January 25 - 31, 2015: Issue 199

 Sarah A. Biddy Lewis 
Martha Catherine Benns

Sarah Lewis Ferdinand (1800/3?- 1880) and Martha Catherine Benns (1838 - May 6th, 1920)

Countless tributes to Bungaree (sometimes spelt ‘Boongarrie’) abound in the early papers of the colony of Sydney- places were named after him - like Bungary North (Norah Head ) and Bungary beach near Brisbane, hotels were called King Bungaree, there was a King Bungaree stage, which ran to Liverpool, and vessels both large and small were all named after this early greeter of those coming to a new for them but in reality, ancient world and culture.

What is known of the women who bore his children though – apart from short references to these mothers? As matriarchs, constant reference to one of these ladies daughter's ability as a midwife recurs, her skills as a fisherwoman – traits that seemed to be passed from one generation to the next, as her daughter then becomes a midwife to many too. 

Finding the voice of the two ladies, mother and daughter, we would celebrate as the last in this first round of Pittwater Matrirachs, begins at least on January 31st, 1815 – two hundred years ago this Friday, January 31st, 2015:

On Tuesday last, at an early hour, His Excellency the GOVERNOR and Mrs. MACQUARIE, accompanied by a large party of Ladies and Gentlemen, proceeded in boats down the Harbour to George's Head.

The object of this excursion, we understand, was to form an establishment for a certain number of Natives who had shewn a desire to settle on some favourable spot of land, with a view to proceed to the cultivation of it. - The ground as signed them for this purpose (the peninusla of  George's Head) appears to have been judiciously chosen, as well from the fertility of the soil as from its requiring little exertions of labour to clear and cultivate; added to which, it possesses a  peculiar advantage of situation; from being nearly surrounded on all sides by the sea; thereby affording its new possessors the constant opportunity of pursuing their favorite occupation of fishing, which has always furnished the principal source of their subsistence.

On this occasion, sixteen of the Natives, with their wives and families were assembled, and His EXCELLENCY the GOVERNOR, in consideration of the general wish previously expressed by them, appointed Boongaree (who has been long known as one of the most friendly of this race, and well acquainted with our language), to be their Chief, at the same time presenting him with a badge distinguishing his quality as "Chief of  the Broken Bay Tribe," and the more effectually to promote the objects of this establishment, each of them was furnished with a full suit of slop cloathing, together with a variety of useful articles and implements of husbandry, by which they would be enabled to proceed in the necessary pursuits of agriculture : - A boat (called the Boongaree), was likewise presented them for the purpose of fishing.

About noon, after the foregoing ceremony had been concluded, HIS EXCELLENCY and party returned to Sydney, having left the Natives with their Chief in possession of their newly assigned settlement, evidently much pleased with  it, and the kindness they experienced on the occasion. Sydney, SITTING MAGISTRATE—W. BROUGHTON, Esq. (1815, February 4). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article629052 

Sarah is known to have spent time at this farm, her surname then 'Wallace'. Although Bungaree does not seem to have done much farming the peaches that came from these lands were supposed to be some of the best in the colony and kept him and his peoples able to purchase other items they may have wanted.

Sarah, born at Broken Bay in 1800 or 1803 (also Sarah Lewis, Sarah Ferdinand and Granny or Biddy (Bidgee?) Lewis and Biddy Salmander or Salamander- see mispronunciation of names in Extras below and then run LewisFernandez together - ?) was the daughter (or grand-daughter) of Bungaree and the sister of Bowen Bungaree. Her mother, or grandmother, was Matora, Bungaree's first wife - some sources stating he had five wives.

Biddy Salmander / Broken Bay Tribe [&] Bulkabra / Chief of Botany, / N.S. Wales [&] Gooseberry / Queen of Bungaree by Charles Rodius then turned into this Lithograph - see sketch. Image no a1114011h, courtesy State Library of NSW.

Queen Matora (also Toura - picture to right), according to Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld, mut-tau-ra, meant 'small snapper' in the Newcastle-Lake Macquarie ('Awabagal') language group, to which this mother of Sarah and Bowen (Boin) may have belonged. In Yabbying In Warriewood Creeks one of the articles we found during research states Bungaree was a frequent visitor to one settler's home and another under Extras by Rev. Threlkeld shows these lands were a place he walked on.

Other references to her daughter and granddaughter also cite a small, quick and intelligent woman in both cases.

Sarah did not stay at what is now called 'Bungaree's Farm' for very long - walking to Pittwater, along the tracks now used as roads here or those closer to the coast was common practice. From at least 1822 she was with Prussian convict John Lewis Ferdinand. Some state they met in 1815 on the Georges Head grounds as he arrived, transported 'for life', in January 1815. John Ferdinand (also Lewis) had fought in the Napoleonic Wars and worked at John Grace’s lime-burning business in Marra Marra Creek by the early 1820's.

There is also some indication that this daughter or grand-daughter of Toura may have had a British sailor as part of her parentage. On her death certificate one 'Richard Wallace' is named as her father and as being 'aboriginal'. It seems more likely he may have been this gentleman, also moving elsewhere in 1822: RICHARD WALLACE, Third Officer of the Ship Clydesdale, leaving the Colony in the said Vessel, requests Claims to be presented. Classified Advertising. (1822, November 29). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2181466 

By 1833 Sarah was applying for land on Marra Marra Creek - a tributary of the Hawkesbury River. Sarah had returned to homelands and waters for what was then called The Broken Bay Tribe. Her determination to secure the ground under her feet  may possibly be due to Bungaree's earlier experience in 'Elizabeth Town' and then 'Bungaree's Farm':

35. Cumberland, 4 acres, parish of Murramurra, on Mother Marr's Creekopposite the land occupied by John Grace: applied for by John Blake. Price 5s, per acre.

36 Cumberland, 4 acres, parish of Berowra on Mother Marr's Creek; westward of the land occupied by Sarah Ferdinand: applied forby James Byrne. Price 5s. per acre.

37. Cumberland, 4 acres, parish of Murramurra on Mother Marr's Creek ; westward of the land occupied by John Grace: applied for by Sarah Ferdinand. Price 5s per acre.

38. Cumberland. 4 acres, parish of Berowra on Mother Marr's Creek; a little eastward of the land occupied by John Grace: applied for by John Hunter. Price 5s. per acre.

39. Cumberland, 12 aore3, parish of Berowra, on Mother Marr's Creek ; westward of the land occupied by John Hunter: applied for by John Grace. Price 5'. Per acre. Classified Advertising. (1834, December 20). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser(NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2217794 

No. 35. 4 acres, parish of Murramurra, on Mother Marr's Creek, by John Blake. No. 36. 4 acres, parish of Beroura, on Mother Marr's Creek; by James Byrne. No. 37. 4 acres parish of murra  murra on Mother Marr's Creek, by Sarah Ferdinand. No.- 38. 4 acres, parish of Beroura, on Mother Marr's Creek, by John Hunter. No. 39. 12 acres at same place by John Grace. Advertising. (1835, March 5). The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 - 1840), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31716273

Five Acres of Land, all Cleared - PARISH OF BEROWRA. GENERALLY KNOWN AS ON MOTHER MARR'S CREEK, In the County of Cumberland.

BY MR. STUBBS on WEDNESDAY, the 27th day of April, 1842, at the Mart, King street, immediately after the Castle Hill Property. DESCRIBED, Bounded on the cast by a line bearing south ten chains, commencing at the north west corner of the three acres applied for by Sarah Ferdinand at said creek; on the south-west by a line bearing north thirty-nine degrees west, fourteen chains and sixty links to said creek, being the land sold as Lot 36, in pursuance of Advertisement, 13th Dec. 1834.


This snug little bit of land is in one of those localities singularly advantageous to all persons who are in any way connected with river business,-as it is close to Berowra Creek, and you are soon in the main channel of the splendid Hawkesbury river, upon which thousands get a handsome living. Advertising. (1842, April 13). The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12874675

Documents found by living family members, and published in Neil Evers wonderful page Bungaree Was Flamboyant show Sarah succeeded in securing some permanent paradise.

Sarah Ferdinand's land (Granny Lewis) - photo courtesy Neil Evers


This gentleman, when he hears what passed at Sandwell's on Wednesday evening, will no doubt feel infinitely indebted to Mr. McLeay and this Government for the attention they shewed him on that occasion. In Governor Macquarie's time, the notorious Elizabeth Bay, was possessed by an old soldier, very tall and straight and venerable, and very aged. He sold his right to the plan, to the late Mr. John Thomas Campbell, Member of Council,  for an annuity for his life. Governor Macquarie pitched upon the spot to form a fishing establishment for the Sydney Blacks, seeing, that the Colonists had driven them from their fishing and oystering stations in the Domain, at Bennelong's  Point, Dawes's Point, and Cockle Bay,(except for the term of this administration "Darling Harbour."), Philanthropy being the basis of the project, Governor Macquarie asked Mr: Campbell to give up his claim to Elizabeth Bay? He did so. 

Huts and boats for the natives were-constructed at the King's expense, and down sat Bungaree and the remnants of the several sable tribes, who, on the landing of Governor Philip, occupied the above-mentioned places in great numbers. This plan of General Macquarie of domesticating the natives, was neglected or opposed by Major Goulburn, to whom Sir  Thomas Brisbane left the management of all the Schools and charitable Institutions in the country; and so the Blacks gradually drew off from "Elizabeth Town ;" the name which General Macquarie gave this new hamlet of the Aborigines. It pleased the present Governor "in his pleasure," to feather the nest of our seven hundred a year pensioner, and two-thousand-a year salaried Secretary, with various warm and nicely-selected sticks, straws, and wool; among which comfortable commodities, was this same Bay called Elizabeth Town. 

In Macquarie's time, our South-Sea whaling trade was not commenced. Quays and private whaling yards, were not then thought of; and land at Elizabeth Bay was not worth more at that time, than a pound or two an acre. But the Sydney finshery had begun to be brisk in Governor Brisbane's time, and when the present Governor arrived, sea-side land began to be held in great estimation. Elizabeth Town was a favourite ride with Governor and Mrs. Macquarie after its establishment, and they often induced their friends to accompany them

Judge-Advocate Wyide, who at that time considered himself a fixture in the Colony, was so  pleased with the neighbourhood of Elizabeth Bay, that he asked the Governor to give him a few acres, for the purpose of making a garden, and when he could afford it, building a country box for the benefit Mrs. Wylde's health and family. Eleven acres were measured off, and the grant was made out to Mr. Wylde, and duly signed, sealed, and delivered. The Colony however began to find great fault with the Judge Advocate and his colleague Justice Field, on account of their curious decisions and monstrous self-imposed fees, the sound of which having reached Downing-street, both were justly removed. The grant contained the usual formal covenants of clearing and cultivating a portion of the land, namely four acres out of the eleven. This of course was a matter of mere form, because the cultivation of four acres of such land(sea-sand) could be no manner of service to the Colony, as to its products. But it was a common covenant, and was inserted as of course. 

