Tag Archives: australia

Newfoundland Convicts Sent to Australia

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

AUGUST 31, 1835

A convict team much like the one that Thomas Baldwin would have served with ploughing a farm, while a guard looks on.

Many Newfoundlanders have made their way to Australia over the years; among the very first to reach the shores of that beautiful country were those who arrived on the “convict ships.”   They were convicted felons, often of very minor crimes, chained in the hold of the convict vessels that that carried them to the prison colonies in Australia.  Among the early ‘documented’ Newfoundlanders to arrive in Australia was Thomas Baldwin  (alias Baldwell) who arrived aboard the convict ship  “Hero” on  August 31, 1835.

Australia at the time was not the tourist attraction it is today. It was originally established by Britain as prison colony. Between 1788 and 1868, 165,000 convicts were transported to Australia.

The Newfoundlander, Thomas Baldwin who found his way to Australia was  24 years old, married with one child and recorded his religion as Catholic. Thomas’s trade was a carter. (A carter typically drove a light two wheeled carriage). He had no education and was sentenced for 7 years for stealing poultry.  Thomas was tried at Waterford City, Ireland  on  February 2, 1834 and arrived in the colony of New South Wales (NSW), Australia on August 31,1835 aboard the convict ship ‘Hero’ and was then assigned to Grose Farm.

The Hero was one of fourteen sailing vessels bringing prisoners to New South Wales, Australia  in 1835, six of them brought Irish prisoners.  On board there were 197 prisoners. The journey took 169 days. Included on the passengers list were 8 women and 9 children.

It is likely that given he gave his home address to the court as Newfoundland  that he must  have been in Newfoundland during  previous summers, perhaps prosecuting the fishery. The Baldwin family name has been established inNewfoundlandsince 1724.

It is possible that Thomas Baldwin was intentionally trying to get arrested so as to be sent to Australia to be with his brothers. Thomas’s family was no stranger to the law.  His brother Lawrence (convicted of stealing clothes) was transported on the convict ships to Australia in 1828 and his brother James in 1833.

Thomas had issues with authority, while in prison in 1836 he was charged with the offence of ‘neglect of duty’ and was ‘placed in cells for 6 days on bread and water’. In 1841 he was charged with the offence of ‘disorderly conduct’ and was placed on the treadmill grinding corn for 2 months at Carter’s Barracks from where he was discharged.

It is likely that Thomas also knew what it was like to be flogged.  Discipline was firm. One observer of the cruel treatment to the convicts reported:

“The floggings are hideously frequent. On flogging mornings I have seen the ground where the men stood at the triangles saturated with blood, as if a bucket of blood had been spilled on it, covering a space three feet in diameter, and running out in various directions, in little streams two or three feet long…. “

Thomas’s home for the duration of his imprisonment would have been Carters’ Barracks, home to the convict gangs working on the brick fields as carters and brick makers.The barracks provided sleeping quarters for these tired workers who daily carted the new made sand stock bricks.

Other Newfoundland families that have links with Australian convict history include Edward Shaw, a soldier transported to New South Wales in 1840, John Watson , a fisherman  transported in 1824 and  John Woods a fisherman salter of St. John’s transported on the convict ship Southworth in 1822.

Recommended Web Site:  Irish Convicts to New South Wales: List of Ships Transporting Convicts to NSW 1788-1849.  http://members.pcug.org.au/~ppmay/ships.htm

Recommended Music: The experience of these convicts is recorded through the first Australian folk songs written by convicts. Convict songs like Jim Jones, Van Diemen’s Land, and Moreton Bay were often sad or critical. Convicts such as Francis Macnamara (known as ‘Frankie the Poet’) were flogged for composing original ballads with lines critical of their captors.

Botany Bay sung by Mirusia Louwerse in Melbourne Australia : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQCIUKgHc5k

 

Newfoundlanders with “The Diggers”

ARCHIVAL MOMENT

April 25, 1915

Newfoundlanders fought side by side with the men of Australia and New Zealand.

Newfoundlanders fought side by side with the men of Australia and New Zealand.

ANZAC Day is Australia and New Zealand’s most important national day of commemoration. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces on 25 April, 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey.

The Australians and New Zealander’s stayed together and fought the Turks for eight months. They took part in battles that are forever etched in the military consciousness of their countries. In one battle alone at a place called Lone Pine, the Australians lost close to 2,200 men.

They won the ground and seven Victoria Crosses were earned in the process.

Six months after the ANZAC forces had landed 1,076 Newfoundlanders came ashore along the shores of the Dardanelles Strait on September 20, 1915. The Newfoundlanders spent the first months digging trenches and keeping long night watches, spending time on the front line learning trench warfare techniques from the ANZAC forces (they had been dubbed with the nickname diggers).

