Ludwig Leichhardt in Newcastle

Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848?), Prussian born naturalist and explorer, visited Newcastle and the Hunter Region on his journey of explorations through Australia during the years 1842-1843.

We have prepared this timeline below of his chronological movements throughout Newcastle and the Region to assist a German documentary team, planning to produce a documentary for German Television to co-incide with the 200th anniversary of Leichhardt’s birth.

Where possible we have illustrated his travels with contemporary sketches and plans executed close to the time from our own collections, as well as those of the National Library of Australia and State Library of New South Wales.

The information has been sourced from The letters of F.W. Ludwig Leichhardt collected and newly translated [from the German, French and Italian] by M. Aurousseau (London : Published for the Hakluyt Society by Cambridge University Press, 1968).

The University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections in the Auchmuty Library hold’s Marcel Aurousseau’s personal library. He is the translator of Leichhart’s letters into the English language. The original letters are held in the State Library of New South Wales Mitchell Library.

LEICHHARDT
AROUND NEWCASTLE ON FOOT

Monday 19th September 1842

Leichhardt leaves Sydney by sea for Newcastle with Alexander Walker Scott.

Tuesday 20th September 1842

Leichhardt arrived Newcastle in morning and takes breakfast with Alexander Walker Scott. Taken to Scott’s  Salt Works (built around 1836 – ref. Bingle) on Stockton and visits rest of Scott’s property there.

The Town of Newcastle and its Harbour in 1844 (Courtesy of the National Library of Australia NLA F72 1844)
The Town of Newcastle and its Harbour in 1844 (Courtesy of the National Library of Australia NLA F72 1844)

Wednesday 21st September 1842

Excursion in South West Direction

Friday 23rd September 1842

Leichhart visits Ash Island and stays at Scott’s house there for 3-4 days. How it looked at the time was recorded in the sketch by Conrad Martens, and the frontpiece to the Scott Sister’s Lepidtoptera

Ash Island 12th May 1841 by Conrad Martens

Flyleaf Ash Island 12th May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
View Album:http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

Frontispiece – Scott’s Australian Lepidoptera Volume 2
showing the original pier and entrance to Scott’s house and farm from the River

Sunday 25th September 1842

Leichhardt meets Reverend C.P.N. Wilton and studies the coastal geological section at Nobby’s Island and southward.

77. Nobby Rock, Newcastle, 13th May 1841

Item 77 Nobby Rock, Newcastle, 13th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Monday 26th September 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (61) to Lt Robert Lynd

 

Tuesday 27th September 1842

Visit to Valley of the Palms (Glenrock Lagoon) with Alexander Walker Scott

Saturday 1st October 1842

Studies coastal section at the South head of Newcastle; begins sea-bathing

Sunday 2nd October 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (62) to Lt Robert Lynd. Fishing from the rocks with Alexander Walker Scott.

Monday 3rd – Tuesday 4th October 1842

Visit to Tilligerry with Major Crummer and Mr Bolton (Customs Officer)

Wednesday 5th October 1842

Returns to Newcastle

Saturday 8th October 1842

At Nobby’s Island

f.5 Nobby’s Newcastle. Unsigned. Undated. Untitled.

f.5 Nobby’s Newcastle. Unsigned. Undated. Untitled. [1843?]
from Portfolio collection of views, mainly in New South Wales, volume 5, ca. 1836-1873 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825931#

Wednesday 12th October 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (63) to W. Kirchner and writes that he has been to the coal seams, Nobbys Island, Valley of the Palms, and Ash Island “It’s a romantic place, which I like well enough to think that, perhaps – I’d be content to live and die there.”

Saturday 15th October 1842

A visit to Sugarloaf mountain to visit A. W. Scott’s cattle station at Minmi

Sunday 16th October 1842

At the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain

Tuesday 18th October 1842

Lynd arrives in Newcastle

Friday 21st October 1842

To Ash Island with Lynd, A.W. Scott and Bolton

Wednesday 26th October 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (64) to Dr William Nicholson Newcastle Upon Tyne – writes with a description of Newcastle, Nobbys Island, Aborigines, whose teeth are ground like those of Egyptian mummies, creatures called congivoi, Aboriginal kings, Telligerry Creek and Major Crummer

Friday 28th October 1842

Newcastle. continues letter (64) to Dr William Nicholson Newcastle Upon Tyne – describes Aboriginal fires, black snakes on way to Telligery Creek, Rode to weatherboard home of Mr Dawson which lies south of a rugged valley that Mr Wilton (clergyman) has called the Valley of the Palms (Glenrock) – Earthquake recorded at 5.45am

