The Gun

Originally Posted 4 July 2014:

 

Double Barrel Shot Gun 1841

Above: A double-barrel, break action, breech loading shotgun with innovative Pinfire mechanism first patented in France during 1846. Probably the type of gun Edward John Eyre sent Wylie two years later to commemorate their famous walk of 1841. Unattributed photograph from the public domain.

During the winter of 1848, a week after Reverened Wollaston arrived at Albany to find the roof of the church still not on, the ship Arpentuer arrived into Princess Royal Harbour bearing a parcel for the local native, Wylie.  Though the package was wrapped, its contents were easily recognisable.
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Wylie – Who was he?

Originally Published 7 May 2014:

There are many artistic impressions of Wylie and Eyre (usually together), all inspired by their remarkable story of survival. Few, if any of those are accurate portraits. There are sketches, drawings and photographic images of Eyre made during his Colonial career which show us what he looked like, but very few of Wylie. I went in search of images and information that could bring us closer to who this young South Coast Noongar actually was.

 

Wylie - old engraving

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Taking Advantage

Originally Published  5 May 2014:

” The Cleveland was making its way across the Great Australian Bight, a bleating hulk reeking of sheep shit and urea, butting against the waves like an angry Highland Ram. “

 

East - west across the Great Australian Bight runs counter to the prevailing wind. In 1840, it took the full month of February for the heavily laden Cleveland to sail from Adelaide to King George's Sound. The sailing foreshadows a later overland journey between the two places made by Edward John Eyre, the owner of the Cleveland's cargo on that voyage.

East – west across the Great Australian Bight runs counter to the prevailing wind. In 1840, it took the full month of February for the heavily laden Cleveland to sail from Adelaide to King George’s Sound.

The Cleveland was a transport ship hired by an icon of early Australian exploration, Edward John Eyre. He was 24 when he made the crossing from South Australia and familiarised himself with the far south-west corner of the continent for the first time. During that trip Eyre met a young Noongar boy whose name he recorded as WYLIE. Wylie went to Adelaide with Eyre when Eyre returned to South Australia six or seven weeks later, afterwards making the journey back to  Menang Noongar country by foot; a walk which made both of them famous.

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