Recollections of Early Adelaide in the 1830's

The following personal recollections were collected by Reg Butler (Hahndorf Historian) and are narratives concerning life in early Adelaide.

A Boy's Recollections

The First Police Constable - Henry Alford, in 1888, residing in Kent Town

With Colonel Light - Hiram Mildred of Adelaide

An Old Police Inspector - Mr CW Stuart communication

A Boy's Recollections

What I shall tell you is only the opinion of a boy, although the impressions conveyed to my mind are pretty vivid.  I arrived in the colony in the Buffalo with Governor Hindmarsh.  I cannot remember the proclamation of the colony, but I do recollect the difficulty there was in transporting the goods and chattels of the immigrants.

There were no cattle or horses; in fact, the only thing in the shape of live stock was a cow we brought with us, and by the aid of this beast and a truck, we had to get our goods to the first settlement, which was on the banks of the River Torrens, between where the gaol and the slaughterhouse now stand.  The place was called Buffalo Row.  It was a row of reed huts, built of reeds obtained from the Torrens.  Nearly all the immigrants from the Buffalo lived there.  After a little time, there was another row of houses put up at the extreme end of Buffalo Row for the passengers by the Coromandel, which vessel brought about a dozen houses - little bits of wooden shanties.  I don’t suppose the largest was more than 12 feet square.

I can remember well coming up from Holdfast Bay with my father and mother, and not being able to tramp all the way I was carried part of the distance.  The means of conveyance were very rough; in fact, each family was only allowed so many pounds weight of luggage on this one truck.  Perhaps ten or a dozen men would go over this track and bring something for each, making one or two trips a day.  That was how we got our things up.  It was a common occurrence for the second trip to be very late at night, and the females and others used to make a blazing fire to enable the men to see the way.  The country was in a very wild state.

Some time after Buffalo Row had been in existence, the Government got out some wooden houses, and a place called Immigrants’ Square was formed for the immigrants as they arrived unit they could get situations.  I think the square was composed of about a dozen houses.  It was on the park lands between Buffalo Row and where the observatory now stands.  Sir James Hurtle Fisher and Colonel Light had their reed houses just near where the cattle market is at the present time.

The scene was very beautiful.  There were trees growing where the market and the Buck’s Head Hotel are now located, and there was a very pretty view across the river.  The whole of the plain between the river and Montefiore Hill on the other side was studded with gumtrees, and even now reminds me of what Oaklands is.  The river was simply a chain of large waterholes, some of them extending from 300 to 400 yards in length - from bank to bank. It was quite a common saying that in plenty of these holes you could float an 84-gun ship.

After the town was surveyed, one thing occurred which will always remain in my mind.  Just near where the Buck’s Head Hotel is now erected, the surveyors set up a pile of stones, with a large bell in the centre.  This bell they used to ring at 12 o’clock every day for the information of the people, because at that time there were not many who carried watches.

To get to North Adelaide, we had to cross the river in a punt.  There was a rope stretched from one bank to the other, and that was how we crossed.  The crossing point was the old ford, just at the back of our present railway station.

The opening of the new port was quite a gala day; it caused a great sensation, and almost everybody who had a conveyance made the trip.  The day began with dust and ended with rain, so that everybody was drenched - a very similar day, in fact, to the first celebration of the anniversary of the colony held at Glenelg.

I can remember very well the execution of McGee.  It took place on an old gumtree opposite the Government iron store, which was situated at the time at the foot of the North Adelaide hill, just where the Torrens-bridge railway station now is.  McGee had killed Sheriff Smiley, and I and my sister went to see his execution.  McGee was driven up to the tree in a wagon, and was reading his Bible.  The man who had to hang him got up into the cart, adjusted the rope, and gave the word to drive on.  That was all the fall the criminal got.  He swung in the air.  There was a number of people present, considering the early times, and directly the word to drive on was given, the hangman, who was disguised, cleared off.  The people called out murder, and the hangman had to come back and pull McGee’s legs together.  The scene so frightened my sister and myself that we bolted away from the place.

