Fremantle Stuff > Early Days: Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society
C. H. Stone, 'The diary of Alfred Hawes Stone', Early Days, vol. 1, part 6: 29-52.
[Copy of notes on general subjects from the shorthand diary of A. H. Stone, of Alpha Cottage, Perth. This diary is a continuation of a longhand diary and covers the period between March 18, 1850, and October 30, 1852. Translated by his grandson, Mr. C. H. Stone, and read before the Society on July 26, 1929.]
April 2.—All the world preparing for the races.
April 6.—Three natives sentenced to be hanged for murder of a native in the employ of a white settler. The Governor intends to have them hanged; but there will be a Council on Tuesday to decide whether all, or how many, are to be hanged. They are all three equally guilty, and if one is, all should be hanged. There are many different opinions about it. I paid all the jury and witnesses in Court.
April 9.—The Executive Council met to-day early to decide on the important measure whether to hang the natives, and how many. It is an issue of very great importance, as we have not before interfered when they killed each other.
April 11.—I engrossed the warrant for the Governor to sign for the execution of the three poor natives.
April 12.—In the morning the three natives were taken to be executed, and a large body of soldiers to guard the cart. The sheriff and parson went in a gig. There was but one hung, and the other two were reprieved after being frightened nearly to death.
August 16.—Very rough morn; blowing heavy all night, with thunder and lightning. Squalls very heavy. The river very high, nearly over Mill Point and over the path beyond Knight’s, under Mt. Eliza. Received a letter from Fred Wittenoom intimating that many of the new emigrants had been sent up to the depot at the Mill under Mount Eliza, and that we had better see them and choose a lad for ourselves. I started off to walk down and took Will from school to go with me. When we got a little beyond Knight’s found the path flooded, and had to climb up the Mount and go over the top. Arrived at the Mill and saw a young man named Finukin, whom I offered to take a month on trial at £10 a year; but he said he had rather go to a farm. However, he said he would consider my offer and let me know to-morrow. It rained very heavy several times during the walk, and we got very wet.
August 15.—Will and I started for the Mill under Mount Eliza to see about another boy that we considered would suit us better than Finukin. Saw both, and like the boy’s appearance. His name is Denis Donelly, about 18 years. Had a long talk with his father and mother. They appear very respectable people. The eldest daughter, who is to go to Wittenooms’, is a very fine girl and very pretty—too fine a girl and too gentle for any of the places. The boy is an intelligent looking lad. I offered him £9, a year for a month’s trial, and he agreed to come with his father’s sanction, although the mother appeared to think it is too little. He is to come in the afternoon. I engaged Stone at the jetty to go down with his cart to bring up the boy’s box and the girl’s baggage to Wittenooms’. In the afternoon, about four, the boy arrived with his baggage. He looked very well, better than in the morning, as he was better dressed. He soon turned to and assisted Maria in her garden. Fine bright day, but cold out. Will and I had a very pleasant walk in the morning, but it was very dirty under Mount Eliza. The river has gone down very much. Sent some cauliflowers to Fremantle by Caporn. Our dear little pigs grow very well together.
August 20.—The Scindian went to sea.
September 12.—Dinner at Government House with all the great men. Very pleasant party; away half-past 12.
September 14.—I hired Cole’s horse for Maria, and borrowed Fred Wittenoom’s horse for self, and we started between 8 and 9 for Guildford on a visit to Dr. Serra. After a pleasant ride we arrived there about 11. A large gang of priisoners at work on the road, making a new cut from the racecourse towards Guildford’s fine open road. They are doing it very well, grubbing up all the large tres and throwing them on either side of the road, and filling up holes. I settled some business matters with Dr. Serra, while Maria walked about his place with two of his people, the principal priest and the doctor. Two very gentlemanly looking men, but could not speak much English. We had a capital dinner, The doctor showed us all his jewels and mitres; very valuable and beautiful. He has some very fine paintings. It is most truly gratifying to see the good feeling that prevails amongst all his people. They all look very happy, and all show him the most marked respect. They all dress exactly alike, from the Bishop to the cook. We came away about six o’clock, and the Bishop rode with us half-way.
He did not like to part with us. We spent a most pleasant time with him. Mrs. Sutherland buried to-day—died Thursday night (September 12).
September 18.—In even, large rout at Government House. Seventy people invited. There were about 65 there. It was very pleasant, and pretty well arranged—dancing and singing. Young Hamersley was there, and played a good deal on the pianoforte. He plays capital waltzes and quadrilles. Had a very good supper. Were rather crowded in the dancing. Came away after three. Governor very attentive to all the ladies. Beautiful bright night. We danced on the carpet in the drawing-room. It was intended to have turtle soup, but it was too high and nobody could eat it. Scott sent a large turtle to the Governor as a present, and they sent some to Mrs. George Leake, who sent us some soup, and we made a dinner of it on Tuesday.
September 21.—Wm. Gregory died last night.
September 23.—Planted out a lot of the large tomatoes that Dr. Serra sent us, and watered them well and covered each plant with a cabbage leaf, to shade them from the sun. Got this wrinkle from Dr. Serra’s gardener. Wm. Gregory buried. Maria and I called at Government House.
September 28.—Poor little Neddy Stone (Sir Edward) was struck with the sun, and very bad. Had all his hair cut off and leeches put over his forehead.
October 6 to 13.—Great disturbance about what I had said of Mrs. Fitzgerald being no lady from her conduct to Miss Harris and self at her rout in turning us from our place in a dance; made great talk, but, like many like things, will come to nothing. Be careful of Mr. H---------, as he appears to have made mischief by repeating to Captain Henderson what I said to him in my own house, which has been improved upon.
