Ghost Busts 200 Year-Old Royal Cover-Up.

Was granny really a ghost on a mission?

Did she live 200 years ago as a wife of the Prince of Wales?

Was her story desperately covered up in the interests of the politics of the day?

And of saving the Prince of Wales’ head?

Read the full story in my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’ (click here).

At a time of serious anti-Catholic sentiment, of the Gordon riots, even the memory of her deceased late husband who died from injuries he suffered in the riots, was the cover-up in the greater interests of the country, the Parliament . . . and the throne?

Has she returned to state her case for justice?

And legal rights and, as she would claim, a legitimate right to her place in history?

Okay, it’s merely conjecture, but read ‘Dr Desailly’s Secret’ and ‘Florence & The Ghost’ and you may wonder about what really happened 200 years ago.

A time when the Prince of Wales and the wife of a secret marriage, were living in dangerous times.

A time when even the fact that the Royal heir might have married a Catholic as well as against the wishes of the King, George III.

In a letter to the Prince of Wales, Whig politician and leader of the opposition Charles James Fox:

“warned that her situation as well as that of the Prince would be perilous if they went through a ceremony of marriage.”

But they did.

And not only that.

At first she refused all suggestion of marriage.

Then she changed her mind.

Could it be that she was having his child?

And was this child legitimate?

In the chapter ‘The Secret Marriage’ I present the evidence that there was a child.

There were rumours on the couple’s two summers in Brighton.

“It is said she is with child,” wrote a Mrs Talbot.

Could this have been the secret reason for their extended holidays in the seaside resort of Brighton?

Was this a good reason for the distraction of the building of the Royal Pavilion there.

The Pope declared the secret marriage valid.

Read my evidence in ‘The Secret Marriage’ in my book of revelations Man Steps Off Planet’.

Writer’s Digest thinks it’s a blockbuster and “an amazing story”.

At the time all of the evidence was destroyed.

This hasn’t stopped speculation as to whether there were children and, more to the point, where are they?

What happened to them.

I very much doubt, however, if anyone found the evidence I have offered in my book.

This was the time of the historic First Fleets to Australia of mostly convicts sent to start a new colony in the antipodes.

Read the full story in my book ‘Man Steps Off Planet’ (click here).

What a perfect opportunity to disappear an unwanted child and an embarrassment to the Prince of Wales.

I have considered, for example, the fortunate timing of a child with the migration to the end of the earth on one of the First Fleets.

On the same morning that the first ships of the First Fleet sailed for Botany Bay (Australia) on 13 May 1787 carrying 737 convicts, the Prince of Wales was discussing his debts with the Prime Minister, William Pitt.

It’s interesting to note that the Second Fleet two-and-a-half years later carried 22 children and one free person.

It’s impossible to identify who the children were.

This can be found in the chapter ‘The Mystery of the Mary Ann’.

But then we also have three secret messages which point to an interesting man, an unsung hero from that time, with many clues to his identity as a possible child of this Royal couple.

His name is Lieutenant James Simmons.

For a time of great significance to us he was Acting Commander of the brig ‘Lady Nelson‘.

Read the chapters ‘The Lady Nelson’, ‘The Lieutenant Without a Past’, and ‘The Sailor King’.

With this ship he sailed the waters around south-eastern Australia founding Hobart and Launceston in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania).

He developed a close friendship with the colony’s first Chaplain, the Reverend Robert Knopwood.

He fostered friendly relations between the Governor of New South Wales and New Zealand when others before him provoked disaster.

All is revealed in ‘Chief Ti-Pahi & The Maori Episode’.

It’s an interesting read.

One reviewer called it “fun and entertaining”.

I hope you will too.

To order your copy click here.


