Thomas O’Shaughnessy’s Diary Part 3 1853 – 1860

 1853 – 1860

SYDNEY AND HIS BYRNE FAMILY – LATE 1853.

I went to Adelaide and took a first cabin passage on the “Osmanli” iron steamer bound for Sydney.[1] Had to pay twenty one pounds for my passage. It took us 3 days to Melbourne. We anchored at Sandridge[2] 2 days. I had a run up to Melbourne. Took us three days to Sydney. I stayed at Andrew Byrnes Public House at the Haymarket. I stayed in Sydney about 10 days. I bought a horse, saddle and bridle at the sale yards.

I started up to Appin and passed through Liverpool, and through Campbelltown and kept the left hand road for Appin. When I got within a mile of Appin township I turned right through a gate to Uncle Thomas Byrne’s place. It was the first time I saw him. He had a large family and Mrs Byrne’s sister, Mary Ann Dwyer, was there on a visit. I stayed at uncles about a week. I made a start for Goulburn. Uncle Tom came 10 miles with me. He took me on a shortcut across the Cowpastures. There are high cliffs along the river and at only a few places you can you get down to get  across the river.

After leaving uncle I passed through Picton – a small township. I travelled on to Grey’s Inn at Myrtle Creek and stayed there all night. Next morning I passed through Bargo Brush and further on I passed the iron mines. From there through some rough country to Berrima. I stayed and had dinner. I passed the Hanging Rock and crossed Paddy’s River. There is a Public house here. I went on to Wingello Public House and there is a fine free stone quarry here opposite the door. There is cut stone taken from here to Goulburn. This is one of the best managed hotels on the road. Next morning I passed through Marulan, a small township and from over the Governor’s Hill down to the Wollondilly or better known as the Goulburn River. The river was flooded when I came to it. No bridge, only a rough crossing place. I chanced it. My horse had to swim. I got a good soaking. About a mile into Goulburn I put up  at Simon’s Hotel.

After changing my clothes I made enquiries about where John Byrne lived – an uncle of mine. I was directed to his place and went and called on him. Bootmaking at the time. I asked him if he ever lived on the Lachlan . He said yes. I said I knew him there. He could not make me out. He called in Mrs Byrne but she did not know me either. At last I told them who I was. They were delighted to see me. I had to come and stay with them. I stayed there about a week.

I made a start to go to my uncle, Patrick Byrne. He lived at Kenny Point, Lake George. I called at Aunt Worthington’s on my way out – one of my cousins, a fine looking young woman and I had a ride to Spring Valley, Sykes’ place. And from there to John Byrne’s place. I stayed at Worthington’s two days and went to Patrick Byrne’s place and stayed there. John Kenny and Aunt Kenny lived about one mile from Pat Byrne’s. John Kenny’s sister, Emily, lived with them. We used to have great sport at Pat’s place. A lot of young fellows living around there would collect of an evening. There would be foot racing, jumping, wrestling and throwing the heavy stone. Emily Kenny and I rode over to Collector one day. She and I visited Clark’s a few times. They were a jolly fine lot of girls. Any of the young women living around here were fine horsewomen – no fences would hold them.

Lake George is the finest lake I ever saw. Fine clear hills around it and a fine view of the lake. I stayed about three weeks at Uncle Patricks.  I bid them all goodbye and started for Goulburn. I stayed all night at Aunt Worthington’s. Next day – Goulburn. I stayed a few days with Uncle John Byrne then made a start for Sydney.  The first night I stayed at Wingello, next day dinner at Berrima. Travelled on to Grey’s Inn, Myrtle Creek. Next evening reached Uncle Tom Byrne’s, Appin. The races were on in a few days.  My uncle insisted on me to stay. My uncle invited some young ladies named (Kanes?), friends of his from MenangIe, to stay at his place during the races. My horse became lame on the way back from Goulburn.  Uncle persuaded me to leave my horse with him and when he got allright he would sell him for me and forward the money to Adelaide. He lent me a horse and came with me to Campbelltown.  Uncle left me here and went back home.[3]

