His father was Charles Dowdle, a fisherman, who arrived on the Sugar Cane in 1794, from Ireland. His crime was stealing lead He was 21.. His mother was Rose Leonard. She also was transported on the Sugar Cane. Charles died in 1817, at sea, Rose died in 1821. They only had one child
DOWDEL, Charles. Seaman
1820 Feb 1
Employed on "Princess Charlotte" during conveyance of Commissioner Bigges to Newcastle. To be paid from the Police Fund (Reel 6007; 4/3501 p.222)
Then in 1829, Charles was working on a Whaler. In fact, he chased a whale up the Derwent River.
Perhaps the reason is that in 1829, the sheriff was prepared to sell Charles Dowdell's lands
Barlow Crew - boy Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Brown Manuel Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Butterworth William Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Clements George Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Cuthbert John Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Dowdell Charles Mate Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Francis George Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Garraty Charles Crew - boy Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Gifford George Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Harwood Arthur Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Hog John Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Hosie James Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Johnston Gabriel Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Jukes William Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Mayberry William Boatsteerer Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Nash John Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Rattenbury John Crew - boy Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Rattenbury Samsom William Mr Master Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Renny Robert Seaman Dragon 4 Jan 1832 Hobart New Zealand
Kitty, who is about forty of age and as plump as a partridge, declared her innocence, which appeared to "know no shame," and vowed it was a false and malicious charge for the purpose of bringing a young creature to such an infamous place, and expose her to ridicule and subject her to the rebuke of her papa and mama. Susan trembled at the sight of her, and earnestly begged for protection. Kitty was ordered to find sureties.
William Garth was the son of Edward Garth and Susannah Gough, both convicts on Norfolk Island.
Edward was a First Fleeter, together they had several children
Mary Ann who married George Middleton
James who married Mary Harpur Bellett
Edward who married Ann Bellett
William who married Susannah Bradshaw/Jillett
Susannah who married John Bellett
Richard who married Mary Ann Chaffey
Elizabeth who married Robert Ballantyne and John William Webb.
Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (Tas. : 1816 - 1821), Saturday 28 November 1818, page 1
On the 25th of October last a party of five persons, consisting of James Foley, John Sherberd, Zachariah Chaffey, William Garth, and John Kemp, all young men residing at this Settlement, proceeded in an open boat belonging Mr. T. W. Birch to Oyster Bay, distant from
our harbour about 150 miles N.E. in order to procure swan feathers, and kangaroo, seal, and swan skins. Their labours were attended with more than usual success ; having at this place
procured 300lbs. of swan feathers, 60 swan skins 100 kangaroo skins, and 34 live swans ; and at Big Swan Port (commonly called the White Rock), which lies nearly contiguous, they got 150 seal skins. Their labours being thus successfully terminated, they were inclined to return home; and in order to arrange for that purpose, on the 13th instant they put into Grindstone Bay (31 miles distant from Oyster Bay, where from contrary winds they were detained three days.
During their stay at this place, they went a second time to Big Swan Port, for the purpose of increasing their number of seal skins, leaving behind John Kemp in
care of the live swans, 4 kangaroo dogs, 3 mus-kets, some ammunition, sealing knives, and the various skins, &c. they had procured. After having obtained more seal skins, they returned the same day to Grindstone Bay ; and when near the shore, the first object which attracted their sight was the corpse of their unfortunate companion Kemp lying at the water's edge,
cut and mangled in a manner too shocking to relate. Foley instantly jumped out of the boat and had only time to perceive that the greater part of the articles left with the deceased were destroyed or taken away, when the natives, who were in ambuscade, suddenly appeared on the beach, armed with spears. He made all speed to return, and with the help of Chaffey with the greatest difficulty got the body in the boat ; immediately after which, they moved off, and fortunately got out of the reach of the natives.
On the approach of the boat, two of the dogs that were at some distance on a rising ground set up a terrible howl, ran to the water, and swam to the boat ; one was also found dead by the body of Kemp, and the other, from the blood, and foot-marks on the sand, is conjectured to have been killed by the native’s spears.
A native girl, who had been some time among those at present walking about the streets of Hobart Town, accompanied this group, which consisted of nearly 20. She often in an apparent friendly, but artful manner entreated the party to return, which they very prudently declined, and instantly made sail from the awful scene. Owing to unfavourable winds for four days and the putrid state of the body, they were reluctantly compelled to put into East Bay, where they performed the last offices of humanity to their unfortunate fellow creature. It may be regretted that the muskets and ammunition are now in the possession of these natives, as their natural fear of fire-arms maybe in some degree removed by the native girl before noticed. We have only to hope, that this unhappy circumstance will put persons, who are in the habit of frequenting the woods and islands, on their guard in future not to lose sight for a moment of their arms, or to go any distance with-ut them, which would probably in all cases prevent disasters of this description, and the necessity of proceeding to extremities on either side, so much to be desired.
Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by Tasmanian Aborigines. From autumn through winter various bands of the Oyster Bay Tribe congregated around the coastal areas to harvest shellfish and marine vegetables until the end of July, when swans and ducks arrived in the lagoons and riverine areas to lay their eggs and raise their young. In August most of the bands moved up the Little Swanport and Prosser Rivers to the Eastern Marshes to hunt birds, kangaroos and wallabies. The Linetemairrener people lived at the lagoon year round
By 1822, William had been supplying meat to the colony, and had lived at the Ship Inn in Hobart.
By 1837 he had the licence of the Victoria Hotel in Collins Street Hobart, and he began to advertise it for sale due to retirement. In May 1840 he transferred the licence to John Lewis.
Supplies on the Sugar Cane included 31,496 lbs of beef; 45,440 lbs. of port; 64,512 lbs. of flour; 44 tons of lime stone; 17 bales and 5 cases of clothing and necessaries.
The Guard was formed from soldiers of the NSW Corps. Thomas Musgrave held grave fears for the safety of the ship's company because of the calibre and health of some of the guard. Early in February he had been informed that the War Office was sending on board a soldier of the NSW Corps by the name of Samuel John Stanton.....Stanton was said to be of a very infamous character and as well as from the bad tendency his conduct might have by mixing with the convicts it was recommended that Musgrave keep him entirely separate from them .
In another plea to Nepean also in February Thomas Musgrave wrote - Thomas McGennis one of the privates of the New South Wales corps having behaved in a very riotous and mutinous manner and threatened the life of my chief officer, I have confined him in irons. Would be glad to know from you in what manner I am to proceed with him that he may be punish'd as an example for the rest of the men. If it is possible I should wish to be released from him entirely as also of the other man I wrote you about (Samuel Stanton). (1)
Surgeon Superintendent David Wake Bell was about thirty three years old at the time of sailing. He kept Under Secretary Nepean informed of the proceedings on the Sugar Cane for the next few months. Their progress from the Downs to Plymouth, Kinsale, Cork, Rio de Janeiro and Port Jackson can be followed through his letters.
In correspondence dated 18 February 1793 at Catwater, Plymouth.....
We sailed from the Downs on the 16th instant, and kept company with the convoy as far as Portsmouth, the frigate not being bound any farther to the westward. This morning the wind coming to the SW and having Plymouth under our lee, bore up, in order to know if there was any convoy for Cork, as well as to get some hands, six men having left us since the 9th. On our entering the Sound, the men of war's boats came on board and took the whole of our foremast men, so that we shall not be able to proceed until we get those men again or others from the shore, which I am much afraid will be a difficult matter. Three of the NSW Corps have been in the sick list ever since we sailed from Gravesend. (2)
Our reason of our making this port was occasioned by being to leeward of Cork and blowing a strong gale, thought it more advisable to put in than run the risk of beating to windward, especially as the pilot boat informed us that a privateer the day before had chased a ship close in with the Old Head of Kinsale.. The moment the wind will permit we sail for Cork from whence shall inform you of our further proceedings. One of the four soldiers who deserted at Plymouth was taken by a sergeant of the 11th regiment on the 26th February and is now on board under confinement, together with the one I mentioned in my former letter. It would be highly satisfactory sir, to the master, as well as myself to know what we are to do with these men, as they have now been a considerable time confined without our knowing in what manner to act with them.
Having embarked the prisoners, the Sugar Cane sailed from Cork on 12 April 1793
In correspondence dated 12th July from Rio de Janeiro Bells writes: I had the honor to write you on the 25th of last month by a vessel bound to Bristol, which was the day we came to an anchor at this place. From the difficulty of watering we have made a longer stay than I had reason at first to expect. The convicts are all well, and so much refreshed from the fresh beef and vegetables of which they have had a plentiful supply, that there is every reason to expect the remainder of the voyage they will be equally healthy as the first part of it.
He hired the use of a translator which cost five shillings a day for twenty six days and with his help purchased 10 tons of limestone at one shilling per ton for the use of the colony. If the wind permitted they planned to sail from Rio on the morning of 13th July 1793.
They arrived in Port Jackson on 17th September 1793.........
Lieut-Governor Grose later wrote to Henry Dundas reporting the arrival of the Sugar Cane and Boddingtons -
1). Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 2, Captain Musgrave to Under Secretary Nepean, 10 February 1793, p.8
2). Historical Records of New South Wales, Vol. 2, Surgeon Superintendent Bell to Under Secretary Nepean, 18th February 1793, p. 16
Excerpts from The Dowdell Forebears, written in 1999
The Dowdell Forebears
This name is variously spelt in the records as Dowdell, Dowdal, Dowdale, Doudell and Dowdle. The eldest surviving male in each generation was named Charles. I have maintained the spelling variations as they appear in the various resources........
It is recorded in the ‘Public Register or the Freeman's Journal’ of January 12th 1792 published in Dublin, that Rose Leonard was sentenced at the Tholsel Quarter Sessions for stealing a double- cased silver watch, value 1 pound, the property of James Harley. At the same Sessions one John McDonogh received the same sentence of seven years transportation for stealing a pair of shoes..........................