Neil Walter John Smith started his career as an advertising copywriter working on creative accounts like Volkswagen, Herbert Adams and Clark’s Shoes. He won an award for Adams meat pies commercials in the Best TV Campaign for the year. For 10 years he worked freelance as a one-man creative director for some of Melbourne’s hottest creative shops. He then moved to the country to work as an author of non-fiction books. Today he lives in a small picturesque fishing village across the bay from the city of Melbourne close to his 2 beautiful daughters and 3 adorable granddaughters.

To follow my blog scroll down and click the Follow button.

Illustration by nicobou at Deviantart

How A Simple Ancestry Search Ended Up In A British Royal Bedroom 200 Years Ago

How did an innocent genealogical project to trace a family tree end up in the bedrooms of the Oxford University some 200 years ago and, shockingly, in the bedrooms of George, Prince of Wales?

Along the way three secret messages emerged, each with three specific clues to a mystery, plus a ghost also with her own secret clue.

At one point the two merged, the genealogical facts and the orally transmitted clues, into previously unknown territory.

The revelations, if true, were astounding.

If I were to draw any conclusion from all of the circumstantial evidence in my book it would be this.

The Acting Commander of the Tall Ship ‘Lady Nelson’, Lieutenant James Simmons, which sailed under his command from 1803, was the legitimate son of George, Prince of Wales.

Legitimate son?

The Prince spent several summers at his Brighton Pavilion (illustrated above) with his soul mate, Mrs Maria Fitzherbert.

Many residents were sure that she was pregnant each year.

And this was following a secret marriage between the couple, which was flatly denied in Parliament by the Prince’s mate and leader of the Whigs, Charles James Fox.

But there are witnesses who swore that the marriage did take place and, furthermore, the Pope ruled it to be a valid marriage.

So what of any children who may have been quietly dispatched on one of the early convict ships that conveniently sailed to the new colony on the other side of the world, Australia, at the time.

And what of other children who probably ended up in organisations for orphaned children or as trainee boys on sailing ships, as I suggest Lieutenant James Simmons may have, to later be given the command of the ‘Lady Nelson’.

Then he and his ship, as is on the record, were responsible for the founding of Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania and for rescuing a failed convict settlement inside the Heads 30 years before the town of Melbourne was settled.

One of the convicts, William Buckley, escaped and lived with the aborigines for the next 30 years and became a local folk hero. It’s an amazing story.

Lieutenant Simmons and the ‘Lady Nelson’ did much to foster early harmonious relations between the Governor of New South Wales (Australia) and the New Zealand Maori.

I invite you to read the amazing untold story of an unsung hero from 200 years ago, all but forgotten in the history books, who deserves a more prominent place in history.

And much more.

“You have discerned an amazing story,” says Writer’s Digest. “It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster.”

It’s a true story full of twists and turns.

Grab your copy and read it for yourself here.

Best Wishes.


First Fleets Mystery.

The First Fleet entering Port Jackson (Sydney) January 26, 1788

What untold secrets did they take with them? They sailed from Portsmouth, England, between 1787 and 1791 to an unknown world with a cargo of mainly convicts to start an experiment in self sufficiency in a strange new land on the other side of the planet already inhabited for maybe 80,000 years by the Australian aborigine.

They had nothing except for what they brought with them on sailing ships which, in many cases, were not up to the trip. Nor were many of the passengers. They left behind families and loved ones, for good.

They set out on a long up to 11 month long voyage at sea into the unknown.

They were going for life.

Many died on the voyage.

Only now I have learned of the mystery.

Actually, more than one mystery.

One concerns an all female convict ship the ‘Lady Juliana’.

Another is the ‘Mary Ann’.

Yet another is the ‘Lady Nelson’, not part of the First Fleets arriving in Port Jackson (Sydney) 9 years later.

The biggest mystery of the lot involves the enigmatic Commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ who took over in an emergency at the age of just 23 or 24.

Who was he, what was his mysterious past and what was his explosive secret?

Was he, I wonder, a legitimate son to Maria Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales, King George IV?

