THE PRESENT PICTURE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, 1811 ILLUSTRATED WITH FOUR LARGE COLOURED VIEWS, FROM DRAWINGS TAKEN ON THE SPOT, OF SYDNEY, THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT: WITH A PLAN OF THE COLONY, TKEN FROM ACTUAL SURVEY BY PUBLIC AUTHORITY.
BY D. D. MANN MANY YEARS RESIDENT IN SEVERAL OFFICIAL SITUATIONS.
London, 1811 SOLD BY JOHN BOOTH, DUKE-STREET, PORTLAND-PLACE
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Discovery of New South Wales.—Arrival of a Colony there from England.—Obstructions calculated to retard the Progress of the Settlement.—Departure of Governor Phillip.—Intervening Governors, until the Arrival of John Hunter, Esq. and his Assumption of the Government.—Printing Press set up.—Cattle lost, and Discovery of their Progeny in a wild State.—Playhouse opened.—Houses numbered.—Assessments for the building of a Country Gaol.—Town Clock at Sidney.—Natives.— Convicts.—Improvement of the Colony.—Seditious Dispositions of the Convicts.—Departure of Governor Hunter.—His Character and Government.—Comparison of Stock, etc.—Governor King assumes the Command of the Settlement—Table of Specie Vessel laden with Spirits sent away.—Earthquake.—Inundation at the Hawkesbury.—First Criminal for Forgery executed.—Atlas struck by Lightning.—Tempests.—Desertions of the Convicts.—Newspaper established.—Murders.—Singular Execution.—Lieutenant—Governor Collins forms a new Settlement.—Insurrection of the Convicts.—The Introduction and Progress of Vaccination, and its subsequent Loss.—Influx of the Sea at Norfolk Island.—Limits of Counties defined.—Ship overset in a Tempest.
Abstract of General Orders.—Arrival of Governor Bligh.—George Barrington.—Blue Mountains.—Journey thither.—New Market at Sydney.—Vessels seized and carried away by the Convicts.—Natives.—Cruelty of the Savages in Bateman's Bay.—Arrival of Masters for the Orphan Schools.—New Storehouse built.—Murders.
Agriculture, etc. Price of Provisions and Ration Trade and Manufactures Population Natives Climate Natural History Religion Morals Amusements Military Force Building: with Reference to the particular Houses, etc. of the Individuals
Hints for the Improvement of the Colony
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[LIST OF PLATES Plan of the Settlements in New South Wales View of Sydney from the East Side of the Cove View of Sydney from the East Side of the Cove View of Sydney from the West Side of the Cove View of Sydney from the West Side of the Cove]
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To JOHN HUNTER, ESQ. VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE BLUE AND LATE CAPTAIN-GENERAL AND GOVERNOR IN CHIEF IN AND OVER HIS MAJESTY'S COLONY OF NEW SOUTH WALES AND ITS DEPENDENCIES, etc. etc. etc.
During the period of your government, the settlements of New South Wales beheld the sunshine of their prosperity. The liberal and enlightened measures adopted by you, consolidated the happiness, and increased the security of the colony; and the tears which were shed at your departure were the most grateful tributes which could be paid to your exalted worth.
These considerations justify my selection of you as the Patron of this sketch; but, if a stronger motive were necessary, I have only to retrace the numerous and weighty instances in which you have displayed the most marked attention to my personal interests, and which will ever induce me to avow myself,
With every sentiment of respectful admiration,
Your very obliged, and faithfully devoted servant,
D. D. MANN.
35, Queen-Street, Edgware-Road,
Oct. 13, 1810
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NEW SOUTH WALES
Discovery of New South Wales.—Arrival of a Colony there from England.—Obstructions calculated to retard the Progress of the Settlement.—Departure of Governor Phillip.—Intervening Governors, until the Arrival of John Hunter, Esq. and his Assumption of the Government.—Printing Press set up.—Cattle lost, and Discovery of their Progeny in a wild State.—Playhouse opened.—Houses numbered.—Assessments for the building of a Country Gaol.—Town Clock at Sidney.—Natives.—Convicts.—Improvement of the Colony.—Seditious Dispositions of the Convicts.—Departure of Governor Hunter.—His Character and Government.—Comparison of Stock, etc.—Governor King assumes the Command of the Settlement—Table of Specie Vessel laden with Spirits sent away.—Earthquake.—Inundation at the Hawkesbury.—First Criminal for Forgery executed.—Atlas struck by Lightning.—Tempests.—Desertions of the Convicts.—Newspaper established.—Murders.—Singular Execution.—Lieutenant—Governor Collins forms a new Settlement.—Insurrection of the Convicts.—The Introduction and Progress of Vaccination, and its subsequent Loss.—Influx of the Sea at Norfolk Island.—Limits of Counties defined.—Ship overset in a Tempest.
The discovery of the eastern coast of New Holland was the result of that laudable and beneficial spirit of enterprize and investigation, which conferred on the name of Captain Cook so just a claim to posthumous gratitude and immortal renown. Four months of his first voyage round the world, this celebrated circumnavigator dedicated to the exploration of this hitherto unknown tract of the universe, stretching, from the north-east to the south-west, to an extent of nearly two thousand miles, to which he gave the name of New South Wales. After hovering about the coast for some time, he at length came to an anchorage in the only harbour which appeared to him commodious; and which, in consequence of the innumerable varieties of herbage which were found on shore, he called Botany Bay. In this spot he remained some days, employing himself in making those observations which suggested themselves to his capacious mind; and, from his report of the situation of the country—of its apparent extent, climate, and surface, the British Government was induced to relinquish those intentions which had been previously entertained, and to fix upon this spot, as the best adapted for the establishment of a settlement, whither those unhappy delinquents might be conveyed, whose offences against the laws had rendered their further residence in their native land, incompatible with the welfare of society.
According to this determination, Governor Phillip was sent to this new continent, where he arrived on the 20th of January, 1788, with eight hundred convicts, and a portion of marines, and laid the foundation of the new settlement, which continued gradually to improve under his government, until the close of the year 1792. Numberless obstructions existed, during this early period, to check the growth of the colony; amongst the principal of which may be remarked:—1st, the discordant materials of which the settlement was to be constructed; 2dly, the disputes with the natives; and 3dly, the occasional pressure of want, which, for a long time, was unavoidable, on account of its remoteness from the European quarter. The continual disorders amongst the convicts, which no lenity could assuage, no severity effectually check, were injurious to the well-doing of the colony, whose true interests required a combination of reciprocal confidence and mutual exertion; but on men inured to crime, and hardened in guilt—on men almost divested of the common principles and feelings of their species—on those whom a course of depravity had rendered obnoxious to every other pursuit, it was not possible to make impressions of a liberal and enlightened nature. Their intentions uniformly tended to vice, and no good was to be expected from them, except such as was the effect of compulsory measures; so that the task which industry might have achieved with comparative ease, proved, under existing circumstances, a work of difficulty, requiring time and perseverance to bring it to the desired perfection. It was not to the commission of depredations upon each other that the restless and dishonest dispositions of the convicts confined themselves, even the poor and miserable natives of the country were made the dupes of a system of knavery which they could not penetrate; and their spears, their shields, their canoes, and their persons, were equally exposed to the violence of the new settlers. It was easy to foresee the consequences of such conduct: the natives at first discovered symptoms of justifiable reserve, and subsequently adopted steps of an hostile complexion, several unfortunate convicts being found murdered in the woods. In vain did the governor issue order after order, and proclamation after proclamation; insults still continued to be offered to the natives, and such acts of retaliation ensued as circumstances would allow. Governor Phillip, himself, was wounded by a spear which one of the savages threw at him, under the influence of a momentary apprehension. Another evil to which the colony was subjected, arose from the pressure of occasional scarcity, which relaxed the sinews of industry, where it did exist, or strengthened the pretexts of indolence: when men were reduced from a plentiful allowance, to a weekly ration, which scarcely sufficed to preserve existence; when the storehouses were almost empty of provisions, and the boundless ocean presented no object of relief to the aching and strained eyes of the sufferers; and when the busy mind painted to itself the dangers, inseparable from a voyage of such length, which might intervene to delay the arrival of succours, until horror and wretchedness should have been heightened to the utmost; no inclination to laborious exertion existed, and no hand had the power to wield and employ the implements of toil. The progress of the settlement towards maturity was necessarily retarded; and the operations which proceeded, at these periods of general debility, were compelled to move with a slowness which afforded but a faint promise of speedy perfection. Under this combination of disadvantages, it affords proof of no common perseverance to find, that the settlement had been scarcely established four years, before two towns were formed, and the colony seemed rapidly advancing to the appearance of maturity.
