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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY
Angus and Robertson--1949
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BACKHOUSE, JAMES (1794-1869),missionary,
the fourth child of James and Mary Backhouse of Darlington, Yorkshire, England, was born on 8 July 1794. His father died when he was a child and his mother brought him up in a religious atmosphere. He began work in a grocery, drug and chemical business, but his health was not good and he decided to adopt an outdoor life. An uncle helped him in the study of botany, and in 1815, with his brother Thomas, he purchased the nursery business of J. and G. Telford at York. In 1822 he married Deborah Lowe, and in 1824 he was admitted as a minister in the Society of Friends. In December 1827 his wife died leaving him with a son and a daughter. In September 1831, with G. W. Walker (q.v.), he sailed for Australia on a mission to the convicts and settlers. They arrived at Hobart in February 1832, and the next six years were spent in missionary journeys all over the then settled districts of Tasmania, New South Wales, and as far north as the site of Brisbane. Port Phillip was visited in 1837, and South and Western Australia just before they left.
A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies by James Backhouse, published in 1843, tells the story of their travels and has much of interest relating to the aborigines, the convicts, the social conditions of the time, and the botany of Australia. The two missioners then went to Mauritius and South Africa and continued their work, preaching whenever a few could be gathered together to hear them. Backhouse even succeeded in learning enough Dutch to be able to preach in that language. He returned to England and arrived at London on 15 February 1841. An account of his African experiences will be found in A Narrative of a Visit to the Mauritius and South Africa, published in 1844. He took up the nursery again, and when his brother died in 1845, brought his own son James into the business. He kept up his religious work for the whole of his life, travelling and preaching much in England, Scotland and Ireland. He died at York on 20 January 1869. In addition to the works already mentioned Backhouse wrote or edited A Memoir of Deborah Backhouse (1828), Memoirs of Francis Howgill (1828), Extracts from the Letters of James Backhouse (1838-41), The Life and Correspondence of William and Alice Ellis (1849), A Short Record of the Life and Experiences of Thomas Bulman (1851), and numerous sermons, addresses and tracts. With Charles Tylor he wrote The Life and Labours of George Washington Walker (1862). His son, James Backhouse, was the author of A Handbook of European Birds (1890) and other publications.
The views of Backhouse on religion and the conduct of life seem narrow after the lapse of 100 years. But he was absolutely sincere and disinterested, and this was fully recognized by the convicts, the settlers and the ruling officials. He was untiring in his advocacy of temperance, and his opinions on the treatment of convicts were sound and wise. The report on the state of prisoners in Tasmania made by Backhouse and Walker to Governor Arthur (q.v.) is printed as an appendix to A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies. The botanical work of Backhouse was also excellent. Sir J. D. Hooker in his "Introductory Essay" to his Flora Tasmaniae says of Backhouse: "The results of his journey have proved extremely valuable in a scientific point of view and added much to our familiarity with Australian vegetation".
S. Backhouse, Memoir of James Backhouse; The Journal of Botany, vol. VII; Backhouse's own publications.
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BADHAM, CHARLES (1813-1884),classical scholar,
was the son of Charles Badham, M.D., F.R.S., professor of physic at the university of Glasgow, and of Margaret Campbell, cousin of Thomas Campbell, the poet. He was born at Ludlow, Shropshire, on 18 July 1813, and at the age of seven was sent to Switzerland to be educated under Pestalozzi. He went to Eton about 1826, matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1831, and graduated B.A. in 1837 and M.A. in 1839. Dr Hawtrey, who was headmaster of Eton in Badham's time, said that in all his Eton experience he had never known a more remarkable scholar. But the long period at Oxford before he graduated suggests that his energies were not entirely given to his work and he obtained only third-class honours. He then spent seven years in Europe, and gave much study to Greek manuscripts. In the Vatican library he met the great Dutch classical scholar C. G. Cobet with whom he formed a life-long friendship. He also perfected his knowledge of French, German and Italian, and obtained an intimate knowledge of Dutch. On his return to England he was engaged in private tuition, in 1847 was ordained deacon in the Anglican Church, and in 1848 priest. He was appointed headmaster of King Edward's School, Louth, in 1851, obtained the D.D. degree of Cambridge in 1852, and in the same year published his Five Sermons. Two years later he was made headmaster of the Edgbaston proprietary school near Birmingham and, though he attached the greatest value to the teaching of Latin and Greek, made a feature of modern languages in the school and frequently took French and German classes himself. He had begun publishing critical editions of portions of the works of Euripides and Plato in 1851 which gave him a European reputation; but apparently no fit position could be found for the greatest classical scholar of his time. He was given the degree of doctor of letters by the university of Leyden in 1860, and in 1863 was made one of the examiners in classics at London university. In 1866 he was also appointed classical examiner for the Indian civil service. In the following year he became professor of classics at the university of Sydney.
Badham was nearly 54 years of age when he came to Australia in April 1867. The university had been established some 15 years but had fewer than 40 students, and the professor's official duties were not heavy. But Badham was not content to laze in a backwater and he even went so far as to write to the leading newspapers in New South Wales offering to correct the exercises of students who might be studying Latin, Greek, French or German, in the country. Some years later he travelled over the country holding meetings and endeavouring to get the people to become interested in the university and to found bursaries for poor students. When the government of New South Wales decided to found a great public library at Sydney, Badham was nominated as a trustee and was elected as the first chairman of trustees. He took the greatest interest in the library, and his wide knowledge was invaluable in its early years. He became the representative man of the university, and his speeches at the annual commencements were eagerly awaited. He always insisted that there must be the same standard of examination for degrees at Sydney as in the leading British universities, and he spared no pains in helping his students to reach that standard.
In August 1883 Badham was given a banquet at the town hall, Sydney, to celebrate the completion of his seventieth year, and though his health was then beginning to fail, one of the youngest of those present afterwards recorded that "Badham's speech was unforgettable". On 1 September, in a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, Badham suggested for the first time that evening lectures should be established at the university. He had been ailing all the year and in December became very ill. He died on 27 February 1884, almost his last act being the writing of a farewell letter in Latin to his old friend Cobet. He was married twice and left a widow, four sons and four daughters. A selection from his Speeches and Lectures was published at Sydney in 1890, and there is a bursary in his memory at the university. At his funeral the coffin was carried to the grave by former students who had received the bursaries for which he had worked so hard, and it was they who subscribed for the monument over his grave, severely simple as he would have desired.
Badham was a man of great charm who had many friends, including, in Europe, such distinguished men as Cobet, Dr Thompson, F. D. Maurice, Newman, Thackeray and Theodore Martin; and in Australia, Sir James Martin (q.v.), William Forster (q.v.) and Sir William Macleay (q.v.). He had a high sense of duty and a scorn of meanness or any form of dishonesty, which he did not hesitate to express. A. B. Piddington said of him: "I never knew a public man so open in censure or so little concerned to dissemble anger." His co-examiner in London, William Smith, speaking of Badham in 1816, said he had "never seen him angry or even excited", but Badham evidently grew tired of suffering fools gladly in his later years, as there is general agreement that in Sydney he was quick-tempered. As a teacher his complete absence of pedantry, his vast knowledge, his felicity of illustration and his enthusiasm held his students completely. The classics were living things to him, like most good speakers he was a natural actor, and no one who had ever heard him read great passages from the Greek ever forgot them; while many a relatively dull passage was enlivened by his native wit and humour. It was a remarkable piece of good fortune for the young university of Sydney to have had so great a man and so great a scholar in its early days.
T. Butler, Memoir prefixed to Badham's Speeches and Lectures; The Library Record of Australia, October 1901; H. E. Barff, A Short Historical Account of the University of Sydney, p. 79, A. B. Piddington, Worshipful Masters: The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 1884; The Times, 10 April 1884. For a list of Badham's works see British Museum Catalogue, 1934.
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BAILEY, FREDERICK MANSON (1827-1915),botanist,
son of John Bailey, nurseryman and seedsman, was born in London on 8 March 1827. His father went with his family to Australia in 1838 and arrived at Adelaide on 22 March 1839. He was appointed colonial botanist soon afterwards, and was asked to form a botanic garden. Later he resigned, began farming, and subsequently started a plant nursery at Adelaide In these ventures he was assisted by his son, F. M. Bailey, who in 1858 went to New Zealand and took up land in the Hutt Valley. In 1861 he went to Sydney and in the same year started a seedsman's business in Brisbane. For some years he was collecting in various parts of Queensland, and he also contributed articles to the newspapers on plant life. In 1874 he published a Handbook to the Ferns of Queensland, and in the following year was made botanist to the board appointed to inquire into the diseases of live stock and plants. In connexion with this, Bailey in 1879 brought out An Illustrated Monograph of the Grasses of Queensland. He was afterwards put in charge of the botanical section of the Queensland museum, in 1881 was made colonial botanist of Queensland, and held this position until his death. He published in 1881 The Fern World of Australia, and in 1883 appeared A Synopsis of the Queensland Flora, a work of nearly 900 pages to which supplementary volumes were added in later years. This work was superseded by The Queensland Flora, published in six volumes between 1899 and 1902 with an index published three years later. In the meantime there had been published in 1897 A Companion for the Queensland Student of Plant Life and Botany Abridged, a revised reissue of two earlier pamphlets. Among other works of Bailey was A Catalogue of the Indigenous and Naturalised Plants of Queensland published in 1890. This was expanded into a Comprehensive Catalogue of Queensland Plants, Both Indigenous and Naturalised, which appeared with many illustrations in 1912. Bailey died on 25 June 1915, working practically to the end in spite of his 88 years. He married in 1856 Anna Maria, daughter of the Rev. T. Waite. A son, J. F. Bailey, who survived him was successively director of the Brisbane and Adelaide botanic gardens. Bailey was awarded the Clarke medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1902, and was created C.M.G. in 1911. His name has been attached to about 50 species of plants by fellow botanists, of which perhaps the best known is Acacia baileyana. A list of his writings will be found in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland for 1916, p. 7.
Bailey was a kindly man of great industry who did very valuable work on the Queensland flora. He was devoted to his work; on one occasion when his office was dispensed with during a financial depression, he continued to cheerfully carry on, as he felt the work must go on whether a salary were provided or not. There was a public protest and he was soon reinstated. He was very interested in the economic side of botany, and his advice was much sought by fruit-growers and others. He takes high rank among Australian botanists.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland, 1916, p. 3; The Brisbane Courier, 26 June 1915; Journal and Proceedings Royal Society of New South Wales, 1921, p. 152.
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BAILLIEU, WILLIAM LAWRENCE (1859-1936),financier and politician,
second son of James George and Emma Baillieu, was born at Queenscliff, Victoria, on 22 April 1859. He was educated at the state school, Queenscliff, and in 1874 joined the staff of the Bank of Victoria. He was 11 years with the bank and there laid the foundation of his knowledge of finance. In 1885 he went into partnership with D. Munro as auctioneers, land and estate agents, a business carried on with success. Baillieu withdrew from this partnership in 1892 and started for himself as an auctioneer and financial agent. A few years later a brother was taken into partnership. In 1901 he was elected to the Victorian legislative council as member for the Northern Province and retained his seat until his retirement from politics in 1922. He became minister of public works and health in the Murray (q.v.) ministry in January 1909 and, with the exception of a break of 13 days, was leader of the legislative council until 1917. From 27 February 1912 he was honorary minister in the Murray, Watt, and Peacock (q.v.) ministries until 29 November 1917. His work as a politician was conscientious, and he might have had other portfolios had he wished, but his outside personal interests made many demands on his time. He had become a director of the Herald newspaper about the close of the century, and he steadily acquired large interests in the Broken Hill and other mines and industries. The 1914-18 war drew attention to the need of the British Empire to be self-contained with regard to lead and zinc, and Baillieu, working with W. S. Robinson and Sir Colin Fraser, reorganized the Broken Hill Associated Smelters at Port Pirie and brought about the formation and development of the Electrolytic Zinc Company at Risdon, Tasmania, both works of the greatest importance. The gold medal of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy was awarded to Baillieu and Robinson jointly for this work.
Baillieu made frequent visits to London and was recognized as a financial expert in all matters relating to Australia. In addition to his connexion with many financial institutions in Melbourne he also acquired pastoral interests in Queensland. At the time of his retirement in 1930 he was chairman of directors of the Broken Hill Associated Smelters, the North Broken Hill Company and the Electrolytic Zinc Company and a member of the board of directors of several other companies. He died at London on 6 February 1936. He married in 1887, Bertha, daughter of Edward Latham, who predeceased him. He was survived by three sons and four daughters. His three sons all fought with distinction in the 1914-18 war. The eldest, Lieutenant-colonel Sir Clive Latham Baillieu, born in 1889, became a well-known company director and financial expert at London.