November 3.—Church in morn. Many new faces there. The Bruces’ first appearance. Went for a walk with Maria. Called on Bruces and had a chat. They appear very desirable acquaintances. Very nice girls.
November 27.—In evening dined at Darlings’, met ten of the departments—Piesse, R., Capt. Bruce, Yule, three military officers, Wittenoom, Simmonds. Twelve sat down with Darling; very comfortable. He turned out of his bedroom. We had Godbraith’s servant to wait—a most capital fellow. Everything very well arranged, and a most
capital dinner; plenty champagne and everything good, and a very pleasant party. Time flew on golden wings. Stayed till half-past one. Very handsome affair indeed, and very liberal supply of everything. Poor Wittenoom overdid it, and was obliged to go home early.
January 5.—Very stormy day and cold. Several smart showers and furious wind blowing from nor’-west. Just like the middle of winter. I went to church and got quite wet through my boots, and wore my cloak as necessary to keep out the cold at our house. We have had eight or nine days of this extraordinary weather, and there is no appearance of clearing. The glass barometer remains very low; we certainly never had such cold, rough weather in the middle of summer before. Mr. Meares did pretty well for him, and gave us a very excellent sermon, but ’tis very difficult to follow him. Went to Geo. Stone’s to dinner, and we then walked down beyond the Mill (the steam mill, where the Swan Brewery now stands.—C.H.S.); met all the Bruce ladies as we came home, with Mr. Piesse and his supposed young lady.
January 9.—Fine bright day. About seven in morning a fine south wind came on, and we worked down from Preston Point, and got over the bar about eight, and started for Rottnest. I took the helm, and we were there about 11. Found the folks in good health and very glad to see me. They had heard nothing of the escape of the convicts, for which I was thankful. The island is a beautiful place, and we made out with the accommodation very well. I spent my time there pleasantly until the 18th. Bathed every day with Maria and the children. Learned Will to swim. The Dempsters were very kind to us. Several vessels came in and went out while we were there. We had many beautiful walks about the island, and made trips to the lighthouse. All the buildings are very creditable to Mr. Vincent. He did the whole with the assistance of the native prisoners under his charge. On Friday, January 17, Dyer came over with his large boat and brought a party that rather put us out. We packed everything up and started home about one o’clock on Saturday, the 18th; got over the bar between three and four, and arrived in Perth about eight p.m., and got Cole’s large cart and brought up all the baggage. I purchased 3001b. of flour of Mr. Dempster, wheat and rye
mixed, 15/- per 100 lb. Brought over some crayfish and sent three to Geo. Stone and three to Darling.
February 7.—Called on Governor and made my peace with him by apologising for want of attention to him when he sent two men to me about a contract. He accepted my excuses and thanked me very politely.
An Awkward Moment
April 3.—Went calling with Maria. Went to Government House, and as we walked up to the house saw Mrs. Fitzgerald on the verandah, but were refused admittance.
I wrote our name in the book. Darling overtook us on our way home, and came and spent the evening. Mrs. Wittenoom came on after church and spent evening with us, and Fred came up for her, and they all went home together, Maria was much put out at her refusal from Government House. Suppose it is from a grudge Mrs. Fitz. owes me for having, as it is reported to her by a meddling fool, called her a little fool, and said she was no lady from her conduct to me on two occasions. I certainly said the words, but in perfect confidence, and not intended for her ears, and she has no right to take offence at the matter. However, it is of very little consequence, as there is no love lost between us. She is an interfering little ignoramus, and does not know her position.
April 5.—Maria was at Government House at a large meeting of ladies about the new institution for a servants’ home.1 Sixteen womenfolk of mixed breed met and talked for two hours, and came to several resolutions.
April 12.—Cut altogether to-day from young vine Wortley Hall, 159 1/2 1b. grapes and made jam.
April 14.—The grapes stoned on Saturday weighed nearly 1061b., losing therefore 531b., or just one-third, by the stoning and waste. Mrs. Dent came to do the stirring, as I cannot attend to it. We put the fine crushed sugar from India, a quarter pound of sugar to one pound of fruit. It does not quite fill the copper. After dinner I went out to stir the jam, and Maria strained off a lot for felly, which looked very beautiful, being such a fine bright colour. She set Mrs. D-------to stir it, and the stupid old thing did not pay sufficient attention, and let it burn, and spoilt the whole lot, about 3 or 4 lb., besides burning the new fruit pan and injuring the copper. So much for a stupid old thing like
her; she is, without exception, the most helpless woman I ever saw. There is scarcely anything one gives her to do that she does properly, and yet she is surprised that no one gives her work. If she touches anything with her hands, she looks to see if they are soiled; as if her hands were not made to work with! The jam was beautiful. We took it off soon after five, so that it boiled about six hours. The fine crushed sugar gives it a fine flavour. Maria put in a little colouring with cochineal.
April 16.—Mrs. Fitzgerald went to make some calls, and by way of equipage she borrowed Col. Irwin's little carriage Capt. Bruce's horse, the boy who washes the Government offices for her tiger, and the Governor’s private secretary to drive her. The Governor is allowed £140 p.a. forage money for keeping two horses.
April 18 (Good Friday).—We all went to church in the morning. Archdeacon Wollaston assisted Wittenoom in the service and preached. His sermon was just about half-an-hour—very good length—and was a very good one on Christ's death and life for us in dying for our sins.
April 20 (Easter Sunday).—We all went to church in the morning. Wollaston and Wittenoom officiated together.
Mr. Wollaston preached for 49 minutes—a very good sermon on the necessity of our repenting for our many sins, and preparing for another world, for which our merciful Saviour has by His great mercy and wonderful life prepared a way by His glorious death and passion.
