Home Page Home Page    Confrontation & resignation.               One day when he had drawn blood from the knuckles of one of my monitors, I told him plainly but courteously          that I could no longer endure this interference, that he was undermining my influence and authority. He became          very angry and said he had always done the same under the former Master and threatened to bring me before          the Committee. I replied that I was ready and even anxious to answer to the committee for my conduct of the          School, but would not suffer any more interference from him. At length he became abusive and taking up my          hat from the table, I said "Now Dr Lewis, either you must leave the school or I will." He was in a towering passion,          but put on his hat and left the school, to the delight of the children, saying that I should have to answer for my          conduct. He never entered the school for six months thereafter, but he did not summon me before the committee.          I told the other members and they said I had done right, but I saw that his influence was paramount, and that they          were quite afraid of him. I decided therefore at last to resign and did so and soon after. While conducting my          school as usual one morning, there appeared at the open door, my enemy, with his double eyes glaring upon me          followed by the Committee and among them Henry Dunn Esq. the Secretary of the B and F School Society to whom          I was accountable. It appeared they had caught him taking holiday at Llangollen and had brought him over to          inspect the School. Now thought I, I am in for it, and so I was, but after a thorough inspection he declared to the          committee that the school was in an efficient state at which all the Committee, except Dr Lewis, seemed very glad.          Then turning to me Mr Dunn said, he found I had resigned but, said he, find your way to the Boro' Road, and          we will give you another school. A few weeks after I left, with regret, I must own, for I had made many dear          friends, but I could never have been comfortable with Dr Lewis.               I remained with your Mother 3 weeks. We had now 3 children Mary, Susanna, and Amelia the baby. I had          contracted the habit of smoking in Wales, but I think my children will say, when they read this, that I was greatly          to be excused. When in Wrexham, I lodged at the house of a kind old blind lady, Mrs Ellis, who by the by, received          her sight at the age of 79 by an operation, while I was with her. There was an old single gentleman lodging with us          named Ludlow, a terrible smoker. The fireplace of the keeping room, as it was called where we used to sit, was a          large cavern with a seat on each side. He and I sat on the one side, and my land lady and her niece on the other,          and as    On smoking.               he was almost constantly sending forth thick clouds of tobacco smoke I often was quite sick there by. On such          occasions he would fill a long pipe with tobacco having all the requisites in a hole at the back of him, and lighting          it at the fire, he would say "Here Young Man, take a hair of the dog that bit you," which I did at last in sheer          desperation and made my own smoke, which I found was much better than enduring his. And so I became a          smoker. After I had acquired this habit, I went up to Windsor, I think at Mid-Summer. One morning I wanted          a smoke, and looked about for a secret place to enjoy it in as your Mother did not know that I had formed this habit.          There was a Wash house across the yard detached from the house, which seemed to be the very place. I got some          tobacco and a pipe from the Storekeepers, and proceeded to have my enjoyment. I had only just lit my pipe, and          begun to enjoy myself, when my little eldest child between 3 and 4 years old, came and looked in at the door,          I called Mary! Mary! but no, Mary would not come nearer. She had seen something new, and ran back to the          house, and the next minute she and her Mother were coming across the yard to see the unwonted sight. And now          the murder was out. Of course your Mother rated me very soundly for taking up such a bad habit, and I expect          I was correspondingly penitent, but I did not abandon the practice and now in looking back over 40 years of my life,          I cannot altogether condemn the habit, if only moderately indulged in. It has been a great solace to me, and is so          still, nor do I think it is harmful to the health if used in moderation. But I cannot too strongly condemn the          practice when indulged in as it now is, by growing and puny boys and young men, and I confess that when I          see such going along the streets puffing forth their clouds of tobacco, and spitting away their lungs, it almost          literally puts my pipe out. I do not spit, and I think that is one reason why it does not harm me. At any rate with          me at my age, it is a great comfort, and using it without abusing it, it soothes and comforts me and I esteem it          therefore as one of the Gifts of God.               After remaining 3 weeks with my family, I was appointed Head Master of the British School at Lancaster, the          county town of Lancashire. It was a mixed school of Boys and Girls and I was assisted by a Female teacher, and          also by a young man, there were 350 children. The school room was like a huge barn 60 X 40 feet, most rudely          built, of undressed stone, rough inside and out, stone floor, stone supports to the desks and forms, stone jambs          to the doors and window, in fact it was all stony and cold, with a huge iron stove in the centre, holding a cwt of          coals, which was the only warm thing about it, but I had quite enough to do, amongst my numerous family, which          I suppose kept me warm. It was in Sept I took charge and at Christmas, I brought my family down 260 miles from          Windsor. It was a desperate cold ride for the poor children of whom I had now 3, Mary, Susanna and Amelia the          baby, but the Railway was now open from London to Lancaster, 240 miles, so that we did the journey in one day.    