The lady of Sir John Wylde and family having at length removed, or being about to remove from the Colony, Sir John had been gradually disposing of his lands and livestock in the Colony. And as the last portion, this sea-side allotment of eleven acres, adjoining Mr. McLeay's grant of FIFTY acres, was advertised to be sold at Sandwell's on Wednesday evening last. A great number of persons of capital, assembled. When lo ! just previously to the sale, a letter was read from Mr. McLeay, stating, that the land about to be sold, was claimed by the Government, on the ground, that the four acres which had been cleared and cultivated had been so cleared and cultivated subsequently to the period of five years, prescribed in the deed of grant; and consequently the land had become forfeited to the Crown, and now belonged to the King.  

The Auctioneer stood aghast;  the bidders looked at each other. At length a gentleman present told the agent of Sir John Wylde, he considered the notice to have greatly injured the sale, for which he had no doubt Sir John Wylde seek compensation on a future day; and in the mean time, he recommended the sale to proceed as he considered the claim set up by Mr. McLeay, to be in all respects invalid. The sale proceeded, and fetched the sum of £910; that is to say, at the rate of about £83 an acre-- i. e. about half its real value. So that here is our beloved Pensioner with the grant of Elizabeth Bay of fifty acres nicely stowed in his iron chest safe and sound, while absent Sir John Wylde, is to be deprived of his eleven acres !

This act of the Government is on a par with that act by which they have ousted Mr. Paine of his mansion at Cockle Bay; and, as it is rumoured, with their intentions to oust all persons who cannot shew a better title to their land, than occupation and purchase.But we ask, would not all these persons have been this moment in possession of grants under the hand and seal of the Governors` of this Colony, if the head Surveyors of the Colony had not been grossly negligent of their duty? What was the reply of these Surveyors, when timid and suspicious persons used to, stammer out to them, with cap In hand, "I hope Sir you will please measure and  give me a grant of my allotment before; the next Governor comes, or I may be deprived of my land ?" - Phoh !" said the Surveyor, " do you think the British Government, because of the lack of Surveyors in the office, and over-press of business, will take advantage of its own wrong? Do you imagine the King's Ministers do not consider the Governor here, a corporate person, and, that the act of anyone of them, is the act of his successors? Do you not know, that the alienation of land by a Governor is not the act of the man, in his private capacity as an individual, but the public act of the King's Representative, who never dies nor ceases to govern?" With such arguments as these, were the timid and suspicious grantees silenced. The generous and the sanguine never doubted the stability of these titles. The public now see the result ! 

Our Chief Justice has decided, that the promises of Governors and their permission to occupy, go for nothing. Their hands and seals only (quoth he) can prevent the King entering into possession ? Thus stands at this moment the tenure of thousands of farms in the interior. On the doctrine laid down, our farm for instance at Lake Bathurst, occupied by us about ten years, but never measured, can be taken possession of by any member of the two FAMILIES, whenever His Excellency, the present Governor shall be pleased to make them a present of the same. Our neighbours have encroached on the original grant promised us by the Governor, and which cost us, in those days, more to settle on it, than it was worth. We cannot resist their encroachments, for we cannot shew our boundaries in a deed !And the boundaries we do shew, and which were pointed out by the Surveyor of those days, before we went 60 miles beyond any other settler, in personal danger from the blacks every journey, the neighbours laugh at. Thus we have a farm and no farm. And the result we expect will, be, that as George Murray has rebuked us for not surrendering our assigned prisoner servants to the Governor, when in " His Excellency's pleasure," he was pleased to require their surrender, though such surrender were attended with our ruin, so we suppose if His Excellency were to send to Lake Bathurst, and enter into possession as our Chief Justice has determined he ought to do as regards Mr. Payne's premises, we should have no remedy.  

Thus the King's Prerogative, which is given His Majesty by the Constitution, to enable the King to exercise the prerogative of mercy in case of offenders, and to protect and uphold the rights of his subjects, in cases where the law, from human infirmity, fails of working benevolently, is found in N. S. Wales to accomplish ends of a very opposite nature! Mr. Underwood's land the other day, was entered upon by Lieut. Parry, in the name of the Crown, with force and arms; his fence was violently destroyed before his eyes by a gang of convicts, and himself threatened if he molested them. Surely the best way would have been, first to try the right ? Suppose Mr. Under-wood, fully impressed they were impudent trespassers, had, in the old Irish spirit, come down with his dependents with muskets in their hands, and fired on Mr. Parry and his gang ? " Why" say the lovers of peace and mercy, "Mr. Underwood if found in error, would have been hanged to be sure, and his assistants sent to Moreton Bay to encounter for life, scourging and hunger !"    

We will conclude with observing, that  the plea for this extraordinary proceeding  of the Government, in ousting Sir John Wylde must be, the extreme scarcity of land on the "sea-side near Sydney. But if this be true of eleven acres, why have given Mr. McLeay 50. THE SYDNEY MONITOR. (1830, July 14). The Sydney Monitor(NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 2 Edition: AFTERNOON. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32073880 

In 1847, Sarah married John Lewis Ferdinand at the 'Church of England, Lower Hawkesbury'.  Shortly before this auspicious occasion her brother Bowen (Boin) and his wife, called Maria, and according to correspondence from Customs Officer Howard (dated 1845), had their three children baptised at St Mary’s Church Sydney. 

1847 V1847286 32C LEWIS JOHN WALLACE SARAH CY - NSW State Records - Births, Deaths Marriages

Sarah and John had 10 children, seven of whom survive. The family lived by fishing, oyster gathering as well as boat building, lime-burning, shingle making and selling fruit from their orchard, while Biddy acts as midwife for the whole district. A story is told that Lewis, sailing his boat, would often say to Biddy “Sit in the bow of the boat, Biddy, so I can look at your beautiful face”.

Martha Catherine was born October 13, 1838, their fifth child. Records indicate she gave birth to only one child, in 1862, a daughter Emily Mary Ann Elizabeth, whose father is said to be one Eugene Stevens, a water policeman, although 'Sanville' appears a little further on as her surname, and then 'Stevens' when her daughter marries. 

In 1874 Martha Catherine married Joseph Benns, a Belgian master mariner born around 1816 in Brussels. He changed his name from Ambrol Josef Diercknecht, possibly due once again to people here being unable to pronounce names correctly (?) and leased Scotland Island for seven years in 1855. 

Marriage 590/1874: BENS JOSEPH to SANVILLE CATHERINE - SYDNEY - NSW State Records - Births, Deaths Marriages

Here too was an abundance of peach trees! Mr Benns is credited with rebuilding the house of Andrew Thompson. He also owned the “William and Betsy” which foundered off Port Stephens and then “The Lady and the Lake” which was wrecked off Long Reef. Both of these traded up and down the Hawkesbury so that may have been where he first met Martha:

COASTERS OUTWARDS.  March 10.-Rover, William and Betsy, and Bride, for the Hawkesbury.; Triumph, for Newcastle; Moonta Bay, for Shoalhaven. COASTERS OUTWARDS. (1855, March 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12966620

COASTERS-JULY 21. Inwards.-Catherine, from Broken Bay, 250 baskets shells, 34,000 shingles, 200 dozen oranges ; William and Betsy, from the Hawkesbury, 7600 shingles, ..t bushels maize, half ton bark : SHIPPING RECORD. (1857, July 25). Empire(Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6498326

Mr Benns is one of the signees of the petitions to keep Katherine Mary Roche as postmistress at Bayview.

In 1874 Martha and Emily were living on the island with Martha being midwife to many local families. Her grandmother's 'Queen' title, and her reputed bright, intelligent and certainly a dignified nature earned her the title of 'The Queen of Scotland Island':

Right: Martha Catherine, courtesy Bob Waterer, great grandson.

The old church at Church Point has almost disappeared, but we noticed, across the water, the historicic Scotland Island. Andrew Thompson, famous emancipist, successful farmer, merchant, brewer, and magistrate, received Scotland Island as a grant in the early days of the century. He established an extensive salt works there, farmed the land, and, at the time of his death, a vessel, the Geordy, was in the process of being built. Arnbroff Josef Diercknecht, a Belgian, took over the island soon afterwards. He was called locally 'Joe Benns,' and the abbreviation is excusable. He rebuilt Thompson's house with the able assistance of an old bullock. The language Joe used to his bullock was atrocious, but their understanding was complete. Mrs. Benns was known as the 'Queen of Scotland island.' She was a little dark woman of gentle manners, a great kindness of heart, but with a certain regal bearing. Her jewellery Befitted her 'royal' rank. She wore a set of pink coral and gold with eardrops hanging to her shoulders and a magnificent necklet. There is a story that, before her death, she buried her necklace somewhere on the island. Nor is this the only legendary treasure buried on; the island. A three-legged pot full of holey dollars is; said to have been hidden there by two men in a stolen boat full of stolen treasure in Andrew Thompson's time. ROADS OF TO-DAY—TALES OF YESTERDAY. (1937, August 25).Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 43. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160498911



There is very little about Scotland Island(in the southern portion of Pittwater) to suggest that once it was of considerable importance in the affairs of the young colony. Today its heavily timbered slopes, save for  the cleared spaces about the few isolated cottages would seem to be in almost the same condition as they were over a hundred years ago. In spite of this, however, the island was the scene of a considerable ship-building industry in the early years of the last century, in addition to being the site of extensive salt-works. It was Andrew Thompson, that stalwart pioneer of the Windsor district, who was the first owner of the island. It was Thompson, too, who gave to it its name in honour of his native Scotland.

On the island he built his home, established a farm, and carried on a prosperous business for some years, combining shipbuilding with his other interests. When he died in 1810 the "Sydney Gazette" made mention of the launching of a vessel at Scotland Island, "one of the finest ever built in the colony," and named by Andrew Thompson at the laying-down of the keel as the "Geordy."

After the death of Andrew Thompson many attempts were made to sell the island, but for some considerable time no buyer was to be found, for its isolated position rendered farming there an unprofitable venture, in view of the amount of readily accessible land that had been opened up. For many years the island remained uninhabited; then came a romantic and mysterious person, one Joe Benns, a Belgian who rebuilt Thompson's cottage and established himself on the island in company with his wife. Very little was known of these two, save the obvious fact that they had "known better days." Mrs. Benns was known throughout the district as the "Queen of Scotland Island." She possessed some valuable jewellery, which is supposed to be hidden somewhere on the island to this very day. TUCKER & CO. PTY. LIMITED, SYDNEY. Distributors of Chateau Tanunda Brandy,    Tucker's Old Tudor Whisky, Foster's Export  (Blue Label) Lager, etc. Advertising. (1942, January 27). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17785081


This picturesque spot is one of the few privately owned islands in Australia. It lies just off Church Point, at the mouth of McCarr's Creek, Pittwater, an arm of Broken Bay. Not so many years ago the region was practically unknown even to the people of Sydney. Gradually, however, the popularity of the seaside resorts has accounted for the creeping out of weekend cottages and permanent habitations from Manly to Barrenjoey and around the foreshores of Broken Bay and the various inlets near the mouth of the Hawkesbury River. Even Scotland Island itself is now becoming a week-end resort. ON SCOTLAND ISLAND, PITTWATER. (1920, April 21). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article159028427

In 1880 Sarah A Ferdinand passed away and was placed on Bar Island - at the mouth to her precious Marramarra Creek. Although a Church of England school and cemetery had been placed on the island years prior to her passing, and Sarah was C of E , there was no marker for current living family members to visit when they went looking for their matriarch, and midwife to so many, just a few years ago.

