Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Road to Hollow Tree - John Best

Some readers of my blog will have seen my various posts about my ancestor John Best. I wish to let everybody know that I've retracted all those posts about The Story of John Best. That's because I've converted his story into a book (hardcopy).

The book will be a very limited print run. That's mainly because I imagine only descendants of John Best (and perhaps descendants of his mates John Bell, Patrick Montgomery, George White and Bryan Bennett) might be interested in reading it.

Read about John's story in "The Road to Hollow Tree". It is a limited print, but a hard copy will be available at the National Library, the State Library of Tasmania (LINC Tasmania), the University of Tasmania Library, the Historical Information Centre, New Norfolk and the Ouse Online Access Centre.

For my blog readers - I'm sorry 'The Story of John Best' as it appeared on my blog has now (as of 19 December 2017) been removed. This was necessary to ensure there was only 'one version of the truth' (as they say).

If you have a family connection with the Best family (or the White, Bennett, Bell, McCarthy, Byrne, Littlehales families etc.), I welcome you making contact with me via email.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

98 Years Later

In October 1917, my grandfather - Bert Rowland - was mustard gassed at Ypres in Belgium.  He was evacuated to England where he recuperated at the County Middlesex War Hospital at Napsbury (in St Albans, Hertfordshire) and subsequently at the 3rd Auxilliary War Hospital at Dartford, in Middlesex. By December 1917, he had sufficiently recovered to be discharged and was afforded some furlough before a return to the Western Front.

While on furlough, Bert travelled to Dalton-in-Furness, in Westmorland (now Cumbria), England, the birthplace of his girlfriend Meg (later to become his wife).  Meg had left Dalton-in-Furness at age 3, when her family migrated to Tasmania.

In Dalton, Bert stayed with Meg's aunt (Hannah Crellin nee Hornby) and uncle, Thomas Henry Crellin. Bert enjoyed his stay in Dalton enormously, being well looked after by Meg's aunt, uncle and nephews. He wrote to Meg how he had one of the best times he had ever had. He wrote this on the back of a postcard dated 30 December 1917.  On the front of the post card was a photo of Tudor Square in the heart of Dalton-in-Furness.

In May 2015, I managed to visit Dalton-in-Furness for the first time.  My visit was 99 years, more or less, after my grandfather made his one and only visit.

Below is the front photo of my grandfather's postcard.  And below that is my photo of the same spot 99 years later.

Tudor Square, Dalton-in-Furness - 1917
Tudor Square, Dalton-in-Furness - 17 May 2015

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Song of the Day

Time for a musical interlude.  Do you remember this one?

Classic Paul Kelly.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Elwood High School - Looking Back

Hi all

Irene Jablonka has a web site dedicated to capturing/recording stories of ex-students from their days at Melbourne's Elwood High School.

It's a great idea ... if you attended EHS, you can contribute your recollections, large or small.  It could gradually become a library of memories for other ex-students .. and ex-teachers ... !

But it needs contributions. Here is the hyperlink:

You can search for the site by keywords Looking Back at Elwood High School Days on Google.
You may also be interested in Looking Back at Elwood Central Days (again, search in Google to navigate to this web page).

Monday, April 15, 2013

St Kilda Comes to Canberra

13 April 2013 saw St Kilda Football Club play a game in Canberra for premiership points.  They played against the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Manuka (recently re-named Star Track Oval for sponsorship purposes).

The game was a day-night match - played under lights. A beautiful autumn evening, with no breeze and a temperature of around 24 degrees C.

The game began with the daylight fading and the lights already on.

Ball up to start proceedings
Clint Jones and Toby Greene stare each down at the start of the game.
St Kilda kicked an early goal through Stevie Milne to set a trend for the rest of the game. It was quickly followed by another goal to Nick Riewoldt. The Saints had 5 goals 4 behinds on the scoreboard at quarter time - the Giants did not score at all.

The Giants collected their first goal early in the second quarter, then another.  I thought then that we were going to have a game on our hands.  But the Saints were dominant.  They beat their opponents to the ball and moved it around the ground more thoughtfully.  By half-time, the scoreline was Saints 10.8 to the Giants 5.1.

Half-time scores
The crowd mood was somewhat quiet - seems more were Giants supporters than St Kilda fans. But there were many St Kilda fans.

The scene at half-time.
St Kilda went on to kick 5 more goals in the third quarter and a further six goals in the final quarter.

