First Impressions Of School

‘Come out from behind your mother’s dress and let me see you.’ This was the encouraging but scary voice of Sister Xavier.

I retreated further, but edged one eye around the folds of Mum’s skirt just long enough to see the ‘penguin outfit’; a full-length black dress with long sleeves and a cape, and a veil held in place by a stiff white detached yoke-like collar sitting over Sister’s shoulders and extending up her neck… and further… to cover everything other than her face from the eyes down. Nothing else was visible except her hands.

Blood thumped through my veins. I had never been so close to a nun and this image made me want to cancel school altogether. My excitement at the promise of this adventure was already dampened because there were so many people and so much noise… all a little overwhelming for a shy 5yr old.

Sister tried again. ‘A pretty girl like you should be out playing with the other children.’

My bottom lip quivered.

Sister Xavier circumnavigated my mother, her long rosary beads swinging from her waistband in the flurry. She patted me on the head, then left with, ‘You won’t cry when Mummy goes will you?

I stared at her and my gut lurched with the full force of realising I was about to be alone among all those people. This would be the first time I was separated from my whole family at once.

Terrified the tears would spill, I tried desperately to control my… by then… over-active lip. My mother took my shaking hand and led me through the sea of legs and excited children. She deposited me about ten feet from the closed building, kissed me on the forehead and, in her experienced-parent and past-teacher wisdom, made a quick exit.

Silent and still amid the chaotic uproar of giggling kids, crying kids, and chattering mothers lingering too long, I contemplated the myth that going to school was fun.

My fear was halved when I was held in the gaze of a boy sitting alone on the top step. He looked as though he couldn’t wait to rush inside away from everyone else, and I felt much the same. Our moment of connection was interrupted when water began to trickle from where he sat, over one step, then another… and yet another, to form a puddle on the path below. As a matching flow rolled down his cheeks and splashed onto his shirt, he looked past the gathering crowd to the safety of my compassion.

The bell startled me back to the school yard. Sister Xavier seemed to appear from nowhere. Heavy black cloth bounced inches from my eyes and the sound of clapping filled my ears.

‘Over here, children. Come along, it’s time for Mum to leave now. Boys here’, she said pointing to my right. ‘Girls behind Kathryn here’, she continued, patting me on the head for the second time that morning.

My face burned with embarrassment. My ears throbbed with increased heartbeat and sudden crowding from other young bodies. I glanced sideways to see if anyone had noticed and found the warmth of a knowing look from the boy who had sat on the steps and now stood in uncomfortable wet shorts as though nothing had happened.

I didn’t yet know his name, but I knew we would be friends.


Sister Xavier led the way up five cement steps, across the end of the enclosed verandah and into the largest room I had ever seen; except of course, the church.

I gazed in awe at the high ceilings and was hurried along to the first table in the front row. That my feet reached the floor when I sat back in the chair was equally astonishing to me. The small furniture contrasted with the enormous space which seemed almost undisturbed by the shuffling of around two hundred feet and Sister’s rushing from window to window as she released blinds. Strips of morning sunlight filled the room through long hung windows. Sister stretched her lanky body to reach the latches with the hook on the end of what looked like a broom handle, and pulled the top windows down about six inches. I was fascinated.

A lady in a floral dress appeared in the doorway and Sister Xavier hurried her inside. ‘Come along’, she motioned. ‘Come and meet the girls and boys… this is Missy, girls and boys… she’s going to help me teach you… say “Good morning, Missy” now.’

‘Good morning, Missy’, we all mouthed with varying degrees of energy. Hardly any sound passed my lips.

Missy smiled, but Sister Xavier cut off any response she may have had.

‘Now, I’m Sister Xavier and I’ll be teaching you this year.’

Sisters of Mercy at my school four years after my first day of kindergarten.
Sister Xavier is the tall one in the middle of the back row.
(Photograph from: The Catholic Church in Casino 1887-1987, p32)

Then came the rules, delivered to the beat of black shoes on wood and the rattle of beads, as she paced the floor:

  • ‘Line up as soon as the bell rings
  • Stand straight in line, and in body
  • No talking while lined up, or in school
  • No playing on the verandah… unless instructed to do so on wet days
  • At lunchtime, eat your lunch before playing
  • No crossing the lane between this building and the other classes
  • Keep away from the church
  • Say “Good morning, Sister” and “Good morning, Missy” at the beginning of classes, and “Good afternoon, Sister” and “Good afternoon, Missy” before we go home after classes…’

I looked around at intent faces.

