Thursday 2 June 2016

An extraordinary tale of murder and cannibalism!

Part One.

William Broughton, for whom Broughton Pass at Appin is named, came to New South Wales on the First Fleet, as a servant to Surgeon John White. In 1789 he was appointed as storekeeper at Parramatta, and then in 1800 he was appointed storekeeper and acting Deputy Commissary at Norfolk Island. Between the years of 1792 and 1805 he fathered five children with Ann Glossop, who had been transported for 7 years. This story is about the youngest of these children, Elizabeth Isabella Broughton, who was born on Norfolk Island on December 14th, 1807. The Broughton family returned to Sydney from Norfolk Island, and in November 1809, Ann and Elizabeth, known as Betsy, sailed from Port Jackson on board the General Boyd for England, possibly to visit Ann's eldest daughter Mary Ann, who was at school in England.
The first port of call for the General Boyd was in Whangaroa, New Zealand, where they were to load Kauri Pine timbers. It was there that the ship was attacked by the natives, and all the crew and most of the passengers were murdered, and eaten.
Apparently the captain of the General Boyd had insulted the Maoris, flogging the son of a Whangaroan chief on flimsy charges, and as a result, horrific retribution was taken. All on board except a woman named Mrs Morley and her infant child, a young man named Davison, and the young Elizabeth Broughton were slaughtered.
Meanwhile, a friend of the Broughton family, Alexander Berry, was aboard his cargo ship “City of Edinburgh” which was anchored in the Bay of Islands. He began to hear the rumours of a ship being taken by the Maoris, so he decided to investigate and see if there were any survivors.
Alexander Berry made his way to Whangaroa with three armed boats and a Maori Chief who had agreed to help. When they arrived, they saw the wreck of the burnt out General Boyd lying in shallow water. With the help of the Chief, and under threat of reprisals, the Maoris produced three of the survivors. Berry learned from them that another survivor was still being held. He bravely demanded her return.  
To be continued...
The "General Boyd" burns

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