and the brig Spring, Capt. BUNSTER, at Port Dalrymple. Sydney. (1815, December 23). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629251
GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. Government House, Sydney, Saturday, 1st June, 1816. CIVIL DEPARTMENT.
IN Consequence of Mr. THOMAS WILLIAM BIRCH, Merchant at Hobart Town, in Van Diemen's Land, having at considerable Expence to himself, and from truly patriotic and praise-worthy Motives fitted out a small Vessel, called the Elizabeth, under the Command of MR. JAMES KELLY, an experienced and active Master Mariner, for the Purpose of circumnavigating and exploring the Coasts of Van Diemen's Land, and making such Discoveries of Ports and Harbours on those Coasts as were likely to conduce to the public Interests of these Settlements; and said Vessel having proceeded on that Expedition on the 16th of December, 1815, and returned to Hobart Town after completing the entire Circumnavigation of Van Diemen's Land, on the 24th January last, occupying a Period of thirty nine Days, and discovered some Harbours hitherto unknown, particularly one to which Mr. Kelly gave the Name of PORT DAVEY, which lays N.N. E. and S S. West, situated at its Entrance in Latitude 43° 28' South, and Longitude of N. Head 146° East ; and another to which he gave the Name of MACQUARIE HARBOUR, lying N.W. and S E. in Latitude 42° 12' South, and Longitude 145[?]° 28' East, which said Port and Harbour are represented as peculiarly well calculated for the Reception and sheltering of Shipping, with the Advantage of fresh Water Rivers, on the Banks of which valuable Timber has been found; HIS EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR deeming those Exertions of great Benefit to the Colony, and entitled to his public Acknowledgments, hereby expresses his Sense of Mr Birch's Services therein ; and in Remuneration of the same, is pleased to grant unto the said Thomas William Birch the exclusive Privilege of Trading to Port Davey and Macquarie Harbour for twelve Months, from the First Day of July next ; during which Period HIS EXCELLENCY commands and directs, that no other Vessels or Boats than those belonging to Mr. Birch, or in his immediate Employment, shall trade to or from the said Port or Harbour; reserving, however, to this Government the Right of sending such Boats and Vessels thereto for Timber, or other Produce as may be required for its Use. And all Merchants, Ship Owners, and Masters of Vessels of every Description are hereby strictly enjoined not to resort to the said Port or Harbour or any Lading or Cargo of Articles produced therein, during the said prescribed Period of twelve Months. By Command of His Excellency, J T CAMPBELL, Secretary. GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL ORDERS. (1816, June 8). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176686
The Above was republished in the September 14th, edition of The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, possibly because:
SHIP NEWS. On Thursday last arrived the brig Sophia Capt. C. FEEN, from Gordon's River, with a valuable cargo of Pine, whereat a very fine Coal-mine has been discovered by her owner, Mr. Dennis M'Carty; the particulars of which Mr. M. has kindly promised to favour us with, for our next publication. On Wednesday last sailed the ship Frederick, Capt. WILLIAMS, for Port Jackson.Remain in the harbour the ship Lady Elliott; and the brigs Sophia, Spring, and Ontario. HOBART TOWN; PRINTED BY ANDREW BENT. HOBART TOWN. (1816, June 8 - Saturday). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651310
The resources of the Isle of Van Diemen are daily developing; two Harbours by the bold and enterprising perseverance of an Individual, in a whale-boat have been discovered on the bleak and western shores of the Isle. - The Southern most of the Harbours named PORT DAVEY, is of the utmost importance to the Navigator, as it lies about nine miles to the Northward of South West Cape ; and is a most excellent Harbour divided into two Arms ex-tending some miles into the Country—On the shores of this harbour are great quantities of theTimber named Huon Pine—the superior value of this wood for every purpose of Joiners' and Cabinet Work, from the closeness, regularity, and beauty of its grain is generally acknowledged - it will also be eminently serviceable in building of boats, especially whale-boats, from its lightness buoyancy, and indestructibility from Worms - it thus becomes a valuable Article to the Architect, Boat Builder, and Merchant.