‘…and always watch the front’, sister continued with emphasis.

I swung back towards the front and found her glaring at me, and instantly felt fire in my cheeks as I had earlier at line-up.

‘Girls’ ports and boys’ bags will be kept out there’, she went on pointing in the direction of a door which led to the back end of the enclosed verandah. ‘…and that will do for now… oh, except… if you’re good and do everything you should, you might get an early mark. Now we’ll listen to Kindergarten Of The Air… please Missy.’ She motioned towards a radio on a small table against the side wall.

Missy checked the station and I wondered what an early mark was: it must be something we would like if we got it for being good. I decided there and then to sit up straight, never talk, and never turn my head… so that I could find out.

Not talking in class was easy. Judy, the girl who shared my table, hung her head to one side and kept her mouth closed even when Sister told us to sing along if we knew any of the nursery rhymes. I pretended to sing even though I didn’t know the songs, for fear attention might again be drawn to me.

Not turning my head was more difficult. I was bursting to see where my friend from line-up was sitting, and had missed him in my momentary look earlier. Nevertheless, I resisted the temptation and was dutiful all day. So, it seems, was everyone else. In the afternoon, when we had folded our arms and rested our heads in them on the desk, Sister Xavier declared, ‘You have been such good children, you can all have an early mark! Good afternoon, girls and boys.’ She cradled her right ear with her hand in anticipation.

‘Good afternoon, Sister. Good afternoon, Missy’, the class chirped, and still my voice had next to no sound and Judy’s lips remained sealed.

‘Get your bags quietly now children, and we’ll see you for the bell at nine-thirty in the morning.’

Judy and I were last to collect our bags and stroll to the front of the building. We sat on the long bench seat under a tree of full shade and watched each other in silence. I wondered why there was nobody there to meet me and tried to work out what the ‘early mark’ was that Sister Xavier had promised. She didn’t seem to give us anything, certainly nothing that could be called a mark!

c. Kathryn Coughran ~ 26th February 2021

Click Here to find a Writing Exercise to help you explore your First Impressions of School.

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Looking Back and Forward

The motto of the College of Advanced Education where I studied in the late 70s and early 80s was Look to the Past and Future Together. The CAE has morphed since then and the motto has changed, but the original one has always resonated with me as I am a great believer in the preservation of history, and also how history informs the future.

This belief underpins most of my writing and other activities. It has, however, been enriched by the notion that in any given moment we are between what has been and what is to come.

‘Stating the obvious’, I hear you say.

Well, yes, it is… but how often do we fully focus on that moment? ~ the one I call ‘The Golden Moment’ ~ that space which is free of the past and the future, and is totally open to anything.

The decisions we make in that Golden Moment, whether conscious or subconscious, big or small, dictate what happens next (the immediate future) and whatever that is dictates the following outcome… and so on, building one on another, and again, and more… until we look back and wonder what we might be doing if any of these incremental decisions had been different.

Many of these Golden Moment decisions are inconsequential in the overall fabric of our lives; others can have a huge impact on us, and sometimes other people as well.

I am not suggesting we need to analyse our thoughts every second of every day. Of course not. What I am saying though is that it is easy to slip into the daily goings-on, especially if they are routine and have a sense of rhythm about them, and not think much about the bigger picture or the rolling away of days, weeks, and months… and dare I say it, years.

As someone who is approaching a significant ‘zero’ birthday, I think I am qualified to add ‘years’ to the list.

The past year would be a good example… an unprecedented year for everyone, a year we would all rather forget; but can’t for many reasons, not the least of which is that it has extended into 2021.

My strategy in difficult times has always been to take a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and focus on the possibilities rather than the negatives. 2020 was no different… the fires were first and, while we had to dash for our lives, we were spared and so was our home… our losses were significant, but small compared to those of many others in fire-affected areas.

