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Name: COWLEY, Campbell

image of individual

Birth Date: 4 May 1881 Ingham, Queensland, Australia

Death Date: 28 Nov 1919 Amazon Bay, Abau, Papua New Guinea

First Date: 1905

Profession: Bought land and farmed at Limuru

Area: Limuru, Hut 1908 Elburgon

Married: Baginai Tiunai

Children: Punch (1916 Mogubu, Papua New Guinea-2000)

Book Reference: Gillett, Land, EAHB 1905, Hut, Drumkey, EAHB 1906, North, EAHB 1907

General Information:

North - Campbell-Cowley, Australian from Queensland; Land Grant application Limuru 10-1-1904; settler at Limuru Aug 1904; at Mombasa due to return to Australia 22-4-1905; Local Agent for the Nairobi Agricultural Show Sept 1905; Firearm registered Nairobi Oct-Dec 1905; 1906 Escarpment
Land Grant 1905? - Campbell Cowlie - Agricultural, 640 acres - Limoru - Jan 10 - Freehold
Ancestry story: 
Mr Campbell Cowley, a son of the Speaker of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, after serving his country in the South African war, has settled at Niarobi, British East Africa. Although actually on the equator, this place possesses a cool healthy climate, and Mr. Cowley,finding the soil and conditions well suited to his needs, has taken up land with the object of growing coffee there. Labour is plentlful and cheap, and he has great confidence in the future of the place, for to its other advantages it adds an unfailng supply of water from the melting snows of adjacent mountains, and ready communication with the coast by means of the lake steamer and the railway. As an old student ot Kings School, Sydney, Mr. Cowley has recently written to the school magazine an interesting account of his experiences, and from this we make the following extracts, which will doubtless be read with interest: — "Niarobi, British East Atrica, 8th January,1904.
" Dear Sir,—As this part of the world is not generally well known, it struck me that perhaps you might be Interested to hear about it. As business in the Transvaal was looking rather gloomy I made up my mind to leave it and decided on having a look at British East Africa. We had met a few men who travelled through the country round Lakes Nivasha, Nskuro, Njuro. Victoria Nyanza and across Uganda and their descriptlons of the country decided us to come On arrival at Mombassa, on the Island of Mombassa and the eastern terminus of the Uganda railway we found the climate very hot and the inhabitants very tired Our steamer ran into Kilidini (i pronounced e) harbour , and found it not only to be huge and roomy, with a great depth of water, but also discovered it to be very beautlful. We stayed in Mombassa three days and during that time interviewed various officials, who are all controlled by his Majesty s High Commissioner Sir Charles Elliot During this time we discovered that the whole of the subordinate officials without exception were coloured men.The whole of the splendid railway which runs from Mombassa to Lake Victoria Nyanza was constructed by Indian coolies,25000 of whom were brought from India for that purpose. The railway was supposed to cost four millions of money but when the work had been completed it was found to have cost over six millions Hence the Government are trying to run the country as cheaply as they possibly can and have retained the Indians at a low rate of wage Having so many lndians in the place it is not surprising that the coinage is Indian . One particularly scorching day, we embarked on board the train, which was timed to leave at 13.15 (13. 15 is equivalent to 1,15p m, but here we count up to 24 o clock and start at 1 again) The train steamed out of the station and took us steadily away across the fine bridge which spans the narrow tongue of water which divides the island of Mombassa from the mainland Going up the line as far as Voi, there is nothing about the country that one can be enthusiastlc over, as it is very dry and covered with a dense bush, the only thing worthy of note being the quail which flew up in shoals as the train disturbed them. We arrived at Vol just at dusk and had dlnner there From Voi we could see nothing of the country until next morning when the sun rose. There were four people in the compartment and we were fairly comfortable, and passed a quiet night. Next morning some one woke just at dawn, and woke the rest of us excitedly. We turned out sleepily to see what was the row, and then sat spell-bound in astonishment. Here was a change indeed. The dry, arid, bush-covered country had given place to a huge, undulating well watered plain, rich in luxuriant grasses and reminding one some what of the Bathurst Plains. It needed no one to tell us that we were now on the Plains of Athai of which we had heard so much. But what held us in astonishment was the fact that everywhere as far as the eye could see grazed herds of zebra veldibeste buffalo many different species of buck and here and there a few wild ostriches There they were all within a stone's throw of us as we rattled by in the train What astonished us was the fact that they did not gallop off frightened at the noise of the engine.Few did trot off in a hesitating manner, many of them stood and stared stupidly at us as we passed,but the vast majority of them went on feeding and took no notice ot us what ever It was a sight which one might wander the whole world over and never see elsewhere Another thing we discovered when we got over our astonishment was the fact that we were all shivering with cold-this, mark you, within two degrees of the equator So we went on through herds of game right up to the time we got in sight of Niarobi, the city of the Athai Plains where I am now writing from. Of course Niarobi is only a tiny little place but the climate is glorious I have been here eight weeks now, and we have not had one day as hot as one gets It in North Queensland. The sun is hot, but we get a cool wind from the snow clad mountains around us. From the hotel (?') veranda where I now write one can see, on a clear day Mount Kilimanjaro towering away into the air, almost due south and to northward one can see the snow clad peaks of Mount Kenia. This mountain Is actually right on the equator and yet it st covered in eternal snow No man has ever reached the top of Mount Kenia as the ever melting glaciers make the undertaking extremely perilous. " "Labour here Is very cheap. After interviewing the land officer, we purchased a donkey, and hired five native porters to assist the donkey in carrying the tent cooking pots &c and set out to look for a piece of land to settle on. We were out for three weeks and saw some wonderful country, and had some excellent shooting.  Several times we came on the spoor of éléphants, but never saw any. Jackals and hyenas used to wander round the tent at nights and make the night hideous with their  discordant shrieks We could not sleep the first night and kept having pot shots at them as they showed up in the moonlight .
'On Christmas Day the Kikuyu natives killed a Masai prince or something and a whole Impi of the latter trotted past our tent In-single file singing wickedly and brandishing their long bladed spears We thought they were merely out for a dance or something but we heard afterwards about the murder and it appears that they had a battle royal.
"Settlers are beginning to trickle into this country and I believe it will be well populated in a few years The climate is marvellous, and almost anything will grow here I have bought 600 acres next the railway, and rented a like number of acres adjoining the railway station at a place called Lamoru. Land is very cheap, and if one likes to go to places a few miles from the line, the Government will give you a free grant of 640 acres. Labour is extremely cheap, and living costs very little.

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