Thursday 1st January 1885
Another good day’s run, 300 miles. About lunch time the sea, which has been very smooth the last few days, became rough, or there was a much greater swell, which caused the ship to pitch. Clouds too are gathering round, so that it will not be surprising if we get rain soon.
I heard today there was another lady passenger who has not yet made her appearance on deck or at the table, has her meals taken to her in her cabin, and takes exercise at “peep of day” on the Hurricane deck. She is a widow, and some say her husband was Purser on board the “Sutley,” and that she is now engaged to our Purser of the “Ganges.” Mrs Boyle, and that she has £1500 a year. Mrs Boyle says £8,000. After writing this she passed through the Saloon, a stout, pale faced, plain looking woman of about 40 years of age, and dressed in deep black minus, however, a widow’s cap! The lines, “fat, fair and forty are most applicable to her!
Friday 2nd January 1885
Clouds gathering, sea rough, ports screwed down, cabins very warm. Thermometer 83 to 84 during the mornings. The young people who are going to act in the plays, “Pillicoddy” and the “Dumb Belle” are nervously anxious as to whether the weather will improve or get worse.
Had not much appetite today. Feet and ankles much swollen. Early this morning light squalls of rain fell, which drove some (who were sleeping on deck) below. Just before lunch, more frequent and heavier storms of rain fell. A change of wind and a head sea, and towards 8 o’clock a regular downpour, which lasted all the night and completely prevented the Theatricals taking place. Notwithstanding, the place had been fitted up on deck by ship’s carpenter, as a Theatre, and all the ladies were dressed ready for the performance. Some suggested performing in the Saloon, it was, however, decided to postpone the Entertainment till tomorrow.
Grace had a party at 4 o’clock, the McConnells, Miss Brown, Miss Boodle, Mr Addington, Mr Schwarz, Mr McCutcheon and young Loftie.
We only ran 276 miles today.
Weather so warm, with all the Ports closed, that several ladies had their beds made up in the after Saloon, on tables and on floor.
Saturday 3rd January 1885
Weather cleared and enabled us to have our Ports opened again, giving more light and air. I felt very unwell, pain in bones, giddiness in head, numbness at back about the region of the kidneys. Commenced again taking Dr Fischer’s medicine No.1.
Mr Bowen told me today that Mr Bray who has been Chief Secretary of Adelaide for 3 years is likely to be knighted on his arrival in England on accordance to political services. He is a very popular man there and has represented one constituency for 10 years. He is a Solicitor by profession. Mr Bowen, who gave me this information, is an intelligent young man, and clever besides, a native of Adelaide; sings well and is the moving [spiner?] or the Chief of the Theatricals to take place, the life and soul of the whole affair. I gather from his conversation that he is in business (perhaps an importer of goods).
At 8 o’clock we were all summoned on deck by the ringing of the Bell, and a few minutes after the curtain (several curtains from the cabin doors taken for the occasion) of the little Theatre was drawn not up, but on one side; and Mr Schwarz 9in evening Costume, read a sort of Prologue written in verse, by the 2nd Officer Mr Davis. The first play was “Little Pillicoddy” and the following was the cast of characters.
Mr Pillicoddy – Mr Brown.
Captain O’Scuttle – Mr Bray
Mrs Pillicoddy – Miss Boodle
Mrs O’Scuttle – Miss Burleigh
Sarah (servant girl) – Miss Sadler
In the 2nd play which was called “The Dumb Belle”
Henry Vivian – Mr Schwarz
Mr Manvers – Mr Cooper
Phelia O’Smirk (Valet) – Mr McCutcheon
Eliza – Miss McConnell
Mary (servant) – Miss Douglas
Stage Manager – Dr Egan
The first piece was the most amusing, and kept one in a perpetual roar of laughter: Mr Pillicoddy married a widow whose first husband was supposed to be drowned, who Pillicoddy believes has suddenly turned up to claim Mrs Pillicoddy, in the shape of Captain O’Scuttle the brother of the drowned man, whose wife is indignant and jealous, that she leaves him, and he is in search of her when Pillicoddy and he meet at the same house, where the denouement takes place. Miss Boodle as Mrs Pillicoddy looked remarkably handsome and well dressed. Miss Sadler was [memotable?] as Sarah the servant girl. In the second piece Henry Vivian, a young officer has been half inclined to marry Eliza, but as she is talkative he writes to say that he should prefer to marry one who is “comparatively dumb.” So Eliza shams to have suddenly become both deaf and dumb and he has to converse through a speaking trumpet which is trying to the lover, and makes him recant. Eliza acted her part extremely well.
Sunday 4th January 1885
Pouring rain nearly all day. Service held at Xi o’clock and a strong effective choir formed today, perhaps the best we shall have. In fact it will be necessarily weakened by next Sunday, owing to the many leaving at Colombo tomorrow. Miss McConnell played the Harmonium, Mr and Mrs Bowen, Miss Brown, Miss Burleigh, Miss Salder, Miss Solomon. Mr Schwarz and the Captain (who read prayers) were the singers.
Writing several letters today to Fanny, Milly and Addison, which Grace did likewise to Philip Pinnock, Fanny and Marie (with journal inclosed) which I intend posting tomorrow, as we hope to reach (early) “Colombo” in the morning.
Monday 5th January 1885
A fine morning, but we had a rather rough night, with sea rolling. Early land seen, and at 8 o’clock, “Colombo” (in the Island of Ceylon) was very distinct. “Adams Peak,” a high mountain, in the distance completely overtopping the rest of the coastline. The difference in the appearance of the trees, nothing but long stemmed cocoa nut trees and the peculiar greenness of the sea, sowed we had changed our clime, if not our natures. The long break walls near which the Ganges was to be placed was and this feature is the scene, and then Pitchboat, half whale boat, half pike boat, manned by an almost naked crew of Cingalese and Tammils, the former a handsome sleek copper skinned people, the others dark as negroes. Catamarans also swarmed about the ship trying to obtain passengers for the shore. We had breakfast as usual at 9, and in about half an hour several of the passengers prepared to land, some to spy out the place, others to re-embark in the P.& O. Company’s Steamer “Messalia” lying a few cable lengths from us. Of this number Mr Addington, Mr Schwarz, Mr Wendz, Mr Shaw, Mr Cooper and Mrs Solomon were for the “Messalia” for India. Mr and Mrs Bowen were going to remain in Colombo for some time, also Mr Gronow (the Austrian) and Mr de Burn (the electrician and Frenchman). Mr McCutcheon and Mr Hislop. We have thus lost ten, or eleven, of our passengers. The greatest loss will be the Bowens, who were so musical and good natured types. I understand Mrs Johnson [Solomon?] was a Bar-maid at Melbourne, which perhaps may account for her keeping herself aloof very much from the Lady passengers on board. As “coaling” (which is a most disagreeable process to go through or be endured) was about to take place almost immediately, it was necessary for those passengers who could afford it to seek refuge on shore as well as to indulge in sight seeing. Grace and I therefore, also the McConnells, Conrans, Miss Brown, and Miss Boodle, and Mr Stone and Mr Caldy, went on shore about 10, in a rough sort of steam launch which landed us on a pier next Customs House. We were soon surrounded with a troop of natives of all sizes and colours, and at first difficult to tell the sexes, for the young men of 14 or 15 are so delicately and gracefully formed, with fine eyes and an absence of hair about their faces, which makes them (particularly as they were long hair and turned up in a knot behind, like a woman) appears quite a feminine type of figure and faces, and a very pleasing type too. Some half a dozen at a time would seize one of our bags, another half dozen our umbrellas and sticks and in self defence we were obliged to hire one of them (Antony by name) who acted as our guide and warded off the rest of his fellows. We went to the Oriental Hotel, left our bags and baggage, and then with our Cingalese attendant, took a drive round about Ceylon. The carriage was a four wheeled one of peculiar built with hood to it, a sort of low humble dog cart holding 4. We drove to the Barracks, Gallegace Hotel, through the native village, Slave Island, for about an hour, and then returned to the Inn, as we had agreed to lunch together with Mr, Mrs Conran at ¼ to 1. We found two of our other passengers in the Coffee Room (Mr and Mrs Solomon) who were desirous of lunching at our table, so that when the Conrans came in we made 6 at the table. They gave us all sorts of dishes at lunch, but I did not care very much for any of them, and the fish (I don’t know it name) was in my opinion inedible. The room is a very spacious one with innumerable tables, all laid for customers; all the attendants are Cingalese and dressed in flowing white habitements and all the time we were at lunch, the Punkahs were kept continually pulled. At 1.30 the Conrans and ourselves in one carriage, and the Solomons in another started for the Railway Station, as we had determined to go to Kandy, about 80 miles by Railway. We then met the McConnells (who had been lunching with the Pattersons, he the Collector of Customs) and Douglas’s, and a Mr Hislop, another of our passengers. I was very tired before starting, suffering very much from pains in my head (the ‘occiput’[?]) and back which added to the heat of the day made me rather indisposed for sight seeing, however having paid my fare, getting Return tickets for Kandy and back to Colombo (for which I paid 15/-) for each of us) I was obliged to go. I nevertheless was delighted with the view from beginning to end, particularlary the last portion of the journey, just after making the ascent up the Hills. The railway it is said is the best laid lines in any part of the World, and being broad guage was much easier to travel on than those in Australia. We went seventy[?] over 11 miles an hour. This Railway was opened at the time Sir H. Robinson was Governor. The train was a lengthy one, and crowded, as people who had been passing their Christmas Holidays at Colombo were now returned to Kandy and the hill country. Kandy is situated about 1,000 feet above the sea, and is comparatively a healthy climate. But all the low lying parts suffer from Malaria, or rather did suffer once, before the country got cleared and cultivated as it is now. Indeed at the time of the making of the Railway about 20 years ago, which was made by Cingalese labor, alone, the mortality that occurred amongst the labourers was so great an exercise that the Government of the day studiously avoided letting it be known, in fact concealed the actual number of deaths, lest it might act as a deterrent to them undertaking similar employment.
The first station we came to after leaving Colombo was what is named Maradeena (Maradana) Junction, which occurred only 7 miles, the next stations were as follows-
13 stations in all. We reached Kandy about 6.15,just getting dark, sufficiently dark however, to distinguish the fire flys shooting from tree to tree in part of the Inn. We all intended going to the Queen Hotel, (of which a Mr A.H. Campbell is manager) and we accordingly got in to the carriage sent down by the Innkeeper to bring the passengers to his Inn. The distance from Railway to Inn about ¼ of a mile I suppose. After alighting we were surrounded by numbers of the Cingalese wishing to sell their different articles of merchandise to us, gems of all kinds, jewellery,[thank?],silver bangles, caps, tortoishell, sandal wood boxes &c &c. We all hurried past them, in search of a bedroom and some rest. Every one seemed to be inclined to adopt the motto “Everyone for himself.” We willingly were all housed or ‘rather bedroomed’ in due time. Ours had two beds in it, of very primitive manufacture, a dressing table, and looking glass. 1 chair. Of course the waiter and chambermen were natives and very polite as dinner did not take place till 7.30. I ordered some tea and bread butter as a stop gap. At dinner numbers of other persons were dining too, and as tomorrow is the first day of the Assizes here and at which the Chief Justice of the Colony is to preside, some of these people may have been either litigants, jurymen or others connected with the Courts.
There were several courses, but I can’t say I enjoyed my dinner and the fish was of the same tasteless [tribe?] that we partook of at Colombo.
After dinner we all retired to the Hall of the Inn where a numerous concourse of natives had ensconced themselves, and had opened out, on the floor, different goods for sale. First there was, or there were dealers in gems and jewellery, all kinds, Tortoise shell combes, Crepe shawls, caps for smokers, sticks of all kinds, necklaces gold and silver, card cases and boxes made of sandal wood, toys for children, and a thousand and one other nick nacks.
Mrs Conran bought 2 silver bracelets. Mrs McConnell, brass plate, mats &c &c. I looked at sapphires unset. One the vender asked me £8 for, but I told him I would not buy any till I had the advantage of daylight to look at it in. He then offered it to me for £5, then for £3, and then for £2. Some of the passengers went to the Buddhist Temples about half a mile away but as I found it necessitated my taking off my boots and going barefooted before “entering there,” I gave it up rather than catch a cold or cough. We all went to bed at about X.30, as we have to get up early tomorrow and have breakfast before taking the train back tomorrow which leaves at 7 o’clock in the morning.
I forgot to mention that shortly after our landing from the ship this morning I posted the following letters, and paid 5/6 for Postage Stamps.
1 from myself to Mrs Wise.
1 from myself to Milly
1 from myself to Addison
1 from Grace to Mrs Wise
1 from Grace to Marie (with journal)
1 from Grace to Philip Pinnock
I understand however there is no Mail going to Australia for the next 10 days or a fortnight.
I must enter my protest again at the numbers of Australians who have been at Colombo, and who have never alluded to it but in a passing remark, as it were, it is most astonishing that the beauties of the places, and the extreme difference of manners and customs that prevails, has never in my hearing been enlarged upon. Personally I would not have missed seeing this quaint town for a good deal. And as I first entered it, and saw the motley crowds coming towards me dressed in all the colors of the rainbow, and driving all sorts of vehicles, and animals the whole scene changing by fresh groups coming and then going away, without intermission I could not help contrasting what met my eye to the varied hues and patterns which as children, we were all apt to admire through the Kaleidoscope. Not a single European labourer was to be seen. Not a drunkard, not a vagrant, and the very antipodes of Sydney Larrikinism had it’s home here. It was refreshing to see the absence of loaders and swearers that continually annoy us in our part of the world.
The 102nd Regiment is stationed here, commanded by Col. [blank] and a Battery of Artillery under Col. Carey. I wonder if he is the Carey who was in Australia some years ago in the Artillery when Lovell was in command.
Tuesday 6th January 1885
Awoken by the Cingalese chamberman at a little after 5. I was however, quite awake hours before, as I had, owing to the hardness of the bed, no sleep. And I heard it also (lay before,) pouring with rain, “as I lay a thumbing” would not be a very pleasant accompaniment for a long journey. Had a wretched and hurried breakfast, and drove away in a pour of rain, from the Inn, reaching the Railway in time for the 7 o’clock train to Colombo. Just as I got in the carriage box, the Cingalese again brought me the sapphire (as I supposed) which he offered me last night, at £8. He [pertineously?] pressed it on me, and in hopes of getting rid of him told him I had only half a sovereign with me, and that I could not give more, which to my surprise he at once consented to take, and he then exchanged our respective commodities with each other, he taking my half sovereign and I the ‘Sapphire.’ At least I hope it is a sapphire. Grace took up her seat in the Saloon carriage with the McConnells, Conrans and Douglas’s, and the Solomans in a carriage to themselves and I in one by myself but into which afterwards came, a planter (as it appeared to me) from the Courts, having left some place, his Bungalow or station,in the middle of the night to catch our train. He had been 17 years a resident of Ceylon and gave me much and interesting information about the different places as we passed by. Shortly after we left Kandy the rain ceased, and we had a beautiful view of the scenery the whole way down. I took particular notice of the rice fields (or as they are called here the Paddy fields) which everywhere met the eye, not only in the valleys underneath, but on the very ridges, and where too high to lay them and the water (as is their want,) cocoa plants, and in many places tea, for of late years the Coffee plants have been destroyed by some fungus that it did not pay to grow it, and so the tea plant has been successfully substituted, and has already obtained a name for itself. All through our journey, I was particularly struck at there being no fences or hedges or any apparent division of properties but my fellow traveler pointed out that all the Paddy fields were marked off in divisions of a sort of mud embankment of 1 foot by 1 foot wife and another thing remarkable was a native ploughing with a miserable little native bullock hardly bigger than a large Newfoundland, and with the one wooden plough of centuries ago invention. Another picture in the scene I caught and [?] was a set of [fern?] similar little bullock treading out the ear of the rice, being driven round and round in circle, then threshing the seed out, as the ancient Egyptians are represented to have done 4000 years ago. On our way my intelligent companion pointed out a well defined road at the foot of the valley, made by Col. Dawson of the Royal Engineers who died just as it was completed, and to whose memory has been erected a lofty monument visible as we passed the road in our carriage. The railway was almost superseded the use of the road, but which as far as I could see is beautifully made, not a rut visible and more like a road leading through a Park. Connected with this road there was a sort of Prophesy to the effect, that whenever a road connected Colombo to Kandy, that is Kandian King would cease to have power or influence and which prophesy literally came true I believe. On our road over the passes we came to a curious precipice, which we could look over some 3 or 400 feet, the wheels of the carriage apparently not being more than 6 or 7 inches from the edge of the precipice. And this point was called the “Sensation Rock”! In the distance we noticed two remarkable hills, o’looking[?] the rest, the Bible Rock and the Sentry Rock, both within sight at the same time. The Bible Rock was called so, not because of its being in any wise similar a shape to the Book, but simply that the name of the rock sounded something like
Bible and thence the conception[?] of the word.
We passed through several native villages, the people who were all owners of the property on which they lived, having their titles to their possessions duly registered. But at the same time paying a little of their produce with the Government or a sort of tax, which produce the Government sold on their behalf and then paid themselves. The whole of the native population appeared well fed and nourished and all gaily attired in the most lively colours and head dresses. Where ever you met them driving in their 2 bullock wagons covered with [pallen?] leaves or at their agricultural operations in the rice fields, or in the women’s washing grounds (where the washing is done by merely sorting the clothes and then beating the ground afterwards to get the water out) at all times and seasons, they appear beautifully clean in person and in dress, the front hair fastened back by a circular tortoise shell comb, and the back hair rolled into a knot behind, their dresses draped gracefully across their shoulders after the fashion of the Greek maidens of old.
The Cingalese do not work for others as a general rule, what with the coconuts, rice (two crops a year) and other products they manage to raise enough for their immediate wants, and I should judge a very little went far, for through every village we passed we saw numbers lying on the ground in their verandahs doing nothing, but taking, I suppose, a siesta. They also plant and sell for forage the Guinea Grass which is an excellent horse feed. It is fortunate our visit was paid at this time of the year to Ceylon, which is now [tesured?] the Autumn time, the end of the North East Monsoon. We arrived at the Railway station at 11.15am and the Conrans and ourselves drove to the Oriental Hotel, where we were yesterday, and where Grace and I and Mrs McConnell, her daughter and Miss Douglas had a small breakfast consisting of tea, eggs and a bread butter for which we paid one shilling each. Grace and I then (with our Cingalese attendant) hired the 4 wheeled carriage again, and then drove to the Cinnamon Gardens, to the Museum which we inspected and with which we were deeply interested. Specimens of sharks of all kinds, one in particular called the Tiger Shark, with a mouth large enough to swallow two grown people at once, then the Saw Fish with teeth like a pit saw on both sides projecting from a sort of bone in shape like a flat ruler of about two feet long. Specimens of Butterflies, Moths of all kinds. Skeletons of animals, elephants, a huge wildboar, a huge stone pedestal 10 feet high representative of a Lion, a [fun legs?], and in which the throne of the ancient Kings is in the years 1100 to 1200 were placed. Altogether a most interesting collection and had there been time, we certainly would have like to have devoted many more hours, or even days, than we did. We then drove in another direction where apparently the wealthy people resided, as we passed large Bungalows, one after the other, in large gardens and shrubberies, and then past the Galle [fine, free?] Hospital, facing the sea, past the Barracks and Hospital and to the street in which the Tower and light house combined stand. And then shortly after to the Oriental Hotel, adjoining which, along a sort of arcade are the chief jewellers shops into which (Ismail and Co, 1 York St) we were with Mrs McConnell and Miss Douglas, and where we were shewn jewellery and gems of all kinds. Sapphires, Rubies, Diamonds, Pearls, Cats Eyes.
[in pencil at bottom of page – Arabi is –led near Colombo in consequence of several cases of cholera in Ceylon lately and now in the country.]
One Sapphire he, Ismail, brought out was worth £120, another catseye £90, and so on as to prices. We found the peculiarity of these dealers was, always to take less than asked in the first instance. I bought a sapphire pin for £1.10 for which the Dealer had asked £2.0. And a Cinnamon stone for £1.4 for which £1.15 was asked. We were perfectly tired with inspecting the contents of this man’s shop, and other jewellers seeing us come out of Ismail’s took us by the arm and insisted on our looking at their wares. However, we bought nothing more. At 4 o’clock we drove down to the jetty for the purpose of going on board as the ship was advertised to sail at 6. On reaching the vessel we beheld a most wretched sight, the awning drenched with water, and all the doors and windows of the Saloon and Cabin shut down, and the heat in consequence insufferable. The P. & O. Steamer “Nepaul” which was laying close to us and had just arrived from India, was sent on with the letters to England, and left, I understand, at 4 this afternoon. We saw, however, the “Missalia” leave her anchorage and steam out of Colombo for Bombay, India, our former fellow passengers, Mr Addiginton, Mr Schwartz, Mr Cooper, Mr Shaw were on deck and kept up cheering us as they departed.
Two new passengers have just come on board. I don’t know their names, but they look very like each other, as though mother and son. Felt very unwell all day, great pain in back of head, extending towards shoulders and which prevented my sleeping last night.
Wednesday 7th January 1885
Had afternoon tea with Miss Douglas, and just before Grace and I paid a visit to Mr Stone in his cabin as he wished to show us what things he had purchased at Colombo, but which consisted only of Tortoise shell manufacture.
Saw a vessel in sight about a mile or so to our West.
We made 220 miles from last night to 12 today.
