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Diary of John Augustus Milbourne Marsh (1819-1891) 1888

Diary of John Augustus Milbourne Marsh (1819-1891) 1888


John Augustus Milbourne Marsh


Visit to Brisbane

1888 - Diary - front page


Brisbane is an Episcopal City, situated 58 feet above sea level. Surrounded on two sides by the Brisbane, about 25 miles by water in straight line about 12 miles from Moreton Bay, one of the largest bays on the coast of Australia, about 500 miles from Sydney North. Brisbane was settled in 1825 having been made a penal settlement by Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane and at 1842 the colony was opened to free settlers by Governor Sir George Gipps with whom I met up at some time. There are six principal streets, Ann, Adelaide, Queen, Elizabeth, Charlotte and Mary. Queen St being the leading thoroughfare about for a mile long, these are crossed by six others, William, George, Albert, Edward, Creek and Wharf Streets. Area of city 3 square miles. Value of rateable property 7,138.000. A magnificent iron bridge (Victoria St) was commenced in 1863, and opened by the Marquis of - in June 1874, a little above the old Ferry, where 40 years ago the Squatters of Darling Downs were in the habit of swimming their horses across behind a boat.



1888 - 24th April

Gr Gr and Grace Marsh left by boat for Brisbane 6pm, the steamer "Barcoo" Captain Hampton, the Manager of the company (Mr Forsyth) Miss Eligny and Miss Dickenson had stayed at Manly "Ocean View" for 6 weeks with Wises and Marshe's.



Tuesday 24th April 1888

The morning broke with heavy leadeny clouds, and the waters of the Pacific (which washed Manly Beach) looked equally dark and gloomy, from the reflection of the clouds above, a little drizzling rain fell at intervals in the morning but past before getting to Sydney by the Steamer "Narrabeen," the weather appeared more fine and settled. Miss Cligny and Miss Dickerson (who left us after a stay of six weeks.) came up in the same steamer, and both left us at Circular Quay. Grace and I took cab and drove to the Grafton Wharf where the Steamer "Barcoo" (in which we had taken our passage to Brisbane) lay; she sailed half an hour after the hour advertised to go, at 6 instead of 5.30. We were met on board by Wise and Milly and afterward Neville Dowling. (Neville Dowling being Marie Dowling's Husband) He was of great assistance to us in getting the cabin we wanted. He introduced me to the Captain (Hampton by name) as well as to the Manager of the Company, (Mr Forsyth). There was,  as usual, on departure of ships, a large concourse of people wishing good bye to each other, and on the wharf and equal number of idle spectators, amongst whom I recognized Sheriffs, Bailiffs, whether professionally or otherwise engaged it was hard to say, the younger of the two I knew, in my professional capacity has P.M., (Police Magistrate?) and as a former resident of Bathurst, once in the Volunteers there in the Band, and whom I fined 4 on 5 for kissing a young girl against her consent, but what made matters worse, he defended the act on the ground of his having seen her by kissed by other Volunteers with impicunity, forgetting, as I told him, that a girl constantly should have the privilege of  electing who should kiss her and that larceny of a  kiss, "was as bad as an ordinary theft." His name O'Brien. It  was  dark before we reached Law's Point and cold, and the sea promised to be rough, as we passed the "Heads." I endeavored but in vain, to descry Manly Beach and looked for the Lamp, arranged by the children, to be placed in the Drawing room table at Ocean View, but I did not see it. I saw, however, the red light at "Barrangoey," the Light house, situate at Broken Bay I believe. The "Barcoo" is a steamer of 1500 tons and lighted with electric lights, the Saloon, (being?) like that of the P&O Steamer "Carthage" though of course on a much smaller scale, here she is often called, I understand, the "Little Carthage."

We are fortunately to get a large cabin, containing 4 berths, all to ourselves. The cabins are placed in the forepart of the ship, and we hoped to pass a very comfortable night of it, but the ship rolled and pitched to  such an extent, that sleep was impossible and about 10 o'clock, Grace espied a over her berth, which necessitated my trying to hit him with my stick, indeed I continued striking at him till the lights were put out and I was constantly on the alert, having a rap at the rat, as he from time to time crept out of his hiding place but missed my aim only to the unsteadiness of the ship. She constantly rolling about and one's body all night created pain in the back on waking, and prevented sound sleep. I was  entirely free of sea sickness being purchase and put on a Holman's Liver Pad, which saved me from being ill and nauseous, having previously benefitted by it use when going to and returned from England, and which has this voyage been equally advantageous. I came on board an invalid but the felling of  invalidation seems to have left or is leaving me  already.

To bad sailors, nothing is to certain in its efficacy, in preventing sea sickness, an "Holman's Liver Pad," (pre-usable at Watt & Co, Chemists, George St, Sydney, price 12/6) and I make this note, for the benefit of those who like myself who always suffer at sea, or never get -- -- from the remedies recommended.


Wednesday 25th April 1888

Woke about 6 am, perfectly unrefreshed and weary. Grace too, usually a good sailor, complained of being very faint and weak, however, she rallied after having breakfast.