To the Northward of Port Davey, in lat. 42° 10' S. and longitude, 145° 30' East, is another Harbour named MACQUARIE Harbour of very considerable extent, into which, a River that runs a considerable distance through the Country disembogues; unfortunately at a small distance from the Mouth of the Harbour , or rather the Harbour's Mouth, is a Bar that extends across its entrance, having no more than nine feet water over it, which will for ever tender it impossible to be Navigated, but by very small Craft : As MR. McCARTY is just returned from thence with a cargo of Huon Wood, he has favoured us with the following description of the Harbour:
To gratify my own mind respecting the Harbour and River, lately discovered on the West Coast of Van Diemen's Land, known by the names of Macquarie Harbour, and Gordon River, I for the second time sailed in my brig (the Sophia) for that Harbour – On the 5th day we came to anchor outside of the bar in seven fathom water to wait for the tide, as the current runs at the rate of six and seven knots an Hour ; and there not being more than one and a half fathom water over the bar. - Capt. FEEN concieving he could make out a Channel, kept the starbourd shore on beam close inshore ; the foundings after passing the Bar, were seven fathom, then ten, and regularly decreasing to two fathom at the distance of 20 miles from the Bar, where we were obliged to bring up, not having sufficient water to proceed further. - From the entrance of the Harbour we encountered shoals for the first 10 miles, having a very narrow Channel between them ; we then continued our course up the Harbour in a whale-boat, having advanced about 10 miles further we found on the Northern shore a quantity of Coal – the first we observed was on the Beach, and washed by the salt water an immense Bed but how deep we could not ascertain ; on further inspection we found the Bank from the River was nearly all Coal, in strata of 6 feet thick, then a few feet strata of Clay, and then Coal again - we much lamented the imposibility of proceeding with the Brig to this place. - On the following day we continued our course up the Harbour, to the entrance of Gordon River; we computed distance from the mouth of the Harbour to Gordon River, to be about 50 miles - pursuing our course up the River we arrived at the First Falls (similar to the Falls of the Derwent, and which we considered to be 50 miles further in land, through as we supposed the Western Mountains, as it runs nearly Due-East from the Harbour's Mouth : We then procured our Cargo by drifting the wood down to the Brig ; and on our return down the River. Capt. Feen made another attempt to found a Passage, in which he happily succceded, so that there is no doubt but any Vessel that can cross the Bar at the Entrance, may go within half a mile of the Falls, and lay at anchor within ten yards of the Coal Mine. The Mountains on the Northern shore where the Coal is, are barren, but the rest are generally covered with Myrtle, and Pine. Yours, &c. DENNIS McCARTY. No title. (1816, June 15). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651330
We cannot but highly applaud the enterprising mind of MR. D. McCARTY, in exploring these Harbours; scarce had the discovery of those Harbours been announced by Mr. KELLY, than he resolved to visit them; in his first attempt he was so unfortunate to lose his Schooner at Port Davey; on his return to Hobart Town his ardor to pursue this Object was unsubdued, although he had met with so severe a loss-rising superior to the difficulties he had encountered ; and to the hazards and perils he was likely to meet with on a tempestuous, and almost unknown Coast, he again sailed in his Brig; and was so happy to surmount every Obstacle in his perilous Voyage; and to return in safety with a Valuable Cargo, as the Reward of his Toils. No title. (1816, June 15). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651331
This accounts for the loss of Geordy. Some sources state she was later recovered and all the crew made Hobart in whalers.
Dennis McCarty is recorded, in the article below of his drowning in the Derwent, as being the owner of two schooners, the Geordy and Henrietta Packet (built by James Kelly's son Thomas in Hobart in 1812 - 60 tons) and a brig, Sophia (120 tons). Some accounts state James Kelly was employed by Thomas Birch to sail the Henrietta Packet between Sydney and Hobart, trading wares at either end, so perhaps Birch had hired the schooner from McCarty or they were in partnership together. But others besides Kelly are also placed in command of this vessel, including those employed by McCarty - Charles Feen. In 1818 she had been sold to merchant John Howard and renamed 'Young Lachlan'.
