Snippets from William Lyall's Diary

A Visit from Melbourne to Van Diemen's Land 1854.

19 January
Went on board the Clarence about 8 o'clock. Left the wharf for Launceston at half past 3 o'clock. Cleared the heads, fortunately with a fair wind, but at Cape Schanck met with a foul wind which turned all of us aboard awfully sick.

20 January
Arrived at Launceston at 4 o'clock p.m.

21 January
In Launceston.

22 January
Coaching by the Mail from Launceston to Hobart Town. Was much astonished by the miserable condition of the horses. We were seventeen hours on the road, stoppages included. The country has the appearance of being overstocked. Seventeen swans on the road.

23 January
Devoted this day to visiting Hobart Town. Was much pleased with the Government garden. It is by far the most magnificent garden I have seen.

24 January
Left Hobart Town for J.W. BROWN's farm at Woodlands, near Green Ponds. Arrived at his place about 9 o'clock at night. No supper and off to bed. Next morning went to the Dome of Hutchen's High School and had a fine panoramic view of Hobart Town.

25 January
Left Woodlands and Mr. BROWN with goodwill, without breakfast. Arrived in Launceston at 9 o'clock.

26 January
This morning Messrs BROWN, GREEN and John MICKLE went to Longford in a cab and self, along with SYMOND, in a gig. Went to see a stack of hay at Wilmore, also 100 tons at Ritchie WEBB's. Went on to Mr. FIELD's farm and looked at his pure cattle. Do not think that they are as good as our own. He has a superior cow, the others are only ordinary. Looked at Mr. BROWN's cart horse. Offered to borrow him for a season. Purchased five pure Hereford bulls from Mr. GATENBY at fifty pounds each.

27 January
Arranged with Mr. John MUNRO for the shipment of 303 tons of hay, paying five shillings per ton for receiving, storing, delivering and shipping.

28 January
Went on board Ladybird at 12 o'clock at Launceston. Mr. GREEN and Mr. BROWN accompanied us to Georgetown and there we dined together, and parted and said farewell to Van Diemen's Land. It is 18 years this day since I left my native land (Scotland) for this Colony and it is singularly, by accident, I should say farewell to Van Diemen's Land on the same day of the same month 18 years afterwards. This must be my fate, for on the 28th January 1848 the Rev. R.K. EWING, of Launceston, tied for me the Gordian Knot which I have no wish to unravel.

29 January
On board the Ladybird at sea. Sea very still that brings no stillness to us. The eternal roll of the ocean quite upsets me.

30 January
Returned home from Van Diemen's Land.

Submitted to this site by Ken Lyall
Transcription Ken Lyall 2002. All rights reserved

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Updated 23-May-2011