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441815
  • Title
    Robert Jones - 'Recollections of 13 years Residence in Norfolk Island and Van Diemans land', dated 1823 [?], and associated papers to 1938
  • Creator
  • Call number
    Safe 1/2d
  • Level of description
    Collection
  • Date

    dated 1823; probably after 1850
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
    441815
  • Issue Copy
    Photocopy : CY Safe 1/2d (xerox copflo on open access).
    Microfilm : CY 491B, frames 202-250 (Safe 1/2d).
  • Physical Description
    0.02 metres of textual material (1 volume) - manuscript
    Drawings
    Clippings
  • ADMINISTRATIVE/ BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY

    It is now known that this document was not written by Robert Jones in 1823. The identity of Robert Jones has been the subject of conjecture. Research by Reg Wright ('Who was "Buckey" Jones?', Descent, vol.28 part 3, Sept. 1998) has shown that the person most likely to be Robert Jones (also known as Bob Buckey or Bob Jones) was a convict transported to Norfolk Island in the second voyage of the Scarborough in 1790. He received a Conditional Pardon in 1796 and an Absolute Pardon for services as gaoler in 1800/1801. In 1802 he stated that he simultaneously held the positions of Superintendent, Gaoler and Chief Constable. Following the closure of the Norfolk Island settlement, Jones was appointed Superintendent at Port Dalrymple and later Assistant to the Superintendent of Police at Sydney in 1811. He died in Sydney, aged 47, in 1818.
    Robert Jones died in 1818, so he cannot have written the Recollections in 1823. Reg Wright believes it to be 'a work of fiction actually produced about 1850 or an even later date'. This estimate is based on an examination of the many inaccuracies in facts and chronology which occur in the text. In addition, the watercolour illustrations depict buildings erected after 1823. This document has been widely used as a source of information on the convict era. The identity of its maker remains unknown.
  • Scope and Content
    A notebook containing a narrative which purports to describe events at the convict settlement on Norfolk Island, under Lieut-Colonel Joseph Foveaux, from about 1803 to 1807. The writer details the treatment of convicts and is extremely critical of Foveaux. He mentions individual convicts and doctors William Redfern and D'Arcy Wentworth (whom he calls William Wentworth). The last two pages describe Van Diemen's Land.
    The inscription on the title page originally read: 'Recollections of 13 years Residence in Norfolk Island and Van Diemans land / Robert Jones late cheif goaler at Norfolk Island / Sydney, June 15 1823. / Sydney 1823'. The words 'and Van Diemans Land' were subsequently crossed through and the name 'Buckey' inserted after Jones.
    The volume is accompanied by 3 documents : an unsigned and undated note addressed to 'Mr Mitchell' concerning the provenance of the volume; a photograph of a house which resembles that shown as Dr Wentworth's house in one of the sketches; a newscutting, 4 Dec. 1938, reporting the Mitchell Library's acquisition of the volume.
    Four watercolour sketches have been pasted into the volume, each signed 'J.L. 1823.' : 1. (opp. title page) title: 'Gaol Entrance, Drawing from a sketch with descriptions by Robert Jones 1823', 2. (page 34) title: 'Residence of William Wentworth, Surgeon', caption: 'Residence of Dr. Wentworth, N.I.', 3. (page 42) title: 'The Flogging of Charles Maher', caption: 'The Flogging of Charles Maher 250 lashes (single flogger)' 4. (page 69) caption: 'Convicts in chains at Work'.
    Pages bear watermark 'J. Whatman / 1822'
  • Source
    Acquired from Little and McIlveen in 1935. Previously part of the library of Dr. William Henry Harris.
  • General note

    Further information about this narrative can be found in the following articles : Reg Wright, 'Who was "Buckey" Jones?', Descent vol.28 part 3, Sept. 1998; Anne-Marie Whitaker, 'Joseph Foveaux: "A gentleman of high reputation"' Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 83, part 1, June 1997.
    Negatives of the watercolour sketches are held at MAV/FM2/759-762.
    Safe 1/2d was copied onto preservation microfilm, Aug. 1978.
    Digital order no:Album ID : 823537
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