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Did you Know?

Journal by janilye

Please feel free to add some little known fact you may know. Here are just a few things to get it started.


1.In London the poor would collect dog turds from the pavements and sell them. You could earn 6 pence a sack in 1780. Water was added to the turds and what is known as a 'bate' was made. This was then used to soften the skins to make them supple before the tanning process.
This will give you a bit more to think about when you're handling those beautifully bound leather books.

1b. Also on the street corners, were 'piss-pots' where human urine was also collected for use as 'bate'.

1c. Oh yes 'itellya' and the washerwomen claimed it made the linens whiter than white

2. In 1667 the first act enacted requiring all burials to be in woollen in an effort to protect the wool trade from imports of silk cloth. Then in 1678 the Act re-affirmed requiring all burials to be in woollen in an effort to protect the wool trade from imports of silk cloth. An affidavit signed by the parish clerk was required to be made attesting to such burial. A fine was levied for failure to comply with the Act. Eventually, during 1814 this Act was repealed.

3. In 1707 'Act of Union' united Scotland with England and Wales to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain

4. From the year 1710, whenever a boy was apprenticed to a trade a stamp duty had to be paid, and these records of the binding of apprentices survive to provide the name of the apprentice, that of his father or widowed mother, and his master, as well as his parents' abode. Churchwardens and overseers of the poor were empowered to apprentice to husbandry any child under the age of 16 whose parents they judged unable to maintain him. If a master could be found in a neighbouring parish, this form of apprenticeship was often a convenient way of getting rid of a pauper child, because the apprenticeship conferred settlement after a period of forty days. "Husbandry" for a boy and "Housewifery" for a girl, simply meant being a servant on the land or in the house: later, in the industrial revolution, it might mean life in the mill, or even down the mine.

5. Change to the Julian Calendar. (24 Geo. II, c. 23)3 September became 14 September. In the middle of the 18th century, two changes were made in the English calendar. The first, moved the official start of the year from 25th March to 1st January, so changing January, February and March from being the last three months of the old year to the first three of the new year. The second, by "losing" eleven days from September, was from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian, bringing England into line with the rest of Europe where the Gregorian system had been used since 1582. As the new system was adopted by some before its official introduction, great care must be taken in transcribing extracts containing dates in January, February and March before 1752. The correct procedure is to transcribe the dates in both Old Style and New: 2nd February 1603 Old Style, should be shown as 2nd February 1603/4.

5. In 1878 The Christian Revival Society changed its name to the Salvation Army


1. For those who believe the Roman Dictator Gaius Julius Caesar 100BC - 44BC was born by Caeserean section, you are wrong. Caesar's mother, Aurelia COTTA lived to be almost 70 and enjoyed excellent health. Since this barbaric practice of caesarean was sometimes performed back in those days, the infant sometimes lived but the mother always died.

2. The first successful caesarean was not performed until April 1876 in Pavia, Italy by Dr. Edoardo Porro 1842-1902 on Julie Covallini. The child and the uterus were both removed. Mother and child did very well.

3. Speaking of Italy, Pope John Paul II drove a light blue 1975 Ford Escort GL before he got his popemobile. The old Escort sold in Las Vegas for $690,000 on Saturday 29 October 2005 to Houston Multimillionaire John O'Quinn a 62 yr old Baptist.

4. Nero didn't fiddle whilst Rome burned. He plucked the lyre and sang. Violins weren't invented


1.In the first 100 years of settlement in the colony there were 6,000 documented bushrangers, this includes convict bolters.

2. Many of the Irish rebels had been landed men in Ireland, unlike a lot of the other Irish convicts who had rented land and been driven off it if they could not pay the tithe. Most Irish convicts were not given large grants of land or in the position to buy large areas. They tended to live between Campbelltown and Windsor or along the Hawkesbury River.

3. The Catholic Church did not have government recognition in Australia until 1820. Irish rebel William DAVIS received 200 lashes for refusing to attend Anglican church services, and was one of the people on the committee for the building of St Mary?s Chapel, which is today St.Mary's Cathedral.

4.Two of the first land owners on the Oberon Plateau were emancipated Irish rebels William Davis and Edward (sometimes called Edmund) Redmond. Both received grants of 1000 acres in the west of the shire in May 1825. Davis called his Swatchfield, and Redmond called his Bingham ? it is at Arkstone, west of Porters Retreat. (He did not secure legal possession of it until 1838). These two men were transported in 1800 for their parts in the Irish Rebellion against the abolition the Irish parliament and incorporation of Ireland into Great Britain, as well as the economic and religious oppression of the Irish by the English. Both of them were successful businessmen in Sydney, both original shareholders in the Bank of NSW, and never lived on their grants.

5.The term "Blind Freddy" was coined after Sir Frederick POTTINGER 1831-1865 the NSW Inspector of Police. Pottinger was riding in the gentlemans race at Wowingragong, unaware that the bushrangers he'd been chasing for months, Ben HALL and John Dunn were on the track watching him. Blind Freddy didn't see them. Afterward Pottinger became the subject of much ridicule, charged with neglect of duty and later accidently shot himself.

6.Australia's first bushranger was "Black Caesar" an ex slave from the West Indies said to be well over 6' tall. Somehow got to England and then transported for theft. A 'First Fleeter' born John CAESAR 1763-1796 . It was Black CAESAR who shot and wounded the feared aboriginal resistance fighter PERMULWY in 1795.

