Death of Mr. B. H. Babbage.
The announcement of the death of Mr. B. Herschel Babbage, which appears in our obituary column, will occasion surprise to most of our readers, as it has not been
generally known that he was in failing health, and it is only a few months since his name came before the public as that of an aspirant for legislative honours. We learn that Mr. Babbage had not been in his usual state of health for some few months past, and that his death was not unexpected by his own relations and imme- diate friends. He died at his residence, St. Mary's, South-road, on Tuesday, October 22, at the age of sixty-three years, Mr. Babbage, who was a son of the cele- brated inventor of the calculating machine, was educated as an engineer, and for a consider- able time was engaged in his profession in Europe. He was employed as Assistant Engi- neer at the Bristol end of the great Northern Railway for about four years, and subsequently for about half that time on the works between Chippenham and Swinden of the same railway. He was afterwards engaged in superintending the construction of the Bristol half of the Bristol and Gloucester Railway. Subsequently he laid out for Mr. Brunel a railway across the Apennines from Genoa to Milan. The laying out of this work and the preparation of the plans occupied about four years, during which time Mr. Babbage had a commission from the Government of Piedmont to report on a line across the Alps by way of Mont Cenis. His next engagement was by an English Company, to report on a line of railway from Milan, taking the Adriatic coast to Rome and returning by the west side of the Apennines to Florence. After that he was Acting Engineer under Mr. Brunel, and subsequently Engineer-in-Chief in laying out and constructing a railway from Florence to Pistoja. He resided in Tuscany four years, before the expiration of which time he com- pleted and opened this line for about half its length, namely as far as Prato. The progress of the remainder of the line was interrupted by the revolution, and Mr. Babbage returned to England. The line was however completed some time after from his plans by an Italian engineer. On returning to England the sub- ject of this notice was appointed an Engineering Inspector under the General Board of Health, and was engaged in reporting upon the water supply, sewerage, and sanitary condition of towns in England. Mr. Babbage arrived in South Australia in the ship Hydaspes in November, 1851, and in the following year we find that he received several appointments, including those of Com- missioner to Issue Gold Licences, Geological and Mineralogical Surveyor, Government Assayer, and Justice of the Peace. He was one of the first members of the Philosophical Society, which he joined in 1853 and of which he was a corresponding member until the time of his death. Mr. Babbage will also be remem- bered as having been the first Engineer of the Port Railway, the premier line of South Australia. He was also an explorer of some note, having been to Lake Torrens, when he discovered the MacDonnell River, St. Mary's Pool, Blanchewater,and the surrounding country. After this expedition he was elected to the first Parliament under the new Constitution, when he represented Encounter Bay in the House of Assembly in conjunction with Mr. A. F. Lindsay. He only retained the position for nine months, however, having resigned in December. 1857, when he was appointed to the command of a northern explor- ing expedition. Although his preceedings in this enterprise did not meet with entire approval, it may be mentioned as showing the confidence which was reposed in him that the Chief Secretary, Mr. Younghusband, stated in Parliament before he left with his party that Mr. Babbage had shown "particular qualifications" for this service by the endurance, courage, and energy he displayed on the previous expedition. He possesses moreover (Mr. Younghusband added) scientific qualifications of a high order which are not easily found combined in one man, with the necessary exploring qualifications of endurance, energy, and perseverance. Of late years Mr. Babbage had not appeared much in public life. He announced him- self, however, as a candidate at the late election of members to the Legislative Council. His characteristic and straight- forward address to the electors attracted a good deal of attention at the time, and the first three paragraphs of the advertisement are worth reproducing here. He wrote :— "I beg to offer myself as a candidate for one of the existing vacancies in the Council ; but at the same time I beg respectfully to inform you that it is not my intention either to canvass or in any way to solicit your votes. I consider these matters to be your duties and not my business. If my services are worth having it is surely worth your while to secure them by taking the trouble of electing me. Indepen- dent in circumstances, I have no object to promote in offering myself except our country's welfare, especially as I am dead against payment of members. Even if my health at the present moment allowed it I should decline to go about amongst you to electioneering meetings, now at one