April 24.—Started at half-past 10 for the races. Spent a very pleasant day. The races were pretty good. There were a great many people there and many vehicles, but I think mine looked as well as any of them. We left about four, and drove home before the mob started, and got home very comfortably.
April 29.—Went to Wittenoom’s with my flute expecting to have some music with his band—a lot of the mechanics that he is taking so much trouble to teach—but only one out of every five came and we could do very little, as he was not much of a hand. Wittenoom was quite disappointed, as he had prepared his room for them. He told me that he had this day purchased a piano he has hired for some years for £45. He asked me if I thought it a fair price. I told him I did not consider it was worth more than £30, as it requires so much repair.
April 30.—Bishop Serra called and I settled my bill with him, but he made a point of screwing £6 or £7 out of me, and all I could get for a bill of £11 due to me was 4001b. of flour. He has just had 8 tons from Adelaide, and it is likely to be very dear. It is now 3d. a lb. in Perth, and Darling thinks we shall have to pay 6d. a pound before six months. Besides what the little Bishop gets out of this bill.
I forgive him my charges in (legal matters) of about £50.
This is not a very liberal return for the time I devoted to him. I think him very ungrateful and exceedingly mean to one who has done business for him. I must take care not to do anything more for him, unless he pays me in advance for all I do.
May 6.—In the evening we all went to Bishop Serra’s to tea; spent rather a dull evening—so cold in his house.
He showed us pleny of his curiosities and jewels—some very pretty. I was much disappointed in not going to Witte-noom’s for some music, as I had promised myself, but as I invited myself to the Bishop some day this week and had fixed to-day, I could not get off. We stayed till past 11, and then it rained so hard and was so dark we had some trouble in finding our way home.
May 8.—Great hubbub in the town on account of the Governor proposing to raise the salaries of himself and his Council, and because he extends it no further to the Government officers. Many of them grumble, and the public all grumble that the attempt should be made at all just now, until the chest is richer. I think it is bad policy to do such a thing just now, as it looks very bad to see the Executive Council voting themselves an increase of salary the very moment the chest has a small balance in hand.
May 15.—There was a great to-do with the Council today about raising the salaries of several individuals, and the public are opposed to the measure. The Governor was much wroth with the Press, and expressed himself in rather an undignified manner. The rains have torn the streets up terribly in several places and ran into a number of houses.
May 24.—I was at work in the garden,when Bishop Serra came and wished me to go to Government House with him to make a call, it being the Queen’s birthday. I accordingly dressed and walked over with him and Mr. Donovan. We were shown into the drawing-room, where sat Mrs. Fitzgerald and Miss Clifton. Mrs. Fitzgerald was
coming forward to shake hands with the Bishop, but as I followed him close, when she saw me she made a bow and rushed off into the Governor’s room to tell him, I suppose. She came back again and sat down, and I talked to Miss Clifton, whilst the Bishop talked to Mrs. Fitzgerald. I addressed her once or twice, but she scarcely answered. The Governor came in shortly afterwards with Mr. Simmons, and this made the conversation more general. We sat there for about half-an-hour, and then made our bow and came away. This is the first time I have seen her since her ball, where she wouid not dance past me. A few people called at Government House. The Governor had the Union Jack flag hoisted on a temporary pole in front of Government House for the first time since the Colony has been established. There should be a proper flag-staff there, and the standard hoisted on all special occasions.
May 26.—Stanton brought in a lot of firewood. He is to make good 10 cords at 7/- per cord. It is fortunate I made the bargain with him, as firewood is now 10/- per cord, and will be more. The Legislative Council has ordered that some of the Government officers are to have their salaries raised next year, and the public are very much dissatisfied about the measure. There have been many capital squabbles in the papers lately, and the people quite in a commotion about the things.
June 2.—Fremantle races. Not many people went from Perth. There was a little amusement got up for the boys and girls, being the anniversary of the foundation of the Colony, but not patronised by any of the principal colonists, so that it will dwindle into nothing.
June 26.—Dined at Darlings; very pleasant party. Our new Commissary, Mr. Mends, was there. He is very amusing but rather noisy—much the same as Mr. Piesse. He appears to affect the Governor’s manner of loud speaking. We kept it up till near 12. Sat at table the whole time. Darling does the thing very well, but it is too long to sit a whole evening over the wine. Wittenoom, Harris, Simpson, Sutherland, Chas. Sholl, Lionel Samson, self and Mends, with Darling, formed the party, and a very merry one it was. Very good wine, etc. Mrs. Wittenoom spent the evening with Maria, and they thought we came home too soon.
The Governor Blasts
August 18.—The Governor is still going on with his blasting, although the whole neighbourhood are complaining of it, not only as a nuisance from the noise, but very dangerous from the constant flinging about of the pieces at each blasting. However, in the course of the afternoon, the man made a heavy charge and a large log, near as big as a man, struck the gate leading to the paddock and broke one of the rails, and when the Governor came along, shortly after, and saw it, he was very wroth, and said he would have no more blasting. So that he cared little about the danger to passing passengers, but when his place was injured, then he could put a stop to the matter of nuisance. He had paid no attention when I told him my wife was ill in bed—too ill to get up—and that the noise and stench of the smoke which came into the house caused her greater suffering. This was of no consequence, and when my window was broken by a piece of the wood flying against the sash, this was not of so much consequence as his own gate. However, thank God the nuisance is put an end to without any serious mischief.
