Henry Watson kept a diary during his 4 months on board the Katherine Steward Forbes from England to Australia
It will be seen, by an advertisement elsewhere, that Mr Watson, late Chief Clerk in the Customs' Department, commences business, to-day, as a chemist and druggist, in that eligible spot lately known as the Exchange. Mr Watson is a practical chemist, an old colonist, and a faithful public servant of many years' standing, and we think very deserving of the support he
solicits for himself and family.
South Australian Register Sat 24 Mar 1849
Evening Journal Tue 22 Aug 1911
A PIONEER'S DAIRY. The Public library Board has added to its collection of manuscript diaries of pioneer colonists the journal of the late Mr. Henry Watson detailing incidents in his voyage to South Australia and events which occurred in the first few weeks after his landing at Glenelg. The book was presented to the library by Mr. John Sanderson Lloyd; Mr Watson was a brother-in law of the late Mr. John Barton Hack. He came to South Australia in 1838 in the ship Katherine Stuart Forbes to join Mr. Hack, who had preceded him. His party comprised also his father and mother (William and Martha Watson), his wife (Charlotte), and two young children (Charlotte Emily and Louisa). Fellow-passengers mentioned in the diary of the five months' voyage are the late Judge Cooper and his sister, Dr. Duncan, Mr. George Young and sister, the Mitfords, and two brothers named Horrocks. The vessel left Gravesend on October 31, 1838, and anchored two miles north of Glenelg on March 21. 1839. Mr. Hack and Mr. Watson entered into partnership as merchants' in Adelaide under the style of Hack, Watson, & Co. Under Wakefield's colonization scheme, adopted in the foundation of the State, all the money required for setting the new colony on its feet was to be obtained for sales of land, and it does not seem to have been sufficiently noted (says Mr. Lloyd in a letter accompanying the gift) that in a new country the residents would require shelter for themselves and their goods, as well as certain public works, and money for the payment of public servants. The consequence of the absence of funds the young province got into a serious position, and in the poverty and misery of the cataclysm in Governor Gawlers time all the members of the Adelaide Chamber of Commerce, with two exceptions, had to declare themselves insolvent. Messrs. Hack, Watson, & Co. were among the unfortunate losers. They had taken stock and valued their property at £30,000. but they came out of the Court stripped of their all.had to make a fresh start, and never fully recovered their former positions, though both lived to be old men—Mr. Hack 79 and Mr. Watson 92. The latter carried on the business of a chemist in North Adelaide until within six years of his death. Mr. Watson's diary only extends for a few weeks after his arrival in South Australia. He expressed himself as astonished at the progress apparent on his first view of Adelaide, many buildings having been erected and the erection of a stone church having been begun on what three years before had been virgin forest. He describes two rides to Mount Barker, where Mr. Hack had secured a section, which was named "The Three Brothers" after three summits in the vicinity. On May 3. 1839, he mentions that house swallows were in Adelaide in great numbers. Attacks by the aborigines gave the colonists considerable trouble. The diarist says, on April 29, 1839:—"The blacks attacked an old shepherd employed by Mr. Osmond Gilles, stabbing him so that he subsequently died. The bodies of two more whites were afterwards discovered speared." On Mar 3 he writes that they knocked a man off his "horse after dark between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, and that an old lady walking between North and South Adelaide was struck with a waddy because she would not comply with a demand for ''white money." Up to that date, says Mr. Hack, seven white people had been murdered by aborigines, but he had heard of no instance of retaliation by the settlers.
Henry Watson brought his family to South Australia in March 1839. They brought with them a prefabricated house from Henry Manning's London company. They later built a brick facade and added a brick paved verandah. The house was situated on Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide and called Walkley Cottage. Henry Watson was a chemist and druggist at North Adelaide and also a Quaker. He came out to South Australia to join his brother in law John Barton Hack as a merchant and partner in the firm Hack, Watson and Company.
Walkley Cottage – an 1839 prefabricated Manning House extended and encased in brick in 1840 by Quaker Henry Watson, is the earliest brick building still standing in South Australia.
Hack Watson & Company was formed in 1839. In 1841 due to the economic depression in South Australia the company was wound up. Henry Watson became the Chief Clerk of Customs.
His time as Chief Clerk of Customs
SUSPENSION OF MR. WATSON, CHIEF CLERK OF CUSTOMS.
WITH reference to our statement relative to the above matter, we have pleasure in publishing the following certificate by the merchants of Adelaide, which is honorable alike too them and to the victim of official tyranny :
" Adelaide, 6th March, 1849.
"Sir - Sympathising with you on your unexpected suspension from office as Chief Clerk of the Customs, we, the undersigned, deem it our duty to record our testimony of your uprightness, courtesy, and attention to the duties of your department, and to those which during the absence of the Collector frequently devolved upon you.
" We cannot withhold from you this expression of our regret that the Customs are deprived of
your valuable services."
A. L. Elder & Co.
W. Younghusband & Co.
E. L. Montefiore.
Burnett Nathan. Phillip Levi,
Bunce Brothers & Co.
G. M. Waterhouse.
PORT ADELAIDE - Sat 10 Feb 1849
More "THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL."- There is another screw loose.
The Collector and Mr Henry Watson have lately had difficulties in the way of Balancing accounts, and it is astonishing how cleverly duties are multiplied, and hours of attendance prolonged that practical correctness may be its consequence. We have made up our minds long ago that the Custom-house is a nuisance most detrimental, under its present management, to the financial health of the colony, and one which ought to be abated at the first opportunity. It shall not be neglected
In the meantime whether the actual cautery, or a few hundred grains of tartarised antimony should be administered theoretically to cure the plague, we leave to wiser heads to determine. The Governor would do well to step in, and personally enquire into these absurd pranks.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ARCHIVES INDEX TO LETTERS AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS RECEIVED BY THE COLONIAL SECRETARY, GOVERNOR AND OTHER GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS 1836- 1851 GRG 24 SERIES 1
Importation of vine cuttings by the Vine Association. 1841/221.
Honorary Secretary of the South Australian School Society. 1841/693.
Seeks employment. 1841/873.
His house at Port Adelaide standing in two feet of water. Seeks permission, as a Customs Officer, to live at the Reed Beds. 1843/202.
His indebtedness as a partner in the firm Hack, Watson & Co. His insolvency. 1844/68.
One of the sureties for the absconder James Jolly. (1842) Ace. 1059/No. 21.
Adelaide Book Society
Original member 1844 - Henry Watson, secretary 1852
On King William street, two doors from Rundle street was the shop of Henry Watson, maker of Watson's antibilious and digestive pills. Watson had been a customs officer and a partner of J. B. Hack (as Hack, Watson and Co.)
In the 1830's the Watsons moved to Chichester, where Henry Watson had a chemist's shop. In 1836 he married Charlotte Float of Selsey, a member of the Church of England, and resigned his membership of the Society. (Quaker)
It is documented this brother-in-law (Hack) had a falling out and moved to the Methodist faith..
His parents who emigrated to Australia on the same voyage where buried in the *** Cemetery (Quaker Section).
Henry and his wife Charlotte were buried in the North Road (Christ Church Cemetery. The marriage of his daughter Charlotte to John Sanderson Lloyd was held at the Church of England Church Christ.
North Road Cemetery
In 1881 the restriction to members of the Church of England residents in the parish of North Adelaide was lifted, but it was still required that those buried there were members of the Church of England and the form of service to be used was that of the Church of England.