A move to Lancaster.                       I took a house near the school and my furniture came down by the Canal which ran from London down into          Scotland and passed by our house. My salary was £90 per annum and I further increased it by writing of an          evening for a merchant, who was one of my Committee, and traded with his own vessels to Canada and the          United States, who paid me liberally for copying Charter parties etc for his ships. I also earned a good bit of          money by a Hullah Singing Class I established in Lancaster chiefly thro' the influence of a Mr Thos Johnson, a          Solicitor of Lancaster, who was so warm a friend during the four years I was in the town, that I think my          connection with him should have a place in this narrative. Before I had been a week in Lancaster, as I was one          evening sitting in my private room at my lodgings, I was informed by the servant that a gentleman was desirous of          seeing me. That gentleman was Mr Johnson. He said he had heard, that I was a Teacher of Vocal Music on Hullah's          system, and being an ardent lover of vocal music he had come to make & cultivate an acquaintance with me, if I          would allow him. Thus we became acquainted. He was the son of Dr Johnson, the then Mayor of Lancaster, his          brother was in large practice as a Surgeon and the family altogether were chief among the elite of the town. He with          all the family were Churchmen, tho' I afterwards found that he had no particular opinions respecting religion, but          he was certainly a very moral and respectable young man. Our acquaintance soon ripened into friendship especially          on his part. Being a briefless barrister at that time, his friendship was almost oppressive. He would be generally          waiting at my School door in the afternoons at the closing of my School duties, urging me to go for a walk, and          sometimes we would be together all the evening. Seconded by his influence, I started a singing class, which          numbered nearly 100 members and was very successful. My friend Johnson shortly after starting the class, asked          me if I would allow him to join my choir in the large Independent Chapel there, to which office I had been          appointed shortly after my arrival. I had got together a fine choir, about 20 young women some of them with          splendid voices, for which the Lancashire Lassies are famous, and about the same number of young men. I was          very much surprised as all his family were High Church, but said I should be pleased for him to join the Choir, but          hoped he had considered the consequences as regarded his family. He said he was prepared to risk all that, and so          he joined the Choir. The singing pew was immediately under the Pulpit and I sat in a raised Chair below the          Pulpit facing the Congregation. My little daughters Mary and Susanna on either side of me both armed with          Hymn books, for they had already begun to read, would stand up on the seats during singing and lift their tiny          voices with the Choir and Congregation, to the great delight of many of the worshippers.              My friend Johnson sat on my right hand, next the child and during the prayer time would be constantly turning          over the Tune Book, and nudging me with queries as to what we were going to sing next not giving the least          attention to the prayer and hindering others, but as soon as the first word of the Lords prayer was uttered, he          would rise up and assume the attitude of devotion. I remonstrated with him upon his behaviour, and he replied          that he would try not to offend again, but he could not for the life of him regard free prayer as prayer at all, but          the Lords prayer was prayer, for it was in the Prayer Book. But before he had been with us 3 months, he was          converted. Our minister was the Rev Jas Fleming who was afterwards for more than 30 years Minister of the          Congregational Church at Kentish Town London, and who has only lately gone to his reward. Under his powerful          preaching poor Johnson's heart was completely broken down. Never have I seen a more marked and decisive          change. He at once gave his heart to God, and his hand to the people of God, and being saved himself, he began          to try to be the means of saving others. In the Sunday School, in the Prayer Meeting, in season and out of season,          whenever or wherever he could speak a word for Jesus, he was ready. As we sat under the pulpit facing the people,          he would scan the people above and below and would often whisper to me, "Look at so and so don't you think they          are feeling". “I'll speak to them after service”, and directly it was over up the aisle he would go, station himself at the          door, and when they came out, would politely accost them with "Beautiful sermon Sir this morning, I thought you          enjoyed it" and by this and similar means would bring them to Jesus.    Mr Johnson!               As for the young men, he formed a class for them at his Office, meeting once a week, and soon had between 20          and 30, most of whom he eventually brought into the Church. In this I was his helper, if he got hold of a fresh          young man. He would say, "Now will you come tomorrow night to my Office, there will be a good fire, Mr Ryder          will be there, and we will have some nice singing, and spend a comfortable evening," and in this and other ways          he would bring them into the Gospel net. As a matter of course, he endured great persecution from his family.          His elder Brother, Dr James Johnson, apart from his Father, was the principal Physician in the Town, and he          formally disowned him saying He was no Brother of his, for he had disgraced the family. His father and mother,          with whom he lived did all they could to cure him of what they called his madness, but to no avail. He was          greatly concerned for the salvation of his only sister, a fine girl about 18, and used to contrive means to leave an          affectionate letter on her dressing table, or a Bible open at some marked passage, or a tract, but his efforts were          not successful as far as I know.               