RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 2 Dec 2023 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 2 Dec 2023 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 2 Dec 2023 ABSTRACTS

Politics versus Justice: A fresh look at the third trial following the Myall Creek massacre of 1838

Jim Ritchie

This article revisits the trials of those accused of taking part in the Myall Creek massacre of 1838, in which at least 28 Wirrayaraay people, mostly women and children, were murdered. It closely examines the third trial, which involved four of those accused who took part in the massacre and explains why they escaped conviction, notwithstanding that seven of their fellow accused had been convicted and hanged following an earlier trial. The article also considers what became of Davey, a young Kamilaroi man, who was to be the main witness for the Crown in the third trial.

Quong Tart’s Neighbours: Cycling around the boundaries of exclusion and racism, 1880s–1900s

Marc Sebastian Rerceretnam

This article will look at the experiences of Mei Quong Tart (1850–1903) after he moved into the affluent Sydney suburb of Ashfield. While much has been written about his successes as a businessman, philanthropist, social advocate and Chinese community representative, there is little research relating to the social obstacles he encountered in his immediate neighbourhood and personal life. In the late 1800s, Sydney’s minority Chinese communities found themselves at the receiving end of political campaigns promoting their exclusion and the curtailing of their rights. In response, the Sydney-based Chinese community instigated campaigns and attempted to counter these negative initiatives. This paper will also look at Quong Tart’s use of popular sport to influence anti-Chinese public opinion in the late 19th century in light of the rise of anti-Chinese sentiment and movements to restrict their immigration and residency.

Angus Mackay and agricultural education in late 19th century New South Wales

Ian D. Rae

Angus Mackay (1830–1910) was a Highland Scot who came to the Australian colonies in the 1860s and spent nearly two decades in Brisbane. Arriving in Sydney in 1881 as an agricultural journalist, he was appointed to the Board of Technical Education and then as an instructor in agriculture at the Sydney Technical College, a position he held until 1897. He wrote books on bees, sugar cane, agricultural chemistry, and guides to agriculture in Australian settings, delivered public lectures and made professional conference presentations, making his career from informal advice to farmers to the inclusion of agricultural education in the state education system.

Chungking Follies: The supporting cast of the Chungking Legation, 1941–42

James Cotton

Sir Frederic Eggleston’s pioneering mission to Chungking (Chongqing) in 1941, accomplishing the opening of diplomatic relations with China, has received considerable scholarly attention. The main cast of characters is well known, Eggleston being assisted by Keith Waller and Charles Lee. This study shows that the contribution of other individuals made a significant impact on the Legation story, though their roles have been either neglected or overlooked. They included a former Shanghai policeman, a habitual criminal and confidence trickster, and a Russian-born linguist and secretary. In particular, in the early days of the mission — under dangerous wartime conditions — the role of Shanghai-born Edmund Burgoyne is shown to have been crucial for its establishment and initial diplomatic achievements. A review of their biographies leads to reassessment of the dynamics of the Legation in its founding phase.

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 1 June 2023 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 1 June 2023 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 109 Pt 1 June 2023 ABSTRACTS

Touching hands with Anzacs: a re-evaluation of 1920s War Service Homes in NSW

Terry Kass

Australians make pilgrimages to Gallipoli for the dawn service and distant battlefields on Anzac Day or Armistice Day to commune with Anzacs. They often ignore evidence directly associated with Anzacs all around us, in capital cities, suburbs and country towns in the form of dwellings constructed by the War Service Homes Commission in the 1920s. This paper aims to provide a more balanced assessment of the work of the Commission than has been the case to date.

Beaumont & Waller’s Botanical & Zoological Gardens, at the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, Botany Bay 1848–61

Mark St Leon

In 1848, William Beaumont, with the assistance of his business partner, James Waller, began to transform the gardens and grounds surrounding the Sir Joseph Banks Hotel at Botany Bay into a pleasure resort. The resort, named Beaumont & Waller’s Botanical and Zoological Gardens, would be quickly established as one of Sydney’s favourite outlets for public leisure and recreation. This article outlines its origins and development until its demise in 1861 in the context of early Sydney’s social and civic developments. The article concludes by identifying the resort’s three major legacies.