The number of Australian and New Zealand casualties ran high, New Zealand: 2721 and Australia approximately 8700.

The lack of a military breakthrough convinced the Allies it was time to withdraw from Gallipoli. It was decided the Newfoundland Regiment would help in the difficult task of covering the evacuation of Allied troops onto waiting ships. This rearguard operation went well and the Newfoundlanders were among the last Allied soldiers to leave Turkey in January 1916.

During the almost four months the Newfoundland Regiment fought at Gallipoli, approximately 30 men died in action and 10 more died of disease.

Gallipoli was the first of many battles that would earn the Newfoundland Regiment an impressive reputation during the First World War. The Newfoundland Regiment would go on to fight with distinction in Belgium and France throughout the rest of the conflict. The regiment even earned the title “Royal” in 1917 in recognition of its exceptional service and sacrifice—the only regiment to be honoured this way by the British during the war.

The “Trail of the Caribou” designed to trace the path of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment  through its engagements in the First World War, consists of six large caribou statues cast in bronze.  Each caribou, the symbol of the regiment and the province (then-dominion), stands facing the enemy line with its head thrown back in defiance, a symbol of Newfoundlanders’ bravery and fortitude in battle.

A replica  of the six  caribou  are at Beaumont -Hamel,Gueudecourt, Monchy-le-Preux, Masnieres and Courtrai, all sites where the Royal Newfoundland Regiment fought for king and empire. A replica also stands in Bowring Park in St. John’s.There is no Caribou at  Gallipoli.

So it’s over the mountain and over the sea
Come brave Newfoundlanders and join the Blue Puttees
You’ll fight the Hun at Flanders and at Gallipoli
Enlist you Newfoundlanders and come follow me

Recommended Archival Collection: The Rooms Provincial Archives VA 36  This collection consists of photographs related to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in the Great War. The collection consists of two photograph albums which have been dismantled, as well as individual items. One album was apparently compiled in 1915-1916 in recognition of the services of Newfoundland Regiment soldiers during the Gallipoli campaign. (Note: Originals are restricted for conservation reasons. Digital scans available.)

Recommended Activity: On April 25th visit the War Memorial in your town and remember the men of Newfoundland and Labrador who stood with ‘the diggers’ at Gallipoli, Turkey.

Recommended Web site: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/pdf/cr/pi-sheets/gallipoli-eng.pdf

Recommended Song: Great Big Sea: Recruiting Sergeant: http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/04/recruit.htm

Franciscans Lobby to Hold Newfoundland, the Orphan Church.

ARCHIVAL MOMENT
May 8, 1870

Bisop Thomas Power of St. John's, Newfoundland friend of Cardianl Cullen

After the death of Bishop John Thomas Mullock, O.S.F in March 1869, the Episcopal see of St John’s, Newfoundland, had remained vacant for more than a year.

The Irish Franciscans lobbied hard in Rome to continue their unbroken line as vicars apostolic and bishops of Newfoundland. Since the Roman Catholic Church was officially established in Newfoundland in 1784 only priests ordained for the order of St. Francis (Franciscans, O.S.F.) had lead the church in Newfoundland.

The attempts of the Franciscans were futile. Paul (Cardinal) Cullen, Cardinal Archbishop of Dublin was determined to see that Father Thomas J. Power a secular priest friend and protégé of his be elected Bishop of St. John’s. Power was named Bishop on this day 8 May 1870.

 Cardinal Cullen’s influence was felt around the world in a carefully planned campaign to install Irish bishops.  Cullen was able to influence the choice of appointments to Episcopal sees in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Newfoundland.  The twelve Irish priests appointed to Australian sees in 1846-78 were all in some way Cullen’s men. InCanadahe was influential in having his friend (Bishop) George Conroy named as the first apostolic delegate toCanada.  Cullen’s Irish men were a close network around the world.

 Bishop Power of Newfoundlandwas consecrated bishop of St John’son 12 June, 1870 in Romeby the Irish cardinal. The next day the new bishop took his seat in the first Vatican Council, and on 18 July, 1870 voted for the dogma of the infallibility of the pope.  After a brief visit to Dublin, Power arrived in Newfoundland on 9 September, 1870.

Shortly after the vote Cardinal Cullen urged the newly ordained Bishop Power to leave forNewfoundland because of the absence of Episcopal leadership in Newfoundland.  In 1869, Newfoundland was referred to as the “orphan church” Bishop John Dalton of Harbour Grace had died in March and Bishop John Thomas Mullock of St. John’s had died in March leaving Newfoundland without a Roman Catholic bishop.

