David Howie, Mary Bogue and Jane Wilson

David Howie was Scottish born but as a young man he was convicted of theft, his second offence, and transported to Van Diemen's Land as a convict. Shortly thereafter he redeemed himself by serving in the local police force and proving himself a heroic officer. He continued the transformation from felon to respectable citizen when he was assigned, in an honoury capacity, as the 'Straits Constable' (the Straits being the Bass Straits). He assisted in the rescue or management of multiple ship wrecks on the North and West coasts of Van Diemen's Land, including an incident that resulted in the largest ever loss of life in that region, the wreck of the Cataraqui. Perversely, it has also been speculated that Howie himself caused some of those wrecks, and that he was responsible for the subjugation of some of the local indigenous population. For this reason, the one major biographical work on Howie by Pauline Buckby was titled "David Howie: Devil or Saint?".1 Pauline's book attempts to place the reader in Howie's time, to the point of placing thoughts in the mind of the various identified individuals. This article merely intends to present as much of the original source material as possible.

David Howie was born on 1 November 1815 in Ceres, Fifeshire, Scotland, the third child of John Howie and Katharine Straitford (in some sources styled Catherine Straitfurd). His father John had married five years earlier to Katherine on 6 January 1810 in Inveresk Parish whilst serving in the Fifeshire Militia.2 Sources differ as to what happened next. According to Pauline Buckby in her book "Robbins Island Saga", David's mother Katharine died on 16 January 1817 when David was just a toddler, while in her later book, "David Howie: Devil or Saint?", Katharine died at the end of February 1832.3 To confuse things even further the pamphlet titled the "Howies of Ceres" records further children born to John and Katharine before her death in the 1820s.

It seems we can be reasonably sure that David's mother died when he was still young. His father married again later to Helen Robertson and they had a further three children.4 We can also be sure that David was unsettled as a young man, as he appeared before the Scottish Judiciary in February 1835 charged with a string of thefts that had occurred in 1834:

David Howie, tailor, present prisoner in the tolbooth (sic) of Edinburgh, you are Indicted and Accused...of theft, aggravated...[and] of reset of theft...on the 14th or 15th day of October 1834...you the said David Howie did wickedly and feloniously break into and enter the slaughter-house situated at or near Couper Street, in or near Leith, then and now or lately occupied by John Tod, flesher...and having thus obtained entrance into the said slaughter-house...did then and there...away take Eight stones weight or thereby or beef, and Sixteen pounds or thereby of pork...

on the 17th or 18th day of October 1834...you the said David Howie did wickedly and feloniously break into and enter the shop or house in Couper street, in or near Leith, then and now or lately occupied by Alexander Dalziell, baker there,...and having thus obtained entrance into the said premises, you...did then and there...away take Twenty-four or thereby yards of cotton cloth, Two yards or thereby of lawn, Fourpence-halfpenny or thereby in copper money, and A quartern loaf...

on the 29th or 30th day of October 1834...you the said David Howie did wickedly and feloniously break into and enter the shop situated in or near the street commonly called the High street, in or near Newhaven, in the Parish of North Leith, and county of Edinburgh, then and now or lately occupied by James Howie, grocer and spirit dealer there...and having thus obtained entrance into the said shop, you...did then and there...away take...Twelve half-loaves of bread, Two pounds weight or thereby of tobacco, Six gallons or thereby of whisky, Seven pounds weight or thereby of cheese, Three cheeses, each weighing about fourteen pounds, Three quarters of a stone or thereby of candles, two or more hams, Twenty-five or thirty shillings of ginger cordial, and A bottle of brandy...5

David pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment in "the Bridewell of Edinburgh". After XXXX months he was released but in quick fashion was caught again for theft as follows:

Second Trial in Scotland

David was ultimately sent to Van Diemen's Land, as Tasmania was then known, as a convict after being found guilty of theft. He was sentenced to seven years transportation and a transcription of his convict conduct record follows:

HOWIE, David

Edinburgh (Co[ur]t of Jusr) 14 Nov[embe]r 1836    7

Transported for theft by Housebreaking Gaol Report XXX
indifferent Convicted and Imprisoned before Hulk Report
Orderly Single Stated this offence Receiving a Great
Coat cont & cloak & once for Poaching 4 months Single
Nov[embe]r 7 1837 | Lightfoot | Laziness & Insolence; Adm[onishe]d | P.O.
Nov[embe]r 14 1837 | Lightfoot | Disobedience of Orders; To be confined in a cell on B[read] & W[ater] only for 4 days | J. E.
Dec[embe]r 28 1837 | Lightfoot | Insolence & Neglect of Duty, 6 mo[nth]s hard labour 6

David Howie's convict records are still being transcribed. The Elphinstone (2) departed the Downs on 1 June 1837 (29 May 1837 from London according to the Archives Office of Tasmania) and taking the so called direct route arrived in Hobart Town on 2 October 1837. The journey lasted 123 days. Thomas Fremlin was the ship's Master and Campbell France the Surgeon.7

From the appropriation list it is recorded that David was assigned to a settler by the name of Theophilus Lightfoot, no doubt based on David's nomination of his occupation as Tailor.8 Lightfoot had a Tailor's outlet in Liverpool Street, Hobart and a property at New Norfolk, as well as other land holdings that he purchased and then sold over the years.9 In July 1839, after leaving Lightfoot's service, Howie was appointed a constable in the police force:

Police Department, Hobart, August 5.

THE under-mentioned individuals have been appointed constables for the Island of Van Diemen's Land and its Dependencies, under the authority of the Act in Council; 2nd Victoria, No. 22:—

David Howie; Elphinstone 2, 25th do;10

Howie's activities as a constable were reported in the Launceston Courier the following year when he was assaulted while trying to arrest a drunken sailor, although it was ultimately Howie who was reprimanded in the case:

Five sailors were arraigned at the bar, exhibiting a variety of countenance that would have puzzled the best physiognomist under the sun; one charged with being intoxicated, and the others with resisting a constable in the execution of his duty. Constable Howie, it appears, was on duty at the wharf, and endeavoured to persuade a drunken sailor to go on board his ship, which advice he replied to with a volley of very unparliamentary language. Howie apprehended the man, and here a scene took place, such as would probably have raised the immortal Nelson from the grave— if he had been within hearing. Four sailors rushed to the rescue — a dreadful scuffle ensued— in less than a minute the whole wharf was in an uproar, and the constable's coat was in two pieces. Howie continued fighting on foot, enacting more wonders than a man, holding the prisoner by the collar of his shirt, with both hands outstretched, so as to avoid the kicks of his opponent. At this critical juncture, a voice exclaimed—"take the heels from under him" — an operation which certainly was ingenious enough, seeing that the inevitable consequence would have been a powerful collision between the constables face and the ground. He continued, however, (according to his own account) fighting like a desperado, at one time surrounding the five sailors and at others being surrounded himself. It appears more probable, however, that he fought like a constable, that is to say, he ran away for assistance ; for the end was, that he got himself into a great perspiration, and the sailors into the watch-house. The mate of the vessel to which they belonged, having certified that the prisoner, though drunk, was not interrupting the public peace at the time he was taken into custody, they were all discharged, and Howie severely reprimanded, and ordered to pay the expenses of the case.11

David was awarded his ticket of leave in 1841 for meritorious behaviour as follows:

Michael Farriell, who, it will be recollected, was seriously burned by his clothes catching fire whilst asleep in a public house in Wellington-street, died, a short time since, in the Colonial Hospital, from the effects of the injuries received. Constable Howie, for his exertions in endeavouring to subdue the flames, and but for whom, the man would have been burnt to death upon the spot, has been rewarded with a ticket-of-leave.12

In September 1842 it was reported that David Howie has been granted a conditional pardon:

Colonial Secretary's Office, 8th September, 1842.

