J.H. Watmuff Profile,
1 1859-1862 Bendigo, Dunolly, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Loddon , (Mt. Hope Rush), Ararat, Chinamans Flat, Moonlight Flat, Mt William (trek with guide), Pleasent Creek (Stawell), Melbourne,
2 1859 Bendigo Melbourne 1862 Otago N.Z.
3 1863 Otago
4 1863 Otago to 1865 Melbourne
5 1865-1866 Melbourne
6 1866-1869 Melbourne
7 1869-1870 Melbourne
8 1870-1876 Melbourne
9 1879-1881 Melbourne
10 1881-1882 Dribs & Drabs
11 1884 Sydney & Misc.
12 Lusitania Voyage
13 Lusitania Voyage
14 Lusitania Voyage
15 Lusitania Voyage
16 and 17 England, letters and Journal
18 Garonne return Voyage
20 (Journal 19) Mildura
J.H. & Bessie Watmuff's Photos
Olive Watmuff's Photos
Contind For July-
Lusitania July 1st/87 [1887-07-01-Friday] On coming upon deck this morning a beautiful sight burst upon my view, the sun was just appearing over the high land of the coast of Italy, which is very steep & precipitous at this point. We saw towns & villages & villas right up the hill sides situated mostly in
lovely & picturesque places - every mile or two brought something new & beautiful in sight until passing the Isle of Ischia when we coasted along the foot of Mt Vesuvius, a grand mountain which overlooks the country for 50 miles around. Being a clear day we could see its summit
& trace the unromantic line of railway which go [to] the mouth of the crater, from which we could see the smoke issuing. On entering the Bay of Naples - (which did not strike me as being anything like as lovely as many others I have seen in the colonies) we got a grand view
of Naples a long stragling place close to the Bay backed by high hills not unlike Dunedin N. Z. only the buildings are so different, these being 6 & 7 stories high We anchored about 12 o/c & were at once surrounded by boats filled - with fruit & Baskets & Mosaic & Lava Jewelry, Etc for sale One boat contained a band of
serenaders consisting of 4 women & as many men who with fiddles & guitars – made a great row, their singing was most Exorable, they got very little for their pains, we went on shore - about 1.30pm in a steam launch, the fare being 2/6 return, distance 400 yards, a great many
fine vessels were in port. We passed the great Italian Turret ship, the “Italia”. On landing I formed one of a party of six, when we engaged a guide 1/- Each, who undertook to supply a pair horse carriage & pay our entrance into all the places we visited & drive us about the city, being late we
started at once for the Museum, which we reached in a few minutes up a long narrow street called Via de Roma, passing many places of interest - the University in front of which is a splendid marble statue of Dante the poet. The Museum is one of the most interesting in Europe containing the most of the relics found
in the excavations of Pompeii - the place contains some splendid pictures & statuary by the grand old masters. I would have spent hours there but the place closes at 3pm so we had to clear out (the entrance is 2/-) from the Museum we drove to the Kings palace - after being delayed about
half an hour by the guide in procuring an order for admittance. On entering the noblest staircase I could conceive of for beauty and passing round splendid corridor we were ushered into room after room Each different from the other - in furniture color & ornaments – such apartments!
that a pen can scarcely describe for beauty & the works of art they contain – grand frescoes in every room, pictures sculpture[s], bronzes Etc of the finest descriptions. The tapestries are some of the finest in the world. The theatre in the palace is a perfect
“Bijou” of a place, most elegantly fitted up & will seat, I should guess 800 people I could have lingered for days in these grand lofty rooms gazing at the master pieces of art they contain. From the rooms we went onto a grand balcony from which we got the finest view of the city &
Bay that is to be had. On leaving the palace we were taken to an old church, but very rich in art treasures the floor is beautifully tessellated with marble Tiles - pillars & small chapels around the sides - each more splendid than the other. The surroundings of the church are very dirty crowds of dirty people
basking in the sun in rags, Oh & to see them hunting each other for vermin, was sickening. the streets are very narrow but crowded with people some fine shops but the finest will not compare with many of our Melb & Sydney ones either for size or display made – yet they are very high.