I had to wait until 12 o’  clock at night for the coach. Next morning at six o’clock I arrived in Sydney. I stayed at Andrew Bryne’s, Haymarket. I stayed in Sydney two days waiting for a steamer. As I was going on board the steamer I met an old mate of mine. We worked together in Long Gully, Bendigo, his name was Treadaway, a Beardy preacher. He was taking a young lady, a friend of his aboard the steamer. He asked me to se the young lady home to her friends in Melbourne. He told me that he was going to the Feegees (Fiji) to preach there. When we arrived in Melbourne, I delivered my charge over to her friends in good order and condition. I stayed in Melbourne two days. Took another steamer for Adelaide and arrived in Adelaide allright. I took the coach and stayed in Gawler Town all night. Next morning I went by coach to the She Oak Log.

MARCH 1854 – SHE OAK LOG TO SYDNEY TO ADELAIDE

Mar 1854                     I was at home about a month when James Butler came from Melbourne. He persuaded me to join him and go to New South Wales and buy horses and bring them to Adelaide to sell. We came by steamer to Sydney about the end of March 1854.

3 Apr 1854      In Richmond buying horses.

20 Apr 1854    In Penrith.

1 May 1854      In Richmond. Bought a heavy draught stallion. Bought six head of horses at a sale of Robert Fitzgerald of South Creek. Bought two draught horses and a dray. Hired a man to drive and cook. We started with about one hundred head of horses. We got to the weather Board , put the horses in the stockyard for the night. When we got up in the morning we found the yard broken and all the horses gone. We found them all during the day except the six head we bought at Fitzgerald’s sale. We drove on to the foot of Mount Victoria and put our horses in a paddock, and spent a week looking for the six head, but could not find them. We made a start without them. We went by the Sod/Lod Walls, O’Connells Plains, Duns Plains by Cheshire’s (Chesher?) to Carcoar, to Canowindra. Stayed a day or two there and travelled on to Goolagong. Stayed there ten days. Bought twenty head of horses from Thomas Walsh. Started again and followed the Lachlan down to Carramabity. Crossed the river there and followed the Lachlan down to Phelps and Shadwick, Two Flock Station. We turned off the Lachlan here on to an outside road. We passed the dry lake and on to Lake Peki. Only a few dray tracks to follow. All flooded country from Peki to Balranald on the Murrumbidgee River, and followed it down to Euston, a township one public house and a store. Here we are on the Murray River. Followed the Murray down to Wentworth, Junction of the Darling with the Murray. We swam the horses across the Darling. One public house and a store. We crossed the Anna Branch and passed Moorna. Onto Frenchman’s Creek. We got our horses across the Creek onto the river on some fine grass. Our horses were very poor. We camped there ten days. Butler and I rode down the river to the Rufus, a large creek that feeds Lake Victoria from the Murray. Butler swam his horse across. A black fellow took him across in a canoe. He went to McKinlay the explorer for tobacco. I waited until he came back. We kept outside the creek coming back to the camp. We made another start, passed Lake Victoria, Chowilla, Ral Ral Creek, Lake Bonney to the Overland Corner. From here I started ahead of the horses for Adelaide to see how the market stood, and to advertise the horses for sale. The first night I parked in Devlin’s Pound, near a large camp of blacks. It took me two days to reach She Oak Log, my father’s place. I stayed at home for a few days and then went down to Adelaide. It took us six months to sell the horses.

MARCH 1855 – ADELAIDE TO SYDNEY

We started again for Sydney. We went by steamer and got to Sydney either in March or April 1855.

Mar/Apr 1855  We bought Cooriman the race horse from Eales for 140 pounds and bought Camden at Governor Fitzroy’s sale for 175 pounds. We took them up to Penrith to train. I took Cooriman up to Goulburn races and took Sam Francis to ride him. It rained all the way up on us. Cooriman caught a cold on the way up. I started him for one race but he could not gallop a bit. I started back again for Windsor Races.