public-house, now at another, as is too generally done at these times. Such conduct is, I think, unworthy of a gentleman or a legislator. The votes of the publicans and their friends may be secured by these means, but at the expense of how many a deeper stain upon the souls of the intemperate village politicians who remain to drink and discuss the proceedings of these meetings over the tankard." Mr. Babbage was one of the first in the field, but he did not go to the poll, as a large number of candidates came forward after he had announced his intention to stand. The deceased gentleman lived for many years at St. Mary's, on the South-road. He had an excellent vineyard there, and devoted a great deal of attention to winemaking. He has left several children. The Late Rev. Octavius Hammond. A telegram was received on October 15 announcing the death on that day of the Rev. Octavius Hammond, of Port Lincoln. The deceased gentleman came out to this colony as a layman. He had been in England, a medical man of good reputation, and at the famous enquiry respecting the Andover Workhouse in his medical capacity gave evidence which the Times distinguished with the highest praise for its honesty, intelligence, and humanity. He was employed by the South Australian Govern- ment in the Assay, and whilst he held that appointment relinquished medical practice. At that time he rendered good service in the Church of England as a lay reader. When Archdeacon (now Bishop) Hale left the Poonindie Native Institution it was obvious that, in spite of the great religious benefits conferred on the natives, there was need of someone at the head of affairs there able to combine with the religions object of the institution some clearer knowledge of what was required in the way of bodily regimen. Mr. Hammond, who received holy orders, was therefore appointed Superin- tendent, and may be said to have saved the institution ; for at the time of his appoint- ment the inmates were rapidly dying off, and among the married there were hardly any births. He introduced a better dietary system and watched carefully over all the conditions of health with the best results, and Poonindie ere long became not only a happy but a healthy community. Even after he had resigned the superintendence of the institution he con- tinued to give his gratuitous services in the way
of medical care. He was much respected by the inhabitants of Port Lincoln, much beloved by the Poonindie natives, honoured and esteemed by the Bishop and the clergy of the Church of England. The chief features of his character were an intelligent benevolence, great con- scientiousness and care in all he undertook to do, and an habitual considerateness for the feelings of others. He was a gentleman above all things else—a gentleman of the old school, retaining in his manners and address that flavour of quiet courtesy and refinement which is a rare thing in the rough-and-ready life of a colony. His was not one of the active energetic natures, but in quietness was his strength. Fatal Accident to Mr. James Levi.—On Saturday afternoon, October 19, Messrs. James Frederick Levi, Ford, and Maegraith, of Port Adelaide, whilst driving in a trap along the Mount Barker-road met with an accident which so far as Mr. Levi was concerned was a fatal one. It appears that shortly after passing Bridgewater the brake gave way, the horses stumbled, and afterwards bolted. Two of the occupants of the trap—Messrs. Levi and Maegraith—were thrown on to the ground. The former came violently on his head and sus- tained a fracture of the skull, but Mr. Maegraith escaped with a slight shaking. Mr. Levi was taken to the Bridgewater Hotel, and Dr. Toll who fortunately happened to be passing at the time, was called in and stayed with him during the night. Mr. Williams, who was near the scene of the occurrence, pursued the horses and succeeded in getting into the trap, but was immediately thrown out. Not however to be baffled, he again went after the runaway animals, and once more jumping into the trap he brought them to a standstill and took them to Bridge- water. We may mention that Mr. Ford jumped out of the trap shortly after the horses bolted and escaped without injury. Mr. Levi rallied somewhat, but he gradually got worse and died at the Bridgewater Hotel on Thursday, October 24. He was a son of Mr. Philip Levi, and was well known in commercial circles as being connected with the firm of P. Levi & Co. at Port Adelaide. He leaves a wife and one child. The funeral took place on the following Satur- day. The remains of the unfortunate gentle- man were conveyed from the Bridgewater Hotel, Cox's Creek, to the Mitcham Cemetery, and the cortege consisted of between thirty and forty carriages, representatives from every mercantile house at the Port being pre- sent. The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. S. Green. At a meeting of business men of Port Adelaide held at the Ship Inn on Tuesday last, it was resolved to forward a letter of condolence to the widow of the late Mr. James Fredk. Levi. Mr. Wilke proposed, Mr. W. B. Cave seconded, and Messrs. H. H. Thomas and J. Henderson, J.P., supported the adoption of a draft letter and a Committee to carry out the object. Reference was made in eulogistic terms to the character of the late Mr. Levi, and it was suggested to erect a memorial, but it was decided to first consult Mrs. Levi's wishes on that point. Death of Mr. Burfield, of Belair.