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Dan Byrnes
Word Factory

About this website:
The Phantom First Fleet:
Errors in older books:
Questions of slavery:
The William Bligh problem:
The First Campbells on Jamaica:
The Duncan Campbell Letterbooks:
Feedback on this project:
Links to sites on related topics:
Investors in C19th Australia - 1:
Investors in C19th Australia - 2:
Investors in C19th Australia - 3:
Investors in C19th Australia - 4:
A Bitter Pill - American debtors and Thomas Jefferson
Emptying the Hulks:
The Blackheath Connection - original article:
The London whalers from 1786 - an original article:
Bibliography - Part One:
Bibliography - Part Two:

The Blackheath Connection

News in July 2006: The history websites on this domain now have a companion website, and an updating website as well, on a new domain, at Merchant Networks Project, produced by Dan Byrnes and Ken Cozens (of London). This new website (it is hoped) will become a major exercise in economic and maritime history, with much attention to London/British Empire and some attention to Sydney, Australia.

The Blackheath Connection - What's new?

Please note: Email response to this website indicates that some netsurfers do not realise that this website has a total of 71 files. Please navigate around the website to that extent to ensure you get the best from it - Ed

Please note: While this website's links page is being tidied, a revised links page is also available at:

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October 2005: Major new citation of The Blackheath Connection: In Tom Keneally, The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Sydney Experiment. Milson's Point, NSW, Random House, 2005.

Fresh burst of research for 2004: Follows a list of names I am researching in order to delve deeper into scenarios and situations with Anglo-Indian merchants operating in major Indian cities 1780-1840. Some names were officially connected with the British East India Company (BEIC), some were connected more unofficially.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone with any genealogical or other information to share on them...
Including the surnames Shank and Sibbald as genealogically connected with David Scott Senior (ex-Bombay. Born 1746 of Fife, Scotland, died in England/Scotland 1805, married to Louisa Jervis Delagard); Fergusson; Reid(s) (who are said to have been opium traders, which I find I cannot properly prove); the surname Strange in India (generally) especially in the 1790s; Evan Nepean (1752-1822) (Gov. Bombay 1812-1819) and married to Margaret Skinner; Palmer and Co. of Hyderabad.

Noted by August 2002: A website useful for illustrations of olde London docks and maritime suburban features:

Noted by July 2002:
Check now: an article on THE FIRST CAMPBELLS ON JAMAICA, with genealogies given, plus historical insight, at: jamaica.htm

Noted by July 2002: It appears that The Botany Bay Debate may warm up again for historians, with new research being conducted in London by former police officer Dan Foley, who is looking afresh at the British government's decision of August 1786 to settle convicts at New Holland - eastern Australia. See an article in the higher education supplement of The Australian newspaper on 31 July 2002.

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Noted by May 2002 as a new book of interest: Robert Tiley, Australian Navigators: Picking Up Shells and Catching Butterflies in an Age of Revolution. Kangaroo Press, 2002, 245pp.

Noted by April 2002, a new book of interest: Robert Lomas, The Invisible College. Headline. 2002, 374pp. (On history of Britain's Royal Society, founded in 1660, with its first leader, a Freemason finding funding, Sir Robert Moray)

Item of 23 March 2002: A new book is coming out on Palmer and Co. of India, operating before and after 1800: For those with an interest in the trading house of Palmer & Company (a PDF file):
Speaking of India, try a collection of Indian maps from the India List at:

Booklist update on questions of slavery:
Joan Anim Addo, Longest Journey: A History of Black Lewisham. Deptford Forum Publishing, 1995. ISBN 1 898536 21x.

Joan Anim Addo, Sugar, Spice and Human Cargo: An Early Black History of Greenwich. Greenwich Council, 1996. ISBN 0 90439921 4. (Joan Anim Addo works at the Caribbean Centre, Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London, in New Cross.) Logo for Peter Western database sales

Newspaper gets it wrong: The house at No. 14 West Grove, Blackheath, London, once was leased/owned from 1779 by Samuel Enderby Senior (1718-1797), till he died. Later his daughter or grand-daughter, Mary Wheatley nee Enderby, lived in the house till 1829. In the house, the housekeeper's vault for silver plate had a steel or iron door. Of late, No. 14 West Grove has been converted into a hotel, "misnamed the Hamilton, on the totally false understanding that Emma Hamilton and Horatio Nelson had a tryst there - as they did in every house in Greenwich and Blackheath."
When the hotel recently changed hands, "there was a splendid piece of nonsense in the local paper - since the housekeeper's silver plate vault had a steel or iron door, the paper decided that this was the room where the convicts were held until the ships were ready to take them to Australia".
From Neil Rhind at Blackheath, 5 March 2002.

March 2002: For more information on Blackheath in London, visit a site managed by the noted local historian there, Neil Rhind, now preparing his third book on the history of his area:

From November 2001, The Blackheath Connection is linked to the Australian website ConvictCentral at:

