The themes Caroline Carleton wrote about


Caroline Carleton was a South Australian poet, born in England, who is best known for her prize-winning poem Song of Australia, which, put to a tune by Carl Linger was used as a patriotic song in South Australian schools and elsewhere, and one of four in a national plebiscite to select a National Song in 1977.

She was born Caroline Baynes, at Bonnar's Hall (also written Bonner's Hall), Middlesex near London, the youngest child of bookseller William Baynes (29 May 1760 – 7 January 1832) and his second wife Mary Ann (née Bailey) (1771 – 1862). Although her birthdate is generally given as 1820, this may have been a useful fiction, as baptism records give the 1811 date. She was highly intelligent and received a good education; she could converse in French and Italian, as well as being well-versed in Latin; she played pianoforte and harp. In 1836, at West Hackney (perhaps on York Road near modern Dalston?), she married Charles James Carleton (ca.1814 – 20 July 1861), a medical student working at Guy's Hospital and who could claim a family connection with the Earls of Dorchester. Together with their two young children they left for Australia in 1839, on the Prince Regent. It was a rough passage and both children died and were buried at sea. The passengers disembarked at Glenelg on 26 September 1839.

Charles' activities

After a few false starts making cordials,castor oil, and other commodities, Charles (who never completed his degree) became around 1844 medical dispenser to the Colonial Surgeon, Mr. James George Nash F.R.C.S. They may have resided at the Adelaide Hospital, where Caroline had two more children. In 1842 he was assayer with Alexander Tolmer's expedition to Mount Alexander which subsequently escorted a quarter of a ton of gold to Adelaide. In 1845 he and a Dr. Davy built a trial lead-smelting furnace. In 1847 they moved to Kapunda, where Charles was employed as assayer and perhaps as medical officer.

In 1849 they returned to Adelaide, where he opened a chemist's shop at 37 Hindley Street, then in August 1851 to ca.51 Rundle Street He visited the gold diggings at Forest Creek, Victoria, perhaps working as an assayer and gold buyer, and returned to his Rundle Street shop with new advertising directed at miners.The shop was taken over early in 1853 by James Parkinson and throughout 1853 to May 1854 he was selling bottled English porter and stout at Blyth's Building, Hindley Street.

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