It was a cold and bleak afternoon at the Enfield Arms Factory in the northern part of Greater London. But for William Lingard, a young married gunsmith, it was the only work that was to be offered. And seeing how his father was the Master of the Lochs at the Factory, he had to try and make something of himself for his young wife Emma, as well as showing his father that he was worth something.
But times were hard in the town of Enfield, with upheavels and strikes, and the government wanting more, but not willing to give.
So when William was approached by his friend Frederick Skerman who he worked with, and who had told him that his whole family had been offered free passage to Australia, to help build a town called Brisbane, and would he and his wife like to join them to start a new and better life, he jumped at the chance.
So on March 31st 1866, the ship ‘Netherby’ left the East India Docks on her maiden voyage to Brisbane Australia, .
Owned by the Black Ball Line, and Captained by Owen Owens, the Netherby was a first class ship, which had a very long and tedious journey ahead of her.
( I have the day by day account, that was written on board as “The Netherby Gazette” )
But on the 14th July 1866, after 3.1/2 months at sea, she hit the rocks on the west coast of King Island in Bass Strait, just south of where the town of Currie is today.
The shipwreck occured on sharp, jagged rocks about 300 yards offshore in the middle of darkness. But with the quick thinking of the 1st mate John Parry, all lives were saved.
So, after walking for a couple of days to the Cape Wickham Lighthouse and notifying the Lighthouse Keeper and his staff of the disaster, Mr Parry borrowed a small dinghy and rowed across to the mainland of Australia ( Anglesea ), where he then borrowed a horse and rode the rest of the way to Williamstown to raise the alarm…
William and Emma Lingard, with his friends The Skerman Family, made the most of it, helping each other to survive the best way they could………….
After the rescue took place, and after all the survivors were transported back to Melbourne, they were housed at the Old Exhibition Buildings in William Street. But after a few weeks of money and clothing being raised to assist the survivers, the offer was made, to get those people that wanted to finish the journey on to Brisbane.
Some continued onto Brisbane, which included The Skerman Family, others went inland and founded the town of Netherby, near Lake Hindmarsh in Northern Victoria, and which is still thriving today.
But William and Emma Lingard made there way to the Goldfields.
After making enough money to survive on, William & Emma, and the 3 children that they now had, set off north along the Goulburn river.
After a few years of stopping and starting, mainly to give birth to a new child, or to make extra money with odd jobs, they eventually settled at a place called Mooroopna, click HERE
near Shepparton, and this is where William decided to open a Lumber Mill…( Lingard’s Sawmill.)
So began my history, because William and Emma Lingard were my Great Grandparents.
William and Emma had a a total of 9 children, one of which was George Lingard my grandfather. He married Elizabeth Stearn, and it is her story that I tell next. If you would like to read it then Click here
Click HERE and Here to read about the history of the “Netherby” shipwreck.
My next short story, will be about my G.G.Grandfather Edward Stearn, who was transported to Australia as a convict, and who after serving his time in Tasmania, went in search of his two brothers William and Daniel who had also been transported as convicts at different times. Each being transported for various crimes. ( mine was caught stealing Mrs Worthington’s goose )
But that’s another story…….
This is a short account and what I have been able to gather of the survival of my G.Grandparents after being shipwrecked at King Island on the ship “Netherby”…..