Governor Phillip sailed to England on the 11th of December, 1792, when Lieutenant-Governor Grose succeeded to the government; and, during his period, the improvements in the settlement assumed a more decisive and favourable aspect. The settlers were now enabled to sell corn to the public stores, all of which the commissary received directions to purchase at a given price: passage-boats were licensed and established between the towns of Sydney and Parramatta, and the number of settlers began to increase in a rapid portion. On the 15th of December, 1794, Lieutenant-Governor Grose left the colony for England, and Captain Paterson, of the New South Wales corps, assumed the government until the arrival of Governor Hunter, who came out in the Reliance, on the 7th of September, 1795, and entered upon the functions of his important office without delay.
One of the first acts of the new governor was the establishment of a printing-press, the advantages of which soon became obvious, in the more ready communication of all orders for the regulation of the settlement.
The bulls and cows which had been originally brought over to the new continent had, by the carelessness of their keeper, been suffered to stray into the woods, and every subsequent search after them had proved ineffectual until this period, when a fine and numerous herd of wild cattle was discovered in the interior of the country, which was evidently the progeny of the animals which had been so long lost to the colony. The protection of this wild herd and its increase became a matter of public interest, since it would, hereafter, serve as a valuable resource, in case of necessity; and measures were accordingly adopted to prevent any encroachment on that liberty which it had preserved above seven years.
In the commencement of the year 1796, a play-house was opened at Sydney, under the sanction of the governor, who, while he laboured to promote the public weal, was not less anxious to extend to individuals the enjoyments and privileges which were compatible with the good of the colony. Towards the close of the same year, the houses in Sydney and Parramatta were numbered, and divided into portions, each of which was placed under the superintendance of a principal inhabitant. The county of Cumberland was assessed, a few months afterwards, for the erection of a country gaol; and the peaceable inhabitants of the colony had the speedy satisfaction to perceive a building of such utility put into hand; for such had been the recent increase of crimes, and so greatly had the settlement been annoyed by the desperate and atrocious conduct of the disorderly part of the community, that it became an object of necessity to adopt some stronger measures than those which had hitherto been put in force, to secure the prosperity and tranquillity of a community which was now so rapidly growing in extent and importance. A town-clock was also erected in Sydney, a luxury which had been hitherto unknown, and affords evidence of the gradual maturation of the settlement; and, indeed, the whole of this enumeration is calculated to impress the reader with an idea of the rapid strides which the few last years had enabled the colonists to make in the path of respectability. The natives had been, of late years, perfectly reconciled to their new countrymen; and, although their attachment to their accustomed habits and situations induced them to abstain from taking up new residences, and from mixing indiscriminately with the Europeans, they had become comparatively social, and commenced an intercourse which was calculated to rivet the prosperity of the colony. Those insulting attacks and sanguinary recriminations which had disgraced the earlier years of the establishment, no longer existed, to disturb the tranquillity and excite the alarms of the settlers; many of the convicts had reformed their lives, and, instead of being examples of depravity, had turned to habits of industry, and endeavoured to benefit that society on which they had formerly preyed; while the apprehensions of famine had entirely vanished before the improvements in the agriculture of the country: the stock had increased wonderfully; the granaries and storehouses were amply supplied; and the ground brought forth more produce, as its nature became better understood, and the most advantageous methods of tillage were discovered.
The peace of the colony was threatened, however, in the year 1800, by the seditious conduct of a number of Irish convicts who had recently arrived in this country, and who had laboured, with ceaseless exertions, to disseminate their pernicious and absurd doctrines amongst the prisoners. They had assembled frequently for the purpose of accelerating their diabolical views, and a Roman Catholic priest, named Harold, who was discovered to be one of the instigators and originators of the scheme of insurrection, was taken into custody. Voluntary associations were embodied, and every measure of prudent precaution was promptly adopted, to prevent the expansion of principles which are totally subversive of all order, and of the best interests of civilized society. It may easily be supposed, that amongst such characters as composed the colony, there must be numbers to whom these sentiments of insubordination must be congenial, and who would eagerly grasp at any projects, however absurd and impracticable, the proposed object of which was their emancipation from the punishment which their crimes had drawn upon them. Men who have obtained a proficiency in crime, and are callous to the voice of conscience, science, are seldom very choice as to the degree of the criminality which they are inclined to commit; and it is highly creditable to Governor Hunter's prudence and skilful management, that the settlement was at this moment preserved from the horrors and consequences of internal commotion.
In September, 1800, Governor Hunter quitted the colony, having exercised the functions of government for the space of five years; during which his attention to the interests of the settlement was most unremitted; his humanity and condescension rendered him inestimably dear to every bosom, which confessed the influence of grateful feelings; and his cheerful vivacity and private worth caused him to stand highly in the estimation of those who were honoured by a participation in his hours of recreative enjoyment. The necessary consequence of his abstracted devotion to the service of the settlement, for a long period, was the obtainment of a thorough knowledge of every subject connected with its welfare; and in the application of that knowledge to the practical improvement of the settlement, no man could have been more happy, none more eminently successful. A more forcible illustration of the truth of this remark will, however, be found in the following statements of the situation of the colony before and after Governor Hunter's residence there, in an official capacity; and I am the more readily induced to give these details, as the reader may thence be enabled to form a judgement, by comparison, of the progressive prosperity of the colony, subsequent to that period, until the commencement of the year 1809, the date and termination of the facts which I shall elicit in the succeeding pages.
At the close of the year 1795, the public and private stock of the colony consisted of 57 horses and mares, 101 cows and cow-calves, 74 bulls and bull-calves, 52 oxen, 1531 sheep, 1427 goats, and 1869 hogs: exclusive of this statement, the poultry was exceedingly numerous. The total of the land in cultivation amounted to 5419 acres; the quantity of which sown was somewhat below 3000 acres. At this period the storehouses were exhausted so completely, that, on the arrival of Governor Hunter, there were no salt provisions left in store, and the allowance of other food was much reduced; the state of the colony seemed about to assume a retrograde movement, and it was only the speedy arrival of a storeship at this critical and distressing moment, which saved it from destruction, in the eighth year of its establishment.
But at the commencement of the nineteenth century, the state of the settlement was abundantly more prosperous. The live stock at this period, in the public and private possession, amounted to the following numbers:—60 horses, 143 mares; 332 bulls and oxen, 712 cows; 2031 male sheep, 4093 females; 727 male goats, 1455 females; 4017 hogs—a prodigious multiplication of the means of subsistence in about five years! The quantity of land sown with wheat was 46653/4 acres, of Indian corn 2930, and of barley 82 acres. In New South Wales and Norfolk Island the numbers of the colony had been swollen to the amount of six thousand, and the general prosperity appeared rapidly increasing.
The moment of the governor's departure was a moment of sorrowful agitation: loved and honoured by all, he was attended by a numerous train of civil and military officers, as well as a long concourse of the grateful inhabitants, who, at this distressing instant, marked in the most unequivocal manner the sense they entertained of his public worth and his private benignity.
On the secession of Governor Hunter, the government of the settlement devolved to Governor King, who had arrived from England in the Speedy, a few months previous to this time. Soon after his accession to this dignity, a quantity of copper coin was received from England and put into circulation, upon which occasion the following table of specie was issued:—A guinea, one pound two shillings, a johannes, four pounds; a half ditto, two pounds; a ducat, nine shillings and sixpence; a gold mohur, one pound seventeen shillings and sixpence; a pagoda, eight shillings; a Spanish dollar, five shillings; a rupee, two shillings and sixpence; a Dutch guilder, two shillings; an English shilling, one shilling and one penny: a copper coin of one ounce, two pence; a ditto of half an ounce, one penny; and a ditto of a quarter of an ounce, a halfpenny. No sum exceeding five pounds, in the copper coin, was to be considered as a legal tender; and the exportation or importation of copper coin above that amount, was prohibited under a penalty of thrice its value.
The criminal addiction to the use of spirituous liquors had become so rooted, and was productive of such evil consequences, as to require some vigorous exertion to check its still further increase. In the month of December, 1800, two vessels laden with these destructive cargoes arrived in the harbour; but the governor, with a spirit and prudence creditable to his resolution and judgment, refused them permission to land the poisons, and forced them to quit the settlement before any evil consequences could ensue from their arrival. The variety of afflicting casualties consequent upon the immoderate use of these pernicious fluids, and their introduction of dreadful and fatal disorders, were considerations sufficient to justify the governor's conduct in this instance, to every rational mind.
On the 17th of January, 1801, the settlement was menaced with destruction by the shock of an earthquake, which was felt severely through the whole colony, but, providentially, produced no injury. A slight concussion had been felt in the month of June, 1788; but never, until this moment, had the alarm been repeated. The affrighted inhabitants rushed out of their houses, in momentary expectation of destruction; nor did they dare to return until the shock had passed by, and the apprehensions which it had produced had entirely subsided.
