2.2 Reverend Watson's Journals - Annotations

  1. Evangelical influence, informed and motivated by Reverend Marsden, was instrumental in causing the construction of the new Female Factory at Parramatta, now a closed institution. Hirst, Convict Society and its Enemies, 17-18. At the time Watson visited, the institution accommodated some 456 women (160 of whom were serving a colonial sentence) and 155 children under the age of 3. Sydney Gazette, 2 August 1832. [Return to page 40]
  2. The manuscript reading is rather mysterious. The bullock, not the driver was killed in this mishap, for he is still alive on the 21st. [Return to page 40]
  3. Psalm 107 which begins: “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever' is rather long, but Watson probably refers specifically to verses 33-38: 'He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield.” Divination by opening the Scriptures was a common practice. [Return to page 41]
  4. Earlier, ‘Woolpack’. [Return to page 42]
  5. Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) was a Quaker minister and an active prison reformer who achieved improvements for convicts transported to New South Wales. [Return to page 43]
  6. ie. Cox’s Pass, descending Mount York. The missionaries apparently followed “Berghofer’s Pass”, which led down on the left. Field, in 1822, thought “Big Hill … should have been named Mount Pisgah, for it affords the first view of the promised land of Australia, after the wilderness of the Blue Mountains”. Field in Mackaness (ed.), Fourteen Journeys, 124. See also Lesson in Mackaness (ed.), Fourteen Journeys, 154. [Return to page 44]
  7. ie. Collits’ Inn, or The Royal Garter (formerly The Golden Fleece), owned by Pierce and Mary Collits (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 45]
  8. Isaiah 55 begins “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price”. [Return to page 45]
  9. A large number of these breastplates are in the Australian Museum. [Return to page 45]
  10. ie. Melchisedec/Melchizedek. See Hebrew 7:1. “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him” [Return to page 45]
  11. “Monaghan’s Downfall” was so-named, according to Charles Darwin, “in allusion to the desperate death of a prisoner, who fell when the road was forming there”. F.W. & J.M. Nicholas, Charles Darwin in Australia, 43. [Return to page 46]
  12. Romans 14:23 [Return to page 47]
  13. 1 Timothy 1:15. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief”. [Return to page 47]
  14. Luke 15: 10. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” [Return to page 48]
  15. Another clergymen, Reverend Joseph Orton, also preached to the road gangs in this neighbourhood a few months later. Orton felt it “profitable to preach the word of life to these poor self-degraded, & miserable creatures” W.L. Harvard, "Pierce Collits and His Inns", JRAHS 23, 5 (1938):406. [Return to page 48]
  16. The settler William Lane of `Tarranah Farm', Fish River near Bathurst (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 50]
  17. Hebrews 3:1. “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”. [Return to page 52]
  18. In February 1823, while surveying the road between Rydal and Bathurst, Surveyor James McBrien of the Lands Department reported finding "numerous particles of gold" in the Fish River, being the first reported discovery of gold in the colony, almost thirty years before the `rush' of 1851. [Return to page 52]
  19. Hannah Davey, came free per Jupiter 1823. She is listed in the 1825 Muster as being employed by William Lane at Bathurst [Return to page 52]
  20. Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. [Return to page 52]
  21. ie. a possum, usually a brush-tailed possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), a nocturnal, tree-dwelling marsupial found throughout most of Australia. [Return to page 53]
  22. Watson frequently treats inflammation and infections by applying a “blister” or counter-irritant. It was thought to promote aborption of thickenings and effusions in joints and under the skin, and to relieve congestion in organs (such the lungs) by reacting with the nerves to regulate the size of blood-vessels. The key substance was possibly mustard (paste or leaves), or turpentine, or liniments of ammonia and chloroform. The substance was spread on muslin, flannel cloth, paper or plaster, bandaged to the skin for upwards of thirty minutes, causing it to peel and blister. Thompson, Black’s Medical Dictionary. [Return to page 54]