September 4.—Potatoes and all vegetables are very scarce in the place; not a thing to be got from the gardens, as the convict establishment at Fremantle take everything in their way that they can buy up. This is a great nuisance and injury to the public, for I think they may as well go without as the other consumers. However, this will all soon find its level, as the gardeners will, as they find a better market, extend their operations. We are giving the pony, Nancy, 61b. of biscuits per day and a few oats. There is no hay to be purchased, therefore we are obliged to feed her on anything we can get. She has much improved in appearance since we took her home, and Maria has received much benefit from her rides.
September 4.—Captain Bruce has returned home (last Monday), and is much hurt by the fall of a tree which struck him on the shoulder. The new police keep the town in much better order. There is no noise about the streets at night, as there used to be, nor do we see many drunken people; they are all taken up instantly and fined, and the police get half the fine, which keeps them well on the alert. There are six policemen, and they are constantly about the town, night and day. They take it in turns for the night. They have a regular beat, and are paid £100 each with a ration,
which is a very good thing. At the same time the duty is an arduous one, and their whole time is occupied. One of them was discharged for drunkenness, and sorry enough he was next day to lose so good a berth. He was a pensioner. They are a very drunken set, and their wives worse than the men. Before the place was constabled the town was full of the drunken wretches every monthly pay-day, but now the police have taken up so many of them it is very much checked.
October 20.—Dr. Galbraith and Miss Mary Bruce (second daughter of Captain Bruce) were married this morning. A very grand wedding; great many people at church. Wit-tenoom married them, but he was too ill to have gone out. He could hardly get to the church. Mrs. Fitzgerald was at the wedding. They had Henderson’s and Irwin’s carriages, which ran to and fro until all the people were collected together. There was a grand breakfast at Bruce’s after the wedding, and the newly married couple started at 2 p.m. on horseback for Brockman’s place, Herne Hill, to spend their honeymoon.
October 8.—The anniversary tea meeting of the Templars’ Society was held at the Court House in the evening. Emma Helms went and took Dircksey and Augusta Witte-noom with her. Emma came in afterwards to tell us all about it. There was much speeching by the members of the Society, and music. There were a great many people there.
October 9.—The Bench of Magistrates decided a case of C-m-b-s v. Taylor about a young steer the latter had branded which turned out after a long inquiry to be C-m-b-s, and the Magistrates have bound Taylor on his own recognisance to appear at next Quarter Sessions and take his trial for the felony. Taylor behaved very ill in the Court, and insulted the magistrates by telling Simmons, who was the presiding Magistrate, that he had acted partially and had used him very ill through the whole proceedings. But they let him off.
October 10.—Mrs. and Miss Taylor came in after tea. Darling and Fred Wittenoom came to tea. We had a great chat all the evening; the principal theme of conversation was the case of Taylor. There are two strong parties in the town. Some think him guilty, some not. The evidence is very strong against him, as it appears upon the deposition which Simmons left with me to do.
October 15.—In the evening Darling had tea with us, and we looked over Piesse’s book of scraps. It is very amusing. Saper (or Super) was writing for me in the house, and I asked him in to take a glass of grog and a biscuit at 11, when he and Darling left together. Geo. Stone wants to change offices with me, for him to take Crown Solicitor, and I take Sheriff, but Maria advises me to keep what I have and not change, and I am inclined to follow her advice.
October 16.—At work copying depositions Taylor’s case. I found Taylor’s chickens in my vineyard and caught one of them and wrung its neck and dropped it over their fence, as I could see no one about to give it to. Saper (or Super) finished copying Taylor’s depositions, and we examined them. They make 46 folios, which at 3d. per folio, makes 14/3. Very good—for Saper. I shall not give them over without the money being paid.
October 17.—Mrs. Taylor sent the man for the copy of the depositions, together with an impertinent message about her chickens, which are a constant source of annoyance. After dinner walked with Maria, she riding on pony. Went to Mount Eliza. Taylor overtook us on his pony and rode some distance with Maria. He left us at the Point. On coming back, and when we arrived at Darling’s fence, we saw him in his garden and hailed him. He came to his lower gate and asked us to come in. and opened the gate and Maria rode in, and as he pressed us to stay to tea we consented, but Maria rode home after. We had the girls with us. They amused themselves with getting a lot of loquats, which were ripe. We had a famous chat all the evening, and came away soon after eleven. Several ships have come in from South Australia within the last ten days.
October 20.—I purchased 71b. of coir rope at 6d. per lb., from Shenton. He charged 7d. per lb. for the last lot. When I untwisted it there were 15 strands in it. The other had but 12. These strands are not quite so strong as the others were. Called on Simmons about the keg of butter we purchased from him, which is marked 521b., but when weighed it weighed just 521b. cask and all. Simmons was out, but Mrs. S. said we had better take out the butter and send them the cask and Simmons will write to the party from whom he had it and deduct the shortage. The empty cask weighed 161b.
October 21.—Went to my villa grant and met a man who agreed to cut firewood for me at 3/- a cord. Spencer is to cart it in and stack it.
October 23.—Went with Maria as usual. Went under Mount Eliza. Met Mrs. L. Leake, and she told us she hoped her son George was coming to take the Crown Solicitor’s post here, and entered into some explanation about his first having refused the appointment, and then writing to say he would accept it. I said whenever I was required to give it up I was ready, as I could not expect to hold it long.
October 25.—Maria in town looking for a servant to take our servant Ellen’s place (who is ill and leaving). There is great difficulty in getting anyone, as all the girls are getting married, and we are worse off for servant girls than ever, and what there are are a very poor lot and require very high wages.
October 27.—Maria still looking for a servant. I wrote to Dr. Gibson, who came out with the last convict ship, and there were some nice girls of the pensioners. He sent me an answer in the afternoon that he had none left, but recommended a convict man. This Maria won’t hear of.