Mr McCarty, as builder of the road to New Norfolk, may have just been securing ‘materials’ for the work entailed, or professed ignorance of what was appearing in Sydney papers. James Kelly also later refuted Birch's claims
MR. HOOPER being about to take Command of the HENRIETTA Packet, and intending to proceed immediately to Port Jackson, requests all Claims may be presented to Mr.DENNIS McCARTY, Owner. Classified Advertising. (1817, April 19). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the Hobart Town Gazette. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article652583
We are sorry to have again to report another most melancholy accident by the upsetting of a boat in our river. On Tuesday morning last, a boat, which was conveying four persons to New Norfolk, owing to the weight of a man who had imprudently climbed up the mast to clear the jib, and a puff of wind at the moment, suddenly upset off Hangen's Point, near the same place where the two unfortunate men a few weeks ago lost their lives by a similar accident. By this late unhappy occurrence, we are concerned to state that two lives have also been lost :— Mr. Dennis McCarty, an old and much respected Settler, who only the day before had arrived in town from his residence at New Norfolk; and Catherine Wood, a very old infirm woman, widow of the late Matthew Wood, some time ago murdered at New Norfolk. It appears that immediately after the boat's upsetting, Mr. McCarty and the two men swum some short distance towards the shore; when one of them perceiving another boat coming down the river, they all endeavoured to reach the upset boat, with the hope of holding on till assistance might be received; but Mr. McCarty, though a good swimmer, being in a close bodied coat and boots, was soon exhausted and went down. The two men reached the upset boat, and were soon after picked up by the one in sight ;—the woman was also picked up, floating on the surface of the water ; and hopes were entertained that immediate medical assistance might restore animation, but which did not follow the prompt attention given by the Surgeons. Several boats commenced an immediate search by dragging for the body of Mr. McCarty, but it had not been found when this Paper was put to press.
Mr. McCarty had been many years in the Settlement, was of a speculative turn, and had been successful in several undertakings: he had been the owner of three vessels (the brig Sophia, and the schooners Geordy and Henrietta Packet) ; and had acquired considerable land and other property. Mr. M. was of a most hospitable and liberal disposition, and was much respected in the Settlement of New Norfolk, where he had chiefly resided, and where his property principally lay. No title. (1820, March 25). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article657798
So although the story Geordy we can know of covers a mere six whole years, and had a turbulent time while she was owned by Dennis McCarty, she also was made by the best and sailed by the best, and launched right here, from Pittwater's Scotland Island.
Image No.: a1107001h, courtesy State Library of NSW
Extras and References
1. D. R. Hainsworth, 'Underwood, James (1771–1844)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/underwood-james-2751/text3895, published first in hardcopy 1967
2. E. R. Pretyman, 'McCarty, Denis (?–1820)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mccarty-denis-2391/text3155, published first in hardcopy 1967
OLD NEW NORFOLK.
MEMORIALS OF THE PAST.
Amongst the oldest settlements in Tasmania ranks that which is somewhat paradoxically known as "New" Norfolk. It is named, not after the English Nor-folk, but after that remote little island in the Pacific from which its first settlers came. Norfolk Island was the second British settlement in Australasia, having been occupied only a few weeks after the arrival of the "First Fleet." Nearly twenty years later most of the free in-habitants were deported to Van Diemen's Land. Even before this there was a connection between Norfolk Island and our history, for it was there that Matthew Flinders (who was released from his captivity in Mauritius just a hundred years ago last month) and George Bass and their companions made the first circumnavigation of Tasmania. Norfolk Bay preserves to this day the name of this vessel, which did good service in her day. In 1804 orders were sent out by the Home authorities to transfer the people at Norfolk Island to the new settlements in Van Diemen's Land. The first settlers re- moved went to Port Dalrymple, but when the removal began in earnest, in 1807-1808,the majority chose the Derwent settlement as their place of abode. Up to the end of 1808 the total number of Norfolk Islanders transferred to Collins's new settlement— men, women, and children— was 554, forming more than half the total population of Southern Tasmania at that time. Nearly all were free per-sons, only 23 being returned as prisoners. The memory of this curious migration, which so largely influenced the character of the original population of the country, seems to have almost faded out of popular memory, though it happened but a little more than a century ago, and there are men still living whose fathers were born on Norfolk Island and came to Tasmania in this exodus.
