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Category: Australian Research
The inquest on the body of Sarah Brown, one of the
victims to the collision between the Bonnie Dundee and
Barrabool, was concluded yesterday, the jury finding a
verdict of manslaughter against the captain and mate of
the Bonnie Dundee. The inquest was commenced on the
12th instant, and that day's evidence we published, but the
following day the Coroner made an order against the pub-
lication of the evidence until the conclusion of the inquiry,
so we were unable to record the evidence from day to day.
The following are the statements of the witnesses, with the
exception of those taken on the 12th, which we have
already published :-
Dr. Owen Spencer Evans deposed that on Tuesday he was
called to a house in Darling-street, Balmain, and there saw
the dead body of a woman, about fifty years of age, which
he recognised as that of a woman known to him by the
name of Sarah Brownhe examined tho body and found
no direct marks of violence ; froth was oozing from the
mouth and nostrils, and the body generally presented the
usual appearances of death by drowning; witness was of
opinion that death had been so caused.
Thomas Crawford deposed that he was chief officer of the
lost steamship, Bonnie Dundee, a screw steamer, trading
between Sydney and the Manning River; she left
Sydney at forty minutes past 1 o'clock on Monday
afternoon, the 10th instant, her destination being
the Manning River: when the vessel got clear
of the heads her course was shaped N. by E. half
E.; the weather was fine and clear, a light breeze blowing
from the northward and eastward until tho evening, when
the wind fell and it became calm; witness took charge of
the deck at 6 o'clock; the vessel was then steering the same
course; shortly after 6 o'clock the coloured side lights and
white masthead light were lit and slipped in their usual
places; the steamer was then going at the rate of seven or
eight knots, and was about two or two and a half miles off
the land; the vessel had not a full cargo and was not deep
in the water; she answered her helm readily; about half
past 7 o'clock witness saw a masthead light, bearing about
north by east and about two and half miles distant ; at the
same time that witness saw the light, the look-out man on
the forecastle reported "a vessel a-head; the strange
vessel appeared to be steering a S. S. W. course; at this time
the moon was up a little, and the night was fine and clear,
with smooth water and little or no wind; a few minutes
after the look-out man reported the vessel, witness saw her
red light; he then ordered the man at the wheel to keep the
vessel off a point, and her course was accordingly changed
to north-east by north; the Bonnie Dundee kept on this
course until witness saw the green light of the approaching
steamer, about five minutes after he saw the red light; at
this time the captain of the Bonnie Dundee was on the
bridge on deck, witness was also on the bridge; the quarter-
deck of the Bonnie Dundee was raised about two feet above
the main deck; her deck was about 120 feet in length, and
her tonnage was 130 tons; at the time the strange steamer
was approaching, the Newcastle light was in sight about 15
miles on the port bow of the Bonnie Dundee; immediately
on seeing the green light of the approaching steamer,
witness gave the order to put the helm hard-a-starboard, and
then when the two vessels got to within half-a-length of each
other, he saw that the stranger had altered her course, so
that her red light was again showing; the captain, who
was on the bridge at the time, ordered the man at the wheel
to keep the helm as it was, and then he gave the order to
stop the engines and go full speed astern, but by that time
the stranger was close on to them on the starboard side,
and immediately afterwards struck the Bonnie Dundee
amidships; the water began to pour in on the main deck,
and the vessel heaved ovor heavily to port; witness saw
some of the men jump on board the other steamer, and he
had tho ship's hoat lowered, and took charge of it; the
Bonnie Dundee sank almost at once, foundering about four
minutes after the collision; there were four lady pas
sengers on board the Bonnie Dundee; one of them was a
Mrs. Brown, whose dead body witness viewed on Wed-
nesday, in a house in Balmain, in the presence of
the Coroner and jury; after the Bonnie Dundee had
foundered, witness's boat was pulled alongside the
strange vessel, which was then ascertained to be
the Barrabool, and witness was taken on board,
after assisting in recovering the body of Mrs. Brown;
(witness here expressed a wish to make a correction in his
former evidence: when the mast-head light of the Barra-
bool came in sight, the Bonnie Dundee was steering
N.N.E.;) at the time of the collision, the engines of the
Bonnie Dundee were going astern, but the vessel had still
a little way on, probably about two knots an hour; witness
could not say exactly at what rate the Barrabool was
going when she struck the Bonnie Dundee, but she was
going at great speed, and she struck with great force;
witness did not hear any order given on board the Barra
pool; in his opinion, after the collision, everything that
could possibly be done to save life was done by both ships.
To Mr. Rogers: Witness did not see the green light of the
Barrabool first, but the red one; when ships met in a line
the rule was to keep red light to red light, or green to
green; when the ships met end on, each ship ported her
helm. To a juror: Witness held a certificate of master in
a coasting vessel from the Marine Board; when the captain
was on deck, the charge of the ship devolved on him.
;John Alexander Stewart stated that he was master of the
BonnieDundee which left Sydney on Monday afternoon for
the Manning River: the Bonnie Dundee was 121 tons register,
an 45-horse power; her length was about 20 feet, and her
full power of steaming 8 knots an hour; witness went on
deck about 6 o'clock in the evening, and at about a quarter
to 8 he heard the officer of the watch, who was on the bridge,
sing out to the man at the wheel "hard a starboard;"
witness rushed up on the bridge and saw a vessel's green
light; he then asked the man at the wheel how his helm
was, and the reply was that it was hard a starboard, and
witness ordered the seaman to keep it so; very shortly after-
wards the green light of the approaching vessel disappeared,
and the red light became visible; on perceiving this,
witness gave orders to stop the engines, and this was done,
and about a minute afterwards the stranger having ap-
proached to within fifty yards of the Bonnie Dundee, the
engines were reversed full speed astern; very shortly after
this the stranger struck the Bonnie Dundee amid-
ships on the starboard side cutting about four feet
into the deck and smashing the starboard life-boat;
at once a number of the crew rushed to the part
of the deck where the collision took place and climbed up
the bows of the Barrabool; witness, not knowing exactly
the extent of the damage sustained by his vessel, ordered
the engines full speed ahead in order to try and reach the
beach which was about two and a-half miles distant; after
giving this order he perceived the uselessness of such an
attempt, and stopping tho engines, gave orders to lower
a boat which was promptly done; by this time
the lady passengers, four in number, were on the
bridge with witness and he, cutting away the lifo buoys
gavo them to the ladies; as soon as the boat touched the
water and got rid of the tackling, the stewardess, who had
a child in her aims, threw it into the boat, and immediately
afterwards the vessel went down with witness and the four
women on the bridge, all the others having left the ship
either in the boat or by climbing up the bows of
the Barrabool. Between three and four minutes elapsed
from the time of the collision until the vessel went down;
there were 21 hands on board all told at the time of the
collision; witness did not know, there was a vessel in sight
until he heard the mate give the order "hard a starboard;'
it was not the duty of the officer of the watch to report a
vessel in sight, to witness unless he thought there was
danger; when witness first saw the light of the Barrabool
she must have been about 300 or 400 yards distant, and the
Bonnie Dundee was going at the rate of 7 knots an hour
when the collision occurred, the Barrabool was, in witness's
opinion, going at a speed of about 3 knots.
To Mr. Sly: In witness's opinion the vessel was properly
handled after the light of the Barrabool had been sighted
the steam whistle was not used; it was not customary to use
it on a clear night like that on which the collision occurred
when the red light of the Barrabool was sighted, it was too
late to port the helm of the Bonnie Dundee, as the former
vessel was almost on top of her; at the exact time of the
collision the Bonnie Dundee was almost stationary; there
was no time to get the passengers into the boat before the
vessel went down.
To Mr. Rogers: The Bonnie Dundee was heading about
north-west when she was struck; everything was done by
the Barrabool people to save life.
To Mr. Manning: Witness did not think, under the cir
cumstances, that there was any occasion for the chief officer
(to communicate with him before allowing the ships to come
so close together if the green light of the Barrabool had
continued in sight; witness had given the Herald news
paper a report of the occurrence; - he was in bed when the
reporter came, and the chief officer was in the room; wit
ness was the only man left on board the vessel when she
Henry Dose, able-bodied seaman of tho Bonnie Dundee
joined tho vessel on Monday last; he was at the wheel at
the time of the collision with the Barrabool; he went to
the wheel about 6 o'clock, when about twelve or fifteen miles
south of Newcastle; the vessel's course was thena north
by east half east; about 7 o'clock witness was directed
by the mate to change the course to N.N.E.; the
vessel had passed Bird Island when that order was given;
the N.N.E. course was continued until the red light of a
steamer, afterwards found to be the Barrabool, was sighted
about four miles distant, and bearing about north on the
port bow; on seeing the red light, the mato gave the order
to keep the vessel off a little, and accordingly witness kept
her off another point, her course then being north-east by
north; that course was kept until the Barrabool, when
nearly abreast of the Bonnie Dundee, showed her green
light; the mate then gave the ordor, "Hard a starboard,'
and witness brought the vessel round till her head was
about north-west; the Barrabool was then almost on top of
them, and showing her red light, and immediately after
that she struck the Bonnie Dundee on the starboard side;
the captain went on the bridge about 10 minutes before the
collision took place; when the vessel waa struck, the captain
shouted, "look out for yourselves;" if the Barrabool
had not altered her course there was sufficient room for her
to have passed between the Bonnie Dundee and the land.