In the earlier days of the settlement, the settlers on the Hawkesbury (a river of great extent in the interior of the country, the course of which is traced in the annexed chart) had been much annoyed by the frequent overflowings of that capacious river. In the month of March, 1801, the most severe visitation of this nature had occurred, which had destroyed the promise of an abundant harvest, spread desolation through the farms in that district, destroyed numerous habitations, and caused the loss of several of the unfortunate settlers and others. At the melancholy period alluded to, the colony in this quarter was just reaching a degree of ease and comfort, from the judicious plans put into execution by that "father of the people" Governor Hunter, and the assistance he gave them as an encouragement to industrious exertion. Scarcely, however, had they begun to revive after this calamity—scarcely had they repaired the ravages occasioned by this tremendous inundation—scarcely had the desolated lands once more confessed the power of cultivation, before those ill-fated settlers were doomed to experience a repetition of the destructive calamity; and on the 2d of March, 1801, the river again overflowed its banks, and rushed impetuously to renew its former devastations. Flocks and herds were swept away by its irresistible influence; the houses, which had been re-built, were once more levelled to the earth; and a settler was deprived of his existence, after witnessing the catastrophe which had robbed him of the whole of his possessions. The waters of the Hawkesbury, at those periods of inundation, would rise seventy or eighty feet above their accustomed level; and it is easy for the mind to picture to itself the inexpressibly mournful consequences which must necessarily accrue from such a circumstance. Neither was this overflowing an event of rare occurrence, but was to be constantly expected after a long continuance of the rainy seasons, when the torrents which rushed from the mountainous ridges which overlooked the channel of the river never failed to produce a rapid swelling of its waters, and to cause an inundation of greater or less extent, and injury more or less destructive to the inhabitants of its vicinity.
Amongst the crimes which existed in the settlement, that of forgery had recently made its appearance, and bills of a counterfeit description had been offered in the markets; and, at length, one of these forged draughts was traced to its source, and the delinquent was immediately apprehended and brought to trial for an offence so heinous in its nature, and so fraught with mischief in its consequences. Sufficient proof being adduced to place the prisoner's guilt beyond doubt, sentence of death was passed upon him, and the execution took place on the 3d of July; it being considered an act of necessary justice to make a severe example of the offender, in this case, in order to check in its infancy the growth of a practice, pregnant not only with general evil, but with individual ruin. Of all the different species of delinquency which had found their way into the colony, this might be considered as second to none but murder: the house-breaker and the midnight robber might be guarded against, and counteracted or detected immediately, the mischief was at most limited, and might be calculated; but the introduction of a system of forgery threatened more widely-wasting injuries: it required more than common vigilance, more than common perseverance, to discover a fraud of this description; and it was scarcely possible to ascertain the precise extent which it embraced, or to mark the end of its destructive progress. It was therefore, under this impression, considered expedient to make a severe example of the first offender who had been brought to trial, in order, if possible, to deter others from the pursuit of such an iniquitous career. A solitary sacrifice might prove salutary to future thousands.
The storms of thunder and lightning are sometimes particularly terrific, but have seldom been productive of much damage. In some few instances, indeed, individuals had been killed by the electric fires, but these accidents have generally resulted from the too common and dangerous mode of seeking shelter under trees, which attracted and directed the lightning to its object, instead of affording that security which was sought for. A very singular circumstance happened at the close of the spring of 1802, when the Atlas, a ship commanded by Mr. Thomas Musgrove, was stricken by a flash on the 5th of November, and, although the bottom of the ship was immediately perforated by the stroke, not a man on board received any material injury: such a singular instance is almost without its parallel. At other periods, the tempestuous gales which have been experienced surpass the conception of those who have never witnessed the boisterous and tumultuous agitation of nature. Hailstones, exceeding six inches in circumference, have frequently fallen with such violence as to destroy the windows of those habitations which had neglected the adoption of measures of security, to kill the poultry, and lay level with the earth the shrubs and the corn. In fact, storms of this description never fail to occasion the most extensive devastation, and to commit injuries to the settlers, which the labour of months is scarcely sufficient to overcome.
An absurd notion had uniformly existed amongst the convicts that it was possible, by penetrating into the interior, to discover a country, where they might exist without labour, and enjoy sweets hitherto unknown. This ridiculous opinion had induced numbers, since the establishment of the colony, to desert their employment, and to trust themselves in forests which were unknown to them, and where they generally wandered until the means of supporting further fatigue had failed them, and they perished from want—until they became the victims of the natives who fell in with them—or surrendered themselves to the parties who were sent in pursuit of them. Such was commonly the termination of these chimerical expeditions; yet these consequences were unable to expunge the impression alluded to from the minds of these obstinate people, and, in February, 1803, fifteen convicts once again ventured into the woods from Castle Hill, in search of this undiscovered country. Many of these bigotted fugitives were subsequently re-taken, after enduring every fatigue and privation which human nature is capable of sustaining; after bearing the complicated hardships of want, weariness, and pain; their feet blistered and bare, their hopes destroyed, their perseverance completely worn out, and their restless dispositions perfectly corrected into submission.
The art of printing had been gradually improving from the period of its establishment, by the judicious care of Governor Hunter, and its advantages became daily more and more obvious. On the 5th of March, "The Sydney Gazette" was instituted by authority, for the more ready communication of events through the various settlements of the colony The utility and interest of such an establishment were speedily and universally acknowledged; and its commencement was soon succeeded by the publication of an almanack, and other works calculated to suit the general taste and increase the general stock of amusement. The general orders were also issued through the medium of the press, and a vigilant eye was kept upon it, to prevent the appearance of any thing which could tend to shake those principles of morality and subordination, on the due preservation of which depended the individual happiness, and the public security of the settlement; and which could be in no danger of subversion, until the press should become prostituted to base designs—a period much and sincerely to be deprecated by every real friend to the colony.
In the month of August, a most inhuman murder was committed on the body of Joseph Luken, a constable, who, after going off his watch at the government-house, was beset by some villains who still remain undiscovered, and who buried the hilt of his own cutlass very deeply in his head. I was the second person at the spot, where the body of the unfortunate man was discovered; and, in attempting to turn the corpse, my fore-finger penetrated through a hole in the skull, into the brains of the deceased. Every possible search was made to discover the vile perpetrators of this diabolical act, but to no purpose, the measures of escape had been too well planned to be thwarted. Even the governor himself attended, and gave directions for the drums to beat to arms; the military to stop all avenues leading from the town, and different officers to search every house; but, although several were apprehended, no conviction could be brought home. Soon afterwards, another murder was committed on the body of a man belonging to one of the colonial craft, named Boylan. It appeared that he had been in a part of the town, called "The Rocks," and had been struck with some heavy weapon on the head, of which he immediately died. Upon this occasion, I sat as foreman of the jury, which was summoned soon after daylight, and continued to sit until nearly one o'clock the next morning, when two men and a woman were committed for trial; and a third man, in the progress of the investigation, was sent to gaol for prevarication. When the prisoners were arraigned at the bar, they all pleaded "Not guilty;" and, after an impartial trial, were acquitted. The singularity and cruelty of this man's murder appeared to be equal to that of Luken. A third murder was committed, nearly at the same time, by a woman named Salmon, on the body of her own child. It appeared that she wished to conceal her pregnancy; and, after delivering herself, had thrown the infant down the privy, where it was smothered. Suspicions of her situation having, however, been entertained by some persons, an investigation took place, and the body of the child was discovered. The woman was too ill to be brought to trial, and her subsequent dissolution rendered that event unnecessary: before her death, however, she made confession of her crime; and her body was afterwards carried to a grave under the gallows, by men belonging to the jail gang, with the greatest ignominy; nor was it without the greatest exertions of the police, that the corpse was permitted to be carried along the streets, so great was the abhorrence expressed by the inhabitants at the idea of such an unnatural, detestable, and abominable offence.
In the month of September, Joseph Samuels, who had been convicted of a burglary, was three times suspended: the rope first broke, in a very singular manner, in the middle, and the suffering criminal fell prostrate on the ground; on the second attempt, the cord unrove at the fastening, and he again came to the ground; a third trial was attended with no better success, for at the moment when he was launched off, the cord again snapped in twain. Thomas Smyth, esq. the provost-marshal, taking compassion on his protracted sufferings, stayed the further progress of the execution, and rode immediately to the governor, to whom he feelingly represented these extraordinary circumstances, and his excellency was pleased to extend his majesty's mercy. Samuels was afterwards transported to another settlement, in consequence of his continuance in his dishonest career, and has subsequently lost his life on the coast, in making an attempt to escape from the colony.
In the month of October, Lieutenant-Governor Collins arrived to form and command a settlement at Port Phillip: he was accompanied by detachments of marines and convicts; but the situation being found particularly ineligible, after communicating with the governor in chief, he removed to the river Derwent, where he arrived on the 19th of February, 1804, and a very extensive settlement was speedily formed there; as, in addition to the numbers of persons he took with him, a great many settlers and others went thither from Norfolk Island, since that place had been ordered to be evacuated. In the following April, a new settlement was formed at the Coal River, now called King's Town, Newcastle District, the county of Northumberland, and a short distance to the northward of Port Jackson. Previous to this period, some form of government had been adopted at that place, in order to enable vessels going there to procure cedar and coals with greater facility; but, on account of the increasing trade, the governor considered it expedient to found a regular settlement, and thus to establish a commercial intercourse of greater importance.
