Book of James MORLEY & Martha DALTON


James MORLEY and his wife Martha (nee DALTON) may not realise that they have been remembered and their life celebrated by so many. Many make the pilgrimage to their final resting place at St John the Baptist Cemetery, Buckland, Tasmania to reflect on their humble Australian beginnings. They have unwittingly managed to produce over 3915 known descendants. Seek first the past to seek the future!

Our Life in Withyham, East Sussex 1798-1842

Our earliest known beginnings stem from the little village of Withyham, Sussex, England near Ashdown Forest, not far from the market town of Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Martha's parents, John DALTON (some records say DORTON) and Anne MAYNARD were married at Withyham on the 29th October 1798. Martha was born in 1803 and christened on 16th June 1805 at Withyham. Prior to our marriage at Withyham on the 23rd October 1827, Martha gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth who was christened on the 20th February 1825 at Withyham. The parish records for the baptisms of our children, Mary and William list my surname as MOLLOY. (1)

Thanks to the diligence of the parish clerk who maintained a list of his parishioners in 1838, James was a labourer for Mr Patching and with his wife and their seven children resided at Nr Yew Tree Cottage near Cherry Gardens. James had been a labourer for 10 years at that point in time. James and Martha could neither read nor write. They shared their house with Martha's sister Ann and her husband William FROST and their twins born in 1837.(2) Ann and William FROST were married at Withyham on the 13th February 1837.(1)

Leaving Old England Forever

As the Morleys left England in 1842, it was a country in economic distress with crime flourishing and despair in the hearts of the citizens while the government looked on unrepentant. As one correspondent wrote:

"The question now is, will free-born Britons be content with this remedy and will they allow themselves, the producers of wealth, to pine away and sink into premature graves from the want of the common necessaries of life, while their tyrants live, riot and triumph in all the excesses of the most reckless and profligate expenditure of wealth which their labour produced." (3)

They were to be at the mercy of the sea and above for 15,000 nautical miles as we boarded the "Apolline" with our 9 children. Fortunately the older ones helped with the younger. A daunting task, you must agree! The wharves at Gravesend had been a bustle of activity during the week as 1600 soldiers were being shipped to India. The docks were a forest of masts as over 500 ships could be berthed and the warehouses could accommodate three hundred thousand tons of goods. Late in the afternoon on May 21st they headed down the Thames to their first port of call, Plymouth to embark more passengers. On the way again on the 2nd June, it took 115 days to reach Hobart Town. They had to pay 15 pound, 14 shillings and sixpence for our three children aged under 7 for their passage.

The Voyage & Shipboard

The "Apolline" was advertised as a beautiful, fast-sailing ship. Technically it was a bark of 513 tons with 2 guns. The Ship's Captain was George THOMAS and she was berthed at the West India Docks. The "Apolline" transported 222 emigrants to Hobart Town. Her passengers were J KING Esq., W. TARLETON Esq., C J IRVINE Esq., and B. KENNY Esq.M.D. Superintendant.(4) 232 boarded and there were 11 deaths and 4 births totaling 225 on arrival.

Little evidence has been left of their trip except a song which was sung each night, so hopefully our conditions were better than most other ships doing the trip of England-Australia which were reported to be cramped quarters, rations and poor sanitary conditions.

As they travelled in winter, the Roaring Forties speeded our voyage in the freezing conditions. Our ship was fortunate to have made the journey round South Africa. Just a short time after our passing, the "Waterloo", a prison-ship bound for Hobart Town sank while several other vessels were damaged in rough weather on the 28th August 1842. With the result that of the 265 souls on board, 189 were lost of which 143 were prisoners.(5)

'The Emigrant Ship'

Thou semblence of the Angel Death,

With thy dark dismal shrouding wings,

Whose fluttering seems to catch the breath,

The very latest breath that wrings,

The soul from body, thou are there

Like Hope half soothing wild Despair!

In thee is promise that thou'lt bring

A change of season to the mind,

Of those whose chance a distant spring

For the dull wintry waste behind!

Yet - what's the wintry waste they leave?

Alas! all hearts with theirs must grieve!

They quit their Native land for life,

A land they'll weep for when away,

Sister and Brother - Husband - Wife

May never meet another day!

The living Death of absence, quite

Obscures the gloom of endless night!

Perchance to some hope will be true

And lead them on to riches - fame -

But all they lov'd, all they knew

In early days, just like a name

Upon a tombstone will appear,

And mem'ry vainly wish them near!