John Petersen, seaman of the Bonnie Dundee, was look-
out man on the forecastle when the collision occurred; he
went on the lookout about 6 o'clock; between 7 and 8
o'clock, while on the lookout, he sight a bright masthead
light, which appeared to be straight ahead; about five or
ten minutes after sighting the masthead light the red light
of the vessel came in sight; witness reported the light to
the officer in charge of the deck, and he said " All right:"
witness continued on the lookout on the forecastle, and soon
afterwards, when the vessels began to near one another the
red light disappeared and the green light came in sight
almost immediately after the green light of the approaching
vessel come in sight she ran into the Bonnie Dundee; when
first witness sighted the masthead light it was about two or
three miles off.
To Mr. Rogers: Witness did not notice whether the
Bonnie Dundee slackened speed; he could not tell that,
To Mr. Monning: Witness did not see the red light of
the Barrabool a second time; he was looking at the Barra-
bool from the time she showed the green light until the
collision occurred; he climbed the bows of the Barrabool
after the collision.
To the Coroner: Witness heard the steam-whistle
sounded on board the Bonnie Dundee; there was so much
confusion and excitement that he could not tell whether a
bell was rung or a whistle sounded on board the Barrabool;
but he was quite certain that the whistle sounded on board
the Bonnie Dundee.
Thomas Crawford, recalled, deposed that when he first
saw the green light of the Barrabool it was on the port bow
of the Bonnie Dundee, nearly straight ahead; he lost the
red light, and a minuto or two afterwards saw the green
light; from the position the steamers were in to one
another, a slight movement of the helm would have caused
the change of lights; when he first saw the green light the
Barrabool was about her own length off; there was nothing
in the relative positions of the two vessels that would have
led witness to apprehend danger until he saw the green
light of the Barrabool.
John Charles Simmons, chief engineer of the Bonnie Dundee,
was attending, to the engines of the vessel when the collision
took place on Monday night; about a quarter to 8 o'clock
that evening he received an order by telegraph to stop, and
then "full speed astern" ; he obeyed both orders without
any delay; about a minute after he received the latter
order he felt a shock, and almost immediately afterwards
received the order "full speed ahead," quickly followed by
"stop"; after stopping the second time he went on deck,
and found the vessel sinking.
Henry Dose rocallcd: When he first saw the Barrabool
he saw the red light and the mast-head light.
To a juror: At the time he first saw the red light he did
not see the green light; when the mate saw the red light he
told witness to keep off a little, and witness then ported his
helm, which would have the effect of showing the red light
more; about a quarter of an hour elapsed between the time
witness first saw the red light, and the timo he received the
order "hard a starboard" he did not see the greenlight till
he got the order, "Hard-a-starboard;" if the Bonnie
Dundee had kept the course she was on before that order
had been given the Barrabool would have struck her on the
port bow; witness did not hear the lookout man sing out,
but that would be accounted for by the fact that he
(witness) was standing alongside the steam funnel, and the
noise from that would probably drown the shout of the
lookout man; witness got on board the Barrabool by the
Hercules Dalzell, one of the seamen of the Bonnie
Dundee, first saw the Barrabool's masthead light bearing
on the port bow about two points and about three miles
distant; he next saw the red light and some time after-
wards the green light almost abreast of the Bonnie Dundee;
as soon as he saw the green light, he heard the order given
by the mate, "Hard-a-starboard," and directly afterwards
the Barrabool ran into the Bonnie Dundee, which sank
about three minutes after the collision.
To Mr. Want: The first time that the vessel's helm was
shifted it was to starboard; witness was sure that it was
not ported before it was put to starboard; he could not say
whether the helm was not ported when the Barrabool's
red light was first sighted; it might have been at that time
without his noticing it.
To Mr. Sly: After the vessel's helm had been put to
starboard witness again saw the Barrabool's red light before
To Mr. Manning: When the Barrabool's green light first
came in sight witness was forward on deck; if no other
change had been made from that time in the course of either
vessel, witness did not think there could have been a colli-
sion; after he first saw the green light of the Barrabool the
latter vessel appeared to change her course, and then her
green light came in sight; he heard the look-out report the
John Redmond Clarke deposed that he was master of the
screw steamer Barrabool trading between Melbourne,
Sydney, and Newcastle; she left Newcastle on the evening
of Monday, the 10th instant, clearing Nobby's Head at
half-past 6 ; it was a beautiful clear, moonlight night, with
a light north-easterly, wind blowing and the water
smooth; after clearing Nobby's the vessel's course
was shaped S.S.W. by compass, and that course
was kept until half-past 7, when it was changed
to S. by W. three-quarters W.; when the course was
altered the vessel had gone about ten miles; a quarter-of'
an-hour after leaving Newcastle the second mate took
charge of the deck; witness also was on deck; about twenty
minutes to 8 o'clock a masthead light was reported; witness
looked over the side and saw a masthead light about two
points on the starboard bow, and about 3 miles distant; a
few minutes afterwards he sighted a green light
he then spoke to the mate asking him if that
was not a green light the stranger was showing, the
mate replied in the affirmative, and witness then ordered the
man at the wheel to starboard the helm a little; the order
was hardly given, and was not executed, when the mate
drew witness's attention to the fact that the approaching
steamer (which afterwards turned out to be the Bonnie
Dundee) was showing her red light; witness then counter
maned his former order to the steersman, and gave the
order " hard-a-port," which was immediately obeyed
the light of the Bonnie Dundee, now about half
a mile distant, disappeared across the Barrabool's
bow; witness telegraphed to engine-room, "Stop her," and
directly afterwards, from the position of the Bonnie Dun
dee's light, thinking that they were going all clear, he was
about to telegraph to the engine-room to start her ahead
again, when suddenly the green light of the Bonnie Dundee
came in sight, and all three lights were in sight, revealing
that the vessel was bearing down right upon the Barrabool
witness instantly telegraphed the engineer, "Full speed
astern," and proceeded to blow the steam-whistle, several
times, at the same time the red light of the Bonnie Dundee
went out of sight, showing that she was bearing up towards
the bow of the Barrabool; immediately afterwards the
vessels collided, and witness gave orders to lower a boat
which was done without any delay; the boat was manned
by the chief mate and two seamen, who were instructed to
pull with all speed to the Bonnie Dundee, then in a sinking
condition on the starboard bow of tho Barrabool; witness
ordered the engines to go slow ahead, and when
his vessel had approached to within fifty yards
of the Bonnie Dundee, the latter went down; the
Barrabool was then stopped among the wreckage, and three
life buoys and some cork fenders were thrown overboard in
case there should be any person in the water; the boat of
the Barrabool, accompanied by that of the Bonnie Dundee
soon came alongside, and witness shouted out to them to
know if all hands were saved; receiving no answer
he went on the main deck, and hearing someone say there
had been four women on board, looked over the rail and in
quired if there were any women in the boats; the reply
was "no," and witness ordered the chief mate to go
back and see if he could find any one floating; the Bonnie
Dnndee's boat was also ordered away for the same purpose;
soon the chief mate of the Barrabool returned with a lady in
his boat; she was got on board, and though she appeared
to be quite inanimate, efforts were made to endeavour to
restore animation for more than an hour and a half, but
without avail: after bringing the lady on board, the boat
returned to search among the wreckage, but no one else was
found and witness asked Captain Stuart if he thought there
was any use staying longer; Captain Stuart replied that he
thought everv thing possible had been done, and after the
damage which had been done to the Barrabool's bow had
been repaired as well as could be under the circumstances,
the vessel proceeded on her course to Sydney; about a
hour and a half elapsed between the foundering of the
Bonnie Dundee and Barrabool's resuming her voyage to
Sydney. To Mr. Want: The look-out man of the Barra
bool was on the top-gallant forecastle, and to prevent any
mistake being made by the look-out man, the signals were
given by bells; there was nothing to interrupt witness's
view-nor that of the mate, the look-out man, or the man at
the wheel; there were passengers on board the Barrabool,
two of them-Mr. and Mrs. Lovell-were on the saloon
deck; when two bells, the signal of the Bonnie Dundee
coming in sight, were struck, Mr. Lovell asked
if that was 8 o'clock, and witness replied
"No, it is a light on the starboard bow;"
when first the Bonnie Dundee was sighted, if each
vessel had kept on her course they would have cleared each
other by a good half-mile; witness gave the order "star-
board a little to clear them a little more, but before the
order was obeyed the red light of the Bonnie Dundee came
in sight (here the models were again brought into use, and
at this time and throughout the remainder of his evidence
the witness explained the positions and manoeuvres of the
two vessels by their aid); seeing that the red light of the
Bonnie Dundee was on the starboard bow of the Barrabool
it was the duty of the latter to keep clear, and accordingly
witness had the helm put to port aud stopped the engine
and supposing they had gone on as they were then, they
would have passed each other quite clear; the green light
of the Bonnie Dundee, however, then came into sight; the
evidence of some of those on board the Bonnie Dundee had
stated that the green light of the Barrabool was seen
by them after they sighted her red light, but that was
quite impossible, as the Barrabool was on her port
helm after it was first ported; it was not true that after
showing her red light to the Bonnie Dundee the Barrabool
came across and showed her red light; when the
vessels collided, the Barrabool's speed was under a mile an
hour; the Bonnie Dundee was going about five or seven
miles; if the Bonnie Dundee had stopped her engines
the same time as the Barabool did there would have been
no collision, as the two vessels would not have reached one
another; the damage to the Barrabool was on the port bow,
about 20 inches from the stern, and was caused by the
Bonnie Dundee tearing across the Barrabool's bow; if the
Bonnie Dundee had not been going so fast she would not
have made the hole in the Barrabool's bow that she did.
