On 29 October 1839 my 3rd great grandfather Samuel Proudfoot Hawkins (1819 – 1867) arrived in Melbourne on the David Clark from Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland. The voyage, via Rio de Janeiro, took five months.


Ship David Clark coming into the harbour of Malta, 1820 Watercolour and ink on paper Nicolas Cammillieri, 1762/73-1860, artist (attrib.) Private collection Lance Pymble

The David Clark had been chartered by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to bring Port Phillip’s first bounty immigrants from Scotland. There were 229 settlers, among them Samuel Hawkins, aged 20, described as a storekeeper from Edinburgh. Although he had brothers in New South Wales he made his own way in what later became the colony of Victoria.

Emigration Inverness Courier 6 March 1839 page 1

Samuel Hawkins would have responded to an article similar to this one which appeared in the Inverness Courier of 6 March 1839 on page 1

On 29 October 1939, one hundred years after the arrival of the David Clark, an anniversary celebration was held by some descendants in Melbourne.


Centenary Of First Barque-Load Of Pioneers (1939, October 3). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article243409125


PIONEERS’ CENTENARY (1939, October 10). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206330961

The organisers of the anniversary celebrations did not have access to the original passenger list and preparation for it seems to have been left very late. Two weeks before the anniversary only 16 of the 68 families who had arrived on the David Clark had been contacted.

The festivities included a dinner for 330 descendants at the Hotel Federal in Melbourne and a church service the following day at Scot’s Church, Collins Street, Melbourne. One speaker at the dinner described the David Clark as “Victoria’s Mayflower”. A set of bagpipes that came out on the ship was brought to the dinner. The entertainments included pipe music, Scottish dancing and songs.

The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. - 1861 - 1954) View title info Fri 27 Oct 1939 Page 11 Today's Parties

Today’s Parties (1939, October 27). The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article243405090


GATHERING OF THE CLANS (1939, October 30). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved September 2, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206335659


In the Churches REMEMBERING PIONEERS (1939, October 30). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11250259

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Wed 15 Nov 1939 Page 10 NEWS OF THE DAY

NEWS OF THE DAY (1939, November 15). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205590886

The lament “Lochaber no more” was played when the David Clark left Greenock and also at the centenary reunion.

The Age (Melbourne, Vic. - 1854 - 1954) View title info Mon 2 Oct 1939 Page 11 LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY

Piper Sheila Wagg played the bagpipes at the David Clark centenary dinner. This picture is of her playing at the Royal Show in 1939.LATROBE CENTENARY FOOTBALL GRAND FINAL GARDEN PARTY (1939, October 2). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206336187

A reunion is planned for the 180th anniversary. A picnic will be held at Gulf Station at Yarra Glen, a property once owned by William Bell and Thomas Armstrong, both passengers of the David Clark. The 150th anniversary celebration was also held there.

If you would like to attend, please book so the organisers know how many people will be coming. There is a small charge ($12 adults, $10 concessions, $5 children, $30 families). Bookings can made through this link https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=542336& .

I look forward to meeting my Hawkins cousins and other David Clark descendants.

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