Some may return with pow'r to bless

The weeping wretches left behind -

And see that home all loneliness

Where they expected them to find!

The son for mother look in vain

Then seek the wide - wide world again!

The signal's given - away to shore -

Break ties of every dearest kind! -

One parting kiss - one look - one more

Farewell to those now left behind!

Divorcer Ocean! thou dost make

Many a gentle heart to ache!

Oh! Emigration! thou'rt the curse

Of our once happy nation's race!

Cannot our Fatherland still nurse

Its offspring without taking place

Of dislocated men to make

More cause for thy disturbing sake?

Thou art an enemy to peace,

Thy restless hope but ends in grief -

When comforts in the mother cease

How can we hope step-dame's relief?

"Better to bear the ills we have"

Than seek in foreign climes a grave!

By W.
Source: Illustrated London News. Volume 4, p.229, 1844.

The Apolline Song

This song was sang each night on the voyage out in 1842 to the tune of "Le Petit Tambour"

Our ship she is the 'Appoline'

A tight and well built craft

How trim she is below aloft

Just view her fore and aft

She is as neat a Barque, my boys,

As ever crossed the seas,

Oh may she have a prosperous trip

Before a favouring breeze.


We've got a trusty captain, boys,

A sailor staunch and true,

And hearts of British oak, my boys,

Compose his galant (sic) crew.

Tis just about two months, my boys,

Since we left old England's shore

And many now among us boys

will never see it more.

Twas on the second day of June

From Plymouth we set sail,

We steered off to westward boys,

Before a favouring gale.

We have reached the Southern Hemisphere,

without accident or harm

Naught has occurred on board to us,

To cause the least alarm,

We have met with calms

and squalls, my boys.

Oh it is not a happy life

Upon the deep blue seas.

We have a living cargo boys,

And one that's far from common,

Amongst us there's some sturdy chaps,

As well as some fine women.

There's good and bad and old and young,

And many a cheery soul,

There's Freeman, Rogers, Geeves and Knight

and Mr and Mrs Dole.


The Whitbournes too are not a few,

There are Thomases and Elsons

There's Morley Rowlands, Griggs and Fox

And Mr and Mrs Nelson.

The latter is a blacksmith bold,

And more than half a lawyer,

There's Simpkins Simpson, Hitchcock too,

As well as 'Billy Sawyer'

There is Mr and Mrs Carmody,

Oh what a pretty name,

There's Hickman Sargent Mackrill,

There's Curry, Smyth and Graham

There's Banton, Cook and Lendon,

And Mr and Mrs Long,

And half a dozen other folks

I can't have in my song.

But 'ere I leave these 'Jemmy Grants'

Some girls I would name,

They run in couples down below

In a place call 'Maiden Lane'

There is a Hickman and a Stout,

And pretty Poll and Jean

They are as pretty a little craft,

As any you have seen.

Theres Cecil and Elizabeth,

And Charlotte Leipenir,

And little Bessie London too,

A pretty little dear,

A wife from these I have named, boys,

The single men may take,

They are all trim built craft, boys,

And that with no mistake.

Our crew they are all jolly tars,

As ever bent a sail,

They are the boys who can stretch them too,

Or reef them in a gale.

There's Thompson, Charley, Frank and Tom,

Who can these four surpass,

'Chips' and Robbins just as good,

but let them have their glass.

And 'Alick' too a seaman good

As any I could name,

There's Lewis, Randall, Henry, Ben,

All candidates for fame.

And Phillips, George and Walker too,

And George that's rather slim.

There's Payne and Paddy, Jack and Price,

There's Linches and young Jim.

And now good folks, my song is done,

I fear you're tired out,

I'm sure I could not help it

There's so much to think about.

But stop my lads attend me yet,

And you I see around,

Just join in a hearty cheer

'Hurrah' to the 'Outward Bound'

By Mr J Irving.

With Kind Permission from University of Tasmania Archives.


List of Servants arrived at Hobart Town per Apolline, Saturday, October 1st, 1842:-

1st Class Farm Servants.

John Batchelor, married, and 3 children ... Highly recommended; eldest can drive horses at plough

James Denton, married ... Wife can manage a dairy. Denton constable on board.

Wm. Hitchcock,m.,& 2 children ... Most excellent character.

G. Hitchcock,m.,& 2 children ... Very good character.

R. Hickman,m., and 3 children ... A hop planter. highly recommended.

W. Jeeves, married, and 5 children ... Most superior character: 1 girl and 3 boys grown up.

John Jeeves, m., and 1 child ... Excellent character.

