Landscape and Memory

February 24, 2010

I am a descendant of the Lancelot Fletcher of “Tallentire Hall” in Cumberland, England.  Lancelot was a successful Chapman who left a personal estate of £7060 when he died.  He sired eight children and my line springs from his third child and second son, his namesake Lancelot.

As was the tradition back then, the first son was the heir to the manor and lands, the second son went to the church and the third, to the military.  Lancelot II received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge and was Parson of the parishes of Deane and Lamplugh in Cumberland.  He was tested sorely, the facts tell that he buried his first wife, Susannah, and outlived four of their five children, then buried his second wife, Susanna, and outlived nine of their 12 children; who mostly died soon after their birth or before reaching the age of five.

My line continues with the third son of the second wife, Thomas, who was a Shoemaker/Yeoman in the time of the English Revolution (1640-60) when ‘Roundheads’ and ‘Cavaliers’ duked it out, and the unfortunate King Charles I was executed. 

I am merely one of hundreds upon thousands of descendants from the ‘Tallentire’ Fletchers, and through the first son of Lancelot, I am very distantly related to English Royalty, with multiple links to all the noble families of English aristocracy.  There’s quite a pedigree there that reminds me of horse-breeding genealogies, but my direct matrilineal line doesn’t obviously contain blue-blood nor did they marry blue-bloods.

My line was more humble, soulmakers and shoemakers, Quakers and coalminers, farmers and latter-born sons of latter-born sons, who had to make their own way in the world, without expectation of receiving an inheritance, and certainly not the lion’s share.

By the time my great-great grandfather John Fletcher and his wife, Sarah Boyd, with their four children emigrated to Australia in the 19th Century, the family had not held any land for a few generations, so there was nothing to inherit.

Sarah was to die at sea from bronchitis, a mere six weeks from landfall. It was an unfortunate ship they travelled on, the “Thomas J. Foord”, which a few years before their journey was known as a cholera ship.  Discrete sources I have found tell that this 19 week sea-voyage John, Sarah and their children took was particularly hellish and I wonder how long Sarah had been ill before she succumbed, and if there was a Ship’s Doctor available to tend her. 

I sense it was not her choice to emigrate, yet she acquiesced to her husband’s enthusiasm that they could have a better life, their children could have better opportunities in this far-away land.  They had heard the stories of the Gold Rush in Victoria, that a man could dig a hole in the ground and make his fortune.  Whatever John’s ambitions were, it all went sky-west and crooked before he even stepped ashore.

Three years after Sarah died, John remarried an Irish woman and sired another six children, the middle four children were to die during the diptheria epidemic which swept the Victorian goldfields in 1868. The children were between the ages of 18 months and 10 years, and all died within the timespan of one month.

In the Australian autumn of 1874, John trekked with his second wife, son Jacob (my great-grandfather) and his three youngest daughters to occupy and farm Block 36 in Jeffcott.  Land offered under The Grant Land Act of 1869 which imposed strict conditions in an attempt to ensure that only bona fide selectors were recommended. Each applicant, after selecting not more than 320 acres, was required to appear before a Local Land Board for assessment.  When the License was approved, the selector was required to live on the allotment, to fence it, and within the first three years to cultivate at least one acre in ten. He had to pay an annual rental of two shillings per acre, which after three years, entitled him to be issued with a Lease, and at the end of a ten year period, or on full payment of one pound per acre, to the issue of a Crown Grant (title).

In 1874 the first settlers wended their weary way to the then waterless and plain. The first houses were calico and water tanks in wagons or drays told all too plainly of the long journeys for water.  On the way some of the settlers were met by men who told them they were mad going to the Wimmera plains – no water and no feed for man or beast.

~ The Horsham Times (date unknown)

The Wimmera borders the Sunset and Big Desert lands of north-west Victoria; it is the complete opposite of the spectrum to the lush and verdant landscape of Cumberland. 

