Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Trove Tuesday - Tarraville To do

Recently while researching my great great grand Uncle John Kelly  and some of his life at Tarraville in South Gippsland, Victoria, I came across these two letters written by Dr. Eccles and John Kelly and published in the Gippsland Times newspaper in December 1869.  

John Kelly and Mary Ann nee Francis did have a son in 1869 according to the birth registrations but I don't know if this is them or not yet.  More searching to be done.

I think the original letter from "Humanity" must have been published in a Sale newspaper that is not yet digitised, either that or I have missed it in my searches.

Gippsland Times 11 Dec 1869

Sir,--I was not a little surprised in having 
my attention directed to a letter which 
appeared in the South Gippsland newspaper of the 7th instant, signed " Humanity," and dated Port Albert, Nov. 30th, 1869, which, to say the least, is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. I will briefly narrate the circumstances as they occurred. 
For some months past I had been wait ing for a favourable opportunity to visit Sale, to transact business of a private nature; and as the cricket match was about to take place between the Sale and South Gippsland Clubs, I determined to kill two birds with the one stone, andaccordingly went to Sale with the cricketers, leaving Tarraville on Sunday, the 28th ult., about 9 a.m., having made it generally known the week previous that I purposed doing so, should nothing occur in the interim to prevent me. I have been informed that the woman referred to had been in labour two or three days previous to my leaving home,   so that my attendance could have been   easily secured; not as "Humanity"'would lead persons to suppose, that it was after my departure the unfortunate woman was unwell. I was not enquired for untilMonday morning, when, as a matter of course, being absent, a great uproar was set up by, I presume, "crowing" " Humanity" and his clique. As to the lady who had gone to the expense of 10s sending a messenger for me, I may inform "Humanity" that the lady in question was put to no such expense, nor was I ever sent for. 
May I ask who is the "clever" Government oficial referred to by" Human manity." I have spoken to a great number of persons in order to get the information, but, as yet, have failed to obtain doing so. If " Humanity" be a friend to the official referred to, I think he would be showing his friendship in a much more practical manner by having his name left out of the question. 
In conclusion, I would ask "Humanity" to come out of his shell and appear in his own plumage, as I consider his letter to be an un-English stab in the dark,written for the purpose of conveying an untruthful impression on its readers. Imay also assure him that he is greatly mistaken if he thinks I am afraid ofhaving either Dr. Goldie or any other medical practitioner brought by his (" Humanity's") influence into the field against me. Trusting you will give this publication, 

I am, Sir, 
Your obedient servant, 
Tarraville, 9th December, 1869.
Gippsland Times 11 Dec 1869


SIR - A letter having appeared in your Sale contemporary of the 6th inst., signed " Humanity," calculated to do Dr.Eccles an injury. I am induced, in justice to that gentleman. to acquaint the public with the facts. Dr. Eccles was never engaged to attend my wife, and if there had been any intention on my part to have secured the services of that gentle man, I had ample time to have done so, for my wife was ill for four days prior to the doctor's leaving here for Sale, and I was led to believe by the persons who were in attendance upon her that a medical man was not required. On the fifth day of her illness, however, becoming alarmed, I called at the doctor's house, and found he would not be home till the next day. I left a message for him to call immediately upon his return, which he did; and I am glad to say he found my wife pro gressing favourably, the child having beenborn the day before. Those are the facts, and I think if there is any blame attached to any one it is to myself for al lowing myself to be persuaded by a lot of old women not to call in a medical man. 
By inserting this explanation you will oblige 

Your obedient servant, 
Tarra Bank, Tarrarille, Dec. 8th.

For the  Trove Tuesday theme by Amy Houston from Branches, Leaves & Pollen


  1. At least they published the rebuttals. That 'Humanity' letter must be a humdinger!

  2. That's what i thought too Fi, I hope it comes to light eventually

  3. Not sure if this helps or just confuses things more, but in the era that these letters were written, the tannery at Tarraville was called Tarra Bank. Did your John Kelly have any tannery connections that could tie him in to being the gentleman who wrote the letter? I am thinking that there can't have been too many John Kelly's in Tarraville in 1869...

    1. thanks again for taking time to read my post. That is a help as I thought Tarra Bank was the name of a road or an area, didn't realise it was the tannery itself. My John Kelly was a tanner at Yackandandah when he died in 1905. There were a couple of John Kelly's in the area according to the book compiled by Gwen O'Callaghan. I just need to sort them out now. http://ancestorchaser.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/y-is-for-yarram.html

  4. Whether or not that John Kelly is your fella, Kerryn... I do indeed applaud him with speaking up so strongly and clearly on behalf of Dr Eccles. Good luck with you continued sleuthing... Cheers, Catherine.