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´╗┐Title: The Present Picture of New South Wales (1811)
Author: Mann, David Dickinson
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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London, 1811

* * * * *




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


Agriculture, etc.
Price of Provisions and Ration
Trade and Manufactures
Natural History
Military Force
Building: with Reference to the particular Houses, etc. of the


Hints for the Improvement of the Colony

* * * * *

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]

* * * * *



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,


35, Queen-Street, Edgware-Road,

Oct. 13, 1810

* * * * *


Chapter I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Chapter II.

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

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

_Arms and Ammunition_--prohibited to be landed without
permission, under the penalty of forfeiting bond and

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

_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

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

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

Some short time also before I left the settlement, two murders
were committed, by men named Brown and Kenny; the former of whom
had killed several men at the southward, and was brought from
thence to Port Jackson for trial, where he was convicted,
executed, and subsequently hung in chains on Pinch-gut, a small
island in the centre of the harbour leading to Sydney Cove. The
latter was arraigned for the murder of a woman named Smith, who,
after he had perpetrated the deed, endeavoured to consume the
body of his victim, by thrusting it in the fire. He was executed,
and hung in chains at Parramatta.--Several other murders have
been committed; but as it is my intention to touch only on the
most particular occurrences, I have forborne to name more than
those I conceived to be the most atrocious.

* * * * *

Such is as accurate a sketch of the progress of the colony as
it comes within the compass of my limits or intention at present
to depict. I have omitted numerous occurrences of a trivial
nature, considering their detail altogether superfluous, as the
interesting narratives of Governor Hunter and Lieutenant-Governor
Collins, are sufficient to give the minute inquirers into the
rise of the colony a perfect acquaintance with the nature of the
general occurrences therein; a continuation of which details
would, in fact, be little more than their repetition. I believe I
have touched upon the most interesting points in the history of
this yet unmatured settlement, subsequent to the valuable
relations of these esteemed officers, except such as relate to
politics, and other topics, which may hereafter be subjects of
contemplation; and my principal object has been, to carry to the
mind of the reader an idea of the progressive maturation of the
colony, without fatiguing his eye with _minutioe_ which
might render the work tedious, and induce him to regret the hour
which he has devoted to its perusal. It now remains for me to
depict the state of the colony, at the close of the autumn of
1809 (March), when I sailed for England; and, in the execution of
this part of my task, I shall endeavour so to arrange my subject
as to preserve an interest, unbroken and unfailing, throughout
the whole. By a rigid adherence to facts, I shall enable the
reader, by a comparison of my various statements with the
previous details of the luminous narrators above mentioned, to
form just and indisputable estimates of the increase of the
settlement; of its growth in population and extent, as well as in
the means of supporting its increased members. This division of
my subject will also afford the political philosopher new
materials for calculation, on a subject so interesting, so
important to the civilized world, as the colonization and
cultivation of those remote parts of the universe, which may, at
some future period, be made the seats of new empires, by draining
off from the old world that superfluity of population which, like
an insupportable burden of fruit on a tree, unless removed, would
tend to depress and destroy the trunk which produced and
supported it.

Chapter III. Present State of the Colony.

Agriculture, etc.

The account of land in cultivation, as it appeared at the last
muster taken by me, according to direction which I received from
his Honour Lieutenant-Governor Foveaux, and making a part of the
several tracts granted by the crown to settlers, etc. as
described in the survey, stood as follows:--

Belonging to the Crown--100 acres in wheat.

Belonging to Officers--326 1/2   acres of wheat, 178 acres
of maize, 22  1/2   acres of barley, 13 acres of oats, 13/4
acres of pease and beans, 191/4 acres of potatoes, 65 acres of
orchard, and 6 acres of flax and hemp.

Belonging to Settlers--6460 1/2   acres of wheat, 32111/4
acres of maize, 512 acres of barley, 79 1/2   acres of oats,
983/4 acres of pease and beans, 2813/4 acres of potatoes, 13
acres of turnips, 4811/4 acres of garden and orchard, and
28 1/2   acres of flax, hemp, and hops.

Total.--6887 acres of wheat, 33891/4 acres of maize,
534 1/2   acres of barley, 92  1/2   acres of oats,
100 1/2   acres of pease and beans, 301 acres of potatoes, 13
acres of turnips, 5461/4 acres of orchard and garden, 34 1/2
acres of flax, hemp, and hops.

The following is the general course of cultivation adopted,
and justified by experience:--

_January_.--The ground intended for wheat and barley to
be sown in, ought to be now broken up; carrots should also be
sown, and potatoes planted in this month are most productive for
the winter consumption.

_February_.--A general crop of turnips for sheep, etc.
should be sown this month, the land having been previously
manured, cleared, ploughed, etc. This is also the proper month
for putting Cape barley in the ground, for green food for horses,
cattle, etc.

_March_.--Strawberries should be planted this month, and
onions for immediate use should be sown. All forest land should
be now sown with wheat; and turnips, for a general crop, in the
proportion of one pound of seed to an acre of land.

_April_.--From the middle of this month, until the end of
May, is the best season for sowing wheat in the districts of
Richmond Hill, Phillip, Nelson, and Evan, as it is not so subject
to the caterpillar, smut, rust, and blight. Oats may also be sown
now for a general crop. Asparagus haulm should also be cut and
carried off the ground, and the beds dunged.

_May_.--Pease and beans for a field crop should be sown
in this month; but, in gardens, at pleasure, as you may be
supplied with them, as well as most other vegetable productions,
sallads, etc. nearly at all times of the year.

_June_.--This is the best season for transplanting all
kinds of fruit-trees, except evergreens; layers may also be now
made, and cuttings planted from hardy trees. Spring barley should
be sown this month upon all rich land, three bushels to an

_July_.--Potatoes which were planted in January are now
fit for digging. Stocks to bud and plant upon should now be
transplanted; cabbage and carrots may be sown; and strawberries
should be cleaned, and have their spring dressing.

_August_.--Potatoes must now be planted for general
summer use; the ground prepared for clover at this season is
best. Cucumbers and melons of all kinds should now be sown, and
evergreens transplanted. Vines ought to be cut and trimmed early
in this month. Ground may this month also be ploughed for the
reception of maize, and turnip land prepared for grass.

_September_.--This is the best season for grafting
fruit-trees, and the ground should be entirely prepared for
planting with maize. Grass-seed or clover should be sown in the
beginning of this month, if the weather is favourable, and there
is a prospect of rains.

_October_.--All fruit-trees now in bearing should be
examined, and where the fruit is set too thick, it must be
reduced to a moderate quantity. The farmer should plant as much
of his maize this month as possible, and clean ground for

_November_.--In this month the harvest becomes general
throughout the colony, and no wheat ought to be stacked upon the
ground, as the moisture which arises from the earth ascends
through the stack, and tends much, in this warm climate, to
increase the weevils, which prove very destructive to the wheat.
Evergreens may now be propagated by layers, and cabbage, lettuce,
and turnips sown.

_December_.--The stubble-ground is frequently planted
with maize in this month, so that it produces a crop of wheat and
another of maize in the same year; but the policy of thus forcing
the ground is much questioned by many experienced agriculturists,
and is supposed to have led to the ruin of some of these
avaricious farmers. Cauliflower and brocoli seeds may now be

The prices paid for planting, clearing ground, etc. is as
follows, according to the regulations specified in the general
orders:--For felling forest timber, 10s. per acre; for
burning off ditto, 25s. per acre; for breaking up new
ground, 24s. per acre; for breaking up stubble or corn
land, 13s. 4d. per acre; for chipping in wheat,
6s. 8d. per acre; for reaping ditto, 8s. per
acre; for threshing ditto, 7d. per bushel; for planting
maize, 6s. 8d. per acre; for hilling ditto,
6s. 8d. per acre; and for pulling and husking
ditto, 5d. per bushel.--The hours of public labour are
from sunrise to eight o'clock, and (Sundays excepted) from nine
to three. On Saturdays, on account of the stores being open for
the issue of provisions, the hours are from sunrise to nine

Yearly wages for servants, with board, 10L.; weekly
ditto, with provisions, 6s.; daily wages, with board,
1s.; and daily wages, without board, 2s.

The following is an accurate account of Live Stock, taken at
the same time as the preceding statement of land in

Belonging to the Crown--28 male horses, 19 female ditto; 21
bulls, 1791 cows; 1800 oxen; 395 male sheep, and 604 female

Belonging to Officers--81 male horses, 146 female ditto; 38
bulls, 1111 cows; 696 oxen; 2638 male sheep, 5298 female ditto;
40 male goats, 73 female ditto; 486 male pigs, and 537 female

Belonging to Settlers--258 male horses, 329 female ditto; 40
bulls, 1906 cows; 1172 oxen; 7449 male sheep, 15,327 female
ditto; 799 male goats, 1670 female ditto; 7693 male pigs, and
7435 female ditto.

Belonging to Persons not holding Land--44 male horses, 35
female ditto; 19 bulls, 307 cows; 103 oxen; 325 male sheep, 1222
female ditto; 97 male goats, 296 female ditto; 1641 male pigs,
and 1576 female ditto.

Total of Stock--411 male horses, 529 female ditto; 118 bulls,
5115 cows; 3771 oxen; 10807 male sheep, 22,451 female ditto; 936
male goats, 2039 female ditto; 9820 male pigs, and 9548 female

The common lands to the various districts, which were located
in perpetuity in 1804, are now felt very serviceable, and were
just granted at a period that prevented any of the settlers from
being thoroughly enclosed, so that every grazier has now an
opportunity of feeding his stock thereon, without confining
himself to the quantity of land he chooses to cultivate on his
own farm.

From the above statements it will most certainly appear, that
the colony is in a very flourishing state, and, no doubt, will
soon become independent of the mother country, if those methods
are pursued which are best calculated to promote this end. No one
step has latterly been taken to facilitate this desirable object
more than the measures adopted by Colonel Johnstone and
Lieutenant-Governor Foveaux, who distributed the breeding cattle
amongst the industrious and deserving settlers; a step which has
produced benefits of a two-fold nature--laying the foundation for
the more rapid increase of stock, and affording a stimulus to
meritorious exertion. In the districts about Hawkesbury, the
grain yields abundantly; but at the other settlements it is less
productive: The reason of this distinction must be chiefly
obvious to the reader of the preceding sketch, in the liability
of the soil at the former settlement to frequent inundations,
which serve every purpose of manure, and uniformly keep the
ground in a mellow state. It has been erroneously stated, that
the average produce of the land in New South Wales is sixty
bushels of wheat per acre; but I can take upon myself to say,
that twenty-five bushels an acre will be found the full extent of
the average produce. When a comparison is made between the
present state of the country and its former condition, the
improvements will appear considerable in agriculture, and almost
incredible in every other respect. The season for the gathering
in of the wheat has been gradually accelerated, ever since the
commencement of the colony; and the harvest of the last year
previous to my departure from the settlement, commenced nearly a
month sooner than it did at the first: The fruit seemed also

Prices of Provisions, and Ration.

The following was the current price of Articles of Food, in
the year 1809:--Wheat 12s. per bushel; maize 5s.
per bushel; barley 5s. per bushel; oats 4s.
6d. per bushel; potatoes 10s. per cwt.; turnips
4d. per bunch; carrots 6d. per bunch; cabbages
3d. each; lemons 6d. per dozen; peaches 2d.
per dozen; apples 2s. per dozen; pears 3s. per
dozen; strawberries 1s. per quart; quinces 2s. per
dozen; water melons 9d. each; musk and other melons
1s. each; apricots 1s. per dozen; mulberries
1s. per quart; Cape gooseberries 8d. per quart;
native currants 8d. per quart; oranges, raspberries,
grapes, plums, almonds, pomegranates, limes, shaddocks, citrons,
pine-apples, nectarines, and guavas, are to be procured; but
their prices are variable, some of them being more scarce than
others. Cucumbers 1d. each, mushrooms 8d. per
quart, French beans 4d. per quart, onions 20s. per
cwt. peas 1s. per quart, beans 9d. per quart,
asparagus 2s. per hundred, artichokes 6d. each,
spinage 1s. per dish, pumpkins 6d. each,
cauliflowers 6d. each, brocoli 6d. per dish, figs
3d. per dozen. Beet-root, lettuces, raddishes, sallad of
all kinds, horse-raddish, samphire, watercresses, celery, endive,
and herbs of every description, are extremely plentiful, and to
be purchased at reasonable rates.

Animal food is to be procured at the following prices:--Beef
1s. 3d. per lb.; mutton 1s. 3d. per
lb.; pork 1s. per lb.; lamb 1s. 3d. per lb.;
kangaroo 8d. per lb. (the flesh of this animal is somewhat
similar in taste to English beef, but rather inferior, owing to
the want of fat); goat mutton 1s. per lb.; turkeys
10s. each; geese 8s. each; ducks 4s. each;
Muscovy ducks 5s. each; fowls 2s. 6d. each;
wild ducks 2s. each; teal 1s. 3d. each;
rabbits 4s. each; roasting pigs 5s. each; pigeons
1s. 3d. each; kids 5s. each; eggs 1s.
6d. per dozen; butter 6s. per lb.; milk 1s.
per quart; cheese 2s. 6d. per lb.; oysters
1s. per quart; and lobsters 1s. each.

Fish is exceedingly numerous of every description, and is very
good as well as moderate in charge. A turtle was caught recently
in Broken Bay, with a hook, weighing seven hundred weight, which
was retailed to the inhabitants at 4d. per lb.

The following is to be considered as a full weekly Ration,
which is issued from the stores whenever there is a sufficiency
without a prospect of want, to those who are in the employ of
government:--Seven pounds of salt beef, or four pounds of salt
pork; eight pounds of flour or meal, or an addition of a quarter
of a pound of wheat to each pound, if it cannot be ground; pease
or other pulse, three pounds; six ounces of sugar in lieu of
butter. The same quantity is to be given by their employer to
those who are indented to settlers, etc.; but as frequent
alterations are necessarily made, according to the pressure of
circumstances, the deficiency is generally made up with

Trade and Manufactures.

A manufactory has been established for coarse woollen
blanketing or rugs, and coarse linen called drugget; a linen of a
very good quality has also been produced, which has been disposed
of to settlers, etc. and issued from the stores to those who
labour for the crown. The spinning has been done by the female
convicts, and the weaving, etc. by the male. The person who
superintended this department, for some time, was George
Mealmaker, a well-known political character in North Britain; but
he has been dead some years, and the manufactory, which adjoins
the goal at Parramatta, has been almost entirely destroyed by
fire; consequently, the progress which would have been made in
this manufacture has been greatly retarded. When I left the
colony, however, a very deserving, respectable, and persevering
settler, at Hawkesbury, was about to commence in that way on a
very extensive scale; for which laudable purpose he had sown
several acres with flax and hemp, and I am hopeful his exertions
will tend to benefit the colony, to which the establishment of a
manufactory of this description has been long an object ardently
to be desired; and it is to be hoped, that the effort of this new
speculator will be crowned with that success which it so
eminently deserves.

The leather made from the skins of cattle, kangaroo, seal,
etc. are extremely good, and are tanned by a bark which grows
in the settlement, much sooner than a similar operation is
performed in England. The sole leather, in my opinion, cannot be
surpassed in point of goodness; and every improvement which can
arise from competition may be naturally expected, since there are
several persons who follow this line of business both at Sydney
and Parramatta.

