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Gypsy Folk Tales, by Francis Hindes Groome, [1899], at

In Australia.

To transportation Australia certainly owed its earliest Gypsies. In 1880, a few months before his death, Tom Taylor wrote to me:--'The only Gypsy I ever knew who had travelled among "the people" was one Jones, who used to drive a knife-grinding wheel at Cambridge. Having "left his country for his country's good" in the old transportation days, he had made his escape from Australia, and, the ship aboard which he had stowed himself putting into a Spanish port, had landed, met with some of the Zincali, and travelled with them for some time. He was looked on as a master of "deep Rommany" among the Gypsies round Cambridge.' Mr. MacRitchie has a letter containing a longish list of wealthy Australian Gypsies, whose grandsires were bitchadé párdel ('sent over'); yet, according to the Orange Guardian of May 1866:--'The first Gypsies seen in Australia passed through

p. xviii

[paragraph continues] Orange the other day en route for Mudgee. Although they can scarcely be reckoned new arrivals, as they have been nearly two years in the colony, they bear about them all the marks of the Gypsy. The women stick to the old dress, and are still as anxious as ever to tell fortunes; but they say that this game does not pay in Australia, as the people are not so credulous here as they are at home. Old "Brown Joe" is a native of Northumberland, and has made a good deal of money even during his short sojourn here. They do not offer themselves generally as fortune-tellers, but, if required and paid, they will at once "read your palm." At present they obtain a livelihood by tinkering and making sealing-wax. Their time during the last week has been principally taken up in hunting out bees' nests, which are very profitable, as they not only sell the honey, but, after purifying and refining the wax, manufacture it into beautiful toys, so rich in colour and transparency that it would be almost impossible to guess the material' (quoted in Notes and Queries, 28th July 1866, p. 65).

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