It was so warm last night, as all the scuttles were fastened down, to prevent the sea from being shipped that numbers of the ladies had their beds placed on the ground in the afternoon saloon.
I find I spent exactly £8.4.6 at Colombo viz-
By Railway to Kandy and back £1.10.0
Expenses incurred at “Qeens Hotel, Kandy £1.2.0
Sapphires 10/- Cinnamon Stone £1.10 – £3.4.6
Hire of carriages -.9.-
Boat hire to and fro -.3.0
Played whist in the evening with McConnell, Douglas and Roderick.
Thursday 8th January 1885
Beautiful weather, ship going very steadily, sea particularly smooth and very blue. Last night we had all our Port holes open, so I had a comparatively good night and slept well.
Thermometer at Xam. Mr Boyle (the Purser’s) cabin 80 degrees. Felt much better today, my headache (which I have never been without) not so severe as usual, and particularly, also much improved.
Saw by the European Mail of 12 December (which McConnell got at Colombo) that the J.B.Watts, Knox’s &c leave England in the P. & O. S. “Parramatte” on the 15th January inst.
Made 306 miles up to today. Heard today that Dr Egan (the ship’s Doctor) had proposed to Miss Douglas, and a conclave of married women were to hold a council today, to report on the desirability of the engagement, or otherwise. He is an Irishman, son of a clergyman, I understand, has a slight brogue, but is looked upon by the ladies as a very handsome young man. He reads the lessons very Sunday, when the Captain officiates and reads the morning service. And old Douglas knows nothing of what is going on!
Friday 9th January 1885
Ran 302 miles since yesterday. Thermometer [blank[. At request of Mr Stone, at X o’clock, I read a manuscript Journal, of a fellow passenger of his,(Mr Stone’s) who came out with him to Melbourne by the sailing ship “Sobram[?]” which arrived Melbourne on the 12th December. This person asked Mr Stone to take it back to England and deliver it to his friends there; for this reason and to save him postage, Mr Stone consented to be the bearer of it, provided he left it open, and having also the permission tor read it. Therefore, for the edification of his fellow passengers of the “Ganges” he proposed it being read publicly in the Saloon, which I did. The McConnells, Douglas’, Conrans, Solomons, the Cochrane’s (our new passengers) Rodericks, Miss Burleigh, Miss Sadler, Mr Stone, Mr Caley, Miss Brown, Mr Bray being present. It took me 1 ¼ hours to read it. I am sorry to say it was the most unedifying badly written journal I ever read. Besides being vulgarly expressed [exposed?] in some parts, evidently the man who wrote it is not a gentleman, and only indifferently educated. My audience however, were very attentive whilst it was being read, and thanked me one and all for having done so.
Played whist in the evening with Douglas, Roderick and McConnell, the latter my partner throughout. We were the losing players. Raining middle day, in consequence Port Holes on Starboard side closed, ours on the Port Side open all night as well as day. Drank tea with McConnell.
Saturday 10th January 1885
Lattitude 10º 23N
Longitude 61º 23 E
Ran 290 miles since yesterday.
A fine day, warm but cool breeze. A great swell and headwind, N.E Monsoon. Sea making the steamer roll and pitch, in consequence many of the passengers feeling “very queer,” even young Conran is lolling about the deck on a chair seemingly perfectly enchanted. Also Miss Boodle. Miss McConnell and King all more or less affected.
Thermoment 77º and 79º – steering house.
Took Dr Fischer’s medicine No.3
Played whist with Douglas, McConnell, and Roderick, the latter my partner and this time we were the winning party.
Sunday 11th January 1885
Latitude 11º.03 N
Longitude 56º.18. E
Ran 302 miles since yesterday.
Another fine day, our Ports still open, day and night, being on port side and starboard side having theirs shut.
Service at XI, read by the Captain. The choir consisted of Miss McConnell (at the Harmonium) Miss Burleigh, Miss Sadler, Miss Douglas, Miss Brown, Mrs Conran, Mr Cochran, and there were about 30 people present. Mr Stone strange to say rarely attends, he is one of the Plymouth Brethren and though strict in some of his notions, and I believe a very good man, yet does not countenance the Church of England service. The Captain complaining of being unwell at dinner time, cold and feverish, Miss Boodle dosed him with homeopathic mixture/complain. About 20 drops. Eastward bound steamer seen about 8 o’clock pm. Last night, about 9, the engine was stopped as the machinery was getting heated, it was said.
Took Dr Fischer’s Medicine No.3.
Monday 12th January 1885
Lovely morning. Early passed the Island of Socotra about 20 miles distant, but plainly visible. The hills are upwards of 4656 feet, that is the highest peak; the island is about 70 miles long by an average of 18 miles wide. The inhabitants a sort of Arab though very friendly. Cattle and sheep are to be found here. About X o’clock we passed another island Abd-al-Kuri; hills here about (the highest) 1537 feet. Distant from Socotra 57 miles, and about 50 miles from the African coast on the Eastward, which was visible. We shall in a few hours or so be entering the Gulf of Aden. The last land seen was Cape Guadafin on the African coast.
The temperature apparently much cooler today, 78º in steering house. Ran only 278 miles up to today. The young people on board are rehearsing on Hurricane deck, preparatory to acting charades, and Tableaux vivants in a day or two. So Mr Stone, Mr Caley and I who were sitting up there, had to retire, to allow them, the ladies, to be unobserved whilst reciting their parts. Another steamer seen, ahead of us. Awoke with very severe headache, attributable to eating ham yesterday at dinner.
We expect to reach “Aden” tomorrow night, to coal there, and then proceed on our journey again at X o’clock pm, so that it is questionable if we shall be able to land at all, and see the Tanks which it is said, are worth looking at, on account of their age.
The Captain did not make his appearance at breakfast though he is better, and sitting on deck, outside his cabin door. I am indebted for the information about “Socrata” and the coast, to the second Officer Mr Davis, who took me into the chart room and showed me the exact position on the charts kept there. By the bye I should mention that he, Mr Davis, has had the good fortune in his day (being and expert swimmer) of saving life, by rescuing at different times, 4 or 5 persons from drowning: the last time in the docks, in London, he had previously received the medal from the Humane Society, and now he has got the clasp, the highest honor that can be given. The “P. & O. Company” in addition, gave him 1 years seniority in the service as a sort of promotion. He is a manly fellow, and like all courageous men, thinks nothing of what he has done, as he puts it all down, as he says, “to his being a good swimmer, and that is all”! I understand that on the 2nd Officer devolves all the duty and responsibility of working and steering the ship her course, taking the observations &c.
In the afternoon we saw a large steamer ahead of us, about 14 miles away, ahead of us. Supposed to be the “Nepaul.” Later on we met another steamer, something like a collier but we could not distinguish her name or country, and there was no disposition either on her part or that of the “Ganges” to find out by signaling or otherwise. About the same time, to the East of us, a fast sailing large boat with [Lattern?] sails came in view about a mile distant, said to be a slave ship, and called a Dhow. Great shoals of Porpoise, playing about, about 1 mile away, and Mr Cochran informed us that just a little before he had seen a large monster of a fish, the like of which he had never witnessed, having an immense tail, exposed out of the water. We all tried to look at it, but the animal never again showed. Drank tea with Mrs Conran, who had the married people. The Douglas’ (Miss) entertaining the single ones. Played whist till 9.30 with McConnell, Douglas, and Roderick who was my partner again, we lost 4 points tonight. On deck a new sort of Swedish dance was introduced by Mrs Cochran, a sort of country dance to the time of “Sir Roger de Coverley.” After this waltzes, and the Lancers. I was induced to enter in to the fun of the Swedish dance, and also danced with Mrs Conran in the Lancers.
Mr Cochran also took another waltz and polka, which was introduced in Sydney year ago as the [Jijo?] Polka.
Taking Dr Fischer’s Medicine No.3
As we anticipated we entered the Gulf of Aden about 5 o’clock and shortly after lost sight of land. The last land we saw was Cape Quardafrie on the African Coast, to the East.
Tuesday 13th January 1885
The steamer which was ahead of us yesterday evening is now astern of us, she is supposed to be the “Nepaul.” She is 1000 horsepower less than the “Ganges,” and a smaller vessel, besides. Another muggy day, thermometer 79º in the steering room forward.
Ran 316 miles since yesterday. The Captain still unwell, was not at breakfast. Nor did he come into the Saloon the whole of yesterday.
I taking Dr Fischer’s remedy No.2. Pulsatilla.
The Captain made his appearance at Lunch today. I had a warm salt water bath; bathing my head with cold water before and after immersion.
Wrote from “Aden,” the following letters.
I, to Milly
Grace, to Marie
Grace to Fanny (a journal letter double)
The Captain advises that in addressing our letters to New South Wales, we should be careful in adding the word “Australia” upon every one of them, as otherwise the Post Office authorities (being foreigners) might forward them to some other part of the world, which might bear the name of Wales.
About 6 o’clock pm, in sight of “Aden,” and at 8 or thereabouts Pilot (Macalister) in his boat (manned by Arab sailors) came on board; we had previously thrown up blue lights, which were duly answered by the firing of a gun. About 8.30 we anchored near Light House or Light ship. The Agent of P&O Company came on board and some of the passengers went on shore in one of the many boats that were lying round us (Douglas and son, McConnell, Conran, Bray, his son and young Loftie) they returned about X after perambulating the place, and buying baskets and feathers. There was, they said, a Concert going on. I understand the 44th Regiment are quartered at this wretched looking place. I sent our letters (to Milly, Fanny and Marie) by the Pilot, not feeling well enough to go on shore. Paid 8d postage on the single ones, and ¼ on double ones to Fanny. Shortly after Pilot left numbers of the native Arabs, came on board to sell Ostrich feathers, they wanted in some instances £4, £3 and £2 for a set of 4 feathers. Some were white, some brown, a few of the ladies beat the sellers down to 15/- and £1, but like the Cingalese with their Gems, it is difficult to say whether the ladies or the Arabs got the best of the bargain. The Captain after they had been an hour or more trying to sell their feathers turned them very unceremoniously off the ship, and indirectly seemed, in loud tones, to censure the Officers and Quarter Master on duty, for letting them come on board. We passed and met several steamers before getting into Aden, and some hours after us, we saw the “Nepaul” whom we had left behind in the afternoon, come in and anchor within sight. Coaling commenced about 10 o’clock pm, which was not so disagreeable a process, as at “Colombo” as the coal was put through the porthole instead of being carried over the deck, begriming and blackening everything near.
Taking “Pulsatilla” Dr Fischer’s remedy No.2
Paid for wine £1, washing 2/8, Postage 2/4 (10/-)
Wednesday 14th January 1885
Not much sleep during the night, owing to the noise of putting the coal on board. The process was over by 5 am, when steam was got up and we started again on our travels: Aden, as we left it behind, looked like a huge black cinder of a mountain; we are now commencing to go through the Gulf of this name.
At X.30am came in sight of the Straits of Babel-el-Maudeh, which are not more than 2 ½ miles in width, from shore to shore, and the mid-channel through which ships are navigated not over a mile! The current too, is very strong, running 7 or 8 miles an hour, but with us. On one side of these Straits, on the East, is Babel Maudeh, which was once taken up and fortified by the French, but which they had to give up being barren and waterless, they purchased it form the Egyptian Government. On the other side, is the Island of Perim, in possession of the British, and on which stands a Light House, and on it also is stationed a few military, an Officer with a Sergeant and 10 privates. At and around “Perim” we saw no less than 3 wrecks. One the ship “Hutton,” a steamer, the first of the Anchor line, which was wrecked 18 months or 2 years ago. There now remains only half of her visible, the stern all gone. A few hundred yards, another vessel lies on the rocks, and which ship was wrecked a very short time ago, namely on Christmas Eve, the Officer on duty could not tell me her name. She is close in shore, and how or why she got into that position it is difficult to guess. Of the third vessel nothing but her masts appear, the hull under water.
The heat today very great. In coming down the companion steps from the Hurricane deck at 12 o’clock I could not keep my hands on the rails, so hot were they! The Straits we have just passed through are, I understand, what are called the “Smaller or Lesser Straits,” but those on the Westward of “Perim” are much wider and safer. A curious story is related of this “Island of Perim;” some time ago (perhaps years) the Admiral of an English Man-of-War, stationed at Suez, invited the officer of a French Man-of-war to dinner; conversation and wine flowed quickly and merrily when one of the French officers, “let out” the object of the Commander’s mission, ie, that they were about hoisting the Tricolor and going to take possession of the Island. The British commander, overheard the remark, and instantly called one of his officers, and ordered him at once to proceed to “Perim” and to hoist the British Ensign, which was accomplished and caused no little surprise and disappointment to the French on their subsequent arrival; finding they were out-generalled, it was then, it is said, they purchased this country, opposite “Perim” from the Egyptians, as before mentioned.
The distance from “Aden” to “Perim” is about 95 to 100 miles, and during this run and for some time after, land and high hills devoid of trees, or verdure (though prettily formed) met our gaze. After breakfast, passed, or rather met an outward bound steamer, said to be one of the Orient Line, the “Iberia” for Sydney. Hoisted colors to each other. McConnell obtained last night at “Aden” a Home news of the 26th December, giving the latest English intelligence.
Felt very unwell all day. I begin to question the advisability of taking Saltwater Baths, for I always appear worse the next day. Taking Dr Fischer’s remedy (No. 2 Pulsetilla)
About 5.30, towards sunset we came in sight on the Eastward, of the town of Mocha (or as it is spelt on the chart Mokka), built on the sea shore, at the foot of lofty hills; as the rays of the setting sun were reflected right upon it, we saw it to advantage. Through the glass we could distinctly see that it was comparatively a large size town, and three or four tall spires or chimeys overtopping the rest of the buildings were very visible. These spires looked at the distance we were off, (perhaps 20 or 30 miles) like the chimneys of some manufactory. After passing Mocha we met another large steamer going towards Aden. This Mocha was where the celebrated coffee used to be imported from, but of late years this industry ceased and coffee that is grown in these parts come some distance away to [?] of the country.
Played whist at 8 o’clock. McConnell, Roderick and Douglas. Roderick and I were partners and afterwards McConnell, but in each game I was on the winning side. Douglas was tired of being always on the losing side, and after 3 or 4 rubbers retired.
I then played at Napoleon for the first time, with Miss Boodle, Miss McConnell, and Miss Burleigh, the latter like myself, a novice at the game.
Went to be at X.30
Made 80 miles today from Aden.
January 15th 1885, Thursday
The sea (on awaking) as ‘smooth as glass’ and shortly after breakfast (for the first time since entering the Red Sea0 that it was for a time perfect red that is, streams of red came floating, which is to be accounted for by the fact of its colour being produced by sea weed of a reddish hue. Just as we were looking at and considering at it , a large steamer hove in sight, apparently a man of war painted white going towards Aden. The Captain says she is the Gunboat ordered by the Queensland Government. Hoisted our colours, British.
Read the “Tales of Sind,” (published by Thacker) and in which poems appear, versified, the tale about “Perim,” and how possession was obtained by the British of the Island; pretty much the same description as I have given already. Miss King, who has been more or less of an invalid very low and hysterical today, the Captain says, “thinking of her mother.” Passed another steamer about 12, going towards Aden.
Made 268 miles today.
Charades, and tableaux vivants at 8 o’clock tonight – Programme
Maria – Miss Douglas
Julia – Miss Burleigh
Father – Mr Bray
Man Servant – Douglas jun.
Doctor – Dr EganPort
2nd Syllable (Man)
Aesthetic Sisters – Miss McConnell
Ditto – Miss Douglas
Ditto – Miss Boodle
Ditto – Miss Burleigh
Signorina Mancini – Miss Sadler
3rd Syllable (Toe)
Author – Mr Bray
Man Servant – Douglas Jun’
Beggar – Mr Conran
Jane – Miss Boodle
Arabella – Miss Sadler
Felix – Douglas jun’
Arthur – Mr Conran
Cinderella in 4 scenes
Grand Tragic Tableaux
Blue Beard and his wives
Blue Beard – Mr Bray
(with the (serangsturchan?) burrowed for the occasion)
The acting and the dresses were both admirable, and the dialogue (entirely written by Miss McConnell) was clever and witty. The scene of the “Aesthetic Sisters” was “realistic” in the extreme! And each young lady managed to “get herself up,” to the very highest “pitch of perfection,” each in her own style, looked captivating and bewitching. Miss Boodle with her long hair, let loose over her shoulders, was “simply attractive.” Miss McConnell with her musical voice, and nicely turned head and expressive-speaking eyes, merited a larger if not a World wide stage, to exhibit her histrionic talents upon.
Miss Sadler, full of humour and that na vet of manner, peculiarly her own!
Miss Douglas (also with her hair down) attracted more eyes “than one!”
Mr Bray acted as though “to the manner bread.”
Dr Egan “as real as life.”
Whilst Mr Conran was made to look more handsome than ever, in his garb of a “Prince,” the dress evidently arranged and effectively put on, and pinned on, no doubt by the ‘lissome fingers’ of his ‘bright eyed’ wifes!
Young Douglas astonished the audience by his performance, and did justice to his early Preceptress (The Miss Mallet) who ‘drew him out’ on first arrival on ship board when only “an unsophisticated youth!”
Nor must I omit to mention the soulful Rebecca (young -‘s wife) whose first appearance in public, made quite a “page in his –.
After the place, our powers of admiration were again called into action, in witnessing the beautiful phospherence of the waters, (as far as the eye could reach) every one declaring that they had never seen it in such magnitude of such perfection before!
The sea still as smooth as ever, and as we have all our ports open on both sides every probability of a quiet night.
16th January 1885, Friday
Just 5 weeks today since we left Sydney! The sea, rather more disquieted then yesterday and the temperature already cooler. Before breakfast a steamer (one of the French messenger line) seen on her way to Australia. I did not see her myself. Miss Douglas’ birthday, 21 years of age today! Birthday cards placed by some unknown hand on her plate, at breakfast time, and some acrostie lines written by Mr Davis, the 2nd Officer who is a bit of a poet.
Ran – miles today
Saw after breakfast a steamer going towards Aden, of a very peculiar build, depressed, as it were, in the middle and her two opposite ends exactly similar, and therefore difficult to determine which was the stern or head of the vessel.
Reading the Life of the “Princess Alice.” I can’t say it interests me. There are and have been hundreds equally good and affectionable in all relations of life, and not for the adventurous circumstances of her being the daughter of a Queen would have passed away “unknown and unsung.”
At dinner Champagne and an iced plum cake introduced in honor of Miss Douglas’ birthday, who attained her 21st birthday today.
Played whist with Roderick, McConnell, and Douglas; McConnell and Roderick my partners alternately, and I again on the winning side, whilst Douglas always on the losing side. Mrs McConnell and Conran playing Backgammon. Miss McConnell hard at work at “Patience;” Mr Conran writing. Miss Sadler playing; Miss Burleigh writing and reading, the rest on deck.
Miss Douglas and her father had all (or nearly all) the passengers at tea in afternoon, except Mr and Mrs Rigby and Miss Robinson, who had tea by themselves in after saloon. They appear to keep by and to themselves. He Rigby, looks like a retired Innkeeper who was perhaps his own best customer. There is an evident desire on the part of the passengers to keep them at a distance.
17th January 1885, Saturday
A lovely day, the air fresh and invigorating. Saw a steamer shortly after breakfast going ‘Aden-wards’ and another one after lunch, a P&O Steamer , it was said to be the “Ancona” for Calcutta. About the same time land visible to the North Westward, on the Egyptian Coast, about 79 miles distant and called “Jable-Madi-la-Hamah.” The hills very distinct. We expect to see Dedalus Light house about dinner time. Ran 266 miles today, we are not hurrying, as the Captain does not wish to get in to ‘Suez’ before Monday morning.
The McConnells and Miss Brown and Miss Boodle busily engaged re-packing their trunks, to be in readiness to land at Suez, Monday. Mr Cockran exhibited 2 cases of Butterflies he got at Kandy, Ceylon, for which he paid only 1 and the skin of a Boa Constrictor, 10 feet 11 inches, for which he gave (blank).
Gave McConnell, at his request, a copy of my journal with account of the Charades and Tableaux vivants, which seemed to amuse him. Just as the Captain has stated, we came in sight of the Dadalus Light house, built on a shoal, as the dinner bell rang at 6 o’clock, the sun just setting. It was a most lovely sight, magnificent sunset, of a deep orange and crimson hue, and which sort of colour I never saw before, except in pictures representing Egyptian scenes. The light house stands as it were by itself, in advance of the line of hills named “Jabel-Mada-la-hamah” on the Nubian coast. The light house is supervised by the English, and two men formerly Quarter Masters in the P&O Service remain constantly resident, a third man remaining ashore and relieving one of the two every three months. The weather is now perfect, the sea smooth and all our portholes on both sides open.
18th January 1885, Sunday
Lovely weather, land visible on all sides. At 7 o’clock passed a steamer outward bound on our Portside, to the eastward, at 9.30, whilst at breakfast, great commotion on board arose, as it was announced that the P& O S. “Assam” bound to Bombay, was close to us; this being the ship on which Miss Brown’s brother (and Miss Boodle’s intended) is Chief Officer; every one nearly, made a rush to the side to see if he could be discerned. Rather a disappointment for Miss Boodle to be so near and not either of them to have the opportunity of meeting, or exchanging a word with each other! After breakfast, on going on deck saw two more steamers outward bound, one was a Dutch Ship, who hoisted her colours, going to Batavia. The other the “Knight of St. Patrick.” Also outward bound. Shortly after another large steamer, passed us, the “Duke of Buccleigh,” with Emigrants for Queensland, apparently a great number on board, and the poop crowded with women. On the East, the Coast of Sinai, now appeared with its well defined line of lofty hills, amongst which we looked for in vain, the “Mount Sinai” but no one could fix upon the exact locality, instead the Captain seemed to think it was not so lofty a mountain as the Range that met our view, and that it lay much further back. On our West was the Solante of Schianda, a perfectly barren rock, without a morsel of verdure, but notwithstanding as the sun shone brightly upon it, was a most picturesque object, particularly as the indentations and irregularity formed outlines gave it a rather imposing character.
