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Arthur Bowes-Smyth, Surgeon

Extract from, A Journal of a Voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China in the Lady Penrhyn, 1787-1789, Manuscript page 4

About this item: 

Arthur Bowes-Smyth, illustrated journal, 1787-1789. Titled `A Journal of a Voyage from Portsmouth to New South Wales and China in the Lady Penrhyn, Merchantman William Cropton Sever, Commander by Arthur Bowes-Smyth, Surgeon - 1787-1788-1789'; being a fair copy compiled ca 1790.

Transcript: 

[Page 82]

upper jaw knock'd out, & many of them had a piece of stick abt. the size of a Tobacco pipe & 6 or 8 inches in length run thro' the septum of the Nostrils, to wh. from its great similitude we ludicrously gave the name of a Sprit Sail Yard. They all cut their Backs Bodies & Arm wh. heal up in large ridges & scars.
They live in miserable Wigwams near the water wh. are nothing more than 2 or 3 pieces of the Bark of a tree set up sideways against a ridge pole fasten'd to two upright stick at each end -- they are abt. 2 or 3 feet high, & few amongst them are to be found wh. are weather proof --
Their principal food consists of fish wh. they in general eat raw -- Sometimes they feast upon the Kangaroo, but I believe them to be too stupid & indolent a set of people to be able often to catch them: from the appearance of many of the lofty trees we saw, some way up the Country (vizt.) having regular steps chop'd at abt. 2 foot asunder in the Bark of the tree quite up to the top where the tree begins to branch out, there is reason to suppose they mount these wt. large stones where they lie in ambush till some Kangaroos come under to graze when they heave the stone upon them & kill them. There are great Nos. of Kangaroos but so extreamly shy that 'tis no easy matter to get near enough to them even to shoot them -- &
21st. very few in comparison of the great numbers there are, were shot
during our stay at New Holland. As there is a most exact print of this uncommon Animal in Capt. Cook's Acct. of this Country I shall not take the trouble to discribe it.