Baillieu was a big man physically and as a financier had much courage and ability. He was popularly supposed to be a millionaire, but his Victorian estate was sworn at only about £60,000. His interests, however, were very wide. He never sought honours and was an unobtrusive and frequent contributor to charities. With his brothers, also well-known in the financial world, he founded the Anzac Hostel at Brighton near Melbourne for permanently injured soldiers. In politics he was by no means a moneyed-interest representative, as he had a somewhat advanced outlook, and though his financial ventures were entered on as business propositions, in the upshot his foresight, shrewdness and determination in handling complicated interests eventually resulted in great benefits to his country.
The Times, 7 February, 1936; The Argus, Melbourne, 7 and 8 February 1936, 30 September 1936; The Age, Melbourne, 7 February 1936; Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903; Who's Who in Australia, 1938.
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BAIRD, SIR JOHN LAWRENCE, VISCOUNT STONEHAVEN (1874-1941),governor-general of Australia,
son of Sir Alexander Baird, was born on 27 April 1874. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, and spent a year in Australia in 1894 as aide-de-camp to Sir Robert Duff, governor of New South Wales. He joined the diplomatic service in 1896 and during the next 12 years was stationed at Vienna, Cairo, in Abyssinia, and at Paris and Buenos Aires. He was elected to the house of commons as Unionist candidate for Rugby in 1910, and held this seat for 12 years. After the outbreak of the 1914-18 war he joined the Intelligence Corps in France and was awarded the D.S.O. in 1915. He was recalled to London in 1916 to become a parliamentary member of the air board until the close of the war. He then became parliamentary secretary to the home office and, having been elected for Ayr Burghs in 1922, became minister of transport and commissioner of works until 1924. He showed himself to be an excellent minister. In 1925 he was appointed governor-general of Australia and was thoroughly efficient and conscientious in his office, his travels extending to the mandated territory in New Guinea. In the closing years of his term, Australia was involved in a serious depression, and after his departure in September 1930, Lord Stonehaven took every opportunity to express confidence in the financial credit of Australia. The Conservative party had been defeated in 1929 and he became its chairman after his return. When the Nazi party arose in Germany he strongly opposed the policy of appeasement. "You will never buy Hitler off," he said in one of his speeches. When war broke out he supervised the arrangements for tracing missing men and the wounded in base hospitals in France. He died in Scotland after a short illness on 20 August 1941. He married in 1905, Lady Ethel Keith-Falconer, daughter of the Earl of Kintore, who survived him with two sons and three daughters. He had succeeded his father as second baronet in 1920, was created Baron Stonehaven in 1925, and Viscount Stonehaven in 1938.
The Times, 21 August 1941; The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 1941; Debrett's Peerage etc. 1942.
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BAKER, SIR RICHARD CHAFFEY (1842-1911),federalist, first president of the senate,
was born at North Adelaide on 22 June 1842. His father, John Baker, was born in Somerset, England, in 1813 emigrated to Tasmania, and married Miss Isabella Allan. In 1838 he visited the new settlement at Adelaide and in the following year took up land in South Australia and became a successful pastoralist. He was a member of the legislative council from 1851 to 1856 and after responsible government was established in 1857 he was a member of the new legislative council until his death on 18 May 1872. He was premier and chief secretary in the second South Australian ministry which, however, lasted only from 21 August to 1 September 1857. His son, Richard Chaffey Baker, was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1864 and M.A. in 1870. He was called to the bar in June 1864 and returned to Adelaide in the same year, There he practised successfully as a barrister and in 1868, at the age of 26, was returned to the assembly at the head of the poll for Barossa. On 30 May 1870 he entered the third Hart (q.v.) ministry as attorney general, but resigned in July 1871 so that he could take over the management of the affairs of his father who had become ill. Two years later he visited England and on his return, early in 1875, Sir Arthur Blyth (q.v.) offered him a position in his cabinet which was declined. He stood for Barossa in that year and was defeated, but in 1877 he was elected to the legislative council and held his seat until federation. In June 1884 he joined the Colton (q.v.) ministry and was minister of education for 12 months. He was elected president of the legislative council in 1893 and for the following seven years worthily carried out his duties.
Baker had given much study to the federation question and prepared A Manual of Reference to Authorities for the Use of the Members of the Sydney Constitutional Convention, which was published early in 1891 and must have been extremely useful to the delegates to the 1891 convention. It influenced to some extent the first draft of the constitution which was then drawn up. He was elected a representative of South Australia at the 1897 convention and was a member of the constitutional committee and chairman of committees. He was elected a senator for South Australia at the 1901 election and, when parliament met, was elected first president of the senate. He was re-elected in 1904 and retired from politics in 1906. He died on 18 March 1911. He married Miss K. E. Colley who predeceased him and was survived by two sons and a daughter. He was created C.M.G. in 1886 and K.C.M.G. in 1895.
Baker was an oarsman in his youth and was always much interested in cricket and racing; he was for many years chairman of the jockey Club at Morphetville. He had large pastoral interests and helped to develop copper mining. In politics, as president of the legislative council of South Australia and president of the federal senate, he refused to be a party man and carried out his duties with ability, justice and decision.
P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Register, Adelaide, 20 May 1872, 20 March 1911.
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BAKER, RICHARD THOMAS (1854-1941),economic botanist,
son of Richard Thomas Baker, was born at Woolwich, England, on 1 December 1854. He arrived in Australia in September 1879 and in June 1880 joined the staff of Newington College, Sydney, as science and art master. In June 1888 he obtained an appointment at the Sydney technological museum, and in 1901 succeeded J. H. Maiden (q.v.) as curator and economic botanist. In the following year he published an important work, A Research on the Eucalypts especially in regard to their essential Oils, prepared in collaboration with H. G. Smith (q.v.), second and enlarged edition, 1920. In 1908 Baker published a small work Building and Ornamental Stones of New South Wales, and in 1910, again in collaboration with H. G. Smith, another valuable piece of research, The Pines of Australia, was completed and published. In 1913 Cabinet Timbers of Australia appeared, and in 1915 two more books Building and Ornamental Stones of Australia, and Australian Flora in Applied Art. An important work, The Hardwoods of Australia and their Economics, was published with many illustrations in 1919. Baker retired from the technological museum on 30 June 1921 and in 1924 with H. G. Smith brought out Woodfibres of Some Australian Timbers.
Baker was lecturer on forestry at the university of Sydney between 1913 and 1925, was a member of the Royal and Linnean Societies of New South Wales, and published over 100 papers in their journals. He was a member of the council of the Linnean Society from 1897 to 1922. He was awarded the von Mueller medal by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science in 1921, and the Clarke medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1922. He died on 14 July 1941. His work on the native timbers was of remarkable value.
Journal and Proceedings Royal Society of New South Wales 1942, p. 6; The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 August 1941; Annual Reports Technological Museum Sydney.
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BAKER, SHIRLEY WALDEMAR (1835-1903),missionary and premier of Tonga,
was born in England in 1835 of a good Devonshire family. He studied medicine, went to Australia as a young man, decided to become a missionary, and in 1860 or somewhat later was sent to Tonga by the Australian Wesleyan conference. He became head of the mission, and much in the councils of King George of Tonga, who made him his prime minister. A disagreement arose with the Wesleyan authorities at Sydney in 1879, and Baker founded an independent body under the title of the "Free Church of Tonga". Some of the natives, however, were loyal to their original church and much strong feeling was aroused, which culminated in 1887 with an attempt to shoot Baker. He escaped unhurt but his son and daughter were both wounded. Four people were executed for this crime, and many were deported to other islands. In 1888 the Rev. George Brown (q.v.) visited Tonga to inquire into the position and to endeavour to heal the breach between the two churches. He did not succeed and his reports show that Baker was using his power to the disadvantage of those who were not adherents of the Free Church. In 1890 Sir John Thurston visited Tonga and deported Baker at short notice to Auckland, where he lived for some years. He paid a short visit to Tonga in 1897, settled there again in 1900, and died there in November 1903.
Baker was a man of personality and ability who for a period did good work in Tonga, but it is not easy to ascertain the truth about the happenings after the troubles began. Baker's side of the case may be found in Mennell's Dictionary of Australasian Biography, published in 1892. An opposing view is in Basil Thomson's The Diversions of a Prime Minister, pp. 3 to 25. It would probably not be wise to accept either exactly at its face value. R. L. Stevenson who called Baker "the defamed and much accused man of Tonga" found him "highly interesting to speak to" (Vailima Letters, p. 41). Probably the most trustworthy account of the position before Baker's deportation will be found in the Reports of the Rev. George Brown. These are the work of an honest and just man and it would appear from them that there was a good case for Baker's deportation.
P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; The Times, 30 December 1903 and 2 January 1904; G. Brown, Reports, 1890; B. Thomson, The Diversions of a Prime Minister; Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, February 1904. The information in the earlier Times article, in Thomson's book, and in Blackwood, appear to have a common source, and some of the statements should he accepted with caution.
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BALL, PERCIVAL (1844-1900),sculptor,
was born in 1844. He studied at the Royal Academy schools and between 1865 and 1882 exhibited 24 works at Royal Academy exhibitions. He came to Australia in 1886 and completed the statue of Sir Redmond Barry (q.v.) which now stands in front of the public library at Melbourne. The original sculptor, James Gilbert, had died after modelling the statue in clay. Ball was given other commissions, including the statue of Sir William Wallace at Ballarat, Francis Ormond (q.v.) at Melbourne, and some portrait busts, now in the national gallery at Melbourne. In 1898 he was commissioned by the trustees of the national gallery at Sydney to design a panel for the facade of the building. He completed his design "Phryne before Praxiteles" and then left for England to superintend the casting. He died there in 1900.
W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art, vol. 11, p. 83; A. Graves, The Royal Academy Exhibitors; Catalogue, National Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1928; E. La T. Armstrong, The Book of the Public Library, Museums, and National Gallery of Victoria, 1856-ig06.
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BANCROFT, JOSEPH (1836-1894),scientist,
was born at Manchester in 1836. He studied medicine and took his medical degree at St Andrews university in 1859 and later became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He practised at Nottingham until 1864, but finding the English climate too severe, emigrated to Queensland and arrived in Brisbane in that year. After a short holiday he began to practise in a residential quarter of Brisbane, and soon became esteemed as a physician and surgeon. In 1867 he was appointed resident surgeon at the Brisbane General Hospital and held this position for three years. He resumed practice in 1870, found himself in much demand, but contrived to do a good deal of research. He was the discoverer of the medical properties of Duboisia myoporoides, which was afterwards largely used in ophthalmic surgery. In 1872 he investigated the properties of pituri, another of the Duboisias, and discovered its nicotine contents. In 1877 he visited the East, Europe and Africa, ostensibly on holiday, but he could not refrain from studying diseases peculiar to each country. After his return Bancroft carried on a large practice and, in addition to his scientific research on medical problems, developed his interest in economic botany. He made many experiments in his endeavours to obtain a rust-proof wheat, showed great interest in viticulture and oyster culture, studied the diseases of the banana and sugar cane, and invented a preparation of pemmican or desiccated beef. The medical properties of numerous native plants were investigated; he prepared a pamphlet, Contribution to Pharmacy from Queensland, for the colonial and Indian exhibition held in London in 1886, and just before his death he was one of a sub-committee appointed by the Medical Society of Queensland to assist in the revision of the British Pharmacopoeia He made important researches in leprosy and became well known through his studies in filaria disease; he was the first to discover the mature parasite Filaria bancrofti. Of a kindly and genial disposition Bancroft was a leading scientist of his period in Queensland. He was at various times vice-president of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, president of the Queensland Medical Board, of the Royal Society of Queensland, and the Medical Society of Queensland. He died suddenly at Brisbane on 16 June 1894 and was survived by his wife, a daughter, and a son, Dr Thomas L. Bancroft (1860-1933), who also did valuable scientific work.
The Brisbane Courier, 18 June 1894; The British Medical Journal, August 1894; F. M. Burnet, The Medical Journal of Australia, 22 August 1942; Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, vol. LXVIII, p. V.
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BANFIELD, EDMUND JAMES (1852-1923),naturalist and journalist,
[ also refer to E J BANFIELD page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born at Liverpool, England, on 4 September 1852. He was brought to Australia by his father, who became proprietor of a newspaper at Ararat, Victoria. On this paper Banfield received his first training in journalism. He had experience with newspapers in Melbourne and Sydney, and in 1882 went to Townsville, Queensland, where he became sub-editor of the Townsville Bulletin. In 1884 he visited England, the voyage providing the material for a pamphlet, The Torres Strait Route from Queensland to England. In England he met his future wife and they were married at Townsville in 1886. Banfield remained on the staff of the Townsville Bulletin until 1897. He was a man full of nervous energy, and 15 years of hard work led to a breakdown in health. He obtained a lease of a large portion of Dunk Island off the coast of North Queensland and settled down with his wife to more than 25 years of a comparatively solitary life. A house was constructed, fruit-trees and vegetables were planted, he had goats and cattle which provided milk, butter and occasionally meat, and there were limitless fish in the surrounding seas. Most important of all were the immense possibilities of the nature study which made up so much of the charm of his books. In 1901 Banfield took the place, for nine months, of a former colleague at Townsville who was travelling abroad. Except for occasional short holidays in Australia, he spent the rest of his days on the island. In 1907 he wrote a tourists' guide for the Queensland government, Within the Barrier, and in 1908 appeared his Confessions of a Beachcomber which immediately gave him a place of his own among Australian writers. This was followed by My Tropic Isle in 1911, and Tropic Days in 1918. His Last Leaves from Dunk Island was published posthumously in 1925.