Ingleside Powder Works: ‘a curious colonial enterprise’

Keith Amos

The mysterious past of Ingleside Powder Works has never been fully explained due to conflicting interpretations about the motives of its 1880s designer and superintendent, Carl von Bieren. What brought him to Australia from the USA, and why did the works fail to produce gunpowder? This article contends the works were ostensibly built to produce explosives, but in reality, to facilitate an affluent lifestyle for the man who purported to be ‘Carl von Bieren’ and his supposed wife, Anna. Evident is a remarkable web of deceit spun by a 19th-century confidence man.

Thomas Wilson Esq and the natural history collections of First Fleet Surgeon John White

Matthew Fishburn

Thomas Wilson Esq, a Londoner, was the driving force behind the publication of three of the most important early Australian books, especially in terms of natural history: First Fleet surgeon John White’s Journal (1790), James Edward Smith’s Botany of New Holland (1793) and George Shaw’s Zoology of New Holland (1794). Although known to have joined the Linnean Society and to have employed the artists Sarah Stone and James Sowerby, Wilson has long been an enigmatic figure. This essay discusses the remarkable breadth of White’s collections on his behalf and reveals that Wilson was, in fact, a wealthy apothecary, not only a patron of White but an important supporter of Matthew Flinders, as well as being tangentially connected to two other surgeons associated with New South Wales, John Lowes and George Bass. Wilson was the central figure in an important professional network that was openly competing with the socially grander and far better-recorded coterie of Sir Joseph Banks.

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 2 Dec 2022 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 2 Dec 2022 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 2 December 2022 ABSTRACTS

‘Extensive plans of immigration’: Governor Bourke and the beginnings of Australian assisted immigration, 1831-1838 – Richard Reid

In that 299-word encomium on the public statue to the colony of New South Wales’ first Irish governor, Sir Richard Bourke, outside the State Library is the claim: ‘He raised the revenue to a vast amount, and, from its surplus, realised extensive plans of immigration.’ At a time when convicts were arriving in Sydney in unprecedented numbers, the reference here is not to the transportation of felons but the early development of that large program of government-assisted immigration, which within virtually ten years, changed the demographics of the colony from one based on convicts, emancipists and their children to one increasingly based on free immigrants. This article examines the extent to which Bourke can be credited with that change. 

Bowral and the fraternity of ‘Noble Men’: Freemasonry in Bowral and the Southern Highlands of NSW – Alan Jacobs

Lodge Carnarvon is one of only two lodges that remain in existence in the Southern Highlands of NSW. The history of Lodge Carnarvon in Bowral is examined from its inauguration in 1888. Access to the internal records of Lodge Carnarvon and local newspapers enabled the author to make a detailed study of the membership, including demographics and professional backgrounds. The rise and fall of the membership of Carnarvon is placed within the context of the trajectory of all Freemasons under the United Grand Lodge of NSW. Lodge Carnarvon members exerted a decisive influence on the township of Bowral, but their membership of the fraternity usually was not disclosed or acknowledged. These men constituted the backbone of the business community and local government and helped to build the social capital of Bowral and its surrounds. In 1950 the Mayor (H.F. Venables) referred to one Carnarvon freemason (Joshua Stokes) as one of the Noble Four of Bowral. However, Stokes and the other Freemasons were not identified as members of the fraternity. Twenty-eight years later, the Shire President (Cr. Peter Reynolds) proclaimed that: ‘… members of the Council considered it an honour to accord to Lodge Carnarvon a civic reception in recognition of their support and involvement in the community for 100 years.’ 