Martha Catherine's daughter Emily Mary Ann Elizabeth (names of her sisters) married George Sigby Godbold in 1887 - and here, once again, the surname 'Stevens' appears instead of 'Sanville'. 

3485/1887: GODBOLD, GEORGE and  STEVENS EMILY - MANLY - NSW State Records - Births, Deaths Marriages

They had seven children, boys who excelled in Pittwater regattas, while the girls did very well at Lacrosse when the family moved to Manly. One son was injured twice in France during WWI. His War Record shows his being at some of the worst battles encountered during this conflict, while the newspapers of then record his being injured twice:

Gnr. H. GODBOLD, S.A. Bde., Pittwater. NEW SOUTH WALES. (1915, September 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15615446 

Gnr. HERBERT GODBOLD. Pittwater(2nd occasion). DOUBLE CASUALTY LIST. (1917, December 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15744495

Picture: 54th Siege Battery with its 8 inch howitzers, Western Front.- by Frank Hurley - Australian Commonwealth Government
Photograph of a battery of 8 inch Howitzers of Australian 54th Siege Artillery Battery, Western Front, 1917. The gun is mounted on the Vickers firing platform, with the traversing rail visible beneath the end of the trail.

Herbert was part of the 1st Siege Artillery Battery, which was formed in Victoria during April 1915. The battery departed Melbourne on 17 July 1915 and served on the Western Front during World War I. The battery along with the 2nd Siege Artillery Battery made up the 1st Siege Artillery Brigade. 1st Siege Artillery Battery was renamed the 54th Siege Artillery Battery on 28 September 1915. The battery was equipped first with four 8 inch howitzers and then 6 from July 1917. In March 1918 the battery was assigned to the Australian Corps Heavy Artillery and resumed its original title.

The first born Godbold children spent their formative years on Scotland Island, moving to Bayview in 1903 or 1904. One of their daughters, Harriet, married a British soldier, Albert Waterer, and in 1924, Robert Waterer (Bob) was born. 

Left: Bob aged 13 with his mum. Photo courtesy Bob Waterer

Martha, 'full of years well spent', was placed in Manly Cemetery after passing away:


The death took place on Thursday last of Mrs. M. C. Benns, one of the pioneers of the Hawkesbury River, where she was born 90 years ago. For the past 46 years she resided at Bayview, Pittwater. Two of her brothers are still living, and she has left a daughter, seven grandchildren, and six great grand-children. A HAWKESBURY PIONEER. (1920, May 11 - Tuesday). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15889184 

FUNERALS. BENNS. — The Relatives and Friends of Mr. and Mrs. G. GODBOLD are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late beloved MOTHER, Martha Benns; to leave 245 Pittwater-road, Manly, TODAY, at 11 a.m., for Manly Cemetery. Family Notices. (1920, May 7). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15888643

Emily lost her husband soon after and he too went to Manly:

GODBOLD.-November 8, 1928, at his residence, 245 Pittwater- road, Manly, George Siby, dearly beloved husband of Emily Godbold , and father of George, Herb, Emily, Addie , Harriet, Milly, and Fanny, aged 74 years. Family Notices. (1928, November 9). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16507923 

GODBOLD. -The Relatives and Friends of Mrs  EMILY GODBOLD and FAMILY are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of her dearly beloved HUSBAND and their FATHER George Siby ; to leave his late residence 245 Pittwater road Manly, THIS FRIDAY at 4 pm, forChurch of England Cemetery Manly. Family Notices. (1928, November 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16507868 

And an indication of a family's love:

GODBOLD. In loving memory of our dear dad, George Siby, who departed this life November 8, 1928. aged 74 years
A loving dad. true and Kind.
No one like him on earth we find
Forget him. no. we never will,
As years roll on we love him still.
Memory recalling in fancy we trace
Dad, our darling, your sweet old face,
Inserted  by his loving daughter and son. Emily and Norman.  
GODBOLD -In loving memory of our dear husband and dad George Siby who departed this life, November 6 1928
No one knows how much we miss you.
No one knows the bitter pain
We have suffered since we lost you
Home has never been the same
Inserted by his loving wife and children Emily, George and Fanny
GODBOLD.—In loving memory of our dear father George Siby who passed away November 8  1928
Always so good and kind
Few in this world his equal to And Until his life came to an end
Inserted by his loving daughter and son in-law Milly and Bill and grandchildren Herbert Roy and Thelma
GODBOLD In loving memory of our dear dad and grandfather George who passed away November 8 1928
We often think of you dear dad
And think of how you died
But the saddest part of all was
You never said good bye
Inserted by his loving daughter Addie, son-in - law Hugh grandchildren Agnes and Walter. Family Notices. (1929, November 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16600088

And then Emily passed away too - with Memorial's placed by her children to both their parents, expressing love and grief alike that placed above

GODBOLD.-The Relatives and Friends of the late EMILY MARY ANN ELIZABETH GODBOLD are Invited to attend her Funeral; to leave View River Avenue. Carramar, THIS AFTERNOON, at 1.30 o'clock, for the Church of England Cemetery, Manly. Family Notices. (1937, September 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17401243

All of these threads do not give you as full a picture as reading the wonderful book Harriet's son Bob Waterer, together with Nan Bosler OAM, published just a few years ago; The Story of Bob Waterer and his Family 1803-2010, which you may still get a copy of and delve deeper into the history of two wonderful midwives and Matriarchs of the Lower Hawkesbury and Pittwater.

A song for Sarah Biddy and Martha Catherine:

My Berowra Maid

A legend existed among the Marra Marra tribe of aborigines who inhabited Berowra Creek that a beautiful white queen who loved a certain young chief of the Marra-Marra used to frequent the rugged heights overlooking the creek, and utters strange cries and calls.

Many visitors to Berowra have commented on the weird noises produced by the wind in the precipitous canyons and bays of Berowra.

From the frowning height of the rugged bight
I hear thee calling now,
As tho storm cloud hurls its cumbrous curia
In dark irroaths round thy brow.
In my tiny boat on the reach afloat,
I hear thy long-drawn cry.
As my oars make play in the phosphor spray,
I haste to shelter nigh.
On a winter's morn at the paling dawn
I hear thy plaintive call,
When the Baa-Baa* keen in his ghost like sheen
Comes down, a grey-white wall.
When the first bright gleam of the morning beam
Had gilt the topmost peak
Of the rugged domo of thy mountain home
Above the darkling creek,
Where tho white fog lies; as the dingo hies
From night haunts to his lair;
Oft thy wondrous voice I have heard rejoice
At days warm broadening glare.
'Mid tho city's roar, at my desk once more,
I sit, and try to write :
In the busy throng I can hear thy song,
My weird Berowra sprite
And I often pine, thou bright phantom mine,
Though now I'm old and staid,
Just to hear again thy welcome refrain
My sweet Berowra Maid.
(*Baa-Baa — a thin mist which rises from the water at night). My Berewra Haul. (1910, June 8). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85997694 

 Neil Evers, Bob Waterer and Julie Hendicott 2013


NB: Please bear in mind some of these articles reflect the way of thinking of the time they come from -  they do not represent current beliefs held by Pittwater Online News - this is a History page, and part of every History is trying to see the environment and societal beliefs around people, and how they thought and spoke. Also bear in mind many early periodicals were inaccurate in their reports as to dates etc. and some were owned or run by people not seeking to be strictly a News Service/ or adhere to what is articulated as the Fourth Estate. These articles are placed here in order for readers to gain insight into what surrounded these mothers and what may have affected their lives and choices as part of the 'atmosphere' of their times.

Fitzgerald, Mary A. King Bungaree's Pyalla and stories [electronic resource] : illustrative of manners and customs that prevailed among Australian Aborigines. by Mary A. Fitzgerald.  At: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/doview/nla.aus-f9622b-p.pdf (42MB)

Other corrupted names have been corrected since the olden times, and we no longer say the Groine for Cortina, in Spain ; and Armony for Armenia, as did. Sir John Mandeville and many other seafaring men, even as late as the days of Dampier.... Of course it was a mistake to give such names to the places, but it was much easier to remember them by so doing. Australians make the same mistakes nowadays when they say : Mother of Mars Creek instead of Marra Marra Creek, and Henriendry or Henry -and-dry for the native name Thariendrai. GEOGRAPHICAL FACTS & FANCIES. (1899, July 27). The Children's Newspaper (Sydney, NSW : 1899 - 1900), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article62355283


Sir,-The letter under the above heading by Mr. F. T. Forbes, which appeared quite recently in your journal, is deserving of attention. With the view of reducing the spelling of native names to some uniformity or rule, the late Sir Thomas L. Mitchell, when Surveyor-General, issued the following instructions to his surveyors for their guidance, viz.:-  

(Copy )Circular No 29-260.  

Surveyor-General's Office,    

Sydney, 5th September, 1829.

Sir,- In order to establish uniformity in the spelling  and pronunciation of native names, as well as to avoid the  printing of long names which are by no means desirable on maps I have to request that you will be particular in spelling such names with as few letters as possible, observing the following rules :-    

1st. That where g begins a syllable, it is never to be followed by an h.

2nd. That the vowel u is always to be used instead of the diphthong oo, excepting in the last syllable, when the accent is upon it.

3rd. That no name is to terminate with h.

4th. That the r's are to follow the accented syllable only,  and no other.

By avoiding thus unnecessary consonants and diphthongs, names to which home have given 14 letters may be written in nine, as Gulangula for Ghoolonghoolah, Beraweree for Bherrahwherree, Brulee for Bhroulhee, Culapatambo for Coulahpatamboh, and many other words in which there are letters as superfluous as gum trees on the hills.  

(Sg.) T. L. MITCHELL, S-Gol. Mr. Surveyor-.

It is evident by this system of orthography that the name Woolloomooloo and many others would be con-fined to their proper limits.

Shortly after my arrival to this colony in 1841, I was fortunate enough to meet at Brisbane Water an aboriginal from whom I received from time to time much valuable information. This man Boy-yo by name, but better known as " Long Dick," was a reputed son of King Bungaree and Queen Gooseberry. He was proud of his parentage, and introduced me to his mother, who, in order to receive me in some state, requested that I should wait until she had put on an old straw bonnet, very much crushed, however, by having been packed away in her bag or wallet with a litter of puppy dogs. This, in addition to the remnant of a much-worn 'possum cloak around her shoulders, made her quite presentable. She was a perfect living skeleton.

On explaining to Dick my desire to obtain a knowledge of his language and an insight into the manners and customs of his countrymen, he told me at once "not to ask questions," that "black fellows did not like to be cross-questioned ," that " black-fellow tell too much gammon " but to look about. Consequently, by following Dick's advice when visiting his or other encampments in different localities, I secured much information.

The custom of extracting a front tooth from each male adult caused many to speak with a lisp, so that at times it was difficult to obtain a correct pronunciation. The women, not having to undergo this ordeal, spoke in clear, distinct tones, and were generally the best informants.

