The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

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The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Shipboard the Hougoumont, the last ship to transport convicts from England to Fremantle, Australia

Frequency:  Seven issues of the newspaper were produced, each issue carefully laid out and decorated by hand. Only one copy of each issue was made, which was then read to the convicts aloud.

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, no. 1-7, 9 Nov. – 21 Dec. 1867

Size and Format:  Ledger (7 3/4 x 12+)

Editor/Publisher:  Irish “Fenian prisoners:” John Flood, John Boyle O’Reilly and John Casey

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Wild Goose was, according to a Wikipedia article, a

“handwritten newspaper created in late 1867 by Fenian prisoners aboard the Hougoumont, the last ship to transport convicts to Australia.

“Seven issues of the newspaper were produced, each issue carefully laid out and decorated by hand. Only one copy of each issue was made, which was then read to the convicts aloud. The aim was to provide entertainment and encouragement aboard the ship during its long and arduous voyage to Fremantle. The title refers to the Wild Geese: the Irish soldiers who had left to serve in continental European armies since the 16th century.

“The major contributors were John Flood, John Boyle O’Reilly and John Casey.

Irish Fenian Volunteer Poster (re. Wild Goose [AUS, 1867])

Irish Fenian Volunteer Poster (re. Wild Goose [AUS, 1867])

The documents provide a fascinating insight into life aboard ship. The documents contain songs, stories, articles, advice, poems, and even comedy. In addition to the diaries of Denis Cashman and the journals of John Casey and Thomas McCarthy Fennell, the journey of the Hougoumont was well recorded.

“One passage describes Australia and its history with more than a little sarcasm:

“This great continent of the south, having been discovered by some Dutch skipper and his crew, somewhere between the 1st and 9th centuries of the Christian era, was, in consequence taken possession of by the government of Great Britain, in accordance with that just and equitable maxim, “What’s yours is mine; what’s mine is my own.” That magnanimous government in the kindly exuberance of their feelings, have placed a large portion of that immense tract of country called Australia at our disposal. Generously defraying all expenses incurred on our way to it, and providing retreats for us there to secure us from the inclemency of the seasons…

“All seven issues survive, and were passed on by John Flood’s granddaughter to the Mitchell Library in 1967. The papers are bound into one book and are now part of the State Library of New South Wales collection.”John Boyle O’Reilly penned several poems for the paper, including The Flying Dutchman and The Old School Clock.

“On 9 September 2005, a memorial was unveiled at Rockingham beach to commemorate the Catalpa rescue. The memorial is a large statue of six Wild Geese.”

According to the Freemantle (Australia) Prison historical website,

“The Fenian movement, or Irish Republican Brotherhood, was a secret society that flourished during the 1860s. Its activities included an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland, which failed for a number of reasons. In 1865 hundreds of men were arrested in Ireland on suspicion of complicity. There were two elements amongst the men charged and convicted: those who were civilians, and those who were currently serving in the British military services. The civilian element were treated as political prisoners, whilst the military element were treated as ordinary criminals. In 1869 the civilian element were granted clemency and freed, whilst such consideration was denied the military element (Erickson pp.115-156).

John Boyle O’Reilly [emphasis added] was an NCO in the 10th Hussars (the prestigious regiment of the Prince of Wales) when arrested in 1866 for assisting fellow soldiers to join the rebellious Fenian movement. Found guilty at his court martial, his death sentence was commuted to one of 20 year’s penal servitude which automatically meant transportation (anyone sentenced to seven years or more was transported).

“He sailed, along with 280 other convicts — 62 of them Fenians — on board the Hougoumont from Portland in October 1867. They arrived at Fremantle in January 1868, the last convicts to be sent to Western Australia. Their arrival also signalled the end of the convict era in Australia.”