He began Street Preaching too, for which he was not fitted by natural gifts. In this at the beginning I assisted          him, but finding he had not the gift of public speaking, I persuaded him to relinquish it. When I left Lancaster he          was still carrying on the same work altho’ perhaps more soberly and steadily. He was too, beginning to get some          practice in his profession so that his time was more occupied, but his evenings were always devoted to Gospel work          in some way. I kept up a correspondence with him while I was at Lynn, but when we sailed to Australia, as a matter          of course, our letters became fewer and eventually ceased. I received however from him a small book written by          him containing a nice biography of one of his young men who had died happy in the Lord and which I should now          have somewhere among my books. Your Uncle Thomas and Cousin Matilda visited Lancaster a few years ago and          called upon him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glenelg (Adelaide) Nov 10th 1885                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I resume my autobiography after a lapse of more than 3 years, I came to Glenelg on Aug 12th 1882, having          retired from School work at the end of June 1882, and by the mercy of God continue unto this day. Until lately I          have had no leisure time, but now being more favorably situated in this respect, I have determined to resume my          narration. With regard to Mr Johnson I may say, that your Uncle and cousin found him in practice as a Solicitor          and doing a large business, a confirmed bachelor, and getting quite grey. He expressed great pleasure at seeing          them for my sake, and wished them to tell me that he was still heart and soul a Sunday School teacher, but had          for many years past gone back to the Church of England, since then I have not heard from him.               I remained in Lancaster nearly 4 years, during the latter part of which time my health visibly declined, the wintry          keen winds from the Irish Sea being especially trying and causing me many distressing coughs and colds. I therefore          determined on removing to a more southern and genial climate, and was chosen, over many other applicants to the          Mastership of the British School at Kings Lynn in Norfolk, quite on the opposite or eastern side of England. But as          the sequel proved so far as health was concerned I only "jumped out of the frying pan into the fire." It was about          Easter 1848 that we left Lancaster and the journey was long, first to Manchester where we stopped the night, and          then right across England to Hull and then by steamer to Lynn. I had now 4 children, Joseph being born at          Lancaster.    Kings Lynn & ill health.               However by the good hand of our God upon us, we all arrived safely at Lynn. We found it a good sized town of          about 20,000 inhabitants, near the confluence of the river Ouse with the German ocean doing a considerable          shipping trade. A very comfortable house was ready for us just opposite my school and as I had arranged with the          retiring teacher, for the furniture we were comfortable at once. My school was for about 200 Boys, and I          commenced work with a determination to do my best and work hard. I had a powerful opposition against me in          the Church School not 100 yds away, which was backed by all the Church Clergy, and High Church influence          but I stood my ground well throughout the summer and liked the place very well. But as the winter approached          my health again failed and I found out my position in that respect was worse than in Lancaster.                        The part where I lived was high and dry, but the greater part of the town lay lower than the sea, and was kept out          by dykes or mounds of earth as in Holland, large creeks or fleets as they were called running up into the town          filling and emptying with every tide, and causing agues and low fevers to be quite common. That winter almost          finished my earthly course. Though not giving up, I was very ill, no appetite, no spirit to work in my school, but          I kept on as well as I could through the winter as the summer came on I was sometimes a little better, but was          often very weak. The Secretary of my School a Mr Wigg Chemist, related, I believe to Mr Wigg Bookseller of          Rundle St, was an intimate friend of mine and I well remember that on Good Friday of 1849, he first asked me          whether I had ever thought of emigrating to South Australia as a means of regaining my health. He said he          would be very sorry to part with me, but he felt that to remain in Lynn through the next winter would be fatal to me.          He had been keeping me up for months with quinine and iron and other tonics, and said He would take me to the          leading Physician of the town and get his opinion of my case. Your Mother did not like the idea of emigrating at          all at first, as, soon after we came to Lynn, we had her mother to live with us, who was much paralysed in her          limbs and needed constant attention. The Physician however after examining me, gave it as his decided opinion          that nothing, but a removal to a warmer climate before winter could save my life. Then your mother at once agreed          to go. But how to find the means? Here the help of my good friend Mr Wigg was of service.               