Aboriginal people inhabited Australia for many thousands of years before Captain Cook discovered it for the Europeans in 1770. The first British settlement was in 1788, a penal colony in the state of New South Wales. The northern part of the country lured free settlers from England and the state of Queensland was declared in 1859.
In the 1860s the Tolls arrived from Bedfordshire in England. They were builders but Benjamin was also something of an historian and in his later years he wrote many of his memories. One of these he called ‘The memories of a Tortoise Shell’. His language was so poetic and the sentiments he expressed so profoundly human that his great granddaughter Mary Anneeta Mann wrote this little play TORTOISE SHELL, based upon his story.
And your grandchildren’s children
Will come with the artifice
To polish the work of your hand
And to joy in the splendor of the sun shining
On their native land.