Next was the onset of COVID-19 in Australia. My strategy here was the same, but this time putting one foot in front of the other didn’t mean charging out and getting on with life. It meant staying in and taking advantage of the time and space this afforded me. I had just assessed my 2020 writing achievements and set a ‘To Do’ list for the remainder of the year, so I battened down the hatches and focussed on my writing.

I wrote most days, spent long hours in my office and made much progress. By the end of the year, I was able to cross off many items on my list:

  • One manuscript went to my preferred publisher, and I am working through her considered suggestions with one of her colleagues. Was this on my list? Yes. Was my stated task completed? Yes. Is there a next step? Yes… I will continue to strive for publication of this manuscript, either with this publisher or via a different avenue.
  • While waiting for that manuscript to be read by others, I concentrated on research, note-taking and preliminary writing for a mixed-genre manuscript which is slowly but surely developing. Was this on my list? Yes. Was my stated task completed? Yes. Is there a next step? Yes… I will bring together the research I have done and continue writing sections of this manuscript.
  • I summarised notes and developed planning frameworks for two novellas. Was this on my list? Yes. Was my stated task completed? Partly… Is there a next step? Yes… I will write the draft of at least one novella.
  • My poetry chapbook manuscript was completed and travelled via Submittable to two international competitions. Was this on my list? Yes. Was my stated task completed? Yes, twice. Is there a next step? Yes… I will work towards publication of this Chapbook.
  • I continued to enter writing competitions, and was again shortlisted in the E.M. Fletcher Award, gained a place and received a certificate… not 1st place this time, but I am happy to have my work on their list. My entry, Survival, was published in the Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra (HAGSOC)’s Journal in December, as had my winning entry, All At Sea, the previous year. Was this on my list? Yes. Was my stated task completed? Yes. Is there a next step? Yes… I will submit to this competition again.
  • All At Sea was also published by Casino and District Family History Group (CDFHG) in August 2020. Was this on my list? No. Is there a next step? Yes… I will offer Survival to CDFHG for publication in 2021.

I am happy to report this progress on the above projects, and that these goals have been largely met. The bonus in listing them here is that it clearly shows the next steps I need to take. These are stated as affirmations and underlined at the end of each point above.

A re-assessment of my goals part-way through the year, based on the level of progress I had made, led to the removal of two items. The first, ‘Work towards publication of two poetry manuscripts’, was replaced by the expansion of my poetry chapbook and getting it out to a second international competition. Poetry manuscripts will find their way to my goals list again before too long. The second, ‘Embrace book promotion’, was/is not yet needed… but hopefully it will be before the end of 2021!

Next, I must face the fact that I have failed miserably in relation to my website and my social media presence. I made no progress here at all, and even posted far fewer times than any other year since launching my site. This continues to be true one month into the new year. There is no excuse for this, and the only explanation I can offer is the distraction of the events that have kept us all on tender hooks even when we thought they were not influencing us personally.

As I step through the space of this Golden Moment, with the past behind and future ahead, my promise is to increase my presence on my website and social media for the remainder of this year, while weaving my way through my new list of writing commitments.


This post relates to my Blogs ~ Moving Forward and Reflection On My Writing Year. Also Writing Exercise #26 ~ Take Stock Of Your Writing Goals and Ancestral Stories ~ All At Sea and Survival.


I would value your thoughts and feedback in the Comments section on this page.


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The following story, Survival, was short-listed and then awarded a certificate in the 2020 E. M. Fletcher Writing Award… sponsored by the Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc. (HAGSOC).

On behalf of the judges, Professor Peter Stanley, UNSW Canberra, said:

‘I’m delighted to say how impressed we were with the standard of entries: just to make the short list was a considerable achievement in such a field.’

The judges’ comments on Survival were: ‘Appealing and well-written, vividly imagining a story of a Scottish convict girl. Although verging on historical fiction, Survival evokes a young girl’s experience and is based on extensive research.’ 




Ann huddled in the doorway: watching, waiting… and shivering, as much from dread as from the icy wind teasing her inadequate clothing.

She covered the shoulders of her ragged dress with the soft wrap a kind woman – a true lady she was – deliberately let slip from her grip with an ever-so-slight tilt of her head and a catch of Ann’s eye, as she passed one afternoon in the mists of dusk. Ann had whispered ‘Thank you’ to the disappearing image of her benefactor’s back, and scurried away to find an overnight hide-out.

