The Mysterious Advent of Thomas Darchy

By Ann Pendergast and Nancy Vada Gibb.

(c) 2016 Nancy Vada Gibb. Please do not reproduce any part or all of this document without permission.  Photo above is of Thomas’ great-grandson Darchy Catt at the entrance to the original slab hut built by Thomas Darchy.

 

The Regency Period in England (1811-1820) “… was an age of war, hedonism, scandal and beauty, an age of magnificence opulence, dreadful poverty and political turmoil.  But above all it was an age of glittering individuals, Wellington, Byron, Napoleon, Jane Austen and Beau Brummell …and of course the Prince Regent (later William III) himself”. The Napoleonic Wars had finally concluded in 1815, and the following years were peaceful for most of Europe. The royal families and military leaders of the various European countries which had combined to defeat Napoleon were on friendly terms and likely to be acquainted with each other, often tied by blood as well as marital history.

Towards the end of this notable era, on 24 February 1820 in Augsburg, Bavaria a baby named Thomas Darchy was born “in matrimony”, as stated in a formal declaration accompanying his baptismal certificate. Nothing is known of his parents apart from their names which were recorded at the time of his baptism in the Protestant Church of St. Ulrich at Augsburg, on 7 March 1820.

TD's birth cert.

His father, also named Thomas, was described as an English property owner; and his mother’s name was given as Amey Maude nee Philipse. Thomas’ godfather and the only witness to the baptismal ceremony (the parents may not have been present), was Alexander Johann Wilhelm Bradford, described as “an English nobleman owning estates in and near London”.  In reality he was plain Dr. Alexander Broadfoot, born 1770, son of a merchant on the island of Whithorn, Wigtownshire, Scotland. His parents were George Broadfoot 1734-1804, merchant and Jean Carlyle 1750-1795, niece of the historian Thomas Carlyle.  At the time of Thomas’ birth Broadfoot was on half-pay, a former surgeon with the Sicilian Regiment in the Napoleonic Wars. The Sicilian Regiment, “.. a foreign regiment in British pay..” was stationed in Malta, not Sicily, from January 1808 to March 1816, when it was disbanded.  Prior to Malta the Regiment went to Egypt (then part of the Ottoman Empire) in 1807, the year Broadfoot joined the Regiment. Just seven months later Dr. Broadfoot was appointed a staff officer, and two years later he was appointed Inspector General of Health in the Ionian Islands, and later Director of Health at Gibraltar – an important position.

Why Thomas was born in Augsburg and what  happened to his parents following his birth is unknown. Indeed, were his parents’ real names given and was Darchy the correct spelling of the surname? Was the mother’s surname Philipse romanticised from the English Philips in the same way that Broadfoot was given an impressive string of Germanic Christian names? What was her nationality? Her christian names were very  English but not her surname. What was her relationship with Dr. Broadfoot?

A week before his birth, on 13 February 1820, Dr. Alexander Broadfoot entrusted the unborn child to the care of Dr. Frederick Sacc, Knight of the Iron Cross and Royal Councillor of the King of Prussia, Frederick William III. The latter title was granted on the same date Thomas Darchy was entrusted to his care.

Frederick Louis Ferdinand Sacc, son of Frederick Henri Sacc and Anne Dorothea Elizabeth Sachsen, was born in Potsdam, Prussia in 1784. He had been chief medical officer of the Garde (Prussian Regiment) and also aide de camp and adviser to His Majesty the King of Prussia. Sacc accompanied the King, who was also the Prince of Neuchatel, on an official visit to the Principality, and stayed there, eventually marrying a local lady and taking up citizenship.

map Swiss

Frederick William III of Prussia 1770-1840, was also born in Potsdam Prussia,and  “… as a child… was handed over to tutors, as was quite normal for the period.” As a Colonel in 1790 he took part in the campaigns against France of 1792-4 and again later against Napoleon. He married Princess Louise of Mecklenberg-Strelitz and succeeded to the throne on 16 Nov 1797.  He established the Iron Cross in 1813 for acts of heroism, bravery and leadership, regardless of rank.