The final scores.
Some of the Saints players who kicked goals were:

David Armitage - 4 goals (man of the match award)

Stephen Milne - 3 goals

Ahmed Saad - 3 goals
Nick Riewoldt - 3 goals
Beau Maister - 2 goals

Sam Gilbert - 1 goal
After the siren:
Handshakes all round.  Good to see the sportsmanship.

Nathan Wright sees the impact of the Giant's big loss on Toby Greene's face.

As the players left the field to recover, the crowd emptied out of Star Track Stadium.  Many headed to Manuka for a meal or a drink. The evening remained balmy.  A good night for all (except the Giants and their fans, but hey, tough luck guys!).  The Saints finally started their winning form.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Last Day of Summer

While watching a US television soap/drama (Revenge) the other night, I heard a character say something like "... you'll be gone by the end of summer".

The setting for the show is, I think, the Hamptons, or somewhere on the US north-east coast where the uber-wealthy people spend their holiday time.

I was left wondering - what did the character mean by "the end of summer"?  Summer in the US officially ends on 31 August.  But I was left with the impression that the character was referring to perhaps the end of the holiday season.  I was a touch confused.  I put it down to the (small) cultural divide between Americans and Australians.

But here in Canberra, there is absolutely no doubt about when the end of summer is.  We almost celebrate it with dancing in the cul-de-sacs.  Almost. It's today - the last day of February.  From now on, the sting of the searing sun will steadily weaken.  The stinking hot days and sleep depriving hot nights are all but over.  Of course, Mother Nature may yet taunt us with one or two more 30C degree plus days.  I remember a March day in the mid-eighties where it reached 38C.  But Canberrans rejoice on this day, because tomorrow the best season of the year begins - autumn. 

Today is also a day of note, because it's my youngest son's birthday.  Happy birthday Adam!

A summer sight that we hopefully won't see for a long time to come.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Statues - London and Canberra

While on a visit to Floriade last spring, I snapped this statue.


This is the first public statue in Canberra that I can think of (other than a war memorial type statue) that’s appealing for its realism. I really like this statue. But a question kept cropping up in my mind ... ‘who is it meant to be?’ Now, I’m NOT that ignorant that I didn't immediately recognise old Ming, but if you were an international visitor to Canberra, would you know who it was?

This is how London displays their statues (see below). They use pedestals to tell you who the statue represents, and sometimes even a bit about them.  The ACT Government could learn a thing or two from London.

Don't get me wrong - I really like the Ming statue and hope one day that Tuggeranong will be adorned with something of similar style and quality - perhaps a statue of the ACT's own Chris Peters (complete with marble pedestal)?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boris Johnson's Ice Age

The Canberra Times printed an article yesterday written by Boris Johnson (he being the mayor of London).  Johnson wrote how he had stared through his window at a flowerpot and his bashed up barbeque and noticed that the layer of snow he could see outside his London home was getting thicker. He wrote "This is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; I mean snow of a kind that I don't remember from childhood: snow that comes one day, sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more."

He concludes "But I observe something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it "warming" is to strain the language".  So Boris consulted learned astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, "...who has very good record of forecasting the weather". Corbyn reckons global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb (the sun). And that 'mood' is one of declining solar sunspot activity known to have coincided once in the past with a severe cold spell on Earth (the Maunder Minimum).

Johnson writes "I am not saying for a second that I am convinced Corbyn is right ... I am only speaking as a layman who observes there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility - however remote - that Corbyn is right". He concludes by writing "I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind".

Well Boris.  I live in Canberra, the capital of Australia.  Here, The Canberra Times (same day) also reports "Canberra heading for January heat record as storms spark fire fears".  The article tells us "Canberra is sweltering through what could be its hottest January on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology".  The average daily maximum temperature in January for Canberra is 27C.  This January so far, our average daily maximum temperature is sitting at 33C, a massive 5 degrees C above average!  Now it's only 24 January today, so we may be lucky to be blessed with some days where the maximum fails to exceed 30C (here's hoping) and lower the average daily maximum somewhat.

Boris - you look out your window and wonder if sunspot activity is leading the world to another Ice Age.  I look out my window and wonder when Canberra's summer will start cooling down to the long term average!