When we first came here and lived in Buffalo Row, there were no provisions of any kind, and the whole of the passengers and immigrants by the Buffalo and others were compelled to live on Government rations.  We had no bread, simply biscuits, until vessels came round from Sydney with provisions.  The late Mr J Barton Hack brought over a lot of things very necessary for the new colony - such as groceries and wearing apparel, and these were a great benefit to the place.  My family opened a store in Buffalo-row, but we had the misfortune to be burnt out.  The fire broke out at midnight, and we had not a stitch of clothes, and had to depend upon what we could get from our neighbours.  I remember that my brother had only a red serge shirt and a belt, and these, I think, were lent by young Hurtle Fisher.  Two of the family were pulled out of bed asleep, and the fire was all over in a very short time.

The first ship that came round here was from Sydney, and in that vessel was the first fresh meat we had had other than kangaroo, and it was a rare thing to get a joint of any kind.  My mother had to pay as much as 3s 6d for a head and pluck, and that we considered very expensive.  Mr Crisp, father of the Crisps who live on the Gawler River, did the killing and served out the meat.

The Rev’d TQ Stow had a school near the Buck’s Head Hotel, on North-terrace, and used to attend to the requirements of the boys, taking them down to the river and teaching them to swim.  Lady Gawler, the wife of the Governor, took a great interest in the children, and started an infant school at Trinity Church.  She was a very regular attendant, and used to come and assist in the teaching.  Miss Holbrook was the principal teacher, and Lady Gawler would be present perhaps three or four times a week and give instruction in singing, teaching us to sing by ear.  We used to tune up pretty well.

I can remember Adelaide before the streets was laid out. Hindley-street had many trees in it, and many times have I seen teams of bullocks bogged there.  There first theatrical performance took place, I think, at the John O’Groat’s Hotel, which was situated, if I remember rightly, between Hindley-street and North-terrace, not far from the Black Swan Hotel.  Tommy Jakes was, I believe, one of the first performers, and Easther another.

As to the old courthouse, its remains are now to be seen at the back of Bickford’s buildings, between Currie and Hindley streets, nearly opposite where the White Horse Hotel now stands.  I recollect as well as possible that on one occasion, there was a trial in which one man informed against another.  The people was so incensed against the informer that they carried a large effigy round the town, and afterwards took it in front of the Court-house and burnt it.  That occurred in the middle of the day.

The police-station was then on the park lands, near the gate now leading into the railway goods shed.  Nearer the river there was a large dairy, I think established by Mr Hack.  Government House was in the same position it now occupies, and the garden, where the old oak tree still exists, was about the first garden established here. …

There was a difficulty about fixing the site of the town and there was a quarrel between Governor Hindmarsh and Colonel Light on the subject.  Colonel Light wanted to have the town where it is now, and Governor Hindmarsh wished it to be on the plain between Adelaide and the Bay.  This is low country, and Colonel Light did not think the site was suitable.  It is said that the quarrel to a great extent accelerated the death of Colonel Light, and it is certain that there was a large amount of correspondence with the Home Government.

When first the town was laid out, the impression was that North Adelaide would be the likely spot, and my father bought two acres there with the idea that it would be the principal place.  The population, however, came to this side of the river as it was nearer to the water.  We had to depend on the river for our water, and until we got water-carts used a barrel with pins at each end.  In the early days - the very early days - having no utensils for washing, all the washing was done in the River Torrens, and the women used to go into the river with the clothes, wash them, and bring them back.

I can remember the first races that ever took place in the colony.  They were run somewhere near the present gasworks at Thebarton, on the West Parklands.  There was an incident that impressed itself very firmly on my mind.  My sister and myself got very near to one of the bush hurdles, and my sister ran into the hurdle just as a horseman cleared the hurdle and herself.  Just near the gasworks there was an old public-house called Old Tom of Lincoln, kept by a man named Bristow, who used to play very tunefully on hand-bells.