Disease legacy from Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian?:
As reported from a recent issue of the journal Nature Genetics, and research by Professor John Burn, Institute of Human Genetics, Newcastle University, UK, a genetic condition which mimics Parkinson's Disease and Huntington's Chorea, may have been spread by Fletcher Christian.
Prof. Burn for 15 years has been studying "a large Cumbrian family", the Coulthards, some of whom have a genetic mutation which means they suffer build-ups of iron and ferritin in the brain, a problem which affects limb movement as it interferes with basal ganglia, which help co-ordinate smooth movement.
The Coulthards believe they are descended from Fletcher Christian, who took Bounty mutineers and some Tahitian women to isolated Pitcairn Island, and later was presumably murdered there by one of his associates. A similar genetic problem, known as neuroferritinopathy, has been identified in a French family.
(Reported in Australian newspapers, 29 December 2001 from The Daily Telegraph, London)
Follows an impression of Fletcher Christian's family history as known by this webmaster:
Edited list of Descendants of Edward CHRISTIAN
sp: Dorothy PARKER
2. Ewan CHRISTIAN (d.1719)
sp: Mary CAINE (m.1677;d.26 Feb 1728)
3. Barrister John CHRISTIAN Barrister (b.1688;d.1745)
sp: SENHOUSE Bridget (m.14 May 1717;d.1744)
4. Charles CHRISTIAN (b.1729;d.13 Mar 1768)
sp: DIXON Anne (b.1730;m.2 May 1751;d.1820)
5. John CHRISTIAN Attorney (b.1752;d.1791)
5. Ewan CHRISTIAN (b.1754;d.1757)
5. Jacob CHRISTIAN (b.1756;d.1757)
5. Edward CHRISTIAN Prof, Barrister (b.1758;d.1823)
5. Charles CHRISTIAN East India Co. ship's surgeon, Mutineer also (b.1762;d.1822)
5. Bounty mutineer FLETCHER CHRISTIAN (b.Sep 1764;d.Oct 1793)
sp: Isabella MAUATUA Tahitiian Islander (m.16 Jun 1789;d.19 Sep 1841)
6. Susannah Teraura CHRISTIAN of Tahiti
6. Charles CHRISTIAN (b.1791;d.4 Jan 1842)
6. Sully CHRISTIAN (d.7 Mar 1826)
6. Mary Ann CHRISTIAN (b.Oct 1793;d.2 Jan 1866)
5. Frances Twin with Ann CHRISTIAN Died Young (b.1766;d.1766)
5. Ann twin CHRISTIAN Died Young (b.1766;d.1766)
5. Humphrey CHRISTIAN (b.Dec 1767;d.1790)
5. JOHN CHRISTIAN (d.1791)
sp: UNKNOWN Ann (m.Dec 1773)
6. CHARLES CHRISTIAN (d.Aug 1777) 6. MARIA CHRISTIAN (d.Dec 1778) 5. EWAN CHRISTIAN (b.3 May 1757) 5. JACOB CHRISTIAN (b.24 Apr 1757) 5. EDWARD CHRISTIAN (d.29 Mar 1823) sp: MARY WALMSLEY (m.11 Oct 1809;d.8 Jan 1824) 5. MARY CHRISTIAN (d.13 Aug 1786) 5. CHARLES CHRISTIAN (d.1822) 5. FRANCES CHRISTIAN (b.7 Sep 1766) 5. ANN CHRISTIAN 5. HUMPHREY CHRISTIAN (d.1790) 4. Mary CHRISTIAN sp: Bishop Edmund LAW 5. Baron1 Ellenborough Edward LAW MP sp: Miss NOTKNOWN 6. Charles Ewan LAW sp: Elizabeth Sophia NIGHTINGALE 6. Elizabeth Susan LAW (b.6 Sep 1799;d.31 Mar 1883) sp: Baron2 Colchester Charles ABBOT (b.12 Mar 1798;m.3 Feb 1836;d.18 Oct 1867) sp: Miss NOTKNOWN 6. Charles Ewan LAW 6. Elizabeth Susan LAW (b.6 Sep 1799;d.31 Mar 1883) 5. MP Ewan LAW, EICo sp: MARKHAM Henrietta 5. Joanna LAW wife2 sp: Gov. Madras, MP, Sir Thomas RUMBOLD, Bart1 (b.1736;d.1791) 6. William Richard RUMBOLD MP (b.1760;d.1786) 6. Frances RUMBOLD sp: Lt-Col. Francis Hale RIGBY 6. Charles Edmund RUMBOLD MP (d.31 May 1857) sp: Harriet GARDNER 5. Bishop of Chester George Henry LAW (b.1761;d.1845) sp: Jane ADEANE 6. Rev. Robert Vanbrugh LAW sp: Miss NOTKNOWN 4. EWAN CHRISTIAN (b.28 Jul 1718;b.16 Aug 1752) 4. HUMPHREY CHRISTIAN (b.4 Oct 1720;d.31 Jul 1773) sp: ELIZABETH BRETT (m.1748;d.29 Aug 1797) 5. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.1749) sp: JAMES STEPHEN LUSHINGTON (d.17 Jun 1801) 5. JOHN CHRISTIAN (b.1750;d.1788) sp: MARY MACHIN (m.Jun 1781) 5. EDWARD CHRISTIAN-HARE (b.16 Jan 1752;d.1 Jul 1807) sp: FRANCES CHRISTIAN (b.4 Mar 1752;m.4 Mar 1773;b.29 Oct 1787) 6. HUMPHREY JOHN CHRISTIAN-HARE (b.1776;d.1856) sp: MARY PATTENSON (m.16 Jul 1801;d.1817) sp: BARBARA MAYO (m.21 Sep 1818;d.1886) 6. FREDERICK CHRISTIAN-HARE 6. EDWARD HENRY CHRISTIAN-HARE 6. HUGH CHARLES CHRISTIAN-HARE sp: ROBINA MORTHLAND (m.18 Feb 1790;d.30 Sep 1832) 5. HUGH THOMAS CHRISTIAN (b.1753;d.1798) sp: MARY ARNOLD 4. