January 1854: Off to Australia

Horrible death of a mystery man, too many islanders are going to Australia, the passengers of the brig Secret, mind your head on the lamp!

The Star, January 5 1854


SIR:—Enclosed is a statement sent for insertion in the Star, as it may be of some interest to your readers, and excite some inquiries into the matter amongst the inhabitants. At the funeral of the deceased young man alluded to, I saw several persons who have expressed themselves satisfied that he was respectably connected; he could speak French fluently, and was well behaved. Your insertion will oblige, as I have promised to have it done for the satisfaction of the proprietor of the barge, his master. I remain, your, &C., SAMUEL HARRIS. Trowbridge, January 1st.

A few days ago the remains of two young men, whose death occurred in a most dreadful manner, were buried at Staverton, near Trowbridge, being burnt to death on board of a barge proceeding to Reading with coals. It appears that they went to bed, leaving a fire burning in a stove in their cabin, which no doubt was the casue of their miserable end. On the bodies being found, after extinguishing the fire, they were so horribly burnt that it was impossible to identify either of them.

THE PROPRIETOR OF THE BARGE, Mr John Shatten, had undertaken to bear the expenses of the funeral. George Osborn, 22, was a native of this place, which was the reason of their being buried here. The other young man was known only under the name of Frederick Dauntsey, and that no doubt was an assumed name. Nothing is known of his family or relatives. He was about 25 years of age, five feet six inches in height, robust and good-looking; was known to have lived at Gloucester, and was probably a tailor, as he made clothes for himself; he had been well educated, and it is supposed that he was respectably connected. He had stated that he had come to England from Guernsey or Jersey some years ago, landing at Southampton. He had a watch, which, he said, had been his father’s and his grandfather’s; it is now in the possession of Mr. Afred Cox, at the Wharf; it is almost destroyed by the fire, but the following is engraved on the inside of the works; - “No. 5,077, Thomas Rickett, maker, High Wycombe.

Probably this may be the means of ascertaining where his family may be found, or lead to his identification.”


THE STAR of Tuesday, containing the full report of this trial, has been re-printed: persons in England, desirous of obtaining the same, will have it forwarded to them on sending four postage stamps to the Publisher.

The publication of the present number of The Star has been delayed till Friday by the unceasing demand for Tuesday’s number, which has kept our printing-machine at work without intermission.

The Comet,

St Peter Port, Monday, January 23, 1854

The period was, and it still is within recollection, when this lovely island afforded attraction and employment enough to stifle a general desire for emigration among its people. Their peaceful hearths, as well as their domesticated habits, reconciled them to the narrow limits of their seagirt home—each one being satisfied apparently with the lot, however humble, in which Providence had placed him. Towards their native isle, indeed, our countrymen cherished a proverbial attachment which even the most glittering offer would hardly tempt them to forego. In no class perhaps, was this feeling more predominant than among the rural population, who seemed quite content to vegetate upon the soil they had inherited or acquired, regardless of the events transpiring in the great and busy world by which they were surrounded. What a revolution, then, has occurred within the last few years! That innate love of home, which, to all appearances, nothing could alienate or dissever, is now melting away like snow before the genial rays of the glorious orb of day. To produce so great a change in the feelings and predilections of the inhabitants a variety of circumstances have tended, but none more so than the liberal commercial policy lately introduced into the mother-country. Free-trade has vastly diminished, if not actually annihilated, this export branch of our commerce, which at one time was a source of profitable revenue to the trader, the agriculturalist, and the manufacturer. Stagnation of business has been the consequence; and, as the present and future prospects of the productive classes are far from encouraging, they naturally turn to those distant regions where there is every indication of obtaining remunerative wages for their labour; hence they have made up their minds to emigrate to Australia, where they hope to better their own condition and that of their families.

The clipper-brig Secret, now fitting out in our harbour, will leave about the close of this week for Melbourne, with a full cargo, and seventeen passengers; while between twenty and thirty have already engaged berths aboard the Saldanha,one of the Black-Ball line of packets for the same port, which is appointed to sail from Liverpool on the 20th of next month. Many others would gladly follow if they possessed the means to transport themselves and their families to the land of Ophir; but they are restrained from so doing on account of the cost. Fifteen individuals, who have obtained a free passage under the patronage of the Government Commissioners, will leave for the same destination on the 30th inst. What influence the tide of emigration may have on those who remain behind, is a question which we will not attempt to solve; but, if carried out on a large scale, it will probably affect the prosperity of this country to a certain extent. Be this as it may, it appears to us, that under existing circumstances, no-one ought to blame the majority of those who have gone out from here, especially those with large families, who had not the means to provide for them if they remained at home.

The Comet Monday January 16 1854



Messers. F. & N. Le Bas & Co. will in the month of March next, lay on the berth at Jersey, for goods and passengers, FOR ADELAIDE and ST PHILIP, a fine new clipper ship, now loading at St Aubin’s, of 1,500 tonnes burthen, in every way suited for carrying first, second, and third class passengers, having splendid accommodation, with a fine poop and lofty between decks. Persons wishing to avail themselves of this favourable opportunity so seldom occurring in the Channel Islands are requested to make early application at the office of Messrs. Sheppard and Brothers, South Beach, Guernsey, where they will see a plan of the cabins and obtain every information for freight or passage.