This doubling of the mouths to be fed was a serious trial to Lieutenant-Gover nor Collins, as the food supply was very inadequate. The new settlers were to receive grants of land in compensation for what they had given up on Norfolk Island. Some were given land at Sandy Bay, and others on the eastern side of the river, at Clarence Plains and Pittwater, but the main settlement was formed in the district on the Upper Derwent to which the name of New Norfolk was given. As early as 1805 Joseph Holt, the Irish exile, who had previously been at Norfolk Island, was sent by Collins to report on the agricultural capabilities of the country up the Derwent, and de-scribed in glowing terms the country about the head of navigation. It was partly owing to this, perhaps, that so many of the migrated islanders went to this district. No doubt, too, the water communication with the capital counted for much in those days of no roads, or very bad ones.
New Norfolk has, therefore, just passed its centenary. Nearly all that is re-corded in history of its early progress seems to be in connection with the deeds of various bushrangers. In 1813, but a few years after its foundation, the place was taken by one of the strongest of the early gangs, that of Whitehead, of which the more famous Michael Howe was then a member, and at different times the place suffered much from these raids.
"The evil that men do lives after them while the good is oft interred with their bones," and bushrangers seem to have a better chance of having their names handed down to posterity than their more law-abiding contemporaries. The pioneers of the district, of those who came from that solitary island in the Pacific more than a thousand miles away, or from still more distant shores, to do their share in the making of Tasmania in those troublous times of what seem to us now "old unhappy far-off things and battles long ago" are gone, and too often forgot-ten as well. The names of many are, indeed, writ in stone, but this is far from giving them an everlasting memorial.
Some of the old stones in the churchyard are broken, and others are moulting away and hardly legible; probably there are very few who try to spell out what is on them. At best the information given in this way is tantalizingly brief, often little more than the name and date of birth and of death. When the epitaph is more expansive the additions are apt to consist mainly of verse of doubtful merit, sometimes conveying an excellent moral, but little of historic value. The earliest stone, still whole and easily legible, dates from a time twenty years after the first settlement, but even so it is curious that there is only one mention of Norfolk Island, and that that refers to a much later date. There is, indeed, one name which coincides with a Norfolk Island settler's name which had been preserved in our earliest newspaper. It is that of Charlotte Burrows, wife of Richard Burrows, who died in 1837, aged 45. In the issue for March 6, 1810, of the first Tasmanian newspaper, the "Derwent Star and Van Diemen's Land Intelligencer," there occurs a notice of the marriage on the 26th ult. of R.C. Burrows and Elizabeth Tucker, both late of Norfolk Island. Even here there is no evidence of connection, but the coincidence of name.
As has been said, the date of the earliest death recorded on the stones still extant seems to be some 20 years after the founding of the settlement. It is in memory of a child, Martha Triffett, who died on January 5, 1828, at the age of 2.It is curious that this is the same year as the earliest date amongst the stones in the old cemetery at Richmond. In both cases there are no doubt earlier stones, now broken or not easily legible, having gone the way which those poor memorials still remaining are likely to go in the future. There are two stones recording deaths which occurred in the following year, 1829. The first marks the last resting place of A. W. H. Humphreys, of whom it is simply stated that he died on May 11, 1829, aged 47. It is open to conjecture whether he gave his name to the Humphreyville mentioned below, or had anything to do with the district magistrate of Pittwater, whose property Whitehead's gang plundered and destroy-ed in 1813, after providing themselves with arms at New Norfolk . West gives the name of the latter as "Humphrey," but the spelling on these stones is not always of the most accurate. The second is that of John Owen Lord, whose epitaph states that he was the eldest son of Edward Lord, Esq., of Lawrenny. He was born in 1810, and was unhappily drowned while bathing in the River Derwent on November 5, 1829, an unlucky Guy Faux day.
