The Australian Agricultural Company has recently found a historian of its 50 years of existence between 1824-1875, when the author, Mr Gregson, officiated as General Superintendent 1876-1905. The company is merely glanced at in these sheets principally from having employed the labor of a number of servants assigned from the government. Among them was one long remembered by his survivors in the district. Mr Holdstock, in 1857, having business occasions at Stroud, becoming detained from misarrangement and finding several hours unoccupied, sought out an “ Old Hand “ – a relic of the past – who had been a fellow-assignment with the person above referred to, ‘Frank the Poet’ known in his ‘Company’ name as Goddard; but, presumably later, as Frank Macnamara. Holdstock induced this ancient, who was wholly illiterate but possessed of good memory, to select a master-piece from his repertory of the ‘Poet’s’ productions for recitation. The ‘Tour to Hell’ became thus transcribed, and its loan conferred upon the return from Stroud. Some items of light revision, ‘Oscar for Uskett, etc.,etc., were necessary, of course, in such circumstances, and the following copy is direct in descent from that so obtained and made in my own hand. Macnamara is said to have been a lame man, dying in Sydney, about 1853.
|Some Random Reminiscences p.15|
Who was hunted up and down my boys,
Like an old man kangaroo
But I'll fight 'em ten to one, says he
Says Bold Jack Donohue.
Or, perhaps as he gives a doggerel reminiscence of the ill-famed island-prison denounced in Frank the Poet's scathing valediction, as
Squatters' home and prisoners' hell
Land of Sodom, fare thee well.
They yoke us up like horses,
All in Van Diemens Land.
see Cultural Collections, University of Newcastle's photostream