In Search of Ngurabirding-Part 4(b)

This post is continued from Part 4 (a) previous:
John McKail and George Cheyne: Town, Sea or Land?

 

albany-to-cape-riche-von-summer-1848Above: John McKail arrived at Albany immediately prior to the 19th Century’s great off-shore whaling boom (1836-1842), a phenomena which should have resulted in much greater migration of moneyed settlers to the area despite world-wide economic recession. But King George’s Sound was already a hard-sell being neither farming country nor flush with Colonial resources and it’s chances were halved again as it was left to languish in the shadow of Sir James Stirling’s beloved but deeply troubled Swan River settlement, Perth. Image:  King Georges Sound to Cape Riche  Survey by F. Von-Summer, 1848.

 

At Albany, George Cheyne escaped the self-serving clutches of Richard Spencer’s local governance by removing himself eastwards up the coast in order to take advantage of the shipping traffic, but the ex-garrison’s tiny population still improved by way of labouring class and small-time investment level immigrants. After Cheyne, Spencer, Sherratt and Symers, only one other man was persuaded to take a big-time investment plunge at Albany. Captain John Hassell did so from 1839 with the most Machiavellian of land-based assaults, thereby commencing the highly competitive South Coast pastoralist era, subject of the In Search of Ngurabirding sub-series. In the meantime, McKail’s sea-based heritage, modest means and exploitative trader mentality, along with his sizable persona and penchant for social discourse (pub-going), kept him focused on the settlement’s immediate facilities and short to medium-term prospects, the result of which came to serve him well.

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Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – 3 (c)

Bob Gamble, John Bailey Pavey & Black Jack Anderson

 

Trug and GA Rob Cartoon (2)Above: The story of Truganini, perhaps Australia’s best known female Aboriginal ancestor, extends through her sisters and other women like her, via Kangaroo Island, all the way to King George’s Sound. Cartoon image by Chris Grosz, taken from the politics, society and culture magazine The Monthly, May, 2012.

While the populace and commercial appetite of wider New South Wales, provided by their fifty year head start, roused the envy of the ambitious who had decided to settle in the paralysed West, Governor Stirling’s prized convict-free idyll  also caught the flotsam of the social and economic tumult fermenting across the Bight. Continue reading

Campbell Taylor and Cape Arid Connection – Part 2

Originally Published 30 April 2015:

The 1840s

 

Candyup from the west side (640x480)

Above: The Lower Kalgan River meanders past Mount Boyle into Oyster Harbour and King George’s Sound reflecting the rural idyll of old Albany. Campbell Taylor’s childhood home lay on the upper part of the hill. Built in 1837 by his father Patrick, the living room gave commanding views, a sweeping landscape of trees, grass and water to the south and west. The Taylor property was given the name Glen Candy, while the hillside area itself became known as Candyup. Nobody knows if the name is of Aboriginal or European origin. Photo source also unknown.

 

Campbell Taylor was five when the family returned to the Candyup homestead in 1848.

Born at the Vasse River, he was brought to Albany with the rest of the family in October 1843 when he was just ten months old. After three damaging and dangerous years at Cattle Chosen his father wanted nothing more than to escape the Bussells and go back to a place that was both safe and his, but the Candyup house had fallen into disrepair and the grounds overgrown, so Patrick moved the family into the second of his town cottages, the one on the foreshore, Lot 23, Lower Stirling Terrace. Here Christina Capel Taylor was born and for reasons of proximity and economy the family ended up staying for the next five years. Continue reading

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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