Several potteries have been established; but the most
celebrated manufacturer of this description, named Skinner,
lately died. His dishes, plates, basons, covers, cups and
saucers, teapots, and chimney ornaments, were in a very superior
style of workmanship; and other useful articles equally

Tobacco-pipes, which, some years ago, at the cheapest periods
cost sixpence each, are now manufactured in the settlement, of a
very good quality, and are retailed for one penny each. The great
propensity to smoking which prevails throughout the colony,
causes an astonishing consumption of this article, and has well
repaid the original speculator.

Salt is made in great abundance from salt water; and large
salt-pans have been erected at Rose Bay, whence, and at
Newcastle, great quantities are made and sent to Sydney. A plan,
however, had been proposed to the governor, for making it by
evaporation, which it was supposed would be carried into effect;
it was in agitation, and was nearly brought to perfection when
this statement was made.

Some very palatable beer is brewed in the settlement, at four
extensive breweries; one at Sydney, one at Kissing Point, one at
Parramatta, and the other at Hawkesbury; and a number of persons
brew their own beer. Some improvements here may yet be looked
for, since at present the grain is malted very badly in the
colony, which I attribute more to the want of proper utensils
than any deficiency of ability. In a short time also they will be
enabled to grow a sufficiency of hops in the settlement for every
purpose, without being compelled, as at present, to have recourse
to the mother country for this necessary article.

Eight wind-mills have been erected for the purpose of grinding
corn; and a water-mill, which had been erected at Parramatta,
has, most unfortunately, been destroyed by a flood, which came on
some time previous to my leaving the colony.

There are four auctioneers, or vendue masters, in the
settlements; two at Sydney, one at Parramatta, and one at
Hawkesbury: They usually charge five per cent. on sales.

The shops are particularly respectable, and decorated with
much taste. Articles of female apparel and ornament are greedily
purchased; for the European women in the settlement spare no
expense in ornamenting their persons, and in dress, each seems to
vie with the other in extravagance. The costliness of the
exterior there, as well as in most other parts of the world, is
meant as the mark of superiority; but confers very little grace,
and much less virtue, on its wearer, when speaking of the dashing
belles who generally frequent the Rocks, who may often be seen of
an evening attired in the greatest splendour, and on the
following morning are hid from public view with extremely mean

Spirits are also bought up with astonishing rapidity; and,
when prohibited, will ever be obtained by some means or other,
and I have known it to sell as high as thirty shillings per
bottle; the general price by the retailer, however, is from ten
to sixteen shillings per bottle. Most of the people in the
colony, male and female, give way to excessive drinking. Wines
are not so eagerly sought after, and are therefore more
reasonable than might be expected; but if the rage for luxuries
continues to increase in the same proportion as it has done for
the last few years, it must soon obtain an enhanced price, and a
more rapid sale. The evils consequent upon the unrestrained use
of these articles, are such as to justify the most poignant
regrets that they should be held in such estimation by all
descriptions of persons, since they have proved from their first
introduction into the colony, and still continue to be, the
fertile sources of social disorder, of domestic misery, of
disorders, and of death. It is to no purpose that the higher
orders set examples of sobriety and temperance; it is of no avail
that the governor uses every prudent exertion to restrain the
immoderate traffic in these pernicious liquors; threats,
intreaties, and punishments, are equally useless; and while
spirits are to be procured, the inhabitants will possess them at
the price of every other comfort of life.

While on this subject, I shall just take occasion to advert to
a singular circumstance respecting the specie of the settlement.
The copper coin which was sent out by government, and was
originally issued at the close of the year 1800, has most
surprisingly decreased, as very little indeed is now used
currently. This occurrence is so strange in itself, that I am
totally at a loss to account for it, on any principles whatever.
Considering its rapid diminution, I cannot conjecture by what
means the circulation is still kept up; nor, on the other hand,
can I suppose that the coin is caught up for the purposes of
exportation, as it was issued in the colony, in the first
instance, at one hundred per cent. above its real value. The
scarcity of this specie, at all events, operates as an
obstruction to trade; and I think that some steps ought to be
taken to remove the cause of complaint, by filling up the
deficiency which has so unaccountably taken place.


There are nine thousand three hundred and fifty-six
inhabitants in the settlement, out of which number upwards of six
thousand support themselves, and the rest are victualled and
clothed at the expense of the crown. Most men of a trade or
profession pursue their calling; and labourers are either
employed by settlers to cultivate their lands, and in various
occupations, or work in different gangs, where they can be

When a transport arrives with prisoners, their irons are
immediately knocked off (if this has not been previously done),
unless some powerful reason exists to justify an exception from
this rule. The muster is taken by the commissary, who gives
receipts for every thing belonging to the crown; the list, with
remarks, is given to the governor, who orders them to what part
of the settlement he thinks proper, where the deficiency of hands
in agricultural or other employments renders such an acquisition

The behaviour of the prisoners has recently been much less
exceptionable than in the earlier days of the settlement, and
they seem to have accommodated their dispositions, in a great
degree, to their new situations; those who are guilty of theft
have latterly been transported to some remote settlement, and
this system of punishment has been found more efficacious than
the infliction of castigation, or any other corporal punishment,
since they feel an unconquerable repugnance to the idea of a
separation from their old connections and companions, and a
removal to a solitary scene, where they cannot hope for any
opportunities of re-commencing those pursuits which are so truly
congenial to their dispositions.


Speaking generally of the natives, they are a filthy,
disagreeable race of people; nor is it my opinion that any
measures which could be adopted would ever make them otherwise.
Their wars are as frequent as usual, and are attended with as
much cruelty both towards men and women. They are still ready at
all times to commit depredations upon the Indian corn, whenever
there is a probability of their attempts being attended with the
desired success; and this predatory disposition renders it
frequently necessary to send detachments of the military to
disperse them; but the utmost care is taken to prevent any fatal
circumstances from attending these acts of needful hostility, and
orders are uniformly issued never to fire upon the natives,
unless any particularly irritating act should render such a
measure expedient. They are amazingly expert at throwing the
spear, and will launch it with unerring aim to a distance of
thirty to sixty yards. I myself have seen a lad hurl his spear at
a hawk-eagle (a bird which, with wings expanded, measures from
seven to ten feet), flying in the air, with such velocity and
correctness as to pierce his object, and bring the feathered
victim to the earth. This circumstance will tend to shew how soon
the youth of these tribes are trained to the use of the spear,
and the dexterity to which they attain in this art before they
reach the age of manhood. Indeed, instances are by no means
uncommon, where an army of natives is seen following a youthful
leader of fifteen or sixteen years of age, and obeying his
directions implicitly, because his previous conduct had been
characterized by remarkable vigour of body, and intrepidity of
mind--virtues which qualify natives of every age and rank for the
highest honours and the most marked distinctions amongst these
untutored sons of nature. Their attachment to savage life is
unconquerable; nor can the strongest allurements tempt them to
exchange their wild residences in the recesses of the country,
for the comforts of European life. A singular instance of this
fact occurred in the case of Be-ne-long, who was brought to
England by Governor Phillip, and returned with Governor Hunter.
For some time after his return, it is true, he assumed the
manners, the dress, and the consequence of an European, and
treated his countrymen with a distance which evinced the sense he
entertained of his own increased importance; and this disposition
was encouraged by every method which suggested itself to the
minds of those of the colony with whom he associated; but,
notwithstanding so much pains had been taken for his improvement,
both when separated from his countrymen, and since his return to
New South Wales, he has subsequently taken to the woods again,
returned to his old habits, and now lives in the same manner as
those who have never mixed with the civilized world. Sometimes,
indeed, he holds intercourse with the colony; but every effort
uniformly fails to draw him once again into the circle of
polished society, since he prefers to taste of liberty amongst
his native scenes, to the unsatisfactory gratification which
arises from an association with strangers, however kind their
treatment of him, and however superior to his own enjoyments.

Yet there are many of the natives who feel no disinclination
to mix with the inhabitants occasionally--to take their share in
the labours and the reward of those who toil. Amongst these there
are five in particular, to whom our countrymen have given the
names of Bull Dog, Bidgy Bidgy, Bundell, Bloody Jack, and another
whose name I cannot call to recollection, but who had a farm of
four acres and upwards, planted with maize, at Hawkesbury, which
he held by permission of Governor King; and the other four made
themselves extremely useful on board colonial vessels employed in
the fishing and sealing trade, for which they are in the regular
receipt of wages. They strive, by every means in their power, to
make themselves appear like the sailors with whom they associate,
by copying their customs, and imitating their manners; such as
swearing, using a great quantity of tobacco, drinking grog, and
other similar habits. These natives are the only ones, I believe,
who are inclined to industrious behaviour, and they have most
certainly rendered more essential services to the colony than any
others of their countrymen, who, in general, content themselves
with assisting to draw nets for fish, for the purpose of coming
in for a share of the produce of others toil.

The general pursuits of the natives, their manners and
customs, have been so accurately described by preceding writers
on the subject, that I shall forbear from entering into more
minute particulars, which would swell my sketch far beyond its
intended limits, and could add nothing to the knowledge of which
the well-informed reader is already possessed. It will be
sufficient to remark, that such as the inhabitants of the
interior of New Holland were represented ten years since, they
still remain, as the antecedent remarks must sufficiently
illustrate: The jealousy of the new settlers, which originally
existed, has indeed entirely vanished; but the proximity of a
civilized colony has not tended in the least to polish the native
rudeness and barbarism, which mark the behaviour of the original
inhabitants of this remote spot of the universe.


Although the climate is variable, yet it is very healthy, and
uncommonly fine for vegetation. Most of the disorders which exist
in the settlement are the fruits of intemperance and debauchery,
the necessary result of that fatal addiction to drunkenness,
which produces mental imbecility and bodily decay. Frost is known
but little; at least, ice is very seldom seen; and, I believe,
snow has never yet appeared since the establishment of the
colony: Yet on the highest ridges of the remoter mountains, to
which I have had occasion to allude as never yet having been
passed, snow is to be seen for a long time together; and this
circumstance is a proof of their elevation. The usual weather in
New South Wales is uncommonly bright and clear, and the common
weather there, in spring and autumn, is equal to the finest
summer day in England. This purity and warmth of atmosphere, it
may be naturally inferred, must be particularly favourable to the
growth of shrubs and plants, which flourish exceedingly, and
attain to a degree of perfection and beauty which is unknown to
the inhabitants of this country. The woods and fields present a
boundless variety of the choicest productions of nature, which
gratify the senses with their fragrance and magnificence; while
the branches of the trees display a brilliant assemblage of the
feathered race, whose plumage, "glittering in the sun,"
dazzles the eye of the beholder with its unmatched loveliness and
lustre, and presenting, on the whole, a scene too rich for the
pencil to pourtray--too glowing and animated for the feeble pen
of mortal to describe with half the energy and beauty which
belong to it, and without which description is unfaithful.

Natural History.

This subject has been so well treated, and the various species
of animals, etc. have been so accurately described, by those
who have treated on the history of this colony, that it would be
superfluous in me to re-tread the ground which has been already
so ably trodden. I shall therefore content myself with describing
the few natural productions of the country of New Holland, which
have been discovered subsequent to the latest publication on the
subject, and concerning which, consequently, no information of an
accurate and public nature has yet been transmitted to this
country. The exploration of the works of nature in this immense
tract of the universe, is however still incomplete; and I have no
doubt but the lapse of a few years will tend greatly to the
augmentation of the knowledge we now possess on this interesting
subject, and will prove the fertile source of new delight and
instruction to the mind which can derive enjoyment from that pure
source, the contemplation of nature in her varied and astonishing

The Koolah, or Sloth, a singular animal of the Opossum
species, having a false belly, was found by the natives, and
brought into the town alive, on the 10th of August, 1803. This is
a very singular animal; for when it ascends a tree, at which it
is astonishingly expert, it will never quit it until it has
cleared it of its leaves. It is mostly found in the mountains and
deep ravines to the southward and northward of Broken Bay, and
the natives instantly discover its concealment by observing the
leaves of the Gum-tree eaten off, this being the tree which it
usually selects. It is astonishingly indolent, and is uniformly
found with a companion, locked in each other's arms, as it were.
Its claws are very strong, and are of material service in
assisting it to climb trees; its length from eighteen inches to
two feet; and two stuffed specimens are to be seen in Mr.
Bullock's Museum.

Latterly also, a species of the Hyena has been found at Port
Dalrymple, which is extremely ferocious in appearance, has a
remarkably large mouth, is striped all over, very strongly
limbed, and its claws strong, long, and sharp. This animal is
likewise of the Opossum kind, having, like the generality of
subjects found in New Holland, a false belly. Notwithstanding its
apparent ferocity, it has never yet ventured to attack any human
being, but has confined its ravages to sheep and poultry, amongst
which it has committed frequent and very serious depredations. No
one of these animals, I believe, has hitherto been brought over
to England, either alive or dead, since their native fierceness
renders them less easy of capture than the Koolah.

Flying Mice are likewise found, in considerable numbers, in
this country, of a very handsome appearance, and also of the
Opossum species. The tail of this interesting little animal
resembles a feather; its belly is white, and its back brown; and
it is covered with a down as soft as satin. It flies like an
Opossum. This subject is much regarded for its beauty.

The Porcupine Ant-eaters are found in most parts of the
country, and are esteemed very good eating; they burrow in the
earth, and have a tongue of remarkable length, which they put out
of their mouth, and the ants immediately crowd upon it, as if
lured by some particular attraction, and when it appears to be
pretty well covered, it is drawn in with rapidity, and the
insects are expeditiously swallowed.--Stuffed specimens of these
are also to be seen in the Museum of Mr. Bullock.

Black and white mottled Fern tree was found at the head of
Lane Cove, by Colonel Paterson, about five years since; but it
does not run to any considerable size. It is esteemed a very
handsome wood for the purposes of veneering.

The Spice tree has also been found to the southward: It is a
very strong aromatic, and possesses a more pungent quality than
pepper. This tree produces a berry, which, as well as the bark,
is of a very powerful spicy nature.

Fustic has been discovered at Newcastle--a wood which makes
the finest yellow dye; but it has been hitherto confined to New
South Wales. Indigo was also found in different parts of the
country; but, after a thorough trial of its properties by a
French gentleman of much patience and experience, as well as by
some other individuals of research, it was found impossible to
derive any benefit from it.

Native green currants grow wildly, and make an uncommonly fine
jelly. A wild cherry is also found in the settlement, growing
with the stone on the outside, of a red colour, but nearly unfit
to eat; as also a wild fig, equally nauseous, full of seed, but
eaten by the natives. Strawberries grow to fine perfection; but
no English currant, gooseberry, or cherry trees, are to be seen
in the country: Some were brought from England by Captain Kent,
of the royal navy, and were in a flourishing state, with some
gingers, from Rio de Janeiro, when a fire happened upon that
gentleman's farm, and consumed the whole, which has been a very
great loss to the colony. Pines, far exceeding in size those of
England, are now growing there, but they are scarce; melons, on
the contrary, are very large and plentiful. Botany Bay greens are
procured in abundance; they much resemble sage in appearance, and
are esteemed a very good dish by the Europeans, but despised by
the natives. The bark of a tree called Carajong, which grows like
a willow, is manufactured into ropes of considerable strength. A
single nectarine tree only has been known to bear fruit, which is
in the Government Garden. Some coffee trees were planted by a
Frenchman (Mons. Declambe), but he unfortunately died before he
could bring them to perfection.