On 12 March 1820 a copy of the baptismal record was prepared for Dr. Sacc.  The whereabouts of this original certificate is unknown, but a translation, prepared in Sydney about 1930 for Claire Nicholls, daughter of Francis and granddaughter of Thomas, reads:

In the year One Thousand eight Hundred and Twenty, the 24th February, in the morning at 2 o’clock, there was born in Augsburg, and baptised the 7th March, in the forenoon at 3 o’clock, according to protestant faith a boy born in matrimony:

        THOMAS

(followed by details of his parents, as given earlier and naming Broadfoot as witness)

The complete legality of the above mentioned is witnessed by the Authorities.

Augsburg, 12 March 1820

The King’s Bavarian Protestant

Church of St. Ulrich

Dean: Krauss, priest.

To whom it may concern: the signed name is in the own handwriting with the attached seal of the Church of St. Ulrich of the Dean there, whose name is Her Ludwig Friedrich Krauss and was personally checked up.  Was put to it the Seal of the Court.

The King’s District and Town Court

Signature: von Silberhorn.

Shortly thereafter on 16 May, 1820 Dr. Sacc  obtained letters of naturalisation and permission to become a citizen of Neuchatel, Switzerland, at that time a Prussian principality. Neuchatel is not only the name of the Swiss Canton, but also the capital and the adjacent lake. Dr. Sacc lived in Cortaillod, not far from Neuchatel the city, on the shore of the lake.

It is not known when the infant Thomas was taken to the Neuchatel, but he remained there for the first nine years of his life. He was cared for by members of Dr. Sacc’s extended family, particularly two sisters, and much later Thomas named several of his children after members of this family, so it can be surmised he spent a happy early childhood. At least three of his children were later to visit Neuchâtel some time after his death.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, the King of Prussia was defeated by Napoleon and was forced to give up Neuchâtel in order to keep Hanover. Napoleon’s marshal, Berthier, became Prince of Neuchâtel, building roads and restoring infrastructure, but never actually setting foot in his domain. After the fall of Napoleon, the King of Prussia reasserted his rights by proposing that Neuchâtel be linked with the other Swiss cantons (the better to exert influence over the lot of them). On September 12, 1814, Neuchâtel became the 21st canton, but also remained a Prussian principality. Nowadays the city is mainly French-speaking, although is sometimes referred to historically by the German name Neuenberg since Prussia ruled the area until 1848.

In 1828 the peace and orderly life of the Saccs in Neuchatel was shattered. A letter arrived from John Laurie Esq. of Bristol, dated 14 July.  The contents of the letter can be easily imagined because on hearing the news Dr. Sacc was much agitated and on 25 July 1828 wrote an impassioned letter in French to Laurie. (A draft of this letter and other papers of Dr. Sacc were found in the Neuchatel Archives.) Sacc’s native language was not French and the draft letter was full of archaic French and crossed-out words and other words added above and below the lines.  It said:

“I received your letter yesterday, written in Bristol on the 14th, and I sincerely congratulate you for having fulfilled your heart’s wishes. Be happy, content and always convinced that the only true happiness which we can enjoy in this world, is the close family and the gentle company of a woman close to our heart.

“I well understand that this polite (?) matter has taken much of your time and that you could not think of us. In fact, I would have liked you to have forgotten about us for longer, because I am dismayed at the news that you would like to come and take away our young man.

“To me, the future seems bleak, for both the child and these ladies and I have not yet been able to bring myself to tell them this overwhelming news which is all the more reason that I must ask you to please think again before finally and irrevocably deciding to remove the child, because he is still very young and he is being raised by expert hands.

“And what do you want to do with him? Send him to boarding school? Or in other words, abandon him, because you do not want to look after him and his mother will continue to watch him from a distance at her pleasure. On the other hand we must resign ourselves to seeing him leave us sooner or later, but is this the right time?  Isn’t he still too young? Can’t he stay here until he is 12-14 years old, to strengthen his moral character and to finish his primary schooling. Think again, dear man: the removal of this child will be a terrible blow to the family.

“Regarding the rest, I do not understand how Madam L. was able so easily to consent to this arrangement, which is precisely the opposite of what she told me two years ago in Geneva, when she seemed to fear his presence in England (deleted…. and assured me she wanted to leave him here for better hiding him). She said in her own words that he would never know his mother and that the mother’s family would forever ignore his existence. She told me her final wish for her son, and she gave me her express wish, to raise him entirely as Swiss.