William Jeeves, married ... Ditto.

Thos. Knights,m., and 2 children ... Highly recommended.

James Lendon, married ... Good Overseer: acted as constable on board.

James Morley, m.,  5 children ... Wife a dairy-woman.

Thos Smeed, m., and 3 children ... Ditto.

Adam Woodward, unmarried ... Highly recommended.

John Withers, unmarried ... Is also a shepherd.

Richard Bowby,m.,& 2 children ... Wife dairy-woman and laundress.

Henry Marshall,m., and 3 child. ... Well conducted and recommended.

W. Stevens,m., and 3 children ... Well recommended. Gardeners.

Geo. Burrows, m., and 1 child ... Most superior character.

Daniel Carmody, married ... A very superior couple.

Geo. Strugnell, m., and 1 child ... Wife a needlewoman. Bricklayers and Plasterers.

John Carey, m., and 1 child ... Acted as constable on board.

James Carey, unmarried ... Very good.

James Long, m., and 5 children ... Highly recommended.

James Long, unmarried ... Useful young man.

Thomas Long, unmarried ... Useful lad. Sawyers.

James Griggs, m., and 1 child ... Very good.

John Long, married ... Acted as constable on board.

Timothy Smith, unmarried ... Exceedingly good.

John Whitbourn, m., and 4 child. ... Wife a dairy-woman. Bricklayers only.

Thomas Rogers, married ... Wife a shoe-binder.

R. Simpson, married and 1 child ... Very good. Cornish Miners.

R. Thomas, m., and 3 children ... Wife a staymaker.

Elisha Thomas, m.,and 1 child ... Wife dairy-woman and laundress. Quarryman.

George Halbert,married ... Excellent character.Turner.

John Simpkin, m., and 4 children ... Highly recommended. Brickmaker.

W. Sawyer,m., and 3 children ... Well recommended. Coachmaker.

James Cook, married ... Very good.

Frederick Cook, unmarried ... Ditto. Whitesmith and Locksmith.

James Dole, married ... Character unknown. Grooms.

James Hayward, unmarried ... Very good.

John Quelch, unmarried ... Ditto.

John Richards, unmarried ... Also a gardener.

W. Lester, married and 1 child ... Also a good footman.House-smith and Bell-hanger.

William Square,unmarried ... Highly recommended.Baker and Miller.

Robert Walker, unmarried ... Excellent character.Plumber, Brazier and Bell-hanger.

Henry Fox, m., and 3 children ... Two sons also of the same trade.Soap and Candle-maker.

Charles Whitbourn (14) ... Useful lad.

2nd Class Farm Servants.

J. E. Elson, m., and 2 children ... Excellent character.

Leonard Hickman, unmarried ... Very good.

Owen Hickman, unmarried ... Ditto

John Martin, unmarried ... Ditto.

Thos. Mackerill, m., and 1 child ... Hurdle-maker, fencer and sheep-shearer.

R. Mackerill, unmarried ... Ditto.

Edward Mackerill, m., and 1 child ... Ditto.

W. Morley, unmarried ... Useful lad.

Samuel Smeed, unmarried ... Young lad, can drive horses.

Henry Marshall, unmarried ... Ditto. Cast and Malleable Iron and Salt Manufacturer.

James Nelson, m., and 2 children ... One son follows the same trade. Joiner.

John Rowland, married ... Well recommended. Cabinet-maker and Brass-fitter.

John Rowland, m., & 8 children ... Well recommended. Carpenters.

James Freeman, married ... Very good.

William Freeman, unmarried ... Ditto.

T. Freeman, unmarried ... Ditto.

Anthony Rowland,unmarried ... Smart lad, well disposed.

J. H. Simpkin, unmarried ...Tailors.

John Graham, married ... Wife a cook, and acted as Hospital assistant on board.

W. Horton, married ... Very good.Storekeeper and Warehouseman.

Henry Sargeant, married ... Highly recommended: wife a haberdasher. He acted as schoolmaster on board. Blacksmiths.

Daniel Sargeant, unmarried ... Very good.

W. Williams, married ... Is also a horse-shoer. Shoemakers.

Gayton Somerton, married ... Wife a shoe-binder and school-mistress.

W. Whitbourn, m., & 3 children ... Excellent character.

Female Domestic Servants, unmarried and extremely well conducted.

Ann Freeman, age 13 ... Nursery-maid.

Ellen Hickman, age 15 ... Domestic Servant of all work.

Fanny Hickman, age 19 ... Laundress.

Matilda Knights, age 18 ... Ditto.