At Port Jackson on April 4th 1796 a son, named Charles, was born to Charles Dowdal and Rose Leonard. They are both recorded in the 1801 muster and again in 1805 when Rose is noted as living with Charles Dowdal and he is working as a labourer for Simeon Lord, a major landholder who had himself arrived in 1791 with a seven-year sentence. In 1814 Rose is recorded as the wife to Charles.
In 1810 Charles Dowdall received a land grant (no 138) of thirty acres at Botany Bay, at an annual rental of one shilling. He quit this grant on January 1st 1815 but continued to work as a fisherman until his death on 22nd November 1817, at the age of forty-eight.
Although there is no evidence he ever lived in Van Dieman’s Land his death is noted in the Hobart Town Gazette of 24th January 1818 - Charles Dowdle, fisherman and old inhabitant of Port Jackson - while in the act of drawing a seine - Botany Bay 22nd November. The seine was a long net used to trap fish..........................
He was buried from St Philip’s Anglican Church on November 24th 1817. Rose (with an up-market name-change to Rosannah) lived until the age of fifty and was buried also from St Philip's on 4th June 1821. According to Joseph Cordell’s letter of 1865, Charles Dowdel bequeathed to his son Charles two allotments, one in George Street and one in Pitt Street, Sydney......
The 1814 muster records Charles Dowdell as a fisherman - this could have been the father or the son, then aged eighteen years. Our next clear record of the son comes in the Colonial Secretary's papers of February 1st 1820, where it appears that Charles Dowdell, seaman, was employed in the Princess Charlotte, conveying Commissioner Bigg to Newcastle. To be paid from Police Fund....
According to Cordell’s letter, in 1821 Charles sailed from Hobart Town to Sydney and back again in the brig Jupiter. Cordell was the mate and a close friend of Charles. The purpose of the visit was to sell the George Street block to a Mr Robert Cooper, distiller, for the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds. Cordell avers that the Pitt Street property was never disposed of......
In 1826 Charles had petitioned the Lieutenant-Governor for a grant of land he being possessed of 60 head of horned cattle, 150 sheep, cart and instruments of husbandry . He has never received a grant. He has had great loss of a schooner, also cargo (£150) scuttled by bush-rangers near to White Rock.
The request was not granted, nor was he permitted to erect a stall for the sale of poultry in the new market place in December 1827...........
It appears he continued his whaling career until he was lost at sea. To quote Cordell - Your father leaving the colony on a whaling voyage the ship was never heard of, or any of the crew that sailed with her.
........ The letter from Joseph Cordell was written in Hobart Town on 6th March 1865, addressed to Mr Charles Dowdel Jnr, Merchant. He was clearly concerned about the fate of the Sydney property .
He had remained as mate of the brig Jupiter until 1824 and left her to become a pilot in Launceston where he lived until 1851.
In 1825 he married Elizabeth Pitcher, they had one son who died at birth, a daughter who survived to marry in 1850, and a second son found dead in his bed at the age of sixteen. When he wrote the letter in 1865 he must have been near enough to seventy , but he appears a sound and reliable, if ill-fated, witness.....................
Charles Derwent Dowdell grew up to be a substantial merchant and citizen in Hobart Town, a member of the Executive Committee of the Hobart Regatta and a Churchwarden and member of the Parish Council at St David’s Cathedral. In 1853 at the age of twenty-five he married Martha Marshall from Sorell, who was only seventeen. They had eleven children, of whom Jessie Isobel, born in 1865, was the seventh child and the fifth girl.
In his later years he moved to Melbourne, to a house in Hawthorn, and conducted the business of a marine surveyor up until the time of his death. In 1891 he was appointed one of the skilled members of the Court of Marine Enquiry, and was also elected to the Committee of Management of the Melbourne Hospital, then a keenly contested privilege. He died on February 15th 1892 at the age of sixty-four. Martha survived him by thirty years and is still recalled by some of her great- grandchildren as a very old lady in a black bonnet and mittens.
© Margaret Henderson
Public Register or The Freeman’s Journal - Dublin January 12th 1792
Convicts and Free Person’s Index No. 1 1788-1793
Sydney Cove 1793-95
Register of Land Grants NSW No.1
NSW Musters 1801, 1805, 1811, 1814
Hobart Town Chronicle 24th January 1818
Hobart Town Musters 1822
NSW Pioneers Index
Tasmanian Colonial Index
Index to Tasmanian Births/Baptisms
VDL Early Marriages 1803-1830
Register of Funerals St. Philip’s Church, Sydney 1817 & 1821
Baptismal Certificate St. David’s Church, Hobart - Charles Derwent Dowdell 1828
Hobart Mercury 15.02.1892 obit. Charles Derwent Dowdell
Cornwall Chronicles 1835-1850 - 28.03.1850 Cordell Elizabeth; 07.09.1850 Cordell Robert
Joseph Cordell 1865 Letter to Charles Dowdell Jnr.