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Robert EATHER The son of Thomas EATHER 1764-1827 and Elizabeth LEE 1771-1860, was born on the 29 April 1795 at Parramatta, New South Wales.
On the 24 August 1824 at St.Matthews Church of England, Windsor, Robert married Mary LYNCH the daughter of Dublin couple Thomas LYNCH 1769-1831 and Celia Catherine DALEY 1768-1826.
Thomas LYNCH, was born in Ireland in the parish of St Paul's, Dublin in February 1769.
He joined the 61st regiment of foot (South Gloucestershire) on 1 May 1790, and served in it until 5 February 1791. He then transferred to the 56th regiment of foot (West Essex) & served in it until 26 June 1794. He joined the New South Wales corps (102nd regiment) in London on 15 August 1796 & for 2 years helped overseer convicts in the hulks on the Thames.
On 6th August 1798 he sailed from London to Cork in the transport ship "Minerva".
The ship was delayed at Cork by the Irish Revolution and other causes and it took over six months to embark 191 prisoners. Of these, 78 were political prisoners.
The ship "Minerva" finally sailed from Cork on 24 August 1799 under the military command of William COX, the later builder of the road over the Blue Mountains.
On the ship "Minerva" Thomas met Celia Catherine DALEY who, born in Dublin in 1768 & convicted at the same place in May 1798 for an unknown offence, had been transported for seven years. The date of their marriage is not known although the settlers muster book of 1800 records that they were living together at that time. Their only surviving child, Mary, was born in 1802/03 but it is possible that an infant named Thomas LYNCH who died in 1801 was an older child. In the Indents Thomas is described as being 5'7" in height, of swarthy complexion, with grey eyes, dark brown hair and a long visage.
Celia died in 1826 age 58 years & was buried on 16 November 1826 with the rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
Private Lynch's total military service of 31 years and 27 days included 4 years and 56 days in the 61st Regiment, 13 years and 222 days in the 102nd. Regiment, and 13 years and 214 days in the Royal Veterans.
( His military career, by later confusion of ancestors, seems to be the origin of a common belief that Thomas Eather, the pioneer, was a soldier).
On discharge in 1827 Thomas Lynch was granted one hundred acres of land which he unsuccessfully endeavoured to select at the Hunter River. Taking up his residence with Robert and Mary Eather in George Street, Windsor, he made a further attempt to select his grant, this time at Kurrajong, but he was again frustrated and his death occurred before he could choose his land. The grant was finally secured by Robert Eather in the Field of Mars district (Ryde) and named "Eather's Retreat".
Robert Eather received his first grant of land from Governor Macquarie at Mittagong.
The stony, scrubby land of the southern highlands, then so remote from the settled districts and so unfamiliar to a Hawkesbury native, induced him to exchange it for a small herd of cattle which he took to a sixty acre farm which he leased at Cornwallis.
He was prospering for in one year, 1828-1829, his stock increased from 20 cattle and 6 horses to 100 cattle, 11 horses and 40 pigs.
Shortly afterwards he spent a brief period in Tasmania, presumably in company with Jonathan Griffiths, an old family friend who had come out to New South Wales at the same time as Robert's father and who was by that period engaged in some very important pioneering work in Launceston.
Before the Tasmanian interlude, he moved with his wife and six children in 1829 onto the Cornwallis farm where he had constructed a comfortable dwelling.
Ten years later he was living at Richmond, having obtained a six years lease of the farm of Jonathon Griffiths from the beginning of 1836 and taking as wards three of Griffith's orphaned grandchildren as part of the arrangement.
He was also interested in land in the north, across the forbidding mountain ranges which his brother, Thomas EATHER, had been one of the first to penetrate and tame.
He used land between the Bulga Road and the Colo River; he leased an area near Howe's Valley a little later, and was lessee at various times of a number of runs in the far north west of New South Wales.
