4 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections
The Late Mr. Hamilton Hume.
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 Glenrock, 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 opportiuaity in this country for obtain- ing 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, in the year 1815, in company with his brother, Mr. J. K. Hume, he discovered the fine country about Berrima ; and after ex- ploring it returned and gave information to his 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 and 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 ; and in company with his brother J, K. Hume, his brother-in-law, G. Barber, and W. H. Broughton, discovered Yass
In 1824 Sir Thomas Brisbane determined to send an expedition to explore the country between Sydney and Wilson's Promontory; and Mr. Alexander Berry recommended the Governor to secure the services of Mr. 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 George to Bass' 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 horses 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, and thence started upon their expedition. The party when complete, consisted of eight persons, - Mr. Hume and his three men, Claude Bossowa, Henry Angel, and James Fitz patrick;-Mr. Hovell and his three 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 Yarrh - or as they are now called Yass Plains. Their first great difficulty was in crossing the Murrumbidgee. The timber growing on the banks of this river was too heavy to float ; so they resolved to make a raft of the body of one of their carts. Mr. Hume and Mr. Hovell'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. But they succeeded, and then, with much labour, got the whole party, with baggage and cattle, safely over.
On the 24th Octobor 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 which the whole party (Mr. Hovell and his men having rejoined them) afterwards descended. On tho 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 over
horses for travelling over a mountainous country. On the 6th November, they came insight of the Australian Alps. The spec- tacle 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.E. to S.S.W. at about twenty miles dis- tance, filled them with wonder and delight. They came after this upon a very rich country, abounding in kangaroos and other animals, with frequent tracks of aborigines; and on Tuesday, the l6th November, they arrived sud- denly on the banks of a fine river. Both the leaders of the expedition had anticipated the
THE LATE MR. HAMILTON HUME.
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 the Australian Alps, revert before long to the west ward, and be distributed to the interior. Mr. Hume 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 course of the river is serpentine, and its banks covered with verdure. The description of this river awakened much interest at the time, and it is so important a feature in the country, that the honour of dis- covering it will always be much thought of. Un the 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 came in sight of the sea at 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. Hume's station on Lake George.
Of the country through which the Hume flows, Mr. Oxley, Surveyor-General, had previously reported thus:- "We had demon- strated beyond a doubt that the country south of 34 degrees and west of 147 degrees 30 min. east was uninhabitable, and useless for the purposes of civilised man. "The previous publication of this desponding opinion made the discovery of Messrs. Hume and Hovell the more famous. Dr. Bland, in his concluding remarks on the narrative says : "Thc results of this undertaking were the discovery of a vast range of country invaluable for every purpose of grazing and agriculture, watered by numerous fine streams and rivers, and presenting an easy inland intercourse ex- tending from Port Phillip and Western Port
to tho whole of the settled districts of the eastern coast of New Holland, thus refuting the previously adopted opinion by which this line 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 thc lowest estimate, 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 tho travellers as adjoining Port Phillip. He was delaycd by various obstacles year after year, but at length, in 1835 on tho 29th May, he landed on the shores of Port Phillip, and began his part in that work of pioneer settlement which has led to thc formation of tho colony of
In 1828, Mr. Hume accompanied Captain Sturt on his expedition along tho Macquarie river. Ten years previously Mr. Oxley had gone down tho Macquarie until he was stopped
by the swamps. It was now resolved by Governor Darling that an attempt should be made to explore the country beyond this barrier. Captain Charles Sturt, an officer of the 39th, then stationed in Sydney, was selected for the conduct of the undertaking ; and Mr. Hume was chosen to accom-
pany him. They had with them, Mr. M'Leod, an army 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 Mr. 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 scrubby 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 Dar- 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 Mr. Hume during this expedition, Captain Sturt expressed a high estimate of his qualifi- cations as a sagacious and intrepid explorer. He afterwards endeavoured to secure the ser- 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 Yass district. As the infirmities of age came upon him, he was the more honoured by the respect due to him for his services to thc country, and his fulfilment of thc 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 thc ago of nearly 76 years.
According to announcement m thc London
papers of 24th of Pebruary laBt "a grand experiment" was to have been tried in , the way of christianising the lower masses of London ; but tho weather prevented tho carrying out of tho scheme. In tho slums of Clerkenwoll there labours a worthy man named Catlin, who has endeavoured for several years to improve tho condition of the thieving fraternity of that neighbourhood, Pinding there waB some diflioulty in persuading them to nssemblo in tho mission hall, he deter mined upon a novel experiment on Clerkenwoll Oreen. His idea was to issue a number of elaborately decorated play-bills, announcing that a grand open-air entertainment was to talco place on tho spot where demagogues love to spout sedition, aud with a meglo lantern and brass baud was abouttoamuseand instruct some thousands of persons, with scenes from tho life of St. Paul, when tho rain eame down in a torrent, and nearly washed Mr. Catlin and Ids lautoru away. It cleared Clnrken well Oreen in a few moments, and tho conseijucuoe is that tho denizens of that neighbourhood ure us Ignorant of St. Paul
The half-yearly inspection of thc Ulladulla
Volunteers tonk place to-day, SOth, lu ono of Mr. Claydon's paddocks, kindly placed by that gentleman at tho disposal ol' tho company for all parade». Colonel ltlohardBon inspected In person, accompanied by Captain Compton. Sergeant Webb was also present, l'ho correspondent nf tho Kimmi hutu pendent states that the arms, accoutrements, and clothing were examluod very carefully and critically, and tho colonel actually pronounced tliom faultloss. Tho mon wero then put through tho manual oxeroiso by Lieutenant Millard, followed by company drill, taking tho word ol'command from Captain Sheaffe; who waBin turn followed hy Sergeant Wobb putting them through company and battalion movements. The mon wore then taken in hand by tim colonel himself, who put them through light Infantry and skirmishing drill, thebugler blowing tho calls. At. t.lio close ol' thu Inspection, which oconpiod nu hour and a half, tho colonel addrcssod tho com pany, complimenting them very highly upon their gonerul