Wiseman's Ferry is a small settlement on the Hawkesbury River, not far from Newcastle, here in Australia. The story of how the area came to be so-named makes for interesting reading.
Of course, he was a Reprobate
And a Confidence Trickster too,
But I can't help but admire him
For the way that he pulled through.
His name was Solomon Wiseman,
A rather splendid name,
And from the South of England
To our Newcastle he came.
He ran a sloop from the Folkestone coast,
In the British Government's pay,
Carrying spies to land in France
Where Napoleon held sway.
And he often strolled on Folkestone beach
Looking smart and spry,
In a velvet jacket of brightest blue
With a telescope to his eye.
But Solomon's downfall was overdue!
The Government clipped his wings
When they found he was coming back from France
With wine and other things!
Yes, he'd been smuggling all the time
As a Double Agent, no less,
And he was hastily thrown in jail!
So much for his success!
As was the custom in far-off times,
He was shipped to New South Wales,
Where convicts were treated brutally
In rat-infested jails.
But, because he'd given good service,
Even with feet of clay,
He was released after just four years
And sent on his merry way.
He was given a parcel of bushland
On the banks of the Hawkesbury River,
And because his fortunes then improved,
I trust he thanked the giver!
At the very time he settled there
Road-building was under-way.
More and more convict labourers
Arrived there every day.
But they could not cross the Hawkesbury!
So what does Solomon Wiseman do?
He builds a sturdy ferry!
The 'powers that be' in Sydney
Were grateful as could be,
And they paid him handsomely year by year,
A very tasty fee.
He went on to become wealthy,
His house was large and grand.
He owned hostelries and businesses.
He was known throughout the land.
And his ferry's still in use today
As the area's remote,
And people enjoy a little trip
On Solomon Wiseman's boat.
But the man himself, I very much fear,
Didn't cover himself with glory.
In fact, he's now become a ghost!
(But that's another story!)