Stones dating from the thirties are plentiful enough, and many are exceedingly well preserved. One of the earliest is that to the memory of Caroline Miles Goodman, wife of Benjamin Goodman, who departed this life at Humphreyville on June 8, 1830, aged 22. Some lines of verse are added, stating that she was all that a wife should be, and lived respected and died lamented. Apparently she had but very recently arrived from England, as the same stone preserves the memory of her daughter and namesake, who died an infant at sea on November 27, 1829. The exact spot of the death at sea is very precisely indicated, latitude 30deg. 10min. S., and longitude 5deg. 20min. W. It is fairly common to find a man's native place very carefully indicated on a Scotchman's tomb, but here the same has been done for a Welshman, David Owen, who died in 1833 at the early age of 23. His tombstone bears the words, "Native place Llauiglos, Montgomeryshire, North Wales."
Anglo-Indian settlers have been, comparatively speaking, fairly numerous in Tasmania of late, and much has been heard about them even very recently, but they were not unknown even in these early days. An apparent example is Thomas Arthur Wilson, who departed this mortal life on November 17, 1836,aged 30. The inscription adds "once a resident of India," but gives no hint as to why he came to New Norfolk, or what he did in India. In very early days there was, in proportion to our population and resources, more trade and intercourse between India and the Australasian settlements than there has ever been since.
Cattle and other livestock were brought from Calcutta, and so was wheat. It was a cargo of Indian wheat, fetched by the Venus in 1810, which relieved the inhabitants of the settlement from the straits for food, originally induced largely by the sudden influx of Norfolk Islanders. This cargo brought down the price of wheat from £4, or even more, to 12s. per bushel. Rice, tea, sugar, etc., and a commodity more valued than any of these, rum, were brought from India. Rum was accounted a necessity of life, and for it too many of the Norfolk Is-land settlers bartered away the land grants which were given them in Van Diemen's Land.
In this graveyard lie the remains of a man whose connection with Norfolk Island belonged to a later date than the period of settlement which ended with the deportation of most of the settlers to Tasmania. He was there when Norfolk Island was a penal colony of the same class as the "Hell" of Macquarie Harbour in earlier days, the place appointed for the "doubly damned," at or about the period when John Price was superintendent of convicts there, and Martin, "the bushranger of Van Diemen's Land," and others of whom traditions still linger, were sent thither. This was James Duff Mackay, of Balmund, in the parish of King Edward, county of Aberdeen, Scotland, son of James Duff Mackay. He was paymaster of Her Majesty's 50th Regiment of Foot, and barrack master in Tasmania and in Norfolk Island, and died in 1850, aged 31. It is curious that this seems to be the only mention of Norfolk Island in this churchyard.
Another inscription commemorates a clergyman who had a long period of service in the early days. It runs as follows:—"In this vault lie the remains of the Rev. William Garraid, M.A., for several years chaplain of Sorell, and of New Norfolk about 15 years. He was born in London on July 5, 1793, and died in this town on April 16, 1847. Universally beloved and respected." An early settler was Mrs. Charlotte Wells, who died in 1862, aged 76, and is mentioned as having been "a resident of this district above forty years. Of Casper Young, his epitaph states that he was born in Nieder Wiesel, Germany, in 1833, and died at New Norfolk in 1870.
