Life and Adventures of William Buckley/Appendix 1
HISTORICAL RECORDS OF THE FOURTH REGIMENT OF FOOT.
In the early part of this narrative it is said, that references to the campaigns in Holland in which Buckley with his regiment took part, must be very brief. It would, however, be an injustice to the service, and to the gallant corps to which he belonged, did we omit the following extract from the historical records of the Fourth, or King's Own:—"Leaving Botley in April, 1799, the Regiment proceeded to Worcester, from thence to Horsham Barracks in July; and in the following month it marched to the camp on Barham Downs.
"The Militia being permitted this year to transfer their services to the regular Regiments, two thousand seven hundred men volunteered to the King's Own, in consequence of which the Regiment was formed into three battalions. Major-General the Earl of Chatham was appointed Colonel-Commandant of the second battalion, and Major-General Lord Charles Somerset Colonel-Commandant of the third.
"On the 3rd September the Prince of Wales was pleased to present a pair of new colours to the first battalion on Barham Downs. The Regiment was formed in square, and his Royal Highness addressed the officers and men as follows:—
"'It affords me the highest satisfaction to have the honor of presenting this gallant and distinguished corps with their colours. Nothing but a blameless accident could have deprived you of those you possessed before, and I now replace them, under the firmest conviction that there is not a Regiment in his Majesty's service, that will ever support and defend its colours with more valour and gallantry than the Fourth, or King's Own. It considerably enhances the pleasure I feel on this occasion, that the ceremony has happened on a day when every British heart must be filled with gladness at the tidings which have just been received of the heroic actions our brave countrymen have achieved, in endeavouring to rescue Holland from the detestable tyranny of France; and I perceive with true pride, that every countenance I behold partakes of the noble ardour, and that every heart is panting to share in their laurels and glory.'
"In a few days after the presentation of the new colours, the Regiment was ordered to proceed on foreign service. It embarked at Deal, and after landing in Holland, joined the Anglo-Russian army, commanded by his Royal Highness the Duke of York, when the three battalions of the King's Own, and the Thirty-first Regiment were formed in brigade, under the orders of Major-General the Earl of Chatham. This brigade formed part of the column under Lieutenant-General Dundas, in the attack of the enemy's position near Bergen and Egmont-op-zee on the 2nd October. The King's Own were engaged amongst the Sand-hills, and evinced the same intrepidity and firmness, for which the Regiment had been distinguished on former occasions. The enemy was driven from his position, and the troops received the thanks and approbation of the Commander-in-Chief. The Regiment had three men killed; Ensign Carruthers, one Sergeant, and eight private men wounded; one Sergeant, and six men missing.
"In the attack of the enemy's position between Beverwyck and Wyck-op-zee, on the 6th October, the three battalions of the King's Own were sharply engaged. The action was most severe, and was continued with sanguinary obstinacy until night, when the enemy retreated, leaving the allies masters of the field.
"The King's Own had Lieutenant-Colonel Dickson, Lieutenant Forster, and twenty-five men killed; Major-General the Earl of Chatham, Lieutenant-Colonel Hodgson, Captain Palmer, Ensigns Johnson, Carruthers, Nichols, Highmore and Archibald, with four Sergeants, and one hundred and eight rank and file wounded; Majors Wynch and Horndon, Captain Gillmour, Lieutenants Deare and Wilson wounded and taken prisoners; Lieutenant- Colonel Cholmondelay, Major Pringle, Captains Archdall, Broadie and Chaplain, Lieutenants Gazely and Wilbr&hams, Ensigns Brown, Ellis, Hill, Anderson, M'Pherson and Tyron, with twelve Sergeants, one drummer, and five hundred and two rank and file, prisoners of war and missing.
"Several circumstances having occurred to render further operati6ns in Holland unadvisable, the army re-embarked and returned to England. The three battalions of the King's Own landed at Yarmouth, and marched to Ipswich, where they passed the winter."
THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF PORT PHILLIP,
AND SUBSEQUENT ABANDONMENT.