‘Wha yer lookin’ at?’ a sharp voice cut through Ann’s recollections.

‘Nothin’, Ann mumbled. She steadily returned the other girl’s gaze, despite her fear. She had not yet learned to quell the internal hysteria.

The girl swiped a bag of apples from the stall in front of her and vanished.

Ann was hungry, very hungry…

She waited until the marketeer was distracted, then swiftly filled her shawl with food and ran for her life. She was soon lost in the jostling crowd; swallowed by the noise of traders, shoppers and starving urchins rummaging around the cobbled streets of Edinburgh.

She steadied to a walk along Canongate, crouched behind some stairs to stash her haul down the front of her dress – held in place by the waistband and disguised by her wrap – and to gorge on a chunk of bread.

At night she slipped into the foyer of a church and hid among the stacked pews, covering herself with discarded newspapers. This shelter was the best she’d had for some time, and she managed a few hours’ sleep before dawn.

When she emerged, the apple-girl was waiting for her. They eyed each other in silence, then the apple-girl asked, ‘Der ye live ’ere?’

‘I live nowhere and anywhere’, was Ann’s considered reply.


‘No… you?’

The apple-girl shook her head. ‘I’m Margaret’, she said. ‘Der ye want to stay with me and m’ friends? We have a room in a widow’s house in Halkerston’s Wynd.’

Ann took a gamble. She nodded, thinking that staying with anyone would be better than the gut-wrenching aloneness she’d carried since her father died, her mother already having gone to God.

Margaret’s friends were her boyfriend and his mate. Ann kept herself separate from the lads to protect her privacy. If she turned towards the wall and covered her ears at night, she could almost pretend there was no huffing and puffing and moans of pleasure in the room. If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist, she thought.

Danial and Danny had a friend, William. He lived with his family in Cowgate and worked at the brass foundry. He was closer to Ann’s age and she felt safer when he visited.

Widow Marshall expected the fee for the room on time, and Ann didn’t dare ask how Daniel and Danny met this responsibility. Food was Margaret and Ann’s domain. Stealing produce was easier working in pairs and Ann felt less conspicuous in the clothes Margaret gave her.

She settled into the routine. She had a place to belong, shelter, and the feeling that life was improving.

One afternoon, less than a week after Ann moved in with her new friends, she and Margaret burst into their room giggling… and stopped in their tracks. Two policemen stood between them and the three boys. Silence bounced off the walls.

One of the officers held a pair of trousers and William groped for his own to cover himself. He’d been trying on a ‘new’ pair his friends had offered him, when the police arrived. Ann was acutely aware the white dress and petticoat she wore had come from the same place as the garment in the officer’s hand.


Ann stood, head bent forward, eyes cast down. The courtroom felt heavy, burdened with the weight of the thick dark wood that seemed to turn itself in on her… smothering her with dread. She focussed on the fall of her tattered skirt, fingered a hole, was pleased her clothes told of a tough life, lived rough. This, and giving her age as twelve, might help when it was her turn for judgement.

Sir William Rae, Lord Justice Advocate, addressed the Jury for the Crown, Mr Melville appeared for William and Mr Ferguson for Ann and her room-mates. Lord Boyle, Lord Justice Clerk, summed up the evidence for the Jury, who retired and took just thirty-five minutes to reach their verdict.

Ann listened as ‘habitual and reputed thieves’ Daniel and Margaret were sentenced to ‘life beyond the seas’… and Danny to ‘fourteen years’. William nudged Ann gently when the case against him was dismissed, there being no evidence he’d entered the Howard Place home of James Smith Mack, solicitor-at-law, and pilfered his family’s possessions. William was of good character, the court was told, and his family and neighbours insisted he was at home when the crime was committed.

Ann playfully nudged William back, then stiffened as her name burst forth into the Justiciary. ‘You have been found guilty of ‘reset of theft’, and will be transported for fourteen years…’ The Lord Justice Clerk’s words faded into the cheers and jeers of the unconstrained crowd.

William’s hand gently squeezed Ann’s and brought her back from the brink of collapse. Her eyes flooded and he whispered, ‘Stay strong’, as officers of the court dragged her from the dock and into a cell behind the courtroom.