To Mr. Sly: The Bonnie Dundee was about 3 miles
distant when witness first sighted her masthead light, and
about a mile distant when her green light was first seen
witness would positively swear that, at the time of the
collision, the Bonnie Dundee was going at a rate of about 5
knots an hour, and the Barrabool was going at a rate of less
than one mile an hour; immediately after the collision the
Barrabool had stern way on; when first the red light of the
Bonnie Dundee was sighted the vessels were about three
quarters of a mile apart.
To Mr. Manning: The masthead lights of each vessel
would probably have been sighted by the other at about the
same time, but the Bonnie Dundee would most likely have
sighted the side lights of the Barrabool before her own
lights could have been visible to the latter, as the moon was
rising and was putting the Bonnie Dundee's lights in the
shade; witness had heard the examination of the mate
the Bonnie Dundee; he (the mate of the Bonnie Dundee)
did port his helm in the first instance, and then after showing
a red light put his helm hard-a-starboard, and as a
matter of fact the helm of the Barrabool was first put a little
a-starboard and then hard-a-port; if the mate of the Bonnie
Dundee was right in saying that when he first sighted the
Barrabool, she was two miles on his port bow, that would
put the Bonnie Dundee about a mile further out to sea than
she really was; the Barrabool was about three miles out
from land when she first sighted the Bonnie Dundee.
To a juror: The Barrabool's full speed is ten knots an
hour; after giving the order to stop, if the engines were
reversed full speed astern, she would go about one-third of a
mile before she stopped altogether; there was a rule of the
road that when ships are meeting end-on, all lights being
in view, each vessel must port; that was the only case in
which that rule held good; when witness gave the order to
stop the engines immediately before the collision, it was
not, he considered, an error of judgment; if he had not
dono so the Bonnie Dundee would have run into the Barra-
bool; when witness gave the order "stop" the Barrabool
was going about 10 knots an hour; he did not think he
could have got ahead of the Bonnio Dundee by going full
speed ahead; when the Bonnie Dundee's red right was on
the Barrabool's starboard bow, it was the Barrabool's duty
to give way, and the Bonnie Dundee should have held on
Arthur Nelson Pidcock, second mate of the Barrabool,
with a master's certificate, was in charge of the deck when
the masthead light of the Bonnie Dundee was reported;
on looking at the light he saw it was bearing two
points on the starboard bow, and about 4 miles distant;
about 10 minutes after sighting the masthead light
of the Bonnie Dundee, the green light became visible ;
Captain Clarke who was on deck asked what lights
the steamer was showing, and witness replied, " Green, but
burning indistinctly ;" the captain replied, "Yes, oh yes,"
and then gave orders to the man at the wheel to starboard a
little; this order was scarcely given before the Bonnie
Dundee showed a red light; witness mentioned the fact to
the captain, who immediately had the helm put hard-a-port,
and gave the ordor to stop the engines; very soon after the
engines had been stopped the Bonnie Dundee showed both
her lights, but the red light soon went out of sight and the
green light showed close on the starboard bow of the Barrabool,
which at that time was going very slowly; shortly
afterwards the two vessels collided; tho Bonnie Dundee
appeared to have a pretty good speed; when the collision
took place the Barrabool's boat was lowered and sent away
to render assistance; after being absent someo time, the
boat returned with the body of the deceased Mrs. Brown;
after hanging about the scene of the wreck for over an hour
the vessel continuod on her course to Sydney.
To Mr. Waut: From the position of the Bonnie
Dundee when first she was sighted, it would have
been impossible for her to have seen the red light of the
Barrabool, and if the mate of the Bonnie Dundee had stated
that the gresn light of the Barrabool was the one first
sighted he would be correct; witness had read a report in
the Echo of the 11th instant, with reference to the mate's
statement about his seeing the green light of the Barrabool
first-that was correct; if the Bonnie Dundee had not
ported, the two vessels would have passed one another about
half a mile distant; t was only the Bonnie Dundee star-
boarding after her porting that brought her across the bows
of the Barrabool; it was untrue that the Barrabool after
porting her helm ever showed her green light to the Bonnie
Dundee; the Barrabool had not more than half a knot way
when the collision took place; the Bonnie Dundee appeared
to be going over four knots.
To Mr. Sly: Witness did not hear the Bonnie Dundee
blow her whistle at all; when first the green light of the
Bonnie Dundee came in sight the two vessels were about a
mile distant; the engines of the Barrabool were stopped on
the red light of the Bonnie Dundee becoming visible; witness
was of opinion that, according to the regulations of the
Navigation Act, the Bonnie Dundee was the vessel which
should have kept on her course while the Barrabool was the
giving way vessel, consequently the Bonnie Dundee should
not have altered her course.
Thomas Crawford recalled, in answer to a question as to
whether he had given a report of the occurrence to a reporter
of the Echo newspaper, stated that some persons had come
to him two or three hours after he arrived in Sydney,
and he gave them some account about the ships; he did not
know what he said to them; he could not say whether they
told him they were reporters for a paper; he could not say,
so far as he was aware of, that he gave the statement to the
reporters that appeared in the Echo of March 11th, he never
saw any account of the occurrence in the Echo.
To Mr. Sly: Witness was in the Caledonian Hotel when
they came and asked him some questions; he gave them no
written account ; it is not a fact that he first saw the green
light; he could not possibly have said so to a reporter ; he
did not say so; he could not say whether an account
appeared in the Evening News about the same time; ho did
not take notice of any newspapers; he was quite sober when
he made the statement in the Caledonian Hotel.
John Tucker, able seaman on board the Barrabool, went
to the wheel a few minutes after clearing Nobby's Head;
about an hour afterwards witness saw the mast-head light
of a steamer on the starboard bow, which had been signalled
by the lookout; she appeared to be running an opposite
course to that of the Barrabool; some time afterwards the
mate reported the green light of the steamer, and the
captain gave tho order, "starboard a little" ; witness was
just obeying that order when the mate reported a red light,
and the captain ordered the helm "hard a-port"; witness
obeyed the order, and, as he did so, saw the red light of the
Bonnie Dundee on the starboard bow; when the Barrabool
came round in answer to her helm, both the side-lights of
the Bonnie Dundee came in sight, and the red one disap-
pearing, she crossed the bows of the Barrabool; the captain
ordered the engines to stop, and a minute after gave "full
speed astern "; before the Barrabool had completely lost her
way, she struck the Bonnie Dundee amidships.
To Mr. Want: The helm was not put astarhoard at all
after it was ported; if any of the witnesses on board the
Bonnie Dundee had sworn that they saw the green light
of the Barrabool after having seen the red light, they
would have stated what was untrue; witness thought
that the Bonnie Dundee had more way on at the
time of the collision, but he would not swear to it;
it was about two or three minutes from the time witness
first saw the red light of the Bonnie Dundee until he saw
both lights, and about the same time between when the two
lights first showed and the collision.
William Lovell deposed that he was a passenger on
board the Barrabool at the time of the collision; he was on
the saloon deck of the Barrabool when the Bonnio Dundee
was first sighted, and on hearing the bell struck asked
if it were 8 o'clock, but the captain replied that it
was a vessel on the starboard bow; tho captain then
went to the starboard side of the vessel and look-
ing over said, "she is showing a green light;"
and then gave the order to the steersman "starboard a
little;" shortly after the mate on the bridge reported that
the vessel was showing a red light in place of the green,
and Captain Clarke gave the order "hard a port;" a few
minutes subsequently someone said that the vesssel was
showing a green light again, and the captain said "where
is she coming to ?" a few minutes after that the collision
took place; witness saw the white mast-head light of the
Bonnie Dundee when it was reported, and very soon after-
wards saw the green light; it was immediately after the
Bonnie Dundee showed the red light that the Barrabool's
engines were stopped.
