John Linscott Fowler

Male 1841 - 1876  (~ 34 years)

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  • Name John Linscott Fowler 
    Born Mar 1841  Newton Abbot, Devon Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Emigration 18th June 1856  Melbourne, from Liverpool onboard 'Atalanta' Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Being a diary of incidents from the beginning to the end of the voyage in the ship 'Atalanta' from
    Liverpool to Melbourne -BY J. FOWLER.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------WEDNESDAY, 26 MARCH 1856. Hauled out of Dock at 1/2 past 10 in the morning, the vessel lay all night at anchor in the river Mersey off Liverpool.
    THURSDAY, 27TH MARCH, started on our voyage, when at dinner many people sick for the first time (smooth sea) a lot of noise and confusion on deck and below, and going, every-body seemed in each other's way, the sailors singing and weighing anchor, setting sails, the Government Inspectors came on board previous to our starting to exercise the crew and inspect the ship to see that all was right (this was a mockery, as they merely came on board for a quarter of an hour and mustered the passengers to answer their names).
    FRIDAY, MARCH 28, rather rough, a great number of passengers sick, passed in sight of the Irish coast, rather foggy.
    SATURDAY, MARCH 29, Still rougher, got out of channel and stood fair out to sea, We fell in with a Man of War in full sail, (3 Decker) a beautiful sight.
    SUNDAY, MARCH 30. A beautiful calm day, no wind, a very pretty and homely scene to see the passengers grouped about in little clusters, talking, reading and telling anecdotes and tales of their past lives.
    MONDAY, MARCH 31. Much sickness on board and a deal of rain, verry rough, passed a Dutch vesfel and signalled to her and found she was bound for Greenwich.
    TUESDAY, APRIL 1st. Verry wet and miserable morning, cleared up in the afternoon, wind against us but changed in the evening to the S.W. Over took a Dutch vesfel. A verry rough night, water poured on some of the passengers beds. Tins, pots, cans of treacle, pots of butter, dishes, plates, knives, forks and everything tumbling on our head's while asleep in bed, finished the night by sleeping on the mess tables in the centre of the ship, coiled up in a blanket and counterpane.
    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2nd. Still rougher day, wind in south west-going 12 1/2 knots an hour, a little rain, a great many sick on board.
    THURSDAY, 3rd APRIL. Wet morning, but dry afternoon, ordered to hang our beds and bed clothing on deck to air. Saw a ship in the distance homeward bound.
    FRIDAY, 4th APRIL. Beautiful bright sunshine morning, all seemed happy and joyous, except the invalids. Going in 11 knots an hour.
    SATURDAY,5th APRIL. D o-Do.
    SUNDAY,6th APRIL. Child died at two o'clock in the morning, buried same day, funeral service read by the doctor after which we had Divine service on the poop.