The title of Banfield's first serious book was misleading; he was no mere picker-up of unconsidered trifles. Its suggestion came from the fact that the breaking up of a wreck on the coast many miles away resulted in much debris from the vessel drifting in to the island. He worked hard on his plantation, and in its early days he found that work on a tropic island had its own difficulties. Once these were overcome he could get enough leisure to study the vegetable, bird and sea life of the island, and, before they were taken away and placed on a reservation, the aborigines. Visitors came too and were made welcome by Banfield and his wife. Banfield found health again for many years on his "Isle of Dreams--this unkempt, unrestrained garden where the centuries gaze upon perpetual summer". He became ill towards the end of May 1923 and died on 2 June. His wife survived him, but there were no children.
Banfield had the essential sanity that made such a life possible. He was kindly, humorous, industrious, mercurial in temperament, rapid in speech. Though not a scientist he was an excellent observer. He loved nature and had a hatred of the taking of wild life, and it is these qualities that give his books their more than transient value.
A. H. Chisholm, Introduction, Last Leaves from Dunk Island; May Guthrie in The Argus, Melbourne (early in 1935); The Queenslander, 16 June 1923.
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BANKS, SIR JOSEPH (1744-1820),president of the Royal Society, "the father of Australia",
[ also refer to Sir Joseph BANKS page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born in Argyle-street, London, on 4 January 1743-4. (Parish register quoted in Sir Joseph Banks and the Royal Society, p. 61, 13 February is usually given as the date of his birth.) He was the son of William Banks, a prosperous country squire and member of the house of commons, and his wife Sarah, daughter of William Bate. Banks was sent first to Harrow and then to Eton, but was not distinguished as a scholar, though he early developed a taste for botany and natural history. Proceeding to Oxford he again showed little disposition to study except in his favourite subjects. He left Oxford in December 1763, and inherited a large estate from his father who had died in 1761. He kept up his interest in science and began to make friends among the scientific men of his day. In 1766 he was elected to the Royal Society, and in the same year made a trip to Newfoundland and Labrador with a view of studying their natural history. In August 1768 he sailed with James Cook (q.v.) on the Endeavour and was away nearly three years. The first object of the expedition was to observe the transit of Venus, but the Endeavour also sailed round the world touching at many places, including New Zealand 8 October 1769, and Australia 28 April 1770. This was the beginning of Banks's interest in Australia; he was to do much for it in later years. He arrived back in England on 12 July 1771 and immediately became famous. He intended to go with Cook on his second voyage which began on 13 May 1772, but difficulties arose about the accommodation for Banks and his assistants, and he decided not to go. In July of the same year he visited Iceland and returned with many botanical specimens. He kept in touch with most of the scientists of his time, and added a fresh interest when elected to the Dilettante Society in 1774. He was afterwards secretary of this society from 1778 to 1797. On 30 November 1778 he was elected president of the Royal Society, a position he was to hold with great distinction for over 41 years. He married in March 1779, Dorothea. daughter of W. W. Hugesson, and settled in a large house in Soho-square, which continued to be his London residence for the remainder of his life. There he welcomed the scientists, students and authors of his period, and many distinguished foreign visitors. He had as librarian and curator of his collections, Dr Solander (q.v.), Dr Jonas Dryander, and Robert Brown (q.v.) in succession. In 1781 Banks was made a baronet. Towards the end of 1783 he came into conflict with the secretaries of the Royal Society and a section of the members, who considered that the president was taking too much power to himself. The position really was that Banks was not content to be a mere figure-head, and among other things had come to the conclusion that some members were being admitted to the society without proper qualifications. There were several stormy meetings but on each occasion a large majority of the members supported the president. A new chief secretary, Dr Blagden, who had Banks's support, was elected in May 1784, and after that there was no further trouble.
Banks's right to the title "the father of Australia" has been questioned with some ability by Captain .1. H. Watson who holds that James Mario Matra (q.v.) really deserved it (see Jnl. and Proc. R.A.H.S., vol. 10, p. 152). Matra's proposal was made in 1783, but four years earlier Banks, giving evidence before a committee of the house of commons, had stated that in his opinion the place most eligible for the reception of convicts "was Botany Bay, on the coast of New Holland". His interest did not stop there, for when the settlement was made, and for 20 years afterwards, his fostering care and influence was always being exercised. He was in fact the general adviser to the government on all Australian matters. He arranged that a large number of useful trees and plants should be sent out in the supply ship Guardian which, however, was unfortunately wrecked, and every vessel that came from New South Wales brought plants or animals or geological and other specimens to Banks. He was continually called on for help in developing the agriculture and trade of the colony, and his influence was used in connexion with the sending out of early free settlers one of whom, a young gardener George Suttor (q.v.), afterwards wrote a memoir of Banks. The three early governors, Phillip (q.v.), Hunter (q.v.), and King (q.v.), were continually in correspondence with him, and his influence was frequently used to clear up difficulties or to bring some good to the colony. He was interested in the explorations of Flinders (q.v.), Bass (q.v.), and Lieutenant Grant (q.v.), and among his paid helpers were George Caley (q.v.), Robert Brown (q.v.), and Allan Cunningham (q.v.). Something may be suggested of the important position of Banks in the community by the fact that it was he who wrote to Bligh (q.v.) offering him the position of governor of New South Wales. He had been the patron who had obtained for Bligh the command of the Bounty, and the unfortunate termination of its voyage had not injured Banks's belief in his protégé. He believed in discipline, and the letters he had received from Hunter and King had convinced him that a strong man would be required to deal with the evils of the spirit traffic in the young colony. Banks supported Bligh in his differences with Captain Short on the voyage out, and was in constant correspondence with him. After his deposition he did all he could to allay the anxieties of Mrs Bligh who had immediately turned to him for help. During the court-martial of Johnston (q v.) he was in constant touch with Bligh, and was a true friend to him during that trying time.
Banks's health began to fail early in the nineteenth century and he suffered much from gout every winter. After 1805 he practically lost the use of his legs, and had to be wheeled to his meetings in a chair. His mind remained as vigorous as ever. He had been a member of the Society of Antiquaries nearly all his life, and he developed very much his interest in archaeology in his later years. Kew Gardens had always been a special interest, and his collectors had contributed much to its development. Generally he had done most valuable work for both horticulture and agriculture. In May 1820 he forwarded his resignation as president of the Royal Society but withdrew it at the request of the council. On 19 June he died. Lady Banks survived him but there were no children.
Banks was a tall, well proportioned man, courtly in manner, yet unaffected and kindly in his relations with everyone. He had a large income and was able to employ able helpers to collect for him and look after his collections. He published little himself. A pamphlet on The Propriety of allowing a Qualified Exportation of Wool appeared in 1782 and another, A Short Account of the cause of the Disease in Corn, called by farmers the blight, the mildew and the rust, in 1805. A shortened version of the journal kept by Banks during Cook's first voyage was edited by Sir Joseph D. Hooker and published in 1896. The original journal, with a large mass of Banks's papers and correspondence, are now in the Mitchell library, Sydney. His portrait was painted several times by the leading artists of his period, including West, Reynolds, Dance, Lawrence and Phillips.
Banks's influence in the early days of Australia has already been suggested, and his advice was always wise and disinterested. He has been criticized on the ground that he used his influence against John Macarthur (q.v.) when he was doing so much to develop the wool industry in Australia. It should, however, be remembered that Banks knew the whole story of Macarthur's relations with the various governors, and he may well be forgiven if he showed some mistrust of him. Apart from Australia, Banks had a great position in scientific circles, and the extent and value of his labours can hardly be overstated.
Edward Smith, The Life of Sir Joseph Banks; G. Mackaness, Sir Joseph. Banks, His Relations with Australia; J. H. Maiden, Sir Joseph Banks the "Father of Australia"; Sir Joseph Banks and the Royal Society, London, 1844; Sir J. D. Hooper, Journal of the Right Hon. Sir Joseph Banks; Historical Records of New South Wales, vols. I to VI; G. B. Barton, History of New South Wales from the Records; Introductory Sketch, vol. I. Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. II to IV.
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BANNERMAN, CHARLES (1851-1930),cricketer,
was born at Woolwich, Kent, England, on 3 July 1851. He was taken to Australia in his early youth, became well-known as a cricketer at Sydney, and in March 1877 made history by scoring the first hundred ever made by an Australian against an English eleven. His score was 165 when he retired hurt, the remainder of the team making only 80 runs between them. Australia eventually won the match by 45 runs. He went with the first Australian team to England and was top of the averages in a low-scoring year with 24.2. After his return to Australia he played with moderate success for a few years, one of his last scores of note being 60 not out against an English team captained by Lord Harris. Falling into ill-health he gave up playing first-class cricket, but acted at times as a coach at Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, New Zealand, and was well-known as an efficient umpire. He kept up a keen interest in the game, had a regular seat in the pavilion at Sydney at all first-class matches, and there met all the great cricketers of his time. Everyone who saw Bannerman play agreed that he was a great batsman, a master of strokes, skilful and polished, and though his career was so short he was for many years a legend in Australian cricket. He died suddenly at Sydney on 20 August 1930 leaving a widow, two sons and three daughters. His brother, Alexander Chalmers Bannerman (1857-1924), always known as Alec, was also a good cricketer of quite a different type. He had a long career in first-class cricket as an opening batsman, and was a valuable foil to great hitters like Bonner, McDonnell and Lyons. His patience was inexhaustible, but his slowness did not help the game as a spectacle. It is recorded that in an innings of 91 spread over three days, he scored from only five balls out of 204 bowled to him by one of the bowlers. He was a magnificent field, and in later days a good coach.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 August 1930, 20 September 1924; Wisden, 1879, 1882, 1925, 1931.
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BANNISTER, SAXE (1790-1877),first attorney-general of New South Wales and miscellaneous writer,
son of John Bannister of Steyning, Sussex, was born in 1790, matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, in December 1808 and graduated B.A. 1813, M.A. 1815 (Alumni Oxonienses 1715-886). Becoming a barrister he was appointed the first attorney-general of New South Wales in March 1823, and he arrived in Sydney in the early part of 1824. He had been given a salary of £600 a year with the right to practise as an advocate, but he became discontented with his position, and in October 1825 was in conflict with Governor Brisbane (q.v.) on the question whether he was bound to draft a bill which seemed to him to be repugnant to the laws of England. He appears to have taken his office and his responsibilities far too seriously, and though Darling (q.v.) spoke of Bannister as "often misled by an injudicious zeal, but indefatigable, conscientious and honourable in the highest degree", he found it extremely difficult to work with him. In September 1826, in a dispatch to under-secretary Hay, Darling described one of Bannister's letters to the governor as "very offensive and insolent".
In April 1826 Bannister wrote to Darling to say that he could no longer hold his office at its present remuneration, and in October 1826 he was informed that his resignation had been accepted. This furnished Bannister with a grievance for the rest of his long life. He left for England on 22 October 1826 and afterwards did a large amount of writing; the British Museum Catalogue lists about 30 of his publications. Many are pamphlets but among the longer works are: Statements and Documents relating to Proceedings in New South Wales in 1824, 1825 and 1826 (1827), Humane Policy; or Justice to the Aborigines (1830), (the references to Australian aborigines are few and not important), British Colonization and Coloured Tribes (1838), and William Paterson, the Merchant Statesman (1858). Bannister died at Thornton Heath, England, on 16 September, 1877.
Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XI to XVI; British Museum Catalogue; The Times, 18 September 1877.
