Don’t Tell Me What To Do

As I walked home this afternoon I noticed a bit of renovation work underway in my back laneway. As I wrote a few weeks ago,

For as long as I’ve lived in Surry Hills, I’ve been quite intrigued by a warehouse located on Wiltshire Street. It’s remained a bit of a mystery for me. I’ve never known how many people live in there or what they do. But they’ve always held some fascination for me, as I’ve imagined a “Barbery Lane”-like living arrangement you might associate with “Tales Of The City” They’ve held legendary laneway parties. They’ve experimented with some artwork, including a concrete television. And they’ve maintained a gorgeous “garden in tubs” which has helped decorate an otherwise unimpressive laneway.

But obviously something’s happened, or something’s gone wrong, or something’s just changed, because the building is not under renovation. There’s a large piece of mechanical equipment, a large empty space, and a dirt floor where there used to be a rather interesting living arrangement. I’ll await with interest the next chapter in the Story of Wilshire Lane.

Otherwise, for me it’s been a day at the library doing family history research.

After a bit of a break from research over the last few months I’ve been throwing myself back into research lately. Last weekend, I traveled to Wollongong to meet so me distant relatives with an interest in our common ancestry. And tomorrow I’m planning to head off to Waverly Cemetery to locate the grave of another ancestor (apparently she has great views).

But today I went to the State Library and the State Records office in research of further details about my ancestor, John Love. From what I’ve learned so far, he was a bit of a wild man who often got into fights, and, although he came to Australia as a free settler in 1791, ended up in a bit of a life of crime.

I found a terrific document about him today, a court record from his time in the NSW Corps where he was found guilty, and later pardoned on a charge of Insolence. Also in my family history I have two convict ancestors who were court martialed. Obviously I come from an ancestry of people that don’t like being told what to do.

John Love from NSW Corps charged with insolance, later remitted
John Love who had treated the Summoning Officer with Insolance when he served a summons upon him from this Court, and had refused to obey such summons, alledging that he was soldier appeared to answer to the matter in question, and n consequence of his continuancy and his general bad character (as imparted by Major Foveaux and others) was sentenced to receive 50 lashes, to be imprisoned one month, to find functions for his future good behaviour and to pay Baker the balance of his wheat

It’s also been a day for making catch-up arrangements in the lead-up for Christmas, and in catching up with news that a good friend is in hospital right now. He’s in intensive care, but doing well, so if you’re so inclined please say a prayer for him.

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