  23. Major William Croker, 17th Regiment, Bathurst Commandant 1832-1834. See also Watson Journal, 13 November 1832 (Watson Journal 2, p.11), when Croker visits the mission to work out victualling arrangements for the military detachment. [Return to page 54]
  24. Reverend John Espy Kean (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 54]
  25. Watson’s account of Billy’s conversion and death was published in the Church Missionary Record, Volume 5, March 1834: 37. [Return to page 55]
  26. Possibly Lampetar Farm, on the Fish River, O’Connell Plains, near Bathurst, owned by Reverend Thomas Hassall. [Return to page 56]
  27. Major-General William Stewart (see WellPro Directory). Stewart’s estate at Mount Pleasant near Bathurst was built on a grant obtained from Governor Darling in 1826. [Return to page 57]
  28. The emancipist Charles Booth of “Kyong”, Lewis Ponds (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 59]
  29. William Tom (1794-1883) and Ann (nee Lane, 1796-1870), landowners at Lewis Ponds Creek near Bathurst (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 61]
  30. Mrs Watson’s “maiden name” was Anne Oliver. [Return to page 61]
  31. Major Donald McPherson, 39th Regiment (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 66]
  32. This letter probably exists in the Colonial Secretary’s correspondence in the State Records of NSW, but has not yet been located. [Return to page 67]
  33. William Scott, free settler, superintendent for John Maxwell at Narroogal, Wellington Valley (see WellPro Directory). See also Watson Journal, 23 December 1832, where Scott attends Divine Service at the mission. [Return to page 72]
  34. ie. John Wydle, Judge Advocate from 1816 and a landowner at Cabramatta. ADB, s.v. ”Sir John Wylde”, by R.J. McKay, 2: 627-9. Thomas Fisher was a free settler, acting as agent and manager for Wylde and Palmer, Wellington Valley (see WellPro Directory). [Return to page 72]
  35. ie. Adelaide, daughter of George duke of Saxe-Meiningen, wife of William IV (reigned 1830-1837). [Return to page 74]
  36. Luke 15: 10. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” [Return to page 74]
  37. Watson comes to change his mind on this question. See Watson Journal 11. [Return to page 75]
  38. The Sydney CMS was authorised to purchase articles from the stores of the now defunct government establishment at Wellington Valley. McLeay to Hill, 13 July 1832, SRNSW 4/3616; Hill to McLeay, 27 July 1832, CMS CN/O5(a). Watson spent £67.7.6 on three bullocks, six cows, a heifer, agricultural tools and house furniture. Watson to Hill, nd., CMS CN/O5(a). [Return to page 75]
  39. Identified under 18th October as William Hook. [Return to page 75]
  40. The old blacksmith is described elsewhere as having just received his ticket-of-leave at Bathurst, after working at Wellington Valley for seven years. He was probably John Daws (or Dawes), approaching his sixties, who was at Wellington Valley from around 1825, serving a life sentence. Dawes soon left the mission, presumably because Watson would not let him take on work from other settlers, fearing it would draw unwanted white men to the settlement. Two other men were left at the settlement by the departing Superintendent of Stock to help the missionaries manage the livestock they purchased from the department on their arrival. They were the convict R. Young (per Henry), who was left behind to tend the milking cattle, and William Stewart, who was recommended by Superintendent Bennet as a “faithful, trustworthy and religious man”. Watson to Hill, 9 October 1832, CMS CN/O5(a). [Return to page 75]
  41. The evidence for widespread cannibalism among Australian Aborigines, whether for ritual, warfare or as maternal practice on the death of an infant, is equivocal. Most early observers, such as Watson here, provide only hearsay evidence. For a summary of the issue, see W. Arens, The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology and Anthropophagy, (New York: Oxford UP, 1979). On alleged cannibalism in Far North Queensland, see Eric Rolls, Sojourners (Brisbane: UQP, 1993), pp. 194, 196, 198, 205, 217; Rolls’ account has been critically reviewed by Peter Bell in Australasian Historical Archaeology 10: 94-95 . [Return to page 75]
  42. Jemmy Buckley, or “Goongeen”, becomes a semi-permanent member of the Mission. This is his first appearance. [Return to page 76]
  43. See Watson Journal, 2 October 1832. [Return to page 77]
