Farm servant Frances Hammond is full of courage

WOMAN OF STRENGTH: Frances Mary Hammond nee Tully. Photo: Crookwell and District Historical Society.

WOMAN OF STRENGTH: Frances Mary Hammond nee Tully. Photo: Crookwell and District Historical Society.

Frances Mary Hammond nee Tully arrived free on board the ship “Isabella” in 1840 aged 18 years. She was a farm servant sponsored by Mr John Fahey.

Born 1822 in Ballynakill, County Galway, Ireland, died 10 Oct, 1891 Toowoomba, Qld Australia.  Her father was Michael Tully and her Mother was Mary Lalley. Frances was married in 1842 in Goulburn NSW to James Hammond. He was born 1795, Kent England, died 20 Aug, 1891 Dutton Park, South Brisbane, Qld Australia. 

James Hammond was convicted in Kent, England and sentenced to seven years transportation.  He was taken from jal to the ship “Bussorah Merchant” which left England on the 24th March, 1828 for transportation to New South Wales.

They settled at Grabben Gullen, and reared a family of 10 children all born at Grabben Gullen. Women living in the bush had a very hard life and dealt with many traumas. A great deal of courage was needed to handle everyday life. In 1865 Frances displayed great inner-strength she was bitten by a snake.

The correspondent of the Goulburn Argus at Grabben Gullen writes as follows, under date of November 25th, 1865:

On Wednesday, the 22nd, about 7 o’clock in the evening, as Mrs James Hammond, of Grabben Gullen, was looking after some pigs that were in the sty close to the house, she felt something bite her toe, and looking down she discovered a large snake. She made all possible speed to the house, and got a young man that happened to be there at the time to chop off one of the small toes together with a portion of the outside of the left foot.

Mrs Hammond displayed the greatest courage on the occasion, as she held her foot tightly grasped round the ankle on a block for the operation. The young man in the meantime, provided with a tomahawk and axe, laid the tomahawk along the outside of her foot from the small toe and then struck it down with the axe. He had to repeat the blow four times before he took the piece clean off.

It seems the man was only recovering from the kick of a young horse received some ten minutes previously, so that after he gave the first stroke he became faint, and Mrs Hammond had to tell him to go on and take the toe right off which he did after four blows.

Mrs Hammond is without a doubt one of the stoutest-hearted women I ever beheld, as she endured all without a murmur.  It is most wonderful to see the boot she had on at the time, as there is the mark of six of the snake's teeth right through the upper part, and the same six marks were in the toe, which was bleeding freely.  

She felt rather unwell all night and part of next day, but she is now, I am glad to say, doing as well as can be expected, and she is considered out of danger.

The Hammond family is recognised as an integral part of settlers.

Quoted from “The Bells of Saint Marys” By Rev. Brian Maher.

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