Monday 31st October 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (65) – Earthquake report, describes Morris’ Bath (i.e., Morrisett’s Bath aka Bogey Hole)

76. Morrisets Bath, Newcastle, 13th May 1841

Item 76 Morrisets Bath, Newcastle, 13th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Tuesday 1st November 1842

Newcastle. continues letter (65) – Mr Calvert brings Leichhardt a Caprimulgus albogularis (white throated goat sucker). Mr Bligh, nephew of former governor  brings him another Gryllotalpa

Friday 4th November 1842

Leichhardt determines strike of volcanic dykes near Newcastle

Saturday 5th November 1842

Newcastle. continues letter (65) – describes Morris’s Bath (i.e., Morrisett’s Bath aka Bogey Hole), and describes the coastal feature overlooking the gaol i.e. today’s ocean baths, as a kind of Charybdis, a fissure in rocks that produces a funnel blowhole sort of thing.

Sunday 6th November 1842

Leichhart went out towards Great [Red] Head  and ‘the lagoon’ to see if there was change in coal measures

Monday 7th November 1842

Returns to Newcastle. continues letter (65) – with a report from day before? Shepherd’s Hill, Redhead, beyond Valley of the Palms, two natives enjoy oozings from honey comb. Two black identified as John M’Gill (king of Lake Macquarie tribe and Gorman, King of another clan, both enjoy damper and honey and have a sleep.

Tuesday 8th November 1842

Newcastle. continues letter (65) – describes vines, Hunter Valley vines, Raymond Terrace, Mr Robert Scott, William Brooks, Threlkeld

Wednesday 9th November 1842

Newcastle. continues letter (65) – discusses Schools

Thursday 10th November 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (66) to C. Schmalfuss  Music Master Berlin

Friday 11th November 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (67) to Lt Robert Lynd – mentions Ash Island, Mr Dawson, Mr Scott, Burwood, Mrs Mitchell (wife of Dr James Mitchell and mother of David Scott Mitchell) wants him to be a tutor to her children

Saturday 12th November 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (68) to Dr W.J. Little London – naming of Newcastle, AACo., Maitland, Morpeth

Monday 14th November 1842

Sets out on walking excursion to Brisbane Water with Flood (Post Master). Today they reach Brook’s holding near Boolaroo.

Tuesday 15th November 1842

At Threlkeld’s Estate, Ebenezer, on Lake Macquarie.

The image below is an engraving of the site of the Toronto Hotel as it looked around 1887. The Hotel is believed to have been built on the site of the former Ebenezer Mission of the Reverend Threlkeld. This image was published in Plans, views and particulars of the Toronto Estate, Lake Macquarie, for sale by the Excelsior Land Investment & Building Company & Bank Ltd. The date is ca. 1887. The full set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uon/sets/72157622086704813/with/3879272453/

From Excelsior Parade looking West to Hotel (Image showing the location of the Toronto Hotel in 1887, formerly the site of Threlkeld's Ebenezer Mission)
From Excelsior Parade looking West to Hotel (Image showing the location of the Toronto Hotel in 1887, formerly the site of Threlkeld’s Ebenezer Mission)

Wednesday 16th November 1842

At Holden’s estate, Newport, Lake Macquarie. They spend the night in Carter’s hut.

Thursday 17th November 1842

At Sidebottom’s hut, just north of Wyong.

Friday 18th November 1842

Through F.A. Hely’s estate to Gosford on Brisbane Water

Sunday 20th November 1842

Through Forster’s station near entrance to Tuggerah Lakes to a point on the coast opposite Bird Island.

Monday 21st November 1842

At the entrance to Lake Macquarie (the constable’s hut)

Tuesday 22nd November 1842

Return to Newcastle from Brisbane Water. Leichhardt receives news of his sister Mathilde’s death and learns that Strezelecki is about to leave Newcastle.

Thursday 24th November 1842

Newcastle. Writes letter (69) to Lt Robert Lynd describes trip to Brisbane Water

– accompanied by Mr Flood to Brisbane Water, 1st day Lake Macquarie, 2nd day coal mines at Mr Threlkeld’s, 3rd day Newport, 4th day travelled to Tukkerah Beach Creek, 5th day arrived West Gosford near Brisbane Water.