October 28.—Maria has engaged a young girl who is terribly ignorant of house servants’ work to come and try for a week and she is to come to-morrow.
October 29.—The new servant girl came to her work. She is a fat little thing and very young—about 16. She appears to be a good-tempered girl, and may be useful after she has learned her work. She is an Irish-born girl, but her parents are English. She came from school to be brought out here with the immigrants. We made up our minds that our box can’t be procured from the Morning Star, and that Maria should go down to Fremantle tomorrow morn and learn what is the reason it cannot be sent up.
October 30.—All up early and went down to jetty to see Maria off in the boat. However, when we were on the jetty we saw Morten, the boatman. He said he had a box on board his boat which was alongside the jetty. This saved the necessity of Maria going to Fremantle, and we went for a walk along under Mount Eliza for half-an-hour. As we came back we found the box landed. I walked to Jones, the porter, and sent him down directly for the box, which he rolled up in his barrow. When we opened it we found it
had been left open, and anyone could have taken what they liked. We took all the things out and found some quite spoilt and some much injured and stained by the salt water, as the box had been placed where there was a leak. Nearly everything in the box was wet.
October 31.—The new girl is very slow, but appears willing to learn, and is also very good humoured.
November 1.—Commenced to make a pot of pot pourri.
Put in one pound of rose leaves and a lot of clove pinks and some verbena. I got a little from Mackie and George Shenton.
A Ball at Captain Bruce’s
November 7.—Assisted Maria in completing her sedan chair for this evening’s ball at Captain Bruce’s. I went to Mrs. Mends’s for a practice of a waltz to play with her this evening, and also to Mrs. Simmons. Arranged with Jones, the porter, to be at our house with another man to carry Maria to Bruce’s at half-past eight in the evening, and bring her home again in night. We made the chair very complete, and prepared, in case of rain, to have an oilcloth in front. I rode Nancy to Bruce's, and Maria went in her chair, very comfortable. We were there about half-past nine, and found but half-a-dozen there before us. There were about 60 altogether. We had a very pleasant evening, and the room was well fitted up with flowers and shrubs. Mrs. Mends looked very handsome, but her dress displays rather too much of her charms. Maria and I left about half-past two. She came home very nicely in her chair, and I walked and escorted Mrs. G. Leake. 1 did not dance, nor did Maria, as she was in mourning. I played several times with the flute. Plenty of champagne at supper. Health of the two new married couples and a little speech of the bridegroom.
November 29.—There are five pianos come by Dido. Geo. Stone’s piano arrived in very good order. It cost £25 in London, which is remarkably cheap, as it appears to be a very good one indeed, and looks quite new. It is seven octaves. I tuned it.
December 9.—There was a grand Ethiopian concert at court given by six American singers, who have come in here for a few days in the Royal Saxon. The tickets are 5/- for front seats and 3/- for the back. This is too high. I purchased three half-tickets for the children at 2/6 each
and sent them. The Court House was quite full, and the children came home quite delighted. In the middle of the night we were awakened by the most delightful sounds. I turned out and found that the concert singers were giving the Governor a serenade. It was most exquisite on the silent air of night. They sang for about half-an-hour.
December 10.—Walked with Maria (she on Nancy) under Mount Eliza. The Knights were very busy moving into their new house (Mount House, where John Stone lived afterwards.—C.H.S.). They had a party of soldiers to carry all their traps. They got into the new house today. It is a fine-looking house, and in a famous situation, with a beautiful view of the river and Mount Eliza, and they have a very good road from the upper part into the town.
December 19.—Received an invitation to Knights’ party on the last day of the year in their new house to dance out the old year and in the new.
December 23.—Grand ball at Government House. All the world there but ourselves, and we are not asked, as Mrs. Fitzgerald has taken offence against me without just cause, and I shall not seek her further acquaintance.
December 31.—Grand ball at Knights’ new house. All the world there. Fine weather and a good moon. Maria rode out and stayed at Knights’ instead of coming home (she had sent on her clothes before and dressed there). Will and I fixed up the pony ready to bring her home. We had a pleasant evening. There were 60 or 70 people there. Plenty of dancing. The rooms are large and lofty, and the floor of the dining-room was dry rubbed with wax and turpentine and beautifully smooth. I had tuned up Knight’s piano to concert pitch, and played the flute and sometimes the tambourine. We had a champagne supper and plenty of it on the verandah, which was nicely enclosed. Room for all to sit down comfortably. A very merry party danced out the old year. Went to supper little before one. There were many new faces who had just arrived, amongst others the new Colonial Secretary (Mr. Sandford). Mr. Knight was very active and kept it up with immense spirit until the last. We were the last to leave—after 3 in the morning.
January 1.—A large party dined at Knights’, and kept it up again with champagne dinner and more dancing. Some of. them very merry. There was a cricket match between the Gents and Tradesmen. Won by the latter.
January 3.—Called on Mr. Sandford and Mr. Bell. Left card on the latter and saw the former, and went over his hduse with him. He appears a very pleasant gentleman.
January 5 to 10.—Quarterly sessions on 7th, when the case came on against Taylor for taking a bull feloniously.
The Grand Jury were about two hours settling the bill against Taylor.
January 21.—Went to Simmons’s in the evening. Large party, good singing. I lost 11/6 at cards. Went in Wittenoom’s gig. We had dancing after supper. Miss Bruce gave her head a knock against the door during one of the quick waltzes, which stunned her and nearly broke up the party.
It was quite an accident. She was dancing with Mr. Diett.