17 May 1855   Won two races with Camden and one race with Cooramin at Windsor.

29 May 1855   Won two races with Camden at Homebush and started Cooramin inQueen’s Plate but he was not fit.

14 Jun 1855 Won one race with Camden at Parramatta. Cooriman fell in his race and nearly killed John Higgerson. I rented the Government Stables during the race meeting. We took the horses up to Penrith. We stayed there a short time. Butler and Tom Willis started with Cooriman and Camden for Mudgee races. In about a week afterwards I started after them. The first day I went to Hartley and stayed at Sherringham’s Hotel. Next day I travelled to a Public House on the Mudgee Road.Twenty miles. Next day to Running Stream Public House. Next day to Mudgee.  

AUGUST 1855 – COWRA AND DISTRICT

7 Aug 1855.     Won two races with ‘Camden’, two races with Cooriman. I met Thomas Walsh at the races. He bought Cooriman for 300 pounds. Butler took Camden to Sydney to be sold. I came on to Cowra with Thomas Walsh. We passed through Bathurst and Carcoar on our way to Cowra. Mrs Neville, Margaret and Ellen Walsh were living in a new house in Cowra. They were fitting it up for a Public House.  

Oct 1855.        Mrs Neville opened the Public house. We had races at Mulyan Plain. Cooramin won two races. William Ousby kept the old Public house, McNab a store, Harry Carville alias Bumble, kept a store.  

 1856

24 Jan 1856.   Thomas 0′ Shaughnessy and Margaret Walsh were married at Cowra by Rev. Father Murphy in the Public house.[3] Stayed with Mrs Neville up to Jun 25th 1856. Then Mrs 0′ Shaughnessy and I started for Adelaide. Stayed at John Flannigans Sheet of Bark all night.

26 Jun 1856    Carcoar

27Jun 1856    Bathurst by coach,

28 Jun 1856    Bathurst.

29 Jun 1856   Bathurst,

30 Jun 1856   Hartley by coach,

1 Jul 1856       Penrith by coach.

2 Jul  1856      Coach to Parramatta. Rail from there to Sydney. Stayed Andrew Byrne’s Hotel near the Haymarket. Stayed ten days in Sydney.

SYDNEY TO SHE OAK LOG WITH MARGARET (WALSH)

13 Jul 1856     Went on board the City of Sydney steamer for Melbourne.

16 Jul 1856     Landed at Sandridge Pier. Stayed at Mrs Murray’s Hotel, Sandridge, Stayed nine days, waiting for a steamer.

25 Jul 1856     Went aboard the ‘White Swan’ steamer for Adelaide.

29 Jul 1856     Landed at Port Adelaide went by rail up to City of Adelaide, and took the coach for Gawler Town, 27 miles from Adelaide.

30 Jul 1856    By coach to ‘She Oak Log’.

18 Sep 1856    At the ‘She Oak Log’,

12 Oct 1856    Letter came from Cowra and one from Andrew Lynch of Cowra.

26 Nov 1856   She Oak Log.

15 Dec 1856   James O’Shaughnessy was born[4] at the She Oak Log near Gawler Town South Australia. Adelaide. Living at my father’s place up to March 1857.

Mar 1857         I made up my mind to return to Cowra, New South Wales. I went to Adelaide and bought 3 horses and a spring cart, hired a man to cook and ride the spare horse.

1857 – SHE OAK LOG TO COWRA OVERLAND

30 Mar 1857    Mrs O’Shaughnessy and I left for Cowra. There was another man with a spring cart from the Murray River started with us. We camped at Lehman’s Public House, near Lyndoch Valley. A German Settlement. 12 miles.

31 Mar 1857    Quigley’s Public House. 5 miles. All German farmers here.

1 Apr 1857      Passed Wheelbarton Copper Mine. A man named Gunn kept a Public House there. We camped at the dust holes or better known as the accommodation yard. Brackish water here.

2 Apr 1857      12 miles across a plain to the edge of the Mallee scrub. 14 miles through the Mallee scrub to Moorunde on the Murray. Camped near a public house.