Perhaps an article written with a bit of fun in mind, but it might be sensible, Boris, that you look further than your own backyard to see if your conditions are reflected elsewhere.  And perhaps consult more than one expert (and perhaps not just an astrophysicist). From what I can tell, places like Washington and New York (regular deep freezes most winters) seem to have seen nary a snowflake at all this year.  Perhaps all their snow has gone to London!

So, I wish I was in London right now, enjoying the sight of snow falling rather than than my garden trees scorching under a relentless sun (see my poor Gingko below).

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Red Lion at Marsworth

In a post last year (Marsworth - Visit to an Ancestral Home), I described how my older son and I visited Marsworth in Buckinghamshire (England) and lunched at the Red Lion pub. 
I also mentioned that my ancestor, William Rowland, left his ancestral home of Marsworth early in the 1850s and then migrated to Australia in 1852.  William returned, with his daughter Susan, to visit Marsworth in 1898.  According to his obituary, William "... saw the house in which he was born and the church in which he was baptised".

Extract from William Rowland's Obituary
In my previous post, I wondered whether the house in which William was born still survived.  I strongly doubted it, because very few early-1800s buildings remain in Marsworth.  One of the few that does remain is the Red Lion pub.

Well, can you imagine my surprise when I recently came across a court record dating to either 1832 or 1833, in which William's mother and grandmother are both mentioned. In that record, William's mother (Jemima) was living with her mother-in-law (who was Mary Rowland) at the Red Lion. Here is the exact text:

R. v Thomas Page [aged 20], Marsworth, Stealing 4½ crowns belonging to Robert Russell, on 8 Dec. Witnesses: Robert Russell, keeps beer house at Marsworth, and a wharf Joseph Rowland, constable of Marsworth. Jemima Rowland, lives with mother-in-law at Marsworth (Red Lion). Guilty - 4 months hard labour.

Source: From the County of Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions "Epiphany Sessions 1832 [no ref. or date]" [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=008-qs_2-1&cid=1-3-9-3-4#1-3-9-3-4] (accessed 01-Jan-2013).

Folks, if William's mother Jemima was living at the Red Lion with her mother-in-law Mary, then surely her husband (William senior) and her children (including my migrant ancestor William) would have been with her too. Mary, by the way, was a widow in 1832 - her husband John Rowland had died in April 1820 and his occupation (according to his will) was 'victualler' (i.e. the operator or owner of a public house or similar licensed establishment) at Marsworth.

This court record gives me a good degree of confidence in believing that William Rowland (junior) not only lived his very early years at the Red Lion, he was actually born at the Red Lion (born 9 November 1828).  Hey ... perhaps a little bit of a stretch but I'm willing to go with this and confidently say that my son and I also saw and went inside both the house in which William Rowland was born and the church in which he was baptised (All Saints, Marsworth).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A.C.T. Election Outcome - Minority Government Yet Again

The good people of the A.C.T. voted on 20 October 2012.  The last Territory Government was a Labor-Greens coalition.  In this election, Labor picked up 8 seats, Liberals picked up 8 seats and the last seat went to the Greens.

So we'll be burdened with yet another 'compromise' Government - one where the majority party (whether it be Labor or Liberal) is dictated to by the sole Green member.

Look at the photo below. 

It's a roundabout in Bonython.  To my mind, it represents the compromised outcomes electors receive from Governments that are beholden to a minority party.

The roundabout has a 'green' element - the native grasses (and weeds) planted in the centre, presumably in an effort to minimise the environmental impact (i.e. to be 'green').  A token acknowledgement of the Green way of thinking.  The Labor government, in it's efforts to maintain political hold on government, has agreed to the vegetation in the roundabout, thinking what a wonderful way to have development and 'maintain' the environment.

But we, the people, have ended up with a traffic hazard, because the Labor government failed to recognise that the vegetation needs to be mowed regularly to ensure traffic safety.  Funds for mowing regularly are inadequate (because mowing is never done often enough), so we've ended up with this ridiculous hazard.  Great roundabout, but visibility for drivers is dreadful.

To me, this roundabout symbolizes the outcomes of a coalition government.  An inability of government to deliver its primary objectives because of the need to constantly compromise with the small, but powerful, party holding the power of veto.

Unhappy Jan.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just One Australian in Europe

I'm tardy at blogging.  I would never be able to keep a diary. I just can't make the time to sit and type. Laziness partly, but just busy with getting on with life mostly. Now I've finally made time to describe my recent visit to various parts of western Europe.