The bridges over the Torrens were nearly all washed away when the floods came down, and I remember a stone bridge being placed as nearly as possible where the Morphett-street Bridge stands.  It was a stone bridge with one arch, and when the floods came, large blocks of timber floated down, and these knocking against the stone work stopped the stream, and the place was rendered impassable for passenger traffic owing to one side of the bridge breaking away.

They had this blown up, but a mistake was made in the operation.  I think it was through Mr Freeling, and I know that the explosion caused such a tremendous shock, that a large amount of damage was done, particularly to crockery, and the Government had to compensate the owners of crockery-ware shops all over the town.  The shock was felt as far as Walkerville.

I was then at school in North Adelaide, and I remember that a couple of bars across the schoolhouse swayed most violently about.  Indeed, the schoolmaster in consequence of a report that double the amount of powder was to be used on the next occasion gave us a holiday in fear of the school falling down.  I believe a miner, one of the sappers and miners, suggested some different plan, and the structure was blown down without us hearing anything about it.  A tremendous lot of fish were killed in the river, and we boys took advantage of this.

The First Police Constable - Henry Alford, in 1888, residing in Kent Town

I arrived here by the schooner John Pirie, 110 tons, Captain Martin, in the latter end of the year 1836.  At least, I did not land in South Australia proper, but on Kangaroo Island, at Nepean Bay.  There were two vessels that arrived two days before us.  These were the Lady Mary Pelham and the Duke of York, but our ship was the first to start from London for the new land of South Australia.

I and others came out in the employ of the South Australian Company.  What had we to do?  Well, we simply had to do what we were told.  On landing, there was nothing for it but to make the best of matters, and we had to camp under bushes or whatever other shelter there was to be found.

Two days after we landed, there arrived the Rapid with Colonel Light and Admiral Pullen on board.  I remember I also saw Dr Woodforde, Mr Hiram Mildred (who was then a lad), Mr Barker, Mr A Hodges, Mr Jacob and some others on the Rapid. Mr Samuel Stephens, who came out for the South Australian Company, had arrived two days before our vessel.

Well, we found that there were some white people already living on Kangaroo Island, but we did not know who they were.  Certainly, they did not come out with the expedition to colonise South Australia, and we understood that they had come over from Tasmania.  These men came down to us, one at a time, and we became a little alarmed, because we did not know how many there were.  About seven or eight put in an appearance altogether.

Our great object was to find fresh water, because although we had some on the ships, that would not last very long.  Mr Stephens asked these men to show us where we could get water, but they declined.  After some solicitation, however, they relented and pointed out where the very requisite fluid was to be obtained.  It was some distance across the gulf, whether on the island or on the mainland I cannot now say, but it took four of us the best part of a day to pull there.  Then we worked during the night in filling a large cask, and started back on the following morning towing the cask behind the boat; but we had a head wind, and we were the whole day in getting back.

These people who were on the island had small holdings, and I think they did a little cultivation.  The John Pirie, I may say, never returned to England, but afterwards traded about the colonies.

Well, I was engaged by the Company for 12 months, and after helping to discharge the cargo, I and some others went in the John Pirie to Tasmania, and we brought back two horses and two bullocks - the first stock that were landed in South Australia.  We called at the island on the way back, leaving some cargo there, and then we came on to the mainland.

I finished my 12 months with the company, and then I went into the service of Mr JB Hack, and remained with him until a lot of desperate bush-ranging broke out around Adelaide.  I and two others volunteered, in response to a call from the Governor, and there were also several special constables.  We were ordered to arrest the desperadoes, of whom there were three.  They used to stick people up all about the place.  We took two of them in town, and the other one, named Morgan, bolted to Encounter Bay.

I and the other two volunteers were sent after him, and we caught him too, but he would not walk, and the result was that we had to handcuff him around a tree at Currency Creek while we sent in for a cart to fetch him along.  Our orders were to bring him in dead or alive.  One of these ruffians named Yeates was hung.  This was in 1838.

