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last updated:    18 October 2004







Joseph was tall, straight-backed, dark haired and steeped in his family’s Scottish ethic of hard work and hard labour.  At 30, he was a skilled carpenter with little prospect of work.  Scotland like England and Ireland was in the grip of massive unemployment and Joseph harboured a strong desire to break free of the poverty engulfing his family and his country. 

In early March 1832, in the company of three fellow carpenters Norris, Austin and Henslow, Joseph made his way south to the British port of Liverpool.  There on 29th March in the company of 34 pensioners from Chelsea, 94 women and 23 children, the 4 young Scots boarded the “Wellington” a brig that was to deliver them across the seas in 6 months sailing, to the new frontier of Australia.

As free settlers, untainted by the sordidness of convict association, their artisan talents would readily find a foothold in the Crown colony of NSW, which was rapidly filling with the flotsam from the overcrowded English and Irish gaols.The “Sydney Morning Herald” reported the arrival, into Botany Bay, of the brig on Monday 10th September 1832.  It was brought to journey’s end by Captain Robinson, having completed the last leg of its voyage from Hobart town in 4 days of blustery sailing.

The stop–over at Hobart town had enabled Joseph to gauge the extreme need for timber handlers and haulers and on arrival in Sydney he found similar demand.  He worked for 4 years cutting timber in the forests of NSW and in 1836, met Ruth Boyd, a recent free settler immigrant from the county of Downderry in Ireland.

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