Guide to the Papers of James Coutts Crawford (as filmed by the AJCP)
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
- Crawford, James Coutts
- Papers of James Coutts Crawford (as filmed by the AJCP)
- Date Range
- 1817 - 1880
- Collection Number
- M600, M687-M688
- 50 items
- Language of Materials
- Australian Joint Copying Project
- The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) Online Portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contributions of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948-1997.
Scope and Contents
11 volumes of diaries covering 1837-1864 (excluding 1849-1856). They contain detailed entries describing Crawford's journeys and places visited, as well as his work in Australia and New Zealand.
Letters to Crawford 1840-1875, relating to family and business matters and mentioning building activity in New Zealand, the Fitzroy mines and the Richmond Hill silver mine, Victoria. Correspondents include Capt. William Loring, J.C. Bidwill and B.W. Mountfort.
Two manuscripts entitled 'Drafts for Book Australia Section 1838-1839' and 'Reminiscences', perhaps drafts for New Zealand section of book. These drafts give fuller descriptions than corresponding chapters in his book, Recollections of Travel in New Zealand and Australia (1880).
4. Sketchbook covering a journey up the Wanganui River, depicting Maori people, settlements and landscapes and a collection of watercolours and drawings of Australia and New Zealand. Subjects include Glebe 1844-1849, and other parts of Sydney; Eton Vale, Queensland; Mount Egmont and Taranaki, New Zealand.
Conditions Governing Access
Available for access.
Conditions Governing Use
Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.
Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.
Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.
Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1234)
Filmed a the private residence of Brigadier H.N. Crawford, Fife, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1954, 1966 (AJCP Reels: M600, M687-M688). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.
Existence and Location of Originals
Private residence: Brigadier H.N. Crawford, Fife, Scotland.
Existence and Location of Copies
The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1870528] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.
Further papers of the Crawford Family are held in the Berkshire Record Office and selections were filmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project on M713.
Finding Aid Note
This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.
Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.
Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.
Diary; Artists; Australia; Bidwill, John C.; Crawford, James C.; Darling Downs, Queensland; Emigrant voyages; Eton Vale station, Queensland; Fitzroy mines, Victoria; Geology: New South Wales; Geology: New Zealand; Glebe, New South Wales; Hodgson, Sir Arthur; Loring, William, Capt.; Mines and mining; Miramar, New Zealand; Mount Egmont, New Zealand; Mountfort, B.W.; New Zealand; Paintings, drawings and prints: Maori; Paintings, drawings and prints: New Zealand; Paintings, drawings and prints: Queensland; Paintings, drawings and prints: Sydney, New South Wales; Queensland; Richmond Hill mine, Victoria; Taranaki, New Zealand; Wanganui River, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand
Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 117, p. 42.
Biographical / Historical
James Coutts Crawford (1817-1889), the son of a naval officer, was born at Overton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was educated at the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth and served on several ships in South American waters and in the Mediterranean. He left the Navy in 1836 and in the following year sailed to Australia on the Coromandel. He made a number of journeys in the Sydney region and in 1838-39 was one of the first men to travel overland from Sydney to Adelaide.
In 1839 he made his first visit to New Zealand, where he journeyed from the Bay of Islands to Port Nicholson (Wellington). He bought a property on the Watts (Miramar) Peninsula from the New Zealand Company, where he established the Glendavar cattle farm. In 1841 he returned to Britain where he married Sophia Dundas, the daughter of Admiral Sir James Dundas.
Crawford and his wife sailed to New Zealand in 1846. He developed his farm, constructed a tunnel to drain Burnham Water, explored Wairarapa and took a strong interest in public affairs and relations with Maori leaders. The Crawfords spent a lengthy period in New South Wales, before returning to Britain, where Sophia died in 1852. In 1857 Crawford married Jessie McBarnet and again sailed to New Zealand. He expanded his farm and bought other properties in the Wairarapa and the Hutt Valley. In 1861 he was appointed provincial geologist and carried out a number of surveys in the country north of Wellington. He was a member of the Geological Society of London and wrote many articles on geology, botany, engineering and agriculture for the Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. He was a member of the New Zealand Legislative Council from 1859 to 1867 and for many years he was resident magistrate and sheriff of Wellington. He had been a captain in the Lanark Militia and in 1864 was appointed a captain in the Wellington Militia. In 1880 Crawford published Recollections of travel in New Zealand and Australia. He died in London.
Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M600.
Concerning purchase of cattle, valued at £138.00.
Purchase of 2500 wethers; predicts that Sydney will 'go to Hell' if Port Phillip is separated from New South Wales.
Death of Crawford's mother; estates of Crawford in New South Wales and New Zealand should be settled; death of Sir George Gipps.
Urgent need to receive Crawford's report on mine; encloses plan on tracing paper; another report suggests existence of gold as well as silver.
Salary of Gother V. Mann; refers to John Darvall, Stuart Donaldson, W.M. Rothery, Macarthur, White and Thomas Icely.
Doubts if Hervey will take [Miramar] Peninsula; advises planting grapes on flat reclaimed from Burnham Water; tunnel has suffered no damage in recent earthquake; improvements to the race course; news of race meetings; marriages of Miss Swainson and Miss Fitzgerald.
Thanks for help with Eunananarina; has found a station in 'The Levels' country north of Gundagai; De Salis has a station in this country; entertainment at Yarraminga; acquisition of terriers.