    MONDAY,7th APRIL. A verry fine day, a vesfel in sight in the distance homeward bound. G. Ward is elected as school master today.
    TUESDAY,8th, APRIL. Do. Vesfel still in sight about 10 miles off.
    WEDNESDAY,9th, APRIL. A beautiful fine day this morning, there was a general search through the ship of all berths and bags and persons of the passengers in consequence of the loss of a pocket book containing about 15/- in money and some papers of importance belonging to one of our single young men.
    THURSDAY,10th, APRIL. Fine, fine day, but little wind. (A row on deck between Scotty, a sailor, and the black cook ( More noise than work).
    FRIDAY,11th APRIL. A beautiful day, passed to fine large vessels, homeward bound, (at a distance).
    SATURDAY,12th, APRIL. Fine day again, nothing of importance occurred.
    SUNDAY, 13th APRIL. A bright morning. Sailing past service, at 12 o'clock, thought more of that then of the service, being verry hungry. Saw a whale and hundreds of flying fish, they are very curious things as they jump up out of the sea and fly some distance then plunge in again as soon as they are far enough away from their enemies. Caught one of the fish on deck, it is about the size of a mackerell with the usual fins and a pair of beautiful wings of gills on each side of the body.
    MONDAY, 14th APRIL. Sailing well, a beautiful day.
    TUESDAY, 15th APRIL. Do. Do. Same two sharks today playing round the vessel this evening, the sailors, who are a first rate jovial lot of fellows, had some rare fun by dressing themselves as soldiers with white jackets on and handpikes for guns, they mustered up a splendid military band........ can't read next line...
    (out of tune) 4 fife, (very harsh) and 2 fiddles and one of the sailors with a large tin Baking dish, they marched around the Deck 2 or 3 times saluting the Offices as they passed with the guns and playing the air of See the Conquering Hero Comes amidst roars of laughter from all of board.
    WEDNESDAY, 16th APRIL. A fine warm day, going along nicely and about 20 miles from the line, a great many Porpoise fish play around the vessel in hundreds, and numbers of the beautiful little fish called the Portuguese Men of War sailing past us.
    THURSDAY, 17th APRIL. An exceedingly hot day, the passengers had all the boxes up out of the hold for a change of clothing, a rare scene of noise and confusion, calling out the names of the owners of the boxes, the sailors swearing at the confusion and mess about the ship, men, women and children running in all directions after their boxes all over the deck, the young children in their glory pulling, hauling and tumbling over the boxes. Fathers swearing, mothers frightened to death that their Babes will get smacked or get packed up in mistake with the clothes and set down in the hold. Single women sorting out their finery, unpacking a duck of a bonnet. In presently comes the order of the ' cord up the boxes', as a squall is coming on. Then see the confusion and fun, everybody hard at it. Packing up as fast as they can, the husband swearing, the wife scolding and screaming after their young wretch of a boy, who has bolted down the hatchway with his best Sunday toggery and is slyly putting it on over his other clothes in the berth, much to the dismay and horror of his mother, who is starting off in pursuit is looking everywhere but in the right place for the young villain. Then there is the shrill voice of some young girl begging of you to cord up her box, has the dear things inside, might get spoiled if should we ship a sea. A little further off is the picture of dispair on the countenance of a young lady, who has unfortunately got the end of her box stove through and who is the verry picture of dispair, of grief, is looking at her beautiful bonnet and dress, which is entirely spoiled.
    FRIDAY, 18th APRIL. Still hotter weather and a verry large shark following in our wake at the stern of the vessel, a disturbance about pumping the water from the ship use, the Doctor stopped all the younger man's rations untill they pumped they said it was not fair that they should do all the work for the married men, but did not object to pump for the women, a rare lark, the women nobly offered to go on half provisions and give us the other half, 3 cheers for the girls and one cheer with groans for the doctor and Captain.
    SATURDAY, 19th APRIL. Verry fine and hot, this is the most eventful day of the voyage. First of all, a young woman died who was only married on the day before she came on board, and who had left her home unknown to any of her friends. Next was when C. Ward was bathing on the end of a rope he let the rope slip and was plunged headlong into the sea, he being a good swimmer, he swam to the rope which hung by the ship's side and pulled himself up, allright, without being hurt. The next scene was the funeral of the young woman who died thismorning, the scene was most impressive, to see the deck of the emigrant Vessel filled with all the passengers on a beautiful moonlight night, time 1/2 past 10 at night, the silver beams of the moon reflecting it's bright rays on all around, nothing to be heard but the splashing of the waves against the sides of the vesfel. About the centre of the vesfel stands the 1st and 3rd mate holding half over the bullwarks the lifeless body of the young creature who perished thus so early in life. The body is sown up in a shroud and a cannonball placed at her feet and is lying on the wood bier covered with the colours of old England. Soon after the Captain and doctor are seen issuing from the cabin door attended by the constable, carrying lamps and prayer books. Upon their arrival the passengers gather around and the doctor then commences reading the beautiful but impressive Prayer for the Dead, after it is read about half through a sudden plunge was heard and the gentle being, who but a few short weeks before was life and all joyousness, had passed away from us and gone to that bourne from whence no traveller can return.

