- Published: 10 December 2008 10 December 2008
David and Rachel Nunn and son Elisha arrive in Australia
February 1858: David and Rachel Nunn arrive in Moreton Bay. The following appeared in the Moreton Bay Courier of Saturday, February 27, 1858.
On board the ship Irene, Moreton Bay, 30th Jan, 1858 Captain Lewis Jones
We, the emigrants on board the ship Irene, under your command being now near the termination of our voyage, beg to express to you our best thanks for your attention and courtesy to us while superintending our "safe conduct across the trackless deep". Although your relationship to us has been more of a negative, than positive character, we have often sympathised with you and your responsibilities and now congratulate you at the close of our voyage in your securing the utmost expedition, compatible with safety, in seeking advantage of every circumstance, current, course and canvas, to speed us quickly to our desired haven, and, as our relative duties are now implemented and our relationship about to be broken up, we trust that your success on the present occasion may only be the harbinger of great prosperity, and that you may be long spared to ornament the profession to which you belong. We are, Sir, Your very obedient servants, (first column) Alexander Sime, John Paten, John Lorterton, John F.Lawrence, Philip Paten, William Harvey, William Patrick, James Welch, John P Burling, Thomas Fish, David Goodger, Peter Miller, John Marshall, Josia Pattie, Henry Evans, Henry Mullins, Daniel Somerton, Esra Harvey, Samuel Jefferey, Charles Brand, Thomas Barrett, Wm. Crofts, Thomas Sugars, Thomas Green, Amos Waters, Joseph Londay, Walter Loveday, William Day, Jesse Hyland, Henry Lambert, Samuel Gatehouse, Jacob Watters, Henry Edwards, Joseph Veller, Charles Farr, Henry Want, William Parks, John Marshal, George Smith, Joseph Deller, James Deller, Thomas Willett, William Pearson, George Ward, Israel Ward, Samuel Jackson, Stephen Power, Martin Whitten, John Murphy, John Harkins, James Mansell, John Smyth, Murdock Nicolson, Arch(or b). (most likely short for Archibald) McSporran, James Watt, George Young, Thomas Ham, Joshua Davis, Philip Clark, Charles Cox, George Gardiner, James Johnson, Edwin Walker, Alexander Wilkins, George Harris, Henry Windley, William Eaton, Charles Eaton, John Field, Henry Thomson, Joseph Larwood, George Laker, Charles Browning, James Cypher, David Nunn, Fred Fuller, George Carter, William Langeton, Joseph Dean, Peter (??) plus 11 other indecipherable names. (second column) Henry Button, Henry Loveday, John Sutton, Isaac Flack, David Reed, Joseph Pettey, Charles Andrews, David Mills, Sibley Cane, Stephen Cane, George Gamgee, Alex. McKay, George Brooks, George Eaton, William Wilford, Robert Turton, John Coleman, James Peatin, Jacob Fish, John Geese (??), James Sime, Thomas Smith, Ruben Main(??), Henry Pooll (??), Henry Davis, Neah Davis, Seth Davis, Asher Davis, James Swanborough, Charles Alexander, Alfred Baker, James McFeron, Simon Lockhart, Charles Neller, William Yuller, George Smith, Thomas Smith, William McDonald, John Kehoe, James Cuddihy, William Guilfoyl (??), John Mansell, John Lovetree, John Eagen, Micheal Eagen, Lovi Moselan (??), Michael Reynold, Michael Tearney, Richard Heath, Michael Brand (??), John Shea, Murdoch Campbell, Henry Fuller, Ann Watkinson, Sara Hall, Jane Harvey, Sarah Harvey, Emma Patan, Harriet Patan, Margaret Guilfoyl, plus 28 other indecipherable names.
We can assume from the elaborate wording of the advertisement that the passengers, including David and Rachel Nunn and baby Elisha, were pleased to complete their journey.
The part where it says the relationship was negative, more than positive, bears considering. Maybe some of the passengers were unhappy with Captain Jones's demeanour, or discipline. After all the journey took several months and there probably would have been rough weather along the way. It's also noteworthy that the passengers' names were not listed alphabetically.
A pecking order existed based on who was paying their way on the vessel and who were assisted immigrants (David and Rachel came out on an assisted passage).
Read back over the wording of the advertisement. The language is wonderful, if a little verbose -
Although your relationship to us has been more of a negative, than positive character, we have often sympathised with you and your responsibilities and now congratulate you at the close of our voyage in your securing the utmost expedition, compatible with safety, in seeking advantage of every circumstance, current, course and canvas, to speed us quickly to our desired haven, and, as our relative duties are now implemented and our relationship about to be broken up, we trust that your success on the present occasion may only be the harbinger of great prosperity, and that you may be long spared to ornament the profession to which you belong.
The last part is a wonderful compliment to the man who had "superintended their safe conduct across the trackless deep". Remember that this sea voyage was no picnic and that these people had left homeland, families and generations of traditions to strike out on a whole new adventure. Two notices in the Courier of February 17, 1858, refer to the ship Irene. The first states:
THE IMMIGRANTS who have arrived in this Bay per ship "Irene" will be ready for hire at the Immigration Depot, on Wednesday (THIS DAY) the 17th at 10 a.m. A.C.KEMBALL Government Immigration officer, Brisbane 15th Feb. 1858.
The second reads:
CONSIGNEES per above vessel are required to pass entries at once, to enable this ship to proceed discharging. J & G HARRIS
NOTE: I'm happy for anyone to reproduce this information. It is based on the original newspaper notice (See http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3716899) and I would appreciate the acknowledgment -
Courtesy Warren Nunn, oznunns.com