[Editor: These untitled news items, extracts from a general news section, were published in The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 3 July 1865. These include reports regarding commemorations of Victoria’s separation from NSW, introduced species, crime reports, manufacturing, squatters and dummying, Australian Aborigines, the tragic accidental death of a child (by fire), snowy weather, volunteer military units, a workplace accident (with mining explosives), the Victorian Yacht Club, and the theatre.]
Monday, July 3, 1865.
Saturday last was the anniversary of the separation of the colony from New South Wales. Beyond the closing of the Government offices, the banking institutions, and a few of the large mercantile houses, there was nothing, however, to mark the event. In bygone times the day was celebrated as a public holiday in the largest sense of the phrase, but the recollection of our local struggle for independence appears now to be fading away.
The annual festival of the Temperance League of Victoria will take place this evening, at St. George’s-hall.
The ship Star of Peace, from London, has brought two red deer (bucks), seven Leicester rams, sixteen Merino rams, and a collection of song-birds, consisting of skylarks, linnets, canaries, robins, blackbirds, and thrushes.
A robbery was committed on Saturday evening, between the hours of six and eight p.m., at the Carlton Club Hotel, Gertrude street, Fitzroy. The thief, or thieves, entered the bedroom of Mr. W. Watkins, jun., and stole therefrom a grey-coloured Inverness cape, a leather dressing-case, containing a gold breast-pin — garnet stone set in blue enamel garter with buckle, a pearl-handled penknife, cards, and various other articles. From an adjoining room were taken a bolster and feather pillow. Many similar robberies have recently taken place in Fitzroy, and there is good reason to believe by a regularly-organized gang of thieves.
A robbery was committed yesterday morning in the Ship Hotel, Sandridge, it is believed by a man who was subsequently arrested by Detective Quinton, with part of the stolen property (a watch and some money) in his possession. The person apprehended is said to be one of the crew of the ship Kearsarge, now in Hobson’s Bay.
The steam-engine making trade affords an illustration of the numerous important industries which are rapidly progressing in Victoria without protection or any other false encouragement to native enterprize. On Saturday we had the opportunity of seeing a number of engines made by Mr. W. Wright, millwright and engineer, 101 Little Bourke-street west, which in style and finish will compare favourably with those turned out of any engine manufactory in the world. The establishment gives constant employment in engine-making to about thirty men, who receive nearly £120 per week in wages. Within the last five months fifteen engines have been completed there, of from fifteen to forty horse power each, and of the aggregate value of £6,000 or £7,000. The majority of these engines are ordered for mining purposes, and one — the largest — is for a steamer intended for the Murray River trade.
We mention the following fact on the authority of a gentleman residing near Hamilton, whose statement may be taken as perfectly reliable. A valuable run in the Western district, belonging to a squatter who was returned to the Assembly at the last election, was recently declared open for selection. Half was withdrawn without delay, and the greater portion of the remainder was secured by the free use of dummies on the part of the hon. member. However, Mr. Grant has appointed a sort of pastoral detective to report on all evasions of the act, and, strange to say, the person nominated for the district we speak of is none other than the agent of the squatting member. It may, perhaps, throw some light on the matter if we add, that the member in question has given an undeviating support to the Government during the whole session — having voted with them even against the independence of the judges. We only hope the agent will display a Brutus-like impartiality, and turn out all his master’s dummies.
The following is a return of the number and classification of the prisoners under detention at the Central Gaol on Saturday:— Awaiting trial before the Supreme Court, 16 males, 4 females; before magistrates, 15 males, 2 females. Under sentence — to death, 1 male; to road gang, 2 males; to hard labour, 138 males, 17 females. Detained for imprisonment only, 57 males, 27 females; as lunatics, 3 males, 2 females; in default of bail, 9 males, 7 females; as debtors, 7 males; and 1 male for contempt of court. Total — 249 males, 59 females.
An interesting series of photographs, taken by Mr. Charles Walter, have been shown to us. They are views and portraits of aborigines at Coranderrk, on the Upper Yarra. We learn that there are 105 blacks on the station. They have fenced in and cultivated a great deal of ground, and they work hard every day. The adults and children attend school, and even the little ones read very well. There is a day school, and there are evening classes also. The blacks have built a neat little village, and most of the houses, as appear from the pictures, are substantial and comfortable. Wonga, the principal man of the Yarra tribe, and all the aborigines who attended His Excellency’s levee, to present addresses to the Queen on the marriage of the Prince of Wales, are here and well.