I noticed that many words were used in common throughout the country, such as " Murry," or" Murrum," equivalent to our word very, bulk, or magnitude ; " Baal," or " Bel," a negative ; " Budgery," good satisfactory ; and many others. Also, that every prominent resident in a district enjoyed a distinctive nickname. Thus, a tall and thin settler near Lake Macquarie was called " Turra-Brona," long legs ; a blackbutt tree, "Turramlong ; " a blue gum, " Turrumbrine," on account of their superior height ; and " Turramurra," the name of the highest land between North Sydney and the Hawkesbury River.

Bidgee " means a flat by a river side, consequently " Murrumbidgee " means a river of many flats, though each bend of the river possesses a separate distinguishing name, more or less historical or biological, the name often extending to many syllables, and unpronounceable to any but blackfellows :-

The name " Kurraducbidgee " is thus formed-" Kurker," a mouth ; " kurradue, ' a native companion, a specie of crane, with a long beak, flocks of which frequented a flat on the Shoalhaven River near Braidwood.

" Gong " refers to a swamp, as Terragong, Cud-gegong, Wolon-gong or Tom Thumb's Lagoon (Wo-lon water), Gerringong (swamp located near to),Coolongatta- Wolon-dilly, water trickling over rocks-&c. Mittagong is altogether misplaced. Its proper position is the Wingecarribee-or bridgee-swamp at the base of the Mittagong Range. The present site was orginally known as " Gibber-gunyah " Creek, that is caves or hollows formed by boulders. " Mill," to see ; " boug," dead or blind. Thus we get " Mill- bong " or bang, " Bong-bong," where the course of the stream is lost in a swamp &c. " Mill-bong  Jim " was the name of a notorious blackfellow, blind of one eye, who murdered a family named Gregor at Brisbane in 1845.

Names ending in "alla," "arlie," and the like refer mostly to convenient camping places, as " Eum-bialla " in Capartes, " Piaugalla " adjoining Lonee,Rylstone ; " Urangalla " in the Marulan district, and many other places.

" Wy-Wy," or " Woy-Woy," as it is now spelt, is an exclamation, a caution, equivalent to Take care, Look out, Mind yourself. I first heard it used when out wallaby hunting with Long Dick in the Wolombi Ranges I nearly trod upon a snake, when he uttered this exclamation, and dragged me out of danger. The strip of land onthe right bank of Brisbane Water River, stretching from the Broadwater to Broken Bay and extending inland to base of rocky hills, was infested with snakes of the most venomous description. Black and other coloured snakes sported about in the shallow swamps and got out of your way when disturbed ; but the death-adders, supposed to be the most venomous of all, remained listlessly on the ground, and being much of the same colour as the sandy soil, were objects of great danger, consequently " Wy-Wy " was an exclamation continually uttered by the blacks when visiting this locality-hence the name Woy Woy.

A brother of Dick's wife, a young fellow 15 or 16 years old, attached himself to me : he proved one of the most interesting boys, either black or white, I ever met with. I undertook to teach him to read, and constructed an alphabet on a large sheet of paper. This he fastened to a sheet of bark, and lying on his back with this propped up before him, soon mastered the letters. The letter y, however, he always hesitated at. I always had to say it for him. On one occasion, being otherwise engaged, I repeated the letter quickly, when he jumped up and ran away. He shortly afterwards returned, and folding the paper up gave it back to my keeping, explaining that " y-y." quickly uttered, was a caution against all dangers, including even the " debble-debble " himself. It was some days before his nerves were sufficiently recovered to enable him to resume his studies.

As a rule names now commencing with C should commence with K : " Kugee," instead of Coogee-derived from " Koucha," a putrid smell, no doubt caused by a stranded whale or large fish of some sort ; " Bar-rengerrie " in place of Barren-Joey, " Larella " inplace of Larry's Lake, " Taralga " for Trialgang, and many other misnomers ; also " Eurobodella "in place of Bodalla, previously Boat Alloy. A revision has to be undertaken with caution, or difficulties which the celebrated Mr Pickwick encountered in his endeavours to interpret the mystic inscription " Bill Stumps " x his mark may be met with. I am aware of the existence of two places bearing the name " Waddy-man-dow "-" Wod-dow" an arm, " Waddy " a stick, " Waddy-man "a man with a wooden leg, " dow " an affix by the blacks ; referring, in fact, to the residence of a wooden learned hut-keeper on a sheep station.

I am, &c.,


June 20.  

TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD. (1900, June 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14319527

His sable Majesty, Bungaree, made his appearance at the Police Office, on Tuesday, to request from the Superintendent of Police, a fresh supply of constables staves, with a view, as he stated, to keep his people in good order. His request was acceded to at the Lumber-yard. No title. (1826, March 2). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 2. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072127 

His sable majesty, Bungaree, attended at the Police Office last week, by order of the Superintendent, and received instructions to warn his own immediate liegis, as well as the chiefs of other tribes, that rioting, drunkenness, and disturbing the quiet of the streets at night, would invariably be followed by the punishment of the tread-mill, or, confinement with hard labour. Bungaree bowed politely, promised to use every exertion to carry the orders of their Worships into effect, and retired. THE POWER OF CONTRAST. (1826, March 25). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2185525 

Royal Palace Kira-Billie, June 25th 1826.
SIR, IT is with feelings of extreme sorrow that I mention to you a circumstance which took place the last evening of the Concert.-
OUR gracious Sovereign had signified his intention of visiting the room last Wednesdays--consequently his suite attended him there at eight o'clock. His Majesty was accompanied by the Ladies from the Palace,Her Majesty, Princess Coudda, &c. &c. When we attempted admittance-we were repulsed. The body-guard wished to interfere-but His Majesty with his usual mercy, ordered Peace. The Queen was terrified beyond any thing-and the interesting Princess, extremely agitated, burst into tears.
THINK, Sir of our sensations, when we saw a huge fellow thrust our King from the door-way-I knew not how to express myself-The Queen, her Majestic appearance-His Majesty's dignified behaviour-and last, the elegant all-accomplished Coudda-youngest Princess of the reigning family thrown as they were on our protection-so generally beloved as they supposed themselves to be. I know not what may be the result of my communication; good or bad, I have only done my duty. But it will appear strange, if a monarch such as His Beneficent Majesty, Bungaree the First, is not considered entitled to a seat, or indeed, a throne, in the Concert-room. I have the honor to subscribe myself,
Sir,Your humble Servant,
HEK. Captain in the Body Guards.
P. S. I have since read in the Australian, that " God Save the King," was loudly called for; perchance it was intended for a kind of apology; be it even so- His Majesty's household cannot accept of any apology-unless it be "a public one." 
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MONITOR. (1826, July 7). The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 - 1828), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31757611

The leige subjects of his sable majesty Boongaree, evinced, on Thursday last, a strong disposition to mutiny. The insurgents, in number about thirty, possessed themselves of a central position in this the metropolis of the said king's dominion, who could scarcely muster above ten good men and true, around his royal person. The junction of York and King Streets was the scene of action. Elevated by unusually copious potations of bull; which roused their ardour; the cry of battle sounded, the war whoop was, heard afar; waddies upon the  corbera's of either party, told fearful tales; gins were running hither and thither, ever and, anon aiding by ununseen blow, their favoured warriors. A numerous concourse of by-standers were speedily assembled, and the field of battle now assumed a bloody aspect. At length, however, a detachment of the corps delite, arrived to the relief of his Majesty, when arguments, threats, and a brisk coercion, ending in the capture of two of the mutineers, and seasoned by a little conciliating persuasion, induced the conflicting parties to evacuate the field, and listen to pacific overtures. The two prisoners of war being brought before the captain-general of the police force; received a suitable reprimand, and were allowed to depart on their parole d'honneur. DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1826, October 20). The Monitor(Sydney, NSW : 1826 - 1828), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31757926

Bull was alcohol made by fermenting old sugar bags.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE MONITOR,  SIR, Last Friday, I took an excursion to the North Shore, and in  my peregrination met with Bungaree and his sable tribe, very contentedly seated beneath the shade of a wattle. At a little distance from the native throng, sat three miserable beings, scarcely human in form, presenting to my horrified sight a climax of wretchedness and disease. Picture to yourself, Mr. Editor, (for the worst of the three) a being whose every bone was countable through a coating of dry and shrivelled skin ;whose legs (literally, and joking apart) were not so thick as chop-sticks ; whose nose was half-decayed ; whose ears were dropping from a head that served as food for myriads of vermin ; and whose diseased and decayed carcase was regaling a host of tantalizing flies. The disease will ultimately affect the vitals—and then (Heaven be praised) die he must. He tried, but was unable to answer a question I put to him. Good God ! thought I, as I contemplated the emaciated form; this living skeleton—and is this the Lord of the Creation—the image of the Creator ?—but better feelings succeeded the mental ejaculation : I considered that the baneful disease of which he was the wretched victim, was introduced into the country and disseminated among the natives by the enlightened man of Europe—by an Englishman. 
Wise were the words of the American savage, in reply to  the European exhortation in behalf of the Christian religion. 
"You came among us," said he, "and were treated as brothers.  —We gave you land, and you wanted more.—You drove us to  the utmost extremity of our nation—you burnt and plundered our villages—you have tried to enslave us, but we resisted, to death—you have brought among us the disease of Hell—you have nearly exterminated us—and YOU are CHRISTIANS !  No! let me worship the God of my fathers!—we know not  —nor wish to know—the refinements which YOU profess—we are honest now—so let us remain." It is the bounden duty of the British Government, be the trouble or expense what it may, by every means to check the ravages this disease has made among the blacks ; and to exert themselves more than they ever yet have done, to ameliorate their moral and physical condition. The Portuguese JESUIT of the 16th century, did more for the cannibal of Paraguay, than the British Protestant, up to1826, has done for the native of New Holland ! The least we    can do, when we introduce disease, is to endeavour to expel it. The least we can do, when we take possession of a strange land, is to maintain its aboriginal and natural proprietors.  I remain, Mr. Editor,  Yours, &c. PHILANTHROPOS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE MONITOR. (1826, December 15).The Monitor (Sydney, NSW : 1826 - 1828), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31758056 

WE are much gratified in being able to state, that Mr.Earle, the Artist, has at length succeeded in producing several excellent specimens in Lithography. Among them, is a representation of the well-known Native Chief ,of Sidney, Bungaree, which, we understand; is intended for sale, and, as usual with Mr. Earle, at a very low price.As a first attempt of the kind in the Colony, it has been dedicated to General Darling. The likeness is faithful--and, considering the difficulties Mr. Earle has had to contend with, great credit is due to that gentleman.THE beautiful Art of Lithography, was invented by Alvis Senefelder, a German bred Engraver, but too poor to follow his profession, he determined to put into practice, an idea he had conceived, that stone, by a peculiar process, might be made a substitute for copper. After many experiments, and considerable time had been expended, this meritorious- man succeeded;--thus acquiring. the honour of having invented an Art, that promises, from the rapid progress it has already made, to supercede that of Engraving itself. We wish Mr. Earleevery success. DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1826, August 11). The Monitor(Sydney, NSW : 1826 - 1828), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31757733