To Mr. Want: He never heard any order given to star-
board the helm after the order to port it had been given ;
when he first saw the light of the Bonnio Dundee he had
no fear of a collision; there was no confusion on board the
Barrabool; Captain Clarke was very calm and cool, and
appeared to be exercising his judgment calmly.
Charles Wilson, able seaman on board the Barrabool, was
on the look out when the collision occurred; he saw the
masthead light of the Bonnie Dundee and reported it by
striking two bells, which signalled "a light on the starboard
bow;" when he first sighted it the light was two points
on the starboard bow and about four or five miles
distant; the vessel appeared to be steering in an
opposite direction to the course of the Barrabool;
about seven minutes after the masthead light was
sighted the green light became visible; several minutes
after the green light first came in sight, it disappeared, and
the red light took its place; Captain Clarke then sang out
"Hard a-port," and the Barrabool went round until the
red light of the Bonnie Dundee was on her port bow;
directly after that, both the Bonnie Dundee's side-lights
became visible, and then the red light disappeared, and the
Bonnie Dundee crossing the bows of the Barrabool, was
struck amidships, and shortly afterwards sank.
To Mr. Sly: The Barrabool was forging ahead very
slowly when the two vessels collided.
To the Foreman: The Bonnie Dundeo must have been
going at a rate of 4 or 6 knots an hour when she was crossing
the bows of the Barrabool.
Thomas Ashford, an able seaman belonging to the Barrabool,
was on the after part of the saloon deck when the
Bonnie Dundee's light was signalled; directly after the
light was signalled witness looked at the time and saw it
was twenty minutes to 8; shortly afterwards the officer on
the bridge reported a red light, and then witness went to the
assistance of the man at the wheel, and caught sight of the
red light bearing about two points on the starboard bow; as
soon as the mate announced the red light the captain gave
the order "hard-a-port;" the helm was put hard-a-port
and kept so until the collision took place.
To the Foreman: The Bonnie Dundee seemed to be going
very fast when she crossed the Barrabool's bows.
Isaac Wagland, second engineer of the Barrabool, was in
charge of the engine room when the collision occurred,
the chief engineer being off duty at that time; some time
between half-past seven and a quarter to 8 o'clock the
telegraph signalled "slow"; witness obeyed the order,
and then the telegraph signalled "stop" and "full speed
astern " in one order; the engines were at once stopped and
reversed, and about two minutes afterwards there was a
shock as if the vessel had struck something.
To Mr. Sly: If the Barrabool were going full speed
ahead, and the engines were stopped and reversed, it would
take two or three minutes before tho steamer would be
William H. Dick, a reporter on the staff of the Sydney
Morning Herald, remembered hearing a rumour on the
night after the 10th instant that the Barrabool and Bonnie
Dundee steamers had collided; and in consequence of this
rumour he made inquiries to ascertain the truth of the
report; he saw the man before the Court, who
gave his name as Thomas Crawford; he stated
that be was the chief officer of the Bonnie Dundee;
the man giving his name as John Stewart was
present when witness interviewed the chief officer;
they were in the bedroom of an hotel, and Stewart,
who stated that he was the master of the Bonnie
Dundee, was lying on a bed; witness got the mate's state-
ment, which was to the effect that he was in charge of the
vessel at the time of the collision, that he saw the green
light about two miles ahead, and that he steered his vessel
so os to show his own green light: that suddenly he saw a
red light exhibited, and that soon after that Bonnie
Dundee was 'struck amidships on the starboard, the
captain was present when the mate made the statement
and did not contradict it in any way.
To Mr. Want: Witness reduced the mate's ?? to
writing; he went back a second time (after he to??
of the mate's statement), in company with the ??
reporter, in order that he might heur the stat ??
had a greater knowledge of nautical matters ??
was possessed of; the same statement was made and
time as had been on the first occasion; which he took
down the statement in shorthand and t?? it
into writing; he saw it afterwards in print it
was correct; the fifth paragraph after the ??
of the occurrence in the Echo of March ll, citing
" The chief officer of the Bonnie Dundee states, ??
ing with the words " escaping the suction,' was ??
ment made to witness by the mate; the same ??
wards appeared in the Herald of March 12th; ??
never asked to contradict these statements, nor ever
heard of any complaints about their being incorrect took
down the mate's statement in shorthand; ??
sitting in the same room with the captain; ??
very little about shipping matters, and the ??
to him what the three lights were.
To Mr. Manning: The mate did not appear under
the influence of liquor.
Thomas Crawford recalled : Had been ??
Sydney and the north for about 10 years; he ??
course steered by the Bonnie Dundee ??
particular occasion; it was the course generally used
in fine weather; the Bonnie Dundee was bound for the
Manning River, and had gone the same trips ??
18 months: when witness first saw the Barrabool ??
light she was about 225 yards off ; if he had seen ??
light on his port bow it would have been his duty ??
on his course, but he did not see her green light ??
bow; he saw it almost ahead; the Barrabool ??
been 1 or 2 points on the port bow when she ??
her red light; sometimes a couple of minutes ??
tween the time of losing one light and sighting the other;
it was a fact that the losing of one light necess??
immediate picking up of the other; when the ??
was first sighted it was ahead, but was if anything ??
on the port bow; as soon as witness saw the green he
put his helm to starboard; Witness had had no ??
the captain; there was no confusion or quarrelling on board
the Bonnie Dundee before she left the wharf; as ??
captain had heard the order 'hard-a-starboard," ??
up on the bridge and took charge; witness never ??
sounding the steam whistle; if he had not given ??
"hard-a-starboard," he believed the Barrabool would have
run into them on the port side.
John Alexander Stewart, recalled, stated that he had
been trading to the north for about twelve ??
course the Bonnie Dundee steered was, under the circum
stances, the proper course to steer; had heard ??
the Herald reporter, give his evidence; was present on the
11th instant when the chief officer gave him an account of
the collision; the report in the Echo of the llth instant
was not a correct report of what the mate told the reporter;
the orders that witness gave-"Stop her," " ??
astern "-wereo given, the one immediately after that.
To. Mr. Manning: When the reporter came witness was
too unwell to notice what took place; he did not ??
the mate said to the reporter, but he knew that he ??
say what afterwards appeared in the Echo.
To Mr. Want: There was no break between the orders,
"Stop her" and "Full speed astern;" witness ??
ously sworn there was a break of a minute between;
he did not consider that when the order "hard-a-starboard"
was given it was a serious thing, although he had previously
stated it was; there was no great probability ??
when the helm was starboarded; there might have been a
To Mr. Want: The Bonnie Dundee was steering ??
close in to shore to avoid currents; she kept within ??
or three miles from the coast, and went from point ??
it was the general practice for coasting steamers going
south to go outside steamers going north; if witness ??
miles from Bird Island, and had the Barrabool been ??
out he would stand a pretty good chance of seeing ??
The foregoing being all the evidence that was ??
anent the collision, the Coronor stated that previous ??
jury retiring to consider their verdict they would be
addressed by Mr. Manning, the legal rcpresentative of the
Crown. It had hitherto been his custom not to permit any
lawyers to address the jury, but in the present case
would follow the precedent offered lately in England ??
inquest on the body of the victims in the collision of Her
Majesty's yacht Misletoe, when the Crown Prosecutor
summed up and addressed the jury. Mr Manning accordingly
proceeded to review the evidencee,
and summed up greatly against the officers of
the Bonnie Dundee. He remarked that, in that
place, the jury were to consider whether the collision was
the fault of the Bonnie Dundee or the Barrabool. Accord-
ing to the evidence of the officers and crew of the Barra-
bool, the Bonnie Dundee was entirely to blame for the
occurrence, for she had twice offended against the regula-
tions of the Navigation Act in not holding to her course
when her green light, was to the Barrubool's green light,
and, subsequently, when red light was to red light,
of which positions she should have hold on her course. He
also pointed out that even by the showing of the Bonnie
Dundee's own men, she was in fault in crossing the Barra-
bool's course the second time. If the jury took the view
that the Bonnie Dundee committed a breach of the regula-
tions, they must further decide who was actually to
blame for the act, and return a verdict accordingly.
The jury were then left to consider their verdict
and after a deliberation of an hour and a half
returned the following verdict:-" We find that
the deceased, Sarah Brown, came by her death
on the night of the 10th instant by drowning, the result of a
collision between the steamer Bonnie Dundee and
the steamer Barrabool, in the former of which she was at the
time a passenger, which collision was brought about by the
gross negligence of the first mate of the Bonnie Dundee,
Thomas Crawford, and Captain John Alexander Stewart
of the same vessel; and we consequently return a verdict of
manslaughter against the said Thomas Crawford and John
Alexander Stewart." The Coroner accordingly proceeded
to commit the prisoners to take their trial at the next sittings
of the Central Criminal Court. Bail was allotted to
each prisoner in 300, with two sureties of 150 each.