As many persons, in all parts of the world, are looking with great interest to the Australian Colonies, now so rapidly rising into importance, the following extract from Bent's Tasmanian Almanack for 1829, will not be out of place in a work of this kind:—
"Lieutenant-Governor Collins arrived at Port Phillip, to form a British settlement at that place, with his Majesty's ships Calcutta and Ocean, having onboard detachments of Royal Marines, a number of free settlers, and several hundred prisoners, stores, &c, October 9th, Governor Collins having left England on the 27th of April 1803, in the former vessel, for the express purpose of forming another settlement on the south coast of New Holland, for the further reception of convicts transported from Great Britain. Governor Collins, soon after his arrival at Port Phillip, saw the impracticability of colonizing that place, in consequence of the great want of water, and immediately dispatched an open boat from thence to Sydney, with an application to Governor King, for instructions how to proceed, and stating the incapabilities of Port Phillip for the formation of a second colony. In consequence, Lieutenant-Governor Collins received instructions from headquarters, to make a settlement, either at Port Dalrymple, or on the banks of the River Derwent, Van Diemen's Land, which he found the best adapted for the purpose. After due and deliberate consideration, Lieutenant-Governor Collins determined on settling at the latter place; and the whole of the establishment was removed from Port Phillip thither, in two separate drafts, by the Ocean, assisted by a government brig, called the Lady Nelson. The latter vessel was employed upon this service, in consequence of instructions having been received from Governor King, requiring the immediate service of the Calcutta at Port Jackson, in order to assist the Civil and Military Authorities in quelling an insurrection which had broken out there. The first draft, in which was Lieutenant-Governor Collins, left Port Phillip on the 30th January.
"1804.—Port Phillip having thus been abandoned and evacuated, Lieutenant-Governor Collins, in the transport ship Ocean, Captain Matthew, arrived in the River Derwent, Van Diemen's Land, on the 16th of February, when this part of the coast of the island was first formed a British settlement: the colony having been taken possession of and the British colours displayed, by Governor Collins—notwithstanding a small party of soldiers and prisoners had previously left Port Jackson to take a temporary possession, for fear that the French should first form a settlement in the island. This little establishment disembarked at a place called 'Restdown.' The party, under the command of Lieutenant Moore, accompanied by Dr. Mountgarret, were found by Governor Collins in a most wretched state—almost approaching that of starvation; Lieutenant Bowen, in the Lady Nelson, having sailed on his return for Sydney, for provisions. Lieutenant-Governor Collins, after making many surveys, formed the headquarters at its present site, which he named 'Hobart Town,' after Lord Hobart, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies. The Calcutta, 50 guns, Captain Woodriff, which was left at Port Phillip by Governor Collins, arrived at the Derwent, June 23. The Ocean and Calcutta had on board the following officers and persons, who were to compose the Civil and Military establishments of the new and second colony in the Southern Ocean:—
"Civil.—Lieutenant-Governor, David Collins, Esq., Colonel, R.M.; Chaplain, Rev. Robert Knopwood, M.A.; Surgeon Superintendent of Convicts, Dr. Edward Foord Bromley, R.N.; Colonial Surgeon, William J. Anson, Esq.; Assistant Surgeons, Matthew Bowden, Esq., and William Hopley, Esq.; Deputy-Commissary-General, Leonard Fosbrook, Esq.; Deputy-Surveyor, George Predaux Harris, Esq.; Mineralogist, A. W. H. Humphrey, Esq.; Superintendents of Convicts, Messrs. Thomas Clark and William Paterson; Wesleyan Missionary, Rev. Mr. Crook and family.
"Military.—Lieutenant-Colonel Collins, R.M.; Lieutenant William Sladen, R.M.; Lieutenant J. M. Johnson, R.M.; Lieutenant Edward Lord, R.M.; thirty-nine Marines, three Serjeants, one Drummer and one Fifer; besides which, there were also, three hundred and sixty-seven Male Prisoners, with twelve free women, wives of Prisoners.
"The Officers on board H. M. Ship, Calcutta.—Daniel Woodriff, Esq., Post Captain, Royal Navy; First Lieutenant, James Tuckey, Esq.; Second Lieutenant, Richard Donevan, Esq.; Third Lieutenant, Nicholas Pateshall, Esq.; Fourth Lieutenant, William Dowers, Esq.; Fifth Lieutenant, John Houston, Esq.; Master, Richard Wright, Esq.; Surgeon, Edward Foord Bromley, Esq,; Purser, Edward White, Esq."