“I would like to remind you that this child is here under the protection of the government and that I am his guarantor and that by law I cannot let you take him back, and because of this you will have to come yourself and the mother will have to give me written consent to allow you to take him back and to give you power of attorney.

“Personally, I am deeply worried abut the consequences that this change will have for my dear child, for who shall he count on in the future. On you? Alas! You live with 200-300 livres (a monetary unit) of him, you are married, a public servant. (deleted …and you have no interest to see him prosper and to make his way). Or his mother? Much less than on you, because she doesn’t want him and as she says, she cannot look after him. Thus, he will be abandoned and alone, continually in boarding schools and he will become what he can. So, finally, my dear man, I will not speak again until you respond to my concerns [which are] expressed because of the great interest that I take in your young man and in his carers. “

From this letter it appears that John Laurie was a close relation, perhaps a brother or uncle to Thomas’ mother, or less likely Thomas’ real father. The various relationships between Laurie, Madam L, Sacc and Broadfoot are still unknown. Some speculations will be discussed in a later article. It is known however that Broadfoot’s Regiment was in Malta during the Peninsular Wars at the same time as Du Meuron’s Regiment, which was raised in Neuchatel and contained some officers from that district. Laurie’s identity is less certain.

On 12 September 1828 Dr. Broadfoot wrote to Dr. Sacc saying:

 “In accordance with our original agreement, you, Mons. Frederick Sacc, herewith have just been requested and authorised to deliver the child Thomas Darchy with all the certificates, papers and related original documents concerning him, to the bearer of this letter Mr. Julius Charles Hare, an English gentleman, and, for such delivery, this will be your guarantee.”

This was the first appearance of Julius Charles Hare (1795–1855) in the records of Thomas Darchy’s early life. Hare was reputed to be one of the most erudite of English scholars, and his major work Guesses at Truth had great influence on philosophical, philological, and literary activity throughout the nineteenth century. He taught as a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge from 1822 to 1832.  Described as “ … a contemporary and friend of Connop Thirlwall at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge…. Hare and Thirlwall were as well acquainted as any Englishmen of their day with German literature, yet they retained a thoroughly English outlook.”   At the time of his recall from Neuchatel in 1828 the young Thomas Darchy’s first language would have been German, with possibly some French; so Hare would have been the ideal tutor/companion to prepare the young man for life as a wealthy young Englishman.

Hare’s relationship to Broadfoot and the other players in this mysterious drama is unknown. It is not clear if he actually knew Thomas’ mother. It is possible that he became involved through his elder brother Francis, who led an indolent life mostly on the Continent and provided Julius with many connections and acquaintances.

Another document was drawn up in London by a French clerc (notary) on the same date (12 September 1828) and signed by Dr. Broadfoot and Julius Hare, stating that Dr. Broadfoot, acting on behalf of Thomas Darchy’s mother (later named as Madam Clark Leslie), authorised the transfer of the child from the care of Dr. Frederick Sacc to Julius Charles Hare:

“We, the undersigned Julius Charles Hare Esq., (Associate) Fellow of Cambridge in England, and Alexander Broadfoot, Doctor of Medicine, Inspector of Health of Gibraltar and Deputy Inspector of His Britannic Majesty’s Military Hospitals, by this act declare that, conjointly and separately, we render up guarantees for the safety of the child Thomas Darchy, living in Colombier in the care of Mr. Frederick Sacc, advisor to His Majesty the King of Prussia, since the 13 February 1820, by arrangement with the aforesaid Mr. Broadfoot, acting for the mother of the child, and at present the aforesaid child being on the point of being delivered by Mr. Sacc to the aforesaid Mr. Julius Charles Hare; herewith, we have guaranteed, moreover, for the safety of the child, that he, Thomas Darchy, may never by whatever accident or mischance fall neither into the care of the Neuchatel government nor of the aforesaid Mr. Sacc, in view of the fact that the aforesaid child received by Mr. Julius Charles Hare, must be very shortly returned to his mother in England and cared for there, according to her means and her maternal affection.

In witness whereof, here is our seal and signature.

London, 12 September, 1828.

(signature) Alexander Broadfoot, Doctor of Medicine, Inspector of Health at Gibraltar, Deputy Inspector of His Britannic Majesty’s Military Hospitals (the writer of the text)

Julius Charles Hare, (Associate) Fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge Universit (Sealed                                                with red wax]. 