At the commencement of the year 1804, the tranquillity of the colony experienced some interruption. I have mentioned in the beginning of this chapter the circumstances of the importation of Irish convicts in the year 1800, and of their attempts to disseminate amongst their fellow-prisoners the seeds of insubordination and riot. The vigilance and prudence of Governor Hunter, at that time, checked the rapid progress of the flame of sedition; but, although apparently extinguished, the fire was only smothered for a time. Discontent had taken root, and its eradication was a matter of more difficulty than could have been foreseen. The most unprincipled of the convicts had cherished the vile principles of their new companions, and only waited for the maturity of their designs to commence the execution of schemes which involved the happiness and security of the whole colony. The operations of these disaffected persons had hitherto been conducted with such secrecy, that no suspicion of their views was entertained, until the 4th of March in this year, when a violent insurrection broke out at Castle Hill, a settlement between Parramatta and Hawkesbury, and the insurgents expressed their determination to emancipate themselves from their confinement, or to perish in the struggle for liberty. Information of the extent and alarming appearance of this mutiny having reached the governor, it was deemed necessary, on the following day, to proclaim martial law; and a party of the troops, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel George Johnston, were directed to pursue the rebels. After a long march, the military detachment came up with the insurgents, near the Ponds, about half-way between Parramatta and Hawkesbury, and a short parley ensued, when the Colonel found it necessary to fire upon them; and, after killing several of the misguided rebels, and making prisoners of the principals who survived, the remainder made a rapid retreat. Ten of the leaders of this insurrection, who had been observed as particularly conspicuous and zealous in their endeavours to seduce the rest, were tried on the 8th of March, and capitally convicted. Three were executed on the same evening at Parramatta, since it was justly concluded, that measures of prompt severity would have a greater effect upon the minds of those who had forsaken their allegiance. On the following day, two other rebels were executed at Sydney, and three at Castle Hill: the two remaining criminals were respited, as they were the least corrupted, and had discovered symptoms of sincere remorse for the part which they had taken in the late operations. On the 9th, martial law was repealed; and from that moment no disturbance has again broken in upon the peace of the settlement of a serious nature, although it would be too much to suppose that the seeds of insubordination and disorder were entirely eradicated by the frustrated event of the first endeavour. Men of such desperate characters as are to be found in this colony, are not to be intimidated by punishment, nor discouraged by failure from the pursuit of that career of depravity, which is become dear to them from habit; nothing short of death can destroy, in those minds, the affection for vice, and the determination to gratify their ruling passion, in spite of obstacles, however alarming, or opposition, however strenuous and vigilant. Mr. Dixon, a Roman Catholic priest, who had been sent under an order of transportation from Ireland, for his principles, accompanted Colonel Johnston on this service, and proved to be of some utility in bringing back the insurgents to a proper sense of their duty. It cannot be too much to say, that the conduct of Mr. Dixon, before and after this business, was strictly exemplary.
In May, the blessings of vaccination were introduced into the settlement, and all the young children were inoculated with success; but unfortunately, by some means as yet unaccounted for, the virtue has been lost, and the colony has been once more left without a protection from that most dreadful of all disorders, the small-pox; of the fatal consequences of which the natives have more than once afforded the most dreadful evidence, their loathsome carcases having been found, while this disorder was prevalent amongst them, lying about the beach, and on the rocks. In fact, such is the terror of this disorder amongst these untutored sons of nature, that, on its appearance, they forsake those who are infected with it, leaving them to die, without a friend at hand, or assistance to smooth the aspect of death, and fly into the thickest of the woods. Their superstition leads them to consider it as an infernal visitation; and its effects are such as to justify this idea, in some degree, for it seldom fails to desolate and depopulate whole districts, and strews the surface of the country with the unburied carcases of its wretched and deserted victims.
In September, the limits of Northumberland, and of Cornwall and Buckinghamshire, on Van Diemen's Land, where a settlement had been made during the last year, were defined; and the lines of demarkation were fixed as follow:—The line of demarkation between Cumberland and Northumberland is the parallel of 33. 2. south latitude; and the line of demarkation between Buckinghamshire and Cornwall, on Van Diemen's Land, is the parallel of 42. south latitude. On the 15th of the following month, Lieutenant-Governor Paterson sailed to make and command a settlement at Port Dalrymple; and, in the course of a short period, the colony had the satisfaction to hear of the foundation of two towns, Yorkton and Launceston, which are making their progress to perfection with considerable rapidity.
During the violence of a tempest in this month, a ship of five hundred tons, named the Lady Barlow, and belonging to Messrs. Campbell and Co. whilst lying in the Cove at her moorings, was completely overset by the irresistible fury of the gale; but, with some difficulty, she was raised again. Considerable damage also resulted from this tremendous storm in the interior of the settlement, where trees were rooted up, and the forests were almost depopulated of their most ancient tenants. Huts were blown down and houses unroofed, and the loss to numbers of the inhabitants was such as to afford a serious interruption to their prosperity.
In the month of May, 1805, Norfolk Island experienced a considerable influx of the sea, which, from the extraordinary nature of the occurrence, is worthy of mention. The tide first ebbed to a great distance; when, suddenly, an unusual swell was seen coming in, which occasioned considerable alarm to the colony, to whom such a circumstance was entirely novel: it rose to a great height, and retired to its channel. A second time it revisited the shore, and flowed to a more considerable height than before: a second time it retreated; and once again returned, with a fury surpassing its former efforts; paralyzing the spectators with terror, who were unable to imagine where the extraordinary swellings might pause. For the last time, however, the ocean left the shores, without having caused any material damage; and, in its regress, it opened the secrets of the deep, and displayed to "mortal ken" rocks which had remained until now undiscovered.
About this period, a mare, belonging to a settler named Roger Twyfield, at Hawkesbury, produced a foal, without any fore-legs, or the least appearance of any: it lived for some time, fed very well, and, exclusive of its natural deficiency, was in every respect a remakably well-made animal. Such a singular phoenomenon in nature has no parallel in my recollection; and I believe it is the only instance of an imperfect or deformed progeny in the settlement. Previous to the death of this singular animal, an appearance of a horn was discovered sprouting from its forehead; assimilating it, in some degree, to the supposed unicorn.
Abstract of General Orders.—Arrival of Governor Bligh.—George Barrington.—Blue Mountains.—Journey thither.—New Market at Sydney.—Vessels seized and carried away by the Convicts.—Natives.—Cruelty of the Savages in Bateman's Bay.—Arrival of Masters for the Orphan Schools.—New Storehouse built.—Murders.
Of the General Orders which were issued for the government of the settlement, I shall here give the following abridgment, as it will shew to the reader the nature of the regulations which were adopted in the colony:—
Agreements—not cognizable, unless written and registered; being witnessed by one person, not a prisoner.
Apprentices and Deserters—forbid to be harboured or inveigled, under the penalty of six months hard labour, exclusive of penalties by law ordained, if free; and, if a prisoner, one hundred lashes, with other penalties, at discretion of a bench of magistrates.
Arms and Ammunition—prohibited to be landed without permission, under the penalty of forfeiting bond and charter-party.
Assault.—Every description of persons to obtain redress by action or indictment; and persons beating prisoners assigned them, to forfeit such future indulgence.
Assignments—not cognizable, unless drawn up at the judge-advocate's office and registered.
Bakers—to make bread of one quality only; viz. 24lbs. of bran to be taken from 100lbs. of wheat: to charge 4d. in money, or 2 1/2 lbs. wheat, for a loaf weighing 2lbs. 1oz. when new, and 2lbs. if one day old, under the penalty of 5L. and otherwise at discretion of a bench of magistrates.—[Since the above regulations were made, a much more regular system has been adopted to fix the price of bread. On every Saturday morning, a bench of magistrates assemble to hear the price of wheat, and affix that of bread for the ensuing week, according to the rate wheat has been sold at.]
Bakers—not to pay more than one shilling per bushel for grinding wheat into flour.
Barrack Bedding and Furniture—prohibited to be purchased: penalty—indictment for receiving stolen goods.
Boats—belonging to individuals, to land only at the Hospital-wharf, unless by permission; nor must any convey spirits without a permit, under penalty of being seized.
Boats—employed in the Hawkesbury trade, not to depart from thence, nor from Sydney, without three days notice of departure. In case of attack, to cut away masts and run on shore; and to be provided with an axe or tomahawk, under penalty of exemplary punishment. Those boats in the Hawkesbury river to be numbered, registered, and chained at night, and not to be rowed about after dark, under penalty of confiscation. No boat to convey any person on board a vessel after notice of departure, without permission from the governor or officer in command, under the penalty of the boat being forfeited to the informer, and five pounds to the Orphan School. And all boats must be registered and numbered, under the penalty of their being forfeited to the Orphans.
Boats—forbid being in Cockle Bay or Farm Cove, either ashore or afloat, after sunset, under the penalty of being forfeited to the crown; and all boats to be moored within the Hospital wharf, and hulk.