During the night, or rather about 3am, we passed the Island “The Brother” lying mid channel and at 5.30 saw Ras Charib Light house on the West, and on the East, the same range of hills, on the Sinai Coast, the highest of which is the surprise of all (even the Captain) one capped with snow, and which gave to the air a coolness not before felt. This range of hills must be very lofty, for “Mt Sinai” is marked on the chart as being 7450 feet high.
After lunch came in sight of the Light house called (Ashrip?) 140 feet, built of iron.
Passed the afternoon in Dr Davis’ cabin, the 2nd Officers and with him also Mr Chichester, the 3rd Officer).
Saw the new moon just as we went to dinner at 6 o’clock, the wind changing just at this time, and blowing strongly Southerly.
The Doctor (Egan) read prayers in place of Captain, Miss McConnell (on the Harmonium) and Miss Benleigh, Mrs Sadler, Miss Douglas, Miss Soloman, Miss Brown and Mr Conran forming the choir, about 30 person being the congregation, of a collection in aid of the Seaman’s fund made, Plate carried round by Mr Bray, and 5.10 collected.
The Doctor ordered me a hot mutton chop for lunch every day.
Ran 260 miles today. Thermometer 72.
Felt very unwell all day, particularly in afternoon. I had (yesterday and this morning been taking Dr Fischer’s medicine No.4, for functionary and prostration, changed it and have been taking No.3, “The main remedy.”
18th January 1885, Monday
About 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning came to anchor at Suez, very great change in Atmosphere from heat to cold. Thermometer only 64. Shortly after we arrived the P&O Nepaul (which left Colombo a few hours before we sailed) came in and anchored near us, previously to her coming in saw a Russian Man of War get under weigh, she had just come through the canal. After breakfast the McConnells, Miss Brown and Miss Boodle, also young Loftice, left in an open sail boat for “Suez” en route to Cairo.
Got a Home News of 9th January 1885.
The Douglas’, Conran, and Bray also accompanied them, intending to return by 1 o’clock. Suez is only a short distance away, quite visible, but owing to the shoal lying between it and the ship, the boats have to go round a long way and so increase the distance thereby. Saw several ships, as we lay at anchor, coming out of the Canal, in fact we could not enter until they had all come out, one a large Man of War, painted white, an iron clad turret ship of 8,000 tons, which anchored near us, H.M.S. Agamemnon, bond to China, to protect British interests during the French and Chinese disputes. A Spaniard came on board with photographs, I purchased 6/- worth.
Mr Stone purchased 12 doz or more, for which the Spaniard tells me he only gave 4, and that he had received 15 dozen and that he was a great loser, so much so that he offered Mr Stone to give him back his 4 if he would let him have his photographs back again, which he refused to do. I cannot understand this as Mr Stone appears a man of extreme rectitude. Saw 8 or 9 ships besides the ‘Agamemnon’ coming through the Canal, two of them were French Men of War, also bound to China.
Some time after lunch the sailing boat returned with the Ganges passengers who had left in the morning in the arab boat, namely Conran, Bray, the Douglas’, Mr and Mrs Rigney and baby, Miss Robinson and Miss Soloman. As the sea and the wind had risen since morning they had rather a wet and rough sail back, but the Arabs managed their boats cleverly in bringing alongside the ship. The Captain had previously sent a Steam Launch to pick them up at “Suez,” but as she returned without them, the Captain seemed put out at the possibility of being detained by their delay. However they came back in very good time, for the Pilot (a foreigner) did not take charge of our ship till 4 o’clock p.m., and we did not enter the Canal till 4.30. The passengers who went to Suez, though they managed to get donkeys to ride, could not get any thing to eat, and returned to the ship very hungry. Mrs Rigney had, I understand, a fall from her donkey.
The Reverend Mr Strange who has been stationed between Port Said and Suez for the last 2 years in his clerical capacity, came on board in order to return to his home at Port Said, and he is a gentlemany pleasant and – young man.
I felt very unwell all night, great pains in back of neck, extending to right shoulder, with twitch in joints, fingers and toes, and altogether ill, otherwise, I should have felt inclined to go on shore at Suez. At 5.30 the “Ganges” was brought to a stand still and made fast to posts fixed on the ground on one side of Canal about 7 miles from Suez. No ships go faster than 4 or 5 miles an hour and are not allowed to travel after dark
19th January 1885, Tuesday
In bed nearly all day, with a most excruciating head ache, or rather pains in nape of neck extending to left shoulder, throbbing on top of head, side of head and forehead, in fact pain charging from one spot to the other that not diminishing in force or acuteness: all day long, this continued, the glands of the neck on both sides appear considerably swollen. Took “Pulsatilla” 3 times during the day, and towards 8 o’clock pm, I felt somewhat relieved and got up for a couple of hours, though having a very bruised sensation about the neck and head and a slight feeling of nausea.
We left our mooring this morning about 6 o’clock, we had barely come last evening, about 7 miles from Suez. In the course of the day, I saw through my Port Hole, the Steamer “Essez” which we passed as she lay fastened to her moorings; shortly after we met the Dutch ship “Prince Henrico” of Amsterdam on boar of which appeared many passengers of a very pleasing type of face. Shortly after another passenger ship, the “Clan Cameron” of Glasgow. There were many others I understand but being in my bed they escaped my notice. There was also seen in the distance the Palace built for the Khedive at (blank) and also the house for the Empress Eugenie when she came to these parts for the purpose of inaugurating the opening of the Suez Canal.
About 5.30 pm just as the light was disappearing, we came again to an anchor or rather the ship was moored by cables fastened to posts fixed deeply into the banks on shore.
We passed several stations and saw several half lame young Egyptians running along the banks of the Canal begging for money. Some one on board threw them a penny, which had been inserted in a potatoe, to facilitate the throwing it, but on reaching the land, the penny must have slipped out, and the indignation of the little Egyptians on finding that there was nothing in it, was great in the extreme, venting his passion by beating himself with his hat, or head dress, and not any of them wear anything but a sort of huge looking night cap on their heads, and something like a monk’s cowl. The scenery (or rather there is no scenery) is dreary in the extreme. Steaming between sand banks, the whole live long day, and wondering how it is that the Canal has not long since been filled up by the drift sand caused by natural gravitation as well as by wind against the possibility of which no safeguards appear to the casual observer to have been taken. The Purser (Mr Boyle) informed me of the great and sudden change of tempuratures the last few days (the day before yesterday) the Thermometer in the cabin then was 84 , and to night only 60 , a difference of 24 degrees!
20th January 1885, Wednesday
We left our ‘moorings’ (a few miles beyond Kantara) about 6 o’clock a.m., the first ship we met today in the Canal outward bound was the “Winchester” and shortly after the P&O Steamer “Chusan” bound for Bombay, and in her the Duke of Connaught, the Captain says, is expected to return to England. She is a new ship with all the modern improvements, having electric lights &c. Apparently a great number of nice looking passengers in her. And from the conversation that passed between our Captain and theirs, we learn that she had met with very severe and cold weather since leaving England. Not very cheery news for us just entering it. Another vessel we met was the (blank).
On going on deck after breakfast three strange lights met our view, first the ‘mirage’ of land and water being apparently visible, next the thousands and thousands of Flamingos which at a distance looks like large regiments of soldiers, clad in white and extended in single file. And lastly numbers of tufts of (which looked like) grass with sticks rising out of them, and placed in straight lines one after the other, the Captain asked us all to guess what we thought them to be, but of course no one was able to answer; according to the Captain they are placed there by the Egyptians for the purpose of catching Quail, as after a long flight they get weary on the wing, and are thus attracted by these artificial mounds of grass and rest there, at night time the natives go out with nets in their hands and easily capture them, whilst comfortably ensconced in their nests.
About 7 o’clock a.m. we passed a building on the banks of the Canal, which we saw was an ‘Hotel’ kept by a Frenchman ‘De Conti,’ by name, and at about 8, to a large dredging machine, somewhere in this neighbourhood tradition assigns the place where Joseph was sold by his brothers.
I understand that the Canal duties are very excessive, this ship the ‘Ganges’ (of 4,000 tons) will have to pay 1,400 and for each passenger the pay at the rate of 11/- per head, but this is inclusive of the 1,400. The English Man of War, the “Agamemnon” with her large complement of man, of 8,000 tonnage, must have had a very large Bill to pay I imagine, by the bye I hear she had, owing to her size, great difficulty coming through the Canal, it took her six days and as her beam was upwards of 68 feet and the width of the Canal only a few feet wider the risk was great, so great indeed that I understand the Commander does not intend his return to go through the Canal.
Arrived at Port Said at 11.30 followed shortly after by our companion de voyage the ‘Nepaul.’ Alongside of us lay a Russian Man of War, two Frenchmen, and one Turkish Man of War ahead of us. Immediately we anchored (boats?) with Egyptian labourers came alongside and commenced loading us with coal. We had lunch at 1, and then several of the passengers, the Douglas’ Conrans, Brays, Solomans and ourselves were taken to the shore only a few hundred yards off, in a ferry boat, for which 3d each was charged. Mr Caley asked if he might accompany us and made up our party. We saw Conran with young Bray and little Roddick riding donkeys about the town. I purchased a Fez cap from one of the shops for 3/- and a (horchel, parcel?) for 2/-. We were surrounded by Egyptian lads who insisted on cleaning my boots, one of them seized one leg and the other the other leg and I had to give them 1d each before I was released. We walked through the different streets, what they called the ‘fruit market.’ The oranges are said to be very good and of an oval shape. We met people of all nationalities, Egyptian, Arabs, Spaniards, French, Greeks, Turks, &c Several of them in the public streets in front of the Inns, well seated at tables playing dice, dominoes and draughts and one set of men Backgammon. A little further on in a part of an open shop quite in the corner, I saw a native school, all boys, about 40, in about a space of 10 feet square all seated on their haunches and apparently learning to write, as they had paper before them, each boy kept swinging his body to and fro’, all the time. Most of the women were muffled up, so that nothing but their eyes were seen, many of these appeared to suffer or to have suffered from ophthalmia. We walked to the ‘garden of Lesseps’ on the side of which is built an Hotel called the ‘Hotel Lesseps.’ In the middle an orchestra is built and this evening the Band from the Russian Man of War was preparing to play there for the edification of the residents. We saw the shop for the sale of Persian carpets, of a – colors and designs, prices ranging from 9 to 25, at least those were the sums named for those shown us. The owner a foreigner I could not determine of what country, only white, even as we walked away without buying.
At 4 o’clock we were all on board, and shortly after we left Port Said dipping our flag to the different Men of War as we passed them, the Russian answer was very slow in returning the compliment and the Officers in charge had to call out to his men once or twice before he succeeded in making them carry out his orders, clearly contrasting with the discipline of an English Man of War! As we left the harbour I was struck (though not formally) with a sort of breakwater composed of large loose stone pited one in the other without any seeming order or regularity, the stair appeared at the distance we were of 5 or 6 feet long by 4 feet in depth, and gave one the idea from their being so carelessly thrown a each other of great weakness, and the possibility of their being washed away in he event of any tempestuous weather or rough seas breaking upon them. After proceeding some miles away and towards sunset, and just after entering the Mediterranean sea, we found a great swell meeting us, as though it had been blowing some days or so before.
I forgot to mention that Mr Stone left the ship shortly after we arrived at the wharf, with the Reverend Mr Strange, who is the Clergyman, C of E, stationed at Port Said, a sort of Missionary to the sailors, who frequent this port. Mr Strange took him to his house, gave him lunch, introduced him to his wife, and then walked with him round the town, showing him the ‘Lions(?)’ of the place. One of interest was the school where the boys were being taught to read out of the Koran, he also took him to what is called “Araby Town,” which was burnt down not long ago, and where the inhabitants are living in tents, rather than put up permanent buildings as heretofore, because the Pasha of the place wishes to exact from each person who so erected a house a sum of (blank), which they were too poor and had not the inclination to pay. On Mr Stone’s return to the vessel, he was somewhat vexed to find that a letter had been sent him (I presume from England) to await his arrival here, had actually reached the ship, had been put on his plate at lunch, but being absent did not see it, and it cannot now be found by the Steward who put in on the table at lunch time. He seems to take the matter much more unconcernedly than I should.
22nd January 1885, Thursday
Felt much better today. The sea rather rough last night, though the weather is beautiful but cool. Many of the passengers feel ill again, Mrs Bray and her son were unable to be at dinner or indeed at any meal. I went on deck till 12.30 with great coat and Railway rug wrapped round me. The pitching of the ship made me feel rather headachy. The Thermometer in Mr Drayton’s cabin today 64 , but on deck I have no doubt it would be less.
I tried a remedy last night for the pain in neck and back of head, recommended by Miss Barleigh as good for neuralgia pains called “Bay-Rum” a few drops on flannel and applied to the part affected, had a most soothing beneficial effect and I note the remedy now in order on my return to Australia that I may get a supply of this medicine.
In the evening played whist with Douglas, Bray and Roddick, the latter my partner and in getting up from the table after several rubbers found we were the winners, on the whole by one point.
After breakfast in the distance a steamer going Easterly, and on our West a sailing ship going in the same direction.
Stayed on deck for a considerable time before lunch and dinner time, but felt it too cold afterwards to venture out of the saloon.
Ran 204 miles today up to 12.
23rd January 1885, Friday
Exactly 6 weeks today, since we left Sydney, thought the time has passed pleasantly and we have visited many places of interest on the way, yet these past weeks appear like months contrary to the personal acceptance of them, that time passes quickly when spent pleasantly.
Very rough tumbling sea on today, the worst we have had during the voyage, as yet whilst reading on deck just after breakfast, a sea leapt right over towards the stern and wet several of us, more or less. And on going to one’s cabin, I was disgusted to see that the port hole had been left open, and the same sea had entered and had fallen on our bed bunks, and portmanteaus, and wetted the photographs I got at Port Said the other day. Several other seas before lunch came over the sides of the vessel, and I fear this is but the prelude of what we may expect to experience in the ‘Bay of Biscay’ so deftly described in the song I once heard the celebrated “Brohan” sing, nearly 50 years ago! “as we lay on that day &c.”
Last night Grace was very much disturbed (I did not hear this) by the rats running over and about the cabin, over her head, and gnawing away on some of our goods and chattels. I fear there is a whole family of them near the midship cabins.
Just had lunch, 2 o’clock p.m. The sea still continues to dash up against the port holes darkening the saloon for the time being. Very few of the Ladies on deck, the only one who seems to brave the ‘Battle of the breeze.” Is Mrs Cochran (spelt without an ‘e’) she is walking up and down now bidding defiance to the elements. She is a great traveler, travelling with her son for the benefit of his health which has been much impaired by an attack of fever and ague contracted not very long ago. I must not forget to purchase the book he recommended for my perusal. Thermometer in Mr Douglas’ cabin today 63 , and the ship made 274 miles.
24th January 1885, Saturday
My birthday 66 years old today.
The sea very rough last night, a gale of wind blowing and that a head wind besides, all which circumstances combined rendered the ship very uneasy, and prevented our making more than 6 knots an hour during the night. The Captain holding that a greater speed in such a ‘rumbling’ sea (as he expressed it) might endanger the screw. Not much sleep during the night, notwithstanding awoke without the usual pain in neck and head, and went on deck immediately after breakfast till lunch at 1 o’clock. Mrs Conran who changed her cabin last night, on account of the noise of the screw, did not make her appearance today, nor Mrs Bray, who was absent also yesterday, nor Miss King. We only ran 176 miles today, and it is questionable (as we have 290 miles more to do) if we shall reach Malta before tomorrow evening at 5 o’clock.
Played whist tonight, with Douglas, Bray and Broddick, the latter my partner, and on getting up from the card table we were, on the whole winners by one point only.
25th January 1885, Sunday
Pouring rain all day long, and a great mist on the waters, the fog horn going constantly. After breakfast about 9.30 we saw the P&O steamer “Parramatta” on her way to Australia. It was too rainy and cloudy to distinguish people on board, but the “Ganges” and herself dipped flags to each other. On this steamer (we saw by a late English paper of 9th inst, that) the J.B. Watts, Knoses and others we knew were passengers by her. About past 1 o’clock, we arrived at Malta, and here the Douglas’ (Father, daughter and son) left us, as he intends remaining for a fortnight, and then going by degrees overland to England, fearing to enter suddenly upon an English winter. They went away in a pour of rain, and at the same time some of the other passengers went on shore to spy out the land, the Brays, (though Mrs Bray has been laid up the last 3 days) Rigney’s Mr Cayley, Miss Barley’s nurse Sadler &c. The Captain about an hour after went in his own boat on shore, taking with him under his charge Miss King and no else, they also went in a pour of rain. The decks were crowded with itinerant vendors of Maltese lace, and silver jewelery, cameos, fruit &c. Grace purchased a Lace handkerchief 7/- and some mittens, 4/-. I a Cameo Bracelet 6/- which the fellow asked me 2 for in the first instance. Grace wrote to Marie, (double letter) postage 8d or 1/-. I wrote to Milly 4 or 6d, Grace wrote to Mrs Stovin (Storm?) (England) 2 , in answer to hers received today. Total 12 .
Gave Conran the letters to post as he purposes going on shore presently, but the rain continuing gave them to the Barman. Some one from Valetta, the capital of Malta, informed the Captain that a telegram from England had been received at the Union Club in Malta, to the effect that some portion of the House of Commons and half of the white Tower of London had been blown up, by dynamite and 5 lives lost!!
I suppose on the Captain’s return from shore this report will be confirmed or otherwise. I did not like to go on shore myself on account of the rain, and fearing exposure to cold.
There was no service on board today. The Captain I suppose being on the alert always, when entering a port. Miss Burleigh however, for an hour or more, was at the Harmonium, and accompanied the singers, Miss Sadler, Miss Douglas who had not then left, Miss Pope, Conran and Cochran, in singing different hymns. Grace received a letter from Mrs Stovin of 13th January, from London, saying she had heard from both of us from Sydney that we were on our way home, and also from Mrs Marden.
We ran, I believe 290 miles today. The sea was comparatively smooth last night and the wind in our favor, which gave us a quiet night, and enabled us to sleep more comfortably.
Purchased 1 dozen lemons from one of the fruit seller who came on board for six pence (6d)!
The Captain and Miss King returned in time for dinner but the other passengers did not for a long time afterwards, indeed Miss Burleigh and Miss Sadler, who were by themselves were longer delayed by the Boatmen and carriage drivers, quarreling about the excessive fares they wanted, actually laying hand upon them to try and get what money they had upon them. Miss Sadler on arrival on board was drenched by the rain and the seas shipped when in the boat, and quite hysterical from the treatment she had received on shore.
A new passenger, a Mr Hall (a Clergyman) came on board, he only came to Malta in the “Parramatta” which arrived on Saturday, and as he came merely for the sea voyage, which has done him good, he continues it for his health by return to England with us. He tells me he is a cousin of Foster, (the former Minister of Justice) of Sydney, and also related to De Salis M.L.C. He is one of the Curates at Whitechapel.
Mr Conran purchased 8 worth of Maltese Lace from the hawkers who came on board and several others of the passengers bought from them too. It is very questionable whether the Coaling will commence today after all. The latter having been busily engaged the last few days loading several of the P&O steamers, and are much fatigued. In addition to this I believe they do not like working in the wet, and another excuse is there is some festival of the Church going in “Citta Vecechia,” which attracts many there. Time, however, will tell! The rain towards night somewhat abated and hopes are entertained of having a fine day tomorrow, for sight seeing on Malta. I am not particularly struck with the Maltese lace, much less with their silver jewelery and cameos, the gems purchased at Colombo much more tempting in my eyes. I think Ladies talk themselves into the belief that dresses trimmed with this lace is becoming.
26th January 1885, Monday
We had breakfast somewhat earlier today at 8.30, and at 9 Grace and I went over in a small boat (also Stone, Caley and Hall) and were rowed to shore, a very short distance from the ship, for which we were charged 6d each. We then hired a 4 wheeled one horse carriage, a famous little horse it was, driven by a Maltese ‘jawey,’ alongside of whom sat a guide or Dragoman (perfectly self appointed) but whose presence we tacitly submitted to. We made an agreement for the carriage at 2/6 an hour, which was exactly 1/6 an hour more than we should have been asked, indeed I find that 6/- a day is the maximum rate.. We were first driven to “4 King & Co,” agents for the ship, where I put my name down in the visitors book, as having passed through Malta en route to England. We were afterwards taken to St John’s Cathedral which we entered and were shown through it by an old grisly bearded attendant, as a guide, but of this more hereafter. “Malta” I find was successively possessed (centuries ago) by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, afterwards under Arab Rule. Then came French and German sovereigns, then the “Knights of St John,” (and the Great Siege). The decay of that Order, and the surrender of Malta to Napoleon Buonaparte with afterwards the capitulation of General Vaubois and in 1814, war once more broke out, and by the 7th Article of the “Treaty of Paris” it was declared that Malta should appertain to the King of England. Malta itself (not including the other islands of Gozo, Comino and Comminotto) is 17 miles long by 9 broad. The city is built on a hill called “Mount Sceberras” formerly the property of a family of that name. One half is on only bare rock, and only one half under cultivation, and it is supposed by some to have formed one large island, or else formed part of Europe or Africa, if not of both. It is also thought the name of Phoenician origin, and derived from the same root as the Hebrew word “Malet,” signifying “refuge” or “Asylum.” It is beyond doubt the Egyptians had formerly settlements here, from the Sarcophagi discovered there in later years, Malta for several centuries formed part of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire.