    SUNDAY, 20th APRIL. The girls and women came out in their bright summer clothing, but it turned out to be a wet day, much to the annoyance of the bits of muslin and light cotton gowns.
    MONDAY, 21st APRIL. A rare day of fun and frolic, this morning upon the passengers awaking and glancing round, the first thing they beheld was all their bedfellows with their faces blackened, everybody's face being tattooed smeared all over with grease and soot, the roars of laughter as each one woke up and beheld their bedfellows with his face in that state, was deafening, the more so as he did not give it a thought for a moment to see whether his own as the same, but upon discovering his own to be the same the fun was tremendous, each one laughing at the other to see what pretty devils they looked. Great preparations on deck to receive old Neptune and his band, who shortly after arrived amidst thunders of aplause, attended by as mottly a group of pirates and water nymphs as you would ever wish to set eyes on. The scene at this moment is first rate, there is a large sail along the deck, 1/2 full of sea water, and suspended over it is a tub, cut to represent an armchair, around this the seamen are standing awaiting the orders of Old Father Neptune, who is seated on his throne (a cannon block on four wheels) holding in one hand to his Trident of Office and in the other a bottle of rum, which he continually plays to his lips much to the annoyance of the l loving patron of his life - Mrs Neptune - who keeps gently nudging his elbow to give her a drop. The costume of this lady is truly sublime and in pure taste for the latest fashion, imagine, a fair creature as black as ink and about 6 ft. 2in. high, dressed in a down made of sail cloth and highly ornamented with seaweed, drapery hanging in graceful flounces around her bounteous form, her hair is purely flaxen, being made of toe and hanging in graceful curls bounteous form. You must not believe that we saw all this, but it was only what the sailors said was witnessed on board most ships when they cross the line.
    TUESDAY, 22nd APRIL. A wet day, but a verry hot, ship moving slowly. A laughable thing occurred on deck this day. One of the Irish passengers named Jack Sullivan was standing on the top of a grease tub to reach a rope and fell bang in, he came out a pretty beauty beauty smothered in grease and fat. More fun at night, a continuation of the blackening of faces and having found some of the passengers asleep on the deck we tied a rope around their legs and pulled them all around the ship, almost freightened them out of their wits.
    WEDNESDAY, 23rd APRIL. Verry fine weather and good breeze, some thousands of porpoise fish playing around the vesfel, they appear to be about 4 or 5 ft. long. Saw a vessel homeward bound from Rio de Janero and a very large whale it seemed about 40 feet long. Child died and thrown overboard during the day. Two men put in irons for stealing brandy but let out again as soon as they were sober.