– Returned from Bribane Water 1st day to south of Tukkerah Beach to station of Mr Foster, walked up the beach till opp. Birds Island, 2nd day walk to and arrive at 3pm to Lake Macquarie, 3rd day returned to Newcastle.

– Lake Macquarie described “Its numerous bays and abrupt, wooded hills present great diversity, and it would far exceed the lake of Zurich in beauty, could a livelier green replace the subdued green of the Australian bush.”

Monday 28th November 1842

Trip to Ash Island? (see letter 4th December 1842 – (72) note of artesian bore (first mention of an artesian bore in this country – according to Marcel Aurousseau)

Tuesday 29th November 1842

Sets out on walking tour to Port Stephens (first night at the sea side – letter 71)

Wednesday 30th November 1842

At Crummer’s hut, Telligerry

54. Kerua River, Tilligherry, 8th May 1852
54. Kerua River, Tilligherry, 8th May 1852

Item 54. Kerua [i.e. Karuah] River, Tilligherry, 8 May 1852
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Thursday 1st December 1842

Bushfires in swamps. Went alone and on foot to the southern headland of Port Stephens (see letter 72).

See below an engraving by Skinner Prout from around 1841 of Port Stephens as it looked close to the arrival of Leichhardt in 1842.

"Port Stephens" by S. Prout and A. Willmore. facing page 129 from Australia by Edwin Carton Booth, F R. C. I. Illustrated with Drawings by Skinner Prout, N. Chevalier, &c. &c. In Two Volumes Vol. II London Virtue and Company Limited (1873-1876).
“Port Stephens” by S. Prout and A. Willmore. facing page 129 from Australia by Edwin Carton Booth, F R. C. I. Illustrated with Drawings by Skinner Prout, N. Chevalier, &c. &c. In Two Volumes Vol. II London Virtue and Company Limited (1873-1876).

Friday 2nd December 1842

Leichhardt returns from walking expedition to Port Stephens after 4 days in the bush. Walks along Stockton Bight finds cask on the shore full of fresh water.

Saturday 3rd December 1842

Newcastle writes letter (71) to John Murphy Sydney – Description of walk to Port Stephens, cask on Stockton, casuarinas, Prout in Sydney and next week goes to Glendon and Patrick Plains

Sunday 4th December 1842

Newcastle writes letter (72) to W. Kirchner – description of journey to Brisbane Water (15th November to 22nd November) visit to Lake Macquarie, mission of Rev Threlkeld, Newport, Tuggerah Beach Creek (now Ourimbah Creek) Mr Healey, different route back to Newcastle through Mr Foster’s properties then along sea shore – last week went to Ash Island (circa Monday 28th November?) – Last Thursday Port Stephens – Sets out for Glendon on Thursday

Monday 5th December 1842

Leichhardt on a wallaby hunt.

Friday 9th December 1842

He leaves Newcastle on foot for Calvert’s holding. Buys a horse from Calvert.

 

LEICHHARDT’S JOURNEYS IN THE HUNTER REGION (GLENDON) ON HORSEBACK

Friday 9th December 1842 – 20th December 1842

(Letter 77) Leichhardt reports that left Newcastle and visits Mount Sugarloaf (9th), then Mr Scott’s Cattle Station at Minmi, From Minmi to Harper’s Hill, Visit to Mr Wyndham, Mr Kelman vineyard, takes 14 days to reach Glendon (from the 20th December 1842 to arrival on the 2 January 1843).

 

Friday 9th December 1842

Leichhardt rides from Calvert’s holding to Scott’s station at Minmi

Saturday 10th December 1842

Leichhardt ascends Mount Sugarlof with Callaghan

Monday 12th December 1842

Returns to Minmi

Tuesday 13th December 1842

To Maitland with Rorke

Wednesday 14th December 1842

At Harper’s Hill.

46. Harpurs Hill, 7th May 1841

Item 46. Harpurs [i.e. Harpers] Hill, 7th May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Plate "Harpers Hill, Hunter River" S Prout H. Bibby facing page 128 from Australia by Edwin Carton Booth, F R. C. I. Illustrated with Drawings by Skinner Prout, N. Chevalier, &c. &c. In Two Volumes Vol. II London Virtue and Company Limited (1873-1876).
Plate “Harpers Hill, Hunter River” S Prout H. Bibby facing page 128 from Australia by Edwin Carton Booth, F R. C. I. Illustrated with Drawings by Skinner Prout, N. Chevalier, &c. &c. In Two Volumes Vol. II London Virtue and Company Limited (1873-1876).