She felt a pull in her chest drawing her back to William, but knew she would never see him again. She sobbed uncontrollably for this loss, and in terror of what lay ahead.


After five months in Edinburgh’s overcrowded jail, Ann and Margaret, and twenty-five other women endured the journey to London in chains.

Calton Jail, Edinburgh, where Ann was held before transportation.

There they were bundled onto the Princess Charlotte and ushered through the hatches and down to the prison deck; where they joined sixty-five English women and four children, all in caged enclosures. Ann clung to Margaret and moved quickly to avoid reprimand.

The prisoners were locked below for days while final preparations were made for the voyage to Australia, their only relief being exercise sessions between the rows of cages.

Boredom, frustration and testy moods caused rifts characterised by hair-pulling, squeals and threats. Between outbreaks, the atmosphere was thick with tension and stale air.

Terror kept Ann riveted on the spot, as far as possible from anyone but Margaret. An English woman, withdrawn like Ann, began to fit each time there were altercations.

Finally, the ship glided down the Thames until it reached The Downs, where the anchor was dropped.

The woman who’d been fitting was taken off the ship and returned to Durham Prison, and the body of a baby boy who’d died the previous day was taken away for burial. Ann begged the guards’ permission to read the bible to comfort the mother through the separation from her bairn. Many on the prison deck cried to the background of Ann’s words and the mother’s violent sobs.

With the newly-installed marine chronometer set to Greenwich Mean Time, the Princess Charlotte was at last clear to ride the seas. The creaking and groaning as the wooden sailing ship thrashed on the ocean was terrifying.

Ann clung to the bars and prayed they wouldn’t be dragged to the depths. Without warning, she threw up into a nearby bucket, her moans only softened by those of the other women. She rolled with the waves… and her sickness… for days, then gradually found her sea legs and assisted other sufferers.

A piercing scream cut through the prison when a tub of soup just out of the coppers fell down the hatchway onto the neck and back of an unfortunate woman.

Ann rushed to help and Doctor Cameron put her to work immediately. Alcohol and oil of turpentine were alternately applied, then cold vinegar and water kept the burn constantly wet to aid healing.

Ann sat with the patient while the doctor and nurse attended cases of dehydration. ‘We could use you in here every day’, the doctor said.

‘Could I?’ she asked, her face alive.

He smiled. ‘I’ll request it.’

Ann was blessed with little sea-sickness, and Margaret helped in the hospital too when she wasn’t herself a patient.

The Isle Of Wight slipped past, followed a week later by Cape Finisterre in heavy rain, driven by strong south-westerlies. Ann and Margaret prayed in the darkness with a desperately ill woman as she passed to a more peaceful place.

Days rolled by, swallowed by long hours in the hospital with grateful patients. Those prisoners well enough were allowed on deck for exercise and air when the weather was good enough for the scuttles to be open.

The prisoners who’d been constantly ill began to show signs of scurvy, a discovery that made everyone anxious to reach land.


Word quickly spread that Port Jackson was in view.

Ann and Margaret listened to the First Mate call instructions, the responses from crew members, and the slosh of the ocean as the ship rocked about steadying a course towards the shore. Sails clunked into position, flapped with the changing angle of the wind. Soon the top sails were lowered, and the anchor sliced through the water with an horrendous lurch.

The women wanted to rush from the ship. After 128 days in a floating prison, they were ready for whatever was to follow. They waited patiently – this being no time to make a fuss.

Hours passed. They ate their rations in silence, except for occasional whimpers from the weakest among them.

The smell of wet sand teased from afar…

When the hatches were opened the following morning, the women huddled around in anticipation.

The First Lieutenant took muster and announced cleaning duties for the coming days. The shocked women protested. Some cried openly. Disappointment pushed tears through Ann’s eyes and she struggled to contain them.

Dr Cameron offered to take the women on deck in small groups, so they could see land, smell the eucalypts, and quell their sense of urgency.

Ann filled her lungs and breathed deeply. She was taken by the brightness of the sky and the dark green trees framing the docks.

‘Won’t be long now’, Margaret whispered.

Ann nodded.


Although not travelling, the ship was busy. Frustration drove everyone to do their chores quickly and properly.