My great-great grandfather named his selection “Harvest Home” and in time his son, my great-grandfather Jacob, also applied for a selection, yet after his father died, the expectation and obligation fell on him to assist his step-mother and youngest step-sister with working ‘Harvest Home’.  This meant he had little time or energy to work his own 320 acres and he fell into debt an eventually lost his land – an event his grandchildren (my mother and her siblings) never really forgave him for!

The step-sister went on to marry advantageously, her descendants accrued wealth and property in the Wimmera region and profited from working the land, while my direct line became ‘town-people’ and neither lived or worked on the land.

In March 2009, I returned to this small Wimmera wheat-town with a mission to find these selections and connect a few more dots.  My uncle-by-marriage, who had been born, bred and buttered in this region for 83 years, was a wealth of information and my chauffeur.  His insights and stories added flavour to the facts.  His opinion that 320 acres was too small a selection for anybody to work and make a decent profit from is born out in the stories of the many selectors who failed; and more failed than succeeded in those early years. 

We spent hours driving around the Jeffcott area on dusty roads and among wheat-fields on this glorious March day; not too hot and not too breezy.  Finally, we found the selection that had been “Harvest Home”, and drove up this lovely avenue of tall sugar-gum trees that had been planted, as saplings, by my great-great grandfather and great-grandfather.  The original home had long been demolished and replaced by a charming red-brick Edwardian, so the only traces of my ancestors were in the trees they had planted, the dams they had excavated and the fields they had cleared.

Life in the 19th Century was really hard yakka. Survival of the fittest and the canniest in a drought-parched land. 

A previous family historian wrote a compelling biography about  my great-grandfather, who went on to hold several prominent positions and was very involved in local politics and business; a man of importance who ended up being scapegoated; blamed for a theft of a container of grain, that to this day nobody knows who really stole. 

My great-grandfather was set-up and when informed that he would be hauled off to gaol, chose instead to make a midnight-flit, leaving (abandoning) his wife and four children and staying away for about 12 years.  It was a huge scandal at the time and Jacob was never really exonerated, the real culprit or culprits never found, and in the absence of hard evidence to prove his guilt or confirm his innocence, the small-town rumour mill had a field day and dined out on the story for years.

Suffice to say that the actions of my great-grandfather had a detrimental impact on the generations that followed him.  He lost his land, he lost his position, he lost his power and he lost his pride.  I wonder about Jacob and how the death of his mother affected him just three weeks before his sixth birthday, and how traumatic that hellish 19 week sea-voyage must have been for a child of such tender years.

When I wrote yesterday’s post, I had completely forgotten about this scapegoating/outcasting event in my great-grandfather’s life and how he didn’t steel himself to face the music and fight to have his name cleared.  I can only muse that the accusation devastated him after all he had done for the town and it’s people. There is very little oral history about this time in his life that got passed down, in keeping with the family tradition of not discussing anything that would be remotely distressing.  The details that I do have were excavated decades after the event, and the only solid observation that passed down was that Jacob’s wife, my great-grandmother, was critical of him, which his eldest child and daughter (my grandmother) opined, “wasn’t very helpful”.

Previous family historians have tried to get to the bottom of this mystery, to clear the stain on the Australian Fletcher name just for the record, to add a footnote to the biography that is held by the local Historical Society.  The difficulty there is that in solving the mystery, one would have to find the culprit, and I betcha their descendants wouldn’t thank you for the information. 

Sometimes it is better to let sleeping dogs lie and dream their dreams of running through fields of wheat. 

Yield to the current of life .... unencumbered by baggage.

The main healing quality of the Australian Bush Flower Essence, Boab, is to clear the negative patterns of the ancestors – the limiting, dysfunctional, emotional and mental beliefs and patterns that are invariably learnt and passed on from generation to generation. Boab can access and clear these core patterns and all the related ensuing beliefs.

Sai Baba said that there  were two crucial things that needed to happen for human consciousness to rise to a higher level and move into the new age. One of these was the need to release all the emotional baggage that we pick up from the family.

Boab is helpful for people who have experienced abuse, persecutions or prejudice. It is also for clearing the environment of negative energies. Boab offers us great strength and the opportunity to perceive our true spiritual essence, unencumbered by the layer upon layer of ancient and outmoded models of behaviour and thinking that are not what or who we really are.