On coming in for the cart, the Governor summoned his colleagues in the management of the settlement, and it was thereupon decided that they must establish a police force.  Captain Inman was selected as superintendent, and was entrusted with the duty of forming the force.  First, however, he went back with us for Morgan, and as soon as we brought him in, Captain Inman was sworn in as superintendent, and I and one of my mates were sworn in as constables on police pay.  Now that was the absolute foundation of the police force in South Australia.  Captain Inman subsequently went home, and is now, I believe, a clergyman in charge of a parish somewhere in Kent.

Well, I remained in the force for 16 years, and as Inspector, I brought over the gold escort from Victoria in 1853 and 1854.  In one escort, we brought over 33,763 ounces of gold, and in another 42,119 ounces.

Of course, in my time, I had a lot of desperadoes to deal with and I arrested a good many.  There were a lot of them who used to take work as splitters in the Tiers, but they would retire from the avocation of sawyers and take to the profession of bush-rangers whenever the opportunity offered.  Then they would get together a lot of money and actually come into town and knock it down.  Sometimes, they would put on masks and make a raid on that part of the Adelaide plains which is now called Kensington.

I was nearly forgetting to tell you about the proclamation of the colony.  It took place on the day after I had come back from the trip to Tasmania.  There was great fun.  They had one fife, an old tambourine, and some other instruments they had made up themselves, and that was the band.  There was a regular spree that day.

With Colonel Light - Hiram Mildred of Adelaide

I claim to be a pioneer of Adelaide City and some few miles beyond.  At an early age of boyhood, my schooling was broken into during the first week of January 18336, with the joyful news that I was going from London to Portsea to bid adieu to my grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins, and on my return to London, I should be packed off on board the Rapid for the new colony of South Australia, the foundation of which had for a year or more been worrying the mind of my paternal.  What was an anxious undertaking to him was fun to me.  Possessing slightly the spirit of adventure, the getting clear of school ad lessons, was a happy epoch in my life’s history, perhaps more so than any I have experienced since.

I sailed for South Australia in the ship Rapid.  About September 1834, I accompanied my father on a visit to the Nile, steamer, 1,000 tons, then the largest of her class afloat.  She was lying off Blackwell, and I think a present to the Pasha of Egypt; was going out under the command of Sir John Hindmarsh, Colonel Light, and a Mr Reid (first lieutenant).  From a recent comparison of notes, I have found that my friend and shipmate in the Rapid to South Australia, Mr John Thom, of Plympton, Bay-road, was also on board the Nile on that occasion.

Shortly following this, the colonisation of South Australia was moved.  My father took an active interest in watching its development, this resulting in March 1836, in a renewal of his friendship with Colonel Light and Sir John, who had both returned from Egypt, and my forming one of the little party in the surveying brig Rapid to South Australia.

On a fine Sunday summer morning, 1 May 1836, the dock gates were opened.  We went into a little black tug boat, the Nelson, made fast, and not a few friends waved their adieus as we were towed away past the Brunswick Pier, bout on what was then a long voyage of 16,000 miles to a strange land in a craft of 162 tons, about the size of a gentleman’s yacht.  Nothing but harmony reigned throughout the voyage.

On 17 August, land oh! on the north was reported from the royal yards; soundings at midnight in 40 fathoms, and on the 18th, we anchored in Antechamber Bay, 32 fathoms of water - a rocky spot.  Next day, we anchored in the eastern part of Nepean Bay, when we were honoured by a visit from Mr Samuel Stephens, the Manager of the South Australian Company’s settlement at the island.  Our large hatch boat was hoisted over, and on the 22nd, we moved about two miles further up off Kingscote.

From 23 to 27 August, the weather being wet and squally, but little progress was made beyond generally observing the bay and its surroundings.  During this time, I had a holiday ashore with my respected young friend, Mr WL Bean, whose father with mine had been intimate before leaving the old country.  I well recollect his tent with table on tressels outside.  Our bed was a tarpaulin on the ground, half under us and half over us for counterpanes and blankets in one; but we were young, full of spirits, tired with our daily explorations, and slept soundly even in this rude style of bedding.