We steamed along the coast line for hours, which relieved the monotony of the voyage, particularly as the Sun fell full, at the time, on the Hills in the distance, and gave that glow or tint which painters delight in. After lunch (about 2.30) we passed a small remarkable pretty island, called the "South Solitary" and on which is erected a light house. The sea was somewhat ruffled, with a heavy swell, which caused the breakers to dash over the island nearly up to, I saw, the lighthouse itself. At one time (sweeping?) the whole building, high as it was. The Captain tells me that there are upwards of 200 passengers on board the "Barcoo," including steerage passengers. Numbers of the Lady cabin passengers are suffering from sea sickness, so the steward is kept constantly going from on cabin to another alleviating the sickness of the ailing. About 3 p.m. we passed the "North Solitary Island," of the same description as the South Solitary Island, and at the same time saw a steamer about 5 miles astern of us, and another about 4 miles off, coming as it were from "Brisbane" on our starboard bow.

A capital Bill of fare was provided for this evenings dinner at 6. Soup, Fish, Wild duck, boiled Lamb, Saddle of Mutton, Curry etc with Jams on Tart, Sago Custard, Pancakes, Tasmanian apples, prunes, almonds and Raisons, Grape and with coffee and tea afterwards.

The Stewards very attractive and civil and our stewardess politeness itself. The cabins and furniture beautifully clean and the Captain (Hampton) apparently a skilful and attentive navigator and most considerate and attentive to all his passengers with none of "the side" as it is called, so often apparent with some of the captains of the Ocean going steamers to England, especially when they have a person or rank on board.

In the evening some Italians (steerage passengers) offered their services to the Captain, to  entertain the Cabin passengers with music. One played the violin, the other the harp, and though they neither of them happened to a "Paganini," or a "Brahms," nevertheless they played with feeling and accuracy, and gave pleasure to their audience, more so than if some half educated girl had sat herself down and kept strumming all the night on the piano in the music Saloon, right over the heads of those sitting in the Cuddy. It was not a girl but a school boy about 10 years who did this, however, and how often did we experience this infliction on our voyage to and from England and Sydney! How our heads have ached, and our ears been deafened by the screams and shrieks of those would be amateur performers! Grace spent the whole evening, in ready a "Thunder and Lightning" covered Novella, called "In the Wrong Paradise" which she says "Is  rather good," but how in the name of fate can such be the case, how could anything not good, be Paradise? A paradoxical idea with a vengeance!!

The Italian musicians have just finished their concert, with the air "Maria Norma(?)" and another from the Opera of the "Bohemian Girl" and a lively polka, which made one think of all the pretty partners I had met with in my day?

Today Lord and Lady Carrington were to have sailed on H.M.S. Nelson" from Sydney for 'Norfolk Island." It is a Fact(?) of Law of the Medes and Persians, that the Governor of New South Wales should, during his  tenure of office visit this place, at least once, so also with regard to the Admiral of the Station whose duty it is to visit these  interesting people also once during his command of these waters, hence both Governor  and Admiral have betaken themselves together to the island and the descendents of the Pitcairn Island are domiciled. It will be an agreeable trip to all parties concerned, more particularly to Admiral Fairfax to have as his guest, the pretty charming wife of the Governor! How the "Jack Tars" too will eye her and comment on her grace and beauty! Oh happy Jack Tars! Made for both "Love and War!

I quit forgot to mention in the course of conversation, that the  Captain Hampton stated that his good ship "Barcoo," carried yearly more  passengers than any ocean going steamer, upwards he says, of 10,000 passengers between Queensland and New South Wales ports every year!! This was to show the responsibility which devolved upon him.


Thursday 26th April 1888

Did not get up till 9, but before that hour we had entered "Moreton Bay" and were actually steaming up the River Brisbane. 20 miles to the city, a wide river, very picturesque, with buoys placed in places to guard against sand banks. At some parts however, very wide reminding me of the Thames at Richmond in England. We arrived at Brisbane about 11. Philip Pinnock came on board to meet us, much to assist in getting our luggage on shore, obtaining a van for our luggage, and a waggonette for ourselves. We were welcomed by a shower of rain but the weather cleared before arrival at Philip's house, about a mile off at Kangaroo Point. We crossed the River in a steam punt, different of access and difficult or rather caught on the landing. The ship went last night more smoothly than at first we had our cabin forward, but notwithstanding we felt the rolling and the pitching of the vessel much more than we like or thought we should have experienced there, in that position. It was like being in the stern cabin, over the screw. Fortunately the "Holman's Liver Pad" completely prevented my being sea sick, or even suffering from nausea. Philip's cottage (not unlike our at Hillfield, Bathurst, in arrangement of rooms) is distant from the ferry about ¼ of a mile, but up a somewhat steep hill, which made it tiresome to face every day.


Friday 27th April 1888

Philip sent our waggonette to take me to Brisbane at 11 o'clock. I drove first to the steamer Barcoo, which was still moored at the wharf, where we landed. The Captain was not on board, but I saw the Stewardess as well as the Chief Steward and they both promised to have the Cabin 1-to-4 specially reserved for us on the next trip to Sydney viz on Friday the 11th May next.

From the Steward I drove to the Manager of the British India Company and delivered my letter from Mr Forsyth of Sydney requesting Mr Munro to give me every assistance, in reserving a cabin to myself. He was very polite and gave directions to a Clerk who and at once to telegraph to Cook Town, to inform their agents there, that the Cabin I wanted had been taken by me and therefore not to allow it to be taken by any other person.

From the Agents I made the driver take me to what 46 years ago was the Ferry, over to South Brisbane, where we, the Squatters of Darling Downs, were in the habit of swimming our horses across the river behind a boat. Near the spot now is a handsome bridge, which, of course, obviates any necessity for using the Ferry.

