Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Smythe, Sultan of the Cerebellum

I was trawling today, as is my habit, amongst the digitized newsprint of the 19th century journals of the day, fishing for any item, be it minnow or marlin, that might give me insight into Smythe's life and character and today I got a bite.

It seems that in July of 1855 Smythe did not go straight to South Australia as I had thought but under the influence of the Australian sun, three months of salt air, ship's library books and his natural 21 year old's enthousiasm fueled by his intellectual life at Robson and Levey, set himself in as one of the honourable secretaries of the Victorian Institute and Philosophical Society which had just been formed and was awaiting royal grant for it's charter, being to develop Victoria through science and education by instrument of original researches and papers of it's members. Well this is a turn up. I did notice he noted as R.S.Smyth, not quite ready to abandon his bog-standard Smithness in favour of his now well known and bespoke monicker.

But he didn't stick around. I know he left for South Australia soon afterward's to take up as Parlimentary Reporter on the South Australian Register, a paper which I have been reading much about lately and about which I will emblog anon.

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