3 Apr 1857      Mr Beans pound. The Mallee keeps close to the river.

4 Apr 1857      To a German Public House near the North West Bend.

5 Apr 1857      Sunday. Camped all day. A fine day.

6 Apr 1857      The Great North West bend. A public house there. Passed on to Harry Weston’s Pound.

7 Apr 1857      Reidy Flat 8 miles. Broken Cliff 7 miles. Very sandy.

8 Apr 1857      Little Yarra 5 miles. Passed over the seven sandhills. Devlins Pound 15 miles through some heavy sands.

9 Apr 1857      Overland Corner 10 miles. Accommodation house here.

10 Apr 1857    Lake Bonny 7 miles.

11 Apr 1857    Ral Ral Creek outside road 20 miles.

12 Apr 1857    Chowilla 10 miles. Tumbledown Yarraman 8 miles.

13 Apr 1857    Fresh water holes 10 miles.

14 Apr 1857    Robert Jackson’s Station. Inside road 10 miles.

15 Apr 1857    McKinlays. The explorer. Inside Lake Victoria 8 miles. We camped four days at McKinlays.

20 Apr 1857    We started from McKinlay’s and came to the Rufus in about eight miles. We crossed the Rufus in sight of Lake Victoria. The blacks put our things across in a canoe and pushed our carts along the bottom under the water. The blacks here could not be trusted a few years before this.

21 Apr 1857    Moorna 21 miles. Lou Lou a large lagoon 4 miles.

22 Apr 1857    Crossed the Anna Branch and from there to Wentworth on the Darling about half a mile above its junction with the Murray. 18 miles. We stayed at the public house.

23 April 1857   Stayed all day. We had some rain during the night.

24 Apr 1857    Crossed the carts over the Darling in a boat and swam the horses across, and went to Williams Station. We fired an old cannon off after dark.

25 Apr 1857    Stayed all day. Raining.

26 Apr 1857    McFarlands 25 miles. Passed Jenkins’ old station.

27 Apr 1857    Tan Tan 20 miles.

28 Apr 1857    Tapalan. Marshall’s Station. 10 miles.

29 Apr 1857    Mount Dispersion. 10 miles. This is the place where Mitchell slaughtered the blacks. We met William and Keighren Cummins with two mobs of cattle for the Adelaide market.

30 Apr 1857    Camped all day. The Cummins stayed with us.

1 May 1857     We passed through twelve miles of Mallee scrub to Euston. One public house and store, police station and Commissioner’s Residence.

2 May 1857     Ross Station. 25 miles.

3 May 1857     Flood’s Station 18 miles.

4 May 1857     Passed round Lake Walgerie down to an old station on the Murrumbidgee. 18 miles.

5 May 1857     Balranald Township 12 miles. Public House and store.

6 May 1857     Lake Peki. 13 miles. Kept the inside road to an old sheep station 8 miles.

7 May 1857     Coolagunnie at the junction of the Lachlan River with the Murrumbidgee. 20 miles.

8 May 1857     Crossed the Lachlan River at the junction and followed the Lachlan up to Two Flock, Phelp’s and Shadwick’s Station. 25 miles.

9 May 1857     Crossed at Two Flock on an old sheep bridge and came up the river ten miles and camped.

10 May 1857   Cold Water 10 miles went past 10 miles.

11 May 1857   Lake Waljeers 6 miles past. 8 miles.

12 May 1857   Booligal 10 miles. Turaganny Creek 10 miles.

13 May 1857   Turaganny Station 12 miles passed on to Maiden’s Station on the Lachlan River 12 miles.

14 May 1857   Wyadra[5], Smith’s 6 miles. Ballangaramble, Ramsay’s 18 miles.

15 May 1857   Smith’s Station 6 miles. Willanthry?, Suttor’s Station 18 miles.

16 May 1857   Wunamay, Horns 13 miles. Walha/Nalla,  Michael Walsh’s Station 12 miles.

17 May 1857   Hyandra, Owens and Budds. 12 miles passed, to next station 8 miles.

18 May 1857   Gabbalong W. Walsh’s 10 miles. Booberoy 6 miles.

19 May 1857   Juegong 9 miles. Lanes Station 9 miles.Mickabill.  10 miles.

20 May 1857   Gulgo 6 miles.

21 May 1857   Old Condoblin 10 miles. Burranabena 12 miles.

22 May 1857   Mulgutherie 8 miles. Monwonga 10 miles.

23 May 1857   Bejarrelong 9 miles. Grudgery 6 miles. Carramartyty 6 miles and to Wooringeragong, Finn’s 8 miles.

24 May 1857   Tomanbil  18 miles. Bandon 2 miles.

25 May 1857   Goolagong 20 miles. Mrs Hartigan keeping a dairy.

26 May 1857   Goolagong.

27 May 1857   Came up to Cowra.

Aug 1857         Sometime this month Mrs Neville and I went out to Patrick Walsh’s place ‘Kikiamah’