  44. ie., hominy, or coarsely ground maize, boiled with water or milk. [Return to page 77]
  45. This is a good example of what Threlkeld described as an exchange in which both Black and White believed themselves to be speaking the other’s language. None of the words here are, in fact, Wiradjuri, but are corrupt forms of the Sydney language which formed part of an emerging Criol. [Return to page 79]
  46. Major William Croker, 17th Regiment, Bathurst Commandant 1832-1834. [Return to page 81]
  47. Shortly after arriving at Wellington Valley, Watson informed the Sydney CMS of the “great inconvenience” and expense of having to ration the military detachment, and the difficulties arising from his not having received instructions on this matter from the Committee. Watson to Hill, 9 October 1832, CMS CN/O5(a). In 1833, the Commissariat Office was twice required to address the Sydney CMS on the subject of military provisions at Wellington Valley, noting that the detachment was retained there for the protection of the missionaries and warning that they would be withdrawn unless satisfactory arrangements were made. Laidley to Hill, 12 June 1833 and 8 November 1833, CMS CN/O5(a). The missionaries were experiencing difficulties finding a contractor to supply the provisions. Watson to Hill, 8 November 1833, CMS CN/O5(a). Problems arising from the need to provision the military continued through 1834. Watson and Handt to Hill, 22 January 1834; Watson Journal, 5 August 1834. [Return to page 82]
  48. Possibly a malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), or a scrub/brush turkey (Alectura lathami), both mound-building birds. The malleefowl is a highly sedentary species, endemic to the dry scrubs of central NSW, western Victoria and central and south-western Australia. The scrub turkey is more commonly found in eastern Queensland and northern NSW. [Return to page 82]
  49. Could be Lt Vicars Jacob (free settler per Medway 1822), formerly of the East India Company, merchant in Sydney in 1820s and owner of Luskintyre estate in the Hunter Valley. [Return to page 82]
  50. ie., myall, or “natives who remain in a savage state … named `myalls’ by their half civilised brethren”. Mitchell, Three Expeditions, 1: 20. [Return to page 83]
  51. Handt visited Murrumburdgeree on 12 November and would have informed Watson of this on his return. Watson neglects to mention that Handt had preceded him on this journey to outlying stations by about a fortnight. Handt Journal, 12 November 1832. [Return to page 87]
  52. Isaiah 25: 5-6. “Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low. And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” [Return to page 89]
  53. Revelation 1:10. “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” [Return to page 96]
  54. Joshua 24:15. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” [Return to page 97]
  55. This installment (marked C N/O 92/14) was received on 8 May 1834 and included the Journal from January to June, rather being a customary quarterly issue. It has no title. [Return to page 101]
  56. 1 John 2: 17. “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” [Return to page 103]
  57. ie. the iron blade fixed in front of the share in a plough. [Return to page 110]
  58. John 15:22. “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.” [Return to page 111]
  59. Watson’s grotesque description of the Minore Aborigines was published in the Church Missionary Record in November the following year, and in the Report from the Select Committee on Aborigines in 1836. [Return to page 112]
  60. John Harper (1801-1862), schoolmaster and `assistant missionary' of the Wesleyan Missionary Society, conducted a mission to the Aborigines at Wellington Valley between 1824-1826 (see WellPro Directory). See Watson Journal, 22 April 1833, respecting the death of Wesley. [Return to page 117]
  61. This instalment C N/O 92/14, follows immediately on in the manuscript from Journal 3: January-March.1833 [Return to page 119]
  62. Although there is a break of five days here, there is no missing page. [Return to page 119]
  63. Possibly a misreading. There is no one of this name in the CMS Register of Missionaries, or the DNB. [Return to page 133]
  64. Henry Martyn (1781-1812), the linguist missionary. Translated the New testament and Prayer book into Hindustani, New testament and psalms into Persian, Gospels into Judaeo-Persic. Left ‘Journals and Letters’ published 1837. [Return to page 133]