Before the Court broke up the Coroner, in the warmest
terms, expresscd his thanks to the jury for the ??
careful, and intelligent way in which they had investigated
the case. He entirely concurred with them in their verdict
and he had much pleasure in stating his conviction that
was as good and true a verdict as could have been given
The Sydney Morning Herald
Saturday 22 March 1879
NOTE: This newspaper article is badly creased down the
right hand side; for the parts
unreadable I've used question marks.
Mrs. Sarah Brown wife of David Brown of Balmain was 53 and
came from County Derry,
In 1642, Anthony Van Dieman, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies, commissioned Abel Tasman, a sea Captain employed by the Dutch East India Company, to undertake a voyage to the unknown south seas.
Leaving Batavia in August, 1642, Tasman first set a course towards Mauritius, then sailing southwards, and later easterly, he reached, in November, 1642, the west coast of Tasmania, which he named Van Diemen's Land. The names of his shipsHeemskirk and Zeehaenhe gave to two mountains, the first land he sighted.
Two years later, on another voyage, Tasman sailed along the northern coast of Australia from Cape York in Queensland, to North West Gape in Western Australia.
Following Tasman's voyage, the continent of Australia was known as New Holland, even for many years after Captain Cook had named the eastern portion of it New South Wales. The name Australia was not officially recognised until some years after the establishment of the Bank of New South Wales in 1817.
The Orient steamship John Elder, A. J. Cooper commander, arrived at Semaphore, South Australia and anchored at half past 4. on Wednesday, March 12, 1879.
SHE had a capital passage but no special incidents occurred. One birth took place, and the child was named John Elder.
The following is the list of immigrants by the s.s. John Elder, with their ages and occupations :
Gilbert Aitkins, 18, agricultural laborer;
William Bacon, 25, do.;
George Beavis, 22, do. ;
Charles Bennett, 20, do. ;
Matthew Blakey, 20, do.;
William Bond, 22, do. ;
Robert Brewis, 24, pick and shovel laborer ;
Peter Brooks, 27, do.;
John Brown, 21, agricultural laborer ;
William Dabrnett, 19, do. ;
Robert Dunn, 24, pick and shovel laborer ;
John George, 31, agri cultural laborer ;
John Glover, 22, do. ;
William Gosling (special constable), 25, do.;
Samuel Grapes, 20, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert Gummer, 23, agricultural laborer ;
Job Hallett,23, do.;
Thomas Harrison, 21, quarryman ;
David Holland, 17, agricultural laborer ;
Tom Horner, 31, pick and shovel laborer;
George Hoyes, 21, agricultural laborer;
Albert V. King, 22, do. ;
Robert Madus, 21, pick and shovel laborer;
Henry Male, 23, agricultural laborer;
Watson Male, 17, do. ;
William Meadlan, 23, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert A. Munro, 20, house and cartwright;
John McAskill, 20, agricultural laborer;
Alexander McKenzie, 19, do.;
John McPherson, 22, do. ;
Edward Peel, 25, pick and shovel laborer;
Robert Purdy, 29, agricultural laborer ;
William Read, 23, do. ;
Edwin Robins, 18, do.;
Ben Russ, 20, do.;
Alfred Smith, 21, do.;
William Smith, 22, pick and shovel laborer ;
Anthony Steel, 28, do.;
Benjamin Thomson, 22, agricultural laborer;
James Turner, 22, laborer.
The following is the list of first saloon passengers: -
Mr and Mrs Arthur Bull, family (seven)and servant;
Mr Arthur Campbell,
Miss E C Caswell,
Mr Arthur Crocker,
Mr and Mrs J C Davie,
Mr John Duncan,
Mr John H Durham,
Miss C D Fergusson,
Rev C. J. and Mrs Godby,
Mr J H Hickson,
Mr Edgar W Hoe,
Mr and Mrs Arthur Howell,
Dr Thomas G Kerr,
Mr Alex Maclean,
Mr and Mrs G F Maberly and child,
Miss Auguste Innes,
Rev T M O'Callaghan,
Rev. G.D.P. Pritchard,
Mr A. O. Robotham,
Mr Frank J. Sheppard,
Mr Richard M. Sheppard,
Mr H Spragge,
Mr and Mrs C G Tindal and servant,
Mr Charles F. Tindal,
Mr John T. Tindal,
Miss Annie Tindal,
Miss Louisa Tindal,
Miss Jane Tindal,
Miss Elizabeth Tindal,
Miss Esther Tindal,
Mr H P Tomkinson,
Mr W P Turton,
Mr R E Nowell Twopenny,
Mr Edward Twynam,
Mr and Mrs Forster Willson, child, and nurse,
Mr Charles V Wilson,
Mrs Willson, the Misses Willson (two),
Mr A. J. Winterson,
Mr Wm. Wood,
Mr and Mrs.Reginald Young,
Also received European correspondence and files of English papers to the 30 January, 1879,
and South African letters and papers to the 22 February 1879.
The following is a list of the persons to whom auctioneers' licenses have been granted
for the year 1857:
Joel H. Asher,
Thomas W. Bowden,
William G. Burgis,
Ewen W. Wallace,
Henry D. Cockburn.
John G. Cohen,
William E. Day,
Octavius B. Ebsworth,
Henry A. Graves.
David B. Hughes,
William G. Lambert.
John H. Miller,
John C. Molloy,
Francis E. Rishworth,
Launcelot E. Threlkeld,
John G. Valentine,
Samuel J. Wooller,
Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875)
Friday 28 November 1856
Transcription, janilye 2013
Wednesday, January 17th, 1849, The barque John Woodhall, 380 tons, Hill, master, from London.
Mr George Greig, Mr Rowe (surgeon), Mrs Taylor and two children, Miss Powis
Mr F. W. Mitchell, Mr R. Kelly wife and daughter, Mr T. A. Coates, Mr R. Smythe, Mr Buckley, Mr J. M. Green, Mr Simpson wife and three children, Mr H. Haywood, Mr J. Cruik and wife.
C. Ladds, G. Sebo and wife, G. Crisp, C. Betteredge, J. Sharp, G. Cole and wife, R. Cole wife and four children, A. Hurst, J. Johnston, G. Bartlett and wife, J. Robotton, W. Lowe, W. Weedon wife and three children, J. O. Hitch and wife, W. Gudd, J. Porter and wife, G. Hudson, J. Bower, W. D, Grant, C. Kimbee, R. J. Hawes, W. Cole. R. Clagne and wife, T. Kneale, D. Farragher, Joseph Kelly, R. Kelly, John Cowley, H. Christian, W. Kelly, G. Robinson, T. Thomas, E. James, H. Jurman, John Moss, Matthew Moss, John Moss, Eliza Trail, Henry Wilson wife and seven children, H. F. Wilson wife and two children, R. Wilson, John Goodridge, W. C. Allom, James Storr wife and six children, W. Seuser wife and child, E. J. Evans, T. Grey and four children, T. Gale, S. Mudden and wife, John Ellis, W. Hichman, James Hollins wife and child, Amelia Horton and four children, T. Gengard, Elizabeth Hughes and two children, J. Brown and wife, John Turrent, S. Usher and wife, G. Partridge, J. W. Presant, S. Johnson, Wm. Jonson, J. Woofender, J. Sumper, J. Burgoyne wife and two children, Jane Lock, H. J. Watson and wife, F. Martin, Mrs Peters and two children, Henry Groves, John Greir, Margaret Wudmore and two children, J. M. K. Aitken wife and four children, John Cushman, Wm. Poynter wife and six children, Ellen Lee, Henry Hitchen, Robert Thompson, Thos. Tarrance, Robert Johnson, Ed. Prickering, John DeWit, Wm. Wilding.
Cargo of the John Woodhall 11 cases drapery and clothing, S. Hart; 472 bars 196 bundles iron, Beck & Co; 1 case, Shadgett ; 2 cases, J. Small ; 10,600 bricks, 121 tons coals, 4 tons clay. 20 pipes lead, 2 boxes. 86 pkgs. castings, 8 crates, G. S. Walters ; 5 pkgr., Government ; 4 bales, A. L. Elder; 15 pkgs., Order; 8 cases, 3 casks, J. Roberts ; 1 ease. Rev. J. Long; 2 cases, Acraman & Co.; 1 case, J. Richmond; 2 bales, J. Gilbert; 1 case, T. Wilson; 110 cases, P. D. Valrent; 12 bales, 1 box, A. Scott; 1 box, Dutton ; 20 crates, 1 case, Montefiore & Co. Cargo of the Champion I donkey, Lord Bishop of Ade laide; 7 pkgs. sundries, Mr Turner Augusta, W.A. ; 6 liqueur cases, Samson.
South Australian Register
(Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900)
Saturday 20 January 1849
Transcription, janilye, 2013
Wednesday, January 17th 1849 The barque Trafalgar, 718 tons, Richardson, master, from London and Plymouth.