The Comet, Monday January 30 1854


1500 Tons register.Reduced rates of passage: First Class Passengers, £50; Steerage Passengers, £21.

The new clipper ship now building at St Helier’s, Jersey, will sail from the said island on about the 1st May next, taking goods and passengers for either of the above-mentioned ports. This magnificent Ship, having a splendid poop and between decks, with large roomy cabins properly ventilated, offers a fine opportunity for those who wish to seek their fortunes in the golden land of Australia.

Emigrants from the Channel Islands will find a decided advantage in taking passage from a vessel sailing direct from Jersey thereby saving the great inconvenience and expense of transhipping their goods and luggage in London or Liverpool.

The vessel will be commanded by an able and experienced master, and will carry a surgeon, steward, and stewardess, by whom every care and attention will be given to the passengers.

The clipper-brig Secret, Mr HILARY MARQUAND master, destined for Melbourne with passengers and a general cargo, is now ready for sea and awaiting a fair wind to take her departure. This snug, comfortable craft has been built expressly for the Australian trade. Her accommodations, considering the size of the vessel, are excellent. The owners have spared nothing that can contribute to the comfort and convenience of the passengers; and from the knowledge we have of her intelligent and affable commander, we feel assured that he will do everything within the compass of his power to promote the well-being of those under his care. The chief-officer, Mr OGILVIE, is an experienced mariner, who, we know, will not be backward in co-operating with his master towards rendering a long sea-voyage as little tedious as possible.

We append a list of the passengers: Helier Mahy, Julien Hardy, Abraham Le Page, Henry Ogier, Abraham Domaille, James Falla, John Le Gallez, Mrs. White and daughter, Mr. Etchells and sister, Mr Brewer, Miss Corbet, John P Ogier, Miss Le Page and brother, Mrs Le Patourel and son. The crew consists of the master, two mates, eight men and a boy.

See 'Guernsey to Melbourne' parts 1 to III, Quarterly Review of the Guernsey Soc., Spring-Autumn 1985, by Arthur Simon, and William Francis Nicolle's Journal, 1852.

COMMERCIAL COFFEE ROOMS, 38, COMMERCIAL ARCADE, next door to her Majesty’s Post–Office.

JAMES DANCE, in returning thanks to the public generally for the kind support bestowed on him since opening the above Rooms, begs to state that on and after Tuesday next, the 4th October, and during the winter months, he will always keep on hand a good supply of different SOUPS, to be obtained at any hour. Tea, coffee, chops, and steaks, on the shortest notice. Hot dinners every day, from 12 till 2 o’clock. A Public Dinner every Saturday, at 1 o’clock. A good assortment of cooked meats, of the primest quality, always on hand. English Ale and Porter, in draught and bottle. Prime English Hams, Bacon, Tongues, Bath Cheeks, and real German Peeloneys.

A few weekly boarders may be accommodated, with or without lodgings, on moderate terms. Pic-nic and other parties supplied. J.D. begs to add that strict personal attention will be given to all orders intrusted to his care. Goods delivered to any part of the island.

Please to observe the lamp over the door.

No connexion with the shop, 40 , next door.

The Comet Thursday January 26 1854


Thomas Pengelley, acting for his brother John, who is about leaving for Australia, gives notice that he is authorised to dispose of the following PROPERTY, by private contract:

Two dwelling houses, recently created at Cordier-hill, of simple dimensions, and containing every requisite convenience for the comfort of respectable families. Two dwelling houses, situate in Vauvert-Road, with gardens, greenhouses, and workshop in the rear. One dwelling-house, with shop, situate in Bordage-street, now in the occupation of Mr J Rose. Eight and a half quarters of good wheat rent.

The above property presents an excellent opportunity for investment; the property being well let, and offered at comparatively low prices. Additional information and terms of purchase can be obtained by applying to Thomas Pengelley, builder, Vauvert-road.

DANCING AND DEPORTMENT Mrs A Collier begs to announce her intention of immediately opening CLASSES for instruction of the above accomplishments. In addition to the usual dances, Mrs. C. teaches the first and second sets of Lanciers, and the Caledonian quadrilles, the Cellarius Waltz, the Polish Mazurka, the Tempête &c. The Juvenile classes are taught the Calisthenic Exercises. Terms known on application to Mrs C., at her residence, No. 8, St John-street. [Augustus Collier was also a teacher, operating from the same address, of English, Maths, and Book-keeping, as well as preparation for the nautical examination for Mate or Master, advertising at the same time.]


A fine specimen of the Medusa, or Sea-Nettle, was caught in Belgrave Bay, on the eastern coast of this island, on Wednesday last, and, by the obliging attention of Mr Joseph Falla [of Glategny], one of our fishermen, many persons obtained a sight of this interesting animal. It was of considerable size, measuring about 6 feet in circumference.