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3 corrections, most recently by dornealison - Show corrections


ON Saturday, 19th ultimo, Mr. Hamilton,   Hume, one of the early explorers of New South   Wales, and a native of the colony, departed   this life at his late residence, near Yass. Mr.  

Hume was descended from the Scottish border   family of that name. His grandfather was the Rev. James Hume, of Moira, in Ireland. His father, Mr. A. H. Hume, received the appoint- ment of Commissary-General for New South Wales, and came out to this colony in 1797. He had married Elizabeth Moore Kennedy, daughter of the Rev. John Kennedy, of Teston and Nettlestead, in the county of Kent.   Shortly after their arrival, viz., on the 10th June, 1797, Hamilton, their eldest son, was born at Parramatta. Two more sons and one daugh- ter were afterwards born to them :- Mr. J. K.

Hume, who was killed many years ago; Mrs. Barber, of Glenrook, who died at a later date leaving a large family settled in this country   and Mr. Rawdon Hume, of Castlestead, now the only survivor of Commissary Hume's family.

When Hamilton Hume was a boy, there was scant opportunity' in this country for obtaining what is- termed - a liberal education.   His mother, however, gave him instruction in the elements of learning, which he turned to good account; and his energies   found scope in a different kind of training to that of the Grammar School. He learned agility, perseverance, and self-reliance in the

bush adventures which he undertook while a

boy. Thus by the time he was seventeen he was an accomplished bushman, with fine muscular frame, quick eye and sound judg- ment. At that age, m the year 1815, in company -with his brother, Mr. J. K. Hume, he discovered

the-fine country about Berrima;, and after exploring it. returned and gave information to  

is friends of its excellent pastoral capabilities. In 1817 Hamilton Hume, at the request of Governor Macquarie, went with Mr. Surveyor Meehan on a tour of discovery into the southern country. They discovered Lake Bathurst aud Goulburn Plains. In 1818, he went with Messrs. Meehan and Oxley to Jervis Bay. During the next three'or four years he took part with Mr. Alexander Berry in the ex- ploration of the Clyde River and the Braid- wood district ; aud iii company with his brother J. K. Hume, his brother-in-law, G. Barber, and W. H. Broughton, discovered Tass


La 1824 Sir Thomas Brisbaue determined to Bend an expedition to explore the country between Sydney and Wilson's Promontory ; and - Mr. Alexander Berry recommended the Governor to secure the services of Mi\ Hume to lead the exploring party. The proposal of the Governor was that they should start from Wilson's Promontory or Cape Howe, and travel thence to Sydney. Mr. Hume declined to un- dertake that task; but offered, if sup- plied with men and horses,* to go from 'Lake Georce to Boss' Straits.' This was not carried out. But shortly afterwards Mr. Hume and Captain W. H. Hovell, of Minto, agreed together to undertake an expe- dition in that direction. They found men and horse} and bullocks; the Government, fur- nished them with pack ' saddles, tarpaulins, tent, arms, ammunition, and skeleton charts. On the 2nd October, 1824, Messrs. Hovell and Hume met at Mr. Hume's' house, Appin, und thence started upon their expedition. The party when complete, consisted of eight persons,-Mr. Hume and his three men, Claude Bossowa, Henry A rigel, and James Fitz- patrick ; -Mr. Hovell and his threes men, Thomas Boyd, William Bollard, and Thomas Smith. They reached the most distant out-station towards the south-west, about 165 miles from Sydney, on the 13th. On the 19th they passed Tarrh-or as they are now called Tass Plains. Their first great difficulty was in crossing the Murrumbidgee The timber growing on the banks of this river was too heavy to Boat ; so they resolved to make a raft of the body of one of their carts. Mr. Hume and Mr. Hovèll's man Boyd, swam across the river first, with a small rope be- tween* their teeth, to which was attached a_ line ' long enough to reach across the river. It was a work of peril, as the current

was strong. Bat they succeeded, and then, with much labour, got the whole party, with baggage and cattle, safely over.

On the 24th October they came up to what seemed an impenetrable moun- tain barrier. Here the leaders parted, in search of a pass by which they might traverse the range. Mr. Hume, with two men, following a chain of ponds, came to a chasm through whioh tho whole party (Mr. Hovell and his men having rejoined them) afterwards descended. On the 31st they found themselves on the western edge of the table land. The descent was not accomplished without much difficulty. And here they proved the great superiority of bullocks ovor horses for travelling over a mountainous country. On the 6th November, they came in sight of the Australian Alps. The spec taole which burst suddenly upon their view, of a range of conoidal mountains, covered with snow for one-foarth . of their height, and extending in a semicircle from S.K.