Memoranda of Conditional Pardon have been ordered for the following persons, until Her Majesty's pleasure be known :-

David Howie, Elphinstone.13

In the early 1840s David was master of his own vessel named the David Howie and was transporting goods and passengers to various locations along the Northern coast of Van Diemen's Land.

In August 1845 the ship Cataraqui was lost when she was wrecked off King Island:

414- LIVES LOST!!!

[From the Port Phillip Herald, Sept. 13.]

THE Cataraqui, Captain C. W. Finlay, sailed from Liverpool on the 20th April, with 369 emigrants, and a crew, including two Doctors, Mr. C. Carpenter and Edward Carpenter (two brothers) of forty-six souls.

The emigrants were principally from Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Nottinghamshire. About 120 of the passengers were married with families, and in all seventy-three children. Nothing particular occurred until about a fortnight prior to the 4th August ; with the exception of the weather being boisterous, with a strong gale of wind from the north-west to the south-west, and incessant rain. On the night of Sunday the third August, at seven in the evening, the ship was hove to, and continued laying to until three o'clock on the morning of the 4th. At half-past four, it being quite dark and raining hard, blow- ing a fearful gale, and the sea running mountains high, the ship struck on a reef situate on the west coast of King's Island, at the entrance of Bass' Straits. No opportunity had offered for taking an observation to enable the Captain to ascertain the ship's course, for four days prior to the ship striking ; and from the dead reckoning kept it was presumed that the vessel was in 141° 22' east longitude, and 39° 17' south, which would make her between 60 or 70 miles from King's Island. Immediately the ship struck, she was sounded, and four feet water was in her hold. The scene of confusion and misery that ensued at this awful period, it is impossible to describe. All the passengers attempted to rush on deck, and many succeeded in doing so, until the ladders were knocked away by the workings of the vessel ; when the shrieks from men, women, and children from below were terrific, calling on the watch on deck to assist them. The crew to a man were on deck the moment the ship struck, and were instantly employed in handing up the passengers. Up to the time the vessel began breaking up it is supposed that between three and four hundred were got on deck by the extraordinary exertions of the crew. At this time the sea was breaking over the ship on the larboard side, sweeping the decks, every sea taking away more or less of the passengers. About five a.m., the ship careened right over on her larboard side, washing away boats, bulwarks, spars, a part of the cuddy, and literally swept the decks. At this critical period the Captain gave orders to cut away the masts, hoping the vessel might right, to enable the crew to get on deck the passengers left below. The masts were forthwith cut away, and everything done that could, under the circumstances, to get the vessel upright, but it was all to no purpose. At this time the passengers below were all drowned, the ship being full of water, and the Captain called out to those on deck to cling to that part of the wreck which was then above water, till daylight, hoping that the spars would be of some service in making a breakwater under her lee, and thus enable the survivors to get on shore in the morning. As the day broke we found the stern of the vessel washed in, and numerous dead bodies floating around the ship—some hanging upon the rocks. Several of the passengers and crew (about two hundred altogether) were still holding on to the vessel—the sea breaking over and every wave washing some of them away. Thus those who were able continued to cling to the wreck until about four in the afternoon, when she parted amidships, at the fore part of the main rigging, when immediately some seventy or a hundred more were launched into the tumultuous and remorseless waves ! The survivors on the deck still, however, continued to exert themselves to recover back all they could ; but many of then were dead, although but momentarily immersed. Ridge lines also were stretched along the side of the wreck, to enable them to hold on. The remains of the upper deck now began to break up and wash away. The survivors now began to collect bits of rope, so as to construct a buoy, with the view of floating it on shore, and thus enabling one of the crew to land. This measure would have enabled them to save the lives of at least a hundred ; but not withstanding every effort, the buoy could not be got nearer than twenty yards from the shore, owing to its getting entangled with the sea-weed on the rocks, and there was no one on shore to catch it, and secure it on the sand. The fury of the waves continuing unabated, about five o'clock, the wreck parted by the forerigging, and so many souls were submerged in the wide waters, that only seventy survivors were left crowded on the forecastle! The buoy rope was then hauled on board to rig life lines and lash the survivors, who were then clinging to the wreck. Thus the sea breaking over them, the winds raging, and the rain continuing heavy all night, the poor survivors continued clinging to the vessel's bow. Numbers died and fell overboard or sank and were drowned at the places where they were lashed. As day broke the following morning it discovered only about 30 left alive—the survivors mostly dead through exhaustion and hanging where they were lashed. The previous evening the quarter boat (the only remaining one) was attempted to he launched, into which the boatswain and doctor (Charles Carpenter) with four of the crew got, but she immediately capsized and all were drowned. As the morning rose the sea was making a clean breach into the forecastle, the deck of which was rapidly breaking up. About this time whist numbers were helplessly clinging to the bows and continually dropping off with- out the possibility of succour, the Captain attempted to reach the shore, hut was unable, and with the assistance of some of those who were able regained the wreck.

The lashings of the survivors were now undone in order to give them the last chance of life. Mr. Thomas Guthrie, the chief mate, now on the sprit sail yard, was washed out to the bowsprit; he saw the Captain and second mate and steward clinging at the bows, with about 18 or 20 only left alive amid a host of dead bodies on the fragment of the wreck. Mr. Guthrie was driven to a detached part of the wreck, but soon found it was impossible to live with such a sea breaking over, seized a piece of plank under his arm and leaping into the water was carried over the reef, and thus got on store. He found a passenger who had got ashore during the night, and one of the crew (Robinson) who got ashore in the morning. John Roberts, a seaman, plunged in when he saw the mate ashore, and partly swimming and partly driven reached the land. Five other seamen followed, and got ashore dreadfully exhausted. Almost immediately afterwards the vessel totally disappeared. Thus out of four hundred and twenty-three souls on board, only nine were saved. The names of the saved are—Mr. Thomas Guthrie, chief mate ; Solomon Brown, emigrant; John Roberts, able seaman ; William Jones, ditto; Francis Millan, ditto ; John Simpson, ditto ; John Robertson, ditto; Peter Johnson, ditto; William Blackstock, apprentice. They had neither food nor drink from the time of the ship striking to the Tuesday afternoon, when they found one small tin of preserved fowl, after eating which, they went and laid down in the bush, having got a wet blanket out of the water for their only covering and being almost quite destitute of clothes.