The children of Robert EATHER and Mary, nee LYNCH were:-
1. Thomas EATHER 1820 - 1874 m. Susannah MERRICK 1812-1894 on the 26 August 1844, St.Matthews Catholic, Windsor.
2. James Joseph EATHER 1821 - 1906 m. Bridget Harriet HONAN 1833-1886 at St.Matthews Catholic Church, Windsor.
3. Elizabeth EATHER 1822 - 1874 m. Thomas GRIFFITHS 1820-1856 on 3 Feb. 1840 at St.Matthews Presbyterian Church, Windsor
4. Robert Vincent EATHER 1824 - 1879 m. Ann CORNWELL 1831-1889 on 29 May 1847 at Richmond, NSW.
5. Cecilia Teresa EATHER 1826 - 1913 m. Michel Thomas DESPOINTES 1815-1865 at St.Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, on 14 Sept. 1848
6. Abraham Joseph EATHER 1828 - 1906 m. (1) Margaret MCELLIGOTT 1830-1856 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor,17 June 1851 (2) Ellen FARRELL 1842-1928 on 16 September 1863 at Windsor.
7. Mary EATHER 1830-1902 m. (1)Mathias GRIFFITHS 1823-1863 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor, in 1850 and (2) Thomas COOPER 1823-1902 at St.Matthews in 1865.
8. Charlotte Cecilia EATHER 1835 - 1862 m. Michael Benedict HEFFERNAN 1835-1877 at St.Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Sydney in 1858
9. Rachel Teresa EATHER 1836 - 1912 m. William John KING 1829-1905 at St.Matthews Catholic church Windsor, on 18 June 1855.
10. William EATHER 1839 - 1842
11. John Joseph EATHER 1841 - 1842
12. Sarah Mary EATHER 1843 - 1921 m. James EATHER 1838-1935 on the 16 September 1863. James was 1st cousin, son of James EATHER 1811-1899 and Mary Ann HAND 1815-1894
Mary EATHER nee LYNCH died on the 9 June 1853 at North Richmond. She was buried the next day at the Windsor Catholic Cemetery.
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SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Sydney, 18th September 1820.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor,
JOHN OXLEY, Surveyor General.
NOTICE is hereby given, that GRANTS to the undermentioned Persons are ready for Delivery
at this Office ; and Persons who do not apply for their Grants within one Month from this Date,
will be considered as having relinquished all Claim to the Lands measured to them
the Grants will consequently be cancelled and allotted to such Persons (having Orders for Land)
as may make Application for the same.
Thomas Acres, Thomas Adams, William Aspinall,
Robert Bostock, William Bateman, William Blackman,
Wiliam Burgen, Thomas Blackett, William Barnett,
James Byrne, George Carr, William Clark, William
Carter, George Cribb, Thomas Cosgrove, Colebee (Black Native),
George Core, John Coogan, George Collisse, John Donnelly,
Roger Doyle, Philip Devine, William Deane, James Duff, William Dye,
Rowland Edwards, William Fairburn, Richard Freeman, Sam. Freeman,
John Freeman, Thomas Gorman, Frederick Garling, Esq. Edward Gould,
John Grover, Thomas Green, John Goldsmith, Richard Hicks, John Harris,
Esq. John Harris, Esq. John Harris, Esq. John Harris, Hamilton Hume,
Edmund Hobson, Mr. William Johnston, John Kennedy, William Lawson, Esq.
Paul Loutherborough, Robert Lowe, Esq. Francis Lloyd,
John Lame, William Lane, Sarah Middleton, Edward M'Gee, Bernard Moran,
Dennis Molloy, Joseph McLaughlin Peter McAlpin , Giles William Moore,
Thomas M'Guire,Thomas M'Dongal, Matthew Pearce, George Percival,
Richard Partridge, jun. George Panton, Esq. William Pawson,
George Pashley, jun. John Palfrey, Stephen Richardson, Jacob Russell,
Richard Rouse, Richard Rouse, Richard Rouse, William Sykes,
John Smith, George Smith, Timothy Sheady, Robert Sherringam,
John Stephenson, James Smith, James Smith, George Stanbury,
James Sherrard, John Small, James Smith, John Smith, William Shelly,
Edward Tutty, Daniel Tindall, jun. Andrew Thompson, Doctor Townson,
John Tonks, Antonio Vitrio, James Wilshire, John White; William West,
George Wilson, Henry York, Charles York.