I first applied to be sent out as a free emigrant, but had too many children under a certain age. Failing that,          I applied to be sent as the Schoolmaster of a ship, and was accepted but should have to wait my turn which might          be possibly more than a year, so that plan had to be abandoned. Then said Mr Wigg, You shall go - How much          money can you raise? I told him I had only my furniture etc and I thought the very utmost I could raise would be          under £20 - He applied to Marshall and Edridge shipping agents of London as to the cost of passage for myself,          wife and 4 children and they agreed to land us in Adelaide for I think £80. Mr. Wigg then went to work and in the          course of a few weeks collected from the friends of the school and Congregational Church of which we were          members, quite sufficient with what I could raise to pay our passage with but little to spare.    Emigration & loss.               Before I proceed to narrate the circumstances of our voyage to Australia, I should like to mention that about          six months before we left Lynn a curious accident befell our only little boy Joseph, who at that time was about 2          years old. One morning after I had gone to school as his Mother was dressing her Mother who as I have said          was paralysed and he was standing in the window seat behind her, the casement suddenly opened and he was          precipitated on to the yard below. The fall was more than 12 feet. When his Mother picked him up, he was to all          appearance dead, but we were rejoiced to find that he still breathed. I went for a Doctor, who on examination          found not a scratch or bruise upon him. The Dr tried various means to restore animation but without any effect.          He lay lifeless on the sofa and the Dr said we must carefully watch him, he was in a state of coma and if his strength          lasted he might awake, but he feared the result. All that day and all that night he lay in the same state, and when          I left for school at 9 o'clock next morning there was no change. But at about an hour afterwards he awoke, and          when I returned was playing about on the floor as if nothing had happened. Thus our Heavenly Father in Mercy          to us spared him to us at that time tho' he was taken from us 14 years after by a fatal accident, the harrowing          account of which I will if spared, narrate in its proper place.               We left Lynn on the Saturday 24th Aug 1849 for London, and stayed at your Uncle Thomas's house. On Sunday          morning your Uncle and I went to Spa Fields Chapel, Lady Huntingdon’s Chapel an immense octagonal building          which had a large organ and choir. As the great congregation rose to sing the first hymn.          "How sweet is the Sabbath, The morning of rest,          The day of the week, I love dearest and best.          This morning the Saviour arose from the tomb,          And burst all the fetters of death and its gloom."               My feelings entirely overcame me, and I sobbed aloud. The thought, that I was going far away from the house          of God and its privileges into a strange land and for many weeks to come should be a wanderer over the mighty          ocean was very saddening. But the Minister began to read the Church Service and while those beautiful prayers          were being made, I became more calm and when again the joyful hymn of praise resounded thro' the Chapel          I heartily joined in the singing and felt comforted and blest. The Rev T E Thoresby M A, preached an earnest          sermon which especially under my peculiar circumstances, I much enjoyed, and thus came to a close the last          service which I was privileged to enjoy in dear Old England. The same afternoon we all together with your Uncle          went by the Blackwall railway to East India Docks, and went on board the "Asiatic" the vessel which was to take          us to our destination, Adelaide, South Australia which was to sail from Gravesend the following morning.                        We found our berths after a time and were pleased to find that we were placed under the main hatchway, so          that we hoped to get a little more fresh air than some others not so favorably placed. The Ship was in a most          admired state of confusion bales, boxes, and parcels of all kinds crowded the decks above and below, so we had          tea bid farewell to your Uncle, and soon after crawled into our bunks, and soon went to sleep thoroughly tired out.                    In the morning we found ourselves opposite Gravesend expecting to sail directly after breakfast. But while at          breakfast a terrible event occurred. Opposite to us and at the same table were a man and his wife, no children, who          (the man) was suddenly seized with cholera which was then raging in Clerkenwell and other parts of London.          It was a dreadful sight to see the poor man, his face and hands turned a ghastly blue, fearfully convulsed and in          great agony while his groans rang thro' the ship. He was quickly taken to the ships hospital and of course our          sailing that day was out of the question. The poor fellow-died at 4 p.m., a shell was hastily prepared and before          dark his body was taken on shore, and the health officers came on board to hold an inquiry, which was to be          continued next morning at 7 a.m after which we were to sail.                  Nearly missed the boat.               Of course great excitement reigned among the passengers, and we resolved to hold a public meeting in the          morning to protest against putting to sea with cholera on board. In the morning the Health Officers continued          their inquiry, and we held our meeting, when the Ship Doctor, Dr Maurau was sent to us to tell us that the case          was decided to be one of English Cholera only, and that the vessel was ordered to sail at 10 a.m. Notwithstanding          our loud and vehement protests, the Blue Peter was hoisted and every preparation was made. I went ashore by          leave to buy Mother a chair and nearly lost my passage. The ship was seen slowly moving down the river, before          we left Gravesend and but for the fact that one of our passengers was a sailor and took one of the oars we should          never have regained the ship. However your Mother's great alarm was assuaged when I scrambled on board          with her chair.                             THE LOCKED JOURNAL Page 3.