Trove Tuesday – Hong Sip of Cavendish

One of the great things about the Facebook group “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria”, is you just never know what is going to turn up.

Over the weekend, Emma posted photos of a Hamilton Spectator dated Saturday 11 March 1876, found in the roof of Emma’s house undergoing renovations.  One of the photos was of the Dundas Shire Rate valuations for the South Riding.  On the list were my Haddens.  Emma posted a photo of the entire list for and there was another name that caught my interest,  Hong Sip.  I mentioned to the group I would find out more about him and headed to Trove, the first place I go when there are history queries in the group.  As usual, I got a result.

In 1869, Hong Sip, a cook, married local girl Margaret Moran.  The Cavendish correspondent was unsure of the name of Hong Sip’s bride, but unlike him, I have access to marriage records.  He did, however, write a lovely account of the occasion and displayed a very optimistic outlook about the acceptance of Interracial marriages.

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 - 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

[No heading]. (1869, April 19). Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers (Melbourne, Vic. : 1867 – 1875), p. 90. Retrieved February 9, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5732859

Just to follow-up, I also found this reference to Hong Sip, know as John, after his death in 1885.

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

[No heading]. (1885, May 9). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page271825

From there I learnt of the sad demise of Hong Sip. On 13 December 1884, while working at Muntham Station near Coleraine, Hong Sip was callously assaulted.  Two men, John Fleming and George Traill were arrested for the assault.  On 12 January 1885, Hong Sip was admitted to the Hamilton Hospital with inflammation to the lung and died there on 28 January.  The charges against Fleming and Traill were upgraded to manslaughter and Margaret gave evidence at the trial.  They were found guilty and Fleming served three months imprisonment and Trail, two months. 

“THE MUNTHAM OUTRAGE INQUEST.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 February 1885: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225656599&gt;.

Margaret and her children, at least five, remained in Cavendish.