William Marks (3GF-B) reports on the great comet

William Marks was a convict assigned to Thomas Hassall, Anglican clergyman. He worked for Hassall in the Crookwell area. This account was written by William Hassall, a son of Thomas. It seems that William Marks was a trusted convict and given a fair amount of latitude in his work in very remote regions.

Our stockman at Mulgowrie was a man called [William] Marks, a well known and comical character. I remember some years before, about 1836, he bought a mob of cattle to be sold in Sydney. The great comet was plainly to be seen then and whilst my father [Rev. Thomas Hassall] was talking to him on business matters and admiring the comet Marks said to him, “Why sir, you will be disprised to hear that when I was on the Lachlan [River] a short time ago, I can assure your that the comet was not a bit bigger there than here – although I was so much nearer to it.” He had little idea of the distance of the comet from the earth, or that the Lachlan was about the same height above the sea as where we were standing.

We arrived at the station in the evening and found at the homestead a strong substantial stone house. Marks had persuaded my father to let him build this on account of the bushrangers, Witton, Reynolds and party who threatened to shoot him and several neighbours in that part of the country. He had port- holes left in different places and taught his wife to load and fire the gun, but the gang I beleive, never paid him a visit.

The Marks family were very into horse racing and even ran race meets on their property.

Next day we rode into Goulburn, part of the way with Marks, who rode a very fast racer, named Conservative, with which he had won many races in the Goulburn district. We passed the Betherwetherloo, a creek whose name took my fancy, and reached Mr Shelley’s that evening, …

Other Researchers, Ian Brothers. …. William Hassal, In Old Australia (Origianally Printed in 1902,  Reprinted in 1981), 48-49.

5 William Marks & Ann Lamb

4 Richard Marks & Lydia Cramp

3 Percy Stanley Marks & Lorna Wiley (Dorothy Marjoram)

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