From thence we drove to the Queensland Club, the best Club having been made an Honorary Member there, I saw Philip, (in the Public Court), and at 1 had lunch together, and at 2 we walked together through the Gardens in front of the Council Chamber and on to the Police Court House, where I sat with Philip whilst he adjudicated in three small cases. At the Club I was introduced to a Mr Hume, Under Secretary for Lands, also to a Mr Forrest. I also saw at the same table we lunched at Sir - McIlwraith the ex Premier and who after this coming election is likely to occupy the same position.

A the Court House Philip introduced me to his colleague Mr Day, once his C.P.S. but now the Assistant  Police Magistrate and Water Police Magistrate, he acts in the Summary Court, small debts Court, and is the Coroner also. Whilst Philip attends to the Charge Court.

We left the Court House at 4.20 and drove up Queen St where I was pointed out many handsome buildings, the Treasury in course of erection, Bank of New South Wales, Commercial and Joint Stock, Queensland National Bank, also the "Museum," and A.M.P. Society. I was also pointed out the "Globe Hotel" on the site of which the celebrated and only Inn, years ago was kept by Mr and Mrs Bow, where Squatters in olden times were often staying for day together. Not a trace of its former self, all changed. I also saw the front of the New Treasury, almost on the Bank of the River, near the site of the cottage where Captain Wickham, the Government Resident, dwelt although there stands now a new small building devoted to the Colonial Secretary's office.

On our return from revisiting these old familiar spots, we met Grace and Marion, walking, on their way to Government House, to attend  Lady Musgrave's Reception, held every week on Fridays. On their return Grace mentioned having seen several Sydney people, Mr McNaughton, the Barrister, Mrs Machattie, nee O'Becket, Captain and Mrs Heath, Mrs King and her daughter Lady O'Connel, and was introduced to Sir A and Lady Musgrave who were excessively polite and said Lady Locke(?) intended to call on her. I was much pleased when walking through the Gardens, at the beautiful appearance of the trees, especially the weeping Fig, and Jara, the Rushes in the artificial ponds, and Water Lillies and the Swans white as well as black, the log wood and the Olive trees grew well. And there is evidently much attention paid to keeping up these gardens.

The "Burmah" left this evening at dark, and she was plainly seen from this house as she went round the river, with electric lights on board, illuminating her cabins, the river near this, "Kangaroo Point" flowing in a very serpentine form almost in shape of the letter "S."

I forgot to mention, there is upwards of 7 minutes difference in time between this and Sydney time, at least I was told, just before leaving the ship, they put the ship's clock 7 minutes before Sydney time. The "Barcoo" let Brisbane this afternoon for "Cook Town."


Saturday 28th April 1888

Very cool weather. I did not sleep well, and felt very unwell all day and did not venture out, particularly as two or three showers fell about 12 o'clock. A Mrs and Miss Scott lunched here today. I recollect the late husband year ago somewhere on the Darling Downs, a tall thin man with red hair and beard. They left to go home about 4.30 p.m. accompanied by Philip and Marion and Grace also who wanted to take a late stroll. Mrs Scott has been till lately at "Bowen" but within a month came to Brisbane, for her daughter's education at the High School here. \


Sunday 29th April 1888

Awoke with a severe cold and constant freezing, Grace went to Church at 11 with the Pinnocks. The Church is new, on a hill within sight of this house, the Rev Mr Court it the Incumbent. The Taylors, (she was once Miss Hillier) sat in the Pinnocks Pew. Taylor R.H. has been appointed in Brisbane, as 2nd Lieutenant in one of the Gunboats, (in the Defence Force) and is going North shortly in the "Gayandah." His wife, during his absence of some months, goes to Sydney, as they cannot find a house to suit them here. My cold worse this evening, and threatenings of Bronchitis came on.

Took the Homeopathic remedy I got in England, "Glyhaline," and rubbed my throat and chest with Belladonna Liniment. 


Monday 30th April 1888

My cold and Bronchitis somewhat better, did not get up till 12 after lunch. A Mrs Wright called on Marion, she is a pretty charming woman, chatty and very engaging, lovely complexion, pretty eyes and hair, nice figure, and dresses with taste though simplicity. Her husband is in the Navy and has an appointment as Commander of on of the Gunboats, the one in which Taylor is second in command. Mrs Wright comes from the Cape, and was I hear, a Miss Cloete. After she went we, Grace, Marion and I took a stroll to look at the house, which belonged to Stewart Russell named Shafston, on the banks of the River Brisbane, at Kangaroo Point, apparently a large and handsome residence, with a large paddock around it and near to which a Mrs James Mort, a widow resides. The road we followed goes also to the Heaths, Walsh's, and Wrights.

Grace had a letter from Fanny giving an account of the sad accident that befell Mr and Mrs Bundock when driving their buggy. The reins slipped out of Bundock's hands, the horses galloped away, Mrs Bundock was thrown in to the hood, and remained there till capsized. Bundock was thrown out, and had his ribs broken.


Tuesday 1st May 1888

Very cold, bronchitis still troubling me. At lunch time Mrs Clarendon Ithrant(?) returned for an hour to the Pinnocks, on a visit,  she has been staying with them for upwards of 9 months, and goes to stay with some of her other friends till we take our departure for Sydney. Today is Marion's "day at home," for receiving visitors, but as there is a Horticultural Show on at the Acclimatization Garden, it is perhaps few visitors will come to see her today. However, late in the afternoon Mr Irving, (formerly Kate King) came, and shortly afterwards her mother and younger sister came together, left together. Mrs Irving's husband is a son of the Police Magistrate of Tamworth and has an appointment here in the Customs, 2nd in Command. He was a widower with several children when he married Kate King.