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BARKER, COLLET (1784-1831),explorer,
[ also refer to Collet BARKER page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born in 1784 (Dict.Nat.Biog.). Little is known of his early life, but he entered the army as an ensign in the 39th regiment of foot on 23 January 1806, became a lieutenant in May 1809, and captain in June 1825. He was at Sydney in 1828 and was sent to Raffles Bay in northern Australia, where he arrived on 13 September and took command. He established friendly relations with the aborigines, and showed great courage in trusting himself with them alone. In September 1829 the settlement was abandoned and Barker sailed for the Swan River where he arrived about a month later. After a stay of some days he went on to King George's Sound and took charge of the settlement there from 3 December 1829. When Sturt (q.v.) returned after his exploration of the Murray in 1830 he recommended that the coast at the head of St Vincent's Gulf should be examined to ascertain whether another channel from the Murray entered the sea there. He suggested that Barker would be a suitable man for this work, Governor Darling (q.v.) agreed, and on 13 April 1831 Barker with a small party arrived at Cape Jervis on the ship Isabella. He examined the coast on the eastern side of the gulf for over 60 miles and found that there was no channel. With four companions he made his way to the ranges, ascended Mount Lofty, and definitely fixed its geographical position. He rejoined the remainder of his companions on 21 April, and six days later with a small party left the ship at a point about 12 miles north of Cape Jervis, and went overland to trace the connexion between Lake Alexandrina and Encounter Bay. On 30 April an outlet to the sea was reached, which was comparatively narrow, and Barker swam across, went over a sandhill, and was never seen again. His companions watched from their side of the water until next day and then went back to their ship. A few days later it was learned through friendly aborigines that Barker had been speared and his body thrown into the sea, Sturt considered that he had suffered for the sins of white sealers against the blacks.
Barker was held in the highest regard by Sturt and his fellow officers. He had courage and great understanding of aboriginal races. Had he lived he would probably have done valuable work as a pioneer and explorer. There is a monument in his honour at Mount Barker, South Australia, and a tablet to his memory is in St James's church, Sydney.
T. B. Wilson, Narrative of a Voyage Round the World; C. Sturt, Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Vol. II, pp. 231-44; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vol. XVI, ser. III, vol. VI; F, Johns, A Journalist's Jottings.
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BARKER, FREDERIC (1808-1882),second Anglican bishop of Sydney,
son of the Rev. John Barker, was born at Baslow, Derbyshire, England, on 17 March 1808. He was educated at Grantham school and Jesus College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. He was ordained in 1832, and placed in charge of the perpetual curacy of Upton, Cheshire. Subsequently he was at St Mary's, Edgehill, an important church at Liverpool, for 19 years. In April 1854 he became vicar of Baslow, but soon afterwards was appointed bishop of Sydney and was consecrated on 30 November 1854. He arrived at Sydney on 25 May 1855, and was installed on 31 May at the temporary cathedral. Two of his early tasks were the completion of the arrangements for the building of Moore College for theological students, and the quickening of interest in the completion of the cathedral. He next began a series of visitations in his diocese, then covering an immense area. He quickly realized it must be subdivided, and two new dioceses were established--Goulburn in 1863, and Bathurst in 1869. As metropolitan of Australia he was also concerned in the establishment of dioceses at Perth (1856), Brisbane (1859), Grafton and Armidale (1866), Ballarat (1875), and North Queensland (1878).
He visited England in 1863, succeeded in raising a considerable sum for the prosecution of the work of his church, and gave many addresses on Australia in different parts of England. The first synod of the diocese of Sydney met in December 1866, and dealt with many problems such as the relations of the Church in Australia with the Church in England, and the framing of a constitution for the cathedral. In 1868 the re-opening of The King's School, Parramatta, was successfully arranged with the Rev. G. F. Macarthur as headmaster. In October 1872 the formation of the general synod of the dioceses of Australia including Tasmania was accomplished. Barker visited England again in 1871 and 1877 and was able to bring the needs of the new dioceses before the Society for Propagating the Gospel and other societies. In 1878 steps were taken to provide more adequate religious instruction to children attending state primary schools, and early in 1880 a "church buildings loan fund" for the diocese of Sydney was established. In December of that year Barker had a stroke of paralysis, and in March 1881 he went on a voyage to Europe hoping that the rest would benefit his health. There was an improvement for some months, but in March 1882 he had a second attack and died at San Remo on 6 April 1882. He married (1) in 1840, Jane Sophia, daughter of John Harden and (2) in 1878, Mary Jane, daughter of Edward Woods. He had no children.
Barker was six feet five in height, dignified and scholarly in appearance. He was strongly evangelical and his teaching was based simply on the Bible. He had much quiet tenacity of purpose, and during his episcopacy of 27 years the number of churches and the number of clergy more than doubled. He published in 1851 Thirty-six Psalms with Commentary and Prayer, and in 1859 A Charge Delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Sydney. He was also one of the contributors to The Supposed Sacrament of Penance. A Course of Sermons (1838); and On the Rise of the Errors of the Church of Rome, A Course of Sermons (1840).
W. A. Cowper, Episcopate of the Right Reverend Frederic Barker, D.D.; Two Sermons Preached at Baslow; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates; British Museum Catalogue.
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BARNES, GUSTAVE (1878-1921),artist,
was born in England in 1878 and was brought to Adelaide while a child by his father, who established a modelling business. On leaving school Barnes had some training in modelling, but he was also a musician, and at 21 years of age went to Europe to continue his study of the violin. He obtained employment at the Doulton pottery works as a designer, painter and modeller, and during his evenings studied at South Kensington. After being away 10 years his father died and Barnes returned to Adelaide to carry on the business. He did a good deal of landscape painting, and was much interested in black and white work. In 1915 he was employed to classify and catalogue prints and drawings at the art gallery of South Australia and shortly afterwards was made curator of the gallery. He proved himself to be conscientious and able, and his early death on 14 March 1921 was much regretted. He married while in England and his wife survived him with two children. A modest, versatile man, he was a good musician, and as an artist worked in modelling, etching, and painting in both water-colour and oil. He is represented by three pictures in the Adelaide gallery. He took up painting at a comparatively late age, and some of his work suggests that had he lived longer he might have reached a higher position in Australian art than is usually given him.
The Register, Adelaide, 15 March 1921; The Advertiser, Adelaide, 15 March 1921; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; Art of the British Empire Overseas, (The Studio), p. 40.
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BARNES, JOHN (1868-1938),politician,
was born at Hamilton, South Australia, in 1868. He was educated at a primary school, and subsequently worked as a farm labourer, shearer, miner and general bush worker. In his swag he carried copies of works by Henry George, Robert Blatchford and other writers on economic and social questions and he thus became largely self-educated. He was an early member of the Shearers' Union, afterwards the Australian Workers' Union, became general secretary in 1908 and afterwards president. He was secretary of the Victoria-Riverina branch for a period, and held that position when he was elected a federal senator for Victoria in 1913. He was defeated at the general election held in 1919 but was again elected in 1922 and in 1928. He was assistant minister for works and railways from 22 October 1929 to 3 March 1931 and then vice-president of the executive council and leader of the government in the senate until 6 January, 1932. He was then leader of the opposition in the senate until 30 June 1935. Though he held his seat until this date he had been defeated at the general election held in 1934. He was re-elected to the senate in 1937 but died at Melbourne on 31 January 1938. He married and left a widow, one son and five daughters.
Barnes was a man of strong personality who never entirely lost his boyishness; he was the most notorious practical joker in federal politics. But his strong sense of humour, which helped to prevent him being an extremist, went hand in hand with complete earnestness and belief in the cause of Labour. He could fight hard and speak bluntly, but there was no malice in his bluntness, and he was probably the most loved man in the house. He was a leading spirit in union circles for many years before he entered politics, and his political sagacity, complete honesty, and unswerving loyalty made him a power in the Labour party for the last 25 years of his life.
The Age, Melbourne, 1 February, 1938; The Argus, Melbourne, 1 February 1938; Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, 1938.
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BARNEY, GEORGE (1792-1862),engineer, lieutenant-governor of Gladstone colony,
was born in London on 19 May 1792 and entered the army at 16. He served in the Peninsular war and for many years in the West Indies. He was a captain in the royal engineers when Governor Bourke (q.v.), in July 1834, asked that a civil engineer should be sent to Sydney to take charge of the construction of a large circular wharf and other public works. Captain Barney was selected in response to this request, and came to Sydney about the beginning of 1836 in command of a branch of the ordinance, with instructions that he was also to take charge of and superintend the buildings belonging to the military, and convict departments. Bourke stated in February 1836 that Barney was engaged in removing obstructions to the navigation of the Parramatta River, and asked that leave might be granted him to undertake the duty of colonial engineer at a salary of £500 a year and travelling charges. This was granted in September 1837, and in 1838 Barney brought forward a scheme for the sale of the barracks in Sydney, as the land was now valuable, the proceeds to be used for new buildings at Sydney and Newcastle. In 1839 he prepared a report on the defence of the harbours in the colony and made various recommendations. The English authorities, however, declined to consider the question until they had received plans and estimates of the proposed work. Governor Gipps (q.v.) supported Barney and with the aid of convict labour the preparing of the ground for the guns was begun in 1840. In January 1843 Gipps spoke very highly of Barney, but stated he had so many other duties it was scarcely possible for him to give the required attention to his colonial appointment. Barney returned to England in 1844 and in May 1846, now a lieutenant-colonel, was appointed "lieutenant-governor of North Australia". In 1822 J T Bigge (q.v.) had recommended the establishment of a convict settlement at Port Curtis on the east coast of Queensland. The project had been more than once revived, and as some difficulty was being experienced in finding work for time-expired convicts in Tasmania, it was now decided to try the experiment of sending them to a new area and giving them land and a certain amount of government help. Lord Stanley and W. E. Gladstone, successive secretaries of state for the colonies, had fathered the project, and Gladstone had selected Barney as a man used to authority and with previous Australian experience. He arrived in Sydney on 15 September 1846, quickly surveyed the coast in a small steamer, and decided that Port Curtis was the most suitable place for a settlement. Returning to Sydney a barque, the Lord Auckland, was chartered, and on 8 January 1847 sailed with Barney and his family, various officials, and a small military force. The party arrived at an unfavourable period and there was much discomfort from the extreme heat. In the meantime there had been a change of ministries in England, Earl Grey had succeeded Gladstone, and had promptly vetoed the whole project. News of this reached Barney on 15 April 1847 and the party returned to Sydney. Barney was criticized in some quarters, but the Gladstone colony was never given a chance to succeed. In later years the thriving town of Gladstone was established on the site, and the harbour is one of the finest in Australia. Barney was afterwards appointed successively chief commissioner of crown lands, and surveyor-general of New South Wales. He died at Sydney on 16 April 1862.
J. F. Hogan, The Gladstone Colony; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. XVII to XXII, XXV, XXVI; F. W. 8. Cumbrae-Stewart, Journal, The Historical Society of Queensland, vol. I, pp. 365-77, vol. II, p. 175; The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April 1862.
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BARRALLIER, FRANCIS (1773-1853), he is sometimes given the second name of Louis or Luis,explorer,
[ also refer to Francis BARRALLIER page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born in the year 1773. His father, who was a French emigré, was a surveyor in the British navy. Barrallier came to Australia in April 1800 was appointed an ensign in the New South Wales Corps in July 1800, and was made engineer and artillery officer in August 1801. In the previous March he had sailed with Lieutenant James Grant (q.v.) in the Lady Nelson to further explore Bass Strait, and had been responsible for the charting of Western Port and other parts of the coast, before a return was made to Sydney, which was reached on 14 May 1801. In June a voyage with Grant was made to the Hunter River, where a survey was made by Barrallier of Coal Harbour and part of the river. In November 1802 he was directed by Governor King (q.v.) to endeavour to find a way over the mountains to the west of Sydney. He did not succeed in crossing the range, but travelled a distance of 147 miles into the mountains beyond the Nepean. His finishing point was "towards the head of Christy's Creek, about 15 or 16 miles in a direct line southerly from Jenolan Caves". (See Barrallier's Journal, Appendix A, H.R. of N.S.W., vol. V, and a careful analysis of it by R. H. Cambage, p. 11, vol. III, Jnl. and Proc., R.A.H.S.). Barrallier arrived in Sydney again on 24 December 1802. In the following May he resigned from the New South Wales Corps and left for England. In 1805 he was appointed a lieutenant in the 90th regiment, in 1806 was at St Vincent, and in 1809 was present at the capture of the Island of Martinique. He was made a captain in 1812, spent some years making a military survey of the Island of Barbadoes, was present at the capture of Guadaloupe in 1814, and was appointed surveyor-general of the island. He returned to England in 1818, in 1819 was a captain in the 33rd regiment, and in 1832 in the 73rd regiment. He became brevet-major in 1840, brevet lieutenant-colonel in 1846, and died in London on 11 June 1853. He was a man of pleasant personality, an able engineer, and a brave and competent explorer. During his journey in the mountains he managed his small party well, was on good terms with the aborigines, and had he kept to the ridges might have succeeded in his mission.
Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. II to V; Historical Records of N.S.W., vol. V.; F. M. Bladen, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. II, pp. 165-6; R. H. Cambage, ibid, vol. III, pp. 11-25; R. Else Mitchell, ibid, vol. XXIV, pp. 291-313; this writer disagrees with Cambage in some respects; Colburn's United Service Magazine, August 1853, p. 632;, 30 October 1940; J. Grant, The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery Performed in the Lady Nelson.