The shrubs and plants of this country are all evergreens, and
numbers of them are to be seen, covered with beautiful blossoms,
at all seasons of the year. Jeraniums flourish in such abundance,
that, in various parts of the settlement, they are made into
hedges, and are so thick as to be almost impenetrable; they are
always in leaf and flower, and emit an odour of the most fragrant
nature, perfuming the surrounding atmosphere.

Cedar, and coals, of a very fine quality, are the produce of
the Newcastle district, and are procured with very little
trouble. Manna has also been found near Port Dalrymple, made by
the locusts on the trees, from which it drops in very
considerable quantities. But the most prizable subjects which
have been discovered here are, the valuable stones; of which the
white, yellow, and large brilliant Topazes, are considered of far
greater worth than those which are produced in any part of the
Brazils; since I was informed, when at Rio Janeiro, in the month
of August, 1809, by a number of gentlemen of the best
information, amongst whom were the Marquis de Pomball and the
Judge Consalvadore, that none which had been found on that coast,
could bear a comparison with those of New Holland.

The other animals of this country; the numerous, curious, and
beautiful birds, which abound there; and the various reptiles
which have been discovered, have been already sufficiently
described: More of the latter, however, have subsequently been
discovered to be of a venomous nature than was formerly
conjectured; and the bite of several species of the Coluber, or
Snake, have proved, in various instances, fatal, in the course of
a very few minutes after the wound has been received. It is to be
wished that some mode of cure could be discovered.--It is worthy
of remark, that at Norfolk Island, a spot where a settlement was
made, and which has been subsequently evacuated, about three
hundred leagues from the nearest coast of New South Wales, no
reptiles of any description are to be found; while at Phillip
Island, only seven miles from Norfolk Island, several species of
reptiles exist in abundance, such as the Centipede, Tarantula,


The religion most generally followed in the colony of New
South Wales, is that established according to the usage of the
Church of England; and it is a subject of satisfaction to observe
that the churches are, generally speaking, well attended. A great
part of the military corps, with their officers, uniformly attend
divine service.--A Roman Catholic priest (the Rev. Mr. Dixon) was
formerly allowed by government to preach in public, but this
indulgence has been subsequently withdrawn from some cause or
other; and I am somewhat inclined to attribute this alteration to
the seditious conduct of the Irish prisoners, some years since,
in which it was proved that another priest (Mr. Harold) bore a
conspicuous part, upholding and encouraging the designs of those
who entertained schemes inimical to the existing government, and
subversive of the welfare of the colony.

Some of the Missionary Society preach at the out-settlements,
frequently on a Sunday, with various success; and it is much to
be lamented, that in the selection of these men, who are sent out
to enlighten and instruct the ignorant, greater attention is not
paid to their qualifications; and the abuses which are practised
under the cloak of religion, in these remote parts of the world,
call loudly for a close investigation, and a total reformation of
the system. That there are amongst these Missionaries men of
strict fidelity, whose hearts are engaged in the task they have
undertaken, and whose conduct has justly gained them the esteem
and veneration of all classes, is a fact which no dispassionate
observer can deny; but it is also equally notorious, that there
are too many of an opposite description, who practise every vice,
and do the most serious injury to that sacred cause to which they
have been delegated, and have engaged to support. If greater
pains were taken in the choice of servants, the Missionary
institution might tend to the more rapid promotion of the
knowledge of religion; but the work will be retarded while
improper instruments are used. A Missionary, of irreproachable
character, was unhappily murdered a few years since, by some
persons whom he had served, and who adopted this new and inhuman
method of repaying the obligation which had been conferred upon

The natives are in general very superstitious, and entertain
some singular notions respecting their deceased friends and
countrymen, of which very ample accounts are given in
Lieutenant-Governor Collins's interesting publication. Their
funeral ceremonies are extremely impressive, and every mark of
respect, which suggests itself to their untaught minds, is paid
to the body of the deceased. A barbarous custom, however,
prevails, which is sanctioned by their rude ideas of
religion:--When a mother dies, while giving suck to an infant,
the living babe is uniformly thrown into the grave of the parent,
and the father having cast a stone upon it, the earth is cast
into the pit, and thus the innocent offspring is immolated to an
erroneous and superstitious prejudice.

Amongst the convicts the influence of superstition is less
prevalent, although, amongst many of the lower orders of Irish,
the traces of it are to be discovered; it leads, however, to no
injurious consequences, and deserves encouragement, in preference
to those totally irreligious principles which might naturally be
expected to shew themselves amidst a body of men, of characters
and dispositions so hostile to every thing which is virtuous,
dignifying, and good.


The morals of the colony are by no means so debauched as the
tongue of prejudice has too frequently asserted; on the contrary,
virtuous characters are not rare, and honourable principles are
not less prevalent here than in other communities of equal extent
and limited growth. The instances of drunkenness, dishonesty, and
their concomitant offences, are not more common than in the
mother country; and those amongst the convicts who are disposed
to return to their old habits, and re-commence their depredations
upon society are deterred by the severe punishment which awaits
their detection: There are many also amongst the prisoners
themselves, who are now striking examples of probity, industry,
temperance, and virtue; and some have obtained a remission of the
punishment which occasioned their residence in the settlement, in
consequence of the signal and radical change which had taken
place in their inclinations and behaviour. Where there is society
their must exist offences; but, on the whole, considering the
nature of the colony of New South Wales, the morals of the people
are as free from glaring defects, as those of any other tract of
equal population in the habitable world; and the characters which
are celebrated for their virtues are as numerous, in proportion,
as those which are to be found in other countries, where
civilization and prosperity have made greater progress, and where
individuals have greater inducement to labour, and the prospect
of a brighter reward for their industrious exertions.


The erection of a play-house was noticed in the preceding part
of this sketch; the abuses which were uniformly committed on the
nights of performance, subsequently rendered that a nuisance
which was originally intended for an innocent recreation. When
the inhabitants were engaged in this enjoyment, their property
was left unwatched, and there were ever numbers of dishonest
individuals who were ready to seize upon these opportunities to
gratify their vicious dispositions. It was also a common practice
to give provisions to obtain entrance, if money was scarce; and
thus, by the frequent privations of their regular food, many of
the convicts were unable to pursue their labour with proper
energy and activity. Other abuses also resulted from the
establishment of the theatre, which induced the governor to recal
the permission which had been given for the performances, and the
playhouse itself was soon afterwards levelled to the ground.

Since the destruction of this building, the sources of
amusement have been confined to cricket, cards, water-parties,
shooting, fishing, hunting the kangaroo, etc. or any other
pleasures which can be derived from society where no public place
is open for recreations of any description. The officers of the
colony have also built a private billiard-room, by subscription,
for their own use; and if these amusements possess not that
degree of attraction which is attached to dramatic
representations, they cannot, on the other hand, be liable to
those abuses, and produce those injurious consequences, which
previously existed.

Amongst the convicts, indeed, gaming is carried, too
frequently, to the most deplorable excesses; and, in some cases,
the most abandoned of the prisoners have actually staked the
clothes which they wore, and when those were lost, stood amongst
their companions in a state of nudity, thus reducing themselves
to a level with the natives of the woods. The most severe
measures were called for by this unprincipled practice, and the
most gross part of the custom was done away; but it was
impossible to put a total stop to the gratification of this
gaming disposition, which is still pursued with equal avidity in
some way or other, and which may be said, next to drinking, to
constitute the chief pleasure and amusement of the lowest classes
of the prisoners.

The amusements of the natives need no recital here, as they
have been fully detailed in other publications.

Military Force.

The whole of the military in the colony consists of the New
South Wales corps (now the 102d regiment), two volunteer
associations, and a body-guard of troopers for the governor,
commanded by a serjeant. In fact, the inutility of a larger
military force must be obvious to every man of common reflection,
since it is merely required for the purposes of preserving
domestic peace, which might be in danger of continual
interruptions, in case of the absence of military power
altogether, from the turbulent dispositions of many of the
convicts. This inclination to revolt, however, is repressed by
the appearance of a few organized troops; and a sufficient check
is kept upon the natives, who still continue to make occasional
incursions, and commit their depredations upon the India corn of
the settlers, whenever an opportunity offers itself: At these
periods the soldiers are called in, and a few of them are found
sufficient to drive back the plunderers, who hate and fear the
approach of a soldier.


The buildings are of stone, brick, and lath and plaister;
weather-boarded; and the houses are durable. There are two
churches; one, St. Philip's, which possesses a very handsome
service of communion plate, presented by his Majesty, and
received by the Calcutta, on the 8th of October, 1803; and the
other, St. John's, at Parramatta: There are likewise a school and
chapel at Hawkesbury, where divine service is performed. Two
jails have also been erected in the colony. A house has been
built for the governor at each of the principal settlements;
which also possess several very commodious barracks, with many
other public buildings, and a great number of extensive and
handsome houses, the property of private individuals. There are a
stone bridge, and several very substantial wooden ones, which, if
not celebrated for beauty, are found extremely serviceable, and
well calculated for all the present purposes of the colony, which
is not yet sufficiently advanced in prosperity to prefer ornament
to use. A new stone citadel is in a course of building, on which
the Royal Standard, for the first time in these settlements, was
hoisted on the 4th of June, 1803; and several batteries are
erected.--For a more particular account of the buildings at
Sydney, I must refer the reader to the following explanation of
the Views of Sydney, the principal seat of government, which
accompany this sketch:--

In the View of Sydney, from the East side of the Cove, No. I.
the house under two birds, as r r, is the Residence of the
Governor in Chief, which is built of brick, plaistered over; has
very convenient stables and outhouses, and is a very pleasant and
comfortable residence; the garden and shrubbery extend to about
four acres. The Flag-staff near the gardenhouse bears the Union
on holidays, and different signal-colours are used there to form
a communication between the shore and the king's vessels in the
Cove. The Pine tree growing in the garden is from Norfolk Island,
and runs to an amazing height and thickness; the knots from this
tree are used instead of flambeaux, and burn remarkably well. The
buildings under three birds, as r r r, extending some distance
right and left, and forming a square, are the Military Barracks,
built of brick, the largest of which was erected by
Lieutenant-Governor Foveaux: This is an extensive well-built
place, and was finished in far less time than any building ever
begun upon by government in that settlement, considering its
magnitude. The White House and Warehouses, which appear
immediately under that building, although a considerable distance
on this side, belong to Mr. Simeon Lord; they are built of stone,
and the dwelling-house is by far the most magnificent in the
colony. The road leading through Barrack-square is the high road
to Parramatta. The house at the head of Government-wharf, shewing
four windows on the ground floor, is a Dry Storehouse belonging
to the crown, and is used for depositing articles for barter,
etc. in, which are sent out by government for that purpose.
The small yellow house behind it belongs to government, and is
inhabited by Mr. John Gowen, one of his majesty's store-keepers
in that settlement. The yellow house, on the right of the
Barrack-square, and having nine windows in front on each floor,
is an extensive Government Granary, and was built of brick,
plaistered over, under the direction of his excellency Governor
Hunter. Attached to this building, on the right, is a very useful
Military Store; and, on the left, a Store for the issue of
Provisions. The red house, to the right, built of brick, with two
wings, is the Female Orphan-house, which is a very convenient
building, and was purchased from Captain Kent, of the royal navy,
but great additions have been made to it subsequent to its
purchase. The long building above the Orphan-house, of which only
a part of the front is seen, is built of brick, and belongs to
Garnham Blaxcell, Esq. whose zeal for the colony, and whose
industry, have equally entitled him to the esteem and praise of
all. The house a little to the right of the Orphan-house, and
appearing to have a wing, is the Dwelling, and, attached to it,
are the Warehouses of Mr. James Underwood; they are built of
brick, and are extremely commodious and comfortable. The building
above is the Church, as the tower denotes; it is built of stone,
and has a peal of eight bells therein, but they are not very
harmonious. On the right of the one road leading to the church,
the building with four windows and two doors in front, and the
erection above it, are two Government Store-houses, built of
brick and plaister; the first is generally used for bonding of
spirits in, for naval stores, etc.; and the other for the
reception of salt provisions, when any arrive from England. The
Windmill on the hill is built of stone, and belongs to
government; and the building on the right, which is continued in
View, No. II. with a wall round it, is built of stone, and forms
part of the County Gaol. In the fore ground, six of the Natives
are in the attitude of throwing the spear; two with spears; one
with a spear and helemon, or shield; and two sitting down.--Of
the dexterity with which they hurl this weapon, some notice has
been taken in a preceding part of this sketch.

In View, No. II. taken from the East side of the Cove, the
long building, with a flight of steps, is the County Gaol, of
which a part is seen in No. I. The White Building, to the right
of the Prison, of which only three windows in front, and the
warehouses around it, are discovered, belongs to Mr. Henry Kable,
who, with Messrs. Lord and Underwood, have been very industrious
and enterprising men in the oil and sealskin trade, etc. and
possess a number of vessels and considerable estates in the
colony. The two small Houses, rather to the right, below the
Gaol, built of brick, are used for the boats' crews. The
Warehouses which hide part of these huts, and the House above,
belong to Mr. Isaac Nichols; they are very extensive and
commodious, and are built of stone. The House, still further to
the right, with a door, four windows, and two side-lights, in
front, and kitchen detached, belongs to Mr. Thomas Moore, the
principal shipwright, a man of unshaken integrity and large
property. The wharf near this part, is called the Hospital Wharf,
where all merchandize, etc. is directed to be landed. The Road
leading on the hill, takes different directions to the houses and
streets on the rocks. The three long buildings, on the right of
the road, are the General Hospitals; and in the front of them is
the Government Dock-yard. Next, to the right of the Hospitals,
one building with eight windows and two doors in front, and the
other with four windows and a door, with side-lights, in front,
are the Barracks occupied by the Medical Staff. The two next
buildings are not tenanted by their late possessors. The large
buildings to the right, at the water's edge, are the House and
extensive Warehouses of Robert Campbell, Esq. a merchant, where a
ship of large dimensions can load or unload, with any tide,
alongside his wharf. Near this place a vessel belonging to that
gentleman some time ago caught fire, and after a great deal of
trouble she was sunk, by which means the fire was extinguished;
she was afterwards got up, and underwent such repairs as soon
enabled her to proceed on her voyage. Where the yellow flag is
seen flying, on Dawes's Point, there is a Battery, and
Lookout-house, to communicate with the signals for ships in the
offing at South Head. The River round the point leads to several
agricultural and farming districts, and to Parramatta. On the
hill is the Citadel, with the union flag flying, and two
Government Wind-mills, one built of wood and the other of stone,
the latter of which is unserviceable. The other buildings belong
to individuals indiscriminately. The Canoes, with fires in them,
belong to the natives.

