Originally Published 16 July 2014:
Down On His Luck by Frederick McCubbin; National Gallery of Victoria
I fell for Campbell Taylor’s history for a whole lot of reasons, not least because he was among a select group of sons to first Albany settlers. These sons will come to occupy slabs of space in future history books relating to settlement along the South Coast, but only when their endeavors are properly researched. Taylor was a contemporary of the Belches, Symers, Gillam, Dunn, Moir, Wellstead and Dempster families, between them pioneer settlers from Albany to Cape Arid. The Dunn family being of primary interest for now.
Originally Published 27 June 2014:
Other people who are relevant to these pages during the 1840’s and onwards include the ex naval Lieutenant Peter Belches and the former East India Company men John Laurence Morley and Thomas Lyell Symers. We’re also interested in what Captain John Hassell and his wife Ellen got up to, what developments George Cheyne was able to forge and the arrival of John McKail, Hugh & John McKenzie and Thomas Meadows Gillam. Also, the ever shifting fortunes of the ship’s carpenter James Dunn.
Above: This pencil and wash sketch of Albany dated February 1854 shows the village status of the town at that time. The jetty in the foreground, commenced by McKail and Dunn in the Spring of 1837, was 75 yards long and located where the Marina and Boatshed Markets are today. McKail had blocks at the foot of the jetty and along Stirling Terrace just east of the London Hotel where (probably) he and James Dunn lived during that time. The sketch is unattributed.
Originally Published 20 June 2014:
Australia Map 1851: Drawn and engraved by J Rapkin. Illustrations by J. Marchant.
The story behind Albany’s early characters, both European and Indigenous, has as much about it as any great Australian drama. Most readers should now recognise the centrality of the Taylor’s of Candyup to this work. The experience of the Taylor’s tells an inclusive story of Albany, which in itself tells the story of the South Coast and on again as settlement of the South Coast helps tell the West Australian and All-Australian stories of how we got to where we are today.
The story behind this particular group of characters, who came together in the remote coastal setting of King George’s Sound during the 1830’s, has as much about it as any colonial history, told or untold. It is not the making of a great world power, but is every bit as compelling in its own unique way.
Originally Published 4 June 2014:
I thought I’d deviate for a moment and try and pull Patrick’s epic year of 1837 a little more together. That way it’s done properly and I won’t need to come back to it. It’ll be worth it, because this was no ordinary time.
Specifically, I want to try and find out who William was, the King George’s Sound native mentioned in the previous post and described in the Bussell family diaries, and whether or not it was him who lost his life at Garden Island. Also, I want to look more closely at the Albany/Perth expedition hosted by Dr Joseph Harris and Alfred Hillman in February of that year and Patrick’s role in joining it. I want to see if he had attached himself to any particular Aboriginal help by that time and if so, who it might have been. There is also the very interesting case of the Albany Aborigines going to Perth as a group subsequent to the death of the Albany man in Patrick’s company on Garden Island that year. As a back drop to this is the September wedding and the violence which broke out at the Bussell homestead, ‘Cattle Chosen’, ahead of it, and I want to try and see how exposed Patrick and Mary were to what happened. All of this took place within a colony beset by wider settler/native aggressions and an almost desperate sense of economic ill health.
Epic, just about describes it.
Originally Published 28 May 2014:
Above: Henry Camfield spent ten years roaming the Swan River, Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales looking for love. When he found it, it came in the form of an orphan girl, Annie Breeze, but there were to be no children of their own. Painting; The Lovers, by Willliam Powell Frith.
As I set about constructing each of these posts I’m reminded by the content that I’m writing about a band of settlers who are known. What it feels like I’m doing is reinforcing the influence of an already established group. It’s a struggle to deal with that until I remember that in our white post-colonial world recorded history is all there is. You can only review the evidence. So, The View’s look back can only ever be about revising what’s already known while trying to find something recorded that hasn’t been added or discussed yet.
Originally Posted 22 May 2014:
The Bussell family eventually prospered at ‘Cattle Chosen’ but had to get tough first.
The Bussell’s were lucky to get something of a windfall every time one of the children turned 21, but by 1837 the reverend’s life-insurance policy had paid out in full and without Capel Carter back in England sending their goods and offering her help they were well and truly on their own. By this time, they had at least borne the brunt of those early set backs and ‘Cattle Chosen’ was beginning to look like a viable life choice. Having just survived though, the Bussells were keen to shed their liabilities.
Originally Posted 18 May 2014:
Kirktonhill, Marykirk, Aberdeenshire, ancestral home of Patrick Taylor Esq, original settler at Albany, Western Australia
For now, back to the love story of Patrick Taylor and Mary Bussell.
We know the two met on the ship James Pattison which arrived in Albany on June 19th, 1834, after eighteen and a half weeks at sea. Of their individual stories we know Mary was the second eldest in a family of nine children and that she and her mother sailed out to the Swan River Colony as solution to the family’s future four years after her brothers had set out to establish their place of living there, and fully fourteen after her father’s untimely death. The Bussell family, in the absence of their father, seems to have functioned as a business, or at least very strictly upon the money they had and shared as a group. The family decided to emigrate to the Swan River Colony at the height of its pre-establishment popularity because they thought it would not only make best use of the set amount of money they had, but (because there were six brothers) give them all a far more equal opportunity.