Scholars of the history of the Maitland area will find this selection of items from The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser of considerable interest. Our colleague, Val Rudkin, has transcribed these and allowed us to publish them.
VIEWING OF THE CARRINGTON ALBUMS
& PRESENTATION BY DR ANNE LLEWELLYN ON NATURAL HISTORY ILLUSTRATION
WHEN: WEDNESDAY 3RD JUNE 2015
WHERE: CULTURAL COLLECTIONS, LEVEL 2 AUCHMUTY LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
TIME: 10AM – 12PM
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or 49215354
View images of the event
View Gregg Heathcote’s photographs:
View: Michelle Watson’s Photographs here:
We are delighted to announce that three of the Carrington Albums containing examples of exquisitely beautiful illuminated addresses produced across Newcastle, Maitland and the wider Hunter Region in the 1880s will be visiting the Newcastle regional repositories of NSW State Records at the University of Newcastle’s Auchmuty Library on the 3rd June 2015 and Newcastle Regional Public Library on the 4th June 2015.
The Carrington Albums were a series of 22 bound volumes of illuminated addresses, containing finely detailed illuminated borders, hand painted illustrations and well-wishing messages from residents, towns and associations across the State in honour of Lord Carrington, who served as Governor from 1885 to 1890.
The beauty of the addresses wonderfully illustrate the respect and love that the people of New South Wales had for Lord Carrington and his wife. The feeling was mutual, and manifested locally. For instance, such was Lady Carrington’s depth of feeling for families, that Lord Carrington made an unsheduled visit to Merewether in Newcastle to help boost the fund raising efforts for the women and children of the men killed in the Hamilton Pit disaster on 22 June 1889.The Carrington Volumes accompanied Lord Carrington back to England in 1890, where they remained in Buckinghamshire until they were donated a three years ago to NSW State Records by Lord Carrington’s descendents and the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies. State Records NSW have been touring these treasures to regional centres and taking those albums containing relevant illuminated addresses back to their place of origin.
It’s now our Hunter Region’s turn, and we have been asked to host a morning event, to allow the wider University and Hunter Regional communities to view these items for the first time in over 125 years. Director of State Records NSW, Geoff Hinchcliffe as well as representatives from State Records NSW will be in attendence.
Three of the volumes will be on display at the University of Newcastle, and a free event will be held in the Friends Reading Room in Cultural Collections, Level 2 Auchmuty Library. Guest speaker will be Dr Anne Llewellyn, Head of School of Design, Communication and IT, who will be speaking on the significance of the volumes with regards to natural history illustration. The University’s Natural Illustration Course is the only course of its kind in an Australian University, and one of a handful worldwide, that brings the talents of artists and scientists together.
All welcome. Please RSVP to email@example.com or 49215354
Links to sample images from Volume 2:
00 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No.2, containing Colonial views, flowers, birds and insects [Cover]
00 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No.2, [spine]
09 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the Inhabitants of Newcastle and Towns of Surrounding District
10 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the Inhabitants of Newcastle and Towns of Surrounding District
11 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the People of East Maitland, West Maitland, Morpeth and District
12 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the People of East Maitland, West Maitland, Morpeth and District
13 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the People of East Maitland, West Maitland, Morpeth and District
14 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the Residents of Maitland
15 Addresses Presented to Lord Carrington Governor of New South Wales 1886 No. 2, Address From the Residents of Maitland
Day Shift – 18/09/2012 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University
University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses Moyarra: An Australian Legend in Two Cantos originally printed in Maitland by R Jones at the ‘Mercury’ Office in 1851. Who wrote it, and what was it all about? Is it the earliest title published in the region?
The University holds both the original edition printed at the Mercury Office anonymously, as well as the 1891 edition published in London under the name of “Yittadairn” which was pseudonym for George William Rusdon, the son of the Reverend G.K. Rusdon who was clergyman at Maitland from around 1832. We’re not sure if it is the earliest printed original work in the Region. It would be great if your listeners could tell us if they know of an earlier one.
You can read the 1891 edition online through the Openlibrary: http://archive.org/stream/moyarraaustralia00rusd#page/n5/mode/2up
A local researcher, Mr Ross Edmonds, asked whether this is the first original work published in the region, and it would be interesting to know if it is.
The original 1851 edition bears no author, but the 1891 edition bears the authorship of “Yittadairn” who was the pseudonym of George William Rusdon, (1819-1903) the son of the Rev. G.K. Rusdon (1784-1859) who was stationed in the parish of Maitland from 1834.
His observations and interest into the Aboriginal people of the district, as well as inspiration from the classical author Terence was distilled in his poem Moyarra.
George William Rusdon was a pastoralist, and a bit of a rebel rouser. He got himself in a bit of strife later on.
He moved to Maitland around the age of 15, by 25 he was managing a series of pastoral properties across New South Wales in Mingay, (near Gundagai), and others in the Lachlan and Goulburn districts. By 28 he had gone to China, and back and took up a position in 1849 as agent for the National schools which took him traveling as far north as Brisbane, taking in the Hunter Region and Armidale.
He was 32 years old when it was originally published, and he says in his preface that he wrote it as an amusement when in the bush and his sole companions was his faithful black, his dog, and his horse. So we can assume he composed it during those early years as a pastoralist, from around his formative teenage years to 25 years of age.