It is curious to observe the reasons for abandoning Port Phillip; namely, "The impracticability of colonizing that place, in consequence of the great want of water" In those days, exploring parties could not have been formed of the most energetic adventurers, and that hardy race now known as overlanders, were not even thought of, as an especial class of pioneers, although occasionally an individual astonished the world by a publication of his travels. Had any such men accompanied Governor Collins's expedition, how very different would have been the result. However, let us not censure, but take the next extract, as one of praise:—
"On the 24th of March, Lieutenant-Governor Collins died suddenly, fifty-four years of age, having administered the affairs of the colony for six years and thirty-one days. As a Governor, he was beloved by all the colonists, to whom he was truly a father and a friend. His humanity to the unfortunate prisoners under his care, was most conspicuous—being ever more ready to pardon than to punish the offender. He was always ready in attending to, and complying with, the wants and wishes of all classes of the people. He had been for upwards of thirty-six years in the Royal Marine Forces. In his youth he had served several campaigns in America, under his father, General Collins; and was at the battle of Bunker's Hill. In New South Wales, he had been in actual employment nearly a quarter of a century; having, when a Captain in his corps, been appointed Judge Advocate, on the first Establishment of that colony, under Governor Phillip. In this situation he continued until the year 1796, when he returned to England, and there published his history of the colony, in two quarto volumes; and was afterwards reinstated by his late Majesty to all the rank he had lost in the Army by accepting a civil appointment, as Judge Advocate. His known abilities, long services, and great local knowledge, then gained him the high office of Governor."
In justice to the memory of this excellent man, we give the following extract from Babrington's History of New South Wales:—
"Colonel David Collins was the eldest son of General Arthur Tooker Collins and Harriet Frazer, of Pack, in the King's County, Ireland, and grandson of Arthur Collins, Esq., Author of the 'Peerage of England,' &c;. He was born on the 3rd March, 1756, and received a liberal education under the Rev. Mr. Marshall, Master of the Grammar School, at Exeter, where his father resided. In 1770, he was appointed a Lieutenant of Marines, and in 1772, was with the late Admiral M'Bride in the Southampton Frigate, when the unfortunate Matilda, Queen of Denmark, was rescued from the dangers that awaited her, by the British government, and conveyed to a place of safety in the King's, her brother, Hanoverian dominions. On that occasion he commanded the guard that received her Majesty, and had the honour of kissing her hand. In 1775 he was at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, in which the first battalion of Marines, to which he belonged, so signally distinguished itself; having its Commanding Officer, the gallant Major Pitcairn, and a great many officers and men killed in storming the redoubt, besides a very large proportion wounded. In 1777 he was Adjutant of the Chatham Division, and in 1782, Captain of Marines on board the Courageux, 74 guns, commanded by the late Lord Mulgrave, and participated in the partial action that took place with the enemies fleet when Lord Howe relieved Gibraltar. Reduced to half-pay at the peace of 1782 he resided at Rochester, in Kent, having previously married an American lady, and on its being determined to found a colony, by sending Convicts to Botany Bay, he was then appointed Judge Advocate to the intended settlement; and in that capacity sailed with Governor Phillip in May 1787, (who moreover appointed him his Secretary,) which situation he filled with the greatest credit to himself, and advantage to the colony, until his return to England in 1797. The History of the settlement, which he soon after published, followed by a second volume—a Work abounding with information highly interesting—and written with the utmost simplicity, will be read and referred to as a book of authority, as long as the colony exists whose name it bears. The appointment of Judge-Advocate however proved eventually injurious to his interests. When absent, he had been passed over when it came to his turn to be put on full pay, nor was he permitted to return to England to reclaim his rank in the corps, neither could he ever obtain any effectual redress, but was afterwards compelled to come in as a junior Captain of the corps, though with his proper rank in the army. The difference this made in regard to his promotion was, that he died a Captain instead of a Colonel Commandant—his rank in the army being merely Brevet. He had then the mortification of finding, that after ten years of distinguished service in the infancy of a colony, and to the sacrifice of every real comfort, his only Reward had been, the loss of