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography:  Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Goose;  Laubenstein, William J. The Emerald Whaler London: Deutsch, 1961; Stevens, Peter F., The Voyage of the Catalpa (ISBN 1-84212-651-2); Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, 1969, volume LXXIV; http://www.fremantleprison.com.au/History/theconvictera/characters/thefenians/Pages/default.aspx

Locations:  Wikipedia: “All seven issues survive, and were passed on by John Flood’s granddaughter to the Mitchell Library in 1967. The papers are bound into one book and are now part of the State Library of New South Wales collection.”

 

Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

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Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Norwoodiana (Eng-Aus, 1867)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the ship Norwood on its journey from England to Western Australia with convicts, April 27 (date of first issue) to July 6, 1867

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  “Introduction” issue, April 27, 1867

Size and Format:  See image of the front page of April 27, 1867

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Convict shipboard paper en route from England to Western Australia. Irwin’s published account includes it as “Norwoodiana, or, Sayings and doings on route to Western Australia : a manuscript journal made during the 1867 voyage of the convict ship Norwood, April 27 to July 6, 1867.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography: William Irvin, Journals on board the convict ships Palmerston, 1861, Belgravia, 28th Apr. 1866-23rd June, 1866 and Norwood, 27th Apr.-6th July, 1867 [microform], reproduction of typescript; transcribed by Bob & Tops Dent 1996 with permission of the Mitchell Library from the original manuscript held by the NSW State Library.

Locations:  State Library of Western Australia; thanks to Annette Delbianco of the SLWA.

Melbourne Advertiser (AUS, 1838)

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Melbourne Advertiser (AUS, 1838)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Port Phillip, Melbourne, SE Australia

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  January 1, 1838, Vol. 1, Nos. 1-17 extant (minus No. 16); first 10 issues were handwritten

Size and Format:  Four pages,  two columns (see images on State Library of Victoria website)

Editor/Publisher:  John Pascoe Fawkner

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Earliest paper in Southeast Australia

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Jerry Don Vann, Rosemary T. VanArsdel, Periodicals of Queen Victoria’s Empire: An Exploration (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996), p. 23

Locations:  State Library of Victoria, Australia (images online)

Flying Fish (Aus-CA, 1851)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Shipboard Mary Catherine, out of Sydney en route to California (1851)

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  No. 1, May 31, 1851

Size and Format:  Unknown

Editor/Publisher:  “Some of the women passengers aboard”

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

The Flying Fish was published by women passengers aboard the ship Mary Catherine out of Sydney, Australia, en route to the gold fields of California. The only known issue was dated May 31, 1851. The captain of the ship recorded in his log that to pass the time, some of the women passengers began writing a shipboard newspaper and published it on the day of the captain’s 32nd birdthday. He described it as “a little journal of fun and merriment.”

Two things are noteworthy about the Flying Fish. First, it is the only known shipboard paper produced exclusively by women. No doubt other shipboard papers had women contributors and scribes, but this is the only one, according to the sole remain independent documentary evidence from the voyage, founded, edited, and produced exclusively by women at sea.

Second, the fact that the captain consider the publication of the Flying Fish nothing more than something “to pass the time,” suggests that it was primarily a literary and humorous publication. The fact that Australia had been a British penal colony since its first settlements in 1788 may also indicate that the women were less than well educated or well read.  The passengers on board the ship who were  seeking their fortunes in California gold likely included former convicts, men and women. In such a context, the women’s journalistic and literary skills were probably not of a high caliber.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Captain Henry Thomas Fox, Log of Mary Catherine, in possession of Mrs. F.G. Marginson, Hamilton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, cited in Charles Bateson, Gold Fleet for California:  Forty Niners from Australia and New Zealand (Auckland:  Minerva Ltd., 1963), pp. 47, 136, 138; Roy Atwood, “Shipboard News: Nineteenth Century Handwritten Periodicals at Sea,” Paper Presentation to the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, 1997.

