CHARLES BUSSELL was one of four Bussell brothers, sons of an English clergyman, who migrated to the Swan River Colony aboard the 'Warrior' in I830, Their family name became well established in the Southwest, and they had large landholdings in the vicinity of the town that now bears their name ? Busselton, Charles Bussell moved to Perth in I848 to set up in business as a storekeeper. He died in I856
CHARLES BUSSELL, WARRIOR, I829. Twelve days out
2 November. A sailor whose conduct had been most uniformly civil towards us all was seized today with a fit of the ague. We had long wished to make the fellow some acknowledgement of his very great civility & this we considered a favourable opportunity. We therefore sent to say that if he would like some Port wine, or any other little delicacy we might possess we should be very happy to supply him. We accordingly received from him in the course of the afternoon a message that he would be much obliged to us for the Wine we had promised him & and were not a little surprised and stagger'd at the appearance of the immense quart pot with which his request was seconded. This however we found to be the vessel, commonly denominated a pannikin, in which sailors are accustomed to receive their Grog & Drink of all descriptions. We did not therefore allow the magnifitude of the vessel to influence that of our present, but sent him just so much (and no more) as we thought might be of service to him, and he was not, as you will see in the sequel, at all insensible to our kindness. In the evening about six o'clock our noses were saluted by a most unwonted & sweet smelling savour. This was succeeded by a knocking at the door. The door was opened & in was usher'd by a friend of Morgans a large Basin containing a stew of potatoes & onions with the ship's beef washed till it comes perfectly fresh. The whole when well dous'd (and this was dous'd incomparably) forms a dish which would not by any means disgrace an English table. By us who had before tasted nothing like vegetables since our departure it was pronounced the most delicious meal we had almost ever eaten.
3 November. As I have no memorandum for today worthy of any notice, I think I cannot amuse you better than by giving you a further description of our friend the Sailor. To any of my friends who may be at all familiar with "the fancy" I believe I cannot describe him better than by saying that he is known by the names of 'William Morgan" or "Josh Hudson Black" as I understand he is a man of some celebrity in the profession of a prize fighter. To those who are not conversant in such matters, I would desire them to picture to themselves a strong muscular fellow of the sooty tribe standing six feet in height. Nature has not, as Byron says, used him very genteely, and the effects of this want of politeness on the part of the dame have perhaps been heightened by the enlargement of the cheekbones occasioned by perpetual battering, not to mention the loss of two or three teeth from the same cause. Notwithstanding this however he has the most good humoured countenance I ever saw. He is the very counter part of the English Bulldog. He tells us that he glories in fighting that he was bred in battle & that he hopes he shall die in battle, for that such is the proper end of the true prizefighter. As for myself I fear that I must confess that I am of a nature far too pacific to enter into the merits of his sentiments.
CHARLES BUSSELL, WARRIOR, I829. Nineteen days out
9 November. This morning we were awoke about 6 o'clock by the salutation of Morgan saying that today being Sunday he had bethought himself that a good fresh dinner might not be unacceptable to us & that he had therefore come for a little flour & a good piece of Beef if we had any. You will easily believe that we were not slow in supplying him with what he desired, & we had no cause to repent having done so for as you will presently hear. Towards the afternoon we saw him on his way down to our cabin with a large Iron Basin covered with a pewter plate which we used as a substitute for a tureen. We immediately followed, that we might not appear backward in our commendations of his culinary abilities, to say nothing of the desire of appeasing the hunger which the apparition had excited in us all.
He informed us that this dish was called a sea pie. The "elements" (I always like to know the "elements" of a dish before I ate of it, if you remember) are much the same as the former that I have described, except that this is occasionally interspersed with some very nice dumplings. Some of my fair friends will I fear be inclined to quarrel with me for entering thus deeply into the minutia of the kitchen, but they must know that our delicacies of this sort (for delicacies they are altho' provided by the brawny hands of a pugilist) an object of far greater consideration than they who are accustomed to look for comfortable and well dressed meals in regular succession might be inclined to imagine.
Your Voyage to the Swan River, particularly if you have Semphill or anyone who at all resembles him for your Charter will I am sure prove the truth of this assertion.
John & I went today by invitation from Mrs Byrne to dine in the Cuddy the dinner as we were apprised beforehand it would be, was very shabby the Wine execrable & scarcely any of it. The passengers are daily becoming more indignant at Semphill 's shabby treatment of them and it does not appear that they will be inclined to bear it peacably much longer a row appears to be brewing.
13 November. Such are the staple of our cabin passengers ( there are of course exceptions) & such are the men whom Semphill has flattered himself with the idea of cheating. With regard to the provisions with which he has provided us we have nothing of which we can complain with the exception of the bread and that is very, very bad. Our eyes are frequently turned wistfully towards our private stock but this we do not allow ourselves to break in otherwise than by taking half a biscuit now & then by way of treat as we are given to understand that towards the end of the voyage it will be much worse. This circumstance is the more provoking as our store of bread for the Swan River has been laid in by Semphill & is therefore probably the same as what we are now eating. It is now small consolation when this Idea occurs to reflect that we have a small portion of his money in reserve & that we can indemnify ourselves if such be the case. We finished the first of our two hams which it will be needless to say we found a great treat. We had intended as was proposed by our dear Mother to have kept them for our arrival at the Swan but on opening them we found that the hoppers had just commenced their in roads & thought it best & wisest plan therefore to consume them ourselves, before any material damage should take place.