The beach was strewed with pieces of the wreck and portions of dead corpses in horrible profusion. After a vain search for water, and being unable to find any more survivors, they slept that night in the bush. The following morning they found a cask of water ashore, but were unable to find means to make a fire. However, about 9 or 10 o'clock in the forenoon, they observed a smoke, which presuming they were on the main land (according to the captain's calculation) imagined it was a fire of the natives. However, they shortly saw a white man approaching them, who turned out to be Mr. David Howie, residing upon the island. It seems Mr. Howie and Oakley with one black, perceived there was a wreck on the coast through seeing portions of the wreck, and most humanely arranged to instantly reconnoitre the whole island, and fortunate, indeed, was it for the poor exhausted and benumbed survivors, to whom he instantly afforded fire and food, and constructed a shed against the weather. As Mr. Howie's boat was wrecked, there was no possibility of leaving the island. The party, therefore constructed a hut, and remained five weeks, during which time they were most hospitably provided for by Mr. Howie and his party, according to their means ; the supplies having to be carted 40 miles over a most difficult road. Last Sunday (September 7th) they saw the "Midge" beating for the island ; they immediately signalised her by a fire,* and from her received every assistance. The "Midge" took them off the island with much difficulty, by means of Mr. Howie's whale boat, on Tuesday last, and they arrived in Hobson's Bay at half-past ten this day.

Throughout the whole of these trying events, the survivors give all praise to the captain and crew for their exertions ; it was not until hope was entirely extinguished that they left the vessel. Mr. Guthrie, the Mate, also is warmly commended. It was to his encouragement that most of the seamen saved ascribe the saving their lives in the manner above mentioned. They employed themselves in burying the dead bodies they picked up as far as possible, the mangled condition of many of which it is too painfully horrible to describe ; and they speak in the most gratified manner of the exertions of Mr. Howie and his party of sealers, who reside upon King's island.

The survivors also particularly wish to express their public thanks to Messrs. Fletcher and Croley, owners of the "Midge," for their promptness in attending to the signal upon the island, and themselves incurring risk in waiting to fetch them off. Most of the ship's papers and the mail (except thirty five letters) are lost...[See the comment below for the rest of this article which records the passengers on the vessel]

* Mr. Howie's partv wish to have it notified, that they are in the habit of making one steady fire if they wishto get assistance; but if they wish to warn a vessel of danger, they make a range of fires.14

The following year, in March 1846, a newspaper article described the scene of the mass grave:

The "CATARIQUI."-The remains of the four hundred and fourteen unfortunate human beings who perished when the Catariqui was wrecked upon King's Island, in September Inst, have bean collected together by Mr. Howie, and buried upon an elevation which can be seen from seaward. A fence surrounds the spot. It having been considered necessary that a tablet should be placed over the remains, having inscribed upon it an account of the melancholy event, Mr. Armistead, the builder, has generously volunteered to do the needful, so far as the wood work is concerned, leaving it to some other good Samaritan to perform the lettering. The design of the tablet will be from the pencil of Mr. Charles Laing-, the Town Surveyor. The Government are having an iron tablet executed, bearing an inscription, which is to be placed upon the rock on which the vessel struck.15

Howie's services obviously earned him some respect within government as the following article from the Launceston Examiner in March 1846 demonstrates:

Local Intelligence

Mr. David Howie, some time ago since appointed special constable at King's Island, has obtained the assistance of two petty constables of the Launceston Police, by the sanction of the Government, to clear the island of a number of characters located there without leave or license, some of whom are supposed to be runaways from this colony. Kangaroo abound on the island, and the skins are readily disposed of at from 19s. to 22s. Seals are also taken, the skins of which realise 15s. each.16

In July 1846 it was reported that David Howie was seeking official placement as a pilot at King Island:


Mr. David Howie, at present in Launceston, intends, we believe, applying to the Governor for an appointment as pilot at King's island. Mr. Howie has repeatedly rendered important services to vessels in danger and distress. both by piloting them and furnishing provisions. It will be recollected that Mr. Howie behaved in a most liberal manner upon the occasion of the unfortunate losees of the Cataraqui, and the inhabitants of Melbourne properly recorded their sense of his conduct by a substantial testimonial. There can be no doubt that Mr. flowle is well qualified for the appointment, and that it would be a wise provision to meet cases of emergency-if not of very general benefit.17

The following month, in August 1846, David Howie was reported as the victim of a robbery:

Robbery.— On Thursday last, a man named Hamilton, a prisoner of the crown, was sentenced to eighteen months' hard labour on the roads, for stealing eight hundred kangaroo and wallaby skins from a boat lying in the river. The skins as well as the craft were, we believe, the property of David Howie, the same individual who with his companions so humanely succoured the survivors of the unfortunate Cataraqui.18

Howie was the subject of many speculative rumours over the years. In November 1847 he queried a report that was circulating to the effect that he had drowned!:

Mr. HOWIE.-A report gained circulation here that Mr. Howie, of King's Island, was drowned. This we find published in the Melbourne journals. Mr. Howie is now in Launceston, and does not understand how the report originated.19

Howie probably lost his first vessel at sea as there is a record of him building another cutter which he named after himself in 1849:

David Howie. Cutter, 11 tons. # 32205. Built at King Island by David Howie in 1849 (possibly from the wreck of the Ettrick, qv ); reg. Launceston 3/1849. Captain James (?) Kemp. Driven ashore, wrecked, on the Black River Bar, near Circular Head, north-west coast Tasmania, 29 July 1863. No loss of life.20

In July 1849 Howie was advertised as a supplier of Guano in a report from the Colonial Times:


We have seen an excellant sample of guano, discovered in a cave on one of the islands in the Straits. Mr. Howie states the bed is four feet thick, and must contain many hundreds of tons. He could deliver it to Launceston for £5 per ton.21

Wikipedia provides the following definition of Guano:

Guano (via Spanish, ultimately from the Quechua wanu, meaning 'dung') is the excrement (feces and urine) of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and its relative lack of odor compared to other forms of organic fertilizer such as horse manure.22

In May 1850 David Howie leased Robbins Island as detailed by Kerry Pink and Annette Ebdon in their book Beyond the Ramparts:

...in May 1850 one of the most colourful personalities in the history of the Bass Strait islands, David Howie, leased the developed area of Robbins Is. for 12 pounds 12 shillings a year.23

David Howie married on 7 November 1850 in Launceston, Tasmania to Mary Bogue, also known as Mary Boag. The Church of Scotland ceremony was performed by the Rev. James Garrett. David was recorded as a skipper, and the witnesses were A. [not decipherable] and William Bull.24 There is some speculation that Mary was the same individual named Black Mog, a native woman with an association with Howie. Bill Mollison and Coral Everett record Mary Bogue as "alias: Black Mog, aboriginal of N.S.W." in their book "The Tasmanian aborigines and their descendants" and this is repeated by Brian Plomley and Kristen Henley in "The Sealers of Bass Strait (and the Cape Barren Island Community)".25

In November 1850 Sir William Dennison wrote to the Van Diemen's Land Lieutenant Governor introducing a request from John Howie for information about his son David:

Sir, if you would have the goodness to inform me if David Howie is dead or alive, he resides upon King's Island, Australia by transient accounts, as a Government Officer, and as I have heard nothing of him for 5 years, although wrote repeatedly, if you could give me any information how or where I could apply or write to concerning him, would greatly oblige his father who is very concerned about him.