I was astonished at the number of vehicles & the rapid manner they are driven, considering the little room they have to operate in. The ladies, most of those I met, dispense with Hats & Bonnets, & are not by any means handsome in fact I cannot state that I saw half a dozen women that I would call
ordinarily pretty – sallow, fat & with poor figures is the rule. We of course had to visit one or two restaurants & partake of refreshments for which we were charged most dearly. I never saw such a place (excepting Said) where there are so many beggars. They pester your life out,
If you look into a shop window, they are there, & follow you about until the guide whips them away - another great nuisance are the Hawkers, Fruit & Match vendors – they are perfect pests. The fruit is very fine & the only cheap thing I saw - they sell it in small baskets
holding perhaps 18 oranges or 24 peaches & about 3 lbs of cherries for P6 including Basket, Buthers [Butchers] meat is very dear 1/6 & 2/- lb for mutton that no tradesman would have it seen in a shop in Australia. Another thing is the open manner they sell the most licentious literature
in the streets. When I was sitting in our carriage in company with two lady passengers, a man thrust into our hand books with illustrations of the most obscene kind. If such a thing was done in Victoria the vendor would soon find himself in Gaol. We got on board by 6.30pm & sailed at
7pm having on board 14 more passengers for London. It was a beautiful sight to see the land fading away, with the lovely colours reflected upon it by the setting sun. So much for my short visit to Italy a visit I would not have missed for any consideration. Naples is a fine place to see
but not to reside in – Sorrento, which is on the opposite side from Naples, appears to be the fairest place for residing at.
July 2/87 [1887-07-02-Saturday] Very warm - seen no land - met only two vessels. We had a Concert in the 2nd Saloon to night to which we invited the 1st Saloon
passengers - everything past [passed] of very well. I sang 2 songs & was encored for each (that is not saying much) for the performance.
[1887-07-03-Sunday] July 3rd/87 Very hot, not had a day like it since we crossed the line. Passed a few ships & saw the South end of Sardinia.
[1887-07-04-Monday] July 4th Very hot in the morning, but toward noon we sighted the coast of Spain & with the sight came a pleasent breeze which was most agreeable. I think we sighted land near Cathagena [Cartagena] We sighted several queer looking vessels called ‘feluccas’ from
the coast of Africa & many steamers & sailing vessels. We expect to go through the Straits of Gibraltar about daylight in the morning.
July 5th/87 [1887-07-05-Tuesday]
Lovely day and one long to be remembered Passed through the Straits about 8 o/c, passing the ‘Rock’ quite close, so we
had a good view of this celebrated fortress. It is no use my attempting a description of it, as you must have read so many yourself. We could see the large town of Sutra [Ceuta] on the opposite coast of Africa. On getting thro' the passage we got into the Atlantic Ocean & sailed along the coast of Spain
passing farms & plantations, villas & castles Etc, the land is very high & hilly the cultivated land lies close to the coast with great frowning stony looking mountains in the background 11am passed a large important fortified town called Tarifa with a fine lighthouse on a sand spit
running out for over 2 miles from the city At 1pm came in sight of Cape Trafalgar lighthouse & saw the Bay in which was fought the celebrated Battle of Trafalgar where Nelson lost his life - from this point we lost sight of land. I need not say we met & overtook a great number of Ships
mostly steamers. I counted 18 vessels in sight at one time which cannot be wondered at considering this is the greatest highway for ships in the world. Since the Canal has been opened the majority of the traffic to the East, India, China Australia, Etc has to pass this way.
We saw a large whale this afternoon it gambolled about the vessel for half an hour, blowing & diving. Our evening was spent in the Saloon, being engaged in witnessing a mock trial – A Break of Promise of Marriage Case - which was most amusing. There was a judge & jury
counsel for the parties concerned, witnesses Etc, the case lasted over 2 hours & finally the fair lady got a verdict with £250 damages.