many years' rank—a vital injury to any officer. A remark, which his wounded feelings wrung from him at the close of the second volume of his History of the settlement, appears to have awakened the sympathies of those in power, and he was almost immediately after its publication offered the government of the projected settlement of Van Diemen's Land —which he accepted—and sailed once more for that quarter of the globe, where he founded his new colony, struggled with great difficulties—which he overcame—and after governing there six years, was enjoying the flourishing state his exertions had produced, when he died suddenly—after a few days' confinement, from a slight cold—on the 24th March, 1810. His person was remarkably handsome, and his manners extremely prepossessing, which, to a cultivated understanding, and an early fondness for the 'Belle Lettres,' he joined the most cheerful and social disposition. How he was esteemed by the colony over which he presided, will appear from the following extract of a letter announcing his decease:—'By the death of Colonel Collins, this colony has sustained a loss it will take a number of years to get over. I have known and served with him from the first establishment of the colony, and when I speak the feelings of my heart on this melancholy occasion, I am sure that it is not my single voice, but that of every Department whatsoever in the settlement, who, with the heartfelt regret, universally acknowledged him to have been the Father and Friend of ALL!'"
ABORIGINES' SUPERSTITIONS AND JEALOUSIES.
With reference to the Superstitions of the Aboriginal Inhabitants of uncivilized countries, there is one noticed by Russell, in his History, especially deserving record in a Narrative of this kind. Alluding to those of the Mosquittoe shore, he says—
"The Mosquittoes are distinguished into two sorts, the Beds, and Blacks, or Samboes. The first are the original inhabitants of the country; the second are the descendants of about fifty negroes, whom a Portuguese Captain had brought from Guinea, and was carrying to Brazil, but who rendered themselves masters of the vessel, throwing all overboard, but one man. The assistance of this man, however, was insufficient to navigate the vessel, which, left at the mercy of the winds, was driven upon Cape Gracias a Dios, where the crew fell into the hands of the Mosquittoes, among whom the Negroes lived for some time in a state of servitude, and afterwards became the partners of their dangers and toils.
"The Portuguese was so much like a Spaniard, against whom the animosity of the Mosquittoes is implacable, that his life was, with difficulty, spared; and after he had been a slave for two years, it was determined to sacrifice him at the funeral of the master to whose lot he had fallen, that he might serve him in the other world.
"Luckily, the Portuguese had but one eye. He represented to the General Assembly of the nation, which was convened on that occasion, 'that a one-eyed man could be of service to nobody in the other world, as it was difficult to see clear there, even with two.' His argument succeeded, the Mosquittoes not only granted him his life, but also his liberty, a wife, and the surname of The man who knows a great deal."
Next, with reference to their jealousy, as shown in this narrative; it is a feeling known amongst all men, of all nations, and all classes. The following is an extract from the Work mentioned in the title page—"The Emigrant's Guide:"—
"The men have been represented as most outrageously jealous, but I do not believe they are more so than any other people. It is, however, a melancholy fact, one that will scarcely bear reflecting upon, and one that perhaps, 'will melt even Lawyers to pity,' that the American Indian has no more idea of a Lord Chancellor, than he has of the Chief Officer of the Inquisition, and knows no more about a suit in Chancery, than he does of the North-west Passage. Poor fellow, he does not even know the meaning of an action for damages;—totally senseless to all the charms of briefs and refreshers, he actually lives, moves, and has his being, without the assistance of 'Letters and Messages,' or of even one solitary six-and-eight-penny, to inform him that black is not white, and vice versâ. Now, where people thus destitute are left to follow their own ideas of right and wrong, it is not to be wondered at, that they should act promptly, and upon the impulses of the moment. I would therefore strongly, and most seriously, advise the emigrant to Upper Canada, to constantly bear in mind the Tenth Commandment; if he does not, his blood be upon his own head, for he will be scalp'd to a certainty. He may rest assured that the only progressive operatives introduced to his notice should he fail to do so, will be a scalping-knife and a rifle; and that the only brief, or instructions, will be given on a round piece of lead, which will find its way through his Chancery Court much quicker than would a suit in charge of those who are, of course, all—all—disinterested and honorable men!!!"