— An inquest was held by the City Coroner (Mr. T. Ward, J.P.) on Saturday, October 26, at the Blackwood Inn, Belair, on the body of Robert Burfield, an old settler in the neighbourhood, who was found dead under his cart in a creek the previous day. Mr. B. Shepley was Fore- man of the Jury. At the place where the accident occurred there was a wooden bridge over the creek, on which there was only space for one vehicle to pass, a post-and-rail fence being on each side. From the evidence it ap- peared that Mr. Burfield on Friday afternoon left home at about a quarter to 5 o'clock with the object of getting a cask of water from the creek for household purposes. Shortly after- wards Mrs. Samson, who lived near the creek, heard Mr. Burfield calling to his horse to stop, and looking towards the bridge she saw the horse and cart which he was driving fall over the side of the bridge. She ran to the spot, and saw deceased lying with his face in the water. She procured assistance, and some of the neigh- bours lifted deceased's head out of the water, when they heard a sound in his throat. The splashboard of the dray was upon him, and he lay in about two feet of water. The horse was freed, the cart removed, and the body conveyed to the Blackwood Inn, when it was found that life was extinct. The fall from the bridge to the creek was about ten feet, and it was sup- posed that the accident occurred by deceased trying to turn his cart where there was not room. The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that death was caused by accidental suffocation and from injuries received by the fall. Mr. Burfield was a colonist of forty years' standing, and about sixty years of age. ACCIDENTS AND SUDDEN DEATHS.—The fol- lowing accidents and sudden deaths have occurred since the publication of our last. Summary :—Hugh Quilter Holloway, 44, died from injuries received through falling off a trolley which he was driving. Lily Church- man, 21, a domestic servant, died suddenly at Meningie of heart disease. John Linklater Cray, 22, died at Kirkala Station, Streaky Bay, through falling from a horse. Thomas Rees, a young man, slipped from a plank on the steamer Maranoa, at Mannum, and was drowned. John Lilly, a fisherman of the same place, has becu found drowned. Herbert Brandon, 14, died sud- denly at Wilmington ; he was quite well when called in the morning, and expired about half an hour later ; it is supposed that was bitten by a snake. George Harvey, a yonng gentleman aged 19, was drowned from a boat at the North-West Bend. The floor of a kitchen at Giffney's Miners' Arms Hotel, Kadina, fell through with nine people, who were precipitated into a tank con- taining nine feet of water ; all escaped unhurt. Johann Christian Pfeiffer, a highly respected farmer of Woodside, has been thrown from his horse and killed. William John Henderson, a little boy, died at Nailsworth from the kick of a horse. Samuel Gilbert, a young man, died sud- denly at Adelaide of heart disease. Patrick O'Malley, 40, a mason, was killed by injuries received through the capsizing of a cart near Kanyaka. Jane Hopkins, 57, a married woman, attemptcd to commit suicide by taking strych- nine ; she left the Destitute Asylnm the pre- cious day, and stated that she had been over- whelmed with grief by the death of her son. Elizabeth Buzza, 3, was drowned in an excava- tion for a tank near Jamestown. Mr. Thomas Greaves, a farmer, near Willaston, was found dead in his paddock ; at the inquest a verdict of "died from natural causes" was returned. Martin Tarre committed suicide by cutting his throat at Ediowie. James H. Austin, second mate of the Royal George, has been found drowned at Port Augusta. Thomas Morris, 62, mason, was found dead on the Port Rail- way line with his head severed from his body and both feet crushed by a train ; he had been suffering from partial paralysis, und is supposed to have fallen down. Jane Lane, 16, committed suicide by taking laudanum. Mr. W. H. Allen was burning some logs at Lobethal, when a branch of a tree gave way and fell on him, breaking his leg and throwing him on the fire, where he was burned to death. Mr. James Levi was thrown out of a trap and sustained a fracture of the skull, from which he died. A man named Wooding was killed near Border Town whilst riding through coming in contact with the limb of a tree. Thos Yelland, a miner, died suddenly at Moonta whilst writing a letter. John Walsh, an inmate of the Parkside Lunatic Asylum, died suddenly of heart disease. James Shepherdson, 74, has died from the effects of a fall from a horse. Robert Burfield, i?-, an old colonist, was killed at Belair by the horse and cart which he was driving falling over a bridge into the creek. James Matthews, a youth residing at Stepney, died from the effects of sand from a cart falling on him. A shepherd named Campbell has been drowned in a dam at Aolaliy.