The evidence is all there in my fun and entertaining romantic historical mystery ‘Back to the Wall’.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

In the book, full of twists and turns, you can read how the mystery unfolded for me as I chased the clues across three countries as well as here in Australia and New Zealand.

You’ll read of Australia’s only military coup, of confrontations with the Maori Chief Ti-Pahi, of drama on the High Seas with equipment and men washed overboard, lost anchors and torn sails, of convicts who escaped from early settlements to live with the aborigines, of a secret royal wedding, of a King’s physician banished to the colonies for life because of what he knew, of another little-known mutiny against William Bligh of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ fame and of his return to England to face court marshal, and more.

Then there’s the ghost that started this all off. But that’s another story you’ll read in the book.

“You have discerned an amazing story”, said the Judge of the Reader’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.

It’s a non-stop adventure with twists and turns from cover to cover.

To buy now CLICK HERE or on Amazon HERE

Best wishes


You Never Know What You’ll Find In A Ship’s Log

The Lady Nelson (1799)

When you’re a storyteller, you often find all kinds of fabulous human interest stories in sources like a ship’s log previously overlooked by official historians looking for only the bare facts. 

As I learned when I researched the original log books of the ‘Lady Nelson’.

“The logbooks of the Lady Nelson bear witness to the leading part played by one small British ship in the discovery of a great continent,” says author Ida Lee in the introduction to her book which preserves the ship’s original log books. “They show how closely, from the date of her first coming to Sydney in 1800 until her capture by pirates off the island of Baba in 1825, this little brig was identified with the colonisation and development of Australia.”

-Capture by pirates?

-The violent end to ‘The Lady Nelson’ and the discovery of her charred remains.

-The heartwarming story of a crew member falling in love with a New Zealand Maori Chief’s daughter, separated by a well-meaning ship’s captain and their eventual happy reunion.

-Confrontation with the hostile Maori Chief Ti-Pahi.

-Building of the first house to be constructed in New Zealand by the crew of ‘The Lady Nelson’.

-The rescue of an early settlement that failed to find the site where Melbourne was founded 30 years later.

-A vivid account of losses overboard during wild seas where, in 1998, six lives were lost from rather more sophisticated craft in the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

-A tense stand-off with the Spanish ship ‘Estramina’ and her subsequent surrender.

-How I uncovered an unsung hero from the days of sailing ships and adventures on the High seas who, at just 24 or 25, took command of ‘The Lady Nelson’.

-The part played by the ship in Australia’s only military coup involving William Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty’  fame – another mutiny if you like.

These are just a few of the many dramatic stories I found in the logs books of the tiny brig HMS ‘Lady Nelson’.

They are only a small part of my bigger story, as Writer’s Digest said, “You have discerned an amazing story” and “the readers will truly love this material.”

This is an easy to read, hard to put down non-fiction book that reads like fiction. Order your copy now and read for yourself these amazing stories within a bigger even more amazing story.

If you enjoy reading real short stories in a bigger true mystery CLICK HERE (publisher) or CLICK HERE (Amazon)

Happy reading


Reference:The Logbooks of the Lady Nelson’ by Ida Lee, published by Grafton & Co, London, 1915.


A book of true stories that’s not a book of true stories

How many books have you read that could claim to fit no less than 10 of Amazon’s 33 book categories?

This one can.

It’s really one big fun true mystery adventure story that contains many smaller stories about real people.

But essentially it’s one big story, as Writer’s Digest* said, “You have discerned an amazing story.”

There’s the story of an unsung hero, a British naval lieutenant who played a major role in the early British settlement of southern Australia and New Zealand, the story of Australia’s only military coup, the heartwarming story of a British sailor who fell in love with a New Zealand Maori Chief’s daughter, the story of my own survival after bankruptcy, my own romantic story living for 6 months in New York with a beautiful school teacher, the discovery that a granny was really a ghost with a message, the story of a ‘Wild White Man’ who lived for 30 years with an aboriginal tribe as their Chief (illustrated above), my story of living with an Italian nurse for 4 months in romantic Italy, and many more.