King is visiting his constituents in the North, Maryborough, by whom he hopes to be elected for the New Parliament shortly to be called into existence. The General Election is going on now in Queensland. King was formerly "Speaker" of the Assembly, but failing to be again re-elected lost his appointment; and then read for the Bar, was admitted, and makes by his Profession about 400 a year. He was originally an officer in H.M. 3rd Buffs before coming to Australia. He married here a Miss Harper, and is connected with the Kings and Lord Liston's family in Ireland.


Wednesday 2nd May 1888

Mrs Heath called on Grace after breakfast offering the use of her carriage to take us to go to them, Sunday afternoon. Philip sent a cab for me at 10 o'clock and I drove to the Club, where I lunched and stayed till 3.30. Saw Sir Arthur Palmer there (Sir A Palmer President of the Upper House), Mr Frith(Firth?), and a young man named Bell, who introduced himself to me. A first cousin of George Henry Cox of Sydney, grandson of the late Major North who owned, years ago, Laidley Plains and is a son-in-law of James Norton of Sydney. Son-in-Law I believe, he has a station called "Cochin Cochin" 60 miles towards "Logan." Although the weather looked rainy, Marion and Grace drove up at 3.30 and called for me at the Club,  and we drove along the banks of the river till we came to Toowong about 3 miles, and rather near in this township the Pinnocks formerly lived. The cottage, weatherboard built on the top of a hill with hills surrounding it,  a (long?) steep winding road led to the cottage, the place surrounded with thick timber, no view, and a feeling of desolation crept over me on approaching it. It is situated in a paddock of 20 acres, and they gave £100 a year rental. Marion seems to have a great fancy for it still, as much so as I ever saw. The cottage though is built on piles of some 6 or 8 feet in length, which I should imagine would keep the rooms or rather the space under the rooms, cooler than desirable. On our return Marion called on a Mrs Paul who was out and then on a Colonel and Mrs Ross, friends of the Russells. We found the Colonel on his knees hard at work with his garden sifting the mould from pebbles or large pieces of earth. The Pinnocks say he is a very estimable man but there wanted, I thought, a wont of bonhomie, and want of attention to his visitors. He spoke in a very high "falutin" style of Chris Russell, and spoke of him as "his Boy." Perhaps Chris deserves it, or may be (he?) has been attentive to the daughter, he might do worse! (if she has money).


Thursday 3rd May 1888

Lunched at the Club and paid my account to date 13/3. Went to A.J. Stock Bank and changed a cheque for £5.

I met at Club, old John McDougal who I knew at (Shelacton, Shaftston?), very much altered, much older of course, but he appeared much shorter than of old, he asked after Fanny. He is now a Member of the Upper House.

I wrote to Frazer, and also to Milbourne about the Commercial Bank overdraft of his. At 3.30 Grace and Marion passed the Club by arrangement and I joined them outside, then hired a 2 wheeled Waggonette, and drove to "Grevillea" Gregory Terrace to call on Mrs Irving (nee Kate King), a long distance away, and situated on the heights of the town, overlooking the whole of Brisbane. We had some difficulty in entering the premises on account of their dog "Patch" a Fox Terrier, which growled and barked at us, and  would not have made  much of  biting us. Waited some time before Mrs King came out on the verandah, she having been practicing Lawn Tennis and having to change her dress, before she came into the drawing room. We staid about ¾ of an hour, when her sister Ethel came in. Today is her day for receiving visitors, but only ourselves came. Returned in an omnibus or rather 3 horse waggonette, which we only paid 3 each for fare. The one we came in I paid 1/- each passenger. We walked from Queen St to the foot Ferry and then walked to Philip's house in "Main St."

Felt very weak, headachy and giddy all day.


Friday 4th May 1888

Received a telegram from Milly, saying the are all anxious about us not having heard for some days. At 3.30 Mrs Heath drove up in her waggonette with a daughter and a Miss Wyndham also came with her as far as the gate, these two got out. Marion accompanied them walking to Ferry. We drove the long way round to Government House, calling on the way on Lady O'Connell whom I had not seen for 45 years, when she lived in Sydney. Very much changed, much older and stouter. She has staying with her a Miss Young, whom she adopted since she was a child, a daughter of one of Sir Maurice O'Connell's orderlies I hear. Mrs Heath waited on Lady O'Connell outside  whilst Grace and I paid our visit, and then we drove to Government House, picking up Marion, near the corner of the Parliament House and Botanic Gardens. Very few people present. We were only introduced to Sir Anthony and Lady Musgrave and their son, all very polite and sociable. No one was playing tennis, though Mrs Heath conducted us to the ground. Saw Sir Arthur Palmer, the President of the Upper House and afterwards renewed my acquaintanceship with Arch Deacon, (now made a Canon), Glennie, who looks younger and fatter than 10 years ago, when I met him as a Member of the Synod. Introduced to  Captain Heath R.N. Government House is prettily situated, would be a pleasant private residence but not large enough for its present purpose. The front looks out upon the Government Gardens, and the back  on the river, which is a very broad stream and the banks sloping towards the water, and the grounds planted with clumps of ornamental trees and shrubs, the Bamboo being given great prominence everywhere in the adjacent grounds. Saw Sheridan, who has, or had, some official appointment I believe in Queensland, and who is often at the Australian Club in Sydney. My cold much better, nearly gone.