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE.  Taking our usual bathe last week, we found the beach at the head of Farm Cove (a beautiful spot, backed by a rich lawn, and sheltered on all sides by trees and-rocks, as well from the sun and the wind), occupied by the innocent harmless tribe of King Bungaree. The royal family, with their venerable Sire, were enjoying the heat of a very frugal fire, in naked majesty. A more in-offensive people exist not in the world. We went a little further, and after performing our accustomed ablutions, we returned, and passed close to the sable chief and his simple companions, men, women, and children. A man with his back to us was that moment snatching up the fuel from their fire and throwing it into the water.The feeble exclamation of a female who sat by one of the fires, convinced us this fellow was an oppressor. We began to suspect he was not a black. At length he turned to us, in snatching up a third or fourth piece of wood, which occasioned an exclamation of mild displeasure from the poor King, and we then discovered he was a white man. Who are you, said we, thus depriving  these poor people of the small portion of comfort their depressed condition has still preserved to them . I am, said the fellow, with a very fierce look, the watchman. And a prisoner too? said we, indicating that his assumption was beyond his real bearing. The fellow dropped his pretensions, and began to tell us that he had "orders" to put out all fires in the Do-main, for that they had caused the grass and underwood to be burnt, and much damage to be done.He intimated that his orders came from the Governor. We told him, it was such ignorant people as him that brought Governments into discredit with the people. His orders were to put out fires no doubt, for that was proper; but his orders were to put them out when the poor natives had cooked their breakfast, and not before.These poor people, (we continued) have more right to this Domain, and to the fish in this cove,and to make fire here and cook their victuals than the King of England. Our right here is the right of power; theirs of natural justice.Your duty, man, is to await with good nature till these poor people have betaken to their boats and left their fires; then by all means take a bush in your hand, and beat out the sparks which may linger in these little hand-falls of live cinders. This, man, is your real duty, and not to plunder these poor people of their necessaries; and who if they were the savages you no doubt take them to be, would rise upon you, and lay you upon these fires as they do their  bream and snappers in New Zealand; and devour you for your audacity and cruelty. The man desisted for the time-being; but whether he resumed his oppression, we know not.  DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1829, February 23). The Sydney Monitor (NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 8 Edition: AFTERNOON. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31761522

King Bungaree and suite, the native chief of Sydney, appeared and preferred a charge of theft against a man named Peter Holmes, who it turned out in evidence had walked off with the regal robes, a vessel, which though neither of gold or silver, was valuable, to
wit, a tin pot; and a quantity of royal sugar; for which base act he was ordered fifty lashes. Domestic Intelligence. (1829, August 15). The Sydney Monitor(NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 4 Edition: AFTERNOON. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32072237 

Mr. C. Rhodius uses the lithographic Press with great skill. He has executed front and profile likenesses, of Bungaree, in a most superior style. Domestic Intelligence. (1830, March 6). The Sydney Monitor(NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 2 Edition: AFTERNOON. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32073313 

We have received from Mr. RODNIS, in the Public Works Department, a lithographic sketch of Bungaree and one of his sable subjects; and we cannot forbear to say, it is executed in the most finished style of the art, and is, moreover, as accurate and striking a likeness as we ever saw. ECLIPSE OF THE MOON. (1830, March 9). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2194653 

King Bungaree, and Billy Blue, alias the old Commodore, alias the Game Chicken— Standards  — Colours- Hearts of Oak, &c. &c. &c two of  our Sydney comicalities,— both seem far advanced towards that stage, when, as the poet says, these is no dallying with life. Billy declares he must undergo a thorough repair before he is again fit for active service. The streets still echo to the good humoured jests cracked by thus facetious old quiz. His Majesty does not often go at road nowadays, to solicit the loan of "one dum ;" or panake with his younger subjects of soogee bags, bacco,  and ardent potations.   CORONER'S INQUEST. (1830, April 16). The Australian(Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36867906 

DEATH OF KING BOONGARIE. – 24th of November, 1830 – A Wednesday
We have to announce the death of his Aboriginal Majesty King Boongarie, Supreme Chief of the Sydney tribe. He expired on Wednesday last, at Garden Island, after a lingering sickness of several months. A coffin has been despatched thither from the Lumber Yard, and he will be interred at Rose Bay, beside the remains of his late Queen, this day. The facetiousness of the sable chief, and the superiority of his mental endowments., over those of the generality of his race, obtained for him a more than ordinary share of regard from the white inhabitants of the colony, which was testified by frequent donations suited to his condition, not only from private individuals, but from the Authorities. At the commencement of his last illness, the Hon. Mr. M'Leay procured him admission into the General Hospital, where he received every necessary attention, and remained some weeks ; but, becoming impatient to return to his " people," he was, of course, permitted to depart, and the Government allowed him a full man's ration to the day of his death.

Boongarie was remarkable for his partiality for the English costume; and it must be confessed that his appearance was sometimes grotesque enough, when he had arrayed his person in such" shreds and patches" of coats and nether garments as he could by any means obtain; the whole surmounted by an old cocked hat, with "the humour of forty  fancies pricked in't for a feather." The late Commodore, Sir James Brisbane, was particularly partial to him, and on one occasion presented him with a full suit of his own uniform, together with as word, of which he was not a little vain. For some time past, his increasing infirmities rendered it evident that he could not much longer survive his forefathers; and, on the day above named, in the midst of his own tribe, as well as that of Darling Harbour, by all of whom he was greatly beloved, he ended his mortal career. We have not yet heard the name of his successor; but the honour, of course, devolves on the most renowned of his tribe. A detailed account of all the ceremonies used at the death, and funeral obsequies, we shall furnish for the in formation of our readers on Tuesday. DEATH OF KING BOONGARIE. (1830, November 27 - Saturday). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2196620 

Bungaree's eldest son has succeeded to  the vacant government held by his late  father over the Sydney blacks; accordingly, he made his debut at the Police-office in regimentals, his cobra being covered  by a chapeau de bras. The new king appears to wear his honours with a becoming moderation, and much in the style of the defunct sovereign, applies for the  loan of dumps, bacca, &c.  Domestic Intelligence. (1831, January 8). The Sydney Monitor(NSW : 1828 - 1838), p. 4 Edition: AFTERNOON. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32074770

188. Sydney Aborigines~-Tomarrah, the Chief ; and Kaaroo, alias Old Gooseberry, widow of Bungaree-G. F. Angas.-Characteristic sketches in the agreeable manner of Mr. Angas, who is better known in England than in the colony. SOCIETY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE FINE ARTS IN AUSTRALIA. (1847, July 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12899093

Sunday 8 o'clock A. M. started from the King's Wharf in a waterman's boat, for Manly Beach, the head of the North Harbour of Port Jackson, servant carrying two or three small bundles, containing cold ham and tongue, bread and cheese, a couple of bottles of Cognac, with change of linen, &c. landed and began our march, with coats across our arms, for the South Head of Broken Bay through the bush. After rather a difficult path of two miles we found by the roar of the surf that we were near the coast; when the trees getting thinner, all of a sudden we found ourselves on a fine sandy beach, called Cabbage Tree Beach, with a lagoon at the north end of it, running out with great rapidity into the sea. Here we were obliged to take off our shoes and stockings and walk across the water up a little higher than our knees. 
The head land jutting out too far into the sea, we were compelled to climb over the top, 300 feet high; but the view of Port Jackson and its hundred coves, its bold and fearful heads, with the coast to the north, and all the successive beaches and promontories we had to  pass, amply repaid the trouble of the ascent. We soon got in sight of Long Reef, seven miles, which appeared on inspection, to be a very superior farm; considering its sandy situation, and standing very happily with a commanding sea view, both north and south. It is the property of a person of the name of Jenkins, whose improvements, plenty, and hospitality, evinced him a farmer of some sub-stance. It was nearly one o'clock at noon, and rather singular to our Sydney notions to be asked if we would have a cup of tea; we preferred a good English cheese and a  glass of brandy and water, and after resting ourselves, resumed our journey, which lay through the Narroby Lagoon, almost beautiful spot, and more resembling the lakes of Keswick and Ambleside, than any thing we had seen in the Colony. There having been no rain for three months, and a very low tide at the time, there was no occasion to take off more than our shoes and stockings, and we walked a quarter of a mile through the water, not deeper than our knees, over a fine sand that felt so velvety to our naked feet that we almost regretted it was not broader. 

Another head land, as usual, succeeded to this sand, and after ascending it we turned to our left through the bush and arrived at the head of Pitt Water and regaled ourselves at  the farm of one Geary. Here, a Sydney boat was at anchor, and very fortunately for us, had no objection to accept 15s,  for putting us across to Brisbane Water. This is not the usual place for crossing the Bay, but seven miles lower down, at the mouth of Pitt Water, at a projecting rock called Barren Joey; but we preferred the boat and the smooth placid inlet, at sun-set to the rocky, unpleasant journey by land. 

Pitt Water is an old settlement, although having very scanty signs of cultivation. The few spots about it cleared are mostly for the rearing of onions, which,  on account of the rich accumulation of sea shell, the soil is enabled to produce in great perfection. On our arrival  at the fisherman's hut, the usual place for ferrying passengers across Broken Bay, the moon had just risen and there was agreeable but uncertain light over the broad expanse  of water — the lofty craig of Mount Elliott — the entrance of the River Hawkesbury and the numerous headlands about the bay, which caused Capt. Cook to give it its name of Broken. It was well we were provided with a boat, for the fisherman had none, which much excited our surprise ;and in a passage of so much importance — so much danger in bad weather — and such increasing traffic as Broken Bay, the government, we hope, will not be long in establishing a competent and safe conveyance across this stormy estuary. From the South Head to the North is 18 miles, almost as wide as the entrance of the Mediterranean, between Gibraltar and Ceuta, and yet travellers are left to find their way across in little cockle shells of boats, when the fishermen think proper, and at a rate of more than one shilling per mile each passenger. The inconveniencies in winter must sometimes be serious, for instead of finding a decent or convenient ferry-house, it is; hardly credible that human beings can exist in such perpetual filth and darkness, as in the fisherman's hut at Broken Bay. Those who have crossed the Pentland Frith, and had the happy luck of being weather bound a week or ten days, at the Ferryhouse at Honna, might be able to make a comparison; but the house at Honna, is a Shropshire dairy by the side of this beastly abode. Cockroaches in thousands, were marching and counter marching on the rushy sides of the dwelling, and our persons in a few minutes were, literally covered with them. Fleas, bugs, and mosquitoes were only less annoying because they were less numerous. In vain did we wish for the flood tide to enable us to cross the bay, we were obliged to light cigar after cigar and walkabout outside the hut, and at last wrap ourselves up in a dirty, old sail, and try to go to sleep under the thwarts of our boat as she lay at anchor near the shore— but it was nearly impossible — the mosquitoes followed us, and some of the other vermin accompanied us, and what with their buzzing and biting, and the hardness, dirt, and wetness of our bed, it was merely closing our eyes and nothing else. At last the tide turned and the moon waned, it was 2 o'clock in the morning there was a fresh chilliness in the air— we lit another cigar; pulled up the stone and rowed away from this abominable hole. 

