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Reference to index of records of the diary and correspondence of William Henty

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Henty, William (2010) Reference to index of records of the diary and correspondence of William Henty. University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection, Australia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

William Henty (1808-1881), the fifth of the nine sons of Thomas Henty (1775-1839)came to Tasmania in 1837 to join his father and brothers who had emigrated earlier. He travelled out with his wife, Susannah Matilda (Camfield), and a baby son who died on the voyage, on board the Fairlie which also carried Lt.Gov. Sir John Franklin and his lady and suite. Having been admitted as a solicitor in England in 1829 and practised in London and Brighton, Sussex, Henty entered into partnership with John Ward Gleadow in Launceston. He was a member of the Legislative Council for Tamar and was Colonial Secretary from 1857 until he left the Colony in 1862. Henty was secretary of the Launceston Horticultural Society and took an active part in church, education and other local affairs and played cricket. He wrote a pamphlet "on improvements in cottage husbandry" (Launceston 1849) suggesting suitable crops such as hemp, millet, mustard, cider, dried fruits. After he left Tasmania in 1862 with his wife and young daughter,Mary,he settled in Brighton, Sussex, U.K., where he took an interest in local charitable institutions, especially a home for blind children. He wrote several articles, including one on the youth of Shakespeare Diary of voyage to V.D.L. 26 Aug. 1836 -6 Jan. 1837 William Henty's journal of his voyage on the "Fairlie" to V.D.L. accompanied by his wife, Matilda, their baby boy (referred to only as "Baby" or "Babet") and their servants Mr and Mrs Hutson. Other passengers included the new Lt.Governor of V.D.L. Sir John Franklin and his lady and their party, making 32 adults at table in the cabin (plus servants and others in the steerage, a total of 216 souls apart from the crew). To make room at the table some of the ladies dined with the children who were served their meals earlier. Henty commented that "Sir John and his lady try to put everyone at their ease and require no state" Archdeacon Mayres, also on board, regularly read evening prayers and "reads beautifully". Once they were in calmer and warmer waters Sir John's piano was brought on deck and with Miss Kracoft [Cracroft] as "chief musician" 7 or 8 couples danced country dances, quadrilles, etc., allowing the games of leap frog, French and English etc to decline. The traditional King Neptune revelries on crossing the line were forbidden by the Captain and the occasion was marked simply by launching a lighted tar barrel. The Henty's were, however, mainly occupied with their young baby who was sickly. Hentty washed and dressed the baby himself when his wife was seasick, although their servants were attentive. The baby was fed on arrowroot and water three times a day plus rusks and a little gravy from the children's dinner and then was put to sleep during the day in the arms of Hutson or his wife or on the hen coop. He was teething, had a bowel complaint and developed a cough and swollen and sore hands and feet, thought to be due to the wet state of their cabin. Henty hoped a spell ashore at the Cape would cure him but his journal entries cease after nearing The Cape on 31 October until Monday 12 Dec. 1836 when he records the death of their baby son on the previous Friday. Hutson had laid him out and made a little black coffin. There were several deaths, too, among the steerage passengers and when an Irishwoman died leaving a baby the Archdeacon promised the father a job on landing and offered to have the child taken care of but he refused to part with it. Before they reached The Cape, however, Henty described shipboard life, noting the tremendous noise of the ship's work, especially scraping the decks in the early hours of the morning, the food provided which he considered very nice -plenty of fresh meat with puddings, bread and biscuits, passing ships -one "having a blue streak painted round her denoting the death of the captain or owner, flying fish, shark, Portuguese "men of war" and other sea creatures.

Item Type: Other
Keywords: Tasmania, van diemens land, social history, history, colony, colonial, Australia, indexes, University of Tasmania, Library, private deposits, archives, Collections, catalogue, Special, index,
Publisher: University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection
Additional Information: University of Tasmania Library, Special and Rare Materials Collection - Private Deposit H.6
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 02:28
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2011 21:10
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/10943
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