Saturday 5th May 1888

Lunched at the Club, few people there today. The Election of Sir Thomas McIlwraith and Sir Samuel Griffiths, both of whom were formerly Premiers, in the assembly, at different times. Shortly after I left the Club, and near Queen St I met Musson, formerly of Murrumbidgee, Dubbo. He is here on business contracts of some sort, and was going to the "Courier" office and I got into the same tram, pulled here by horse, with him as far as he went; he recommended me to continue on as far as "Breakfast Creek" 3 miles from town which I did, as years ago, I recollected when there were German Missionaries resident there, for the purpose of evangelizing the wild blacks! If I recollect, they failed in this, but succeeded in cultivating a find garden, producing vines, melons, limes, pineapple, etc.

I saw no similarities to the place I remembered, but a number of  fine houses studded here and there, one where a Mr Harris, (built by the late Captain Wickham R.N. and called "Newstead"), another with a tower, perched on a hill, belonging to your Petrie.

The scenery on the road was very uninteresting, very flat: and what seemed strange, comparing the present with the past, not a black, or a convict to be seen!! The streets in Brisbane for the last few days have been crowded with drunken electors who had gone in to town to record their votes for some of the candidates. I returned to the Pinnocks about 4. Philip then went in to town to hear the result of the Polling which gave to Sir S McIlwraith the majority of votes. Sir Samuel Griffiths the next in number, both being elected. Philip went in lest there might be a riot as he would have to read the "Riot" Act.

A very warm day, the warmest I have felt since I came to Brisbane. Philip introduced me to a Major De Veuse in Permanent Forece, he informed me that Gostling (of whom I was inquiring, married a Miss McIlwraith, and the son of Colonel Gostling, formerly of H.M. 49th Regiment and therefore a relation of mine.


Sunday 6th May 1888

Fine but sultry. At 11 went to Church near this with the Pinnocks, the Rev Mr Court performed service and preached from 16th John 23rd verse. Small congregation, good organ and choir composed to men and boys. One voice a very powerful one: saw Mrs Heath and daughter in Church, and Miss Wyndham who is staying with her, also the Surveyor General and daughter in Church, (his name is Tully, his first wife a Miss Lord, daughter of  Simon Lord). His second wife a Miss Darvall, daughter of General Darvall, of Hunter Hill who married ultimately Mr Lark, but who nevertheless is very much respected in her neighbourhood and a very charitable woman. Miss Tully I saw in Church is a daughter of  General Darvall.  (ink written over pen)

The Church we went to is built on the top of a hill overlooking Brisbane and the river winds in a serpentine form around it: it is covered with (creepers?) and one of these days will have as well as venerable appearance. Philip handed the plate round, also a Mrs Webb, secretary of the A.M.P. Society, though they are rather Church Wardens but belong to the "Parochial Council." Captain Heath is a Church Warden and so in consequence Mrs Heath stayed behind (in her husbands absence) to count the mornings collection. After lunch at 3.30 Mrs Heath, according to promise sent her carriage out for us, to take afternoon tea with her. Marion, Grace and I went and after staying a couple of hours were driven home again. Captain Heath has a very pretty residence, about a mile away, and the look out from it very picturesque, as the river here, forms itself into a prefect lake, so expansive are the waters just at the spot. I found that Captain Heath knew Cheltenham very well, was a school at the College there, and had often slept at Bay's Hill Lodge (now pulled down) where I went to school. Besides seeing 3 of her daughters, all pretty young girls, there was a Miss Wyndham, (living at Toowoomba)  but whose grandfather I well knew at Dalwood near Maitland, a fine gentlemany looking man in those  days (48 years ago!) She is a nice mannered conversational girl about 18 or 19. At 7.30 Grace and the Pinnocks went to Evening Church, but I did not feel strong enough to go, and besides a cool breeze had sprung up since the morning. Mrs Heath tells me that one of her brothers, in the army, is stationed near "Kneller Hall" at Twickenham, and knows Colonel Gostling Murray, the present owner of Whitton Park, he having become possessed of it through his first wife Miss Emily Gostling, my father's cousin. "Whitton Park" belonged to my Great Grandfather Dr Gostling LLD and my Grandmother was born there. We heard with regret that King, who was once speaker, has not been returned, by the constituency he relied on at Maryborough which will be a great disappointment, for had he been, he would most probably have been again elected Speaker with a good salary, which he needs very much at present, although he has been called to the Queensland Bar since I saw him, he does not make more than 400 a year I understand.

We heard also at the Heaths, that the windows of a Chinaman's store, in Queen Street were all broken, by the mob last night, and great disorder arose, the consequence of the antagonism by the working classes lately brought to bear against the Chinese which has become quite the Question of the day, all through the Colonies. We also heard that Miss Yaldwin, was engaged to be married to a - Morris of the Permanent Artillery of New South Wales, though her father's consent has not yet been obtained. Whilst Grace  and the Pinnocks were at Church this evening, a Mr Woodcock called to see Phil, and immediately after went to meet them coming from Church, he returned again with them and remained for supper and some time after. Mr Woodcock was formerly C. P. S (secretary?) with Philip at Warwick, and then he went to Maryborough as C.P.S  and is now going again to Warwick as P.M. He is married to a niece of Lord Portman's and his father is a Canon at Chichester, he is a University man, formerly at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took his degree. He seems a great friend of the Pinnocks and they saw a good deal of his relations in England. He makes himself thoroughly at home with the Pinnocks.


