To John O'Shanassy1    27 April 1858

Melbourne bot. Garden,

27. April 1858.


In reply to a letter from Mr Smith of South Melbourne, submitted to my perusal, I have the honor to inform you, that Constable Martin enjoyed the concession of keeping a kow in the bot. Garden paddock and that this privilege was granted to him previous to my administration by the honorable the Chief Commissioner of public works. I hardly deemed myself justified to interfere with the proceeds of his kow, particularly since he employes a servant for disposing of the milk.

In former days he was accustomed to carry milk about, but immediately after this came to my notice, I demanded from him, not to employ his time for such a purpose.

I have the honor to be,


your most obedient and humble servant

Ferd. Mueller.


The hon. the Chief Secretary &c &c &c2

On 20 April, James Smith of South Melbourne complained to the President of the Board of Land and Works, C. G. Duffy: 'I would be glad to know how constable Martin stationed at the Botanical Gardens can serve two Masters he must neglect his duty to the Public or neglect his dairy how Dr Muller allows him to carry on such a game is not to his credit that is if he has anything to do in the matter the idea of seeign [seeing] a Police constable serving Milk and receiving a government salary I did not think it was allowed. Knowing there are so many out of employment and would be glad to confine themselves to the government situation. I think he might do the same.' The letter was referred to M for report (E58/3254, unit 745, VPRS 1189, PROV).

On 29 April O'Shanassy commented on this letter: 'If this privilege be entirely for pecuniary advantage to the Constable he ought not to be allowed so to do; but if it be the case that he uses the milk for his family in the first instance and sells the remainder the privilege may be continued to him.' The comment was referred to M on 30 April.

See also M to J. O'Shanassy, 1 May 1858.

Please cite as “FVM-58-04-27b,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 26 October 2021,