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BARRINGTON, GEORGE (1755-1804), whose real name was Waldron,pickpocket,
was born near Dublin in October 1755. His father, Henry Waldron, was a silversmith, his mother's name was Naish or Naith. The various early memoirs of Barrington were all catchpenny books in which accuracy was not a consideration, and none of Barrington's statements about himself may be accepted without suspicion. All that can be said with certainty of his early life is that he obtained a certain amount of education, and while still a youth began a career of pocket-picking. He dressed well and got into good society, and when brought before the court had so plausible and ready a tongue that he usually succeeded in evading punishment. In January 1777 he was sentenced to three years' hard labour at the Woolwich hulks, but was released in 1778 after serving about a year of his sentence. This experience did not act as a deterrent, as he was in trouble several times during the next 10 years, yet on nearly every occasion he was either discharged or escaped comparatively lightly. In September 1790 he was accused of robbing a man of his watch, found guilty, and sentenced to be transported for seven years.
Barrington arrived in Sydney in August 1791. There is no evidence for the story of his having prevented a mutiny during the voyage, but he seems to have found favour with the authorities very soon after his arrival. An extract from the journal of George Thompson in May 1792, mentions that "Barrington holds the post of head-constable at Parramatta and is a very diligent officer" (H.R. of N.S.W., vol. II, p. 796). Governor Phillip (q.v.) granted Barrington conditional emancipation in November 1792, and in the Dublin Chronicle of 4 June 1793 it was stated that "Governor Phillip tells many curious stories of His Majesty's subjects in Botany Bay. Barrington is high constable of the settlement and administers justice with an impartial hand". (ibid, p. 809). This, however, suggests that Barrington's position was more important than it really was. Governor Hunter (q.v.) in a letter dated 20 August 1796 said: "He (Barrington) has constantly done the duty of chief constable at Parramatta, and in that office has been indefatigable in keeping the public peace and in guarding private property. It is much to be regretted that a man of this description, because once having offended the laws of his country, should be ever afterwards considered as unworthy of favour." In the following September he was appointed superintendent of convicts. In March 1801 a statement appeared in the government and general orders that Barrington had, from infirmity, resigned his position as head constable and that the governor had directed that half his salary was to be continued to him. Despite this, his name still appeared as chief constable in the list of civil and military officers holding land in November 1802. About this time he became a lunatic and he died on 27 December 1804.
Barrington is the reputed author of A Voyage to New South Wales (1795), The History of New South Wales (1802), and other works. There is no evidence to show that they were written by Barrington and he never claimed them. The books relating to Australia were compiled from the works of Phillip, Hunter, Collins and others, and it has been suggested that their author may have been F. G. Waldron, a writer of the period, who was possibly related to Barrington (E. A. Petherick, the Athenaeum, 19 February 1898, and Notes and Queries, 19 November 1898). The famous prologue supposed to have been recited at the opening of a playhouse at Sydney on 16 January 1796 containing the lines:
"True patriots all, for be it understood,
We left our country for our country's good."
was also not written by Barrington. In The History of New South Wales, 1802, it is not even attributed to him, it is simply stated that the lines were spoken. (On the question of the real authorship see the Native Companion, March 1907). It would have been quite in keeping if Barrington had claimed the authorship, for the central idea was probably "conveyed" from another source. In Farquhar's comedy The Beaux' Stratagem Aimwell says: "You have served abroad sir?"
Gibbet: "Yes, sir, in the plantations; 'twas my lot to be sent into the worst service. I would have quitted it indeed, but a man of honour, you know----Besides, 'twas for the good of my country that 1 should be abroad." Act III, scene II.
R. S. Lambert, The Prince of Pickpockets; Historical Records of New South Wales, vols. II and V; Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. I to V; E. A. Petherick, Athenaeum, 19 February 1898; Notes and Queries, 19 November 1898. A. W. Jose, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XIII, pp. 292-4; Times Literary Supplement, 27 November 1930. A remarkable amount of information relating to Barrington is recorded in J. A. Ferguson's Bibliography of Australia, especially on pp. 13 to 17, vol. I.
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BARROW, JOHN HENRY (1817-1874),journalist and politician,
was born in England in 1817. He studied for the Congregational ministry at Hackney College and had his first charge at Market Drayton in Shropshire. He was then transferred to Bradford in Yorkshire where he began writing for the Bradford Observer. He went to Adelaide in 1851 and obtained a position in the office of the South Australian Register. He also did work on the literary side and, when Andrew Garran (q.v.) went to Sydney, succeeded him as principal leader writer. He began preaching at Kensington and the Clayton Chapel was built for him, but though an excellent preacher, Barrow was doubtful whether his real work lay in church life, and he resigned his pastorate in 1858 to enter the house of assembly for East Torrens. In the same year he left the Register to become editor and manager of the newly established South Australian Advertiser whose first issue appeared on 12 July. The first number of the Chronicle came out a few days later, and in 1863 the Express was started as an evening paper. Though these papers were conducted with ability, the controlling company did not prosper, and it was wound up in 1864. The papers passed into the hands of a proprietary of eight persons of whom Barrow was one, and in 1871 Barrow and Thomas King became the sole proprietors. Barrow was editor of the Advertiser until he fell into ill-health a few months before his death.
To most people the editing of a newspaper is a sufficiently exacting piece of work, but Barrow was a man of tireless energy and contrived also to carry out the duties of a member of parliament (during nearly the whole of this period. He did not seek re-election for the assembly in 1860 but in 1861 became a member of the legislative council. In 1870 he was one of the South Australian delegates to the intercolonial conference held at Melbourne, in 1871 he resigned from the council, and in 1872 became member for Sturt in the house of assembly. He joined the seventh Ayers (q.v.) ministry as treasurer in March of that year and held the position until Ayers resigned in July 1873. About this time Barrow's health completely broke down, and though he went to the intercolonial conference at Sydney as one of the South Australian delegates in the hope that change of scene might lead to its improvement, it continued to deteriorate, and he died at Adelaide on 22 August 1874. He was married twice and left a widow, three sons and three daughters.
Barrow had a great reputation in his time as a speaker and journalist. It was said of him that he had exuberant fancy, genial humour, a great gift for getting the essentials of any problem, a faculty for understanding and interpreting public feeling, and a wonderful command of plain and effective language. He was not a party man and was only once in office, but though he originated little in parliament, as editor and politician he exercised a personal influence and had much political power.
The South Australian Advertiser, 24 August 1874; The South Australian Register, 24 August 1874; John H. Barrow, M.P., Notices of his Life, Labours and Death.
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BARRY, ALFRED (1826-1910),Anglican bishop of Sydney,
second son of Sir Charles Barry, architect of the houses of parliament, London, was born at London on 15 January 1826. Educated at King's College, London, and Trinity College, Cambridge, he had a distinguished academic career, being fourth wrangler and seventh classic. He was ordained deacon in 1850 and priest in 1853, and was successively headmaster of Leeds Grammar School, principal of Cheltenham College, and principal of King's College, London. He was a canon of Worcester from 1871 and of Westminster Abbey from 1881. In 1883 he was appointed third bishop of Sydney and was consecrated on 1 January 1884. He was bishop of Sydney for just over five years but much of his time was spent in England. Resigning early in 1889 he returned to England and was assistant bishop at Rochester for two years, was made a canon of Windsor in 1891, was Bampton lecturer in 1892, and Hulsean lecturer at Cambridge in 1895. He was rector of St James, Westminster, from 1895 to 1900, and assistant bishop' at London from 1896 to 1900, He died at Windsor on 1 April 1910. He married in 1851, Louisa, daughter of Canon T. S. Hughes, who survived him with two sons.
Barry was a man of fine intellect, shrewd, sagacious, a hard worker, and an excellent preacher. Yet his episcopate at Sydney was not a success, partly because in spite of his many gifts, he suffered from a reserved manner and a want of personal magnetism. He was a voluminous writer, the British Museum Catalogue lists about 60 books and pamphlets. These are largely lectures and sermons, and include First Words in Australia, a collection of sermons preached in April and May 1884 and published at Sydney in the same year. His most popular book was The Teacher's Prayer-Book; being the Book of Common Prayer with Introduction and Notes. This ran into many editions. His Life and Works of Sir Charles Barry was published in 1867.
The Times, 2 April 1910; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1910; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.
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BARRY, JOHN ARTHUR (1850-1911),journalist and storywriter,
was born at Torquay, Devonshire, England, in 1850. His parents died when he was a child, and going to sea at 13 he was in the merchant service for 12 years. Leaving with a first mate's certificate he came to Australia in the 1870s, and after working on Queensland, spent some years as a drover, boundary rider and station manager. He began writing for the press and contributed stories to the Australasian, Sydney Mail, Queenslander, the Town and Country Journal, the Pall Mall Gazette, and others. In 1893 he spent a holiday in England and published a collection of his stories, Steve Brown's Bunyip and other Stories. He had become acquainted with Rudyard Kipling who wrote an introductory poem for the volume. Barry returned to Australia and about 1896 joined the staff of the Sydney Evening News, and in the same year another collection of his stories was published, In the Great Deep: Tales of the Sea. This was followed by two novels, The Luck of the Native Born (1898), and A Son of the Sea (1899). Three collections of short stories followed, Against the Tides of Fate (1899), Red Lion and Blue Star (1902), and Sea Yarns (1910). South Sea Shipmates, a sea story, was published posthumously in 1914. Barry died at Sydney on 23 September 1911. He was a man of lovable character who had had an adventurous life, and much of his work is based on his own experiences. His novels are readable, if somewhat conventional, and his short stories, some of which appeared in leading popular magazines in England, are usually thoroughly competent pieces of direct writing.
The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 25 September 1911; Biographical Preface to South Sea Shipmates; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature.
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BARRY, SIR REDMOND (1813-1880),judge, first chancellor of the university of Melbourne, first president of the trustees of the public library of Victoria,
was the third son of Major-general Henry Green Barry and his wife Phoebe, daughter of John Armstrong Drought. He was born at Ballyclough near Glenworth, County Cork, Ireland, in June 1813. At first intended for the army he went to school in England but returned to Ireland to take up the study of law. He graduated B.A. at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1837 and was called to the Irish bar in 1838. He decided to go to Sydney but stayed only a few weeks and in November 1839 went to Melbourne, then only a very small settlement. He soon had a good practice and, a few months after the establishment of a court of requests in 1842, was made commissioner, at a salary of £100 a year. He showed his interest in the cultural life of the community by allowing people interested in literature to use the library at his house in Bourke-street, and he was also one of the founders and the first president of the Mechanics' Institute, afterwards the Athenaeum Library' He was one of the early founders of the Melbourne Hospital and joined in the agitation for the separation of the Port Phillip district from New South Wales. He was appointed solicitor-general in 1851, and in January 1852 became a judge of the supreme court. He had thus reached a distinguished position at the early age of 38, but his most valuable work was yet to come.
It is always difficult to ascertain who began any particular movement and Barry did so much for both the university of Melbourne and the public library of Victoria, that there has been a tendency to think of him as the founder of both of these institutions. In the case of the university the position is quite clear. H. C. E. Childers (q.v.) was undoubtedly the founder, but directly the university bill became law, Lieutenant-governor La Trobe (q.v.) invited Barry to become the first chancellor pro tem, and on 17 May 1853 he was elected to this position by the council of the university and held it until his death. He took the greatest interest in it. The council meetings were generally held at the Judges Chambers where he presided over the deliberations with suave masterfulness. He realized from the beginning that the whole plan of the institution, and especially the buildings and curriculum, must be adequate for present conditions and yet capable of future expansion. The university owed much to his fostering care and when he died there was great difficulty in finding a worthy successor. His work for the public library was if possible even more important and more personal. When the date of opening the library had been fixed the first consignment of books from England had not arrived, and when they did come there was barely three days in which to unpack and arrange them. Barry took off his coat and helped in the good work and kept his assistants toiling until midnight. He visited the library almost daily, drafted the correspondence, and took part in making up the lists of books to be bought. The library became his special hobby; other trustees might neglect their duties and be absent from meetings but he was never absent, and he carried out the necessary business whether a quorum were present or not. His interest was extended to the national gallery and museums which gradually developed from the original institution, and during his visits to Europe and America he lost no opportunity of furthering their welfare. All this was done while he was conscientiously carrying out his duties as a judge of the supreme court. On occasions he was acting chief justice, and in the winter of 1876 he administered the government of Victoria during the absence of the governor and the chief justice. He was created a K.C.M.G. in 1877. He died at Melbourne after a short illness on 23 November 1880. He had never married. His statue stands in front of the public library at Melbourne.
Barry was a man of imposing presence. Though not a great lawyer, he was a sound, patient and courteous judge. He was kindly and charitable, very much the gentleman of the old school, and though no doubt vain and a little pompous, no other Melbourne man of his time did so much for education, literature and art.