John Howie.26

The reply was slow in coming due to the long turn around in shipping correspondence:

Lieutenant Governor's Response

David and his wife Mary Bogue apparently had a son who was also named David Howie around the same time, although the birth does not appear to have been registered. There are discussions online suggesting that David Howie Jnr. was in fact the son of David Howie's sister Mary who was living in the Horton area at the time with her husband John Watts. John and Mary Watts had a son, David Howie Watts, born on 9 June 1850 in the Horton district.27 The suggestion is that David and Mary took over the care of David Howie Watts, renaming him David Bogue Howie.28 Either way, the tragic fact is that David's wife Mary and their son David drowned on 20 August 1851 as reported in the Examiner:

On Wednesday, the 20th Instant, the cutter David Howie, of ten tons, loaded with potatos, owned and commanded by David Howie, was unfortunately capsized close off the flag-staff, Circular Head Bay, and immediately went down. 'The day was very squally from the S.W. The master's wife and child, with a native woman of this island, well known by the name of Black Mog, and a ticket-of-leave man, were unfortunately drowned. David Howie and two other men are saved. Two boats from the Daphne and Cygnet went off instantly to render assistance, and picked up the three men hanging to the boat, which floated off. A subscription has been raised to get the vessel up; she foundered in about four fathoms water.29

A later researcher provided additional insight into the tragedy, commenting on the headstone to Mary and David Jnr:

[Maude Leggat] ...delved into the story behind another tombstone near her home. This lonely weather-beaten stone is situated in a near-by paddock. Maude believed that beneath it lies Black Mog, an Aboriginal woman, who figured in a strange, though common enough situation in those parts during the early days of settlement.

Mog lived with David Howie, the "Constable of Bass Strait" on Robbins Island, one of the largest of the islands off the north-west coast of Tasmania. She was a remarkable swimmer and Howie used her frequently in salvaging wrecked craft around the island.

On 22 August 1851 (sic) Howie's boat capsized on a fine but windy day just below The Nut, a prominent headland on the seafront at Stanley. Mog and little David were in the boat and were drowned but Howie got safely away. Some weeks later when the boat was raised, the small boy's body was found. Howie had a headstone erected but the few words still legible make it appear he put the stone there only to record the deaths of his wife and child, the child known as David Howie Bogue.

Maude Leggatt's father, Captain Walter Leggatt, a well-known figure in Bass Strait shipping circles, had his own theory of how the Howie boat came to capsize at the spot near The Nut. He believed peculiar downward draughts of wind occur near the headland. So he sailed a small boat, about the same size as the Howie craft, to the approximate spot of the capsize and waited. As he anticipated, a strong downward draught of wind came and nearly upset the boat causing it to take in a lot of water. While Leggatt bailed strenuously, a second draught came and capsized the boat, leaving Leggatt to strike out for the shore.30

As previously stated, some researchers believe that Mary Bogue and Black Mog were one and the same person, others that they were two separate individuals. The newspaper report reads as if there were two women on board. There seems little divergence however on that fact that Mary Bogue and Black Mog died in the accident. There were inquests into the accident which specifically mentioned Black Mog and David Bogue Howie Jnr. but no other individuals, adding weight to the belief that Black Mog and Mary Bogue were a single person. Both Black Mog and David Bogue Howie were described as drowning as the result of an accident on 20 August 1851. David's inquest was held on 22 August 1851, and Black Mog's inquest on 23 August 1851.31

In early 1852 David Howie assisted with the rescue of passengers from the Tamar. The event was recalled in the Cornwall Chronicle in May 1852:

Mr. David Howie. — The services rendered by Mr. Howie to distressed vessels in the Straits, and his dashing conduct on so many occasions in the face of extreme peril, have been so often recorded by the press, that we can add little to his credit, by acknowledging, on the part of the commander of the Tamar, her passengers and crew, and of those of the clipper Gem, and of the inhabitants of Stanley, who were witnesses to his meritorious exertions on board the Tamar on the occasion of her recent stranding at Circular Head. Mr. Howie, at the imminent risk of his life, with the assistance of two bold fellows, who also merit every praise, boarded in a little dingy the Tamar, when she was in a position, that made the attempt (as a sailor passenger of the Gem represented it to us, madness, and apparently a rushing into death) ; his attempt, however, by his skilful management, succeeded, and Mr. Howie was enabled, by the assistance he rendered, guided by his local knowledge, to save at least the lives on board, which otherwise could not have been preserved, Mr. Howie should be entrusted with authority by the government, to act in the Straits in all cases where his services might be required, and where necessary, and also by the Insurance Companies. A Straits pilot establishment might be organized with much advantage to the shipping interests, and we know of no man who could so judiciously be placed at its head as Mr. David Howie.32

David had actually written to the editor of the Chronicle two months earlier in March, pointing out that his actions did not amount to saving the poor souls:

To the Editor of the Cornwall Chronicle.

Launceston, Mar 10, 1852.

Sir,— I have this evening read a paragraph in your "valuable publication," respecting the services, rendered by "David Howie," to the schooner "Tamar" during the 2nd of May ; allow me, sir, to state, that although it has been my chief aim through life, to render the hand of assistance to my fellow creature in the hour of distress, still there is one point I am anxious to correct ; the substance of the circumstances as related of the wreck of the Tamar is correct ; but I must observe that I do not claim the merit of saving the lives of my fellow creatures. I wish you, sir, to kindly correct this statement, as I am unwilling that such an event should be attributed to myself; to tbe individual exertions of the people themselves, and the mercy of an all-wise Providence the preservation of their lives must be attributed.

In the suggestions thrown out respecting a branch pilot to assist vessels in distress, navigating the straits in the locality of 'King's Island,' I agree with you, and I trust that for the protection of 'craft' navigating those parts, that some immediate and efficient means will be adopted by the local authorities ; should it be deemed advisable to appoint a competent person to fulfil the situation referred to. You may rest assured, sir, that every information (and if required), assistance will be rendered by me to forward and promote so great a desideratum. I hope sir, this will be inserted in the Chronicle, trusting it will call attention to the subject, and occasion the adoption of means necessary, which will prevent much loss of life sad property in future ; let a competent pilot be appointed, and I will gladly co-operate with and assist him.— I am, sir, your's most obediently, David Howie.33

While it seemed official recongnition of his duties in the straits with an appointment eluded him, nevertheless he continued providing such services. In February 1853 he was assisting with the capture of bushrangers:


These wretched men, with their pressed companions, still elude the pursuit of the police, a thing not difficult while they were in Van Diemen's Land, in a part where scrubs are "as thick as sprats in the Shannon." Dalton was last recognized at a hut at the mouth of the Leven, where he took possession of four loaves of bread, just drawn from the oven (the only article they were in need of), telling one of the pressed men to take them instantly to the boat, for they meant to be off, or "there would be h___ and the d___ to pay."

They were seen to sail soon afterwards, with John Williams's three ton boat, with the wind at south and east, and which, though varying through the night and next day, continued fair for them; their course was coastwise, westward, and it is reported, and believed to be true, that they were seen next day at the Rocky Cape, nine miles east of Circular Head.