I said just now that we were taken by our guide to St John’s Cathedral, as the first point of interest. It is called, I found, the “Church of St John,” the first stone of which was laid in 1573 and in 1578 was sufficiently far advanced for consecration. On entering one is struck with amazement at the magnificence everywhere displayed, is of an oblong form, 178 feet long, the height to centre of roof 68 feet or more. The walls were inlaid with green marble between 1663 and 1680, the corridors date from 1735. The Church consists of a Choir, Nave, and two side aisles, the latter divided into side chapels, one of which was assigned to each of the various languages of the Order (St John) by the first general Chapter, in the year 1664. The pavement is composed of 400 richly inlaid marble slabs, a sort of mosaic, commemorating many famous members of the Order, having many quaint emblems and appropriate epitaphs. The paintings on the roof are most effective, the work of master painters. (the Calabrese) who came to Malta in 1661, and resided in the town till his death in 1699, during the whole of which time he was engaged in adorning and beautifying the Convent and Church. He refused to receive payment, whereupon the Order gave him the rank of Commander. He is buried here and his portrait is in the sacristy. The roof is divided into 7 zones. The alter is formed of rich marbles and is surmounted by a group representing the Crucifixion by Alcardi of Bologne. The large picture behind the alter by Michael Angelo de Caravaggio. He in 1608 came to Malta to paint the roof of the Church, and was knighted by the Grant Master.
In the “Oratory” are kept the splendid tapestries presented to the Church by the Grand Master Pisellos at a cost of 6000. These tapestries were executed in Brussels by the firm of St De Vos, and form part of the decorations of the Church on St John’s day, from the festival of Corpus Christi, to that of S.S. Peter and Paul and from Christmas day to the Epiphany; this part of the Church and the tapestries in question, is seldom shown, but on my telling my guide that I was a “Cavallieri,” and was a “Knight of the Iron Crown” duly appointed by Humberto, the King of Italy, it was soon buzzed about, and permission was soon after received for me to visit the corridor and tapestry, on entering we found that all the tapestry was, as the scenery at theatres is, on rollers and had to be let down seriation for our inspection. Some of them, however, were under repair, and others had been repaired. On this room or corridor we saw some thirty (30) young girls who were hard at work playing their needles, repairing portions and working new squares of canvas to be inserted in the old Tapestry. The Instructors unfortunately could only speak Italian, but I learnt that he had been sent over from Italy to instruct these girls, and they seemed very apt and able pupils for their work appeared as well executed as the beautiful old Tapestry of 200 year ago. We did not see the Library, which we were told was worth seeing, but we were taken to what is called the “Governor’s Palace” surrounded by four of the principal streets. One of its courts is called “Prince Alfred’s Court” in honor of the first visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1850, who planted a Norfolk Island there, which flourishes most luxuriantly. There is a ground marble stair case erected in 1866, with board steps, the floors of the corridors are inlaid with various colored marbles. The walls of the Council Chambers and other parts are adorned with frescoes. Along the corridors are ranged figures of Knight and men at arms in full armour with escutcheons on their shields. And upon the walls, are (pesares?) but the costly tapestries, 22 in number about 15 feet square crowded with colossal figures representing scenery in India, Africa and South America, and those purchased from the firm of J.De Vos of Brussels. In the armoury 253 feet long by 38 board, are the old colors of the Malta Regiment. The Lions Axe, of Dragut the famous Algerine Corsair who held command during the siege of 1565. The suit of armour, formerly worn by the Grand Master – Wignacourt who must have been 7 feet in height, his helmet weighing 37 lbs, a perfect giant in size. At the back of the staircase is the State Carriage of the last Grand Master, which is said to have been used by Mr Buonoparte (when in Malta) in a state occasion and when he was designated ‘First Consul’ it is in a wonderful state of preservation! From the Palace we walked to some high fortifications, overlooking the most precipitous abyss, protected however, by an iron railing to prevent accidents; from this point a beautiful panoramic view presented itself, of the surrounding fortifications and inlets of the Harbour. I find that this place is called the “Gardens” of the “Upper Brracca,” where an Annual Flower show is held, the tomb of Sir Thomas Maitland is in the centre. The “Baracca” was called the “Porta d’Italia,” and it is stated that a Prior of Messina roofed and greatly improved it in 1661 but in 1775 in consequence of the conspirators assembling here, the Grand Master ordered the removal of the roof. From the projecting gallery we looked over the open sea. Immediately below is the garden, called the Sultan’s Fort and as – – at which the Malta Fencibles Artillery are quartered. Fort St Angelo which has existed for 1000 years, is here seen to advantage.
At the other end of the “Baracca”, we look down into the yawning Gulf below! The most having been excavated by the Turkish captives. Thence we walked to the beautiful Opera House, the architect of which was a Mr Barry, I presume he who became afterwards Sir (blank) Barry, the Father of the Bishop of Sydney and Primate of Australia. The whole arrangement appears wonderfully complete. The Grand Staircase with it broad stone steps and the vestibule beautifully fitted up, with five or six tiers of Boxes. We heard some of the singers, about 7 or 8, rehearsing the Opera of “Fra Diavolo.” Many of their voices sounded well. The auditorium can contain I understand, upwards of 1200 people. The person who showed us round was so well dressed, and his manner so good that I presumed he must be one of the Members of the Company, or someone connected with the management and I never dreamt of (as I thought) insulting him by offering him any douceur in his politeness, but just as we were laving he addressed me, most politely “hoping that I would have him something to “drink my health and a prosperous voyage home,” which necessitated my handing him the magnificent sum of 1/- which he gratefully and gracefully acknowledged by raising his hat in right royal manner!! We had been informed by the Captain that the coaling would be finished by now, and that the ship would leave at 1, we were unable to visit the Catacombs (6 miles away) and therefore as “a make shift” drove to the Capuchin Monastery, on the way, where we were shown over their little Church, and ultimately guided by a taper held in the hand of a lay brother, to the crypt below. When all the lay members of the brotherhood in one part, a clear distinguished being made, and all their deceased Priests in another part, are affixed against the walls in a sort of cell standing upright having been as it were, after being in their coffins of upwards of a year, preserved entire, after the fashion of mummies. In some cases with particles of hair and teeth till visible, and the hands in perfect preservation, though of course the skin was all shriveled. We had to hurry and then immediately drove down to the wharf where the settlement with the driver took place, nothing could content him but 2/6 per hour, and I had to pay him 10/- and 4/- to the “Dragoman,” to whom I had at first offered 2/-, which to the Maltese is a large sum equal to a week’s wages, but as he learnt indirectly from myself of my being a “Cavalieri” of the Order of the “Iron Crown.” And which piece of information he had used as a sort of “open sesame” to my viewing the old Tapestries, which we had just seen under repair, in the corridor, and which our guide had doubtless made use to gain our admitting, I felt it was incumbent on me to yield to his demand.
We returned to the ship in time for lunch and found all the rest of the passengers on board too, though we did not leave till 3.30pm. Three other passengers had come on board, Mr Woodhouse and his friend Mr Williams, and Lieutenant Hay R.N. who was formerly on board the H.M.S. “Pearl” in Sydney and was a constant companion of Dr Messer, the two always dining out together. He has just been in command of the Gunboat “Decoy” sometimes stationed on these waters, but she has been put out of commission and he (Hay) is on his way to Plymouth where his wife and children reside, now to be paid off. There is not much alteration in him since I first knew him nearly 11 years ago. We confirmed the story of the dynamite explosion at the Tower, and House of Commons, the telegram to that effect having come to the club (the Union Club), at Malta, when the subject was publicly known and discussed. Hay told me that what was considered far worse news, was that no tidings had come from (Sonaken?) about General Stewart’s troops, and that great apprehension for their safety was entertained and a further demand for more troops from England was being made.
Grace and I whilst walking in the town, Valetta, went to several shops where Lace and silver jewelry were sold. She managed to satisfy herself with another lace handkerchief, a silver brooch, and a pair of mittens, for which she gave 10/- in all. I bought a few photographs 5 at 8d each and 3 at 6d of the different places in Malta. The people we met with all day mostly Maltese, were very peculiar and strange, both in dress and appearance, their carts and vehicles too were “out of the common,” though their little horses were “good goers,” and in good condition, and well looked after. I observed a peculiarity in the way of harnessing, in every instance the back part of the Breeching came right up to the tail, touching the cropper, which would, with us (in 9 cases out of ten) have the effect of making the horse kick, but with them, their horses, very broken to it, they freed it out. The Maltese have primitive looking carts, generally drawn by a mule or a donkey, without blinkers. From the circumstances of Artillery and Regiments of the Line being quartered here, and men of war being in harbour, we saw officers, soldiers, and sailors moving about with civilians of all sorts and conditions, the uniforms contrasting in most instances, in others wearing a more extensive and larger sort of a “Sister of Charity” hood, and a long curtain attached thereto at the back, and hanging down behind below the waist.
(rest in pencil)
Forgot to mention silver gate at Church of St John, his golden ones stolen and taken away by Napoleon, which induced to paint the silver ones over so as to escape his observation and ethical(?) sense succeeded.
Statue of Louis Phillip’s brother the Duke of Ch-
Mosair picture of
As to Knights of Malta and the order of St John
Enquire Charle’s exhibited of Deed giving to Government of Malta to King, signed by Charles V.
Crypt of Church
Anniversary of the Coburg(?) what will it be 300 year hence?
(back to ink)
17th January 1885, Tuesday
Land seen early, the African coast still! After breakfast saw what is called the “Convict Island” Pentelleria” belonging to the Italian Government on which stands a lighthouse, and where the worst of criminal are sent. In former days there was a volcano, which had long ceased to be in eruption, there is now on the top, where the crater was, a large lake. About 10.30 a.m. we came abreast of Cape Bon(Qum?) in which there is also a Lighthouse, not long place there, and in the afternoon passed the Bay of Tunis in the distance, then the “Cam Rocks” and skirted land which was visible as long as the light lasted. About dinner time the officer on watch sent word to the Captain that some island was observed. It was excessively cold on deck, and a heavy shower fell after lunch but did not last, as I went on deck afterwards. Made the acquaintance of one of the new passengers, who came on board yesterday, a Mr Woodhouse, he is a Solicitor, but is suffering from spinal affection, from over-worked brain, he was advised to take a sea voyage, and came to Malta a fortnight ago, by the “Chusan” and is obliged to again return so soon as his partner is, he says, 40 years older than himself and does not like leaving him to do the work alone. He says he has consulted (and recommended me to consult) the specialist for spinal complaints, Dr Lackson of London when all other Doctors give precedence and in him particular. He also says there is a man in Paris who ranks even higher than to Lackson in the profession.
In the course of conversation today whilst walking up and down the deck with Lieutenant Hay, he told me that Haly Hatchman who was formerly Private Secretary to Sir A Robinson in Sydney, is now Lieutenant Governor of Malta, the head of Civil Matters whereas the Governor in Chief is the Commander of the Forces and head of the military affairs.
Made 204 miles up to 12 o’clock today. Thermometer 58 on deck, and sea 59.
28th January 1885, Wednesday
A most lovely day, sea very smooth and ship going 12 knots an hour. Passed “Gelita” Lighthouse, and were off “Cape Carbon(?)” at 1 o’clock skirting the Algerian coast all the afternoon, we saw some very high hills in the distance, covered with snow. They are called Mt Atlas. Up to 12 o’clock we had made 274 miles. Temperature about 59 on deck, a little higher than yesterday.
Went on deck after lunch and remained there till 4 o’clock, then drank tea with Mrs Conran. In the evening played whist with Bray. Lieutenant Hay, and Woodhouse, the latter my partner, got up a winner then Williams, a friend of Woodhouse travelling with him, cut in and I went out. Afterwards I ‘cut in’ and Bray went out and I had Lieutenant Hay in the first rubber and lost, next rubber partner with Woodhouse and won. On the whole lost nothing. Had to take ‘Sulphur’ 3 or 4 time during the day. Saw several steamers in the distance.
29th January 1885, Thursday
The sea a smooth as glass, and the ship going steadily. Awoke however, with pain in head and nape of neck, which felt stiff on turning one’s head round. The weather feels milder than ever, the Thermometer 57. Latitude 36 N and Longitude o.36 West.
We went 273 miles up to 12 o’clock today. Miss Pope has just informed me that curiosity prompted her to go below just now and visit the furnace (24h number) the Freezing room, &c., in going too near to the furnace, her forehead became quite scorched, in fact she has been literally ‘branded.’ She tells me she was taken there by the 2nd Office (Davis) towards whom she definitely shows a tendresse, extended to no other, notwithstanding she says, she is engaged and (i saw an engagement ring) and to be married in June next at Adelaide to some one there. She (like the rest of us) is keeping a diary, and his said 2nd Officers, in answer to her question about places and things, crams her with all sorts of miss-information which she readily gulps down, or writes down! She is a very good natured young woman, and has come on board with the Brays. Mr Bray’s sister Miss Bray (a middle aged person) met with an accident some short time ago, feel down two or three door steps, and broke her knee cap, divided it in fact, and has been obliged to lie down ever since, cannot stand, and is every day when fine, carried on deck by two of the Stewards on a long chair. Miss Pope is constantly in attendance upon her, and (I suppose) is either engaged as ‘Lady companion’ or maybe only as ‘ami de famille.’ However she devotes herself to the service of Miss Bray from morning to night. She seems a very tidy person, and I came to this conclusion not only from her dress, but from her writing desk which seemed, as she opened it, neatness itself inside and outside too!
Lunch is getting ready, and I must clean my writing material away. I heard the Captain and Mrs King in the ‘Music Saloon,’ up aloft, and that is another reason to put them away, as I cannot write and listen to music at same time talking of tendresse just now, there is a ‘double distilled’ essence of it displayed from ‘Captain to King,’ a most loyal devoted subject, he!!. The ladies have begun to notice this, and his want of attention or common politeness to them. Young girls are his hobby, or his weakness, hardly his fault, more his fortune, from having been so mentally formed and developed, as to have a power of resistance to the captivations of the sex! One old lady on board, is excessively indignant at the Captain’s scant courtesy towards her! But unfortunately has not been kind to her. So far as personal appearance is concerned indeed ‘au contraire’ but still the Captain as Captain should treat his ‘guests as it were’ for the time being, with respect, if not making love to them! And of course it is not possible for him to do that in this instance! The old lady (though old and unattractive) is still a Lady, and has cause of complaint!
In the evening played whist with Bray, Hay and Woodhouse, the latter my partner in the first two rubbers, in the last Bray and I. Got up a winner of 2/-. Paid for wine 3 bottles 7/6.
30th January 1855, Friday
We counted on having a fine day today and being enabled to visit Gibraltar on our arrival. Judge if our disappointment on finding on waking that it was pouring wit rain, with every prospect of its continuing. About 8 o’clock land was visible and by 9 we were anchored off Gibraltar. Numbers of ships of all kinds were at anchor, upwards of 50 I should think. Many of them flying the yellow Quarantine flag. Very few passengers went on shore on account of the rain, however, Mr and Mrs Conran, Mrs Cochran and her son in one boat, also Mr Stone and Messrs Hall, Woodhouse and Williams and Lieutenant Hay in another went, and were on shore for about 2 or 3 hours, returning in a pour of rain. Both Mrs Cochran and Mrs Conran seemed thoroughly drenched. Just before they returned a further influx of new passengers came on board, there young officers of H.M. 52nd Regiment now in Malta, going home on leave, a Mrs White and two children and a widow whose name I do not know yet, (Mrs Ajax?) A Miss Lyons, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Lyons, and some others who I have not yet seen. Mrs White was escorted on board by Colonel Hackett of the Royal Artillery, he is Assistant Adjutant General stationed here, so I suppose Mrs White “belongs to the Army.” I heard from Hay that Captain (Narres?) who was in command of H.M.S. (blank) in Sydney is now the senior Naval Officer in the station, and that he has completely recovered his health which was much impaired when last I saw him in New South Wales.
Mr Stone got several photographs of Gibraltar, thought not by any means good ones; the one of Lord Heathfield, on a stone monument, I should have liked to have had, as he and my grandfather were years gone by on very friendly terms, and he, Lord Heathfield, attributed his success in defending Gibraltar to the (ass- ) timely information given him by my grandfather when stationed in Malaga, as it is a matter of history I am tempted presently to quote a letter from Lord Heathfield to him on the subject and an extract from a letter of Mr Wilmot, the Master of Chancery and head of the American (compensation crossed out) claims to Mr Pitt – dated 17th March 1790.
My Grandfather was H.B.M. Consul at Malaga from some years, (succeeded afterwards by a Mr Kirkpatrick, Grandfather of the Empress Eugenie, widow of Louse Napoleon). In a book which he, my Grandfather, had printed for private circulation in (blank) to show his services, he writes (to quote his own words) “Early in the year 1778 he (Mr Marsh) having well ground suspicions that Spain (notwithstanding the assurances given by that Court of not taking part in the War, which had commenced between England and France) meant to act hostilely, as soon as they could be prepared, and that Gibraltar wold be the first object of their operation, he procured from time to time, the best information in his power of what was secretly going forward, and communicated it to Lord Heathfield, then Commander in Chief of the Garrison, who transmitted the same to his Majesty’s Ministers, as appears by the following extract of one of his official letters (Lord Heathfield’s) to the then Secretary of State, Lord Viscount Weymouth, written in cipher and dated
Gibraltar 9th July 1778
I have all this from Mr Marsh, I beg your Lordships forgiveness once more reminding you of his (Mr Marsh’s) unremitting zeal and very useful exertions for his Majesty’s Service, which I hope will appear to you in such a light as may obtain for him, some mark of the Royal favour.
For upwards of a twelve month (my Grandfather adds) before hostilities broke out with Spain, in 1779, Mr Marsh had almost a daily correspondence with Lord Heathfield, and as the time of that war approached, he had reasons for fearing that public notice would have been taken of the frequency of messengers going from him (Mr Marsh) to the Garrison.
The following is a copy of an extract of a letter in cipher to Mr Marsh, received from Lord Grantham (Mendenfessandor?) at the Coast of Spain.
St Ildefonse 18 Sept 1775
It is with the greatest satisfaction I obey the instructions I have received to acquaint you that the punctual correspondence you have kept up with the Secretary of State, the Governors of Gibraltar, and myself, are looking upon as proofs of your great diligence for his Majesty’s service, and are considered at home, in a most favorable light. This communication gives me great pleasure.
Copy of letter from Lord Heathfield to Mr Marsh.
12 March 1790
Nothing can contribute more to the restoration of my health, that the interest my friends express for it, and their frequent enquiries, especially those which come from Mr Marsh, whose regard for the public service furnished me with the means, whilst we were together in the Mediterranean, of fruitfully discharging my duty in such a manner, as to draw from the (bounteous?) hand of my Gracious Sovereign, such honours and favours, as I cannot have the presumption to say were owing either to my zeal or talents alone. But if those affairs hence taken a right-turn, the success was entirely founded upon the excellent materials of early information and timely notice carefully transmitted to me from “Malaga,” for indeed to you, my dear friend, me and mine are such unexampled Royal favours We have been long enough acquainted, for you to be assured these declarations are sincere and without flattery: indeed my official correspondence with the King’s Ministers, in those times, will furnish testimonials of my unaffected veracity in these declarations, of the infinite obligations I was daily under to you, for carrying on the public service.
I have &c
John Marsh Esq
On the subject of Gibraltar my Grandfather also quotes an extract from a letter written by Mr Wilmot, a Master in Chancery, and at the head of the Commission of American) to Mr Pitt, under date
17th March 1790
I beg to assure you that I heard Lord Heathfield declare, a short time ago, that if it had not been for the vigilant conduct and early information of Mr Marsh, at that period, he doubted whether the Garrison of Gibraltar could at this time have belonged to the Crown of Great Britain.
The rain after leaving Gibraltar (which took place about 1o’clock just as we were going to lunch ) continued to come down in torrents and two or three hours after we were tumbling about in a heavy sea, which at night became worse.
Gibraltar or “Gib” as it is more familiarly known, is but a huge high rock. At the extreme southern point of the Spanish coast, and is not of any great extent, as within a distance of half a mile of it is what is called the Neutral Ground where that of Spain commences. The whole side of the hill, facing the Straits are filled with guns upwards of 400 in number, ready pointed, and about it altogether there are I understand 900 at different points. A few of the larger ones I believe are 100 ton guns, and at least there are no larger ones in the World, and is therefore a more foremidable natural fortress for ships to pass. So may be looked upon as the very legs of the Mediterranean. I understand from one of our new passengers (a military Doctor on his way home to pass his examinations as a Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals) that Gladstone had prepared at one time to yield up Gibraltar to the Spanish, as a sign of currying favour with them, but what was naturally scouted(?) by most Englishmen. We passed several places on our way out, opposite Gibraltar was Certa(?) at 3.30pm Zanfer came in site, belonging to the Spanish on the point, (the most Southerly in the European coast) a light house is erected.