    THURSDAY, 24th APRIL. Another child died at 1/2 past 7. ...N.B..... It is a remarkable fact that all the children on board seem to gradually get thinner and pine away and die, more skeletons, it is really shocking to see the poor little things pine away and die in this manner, this is the 4th child died within this last 2 days, in fact it is getting so common we think nothing of it.
    FRIDAY, 25th APRIL. Weather rough and stormy, ship rolling dreadfully upsetting all our breakfast in our laps, sending everything flying about our heads.
    SATURDAY, 26th APRIL. Wet and stormy like yesterday, while waiting at the galley for our dinner a wave came over and nearly washed us all away, dinner and all and all the sea washed over the decks about 2 ft. deep in water and we had almost water enough to have to swim for our meat.
    SUNDAY, 27th APRIL. Weather wet and stormy. A large ship seen this evening but too far away to speak with her.
    MONDAY, 28th APRIL. Weather rough, lots of flying fish seen today and some very large birds following us. Going 13 knots.
    TUESDAY, 29th APRIL. Still rough and lots of porpoises playing about the vesfel. One main sheet nearly blown away today.
    WEDNESDAY, 30th, APRIL. Weather rough and heavy squalls of wind and rain.
    THURSDAY, MAY 1st. Heavy breeze blowing but fine sunshiney day. There was a pretty but strange sight today, about nine o'clock in the morning there was a cry of land oh! And upon going on deck, we saw, at about 20 of 25 miles off, a small speck upon the ocean like a cloud and soon afterwards there were several descriptions of birds seen flying around the ship, some verry beautifully marked and verry large, measuring 8 or 9 ft. from tip to very of wings and about 10 flock, we came within 2 or 3 miles of it and it proved to be one of the Trinidad Islands, it seemed in a huge mass of barren rocks about 30 miles in circumference with here and there a small speck of green pasture. It was covered with birds, some verry beautiful in plumage, I should dearly like to have gone ashore there.
    FRIDAY, MAY 2nd. Fine weather, we have been going this last week 13 or 14 knots an hour.
    SATURDAY, MAY 3rd. Verry calm. A few birds still following us and another child died on board again today.
    SUNDAY, MAY 4th. Another child this morning, heavy showers. A whale and several large birds seen today and a white glass bottle seen floating about in the sea.

    MONDAY, MAY 5th. Fine and calm. Another child died.
    TUESDAY, MAY 6th. Rough sea. Ship rolling verry much, pitching and tossing everrything upside down with a heavy sea washing over her
    WEDNESDAY, MAY 7th. Heavy breeze blowing, large birds still following us.
    THURSDAY, MAY 8th. Wet and heavy breeze.
    FRIDAY, MAY 9th. Do. And stormy with a large ship in sight. Going 13 knots.
    SATURDAY, MAY 10th. Do. Do. The mate caught three large birds today, the first was a cape hen measuring 4 ft. from the tip of each wing and similar to a duck colour, dark brown. The second bird was smaller and quite black. The last was a large Albatross, 9 ft from tip to tip of wings and the colour of a swan and a very noble bird.
    SUNDAY, MAY 11th. Find breeze blowing, rolling verry much and a lot of birds in sight.
    MONDAY, MAY 12th. All the boxes up again today for a change of clothing repetition of the same scenes before, much fun and laughter on board all day.
    TUESDAY, MAY 13th. Rough weather, rolling dreadfully, the usual upsetting of everybody and everything including hot coffee and soup all over us at dinner time.
    WEDNESDAY, MAY 14th. Verry rough, the same scene as yesterday, lots of whales seen and a few birds following, some of the whales kept starting backwards and forwards under the ship, they were about 40 feet long.
    THURSDAY, MAY 15th. Rough and fair breeze, lots of whales.
    FRIDAY, MAY 16th. Thousands of Porpoises seen playing around the vesfel this morning.
    SATURDAY, MAY 17th. Heavy storm, the way it has about 50 ft. high and the sea washing over the decks. This is a splendid sight, the passengers could neither walk nor stand on the decks or lie comfortable in their beds. Many of them asked us if there was any danger, which made me laugh to see the long faces they pulled.
    SUNDAY, MAY 18th. Little calmer but verry rough still.
    MONDAY, MAY 19th. Verry rough still and the usual tumbling and upsetting of things. A child died thismorning.

    WEDNESDAY, MAY 21st. Fine day and rough.
    THURSDAY, MAY 22nd. Another child died, they generally throw them overboard a few hours after they die.

    FRIDAY, MAY 23rd. Weather rough. 2 children died.
    SATURDAY, MAY 24th. Heavy sea. Then another child died.