The "David Howie," armed cutter, with its intrepid owner, Special Constable Howie, who was so active in the pursuit of Rogers, Reynolds, Riley and Co., is engaged by the Government in the present pursuit.

Dalton is represented to have exhibited considerable ability as a steer oarsman, pronouncing his oar to be too short for the boat, and hesitated about returning to the Forth for a longer one, were it not for the corrobhoree there. He then musingly said, "It would be losing time."

Three Hobart Town police parties have passed and repassed Port Sorell, returning by way of George Town; one of them proceeding by the Bay of Fires along the East coast.

Mr. Deputy-assistant petty district constable Clarkson had arrived at Emu Bay under protection of an escort.34

It was just three months later that David Howie remarried on 23 May 1853 to Jane Elizabeth Wilson, formerly known as Smith, in Stanley. No state registration of the event appears to exist so where this information ultimately came from is unknown. Pauline Buckby related that Jane is the daughter of Mary Smith and step-daughter of William Wilson.35 William and Mary had married on 27 June 1831 in Launceston and they had a further four children.36 When Jane died in 1888 her reported age was 52, making his birth year about 1836, but her death notice also reported her as the oldest child of William Wilson. William and his wife Mary were known to have a son, Charles Smith Wilson, born on 17 October 1831 in Launceston, so if Jane was the oldest she was probably born before 1831.37

Jane and David were certainly a couple as there are later children registered to them, but David Howie had little chance to enjoy a life of domesticity in 1853. If he was married in May, it was only a month later in June that he was assisting with the transportation of the crew rescued from the barque Rebecca. They had been shipwrecked between Sandy Cape and Arthur River and those who survived the sinking had languished on the rugged West Coast of Van Diemen's Land for nearly a month. They were finally discovered by chance by a Mr. Burgess.38 They were ultimately taken to Woolnorth and David Howie had transported them from there to Circular Head:

CIRCULAR HEAD, JUNE 15.-The cutter David Howie has just arrived from Woolnorth with the crew saved from the barque Rebecca, wrecked at that place. They all go over to Melbourne by the Mary Stewart on Saturday next, the 18th instant. The inhabitants of Stanley, Circular Head, and the shipping have subscribed the sum of £80, which will he devoted amongst these poor men, who have lost everything they possessed.39

The following day in the Cornwall Chronicle events were presented slightly skewed so that the misinformed reader might think that Howie had saved them:

Mr. David Howie— The exertions of Mr. Howie in the frequent cases of wreck in the Straits, and on the coasts of this island and New Holland, have been marked— many of them — with much daring, and have resulted in great -benefit to many sufferers ; such services deserve to be publicly and liberally acknowledged. The last occasion on which his services were rendered, was to the crew of the barque Rebecca, wrecked on the 29th April, on the West Coast of this island. Immediately after hearing of the loss of that vessel, Mr. Howie started away to Woolnorth in his cutter, to render what assistance he could, which, however, from the vessel breaking up immediately, was of little moment. He took on board the survivors of the crew, and after having experienced very foul weather on his passage book, succeeded in reaching Circular Head again on the 16th instant. The names of the men saved are as under : —

Wm. Kirkus, chief officer, Ewd. Davis, carpenter, Jas. Reimback, cook, J. Whitford, seaman, J., Marshall, ditto, J. Moroonay, ditto, John Williams.ordinary ditto, Francino Dumas, ditto, Mariano Francino, ditto, Richard Curtis, seaman, — Miller, ditto.40

In September 1853 David Howie was mentioned yet again in the paper as assisting with a shipwreck in Bass Strait:


The cutter David Howie, Howie, master, arrived at Circular Head on the 6th of September, with the master, Captain Roberts, the crew of seven hands, and two passengers, from the wreck of the W. and M. Brown, 297 tons, which vessel left Port Phillip on the 19th of August, bound for Singapore, in ballast, and was totally wrecked on the 23rd following, having struck on the Albatross Rock, at night, and in a few minutes went down in deep water, the vessel being at the same time under close reefed top sails, the crew having only sufficient time to get out the longboat, in which they succeeded in reaching the Hunter's Islands, fortunately without loss of life. Here they remained fourteen days, with only a few small shell fish for their subsistence, when they were removed by Mr. Howie; who had observed the fire kindled by the unfortunate mariners, as he passed the islands on his passage from Melbourne to Robin's Island, Van Deimen's Land. Foul weather and contrary winds prevented Mr. Howie from relieving the unfortunates sooner, when he found them they were in a sadly debilitated state. The crew having saved nothing but the clothing they wore at the time of the accident, a subscription was immediately entered into by the inhabitants of Circular Head, the sailors of the brig Wave and the schooner Mary Stewart, contributing on behalf of the unfortunate men, and the amount of £34 8s. 4d. collected, was distributed among them. They leave by the Mary Stewart, for Melbourne. Circular Head, 7th September, 1853.

The Captain, mate, and crew of the brig William and M. Brown, from Melbourne, bound to Singapore and wrecked on the Albatross Rock, arrived here by the Mary Stewart. They had been twelve days on Hunter Island, before they were discovered and conveyed to Circular head by the cutter David Howie. This in the second shipwrecked party saved by the Davie Howie within the last two months, the other being the crew of the Rebecca, from England, bound for Melbourne, and lost on King's Island. Argus. 14th Sept.41

A full account of the wreck of the brig W. and M. Brown was reported on 28 September 1853 quoting the Captain:

The wreck of the brig W. and M. Brown

On 9 November 1853 David Howie attended a meeting at the Stanley Police Office "for the erection of a building to be used as a place of worship on the ground set aside for the use of the Church of Scotland at Stanley".42 A year later, David and Jane Howie's first child and daughter, Mary Jane Howie, was born on 28 September 1854 in the Horton district.43

In early October 1854 David Howie was reported as attempting to assist in the recovery of the schooner Alert:

The schooner Alert, recently beached below the river Arthur, when last seen was standing upright, embedded eight feet deep in sand, and three feet water in her hold. We believe that Mr. David Howie intends making an attempt to get her off.44

By 14 October 1854 Howie was pilot for the Reverend Francis Nixon as he made his tour of the Bass Strait islands, later reported in "The Cruise of the Beacon".

The little cutter, David Howie, belonging to an enterprising and skilful mariner of the same name, came in during the morning. We had been especially anxious to see him, as being the only person who could be said to be thoroughly acquainted with the intricate and perilous navigation amidst the shoals, reefs, islets, and sunken rocks, in the vicinity of King's Island. We were rejoiced to find that Captain King had already entered into negotiation with him to act as our pilot.45

Howie took them to the place where the Cataraqui was wrecked, and over the next few days they saw evidence of further recent wrecks in the strait. He remained with them until 21 October:

Howie decided on leaving us this morning, for the western coast of the Island. He hopes to be in time to meet the party that is bound to the wreck of the Brahmin. It is blowing so hard from the S.W., that they will need both help and guidance.46

In early 1855 David Howie was reported as assisting with the rescue of the Brig Maria:

Brig Maria.— We do not discover, on again looking over the statement of the commander of the Maria, in reference to her loss, any matter
worthy the knowledge of the public. Her loss, and the circumstances attending it, are matters of a purely private nature. We stated in last issue that Mr. David Howie had sailed for New Year's Island with provisions for the crew of the vessel, and that the cost of the supplies was defrayed by private subscription.47

On 4 October 1855 Howie and other prominent settlers of Circular Head attended the consecration of St. James Church in Stanley, the building of which they had initiated two years earlier.48 The following year, David Howie and his wife Jane had their second daugther when Ellen Howie was born on 9 July 1856 in the Horton district.49

A third daughter, Henrietta Howie, was born on 12 May 1858 in the Horton district. Henrietta was recorded as an un-named female at birth.50

In June 1858 David Howie was in court as a witness to a fracas that had occurred at his home as follows:

Monday, 3 let May.
(Before J. Whitefoord, Esq., Recorder.)...