In View, No. I. taken from the West side of the Cove, on one
side of the land which is farthest seen, is the Harbour; and on
the other, is an amazing expanse of sea. There is a carriage-road
made from Sydney to the extreme point, which is South Head, and a
great many carriages and horsemen frequently go down there to
spend the day, or to see any vessels which may appear off the
land. On South Head are, a Flag-staff, a Lookout-house, and an
Obelisk; and betwixt it and the North Head, is a narrow entrance,
by which vessels enter the port, about seven miles from Sydney.
The small island in the centre is called Pinch-gut, which name
originated from some persons being placed there on an allowance
of provisions for some offence, where they built an oven, the
remains of which are yet to be seen: At this time there is a man
named Brown, before spoken of, hung in chains on this spot, for
committing several murders. The other islands, between these and
the heads, are called Garden, Shark's, and Clark's Islands. On
the land to the right of Pinch-gut, called Be-ne-long's Point,
the native of that name, who was once in England, had a hut built
by government; but he soon left it, and it was destroyed: There
are also the remains of a battery there. Under two birds, as r r,
are two Houses on a point of land leading from Farm Cove, the
next cove to the eastward of Sydney. Under a large flight of
birds, are three Wind-mills, and an extensive Bakehouse; two of
which, and the bake-house, belong to John Palmer, Esq. and the
other to Mr. Henry Kable. Beneath them is Government House, and
part of the offices, and grounds. To the right of the Government
wharf are the Dry Stores spoken of in No. I. from the east side.
The building above that, of brick, is the Main Guard-house, and
is a very convenient place for that purpose. The Stone-house, and
offices, to the right of the Dry Stores, with five windows on a
floor, belong to Mr. Thomas Reiby; the brick House, nearly
adjoining, to Mr. Andrew Thompson; and the large Stone-house and
Warehouses, to Mr. Simeon Lord, spoken of in No. I. of the other
Views; in the front of which buildings is the principal road
leading to Government House, where are houses and offices for the
Judge Advocate, Commissary, Clergyman, and Surveyor-General; but
they are mostly hidden in this View by the trees and large
buildings before them. The stone building at the stern of the
Sloop, comprises the Warehouse and part of the House belonging to
Mr. Isaac Nichols, spoken of in No. II. of the other Views, and
continued in the next of this. The buildings concealed by part of
the long shed near, but on this side Mr. Nichols's, is the back
part of the Assistant-Surgeon's Barracks. The house behind the
trees is the back of the Barracks of the principal Surgeon. The
house near the Natives, who are fighting, is not occupied by any
person of particular consequence; and the one, partly hidden by
the rocks, was occupied by Mr. Moore, but is going to decay.

In View, No. II. taken from the West side of the Cove, the
lofty House of which a part is seen, and which was spoken of in
No. II. of the other Views, and I. of this, belongs to Mr. Isaac
Nichols; and the buildings on this side are the back of the
General Hospital. The Bridge, the only one built of stone in the
whole colony, is a very bad structure; the walls on each side of
the arch inclose the grounds belonging to the Orphan-house and
Mr. Simeon Lord. The road seen on the other side of the bridge is
called Spring-row; it leads to several streets, and joins the
main road to Parramatta, etc.; below the paling of which there
are very large Tanks, cut in rocks, to supply the town and
shipping with water; but there is another watering-place for
ships on the north side of the Cove, very commodious, and the
permission to use which produces a small annual income to the
Orphan fund. The rows, commencing above the foot of the Bridge,
on the east side, are called Chapel, Pitt's, and Serjeant-Major's
rows, the latter of which, under the two birds, runs to the
Brick-fields, towards Parramatta. The House on the right, at this
end of the longest street, seen in this View, with three windows
and a door visible, belongs to Garnham Blaxcell, Esq. spoken of
in No. I. of the other Views. The building, the eastern end of
which is partly covered by a tree, is the most southern Military
Barrack. The two lofty red houses at the west foot of the Bridge,
in the rise, are side-views of the Orphan-house and Mr. James
Underwood's, spoken of in No. I. of the other Views. The houses
on the right, a spot called the Rocks, belong to different
individuals, and some of them are very comfortable

Over the south creek at Hawkesbury a floating-bridge has been
erected, which has proved greatly beneficial to the public;
since, previous to its completion, every person who had occasion
to go to that settlement, and in many cases from one farm to
another, was obliged to pass to and fro in a boat. As this bridge
was constructed by an individual (Mr. Andrew Thompson, a settler)
at his own expense, the following tolls are allowed to be
demanded:--For every foot-passenger, four-pence, or ten shillings
per annum; for each horse, single or in draught, two shillings
and sixpence, or two pounds ten shillings per annum; for waggons,
or other four-wheel carriages, with not more than half a ton
lading, one shilling and sixpence, or one pound ten shillings per
annum; for carts, or carriages with two wheels, laden or not,
each one shilling and sixpence, or one pound ten shillings per
annum; for sheep, under a score, two-pence each, and by the score
two shillings and sixpence, or two pounds ten shillings per
annum; swine and goats, the same as sheep. Passengers, horses,
carts, and carriages, are allowed to pass and re-pass, during the
same day, with one ticket; and a considerable income is derived
from this toll.

* * * * *

The children born in this colony from European parents, are
very robust, comely, and well made; nor do I recollect a solitary
instance of one being naturally deformed. They are remarkably
quick of apprehension; learn any thing with uncommon rapidity;
and greatly improve in good manners, promising to become a fine
race of people.

The Duke of Northumberland has sent over some Teeswater sheep,
and one stallion, very recently, to Colonel Johnston, which have
greatly improved the breed of both. Mr. Mac Arthur took over some
Merino sheep, from the King's flock, which are thriving, and the
wool of which is extremely fine; several samples have been
produced in England. The deer in this colony (originally, I
believe, from India) thrive very well, but are of the Rein
species, and rather inclined to be small: I have seen some very
good venison, and of a superior flavour to any I ever eat in
England, though not so fat; the breed might be much improved by a
few being sent of a larger quality. Some time ago several made
their escape from a park belonging to Mr. Harris, who has for
many years been surgeon of the regiment there, and before I left
the colony, they were breeding and running wild in the woods.

Several foreign vessels have within these few years arrived
here on discovery; but nothing material has resulted from their
observations, with which the reader has not been made

Chapter IV. Hints for the Improvement of the Colony.

Having thus touched upon the progress of the Colony and its
present state, I shall now beg to add such Hints respecting its
future improvement, as have suggested themselves to my mind
during a residence of ten years in the settlement, in which
period I have been enabled, from the nature of the various
situations I have held there, to render myself intimately
acquainted with all those particulars which are essential to the
formation of a correct opinion on this interesting subject. And
to the execution of this task I feel the more particularly urged,
since I have beheld, with pain, that those who seem to be most
deeply impressed with the necessity which exists, for the
adoption of some measures to further the interests of the colony,
have entirely mistaken the line which ought to be followed, and
have marked out to themselves a course of procedure, which is
founded on a total misconception of the nature of the colony, and
a very superficial knowledge of its present state. That a period
of twenty-two years has not been sufficient to render New South
Wales independent of the mother country, is a reflection which
must produce strong and ungenial suspicions of the prudence of
those methods which have been pursued to accelerate such a
desirable end; and the continuance of the late system, the
inefficiency of which has been amply illustrated by recent
events, and facts which are incontrovertible, is, of all evils,
the most sincerely to be deprecated and guarded against. Of the
capability of the settlement to produce adequate means for the
subsistence of its members, there can be but a single opinion
amongst persons who are enabled, from experience, to judge of the
nature and fertility of the soil; and it must, consequently, form
an evident conclusion, that some unnatural check must have sprung
up to impede the ordinary course of proceedings. My object,
however, is not to deprecate the opinions of others, but to give
to the public those ideas of improvement which have arisen in my
own mind, and which have been confirmed by the approbation of
others, who are equally as well or better qualified to decide
upon this important subject.

Complaints having been made by the government of the expenses
of the colony, which have accumulated, rather than diminished,
with the increasing growth of the settlement, I shall first enter
into a statement of the causes of this augmented expense, part of
which, as I shall hope to demonstrate with clearness, has arisen
out of the nature of things, and the other part may be attributed
to various causes.

1st, As to the retarded progress of public buildings, and the
diminution in the labour of the convicts.--This decrease in the
quantity of labour performed, is to be attributed to the natural
falling-off in the strength of the convicts employed in
government labour, from deaths, desertions, and their becoming
free. Those who were first sent to the colony, and had been
originally transported for seven and fourteen years had served
their times, the former in 1793, and the latter in 1800; numbers
had been released from their servitude on account of their
exemplary behaviour, or of services done to the colony; and all
who became settlers being allowed one, two, or more convicts to
assist in the cultivation of the tracts assigned to them, the
reduction in those who laboured for the crown must necessarily
have been very considerable, and must still continue in an
increasing degree, owing to the great numbers of free settlers
who have been allowed to go out from England, many of whom have
only been a great expense to government, and an hindrance to the
settlement. From a correct estimation taken in the year 1800, it
was ascertained that three-fourths of the convicts employed in
the service of government at the close of 1792, had been
subsequently discharged. From that period to the year 1800, 1259
new male convicts arrived, effective and non-effective, a number
which was insufficient to fill up the deficiencies occasioned by
those who had obtained their liberations in consequence of having
completed their terms of servitude, and the emancipations which
had taken place, the number of which together amounted to 1264,
without including the deaths, casualties, and escapes, which may
be taken at an equal number; nor were there more employed by the
crown than 710 when Governor King was succeeded in the command of
the colony (although a great many had arrived between those
periods), including the vast number allowed to officers,
settlers, and others, and but few of the remainder were either
mechanics or persons adapted to the improvement of the colony;
therefore from these causes it must be evident to every rational
mind, that the progress of the colony towards perfection and
prosperity has, in fact, been as rapid as could be expected,
considering the circumstances of the settlement; and an opinion
of a contrary nature must have been grounded upon an exaggerated
estimate of the means which existed, and an entire ignorance of
the due proportion which they have borne to the labour required
at their hands.

2dly, As to the expenditure of the stores which were forwarded
to the colony, in the interval which elapsed from the departure
of Governor Phillip, in December, 1792, to the arrival of
Governor Hunter, in September, 1795.--It has been subsequently
ascertained, that in this lapse of two years and three-quarters,
a sufficiency of stores had been received to supply the real
wants of the settlement for a period nearly thrice as long;
whereas the whole was expended, and the store-houses were found
empty at the arrival of the latter governor from England. In
consequence of the profusion which had thus been practised,
although it might at that time be deemed needful, his excellency
Governor Hunter was reduced to the necessity of purchasing new
stores at an expensive market, where every advantage was taken of
the necessity which had induced the demand, and the most
exorbitant prices were charged for each article. I have
understood from very good authority, that two pounds were paid
for a pair of men's shoes, and thirty shillings for women's;
tobacco was forty shillings per lb.; soap twelve shillings, and
sugar eight shillings; a beaver hat and a coarse jacket, fetched
five pounds each, and every other article in an equal proportion.
A great deal of time was also lost in endeavouring to make
implements of husbandry, mechanical tools, and other requisites
of a similar description. The reduced state of the colony at this
period was also rendered still more deplorable, by the neglect of
the government in England to comply with the urgent requisitions
of Governor Hunter for such supplies as were necessary. The
exhaustion of the stores of clothing and beds and blankets,
assisted to fill the hospital with patients, and rendered the
purchase of these articles absolutely indispensable at any price,
and on any terms on which they might be procured. I feel myself
inclined to suppose, that the backwardness which displayed itself
at this time in the government to dispatch the stores which were
demanded, arose from a conviction that the supplies which had
been previously sent in such abundance were sufficiently ample
for all the immediate wants of the colony, and, consequently,
that the pressure of necessity could not be so great as was
represented; for it was not to be expected that those officers
who administered the government of the colony, on the arrival of
their successors, would depict the situation of the settlement,
and the state of the stores, in any other than a favourable
light, particularly to his Majesty's ministers at home; a line of
conduct which tended considerably to enhance the mischiefs which
had been already showered upon the inhabitants, by the perhaps
too liberal distribution which had been displayed in the issuing
of the various necessaries during their administration.

3dly, As to the custom of allowing to settlers a certain
number of convicts, for years, to assist in the tillage, and
continuing to victual those servants out of the public stores.--I
am clearly of opinion, that much evil has arisen from the
unrestrained issue of this indulgence. The original object of
this grant was, to enable the young farmer to clear the tract
which was assigned to him, and to bring it into a condition which
would enable it to produce a maintenance for its possessor; then
he was required to take the convicts which he thought it
necessary to retain, entirely off the public stores, and to
victual and clothe them at his own cost. The abuse of this
indulgence, however, has arisen from the extension of its
advantages to an unlimitted term; so that the farmer is
interested in retarding the efforts which he might otherwise be
induced to make for the improvement of his land, in order to save
himself from the burden of supporting his servants; and thus a
spirit of indolence is promoted, and the original intention of
the measure is totally perverted. The continuance of this
pernicious system, previous to the administration of Governor
Hunter, had induced the settlers to look upon it as a right,
rather than an indulgence. Numbers of useful mechanics, whose
services might have been turned to advantage, in the exercise of
their different professions for the public benefit, were thus
given to those who cultivated lands, until their term was
expired; and no sooner did they recover their freedom, than they
quitted the service of government for more lucrative employments;
the consequence was, artificers at a high price were to be hired
by the governor, to build those store-houses which might have
been erected before, and to repair the towns of Parramatta and
Toongabbee, which were falling into ruins, on account of the
necessary repairs having been neglected at a proper season: This
was a new expense entailed upon government, and many thousands
were expended, which foresight and prudent policy might have

A 4th cause of superfluous expense to the crown, was to be
found in the employment of the convicts to perform the public
service by task-work, which was completed by nine or ten o'clock
in the morning, and thus left the hands free to assist in the
cultivation of those tracts of land which had been granted to
different descriptions of persons. Thus was the government labour
protracted in a most shameful degree; the labour of little more
than a week requiring the lapse of a month to complete it; and
thus, also, several were induced, by their attention to their
individual interests, to neglect the service of the colony. The
consequence of this innovation was, the rapid clearing and
cultivation of such persons' estates, and the erection of
comfortable residences and the acquisition of further
accommodations, which they must otherwise have waited some time
to obtain; while the buildings which were required to be raised
for the security of the stores, and for other purposes of equal
necessity, were greatly retarded. I am confident also that this
conduct tended to relax the discipline which ought to have been
rigidly preserved amongst the convicts, and produced a general
carelessness of the general interest; and it was not without some
difficulty that Governor Hunter succeeded in the adoption of a
contrary line of behaviour. Habits of dissipation and indolence
resulted from this pernicious mode of bartering the public for
individual interest, which had taken such deep root, as to render
their complete eradication matter of the most extreme difficulty:
The encroachments on the hours of labour for the crown has,
however, been done away by Governor Hunter, and a a more regular
system has been adopted in the allowance of convicts and other
indulgences to settlers, etc. by order of the Secretary of
State, since his excellency's departure.