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.19 Mar 1722;d.1 Mar 1762) sp: EDMUND LAW (m.20 Apr 1740;d.14 Aug 1787) 5. EDWARD LAW 5. JOHN LAW 5. EWAN LAW 5. JOSEPH LAW 5. THOMAS LAW sp: ELIZA CUSTIS 5. GEORGE LAW 5. JOANNA LAW sp: THOMAS RUMBOLD 5. HENRY LAW 4. JOSEPH CHRISTIAN (b.17 May 1723;d.12 Mar 1734) 4. EDWARD CHRISTIAN (b.15 Jul 1725;d.1758) 4. ELEANOR CHRISTIAN (b.13 Sep 1726;d.29 Mar 1728) 4. GEORGE CHRISTIAN (b.3 Jan 1730;d.4 Nov 1731) 4. BRIDGET CHRISTIAN (b.30 Oct 1732;d.14 Jul 1762) sp: THOMAS HIRST (d.19 Feb 1791) 4. DOROTHY CHRISTIAN (b.1 Dec 1737;d.1761) 4. John CHRISTIAN MP (b.5 Oct 1719;d.23 Nov 1767) sp: Jane CURWEN (b.1721;m.28 Sep 1745;d.24 Apr 1762) 5. John Christian-Curwen CHRISTIAN MP (b.1756;d.1828) sp: Isabella cousin CURWEN wife2 (m.5 Oct 1782;d.21 Apr 1821) 6. HENRY CURWEN (b.Dec 1783;d.16 Oct 1861) sp: JANE STANLEY (m.11 Oct 1804;d.1853) 6. BRIDGET CURWEN (b.1788) 6. WILLIAM CURWEN (b.Aug 1789) sp: MARGARET EWING (m.1812) 6. EDWARD CURWEN (b.1796) 6. CHRISTIANA FRANCES CURWEN (b.Feb 1797) 6. JOHN CURWEN (b.Apr 1799) sp: MARIANNE BALDWEN sp: Margaret TAUBMAN wife1 (b.1748;m.10 Sep 1775;d.1 Feb 1778) 6. John CHRISTIAN Deemster, Isle of Man 6. JOHN CHRISTIAN (b.12 Jul 1776;d.27 Feb 1852) sp: SUSANNA ALLEN (m.23 Apr 1807;d.14 Mar 1853) 5. JULIAN CHRISTIAN (b.11 Nov 1746;d.26 Jan 1793) sp: EDWARD STANLEY (m.11 Nov 1746;d.6 May 1810) 5. BRIDGET CHRISTIAN (b.8 May 1748;d.11 Jun 1793) 5. JANE CHRISTIAN (b.5 Aug 1749;d.15 Mar 1837) sp: WILLIAM BLAMIRE (m.23 Jul 1784) 6. MARY SIMPSON BLAMIRE (b.1785;d.25 Mar 1859) sp: THOMAS YOUNG (b.1772;m.15 Aug 1814;d.11 Nov 1835) 6. WILLIAM BLAMIRE (b.1790;d.12 Jan 1862) sp: DOROTHY TAUBMAN (b.3 Jul 1783;d.Abt 1857) 6. SARAH SUZANNAH BLAMIRE (b.1793;d.6 Jun 1866) sp: WILLIAM YOUNG (m.6 Mar 1830;d.30 Nov 1857) 5. FRANCES CHRISTIAN (b.4 Mar 1752;b.29 Oct 1787) sp: EDWARD CHRISTIAN-HARE (b.16 Jan 1752;m.4 Mar 1773;d.1 Jul 1807) 6. HUMPHREY JOHN CHRISTIAN-HARE 6. FREDERICK CHRISTIAN-HARE 6. EDWARD HENRY CHRISTIAN-HARE 6. HUGH CHARLES CHRISTIAN-HARE 5. JOHN CHRISTIAN-155209 (b.2 Oct 1754) 5. DOROTHY CHRISTIAN (b.23 Oct 1757;d.5 Jan 1784) sp: JOHN TAUBMAN (b.27 Dec 1746;m.20 Dec 1774;d.3 Dec 1822) 6. JOHN TAUBMAN (b.10 Dec 1775;d.1812) sp: ELIZA SUSANNA KARANE sp: ANN COWLEY sp: CATHERINE CHRISTIAN (b.Abt 1786) 6. NICHOLAS TAUBMAN (b.1777;d.11 Apr 1777) 6. ISABELLA CURWEN TAUBMAN (b.9 Jul 1781;d.13 Jul 1824) sp: ALEXANDER JOHN GOLDIE (b.Jan 1779;m.21 Feb 1804;d.25 Apr 1848) 6. DOROTHY TAUBMAN (b.3 Jul 1783;d.Abt 1857) sp: WILLIAM BLAMIRE (b.1790;d.12 Jan 1862) sp: MARK WILKS (m.11 Mar 1813) 6. NICHOLAS TAUBMAN (b.1784) sp: Miss UNKNOWN 6. MARGARET CHRISTIAN TAUBMAN (b.1785;d.Bef 1835) sp: JOHN JAMES (b.1778;m.1811;d.1819) 5. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.1 May 1759;d.5 Mar 1831) 5. HENRY CHRISTIAN (b.19 Apr 1761;d.16 Jun 1773) 5. John CHRISTIAN 5. Henry CHRISTIAN 5. Dorothy CHRISTIAN sp: John TAUBMAN 5. John CHRISTIAN 2. Ewan CHRISTIAN Barrister (b.11 Mar 1651;d.10 Sep 1719) sp: Mary CAINE-16752 (m.1677;d.26 Feb 1728) 3. John CHRISTIAN Barrister (b.1688;d.1745) 3. EWAN CHRISTIAN-151178 (b.23 Mar 1679;d.18 Mar 1680) 3. ELIZABETH CHRISTIAN-115501 (b.10 Jun 1680;d.8 Dec 1686) 3. EDWARD CHRISTIAN-132670 (b.8 Dec 1681;d.20 Jan 1682) 3. SARAH CHRISTIAN (b.Sep 1683;d.Aug 1684) 3. DOROTHY CHRISTIAN (b.3 Jul 1685;b.25 Aug 1685) 3. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.26 Apr 1687;b.24 Oct 1715) sp: JOHN FLETCHER (m.7 Feb 1710) 3. MARGARET CHRISTIAN (b.2 Nov 1689) sp: THOMAS CRATEPLACE (m.12 Dec 1717) 4. HENRY CRATEPLACE 4. CHRISTIAN CRATEPLACE sp: PETER HOW 4. MARY CRATEPLACE sp: WILLIAM WYBERG 5. WILFRED WYBERG-LAWSON 3. WILLIAM CHRISTIAN (b.3 Feb 1690) 3. ANNE CHRISTIAN (b.8 Sep 1692;d.12 Jan 1693) 3. ISABEL CHRISTIAN (b.13 Dec 1693;d.YOUNG) 3. JANE CHRISTIAN (b.12 Feb 1695) sp: WILFRID CLARK (m.8 Jun 1719) 3. THOMAS CHRISTIAN (b.17 Mar 1697;d.12 Oct 1770) sp: ELIZABETH MONKHOUSE (m.15 Aug 1728;d.24 Nov 1732) 4. DOROTHY CHRISTIAN (d.04 SP 1772) 4. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.1731;d.1 Jul 1774) sp: JOHN SCALES (m.23 Feb 1773) 5. KATHERINE SCALES (d.6 Oct 1822) sp: JOSEPH CHRISTIAN (b.1771;m.Oct 1799;d.11 Jun 1821) 6. MARGARET CHRISTIAN (b.31 Aug 1800) sp: J. HORSLEY WOOD (m.2 Feb 1831) 6. JOHN SCALES CHRISTIAN (b.3 Apr 1802;d.20 Jan 1877) 6. AGNES CHRISTIAN (b.14 May 1804;d.2 Dec 1804) 6. EMMA CHRISTIAN (b.24 Nov 1805;d.14 Jan 1848) sp: JOSEPH WONTNER (m.1 Feb 1827;d.17 Aug 1867) 6. THOMAS CHRISTIAN (b.14 Jul 1808;d.27 Nov 1850) sp: JESSIE EYRE (d.2 Apr 1847) 6. AGNES CHRISTIAN (b.1 Jun 1810) 6. KATHERINE CHRISTIAN (b.7 Aug 1812;d.2 Sep 1869) sp: WILLIAM LLOYD (m.4 Apr 1831;d.Abt 1850) 6. EWAN CHRISTIAN (b.20 Sep 1814;d.21 Feb 1895) sp: ANNE BENTHAM (b.Abt 1815;m.6 Jul 1848;d.24 Dec 1913) 6. JOSEPH CHRISTIAN (b.13 Jan 1817) 6. WILLIAM FREDERICK CHRISTIAN (b.30 Jul 1819) sp: JANE SCOTT (m.1736;d.7 Dec 1737) 4. JOHN CHRISTIAN (d.1757) sp: EMMA NAYLOR (m.9 Oct 1741;d.27 Nov 1794) 4. EMMA CHRISTIAN (b.14 Oct 1742;d.9 Feb 1743) 4. JOSEPH CHRISTIAN (b.3 Mar 1743/1744;d.15 Mar 1829) sp: MARGARET WATTLEWORTH (m.10 Aug 1769;d.19 Jul 1829) 5. THOMAS CHRISTIAN (b.1770;d.6 Apr 1773) 5. JOSEPH CHRISTIAN (b.1771;d.11 Jun 1821) sp: KATHERINE SCALES (m.Oct 1799;d.6 Oct 1822) 6. WILLIAM FREDERICK CHRISTIAN (b.30 Jul 1819) 5. EMMA HELEN CHRISTIAN (b.1773) sp: MAITLAND FALCON (m.Aug 1803;d.1848) 5. MARGARET CHRISTIAN (b.1775;b.27 Dec 1778) 5. JOHN CHRISTIAN (b.1778;d.1790) 5. HENRY CURWEN CHRISTIAN (b.17 Jul 1780;d.1846) sp: CHRISTIAN WATTLEWORTH (b.1780;d.1861) 6. ELIZABETH CHRISTIAN (b.1820;d.1879) sp: J. W. HALL (m.1845) 6. SARAH CHRISTIAN (b.1824;d.1902) 6. HANNAH CHRISTIAN (b.1827;d.25 Nov 1914) sp: WILLIAM FINE MOORE (m.29 Apr 1852) 6. JEMIMA CHRISTIAN (b.1829;d.1865) sp: JOHN LOUGHBOROUGH PEARSON (m.1863) 6. JOSEPH HENRY CHRISTIAN (b.1832;d.1900) sp: CAROLINE WHITAKER (b.22 Jan 1845;m.14 Jan 1873;d.6 Aug 1934) 5. DOROTHY CHRISTIAN (b.23 Aug 1783;d.Jul 1830) sp: HENRY NOURSE (m.6 Sep 1804) 5. EWAN CHRISTIAN (b.1784) sp: ALETTA HENDRINA SCHULTZ 6. JANE BLAMIRE CHRISTIAN (d.1905) sp: ROBERT HERNE BURTON 6. EMMA CHRISTIAN sp: JOHN ROBERTS KINDERSLEY 6. MARY MARGARET CHRISTIAN sp: JOHN BLADES CURREY 6. MARIA KATHERINE CHRISTIAN (b.15 Jun 1819;d.1897) sp: JOHN HENRY SHAW (d.1875) 6. HENRY BAILEY CHRISTIAN (b.1821;d.1903) sp: MARY ANNE SMITH 6. GEORGE BELLAMY CHRISTIAN (b.4 Apr 1830) sp: ALICE OWEN SMITH 6. EWAN ROBERTSON CHRISTIAN (b.1835;d.1879) 6. EDWARD OKES CHRISTIAN (b.1837;d.1861) 5. SAMUEL CHRISTIAN (b.1786;d.1852) sp: GEORGETTE SUSAN GREGORIE (m.28 Jul 1818;d.1879) 6. ALFRED CHRISTIAN (b.1820;d.1887) sp: FRANCES EMILY HALL (m.5 May 1855;d.3 Apr 1905) 6. SUSAN CHRISTIAN (b.1820;d.1844) sp: FREDERICK HOLLAND (m.1842;d.1860) 6. ANNA CHRISTIAN (b.1823;d.Oct 1900) sp: GEORGE BOURCHIER WARD (m.1856;d.Feb 1876) 6. MARIA FRANCES CHRISTIAN (b.1824;d.1893) sp: EDWARD HOLLAND (d.1875) 6. GEORGE CHRISTIAN (b.1825;d.1903) sp: SARAH MARY BAINBRIDGE (m.1855;d.20 Apr 1917) 6. HENRY CHRISTIAN (b.1828;d.10 Jun 1916) sp: EMILY MARGARET MOORE (m.1865;d.1923) 6. EWAN CHRISTIAN (b.23 Sep 1833;d.16 Dec 1870) sp: CAROLINE WHITAKER (b.22 Jan 1845;m.10 Sep 1864;d.6 Aug 1934) 6. JANE CHRISTIAN (b.1834;d.1855) 6. WILLIAM CHRISTIAN (b.11 Jul 1838;d.28 Dec 1910) sp: ALICE TOD 5. MARY CHRISTIAN (b.1790;d.1836) sp: W. W. ADAMS (m.1830) 3. MARTHA CHRISTIAN (b.27 Aug 1698) sp: ROBERT TUBMAN (m.17 Oct 1923) 4. FRANCES TUBMAN sp: SAMUEL IRTON 3. ALICIA CHRISTIAN (b.1702;d.23 Jun 1790) sp: QUAYLE CURPHEY (b.1706;m.23 May 1728) 4. EWAN CURGHEY (b.1729) 4. ALICE CURGHEY (b.1731) 4. JOHN CURGHEY (b.1732) sp: SUSANNA SAMPSON 5. ELEANOR CURGHEY 5. JOHN CURGHEY 5. EDWARD CURGHEY (b.1762;d.1804) sp: ISABELLA QUILLIN 6. SUSANNA ELEANORA CURGHEY (b.1797;d.1879) sp: WILLIAM FARRANT (b.1789;d.1852) 5. EVAN CURGHEY (b.1766) 5. ALICIA CURGHEY (b.Abt 1768) sp: THOMAS GAWNE sp: JAMES GAWNE (b.Abt 1768) 5. SUSANNA CURGHEY (b.1770;d.1739) sp: DAN MYLREA 4. JANE CURGHEY (b.1734) 4. EDWARD CURGHEY (b.1734) 4. ELIZABETH CURGHEY (b.1738)