Two other military men lie buried here. The earlier in date is Captain Thomas Martin Fenton, who departed this life in 1836, at the age of 47, leaving a wife and nine children. Contrary to the usual custom, his regiment does not seem to be given. The other was, like Mackay, a Scotchman and his epitaph runs:—"In the grave beneath are deposited the mortal remains of Major James Gibson, formerly of the 15th Hussars, who was born at Montrose, Scotland, and died at Kilderry, in the district of New Nor-folk, on February 20, A.D., 1841, aged 67. His son, James Alexander, has caused the erection of this tomb to his memory. June, 1842."
Amongst the curiosities of the church-yard is a stone in whose case the cutter seems to have got somewhat mixed, and has perpetrated the following inscription:—"To the memory of Thome David Jameeson, Thomas David Jameeson, son, David Jamees, son of David Jameeson, of Glenleith, died 3rd March, 1838, aged 22 years." It also records the names of David Jameeson and Margaret his wife, who died, one in April and the other in May, 1845, aged 62 and 61 years respectively. The curious spelling Jameeson is preserved all through. OLD NEW NORFOLK. (1910, August 20). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10072886
HOBART TOWN. SITTING MAGISTRATE. - A. W. H. HUMPHREY, Esq. At a full Bench of Magistrates held this Morning, William Johnson, a Convict, was charged with Burglariously breaking and entering the Dwelling House of Dennis McCarty in Liverpool Street, between Hours of 12 and 1 on Sunday Morning the 30th of June last, and Stealing therein two Pistols, the property of the said Dennis McCarty.
The Prisoner entered the apartment in which John Connolly a Servant of Mr. D. McCarty's slept, and who had been in Bed upwards two hours; but on being alarmed, and seeing the Prisoner run out of the apartment, he got up and pursued him, crying out "Stop Thief ": And but for the activity of Mr. Humphrey and Capt. Blyth, who pursued the Prisoner, he would certainly have escaped justice; the Pistols (which were loaded) the Prisoner dropped near to the spot he was secured by those Gentlemen.
The Prisoner being put on his defence, acknowledged that he Committed the Robbery.
The Court found the Prisoner, William Johnson, Guilty, and sentenced him to receive two hundred lashes, in the usual way, and to work in the gaol gang for the term of two years. HOBART TOWN. (1816, July 6). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651370
TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN. TAKE NOTICE, that I intend to apply to the Honorable the Supreme Court of Civil Judicature (through the Medium of its Commissioner at this Settlement) for Letters of Administration to the Estate and Effects of the late Mr. DENNIS McCARTY, of New Norfolk : All Persons therefore having Claims or Demands against the said Estate are required forthwith to present them to me ; and all Persons standing indebted to the said Estate are likewise required and positively directed to suspend the Payments of their respective Accounts, until the necessary legal Authority shall be exhibited to demand them. WM. JEMOTT. Classified Advertising. (1820, March 25). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article657801
The Undersigned, Mrs. MARY McCARTY, intending to apply to the Supreme Court of Civil Judicature of this Territory (by the Medium of its Commissioner at this Place) for Letters of Administration to the Estate and Effects of her deceased Husband, Mr. DENNIS McCARTY, of New Norfolk, all Persons are required forthwith to furnish her with Claims and Demands against the said Estate ; and all Persons standing indebted to the Estate and Effects of the said Mr Dennis McCarty are required to make Payment of the same to the Undersigned, and not to any other Person. MARY McCARTY. Hobart Town, March 25, 1820.
TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
TAKE NOTICE, that I intend to apply to the Honorable the Supreme Court or Civil Judicature (through the Medium of ita Commissioner of this Settlement) for Letters of Administration to the Estate and Effects of the late Mr DENNIS McCARTY, of New Norfolk,-All Persons therefore having Claims of Demands against the said Estate are required forthwith to present them to me; and all Persons standing indebted to the laid Estate are like wise required and positively directed to suspend the Payments of their respective Account until the neccessary legal Authority shall be exhibited to demand them W.M. JEMOTT.