Catholic Action, Sydney style: Catholic lay organisations from friendly societies to the Vice Squad – James Franklin

Sydney Catholics in the mid-twentieth century were organised into a large number of active and effective associations, from parish sodalities and professional guilds up to the Cahill government. Parish-based and larger organisations supplied a body of people accustomed to uniformity of beliefs and coordinated action in support of those beliefs, easily mobilised against Communism and in favour of Catholic moral and political positions. Pragmatic, informed by implicit moral views rather than explicit theory, and clerically controlled, Catholic Action in Sydney proved more able than its Melbourne counterpart in controlling the levers of political power. The Cahill government built on this organisational infrastructure to implement in law and policing a conservative moral agenda. 

Protection or Persecution? Victoria’s Chinese Protectors – Rob Coutts

In 1855 the Victorian Colonial Government appointed Chinese Protectors. Taken as a whole, from 1855 to 1863, the Protectorate belied its name, but conversely, it is suggested that the British humanitarian movement influenced its creation and early implementation. A distinction is made between the Protectorate’s administration before and after the 1857 Chinese Residence Act. This Act aimed to charge (only) the Chinese a fee to continue living in Victoria or leave the country. The proposal is that the Protectorate was created and implemented with humanitarian intent until the 1857 Act re-purposed it into an instrument of revenue collection and persecution. 

Thief or prostitute? Questioning the evidence against women transported to Australia – Kathrine M. Reynolds & Carol Liston

Accounts of women in Australia during the convict period are dominated by assumptions that many of the convict women had worked as prostitutes in Britain and continued to carry on their trade in the colony. The crimes that led to their transportation are overlooked or are assumed to involve prostitution. This paper investigates British sources about their crimes to understand the extent to which these crimes were associated with prostitution. Many of the women used the promise of sex to lure men into situations where they could be robbed. Building case studies around three convict ships, we trace the women’s crimes in Britain, seeking to determine if those crimes involved acts of prostitution and were the source of their designation as prostitutes.

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 1 June 2022 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 1 June 2022 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 108 Pt 1 June 2022 ABSTRACTS

A Sojourn at Port Arthur in 1839: The eyewitness account of French explorer Captain Cyrille Laplace – Colin Dyer

The penal colony at Port Arthur had been in existence for less than a decade when Captain Cyrille Laplace paid his visit in February 1839 in the La Favorite. Already a very experienced traveller, this was his second round-the-world voyage, and his second visit to Tasmania. Laplace’s interest in correctional institutions led to visits to Hobart’s female convict prison and the Orphan School of New Town. In Volume 5, chapter 1 of the official account of his second voyage, Campagne de circumnavigation, Laplace describes in detail the changes he observed in Hobart since his first visit in 1831. This article includes the translation of these observations.

Canberra and the Frontier Wars – James McDonald

The nature of Aboriginal resistance in the Canberra district was different to elsewhere in New South Wales. Four factors affected how the Frontier Wars played out along the Molonglo: (a) the invasion followed the arrival of influenza and the small Aboriginal population had already been decimated; (b) Captain Bishop’s 1826 military expedition quashed a potential major rising; (c) Governor Darling was more intent than his predecessors on controlling the stockmen; and (d) relations with European pastoral workers in the district may have been less hostile.

Colonial Pioneers: The early industrial metal trades of Sydney, 1825-1875 – Harry Cole and Drew Cottle

Little has been written of Sydney’s early tradesmen. Although numerically insignificant in early colonial Australia, by the end of the nineteenth century one group of these tradesmen, the metalworkers, had become crucial to the local economy. The metalworkers were one of the ‘new’ trades that had emerged with industrialisation. This article sets out to place the new metal trades in the city’s early metalworking industrial landscape and offers a brief glimpse into the role played by the metal trades workers in the economic development of nineteenth-century Sydney. It examines the artisanal nature of their workplaces before the transition to larger-scale industrial production.