Elizabeth Lendon, age 16 ... A good shop-woman.

Charlotte Lerpiniere, age 28 ... Housemaid and cook.

Louisa Morley, age 11 ... Nursery.

Elizabeth Morley, age 18 ... Laundress.

Mary Morley, age 15 ... Housemaid.

Charlotte Rowland, age 14 ... Ditto.

Elizabeth Rowland, age 28 ... Cook, housemaid, or lady's maid.

Cecilia Rowland, age 21 ... Lady's-maid.

Emma Sargeant, age 25 ... Book-folder or housemaid.

Sarah Sargeant, age 21 ... Fleecy hosiery manufacturer.

Sarah Smith, age 28 ... Lady's-maid.

Frances Stout, age 20 ... All work.

Jane Whitbourn, age 19 ... Housemaid and plain cook.

Mary Whitbourn, age 16 ... Nursemaid.

Cecilia Rowland, age 21 ... Lady's-maid.

Jane Wells, age 25 ... Shoe-binder.

Mary Warboys, age 29 ... Seamstress or lady's-maid.

Margaret J. Fox, age 18 ... Dressmaker.

Mary E. Fox, age 15 ... Housemaid.

Elizabeth Friend, widow, and 2 children ... Good needlewoman; seamstress.

Source: Hobart Town Gazette. Hobart Town, 7 Oct 1842. Immigration Office- ARTH. DAVIES, Immigration Agent.1st October 1842.

Early Days in Hobart- 1842

On the 24th September 1842, a fine day with the wind from the north and the temperature a mild 69 degrees, two ships arrived in Hobart Town. The "Apolline" had outsailed the "Royal Admiral" which had left London on the 7th May carrying 202 female convict passengers.

Their new life in Australia began when our family consisting of James and Martha and our nine children disembarked from the "Apolline" at Hobart Town, Van Diemans Land on the 1st October, 1842 after our ship had been quarantined because of a whooping cough and measles epidemic on board. Mr Tarleton, a home appointed magistrate, also had the misfortune of falling victim to the measles.(6) They had waited 7 days since our arrival to put foot ashore. It was the immigration agent and health inspector tasks to ascertain the state of the immigrants, their number, health and to record births and deaths aboard the ship. He also organised fresh meat supplies. He also prepared a list of the immigrants and their calling for future employment. They were granted one month of rations and we were not allowed to remain in the provided accommodation if we refused employment.(7)

Hobart Town in 1842, presented a view of a remarkably clean, well lit and well conducted town. Its streets were wide, airy and well laid out. A hub of buildings of fine stature had been built, gardens and lawns had been cultivated to provide an air of refinement and comfort. This pleasing sight was a contrast to the overcrowded bleak London left behind.(8)


Morning! and light clouds o'er the mountains high,

Hanging like dreams around the walking earth,

That now, with sunshine-lighted smiles, looks out

With bright and dewy eyes unto the sky

Spanning above her it's pure azure depth.

Freshly the winged breeze across the moor

Brings the soft perfume of the heather-bloom,

And gently waving each slight spray, where hang

The mist-like webs of gossamer,whose threads

Are pearl'd with tiny dew-drops, flings a shower

Of glittering gems upon the flower-strewn earth.

Now, from the vale below, the wreathing smoke

From many a cottage, upward curling, tells

Of human life and comfort. Blest are ye-

Ye dwellers 'mong the heav'n-pointing hills

Ye gazers on the undimm'd loveliness

Of Nature, in her liberty and life!

Source: Meredith, Louisa. Our Island Home: A Tasmanian Sketchbook.Hobart: J Walch & Sons, 1879.

Buckland, Spring Bay, Tasmania

After a stay of about 5 weeks at Bellevue, the immigrants receiving station, I was employed by Mr Thomas Cruttenden, one of the early settlers of Prosser's Plains which was later known as Buckland in the municipality of Spring Bay on the east side of Tasmania. With the promise of work we bade our two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary who remained in Hobart, goodbye and gathered up our goods and chattels and of course the other children and headed east. Bullock drays were used to travel up the step inclines of Bust-me-Gall Hill and Break-Me-Neck Hill. The view of the pretty valley through the Prosser's River flows was incentive for us to spend the rest of our lifetime here. T'was reminiscent of what we had left behind in Sussex.