Hobart Town Van Diemen's. I the Undersigned the regularly constituted March 30, 1820. agent of Mr. GEORGE HOWE of Sydney, Port Jackson, do hereby make a Claim upon the Estate and Effects of Mr. DENNIS McCARTY late of New Norfolk, in Van Diemans Land as aforesaid, in the Sum of Seven Hundred Pounds Sterling Money ; of which all Parties concerned or interested are required to take Notice, and be guided accordingly, R. Howe. Agent for Mr. GEORGE HOWE, of Port Jackson, New South Wales. Classified Advertising. (1820, April 1). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1 Supplement: Supplement to the Hobart Town Gazette. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article657810
LETTERS of ADMINISTRATION.
The Undersigned having received from the HONORABLE the Judge of the Supreme Court her Letters of Administration to the Estate and Effects of her deceased Husband, the late Mr. DENNIS McCARTY, of New Norfolk, all Persons having Claims or Demands thereupon are required forthwith to present a written Statement of the same to her ; and all Persons standing indebted to the Estate of the said Deceased, or having in their Possession Property or Goods of any nature or Description whatever, are hereby called upon and required to make due Payment and Surrender thereof, to prevent the necessity of legal Measures being resorted to MARY McCARTY Classified Advertising. (1820, July 29). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article658088
ALL Persons are hereby Cautioned from trespassing on the Farm of MR. DENNIS McCARTY, situated at the Coal River between the Farms of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor and Mr. Roger Gavin, and known by the name of McGuire's Farm. And all Cattle found trespassing on the said Farm, the Owners thereof will be prosecuted for damages. Classified Advertising. (1817, January 18). The Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article651980
...contract with Mr. Dennis McCarty for making a road to New Norfolk, I authorised him to commence from HobartTown, and he is now making the road 24ft. wide up to the intended ferry(Austin's Ferry), 9 miles distant,and 16ft. from thence to New Norfolk.As he is adding one-third to the first part of the road, for which, with the increasing traffic, 16ft. was deemed too narrow, I added three men to the stipulated number (making 18). This work will be an essential improvement to the settlement," These men were granted tickets-of-leave for public service on the road to New Norfolk under McCarty's contract for 12 months. This road, which was completed in 1819, was probably the first of its kind in Tasmania. Places then mentioned on the road were New Town Bridge, O'Brien's Bridge, Berresford's Bridge, Austin's, Burrow's, First River (Sorell Creek), and Elizabeth Town. Century Of Progress In New Norfolk District. (1940, June 8).The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25807279
The system of currency was almost entirely without a cash basis, business transactions being carried out by notes of hand, Government "stoic receipts," or simple barter, a good example of the last named method being afforded by the "proposals for making good carriage road from Hobart Town to New Norfolk," submitted to the Government by one Dennis McCarty, in 1818 This curious tender makes no mention of any cash payment Mr McCarty merely asks for, "2,000 acres of land, 15 men on the store for 12 months at a ration and a half each man, eight bullocks and a cart, 500 gallons rum, duty free, a tent for the men to sleep in, tools fit for the purpose " Although no actual con-tract was entered into, McCarty did the work, and received a substantial portion of the consideration asked for
The lot of the convict at this period seems to have been a singularly unequal one Some individuals were able to earn good wages and were practically their own masters, others, classed as refractory, were herded together in small huts, and denied even such necessities of life as cooking utensils and bedding, while we read of an iron collar, weighing over 6lb, being used among the women in cases in which the Puritans of seventeenth century New England would have awarded the "scarlet letter " HISTORICAL RECORDS. (1922, February 25). The Mercury(Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23543141
LAUNCHES AT ANCHOR AT PITTWATER, WITH LION ISLAND(BROKEN BAY) IN THE DISTANCE No title. (1935, April 3). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 42. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166111070
The pier at Pittwater, local 'headquarters' of the yachting and sailing fraternity. - RMYC Wharf - with boatshed to north. From: Pittwater:. (1938, December 28). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166525296
The First Boat Builders of Pittwater I: the Short Life and Long Voyages of Scotland Island Schooner the Geordy - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2015, reshared April-May 2023.