to S.y.W. at about twenty miles dis- tance, filled them with wonder and delight. They came after this upon a very rioh country, abounding in kangaroos and other animals, with frequent tracks of aborigines; and on ffuesday, the 16fch November, they arrived sud- denly on the banks of a fine river. Both the eaders of the expedition had anticipated the early appearance of a large river in this direc- tion, being of opinion that' the large bodies of water lately met with, though pursuing a southerly or even easterly course, would, in consequence of the impenetrable barrier pre- sented towards the east by tho Australian Alps, revert before long to the west- ward, and be distributed to tho interior. Mr. Hnuie was the first to see the river, and named it " the Hume," after his father, the commissary. This river, where they first came upon it, is about eighty yards in breadth, and of considerable depth. The current was about

three miles an hour, and the water clear. The eourse of the river is serpentine, and its banks covered with verdure. The description of this river awakened much interest at thc time, and it is so important a feature in tho country, that tho honour of dis- covering it will always be much thought of. On tho 3rd December, they came upon a river further south, which they called " the Hovell." This river is a branch of the Hume, or Murray, and has since been called " the Goulburn," a name very inconveniently applied, by way of heaping honours on a former Secretary of State for the Colonies, to river after river, to towns, and other geographical features. On the 16th December, they carno iu eight of the sea ut Corio Bay, Port Phillip. Satisfied with this achievement, they set out on their return after two days rest. On the 17th Janu- ary, 1825, they forded the Murrumbidgee ; and on the 18th, arrived at Mr. Humo's station on Lake George.

Of the country through whioh tho Hume flows, Mr. Oxley, Surveyor-General, had previously reported thus :-" "Wo had demon- strated beyond a doubt that the country south of 84 degrees and west of 147 degrees 30 min. east was uninhabitable, and melesa for the

purposes of civilised man." Tho previous publication of this desponding opinion wade the discovery of Messrs. Hume aud Hovell the more famous. Dr. Bland, in his concluding remarks on the narrativo saya :

" Tho results of this undertaking -were the discovery of a vast range of country invaluable ; fo - every purpose of grazing and agriculture, I watered by numerous, fine streams and rivera, ; and presenting on easjr inland intercourse es - ¡ tending from Port Phillip and Western Port I to the -whole of the settled districts of the I eastern coast of New Holland, thus, refuting

the previously adopted opinion by which this Hue of country had . been denounced as ' uninhabitable ? and useless for all purposes of civilisation;;' while further, when taken in . connexion: with. the later discoveries of Captain Sturt and those of Major Mitchell on the tour from which he has only just returned, they give access to regions of extent and capabilities fully adequate to receive, at the lowest eitimate, the entire sup- posed surplus population, not merely of Great Britain, but of .Europe."

Among the greatest results of this expedi- tion -was the settlement of Port Phillip within a few years afterwards. John Batman, a fellow-townsman of Hamilton Hume, hav- ing been born in' . Parramatta, giving full credit to Hume's account, determined, from .the time he saw the report of this journey, to take advantage of the discovery by settling on some of the rich land reported by' the travellers as adjoining Port Phillip. He was delayed by various obstacles year after year, but at length, in 1835 on the 29th May, he landed on the shores of Port Phillip, and began his part, in that work of pioneer settlement which, has led to the formation of the colony of

Victoria. .

In 1828, Mr. .Hume accompanied Captain Sturt on his expedition along the Macquarie river. Ten yeai-s previously Mr. Oxley had gone down the Macquarie until he was stormed

by the BwainpB. It nw now resolved by Governor Darling that an attempt should be

barrier. Captain Charles Sturt) an officer of the 39th, then stationed in Sydney, was -, selected for the conduct of the undertaking; and Mr. Hume waa chosen to accom- pany him. They had with them, Mr: M'Leod, an ,anny surgeon, two soldiers of the 39th, and eight prisoners of the Crown. They left Sydney on the 10th September, 1828, and came on the 26th December to the great marshes at which Mi*. Oxley had been brought to a stand. While Captain Sturt endeavoured to navigate the river in a boat they had brought up with them, Mr. Hume'went on horseback towards the north. It was long before they could find a practicable route ; but at length they came out of the swamps upon sandy and sorubby plains, over which they travelled for hundreds of miles, suffering much from want of water and other inconveniences, until on the 4th February, 1829, they were cheered by the sight of a river 240 feet wide, and covered with wild fowl. To their surprise they found the water to be salt. They called it the Darr ling. Soon after they discovered the Bogan and the Castlereagh. The whole country was then suffering from a prolonged drought; and Captain Sturt gives a vivid picture of the desolation that prevailed. The party returned to the settled districts in April. From his experience of the. help afforded him by Mi-, Hume during this expedition, Captain Sturt expressed a high estimate of his qualifi- cations as a sagacious and intrepid explorer. I He afterwards endeavoured to secure the ser I vices of Mr. Hume for another journey ; but

by that time he had entered into pastoral pur- suits, and did not feel warranted in leaving his


Mr. Hume married a lady of the Dight family, long settled in this country. This lady survives as his widow. They had no children. For many years Mr. Hume discharged the duties of a justice of the peace in the Tass district. As the infirmities of age came upon him, bp Was the moro honoured by the respect due to him for his services to the country, and his fulfilment of the duties of a country gen- tleman. With many friends, and the good will of his countrymen, he advanced peacefully along the vale of years ; and at last departed from this earthly scene at the age of nearly

76 years.

made to explore the country