Just Two Australians - my older son and I - undertook a whirlwind tour through parts of western Europe, starting in London.  The 25 hour trip from Australia to UK to start the tour was actually much, much longer. Our first day of travel began at about 7.00am Canberra time.  Nine hours later, our international flight departed Sydney, bound for London.  So  nine hours plus 25 hours flying time (I can't sleep seated, despite the nice Airbus seats that QANTAS has) = 34 hours.  OK, that simply got us to Heathrow.  It was 6.30am London time and the hotel wouldn't accept check-in for hours yet.  So our day in London had just begun.  We finally got to sleep at about 7.00pm that night.  That made about 47 hours total with only a little dozing between Singapore and Heathrow.  Yuk!

But London was great.  It had been all tarted up for the 2012 Olympics and looked resplendent.  We arrived on the Monday.  The closing ceremony had taken place only the day before.

My previous post describes our excursion beyond the boundaries of London to see our ancestral family home of Marsworth and a little bit of the English countryside.  On a future trip, my wife and I will spend more time exploring this country (what IS the name of this place anyway?  Is it United Kingdom, Britain, Great Britain, Team Great Britain!!!). Doesn't matter. Just curious. The London Midlands trains were excellent.  New, clean, quiet and on-time.  London-Tring-London was an easy excursion from Euston for us complete novices.

After Marsworth, we hit the tourist spots of London.  All very spectacular.  What surprised me is that London is not (yet) an overwhelming city as are other large metropolises eg. New York.  I could see a resemblance with parts of Melbourne. I think the bus network, at least in inner London, is brilliant.

London looks gloomy in this shot, but it was very warm and humid, with only a brief passing shower.  The remainder of the day was quite sunny.

We left London on the Eurostar - the very fast train that connects England/UK/Britain whatever with Paris.  That train - it certainly zips along!  How beaut it would be if such a train serviced Canberra, linking us with Sydney and Melbourne.  It seems our population is not large enough yet for suitable passenger numbers and thus economic justification.  I was surprised that there was no signal or announcement when we entered the 'Chunnel' - the tunnel linking England with France.  It just came and then 20 minutes later it just went. And then we were in France!  And wow! The countryside!  Blue skies, patchwork fields of green, brown, tan and scattered villages each with their own church spire towering high.  And modern wind farms, highways and high tension power lines running across this otherwise pretty landscape.  Unfortunately, industrialistion is spreading its ugly fingers ever wider.

We saw some of the key attractions in Paris and the Palace of Versailles.  Paris is really a remarkable city to look at - the development that occurred during the late 1800s was extensive, massive and very tasteful.  And must have cost huge amounts of money.  The high rise buildings are few and discretely set apart from the more intersting older parts of the city. 

At a cafe outside Notre Dame cathedral.  My son enjoys an ale while I waited for my food to arrive.  The waiter behind spoke reasonable English after patiently listening to my paltry attempts to communicate in French.  The service was good and friendly.

We were told fewer and fewer Parisians can afford to live in the older parts these days and the population is shifting to the lower cost outer areas, where the architecture is simply ... ugly.

We left Paris and headed across the country by road towards Luzern in Switzerland.  On our way, we saw lots of the French countryside.  Many beautiful sights and attractive natural landscape.  We passed through Basel in Switzerland and from there the motorway took us through some breathtaking Swiss countryside.  This kind of scenery just doesn't exist in Australia.

Our stay in Switzerland was in a great little spot called Fluelen, on the shore of Lake Lucerne. I loved this place, but my son disliked the claustrophobic hotel room, lack of airconditioning (it was 33 degrees during our visit and Swiss hotels are not designed for such weather), noise from the adjacent railway and the tolling of the local church bell every 15 minutes 24/7.  The church was a mere block away.  But t hese distractions did not worry me in the least (although if I lived here I might choose a spot a little further from the rail and church).  I loved the place!  I would gladly return here for a longer holiday and I would love to see it cloaked in it's winter mantle of snow.

Fluelen, Switzerland.  The church with the tolling bell (every 15 mins) stands prominently on the slope at right.  Our hotel just out of view to the right.

After gliding across Lake Lucerne aboard a launch and marvelling at the picture postcard views we then visited the top of a nearby glacial peak via cablecar. Just Two Australians enjoyed a quiet dinner and Swiss ale that evening in lovely, quiet Fluelen (trains and church bells aside).