I saw also in the distance the Coast of Morocco and on the Eastward the ‘Cerebos’ Straits, we then got into a very broken sea.
Played whist in the evening with Bray, Hay and Williams, on the whole I got up a loser of 2/-.
Young Thurston, of the 52nd Regiment gave me an interesting account of the Bullfights at (blank) 12 miles from Gibraltar, at one of which he saw upwards of 12,000 people, Ladies, Spanish and English, not objecting to witnessing the scene, which afterwards resulted in the death of the Matador, and always in numbers of horses being gored to death, which are allowed to lie on the ground till after the exhibition (the Bulls being killed) and then all the carcasses being thrown out of the Arena. The Matadors make about 800 to 1000 a year, and are the idols of the Spanish people, and are as much thought of as our Jockeys in England by the Racing fraternity. He also says his impressions were not so unfavourable and that it was devoid of that cruelty which before he witnessed it, he thought such a scene would present.
31st January 1885, Saturday
Passed a most wretched night owing to the rolling of the steamer, caused by the heavy swell from the Southward. Many of our old passengers, Mrs Cochran, and Mr and Mrs Conran, Miss King and Mrs Roddick, Mrs Bray were absent the whole day, in their cabins and nearly rolled out of our one. Mrs White and children, Mrs Ajar (the widow) Miss Lyons, and two of the young officers of the 52nd are also ill. The Doctor called in to attend the Ladies of the party, and has managed to put his hand into the glass shade of the lamp. The sea was terribly troubled, and as we passed St Vincent (on which a lighthouse stands) we could see the sea dashing up against the rocks (which are nearly 250 feet above the level of the sea) it was not a very chilling sight, a thick mist then lying on the waters. After lunch every preparation was made by the Captain for a coming storm, every thing on deck was strongly secured, huge ropes passed under the boats, in case of the sea crashing over them, all the hatches battened down, canvas over the skylight, boards at the side, and all moveable spars and chairs removed from the poop. The Captain, too looked serious, gave his orders sternly and noiselessly, and there was no need to ask him what he thought of the weather, his face the index of his thoughts. Lieutenant Hay asked him about the Barometer and he simply announced “satisfactory” and passed on. Though Mr Bray came down to the Saloon to have a game of whist at 8 o’clock, we could not find a 4th partner, Mr Williams said he was not ‘up to it’ and his friend Mr Woodhouse was laid up all day. So we had nothing but ‘talking.’ Mr Williams I understand, is a man of means merely travelling for pleasure, has been out to the Cape for the sport of shooting, also to Norway, a fact in what is vulgarly called a “Globe Trotter.” He and Hay gave Bray an myself the address of their tailors, hatters, and boot makers &c Williams tailors are “Bayers and Savage, I wonder whether the latter is the Savage that used to be in Sydney, and the man I committed for Bigamy. He strongly recommended us to visit some restaurant in Holborn (blank) where the best of dinners are served at a mere trifle and the rooms in which the tables are laid are particularly worth seeing, spacious and well managed &c. I forgot to mention that just before lunch and whilst in sight of Cape St.Vincent we passed very close to a Steamer apparently of about 1000 yards, she appeared to be laboring heavily, and occasionally as she pitched was entirely taken out of sight, owing to the immense waves which for that time buried her. Her engines appeared to have been placed quite astern, a rather objectionable place the Captain intimated to us. Obliged to employ the ship’s barber, to shave me (for the 4th time).
Thermometer 56 to 58 .
Ran 194 miles up to 12 today
I awoke this morning wit the same pains in head and neck extending to shoulders, application of cold (wulis?) to the head seems to relieve.
1st February 1885, Sunday
We had a most weary night again, last night, the pitching and rolling continued throughout, things in the cabin breaking loose, and outside we heard a crash of glass, as though the skylight had been broken by a sea, fortunately we found this morning that this was not the case. The night however, was fine and the moon nearly full, shone out brightly. And it is today I am happy to say the sun has come out, and brightened the prospect, there is still however, a heavy swell and good deal of rolling about. The 2nd Officer (Mr Davis) told me that the ship rolled 36 last night and he added “it could have been much worse.” 40 I believe is the maximum degree beyond which a ship is likely to roll right over and be swamped, so not much margin was left for the ‘Ganges’ last night.
Mrs Conran and Mrs Cochran both on deck this morning after breakfast. We had a no service on board this morning, owing I presume to the rolling and (blank). I was obliged to employ the ship’s barber (a Cingalese) to shave me, (5th time).
After breakfast I went on the Hurricane deck for a couple of hours. Whilst there I went in to the chart room, by Mr Chichester’s invitation and saw the course we had taken the last few days and were now going, he tells me we passed Lisbon in the night, 20 miles to the Eastward, and may probably enter the Bay of Biscay after 10 o’clock p.m. Our course is now direct North.
Ran 245 miles.
Woodhouse gave me the address of his tailors, viz., Taylor and Gardiner,” Old Bond Street. Grace had a terrible fall from her bed on to the ground, the full length of the cabin, she was lying outside the bed half dozing, and had not noticed that the board (which generally was kept up on one side to prevent falling out) was away, which, as the ship gave a terrible roll) was the cause of her being precipitated with force to my side of the cabin, and was bruised a little.
Later on we were disturbed by a sea coming through the door way of the back companion in the after saloon. The door being here opened at the suggestion of a passenger, which caused the place to be flooded for a time: 3 or 4 inches of water!
2nd February 1885, Monday
Passed Cape Finistone in the night.
We had a very severe, or fierce as Mr Davis, the 2nd Officer called it) gale last night, the ship rolling and tumbling about in a most uncomfortable manner. A heavy storm of rain continuing for hours and accompanied with thunder and lightning. Grace very much disturbed by it, and feeling bruised from her fall from her bed yesterday, falling on the ground, unable for the first time to get up to breakfast. She however, came out of her cabin about 11 o’clock, and felt better. During the gale last night the weather was comparatively warm, the Thermometer being 60 throughout it. This morning in the Nurses cabin it was 64 . We did not make as good a run today as was expected, and considering that during some part of the night the ship was going 13 knots an hour, being a Southerly bound. The days run at 12 today was 262 miles. We have therefore 353 miles to make before reaching Plymouth.
Mrs Bray, Mrs Roddick, Mrs Burleigh and other Ladies all in their cabins today. Mrs Burleigh in great tribulation, she dropped her ring (her engagement ring) in the bathroom, and is no where to be found. It is a ruby ring, consisting of four stones.
The following is a list, copied from the Purser’s, of the new passengers who came on board at Gibraltar.
Mrs Agar (widow)
Miss Lyons (daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Lyons)
Mr P. Hughes
Dr Tuthill (Army Doctor)
Lieutenant C.S. Thomson (or Thomstor) of H.M. 52nd Regiment.
Mrs White (wife of Brevet Colonel White of H.M. 1st Royals) and two children and nurse.
Mr Fanshawe (of H.M.S. 52nd Regiment)
Mr W Seaton (connected with the Cable Telegram Company)
Mr R.Thomas (Commercial Traveler of Chester, an invalid)
I was obliged to get the ship’s barber to shave me again this morning (for the 6th time) owing to the difficulty of standing, much less of shaving. Awoke with a headache as usual which got better after application of cold water to it. Played whist with Bray, Hay and Woodhouse, I the loser 5/6. Miss Lyons sand “the weaving of the Green,” uncommonly well, without accompaniment.
3rd February 1885, Tuesday
Ship tumbling about last night, again. Rolling excessively owing to the heavy swell. Thermometer at 10 o’clock this morning in Pursers Cabin 55, recorded(?) 9 degrees difference since yesterday. Miss Burleigh to her great delight found her ring. She had lost in the bath room. It was found by our bedroom Steward (Saunders), great rejoicing over the matter.
At breakfast time the Captain informed us that we had just entered the “Chops of the Channel,” felt a perceptible difference in the atmosphere. Very cold but day clear and sunshiny.
Had the ships barber to shave me (for the 7th time).
The distance run today 265 miles. We expect, according to the Captain, to be in Plymouth about 8 o’clock tonight. Grace hard at work parking away clothes. The ship still rolling about (now 4 o’clock p.m.) that I can scarcely write, what I wrote in the last preceding pages, I was obliged to write in pencil, first and copied it afterwards in ink, there is no question about the “Ganges” being a ship giving to undue rolling, I never recollect in the three sailing ships I went to and from Australia I ever found the difficulty I do now in standing in one’s cabin, or dressing, and the noise and vibration of the screw is simply distressing, to one like myself who suffer so much from pain in the back of head.
Very cold thought the wind is somewhat Southerly.
At 8 o’clock we came in sight of the (blank) lighthouse at Plymouth, heavy rain and piteously cold. (Notwithstanding after considerable delay and doubts in the passengers minds o steam launch came off at about 10 o’clock and the following passengers left the ship for Plymouth viz
Mr and Mrs Cochran
Mr and Mrs Bray and son
Mr and Mrs Conran
Reverend Mr Hall
Lieutenant Hay R.N.
Lieutenant Fanshawe of 52nd.
Thurston of 52nd
Hughes of 52nd
The launch did not leave the side of the ship till just 11. The passengers therefore must have had their patience tried beyond endurance. Conran’s brother came off to meet his brother and wife, they seem very like to each other, but the brother older and taller. The agent of the ship and two agents from Grindley and Co and King and Co (the latter are going up to the docks with us) came on board to see if we would employ either of them to pass our luggage at the Customs. Heard from the Stovins and Mrs Matthews Scott. Grace wrote a long letter to Fanny (a double one) and I gave it to the Barman to get posted at Plymouth. We saw the lamps of the train.
4th February 1885, Wednesday
Terribly cold and dull, left Plymouth at about 6 o’clock on a rainy day and so dark in the saloon that the lamps at luncheon time at 1, had to be lighted and kept so, afterwards the whole of the day.
Had the Barber to shave me for the 8th time.
After breakfast saw the “Start” Lighthouse and the contrary coast, but it was so rainy and cheerless on deck, that I was obliged to leave it, and remain in the cabin and saloon all the day long, put on extra clothing, and extra flannel waistcoat, and an extra pair of trousers, and 2 light great coats.
5th February 1885 Thursday
About day break the ship came to an anchor in the river waiting as I understood for the tide.
The morning was fine and somewhat more cheerful than yesterday, but after lunch, it became cloudy and rainy and a fog. Ships and boats without number passed us on the way down the Channel, amongst others the “Orient” steamer bound to Sydney, with apparently a large number of passengers on the poop.
Had a final packing up today and paid 1 to our bedroom Steward, 1 to him, Stewardess 15/- to the waiter, who attended us at our meals, 5/- to the Steward who attended in where we had a mid ships cabin for the first 2 or 3 days, 5/- to the cook, 5/- to the butcher (on account of being provided with a cup of milk every morning) and 5/- to Barber. 3.15 in all for fees to servants, I mention this circumstance as may guide others who like myself are novices at travelling. Also 5/- to barber. The after part of the day was most cheerless, a cold wind blowing, and occasional squalls of rain, added to this a foggy atmosphere, and the Thames water as disturbed by the screw of the steamer most malodorous. When we got as far as Gravesend another Pilot came on board, and the one who joined us at Plymouth left. Miss Burleigh who hoped to reach Liverpool tonight, took advantage of the Pilot’s boat to leave in the hope catching the train. Mr Roddick also left, to make arrangements in London for his wife; Miss Sadler’s brother came with the Pilot on board to meet her and accompanied her to the end of her journey.
We saw several places of interest on the way, Tilbury Fort, on one side, Woolwich on the other, several old men of war turned into Training ships and hulks, the “Mathusa” the “Chichester” and others I forgot.
We also saw in the distance the (Rosherville?) Gardens, the (blank) Marbles. Two very powerful tug boats met us, the Atlas and Victoria and accompanied us for some miles to the Royal Albert Dock, which on account of the strong current of the river required very careful management and detained us nearly an hour. Then another long detention caused by the Custom’s House Officer having to inspect our luggage, but I cannot speak too highly of their great politeness and consideration shown to the passengers, and the careful manner with which they removed the contents of our baggage. It became now quite dark, and we were excessively inconvenienced in getting our boxes, from the ship to the wharf. These had to be wheeled in a truck some distance to the railway station, for which we had to wait some little time, we then entered the train to Fenchurch St and proceeded as far as where the train stopped, by then we have to change trains and getting into another one on the Eastern Counties Railway, for which we also had to wait, nearly half an hour, and reached the terminus about 7.30 and the porter carried in a truck our luggage, and got us a close four wheeled cab and we then drove to the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross, which took us about and hour. The porter who came to the door of the Inn, in answer to our inquiries after he had been to the manager, assured us they were very full and could only give us a room on the third floor, with two beds in it, such being the case, we drove on to the Covent Garden Hotel, a very short distance off in Southampton St, where we got a comfortable bed room, and also a comfortable tea. Very tired both of us.
Shortly after the Pilot came on board news of the taking of Khartoum by the Mahdi and of General Gordon being a prisoner in his hands reached us.
Mrs White who joined us at Gibraltar has been ill in bed the last few days, has fever, but as the Doctor thinks she is likely to get worse and says it would be better if she were taken on shore this evening, this advice was carried out, and she came by the same train we did, and was taken to General Sir (blank) Herberts residence where she is to stay, he being her brother as and leaving on board for the night this privilege should be cancelled(?) to all passengers who prefer remaining rather than landing and reaching London late
6th February 1885, Friday
Just 8 weeks since we left Sydney.
Awoke at 8 o’clock and in looking out of the window facing Southampton Street discovered that we were exactly opposite Covent Garden Market. The street for early morning, filled with carts of all kinds and laden with vegetables. It was not a promising looking morning, for the fog darkened the sky, and it was not clear daylight till 9, when we had breakfast.
We received a telegram from Mr Stovin (in answer to one we sent him, telling him of our arrival) saying that he would be with us at 11, at which time he and Mrs Storin drove down in their comfortable Brougham and two servants on his Box. About 12 he drove me to the Colonial Institute, introduced me to Mr Young, the Honorary Secretary and Mr O’Halloran the paid secretary, and then put my name down as a new resident member. There I heard that a railway collision had taken place on the Sydney to Melbourne line and that 40 people had been killed. From thence we drove to A.J.S. Bank, 2 King William Street, with the Assistant Manager I deposited my return ticket to Australia, and presented my letter of credit for 1000, against which I drew Bills for 200, in Sydney, paying 3 per cent for the exchange.
Had a lunch dinner at the Hotel at 2, and afterwards sallied out on foot with Grace to look at lodgings recommended by Mr Matthews Hall(?) and Barrett in Cecil Street, Strand. The terms being 6.6 a week for 2 of us. We then took a cab (at 2/6 in tern) and drove to Margaret St, Cavandish Square, and inspected lodgings recommended by Miss Brown at the “Parys(?),” the rent we found(?) was also about 6.6 but he could not let us have them till Saturday week.
Grace afterwards drove to her – Kitchens in Regent St, and selected a Bonnet for herself 2.5 the price. I went to Nicholas the Pal-maker, to look at great coats, but he wanted 4.4 for a rough looking sort of thing, and therefore have determined to have one made by a good tailor. Have symptoms of bronchitis, and have been taking Prynia(?).
I received from the Bank, 2 letters from Fanny of the 23rd Dec, one giving us an account of — for Cook’s River, the other enclosing one from Aunt Sophy and Mrs Storm. – was a letter from Marie, and another from the — —
7th February 1885, Saturday
Not so cold this morning, and we got a sight of the sun about 9 o’clock. Did not feel very well, which delayed my going out till 11.30 when I took two omnibuses, 1st to the Bank and then to Finsbury Square, from whence I walked to Finsbury Circus, and called to see Dr Kidd, the Homeopathic Physician, who attended Lord Beaconsfield, the Dr not in, and will not be at his rooms till Monday next, when I have to put my name for a consultation wit him. From thence I walked down to St Pauls Church yard before I got an omnibus, so many being full. I got back at Inn at 2.15, where we had dinner, and afterwards Grace and I took a stroll to Covent Garden Market, opposite, admiring the fruit, grapes, pears, hyacinths and Lily of the Valley. Beautiful large Pine Apples 8/- a piece. We then walked down the Strand (Grace purchased a pair of boots on the way at 22/-) On to Trafalgar Square where the statue of (Harelick?) is placed close to Nelson’s Monument, blackened by the smoke of London. Then through the Lowther Arcade admiring the toys for children. Waterloo Place and Regent Street, where Grace purchased note paper &c from a man named Cooke. We then hailed an Omnibus, which took us to our Street (Southampton St). On getting out saw a Fire Engine going up at full speed, as there was a fire not far from our Inn, and crowds of people blocking off the street, so we had to go beyond and turn up Exeter St, near Exeter Hall, and make a circuitous route. The fire was soon put out, a quiet returned. In the Drawing room this evening we found some new lodgers, a Mrs (blank) and her daughter, who is under a Aurist on account of her deafness. The mother is wife of a London Civil Officer and Resident Magistrate, who is at present in India. Cut pictures and looking at some in the morning.
8th February 1885, Sunday
Very cold foggy morning, and all the pavement wet, as though rain had fallen, and yet it is but the fog that has so muddied the streets. We did not get up till 9, and had breakfast at 10.15. We intended having gone to Mary le Bone Church, but not having time we went to a parish Church of St Pauls in this area and very close to the Hotel we were staying at: Covent instead, which I believe belongs to St George’s parish. We were late notwithstanding; the psalms being changed when we got there, the Church is very dismal inside, and we saw on a tablet in the walls outside, that it was destroyed by fire in 1795 and rebuilt in 1798.
The approach to it was not the main entrance but down a sort of passage. The Rector’s name is Cumberleys and the curate (who preached) is his so, I presume an M.B.D., as he wears a Doctors hood. The choir comprised of 8 boys and 3 men, out of surplices, and the congregation only about 100, numbers of empty pews. The Church was very warm and heated from below by some means or another. Text 13th Acts. This cloudy weather makes one feel very depressed, and I am not astonished at young Australians on first arrival, longing to return to sunny Australia.
9th February 1885, Monday
Went after breakfast and consulted Dr Kidd, the Homeopathic Doctor of No.1 Finchley Circus, paid him 2 for his consultation fee. He examined me minutely, and said that all the pains in head and neck, swelling of ankles puffiness of the eyes &c, were attributable to my suffering from Albumenaria, having then looked the water. I am to see him again on Friday and in the mean time to take a certain medicine which smelt like turpentine, and to rub with a similar smelling lotion, my neck and back of head every night and morning.
After lunch Grace and I went to the Stroms(?) to meet Mrs Hamden, but she did not come. Mrs Barker (widow of Bishop Barker) however, called to see Grace.
Stroms house is very comfortable, and he keeps up a good establishment, Coachman, Footman, Butler. Warwick Square is in a fashionable part of London, and next to Eccleston Square, but was not built when I was last in England 30 years ago. It was then a market garden!
10th February 1885, Tuesday
Called on Admiral Fenwick at the Home Office, Whitehall, not in, left my card, but in the afternoon at 4 he called upon me at the inn, and I then delivered the papers his son had forwarded by me to him. I had previously called on Wynns on Regent St, upon enquiring a (fork?) plate of ones arms, 4 the piece. Stovin(?) sent his carriage for us at 4, and he and I about 5 went to a dinner. I had a very bad cold, and bronchial attack but notwithstanding I went with him to a dinner given by the Colonial Institute. Met Arthur Hodgson who sat next to me, on one side, Stovin on the other. Alger (of Sydney) nearly opposite. The Chairman was Sir Charles Clifford of the New Zealand Parliament. A Mr Haden had a lecture afterwards on New Zealand which after if was ended had to be debated upon. Neither Stovin nor I could wait to hear the conclusions. Met Sir F and Lady Villeneuve, South(?) and daughter at the lecture. Also Lyttleton, formerly Private Secretary to Sir H. Robinson.
Bray (our fellow passenger) and Ex Colonial Secretary from Park was at the Colonial Institute dinner and lecture.
11th February 1885, Wednesday
Stovin called for me at 3 o’clock and dove me to the Empire Club in (Grafton?) St where I have been elected an Honorary Member for 28 days. After which period I can go on monthly on payment of 1.1. The house was formerly Lord Brougham, and is beautifully fitted up and furnished in a way worthy of imitation of our Sydney Club. From thence Stovin drove me to the Reform Club, where I called on the Honorable (blank) Petrie whose son is in Australia, from thence eh took me to the Colonial Office, at Westminster and I left my card on the Agent General Sir S Samuel, he being out. Walked home from thence through Leicester Square. After tea I escorted Mrs Porch and her daughter (staying above us at Inn) to the Circus at Covent Garden. No seats in the boxes but to be obtained, and we therefore had to go in the 3/6 stalls very highly placed. I was disappointed in the circus itself, as Chiam’s Circus whilst performing in Sydney was vastly superior. A young girl with beautiful figure, dressed in a riding habit exhibited her knee in a most forceful manner. She made him march round, then go on his knees, and keep time to the music. The horse called “Blondie” going up steps and across what was called a tight rope, was tedious and uninteresting.
12 February 1885, Thursday
Grace wrote Fanny and Milly today.