New from October 2001: now on the Net, Charles Campbell's book, The Intolerable Hulks:

On August 4 2001 (sent to the India Mailing List)
. -----Original Message----- From: achintyarup Ray:
To: -
Date: Saturday, 4 August 2001 3:46 AM
Subject: [India-L] Calcutta History
Dear Listers, Following is a legal story the Hindustan Times is carrying today on the history of Calcutta. Thanks, Achintyarup Ray, Calcutta

PIL filed against Charnok myth
HT Correspondent
Kolkata, August 3

CALCUTTA HIGH Court today admitted a public interest litigation challenging that Job Charnok, agent of East India Company, founded Kolkata about 300 years ago.
A two-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Asoke Kumar Mathur, asked the petitioner to serve notice on the State Government and held that the matter would be heard again after a month.
Presently, August 24 is being celebrated as the city's birthday as Charnok is believed to have anchored his boat in the Hooghly off Sutanity on that day in 1690.
The petitioners -- Sabarna Roy Chowdhury Parivar Parishad (SRPP) and some city-based historians -- claimed that Kolkata existed long before Job Charnok arrived in India and the name "Kalkata" may be traced even in books like Manasa Vijay and Ain-e-Akbari, written in 1494 and 1596 respectively.
SRPP, founded by members of Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family, which originally owned Kolkata, said Charnok landed at Sutanuti, a marshy fishing village on the bank of the Hooghly on an August 24 and lived there till he died on January 10, 1692.
"Charnok only concentrated towards some trade and was among hundreds other Europeans and Indians who traded at Sutanuti", said counsel Smarajit Roy Chowdhury, who appeared for SRPP before the Division Bench this afternoon. Roy Chowdhury, who is also a descendant of Sabarna Roy Chowdhury, said it was long after Charnok's death that East India Company obtained the "Right to Rent" of the three villages - Kalkata, Sutanuti and Gobindapur -- on which the city of Kolkata now stands. Charnok died six years before the deal was signed.
The deed, signed at Bangladesh's Barisha, was, however, found to be illegal as two minor of Sabarna family signed it out of a plan, formulated to resist the British, Roy Chowdhury pointed out.
SRPP also said no individual can be regarded as the founder of the city and it was Lakshmikanta, predecessor of Sabarna Roy Chopwdhury, who got the ownership right of eight villages, including the three ones, from the Emperor Akbar as a token of appreciation of his services.
Roy Chowdhury said a copy of the "Right to Rent" also proved that Charnok was founder of the city, August 24 was its birthday.
The case was filed "to set right a wrong fact and reconstruct the history of Kolkata, which is almost unknown to the world".