7. Australia's first novelist, and author of the first collection of literary essays was Bristol born Henry SAVERY 1791-1842. Unfortunately he directed most of his talent to forgery.

8. Australia's first produced musical comedy was staged in 1844. Titled "The Currency Lass"

9. Transported three times was Con-man and thief James Hardy VAUX b:1782 and disappeared from the pages of history in 1841. Transported on the Minorca 1801, the Retribution in 1810 and the Waterloo 1831.

10. The law stated that immigrants to Australia under 18 had to be accompanied by parents unless employment had been pre-arranged.

11. Police in the Colony in the early 19th century worked 7 days a week without a break. Were unable to vote until 1888 and needed permission to marry from the Chief Commissioner.

12. The first dogs imported into New South Wales were Captain Arthur Phillip's greyhounds who arrived with him on the first Fleet.

13. And of course the Reverend Richard Johnson brought his cats.

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by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-05-16 03:24:31

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by andrewsm on 2011-05-16 22:19:32

The grave of Ben Hall, at Forbes is close to Ned Kelly's sister Kate who drowned in Forbes in 1898.

by tonkin on 2011-05-20 04:56:41

Did you say 6,000 documented Bushrangers?

by janilye on 2011-05-20 05:50:23

Yes I did. averaging 60 a year. Of course anyone who absconded was considered a bushranger.

by tonkin on 2011-05-20 06:01:50

I obsconded from school once and went ranging in the bush with my air rifle ... and pretended to be a bushranger. But I never bailed-up any gold escorts. Those were the best days of my life.

by janilye on 2011-05-20 06:21:01

I tried to abscond a couple of times but they always knew I was missing. One of my teachers went on to become the chaplain of Long Bay Gaol. She's told me since, her experiences with me at school were invaluable lessons for her future career move.

by lola126 on 2011-09-22 01:37:47

gives a new meaning to bated breath.

by janilye on 2011-09-22 08:30:54

Oh yes. I sat on the tram today next to a man who definetly had bated breath and not the Jane Austin kind.

by 1bobbylee on 2011-09-23 01:46:49

I just pulled this up. WAS eating a liver-mush sanswich. NOT now!! The dog tar-- and street p---po-- did me in. Excuse me uurp, have got to run to bathrooommmmmm......

by itellya on 2011-10-08 10:30:44

The origins of surnames is an interesting topic. Many surnames relate to occupations, with this being pretty obvious in the case of Carpenter, Brewer, Archer etc. Two names whose more obscure meanings I discovered while reading novels are Fuller and Fletcher. Fullers washed clothes using urine which contains ammonia. Fletchers made arrows and I believe the feathers in arrows are still called fletching.
Most surnames were probably originally nicknames to distinguish two men in a village who had the same name and were probably preceded by "the", " son of" (as in Ben/ Bin, and son/sen suffixes)and "of/from" (as in van, de, probably used for a newcomer to the village.)As well as occupations, surnames arose from characteristics (Long, Short, Broad), colours, perhaps of preferred colours rather than complexion (Black, White, Green, Gray, Rudd meaning red etc.), Noble, Faithfull etc. I wonder how many family historians consider how, as well as where, their surname originated.Just for fun, here is my attempt at an A-Z of occupation surnames.
Abbott, Baker, Cooper, Docker, E?, Falconer, Goldsmith, Hawker, I?, Jewell?, Keystone (master mason?), Lockyer, Mason, Nutbean?, Officer, Parker, Q?, Reader, Sargeant, Tanner, Usher, Veal?, Wright, Yoeman.

by itellya on 2011-10-08 10:34:33

In regard to bushrangers there's a song about Ben Hall called "Streets of Forbes" that begins:"Come all you Lachlan men, and a sorrowful tale I'll tell"

by janilye on 2011-10-08 15:24:00

Streets of Forbes
Come all you Lachlan men and a sorrowful tale I'll tell,
The story of a decent man who through misfortune fell,
His name it was Ben Hall, a man of high renown,
Who was hunted from his station, and like a dog shot down.
Three years he roamed the roads, and he showed the traps some fun,
One thousand pounds was on his head, with Gilbert and John Dunn.
Ben parted from his comrades, the outlaws did agree,
To give away bushranging and to cross the briny sea.
Ben went to Goobang Creek, and that was his downfall
For riddled like a sieve was the valiant Ben Hall,
'Twas early in the morning upon the fifth of May
That the seven police surrounded him as fast asleep they lay.
Bill Dargin he was chosen to shoot the outlaw dead,
The troopers then fired madly and they filled him full of lead,
They rolled him in his blanket and strapped him to his prad,
And they led him through the streets of Forbes, to show the prize they had.

@itellya, A question asked of me yesterday, which I have no idea and thought you may, since it's your neck of the woods. What do you know about Tar Barrel Corner just down from Merrick's Store, (on Stanley St, I think). Is there any historical significance?

by janilye on 2011-10-22 07:55:17

I thought there may have been a bit of spice in the old rels and I got excited for a moment when I saw one of them was a stripper. But not to be. I looked it up on the Index of Old Occupations ah well!
A lot of occupations I didn't know.

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