Nepean Bay having been thoroughly examined during the first week in September, preparations were made for leaving for the mainland, and about the 8th, we anchored in Rapid Bay.  From this time, our programme was a general inspection of the eastern shores of St Vincent’s Gulf upward. …  We had an interpreter, William Cooper, and his native women, Doughboy and Sall, whose services were secured by Colonel Light as a go-between us and the native tribes.  From him, I obtained a tooth of the first kangaroo we caught.  I extracted it from the jaw of the animal while he was skinning it, and by lucky accident have preserved it ever since, and recently had it mounted as a relic.

In the latter end of October, we returned from our inspection of the coast, and a survey party under the command of the Hon BT Finniss was landed at Rapid Bay.  Here, we remained until the breaking up of the camp early in January to proceed again to Adelaide.  The only matter of importance that occurred was the at first assumed loss of one of our men, Joseph Finch, who is, however, now still alive.  He had gone away shooting about three days before camp breaking, and up to the dispatch of the last of our plant on board, all the search parties, Cooper, natives, and others, had been unsuccessful in finding him.  He was supposed to have perished in the bush.

Such, however, was not to be his fate; for at the last moment, when all was on board, anchor hove short ready for tripping, and topsails ready for swinging, signs from the shore were made by the natives, a boat was lowered, and lying on the beach we found our lost Joe.  Poor fellow! his first day’s out shooting ended disastrously.  He lost himself, and in his endeavours to kindle a fire, shook his powder flask over a spark from his matches.  The consequence was a sad blowing-up.  He was brought on board in due course.

We again arrived at Adelaide, a city of tents and reed huts or houses; and here I may say hardly a happier group or community could be found.  Tents and reed huts were going up in every direction.

The morning bath in the deep cool pools of the Torrens, the return to tents and breakfast at 7 o’clock off fried salt pork and kangaroo, the friendly recognition of each and everybody, the absence of ? and a glorious atmosphere and clime free from disease, all tending to the best of health and heartiest ?, ? happy times.  During this month, the Rapid was ordered to Sydney for stock, and to charter the Royal George in addition. I became a passenger by her.  We had a delightful passage of ten days down and a poor one of 20 days on returning; unfortunately loading through bad weather much of our stock.  Returning to Adelaide after a time - my father and family having arrived from England - I joined them at Kangaroo Island in the early part of May, about which I may write hereafter, if these ? of life are worthy of your paper.

An Old Police Inspector - Mr CW Stuart communication

I’m now in my 76th year, and was born in London.  I was educated at Merchant Taylor’s school, and brought up to the army, and it was the price of my commission in the army that I threw away to come to Australia.  I left England in 1835, and arrived at Sydney in 1836.  There, I wished to go to Adelaide, but I had great difficulty in finding a ship, and I at one time thought of going to England again, and then taking a vessel bound for South Australia.  I, however, embarked in the Truelove, bound for Swan River with a cargo of rations from a Sydney merchant, and got the captain to get me ashore at Kangaroo Island.  When I got there, the John Pirie, ship, had arrived.  She had then been away to Hobart Town after her arrival from England.  I was on the island before the arrival of any immigrant ship.  The Tam O’Shanter was the first immigrant ship, and afterwards there came the Buffalo and other ships.  I did not witness the ceremony of the proclamation of the colony, because I was at Kangaroo Island on duty under the South Australian Company.  I took charge of the company’s men as they arrived from England, and I also had charge of their stock, except sheep, for two years.  I went over to the mainland, however, in January 1837, but that was after the colony had been proclaimed.  It was a regular state of bush - not a track, not a mark anywhere of civilisation.  But before speaking of this, let me say something of the bush on Kangaroo Island.  There was not a big tree on the island.  There were no kangaroos on the island, although it was called Kangaroo Island.  Some of the old writers speak of such a large number of kangaroos having been caught and placed on a ship’s deck that there was not room to move.  A lot of immense kangaroos in a ship’s deck would be rather a novelty, would it not?  There were no natives on Kangaroo Island, except those who were brought from the mainland.  The natives of Kangaroo Island were those belonging to the settlers.  They used to come from the mainland, chiefly from the Onkaparinga district.  The average number of wives that a settler had was three.  One man had three wives and no children, another had the same number of wives and twenty children.

