In Memory of John Dowel Whittle, who was drowned off Cape Otway (Bass St.), N.W. 10 miles, 7 a.m., 29th July, 1852, aged 23 years.
[Melbourne, s.n., 1852]. Broadside, 210 x 150 mm, printed on one side only, text set within decorative border surrounding the heading and Psalm LXIX, and with a fully contemporary annotation at top left, ‘P. & O. S. “Chusan” 1st arrival at Port Phillip’; in fine condition, mounted on card and housed in a modern frame with handwritten note on the reverse: ‘John Dowel Whittle 23 years fell overboard from S. S. Chusan first P. & O. steamer into Melbourne on 29th July 1852. He went overboard about 7 miles off Cape Otway about 7.00 am [and] could not be recovered’; the back is also annotated ‘Ex Ingleton Collection’.
A rare broadside printed in Melbourne during the first months of the Victorian gold rush. This is the Ingleton copy, and is the only surviving example of this broadside we have been able to trace.
According to contemporary reports in Melbourne newspapers, the unfortunate Whittle was one of the ship’s hands on the Chusan, and was thrown from the main yard in a storm off Cape Otway. Who knows, the young man may well have been contemplating jumping ship in Port Phillip in expectation of making his fortune on the diggings.
This broadside is recorded in Ingleton, Geoffrey C. A Catalogue of Select Books from the Ingleton Collection, 7067 (with the spelling Dowell for Dowel).