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3 April 1838 Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney

 3 April 1838   Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney

When Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney arrived in Adelaide on the 3 April 1838 they were greeted with some jubilation by the settlers as there had been a shortage of meat for some time and the herd of cattle they had brought was a welcome sight.

Hawdon arranged to buy 335 head of cattle in New South Wales and he met Bonney on the River Goulburn on the 23 January. With nine in the party they set out on an overland route to South Australia, travelling for a large part of the journey along the banks of the River Murray in very hot weather. Although they met many Aborigines they had no trouble.

On the way they found two lakes, one they named Victoria after the Queen and the other was named Bonney. When they reached Mount Barker they kept a little too much to the south and came through the hills at Noarlunga and thence to Adelaide. They had travelled nearly 1000 miles in ten weeks and only lost four bullocks who had been killed by lightning in a violent thunderstorm.

The men were later honoured at a dinner presided over by the Resident Commissioner, James Hurtle Fisher, and an ox was roasted for the occasion. Hawdon returned to his property in Victoria and eventually went to New Zealand.

Bonney became the first Commissioner of Crown Lands and was the first mayor of Kensington and Norwood. He also pioneered a route from Portland to Adelaide along the Coorong in 1839.

R.M. Gibbs, A History of South Australia,  Balara Books, 1969,
pp. 59-60.

Tags: Bonney Charles, Hawdon Joseph