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On 4 August 2001
Dear Mr. Byrnes, I just came across your fascinating website through a search for "Solvyns". I have just completed a book on the artist F. Balthazar Solvyns (1760-1824) and the manuscript is now in the hands of the publisher.
You make a reference to Solvyns and his painting of the ship Marquis Cornwallis in Chapter 45 of the Blackheath Connection for the Year 1995. (The ref. appears in note No.9.) I am attaching what I have written on the painting. I have a description of the Solvyns project at:

Yours, Bob Hardgrave
Robert L. Hardgrave, Jr.
Temple Professor Emeritus of the Humanities in Government and Asian Studies
Office: Dept. of Government, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712
Dept. tel: (512) 471-5121 Office FAX: (512) 471-1061
Austin, TX 78746
Tel: (512) 327-0482
Home Page:
The Marquis Cornwallis: The Marquis Cornwallis (Pl. II.8) was a three-masted, square-rigged ship, the standard for the vast majority of ocean-going ships of the time. With three decks and weighing 586 tons, it had a length of 121 feet and a breadth of 36 feet. As portrayed by Solvyns, it flies the red ensign. The small ship to the left is possibly a pilot cutter.
Pl. I.8. "The Marquis Cornwallis, An East Indiaman." Oil on panel. Signed: "B. Solvyns 1793". 39.4 x 61.6 cm. Private Collection. Courtesy of Franklin Brook- Hiching, London.

The painting remained with the descendants of the man who probably commissioned it, Captain Michael Hogan, until 1980, when it was sold by the family with a collection of material that included charts and the ship's log. The ship, named for Lord Cornwallis, then Governor-General, was built in Calcutta in 1789, and in 1793, Hogan & Co., its owners, commissioned Solvyns to paint the Marquis Cornwallis.
Hogan & Co. was based in Cork, Ireland, and in 1795, Captain Hogan sailed the Marquis Cornwallis to Ireland to pick up Irish prisoners, sentenced to "transportation", and then to Australia. En route to Australia, there was a mutiny that became a cause celebre. The Marquis Cornwallis was the first convict ship to carry political prisoners from Ireland to Australia. As soon as the ship left Cork, the convicts (168 male and 73 female), instigated - or at least abetted -- by one of the Irish soldier guards, began to plot mutiny. Informers disclosed the plan to the captain, who had forty-two men summarily flogged. Seven of the convicts died from their wounds, and their leader, the mutinous guard, died in irons. On the ship's arrival in Australia, the prisoners -- radical "Irish Defenders" -- won support among the non-political Irish convicts already in New South Wales, and the ship entered Australian history. In 1796, in its return voyage via Calcutta, the Cornwallis again contributed to the early history of Australia, with two charts of Australia's northeast coast--the first ever.

Latest books: This message (5 June 2001) may interest some people:
The hour is late, the voice of the fool runs rampart, and the simple are quick to follow. Everyone has lied to black people for neither two thousand years. It's time someone told them the truth.
A nostalgic tale, cast in the old south shortly before the close of slavery, sets the stage for a most intriguing look at black history.
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Amazing books: One of the most remarkable (and outrageous?) books ever written about English pirates:

B. R. Burg, Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth Century Caribbean. New York, New York University Press, 1995.

Latest books:
Bob Reece, The Origins of Irish Convict Transportation to New South Wales. Palgrave, 2001, 373pp. Available from early 2001.

Answering ever more questions with family history websites

(This article uploaded 24 March 2001)

EVER FASCINATING, the Internet is lately proving even more interesting for genealogy buffs.

This hobby area continues to grow apace, and lately, new databasing techniques of gathering and uploading genealogical information to the Net are being rapidly explored.

This shows particularly with the internationally-minded specialists who deal with noble European lineages. Also lately, genealogy emailers are literally raving about how useful Google search engine is! Which it is.

Does all this mean anything however for European Australasians, people whose ancestors, from 1788 and later, came to the edge of the known world? My experiences already indicate a long-standing problem, which will soon be solved.

What is needed is a database for handling genealogical data, which also allows the website manager to add standard historians' citations close to an entry for an individual. Genealogists' software is not quite yet at this point of sophistication.

But why is this extra sophistication needed? For many reasons, including public education. One is that many genealogy buffs are somewhat ignorant of the historical eras, broadly speaking, in which their earliest-known ancestors appear.

For example, if ancestors seem to arise from the time of the English Cromwellian Revolution, it might be helpful to know something of the armies involved, when and where they fought, who were the armies' leaders, what was the influential religious feeling of the area the ancestors came from?

After Cromwell's period, said ancestors might have stayed sedately working the land, or begun to participate in colonising exercises. If they were colonists of any sort, they might have ended almost anywhere, in the Caribbean, in North America. They may have been in some British armed force, which also means that the descendant might have to peruse pay lists, crew lists, or other data helping identify their ancestor.

Lately I have been finding that for descendants with middle class (or commercial) ancestors, not convicts, various confusions exist that are not helped by the way Australian history has been written post-1788. Descendants of convicts or free lower-class migrants of course will continue to peruse ship lists, often with good results. This does not necessarily apply to commercial people who tended to make other uses of ships, owning them, or using them to carry freight they hoped to profit from.

Lately I have been helping a New Zealand woman, Patricia, who has some descendants associated with the later nineteenth century P&O line, in Australia and at San Francisco.

We have just discovered that neither she nor her relatives - and she is skilled with using email - were aware that some of her forebears (or their associates) are listed in a simple-to-use information source - Burke's Landed Gentry (for English families). If Patricia had known of such listings, then Landed Gentry would have provided a more stable base than the mysteries she actually began with.

Also, other of her forebears were associated with a company which began in Bombay in 1811. (The year would suggest that the commercial men involved were regrouping to enter what is regarded in Indian commercial history as the era of agency houses - and some agency houses here traded also to China.) The several partners of that company, and their relatives, form a busy clutch of Scots forebears. Some are them well-known in treatments written in the UK, some are not.