A girl named Mary Ann Filkin, fourteen years old, was brought before the magistrates at the Emerald-hill Police Court, on Saturday, as a neglected child. It appeared that her father and mother are lunatic, at present confined in the Yarra Bend Asylum. The unfortunate girl has no friends, and as the police had been informed that she was roaming about the district uncared for, and in danger of falling into evil courses, they thought it best to take her in charge. The Bench directed her to be sent to the Industrial School for three years.
The district coroner held an inquest on Saturday at Broadmeadows, on the body of Charles William Judson, aged three years, son of Isaac Judson, a resident of Yuroke. It seemed that on the 13th ult., the deceased got out of bed in his night-dress and commenced to light the fire. While doing so, his clothing caught fire, and before the flames could be extinguished, he was badly burned about the face and breast. Deceased was improving up to the 28th ult., when he was taken in a fit, and died on the following day. The jury found a verdict of “Accidental Death.”
Inquests were held on Saturday by the district coroner on the bodies of three deceased patients of the Yarra Bend Asylum. Henry Lawrence, aged thirty-three years, was admitted on the 23rd May last, and died on June 28, from disease of the brain. George Pratt, aged fifty-three years, had been an inmate since December, 1850, and died also on the 28th ult., from congestion of the brain. Franz Zimmerman, aged forty years, was admitted June 12, and died on the 29th, from the effects of diarrhoea.
The unusual severity of the present winter season gives cause of comment to the country journals in all quarters. The Ararat Advertiser, in its last issue, remarks that “the heaviest fall of snow that has taken place in this district within the memory of the oldest resident (a period of twenty-five years), occurred at Ararat on Wednesday. The snow storm commenced about two o’clock, and continued without intermission for about an hour and a half; during the first half-hour, the fall was very heavy, every roof, window, nook, and crannie being filled or covered with the flakes to a depth of some inches. The rapid accumulation of the snow was the signal for indulgence in the bracing — but nearly forgotten — sport of snowballing. There was scarcely a man in Ararat who did not either feel the cool crushing shock of a snowball about his neck, or on his hat, or tried to convey the feeling to a neighbour. It is needless to add that all the surrounding hills were completely covered.”
The Ballarat Star states that “there was a parade of the Rifle Corps on Friday evening, when over fifty of the corps mustered, and were put through various exercises by Lieutenant Sleep, the officer in command. This was the best muster that has taken place lately, and may, we will hope, be taken as an indication that the corps has some vitality in it yet, which only requires certain fostering care in the form of good officering to raise the corps again to its olden condition both as to numbers and efficiency.”
According to the Bendigo Independent, the crowd of selectors at the survey-office on Friday was much more numerous than it has yet been. One gentleman was rather conspicuous, some wag having affixed a placard to his back with the word “Dummy” written on it in large letters.
The Bendigo Independent states that a miner named Archibald, working in the Alabama Claim, at Heathcote, on Tuesday sustained some severe injuries from an accident similar to that which happened in the Catherine Reef Company’s claim lately. He was trying to pick out a blast which had missed fire, when it exploded, fracturing one of his arms at the elbow, and injuring his eyes so severely that it is doubtful if he will ever recover his sight.
At a parade of the East Melbourne Artillery Corps, on Friday evening, the marksmen’s badges were presented to those members who, by gaining the requisite number of points in firing, had won them for the present year. These numbered twenty-one, against six obtained last year, showing a great increase in the effective shots of the corps, and they will have earned a much higher place amongst the Artillery force than has hitherto been their fortune. The following are the marksmen of the corps:— Captain Raven, Captain Stokes, Lieutenant Campbell, Sergeant H. J. King, Sergeant Wardill, Sargeant M’Donald, Corporal Wright, Corporal Dall, Corporal Litolff, Gunners Blazey, Bolton, M. Brown, J. Cronan, D. Cronan, Doran, Bruce, Cocking, J. Purvis, Watt, Talbot, and J. Skinner.
A trial of some of the models constructed for the Victorian Yacht Club took place on the Sandridge Lagoon on Saturday. There was a large attendance of members despite the unfavourable weather, and the sailing capabilities of about fifteen boats were tested for the first time. The miniature craft have all been constructed by members of the club, who have displayed in these evidences of their skill considerable knowledge of the ship-building art. With scarcely an exception, the models made good sailing, and if some were troublesome to manage, the difficulty arose from the hurried manner in which they had been rigged, rather than from any faults of construction. Several trials of speed took place between the tiny vessels, and in beating up against the wind the excellent character of their sailing qualities was satisfactorily exhibited. So far the club has shown that it possesses a considerable stock of nautical talent, and, should the public give it the support it deserves, there is a probability that at no distant period we may witness on our own waters something approaching to those delightful contests which are so popular in the mother country.