On 7 November 1828 Julius Charles Hare wrote from Trinity College, Cambridge to Dr. Sacc in  Cortaillod, Neuchatel, Suisse saying he would come to Neuchatel in the Spring to take Thomas away. The translation is:

Monsieur,

I think our friend Mr. Broadfoot told you that he intended to pass through Neuchatel during the summer. Circumstances have delayed him and I have been obliged to put back my trip until the Spring. Then I definitely hope to have the pleasure of making your acquaintance and shaking you by the hand. The child Thomas Darchy is to be placed with his mother as he is her responsibility. I hope to see you then.

Your obedient servant

J.C. Hare.

With a curious postscript:  Madam Clark Leslie has directed her banker to remit 1010 Louis to his branch at Neuchatel which is to be paid to the women who are responsible for the education of the child.”

On 31 July 1829 A passport was granted to Julius Charles Hare, acting on behalf of Alexander Broadfoot. The passport, No. 1084, was issued by the Ambassador of His Majesty the King of the Low Countries,.  This is puzzling as Hare was a British subject and a respected member of the prestigious Trinity College.  It is mentioned in another legal document given below and was used as proof of Hare’s identity.

By 17 September that year Thomas Darchy appears to have been handed over to the care of Julius Charles Hare, acting for Dr. Broadfoot.  A sworn document says:

Concerning the discharge – given by Mr. Alex Broadfoot Doctor, Inspector of Public Health at Gibraltar and Deputy Inspector of the Military Hospitals of his Britannic Majesty in the same place – of a child of male sex named Thomas Darchy. In favour of M. Frederick Sacc, Knight of the Order of the Iron Cross and Royal Court Councillor of His Majesty the King of Prussia, citizen of Neuchatel, to whom the aforesaid child had been confided on 13 February 1820.

Costs (4.2.6) paid.     Dated Sept 7th 1829.

Taken before a Magistrate of the Noble Court of Justice of Colombier in the principality and Canton of Neuchatel & Valangin in Switzerland and the hereinafter named witnesses –

The parties concerned are

 – Mr. Julius Charles Hare, member of Trinity College, Cambridge in England domiciled at Cambridge acting in the name of Mr. Alexander Broadfoot Doctor, Inspector of Public Health at Gibraltar and Deputy Inspector of the Military Hospitals of his Britannic Majesty in the same place, by virtue of two documents which he has produced duly signed and dated 12th September 1828. Accompanied by his seal and remaining attached to the minute (document) of the applicant.

– Mr. Frederick Sacc of Berlin, M.D. & M.S. Knight of the Order of the Iron Cross, Royal Counciller of His Majesty the King of Prussia, citizen of Neuchatel, domiciled at Colombier.

The first named has said that in the name of and on behalf of his client he has been charged to withdraw from the hands of the aforesaid Dr. Sacc, the male child Thomas Darchy who was confided to his guardianship on the 13th Feb. 1820, and in support of his action he has produced the two documents aforementioned, of which one is a certificate of discharge (and) the other a discharge properly so called in favour of Doctor Sacc aforesaid, and of the said child. Moreover he has shown his passport granted at London on 31 July 1829, sent by the Ambassador of His Majesty the King of the Low Countries. No. 1084, containing the signature and the description of the Bearer which confirms his identity.

On his side the aforementioned Dr. Sacc having perused the documents produced by the Bearer (ie Hare) and compared it with his correspondence and with the document in the same hand and recognised the writing and the signature of Mr. Alexander Broadfoot as well as his seal although the said signature may not have been witnessed, and in no way doubting the reality of Mr. Charles Hare’s mission, as much by reason of certain signs of which he is the bearer as by the advice contained in the correspondence of Mr Broadfoot who has acquainted him of the commission confided to Mr. Hare. Which is why he sends back with him in all good faith the aforesaid Thomas Darchy to bear him to his destination according to the instructions he has received on this matter, and adds for him (ie Thomas Darchy) sincere good wishes for his happiness.

Then the bearer declares, Mr Charles Julius Hare, acknowledges this action in the name of his client and in his own name. He guarantees the said Dr. Sacc from all other charges in the matter of the said child by giving to him this paper in full and entire discharge for and against any future claim (he having) besides received with the said child his original Baptismal Certificate as well as a packet with an unbroken seal which was given to him by Mr. Broadfoot which bears the inscription “Not to be opened except upon the death of Mr. Broadfoot”.