The Sydney Gazette
Saturday 7 October 1820
Transcription, janilye 2014
Land Grants for 1821
A meeting of the Singleton branch of the St. John Ambulance Association was held at the Drill Hall last night for the purpose of winding up the affairs of the branch and to present the certificates to successful candidates. There was a good attendance of members. The secretary (Mr Eric J. Robson) read his report which paid a tribute to the splendid service rendered by the honorary instructor, Superinten dent W. O. Blackwell, without whom the members would have been un able to make such advanced training.
Members appreciated his valued co-operation, and were indeed grateful for the valuable time he had allotted in the furtherance of the Association's aims. Thanks were also extended to the local doctors for the service they had rendered both as examiners and lecturers.
The report referred to the first examination when Drs. A. D. Barton and R. Errol Maffey kindly gave their services, and later Drs. Gordon and Dalton. These medical men had given their services without thought of reward, and their help was much appreciated.
Thanks to the Press for publicity and help, and to the local military authorities for the use of the Drill Hall as a meeting place, were also mentioned, and in connection with the latter special tribute was paid to Sgt. Major Mackenzie, who had been a tower of strength to the branch. Constable Giddings deserved congratulations for the time he had given in the tutoring of the Bulga-Milbrodale school children, who were a credit to him. The Secretary had also suggested to Head Office that they should offer heartiest congratulations to successful pupils and a wish that the know ledge will be useful to them. The Secretary then called upon Superintendent Blackwell to make the presentation of certificates to members. Mr Blackwell stated that he was very pleased to be able to instruct the class, and he desired to congratulate the successful candidates and sympathise with the unlucky ones.
The examination in First Aid was held at the Drill Hall on April 4th. 1939.
The officials were as follows:
Examiner, Dr. C. P. Gordon; Lecturer, Dr. R. T. Dalton; Instructor, Superintendent W. O. Blackwell; and Secretary, Mr Eric J. Robson.
The following candidates were successful:?
First Aid Certificate, Junior Section: -
Robert Ainslee, Joan Anderson, Neville Archinal. Elma Bates, Raymond Bates,
Elizabeth Clark, Nina Clark, David Eather, James Eather, Coral Giddings, Gordon Halton,
Essie Harris, Harold Harris, Audrey Leslie, Reginald Mason, Sylvia Medhurst, Lawrence Medhurst,
Ronald Medhurst, Errol Partridge, Keith Partridge, Noel Paul, Herbert Pike, Keith Sylvester,
Edna Thompson, Noel Tuckerman, Arthur Turnbull, Daphne Turnbull, Reginald Turnbull,
Errol Bailey, Ella Burgmann, Rae Woods; Glory Holey.
First Aid Certificate, Adult Section:-
Alfred Clavey, Francis Paul, Reginald James Tulloch.
First Aid Medallions:-
Raymond George Manuel, Leslie Gordon Morriss, Trevor George Blackwell, Noel John Partridge,
John Albert Bartrop, John Thomas Austin, Eric John Robson, Edward Partridge (label),
Margaret McLeod (label).
Honorary Instructor's Certificate:-
Eric John Robson.
The Bulga-Milbrodale children were not present, but the certificates were forwarded out to them in readiness for presentation at a function at Bulga.
Mr. R. J. Tulloch, in a few well chosen words, thanked Mr Blackwell for his untiring efforts on behalf of the class, and the Secretary for his services. To the latter he handed out congratulations in connection with his recent appointment to the New Guinea medical service. Mr. E. Partridge supported the remarks of the previous speaker, and stated that the services of Mr Blackwell and the doctors were greatly appreciated. Mr L. G. Morriss also spoke a few words of praise in regard to the services rendered by the officials. Mr Blackwell, in returning thanks, stated that he would do all in his power to help members to gain a further knowledge of first aid. Mr Robson also, returned thanks, and in conclusion hoped that he would have the pleasure of meeting members again at a future date.
The Secretary placed the matter of medalion awards in the capable hands of Mr E. Partridge. Mr Partridge will arrange for the necessary awards to be placed on order.