Robert Page was informed against for unlawfully and maliciously shooting at Thomas Short, on the 6th day of January last, with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm ; a second count charged prisoner with a misdemeanor, in presenting a pistol at the said Thos Short. The first witness called was Francis Merrion, a man of color, who deposed that he had been living at Robbin's Island where prisoner lived also at Mr. Howie's ; witness saw him there on the 5th January in the parlour at Mr. Howie's house, witness being in tbe kitchen. Prisoner came out and told witness to go out of tbe house or he would blow his brains out ; he was armed at tbe time with a double-barrelled gun, and had a revolver in his pocket. Witness ran into the scrub, where Mrs. Howie went also in consequence of prisoner having asked her some improper question. The following day witness went to the farm of Tom Short, where he saw prisoner sitting in the kitchen armed with a gun and sword. Short ran into tbe bush, and the prisoner fired at him twice at a distance of about 20 yards, and then came back and ran after witness and fired at him ; the cap went off, but tbe pistol did not ; witness also fired at prisoner, but did not hit him. Mrs. Howie remained in the scrub with her sister and a black woman from Tuesday until Friday when Mrs. Howie returned home.

Thomas Short corroborated the latter portion of last witness' evidence.

Prisoner remarked that Short had been tutored.

David Howie gave evidence of returning from Circular Head to Robbin's Island on the 8th January, and finding everything in confusion at home, and that the bedroom had been broken into. Witness then went away a distance of about 4 or 5 miles, and on his return found prisoner under a stretcher. He twice attacked witness who knocked him down each time. In answer to witness prisoner said Howie had kept handcuffs on him for 2 days.

Owing to Mrs. Howie, a material witness, being in a delicate state of health, she was not in attendance.

The Jury, after consulting for about half an hour, returned a rerdiet of Not Guilty.51

A bizarre case but given the outcome it appears as if some of the story wasn't reported. Howie was obviously bested by the offender but still managed to handcuff him, and what was Jane's 'delicate state of health'? Whether David wondered about the safety of his family given their remote location we will never know. Certainly he would never have known that he had less than twelve months to live.

On 7 May 1859 David and three other men left Circular Head for Robbins Is. They were never heard from again. Strangely enough The Hobart Town Courier reported the 'Death of David Howie and three of his crew" on 23 May 1859 while on 24 May 1859 fears were expressed for Howie and his Crews safety in the Launceston Examiner:

Fatal Accident at Circular Head - Death of David Howie and Three of his Crew - We regret to perceive that an enterprising and skillful mariner, and an old and well known colonist, whose services in cases of shipwreck have been of the most extraordinary character, has at last, with three of his crew, met with a watery grave. The accident occurred at Circular Head. Mr Howie has been long resident on one or other of the islands of the Straits, and in 1845 proceeded from the Western Coast of King's Island to Melbourne in an open boat with intelligence of the wreck of the Cataraqui and the loss of 414 lives. In connexion with the above we may mention that David Howie accompanied the Lord Bishop of Tasmania and party to King's Island in search of the remains of the wrecks of the Brahmin and Waterwich, and in his Lordship's interesting narrative of the 'Cruise of the Beacon' occur the following observations with reference to the now deceased:-

'We found him a singularly intelligent man. Years ago he came out to this colony from Edinburgh, being then very young. For some time past he has resided at Robbin's Island; visiting alternately the other islands in the vicinity, with his little cutter of no more than twelve or fourteen tons burden; at one time sealing, at another trading; now bringing to Circular Head a cargo of livestock, again proceeding to Launceston with a consignment of potatoes. He has, however, another and a stronger claim to respect, beyond that which his enterprising energy commands. No man in the Straits has rendered so much assistance, in times of peril and of shipwreck, as David Howie. He told us some appalling tales of the fearful wreck of the female emigrant ship Cataraqui on the western coast of King's Island, on the morning of the 4th August, 1815; out of 423 souls on board, only 9 were saved.' We regret to add that Mr Howie's unfortunate companions in death are reputed to have each left widows and large families - the children numbering no less than 20 souls.52

Another version of Howie's death has circulated among his family but has been demonstrated to be false:

David disappeared in 1859 after three escaped convicts came to his home and threatened to shoot him unless he took them in his boat to the mainland. He left with the convicts and was never seen again and his body was never found.53

The newspaper report of the accident was is confirmed in a letter from James Gibson to the directors of the Van Diemen's Land Company on 6 June 1859:

I have to record a very melancholy accident which is supposed to have occurred here on the 7th of May - before the evening of that day David Howie and R. Moles with two other men left the West Inlet in a small boat to go to the River 'Montague' and have not since been heard of although every search has been made along the coast, and amongst the islands, and it is to be feared they have all met with a watery grave - the two farmers were tenants of the company, and what makes the matter more distressing is that they were all married and leave 4 widows and 18 children, some of whom are in very destitute circumstances.54

Kerry Pink and Annette Ebdon in their book 'Beyond the Ramparts' add that some wreckage was found of Howie's cutter:

David Howie made his last voyage in May 1859. With a crew of three - Hudson, Jackson and Molles - ... (Howie) left Circular Head for Robbins Is. but was not seen or heard of again. Wreckage of his cutter was found at the western end of Robbins Passage.55

According to a later report Hudson, Jackson and Moles were merely passengers rather than crew. The next section details who these individuals were, and the structure of their associated families. As previously stated David and Jane Howie had three children before the shipping accident. Crew member Hudson was probably William Hudson who had married Ann Hay on 16 December 1856 in the Horton district.56 They had two children before the shipping accident:

  • William Henry Hudson Jnr., born on 27 February 1857 in Horton.57
  • Ann Barclay [Barker] Hudson, born on 21 September 1858 in Horton.58

Ann Hay married for a second time to David Howard on 12 November 1860 in the district of Horton and had a further four children.59

Crew member Jackson was probably Thomas Phillips Jackson who had married Ann Alderson on 29 August 1853 in the Horton district.60 Ann Alderson was previously married to Joseph Alderson and her maiden name was Campbell. Joseph and Ann had five children prior to Joseph’s untimely death on XX XXX 1852.61

  • Joseph Alderson, born on 4 July 1845 in Launceston.62
  • Elizabeth Alderson, born on 20 December 1846 in Launceston.63
  • Cornelius Alderson, born on 25 August 1848 in Launceston.64
  • Sarah Jane Alderson, born on 29 September 1850 in Horton.65
  • Ann Alderson, born on 4 January 1852 in Horton.66