Recommended Reading:  Imperium in Imperio': Irish Episcopal Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century* by Colin Barr , Ave Maria University, Naples, Florida

Newfoundland and Australia: Old Music Connection

ARCHIVAL MOMENTS

April 3, 2012

Newfoundland and Australia : Old Music Connection

Photo Credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives Division, B 22-55

 With Great Big Sea on tour in Australia we must be reminded that there was an earlier musical Newfoundland- Australian connection.  This connection goes back to 1820’s.

Francis Forbes’s, Chief Justice of Newfoundlandand later first Chief Justice of Australia is credited with writing “The Banks of Newfoundland”.

Most would immediately recognize the tune as “Up the Pond,” the familiar music at the annual St. John’s Regatta and a piece steeped in the tradition of North America’s oldest continuing sporting event.  

“The Banks of Newfoundland” enjoyed a populist appeal in nineteenth-century Newfoundlandthat would have likely astounded Justice Forbes.

Initially published for solo piano by Oliver Ditson of Boston, the piece became best known as a regimental march performed by the Band of the Royal Newfoundland Companies and a variety of other military and civilian ensembles active inNewfoundlandat the time.

 Processions, festivals, dinners, soirees, and the like were frequently enlivened with renditions of the popular tune, a tradition that began in the 1820s and proliferated in the years following the granting of representative government.

At the turn of the twentieth century it was considered an unofficial national anthem of Newfoundlandand has remained the march commonly associated with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

To celebrate Chief Justice Forbes and his connection with Newfoundland and Australia – perhaps Great Big Sea will play this great tune on their Australian Tour.

Great Big Sea dates in Australia include:  April 3 -Melbourne; April 5  -Sydney; and April 9 at Byron Bay.

Recommended Reading:  Australian Dictionary of Biography  http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/forbes-sir-francis-2052

 Recommended Reading:  Imagining Nation: Music and Identity in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies.  Volume 22, Number 1 (2007), Glenn Colton

Recommended to Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNVQdwzMKpA

 

 

Gift from Australia

When writing a codicil to his last will and testament on this day  6 August 1865, Bishop John Thomas Mullock of St.  John’s left “his gold enameled pectoral cross to the Diocese of St. John’s.”  The gift to the diocese was quite significant because this pectoral cross in addition to having “liturgical” symbolic value also gives insight into the bishops and their friendship networks around the world. Bishop Mullock wrote that  “the pectoral cross was a gift from his friend Dr Bishop Patrick Geoghegan, Bishop of Adelaide, South Australia.”   [104.1.31]

Many of the early bishops in the “new world” came from Irish stock.  The young Patrick Geoghegan, ordained in 1829  as a Franciscan priest (O.S.F) had as his first assignment the Franciscan Church of St Francis’ Church, Dublin, popularly known as the Church of Adam and Eve., the oldest existing Roman Catholic in Dublin.

Geoghegan in 1837 asked to be sent as a missionary to Australia where he became bishop in 1859.

While he was at Adam and Eve  he was befriended by another Franciscan priest, John Thomas Mullock who was also ordained in 1829.  Mullock was the guardian of Adam and Eve Convent.  Mullock was sent as a missionary to St. John’s becoming bishop in 1848.

One of the first people that Mullock wrote about his appointment to St. John’s, Newfoundland was Geoghegan. In that letter he wrote:

“As to myself, I can’t say as yet how I will be situated in St John’s, but I am sure Dr (Michael Anthony) Fleming  (Bishop of Newfoundland)  will make me comfortable. I have a very arduous Mission but with God’s assistance I hope to get through it, always remembering St Francis’ Motto non tibi soli vivere [Live not for yourself alone].I get a steamer direct from Glasgow next month and expect to arrive in 9 or 10 days in St John’s. I will write to you in a month or two after my arrival there and give you an account of the Mission. As yet I know nothing of it except by hearsay. Our Cathedral there is the largest building in N. America.”

The two maintained a life long friendship.

The pectoral cross is on exhibit in the Basilica Cathedral Museum, home to one of the finest collections of religious artefacts of historic and artistic significance in the country.

The pectoral cross (crux pectoralis) is worn by bishops. The word pectoral derives from the Latin pectus, meaning Abreast.” This cross is attached to a chain (or cord) and is worn on the chest, near the heart.  In 1889, the Holy See recommended that the pectoral cross of a deceased bishop which contained a relic of the True Cross be given to his successor. When putting on the pectoral cross, traditionally the bishop says, “Munire me digneris,” asking the Lord for strength and protection against all evil and all enemies, and to be mindful of His passion and cross.