Narrative of a Voyage Round the World (Wilson)

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Narrative of a Voyage Round the World (Wilson)  (1835) 
by Thomas Braidwood Wilson

Narrative of a Voyage Round the World - Wreck of the Ship.jpg

On Stone by A. Picken.From a Sketch by Leut. Weston

Wreck of the ship "Governors Ready" in Torres Straits.

NARRATIVE

OF

A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD;

COMPREHENDING AN ACCOUNT OF

THE WRECK OF THE SHIP "GOVERNOR READY,"

IN TORRES STRAITS;

A DESCRIPTION OF

THE BRITISH SETTLEMENTS

ON THE

COASTS OF NEW HOLLAND,

MORE PARTICULARLY

RAFFLES BAY, MELVILLE ISLAND, SWAN RIVER, AND KING GEORGE'S SOUND;

ALSO,

THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE ABORIGINAL TRIBES;

WITH

AN APPENDIX,

CONTAINING

REMARKS ON TRANSPORTATION,
THE TREATMENT OF CONVICTS DURING THE VOYAGE,
AND ADVICE TO PERSONS INTENDING TO EMIGRATE TO THE
AUSTRALIAN COLONIES.


BY

T. B. WILSON, M.D Surgeon R.N.

MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL S0CIETY.


LONDON:
PRINTED FOR SHERWOOD, GILBERT, & PIPER,
PATERNOSTER ROW.


1835.

TO THE HONOURABLE

SIR HENRY DUNCAN, K.C.H., C.B.

CAPTAIN, ROYAL NAVY,

THIS VOLUME

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED,

IN TESTIMONY OF GRATITUDE AND ESTEEM,

BY HIS FAITHFUL

AND MUCH OBLIGED SERVANT,

 THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.


The following narrative, written shortly after the occurrence of the events therein described, was intended for immediate publication; but, on my arrival in England, being again appointed Surgeon-Superintendent of a convict-ship, my sojourn at home was so limited—not exceeding ten days—that I could not carry my intention into effect; and having been, since that period, unremittingly employed in the same service, I have not had leisure to superintend the work through the Press until the present time.—Moreover, concluding that the interest in the subjects treated of, had greatly subsided, I abandoned all idea of giving publicity to the manuscript.

The great desire, however, still manifested by the Public, to obtain information relative to New Holland, has induced me to alter my opinion; and I now therefore publish these pages, in the hope that they may contain some information acceptable to those interested in Australian affairs, and afford some amusement to the general reader.

With the exception of an article in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of last year, there has been no account yet published, of Melville Island or Raffles Bay; and I still hope that, notwithstanding the unfavourable issue of former trials, the attention of the Government will be again directed to the manifold advantages likely to result from colonizing the north coast of New Holland: and should any remarks, which I have made, tend to accelerate so desirable an event, it will afford me much gratification.

Although the observations regarding Swan River, and King George's Sound, have been, in a great measure, superseded by more recent information; yet, as they give a sketch of these settlements in their infancy, I have deemed it expedient to retain them.

The remarks in the Appendix, relative to transportation, &c, may be entitled to some attention,—being derived from an experience of eight voyages to Australia, during which, I have had charge of nearly two thousand prisoners, without having met with any difficulty, or disturbance, worth mentioning.


It was my intention to give a detailed account of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land; but as that subject has been so recently and ably treated of, I have restricted myself to offering a few words of advice to persons intending to become settlers in these colonies, to whom the hints I have given may, perhaps, prove advantageous.

T. B. WILSON.

London,
October 20th, 1835.