Wednesday 24 May 1939
Transcription, janilye 2013
As an interesting aside, the photograph below, taken at the Milbrodale Public School in 1962 shows three
little girls all decended from some of those named above EATHER, TURNBULL, PARTRIDGE HARRIS and CLARK.
Jane Charlotte, the second child to survive infancy in the family of Thomas EATHER 1824-1909
and Eliza, nee CROWLEY 1822-1897, was born at Bulga on Wollombi Brook on 14 January 1851 and grew up there on her parents' farm. As a child she attended school in the local St Mark's Church, which was used as a school house on week days. At the age of 24 Jane was married on 8 October 1875 to Samuel PARTRIDGE, the 3rd. son of nine children to William PARTRIDGE 1818-1906 and Elizabeth nee RUSSELL 1822-1899 both from Kent, England, who were farming in the Bulga district. Samuel PARTRIDGE was known as Sam. He was very short in stature, being scarcely five feet (152 cm) in height. As a fourteen year-old boy he had been present during the hold-up on Warland?s Range, when Peter CLARK 1837-1863 had been killed. It was Sam who had ridden off to Murrurundi to alert the police.
The young couple settled on a farm in the Bulga district and over the years had a family of four sons and one daughter.
1.Edgar Clarihew PARTRIDGE 1875-1960, their eldest son, married Susan Jane METTAM on 2 October 1905. The daughter of James METTAM 1838-1930 and Elizabeth, nee MERCER 1842-1880. They had two sons and five daughters. Both the sons died in childhood. All the five daughters married and four had issue numbering fifteen altogether.
Edgar and Susan both enjoyed long lives. They had been married for 55 years when Edgar died at the age of 85 on 28 November 1960. Susan survived him by over eight years and was 92 when she passed away on 6 July 1969.
2.Vera Caroline PARTRIDGE 1879-1941, the eldest daughter of Jane and Samuel, married Alfred CLARK 1864-1951 on 19 April 1911 when she was 32. He was generally known as Andrew and was about fifteen years older than her. They had two sons and a daughter.
3.Guy Russell PARTRIDGE 1881-1954, the second son and third child of Jane and Samuel, married Elizabeth Hazel SQUIRE on 2 November 1940 at Singleton. She was the daughter of Victor William SQUIRE 1878-1930 and Annie Felicia, nee CLARK 1891-1970. Annie was a daughter of Jane's sister Sarah Eather 1861-1923 who had married Ashton CLARK. Therefore Guy and Elizabeth were first cousins once removed. He turned 60 in the month that he married. His bride had been born at Quirindi on 29 March 1918 and was 22. They had three sons all born at Singleton.
4.The fourth child of Jane and Samuel Partridge, Oscar EATHER PARTRIDGE 1884-1963, he married Ethel Florence Isolda May MORGAN 1885-1962 in 1911 at Armidale, NSW. She had been born at Armidale 17 September 1885, the daughter of Hananiah MORGAN 1846-1904 and his wife, Jemima Agnes, nee McMICHAEL 1852-1928. They had four sons. Oscar died at Traralgin in Victoria in 1963 at the age of 88.
5.The fourth son and fifth child Darrell PARTRIDGE 1891-1953 married Ada Teresa CALLAGHAN 1893-1979 the daughter of Patrick and Margaret CALLAGHAN from Dungog, New South Wales.
Jane PARTRIDGE who suffered from heart disease, died suddenly whilst doing her housework on 3 June 1897 at the early age of 46, so she did not live to see any of her children married or any of her grandchildren. Samuel survived her by 31 years. Beulah SQUIRE, a sister of Guy PARTRIDGE's wife, lived at her parents' home "Gerale" at Bulga when she was young. In later years she remembered Samuel PARTRIDGE - 'Uncle Sam'. He used to go to "Gerale" every Saturday. He rode a pretty cream horse and tied it up behind the cow bails. When the school van was running, Beulah and her siblings caught it at Bill COOKE's gate. Uncle Sam used to time his arrival from town to be at the gate so that the young ones could open it for him. He then used to give them a lift down to his gate, thereby saving himself from having to open and close three gates. Sam was a small man, as were his two brothers. Sam's brother Peter PARTRIDGE 1859-1918 married Amy Hilton CLARK daughter of Macdonald CLARK 1836-1918 and Susannah, nee MCALPIN 1842-1882 at Patrick's Plain in 1887. Sam was age 72 years when he died on 11 June 1928 - his death was registered at Singleton, New South Wales
Sam and Jane are buried together at St.Mark's Church of England Cemetery, Bulga, New South Wales.
