with their two horses & express, the overseer, a Mr Wilson, whose father was a Church of England clergyman in Kilbeggan Co. Westmeath, a black fellow, his gin and ten or eleven shepherds & the cook. My job or jobs were to keep the sheep on the camp whilst the men were having tea or breakfast, help to cut them into 2,000 mobs (about) go ahead & give notice, do the killing, drive the horse team from camp to camp & pitch tents when necessary which seldom happened, the men preferring to sleep around the fire. I had my own tent. There were a number of horses to be hobbled at each new camp. There is half a mile on each side of the road allowed by law for the use of travelling stock, often a great deal more is taken, and six miles a day is the stage, but this mostly depends on where there is water. During the first part of our journey the weak sheep dropped out and were left behind in scores along the track a gift to native dogs. We went over all sorts of country, across plains & over ranges, through rivers, over waterless tracts, once over a stretch of 70 miles without water, men & animals suffered, it is a thirsty country for man & beast. Sometimes when passing near a township – this sometimes consists of a hotel, a store or two, blacksmiths shop and a few other buildings – one of the hands would go on the spree & drop out, or we would pick up a man just off the burst & incapable of doing his work, a mob of sheep would be dropped or a man & his flock would get lost, and then the black fellow & myself would have to go to work tracking & perhaps after a day or so find him miles off the track. After we were on the road six or eight months the sheep were bought by a Mr Guiness [Guinness] & partner, I was told this Guiness was a nephew to the Dublin brewer. The price was I think seven shillings a head. We took them into New South Wales and they were shorn on Jandra Station – one of Guiness’s – on the Darling river six miles below the town of Bourke, after being twelve months on the road. I had charge of them here while being shorn, after which we took them to some back country, which we reached in a month, to be fattened for the Melbourne market. It would be too tedious to retail how we crossed them on a temporary bridge over the Darling or the tremendous rush they made when approaching water when nearly across the 70 mile waterless stretch. After all our ups & downs we
Do you know something about this record?
Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.