The custom of imprisoning for debt those persons who are
employed in the public service, constitutes the 5th article of
notice; and this practice had been carried to such a pitch, that
dealers would readily give credit to convicts, or any servants of
the crown, under the idea that they might sue the debtors for the
amount, and imprison them, or obtain the benefit of their labour
until the debt was liquidated. The necessities of the convicts
frequently compelled them to seek for credit, and thus to throw
themselves into the power of those iniquitous designers. In
consequence of the prevalence of this practice many of the
convicts were immured continually, and thus the public was
deprived of their services; since they preferred remaining
indolently in confinement to making those complaints to the
governor, which would have led to their release, and reinstation
in their former situations of labour. Governor Hunter no sooner
made himself acquainted with the mischievous extent to which this
conduct was carried, than he published an order, in which he
prohibited every person in trade from "crediting the
servants of the crown, under the plea of their being at liberty
to imprison their persons; if such credit was given, it was to be
understood as being done at the risk of the creditor, on the good
faith he entertained of the integrity of the persons he so
entrusted, but that the public should not be deprived of the
labour of its servants for the partial accommodation of
individuals." This order was dated the 4th of October, 1798,
three years after the return of Governor Hunter to the
administration of his high and responsible office; and the
regulation was justified by the situation of the colony, and the
abuses which had sprung out of the custom. After the publication
of this order, however, I saw many persons committed to prison
for debt, whose situation, as convicts, exempted them from
incarceration; but this apparent breach of the regulation was
entirely attributable to the ignorance of the court which had
thus decided, that the person against whom their warrant was
directed, was at the time a bond-servant, and, consequently,
within the reach of this clause. Whenever a commitment of this
description came to the governor's knowledge (which was always
the case in a few days, when the report of the prisoners for debt
was delivered to him), the delinquent was immediately enlarged,
since his confinement was illegal, as contrary to the order which
had been published on the subject.

Another cause of expense, comprising the 6th in this
enumeration, arose out of the number of orphan children in the
settlement, who were allowed full ration and clothing at the
charge of government. This evil has, however, experienced a very
natural reduction, from the judicious measures adopted by
Governor Hunter, who laid the foundation of a fund for the
benefit of these orphans; the consequence of which has been, the
completion of a school for the education and maintenance of
female children of that description, and which is now supported
by various imposts upon merchandize, and other taxations or fines
for certain offences against the general orders. The children
embraced by this charity are not simply the offspring of deceased
parents, but such other children, also, as have been left
unprovided for, by the desertion of those whose duty it was to
foster them, or from the circumstance of their being found to be
worthless and profligate characters, or by their having betrayed
a carelessness and indifference as to the moral improvement of
their children; where such a disposition displayed itself, the
offspring were taken from them, and their subsequent progress was
made the care of this institution, which provided for their
support and improvement; and I am happy to say, that there is
every appearance of a great good arising from this foundation, by
rescuing from infamy and shame, and bringing up to a life of
virtue and industry, a number of fine young girls, whom it is
earnestly hoped will strive to repay the paternal care that has
been taken of them in their juvenile days, by a strict adherence
to every pure inclination as they rise in age, and a grateful
remembrance of those from whom their happiness has sprung.

7thly, The establishment of a most injurious monopoly amongst
the inhabitants of the settlement, which has tended to the ruin
of fair trade.--The commencement of this baleful system is traced
back to the administration of Governor Phillip, at which time I
was not in the settlement. In a very scarce period, when all
classes were labouring under every kind of privation, the
officers prayed leave of the governor to charter the ship
Britannia for the Cape of Good Hope, to bring back cattle and
other articles on their account, for which speculation a
considerable sum was subscribed, in equal shares. The governor
assented to the proposition, in consequence of the peculiar state
of the colony at that time; but scarcely had the Britannia sailed
upon her voyage, when the governor, having received leave of
absence, left the settlement, and the government immediately
changed its form, from a naval to a military system. In
consequence of this variation, permission was readily obtained
for the disposal of the cargo thus imported on its arrival, and
after its passing through the hands of the importers, the chief
part of the merchandize produced from 1000L. to
2000L. per cent. to the private retailer. These
extraordinary advantages could but be attended with evil and
destructive consequences to the settlement at large; nor does the
system of monopoly, which was so early introduced in the colony,
cease to spread its baleful influence; by which means the
settlers, who were deserving of the most marked encouragement and
indulgence, still remain in far less affluent circumstances than
they otherwise might have been. This topic deserves serious
attention, and the mild hand of legislative authority, to check
its further pernicious effects.

Having spoken thus on the subject of monopoly, which I shall
at a future period fully establish, and which has occasioned the
sacrifice of the public, to individual interest, I shall proceed
to advert, 8thly, to the loss which the government has sustained
in the dereliction of some of its most valuable servants, who
have been allured, by the rapid fortunes made by several
individuals, to quit the service of the public, and to embark in
traffic. The inferior officers of the settlement, and the
non-commissioned officers and privates of the regiment, have been
infected with the itch for dealing; and many of the settlers
themselves have either disposed of their farms or deserted them,
to obtain the means or the leisure to devote themselves to a
species of dealing which never failed to turn to good account.
Many who had also served their terms of transportation, instead
of remaining to aid the public service, withdrew themselves from
the stores, and turned their thoughts to trade. The consequence
of this universal inclination to one object, and that of such an
evil nature, being chiefly confined to the sale of spirits, soon
became obvious in the desertion of those farms which had been
previously tilled with so much advantage, and in the neglect of
all duties, whether of a public or private nature. The immense
profits made by this pursuit served as a new stimulus to its
continuance: One dealer was known to have cleared twelve hundred
pounds sterling in four weeks, and chiefly by the sale of
spirits; and an inhabitant of the lowest order, who commenced
dealing with five pounds, has been known to realize five hundred
pounds in the course of six months. It must naturally be
inferred, that the most base imposition must have been practised
to render this business so extremely lucrative, and the article
itself must have been diluted away to excessive weakness; but
while the temptation remained so strong, it is not to be wondered
at that such numbers of persons, in a colony of this or any other
description, should be found to quit every other object for a
free and full pursuit of one so full of attraction. Many of the
convicts soon acquired property in this way, and some of those
who had been in that unfortunate situation, by their good conduct
are now considered as respectable characters, and are in
possession of horses, carriages, and servants, with a sufficiency
to secure their independence during the remainder of their lives.
The military have also made considerable wealth by the same
course, and the consequence was the instilment into every bosom
of a consciousness of independence, which was fatal to that
strict subordination which ought to be maintained and enforced.
Non-commissioned officers were the principal actors in this
department, and being connected by the ties of common interest,
they formed a combination which interfered with the middle class
of inhabitants, since they could get on board any vessels on
account of their rank, which gave them the privilege of doing so,
without being under the necessity of obtaining a written pass for
that purpose. The principle of allowing a servant to enter into
traffic, is fraught with the most serious mischief; since he is
not only led to neglect the duties he has undertaken to perform,
but gradually becomes independent in his feelings and opinions,
and substitutes insolence of conduct for the respect which ought
to mark his behaviour. The value of an article also becomes
greatly enhanced to the consumer, when it is permitted to pass
through so many hands, each individual of whom must place upon it
a profit which he deems adequate to his labour or his ingenuity.
Allowing liberty to a prisoner to pursue this kind of avocation
is productive of another evil; it leads him, by gradual steps,
from becoming careless of his proper duty, to the assumption of a
degree of importance and independence which induces him to place
himself above his master, and thus controverts the natural and
necessary distinctions of society. This traffic has also
originated numerous frauds of a pecuniary description, amongst
which may be mentioned, as the most notorious, the custom of
indorsing notes of hand over to persons, without receiving any
consideration for the same, and thus making them the plaintiffs
in the suits which they were permitted to institute. From all
these practices it has resulted, that numerous settlers have been
induced to neglect or quit their farms, which, with industrious
management, were competent to the supply of all their necessary
wants, and thus to diminish the means of procuring subsistence
for the colony; and they have become dissatisfied with a country,
which is capable of being made the most lovely and prolific in
the world. Amongst the inhabitants, also, was introduced the vice
of gaming--a natural consequence of the astonishing increase of
wealth in men of little principle and no economy; drunkenness was
the ready way to this crime, and so addicted were many of every
class of society to it, that they scrupled not, after losing the
property which they possessed, to stake that which they did not
possess. Some persons, however, either favoured by fortune, or
possessing more prudence than their unfortunate companions,
contrived to retain the property they had gained, and by applying
it to traffic are now in a state of affluence of which few
persons can form an accurate conception.

The 9th item of expense is to be found in the provisions and
spirits issued to parties on command; a custom which has been
esteemed proper and necessary in cases where such parties have
been employed in particular services for the public benefit, and
in no other cases have they been issued during the
administrations of governors Phillip and Hunter. These services
were of various descriptions, parties being frequently detached
in pursuit of those who had absconded, either into the woods, or
had carried off boats, and endeavoured to escape over the ocean;
others were oftentimes employed in excursions into the interior,
to obtain a more perfect and comprehensive acquaintance with the
nature and productions of the country; others again were sent, at
times, to reconnoitre the herds of wild cattle, to remark their
progress, and see that no attempts were made to destroy such an
useful resource; the inspection of the various settlements also
occupied some detachments; small divisions were dispatched to
cruize and survey the coast; and the crews of colonial vessels,
which were engaged in going to and from the Hawkesbury, as well
as to the more distant settlements, were in the habit of
receiving these extra supplies, as they had no other means of
increasing their common allowance, when such augmentation was
necessary: Certain customary rations were also given to the
settlers while they were employed in making and repairing the
different roads which led to the settlements, and at which
periods they received allowances in proportion to the number of
days during which their services were required. It had also been
usual to give one pint of spirits weekly to each of the clerks
employed in the offices of the governor, secretary, commissary,
and judge advocate; a similar portion was also issued to the
constables of the crown and the overseers; and also to such
constables of districts as were chosen out of the inhabitants who
were not prisoners, and who, with their families, were victualled
from the public stores; but some of these have been subsequently
done away with, being considered by Governor King as a
superfluous addition to the already excessive expenses of the
colony. There are also many other occasional duties, the persons
employed in which would be entitled to the extra allowances, from
a sense of their indispensable necessity, since it is
sufficiently evident that men who are called upon and expected to
perform services of more than common exertion, must receive
additional means of increasing their physical strength, and of
enabling them to execute the task assigned to them.

A 10th cause of loss to the crown, and of the expenses of the
colony, resulted from the abuses formerly practised in the
medical department of the colony; amongst which it was customary
to screen the convalescent labourers in the Hospital, and to
employ them for individual benefit, so that the patients were
thus kept under the hands of medical men longer than was
requisite for the establishment of their health: An imposition of
this nature called for immediate steps on the part of the
governor, but unfortunately his excellency Governor Hunter did
not receive information of this iniquitous practice until he had
delivered up his executive power and was embarked, or otherwise
he expressed his determination to have put a stop to the
disgraceful proceeding; it has, however, subsequently been done
away with. At one time, it was ascertained, there were forty or
fifty convicts who were thus kept in the Hospital, and were
employed by a medical man in the furtherance of his private
interests, and such other occupations as he marked out for them,
to the loss of eleven pounds five shillings a day to the crown.
Such a circumstance as this, from a quarter so totally
unexpected, afforded an additional proof of the general
disposition which prevailed amongst almost every class of society
to push their individual interests, to the detriment of the
public service; and, instead of giving their full assistance to
promote the prosperity of the colony, to retard its progress, and
make its necessities the source of their profit.

The 11th cause of loss to the crown, and of the expenses of
the colony, arises from the dependent settlements within the
limits of that territory; and although the governments at the
River Derwent and Port Dalrymple are allowed to draw separate
Treasury bills for their internal expenses, yet, the great
quantity of wheat, maize, salt provisions, slop clothing, and
other stores, it is absolutely necessary to send from the
principal seat of government to those places, added to the
conveyance and other unavoidable charges, enhances the expenses
at Sydney to an amount that no person would believe but such as
have had an opportunity of being an eye-witness to the mode in
which such immense sums are disposed of, or upon strictly
investigating the voluminous official documents which are
transmitted from that colony. As the accounts of the expense of
the settlement at Newcastle are wholly included in those at Port
Jackson, I shall forbear to make any regular estimate thereupon;
but it must be evident, that where the subsistence of such
distant places chiefly depend upon a settlement but a short time
colonized, the expenses must be very considerable, and the
supplies must be given out and used with the greatest caution, to
prevent the necessity of applying to a market where their charges
are generally exorbitant, and in most cases optional.

The last source of expense to the government which I shall
mention, and which, although now also done away, has been the
means of an astonishing increase in the expenditure of the
colony. From the fertility of its soil, Norfolk Island was for
some time considered a great acquisition to the principal
settlement; but subsequent experience has proved the futility of
this idea, since the price of grain, instead of lowering in
proportion to the additional trouble bestowed on the cultivation
of the soil, remained the same just before its evacuation as it
had been eight years before. As a place for raising swine this
island, indeed, might have proved of much utility, if the
establishment there had been almost entirely reduced, and the
attention of the colony had been confined to this subject, and to
the curing of pork for the consumption of all the other
settlements; but as this method was not adopted, it proved, from
the time of its establishment, a continual check upon the
prosperity of the principal colony, draining those resources
which ought to have been applied to different purposes, where the
hope and probability of some recompense, adequate to the expense,
might have been more sanguine, and less unlikely. Norfolk Island,
so far from returning any proportionate recompense for those
supplies, had not, in the course of thirteen years, sent to New
South Wales property of any description exceeding in value
2000L.; during which period all the expenses of that
island were included in the general account of the whole country
with the Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury. So far
from being in itself a flourishing colony. Governor Hunter, who
called there in his way to England in 1800, found that the whole
of the public, and numbers of private erections, were in a most
miserable condition; and his excellency declared that he had
scarcely seen a negro town in the West Indies with half such a
wretched appearance. The grain here and there displayed a
promising appearance, and swine were in some considerable
numbers; but the coast was dangerous, Governor Hunter being
himself once wrecked upon it in the Sirius, and nearly lost with
all his ship's crew; and this circumstance is calculated to deter
vessels from touching at the island in quest of wood and water,
which are both plentiful, but which may be procured in equal
abundance in any of the other islands of the Pacific ocean where
there are fewer rocks and breakers to contend with, and where the
acquiescence of the natives might easily be purchased. In
addition to the above obstacles and inauspicious appearances,
vessels at this place have no anchorage, but are obliged always
to keep under sail; and I have known them to be blown off the
island for several weeks together, with very little provision on
board, whilst a part of the crew have been on shore; and by those
means not only a considerable loss has accrued to the merchants
or owners, but the lives of a number of fellow-creatures have
been exposed to the most imminent danger.

