Showing posts from 2015

Emigrant Experience #5: Little Ship From Dundee


Little ship from Dundee


1.1 The private operators
'Large Scale Emigration to Australia after 1832', <

"To the Scottish shipping interest, especially in the east coast ports, the bounty system certainly opened up pleasing prospects of employment for vessels...'the mercantile community of this quarter are taking a deep interest in the subject'...In 1840-1 an increasing number of Scottish shipowners and merchants were availing themselves of the licenses to bring in bounty emigrants granted by the Governments of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. ['In 1840 the system of government ships was abolished...its function transferred to the Colonial Land and Emigration which the selection of the emigrants was made by private operators.'] By 31 December 1841 no fewer than 71,315 bounty 'permissions' were outstanding for New South Wale…

A Perfect Mania #4: 'anything on four legs' - Sheep


'anything on four legs'

JC Garran & L White, 1985, Merinos, myths and Macarthurs, Sydney
Ian Parsonson, 1998, The Australian Ark, Csiro
Ted Henzell, 2007, Australian Agriculture, Csiro
Michael Pearson & Jane Lennon, 2010, Pastoral Australia, Csiro

1.1 Chronology of Improvement

1818 Muster: 127,883 sheep
1819 Muster: 172,128 sheep
1820 Muster: 182,468 sheep
  Governor Macquarie and Lieutenant-Governor Sorell arrange to import 312 of John Macarthur's Merino ram lambs to Van Diemen's Land, for distribution to settlers with more than 200 ewes. Only 209 are landed alive, and 28 of these die later. 33 settlers at the Derwent and 10 near the Tamar share the surviving 181 sheep, paying 7 Guineas per head. [In exchange, Macarthur is granted 4,368 acres at Camden valued at 7s. 6d. per acre.]
  2,300 lbs wool shorn from the Government flock are sent to Sydney.
1821 Joseph Archer introduced a flock of English Merinos on his land grant …

A Perfect Mania #3: The 'Real' Price Motivator - Land


The 'Real' Price Motivator - Land


The first post in this series noted the presence of an 'air' of urgency, a boom psychology, as a key driver of the 1837 spike in sheep prices. The second post argued that negative price signals from the London and Liverpool wool sales were largely ignored by the squatters in their rush to buy sheep for Port Phillip. This third post in the series investigates the primacy of land as an objective for investor-capitalists in the early settlement period. The squatters' 'hunger' for real estate, even if only possessed under government licence in the early years, had its roots in the disappointed expectations of the more recently arrived 'free' settlers in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. They were familiar with the former regime of free land grants that had operated in the Australian colonies until its abolition in 1831. Among colonists who had emigrated, with money,  but afte…

A Perfect Mania #2: External Price Signals - Wool


External Price Signals - Wool


1.1 The expansion in sheep numbers in the seven years after Governor Bourke's Squatting Act of 1836 (by 1843 there were 3,022,000 sheep running in the 'Waste Lands' outside the Nineteen Counties of the Colony of New South Wales) occurred despite strong price signals to the contrary from the Yorkshire woollen mills.

1.2 The Panic of 1837

"In 1836, directors of the Bank of England noticed that the Bank's money reserves had declined precipitously in recent years...To compensate, the directors indicated they would gradually raise interest rates from 3 to 5 per cent...Raising interest rates, according to the law of supply and demand was supposed to attract specie [gold and silver] since money generally flows where it will generate the greatest return...The result was that as the Bank of England raised interest rates, major banks in the United States were forced to d…

A Perfect Mania #1: Livestock Price Bubble 1837-1844


Livestock Price Bubble 1837-1844


There was something slightly discordant between what squatters in the Port Phillip District thought was happening in the livestock market and their own personal experience of it -- between their impressions of fluctuating supply and demand and the actual prices they paid for their sheep and cattle in the early settlement period. The following two examples are from Captain John Hepburn (Smeaton) and William 'Big' Clarke (Dowling Forest, Pyrenees), who both wrote in response to Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe's request for information in 1853 (more than a decade after the events they were asked to recall).

1.2 Captain Hepburn
Bride & Sayers, 1983, Letters From Victorian Pioneers, Currey O'Neil, Melbourne, pp. 65-6 (italics added)

"On my arrival in Sydney [Hepburn was actually returning to Sydney from Port Phillip having been a party in the first overlanding of cattle to the new settlement in late…