  65. ie. “His heart is as strong as a stone, and as hard as the nether milstone”. Job 41:14 (?). [Return to page 149]
  66. ie. a powder to produce copious perspiration. Bathing in hot water is the best known diaphoretic. [Return to page 151]
  67. Entries for Wed. 4 - Saturday 7 are out of place in the manuscript, which Watson acknowledged by using an asterisk. The editors have retained this error. [Return to page 151]
  68. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Despard, 17th Regiment, Commandant at Parramatta, June 1833 - June 1834. [Return to page 151]
  69. [Return to page 151]
  70. ie. Make haste slowly, from festinare to hasten + lenté slowly. [Return to page 160]
  71. There appears to be a page missing here in the AJCP microfilm copy. Watson set off for Sydney suddenly in pursuit of Mr Fisher, suspecting that his neighbour was intending to apply for land abutting the mission reserve. Watson felt required to justify his unannounced visit to Sydney in a letter to Reverend Hill in November, when he also noted that Handt was preparing to take leave from the mission at Christmas. Watson to Hill, 8 November 1833, CN / O 5(a). [Return to page 164]
  72. ie. Same date as receipt of previous quarterly instalment, Oct-Dec. 1833 [Return to page 172]
  73. The Handts had been absent from the mission since 17 December 1833. Watson had objected and complained to the Sydney CMS, though spitefully noting that he had “no apprehension of the Mission’s Suffering from their absence or of any department being on that account neglected”. Watson to Hill, 8 November 1833, CMS CN/O5(a). The Sydney CMS responded by forbidding either missionary from absenting himself from the mission on private business without the approval of the Sydney Committee. Hill to Watson and Handt, 8 January 1834, CMS CN/O5(a). [Return to page 173]
  74. Blackleg is a gangrenous myositis, occurring spontaneously in cattle and sometimes in sheep. In cattle, the disease ends in death within three days, and the carcass is quickly bloated and putrefied. Blackleg occurs throughout most of Australia, though is now curbed by the vaccination of young calves. For more see W. Beveridge, Animal Health in Australia v.4 (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1983), 55-59. [Return to page 173]
  75. “Wandong” or Wondung is the name given to sacred dances performed during the Wiradjuri burbung. Howitt, Native Tribes, 586. [Return to page 175]
  76. Liniment of ammonia, also known as “hartshorn and oil”, was popularly used for sprains, bruises and rheumatic conditions. Thompson, Black’s Medical Dictionary, 531. [Return to page 178]
  77. ie. Dubbo, on the Macquarie River below Wellington Valley. [Return to page 178]
  78. ie. Minore, west of Dubbo, roughly 60 km from Wellington Valley. [Return to page 180]
  79. ie. Burrendong, on the Macquarie River above Wellington Valley (now Burrendong Dam). [Return to page 192]
  80. This second receipt, written in red, probably refers to filing. The first date refers to when the journal was received in CMS House. [Return to page 196]
  81. The man was identified elsewhere as “Dixon”. Watson Journal, 10 June 1834; Handt to Hill, 8 July 1834, CMS CN/O5(a). See also Handt Journal, 26 May 1834 [Return to page 198]
  82. Dropsy, or Hydrops, is a general term to describe an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in the body cavities. Thompson, Black’s Medical Dictionary. [Return to page 200]
  83. ie. Same date as receipt of previous quarterly instalment, April-June 1834. [Return to page 203]
  84. Revelation 1:18 “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” [Return to page 203]
  85. See Watson Journal xii, 24 April 1835. “A shooting star expended itself at a short distance from our house this evening. The natives were much alarmed, always viewing such a phenomena as an omen of death.“ [Return to page 206]
  86. Fomentation, ie. application of a warm cloth to dilate the blood vessels and sooth the nerves. The fomentation cloth is wrung out of hot water, and can be prepared with tablespoons of turpentine or laudanum. Thompson, Black’s Medical Dictionary, 367-68. [Return to page 211]
  87. ie. witchetty grub, a large white grub (larva) dug from the roots and stem of the mulga bush. [Return to page 219]
  88. Two months earlier, the Sydney CMS had applied for four assigned servants to alleviate the labour crisis on the Wellington Valley mission. Hill to Watson and Handt, 12 September 1834, CMS CN/O5(a). [Return to page 233]