Issue 15, in an article on Nicholas and Nancy Stentiford entitled Australia
Bound, we printed a letter from The Exeter Flying Post allegedly
written to members of another family in Dawlish. It told of a tranquil
journey in fair winds, a prompt and successful start to prosperity and a
happy ever after life in Adelaide.
Through family connections. Roy Hayter heard of a very different tale
- a tale that is corroborated by others who sailed to the same
destination. His connection to the Chegwidden family is personal but
their true and tragic story was researched and put into book form by
Maurine E. Work, an unconnected Chegwidden family member, in 1986.
Roy has quoted brief extracts from the book which, at least in Devon,
is still in the West Country Studies Library catalogue. It is
called Constantine, Cornwall to Adelaide, South Australia
and its ISBN is 0951103903 should you wish to read the whole of their
From The Falmouth Express
6 Jul 1839
Mr Duckham has this day
received permission of His Majesty's Commissioners to engage a
considerable number of emigrants to be despatched from Falmouth with the
least possible delay. All persons who are inclined to emigrate by this
opportunity need scarcely be advised to apply immediately for terms, regulations and certificates at his office.
the 1830s, the Colonization Commission had appointed emigration agents
in many towns in Devon and Cornwall. They advised on the
availability of Crown land in the Colonies and what settlers
could expect when they arrived.
They also administered the Assisted Passage scheme available to help
those unable to afford a passage but who were thought likely to
become good colonists.
Chegwidden family applied to Mr. Duckham, completed the necessary
application forms and were accepted as emigrants. Two hundred miles away
and completely unknown to them, Londoner Michael Brooker, his wife
and nine children also applied for passage at the same time to the
It was to be a tragic decision for both families and for many of
their fellow travellers.
THE CHEGWIDDEN FAMILY IN 1839
Hughes Chegwidden (16)
Chegwidden (6 months)
engaged by the Commissioners, on which they sailed, was the Cleveland,
a barque of some four hundred tons, launched in 1825. She sailed from
Falmouth on 25 Jul 1839 for Plymouth. From there, she sailed on 8 Aug
1839 up to The Downs to pick up other emigrants (including the Brooker
family) from the London area. The Cleveland finally set sail
carrying 189 passengers, landing at Port Adelaide on 18 Dec 1839.
City of Adelaide
emigrant vessel dating from the 1860s
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