The old fisherman had just lost his black gin, who it appeared, had been his housekeeper for many months and had completely left her black associates for his company and hut. I blushed to think that any man, bearing the name of Englishman, should form a cool, deliberate connexion with a female savage, who must have been unlike her race, if she had ever washed herself, if she was not eaten up with vermin, legs ulcerated, and blotches on her head, and in manners and habits every thing that is base and disgraceful. Oh Mrs. Fry, I exclaimed, this would not have been the case but for your system of recommending female convicts to be kept at Millbank, instead of sending them to New South Wales. But for your unnatural folly, this old man would have been most likely a happy,  cleanly and creditable husband, with every thing around him comfortable and tidy, and half a dozen chubby children to make this stage in the journey pleasant and interesting. As it was, no doubt the black woman was getting more civilized, but the white man was approaching the savage state of indolence and filth. But enough— there was a great swell across the bay, much more than I liked, for our little boat, though the two men pulling, agreed that they had never seen the bay so smooth — this was annoying, but never mind. Mount Elliot seemed to recede from us the more we pulled— so, large an object, it was seen through the obscure starlight as if close to the boat, and yet we were pulling more than an hour before it was abreast of us. The tide now favoured us, and, the rapid rush near the sand rollers of Brisbane Water became louder and louder, and passing Lobster Beach, we regretted the indistinct twilight did not allow us to make out more than the beautiful outline of its surrounding hills. The morning of Monday here broke upon us, and the first sight and impression made by this enchanting spot will never, be forgotten. God has done every thing for you, oh, beautiful Lake Brisbane! Man nothing! Nature here still assumes her sway; and if we may judge from the stupendous size of her innumerable trees, years will revolve before she can be much disturbed. Twenty clearing gangs, in twenty years, might make some difference, but the forest appearing at present as everlasting as the hills, they almost mock the individual, whose feeble axe on their giant sides is like the tickling of a lady's fan. The day no doubt must come, when wealth and luxury shall have converted this elegant sheet of water into another Geneva or Maggiore, but who of this generation can hope to live to see it.

We refreshed at Anderson's, both outwardly and inwardly,  and tried to forget our want of sleep by a walk through his green corn and fertile beds of onions ; and at sun-rise the boat left us, in Cockle Creek, and we made the best of our way over a thickly wooded country to a farm on the sea coast, called Culce. This was not effected, however, without some tremendous hills;  and we were glad to get a peep of the white sea through the trees to assure us there was an end to this endless bush. A bit of damper and a pannikin of water were very refreshing; and we would fain have stopped and fished at Tudibarring Lagoon, but want of time and a long journey before us, compelled us to go on. In this and all the other lagoons on this coast, the fish are so abundant, that a black fellow with a seine, can load a bullock cart, at one or two hauls, and it forms a constant food for the farmers and their pigs— the fish are mostly bream & mullet; the first are excellent eating, but the last are thought too fat and rich-we did not taste them. The sea is delightful after emerging from these black, forests; — its eternal surf on the dazzling  beach commands your attention; and the breezy coolness at mid-day, even in the height of summer, with the variety, of seashells and medusae washing ashore, and the white skiff with cedar or lime bound to Port Jackson, make the sea coast much preferable to the bush. Before getting to Terrigal we were compelled to cross the head land of Tudibarring, a precipice five  hundred feet high, with the path not the breadth of your sofa at  the very edge of the abyss. It was quite nervous — as the rock rather overhangs, and we could just see the foamy lather of the  dashing spray. The blacksmith's shop at Sydney Lighthouse is  curious and worth seeing ; but a jump down Tudibarring would immortalize any Australian Sappho, more than any Lover's Leap I ever saw. The hill was almost clear of trees, except a species of stunted eucalyptus, which were growing horizontally from the ground, by reason of the constant action of the sea winds. Lower down we trod upon the elegant fringed violet, they  were so numerous, at every step ; and by the time we got to the bottom, we saw there was a very convenient safe harbour in Terrigal Bay, for large boats or craft not drawing more than six feet water. This beach is very rich in shells. 

The heads of Lake Macquarie, or the name it is better known by, Reid's Mistake, were in full view as we came down the hill, and a boat was fishing off Bungaree's Nora, as the head land is called. A very  successful establishment for catching and drying the snapper is formed, though on a small scale, at Terrigal, and a little spot has been enclosed by the industry of the fishermen, which grows excellent potatoes and onions. We now bade adieu to the coast, and turned again into the bush, for the head Erina Creek, the hospitable retreat of the magistrate of the district. And a bush indeed it turned put to be. It was the thickest Brush either of us had ever seen. Not a gleam of sunshine ever reaches to the bottom of Terrigal Brush. Not Vallom brosa, with its deepest shades, can surpass the rich gloom of this impervious wood. Trees unknown near Sydney, and other open parts of the country; here flourish in all their tropical luxuriance — the cabbage tree, with its towering stem and tufted top — the elegant palm, which makes you fancy you are in the West Indies, with its umbrageous and lofty foliage, explaining at once the compliment and honor intended by that description of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, which says, " they took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him. The splendid fern tree, and the gigantic lily here, also seek the shade in the deep solitudes of the thickest brush ; vines, and a hundred other beautiful and strange  shrubs keep them company in such abundance, as in five minutes might fill the herbals of all the lovers of botany in the Colony; here particularly,      
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen; And waste its fragrance on the desert air!

We lost our path, and became a little alarmed, till it was found. Evening was approaching, our provisions were gone—the servant had been despatched to announce us and prepare for dinner, and the struggling through the rich luxuriant vegetation had wearied us more than all the open country, we were nearly exhausted; the freshest of our party was despatched in  the right direction, according to the sun, while we rested ourselves anxiously waiting the concerted signal of "coo-ey," as  soon as the path was found. Fortunately it was soon discovered, and we met again in the beaten track, and reclined by the side of a gurgling brook, at the entrance of the brush, laughing at our past troubles. We would not own to be tired, 'till we reached home, when the excellent fare and long cork soon made us forget Terrigal Bush. A neighbour come in after dinner, and we agreed to breakfast with him the following morning, and after one more cigar and a glass of grog, not being able to keep our eyes any longer open, we finished the second day.

Tuesday. — The beds, are not so good in the bush as to induce my indulgence in them beyond day-light ; therefore we were  shaving at sun-rise, and went over the farm ; saw the fires of some black natives, and went to chat to them. They had all been more or less afflicted by the late sickness, "murri budgel" was the plaintive answer of one of them to our inquiries how he was, Murri budgel, very sick could not apply to the rest of the sable group, for they were young and hearty, and plump enough to make one wonder how they keep themselves in such good condition. We arrived at our neighbour's farm just as the steamer or stewed fowls was taking off the fire ; it was delicious; and would not have disgraced Beauvilliers a Veri— this, with eggs, bacon, and excellent tea, eked out a breakfast for us, that would have done for a king. The boat had been in readiness all breakfast time, and it was no sooner finished than we jumped in, and rowed down the interesting creek, than which perhaps, there is hardly any thing in New South Wales prettier. Arrived at the broad water, the farms of one or two friends underwent our scrutiny, but the "murri cobon waddie" was the  universal character of them all. Twenty Point Pipers seemed to offer their green hillocks for Italian villas, and certainly there never was a lake that presented so many eligible sites for building on. But, the day I am afraid is hardly yet arrived,  though, to an industrious hard working man, one would think fifty acres of rich vegetable mould, within six hours' water carriage of Sydney, would be preferable to five hundred anywhere else, not having this advantage. Onions, 'pumpkins, melons, and potatoes grow in the greatest profusion, and the in-exhaustible body of sea shells, offer a valuable manure for generations to come. It is difficult to believe the common opinion that these shells have been deposited by former natives, because it implies a populousness which the present state of the blacks would hardly warrant. We added to the heap, by prevailing on our blacks, Charlewal and Dick, to dive for mud oysters, and when roasted at the bush fire, they were excellent. Mr. H. has got a house and offices that would be complete if he resided there, but absenteeism is the crying evil of this Colony,as it is of Ireland. After resting ourselves at Nerrara, we made the best of our way home to dinner; but the best of our way was very bad, as we crossed the lofty Bulga of Razor Back, a ridge eight hundred feet high between the two creeks now and then getting a glimpse of water, but generally immersed in the  forest, and nothing to be seen but rocks above, and tops of trees below. A great deal of fallen timber of the largest dimensions impeded our progress home; but when there, we enjoyed our rest and excellent dinner, quite as much as the day before. 

The news of our arrival had, by this time spread far and wide, and several blacks from neighbouring tribes had collected about the house; fine athletic fellows, asking for bacco. Some of them had came from Wollembi, and others further, 15 or 20. miles, just for a walk, and had brought their black gins with them; it seems they are very constant with their gins; the marriage ceremony is however, very primitive and simple, the lover seldom going farther than the nearest family, approaches their circle, while at meals, and sitting down next " the lady of his love," asks her, if she will sleep with him that night ; she, nothing loth, generally answers yes, and the thing is finished ; they being as indissoluble fixed in holy matrimony, as though they had received the benediction of mother, church. Infanticide is too common among the black women, they will not be troubled with the rearing of children, and mostly take them up by the heels and knock out their brains against a stone. We were amused after dinner by the throwing of the Bomaring or crooked stick. There seems a sort of magic in it, by the certainty of their making it come back to where they stand, however forcibly they may throw it from them. But what surprised us most was a black fellow going up a tall tree to the height of sixty feet by means of his feet and bands and a tomahawk. The tree must have been twelve feet girth, and therefore, the performance resembled more the going up a dead wall, than any notions which we are accustomed to of climbing trees. I never saw any thing so clever. Nothing but hunger could have taught it. It was done by one of the Bush blacks, who are much cleverer, honester, and thinner, than the Coast blacks, who live on fish. Catching the kangaroo, grubs, snakes, guanas, wild-honey, fern roots, and bunion seem the employment of the first; while oysters, and snappers are the things needful for the last. This finished our third day.
JOURNAL OF AN EXCURSION TO BRISBANE WATER. . (1826, December 20). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37071619

Letter III.  (Continued.)….
There was a large fight in the neighbouring mountains between the tribes of Port Stephens and Hunter's River. Remembering the old proverb, ' those who in quarrels interpose,' and supposing there would be a good deal of blood spilt on the occasion, I had no particular fancy to visit the scene of action. The army under king Bungaree I met proceeding to the field with all the ferocity that dabs of pipe clay and smears of red oker could produce, they were armed with spears, bommarings, and waddies, and from their erect and frowning front seemed sensible of the high emprise in which they were embarked, and impressed the passing stranger with ideas of blood and slaughter. On observing us his Majesty and several of his staff defiled to where we stood, and condescended to ask for a bit of tobacco !The next day instead of hearing of long lists of killed and wounded, it turned out that nobody was hurt, but that every precaution had been taken to enable, them to 'fight another day.' 