The view from our window in the Hotel Hirschen (late afternoon).
The view from our window in the Hotel Hirschen (early morning).

The next day we departed, headed for Venice, by road. The road trip took us through the third-longest road tunnel in the world (the St. Gotthard Tunnel) to Lugano, another lovely lakeside Swiss city. 

Lugano, Switzerland

Interestingly, while Luzerne (and Fluelen) were mainly German speaking and distinctly german-Swiss in architecture and style, Lugano was distinctly Italian influenced and Italian speaking. Just One Australian enjoyed a good cafe latte here!

Just One Australian about to enjoy morning coffee in Lugano, Switzerland

We arrived in Venice late that same afternoon, staying in a cornfield just outside Venice (actually, it was a hotel in a cornfield, and very nice it was too, with free internet). We  then headed out for dinner in a little restaurant just off St Mark's Square. This was fun - a motor launch took our group from the mainland to the main island, past glitzy ocean liners, like the Ruby Princess, docked in the Port of Venice. Once on the island, we walked to our restaurant, marvelling in the late evening sunset at the canals and impressive buidlings all the way. We enjoyed a good meal together and good conversation with our fellow travellers.  I was impressed with how much our Indian fellow travellers knew about Australia and its current politics!

Venice.  A very busy place. Residents here need to be very tolerant on account of the huge numbers of camera-toting tourists crawling across every part of the island.

Just One Australian finds time to enjoy a coffee in Venice (despite the heat).

From Venice we drove to Florence.  Here we again stayed in a good quality hotel with wonderful aircon and free internet.  Only the room safes were old, leading to a 20-minute panic attack one morning when I couldn't locate the key for our safe, which contained the passports of Just Two Australians!! All was well in the end, as the key was always where I thought I left it - in my pocket!! It just fell into an inner coin pocket, that's all. Whew!  Florence - more impressive buildings, palaces, architecture, but our interest was a little down due to the oppressive 42 degrees Celsius heat.

Just One Australian at the Ponte Veccchio (literally 'old bridge'), in Florence.

Onward to Rome!  Via Pisa.  The famous leaning tower, of course.  This was fun to see, though Italy seems to have a relative abundance of leaning towers!  I was quite amused when my son drew my attention to one particular souvenir stand - just about all the souvenirs neatly set out on the layer of shelves leaned!

Just Two Australians and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The leaning souvenirs of Pisa!

Finally Rome!  The ancient ruins.  Amazing.  We were fortunate to receive an early morning tour of St Peters, followed by a tour around and inside the Colosseum. This was but a brief look at a slice of how an ancient civilization lived.  What an amazing city it was 2,000 years ago - population 1 million and a cosmopolitan mix of peoples from all over the known world.  But not so nice in Rome if you were a slave or in the lower economic echelons.  In fact, Rome was a dangerous place for the 'average' citizen, with muggings and murders common in it's crowded, narrow laneways, with little interest in the problem from the Emperors. 

Gone are the gladiators, crowds, emperors and lions.  Now the place is simply infested with .... Turisti Terribili!

Iconic!  And no ... I don't mean the Hawthorn jumper.

We finished off our Rome visit with dinner some fellow travellers at a Chinese-Japenese restaurant.  The menu was written in Italian and Chinese but luckily the wait staff spoke broken English.  The food was good and at an excellent price.  Dale and Ellisha provided great company that evening for Just Two Australians.

Inevitably, the tour had to end and we left Rome airport for Hong Kong then a connecting QANTAS flight to Sydney, then a connecting flight home to Canberra. 

Our QANTAS 747 arrives in Hong Kong.  Only two more hours of waiting (12 hours already down) until this bird is turned around to take us home!

On arrival, I couldn't help notice how much larger Canberra Airport is compared with Florence Airport (Florence is a city of similar population), which we had passed on our road trip. The other thing that was so noticeable, particularly from the air as you approach Sydney from overseas, is how small our population is in this country.  No wonder we don't have fast trains and brilliant bus networks.  Ours is still a young country that is spread out thinly across a vast continent. But that can be a good thing too - the peak-hour crush on the Paris Metro is something France can keep!! And the tourist crush in peak season Venice ... not a problem in Canberra!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this holiday.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Marsworth - Visit to an Ancestral Home

A fortnight ago, my older son and I visited Marsworth in England.

