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Currency Lads & Lasses

Two Years in New South Wales; comprising sketches of the actual state of society in that colony; of its peculiar advantages to emigrants by Peter Cunningham.........

Peter Cunningham was educated at the University of Edinburgh and appointed assistant Surgeon in the Royal Navy. He served on the coast of Spain during the Peninsular War and on the Great Lakes of America in the War of 1812 - 1814. He then served in the East Indies before being appointed as surgeon superintendent on convict ships to Australia - The Recovery in 1819, the Grenada in 1821, Recovery in 1823, Grenada in 1825 and the Morley in 1828.

He was granted 1200 acres in the upper Hunter. Select here to see the location of his grant which he named Dalswinton.

Allan W. Wood in Dawn in the Valley  wrote of Peter Cunningham -

Peter Cunningham named his farm after the Dumfriesshire estate of Dalswinton (the field of Swinton) where he was born in 1789. His father John Cunningham was the land steward at Dalswinton for Patrick Miller, a retired Edinburgh banker who spent his estate in pioneering the adventure of steam propulsion of ships, and is credited with being the first to propel a boat with a steam engine. The fifth and last son of John and Mary Cunningham was baptised Peter Miller Cunningham in honour of Patrick Miller.   Robert Burns was a neighbour and a friend, and it was at John Cunningham's table in the farmhouse that Burns first recited 'Tam O'Shanter'. (1)

Below are extracts from Peter Cunningham's book Two Years in New South Wales...etc in which he describes 'Currency Lads and Lasses'





Two Years in New South Wales: A Series of Letters, Comprising Sketches of ... By Peter Miller Cunningham



(1) Wood, W. Allan., Dawn in the Valley, The Early History of the Hunter Valley Settlement., Wentworth Books 1972., Sydney, p.55




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