One old black was plaistered nearly all over with pipe clay, and cut a grotesque figure, not unlike 'Moon' in the masquerade. He had lost his  wife— and this is their deep mourning. I asked what his jin's name was, when he very plaintively replied, " what for, massa, you make me cry ?' ' it' appears that, a black name is never mentioned after death, and any of the' family or tribe, bearing the name of the deceased, are forthwith' christened afresh, in order that no fond remembrance may be cherished of their loss. It is surprising to see them in' such numbers, so strong and healthy. They take no thought for tomorrow, but let the morrow take care for itself. They are great fishers, and the large lily affords them a most nutritious root resembling -potatos, which wrapt up in a bit of bark, and kept in the fire ten or fifteen minutes, is really very nice-. The cobra and the kungewye, and the grub, are all famous' dishes, equal, I am told, to any turtle, if one could but think so, and are found near the rivers in summer time in inexhaustible quantities. In the interior of the country the kangaroo and opossum, the emu, the rat and bandycoot, with roots of fern, and large nests of honey, furnish them a plentiful supply, and in the summer time they avail themselves of a number of wild fruits, little appreciated by us, but which are mostly very good.  From the elevated ridge of Moneybung we had a splendid view over the main river, where we were going, to the extent westward of twenty or thirty miles. That hiull on the left is the Sugar Loaf near Newcastle, and the blue range of hill-- more to the right is the Wolombi, at the foot of which runs the celebrated brook of that name, u pward a of a hundred miles long, which was not discovered three years ago, but which is now crowded with settlers. Further on to the right in the Brokenback Mountains…. ACCOUNT OF HUNTER'S RIVER. (1827, February 7). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072162 

The subjoined valuable piece of information we received yesterday from a kind and constant correspondent:
"A discovery, which it is expected will turn out to be a  valuable one, has been recently made by the Reverend Mr. Threlkeld, at Lake Macquarie, in the district of Reid's Mistake. He was about to build a chimney with what he considered to be a very fine black stone, which he had found in abundance in the neighbourhood of his dwelling, when upon close inspection, he ascertained it to be what is called in England cannel coal (I think it is so spelt.) The overseer of the Newcastle mines has been at Reid's Mistake to exmine the coal, and he reports it to be of a very superior quality, far beyond the Newcastle coal. The vein lies almost on the surface of the earth, and can therefore be worked at a trifling expense. First comes a layer of inferior coal, three feet thick, which is immediately succeeded by another layer of excellent coals about five feet thick, and then comes the cannel coal three feet thick, which can be taken out in solid masses a yard square. These coals have been discovered on the banks of Lake Macquarie, from which an easy communication can be opened with another lake only about one hundred yards distant, which the stock  keepers say empties itself into the sea somewhere about Bungaree's Noah (a bay a little to the southward of Broken Bay), but the black natives insist that the lake communicates with Broken Bay itself. Should this latter be the fact, and it will soon be ascertained, the facility of communication from thence to Sydney by water carriage will greatly enhance the value of the discovery; but should it turn out otherwise,  still it must be considered important. The bar of the river at Reid's Mistake, communicating with Lake Macquarie  has only four feet and a half of water on it at low water, but there is good anchorage outside for vessels of moderate  burthen, equal, at all events, to the outer anchorage at Port Macquarie, with any wind except a strong north-easter, or when blowing a southerly gale, in which latter case the port of Newcastle would be open for their reception." IMPORTANT DISCOVERY OF COAL. (1827, June 13). The Australian (Sydney, NSW : 1824 - 1848), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37072362 

The Reverend Lancelot Edward Threlkeld,  examined:—  I reside at Lake Macquarie, and have done so  nearly fourteen years, during which I have been engaged in acquiring a knowledge of the language  of the Aboriginal natives, and instructing them; for six years of that period, my undertaking was carried on under the auspices of the London  Missionary Society; but owing to the heavy expense of the Mission, amounting to about £500.  per annum for my own support, and that of such natives as I could persuade to remain with me,  for the double purpose of obtaining from them    knowledge of their language, and to give me an opportunity of endeavouring to civilize and instruct them. The Society being disappointed in  the amount of aid expected from other quarters,  and regarding the expense as encroaching too  much upon their funds, relinquished the Mission, and for nearly two years I was left to my own  resources, and the assistance of some friends,  without other aid, when General Darling obtained  the authority of the Secretary of State, for an  allowance of £150 a year, and £36 in lieu of rations for four convict servants, which has been  granted to me during the last eight years.  The Mission has thus occasioned an expense  to the London Society, for the first six years, of  about £3000; and for the eight following years,  to the Colonial Government (at the rate of £186  per annum), of about £1488,.or about £4488 for  the fourteen years, exclusive of my own outlay.  For the probable result of the Mission, if pecuniary aid sufficient to carry out my plans had  been continued, I beg, leave to refer to the opinion of Messrs. Backhouse and Walker, who  visited my station, as given in their letter to the Society, dated May 21, 1836.  The native languages throughout New South  Wales, are, I feel persuaded, based upon the  same origin; but I have found the dialects of  various tribes differ from that of those which  occupy the country around Lake Macquarie; that is to say, of those tribes occupying the limits  bounded by the North Head of Port Jackson, on the south, and Hunter's River on the north, and  extending inland about sixty miles, all of which  speak the same dialect. The natives of Port Stephen use a dialect a little different, but not so much so as to prevent our understanding each other; but at Patrick's  Plains the difference is so great, that we cannot  communicate with each other; there are blacks  who speak both dialects.  The dialect of the Sydney and Botany Bay natives varies in a slight degree, and in that of those  further distant, the difference is such that no communication can be held between them and the blacks inhabiting the district in which I reside. From information obtained from Mr. Watson of Wellington Valley, I learn that the language of the tribes of that district, is also derived from  the same general origin, but their various dialects also differ very much, and the use of any one  dialect is very limited.  During the period of my connexion with the  London Missionary Society, I generally had about three or four tribes resident around me upon 10,000 acres of land, granted in trust for  the use of the Aborigines; and I have occasion-ally employed from ten to sixty blacks, in burning off timber and clearing the land, at which  work they would continue for a fortnight together, being the employment they appeared to like best; since that period, I have not been able to employ more than half a dozen at a time, having no funds at my disposal for their support. I have generally found, that they would continue at their work for eight or ten days at a time, when some other object called them away, and they remained absent for as many weeks. Two lads whom I was teaching to read and write, in which they had made some progress, remained with me for six months, when they went away, and after an absence of nearly a year returned, and they are now at work at my residence where they will probably stay until some native custom, or report of hostile intention from a neighbouring tribe will again call them away. With respect to the advancement of the natives in civilization, I beg to state a fact which occurred in May last, when I was required to attend the Supreme Court as interpreter, on the trial of an Aboriginal; the dialect spoken by the prisoner, was different from that which I understood; and I could communicate with him only through an Aboriginal named M'Gill, who when questioned by Judge Burton, as to his knowledge of God—on the nature of an oath—of truth—and of future punishment; his replies were so intelligent, as to induce the Judge to enquire, if I had baptized him; to which I replied, that I had not; for al-though his answers were such as he had heard, the general conduct of the witness, in regard to drunkenness, was perfectly inconsistent with the character of a Christian. I doubt whether any moral or religious impression has been made upon him, although he is better informed than any of the natives with whom I am acquainted short time ago, I was conversing with some blacks at Morpeth, respecting a future judgment, and the anger of God at criminal practices. On asking if they understood me, they replied, " Oh, yes, M'Gill had told them that before." In other instances, I have received similar replies. This shows that he had thought on the subject, and should his mind become impressed with a sincere belief in the truths of Christianity, I should expect much good from him as a native teacher; and there are other blacks of whom I might say the same. If I had the means (as formerly,) of inducing the natives to assemble around me, and giving them employment, such as they would engage in, I think that much good would be the result of affording me an opportunity of more constant communication with them. I have at two periods put up huts for them,  but they do not like to dwell in huts for two reasons:—one, the accumulation of vermin; the  other, the fear, of other natives coming in the night, and spearing them without a possibility of  escape. Unless the Government afford such protection as will prevent their ferocious attacks upon each other, it is impossible to retain, any party in one place for a length of time. On requesting. M'Gillto plant corn on a piece of ground which I had  prepared for him, his reply was, "It would be useless, as the tribes from the neighbouring Sugar-Loaf Mountain would come down and take it away when ripe, although on friendly terms,"  the whole system of the blacks is that of continued aggressions against each other, which,  whilst it is opposed to every effort, or exertion to civilize them, demonstrates. the necessity ofa Christian instruction, which alone can change their habits of life.  In regard to the removal of the Flinders’ Island blacks, to Port Phillip, I am of opinion,  that there is no fear of their leaving the establishment, as they will be in terror of the neighbouring blacks; premising, that their dwelling together at Flinders' Island is not by compulsion,  and that there removal there from, to Port Phillip,  is in accordance with their own wishes.  Having read the Report of the Commandant of the establishment, and anticipating similar results when removed, I have no hesitation in  saying, that I think the establishment itself may  be beneficial, as an example to the other blacks,  who will, in all probability visit it.  I do not feel equal to giving an answer as to the safety of the establishment from plunder by  the neighbouring tribes at Port Phillip, as I know nothing of, their character; but judging from the natives in my own vicinity, who once  attacked and plundered our huts, and amongst whom were some who had been employed and well treated by myself, I should have my fears for its safety without police protection.  In respect to the office of Protectors, I think    too much is expected in the duties which are to devolve on them, I consider a Protector is a legal advocate to watch over the rights and interests of the natives, and to protect them from  aggression, which I think would be sufficient  occupation for any individual.  The object contemplated respecting the moral  and religious improvement of the natives by instruction, would be more properly the duty of  persons appointed specially for that purpose, and  would fully occupy their time. 

To illustrate the subject, and show the necessity of legal protectors, I state the following circumstance: I was directed by the Government to send a man of mine to Patrick's Plains, to give  evidence respecting the alleged murder of three black women by their own countrymen; I had to  attend myself, and the distance I had to travel  was 200 miles, which detained me a week. I was informed on the road of a murder at Liverpool Plains, which took place a year before, when, after some depredations committed by the blacks in spearing cattle, a party of stockmen  went out, took a black prisoner, tied his arms  behind him, and then fastened him to the stirrup of a stockman on horseback; when the party  arrived near their respective stations, they separated, leaving the stockman to conduct his prisoner to his hut. The black, when he found they were  alone, was reluctant to proceed, and the stock-  man took his knife from his pocket, stuck the black through the throat, and left him for dead; the black crawled to the station of a gentleman at the plains, told his tale, and expired. Another instance was mentioned to me, of a stockman, who boasted to his master, of having killed six or eight blacks with his own hands, when in pursuit of them with his companions; for which his master discharged him. These cases alone, if I had authority to act, would have taken me some months from home, merely to investigate the matter at that distant place. Since the above period, I am informed of another instance, in which some blacks were decoyed into a hut, and then permitted (one at a time)to come out, when they were butchered instantly, until all were destroyed. Another instance, the particulars of which I only learned last week, namely: a party of blacks were cutting bark at a station, on, or near the Gwyder River; the overseer told them to go away, as a party were out after the blacks, and they might be killed; they did not leave; and a party of stockmen came upon them, and killed the whole of them, men, women, and children, reserving only two little girls, who, after being dreadfully injured, came to where my men were, who saw them in a shocking state, and so weak; that one fell into the fire and was severely burnt; if alive, they are probable still at the station on the Gwyder; but if a stir is made, I fear they would be putout of the way. Thus, I am firmly of opinion, that a Protector of Aborigines will be fully employed in investigating cases, which are so numerous and shocking to humanity, and in maintaining their civil rights. I am certain, that the duties attached to the office of Protector of the Aborigines, are more than any individual can perform. I have no doubt, individuals may be found who would advance into the interior and attach themselves to a black tribe or tribes; the fact of Mr. Robinson having brought in the tribes in consequence of his having previously adopted that measure, proves the practicability of the plan proposed by Lord Glenelg. It would take a considerable time to obtain the means of communication with them in their own language, and I am persuaded it would be attended with much personal danger; but as this measure is strictly of a missionary character, such dangers are generally contemplated; should the measure be adopted with suitable agents, I should naturally look for success. I am of opinion, that it would be much more beneficial, if an establishment could be formed on the Moravian principle, far distant in the interior, whence the agents employed could emanate, and to which they could point as a refuge for the Aborigines, and wherein they could assume settled habits of life and obtain religious instruction in the Gospel of Christ, without which nothing permanent for their amelioration, will, I am persuaded, be effected. The expense of such an establishment, would be considerable; but unless entered into with spirit, and full and efficient means be allowed for the employmnent and support of the natives, I am decidedly of opinion, that not only my own employment will become a waste of the past years of my life, as respects my own station, but similar experiments, however varied their titles, will end only in disappointment to the friends of humanity, of vexation to the agents employed, and be of comparatively small benefit to the Aborigines of New South Wales.