The photo below was taken in 1896, at the side of Thomas EATHER's house 'Meerea' at Bulga, NSW
Standing from left Peter McAlpin, William Glas McAlpin, William Partridge 1817-1906
Sitting Thomas Eather, Eliza Eather, nee Crowley, Elizabeth Partridge, nee Russell 1822-1899 and James Coe 1828-1910
Sitting in front is Elizabeth McDonald relict of James Swales Clark.
There are altogether 12 people in this photograph unfortunately not all are shown here, Mrs Sarah Coe, nee Howard 1828 - 1908 is seated beside her husband; whilst on the left-hand side were Thomas Hayes 1824 - 1914 with his wife Mary Ann , nee Broughton 1826 - 1904 and standing behind them is Mrs. Susannah Holmes, nee Taylor. All are related by marriage except for Mrs. Holmes.
The many decendants through this female line include links with very well known Hawkesbury families - MARKWELL, FARLOW, DEVLIN and MCQUADE. It appears, too, that Elizabeth and Jane, two of the children of Robert and Charlotte WILLIAMS, married into the EATON family, already allied through the ONUS connection,( Ben RICHARDS, son of Mary Ann EATON, married Elizabeth WILLIAMS and Susannah EATON, daughter of Daniel EATON, married James WILLIAMS.
Charlotte EATHER Daughter of Thomas EATHER 1764-1827 and Elizabeth LEE 1771-1860, was born on the 5 June 1797.
At the age of twenty Charlotte gave birth to a daughter Mary Ann WINDSOR 1817-1791. Little is known about her father Joseph WINDSOR apart from his name on Mary Ann's Christening record. Mary Ann although born WINDSOR was raised as Mary Ann WILLIAMS.
On the 24 August 1818 at Windsor, Charlotte married Robert WILLIAMS the son of Robert WILLIAMS born in England in 1765 and married Elizabeth YOUNG born 1765 at Parramatta on the 11 September 1791.
When son RObert was 19 months old his mother Elizabeth was murdered by a neighbour at 'The Ponds' Parramatta. Robert's father died on the 8 July 1811.
So when Robert and Charlotte were married Robert had no living relatives, he had inherited his father's property of 60 acres of land at Castlereagh.
In partnership with Joseph Onus Robert Williams began to send cattle across the mountains to the Hunter River district where they established a run of 1,000 acres near the junction of Wollombi Brook and Parson's Creek, in the Bulga area.
It is a gauge of Robert Williams prosperity that in 1828 he was in control of 1200 acres of land, 13 horses, 400 head of cattle and 200 sheep.
The children of Charlotte and Robert Williams were:-
1.Mary Ann WILLIAMS 1817-1891 m. William FREEMAN 1812-1881
2.Robert Eather WILLIAMS 1819-1899 m. Mary Ann Williams 1819-1911
3.Elizabeth WILLIAMS 1821 - 1896 m. Benjamin RICHARDS 1818-1898
4.Thomas WILLIAMS 1824 - 1888 m. Jane CRIBB 1826-1873
5.Ann Eather WILLIAMS 1826-1882 m. Thomas George MARKWELL 1826-1908
6.James Eather WILLIAMS 1829-1913 m. Susannah EATON 1831-1916
7.Charles EATHER WILLIAMS 1831-1887 m. Sarah CRIBB 1831-1898
8.Charlotte WILLIAMS 1834-1918 m. Peter EATHER 1831-1911
9.John WILLIAMS 1836-1917 m. Maria Elizabeth FARLOW 1843-1923
10.George Eather WILLIAMS 1838-1887 m. Elizabeth Janet BRAND 1855-1911
Robert WILLIAMS died on the 28 November 1839 at Agnes Banks, Richmond.