Boats conveying Grain from Hawkesbury.—No grain to be put into an open boat, or one that is not trust-worthy, or no complaint of damage therefrom cognizable; but if more grain be received than is consistent with safety, the master to make good all loss or damage, lose the freight, and pay five pounds for Orphans; and the same sum to that institution, if grain should appear to have been wetted, to increase its weight or measure.
British Seamen—forbid shipping in foreign vessels, during the war, under the penalty of fifty pounds.
Butchers.—None to vend carcase meat but such as are licensed, under the penalty of five pounds, and one year's imprisonment. Licenced butchers to enter into recognizances to observe as follows:—Not to kill any breeding stock; nor to send live stock, or carcase meat, on board vessels, without permission; to deliver to the governor a weekly return of stock killed, purchased, and sold; not to demand more than one shilling and eight-pence per pound for beef, one shilling per pound for mutton, and eight-pence halfpenny per pound for pork; and not to sell meat by the joint, but by weight, under the penalty of forfeiting their licences and recognizances; the latter to the informer.
Cedar—growing at Hawkesbury, not to be cut down or removed without permission, under the penalty of confiscation, with that also of the boat or cart removing it, to public use.
Centinels—to oblige every person (except an officer) to advance, when challenged, and to confine every person who presumes to answer "Officer," without authority; and when stores, etc. are to be placed in the charge of a centinel, application must be made to the serjeant of the guard, from whom he is to receive instructions, otherwise the centinel not to be accountable.
Certificates.—No person to be employed unless he produces his certificate, if a freeman, or his ticket of leave, if a prisoner, under the penalty that his employer pays five pounds, and half-a-crown for each day the man has been employed; and should he prove to be a prisoner, without permission, the sum of twenty pounds, and half-a-crown a day to Orphans. Certificates will not be granted to persons about to leave the colony, unless their names be published one week previous to their leaving the Cove.
Coals (Newcastle) and Timber—the exclusive property of the crown. Coals prohibited to be worked by individuals, but to be procured by government at ten shillings per ton, and cedar at three halfpence per superficial foot, exclusive of other duties and fines; viz. Licence 2s. clearance 1s. harbour-dues at Sydney at established rates, entrance in and clearance from the river 2s. entrance at Sydney 1s. King's dues for Orphans: coals for home consumption, or for exportation, 2s. 6d. per ton; timber for home consumption 3L. per 1000 square feet, ditto for exportation 4L. per ditto; metage per ton on coals 2s.; measure of timber per 1000 feet 2s. No vessel to go to Hunter's River without a specific licence; and the masters to enter into recognizances, themselves in 50L. and two sureties in 25L. each, to abide by the following regulations; viz. To take a regular clearance; to observe the orders of the officer in command; not to interfere with people at public labour; not to be riotous or troublesome; not to land until permission be obtained; to use baskets which will contain one hundred weight of coals; to make daily returns to the commandant of the quantity of coals and timber taken in; to give two days notice of departure to the officer in command, and receive his certificate and letters; not to sail between dusk and daylight; to land at the place directed, only; to employ no prisoner without permission, and to pay 3s. 6d. per day for the ration of each permitted to be employed; to give no strong liquors to any prisoner; not to land any spirits without permit; likewise to enter into further recognizances, the master in 100L. and two sureties in 50L. each, to take no person on board without sufficient authority.
Colonial Vessels—to be registered, and pay fees to Orphans: for register, ten shillings; for permission to go to Botany Bay or Hawkesbury, two shillings; for re-entry, two shillings; and, to go beyond Broken or Botany Bay, five shillings, and the same at re-entry. Colonial vessels clearing for or from any dependent settlement, prohibited taking any person on board, unless authorised, under the penalty of forfeiting bond and recognizances; nor is any colonial vessel to be allowed a clearance with more than eighty gallons of spirits for twenty-six men, fifty gallons for eighteen men, thirty gallons for twelve men, and eighteen gallons for six men, if going on a sealing or whaling voyage. Persons having families not to enter on board any colonial vessels, unless provision be made by the owners for their families whilst absent; the owners to find security also to return such persons when their engagement expires. The owners must likewise maintain their men while on shore, or the latter may relinquish their contract. The owners must also provide sufficient provisions for the support of their men, or be prosecuted at civil law. Colonial vessels not to depart for oiling and sealing, until bonds be entered into by the owners, binding themselves in five hundred pounds, and two sureties in fifty pounds each (to be renewed annually, for the conduct of masters in their employ), to perform as follows:—To take no person without permission and regular notice of departure; to obtain a clearance; not to navigate beyond the limits, namely, 10.37. and 43.39. south, and 135. east, from Greenwich; not to entice seamen, or entertain deserters; to provide sufficient provisions for the support of their men; not to break bulk, until entered and the fees paid; not to authorize strange vessels taking away British subjects from the gangs; not to purchase or receive more than twenty gallons of spirits from any vessel they may meet, without the governor's permission.
Constables—forbid releasing persons taken in charge, until discharged by a magistrate.
Convicts—not to employ others to do their work: to which all overseers are strictly to attend, under such punishment as a bench of magistrates may adjudge. Convicts not to strike or be struck by free persons: penalty, two hundred lashes the prisoner, and jail-gang twelve months; a free man to pay two pounds for the first offence, and be bound over; and, for the second offence, five pounds, and security doubled. Those prisoners assigned to individuals to be of no expence to the crown, nor can any convict's person be attached for debt. Those prisoners taken off the stores to be employed on their master's ground only, and in no case be permitted on their own hands, or let to hire: penalty to Orphans; the master to pay ten pounds, and half-a-crown for each day the servant has been absent from public labour. Servants, who are prisoners, are not to be beaten by their masters; who are to complain to a magistrate when necessary, on pain of forfeiting such future accommodation. Those prisoners off the stores who charge exorbitant prices for their labour, or misbehave in any other respect, will be recalled, and such other punishment inflicted according to the nature of the offence. Masters of convicts to clothe and maintain them with a ration equal to that issued by government; to provide for them a sheltered lodging; the servant to work, in his own time, for his master, in preference to any other person, and never absent himself without leave; in case of misbehaviour, the master is to prefer his complaint to a magistrate, who will order such punishment as the case shall require. Persons secreting or employing such servants during government hours, will be punished for a breach of public orders on that head. Those convict servants indented for, not to be suffered on their own hands; penalty, the master to pay half-a-crown per day, and one shilling for each day the servant shall be discharged before the time indented for expires.
Copper Coin.—Importation or exportation, above five pounds, prohibited; penalty, treble the value. Also five pounds, and not above, to be considered a legal tender.
Cur Dogs.—Such as are dangerous to stock, or apt to fly at horses, to be destroyed; and if damage be sustained, the owner of the dog to forfeit treble.
Debts.—Wheat and live stock, at government prices, to be considered a legal tender.
Debts of deceased Persons.—Priority of claims for: 1st, medical attendance; 2d, debts and duties to the king; 3d, judgments; 4th, recognizances; 5th, rents; 6th, obligations, bills final and protested; 7th, single bills; 8th, wages; 9th, book debts, etc.
Deeds, Bonds, etc.—to be executed by the judge advocate, as notary public: individuals prohibited the exercise of any part of such office, under the penalty of removal.
Detainers.—All applications respecting detainers against persons leaving the colony, to be made at the secretary's office in writing, and to be lodged within ten days after notice of departure; otherwise not cognizable, unless the party about to depart remains twenty days after the notice has elapsed.
Extortion—to be punished as circumstances may require.
Fees.—High court of appeal before the governor: to provost marshal 1L. 1s. to secretary or clerk 1l. 1s. door-keeper 5s. Note. No appeal is allowed from the verdict of the civil court to the governor, unless the appellant gives good security to prosecute it, and to answer condemnation-money, with costs and damages, in case the verdict of the civil court be affirmed; nor from the governor's award to the King in council, without giving good security in twice the sum sued for, to prosecute the appeal in one year or as soon after as circumstances will admit, to answer condemnation-money, and such costs and damages as shall be awarded by his majesty in council, in case the sentence on judgment of the governor be approved.—Fees to provost marshal, in civil actions, executions, etc.: 5l. per cent. on proceeds of auctions in execution; 5l. per cent. levy money from 100l. downwards, 4l. per cent. ditto from 100l. to 500l., 3l. per cent. from 500l. to 1000l., 2 1/2 per cent. from 1000l. upwards; and for a man to keep possession, 2s. 6d. per day for five days.—Fees on civil actions: a writ, or warrant of execution, above 10l. and not exceeding 20l., 10s., to the judge advocate's clerk 1s.; ditto above 20l. and not exceeding 50l., with 1s. to clerk, 16s.; ditto above 50l. and with 2s. to clerk, 1l. 2s. Capias, for any sum not exceeding 30l., 13s.; ditto, above 30l. and not exceeding 50l., 17s.; and all above 50l., 1l. 2s. Summonses, under 40s., 4d.; above that sum, 6d. Witnesses, travelling from Hawkesbury to Sydney, 10s.; ditto, from Sydney to Hawkesbury, 10s.; to Sydney from Parramatta 5s., and back again the same sum; attending the court each day 2s. 6d.—Fees to secretary's clerks, receiving no salary: free pardons 5s. conditional ditto 2s. 6d.; and, on each person leaving the colony by certificate, 2s. 6d.