Letter from Messrs. Backhouse and Walker, of the Society of Friends, to the Directors of the London Missionary Society, dated May 21, 1836.Sydney, May 21, 1836.
A copy of a letter addressed to you, by Lancelot Edward Threlkeld, has been put into our hands, in which that individual has referred to us,  as having visited the scenes of his Missionary labours at Lake Macquarie, in this colony; and  as being able to give an opinion on the question, whether, during the time he was connected with your Society, or subsequently to that period, he has, or has not been justly chargeable with extravagance, in the appropriation of the funds entrusted to him for the purpose of promoting  the civilization and evangelization of the  Aborigines of New South Wales?  In answer to this question, we take the liberty to state, that we lately spent a few days at Ebenezar, the residence of L. E. Threlkeld (a place a few miles distant, and on the contrary side of the Lake, from the station on which he  formerly acted as Missioniary attached to your  Society), where, since his connexion with you,  ceased, he has been enabled, by a small allowance from the Government, to carry forward the  objects of the Mission, so far as to continue the  study of the Aboriginal Language until he has    acquired considerable proficiency in it; which he is applying to the temporal and eternal welfare  of the blacks.   We also visited the station abandoned by you,  and examined minutely L. E. Threlkeld's accounts and correspondence, both with your Society, and with those with whom he has subsequently been connected, which he freely laid  open to us; and taking into view the state of the colony, when he was in your service, and the  changes that have taken place in it, we are of opinion, that, large as was the expenditure of this Mission to the London Missionary Society, the charge of extravagance was undeserved by your Missionary and that such a charge must have originated in misconception of the nature  of the work entrusted to him arising from want  of acquaintance with the local circumstances of  the colony, or, from the misrepresentations of  persons, who, though resident in this land, had  not visited the field of his labours. The charges that have been preferred against L. E Threlkeld,. in The Colonist newspaper, appear to be equally undeserved, and evidently owe their origin to misconception.  In the correspondence, of L. E. Threlkeld,  there is a keenness of expression, apparently originating in excited feelings, that would have been  better avoided; but his integrity, and disinterested and persevering industry, entitle him to  the commendation and esteem of the Christian  world, instead of the censure that has been bestowed upon him. In confirmation of this view,  the domestic arrangements of his family are marked with a frugality and economy strongly corroborative of much other striking evidence which the place where he is now located affords, that in making choice of such a situation, as one that would be likely, to ensure the constant resort of the Aborigines, he has been influenced much more by a concern for their ultimate amelioration, than by considerations of personal comfort, or promoting the emolument of his numerous family; whilst they also prove their cordiality and sympathy with him in the work, by willingly submitting to many privations from which they might have been exempted, had a situation been chosen chiefly with a view to their worldly prosperity. We cannot leave this subject, without expressing regret, that the original mission at Lake Macquarie should have been abandoned, as there is reason to believe, that considering the time it had been established, it promised much; and  that had the means of employing the natives in the agricultural operations of the establishment, and of thus keeping them within the sphere of instruction been continued, their civilization would have been materially advanced, and, under the blessing of the Most High, some of them would, ere this, have become imbued with the principles of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and have shown among their countrymen, the work of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts; but instead of this, when your mission was given up, the blacks, who made some steps towards civilization, were driven to secure those articles  of food and clothing, which they had learned to value, by doing little turns of work for a description of people at distant places in the surrounding country, who cared not for their souls, and whose example and influence tended rather to lead them onward on paths of destruction, than of salvation. We also think it right to state our conviction, that the prejudices of some benevolent persons, as well as of the community generally, in these colonies, which lead them to adopt the conclusion, that nothing effectual could be done for the amelioration of the Aborigines of Australia and Van Diemen's Land, and that they were inferior incapacity to the rest of the human race, have been much greater impediments to their civilization, than any inherent obstacle in their natural character, and, we think, the cause of failure, in the majority of the few instances where an effort has been made to improve their condition, may be easily explained on the common principles of human nature. Most of these trials have been badly directed; Christian principle, the bond of civilization, having been little, if at all kept in view, while the blacks, on whom the experiments were made, have been placed in situations where they felt themselves looked down upon by the whites; they naturally returned to their own people, in whose estimation they felt themselves raised by the superior knowledge they had acquired, and we are convinced, from observation, that such individuals raised the tone of feeling in the tribes to which they returned, in a manner that would, have displayed itself more conspicuously, had not the example and influence of so large a proportion of the white inhabitants of the land, led the surrounding blacks into habits of drunkenness and profligacy.    We are, &c. &c. JAME'S BACKHOUSE, G. WASHINGTON WALKER.
Colonial Statistics. (1838, December 19). The Colonist (Sydney, NSW : 1835 - 1840), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article31722221

This photograph—believed to be the only one extant—of the old church on Bar Island, Hawkesbury River, was taken by Mr. E. de Gyulay in 1883.  Nothing remains of this structure except a few traces of the foundations, adjoining which is  a small cemetery. The history of the Church was related in a recent article on this page. "THE CHURCH ON THE ISLAND.". (1940, May 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27951758 

A Strangely Situated Church.
Bar Island in the Hawkesbury River, hither-to practically unknown, has lately come Into prominence by reason of the Inauguration of a one-day tourist trip, from Berowra to the Hawkesbury. The little Island (a visit to which is Included in the new tourist trip) Is notable for the ruins of the old Anglican School Church, which still remains on it.
The Island is a beautiful and romantic spot on the Hawkesbury River and has a very interesting, ecclesiastical history. It contains an area of nine acres two roods, situated about six miles above the Hawkesbury River rail-way bridge, and right at the entrance of Berowra Creek. The Island was first surveyed In 1871 by Surveyor G. M. Pitt, jun.,and in forwarding his plan to the authorities under date of October 31, 1871, he referred to it as "a small sandstone mountain, devoid of fresh water, and covered with high grass. The north-east portion is a bed of oyster shells,several feet deep, which have evidently been deposited ages back by the blacks."

In 1875 a request was made by the Rev. H.H. Britten, incumbent of St. Anne's Church, Ryde (which was the first church to be erected on the northern shores of the harbour) for the grant of a site on the island for a Church of England school and cemetery, but the request was not granted. Later, on August 2, 1876, Mr. Britten obtained permission to erect a temporary building on the island to be used as a church, on condition that it was removed when the Government so directed. Writing from Ryde on February 2, 1878, Mr. Britten asked for the three acres of the northern portion of Bar Island to be transferred to the Church for the use of the members of the Church of England residing between Broken Bay and Mangrove Creek. Pursuant thereto, an area of three acres was measured by Licensed Surveyor Deighton on February 18,1878, comprising the northern part of the island. The site embraced the church anda cottage, valued by the surveyor at £120 and £25 respectively. It was approved of on August 31, 1878. On March 5, 1880, a subdivision was effected of the three acres in question, the southern part being measured for a cemetery, which eventually comprised one acre one rood, and the balance of one acre three roods embraced the church and the cottage.

On March 11, 1881, the notification of thegrant was gazetted, and subsequently the LordBishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. F. Barker,D.D., was appointed trustee for both areas atthe request of the Rev. R. H. Britten, in con-sequence of his "inability to name any per-sons in the locality fitted for the positions of trustees on account of their extremely migratory character." On August 22, 1881, Crown grants were Issued to the Bishop of Sydney and his successors.

The Rev. George Mcintosh, who was in charge of St. John's Church, Gordon with Hornsby, from 1880 to 1883, took the services at the Bar Island Church. The congregation came from all around by rowing boats, some-times as many as 12 or 14 boat loads being atthe island for morning and afternoon services, the worshippers having their lunch in themiddle of the day on this pretty island.
During the years 1892 and 1893 the church at Bar Island was transferred to the conventional district of St. John's, Pittwater (now Mona Vale), with the Lower Hawkesbury and St. Luke's, Greendale (now Brookvale). The curate, who was appointed to the charge of this large district was the Rev. Arthur Galley, who resided at Brookvale, but In 1894 the new district lapsed and was attached to the Parishof St. Matthew's, Manly. During the ministry of Mr. Galley, whilst the church was still active on the island, services were commenced at Brooklyn, where the Church of St. Mary's was erected.

According to records, some of our early pioneers of the Hawkesbury are laid to rest on this historic and romantic island. A walk through this God's acre, situated on a commanding eminence overlooking the river, Is full of interest. Among the inscriptions on the headstones one finds the following: "Robert Milson, died September 14, 1886, aged 62 years," after whom Milson Island on the Hawkesbury is named. Some years ago the church at Bar Island was burnt down by a bushfire, and all that now remains is a portion of the stone work. BAR ISLAND. (1932, March 26). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16851047
VIEWS ON THE HAWKESBURY. 1. Bar Island. 2. The Bar and Melvey's. 3. Crumpton's and Entrance to Brerowra Creek. VIEWS ON THE HAWKESBURY. (1888, January 7). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 21. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article164357419

And to close ...some folklore, or is it?:

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, saltpans. Very early in this State's history there arrived another notable person age, 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 today. 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 in Windsor 'Gazette.' The Rum Runners. (1927, April 14).The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161284269



Sir.-It may interest your readers, and also "A. M. R.," who wrote "An Old Identity" In Saturday's "Herald," to know that I have a lithograph, 9½ inches by 10½, representing three heads - first, "Biddy Salamander, Broken Hill Bay tribe;" second, "Bulkabra, Chief of Botany, N S. Wales;" and third, "Gooseberry Queen of Bungaree." Underneath the three portraits are the words, "Drawn from life, on stone, by Charles Rodens; printed by L. G. Austen, 15 Phillip-street." Perhaps "A. M. R." could tell us something about "Biddy Salamander" and "Bulkabra, Chief of Botany?"

I am, etc., Woollahra, June 6. ROSE SCOTT. OLD IDENTITIES. (1923, June 8). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16054936 

Above:Image No.:  a1114010h, courtesy State Library of NSW

Matriarchs of Pittwater I - Martha Catherine Bens  - with help from and thanks to Nan Bosler OAMBob WatererNeil Evers -  threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2015.