The Morley's worked on "Woodsden" a sheep run as general farm hands. One farm duty that James most likely engaged in here in Tasmania differed from my experience in the mother land of England and that was to watch over the flock to make sure the perceived foe of sheep, the Thylacine or Tasmania Tiger was not looking for a feast.(9) They were blessed with four more children in Buckland. Sadly they lost their daughter Margaret at the tender age of five for one summer's day, she was found drowned in the Prosser River. Most of their children married convicts or into settler's families in the area at the local church of St John the Baptist where Rev. Dobson officiated. They would have watched this quaint English style church with breath-taking stained glass windows being built on the hill overlooking "Woodsden" on land donated by Thomas Cruttenden in 1847. Our children and grandchildren and even the present generation have been involved in the industries of a growing country such as farming, whaling, fishing, quarrying, road-building and timber cutting. An extract from the Hobart Mercury Buckland reporter on the 28th January 1881 tells of Mr Cruttenden's generosity in holding the annual Cherry Festival in January.

"On last Wednesday, January 19, Mr Cruttenden gave his annual cherry feast, a practice he has kept, I am told, for these last thirty-three years, except on one or two occasions, when there was a failure in the cherries. Then instead he would have a display of fireworks. It is astonishing to see the number of men, women, and children that assemble on the lawn at Woodsden, on cherry feast day, and the squire of Woodsden never seems so pleased as he does when he can see so many folk enjoying themselves, especially the children, for whom there is always a large assortment of toys provided: and at evening every child on the ground becomes possessed of some article or another. After everyone has had sufficient cherries, cakes, etc. (of which there is always a good supply), footracing, cricket and other games are carried on till evening when the gathering is broken up by signing God save the Queen. After which cheers were, on this occasion given for Mr Cruttenden, also the ladies."

Both James and Martha were blessed with longevity. James passed on in 1873 at a supposed 85 and a headstone marks this event in the old adjacent cemetery to the main cemetery of St John the Baptist near the Manse gate. Martha continued on till the 5th August 1892 and she was buried in the old cemetery or churchyard at St John the Baptist, Buckland on the 7th August. Unfortunately she has no known headstone. The minister thought she was 92.(10)

Just as a brilliant comet appeared in the night sky over Tasmania in 1843, heralding hope, so was born another great Australian family. The majority of descendants still live in Tasmania predominately in Hobart, Spring Bay and the West Coast, then Victoria follows next mainly Melbourne and Beechworth, then a smattering in all the other states and a few have chosen far flung corners of the globe.

So be it!

Our children were:

Elizabeth MORLEY (c1824-)

William CARPENTER (1816-1863) / Mary MORLEY (1827- 1878)

William MORLEY (1829-)

William FOX (abt 1824-1903) / Louisa MORLEY (1831-1906)

Thomas RASPIN (abt 1820-1890) / Sarah MORLEY (abt 1834-1924)

Henry BURRIDGE (abt 1817- 1902) / Ellen or Eleanor MORLEY( abt 1832-)

John MORLEY(1836-1896) / Emma RAYMANT (1840-1887)

James William MORLEY (1839-1915) / Ellen TAPNER (1848-1925)

Joseph BROOKS (1817-1890) / Matilda MORLEY (1841-1924)

Margaret MORLEY (1843-1848)

George MORLEY (1845-1915) / Eliza SPARGROVE (1854-1943)

Henry MORLEY (1846-1916) / Mary Ann SAVILLE (1853-1927)

Charles MORLEY (1849-1917) / Frances Annie Maria BRIGGS (1854-1876) & Elizabeth Jane COHEN (1857-1924)

"I believe...that to appreciate fully the blessings of a happy home, children, friends and books, a trial of lonely bush life for a few years is indispensable."- Louisa Meredith.


1. Withyham Parish Registers. Lewes: County Record Office.

2. "Withyham Inhabitants, 1838". PBN Publications, Eastbourne, Sussex. 1991.

3. Sunday Times. London: May 22, 1842.

4. Hobart Town Courier. Hobart Town: Friday 30 September 1842.

5. Hobart Town Courier. Hobart Town: 11 November 1842.

6. Hobart Town Courier. Hobart Town: Friday 30 September 1842.

7. Pearce, I and Cowling, C. "Guide to the Records of Tasmania. Sect 4. Records relating to Free Immigration." p.75. Hobart: Archives Office of Tasmania, 1975.

8. Carolyn R. Stone and Pamela Tyson. "Old Hobart Town and Environs 1802-1855". Lilydale, Vic: Pioneer Design Studio, 1978

9. David Owen. "Thylacine - The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger". Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2003.

10. St John the Baptist Buckland, Church registers. Hobart: AOTAS. Ref NS 1153/15.

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