Female Stock—prohibited to be sent from the territory, or its dependencies, under the same penalty as for breach of orders.—Female stock prohibited to be killed, under the penalty of 20L. to informer, and two months hard labour for the crown.
Fires—No person to fire stubble, until his neighbours are warned and prepared; penalty, by action, remuneration of all damages: also, no person to smoke pipes, or make fires, near a stack, under the penalty of exemplary punishment.
Fire-arms—forbid to be discharged between sun-set and sun-rise, under the penalty of a breach of general orders.
Fines.—Persons removed to different settlements for misdemeanour, not to return until the expiration of sentence, under penalty of corporal punishment.
Foreigners—not permitted to settle or reside in the colony, without permission.
Forgery—subject to prosecution on a written, as well as on a printed form of note of hand; and persons concealing such offence, will be subject to the same penalty as persons compounding felony.
Fort Philip.—Every person cautioned from purchasing, repairing, or building huts, near the Esplanade, the limits of which are to be explained by the assistant engineer.
Fustic—growing at Newcastle, and its vicinity, forbid to be cut without permission from the governor.
Goats—not to be suffered to range without a herd, under penalty of being forfeited to Orphans.
Grants of Land—forbidden to be transferred within the term of five years, under the penalty of their being cancelled.
Grants and Leases—of buildings erected at the public expence, and grounds allotted for public purposes, to revert to the crown, at the governor's discretion.
Guard sent on board merchant vessels—instructions to: to suffer no one to board but the pilot, naval officer, or officer authorized by the governor; and no article to be sent on shore, nor any person to go on board except the above, until the flag of admission is hoisted: not to suffer spirits, wines, or other strong drinks, to be sent from the ship, but by permit; to admit no unauthorized person on board, without a pass, at any time; and to suffer no shore-boats to board after sunset. If insulted or interrupted in their duty, to report the same to head-quarters.
Hospital Servants—forbid vending or prescribing medicines; and all applications to be made to the medical gentlemen for relief.
Hogs—forbid to be sent on board any vessel without permit.
Idlers—loitering about the wharfs, to be sent to hard labour; and if after sunset, to be imprisoned.
Initials—of the governor, commissary, and deputies, if forged, to be considered as full signatures.
Interest—not more than eight per cent. to be exacted; and any persons demanding more, are subject to the laws against usury.
King's Stores—articles granted for the use of families, comprising annual and extra supplies sent for barter, not to be retailed, under the penalty of forfeiting all further indulgences.
Licenced Persons—bound by recognizance to the due assize of weight and measure; to permit no gaming, drunkenness, indecency, or disorder; to pay due respect to existing regulations; not to entertain persons from tap-too beating until the following noon, or during divine service, under the penalty of forfeiting licence and recognizances; the latter to informer, and five pounds to Orphans. Nor is any licenced person to credit more than twenty shillings, under forfeiture of debt; nor to sue soldiers, seamen, servants, or prisoners, under the penalty of nonsuit and treble charges. And any licenced person vending or receiving liquors distilled in the colony (that practice being strictly prohibited), they will forfeit their licence and recognizances; and all such persons receiving permits for spirits are to receive it themselves, and not to dispose of spirits on any other person's account, under the before-mentioned penalty, and all such spirits to become the property of the informer.
Merchandize.—Not more than twenty per cent. on the importer's prices admitted on the retail; in doubtful cases, to be estimated by courts, if sued for, by allowing from 80 to 100 per cent. on the prime cost of English or India goods, and 20 per cent. on the retail. Notes of hand for debts so contracted not cognizable as evidence, unless the account of articles be produced with prices annexed. All merchandize to be landed at the Hospital wharf, and no where else, under penalty of confiscation; and those articles which are brought from the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, are to pay five per cent. ad valorem on the prices laid in at, exclusive of wharfage and wine and spirit duties. All British manufactures exempt.
Musters.—Persons neglecting to attend musters, if free, to be treated as vagrants; and, if prisoners, jail-gang twelve months. Persons returning false accounts, to be dealt with according to the decision of a bench of magistrates.
Natives—not to be treated with inhumanity or injustice, under the penalty of prosecution and indictment; and the natives of Otaheite, New Zealand, etc. are all to be considered as under the protection of the crown; to be properly treated and maintained by their employers, and not to be sent on any voyage without the governor's permission.
Parramatta.—Persons passing the barracks to give a satisfactory account of themselves to the commanding officer at that place, when required; and no person to carry a musket without permission from the magistrate.
Passage-boats.—Not to convey any person, unless a settler, without a pass; penalty, confiscation. The boats to be kept tight; carry four oars, one mast and sail; boatmen to treat passengers civilly; to give notice half an hour before they depart, by bell ringing; not to stop more than ten minutes by the way, nor to go alongside a vessel, without acquainting the wharfinger; and the proprietors to keep entry-books, under the penalty of forfeiting the bond and recognizances entered into at the time their license was granted. The following charges to be made: Each passenger to pay 1s.; children 6d.; luggage 1s. per cwt.; wheat or shelled maize 6d. per bushel; maize in cob 4d. per bushel; each chair 6d.; sheep and goats 6d. each; pigs and packages, according to their size; liquids 1d. per gallon; porter 3s. per hhd.; planks 2s. 6d. per 100 feet; fowls and ducks 1s. per dozen; geese and turkies 1s. 2d. per dozen; parcels weighing 2lbs. 3d.; and private letters 2d. each. The hire of the whole boat 1l. 1s.
Passes.—No person, unless a settler, to leave his place of abode without a pass, which he is to produce to the chief constable at the settlement expressed in it, and return it to the officer who granted it, under the penalty of three months hard labour, if free; and, if a prisoner, corporal punishment, at discretion of one magistrate, not exceeding one hundred lashes.
Permits—for removing half a gallon of spirits, etc. to be granted by commissioned officers, superintendants, and licensed retailers; and if any spirits be obtained by fraud and collusion, by any licensed person, if free, he will suffer the penalty of one year's hard labour for the crown, and forfeit his license; and, if a prisoner, he will undergo such punishment as a bench of magistrates may direct.
Petitions—signed by more than one person, to be sanctioned by three magistrates, under the penalty of prosecution.
Prisoners—not to be conveyed on board any vessel about to depart: penalty for breach of this order, forfeiture of the boat, and the person rowing it to be subject to two months imprisonment. Nor is any prisoner to be seduced or diverted from the public harvest, under the penalty of ten pounds, half of which to be paid to the informer.
Provisions—including flour, bread, meat, wheat, etc. not to be sent on board vessels, but by permit for that purpose.
Public Registers—applications respecting them to be made to the secretary only.
Public Roads—not to be encroached upon: persons aggrieved thereby, to obtain redress by complaint to the nearest magistrate.
Rations—allowed to prisoners, prohibited to be purchased or exchanged, under the penalty of being indicted; and, if bartered for spirits, all such found in the house will be staved; if a licensed person, forfeiture of license also: And if the ration is not applied for at the time of issue, it will not afterwards be given.
Sabbath.—A strict observance of the sabbath, and general attendance at divine service required; during the performance of which all strollers are to be apprehended and confined.
School-house and Chapel at Hawkesbury, erected by Gorvernment for the Benefit of Settlers in that District.—Those for whom the benefit is designed, invited to become subscribers, for supporting the institution, and maintaining the chaplain and preceptor, by the payment of two-pence for each acre of land they possess. All regulations to be determined by six subscribers, and two magistrates, one of whom to be the principal chaplain.
Seamen.—Any person trusting or retaining any seaman, shall lose his or her money, and be proceeded against; and forfeit five pounds for each day and night (after the first offence), should he be a deserter; but if ignorant of his being such, penalty ten shillings a day, only. And any seaman deserting a ship, and discovered after her departure, shall be subject to thirty-one lashes, and hard labour for the crown.
Sedition.—Transgressors amenable to existing laws; in addition to which the following regulations, for the effectual suppression of such crime against his majesty's government, and the public tranquillity, are strictly to be enforced; viz. Persons using seditious words or actions to receive exemplary punishment; and all persons knowing but concealing such offence, to be treated as accomplices. Any house in which seditious meetings are held, to be demolished.
Slop Clothing—the sale and purchase thereof prohibited, under penalty of indictment for receiving stolen goods.