Awoke this morning with great pains in head and nape of neck, felt frail and weak and suffering from slight nausea. This cold and cough very much better though. Did not get to breakfast till past 10. At 11 o’clock went in a cab to 9 Chesterfield Street, Mayfair, to consult Dr Dickinson (Stovin’s Doctor) with whom I was in conversation about myself for nearly an hour. He after mature consideration seemed to think that though these were symptoms of Albamania(?) (after microscopic chemical tests) and that puffiness under the eyes was an indication of it, still that all my other symptoms, pains in head and neck, joints, knees, swelling of ankles, were all attributed to Rheumatic causes and he saw nothing to be apprehensive of, such as congestion of the brain, or other spinal affections. And in accordance with that opinion has prescribed Sarsparella for me to be taken three times a day (4 tablespoons at a time) and also recommend my taking “Enos Salts.” He also says that if at the end of the month no change for the better is (brought, wrought?) by the remedies, to see him again, and in the event of London not agreeing with me, he would suggest my going to Bath and taking the waters there. Disapproving of my going to either the Isle of Wight or Clifton, he thinks I should not return to Australia again (if it were possible) as owing to the sudden alteration of climate it is adverse to me rheumatically suffering. I told him that dr Morris of Sydney had expressed an opinion of my suffering from Cyrotic disease of the kidney, which he (Dr Dickinson) said might be so and that that state might go on for years and yet not be dangerous.
Returned to the Inn by 1 o’clock and in half an hour Grace and I drove in a cab to Mrs Hanbro (Yorke’s sister) and had lunch with her, her daughter a find tall dark eyed looking girl, though not exactly pretty very attractive and full of conversation. There was a Miss Stevenson at table who I imagine was or had been her Governess, or Lady Help. Conversation touching upon General Earle, Eyre of – being killed a few days ago in the last battle with the Mahdi from Colonel Eyre (Airey?) I imagine must be a brother of Mrs Austin of Sydney.
Much warmer today, left off my coat in the house. Paid 2.2 to Dr Dickinson for consultation fee.
13th February 1885, Friday
Very foggy morning, but not so cold as on first arrival. Had breakfast at 10 o’clock, and went afterwards to Dr Kidd, 1 Finchley Circus, arrived at his house at 11.30, and waited upwards of one hour and a half before he could see me, and 25 patients in the room whilst I was there. Paid him another guinea and for further advice and prescriptions. He is full of opinion that the pains in head and neck are attributable to the Albuminam, my in leaving the water again this morning says that distinct traces of Albumen are to be found. He recommends vapour baths afterwards to be bathed in hot water, applying potash soap, and wearing woolen underclothing and drawers, he prescribed also for Bronchitis and also for the kidneys. Took a wrong Omnibus from the Bank which was going to Oxford St, got out and walked to the Underground Railway terminus which took me to Charing Cross. Not reaching the Inn till after 2, had some sandwiches and a glass of wine and then Grace and I went in a 4 wheeled cab to her truss maker, Mrs Ayling, in Holles St where she was detained near of an hour. From thence to Baker St to look at lodgings, No.1 York Place, kept by a Miss Partridge (charge 4 guineas a week), where Philip Russel and his wife stayed once. She could not receive us, then we looked at some in York St, but they were dingy and on the ground floor, then to No.1 Norfolk Square Mrs Woolnough, (4 guineas a week). Drove to Regent St, from whence we walked home through Leicester Square, onwards to Carrick St and home to the Inn. Grace felt very tired afterwards and went to bed early. Grace sent patterns of dresses from Redfern & Sons to Mrs Barney, and Lissa Stephen.
Particularly struck today by observing how the comfortable quarters erected in nearly all the Cab stands, and a sort of refuge for the Cabman at night and in cold weather, whilst waiting to be hired. A sort of thing much needed for Sydney, particularly in the hot weather there as a protection for the men, as well as from rain.
14th February 1885, Saturday
Cold and cough better nearly well.
A thick fog on awaking at 8 o’clock and in consequence of a severe headache and pains in neck and could not get up till 9. I had breakfast at 10. At 12.30 we took an “Atlas(?)” Omnibus at Charing Cross and went out to Bromley Road, St John’s Wood to lunch at the Matthew Scotts (No.76) Mr and Mrs Storin drove up just at the same minute we arrived at the gate (Mary been invited to meet us), but we did not have lunch till after 2, waiting for Matthew Scott, and Mr (Latenousdle?) and three of his daughters composed the party. We did not leave till nearly 5, took a passing Omnibus as far as Regents Circus and walked home by Charing Cross, and Strand looking in at all the shop windows in passing.
I did not know Mrs Scott, so altered, grown old, fat and dowdy and so much shorter than I remembered her. Scott says he is 71, the girls are short and plain, but polite. Paid my Bill 8.11 up to the 11th by cheque.
The Musgraves called today.
15th February 1885, Sunday
Pouring rain in the morning, moderated about 12, and then Grace and I went to the District Railway at Charing Cross and took return tickets to Turnham Green, 1/6 each (3). The train started at 1, occasionally passing underground, emerging towards the last part of the drive into the country. “Freddy Wise” and Alec met us at the Station and escorted us to his mother’s residence, 7 Priory Terrace, Bedford Park, W., where we lunched by invitation, seeing her other son Arnold and her only daughter, “Minnie” a rather handsome girl. All the houses in this road are built of brick, cottage fashion, the architect trying to make them resemble small edifices of byegone period. Mrs Wise very glad to see us, and the young people very polite and attentive. Mrs Wise looks very well indeed, and has kept her good looks wonderfully well. We left about 5, and returned again by the railway. Still raining though not heavily.
16th February 1885, Monday
Sir S and Lady Samuel called this afternoon whilst we were out.
After breakfast, notwithstanding the heavy rain I sallied out, and went to the Globe Theatre near the Strand to try to get tickets for tomorrow to hear the “Private Secretary” which had been more than a 100 nights run, no available seats to be had! Walked in to 59 Moorgate St to Goulds the Homeopathic Chemist, to get Dr Kidd’s three prescriptions made up for me, one for kidneys, one for bronchitis, one for general health and appetite. Returned by 2 o’clock and had sandwiches and wine for lunch, and then Grace and I went in a cab to her dressmakers in Holles St, of Oxford St. I left her there and went on to Bond St sending the cab back for her. I went first to my tailors “Gardner & Taylor” to try on my Great Coat which they have made (6.10). Then to Savoy & Morris the Chemists in New Bond St, to get Dr Dickenson’s prescriptions made up. Then to Truptts the hair dressers (in Bond St) and had my hair cut, then to the Empire Club in Grafton St to show myself after being elected an Honorary Member. And also to call on Admiral Wilson, who had only just been there, and to whom the Members give a dinner on Wednesday. Prior to this appointment to Devonport (Hinth?).
The manager of this Inn, told me he could not let me have rooms here under 6.0 a week. I had proposed 5.5. I however, told him I should have to leave and till I left, he must not charge me more than 6.6 per week.
Got 100 visiting cards for Grace and 100 for myself printed at W.Cookes, Regent St. Met Mr and Mrs Davies formerly living at Hazlemere on the Edgcliff Road, Sydney. He sold the place to the late William Foster.
Much warmer today, notwithstanding my having walked about half the day in the rain. The mud abominable, the handsome shop windows in Bond St splashed with it from top to bottom.
17th February 1885, Tuesday
Foggy and rainy in the morning. Did not have breakfast till 10. Afterwards on getting ready to go out Bay- Buchanan, Annie (Unt?) and her brother Robert, called and sat some little while. At 1 o’clock Grace and I went to lunch at Lady Villeneuve Smith, 26 Courtfield Gardens, Kensington. Sir Francis Smith and his daughters gave us a very kind reception, and a very nice lunch. After lunch Lady Lefroy (widow of late Sir – – of Tasmania) and her step daughter Mrs Lefroy called. We left about 5, and walked over to the opposite side of the gardens and called on Sir Saul and Lady Samuel who live near, at 15 Courtfield Gardens, they were out. Their day of receiving generally on Thursdays. We came and returned by the Charing Cross Railway and we got out at Earls Court Station which is the Terminus near Courtfield Gardens. After we left Courtfield Gardens and before leaving by train, we walked by Eardley Crescent close by, and called on Mrs Griffin (Mrs Hawkin’s sister) and saw herself and daughter, the latter a very tall young woman, and an artist. She has invited us to her studio. Had Australian letters dated January inclosing some from Marie, Chris, Henry.
Paid my tailor cash 6.10 for Great Coat.
18th February 1885, Wednesday
Fine bright day, but colder than the last week. Breakfasted at 10, and afterwards went to W.Cooke, Stationer about die for crest. At 1 Grace and I drove in a cab to lunch with Mrs S.A. Joseph, 40 Port St, Belgravia Square. Mrs Wilson (wife of the Admiral) and her two daughters were (Mrs Angus) has just arrived from China and is living with her mother. Mrs Wilson has the same cold manner she was noted for in Sydney. Joseph himself was detained in the city with business and did not come to lunch.
After lunch Grace and I walked to Queens Gate and on No.6 St.George’s Terrace to look at lodgings recommended to us by Mrs Dowling and which she had occupied when in England. Unfortunately no rooms were to be had, the terms were 2.2 per week for sitting room and bedroom. From thence we walked to Albert Hall and saw the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park. All the omnibuses were full and we took a cab to Sackville St, to look at lodgings there, terms 3.3 per week, 4/- a day for board, 1/- a day for (firing?). Called on the way at the Burly’s(?), Half Moon St, Piccadilly, but they had gone to 40 Clarges St.
19th February 1885, Thursday
Kept awake all night with a very severe cold, sneezes all night, and during the whole day, with tending to bronchitis. Took a (conile?) of Begonia, and kept a piece of camphor in my mouth when walking out, did not get up till 1 o’clock. Had lunch and then went “lodging hunting” went to Southwich Place, recommended by Miss Mort, where her cousins the Jen Mitchells and Miss Mitty Mitchell lodged. Did not like the place, looked dirty, and the servant of all work had inflamed eyes which was not an agreeable accompaniment to a woman who might be waiting upon us hourly. Then went to Cambridge St but these were full. Then to Albion St, where the sister of in law of Bright, the Member resides, but after consideration on going to the Inn made an agreement to pay 18/- a day or 6.6 per week, inclusive everything except wine and fire in bedroom.
The Algars called, they are living in Clayes St.
Got a 2d bottle of medicine from Savoy and more (Sasparilla) prescribed by Dr Dickinson.
The Coldstream Guards left London for Egypt.
20th February 1885, Friday
A bleak North Easterly wind blowing. Had pains in the head, nape of neck, sneezing and – – all day and a touch of Bronchitis. Tried Arsenium. Did not get up till 12 o’clock, and did not leave the house all day, so intensely cold it was, and so severe my influenza, sneezing whenever I went out of my room.
Mr and Mrs Conran, our fellow passengers by the “Ganges” called in afternoon, and paid us a long visit, they are staying with an aunt of hers at Kensington.
Grace wrote to Marie, Mrs Stephen and Fanny, and I wrote another letter to Fanny in reply to her two which came by “Sorala(?)” and dated of 5th and 8th January.
The 3rd Battalion of Grenadier Guards left Windsor for Egypt, under command of General Honorable W.S.D. Home.
21st February 1885, Saturday
Stayed in my bed and bedroom all day, in consequence of the severe cold and bronchitis I have been suffering from the last few days. Tried Dr Kidds remedy last night “Phrophrons” but it did not seem to do me much benefit, so I had recourse to Begonia and Duleanara(?) during the night, have great pains from swelling behind the ears and made the jaw which I tried to ease by rubbing in Day cream.(?).
Continued Dr Dickinson’s prescription, Sarsaparilla three times a day. Mrs Matthew Scott and her sister Mrs Inchbald called on Grace, I was not able to see them.
Had ‘Whiting’ for tea, a tasteless fish, not equal to our game fish in New South Wales.
Fine day but cold wind blowing, obliged to have a fire in bedroom all day.
22nd February 1885, Sunday
Foggy dark dreary day, streets muddy and wet. Stayed in bed room all day suffering from pains in head, nape of neck, swelling under jaw, and behind the ears, evidently the result of the severe cold I have taken.
Had a fire in my bed room all day.
23rd February 1885, Monday
Got up middle day, but still suffering from pain in ear, throat, difficulty of swallowing on one side. Foggy day again, did not go out of house.
24th February 1885, Tuesday
Fine day on the whole, but a fog in the morning. Feel better today. My cold and bronchitis disappearing gradually. Wrote to Susan Downman. Heard from Miss Marsh-Caldwell, inviting us to Linley Wood. After lunch called on Mrs Barker (widow of late Bishop of Sydney) to meet Bishop of Bathurst and Mrs Marsden, who were very glad to see us, the Bishop has grown quite a Chesterfield in manners. He does not look well, though not so ill as when he left Sydney. They have been residing at Clifton since their arrival, and have placed their eldest son at the College there. The Bishop tells me he has got to the head of his class already. We met some (Ronses’?) of Sydney at Mrs Barkers, also same afternoon and old lady who was introduced to me as some connection to the late Judge Milford of Sydney. We stayed later than we intended (nearly 5 o’clock) and returned by the Under Ground Railway, from Kensington, intending to get out at Charing Cross Station, but we inadvertently went beyond, and got out at the Temple Bar Terminus on the Thames Embankment. From thence we walked into the Strand and home to our Inn. At the time I did not feel worse for my trip, my cold and cough having apparently left me.
Paterson, who married Louise Paterson called whilst we were out, also Mrs Edward Wise and daughter. Grace purchased a pair of onyx earrings from Tessier of Bond St at 2.15.
25th February 1885, Wednesday
Awoke with a very severe cold and bronchitis. I have evidently suffered a relapse from breathing the evening air yesterday, on my return from Mrs Barkers. We were invited to lunch at the Stovins today to meet the Bishop of Bathurst and Mrs Marsden but the day was so unpropitious and so adverse to my state that I could not go, but stayed in my bed from all day. Stovin called, he returned from Brighton on Monday, and told Grace that he would send the carriage for us at 1, and send her home again in the evening, so Grace consented to go, and went. I remained at home reading Australian letters from Fanny, Marie, and Mrs James Manning, of 8th and 14th January. I wrote in reply to Fanny and Marie and sent a note to Milly under cover to Fanny, which goes I believe by the Mail tomorrow.
Young Alexander Wise called and saw me in my bed room, and after he went out Mr Busby came up. He goes out in the Sutly(?) on 12th March, he is looking wretched, weak and ill, having been eight weeks laid up with liver complaint, and has only just returned from Bournemouth where he went for the benefit of his health. He tells me Mrs Chadwick goes out with them. He, like myself, pines for Australian sunshine.
Admiral and Mrs Fenwick(?) called again, whilst Grace was away.
Grace tells me in addition to the Marsdens, the met a Lady Tarlston at lunch, widow of the late Admiral whom she liked very much.
Received medicine, Belladonna and Bryomn(?) Liniment from (Leek & Bro?) Homeopathic Chemists, for which I paid 2/7. The former Fanny says Dr Beattie of Sydney recommended for bronchitis and being rubbed on the spine. Commenced taking Enos Fruit Salt this morning, recommended by Dr Dickinson to me.
Sent by post today:-
1 letter to Marie from myself.
1 letter to Fanny from myself, with note inclosed to Milly
1 letter (with notes) to Fanny from Grace.
The P&O Steamer “Ganges” was visited today by the Prince and Princess of Wales preparatory to her leaving the Docks tomorrow, for a Hospital Ship in the Red Sea.
26th February 1885, Thursday
Got up at 12 o’clock and being a fine day, Grace and I went in an Omnibus to Piccadilly and called first on the Busbys at 40 Clayes Street. Only Busby and two of the younger girls at home, all prepar8ing for their voyage. He looks a little better, though weak. After remaining some little while walked over to the opposite side of the street and called on the Algars, No.10 Clayes St. The only one at home was Miss Algar who has been confined to the house and sofa with a lame foot having scaled it. She is very much improved in appearance. I would not have known her. Much slighter than she was, and has grown a really fine pretty girl, the prettiest of girls I have yet seen in England. She tells us Metaxa? is to be in London next Monday, at Marshall Thompson’s Hotel, Cavendish Square. As the afternoon became somewhat chillier than when we came out I thought it advisable to take first Omnibus to Charing Cross, and returned shortly after to the Inn.
Our old ship, the P&O Steamer “Ganges” which was fitted up as a hospital ship to be stationed in the Red Sea left this morning with the nurses, surgeons and staff.
Paid Inn Bill 7.7.4
27th February 1885, Friday
Raining and foggy morning. Felt somewhat better, the Bella Donna Liniment seems to have done my cold good. Took another dose of Eno’s Salt, and got up at 11. At 12.30 went in cab to 4 Addison Road , Wilton Lodge, to lunch with the Patersons, (nee Gremden?). Paterson has grown old and feeble, though no grey hair. Mrs Paterson has grown stout, and though her beauty has departed, yet there is the same kindly smile and manner of old. The only daughter, I forget her Christian name, was at home, a fine handsome agreeable girl of about 17 or 18. Their house is rented from an Adelaide man for only 6 months, F— Ga–, it is a new house, stands by itself, and has a garden at back of an acres in extent and built upon parts of what is, or was Holland Park. Paterson was very anxious to hear about Stuart Russell, he having been at Harrow with him. We stayed an hour or two after lunch, and then walked accompanied by Miss Paterson in search of the Musgrave’s house No.4 Holland Park, which after a look round two sides of it, and found Mr and Mrs Musgrave in, where we said good bye to Miss Paterson. The Musgraves very glad to see us. They live in a charming house, beautiful fitted up, the walls covered with pictures and both most cordial and pleasant. We sat chatting till after 7, when she insisted on sending one of her footmen for a chaise cab for me, and we reached the In by about 7.40, and had tea dinner.
Heard from Miss Marsh-Caldwell, again and wrote accepting her invitation to Linley Wood the beginning of May next. Grace wrote to George Prim-(?).
Stovin and Mrs Stovin called whilst we were out. Weather much warmer today.
Got new medicine from Leak & Ross for bronchitis called “Glyhaline,” and box of glycerine lozenges. Paid cabman 3/- to take us to Patersons, and another cabman 3/- to bring us back from the Musgraves.
Curious case in the papers today of the Earl of Durham seeking to have his marriage with his wife (nee Milner, granddaughter of Arch Bishop of Armagh) declared a nullity, on the ground of imbecility insanity. As far as the evidence has gone, he has not the shadow of a claim and I think the peculiar ‘shyness’ and taciturnity which the witnesses for the Ear speak of must arise from the hidden causes which the world cannot possibly know anything about, but of which most likely he is the cause. I am anxious to see the result of the Judgment of the Courts.
28th February 1885, Saturday
Got up at 10.30. Cloudy morning. Went out at 12 with Grace in a cab to Mrs Hughes, the dressmaker, in order for Grace to try on new dress. Left her there and walked up and down Bond St, returned for Grace and she and I walked to Regent Street, had lunch at a Confectioners and then walked to the Gainsborough picture gallery in Bond St, crowded with people. In addition to those painted by him, Gainsborough, there were several in another room, the work of the late (blank) Doyle, some in water colour, some were sketchings. One I like the best was the picture of the residence of the late Charlotte Bronte, I suppose her Father’s Vicarage, surrounded by a grave yard, with numbers of tombstones cropping out. A very weird picture and just the sort of place and scene to impress the young authoress with so many melancholy ideas. As to the pictures by Gainsborough.
1st March 1885, Sunday
Felt very unwell, awoke with pain in neck and head. Cold and bronchitis better. Did not get up till 12. A fine day but with Easterly wind blowing. After lunch Grace and I went by Westminster Omnibus and got out at a Railway Station. I think they call it (blank) and walked from thence to Warwick Square and called on the Stovins whom we found at home. They both after a little while accompanied us to the Underground Railway, by which we went to High Street, Kensington Station, for the purpose of calling on Lady Murray, who lives at No.1 (blank) Avenue, (blank). It is not far away from the station. We found her in, looking very well and very pleased to see us, and were introduced to her mother and two sisters, the youngest of whom shows traces of having been once good looking, though pass e now. Sunday is her day at home and several other people came after us, two young men, one a German, who looked a Professor of Music or Singing. Another, a younger man, a Mr Weyatt, cousin of Weyatt of Sydney. Lady Murray proposes that Grace should go with the family of her Cousin Farrer on Palm Sunday. Had afternoon tea, and returned by Underground Railway to Charing Cross, a little afterwards, During our absence the two Lorings called, their mother was a daughter of Cuthbert Marsh of Eastbury.
2nd March 1885, Monday
Levee held today by the Prince of Wales, and at which the Bishop of Bathurst attended, and my fellow passenger Bray, formerly Premier of South Australia was presented. Count Metaxa was also present at it. I awoke this morning with bad headache, and neck ache, pain in back and general prostration. Did not get up in consequence till 12 o’clock. The Stovins called shortly after. After lunch Grace and I went by Underground Railway to Earl Court Square, to call on Admiral and Mrs Fenwick, as today is their reception day. Found them all in and very polite. The eldest daughter very plain and bad figure, and dressed in bad taste. The younger one has the redeeming quality of having a pretty face and lively manner. Others came in to pay the usual reception visit, and we left going by Underground Railway to Gloucester Road. From thence we took cab and called on a Miss Grant, a relation of the Alexander Campbells, being about a mile from the Station at No. (blank) Sydney St. She is very old, very Scotch(?), very plain, and I was not in any way prepossessed.
My relative Commander Crofton R.N. called whilst we were out. Also Captain Sahl, the Consul of Sydney. Sir Francis and Lady Smith also left cards.
