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South Australian Government Gazette

Colonial Secretary’s Office, Adelaide, October 3rd 1849


For Information of the public, his Excellency the Lieutenant-Governer has directed the publication of the following extracts of a letter from the

Government Resident, Guichen Bay, relative to the loss of the cutter Thompsons

By his Excellency’s command CHAS STURT, Colonial Secretary


“It was on the afternoon of the 11th September, that I first heard from a native of some things having been washed ashore. I immediately went down,

with some others, to the beach, and found two or three casks, together with different articles of slops, to the South of the Bay, which left no doubt of the wreck

of some vessel. Early the next morning everybody was on the move, in different directions, about two miles and a half to the South was found the boat, thrown in

amongst the rocks, and it is on the reefs off this part of the coast, about two miles from the shore, that Mr Reid thinks she must have struck; nothing more in this

direction was found. In the afternoon, one of the party, that had gone towards the north, came in to report that the body of a female had been thrown up on the beach

in that direction. I went to the spot, and saw the unfortunate woman lying on her back, she was in her night dress with a sheet wrapped around her

as if she had rushed from her bed on to the deck; the body had sustained no further injury than was caused by the birds; she was a married woman; two rings,

taken from her finger,

together with her description, and the initials of her name, cut from the night dress, are herewith transmitted. The body was brought in and buried the next day.

Near her and along the beach, towards the north, were a great number of boxes, bags of flour, and other things thrown up. In one of the boxes has been found

an agreement, signed by eight of them, and R Giles, Manager of the South Australian Company. Mr Reid, the agent, is taking every care of the things, by airing

and drying them, and I have directed the police to patrol daily to the north and south of the Bay, in case any more bodies should be washed ashore.

I forward various papers, handed to me by the agent, which may assist in discovering

the friends of the sufferers, some of whom appear to have been emigrants lately arrived.”


Description of the body of a female, found on the beach, about five miles from Robe Town, 12th September 1849.


Age                                          about thirty four years

Height                                     Five feet four inches

Make and form       Stout

Head                                        Oval

Face                                         Oval

Eyes                                        Light Blue

Eyebrows                                Very light brown

Nose                                        Medium

Mouth                                     Medium

Neck                                        Short

Hair                                         Light brown

Shoulders                                Rather broad

Arms       Medium length,  Hands          Medium size,    Feet               Medium size


Remarks – Stout and rather good looking, one plain gold wedding ring, nearly new, one fancy hair ring with the name of “Margaret Thomas”

upon it, on  fourth finger left hand; the attached piece of linen was cut from her night dress and is marked with the letters OxR, in sewing.


Chas. W Kelham, Clerk to Government resident

The papers forwarded by the Government Resident can be seen on application at the Office of the Colonial Secretary


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