This year I will be taking part in the 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge initiated by Amy Johnson Crow. “The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.”

I have written before about Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819-1867), who was my great great great grandfather. He arrived in Australia just over 175 years ago.

Cherry stones p. 44  “Probably an engagement photograph, but certainly of Jeanie and Samuel Hawkins taken about 1849.”

In 1839, when he was only twenty, Samuel Hawkins, ‘occupation storekeeper’, sailed from Greenock near Glasgow to Port Phillip (Melbourne), in the colony of New South Wales on the David Clark, the first ship to sail there directly with migrants from the United Kingdom. Hawkins travelled by himself. His eldest brother, Robert, and cousin, Thomas, had previously settled in New South Wales.1

The David Clark in 1820 coming into the harbour of Malta – image from

In 1839 the David Clark was chartered to bring the first bounty immigrants from Scotland to Melbourne. She left Greenock on 15 June 1839 with a piper, John Arthur, who was later first curator of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, playing Lochaber No More.2

The voyage was via Rio de Janeiro and the David Clark arrived at Port Phillip, Melbourne on 27 October, 1839.3

from the Caledonian Mercury 15 June 1839 page 3 retrieved through

As the Yarra at that time was unnavigable for a ship the size of the David Clark, the passengers were landed in boats at Sandridge (now Port Melbourne), the women being carried ashore by the sailors and men. Then came a long walk across the ti-tree flats and sandhills over what is now known as Fishermans Bend, Emerald Hill, (now South Melbourne) to the Queens Falls where they crossed the Yarra. Their chattels were brought on by dray and bullock wagon.4


Adamson, John (1841). MELBOURNE (Port Phillip). Lithograph similar to an engraving “Melbourne from the South Side of the Yarra Yarra 1839” Retrieved from the  State Library of Victoria
Landing at Melbourne 1840, watercolour by W. F. E. Liardet. Original held by the State Library of Victoria. Image retreived from Wikimedia Commons.

In 1839 Port Phillip had a population of about 4,000 European settlers. The settlement on the banks of the Yarra River had commenced in 1835. It was named Melbourne in 1837.5

The Launceston Advertiser gave an account of the first experiences of the new immigrants to Port Phillip. After the five month voyage, the 229 immigrants were accommodated in tents, a temporary refuge set up by Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe. Most of the men and all of the women found employment immediately. On the evening of their arrival they danced in the open under the moonlight to the sound of bagpipes. Later that night they went to see a corroboree being held about a mile away.

PORT PHILLIP PAPERS—To Nov. 9th. (1839, November 21). Launceston Advertiser (Tas. : 1829 – 1846), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT.. Retrieved January 5, 2015, from

In October 1839 Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins was employed by the surveyor Robert Russell.

State Records Authority of New South Wales; Kingswood New South Wales, Australia; Persons on bounty ships arriving at Port Phillip (Agent’s Immigrant Lists); Series: 5318; Reel: 2143A; Item: [4/4813]. Retrieved through Samuel Hawkins is passenger 13 in the list of single men.

1. Hudson, Helen Lesley Cherry stones : adventures in genealogy of Taylor, Hutcheson, Hawkins of Scotland, Plaisted, Green, Hughes of England and Wales … who immigrated to Australia between 1822 and 1850. H.L. Hudson, [Berwick] Vic, 1985. p. 38
Janson, Elizabeth. “They Came by the David Clark in 1839.” In Victoria before 1848., 1999. retrieved 04 Nov. 2013. <>.

2. PIONEER VOYAGE MEMORIES. (1939, October 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved January 5, 2015, from
3. THE LABOUR SHORTAGE WAS DESPERATE —IN 1839. (1950, June 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 26 Supplement: Weekend Magazine. Retrieved January 5, 2015, from
Pymble, Lance. “David Clark.” 1 Oct. 2009. Web. 4 Jan. 2015. < Clark/DavidClark.html>.

4 Ward, Andrew. Port Phillip Heritage Review Version 15. Vol. 1., 2011. p. 16. Issuu. City of Port Phillip, 2011. Web. 05 Jan. 2015. <>.
5. “1830s Melbourne Named and Settled.” Immigration to Victoria – a Timeline. Museum Victoria, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 5 Jan. 2015. <>.