Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gold and Silver are Money - My Title Deed Says So

Your blogger is currently in the process of buying some Sydney real estate. I have just been sent the contract for sale from the other party and I note with interest it lists the original owner of the estate, that was subsequently subdivided. It seems the land was originally purchased from the crown by James King on 21st January 1839. I have seen many sales contracts in my investing career and never have I noted the text "resn all mines of gold & silver" (under the date).

So it seems Queen Victoria as sovereign of the colony of New South Wales was willing to sell 150 acres of ridge top bushland with no permanent water, that could be only be accessed by row boat across a choppy shark invested harbour, but damn it she wasn't going to give title to any gold and silver found on that land - because they, even in the fledgling colony of New South Wales, were Money!

Here is were we get into some strange Australian history. Gold was 'officially' unknown the colony in 1839. But proving government conspiracies are nothing new gold had actually been discovered in three different places in 1823, 1839, and 1841, though the government of the colony chose to suppress this information fearing a mass exodus from Sydney. In 1848 these fears were realized, but not due to gold discoveries in New South Wales, but due to the gold rush in California.

From wikipedia: ......to stem the exodus of people from New South Wales the colonial government decided to alter its position and encourage the search for payable gold. In 1849 the colonial government sought approval of the Colonial Office in England to allow the exploitation of the mineral resources of New South Wales. A geologist was requested and this led to the appointment of Samuel Stutchbury.[5] A reward was offered for the first person to find payable gold. Twenty-eight years after the Fish River discovery a man named Edward Hargraves discovered a 'grain of gold' in a waterhole near Bathurst, this was in 1851.[6]


A blowup of the text below the date above

I dug a little bit deeper into this story and found the following entry in the Sydney Gazette from 22nd April 1839, listing the actual transfer.

 

Queen Victoria looking down on the citizens of Sydney in Martin Place today, and she is not amused.