He says in the 1851 edition that he got the idea to publish it from a friend who suggested he write it as an Australian contribution to the Industrial Exhibition of 1851.
His love of the classics is interesting, the first edition quotes and makes reference to an obscure Roman writer of mimes Deceimus Laberius, who got into a great deal of strife with Julius Caesar for being a smart Alec.
“A Roman knight,
This day, I left my sacred home; but soon
Shall there return, an actor and buffoon.”
He also makes reference to the Roman dramatist Terence, especially from the work Heauton Timorumenos (The Self Tormentor):
“Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto”
“I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me”
Heauton Timorumenos Prologue 45
In the 1891 edition, all references to Laberius appear to have been removed, Terence is still there, and adds the authorship under the pen name of “Yittadairn”.
In utramque partem ingenium quid possit meum.
Si nunquam avare precium statui arti meae,
Et eum esse quaestum in animum induxi maxumum,
Quam maxume servire vostris commodisj
Exemplum statuite in me, ut adolescentuli
Vobis placere studeant potius, quam sibi.”
“Do you make proof,
what, in each character, my ability can effect.
If I have never greedily set a high price upon my skill,
and have come to the conclusion that this is my greatest gain,
as far as possible to be subservient to your convenience,
establish in me a precedent, that the young
may be anxious rather to please you than themselves.”
The story concerns Moyarra, an Aboriginal warrior in love with Mytah, who is captured by a neighboring tribe’s warrior by the name of Muntookan. She is later murdered by him, and the second canto is a lament for her, and later for Moyarra after he is murdered as well. The whole thing is a sad lamentation to the Aboriginal people.
Day Shift -15/07/2008 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Producer: Jeanette McMahon
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University
Newcastle University Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses a new addition to the Collections in the form of an authentic manuscript account of a settler’s life in the Hunter Region. The manuscript which was written in early 1832 is by an as yet unknown author. His interesting (and in some instances amusing) views on women, floods, pigs, bushrangers and the legal system will be discussed.
View and read the manuscript online on flickr – Hunter Valley Manuscript c.1932
Where did it come from?
It was originally donated anonymously to The Tweed River Historical Society Murwillumbah Museum a few years prior to 1998. No records were kept of the transfer and part of the original manuscript was subsequently lost. In December 1998, after preliminary enquiries and due in part to the importance of the manuscript to the Hunter Region, the Society transferred the manuscript to the custodianship of the Newcastle Regional Museum who in June 2008 transferred it to the care of the University’s Cultural Collections (Archives) as a item better suited to documentary research.
What is it?
The manuscript is a portion of a larger work written by settler on the Hunter River, presumably around the Maitland district, in early 1832. There are 41 leaves of hand written text divided into sections and chapters. What has come down to us are chapters 2 sections 4 and 5; Unknown chapter sections 2 and 3; Unknown chapter sections 2,3; Chapter 3 sections 4 and 5; Chapter 4 sections 1 and 2. The order is still being ascertained with some of the leaves. The final two are badly damaged and may have originally formed part of one of the sections dealing with servants. We also know that parts of the manuscript were lost while in the Murwillumbah Museum. There is a partial transcription which was made prior to this, and which we still need to examine to see whether it includes anything from the lost sections.
How do we know when the manuscript was written?
I can tell you with some certainty that the date at which it was penned was around February-early March 1832. The author (who only refers to himself as ‘the writer’) makes a statement relating to two steamers plying the river and the building of a third. This statement allows us to target a potential date for the manuscript. The Sophia Jane was in operation by November 1831, and the William IV was launched in the same month, but did not begin its run until the 15 February 1832. The ‘third’ being built on the Williams was the ‘Experiment’ which was not completed until May 1832. Therefore our writer penned the manuscript sometime between February and May 1832. Later on in the manuscript he makes reference to a story in the Sydney Herald about a fellow dying of cold in the bush, so this could point to the colder months in 1832. He also appears unaware of the severity of the floods in the district, especially the one in 1826 prior to his arrival in 1829. This is another clue, as another severe flood occurred on the 24 March 1832, so I would assume that he was writing just before that date, sometime around February-early March 1832.
What does it say?
The author begins with a discussion between native born people and emigrants. What he means by ‘native’ is not as we understand as ‘aboriginal people’ but white people born in the colony. He begins by describing the differences between those who emigrated here refer to themselves as ‘Sterling’ while those who are native born are known as ‘currency’. He goes on to speak about a range of topics including the nature of life in the district, the landscape, shipping along the river, flooding, agricultural matters, female convicts and women in general, the legal system, pigs, the relationships between settlers, emancipists and free settlers (exclusives) and bushrangers.
Who is the author?
We do not know the identity of the author. Wheat we do know is that he was a free settler on the Hunter River (presumably in the Maitland district), who arrived some time around 1829. He has an amazing sense of humour, especially when talking about pigs. The section of the manuscript concerning pigs and the trouble they cause between the settlers is very funny. He talks about quality of life in New South Wales (Australia) in general terms, and breaks off into local examples based in the Maitland district. He is also an apologist for the emancipists’ cause. Who he was remains an interesting mystery.
Hopefully we might find someone out there that recognises who the author might have been, or might be inspired to search him out.
Gionni Di Gravio
University of Newcastle
I wish to thank Mr Ron Madden (see comment below) and http://www.jenwilletts.com/Steamers.htm for information on the Steamers and when they were operating, as it greatly helps in dating this manuscript. (April 2011)