The literature on East India Company trade (and military activity) to 1811 can be complex, and finding extra information on individuals can be difficult. About 1811, commercial men often employed nephews, but it can still be easy to find the nephew, and know too little about the uncle and his associates of his own generation.

This is one reason why Australasians, especially, could benefit from a database which aided the upload of information on the family progress, but also allowed the addition of citations on information sources. More so if the citations can be improved in quality. Not only will family members become more familiar with book titles on the eras in questions, other genealogy buffs inspecting a family website will be able to learn more tricks of the trade.

Patricia's sets of problems were gradually solved - with the aid of a family tree stemming from a Lord Mayor of London, with a website maintained by people probably in southern England, with information from books on East India Company traders and free traders in India from 1770 or so.

In Patricia's case, matters became complicated when a US woman wanted to know whether any of the names associated with Patricia's people regrouping in 1811 in Bombay, could be related to a profitable and well-known US trading house, formed after the American Revolution, which traded to India and China and dealt in opium? We find that some of the commercial names involved (by 1811) have common ancestors in Scotland, as listed in Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.

Meanwhile, it seems Patricia's forebears had nothing to do with trade to Australia until they were associated with P&O. (This impression could change.) These are all assessment problems which seldom bother descendants of convicts, since many convicts did not have traceable associates who were socially upwardly mobile, or who traded (and so sent letters) across great distances. Websites concerned with such families would greatly benefit if citations could be added easily as part of website design.

In Patricia's case, also, it happens that information sources commonly used by Australasians, convict records, the Australian Dictionary of Biography, genealogical compendiums by Mowle, on NSW pioneers, or Leask, similar, new CD-ROM productions, are little help.

Patricia has to compile information from a complex environment - the much-intermarried British and colonial trading and banking establishments. (In her family tree, so far, appears one woman member of the family of the promoter of "systematic colonisation" in South Australia and New Zealand, Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Who ended up in New Zealand, as, coincidentally, did some of Patricia's people.)

The extent to which the nineteenth century British and Australasian trading and banking establishments were intermarried has still not received serious attention from Australian historians.

True, the intermarriedness of the wool-growing Macarthurs of Parramatta has been traced, as in Mowle's work. But the intermarriedness of many of their associates has not been traced. The urban and pastoral establishments of nineteenth century NSW intermarried as fast as it is humanly possible to do so! This was less the case with Victoria, or Tasmania.

The problems of dealing with ancestors who were not convicts, but commercial operators, are compounded by the fact that nineteenth century businesses were often family-based operations. Various members of a family might live in different colonies, some members might remain in the UK. The family historian has to cover wide territory.

Since the way I have been able to help Patricia, as above, arises from studying information on commercial operators, an absurdity about NSW's history and trade can illustrate the sorts of problems family historians might also have to face.

Tea-drinking become popular in the life of white Australians, but one would wonder from the work, or rather the lack of questions, of historians. Despite searching for years, I still have no clear idea of who imported tea to Sydney and Melbourne, who their families were, who their associates were, nor any useful dates indicating where a search should focus.

It's not impossible that some operators based at "Canton" masterminded tea export to Sydney, but if so, it's hard to say, who, or, from when.

The day has not yet arrived, when a family historian can easily add in passing, in citations on their website, "Our ancestors also helped pioneer tea importing, and so tea drinking, in NSW". And then easily add some extra information someone might email them.

So not until the better genealogical database arrives, will I be able to make a search for "tea + importing + Australia" and maybe find a place to start.

This oddity reigns in the life of NSW's family historians... They know their ancestors, maybe "convict families", drank tea. It is harder to know who imported and distributed that tea.

A good many cedar-cutters, coastal ship managers, Irish convicts who had children with Aboriginal women, fellows helping explorers, notable women, tragic children, teachers, reprobates, horse-breakers and the politicians of nineteenth NSW are all easier to trace than our tea importers. Somehow, international business links, and the people involved, escape attention.

The people involved in Australia's international business links were often "British Imperialists", sometimes active in London or the UK, sometimes resident in colonies. They can be difficult, though fascinating to research, and they give the researcher entertainment because of a sense of involvement in world-wide activity.

I wonder if this has some effect on how Australians historically regard our balance of payments problems, and other broad aspects of economic behaviour. Don't ask, and the problem will go away, or not be there in the first place. As used to be the case with our convict ancestors.


4 May 2000 Press release from writer Dan Byrnes Phone: Australia +61 0267 715 243

While 160,000 convicts are sent to Australia from Britain...
who owned the convict ships?

A WRITER based in Armidale, Australia, Dan Byrnes, has broken with literary convention in Australia by placing his review of the history of the transportation of English convicts on the Internet - in entirety as a "website book".

His starting question is: While 160,000 convicts are sent to Australia from Britain... who owned the convict ships?

The book is huge. After 22 years of research and writing, it is 400,000 words, available at:

The bulk of the password-protected work is surrounded for Net-reader convenience by "taster" files which slow-release information on some of the more controversial aspects the website book raises.

The first major listing of the owners of convict transport vessels became available in 1959, when Charles Bateson (of Sydney) published the first edition of his book, "The Convict Ships". Bateson's book was not followed up with any interest by Australian historians after 1959.

Among the controversies raised by Dan Byrnes are treatments of: the legend of Bligh and the mutiny on the Bounty (overblown); who financed the American War of Independence? (a topic few want to talk about); what happened to debts owed by American colonials to British merchants before 1775? (a low return). Slavery (which London-based merchants were involved?)

Were the Thames River prison hulks run as a "sadistic concentration camp" before convicts were sent to Australia from 1786-1788? (That answer is up to you.) What of "terra nullius". (Who wrote Governor Phillip's commissions?)