A new man came out this evening as a bass singer and managed very well—a Mr. Parry, of the Commissariat office.
January 22.—Had early dinner, and Maria and I started on ponies for Guildford, I with small portmanteau, and Maria with small basket. We went to Jonathan Jones’s in less than two hours. Left ponies at Jones’s and walked to Woodbridge and got over Blackadder Creek, and as we got past Hamersley’s house Mrs. H. and the boys were on this side of the river, and Brockman and his two daughters were just riding off on horseback. We walked up to Mrs. H. and told her we had come to take her at her word by surprise, and she appeared glad to see us, but she rather we had sent notice of our coming. I excused myself by saying I was constantly kept in office, that I never can say to a day when I can get away. We arrived there about 5.30, had an early tea, and, after tea, some music. Edward played the piano, and I on one of Hamersley’s flutes. He has several. They are all French and very fine ones. I like them much better than the English. They produce a very easy tune, and are very sweet in their tone. We kept them up until near 12. I enjoyed the music very much, as it is all new to me. Mr. and Mrs. H. enjoyed it, too, as they like their son to play with someone else.
January 27.—Ship arrived from Adelaide with wonderful news of the gold diggings. They turn up a ton a week
and sometimes more. Vast numbers have left and are daily leaving Adelaide, and the place is ruined for trade. The value of gold is reduced down to 55/- the ounce. Many fine vessels are quietly lying at South Australia without a man on board. The crews desert and start up to the diggings and the fields are enticing all classes.
January 29.—Woodi. my tenant at Beverley, brought me down 41 bushels of wheat for my last half-year’s rent. We borrowed a large pair of steelyards and weighed it all; and I called on all the merchants in the place to learn the market value of wheat, and they all agreed that 5/6 per bushel was a fair price. I therefore allowed him 6/-, which is a fair price as between tenant and landlord. He wanted 7/-, but consented to take it at 6/- when he found I would not allow more. There is still a small balance of two or three pounds which he is to send in money.
January 30.—Rode round to the windmill (Mill Point) and spoke to Lockyer about grinding some wheat for me, and he said he has nothing to do now, and can do it for me at once if we will send it to him.
January 31.—We got about 20 bus. wheat weighed out and got Birn to take it to the jetty on his cart, and borrowed a boat of Stone at jetty and took it over to the Mill with John Birn to help us. Took all the children with me, and we made a picnic of it. Deliverd the wheat to Lockyer and weighed it on his scales, making 1,2191b. I gave him directions to crack about six bushels for the pony, and to grind the remainder into flour, half fine and half household, and let us have it as quickly as he can. We had a sail in the boat, but found her leaking very much, so we came home about five.
February 6.—We regularly take our ride under Mount Eliza. The road round is pretty good for horse, but a cart cannot go beyond the steam mill. (Now the Swan Brewery site.—C.H.S.) The Burgeses are living there now, and we called on them to-day and had a chat. They were in the mill but had not got their furniture. They were just finishing dinner.
February 7.—Maria packed several bunches of grapes— some of the Wortley Hall and the Constantia and the muscatels in boxes and a jar with sawdust, and some with bran, as an experiment. They are not quit ripe. One fine bunch of muscatel weighed rather over 21b., and the berries were fine
and even. J. W. Hardey called on business and stayed to dinner with us; we were just sitting down. He appeared to enjoy the curry we had. We had a long chat about the management of farms and manuring.
February 12.—I had a bit of a breeze with the Governor about the monthly accounts, and advisd him to appoint the sixth of every month to examine all accounts and to devote the day to this alone until all were gone over.
April 4.—Wittenoom preached a very capital sermon for a collection of money for the church, and £20/0/6 was collected at the doors, besides several promises of money to be sent. Wittnoom wrote the sermon especially for the occasion, and it is a very excellent one and very well delivered, as if he really felt it. I wrote an anonymous letter to him enclosing a pound note, and put in post Monday morn. Mary Wittenoom told me in the presence of Wittenoom and Fred she took 5/- to church for the purpose of putting in the plate; but the sermon so affected her that she brought home her 5/-, intending to send a pound, and she considered it her duty; but by this it will deprive her of going to the race ball, as she cannot afford both. I hope it may be so, that she will keep her word.
April 5.—The church tower is carried up to full eight of the brickwork—about 40 feet above the church wall. The men are plastering the outside. It looks very well.
April 12.—In the morn Clifton came to consult me on a law case he had in the court. He came late last evening and talked for some time, much to my annoyance.
April 13.—In the Court until about 3 p.m. A long case of Clifton’s, in which he got flurried and had to pay about £20 costs, which he might have saved by sending to me f particulars of his case two months ago-; but he chose to write me a very insulting letter which I so very much resented that I withdrew from any further acting in his matter.
April 14.—There was a man stabbed on the racecourse by a policeman. He was attacked by three ticket-of-leave holders, and being alone on the course, and on foot, he drew his sword and cut the three of the men down. One he ran through with his sword, and cut the others over the head, but neither very seriously as it turned out. The man most hurt was the one stabbed. He was brought into hospital.