In support of this action the parties have had the present document drawn up which is agreeable to all. They renounce everything which might affect its validity, or obligation on their property now or in the future.

In the presence of Cesar D’Yvernois Concillor of State, and Edouard Gaberel de Savagnier Mayor of this place and both domiciled in this place.

Joined as witnesses with the magistrate and the parties concerned (and) signed in the statutes at Colombier this 17th of September one thousand eight hundred and twenty nine 1829.

Then follows the elaborate signature of so and so … Clerc. pro. Notary.

Clerc also made a declaration on the copy of Thomas’ baptismal certificate which was obtained by Dr. Sacc.  This declaration was also dated 17 September.

(In French): I declare that the above mentioned copy is the same as the original and was made according to the wishes of Doctor Sacc.

At Colombier, the 17th September, 1829.

                            Clerc. (signature).

Regarding the mysterious packet with unbroken seal, it can be supposed that Hare returned it to Broadfoot, but it is not known what happened following Broadfoot’s death – had it been destroyed by then or were the contents made known to Thomas Darchy?

The journey from Neuchatel to England would have been long and  arduous, and most likely by coach but perhaps by early rail. Did they travel overland through France to the English Channel or did they perhaps go the long but scenic way through the Alps to an Italian or French port and then take ship through the Straits of Gibraltar?

The first German railway was a 79 mile stretch from Linz to Budweis built between 1827 and 1832, but it was a horse-drawn railway.  The first steam driven train in Germany was not opened until 1837. Frederick William III (to whom Dr. Sacc was appointed a Royal Councillor in 1820) asked why anyone should wish to get to Potsdam half an hour sooner, and complained that now the meanest of his subjects could travel as fast as he.

It is not known where Thomas spent the years from 1829 to 1839, and with whom, but the fact that he later gave his religion as Episcopal and that he most likely sailed from Greenock to the Australian colonies suggests that he may have spent time in Scotland. Unfortunately records were not kept for children at that time and the first Scottish Census was not until 1841.

Thomas apparently did not attend any of the well-known English or Scottish universities, (Charterhouse, Rugby, Aberdeen High School, Bristol HS, etc) although it is curious but probably coincidental that a Thomas Darcy, “from County Carlow” (Ireland) was a medical student at Edinburgh University during 1832-3.  No other records such as age or parents’ names were kept by the university at that time. Thomas Darchy would have been too young (12-13) to have been this student, surely; and his putative father would have been a little too old, in his 30’s at least. Yet Edinburgh was Broadfoot’s alma mater; and Carlow is just south of Wicklow where as shall be seen Thomas’ future bride’s family originated.

Most likely Thomas spent time on one or more landed estates in England or Scotland, with a private tutor, or less likely that he lived with the Broadfoots on Gibraltar (see later). Possibly he also lived with or visited Hare, who succeeded to the rich family living of Herstmonceaux in Sussex in 1832.  Hare did tutor several young men there. It is not known if Thomas went to the Continent again before 1839, or if he did live in England/Scotland. Hare did make a journey to Italy in 1832-3 but a published account makes no mention of Thomas, nor is there any mention of him in any of Hare’s papers held at Trinity College and elsewhere.

In December 1827 Broadfoot was appointed Inspector of Health at Gibraltar and the following year he married and almost immediately made a will leaving money to his new wife and his brothers. Coincidentally or not that was the same year he wrote to Dr. Sacc authorising the transfer of Thomas to England.  Dr. Broadfoot’s wife was Esther Sutherland, daughter of the wealthy Lord Duffus of Burray, actually of Burrogil Castle, Caithness, now the Castle of Mey in northern Scotland, home of the Late Queen Mother. Esther’s sister Helen had married Dr. Broadfoot’s older brother William several years earlier.

Dr. Broadfoot was still at Gibraltar at the end of 1834 as he appears aged 50 (his real age was probably 64 if the birth year of 1770 is correct) in the Census of December that year together with his wife Ester (sic) aged 35 and their daughter Ester aged 3, who was born at Gibraltar.  Broadfoot’s niece Margaret Broadfoot aged 26 was staying with them at the time.  He apparently returned to England or Scotland soon afterwards. He died in October 1837 and was buried at Chatham, Kent.  His will made no mention of Thomas Darchy.