Spirits, and other strong Drinks.—If landed without permit, penalty, forfeiture to informer wherever found, and all such discovered in the house; nor is any to be removed but by permit, penalty from the original vender 5L. to Orphans. Nor is any greater quantity of spirits to be removed than half a gallon, but by a permit, signed by a magistrate; penalty, forfeiture. And if spirits be landed by a master of a vessel without license, he will forfeit his bond, and be ordered immediately to depart the port. Persons licensed to retail spirits and other strong drinks, to pay 3L. for each license to the Orphans' fund, and 2s. to the clerk. Spirits drawn for domestic purposes, forbid to be transferred; penalty, forfeiture; and, if bartered for wheat, the wheat to be forfeited to the crown, with the spirits and premises. Spirits prohibited to be smuggled, landed without permit, or sold without a license, under the penalty of confiscation. And should any spirits be brought, without the governor's permission, from the eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, the following additional duties are to be paid; viz. If permitted to be landed, for every 100 gallons, 5L.; not to be charged more than 6s. per gallon, including duty of 2s. per gallon; 5L. per cent. ad valorem, and 5s. wharfage for each cask or case of 100 gallons. If not permitted to be landed, no colonial vessel within the limits to receive such spirits, under the penalty of confiscation, together with the vessel; half to the informer. Nor are any spirits to be sold or bartered for more than 20s. per gallon; penalty, the excess of 20s. to be returned, and future indulgence forfeited; and, if licensed, the license to be taken away.
Stallions—not to be suffered to run loose; penalty, 5L. to informer, and 10s. for each night they are held in charge: If not claimed within a week, forfeited to Orphans.
Stock furnished by Government to Individuals.—Oxen hired to such approved settlers as procure ploughs or carts, to be paid for in wheat each March quarter, in the proportion of ten bushels a year for two years, when each head is to be purchased for 70 bushels of wheat, or be returned to government; such cattle not to be ill-treated, or applied to any other than agricultural purposes, on pain of being reclaimed. In case of disease or accidental death, the superintendant of stock to be immediately informed thereof, or the settler responsible for the loss. Cows one remove from the Bengal breed valued at 28L. per head, occasionally to be bartered for as follows: To be paid for in wheat into the store, on delivery of each cow, or, if accepted, in two half-yearly payments; in failure of payment when due, the stock to be reclaimed, and the payment already made forfeited. The stock and produce to the third generation unalienable, unless by the governor's permission; and no person to purchase any such stock without the governor's sanction. Stock, if impounded, a description to be sent to the nearest magistrate, or constable of the district, immediately; to be properly fed, and, if near a town, made public thrice a week for one month by the common crier, under the penalty of 2L. for each head, and all other costs; but owners of stock running at large to pay all damage sustained. Any person who has received stock from government, and obtained permission for the sale thereof, must first tender the same to government at market prices, under the penalty of forfeiture, with twice the value from seller and buyer; the original stock to the crown, the other penalties to informer.
Stills—prohibited to be used; penalty, if free, privation of indulgence and removal; if prisoners, at discretion of a bench of magistrates: Also all liquors and utensils found, to be seized and destroyed.
Stream running through the Tanks at Sydney—no person to throw filth into, nor to wash, clean fish, or erect pigsties near; nor to take water up but at the tanks; under the penalty of 5L. to Orphans, if free, and the house razed; if a prisoner, imprisonment, and hard labour for the crown for twelve months.
Strikes.—No strikes are to be used for measuring grain, but such as are stamped by superintending carpenters, who are to charge one shilling each; and in case of any other strike being used, the person offending to forfeit five pounds, and one shilling for every bushel which has been measured.
Sureties.—Persons becoming sureties for individuals of indifferent character, to forfeit the full amount of their recognizance, if such decision is given before a bench of magistrates.
Swine—found at large without ring and yoke, will be forfeited to the Orphans.
Taptoo-beating.—Persons passing after, to answer centinels when challenged, and to carry a lantern. None but known householders to pass, except officers of vessels, who are to make themselves known, under penalty of confinement.
Timber—to be taken, if wanted for government purposes, wherever found growing on grounds located by the crown to individuals. No private individual to damage or remove any timber, but by permission from the owner of the land, or from the governor, upon crown lands; penalty, prosecution. And all timber exported, to be paid for to Orphans 3L. per 1000 feet solid; returns of all embarked to be made to the wharfinger, under the penalty of 5L. for each neglect. Exotic timbers exempted from the general claim of government, and to be the exclusive property of the owner; but, if disposed of, the crown to have the preference.
Vagrants, and idle and disorderly Persons—to be sent to public labour, for a time to be limited by the magistrates.
Vendue—no person to sell goods by, unless licensed, those exempt by act of parliament excepted, under the penalty of 50L. to the Orphans.
Vendue Master—to give a daily account of sales to the treasurer of the Orphan fund, to which institution 1 1/2 per cent. is to be paid from the proceeds of sales. He is also to furnish a list of articles to the treasurer, previous to the auction, under the penalty of forfeiture of recognizances he enters into at the time he is appointed to that situation.
Vessels—to pay the following dues and fees on entry: To Orphans, an English merchant ship with merchandize, in government service, 15s.; ditto, not in government service, 1L. 10s.; a whaler, with merchandize, 15s.; ditto, with no articles for sale, 10s.; a foreign ship 2L. 10s. General permission to trade 10s.; each bond 3s. 6d.; to water on Orphan lands 10s.; to wood on ditto, or on government grounds, 10s.; on clearance and bonds being returned 5s.; for every permit to land or remove spirits 6d. To the Gaol fund: For every gallon of spirits landed, or removed from the vessel, 1s.; ditto for wine 6d. and beer 3d. Wharfage for every cask or package 6d. No vessel to break bulk until reported and entered at the naval officer's office; and every ship to hoist her colours on public days; in case of refusal, all intercourse to cease. Vessels taking spirits from hence, not to be allowed communication with any dependent settlement, unless the master produces a letter from the governor, or officer in command (to relieve distress excepted); and no spirits to be landed at the settlement he may touch at, unless the governor's certificate of price, etc. be produced. All commanders are also strictly forbid entering seamen from other ships, under the penalty of 15L. for each man; half to the king, and half to the informer. Masters of vessels, not colonial, to give security previous to any communication, themselves in 500L. and two sureties in 50L. each, to take no person away without regular authority, nor to depart without leave, under an additional penalty of 50L. The usual bond, not to lade from hence to India, China, etc. without certificate, to be also exacted. Masters shipping seamen, to make application to the secretary in writing, stating whether such men have been prisoners, and if so, the ship they came in, and where tried; nor is any communication to be held with any vessel after the clearance has been obtained, under the penalty of forfeiture of boat so trespassing, and two months imprisonment. The crews of all vessels to be put on ration, agreeable to existing circumstances.—Vessels not to be built within the limits of the territory, exceeding 14 feet keel, without permission from the governor (unless in case of shipwreck), under the penalty of confiscation.—Vessels under foreign colours not to be cleared for any sealing voyage, or to return hither, but to clear out for a port of discharge. And if any master disregard the colonial regulations, all intercourse to cease; to depart the port immediately, and not permitted to return.
Vouchers for Grain, etc. furnished the King's Stores—to be finally settled quarterly, otherwise not cognizable; viz. 31st of March, 30th of June, 30th of September, and 31st of December.
Weights and Measures—to be true, and stamped as such, under the penalty of ten pounds to Orphans, for every weight or measure which is defective.
The internal regulations, from which the preceding abridgment was taken, are the leading features of the General Orders issued by all those who have administered the government of the colony up to the secession of Governor King, and are frequently altered, or annulled, according to the variations in the local circumstances of the country: since which period, however, a number of other orders and proclamations have been issued, by those who have subsequently held the command in the settlement; but the notice of which, as well as of all political matters, must unavoidably be deferred until some future period, from the peculiar circumstances under which I am at present placed.
* * * * * On the 12th of August, 1806, Governor King was succeeded in his command at the settlement by Governor Bligh, who arrived from England for that purpose; at which period the colony was in a state of growing prosperity, notwithstanding the progress of cultivation was considerably retarded by the frequent overflowings of the Hawkesbury, which never failed to produce such extensive injury to the settlers on its banks, as would have been sufficient to discourage men of much more industry and perseverance than many amongst them.
The death of Mr. George Barrington, who, for a long time, was in the situation of chief constable at Parramatta, ought to have been previously adverted to, as his decease took place some time before this period. During his residence in the colony, he had conducted himself with singular propriety of conduct; and, by his industry, had saved some money; but, for a considerable time previous to his death, he was in a state of insanity, and was constantly attended by a trusty person. The general opinion of those around him was, that he brought on this malady, so destructive to the majesty of man, by his serious and sorrowful reflexions on his former career of iniquity. His death, however, was that of a good man, and a sincere christian. He expressed a very considerable degree of displeasure, when he was in a state of sanity, at his name being affixed to a narrative, which he knew only by report, as being about to be published, and which subsequently did appear, under a deceptious mask.