To the existence of these, with other subsequent causes, it
may be attributed that the colony of New South Wales has not made
a more rapid progress towards independence, but has so long hung,
as it were, upon the breast, and derived its sole nourishment
from the food, of the mother country. To raise the settlement
from this state of dependence; to expunge from its early page
that stain which must be affixed to it by remoter ages; to
stimulate its growth, and impel it along the path which leads to
greatness, must be the object, the desire, and the hope, of every
one who feels an interest in its prosperity; and if a long
residence in the colony, a full consciousness of its capacity,
and an unshaken affection for the country, can entitle any one to
a rank amongst the friends of this infant empire, I flatter
myself that my claim must be allowed; and I shall therefore
proceed to suggest those further ideas of improvement which are
founded in a thorough knowledge of the subject from

To facilitate the rise of New South Wales to a state of
consequence and independence, its interests must be entrusted to
a governor who has no private or mercenary views, and will seek
after nothing but the welfare of the colony; who will thoroughly
support the trust and honour reposed in him, as the
representative of our most gracious Sovereign; who will not
treat, nor suffer others to treat, the officers serving under him
with indignity; who will not study the rapid rise of one man, and
the sudden downfal of another, but will administer, and cause
justice to be administered impartially to all descriptions of
persons, and only shew his favour to those whose conduct is such
as to merit his distinguished notice. Under such a man, the
industrious settlers should receive the most liberal
encouragement to induce them to pay every attention to the
cultivation of their lands and to the rearing of stock; and I am
of opinion, that when the price of grain has been reduced under
ten shillings per bushel for wheat, five shillings for maize and
barley, and four shillings and sixpence for oats, the grower has
very frequently been a loser, without admitting that in the
course of the season there had been any flood, blight, insect, or
rust, to injure the growing crops. I speak this from the general
knowledge I have of the country, having taken every settler's and
other muster there for a number of years, and from the concurrent
opinions of several of the first and most independent farmers
throughout the settlement; nor can any man who is acquainted with
the exorbitant wages demanded by every class of labourers, who
are not prisoners assigned by the crown to their employers, in
that part of the world, and the great difficulties attending the
various occupations he has to encounter before his grain can be
brought to the market, judge otherwise. The government stores
should also be open at all times to receive the grain, which
would not only enable the commissary to send the requisite
supplies to the dependent settlements, but would also afford a
powerful security against the fatal and frequent losses which are
occasioned by the floods, so destructive to property of every
description, but more particularly to the grain; and it would
also set aside the necessity of issuing short allowance to those
prisoners who are necessarily supported by the crown, by which
means government labour is sometimes retarded, in consequence of
the reduction of the hours of work in proportion to the
diminution in the weekly ration.

If government were also to decline farming, it would excite a
greater degree of perseverance in the settlers, and would, in my
opinion, eventually disburden the crown of a very considerable
expense, as those employed in agriculture, on the government
account, are generally that description of persons who only care
how little they work, and are equally as indifferent as to the
manner in which their labour is performed; besides which, very
few of these individuals are at all acquainted with the art of
husbandry, particularly that system which ought to be adopted in
a colony, the climate, soil, and produce of which, are so
essentially different to those of the mother country; and those
few, as soon as they have attained a knowledge of the regular
method necessary there to be pursued, are generally taken away by
some cause or other, or claim their freedom, from the original
term of their transportation being expired, so that little better
than a succession of new hands have to perform a task of which
the chief part are totally ignorant.

By the opening of the stores, and the prevention of the losses
before mentioned, the Southseamen, and other vessels touching at
Port Jackson, might at all times receive ample supplies of such
refreshments as they stood in need of, in exchange for articles
more serviceable to the inhabitants than any recompense of a
pecuniary nature; and, indeed, absolutely necessary to the
comfort and prosperity of the colony. In case of a war in these
seas, or in any part of India, this settlement would prove a very
desirable _depot_, and place of rendezvous. Soldiers and
seamen would at all times be healthy, without great fatigue, free
from scorbutic complaints so prevalent after a long voyage, and
would not suffer from a change of climate, which too frequently
brings on dysentery, or other fatal diseases; these circumstances
would naturally render them more fit to enter a field of battle,
and better qualified, in every respect, to endure the wearisome
fatigues and dangers of war.

Several ships which have touched at the settlement under the
pressure of necessity, have been denied the requisitions which
they have made for bread and other provisions; and, although the
local circumstances of the colony rendered that denial absolutely
necessary, yet, had the settler been guaranteed by any means
against loss, or could he have received any sufficient security
for his grain, every ship which had been in need, as well as
every one touching there in future, would have been, and might
be, amply provided for. The influx of American vessels, and ships
from the East Indies, has recently suffered a very considerable
diminution; the former, at one period, nearly supplied the colony
with articles of almost every description, at very reasonable
prices, but, from some cause or other, vessels from the United
States seldom now arrive at the settlement with merchandize for
sale; the Indian vessels have also ceased to arrive in the same
numbers as formerly, and the supplies have consequently fallen
off materially, which naturally injures all descriptions of
persons, not only by preventing an immediate intercourse between
those countries, but also by lessening very considerably the
consumption of stock, grain, etc. so that the settler, in
planting his land, has now no other views than to raise a
sufficiency of grain for the consumption of his own family, and
the liquidation of his debts. He has no longer a stimulus to
labour; he calculates that the time and toil are wasted which are
spent in raising an article for which he has no vent; his
industrious disposition is consequently cramped; his present
exertions are without hope of reward; and his prospects are
divested of the supporting promise of future comfort or
competence. Such a system as this evidently and rapidly tends to
ruin; these symptoms are the obvious marks of a diseased economy;
and, if decay appears in the present unripe state of the country,
with what propriety--with what hope--on what grounds, can the
mind calculate upon future prosperity?

The vessels of neutral powers ought to be encouraged, in my
opinion, to trade to the settlement; they would serve the colony,
by giving encouragement to the settlers; there would once again
be a beneficial competition; there would be a channel for the
carrying off the surplus produce of the country, and industry
might again look forward with joyous expectation to the harvest
of its toil. These vessels might be laden back with spermaceti or
other oils, seal skins, coals, ship-timber, fustic, or any other
articles the produce of the settlements and the Southern Seas;
and thus a traffic might be established and carried on with
reciprocal benefit, and the independence of New South Wales must
be greatly aided in consequence of these beneficial

It may perhaps be argued, that the indiscriminate admission of
the trade of neutral vessels might tend to injure the British
ships trading to this colony; but such a consequence, I think,
may easily be averted, since the governor has power to prevent
those ships from selling any such articles as he may deem it
expedient to prohibit; and no injury could consequently be
sustained, while it would hold out the necessity of selling the
European goods at a reasonable rate, or the wants of the colony
might be supplied from another market. The arrival of neutral
ships with merchandize would also tend to prevent the too
frequent monopolies which take place in this quarter, of the
nature of which and their mischievous effects upon the general
prosperity of the colony, I have spoken in a former part of this
chapter; and I feel a great regret that circumstances at this
moment prevent me from enlarging upon so destructive a subject,
and exposing the very root of so pernicious an evil, which has
latterly been fostered by those whom nothing more than suspicion
could ever have attached to, but by recent events; and I am
anxious that a full exposition of the plans which had been
adopted to facilitate the rapid rise of a mercenary and powerful
few, to the serious injury and almost inevitable downfal of the
country, will be held up to the public view of every impartial
man; by which means the grand promoters of so nefarious a
practice will bring upon their own heads that disgrace,
dishonour, and infamy, which their vile projects had formed for
others to bear the burthen of. It has been truly said, that by
means of those ships a great quantity of spirits have been
introduced into the settlement of Port Jackson, and on this plea
the prohibition of their sales, it is said, has taken place, but
which I do not strictly believe: However, the landing of those
noxious cargoes might easily be prevented; or they might be
suffered to be brought on shore, and lodged in one of his
majesty's store-houses, under a bond, so that, whenever the
vessel was about to sail from the port, she might receive it
again, having some trusty and vigilant person placed on board, to
see that no smuggling transactions were carried on, and where he
should be ordered to remain until the ship quits the Heads. By
these means, which would be no expense to the crown, the dry
goods, etc. which had been brought to the market, might be
readily disposed of, without any risk being incurred of the
introduction of too much of that maddening liquor, generally
brought by these vessels, to be distributed amongst the
inhabitants of the colony.

It must be obvious to every man of reason, that the early days
of a colony require as much attention and assistance as human
infancy, and that a course of improper and unskilful treatment at
the outset must undoubtedly lay the foundation of future
imbecility and ultimate destruction. Much evil has already been
done in the settlement, but it is not yet too late to apply the
remedy; the malady which threatens the existence of the colony
has not yet attained to an incurable height, and if the proper
measures are adopted, prosperity and happiness may yet be seen,
where adversity and apprehension are at present discovered; and
the seeds of a new and powerful nation may not be doomed to
perish, before they have scarcely broken the ground which was
intended for the scene of their growth and expansion. I shall,
however, without farther digression, endeavour to point out other
means of improving the settlement than such as relate to its

The establishment of a post-office for the receipt of all
letters and parcels for private individuals, and for the dispatch
of those which are transmitted from the colony, would be
productive of essential service to the general interests, and
could be entrusted to some person of respectability, whose
remuneration might arise from a certain tax or postage: Such an
institution would prevent a number of letters from being lost,
delivered to wrong persons, or illegally obtained by such for the
purpose of sending to the friends of the person for whom they
were intended, with a view to obtain money or other property. It
has frequently occurred that boxes, etc. have been gained
under false pretensions, from on board ships which had arrived in
the port, and the contents of which have been worth a very
considerable value: The persons guilty of this crime, by some
means obtain the information as to the packages which are on
board, and then personate, or cause some of their connexions to
personate, those to whom the packages are addressed, on which
they obtain the property by only signing a receipt to the officer
on board. An office of this description would effectually prevent
the recurrence of such fraudulent practices, and would give a
security for the regular delivery or transmission, as well as the
security, of the letters, etc. which were entrusted to its
care. An oath might be administered to the superintendent.

The unfit clothing sent out for the convicts has been a
subject of sincere complaint, as being dispatched without any
regard to quality or comfort. I am therefore of opinion, that it
would be highly expedient to send out a considerable portion of
wearing apparel unmade, so that there would be an absolute saving
of the cost of making; for the wearers would feel much greater
satisfaction from being allowed to receive it in the piece, that
they might suit it to their respective wants, as well as consult
their own comforts: Those who might have less leisure than their
fellow-prisoners, could have their clothing made by the tailors
of the different settlements, while the others would be happy to
make their own. If this plan were to be carried into execution,
it might be necessary to find a person properly qualified to take
the superintendence of this mechanical department; and such an
one might readily be found in the mother country, whose
disposition, owing to adverse circumstances, might lead him to
accept this situation in the colony; thus a proper quantity of
work would be completed, and economy would be much promoted.

The indiscriminate distribution of the clothing sent over is
also another evil which requires a remedy, and this might easily
be provided, by supplying the prisoners only with such articles
as were necessary to them; since those who had received
superfluous garments have been in the habit of resorting with
them to gaming, or sell them, being unable to apply them to any
purpose of wear, as their scanty make will not allow of a change;
this, however, would not be the case if the clothing was given to
them unmade, since every man would find himself enabled to turn
it to some beneficial purpose. The clothing has materially fallen
off, in point of quality and suitableness for the climate, of
late years; but the evil complained of would, in my opinion,
cease to exist, if articles similar to those originally
distributed in the time of Governor Phillip (of which I have seen
several suits) were now to be issued annually. Many of the
females indeed are the slaves of vanity and pride, and being in
the custom of cohabiting with persons in affluent circumstances,
never appear in the dress originally given them by the crown;
from such as these the issue is now withheld, and they are struck
off the victualling list. The consequence of these regulations
would be the obtainment of more comfortable clothing to the
convicts, and a considerable diminution in the sick list, which
has been filled as much from this as from any other cause; and a
degree of content and carefulness would be instilled into the
minds of the prisoners, in lieu of the negligence, slovenliness,
and discontent, which have recently prevailed amongst them on
that account.

A very considerable saving in the expenses of the colony would
be effected by the consolidation of the two offices of Ship-owner
and Contractor into one, and the undertaking to land all stores
which are liable to injury in the colony, in a perfect state, at
his own risk; for it is a notorious fact, as I have often had
occasion to observe in an official capacity, that vast quantities
of clothing, stores, and provisions, are landed out of every
vessel which arrives in the port, in such a damaged state as to
be actually unserviceable; the necessary consequence of which
very often is, the total loss of the articles to government; nor
has it unfrequently happened, that boxes containing stores have
been broke open on the passage, and articles of various
descriptions thereby have been purloined to a very great amount.
It cannot be doubted that there are many ship-owners who would
not scruple to enter into an engagement of the kind to which I
have alluded, by sending out his own vessels, and might undertake
to convey the stores safely at a very reduced expense. The saving
which would thus be effected is surely sufficient to justify the
experiment, since the security of the articles, which are in
general the most damaged, might be easily guarded by the adoption
of a few measures of prudent precaution, and by a careful
attention during the voyage. A considerable advantage might also
accrue to the merchant from employing his vessels in the Southern
Whale-fishery, and a strong probability would exist of his
procuring freights from India for his ships, on account of the
East India Company: The adoption of this plan seems to be
practicable, and there cannot be a reasonable doubt entertained
of its superiority over every other in point of economy.

A commissioner or agent might be appointed for the purposes of
inspecting the stores and various articles sent to New South
Wales, whose duty it would be to see the articles shipped
correctly, and thus to prevent those omissions which are daily in
the habit of occurring, and which are of more consequence than
may, at first glance, be imagined. This person might also be
beneficially employed in comparing the stores shipped with the
receipts of the masters, so as to preclude all possibility of
practices which are inconsistent with the welfare of the
government, but which are too common, and can only be prevented
by the adoption of such a measure as the one which I now propose.
Whenever the governor of the colony should send over a
requisition, this agent ought immediately to be furnished with an
extract from his excellency's correspondence, so that by these
means the requisition would not be liable to neglect, and much
trouble would be spared to the Public Office, whose province it
had previously been to attend to this department. The reduction
of expense which would result from this appointment would be much
more than adequate to the increased expense incurred by the
appointment and remuneration of a gentleman of probity and
respectability to this office.

The method of conveying convicts from England is so very
inhuman, that some better and more benevolent measure ought to be
adopted. The lives of these unfortunate victims of depravity
ought surely to be regarded with as much care as those of any
other class of his Majesty's subjects; the contrary of this has,
however, been too frequently the case, and some of the masters of
the transports who have been entrusted with these captives, have
treated them with such uniform rigour that numbers have perished
through the intensity of their sufferings. This want of care is
to be attributed to the former custom of contracting for the
transport of the convicts at so much per head, so that the master
has no interest in the preservation of those entrusted to his
care. This evil, too, might also be remedied by the contract
being made only for the number which might be landed in New South
Wales, and by which means the owner of the transport would study
to preserve the life of each individual with the most studious
attention, since the loss of a single life would be a diminution
of his profit, and there could no longer be a danger of the
unhappy prisoners being suffered to perish from any negligence or
severity. In addition to this, the surgeon and the master might
receive a reward for each person whom they delivered in good
order, if their humanity was such as to require a pecuniary
stimulus. I believe this has been tried in some instances, at
least report has so stated, and, if so, there must have been
sufficient evidence gained of the superiority of the method over
that which was formerly adopted. It might not be a bad plan to
try if some of the superfluous frigates in the service might not
be converted into good transports; for there could be no doubt
that, in vessels of this description, the accommodations which
might be afforded to the convicts would much exceed those of the
common transport ships, and the prisoners would of course be
sooner fit for duty, and less liable to the attacks of disease.
Out of several ships that have arrived, not two-thirds of the
number of convicts originally put on board have reached their
place of destination; and this mortality, it is feared, must have
been occasioned by the embezzlement of the provisions and stores
which were intended for the use of the captives. It is also much
to be feared that an undue degree of severity has oftentimes been
exercised towards the convicts, under the pretence of some
attempts to mutiny and effect their escape, and such methods of
throwing censure upon the innocent, to excuse wantonness and
cruelty, cannot be too severely reprehended, if reprehension be
all that can be inflicted upon the perpetrators of such
diabolical deeds. The treatment has been directly reverse where a
King's officer has been placed on board the transport, who
evinced an unshaken resolution to perform his duty. The convicts
which came out on board the Royal Admiral, Captain Bond, met with
a treatment, and arrived in a condition, which reflected the
highest honour on the humanity and prudence of her esteemed
commander, and might be properly held forth as a model and an
example to the masters of all transports who may in future be
employed in the service. Every attention was paid to their
cleanliness in particular, care was taken to provide them with
the most wholesome provisions, and their messes were so varied as
to prevent any dislike arising from repetitions with too much
frequency; on the slightest appearance of indisposition, some
nourishing broths, wine, etc. were constantly ordered; twice a
day they were mustered on deck, and the ship was completely
fumigated: The whole arrived in the most excellent health and
spirits imaginable. If every master had displayed a similar good
conduct, there would have been no ground for the present
complaint, nor any room for the remedy which I suggest in the
preceding part of this article.