    SUNDAY, MAY 25th. Weather verry rough.
    MONDAY, MAY 26th. A Little calmer but stiff breeze.
    WEDNESDAY, MAY 28th. Dance on deck by moonlight.
    THURSDAY, MAY 29th. Rather rough, lots of tumbling about as usual. We opened a concert this evening at half past 6 in the evening, our opening was the ' Sailors are Jolly Good Fellows'; next ' Old King Cole',
    ' Tally Ho' and 30 or 40 other good songs.
    SATURDAY, MAY 31st. Rather rough, our usual concert in the evening, we carry on these concerts everry night.
    SUNDAY, JUNE 1st. Verry rough and several large birds following us, a good stiff breeze, our main top sail yard nearly carried at seven o'clock this morning during a heavy gale, the yard arm snapped in two about 2 ft. from the centre and came tumbling down with an awful crash.
    TUESDAY, JUNE 3rd. Good breeze. Child born and died shortly afterwards.
    WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4th. Ship rolling. Charles Frewman, one of the crew fell and broke his collar bone and dislocated his shoulder.
    THURSDAY, JUNE 5th. Rough weather. Another child born and is expected to do well.
    SATURDAY, JUNE 7th. A dead calm, no wind.
    SUNDAY, JUNE 8th. Calm and good breeze, sailing 13 knots an hour.
    SATURDAY, JUNE 14th. At 9 o'clock in the morning there was a cry of land ho! ahead and soon afterwards we saw several bunches of seaweed, pieces of wood etc, floating on the water. About 12 o'clock. we could see the Cape Otway lighthouse and the hills behind covered with trees. Dear Brother, just imagine the joy and pleasure that was felt by all on board when we knew that we had reached a land of promise, the land that was long looked for by all on board. We lay beating about a few miles off land all that night, during the evening there was a steamer passed within a few yards of us, there were a great many on deck to welcome the strange messenger.
    Sunday morning as soon as it was light we found ourselves in a large bay with land on both sides of us, soon afterwards we set more sail and steered right up the bay. At 2 o'clock we fell in with a pilot boat that took us in. We had to pass through a narrow opening where the Government Doctor and Inspector came on board and enquired whether we had any disease on board but we had none for if we had we would have to lie quarantine for a month or more, as we passed in the bay we saw an emigrant ship lying in quarantine, the pilot said that ship had been there for 5 months and that she had cholera on board and she was 4 months coming out.
    We dropped the anchors at 2 o'clock this afternoon being only 78 days on our passage, this is considered verry fair, as most ships are above 100 days we beat the mail ship Shalmanar, which left Liverpool 4 days before us and which arrived here 7 days after, there was a bet between our Captain and the Captain of the Shalmanar, which could get there first.
    Monday we lay in the harbour about 2 miles of Williams town, we caught at see Melbourne about 10 miles off up the river. If the Government Inspectors came on board today to see how many passages there were. We had soft bread this morning (what a treat) dear brother, just imagine what a treat it was to have soft bread and fresh meat again after being without for near 3 months. Happened to get the chance to stand on the steps by the side of the vessel to pass the bread up, you may well think how much we eat while about this work, I am most sure myself that I eat a 4 pound loaf and then wanted more.
    Tuesday lay in the harbour eating and drinking all day long. Upon awakening thismorning we were told that nearly all the crew had left the ship, that they had in the night tied the cabin and the mates cabin doors, and taken one of the lifeboats and gone ashore. As soon as they had landed they took their clothes, thrown the paddles and rudder overboard and left the boat to sink or swim. The boat was afterwards found ashore on the beach by the police, 4 of the sailors have since been caught and sentenced to 6 weeks imprisionment.
    Wednesday we are all busy thismorning, packing and rigging up in the best style to go ashore. Just imagine the bustle and confusion on deck and below, men, women and children running about deck to find their boxes, some busily employed in packing up their beds and bedding, others dressing up in the best style, until at last we see the steam tug and lighter come to take us up with river, at about 10 o'clock we began to put the luggage on board and at 3 o'clock in the afternoon we left the vessel, the single women being on board the steam tug and the married people, single men, luggage etc on board the lighter. When we left we gave 3 hearty good cheers which made the harbour ring. Going up the river the first thing that we noticed was the canvas tents, the tea plant, soon after this we came to where there was a few houses and we were astonished to see the mud, and the men wearing boots up to their thighs. In a few minutes we came to the place for landing our next game was to see which could get ashore first after being away from it so long. I was one of the 3 first that gave a leap, for we had to jump about 6 feet, we were then astonished to see what mud we had to go through, every step being over our shoes. We had to walk about three quarters of a mile to the depot, when we came there we were astonished to find what a pigstye it was, it was only built one story high, being built of thin raps off wood, the roof being made of the same. You may well suppose what a place it was, when I say that we could lie in our beds and count the stars through the roof or see the grasshoppers through the sides. One good thing was that we got plenty to eat while we were there. We left the depot on Monday, June 23rd. But it was only going from one wooden house to another.
    Father has taken a house in Collingwood, about half a mile from the City of Melbourne, we were surprised at first to see so many houses built of wood with the roof of the same material. Our house is about as long as grandfather's kitchen, being divided in the middle by a canvas petition the sides were also of canvas nicely covered with paper, the fireplace is just like they are at Coombe, in which they burn wood because coals are verrry dear here and we can buy wood brought to the door for One Pound a ton.