So you see reader, there are other people in the world, besides the Port Phillip natives, who are occasionally very jealous.It would be the labour of a life to write a History of Superstitions,—for what people or nation is without them? We should turn our thoughts inwards therefore, before we laugh at the superstitions of others, and remember that it is not so very long since our own country was full of them,—even to the general belief that a child born with a caul on his head, can never be drowned; and again, that old Van Derdecken, the Flying Dutchman, is still knocking about in a gale of wind off the Cape;—or again, that the man who writes a book (one like this of course) must be clever—sad superstition!!
Since the preceding pages were placed in the hands of the Printer, I have read with considerable care and great interest, the Exploring Expedition of Sir Thomas Mitchell, a work which probably is not excelled by any, in its minute descriptions of a line of country previously unexplored. By that reading, I find Buckley's descriptions of many of the customs of the Aborigines fully confirmed, whilst others again are peculiar to those of New South Wales. Sir Thomas Mitchell, however, does not state, that the natives of the localities he visited, are cannibals; but Buckley clearly shews, that those round about Port Phillip are so, under particular and exciting circumstances. They both say something about their extraordinary imitative powers, and I may add my testimony on that matter from my own experience of the Western coast.
I preface my remarks by stating, that a long intercourse with the North American Indians, in peace and war, has given me a tolerable knowledge of what is called savage life, and of the great difference which exists between the warriors of the new world, and the savages of the Australian wilds; the former being faithful, courageous, and intellectual; the latter on the contrary, being generally treacherous, cowardly, and mere creatures holding the link in the chain of animal life between the man and the monkey.
I write as of my own knowledge, having been initiated into all the customs of one of the Six Nations, the Hurons, by whom I was adopted as a son, and brother, eight and thirty years ago, during the war with the United States.
The North American Indian is proverbial for his calm, quiet, contemplative habits—his philosophical endurance of pain and suffering; the Australian Aborigine on the contrary, except when meditating mischief, being all monkeyism—all effervescence—nothing escapes his momentary notice—his imitative efforts—whether it be sound, or action; occasionally also—but only occasionally—he is courageous.
These remarks lead me to relate an anecdote or two relative to the natives of Western Australia, which may not be out of place in this Narrative.
About three years after the establishment of the Swan River colony, her Majesty's ship Sulphur, Captain Dance, which was attached to it, was ordered to the Southward, to examine the line of coast between Freemantle and King George's Sound. Her first Lieutenant was the present Commander, William Preston, a man, whose heart and soul were not only in the service to which he belonged, but, in that of the new colony, into the interior of which he had led several exploring parties with great tact, talent, and untiring zeal. Captain Preston was, and doubtless still is, a man precisely adapted to perform such work, he being possessed of good temper, great kind-heartedness, and undaunted courage. He was somewhat remarkable amongst us for odd expressions,—made applicable by him, to all things, all times, and all circumstances. The one most general with him was, "Go it ye cripples." If the wine bottle was to be pushed about, the pass-word was, "Go it ye cripples;"—if at a rubber of whist, and the next player was a slow coach, it was "Go it ye cripples;"—if anything was to be said or done, the cry was the same, "Go it ye cripples."
When the Sulphur arrived off the Vasse, to the northward of Cape Lewen, it was determined to send a boat on shore to open up a friendly communication with the natives, many of whom were seen upon the beach, and with this view my friend Preston landed alone, and unarmed. Out of the way of the inflowing wave, he seated himself on the sand, sailor fashion, regardless of all personal consequences. As the natives commenced jumping and dancing before and around him, shaking their spears and knocking their clubs about, he began to shout "Go it ye cripples;" which cry, they repeated readily, and apparently with great delight. Presently he took off his neckerchief, and flung it amongst them, with a "Go it ye cripples;" then something else went flying, with the same shout, until it became a kind of peaceful, although most uproarious, Corrobberree. At length he came on board again, but "Go it ye cripples," as a friendly salutation, did not leave, and probably never will leave the natives of the Western coast.
