The View From Mount Clarence

A look back at settlement along Western Australia's South Coast

Category: Western Australia – Coastal Exploration

  • A short history of Aboriginal relations along the South Coast through the story of the Albany Aborigine Norngern and his King George Town contemporaries

    Tommy King was Norngern, and Norn was Wandinyilmernong.   This is a modified version of a piece submitted to Vol. 33 of  the academic journal Studies in Western Australian History during 2019. The edition, called ‘Albany: an antipodean Arcadia‘ edited by Malcom Traille and Harry Freemantle, carries a range of works from writers in some…

  • Sound As A Bell

    ‘The Sound’ by Sarah Drummond (a book review) Albany writer Sarah Drummond’s first novel, The Sound, stares into and stirs the dark waters of the town’s immediate pre-history, resolving to tell a harsh and uncomfortable truth. Her subject is the Breaksea Island sealing gangs, the 19th Century story of a girl and another young Aboriginal…

  • Campbell Taylor and the Cape Arid Connection – 3 (c)

    Bob Gamble, John Bailey Pavey & Black Jack Anderson   Above: The story of Truganini, perhaps Australia’s best known female Aboriginal ancestor, extends through her sisters and other women like her, via Kangaroo Island, all the way to King George’s Sound. Cartoon image by Chris Grosz, taken from the politics, society and culture magazine The Monthly, May, 2012. While the…

  • Wylie – Who was he?

    Originally Published 7 May 2014: There are many artistic impressions of Wylie and Eyre (usually together), all inspired by their remarkable story of survival. Few, if any of those are accurate portraits. There are sketches, drawings and photographic images of Eyre made during his Colonial career which show us what he looked like, but very…

  • George Cheyne and The South Coast Fishery

    Originally Published  30 April 2014: Above: The Battle of Vinegar Hill, Co Wexford, Ireland, 1798. George Cheyne wasn’t there, but his brother John was. “Charge of the 5th Dragoon Guards on the insurgents – a recreant yeoman having deserted to them in uniform is being cut down” (William Sadler II)   The Cheynes were mostly medical…

  • Upriver

    Originally Posted 24 April 2014: Three Things Relative To The Period 1834-1841: Part 2 It’s not a great picture, I know, but the view from Mount Clarence looking north offers a glimpse of two distant ranges. The nearer and smaller of the two (out of view to the left) is the Porongurups; the larger and…

  • The Major’s Butterflies Beat Him Down

    Major Lockyer and the story of the Amity anchoring in the large harbour at King George’s Sound on Christmas Day 1826 holds nothing new.  Everyone who lives at Albany knows of the replica vessel down by the shore in the so-called historical precinct, as does (practically) everyone who has ever come to play tourist. I didn’t particularly want to…

  • Rough Men in Small Boats

    Originally Published 7 April 2014: So, it was the great French and British maritime explorers who gave name to most of the coastal sites we are concerned with and recognise today.  I’m going to stay with the foreign influence as the trade in fur-seal pelts is largely about that, but first want to establish a…

  • Those Other French Guys

    Originally published 5 April 2014;   There are two other French excursionists I need to mention. One is Bruny d’Entrecasteaux, the other Jules d’Urville. These voyagers didn’t do anything in particular to influence settlement. They just visited, gave names to the most obvious geographic features they came across, collected specimens of flora and fauna, drew…

  • King Georges Sound, Oyster Harbour and John Septimus Roe – Part 2

    Originally published: 2 April 2014 A word about those early navigators … When relating Roe’s maritime experience it’s important to talk a little about the great French and British pelagic explorers, the great navigators and cartographers of the 1700’s who charted most of the south seas and are remembered in a thousand-and-one local histories around…