Historical information

The original owner of this book seems to have been John Bland. He is most important in the early history of Port Fairy and had a business in Port Fairy with John Cowtan (corn millers and general merchants). The Cowtans originally had land in the vicinity of the Cassady property of Boughton, Merri River (in Caramut Road near Cassady’s Bridge today) and were related by marriage to the Cassadys. A later owner of the book was William Anderson whose father came to the Yangery district in 1854 and established the property of Rosemount and William remained in this area until his death in 1909. The Andersons were related by marriage to the Cassadys and this book came to us following a clearance sale at the Cassady property, Boughton.


This book is of great interest as its ownership probably dates back to the 1840s. It is associated with the families of Bland, Cowtan, Cassady and Anderson, all early settlers in Warrnambool and district.

Physical description

This is a brown leather-covered book of 271 pages. The cover has gold decorative borders and patterns and gold lettering. The pages are gilt-edged. The book is the fourth edition of volume one of a Robert Southey poem and has a Preface and Books 1 to 5 with Notes. The inscriptions are handwritten in black ink. One signature has not been deciphered.

Inscriptions & markings

‘Wm. Anderson’
‘John Bland’