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AN AUSTRALIAN CENTENARY. I
FOUNDATION OF HOBART.
A hundred yeal s ago t>vo Interesting ex I perimcnts in eolonisation were made by the British Government, the results of which were widely different One was the estab hshmcnt of a convict settlement on the Der went, in what wa. then knowoi as \ran Die men's Land, and the other was m abortive attempt to found a similar settlement in Port Phillip These two schemes were so clo6elj connected that their story can best be told together The j ear 1802 w-is a cnu cal time in the history of Europe, as well as of 4.ustialm The peace of Amiens, between Trance on the one part and England, Spain, and Holland on the other, was signed in Alarch, but it was not expected to last long AA'ar, m fact, broke out ogam in May, 1803 riance had lately been paying much atten tion to the nenlv discovered lands in the
South Seas, and in October, 1S00, when Bonaparte was Tirst Consul, a scientific ex pedition, consisting of tivo ships, G"o graphe and Ivaturahste, under Commander Baudin, sailed from Havre, amidst great public demonstrations, on a vojage of dis covery \lthough England and France wore at war, the Admiralty granted Baudin a passport, on the ground that scientific ex peditions should be exempt from hostilities It was, however, suspected that the real object of the expedition was to establish a Flench colony on the coast of New Holland as \usrraha was then ca'led This expedí lion caused much perturbation in Loudon and Sydney, and it was decided to occupy Van Diemen'» Land, which m 1798 had been proved to be an «land On August 31, 1803 Lieutenant John Bowen with tho armed tender Lady Nelson and the »vhaler Vlbion sailed fiom Port Jackson and he arnved in the Denvcnt on Sunday, September 12 1S03 in the Albion The Lad} Nelson had arnved five dajs before, on September 7 The later date is regarded as the birthday of the colony (now state) of Tasmania Lieu tenant Bowen chose Rmdon Cove on the left bnnk of the Dciwcnt a few miles above Hobart, as the Bite for his set tlcmcnt Among the settlers were 21 mala convicts and an overseer and three women, besides the officers and two free settlers. About two months later
the colony hat! increased to 100 souls
PORT PIIIMJP EPISODL.
In the meantime éventa were in progress elbcwherc that were ultimatol» to put an end to tins the eai liest, settlement in Tas mama On Mav 21, 1802, toou otter the aim al of the Trench ship Naturaliste but before Commander Baudin in the Geo
graphe, had reached Port Jackson, Gover nor King sent a despatch to the Bntish Go »eminent, urging the importance of found ing a colony in Port Phillip »vlueh short!) before had been visted bv Commander Murray and Lieutenant Boiven (foun der of tlie Risdon settlement), and tho rougldy sun0}ed by Flinders, who en tered the harbour on \pnl 27 lb02 in the Investigator 1 he British Government decided to folio»» Governor King's advice, and on April 24 1803 n AI S Calcutta, »vhich was under orders to take to Ne»v South Wales 400 convicts and 50 free settlers, and the transport ship Ocean 481 tons sailed from Spithcad for Port Phillip Lieut Colonel David Collins a native of Ireland, aged 47, »»ho »vhen Go vernor Phillip smled for New Holland in 1788, accompanied lum as judge advocate was placed in command as Governor of the intended settlement Collins seems to have been well fitted for hw position Ho was a remarkably handsome man, with delightful manners and no little tact m managing men It was his fate to bo the real founder of Tasmania and to narrovvly escape being the forand"r of Arictona
The Calcutta was commanded by Captain Daniel AVoodriff who had been in New South AVales m 1702 3 his first lieutenant being Lieutenant J K Tuckev a young Irishman of much cn.org» and ability who In ISOo published an account of the expedí
tion In the Calcutta »vent besides Gover nor Collins Lieutenant Sladden first lieu tenat of marines the Re» R Knopwood, chaplain, who wrote a diary of the voyage and Mr AVilliam I'\nson principal sur- geon The vessel took 307 male convicta, and their military guard \fter an unevent- ful »ojoge in the course of which the ex pedition called at Tencriile Rio de laneiro and the Cape, the Calcutta entered Poit Phillip Heads on Ootober 0 the Ocean hu»
ing alreadv arrived Both vessels authored about a mile and a half cast of the entrance Collins and A\ oodnfl immediately went on ahme but returned in the evening report mrf that there was no water nnd that the soil was poor and sandv Two more days w ere spent In exploring the western 6ide of the bay, but with no better result It was, hoivever, necessary to unload the ships as the Calcutta had to go on to Port Jock son and the Ocean to China On October 13, the fourth dav after their arrival. Collins went on shore with Woodnff at a bav on the east side of the harbour, near where Sorrento now stands, and hero good water »vns found It w as decided to remain here for a time, as the Governor lind already made up his mind that Port Phillip waa not suited for a settlement Lieutenant Tuckey and two others wore sent in a launch to the north west, and reached Corio Baj near the site of Geelong The) found plenty of snakes and insects, but water was scarce,
and the party was attacked by 200 blacks