Monday 7th May 1888

Minnie (Willie Pinnock's wife) arrived at 9 o'clock this morning, having come from where they live, at the Bank, some 16 miles off called "Pine Ridge." She is a pretty graceful girl, nice figure, dark hair, and slim figure; is a daughter of Petrie whom I recollect 48 years ago in Brisbane.

I lunched at the Club and found several officers of H.M.S. "Opel" which arrived yesterday at Moreton Bay, amongst them young Basil Hall, grandson of the late Captain Basil Hall, a friend of the Miss Marsh-Caldwells. Also Goldfinch who told me they were going to New Guinea, in a few days, and would not return again to Sydney for nearly 9 months which they don't look forward to with any pleasure. I saw, at the Club, Kilgour, of Menby who arrived yesterday from Rockhampton and goes to Sydney this evening. He congratulated me on my improved health and appearance, since my illness. A Mr Drury Manager of the Queensland National Bank, here, introduced himself to me, as a friend of my Colleague, Addison, said he had gone to school with him at Brussells, come together in the same ship, to Melbourne where Addison went to the diggings there, and he to Sydney and had never seen him since. At 3 o'clock after lunch, I took a waggonette from opposite the Club and went to the foot ferry, Kangaroo Point, and met Grace and Marion, who had just come from home, (they and Minnie) got in and we drove to a shop in Queen St, where we left Minnie and we went to the Railway Terminus and at 4.30 were carried to Toowong (spelt Toogong?) in 10 minutes, we had been invited to take afternoon tea, with a Mrs Archer, she a daughter of the late Sir Robert McKenzie, who married a Miss Jones of Vellett House, Sydney, she is a pretty young woman, and received us very kindly. The house is only weatherboard, but the garden is a perfect wilderness of flowers and full of variegated leaved shrubs and appears a well laid out as any landscape gardener could plan it. The river, very broad, flows at the bottom of the hill, and the whole way down, terraces and walks have been formed giving it a very extensive and picturesque appearance. Trees of all kinds and many that had died with creepers growing luxuriantly from top to bottom. Archer (the Manager of the A.I.S. Bank) devotes the whole of his time on his return from the Bank, in beautifying the garden and making embankments on the hill side, bringing soil to fill the terraces. The garden appeared to me as what might have represented Paradise itself, in primeval days and the mistress, a very Eve, as she moved gracefully about, and showed us the beauty of the place, seen and it surroundings, as she skipped about and gracefully played with the beautiful, well bred Bloodhound, one could not help adoring her small and well shaped feet, such as Tennyson called inone of his late poems "feminine feet."

After having "tea," she accompanied us to the gate, and we walked across the road to the Terminus, and at 10 minutes to 5, returned by railway to Brisbane. At 6 Mr Woodcock again dined with us, he seems very fond of Philip, and is altogether a pleasant companion, though a bit of a Punster. I felt very much better today.

Paid Club expenses 5/9 up to today. Met Captain and Mrs Taylor near Philips, she goes to Sydney with us on Friday, in the "Barcoo" Steamer.


Tuesday 8th May 1888

Mrs Clarendon Stuart and Mrs Scott, came here in the morning, and stayed to lunch, I lunched at the Club, and met there Douglas who went home to England in the P&O "Ganges." After lunch took a stroll past the Museum, then down Queen St, at the bottom of which, I again met Douglas, he was waiting in his waggonette for his daughter and had pulled up at a drapers, Soles & Co, into which his daughter had gone to shop and for whom he was waiting. As soon as she came out, he drove us to the Pinnocks, by the long way over the Bridge, and he has arranged that she comes under escort in the "Barcoo" on Friday, as she is going to stay with her sister Mrs W. (Morb, Mort?), whilst her husband Willie Mart, is away in England. On their leaving, I called on Mrs Goertz, who has a very pretty residence near Philip. He was out but I saw two of his daughters, rather nice girls, and the view from the balcony very fine, and overlooking the river. The garden and grass plot well kept, and everything around inside and out, betokening comfort and (loot? Ease?) Miss Ross called on Marion, also a Mrs and Miss Braithwaite. After dinner Captain and Mrs Taylor made an evening call and stayed till 10.30. She goes with us to Sydney in the "Barcoo."


Wednesday 9 May 1888

Had pains in my head and neck all night, and felt giddy on getting up, did not get up till 10. Mr Douglas called on Grace, and informed her he had been to the British India Steam Office and had taken a passage for his daughter in the "Barcoo" which leaves Brisbane on Friday. I therefore, at his suggestion hurried to the Manager of the Company to see if a cabin had been reserved for us and found from one of the Clerks that it had been, and that the Captain had written from Cooktown about it. I saw at the Club at lunch Colonel French, and with him Colonel Disney of Melbourne, and who had come to Brisbane on duties connected with the Defence Force. Colonel Disney is very like Fisher, my colleague at the Water Police Office, a little taller but the same expression of look and the same kind of features. The Banker (Drury) who is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Volunteers joined them, and seemed to think himself quite a distinguished soldier, paling in their company. Took a tram and drove up to the top of Queen Street and then walked down, and home by the ferry.