A number of gentlemen, of small fortunes, might be appointed,
whose characters will bear the strictest investigation, and whose
talents are adequate to the task, to go over to the colony as
justices of the peace, in order that the general welfare and
individual security of the colony should be promoted. To these
persons many indulgences might be granted, and a respectable
salary ought to be attached to the office, so as to enable them
to support that degree of respectability and dignity which their
situation requires; so as to make their interest totally
unconnected with those pursuits which have led so many to
sacrifice their principles, and to neglect their duty, for the
sake of pursuing the search after independence. The
incorruptibility which ought to characterise the conduct of a
magistrate should be so fortified by every prudent precaution,
that it may at no time, however remote, be in danger of
agitation; nor would it be prudent, in another point of view, to
permit these gentlemen to mingle in occupations which must have
an evident tendency to distract their attention from those
arduous tasks which they would be called upon to fulfil, in a
country where criminals must naturally abound. Numbers of persons
are doubtless to be found in Great Britain who would gladly
accept these appointments, whose educations have taught them to
look above situations to which unforeseen and unavoidable
calamity may have reduced them; men who have preserved their
principles and integrity unshaken by the attacks of adversity,
and who, consequently, must be eminently qualified to fill such
offices as those which I have here suggested. The example which
these persons would hold out to the rest of the settlement, could
not fail of producing very beneficial effects upon the moral
conduct of those who copy the models of their superiors; and
would also be of service in assisting to create a society of
power and independence, which might operate as a check upon the
influence of all other descriptions of persons.

As instances of the irregularities that have been practised by
some of those in magisterial capacities, I need repeat none
others than that I have known men without trial to be sentenced
to transportation, by a single magistrate at his own barrack; and
free men, after having been acquitted by a court of criminal
judicature, to be banished to one or other of the dependent
settlements: And I have heard a magistrate tell a prisoner who
was then being examined for a capital offence, and had some
things found upon him which were supposed to have been stolen,
and for which he would not account, that, were he not going to be
hanged so soon, he (the magistrate) would be d----d if he would
not make him say from whence he got them. Nor do I believe it
less true, that records of an examination, wherein a respectable
young man was innocently engaged, have been destroyed by that
same magistrate before whom the depositions were taken. These and
numerous other cases which I could enumerate, cannot admit of a
doubt but that such a regulation must tend greatly to the
preservation of the liberty of the subject, the property of all
classes of the inhabitants, and the general interest and security
of the colony at large.

I should also strongly advise, that nine or ten of the
principal officers of government should be authorized to act in
the capacity of council, to whom the governor could resort, in
all periods of difficulty and delicacy, for advice how to shape
his conduct, by which means he would not, in any future instance,
be left wholly dependent upon his own judgment. The good effects
of this arrangement must soon be evident, since the issuing of an
order of council could not fail to carry with it much additional
weight to that which would be attached to an act of the governor
alone, and would tend to the speedy suppression of any appearance
of insubordination, and discourage those who should incline so to
act as to originate a spirit of dissatisfaction in the
settlement. To a want of this council, it may not be too much to
attribute the present unsettled state of the colony, and the
maturation of a faction which has perverted the streams of
justice, and which has impeded the growth of opulence throughout
the settlement, merely to enrich a select party at the expense of
the general welfare, and consequently to spread vice and ruin
through a land, whose prosperity has never become their care,
although it was a solemn pledge of their leaders to support and
cherish it to the very utmost of their ability.

In addition to this council composed of the chief officers of
the government, I consider it essentially requisite that a
barrister should be appointed as a counsellor to the governor, at
all times when his excellency is referred to in matter of
doubtful disputation, which must oftentimes occur in the colony,
and which frequently reduces him to an unpleasant dilemma. Aided
by a legal adviser, however, his judgment must be strengthened,
and his decision would be more weighty, without creating in his
breast those uneasy sensations which must arise under different
circumstances. In the present conformation of the government, the
governor has no legal adviser to have recourse to when an appeal
is made to his decision, which is not rarely the case, except the
judge advocate, and this officer having previously given his
opinion in the court below cannot, of course, be again consulted
on the same subject. In consequence of this default of advice,
the governor must give his own opinion, which may or may not be
in conformity with the laws of the mother country, just as it may
happen, and according to the knowledge he may possess of the
principles and practice of jurisprudence, which is seldom very
deep in persons whose inclinations are so opposite to this kind
of study as the officers of the navy and army, from whom the
governors of the colony have hitherto been selected. This
counsellor could be selected from those who might be induced to
listen to such a proposal, as may place before them a certain
liberal competence, with the opportunity of rising to
independence in a sphere where the number of competitors would be
so low as to render final success less precarious. It is needless
to expatiate more amply upon the benefits which must accrue from
an appointment of this nature, which would impose but a trifling
additional burden on the crown, since it is extremely possible
that a barrister might be obtained for the salary of 150L.
per annum, which, together with the victualling of himself and
his family and servants from the public stores, and residence in
the colony rent-free, added to the other customary indulgences
given to persons from whose services utility is expected to be
derived, would not make his situation worth less than
500L. per annum, a temptation which must possess some
weight in the minds of those who meet with inadequate
encouragement in England.

The legislative code of the colony requires a careful
revision, since the numerous residents who have arrived in the
settlement, and their increasing respectability and opulence,
render such a measure necessary. That system which would suit the
original establishment, composed only of two classes, the
officers of government and the convicts, will scarcely be
expected to adapt itself to the wants and wishes of a community
advanced in civilization: In the former case, the principal
object was to punish delinquency; in the latter, to secure
property, and insure the safety of that wealth which now began to
shew itself in the multiplication of luxuries, and the
augmentation of individual splendour. The present system is so
liable to abuse, and has given just occasion for so many
complaints on the part of those traders who visit the colony in
great numbers, as well as of the more respectable classes of the
inhabitants themselves, that it is become highly expedient to
substitute in its place one which shall be incorruptible, and
which, from its own importance, may command a greater degree of
respect. At the head of this court ought to be placed a chief
justice, who, by the respectability of his salary, should be
effectually placed above the reach of every motive of an improper
or injurious nature; and in order to lighten this expense to the
crown, certain court fees might be established which would
materially assist to swell the amount of the remuneration which
ought to be attached to this high office, so as to render it
worthy the notice of men who are fitted, by habit and education,
to execute its duties in a correct and honourable manner. The
rent of the residence appointed to this gentleman ought to be
taken from his shoulders, and the public stores should find
provisions for himself, his family, and his servants, together
with fuel and candles; the wages of a limited number of domestics
might also be paid by government; and thus he would be exonerated
from so many burthens of a pecuniary nature, that a salary which
might at the first glance seem inadequate to the trust reposed,
would, on considering every circumstance, appear less
exceptionable, and more equal to the dignity which would
externally be attached to the office. It is almost superfluous to
mention, that the utmost care should be taken in the choice of a
proper person to fill this situation, since his character, his
conduct, and his general habits, ought to be such as to render
him like Caesar's wife--"not only free from suspicion, but
free from the suspicion of being suspected." With a person
of this description to superintend the court of judicature, there
could no longer exist causes to fear the introduction of party
motives and malicious prejudices, to contaminate the stream of
justice; a strict impartiality would direct every decision, and
those who were doomed to meet with disappointment in their views,
while they writhed under its decision, would not be able to
impeach its integrity. If it were found necessary to adopt any
further measures to preserve their honour unsullied, the
rendering their situations limited might probably produce a good
effect; and a pension might be allowed to them on their return to
England, if they were able to produce certificates from the
governors and lieutenant-governors who had held command in the
colony during their residence, attesting the incorruptibility of
their conduct, and the zeal which they had displayed in the due
execution of their duty. A farm might also be allowed to the
individual placed in this important office, if it were thought
expedient, under certain restrictions which should prevent him
from abstracting his attention from his official duties, at
periods when his professional avocations might require his
presence in the service of the public. A salary of 500L.
per annum, with the addition of these indulgencies, would be
equal to 1200L. a year.

An alteration in the judicial code appears also to be
necessary, or at least highly expedient. In the criminal court,
the judge advocate and six naval and military officers are at
present empowered to decide and try delinquents; and although I
believe that their opinions on verdicts have latterly been almost
unanimous, yet I cannot but call to recollection a period when,
painful to relate, the naval and the military were too
frequently, if not generally, opposite in their determinations:
Nor is this the least part of the evil; for evidence is on record
of persons having been bribed, or controlled, by one or more of
the members of the court then sitting in judgment, to accuse
their industrious neighbour, upon oath, of crimes which he had
never committed, in order to lay a ground for the ruin of the
unfortunate individual, merely because his industry and
prosperity in trade were objects of envy. If such a system is not
suppressed, it is not possible for the human mind to calculate
upon the termination of the mischiefs which may ensue from it; it
is not possible for humanity to look upon the probable
consequences, without emotions of horror and dismay. To prevent,
therefore, the recurrence of any circumstance so flagrant and
unjust, it is absolutely necessary to take some measures to
render the criminal and civil courts free from every kind of
prejudice; for what argument can justify the committal of the
existence or the fortunes of individuals, to the mercy or the
caprice of men who are blinded by prejudice.--Prejudice and party
must be fatal to the progress of justice; and as the preceding
remarks are nothing more than the details of facts which are
notorious to every individual who has lived long in the colony,
there is no occasion for my saying much in addition, to prove
that a necessity does exist for some change in the judicial code
of the settlement; and it is much to be wished and desired, that
by that change the power may be vested in honest and
incorruptible hands, which may be held out equally to punish the
guilty, and to protect the oppressed; to curb the insolence of
pride, and foster humble merit; and, finally, to render New South
Wales an exact copy from that fine picture of freedom and justice
which is represented in the mother country.

That the trial by jury should be introduced into the colony,
has long been a _desideratum_ amongst the best-informed
inhabitants of the colony; since its effects could not be
otherwise than beneficial where such universal iniquity prevails,
and where even in the courts of law many enter with impure
motives and unclean hands; since the greater part of the
community are more or less implicated in the notorious and
impoverishing impositions which are continually practised amongst
all classes. When I say that this blessing has been desired by
the _well-informed_, I must also be understood to mean the
_well-intentioned_ only; for its establishment in the
settlement would unavoidably prove fatal to that ruinous traffic,
from which several of the superior classes have derived their
opulence and consequence, and it is not therefore to be expected,
that such as these would wish to behold the approach of that
scourge which would remove from them the power of extending
universal evil for the promotion of their individual good. By
these persons the admission of the trial by jury is sincerely and
ardently deprecated, while it is wished for with equal fervency
by others, and particularly those oppressed inhabitants, whose
miseries and necessities have been the means of increasing the
wealth, and hardening the feelings of those who have so long
pursued the destructive system of monopoly. It would not have
been practicable to introduce the trial by jury at the
commencement of the settlement, since there were none but
convicts, and a few free persons who were paid and supported by
the crown; but the case is now materially altered, and the great
influx of free, independent, and respectable inhabitants, which
the later years of the colony have witnessed, not only render
such a measure practicable and prudent, but loudly call for it as
a step rendered indispensable to the welfare of the community.
Numbers have also served their terms of transportation, or have
been made objects of royal bounty on account of their signal good
conduct, and have thus swelled the numbers of free residents; so
that there could be no difficulty in making out a list of jurors,
sufficient for every purpose, even if the assizes were ordered to
be held monthly, which is a more frequent occurrence than in the
mother country. Objections may be started to the propriety of
receiving those, who have been convicted and have suffered the
sentence of the law, as jurors; but if this description of
persons are worthy to be received as evidence at all in a court
of justice, and there are instances sufficient on record to prove
this to have been the case; and where this evidence of persons so
objected to and proscribed, has been the sole means of the
conviction to death of the accused, surely it could afford no
room for cavil that a jury should in part be composed of persons,
whose conduct during the term of their punishment has been such
as to give general satisfaction, and who have proved by their
conduct that they have reformed their dispositions, corrected
their principles, and are likely to become useful, and
consequently valuable, members of society; and none others should
be admitted on the list. Besides, even allowing this objection to
have some weight, will reason and policy justify the carrying of
this principle to such a length, as to exclude from this
privilege those free settlers who have been guilty of no crime,
and have suffered no punishment? Shall these, in return for their
voluntary exile from their native land to promote the interest of
the colony, lose the benefit of this inestimable distinction,
which operates as a security to the freedom of Englishmen, and
renders it so far superior to the boasted independence of any
other nation in the world? If it were thought inexpedient to
admit twelve jurors, in consequence of the limited population of
the settlement, eight might be allowed in the first instance, and
the rest could be added when circumstances would permit; so that
the principle of the system would be established, and these could
be instructed in the laws of the land from the bench. In each of
the settlements there are a great many persons competent to fill
the office of jurors, and it is to be hoped that no long interval
will be suffered to elapse without the colony being permitted to
participate in those inestimable privileges which render the
mother country the envy of the world.