The weather on Saturday was so unfavourable for out-door sports that it was rather a fortunate thing that no events of any importance had been fixed for that day. Next Saturday there will be great attractions, for, according to present arrangements, both the Civil Service athletic sports and the match for the challenge cup between Metropolitan and Royal Park football clubs come off.
It was a disappointment to the patrons of the Haymarket Theatre that Mr. W. O’Neil was prevented, by indisposition, from appearing on the boards either on Friday or Saturday evening. He was announced to take the parts of Myles-na-Coppaleen, in “The Colleen Bawn” on Saturday night, and of Handy Andy, in the comic drama of that name. In the absence of the star, there was an excellent substitute in one of the stock actors of the Haymarket company, Mr. R. Stewart, who justly bears the reputation of being a very good delineator of Irish character. Neither play, therefore, was changed; and as notice was posted outside the theatre of Mr. O’Nell’s inability to take part in the performance, the management did all it was in their power to do under the circumstances. The lively attention and applause bestowed upon “The Colleen Bawn” showed that this favourite sensational drama has lost none of its attractions.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 3 July 1865, p. 4
Assembly = the Legislative Assembly, the lower house of parliament in the various colonies and states of Australia
bawn = (Irish) a defensive fortified wall, or enclosure, built around a castle, a tower, a tower house, or farmhouse (from the Irish “bábhún”, meaning “walled enclosure”); a building or enclosure used to shelter livestock, especially cattle (especially so as to protect them during an attack by enemies); (Canadian) a grassland or meadow, especially one near a house or a dwelling
bolster = a large cushion or pillow (usually cylindrical in shape, like a tube), especially a firm cushion or pillow which is long, narrow, and thick (commonly used on a bed or couch, placed under other cushions or pillows in order to support or bolster them)
colleen = girl, young woman (from the Irish “cailín”)
crannie = (also spelt “cranny”) a small indentation, crevice, fissure, opening, slit, or space (especially a narrow one) in something which is solid; a square or oblong crevice or space in the wall of a house
dummies = plural of “dummy” [see: dummy]
dummy = a squatter’s dummy was someone who bought land in his own name, but who in reality was buying it on behalf of a squatter, holding it for the legally-mandated time (e.g. one year) whereupon the squatter was then legally able to purchase the land from the “dummy” land owner; this was done following the passing of Land Acts in several Australian colonies (such as the Robertson Land Act of 1861 in NSW and the Nicholson Land Act of 1860 in Victoria), which attempted to limit the property-buying capabilities of the big land-owning squatters
enterprize = archaic spelling of “enterprise”
hon. = an abbreviation of “honourable”, especially used as a style to refer to government ministers, or as a courtesy to members of parliament (as a style, it is commonly capitalised, e.g. “the Hon. Member”)
jun. = an abbreviation of “junior”, especially used as an appendage to someone’s name (normally a male) to indicate that he is the son of someone of the same name, whilst the father’s name may be appended with the abbreviation “snr.” to indicate that he is the senior of the two (e.g. “John Smith, snr., and John Smith, jun.”)
levee = a formal reception held in honor of someone; a formal reception of guests or visitors at a royal court; an afternoon assembly held by a British monarch (or his/her representative), attended by men only
mother country = in an historical Australian context, Great Britain; may also refer to England specifically (may also be hyphenated, i.e. mother-country)
nook = a small place or space which is secluded, hidden, or out of the way, especially a place offering security or shelter (commonly used in the phrase “nook and cranny”, or “nooks and crannies”, regarding small crevices and niches); a small section, part, recess, opening, or corner of a room or area (e.g. a breakfast nook, a garden nook, a reading nook, a shady nook)
selector = the purchaser of an area of land obtained by free-selection; land legislation in Australia in the1860s was passed by several colonies which enabled people to obtain land for farming, whereby they could nominate a limited area of land to rent or buy, being able to select land which had not yet been surveyed (hence the phrase “free selection before survey”) and even obtain land previously leased by squatters (although squatters were able to buy sections of their land, up to a designated limit; with many of them buying up further sections under the names of family members, friends, and employees)
squatter = in the context of Australian history, a squatter was originally someone who kept their livestock (mostly cattle and sheep) upon Crown land without permission to do so (thus illegally occupying land, or “squatting”); however, the practice became so widespread that eventually the authorities decided to formalise it by granting leases or licenses to occupy or use the land; and, with the growth of the Australian economy, many of the squatters became quite rich, and the term “squatter” came to refer to someone with a large amount of farm land (they were often regarded as rich and powerful)
ult. = abbreviation of “ultimo”; pertaining to, or occurring in, the month preceding the present month (from the Latin “ultimo mense”, meaning “in the last month”)
wag = someone who jokes around, a joker, someone who is witty
[Editor: The original text has been separated by inserting dividers (* * * * * * *).]