E. La T. Armstrong, The Book of the Public Library; Sir Ernest Scott, A History of the University of Melbourne; The Argus, Melbourne, 24 November 1880; The Age, Melbourne, 24 November 1880; Alumni Dublinienses, 1924.
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BARTON, SIR EDMUND (1849-1920),federalist and first prime minister of Australia,
son of William Barton, a share broker and estate agent, was born at Sydney on 18 January 1849. He was educated at Sydney Grammar School and at the university of Sydney, where he graduated B.A. with honours in classics in 1868, and M.A. in 1870. He was Lithgow scholar in 1866, Cooper scholar in 1867, and medallist for classics in 1868. On leaving the university he was articled to Burton Bradley, a solicitor, and he also read with G. E. Davis, a well-known barrister of the period. He was called to the bar in 1871, was successful as a barrister, and might indeed have become the leading advocate of his time. He, however, became attracted by politics and in 1877 was a candidate for the university seat in the legislative assembly. He lost the election by a few votes, but two years later was successful, and held the seat until the university was disfranchised in 1880. He was elected unopposed for Wellington in that year and became a representative of East Sydney from 1882 to 1887. He was elected speaker in January 1883 and held this position until early in 1887, showing great ability in carrying out his duties. He lost his seat in 1887 and was nominated to the legislative council. In January 1889 he joined the Dibbs (q.v.) cabinet as attorney-general but the ministry lasted for only about seven weeks. Barton was taking much interest in federation and in 1890 was on the editorial committee of the Australian Federalist, a periodical for the discussion of federal problems. It did not appear until January 1891 and then ran for only two numbers. Barton was one of the representatives of New South Wales at the convention which met at Sydney in March 1891 and was a member of the constitutional committee. This committee framed the first draft of a bill to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia. The final stages of this drafting were completed by a sub-committee consisting of Griffith (q.v.), Kingston (q.v.), Inglis Clark (q.v.) and Barton. With a few verbal and minor alterations the bill was accepted by the convention and became the ground work of the constitution eventually adopted. Two great difficulties were in the path to federation, the reconciling of the rights of the large and the small states, and the conflict between protection and freetrade.
Barton entered the legislative assembly again in 1891 as a member for East Sydney, and when in October Parkes was defeated the old leader recognized that his health would not allow him to stand the strain of political leadership. He sent for Barton who then agreed to undertake the leadership of the federal movement. Dibbs, who succeeded Parkes, asked Barton to join his cabinet as attorney-general, but his request was refused several times, as Dibbs and most of the other members of the proposed ministry were opposed to federation. Eventually Barton realized that as a private member he could do little for federation, and agreed to join the ministry on the distinct understanding that he was to have a free hand on that question, that the ministers as a body should support a resolution expressing a general approval of the convention bill, that ministers would not give support to destructive amendments, and that the government would bring the question forward early in the next session.
Barton stated his own position very clearly in a speech in the assembly. "There is one great thing," he said, "which above all others actuates me in my political life, and will actuate me until it is accomplished, and that is the question of the union of the Australian colonies." In November 1892 he succeeded in carrying a resolution in the assembly approving of the convention bill, but it was impossible to do more at this time. In December he visited Corowa and Albury and as a result branches of the Australian federation league were established in these and other towns. In July 1893 after a public meeting held at the Town Hall, Sydney, an Australasian federation league was constituted. It was received with apathy by some, with suspicion by others, but nevertheless it formed a rallying ground for the really earnest federalists of Sydney and did much useful organizing and educational work during the federal campaign. Barton had endeavoured to persuade the freetraders to join him in forming this league and would not enter into a discussion of the fiscal question. But party feeling was too strong and their leader Reid (q.v.) held aloof. Branches of the league were, however, formed in the other colonies, conferences were held, and plans of action were prepared which had much influence in eventually bringing about federation.
On 7 December 1893, the Dibbs government was defeated upon a motion of censure on Barton, attorney-general, and O'Connor (q.v.), minister for justice, who had accepted briefs in an action against the state railway commissioner. Both resigned and Barton lost his seat in July 1894 and dropped out of local politics for a period. He was doing a large amount of educational work in connexion with federation, and during the four years from January 1893 to February 1897, addressed nearly 300 meetings in New South Wales. At the election of representatives of New South Wales, to be sent to the federal convention held on 4 March 1897, Barton headed the poll with over 100,000 votes out of 139,850 voters. He was chairman of the constitutional committee and of its drafting committee and brought the bill before the convention. Its framework followed closely the 1891 bill, but various amendments and safeguards were introduced and the financial clauses were considerably altered. Barton handled the convention with great ability, and with some amendment the bill was passed. When it came before parliament in New South Wales he had charge of it in the legislative council, where it met with much opposition. Several amendments were proposed, one of them being that Sydney should be the federal capital. These, with many other suggested amendments from the legislatures of the other colonies, were considered at the Sydney meeting of the convention held in September 1897, and the Melbourne session held in March 1898. On 24 March Barton, at a meeting at the Sydney town hall, made a great speech in explaining the bill and disposing of the criticisms of its opponents. Between then and the referendum held on 3 June 1898, he spoke admirably and forcibly at the principal towns in New South Wales in favour of the "Yes" vote. His efforts were not successful, for though there was a small majority, only 71,965 out of the required 80,000 votes had been obtained. At the New South Wales election held in July, Barton decided to oppose Reid at East Sydney, but could not match Reid in dealing with a popular audience, and was defeated. The federalists had, however, reduced Reid's party majority from 37 to 2. Deakin (q.v.) was able to write to Barton pointing out that in spite of his apparent overthrow he had "achieved a real and permanent success". Reid having succeeded in getting a few modifications in the bill at a premiers' meeting, fought for it at the second referendum, and with Barton and Reid speaking on the one side, a large majority was obtained. In 1900 Barton went to London with Deakin, Kingston (q.v.), Dickson (q.v.) and Sir Philip Fysh (q.v.), as leader of a delegation to watch the passage of the bill through the Imperial parliament. The main difficulty arose over the clauses relating to appeals to the privy council. Barton, Deakin and Kingston stood firmly for the bill as presented. Joseph Chamberlain objected to the limitation of the right of appeal, and the contest was a dour one. Eventually the bill was passed after a compromise had been agreed to which the Australian representatives felt did not affect the principle involved.
When the Commonwealth was inaugurated, there was a general feeling that Barton should be commissioned to form the first ministry. Lord Hopetoun (q.v.), however, invited Sir William Lyric to become the first prime minister of Australia. His reason for doing so was that Lyric was premier of the mother colony. He could scarcely be expected to be aware that Lyric had reached that position by a fortuitous combination of circumstances and had been one of the strongest opponents of federation. Lyric strove vigorously to form a cabinet, but Deakin for one was prepared to serve only under Barton. Lyric had to advise the governor-general to send for Barton, and on 31 December 1900 his ministry was formed. It was apparently a very strong ministry, but it held some intractable spirits. The problems before parliament were difficult, particularly the question of free trade and protection, in connexion with which there was much strength of feeling. The Labour party which held the balance of power was divided on this issue, but thoroughly united over all other questions of policy. It was a loquacious house with three parties in it, and its leader had no easy task; but during Barton's term as prime minister, in addition to the many necessary "machinery measures" for which Deakin as attorney-general was responsible, some important legislation was passed, including a customs tariff act, defence and naval agreement acts, the sugar bounty act, the immigration restriction act, and the judiciary act, which brought about the establishment of the high court. Much time was spent on the conciliation and arbitration and other bills which did not become law. Barton had fought a long and strenuous campaign for federation, but that cause was won, and he had no liking for the atmosphere of intrigue that was now developing in the federal house. In 1902 he went to England to attend the Imperial conference, and in September 1903 he was content to leave the political sphere and become senior puisne judge of the newly constituted high court of Australia. Some of his friends urged him to become chief justice, but Barton realized fully the claims of Sir Samuel Griffith who was given that position.
On the high court bench, Barton at first showed a tendency to concur with the chief justice. It would be easy to take the view that he was a tired man scarcely in the condition to show his full powers in conflict with so masterful a personality as Griffith. But this is not borne out by A. N. Smith, a well-known journalist of the period, who, in his Thirty Years: The Commonwealth of Australia, 1901-31, says: "In the courts, however, it was known that many of the judgments read by the chief justice had been written by Mr Justice Barton". If, however, Barton did show any indolence at this period, it was only a passing phase for, after an attack of typhoid fever, both mind and body appeared to develop new vigour, and he began a series of judgments marked by great intellectual power and clearness of expression. In his last few years his health gradually weakened and he died suddenly from heart failure on 7 January 1920. He became a member of the privy council in 1901 and was created G.C.M.G. in 1902. He was an honorary bencher of Gray's Inn, London, and was given the honorary degrees of D.C.L. by Oxford, and LL.D. by Cambridge and Edinburgh universities. He also received the freedom of the city of Edinburgh in 1902. He married in 1877, Jean Mason Ross. Lady Barton survived him with four sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Edmund Alfred Barton born on 29 May 1879, was appointed a judge of the New South Wales district court in 1933.
Barton had a fine presence and retained his good looks throughout his life. His eyes had remarkable beauty and expression. His old opponent Reid said of him in his autobiography, that for personal charm, combined with intellectual weight, he would place Barton even higher than Deakin. His wide culture and great learning was almost a disadvantage when he was dealing with men of ordinary calibre. He was not naturally a great orator, and as a young man was diffident about his ability as a speaker. With experience he became a good debater, logical and impressive, though sometimes too involved in style; and when he dealt with a subject so near to his heart as federation, he spoke with great effect. He has frequently been accused of indolence; the truth was that he liked taking things quietly, but when circumstances called for it, worked strenuously and at high pressure for long periods. It has been stated that he nearly wore out his associates when the Commonwealth bill was being drafted and one of his secretaries has spoken of him as "a terrific worker into the small hours". He despised the tricks of the parliamentary game, and could never put party before state. His record is one of sustained public service. It was only a man of great public spirit who could have kept the cause of federation alive in New South Wales in the last 10 years of the nineteenth century. Parkes, old and waning in health, had lost his influence, Reid was doubtful and apparently an opportunist, Lyne, Dibbs and other well-known politicians were hostile. Barton never lost faith, he imposed his faith on others, and by sheer force of character prevailed.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 1920; The Times, 8 January 1920; The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 8 January 1920; Quick and Garran, The Annotated Constitution of the Australian Commonwealth; B. R. Wise, The Making of the Australian Commonwealth; W. Murdoch, Alfred Deakin; G. H. Reid, My Reminiscences; H. V. Evatt, Australian Labour Leader; Arthur N. Smith, Thirty Years; Chief Justice Knox, Commonwealth Law Reports, 1919-1920; H. G. Turner, The First Decade of the Australian Commonwealth; private information.
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BARTON, GEORGE BURNETT (1836-1901),miscellaneous writer,
born in 1836, was the second son of William Barton of Sydney and elder brother of Sir Edmund Barton (q.v.). He was called to the bar in 1860, but became a journalist and was the first editor of Sydney Punch. From 1865 to 1868 he was reader in English literature at the university of Sydney; his introductory lecture, The Study of English Literature, was published in 1866. In the same year appeared his Literature in New South Wales and Poets and Prose Writers of New South Wales, the first volumes of a bibliographical and critical character to be published in Australia. Both books were very able pieces of work and are still consulted. Barton went to New Zealand a few years later, and for about two years was editor of the Otago Daily Times. He practised for some time as a barrister and solicitor at Dunedin, and in 1875 published A Digest of the Law and Practice of Resident Magistrates and District Courts. He returned to Australia and in the eighties did much writing for the Evening News and the Sydney Morning Herald. He was then commissioned by the government to write the History of New South Wales From the Records, of which he completed only the first volume, published in 1889. His The True Story of Margaret Catchpole was published posthumously in 1924. He died in September 1901.
P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography; Robert Richardson, The Bulletin, 21 September 1901.
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BASEDOW, HERBERT (1881-1933),anthropologist,
was born at Kent Town, South Australia, on 27 October 1881. He was the youngest son of M. P. F. Basedow, who was minister of education in the W. Morgan (q.v.) ministry. Educated at Prince Alfred College, the School of Mines, Adelaide, and Adelaide university, Basedow subsequently studied at the universities of Heidelberg, Göttingen, Breslau and Zürich, and graduated M.A., Ph.D., and B.Sc. He entered the geological department of South Australia and became assistant government geologist. He accompanied or led several exploratory expeditions, developed an interest in the aborigines, and lived a considerable time among them. After leaving the geological department, Basedow was appointed in 1909 to take charge of the aborigines' department for the Commonwealth government in the Northern Territory. In 1925 he published The Australian Aboriginal, a volume of over 400 pages with many illustrations. This was reprinted in 1929. In 1927 he stood for Barossa in the South Australian house of assembly as an independent candidate, was elected head of the poll, and held the seat until 1930. He was again elected for the same constituency in April 1933. He died on 4 June 1933. He married Olive Nell, daughter of A. C. Noyes, who survived him. His Knights of the Boomerang, Episodes from a Life Spent Among the Native Tribes of Australia, was published posthumously in 1935, and Basedow was also the author of various pamphlets on anthropology and geology. He was an able man whose energies were dissipated in too many directions for pre-eminence to be reached in any one of them. His most important work, The Australian Aboriginal, is the work of a scientific observer writing largely from his own experience.