This anomalous community: Dungog Magistrates’ Letterbook, 1834-1839 – Michael Williams

This paper seeks to provide an overview and brief analysis of a rare convict period source that appears to have been largely overlooked by historians. The Magistrates’ Letterbook for the police districts of Dungog and Port Stephens, New South Wales, 1834-1839 is a single volume of the outward correspondence of Dungog-based magistrates at the high point of the convict system to local landowners, other magistrates, the Australian Agricultural Company, and to such Sydney based officials as the Superintendent of Convicts, the Colonial Storekeeper and the Colonial Secretary. The Letterbook, written mostly when Thomas Cook J.P. was Police Magistrate, provides an intimate snapshot of a period when such magistrates as Cook dealt with a vast range of matters and people, including local indigenous peoples, convicts and sly-grogers, bushrangers and landowners; all constituting a community perhaps rightly described at one point by Magistrate Cook as ‘anomalous’.

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 2 Dec 2021 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 2 Dec 2021 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 2 December 2021 ABSTRACTS

Sydney, 1803: When Catholics were tolerated and Freemasons banned – James Franklin

In 1803, Governor King’s authority faced serious threats: from possible French invasion, from Irish convicts, and from officers and others with personal animosities fortified by freemasonry and republicanism. On Lord Hobart’s instructions, King allowed the convict priest Father Dixon to minister to Catholics, but masonic gatherings were banned. The reasoning behind these decisions is explained, in the light of the threats posed by each and the Irish background. Hobart’s earlier success in negotiating with Irish bishops and the perception that French and American revolutionary ideals were being spread through Freemasonry are essential for understanding developments in New South Wales.

‘A joy beyond any earthly pleasure’: Emily Paterson’s contribution to community mental health – Judith Godden

Emily Darvall Paterson’s life challenges us to rethink the history of disability in Australia. She was a blind woman whose abilities outshone her disability. She made a significant contribution to social welfare by founding, in 1907, Australia’s longest-serving mental health organisation, the After Care Association, now Stride Mental Health. Paterson’s achievement was, in large part, due to her commitment and ability to forge warm personal relations with those helped. It was also due to the support of her extended family, and local, legal, women’s and religious networks. Her legacy was both secured and threatened when After Care gained reliable government funding.

A Wet and Cold El Niño: The Tambora volcano’s impact in the Australian colonies – Don Garden

The cataclysmic Tambora volcanic explosion in April 1815 resulted in two or three years of cold and wet weather in much of the northern hemisphere which caused crop failure, famine, poverty and disease, among a range of repercussions. It also appears likely, through its impact on sea surface temperatures, to have triggered an El Niño event. This would normally result in hot and dry weather in the south-east of Australia, and potentially severe drought. However, the limited available proxy and documentary evidence indicates that in 1816 and 1817 the weather in NSW and VDL was wetter than average, especially in NSW, and quite cold in VDL. This climatic anomaly is not fully explained, but confirms that the repercussions from Tambora, while not as severe, were also experienced in the southern hemisphere.

Henry Dangar: Dismissed as government surveyor in 1827 and a land appeal spanning 26 years – Jim Ritchie

This article considers Dangar’s dismissal from his position as assistant government surveyor and the following appeal process. His dismissal has been briefly dealt with by various historians, who have written (among other things) that Dangar: ‘was sacked by Governor Ralph Darling for misappropriating land’; ‘used his public position for private gain’; and ‘fraudulently used two land orders in other’s names and proposed a land trade-off being an attempted bribe’. However, the circumstances in which this dismissal occurred deserve closer consideration than has been given to date. The events leading up to this, including the charges laid against him, the hearing of those charges by the Land Board, the outcome of the hearing, whether Dangar was correctly dismissed, and his subsequent appeal to the Colonial Office (which in relation to the land decision spanned 26 years) are each examined.

‘Doovers’ in the rainforest: Radar stations at Paluma, Mount Spec, during World War II – Linda Venn

This paper contends that the four radar stations based in unforgiving tropical rainforest at Paluma (‘Mt. Spec’, near Townsville) during the Second World War represent the evolution of radar technology in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Their histories demonstrate how challenges in lack of trained personnel and reliability of equipment were overcome by cooperation amongst members of the Allied forces. Trials at Paluma of camouflage (1942-44) and ‘tropic-proofing’ (1943-44) of prototype transportable Light Weight Air Warning (LW/AW) radar benefited radar stations throughout northern Australian and the SWPA. The critical importance of such experimentation for deployment to the SWPA is demonstrated by the success of two LW/AW radar units in Dutch East Indies and Borneo. Collectively, the men and women of these four radar stations are presented as players in this significant theatre of Australia’s military history.