After Joseph’s death Ann had married Thomas Jackson and they had four children before the shipping accident:

  • Un-named male Jackson, born 12 June 1854 in Horton.67
  • Frances Jackson, born 4 January 1856 in Horton.68
  • William Jackson, born 6 October 1857 in Horton.69
  • Mary Ann Jackson, born 17 June 1859 in Horton.70

Crew member Molles has been confirmed as Richard Moles (in the James Gibson letter quoted above) who had married Mary Crookes on 11 February 1851 in the Horton district.71 They had two children before the shipping accident:

  • Elizabeth Moles, born 23 June 1855 in Horton.72
  • Hannah Moles, born 10 November 1858 in Horton.73

Mary Moles may have been the same individual by that name who subsequently married James Green in Hobart on 8 May 1860.74

The loss of the four men meant that their wives and sixteen children were without their normal means of support. In particular, nearly all the children were aged less than 10 which would have placed an additional burden on the families (three of the Alderson children were over ten but under fifteen). This does not add up to the eighteen children mentioned in Gibson’s letter, or the twenty odd souls counted in the newspaper report of the time, but is a considerable number nevertheless.

As already noted, a number of the widows remarried, and David Howie's wife was no exception. Jane Elizabeth Howie (nee Wilson) remarried on 11 June 1864 to Robert Edward Evans in the Horton district.75 Robert was born on 7 September 1841 in XXXX to William Evans and Eliza Jane Briscoe.76 They would go on to have a further five children.

The fate of David and Jane's children completes the story of David Howie. Mary Jane Howie married William Buckby on 5 December 1876 in the Horton district. Mary Jane was recorded with the surname Howil at marriage.77 Mary Jane and William would go on to have nine children that have been traced.

Henrietta Howie married Charles John Tatlow on 2 June 1884 in the Emu Bay district.78 Henrietta and Charles would go on to have three children that have been traced.

Ellen Howie married George Frederick M. Elliott on 23 June 1886 in the Emu Bay district.79

Jane Elizabeth Evans (formerly Howie, nee Wilson) died on 29 May 1888 in Burnie, Tasmania.80 Jane was buried in the Coronation Park Cemetery.

EVANS - On 30th May, at her residence, Wilson street, Burnie, Emu Bay, Jane Elizabeth, the beloved wife of E. R. Evans, and eldest daughter of William Wilson, Launceston, aged 52 years.81

  • 1. Buckby, Pauline: David Howie: Devil or Saint?; Jamala Press, 2003
  • 2. The Howies of Ceres, Fife Family History Society Journal 5:2 (Dec 1992)
  • 3. Buckby, Pauline: Robbins Island Saga; Commercial Finance Company of Tasmania, 1988 and Buckby, Pauline: David Howie: Devil or Saint?; Jamala Press, 2003
  • 4. The Howies of Ceres, Fife Family History Society Journal 5:2 (Dec 1992)
  • 5. Scottish Record Office AD14/35/369 and available in the AOT Correspondence Folder for David Howie
  • 6. AOT Convict Conduct Record CON31/1/21; Description List: CON18/1/7 p335, CON23/1/2
  • 7. Bateson, Charles: The Convict Ships 1787-1868; Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd, Glasgow; pp. 362-363
  • 8. AOT Appropriation List: CON27/1/7, CSO5/1/73 1603
  • 9. The Hobart Town Courier Friday 8 September 1837
  • 10. The Hobart Town Courier and Van Diemen’s Land Gazette Friday 9 August 1839
  • 11. Launceston Courier Monday 9 November 1840
  • 12. Launceston Courier Monday 29 March 1841
  • 13. The Courier Friday 16 September 1842
  • 14. The Observer Friday 19 September 1845
  • 15. The Observer Friday 13 March 1846
  • 16. Launceston Examiner 20 March 1847, p. 3 and quoted in the AOT Correspondence Folder for David Howie
  • 17. "The Examiner" Files of July, 1846
  • 18. Launceston Advertiser Monday 3 August 1846
  • 19. Launceston Examiner Saturday 6 November 1847
  • 20. Encyclopedia of Australian Shipwrecks: Oceans Enterprises, 303 Commercial Road, Yarram, Vic 3971; http://oceans1.customer.netspace.net.au/tas-wrecks.html
  • 21. Colonial Times 10 July 1849, p. 2, col. 3 and quoted in the AOT Correspondence Folder for David Howie
  • 22. Wikipedia: Guano; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guano
  • 23. Pink, Kerry & Ebdon, Annette, Beyond the Ramparts, Circular Head Bicentennial History Group, Printed by Mercury-Walch, Hobart, Tasmania, June, 1998
  • 24. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1850/673
  • 25. Mollison, B. C. and Everitt, Coral: The Tasmanian Aborigines and their Descendants: Chronology, Genealogies and Social Data; University of Tasmania, 1978 and Plomley, Brian & Henley, Kristen Anne, The Sealers of Bass Strait (and the Cape Barren Island Community), Blubber Head Press, Hobart, 1990.
  • 26. AOT Governor's Office Records GO1/79 p. 148 and quoted in the AOT Correspondence Folder for David Howie
  • 27. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1850/551
  • 28. Talking Scot: http://www.talkingscot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=16195
  • 29. Launceston Examiner Wednesday 27 August 1851
  • 30. http://www.telyphone.com/mdleggattpg.htm
  • 31. AOT Inquest SC195/1/29 No. 2599 and SC195/1/29 No. 2600
  • 32. The Cornwall Chronicle Saturday 15 May 1852
  • 33. The Cornwall Chronicle Wednesday 19 May 1852
  • 34. The Courier Tuesday 1 February 1853
  • 35. Buckby, Pauline: David Howie: Devil or Saint?; Jamala Press, 2003
  • 36. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1831/1666
  • 37. AOT Baptism Registration RGD 1831/4073
  • 38. The Courier Wednesday 8 June 1853
  • 39. Launceston Examiner Tuesday 21 June 1853
  • 40. The Cornwall Chronicle Wednesday 22 June 1853
  • 41. Launceston Examiner Tuesday 20 September 1853
  • 42. St. James Church Minute Book quoted in Advocate Wednesday 2 October 1935
  • 43. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1854/355
  • 44. Colonial Times Saturday 7 October 1854
  • 45. Nixon, Francis: The Cruise of the Beacon: Bell & Daldy, London, 1857; http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/nixon/beacon1854/
  • 46. Nixon, Francis: The Cruise of the Beacon: Bell & Daldy, London, 1857; http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/nixon/beacon1854/
  • 47. The Cornwall Chronicle Wednesday 21 February 1855
  • 48. St. James Church Minute Book quoted in Advocate Wednesday 2 October 1935
  • 49. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1856/476
  • 50. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1858/752
  • 51. The Cornwall Chronicle Wednesday 2 June 1858
  • 52. The Hobart Town Courier, Monday Afternoon, May 23, 1859
  • 53. Jacqui Ross: Perth Dead Person's Society; http://members.iinet.net.au/~perthdps/convicts/stories.html
  • 54. AOT Dispatches from the Tasmanian Agent to the Van Diemen's Land Company Directors VDL 5/4-9: Dispatch No. 331
  • 55. Pink, Kerry & Ebdon, Annette, Beyond the Ramparts, Circular Head Bicentennial History Group, Printed by Mercury-Walch, Hobart, Tasmania, June, 1998
  • 56. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1856/121
  • 57. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1857/734
  • 58. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1858/777
  • 59. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1860/71
  • 60. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1853/983
  • 61. AOT Death Registration RGD 1852/XXXX
  • 62. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1845/907
  • 63. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1847/1559
  • 64. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1848/3365
  • 65. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1850/559
  • 66. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1852/234
  • 67. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1854/347
  • 68. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1856/451
  • 69. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1857/766
  • 70. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1859/807
  • 71. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1851/619
  • 72. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1855/427
  • 73. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1858/735
  • 74. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1860/92
  • 75. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1864/383
  • 76. AOT Birth Registration RGD 1841/XXXX
  • 77. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1876/399
  • 78. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1884/106
  • 79. AOT Marriage Registration RGD 1886/100
  • 80. AOT Death Registration RGD 1888/XXXX
  • 81. Launceston Examiner Friday 1 June 1888