The Advertiser, Adelaide, 5 June 1933; Who's Who, 1933; Introductions to Basedow's books.
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BASS, GEORGE (1763-1803?),explorer,
[ also refer to George BASS page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born at Aswarby, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, probably in 1763. His father, a farmer, died while he was a child, his mother gave him a good education and apprenticed him to a surgeon at Boston. He entered the navy as a surgeon and was on the Reliance in that capacity when she sailed for Australia in February 1795. Matthew Flinders (q.v.) was also on board and the two became fast friends. It was early determined that if opportunity offered they would endeavour to complete the examination of the east coast of New South Wales. Bass had brought out from England a small boat named the Tom Thumb, of about 8 feet keel and 5 feet beam, a remarkably small vessel in which to sail along an ocean coast. After their arrival at Sydney in September, they went southward in this boat, entered Botany Bay, and explored the George's River for a considerable distance. The report given Governor John Hunter (q.v.) on their return led to the settlement of Bankstown, one of the earliest towns established in Australia. Towards the end of March 1796 the two friends sailed again in their small boat and thoroughly explored Port Hacking after encountering a storm on the way that nearly swamped them. The Reliance was then being repaired and Bass was able to get leave to endeavour to find a way over the mountains to the west of Sydney. He gathered a small party together but after spending 15 days on the work, could not find a pass and returned to Sydney. In June 1797 Bass found further employment in investigating a report that coal had been seen on the coast by a shipwrecked sailor south of Port Hacking. A seam of coal six feet deep was found in the face of a cliff. Towards the end of the year Bass obtained the use of a whaleboat, 28 feet 7 inches long, which was manned with six volunteers from the king's ships. His instructions were to examine the coast south of Sydney, as far as he could go with safety. On 3 December the boat started on its long journey, on 10 December Jervis Bay was reached, and nine days later Twofold Bay was discovered. There was a fair passage to Cape Howe, but gales were then experienced for several days, and it was not until 2 January 1798 that Wilson's Promontory was reached. Meanwhile the whaleboat had begun to leak badly. Next day smoke was discovered on an island near the promontory, which on investigation was found to be occupied by a party of seven escaped convicts. They were nearly starving and Bass, after doing what he could for them, told them he would call at the island on his return. He then went on to Western Port which was reached on 5 January. Twelve days were spent in examining this harbour, but provisions were running short and Bass thought it wise to return. On 18 January 1798 the return journey was begun and, after landing on Wilson's Promontory, Bass visited the island on which he had found the convicts; but it was impossible for him to find room for them in his boat. Two that were very feeble, he took on board, the other five he placed on the mainland, provided them with a musket, fishing lines and a compass, and advised them to endeavour to get back to Sydney along the coast. They were never heard of again. On 2 February Bass continued his voyage and arrived at Sydney on 25 February. He had travelled about 1200 miles in an open boat, often in bad weather, along an unknown coast and had added greatly to the knowledge of the country. He also became satisfied in his own mind that there was a strait between Tasmania and the mainland. Early in September 1798 Governor Hunter wrote to Secretary Nepean to say that he was fitting out a decked boat, and that he proposed sending Flinders and Bass to settle that question and to sail round Tasmania. Their voyage began in the Norfolk, a sloop of 25 tons, on 7 October 1798, and the task was accomplished when the Norfolk entered Port Jackson again on 12 January 1799. The existence of the strait had been settled, Port Dalrymple had been discovered, and a large amount of information had been collected. At the instance of Flinders the strait was named after his companion, Bass Strait.
It is possible that Bass, who was of farming stock, may have considered settling near Sydney, as at about this time 100 acres of land were granted to him at Bankstown. He returned to England in 1799 and in October 1800 was married to Elizabeth Waterhouse, a sister of the captain of the Reliance. Early in 1801 he sailed for Australia again in the Venus, which had been purchased by a company consisting of Bass's mother, wife, and some of his friends. The cargo was to be sold at Sydney. She arrived at Port Jackson on 28 August 1801, and in November Bass contracted with the acting-governor, Philip Gidley King (q.v.), to obtain pork from the Society Islands for the use of the colony. He made several voyages and on 5 February 1803 sailed away for the last time. In May 1803 King, in a dispatch to Lord Hobart, mentioned that Bass had sailed for the coast of Peru to endeavour to get a breed of guanacoes (a kind of wild llama), and that he had given him a certificate to the Spanish government to that effect. Presumably this was to be considered a passport. Bass is occasionally referred to in King's dispatches of this period, and writing in December 1804 he says that he had "been in constant expectation of hearing from thence (Otaheite) by Mr Bass to whom, there is no doubt, some accident has occurred". A Captain Campbell of the Harrington is stated to have brought intelligence on his return from a voyage in January 1804 that Bass had been captured by the Spaniards, that his vessel and crew had been seized, and the captives sent to the mines in South America. (Note on p. 518 H.R. of N.S.W., vol. V.). King does not refer to this story, and there appears to be no evidence as to who received this report. Robert Brown (q.v.) writing to Banks on 21 February 1805 said of Bass--"it is feared he has either fallen a sacrifice to the treachery of the South Sea islanders, or what is fully as probable has exposed himself to be captured on the coast of Peru." A note on pp. 669-71, Vol. iv, ser. i, Historical Records of Australia, discusses some of the various statements and rumours regarding the fate of Bass. He may have gone down with his vessel, and it is also possible that he may have been captured by the Spaniards and sent to the mines. If so he probably died not later than in 1808. A Lieutenant Fitzmaurice, who was in Chile and Peru between September 1808 and April 1809, stated that the whole of the British prisoners in those countries had been repatriated by 1808.
Bass was a tall, handsome man of great courage and resourcefulness, eminently qualified to undertake the remarkable work he carried out, a man "whose ardour for discovery was not to be repressed by any obstacle or deterred by danger". (Flinders, A Voyage to Terra Australis, vol. I, p. XCVII).
Historical Records of Australia, ser. I, vols. II to V; Historical Records of New South Wales, vol. V; Flinders, A Voyage to Terra Australis, vol. I; Sir Ernest Scott, The Life of Matthew Flinders; J. H. Heaton, Australian Dictionary of Dates; David Collins, An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, chapters XX and XXI.
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BATMAN, JOHN (1801-1839),a founder of Melbourne,
[ also refer to John BATMAN page at Project Gutenberg Australia]
was born at Parramatta, New South Wales, on 21 January 1801. (A. S. Kenyon papers at the public library Melbourne.) His father, William Batman, came to Sydney in 1797. In 1821 John Batman, with his brother Henry, went to Tasmania and took up land in the north-east near Ben Lomond. In this wild country Batman became an experienced bushman, and took a prominent part with other settlers in hunting down the bushrangers who were terrorizing that part of the country. For his services in connexion with the capture of Brady, a notorious bushranger of the period, he was given an additional grant of land by the government. About this time Batman became interested in the aborigines who, in their conflicts with the settlers, seemed likely to be exterminated. With the approval of the government, Batman tried methods of conciliation, and induced many to come in and surrender themselves. It was felt at that time by the more humane members of the white community that the only hope for the blacks lay in their being segregated in some special area. Flinders island was selected for this purpose, and though the experiment was not a success, it seemed to be a great improvement on the "shoot at sight" principle that was being adopted by many colonists. Batman's efforts were commended by the governor, Colonel Arthur (q.v.), and a further grant of 2000 acres of land was made to him. A great deal of Batman's land, however, was of a wild character. He had heard from various sources of the possibilities of developing what is now southern Victoria, and as early as 1825 he had discussed with John Helder Wedge (q.v.) a project to send an exploring expedition across the Strait. In January 1827 this idea was revived, and Batman, in conjunction with J. T. Gellibrand (q.v.), sent a letter to Sir Ralph Darling (q.v.) applying for a grant of land on the mainland, and suggesting that it should be proportionate to the amount of stock proposed to be sent over under the management of Batman, who would permanently settle there. The governor replied that he had no power to grant their request. Batman at this time was in prosperous circumstances and was employing a large number of station hands. Some five years passed and it was then decided to form a syndicate, afterwards named the Port Phillip Association, to carry the question further. Fifteen men including Batman, Wedge and Gellibrand were associated in this movement, and on 10 May 1835 Batman, accompanied by three white assistants and six blacks, sailed from Launceston for Port Phillip, where they arrived on 29 May. Batman's journal of this expedition, now preserved at the Melbourne public library, may be found printed, with trifling amendments in the spelling and composition, in chapter IX of Bonwick's Port Phillip Settlement.
After a preliminary examination of the country to the west of Port Phillip Batman sailed up to near the present site of Williamstown, landed at the mouth of the Yarra, and followed it up to where it is joined by the Saltwater, now Maribyrnong, river. He followed the course of this river for some distance in a northerly direction, and then proceeded east to the Merri Creek. There Batman met a party of aborigines and purchased about 600,000 acres of their land. Batman tells us he explained fully to them what his object was, but it is problematical what the aborigines thought they were doing when they affixed their marks to Batman's documents. No doubt the blankets, knives, tomahawks, etc., that he gave them were very welcome. Batman then made his way back to the Saltwater River and came to the Yarra on 7 June. He had intended sailing next day for Tasmania, but the wind being adverse it was decided to explore the Yarra in a boat, and fresh water was found near the present site of Melbourne. It was on this day that Batman made the famous entry in his diary:--"This will be the place for a village." He left some of his party at Indented Head and returned to Tasmania, having given his representatives instructions to put off any person who might trespass on the land he had purchased. The Port Phillip Association then wrote to the secretary of state for the war and colonial departments requesting him to ratify the title to the land obtained from the natives. This was refused, and it was not until April 1839 that the representatives of the association were informed that they would be allowed compensation to the extent of £7000.
Meanwhile the party at Indented Head had been reinforced on 7 August 1835 by the arrival of J. H. Wedge and Henry Batman and his family. On 29 August a party organized by John Pascoe Fawkner (q.v.) sailed up the Yarra and started to make a settlement on the site of Melbourne. Four days later Wedge arrived and informed the members of Fawkner's party that they were trespassing. But Wedge had no means of enforcing his claim, and indeed in the eyes of the law all were trespassers. Fawkner himself arrived on 11 October and Batman on 9 November, but it was not until 20 April 1836 that Batman's family reached Melbourne. They lived for a time on Batman's Hill near the site of the present Spencer-street railway station, and Batman conducted a store, and farmed land. He was apparently in fairly good circumstances for, at the second sale of Melbourne town allotments, he gave the highest price, £100, for the allotment on the north-west corner of Flinders- and Swanston-streets, but when he died on 6 May 1839 after a long illness, his affairs were found to be very involved. Five years later a petition addressed to the queen by his widow and children for a grant of land was refused, on the ground that there was no power to accede to it. His only son was drowned in the Yarra before he was 10 years old. The family survives through his daughter Maria who married for the second time Robert Fennell, and his fourth daughter Elizabeth Mary who married William Weire of Geelong.
Batman was a courageous and adventurous man, with all the resources of a bushman used to working in virgin country. Good-looking in his youth, he was well-mannered and kindly, and his humanity to the blacks was far in advance of his age. There is no possibility of obtaining general agreement on his claim to be the founder of Melbourne. Batman certainly wrote in his diary "This will be the place for a village", but it is not unlikely that he was more concerned with obtaining grazing country than founding a town. The party organized by Fawkner erected the first buildings in Melbourne, and Fawkner actually settled in Melbourne before Batman did. Both played an important part in the founding of the colony of Victoria and its capital. It would be futile to try to apportion the credit due to each.
No contemporary portrait of Batman has survived. The drawing in the historical section of the public library at Melbourne was done by Charles Nuttall (q.v.) from a picture by Frederick Woodhouse called "The Settlers' first meeting with Buckley" in which Batman appears as the central figure. This was painted in 1861 and it is possible that the artist had something to work from, as Batman's daughter Mrs Weire considered it to be "a remarkable likeness" of her father. Her testimony, however, has little value as she was less than 10 years old when her father died.
R. D. Boys, First Years at Port Phillip; J. Bonwick, John Batman the Founder of Victoria, and Port Phillip Settlement; H. Gyles Turner, The Victorian Historical Magazine, vol. VII; W. Moore, The Victorian Historical Magazine, vol. I.
