//
you're reading...
Australian History

December 27, 1803 – Convict William Buckley escapes, spawning the Australian phrase “Buckley’s chance”


William Buckley

William Buckley

William Buckley was born in Marton, Cheshire, England in 1780.

He arrived in Australia as a convict, and was a member of the first party of Europeans to attempt the first settlement at Sorrento, on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.

On 27 December 1803, soon after his arrival, he escaped from custody.

Despite the friendliness of the local indigenous Wathaurong people, Buckley was concerned they might turn hostile, and initially chose to try to survive on his own.

However, he soon realised his inability to fend for himself in the harsh bushland, and he sought out the Wathaurong again.

On his way, he happened upon a spear stuck in the grave of a recently deceased member of the tribe; the Aborigines, finding him with the spear, believed he was their tribal member returned from the dead, and greeted his appearance with feasting and a corroboree.

Buckley spent the next 32 years living among the indigenous Wathaurong people.

Bridging the cultural gap between Europeans and Aborigines, he gained many valuable bush skills and was a crucial factor in reconciliation in those early days.

To keep the peace between the two races, Buckley gave himself up to free settler John Batman’s landing party on 7 July 1835.

Ultimately, Buckley was pardoned and became a respected civil servant. The Australian saying “Buckley’s chance” means to have a very slim chance, and was spawned by his amazing story of survival in the bush.

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,817 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

As early as 2005 John Gersham and Melvin Goodman alerted against the trend of an over-militarized US foreign policy. The warning has been a recurrent theme of American debate, although it gained little traction. The debate recently spilled into mainstream media with The Economist averring that “an over-militarized foreign policy that embraces unrealistic objectives is liable to fail.” […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Children account for 15 per cent of Australian farm deaths, says AgHealth study – 15 per cent of farm deaths are children under 14 years old, according to an AgHealth Australia study; A Ballarat farmer says she is shocked almost one in six … Australia’s first body image program for…

China in the News: July 20, 2021

China in the News: July 20, 2021

Ford unveils lower-priced Mustang Mach-E in China to qualify for subsidies – Previously, this was the only Mach-E priced low enough to qualify for China’s EV subsidies. It was joined by Extended Range RWD and AWD versions as well as the … NZ in ‘position of vulnerability’ over China hacking accusations – New Zealand has […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression. COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Fauci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Race on for Australian rare earth supplies as fears grow over China’s market ‘monopoly’ – It comes two years after David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, visited a rare earths mine near Laverton in outback Western Australia just days into the … Swim league to be launched in…

China in the News: July 19, 2021

China in the News: July 19, 2021

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China – Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession. According to China’s state-run Global … Commentary: A pity China can’t seem to ditch its wolf warrior diplomacy – Despite recent exhortations from President […]

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

In the face of North Korea and China’s continuous expansion and advancement in their nuclear arsenal in the past decade, the nuclear question for East Asian countries is now more urgent than ever—especially when U.S.’s credibility of extended deterrence has been shrinking since the post-cold war era. Whether to acquire independent nuclear deterrent has long […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
New study reveals history of Aboriginal trade with foreign visitors before British settlement – They are markers of an annual Asian occupation of the northernmost tip of Western Australia that remains a mystery. “This is an unknown part of Australian … Lolesio kicks 14-man Australia to win to seal series…

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China threat: Australia detects two Chinese spy ships ahead of a major US missile launch on Sunday – AUSTRALIA has detected “unusual” spy activity from Beijing after a second high-tech Chinese military ship was spotted approaching the Queensland coast ahead … Chinese in S. Korean entertainment industry face backlash – Some Chinese K-pop stars deemed […]

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

CHINA has set out to overthrow the global liberal system in favour of a more compatible “authoritarian” order, a former CIA officer has stated. The Chinese leadership has set out to replace the international rules bases order, a former US intelligence analyst has warned.  Nicholas Eftimiades, an expert on China, has warned that Xi Jinping‘s regime believes […]

%d bloggers like this: