Thursday 3 November 2016

Fisher's Ghost Manuscript Comes to Light.

Recently the library was fortunate in acquiring an unpublished manuscript entitled "Call Not Tomorrow Thine: the story of Fred Fisher." The hefty typewritten tome must surely be one of the most in depth studies of our most celebrated resident at over 300 pages in length.

Written by James.W. Downing in the fifties and early sixties the manuscript is obviously a labour of love, perseverance, diligence, and a doggedness for detail. James researched many sources held at the Mitchell library, NSW State Archives, the Attorney General's Office and London Public Records going as far as to contact connected individuals such as Fisher’s Great Grand Niece.

His intention was to bring to light the most accurate and truthful story of Frederick George James Fisher, for those who had been "misinformed down the years by a stream of imaginative screeds." In many ways his search for snippets of truth are as entertaining as the ghost story itself with James hunting down a lost map showing the whereabouts of Fred's body in the uncatalogued papers of a former cabinet minister.

Impression of Fisher.
The interconnected stories of Fisher, John Farley and George Worrall are covered but also a host of other characters connected with them, including the tale of Fred's bother, William and his lengthy efforts to secure his intestate brother's farm and other items. On March 24th, 1827 an auction of Fred's personal effects took place. In a letter to his mother William wrote "His personal property was sold for little or nothing and I was obliged to stand an idle spectator." Bidders included John Patrick, the Rev. Thomas Reddall and Chief Constable Burke.

Sadly, J.W. Downing died before he could see his work published. His wish was that everyone could have access to his manuscript and so on our website we have published Call Not Tomorrow Thine in PDF format.

The library would especially like to thank D. Tyssen and P. Stewart whose efforts have saved this manuscript so that it can be shared with others.
James Downing's manuscript.


  1. Looks interesting? Would it be possible to also have a link to the whole document in a single PDF?

  2. Hello Jara, as requested we have combined all chapters of the manuscript into one pdf file. It is located at the bottom of the page under Fred's image. It totals 15mb. Hope you enjoy it.

  3. Andrew
    How do you want this document cited?

    1. Hello Ian, we have no particular preference for any one style of citation but please acknowledgment the author James Downing. Call Not Tomorrow Thine was first uploaded Nov 2016 onto the Campbelltown City Library web page at URL
      Thank you

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Andrew, apologies for posting as an "anonymous user". Google is not letting me sign in with my gmail account. I am really glad to have found the work of Mr Downing. I noticed that the images are not included in the PDFs. Do you have access to these? How can we find them if they are avauilable please?
    Many thanks,
    Nick Manganas.