John Horton
John Horton's picture
Biographies of David Howie

The following works are either biographies of David Howie, or contain biographies of David Howie:

  • Buckby, Pauline: David Howie : Devil or Saint?; Jamala Press, 2003
  • Buckby, Pauline: Robbins Island Saga; Commercial Finance Company of Tasmania, 1988 (pp. 40-49)
  • Horner, Arthur Geoffrey: Tasmanian Journey; Cat & Fiddle Press, 1974 (pp. 54-55)
  • Pink, Kerry & Ebdon, Annette, Beyond the Ramparts, Circular Head Bicentennial History Group, Printed by Mercury-Walch, Hobart, Tasmania, June, 1998 (pp. 216-221)
  • Trethewie, Harold: David Howie: Bass Strait Constable; Papers and Proceedings (Tasmanian Historical Research Association), 1992
  • Walker, Donald: Beacons of Hope: An Early History of Cape Otway and King Island Lighthouses; Athelstone Trust, 1998
John Horton
John Horton's picture
Cataraqui Passenger List

The following quote completes the newspaper article reproduced in part above (not included there for brevities sake), and published in the Port Phillip Herald and again in The Observer on Friday 19 September 1845. The passenger list was published as a continuous paragraph but here the families and individuals have been formatted to improve readability.

Captain Finlay, who was a native of Dublin, has left a wife and two children in Liverpool to lament their loss.

We have been favoured by Dr. Patterson, the Emigration Agent, with a list of all the passengers, with the exception of eight or nine, whose names it was impossible to make out correctly, the paper from which they were compiled being partly in a mutilated state. We subjoin it here, together with the vessel's cargo :—

Thomas and Ann Allen, and four children,
William and Ann Allen, and two children,
R. Appleby, single woman ;
Ann and Harriet Arnold, ditto ;
James Burke, Peter Burke,
W. and Mary Bennett and four children,
James Baxter, S. Baxter,
Samuel and Eliza Bennett,
Page and Charlotte Bennett,
William and Hannah Bishop and two children,
Joshua Black, single ;
Patrick and Catherine Black and five children,
Mary Ann Booth, single ;
John and Mary Brady,
Solomon and Hannah Brown and four children,
Patrick Brothers, single;
Edward and Elizabeth Burke and three children,
Becher and Elizabeth Bushby and six children,
Samuel Bushby, single;
Margaret Campbell, single ;
Benjamin and Sarah Couter and four children ;
Robert and Mary Chuck and one child,
Susan Chuck, single ;
Jonathan and Anne Julia Clark and one child;
Thomas Collins, single;
Wm. Condell, single ;
James Cook and Ann Cook and three children;
Wm. and Anne Cook and six children ;
Joseph and Martha Cotterell and two children ;
John and Rebecca Copeland and five children ;
John Cremoford, single ;
George and Ruth Daisley,
Gilbert and Ann Daisley and two children ;
Thomas and Jane Dawson,
Mary Duffy, single;
Bridget Duffy, single;
Mary Fitzpatrick, single;
George and Ann Finding and one child;
Stephen and Hannah Floyd and two children;
George and Mary Folis and six children ;
Emanuel and Mary Ann Franklin and two children ;
Edward and Anne Gardiner and seven children;
John Gilmore, single man ;
Elizabeth Gilmore, single woman ;
Thomas Gray, single;
Mary Gray, single;
Wm. Green, single ;
Isabella Ann Houghton, single;
Helen Houghton, single;
Wm. and Ann Hay,
Joseph and Ann Herbert and three children ;
Robert and Emma Howe and two children ;
Joseph and Mary Hodgins and five children;
Jane Hopkins, single;
Thomas Hopkins, single ;
James and Elizabeth Hignell and two children;
Robert and Agnes Woods and seven children ;
Elizabeth Woods, single;
Ann Irwin, single;
Wm. and Sarah Izard and four children ;
Patrick Jones, single;
Isabella Kingston, single;
Mary King, single ;
M. A. Loveridge, single ;
John Loveridge, single ;
Patrick and Catherine Maginn and seven children;
Bridget and Michael Maginn, both single ;
Anthony and Edith Mery and nine children ;
John Miller, single;
Benjamin and Mary M'Caffry and seven children ;
Mary and Susan M'Caffry, both single;
Mary and John M'Quillen, both single ;
William, Ann, and Bernard M'Donald, all single;
Jacob and Eliza Newell and one child ;
James Oliver, single ;
John and Ann Paterson and five children;
Amos and Fanny Pearce and seven children;
Thomas and Elizabeth Pettingall and one child;
Miles Quin, single ;
Patrick Reilly, single;
William and Mary Rowbottom and two children ;
William and Fanny Rutter and two children ;
John and Hannah Ryman and three children ;
James and Hannah Rollins and six children ;
Ephrahim and Sarah Stafford and four children;
John and Sarah Savings and three children ;
Charles and Rebecca Knott and seven children ;
Jas. and Martha Sherby and two children ;
Elizabeth Sheridan, single ;
W. and Deborah Simmons and seven children ;
Catherine, Mary, and Rose Smith, all single;
Thomas and Susan Smith and one child;
Catherine and Dennis Sullivan, both single;
Josiah Smith, single;
H. and Mary Tegart, and seven children;
Margaret Tegart, single ;
William and Sarah Todhil and four children ;
Wm. and Mary Waldock and four children ;
Emily Walton, single ;
Charles and Mary Ward,
George and Elizabeth Watts,
Margaret Williams, single;
Thomas Whelan, single;
Thomas and Ann White and one child ;
John and Eliza J. White ;
John and Jane Woods and seven children ;
Mary Woods, single ;
William Woods, single;
W. and M. A. Woods.

The following is the cargo:—500 tons coal (for Lima), 13 tons slates, 22 hhds. rum (the Captain's own), 18 quarter casks wine, 2 casks nails, 500 three-inch deals.1

  • 1. The Observer Friday 19 September 1845