Two years after Dr. Broadfoot’s death Thomas was listed among the passengers of the “India”, a barque of 493 tons, which sailed on her maiden voyage from Greenock in Scotland on 5 October 1839 by way of Cork and Porto Prio “with a cargo of sundries” and  at least 94 passengers, and arrived in Adelaide about 23 February 1840. He did not disembark at Adelaide but continued on to Port Philip (Melbourne), where the “India” arrived about 10 April  after “meeting with a good deal of severe weather” according to the Port Philip Herald, although it is unclear if that referred to the earlier part of the voyage. The “India” was cleared for Sydney on 4th May with Thomas still on board.  He appeared to have been unaccompanied.

%22India%22 1840

Photo from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/fh/passengerlists/1840India.htm which also lists details of the cargo.

There are two known accounts of the voyage, written by Irish immigrant Robert Bell travelling in the intermediate cabin, and the Reverend Andrew Love obviously travelling first class.  Bell kept a detailed diary.  His first entry reads:

5 October 1839: Set sail from Greenock …at 12 o’clock all passengers collected on the deck having their minds fully prepared to pass four months on the ocean, subject to all the dangers of the stormy billows and liable at any time to be cast away on some rude and inhospitable coast where savage natives live by plunder….

Bell did not mention Thomas Darchy, but he did mention Love:

27th Oct. At 12 o’clock Mr. Love gave us a sermon for the first time since coming on board which was finished in an hour and a half.

In contrast, Love’s account was rather more restrained. It should be noted however that it  was actually put together by two of his granddaughters, using notes made by one of his daughters:

My father, the Rev, Andrew Love, with his wife and five children sailed from Greenock in October 1839 in the sailing ship India, a small vessel of 495 tons built in Greenock in 1839, owners Orr & Co., then making her maiden voyage.

She carried some thirty adult cabin passengers besides second class and steerage and a number of children, the Captain was a Highlander, a Campbell, with a piper on board, and one of his favourite amusements, when we met a vessel, was to set the piper on the bowsprit to play “The Campbells Are coming”.

We met with heavy weather to the south east of Ireland and were obliged to put back to Cork for repairs.  Thence we sailed a month later, proceeding in the leisurely fashion of that time.  The Captain reefed sail every night and went comfortably to bed, turning out only at the change of watch to see that all was well and then retiring again.

Bell: (9-16 Nov): Passed the island of Madeira…. we have now entered the North East trade winds and may expect steady sailing for the next 3-4 weeks at least …. the thermometer was 73, as warm as the hottest summer day at home….  the thermometer is 80 degrees today … some of the cabin passengers are beginning to take baths by means of throwing buckets full of water over the body. … 3 or 4 Cabin passengers have slept on the deck these last 2 nights … flying fish were seen for the first time, they fly in flocks of about 100 but never more than 15 feet, generally from the top of one wave to another.

Love: We touched at the Cape Verde Islands where the Erebus and the Terror were lying and had a visit from Captain Ross, Rear-Admiral Sir James Clark Ross 1800-1862, and his officers.

Bell (19 Nov): We entered a small bay (in the Cape Verdes) with 3 vessels at anchor and the town of St. Jago stretched in fine appearance above it. We were not permitted to land immediately, the Governor wished to have the ship and crew inspected dreading some infectious disease….. boats came alongside bartering old clothes for fruit … later in the day I went ashore … we walked into town where the inhabitants were standing at the door of every house glaring at us with curiosity …. We then went to the hotel for dinner. Going through the hall into the dining room we looked into the kitchen and there saw the black cook with a massive chain round his middle and legs preparing our meal. We learned that he had run away and his master having caught him after a good deal of pursuit loaded him with irons to prevent him committing the like offence in future. The poor slave appeared not to feel his situation much working busily at his employment. No matter how it appeared I had left Britain, the land of liberty behind me and now for the first time in my existence I beheld a slave in his chains.

(21 Nov): We are now 10 degrees off the line and the weather is getting warmer every day …

(2 Dec): we crossed the line last night about 2 o’clock, none of the passengers were up. … running on average 120 miles/ day.