Locations:  None located

The Denial Bay Starter (Australia, 1908)

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The Denial Bay Starter, Australia, 1908

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Denial Bay Township, Australia (west side of Eyre Peninsula, 500 miles from Adelaide)

Frequency:  “Weekly”

Volume and Issue Data:  November 14, 1908 (first issue) through 1909

Size and Format:  Early editions were three columns. After the New Year, 1909, it went to two columns.

Editor/Publisher: Dr. C.T. Abbott (with Mrs. Abbott, assistant production officer and general press hand”) [Alan Finch, Pens & Ems]

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

In his history of Australian journalism, Alan Finch describes The Denial Bay Starter as “produced in a violent mauve ink on a hectograph in atrocious handwriting.” According to Finch, the first editorial, or leading article, explained the anonymous editor’s goals for the publication:

“Dear friends, this obscene sheet is only started with the intention of amusing you and gathering for your perusal any little items of news that may be brought to our notice. We do not wish to enter into the arguments that arise from burning questions of the hour, but will try to plainly set before you both the good and the bad points of any discussion. We should be willing to inscribe any letter or correspondence that the public may forward to us . . . we do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings but if we inadvertently do so please tell us and we will strive to make atonement in every possible way.”

The editor went on to explain the title of the new paper: “. . . this is a starter and we hope to see in the near future a type printed paper which will bring the West Coast more prominently before the public than it has been hitherto.”

The paper was issued each Saturday, but the editor remained anonymous until shortly after the New Year 1909, when the editor’s name was included at the top of the paper: Dr. C.T. Abbott, a medical doctor and relative newcomer to the area.

Number 20 was produced with the aid of  a typewriter and duplicating stencil.

In the January 29, 1910 edition, the editor announced the paper’s retirement:

“The time has come, when the Starter will retire from the arena, and cease to exist. But we hope that this year old infant, has been able to bring other thought and ideas to your minds, than you had previously, that it had been able to sow on rich ground, a few seeds which in the future will spring up. “

The editor, Dr. Abbott, brought the paper to an end because he moved to a new position at Pine Creek.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Alan Finch, Pens & Ems in Australia: Stories of Australian Newspapers (Adelaide, 1965), pp. 12-18.

Locations: Public Library, Adelaide, Australia; National Library, Canberra, Australia

Charivari (Eng-Aus, 1854)

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Charivari (Eng-Aus, 1854)

Charivari (Eng-Aus, 1854)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Shipboard, aboard the Queen of the South, sailing from England to Australia

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:   Two issues and the beginnings of a third. The first issue is dated 15 April 1854.

Size and Format:  Unknown (see image)

Editor/Publisher:  Charles Lyall (d. 1910?)

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Charivari (Eng-Aus, 1854)

Charivari (Eng-Aus, 1854)

From the State Library of Victoria website: “Shipboard newspaper, written in the style of Punch (the London Charivari) , on board the Queen of the South on a voyage from England to Australia in 1854. Includes a description of the ship’s brief stopover at St. Vincent in the Windward Islands.”

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography:  None?

Locations: State Library of Victoria, accession no(s) MS 12221; MS 9100; accessible, but microfilm (MS 9100, MSM 39) issued instead of the original.

Belgravian Weekly Journal (ENG-AUS, 1866)

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The Belgravian Weekly Journal (Eng-Aus, 1866)

The Belgravian Weekly Journal (Eng-Aus, 1866)

Publication History:

Place of Publication: Aboard the ship Belgravia on its journey from England to Fremantle, Western Australia, with convicts, 28 April 1866-23 June, 1866

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  1866

Size and Format:  See image of the front page of No. 2, May 5, 1866

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Convict shipboard paper en route from England to Western Australia.

Information Sources:                            

Bibliography: William Irvin, Journals on board the convict ships Palmerston, 1861, Belgravia, 28th Apr. 1866-23rd June, 1866 and Norwood, 27th Apr.-6th July, 1867 [microform], reproduction of typescript.

Locations:  State Library of Western Australia; thanks to Annette Delbianco of the SLWA.

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