Passengers; Mr and Mrs S. G. Dorday and five children, and Tweedale. Esq., Surgeon Superintendent in the cabin.
the following Government emigrants in the steerage :
James Allen, Wm. Henry Brown wife and child, Sarah Babbs, Robert Babbs, Mary Ann Baker, Emma Bacon, Caroline Bacon, Sophia Bailey and infant (Mrs Bailey's husband died at sea on the 16th December, aged 26), John Tallant Bee wife and three children (one, a girl, born at sea 4th January), Wm. Beesley and wife, Henry Bevan, John Bullock and wife, H. W. Burrall, James Childs, Thomas Clarke, Henry J. Congreve, Wm. Congreve, Maria Connor, Robert Cook wife and six children, Joseph Cross, Simon Clark wife and five children, James Davidson, Ann Davis, Charlotte Dodd, Thomas Dyke wife and two children, Bennett Dunstan wife and five children, Richard Dunstan and wife, Thomas Davey wife and four children, John Dewey wife and six children, Eliz. Fitch, John Forby wife and three children. James Foster and wife, Robert Fox, Peter Fox wife and five children, Edward Frost wife and four children, George Frost wife and two children, Mary Ann Gibson, Caroline Goldring, Richard Greaves, Henry Green, Jacob Green, Mary S. Hall, John Harrison wife and three children, Jane Hunt, Emma Hyams, Elizabeth Hyams, John Jones wife and child, John Julian wife and four children (one, a daughter, died at sea 10th January), Ann Kelly, Jane Kitts, Wm. Lanyon, Jane Lock, Louisa Lord, Walter Long wife and child, James Lawson wife and two children, Robert Mactaggart wife and three children, Martha Mawditt, Wm Morton, Thomas May and wife, Samuel Olley and wife, Ann Peatfield, Hezekiah Painter, Mary Ann Pash and child, Mary Ann Payne, Thos. Peacock and four children, Robert Pilbeam, Wm Pointon and wife, James Pollard wife and eight children, Edward Poulton and wife, Wm. Prestidge, Thos. Penny wife and four children, Peter Perring wife and four children. Wm. Rowe wife and two children, Richard Roads wife and eight children, Sarah Shore, Catherine Shuttleworth, Augusta Shuttleworth, John Spencer wife and child, Wm. Spriggs and wife (their infant daughter died at sea on the 9th November), Emily Stapleford, Susannah Stone, Sarah Summers, Joseph Taylor wife and two children, Emma Thacker, Thos. Tucker, John Thompson, Wm.Thomas wife and two children, Wm. Vince wife and four children, Samuel Webb and wife, Maria Welch, Sarah Wheatley, Ann Whitfield, Catherine Whitfield, John Whittle wife and five children (one, a son, born at sea on the 23d of December), James Wigley wife and three children, Charles Winchester wife and four children, James Wright wife and six children, Elizabeth Walters, John Walters, Joseph White, Thomas Williams, Mary Woolf.
Cargo of the Trafalgar 69 cases, Order; 40 packages, M. & S. Marks ; 1 bale, 7 cases, R. Miller & Co. ; 5 cases, M'Nicol & Young; 1 ditto, John Calder ; 3706 bars, 268 bundles, 451 deals, 30 hhds, 180 casks bottled beer, 20 cases wine, 39 hhds rum, 10 ditto brandy, 5 qr.-casks ditto 1 case, 20 barrels tar, 10 ditto pitch, C. & F. J. Beck ; 200 - packages luggage.
South Australian Register
Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900
Saturday 20 January 1849
Transcription, janilye 2012.
17 April 1880
Those who have often partaken at public banquets of the menu provided by Compagnoni, will learn with regret that the excellent caterer's estate was placed in the Insolvency Court this morning.
5 August 1880
ONE of the largest, and best appointed cafs in the Australian colonies is that known as Compagnoni's situated in Pitt Street, Sydney, which has been wholly
reconstructed and furnished in a most comfortable and elegant manner, reminding the visitor of the more famous establishments which line the Parisian Boulevards, and form one of the leading attractions of the French capital. At the inaugural dinner, there were present a large number of mercantile gentlemen and several members of Parliament and city aldermen. The members of the board of directors-namely, Mr. John Woods (in the chair), Messrs. Gorman, R. Nott, W. Carey, and W. Clarke, also attended. The business, which was formerly carried on by Mr. Compagnoni, is under the immediate direction of Mr. Samuel Packham, as manager. Those familiar with the old establishment will not easily be enabled to recognise it in its new guise, in consequence of the extensive alterations which have been made in the premises, including the exten- sion and fitting up of a gentlemen's dining hall, and a handsomely decorated ladies' dining hall, the erection of a new kitchen, fitting up of lavatories, &c. The kitchen contains the latest and most approved steam cooking apparatus, and will be under the management of M. Marriette, as chef de cuisine, in which capacity he had extensive experience at the Union Club, Melbourne, and at Ballarat. Judging from the opinions expressed by visitors, we should say the new caf has a bright and prosperous future before it. The specialit of the establishment is oysters, served up in every style.
1 October 1883
By the improvements made in Compagnoni's restaurant, Pitt-street, a decided want has been supplied to the public of this city, which has been behind some of the large towns of the sister colonies in respect to
accommodation such as Compagnoni's is intended to supply. The old restaurant was well known, but the alterations that have been made are so extensive that the appearance of the place has been entirely changed, and the accommodation for the public is more than doubled. Beginning with the refreshment rooms, it may be stated that these apartments have not only been very much enlarged by throwing back the dividing wall's a considerable distance at the rear of the building, but they have been completely transformed. As yon enter, the ladies' luncheon room is on the right hand and the gentlemen's on the left there being communication between the two rooms by means of spacious doorways, so that with, other means of ven tilation the place will be pleasantly cool in the summer months. The roofs are arched and con structed so as to admit a flood of light, the general effect being pleasant and cheerful. The furniture is all that could be desired, and the lavatories in connection with these rooms are fitted up with the utmost care for cleanliness and comfort, there being a servant constantly in attendance in the lady's dressing-room. The culinary apparatus is most complete, and everything is kept wonderfully clean, notwithstanding the large amount of cooking and kitchen work generally in connection, with s0 large an establishment. At the rear of the premises is the bakery, where all the confectionery is turned out, and above this a store room, in which is kept the catering part, which is very extensive, as the company does a large catering trade. Also in this direction is a dry store. certain out-buildings and a poultry yard. Indeed it would scarcely be imagined from a front view of the restaurant in Pitt-street how extensive these premises really are. Returning to the main building by a passage at the side, we enter the luncheon bar, passing by the wine and dry goods stores on the way. The luncheon bar is not quite finished, but is being fitted up with every attention to comfort and convenience. It will not be a luncheon bar in the proper sense of the term, but more of a lounge. It may be stated that Mr. James, the manager, contemplates the excellent idea of establishing a grill or chop room in connection with this part of the restaurant, and there can be no doubt that if it were esta blished such an institution would be largely patron ised. In fact, it is a matter for wonder that a city like Sydney has not properly regulated chop rooms for the use of people engaged is the city. They are common in London and other large cities, and were successfully introduced in Auckland, N.Z., years ago. If Mr. James succeeds in carrying out his idea at Compagnoni's, there can be little doubt that it would meet with success. Upstairs there are the club rooms and other apartments : and, generally speaking, the institution as altered and improved is a credit to the city.
19 November 1884
Mr. Tollemache, the enterprising manager of the Compagnoni Catering Company in Pitt-street, has further provided for the comfort and pleasure of the public by adding music to the various other attractions of the popular catering establishment under his charge. Orchestral matinees will be held three times a week from three to five in the afternoon.
Selections from the latest and most popular comic operas, and all the newest and latest waltzes will be performed by a first-class, band, under the direction of Herr Gustav Kuster. There will not be any charge for admission. Ladies or gentlemen can sit and enjoy a cup of tea or an ice, and at the same time hear some good music. A preliminary performance took place yesterday afternoon in the presence of several gentlemen, who all expressed their appre ciation of the good music which was performed. The programme for each performance will be pub lished in the daily papers. The first matinee will be held on Friday afternoon next, from 3 to 5. A large number of ladies and gentlemen will no doubt take the opportunity of apending an enjoyable afternoon in one of the coolest cafes which can be found in the colony.
2 December 1885
Ernest Tollemache to Angelo Viney, Compagnoni Cafe
4 August 1886
from Angelo Viney, of Compagnoni's Hotel, Pitt-street, to Henry Adams
Thomas Compagnoni who started it all shot himself in his backyard
at Rosa St., Oatley on the 27 January 1911.
Built 1891 as a first class passenger ship, by Harland & Wolff, in Belfast for the Bibby Line and named the CHESHIRE and later used during the Boer War as a troopship. In 1910, the Cheshire was sold to Lim Chin Tsong, of Rangoon and renamed SEANG CHOON.
In 1915 the Seang Choon became a British army troopship, afterwards a hospital ship and took part in the Dardanelles campaign.
On the 10th July 1917, in Bantry Bay on the South Coast of Ireland, whilst on a voyage from Sydney to London, she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-87.
Nineteen lives were lost.