Thursday 10th May 1888

Went at 11 on board the "Barcoo." I saw the Steward and Stewardess and found that the cabin she had recommended had been duly scanned(?), 1 to 4. I met Collins, with whom Milly was once associated, in brickmaking. He has been to Rockhampton and returns to Sydney tomorrow with us in the "Barcoo." I then took a cab and drove to Government House, and left Grace and my card, then to the Club, where I lunched meeting Abbot, Manager of A. Sant Stock Bank here, uncle of J.K. Abbot General Manager. I also saw George King of the Upper House, took me over the Houses of Parliament, both houses under the same roof, a very handsome building, and both rooms, especially that of the Upper House, well proportioned and beautified; the acoustic properties remarkably good. I returned to Captain Heath's office but did not see him, he having been suddenly and unexpectedly called away to go to Moreton Bay in the Government Steamer "Lucinda," to meet H.M.S. "Nelson," just arrived from Norfolk Island with Lord and Lady Carrington on board and who are going to stay with the Musgraves at Government House. So if we had accepted Sir A and Lady Musgrave's invitation to dinner the evening we would have met them as well as Admiral Fairfax and Captain Bosanquet of H.M.S. "Opal." At 3 o'clock I hired a waggonette and went with Grace and Marion to the Acclimatization Gardens near the Exhibition Building and also  the Hospital, which consists of 5 different houses and residences, 1st the Men's Hospital, and 2nd the Women's, 3rd the Children's, 4th the Fever Hospital and 5th Doctor's Residence.

We strolled about the Gardens for about an hour and were much gratified with their appearance and the way they are laid out amongst other things the Palm avenue, the Bush House, with an extensive and well arranged Fernery. Then the Hot House where rare specimens of plants are reared. We returned home by a tram which started from Exhibition Buildings in which a Skating Rink was being held. We passed "Petries Bight" and a piece of land on which the Petrie's house stood.

In the evening at 6.30 Mrs King and her daughter Alice, came to dinner, the Pinnocks expected King, but he had not returned from his electioneering trip. After dinner came Mr and Mrs Cay, she formerly a Miss (Hopar?) Cox, and with them a Miss Cox, daughter of John Cox of "Negoa," near Muswell Brook; who whilst riding in a Hurdle Race at Albany at a Captain David Scotts, was thrown by his horse falling over the (leap) and breaking his nose, but strange to say his expression was positively improved thereby, for very a peculiar snub nose before. His features were perfectly changed and for the better.  Mrs Cay is a little stout (short?) but sings very nicely, with powerful voice. Miss King promised to get me a photo of her sister, in her bridal costume.

We could not help regretting having to give up the dinner party at Government House, this evening, for the remarkably dull and dreary on here. Sir A. Musgrave (being a West Indian) knew all about the Pinnock family in Jamaica and wished to have had a chat with Grace about them.


Friday 11th May 1888

We got away from Philip's house about 10.30, I engaged a dray to take the luggage for which I paid 6/- and a cab for ourselves for which I paid 4/-. We reached the Steamer "Barcoo" in good time, before any other passengers had come, but soon after Mrs and Miss Walsh came and two of her sisters to wish her "Good by," and a very pretty widow, a Mrs Murrray Pain, (nee McDonald), Miss Douglas, with her father and her brother, and a Miss Simpson (just arrived from Sydney to stay with Miss Douglas, which as the Miss Douglas was going to Sydney, was a most unfortunate contro terms.  Then Captain Taylor and his wife (who has been placed under our care) as Taylor cannot come to Sydney with her having to go in the Government war Schooner "Gayandah" to the North, and of which he is 2nd in command. Philip and Marion came also, on board to which us good bye, and there were a great many people on the wharf to say and took farewells to their friends on board. I espied young Musgrave, son of the Governor, but I do not know to whom he came to see off. Captain Heath, very politely came to see me regretting that he was not able to keep his appointment with me yesterday.

At 12.20 the "Barcoo" left the wharf and the scenery down the river till we came to Moreton Bay, was very picturesque. We saw enpassant the small township called "Bulima" (Bulimba) and also the Pilot Station and further on the Penal Settlement of St.Helena and just at the entrance of the bay, were anchored H.M.S. "Nelson" and H.M.S. "Opal." The steamer Barcoo dipped her flag to the Men of War, which they nautically replied the "Nelson" was evidently practicing gunnery, as several shots from their guns took place, before we came near to her, and after we left her astern. A cold wind blowing shortly after leaving the bay and we saw several ships in sight entering at the time. I put on my "Holmans Liver Pad" last night and awoke this morning without the usual pain in neck and head, so that besides it's being a preventative against sea sickness, it appears to have a salutary affect upon one's general health. About an hour after lunch at 2 o'clock Grace went to lie down in her cabin, ditto Miss Douglas whilst Mrs, Miss Walsh went to the Saloon.

We found the cabin we had selected more comfortable, in better position than when we came up from Sydney, a 4 berth cabin, and opposite is a similar sized cabin, was occupied by Mrs and Miss Walsh and Miss Douglas. A small recess dividing us and making our cabins cooler especially when the doors of our two cabins were left open all night, the electric lights burning till 11 o'clock. 


Saturday 12th May 1888

Had a very rough night of it, the ship, however, going quickly,  upwards of 14 knots, she pitched frightfully. Grace felt faint and headachy and a little sick at her stomach; Mrs and  Miss Walsh in bed all day, also Mrs Taylor who professed to be a good sailor, and never troubled before with "Mal de Mer." Having within the last few months come out from England, in the sailing ship "Brilliant" from Plymouth.