(14 Dec): Very soon now we will get into the latitude of the Cape. I feel the air getting cooler every day as we go further south so I am quit sleeping on deck.  We are about 600 miles from Tristandachuna (sic) and if we continue at our present rate of sailing may expect to reach Adelaide in 7 weeks.

(16 Dec): the wind is against us now making us steer to the south…. Mr. Robinson sitting on the main top threw down the remains of his cigar, it landed on Mr Mills’ quilt which had been spread on hay over the long boat to dry.  A good sized hole was burned in it before it was discovered.  It was very fortunate the hay did not take fire as if it did in all probability the ship would have been burned or at least some of the sails.

Love: At Tristan da Cunha “Governor” Glass came on board, bringing us fresh butter and eggs and begging in return a supply of needles, pins and cotton. My mother willingly turned out her work bag and the other ladies did the same giving all they could spare, my father baptised some of the “Governor’s” children and we again set sail.

Bell: The number of persons on the island was 63 of which 40 were children.

(17th Jan): The Captain informed us that the latitude is 39 and the longitude 39.  It is quite calm this morning, not a breath of wind. The Captain wishing to get a view of the “India” from the water lowered the boat and together 5 or 6 rowed about a quarter of a mile off. Some of them having gone out with the intention of bathing.  Those stripped and leaped in.  The Captain took a swim with the rest at which he is very adept.  (One wonders if the young Thomas Darchy was above joining in the fun).

(23rd Jan): the arms belonging to the ship were brought on deck to be cleaned. They consist of 6 muskets, with bayonets, 6 swords and 6 pistols.

(29th Jan): After tea the Piper was brought on the poop and dancing commenced. Half an hour of dancing tired most of them as the air was too sultry for exercise. (This is the only mention Bell makes of the Piper). 

(1st Feb): … a very heavy shower of rain .. afterwards turned to hail… thunder by this time had arrived overhead and peal after peal was heard .. we all grew rather frightened … At last one dreadful crash came it seemed as if all the elements had united and put forth all their strength to strike a decisive blow on the devoted ship. If all the artillery in the universe had been discharged at once I think the noise could scarcely have been greater. A flash of lightning accompanied it so powerful and near that all of us felt the shock. I suppose it could be called a thunderbolt as it flew along the deck like a ball of fire.

Love: We met many schools of whales and the sight of a whaler with a freshly harpooned whale in tow created great excitement amongst the passengers, the whale being longer than our little ship India.

Bell (6 Feb): During the night the ship had put about and we were steering direct south with the wind from the East. The most of us seem rather disappointed with the delay as we had expected to reach Adelaide tomorrow. The Captain is employed today painting the figurehead. It represents an Indian of Calcutta with turban on his head, a red mantle thrown over his shoulders and Morocco slippers turned up at the toes. (Contrary winds continued to prevent them making port for some days).

(17th Feb): This morning at 4 o’clock I was lying awake when suddenly the ship began to slope greatly … during this there was a great noise of wind on deck then a dreadful crash was heard and someone called out the masts were gone. Immediately I went up the hatchway and saw that the main top mast and fore top masts were over the side together with yard sails and rigging.  The squall had come on when the wind was veering and had not been observed till about a minute before it commenced. The boatswain had just come on deck to begin his watch, when seeing the approaching danger, went to the Captain’s room to tell him about it.  He received the order to let go of the top sail halyards and clew up the mainsail …. While performing the last order the gale had blown the ship nearly on her beam ends (ie sideways) so that water was running on the deck and before the sailmaker could let go the halyards the masts had gone. The men in a short time after the accident began to clear away the rigging and haul in the spars and yards. I together with most of the passengers assisted as well we could.

(18th Feb): By breakfast time there was a jury mast erected… in the evening the new fore top mast was hauled into place by means of the windlass at which we all assisted. The mate informed me that the storm we had was called a White Squall, always sudden and severe and without means of precaution being taken beforehand, the loss of masts is inevitable.

The “India” finally arrived in Port Adelaide on 23 Feb 1840.  Bell left the ship at that port. Thomas Darchy continued on to Melbourne and later Sydney.

Love: Our vessel suffered many mishaps.  But, after being twice dismasted and once set on fire by lightning in a terrific storm, we dropped anchor in Port Philip on the 9th of April 1840 – reported six months and nine days out from Greenock.