The Doctrine of Signatures of the Boab tree is extremely interesting. It is quite common with this tree to have younger Boab trees growing around it in a circular pattern. These smaller trees are eventually engulfed by, and merge into, the older adult tree, once more pointing to the theme of family enmeshment which the Boab Essence addresses.

In this particular case it is emphasising the insidious manner in which young children invariably become caught up in the long existing family patterns. Also, when the flower has withered, died and turned brown you will see it being clasped tightly by the tree which seems to have a real reluctance to let anything go. No one can easily break free from and escape the behavioural traits that travel down the family tree.

Interestingly, the Boab tree is also known as the bottle tree because it has a reservoir of fresh water stored in the trunk. Water, symbolically, is associated with the emotions, and the fact that this tree stores water is indicative of the deep emotions that the essence addresses. The creamy white flower with its tuberose-like scent is pollinated at night by moths. Night and darkness relate to the subconscious mind and Boab’s healing sphere of action is very much directed to this area.

It has been indicated through channelling that the Boab tree is not originally of the earth but was given as a gift, in times past, from the star system Pleiades.  The essence derived from the Boab is one of the most powerful healing forces from which Ian White, the creator of the Australian Bush Flower Essences, has ever worked.

The Boab tree that Ian White was directed to by Spirit, to make the mother tincture, was a tree over 1200 years old, which was used late in the 19th Century to house chained prisoners (predominantly Aboriginal). They were locked up overnight inside the hollowed tree, awaiting their court appearance in the morning.  In mediation, Ian asked why it was that the essence had to be made from the prison tree. The message came back that human consciousness has been in chains for thousands of years and that this is the essence to break those chains.

I create my own reality which is now free of all persecution and abuse.

If there is one key scenario you keep repeating lifetime after lifetime you will invariably attract a family or cultural structure that will cause this pattern to be repeated. The Boab essence will access and clear those core patterns and the connected beliefs and repetitive lifetime situations.

Boab works on the spiritual level initially and then on the mental and emotional; it also has to do with clearing karma of past actions. If, in the past, an individual has acted in a detrimental way towards another then, when that injured person returns to earth in a new incarnation, they will carry with them a dark line of energy which is connected to the person who originally harmed them. This energy line will almost invariably bring them into contact with each other so as to commence the readdressing of the karma – Sacred Contract.

The Boab will clear this negative/dark line of energy. Often if there are negative patterns operating between two people there can be lack of understanding at a conscious level as to why they are acting in a strange way towards each other. When that spiritual dark line is cleared so too is the confusion about understanding the other person’s behaviour.  Quite often they may have an insight regarding the situation or else have it revealed to them either through dream or in meditation.

For over 200 years, homoeopathy has strongly asserted and worked on the premise that an individual’s wellbeing and health disposition is, to a large extent, determined by the disease states from which his or her ancestors suffered. If, for examply, syphilis had been present in the family tree, then future generations would be more prone to destructive illnesses of the tissues, such as heart disease and ulcers. But if gonorrhoea had been present then arthritis or conditions of excess growth, such as warts and tumours, would show up further down the family tree. These genetic tendencies to pass on disease predispositions are referred to as “miasms”.  The deeper-acting homoeopathic remedies have been shown to modify or clear these miasms. Boab also has that ability.

Boab is a very important and incredibly powerful essence that brings about profound personal transformation; it also helps to bring about tremendous positive change on this planet by healing the collective consciousness. (Source “Bush Flower Healing” – Ian White)



  1. Our ancestors had such unimaginably difficult lives compared to our own. But I guess they did what they had to do to survive and prosper as best they could. We need to think of them when our own going gets tough, I think!

  2. But for an act of nature – premature birth – my father’s family would have been Australian too. So they settled in the land of the Baobab tree (the very same boab you know) and made the best of it. The essence of Boab is a beautiful thing; it fits perfectly with their stately, protective “otherness”. A tree from the “before” times.

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