Has traced William Page; plans to see Crawford in Wellington; difficult and dangerous cruise; difficulties with Governor Sir William Denison.
Meeting with Crawford and his wife; describes Crawford's property and Wellington.
Sending information on 'the Peninsula' and the fight with Te Rauparaha.
Belubula and Fitzroy Mines and interest of Crawford and J. Bidwill.
These sketches are also reproduced on reel M688.
Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M600.
Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M687.
Diary kept on a voyage from Campbelltown, Scotland, to Londonderry, Ireland, and while travelling in Ireland, including references to Sligo and Boyle.
Diary kept on an overlanding journey from Sydney to Adelaide with a herd of cattle, including cattle belonging to Captain Charles Sturt. The expedition, led by Crawford and his overseer Coutts, travelled to Berrima, Goulburn and Gundagai, and then followed the Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers and sometimes the tracks of Edward Eyre, who had made an overland journey several months earlier. There are references to visits to pastoral properties, books, an encounter with bushrangers, purchases of cattle, the landscape and geology, meetings and conflict with Indigenous Australians, continual searches for missing cattle, and the accidental death of one of the bullock drivers. At the end of the book is a listing of the expenses of the journey.
The volume contains Crawford's reminiscences of his life, beginning with his birth in Scotland in 1817 and ending with an account of his voyage from Liverpool to Sydney on the Elizabeth (12 Dec. 1844-31 March 1845) and his impressions of Sydney after an absence of three years. The memoir covers his first visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1838-41 and includes a very detailed record of his return voyage to England (Dec. 1841-Sept. 1842), including lengthy stops at the Philippines, Singapore, Bombay and Cairo and his journey across Europe. It also refers to his return to Scotland and his marriage to Sophia Dundas.
The diary continues on from the previous volume and describes his life in Sydney, news of warfare in New Zealand, a voyage to Newcastle and Moreton Bay (Nov. 1845), a visit to the Darling Downs and 'Eton Vale' and the departure of Crawford and his family to New Zealand (Jan. 1846). The New Zealand section refers to their arrival at the Bay of Islands, the destruction of Kororareka, visits to Auckland and Wellington, movements of troops and warships, fighting at the Hutt Valley, the building of a tunnel from Evans Bay to Burnham Water, meetings with Maoris and visits to their villages, travels in the North Island, visits to New Plymouth (Feb. 1847) and Nelson (March 1847), travels with Governor George Grey, Grey's interference in the military campaign, and the topography and geology of New Zealand.
The last section describes a voyage to Sydney (Nov. 1847), the death of Lady FitzRoy, a visit to Brisbane and the Darling Downs (Jan. 1848), travels in New South Wales, the Yass lead mines, the Legislative Council elections (July 1848) and a visit to the Blue Mountains and Bathurst (Oct. 1848). At the end of the volume are some notes about Crawford's life from 1817 to 1862, written in another hand.
At the beginning of the volume are memoranda, copies of letters and extracts from newspapers, 1854-57. The diary describes the voyage of Crawford and his second wife from Portsmouth to Wellington (12 Oct. 1857-20 Jan. 1858), with stops at Malta, Alexandria, travels in Egypt, Aden, Ceylon and Melbourne, impressions of Wellington on his return, a visit to Burnham Water, land purchases, the commencement of work on a tunnel (March 1858), General Assembly elections, and visits to Lyttelton and Christchurch (Aug. 1858) and Dunedin (Sept. 1858). The 1859 entries are very brief.
Written in very faint pencil, the diary records visits to Wairarapa and Rangiora and includes notes on the Wanganui River.
Written in pencil, the diary covers a journey from Wanganui to Lake Taupo and back.
Written in pencil, the diary contains notes on Manawatu, possibly for a geological report, and a few diary entries written in Wanganui.
The diary records Crawford's work in his first six months as Government Geologist.
Written in pencil, the diary records a journey from the Upper Hutt to Waikanae and the return journey following Beetham's Line.
Originally filmed on AJCP Reels M687-M688.
Recollections by Crawford of his first visit to Australia in 1838-1841, referring to the voyage to New South Wales, a detailed description of Sydney, a journey to Berrima and Braidwood, overland journeys to South Australia in 1837, the diary of his overland journey from Sydney to Adelaide in 1838-1839, his impressions of Adelaide and economic conditions in the colony in 1839, the naturalisation of German immigrants, an encampment at Mount Crawford, encounters with Indigenous Australians, and his visits to Melbourne and Adelaide in 1841. The manuscript was probably written when Crawford was writing his recollections, published in 1880, but only the account of the overland journey appeared in the book.
The lengthy manuscript focuses on Crawford's first visit to New Zealand in 1839-41 and deals mainly with his observations of Maori society and the relations between Maoris and Europeans, particularly in the Wellington and Queen Charlotte Sound regions. It also refers to the topography and resources of these regions, early whaling settlements, the purchase of land by Colonel William Wakefield at Port Nicholson, relations between the first European settlers at Port Nicholson, Francis Molesworth and other early settlers, the literacy of the Maoris, and the town of Auckland. The last part of the manuscript is a detailed account of Crawford's journey back to England in 1841-42. This journey forms a chapter in his Recollections (1880), but his other early experiences in New Zealand are dealt with cursorily in the published work
Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M688.