Arthur Gliddon

Arthur William Gliddon (1821-1890) was a mere boy by our standards, just fifteen when he set off all alone to South Australia on the Africaine. He had been engaged by John Morphett, who traveled on the Cygnet. Gliddon left one lively letter, written to his brother as the ship sailed into the Cape of Good Hope. This letter described some of his fellow passengers and also referred to a journal that had ‘slipped down into the hold’, leaving us wishing the journal had survived as well. Gliddon traveled as an intermediate passenger, but recorded that he was invited to eat at the captain’s table once each week, a distinction he noted with adolescent satisfaction. In his letter Gliddon seems like an optimistic young man, but typically for his age, he provided little insight into his deeper thoughts or feelings. He was to live a long life in South Australia, eventually becoming a banker. In 1845 he married nineteen year old Marguerite Louise Bellairs. Their early life together was marred by the deaths of their first three children, either at birth or very soon afterwards. Marguerite went on to give birth to seven children, only two of whom survived infancy. This was an unusually high death rate for the time. Arthur Gliddon died in 1890 at the age of 69 and was buried in the Brighton cemetery. His wife survived him by 33 years.

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