Five days after the Princess Charlotte dropped anchor, she was boarded by Australia’s Colonial Secretary, Alexander McLeay. He assessed the condition of every inch of the ship, interviewed the Master and crew, took a report from the Surgeon Superintendent on the condition and nutrition of the convicts, and completed a Convict Indent entry for each woman.

Ann was nervous, but pleased she could say she’d gained some nursing experience on the voyage.

‘That will help us place you’, he said and smiled at her.

Ten days later, the ship eased towards the shore. Ropes were lobbed from deck to wharf and the gangplank secured. The dock pulsed with activity, the screech of pullies and winches, and officials and workers bustling to and fro.

Anticipation and trepidation overwhelmed Ann.

Margaret put her arm through hers reassuringly, ‘We’ll ’ave each other.’

They stepped forward and bent to touch the earth, careful not to soil their newly-supplied convict clothing. A guard urged them into the dock-yard behind its new twelve-foot high sandstone wall, and into groups by alphabet. Ann clung to Margaret as she had to William in the Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh.

They were forcibly separated, and Ann was soon assigned as housemaid to Mr John Connor Esq. of South Creek. She was grateful not to be behind bars, but something had shifted in her with the shock of losing Margaret so suddenly.

‘Stay strong’, William had said.

Ann straightened her back, lifted her shoulders and pushed her chin forward. She was sixteen, alone, and obligated to a master in a strange land: she would have to rely on herself to survive. Staying strong was her only option.


Edinburgh 1826, showing locations significant to Ann _see map key.

c. Kathryn Coughran, 2020




The New Jail From Calton Hill ~ drawn by Thomas H Shepherd and engraved by W. Tombleson, in Modern Athens: a Series of Views of Edinburgh (p91), published by Jones & Co Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square 1829 – (Public Domain – British Library:


Hand-drawn (by the author) map of Edinburgh in 1826 showing:

  1. Street Markets ~ Canongate
  2. Relief Presbyterian Church ~ Fountain Close
  3. Room where Ann stayed with friends ~ Halkerston’s Wynd
  4. William’s family home ~ Campbell’s Close, Cowgate
  5. Home robbed by Ann’s friends, incl. her ‘new’ clothes ~ Howard’s Place
  6. Court of Justiciary ~ Parliament House, Parliament Square
  7. Calton Jail ~ Regent Street



  • Crown Office Precognition against Daniel Wheler, Daniel MacLaren, William Law, Margaret Desley, Ann Westwater for the crime of theft by housebreaking at Howard Place, near Edinburgh – 1826. (National Records of Scotland… Ref. AD14/26)
  • Newspaper Article in The Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland) Thursday 14th December 1826, p3. – (
  • 1826 In Scotland – (Wikipedia –
  • Modern Athens: a Series of Views of Edinburgh, published by Jones & Co Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square 1829 – (Public Domain – British Library:
  • Australian Convict Transportation Registers – Other Fleets & Ships, 1791-1868, p139 – 27th March 1827 from National Archives Microfilm Publication HO11. (The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surry, England [])
  • Australia Convict Ship Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1790-1849 in New South Wales Government, Musters and other Papers relating to Convict Ships. Series CGS 115. Reels 2417-2428. (NSW State Records, Kingswood, NSW [])
  • Ann Westwater Transported on the Princess Charlotte, 27th March 1827 – (Australian Joint Copying Project, entered in the British Convict Transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Qld from British Home Office records)
  • Margaret Desley Transported on the Princess Charlotte, 27th March 1827 – (Australian Joint Copying Project, entered in the British Convict Transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Qld from British Home Office records)
  • Free Settler or Felon? Convict Ship Princess Charlotte 1827 – Jen Willetts;
  • New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842 for Ann Westwater in State Archives NSW; Series NRS 12188. Item [4/4012]. Microfiche 665. (NSW State Records, Kingswood, NSW [])
  • NSW Convict Arrivals – Ann Westwater – (Genealogy Society of Victoria [Find My Past Record Transcription –])
  • Sydney and British Intelligence, in Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser (Hobart, Tasmania: 1825-1827, Friday 24th August 1827, p2)
  • Plan of Edinburgh 1826 ~ Drawn and engraved for the GPO directory, by John Bartholomew – (Public Domain – National Library of Scotland)