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BAUER, FERDINAND (1760-1826),botanical artist,
was born at Feldsberg, Austria, on 20 January 1760. His father was court painter to the reigning Prince of Lichtenstein. In 1784 Dr John Sibthorp, who was visiting Vienna, engaged Bauer to accompany him on a voyage to Greece and the Greek islands as natural history painter. Bauer returned with Sibthorp to England to finish the drawings for his Flora Graeca. There he met Sir Joseph Banks (q.v.), and in 1801 was appointed botanical draughtsman to the expedition to Terra Australis under Captain Matthew Flinders (q.v.). He sailed on the Investigator with Flinders and proved to be a most capable and industrious draughtsman. He had made 700 drawings of plants and animals by July 1802, and about 12 months later he speaks of having completed nearly 600 more. He returned to England in 1805.
In 1813 Bauer began his Illustrationes Florae Novae Hollandiae which was not a financial success, partly because the artist was so conscientious that he endeavoured to do all the work himself including the colouring of the plates. He returned to Austria in August 1814 but continued to do much work for English publications including Lambert's Pinus and Lindley's Digitalis, etc. He died on 17 March 1826. A brother, Francis Bauer, F.R.S., F.L.S. (1758-1840), was botanical painter to George III and did work of great merit. The name of Bauer has been perpetuated in several Australian plants, and Cape Bauer on the Australian coast was named after Ferdinand by Flinders.
John Lhotsky, The London Journal of Botany, vol. II, 1843. p. 106; J. H. Maiden, Sir Joseph Banks, p. 69; Thieme-Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, vol. III.
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BAVIN, SIR THOMAS RAINSFORD (1874-1941),premier of New South Wales and judge,
was the son of a Methodist clergyman the Rev. Rainsford Bavin. He. was born at Kaiopoi, New Zealand, on 5 May 1874 and was educated at Auckland Grammar School, Newington College, Sydney, and the university of Sydney. He graduated B.A. in 1894 and LL.B. in 1897 winning the Wigram Allen scholarship in 1895. He was called to the New South Wales bar and took part in the fight for federation. In 1900 he was acting-professor of law at the university of Tasmania, and when Barton (q.v.) became prime minister of Australia in 1901, acted as his private secretary. He later held the same position with Deakin (q.v.). He then practised at the bar in Sydney, sometimes as counsel for trade unions, and was chairman of various wages boards. In 1911 he was appointed chairman of a royal commission to inquire into the cost of living. When the 1914-18 war broke out Bavin became a naval intelligence officer. He declined the offer of a judgeship in 1917, and in the same year was elected to the legislative assembly as a nationalist. He had, however, had too many opportunities of seeing both sides of social questions to be quite happy on the conservative side of the house, and with others formed the Progressive party, which afterwards became the Country party. Bavin resigned from the Nationalist party in 1920, but accepted office in the coalition ministry formed by Sir George Fuller in December 1921 which resigned directly the house met. Fuller, however, formed another ministry in April 1922 in which Bavin was attorney-general until the ministry resigned in June 1925. Fuller resigned his leadership soon after, and Bavin was leader of the opposition until October 1927, when he became premier and colonial treasurer. At the premiers' conference held in August 1930 Bavin was a leading figure, but his policy of economy was unpopular in New South Wales and his party was defeated at the election held in October 1930. Bavin fought this election in a state of failing health, in 1932 was obliged to resign his leadership of the party, and in the following year retired from politics. He was made a judge of the supreme court in 1935, but his health failed to improve and he died at Sydney on 31 August 1941. He married Edyth, daughter of F. E. Winchcombe, M.L.C., who survived him with a son and three daughters. He was created K.C.M.G. in 1933. A selection from his speeches was published in 1933 under the title Thomas Rainsford Bavin Extracts from his Speeches 1923-1932, and his Macrossan (q.v.) lecture, Sir Henry Parkes His Life and Work, was published early in 1941.
Bavin was a highly cultured man of wide sympathies, much strength of character, and great courage. His political life covered a bitter period, and in the heat of conflict during the 1930 election bitter things were said against him. In reality he was much liked on both sides of the house. He tried to apply to public affairs "the same standard of right and wrong, of honesty and dishonesty, of justice and injustice, that we demand in private life". He had an important share in the political life of his time, which would have been greater if be had been granted normal health.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 1941; The Australian Quarterly, September 1941; Burke's Peerage etc., 1939; Foreword to the selection from his speeches; Calendar, university of Sydney, 1897; The Bulletin, 16 October 1935.
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BAYLEBRIDGE, WILLIAM (1883-1942), originally Charles William Blocksidge,poet,
son of G. H. Blocksidge, auctioneer and estate agent, was born at East Brisbane on 12 December 1883. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School and by a private tutor David Owen, M.A., a good classical scholar. He went to London in 1908 and published a volume of poems, Songs of the South, which was followed a year later by Australia to England and other Verses. Both these books were suppressed shortly after publication. In 1910 no fewer than four volumes were privately printed, Moreton Miles, Southern Songs, A Northern Trail, and The New Life, of which copies were sent to the principal public libraries, but few, if any, were sold to the public. There was no publisher's name on any of the volumes, and there was nothing to suggest where they had been printed. One of these books, however, The New Life, was reviewed in the Bulletin on 14 March 1912, and the anonymous reviewer, probably A. H. Adams (q.v.), pronounced it "an astonishing thing to have come from Australia--astonishing in its crudeness and occasional strength, equally astonishing in its gassy rhetoric and its foolishness". In another place he suggested that here was "a new prophet, a new poet--or a new lunatic". But evidently the effects of the volume's strength were greater than those of its weakness, for the book was referred to several times in later issues. Life's Testament, c. 1914, A Wreath, c. 1916, and Seven Tales, 1916, were also privately printed, and attracted no notice, but in 1919 a volume of Selected Poems was issued by Gordon and Gotch at Brisbane which slowly made its way, helped by a literary group at Melbourne of whom Vance and Nettie Palmer and Frank Wilmot (q.v.) were the leaders. Baylebridge had returned to Queensland in 1919. He had travelled extensively in Europe, Egypt and the East, and is stated to have done "special literary work" during the 1914-18 war. His familiarity with the subjects of the stories in his An Anzac Muster, privately printed in 1921, suggests that he had personal experience at the front, but there appears to be no evidence to show that he belonged to any of the fighting forces.
Baylebridge lived the last 20 years of his life at Sydney. He was continually revising his poems and his philosophical writings in prose. His National Notes, first published in 1913, had a third edition in 1936. He received his first authoritative recognition as a poet in Nettie Palmer's Modern Australian Literature, published in 1924, and the inclusion of seven of his poems in An Australasian Anthology, published in 1927, was a confirmation of the standing Baylebridge had gained in Australian poetry. He had completed a volume containing a sequence of 123 sonnets in 1927 but it was not published until 1934. H. A. Kellow, in his Queensland Poets, states definitely on page 217 that this volume was published in 1927, but this is a mistake. Kellow discusses the sonnets and probably Baylebridge had lent him the typescript and told him that he intended to publish in that year. When the book did appear in 1934 it was widely and well reviewed. Kellow had hailed him in 1930, as bidding fair to be "the greatest literary figure that Queensland has yet produced", but with the publication of Love Redeemed Baylebridge took an acknowledged place as one of the leading Australian poets. In 1939 he published a collected edition of his earlier poems under the title of This Vital Flesh, which was awarded the gold medal of the Australian Literature Society as the most important volume of Australian poetry of its year. A small volume of Sextains appeared in the same year, also Life's Testament, a reprint of the first section of This Vital Flesh. Baylebridge contemplated issuing a volume or volumes of his later poems, also a popular edition of his prose tales An Anzac Muster, but they did not reach publication. He died at Sydney on 7 May 1942. He never married.
Baylebridge was tall, fair and good-looking, a good athlete in his youth, a good musician, and a sound man of business; he was interested in the Stock Exchange and was in a good financial position. He was pleasant in manner, an interesting conversationalist, perfectly normal and without suggestion of eccentricity, yet inclined to retire into himself and live a separate life with his poetry and philosophy. In reality he was anxious for recognition, but whether consciously or not adopted methods of publication which made this difficult to be given. He was interested in the format of books and his were always beautifully printed. His philosophy as expressed in National Notes was much less original than he thought and will not be an important part of his fame. His prose in An Anzac Muster in spite of its mannerisms is excellent; at times it ranks with the best that has been written in Australia. This book was issued in an edition of 100 copies and is exceedingly rare. His place in Australian poetry has been sufficiently indicated. Unfortunately the bibliography of his works is confused, as some of the poems appear over and over again in differing versions. It is to be wished that both a complete edition and a careful selection will some day be issued. On the question of the poet's name there is some doubt. His name was originally Charles William Blocksidge. Up to 1923 at least he was signing his letters "W. Blocksidge" but not long afterwards he adopted the name of William Baylebridge, both in private life and for his books. He does not seem to have gone through any process of law, but there appears to be no reason why his wishes should not be respected. His death notice in the Sydney Morning Herald of 8 May 1942 gave his name as "William Baylebridge".
Private information and personal knowledge; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature; H. A. Kellow, Queensland Poets; Firmin McKinnon, Meanjin Papers, June 1942; T. Inglis Moore, Six Australian Poets; H. M. Green, An Outline of Australian Literature.
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BAYLEY, ARTHUR WELLESLEY (1865 1896),prospector, discoverer of the Coolgardie goldfield,
was born at Newbridge, Victoria, on 27 March 1865. When only 16 years of age he went to North Queensland and did prospecting and mining work at Charters Towers, Hughenden, Normanton, Croydon and Palmer. He then went to Western Australia and landed at Fremantle with about thirty shillings in his pocket. He walked to Southern Cross, and while working there a few months later heard that gold had been discovered about 130 miles to the east. Bayley kept this in mind and determined some day to prospect this country himself. In January 1889 he went to the Nullagine diggings and Roebourne in the north-west. He had some success, and after returning to Perth worked again at Southern Cross. Hearing that gold had been found on the Ashburton he again returned to Perth, made to the north and found good gold at Ford's Creek. While prospecting the Murchison he found Bayley's Island in Lake Austin which also yielded good returns. He became associated with W. Ford whom he had known in Queensland, who had heard of gold having been found to the east of Southern Cross, and in June 1892 the two men with five horses set out to find it. Soon after reaching the site of Coolgardie they found a nugget, and within a few days had picked up about 80 ounces of gold. More rich alluvial gold was found and the two men were then compelled to return to Southern Cross for supplies. On returning to the field a quartz outcrop with gold in it was found, which became the famous Bayley's Reward mine. The two men returned to Southern Cross with 554 ounces of gold, which they showed to the warden on 17 September 1892. A reward lease was granted to them, and on 20 September the Coolgardie field was declared open. There was a tremendous rush to the field from Southern Cross, much gold was found, and in a few years Coolgardie was a thriving town. Bayley and Ford sold their claim to a company for £6000 and a sixth interest and Bayley, having returned to Victoria, took up land near Avenel, and lived in prosperous circumstances. Though a strong athletic man he fell into ill health, possibly on account of privations he had suffered while a prospector, and died at Avenel of congestion of the lungs on 29 October 1896. He left a widow but no children.
Bayley was an energetic personality with great courage and resource and was much liked. No matter what his circumstances might be he was always willing to help anyone in a less fortunate position. His success as a prospector was the result of great experience and perseverance. His associate Ford, a man of reserved and cautious temperament, though 13 years older had a love and respect for Bayley "that amounted almost to reverence". Ford went to the east and lived at Sydney, where he died on 16 October 1932.
The accounts of the finding of Bayley's Reward do not always agree. The varying versions are recorded in the paper by Sir John Kirwan mentioned below.
Sir John Kirrwan, "Early Days", Journal and Proceedings Western Australian Historical Society, December 1941; Seymour Express, 6 November 1896; The Age, Melbourne, 31 October 1896; J. Raeside, Golden Days, p. 131 et seq.
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BAYNTON, BARBARA JANET AINSLEIGH (1862-1929),author,
daughter of Robert Laurence Kilpatrick, was born at Scone, Hunter River district, New South Wales, in 1862. In 1880 she married Hay Frater and in 1890 Dr Thomas Baynton. A few years later she began contributing short stories to the Bulletin and six of these were published in 1902 under the title of Bush Studies. In 1907 appeared Human Toll, a novel, and in 1917 Cobbers, a reprint of Bush Studies, with two additional stories. During the 1914-18 war Mrs Baynton was living in England and in 1921 she married her third husband Baron Headley. She died at Melbourne on 28 May 1929. She was survived by Lord Headley, and two sons and a daughter by the first marriage.
Barbara Baynton's reputation rests on half a dozen short stories, written with much ability and power, and uncompromising in their stark realism. The building up of detail, however, is at times overdone, and lacking humorous relief, the stories tend to give a distorted view of life in the back-blocks.
The Argus, Melbourne, 29 May 1929; The Age, Melbourne, 29 May 1929; Burke's Peerage etc., 1929; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature.
[See Australian Dictionary of Biography Online for a more accurate biography.]
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