Off to the Races
April 16.—I intended to have started at 10 for the races when, just as the hour approached, a man came to inquire if the meeting of the Bishops was to be here or at the Court House. I recollected that I had appointed a meeting of the R.C. Bishops with the Commissioner at my office. They came tolerably punctual, and I told them I was engaged to go to the races, and Maria came in and, before we commenced talking, told Dr. Brady she hoped he would make the matter short. But they kept me until after 11.30. We started directly—everything being ready—and rode up to the course in half-an-hour, which was pretty well for little Nancy. She cantered all very merrily with Maria, who sported her habit and looked very nicely. We had very good running, but lost the first heat. The Champion Cup was a capital race—one heat three miles, and run at great speed. Two of the horses, Madok and Driver, ran close together throughout, and came in close. Driver won by half a neck. A horse of Hamersley’s was thrown down by striking the post just at the turn for the last run in, ridden by young Walcott, who, trying to get the inside, hit the post with the horse’s shoulder, and horse and man went down with a terrible crash. The rider, very providentially, fell on the off side clear of the horse, and the horse turned a complete somersault and came over on its back with its tail first. However, they were both up in a few seconds, and the man mounted, but did not attempt to follow. Walcott rode the next race and was not hurt, but the mare was seriously injured, and when sent to Guildford by one of Hamersley’s men, he mounted her and I suppose by some folly threw her down again and broke his arm. It would have been wiser not to have mounted her, but led her home. She is now probably injured more seriously than by the first fall. There was no other accident.
I took Maria and Emma Helms to the race ball at Carr’s. Tickets, 21/- for gent, and two ladies. Most of the elite were there. The Governor and his lady came about 10 p.m. The room was very well filled and looked very gay. Mrs. Leake lent her piano and played a good deal. Dancing was kept up with great soirit the whole evening. There were more red coats than usual, while two or three blue uniforms made the scene gay. The refreshment room was at the end little room, and the tables were covered the whole evening with all that was necessary, and very good, with wine ad lib.,
which I think is a good arrangement. Many of the gents called for champagne, which they paid for as extra. The Governor danced three or four times a little, and Mrs. Fitzgerald every quadrille. The Governor won’t let her waltz. Maria went in her sedan chair very comfortably, had old Tom and a man named Kennedy who carried her very well, and she made old Tom stay in the kitchen all the evening to protect the house, and ordered him to come at two, which they did very punctual, and Emma left with us. The Governor stayed till past one o’clock, and appeared to enjoy the scene very much. The whole went off very well.
April 12 (Easter Monday).—Grand cricket match between Gents, and Mechanics. Latter beat. I was umpire for the former, Chipper for the Mechanics. Had lunch on the ground.
April 15.—The Governor raised my salary after I made a great fight for it.
May 16.—Called on Wittnoom after church. He is very hoarse. A great many people are ill with colds. At Fremantle many people have been ill with a kind of yellow fever.
May 17.—Firewood is now 11/- a cord. There is no butter in the market to be purchased, and we are now just out and don’t know what to do. We got one pound from Helms, for which he charged 2/6 per lb. Tub butter is selling at Fremantle at 3/- and 3/6 when to be got, but that is only now and then. Haggar’s Arab horses make the street quite gay. They are very pretty creatures, and must be very expensive to keep in this place with hay at £10 per ton. I got a quarter ton from Smith, of the Helena, at £9 last week, and we had the promise of more at the same price.
May 20.—Fine bright day. The wind in the south, and not a cloud. The air very cold, but the sun warm in day time. Most delicious weather for idle people, but very terrible for the farmer. Lambs are dying by hundreds, as the mothers cannot support them, the feed being dried up, and there is no ploughing to be done, as theAground is so very hard and dry. The crop will be very light, which will be injurious.
May 21.—Called on Wittenoom and arranged with him about a little concert to be given on Tuesday next at the
ceremony of laying the first stone of the Mechanics' Institute, when his pupils—a lot of tradesmen—are to show off in a small way, and I have promised to assist with my flute.
May 22.—I blew an emu egg for Mac (Judge Mackie). Got nearly a pint of stuff from it. Took it to Mac in the morning, and he was much pleased with it. Maria made two famous cakes with the produce of the emu egg. About 8 p.m. I went to Wittenoom’s to practise music with his pupils for the concert. They did their parts very well, and I was much pleased. I played the first fiddle parts with them to put them in the way of it, which encouraged them. Horace Simpson was there, and will play the second fiddle with Billy Clare. Horace was much pleased with the performance. We meet again on Monday.
May 24.—Practised with Wittenoom’s band in the afternoon. Wittenoom was obliged to leave us at 6 p.m., as he was to go to Government House to dinner. There was a ball in the evening at Government House. We are not invited to Government House, as the little woman does not choose to invite me for fancying I insulted her, and I don’t mean to make any defence where I feel I have not been wrong.
May 25.—Went to the Court House to have a final practice with Wittenoom’s band. Very late in starting—barely light enough to finish our work. There were plenty people arranging for the tea meeting in the evening. The first stone of the Mechanics’ Institute was laid to-day by the Governor, and a luncheon at the Court House to all who chose to go. The Governor and most of the principal officers of State were there and made merry. At seven I went with all my family to the tea meeting, and there was a very interesting sight there with about 300 of the principal mechanics of the place, and most of the gentle part of the community, which made a very pretty appearance. There were three long tables down the whole length of the Court room, leaving the platform for the band. The music was very unexciting, as it was selected by Wittenoom from his old-fashioned music, and does not suit the taste of the public. There was a set of hand bells got up by Leonard ( ?), which went very well; they played in the gallery. There were several capital speeches by Roe (Captain J. S. Roe, R.N., the president), and Mr. Secretary Sandford; and between each
speech we played a tune and sometimes the bells struck up. The whole thing was a very pleasant evening.
May 28.—A grand bachelors’ ball is to come off next Friday, and the invitations are out to-day. Captain Sand-ford brought our invitation in person.
May 30.—The Raleigh came in from England with 200 immigrants and a large mail; latter did not come up until late at night.