The passengers landed at Sandridge, now called Port Melbourne, then merely a stretch of beach covered with grass, backed by ti-tree scrub with a forest of gum trees behind it. There were no houses; just a few white tents alternating with fishermen’s mia-mias. …. Melbourne was only three miles distant, but the only road lay through dense forest and the only means of getting there was by a spring cart ….

Before the shipping records came to light it was thought that Thomas Darchy and a guardian had sailed from Gibraltar for the Australian colonies in 1840.  Frank Darchy of Toowoomba, greatgrandson of Thomas through his son Francis, was told that the child was educated in Switzerland and then taken to Gibraltar where he was cared for by a Major of Artillery. Tom Killen, another great grandson through Thomas’ son Michael, remembers seeing a travel document or passport issued at Gibraltar, and signed by the King of the Lowlands. Unfortunately this document appears to have been lost, and there are no records about it in Gibraltar.

Sister Margery Piggott, great granddaughter of Thomas through his daughter Clara Maria, thought that Thomas came out to the Colonies “under the protection of the Governor”.  George Gipps was Governor of New South Wales at the time and no evidence has been found of any connection between him and Thomas Darchy. It could be, however, that because of his Neuchatel connections, Thomas had letters of introduction to Charles Joseph La Trobe, governor of Victoria. It is thought the young La Trobe spent some of his holidays at a boarding school in Neuchatel, and later in 1832 he acted as tutor to the young Count Albert de Pourtales, of a grand Neuchatel family, on an extended tour of North America. He was appointed Superintendent of the Port Phillip District in the Colony of Victoria in 1839 – the year Thomas Darchy sailed for Australia.  However, two published collections of La Trobe’s letters do not make any mention of Darchy, nor do the descriptive lists of the large collection of papers held by the State Library of Victoria.

A year after his initial arrival in Australia at Port Phillip, on February 16, 1841, Thomas arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney) from Port Phillip on the barque “Ariadne”, 501 tons. He was one of the few Cabin passengers and again appeared to have been unaccompanied. He was just 8 days short of his 21st birthday. It is not known what he did in the intervening year.

An article containing some inaccuracies published in March 1892 in “Table Talk”, a 19th century Melbourne periodical, says Thomas Darchy came to the colonies accompanied by a tutor, Thomas Kissock. There was no Kissock on the passenger list of the “India” on her maiden voyage in 1839-40, but intriguingly when the “India” burned and foundered on a subsequent voyage, a Mr. Kissock, a passenger on the “Alemena” which was nearby, gave an account of the rescue of the passengers which was published on Monday 18 October 1841 in the Port Phillip Patriot.

Almost certainly this eye witness was Thomas Kissock, son of Samuel Kissock and Margaret Kerr, who was born in Scotland in about 1806 and married Elizabeth Pinkerton in St. James’ Church, Melbourne in 1847. They had at least 3 children, Margaret b. 1857 in Williamstown Vic, Samuel Mac born 1859 in Tarneit Melbourne and died 1860 in Werribee; and Elizabeth b. 1862 in Nawy (?).  Mother Elizabeth died aged 67 in 1888 in South Yarra and father Thomas Kissock died aged 94 in 1900 also in South Yarra, which fits in with his age (92) given in “Table Talk”.

It is possible this Thomas Kissock was indeed a tutor of the young Thomas Darchy in Scotland or England before his departure for Australia at age 20.  No record can be found for him as a tutor of the Darchy children, indeed it is unlikely as they were born between 1845 and 1863 in the Hay-Murrumbidgee area whereas Thomas Kissock’s children were born in or near Melbourne between 1857 and 1862.

Could Thomas Darchy have made an earlier voyage to Australia, possibly from Gibraltar?  Perhaps he spent time there after leaving Neuchatel.  At the time Dr. Broadfoot retired from his position there in 1833 or 1834 Thomas would have been aged 14, so still in need of a guardian and a tutor – who could have accompanied the wealthy young man on an educational tour to the Colonies some years before Thomas arrived on the “India”. Or did he perhaps return to the Sacc family for a time? The fact that he named some of his children after Sacc family members and encouraged his children to visit Neuchatel would indicate that he knew the Saccs at a more mature age than ten.

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