When I came to the mainland in January 1837, there were plenty of niggers, but they never gave any trouble.  They were the quietest natives that I ever had anything to do with.  When the colony was proclaimed, every blackfellow in the place was a British subject, and had the same law as any white man.  None could injure a blackfellow without being pulled up for it.  The law was very stringent with regard to interfering with the natives in any shape or form.  There was ? , I believe, for such interference, and two or three were tried for manslaughter and acquitted.  The first peg driven for the survey of the city was at the western end of the Newmarket Hotel.  The man who drove this peg in - Jimmy F ? - is still alive.  He described the incident to me.  Colonel Light said to him, ? of the city of Adelaide.  Later, you will be able to report having done it when you are an old man.  There was a difference between Captain Hindmarsh, the first Governor of the colony, and Colonel Light, as to the site of the city.  One was a sailor, the other a soldier.  Captain Hindmarsh was a sailor, and wanted the town laid out at Port Lincoln

Commissioner of Crown Lands (Mr, aftewards Sir Hurtle Fisher) nor the Governor could move Colonel Light one inch.  There was undoubtedly a great difference of opinion on the subject, and it was owing to Colonel Light’s determination that the city was laid out where it is now.  Before the city was laid out, everybody sold grog as they chose - there being no licences - onthe park lands.  The population lived on the sand-hills at Glenelg at first.  It was a journey to Adelaide at that time.  After the proclamation of the colony in December, I came over from Kangaroo Island with Mr Stephens, the manager of the South Australian Company, to take possession for the company of their land over here.  In the Port River, we met Governor Hindmarsh, who was in a whaleboat.  The Governor came on board the cutter for luncheon, and we went further up the river and saw the Tam O’Shanter, which had got in with its back broken.  Mr Stephens, the Governor, and I, slept on board the cutter.  Next morning, I walked from the Port to the township with Mr Stephens, and afterwards walked to Glenelg.  It used in those days to be a week’s work coming from Glenelg to Adelaide and then going down to the Port.  To get things up to the town from Glenelg, we had two bullocks and a truck, being guarded against the blacks by marines, and having half a dozen sailors to push the truck along as the bullocks did not like pulling.  The truck belonged to one of the immigrants on the Buffalo, and with the aid of axle-trees made a sort of dray.  It was not really a truck, but an axle-tree and a pair of wheels. …

When I landed on the mainland, the ship John Pirie, which belonged to the company, brought some bullocks from Launceston, and two or three men were sent to bring the bullocks ashore.  When they were landed, however, there was nobody able to yoke them, so that I had to do the work.  They were as tame as old cats.  The first cow that arrived in the colony came in the Cygnet from the Cape of Good Hope.  An old pensioner from the Cape, I think, brought the cow with him.  That was the only four-footed best except dogs and pigs in the place when I arrived.  The first horses were brought in the John Pirie from Hobart Town.  Victoria in those days was unknown.  It was then a part of New South Wales, and was only recognised in respect of outside squatting stations for the pastoralists of New South Wales.  Unfortunately, I had not been long on the mainland before Mr Stephens, manager of the South Australian Company, and brother of Mr Stephens the banker, died.  He was a great friend of mine.  I took up my abode at Morialta, and bought a good deal of land in different places.  I was, in fact, one of the first landed proprietors, having bought my land in London when the Duke of Wellington put £30,000 on the Estimates in respect of the colony.  I bought land in Grote-street, and country land at the Fourth Creek.  I bought four acres of land at the first sale in North Adelaide at under £20 the lot.  It was the best block at the top of the hill, and the South Australian Company was bidding against me. …