[1887-07-06-Wednesday] July 6th/87 Beautiful weather. Skirting the coast of Spain & Portugal all day, sorry we were so far from land only through the gloom
could we trace the contour of the country which looks very hilly & rough, sometimes they [?other ships] go so close to land that Lisbon & other towns can be seen from the deck but its [in] our case we had to fill in these through the aid of our imaginative faculties We passed a great number of vessels
outward bound. In the evening we gave a grand concert in the 2nd Saloon, we were assisted on this occasion by a Miss ORorke (the only artist on board) the concert was a great success. After its termination a collection was made for the “Dreadnought Sailors Hospital” & a Seamens orphanage
which resulted in about £4 being collected. July 7th 87 - [1887-07-07-Thursday] A nice cool breeze blowing all day land in sight up to about 1pm when we passed Cape Finisterre & then entered the dreadful “Bay of Biscay” which has been like a mill pond in fact
we felt the heat in the sun as much as we did in the Red Sea We expect to get into Plymouth on the 9th inst. & many who purpose landing there are beginning to pack up & prepare for their landing.
July 8th /87 [1887-07-08-Friday] Been a dull miserable day, nothing but sea & sky, without the sun
to be seen after noon it commenced to rain & did not clear up until 9pm. We sighted at this time the Scilly lighthouse, a splendid double light.
[1887-07-09-Saturday] July 9th Arose at daylight 4am. Passed Eddystone lighthouse & shortly after entered Plymouth Harbour. The entrance & surroundings are very beautiful
passing through the channel between the Breakwater into the bay where we remained about an hour & a half landing a number of our passengers, we get a good sight of Devonport Stonehurst, & Plymouth with the numerous fortifications around – also the large Ironclad Man of War
The Agincourt (5 masts). We left at 5.30 Am so had not time to go on shore, most of our passengers received letters here. On leaving we started up the English Channel keeping near the shore where we met with a pretty sight being a fleet of about 50 fishing boats returning from their nights cruize
it looked like a Regatta, as they were all racing into port, I suppose to dispose of their fish. The land for miles seems cut up into fields which is cultivated down to the waters edge, wherever practicable, 9am passed the Lighthouse at Start Point situated near a bold headland, from this we lose the land
(Torquay in the distance) until we reach ‘The Bill of Portland’ here we passed the O.S.N.C.  “Oroya” bound for Australia we signalled her. At about 2pm we were opposite the ‘Isle of Wight’, could just see the fields & hedges & trace the contour of the land. An immense Turret Ship “Agamemnon’ was practising with their
guns while passing. There is to be a grand Naval Review between the Isle & Portsmouth on the 23 inst. Our captain had orders at Naples to hurry on, as our ship is chartered to convey 150 passengers to the Review on that date, £5.5.0 a head from London & back. About 3pm we passed St Catherines Lighthouse
& from there to the end of the island, the shore is studded with villas & farms & the large town of Ventnor, most romantically situated under overhanging cliffs, from here our next land was Beachy Head. We passed after dark also Eastbourne & Hastings. Saw the lights of Calais at
11pm went to bed.
[1887-07-10-Sunday] Arose next morning & found myself opposite Gravesend - at the Tilbury Docks which we entered about 7am. After breakfast we landed with our luggage at the docks & then came the bother what with the Customs & the Carriers - however majority of the passengers caught
the 11am train& after a delightful ride through a lovely agricultural country, we arrived at Fenchurch St Station at 12.30, being Sunday I felt rather lost but in company with others I got a cab & made for the Williamson Hotel in Bow Lane off
Cheapside, a very nice quite place up a little right of way, but which we found a very capacious house frequented principally by Wool buyers from Yorkshire. I had made the acquaintance on the voyage of a young man named Blackburn, son of a large Woollen
Manufacturer in ‘Clackheaton’ near Halifax, his two brothers were at the Hotel & met him they are very nice & have invited me to spend a few days at their place – which I intend doing when I visit Yorkshire. After dinner we took a strool to St Pauls & spent an hour there,
Service was being held – about 1000 present Dr Stainer at the organ from there we got into a bus & rode through Ludgate hill, Fleet St & Piccadilly to the Albert Hall & Albert Memorial on returning & after tea I went to hear Mr Spurgeon at the Tabernacle - Mr S. Chapman reminds me of him, very
similar style but clearer & more incisive It is the first place of worship I was ever in where there was no collection. We took a long walk till 10pm about the Tower & Cornhill.