The morning broke with heavy clouds, settling for rain, but only a little fell towards evening. After lunch we saw the entrance into Port Macquarie and about 4 passed by the "Seal Rocks" with a light house on the top of the highest hill. Then "Port Stephens" was pointed out, or rather its position, and after this "Newcastle." We saw what marked its position by the lights of the town and the light house placed conspicuously on "Nobby Island." An attempt at music was made this evening, a Mrs Turnbull, wife of Lawyer in Queensland, accompanying Captain Hampton, he could not sing, and she was but an indifferent player. I made the acquaintance of a young married woman from Brisbane, going to see he father at Petersham, she having been ordered a sea voyage and change of air for the benefit of her health. The Steward informs me there are upwards of 75 cabin passengers and about 100 steerage passengers. The Captain expects to be at  the Circular Wharf, Sydney, by 12 o'clock tonight, and as the sea is something smoother than it was last night, it is more than possible. The head wind last night made nearly all the passengers so sick and head achy, but my Liver Pad, which I wore, stood me well in need, and prevented my suffering in the least.

Music in the Saloon this evening. Piano and Cornopean: the latter was played very prettily as well, an air "Who goes there," with variations was very good, played by the Hoon (blank) this kept up awake till 11 when the Electric lights were put out, but we could not afterwards sleep, in consequence of the noises overhead, the sailors preparing in getting the ship alongside Circular Quay which as the Captain had told us, we reached by 12 o'clock a.m.


Sunday 13h May 1888

Before reaching the wharf rain fell, and we and the other passengers commenced to pack our trunks and to have them ready for landing. Those that had suffered from sea sickness seemed suddenly to have reserved new life and energy. Mrs Taylor's brother had come early for her and she left about 8; Dr Huxtable was on board before them to meet his bridge elect, a Miss Walsh and they were comfortably ensconced on the Poop away by themselves and enjoying each other's company alone! Mrs Walsh, the mother, left with the happy pair, we saw them no more. Whilst Miss Drayton I believe was to be seen into a cab by Dr Huxtable, Willie Mort not having arrived to escort her to Darling Point. She was in a great dilemma for awhile about her clothes, her trunk had been placed in the Hold and as it happened to be Sunday, it was at first deemed impossible to open it, but Miss Douglas' persuasion induced the officer to break this rule of the service, and he went down himself and brought it up for her, and she went on her way rejoicing. The offer of the Stewardess to Miss Douglas bewailing her sad loss, and of having nothing to wear to land in, was amusing, she said she had a beautiful red silk satin gown and a hat of prune color which she would willingly lend her, but Miss Douglas' reply was something thankless and satirical when she remarked, "that possibly it would be received if trimmed with yellow," but the box in the hold relieved both Miss Douglas and the Stewardesss from the awkwardness of the position.

One young lady who shared Mrs Taylor's cabin, in going home to England in the P& O Steamer "Britannia" of which ship Davies is the 2nd Officer, and was in that capacity when I went home with him on the "Ganges" knowing what a fine fellow he is, I gave this young Lady my card for him, telling her if she mentioned my name to him he would be polite and attentive to her: she has been living for 2 years at Brisbane and is ultimately going back to Canada where she was before coming to Australia. I gave her the name of Holman's Liver Pad and recommended her to buy one at A.Watts & Co.

Neville Dowling met us on board, and Constable Flaherty presented himself to remove our luggage and get us cabs. Went went down by the Steamer Brighton at 10.15. On reaching Manly Milly was on the Pier, and walked with Grace homeward. Not a cab was to be had and not even Saillands Cart was there. The Mate on board the "Brighton" went in search of a cab, and down came one with a young unbroken horse in it, with a make shift of a dicking strap and piece of rope, which the driver considered an anti-kicking preservative but which I could not help telling him it would not have the desired effect and therefore only gave him the luggage to carry. We found Fanny and all the rest of the family well, Wise and Gracey and Jack were at Church, and shortly after came Alice Wise who stayed dinner with us.

Grace was sorry to say still had the bad headache which she suffered from the whole trip down from Brisbane. I felt all the better for the sea voyage, or else it must be from the wonderful effect of wearing the Liver Pad, which I am thinking of continuing on land.


(end of transcript - journal starts other end in pencil and ink.)


drawing in ink of "South Solitary Island"  with lighthouse on hill.


Travelling Expenses 

Return ticket by "Barcoo" £10.0

Van with luggage (Sydney)3

Cab to wharf3

Van at Brisbane 6

Cab to Kangaroo Point5

To Club4



Waggonette  to station3

Omnibus from Station0.9

Cab and train2.6

Club 5.6

Waggonette to Gardens 4.6


Club - lunches18.6

Club 5

Club 4.6





Sunday 13th May 

Stewardess board ship     £13.16.3

2nd Steward 6

Steward (bedroom) 5

Porter (L Cab)1

Cab with luggage2.6

Cab to Manly Steamer 2.0

Wharf Porter 1

3 Steward luggage 3


Brandy (on board)4

Servants (at Brisbane)10

Cab to "Barcoo" 4

Luggage to ship "Barcoo"6

Porter 1




Diary John A.M. Marsh 1888 - Brisbane



Transcribed from Betty Harrison Family Archives, by Michael Heath-Caldwell, Brisbane 2009

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