    Well our next thing was today to get work. We went to look a cooperage and the foreman said that he would give us a job. Well the next morning we went out about 2 miles to put up a house for this man, but the road was verry muddy, every step being verry near up to the knees, we soon began to build our wooden house, our first thing was to put down a dozen piles for our house to stand upon, the place being up to knees in mud and water. You would laugh if you were only to see the place that our master lived in, it being worse than the stables at Coombe, you may well think what a place it was when I say that it was only a tent made of rags and canvas old blankets, counterpanes, shirts, dresses etc. etc. all patched up together. You would hardly think that some of the places here are fit for pigs much more than human beings.
    We left this works on Saturday, 29th, and had work to go to in a cooperage.

    Today, July 14th. The wages here are verry good, farm labourers get 10 shillings per day for only working 8 hours, stonemasons, carpenters and other trades get from 12 to 15 shillings per day. People here can live as cheap as they can at home, meat being only from 2 1/2d. to 3 pence per lb., cabbage etc. are verry dear being from 4 to 6 pence each, bread and flour is as cheap here as at home, but butter is 1/6 to 2 shillings and 2/9 per lb.
    The country as far as we have yet seen is verry good,the land being verry rich, Melbourne is a pretty town or city as they call it here, it is a great deal larger than Exeter. We have had some verry heavy rain here lately, it has hindered the trade verry much. They says that the road to the diggings is impassable, the mud being in some places for 5 or 6 feet deep. We read in the papers sometimes of men getting up to the neck in mud. 
    Died 1876  Orange, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I100  Simpson & Elder
    Last Modified 7 Apr 2010 

    Father Samuel Fowler,   b. 1810, Coombeinteignhead, Devon, Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1899, Melbourne East Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth (Betsey) Linscott,   b. 1811,   d. 1903, Collingwood, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Married Dec 1838  Exeter, Devon, England. Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F19  Group Sheet

    Family Madeline (Matilda) Hetherington,   b. 7 Aug 1851, Emu Swamp, Nsw, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1895, Blayney, Nsw, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 43 years) 
    Married 1873  Orange, Nsw, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    +1. John Hetherington Fowler,   b. 1874, Orange, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1948, Trunkey, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)
    +2. Samuel William Fowler,   b. 1875, Orange, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1962, Blayney, Nsw Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
    Last Modified 28 Oct 2007 
    Family ID F120  Group Sheet

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Annette Parkes' Family History Records, Annette /Parkes/, (Annette Parkes (, 2001 Information supplied by Anne Parkes about the Hetheringtons of Emu Swamp and Orange comes from The Illawarra Pioneers Register Pre 1900 and the Orange Pioneer History (Red Cover).).

    2. [S2] NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, (NSW Government).

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