4 Sep 1857      The wife of Patrick Walsh had twin sons. Mrs Neville was with her during her illness.[6]

24 May 1858   James Markham and Ellen Walsh were married at Cowra.[7]

2 Jun 1858.     Thomas Walsh wed Hannah Middlemiss of Cowra.[8] I was present at the marriage. I was getting a new house at Nanima ready to get a licence to sell liquor by 1 July.

15 Sep 1858    Thomas 0′ Shaughnessy born at Nanima.[9]

8 Jan 1859.     Keeping a Public House at Nanima.

1 Sep 1859      Sarah O’Shaughnessy born at Cowra. [10]

17 Jan 1860    Keeping a Public house at Nanima.

June 1860.      This month I was held up by bushrangers and robbed of fifty pounds. Great rush to Lambing Flats on Burragarong Creek. Also this month, gold discovered on ‘Begobigal’, Rankin’s Station on the Lachlan . A great rush of diggers from Lambing Flats to it, but most all of them returned again. I left Nanima and went to Cowra.

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Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. The Osmanli , which mainly carried between Adelaide and Melbourne, was wrecked on Kangaroo Island on 25 November 1853. Despite salvage attempts, the ship was lost.  So if his recall is correct, Thomas went to his relatives in NSW before November 1853. The Osmanli came into Sydney three times in 1853 – 21 July; 14 September, and November 9, but not at all in 1851 or 1852. Steerage passenger lists were not recorded.
  2.  Originally Lairdet’s Beach, then Governor Latrobe named it  Sandridge and then Port Melbourne in 1893.
  3. To put his travel on this occasion into context, see “The Old Razorback Road. Life on the Great South Road between 1830 – 1930” by Elizabeth Villy.
  4.  At the time, Margaret Walsh, and her sister Ellen were living with their sister Bridget  (Walsh) Neville, later  Challacombe, who operated the house as the (Old) Royal Hotel.  Bridget was the widow of Edward Neville,died 1852, nephew of John Neville, who had also been transported in the MANGLES’ in 1822, along with the groom’s father, and Edmund Markham of Spring Vale on Milburn Creek, who, with  his wife, Bridget (Slattery) was witness at the marriage. Father Bernard Murphy  was known widely as the ‘Parish Priest of the Lachlan’.
  5.   James (1856-1936) who was the first of their eight children, was born in Gawler, South Australia  during their post marriage visit to Thomas’ parents. He married Eliza Agnes O’Brien from Parkes in 1892.
  6.  35km SW Hillston, 130km NW Griffith.
  7.  Two boys Thomas and Patrick. Their father, Patrick Walsh of ‘Kikiamah’ near Young (1817-1892) had  on 11 Jul 1846 in St Mary’s Sydney, married Margaret Curry (1819-1891) who had arrived on the ‘Livingstone’ in 1844 along with Patrick’s uncles. It is likely they were related through family in Ireland. Thomas and Patrick Joseph, twins were their fifth and sixth children living until 1944 and 1909 respectively.
  8.  Ellen Walsh (1835-1916) is referred to in the introduction above. James Markham (1836-1913) was the son of Edmund Markham and Bridget Slattery, both from Co. Limerick, Ireland. Edmund had arrived NSW in 1822 and in early 1830s on Milburn Creek where James was born. Bridget (Slattery) Markham had arrived in NSW in 1833 on the ‘SURREY’ with her mother Catherine and siblings.
  9.  Thomas Walsh (1820-1899) – see introduction –and Hannah Middlemis (1840-1909) had ten children . As licensee of the Court House Hotel he took part in much Cowra community activity, incl the Hospital, Irish Relief, Racing and Agricultural Committees. Hannah was the daughter of David Middlemis, one of the district’s early settlers.
  10.  Died as an infant.
  11.  Sarah 1858 – Aft. 1911,  married John Hackett 1884.