A Mechanics’ Institute Concert
May 31.—Plenty business all day with the R.C. Bishop Brady and his party. Got my letters this morning with a B/lading from Nesbit, for a lot of things for Geo. Stone, and two boxes for self with Maria’s new drab habit for riding. Long conference with Mr. Taylor about a concert to come off in a few weeks for the purpose—as I suggested —for a musical class in the Mechanics’ Institute, and to get a good piano to be used at the institution, and for the purpose of hiring out, for public balls, etc., on such occasions as the president of the institution shall think proper. When 1 thought the thing very feasible and suggested that he should see Mr. Wittenoom and prepare a programme, I said I could take no active part in the matter, but would allow my name to be used as the conductor, upon the understanding that Mr Wittenoom’s band, as I call them, are all to be made useful, as one of the objects I would propose as to bring out the young hands amongst the mechanics themselves.
June 2.—Mr. Will Clifton called to have a talk about the concert proposed, and said that if I saw no objection and would join the thing he considered that Joseph Bell and Parry would be sufficient as vocalists for a beginning, and that we should do very well if we could master the instrumental, and I thought Mrs. Wittenoom would undertake the piano. Taylor'afterwards came to me and produced a programme which I think will do, and he undertakes to drill the two first violins, if Wittenoom will undertake for the same with the two seconds. I called on Wittenoom and told him the progress that was making, and both he and Mary appeared to enter into the matter con amore. Taylor sent the programme to Wittenoom while I was there, and they both appeared to like it.
June 5.—A famous lot of emigrants have come out in the Raleigh.
June 12.—The concert for the 18th is going on and parts practising at Wittenoom’s. There are to be six pieces in each act, and two acts between an equal division of instrumental and vocal. Mr. Taylor is a great pest to me, calling every day, which was not what I meant at all, as I am so very much kept during day and working at night. I have not a minute to myself.
June 15.—Went to Wittenoom’s to practise. The young fiddlers got on very well, considering the short time they have been at it.
June 17.—Had a grand musical rehearsal at the Court House. All parties met there but Mrs. Taylor, and the thing went off very well, but Taylor, as usual, was excessively vulgar and insulted everyone in the place with his rudeness. He was so offensive to poor Wittenoom that the latter so far forgot himself as to lose his temper and told the fellow that he was very impertinent. Taylor found fault with everything, and was very bad as usual when he played his part—worse than anyone.
June 24.—The concert came off very well, but the Taylors regularly sold us and would not play at all. Just as I expected, but we were prepared at all points, and did very well without them, and the people expressed themselves very well satisfied.
June 30.—In the evening we heard that the Captain of the Louisa (Douglas) was drowned on the bar. Coming over, the boat was swamped by the heavy roll and strong current running out. There were several with him in the boat, but the others were all saved by the police boat, which went to them very promptly.
July 4 (Sunday).—The Bishop (Dr. Short) had confirmation at church. jemima (Sis) and Will were confirmed. There were about 20 altogether. They looked very nice, and were arranged in the front pews with their caps on the young girls; but Wittenoom made a mistake and called the boys out first..
July 30.—Walked with Maria over the Causeway. There are a lot of prisoners working there at the further bridge. They are pulling out the old piles.
August 3.—Hay is now £16 per ton delivered in Perth. The farmers are complaining terribly of the wind and rain.
August 23.—Flour is £40 per ton and hay £20. Two ships have arrived from South Australia. The accounts from the diggings are very flattering. It appears from report we are to have no more regular soldiers here after this lot go away, but plenty of pensioners.
August 28.—Mail came from Sound with the first steamer from England. I had a letter dated 30/5/52, which is less than three months. She has brought a lot of goods for this place, but it will be very inconvenient. The freight is £6 per ton, and the expenses from the Sound to this place will be £3 more. The mail came up by a man on horseback in nine days, so that the steamer arrived about the 18th instant at the Sound. She left England about June 3, and touched at the Cape.
September 6.—News arrived in Fremantle in the morning of the wreck of the Eglinton ship of 500 tons from England somewhere on the North Beach, and the Governor madly ordered Mr. Roe and Fred Wittenoom to go off to her, which they did as soon as they could get away. There were a great many people went up from Perth and Fremantle. She ran upon a reef between 40 and 50 miles above Fremantle. She has 25 passengers, cabin and steerage. The people were all saved but two—the boatman and an old lady passenger, who were drowned by the boat upsetting just as they landed. Much of the cargo will be saved. There are £15,000 for the Commissariat, and a very valuable cargo of goods for the merchants. One of the passengers, a Mr. Fauntleroy, is a man of considerable property, and come to settle. His goods are insured for £2,800, and he has £500 to £600 in cash. Many of the passengers are not insured, and have lost everything.
September 7-10.—There has been a great sensation about the wreck. The Governor sent off Fred Wittenoom on Thursday morn as a magistrate to take charge of the property of the wreck, but Fred ought not to have gone as he is sheriff and cannot legally act as a magistrate; but I did not like to damp his ardour.
September 14.—Several of the people have come in from the wreck and are at Carr’s.
September 17.—Lots of cargo saved from the wreck. There is a sale of the things every day at Fremantle as they bring the things down. Many things not at all damaged.
October 3 (Sunday).—Mr. Pownall, a new clergyman from the Sound who lately arrived there, did the service and Wittenoom assisted in Communion. The new man appears a very excellent man, and gave us a very good sermon, and he preached a good scriptural sermon with much effect. Wittenoom is not looking well. Mr. Pownall expects to be stationed at York as the field of his labours. In the afternoon walked out with Maria; made a call or two.
October 4 (Monday).—Plenty rain early in morn. Overcast, very black and heavy, and rather cool. No wind; quite calm.
Garry Gillard | New: 7 October, 2020 | Now: 7 October, 2020