3rd March 1885, Tuesday
Raining all day. Felt very unwell, so much so that I determined again to consult Dr Dickinson. I therefore sent for a cab and drove to 9 Chesterfield St, Mayfair. I fortunately saw him, no one being with him. He again went into my case, felt my pulse, examined my tongue, looked into my eyes, made me turn them up at ceiling, and down again, from one side to the other, made me move my knees, by bending them, and laying my leg on a chair, felt them with his hand. Touched the vein extending from ankles on side of leg, with his fingers pressing it and keeping it there a little, made me describe the pain in neck and face and head, which on moving my neck round, extended to the left shoulder all which symptoms he at once and unhesitatingly decided were rheumatic and neuralgic, and had nothing to do with the brain whatever. That all the pain the-(?) I was suffering from was entirely outside the brain, and were not the consequence of my suffering from Albumenaria, that that circumstance had evidently weakened me, and therefore left me more predisposed to suffer from the acute Rheumatism that I had. And that there was no doubt therefore all the pains were those caused by Rheumatic Gout. That I was very low and required a tonic, and in addition to the Sarsaparilla he had already prescribed, he intended giving me iron to strengthen me. He also added that though my kidneys were not in a healthy state, and never would be, still that by care and attention he thought I had many more years of useful life in me yet. And recommended my staying longer than the end of May. To obtain three months longer leave of absence, and proposed of his own accord giving me a certificate to that effect which he did.
The bad headache pain in the neck were a neuralgic pain, from which I was suffering so much this year, were attributable to Rheumatic Gout. Paid him 1.1 (2nd visit) by cheque. Did not get up till 11.20 today. After lunch went out to try and see the Agent General, but do not.
4th March 1885, Wednesday
Awoke very exhausted. Stomach ache. Did not get up till 11, and then went with Grace to lunch at the Musgraves, 45 Holland Park. We went by Underground Railway to Addison Road station, and then took a cab. They were very glad to see us, gave us a warm welcome, and a capital luncheon, his Father unfortunately is laid up, and not expected to live, he is a very old man, 84 years of age. Their house is beautifully furnished, the walls covered with pictures, one of Sir Phillip and another of Sir Thomas Musgrave. He has also many good pictures by the old Masters, which are of his ancestor who was fond of painting himself, had collected. We spent a most pleasant agreeable afternoon, he so genial, clever and gentlemany, and she quintessence of kindness and thoughtfulness. Three of her children lunched with us, a girl of about 16, a boy at school of 14, and a little fellow (born in Australia) of about 5 or 6.
After lunch we went to Earls Court Railway station, got out at Gloucester Road and then walked, as had been arranged, to visit Miss Griffin’s studio, in a street near “Clairville Grove” No.4. It was difficult to find and hardly worthy the name of a street, as it appeared as we passed up it, nothing but a series of Mews where horses and carriages were kept. As we entered the studio there were upwards of a dozen people, including old Mrs Griffin, and a Miss Whitcomb, a relation, whose portrait had been painted by Miss Griffin. The object of our visit was to inspect a picture first painted by Miss Griffin, the subject being the Choristers of Westminster Abbey with figures of three monks, clad in white, standing about. Miss Griffin informs me that her model of the monks were Italians, whose livelihood was gained by sitting to painters at 1/- per hour. This picture was to be packed up this evening to be sent away to the Birmingham Exhibition, and had previously been accepted, I understood, though not placed, at the Royal Academy. Mrs Griffin wished us to see her picture in order that we might on our return to Australia tell her son of it.
We did not get back to our hotel till 7 o’clock, rather tired.
5th March 1885, Thursday
Something better today, cold and bronchitis nearly gone, though still very unwell and weak. Got up at 11 o’clock. Grace and I walked out first to Lamberts the Jewellers, in Coventry Street, for the purpose of obtaining his opinion on the sapphires &c I got at Ceylon. He pronounces 2 of the stones good, one bad and of no value. He as Warden of the Goldsmith’s Company, gave me a ticket for a Grand Banquiet held on Thursday next, and another for the Patterrnmakers Society on Thursday following. From thence we walked on to W.Cookes the Stationers on Regent St about note paper &c. Then to Tessiers the Jeweller in Bond Street, who is to make a pair of gold bangles for Grace and put the sapphire in one, and the (lacink?) in the other for 32/- each. Bought a bracelet from him for 3. Crossed over to the opposite side of the street to look at what is called the celebrated picture by Holman Hunt the “Triumph of the Innocents” or “Flight into Egypt” representative of the Darby family. Mary on an ass carrying the infant Christ before her, and surrounded by children on foot carrying flowers and their heads ornamented with chaplets of flowers. It is an extraordinary conception. I was satisfied after 5 minutes inspection. Grace, however, talked herself into the belief that there were some clever bits of painting about it, the foreground, distant lights, and general effect. Some of the children were represented floating in air, above the family with halo and entirely encircling their heads, one of the cherubs apparently fast asleep, his eyes shut, and how under such circumstances according to the natural laws of gravitation, he did not fall to the ground, no one but the artist I imagine could explain. We then walked to Regent St, had lunch at a Confectioner (Elphonstons) and then took Omnibus to Charing Cross Railway Station and went by Under Ground Railway to Earls Court Station and walked from thence to Lady Samuel’s, 15 Courtfield Gardens, today being her day for receiving visitors. She very pleasant and polite. Not many people however. The daughter introduced me to a Mrs Fairfax of Sydney, the wife of one of the Fairfax’s of the Sydney Morning Herald. Called on Lady Smith who lives opposite Lady Samuel and left cards, and walked on to Bailey’s Hotel, Gloucester Road, and called on Mrs Dixon who is staying there but who was not in, so left card for here.
6th March 1885, Friday
Did not get up till 11.
Left home by myself at 12, and called on Sir S Samuel, the Agent General, whose office is at Victoria Chambers, Westminster, very glad to see me. He has promised to telegraph to Sydney and endeavor to get me an extension of three months leave which he said he managed for Colonel Roberts of the Artillery. He told me that Cracknell, and Combes had both arrived in England. And to my surprise mentioned that he believed Colonel Robert was not coming (going?) in command of the Permanent Force to (Sudan?). After being half an hour with him, I took a cab and drove to the Grosvenor Hotel at the Victoria Station to call on Sahl, the German Consul. I was kept waiting so long that I was obliged to leave without seeing him and went on to Regent St, had some tea and bread butter at Pastry Cooks, and then took cab to call on W.W. Brocklehurst, 1 Hyde Park Square, he was out, but I saw his wife, a very pleasing married woman, but much older than I imagined she would have been. I thought she was about 45 or abouts. It came on to pour with rain, took a cab and drove to Bond St, to Webb the Tailors, and then Lincoln & Beswick(?); Piccadilly where I ordered a hat to be made for me. Came home in a cab, Grace arriving at same time.
Mrs Loring called.
7th March 1885, Saturday
Felt unwell and weak, did not get up till 11. Dreadfully foggy day, could not see the sun, and bitterly cold. After lunch Grace and I went in a cab to the Stovins, to afternoon tea as the Hoskins (the Admiral and his wife) the Busby’s and others were expected to meet us. The only person who did come was General Hodgson (Frank) whom I had not seen for 42 years, at his brother’s Eden Vale, on the Darling Downs when he was about 17 or 18 and acted as storekeeper. His duties then being to weigh out rations for the different shepherds and (letters?) keep the books, make tallow candles &c. Since those times he had entered the Indian Army and became a Major General. He is very much altered since then, he is completely altered in appearances, grown stout, and has more the look of his brother Arthur as well as the tone of voice. He is not so tall either, but about 5 feet 9. He is married and has 5 children, one daughter a widow. His wife to his grief turned Roman Catholic. Stovin sent us home in his carriage. He is not very well. No wonder any one is ill having such depressing weather.
8th March 1885, Sunday
Did not get up till 12. The fog outside (and finding its way inside too) so thick and the room so dark, obliged to light the gas to get up by. The Drawing room and Coffee room also all lighted the whole day long. A most cheerless depressing climate this! And I long for the sunny skies of Australia, notwithstanding all I have hitherto said in praise of old England. I can well understand now how wealthy Australians prefer their native land!
We were expecting Lieutenant Carlisl(?) to call all day, he belongs to the 1st Battalion , Essex Regiment which is quartered at the Tower of London. I went after tea in a 4 wheeled cab to call on the Busby’s at Clayes St, Piccadilly, found them all at dinner and their room filled up with trunks and packages which have to be sent to the docks where their shop lies. Mrs Busby looks very well indeed. I had not seen her since she left Australia 2 or 3 years ago. Busby is much better then he was a few days ago.
9th March 1995, Monday
After lunch at 1, Grace and I went out, took an Omnibus to Kensington, and then not finding the direction took a cab and called on the Lorings, 25 Brunswick Gardens. They were not there. We walked to Linden Gardens to see Mrs Conran. She too was out. She is staying with her aunt, a Mrs McLachlan. On the way Grace bought a Waterproof cloak for 11. We returned to the Inn, and I went out by myself and called at Junior United Service Club on Captain Crofton R.N. As I went up the steps I inquired of a gentleman, whether I was right we both stared very much at each other, and then suddenly found out my friend to be Captain Walter Brydges, formerly of the “Wolverine.” Very glad to see me, and invited in taking me at the club, and have a glass of wine with him. In the part of the Dining room set apart for strangers. From thence I went to the Junior Athenaeum to call on Nele Loring who was out. This club house is at the corner of Down St, Piccadilly, and was built as a residence of Beresford Hope (of Beauty and the Beast Notoriety) Called afterwards at Empire Club and paid month’s subscription of 1.1.
10th March 1995, Tuesday
Grace and I lunched at Walter Brocklehurst’s, No.1 Hyde Park Square. Only Mrs Wolfen to meet us. Her husband lain up with cold. A very bleak day and foggy besides. I was (elulied?) we walked from the Brocklehurst’s and called on Mrs Atkinson (who has just had a son) and Miss Annie (Marsh, Mark?) at 79 Oxford Terrace, not far from Hyde Park Square. Mr and Mrs Stovin called after breakfast and then about 1, came Mrs Edward Wise, her son Teddy, and a nephew (Frank?) just arrived from Melbourne, in the Orient Steamer “Austral” having made a very quick voyage. The Brocklehurt’s house is a very nice one, his wife a very sensible, polite woman, and his children who took lunch with us, the best behaved one I ever saw. Perfectly still the whole time. He wants me to see his brother Edward who is a martyr and fool but notwithstanding was out today after being confined to the house for a fortnight, driving his “Carriage of 4” which is his hobby. He lives at Reigate, at the Manor House.
11th March 1885, Wednesday
My month, as an honorary member of the Empire Club was up today.
Grace and I lunched at Lady Samuel’s, Courtfield Gardens. Met there Mr and Mrs Dixon (of Holmwood) near Sydney, who was full of her son-in-law Colonel Richardson, having to go with the New South Wales Volunteers to Egypt. There was also a Miss Tanner there, a cousin of Mrs Le Patronel (n e Durham). Her father was an Auctioneer, the firm being “Durham & Sumner.”
After lunch Lady Samuel took us for a drive round Hyde Park, and then with us to pay a farewell visit to the Busbys who sail tomorrow for Sydney.
Fearfully cold all day, and very gloomy, no sight of the sun, even for a moment.
Lady Samuel, Miss Samuel were polite in the extreme, and I find that her husband and herself are most popular with everyone, and particularly hospitable to all Australians who are constantly coming and going.
12th March 1885, Thursday
Still suffering from a slight bronchial attack or rather it has become less severe than it was. Received a letter from Fanny and Mrs M.H. Stephen of 28th January, by “Bathurst.” Fanny inclosed cuttings of newspaper as to Railway accident &c. Previously to receiving Fanny’s letter I wrote to her the “Thames,” in which the Busby’s sail today. I inclosed to Fanny, Miss Marsh-Caldwell’s, Susan Graham’s, Mrs Loring’s, and Mrs Crofton’s letter to us. Grace wrote to Marie and Cecil.
The Stovins called about 12, and I walked with them down Whitehall and as far as Westminster Chambers where we parted, as I had to see Sir Saul Samuel. I was closeted an hour with him, he telling me how he had been treated by New South Wales Government, he being the only Agent General left out of the list of Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1886, (Lessing having been appointed0 contrary to the Prince of Wales’ recommendation of himself. He was also greatly worried by (Kelly?) sending him an extract from the “Evening News” finding fault with the conduct of his offices, that strangers could get no information and that he was away at Bank Meetings as a Director. Dalley calls upon him for an explanation. He, Samuel, attributes this libel upon him and his office to Henrikes Heaton. Edward Hodgson called with a letter to Grace from his mother, asking us to Clifton on the 4th April. He told us he was to be married to Miss Constable whose sister is engaged in Sydney to Commander Erskine.
Carleton, a Lieutenant of the 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, a friend of Chris Russell’s, called late, just as I was starting in a cab to drive to the Goldsmiths Company. I was far from well, and feared increasing my bronchitis, but as this was a Banquet rarely seen by strangers I ventured, and I was glad to have witnessed such a scene. About 150 or 200 people sat down. There were three tables, the top one and two others at right angles. The Chairman was the Master Warden Page. I had been invited by Warden Lambert, a celebrated goldsmith in Covents Lane, a great antiquarian. On the right of the Chairman sat Admiral Sir John Hay, next to him Major General Gipps, son of Sir G Gipps (formerly Governor of New South Wales in 1840). Then came two or three of the Company, then myself, then Warden Lambert. On the left of the Chairman sat Sir John Mowbray, a distinguished Member of the House of Commons and many other members of the Goldsmiths Company. At the bottom of the table near were I sat was a Mr Aird who has just taken the contract for the (Lonakin?) Railway and next to him a Mr Lucas, another great Railway Contractor, his partner. Mr Aird not unlike Barnett, the Colonial Architect. The dinner was magnificent, two kinds of Turtle soup, four kinds of fish Souls, Trout, Salmon and Turbot, the wines particularly the Madeira excellent. The first toast proposed was the “Church, Queen and State,” all standing, the next Prince and Princess of Wales and “The next of the Royal Family.” It surprised me that this toast was received and responded with whilst sitting. Amongst the Company’s – so – rule. Then came the “Army and Navy’ responded to by the General Gipps and Admiral Sir John Hay, several others followed such as the Goldsmiths Company and Chairman proposed by a Mr Hawkins who looked like and spoke like a Barrister. After every toast had been duly honored a choir and 3 or 4 men sang items most beautifully. One boy, Charlton by name, had a most exquisite voice the like I never heard, the opee called (blank) taken from Ossian’s Poems, so riveted me that I spoke to Mr Lambert to see if he could find out where the music was to be procured, he immediately went up to Mr Winn the conductor, who politely gave it him for me, which necessitated my waltz up to the Dais where the singers were and thanking him for it. He is, I believe, the Choir Master at St Paul’s and the boys were the Choristers belonging to that cathedral under him. The room was lighted with magnificent chandeliers and on the tables numbers of Silver gilt candelabra, some of them having belonged to the former Duke of Buckingham, and were purchased at Stow, indeed several other of the large ornaments, some gold and some silver gilt came from thence also. On the side board was also displayed massive gold plate, which glittered with extreme brilliance. After dessert two (apparently) good deep round dishes, one filled with rose water, the other with Eau de Cologne were handed round, and each guest dipped the ends of the napkin in one or other of the dishes, and then applied it to his lips and face. After dinner we sallied forth into one of the Reception Rooms, where some very old silver was exhibited, presented to the Company by Warden Lambert, of immense value, sacramental cups of hundreds of years ago, 13 apostle spoons, which Lambert had once refused to sell to the American for 1000. A little round silver pot with a handle to it, which Doctors centuries ago carried about with them when visiting patients for the purpose of bleeding them, holding about a pint. I spoke to General Gipps, who seemed pleased to have a chat about Australia, and said how delighted he would be, to pay a visit to Sydney again.
13th March 1885, Friday
Awoke this morning with very severe pain in top of head, back of neck, sore throat tending to bronchitis which I only staved off by taking “Glykane” and rubbing in Bella donna on throat and chest. Felt altogether weak and indisposed. Could not get up till 12, and shortly after took a cab and drove to Stovins, 59 Warwick Square to lunch. After lunch his carriage took us to the Victoria Station where I made inquiries as to the train to Rochester tomorrow. It goes at 2.5 and reaches Rochester at 3.5, just an hour. Fare first class return ticket lasting four days 6/9 each person.
14th March 1885, Saturday
Had lunch at the Inn, and left in cab for Victoria Station. On the way passed St James’ Palace where a levee was being held by the Prince of Wales, at which from the circumstance of carriages and cabs blocking up the way, rendered it doubtful how far we should not be delayed and lose our train. By a miracle we did not and left by the Dover & Chatham Railway (Fare being 6/9 each) at 2.30 reaching Rochester where we were going to stay with Captain and Mrs Crofton, at 3.50. He was there to meet us and had a carriage to take us to his house (cert return?) St Margarets Road, this about 20 miles from London. Grace and I were present at his Father’s (Captain Crofton R.A.) marriage with Miss Marsh at Eastbury in 1848. His wife (being married a year or so) was a daughter of Sir (blank) Lefroy, formerly Governor of Tasmania. We were received most kindly and hospitably, and they both took us out for a stroll first to the celebrated ruin, Rochester Castle, and then the Cathedral, the outside of which the stonework and carved figures bear the marks of Cromwell’s soldiers, many of the heads been ruthlessly destroyed. I never saw such a sight of tame pigeons as found at the gateway by the old castle and which are so constantly fed by children and young people as to induce them four or five at a time to cluster round them on the tops of their heads and shoulders, and eating out of their hands. I suppose there must have been 4 or 500 at one time and there are many more hundreds about. I found today Rochester stands on the Medway, which under a high tide presents a very muddy appearance, particularly the banks.
At 7 o’clock a Captain and Mrs Mayne, he of the Royal Engineers came to dinner to meet us, young married people living a short distance away. He has a staff appointment.
Rochester and Chatham adjoin, in fact may be called one Town, and both are full of Historical events. One house near the Cathedral was pointed out to me as where Queen Elizabeth slept and was so satisfied with her entertainment that it received then and has since kept the name of “Sates house.” Another enormous old house, a two storied brick one, kept up in admirable preservation, is where Charles II slept the evening before the Restoration, and further on is a remarkable little Church, at he end of which stands a circular window or turret, through which Leper in days of yore, were put through.
Next to the Cathedral almost adjoining, stands the Parish Church of St Nicholas, which was (owing to some cabal amongst the Priests of the day) created in opposition as it were, or perhaps more correctly speaking, such party wished to have its own way in the management of it affairs, and neither would give way, and so the Church was built. Another thing worthy of notice about Rochester is that many of the places described by Dickens in Pickwick are taken from this reality. The duel scene 1. and many of the names intr—(?) were taken from the tomb stones scattered around. I saw one myself, the name of Dorrett which Dickens spells ‘Dorritt” with an i, instead of an e.
15th March 1885, Sunday
Got up at 8, and had breakfast at 8.30.I felt much better, and my cold and bronchitis nearly gone. The sun shone brightly and no appearance of the London Fog. At 10.30, at which time service commenced, we walked to the Cathedral, which seemed crowded, though the Church was nicely warmed by stoves, yet after the 2nd lesson (read by Canon (blank)) a severe coughing fit came on, which necessitated my leaving the Church, and I walked outside the old burial ground in the hope of discovering some of my ancestors, the Marshs who are buried in Rochester somewhere, amongst others my Great Grandfather Milbourne Marsh who was once Commissioner of the Dockyard of Chatham. I was not able get in the Grave yard and only scanned it from outside the rails. My cold and cough seemed to be getting worse, and I had to recourse to homeopathic treatment, Bella Donna and Aconite alternately which considerably relieved the symptoms. We had an early dinner and in the afternoon I was reading a lecture which Crofton had delivered some short time ago at the Mechanics Institute, on New South Wales, which was a most truthful account, strange to say he has never been in Australia and all his information was derived from books on the Colony.
16th March 1885, Monday
Had breakfast at 9. I have subdued the relapse of cold and cough I anticipated yesterday. Crofton, who has a Staff Appointment on board H.M.S. Pembroke in Chatham Dockyards had to leave at 8, so we had breakfast without him. About 10 we walked down to the new Brompton Railway with Mrs Crofton who was to act as our guide to Chillingham (Gillingham?) Church (about 3 miles) where five tablets have been erected to the memory of several of the Marsh family. Old George Marsh, Commissioner of the Navy, William Marsh the Banker, Arthur Cuthbert Marsh (the grandfather of Captain Crofton) and one or two others. The Arms and crest of the Marsh family seemed to reign paramount in the Church. I tried here to find out if my Great Grandfather was buried here also, but I did not succeed in my endeavour, though Mrs Eyneford Lefroy has promised to speak to the Rector (who is totally blind, though not from eye ?) and ask his help in the matter. The distance from the Railway to the Church is near of a mile but as we wished to economise our time, I took a 4 wheeled cab there and back to railway. On returning to Rochester we first had lunch, and then got a carriage and in company with Mrs Crofton drove to Chatham Dockyard where Crofton met us and escorted us first of all to where three men of war were being built, one an iron clad to be called the “Hero”, another the “Severn” and a third I forgot the name of. On the way through the Dockyard Crofton pointed out where the Admirals house was, a large two storied brick house, which was the same house where my Great Grandfather (as Commissioner) resided. We all got into the cab and drove to the furthermost end of the Dockyard and first of all went on board a new ship, an iron clad, the “Ajax” about 8,000 tons (sister ship of the ‘Agamemnon” we saw coming through the Suez Canal) Crofton took us all over it, and I went with him into the moveable turret, which was worked round for my edification, and the large guns moved upwards and downwards, and in and out of the Port hole by hydraulic means with as much ease as if they had been the smallest gun imaginable. After this we went on board his ship “The Pembroke,” which is a sort of hulk alongside of the jetty, and covered in with a roof. At a little before 5 we were driven to the Railway Station at Chatham and arrived in London a little before 6. At 8 went to the Lecture given by Sir F Napier Broome on Western Australia presided over by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. Saw E. Hodgson there, also Dr Atherton of Sydney, and Miss Brown, our fellow passenger. Much disappointed with lecture and lecturer.