Friday 16th December 1842

Leaves Harper’s Hill. Thunderstorms. Through Wyndham’s to Dawson’s at Belford

Saturday 17th December 1842

Excursion with Porter to Black Creek and Blind Creek. Then with Porter to visit Kelman’s vineyard sometime after the 17th December.

Tuesday 20th December 1842

Arrives at Glendon

The Hunter at Glendon 3rd May 1841

Item 6 The Hunter at Glendon 3rd May 1841
from [Album of] Pencil sketches, watercolours, etc.
by C. Martens, O.W. Brierly, S.T. Gill, John Rae, C. Rodius and others, ca. 1823-1863
http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=404878

f.70 Glendon. Unsigned. Dated 5th May 1841

f.70 Glendon. Unsigned. Dated ‘May 5th, 41’. Titled at lower right.
From: Album of cloud studies, mountain, bush and harbour scenes, ca. 1841-1850 drawn by Conrad Martens
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=825948

Wednesday 21st December 1842

Excursion to Jump up Creek

Thursday 22nd December 1842

Excursion downstream to Bell’s

Saturday 24th December 1842

Excursion up Glendon Brook to the coal

83. Tangorrin and Glendon Brook from near the Station, 4 May 1841

Item 83. Tangorrin and Glendon Brook from near the Station, 4 May 1841
from Sketches in Australia, 1835-1865 by Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=457268#

Wednesday 28th December 1842

Exploration of Helenus Scott estate

Saturday 31st December 1842

On the way to Mount Tangorin

Monday 2nd January 1843

At Merranie

Tuesday 3rd January 1843

Tolka Tolka and Stanhope

Friday 6th January 1843

Visit to Mount Tyroman

Saturday 7th January 1843

Visit to Bukembelong (Blackguard Hill)

Sunday 8th January 1843

Visit to Jack Shea (mountain)

Monday 9th January 1843

Visit to Wargungunnie

Tuesday 10th January 1843

Leaves Poot yung gun

Sunday 15th January 1843

Returns to Glendon

Monday 16th January 1843

Glendon. Writes letter (73) to C. Schmalfuss – At the estate of Mr Helenus Scott Glendon (brother of A.W. Scott), description of hunter’s river

Monday 16th January 1843

Glendon. Writes letter (74) to Lt Robert Lynd – description of Harper’s Hill, Wyndham Vineyard, arrived at Glendon a fortnight ago (i.e. 2nd January 1843?), before this at Kilman vineyard, description of Glendon, Aboriginal names of mountains recorded with dates of visits to mountains/valleys

Monday 23rd January 1843

Went to Meranni 10 miles from Glendon – German or English miles?  (see letter 76) – Leichhardt is attacked by wild bullock? (see letter 77)

60. Mirranni from above the Station, 30th April 1841
From Conrad Martens sketches [of New South Wales 1835-1842]
View Album: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=446239

Tuesday 24th January 1843

Commenced journey to Mount Royal (see letter 76)

Wednesday 25th January 1843

Visit to house of Capt. Mayne on northern slope of Dyrinne, Piri, Mount Royal. Climbs Dyrring from St Clair (Captain Mayne’s station)

Thursday 26th January 1843

Makes camp in a hollow tree on flank of Piri

Sunday 29th January 1843

At Merannie

Monday 30th January 1843

Returns to Mayne’s station

Thursday 2nd February 1843

Return to Piri

Tuesday 14th February 1843

Returns to Glendon

Wednesday 15th February 1843

Glendon. Writes letter (75) to Walker Scott Newcastle

Sunday 19th February 1843

Glendon. Writes letter (76) to  Lt Robert Lynd Sydney

Tuesday 21st February 1843

Glendon. Writes letter (77) to W. Kirchner – description of trip to Glendon i.e. Sugarloaf , Minmi, etc

Wednesday 2nd March 1843

Glendon. Writes letter 78 to Lt Robert Lynd – precis of how he was occupied last 12 days Scott

Friday 4th March 1843

Leaves Glendon. First notices the great comet of 1843.

Friday 24th March 1843

Dalkeith. Writes letter (79) to Helenus Scott – stays at Bengalla near Muswellbrook


5 thoughts on “Ludwig Leichhardt in Newcastle

  1. Fantastic work! This sort of history needs to be told and retold, the connection between the old and new, then and now.

  2. Leichhardt is actually really close to where I stay in Inner West Sydney, so I’ve always wondered about the name. What a find to stumble on all these beautiful pictures……

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