On 29 October 1839 my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) arrived in Melbourne on the David Clark from Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland. The voyage, via Rio de Janeiro, took five months.
The David Clark had been chartered by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to bring Port Phillip’s first bounty immigrants from Scotland. There were 229 settlers, among them Samuel Hawkins, aged 20, described as a storekeeper from Edinburgh. Although he had brothers in New South Wales he made his own way in what later became the colony of Victoria.
On 29 October 1939, one hundred years after the arrival of the David Clark, an anniversary celebration was held by some descendants in Melbourne.
The organisers of the anniversary celebrations did not have access to the original passenger list and preparation for it seems to have been left very late. Two weeks before the anniversary only 16 of the 68 families who had arrived on the David Clark had been contacted.
The festivities included a dinner for 330 descendants at the Hotel Federal in Melbourne and a church service the following day at Scot’s Church, Collins Street, Melbourne. One speaker at the dinner described the David Clark as “Victoria’s Mayflower”. A set of bagpipes that came out on the ship was brought to the dinner. The entertainments included pipe music, Scottish dancing and songs.
The lament “Lochaber no more” was played when the David Clark left Greenock and also at the centenary reunion.
A reunion is planned for the 180th anniversary. A picnic will be held at Gulf Station at Yarra Glen, a property once owned by William Bell and Thomas Armstrong, both passengers of the David Clark. The 150th anniversary celebration was also held there.
If you would like to attend, please book so the organisers know how many people will be coming. There is a small charge ($12 adults, $10 concessions, $5 children, $30 families). Bookings can made through this link https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=542336& .
I look forward to meeting my Hawkins cousins and other David Clark descendants.
- Trove Tuesday: Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins
- 52 ancestors: 1839 arrival in Australia of Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819-1867)
- Janson, E. (2009). They came by the David Clark in 1839. Retrieved from http://www.oocities.org/vic1847/ship/david39.html?20192
- Kearsey, I. (2018). La Trobe’s first Immigrants: passengers from the ‘David Clark’, 1839. La Trobeana: Journal of the C J La Trobe Society, 17(2), 16-21. Retrieved from https://www.latrobesociety.org.au/LaTrobeana/LaTrobeanaV17n2Kearsey.pdf
- Kearsey (transcriber), I. (1839). Journal of Surgeon, Dr Archibald Gilchrist, David Clark. Retrieved from https://www.shade.id.au/Grierson/Surgeon’s%20journal%201839%20voyage%20of%20barque%20David%20Clark.pdf