[1887-07-11] Monday I was very inquisitive going about visited & spent 3 hours at the National Gallery In the evening I went
to Covent Garden Theatre & [heard] a very good company do ‘Il Trovatore’ No stars engaged Albani being off for a night or two, the choruses & orchestra was something superb
[1887-07-12]Tuesday Knocked about visiting all manner of interesting places. I only got my portmanteaux from the ship late in the evening - however I
had made up my mind to stay & hear A. Patti in the Barbieri, but judge my disappointment on going to Her Majestys Theatre to find she had a sore throat & had left for the country that afternoon. So I went to [Theatre Royal,] Drury Lane to hear Arnoldson in Traviata no sooner got seated when it was announced that she was too unwell
to appear & Rigoletto by another cast was given most superbly The quartette was the finest I ever heard sang. [1887-07-13] Wednesday. To – day I did not feel well but I saw a deal of London. Visited the Wells who I found very nice people & made me very welcome I delivered the parcel I went from there to
Claudines friend Mrs Scott found the house occupied by some doctor who informed me that she was at present he believed at Coventry. I also delivered Mrs Watts photos, to Mr Badcock at Kings Cross Railway [Station]. I have promised to see him on my next visit to London, when he will show me about the premises. This brought
me to 3pm when I when I went to the Albert Hall to hear the Golden Legend at which the composer Sir A Sullivan Conducted I heard Albani, Soph, Patsy, [Adelina Patti] (Contr), Lloyd (Tenor), Foli (Bass) The Tenor & Alto pleased me most but for Foli I would not go across the street to hear him - the music was far too high for him. Patsy [Patti] is the
loveliest Alto I ever heard. Perhaps I expected too much from Albani & so would reserve my opinion of her til I hear her under more favourable Circumstances. The Hall is magnificent & I suppose 5000 people were there. You should have seen the carriages & the coachmen & footmen
I thought the file would never end. In the evening I went to hear ‘Faust’ at Drury Lane, & I did hear & see it for once as it should be the Ballet & the Walpurgis music in the last Act, something to dream about- Chorus 90 Orchestra 80- Stage Band 36 - Horses Etc- Etc & Supernumeries galore.
It is nearly 2am [(Thursday 2am)??(later says left Friday)] now & I am leaving here early in the morning for Leicester so I will now conclude as I think the mail leaves tomorrow. I will write again in a few days & let you know what kind of a reception I receive at Aunts I may inform you
that I feel quite knocked up with so much sightseeing I could fill volumes in descriptions of feelings & sensations had I time & ability I seem to have passed my time on tops of omnibuses & underground railways & to crown all the weather for the four days I have spent
in London has been as hot & trying as I have experienced in Australia – close & muggy. The bustle & Excitement on Every hand is so pronounced that it is overpowering Melbourne is like a village in Comparison Saturday night Bourke St [(Melb)] reminds you of what London is like for
scores of miles. I trust darling you are writing to me regularly every mail - you have no idea how I do long to hear from & of you all. Give my love & kisses to all our little ones & tell them they are never out of my thoughts. I do hope they with
yourself are well & that they give you as little trouble as possible. Give my love to Bessie & Fred George& John & their relatives & remember me to Dr [dear] old Zelman & all other enquiring friends particularly my office chums - & believe me to be Darling Bessie, Your Affect Husband JHWatmuff 14 July/87 [1887-07-14 (early Friday)]
There are 3 Theatres at which Italian Opera is being performed in London. The prices range from £1.1.0 down to 1/6. the latter is 6 tiers high 5/- is the next lowest at Covent Garden - at each place they have 3 separate casts.
[END of Journal Number 15]