Ned Devine, by Henry Goldman, c1902
"Edward Devine (Ned), born probably on 10 August 1833 .... went to Victoria as a youth and in 1854 was driving coaches on the Geelong-Ballarat Road. After Cobb & Co. acquired this route, Devine soon became one of their best-known drivers. For a time he drove the 'Leviathan' coach, the largest to appear in Australia, and by 1862 he was earning the very high wage of £17 a week. In that year he was assigned to drive H. H. Stephenson's cricketers, the first All-England team to visit Australia, on their tour of Victoria. His spectacular handling of a new coach with twelve magnificent light greys won him widespread fame. Something of a showman, he drove the cricketers right on to the oval at a match in Geelong. When the tour ended, the Englishmen presented him with a purse of 300 sovereigns at a complimentary dinner .... Stories about his achievements were legion. Once he drove a team of twenty-two with four postilions. Another time he was descending Fyansford Hill near Geelong when his horses bolted; Devine kept lashing them into greater speed to prevent the coach from over-running the wheelers until they could be safely pulled up on the opposite hill.
"On another occasion he was travelling down a steep (Fyansford) hill when he found out that the brake was not working. Usually the brake is used to keep the coach from running onto the rear of the horses when going downhill. Ned told everyone to hold on tight, and immediately whipped the horses into a full gallop to keep them just ahead of the coach down to the bottom of the hill, eventually stopping part way up the next hill...."
"... Cabbage Tree Ned, who got his name from the hat he wore which was made from the leaves of the Cabbage Tree Palm, was one who was known for his horsemanship—and showmanship—far and wide..."
Cobb and Co.
Ned Devine, 1870s
"CABBAGE TREE NED"
MEMORIAL ~ Argus, 1937
Adelaide, SA. 2 December 1903
Vic. 1 December 1903
20 January 2015
Definitely has the makings of a great movie...
Readers should be warned the article does contain some terms that may currently be considered inappropriate…
Another "interesting" read...