Historian, John Trengrove, has written a 40 page summary of Lhotsky's life with the focus on his time in Australia. based on his considerable research of contemporary newspapers,documents and academic books.
He was a Polish scientist and was awarded a PhD in 1919, spoke 6 languages fluently, and was a Fellow of the Royal Botanical Society of Baveria.
Lhotsy was also a non conformist, suspected of communicating with secret associations such as Italian Carbonari and the Freemasons.and in 1822 earned the displeasure of Metternich and was detained by Viennese police and held without trial for 5 years.
He arrived in Australia in 1832 and in 1834 began his self funded "Journey from Sydney to the Australian Alps", a journey of 3 months.
John Trengrove's book gived details of all the places visited. On passing through the Colony's Limits of Location, he was not impressed with Michelago and wrote "I found myself surrounded by absolute anarchy and lawlessness"
Perhaps his most valuable contribution was his "Statistical return of the principal stations on the Menero..."a list of 30 stations with the station name, owner, locality, numbers of cattle and sheep and how long since established.
He also took an interest in the Aboriginal people and his "Short Vocabulary of the natives of Menero Downs 1834" is included, the earliest record we have of the Ngarigo language.The last survivor of these people was Biggenhook who died at the age of 62 in 1914.
Additionally, he published "A song of the Women of the Menero tribe, near the Australian Alps", the first piece of sheet music to be produced in Australia, with words in Aboriginal, English and German.Unfortunately John was only able to track down the advertisement, in the Sydney Gazette of 1834, but not the actual sheet music and words. How wonderful if this sheet music and words has survived somewhere and could be made widely available.
Perhaps a researcher into Aboriginal languages or musicologist has located a copy ..a mystery. One can only imagine the words sung and their meaning!!
Also of interest is a table showing Journey dates with corresponding and modern named places and stations where Lhotsky stayed.
Finally, Lhotsky's return to London and his struggles and disappointments are summarised, leading to a sad ending of a remarkable life. Altogether a great read on a colourful character Copies of the book are available from John Trengrove, 78 Botha Ave, Reservoir, Vic, 3073 at $8.00 plus $1.50 for 1 or two copies.
If you missed out on John's booklet, "The Men from Snowy River" copies are still available for the same cost as the one on Lhotsky.
Graham Scully KHA Heritage Research