17th March 1885, Tuesday
Did not get up till 10.30. Found it so cold and feeling moreover very unwell. At 12, Grace and I sallied out, first of all to Lincoln & Bennetts, the corner of Sackville St, Piccadilly, where I have ordered a hat to be made. From thence we walked up to Bond St and went to inspect the Pictures painted by Edwin Long R.A., and particularly his last which has created quite a sensation, called “Anno Domini.” A very large one 16 feet by 8 feet. On the left the Pyramids are seen, and far off an Egyptian Temple, a Palm grove occupies part of the back ground. Out of the gate of “Pylon” a long and gorgeous procession sweeping in honor of the Gods of Egypt, the sacred – – , a chariot with the (curse depautana?) preceded by the bearer of Idols, then a Band of white robed Priests, walking 3 and 3. The central objects of the Procession is the golden image of the Goddess Isis bearing on her knees her son. The whole procession headed by a band of brightly appareled and jeweled female minstrels, walking 3 by 3, all exquisite models of womankind. But all these are subordinate to the principal group of the picture, in the foreground being that of the Holy family, St Joesph with the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus. The Virgin seated on ass, robed in a dress of dark blue linen; and going in the direction opposite to that of the Procession. It may be said to be a “contrast of Heathendom and Christianity.” It is a most impressive picture and the coloring natural and harmonious. Tow other pictures by the same artist “Merah” by Michal (Lambs daughter) are also excellent but still better did I like were two large pictures each 8 x 6 feet, the “Search for Beauty” and “The Chosen(?) Fire” taken from the story related by Cicero of the painter Zeuxis of Heradea having to paint Helen desired the attendance of all the maidens of the city for the inspection of the artist, who thereupon selected five “As he knew he could find no single form possessing all the characteristics of Beauty. There was also another fine picture “A Question of Propriety,” or “Before the Holy Inquisition,” a similar picture by the same artist I saw in the Melbourne Gallery, which I think was even superior to this one, in coloring particularly.
After leaving the gallery we crossed over Bond St and went to the “Dore Gallery” (No.35) to see the last picture he painted before his death, called the “Vale of Tear.” It is an immense picture, length 21 feet, height 14 feet. The background represents “the Vale of Tears,” a shadowy valley, full of dimly defined foliage, flanked by an enormous crag, at the entrance of the valley stands the Saviour clothed in white, bearing a cross, with hand upraised as if in appeal “Come unto me all ye that labour,” &c. The middle and foreground are filled with typical figures representing the “- – “and “heavy laden” one of the Earth. I must say however, I prefer “Christ Leaving the Pretorium” (20 feet height by 30 feet wide) which was three years in painting, or rather from 1867 to 1872, and during the siege of Paris when the Franco-Prussian War broke out, it was carefully folded up and buried in a place of security. The scene is laid at the time of Christ walking down the steep stairs from the Hall called the Praetorium of “Golgotha.” The Night of the Crucifixion,” “Dream of Pilotes Wife,” “The Neophyte” and the “Day Dream” are the best of the 41 pictures in the gallery.
From thence we crossed over again to the other side of Bond St and inspected an art gallery of Mr Sureplus, where all sorts of curiosities are exhibited of the (clu–?) of which was a collection of lovely painted miniatures by the celebrated painted “Cosway.” They were all – – in a glass case, somewhere about 100, many of them being engraved in a Book which was placed close at hand as a guide as to who the miniatures were. I learnt from the man in charge that he believes Joseph had given 25,000 for them at various times. One miniature resembled in touch of coloring and dress that of my grandmother Marsh, whose likeness painted by Cosway I have a home. On our return home down Regent St we met Captain Watson R.N. who told us he had just left his wife (nee Fischer) at the dress makers, where she was trying on her Court dress preparatory to being presented at Court tomorrow to the Queen.
At 7.30 Grace and I went to the Pantomime at Drury Lane Theatre, “Whittington and his Coat,” the name of the piece.
Received letters from Australia today, of (blank) date.
1 from Fanny, 1 from Milly, 1 from Marie, 1 from Plunkett (saying that three months extension of leave to 31st October would be granted to me) 1 from Neville Dowling.
19th March 1885, Wednesday
Did not get up till 11, felt very tired and very unwell. We went by Underground Railway to Addison Road, 6d each, and took a cab from thence to Paterson’s No.41 Wilton Lodge. Lunch with them meeting Miss Bowling, Mrs Hawkins’s sister. At 3 o’clock we went for a drive in his carriage round Hyde Park to witness the carriages returning from the Drawing Room, which the Queen held today. Mrs Paterson, Miss Bowling, Grace and I were the occupants. We kept driving up and down the whole time till after 5 o’clock. Strange to say I espied the Reverend Stanley Mitchell, formerly Incumbent of Waverly, standing near Apsley House gateway or arch, with his two daughters, evidently attracted there for the same reason as we were, and after I caught and exchanged bows with Mrs Kent, seated in her one horse Brougham (I mean Mrs Kent, who lived near us at Elyden(?) on the Edgecliff Road). The number of carriages was surprising, and some of the horses were superb creatures. But on the whole I do not think the one horse Broughams are at all like the handsome old carriages with hammer cloths, and two or three powdered footmen standing behind which were more universally used 36 years ago, then now. Mrs Paterson at our request on leaving Hyde Park drove us to Brunswick Garden (No.26) to call on Mr and Mrs Loring. His mother was a Miss Marsh. He was formerly in the Navy, and once on board H.M.S. “Tammalaine.” Has left it now, and is Private (Secretary?) to Honorable Mr R. R. Forster M.P. He appears a pleasant gentlemany young fellow. His wife a young woman and I do not think they have been married long. We left them after 6 and walked to the Underground Railway Station, not far off, and got to Charing Cross Station and had dinner at the Inn at 7.30.
Grace not feeling very well.
I was particularly struck whilst driving round and round today at the number of carriages and people, and strange to say at the scarcity of pretty or even nice looking ones even. I did not see one really nice looking girl. Another thing I observed was the frequency of the young girls both riding in carriages and walking wearing glasses, as this suffering from impaired sight, even children of 8 or 9 years – – with spectacles. I find that notice has already been taken of this peculiarity, and Mrs Paterson tells me that Doctors attribute this defect of vision to be attributable to young girls painting pictures and plaques and having to peer into the subject from which they are copying.
20th March 1885, Thursday
Got up to breakfast at 10 o’clock. Afterwards Grace and I sallied out, first of all to Bond St, to the hair dressers, Douglas’, where she had her hair put in order. Afterwards we walked into Regent Street, on to Coventry St, and called at Lamberts, the Jeweller to get her Bracelet that had to be repaired. Went back to the Inn, had lunch, and then sallied out again by District Railway from Charing Cross to Sloane St, where she went to look at capes and at Leaman’s 199 Sloane St. We returned by Omnibus to Strand just in time for me to dress for dinner, having been invited by Warden Lambert, to the Pattern Maker’s Banquet at 6.30, held at the Venetian Hall, in Holborn. About 200 people sat down, Lambert as Chief Warden the Chairman, and a very good Chairman he made. On his right sat the Lord Mayor, next the Sheriff Whitehead, and lower down the Under Sheriff. On his left sat a remarkable looking old man, 83 years of age, Sir W Carden M.P., who stated he had lived in London 65 years. Next to him Sir W. Charley Q.C. then came another Under Sheriff, a young man (named Metcalfe) very like George Mitter. Next to me sat a Mr Segwick who said he knew Dr (or as he called him) Professor Bennett of Sydney. The dinner was excellent, two kinds of turtle soup, two kinds of fish (Salmon and Whitebait) after desserts Toasts were proposed and after the Loyal ones “Church and Queen,” drank standing, “Prince of Wales and remaining members of the Royal Family,” drank seated. Then came the Mayor and Alderman. The Mayor spoke well, he was formerly a photographer by the name of Notton, I think. Then came the Sheriffs, only one returned thanks, the other having made off to avoid a speech. Instead of the Toast the “Army and Navy” as usually proposed, the Chairman proposed the Navy (first) and Army coupled with the Marines, and the Reserve Forces! I forgot who returned thanks for the two firs but Sir Phillip Charles Q.C., as Colonel of the latter did for his body. After each Toast there were songs and glees by two ladies, Miss Belevat and Miss (Evehform?) the latter had a beautiful voice and a very pretty girl, two sisters, one playing the violin, the other accompanying, by the name of Molineux, the former a sweetly pretty girl of about 18. The Miss Molineux, daughters of one of Lamberts employees, to whom at Lambert’s request a Bouquet, with a Bracelet attached, was handed to each, as a compliment for their services this night.
I caught a very severe cold, or rather renewed it, and came home notwithstanding of bronchitis.
Whilst looking in at one of the shop windows in the Strand we were addressed from behind by Mrs Roberts, wife of C.J. Roberts C.M.G., who only arrived last night from Australia, by Ballant(?) and are staying at the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross. She had three of her daughters with her.
21st March 1885, Friday
Awoke with severe cold and bronchitis. Did not get up till 1, and never went outside of the house all day. In the evening whilst seated in the Drawing room of the Inn common to all the residents, a young woman of about 27 years of age, and of decided Jewish features and voice, opened the conversation upon the subject of Jews generally and the Jewish Religion. At the same time trying to impress me with the fact of her not having much knowledge of or intimacy with the Jews, and asking my opinion about them, which I gave most forwardly. The conversation changed to the Lunatic Asylums, she expressing herself as believing there were many under restraint who were improperly placed there by their friends or relations and then as she warmed with this subject, related her own experience in the matter. She stated that her father was an Admiralty contractor, and that as a girl (being quick and sharp in writing and accounts) had constantly assisted her father, who often employed her to write business letters for him to Whitehall, and that he was very fond of her as she was of him, that he could never get her brothers (who was in a Solicitors office) to assist him. That last year her father died, and she took it so much to heart, that she never slept for two months, and brought on a case of brain fever, which the Doctors (at the insistence of her brother) pronounced to be madness. And that she was taken to a private Lunatic Asylum, at Maidstone where she was treated as a lunatic, at one time place in a seclusion cell by herself, by one of the attendant nurses. At another time in a padded cell contrary to the orders of the Doctor. But her walking outside the house were taken within four high walls, and in the society of other lunatic ladies. That the association(?) and the grief she was in so completely paralysed her that she could not imagine where she had been brought. That she was under the impression her mother was dead, that the nurse had told her she had no rights to be so shut up, that all that she had really suffered from was brain fever. She was discharged last November. She related she had property of her own, rent from houses &c. but her brother had written out a Will for her to sign, which he would not let her read, and insisted on her signing it. – – it was taken up and burnt. She asked me if I thought there was any stigma attached to her in having been in a Lunatic asylum as her mother had told her if she ever married she would have to mention beforehand the fact of her having been in a Lunatic Asylum. About 9.30 a man of about 40, a German by his accent, was ushered up by the waiter, as her visitor, and shortly after she put on her bonnet and coat, and went out with him.
I strongly recommended her to place her affairs in the hands of a Solicitor at once who would collect her rents and protect her pension in case of any future charge of insanity against her, and if she did marry to have her property settled on her by Trustees, and if the man who came to see her just now, is the person she thinks of marrying, I should say by his physiognomy he is just the adventurer who would speedily shut her up after marriage, for the purpose of getting her money. She carefully abstained from giving me her name. I have found out from the Barmaid it is “LeStrange.” Grace obliged to send a telegram and letter to Mrs Molineux saying I was too unwell to pay her a visit to “Eastbourne” where we had been invited to stay till Monday.
21st March 1885, Saturday (again?)
My cold and bronchitis still hanging about me, and the weather so cold and foggy as to render it inadvisable my going out of doors. Sent another telegram to Mrs Molineaux letting telling her I was so unwell from cold and bronchitis that I could not leave London, and go to Eastbourne at present. Did not get up till 10 o’clock today and had lunch at 2.
22nd March 1885, Sunday
Cold and bronchitis still bad, and as the snow was lying on the ground and roofs of the house, and still continuing to come down in large flakes, I did not get up till 1 o’clock. Felt very chilly all day, and draughts of cold air through the long corridor at the Inn, were most provocative for influenza.
23rd March 1885, Monday
Did not go out all day. My cold and bronchitis still troubling me. Had breakfast in bed an did not get up till 1 o’clock. Mr and Mrs Bray called, only he came in as Grace was out looking for dress cape at Ludlow & Graham.
24th March 1885, Tuesday
Grace went by herself in a cab to the dressmakers who is making Lena Stephen’s wedding dresses. Meeting Lady Smith and her daughter there on the same errand. Grace returned by lunch. In the afternoon Miss Wise with her niece Minnie Wise called to see us. And remained nearly an hour chatting. Miss Wise very much improved in her old age, very conversible, and her niece a handsome girl.
Wrote to Susan Graham (nee Downman).
Later in the evening Mrs Hambro,’ Campbell Yorke’s sister called. At after 7 we ordered a Brougham from the Livery Stables, to take us to the dinner at Lady Samuels, 15 Courtfield Gardens, at to 8; owing to the blunder of the Coachman, he drove us towards Paddington and did not discover his mistake till 10 minutes to 8, we were then a long distance off, but he put his horses out, at a speed of 10 miles an hour, and arrived fortunately before the guests had left the Drawing Room. The Samuels very polite. Sir Saul took Grace down to dinner. Dr Krauch (the German Consul) took Lady Samuel. I, Mrs Garrick, the wife of the Agent General of Sydney, whilst he took Mrs W.O. Gilchrist (nee Vinise?) J.B. Watt who goes to Sydney on Thursday, took Mrs Kent, Coombes having just arrived from Sydney took a Bride, Mrs Woodhouse, whilst Mr Woodhouse took Miss Coombes. Gilchrist took a Melbourne lady, whose husband took a lady who had somewhat of a Jewish appearance. Very good dinner, a long line of flowers on both sides and the full length of the table, on glass reflectors. Left at to 11. None the worse and did not increase my cold. Wrote a long letter to Milly by Mail Steamer, also to Wise.
25th March 1885, Wednesday
Got up at 11, my cold neither better nor worse. Very cold. After lunch Grace and I went by Underground Railway to High St, South Kensington, to call on Lady Murray, who was laid up in bed with asthma. Saw her with Miss Edward. Grace went afterwards in a cab to the Musgraves who were out, and came home by herself in a cab, 4/-. I went back by myself first to my tailors in Hanover St, (Joel Edwards). Got measured there and found one of the assistants a cousin of the late Exton whom I employed for years in Sydney as my tailor till he died. Went after to Empire Club, and took a ticket for the Annual house dinner on 1st April. I think Stovin is going. Received Australian letters from Fanny and Marie by Steamer “Indus” of 1st February date. The Stovins called whilst we were out and afterwards wrote to ask us to lunch with him on Saturday at 1.30. Sent photograph of Jack to Mrs Despard(?) Graham. Jack’s birthday today, 6 years old today.
26th March 1885, Thursday
Little Marie’s birthday, 3 years old today. The Stovins called in the evening. After breakfast Grace and I walked to Hatton Gardens, to Max Singar’s, the Glass Manufacturer, as we were commissioned by Mrs M.H. Stephen to choose glass ornaments for the diner table as a wedding present for her daughter Lina. At first we were told, that they did not sell by retail, but if we belonged to a Co-operative Store, they could. The difficulty however, was easily got over by my saying I came from the Colony of New South Wales. We had a great variety of glass to choose from, and ultimately selected one of a quite a new fashion, color and design, and which had only a few minutes before been sent in from the Manufactory. The pedestal of glass is a beautiful design, and the china stands for the centre and four for the corners, of delicate colored hue, and mostly off to white. It is to cost 6.6. Besides freight, insurance, and case. Went to a jeweler and chose a pearl pin for Marie, as a gift to Lina ( 1.7). Marie had limited us to 2.2. Grace very tired after her days walk. I went out afterwards to find out Lord Carrington’s address at Whitehall but did not succeed. My bronchitis something better, though still hanging about me, and compelled to tie a handkerchief over my mouth whenever I go out of doors.
27th March 1885, Friday
Grace not well enough to get up to breakfast. I got up at 10. Afterwards left my card on Lord Carrington, 8 Whitehall Yard. Thence to (Frufills?) to have my hair cut. Home to lunch at 2.30, and then went out with Grace to National Gallery and saw Dr Atherton arriving from thence. Also Barnett, Colonial Architect in the earlier parts of the morning. Went in afternoon to Lincoln & Bennett hatters, and met Dr Atherton again purchasing a hat. My bronchitis better but I still were a handkerchief over my mouth, whenever I – – . The painters and white washers are a great trouble to people staying at the Inn.
Passengers from Gibraltar
Mrs White and 2 children
Miss Lyon, daughter of Colonel Lyons
Mrs Agar, widow
Mr – Army surgeon
Mr Telegraph Manager
Mr H.M. 52nd Regiment.
Tuesday 2nd February
Port Said 14.6
Wine consumed by us on board “Ganges” from 12th December 1884
2 bottles of Mascala 5
3 ditto 7.6
5 ditto 12.6
2 ditto 5 (6th 9th Jan 1895)
3 ditto 7 (14th or 17th Jan 1885)
Dr Beatties Remedy
Bella Donna Lotion for all colds, bronchitis and coughs, and the remedy to be rubbed in the spine.
28th March 1885, Saturday
Went at 11, to Dr Dickenson’s, 9 Chesterfield St, May Fair, consulted him again for the 3rd time, paid him 1.1. He thinks I am decidedly better, and still firmly adheres to his first opinion that my malady is not in any way connected with the Brain, perfectly exterior to the head, and attributable to Rheumatic gout, and he still desires me to continue the same medicine he prescribed together with the Iron. Grace and I lunched at the Storms, at 1, he sent his carriage for us, and sent us back in it, in the evening. Sir Frank, Lady Villeneuve Smith called at the Stovins whilst we (were) there. A fine day on the whole, though a fog came on in the evening. My Bronchitis better, but still the remains of it hanging about me.
29th March 1885, Friday
Did not have breakfast till 11, after a late lunch Grace and I went to see Lady Murray, we arrived there about 6, found she had been in bed some days with Bronchitis, saw her sister and young Murray who is going to the Bar, he is grown very tall, upwards of 6 feet, and bears a strong likeness to his father, Sir Terence. There were three or 4 persons (this being one of Lady Murray’s days ‘at home’) when we got there and afterwards came Mr, Mrs Randolph Warb, (she the widow of Wilkins who is still very good looking) and at 7 o’clock Grace went with Miss Edward to (blank) Church to hear Canon Farer who preaches to crowded congregations which necessitates going early before the Service commences in order to ensure getting a seat. On their return from Church, we had a cold supper and to which came, I presume, pupils of Lady Murray, a Miss Matthuen and 2 Miss (blank), all pretty girls. Unfortunately immediately after their supper they went upstairs to the bed rooms, with an old German Governess, and we saw them no more. We returned to the High St, Kensington District Railway at 10.30, and reached the Hotel about 11. My bronchitis much better today, which though fine was yet cold.
30 March 1885, Monday
Got up to breakfast at 10 o’clock. Immediately after I went to Australian Joint Stock Bank, 2 King William Street, City, and drew another 100 out, or rather had it placed to my credit in their books. Returned to Hotel and had lunch at 2, and afterwards Grace and I went by District Railway to call and (have?) parcel at Sir V and Lady Smith’s, and then to Lady Samuel’s, who was out. We fancied that today was her “Reception” day, but it is on Thursday. We also called at Baileys Hotel, on the Dixons but found they had left that Hotel, and the Porter could not give us their present address. We then walked on to Cronly Place, to see Mrs Barker, but she was laid up with cold, and we only left cards. On our return called at Waterloo House, Charing Cross, to pay a Bill. Mr E. Wise and Alexander called in the evening on Grace. They were going to the Adelphi Theatre. Another fine day, my bronchitis better.
31st March 1885, Tuesday
Shortly after breakfast Mr Brocklehurst called to see me, he was shown into the Coffee Room, and therefore did not see Grace. He tells me he is summoned at one of the Courts on the Jury, and has to wait attendance there from day to day, much to his inconvenience and annoyance. Captain W. Bridges R.N. (formerly of “Wolverine”) called also, but we did not see him, the Porter having orders to say not at home to all new visitors, owing to the Painting and Varnishing that is going on from top to bottom of the Hotel. Not only annoying but rather dangerous to ladies dresses as they go up and down the staircase. Beautiful day but cold. At 3 o’clock having got an order of Admission to the House of Commons (from Mr Ponsonby the Speaker’s Secretary) through Mrs Hambro, I drove down in a cab, and was ushered into the Speaker’s Gallery. There were not more than 50 or 60 members present, after viewing about two hours a frightful coughing fit came on and I was obliged to leave, and my bronchitis seized me again.