To shew this, and how useful that sound was to me some months after, I will relate the following rather perilous adventure:—
In eighteen hundred and thirty-three, several of the tribes round about the Swan and Canning Rivers had become very dangerous, several of the settlers having been massacred, and the flocks and herds having suffered severely. On one occasion intelligence was brought to me, as Resident Magistrate of the Perth district, that a flock of sheep, belonging to Mr. Brown, the Colonial Secretary, whose torn was about eight miles above the capital, had been driven away by black fellows. As was my duty, I dispatched several armed parties in search, accompanying one of them myself. After a wearying march of several hours under a hot sun, I found, about four o'clock in the afternoon, that by having taken what I thought would prove a short cut to the Helena rivulet, I had lost my way, and all my party, excepting a Mr. Clelland, a strong-nerved intelligent Scotchman, on whose courage I could rely in any case of emergency. After cooeying for some time to no purpose, we consulted together as to what had better be done in the event of falling in with the natives, and especially those of whom we were in search, Each of us was well armed with a double- barrelled gun, and plenty of ball cartridge; and being so provided, our proposed order of battle was soon determined upon. It was very simple, namely, to reserve one barrel, and to stand by each other to the last.
I may here remark, that unlike the natives of the Australian Continent generally, many of the blacks of the Western coast are queer fellows to deal with, and that a steady hand and ready eye, are necessary on every occasion when mischief is contemplated.
After a time we became entangled in some scrub and swampy ground, and just as we had cleared them, and ascended a rise in the forest, we came suddenly upon a strong body of blacks, who, probably, had heard our cooeying. The leading man was directly in front of me. He immediately poised his spear in his throwing-stick, threw one leg forward, and made ready for the hurl at about twenty paces distance. At the same instant, I came to the present, with both barrels cocked, taking a sure and certain aim at the debateable ground between his ferocious-looking eyes;—it was a good aim, for he seemed to me to be looking down both muzzles—my friend Clelland remaining calmly at the recover.I had passed twice down the rapids of the Long Sault, (once by moonlight,) the most dangerous part of the magnificent Saint Lawrence—I had heard the night war shrieks of hostile Indians, and been in more skirmishes and fights than I think proper to enumerate, but I confess, neither of these had queered me so much, as did the savage then in front of me; however, I am proud to recollect, that I was able, and without shrinking, to watch his eye as carefully in this game for life or death, as a Somersetshire wrestler would for the first throw. At length, in about a minute I suppose, up rose the shout, "Go it ye cripples," "Go it ye cripples," from a native who was rising the ridge, and who, fortunately, had recognised me as a friend of Preston's. In another second, up went the double-barrel, down went the spear, and "Go it ye cripples" was the order of the day.
The excitement over, and when my friend Clelland and myself had lighted our cigars, and perhaps taken a refresher out of our buffalo horns, I gave the natives to understand all about the missing sheep, which I found they knew nothing of, but that they were willing to accompany me in search of them.
The day ended in the restoration of the flock, and a kind reception by their owner, whose hospitality will be remembered by the early settlers of that colony, so long as memory lasts. That evening the natives gave us a great Corrobberree, and all ended in peace, when I gave the pass-word,—"Go it ye cripples. Home."
That night, I believe, I dream't of my friend with the spear and throwing-stick, for all hands told me in the morning, that I awoke shouting, "Go it ye cripples. Home."
I am sorry to have to record, that although all things passed off so well on this occasion, in a few weeks after, the same body of blacks committed several unprovoked acts of great atrocity, so that our mutual friendly salutation of "Go it Cripples," and its influences, were exchanged for something like
"Ride out, ride out,
followed by prompt, and well deserved punishment.I take this opportunity of giving an opinion, founded on many years' experience, that the true and most effective principle of successfully controlling savages, is founded on consistency. Kindness one day, and harshness another, will never do. They should be treated, as nearly as possible, on one uniform system, and when they return cruelty and ingratitude for kindness, they must be punished,—not in a half-and-half manner, as some persons coerce children, but in reality, so that they may "never forget to remember" the when,—the whereabouts,—and all that happened.