On the 2 July 1915, two of the galley staff of the Seang Choon were at Fremantle on board the R.M.S. Malwa, passing through on their way to Sydney, where they expected to be called upon to prepare meals for more troops on the way to the front.
In conversation with a representative of the West Australian newspaper they told some of their experiences as non-combatants in the present struggle in Turkey.
This is their story:-
"To me the whole thing seemed magical. A huge transformation scene, or a tremendous drama, staged on the land and sea, with terrible guns roaring out realistic effects, and real wounded men, who went out in khaki, and returned in scarlet tunics, red with living blood! It was too realistic to be a dream, and yet too terrible to be true." Thus a cook off the transport Seang Choon, which had been engaged in performing emergency hospital work at the Dardanelles, described his reminiscences of a period of five weeks near Gallipoli.
"We went away from peaceful Australia early in the year with the 13th Battalion from Queensland, and after a calm, peaceful voyage. through the tropics by way of Torres Straits, Thursday Island, Colombo, and Aden, we found ourselves hurled into a whirlpool of struggling humanity; the opposing forces eager for each other's blood, and determined at all costs to wipe the other out, or be annihilated in the at tempt. And yet, amid all the pathos of strong men groaning in pain or falling dead in front of one, there was no lack of smiling faces, and those who seemed to be in most pain appeared to be filled with unlimited cheerfulness, and a desire for more fighting and more blood.
At times we laughed aloud and at other moments our eyes welled up with tears. Strong men cried to see the awfulness of man's inhumanity to man, and laughed when the practical joker told some story of the battlefield, that tasted of humour.
With shells falling in uncomfortable proximity to the ship, aeroplanes dropping bombs from above, and modern warships hurling tons of steel and lead into the lines and villages of the enemy, one was conscious of a paleness clouding one's face and of a desire for removal to a place of greater safety. We were anchored off the coast where the Australians landed, about two miles out. In front, on either side, were H.M.S. Triumph and H.M.S. Majestic. We had on board about 1,000 men of the 14th Battalion, and they were to be landed on the morning of April 26. On the previous evening, however, we commenced to take on board dozens of very seriously wounded men, who had been shot down during the first day's operations. The wounded were brought alongside in lighters and lifted on board on stretchers, hoisted by cranes. The next morning our reinforcements transhipped on to torpedo boats, and were taken close to the coast, where they were cast adhrift in smaller boats, and left to get on dry land as best they could.
The whole scene was bristling with incident. One fine young fellow, when saying good bye to me, said that it would be no South African picnic, but a glorious homecoming. He had been all through the South African campaign, and held the rank of quarter master-sergeant. That was at 4 a.m., and at 6.30 he was brought back by the torpedo boat, shot through the heart, without having landed.
On the night the wounded began to come aboard, all hands were kept busy preparing food and beef tea, which we handed down to the men in the lighters.
A strong north-easterly gale made the transference of the wounded a very difficult feat, and some time was required to successfully accomplish it. Most of the men suffered from shrapnel wounds, and those who fell dead were the victims of snipers. When day broke on the 26th we could see the operations on land quite distinctly, and it was a treat to see our fellows get into the fray. So heavy were the casualties and the loss of officers that our men simply took individual action, and each rushed ahead with a gleaming bayonet, regardless of his own safety or of united action. They simply saw red. Some of them got two miles inland before they looked round and found out that they were cut off from ammunition and reserves, and while a lot of them went down many ultimately regained the lines.
The Turks had been so well entrenched that they took some shifting but we have heard that the casualties were not so heavy as was anticipated in official circles.
On board our ship were a large number of army medical men, who did their best to relieve the pain and make the men comfortable until they arrived at Alexandria, which was 48 hours run from the scene of the fighting. We made three trips with wounded, and carried about 2000 men all told to the various hospitals. On each return trip we brought reinforcments, and there was a continual stream of ships doing similar business to ourselves.
There were numerous instances of bravery and courageous acts to be witnessed on all hands. One Australian chaplain declined to remain in safety, and rushed into the trenches, where they were captured, and there rendered first aid to our men. On one occasion he was trying to bring two wounded men, one on each of his arms, behind the lines when both were killed, although he himself was unharmed.
We heard of cases of Turkish treachery, but we saw none that we could vouch for. We can, however, testify to the consideration our Jack Tars showed toward the religion of the enemy.
The 'Majestic' and 'Triumph' were both engaged shelling two villages, and by the time they had thrown in about 300 rounds there was little left but the minarets, which were sacredly avoided and spaired destruction.
The Turkish papers made great capital out of an official declaration that the Turks had driven the Australians into the sea a statement, no doubt, which gained credence by reason of the Australians partaking of sea bathing along the shore.
Our fellows were really devils let loose, and they seemed to have no fear. Once into the firing line those chaps threw off their packs and went right into the enemy, and more than often got off scot free.
We had many experienoes on board. On one occasion an enemy aeroplane hovered over us and dropped three bombs, all fortunately finding a resting place on the sea floor. A gun from the Triumph, however, soon brought the aircraft down, and put it completely out of action. On another occasion a huge, shell, thought to have come from the Goeben, dropped into the sea about ten yards astern of our ship. and I can tell you we were all glad when we upanchored and made off for Alexandria. It was, as things turned out, a very fortunate thing that we left when we did, as some two hours after we sailed, the Triumph was torpedoed, and a little later the Majestic suffered a similar fate.
On one of our trips to Egypt we took 60 Turkish prisoners, including one officer, and a German and a Syrian officer. We did learn that there were to have been 260 Turks, but somehow or other only 60 survived to make the journey with us. Some of them could speak a little English and they told us that the Turkish soldier was not at all fond of the fighting business, and very often officers had to jump into the trenches and hit some of the men with sticks to prevent them from turning tail. On the same journey we had several Gurkha wounded, and on the first evening at sea one of the Indians crept out of his bunk, and, seizing a knife, stole up behind the bunk of a Turk who was wounded. The latter was only saved from a sudden death through the timely action of an attendant, who had missed his patient. Needless to say, after that the Turks were all removed to quarters further away from the Indians.
A remarkable feature of our work was the entire absence of complaints, for, although the wounded suffered considerable inconvenience through the makeshifts which were provided, all bore their misfortunes with remarkable fortitude. It was pitiable in the extreme to see strong fellows who had left the ship to enter the` firing line, full of hope and ambition, come back absolutely helpless.
One poor, chap was assisted on board our ship by another wounded comrade. The former had lost both eyes and he was endeavouring to undo his belt, when he exclaimed with perfect resignation. 'Good heavens, I've lost all my fingers too.
Another officer came aboard with a terrible gash on his face, and when someone sympathised with him he replied: 'I wish that were all lad, but there are, three more inside.'
It was interesting to hear the officers speak of their men. The affection between them was remarkable and the men came back from the firing line loving them. The young officers acquitted themselves splendidly and with remarkable heroism and bravery. "
Seang Choon SS was a 5,708 g.t., 445.5ft x 49.1ft, twin screw passenger ship, speed 14 knots, accommodation for 100-1st class passengers.
The chaplain mentioned, I believe is Father John Fahey 1883-1959
whose letters I will publish at a later date.
source: The West Australian
The Ships List
Australian War Memorial
Transcribed and written by janilye, 2013
The portrait below is of Wireless Operator Angus Bartlett Clarence McGregor, 1894-1917, the son of Aeneas McGregor 1865-1937 and Adelaide Louise, nee Bartlett 1868-1959, who was aboard the Seang Choon and drowned when it was torpedoed.
Now-a-days wives are occasionally treated with barbarity. When they are, however the husbands are severely dealt with by law. But at one time wives were considered as a mercenary commodity, and the disposal of them for a certain price was a not uncommon occurrence, being recorded in newspapers as " items of everyday news." During this period of dormant sympathy, it was generally considered as lawful for a husband to sell his spouse by auction to the highest bidder, "provided he delivered her over with a halter round her neck." Strange as it may seem, the wife was frequently found to be in favour of the transaction, probably agreeing with the adage that "changes are lightsome."
In July, 1797, The Times in reference to the price of wives, said "By some mistake in our report of the Smithfield Market, we had not learned the average price of wives for the last week. The increasing value of the fair sex is esteemed by several eminent writers as a certain criterion of increasing civilisation. Smithfield has, on this ground, strong pretensions to refined improvement, as the price of wives has risen in that market from half-a-guinea to three guineas and a-half."
Even in the early years of the 19th. century, cases of the sale of wives in public are recorded.
A few instances of such sales, which appeared in a recent number of "All the Year Round," will be read with considerable interest and amusement:-
In 1750 a man and his wife falling into discourse with a grazier, at Parham, in Norfolk, the husband offered him his wife in exchange for an ox, provided he would let him choose one out of his drove. The grazier accepted the proposal, and the wife readily agreed to it. Accordingly, they met the next day, when the woman was delivered to the grazier, with a new halter round her neck, and the husband received a bullock which he subsequently sold for six guineas.