On the 17 April 1841 Charlotte WILLIAMS nee EATHER married William James MALONEY 1818-1883. William was only 23 when he married Charlotte, 21 years his senior. Charlotte, from her previous marriage had been left a very rich widow. William signed a Deed of separation from Charlotte on the 6th August 1850 registered with the Supreme Court of NSW.
Charlotte WILLIAMS, nee EATHER died on the 8 November 1862 at Richmond. She is buried at St.Peter's Church of England Cemetery, Richmond, New South Wales.
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Below is a photograph of daughter Charlotte WILLIAMS 1834-1918 holding one of her granddaughters. taken at Boggabri around 1910
When the first HEATHER's had settled at Chislehurst, the civil war had been raging in England, with Charles I and the Royalists battling against Cromwell and the Roundheads. By the time the fourth Robert Heather died in 1780, a hundred and forty years had passed. The Commonwealth had come and gone. The restoration which followed had seen the return of the Stuarts who in turn gave way to the House of Hanover. Wars had been fought in Europe and America and the American war of independence was currently in progress. Times had changed and people tended to travel more.
Thomas HEATHER reached adulthood and found employment as a labourer at Chilsehurst, the birthplace of three of his forefathers.
We do not know when or where Robert & Thomas's mother Elizabeth died, but if she was alive in 1787 she must have been appalled by the events which overtook the family. Younger son Thomas, then twenty three years of age and working at Chislehurst, was arrested in October 1787 & held in goal to answer a charge of having robbed a man of money and possessions. Five months later, on 17 March 1788, when the home circuit held it's next sitting at Maidstone, Thomas HEATHER appeared before the judge & jury. He defended himself as well as he was able without the assistance of any legal adviser, but was found guilty of the charges of having robbed one George COTTON of a silver watch and fifty shillings in a field near the Kings highway. He was sentenced to be hanged. On 18 April 1788 the Justices of the Assizes at Whitehall in London reviewed the sentences of the Home Circuit, and Thomas HEATHER was one of those who had their death sentences commuted to fourteen years transportation to a penal settlement beyond the seas.
Thomas spent the first two years of his sentence in goals in England. The first 14 months were probably spent in goal at Maidstone, where most Kent convicts were confined.
In May 1789, Thomas was moved from Maidstone goal to one of the hulks on the Thames river near Gravesend. These hulks were derelict ships tied up in the river to house prisoners who toiled in the nearby dockyards. About mid November, he was transferred to the ship NEPTUNE , the transport ship aboard which he was to make the voyage to New South Wales.
The ship "Neptune" was a vessel of 792 tons which had been built on the Thames in 1779. It was a three-masted, square rigged wooden ship, and was twice as large as any previous convict transport. On 14 November 1789, it left it's anchorage at Longreach and moved down the Thames to Gravesend. Three days later, with it's consignment of convicts on board it sailed for The Downs, the roadstead about five miles North-East of Dover. The part of the ship set up as the Convict's prison was the Orlop deck, the lowest on the vessel, well below waterline, so they had no portholes, no view of the outside world, and very poor ventilation.
There were four rows of one-storey high cabins, each about four feet square, two rows being on each side of the ship from the mainmast forwards, and two shorter rows amidships. Into these cabins no fewer than 424 male and 78 female convicts were crowded.
The appalling conditions under which these convicts were forced to live can be better appreciated when it is remembered that, immediately they had come on board, all convicts had been placed in leg-irons and these were not removed throughout the entire voyage. Into each of these tiny cabins were crowded four to six persons, chained in pairs.
Chained below, Thomas HEATHER would not have been able to take in the scenery as the ship "Neptune" had moved out of the Thames and come to anchor at The Downs, there to spend four days while stores and equipment were taken of board. Then anchors were weighed and the vessel left for Plymouth, a slow voyage which took six days after the ship overshot that port and the error wasn't detected until she was off The Lizard, from where a retreat was made back up The Channel. At Plymouth a series of disputes arose, involving the military, the contractors and the captain of the ship "Neptune". Amongst the military was Captain John MACARTHUR who was on his way out to the Colony for duty there. Accompanying him was his wife, Elizabeth, who kept a diary of events during the voyage. A feature of the dispute was a formal duel between MACARTHUR and Captain GILBERT of the ship "Neptune". As a result of the duel Captain GILBERT was replaced by Captain TRAILL, of whom Mrs MACARTHUR wrote prophetically that "His character was of a much blacker dye than was even in Mr GILBERT's nature to exhibit".