Collins, in a despatch to Lord Hobart, dated November 14, wrote-'Were I to settle m the upper part of the harbour which is full of natives, I should require four times the force I have now to guard not only the comncts but perhaps myself, from attack ' Ho continued ' It may not ha\c entered into jour contemplation that there are at this time between 300 and 400 people sitting down cheerfully with no other or more certain supply of »vater than »vhat is filtered dailj through the perfor ated sides of six or eight cas! s which are sunk in the sand " In the banic letter Col lins declares that the bay when viewed in a commercial light is »»hollv unfit for the purposes of a settlement, ' being situated in a deep and dangcious bight, between Cana Otway and Point Schanck, to enter which must even require a well
manned and w eil found ship a leading wind, and a certain time of tide " He adds
AVhen all the disad» antages attending this baj are public!) known it cannot be «up posed that commercial people »vill be ver) desirous of visiting Port Phillip ' Within 50 jears from this date Hoi son's Bay won crowded w ith shipping ind passengeis were being landed at the rate of 1,000 a week fiom all parts of the »vorld
VA ILU »31 UUCKLF J
The partv lemimed on this spot between three and four months camped in tents Here the first w hite native ol Victoria, M il ham James Hobart Thorne son of a marine was bora on November 25 The first couple mai ned were Richard Gai ritt, a con vict and Hannah Hnvey, a tree settler on November 28 and the first death was that of John Skilhorne a scttlei on Octo ber 10 Altogether thcie »vero 21 deaths but no moro bnths Vt first the geneiol health was good, but in a few »\ceks sick ness broke out and at one time theie a»ere 30 persons under medical treatment Tho convicts soon began to cause trouble Three men deserted and within a week theie »veie
12 missing Pu ties started in pursuit, anl 60 miles from the camp five of the desertéis »»ere captured and brought back The)
each icceived 100 lashes Still desertions
continued, though some of the runaways returned of their o»m accoid, m a state of illness and exhaustion, having tra»ellcd over 100 miles, living on gum and shellfish Se»eral were shot or captured but when
Collins left se»en were left behind in th bush ihc lnstoiy of one of thom was re mallabie William Buckle» an c\soldier escaped from the camp on December 27, and nothing mole was lieaid of him until, on Jul) 12, 183J, he came upon tho camp of John Batman, one of the founders of Mel bourne lor near!) 32 yeais ho had lived among tho natives without e»er .eeing a white man and endming innuincinble hard ships lie was pudoned, and settled in lasmanm. »»here he died in 1S56 aged 70 )ears His huge ungoinl) form" (he was nenily Oft Gin in hoight) "and heavy fact,
wrote Mr J B AValker in 1889, 'were familiar in the streets of Hobart in the me nor» ot man) now li» ing "
MCWL TO TH1 DLHWENT
Vt length, on Januaiv 27, 1804, Collins and hii paitv enibnikcd on the Ocean and the Lad» Nelson and on January 30 sailed out of Poit Phillip foi the Dement wheie it lind been decided tinta settlement should
be tcimed bj Gov II nor Collins Lieutenant luckc) »vritmg of the dcpartuie makes the unluckv piedietion, 'The kangaroo seems to io gn undisturbed lord of the soil
a dominion »vlueh by the evacuation of Port Phillip, he is lil el) to retain foi ages ' It is remarkable that dut ing his ktij in Port Phillip Collins neglected to explote the head of the harboui This is the more inexplicable as the Cal cutta actually nnehoied in Hobson s Bay off the site ot \\ dliamstown, and took away 50 tons of water from the Yarra Yet no attempt was made to etplorc the nver It was at first uncertain whethei Collins would remove his party to Port Dalrymple, on the north coast of Tas mania, at the mouth of the Tamar, or to
the Derwent but after an examination of the northern port he decided in favour of the Derwent The two vessels eutercd the nver on February 5 1804 and COIIIUB. after inspecting Risdon decided that it wat not a suitable site for a town With excellent judgment he chose Sullivan's Cove, and there a settlement wa» formed, th* whole of the party landing on February ». Xtw Button opfopj, .wbiclj. had bees
named Hobart, was abandoned, and the new settlement was called Hobart Town, a name which the city retained until 1881, when it vvas ohangea to Hobart The de cisión of Collins to abandon Port Phillip was fortunate for the future colony of Aric tona and ita capital, which vv ere thus sav ed from becoming a convict settlement The date of his embarkation January 27 1804 is therefore deserving of being remembered by all A'lctoroins Mi J B AValkci an authonty on the evily history of the island colony, wntes -'The reil history of Tas mania as an English colony begins with the depirture from England in the spring of 1803 of the expedition of Lieutenant-Go vernor Collins the founder of Hobart
Colbus's expedition Ins absolutely nothing to do -vv lth the biston of our Vir
tonan neighbours The sandhills of Port Phillip merely served for a month or two as a resting place for the colonists on their way to the Derwent The story of those months is an essential part of the history of the first settlers of Hobart "