Again, Writer’s Digest* claimed, “It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster, romance, history, the paranormal, and the story of a narrator finding his way in the world. Big stories like this are difficult to tell.”

So ‘Back to the Wall’ is one big important true story while, at the same time, it’s many small cameos of real people living extraordinary personal stories.

In the end it’s a true mystery with a big ending.

To read more visit the Home Page of this website or go to my Author Page to order your copy right now.

Best wishes.


* Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards.

PS. Order your copy HERE.


I was trying to convince a friend that he should write a book about his amusing experiences.

He was a builder and would relate the most incredible stories about building on the wrong block, about renovating a bank that collapsed on them, and so on.

“Is it a good idea,” he questioned, “to end every chapter with the reader wondering what happens next?”

“Too right,” I replied in my usual Aussie slang, “in my book every chapter ends with a real cliffhanger.”

“That’s what I thought,” he said smugly.

And that’s what I want you to know too.

Right from the Preface my story ends every chapter leaving you on the endge of your chair.

So if you want a good read, with cliffhangers leaving you unable to put the book down, then my true story is for you.

And unlike a novel you know that these events really happened.

Unbelievable as some of them may seem.

It’s a story of princes and politicians, drama on the high seas, the early days of Australian settlement by the British and the convicts who were sent here against their will and the aborigines they encountered, a hostile New Zealand Maori chief, as well as my own adventures and a mystery that fell into my lap.

“You have discerned an amazing story,” says the Judge of Writer’s Digest’s 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards. “It’s got everything it needs to be a blockbuster.”

To order your copy direct from the publisher CLICK HERE for a 10% discount’

Best wishes’


Forbidden Love

Louis John Steele’s ‘The Blowing Up of the Boyd’ (1889)

This is the true love story of a British sailor and a Maori Chief’s beautiful daughter.

About 240 years ago a Maori chief in the north of New Zealand was greeting some early European explorers with a hostile welcome, often having them and their crews slaughtered and cannibalized.

Just as Captain Cook had encountered elsewhere, the natives were inclined to help themselves to items from the ships, which was not usually tolerated by the ships’ captains. A response which would usually seal their fate.

So it was with a French explorer, Marion du Fresne. And with a Captain Thompson on the ‘Boyd’.

The place was the far north of the north island of New Zealand.

This was a country to the east of Australia, inhabited by a Polynesian race known as the Maori, which had hardly seen a white man.

Then in 1806 Lieutenant James Simmons on the brig HMS ‘Lady Nelson’, after some friendly exchanges, faced a similar dilemma and tactfully withdrew.

Hence the scene was set for the fearsome Maori Chief Ti-Pahi to pay a friendly visit to the Governor of New South Wales, as Australia was known then.

Which is how one of Simmons’ crew, George Bruce, fell in love with the Chief’s daughter, married her and stayed behind in New Zealand. 

Bruce had been appointed to attend the Chief when, on his return to New Zealand on the ‘Lady Nelson’, he became sea sick.

As a gesture of his gratitude, the Chief invited him to remain in New Zealand as his guest.

During which time he apparently fell in love – with Ti-Pahi’s daughter.

Eventually they were married, I suppose in the Maori tradition.

But tragedy was to follow.

An interfering captain of a visiting British vessel disapproved of the marriage and forced them both on board his ship. He then set sail with the two lovers on board not knowing their fate.

On arriving in Malacca (now part of Malaysia) the two were separated. Bruce was left there while his Maori wife was taken on to Penang (also in Malaysia).

This tragic story does have a happy ending.

Apparently the Commanding Officer of Malacca heard to their plight and arranged for them to be reunited in Bengal (then in India).

Sadly, it’s these heartwarming human stories that never find their way into the history books.

This is one example of the fascinating true stories from ‘Back to the Wall: A Fun Spiritual Adventure’ which deserves to be told.


Best wishes