Marsworth is a tiny hamlet.  Apparently, it has existed since Roman times. A pub, a church, several old houses surrounded by a number of newer (early 20th century) houses.  All set in quiet, grassy farmlands.  Marsworth is on the Grand Union Canal.

The reason for our visit?  Well, it was something of a pilgrimage really.  Some years ago, I discovered (after 10 years of researching) that my great-great grandfather - William Rowland - was born in Marsworth and had been baptised in the All Saints Church there.  Further research showed that his father (William sen.) and grand-father (John) were also born in Marsworth and also baptised in All Saints church.

There is a strong likelihood that earlier generations of Rowland also lived in Marsworth.  I can reliably trace back to 14 June 1740, when a John Rowland was baptised there.  I suspect John's father was a Robert Rowland and he too was baptised in All Saints at Marsworth on 9 March 1712.  And perhaps Robert's father was baptised there too. That would take our family connection with Marsworth well back into the 1600s. There is a record of a contribution of 6 pence by a William Rowland of Marsworth in 1642.  Such contributions were sought from all the men in Buckinghamshire and were " ... voluntary contributions which were to be used both for the succour of refugees and for the mounting of an invasion of Ireland by an English army." This detail can be found on page 51 of "Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642 and Richard Grenville's Miltary Accounts 1642-1645 John Wilson" (Buckinghamshire Record Society).

My eldest son and I visited the All Saints church and were amazed to find it has existed in some form since about 1200, although it has been rebuilt and repaired sveral times - the original wooden church of 1196 AD is long gone.

It was quite amazing to think we were in the same church where several of my ancestors had been christened centuries before. In this little hamlet, my ancestors lived out their lives as either a victualler (John Rowland 1740 - 1820) or a carpenter and canal overseer (William Rowland sr 1799 - 1875).

After our exploration of the eerily empty All Saints, we left a small donation in an envelope then wandered down to the Grand Union Canal.  It was here that William Rowland (sen.) gave away carpentry when he found work as a canal overseer sometime between the 1841 and 1851 census.

My son and I then walked back up past the church and retired to the Red Lion pub, which sits opposite All Saints. 

It too is an old building - apparently it dates back to the 17th century (according to the menu). 
I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this pub. It is warm, welcoming and cosy, with two lounges separated by a wall and doorway. The front entrance is small, like you might expect to find in someone's house. Here you can remove your wet weather gear before entering the pub itself. We chose a beer each then retired to the lounges on the next level. After a while, we ordered our meals. I chose the lamb shanks in gravy and mint suace - superbly cooked!

My son opted for the modern traditional cheeseburger but was somewhat disappointed. We moved to a small table at the rear of the lounge to eat our food, next to a window that overlooked the rear of the pub building. The age of the building was clear to see and the view of the backyard garden was pleasing to the eye. Very quaint.

My great-grandfather was William Rowland (jr.) (1828 - 1920).  In about 1850, William (jr.) left Marsworth. No doubt there was little work available in Marsworth.  He found work in London firstly as a porter, and then as a waiter, at the Red Lion hotel in Edgware Road (now demolished) in Marylebone. Like so many other young men of his time, William was enticed by stories of the fabulous gold finds in Victoria, Australia and saved for his passage of 18 pounds.  He boarded the barque 'Brightman', which departed London for Port Phillip on the 14th of September 1852.

William was unlucky on the goldfields and found work as a crew member aboard various coastal cutters travelling between Melbourne and Launceston.  He was initially a transient resident at Leven River (now Ulverstone) in north-west Tasmania from about 1854, but settled there permanently around the late 1850s.

RMS Ormuz

On the 22nd of March 1898, William and his daughter Susan journeyed by sea, aboard the RMS Ormuz, around the world and visited Marsworth (no small undertaking, especially for a 70 year old man).

William saw the house in which he was born and the church in which he was baptised (this is stated in his obituary).  Which house was his?  Is it still there?  I somehow doubt that it survives, but 'Cottlesloe', a house of the early 1800s, might represent how his house looked back in 1828.

Or maybe this one ..... ?

William and Susan returned home after a six month sojourn in England, arriving home in Tasmania on the 29th of October 1898. 

William died at the grand old age of 92 and is buried in the General Cemetery in Ulverstone, Tasmania. William Rowland of Marsworth, Buckinghamshire - an early Australian pioneer.


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