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
PAGE
Arrival at Sydney—Hobart Town—Departure for Batavia—Attempted Passage round Cape Leuwin unsuccessful—Bass's Straits—Wreck Reef—Eastern Fields—Murray's Island—The "Governor Ready" wrecked on a Coral Reef in Torres' Straits—The Crew take to the Boats, intending to proceed to Melville Island—The Ship abandoned 1
CHAPTER II.
Intention to remain a short time by the Ship frustrated—Voyage in the Boats commenced—Arrival at Half-way Island—Departure for Booby Island—Progress obstructed by reefs and sandbanks—Discover a group of Islets—Land on one of them—Transactions there—Description of the group—Duncan's Isles—Departure 18
CHAPTER III.
Favourable weather continues—Observance of the Sabbath-day—Weather becomes stormy—Miraculous escape—Skiff heaves-to—Jolly-boat abandoned; the crew having yielded to despair being admitted into the long boat—Heavy gale—Long boat nearly swamped—Being unable to reach Melville Island, we proceed to Timor—Straits of Semao—Colonial Brig "Amity"—Arrival at Coupang—Mr. Underwood's Narrative—Retrospective View of Occurrences—Character of the Officers. 34
CHAPTER IV.
Coupang—Sale of the Boats—Description of the Town—Its Trade—Husbandry—Government—and Inhabitants—Departure from Coupang—"Amity" nearly wrecked—Arrival at Raffles Bay 57
CHAPTER V.
Raffles Bay—Natives—Miago—The Chief Wellington—Waterloo—Da' Atea—Luga—Monanoo—Wooloogary Chief of Croker's Island—The Commandant visits the Natives—Malay Proas touch at the Settlement—Wreck of the Mermaid—Wreck of the Swiftsure—Death of Mr. Radford—Arrival of H.M.S. Satellite 72
CHAPTER VI.
Native Dance—Natives visit H.M.S. Satellite and the Ship Reliance—Arrival of the Schooner Admiral Gifford—Affray at Hammond's Island—Disgraceful conduct of the Crews of small Vessels—Anecdotes concerning the Natives 86
CHAPTER VII.
Visit to Croker's Island—Laws' Plains—Interview with the Inhabitants—Bowen's Straits—Barker's Bay—Return to the Settlement—Departure of H.M.S. Satellite for India—Arrival of the Governor Phillips—Embarkation of part of the Settlers—Brigs Amity and Thompson sail for Swan River—Public Garden—Departure of the Natives 101
CHAPTER VIII.
Raffles Bay abandoned—Animals and Vegetables left there—Port Essington—Knocker's Bay—Departure from the North Coast of New Holland—Remarks as to the objects which the British Government had in view, in the formation of the Settlements on the North Coast of New Holland, and the causes of their abandonment 116
CHAPTER IX.
A British Settlement formed at Raffles Bay—Extract from the Diary of the Commandant—Extract from Mr. Duncan's Journal, containing an account of the occurrences attending the formation of the Settlement and also the Narrative of a Lascar, relative to the Aborigines of the North-east Coast of New Holland 130
CHAPTER X.
Misunderstanding between the Settlers and Natives—Unfortunate occurrences—Death of Dr. Wood—Malay Proas visit the Settlement—Extracts from the Medical Report of Dr. Davis—Observations on Melville Island and Raffles Bay, by Captain Laws, R.N.—Proofs of the healthiness of the Climate 146
CHAPTER XI.
Description of Fort Wellington—General appearance of the Land on the North Coast of New Holland—Character of the Aborigines of Raffles Bay—Recapitulatory Observations—Alleged Causes of the Abandonment of Melville Island and Raffles Bay proved to be without foundation 158
CHAPTER XII.
Departure from the North Coast of New Holland—Buckle's Isle proved not to exist—The Governor Phillips strikes on a Coral Rock—Arrival at Coupang— Transactions there—Departure—Savu—Benjoar—Arrival at Swan River—Freemantle—Melville Water—Mount Eliza—Perth 175
CHAPTER XIII.
Excursion up Swan River—Fertility of the Land above Perth—Return to Perth—Proceed down the River—Weather-bound at Freemantle—Governor's Levee in the open air—General Observations regarding the Settlement—Visit to Rottenest—Return to Gage's Roads 190
CHAPTER XIV.
Excursion up the River Canning—A Native Village—Darling Range—Friendly interview with the Natives—Their sudden departure—We return to our Encampment on the River 203
CHAPTER XV.
Return down the River—Excursion to Garden Island—Description of the Swan and Canning Rivers—Perth—Freemantle—Remarks—Geographical position of Arthur's Head 215
CHAPTER XVI.
Departure from Swan River—Unsuccessful attempt to land at Cape Chatham—Boat nearly Swamped—Heavy Gale—Leaky state of the Brig—Anchor in King George's Sound—Excursion into the Interior—-Interview with a Native 228
CHAPTER XVII.
Pass through a fertile tract of country—Discontent of some of the Party—Good humour restored—Conversation with Mokărē relative to a future state of existence—Journey resumed to the Westward—Arrive at a Lake—Barren Land—Proceed to the Southward through a hilly tract—Course altered to the Eastward—Ascend a Mountain, and obtain an extensive view 243
CHAPTER XVIII.
Proceed on our Journey—Discover a large Inlet into which several Rivers empty themselves—Arrive at the Settlement—Captain Barker's Narrative—General Remarks on our Journey—A Native Dance—Curious Prescription of a Native Doctor 260
CHAPTER XIX.
Excursion to Oyster Harbour—Green Island—Fertility of the Soil—Brief account of the Natives—Departure from King George's Sound—Account of the Murder of Captain Barker—Narrative resumed—Bass's Straits—Anchor in the River Tamar 276
CHAPTER XX.
Proceed up the River Tamar to Launceston—Short Excursion into the Country—Flourishing state of the Town—Hospitality of the Inhabitants—Sail from Port Dalrymple—Arrival at Sydney— Excursion over the Southern settled Districts—Departure from Sydney, in the ship Surry, and safe arrival in England 290
APPENDIX.
Brief Account of the Inhabitants of Murray's Island 305
A Short Vocabulary of the Dialect of the Natives of Raffles Bay 315
Specimen of the Dialect of the Natives of King George's Sound 321
Remarks on Transportation 325
Advice to Emigrants 342