The Blue Mountains have never yet been passed, so that beyond those tremendous barriers, the country yet remains unexplored and unknown. Various attempts have, at different periods, been made to exceed this boundary of the settlement; but none of them have been attended with the wished-for effect. M. Barrallier, a French gentleman, late an engsign in the New South Wales corps, has been further across than any other individual; but he was compelled to return unsatisfied, before he had obtained any knowledge of the trans-mountaneous territory which he longed to behold. I myself made an excursion to these mountains, in the year 1807, accompanied by an European and three natives; but after mounting the steep acclivities for four days, until I found my stock of provisions sensibly diminishing, I thought it most prudent to re-trace my way to the habitable part of the settlement, and to leave the task of exploring them to some person more qualified, mentally as well as physically, for the arduous undertaking. In fine, from the specimen I had acquired during this journey, of the difficulties which surround this task, I think that, after travelling a few miles over them, their appearance (although so amazingly grand) is sufficiently terrific to deter any man of common perseverance from proceeding in his design.
In the progress of my undulating, I ascended about four or five stupendous acclivities, whose perpendicular sides scarcely permitted me to gain the ascent. No sooner had I attained to the summit of one of these cliffs, flattering myself that I should there find the termination of my toil, than my eye was appalled with the sight of another, and so on to the end of my journey; when, after mounting with the utmost difficulty a fifth of these mountainous heights, I beheld myself, apparently, as remote from my ultimate object, as at the first hour of my quitting the level country beneath. Some of these ridges presented to the eye a brilliant verdure of the most imposing nature, while others had the appearance of unchanging sterility, relieved by the interposition of pools of stagnant water and running streams; there shrubs and trees enlivened the scene, and here barrenness spread its dreary arms, and encircled the space as far as the eye could reach. On my return, in sliding down the steep declivities, I so completely lacerated my clothes, that they scarcely contained sufficient power to cover me. I saw no other animals or reptiles, during this excursion, than those which are common throughout the country.
Were it not for the existence of such insurmountable obstacles, is it to be supposed that persons who have resided above twenty years within sight of this Alpine chain of hills, would have so long suppressed a a curiosity, of the existence of which every day gives some evidence, and have remained so totally uninformed as to the nature of a country, from which the most distant part of the settlement is far from being remote? Or is it probable that the settlers, who reside at the very base of the mountains, would so long have remained ignorant of the space on the other side, if such impassable impediments did not intervene.
In the commencement of the year 1808, a new market was established on a part called the Old Parade, near to the Orphan House, and every exertion was made to expedite the building of the shops. The marketdays are Wednesdays and Saturdays, when a considerable number of farmers, from the districts between Sydney and Parramatta, as well as from other quarters, attend with the produce of their lands: they also bring poultry, vegetables, fruit, etc.; and to prevent, as much as possible, the too frequent impositions practised, a clerk of the market has been appointed, to weigh all things that may be required.
Of late years, a number of vessels have been seized and carried away by the convicts, amongst whom there must ever be numbers who will eagerly grasp at any project of emancipating themselves which occurs to their minds. Lately, the Venus, a brig belonging to Messrs. Robert Campbell and Co. laden with a quantity of provisions and stores to supply the settlements to the southward, and a very handsome brig, called the Harrington, from Madras, were seized and taken off. The former, when she had reached her place of destination, after coming to an anchor, and landing the master with dispatches for the Lieutenant-Governor, was seized by some convicts who had been placed on board, under confinement, aided by part of the crew, and was carried beyond the reach of re-capture. She has since been heard of, but without a probability of her recovery. The latter was cut out of Farm Cove, and was carried out to sea, before any information was received on the subject. This transaction was planned in a very secret manner, so that all the convicts boarded her about twelve o'clock at night; and, although the vessel lay in sight of some part of the town, and within the fire of two batteries, yet nothing was discovered of the circumstance until the following morning. Upon the representation being made to Colonel Johnston, that officer ordered several boats to be manned immediately, and a party of the New South Wales corps, with a number of inhabitants who had volunteered their services, to use every means to re-take the vessel, put out to sea; but, after rowing and sailing for several hours, they were at length obliged to return, without ever coming in sight of the Harrington. Other means were subsequently tried for the recovery of the vessel, but all to no effect; the convicts had managed their matters with such secrecy, promptitude, and skill, as totally prevented every endeavour to counteract their intention.
The natives and our countrymen are now somewhat sociable, and there are not many outrages committed by either party. I believe that some of the white men would frequently be more severe with the Aborigines, when caught in the very act of committing depredations, but the circumstance of several settlers being capitally convicted of the murder of a native boy, in January, 1800, acts as a check on their violent dispositions, and prevents the recurrence of such sanguinary proceedings. Some years previous to this period, the Europeans at the Hawkesbury suffered considerably from the marauding inclinations of the natives, several of their huts being burned, and themselves severely wounded; their corn-fields were also frequently despoiled, and their future promise blasted. On these as well as subsequent occasions, the settlers, in defence of their persons and property, were compelled to have recourse to arms, the natural and necessary consequence of which was the destruction of some of the plundering tribes; but, in these instances, the circumstances justified the deed, and the governor sent assistance to them, rather than the contrary. In fact, so many atrocious deeds were committed by one of their leaders at Hawkesbury, who had long been a determined enemy to the Europeans, that Governor King found it necessary to issue an order, offering a reward to any person who should kill him and bring in his head. This was soon accomplished by artifice, the man received the reward, and the head was sent to England in spirits by the Speedy. Those practices, however, had now, in a great measure, been done away with, and it was seldom heard that any steps of violence were pursued on either side. But when thus speaking of the general good understanding which exists between the Europeans and natives, I must be understood to confine my meaning to the vicinity of the principal settlements; for about the remoter coasts they are still savages, as may be gathered from the following narrative of an occurrence in April, 1808:—The Fly, colonial vessel, being driven into Bateman's Bay by bad weather, had occasion to send three of her crew on shore to search for water; and it was agreed, previous to their departure, that in case of any appearance of danger, a musket should be fired from the vessel, as a signal for the immediate return of those who had landed. Shortly after the boat had reached the shore, a considerable body of natives assembled round the boat, and a musket was accordingly discharged. The men returned to the boat with the utmost precipitation, and without any obstruction; but they had no sooner put off from the shore, than a flight of spears pursued them, and was succeeded by others, until the whole of the three unfortunate men fell from their oars, and expired beneath the attacks of their enemies. The savages immediately seized and manned the boat; and, with a number of canoes, prepared for an attack upon the vessel itself, which narrowly escaped their unprovoked fury, by cutting the cable, with all possible expedition, and standing out to sea. The names of the unhappy men who were thus murdered, were Charles Freeman, Thomas Bligh, and Robert Goodlet. This melancholy circumstance affords a sufficient illustration of the dispositions of those natives which are remote from the settlements; and as no such occurrences have taken place amongst the neighbouring inhabitants of the country, it is but a fair presumption to conclude, that an association with Europeans has in some degree polished their native rudeness, has softened the cruelty and natural violence of their dispositions, and inculcated into their breasts some principles of humanity. By observing the conduct of the new settlers, the savages have learned to imitate their actions, and to discard a portion of that barbarity of manners, which allied them to the material creation.
Just before I quitted the colony, two persons arrived; one as master of the female Orphan school, and the other to superintend the boys; but as the school for the latter was not yet erected, an advertisement was immediately given out by government, to ascertain the numbers of the youth of that description, in order that some correct idea might be formed of the extent of the projected building. The female school was established and occupied by the children, who were considered as proper objects of the charity, in the early months of the year 1801, soon after Governor King took the command of the settlement, and is a fine institution; and the late committee have so acted, as to reflect honour on the task which they have so feelingly undertaken. Nor can the children of that institution ever be sufficiently grateful to Mrs. Paterson, and Major Abbott, as well as to some few others of the several committees, whose judicious measures and well-adapted plans, have not only contributed to their present comfort, but laid a foundation for their being brought up in a life of virtue and industry, instead of becoming the objects of prostitution and infamy. It is supported by different duties levied on merchandize—by fines, fees, etc. (as may be seen by a reference to my abridgment of the General Orders), and is of no expense to the crown. The establishment of these benevolent asylums for the offspring of misery, confers a high degree of credit on their originators, as well as on the people amongst whom they flourish, and afford a powerful argument to combat those weak and obstinate prejudices which have been raised against this colony, by persons of little information and less liberality, who, reasoning on narrow principles, and with obscure views of the subject, are incredulous of the good which exceeds the horizon of their own bounded perspective, and are ever amongst the foremost to exclaim, "Can any good come out of Nazareth?"
About the same period, a complete range of storehouses was completed on the banks of the Parramatta river, and another had been commenced close by the wharf at Sydney. The necessity for some new buildings of this description had been evident for some time, as the chief part of the King's storehouses, which had been previously erected, were unfortunately so remote from the water-side, as to occasion much superfluous labour, as well as to render the unloading of ships extremely burdensome and expensive. These inconveniences have, however, been considerably lessened by the new arrangements; and the pursuance of a similar system will speedily render the port infinitely more commodious, and effectually remove those grievances which were calculated to restrict the influx, and increase the estimated value of merchandize.