The ship "Neptune" stayed at Plymouth until 10 December and then sailed back along the coast to Portsmouth where it anchored in Stoke's Bay on the 13th. There she met up with two other vessels of the Second Fleet, the "Surprize" and the "Scarborough". The convicts endured the cold weather for twenty-four days before the West winds abated and allowed her to sail on 5 January 1790. She anchored at Spithead until the 8th, but then the winds proved "Faithless" and the vessel arrived back at Mother Bank on the 15th.
At last, on Sunday 17 January 1790, more than two months after leaving The Thames, the ship "Neptune" left Portsmouth and moved down the English Channel. In chains below, Thomas HEATHER would not have had the opportunity to gaze for one last time upon the land of his birth. The voyage was really under way and the convicts became well aware of this fact two days later when they crossed the Bay of Biscay. The sea was so rough that Mrs MACARTHUR recorded in her diary, "It could not be persuaded that the ship could possibly long resist the violence of the sea which was mountain high".
After a month or so the MACARTHUR's succeeded in being transferred to the ship "Scarborough" after they had had a series of disputes withe John's superior, Captain NEPEAN. Captain TRAILL might have been relieved to see them go. The voyage was nothing new to Donald TRAILL. He had been First Mate on the ship "Lady Penrhyn", one of the transports of the First Fleet. Apparently he had learned a few tricks from his earlier experiences.
Historical records indicate clearly that he deliberately starved the convicts on the ship "Neptune" so that he could draw extra rations for himself, and in addition, enrich himself by disposing of surplus rations on the foreign market at ports of call. One convict wrote later to his parents, "we were chained two and two together and confined in the hold during the whole course of our long voyage, without as much as one refreshing breeze to fan our langous cheeks. In this melancholy situation we were scarcely allowed a sufficient quantity of victuals to keep us alive, and scarcely any water".
Sickness was prevalent right from the beginning of the voyage. Heavily ironed and without adequate access to fresh air and sunlight; inadequately fed and without sufficient bedding for warmth at night, the convicts soon began to succumb to the ordeal of their conditions. By the time the ordeal of the cold weather was over they found that they were faced with another which was just as trying - the heat and humidity of the tropics as the ship "Neptune" crossed the Equator and continued south down the coast of Africa. By the time The Cape of Good Hope was reached after 87 days, no fewer than 46 of the convicts had died. Anchoring in False Bay at Capetown on 14 April, the ship "Neptune" stayed for fifteen days, taking on board food, water, a large number of cattle, sheep and pigs, and also twelve convicts from the ill-fated ship "Guardian".
The HMS "Guardian" had been dispatched with supplies for the infant colony of New South Wales in response to an urgent plea sent home by Governor PHILIP with the last returning vessel of the First Fleet. Unfortunately, after the ship "Guardian" had left Capetown on its voyage eastwards, the skipper, Lieutenant RIOU, had taken it too far to the south in his quest for the Roaring Forties, and the ship had run into an iceberg. Two months later RIOU had brought his crippled vessel back into the port at Capetown. The mishap had played a large part in the food shortages which Sydney Town suffered in 1790.
After its stay at Capetown, the ship "Neptune" departed on 29 April to commence its run across to Van Diemen's Land. The existence of the strait we now know as Bass Strait was unknown at that time, so all vessels heading out to Sydney Town via Cape of Good Hope sailed around the south of Van Diemen's Land. More deaths occurred amongst the convicts on board during this leg of the voyage, and while the ship "Neptune" beat its way up the east coast of New South Wales. By the time the ship made its way up Sydney Harbour and dropped anchor in Sydney Cove on 28 June 1790, it had built up the worst record of all convict ships of all time. In all it had lost 147 male and 11 female convicts, and upon its arrival landed 269 others who were sick.