The admission of the bankrupt laws into the colony would tend
still more to the perfecting of the system of jurisprudence, and
appears to be a very desirable object of solicitude. For want of
some legal system of this kind, many families have been reduced
to the lowest extremes of misery and want, the heads being
immured in prison, without the ability to liquidate the claims of
their unfeeling creditors, or to provide support for their
perishing families. The necessary consequence was, the
individuals fell to the charge of the government, since they must
not be suffered to starve. The obduracy of the creditors may be
assigned as the sole cause of this wretchedness; for although, in
such circumstances, the unfortunate debtor had been willing to
relinquish all his possessions; to surrender his land, his
cattle, his stock, and every thing else of which he could boast
of the possession; nothing short of payment in money could
satisfy; and the ill-fated was doomed to experience the
accumulated horrors of personal suffering, in addition to that
which must arise from the idea that his sorrows extended
themselves, with equal or superior bitterness, to those who were
dear to him. Such occurrences as these have tended to multiply
considerably the expenses of government, who have frequently
found it necessary to extend their assistance to the whole of the
unfortunate debtor's family, to preserve them from actual
destruction; and who could not, by any authority which was vested
in them, compel the hard-hearted and inhuman creditor to accede
to the only proposal which it was in the ability of the prisoner
to offer. The introduction of the bankrupt laws could not fail to
afford an effectual relief to persons reduced to this unfortunate
condition, and must be productive of much future benefit, in
consequence of the continual augmentation of the trade of the
settlement, and the increasing numbers of the dealers;
circumstances of themselves which must carry to every rational
mind the strong necessity which exists for the adoption and
introduction of some legal code, assimilated as much as possible
to the bankrupt laws of the mother country, if it should be
considered imprudent to copy precisely after this exquisite

The encouragement of a few barristers to go over to the
settlement, who have not met with success adequate to their
wishes in the mother country, but who are, notwithstanding,
persons of unimpeached moral character (for nothing could be more
impolitic in any case than to import persons of doubtful
characters into a colony of this description), and whose legal
knowledge would be amply sufficient for every purpose in New
South Wales; such an importation would be attended with very
great advantages to the inhabitants. For the want of such persons
has, in numerous instances, been very severely felt by those who
have had occasion to come into the courts of law. Many instances
have occurred, within my observation, where the persons accused
might, by the assistance of a counsel who possessed the ability
to penetrate the motives and intentions of the prosecutor, have
escaped the punishment which he has been compelled to endure.
Evidence is frequently mis-stated and misrepresented in the
courts, and this, owing to the great ignorance of numbers who are
brought forward as witnesses, is a circumstance of no rare
occurrence; the questions being taken down in writing, and, in
the attempt to give them some grammatical connection, ideas being
frequently perverted, and taken directly opposite to their
original meaning, without any intention whatever to enter into a
mis-statement. Now it must be sufficiently obvious that the
allowing of counsel would tend to do away this evil, since he
would himself be in the habit of taking notes of the evidence,
and would thus not only be able to detect any misrepresentation,
but would convey satisfaction to the mind of the prisoner
himself; and convince the spectators (who, by the bye, frequently
retire under very different impressions), that the accused has at
least been treated throughout with fairness. It cannot be
necessary to enter into reasoning to prove that this
mis-statement of evidence is an evil which calls for redress; and
I think the reader will concur with me in opinion, that no better
plan can be devised than the introduction of counsel into the
courts, who might keep a vigilant watch over the progress of the
trial, and not only insure the correct statement of the various
depositions, but be ready to take immediate advantage of any
circumstances which might arise of a favourable complexion to the
person accused, by which means many prisoners might be rescued
from the punishment which, from a want of legal aid, they have
been compelled to submit to. In the answers of witnesses, I have
myself heard of "No" being substituted for
"Yes;" and what guarantee can there be for the
obtainment of justice, where a possibility exists of the
occurrence of such mistakes--mistakes on which the existence of a
fellow-creature might hinge!

If then the criminal court needs so strongly the introduction
of counsel, the court of civil judicature is equally in want of
similar aid, where subjects of the most complicated nature are
frequently brought for decision, and where the difficulty of
deciding correctly is almost, if not totally, insuperable.
Considerable sums here depend upon the issue of a question, of
the nature of which no one present is qualified to judge; and an
appeal from the decision which ensues is frequently made to the
governor, who is thus left singly to decide what has caused so
much difficulty to a whole court!

The utility, nay the necessity, then, of a professional
assistant in these cases, must surely be evident to every one,
and without such aid it is not possible that justice can be
impartially administered. The ignorance of many suitors, even men
of great opulence and respectability, is so deplorable that they
cannot make you comprehend their own case, when called upon to
state their grievance; but the possibility of having their cause
pleaded by a counsellor would not only save the court itself a
serious loss of time and a considerable degree of perplexity, but
must surely lead to a more correct decision in cases of
difficulty. By these means the discontent which now universally
displays itself in the person who has lost the cause, would be
completely done away, and he could no longer attribute his defeat
to the partiality of the judges, when he should have experienced
the full benefit which he might derive from a communication with,
and the able aid of, a legal adviser. If two, three, or more
barristers, could be induced to depart for the colony merely as
private settlers, receiving from government a free passage;
victualling from the stores for themselves, families, and
servants; and every other indulgence which is usually granted to
settlers, there could be no doubt that they would soon find their
endeavours successful; and the allowance of government, with the
emoluments which they would derive from their practice, which
might safely be calculated at 200L. or 300L. per
annum; having a farm allowed them to cultivate, would render
their situations not only comfortable, but eminently respectable;
and their introduction would be attended with no extraordinary
expense to government, beyond what is generally allowed to
settlers in the colony. To encourage gentlemen of education and
ability to make this attempt, it might not be an improper
extension of liberality to allow them a free passage back to
England, if, upon a fair and sufficient trial, it should be
discovered that the speculation which induced them to embark for
the colony should not turn out productive enough to reward them
for their exertion, and to offer them that genteel support to
which they would be entitled, on account of the superiority of
their situation, and according with the habits of their former

In the trial of civil causes, it had, until latterly, been the
custom of the court to insert in writing only the amount of the
debt sought to be recovered, the damages which have been awarded,
the names of the plaintiff and defendant, and the adjudication of
the court; but in the opinion of many persons of consequence and
respectability in the colony, it is absolutely requisite to cause
all the _viva voce_ evidence which is given in all civil
cases to be taken down in writing. The following reasons are
given for this alteration in the former custom, and their full
weight has been allowed to them whenever I have heard an opinion
given upon the subject. It occurs very frequently that appeals
are made from the decision of the civil court to the governor,
and, in consequence of the evidence which has been given before
the court not being taken down, the witness has an opportunity of
correcting, enlarging, or otherwise altering his depositions, so
as to make his own case appear in a very different point of view
to that which it bore in the former instance, and thus a
temptation is held out to perjury, which is too strong for the
weak morality of many in the colony to resist, and the current of
public justice may, by this method, be completely turned out of
its proper channel; and the decision of the civil court is at all
times liable to be disputed and reversed. No writ of court is
issued for less than ten pounds, so that the necessity of taking
down the evidence in a suit instituted for a sum beneath that
amount, does not appear to be so strikingly obvious; although an
appeal may be made to the governor from the civil court, for any
sum, even less than ten pounds; but this is not very often done,
although some instances have occurred in my recollection. Where
the sum sued for exceeds 300L. a court of appeal may be
demanded, and if the plaintiff is dissatisfied with the decision
of the governor, he has the right of appealing to the King in
council; and here the necessity of taking down the evidence
brought before the court becomes still more strong, since the
character of the court itself may be involved in the issue of the
legal decision. Suits to this amount are not now very rare, but
they may be expected to become much more frequent in the thriving
state of the colony.

The affixing a greater degree of respectability to the office
of chief constable at Sydney, and the attachment of a salary to
the situation from the crown, would be a desirable measure, since
on this officer depends, in a great measure, the peace, the
internal security, and good order of the colony; and it is
therefore worthy of consideration whether the trust, inferior in
importance to scarcely any in the settlement, ought not to be
reposed in a person of some respectability, and who, by the
receipt of an adequate remuneration, might be enabled to devote
his time and attention to the duties of his office. To this
situation so much responsibility is attached, and from it so much
good is expected, that the person who fills it ought to be
enabled to preserve a respectable appearance, and to embrace the
comforts of life, without being permitted to have recourse to
traffic or other pursuits which might contaminate his principles,
or render him less zealous in his exertions for the good order of
the colony. The benefit which must arise from the conscientious
discharge of the duties of this office is much more than can be
imagined at first sight; and the evils, on the other hand, which
flow from its mal-execution, are in an opposite extremely
baleful, and calculated more to promote excesses and tumults than
to repress them.

That prisoners who are transported for life are in general
indifferent to their future fate, and careless of their conduct,
is a fact well known to all persons who have resided in the
settlement; and it therefore becomes a naturally interesting
question, by what means these convicts may be brought to
discharge their duties with more readiness, and to follow a
course of life more fraught with happiness to themselves, and
more satisfactory to those who are placed near them. The best
method which suggests itself to me, is that of employing
prisoners for life on government labour for a limited time only,
at the expiration of which period they should be made free of the
country, and, in case their conduct had been such as to merit
approbation, should be allowed to become settlers, with the usual
indulgences, and thus have the means once again placed before
them of raising themselves to a respectable rank in society, in
that country to which they had been banished. Those, on the other
hand, who are found to be dissolute and abandoned characters when
their term of labour had expired, might be made free also; but,
instead of being allowed to become settlers and to receive
indulgences, they might be taken off the stores, and be compelled
to labour for their daily bread. Such an amelioration of the
punishment of those unhappy delinquents who have incurred this
heavy vengeance of the laws of their country, would induce
numbers to look forward into futurity with a satisfaction which
they had not possessed previously, arising out of the distant
hope of becoming opulent and respectable, and of making the
renewal, in the decline of their existence, of those prospects
which, in their earlier years, had been eluded and destroyed by
their vices; and this idea would not fail to stimulate them to a
conduct more laudable, and calculated to accelerate the
accomplishment of their wishes. It may be brought against this
measure, as an argument, that it would reduce the extent of the
power of government to grant pardons to deserving convicts, and
that government would thus lose the advantage which was derived
from the labour of those prisoners; but to the former objection
it may be replied, that the certainty of an alleviation, and of
the advantages which would attend a meritorious conduct during
the specified period of punishment, would prove a powerful
incentive to the convicts, and would tend to produce more good
members of society and useful settlers than could be expected,
unless some reward was to be the certain result of meritorious
conduct; without this stimulus, there might be, as there has
been, some good characters to reward, but their numbers would be
comparatively insignificant: To the latter objection it will only
be necessary to say, that if government loses the labour of these
convicts, it also disburdens itself of the weight of supporting
them and of providing them clothing, etc.

Against the perpetual imprisonment of convicts the following
reasons may be brought forward:--The restlessness and
indifference which generally pervade the conduct of delinquents
of this description, who, seeing no termination to their
captivity, lose the inclination to labour, if they ever possessed
it, and become indolent and careless as to the colour of their
future fate; the impossibility of any governor, however diligent
and compassionate, being enabled to discover all the meritorious
convicts of this description who might be entitled to their
liberation in pursuance of the present system, since he could not
possibly, at any time, keep an eye upon the whole, scattered as
they are through the settlements, and in the employ of various
persons; many deserving prisoners, having never been in the
service of an officer, have none to recommend them, and remain,
consequently, unnoticed, although they may be more meritorious
than even some who are emancipated; and the numerous desertions
which take place amongst those convicts who have no prospect of
amelioration in view, and who are, therefore, indifferent what
becomes of them, placing upon a level the dangers of destruction
and the prospect of toiling away existence, without the hope of
freedom or of happiness, to the close of their days. Such a
conduct as this is truly not to be wondered at, when the
behaviour of some criminals at the bar of their country is
recalled to mind, where they have declined that mercy which has
been extended to them, and preferred death to a perpetual
banishment from that society which they had injured. If any of
the liberated convicts should afterwards attempt to make their
escape from the colony, they might be returned to the public
labour, or be sentenced to such other punishment as may be
thought adequate to the importance of their offence. What the
consequence of the amelioration of the rigour of punishment would
be may easily be imagined; instead of continually murmuring at
the gloomy prospect before them--of displaying indifference to
the future--of beholding before them no limitation of their
slavery, nothing but misery, toil, and death; instead of these
cheerless contemplations, they would begin to display a degree of
contentedness with the situation to which their delinquency had
reduced them, and their progress would be marked by utility to
the government and to the community, instead of being chequered
by continual efforts to elude the vigilance of their overseers,
and to escape from a scene of uniform hardships, unillumined by a
single ray of hope.

The best interests of the colony would be greatly forwarded,
if government were to select some clergymen, of unequivocal piety
and zeal, to inculcate religious and moral principles. For this
purpose, they should be chosen of unblemished character, whose
respectability and exemplary conduct would assist to give weight
to the doctrines which flow from their lips. Much good cannot be
derived from the efforts of men, who are chiefly engaged in
farming and traffic, and who will sell a bottle of spirits, or
_oblige_ some of those very persons with it, to whom they
have just before been preaching the duty of temperance, and whose
learning and appearance are better adapted to less important
avocations, than fulfilling the sacred functions it is intended
they should perform.--The future prosperity of the settlement
also greatly depends upon the manner in which the rising
generation are instructed. The education of youth is, at present,
much neglected, through the want of four or five schoolmasters of
sufficient capacity. There cannot be a doubt that persons
qualified for this profession would meet with very liberal
encouragement, as the children are numerous, and there are but
few parents who cannot afford to educate their offspring

The want of some able superintendants in different branches of
business is at present much felt, since such individuals might be
usefully employed in training up youth to the pursuits of
industry; by which means the commission of crimes would be
rendered less frequent, and the dispositions of children would
receive a proper bias. An arrangement of this nature would also
remove the severe inconvenience occasioned by the extreme
scarcity of able mechanics throughout the colony.

It will be immediately admitted by every unprejudiced mind,
that the salaries of the deputy-commissaries should be increased,
when the circumstances under which they are placed are duly
considered. They have now only five shillings a day; a sum so
totally inadequate to the services they perform, as to excite
surprize in all who witness the extent of the trust reposed in
them. This daily pay is barely sufficient to purchase a dinner in
the colony, as they are obliged to appear in every respect as
gentlemen; and the necessary consequence is, they are compelled
to enter into other occupations, unless they have a better source
of income than their salaries, in order to meet their own
unavoidable expenditure, and to maintain (as is generally the
case there) a wife and large family. The impolicy of giving small
salaries must be obvious, when it is considered that individuals
who are thus sparingly rewarded for their labour, abstract from
their official duties some portion of that attention which ought
to be wholly devoted to them.

A different arrangement with respect to the grants and leases
of land would also be productive of beneficial consequences.
Whenever any of those deeds have been made, under the hand and
seal of the governor, or of the colonial seal, they ought to be
considered as secured to the grantee or lessee, their heirs,
etc. and, under no pretence whatever, except a failure in the
fulfilment of the conditions expressed therein, ought the
governor, or any succeeding governor, to retain the power of
taking that land away. The existence of such a power, indeed, is,
upon its surface, arbitrary; and, in its effect, totally
destructive of the spirit of improvement; for there scarcely
exists a man who would bestow his whole exertions and property in
increasing the value of buildings and land, which he holds by
such an uncertain tenure. In the midst of his expectations, just
as he has impoverished himself with the hope of reaping a future
recompense, he may, by the sudden whims or caprice of an
individual, be deprived at once of the means of gaining future
subsistence, and plundered of every thing which he may have done
with a view to his own benefit, and the bettering of the estate.
It is surely unwise to leave a power (which, it is to be hoped,
is without authority) of this description, in the hands of any
man, however exalted his character, and however conspicuous his
love of justice.

The whole of the contingent expenses which would result from
these improvements, might be paid by duties laid on importations,
exportations, etc. which are at present by no means
inconsiderable, but might be greatly increased, to the mutual
advantage of the colonist and the government.

To expatiate largely on the benefits which would result from
the establishment of a free trade, is altogether superfluous to
men whose minds can embrace the increased stimulus which would be
given to industry, the influx of wealth and population, the
improvements in agriculture, commerce, and the arts and sciences,
and the rapid advancement of the best interests of the colony,
which must result from such a measure.

The strong necessity for some considerable alteration in the
internal arrangement and policy of the colony, to various parts
of which I have drawn the reader's attention, can but be apparent
to all unprejudiced persons, who have but a superficial knowledge
of the settlement. The suggestions I have now presumed to offer
to the public, as my opinion for means of improvement, I beg to
state, are as unbiassed as my statements are faithful; and which
are the result of some reflection, founded upon the experience of
a long, and, I should hope, an unimpeachable residence, in the
fulfilment of some important duties, thereby obtaining more than
common means of observation. With these assurances, I have to
trust that due credit will be given to my intentions, which had
their principal stimulus from an anxious wish that the mother
country should receive every possible benefit, in the adoption of
so promising and highly interesting a part of the uncivilized
globe to its fostering care.

The End

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