I remember very well the Black Forest bushrangers.  I put a lot of the company’s cattle down there for fattening purposes.  They were stolen by the company’s own men and brought to market and sold.  There was a great deal of cattle stealing in the Black Forest at that time.  They stuck up my servants at Morialta on one occasion, and said ‘We want master’s gun, master’s compass, and some tea and sugar.’  This mob of men were splitting wood for me in the Tiers.  I was then a large employer of splitters, and I was the first to fence in the cemetery.  I built the first Thebarton market with a cattle-proof fence 8 feet high.  Joe Stag, my head splitter, was hanged for shooting John Gofton.  Both of them were company’s men before I left the company.  Then they went with me splitting.  Another man in my employ - a bullock driver - was a little Irishman, a runaway convict from Tasmania.  He told me what he was when I engaged him.  I did not care, because I found out that he could drive bullocks, and we had no one who could do that work at the time.  He got a gun from one of the marines and went to the sheriff’s house and shot him simply because he was a sheriff.  He was the first man hanged in the colony.  He was hanged from a tree at Montefiore Hill.  I was not then connected with the police force, and only went to the scene to support the police.  The hangman was disguised, and did the job badly.  The condemned man was placed on a cart under the tree, the rope was passed around his neck and round the limb of a tree; then the cart was driven on.  The poor wretch had been a sailor and caught hold of the rope and climbed on to the limb of the tree.  The hangman was brought back under the protection of the police, and held the man by the legs until he was dead.  Then he bolted, the police taking him away.  When I went home at 5 o’clock, there was the hangman in the hut cooking the men’s dinner.  I never knew that the cook was the hangman until 10 years afterwards.  At the execution, he was disguised like a harlequin, and his own mates did not know him, although they were all there.  All my men asked me in the morning to allow them to go and see the hanging, and I gave them leave to do so.  The cook came up and said, ‘All the others have got a holiday, and I should like to go myself’.

I pointed out that if he did go, there was likely to be grumbling amongst the men if they did not get their dinners; but he said that that would be all right, and started off.  When I got back, there he was in the kitchen. I believe he is alive still, and he must be nearly 90 years old.  He was known in later days as Jim the Hangman.  The Government gave him £30 for the job.

I joined the police on the death of Captain Litchfield, who had been the inspector of foot police.  There was a lot of gentlemen seeking for the appointment because times were bad, and I had a testimonial from some of the best people in those days in Adelaide. …

The streets of Adelaide when I came out, although the allotments were marked out, were just a forest.  There was a hole in Hindley-street between the Victoria Hotel and the old Club House … in which a dray was bogged, and even in the summer time, I saw the forms of two bullocks above the water.  The dray had sunk in quite a quagmire.  There were no lights in the streets at that time.  The manager of the bank (Mr Stephens) got lost one time going from one tent to another and was out half the night.  In fact, I rode bang into a sawpit one dark night on the park lands.  There was the greatest excitement when Joseph Hawden came here with the first cattle that came overland from New South Wales to South Australia.  They came down the Murray and were the finest lot of cattle that ever came here.  There was never the same amount of trouble with the cattle that there was with the sheep, because the blackfellows were afraid of the cattle.  A number of sheep were brought down the Murray by Mr Inman, who was afterwards inspector of police, and is now a clergyman of the Church of England at home.  When Beardy Ray came overland, there was an attack made by a lot of natives.  They had then become more knowing and powerful.  Ray shot a fat bullock, cut its throat, and left it on the track.  Then he made another forced march, guessing that the blacks would stop and eat the beast before pursuing himself and his party.  Beardy Ray gained his name from the fact that he wore a beard almost reaching to his knees.

I should like to tell you of another old identity - Judge Jickling.  SIr Charles Cooper was the second judge, and he is still alive, and Mr Jickling was appointed until his arrival.  He was very eccentric in appearance, but was one of the most learned men - one of the best book-read men I have ever met.

The first gold found in South Australia is supposed to have been at the Montacute Mine.  There was a company floated to work it, of which Fred Maine was a director, and the shares fetched a good price.  I had nothing to do with the mine, although I was living close by.  The Echunga goldfields were discovered when I was in the police, and this was prior to the Bendigo finds.  I was on escort duty, and partly established the escort to Victoria.  We had a sort of escort to Echunga, and that was two years before the Victorian field.  There was a lot of gold obtained at Echunga, and two or three families there got sufficient gold to enable them to go home.  I remember Mr Menge, the geologist, very well.