"What set me off on researching this book was partly the habit of Australian writers and historians over generations now - to complain about the injustice of convict ships landing convicts at Sydney or Hobart or Brisbane - `the poor convict underdog' - with nobody ever asking: `Who owned those ships? Who was behind it all? Why bother with distant Australia?'," Mr. Byrnes said.

"Early on, global business of various sorts including whaling was involved with this shipping, but what sort of business, exactly? Just who was involved? Why did they bother, and become involved with a government measure that was hedged with the legalisms of convict transportation ?"

"These business questions become simple to answer - if you know the Pacific maritime history - which Australians don't, since we have never asked these broad questions," he said.

"I have also reset the story (or legend?) of the mutiny on the Bounty in the context of Britain sending shipping into the Pacific before 1800, generally", Mr. Byrnes said.

Mr. Byrnes says that pursuing such basic questions led him to Blackheath in London in 1989, where he met with generous co-operation from noted local historian there, Neil Rhind, in what became an intriguing co-discovery.

Why Blackheath? Because the involvement of shipowners there became a significant focus of maritime interest in opening the Pacific to British shipping - which has never been recognised in Australian/Pacific history-writing. (More research continued from 1989.)

"It has also not been fully recognised by historians working in London, at Greenwich and Blackheath, that merchants resident in those London-suburban areas had a role in `opening the Pacific', via sending out convict transports," Mr. Byrnes said.

"Some of them were also `names' at Lloyd's of London, and that raises some further tantalising sub-plots about life in London," he added.

Byrnes' website book, "The Blackheath Connection", traces the history of the transportation of convicts from Britain from 1717 to 1810, a timeframe which embraces the American Revolution and the "founding" of a British convict colony at Sydney in 1788.

"`The Blackheath Connection' touches on historical developments in London, Jamaica, Virginia, Maryland, Sydney (Australia), Tahiti, New Zealand, Canton (China) and British possessions in India, in ways which will surprise many", Mr. Byrnes said.

He added, "I may have a piece de resistance of a kind. It's a very ropy business which other researchers might wish to take up. In which case I wish them well.

"To shift of load of convicts to Australia from 1786, a shipowner or his captain needed a contract. In 22 years, I have been unable to find evidence of any contract ever taken by any shipowner or ship's captain to ship Irish convicts to Australia."

"After 22 years' research, it is very difficult and complicated to say what I think about this situation. I remain somewhat suspicious, to say the least," Mr. Byrnes said.

An added feature of the website book will be a regularly-updated "feedback file" which will contain remarks about the website or the topics its treats, and also various criticism of the project, and/or any material for debate(s).

Mr Byrnes added, "I expect that initial interest in this website book will come from genealogy enthusiasts now active on the Net. Other people with different historical preoccupations will probably surface on the Internet once the genealogists have contacted the information I provide."

"However, for those with more serious interests in history, I have placed versions of my history articles, earlier-published in print media, together with the chapters of The Blackheath Connection on the Internet.

"We end up with a very integrated set of information that gives a more intimate look at the London which produced a political decision to settle convicts at `New Holland' from 1786," Mr. Byrnes said.

(It may be of interest that Dan Byrnes says that of his Irish ancestors, none were convicts. He does have a convict ancestor arising from Sheffield, England. Being a young thieving cutler, later made good, Alfred Ernest Windle (1803-1876). Windle died at Coogee, Sydney, and has many descendants in New South Wales.)

::::::::::::::(Ends less than 1000 words):::::::::

For further information: Phone Dan Byrnes in Armidale on (0267) 715 243


New items encountered after completion of The Blackheath Connection.

In Late 2001 opens exhibition celebrating the voyaging of Matthew Flinders, at NSW State Library, with commemoration concluded May 2002 in Port Philip Bay - Melbourne.

Matthew Flinders Electronic Archive:
The Matthew Flinders electronic archive is intended as the companion website to an exhibition curated by the State Library of NSW. It presents a digitised collection of manuscripts, transcripts, maps and artefacts belonging to Matthew Flinders and held at the Library.

Renaming for Botany Bay National Park, Sydney, where Capt. James Cook landed in 1770 (otherwise known to Sydneysiders as Kurnell).
The area is to be renamed Kamay-Botany Bay in deference to the original inhabitants of the area, the Dharawal people. An elder is Mrs Beryl Timbery-Beller, who claims that in 1770, her great-great-great-great-great grandmother saw Cook arrive. Kamay is the original Dharawal place-name word for the area. (Reported 4 March 2000)

From Frances Coakely: A few minor points ere Isle of Man:
On completing the sale of the Island, British Government, at the requisition of the Duke of Atholl, consented to retain every officer of his appointment, except the Collector of the Customs. This office was then conferred on Richard Betham, Esq. L.L. D. who died in 1789, and was succeeded by the present Collector. (This is from Robertson, who met him a short time before his death - and the Hague, the seat of the late Richard Betham, LLD; a gentleman, whose erudition was truly respectable; and to whose politeness and friendship I am highly indebted (see Robertson's tour of Isle of Man): One other document dates Betham from 1777, not 1765.
Thus it would not appear that Betham had good links with Atholl - in fact the opposite? The Campbell connection was I think mentioned in the Manx paper? Certainly in the 'the Theatre' book it plays a part. The custom posts on the Island seemed to have been a sinecure - see:
Kind regards, Frances Coakley, Senior Tutor, Rm 18BB02, Dept Elec Eng; University of Surrey, GUILDFORD, GU2 7XH, UK Tel +(0)1483 879129, email

David Kent and Norma Townsend, The Convicts of the Eleanor: Protest in Rural England, New Lives in Australia. Merlin Press/Pluto press, 2002, 305pp.

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