The first recorded sale after the accession of George III., occurred in the month of March, 1766 in this case a carpenter of Southwark, named Higginson, went into an ale-house for his morning draught: there he met a fellow carpenter, and their conversation turned to wives. The carpenter, whose name, history has not recorded, lamented that he had no wife. Higginson, on the other hand, lamented that he had, and expressed regret there was no way except murder by which he could rid himself of her. The carpenter assured Higginson that there was a way, the old English custom had made it quite lawful for a husband to sell his own rib. " No one would be such a fool as to buy mine," sighed Higginson. "I would do so," the other promptly replied, "and would think I had made a good bargain, too."
"Done!" shouted the delighted husband, who clinched the bargain on the spot. Mrs. Higginson was duly claimed by her new lord, and went willingly enough and lived with him as his wife.
In a few days, however, Higginson either grew tired of his mateless home or suspected that he had not done right, and went to the other carpenter's house, demanding his wife back. Mrs. Higginson strenuously refused to leave her new lord. "A sale is a sale," said she, "and not a joke."
Higginson went again and again, but to no purpose, and after a week or two he ceased calling. His wife had just begun to conclude that he had at last quietly resigned his claim, when she was cited to appear before a coroner's jury and identify her husband who had settled the question by hanging himself. (The price paid for the woman is not recorded.)
Another sale occurred in the summer of 1767. In this case, however, the man selling the "chattel" had no legal right over it, she being simply a wife by courtesy. Her reputed husband was a bricklayer's labourer, residing at Marylebone, and the price at which she was valued was five shillings and three pence and a gallon of beer. Three weeks after the sale, when the lady was duly housed with her new lord, a wealthy uncle of hers, residing in Devonshire, died, and, quite unexpectedly, acknowledged the kinship by leaving her two hundred pounds and a quantity of plate. The new protector at once decided to sanctify the union by a ceremony of the Church, and so became her husband indeed, and of course, the possessor of the legacy, there being no Married Woman's Property
Act in those days.
Edgbaston, Birmingham, was the scene of the next sale of this character which had to be reeorded. It took place in the month of August, 1773, and the facts are these :Three men and three women went into the Bell Inn. Edgbaston-street, Birmingham, and called for the toll-book, which was kept there. In this they made the following extraordinary entry: "August, thirty first, 1773. Samuel Whitehouse, of the parish of Willenhill, in the county of Stafford, this day sold his wife, Mary Whitehouse, in open market, to Thomas Griffiths, of Birmingham. Value one shilling. To take her with all faults. (Signed) Samuel Whitehouse, Mary Whitehouse. (Voucher) Thomas Buckley,
of Birmingham." The parties were said to be well pleased, and the purchase-money and the market toll, demanded for the toll, were both cheerfully paid.
This Ipswich Journal, January 28, 1737, states that : "A farmer of the parish of Stownpland sold his wife to a neighbour for five guineas, and being happy to think he had made a good bargain, presented her with a guinea to buy a new gown. He then went to Stowmarket and gave orders for the bells to he rung on the occasion."
The London Chronicle for the 1st of December, 1787, reported that : "On Monday last a person named Goward led his wife to the market place at Nuneaton, and there sold and delivered her up, with a halter about her, to one White, for the sum of three guineas. On their way Goward asked his wife if she was not ashamed of being brought to open market to be sold ; she said she was not, and was happy to think she was going to have another husband, for she knew well who was going to be her purchaser. When they came to the place Goward embraced his wife and wished her well, upon which she returned the compliment. White declared himself extremely well satisfied, and paid down the money, assuring the quondam husband it was good and full weight. The purchase being completed, White gave the ringers a handsome treat to ring a peal, and they spent the remainder of the day with the greatest joy imaginable."
A Case which occurred in 1790 is slightly different to the foregoing, for it is the record of a girl who
actually bought her husband. She was an Oxfordshire lass, and was on the eve of marriage to a young man of the same county, when the bridegroom elect would not consent to name the day unless her friends would advance fifty pounds for her dowry. Her friends being two poor to comply with this demand, the lass, who evidently thought a mercenary husband better than no husband at all, went to London and sold her hair, which was deli- cately long and light, to a chapman in the Strand for three pounds per ounce. As it weighed just twenty ounces, she returned with joy to Oxfordshire with sufficient money to buy her exacting husband, and ten pounds to boot."
It was not just in England where we have recorded the sale of wives but in New South Wales as late as 1803 we have early settler, Israel Rayner, selling his wife Catherine Carpenter. She walked out on Israel and went to live with her lover, Henry Baldwin and refused to return. When Henry Baldwin paid no heed to Israel's threats of legal action, a deal was struck and Israel sold Catherine to Henry for six bushels of wheat and a pig.
The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser
Tuesday 26 September 1893
Victoriavane Word Press
transcription, janilye 2012
Any article or series of articles on the "Good Old Days" that
did not treat the sports of that-period would be like a
meat pie without, the meat. I have attempted to give a complete
and comprehensive digest of the manners and customs of the people
of the times of which I write, and as cock fighting was almost an
institution in those days, some attention must be given to it.
Not many will regret the fact this kind of sport is now a thing of
the past, so far as this district is concernedand has been allowed to
fall into oblivion along with other relics of barbarism.
From the 1840s cock-fighting was one of the most popular sports
in the Hawkesbury district of New South Wales, and in those days unless you had a
game rooster that could masacre twenty of your neighbours' domestic chooks in as
many minutes, you might as well be dead, for you were considered nobody.
But now things have changed, the cock-fighting instincts of the people
are dead, though the sleek bird still retains all the combative instincts
of the olden leaven, and would even now fight till he dropped on his own or
some other party's dung-hill. Many residents well remember the old rendezvous
of the enthusiasts of this branch of sportin Holland's paddock,(Windsor)
facing the banks, In this paddock, where there is now a large pond, a pit
existed for many years, and at the trysting-ground large crowds of people
assembled nearly every Saturday to witness a good encounter between two
An edifying spectacle it must have been, truly, yet amongst the votaries of
the sport were many men who were then leading lights of the district.
For years cock-fighting was carried on in public, and was reckoned a legitimate
sport. Then the State stepped in and dubbed it unlawful; yet it was carried on,
almost with impunity, for yearsbut those who participated in the sport met in
some sequestered nook to hold their meetings, the ti-tree swamp on Ham Common
(Richmond) being a favourite resort.
A man named " Jacky" Carr was among the first to introduce cock-fighting into
the Hawkesbury district. He was an Englishman, and always managed to get hold of
some fine imported birds.
Amongst those who followed the game also were Frank Norris, now residing on the
Brickfields,and one of the best pugilists of his day. Also his brothers Paddy and Jim, (sons of Richard NORRIS 1779-1843)
George Cupitt 1808-1875, Charlie Eather, The Charkers,
Gaudry's and Kable's. William Hopkins 1798-1862,
Joseph and William Onus, (sons of Joseph Onus 1782-1835). Ben Richards 1818-1898, and George Bushell were
also admirers of the game-cock, and they all owned good
fighting birds. The second-named is said to have had a magnificent button-comb
bird, which ended the career of many another good one.
The Dargins, Cornwells, Dan Mayne and Jack Cribb also followed the sport.
W. Hopkins was a great breeder of these birds, and he once owned a cookoo-game,
a very rare bird which was responsible for the death of more than one man's pet.
Jim Norris also had a bird which, after winning. fourteen or fifteen successive
battles met its doom when pitted against "Daddy" Baine's in the Richmond Lane,
close to the residence of Mrs. Onus. The birds always fought with steel spurs,
and a small black red bird weighing 6 lbs, owned by George Cupitt, on one occasion
slaughtered three oponents without having his heels (as the spurs were termed) taken off.
James 'Jack' Cribb 1785-1841 always had a lot of birds, and used to spare no
expense in getting hold of good fighters to take his friends down.
He had been known to pay as much as 10 apiece for them, and once paid that
sum for a big light-grey bird, of which everybody was afraid.
Birds weighing from 6lbs to 7lbs were always very strong and fast fighters, whilst
they varied in weight from 5lbs to 8lbs. The principal breeds were black red,
duck-wing, hen-feather, and the pile. The latter breed was the progeny of two good
distinct strains, and was considered one of the gamest of the game birds.
The fighting generally carried out in what was termed "mains," i.e.,
a number (say 5 or 7) birds of dififerent weights on either side.
The birds of the opposing forces were pitted on as equal terms as possible as
regards weight, and if the result of the " main" was equal, the contest would be
decided by a "turn-out"that is, a match between the heaviest bird of both sides.
The :mains" Comprised a party from Parramatta or Sydney on the one side, and
Windsor on the other.
Phil Williams (Sydney), the Waterhouses (Parramatta), and W. Sparks (Cook's River)
frequently brought their birds to Windsor, and were met in the fray by
Cupitt, Norris and Hopkins.
Matches for 50 or to 100 aside were often made, while a good deal of out
side money was also wagered
Windsor and Richmond Gazette
(NSW : 1888 - 1954)
The Good Old Days
Research and Transcription, Janilye
20 June 2012