Into Sydney Cove on the same day as the ship "Neptune" arrived, came also the ship "Scarborough". The ship "Surprize" had arrived two days previously. Fortunately the convicts on those ships had fared much better than had the unfortunate souls on the ship "Neptune". The arrival of the Second Fleet was a source of interest for those already in the colony, and many were attracted to the shore to take in the scene. What they observed as the prisoners disembarked was a shocking spectacle. Great numbers of those who came off the ship "Neptune" were not able to walk, or even move a hand of foot. These were slung over the ship's side in the same manner as a box would be slung over. Some fainted as soon as they came out into the open air. Some dropped dead on the deck, while others died in the boat before they reached the shore. Once on the shore some could not stand or walk, or even stir themselves. Some were lead by others and some crept upon hands and knees. All were shockingly filthy, with their heads, bodies, clothes and blankets full of filth and lice.
Somewhere amongst those who came ashore was Thomas HEATHER. It was a scene which he undoubtedly remembered for the remainder of his life. Whether he was one of the sick we do not know, but if he was he soon recovered. He had arrived in a settlement which was so short of food that the hours of public work had recently been shortened, and even the soldiers had pleaded loss of strength. Amongst those who witnessed the shocking spectacle down at the shore that day was Governor PHILIP himself. Not surprisingly, he ordered that an inquiry be held into the conditions on the ship "Neptune".
Thomas HEATHER arrived in the colony when the settlement at Sydney was 2 years old. A second settlement was also being developed on a tract of land at the head of the harbour, and ground prepared for sowing corn. The farm so established became known as Rose Hill. By June 1790 Rose Hill had a population of 200, and in the following month a town was laid out there under the Governors instructions. During that first year that Thomas spent in the colony, many convicts were transferred from Sydney to Rose Hill. It is most likely that Thomas was one of those at the new town before 1790 was out.
The following, is a letter published in the London Morning Chronicle on the 4 August 1791 from a female convict at Sydney Cove, dated 24 July 1790.
"Oh! If you had but seen the shocking sight of the poor creatures that came out in the three ships it would make your heart bleed.
They were almost dead, very few could stand, and they were obliged to fling them as you would goods, and hoist them out of the ships, they were so feeble; and they died ten or twelve a day when they first landed.
The Governor was very angry, and scolded the captains a great deal, and, I heard, intended to write to London about it, for I heard him say it was murdering them. It, to be sure, was a melancholy sight.."
Convict Women on the Neptune
Ships of the Second Fleet
A History of THE EATHER FAMILY:
Thomas EATHER and Elizabeth LEE
by John St PIERRE
for the EATHER Family history committee.
The Women of Botany Bay, by Portia Robinson
Australia's Second Fleet - 1790 by Jenny French
The children of Thomas and Elizabeth LEE :-
1. Ann EATHER 1793 - 1865
2. Robert EATHER 1795 - 1881
3. Charlotte EATHER 1797 - 1862
4. Charles EATHER 1800 - 1891
5' Thomas EATHER 1800 - 1886
6. John EATHER 1804 - 1888
7. Rachel EATHER 1807 - 1875
8. James EATHER 1811 - 1899
for some of my family tree images
I have names on seven people in this photograph, taken on the 11 November 1896. Can anyone name the others? Unfortunately I think the view in here is too small, so if you have an inkling please contact me and I will email you an original. janilye
Standing in the back row is Peter MCALPIN 1809-1898. William Glas McAlpin 1810-1902
Sitting in front of them is Thomas EATHER 1824-1909 and wife Eliza CROWLEY 1822-1897. in front of them is Elizabeth Clark nee McDONALD 1810-1899
The woman in the wheelchair is Elizabeth RUSSELL 1822-1899 and beside her is her husband William PARTRIDGE 1818-1906
I now have all the names
The lady standing on the left is Susannah HOLMES, nee TAYLOR b: 1841
in front of her sitting is Thomas Hayes b:1824 d:1914 and beside him his wife Mary ann, nee Broughton b: 1826 d: 1904.
Then the centre group which I had .
Over on the right sitting beside William Partridge is James Coe b:1828 d:1910 and his wife Sarah, nee HOWARD b: 1828 d:1908. All are related by marriage except Mrs. Holmes.
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