Like a Wicked Noah's Ark: The Nautical School Ships 'Vernon' and 'Sobraon'
- Usually Ships Within 7 Days
Media: BOOK - paperback, 388 pages
Author: S. Luke
Other: b&w photos, sketches, bibliog, appendixes, index
Step back in time to the 1860s Sydney, when raged children populated the harbour city's slums, picking pockets and scraping a living selling matches and watercress. Neglected youths formed the city's gangs, thieving and assaulting the unwary. These 'larrakins' often ended up in gaol, and received a thorough criminal education from Faginesque professors of the art.
In 1867 a solution to this problem was found. Fitted out for the reception of New South Wales' delinquent and abandoned boys, a Nautical School Ship was moored permanently within sight of Circular Quay on Sydney Harbour. The colony's prisons were stripped of their young inmates, who were then herded together in their dozens - and later, hundreds - on board.
'Like a Wicked Noah's Ark' is the full and close-up history of this ground-breaking experiment in juvenile reformation, which operated continuously until 1911 on the 'Vernon' and 'Sobraon'.
Part 1: Captain James Seton Veitch Mein (1867 to 1878)
1. The establishment of the 'Vernon'
2. Civilising the 'Street Arabs'
3. Tension boils over
4. Removing the scaffold and standing back
5. Early failures
Part 2: Captain Frederick William Neitenstein (1878 to 1896)
6. New beginnings
7. The 'after-careers' of Neitenstein's boys
8. Cranky Bill
9. Tommy Cox
10. Myopic magistrates
11. Mr Bragg's pamphlet
12. The 'Sobraon'
Part 3: Captain William Henry Mason (1896 to 1911)
13. Confusion and the making of the myth
14. Soldiering on, despite the storm outside
15. The un-reformable bo and the son of a lunatic
17. The end
- Regulations for the Nautical School Ship 'Vernon' 14 January, 1869
- Regulations for the Nautical School Ship 'Sobraon' 18 May, 1894