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 1 June 2021 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 1 June 2021 ABSTRACTS

RAHS Subscriptions: Journals – Vol 107 pt 1 June 2021 ABSTRACTS

The Military Command of Maurice O’Connell, 1838-1847 – Craig Wilcox

The first commander in chief appointed to Australia, Sir Maurice O’Connell led a military garrison from 1838 to 1847 with a larger budget than the New South Wales judiciary and post office put together and more people than lived in Campbelltown or Goulburn. His decisions, or more often his failure to make them, influenced the lives of thousands, including settlers and Māori in New Zealand where his troops fought two wars from 1845 to 1848. Remembered for his earlier tenure in Australia as a colonel under Governor Macquarie who married a daughter of Governor Bligh, O’Connell has otherwise escaped the attention of historians. His later and far more influential post as garrison commander is worth investigating.

‘Sorry We Cannot Supply’: Empire trade preference and its impact on Australian motor body builders – Justin Chadwick

This article explores the impact of the British Preferential Tariff and Trade Diversion policies of the Australian Federal Government on the motor car body building industry during the interwar period. It argues that the preferential system of trade within the British Empire, while benefiting Australian primary producers, was not always necessarily ideal for secondary industries, particularly mass-production motor body builders, such as General Motors-Holden’s and T.J. Richards & Sons. This is demonstrated as these body builders introduced the use of wide, long draw mild steel for the manufacture of the all-steel, Fisher body design in 1936. Although the local companies attempted to abide by the requests of the Government to use British-made steel, those manufacturers were unable, due to limitations of facilities and preparations by Britain for the impending war, to supply export markets. As sheet steel supplies dwindled the body builders were forced to lay-off workers until the government finally capitulated and allowed material from US steel makers.

Restoring Order in ‘The Present Scare’: the Bridge Street Affray in fin de siècle Sydney – Mark Hearn

Assaulting several police officers while attempting to flee an interrupted burglary, Charles Montgomery and Thomas Williams were convicted of the capital offence of intent to murder and hanged in Darlinghurst Gaol in May 1894. The Bridge Street affray reflected a fear of anarchy and breakdown in the social order and provided the pretext that armed the NSW Police. The affray and the ‘reprieve agitation’ exposed broader tensions at work in fin de siècle colonial society, as the state not only constrained the pathology of crime, but also the challenges of protest, working class radicalism and strike action.

Malta, the Nurse of the Mediterranean and Cottonera Hospital: the Australian connection – John Portelli

Cottonera Hospital, Malta, played a leading role in the treatment of the sick and war casualties, including many Anzacs, from the Gallipoli and Salonika Campaigns during World War I, when Malta became known as ‘The Nurse of the Mediterranean’.

In the space of two years, Malta, with a population of just over 200,000, became one of the British Empire’s largest complexes of military hospitals that saw an influx of close to 125,000 patients. This was a national effort with the active participation of the civilian population. Distinguished consultants from Britain’s leading hospitals gave their services at Cottonera Hospital and the other 26 hospitals in Malta.

Cottonera Hospital closed its doors in 1920 only to reopen again in 1929 as St Edward’s College. St Edward’s was founded by Lady Strickland, wife of Lord Gerald Strickland, at the time Prime Minister of Malta and formerly Governor of Tasmania, Western Australia and New South Wales.

The Irish Boys at Burnside Homes – Keith Amos

Between 1910 and 1970, through various government-approved child migration schemes operated by charitable and religious institutions, about 7,000 young Britons came or were sent to Australia. This article sheds light on the unique case of 22 Irish boys who were displaced from a Connemara orphanage in June 1922 during the Irish Civil War. They had been in the care of the (Anglican) Irish Church Mission Society and were offered refuge in Australia by Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes at North Parramatta.